Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Final Chapter 31st of Dec

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 20 27th May p. 3

Postby max and liz believer » Tue May 27, 2008 9:49 am

Thank you so much for the feedback, guys! I probably don't say it enough, but thank you thank you thank you!!!

Because I know how much you absolutely looove (insert sarcasm here) Sean... here's the next chapter.

And do you think too many people keep on interrupting our special couple? I'm the writer and I'm getting frustrated :mrgreen:

This is after "The Many Uses of Ice Cream"

21. Out of the mouths of babes

The apartment
Saturday evening
(2005) Max is 20, Liz is 19



“You taste so fucking good,” he mumbled against her lips as the weight of his body pressed her further into the mattress.

She smiled against his lips and wrapped her arms around his neck to pull him even closer. “Thanks, I guess.”

He let go of her lips long enough to give her a crooked smile. “Are you home alone?”

The smile slowly slipped of her face, immediately knowing what he was really asking. In a strained voice, suddenly very aware of his body on top of hers, she said, “I think Mike’s coming home any minute now.”

“Damn,” he mumbled and started to suckle the side of her jaw. “How about we go to my place?”

He didn’t notice how her body tensed underneath him and how a shiver of fear raced through her. “Uhm, I promised Mike I would be home,” she lied.

He looked up at her, pouting with his lips. “Come on. I’m sure you can come up with an excuse to get out of it.”

She licked her lips and then pushed on him to get off her.

She could feel his eyes burning into her back as she stepped up to her desk and ran trembling hands down her face.

“Liz?”

She took a deep breath. She could do this. Nothing had to necessarily happen just because she went home with him.

“Right,” she said, her back still towards him. “I just… I’ll just need to go and call him.”

She turned around and produced a smile. “Okay?”

He smiled, “Yes,” and beckoned with his arms for her to step up to him again.

She did so and kissed him as he pulled her face down to his.

Giving him another smile, she said, “I’ll be right back.”

He winked at her. “I’ll be right here.”

The smile was tearing her face and she nodded, “okay”, before she was quickly out the door.

She closed the door to her bedroom behind her, quickly walked down the long hallway, past the telephone and opened the front door.

She closed the door as quietly as she could behind her before walking down the flight of the stairs leading up to their apartment.

She took a deep breath of the cool air as she opened the main door at the bottom of the stairs and stepped out.

Not really sure what to do with herself, she folded her arms tightly across her chest to fight of the chill of the wind and started walking down the street. She only made it a couple of feet before she saw a familiar car driving up towards the house.

“Shit,” she mumbled and ducked into the alley separating their apartment complex from the next.

She heard their voices as they stepped out of the car, the sound of the closing of the car doors echoing in the night, and she tightened her arms around herself. God it was cold.

As she heard the main door to the apartment complex open, it suddenly hit her that Michael might walk in on Sean in her room. Now that wouldn’t be good, especially since she wasn’t there.

“Shit shit shit,” she said. Now she had to go back in there. “Double shit.”

“What’s shit?” an amused voice asked and she was so taken by surprise that she screamed.

As she whipped around she came face to face with Max. On impulse, she smacked him on the arm. “God, Max. Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”

He cocked his head to the side. “I don’t think that’s even possible. You don’t really fit the category for people susceptible to heart attacks.”

She frowned. What was he talking about? “What are you doing here?”

“What are you doing here?” he asked, his warm eyes raking over her minimally clothed body making her feel naked.

“I decided to go for a walk,” she replied.

“In the middle of the night without a jacket?” he questioned, not looking particularly convinced.

“So? I just needed to walk.”

“You just needed to walk?” Max repeated dubiously just as he noticed the goosebumps on her bare arms. “You’re freezing.”

“I’m fine,” Liz said, “I just need to acclimatize.”

“Acclimatize my ass.”

“Isn’t Mike wondering where you are?”

“I said I forgot something in the car,” Max said.

Liz raised her eyebrows. “Oh, lying now, are we?”

“Not like that was ever above you,” Max said and shrugged out of his jacket. “Here, take it.”

“No, Max,” Liz protested and took a step back to avoid the arms that were offering the jacket. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine,” Max said, getting irritated that she was being so stubborn. “If you’re gonna go for a walk, as you called it, you need a jacket.”

Liz sighed and ripped the jacket from his hands. “Okay then.”

Max shook his head in amused amazement at her stubbornness and was just about to once again tell her to go inside, when a musical jingle broke through the air.

“Oh, that’s mine,” Liz said, pulling out the phone from her back pocket. “’Lo.”

“Lizzie? Where the hell are you?”

The words might only have been intended for Liz’s ear, but there was no way Max could miss Michael’s loud angry voice on the other end. He raised an interested eyebrow which darkened her face and had her turning her back towards him.

“I’m out for a walk,” she spoke into the phone.

“For a walk?! Are you aware that your boyfriend is in your room? Naked!”

Liz paled and squeezed her eyes shut, hoping that Max hadn’t heard that but knowing with uncanny certainty that he most definitely had.

“Shit,” she mumbled.

“So all I’m wondering,” Michael said tensely, “is what the hell you are doing outside when your boyfriend is inside, looking quite the opposite of someone that is preparing to join his girlfriend for a walk.”

She could hear Max laugh softly behind her and spun around to glare at him. But he wasn’t laughing when her eyes landed on his face and she lost track of what she had intended on doing when she saw the darkness in his eyes.

“Elizabeth?” Michael asked on the other end of the line.

“Put him on the phone,” Liz said, her eyes locked with Max. There was no way that she was going to look away. She could feel the heat of embarrassment caress her face, but she was not going to give him the satisfaction of watching her crumbling in mortification.

Sean’s voice carried the telltale traces of someone that knew he had done something stupid. “Hey babe.”

“Hey,” she answered softly, almost intimately and watched Max’s jaw clench. “What happened?”

“Sorry,” Sean said. “I heard sounds in the hallway and thought it was you…uhm… I just-“

Liz smiled, looking at Max as if she was addressing him, “That’s okay, baby. I’ll be right up.”

“You’re not mad?” Sean’s surprise was evident across the line and Liz’s grip on the phone tightened.

Yes, she was mad. But there was no reason to let Max know that. All she needed to do was to get Max to believe that everything was okay between Sean and her. As long as she was together with Sean, Max left her alone. That was something she had figured out fairly early in her and Sean’s relationship.

There was no doubt that Max didn’t exactly approve of her choice of boyfriend, but she had to give it to him. He didn’t eat off another guy’s plate. According to his principles, Liz was off the market right now.

At least that had been true until that night a couple of weeks ago when he had provoked her to no end and she had ended up hurting him quite badly physically.

“No, hun. I’ll be right there.”

Before he could say another word, she disconnected him.

“He stripped down and you left?” Max asked with a hint of sarcasm, his body very close to hers and his eyes trapping hers.

“It was just a misunderstanding,” Liz said with a strained smile.

“What are you doing with him, Liz?” Max asked, and Liz had a feeling he wasn’t asking for details.

“It’s my choice who I’m with,” she answered.

“Something’s not right about him,” Max said.

“You don’t know him.”

“I know enough.”

“What? From the rumor mill at school?”

“I’ve seen the way he acts around you. He only wants one thing.”

Feeling like he had slapped her in the face, her eyes hardened, “Like you?”

Anger flushed into his eyes, “No, not like me.” He stepped in and tenderly took a strand of her hair between his fingers. “It wasn’t just about sex, Lizzie.”

“Really?”

She didn’t believe him. She couldn’t.

“You didn’t even give me a chance.”

“Oh,” she said lightly. “Like you gave all of those girls you screwed a chance? How quickly did you dump them, Max? Did you tell them that you were only having fun and that they would be out of your head the second after you were done with them?”

Max looked at her, slightly worried. “You really believe that? That’s what you think of me?” He scrubbed his hands down his face in frustration. “Fuck, Lizzie. Do you know me at all?”

“Come on, Max,” Liz said evenly. “We both know that you screw around. I was just one out of-“

He stepped closer to her, his intimidating presence cutting off the words coming out of her mouth. “No, you were not.”

“It was just too bad that I was a virgin, huh?” she said, tears of hurt glimmering in her eyes.

“Since you brought it up. You should’ve told me.”

“Seriously, Max?” Liz looked at him with disbelief. “I would only share something like that with my closest friend.”

“I thought I was,” he said tightly.

She rolled her eyes, feeling her heart beating hard in her chest. “Get over yourself.”

“You told me so yourself.”

“I did not.”

“Yes, you did.”

She straightened, looking at him with challenging eyes, “When?”

“When you were drunk?”

“When was I drunk?”

“Mike’s room. Wine. About two years ago.”

She laughed softly. “Are you serious? You base your information on something I said while I was drunk two years ago?”

He shrugged. “You know what they say; only children and drunks tell the truth.”

Liz looked at him oddly. “Whatever. I wouldn’t tell you anyway.”

“You didn’t have to tell me,” Max said. “But you lied on top of not telling me.”

Liz felt her frustration spilling over. “You wouldn’t leave me alone! You kept taunting me about what happens on prom nights and what is expected and blah blah blah.”

“I didn’t taunt you.”

“You did whatever you always do, Max. Why are you so fucking mean?”

He looked surprised. “I’m not mean.”

“Oh, you’re not?”

“You play by the same rules, baby,” Max said tensely. “I’m getting sick of being kneed in the groin.”

“I’ve only done that once,” Liz protested.

“And it fucking hurt.”

“You deserved it.”

Max opened his mouth to reply, when he heard footsteps behind him. He saw the shifting emotions flicker across Liz’s face as she laid eyes on whoever was walking up to them. He turned around and came face to face with Liz’s boyfriend.

“Hey,” Sean said. “Why are you out here?”

“I just needed some fresh air,” Liz replied.

“I thought you were going to call Michael. Then Michael comes along and finds me in your room, and you are gone.”

Max narrowed his eyes at the guy. He didn’t particularly like that guy’s tone of voice.

Liz mustered up a smile. There was no question that Sean was irritated and after the initial embarrassment that had colored his voice over the phone, seeing her standing outside – with Max – had probably replaced that embarrassment with anger fairly quickly.

“Sweetie,” she said, the word strange on her tongue and she could see it in Max’s eyes. She never used the word ‘sweetie’. “I’m sorry about that. I was just warm.”

“Right,” Sean said with doubt lacing the word. “Then what is he doing here?”

Sean glared angrily at Max, which had Max rolling his eyes. That guy should get over himself.

“He arrived with Michael and saw me out here. He offered his jacket.”

Max nodded with a smirk. Ha, there you have it, Stalker Boy.

“It looked like you were having a conversation to me,” Sean said. “And you were standing fucking close for a regular conversation.”

Max’s face darkened at Sean’s harsh tone. “Hey, don’t talk to her like that.”

Liz looked at Max incredulously. Max talked to her like that all the time.

Sean turned to face Max. “Don’t you fucking tell me how to speak to my girlfriend.”

“Oh, okay,” Liz said, stepping in between the boys. “Caveman time-out.”

Sean took a step closer to Liz, which had her taking a step back, stepping into Max’s body. He automatically placed his hands on her hips and she unconsciously relaxed.

“What are you doing with him, Lizzie?” Sean asked heatedly.

“Back off man,” Max said coldly, pulling Liz closer to him.

“Sean,” Liz said, feeling as if the situation was quickly spinning out of control. “Calm down. I’ve told you before. There’s nothing going on between Max and I. We were just talking about something that happened last week. And we both got a bit upset. That’s why.”

Her body felt warm and safe where it was pressed up against Max’s. But remaining in that position would just further emphasis Sean’s misconceptions so she stepped out of Max’s grip hoping that Sean hadn’t seen Max holding onto her.

Sean took a couple of deep breaths and then ran his hands through his hair. “I’m sorry.”

Liz took a shuddering breath in relief. “That’s okay.”

Sean’s eyes were regretful as he looked at her. “I guess I’m just a bit- It was kinda freaky to see your brother in the doorway, looking at me like he wanted to kill me.”

Max held back a laugh. Go Michael.

Liz smiled at her boyfriend and took his hand. “He can be a bit scary.”

Max’s eyes darkened as he watched Liz’s fingers interlace with Sean’s and felt the air turn somewhat intimate around them. Feeling completely out of place, he murmured. “Okay, I’m gonna go inside.”

Liz nodded absent-mindedly and he walked off.

Although she hadn’t been absent-minded. Even though she was looking at Sean, it was Max she was acutely aware of. In situations like this, he wore his heart on his sleeve and she could read him just by the currents of emotions rippling through the air around him.

When Sean pulled her into his body and fused their lips together she was thinking of Max’s warm hands resting on her hips, protecting her. When Sean folded his arms around her waist in a hug and she rested her chin on his shoulder, her eyes traced Max’s shape as he walked away in the night.

And her heart stroked an aching beat.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Tue May 27, 2008 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 20+21 27th May p. 3+5

Postby max and liz believer » Sat May 31, 2008 9:54 pm

Okay, I just realised that I haven't responded to your feedback since chapter 16. Which is bad. And that would take me hours and hours to do if I were to do that. So I'm gonna respond to the questions I actually have an answer to and try and cover it all anyway.

But because you probably don't want to wait for me doing that, I'm gonna post the chapter first...

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Dmb, I'm sorry I couldn't give you the chapter you wanted, but I hope that you will be satisfied about getting an update nonetheless. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Updated Timeline - Previous updates are in yellow, recent update in green

22. Things Will Never Be the Same

Sean’s bedroom
Friday afternoon
(2006) Max is 21, Liz is 20



His lips traveled down the side of her neck and she moaned softly, her arms tightening across his shoulder blades to pull him closer.

“Eager tonight, are we?” his voice whispered against her ear and she quickly pushed back the nervousness those words instilled.

“Uhm...” she said, arching her neck in an attempt to put some distance between them so that she could breathe. Why did it suddenly feel so claustrophobic in here? “Maybe we should slow down.”

She froze as his hand squeezed her breast but it was her sharp intake of air that had him looking at her. And he completely misread her body language. With a grin he asked playfully, “Why should we slow down?”

His hand left her breast only to travel up to her throat so that he could move downwards again, only this time underneath her top. His fingers itched underneath the strap of her bra on his way but before he could touch her uncovered breast, she rolled away from him.

He stared at her dumbfounded, silently waiting for an explanation as his breaths were moving wildly through his lungs.

She pushed herself up against the headboard, brushed trembling hands through her tousled hair and mustered up a smile for his benefit. “It’s moving a bit too fast.”

He stared at her for a second before jumping off the bed. His arms were moving in agitation as he started pacing the floor and Liz’s heart beat increased. Because she knew what was coming and she really didn’t feel up to that conversation – again.

Pushing his hands through his hair in frustration, he spun on his heels to face her with dark eyes. “Moving too fast? It’s moving too fast?”

She chewed on her bottom lip as she self-consciously rearranged her top to cover herself up a bit more. “Yes. I’m not ready yet, Sean.” Deciding to turn the tables, she bit out. “You said you would wait. That you wouldn’t pressure me.”

“Fuck, Liz,” Sean grumbled. “Yes, I said that. But it’s been almost a year. We’ve been together for a fucking year and you still won’t let me touch you.”

She looked at him incredulously. “I don’t let you touch me? Of course I do!”

“Oh right,” he said, hitting his hand against his forehead as if punishing himself for forgetting. “You do let me kiss you and maybe occasionally touch parts of your body. But I want more, Liz! I’m your fucking boyfriend. And right now I don’t feel like your boyfriend at all.”

She swallowed. She knew that he had a right to feel that way, but she didn’t like to be pressured. She didn’t like that he made her feel dishonest and like a tease.

“Just because I won’t let you sleep with me?”

Yes!” he yelled and Liz flinched.

Noticing her flinch, Sean took a deep breath and squeezed his eyes shut. Liz watched his fists clench in synchrony with his jaw, waiting for what would come next.

He opened his eyes and with a sigh he crawled onto the bed, coming to sit in front of her. “I love you, Liz.”

She looked into his eyes, wanting to believe him but still hearing that ever constant voice at the back of her head droning on about how no one could really love a person like her.

When she didn’t answer, he continued with his eyes softening. “And I want to have it all with you. I want to make love to you.” He took a hold of her hand and dropped his eyes to watch their fingers interlace as he said slowly, “I know that for some reason you are not ready to take that step, but have you ever thought about how it makes me feel?”

“Sean…”

He met her eyes and continued when her voice trailed off due to lack of words. “It makes me feel like you don’t love me back. It makes me feel like you are not attracted to me-“

“No,” she interrupted, forcefully shaking her head. He sounded like her. He sounded like the thoughts in her head and it made her heart ache. “Don’t ever think that. This is about me-“

He smiled at her ruefully. “That’s an original excuse.”

Feeling the edge of irritation at his choice of words, her voice was slightly harder as she said, “It’s not an excuse. I’m just not ready.”

He looked at her for a second before pulling his hand away. “Then… I’m sorry, Liz. I don’t think I can wait any longer.”

She felt her heart drop into her stomach and fear freeze the blood in her veins. “What are you saying?”

“I need all of you, Liz,” Sean said. “And if you can’t give me that now, I have to leave.”

She stared at him with a mixture of shock and anger. “You’re giving me an ultimatum?”

“Yes,” he said quietly. “I guess I am.”

She felt cold. So cold. Her voice was weak as she whispered, “You can’t force me-“

“I understand that you’re not ready, Liz. But I have to move on. I think it’s time you go home, Liz.”

He turned for the door to open it for her and even though the rational part of her mind was screaming at her to not give in her heart was trembling with fear.

“No!” she screamed which brought him to a stop with his hand on the doorknob and he looked at her curiously. “Don’t leave.” She swallowed back the fear so that it wouldn’t make her voice unsteady. “Please don’t leave.”

Surrendering her body, she softly said, “Stay.”

He looked at her for a long moment, trying to gauge her expression. “You want me to stay?”

His question was loaded with several sub-questions and she nodded slowly.

A smile started to spread across his face and his hand left the doorknob. Liz made herself smile back at him as he slowly crawled back onto the bed.

Brushing her hair from her face and kissing her softly, he murmured. “I’ll take care of you. Don’t worry.”

It was her first time with someone else.

And it was the first time she had to fake an orgasm.

-------------------------------------------------------------------


Four hours later
The Apartment


She saw him in the shadows casted by the dim light over the main door. He was on the phone, but his eyes were fixed on her before she even noticed him.

She bent her head and increased her steps as she breezed past him. As her hand encircled the doorknob, his hand encircled her elbow.

She stopped and looked over at him, her eyes communicating irritation and confusion.

“I’ll call you back, okay?” he spoke into the phone, his eyes trained on her face.

She looked away, her elbow already heating up in the chilly air from his gentle grip, and clenched the fist at the other side of her body while she tried to will herself to take deep breaths.

He flipped the lid closed on his phone and let go of her arm. “Hey. I need to talk to you about…”

His voice trailed off as he took a closer look at her partly shielded face. His fingers gently cupped her chin and he felt her tremble in his hand as he angled her face upwards so that he could see her more clearly. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” she mumbled, avoiding his eyes.

Ignoring her reply, he pressed on. “You look really pale. Is everything alright?”

She turned and met his eyes, sighing. “What do you want, Max?”

He searched her eyes, making her swallow tightly, and his fingers unconsciously brushed along her jaw line. “Do you feel sick?”

He was too close. His touch was too warm. The air sucked in around her and she shivered with the sudden need to breathe.

Pushing his hand away, she took a step to the side; putting some distance between them. “Is there a reason why I’m still out here in the cold? Did you want to talk to me about something?”

There was an imploring expression on his face, as if he didn’t quite believe her behavior. Then he shrugged and smiled crookedly. “Nah. It can wait. You look a bit blue, Parker. You should go inside.”

She raised her eyebrows in silent communication of ‘what do you think I was trying to do when you stopped me?’ and pulled the door open. As she walked up the stairwell to their apartment a metallic taste grazed her tongue. She frowned and absently touched her lip as she fumbled for the keys in her pocket with her free hand. Looking down at her hand there was blood. Her frown deepened and she shivered in the comfortable heat of the vestibule.

She had bit her lip so hard that she had drawn blood.

--------------------------------------------------------


30 minutes later

“Just look at that,” Michael commented. “Pure geniality.”

Liz looked up from the page she was pretending to read and flicked her gaze across Michael and Max towards the TV screen where Neo Anderson was doing yet another of his acrobat techniques in The Matrix.

How many times had they watched that movie anyway?

“Would be a handy trick to know,” Max mused, seemingly unaware that Liz was back to looking at him.

What had happened over at her boyfriend’s place just a couple of hours ago had brought one incident in particular to the front of her mind and she found her eyes drawn to him more regularly than usual.

“Yeah, running off walls,” Michael grinned, nodding.

Max looked over at Liz and she quickly dropped her eyes before he could catch her looking. Biting the end of her pen between her teeth, she donned a face of concentration as she stared down at the page, not having the slightest clue to what it said.

“Do you have an exam?”

Liz looked up at his voice. “Uhm…kinda.”

“I don’t know why she wastes her time on studying,” Michael stated distractedly, his eyes glued to the TV-screen. “She knows it all any way.”

Liz rolled her eyes. “I don’t.”

“Come on, Lizziebear, don’t try to be modest,” Michael said and Liz carefully avoided Max’s eyes as she looked at her brother. “Forget about the books and come over here instead and watch the movie.”

Liz looked across the floor from where she was curled up in the armchair to the large couch that Michael and Max were occupying in front of the TV.

She might’ve moved over there and taken the free seat next to Max, if she hadn’t been wearing her feelings on the outside. Tonight she felt exposed. She felt as if Max were to take another look at her, a look like the one he had given her outside, he would see straight through her.

The thought of him somehow finding out what she had been up to a couple of hours earlier scared her. If someone asked her to explain why, she wouldn’t have been able to, but for some irrational reason it felt as if she had not only cheated on herself but on Max as well.

“I need to read this,” she said and accidently got caught in Max’s eyes.

“Come on, Parker,” he said with a grin that failed to completely rule out the concern in his voice. He had noticed something different about her earlier and his thoughts were still filled with concern of what had been going on in her life lately to make her look so lost and pale just an hour ago.

“I still have a lot to go through,” she mumbled and refocused on the heavy book draped across her lap.

“Oh, this is the best part!” Michael announced, causing Max’s eyes to move from Liz’s to the TV-screen.

Liz took a deep breath as his attention moved away from her and really attempted to read this time.

An hour later her head was aching and she was utterly bored. She looked over to where Michael was now moving towards the DVD-player to change into the second Matrix movie.

They always did this. They had these weird marathon evenings when they watched either all three Matrix movies, all three Lord of the Ring movies or every single Die Hard movie. Not to mention Star Wars.

Tonight was Matrix night and with another deep breath, Liz rose from her seat and tried to look as casual as possible as she sat down next to Max, leaving a good three feet between them.

“Joining us?” Max asked.

She gave him a forced smile. “Sure.”

“What about your exam?”

“It’s no biggie.”

Michael rose from his kneeled position and shrugged. “Yeah, she’ll be fine.”

Knowing that it would take another minute before the disc had started up and reached the main menu, his thoughts trailed to his full bladder. “You can start without me. I’ll be right back.”

Liz followed her brother’s departure with worried eyes. Suddenly the three feet between her and Max felt like three inches.

But Max decided to pretend as if he wasn’t aware of the ever present tension between them and leaned across the couch where Michael had been sitting to grab the remote control.

“What did you want to ask me before?” Liz said so softly she doubted he had heard her.

Without looking at her, he pressed ‘Play’ and said casually, “It was nothing.”

“You stopped me outside in freezing temperatures and hung up on whoever you were talking to just to ask me about nothing?”

Shooting a glance over his shoulder, which had Liz looking at him suspiciously, Max moved a bit closer and whispered in a conspiratorial voice, “Mike’s birthday’s coming up.”

At first she wasn’t sure what he had said. She kept looking at his lips, feeling her throat drying out and her own lips going numb.

“Yeah, I know.”

He grinned at her wiseass tone and licked his lips causing her to straighten up in a desperate attempt to put some space between them. He pretended like he hadn’t noticed her not very subtle way of moving away from him and whispered, “Maria and I are planning to throw a surprise party.”

“He hates surprises,” she whispered back, the words scratching against her dry throat.

His eyes darkened and she became distracted by the beauty of his long eyelashes until he said, “Are you sure you’re feeling okay?” with an amused glint in his eyes, “You’re looking a bit flustered.”

Side-stepping the odd feeling of déjà vu his words brought, she stiffened and scooted further away from him. As far as she could get before reaching the armrest. This only further amused him and he smiled at her. “What’s the matter, Parker? You’re getting the flu or something?”

“Michael will kill you if you throw him a surprise party,” Liz said coldly, warning him to come any closer.

“Are you worried about your exam?” Max asked, his tone continuing to be in complete contrast to his words as his voice didn’t reveal the slightest trace of concern only amusement.

He was playing with her.

“Don’t you remember the surprise party we tried to throw him on his seventeenth birthday?” Liz asked. A palpable tremble moved through her as his hand suddenly draped across her bare foot which was the part of her closest to him at the moment.

“Your feet are cold.”

“So I have bad blood circulation.”

“You should wear socks.”

“I don’t like socks.”

“You don’t like socks? They keep you warm, you know.”

“They make me claustrophobic.”

He laughed, looking at her in disbelief. “Are you serious?”

“I don’t like the way they…uhm…” His palm fixed in position against the roof her foot and his fingers moved around the underside of her foot; enclosing it in warmth. “…squeeze my feet.”

“You’re gonna make yourself sick,” Max said quietly.

“Because I don’t wear socks?”

He cocked his head to the side, his thumb slowly stroking the top of her foot while his hand kept warming her foot up. “Maybe you already caught something.”

“I’m not sick, Max.”

“You should’ve seen yourself earlier,” he said and the amusement had evaporated from his eyes. “Your face was devoid of any color. You looked ready to faint.”

“I don’t faint,” she huffed, offended at how weak he was making her feel. “I’ve never fainted in my life.”

His hand slowly moved up around her ankle and her breath hitched in her throat. Meeting his probing eyes, she struggled to keep her voice even as she whispered, “What are you doing?”

He smirked. “I’m heating you up.”

“There are other ways,” she said, referring to fabric.

“Nothing’s as good as body heat,” he said mischievously.

She opened her mouth to reply when they both heard Michael’s approaching footsteps. Max gave her foot a final squeeze before they in silent communication pulled away from each other.

He left her trembling and she wrapped her arms around herself at the sudden chilliness.

“Oh, this is good,” Michael said and sank down on the other side of Max on the couch, his eyes already fixed on the TV-screen.

She had a feeling that he was probably aware of her eyes, but she couldn’t stop herself from watching Max’s profile, her thoughts miles away.

She’d had sex with Sean today. With her boyfriend of one year. It had been nice, and it had been over very quickly. She couldn’t help but compare it to the other single sexual experience she had ever had. She couldn’t help but dwell on the fact that sitting next to Max right now made her heart rate race much faster than when she had been naked with Sean earlier.

It made her feel cold. It made her question all of the decisions that had led her to this point in her life. She loved Sean. She did. Just not anywhere close to how she felt about Max. But that alone was enough reason to keep her distance from Max because he had the power to hurt her so much more than Sean ever could.

Part of the reason why she hadn’t been willing to take that final step with Sean was the fear that she would realize that no one could ever compare to what she had felt that night with Max. And her fears had been confirmed tonight. It scared her to know that she might never feel the way she had with Max ever again.

Would he take her back now if she asked?

She shivered as she thought back to the feel of his hand around her foot. The way he kept acting around her was blatantly screaming at her that he was interested in her. That he had a thing for her. But it was much safer to keep telling herself that he was just playing. That he was just doing all of that because he loved to push her buttons and see how she would react. Because that was what he had always done.

But there was still that small part of her that was hoping for something more and that small part of her was right now screaming in pain because she had pushed it brutally to the side when she had consummated her relationship with Sean.

She reached out with her hand and touched her fingertips against his hand. He jumped and looked over at her with an odd look in his eyes. Keeping her eyes locked with his, she placed her hand in his.

There were a million questions in his eyes and she shook her head in a silent plead for him to let them go unanswered.

His fingers tightened around her hand and she released a breath she hadn’t known she had been holding.

“I’m sorry,” she mouthed at him, guilt washing through her body.

He looked at her worriedly and his hand tightened around hers. Michael laughed about something in the movie next to them, but neither Max nor Liz noticed.

“For what?” Max mouthed back.

She closed her eyes and shook her head slowly, not having the words to explain. She started to withdraw her hand, but this resulted in him tightening his grip. His eyes begged her for an explanation and she bit her lower lip.

“Please, let me go,” she whispered low enough for Michael not to hear and she could see in Max’s eyes that he caught onto the multiple underlying meanings to her sentence.

And he let her go. For now. His fingers feathered across the back of her hand before he completely released his hold on her hand and with a trembling breath she rose from the couch.

From the other end of the couch, Michael had quietly been observing them out of the corner of his eye. His sister had been acting strange today and he had blamed it on stress about her upcoming exam - until she had started to look at Max oddly.

Michael had been very aware of how Liz’s attention had not been on the movie at all tonight and there was something unexplainable charging the air around Liz tonight. The whole thing made him think of the days following their trip to the cabin in Wisconsin a couple of years ago. He had been certain that something had happened between his best friend and his sister in the hours he hadn’t been present.

And even though Max had told him that he hadn’t had sex with Liz, things had been different between two of the most important people in his life since that Christmas. He wanted to believe Max. He wanted to believe that Liz had been crying about something else. But it worried him and he couldn’t completely let it go.

And it was at times like these that he again wondered what really had happened.

He watched Liz rise from the couch, her eyes lingering on Max, and frowned. Michael told himself that he needed to have another chat with his baby sister. Soon.

“Going to bed?” he asked Liz.

Liz tore her eyes away from Max and smiled at Michael. “Yeah.”

She walked over and kissed Michael on the cheek before she said, “Good night.”

Liz was only aware of Max’s eyes on her back as she left the room and the tears burnt her eyes as she burrowed her feelings deep. She never suspected the thoughts running through her brother’s head as he too watched her departure.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Sat May 31, 2008 10:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) A/N 6th June p. 17

Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:32 pm

I'm so excited. In about fourteen hours my dad's plane lands. Yay.

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Elizabeth - Congratulations, babe! Well done :D


To hopefully give you some hope...


23. Winter Wonderland

Cabin in Wisconsin
(2009) Max is 24, Liz is 23


It was a tickling sensation against her skin that pulled her from the realms of sleep. Still not ready to let go of the state of unconsciousness, she mumbled in protest and pulled the blanket further up her face.

But the action didn’t abolish the annoying feathering across her face.

“Go away.”

“Love, open your eyes.”

The low dark timbre of his soft voice was almost enough to pry her eyes open. But she knew from experience that as soon as she opened her eyes, getting out of bed soon thereafter was anticipated and she didn’t feel like leaving the warm comfort of the bed just yet.

Come to think of it; the main source of heat in the king sized bed was lacking. Why could she hear him, but not feel him curled around her body? Why was he up?

“I don’t want to,” she murmured and pulled the blanket tighter around her.

“I think you do.” She could hear the smile in his voice. “I think you want to go outside.”

She shivered under the blanket at the thought of the cold outside.

No, she really didn’t want to go outside.

“Do I have to?” she almost whined.

It felt early. Why was he up so early? Why was he waking her up so early?

She heard him move in front of her face and she peeked one eye open to see what was going on. He winked at her when he saw her open her eye and she quickly squeezed it shut. She didn’t want to give him the idea that she was getting up or anything.

“Baby,” he whispered, his husky voice caressing the whole surface of her naked body underneath the covers. “Come on…”

“Is it good?” she asked with eyes closed.

“It’s good,” he said, amusement coloring his voice.

“If you’re lying…”

“I’m not-“

“There’s no sex for a week for you.”

“Oh, really?” he asked in mock curiosity. “Can you survive that long without sex?”

Her eyes flew open and she glared at him. She tried really hard to hold her glare, but he looked very…appetizing with his hair standing in all directions and a slight shadow across the lower part of his face needing the attention of the razor.

But she didn’t mind the stubble. No, not at all. The way it would brush against her skin, threading a fine line between pain and pleasure…

She shivered and he smiled at her broadly.

Her eyes narrowed again. “What are you smiling about?”

“You’re thinking about sex, aren’t you?”

She rolled her eyes. “You, Mr. Most-Sought-After-Playboy-in-High-School, are the last person allowed to talk about abstaining from sex. How much self-restraint do you have, huh?”

“Whatever are you talking about?” Max asked, feigning confusion.

“'Oh, Liz. Let’s do it on the floor. Let’s do it in the bathtub, on the couch, against the refrigerator, on the kitchen counter-'“

“Don’t tell me you don’t like it,” he said smugly.

She held back a smile as she shook her head and sat up, intentionally letting the covers fall off her. She shivered as the cool air breathed across her skin, but it was worth seeing his eyes grow pitch black as his gaze roamed her naked body.

“How long can you abstain, Max?” she asked sweetly, innocently brushing her hand over her breast.

Transfixed, he followed the movement of her hand before pulling himself together and grabbing that same hand in his. A groan rumbled from the depths of his throat as the back of his hand came into contact with her soft skin.

“Get dressed,” he more or less commanded.

If she didn’t put some clothes on right this second, they were never getting out of the bedroom.

“Come back to bed,” she said softly, taking a hold of the collar of his sweater and pulling him towards her.

“No,” he objected firmly, being very careful to not put any hands on her, and she smiled. “You’re getting out of bed. Now.”

She sighed and changed position to place her bare feet on the floor. “Geez, this better be good, Evans.”

She could feel his burning gaze caress her nude form as she crossed the floor. Goosebumps were spreading across the vast expanse of her skin, as a result of his attention rather than the cold bite to the air.

She retrieved one of his football sweaters from the floor and pulled it over her head. The sweater was big enough to cover her from shoulder to knee. She started to slowly wake up as she walked over to him.

He pulled her into the circle of his arms as she got within his reach and a contented sigh drifted across her lips as she put her arms around his waist and buried her face against the comforting solidity of his chest. She took a deep breath, breathing in all his familiarity and whispered, “Good morning.”

He kissed the top of her head, his fingers slowly threading through her rumpled hair. “Morning, kitten.”

“How early is it anyway?” she asked against the base of his throat, her lips tasting the area of exposed skin where the sweater ended.

“About seven,” he answered.

Her feet were cold and her hands found their way underneath the bottom of his sweater to trail over the smooth hardness of the muscles of his back.

“Mmm,” she murmured in protest, “Can we go back to bed now?”

“You might want to wear a little bit more than this.”

She pulled away and looked at him seriously. “But I thought you liked me in as little clothing as possible.”

He laughed softly at her as she tried to maintain her façade of ignorance and kissed the tip of her nose. “Yes. The world would be a better place if you walked around naked all the time. But I don’t want you to catch a cold… So you need more clothes.”

“We’re going outside?” she enquired, burying her face in his sweater again. It was just so warm and cozy in his arms.

“Yes,” he answered. “Come on, sweets. It’s gonna be noon soon at this rate.”

She sighed. “Yeah yeah. Where’s the rush, Evans?”

She pulled back, but he took a hold of her hand before she could get out of his reach and pulled her up against him again.

“Max,” she questioned. “Now you’re the one slowing-“

He gently placed a finger underneath her chin and bent down to kiss her. How his kisses could still make her feel light-headed was beyond her and knowing her too well Max’s arm went around her waist for support as her knees went weak.

He left her dazed, breathless and staring at him, longing for a completely different bed activity than sleeping.

“You talk too much,” he said quietly while delivering a radiant smile and her heart skipped a beat.

“It’s what I do best,” she said.

He trailed his fingers over her cheek and slowly shook his head. “No. I can think of a thing or two that you do even better.” His hand trailed up the outside of her bare thigh and her breath hitched in her throat in anticipation. His traveling hand pushed the bottom of the sweater northwards and she became acutely aware of the fact that she was completely naked under that single piece of clothing.

He kissed her gently again, his palm flushed against her hip bone, and mumbled against her lips. “Pants are good when going outside.”

Her eyes drifted closed as his hand moved further north, brushing along the front of her abdomen and whispering beneath the swell of her breast, his fingertips tantalizingly brushing the soft and sensitive skin underneath her breasts.

He caught her breathless mouth with his and reveled in the taste of her while his thumb brushed across her nipple. Her moan drowned in his mouth and his kiss turned more passionate and stronger as he rolled her hard nipple between his thumb and index finger.

“I don’t think-“ she took a helpless breath, her lips lingering against his, “-this is helping very much with me getting-“ she moaned and pressed closer to him as his hand completely enclosed her breast in an erotic fondle. “dressed.”

“Yeah,” he whispered, his voice out of breath, “you’re probably right.”

With another kiss, his hand left her breast and moved around to her shoulder blade. In slow caresses of his fingers, he moved down the planes of her back and returned his palm to her hip bone.

“Put some socks on as well,” he said as his other hand kissed her throat and cheek.

“Yes, sir,” she moaned, pressing if possible even closer up against him.

But with a quick kiss his hands left her body and he stepped away.

“Nooo,” she whined softly. “Can’t we just go back to bed instead?”

He looked at her, almost with admonishment but with a twinkle in his eyes, “Go and get dressed, Lizzie.”

“Fine,” she grumbled like a five-year-old and stomped over to her clothes.

------------------------------------------------


He had her closing her eyes when they reached the bottom floor. With a hand around her waist, he led her to the front door. A shiver went through her as he opened the door and the icy wind of winter barreled into her.

Then her nose picked up on the particular smell of snow and she excitedly opened her eyes.

“Snow!” she exclaimed as her eyes confirmed what her nose already knew.

“Hey, did I tell you to open your eyes yet?” Max scolded lightly, watching her with a smile.

Liz loved snow. She had been utterly disappointed when they had reached Wisconsin and they hadn’t gotten any snow yet. But the snow flakes, large and white, were slowly drifting down on the minimum wind in front of her eyes.

“Go outs-“ his voice trailed off as she turned and grabbed her boots. Max watched her with swelling heart as, in her haste, she tried to put on her boots at the same time as her jacket, scarf, gloves and beanie.

He laughed and grabbed his own jacket, knowing from the look of it that they were going to be out the door in seconds. “No one’s gonna take the snow from you, kitten. Slow down.”

“When did it start?” she asked excitedly, hopping on one leg in attempt to get the boot on while the other hand was pulling the beanie down to almost cover her eyes. “Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?”

He almost rolled his eyes. “I was trying to.”

“Doesn’t really matter,” she said, breathless with excitement and grabbed a hold of the end of his jacket.

He stumbled out in the falling snowflakes only to come to a stop as she let go of him and, with delighted screams, ran across the already snow-covered yard.

He loved seeing her this happy. It was like a drug, to which he was addicted.

“Come on!” she screamed at him as she laid down on her back on the lawn, her arms spread to her sides making her look like a cross.

He smirked and bent down to pick up some snow. Enough to make himself quite an impressive snowball.

While Liz was busy making snow angels Max casually walked up to her, the snowball hidden behind his back.

“Isn’t this great?” she asked when she heard the snow creak underneath his boots as he came closer.

“Uh-huh,” he answered and lowered himself to the ground by straddling her waist.

“Oh,” she said amused. “Hello.”

He smiled at her and leaned in. His breath tickled her nose as he whispered, “Hello.”

The snow was momentarily forgotten as his lips gently pulled on her bottom lip, the sensation of his warm lips against her cold skin making it slightly more difficult to breathe. The tip of his tongue grazed the inside of her upper lip and desire rippled through her body, heating her in ways no thermal jacket ever could.

She moaned as she felt his fingers pull on the zipper of her blue jacket and arched her neck to taste more of his mouth.

She abruptly pulled away with a painful gasp as something cold attacked the skin below her collarbone. Her eyes flung open and darkened as soon as she saw the mischief in his eyes. She didn’t waste a single second on pondering the similarity of the situation to others they’d encountered in the past before she screamed at him.

“Maaax!!”

“What?” he asked innocently, his hand still moving down her shirt, the coldness spreading along the trail of his hand.

“Get the fuck off me!” she screamed and struggled to fling him off.

He rolled to the side and looked up at her in feigned confusion as she stood. “What’s wrong, Liz?”

Her attention was down her front as she pulled out the top of the sweater to gaze down and confirm what she had already suspected; melting snow running down the inside of her sweater.

“Oh you…”she said darkly and bent down to collect snow. “You really shouldn’t have-“

“Done what?” he asked and threw a snowball at the top of her bent down head.

She looked up with snow falling off her beanie and Max tried utterly unsuccessfully not to laugh at her expression.

“Oh, you’re dead,” Liz said evenly, anger brewing beneath the surface.

Max gave her a mischievous smile and challenged, “Come on Parker. Show me what you got.”

So she did. She ended up giving him a good run for his money, but it was still Max Evans that finished it by having the upper hand.

Pressing her up against the house wall, he threateningly held a snowball in front of her face, his eyes bearing no sign of threat at all. “Say it, Parker.”

She met his eyes stubbornly. “Never.”

“Parker…” Max warned.

Playing dumb, she looked at him curiously, “What was I supposed to say again? ‘Max Evans is a stupid donkey’?”

He sighed impatiently. “Noo. Max Evans is a God.”

“Yeah…” Liz said slowly as if thinking about it and then shook her head. “I made a promise to never lie to you again, so…”

“Ooh?” Max chuckled and then pushed the snowball into her face.

She screamed at him through the instantaneously melting snow on her warm face, but she remained trapped as he pushed her body even closer against the wall.

Before she had a chance to scream at him some more, he pressed his lips against hers, tasting the slightly metallic taste of snow on her lips.

She tried to stay mad at him. She really did.

But he was so warm and the things he was doing with his mouth…

His hands moved down her back to her ass and with a strong movement he pushed her lower body upwards, forcing her to wrap her legs around his middle.

“Max. Inside,” she moaned into his mouth and already on his way, he fumbled with the door knob behind Liz’s back before quickly moving them both into the house.

Max’s feet left wet footprints across the wooden floor as he quickly crossed the floor and fell into the leather couch, pushing Liz’s body into the cushions with the weight of his body.

“Liz…” he groaned as he tried to find the zipper to her jacket.

She moaned softly as his hands moved desperately across her body in attempt to remove her clothes. She grabbed his wrists, murmuring, “Wait…wait, Max,” and quickly found the zipper to her jacket. She was unzipped and had crawled out of her jacket five seconds later. Max offered his assistance at the end, pulling on one arm of the jacket until it released her body and threw it over her head where it landed somewhere on the floor.

She was already pulling on his jacket, which he hadn’t even bothered to zip up before. While rapid hands pushed the jacket down his shoulders, he pushed his hands beneath her sweater and she almost screamed as his ice cold hands molded around her breasts.

A strong tremble of desire rocked her body at the almost painful contrast between his hands and her warm body. She bit her bottom lip as her body let out a deep sigh.

With the jacket still hanging off his elbows, he pushed her sweater up, revealing her still summer-tanned stomach. His thumbs moved in circular movements across her nipples as he leaned in to start a long trail of languid wet kisses up her stomach.

“Evans…” she murmured. “Your stupid jacket…” she gasped as the tip of his tongue brushed the underside of her breast. “It’s…” Her head fell backwards with a soft cry as his tongue swirled around her nipple. “God…”

Now you’re admitting I’m God,” his husky voice rippled across her aching breast.

“Your jacket is still on,” she said breathlessly and looked down at the top of his dark head as she added, “ my lord.”

She inhaled sharply as he removed his mouth, letting the cool air brush against her wet breast, and looked up at him with narrowed eyes and amusement crinkling the corners of his mouth. “Are you making fun of me?”

She smiled at him sweetly. “Never.”

“Okay,” he said slowly. “I’m gonna let this go for now. But I promise you, Parker, you’re-“

“Shut up,” she murmured and grabbed a hold of his head and pulled him to her lips.

As their lips moved together heatedly, exhaustingly and passionately, their combined effort finally pushed his jacket off; his sweater following soon thereafter.

They separated briefly as he pushed her sweater over her head, his hands quickly moving to caress her bare skin.

Goosebumps spread across her skin, starting from the center of her body, as his naked chest flushed with hers, brushing ever so slightly back and forth as they moved their bodies against each other to lessen the heat building inside. But frankly, it was mostly fueling it.

As her body arched into his body, their bodies, which were already teetering on the edge of the couch, lost their grip on the couch and fell to the floor with a loud thump.

Liz’s face grimaced in pain as Max’s full weight on top of her made the impact with the wooden floor even worse. “Ouch.”

“Shit,” Max murmured and Liz flushed with heat as his face instantly softened with concern. There was something incredibly sexy when he became that worried about her.

His hands cradled the back of her head, his fingers worriedly probing her scalp in the search of pain. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah,” she took a deep breath which ended in a shaky laugh. “That kinda hurt.”

He looked at her seriously, his fingers threading through her hair. “Do you want me to kiss the pain away?”

Her heart swelled and she whispered with a smile, “Yes, please.”

And so he did.

Even in the heat that enveloped the couple, Max never once failed to be gentle in the passion, soft in the urgency and tender in the longing. Like all other innumerable times he had touched her body this intimately, he worshiped every inch of her and took her body to new heights.

Over and over again.

“I love you,” she said softly as he cradled her close to his chest, the sound of their rapid and shallow breaths filling their surroundings. “I love you so much.”

His arms tightened around her and his lips kissed her forehead. “And I adore you, kitten.”

Even though she was getting more used to his confessions of love with each passing day, she still had troubles believing him at times. Her fears ran deep and she was still building herself up every day.

But she was getting better and it was getting easier. With Max’s constant presence.

She smiled and her eyes drifted closed as her hands trailed imaginary lines across his warm chest.

And she finally started to believe.


---------------------------------------------



Two hours later

“Why don’t you invite him for Christmas?” Liz asked, watching their fingers interlace, come apart, interlace, in the slowest and most sensual of movements.

“I’m not sure he feels up to it,” Max said quietly and turned onto his side to look at her profile. “Christmas is… It’s a tough time for him.”

The burning wood crackled in the background and he pulled their entwined hands to his chest, capturing their hands between their bodies as he leaned over her, putting his powerful thigh between her soft ones.

“And what about you?” Liz asked softly as his free hand somberly played with a strand of her hair.

He shrugged, appearing unaffected, and distractedly pushed the hair away from her face, even though it wasn’t really needed. “I’m fine.”

She bit her lower lip with sad eyes. “I miss her.”

His eyes found hers and a weak bittersweet smile touched his lips. “Me too.”

He had a lot of good memories with his mother and he held onto them tightly. So tightly that most of the time he didn’t allow himself to think about the fact that she was gone. He didn’t want to remember the time between the diagnosis and her death, when he had held onto every little string of hope he could while at the same time knowing that her prognosis was very bad. At least that was the terms the doctors had used.

“She was so…warm,” Liz whispered, her thoughts on Diane’s bouncy nature.

Every time Liz had met her, Diane had been happy, with a big smile on her face. Liz could see a similar smile on Max’s face at times, more frequently in the last couple of months than before.

Max pulled their hands apart and pulled their naked fronts together as his hand curled around her back. His lips pressed against her skin as he buried his face in the crook of her neck. “She was.”

Liz tried to abolish the waves of desire flushing through her system at his proximity and slowly combed her fingers through his dark hair. “Are you okay?”

“It’s just…” he looked up at her, pensively brushing his finger over her full lips. “It’s difficult to talk about.”

“He should come,” she said quietly. “I think he would love to see you.”

“Kitten,” he mumbled against her skin. “Could we not talk about this now?”

“Don’t try to avoid the subject, Evans,” she said and felt him smile into her neck.

“I’m not,” he protested.

“I just don’t like the idea of him sitting all alone on Christmas.”

“He’s done it every Christmas since he left.”

“Max,” Liz said seriously and shifted from underneath him.

He looked up at her as she pulled herself into a sitting position, the blanket falling down and revealing her breasts. Fascinated, and quickly forgetting their conversation topic, he watched the flickering light from the fire in the adjacent fireplace dance across her skin.

“Are you gonna refuse me sex again?” he asked, forcing himself to look away from her breasts.

Taking note of his distracted behavior, Liz rolled her eyes and looked at him sternly. “This is serious, Max.”

Seriously, Liz,” Max said, “I can’t have a proper conversation with you looking like that.”

She frowned. “What? What’s wrong with the way I look?”

“All naked, tempting…and gorgeous,” Max whispered huskily and a relaxed smile spread across her face.

She pulled on the blanket and brought it up to her chin, covering everything except her head from his view. “That better?”

He groaned in frustration and turned onto his back with a frustrated sigh. “No.”

“I don’t want to force you to invite him, you know that right?”

He looked over at her and his features softened. “Yeah, I know.”

“I just think it would be good for both of you.”

“Yeah.”

She pursed her lips in thought. “So…? Does that mean that we’re inviting him?”

“On one condition,” Max said.

She looked at him warily. “What’s that?”

“You remove that stupid blanket and let me make love to you all day long.”

She couldn’t help but smile brightly at him. “Deal.”


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 23 8h June p. 3

Postby max and liz believer » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:17 am

I just came back from my trip up north and we're gonna tour the local surroundings tomorrow and Sunday. After that, I'm going away again - now south - for another week (still no internet).

So I thought it would be a good idea to post another chapter before I disappear again. I'm really happy that you enjoyed the previous chapter. I guess that's the beauty of posting in such disorganised order; I can post whatever I feel is needed. I felt like you needed some dreamer insurance there.

But now we're back to the drama (I guess... :roll: )

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I'm sorry I don't have time to comment on some of your feedback...there's just no time

And thank you for all the fun wishes for my vacation with my dad. I'm having heaps of fun.

Now to the chapter...


24. In Sickness and In Health

The Apartment
Tuesday afternoon
(2006) Max is 21, Liz is 20



“Parker,” his knuckles rapped against the wooden door before he opened it, not waiting for her reply, “Do you have…?” His eyes landed on her tear-stained face and he froze. “What’s wrong?”

“Go away, Max,” she sobbed, her fingers rapidly thumbing through the pages of a brick-sized book.

Contrary to her request, he stepped further into the room, took in her position on the floor next to the bed, the papers strewn all around her and her desperate movements. “What’s going on?”

“Just leave,” she repeated and then threw one of the books into the wall with a frustrated cry. Without him having to ask her again, she volunteered the information, “That idiot changed the deadline for my essay. I won’t have time to write it now.” She sneezed and reached for a box of tissues, and Max realized that she was curled up in a thick blanket. “Why is he so intent on screwing up my life? I had it all planned and now he completely fucked over my schedule.”

“Are you feeling alright?”

She looked up at him with a flustered face and dark angry eyes. “No Max. I’m not feeling alright. I’m gonna fail that unit now because of that asshole. The assignment is worth 60% of my final grade.”

“You can complain,” Max said and kneeled next to her.

“Oh, I’ve complained,” she said tightly and almost ripped a page out of the library book when she turned the page hastily.

He placed his hand across her hands to stop her. “Hey hey. Calm down.” He frowned at the heat of her hands. Her hands were usually fairly cold. But not today. “Liz…”

She ripped her hands away from his and turned to pull another book over to where she was sitting when his hand on her forehead halted her actions. Annoyed with him, she pushed his hands away.

“Max! Get off!”

“Liz,” he said carefully. “You’re burning up. You have a fever.”

“I’m cold,” she said stubbornly and pulled the blanket closer around her, as if she couldn’t be burning up because she was actually freezing.

“Sweetie, you’re sick,” Max said.

“No, I’m not!” she exclaimed and pulled herself to her feet, paper and books tumbling to the floor around her. “I don’t have time to be sick.”

He slowly rose and watched her as she tightened the blanket around her and stepped up to her laptop. Leaning over the desk, she typed something into the journal search.

“Kitten, you need to rest,” Max said slowly.

New tears started to flow down her fever-flushed face and she said weakly, “I don’t have time to rest. Didn’t you hear what I said? It’s worth 60% of my final grade.”

“I’ll write it,” he said.

She looked at him with utter disdain. “Yeah, right.”

He shrugged. “I bet I can write it just as well as you can in your current state.”

“I’m. Not. Sick,” she said slowly, clenching her teeth together.

Her body decided that it’d had enough at that point and she swayed. Max’s heart skipped a beat and he took a step closer to her, his arms stretched out in front of him to stop her from hitting the floor if she fell. “Liz…”

She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and grabbed onto the edge of the desk. Everything was spinning.

“Don’t ‘Liz’ me,” she muttered, feeling nauseous.

Swallowing, she turned to face him. “I’m fine, Max. So if you could just get the hell out of my room I could-“ She swayed again and a weird feeling went through Max as her small voice said, “Max…”

Next her eyes rolled back in her head and she would’ve hit the ground if Max hadn’t caught her.

“Dammit,” he murmured as he scooped her feverish body into his arms. She was too warm. His heart was beating erratically in his chest as he looked down into her unconscious face.

She was so small, so light, in his arms that his mind started fussing about that he had to remember to tell her to eat more. She felt impossibly fragile.

He gently laid her down on her bed and as the coolness of the sheets touched her back she came to.

Her lashes momentarily fluttered before she open her eyes and found herself staring into Max’s worried swirls of gold. “How are you feeling?”

“What are you doing?” she asked and in the midst of all the worry he felt the urge to smile at her because of the ever present irritation in her voice. She tried to pull herself up but was pushed back down by Max. Her eyes turned darker and her face flushed a more angry red. “What the hell? I need to get up.”

“You’re sick,” Max replied and pulled the sheet over her.

She tried to pull her arms away before he locked her in with the sheet, but it was too late. “Evans.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” he calmly told her fiery eyes.

Tears of frustration spilled over the rim of her eyes and Max mentally steeled himself. He hated when she cried. “But I need to finish.”

“You just fainted.”

“I don’t faint.”

He arched a daring eyebrow. “Oh yeah? How did you end up in your bed?”

“You knocked me out,” she said acidly.

“Believe me, I’m starting to wish I had,” he muttered and his hands pushed on her shoulders when she once again tried to get back up.

“Fuck you,” she cried out and then started coughing.

“Yeah, you’re staying in bed,” Max announced and with one hand on her body to ensure that she stayed there, he reached for the tissue box on the floor.

“I don’t feel too good,” she murmured after the coughs left her alone and she took the offered tissue from him.

“You don’t look too good.”

“I can write in bed,” Liz said and then shut her eyes as the room started spinning again.

“Liz?”

“Stay still,” she whispered, her eyes squeezed closed. “It’s moving too much.”

Her eyes flew open when she felt his weight leave the bed. “Where are you going?”

He looked down into her fearful eyes, trying to calm the overprotective feelings seeing her so weak was bringing forward in him. “I’m getting you some water. And I need to call Michael.”

She shook her head, looking lost and vulnerable, and Max swallowed. “Don’t leave.”

He smiled at her softly and then leaned down over her. She looked up into his eyes, her chest heaving with strained breaths, while she waited for his next move. She shuddered as his soft lips placed a feathery kiss on her forehead. “I’ll be right back.”

His fingers whispered down her cheek before he pulled away and was out the door.

She must’ve passed out because when she opened her eyes he was back, pressing something cold and wet to her forehead.

She tried to sit up again.

“Shh,” he whispered. “Don’t move.”

“Max?”

“Yes, kitten?”

“Were you serious? When you said you would write that essay for me?”

He smiled warmly at her and replied gently, “Of course. Don’t think about it. Concentrate on yourself right now.”

---------------------------------------------------------


Two hours later

“I’m gonna call Martin,” Michael announced and left the room. Martin was a medical student and Michael was worried that they weren’t doing all they needed to do for his sister.

“I’m cold,” Liz said, her teeth clattering.

“I know, baby,” Max whispered and searched the room for another blanket even though he knew that they had used them all.

Seeing no other choice, he kicked his shoes off and crawled up next to her.

“No,” she protested weakly when his warm body spooned around hers. “I’m gonna infect you.”

“Infect me all you want,” Max said, burrowing his face into her hair. “I don’t care.”

“Why are you taking care of me?” she asked, her hands tightening around his wrist across her waist and pulling it tighter against her. “Why are you still here?”

“Because I care, Parker,” Max answered.

With those words scorching her ears, she drifted off to sleep.

---------------------------------------------------------


One hour later

“Max.”

Max looked up from Liz’s shoulder at the owner of the toneless voice. Liz’s boyfriend Sean.

With a glance at Liz to make sure she was still asleep, he withdrew his arms from around her, trying to ignore how she tightened her grip on him in her sleep and how unintelligible words mumbled across her lips in protest.

He moved to the edge of the bed and looked up at him. “Sean.”

The boyfriend’s face was tight and dark, and Max had a feeling it was very much due to him finding his girlfriend in the arms of someone else. But that didn’t mean Max needed to explain anything to him.

“How is she doing?” Sean asked tensely.

Max rose from the bed, taking a small amount of pleasure out of stretching his legs. “She’s pretty sick.”

Sean nodded silently, his attention on his girlfriend.

“Go,” Max hitched his head in Liz’s direction and lied, “She’s been asking for you.”

There was no reason to make this any harder on Liz and he suspected that Sean might be questioning Liz about Max’s involvement later anyway.

Sean nodded again and sat down on the edge of the bed. Taking Liz’s hand, he asked gently, “Liz? Are you awake?”

“Max?” she whispered through parched lips and Max’s heart clenched as he watched on from the background.

Max heard the hardness in Sean’s voice as he corrected her, “No, Liz, baby. It’s me. Sean.”

She smiled weakly and whispered, “Sean?”

“Yeah,” he said and Max left the room to give them some privacy.

----------------------------------------------------------------------


30 minutes later

“She won’t stop asking for you.”

Max looked up from his magazine at Sean’s voice and frowned. “What?”

Sean was standing awkwardly in the middle of the living room, his body emitting frustration and anger. “I think she’s delusional. I can’t talk to her.” He bit his lips tightly together. “And she keeps asking for you.”

“Have you tried cooling her down? The wet compresses?” Max tried.

He would rather go in there right now and be with Liz, but she wasn’t his. And judging from Sean’s body language, Max might quite possibly only make it worse by walking in there.

“It doesn’t help,” Sean said. “What did Michael’s friend say?”

“We’re doing everything we should be doing,” Max said. “And if it gets worse, we should take her to the doctor.”

“Maybe we should,” Sean said and Max nodded slowly.

But Max knew something Sean didn’t. Liz absolutely hated hospitals. And if Max could postpone bringing her there for as long as possible he would, to avoid adding to her stress levels.

“Where is Michael anyway?” Sean asked, scanning the living room.

“He went to get chicken,” Max said and smiled inwardly at his friend. “Apparently, Mike’s solution to all sickness is chicken soup.”

“Right,” Sean said with a forced smile.

“Maax!”

Her call chilled the blood in his veins and he was on his feet before he even thought about it. Then he stopped himself. “Sean, she just needs something familiar and I’ve known her for-“

“Just go in there, Evans,” Sean said, but even with his permission Max had a feeling that Sean was boiling on the inside.

But Max felt no need to argue with Sean further and rushed down the hallway to Liz’s bedroom.

The hair around her forehead and temples was plastered to her skin with cold sweat and her cheeks were red with fever.

He kneeled next to her and brought over the bowl of water with the compresses. Picking up the one that was floating around in the water, he squeezed out the excess water and gently placed it across her forehead.

“Max?”

“I’m here,” he whispered and dipped his index finger in her glass of water. He brought it to her dry lips and slowly ran it across the parched tissue.

Her tongue touched the tip of his finger and he inhaled sharply. With a shaky voice, he asked, “You’re thirsty?”

“Max?”

“I’m right here,” he repeated and brought the glass over to her lips. But she just shook her head, not wanting water.

“I didn’t want to leave,” she whispered.

He wetted his finger again and brought it to her upper lip. “What do you mean, kitten?”

“You taste so good,” she said quietly, moving her bottom lip against his finger and his heart rate picked up.

“You want some more water?” he asked again, wondering how much of what he was saying was really getting through to her.

“It hurt so much.”

“Where?” he asked. “Where does it hurt?”

She shook her head, her eyes closed. “No… Not now. Before. I had to leave.”

“Love,” he said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He removed the compress from her forehead to re-soak it in the cold water.

“I loved you so much,” she whispered, sudden tears flowing down her cheeks.

“Lizzie, I don’t understand.”

“Come closer,” she whispered, her eyes opening to find his.

He frowned and moved closer, close enough for her to thread frail hands through his hair and pull him within an inch of her face.

“Kitten, what-?”

But her lips cut him off. The kiss was quick but enough to send blazing heat down his spine that spread throughout every cell of his body.

She pulled away and looked at him, straight through his heart. “It’s just too complicated.”

She somehow found his hand, but he was too caught up in her eyes to notice before she pressed his hand against her left shirt-covered breast.

He swallowed harshly and desperately tried to decipher the expression in her eyes.

“It hurts in here,” she whispered.

“You’re not thinking straight,” he said quietly, his hand feeling tense against the swell of her breast with him trying not to move a muscle.

“I still want you,” she said squeezing his hand which indirectly had him squeezing her supple flesh.

A shudder raced through him and he tried to pull away. “Then why are you with Sean?”

She smiled at him sadly. “Because he can’t hurt me.”

“I won’t hurt you.”

She answered calmly, as if it was something he couldn’t know but that she knew with absolute certainty. “Yes, you will.”

“If you want me, take me,” he said and growing possessive he added, “Dump Sean.”

“I can’t. He’s safe.”

Max shook his head, her breast so warm against his hand that it felt as if they were skin to skin, “I don’t understand you.”

She smiled at him wistfully. “No one does.”

The knock on the door had Max rapidly pull his hand away from her and he straightened up. “Yeah?”

Michael stepped in, looking every bit of a worried big brother. “How’s she doing?”

“Still has a fever,” Max replied and flicked his eyes over Liz’s that kept observing him closely.

“I’ve got the chicken,” Michael announced. “I’m gonna make soup.”

“Okay,” Max nodded and spotted Sean behind Michael.

Biting back his feelings, Max addressed Sean, “Do you want to sit with her for a while?”

Relieved to be needed again, Sean nodded, “Sure.”

Max needed to get out of there and get his feelings under control. “I’ll help you out, Mike.”


-------------------------------------------------------------


Two hours later

“I just asked you a question, Liz,” Sean said tightly.

Liz rubbed her forehead. The fever was gone but she still felt like crap. That didn’t stop Sean from deciding to ask her a million questions about Max.

Apparently she had been calling for Max a lot when the fever had wrecked havoc to her body. Something that hadn’t been appreciated by Sean.

“Could we please not do this right now?”

“Do you think I’m stupid? Do you think I don’t see how he looks at you?”

She gave him an irritated look. “How exactly does he look at me, Sean?”

“Don’t pull that crap on me. You know.”

She sighed audibly. “No, I don’t know. Why don’t you explain it to me?”

“Like, when I walked in here today – worried sick about you – he was in bed with you and you looked very cozy.”

“I was cold,” Liz said, remembering that incident because her fever hadn’t taken such a strong hold of her yet at that point. “He was trying to warm me up.”

“Did you ever have a thing with him?”

She looked away and busied herself with grabbing her glass of water. “Just stop, Sean.”

“You’re too close for just friends.”

“Just because he tried to help me out?” she asked and took a deep swallow of her water, trying to ignore her shaking hands.

“You fucked him, didn’t you? Because you were certainly not a virgin when I got you.”

Her body tightened in humiliation and anger at his words. “How dare you?”

“Was he your first?”

“That’s really none of your business.”

“He was, wasn’t he? Fuck, Liz. What the hell are you doing?”

“Who am I with, huh? ‘Cause it’s not Max. I chose you, okay? I chose you.”

“Then why did you keep saying his name before and not mine?”

“I don’t know!” she yelled which pushed her into a coughing fit.

Her loud voice attracted Max’s attention and he pushed the door open. “Is everything okay?”

Sean turned to him with dangerous fire in his eyes. “Get the fuck out, Evans.”

“Don’t talk to him like that!” Liz exploded.

Sean looked at her like she had just grown a second head. “And now you’re defending him?”

“Take it down a notch, okay Sean,” Max said.

Sean spun around with a warning finger pointed at Max. “You shut up.”

“Not when you’re speaking to her like that,” Max replied.

“Max, please leave,” Liz begged.

“She’s sick,” Max said. “Leave her alone.”

“Fine,” Sean said. “Since you want to stay, I have a question for you.”

“Please leave, Max,” Liz repeated afraid of where Sean might take this.

“Did you fuck my girlfriend?”

Max took one long look at Sean before he rammed his fist into Sean’s chin. Sean staggered backwards among upset screams from Liz.

She stumbled out of the bed and Max, not really comprehending what he had just done, automatically reached out to steady her.

She pushed his hands away and looked at him with large disappointing eyes that made him take a step back. “Go away, Max.”

She went up to her boyfriend and put her fingers against his already reddening chin. “Are you okay?”

“Stay away from my girlfriend, Evans,” Sean threatened over Liz’s head.

Max bit back his words to shield Liz from any more pain and left the room.

“This isn’t over, Liz,” Sean said quietly as her fingers probed his chin.

“Yes,” she objected. “This is over, Sean. There’s nothing going on between Max and me. Now drop it.”

He pressed his lips into a thin line and shook his head. “I don’t think I can do that.”

“Either you let it go or I’m out,” she said, throwing an ultimatum his way just like he had done only two weeks earlier.

He looked down into her serious face, fought with his feelings for an extended moment before grumpily nodding. “Fine. I won’t mention it again.”


TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Ch 24 13/6 p. 7 + A/N 20/6 p. 10

Postby max and liz believer » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:00 pm

It's early Sunday morning. My family is still asleep and the house is utterly quiet. So I thought now would be a good time to update. My family is leaving tonight at midnight - I'm gonna be a wreck after that, so I might as well try and get something done before that...

Like replying to your feedback;

Alison
Rowedog wrote:But on the bright side, at least Max is being far more open and honest than Liz is. For the moment, anyway. :roll:

He always kinda was. It's just turns out a bit wrong because he's honest at the "wrong time" and lies when it has the chance to hurt Liz the most (even though he doesn't know this)

dmb
dmb wrote:I kept worrying though that Liz really ought to be seeing a doctor – in spite of her fear of hospitals (which btw had me wondering why she’s so terrified of them) - or that someone needed to at least get a thermometer and check her actual temperature, because from the sounds of it it was really high and she might have been needing to take an ice bath to bring her body temperature down.

Oh, they did check her temperature (it was just not in the chapter). They did most things they could do - under that med student's directions - without having to take her to the hospital. She was running a very high fever but it never got up into the really dangerous degrees. Believe me, Max would've brought her to the hospital (kicking and screaming if that was the case, but probably wouldn't be if she had been running that temperature) right away if she had been.

dmb wrote:It was also sweet that Michael wanted to make her chicken soup from scratch apparently and I was impressed that he knew how to make it. :P

Michael is just as good a chef as he is in the Roswell canon series. I just haven't really mentioned that yet :roll:

dmb wrote:And which, unfortunately since we've already seen some snapshots of their future together, we know that he did go on to continue doing just that. Why? Because he was just doing what she expected him to? Letting it become a fulfilled prophecy rather than surprising her by NOT acting the way she'd expected him to? Or was he doing it to punish her for staying with Sean instead of dumping him? Again I have to ask: why did he keep hurting her?

I just have to say that Max doesn't deliberately set out to hurt Liz. He hasn't sat down and decided that this or that is the best way to act around Liz. He's just reacting to her, like she is reacting to him. It just so happens that when you put it all together Max has hurt Liz a lot, but so has she - in a different way. And even if Max does something intentionally, he doesn't realize that it is actually hurting her - he's just trying to provoke a response out of her.

dmb wrote:The fact that he would pick that kind of fight with her – including accusing Max of having been her first lover – just shows how much of an ass Sean is because her sexual history is none of his business at any time let alone when she’s so ill.

Sean might be a jerk, but he's not stupid. He knows that something is going on between Max and Liz. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife most of the time they're in the same room. Sean is acutely aware of that. And so he wants answers. He just happens to be incredibly jealous, but on one hand he has every right to be, right? Any guy that was around Max and Liz would feel like they needed to firmly stake their claim. Unfortunately, Sean is not very smooth in doing just that. He asks the wrong things at the wrong time. He pressures Liz for answers and poses ultimatums (making Liz use the same weapon later on). The relationship was doomed to fail from the start, and Sean knows it. Still he tries to fight it, because he has this major crush/fascination/obsession with Liz - which in itself is not the healthiest thing to base a relationship on. Maybe Liz will for some reason discover that Sean is a great guy (he's not doing a really good job at marketing himself is he?) and that she should just let Max go and put all her energy and attention onto Sean.

dmb wrote:Anyway, though I loved how their true feelings for one another came out in this part, I’m equally confused as to why Max accepted her decision to stay with Sean. Why he didn’t fight harder to prove to Liz that she was wrong about him…allowing her to continue thinking he wasn’t safe for her to give her heart to and that he would only keep hurting her as he had done so often when they were growing up and in high school etc. It was obvious that he was in love with her, and yet for some reason he backed off when he had another perfect opportunity not to play that game anymore.

The snapshots keep on bringing up how insecure Liz is and how she has some major issues of abandonment. But Max isn't the strongest individual either. He is certainly the strongest of the two, but Liz repeatedly pushing him away and telling him that she hates him isn't really doing wonders for his self-esteem. Rationally, he might be able to see through that and there are instances (like when she was sick) when he can obviously tell that she likes - maybe even loves - him. But he also knows how much her words hurt and how when she gets better or sobers up etc. she will make sure that he knows his place. Far away from her. Even if he was 110% certain that she actually loved him, he can't risk putting himself in line to get hurt because he knows that as long as she is in denial about her feelings, she's not gonna be receptive to him declaring his love for her (she might actually be, but Max has this fear - like most of us do - that if he declares his feelings to her she's gonna degrade them and stomp on them until he feels like the most insignificant organism on earth).
And he thinks the world of Liz. He thinks she is a strong woman (even though she has her insecurities) and that she can make her own life choices. So if she has chosen to be with Sean, there must be a reason (of course Max doesn't dare to believe that the reason might be him) and he will respect her decision (even though he hates the guy and thinks that he is treating Liz absolutely wrong). It's a constant internal struggle for him. Because he hates seeing her with Sean, but at the same time he doesn't feel that he has the right to tell her that she shouldn't be with Sean. You might wonder why? Because a good friend would probably tell you if they thought the guy wasn't good for you. But there are a lot of surrounding circumstances that I haven't highlighted yet. Everyone else around Liz hates Sean. Michael, Maria... So Max doesn't want to be just another person that hates Sean. He doesn't want to push her into a wall as well. If Max only knew that that is exactly what Liz is waiting for. For him to tell her that Sean is an ass which might give her the strength to break up with him (but we kinda know from future snapshots that Max never does that). Anyway, I've babbled on for too long again.

keepsmiling7
Laira

LairaBehr4 wrote:It's like Liz is afraid of taking an emotional leap, and Max the Man-Whore is afraid of taking a physical one.

Interesting...

Sara
yayaliens
roswell4life

roswell4life wrote:i luved the way max took care of liz...he's was soo caring & sweet to her...& i luved how (even tho she had a high fever) she confessed why she left him that night...i just hope max understood everything she told him...

Hmmm... Well... Max can be a bit hard-headed sometimes (just like Liz). Doesn't really make things any easier, does it?

Carrie
L-J-L 76
confusedfool
Christina

Wench On A Leash wrote:I actually felt a *smidgen* bad for Sean in this part. Of course, that was up until I rememberd how her coerced Liz into sleeping with him and his overall treatment of her, and up until he told Max to fuck off, or whatever it was that he said exactly.

:mrgreen:

Em
precariousem wrote:Does it make me crazy if I like the angsty chapters better than the fluffy one?

No. Or maybe you're just as crazy as I am. When reading fics I always love the angsty parts the most - I guess it's because they make me feel so many things at the same time.

smith82
ronnie
ladylou

ladylou wrote:Where's a Max when you're all manky with the flu?

Yes, I reckon it should be part of everyone's rights to have someone like Max when you're sick. Actually, to have someone like Max all the time.

Eve
nitpick23

nitpick23 wrote:The amazing thing about this part is that Liz stayed with Sean. I guess the fact that he was safe was more important to her then that he was an ass.

Kind of...

nitpick23 wrote:Of course that raises another question? If she was with Sean because he was safe and couldn't hurt her why the blubbering and crap when she caught him boffing some random chick in the restroom??


I think Laira answered that very well:
LairaBehr4 wrote:Maybe it's because she was wrong about Sean. She was with him because he couldn't hurt her, but then he did. (Honestly, he hurt her a lot during the relationship, and it was only when she found him in the bathroom did she let herself feel hurt at all.) She's with him because she thinks that, given his past stalker-ish behavior, he'd never cheat or want to be with anyone else (unlike someone else we know who'll nail anything in a skirt.) So when he DOES cheat, it hurts. She has these expectations and wants that Sean is supposed to fulfill, so when he doesn't, ... of course she's hurt. Because once again she's been let down by somebody.


And it probably hurt a little bit more when Sean did it, because she considered him "safe". Like Laira said, he was the one that was supposed to be obsessively in love with her and he cheated. What does that tell her? That even someone that is deeply in love with her will eventually get sick of her and leave. At the moment she doesn't see that she played a part in it as well - that by lending her feelings unaccessible to Sean she more or less had him give up on her (doesn't justify cheating though, I'm not saying that) - it just hurt to have her fears confirmed and unfortunately it even further reduced her ability to trust her heart to someone. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

paper
paper wrote:He probably thinks if he makes her jealous some more, then she will finally cave.

That's exactly right.

paper wrote:I loved the way Max was all "Florence Nightengale". But did he do her essay?

Of course he did :D

Cocogurl
Kris
Ellie

Ellie wrote:Much as Sean is an ass and an all around speed bump in the path to a Liz/Max love connection I feel just the teensiest bit bad for him. Yes he was weird creepy stalked guy and he's manipulated Liz at least once now. But he's gotta feel like he won the lottery to get her to be with him after all this time. And knowing deep down that he's not the one she wants and it won't last has got to be a special piece of hell.

I love that you saw Sean's perspective in all of this. And you really nailed it.

carolina_moon
guel
behrluv32
hayley85
thetvgeneral
roswell3053
Dziumka
Natalie36
Ju

Ju wrote:*missed Jo like crazy*

Aww...sweetie. Right back atcha. But I'm back now


Sorry. This chapter probably won't leave you with any light feelings, but the chapter needed to be said...

And you don't have to try and interpret my handwriting anymore - Updated Timeline



25. Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

The Evans’ Residence (italics representing the funeral)
(2003) Max is 18, Liz is 17


Max walked through the dark house; his mind empty, his eyes sore from days of crying, and his nails digging painfully into his palms.

”If you were lucky to have Diane in your life, in some way or the other, you will never forget her. She was a constant light, shining brightly and strongly.”

Max’s lips were pressed tightly together as he fought the tears. He would be strong for his mom. He wouldn’t cry. He was determined to think of her life instead of her death and be happy for how much she meant to him.

But standing there, looking at the wooden coffin that held the dead body of his mother, the urge to cry was strong as pain slowly tore his heart apart.

“And she will always remain in our hearts.”

He inhaled sharply as he felt her cool hand take his. He looked to his side, into Liz’s worried face and tried to smile at her. Her presence was a relief at the same time as torture, because his plan to stay collected was quickly crumbling when she squeezed his hand.


His knuckles rapped against the door and at the lack of a reply he tried to open the door. Only to find it locked.

“Dad?” he called through the door. “You okay?”

Trying to distract himself, Max’s eyes scanned the people that had come to his mother’s funeral, his gaze ending on his father. His father who had barely spoken a word to him since she had died. His dad’s wet cheeks were glistening in the sun and Max took a shuddering breath at the emptiness in the once so joyful eyes.

“Dad?” he tried again, the silence biting into the numbness of his heart. “Dinner’s ready. You should eat something.”

As the guests began to walk towards their cars, a hand clamped down on his shoulder. ”Hey man, how’re you holding up?”

Without looking at Michael, still painfully aware of the dryness of the residues of soil in his hand from dropping soil onto the coffin just minutes ago, Max tried his voice, “Not that great.”

“Yeah,” Michael said slowly, feeling a bit outside of his comfort zone. “If you…you know…need to talk or grab a beer or something. Watch a movie, whatever, I’m…I’m there, okay?”

Max gave him a weak smile of gratitude. “Thanks Mike.”

“You should come over tomorrow,” Liz said behind them and they both turned to look at the petite girl that meant so much to both of them.

Her voice was somber and careful, something outside of the normal range of her voice.

Max swallowed thickly. “Thanks. I might.”

She nodded with a tentative smile and turned to Michael. “You ready?”

“Yeah,” Michael said and refocused on Max. “See you back at the house.”

“Yeah,” Max said quietly and looked away, unable to breathe under the weight of their concern and pity.

His eyes once again fell upon his father who was talking to Anne, Diane’s sister. He was so focused on his father that her arms on his shoulders startled him.

He looked down into her chocolate brown eyes with weary surprise and was even more surprised when she rose on the tips of her toes to softly kiss his cheek. As her hands slowly slid down his front from their original position on his shoulders, her fingers softly grazed the skin of his neck.

“I’m so sorry, Max,” she said quietly, gave him another worried glance and then she was gone.

He placed his fingers against his cheek where her lips have left a burning mark and started to cry.


“Dad?” he asked the silence and fought against the need to scream. Tightening his fists even more he fought the urge to bang on the door, scream at his dad, everyone, the world. Taking a deep breath he swallowed the sudden anger and spoke tonelessly to the door, “I’ll put it in the refrigerator and you can heat it up later, okay? Whenever you want.”

His father never left his office that night. Or the night after that. On the third day following his wife’s funeral, Philip Evans grabbed a sandwich from the kitchen at 3 a.m. in the morning. Max didn’t see his father for a week with Philip leaving his office mostly at hours Max wasn’t present. Until Philip one day appeared in the living room.

He was watching videotapes – home videos – when Max walked through the front door and threw his school bag on the floor. He froze at the sounds in the normally so eerily quiet house and without removing his jacket he slowly followed the sound into the living room.

Max’s throat closed up as he heard the infectious pearl laughter of his late mother fill the house. Feeling paralyzed, Max stared at the images flickering across the TV-screen of himself and his mom when he had been five. She had been trying to teach him to ride a bike.

Looking over at the couch, he saw his father and he almost jumped at the transformation. The skin of Philip’s face was a sickly grey color and it seemed stretched too tightly over his face making everything in his face look hollow.

He was crying, but without seeming aware of it as tears ran unnoticed down his cheeks.

“Dad?” Max whispered.

But his father didn’t acknowledge him. Didn’t even look in his direction.

“Dad?” Max tried again, but his father merely kept staring at the TV-screen.

Feeling anger bubbling to the surface, Max said tightly, “Could you at least answer me?”

But Philip didn’t.

Max angrily brushed a tear off his cheek and bit out, “I lost her too, okay? She was my mother! I can’t lose you as well!”

Philip blinked, a hint of emotion entering his empty eyes, but he still refused to acknowledge his son’s desperate pleads for his attention.

“Fine,” Max mumbled and rubbed his eyes free of tears. “You know what? Fuck you, dad. Fuck you!”

And he left, not seeing how Philip crumbled at the sound of the front door slamming to announce his son’s departure.

-----------------------------------------------------------


Fifteen minutes later
Outside the Parkers’ Residence


His knocks were getting more frantic with every unresponsive second passing. He had been there for five minutes and no one was answering the door which logically told him that they weren’t home. Not even Gabriella appeared to be home.

He stopped, because his knuckles started to throb in pain, and reached into his pocket for his cell phone. Clicking through his contact list he quickly found Michael’s number and pressed ‘dial’.

“Hi. I'm probably home; I'm just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you.”

Max sighed and hit the disconnect button before the answering machine could beep at him. Without a second thought, he rolled through the contact list again. This time in search of Liz’s number.

“Hey guess who this is? You guessed it. Guess what you have to do now? You guessed it. Guess what's next? You guessed it..."

The beep echoed in his ear as he slowly closed his eyes, repressing the acidic feeling of abandonment. As he went about putting the phone into his pocket, he felt a piece of paper brush against the back of his hand. Curiously, he pulled out the paper and stared at it for a while in attempt to trigger his memory of its origin.

The note said, in a handwriting that was not his;

If you need to forget…

Followed by a phone number and a heart.

Her face flashed in front of his mental eye and he remembered the girl that had walked up to him on his first day back to school after the death of his mother. He had seen her in class; she was a difficult girl to miss with her strawberry blonde hair and feminine curves in all the right places.

And at right that second, it felt really tempting to forget.

He quickly dialled the number and waited for the response.

“Katie speaking,” a soft voice answered.

“Hey Katie,” Max said, hesitating for a second before continuing. “This is Max Evans.”

He could hear the surprise in her voice as she said, “Oh…hey.”

“Sorry, if this is not a good time-“

“No, no,” she said quickly, getting over the surprise of having one of the most eligible single guys at school calling her. When she had given him her phone number the other day, she had hoped but never actually believed that he would actually contact her. “It’s fine. What’s up, Max?”

“I… I need to forget,” Max said, feeling ridiculous as the words left his mouth.

But Katie didn’t seem to notice. “Okay… My parents are not home. You can come over whenever you want.” She gave him her address and the directions and he disconnected the call, feeling better already now that he had a purpose.

--------------------------------------------


Katie’s Bedroom

She was easy to talk to and one thing quickly led to another. Her body was soft and warm as he thrust into her with desperate need. A need to feel something. Anything.

He didn’t realise he was crying until she brushed the tears off his cheek. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” he whispered and kissed her.

He was okay. He felt much better now.


TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) A/N June 27th p. 13

Postby max and liz believer » Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:53 pm

Laira
LairaBehr4 wrote:But don't you kind of wish he found more constructive ways of dealing with his grief than screwing some girl whose name he doesn't even know until she says it over the phone?

Yeah... But he's after warmth and someone that "cares" for him. That - for some reason - leads him to sex.

LairaBehr4 wrote:Is it wrong of me to wish you a lifetime of less-than-happiness if it means your muse sits constantly at your side and sends us lots of lovely stories?

I'm gonna take that as a compliment :mrgreen:

Heavenli24
Christina

Wench On A Leash wrote:Although, I must say I loved Michael's voicemail message. It made me laugh in an otherwise somber part.

Hehe...Yeah. It seemed to suit Michael.

Alison
Kris
yayaliens

yayaliens wrote:its so great to have this to ready after working a 13 hour shift at a mexican restaurant!

Ugh... Are you a waitress? Because that sounds really exhausting. Running around, stressing, taking orders and such for 13 hours. I'm glad I can help in alleviating that workday a bit

pandas2001
wistful dreamer
Ronnie

veronica wrote:hey, man if max ever needs to forget... heres my number... jks

:mrgreen:

Kay
kay_b wrote:Though I'm sure he also pitied himself because he had to go to some stranger for that, judging by the tears he shed.

Just wanted to clarify something. The tears were not necessarily only tears of self-pity. He was just grieving - about everything. His mom, his dad... It was something of a release (excuse the pun). But in those tears there was also feelings of inadquancy, being unloved and finally resorting to have sex with a stranger (more or less) in his desperate search of warmth and the need to forget.

kay_b wrote:However, looking at the bigger picture, he already knows how it feels to be disregarded and he knows how it hurts to not be able to deal with the emotions and just mask them with anything else but, so why is he doing what he's been doing to Liz all that time? Did I even make any sense?

You made perfect sense. You stumbled upon something very important there. That Max and Liz are very much alike. They just have different ways of dealing. Why is he doing what he's been doing to Liz? There's a reason. Not a very good one, but human behaviour is ridiculous at the best of times :roll: It will come up in another chapter.

Cocogurl
Cocogurl wrote:I get that he misses his wife, but he also has a son who's in just as much pain as he's in. They both need to stick together instead of drowning themselves in self pity.

Yes, that would be the right thing to do. Unfortunately it doesn't happen like that. And as Spray mentioned in her feedback, how Philip is pulling into himself with grief about his wife is kinda how we would anticipate Max to act if something were to happen to Liz. In other words, there was an incredibly strong love between Diane and Philip, and Philip just didn't know how to deal with losing his soulmate. He could see that he was abandoning his son, but he just couldn't get himself to do anything about it. Grief can be very handicapping.

Emma
Carrie
Smith82
Natalie36
L-J-L 76
Becky
carolina_moon
sara
Eve
Spray

Sprayadhesive wrote: just wanted to let you know that I've avidly been lurking around this fic for quite awhile now// I wish that I had time to leave feedback after every chapter, I really do, but usually I pop it open right before I'm running out the door. I'm sorry that I haven't been!

I'm so happy to see you here! I had no idea you were lurking around here (I guess that's why they call it lurking :wink: ) Don't worry about not leaving feedback. Even though, of course, I would prefer feedback compared to no feedback I certainly understand the 'running out the door' phenomenon. I'm just happy that you let me know that you are here.

Sprayadhesive wrote:This chapter was very, very well written. It's a sad thing to say, but when I saw Phillip's reaction to Diane's death, I saw the same thing happening to Max and his child/children upon Liz's death. Phillip was just so hopelessly in love with her that it was a devastating blow to lose her so fast.

Thank you for seeing that! That's how I meant for it to be read. Because it's the strong love (that we see between Max and Liz) that makes some people just completely wither away when their soulmate (or whatever you wanna call it) dies.

Sprayadhesive wrote:Where were Liz and Michael, I wonder? No one home and both of their phones off? Sounds suspicious.

Haha. That got your conspiracy thoughts running? Call it a freak coincidence, but they just all happened to be away on that night. Maybe Gabriella took them shopping or something. But to assure you, there was nothing odd with them being away, it was just unfortunate bad timing.

roswell3053
Alien_Friend

Alien_Friend wrote:Well when ever Max and Liz do the two steps forward 3 steps back thing I will think about Winter Wonderland. And even perhaps read it over again. That was such a sweet chapter. It's so comforting to read them in that aura. Liz without insecurities and Max free to show Liz how she makes him feel. It was adorable. I hope we get more of those chapters in the future.

I'm so happy that I decided to post that chapter. Because it seems to do its job in keeping your hopes alive. Thank you so much for your sweet words on it!

Alien_Friend wrote:Do we get to see Michael's talk with Liz soon?

Hmm... Yeah. Soon..ish.

paper
paper wrote:Now, Katie will probably think she has some rights to Max & will let Liz know how "close" they are.
After all, he liked her enough to let go & cry in her presence.

Contrary to how it might seem, Katie is a good girl. She (like a lot of girls) wanted to see if she could catch Max Evans. But his tears made her realise that she was involved in something bigger so if he didn't contact her in the future, she would leave him alone. And since we have a piece of the future, we know that Max got together with Tess shortly after this.


Thank you so much everyone for the feedback!!!!!
---------------------------


Okay, I'm throwing you a curve ball again. You might be a little bit lost because I've skipped one chapter (intentionally), but to orient you some; this is after the phone conversation between Max and Serena where Serena more or less smacks Max over the head and tells him to go and let the woman he loves know how he feels. So this is what happens when Max goes searching for Liz...

Updated Timeline


26. Oh Brother

Outside Michael and Liz’s Apartment
(2008) Michael is 24, Max is 23


Serena’s words were ringing in his head as he ran up the stairs to their apartment. But the door was ripped open before he had a chance to knock, revealing a stony version of his best friend.

“Hey Mike,” Max said, trying to ignore the ominous feelings making the hair at the back of his neck stand on end. “Is Liz ho-“

That’s all he got out before Michael’s hard fist impacted his chin, sending him backwards against the railing. He grabbed a hold of the metal to stop himself from tumbling down the stairs while he stared in complete shock at Michael.

“What the-?”

“No,” Michael said coldly, staring at him darkly. “You don’t get to ask the questions, asshole.”

Max was afraid to move even an inch at the venom in Michael’s voice. Max could probably take Michael and win on any other day, but he wouldn’t even attempt to consider it today.

“Michael, what-?”

“Shut the fuck up!” Michael erupted and Max’s breath caught in his throat. He had never seen Michael this angry.

It hit him like lightning on a clear day. “Did Liz...?”

“Yes,” Michael said and laughed shortly which had ice cold shivers run down Max’s spine. “She told me. She told me exactly what you’ve been up to.”

“Please. Let me expla-“

“Fuck you, Max,” Michael said quietly, darkly. “You lied to my face-“

“Mike, I-“

“Shut up!” Michael snapped and Max started to wonder if he was going to get out of this alive. “I asked you straight to your face if you slept with her and you said no.”

“It was not the right time-“

He stared at him incredulously. “Are you screwing with me?”

“She didn’t want you to know.”

“This is not even about what she wanted me to know or not. This is about you having sex with her! I never thought I would have to spell it out for you, so I never did. Because I thought you knew that my sister was off limits. You can fuck every girl on this earth, but not Liz.”

“Mike, hear me out,” Max tried. “She meant more to me than the other girls. So much more. It was never just a one-night stand.”

He laughed humourlessly. “Oh, really? I thought that was what you called it if you only had sex once.”

“There were so many misunderstandings and-“

He raised an eyebrow, his arms crossed tightly across his chest, making him look as inaccessible as he sounded. “Misunderstandings?”

“Yeah,” Max said, relieved that Michael was letting him talk. “Liz thought that I was only using her-“

“And you weren’t?”

Max narrowed his eyes at Michael, sudden anger exploding in his veins. “No, Mike. Of course not. She’s my friend.”

“I wouldn’t treat a friend that way,” Michael said acidly.

“I’m not trying to blame it on alcohol, but we were a little drunk that night,” Max said. “And I could’ve sworn that she wanted to.”

“She was an 18-year-old confused girl! You know that. She has insecurity issues the size of Mount fucking Everest.” His whole body tensing, he asked, “Were you her first?”

“Yes,” Max answered quietly, guilt drifting up to the surface.

Michael snorted and said, “Great. That’s fucking great.”

“I didn’t know,” Max said. “If I knew it wouldn’t have happened like that. Not when she was drunk.”

“But you would’ve done it eventually anyway, is that what you’re saying?”

“You must have suspected something.”

“You didn’t really let me in on your secret activities,” Michael said tightly. “And the one time I decided to ask you about it, you blatantly lied to my face. And I believed you. You know why? Because you were my friend. And if you said that you didn’t touch my sister inappropriately, I would believe you. Because why would you lie about something like that? To my face?”

“I was protecting Liz.”

“Oh bullshit,” Michael erupted. “Don’t fucking screw with me, Evans.”

“She saw it as mistake. She didn’t want anyone to know.”

“Did you hurt her?” Michael asked tensely, his dark eyes hard.

“What do you mean?” Max asked slowly.

“I mean, when you had sex with my little sister, did you hurt her?”

Max stared at Michael as if he had grown a second head. “Fuck, Mike. How can you even think that? Of course I didn’t hurt her. I would kill myself if I ever hurt her.”

“What about afterwards then? You didn’t hurt her then? Because I’m pretty sure she wasn’t crying her eyes out over beautiful sex.”

“I tried to get through to her afterwards, but she wouldn’t listen. Just like you, she has this idea in her head that I did it for fun. That I only wanted a good fuck.”

“Didn’t you?”

Max took a deep breath and ran his hands through his hair. “I know you’re angry and you have every right to be. But what happens between Liz and me is not really any of your business.”

“Oh,” Michael laughed hollowly. “Is that right?”

“She’s old enough to make her own decisions. She was back then as well.”

“I’m her brother, Evans,” Michael spit out. “I’m supposed to be looking after her. Protect her from scums like you-“

“Mike-“ Max protested, but Michael cut him off.

“You are a scum. You consider yourself God’s gift to women, something that I generally don’t have a problem with, but when you touch Lizzie… I don’t think I’ll ever forgive you for this.”

Max straightened, his jaw clenching along with his fists as he tried to control the suffocating amount of contradicting emotions running through his system.

“Where’s Liz , Mike?”

“You really think I would tell you?”

“I really need to speak to her.”

“I tell you where she is. After crying her heart out on our couch about a conversation she overheard on the phone between you and your friend, she went over to Maria’s. And if you even think about going over there, I’m gonna hunt you down and make sure that you’ll never enjoy sex ever again.”

Max looked at Michael for a long moment, before slowly saying, “Michael…”

“Get out of my face, Evans, before I do something I might regret later.”

Like a dog with his tail between his legs, Max turned and walked down the stairs towards his car.


TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 26 June 28th p. 14

Postby max and liz believer » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:08 am

In an attempt to cheer up Laira, here's another update.

This is the chapter I had planned to post next. I only finished it yesterday and fortunately my dear beta was very quick with editing, so here it is.

Thank you everyone so much for the feedback!!! I appreciate it immensely.

Timeline


27. Happy Birthday, Elizabeth

June 22nd, Liz’s birthday
(1999) Max is 13 (going on 14), Liz is 13


She was already awake when Gabriela opened the door early on Saturday morning in the middle of June. Like a child on Christmas morning, she had woken up before dawn and hadn’t been able to go back to sleep.

Today was Liz’s birthday.

She normally didn’t care much for birthdays. They were just another day. Being part of a family where objects were used as proof of affection and presents on many occasions could be considered bribery, receiving presents on her birthday was nothing special.

But this birthday was different.

At an age of 10, Liz had asked for a pet. Both of her parents had scrunched their noses in simultaneous disgust, their minds bombarded with various images of dirty dogs running all over their expensive carpets or cats ripping their claws through their specially imported furniture.

Being the stubborn girl she was, Liz had been relentless in her pleas for a pet. There had been a need inside of her for someone to love and look after. Someone that was just hers.

So her parents had promised her that she would get a pet on her thirteenth birthday.

Therefore, it was with a bright smile that she opened her eyes on that Saturday morning as Gabriela opened the blinds and let the sun in.

“Happy birthday, querida,” Gabriela said and smiled brightly as she met Liz’s shiny eyes.

Liz took a deep breath, feeling the happiness seep into every pore of her body, and quickly pulled the sheet off her body. Today was a new day. Today was the beginning of a happier life.

Before her feet had a chance to touch the floor, her mother burst through the door.

Liz startled, her mouth falling open in muted surprise as she found herself looking up into the almost wild face of her birth mother.

“Elizabeth,” Nancy Parker almost screamed. “Why are you still in bed?!”

Getting over her shock, Liz pressed her lips firmly together at the accusative tone of her mother’s voice. “Good morning to you too, mom.”

Nancy narrowed her eyes at her daughter’s tone before storming over to Liz’s walk-in closet and quite efficiently disappearing from Liz’s view.

“Why are you not ready yet?” Nancy’s voice drifted out from the closet.

“Ready for what, mother?” Liz asked tersely, silently looking over at Gabriela for answers. But the housekeeper seemed just as lost, as she looked at her employer’s daughter apologetically.

Nancy re-appeared and threw a black bikini with pink dots onto the bed. “For your party, dear.”

A tremble of fear went through Liz. She hadn’t planned a party. She hadn’t had a birthday party since she was seven. She hated birthday parties.

“What party?”

Her mother walked around the bed to her side and looked at her as if she was slightly below the average IQ-level. In a sweet, condescending voice that really only her mother could perfect, Nancy said, “It’s your birthday, Elizabeth. It requires a party.”

Before Liz could announce that her birthday certainly didn’t require a party, Nancy grabbed a hold of Liz’s tank top and pulled it over her head.

Liz’s startled body gasped as the cool air hit her suddenly naked upper body and in raw embarrassment she folded her arms across her budding breasts. “Mom!

Nancy regarded her quietly and Liz’s indignation stuck to her lips as disapproval gradually colored the tense line of her mother’s mouth. “You’ve gained weight.”

Liz shivered, feeling ice cold. Trapped in Nancy’s cold judgmental eyes, Liz couldn’t speak. Couldn’t move. Her mother’s words paralyzed her.

“Maybe you should wear a one piece,” Nancy continued.

“Mrs. Parker, there’s nothing wrong with her body,” Gabriela interrupted, her voice coming from somewhere next to Liz. Liz hadn’t noticed her move from her position at the windows, but the warm voice of the housekeeper broke the paralysis and Liz reached behind herself to pull the abandoned sheet around her body to cover up.

Without turning her head away from her daughter, Nancy’s voice held a tone of warning as she calmly said, “Be careful, Gabriela. You can easily be replaced.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Gabriela stuttered, thinking of her own children at home that were depending on her regular income, “I’m sorry, ma’am.”

“I’m not having a party, Nancy,” Liz said coldly, intentionally using her mother’s first name because right now, her birth mother did not feel like her mother at all.

“Yes, young lady. You are.”

“I have not planned a birthday party,” Liz said evenly, her psyche still absorbing the hurtful words her mother had said just a minute ago.

“I know. But I have.”

Liz bit her teeth together. “I don’t want a party. If I wanted a party I would’ve invited people on my own.” Another thought struck her and with growing dread she added, “Who did you invite?”

“Some people at your school,” Nancy answered, her calm voice in stark contrast to the turbulent ramifications her actions were about to have on Liz’s existence.

“Who, mother?”

“Kathryn Smith, Louise Dalton, Pamela Troy…”

While her mother rattled of one name after the other of girls and boys from the wealthier part of town, people Liz had barely exchanged two words with, Liz felt the sudden need to run away.

As her mother reached the end of the twenty or so snobs invited to the party, Liz felt like screaming. But her voice was controlled as she said, “I don’t know any of those people. I don’t want to celebrate my birthday with strangers.”

“It’s about time you find some good girls to socialize with.”

Liz pushed to her feet and yelled in utter frustration, “I don’t want to socialize!

“Darling,” Nancy said with a soft voice, her eyes hard and controlling. “You might not see it now, but you will thank me later. You’re already building your future. You need to build a good social network so that eventually you can find yourself a nice young man and get married.”

Liz stared at her mother, feeling as if she had been transported into some Jane Austen movie. “Do you know that we are in the 21st century? You actually believe that all I want to do with my life is to find a rich prick and get married?”

“Watch your language, Elizabeth.”

“Who are you to tell me what I should do with my life, huh? “

Nancy’s eyes darkened with anger as she stared at her rebellious daughter. “Who am I? I’m your mother!”

Liz ripped her tank top out of Nancy’s hands and pulled it back over her head. “No. You’re only my mother when it’s convenient!” Brushing past her mother with her steps aimed for the bathroom, she yelled over her shoulder, “You can cancel that party, Nancy, because don’t expect me to show up.”

“Stop Elizabeth.”

Nancy’s voice was a low and even command that could have even the largest man trembling in his boots – or put a halt to a daughter’s angry pace.

“You will attend this party, my dear daughter. And you will do it with utmost grace and hospitability. Because if you don’t, I’m sending you to that boarding school outside of New York City.”

Liz’s heart dropped in her chest and she squeezed her eyes together as her fists clenched at her sides. It was extortion, but there was nothing she could do about it. It was either obey or be sent off and not see her brother for a long time. She couldn’t bear that.

“Fine,” she whispered.

“What was that, honey?” Nancy asked cheerily, even though she had heard perfectly well what her daughter had said.

Liz raised her voice and mustered up a smile as she turned to face her mother. “I’ll get dressed.”

“Happy birthday, Elizabeth,” Nancy said and disappeared out the door.

Gabriela quietly observed the poor girl for another second before opening her mouth to offer some words of comfort. Before the middle aged woman had a chance to do just that, Liz’s tense voice interrupted her, “Please leave, Gabriela.”

“Miss…”

Liz’s voice softened as her eyes begged the housekeeper for her understanding. “I need to be alone.”

“Yes, querida.”

Just before she crossed the threshold to the hallway, Gabriela turned. Her eyes caught the tear running down the cheek of the lost girl, trembling on the border of womanhood, standing in the middle of the room and Gabriela whispered, “Your mother is blind, Lizzie. You are beautiful.”

Another tear fell down Liz’s cheek, and with her throat too clogged up to speak she nodded her thanks with an attempted smile.

------------------------------------------------------


Two hours later

“Miss Liz Parker,” an amused voice said behind her and her whole body took a deep breath as she momentarily squeezed her eyes tightly closed before acknowledging him without turning her head.

“Hello Max.”

“The rumor is that it’s your birthday.”

“Yep,” she said as she put the glass underneath the running water. She desperately tried to ignore the fact that she was standing practically naked in the kitchen with obnoxious Max Evans. With her mother’s earlier comment about her having put on weight still ringing in her ears her body was tensing in anticipation of Max making a comment about it. Considering the usual speed by which Max hurried to throw teasing comments her way, she was a bit surprised that he hadn’t said anything yet.

She didn’t know that right then Max was slowly running his eyes down the vast amount of tanned skin exposed to him, his gaze pausing slightly at the parts covered by the black and pink bikini where he couldn’t help but notice that little Lizzie had started to become a woman. Her hips were not the straight lines he had seen two years ago. There were curves to her body. Not as strong curves as the girls in his year, but there was a definite inward curve to her waist and a smooth outward curve of her hips. Standing slightly to her side, he couldn’t help but notice the budding breasts covered by the dotted bikini.

Liz had no idea that the thoughts running through Max’s head at that moment had nothing to do with if she had gained weight or not, but had much more to do with letting his imagination slowly undress the small articles of clothing covering her.

She turned around, catching Max staring at her and with a quick snap of his neck he looked up at her face, looking every bit the guilty observer which had Liz self-consciously folding her arms across her chest as much as the glass in her hand would allow.

“I guess ‘Happy Birthday’ is in order then,” Max said, struggling to keep his eyes above the level of her nose.

“Yeah,” she said thinly. “Happy birthday to me.”

If Max hadn’t been so distracted by her half-naked state he might’ve picked up on the dead quality of her voice, but as it was he didn’t. It wasn’t easy to be a warm-blooded male teenager with raging hormones racing through his veins. Speaking of which, “How does it feel to be a teenager?”

“Groovy,” she said without a single trace of emotion. “I don’t remember inviting you, by the way.”

Her words snapped him back to reality and he grinned. “I don’t think you invited any of those people out there either. Still, there they are.”

She didn’t really feel like having Max figuring out that her mother had thrown this party and Liz had failed in fighting it. “I wanted to get to know some new people.”

He raised an incredulous eyebrow with an amused twitch of the corner of his mouth. “Really?”

In stubborn defiance, she raised her chin and took a step closer to him, her body straightening and her previously shielding arms falling to her sides. “I thought it was about time that I got away from lowlife scum like you.”

He looked down at her, only two inches taller but enough to enable him to loom over her. “So you decided to hang out with snobby lowlives instead?”

“What I do or don’t do is my business,” she replied.

“Sure,” Max said casually which broke the strength of her defensiveness and had her suddenly noticing her proximity to him while she was once again reminded of her undressed state.

She took a step back and watched a crooked smile spread across Max’s features.

“You’re starting to fill out that bikini, Lizzie,” he said and her face flushed with redness.

His grin grew deeper at the sight of what he perceived to be her blushing, but which really was the color of embarrassment as Liz misunderstood him. Maybe if her mother hadn’t made that comment earlier, Liz would’ve understood that Max was – as always – making a sexual comment. But as it was, Liz thought he meant that she was in fact getting fat.

With a whispered, “Asshole”, Liz walked past Max and disappeared out onto the garden patio.

-----------------------------------------------


One hour later

Liz laid back down on the reclining beach chair and rearranged the sunglasses on her nose. Would this party ever end? She had tried her best to be civil to the guests so that her mother wouldn’t have any reason to send her away, but she couldn’t do it any more. All fake smiles and polite conversations were suffocating her.

So when shocked shrilled screams from about fifteen teenage girls broke through the conversations on which mascara was the best, which guy in school was the better kisser and who had most recently lost their virginity, Liz first emotion was not the terror that the rest of the girls seemed to be feeling but immediate relief.

She pulled her dark sunglasses down her nose to look over their rim at the scene in front of her. Something seemed to be flying through the air, making girls jump, scream and run, but it was not until one of those things fell on her flat stomach that she realized what it was.

She gasped as the cold water spread across her stomach and she stared down at the remains of the yellow balloon lying in shreds on top of her skin.

Water balloons. They were being attacked by water balloons.

Knowing almost instinctively where to look, she aimed her gaze towards the roof of the adjacent garden shed and of course there they were. Her two years older brother and his best friend, armed with water balloons in all primary colors.

As soon as she had pin-pointed the origin to the chaos, her ears filtered through the screams and she heard Max and Michael’s amused laughter, making a tremble of ignited anger shake her body.

They were going to have her sent away.

She would’ve put on all those fake smiles for nothing. It all would’ve been for nothing.

She pushed herself up from the chair so forcefully that it tumbled over on its side behind her. With livid steps she covered the distance between the lounging area and the shed.

Liz looked up at Max and Michael and opened her mouth to yell at them when a red balloon connected with her forehead, shredding from the impact and covering Liz in water.

A gasping laughter erupted over her, which she very easily recognized as Max’s, and biting her lips together she slowly pushed her wet hair away from her face before she looked up again, seething with anger.

Fucking stop that right now!

“Oh,” Max said, eyes wide in mock fear. “Liz is telling us to stop.”

Michael watched his balloon hit a blonde girl and happily watched her shriek before turning to look down at his sister. “Why?” His voice was innocent as he added. “We’re just making the party a bit more interesting.”

“You’re ruining it!” Liz erupted. If circumstances had been different, she probably would’ve been up there with them. She couldn’t deny that her fingers were itching to throw water balloons at certain people at this party. But her mother, even in her absence, had made sure that she couldn’t.

“Come on, Lizzie,” Max said and threw another balloon in her direction. She stepped out of its range a millisecond before it hit her and glared up at him.

He delivered one of his charming smiles and said, “This is a pool party, right? What’s a pool party without water?”

“Cut it out right now,” she ordered between clenched teeth.

“Oooh, Mike,” Max said and looked at Michael worriedly, his eyes still twinkling with mischief. “I think she’s getting angry.”

“Lighten up, Liz,” Michael said and sent a water balloon her way. It hit her on her neck and had water running down her right side.

“Whoohoo,” Max called and high-fived Michael. “Good one!”

I hate you,” Liz yelled to them both, which had Michael slightly halting his actions.

“Lizzie, come up here,” he said, “It’s fun!”

“Mother is gonna have a fit and she’s gonna blame me!” Liz yelled back.

“Mom needs to lighten up,” Michael answered. Being the boy in the family, his mother had not exposed Michael to the same tough love that she’d exposed her daughter to and therefore Michael would never fully understand the control Nancy had over Liz.

As despair filled Liz, her anger gradually dissipated and the tone of her voice was different as she said, “Please stop.”

“We need more balloons,” Max told Michael, both boys completely missing Liz’s pleading.

“I have more in my room,” Michael answered.

“Sweet,” Max said and disappeared out of Liz’s view as he ran to the other side of the roof, to the ladder the boys had placed there earlier.

When Max disappeared from the roof, Liz looked out over the battlefield, grimly noting that girls were picking up their bags and hurriedly heading for the exits.

“Great party, Lizzie,” Pamela Troy bit out sarcastically, her hair dripping with water, as she passed Liz.

Liz watched the girls desert the backyard and as she turned to escape to her room, she mumbled sadly under her breath “Thanks guys” to her destructive brother and his best friend.

Even though Mrs. Parker never sent Liz to boarding school because of the incident, completely blaming the bad influence of Max Evans on her son for the fiasco, Liz always hated her birthday from that point on.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) A/N July 7th p. 22

Postby max and liz believer » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:22 am

So sorry about the delay...

Thank you

Laira - That's really a persistent disease you've caught. I hope you feel better.
Eve
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- It sure is nice to see you here again :D
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and of course,

Elizabeth


Timeline


28. Over the Rainbow

Max’s Apartment
Early Thursday morning
(2008) Max is 23, Liz is 22



The first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was his eyes observing her quietly.

“Hey,” she said softly.

Everything was different now.

He smiled slowly and whispered, “Hey.”

In only a couple of hours and with only a few words, everything had changed.

His hand brushed against her forehead. “How did you sleep?”

There were still a lot of conversations that needed to be explained and forgiven, but right now they were both content knowing that their feelings were reciprocated.

She smiled, a warm shiver rushing through her at the touch of his fingers against her skin. “Good. Really good.”

He had barely slept at all. He had kept waking up to check if she was really there. Still sleeping next to him. But she hadn’t moved an inch all night.

“Good dreams?”

She rubbed her eye with the back of her hand as she mumbled, “Can’t remember.”

“I bet you had a good conversation with someone at some point,” Max said.

She looked at him suspiciously and said slowly, “Maybe…” Her eyes narrowed. “Why do you say that?”

He grinned. “You tend to talk in your sleep.”

His grin widened as she looked stunningly chagrin. “I do not.”

He chuckled. “Yes you do.”

“I do not.”

“’Oh Max ooooh Max’,” he moaned and broke out in laughter as she flung herself at him.

“Shut up,” she warned as she pressed her hand against his lips to stop them from making those embarrassing sounds. “You’re full of it, Evans.”

He grabbed a hold of her waist and pulled her currently semi-draped body more fully on top of his, which had her loosening her grip on his mouth.

Her body heated by its own device as he kissed the palm that was against his lips.

“But it’s true,” he murmured against her hand.

She looked down at him, momentarily having forgotten what they were talking about.

“You do talk in your sleep,” he continued.

“We’ve been in the same bed a lot of times,” she said, feeling her heart thumping against her ribs as she watched him slowly cover the entire surface of her palm with kisses. “Why haven’t you noticed before?”

He stopped his ministrations and instead placed her hand down on his T-shirt clad chest, right above his heart. The twinkle was back in his eyes as he said, “Who says I haven’t?”

She groaned and rolled off him, pressing her arms over her face so that her voice came out muffled. “Do I even want to know what I’ve told you throughout the years?”

“There’s been a lot of moaning and…my name of course,” she heard Max say as the blood flushed to her face.

“You’re lying.”

She felt him pull at her arms and finding no use in even trying to resist, she let him pull the arms away. With her eyes still firmly pressed together she felt him move closer, from the heat of his skin and his warm breath fluttering across her face. She trembled as he placed a gentle kiss on the tip of her nose.

“Yes, I am.”

“I don’t like you anymore,” she murmured and with her eyes still closed she was convinced that he was smiling at her.

“No?”

She shook her head firmly. “No. Go away.”

She felt the bed dip and curiously peeked with one eye. She frowned as she saw him standing next to the bed. “Where’re you goin’?”

“I’m going away,” he answered.

She sighed loudly. “Come here, you moron.”

He didn’t need much more convincing than that and the next second he was laying on the bed, his chin resting on her collarbone as he looked up at her face. “You know, you are very high maintenance.”

“I thought you knew that by now.”

“Just saying…”

“Hmm.”

“So…” His fingers trailed underneath her tank top at the bottom of the fabric and her breath fluttered in her throat. “Is there anything I can get you?”

She cocked her head to the side and smiled at him sweetly. “Are you gonna be my slave?”

He frowned, but couldn’t help but laugh. “I’ll be any slave you want.”

“Kitchen slave?”

“Sure.”

Her eyes brightened. “Would you clean my toilet?”

“Er…that’s the same one Mike’s using, so uhm…”

“No?”

“No.”

“What about my homework slave?”

“You know what?” He spread his hand flat against her stomach underneath her top covering her bellybutton and she bit her bottom lip to stop herself from reacting. With a knowing smile on his lips, he slid his body slightly more north, his hand sliding along to come to rest across her rib, his thumb resting against the bottom of her bra. “I could be your sex slave.”

A slow smile spread across her lips as she looked down at him. Her heart beat was loud in her ears as she took in his tousled hair which made him look very boyish in an incredibly sexy way. “Really?”

He shrugged, angling his hand underneath her top to trail his fingertips against the underside of her breast, and said casually, “I think I can do it.”

“I have very high expectations, you know,” Liz had time to say before her voice hitched in her throat as he pressed his lips into the indention at the base of her throat.

“Do you?” he asked, his voice making her skin vibrate and she clenched the sheet underneath her body in her fist.

“Uh-huh. I have certain criteria that need to be fulfilled.”

“Criteria?”

His lips travelled up her throat in a heavenly combination of tickling and desire. A soft moan whispered across her lips.

“Yep. See-“ she inhaled deeply as he placed a kiss against the sensitive skin behind her ear. “I was with this guy once…”

Her voice trailed off as he tensed against her ever so slightly, but enough for her to notice. Instinctively, she knew what he was assuming right then so she happily continued. Just because they had sorted some things out didn’t mean that she still wouldn’t enjoy watching Max Evans squirm.

“He kinda set the standard, you know.”

Max lifted his head and looked at her, his eyes dark and drowning in emotions while he waited for her to continue. “So…what standard are we talking about?”

A slow smile spread across her lips which had Max audibly swallowing. “He knew exactly what I wanted. What I needed.”

Max tried his best to keep his emotions under control, but jealousy was roaring its ugly head making it really difficult. “That’s…handy.” As casually as he could muster, he added, “What happened to this person?”

She brought her fingers up to his face and tenderly brushed a runaway strand of his bangs to the side, an almost pensive expression on her face. “He loved me.”

There was wonder in her voice, as if she couldn’t believe that to be true. Max’s breath caught in his throat. His heart was hoping that she was talking about him, but he was deadly afraid that she was not.

Pain flashed in her eyes which had him automatically tightening his hold on her. “But he didn’t know that I loved him too. Then one night we got really,” she smiled at him and he brushed his fingers down her face with an answering sad smile, “really drunk. And things got a bit out of hand.”

Concern crept into his facial features as she looked away from him, but not before he could see the deep pain tighten her lips.

“Lizzie…” he whispered.

She looked back at him, eyes glittering with fresh tears but hope flattering her weak smile. “But he took care of me. Even though I always pushed him away and always treated him like…well…shit,” he grinned, brushing a tear away from her cheek with the flat of his thumb, “he treated me like someone really special that night.”

“You are special,” he whispered.

She shook her head slowly at him. “Why Max? I don’t get it. Why me?”

He brushed another tear away and placed a tender kiss on her forehead. Pulling back slightly and leaning his forehead against hers, he looked into her eyes and asked, “Why not you?”

“There are so many beautiful, well-functioning girls out there. Why won’t you go for one of them?”

“Because they’re not you.” He sighed, shaking his head in disbelief. “You still don’t know, do you?”

“Know what?”

“How beautiful you are.”

She blushed and dropped her eyes, still not comfortable with compliments. She wasn’t really used to them.

“I’m damaged.”

“In the most beautiful way.”

“Max…”

“Liz…”

She sighed. “What if you grow tired of me?”

He frowned and then pulled back from her. His voice was bordering on scolding as he said, “Liz…”

She pushed herself up into a sitting position, wrapped her arms around herself and said stubbornly, “I’m serious, Max.”

“So am I, kitten,” he said and to his right looked completely serious. “You still don’t get it.”

She pushed her bottom lip out in a temperamental pout and said, “Of course I do.”

He shook his head and grabbed a hold of her upper arms, pulling her into his lap. Her thighs slid down on either side of his hips and he fastened his hands against the small of her back, effectively pushing her front up against him.

“Do you consider me a patient guy?”

She shrugged. “I guess.”

“Who would put up with anything?”

She considered this for a second or two before answering, “Not really. I mean, you don’t take crap.”

He smiled and was slightly surprised that she knew that about him. But at the same time he knew he shouldn’t be surprised. “Exactly. And how would you define our relationship?”

She looked at him for a moment before she rolled her eyes, knowing what he was fishing for, and said indifferently, “Yes, yes. I annoy you to death and all I ever do is give you crap.”

“So why haven’t I gotten rid of you?”

“Because you are a sucker for pain?” she asked brightly.

“Funny. Try again.”

She sighed and dropped her eyes to where her hands were fiddling with the collar of his T-shirt. Her voice was a mere mumble as she said, “I know what you’re saying. I just can’t get rid of this fear that you’re gonna leave.”

He framed her face in his hands and brought their lips together in a slow kiss. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“What if I scream at you too much?”

“I’ll scream back.”

“What if I throw stuff at you?”

“I’ll take your stuff away.”

“What if I kick you?”

He laughed. “Well, I won’t be happy about that.”

His laughter trailed off as she stilled, her small hands carefully tracing his face. “You know what?”

He looked at her adoringly. “What?”

“You’re actually not all that bad, Evans.”

He started laughing and as a wide grin spread across her face, he rolled them on the side so that she eventually ended up underneath him.

Breathlessly, he smiled at her, “She finally gets it.”

Mischief dancing in her eyes, she said, “Maybe.”

“How about a bath?” he asked out of the blue.

She narrowed her eyes, rebellion shining through as quickly as you ignite a match. “With you?”

“I’m your sex slave, aren’t I?”

She stumbled over the words with only one word really coming out clearly, “Max…”

He softened, “Relax. Bath. For you. Alone.”

She observed him quietly. “You’re not mad?”

“We just became friends,” Max said and Liz almost laughed at his choice of word. I guess friends was the next step after enemy, but she had always considered them friends anyway. In some backward way. “Let’s not rush.”

She arched her eyebrow. “Just friends? Because I don’t really make out with Maria, you know.”

He feigned disappointment, “You don’t?” and she pushed him off her.

“You’re so gross,” she stated as she pulled the sheet off the bed to wrap around her body. Because even though she had plenty of clothes on, “It’s freaking freezing in here by the way.”

“It’s all part of my evil plan to have you wanting to sleep close to me.”

“That’s just low, Evans. Even for you,” she said, but was smiling on the inside. She was too happy today to be anywhere near annoyed with him.

Her eyes followed him as he passed her to the adjoining bathroom and she hugged the sheet closer as desire ripped through her body. He was wearing a black T-shirt and grey sweatpants, which for some reason made him look very sexy. The bed-head didn’t hurt either.

She leaned against the doorframe as she watched him turn on the tap in the bathtub, adjust the heat and then straighten his back. Her eyes landed on his chest and she suppressed a laugh as she read the familiar text on his shirt (this was one of his older shirts); Drink till you want me

“What?” he asked as he saw her struggling facial expression.

She waved her hand in a don’t-mind-me gesture and swallowed the laughter. He of all people really didn’t need a shirt like that. But she couldn’t help but see the irony in it. She herself hadn’t let herself want him until she’d had a couple of glasses.

“Tell me, Evans,” she said as he turned to the bathroom cabinet. “Is this something you do for all your girls?”

He chose to not address the ‘all your girls’ part of that question. “Nope. Only you.”

She nodded, feeling oddly comforted by that answer. “Alrighty.”

Then she narrowed her eyes as she focused on what he was pulling out of the cabinet. “What’s that?”

The bottle was pink. It looked very…girly.

“Bubbles.”

“Bubbles?”

He opened the lid to one of the small plastic bottles and poured it into the tub. “Bubbles.”

“Hmmm,” Liz said slowly. “Tell me something. If you never do this for other girls, why do you have bubbles at home?”

She just could not picture Max in a bubble bath. Oh wait. She could. Darn. Get out get out get out.

While Liz tried to abolish the mental image that was getting her really hot and bothered, Max’s face flushed crimson red for a completely different reason.

I never use it.”

“Sure you don’t,” Liz said and tried not to snicker.

“Maria gave it to me.”

“Maria?”

“She thought I needed to relax.”

Liz started laughing. “That’s…” she took a deep breath. “Hilarious.”

Max frowned. “Apparently the smells are supposed to have a calming effect or something.”

Liz pressed her arms around her middle as the laughter wrecked havoc on her stomach muscles. “Oh my God.”

When Max started looking insulted, Liz laughed even harder. “It’s not that funny.”

“Did she-“ she gasped for air “give you a bath cap as well?”

“Okay, that’s it,” he grumbled.

Liz’s eyes had time to widen in fear before he grabbed her around the waist and draped her over his shoulder. Her laughter came to an abrupt stop as she hit her fists against his shoulder blades. “Put me down!”

He unceremoniously did just that. Into the bathtub.

She shrieked and tried to get up, but he pressed her back down. Her clothes clung to her body and she sputtered as bubbles tried to invade her mouth.

“What are you doing?” she yelled at him.

He put a finger across his lips and hushed, “Shh…neighbors.”

Her eyes became like two narrow slits as she picked up on the smug draped across his face and within a few seconds she had grabbed a hold of the ‘Drink till you want me’ shirt and had pulled Max off balance, on top of her, into the bathtub.

He spluttered in surprise, his hands moving over her body as he tried to grab onto something to be able to push himself back to his feet again.

She gasped as his hands moved over her breasts, down over her hips and back up to her waist. “Max…”

He stopped struggling and let himself sink down against her body, his hands moving to cradle her face. “I thought you didn’t want to take a bath with me.”

“You were dirty,” she enunciated slowly and he grinned.

Her hair swirled around her in the water as she sank further down from the weight of his body. His hands around her face were the only thing keeping her above the surface.

He looked at her seriously, brushing his thumb slowly over her bottom lip. “I love you.”

Her eyes brightened before her mouth caught on and she smiled the biggest smile he had ever seen. “Yeah?”

He gently kissed her lips. “Yeah.”

The water sloshed around them when she pulled her arms up to wrap them around his neck. Water flowed over the edges of the bathtub as her legs wrapped around his waist, crushing their wet bodies together.

Her heart raced as she tasted his lips. She shivered as her tongue touched his and her grip on his body tightened.

“You want some breakfast?” he said against her lips.

“You’ll do,” she answered and moaned as his hand fluttered downwards to brush over her breast.

“Toast?” he placed open-mouthed kisses along her jaw line while she threaded her fingers through his damp hair. “Bacon?” Her body arched up against his, causing the water to slosh some more, as he pulled her earlobe between his lips. She giggled as his breath tickled her ear, “Eggs? Omelet?”

“Only you,” she gasped. She slid the back of her head up to rest on the edge of the bathtub as his hands moved down her sides and slid underneath her top.

“Pancakes?”

She closed her eyes and moaned in ecstasy as his palm cradled her left breast. “Mmm…pancakes.”

His thumb brushed across her nipple and she trembled with desire. “Max.”

His mouth traced along her shoulder, along the water surface, and he mumbled, “With maple syrup? Sugar? Jam? Ice cream?”

“Mmm…ice cream,” she whispered and directed his lips back to hers. “I love ice cream.”

He pulled back to smile at her and brush her hair away. With another touch of his lips against hers he pulled away, causing several more liters of water to flow over the edge of the tub.

She stared at him with her mouth falling open. “Wh-what are you doing?”

He smiled at her, running his finger slowly along her exposed wet thigh. “I’m making you breakfast.”

“No,” she said, and rose up to pull him back to her. But he was already moving out of the tub.

“No, where are you going?” she asked, her voice gaining in intensity.

His drenched clothes dripped water across the tiled floor and he pulled his T-shirt off.

She inhaled sharply at the sight of his tanned toned chest. He had been beautiful that night, but if possible he was even more beautiful now. In four years he had filled out. Grown into a man.

A mouth-wateringly beautiful man.

He smiled as he saw her eyes wander, trying very hard himself to stop himself from reacting to how every inch of her top was plastered to her front. Not to mention how transparent the water had made that piece of fabric.

“I’ll leave you alone to tend to your bath now, okay?”

“Maaax…” she warned, daring him to leave her.

He smiled at her sweetly. “Oh, and it might be easier without clothes.”

Her mouth fell open in dumbfounded disbelief and he quickly made a start for the door.

“You come back here right now,” she yelled as he disappeared into the adjoining bedroom.

He laughed under his breath before yelling back over his shoulder. “Just take your time and relax.”

“I hate you!” she yelled and he shook his head with the widest grin as he opened the bedroom door.

“Hate you too,” he responded.


TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) A/N July 18th p. 9

Postby max and liz believer » Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:42 pm

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and

Elizabeth


Thank you everyone SO much!

The following chapter is just after the conversation in the car between Liz and Serena (when Serena puts Max on speaker phone and Liz hears a little bit of what Max thinks of her) and just before Max goes to Michael and Liz's apartment to find Liz (after talking to Serena on the phone) and Michael gives him quite an impressive bruise on the chin.

I hope it'll answer some questions...

Timeline

29. Coming Clean

Wednesday afternoon
(2008) Michael is 24, Liz is 22



“How was your day?” Michael asked as she walked through the front door.

She shrugged, just wanting to get to her room. The conversation she’d had with Serena in the car had upset her. She wasn’t quite sure why, but it felt as if it had tipped the scales over.

“Is everything okay?” Michael asked as his sister barely acknowledged him, throwing her jacket on the floor next to the door before continuing her hasty walk towards her room. “Lizzie?”

“Everything’s fine,” she answered over her shoulder, slowing down and turning to face him.

There was no need to make him worry for nothing. Just be normal. You can act normal, Lizzie.

“I just walked the dogs. Fed them and made sure they were happy. There was actually this cute little…uhm…schnauzer I think they’re called. All he wanted to do was lick me. I would take him for walks but he wasn’t interested in walking at all. He jumped up against my leg and… What?”

Michael was looking at her funny. It didn’t take her long to realize her mistake. She was babbling. She never did that.

“You’re sure you’re okay?”

The corners of her mouth twitched nervously as she smiled. “Yes. They were so funny, Mike. You should’ve seen-“

Michael just looked even more worried and he interrupted her again, “What happened, Liz? Are they not treating you right? Because I can make a phone call right now and-“

Liz shook her head. “No no.” She took a deep breath. “They are really good. They are actually really nice and helpful.”

“That’s…good,” Michael hesitated. “Then what’s…” He looked at her closely. “Something’s wrong.”

“I just had a hard last couple of days, that’s all,” Liz said casually and then added with attempted humor, “You know, it’s difficult for a spoiled brat like me to deal with having lost her allowance and having to get a job.”

And then she burst into tears.

Michael stared at her completely crestfallen for a total of three seconds before quickly walking up to her and guiding her over to the couch. As they sat down, Liz buried her face against his sweater, curling up against his side which reminded him of the numerous times he used to comfort her in her closet in their family home.

“Everything’s just wrong,” Liz sobbed.

“Don’t worry about the money, Lizzie,” Michael consoled, stroking her hair, “I’ll help you out.”

“It’s not about the money.”

“Do you want another job? I could see if I can find something for you. You don’t have to work with animals if you don’t want to. Max thought it was a good idea and you used to love animals when you were little-“

“It’s not the job.”

He was at a loss of words, desperately searching his brain for what could’ve happened that made her so upset. “Then what is it? What happened, Lizzie?”

“I messed up. I’ve messed up so badly.”

“Whatever it is, we can fix it. I’ll help you.”

“He’s always there, you know. Always there. And I’ve tried to get him out of my head but I can’t. I can’t stop thinking about him.”

Michael tensed. This was about a boy? Liz hadn’t been dating for a year. Not since Stalker Sean had cheated on her. Who was she talking about?

“Someone hurt you?”

Anger was already building up inside of him when her quiet voice shocked every thought and emotion out of his body. “It’s Max.”

Liz felt him tense against her and she pulled her head back to look at him. Sobbing, she pleaded with him to, “Please don’t be mad.”

“I…” Michael mumbled with shock smeared across his features.

Liz sniffled, tears running unhindered down her cheeks. “I love him.”

“But...” Michael stared at his little sister. “You mean as a friend, right? Like a sister loves a brother?”

Biting her trembling bottom lip, she slowly shook her head and Michael pulled away from her.

Quietly, with something akin to fear in his eyes, he asked, “What did he do? Did he…What did he do?”

“He hasn’t done anything,” Liz whispered, and sniffled, “Nothing that I didn’t…agree to.”

Michael stared at her and almost spit the words out. “And you love him?”

Liz nodded miserably. “I don’t want to. It would be so much easier if I didn’t.” She wiped at the tears with the back of her hand, her voice hitching on her sobs. There was no turning back now. “We…we slept together.”

Anger flickered across Michael’s face and then he was on his feet, staring down at her with his chest moving rapidly with every upsetting breath. “That fucking bastard…”

“No,” Liz whispered, pleading with him to continue to listen. To not lose control. Not yet.

She needed him. She needed him to listen. She had wanted to tell him for so long, but she had been afraid. Afraid of what she was feeling. Afraid of admitting it to someone. Afraid of what he would do when he found out. But also afraid of how it would affect Michael and Max’s friendship. “He didn’t take advantage of me. He was really sweet and… He never wanted to hurt me.”

Michael shook his head in angry disbelief. “He had sex with you?”

She realized that she was not getting through to him at all. In desperation, she leaned forward, her voice tight as she pleaded with him to, “Please listen. I need to talk to you about this. I need you to listen.”

Michael tried to swallow back the nausea at the back of his throat. “You want me to listen? You want me to listen about how my best friend fucked my little sister?”

Liz flinched at his choice of words and how he in one single sentence had managed to degrade her experience with Max. “It wasn’t like that.”

“Haven’t you seen what he does with girls?” Michael asked, wondering how his smart sister could be so stupid. Disappointment was pushing through his body, firmly interlaced with hatred towards Max. “He bangs them and then pushes them out the door before they even have time to put their panties back on.”

“He doesn’t,” Liz whispered, not knowing if she was telling the truth or not. Because what Michael had just said was the exact reason why she hadn’t dared to even consider pursuing a relationship with Max. That and the fear of how Michael would react, which she was getting the full show of right now.

“You’ve been around him just as much as I’ve had, Lizzie. You know that it’s true. How could you let him touch you?”

Michael loved Max like a brother and he had never particularly worried about Max’s playboy status. Until now.

“Could you just listen?!” Liz said loudly, amongst heartbreaking sobs.

“How long, Lizzie? How long has this been going on?”

“Two days before Christmas,” Liz sobbed, “four years ago.”

All air seemed to go out of him and he sank down onto the TV-table. “Jesus.”

“It was just one night. Nothing has happened since then.”

“He fucking lied to me,” Michael murmured, remembering the conversation he’d had with Max just a couple of days after Christmas when he had asked Max straight out if he had slept with Liz.

“Don’t just blame him. Blame me too. I don’t want to… I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to ruin your friendship with him.”

“It’s ruined,” Michael said quietly, his whole body looking worn.

His words cut through her heart and she moved to kneel in front of him, looking up into his hanging head with pleading eyes. “Don’t do that.”

“He played a game with you, didn’t he?” Michael asked.

Liz shook her head in denial, but Michael could easily read the insecurity in her eyes.

“That’s why there was just one night.”

“I can’t trust him,” Liz said, her heart breaking as she heard the words out loud. “I can’t trust him with my heart.”

Michael looked at her, taking a deep breath.

“All this time…” he shook his head bitterly. “All the times I’ve found you fighting… It was more serious than it appeared, wasn’t it?”

“Sometimes, yes,” Liz answered. “He wants to talk about it. He’s been trying to talk to me for the last four years.”

Michael frowned. That’s odd. Why would Max invest so much time in trying to sort things out if Liz had just been another game to him? “Why haven’t you? Why haven’t you talked?”

Liz swallowed, dropping her eyes. “Because I’m afraid that he will say something that will make me want him even more.”

The anguish in her voice tore at his heart strings and he slid to the floor, enveloping her in his arms.

His warmth made her sobs start anew and she murmured against his shoulder. “I’m so scared, Michael.”

“Of what?”

“Of everything inside of me. It hurts…so much.”

He smiled sadly into her hair, confused about the feelings that were boiling inside his body. Feelings that he had just temporarily managed to put a lid on because Liz needed him now. “It sounds like you’re in love, sis.”

She started crying again, hitching out the words in between sobs, “I think he loves me too. I really think he does. And that scares the hell out of me. Because I can’t disappoint him. And I don’t want him to…get tired of me and move on. So I’ve been playing this game. To keep him close, but still far away. So he can’t reach me but still won’t go away.”

Michael sighed heavily. “Couldn’t you have fallen for someone else? Why Max Evans?”

She gave a teary laugh at his weary voice, which had a small smile grazing his lips as well. Amongst all turbulent feelings, Michael felt a contentment he hadn’t felt in years move through him. His little sister had let him into her life again. He used to know everything about her and then one day she suddenly became so distant.

He had suspected that something had been a bit off between his friend and his sister, but he would’ve never guessed that their strained relationship was the reason why his relationship with his sister had fallen apart.

“And,” Michael said seriously, pulling back and lovingly pushing Liz’s hair out of her face. “If you ever want to let Max know how you feel, I suggest you tell him soon, before I get to him.”

Liz buried her face in her hands, her voice muffled as she said anxiously, “I can’t tell him. I can never tell him.” She removed her hands and looked at him seriously. “And you can’t tell him either.”

“I can’t promise that, squirt,” Michael said. “There’s no way I can pretend like nothing happened.”

“I don’t expect you to,” Liz said softly, “I just don’t want him to know that I…feel something for him.”

Michael looked at her closely, right then realizing that his baby sister had grown up. She was a hot-blooded woman with complex thoughts and strong emotions. She had always been strong-headed, but when had she gone from taunting boys into crying over boys?

“What do you want, Lizzie?”

She looked at him, biting her bottom lip nervously. What did she want?

What did she want?

TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) A/N July 25th p. 14

Postby max and liz believer » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:49 am

Sorry about the delay... But is still the weekend (even in Australia) :roll:

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Elizabeth for editing and keeping me on my toes :wink:


A future chapter...

I don't have a timeline (because I have to run it through Photoshop and I'm burning stuff right now and opening Photoshop when I'm burning is never a good idea), but this chapter is after "Winter Wonderland" so it's the furthest into the future as of yet


30. Does Your Mother Know

Max and Liz’s Apartment
(2009) Max is 24, Liz is 23



“Elizabeth, I’m twenty minutes outside of town. Put on some tea.”

Click.

Liz slowly removed the phone from her ear and literally saw her day darken.

Max stepped out of the bedroom, wearing only a pair of boxers, his hair tousled. He tiredly rubbed his eyes as he yawned, walking slowly in her direction. He wasn’t used to being woken up at seven on a Sunday morning.

As his vision cleared, his body was about to go into another yawn, but it was interrupted as he saw the look on her face.

“Lizzie?” he asked concerned and stepped up to her.

She was still holding the phone in her hand so he gently disentangled her fingers from it and put it down on the kitchen table.

“You’ve met my mother, right?” she asked.

He looked at her closely, running his hands up and down her bare arms in attempt to create heat by friction. She looked cold. “Not in a long time, but yes.”

“Oh…okay. She’s coming.”

He frowned. “When?”

“Oh, in about twenty minutes.”

His eyes widened and his mouth fell open. “What?”

She moved out of his hold and walked into the kitchen. “We should put on some tea.”

He stood staring at her. “Some tea?”

“She wanted tea. So I’m making tea.”

He stepped up to her and gently took the kettle from her hand. Turning her to face him, he cradled her face between his hands and first then noticed the tears she had been trying to hide.

“Hey,” he said softly and brushed the tears off her cheeks with the pads of his thumbs. “What’s wrong?”

“She’s just…” she bit her lower lip, her eyes large and sad, and slowly shook her head. “She’s gonna hate you.”

He smiled at her, one of those smiles that could melt ice. “Leave that to me.”

“You don’t understand,” she mumbled. “You don’t come from a respectable family. You don’t have an education and we’re not even married.”

“Do you want to get married?” he wondered.

She sighed, the bad mood already putting its firm claws in her. “You’re missing the point!”

He caught her flaring arms and pulled her into the comfortable circle of his arms. “Kitten, don’t worry.”

“You don’t know what she’s like,” Liz whispered into his chest.

He kissed her temple, his hand running through her silky hair. “I can handle her.”

She pulled away and wiped the tears out of her eyes with the back of her hand. “I need to vacuum.”

His eyes widened. “Vacuum?” They had moved into the apartment just three weeks ago. He wasn’t sure they even had a vacuum cleaner yet. “Love…”

“I need to make sure that she doesn’t have that much to complain about,” Liz said and looked down at herself, seeing herself with her mother’s eyes. “God, I look horrible.”

“What?” Max wondered in confusion. “No, you’re beautiful.”

No longer with Max in their apartment, but stuck in her head, Liz murmured, “What could I wear?”

“Clothes,” Max said slowly, not really recognizing this Liz.

This was not the Liz that went to get the newspaper wearing just his football jersey and Wellingtons. The transformation that was happening in front of his eyes was almost frightening as the love of his life went from being Lizzie to Miss Elizabeth Parker.

“Shit,” Liz mumbled.

Crestfallen, Max watched her rush off into the bedroom. As he reached the doorway he found her throwing clothes on the floor.

“Okay, you’re officially scaring the crap out of me,” he told her and leaned against the doorframe.

“Take a shower,” she told him over her shoulder. “If you do it now I’ll have time for a shower after you.”

“Riiight,” he said and with a few determined strides he was behind her, pulling the top out of hand. “You’re coming with me.”

She twirled around and firmly shook her head. “No. For once, Max. Please. Could you just do as I say?”

“For once, Liz. Please. Could you just do as I say?” he repeated with a lope-sided grin.

“You’re not funny. This,” she spread her arms out to include the islands of clothes covering the floor, “is not funny.”

Max nodded, “Totally agree,” and swept her into his arms.

“Max,” she said calmly, looking at him as if she was negotiating with a madman to put his gun down, “This is really not the time to be you.”

“It’s always time to be me,” he answered simply and kicked open the door to the adjoining bathroom.

“Evans,” she repeated. “I mean it.”

He placed her feet on the ground and before she could run off, he had pulled her red top over her head.

“No, Max. What are you doing?” She looked up at him impatiently, trying to ignore the fact that he was pressing her naked front against his with the gentle pressure from his firm hand between her shoulder blades.

Like an expert, he swiftly pushed her panties to the floor which were quickly followed by his boxers.

“I said you could shower first,” she protested weakly, having goose bumps spread across her skin as he lightly feathered his finger up her thigh and momentarily brushed over her breast.

“Why waste the water?” he asked and kissed her.

“She’ll be here in fifteen minutes,” Liz mumbled against his lips.

“All the more reason to share the shower.”

He slowly walked them backwards together, managing to keep their bodies pressed together, until he was close enough to reach out and turn on the water. He took a step back, bringing her along, just before the water would hit them so that the water could heat up before they got in.

“You know it’s never the quicker option for us to shower together,” Liz objected and instead of delivering another light comment, he looked at her seriously.

“I’m not leaving you alone today, okay?”

Stunned into speechlessness by his statement, she stared at him.

“Everything’s gonna be fine,” he added and then it was as if he had never been serious as his face brightened in simplistic cheerfulness. “Let’s hop into the shower, shall we?”


Ten minutes later, Liz was feeling a lot more relaxed. Mostly thanks to Max’s magic hands. He surely knew how to really relax her.

But when the door bell rang, Liz went from relaxed to a nervous wreck in less than a nanosecond.

Max’s hand brushed against the small of her back as he passed her on his way to the door and he stopped for a second to brush his lips against her temple.

“Relax,” he whispered and she squeezed her eyes closed and tried to do just that.

As he put his hand on the doorknob, Liz remembered, “Wait! I haven’t told-“

But Max had already opened the door, without the knowledge that Mrs. Nancy Parker wouldn’t quite understand what Max was doing in Liz’s apartment at 7.30 in the morning on a Sunday.

Nancy Parker, with a constant Poker face, didn’t even blink in surprise as she saw Max on the other side of the door. She merely put her head on the side and looked at Max through interested narrowed slits, stating simply, “Maxwell Evans.”

Max felt nervousness rush through him for a second before pushing it to the side. He mustered up one of his warmest smile. “Mrs. Parker. Nice to see you again.”

Without the hint of a smile, Mrs. Parker looked past him into the apartment. “Tell me, Mr. Evans. Where is my daughter?”

Her mother’s cool polite voice sent a shiver through Liz as she stepped out from the shadows and walked up to Nancy.

“Mother,” she greeted with a weak smile.

“Elizabeth darling,” Nancy smiled and grabbed Liz by the shoulders to bring her close before pecking her once on either cheek. “So nice to see you again.”

“You too,” Liz said and felt Max’s hand grab hers.

Nancy looked over Liz’s shoulder, scanning the apartment as if she was looking for something. “Is your brother here?”

Liz shook her head in mild confusion. “No. Just me.”

“Really? That’s rather odd.” She looked up at Max with ice cold eyes and Max swallowed.

Liz knew exactly what she was doing. By asking for her son, Nancy quite smoothly told Max that he had no right to be here unless it was in Michael’s company.

Liz took a deep breath. “Max lives with me.”

Nancy snapped her head back to look at her daughter. Before the tightly pressed line of her mother’s mouth could move, Liz continued, “We’re together.”

“Ah,” Nancy said lightly and looked up at Max with a radiant smile. “How lovely.”

Max shivered.

Nancy turned back to her daughter and said, “Elizabeth, could I please speak with you?” Looking at Max pointedly, she added, “Alone.”

Max’s hand tightened around Liz’s to send the message that she didn’t have to go anywhere alone with this woman if she didn’t want to.

Liz looked up at him with warmth in her eyes and smiled at him softly, her eyes signaling that she could handle it. “Max, how about you make us some tea?”

“Oh,” Nancy said, “That would be lovely.”

With one last look at his girlfriend, Max gave her hand a final squeeze before he let go.

Liz took a deep breath and straightened her back. “What did you want to talk about, mother?”

“What’s he doing here?”

Gone were the pretense, the fake smiles and exclamations including the word ‘lovely’.

“I told you,” Liz said patiently. “He lives with me.”

“Elizabeth,” Nancy said sternly. “This is not the time for games.”

Liz bit her lips together in attempt to control her anger. “I’m being serious.”

“You’re…” Nancy took a deep breath and glanced over her shoulder towards the kitchen, before she turned back and hissed, “…you’re actually with this man? The boy from the other side of the neighborhood that your brother used to spend time with?”

“I love him,” Liz said softly.

Nancy snorted. “Love.”

“Yes, I love him,” Liz repeated. “But I don’t expect you to know what that means.”

“It’s not love,” Nancy said. “He’s only after your money.”

Liz gave a short laugh of disbelief. “Are you for real? What world do you live in? Besides, what fucking money? The money you took away from me when I was 22?”

“You still have your trust fund,” Nancy replied.

“He’s not after my money, mother.”

“Did you sleep with him?”

Liz stared at her and then threw her hands in the air and turned her back to her mother. “Oh for Christ’s sake.”

Look at me when I’m talking to you.

Liz swirled around and looked at her mother with blazing eyes. “Yes, I’ve slept with him. Actually, I had sex with him just five minutes ago.”

Nancy bit her lips together and fought to control her breathing. “I didn’t raise you to be a whore.”

She knew that she probably shouldn’t be surprised by anything that might come out of her mother’s mouth by now, but the word still hurt and Liz felt hot tears prickle her eyes. “No, you didn’t raise me at all.”

“Don’t you use that tone with me, Elizabeth,” Nancy warned before continuing, “How can you do this to yourself? Live in this dreadful apartment with a no good man that probably sleeps around behind your back.”

She knew she had hit a nerve when she saw her daughter flinch and continued on that road, “You think I didn’t pay attention? I know what type of man he is. And you do too. That’s why you’ve never told me about him. Because you know he’s trash and that the second he gets tired of you he’s gonna move on.”

Liz blinked tears down her cheek as her mother rambled on, “Let’s just face it, Elizabeth. You’ll never be able to hold onto him. And with your foul temper I’m very displeased to say that any man is unlikely to want to marry you. Especially considering-“

Shut up shut up shut up!” Liz screamed, covering her ears with her hands.

Hearing Liz’s distraught scream, Max rushed out of the kitchen into the living room. Seeing the state Liz was in he coldly addressed Nancy’s back, “I think you should leave.”

“You have no part in this discussion, boy,” Nancy said without turning around. “Leave us be.”

“No,” Max said calmly. “This is our home. We don’t want you here. Please leave.”

Nancy turned slowly and huffed as she read the controlled anger in Max’s dark eyes. “What are you doing with her, Max? She’s out of your league.”

“And what league is that?” Max asked.

“Let me put it this way,” Nancy said sweetly. “We,” she gestured towards her crying daughter and herself, “move in a completely different class from you. While you will forever be stuck at ground level, we’re in the penthouse. You belong to the people that only survive because we decide so. You have a job because we hire you. Trust me; you have no place with my daughter.”

Max clenched his fists along his sides and evenly asked, “Are you done?”

Her chin in the air, Nancy nodded slowly, a confident smug softly grazing her red-painted lips.

“Without us, you would be swimming in your own shit. We are the ones that clean up after you, make your shoes and gets you drinks. While you live in your penthouses, leaving your kids to fend for themselves in the hands of strangers, we love. When your daughter scraped her knee, she came running to my mom, because her own mother was stuck too far up her own ass to realize that she even had a child. It makes me sick knowing that you on some demented level are proud over the fact that you step over other people. That you don’t have the faintest clue about how much your words are hurting your children.”

Max stepped around Nancy and pulled Liz into his side. “Have you ever gotten a real hug from her? Do you even know how beautiful she is when she tells you she loves you? Has she even told you she loves you? Do you know that she still doesn’t really believe me when I tell her that she’s gorgeous? Do you know why? Because you always told her that she wasn’t good enough.”

Liz looked up at him in surprise. She hadn’t told him that. There was no way he could know that.

“And if your plan was to mold her after your own deranged illusions, I have to tell you that you failed. She’s not yours. She’s strong and fights you every day. She will never be yours. You don’t deserve her. You never did.”

“How dare you…?” Nancy hissed when Max quieted.

“The door is behind you,” Max said with exaggerated politeness.

Nancy turned to her daughter, who was pressed against Max’s side with Max’s arm around her. “Elizabeth, it’s time to leave. This is not your life. This is not who you were meant to be.”

“Mother, leave,” Liz said darkly.

“Elizabeth, don’t-“

“And stop calling me that,” Liz exclaimed, “God, it’s like I’m some business acquaintance of yours. I’m your daughter. Why can’t you love me?”

Max’s fingers threaded through Liz’s hair as a sob ripped from her body.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I love you.”

“Am I the daughter you wanted?” Liz asked quietly.

Nancy straightened her coat, her red-painted nails flashing in the air like drops of blood. “Well, Elizabeth. I think you know the answer to that question.”

“Then you have no reason to be here,” Liz said bleakly. Her voice was tired as she added, “Go home, Nancy.”

Mrs. Nancy Parker, married at an age of 19 to a man her parents chose for her, looked at her daughter and the man she seemed to have chosen to be at her side as the reality slowly started to sink in. She was losing her daughter and she had no idea how it had happened.

Not really sure where to go from there, her grip on her handbag tightened and without another word she turned on her 300 dollar heels and vanished out the door.

The slam of the door had Liz’s knees weakening and Max effortlessly lifted her body up his hips. Wrapping her arms and legs around his body, Max carried her into the bedroom and slowly lowered her onto the bed.

With the sounds of her quiet sobs surrounding them, he slowly removed the cardigan she had so carefully chosen to appease her mother. His mouth kissed her tears off her cheeks while he unbuttoned her blouse. His kisses were languid and tender as they were spread across her skin as his nimble fingers removed more clothing. Seconds after the skirt was discarded on the floor, his hands moved along the upper lining of her black pantyhose and his lips followed the trail of increasingly exposing skin as he slowly pulled the pantyhose off.

“I hate her,” Liz mumbled sadly as her tears stilled and Max pulled the panties over her ankles.

He held her foot in his hand and began raining a trail of kisses on the inside of her shin, around her knee and up her thigh. “No you don’t.”

“Why can’t I hate her?” Liz whispered and gasped as his teeth nibbled the back of her knee.

“Because even though she’s a witch, she’s your mother,” Max answered and removed his sweater.

“Does it make me an awful person if I wish she was dead?”

Max looked at her surprised and before he could answer, she continued, “I mean… Why do people like her get to live, but people like your mom have to die?”

Sadness shifted in his eyes and he laid his full weight on top of her, curling his arms around her back and pressing her body into his while he kissed her deeply. Pulling back he whispered, “I don’t know.”

“How did you know…the things she said? I mean, how did you know that she had said those things to me?”

He removed the rest of his clothing and sank down next to her, aligning their naked bodies side by side. Feathering his fingers across her cheek, he said softly, “I saw it in your heart.”

She smiled, quickly followed by an amused twinkle in her eye. “That sounds so Sidney Sheldon.”

Her smile was contagious and he smiled at her, even though he didn’t really know what she was talking about. “Who’s Sidney Sheldon?”

She kissed him, pulling away slowly before answering, “This romance author that Gabriela used to read. All those cheesy lines. I never expected them to come out of your mouth though.”

He brightened proudly. “I’m just full of surprises.”

She turned contemplative as she ran her finger down the line of his nose. “Yes…yes you are.”

He smiled at her softly and guided her onto her back. He proceeded to make love to her thoroughly; trying to fill all the holes in her heart that had been excavated by Nancy Parker.

It was as the late afternoon sun drifted through the window panes that Liz turned to Max and whispered, “I want to marry you.”

Max turned his head and looked at her, his eyes brightening and a smile forming on his lips. His voice was husky and soft as he said, “I thought I was supposed to ask that.”

She turned on her side, striking Max with her beauty as the rays of the sun cast beams of gold to caress her naked skin, and smiled at him. “I’m tired of waiting for you to ask.”

Love made his eyes twinkle and he reached out to slowly brush his index finger down over her lips. “What if I was planning something spectacular that I needed some more time to arrange?”

She rolled her eyes. “The way you asked me earlier if I wanted to get married kinda told me that you don’t have anything planned.”

“How do you know it’s not part of the plan? Maybe I needed to throw you off the trail.”

She looked at him dubiously. “By putting me on it?”

Shaking her head ever so slightly, she inched closer to him, pressing her breasts against his warm toned chest as she looked up at him. “Before you mentioned it this morning I hadn’t even thought about it that much.”

Before he could open his mouth to reply, she frowned and continued, “No, that’s not true. Of course I’ve thought about it. I think about it every day. But I just never thought you would want to actually marry me.”

“Kitten, I-“

“I mean,” Liz continued, interrupting Max, “Of course I’ve dreamt about it. I’m a girl after all. We all plan for that wedding. Well, maybe not all girls. Louise in my class only ever talks about how much she hates guys. She’s not a lesbian or anything. Even though all the guys think she is. She just thinks that all guys are retards and you don’t want to get her started on the topic of marriage… Boy, she’s scary. She goes on and on about-“

“Liz…” Max tried again which caused Liz to take a deep breath.

“Okay, okay,” she mumbled, her finger brushing over his chest as her thoughts were miles away. “I’m just not really good at this. This is probably why they make it a guy’s job, because girls just get too wired up about everything that we have to say and-“

“Baby,” Max interrupted again, looking at her mildly amused but with questioning eyes. “What are you trying to say?”

She looked up at him, her teeth tugging on her bottom lip as her body momentarily trembled with nervousness.

Feeling her tremble against him, his fingers drifted up along her spine, causing goose bumps to spread along the path of his fingers. “Are you okay?”

She took a deep breath and struggled to smile at him, but the corners of her mouth instead twitched in awkward tension. “I guess I need a speech or something. I didn’t really plan this.”

As if to push her nervousness to the side, she shrugged and looked up at him hesitantly. “Max Evans…Will you marry me?”

His mouth fell open and he stared at her. His speechlessness stretched a second too long and Liz started to roll away from him. “Forget it. It’s stupid-“

He caught her before she had time to get off the bed and pulled her against his body.

Surprised, she looked into his eyes and found herself warm from the look in his eyes even before he opened his mouth to say, “Yes.”

She stared at him for a second before whispering, “You will?”

“You’re making it very difficult for me to say ‘no’, Parker,” he said and winked towards her naked state and she rolled her eyes, the nervousness evaporating.

“You’re saying ‘yes’ just because I’m naked?”

“I’m saying yes because I’m feeling very good after hours and hours of mind-blowing sex,” Max replied and tried not to laugh as her eyes widened in horrified disbelief. “And yes, because you’re naked.”

She raised her hand to swat him across the chest, but his hand stopped her.

“No, Liz,” he said seriously, making sure that he had eye-contact with her even though her mouth was pouting with indignation and her eyes were fuming with irritation. “I love you.”

Her facial features immediately softened and her mouth twitched to loosen up in a smile but her pride wouldn’t let her.

“Being your husband has been one of my secret dreams for a long time. How could it not? I would be marrying my best friend.”

Breaking out of its restraints, her whole face smiled at him as she bent down to kiss him.

“I love you too,” she mumbled against his lips.

“Although, the sex and your body do have a role in this as well,” Max added and laughed as she rolled her eyes.

The playfulness was soon replaced with a comfortable stillness and Liz’s fingers idly traced the lines of his chest.

“What are you thinking about?” he asked.

“We’re getting married,” she whispered with something akin to awe in her voice and met his eyes. “We’re actually getting married?”

His face broke out into a smile and he rolled them over, position her underneath his body. She couldn’t stop herself from moaning as he moved slightly against her, the brush of their bodies against each other infusing her with a desire that was always boiling just underneath the surface.

His face turned solemn as he looked at her, traced every feature of her face, and then he kissed her slowly.

“We’re really doing this?” she asked breathlessly as his lips separated from hers.

His hand brushed down and squeezed her breast, making her gasp. Winking at her, making her heart flutter, he said, “I think it’s one of your best ideas thus far, kitten.”

Licking her lips, she asked slowly, “So…what other secret dreams do you have, Evans?”

“Oh,” he said as if thinking hard about if he should reveal it to her or not. “Hmm… Actually, some of them I can show you right now.”

“Really?” she asked interested.

Her body arched up into his as he brushed his fingers over her mound. “Really.”

“Please,” she said breathlessly. “Tell me everything.”

TBC...

----------------------
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