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

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

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 30 July 27th p. 14

Postby max and liz believer » Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:37 pm

Alison
Christina
keepsmiling7
Laira
Eve
Kris
smith82
vaifeal
hayley85
Jason's Lover
Becky
Carrie
Natalie36
Alien_Friend
thetvgeneral
L-J-L 76
yayaliens
booboo
wistful dreamer
Emma
Ronnie
Kay
Guel
Tanya
sarammlover
roswell3053
Nikki04
mica
dreamsatnight
cocogurl
Ms_BuffyAnneSummers
bettylove8
Jessibelle47
carolina_moon
twilight
Blue*Soul

and
Elizabeth

Thank you everyone so much for the wonderful feedback!! I'm already running late for school so I'm gonna try and post this quickly.

Thank you for all the bumps as well!

Timeline


31. All the Small Things

Maria’s Apartment
Monday evening
(2008) Maria is 23, Liz is 22



Maria took one look at her friend and instinctively knew what had happened. “You told Michael about your feelings for Max, didn’t you?”

Liz blinked her red, dry eyes, any planned words of greeting getting lodged in her throat.

“What?” she croaked.

Maria cocked her head to the side, looking at Liz calmly. “You thought I didn’t know.”

Liz’s gut reaction was to ridicule Maria’s insinuations, but she was left speechless, because the whole purpose of this visit was to pour her heart out to Maria. She was about to tell Maria anyway.

Liz swallowed. “How?”

Maria smiled at her and Liz was struck by how grown-up Maria looked in that moment. It was like her friend was some wise sixty-year-old who had experienced every hardship of love and had learnt invaluable lessons because of it.

“Hun,” Maria said softly. “How about some ice cream?”

Liz nodded seriously. “Yeah. That sounds good.”

As Maria retrieved the ice cream from the freezer and pulled out a drawer to search for spoons, Liz tiredly sank down on one of the plastic chairs in the small kitchen. Maria had lived in this apartment for over two years already, but it still looked like she had moved in yesterday. Half of her stuff was still packed in large cardboard boxes, Maria’s handwriting announcing their content. There were Clothes, Stuff 1, Stuff 2, BE CAREFUL MICHAEL. Might break and Crap. Around the plastic kitchen table was one beach chair and two plastic garden chairs. In the large room serving as TV-room, bedroom and sometimes eating area, a king sized mattress had been placed on the floor. Maria had never really gotten around to buying that bed frame.

Liz was not anally neat, but she liked order and she would never be able to live like Maria was. But for some reason, Liz always liked to be at Maria’s place. The chaos made it homey and simple. Something Liz was always in the need for.

With the ice cream container in hand, Maria walked over to the mattress and sank down, gesturing for Liz to sit down next to her.

“How long have you known?” Liz asked quietly as Maria shoved two large spoons into the opened ice cream container.

She snorted and shook her head in frank incredulity. “You never really listened to me, did you?”

Liz frowned. “Of course I did.”

“Oh, okay,” Maria said skeptically. “Then you must remember the times I’ve hinted that there was more between Max and you than you wanted to tell me. Remember all the times I’ve told you that Max loves you?”

Liz grabbed one of the spoons and shook her head with a sarcastic huff. “But you never really meant it.”

The confidence in her words evaporated as she looked up into Maria’s serious face. “Yeah I meant it.”

“No. You were just making fun of me.”

Maria licked the cookies and cream ice cream off her spoon, her eyes fixed on the ice cream container. “Okay. Maybe it did sound as if I wasn’t really serious-“

“Exactly,” Liz said with emphasis.

“But that was just because you became so freaking defensive about it every time I brought it up. Seriously, Lizzie, did you really think you could fool me? The more you denied having feelings for him, the more I knew you wanted him. And Max hunting after all those girls?” She smiled brightly, as if she had just figured out the great mystery of life. “Classic. I mean, could he be more translucent?!”

“That doesn’t make any sense. Why would he screw around with so many girls if he really wanted me?”

Maria shrugged. “Boys. Face it, Liz. The Y-chromosome makes them stupid.” She licked the ice cream off her spoon and added around a mouthful, “Besides, with all that pent up frustration about you in his system, he had to use it up somewhere.”

Liz looked at Maria silently for a second before pushing the spoon deep into the ice cream and leaving it buried. She was suddenly feeling a bit nauseous.

Maria grimaced sheepishly. “Sorry. Maybe that didn’t come out the way it should’ve.”

“I’m not sure why it bothers me so much-“

Maria raised an eyebrow. “Him sleeping with other people? It’s not really hard science, Lizzie. You’re in love with him. Of course you don’t want him sleeping with other girls.”

Liz sighed and let her head fall back against the wall with her eyes closed. “Every time he insinuates having sex with someone, my imagination kicks into overdrive. I can’t help but…seeing him.”

Maria wrinkled her nose in confusion. “Seeing him?”

Liz opened her eyes and looked at her friend with a painful expression. “You know, seeing him.”

Maria’s wrinkle turned into one of awkward disgust. “Oh… you don’t mean… oh.”

Liz sighed. “Maybe it’s because I’ve been there. If I hadn’t, my imagination wouldn’t have any facts to feed off-“

“Wait,” Maria interrupted. “What did you just say?”

Liz backpedaled to what she had said and a crimson red blush rushed across her cheeks as she realized what she had just unconsciously revealed.

Maria’s mouth fell open in stunned shock as she stared at Liz. “Elizabeth Anne Parker. Did something happen between you and Max?”

Liz nodded slowly, biting her lower lip in thoughtful insecurity.

Looking offended, Maria breathed, “If you don’t tell me right now-“

“We slept together.”

Maria’s eyes widened. “Oh. My. God.”

“Only once.”

“And you didn’t tell me?”

“I didn’t tell anyone.”

“You had sex with Max Evans and you didn’t tell anyone about it?!”

Liz smiled momentarily at Maria’s stunned disbelief. “It was a mistake.”

Maria regarded her like she was crazy. “No it wasn’t.”

“You told me just minutes ago that he sleeps around a lot. Of course it was a mistake. He’s not made to be in a long-term meaningful relationship.”

Maria looked at her incredulously. “Does that lie help you sleep at night?”

“Maria-“

Maria laughed humorlessly. “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I didn’t see it. I mean, I know that you had a thing for each other. I know that you were head over heels in love with him and I always knew that Max had a thing for you as well, but I could never even imagine that you at some point actually… God. This is big, Lizzie. How could you hide something like this from me?” Before Liz could answer, Maria shifted on the mattress to face Liz more completely and asked in a tone of pure curiosity. “How was it?”

Liz took a deep breath, feeling a warmth that she had been lacking spread inside of her. This was what she had been missing; being able to talk about her first time.

“I didn’t have much to compare to at the time, but-“

Maria frowned, signaling with a firm hand in the air for Liz to stop talking, “Wait. You’re not saying that… He deflowered you?”

“Maria!” Liz laughed at Maria’s choice of word.

Maria’s eyes widened excitedly. “He did! He was your first! Oh shit.”

Liz nodded.

“Oh my God,” Maria repeated and frowned as she came face to face with the impossibility of that notion. “Hang on. What about Sean? I’m pretty sure you had sex with him.”

“Yes, I did,” Liz answered, not really sure where Maria was going with this.

“How did Max get before him? When… How long ago was this?”

“Four years.”

Maria’s face blanched with shock. “Four years?! You had sex with Max Evans four years ago?”

Liz picked up her spoon from the ice cream and silently nodded.

“Are you stupid?!”

“Hey!” Liz cried out offended.

“You’ve had this huge pink elephant between you for four years!”

“Yes, Maria,” Liz sighed tiredly. “I’m acutely aware of that.”

“And he was good?”

“What?”

“He was good in bed?”

“Yeah?” Liz said carefully, wondering if she had sent poor Maria over the brink. Maria was basically hyperventilating.

“Did he like it?”

Liz blushed bright red and dropped her eyes. “I don’t know.”

“Judging from the way he speaks to you, the way he looks at you… And not to mention how he touches you, I would say he liked it. Liked it a lot.”

“What do you mean, ‘the way he looks at me’?”

“He’s fallen hard, my blind friend. He’s utterly in love with you.”

Liz swallowed, her throat suddenly feeling dry.

“And you haven’t been screwing each other’s brains out since, becaaause…?”

Liz rolled her eyes at Maria’s choice of words and distractedly dug up another chunk of ice cream. “There was nothing there.”

“Bullshit!”

Biting her lips together, Liz felt herself struggling to convince Maria of something that she had quite successfully convinced herself with for several years. “It was just a night of fun-“

“Of course it was fun!” Maria snickered. “It was sex with freaking Max Evans.”

“You make it sound like he’s a god.”

Maria raised an incredulous eyebrow. “Have you forgotten all the girls in high school? All the rumors? All the giggling girls? Are you so much in denial that you don’t notice the heads he’s turning when he’s walking down the freaking street?”

“Believe me, I’m trying really hard not to notice,” Liz muttered.

That’s why he’s a god.”

“And that’s exactly why I didn’t end up in a relationship with him. You can’t have a relationship with a person like that. Have you noticed the size of his ego? Do you really think he would stick to just one person when he could have a new girl every night?”

“That’s a bit judgmental,” Maria mused, looking at her with amusement. Liz Parker had really gone to great lengths to deny her feelings. “You do realize that he’s been screwing with you?”

“He hasn’t been-“

“The other girls don’t mean anything to him,” Maria interrupted. “They were just back-ups when he couldn’t have the real thing.”

“What makes you so sure?” Liz asked thinly.

Maria smiled warmly. “Because sometimes you have to take a step back to see the whole picture and you, my darling, is far too close to the picture to appreciate it for what it is. So is he.”

“Do you think…” Liz hesitated, her hand tightening around the handle of the spoon. “Do you actually think that Max would settle for just one person?”

Maria laughed softly, shaking her head slowly. “Lizzie, you sweet sweet fool. I love you to bits, but it seriously worries me that you don’t believe you can tie Max down. He’s yours. He’s all yours.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Because of the way he acts around you.”

“You mean; making fun of me, laughing at me…hurting me?”

Maria took a deep breath. “Okay. Do you remember the prom?”

Liz frowned at the lack of connection. “In high school?”

Maria nodded. “Who did you go with?”

“Alex Whitman.”

“And who were you supposed to go with?”

“Uhm… Can’t remember his name…”

“That guy you thought was cute, who dumped you for some bimbo, right?”

Liz shrugged. “What’s your point?”

“And people knew that you were going with this cute guy, correct?”

“Word got around.”

“And when did he tell you he wouldn’t go with you?”

“The night before.”

“Anybody know about that?” Maria asked lightly.

“No. Except Michael. And whoever what’s-his-name told.”

“Right. So didn’t you ever wonder why Alex – timid Alex Whitman – decided to ask a person he thought was already being taken to the prom by another guy, to go with him? Almost like he knew you had been dumped.”

“Maria, please, what the hell are you going on about?”

“Max, Lizzie. Max.”

“What about him?”

“He knew. Michael told him.”

“So?” And then Liz’s eyes widened as she realized the connection. Alex was one of Max’s friends. He was not a friend of that guy she had a crush on, so Alex couldn’t have found out that way. But he could’ve found out through Max. The only thing she couldn’t figure out was, “Why…?”

“Max called Alex, Liz. He asked Alex to take you to the prom because he knew how much you wanted to go. Evans might’ve taken you himself if he hadn’t already asked Tess Harding.”

Liz wasn’t sure if that piece of information was going to make her feel better or worse. The fact that Alex hadn’t asked her out by his own device made her feel like a charity case, but the fact that Max arranged all of that so that she could go to the prom confused her more than anything else.

“But Max was awful at the prom-“

“Because he wasn’t with you.”

“He was a jerk,” Liz said irritated. “He made a fool out of me in front of Alex.”

“He was jealous.”

“No. He was making me look small and foolish, telling the world that I’ve been stood up. Why would he do that after he supposedly arranged so that I could go to the prom?” Frustrated, she pulled at her hair. “See! This is what I’m talking about. He runs hot and cold on me. I don’t know what he fucking wants!”

“Think about it. It’s all a show. He didn’t want you to know that he asked Alex to ask you out-“

“Why?”

Ignoring her question, Maria continued, “But he couldn’t help being miserable about seeing you with another guy. He had to make sure that you really wouldn’t suspect him having anything to do with Alex asking you out, because he didn’t want you to feel pitied. And judging from your lack of knowledge on this, I assume he did a good job.”

“That’s just…” Liz sighed. “Jesus Christ.”

And she thought about everything that had happened at that prom. How she and Max had got into an argument about sex and her hinting to him that she was not a virgin, which then had got them into that awkward situation at the cabin, when Max realized that she was in fact sexually naïve.

“Remember Tess Harding?”

Liz grimaced. “How could I forget?”

“Did you know that he broke up with her because of you?”

Liz rolled her eyes. “He didn’t.”

“Okay, I’m not a 100 percent sure that he broke up with her because of you, but what I do know is that I called him and told him about what a bitch Tess had been to us in the bathroom and that they were broken up the following day.”

Liz shrugged. “Doesn’t really mean anything. He could have done it for his friends. Because he didn’t like his girlfriend treating his friends like that. Maybe he did it for you, Maria.”

Maria smirked. “Very funny.”

Thinking for a while, Maria said, “Okay, what about that time you were really sick? Max wouldn’t leave your side. He only did when that stupid boyfriend of yours arrived. But he wouldn’t sleep, wouldn’t eat, anything! Michael was the same, but he’s your brother so I can understand if he’s a bit worried. But Max… If you had only been conscious enough to see his face.”

“Maybe you’re just reading way too much into this.”

“What about the time he pulled you out of that hot tub and saved you from getting raped?”

“So maybe he has a tendency to be there to witness some of my more humiliating life choices.”

Maria sighed helplessly. “He’s your freaking knight in shining armor for Christ’s sake. The guy worships the ground you walk on.”

“Don’t be ridiculous-“

“How can you not see it? It’s so obvious!”

“Then why aren’t we together?”

Maria rolled her eyes and sighed despondently. “God knows. Because you’re both incredibly retarded?”

“Ha ha,” Liz said, Maria’s words still ringing clear through her head.

Straightened up, Maria looked at Liz suddenly worried, “You didn’t tell Mike that you and Max slept together, did you?”

Looking sheepish, Liz avoided Maria’s eyes as she answered, “Uhm…”

Maria inhaled deeply. “And where is Max now?”

Liz looked at Maria. “You don’t think…?”

“That’s exactly what I think,” Maria said slowly. “I think you should go and have a chat with Max and let him know that Michael might not be so happy right now and that Max should stay away from him.”

“But I asked Michael to not do anything to Max.”

“What if Max goes to your apartment? Will Michael be able to restrain himself?”

Michael’s angry face flashed before Liz’s inner eye and she jumped up from her seat. “I gotta go.”

Maria nodded. “Tell Max I said ‘hi’.”

Liz was too worried to respond as she barged out the door.

Maria flicked her eyes back to the ice cream container and whispered, “Oh boy.”


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 31 August 7th p. 20

Postby max and liz believer » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:41 pm

Stupid me for not saving feedback. Stupid stupid stupid

I'll get over it

eventually

reposting...


Timeline

32. Baby Talk

The Bed Store
Saturday morning
(2011) Max is 26, Liz is 25


“How about this one?”

“No.”

“This one?”

“Nah.”

“And this one?”

“Just doesn’t look right.”

“Maax.”

“Yes?”

“Could you please pick one?”

“None of them seem right.”

“But this one is soft.”

“Too soft.”

“Too soft? Okay, what about the first one then?”

“That one? Too hard.”

Liz sighed. “Come on!”

“You pick one.”

“I want us both to like it.”

“We can never agree upon anything-“

“Obviously.”

“-so why do you insist that we agree on this?”

“Because I plan to spend a lot of time in it. So it needs to be right.”

He gave her a smooth smile and snaked an arm around her waist to pull her close. “Isn’t it just enough to have me there?”

She arched an incredulous eyebrow. “Do you really want to sleep on the floor?”

“We’ve done worse.”

“Just pick a bed, Evans!” she more or less screamed at him, which tickled his senses into laughter.

She threw her hands up in the air in resignation and turned to walk off, when Max caught her arm and with apologetic laughter encased her in his arms. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not making it easy on you.”

She closed her eyes and laid her head against his chest. The sound of his heartbeat against her ear immediately calmed her down. “Can you narrow it down to two at least?”

He kissed the top of her head before looking out over the store, filled with all types of beds. He hated shopping. All types of shopping. And in his arms was, oddly enough, a girl that didn’t like shopping. So the two of them were really hopeless in this area. They had put off buying a new bed for months. Their old mattress was so worn down that there were definitive indention after bodies in the foam and the bed frame itself creaked at every movement.

It hadn’t bothered them too much until the bed had, during one of their more lively activities that morning, given up and collapsed under the weight of their warm and sweaty bodies.

It hadn’t really left them much choice but to make a run to the bed store.

“Yeah… I think so.”

Still with her face buried in his chest, her voice was partly muffled as she asked, “Which one goes best with the rest of the room?”

“Uhh…” he grumbled, concentrating hard.

She smiled and curled her hands up the inside of his shirt. “Okay. Which one do I look best naked on?”

“Both,” he answered without hesitation.

She grinned. “Good answer.”

“Maybe you should make the final call,” he said.

She shook her head, running her hands up over his shoulder blades. “I don’t want to see any more beds. Ever.”

“Really? That kinda ruins a lot of our spare time activities,” Max mumbled.

“Hmm…Maybe we should just buy a mattress. That way we won’t have to be afraid of breaking anything when…you know.”

“I’m not totally against that idea,” Max mused. “Maybe if-“

They both jumped as the loud jingle on Max’s phone tore through the air and Liz pulled his hips closer so that she could get his phone out of his back pocket. He almost groaned as her fingers fumbled around to get the thing up from his jeans and he whispered, “God, you’re so good at that.”

She winked at him, “Behave,” and dropped the phone into his hand.

“You started it,” he said and flipped the lid open. “Speak.”

“She’s… She’s…It’s happening.”

“Michael?”

Liz looked at Max oddly as he frowned and she mouthed a curious ‘What?’ to him.

“There’s…uh… The water…and then. Shit. What should I do?”

Max was starting to get worried about Michael’s agitated voice and he automatically grabbed a hold of Liz’s hand. “Mike, what happened?”

Liz rose on her toes to lean up and try to catch any of the words from the other end of the phone line.

“I think she packed her bag. Yes, yes. She told me that she did. And then… She just wanted me to call you and tell you.”

“Tell me what?” Max asked, completely confused, but the only answer he got was the dial tone as Michael disconnected the call.

Max held the phone away from his ear and stared at Liz. “What the hell?”

“Was that my brother?” Liz wondered.

“He was going on about something, but I haven’t got the faintest clue as to what.”

Just then the phone rang again and after a quick glance at the ID caller, Max handed the phone over to Liz. There was no way he was talking to that confused guy again. He was freaking Max out.

“Mike?” Liz spoke into the phone.

“Liz, hey,” Maria’s voice answered.

“Maria? Is everything okay? We just got the most cryptic phone call from Mike.”

“He’s an idiot. I’m having the baby. That’s what the doofus was trying to say, but he can’t even do that right.”

“You’re…what?” A smile spread across Liz’s face and she met Max’s eyes. “You’re having the baby?”

“She’s having the baby?” Max asked and Liz nodded while putting a finger to her lips to silence him.

“Could you come to the hospital? I- Shit. Michael?!”

Liz quickly pulled the phone away from her ear as Maria screamed.

“Uhm…I think I have to go, Liz. It looks like – MICHAEL!” Liz pulled the phone away from her ear again. “Okay, Michael is just about to drive off to the hospital without me. I have to go.”

In a slight daze, Liz slowly handed the phone back to Max. “I guess she’s having the baby.”

“We should go.”

“Yeah,” Liz said and neither of them was really disappointed that they were interrupted in the midst of their bed purchasing dilemma.


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



The hospital
Fourteen hours later


Liz looked down at the miniature person in her arms. Some people say that all babies look the same, but she could swear that she could see so much of Maria in the little newborn already that it was almost eerie.

She smiled as arms enveloped her waist from behind and a warm breath caressed the side of her neck before a soft kiss was placed against her skin. “So…what do you think?”

“About what?” she asked and stroked the chubby cheek of the little girl.

“Would you like one of those?”

They had decided to wait. With Max just starting college, something he had put off before, and Liz still working part-time while searching for a better job, they had both agreed that starting a family yet wasn’t a good idea.

But things change.

“Yes. Yes, I would.”

His arms tightened around her waist and he kissed her temple before resting his chin on her shoulder and looking down at the small life Michael and Maria had created.

“Okay. Let’s do it.”

“You sure?”

“I would love to have a baby with you.”

With the sound of Maria’s screams of pain fresh in her memory, Liz asked, “Would you mind giving birth to it to? Because I don’t really feel like doing that part.”

He chuckled softly and placed a kiss in the crook of her neck. “If I could I would.”

Not believing him for a second, she said, “No, you wouldn’t.”

“Of course I would.”

“Even if you would, the pain would kill you,” she breathed dramatically.

“Hey, I’m a tough guy, okay,” Max said defensively and as if to prove this fact his arms tightened even further around her waist.

“Remember when you had appendicitis? You almost died.”

“That’s because that thing can actually kill you.”

“Maria also had appendicitis. She was walking around with that pain for longer than you and she handled it so much better.”

“Fine,” Max grumbled, “I guess women are biologically better equipped to deal with pain. Which is why you should do the birthing bit.”

“Not fair,” she whispered, tracing her niece’s small fingernails.

“But I’ll gladly help you make the baby,” Max said cheerily.

“That’s very generous of you,” Liz said slowly, her voice too soft to be sarcastic because she was at the moment fascinated with how her niece was curling her miniscule fingers around Liz’s index finger.

“She’s beautiful,” Max whispered.

“Yeah,” Liz said softly, “She really is.”


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



Their Apartment
Two hours later


“I’m gonna take a shower,” Liz called out as they stepped through the front door.

She pulled off her scarf, mittens and beanie on the way to the bathroom, and threw the thick winter jacket just at the entrance to the bathroom. She shivered as she hurried to take off her clothes, the wind biting her skin as more article of clothing were removed.

“So freaking cold,” she mumbled as she reached into the shower and turned on the tap so that the water could heat up before she stepped in.

She unclasped her bra and stepped out of her panties. Collecting her hair at the top of her head in a loose bun, she reached into the water stream to check that the water had warmed up. Happy with the almost scalding temperature, she stepped into the stream and exhaled in relief as the hot water started to heat up her freezing body.

She was so lost in the relaxing beauty that was a warm shower that she didn’t notice Max entering the bathroom, observe her quietly for about a minute and then silently remove his own clothes.

She gasped, the scream stuck in her throat, as his comparatively cold body spooned around her back. “You scared me.”

“You looked lonely,” Max breathed against her ear as his hands started wandering leisurely across her front.

“Did I?” she whispered, her breathing becoming shallower as his hands cupped her breasts.

“Uh-huh,” he answered.

“In that case, I’m glad you decided to rescue me from my loneliness.”

“Any time,” Max whispered and ran his tongue along the rim of her ear, making her tremble in his arms.

“I thought you were making dinner.”

“It’s in the oven,” he answered and quickly spun her around, pushing a startled gasp out of her. Producing one of his charming crooked smiles, he said softly, “Hey.”

She smiled at him and stopped breathing for a second as he pushed her back into the cold tiled wall. “Hey yourself.”

“I thought we needed some practice.”

She watched the water run in multiple small rivulets down his toned front, smoothly tracing the strongly demarcated lines of his chest.

“Practice in what?”

He captured her lips and kissed her thoroughly, his hands drifting down her sides. His mouth left her lips and made its way down her throat, sucking the water off her skin as he traveled.

“Making Babies 101,” he answered, his teeth grazing over her jugular.

She arched her neck and her hands slid down his chest. Her voice was breathless as she said, “I thought you aced that.”

His hands reached the top of her hips and cupping his hands around her cheeks he lifted her upwards, guiding her to fold her legs around his waist. He licked up the mound of her breast and reached her collarbone, stopping long enough to smile up at her. “Never produced any babies.”

“Uh-huh,” she mumbled and bit her lower lip in concentration as his fingers grazed her inner thigh. “But that was due to preventative measures, not necessarily technique.”

He laughed softly, causing her to open her eyes and look at him. “How can you construct a sentence like that in a moment like this?”

She smiled and answered ruefully, “I’m very intelligent.”

His fingers brushed against her intimately and she gasped. “How about now?”

“Uhm…” she mumbled, her tongue moving out to wet her lips.

She inhaled sharply as he continued caressing her and her soft moan echoed around them. “Definitely nothing wrong with your technique.”

He trapped her upper lip between his lips and gently tugged on it. “So I’m passing the practical?”

“Definitely,” she answered.

He smiled against her lips and mumbled, “That’s a relief.”

She laughed softly and said skeptically, “Yeah, because I’m sure you were oh so worried about that.”

Her head fell back against the tiled wall with a groan and his lips grazed her cheek as he leaned in to whisper, “I’ve spent many sleepless nights agonizing over that fact.”

“I always thought your insomnia was due to your nocturnal activities, not concern about performance,” she murmured, her voice strained as her body got closer to release.

“Let go, kitten,” his husky voice whispered and she let the climax envelop her and send her drifting while Max held her tight. Slowly, he took a step back, putting them both in the stream of water.

She rested her forehead against his as her arms were loosely positioned across his shoulders and he occasionally placed kisses on her cheeks, nose, and eyelids.

It never took her long to recover and wanting more. Maybe it was the pressure of his hard warm body against hers. Maybe it was his random kisses. Or maybe even the way the tips of his fingers would slowly run up and down her back. But it always had the same outcome.

Her wanting more.

“Just a tip,” she mumbled and kissed him languidly.

“What’s that, Parker?” he asked, his hungry eyes caressing the blush of her cheeks and the fullness of her lips.

“What you just did…”

He smiled and when she didn’t continue, he prompted, “Yes?”

“Even though it was…” she looked to the ceiling and sighed dreamily, “…pretty good…” which had Max grinning and positioning her pressed up against the wall again, “…I’m pretty sure that doesn’t really make any babies.”

A breath hitched in her throat as he pressed against her entrance and asked amused, “Really?”

She bit her lower lip and slowly shook her head, her wet hair sliding against the tiles. “Nope.”

He entered her slightly, which had a tremble of wavering self-discipline move through his entire body and her breasts to press into his chest as she arched at the subtle contact.

“So…what do you suggest?” he asked breathlessly and pulled out of her again.

Her heavy eyelids moved upwards and she looked at him with something akin to impatience in her brown eyes. “That you stop talking-“ she directed him back to her entrance, “- and score this test.”

He pushed into her hard which had a soft exclamation whisper out of her mouth and said, “Oh, I’ll ace this one.”

“I really hope- “ she gasped as he increased his pace inside of her, his hands moving over her breasts as his body pressed against hers kept her positioned against the slippery wall, “-that your performance can measure up to your words.”

“Have I ever let you down?” he asked in a strained breathless voice.

“Not yet,” she smiled at him and they both fell silent as their concentration focused on the sensations created by their bodies moving together.

As they their bodies rushed towards completion and cries sated with pleasure ripped from their bodies, Max’s legs gave out from underneath him and they sank to the floor together.

She smiled contentedly at him and lovingly feathered her fingers across his warm forehead.

His soft voice broke through the constant sound of the water, “So? Did I pass?”

She slowly licked her lips as her index finger traveled down to his lips and he kissed the tip of her investigating finger.

“A+,” she answered.

He smiled in that self-confident way that might’ve made other men appear arrogant but only spread a pure masculine sexual shine over Max’s face and had Liz shivering with fresh desire.

But as soon as the smile had moved across his face it was replaced by a worried frown. “Wait. Does this mean that we don’t have to practice anymore?”

She stifled a laugh at his poor attempt of acting and instead smiled at him sweetly. “Well…you passed with flying colors… So is there really any need to keep this going?”

His eyes twinkled before his wet hair brushed her chin as he bent his head down to place a kiss over her heart. “If you don’t practice, you’re gonna forget the skill.”

She smiled absent-mindedly, her fingers slowly running through the wet strands of his hair. “Max? Are you sure about this?”

Picking up on the serious note to her voice, he looked up at her which had her smiling at him slightly sheepishly while awaiting his answer.

“About having a baby?” he wondered.

She nodded silently, looking at him worriedly.

“Parker,” he said as seriously as she looked, “I want to create a family with you.”

“It’s not too soon?” she asked.

He shrugged, “Who’s to decide? But if you want to wait-“

She shook her head. “No. No. That’s not what I mean. I just…”

“What, love?”

“Don’t you want to be a kid for a bit longer, you know? A baby…“ she sighed, “It’s a lot of responsibility and we’re not gonna be alone again for like 18 years – minimum.”

He frowned and cradled her cheek with his hand. “Lizzie, if you don’t want to do this-“

“No, Max. I do. I would love to have a child with you. I’ve wanted it ever since Maria got pregnant because she got me thinking about it, you know.” She looked at him, pleading for him to not misunderstand her. “It’s just… I don’t want you to feel like you have to have a child right now. I can wait. If you wanna wait, I’ll wait with you. I don’t want you to sit here in five years time thinking that you missed out on things just because you started a family too soon.”

“Wait,” he frowned, “Do you think I’m gonna leave?”

She hesitated long enough for him to see the truth, before the denial reached her lips. “No, of course not.”

“That’s it, isn’t it? You think I’m gonna get fed up with being a dad and I’m gonna leave you here alone.”

He pulled away from her and stood up, her sad eyes following his ascent from the floor of the shower stall.

“Christ, Lizzie,” he muttered, pushing his fingers through his hair. “Why would I leave you? Do you think I’m gonna leave you to have fun? To lead a bachelor life or something?”

Squeezing her lips together she got to her feet and said, “That’s why I’m asking. I need to know that you’re fully committed to this, because I don’t want you to look back at your life later and resent it. Resent me for wanting to have a baby.”

He looked at her, disappointed that on some level she still thought that he would leave. At the back of his head, he knew that it stemmed from her deeply rooted fear of people walking out on her in her past, but as the hurt of her words stung his body he couldn’t help but feel that she still didn’t trust him.

“Please, Max,” she whispered, tears glittering in her eyes. “Say something.”

“Do you trust me?” he asked simply, his jaw clenched.

“Yes,” she answered and looked at him oddly. “Of course I do.” How could he even question that?

He dropped his eyes and inhaled deeply. “Okay.”

She placed her hand on his arm and looked at him worriedly, “I do trust you. This isn’t about trust-“

His eyes connected with hers interrupted her, “Yes, it is.” He pressed his lips tightly together and looked to the side, his hands fisting at his sides as he tried to come up with the right words. “Because if you trusted me you would know that I could never do that to you. I would never just leave you.”

Irritation flashing through her, she said, “Come on. It doesn’t have anything to do with trust. I could trust you all I want, but if you wanna leave, you’re gonna leave.”

“Trusting me is about trusting my character,” Max said. “And if you know me at all, you know I won’t do that. Because I’m committed to you, kitten. Only you. And I’m not saying that I want a child just because you want one. I started thinking about having babies with you a long time ago-“

She looked at him in surprise but he continued before she could say anything, “-but for the longest time I wouldn’t let myself believe that it would ever happen. Because you were always so angry with me.”

“You were thinking about having children with me before we got together?” Liz asked surprised.

“Yes, silly,” Max said, his voice softening. “I’ve been ready for a long time. That bachelor life that you’re talking about? It’s not so great. I had to live it for longer than I really wanted, but you saved me from it and if I have a say in it I will never go back.” He looked at her seriously. “I want to be with you, Liz. There’s probably gonna be some bumps in the road, but we’ll just have to figure it out as we go.”

“So you really want a baby?” Liz asked quietly.

He sighed and looked at her almost impatiently. “Yes, my beautiful fool.”

“Okay,” she whispered, a tentative smile brushing across her lips.

He reached over and turned off the water, while reaching outside of the stall with his other hand to grab a large towel. Wrapping it around both of them, he nestled her body against his as he rested his cheek on top of her cheek.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I had to ask. It’s not that I’m questioning you, I just wanted to make sure.”

“I know,” he answered, tightening the towel around them. “And I love you for it.”

“What time is it?” she murmured, his heartbeat loud in her ear as she pressed the side of her face against his chest.

She heard his heart rate pick up even before he answered. “Shit! I have food in the oven!”

He quickly kissed her on the forehead, untangled himself from the towel and wrapped her up in it before throwing a second towel around his hips. “See you out there!”

She smiled as he made a hasty departure, a laugh easing the tension in her chest as she heard his profanities drift into the bathroom as the opened bathroom door let the smoke from overcooked food into the room.

Biting her lower lip in contemplation she let the towel fall to the floor and looked down at her flat abdomen. A smile slowly started to form on her lips as she moved her fingers across her stomach.

Taking a deep breath, she bent down and retrieved the towel. Wrapping it firmly around herself to fight off the coldness of the rooms, she walked out to see what they were actually going to be eating for dinner.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 31 August 7th p. 20

Postby max and liz believer » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:46 pm

And the next one...

So some time back (just shortly after I had written below chapter), I was watching "10 things I hate about you" and the poem in that movie reminded me of the relationship I've been painting with Max and Liz in this story. And I thought it would be nice to include it at the beginning of this chapter. I've added a link to the youtube capture of the scene when she reads the poem, so if you haven't seen the movie I reckon you should just watch that little clip to get into the right mood.

Associated youtube video; Ten Things I hate about You - The Poem

Timeline


33. Because of You

Max’s Apartment
Late Monday
(2008) Max is 23, Liz is 22


I hate the way you talk to me,
and the way you cut your hair.

I hate the way you drive my car.
I hate it when you stare.

I hate your big dumb combat boots,
and the way you read my mind.

I hate you so much it makes me sick;
it even makes me rhyme.

I hate the way you're always right.
I hate it when you lie.

I hate it when you make me laugh,
even worse when you make me cry.

I hate it when you're not around,
and the fact that you didn't call.

But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you.

Not even close,
not even a little bit,
not even at all.



Max opened the door and to his surprise found Liz on the other side.

She looked up at him, with an attempted smile slightly pulling at the corners of her mouth, and said seriously, “Hey.”

She had never been to his apartment alone. She had in fact only been at his place twice. Once for the house warming party and once to pick him up when Michael, she and Max were going rock climbing.

Both times in Michael’s company.

“Liz,” he stated slowly, the shock at her presence softening his voice.

His eyes fell on her pale face, porcelain even in the grey of the dark hallway, and were drawn to the shine of her large eyes.

“Do you want to come in?”

She nodded. “Okay.”

She was lacking her normal air of defensiveness as she slowly walked past him into the modestly lit apartment and Max slowly closed the front door behind her.

“What’s up?”

She had stopped in the middle of the TV-room, which co-functioned as eating area and kitchen, looking incredibly small as she squeezed her arms tightly around her waist while her eyes scanned the surroundings.

“I know it’s weird for me to come here-“

“It’s fine,” Max interrupted and noticed the tremble that went through her even though she was standing several feet from him. “Are you okay?”

She turned and looked at him, for the first time since she had stepped into the apartment, and opened her mouth to respond but fell silent as her eyes fell upon his face. The face that had before been hidden in the shadows but that she could now see perfectly clearly in the light from the nearby lamp.

“Oh my God,” she gasped and stepped up to him.

Before he had time to step back, her fingers were lightly grazing the purple area that was starting to form over his chin.

“It’s fine,” he said quietly, holding his breath under her ministrations.

“It’s not fine,” Liz said angrily. “God, Max. You need ice on that.”

As if he was a disobedient child, she sighed and walked past him into the small kitchen area. “Do you have any frozen peas?”

He turned and watched her rip the door to the freezer open. “I hate peas.”

“What do you eat?” Liz asked as she stared at the empty freezer.

Max shrugged and leaned against the back of the couch. “Pizzas.”

“Gross,” Liz mumbled and started to pull out drawer after drawer in the kitchen, filling the room with clinking cutlery.

“You might want to keep it down,” Max yelled at her over the noise. “I have neighbors that like to sleep at this hour.”

“Do you have a spatula?”

He rolled his eyes, walked up to her and took a hold of her elbow to stop her from continuing to run her hand through the contents of the drawer. Silence enveloped them again. “Do I look like I own a spatula?”

“You’re completely useless, do you know that?” Liz murmured and pulled her arm free of his grip.

“What do you need it for?” he asked.

“Ice. I need to break off ice.” She glanced at his face and he imagined he could see concern flash in her eyes, and then she was back to searching the drawers. “We need to get that swelling down.”

She pulled out something that kind of looked like a spatula and with a grumbled, “You’ll do,” she started hacking away at the frozen ice covering the walls of the freezer. Fortunately, Max didn’t defrost his freezer either.

“Kitten, calm down,” Max said as she attacked the ice like it was her worst enemy. He took the spatula-thingy out of her hand and pushed her slightly to the side. “I’ll do that.”

She took a step back and looked at him with sad eyes. “It was Michael, wasn’t it? He hit you.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Max answered, his focus on the ice.

“I told him.”

Max stopped and put the tool in the sink. Without looking at her he pulled out a plastic bag and started to load it up with ice. “Yeah, I kinda figured.”

“That’s why I came over. To warn you. But I guess I’m a bit too late.”

He turned around and pressed the homemade ice bag to his lower face. “It would’ve happened sooner or later.”

She shook her head in disapproval. “You’re doing it wrong.”

He frowned. “Doing what wrong?”

She rolled her eyes and took a hold of his free hand, ignoring the tremble that went through her at the feel of his warm skin against hers, and pulled him towards the couch. “Sit down!”

He smiled ruefully at her command and sank down into the couch. But before he could verbally comment on it she kneeled into the couch, her body close to his as she leaned slightly across him to take a hold of the ice bag and rearrange it on his face.

His eyes dragged across her smooth skin and he reveled in that he for once could watch her without her turning her face away. Her complete attention was on the ice bag and getting it in the right spot across his chin.

But she couldn’t get it right. The bag kept moving ever so slightly back and forth and he frowned, taking a hold of her underarm. At the touch of her skin, he could feel the vibrations moving through her arms.

“Why are you trembling?” he asked quietly.

She looked at him, first now realizing how close she was to him. She swallowed, guilt spreading across her chocolate orbs. “Because you’re hurt.”

He felt his heart skip a beat. She was concerned about him?

He almost smiled at her, wondering if she was pulling his leg. “It’s okay. It’s just a bruise. I’ll be fine.”

She bit her lower lip and dropped her eyes. “But it’s my fault.”

He took a hold of the ice bag as she pulled away and said gently, “Hey, it was both of us, okay? You’re not alone in this. And he’s your brother. You had to tell him eventually.”

She looked up at him with glistening eyes and said sadly, “But I ruined it, didn’t I? He hates you now. I mean, he hit you.”

He put the ice bag down and smiled at her softly. “We’ll get over it. The guy just found out that I had sex with his baby sister, of course he’s gonna hate me. But he’ll get over it.”

She nodded slowly, really wanting to believe him.

“Why are you here?” Max asked then, looking at her closely.

She looked up at him, familiar defensiveness roaring its ugly head in her eyes. “I told you. I needed to-“

He turned in the couch to face her completely, an action that cut off her words and she looked at him like a scared animal.

“No, Lizzie. Why are you here?”

“To prevent this from happening,” she said, insecurity making her voice tremble. She wasn’t used to this quiet Max. She wasn’t really sure how to react. Why was he not retaliating with a joke or a sexist comment like he usually did?

“Okay,” he said, fear coursing heatedly through his veins as he took a deep breath. Here goes nothing. “Is everything okay? Do you need to talk?”

She stared at him in fearful confusion, her eyes gradually becoming wetter with every second, and she stammered, “What- I don’t know what-“

“I don’t mean to hurt you. It’s just that you…You make me so angry.”

A silent tear tumbled over her lower eyelid and rolled down her cheek as she swallowed. “I know… I know that.”

He shook his head, his fingers itching to pull her towards him and comfort her, but he had a feeling she wasn’t prepared for that yet. “I don’t think you do. I didn’t even get what I was doing until Serena pointed it out to me-“

“Serena?” Her voice lacked strength and she was on the border of whispering.

“And I don’t know why I feel the need to push my sex life in your face.”

Another tear fell down her cheek and her bottom lip trembled as she continued to stare at him.

“Half of it is not even true. It’s just… You make me feel like I need to prove something to you. Prove that I’m worthy of you. So that you will take me back.”

His voice wavered as he laid his heart in front of her. Knowing how she had reacted to that before, the fear of having her stab his unprotected heart again made him hold his breath in fear.

But she just stared at him, with no words to give him. Her heart was pounding in her ears and it was like he was speaking a foreign language because she didn’t understand what he was telling her.

He thought he wasn’t worthy of her?

What?

“And I guess the only way I can do that is to show you that other girls want me. That I’m…lovable.”

She trembled with anxiety at the vulnerability in his voice, knowing with terrifying accuracy that she could easily break him right now if she said the wrong thing.

“What are you saying?” she whispered.

He took a deep breath. “I’m saying that I’m in love with you. I love you, Parker. Did you even know that?”

Tears tumbled down her cheek and she automatically wiped the tears off with the back of her hand, her eyes remaining locked on his face. “Why are you doing this?”

Feeling the instinctive need to pull back into his shell and lash back at her like he normally would, he tried to calm himself down by taking another deep breath. “This is not a game, Liz. This is real. This is me. This is me wondering if you even like me at all. Because I’ve had these agonizing feelings for you for a long time and I want it to stop. I need to know. I need to know why you hate me so much.”

She dropped her head and sobbed. “I don’t hate you.”

“Then why do you push me away?”

She looked up at him with fire in her eyes and bit out, “Because I don’t want you to run away.”

He looked at her, suddenly not understanding her at all. “That makes no sense whatsoever.”

“No?” she yelled out, her voice dripping with tears and she rose from the couch. “Then what about all the one-night-stands? What about all the girls whose name you can’t remember? What about the fact that you find sex fun and you use girls just to get off and then throw them out? What about the fact that you took Tess’ side over mine, even though you’ve known me longer? What about the fact that you had sex with me just because you were drunk and you needed to have fun and my virginity screwed it up for you?”

He stood up, looking at her heatedly. “That’s not the whole truth-“

“How am I supposed to trust you, huh?” she sobbed. “How am I supposed to believe that you would ever want me? Plain little flat-chested Lizzie with an awful personality? Just think about it. What fucking chance do I have to keep you interested? Sure, we might have some fun. It might be good sex, but then you will grow tired of me and you will…” her breath hitched as a sob wrenched through her “…then you will leave. And I’ll have nothing. At least now I have you, even though it’s not all of you. At least you’re still here.”

His heart broke and he whispered agonized, “Lizzie…”

“You don’t love me, Max. You can’t love me. I’m completely fucked up. There’s nothing to love. I can’t offer you anything. I tried to give you my body once, but I was so afraid afterwards that you would ridicule or degrade the whole thing that I had to leave first. I had to hurt you first.”

“That was the best night of my life,” Max said and watched her eyes widen. “And the worst. Because it completely ruined everything between us and I didn’t even know why, because you wouldn’t talk to me anymore. I was so worried that I had hurt you. Physically, mentally, whatever way possible. But you wouldn’t even tell me that. What was I supposed to do? I couldn’t get you out of my system. I tried. God knows I tried. I hooked up with all of these different girls, but I could never go through with it. Because it wasn’t you.”

She stared at him in shock. “Are you saying that-“

“You’re the last girl I’ve been with, kitten. There hasn’t been a single girl since.”

Her mouth felt dry. “You’re lying.”

He almost laughed. “I have nothing left to lie about. I’m telling you the truth, Liz. What would I get out of telling you that I haven’t had sex for four years?”

She shook her head. “I don’t understand.”

“Do you have any idea how much you mean to me? How I would kill anyone that would dare to cause you any harm? That I wanted to wring Sean’s neck after how he treated you? Do you have any idea how much I love arguing with you? How much I love watching you explode over the tiniest thing? How much I hate when you cry and love you when you laugh? Do you have any idea how beautiful you are to me? How I could never get tired of you. How I freaking need you every second of the day? How I dream of making love to you – again and again?”

“Stop it,” she said weakly, sinking to the floor, tears flowing freely down her face.

He kneeled in front of her. “I won’t stop until you get it.”

“I get it,” she whispered, afraid of the intensity in his voice and of what his words meant.

He shook his head. “No, you don’t get it. Because then you would’ve known how happy I was that night and how I wanted you to stay with me. Forever. Instead you left, because you thought I didn’t want you?”

There was disbelief in his voice as he looked at her closely, aching to kiss her because she looked so cold and he wanted her to feel his warmth.

“Mike will never allow it…” Liz tried and watched Max’s eyes darken with an emotion she was more familiar with. Anger.

“Don’t hide behind him. He’s just your brother. He can’t decide what you want. This is your life. You have to live it. What do you feel?”

She dropped her head and pulled her legs up against her chest, pressing her face against her knees and trying to make herself as small as possible. “I can’t do this.”

He threaded his hand through her dark hair and felt her stiffen beneath his touch, her sniffles silencing. “Please, let me in.”

“I loved you that night,” she whispered and looked up at him with red-brimmed eyes and wet cheeks. “You were so gentle… You took care of me. In a way I never thought possible.” She took a deep breath and brushed the hem of the arm of her sweater across her face. “It was easy to love you. It’s always been easy to love you. The difficult part was pushing you away.”

He swallowed back the hurt and asked her quietly, “Then why did you do it?”

“I didn’t want you to see me. I didn’t want you to discover how scared I am. How ugly I am on the inside. Because it would scare you away.” She sniffled and averted her eyes. “And I would be alone. Again.”

“I made a promise to you once, do you remember?” he said softly.

She nodded and sniffled.

“I always keep my promises.”

“You’re in love with something that isn’t real,” she said slowly. “You’re in love with this angry girl that meets your every word with a witty retaliation. You don’t know me. No one does.”

“That angry girl is a part of you as well. And don’t give yourself too much credit. You’re not that good at hiding that scared girl inside.”

“Why would you even like her?”

He cradled her face in his hand and said gently, “I don’t know. I just do.”

It all felt unreal. She would never in her wildest dream be able to conjure up a conversation like this. But maybe she just had. And maybe she would wake up any second and realize that Max still didn’t love her and they would go back to arguing the next time she met him.

“Is this a dream?” she whispered.

“Stay here,” he said.

She blinked. “What?”

“Stay with me tonight.”

“Max, I-“

He smiled at her, a hint of mischief twinkling in his eyes, “I won’t take advantage of you.” His eyes turned somber and the flat of his thumb brushed at the wetness on her cheek. “I want you here tonight.”

She licked her lips as she hesitated. “And what about tomorrow?”

“Yeah, then too,” he answered and felt himself warm as a small smile grazed her lips.

“I need to hear you say it again,” she whispered, almost tentatively.

“Hear what, kitten?”

“That you don’t hate me.”

He shook his head in disbelief and framed her face between his hands. Making sure that she didn’t have any objections to what he was about to do, he pulled her closer and softly kissed her lips. He could taste the saltiness of her new tears on her lips before he pulled back.

“I love you.” He kissed her again. “I want you.” He nipped at her lips. “I need you.” He slowly traced her upper lip with the tip of his tongue. “Stay.”

She opened her eyes slowly as he pulled away and felt a flutter of warm relief in the center of her chest. “Okay.”


TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 31 August 7th p. 20

Postby max and liz believer » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:52 pm

And because I'm a bit upset about losing the feedback, I'm gonna go ahead and post another chapter.

Thank you to everyone who left feedback!!

This is the consecutive chapter to the previous one. For once... :roll:

They talk it out...


34. A Spoonful of Sugar

Max’s Apartment
Late Monday night – Early Tuesday morning
(2008) Max is 23, Liz is 22



“Did you have feelings for me when you kissed me in that closet?”

“Ryan Anderson’s party?”

“Yeah.”

He pondered this for a second before he answered. “I don’t know.” He cast a glance in her direction before continuing, “I think you kinda snuck up on me then.”

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

“When it started, when they put us in that closet together, I saw it as a game-“

“Yeah, I could tell,” she murmured, remembering the incident very well. How he taunted and smirked in between puffing out his chest to proudly signal how much experience he had and how little she had.

“But it was different-“

She looked over at him, the word ‘different’ not sounding too good to her ears at that moment. “Different?”

“Kissing you…” he halted, feeling almost stupid to voice it because it sounded ridiculous even in his own head, “Kissing you was different-“

“Yeah, you told me so,” Liz interrupted, a dark nuance to her voice.

He looked over at her in confusion. “What do you mean?”

“You told me that it felt like kissing a fish.”

Before he could stop himself, laughter exploded across his lips.

“Hey!” she cried out in mild protest.

“Sorry,” he said, struggling to get his laughter under control. “I can’t believe I actually said that.”

“Yeah, you and me both.”

He shook his head. “I’m sorry. God, I was such an idiot back then.”

“Thank you,” Liz said with emphasis.

“It’s amazing that I still managed to get all those girls to have sex with me-“

He laughed as a pillow came flying through the air, hitting him straight in the face. “Shut up!”

He held his hands up in peace offering gesture. “Kidding!”

“How many girls were there really?” Liz asked, not sure she wanted to know the answer, but her mind had already spoken for her before her bruised heart had anything to say about it.

He grimaced and looked over at her face partly hidden in the shadows. “You really want to know?”

“No,” she answered without hesitation. “But yes.”

“Ookay…” How could he put this the right way? “There weren’t as many as I let you believe-“

“God, I hope not,” Liz whispered and he smiled.

“I’ve kissed a lot of girls-“

Liz swallowed. Why had she asked about this again? “Right.”

“But I haven’t gone the whole way with that many.”

“How about before we…you know,” Liz said softly and something felt warm in his chest at the shyness with which she treated their night together. “Since you said you hadn’t really had sex with anyone after that. You must’ve been a playboy before then. It couldn’t all be an act. I heard girls talking about you-“

Max’s eyebrows rose in interest. “Really? What did they say about me?”

“Shut up,” Liz said simply and Max grinned in the semi-darkness of the room. “Some conversations had details that I really didn’t want to know about.”

“Jesus Liz,” Max sighed. “This is worst than being in therapy. Do you really want to know all of this?”

“I need to know how much of it was a lie,” she answered.

Her words stung, because it reminded him of how much they had been hurting each other over the years.

“I killed your rabbit,” Max breathed out quickly.

Liz straightened. “What?

“Sorry,” Max said. “I just really needed to say that.”

“You killed my rabbit?” Liz repeated, not sure if she should yell at him, cry or laugh.

“I meant to give it some food and my shirt got stuck in the hatch so I couldn’t close it and then the neighbor’s cat happened to walk by just then and he spotted the rabbit,” Max rattled off quickly, “The rabbit spotted him and decided to hop out through the hatch. I’m telling you, I never knew how quick rabbits were. I was just about to catch it with my free hand when he rushes off like this Mighty Rabbit or something and the cat is after him. They just disappeared.”

“I searched for days,” Liz mumbled.

“I’m really sorry,” Max said softly. “I meant to tell you-“

“But?”

“But I knew how much that rabbit meant to you and I was so afraid you were gonna cry.”

“You didn’t tell me because I might’ve cried?” she asked incredulously.

“I hate it when you cry,” he whispered. “It makes me want to kill myself.”

Her voice was softer and warmer when she said, “All these years I thought I had raised a super-intelligent rabbit that could open hatches.”

Max chuckled. “You really believed that?”

“How else would you explain it? Everyone said they didn’t have anything to do with it. That was the only explanation…Except you of course. I always suspected you.”

He looked at her surprised. “I thought I hid it pretty well.”

She shrugged. “It was just by default. Whenever something bad happened to me, I instantaneously blamed you.”

“Thanks for the trust,” he said thinly.

She smiled at him. “You’re welcome. And the girls? What about the girls?”

“Still not letting go, are you? What about your guys?”

“You know about all my guys.”

“I’m sure you had some behind the scenes.”

“Yeah right,” she huffed.

“Come on, Parker,” he grinned, sliding down from his position on the couch to the floor where she was sitting, coming down to her level. Her eyes followed his movements intently. His voice was tantalizing as he continued, “Who could resist you?”

“Let’s just put it this way; Growing up with you kinda put me off guys.”

“Ouch,” he chuckled.

She gave him a sugar sweet smile. “And I mean that in the nicest way possible.”

He watched her eyes wander in hesitation and he patiently waited to see what she was about to do. Taking a deep breath, she reached out with her hand and stretched across the small distance between them to catch his hand. They both watched as their fingers interlaced, two heartbeats racing at the small warm contact.

“But I can’t give you all the credit,” she said, keeping her voice impressively casual with the emotions raging in side of her. But she’d had years of practice at hiding her emotions.

“No?” he asked, still looking at their intertwined hands.

“There was also that idiot Billy. Brad Matthews. And my favorite; Stalker Sean.”

“Yeah, he was great,” Max said cheerily and added with great joyful sarcasm. “I adored that guy.”

Liz nodded as if in contemplation. “Yeah, he really was great, wasn’t he?” She let out a dreamy sigh and added, “And what a kisser. God…”

Max’s mood instantly darkened and he murmured, “Don’t really need to know that.”

Her hand squeezed his as she smiled at him comfortingly, “Just kidding. He sucked. He really really sucked.”

Max took a deep breath and a large goofy smile spread across his face. “Ahh. That makes me feel so much better.”

“I bet it does,” she said, her eyes drifting to his lips. His lips had always seemed sensual to her. Like they were made just for kissing. Suddenly she was overcome with the urge to kiss him. His voice pulled her out of her lip fantasies.

“You really scared me that day.”

His voice was so serious that her heart missed a beat as it clenched in her chest. “What day?”

“When he cheated on you.”

The day the world had crashed around her.

She scooted closer to him, the memory making her feel cold. “That was kinda bad.”

He looked at her closely and asked quietly, “Why did it upset you so much?” The second the words left his mouth, he realized how insensitive they might appear, “I mean, of course it must hurt to be cheated on, but I always had the feeling that you didn’t really care that much about him. Especially not after our conversation when you were sick.”

She opened her mouth to reply, when her mind registered his last words and her mind changed tracks with a frown, “What conversation?”

“You probably don’t remember,” he said. “You were too sick.”

“What did I say?” she whispered. It was an odd type of fear knowing that she’d had a conversation with him that she couldn’t even remember.

“That Sean was safe,” Max answered. “That you had left that night, after we made love,” his heart fluttered as her soft gasp broke the surrounding darkness at him calling their night together an act of love, “because I could hurt you.”

She bit her lower lip in hesitation. “What else have I been telling you that I don’t know of?”

“That was the gist of it,” he replied.

“You must have known,” Liz whispered. “You must have known how I felt about you already then.” She huffed in disbelief. “I basically spelled it out for you.”

“I certainly suspected it,” Max answered, “But I never dared to believe.” He smiled in an attempt to take the edge off what he was about to say, “You could hurt me too, you know.”

“I see that now,” she said slowly. “I didn’t then.”

“Was it right then? That you didn’t really care for him?”

“I did,” she whispered, the memory still painful but it wasn’t as painful as to see Max drop his eyes away from hers at her admission.

She squeezed his hand. “But never like I did for you.”

Taking a deep breath, but still not looking at her, he asked, “Then why did you stay with him?”

“I guess I already told you that; Because he was safe. And that’s why it hurt so much.”

He looked up at her in confusion and she realized that she had to explain it a bit more, “He wasn’t supposed to hurt me. I wasn’t supposed to care for him. No strings attached, while pretending that they were very much attached. It was mostly a show, really. For you – to keep you away.” He looked up at her with pain in his eyes and she inhaled deeply before continuing, “But mostly a show for me. I thought that if I could just be with Sean, I could get you out of my head. He was a distraction.” She laughed sadly. “But not a very good one. But since he was obsessed with me-“

“Which is what bothered me the most,” Max interjected.

She nodded slowly. “I thought that a person that was obsessed with me would always stick around. It was the safest bet. Even if I refused to have sex with him-“ she swallowed as she watched Max tense and realized that there were certain things she had to be careful about telling him from now on. “Sorry.”

He brought their still interlaced hands to his mouth and gently kissed her knuckles. “Tell me whatever you want. Don’t feel like there are some things you need to hide from me. I mean, I don’t want to pry. You have a right to keep some things private. But if you need to talk to me about it, don’t hold back just to spare my feelings or something. It might hurt, but I can deal.”

Her heart swelled with love and she whispered softly, “Thanks.”

“Keep going,” he encouraged and she nodded.

“I guess I always thought his obsession would make him stick around. But I guess that was a very naïve way of thinking. But that’s why it hurt so much. Even though I probably mostly had myself to blame because I kept a distance between us, it felt like he just proved to me that everyone leaves. Even if they really love me, they will eventually get tired of me and move on to better things.”

“Kitten…” Max whispered sadly.

“That’s how I felt,” Liz said quietly. “And seeing you right at that moment… You made it both worse and better at the same time. I guess you were the perfect person to blame that whole thing on, but I don’t think I would’ve gotten through that night without you.”

“I’m glad I was there,” Max said softly.

She smiled and scooted even closer to him, their hips now touching. “Me too.”

He looked at her for a long second, before he haltingly stumbled out, “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, but what had happened earlier that day we were watching Matrix movies?”

She narrowed her eyes in amusement. “Max, you watch Matrix movies every third weekend. You have to be a bit more specific than that.”

His face still serious, he clarified, “When I asked you to help out arrange that surprise party for Michael.”

Her face paled and she moved slightly away from him. Reflexively, he tightened his grip on her hand so that she wouldn’t completely move away. “You don’t have to say it, but I thought about that for a long time. I always wondered what you were apologizing for.”

She bit her lip and looked away. “You might not want to hear this…”

“Yes, I do.”

“I didn’t want to sleep with him,” she said quietly.

A coldness washed over him and he struggled to keep his voice even as he asked, “Who?”

“Sean.” She swallowed. “But he kept pushing me…”

Max’s jaw clenched in raw anger. That prick.

“That night, before I came home, he said that he would…” she took a deep breath and said on exhalation, “… he would leave if I didn’t…uhm…take our relationship to the next level.”

“He forced you?” Max asked darkly, his whole body heating with barely controlled anger.

She glanced up at him, feeling stupid. She knew that she was about to change his view of her and she really didn’t want to. “Not really. He gave me an ultimatum.”

Max’s eyes widened in disbelief and he spurted, “He did what?!”

“If I didn’t have sex with him he would leave. I didn’t see any other option but to…have sex with him.”

“Liz,” he whispered as his head fell back against the base of the couch. Liz braced herself as his disappointment washed over her. “There was another option. You could’ve left.”

“That wasn’t an option for me,” she answered, wanting him to understand. “I would look like a failure. It would look like I had failed with yet another relationship and…” there was no way around it, “…you would make fun of me.”

“Jesus,” he whispered and pulled his hand away from hers to quickly rise to his feet.

Coldness washed over her as she looked up at him running his fingers through his hair.

“You slept with him because of me?” His voice was so full of anguish that she didn’t really know what to reply.

“I got together with him because of you,” she whispered, “but I didn’t sleep with him because of you. All those times I refused to sleep with him were because of you.”

He looked down at her skeptically. “But part of why you didn’t let him leave that day was because you thought I would make fun of you for it.”

“Wouldn’t you?” she asked succinctly.

He closed his eyes as he sighed. “I’m an idiot. I’m a fucking idiot.”

“If he had left, I wouldn’t have anything to put between us.”

“What?” She wasn’t making any sense.

“I’m this awful person, Max. And you can’t even see it. I used Sean to push you away. I used another person and his feelings for me as a way to keep you at bay.”

“Whatever your purpose was,” Max said, looking at her, “he still didn’t have the right to put you in a position where you had to choose between having sex with him and losing him. That makes him an asshole and frankly you should’ve thrown him out.”

She nodded, his disappointment weighing heavily on her heart. “I gave in. I slept with him and then when I came home, there you were. And it hurt,” the sob in her throat surprised her and Max’s eyes softened. “It hurt to see you and…talk to you just after I had…”

He fell to his knees in front of her and pulled her into his arms. His tight arms around her body comforted her and gave her the strength to relax against him.

“I’m so sorry, Liz. If I could take it all back, I would. I guess I never realized that I could affect your life even at the moments when I wasn’t even there.”

She huffed sadly, a small smile grazing her lips. “Yeah, you’re a bit stupid.”

It was a difficult question to ask, but he needed to know. Maybe it was for his own peace of mind or maybe it was to decide if he should go after Sean or not, but, “Did he hurt you? When…you know.”

She blushed and suddenly it felt awkward to be in his arms considering the topic of conversation. “I know this is probably gonna go to your head,” she smiled, “But you were better.”

He smiled, appreciating what she was trying to do. “Really?”

She nodded. “Much better.”

“So there’s no need for me to hunt him down and wring his neck?”

“He was okay, Max. He did love me. In his own way.”

“If he really did, he wouldn’t have given you that ultimatum,” Max pointed out.

She pulled out of his arms and smiled at him. “Not everyone is as perfect as you, Evans.”

He laughed and inhaled deeply. “Phew. This is exhausting. I’m starving.” He rose to his feet and offered his hand to help her off the floor. “Want some nourishment?”

She looked at him incredulously. “I thought we just established that you don’t have any food in your fridge.”

“There’s always take-out.”

“Max,” she glanced at the clock on the wall behind him. “It’s two in the morning.”

“I know a place that’s open.”

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


An hour later

“Jesus, that was scary,” Max laughed.

Liz blushed in mild embarrassment. “Maybe I should never drink again. Just look at what happens when I get alcohol in my system. I flaunt my breasts at parties, I talk about my virginity with my enemy and then I go and lose my virginity to that same person.”

“The last one is a good one,” Max protested and grabbed one of the Chinese food containers.

“Was it really?” she wondered. “I mean, I loved that night. I loved everything about that night-“

He grinned at her and she itched to throw another pillow at his head.

“But it just complicated things so much.”

He placed the container on the table and looked at her seriously. “Can I ask you something?”

“Shoot,” she said, with more confidence than she felt. He always seemed to ask the difficult questions.

“If that night hadn’t happened, would you have gotten together with Sean?”

She thought about it for awhile and then shook her head. “Probably not.”

He laughed bitter-sweetly. “We really messed it up, didn’t we?”

“Royally,” Liz agreed and stole the container he was just about to grab.

“Hey!”

“I want to taste this one,” she said and pulled it to her chest.

“You won’t like it, it’s-“

The spiciness attacked her sensitive taste buds and she started coughing.

“-very spicy,” Max finished.

“Oh fuck,” she mumbled as tears started flowing down her cheeks at the hotness.

With laughter, he pushed to his feet and went to grab a glass of water.

She was waving her hand in front of her open mouth, as if cool air could somehow decrease the sting, when he handed her the glass. She took one sip and grimaced. “Ow, Maax! It made it worse!”

“Sorry,” he said and sank down next to her. He took the glass from her while she protested about how the water might help eventually, and put it on the table next to them. Then he framed her face between his hands and pulled her lips towards his.

His lips were really warm from the spicy food he had consumed and his tongue was tingling with hotness as it touched hers. She thought that it might double the effect of the spiciness, but for some reason it kinda helped. If it decreased the spiciness, she wasn’t sure, but it certainly made her feel better.

He pulled away and looked at her with a crooked smile. “Did it help?”

Her eyes still closed, she mumbled dazed, “Mm-hmm.”

“Good, then let’s move to the bedro-“

Liz smacked him across the head before he had a chance to finish the sentence. He pulled out of her range with a laugh. “Joke, Parker. It was a joke.”

“Sure it was,” she said and reached for her glass of water.

“Do you want any more of this?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye and offered her the spicy container.

“No, you can have it,” she answered as if she was giving something up instead of getting rid of it. “I’ll stick to the eggrolls.”

“Sure thing,” Max said and pushed his chopsticks into the container.

Liz pulled the eggrolls towards her and said, “Did you know that Maria knew?”

“Knew what?”

“That we…you know…feel certain things for each other.”

He decided to not tease her about her inability to voice her feelings. For once.

“Hmm,” he considered, “I’m not that surprised about that. She kept giving me these odd gifts all the time.”

Liz’s interest was piqued. “Like what?”

“Uhm… CDs with ocean sounds and whales or something, and these scented candles. She told me that it would calm me down. She figured I was tense or something.”

“Very subtle,” Liz smiled.

“She’s an odd cookie, that one.”

“Yeah. I’m glad Michael and she got together. He needed someone like her.”

Max nodded. “But it made me look bad.”

“Why’s that?”

“He was the last guy I thought would settle down so quickly, but he did. And because he decided to have a steady girlfriend I looked even more like a manwhore next to him.”

Liz grimaced at the truth of it. “True.”

“And I think we lost a big part of what constituted our friendship when we couldn’t talk about girls anymore. Talking about Maria got boring very quickly.”

Liz stared at him. “You can’t be serious? A big part of your friendship was girls? That’s kinda sad.”

“Not like that,” Max insisted. “There was just a type of comrade between us when we could joke about those types of things. Just like girls gossip, I guess. Then he turned all husband-like on me and it kinda took the fun out of it.”

“Poor you,” Liz said sarcastically.

“To be honest, I envied him.”

Liz looked at him in surprise. “You envied him?”

“I wanted what he had. I wanted someone I could love and that loved me. I wanted that security. I wanted everything that came with that. Good and bad. But I could never find it. I guess sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of you.”

“We both need glasses,” Liz nodded.

“And some common sense,” Max chuckled.

“No,” she smiled. “That’s just you.”

“Thanks, kitten. How did you ever become so good at making people feel good about themselves?”

She smiled sweetly at his sarcasm and answered, “Years and years of practice.”

The food started to settle in her stomach, making her suddenly feel very tired, and she desperately tried to stifle a yawn.

Max smiled at her as she pressed the back of her hand against her mouth. “Tired?”

“It’s been a long day,” she answered.

Max stood up. “Okay.” He started to close the lids of all the containers. “Let’s get some sleep.”

She felt small and vulnerable as she watched him rearrange things on the TV-table with confident movements. They had slept in the same bed several times. Sometimes because Max had wandered into her room drunk and other times because he had come to comfort her. There had always been a reason. Now there wasn’t. She wasn’t upset. She wasn’t drunk. They were both completely sober…

“What’s on your mind, kitten?”

His gentle question startled her out of her reverie and she blinked herself back to reality. “I’m nervous.”

He was surprised by her honesty and a wave of fierce protectiveness flooded him. “I can sleep on the couch if you want.”

She shook her head, her lips pressed together in determination. “No. I want to sleep with you.”

He laughed softly and she blushed when she realized where his mind had gone. “I mean-“

He grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet, interrupting her fierce attempt at clarification with a kiss. She melted into his lips as his large hands pressed her body close against his.

Their heavy breaths mingling around them as they pulled apart and Max smiled at her. “I know what you mean. And I won’t touch you.”

Increased blood flow flustered her cheeks and she whispered, “But I want you to.”

His face turned serious as he tried to read between the lines, trying to figure out what she was telling him even before she started explaining herself. “I need you to hold me. I need to have you close.”

He smiled and kissed the tip of her nose. “Yes, love.”

She bit her lower lip, something Max found incredibly sexy in its innocence, and looked up at him with large worried eyes. “Is everything gonna be okay?”

He stroked a non-existent strand of hair behind her ear and let the pad of his thumb move gently back and forth against the softness of her skin. “I don’t know. But I’m gonna fight for it with everything I have.”

She nodded, for once feeling comforted by the fact that he knew as little as she did. “Me too.”

Looking deep into her eyes, he said softly. “I love you.”

A slow smile spread across her lips and she reached up on the tip of her toes and brushed her lips against his. “I love you.”

“What time do you think Michael will come by to kill me?” Max asked casually as she stepped out of his arms.

She shrugged, “Uhm…About ten, I guess. And I have to work so I won’t be here to protect you.”

He looked innocently troubled as he pouted his lips in worry. “Bummer.”

Turning serious, she took his hand and as they started walking towards the bedroom she asked, “Do you think he’ll ever accept us being together?”

“He better,” Max said. “Because I’m not letting you go.”

Liz inhaled deeply and nodded, hoping that Michael would come around. Because she really didn’t want to be forced to choose between her brother and Max.


TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 34 August 26th p. 24

Postby max and liz believer » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:36 pm

After surviving my 26th exam (for this year alone) on Friday, I'm now on a break (for one week). Which is good news both for me and you. I'll have more time to sleep and write, and you won't have to be afraid of me running out of chapters.

dreamsatnight
Alison
Laira
Addicted2AmberEyes
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Alien_Friend
Kris
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Eve
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sunrise102
- thank you for trying to remember your old feedback. That was just so sweet :D
roswell3053
Molly_P
Dziumka
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Emma
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Kate
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and

Elizabeth

THANK YOU!!! Thank you to all of those of you that give me feedback each and every time and to those of you that just started reading this story and to those of you who come out of lurkdom to leave feedback and to all of the lurkers too. Just...everyone. Thank you!!


Dziumka wrote:But could you post the two missing chapters?? I like to re-read stories sometimes, and now I can't :(

They're right there, sweetie, before chapter 34. I reposted them.


Updated Timeline

35. A White Knight in Disguise

Michael’s birthday
The Crashdown
(2002) Max is 17, Liz is 16


Max grinned as Michael looked at him with a grim expression, specifically telling Max that Michael was going to kill his best friend for this.

“Hi Max,” someone said quietly at his side and Max looked down into the dark blue eyes of Lindsey, a girl in his class.

He smiled at her. Since their surnames started with the same letter they had been put together on more than one group assignment. Max liked Lindsey. She was a really sweet girl. She was endearingly shy but the few words that came out of her mouth told of a sharp brain.

“Hey Linds,” Max said. “Enjoying yourself?”

“This is great,” she smiled. “Michael doesn’t look too happy though.”

Her eyes twinkled at him in amusement and he nodded, his words those of mock nonchalance. “No, he hates surprises.”

She laughed softly. “Then why did you throw him a surprise party?”

Max gleamed at her mischievously. “Why not?”

Amused, she shook her head. “For what it’s worth, you did a good job.”

“I had help,” Max said.

She nodded and he failed to notice as her eyes stopped glittering. She donned an easy-going expression while her smile tightened ever so slightly. “Oh. Liz helped you?”

“Yeah, it was her idea,” Max said.

Her smile softened. “I’m having troubles believing that.”

He laughed quietly. “I can’t fool you, Linds.”

She smiled at him shyly and docked her head slightly. “Don’t you forget it.”

“Have you gotten something to eat?” Max asked and pointed towards the buffet that was being ravaged by ravished teenage boys. “If not, I suggest you hurry.”

“Good idea,” Lindsey agreed and turned her body slightly away from his. “See you around, Max.”

“Yeah,” Max smiled, his smile turning distracted as he caught an eyeful of familiar brown hair on the other side of the glass door.

Lindsey noticed his attention waver and a longing of the unattainable kind poured into her eyes as she turned towards the busy buffet table.

Max had his hand on the door, about to push it open, when Liz took a step to the side and revealed that she was not alone.

Billy.

Billy was Liz Parker’s first boyfriend. She wouldn’t call him that yet, but she had been on several dates with the guy and just a week earlier Liz Parker had, in her first drunken daze, revealed that Billy wanted to take their relationship to the next level.

They say that ignorance is bliss, and Max had fully realized this as Liz had let him in on this fact. Because prior to Liz deciding to share her fears of losing her virginity, he was able to happily tell himself that his little Lizzie wasn’t even considering doing anything as grown-up as having sex. He kept telling himself that he just didn’t want her to enter a world he had been part of for about two years already because he would never admit to himself that there might be another reason to him not wanting her to enter that part of the adult world.

He pulled slightly backwards, into the shadows, as a discussion mute to him unfolded between the couple.

Billy moved closer to Liz as she discreetly moved backwards; his arms searching for contact with her body as she subtly dodged his hands.

Max tensed and immediately reached for the door as Billy placed one hand on Liz’s breast. Before Max had time to push on the door, Liz pushed Billy, her face turning red with anger and humiliation.

“Don’t ever do that again,” she warned, her loud voice breaking through the closed door and reaching Max’s ears.

“Why are you such a prude?!” Billy said harshly and Max’s hands clenched into cold hard fists.

Liz’s face flushed with chagrin, flinching like Billy had just hit her. The hurt in her eyes sent a sharp current through Max’s body and he inhaled deeply against the onslaught of dividing emotions.

“A prude?” she spat out, her voice prickled with hurt and laced with anger.

“I get to kiss you but nothing more?” he asked and Max vision was starting to blur. His heart rate was racing and his thoughts were becoming drowned in the swooshing sound of increased blood flow to his head.

“I won’t have sex with you just because you feel like it,” Liz said and her voice broke through to Max with crystal clarity, making him loosen his iron grip on the door handle.

Good girl, Parker, he thought.

“Aren’t you the slightest curious?” Billy asked and took a step closer to Liz.

She looked up at him stubbornly, her face as hard as stone, as he towered above her.

Max could see Billy’s lips moving, as he said something quietly to Liz, but none of the words reached Max’s ears.

But Max didn’t need to hear. He watched with throbbing anger Billy’s hand drift between his and Liz’s body, slide down the front of her tank top and into her skirt.

It all happened very fast after that.

Liz’s hands came up and tried to push him away, but Billy pulled her protesting body closer with his free hand, his other hand somewhere down her skirt, and Max stormed through the door.

“Max,” Liz gasped in shocked surprise, something akin to relief in her voice as the sound of the door opening behind them announced Max’s added presence.

Billy, having missed out on Liz’s gasped announcement, jumped slightly as Max laid a hard hand on his shoulder.

“Billy, my man,” Max said evenly while he with one strong tug on Billy’s shoulder pulled the boyfriend away from Liz.

Liz took a step back, whatever she had been meaning to say stuck to her lips as Max looked at her over Billy’s shoulder with dark fiery eyes. There was nothing cool about the energy he was emitting, except the coldness of his voice.

“I’ve been looking for you.”

Billy looked up at Max in surprise. Max Evans had been looking for him? Max Evans was like one of the gods in school. Captain of the football team, worshipped by the girls and idolized by the guys… And he had been looking for him?

Billy swallowed in surprised awe and turned to face Max…and immediately wished he hadn’t. There was nothing friendly about his idol’s face. Unfortunately for Billy, he didn’t know that Max and Liz went way back. Even though their relationship was based on arguments, there was no mistaken at that point that Max was furious about the way Billy had just treated Liz.

“How’re you doin’?” Max asked casually, looking at Billy as if he was asking him about the weather. But the way Max’s grip on Billy’s shoulder was leaving a bruise contradicted the casualty of the question.

“F-f-fine,” Billy stuttered.

“I see you’re getting on with the ladies,” Max said and lifted an eyebrow as a smile fluttered across his lips.

“Y-yes,” Billy answered and tried to smile at something that was obviously meant to be a joke between to virile men, but something about Max’s body language had Billy’s smile strain across his mouth.

Max looked over at Liz and smirked, a look meant only for her. “She is one fine specimen.”

Liz’s eyes darkened as his smirk dissolve whatever gratitude she had lined up for him for rescuing her from Billy’s inappropriate hands.

Her voice was dark and almost menacing as she bit out, “Shut up.”

Max raised an eyebrow as he spoke, his eyes trained on Liz’s face, “Whoa…man. You picked a feisty one.”

That seemed to lighten the tension and Billy laughed, albeit still nervously, “Tell me about it.”

“Have you gotten into her pants yet?”

Liz’s mouth dropped open and her eyes glistened with tears of hurt, which had Max lose his footing on the conversation for a second.

“Actually,” Billy voiced, unaware of the wordless exchange between Max and Liz, “she’s a bit unwilling.”

Max chuckled and pulled his eyes away from Liz’s flushed face to look straight at Billy. The expression in Max’s eyes had Billy take an automatic step backwards, unease spreading throughout his body. “Are you doing it right, Billy?”

“Uhm…” Billy hesitated. “What do you mean?”

Max released his angry grip on the freshman boy’s shoulder, leaving the tissue numb in its wake, and slowly reduced the distance between him and Liz.

Liz looked up at him with angry eyes as he got closer and tried to straighten herself up even though Max had forced her back against the wall.

“Get away from me,” she whispered thickly, her eyes burning with warning.

He merely smiled at her and brought his hand up to her face, whispering fingers down her cheek. He ignored the softness and heat of her skin, focusing on the task at hand.

Her breathing was shallow and harsh as she squeezed her lips together and hissed, “Don’t touch me.”

“She is a feisty one,” Max murmured and Billy’s nervous cackle had Max momentarily halting his ministrations of Liz’s flustered skin. Her skin was inflamed with anger, making her look particularly stunning.

Max swallowed and unknowingly clenched the hand that was hanging along the side of his body in an attempt at self-control.

His fingers fluttered along the well-defined line of her jaw and she looked ready to kill him when his thumb gentle brushed across her bottom lip.

“Are you paying attention, Billy?” Max asked and felt more than saw Liz’s body tense in front of him.

Billy walked around them, not sure what to make of the display, and came to a stop on Max’s left, where he had a good view of what was going on.

“You have to show them that you love them,” Max said softly, lacing his every word with the tempting hint of seduction as his index finger traced her upper lip, trying not to reveal in the softness of her red lips.

Max vaguely noted Billy’s nod and further closed the distance between his body and hers. His hand slowly moved down the whiteness of the winter skin of her throat, softly sliding his fingers underneath her bra strap at the edge of the overlying strap of her green top.

There was still murder in her eyes, but something else was mixed with her expression. Something that had Max’s eyes trained on her face to not miss a single shift of the emotions in her brown depths.

“You have to worship them,” he continued huskily and adrenaline rushed through his body as he could feel the strong beating of her heart where his fingers were resting below her collarbone underneath the fabric.

He leaned in closer and got a hint of satisfaction in seeing her eyes widen.

“Evans,” she warned, her voice sounding dry.

His softly pressed his lips against the skin of her neck and felt a tremble move through her body. “You have to make them,” he moved his lips up her neck, placing a trail of slow open-mouthed kisses in his wake, “desire you,” his kissed along her jaw, “as much as you,” he pulled back and looked into her half-closed eyes, “desire them.”

She took a deep breath and then pushed him away.

He was not prepared for the power behind her push and slightly stumbled.

Her hands were shaking with anger as she pointed at him. “I fucking hate you. You’re worst than him!” She pointed to Billy, who was frozen in the same position as before, wondering what was actually going on.

“Hey sweetheart, you know you liked it,” Max murmured, a teasing glint in his eyes.

She inhaled sharply with indignation and said darkly, “You’re an asshole.”

“Then explain it to Billy and me,” Max shrugged, casual against the onslaught of Liz’s turbulent emotions, “because we’ve both warmed you up to the idea, so why don’t you want to take it to the next level?”

She tried to control her thoughts through the blazing anger, tried to control her breathing and to stop her hands from folding around his neck and strangling that smirk off his face. “All of you are the same. You just want one thing; sex sex sex sex. Why does it always have to come down to that? Why can’t we just have fun? Huh?”

She turned away from Max and aimed upset eyes at Billy. “I thought we had something-“

“Me too,” Billy interrupted, irritation in his voice.

“Something more than sex,” she said, knowing what he was trying to get at. Guys were apparently not thinking with the head on their shoulders. “You should wait for me.”

“You want me, Lizzie,” Billy huffed, pushing his chest out. “I could tell from your kisses, your wandering hands-“

“Fuck you!” she burst out, tears of betrayal running down her cheeks. It was worse enough as it was to be called a tease, but to be called a tease in front of Max Evans…

She turned to look at Max, “And what’s the purpose of this whole display? Why are you on his side?”

Before Max could answer, Billy interrupted, “Because we guys have to stick together.”

Her chest heaving with hard breaths, she looked back and forth between the two guys and then said, “Screw you. Screw you both.”

With that she ripped the door open and disappeared inside.

Billy turned with an attempted smile to face Max, but before he had made the full turn he was pressed up against the tiled wall.

“Hey, what’s-?!” he spluttered in shock as Max bunched Billy’s shirt between his fists, dark eyes very close to Billy’s.

“Stay away from her,” Max pressed out.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Billy asked, confusion marring his irritation. “You just-“

“Whatever I just did is between Liz and me,” Max spit out, “And I’m expecting it to stay that way.”

“What?” Billy was confused. Max Evans obviously had some split personality disorder.

“If you ever touch her like that again,” Max warned quietly, “If you ever touch any woman like that again without her permission…you’re dead.”

“You just…what? You just…” Billy spluttered. He had just watched Max Evans do exactly the same thing to Liz as he was now telling Billy to never do. He was confused.

“Consider it a helpful demonstration,” Max said. “She didn’t want me to touch her. She specifically told me from the start to get away from her. But I didn’t listen, just like you didn’t listen.”

“But she wanted it-“

Max grimaced, his eyes getting even darker. “See, that’s where you’re wrong, Billy.” He slammed him up against the wall again for effect before continuing, “When did she want it?”

He was getting scared now. Max Evans was one year older, was about three inches taller and was a lot stronger than Billy. Plus, he looked really pissed.

“When…when she…She didn’t push you away. She let you touch her, she let you kiss her.”

“But she said from the beginning that she didn’t want me to touch her,” Max said. “Which is the point. That’s when you should’ve listened. That’s when you should’ve stopped.”

Billy frowned. “Hey man, I think you’re confusing what you just did with what I did.”

“No,” Max said casually, “No confusion. I was just repeating what you just did so that you could see it without being a part of it. I was foolish enough, I guess, to assume that you might see the errors if you were an observer instead of being part of it.”

“Come on, man,” Billy said, trying another tactic. “Let’s be honest. She wanted it. She would’ve walked away otherwise.”

“Like she tried to walk away when you held on to her tighter before?” Max mused.

“I didn’t-“

“You know, rape is a very serious thing.”

Billy’s eyes widened in shock. “I wasn’t going to rape her!”

“With me… her body betrayed her. She got lost in the sensations I could make her feel. So she didn’t push me away. But even then, she said ‘no’ to start with.” Max grip tightened anew on Billy’s shoulders and his voice grew darker, “With you…her body didn’t betray her. She didn’t want you. She tried to get away and you tried to force her.”

“You’re twisted, man,” Billy spit out.

“I could smash you to pieces,” Max warned and watched the fear dilute the hostility in Billy’s eyes. “I should’ve already. But I figured that maybe you wouldn’t learn anything from that and you would just go on hurting someone else one day.”

“I thought you were cool,” Billy said slowly.

Max narrowed his eyes. “Cool as in raping young women?”

“Come on! That bitch was asking-“

He didn’t have the chance to finish the sentence before Max’s fist drove into the unexercised muscles of Billy’s abdomen, having Billy sink to his knees with a groan.

“You need to learn some respect for women, Billy Boy,” Max said.

“Oh, like you have,” Billy gasped, clutching his stomach while he slowly pulled himself into a fetal position. “How many girls did you screw last week, Evans?”

Max bent down and took a hold of Billy’s collar, pulling his face close before telling him hotly, “They all said ‘yes’.”

He left Billy in a pile on the floor, the guilt of how he had just treated Liz drumming through his conscience. It had been a game. Just another game between them. He couldn’t deny that he had gotten some enjoyment out of seeing how far he could push her. But he wasn’t really happy about how he must’ve made her feel in the end; completely humiliated.

But he still felt like he needed to teach Billy a lesson. He wasn’t if sure he had actually gotten through to the guy. The only result from the whole encounter might’ve been hurting Liz.

But she hated Max anyway. Maybe now she could direct her anger at him instead of trying to confront Billy and get herself into more trouble.

Maybe he should’ve just let her sort it out herself. Maybe she would’ve been able to push him away. Maybe he should’ve given her that small victory.

But there was just something about Elizabeth Parker that made him go all caveman and evidently brought out the worst in him. Oddly, it always seemed to end the same way.

With her getting hurt and him walking away with his guilt-ridden head hanging low.


TBC...

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 35 September 1st p. 4

Postby max and liz believer » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:37 pm

Wench on a Leash wrote:But, it has also been a while since we've seen the old Max and Liz interaction and I've gotten so used to the new sweet, open, truthful, cute game-playing rather than mean game-playing Max and Liz interaction that I forgot how frustrating those two used to be around each other.


The previous chapter obviously frustrated a lot of you and I think I big reason why (except for the fact that Max is a bit stupid in that chapter) was because, as Christina mentioned, you've put the old Max behind you and having the new Max and Liz at the front of your memory Max is now acting like a total ass.

He was...in a way. He's just confused when it comes to how to deal with Liz and his frustrations with trying to protect her and denying to himself that he has feelings for her.

Which you all already know...

Alison
Ashley
Kris
booboo
pandas2001
Christina
Alien_Friend

Alien_Friend wrote:That part helped me understand a bit more of how Liz developed all her anxiety towards trying something with Max after they slept together.//I'm sure Liz saw it as a chance for Max to humiliate her and to think she might be just a game to him instead of anything to be taken seriously.

Spot on!
Laira
LairaBehr4 wrote:It's easier to understand now why Liz said in Ch. 34 that growing up around Max kind of put her off guys for a while. That last demonstration taught Billy a lesson, but at the expense of Liz's pride, comfort, sense of security and safety, and privacy. In that moment, Max was placing his desire to show up Billy, to prove to himself that Liz wanted him, a guy she hates, more than she wants her boyfriend, above Liz's comfort. It's not fair to anybody involved. After that, no wonder Liz thinks he just likes to have fun.

Very well put. Exactly what I wanted you to get out of that chapter. After all, there is a purpose to the madness.
Wendy
carolina_moon

carolina_moon wrote:He's such a fantastic wonderful bastard

That made me laugh. What a great description!
Emma
trulov
Ronnie
Cocogurl
Natalie36
Nikki04
bettylove8
confusedfool
Molly_P
Destiny
Sara
Eve
sunrise102
Mica
roswell3053
nitpick23
Becky
twilight


and

Elizabeth

You're all my saving grace! Thank you!!


So, maybe we should go to a happy chapter now instead...

Timeline

36. Christmas Presents

Christmas Eve
Max and Liz’s home
(2017) Max is 32, Liz is 31


She could hear the giggles from outside the house, the sound spreading love throughout her body. Wiping her hands on the kitchen towel, she began loading the plastic container with freshly baked cookies, a small smile dancing across her lips as she listened in on the voices that had increased marginally in intensity as the front door had opened.

“But it was different than before!” Liz heard the young clear voice protest.

“Different, huh?” the warm dark timbre of her husband’s voice asked.

A small girl, measuring only about 2 feet, walked around the corner with her honey-colored eyes brightening at the sight of Liz.

Liz’s answering smile, however, froze on her face at the sight of her four-year-old daughter.

“Hi mommy,” the girl announced, plopping her small pink bag on one of the kitchen chairs.

“Hey sweetie,” Liz said calmly, before throwing an annoyed look at Max as he appeared around the corner. She looked back at her daughter before she could see the answering grin on Max’s face. “Did you have fun?”

“I got a present,” the girl announced.

Liz narrowed her eyes thoughtfully, a smile lingering at the edges of her mouth. “You got a present?” Then she looked up at Max that was leaning against the wall, looking very casual.

Liz’s heart missed a beat and she quickly swallowed the desire that rushed through her. They had been married for almost ten years and he still had the ability to make her knees go weak. Especially when he knew he was in trouble. There was a certain glint in his eyes that reminded her of their turbulent relationship as teenagers, which always enticed her in the most tempting of ways.

He raised an eyebrow as he noticed the blush coloring her cheeks and a knowing smile spread across his lips.

Zoe’s fervent nodding had Liz focusing onto her daughter once again. “A present for Christmas!”

“Really?” Liz mused. “I thought Santa brought all the presents.”

“Daddy wanted to give me one,” the four-year-old announced with glittering eyes.

Liz held back a snort and shook her head in disbelief at her husband as his eyes just grew lighter with amusement. “What did daddy give you?”

Zoe shrugged. “I dunno. It’s a present.”

“Did you point it out for him?” Liz asked.

Zoe bit her lower lip and shook her head. “Nope. He thought of it aaaall by himself.”

Max chuckled at the hint of awed surprise in Zoe’s voice. That her father could actually come up with a present all on his own was a very big thing in her world.

“Well, isn’t he a good daddy,” Liz said, happy that her daughter was too young to understand sarcasm. “Did he give you ice-cream too?”

Zoe’s eyes grew into the size of saucers and her mouth fell open in wonder. She spun around and addressed her father, “Daddy, did you tell her?”

Max looked puzzled when he answered, “No, baby. I don’t know how she knows these things. Your mom sees everything.”

Zoe looked back at her mom and nodded slowly, her little mind perplexed with the idea of an all-seeing mother. Did every kid have a mother like her? A mother who knew everything that happened?

“You’ve got ice-cream all over your face,” Liz said softly, bending down to tickle her stomach.

Zoe erupted in delighted laughter as she shied away from her mother’s tickling hands and ran over to her father, hiding behind him. Looking up at him, she announced happily – and slightly relieved, “Dad, she knew because of the ice-cream on my face.”

Max gasped, his eyes wide with astonishment as if she had cracked the largest mystery on the planet. “Yes! You’re right. That must be it.”

Liz rose from her seated position, her eyes momentarily glancing at the kitchen clock before landing on Max. “It’s minus four outside and you two are eating ice-cream.”

“It was a comp-compee…” Zoe looked up at her father in question and he smiled at her.

“Competition?”

Zoe nodded. “Uh-huh. We had one. And I won!”

“You had an ice-cream competition?”

Zoe nodded again. “Daddy didn’t eat all of his because he put it in my hair instead.”

Liz rolled her eyes and sighed. “Well then. That would make him lose, wouldn’t it?”

“He’s a loser,” Zoe announced proudly.

Max’s mouth twitched in a restrained smile, while Liz fully gave into her smile her eyes making easy contact with Max. “He sure is.”

Liz fell to her knees and gestured with her hands towards herself. “Come here, Miss Evans.”

Zoe walked over, prepared to give her mother a hug, but Liz stopped her in time, taking a hold of her daughter’s small shoulders. “Hugs later, okay?” Taking a closer look at her daughter, Liz noticed the ice-cream sticking her daughter’s dark brown hair together into unkempt curls. “You, missy, need a bath.”

Zoe’s face fell and she stuck her bottom lip out far enough to be considered the biggest pout in existence. With a whine, she protested, “But I just had one.”

“Zoe Evans,” Liz said seriously, looking into her daughter’s dark eyes, “Do you want to celebrate Christmas with sticky hair?”

She sighed. “It’s daddy’s fault.”

Liz nodded. “I’m sure he did his part. Come on, babe. Let’s go and run the water, okay?”

Zoe’s shoulders sloped as she agreed with a silent ‘okay’ and then she was off, bouncing towards the bathroom as if the prospect of taking a bath didn’t bother her too much any longer.

Liz threw her husband a glance and said as she turned towards the bathroom, “I’ll be right back.”

“I can’t wait,” he answered with a grin.

Having turned on the water, adjusted the temperature and instructed her daughter to choose which scent she wanted for her bubbles, Liz returned to the kitchen to turn off the oven.

Max was still there, looking through the box of cookies.

“Hey!” she said sternly and smacked the back of his hand. “Those are not to be eaten yet.”

Max sighed disappointed and watched her as she walked past him.

She couldn’t help but smile as his strong arms encircled her waist from behind.

“You got her a present?” Liz asked as his lips nuzzled the side of her throat, picking up at where they left their previous conversation.

“Mhmm,” he answered, his fingers drifting underneath her thick sweater, only to find another layer of clothing.

“You’re making me into the mean one,” Liz said softly. To her chagrin, her voice sounded more like a dreamy sigh than an abolishment.

“How’s that?” he murmured, his fingers fumbling underneath the top to find yet another piece of clothing.

“Because I didn’t give her a present,” Liz answered, pressing her back against the warmness of his body.

“Of course you did,” he answered.

“No,” Liz lowered her voice, “They’re all supposedly from Santa.”

She gasped as he spun her around, pressing the small of her back into the edge of the kitchen counter. He was not meeting her eyes; his gaze locked on her abdomen. The line of puzzlement across his forehead had her asking, “What’s wrong?”

“Why are you wearing so many layers?”

She laughed and he looked up at her with a small boyish smile that had her practically melting in his arms.

“Because it’s cold,” she answered.

He cocked his head to the side and grinned. “I’m here to warm you up now.”

His fingers were trailing along the sides of her abdomen, underneath her last layer of clothing, skin against skin.

“Zoe is very close,” Liz warned.

“You say that like you think I’m going to get us into trouble,” Max said and hoisted her up against his front, getting her to put her legs around his hips.

“You always get us into trouble,” she whispered as he pressed her body into the counter to hold her up so that his hands were free to roam her body. A breath caught in her throat as his right hand inched underneath her panties.

“Maax,” she partly warned, partly moaned. “She can come out any second.”

“I’m not doing anything,” he laughed softly, capturing her lips with his.

Her arms drifted around his neck and she pulled him even closer as his tongue entered her mouth. “Mmmm,” she murmured.

His right hand moved across her hips, stretching the material of the panties across the back of his hand as he moved underneath it before he reached around her and his fingers slid down her pliant ass. He used the same hand to push her closer up against him as his lips devoured her mouth.

“Mooom! Daaad!”

They broke apart with the speed of lightning, Max quickly removing his hand from Liz’s panties and looking into the direction of the exasperated voice.

Their four-year-old was looking at them with an impatient expression across her dark features, her hands firmly on her hips.

“Stop smooching,” she complained and Liz had to bit her swollen lower lip to not laugh as she against her better judgment glanced up at Max and saw him struggling not to laugh.

Only their daughter could make them feel like teenagers again.

Zoe put her head to the side and regarded her mother curiously, “Did you forget about my bath?”

“Uhm…” Liz licked her lips, “Mommy got a bit distracted.”

Max chuckled and Liz smacked him over the chest, hissing, “Quiet you.”

“Mom, why are you hitting dad?” Zoe asked.

Max put his hand against his mouth and had to look away to stop him from erupting in laughter from the annoyed look Liz gave him. How did Max always get away from answering this type of questions? Why was Liz always the one accused?

“Because he’s being naughty,” Liz answered.

“Very naughty,” Max mumbled under his breath and Liz raised her hand to smack him again, but stopped herself at the last second.

Zoe frowned, but quickly decided that this was a confusing and boring discussion. “Mommy, my bath is ready.”

“That’s good, honey,” Liz answered, “Go and take your clothes off. I’ll be right there.”

“Okay,” Zoe said and disappeared.

The second she was out of earshot, Max started laughing and Liz boxed him on the arm. “You…you…”

“What?” he asked and before she could answer he grabbed her face between his hands and silenced her words with a heated kiss.

Her hands threaded through his hair, taking a firm grip on his head as he grabbed her ass and spun them around, plopping her down very unceremoniously on the kitchen table.

“How long before she comes out again?” Max asked breathlessly between kisses.

“About 30 seconds,” Liz answered, her hands moving restlessly across the defined muscles of his back underneath his shirt.

“Okay,” Max murmured, sucking on her neck, while his hands moved upwards underneath her three layers of clothing and encased her breasts. “Whoa, you are cold.”

“I’m getting warmer by the second,” Liz gasped as his thumbs rolled over her nipples. “Max, what if she-“

“I know,” he interrupted, directing her lips back to his.

“Mooooom!”

They broke apart panting, the look of wild abandoned passion in both sets of dark eyes as they first stared at each other before looking in the direction of the bathroom.

“We’re gonna be late,” Liz whispered, her chest heaving with labored breathing which wasn’t made easier by the fact that Max’s fingers were still running along the sides of her breasts.

“Maria’s gonna kill us,” Max nodded.

“We need to pick up your father,” Liz added and watched Max’s face sigh with remembrance while he pulled his hands out from underneath her shirt.

“Right, dad.”

“Mom! Stop kissing dad!” Zoe yelled from the bathroom and Liz looked up at Max’s laughing eyes while she shook her head in amazement.

“You know why it’s always me that’s the bad parent? Because I don’t suck up to her like you do.”

“You’re not the bad parent,” he protested with a smile, knowing that she was only joking. “And I don’t suck up to her.”

“Right, she’s just daddy’s girl,” Liz shrugged, smoothening her top, her second top and her sweater down and jumped off the table.

His hand on her arm stopped her and she stopped for a second to look up into his eyes. A soft, loving smile had replaced the grin and he reached out to her face to gently stroke her cheek. “She adores you.”

She smiled softly at his effort and nodded. “Yeah.”

“You do believe that, don’t you?” he asked.

Her smile warmed and she placed a soft kiss on his lips. “Of course I do.” Turning serious she looked towards the bathroom, “How long do you think she will ground us for?”

Max seemed to consider this for a second before answering, “For that? About two days.”

“Damn,” Liz said and put on a disappointed expression. “I guess we have to scratch that secret trip to the cinema to make out.”

He leaned down and kissed the side of her mouth, making her lean into his touch and almost have her mouth chase after his. He winked at her when he pulled back which made her blush. “There’s always the backseat.”

She nodded contemplatively. “True. Very true.”

“Moooommy,” Zoe yelled again and Liz rolled her eyes.

“Duty’s calling.”

“I’ll go and get ready,” Max said and pulled her in for a last peck on the lips before he let her go with a smile.

“Maybe you should go and get Philip first while I bathe Zoe and get myself ready.”

“Okay,” he agreed. “Love you.”

“Yes, horny boy, you’ve shown that plenty already,” Liz sighed in mock exasperation which earned her a grin from her husband before he disappeared past her into the master bedroom to change clothes.


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



Three hours later
Maria and Michael’s home


He looked down as he felt her cool hand grab his, only to a second later be pulled towards the front door.

“Kitten?” he wondered as she pulled him outside into the chilling winter and closed the front door behind them. “What’s up?”

Before he fully got a chance to finish that sentence, her lips were on his, her fingers demanding as they tugged at his hair. His surprise wore off quickly as he instinctively responded to her kiss.

She pressed herself up against him with such force that he felt himself being pushed up against the hard wall, her warm body pressed intimately against his front.

“Parker?” he wondered as she pulled away and looked up at him with swollen lips and insecure eyes.

Max frowned at the latter and his hand whisked through her hair, his thumb brushing across the edge of her cheek to cradle her ear.

“I need you,” she whimpered, wrapping her arms around him.

“What’s wrong?” he whispered, suspecting that the miniscule tremors shaking her body was more due to nervousness than the cold wind.

“I wanted to talk to you earlier, but I couldn’t tell you,” Liz mumbled against his chest.

His arms around her tightened and he pressed his cheek against the top of her head, trying to encase her in warmth and protection. “Just tell me.”

“I know we haven’t really discussed it, but…” her voice trailed off and he frowned.

“Just tell me, kitten,” he said impatiently, which caused her to smile and press a kiss against his shirt.

“How do you feel about more children in the house?” she said.

Max sighed. “Do we have to babysit Michael’s kids again?”

She shook her head and pulled away from him to look up at him with shiny eyes. Smiling tentatively, she said softly, “I’m pregnant.”

He stared at her, his mouth going dry as it went slack in his face. “Huh?”

She arched an eyebrow with an amused smile. “I’m knocked up. I’ve got a bun in the oven. I’m expecting. I’m pregge-“

He put up his hands to stop her onslaught of words. “Uhm…yes, thank you. I get the message.”

Insecurity flooded her facial expression and she bit her bottom lip doubtfully as she looked up at him through dark lashes.

His eyes were fixed at something on the ground and she didn’t realize it was her stomach until he raised his hand and gently laid it against her abdomen. Looking up with glistening eyes, he took a deep breath, tried to speak but ended up smiling instead as the words failed him.

His smile warmed her from the top of her head to the tips of her toes and her responding smile was just as radiant.

His hand came up to cradle her cheek and he looked deep into her eyes, his eyes sparkling with emotion. “I love you.”

“So you’re happy?” she asked slowly.

“We make the best babies,” Max said with a crooked smile that shot straight through her heart, “Of course I’m happy, Parker.”

He took another look at her and mused, “That explains why you’ve been so horny.”

Her mouth fell open in indignation and her fingers suddenly itched to hurt him. “Hey! Who was the one that attacked me before?”

“I saw the look on your face,” Max said. “You started it. I just responded to what you wanted. You women always go on and on about how men can’t read your minds and when we do we get punished for it?”

He looked at her questioningly, humor tainting his golden eyes.

“You’re just as horny as me – if not hornier!!” Liz erupted just as the front door opened.

“Uhm…okay,” Philip murmured and Max looked ready to explode with laughter as Liz’s face turned tomato red before she slowly turned around to face her father-in-law.

“Eh…it’s not what it sounded like,” she said.

Philip looked almost as amused as his son, but a calmness brought on by age was making it easier for him to restrain himself. “Of course not, honey.”

“Did you want…” Max cleared his throat, scratching his ear, “…something, dad?”

“We’re ready to eat.”

“Good,” Liz sighed and threw a glare in Max’s direction before she excused herself and walked back into the house.

Max saw the questioning smile on his father’s face and shook his head, “Don’t ask.”

“Oh believe me, I would rather not know,” Philip answered.

“Let’s go back in,” Max said and reached beside his father to grab the door handle.

“Max,” Philip’s voice stopped him and Max turned to face his father.

“Yes?”

“She makes you happy, doesn’t she?”

Max smiled softly, something of a far-away look in his eyes. “She’s amazing.”

Philip nodded softly, a bittersweet smile on his lips. Max was struck with the insight that his father was at that exact moment thinking about Max’s mother and an odd feeling struck him. Having found his own soulmate and having started a family with that same person, he suddenly understood on another level the vast darkness his father must have been drowning in when Diane died. She had been the love of his life, just like Liz was to Max. If something ever happened to Liz, Max wasn’t sure he would be able to go on living.

“I’m so happy for you, son,” Philip said, squeezing Max’s shoulder, his voice pulling Max out of his gloomy thoughts. “I really am.”

Max smiled weakly, “Thank you, dad.”


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



One hour later

“No, sweetheart,” Maria scolded lightly, pulling the chubby hand containing the flower soil away from her two-year-old son’s mouth.

Lucas looked up at her with large green eyes, the black dirt staining his pink bottom lip. His eyes followed his mother’s movement as she grabbed a hold of his small hand and brushed the soil off his warm palm.

Zoe came up behind Maria and said, “Lucas, come.”

Lucas chubby face lit up and he stretched his arms out for his cousin. Zoe smiled with the air of a big sister and put her arms under Lucas’ armpits and pulled him upwards. She was breathing heavily just getting him to his feet. It was with her tongue half-way out her mouth and a frown of fierce concentration on her forehead that she partly dragged, partly lifted the toddler across the floor.

“He’s a real charmer,” Liz said softly behind Maria and Maria nodded with a smile.

“He’s so quiet I don’t really believe he’s ours.”

Liz put her arms around her friend’s waist and rested her chin on Maria’s shoulder. “You’ve been saying that since he was born.”

“I still can’t believe it,” Maria said. “He hardly cried when he was a newborn. He rarely fussed when he was growing older. And now he just sits and looks at everything. Without a word.”

“Well, at least you have Alba,” Liz said, a smile coloring her voice.

“True,” Maria nodded. Alba made enough noise for five toddlers. She was definitely a child of Maria and Michael Parker.

“How are you doing, girlfriend?” Maria asked, craning her neck slightly to appraise Liz’s face. There was a fresh blush coloring Liz’s cheeks and her eyes were shining bright with contentment and happiness. “From the look of your face I presume you and Max are doing well.”

“I’ve got news,” Liz said with a secret smile.

Maria’s eyes brighten with curiosity and she twirled out of Liz’s arms to be able to take a good look at her friend’s face. “What is it?”

Liz dropped her eyes, a small smile gracing her lips as her hands moved inconspicuously across her abdomen. But nothing got past Maria.

Maria’s eyes widened as she gasped, “You’re pregnant!”

Liz looked up in surprise, the question clear in her eyes. Before she had time to even think about how to formulate that question, Maria squealed and threw crushing arms around Liz.

Liz found herself bouncing along with an exuberant Maria, still trying to figure out if Maria really was a mind-reader like Max had suspected for several years.

“It’s about time,” Maria sighed and released Liz from her iron-grip. “I thought you had decided on only having one kid or something. Because obviously you don’t have problems performing the act-“

Liz rolled her eyes, “Maria…”

Maria waved her words away and stilled, a slow smile filling her lips and twinkling her eyes. “Congratulations, Lizzie.”

Liz pulled Maria into another hug and whispered, “Thank you” into Maria’s ear.

“Should I be jealous?” a voice murmured behind them and the women pulled apart to find Max watching them with a smile.

“Max, my man,” Maria said in a deep masculine voice, stepping up to the dark-haired man, “Good work.”

“Thanks,” Max answered, without any doubt to what he was being complimented for.

“It’s about time,” Maria added pointedly.

Max shrugged. “Well, you can’t rush perfection.” He found Liz’s hand and pulled her into his side. “I think Alba needs your attention.”

Maria’s face immediately fell and she sighed wearily, “What did she do now?”

“Let’s just say that she might need another set of clothes,” Max offered calmly.

Maria sighed again before she took off in a stride towards the living room. “Alba Jessica Parker. You are in big trouble, missy!”

Liz pulled out of Max’s warm arms reluctantly and murmured, “Let’s go see where our daughter is.”

Max nodded and kissed the tip of her nose. “Let’s hope she’s dry.”

Liz narrowed her eyes, but decided it was better not to ask. For not the first time, she was hit with the understanding of how Gabriela must’ve felt when her, Max and Michael would run around and make a mess when they were little.

It was their children’s turn now.

Max’s hand brushed across her flat abdomen and a wondrous smile caressed his lips as he looked at her abdomen. Looking up, the hand that was still holding onto hers tightened and he whispered, “Is there any way we can get away later?”

Smiling, she shook her head slowly, “See? Who’s the horny one?”

He winked at her and pulled her close for a kiss. “What can I say? You make me crazy, Mrs. Evans.”

“Hmm,” she murmured against the warmth of his lips. “They have a guest room…”

He pulled away, mischief twinkling in his eyes. “Really?”

She slowly licked her lips and nodded.

In his best Mr. Burns from The Simpsons impersonation, Max whispered, “Excellent.”


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:39 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) A/N September 18th p. 11

Postby max and liz believer » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:47 pm

Laira
Laira wrote:"Alba Jessica"?

(shakes head) Please tell me that wasn't on purpose.

Haha, actually it wasn't on purpose. I didn't realise until you commented on it. I think it was my subconscious playing tricks on me.

keepsmiling7
twilight
Ashley
Alison
smith82
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booboo
Emma
bella_svetlana
Kris
Alien_Friend
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Kay
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Eve
hazz
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Carrie
Ronnie
RiceKrispy
yayaliens

yayaliens wrote:sorry i can't feedback as much as i used to...i'm back at school so on weekends i go out and party instead of work and then read stories...but i'm trying!

Thank you so much for still trying. Just one single word to let me know that you read is plenty. So thank you ('cuz I definitely understand how much school can interfere...)

Sara
Destiny
paper
Aurorabee
Dziumka
ladylou

ladylou wrote:Big Hugs Jo. You sound like you need them. Does this mean that equine will be over now? (this unit was equine medicine wasn't it?).

Oh, equine was over a long time ago, but I'm impressed that you remember that I wasn't really looking forward to that one. Thank you so much for the hugs; I needed them. The rotation I was on yesterday (but not anymore thank God) was pathology. It was just really full on.

Alien614
Ellie


and

Elizabeth

Thank you so much everyone for the feedback and also for the good luck wishes and cyberhugs. I really needed it. I was ready to die yesterday. But I survived and now that rotation is over. It was just really full on (I was waking up at 3.30-4 a.m. every morning for two weeks to study) and the fact that I didn't have time to write or update in this time really means that it was a lot of work because usually I write more the more stressed I am. But I didn't even have time to procrastinate this time. But now it's over. Just one more rotation to go. Yay!

Timeline

37. Little Earthquakes

Max and Liz’s Apartment
(2013) Max is 28, Liz is 27



Hey baby. I’m gonna be late. Don’t stay up and wait for me, okay? Love you.

Liz pressed the ‘Delete’ button on the answering machine as her body tiredly sank down on the nearby chair. While her left hand supported her heavy head, her right distractedly stroke along the curved line of her abdomen.

It was the third night in a row, the eleventh time this month, that Max had called to tell her that he wouldn’t be able to make it for dinner and it was starting to take its toll on her emotions.

She tried to suck it up; tried to squelch the feelings and be happy whenever he actually did come home. Because the last thing she wanted to do with the time he spent at home was fight.

But as she looked over at the groceries she had just put on the kitchen counter, which were to be used to cook his favorite meal, she had to bite her bottom lip hard to stop the tears from falling.

She felt abandoned. She felt fat and unattractive.

Not for the first time since she had gotten pregnant, her thoughts turned dark with the idea that the pregnancy was a mistake. They were not ready. Max was working two jobs while trying to fit in his college studies at the same time and she was working as much as she could. She had been trying to find a good job before she got pregnant, but when they had realized that they were expecting, she had given up on her job search because there was no reason to find her dream job and have to tell them that she had to go on maternity leave a couple of months later. That wouldn’t look too good on her résumé.

So she was stuck taking whatever jobs she could get her hands on, which usually left her dead on her feet at the end of the day.

And it didn’t help matters that her husband had gone missing when her back was aching and her feet were too swollen to fit into her normal shoes.

Taking a deep breath and silently banning herself for her pathetic mood, she brushed away invisible tears with the back of her hand and got to her aching feet.

She walked up to the brown paper bags and started unpacking, only to half-way through realize that she had forgotten to buy milk.

“Damn,” she muttered and started to consider her options. To go or not to go. Her feet were telling her to sit down in front of the TV and not move an inch while her rational mind was telling her that they needed milk.

Sighing deeply, she grabbed her jacket and her hand bag and walked out the door. Fortunately, the store was within walking distance of their home and she realized when she got outside that she actually didn’t mind the fresh air. It cleared the feelings of resignation that were weighing heavily on her heart and with every step her feet felt lighter.

It wasn’t too bad. She could do this. Several women went through pregnancy without a husband at their side. Some didn’t even have the father in their life. At least Max was still around. Besides, the reason he was away was because he was trying to save as much money for the baby as possible. He was doing it for them.

They had been through worse.

Her hand brushed down her abdomen again and a small smile hinted at the corners of her mouth. Looking up, her gaze flickered across the street and unseeingly glanced over the people walking down the street. Her gaze didn’t register the figures until it wandered across the people sitting at the café and her feet reached an abrupt stop when she saw a familiar face at one of the tables. Her heart froze as her eyes traveled from the bright smile on his face to the pretty blonde girl sitting opposite him.

She forgot to breathe as she stared at them, her suddenly icy hands gripping the bottom of her sweater in a desperate attempt at control. Her thoughts were disjointed and hasty as they fumbled through her stunned mind, parading between shock, disappointment, anger, betrayal, sorrow, hurt and a million other unidentifiable emotions.

The milk completely forgotten, Liz turned and numbly started walking in the opposite direction, leaving the laughing couple behind her. She didn’t notice the odd looks she was attracting because of the tears streaming down her cheeks and her fast pace, which looked slightly uncomfortable for a woman in her state of pregnancy.

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


Maria and Michael’s house

Maria jumped out of the car, closed the door and opened the door to the backseat where Alba was strapped into the baby seat. She unbuckled her daughter, flung the carrier bag with Alba’s necessary things over her should, and hoisted Alba into her arms. Kicking the door closed with her leg, she fumbled through her pocket while balancing Alba on her hip, found the car key and pressed ‘lock’. The car lock beeped to announce the act successful as Maria rounded the front of the car and started walking up to the small house they had bought three months earlier.

Her steps faltered as she looked up and saw a curled up figure sitting at the bottom of the small step outside the front door. Fear gripped her heart as she recognized the sobbing creature to be Liz.

“Lizzie?” she asked concerned as she got closer to the door.

Liz looked up with red eyes and wet cheeks, the look of pain in her eyes so acute that Maria had to look a way. Liz tried to smile, sniffling back the next sob. “Maria. Hey.”

Maria frowned at her, ill-ease flushing through her system. “What happened?”

Liz bit her lower lip, her eyes drifting to the toddler in Maria’s arms. “Hey Alba.”

Alba looked slightly worried herself, gazing astonished at her favorite aunt who didn’t look like she usually did. The unease floated over Alba and she turned and hid her face in Maria’s chest.

“Can I hold her?” Liz looked at Maria, her eyes begging.

“Is it the baby?” Maria asked, worried, while she handed Alba over to Liz’s arms without a second thought.

Alba continued to look at Liz cautiously, but the small smile on her aunt’s lips calmed her momentarily as Liz hugged her close to her body. As close as the bump over her midsection would allow.

“Do you need a ride to the hospital?” Maria asked, wondering why Liz was here if something was wrong with the baby.

“It’s not the baby,” Liz murmured, brushing a feathery kiss across the top of Alba’s blonde hair.

“Did something happen to Max?” Maria asked, barely restrained panic in her voice. Something was really wrong. Liz was acting very strangely.

Liz’s face fell and her lips and eyes pressed tightly together as she fought against another set of sobs. God, she hated being this hormonal. Pushing her face into the neck of Alba and breathing in her scent, Liz tried to calm herself down.

“No,” was her muffled reply. “He’s…happy.”

Maria frowned and fished the house keys out of her handbag. With a cautious look at Liz and her daughter, she unlocked the door and pushed it open. “Let’s go inside.”

Liz nodded and passed Maria into the apartment lit with the afternoon sun sifting through the large windows while Maria closed the door behind them and slowly unloaded Alba’s stuff in the hallway.

“I’m just gonna put Alba down,” Maria said and reached for her daughter. Alba was in desperate need for a nap and judging from Alba’s silence, Maria had a feeling that Alba was going to fall asleep instantly instead of the usual protests. Liz’s crying countenance had puzzled Alba too much to remember to be herself.

Liz nodded quietly and watched Alba and Maria disappear around the corner. Sniffling, she got to her feet and started walking around the house, looking at all the small photos of her brother, Maria and Alba in different places and events. Her fingers slowly traced the pictures displaying the familial bliss with broad smiles and contented looks, her sobs catching in her throat.

When Maria returned twenty minutes later she found Liz staring at a photo from last year. Alba was just a couple of days old, being held by Michael in the center of the picture. Maria was standing on his right, a bright smile on her face. Max was on Michael’s left, his arm tight around Liz’s waist, holding her to his side. As the camera had gone off, Max had leaned over and pressed a kiss to the side of Liz’s mouth. The photo had captured the teasing look in Max’s eyes and the surprise in Liz’s. But mostly, it had captured the complete adoration on Max’s face.

“I think he’s cheating on me,” Liz whispered when she heard Maria walk up behind her.

Out of all possible scenarios, Maria hadn’t even considered that one. Her frame froze as she stared at Liz with wide shocked eyes.

“What?” she croaked.

“I was trying to be strong and not give into my insecurities-“

“Liz, you can’t be serious,” Maria said slowly, staring at her friend as if she had gone 100% insane.

“But I guess all the signs were there,” Liz continued, still looking at the photo, avoiding Maria’s eyes because she knew that she would feel ridiculous if she looked at her sister-in-law.

“You think Max is cheating on you?” Maria repeated incredulously.

“He’s never home and-“

Her eyes still big as saucers, Maria sank down on the arm rest of the couch, her mouth hanging open. “Wait. You think Max is cheating on you?”

Liz sighed in frustration and turned to face Maria. Her voice was sharp as she snapped, “Yes! Is that so hard to believe?”

Ignoring Liz’s tone of voice, Maria deadpanned, “Yes. Actually.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Liz said. “He’s no angel.”

“Liz,” Maria said with a small smile in an attempt to transmit the ridicule of the situation, “Max loves you.”

“He also loves girls,” Liz murmured, the pain clenching her heart again.

Maria’s mouth fell open in disbelief for a second before she started laughing. Liz swallowed against the laughter and crushed her arms protectively across her middle. “This is not funny, Maria.”

“Oh my God, Lizzie,” Maria said, her laughter coming to an abrupt end. “You can’t be serious! Are you still holding onto his past?”

“He was a playboy,” Liz hissed through tight lips. “It’s in his nature.”

All humor gone from her face, Maria said harshly, “Oh for God’s sake! It was all a charade! He told you that himself!”

Straightening her spine, Liz’s face turned hard. “Just because he didn’t act on it, doesn’t mean he didn’t want to.”

Maria took a deep breath, rubbing her eyes tiredly as she mumbled incoherent strings of words under her breath. Looking up, she said, “Okay, exactly how did you figure that he’s apparently cheating on you?”

“I saw him,” Liz answered, her words giving Maria the second shock of the day.

“You-you what?” Maria spluttered, imagining Liz walking in on Max having sex with someone.

“I saw him talking to this girl-“

Frowning, Max held up her hand to quiet Liz. “Wait. You saw him talking to someone?”

Liz gave her a warning look. “Let me finish.”

“Fine,” Maria mumbled, already feeling relieved. If all Liz had seen was Max talking to someone, this couldn’t be much more than Liz’s imagination pulling away with her, could it?

“I saw him at the café, talking to this…gorgeous blonde girl. They were laughing. And he reached out to touch her hand-“

“Liz,” Maria said slowly, trying to find the right words to tell her friend that this might not be what it looked like.

“I know what you’re gonna say, Maria,” Liz said. “But you didn’t see them. I haven’t seen Max smile like that in…since before I got pregnant.”

“Max would never cheat on you,” Maria said.

Liz turned hurt large eyes on Maria. “How do you know?”

“Because I’ve seen with my own eyes how much he loves you,” Maria answered calmly. “And why would he put up with all that bullshit you were putting each other through before you got together if he didn’t love you?”

“Maybe he did love me,” Liz whispered. “But maybe he doesn’t anymore.”

Maria raised one eyebrow in disbelief. “Come on, Lizzie. You’re having a baby!”

“Exactly!” Liz snapped and walked over to stand in front of Maria, her arms out to her side. “Just look at me, Maria. How can he still love a cow like me?”

Maria sighed heavily. “Is this about you feeling unattractive?”

“No,” Liz whispered. “This is about him cheating on me because I’m unattractive.”

Maria closed her eyes and shook her head wearily. “I know what you’re feeling, believe me. But I’m pretty sure Max doesn’t see it like that. He loves you.”

Liz’s eyes filled with tears as her heart squeezed painfully in her chest. “Then why is he never home? Why is he out having coffee with beautiful blonde girls instead of being home with me? We haven’t made love in a week, Maria!”

Maria’s eyes widened in theatrical shock and she gasped, “You haven’t had sex in one week?!”

Maybe if the prospect of losing Max wasn’t looming at the periphery of her mind, Liz might’ve found that funny, but now she just turned her face away with silent tears running down her cheeks.

Maria sighed, inwardly scolding herself for her insensitivity – Michael was rubbing off on her – and stood up to put her arms around Liz’s waist, resting her chin on her friend’s shoulder.

“You know, you’re married now,” she said softly. “What is it they say; Marriage is the death sentence for your sex life.”

“That’s not funny,” Liz murmured.

“Have you talked to Max about it?” Maria asked.

Liz shook her head. “No, I saw them, turned and walked straight here.”

Maria rolled her eyes. Right. They were back to how Liz would run away from an uncomfortable situation.

“I wanted to walk up there,” Liz interjected when she saw Maria’s facial expression. “But I didn’t want to come off as the hormonal pregnant wife having a hissy fit.”

“So you walked to your friend’s house and had a hissy fit there instead?” Maria wondered while furrowing her eyebrows in amusement.

“I’m perfectly calm,” Liz said and emphasized this fact by taking a deep breath. Her trembling hands betrayed her though.

“Call him,” Maria said.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“He’s Max. He’s gonna laugh at me. Say I’m being silly and wave it off like another little thing.”

“If that’s what it is then-“

Liz bit her lips together, frustrated towards a breaking point that out of the two she seemed to be the only one to understand the seriousness of the situation. “I saw what I saw! He leaves a message that he’s gonna be late and for me not to wait up. I think that he’s out working and I see him having fun, meeting with some girl at a café!”

Maria shook her head in amazement. “God, you’re really jealous, aren’t you?”

“I’m not jealous!” Liz erupted.

“I can’t believe I’ve never seen this in you before,” Maria mused.

“If Max is cheating on me, don’t I have the right to at the least be jealous?!”

“Maybe it’s because Max was always the one acting out on the jealousy that I never noticed your behavior,” Maria continued as if Liz wasn’t even in the room.

Liz sighed exasperatedly and sank down in the armchair, squeezing her eyes tightly shut, trying to stop the tears from anew falling down her cheeks.

Maria quieted as she saw Liz resignation and bit her lip in sympathy for her best friend. “I’m sorry, Lizzie. I guess I just can’t see Max cheating on you. I don’t mean to act like I’m not on your side-“

“You should be on my side,” Liz grumbled and Maria had to smile at the recognizable stubbornness.

“I’m just trying to make you see Max’s side. It’s probably not the way it seems.”

“She was so pretty,” Liz said quietly, large tears rolling silently down her cheeks. “So pretty.”

Maria sighed. “You’re pretty, Lizzie.”

“I’m a cow,” Liz murmured. “I hate it. I hate not being able to walk five feet before I need to catch my breath. I hate not being able to tie my own shoes. I hate not being able to make love to my husband properly.” Her sobs increased as she exclaimed frustrated. “I can’t even see my toes anymore!”

Maria looked at her best friend, pressing her lips tightly together, and really tried, really really tried, not to laugh. But the repressed laughter exploded across her lips and Liz opened her closed eyes in offense. It only took Liz a second before a smile started to spread across her lips.

Picking up a pillow, she threw it at Maria, screaming, “Maria!” while she started laughing herself.

“You’re pretty pathetic, you know that?” Maria gasped between giggles, wiping the tears from the corners of her eyes.

“Stop making fun of me!” Liz cried, even as laughter was shaking her body.

“Okay, okay,” Maria said and willed herself to calm down through deep breaths. Reaching across the couch she grabbed the phone.

“What are you doing?” Liz asked suspiciously as Maria speed-dialed Max’s cell phone number.

“Either you are going to talk to him, or I will,” Maria announced.

“I don’t want to talk to him,” Liz said, folding her arms stubbornly around her waist.

“Fine,” Maria said, “I’ll talk to him.”

Liz grimaced as Maria put the phone to her ear, not sure if it was better or worse to have Maria doing the talking.

“Max, hey. It’s Maria. Yeah, yeah. I’m good. How’s life on your side? Aha…Okay…Yeah, yep. That’s understandable. Yeah. Well, actually… I have Liz here with me.”

Liz sank further down in the couch as Maria gave her a pointed look when Max said something on the other end.

“She’s…well, not really okay…. Calm down, Max. The baby’s fine.” Maria looked at Liz and mouthed ‘Talk to him’, to which Liz fervently shook her head.

“But she’s a bit upset,” Maria continued. “I think you should talk to her about it.” Maria grew quiet as she listened to Max on the other end, before she said, “Problem is she doesn’t want to talk to you.”

Not being able to stand the pointed looks anymore, Liz stood from her seated position and walked into the bathroom. Closing the door behind her, a new wave of low self-esteem crashed over her as she saw her own pale face staring back at her in the mirror. Her eyes were large and red and her face seemed puffy in places it shouldn’t be puffy.

“Oh God,” she murmured, new tears falling down her cheeks as she bent over the sink.

She hated feeling like a martyr. She hated being this pathetic, but the evidence was literally staring her straight in the face on this one.

There was a knock on the door and Maria’s muffled voice drifted across. “You okay?”

Liz tightened and relaxed her fists along the sides of her body, before she straightened up and opened the bathroom door. “What did he say?”

Maria looked at her concerned and answered, “He’s coming over.”

Liz felt her heart skip a beat. “He’s what?”

“I told him that you were upset about something and that I thought you should tell him yourself what it was and he just said that he was coming over and hung up.”

“Right,” Liz sighed while her thoughts were running through what this meant. If Max was able to leave whatever he wasn’t able to leave before, it more firmly supported that he might be unfaithful. If he had to work, he wouldn’t be able to just leave. Would he?

There was a loud knock on the door, causing both Maria and Liz to jump.

Maria frowned. “That can’t be him already.”

Liz’s frown matched her friend as they together walked towards the front door.

Maria barely had time to get the front door open before Max had pushed himself through. His worried flickering gaze fell on Liz and he rushed forward, cradling her face between his hands.

“Are you okay?” he asked breathlessly, his eyes moving quickly across her face to check for any clues as to what might be wrong.

His soft words and his worried eyes instantaneously fired the guilt inside of her and she suddenly felt herself teetering on the edge of apologizing and collapsing into his warm arms.

“No,” she mumbled and pushed out of his arms. “Don’t do that.”

Max looked at her confused, his arms falling helplessly and limply down along the sides of his body. “Don’t do what?”

“Don’t confuse me with your words,” Liz said, her voice trembling with anger and hurt.

Eyebrows furrowed, Max took a step forward and his body tensed as she took a responding step backwards. “What’s wrong, Liz?”

“I saw you,” Liz whispered and bit her bottom lip hard to prevent herself from shedding the tears that were threatening at the rim of her eyes.

“Saw me?” Max asked, looking at her like she was out of her mind.

Liz’s hands moved down her abdomen, as if unconsciously protecting the life inside of her from whatever Max might say. “All those nights you’ve been away…where were you, Max?”

“Parker, what’s this about?” Max asked, taking another step towards her.

“Don’t come any closer!” she snapped as she felt the bookshelf press into her back. If he came any closer she wouldn’t be able to think clearly. He would confuse her with his words and manipulate the truth. Like he had done when they were younger.

“You know where I am,” Max said, his voice harder. “Either I’m working or I’m in class.”

“I saw you,” Liz sniffled, brushing a tear off her cheek with the back of her hand. “What’s her name, Max? How long have you been with her?”

“Wh-?” Max looked at her completely confused. “What are you talking about?”

“You could’ve just told me,” Liz sobbed brokenly. “You could’ve just told me that you didn’t love me anymore and I could’ve moved on. Instead you have to break-“

Anger flashed across Max’s face and he was suddenly very close to her, his hands gripping her tightly by the shoulders. “Liz! You’re not making any sense. I love you.

“Don’t lie to me!” she cried and pushed his hands away, but he grabbed a hold of her hand and pulled her back against his body.

“No, Liz. You’re not running away until you tell me what you’re going on about.”

“Do you think I’m stupid?” I should’ve known from the start that I could never hold down a guy like you. “You don’t want to have sex with me anymore,” I look horrible “and you’re not ready for a family yet.” I don’t want to lose you. I love you so much. I can’t lose you. Please don’t leave me.

He stared at her, his mouth drawn into a tight line while his breathing was deep and barely controlled. “Are you ever going to see past my history? Are you ever going to forgive me?”

“This isn’t about that,” she cried desperately. “This is about you having sex with someone else. About you cheating on me!”

His mouth opened to say something but closed again without a sound, his jaw tightening. “You saw something, did you?” he asked calmly. Much too calmly.

“I saw you with this pretty girl. At the café. You were laughing together. I saw you there when you were supposed to be at home with me!”

“That was Tara,” Max said evenly. “She’s in my class.”

“And you would rather spend time with her than with me?” Liz stated sadly.

“You’re being irrational,” Max said.

“What does she mean to you?” Liz asked, looking up at him with rejected eyes that had a fire of protectiveness shoot through Max’s heart.

He could tell her that she should trust him. That she was the one with the problem and that he shouldn’t have to explain himself to her. But he knew Liz. Had known her for most of his life. And he knew that if he went down that road he could lose her forever.

That was not an option.

“I’ve spoken to her twice before,” Max said. “We have a group assignment. 40% of the final grade. She’s in my group. We were waiting for the third member to show up when I noticed that she was wearing a very nice ring. She told me that her boyfriend had just proposed to her the weekend before. That was probably what you saw, because just after that Tom arrived and we started discussing the project. That was what we were doing when Maria called me and told me that you were at her place and that something had happened.”

Swallowing deeply, Liz dropped her eyes.

“She scared me half to death, Liz. You scared me half to death. I thought something had happened to the baby. I thought something had happened to you. And this was it?” He held his arms out in resigned confusion. “This is what made you so upset? Why didn’t you come up and talk to me when you saw me? I would’ve introduced you to Tara. You would’ve seen that she wasn’t a threat-“

“Did you even look at her, Max?” Liz whispered, feeling slightly guilty about what seemed to be the truth, but still being bothered by her feelings of abandonment. “She’s gorgeous.”

Max shook his head slowly. “I don’t see anyone else but you.”

Liz sniffled and laughed humorlessly. “What a line.”

Max put his palm against the side of her neck to look her closely in the eyes. “It’s not a line, kitten. I’m completely and utterly in love with you. You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. Everything else is bleak in comparison. I miss you every single hour I’m away from you – and the baby.” His eyes drifted to her pregnant shape and she trembled with the hope his words ignited in her. “I’m doing this for us. For our family. I don’t want to be away from you.”

She felt stupid.

Her bottom lip trembled as she whispered, “You don’t think I look like a cow?”

He knew better than to laugh at her, but a smile still pulled at the corners of his mouth as brushed the tears away from her cheek. “You’re gorgeous.”

“Then why won’t you touch me?” Liz mumbled, her eyes large and hurt as she looked up at him.

His eyes shifted with frustration as he tried to understand the train of her thoughts. “I don’t touch you?”

“I miss you,” Liz whispered. “We haven’t made love in a week.”

“8 days, 7 hours,” Max corrected and Liz face snapped up at him as her mouth fell open in shocked surprise.

“Max, I-“ she stuttered, not sure anymore what to say.

Max’s hands against her cheek silenced her. “You’re exhausted, baby. Every night when I come home you’re already asleep or barely coherent.”

“Wake me up,” Liz said quietly.

He smiled at her crookedly. “You want me to wake you up to have my way with you?”

“Yes,” she whispered, almost fervently. “I need you. I barely see you anymore. I see you for like five seconds in the morning and a couple of seconds during night if I wake up to find you next to me.”

Max leaned his forehead against hers, looking deep into her eyes. “I love you.”

Her voice hitched on a restrained sob. “And I love you.”

“I solemnly swear to from now on to make you as sleep deprived as possible through uncountable sexual activities,” Max murmured, completely serious.

Liz felt a rush of desire flush her from top to toe and she smiled weakly, “Uhm…okay.”

“But on one condition,” Max said softly, his breath caressing her face. He continued before she had time to answer, “Could you please try to restrict these hormonal mood swings to a minimum?”

The warm feeling was gone and Liz narrowed her eyes at him, which had him laughing softly and pulling her in for a deep kiss which effectively cut off what she was about to say.

Max loved seeing his wife pregnant, but he still couldn’t help but look forward to when she would leave that hormonal battlefield behind her.

Pulling back, he searched her eyes. “Are we okay?”

Looking at him sadly, she whispered, “I’m just alone.”

He brushed at a strand of hair whisking against her cheek. “Kitten, I-“

“I’m sorry,” she interrupted. “I’m sorry for not trusting you, for jumping to conclusions. I’m just… so afraid that you will…leave.”

She closed her eyes at this, knowing how much it frustrated him that she still didn’t believe he would stick around.

“Let’s go home,” he whispered.

She cautiously opened her eyes and peered at him. Noticing the tense line of his jaw she knew that she was in trouble. “Maybe you should go back. You have that group assign-“

His hand found hers and he grabbed it tightly. “No.” There was a resolution in his voice that she didn’t dare to argue with. “You’re coming home with me and I’m gonna do whatever it takes to make you understand that I’m not leaving you.”

“Wh-whatever it takes?” she stuttered.

Her breath hitched in her throat as he leaned in close, his breath caressing her face as he whispered hotly, “Whatever it takes.”

A tremble of desire ripped through her and blackness flashed across his eyes as he saw that he was getting the message through.

Maria’s voice broke through the thick sexual tension. “Are you okay?”

Without looking at her, his eyes holding onto Liz’s tightly, Max answered, “We’re fine. Thanks, Maria.”

Taking a step back, he pulled at Liz’s hand. “We’re gonna leave now.”

Maria looked suspiciously between the couple. How Liz was staring almost transfixed at Max and how he was possessively wrapped his arm around her waist to mould her shape against his side.

“Are you sure?” she wondered, a small smile creeping into her voice. Liz was so gonna get laid. Maria was sure of it.

“Yeah, thank you, Maria,” Liz said, her voice monotone and dazed as she stumbled along Max towards the front door.

“Okay,” Maria said more cheerfully now. “Have fun!”

Max stopped with his hand on the door handle and momentarily looked away from Liz to meet Maria’s eyes. “Oh, we will.”

Maria rolled her eyes and closed the door behind them.

“Those two are crazy,” she mumbled under her breath.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 37 September 20th p. 11

Postby max and liz believer » Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:11 am

I'm baaack

and still not really up to date with writing on this story, but somehow I still managed to produce another chapter for you guys.

I'm currently on zoo rotation and I got to feed rhinos and elephants on Friday. I've also dissected several birds, a frog (it was tiiiny) and a snake (their organs are really elongated!) amongst bandaging broken bird wings and darting. Yes, we got to play with dart rifles today. That was really cool.

But I digress...

Ashley
Alison
booboo
bella_svetlana
carolina_moon
Natalie36
Aurorabee
Alien_Friend
behrluv32
behr_able
dreamerbabylioness
destinyc
roswell3053
Ronnie
Emma
Eve
Christina
Laira
yayaliens
pookie76
roswell4life
cocogurl
nitpick23
Sara
keepsmiling7
paper
Kris
Nikki04
guel


and

Elizabeth - And I guess people just have to learn a new word, because I couldn't find a good replacement word - I think you know where I mean :wink:

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!

Updated Timeline

38. Where I Stood

Kyle Valenti’s Residence
(2007) Max is 22, Liz is 21

One week before Betrayed


I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none



Liz sighed deeply as she put tired arms around Sean’s neck and leaned her cheek against his chest.

“You okay?” Sean’s voice drifted across her ear.

“So tired,” she mumbled, but her feet kept moving to the music. The throbbing, tinnitus-inducing music that served to mentally numb her rather than make her want to party.

She’d had three exams over the past week and two major assignments due. She was horribly sleep-deprived, having barely gotten more than a total of seven hours of sleep the last four nights.

But instead of crawling into bed when she had come home after her last exam earlier that day, she had been assaulted by the strongest urge to get out of the house. She’d looked at her room and she’d felt nauseous. She’d had the desperate need to get out of the place that had served as her prison the last couple of weeks.

And Kyle Valenti had conveniently thrown a party on the night of her last exam.

Now she was dangerously close to falling asleep on the living room floor that was serving as dance floor. Sean’s arms were probably the only thing preventing her body from crashing to the floor.

Sean kissed her temple. “You wanna go home?”

Liz shook her head. From the way his wandering hands were groping her, she had a fair idea of what Sean wanted to do if they went home.

And she really wasn’t up to that in her current comatose state of mind.

Even if that hadn’t been the case, she wasn’t prepared to go home yet. Max had been spending too much time at their apartment recently and she needed to get away from his penetrating glances that had guilt building in her throat, threatening to suffocate her.

More than once had she wondered why he kept coming by; was he really that intent on making her feel horrible?

Which only served to anger her even more. He had no right to make her feel guilty about the situation. That night was a mistake and they both knew it. He had no right to act like an injured puppy and try and fool her into thinking that the night had meant more to him than it should have done to the typical Max Evans.

“Are you still with me?” Sean asked, his fingers trailing under the lining of her low-riding jeans.

She nodded against his chest and opened her mouth to answer him but her words got stuck in her throat as she saw Max walk in through the door, his hand connected to the hand of a petite blonde.

Liz felt a shiver of jealousy run through her and could practically feel her face harden. As numbing sensations that could only be described as scolding pins and needles exploded in her breast, possibly as a result of her heart being grinded into miniscule pieces, her eyes tracked his arrival into the house. She watched what his hands did and didn’t touch on that blonde, her cheeks getting hotter with each whisper of his hand across the small of her back, against her bare arm or his fingers brushing through the hair that was so different from hers.

But even as the dark emotions clouded her vision, she didn’t fail to detect the invisible border between Max and the girl clearly indicating that they were still getting to know each other. Which wasn’t such a big surprise. With the amount of time Max had been spending at the apartment recently, he couldn’t have been involved in a relationship at the same time.

Then their eyes met and she watched him freeze. He was still as stone for about five seconds, before he cocked his head to the side and smirked at her.

Smirked.

Liz narrowed her eyes and automatically pressed herself closer against Sean’s body. She was vaguely aware of his fingers tracing the skin on the small of her back underneath her top as her eyes remained connected with Max’s. She watched his eyes darken and, while he could just as well have reached into her chest and painfully squeezed her heart, his arm folded around the girl’s waist and pulled her against his side.

His eyes still locked with Liz’s, he shaped his palm around the back of the blonde’s head and pulled her lips against his. His eyes never left Liz’s as his lips caressed the surprised but very willing girl’s lips.

Liz tried to swallow the scolding heat in her throat and clawing for a solution she rose on the tip of her toes and pressed her lips hard against Sean’s. She could tell that he was startled by her action, by the ferocity and the unrecognizable heat in a kiss that was reserved for someone else, but she was overcome with the desperate need to compete and win in whatever game Max had just started.

“Liz,” Sean panted as she pulled away, but frowned as her eyes failed to meet his. Following the direction of her gaze, his hold tightened possessively around her waist as he saw Max making out with some blonde at the other end of the room.

“What is he doing here?” Sean growled.

As his hold on her bordered on painful she looked up at her boyfriend. “What?”

Sean hitched his face into Max’s direction and spit out, “Max Evans.”

Feigning surprise, she returned her eyes to Max and felt the nausea rise in her throat as she watched Max guide the girl onto the dance floor, his hands wandering idly over her body.

Liz shrugged. “I have no idea.”

“Really?” Sean bit out, which had Liz looking at him in confusion.

“What?”

“You were looking at him,” Sean said, his eyes pitch dark with jealousy.

Liz felt fresh anger tumble with the anger created by Max’s presence and she forcibly pulled out of her boyfriend’s hold. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Why are you so fucking interested in his comings and goings?” Sean growled.

Liz’s mouth fell open in muted shock. “I’m interested in his comings and goings? Who’s the one that is getting his knickers in a twist about him being here right now?”

Sean snorted. “You think you’ve got me fooled, don’t you? You think I don’t see what’s going on?”

When she didn’t reply, he took a hold of her upper arms and shook her small frame hard. “Huh?

Get your hands off me!” Liz screamed, causing the dancing couples closest to them to stop their dancing and stare at them with curious eyes. Not having the energy or desire to argue this out with him in the middle of an overcrowded dance floor, Liz spun on her heels and squeezed herself through the throngs of people.

Pushing herself past one couple in the throws of heavy tongue-dueling and another couple in a heated discussion about the relevance of Sigmund Freud’s theories, she stumbled into the kitchen.

She ripped open the door to the refrigerator and, as her hand closed around the neck of a beer bottle, his voice made her freeze. “Parker. Fancy meeting you here.”

She took a deep breath to compose herself before she forcibly slammed the fridge door closed and slowly turned to face him. Her intentionally calming breath got stuck in her throat at the sight of him only inches away from her face.

He watched the color rise on her cheeks and a slow knowing grin spread across his lips. With years of practice, she quickly masked her emotions and said coldly, “Didn’t your parents ever tell you about the concept of personal space?”

His grin still present, he just looked at her for another couple of seconds in silence, while her lips tightened along with the rest of her body. His body moved in what she thought would be a movement away from her, but she inhaled sharply as he stepped even closer to her, his face just a breath away from hers.

“Wh-what are you doing?” she asked breathlessly.

His gaze slowly raked down her face, making her tremble. She could feel the heat from his body and she had stopped breathing a long time ago out of fear that that action alone would make her body brush against his.

She watched him slowly lick his lips, his eyes focusing on her lips, and her legs started to feel weak with the hope that he might kiss her. She wanted him to kiss her. She felt like she would die if he didn’t. But at the same time her eyes were begging him not to. She had been fighting so hard to push him away. He couldn’t do this. Ruin it all in one second.

One delicious second.

“Don’t flatter yourself,” Max whispered as he saw her eyes travel to his mouth and she gasped as the inside of his elbow brushed against the side of her breast when his arm snaked around her body.

Air flowed into her airways again as she heard the refrigerator door open behind her.

Right. Beer, she thought as he finally stepped away from her, beer bottle in hand.

Taking a swig of his beer, Max leaned against the counter and looked at her with something indescribable in his eyes. “So, I thought you would be in bed by now.”

“I thought you were going to watch Star Wars with Mike tonight,” she said with an edge to her voice, shrugged and added with a sweet smile. “I guess we were both wrong.”

“Edgy tonight, are we?” Max asked, but his tone didn’t hold the same amused quality like it by convention should’ve.

Ignoring his comment, Liz clipped, “What are you doing here anyway?”

“It’s a free country.”

“I thought you hated Kyle.”

“Music. Free booze. What’s there to hate?”

“Didn’t you have that big fight in high school? Over some girl? You almost killed each other.”

Come to think of it, she had never really figured out which girl Max had almost put himself in the hospital for.

“That’s old.”

Changing the topic, she tried to be casual as she asked, “Who’s the girl?”

He raised an eyebrow and smirked. “So you noticed, huh?”

“The tonsil examination? I was trying to not choke on my own bile.”

He put his head to the side and regarded her calmly. “Jealous?”

She huffed, her voice sarcastic as she bit out, “Extremely.”

“Just say the word, Parker, and I’m yours.”

His voice was casual, but his words so loaded that she shivered with the desire pushing through her.

She swallowed, her voice not as strong as she wanted it to be as she said, “Funny.”

“Max?”

They both registered the voice, but neither acknowledged the owner of it as they continued to stare at each other in something that could only be defined as a challenge.

It was not until the girl came up and put her hand on Max’s arm that they both turned to look at the interrupter.

As soon as they broke eye-contact the mood changed. Max smiled brightly and put his arm around the girl, pulling her into his side.

Hitching his chin into Liz’s direction he introduced, “Tiffany – Liz. Liz – Tiffany.”

Tiffany gave Liz a suspicious glance as her lips curled in a slow smile. “Hey.”

Liz forced herself to smile. “Hey.”

“So…you guys know each other?” Tiffany asked, picking up on the tension between the Liz and Max.

“Yeah,” Liz murmured, trying to stop her eyes from tracking back to where Max’s fingers were caressing the exposed skin of Tiffany’s waist.

“You’ve met Mike, right?” Max said and Tiffany nodded in recognition. “Liz is Mike’s sister.”

Tiffany’s face shone up as if that piece of information immediately placed Liz in a non-threatening category. “Oh, did you guys grow up together or something?”

Liz dark eyes met Max’s grinning ones as he answered, “Something like that,” his tone dripping with underlying messages that went utterly unnoticed by Tiffany.

“Are there any more of those?” Tiffany inclined towards the beer bottle in Liz’s hand.

Liz felt like she couldn’t breathe. Watching Max and Tiffany interact in combination with Max’s not so subtle caresses made her feel like she was suffocating.

“Sure,” Liz answered tightly and pulled the fridge door open behind her.

Handing the bottle over, she added quietly, “Excuse me.”

“Is she okay?” Liz heard Tiffany ask as she pushed through the dancing bodies, enveloping herself in the deafening music.

Out. Out. She needed to get out.

She pushed through the front door, stumbled over a couple that had taken to sitting down in the doorway to smoke marijuana, and took a deep breath of the black night air.

Fifteen minutes of sitting on the stairs, someone sat down next to her. She looked over to see Sean.

“Hey,” he said, his expression guarded, awaiting her reaction.

She was surprised to see him. She thought he had gone home. “Hey.”

“I’m sorry,” he said quietly. “I didn’t mean to yell at you.”

She dropped her head, avoiding his eyes. “That’s okay.”

“I guess I just…” he shook his head as if the action would jumble his thoughts into the correct order. “It’s just Max Evans, you know. I don’t like the way he is around you.”

“I know,” she mumbled.

“Doesn’t it bother you?” he asked.

Squinting her eyes in confusion, she looked over at him. “What do you mean?”

“You know, how he always stares at you.”

She laughed, the laughter sounding mildly fake even to her own ears. “He doesn’t stare at me. Where do you get off thinking that?”

She could feel his hard stare at the side of her head as he formulated his next sentence. “Why don’t you just tell him to fuck off?”

Liz sighed. “He doesn’t bother me, Sean.”

“He upsets you.”

“Why do you think that?”

“Because you act differently when he’s around.”

“Since when are you so perceptive?”

“Do you even like me?”

Liz head snapped into his direction, her mouth falling open. “What?”

Sean looked slightly nauseous. “Sometimes it feels like you hate me.”

“What?” Liz repeated, because she couldn’t get her mind to grab onto any other words.

“Most of the time when we hang out, we watch movies or I watch you study or something-“

“Please, Sean,” Liz said, her tone hinting that he was being ridiculous.

“And it’s kinda like I have to force you to have sex with me.”

She laughed, partly as an instinctive response, partly to cover up the truth in his words. “Of course I like you, Sean.”

“But you don’t love me.”

“I-I…” she stuttered.

“Don’t hurt yourself,” he said darkly.

Liz shot to her feet, pushing her hands through her hair. “Fuck Sean. Come on. You know how tired I am! Do you have to have a conversation like this with me when I’m dead on my feet at two in the morning?”

He looked up at her for a second, unaware of the silent pleading in her mind for him to leave it alone.

“Fine,” he sighed and slowly rose to his feet. “Let’s dance. Or are you too tired-“

“Let’s dance,” Liz interrupted, grabbing his hand and smiling at him as thanks for dropping the subject.

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


Two hours later

After going through a major brain dead phase one hour earlier, Liz was running on pure sugar from the numerous amounts of sodas she had consumed. After realizing that the beer had been making her even more tired, she had quickly steered away from them in favor to Coke and Red Bull. The party was picking up and after their fight, she and Sean had been having a lot of fun.

She had seen Max around, dancing with his blonde, drinking beers, but she had made an effort to erase him from her peripheral field of vision.

All in all, it was looking up.

But all that soda meant frequent visits to the bathroom. Reapplying the peach lip gloss in front of the mirror after her seventh trip to the bathroom, she tried to ignore the obvious dark circles under her eyes. She wasn’t ready to go home yet. She wanted to party herself to exhaustion and then sleep through the weekend.

That was her plan.

Pushing through the bathroom door, her attention was on operating the zipper to her hand bag to put her lip gloss back as she walked down the hallway. Not seeing where she was going, her walk was halted by a body.

“Sorry,” she mumbled, glancing up from her bag, only to stare straight into familiar honey-colored eyes.

“Parker,” he stated, his eyes dark but unfocused.

“Evans,” she retorted in the same tone of voice.

“Where’re you going?” he asked, his facial expression hard.

She frowned. “Not like it’s any of your business, but downstairs.”

“Where’s your boyfriend?”

“Where’s your girlfriend?”

“Around here somewhere.”

“You lost her already?”

“She’s free to go where she wants. I’m surprised Le Boyfriend let you out of his sight.”

She straightened and asked annoyed, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Max shrugged. “He seems to think that he owns you, that’s all.”

“He’s looking after me,” Liz replied.

“You think that’s caring?” he asked incredulously.

“At least he sticks around.”

Max’s expression darkened. “And I don’t? Is that what you’re trying to say?”

“I was talking about Sean.”

Max took a step closer, ignoring her previous comment, “I’ve been trying to stick around, but it’s fucking difficult when you keep slipping away.”

Smelling the alcohol on his breath, she took a step back to get out of his stormy face. Her heart was pounding hard against her ribcage. “You’re drunk.”

“So?”

“I don’t want to talk to you when you’re drunk.”

“Oh,” he snorted. “As opposed to all the times you do want to talk to me?”

“Fuck you,” she mumbled and tried to step past him.

His hand reached out and grabbed her upper arm causing her to whimper in pain. “Do you love him?”

“Max, let go,” she said between gritted teeth.

His hold tightened and she tried to pull away from him. “Do you?”

“Max, you’re hurting me.”

Her words cut through the alcoholic daze and he released his grip on her like he had been burnt. His voice softening some, he repeated, “Do you?”

“Leave me alone,” she said thickly.

“He’s gonna hurt you.”

She shook her head, a determined look on her face. “No, he’s not.”

“He doesn’t deserve you,” Max insisted.

“Well, thank God I have you to defend my honor then,” Liz announced sarcastically.

“I’m serious,” he said.

Turning to face him fully, she looked him straight in the eye as she said, “So am I. Leave. Me. Alone.”

With that she disappeared down the stairs, leaving Max staring after her.

“I can’t,” he mumbled quietly before taking another mouthful of his beer bottle.

TBC...

Text in the beginning from Missy Higgin’s “Where I stood”

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 38 September 29th p. 15

Postby max and liz believer » Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:11 pm

carolina_moon
Emma
Alison
Laira
keepsmiling7
sunrise102
Eve
yayaliens
Natalie36
behrluv32
Kris
Guel
sara
booboo
bettylove8
Alien_Friend
Destiny
Veronica
behr_able
Kay
roswell3053
cocogurl
pandas2001
RiceKrispy
scorpio6
roswellianprincess16
thetvgeneral
Ashley
Carrie


and

Elizabeth

You rock my world, pretties!

Updated Timeline


39. White Flag

The Dog Kennel
(2008) Max is 23, Liz is 22



“Where is she?”

Serena looked up from the computer screen and met Max’s worried eyes. “That was fast.”

“Serena,” Max said impatiently, “Please…”

Serena nodded and rose from her chair. “She’s in Dog Ward C.”

“Which is…?” Max implored and Serena smiled softly.

“Don’t worry. I’ll take you there.”

“What happened?” Max asked, wasting no time as they walked towards the dog wards.

“She left when her shift was over, as usual,” Serena answered, “And returned one hour later.”

“Did she say why?”

Serena shook her head. “I tried asking her, but she wouldn’t answer me. I’m not sure if she was upset or…”

“What?” Max asked, fear coursing through him, lacing his worry.

“She wasn’t crying,” Serena said, opening the main door to the wards. “She was just staring straight ahead. Didn’t say a word. I followed her into the wards and tried to get some information out of her. When I couldn’t, I decided to call you.”

“What’s she doing in the dog ward?” Max asked confused, his steps picking up in speed.

Serena put a hand on his arm and stopped him. “Max. Wait.”

Frustration was rolling off him in waves as he looked at Serena and he had to struggle not to snap at her. Concern for Liz was making him come loose at the seams. Keeping his voice level, he asked, “What is it, Serena?”

“There’s something really wrong. I haven’t known her for very long, but she’s never this quiet.”

Max took a deep breath and murmured, “I know.”

“What happened, Max? Did you get into another fight?”

Max looked at her and whispered, “I told her.”

“Told her wh…” her voice drowned in the realization of what he was saying, “You told her that you’re in love with her?”

Max nodded.

“And that’s why she’s upset? God, Max. How exactly did you break it to her?”

Max shook his head. “No… No, she was fine when I left her this morning.”

Serena’s eyes widened and she whispered sharply, “She spent the night?” Shaking her head warily, she added, “Max, that’s really not-“

Max stopped her before she could form any more preconceived ideas, “Nothing happened, Serena.”

She took a second to evaluate the truth in his eyes before taking a deep relieved breath. “Good. Good. So how did it go?”

“Really good actually. She…she took it really well. We talked all night.”

Serena’s face brightened with happiness for her friend. “That’s good, Max. That’s really good.”

“She left for work and we were fine then.”

“Okay,” Serena said, straightening while collecting her thoughts. “I guess you need to talk to her.”

Before Max could voice the obvious answer, Serena nodded to herself and pushed the door to Dog Ward C open.

It took Max some time to find her, because to be honest, he wasn’t really expecting to find her in one of the animal cages.

“She’s right in there,” Serena said softly and pointed to a 6 by 3 feet cage.

Max bent his head to look into the cage and found Liz curled up on her side, her face buried in the fur of a Golden Retriever.

She appeared asleep.

“I’ll leave you two alone,” Serena whispered and Max nodded his thanks.

Hunching down, Max pushed up the latch on the cage and opened the door. The dog moved, his tail starting to wag slightly.

“Quiet boy,” Max whispered in attempt to stop the dog from rushing up to greet him.

He reached out to softly brush her cheek with the back of his hand, feeling the dried tear tracks on her skin.

“Kitten,” he whispered.

“Go away, Max,” she answered without opening her eyes.

Max’s voice was low close to her ear. “No, I won’t.”

She sighed and curled her body further around the warm furry body of the Golden retriever, the movement causing the dog to turn around and give her a supporting lick across her cheek.

“No, Benny,” she murmured, but didn’t attempt to push him away.

“What happened?” Max asked, taking a seat on the concrete floor, straight in front of her face.

“Can we please not talk about it?” she murmured. “I just wanna stay here.”

He frowned. “Lizzie, you can’t stay here. You’re in a dog ward.”

She sniffled and squeezed her lips together, as if fighting off tears. “I’m with Benny. He doesn’t ask any questions.”

If circumstances had been different, he probably would’ve smiled at her grumpy statement, but he was too worried about her to find anything about this situation amusing.

“Is it Michael?”

She sighed deeply. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Knowing that he was on the right track, Max pressed, “What did he do?”

Her eyes sprung open and she looked at him irritated. “God Max, could you let it go already? I don’t want to talk about it.”

“You’re just gonna let it fester inside of you instead while you spend the night in an animal cage?” Max asked humorlessly.

“As a matter of fact; yes,” Liz answered stubbornly.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Max said. “What did he say?”

“That you were no good,” she answered, gathering handfuls of Benny’s fur as she tried to keep her voice steady.

“We kinda expected that,” Max said calmly. “Don’t listen to him. He’s upset right now-“

“I don’t like it when he yells at me, okay?” Liz snapped, squeezing her eyes shut in regret as she heard the angry tone of her voice. She really didn’t want to take it out on Max. She was just so frustrated right now.

“Sorry,” she murmured.

Max sighed. “Let’s go and talk to him.”

Her eyes snapped open and the word fumbled across her lips, “What?”

“This is stupid. If we’re gonna be together we have to talk to him about it. He’s acting like a baby-“

“I can kinda see why,” Liz interrupted.

“Yes,” Max agreed. “He’s angry with me. But he shouldn’t take it out on you.”

“I’m part of it.”

“It’s not your fault that I’m a…player.”

“But you’re not,” Liz objected. “Isn’t that what you told me last night?”

“He doesn’t know that. He knows just as much as you knew twenty-four hours ago.”

“It’s still too fresh, he won’t listen to you,” Liz protested stubbornly.

Max narrowed his eyes at her. “Why are you so against this?”

“Against what?” she sighed.

“About fixing this.”

“Can’t we just wait?”

“He already knows about it anyway. What good will waiting do? If anything, it will only make it worse.”

“He will have time to calm down and think about it.”

“Which has two possible outcomes; One, he’ll realize that he’s overreacting and will be fine with it. Or two, he’s gonna think that we have more to hide just because we’re not discussing it with him. And knowing Mike, I’m opting for number two.”

Liz squeezed her eyes shut again. “I don’t want to. Not right now.”

She was acting like a stubborn child that didn’t want to brush her teeth before going to bed, but the memory of how disappointed Michael had looked at her just an hour earlier when she had told him where she had spent the night was still burning freshly in her mind.

“Liz,” Max said quietly and gently separated the fingers of her right hand from Benny’s fur to grab her hand in his. “I’ll be right there with you.”

“Then you go,” Liz mumbled. “I’ve already talked to him.”

“I think it’s better if you’re there too,” Max said.

“So he won’t smash you in pieces?”

Max smiled sadly. “He might do that anyway… I think it’s better if he can see that we are serious and for that both of us need to be there. You can’t run away now, Liz. Do you want this?”

She frowned at his question and looked up at him. “Of course. I want to be with you, Max.”

“Then fight for it,” he answered, his eyes challenging the fighting streak in her.

“He said that I was confused,” Liz whispered. “That I didn’t know what love was, judging from my bad choice of boyfriends before.”

“Which is why we need to talk to him,” Max said.

Turning pleading eyes to him, she practically begged, “Can’t we just go back to your apartment and watch a movie or something?”

“And pretend like the outside world doesn’t exist?” Max added.

She nodded, almost eagerly, and he smiled softly. “Kitten, you have no idea how much I would love to do that right now, but I don’t want to lose Michael as a friend and I have a feeling I will if I don’t talk to him right now.”

She read the seriousness in his eyes and sighed heavily. “Fine.”

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


One hour later
The Apartment


Michael’s face turned murderous as his eyes landed on Max’s on the other side of the door. “Get the fuck away from here.”

Max looked at him with an exterior of calmness while feelings of disappointment raged inside of him. “We need to talk.”

Without removing his intimidating eyes from Max’s face, Michael addressed his baby sister. “If you want him to live, I suggest you tell him that it’s in his best interest to leave right now.” Michael tried his best to ignore how his sister was tightly holding onto Max’s hand and how the side of her body was leaning into him.

There was just something disturbing about Max Evans’ dirty fingers on Liz’s body.

He tried to ignore her pleading eyes which he could feel at the side of his face. “Please Michael.”

“Don’t do this to her, Mike,” Max said quietly.

Michael’s jaw tensed and Liz body tightened in fear at the sight. Desperation mixed with fear as her voice cut through the tension, aiming the full range of emotion at her stubborn brother. “Could you stop being such an asshole for a second?!”

“Just tell me one thing, Evans,” Michael spit out, venom dripping off every syllable as he ignored his sister. “What are you gonna do when you lose interest in her?”

Liz swallowed as Michael’s words struck a painful cord in her. Unconsciously, she took a step away from Max’s body. The tightening of his hand around hers stopped her.

“She means more to me than that,” Max responded, his facial expressions carefully controlled.

“Oh?” Michael raised an eyebrow. “Just like Tess?”

Max’s free hand clenched in a hard fist. “Tess has nothing to do with this.”

“I thought you loved Tess.”

Anger was slowly chipping away at Max’s carefully controlled features. “Why are you bringing Tess into this?”

“Because she’s the only girl you’ve been with for more than one hour,” Michael bit out. “Who you said you loved and then…wait, you broke up with her, didn’t you?”

“Don’t be an idiot, Mike,” Max warned darkly.

Michael’s face darkened and he took a step closer to Max, his slightly taller frame towering over his best friend. “I’m the idiot? You’re the one that thought you could be with my sister and I would just be okay with it. I’m sorry, but I think that makes you the idiot.”

“That person you keep insinuating about doesn’t exist anymore.”

Michael’s face darkened with feigned insight. “Oh… So when you decided to put your filthy fucking hands on Liz you were a changed man? When you had sex with her and then left her the day after-“

“I didn’t leave her,” Max snapped.

“-you were the perfect gentleman. And when you continued to make fun of her, make her look like an idiot and flaunt all your conquests in her face for four fucking years you were only looking out for her?”

“You’re twisting it, man, and you know it.”

“No, Max.” Michael took a deep breath, the only external testament of his anger was the way his hand tightened around the side of the opened door until his knuckles were white. “This is how I see it. You started fucking around as soon as you discovered the difference between girls and boys. You screw them and leave them not caring about if you might be breaking someone’s heart. All the while you lust after my sister, just because she’s the only one you can’t have. To punish her for not giving in to your fucking charms or whatever, you keep shoving all your victims down her throat, making her feel like crap.”

Max face gradually blanched as he listened to Michael’s monologue, realizing that his best friend might not have been as blind through all these years as he’d appeared to be. His heart rate broke out into a rhythm of bordering panic as Liz pulled her hand out of his and before he could stop her, she took two steps away from him, folding her arms tightly around her middle as her head dropped away from his worrying eyes.

Noticing the interaction between the newly-formed couple, Michael couldn’t prevent the triumphant edge from slipping into his voice. “When she finally gives in, you turn her first time into a one-night stand and when she tries to go on with her life you keep on tormenting her. Interfering with her relationship with that fuckwit Sean.”

“Michael, you’ve got it all-“

“And then all of the sudden, she forgives you. Excuse me if I find it hard to believe that you are suddenly a changed man just because she suddenly forgave you or something.”

Max was trying to ignore the huddle silhouette of Liz in the corner of his eyes, even as his hands were itching to pull her into his arms and let his lips soothe her fears away. Instead he leveled Mike with a dark look. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You think I haven’t witnessed your little cat and mouse game? You’re a fucking predator, Max. What pisses me off the most is that she probably felt like she didn’t have a choice but to give in to you.”

Max’s hands flew up to grab Michael’s shirt in the fraction of a second, slamming him up against the opened door, which gave away behind them until both the door and Michael was pushed up against the wall. “Shut the fuck up!

Michael grimaced as the edge of the door pressed painfully against his spine. “Getting a little bit too close to the truth for comfort, eh?”

“Tell me, Michael,” Max spit out, his face merely an inch from Michael’s, his head casting a dangerous shadow across Michael’s face. “If you knew how badly I treated her, why didn’t you ever stop it? Why didn’t you try to defend your little sister?”

Guilt flickered in Michael’s eyes before they narrowed in defense. “Because for some odd reason, I guess I was hoping you were just joking. I managed to fool myself into thinking that I was probably just overreacting and that my best friend would never do anything to hurt my little sister.”

“That’s your excuse?” Max whispered hotly.

Michael snapped his head closer to Max, his eyes flashing with anger as he clipped, “What’syour excuse?”

“Please stop,” Liz’s sobbing voice begged beside them, momentarily pulling both boys out of their cocoon of hatred and blame. “Could we please have a conversation without you killing each other?”

Max inhaled sharply at her voice, willed his hands to release their grip on Michael’s shirt and take a step back. His voice was softer as he said, “I’ve been in love with her ever since that time she went to the hospital.”

Michael paused as his mind made a mental inventory of the time when Liz had broken her ankle at the age of 12, his breathing still harsh in his lungs from trying to stop himself from beating Max into a bloody pulp.

“I never knew what to do about it,” Max continued, feeling Liz’s wide surprised eyes on the side of his face. “I mean, she was my best friend’s sister. She was annoying, always in my face, always a smartass and always ruining our games.”

The anger was slowly seeping out of Michael, like a slowly deflating balloon. He looked over at Liz. His little sister. The only good part of his family. He watched her eyes shimmer with restrained tears, her hands shake with emotions, her gaze fixed on Max’s bowed head as she listened intently to his every word. Michael swallowed as an undefined emotion clenched his heart painfully.

He saw it then.

He could read on his sister’s face everything she was feeling. Everything she didn’t want anyone else to see she was feeling. He could see the hurt, the hope, the love. All tangled up and aimed at his best friend. All these years Michael had focused his energy on Max. He had blamed Max for being mean to his sister. He had seen Max as the predator and Liz as the unwilling prey. He had been so mixed up in his belief that Max was the villain because of his playboy status that he had failed to recognize that his sister had played a big part in it.

Memories flooded through his mind, reminding him of events that had previously been black and white. He saw the pain in Liz’s eyes as he had forced her to watch a movie with him, Max and Tess. A pain he hadn’t noticed before. He now understood why Liz had exploded that night, why she had locked herself in her room and why she had looked like she had just had the night from hell when she walked out of her room the morning after.

He understood her facial expressions as she would glance over at Max while the three of them would be having yet another of their movie nights. Michael could now see the longing, beautifully and intrinsically tied up with pain, written all across her face as Max would turn to look at her.

Liz had been in on it the entire time. She had played her fair parts of predator as well as they continued to dance around each other and further break each other down.

“In the beginning I hated it. I hated feeling dependent on her. I hated zoning out staring at her, not being able to concentrate when she would touch my hand or even hit me.”

Liz blinked, afraid to breathe in case the act would somehow disrupt the image Max’s words made of a tortured, guilt-ridden, wounded animal curled up inside himself while his raw voice exposed himself to Michael in a desperate attempt to gain Michael’s acceptance.

It struck Liz like a blow to the stomach how much the friendship between her brother and Max really meant to Max. Why Max had been so intent on dragging her along here, to try and make things right. But in his voice, she could also hear the need to repair something that might’ve been broken between Michael and Liz. The fact that Max would go through all of this just to make sure that Liz wouldn’t lose her brother, instead of doing what Liz wanted to do – run away, made her heart overflow with emotions.

“So I tried to show off. But it kept on backfiring. It seemed like the more I tried to be cool in her eyes, the more she hated me.”

Michael looked over at his sister who was now smiling softly. Taking a mental breath, Michael decided to try and push his hurt ego and pride to the side and offered, “Who can blame her?”

Max looked up for the first time since letting go of Michael’s shirt, shocked surprise widened his eyes at the amusement in Michael’s voice, at the olive branch being stretched as a peace offering out across their differences.

Max swallowed deeply, making sure he had eye-contact with Michael before continuing. “I won’t deny that I’ve made some pretty fucked up life decisions.” Michael snorted at the understatement. “And I still don’t think I deserve your sister. I mean, if someone like me had started going out with her, I would’ve killed him.”

Michael covered a chuckle by clearing his throat. “I hear you.”

“But someone told me that I needed to stop torturing myself, owe up to my mistakes and tell Liz how I really feel.”

“Maria?” Michael wondered.

Max shook his head. “Actually, for once, no.”

Straightening, Michael glanced over at Liz’s pale face, met her cautious eyes, and sighed. “Just tell me one thing.”

“Anything,” Max whispered.

“Do you love her?”

There was not a hint of hesitation as Max smiled softly and answered what his smile had already answered for him, “Yes.”

“You’re not screwing with me? Because I swear to God I’ll fucking kill you.”

Max bit back a laugh at the turbulent emotions flickering across Michael’s face making him look comically intimidating. Now was really not the time to laugh. “I’ve loved her for most of my life, Mike. I’m not gonna stop now that I finally have her.”

Michael looked between his sister and his – still – best friend and sighed reluctantly. “I’m not very happy about how you’ve treated her in the past. I’m still not really sure how I feel about this whole situation.” In utter seriousness, he added, “I still feel like killing you, so I recommend you stay away from me for a couple of days. And if I see you touching my sister in any more-than-a-friend type of way I might just hit you with a shovel. You’ve been warned.”

“I won’t hurt her anymore, Michael,” Max said quietly, but conviction ringing loud and clear in his voice. “And I will wait until we leave the apartment before I kiss the daylights out of her.”

Michael’s eyes darkened as he mumbled grimly, “Too early, dude.”

Max grimaced. “Sorry.”

Liz looked at the two most important men in her life. “Are you serious? We’re okay?”

Michael nodded grudgingly, his halfhearted response causing Liz to walk up to him and throw tight arms around his neck. She kissed him on the cheek and pressed him close to her. Her whispered voice was full of gratitude. “Thank you.”

“I need time, sis,” Michael said, his body relaxing as Liz’s hug spread waves of love through him. “I’m still not too happy about this.”

“But you’re gonna let him live?” Liz whispered, managing to keep the smile out of her voice.

“For now,” Michael answered loud enough so that Max would hear him, sending Max a warning look over Liz’s shoulder, along with his warning words. “But if he hurts you, he better have reliable contacts in the Witness Protection Program, because I’m gonna hunt him down.”

Liz smiled against his shoulder. “Love you.”

Michael sighed, planting a kiss on the side of her head. “Love you too, sis.”

They all knew that everything was far from forgiven and forgotten. They were all painfully aware of the road ahead that needed to be treaded cautiously and the relationships that hung in weak balance.

But at least for now, truce had been made.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Ch 39 Oct 11th p. 19 + A/N p. 22+23

Postby max and liz believer » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:54 am

Hi guys

Again, thank you so much for nominating and voting for me in the Fanfiction Awards *muah*

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Elizabeth - for your incredibly quick editing

Thank you so so much for the feedback!!

Updated Timeline


40. A Beautiful Mess

Kyle Valenti’s Residence
Max is 18, Liz is 17 (2003)



“Oh fuck.”

Michael’s subdued curse had Liz snap her head up from her preoccupation with the label on the beer bottle. This party truly and utterly sucked. She was so bored out of her mind that she was seriously considering chewing her arm off just so that she would have something to do.

What she witnessed as she brought herself out of her zoned out state sent shivers down her spine, making her knees week. Her hand tightened around the beer bottle as she sucked in a cold breath, trying to remain on her feet.

Someone was being dragged along the floor; his legs stumbling along weakly as he was held up by the supporting arms and bodies of two jocks. She could only see the top of the head of the debilitated person, but it was impossible for her not to recognize him instantaneously.

Frozen in cold panic, she watched Michael rush up to his best friend, take over the position of one of the jocks as a supporting pillar, sling one strong arm around the weak person’s shoulders and press the other into the chest to prevent the person from losing his fight with gravity and tip forward.

Michael’s grumble was loud and fearful, like a threatened dog. “What the hell happened?”

Feeling the dead weight of his friend slouching against his body, the only thing keeping Michael calm at that moment was the raspy sound of his friend’s breaths echoing in his ears.

Liz remained frozen as Michael guided the prone body to the nearby couch, wordlessly watching the scene unfold as panic whispered and trickled through her like an insidious gas.

She flinched at Michael’s sharp curse as the position on the couch revealed Max’s beaten up face to him. But she was relying on her hearing at that point, the curious party guests having formed an impermeable circle around Max; efficiently keeping Liz firmly on the outside.

The air burned the inside of her throat as she pulled harsh breaths into her lungs. The harder she breathed the less air she seemed to be getting. Her fingers tightened convulsively around the beer bottle as the world started to swim in front of her.

“Lizzie!”

The tilting world snapped back onto its correct axis and she inhaled shakily albeit deeply.

Her fingers were stiff and her knuckles white as she, with great conscious effort, removed them from their desperate hold on the bottle.

She was barely aware of pushing herself through the rows of people. Suddenly she was at Michael’s side, staring down into Max’s face.

The subsequent planned breath died on her lips as she felt the floor beneath her feet go unsteady.

“She’s here, Max.”

Michael’s statement brought the world back into sharp clarity and she flicked her eyes into the direction of her brother for the split of a second, confusion settling across her features. Max’s voice snapped her head back towards her life-long enemy’s face.

“Parker?”

He was looking at her through narrow eyes, one already closing up as a result of a hard blow to the side of the face, another partly covered in caked blood from a wound on his forehead.

“You look like you’ve been to war,” she breathed, confusion marring her voice as soon as the words started to leave her mouth. She frowned. That was the first thing she said when a beaten up, barely conscious person tried talking to her?

She shook her head silently to herself; not only as a result of her weird mind processes but mostly in attempt to shake up her muffled emotions and thoughts.

She felt stagnant. Couldn’t think. Couldn’t act. The blood was rushing loudly in her ears and she had yet to look at anywhere except his eyes. She couldn’t make herself pull her eyes from his. Because she wasn’t sure she could handle seeing the full extent of what had happened to him.

“You can say that,” Max mumbled, an attempted smile gracing his lips before a grimace of pain quickly took its place.

The flash of anger was sudden, exploding throughout every crevice of her body, ignited by the casual smile that had barely touched his face.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she erupted, causing an abrupt halt to the discussions held by the closest standing people. Slowly inching closer, an excited thrill moved through the crowd. This could be good.

Max opened his better eye and slowly licked his swollen lip. “There’s nothing-“

Her fists curled into tight balls along her sides as her dark eyes dared him to act ignorant. “Is this another one of your damn pissing contest?! A fight about whose dick is the biggest? Huh?”

If his face hadn’t been hurting so badly, he would’ve raised an eyebrow in amusement at her irritation. “Kitten. Calm down.”

“Don’t tell me to fucking calm down!”

Michael stared at his baby sister. “Take it down a notch, Lizzie.”

Liz didn’t even hear him. Her complete attention was on Max. “How does it feel, Evans? Does it make you feel manly?”

He tried, fruitlessly, to roll his eyes. “Chill, Li-“

“Because that’s why you did it, isn’t it? You tried to get yourself killed? Over what? What is so fucking important for you to get your head bashed in?”

His smile came out crooked. “You should see the other guy.”

She felt like screaming. Really screaming. A loud scream aimed at his thick caveman skull. “This isn’t funny, Max!! Do you have any idea what you look like?”

“Believe me, I can feel it.”

“I hope you can.”

“I didn’t ask for you to come over so you would have a fit.”

Her mouth slammed shut and she swallowed her next words as the meaning of his reached her ears. Her eyes widened in disbelief, glittering with unshed tears of fear. “Oh…so why did you bring me over here, huh?” Her hand was shaking as she brushed a frustrated tear off her cheek. “You wanted me to congratulate you for being the biggest idiot in the univer-“

“Okay, that’s enough,” Max interrupted and sat up in the couch. All signs of smiling, of teasing, had evaporated from his face.

“Stay down, Evans,” Michael said, only to once again be ignored.

“You think you’re so fucking perfect?” Max demanded.

Defensiveness squared her shoulders. “I don’t go around punching people just to prove a point.”

His voice was hard, mimicking the defensive tone in hers. “Neither do I!”

“Your face says differently,” she said, aiming for smug but falling short at the expense of the shock of his condition still running through her.

“Why do you instantly think that it’s myfault? How about exploring the facts before you go around accusing people?”

“Come on,” she sighed, her eyes burning hotly. “It’s you. Of course it’s your fault.”

She barely got the last word out before his hand wrapped tightly around her wrist. A whisper of anticipation rushed through the audience. Everyone at the party knew that Max, Michael and Liz spent a lot of time together. But the details of their little group had always remained fuzzy. To have the opportunity to witness a part of that relationship live was, in the eyes of the observers, fun. But then again, at a party where Danielle’s story about how she ran over her own cat was the highlight, not much was needed to spark the interest of the guests.

Unaware of the show they were putting on, Max brought Liz stumbling forwards with a hard tug of his hand. His breath was hot against her face and she swallowed deeply at the sight of the blood on his face.

“Do you want to know what happened?”

Liz stubbornly bit her lips tightly together, ignoring his feverish question. Tried to ignore the way his eyes were boring into hers, making her heart stumble in her chest. There was a sudden danger around him, an aura that made a blush rise on her cheeks, and her legs, for the third time that night, turn unsteady.

“Why did you ask for me?”

Annoyance screamed at her in his eyes as she obstinately refused to let him tell her what had happened. But he was pretty good at ignoring her as well. “I was minding my own business when Kyle-“

“Let her go, Evans,” Michael interrupted, his hands strong on top of the hand that was firmly wrapped around Liz’s small wrist.

Max’s hand flung out, pushing a surprised Michael a step back and automatically releasing his hold on Liz. “Let me fucking talk, Mike!”

Darkness simmered in Michael’s eyes as he watched Max return his attention to his sister. Before Max even had the chance to consider what his next word to Liz was going to be, Michael had grabbed Max’s arm and was pulling him off the couch.

“What the-“

“You’re drunk,” Michael stated grimly, his hands shaking in their hold on Max’s shirt in the wake of his repressed anger. “I don’t want you talking to her when you’re drunk. Especially not if you’re gonna be an asshole.”

Max opened his mouth to yet again protest, when Liz’s loud voice cut him off. Her question was directed at Michael this time. “What was he doing, Mike?”

“Fuck,” Max breathed, frustration rolling off him in waves. “What’s wrong with you, woman? I’m trying to tell you but you don’t want to know and then you ask Mike instead?”

Liz shrugged. “He won’t lie.”

“And I do?”

No hesitation. “Yes.”

“I didn’t see,” Michael answered Liz’s question.

Max ripped out of Michael’s grip, stumbled slightly on unsteady feet supporting Michael’s theory of his level of intoxication, glared firstly at his best friend and then the person he had ended up in this fight for. Not that he was gonna tell her that. She didn’t need to know all the stuff Kyle was saying about her. Besides, he had taken good care of Kyle. Kyle wouldn’t be saying another bad word about Liz for as long as he lived. Max sure had seen to that.

Now, if Liz could just get off her high horse and show some gratitude.

“I was defending someone, okay?” Max said tightly.

Liz’s eyes widened mockingly. “Ooh. Was it her bra size?”

Max’s ears went blood red as anger curled through him at her assumption. Trying to stomp down on the anger before he reached out and tried to shake some sense into her, his voice was quiet and eerily controlled as he said, “You really think that little of me?”

Maybe if he had understood where her anger stemmed from he would’ve seen straight through her. Maybe if he could see the fear that had paralyzed her as a result of his injuries, he would’ve regretted what he had done.

But this Max Evans lacked the Liz Parker Manual. He didn’t understand that her anger was her way of dealing with the potential fear of him being beaten to death and so he couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t listen to his explanation.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think very highly of people that get their face smashed in just to impress a girl.”

He looked at her dubiously. “That’s what you think I was doing? Impressing a girl?”

Having seen – and heard – enough, Michael grabbed Max’s elbow and started to pull him towards the front door. “Okay, that’s enough.”

Max stopped him, turning to face Liz, while his words were aimed at Michael. “No wait.”

Michael’s voice was as hard as his resolve. “Evans, you’re leaving.”

Max found Liz’s eyes, confusion momentarily swimming through his muffled head as he noticed the tears lurking in their depths. Frowning, his next words were slightly slurred. “You comin’?”

She bit her lips tightly together, folding her arms equally tight around her body, and firmly shook her head.

Something he couldn’t pinpoint flushed through Max at her stubborn silent protest and his eyes brushed across the blurred faces of the rest of the party participants. His body tightened as fear and worry curled into a tight ball in the pit of his stomach.

There was no way he was leaving her alone with all of those predators.

He probably knew more about how attractive Liz was to the outside world than she did. He probably knew more from the conversations he had overheard between testosterone-driven men just how vulnerable Liz was standing there in the middle of the room, her anger immediately translating into sex in the surrounding male teenagers’ eyes.

There was no way he was leaving her alone.

Michael pulled on Max’s arm, causing Max to momentarily stumble as his friend ripped him out of his thoughts. “Come on, man.”

Max’s head moved as quickly as his current condition allowed towards his friend, his face suddenly hiding any traces of alcohol. “We can’t leave her here.”

Michael, still annoyed with Max’s prior treatment of his sister and currently seeing Max as the biggest threat to Liz, sighed. “Let her do what she wants.”

“You can’t decide what I should do,” Liz added.

Max fought the chill rushing along his spine as he faced Liz. His intoxicated brain desperately tried to find the reasonable words he needed to convince her to leave. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

She looked at him irritated. “You think you’re the only reason I’m here?”

She was too angry to realize what she had just said. That she had basically just revealed that Max was one of the reason she was actually attending that party.

Max was too much on the drunk side to notice her slip.

“So just because you leave I should leave?”

He sighed exasperatedly. “Just…for once. Okay? Just come home with us.”

She took one long look at him and then turned and disappeared into the crowd.

“Fuck!” Max erupted, causing Michael – and some of the observers – to look at him oddly. Having suddenly forgotten that Michael was still holding onto him, Max took a determined step forward only to be snapped back against Michael.

“Let’s go,” Michael grunted. He was so over this by now. Looking after Max the drunk was very far from what Michael considered a fun Saturday.

“We can’t leave her here,” Max repeated his earlier words.

“She’s a big girl,” Michael responded. “She has her cell phone. If she needs something, she’ll call.”

“She’s too young to be here.”

“She’s only one year younger than you.”

Max shot him an angry look. “Why are you not worried? Don’t you realize what could happen to a 17-year-old girl at a party like this?”

Something flickered across Michael’s face, revealing that he hadn’t realized. Not until Max not so subtly pointed it out.

To Michael, it was easy to forget that his stubborn, fiery little sister could be vulnerable. She was the strongest girl he knew. But Max had a point even though Michael sure wouldn’t let Max know that.

Michael’s voice was causal, bordering on bored, as he said with a sigh, “Fine. I’ll go talk to her. But you stay here.”

“I’m not a poodle,” Max mumbled.

He didn’t appreciate being bossed around. But he still nodded his agreement, realizing that Michael would have more success with Liz if Max wasn’t there.

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


The Parkers’ Residence

Michael had taken Max straight to his own home. Liz and Michael’s parents were on one of their numerous vacations. This time they were shopping in Sydney, Australia. Michael had decided against taking Max home to his mother with how messed up his face was. It was not a good look to present to your mother.

Excluding some of the serving staff, the Parker mansion was empty. The sound of Liz’s bedroom door slamming shut echoed through the large quiet house and Max and Michael shared an amused look. They had gotten Liz home alright, but at a price. The girl probably wouldn’t talk to them for days.

Michael gestured down the long hallway. “You can pick your room.”

“Sweet,” Max mumbled, his mind suddenly feeling murky as the drama of the night had quieted down. He was on the edge of sobering up, making him aware of how incredibly drunk he was.

With the lack of someone to argue with and keep him distracted, his thoughts unwillingly began to wander. They had a chance to brush against the memory of his mom telling him why she had been suffering those headaches lately, the memory that had gotten him drinking earlier, before he almost desperately looked at Michael. “I should probably clean up. So I won’t stain the sheets with blood.”

He wouldn’t be able to sleep yet anyway. He wouldn’t be able to stop his sobering mind from thinking. From freaking out. From letting the anguished fear through.

The fight with Kyle had been convenient. Kyle’s degrading words about Liz had probably only deserved a punch or two. But something had snapped in him as he had thrown himself onto Kyle’s surprised body, beaten him to the ground. He’d had control, he was protecting someone he loved and unfortunately Kyle was at the receiving end.

Michael’s pointing hand interrupted his thoughts. “Bathroom’s down in that direction.” Michael grimaced and then pointed in the opposite direction. “Or down there.” He raised an eyebrow and pointed in front of them, down the stairs. “Or down there.”

Max interrupted the fourth oncoming directive, “I get it.”

Michael grinned and nodded then pressed something into Max’s hand. Max looked down at Michael’s cell phone. “You wanna call your mom? Tell her where you’ll be.”

“Thanks,” Max murmured and swallowed deeply against the rising nausea.

“No problem, bro. I’ll probably go watch some movies or something-“

Max’s nod was immediate, slightly too enthusiastic at the thought of a distraction dangling temptingly in front of him, “Great. I’ll just wash up.”

Max missed the odd look Michael gave him as he turned towards the bathroom and quickly closed the distance. The sooner he cleaned himself up, the sooner he could get away from his thoughts.

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


Max winced as his rapid fingers wiped over the wound on his forehead.

“You’re doing it wrong.”

His head snapped towards the voice, finding Liz leaning against the doorframe.

“Whatever,” Max mumbled and returned to his work. He needed to get out of here quickly. His own blood was making him queasy enough without being slowed down by Liz.

She was in front of him in the next second, ripping the scrunched up wet toilet paper from his surprised hand while her other hand, pressed against his chest, was already pushing him backwards. He was sinking down onto the edge of the bathtub before he had the chance to comprehend what had just happened.

“You don’t wash a wound with water and toilet paper,” Liz grumbled as her hands searched through the contents of the bathroom cabinet.

Max shrugged. “It does the job.”

“Do you know why that hurt? Because tap water has another tonicity than your tissues and it pulls water out of your tissues.”

Max’s face scrunched up as much as his injuries would allow and he murmured, “Eeeh… What?”

She glanced at him and sighed, as if she was cursed to have to be around ignorant people like said company.

“You read too much,” Max added as he watched her pull out the familiar antiseptic bottle and a bag of cotton balls.

She turned around, put the bottle on edge of the bathtub, next to his thigh, and the cotton balls on the floor as she sank down on her knees in front of him. “Medicine interests me.”

There was an odd constriction to his chest as he looked down at the top of her head. “You never told me that.”

She let out a small laughter as she wet the cotton with the antiseptic solution. “Why would I? Besides, it’s not like you’re interested.”

She raised her head and met his stare, her breath faltering in her chest at the look on his face. She swallowed slowly.

“Who said I wasn’t interested?” he whispered and she got the strangest feeling that he wasn’t just referring to their current topic of conversation.

Needing an excuse, Liz focused her gaze onto his forehead and sighed. “You messed it all up.”

The wound was already angry and irritated from Max’s not so very gentle cleaning. She could even see pieces of wet paper sticking to the wound.

She picked up one of the wet cotton balls and rose to her knees to reach his forehead. As he appeared too far away, she automatically scooted closer to him, between his thighs. She didn’t realize the trip her body had made until she felt Max’s scorching hands on each side of her hip, supporting her body.

Her mouth went dry as her eyes fluttered from the wound down to his eyes. She couldn’t decipher his look. The intensity of his stare was almost nerve-wracking and her tongue moved out to slowly lick her suddenly very dry lips. A heat current moved through her as she saw his gaze shift from her eyes to her lips.

She cleared her throat, trying to pull her out of the heated cocoon into which they had managed to envelop themselves, and refocused on his wound.

They both winced as the antiseptic contacted the wound; Max from the sting and Liz from how Max’s fingers curled into the sides of her hips.

“Careful,” he mumbled.

“Don’t be such a baby,” Liz retorted.

“It really hurts.”

She shook her head slowly. “Boys are so fucked up-“

“Hey,” he protested mildly.

“You would willingly go straight into a fight and get beaten up, but when someone puts a cotton ball-“

“With stingy stuff,” Max interjected sullenly.

“- against your wound you turn into a cry baby.”

Max sighed. Girls would never understand anyway. “It’s not the same.”

“Sometimes your logic just baffles me,” she said in cheerful sarcasm, letting the bloody cotton ball fall to the floor as she retrieved a new one.

Silence surrounded them as Liz worked at cleaning his war wounds. He let his eyes slowly wander across her body, being very aware of the heat emitted from the closeness of her body, and being painfully aware of the effects it was having on his body.

The alcohol must truly be messing with his system.

“Kitten,” he said quietly, putting a halt to what she was doing and she slowly met his eyes.

Something about the way he said it and the word he used had goosebumps explode across her body. His hands were burning through the material of her pajama pants, tempting her body to slide even closer to his. To make contact with his. It was a strange feeling. A heated feeling. Very strong. And so she fought it with all her might.

“Why are you doing this?”

Why was she doing this? She hadn’t even thought it through. She had seen him massacre his wound and it had come naturally to her to help him out.

Her reply was the complete opposite of what she felt. “Because I can’t pass on the opportunity to cause you pain.”

He dug his index finger and thumb into her right hip, squeezing the small amount of flesh he found there between his fingers, causing her to yelp. “Funny girl.”

She looked at him heatedly, prepared to move away from him. “Don’t pinch me!”

“Sorry,” he said with a glint in his eyes. “I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to cause you pain.”

Her expression turned dark and her voice was dangerous as she said slowly, “Do you want to go back to your toilet paper and tap water?”

He swallowed back his grin and almost managed to look believably apologetic. “I’ll stop.”

“That’s the thanks you get,” Liz mumbled to herself as she pasted a band-aid across his wound, missing the smile on Max’s lips.

He jumped as her fingers brushed over his swollen eye.

“Sorry,” she said regretfully at his reaction. “Does that hurt?”

His reaction had been due to the soft glide of her fingers over his skin, magnifying the heat that the inflammation was already exuding. But it wasn’t painful. Far from it.

“No,” he swallowed. “Just took me by surprise, that’s all.”

She shook her head as she leaned down to pick up another cotton ball. “You’re such an idiot.”

“It’s what boys do, Parker,” Max said amused and quoted the stereotype, “Boys resolve things with their fists.”

“It’s stupid,” Liz murmured and pressed the cotton against another wound on his cheek.

He winced, but managed to stay still for her this time.

“Why would you do that?” she said quietly and Max realized that she was probably talking to herself.

He was about to give a response to her rhetorical question when he caught a tear running down her cheek.

“Liz…?” His voice was cautious as he was suddenly faced with a very unusual situation.

Liz Parker in tears.

“You could’ve killed each other,” she continued, not aware of his presence anymore. “And what about Kyle? How injured is he? Is someone taking care of him?”

Max tried to swallow back the sudden pain in his heart. He had never meant to make her cry. That something he had done had made her cry made him feel like the lowest scum on the face of the earth. “I’m sorry.”

He had a feeling she wasn’t even aware of that three tears had already rolled down her cheek, as she said fiercely, “I’m not the one you should be apologizing to.”

“But you’re here and you’re the one crying,” he whispered and watched every second of her transformation from angry into shocked into embarrassed into fearful as she pulled away from him.

Her face was surprised as the hand she wiped across her cheeks encountered wetness, confirming his words.

She rose to her feet, acutely aware of how his hands brushed from her hips down the sides of her thighs as he didn’t remove them during her change into an upright position. His fingertips glided along the sides of her upper calves as she stepped out from between his legs.

“You can do the rest,” she said dismissively, her voice breaking with restrained tears.

“Kitten, I’m-“

“Sorry,” she filled in with something close to a growl. “Yes I know. So am I.”

With that she spun on her heels and walked out of the bathroom, leaving Max staring at her confounded; a fallen cotton ball soaking into the fabric of his pants.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:37 am, edited 2 times in total.


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