I'm here, with the future...spacegirl23
Hi, thank you so much for dropping by and letting me know that you're reading
suie wrote:This whole dog accident in the previous part brought back a memory. Sometime Max said something along the lines, he felt in love with Liz while he was in hospital. So when was he in hospital? I would love to see a snapshot for that sometime...
Max was just in the hospital to visit Liz. Liz was the patient, because she broke her ankle. That's all I gave away in "White Flag" (chapter 39)
But there's definitely gonna be a snapshot about that one. That's when, as you said, Max fell in love with Liz so I'm not skipping that one.
suie wrote:And I also always wondered what lead up to the "first kiss in the closet" scene. By the way, I absolutely adored that part together with many other parts! For example the whole cow incident in the earlier part of this story was just so sweet.
Oooh, excellent idea. I'll definitely make a snapshot of the scene leading up to the closet scene
Roswell Fan Forever
Thank you so much
Roswell Fan Forever wrote:Anyway, that’s one of the things I like so much about this fic…that despite the way you’re bouncing back and forth in time relative to their lives together, you throw in little things that tie in with what’s happened sometime in their past which helps to maintain continuity in the "present" . I love this attention to detail, as I'm sure it's not an easy task.
for saying that. And I am
having troubles keeping track of the details, but I have help that let me know if I'm making mistakes
. But this far I'm in control Alien_Friend
andElizabethUpdated Timeline52. A Family Affair
Max and Liz’s home
(2018) Max is 32, Liz is 32
“I just don’t think it’s such a good idea,” Max said, his voice bearing the faintest trace of irritation.
The stack of dining plates produced a loud ‘clunk’ as Liz deposited them on the counter. “Shouldn’t this be up to me to decide?”
Max walked around her and grabbed the dish towel from its hook. “You usually don’t think very rationally where she’s concerned.”
“She’s my mom, Max,” Liz said tensely. “If I want to invite her over for barbecue on 4th of July, I should be able to. Your dad is coming. Why can’t my mom?”
Max looked up from wiping the plate, his gaze asking if she had gone crazy, “Because every time you see her she makes you feel like crap.”
“Dad just left her!”
“And that means that she’s gonna treat you better?”
The dishwater sloshed around in the sink as Liz practically threw another plate into the water. “She’s all alone. She can’t be all alone when everybody’s celebrating.”
Max grabbed the wet plate from her hand as she held it out for him. “She’s a grown woman. I’m sure she can deal.”
“How do you think she feels? Dad left her for her secretary. Some floozy 25-year-old.” Focusing on the washing up, she mumbled under her breath, “But you probably don’t have any idea how it feels like to be compared to and left for another person.”
Max stepped up close, looking at her walled-off profile. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Liz pushed the dripping wet wine glass into Max’s unprepared hands and the glass was merely saved from a smashing death by Max’s quick reflexes.
“It means that you’ve always been on the other side. You’ve always had girls at your beck and call-“
“You think I would leave you for some blonde bimbo?” Max asked in disbelief, anger seeping deeply into his voice.
She sighed. “I didn’t say that.”
“Right,” he said with an air of mock casualness, “You’re just saying that because I used to fool around a lot it means that I can’t understand that your mom is hurting right now.”
Liz opened her mouth to retaliate, but closed it soon thereafter when she failed to disagree. “Well… yeah.”
Max rather violently ripped open the door to the kitchen cabinet and placed the wine glass with its kind, grumbling under his breath. “Then you’re missing the point.”
“The point is that I want to invite my mom for 4th of July. It’s as simple as that.”
Max turned towards her, sighing demonstratively as he accepted another wet plate from her hands. “I understand
that she’s hurting. I get that she might feel alone this holiday. But what happened to hating her and the endless nights you’ve cried yourself to sleep over something she said? She doesn’t deserve your sympathy right now, Liz.”
Liz turned, soapy water dripping on the floor as her hands hung suspended in the air, while she watched him put the now dry plate away. “I’m her daughter. She’s hurting. I should be there for her.”
He turned to look at her annoyed. “She doesn’t deserve it. That’s all I’m saying.”
Liz squeezed her eyes tightly shut before facing the sink anew and drowning the cutlery in the water. Starting to wash them one by one, she said, “Don’t you think Zoe has the right to get to know her own grandmother?”
Max raised an eyebrow that spelled out ‘Are you kidding me?’. “So that she can screw up our daughter as well?”
The fork landed on the dish rack with a loud clatter. “Oh, so you think I’m screwed up?”
Max groaned in frustration. “Don’t start with that.”
“What?” she asked, letting the water out of the sink. “That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it? She ruined me and you don’t want to risk her doing the same thing to our daughter.”
His lips were pulled into a tight line as he remarked, “You got half of it right.”
Reaching for the hand towel, Liz asked. “So you seriously don’t think Zoe should get to know her own grandmother?”
Max hung the dish towel on a hook to dry and took a step closer to her. “If she’s gonna treat Zoe in any way similar to how she’s treated you, then no. She’s better off without getting to know her grandmother.”
“It’s not all black and white, Max.”
Max sighed despondently. “I’m not making it black and white.”
“Yes, you are,” Liz said tensely, her voice increasing in intensity. “As long as my mother remains good all the time she can spend time with Zoe, but if she screws up even once she’s all bad and is automatically banished from Zoe’s life.”
Following her level of voice, Max’s voice increased accordingly, “What I don’t get is why you’re defending her! After everything she’s done to you-“
Liz rubbed frustrated hands down her face, angrily picking up the dish rag and starting to wipe down the counter. “Maybe I understand what she’s going through!”
Max looked at her incredulously. “Oh, your
husband abandoned you too? Cheated on you with a girl younger than your own daughter?”
“Gaaah,” Liz groaned and threw the dish rag against the tiled kitchen wall. “Why are you being so unreasonable? Why can’t you give her a chance?”
Max caught her flailing hands in his and turned her around to face him. His hand brushed up along her cheek, the touch incredibly soft in contrast to their argument, and his voice was so quiet it almost hurt her ears in its lack of intensity. “Because she never saw how much her words hurt you. She was never there to pick up the pieces. She was never there to hold you and worry about you as you cried throughout the night. She wasn’t there when you tried to put on a brave front when she wouldn’t even give you her blessing at our wedding.”
His fingers threaded through her hair and her eyes were big and shiny as they hung onto each word. “I don’t want to give her a chance because she wasn’t there. She was never there. I’ve tried to give her the benefit of a doubt on several occasions, but she keeps on disappointing. I very much doubt she will ever change. I want to believe so for your sake. I want you to have the best mom in the world. But I can’t stand by and watch her tear you down while you hold onto the hope of who she might be able to become. “
His hand unconsciously trailed down the pregnant expanse of her abdomen. “And I’m afraid that one day I might just not have the power to ignore her and I’ll end up strangling her.”
A half-smile drifted across her lips, but the tension remained in her shoulders, reflecting her stubborn need to win the argument.
“I know you’re only trying to look out for me,” she mumbled. “And I love you for it.”
Pulling away from his arms, she pressed the switch for the kitchen light and the kitchen went dark. Turning in the doorway she saw the outlines of his broad shoulders in the semi-darkness and a shiver raced through her.
She loved him so much.
Just seeing him standing there in the dark kitchen, so fierce in his belief that she needed protection from her own mother, made her love him so much more.
But despite his best intentions, she couldn’t stop herself from clinging to the hope that some day her mother would accept her. And maybe Liz just needed to reach out to her mother first for that to happen. It was after all a two-way street.
Taking a deep breath, Liz added, “But I want my mother here for 4th of July.”
She could just make out his grim expression in the darkness. “So I don’t have a say in this?”
“She’s my[i] mother, Max.”
“Who’s hurting [i]my
wife and possibly my
daughter,” Max retaliated.
“Would you just drop it?”
They both froze at the tentative voice of their daughter. Turning towards the doorway, Zoe was looking at them worriedly, clutching her Winnie the Pooh
bear in her arms.
“Come here, baby,” Max said softly and Zoe walked with small quick steps up to her father.
He pulled his daughter into the safety of his arms before hoisting her up on his hip. She threw her arms tightly around his neck, alternating worried glances between her parents.
“Are you angry?” she asked them.
“We’re just having a bit of a disagreement,“ Max answered, catching Liz’s eye roll out of the corner of his eye.
“What’s ‘disgeement’?” Zoe asked, her voice muffled against her father’s throat.
“You know when Alba and you can’t decide what movie you want to watch,” Liz said, her voice impressively soothing without its angry intensity from moments ago, “you’re having a disagreement.”
“We’re sorry we were so loud,” Max mumbled into her dark hair.
“I couldn’t sleep,” Zoe announced seriously.
Max took a step towards the stairs while he reached out with a hand in Liz’s direction. “Let’s fix that.”
At the absence of Liz’s hand, Max looked in her direction, winked and mouthed ‘come on’ which had Liz momentarily swallowing the argument with a reluctant sigh. She stepped up and grabbed Max’s offered hand. His fingers tightened around hers in a comforting squeeze and she looked up at him with an attempted smile.
Zoe’s small fingers reached across Max’s neck and touched her mother’s shoulder. “Are you sad, mommy?”
It was at times like these that Zoe reminded Liz so much of Max. How he could reach out in concern and read her so effortlessly, something that Zoe had inherited. It was the same quiet gentle concern in her fingers as in the ones holding tightly onto her hand.
At Zoe’s question, Max’s hand tightened in response around hers and she could feel his suddenly worried eyes scanning the side of her face.
She hadn’t realized she’d been crying until her daughter had subtly pointed it out. With her free hand, Liz wiped her cheek dry of tears with two determined strokes.
“I’m fine, baby,” Liz answered, seeing Max’s small tentative smile out of the corner of her eye. He didn’t believe her for one second.
“Let’s get back in bed,” Max said and pulled on Liz’s hand.
“There’s something under my bed,” Zoe confessed quietly, her face pressed into her father’s shirt. Always ashamed of being afraid of something in her room.
“Okay,” Max said, moving into patrol mode. “We need a flashlight.”
Liz squeezed his hand before letting go. “I’m on it.”
He hugged his daughter tighter as his eyes followed Liz’s departure for a second or two, knowing that she was happy to get out of there. He knew that she needed space right now, but he also knew that if he gave her too much space she would sink into that unreachable place inside of her.
He refocused his attention on his daughter. “What else do we need?”
“Gloves,” Zoe announced.
“Good idea,” Max answered and stepped up to the closet in the hallway to pull out the thickest mittens he could find.
Zoe quickly pulled the pink mittens over her small hands while Max covered his own in black fluffy ones.
“Robes,” Zoe added.
Max nodded and headed for the stairs. “Definitely.”
“No wait!” Zoe cried out.
“Hats. We need hats.”
“Right,” Max said and did a 180 back to the closet. Pushing a grey knitted hat over her dark curls, he put a bright red one on his own head that had Zoe giggling.
He winked. “It will scare them. Monsters don’t like red.”
Her face turned serious and she nodded with determination. “Yes.”
Liz came around the corner with a flashlight in her hand that had Zoe sighing in relief, as though the small battery-driven source of light were kryptonite for monsters under beds.
“Let’s scare that monster so badly he won’t ever come back,” Liz whispered conspiratorially as she joined her family.
Zoe bit her lower lip and nodded with anxious determination.
Max managed to press a purple hat on top of Liz’s head with one hand and while she automatically grabbed the edges of the hat to pull it more firmly in place, Max took advantage of her distraction and placed a light kiss on the lips.
Her surprised eyes met his, but he only smirked in return which had her eyes narrowing. It didn’t matter how many times he pushed her buttons; she would always respond the same. If she were ever responded with any less emotion, it would immediately tell Max that something was seriously wrong with their relationship.
“Yep, let’s do it,” Max agreed and had to bite his lip to stop himself from laughing out loud as Liz kicked the back of his leg. Mature, Lizzie,
he thought. Very mature.
Her head held high in triumph, Liz passed Max and Zoe and took the lead in the stairs. Several ideas of retaliation flew across his mind as he watched Liz’s body move in front of him. The only thing preventing him from grabbing a hold of the loops of her jeans and pulling her backwards towards him was the weight of his daughter in his arms.
Liz stopped outside the door to Zoe’s room with a cautioning glance in Max and Zoe’s direction and a silencing finger against her lips before she slowly pushed the door fully open.
Max felt Zoe tighten in his arms and felt her breath against the side of his neck as she hid her face from the frightening reality.
Switching on the light, Max followed Liz into the room.
“Zoe, you wanna look under the bed?” Liz asked.
Without looking up from the comforting warmth of her father’s neck, Zoe shook her head with her eyes squeezed tightly shut.
“You can scare them away,” Max said softly.
“Show them that you’re not afraid,” Liz chimed in.
There was an attempted smile on her lips as she met Max’s smiling eyes. It was hard for her to leave their argument behind her, especially since it had been left unfinished, but she was doing her best.
There was a pregnant pause of hesitation as Zoe considered this and then her arms started to loosen their grip around her father’s neck in resignation.
Sliding down his body, her small feet touched the ground and with a brave squaring of her shoulders, she took a deep breath and kneeled next to the bed. Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she put her head on the side, her ear close to the floor, and mentally prepared herself for what she might see.
A visible shiver raced through her body and then she opened her eyes and gazed into the darkness underneath the bed.
Liz smiled as a sigh of relief escaped her daughter’s lips.
“There’s nothing there,” Zoe declared.
“It worked,” Max said with breathless wonder, as if he couldn’t quite believe it himself.
Liz bit her lip to prevent herself from laughing at him.
Zoe bit her lip for another reason, nodding thoughtfully as she rose from her position on the floor. With newborn determination, she walked up to the closet. “I’m gonna scare anyone in the closet away too.”
“Good idea,” Max agreed and with her newfound braveness, Zoe opened the closet door revealing its monster-free interior.
She spun around with a blinding smile, stretching from one ear to the other. “All done.”
Max nodded proudly, and held his hand out at her level. “High five, peanut.”
Biting her lip as she concentrated on hitting her father’s hand, Zoe slapped her much smaller hand flush against Max’s. “Hiiigh five.”
Liz hated to be the one to ruin all the fun, but it was getting late. “Time for bed, hun.”
Zoe nodded, too exhilarated to make any objections.
Except one. “Daddy, could you read me a story?”
“We’ve already read you one,” Liz said before Max had a chance to reply.
Zoe’s smile faded and Liz instantaneously felt like the worst mother in the world.
“Maybe, since you were so brave, I could read you a short one,” Max said, shooting a glance in Liz’s direction.
They’ve had more than one occasion had the conversation about how they should never give Zoe different directives. About how they should never go against what the other one had said, that way not teaching Zoe that she could get one reply from one parent and then go to the other and get a completely different answer.
Max was very aware of this as he saw the unreadable look pass over Liz’s eyes. Considering how they’d left off their argument, now was probably not the best time to go against one of their more fundamental parental rules, but Max wanted to give Zoe something for being such a trooper.
“Mommy please,” Zoe pleaded, looking at her mother hopefully.
Feeling very much like the mean parent, Liz reluctantly nodded. “Okay. But only a very short one.”
“Yaaay!” Zoe erupted and ran up to her mother, wrapping her arms tightly around Liz’s knees. “Thanks, mommy.”
Not feeling so bad anymore, Liz smiled faintly and bent down to Zoe’s level. Wrapping her in her arms, Zoe reciprocated the action and Liz pecked her daughter on the cheek. “Good night, Zoe doughy.”
Placing a final kiss on the top of Zoe’s head, Liz left the room with a small wave.
Max watched her go with a sting in his heart. He itched to talk to her, to clear the air, but right now his daughter was demanding his attention.
Smiling down at her, he asked, “So. What book do you want me to read?”
He heard the water running in the shower in the adjoining bathroom as he entered their bedroom half an hour later. Taking his clothes off on the way to the room, he quietly pushed the ajar door open and stepped into the steamy room. Her back was towards the door, the outlines of her petite body slightly dimmed by the textured shower glass protection.
As he pushed the glass to the side, the soft sound of the sliding door revealing his presence, Liz jumped, glanced behind her and quickly averted her eyes. But not before Max noticed the redness.
“Don’t cry,” he whispered, putting his arms around her pregnant abdomen, pulling her back up against his front.
“Don’t,” she sniffed. “Can we talk about this later, please?”
He pressed a kiss to the top of her shoulder and she sighed, frustration coming off her in waves. Max got the message loud and clear. She wanted him to go away.
But just because he received the message didn’t mean he was going to read it. “Why is this making you so upset?”
Her head bent forward into the spray of water, her arms wrapping around herself as she tried to step away from him.
But he wouldn’t let her go and there wasn’t really much room in the shower cabinet for personal space.
“It’s my mom, Max,” she said weakly, weariness in her voice, as if her statement alone summarize it all.
“We’ve already been over that,” Max said, resting his chin on her shoulder. “You care about her and even though she treats you like shit on the best of days, you love her.”
She shook her head and turned around, which forced Max to let go of her. Looking at him angrily, she bit out, “Don’t do that.”
“Summarize how I feel like it’s some irrelevant childish emotion.”
“I didn’t mean to-“
“No, maybe not, but that’s what it sounds like. You have no idea how it feels like – to me – on the inside. It’s not that simple. I can’t make it as black and white as you seem to be able to.” Her hand clenched against her left breast, over her heart. “There’s this…torment inside of me.” Her lips strained as she tried to maintain some control over her feelings, or at least over her words. “And I don’t know how to feel about everything. I’m not stupid, Max. I know that she’s treated me badly. But I’m not a machine either. She might be the worst parent ever, but I like to think that she’s trying to be better. And I don’t want to make it any harder on her by resisting her efforts.”
Max attempted an incredulous look. “Efforts?”
trying. Maybe you don’t see it, but…she is.”
“And don’t use that tone with me.”
Max sighed helplessly. “What tone?”
“Like I’m a child that doesn’t understand what I’m getting myself into. It’s that whole condescending aspect that hurts the most.”
Max shook his head slowly, looking at her apologetically. “Baby, I didn’t mean-“
She closed her eyes. “No, you never do. But still that’s exactly what happens.”
Tasting the salt from her tears mixing with the shower water on her lips, Liz added, “I want to hate her too, Max. Maybe that would be the best solution.” She gave a humorless laugh. “At least I would sleep better at night, not having these conflicting emotions.”
Swallowing back his pride, his need to protect her and guide her through her decisions, Max asked, “What do you want to do?”
Looking up at him, a flash of tentative gratitude in her eyes, Liz answered without hesitation, “I want my mom to celebrate 4th of July with us.”
Max nodded, his voice bearing no traces of his previous protests as he said, “Okay.”
Liz frowned. “Okay?”
“Just like that?”
“I didn’t know it was that painful…” he shook his head at his inability to explain and started all over again, “No, that’s not it. Of course I know it’s painful for you. I’m right here, next to you, watching you go through all of this and I know it’s hurting you. I guess I just never realized that it was this
bad. I guess, for me, it’s easier to just dislike the woman and leave it at that. But it’s different for you.”
Liz nodded, a small smile on her lips caused by tickling relief. He was seeing her again. Finally she had gotten her message through.
Max opened his arms in invitation, simultaneously asking for her forgiveness. Without a trace of hesitation, Liz stepped into his arms. Their bodies flushed against each other intimately, their minds once again at peace.
As his hands slowly ran up and down the length of Liz’s spine, he placed a gentle kiss against the side of her neck. “I’m sorry if I hurt you.”
She nodded, fighting to hold back a new batch of tears. “I know you have the best intentions, but-“
“I know,” Max interrupted, “Sometimes I’m a bit tactless about it.”
“Yep,” Liz agreed, relaxing even more against his naked form. There was something comforting about having him so close, without a single thread separating them. “This is a strange place to have a conversation like this.”
He chuckled, the laughter vaporizing the tension in his voice. “I think it was a pretty good place. You couldn’t escape.”
“Ha.Ha,” she retorted sarcastically.
“I love you,” he whispered.
She sniffed and nodded, pulling back to melt their lips together. She craved his touch, needed him to comfort her in the most primal of ways.
Kissing him with a barely repressed heat, her body unconsciously rubbed against him in attempt to get even closer. Walking them backwards, he used his body to press her up against the shower wall, his hands moving down her sides, having her melt into a puddle in his hands.
It didn’t matter that he had touched her like that a million times before or that he had memorized every inch of her body; goose bumps still followed the path of his fingers and he still craved to taste every millimeter of her skin.
“Is she asleep?” Liz breathed, her daughter suddenly at the front of her mind as Max hiked her legs up around his waist.
“Out like a light,” Max assured and caught her lips with his, mumbling against her lips, “And, I locked the bathroom door.”
Liz smiled at him ruefully. “Did you plan
to have your way with me, Mr. Evans?”
He returned her smile with a wink. “That’s always
my backup plan.”
She nodded slowly, her soft moan caressing the small space between their mouths as he slowly moved inside of her. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
He curled his hands around the top of her shoulders, a desire which was just waiting to explode lighting his eyes. “You do that.”
Using his hands to keep her in position against the slippery tiled wall, she moaned softly as they moved together. He was always amazed by how fiery she could be when they were arguing about something. How she had been swearing at him and even physically hurting him when they were younger. But when it came to making love, Liz was soft and quiet. She was a warm loving slip of a woman who surrendered her body completely to his ministrations. She loved with her whole being, but she did it quietly.
As if she were enjoying her favorite ice cream, a look of absolute pleasure fell across her face as a small sigh of satisfaction came from her lips.
Max loved that about her. He faintly remembered the girls he used to date, of how they seemed to think that the louder they screamed the better he would feel about himself. Sure, at the time it had made him feel like a sex god. But it didn’t come close to having Liz fall apart in his arms with a simple “Max” on her lips.
She arched against him, accidently smashing the back of her had against the wall.
“Ouch,” she murmured.
“You okay?” he asked.
She laughed and answered breathlessly, “Yeah. Don’t stop.”
“No way in hell.”
“Romantic, very romantic,” Liz smiled, her eyes closing in sheer bliss as she gave into the sensations.
“Anything for you, kitten.”
Her nails dug into his shoulders as the sensations piled on top of each other, escalating. Max’s mouth touched her shoulder and his teeth sank lightly into her flesh, eliciting a whimper of pleasure from his wife.
His breath was hot in her ear. “Are you close?”
“Yes,” she gasped.
His lips against hers softened the shakes of her body as he moved towards his own completion. He was just a few seconds behind, his legs slowly giving out from underneath them as the heightened feelings rocked his body.
Sinking to the floor, Max cradled Liz on his lap, peppering her face with slow kisses as the water pelted down on them from above.
“Are we okay?” Max wondered, kissing along her collarbone.
“For now,” Liz answered with a tired, but teasing, smile.
“As long as I barbecue fillet for your mother,” Max filled in.
Liz nodded seriously. “Pretty much.”
“Good thing I’m the barbecue king then.”
“Yeah, you’re very lucky.”
“Shut up, gorgeous,” Max said, his contradicting sentence delivered with the softest voice.
She kissed his smiling lips and gave a little shake, trying to get her mind back in order. “You don’t hate me?”
Max’s kissing feast reached an abrupt halt and he frowned at her. “What?”
“I’m doing the typical girly thing of crying to get my will through,” Liz explained, fine guilt tracing her voice.
Max seemed to consider this carefully. “Yeah, you’re right.”
She rolled her eyes. “I just don’t want you to…resent me or something. I get that you don’t feel comfortable about my mother being around Zoe-“
“-so I just need to know that you’re not agreeing just to…shut me up.”
He seemed to ponder this new fact and then started nodding slowly. “Yes…actually, now that you say it; you might be right.”
The water splashed off his skin as she hit her palm against his upper arm. “I’m serious, Max!”
But there was amusement in her voice, because even though he was being an annoying brat right now, it still served a purpose; easing a situation that might still be tense.
“Seriously Liz,” Max said, his face turning serious, “I am
worried about what possible impact your mother might have on Zoe. I worry because my only reference to her behavior is how she treats you and how she seems to hate me. I’m not sure I want Zoe to be exposed to those dynamics. Even if your mother is okay with Zoe, the way she might treat you in front of Zoe is another thing altogether and that might have just as much of a negative effect on Zoe.”
Liz bit her lower lip guiltily. “Soo…even if you don’t hate me now, you surely will
after all of your suspicions come true on the 4th of July?”
Max looked at her like she was a crackpot. “Don’t be ridiculous. I could never hate you. I’ve done enough hating you for a lifetime.”
Liz looked at him incredulously. “When did you hate me?”
Max shrugged as if it was no big deal. “Around the time you hated me.”
“I never hated you,” Liz denied.
Max’s eyebrows rose. “Ooh. So you kicking me in my special area-“
“Your ‘special area’?” Liz laughed, suddenly very aware of that she was sitting very naked across his special area.
“-had nothing to do with hatred?”
“You were sooo aiming for it.”
“I was not.”
“Yes, you were. It was a warning for me to back off and believe me, I received it loud and clear.”
“Sorry,” Liz mumbled.
Max frowned, amusement in his eyes. “Excuse me? I didn’t quite catch that. Did you just apologize?”
“Yeah, yeah, be an ass-“
Max’s eyes widened with shock. “Liz Parker is actually apologizing?”
Pressing her lips together, Liz started to get up from Max’s lap. “You know what? I take it back.”
Max looked up at her, quite liking this viewpoint of her body as she stepped around him. “You take it back?”
“Yep,” Liz answered, pushing the glass door aside.
At her quick departure, Max scrambled to his feet and turned the shower off.
She was wrapping a blue towel around her body as he stepped out of the shower cabin.
Coming to stand behind her, his hands crept around her body, sliding between the layers of her towel. He watched her reflection in the mirror as his hand closed around one breast.
He had to give it to her; she was good. Even though her nipple hardened in his hand, her face revealed nothing as she reached for the toothpaste and pushed out an even line of white paste on her toothbrush.
“You can’t take back an apology,” Max breathed against her ear.
Her eyes challenged him in the mirror. “Says who?”
“Anyone,” Max said simply, letting his hand slide down her front.
She started brushing her teeth, almost working herself into a fever while trying to not let any of the sensations Max was causing to show on the outside.
“So you’re sure you’re not just doing this to appease me?” Liz wondered, her tone serious as she bent forward to rinse her mouth.
“When do I ever do anything to appease you?” Max wondered, winking at her in the mirror.
Liz almost gave in right then, Matt knowing exactly how to touch her.
Instead her tone turned stern. “Max Evans. Are you trying to bribe me?”
He looked innocent, while his actions were quite the opposite. “Bribe you? Why would I need to bribe you? You should be bribing me
Her eyes rolled back in her head as she leaned her head back against his chest, his intimate touch finally getting the best of her. “Gaah, I can’t think!”
Max laughed. “Mission accomplished.”
Licking her lips as her hips betrayed her even further by pushing against his hands, needing more, she muttered, “Can we just finish one conversation before we start another one?”
“Kitten,” Max said softly, his husky voice sending vibrations against her ear, “Don’t worry. I won’t ever hate you and I won’t let your mom do anything to Zoe or you. Here’s the compromise; If she behaves badly in anyway, she’s out. This is her last chance. Deal?”
In a bad case of timing, Liz’s body gave into Max’s ministrations and she fell apart in his arms. “Yeeees.”
Max laughed, kissing the shell of her ear before moving down her neck as she slumped in his arms. “Was that the answer to my question or were you a bit distracted?”
“Both,” Liz answered, straightening. Turning to face him, she attempted to scold him, “How am I suppose to have a reasonable conversation with you when you use tricks like that?”
“I didn’t hear any protests,” Max said innocently.
She shook her head slowly. “Sometimes I don’t know why I put up with you.”
He shrugged and stated simply, “Because I’m a Sex God.”
She sighed, holding back her smile. “Nothing wrong with your self-esteem, is there?”
“Should there be?”
Ignoring his attempts at further bantering, Liz redirected the conversation, “So…if she’s not on her best behavior, she’s out the door?”
“Yes,” Max stated firmly.
“Okay. Fair enough.” Looking down at her feet, she mumbled, “I’ll call her tomorrow.”
Max put a finger under her chin and lifted her head so that he could look into her eyes. “I never hated you.”
A warm smile slowly spread across her lips. “Ditto.”