posted on 6-Apr-2002 12:49:01 AM by soypet
TITLE: A Secret Love
AUTHOR: Soypet
EMAIL: isoysauce03i⊕aol.com
RATING: PG-13 to R.
CATEGORY: AU. Max and Liz. Aliens.
SUMMARY: It?s a world divided up into Humans and Antarian Hybrids, some get along, others don?t. And in this story, Max and Liz are the children of two powerful households, Parker Corporations and Evans Enterprises. At a chance meeting, they fall in love and secretly meet throughout the years. But as fate would have it, they are found out and forbidden to see each other. And of course, our two heroes can?t live without each other, so they devise a plan to escape and live together, happily and forever.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing Roswell. And basically this is a Roswell version of The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare?although very loosely based. And no, I don?t own that either.

AUTHOR?S NOTE: I know I?ve got two other stories out that aren?t finished. But I?ve ALWAYS wanted to write a Romeo and Juliet adaptation! I hope I do the wonderful play justice. *big* I know it?s going to be tough? but I?ll try anyways. *tongue*

Oh yeah? pretend that Roswell isn?t as small as it is? hence the reason for two huge corporations being held in Roswell. Hehehe? *big*

And one last thing, I hope you all enjoy! *tongue*


CHARACTER LIST?The Roswell characters are very loosely based on the Romeo and Juliet characters

Main Characters
Max Evans = Romeo Montague
Liz Parker = Juliet Capulet

Evans/Montague Household
Phillip Evans = Lord Montague
Diane Evans = Lady Montague
Michael Guerin = Benvolio
Colin Guerin = Balthasar

Parker/Capulet Household
Jeff Parker = Lord Capulet
Nancy Parker = Lady Capulet
Sean Dewitt = Tybalt
Isabel Blanche = Nurse

Other Key Players
Kyle Valenti = Mercutio
Jim Valenti = The Prince
Tess Covington = Rosaline
Doug Shellow = Paris
Amy DeLuca = Friar Laurence
Alex Whitman [friend to Liz]
Maria DeLuca [friend to Liz]



* Part One *


[Modern Day Roswell, New Mexico]


?Max! Max! Hold up!? Cried an out of breath Michael. He had spotted Max sitting forlornly in his mother?s blooming garden. Amidst the bright and vibrant flowers, Max was a body of doom and gloom. Even from a far away distance, you could see the distress in his stance. His dark raven head hung low. His shoulders were slumped and he walked heavily, as if dragging himself along, not being able to bear the pain otherwise.

Michael had seen his cousin like this for over the past few days now. It was really worrying him. Not only was Max depressed all the time, but he?d also avoid people like the plague. Every chance Michael got, Max would just swiftly and abruptly walk away. That was irritating Michael more than anything else.

He felt relieved when Max didn?t make a move to escape. He just simply kept walking, giving him the chance to catch up to him. Once he was by Max?s side, he greeted, ?Maxwell. Hey buddy.?

Max glanced once at Michael and sighed, wearily mumbling, ?Hey Michael.? He really didn?t feel like holding a conversation with Michael, nor anyone else, for that matter. But Max felt he?d already been rude enough the past week when Michael tried to get to him. ?What?s up?? he asked, though not with much enthusiasm.

?What?s up with me? Oh? nothing.? Pausing so he could turn his body towards Max, he said, ?Though I can?t say the same for you.? Stopping Max?s progress as well, he placed a comforting hand on Max?s shoulder, Michael asked sincerely concerned, ?Max, what is it??

?Nothing, Michael. Nothing you need to worry about.? He shook himself out of Michael?s consoling hand and turned his head forward. Though it was a beautiful scenery, Max didn?t see it. He was looking past it and into space, a place where Michael couldn?t follow. A place where Michael wouldn?t want to follow. It was dark and dismal.

Shaking his head because of the untruthfulness in Max?s words, he echoed Max?s last lines with an incredulous look. ?Nothing I need to worry about?! Oh! I don?t think so buddy??

?Look.? Sternly looking at Michael straight in the eye. ?Michael. You wouldn?t be able to help me with my problems anyway.? With each word, his eyes went darker, full of hurt, and his head tilted lower until his last word came out as a soft defeated whisper. He saw the look of concern pour out of Michael?s eyes and couldn?t keep up the fa?e of normalcy. Michael rarely ever shows emotion. So, to have him worry over Max, it was definitely something to question.

?Max. You?re talking to your cousin here? your blood. But I?m first and foremost a friend. I?d really like to help.? He?d seen the crushed look in Max?s eyes. Chuckling, he hoped to cheer Max up with a bit of Michael humor, ?Plus, I was tired of beating myself at basketball, anyways. I like it better when you kick my ass on the court. Though, I?ll kill you myself if you tell anyone else that.?

It worked. Max couldn?t fight the small smile that lifted the corners of his lips. Michael really was a good friend. Although he can be a stonewall at times, he had a soft heart towards those he loves.

?Come on, Max. How about a round of one-on-one?? He was just glad that he got something besides a grunt from Max. He?ll just have to make do with what Max gave him.

?Sure. Even depressed, I can still kick your ass.? In a matter of minutes, Michael could change his mood. He?d once been limping around the garden and now, he was confident and smugly challenging Michael.

Reaching the basketball court near the garden, Michael retorted with a skeptical look, ?Is that so? Huh? Wanna make a bet on that??

It was now Max who chuckled, ?No, because you know you?ll lose. And you don?t have the money to pay me.?

Michael went to fetch the ball at the far end of the court. Pointing his forefinger in the air, Michael stated in a matter of fact manner, ?I?ll have you know that I just got a job. If you hadn?t avoided me this past week, you would have known that.?

Ignoring the last line, Max opted to pay attention to Michael?s first statement. ?Wow. Michael Guerin. Employed.? Curious, he asked, ?So, where at??

They continued their conversation as they began the game. A minute into the game, Max stole the ball right out of Michael?s hands, maneuvering his way past Michael. The ball fell in the hoop with one smooth swoosh. They usually played to whoever got to eleven first?each shot being one point. But since Max usually won the game quickly, they would play a couple of rounds, at least until they were both tired and sweaty.

Letting Max disregard his last statement, though not for long, he answered ?You know that hot new club in downtown?The Crashdown.? After seeing Max?s nod of affirmation, he continued with a satisfyingly happy grin as he dribbled the ball in station, ?I?m officially their new bouncer.?

?Wow. Michael Guerin. Employed bouncer. I like the sound of that.? Max rushed towards Michael and once again, grabbed for the ball, easily grasping it out of Michael?s large hands. Pivoting to the basket, he shot it perfectly in. 2-nothing. Max ahead.

?Yeah.? Getting straight to the point now, he said, ?And I?d like the sound of your confession. Of why you were avoiding me and everyone else.? He didn?t care if he lost the game or not; it?s not like he?d win it anyway. It had just been a plot to get Max to talk.

Knowing he couldn?t avoid the subject any longer, he asked, ?Remember Tess??

?Yeah. That short blonde girl with the curly hair??

?Yeah.? Having control of the ball once again, he shot it through the hoop? raising his score to 3-nothing. Suddenly embarrassed at his next words, he stuttered a bit. ?Well, I? uhh.. sort of had a crush on her.?

?Oh? so this is what it?s about? Women.? Shaking his head slightly as he laughed to himself, he pressed Max to continue, ?Go on, what happened??

The game was forgotten as the ball sat under the basket. Max and Michael were seated on the bench on the sidelines.

?Well, after years of being scared of rejection, I got up the courage to go up to her. I couldn?t believe I did it, but I went up to her and told her how I felt about her. I was so proud of myself for having the guts to finally do it.? Not smiling, he drifted off, ?I even asked her out on a date.?

?And?? Inquiring for more information.

?She told me she wasn?t looking for a relationship at that time.?

?Bummer.? Shaking his head once again, he stated, ?I can?t believe you got depressed because of that.?

?No. It?s because of what I saw minutes later?. She was making out with Grant Sorenson, the high school jock. Mr. Captain of the Football Team.? Pausing, ?I found out that he?d asked her out too? right after me.?

?So she screwed you over for a dude in jockstraps??

?Yes.? Looking a sheepish now. ?Michael. I?ve liked her since freshman year!?

?You hid it so well. Why didn?t you tell me??

?I don?t know. I guess I didn?t want you giving me grief because I liked some girl.? He confessed. ?I guess that?s why I didn?t come to you after it happened.?

Standing up now, he turned to face Michael still sitting on the bench. ?I thought she was the greatest thing that ever lived on Earth. And ever since freshman year, I couldn?t stop thinking about her. I felt drawn to her. And to me, she was the most beautiful creature ever. I just feel like a fool for wasting all that time on her.?

?Believe me, I agree.? Michael replied teasingly.

?Thanks Michael. You?re a big help.? Max said as he rolled his eyes at Michael.

?You welcome man. Whatever I can do to help my buddy out.? He smugly stretched his legs as he extended his arms across the back of the bench. ?I still don?t see why you were so depressed.?

?I don?t know. I guess I just needed you to snap me out of my misery.? Smiling an appreciative one, Max thanked Michael, ?Thanks for that, Michael.?

?No problem, Maxwell. Anytime you need a slap in the head to get you to think straight, I?ll be there.? Both Max and Michael started to chuckle at his words. It was good to see Max smiling and laughing again. Michael was proud that he was the one who had gotten Max back? gotten him to talk. ?How about letting me end that misery once and for all??

?How??

?Go out clubbing. I?m not working tonight and I know I can get us in free.? Not seeing a disagreement from Max, he continued, ?It?s costume night because of the Crash Festival this weekend.?

?Oh! The Crash Festival, I totally forgot.? He swiped an arm across his forehead as he remembered.

?Yeah. I can?t believe we still have it. I would think they?d ban it after Senator Ed Harding made Congress. I know he hates having the Crash of ?47 made into a mockery.?

?Well, it?s tradition.?

?Tradition, or not. I?m offended by it. I don?t like to think of myself as an alien, but I am? and to have the tragedy of what happened to our ancestors laughed at, it?s not right.?

?I know it?s not, Michael. But we can?t do anything about it. I?m surprised you feel so strongly against it. You?ve never mentioned it before.?

?Well, I dunno. I guess I haven?t really cared until this year.? Sighing as he got up, he placed his arm around Max?s shoulder, pushing him along. ?Whatever, dude. Lets go call Kyle up and tell him our plans.?

Thankful to have a friend and cousin like Michael, Max felt happy again. ?Yeah, lets do that??

***


Feedback please?! *big*

Laters.
Soypet



[ edited 7 time(s), last at 28-May-2002 8:33:00 AM ]
posted on 6-Apr-2002 9:31:21 AM by soypet
This is a bump disguised as an Author's Note. Hehehehe... so, ::shhhhh!:: hehehehe... *big* *tongue*

Thanx to:

Into The Woods--I certainly couldn't resist. I love the play so much, the movie too... and I've always wanted to write it into Roswell world. Before, I didn't think I could write, but well... I have been writing pretty well. Hehehe... *big* You get my point... Your post made me very happy... it's very flatttering to know that my writing is beautiful to you... to anyone. Hehehe... *tongue*

ILYMEFOREVER--Hehehe... Thank you very very very much for the support. *big*

zannyb--Gosh, I see you here, there, and everywhere! Don't I? Hehehehe... I'm happy I can get you to read all of my stories and keep replying to them. *happy*
So is this the party where Max meets Liz? Yep.
"The most beautiful creature"?!? Are you sure he's feeling alright? Hehehehe... I knew I shouldn't have put that in there! But well... why else would Max be so depressed over Tess? I mean, he has to think something good about her for him to like her... Hehehehe... And yes, I'm pretty tired but I'm feeling just great! Hehehehe... *big*

Thanx you guys! I appreciate feedback so very much! It makes me a warm inside and I'm happy to read it. *big* *tongue*

Laters.
Soypet

posted on 6-Apr-2002 8:26:33 PM by soypet
Questions:

The ending. If I told you now that I'm going to kill Max and Liz off, are you going to stop reading? Be honest, please... Hehehe... Or... or, I could just always write two endings, post it, and just have you guys decide which one you like better... when we get to that point, of course. How's that sound? Hehehe... *big*

Thanx to roswellluver, MariaG, and marteloise for reading and responding! *big*

For those of you reading Cruel Intentions, which I think... all of you are. Hehehe... *big* I'm working on it right now... the Liz intro... *happy* So, you might expect something tonight or tomorrow again...

Laters.
Soypet


posted on 10-Apr-2002 8:51:04 PM by soypet
Pretty much posted the same thing at Alternate Universe and Cruel Intentions: Might as well bump this up too, right? Hehehe...

No new part yet you guys... sorry. This past week hasn't been too good, other than my Lifehouse news... School sucks. Really, I hate it. No laughing matter this time. I hate school. More specifically, I hate English and my teacher. Ugh! But I'm not going to rant to all of you about that... *happy*

But anyway... From staying after school for drama rehearsals, to babysitting and miscellaneous other stuff, I don't have too much time to write.

I'll try to update Alternate Universe first, then this, then Cruel Intentions. Hope I can follow the plan...

Thank you zannyb-again! Hehehe... *happy* roswell_chick101, abbs007--Undercover! Great! Hehehe... *big*, and Dreamerforever15 for of course reading and responding and enjoying! Hehehe... *tongue*

Laters.
Soypet


posted on 15-Apr-2002 7:45:59 AM by soypet
I posted this on my other threads already:

Bad news you guys!!! I can't get access from home again. *sad* I know!! This is horrible! The last time this happened, I couldn't get on for like four months!!! I really hope it doesn't last that long this time. Oh.... I'm at school right now.

I have practically all of Chapter 5 done and I was going to post the first half the other day... *sad* But... I couldn't get on. *sad* Uhhh... if you guys want to read it, just email me at shrtgrlskickass⊕aol.com. Put FANFICTION on the header... and in the message, just name the fictions of mine that you'd like to keep reading. I have Alternate Universe, Cruel Intentions and A Secret Love posted on this board.

I'm sorry you guys. *sad* My stupid computer! Ugh!!! Well... email me if you want to be on my mailing list.

Laters.
Luv ya guys for the support! hehehe...
Soypet

posted on 23-Apr-2002 7:39:50 AM by soypet


Author's Note: Hey! I emailed this to myself so I could post it up for those of you who aren't on my mailing list. Hehehe... And sorry but this won't be the party scene. That'll come up later... probably in Part Three. So, I hope you like this.

Remember, I can't read feedback unless I really want to get in trouble with my teach if she catches me on this site again, when I'm supposed to be writing some stupid essay. But anyway, read, and respond through email please! *big*

Laters.
Soyphet
---------------



* Part Two *



[Other Side of Roswell]
Parker Household



"Oh God. Where is that girl?" An exasperated Nancy cried out to herself. She had been looking all over the mansion for Liz. In Liz's room. In the kitchen. In the game room. Even in the pool and all the bathrooms. But Nancy had no luck in finding her daughter.

About to give up as she walked out of the elevator, she spotted Claudia--the head housekeeper--arranging the flowers in the hallway. Not wanting to tire herself out looking for Liz, Nancy ordered, "Claudia! Go bring me my daughter! I need to speak with her."

Flinching slightly at Nancy's stabbing screech, Claudia promptly turned her body towards Nancy and she politely curtsied. "Yes maim."

Dropping her earlier task, Claudia hastily made her way down the grand stairs in search of Liz.

Once Claudia was out of Nancy's presence, she continued to pace down the hall and straight into her bedchamber. "Ugh! Liz! Where are you when I need you?!" She screamed out in frustration, impatient to speak to her daughter.


***



"Wow, Maria. That is so awesome! I can't believe your mom let you get your belly and tongue pierced." Her last line not sounding right to Liz's ears. She thought for a moment and stopped to retract her last statement, "Wait! I take that back. I can't believe it took you this long to get permission so you could get your belly and tongue pierced."

"That sounds more like it, Liz," said Alex, putting in his agreement at how Maria's mom was when it came to letting Maria do something and anything.

"Yeah, well… she didn't mind the belly piercing but it was the tongue that took a while." Maria stated as she held up her little mirror and fiddled with the barbell. She knew she wasn't supposed to mess with her tongue before the wound completely healed, but she was fascinated that she'd actually gone through with it. She'd always wanted one, thinking they looked unique.

And now, she did have one. Her simple barbell with its green beads. She loved it!

Maria couldn't wait till it healed fully so she could replace the barbell with a jackhammer one she'd bought at the piercing shop. In her mind, that was her favorite thing about the piercing. She could change the color of them to whatever she wanted. Green. Blue. Pink. Whatever… whenever. It was just cool.

At the shop, she had been looking through the selections and there was even a barbell with a little whistle connected to the end. Who knew there could be so many different styles of jewelry for tongue piercings? And not only where there were many choice of styles, but also a huge range of prices. She'd seen simple ones that cost about eight dollars to the more pricey 14K gold ones that reached up to two hundred dollars.

And of course, being Maria, she only wanted the best.

"I bet." Alex said wistfully, wishing he had a mom like Maria's. Not that he didn't love his mother. But he just wanted his mom to be more open to what he thought was and in addition called 'cool'.

"So, does it hurt?" curious, Liz asked. Knowing her parents, if she got any other piercing besides the ones she already had, she'd be skinned alive. Jeff and Nancy Parker were extremely conservative and traditional parents. It had been hard work as it was to allow Liz to get her own ears pierced.

She'd only have them for a couple months already while everyone else had gotten their ears pierced back when they were seven. Everything she did was late compared to the ever revolving and changing world. That's why she wished she had Amy for a mother… someone who gave Liz some sort of freedom and independence.

All in all, though. Both Alex and Liz envied Maria for what every kid would love to have--a cool mom.

"Fuck yeah! It hurts like hell!" Maria screamed out her response. "Three days ago, I could barely talk. I couldn't eat anything that wasn't mashed or blended. So you know I was starving. And boy, did I crave some burgers at that time. Plus the damn metal was scraping the top and bottom of my mouth too." But it was all worth it to Maria. Even with the nasty crust that formed on the barbell and the wound, it was still worth it. Totally. All to decorate her, what Maria calls, 'plain and boring' tongue.

"That sucks. At least it's better now, right?" Alex questioned sympathetically, putting an arm on Maria's shoulder.

"Yeah. I'm getting used to it." Maria paused. "At least the swelling has gone down and I'm not spitting all over the place anymore. And my speech is intact. So, that's pretty good."

"Yeah." Liz agreed, nodding her head. "You sound pretty good to me…" Liz eyes twinkled with a teasing light. Laughter lines made their way on her face as she smiled widely at Maria, "You're still the same talkative Maria that I know and love." Liz motioned her arms wide, giving the line a dramatic flair to it.

Liz laughed as Alex responded with his own deep chuckle and Maria opened her mouth to retort back to Liz, but was interrupted by a hurriedly walking Claudia crossing through the bush openings. Intent on Liz, Claudia called out, "Miss! Miss Elizabeth!"

It hadn't been long before Claudia found Liz. Everyone in the house knew where Liz was at this time--where she always was at this time. Well… everyone in the house except her parents, of course. However controlling they are towards her, they never really took the time to find out things that mattered most to their daughter… what, with Mr. Parker's busy schedule and Mrs. Parker's self-centeredness, how would they know what's going on in their beautiful daughter's life?

Meeting Claudia halfway, Liz responded politely, "Yes?"

"Maim, you're mother is requesting to see you." Claudia said as she curtsied in front of Liz.

"Do you know what for?" Automatically bending down to reach Claudia's hands, Liz pulled her up to a standing position. Liz never did like being bowed down to. It wasn't natural for anyone to be doing that to Liz, especially Claudia. Plus, it's not like Liz was some royal princess or anything. Just because Liz's parents had money and could afford hired service, Liz was still a regular girl… a simple girl that didn't need to be doted on or worshipped.

Looking at Liz's confused brown eyes, she shook her head, "No, maim."

Rolling her eyes at the formality, Liz chastised, "Claudia, you know you don't have to call me 'maim'. My mother isn't here." Liz reminded her with an amused smile.

Liz loved Claudia like she loved Maria and Alex. She'd been with Liz since before her birth, loving her and caring for her where her mother couldn't or maybe wouldn't do herself. Claudia had been there. Teaching and guiding her. She'd been there when Liz was hurt; always willing to lend a shoulder for Liz to cry on. And for that, Liz would forever be grateful for her.

And to Liz, Claudia felt more like a mother to her than her own mother did.

"Sorry, maim."

"Claudia…" Liz's eyebrows lifted in a commanding manner. Her eyes held a hint of mirth though.

"Sorry Liz. It's hard to kick old habits." She chuckled as her stance loosened dramatically. Liz had always been able to be authoritative without being overbearing. Although, Claudia hated that Liz couldn't hold that character when she was around her parents. When that happened, Liz would turn into the shy little girl that her parents always thought Liz to be… which is entirely off the mark.

"I know, but you've known me my whole life. I think seventeen years of practice would be able to help you kick it, you know." Liz continued to laugh, sobering up when she remembered her mother. Pausing as she let out a weak sigh, Liz asked inquiringly, "So… how's her mood today?"

Apologetically, Claudia placed a warm hand on Liz's. "Not good Liz. I don't know what it's about but it's important, otherwise she wouldn't have spent ten minutes running around the house looking for you."

"Whoah… Mrs. Parker running around the house? Now that's a scene I'd like to see." Maria spoke up for the first time since Claudia made her appearance. Everyone knew that Nancy was the type that liked to pamper herself, barely lifting her own finger to do anything… much less scampering around, a cause that might cause her to sweat… well, that was just unbelievable to Maria. "So, I guess she gave up and ordered you to do it, huh?"

"Yes. That's pretty much it." Shrugging flippantly.

Ending the conversation on her mother, Liz said, "Okay, well. Thanks Claudia." She didn't like that they were talking about her mom like that, but they couldn't help it. It was true. Even Liz knew her mother didn't like to do anything herself. "Tell mother I'll be right there in a sec."

"Okay, I'll do that." Spinning around through the way she came, Claudia left for the house glancing a sympathetic look over her shoulder to Liz who had been looking away, not noticing it.

Turning back to Maria and Alex, Liz regretfully said her goodbyes, "I'm sorry you guys. I'd ask you guys to come inside but knowing mom and her moods, I don't think that'll be such a wise idea."

"Are you sure?" asked a concerned Alex. He walked over to Liz, pulling her into his side. He knew it was always tough on Liz whenever she had to face her parents, no matter how much she tried to hide it. Although she wasn't really doing great a job on that anyways. He really didn't understand why Liz would let them take total control of her when he and Maria can see that Liz is a very strong person all in herself. Maybe someday, she'll grow the backbone she needed to stand up against her parents. Until then, all he could do was be there and be a good supportive friend.

Pulling away from Alex, she stepped back. She hugged herself, a small substitute for the comfort of Alex's arms. "Yeah. I'll be fine." She said, though it didn't convince anyone there… not even herself.

"Liz…" Maria's voice was soft and compassionate. She wanted to be there for her friend since Liz had always been there for her when she had her troubles.

Wanting to leave all the sympathetic looks behind and just get it over with. Liz quietly commanded. "Go. You guys, just go." Already starting to walk back towards the house, she whirled around once more, giving them a small reassuring smile that she'll be okay. "I'll talk to you later."

"Alright, bye Liz." Alex sent one last comforting smile to Liz.

Forcing a cheerful smile, Maria waved. "Laters, Liz."

Once they knew she was out of hearing distance, Maria cried out to Alex, "Would you look at her?!" Liz's melancholy mood was upsetting Maria, mostly because she couldn't really do anything about it.

"Yeah… I know." Alex said in a knowing manner. He felt the same way as Maria did over this, but he was going to be calm about it and think it through rationally.

"We've got to do something!" Maria started wildly swinging her arms, ready to pounce away and towards the house. But Alex stopped her, taking a hold of her wrists and holding her back.

"Yeah, but what?" Turning Maria around to face him, he looked at her straight in the eye, "What can we do?" He'd been friends with Liz and Maria in forever. And one thing he was positive of was that he knew his girls. He knew Liz well enough to know that she wouldn't ask for help when she needed it… at least not until she was forced to confront it. But Alex wasn't going to push her on the subject… not yet. And he wasn't going to let Maria do it either.

"I don't know! Be there for her or something…" She said as she tried to squirm her way out of Alex's grasp. Maria really didn't know what to do… and she hated it. She hated feeling helpless.

Letting go of her as he stated and confirmed, "We are. We'll always be there for her." Taking a quick glance at the house, he added, "But she needs to realize first that she needs us. Until then, we should just hang back. And if we really have to, we'll do something about it. Just not… now."

Seeing the truth in Alex's words, Maria relented, "Okay… you're right. If she needs us. We'll be there."

"That's right." Nodding, he gave Maria a satisfied grin. With that, Alex pulled Maria into a brief hug and together, they made their way to their own homes.


***



"Yes, maim. She said she would be here in a second." Claudia stood before Nancy, curtsying once again. She was getting on in the years and each day, it was getting harder and harder to not fall over flat on her face. At least she rarely ever bumped into Nancy like this. Claudia always tried her hardest to avoid Nancy and Jeff whenever they were home. Unfortunately, today she didn't try hard enough.

Impatiently Nancy questioned for the second time, "Well, it's been over that, so where is she?"

Almost to her breaking point, Claudia responded tightly. "She's on her way, maim." Her jaws were clenched so firmly that it was starting to ache. This was how Claudia always responded when around Nancy. If it wasn't for Liz, she would have quit ages ago.

"She better hurry it up." Lifting her hand, she took a drag from her cigarette. No one outside the household knew that she regularly smoked except her husband. It's a wonder though, how she kept it a secret to Jeff. But then again, he was rarely home to smell the cigarette stench in the air. Plus, the sheets were always changed everyday and laundry was constantly on going.

Seeing that Nancy was preoccupied with her magazine, Claudia started to back up out of Nancy's room, only to bump into Liz who was making her way into the room. Together, they made an 'oomph' sound, alerting Nancy, who had been busy turning the pages of Glamour that her daughter was finally here for the 'important' talk. "Liz! Finally!" Saying the last word in a whiny tone.

"Mother, you asked for me?" Stepping into the room fully to face her mother who had been sitting in front of her vanity mirror.

"Yes. And Claudia you can leave now." Nancy waved her polished hands dismissively at Claudia.

Passing Liz as she walked by, Claudia lightly squeezed Liz's hand in comfort, whispering, "Good luck."

Before Liz could turn to smile at Claudia, she was gone. Taking a deep breath before she asked the reason for her mother's impatience, "What is it mother that you would like to speak with me about?"

Tired with the wait, she straightforwardly stated, "You know that your father is working on a huge case at this moment."

"The Shellow case." Not knowing where her mother was going with this, she waited for her mother to continue.

"Yes. That's the one." Standing up as she paused and took another drag from her cigarette, she continued. "Well, it's a very important case that will help Parker Corporations if the Shellows decided to sell." Stopping to take a glance at Liz, she pressed forward, explaining herself, "I had a lunch meeting with Mrs. Shellow earlier today. We had a good conversation and I found out that she had a son. Actually, he's about your age, eighteen, she said."

At that, Liz understood why her mother needed her. She wanted to use her as another ploy to win an additional one for the company.

"Now… I'm hoping you would be the good daughter that you are and take their son out tonight… as a date. You know, to help the case out." Stating what Liz knew would come out of her mother's mouth.

"So, are you asking me to take this guy out on a date so I can help father win a case?" Coming directly out with the reason.

"Yes, honey." Liz unnoticeably flinched at the endearment, 'honey' from her mother. She'd noticed a long time ago that Nancy had never before used words like those unless she wanted something from Liz.

"You don't have to do anything with him, just show him a good time." Pausing again for another puff at her cigarette. "The Crash Festival is this weekend. Let him take you out and have some fun."

Really not wanting to be in another business plot, Liz stuttered as she asked softly, "What… what if I don't want to go?"

A moment of silence penetrated the smoky air before Nancy coldly asked with a stern gaze, "Are you saying you don't?"

Knowing she didn't have any other choice but to do as her mother said, she answered Nancy dismally, "No." Shaking her head in defeat. "No, mother."

"Good." Nancy spun around to look at her mirror image, a haughty smirk reflecting back on her face. "I had already made plans for him to pick you up tonight at seven. So be ready by then." Turning back to Liz for the last time, she added, "Oh, and I asked Isabel to accompany you. Now, shoo!" Dismissing Liz like she had dismissed Claudia.

Walking out of the room, Liz lugged herself to her own bedroom. Dreading the night she'll have to spend with some rich kid she didn't know only because her mother wanted to gain more money. Reaching her room, she shut the door and slid down. Leaning heavily on the door, a tear slipped and fell, hitting her hand as she went to wipe at her wet eyes. She stayed in that position for a few minutes before she dragged herself up… going to the bathroom and wiping away the remnants of her tears.

Whispering hoarsely to herself, Liz reassured herself, "It's going to be okay…" Turning on the water to the shower, she got ready for the role she would have to put on tonight.

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

Thanx for reading! Respond through email if you're going to give feedback please! *big*

posted on 28-May-2002 8:30:21 AM by soypet
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Sorry about the delay. Max and Liz meeting here. And the song sung by Maria... it's the same one she sang on BLIND DATE.



* Part Three *
[Downtown Roswell]
Crash Festival


"Dude!!!" Exclaimed an excited Kyle Valenti. His hands were clenched into fists, legs bent and spread apart as his head shook wildly. He was an image of a college frat boy: decked out in his letterman jacket, gelled down hair and reeking of cologne. All he was missing was his mug of beer. Although he already had his fair share of alcohol for the night. "Dudes!!!" Shaking his head rowdily again. He let out an animalistic roar as his head lifted to the midnight sky, arching his back.

Pausing for a moment, he swaggered slightly as he said more civilly, "Whoah… dude… head rush…" Taking a step forward, Kyle didn't notice the elevation on the curb from the roadway. His foot slipped and the poor guy ended up landing on his tailbone, arms spread flat with a wide-eyed goofy grin face.

He was so trashed.

"God… Kyle! You're not supposed to drink before you get inside the club!" Michael shouted to his drunken friend, helping him up to a good footing by pulling him up with the elbow. It was hard when Kyle wouldn't stay stiff. It was like trying to hold on to a snake, where no matter how you grab onto it, it'll just slither away from you. Motioning his brother, Colin to help him, Michael chastised, "Kyle! How much did you drink tonight?"

Finally in a standing position where he was able to stay momentarily still, Kyle motioned with his hands as to how much he'd consumed. In Kyle's eyes, the distance between his thumb and his forefinger wouldn't even make his mother nervous… "Only a little bit, dude. Only a lil bit…" but in actuality, you could say Kyle had a 'lil bit' too much to drink. It was obvious when his sentence came out slurred and barely translatable.

Walking--though more like wobbling--to Max who had been leaning against Kyle's red mustang watching at a safe distance, Kyle plopped an arm on Max's shoulder. "Come on, Max. Lets go par-tay!" His face was practically nose-to-nose from Max's.

Flinching away from Kyle's alcohol drenched breath, Max replied, "Kyle, I think you should lay down and rest a while to sober up." He lightly pushed Kyle away from him, enough so Kyle's face wasn't jammed up in his. They were close buddies, but not that close. And Max didn't want anyone walking around thinking that he was a homosexual or anything. Wouldn't do well for his reputation--what little he had of it.

"Awww, man! I don't need to rest. Dude, I'm feeling fine!" Pulling Max closer, Kyle led him to the entrance of the Crashdown. "Now, come on. So many fishes… so little time…"

***
[Ten and some minutes earlier]


The sky was dark, people milled around the open space, and lights shined brightly from the many attractions of downtown Roswell. "Ummm… Doug, I think I've had enough of the rides. I'm getting a bit queasy." Liz had just gotten off the sixth ride of the night and her stomach was churning fitfully.

"Uhh… Okay. I guess we can take a break." Doug said sadly, resembling the face of a kid enjoying a piece of candy only to have it taken away. He was like a little child full of unwarranted energy and enthusiasm. From the first moment he picked Liz up, he'd been full of liveliness.

"Why don't we go walk around for a bit?" She said as she reached for their collection of prizes sitting on the bench. She'd been surprised to find that Doug hadn't been too unpleasant. Yes, he was very active and hyper. But it was the exact opposite of what she thought he'd be like. She'd assumed that he was another one of those cocky and arrogant rich boys… like the ones who have gone before him. Thank God he wasn't.

"Sure." He replied, walking steadily beside her. He could barely keep his arms still, constantly bumping into Liz's by accident. He was one of those persons that could never sit still in a seat. They had to move something, swing a foot, tap a finger, or both.

They'd walked in relative silence in the midst of noise and crowd until Doug broke it with a question, "So where did Isabel go?" He started playing with his alien doll that he'd won over at one of the game stands. He'd decided to keep one and give the rest to Liz who carried a variety five different sized stuffed aliens in her arms.

He had been carrying them earlier for her but his unceasing movements kept dropping them, so Liz ended up holding the little aliens.

Looking up ahead, Liz replied absently between the furry stuffed beings, "Oh, she met some guy and went off with him."

"Oh." His alien slipped through his fingers. He stopped to pick it up as a confused look passed his face. Eyebrows furrowed together, Doug asked another question. "Why'd she come with you to begin with then?"

"My mother," came her muffled reply as she rolled her eyes as well.
"Your mother?" Dropping his alien once again.

"Here, let me have that." Liz said as Doug bent down to retrieve it and before he would drop it any more. Might as well add one more to the small alien community she held in her arms. "Yeah. Isabel is my mom's personal assistant, though mom thinks Isabel's more like her personal--"

"…ahhh!" Doug exclaimed as he pushed against Liz, trying to dodge a small dog that had gotten in his way. He hadn't seen the small pup laying silently on the sidewalk, he'd been so busy being embarrassed at his awkward hand movements… one where he couldn't keep a hold of a small little alien.

"--slave." Faltering a bit as she regained her stance, she continued as if nothing happened. "And she wanted someone to watch over me while I'm with you. And of course Isabel said okay because she didn't want to stay in that dreadful house alone with her… plus, Isabel gets a bonus in her paycheck whenever something like this comes up."

Liz had gotten used to Doug by now. Not only did he have the energy like a child, but he also walked and moved like one. Tripping for him was like a regular occurrence. If Liz wasn't so nice, she would have died from laughing by now.

"Oh… I… see." Hesitantly replying as a deep red blush rushed to his face from his humiliation. Doug was thankful that Liz couldn't see his face. He couldn't believe how clumsy he was today. This was his first date and he was extremely nervous… proof comes with all the times he's tripped and fallen this night alone.

Out of all her dates so far, Doug was definitely the most entertaining… though he didn't know that. Maria and Alex would, once they hear about it. "Yeah." Trying to keep a straight face and the amusement out of her voice.

Recovered now, Doug asked yet again another question. "And you and Isabel, aren't you guys friends?" Trying to focus on the conversation and not that this, in fact, was a date. If he did… he'd probably either fall to his death or die from mortification.

"We are. But she feels the same way about my mom as everyone else does. Being around her as little as possible is our goal in life." Liz said as she chuckled dryly.

"Your mom doesn't sound too great right now." Chuckling with her, missing the real truth in her words.

"She's not." She said seriously, making Doug slightly befuddled, not knowing if she was joking still or not. Wanting to change the subject, Liz turned the conversation to Doug's mom. "What about you? Doesn't your mom ever get on your nerves?"

"Yeah, I guess. Sometimes." Doug answered, adding an extra amount in, "But I rarely ever get out of the house, so I have to be able to get along with her." Taking a moment to realize he spoke before he thought, he almost slapped himself on the forehead before he remembered that wasn't the way to go to impress a girl. He just hoped Liz wouldn't focus on the part that he never went out. It didn't make him look any cooler. And he needed all the help he could get tonight.

"You never get out?" Something else she wouldn't have figured out from Doug at first look. He was an attractive guy, considering his clear blue eyes. You'd imagine that he was the most popular guy.

Oh well. Forget about trying to be cool, might as well tell the truth. "No. Only for school, but other than that, I really don't have much friends. So, this… our date or whatever… is really an uncommon thing." Blushing once more at the 'date', hoping he hadn't assumed too much.

"That sucks." Even though Liz didn't get out much either, she still had Maria and Alex. Without them… Liz would be lost. And Doug, he didn't have anyone…

"Yeah," Uncomfortable, Doug looked around at the area. Catching site of the bold and bright letterings of the Crashdown, Doug called out, "Look! There's that new club I've heard about in the papers."

Looking up, Liz was surprised to see the familiar spacecraft hanging above the Crashdown sign. She hadn't realized how far they'd walked in the short amount of time. "Oh! The Crashdown…"

"Yeah. I've always wanted to go in when I first heard about it." Doug said excitedly. He'd never been to a club or anything of the sort before. Never getting out of the house does that. He never got to experience the little things such as enjoying the pounding beats of the music and dancing heat that associates itself with the word, 'club'.

"My friend's mom owns it. She'd just opened it a couple of weeks ago." Liz supplied absently, still looking ahead at the Crashdown's entrance.

"Really? You know the owner?" A sudden look of awe and admiration appeared on his face, causing Liz to smile widely at his enthusiasm.

"Yeah." Liz confirmed. "Wanna go inside and check it out? I haven't been there when it's full yet."

"Yeah, of course!" Saying it as he jumped off the sidewalk, making his way across the road and to the Crashdown.

Being less ample in energy and movement, Liz slowly made her way across the street, noticing a couple of guys helping a drunken guy up. Still walking, she furrowed her brow, thinking she'd seen that guy before. Turning her head, Liz snuck another look at the guy. Liz was positive she'd seen him before, but from where and when, she couldn't remember. Oh well…

"Come on, Liz!" Doug shouted, standing a few feet away from José, the regular bouncer that she'd met earlier when Amy was interviewing prospective employees. Doug looked a bit scared of being so close to such an intimidating man.

"Hey Liz. Didn't know you were coming by tonight." José said as he went to help Liz with the stuffed aliens. Lifting the load off her small arms. José was big and bulky, but he was one of the sweetest man Liz has met. A gentleman to the core… unless you got him riled up, angering him.

"Thank you." She said gratefully. "I came to see and experience what the place looks like when it's packed full of people."

"Well, you're lucky. It's been a busy night." Moving towards the little booth where he placed Liz's winnings. There were people still waiting in line hoping to get into the club as others walked out smiling and full of sweat. People stood against the wall talking and chatting in groups, others smoking absently, while the rest anxiously waited on who José would chose to go in next.

"I bet--with the Crash Festival this weekend." Liz replied, smiling at José, turning her head in the direction in where she came from. She glanced quickly at Doug who still looked frightened before bringing her gaze back to José, Liz asked with an amused grin, "Have you seen Maria?"

"Yeah. She's somewhere inside." Letting two attractive and shrieking girls in, dressed in club attire. Tube tops and leather pants, heels and wild hair, and too much makeup for Liz's tastes.

"Alright. Thanks José." Liz said as she motioned for Doug. He pounced quickly behind Liz, using her as a shield when he passed by José.

"No problems." Letting Liz duck under the rope as Doug followed right behind. As she walked through the doorway, she felt the vibrations under her feet, felt the air rise immediately, and felt the pounding rhythms pulse around her. This was the club experience.

Back outside though, one angry guy shouted in response to seeing Liz get in when he was still waiting, "Hey! We were here first!"

"Oh, fuck off!" Replied an annoyed José.

***


"Alright, so what do we have here boys?" Kyle turned his head back to his followers, answering his own question. "Girls. We've got girls… and lots of them. Lets use this to our advantage, boys." Pivoting around, Kyle stumbled forward on his toes, accidentally bumping into the female in front of him. His hand ended smack dab on her chest, causing her to yelp out and slap him on the face.

Sheepishly looking back at the guys who were now laughing hysterically, Kyle replied as he rubbed his burning cheek, "Oops."

Chuckling still, Michael said, "Come on Kyle, lets get you a seat before you stumble yourself to death." He pushed Kyle along to the seats to their right, moving out of the entrance corridor.

The club had been unorthodoxly done, much like Amy's quirky personality. Walking first into the club, all you see is a mass of people crowded around and dancing in the middle… hovering over the mini stage that had been placed directly in the center. All along the walls, there'd been rooms sectioned off, open to each other. In each room, held a bar, manned by two people.

Each bar had it's own theme, such as the pod room… where the seats were shaped egg-like and the walls were primarily bleached white. And the rooms itself where each decorated in alien artifacts and alien art. In one room, there'd been a full floor to ceiling mural of the crash of '47.

Along one wall, there was a winding double staircase leading up to the second level. It was a unique looking staircase where two people would enter at opposite sides and might never end up meeting. The center was left open so that people sitting or dancing up there could have perfect view on anyone standing below on the stage and dance floor.

"Max, you gonna sit with us?" Colin asked as he diverted Max's roaming eyes away from the club's interior arrangement. Max had never been inside it before.

"Yeah, I'll be back though. Gotta use the bathroom," looking around, he asked, "…where is it?"

"You can either go over there…" Colin said as he pointed to the far corner where a huge crowd lingered around. "…or you could walk up the stairs and you should be able to find it."

"Thanks." Opting to take the stairs.

posted on 28-May-2002 8:31:46 AM by soypet
***


"I'll be right back Doug. I'm just going to use the restroom and hopefully find Maria in the process." Liz said as put her drink down on the table and getting up from the cushioned chair.

"Okay." Looking around nervously. "I'll… I'll just wait here." Doug watched her longingly as she walked away.

Seeing the long line for the bathroom, Liz decided to go to the upper level where the line would be less dense. She climbed the staircase as her eyes traveled over the area, looking for Maria.

She'd made it halfway up the stairs when the loud, pulsing music stopped, as did the vibrations. Dancers faded to a halt, so did Liz, knowingly. A slow beat began as the lights dimmed and a single spotlight landed on the stage. A lone voice could be heard, loud and clear, soft and soothing…

I can feel it coming in the air tonight

Maria looked amazing when she sang. Like she belonged under the spotlight with the microphone in her hand and swaying to the gradual rhythms of the song--with Alex backing her up on guitar.

And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life

Maria's eyes closed, getting into the mood that the tone of the song set, allowing the pace of the heightened club to slow down as well. Smiling proudly at her friend, Liz continued to climb the stairs and watch Maria and Alex at the same time.

Can you feel it coming in the air tonight

Distracted, Liz didn't notice someone was blocking the stairway. She stepped up only to be pushed back by his standstill weight, almost knocking her to her bottom as she squeaked out, "Oooo-ooh!"

Spinning quickly around, Max reached out to grab her before she stumbled down the stairs.

Well I remember, I remember, don't worry
How could I ever forget


His hands were gripped on her arms, holding her up as he stood a step above her. Changing his hold on Liz and tightening it, one hand wrapped around her waist, only to bring their faces closer together by just a mere inch or two apart. Promptly, Max apologized in one quick breath, "…sorry…"

His hoarse whisper fanned itself against Liz's forehead, breezing lightly through her hair. His heart was pounding loudly in his ears at the sudden action he'd gone through. It didn't help that the person in his arms felt so good…

Soft. And female.

It's the first time, the last time we ever met

She hadn't looked up yet, steadying her gaze at his open collar where she saw tan golden skin. "It's…" Bringing her eyes up to finish her sentence, she looked at his face and fastened pools of chocolate with amber depths. "…okay…" Sighing the last word in a delayed breath.

But I know the reason why you keep the silence up

Both froze as they continued to stare at each other. They could feel something shift in the air, along with an inner click. As if something in the world went right--locking into its perfect place. A set clock beginning its course in time. They could barely hear the soft lyrics drifting up to their ears as the blood rushed through their bodies, heating them from head to toe, starting at where they touched.

I can feel it coming in the air tonight
And I've been waiting for this moment for all my life…


It took them a moment to get back to reality as the last lines were sang… the audience clapped and the loud, pulsing beats returned, breaking them from their world of colorful array bursting of chocolate and amber. They felt the vibrations under their feet, whether it was from the music or their own rhythmic pulses, it was hard to tell.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Max was the first to speak, loosening his hold on Liz. Instead, his hands roamed her body, looking for any injuries.

"I'm fine…" Liz replied as Max's hands lingered lightly on her arm. "Thank you."

"Thank me?" Shaking his head incredulously. "No. I should be thanking you for not killing me by now with my part in almost making you fall and all." Explaining with an amused smile. Raising his hand to grab onto hers, he helped Liz up the stairs.

"No, really. It's okay." Her hands tingled, running straight up her arm, causing her to shiver slightly.

Stopping at the top of the staircase, Max turned to Liz as he leaned into her. The music was getting too loud for them to talk normally. His lips barely and chastely traced her cheek, his lashes tapped tenderly against her forehead--like a butterfly kiss--as he lightly breathed the next words alongside her ear, "I'm Max. And you are…" Pulling back, raising an inquiring eyebrow accompanied with a charming smile. He could smell the sweet scent of strawberry from her chocolate strands.

"Liz." Finishing his sentence, forgetting all about the bathroom as all lingering thoughts and feelings of an earlier crush disappeared from Max's mind when he heard her say her name.

"Pleased to meet you." Max said, grinning charismatically at her. Letting go of Liz completely, he lifted his hand, in gesture of a handshake.

She did the same.

And when her small hand touched his large palm, sparks erupted, hearts leapt and souls met. And another staring contest began while the air around them went up in temperature, even though it was already boiling. The heady scent of each other flooded the space among them, thickly, mixing and mingling together. Creating its own unique fragrance.

Their senses heightened. Focused on the other. The blackness of Max's hair. The silky softness of Liz's. Golden tan skin. Creamy smoothness. Full and pouty mouths.

Sweet and spicy.

My lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand. Licking his lips in anticipation. To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. On instinct, Max pulled on her hand, motioning for Liz to move closer as he bent his head, getting ready to touch his lips to hers…

And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. Everything seemed to go in slow motion by then. The leisurely fluttering of Liz's lashes. The shallow breathing from Max. O then dear saint, let lips do what hands do. The distance-a great rift-between lips was so vast… seeming to take forever in reaching each other.

Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purged. As if it took a century, lips touched lips as hands stayed in contact, palm-to-palm. Like hands used in prayer.

And their world spun around to dizzying heights.

Caressing, supple lips met hungry ones. Hearts pounded in harmony, the steady music setting the tempo. Lungs burned from the lack of oxygen. And still, hands were folded in prayer as lips were fused together. Bodies melded together, shaping, forming… into one.

Max wrapped one hand around her waist, pulling her even tighter to him, as the other moved to her cheek. His palm cupping her face as his tongue stroked her bottom lip, asking for permission. A low groan of pleasure was her gift to him, exciting him more than many other things in life could ever.

Leaning back, Liz's back arched as she looked up into Max's dark eyes, his hands moving to support the back of her neck. His eyes had turned from a golden amber to a dark midnight in one instant. She wondered if hers looked just as dazed as Max's seemed to be.

They probably were.

There were still tiny specks of gold in them. How could that be? She'd never seen anything like it. Minuscule sparkles of golden light bursting madly along the edge of black pools. Moving her head closer, noses touched. Breaths combined, blowing gently on each other. O trespass sweetly urged. Lips readying. Give me my sin again…

"Liz! Liz!"

Ignoring it.

The space between lips grew shorter, just less than a bare inch away. "Liz!" The voice was closer now. Not wanting to be broken from the magical charm, Liz pressed on… almost there… His warm breath blew ardently against her cheek.

"Liz!" The voice was next to her ear now, tapping at her shoulder. "Liz…"

Having no other choice but to respond, Liz pulled back. Breaking the spell and enchantment. She groaned disappointedly, giving Max an apologetic look before turning an annoyed one at Isabel. Still breathing harsh and unevenly, Liz roughly asked, "Yeah?"

Max had loosened his grip on Liz, opting to lay a lazy arm across her waist instead. He tried to control is raging breaths, to no luck. His lungs needed air from its recent exercise. Trying to fill itself with his rapid breathing.

Taking a quick glance at Max, Isabel assessed the view in front of her. Both Max and Liz's lips where swollen and red, faces flushed and chests rising erratically. His hair was slightly mussed; Isabel guessed that was Liz's doing. She'd just have to give Liz props on her astounding choice in men later on when she had the chance. But right now, a worried Doug was looking for his date and Liz needed to know that. "Doug is looking for you."

Seeing Liz's eyes wide in remembrance of her date, Isabel went on to explain. "I didn't talk to him but I saw him on my way up here. He was looking around the other bathroom, but soon he'll be looking up here too." She'd gone to get a drink, trying to return to the guy she'd met earlier when Isabel spotted Doug looking lost and confused in the crowd. His dirty blonde head of hair shook from right to left, looking for Liz. It was hard to find anyone in the dense crowd.

At the word 'Doug' Max stiffened next to Liz. She felt it and caught his gaze, trying to convey that 'Doug' was nothing. And it worked. Max immediately drew Liz closer to his side, as if claiming her as his already.

Isabel watched on, amazed. Since when did Liz communicate so well through her eyes? Who was this guy? Shaking her head, Isabel pulled at Liz's arm, "You should really go to him. He looked frantic."

"Alright. I'll be right there." Liz said absently, turning her face towards Max distractedly before returning her gaze to Isabel.

Giving Liz a you-better-come-now look, Isabel warned, "Liz, Doug will…"

Cutting her off, annoyed as her words came out clipped and curt, "Okay. I'm coming." Turning back to Max, she lightly reached up to peck his cheek, whispering the words on the way, "I'm sorry. I've got to go."

"It's okay." Though it wasn't. He wanted so much to spend more time with her. Nothing in his life had ever felt so good than how he felt when she was wrapped in his arms. Tasting her. Kissing her. His eyes pleaded for her to stay…

"Liz. Doug is coming up…" Isabel cut in.

Liz turned her head away from Max. She could see Doug climb up the stairs-the one that changed everything for her. She felt Max's hand slip away from hers, spinning around, she called out, "Max," feeling the lost of his warmth around her… She shivered from the cold.

It was too late. Max was gone.

He'd exited her life just as quickly as he'd entered it. If she didn't know any better--didn't feel how real it felt to be in his arms… how alive--she might have thought that it was only a dream. Only been a fantasy.

Wistfully, she whispered a word, hoping it would reach Max's ears as it traveled the length of the crowded room, "Bye…"

She stood there, watching the direction in which Max left for a few moments before Doug stepped up from behind her, asking, "Hey Liz. Where've you been? I was getting worried about you. Either that, I was worried you might have ditched me for someone else." His insecurities hidden in his lighthearted tone.

"Oh! Doug!" Startled at his sudden appearance next to her side. She flushed white at the almost truth of this last statement. She would have left anywhere with Max. Faltering for an excuse, Liz explained, "I… I was going to the bathroom and I met Isabel along the way. I'm sorry to keep you waiting."

"Oh… it's okay." He said as he looked at his watch, uncomfortable. "It's getting late, do you wanna go home now?"

"Uhh… Sure." Looking around, trying to get a glimpse of raven hair. Not seeing it, an idea came to Liz. "Ummm… Let me speak with Isabel for a bit."

"Okay." Doug replied with a cute smile, though Liz missed it as she walked away to talk to Isabel. Doug stood uneasily, leaning on the railing as he watched Isabel hand Liz a piece of paper and pen. Quickly, Liz jotted something down, handing it back to Isabel. As she went to hug Isabel, Liz whispered something inaudible in her ear. He could barely make out the words, only the tail end of it, "…bye Isabel."

"Laters, Liz." Pulling back with the note in her hand. Isabel waved once with an innocent smile on her face, "Goodbye Doug."

"Bye." He replied kindly. If she was a friend of Liz, well… it's always best to make the most excellent impression on the friends of someone you'd want to go 'farther' with. He didn't know much about dating, but he did know that getting close and friendly to the family and friends will forever be a good thing.

Once Liz and Doug's back were turned away from her and heading down the stairs, Isabel set off to find this wonderful Max that had hooked Liz so swiftly and so quickly. He must be extraordinary to be able to catch the ever-elusive Elizabeth Parker into his clutches. Isabel had seen and been with Liz through all the many 'dates' she's been on. Never before had Isabel witnessed the starry eyed look coming from Liz a moment ago.

Max better be worth it…

***


"Where's Max?" Michael asked, lounging in his seat. He was tired and sweaty from all the dancing. At the moment, he had his Cherry Coke in hand as his other held a bottle of Tabasco sauce, dripping the condiment into his beverage profusely.

"Bath…" Colin said, taking a break from sucking on the girl's lips to answer Michael's question in two syllables. "…room."

"Really?" Taking a chug on his glass, enjoying the cool burning sensation of the drink as it ventured down his dry and parched throat. Sighing, he inquired, "That long?"

"Hmmm… maybe he fell into the toilet." Colin filled in before he lowered his head, sucking on the girl's neck loudly. She giggled, filling the room with her girlish giddy. The conversation forgotten as Colin's hands inched its way under her shirt while the kissing continued.

"Yeah. His scrawny ass could probably do it too." Kyle joined in the conversation with his slurred speech. He'd hidden a flask under his jacket. Too bad for Michael… guess it looked like he'd be the one driving them home tonight. "Or maybe he hooked up with some girl. Maybe they're going at it right now…" Kyle added did a little pelvic thrust in his seat. Well… more like, he tried to do one. He looked like he had a case of the seizures. Like one jerk of the nerves before his body died.

"Maybe…" Ignoring Kyle's crude behavior. Michael understood what Kyle was going for. "Either that, he's still depressed over Tess and ditched us to go mourn." Taking another drag from his glass, snapping his neck back like a man drinking a gulp of brandy to drown out his miseries. "You know what?"

"What, dude?" Kyle's head rested on the chair, his arms was spread wide and his feet were propped up on the table sitting in front of them.

"I'm tired of seeing Max like this." Leaning forward in his seat as a plan formed in his mind, Michael's face beamed mischievously. "And I've got the perfect solution."

"Yeah… What is it?" In his drunken stupor, he was still conscious enough to be intrigued at Michael's sly grin and wickedly gleaming eyes as he saw through his half-slit eyes.

"We're gonna get Max laid!" Michael yelled it loud enough, as group of people turned their heads in alarm, amusement and confusion. Waiting for their gazes to leave him, Michael repeated it calmly, "Max needs to get laid. And we're gonna help him."

With that, Michael leaned back in his chair once again, with a broad and anxious smile on his face. Kyle though, well… he'd fallen asleep in between the time Michael yelled it out and now. He wouldn't be waking up for a long while. And he'd probably have the worst and most killer headache in his short life. And Colin was still busily grinding his way on the giggling girl… until Michael slapped him on the head, "Colin! No sex, remember?"

"Ow!" Colin exclaimed, rubbing his head. Shrugging to the girl, Colin got up and went to get himself a drink. Leaving a bewildered and frustrated girl at the seat. Kissing and making out heavily makes you thirsty, you know?

***


"Max! Max! Wait!" Isabel shouted across the walkway, briskly striding towards Max who she finally scouted out in the thick dancing crowd. "Max!"

At hearing his name, Max turned around to face an excitedly flushed Isabel. She was attractive with her hair fanning out from her face. But it wasn't the site he wanted to see. She wasn't the girl he wanted to see.

"Liz wanted me to give you this." Halting beside him as she waved the note in her hand, clearly letting him notice it.

Unfolding the note, he read: Max. I'm sorry that it had to end this way. If you like, it doesn't have to. Meet me at the little cottage by my house at midnight. Isabel will tell you the directions. Until then, Liz.

Jerking his head up to look up questioningly at Isabel, he opened his mouth to ask. But she was a step ahead of him when she quickly answered, "Follow me and I'll show you how to get there…"

***


Stepping off the staircase, Liz preceded to head towards the exit, only to be knocked back towards Doug by another hard male body. Hrumph! Tonight seemed to be the night for bumping and stumbling. Only once did Liz enjoy the pleasure of it. The others… well, they were just exasperating.

"Liz! Hey!" Sean called out once he saw whom he had bumped into. "What are you doing here?" His eyebrows fused together in wonder and curiosity.

"Uhh… I came to the Crash Festival with Doug here." Motioning to the jittery Doug standing behind her. "We happened to have made our way into the Crashdown…"

"Oh." He said as he went in to hug her lightly as he sent a warning glare to Doug over her shoulder. Drawing back with a warm and protective smile. "Are you leaving now? Because it's getting late and your mom wouldn't like that."

"Oh, she's the one who sent me out tonight." Looking up at her cousin, Liz asked her own question not wanting to revel in thoughts of her mom, "What about you, Sean?"

"To party, of course." His eyes had spanned the room, landing on Isabel at the upper level, exactly why he was making his way towards the stairs. For the past year or so, he'd been pursuing her at the greatest lengths. She hadn't relented yet, but soon… he hoped she would.

Looking up at the top level, he spotted Isabel once again. This time she wasn't alone. She was talking to some guy who had his back to him. Sean felt a chilling wave of jealousy coursed through his veins. His jaws clenched in envy at the guy. He was about to turn back to Liz when he caught a glimpse of Isabel's companion. Surprised, he exclaimed, "Holy shit!"

"What?" Startled at his expletive outburst, Liz jumped slightly away from Sean. "What is it?"

"Why is Isabel talking to him?" Sean asked angrily, his pointer finger motioning to Isabel and Max.

"Him? Who?" Liz knew exactly who, though afraid of Sean's disdainful tone.

Answering, the words came out full of hate and spite. "That Evans boy."

"Evans…" Liz repeated, stunned. My only love sprung from my only hate. "Evans?" more to herself than anyone.

Shaking her head, she lifted it to the upper level as Max turned around at the same moment. He searched the room before landing on her. Theirs eyes met in the space between. Too early seen unknown and known too late. Max's eyes filled with anticipation. Liz's with dismay. Prodigious birth of love it is to me… Breaking eye contact, Liz looked away with sadness.

That I must love a loathed enemy…