posted on 2-May-2002 12:48:17 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz, And I guess it's AU
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Roswell, or anyone associated with it. Jason Katim, 20th Century Fox, and UPN own that mess.

Summary: This story takes place during senior year at West Roswell High. There was never a shooting at the Crashdown Café. Liz Parker was never shot, and Max Evans never had to save her life. Consequentially, the word never spread of a strange happening in a little town in New Mexico, because it never happened. Nasedo never heard about it, so he never showed up. He never brought that blonde bitch – um, Tess, with him. Max never lost his virginity to Tess, because she never showed up. Max never got Tess pregnant because, well, you get the gist.

Max, Michael and Isabel have no idea what they are or where they came from, or why they are here. All they know for sure is that they are not of this world, and they’ve been hiding their entire lives.

Oh, and there's one other thing . . . Max Evans has always been in love with a girl named Liz Parker.

Author Note: I’ve written a lot of things that are dark, or depressing, or painful to read. This time, I’m going for something lighter, a little more fun, and trying to keep the angst at a minimum. I’m trying for a return to a more innocent time, a time when you could believe there was once a boy who was ‘Not from around here’ that was in love with ‘Just a small town girl’. I hope you enjoy . . .

PS. I know the title is dumb, but it made me laugh when I wrote it, so it just stuck! You'll understand the title soon . . .

PSS. Don't worry, for those of you that are reading Captive Hearts. This story won't interfere with that. Sometimes I just need a little change of pace.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 1

Max sat outside the counselor’s office, waiting for his turn, wondering how much longer this was going to take. Was everyone at West Roswell High in need of a class change? He had a simple request. To get the hell out of his speech class, and into something that wouldn’t scare the crap out of him. He knew it had been a mistake when he signed up for it at the end of junior year, but everyone kept telling him to ‘try it, you might like it’! Well he tried it, and after the second day, he knew he hated it.

Senior year was supposed to be fun, not a nightmare like standing in front of the class and talking. He wasn’t the talking type. He was the silent type who belonged in the back row, the one nobody noticed, who just faded into the woodwork. That was him. Max Evans, Mr. Invisible.

The door to Mr. Wimpet’s office opened and Max looked at it expectantly. The small man eyed the students waiting not so patiently in his outer office and then studied the name on the paper in his hand. Clearing his throat, in a squeaky voice he said, “Miss Blakely?”

Max watched Karen Blakely rise to her feet and his shoulders slumped. Damn. At this rate he was going to miss all of first period. And he liked first period. In fact, he looked forward all weekend to going back to school on Monday, because of first period.

She was in first period.

* * * * *

Liz looked at her watch again, and then tried to concentrate on what Ms. Hardy was saying. She was taking copious notes, just in case. He might ask her if he could borrow them, since he seemed to be missing class today, and then maybe that would give her a good excuse to talk to him. Of course, hopefully, she’d be able to actually talk to him instead of just drooling, which she tended to do whenever she looked at him.

She lifted her elbow onto the table in front of her and rested her chin on her hand while her mind drifted away from Biology. In her daydream, he would come into the classroom, take one look at her, and rush to her, sweeping her into his strong, muscular arms, bend her over backwards, and kiss the daylights out of her. With a smile on her lips, Liz let out a deep sigh.

“Did you say something Liz?” Ms. Hardy asked as she walked by.

“What? No!” Liz stuttered in embarrassment, and her cheeks turned bright red.

* * * * *

Max slumped against the arm of his chair with his chin on his hand, lost in daydreams about the girl in his first period class. In fact, she wasn’t just in his class, she was his lab partner. She had been since 10th grade. You would think by now they’d know each other inside and out. Woops. That’s not what he meant. Maybe it was. No, no it wasn’t.

He shifted uncomfortably and looked around the room at all the other bored faces. Damn this chair was hard. Did they put hard chairs in here on purpose to try to keep the kids out? Mr. Wimp, um . . . Wimpet. What was taking Mr. Wimpet so long?

* * * * *

“Okay boys and girls, take the slide marked . . .” Ms. Hardy droned on at the front of the class.

Boys and girls? Did Ms. Hardy think they were still in grade school, Liz wondered? Her thoughts drifted back to grade school, to third grade, and one particular boy. Yes, she’d noticed him right away, when he climbed off the school bus and stood on the playground with his hands in his pockets. He looked like he didn’t know what to do, or where to go. It was a good thing that he had a bossy sister to keep him from getting lost. She had wanted to go over to him, to ask him if he needed any help, but his sister scared her.

* * * * *

Mr. Wimpet stood once more in his office doorway, looking at the paper in his hand. Max stared at him, willing his name to be called, for the love of God, please! He was going stir crazy waiting for his name to be called.

“Let’s see,” Mr. Wimpet scrutinized the slip of paper. Max wondered how many inches thick his glasses were? 2? 3? 4 maybe? His eyes looked the size of hockey pucks behind those lenses. Will you read the damn name already!

“Mr. Evans?” The small man finally said.

“Thank God,” Max grumbled to himself and rose to his feet, following the little man into his office.

“Please, Mr. Evans,” Mr. Wimpet walked around his huge desk and sat in a chair that nearly swallowed him up. “Take a seat. Now, I understand you want to change a class?”

“Yes,” Max replied eagerly and sat down in a chair front of the desk. It was a small chair, half the size of Mr. Wimpet’s chair, and Max wondered how a fat guy would ever fit in it.

“What class do you want to change?” he asked, and his fingers began to pound the keys to the computer on his desk. Max was amazed, watching his fingers fly.

“Speech. I want to get out of Speech. Put me in anything but Speech.”

“Mr. Evans,” Mr. Wimpet shook his head slowly. “You still need a communicative arts credit to graduate. We are already a week and a half into the first semester, and most of the classes are full. Are you sure you want to change?”

“Look Mr. Wimp, I just want to-”

“Excuse me?” Mr. Wimpet interrupted with a frowned.

“I. Just. Want. To-” Max tried to enunciate clearly. Was Mr. Wimpet going deaf too?

“What did you say?” the older man stared at Max through his coke bottle lenses.

“When? What?” Max was back peddling now. Oh shit. “I didn’t say anything.”

“What did you call me?”

“Nothing . . . Mr. Wimpet,” Max held his breath, wondering if he should just die now.

Mr. Wimpet was staring at him with those black hockey puck eyes, and Max wondered if he was the real alien in the room. Paint him green and he’d look just like the aliens on the Crashdown walls. He would fit right into the little alien saucers in the UFO center. If Max didn’t know better, he would have sworn Mr. Wimpet was from Mars.

“Well, Mr. Evans,” the older man returned his attention to the giant computer monitor in front of him. “There’s only one class I can transfer you to, which will give you the credits you need, that is available in the time slot you need.”

“What class?” Max asked apprehensively. He didn’t like the sound of Mr. Wimpet’s voice.

He leveled his gaze on Max and said with a smile, “Drama.”

* * * * *

“Notice how the cells reproduce . . .” Ms. Hardy talked as she walked around the class.

Reproduce, Liz thought to herself. She wouldn’t mind a little reproducing with a certain – do not go there! He might be her lab partner, but there was no reproducing going on! Heck, he barely even looked at her, and talked to her even less. Reproducing was just not going to happen.

Where was he anyway? Was he sick? Maybe a Rhinovirus was invading his system, spreading like wildfire, and confining him to bed. She could be his doctor, spending long hours isolating the virulent strain that was attacking him, finding the cure, creating an antiviral agent to fight it. Together, they would find a cure to the common cold!

Calm down, she reminded herself. He’d never been sick a day in his life, that she was aware of.

* * * * *

No, no, no, Max thought in horror. Not Drama! He couldn’t take Drama! He’d die if he took Drama! “Um,” he choked out. “Isn’t there, ah, anything else?

“Afraid not, Mr. Evans,” he shook his head. “It’s either Drama, or stick with Speech.”

What a choice! Die a lingering death in front of the class in Speech, or make an ass out of himself on stage. God, just kill me now!

“Keep in mind, Mr. Evans, in Drama, there are a multitude of things you can do. Lighting. Stage direction. Set decoration. Costuming. Not everything involves being on the stage.”

“Really?” Max asked.

“Really,” Mr. Wimpet nodded. “And even if you do find yourself on stage, remember that it’s not you up there. It’s who ever you create. You can be anyone you want to be, when you are on stage. Some of the best thespians in the world are so shy they can’t hold a conversation in public, but when they’re on stage, they shine!”

“Really?” Max said again. What would it be like, to be someone else for awhile?

“Well, Mr. Evans?” Wimpet asked.

“I’ll take Drama,” Max smiled.

* * * * *

Liz was doodling on her notepad, lost in thought and unaware of what she was writing. The period was drawing to an end, and he hadn’t shown up. Now she was depressed, knowing that she wouldn’t see him for the rest of the day. First period was the only period that they shared, and even if he came to school late, she wouldn’t get to see him.

Maybe at lunch, but sometimes he left campus to eat. He’d go with his sister and his friend Michael, and she’d been tempted to ask Maria to follow them, at a safe distance so he wouldn’t know she was following him, but she never got up the nerve. He wasn’t interested in her, and she didn’t want to look like a pathetic loser.

The door opened suddenly and her heart skipped a beat, before starting to race wildly. He was here! Oh my God, he was here! He had on that burgundy shirt she liked so much, with the short sleeves that showed off his muscles, and his dark hair was falling over his forehead, and . . . and . . .

Did he just look at her, she wondered, and felt her breath catch in her throat. Was he looking at her? So it was only for like a nanosecond, but she could have sworn that he looked at her. Well, of course he would look at her. She was his lab partner, and he’d missed almost the whole class, so he must be hoping she took notes, so she could share them with him, so he wouldn’t get behind.

He was giving Ms. Hardy a slip of paper now, probably an excuse for being late. Now he was coming this way, with his head down the way he usually walked. Oh, what a walk! Okay, calm down, calm down. Don’t let him see. Don’t act like an idiot.

“Hi,” Max whispered as he came around the table. “Sorry I’m late.”

“Yeah,” Liz said nonchalantly, having had years of practice. “You missed almost the whole class.”

“I know,” Max answered. “Did you get notes?”

“Yes,” she nodded and began to open her notebook, and then her face froze when she saw what she had doodled all over the page. Hearts were everywhere. In the margin. Across the top of the page. Above every I. Inside the hearts were the initials M.E + L. P. Oh God! She couldn’t let him see!

“Can I see them?” Max asked, and then said, “the notes,” when her face looked at him blankly.

“Um,” Liz hedged. “Well . . .” How was she going to get out of this one? Biting her lip, she blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “How about I email them to you? I can send you all the important stuff, and leave out the garbage.”

“Okay,” Max agreed and turned his attention to Ms. Hardy.

“Um, is everything okay?” Liz asked, unable to fight her curiosity.

“What?” Max whispered, turning back to look at her.

“Um, you missed almost the whole class. Is everything okay?” she bit her lip nervously. Was he going to tell her to mind her own business?

“I was trying to change a class,” he whispered softly, trying not to attract any attention. “I had to see Mr. Wimp – et.”

Liz snorted a laugh and then covered her mouth with her hand. She could see him biting his lip to keep from laughing too. “And?” she finally managed to whisper.

“I was in Speech and I hated it, so I transferred out.”

“So what class did you get instead?” Liz asked, keeping her voice low. She knew he had Speech for 6th period. Did he move from Speech to something else, or did they change his whole class schedule around? Did they move him to a different Biology class? Was he transferring out of this one? No! No! Please, no!

“I didn’t have much of a choice. It was Speech, or Drama. So I took Drama. Speech sucked.”

“Drama?” Liz could hardly breath.

“Drama,” Max nodded.

“When?” she asked.

“6th period,” Max answered. “Mrs. Wainwright’s class.”

“Really?” Liz said loudly and then cringed when everyone turned to look at her. Shit!

“Yeah,” Max stared at her.

“I’m, ah,” Liz sucked in a breath and then continued, “I’m in that class.”

“You are?” his mouth dropped open. Holy shit! He was gonna start the day with her in this class, and end it with her in another! Good God almightly! Life was SWEET!

“Um, yeah,” Liz tried to keep her voice even while inside she jumped for joy. She didn’t know who the God for class schedules was, but she was ready to kiss his feet!

The bell rang to signal the end of the period and they gathered their things together. They walked out into the hallway side by side, because they were both going out into the hallway, and there was only one direction out into the hallway, and they couldn’t get out into the hallway any other way, and then they came to a stop needing to go in different ways to their next class.

“So, um,” Max stuttered. “I’ll, um . . . I’ll see you in Drama, 6th period.”

“Yeah,” Liz nodded. “Drama.”

“Okay, so . . . I’ll see ya later,” he added, still not moving.

“Yeah,” she nodded. “Later.”

Not knowing what else to say, Max turned to the right and headed down the hall. Liz watched him go for a minute, until he disappeared in the crowd. Slowly, she walked across the hall to her next class, just one door down.

Suddenly, 12th grade was looking a lot more enjoyable. Sharing two classes with Max was going to be interesting to say the least. They were already lab partners in one class, would they work together in the other class as well? She could hardly wait for 6th period to find out.

Look for an update probably next Monday.

[ edited 63time(s), last at 20-Feb-2003 3:09:00 AM ]
posted on 4-May-2002 12:37:59 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz, AU
Rating: PG 13

Author Note: Wow you guys! I’m overwhelmed by the feedback! Good God, I never expected that! Everybody must be in the mood for something a little more innocent. I got the inspiration to write this when I read an amazing story by LttleMrmade called The First Date. It was so cute and fun and it made me smile and laugh. If you haven’t read it, then do!

I wasn’t going to post this part until Monday, but Mermaidgirl sang so pretty, I guess I have to update now. Where’s those smilie faces. Oh there they are . . . *happy**tongue**big*

Now, I have to give you a warning here. As many of you have guessed, Romeo and Juliet will come into play in this story. There will be quotes used when they recite certain passages from the play. For those of you that hate Shakespeare, my word for you is . . . sorry! It can’t be avoided. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 2

Liz hovered just inside the door, watching for Max and wondering if he’d changed his mind and decided to stay in Speech. Just as she was about to give up and take her seat, she heard the sound of footsteps running, and then he was barreling through the door, right at her. Her eyes widened as he nearly knocked her over and then his hand was on her arm to steady her.

“Damn! Liz!” Max squeezed her arm, sounding out of breath. “I didn’t mean to run over you!”

“Sorry,” she said hastily. “I shouldn’t have been standing in the doorway. Sorry.” She could feel the heat rising in her cheeks. Damn. Could he see?

Oh MAN! He’d almost knocked her over! Shit! Could he be a bigger klutz? Why did Coach Stevens have to keep him after class? This of all classes? First he missed most of first period, and now he was almost late for his last class. Damn. The two classes he had with her, too. What a day.

“I . . . I . . .” Liz was trying to make her mouth work, but his hand was still on her arm, and it was warm, and soft, but firm and strong, and he was looking right at her. Oh my God! He was looking right at her, touching her arm. SAY SOMETHING! “I ah, ummmm . . .” Oh good Lord!

“Oh!” Max pulled his hand away from her arm. Her warm, soft arm. So small, his fingers went all the way around it and overlapped on the other side. “Sorry. I didn’t mean . . . to squeeze . . . to bump into . . . sorry.”

Max pulled his hand away and Liz tried to contain her sigh of regret. His hand had felt so . . . so . . . so dreamy. Now that he wasn’t touching her, her mind started working again. Shifting her books in her hands, she said, “Um, I thought, ah, well,” God! Just spit it out already! “I thought maybe you might want to sit together . . . because you’ve missed a few days of class . . . and I can help you . . . catch up . . . and we could share my book . . . since you probably don’t have one yet . . . unless you got one already . . . so in that case, you wouldn’t need to share . . . so we wouldn’t have to sit together . . . so you could sit where ever you want . . . and I can just go sit down . . .” Why doesn’t he say something?

She wants to sit with me, Max wondered? Me? Sit? Together? That’s two classes in one day where he could sit with her? Two? Was this heaven?

“So, um,” Liz stammered. “I’ll just go-”

“No, I don’t have a book,” Max blurted out. “Not yet. No book. Haven’t gotten a book yet.” Oh Christ. How many times did he say the word book?

“So, um,” Liz bit her lower lip. “We could just sit . . . over here . . .”

“Okay,” Max stared at her, unable to move.

“Okay you future thespians!” Mrs. Wainwright breezed into the room. “Everyone take your seats. Let’s get this show on the road!”

“Come on,” Liz grabbed his forearm to lead him to their seats and Max could only stare at the spot where she was touching him while he stumbled along behind her. He’d follow her anywhere.

Except . . . oh crap! She was taking him to the front of the class! Damn! What about those nice chairs at the back of the room? They were calling his name! Invisible people always sat in the back of the room. Oh damn! They were headed for the front row!

“Is this okay?” Liz whispered as the class began to settle down.

“This is fine,” Max nodded and swallowed hard. She sat in front, and he sat right behind her, looking at her long, dark hair, just like he used to back in grade school. She had released his arm, but he could still feel where her skin had touched him. You couldn’t see it from the outside, but on the inside, he was glowing.

“Let’s see,” Mrs. Wainwright looked at her notes. “We have a new student in class today. Max Evans?”

“Here,” Max said meekly and raised his hand.

“Stand up, Max,” she commanded. “Stand up and take a bow!”

What? Did she say ‘Take a BOW?’ Take a bow? Oh God. Liz was looking at him now and encouraging him to stand up. Invisible people didn’t stand up and take a bow! He rose to his feet and his eyes swept around the room, lifting his arm in a little half wave. Mrs. Wainwright was looking at him expectantly, waiting for . . . the bow . . . so with his cheeks flaming red, he bent forward at the waist, ducking his head in embarrassment and then quickly took his seat again. He was never going to survive 12th grade.

“Welcome Max,” Mrs. Wainwright beamed at her new student. Such potential! A star in the making! All her students were stars in the making! “Now, take out your books and let’s get started! What page were we on last?”

“Page 31. Scene 3,” Juanita Perez answered.

Max watched Liz pull her book from her backpack, and raised his eyes when he saw the cover. Romeo and Juliet? He’d read that for English. He liked Shakespeare, even if he didn’t understand what the hell they were saying.

“Ah, yes,” Wainwright smiled. “Juanita, you be the nurse. Mary, you are Lady Capulet. And Liz, Liz is our fair Juliet. Proceed.”

Mary cleared her throat and began, “Nurse, where’s my daughter? Call her forth to me.”

Liz met his eyes briefly, with a slight blush coloring her cheeks, and then she lowered them to her book. Max watched the concentration on her face while the others read their lines, wishing he could reach out and tuck her hair behind her ear so he could see her face better. She was sitting sideways in the chair, hunched slightly forward, staring down at the book and her hair was hiding half her face. He saw her lips moving silently along with the words being read, and as her turn neared, her hand rose up and tucked that errant strand behind that beautiful ear. Her voice was soft when she spoke, and Max was mesmerized by her.

“How now? Who calls?”

Max leaned forward, with his elbow on his desk and his hand on his chin. Oh yes, he was going to like this class. He could listen to the sound of her voice forever.

“-that ‘merry’ is the very theme I came to talk of. Tell me daughter Juliet. How stands your dispositions to be married?”

“It is an hour that I dream not of,” Liz spoke her lines, with Max hanging on every word. She was good at this. He could picture her dressed as Juliet, with her long silken hair braided and adorned with a cap filled with sparkling gemstones, draped in rich velvets and silks, walking through the castle halls, bathed in sunlight spilling in through the arched windows.

Mrs. Wainwright’s exuberance broke into his reverie and he sat up when he realized he was looking at Liz like a love sick puppy. The scene had ended and they were moving on to the next. Liz moved the book she was holding to the top of his desk so they could both see it, and she darted a look in his direction.

Did he think she was lame, she wondered? That was probably the worst rendition of Juliet ever performed! Oh God! She was going to embarrass herself silly! On no!

“Whose turn?” Mrs. Wainwright surveyed the room for likely candidates. “Greg, you be Benvolio. Tyler, you are Mercutio. And let’s see . . . yes,” she leveled her gaze on the new boy. “Max will be our Romeo.”

Me? Max panicked. No, no, no. What about stagehand? Set decorator? Costume designer? Hell, he’d even be the gay make-up artist! Just don’t make him ACT!

“Here you go,” Liz turned the book toward him. He felt a bolt of electricity charge through him when her hand brushed against his, and then she squeezed his arm encouragingly. Oh God! This was gonna suck! He stared at the book, feeling the eyes of the world staring at him and then Liz said, “You’re first.”

He could feel himself sweating like a pig, and then sucking up his courage, he took a deep breath and began. “What, shall this Speech be spoke for our excuse? Or shall we on without apology?”

What? What the hell did that mean? Did anybody understand this stuff? He knew he’d chopped it all to hell, he could tell by the look on Wainwright’s face. Like he’d just scraped his fingernails over the chalkboard. God! Where was the nearest rock he could climb under?

“-but let them measure us by what they will. We’ll measure them a measure and be gone,” Greg finished.

“Give-” Max’s voice broke and he blushed bright red before starting again. “Give me a torch. I am not for this ambling. Being but heavy, I will bear the light.” Oh! He understood that part. Romeo doesn’t want to dance! They’re at a dance, and Romeo just wants to hold the light. Max could understand that. He’d never danced in his life.

“Nay, gentle Romeo,” Tyler said. “We must have you dance.”

“Not I,” Max took his turn, understanding exactly where Romeo was coming from. “Believe me. You have dancing shoes with nimble soles. I have a soul of lead so stakes me to the ground I cannot move.”

Liz listened carefully, captivated by the sound of his voice. She’d always loved to hear him speak, listening to the quality of his tone, his gentle, soothing timbre. She could listen to him speak like this forever.

“I am too sore enpierced with his shaft,” Huh? Max glanced up at Liz and shifted uncomfortably before continuing. “Um . . . to soar with his light feathers, and so bound I cannot bound a pitch above dull woe. Under love’s heavy burthen do I sink.”

“And to sink in it should you burthen love,” Tyler said his lines. “Too great oppression for a tender thing.”

“Is love a tender thing?” Max continued. “It is too rough, too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like thorn.”

“If love be rough with you, be rough with love,” Tyler read. “Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.”

Damn, Max thought. Shakespeare was kinky.

Miranda Wainwright stood at the front of the classroom, deep in thought. When he first began to read, she had fought not to roll her eyes at the way he chopped up the prose. It was obvious he wasn’t comfortable, but then the words began to flow gracefully, and his voice became enthralling. Looking at him, a shiver of excitement ran up her spine.

She’d seen it in the girl on the first day of class, the way she spoke, the way she moved, the way her eyes drew the audience in. But none of the others had suited her, had come close to her magic and they all paled beside her. Her Juliet was a tragic figure without a Romeo that could equal her. Was he the one? She had to know.

“Very good!” Miranda exclaimed. “Fine portrayals of our dear Mountague men. Now, let’s move forward a little. Turn to page 57. Let’s pick up with Romeo and Juliet, where their dance begins. Max, begin with ‘If I profane . . .”

“Okay,” Max looked hesitantly at Mrs. Wainwright and then to Liz. They were going to read Romeo and Juliet together? She was so good, and he was so . . . bad. He was going to look pathetic next to her. This was gonna hurt! “Here goes,” he whispered to Liz and shrugged apologetically. He leaned into the desk and sideways so that they could both read the words on the page, and he began . . .

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing Pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” He glanced up at Liz, cringing inside at what she must be thinking of him, but the look on her face made his stomach flip upside down. Whatever that look meant, she wasn’t laughing at him.

Liz couldn’t tear her eyes away from him as he spoke, telling her of his lips, two blushing Pilgrims, ready for a tender kiss. She sighed, thinking, ‘if only’. Fat chance Max Evans would ever kiss her. That only happened in her dreams.

“Um, Liz?” Max leaned a little closer. “It’s your turn now.”

“Oh! Sorry!” She felt the heat in her cheeks again and died inside, knowing he knew she was blushing. God, could she act any more like a silly schoolgirl? Rolling her eyes, she said, “Here goes . . .”

“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this, for Saints have hands that Pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy Palmers’ kiss.”

“Have not Saints lips, and holy Palmers to?” Max was looking at Liz now, and not the words on the page.

“I Pilgrim,” Liz answered, with her eyes locked on his. “Lips that they must use in Pray’r.”

“Oh then, dear Saint, let lips do what hands do: They pray. Grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.” Max was staring at her lips. Her soft, red, kissable lips. All this talk of lips made him long to kiss her, the way he’d dreamed so many times. Oh, he’d give a kingdom to touch her lips with his.

“Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.” Her heart was beating faster than she’d ever felt it beat before. His face was so close she could feel the warmth of his breath on her cheeks. If she just leaned forward, his lips would be right there . . .

“Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take,” Max felt his body moving closer to hers, his lips just inches away from hers. “Thus from my lips by thine my sin is purg’d.”

“Then have my lips the sin that they have took,” Liz sighed.

“Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg’d: Give me my sin again.”

The moment stretched, with Max and Liz inches apart, their lips drawn together yet held back at the same time. Her eyes on his lips, his eyes on hers, Miranda Wainwright’s eyes wild with joy at the sight before her. Sparks were flying around the room. The sexual tension was heating the very air around them. The classroom was ready to explode, and then Chad Carpenter broke the mood.

“Hey, somebody give me a cigarette!”

The class erupted in laughter and Liz hid her face behind her hands. Max pulled back quickly, embarrassed by what he’d been so close to doing. Right here in the classroom? In front of everyone? What was wrong with him? But it’d been nearly impossible to resist. All that talk of lips got him carried away. Now what the hell was he supposed to do? His hand rubbed across his forehead, and then down over his face until it came to his chin. He knew he was blushing profusely.

“Class,” Miranda tried to regain order. “CLASS!” Clapping her hands together, the snickers began to lessen but the embarrassment for Max and for Liz continued. Her heart rate was soaring, on one level thrilled at the way Max had made her feel, yet knowing they were only acting out a play. The words weren’t their words. The emotions probably weren’t as well, or at least his weren’t. He’d never shown any interest in her before, why should she think this meant anything different?

“Class! Enough. Quiet!” As the noise level quieted down, she walked around the room, picking other pairs or groups of students to read the lines of the play. The whole time, she was secretly watching her two stars. They were avoiding looking at each other, and Miranda could feel the sparks smoldering between them.

Those sparks were going to ignite on stage! The chemistry between them was amazing! She’d waited years for this, for those two star crossed lovers to blaze into her life and bring magic to the arts. After all this time, she’d finally found her perfect Romeo and Juliet.

The next update is Monday night, but I have to watch Angel first. See you when it's over!

[ edited 5 time(s), last at 4-May-2002 1:08:41 AM ]
posted on 7-May-2002 1:17:53 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi, aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz, AU
Rating: PG 13

Author Note: I’m sorry you all have been waiting so long! I’m on the west coast so when I post it’s usually late Pacific Time. Enough talk! Let’s get this production off the ground!

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 3

The bell rang to signal the end of the day and Liz slowly began to gather her things together. She thought she'd just wait until everyone else left, and then she wouldn’t have to look at anyone. Of course, the only one she didn’t want to look at was Max, because if she looked at him, and he ignored her, or looked at her like he was glad that torture was finally over, it would be just to hard to take. She knew he didn’t think about her ‘that way’, and she’d only been fooling herself earlier when she had thought he might.

Max sat in the chair, watching Liz fiddle with her things, trying to figure out how to talk to her. He knew she didn’t return his feelings, and he’d made an ass out of himself while they were reciting the play. He wanted to smooth everything over, because they had to work together in Biology in the morning, and they were going to see each other in the hallways, and then tomorrow, right here in this class too. How was he supposed to let her know he wasn’t going to embarrass her like that again? He began to rise from his chair and then Mrs. Wainwright called his name to get his attention.

“Max,” she smiled as she neared her shining couple. “Excellent first day! You’ve made quite an impression on the class!”

His cheeks flushed in embarrassment again, which only doubled when he saw Liz dart him a look. “Thanks, I guess,” he muttered.

“And Liz, you were wonderful,” Wainwright beamed. “Your Juliet moves me every time you read a passage.”

“Thank you,” Liz smiled, keeping her head low. She was still trying to assimilate everything that had transpired in the last hour.

“Now, I have an assignment for you two,” she said, getting down to business.

“An assignment?” Max and Liz said at the same time and then they looked at each other.

“Yes,” Miranda nodded. “I want you two to memorize the lines you read today. I want to see you walk through them in front of the class tomorrow.”

“Um, is . . . ah, is that . . . do we have to?” Max asked. He saw Liz dart him another look, and he barreled on. If he wanted to talk in class, he could have stayed in Speech. But Speech didn’t have Liz in it. In Speech he couldn’t spend the period talking to her, and looking at her, and being near her.

Liz, her heart rate soaring just minutes ago, now felt her spirits plummet. So, he really didn’t like doing the scene with her. He was trying to get out of it. Shit. How was she supposed to face him now? She felt like an idiot. For a few minutes there, she’d believed that there was something between them, that maybe, just maybe, he liked her. But now he was trying to get out of working with her. Damn. Double damn.

“It’s just,” Max hastened on. “I’m not very good at this and Liz is . . .” he darted a look her way again but he couldn’t hold it. “Liz is . . . really good, and I’m . . . really not.”

“Nonsense,” Miranda declared. “You two are perfect together! I’ve never seen a more suited pair! You’ll be wonderful . . . wonderful!” She’d almost said how wonderful he’d be ‘on stage!’ but she knew she was rushing things. Max was going to need to be coaxed into this. She could tell that already.

“Well,” Max hedged and then scratched nervously behind his ear. “Um, I’m, ah . . . I’m game.” He saw Liz’s head shoot up, looking at him with wide eyes and he shrugged. “I can’t get much worse, can I? It’s got to be uphill from this, right?”

“That’s the spirit, Max!” Miranda exclaimed. “The show must go on! I shall see you on the morrow!”

With that she marched off dramatically, and Max was left standing there, with his hands in his pockets, wondering what the hell he had gotten himself it to. If it wasn’t for Liz, he would have run screaming out of this room an hour ago looking for the first spaceship home, but Liz was here, and those few minutes they’d spent reciting the lines from the play had held so much promise. He knew what Mr. Wimpet meant now. When you threw yourself into a character, you could become that character, and do all the things he normally wouldn’t let himself do.

He could talk to Liz, and say things to her that in his normal world he’d never be able to say. He could step out from behind that tree he always hid behind, and share his feelings, his emotions, that in the real world he could never let her see. For a few minutes, he could pretend he was nothing more than a mortal man, a human, with human dreams and aspirations, reading the words written on the page, but feeling the emotions deep inside.

“So,” Liz said, picking up her things. “I guess we have to memorize our lines.”

“Yeah, about that,” Max said, falling in step beside her as they headed toward the door. “Um, I don’t have a book yet.” He stared at the floor as he walked, darting quick glances in her direction. “I can’t get it until tomorrow. Um . . . do you . . . I mean-”

“Maybe we could practice together?” Liz suggested and then instantly regretted it, cringing while she waited to hear his rebuff. He probably just wanted to copy the page from her book.

“That’s what I was hoping you’d say,” Max sighed in relief.

“You were?” Liz couldn’t hide her surprise.

“Yeah,” Max smiled and she noticed how it lit his face. “Um, I was thinking that . . . maybe . . . maybe I could give you a ride back to the Crashdown, you know, in my jeep, because . . . because . . . um, you’re going there, because you . . . live there, and . . .” and could he be any more lame? Spit it out man! “And since I always go there after school to, you know, eat, well . . . since we’re both going there-”

“I’d love a ride home, Max,” Liz smiled and he felt his heart swelling.

“Okay,” Max’s tentative smile turned into a grin.

“I need to stop at my locker,” she told him.

“I’ll walk you there.” Yes! He mentally pumped his fist in the air. SWEET!

* * * * *

The drive to the Crashdown was uneventful, with both of them occasionally talking about school, or their classes, between the long pauses of silence. The ride came to an end all too soon for Max, and when he pulled to a stop under the flashing lights of the spaceship that hung above the Crashdown doors, he climbed out quickly and hurried around the jeep to give Liz a hand. She had already followed suit though, and met him as he skirted the front of the jeep and she stepped up onto the sidewalk.

“So,” she looked up at him hopefully. “Are you going to come in and eat?”

“Don’t I always?” he smiled at her, looking bashful.

“Are you going to have the usual?” she asked as they headed for the double doors to the restaurant.

“The usual?” Max arched his eyebrows. He reached for one of the door handles and held it open so Liz could go in first and then he followed behind her.

“Yeah,” she smiled as she passed him and entered the restaurant. “Mercury Bacon Burger, heavy on the hot sauce, Ferengi Fries, and if you have room for dessert, a slice of Men in Blackberry pie. And, of course, a cherry coke.”

“Wow,” Max looked at her in surprise. She paid enough attention to what he ordered that she knew it by heart? That was amazing! That was giving him a warm glow inside. That was making him grin. That was . . . probably just her job, remembering what people liked to eat. It probably meant nothing. A sudden thought occurred to him and he had to ask, “Am I that predictable?”

“Predictable?” Liz grinned. “You always have a Mercury Burger on Mondays, because your mom and dad spend the afternoon working out of their office in Hondo and they get home late. You like the Captain Kirk Klub Sandwich on Tuesdays, but you order it with Saturn Rings instead of fries. On Wednesday you order the special, Spaghetti and Spaceballs with a double order of garlic bread. On Thursday you like the Galaxy Sub, sprinkled with Tabasco sauce instead of vinegar. On Friday you have the Worf Salad, because you pig out on pizza later . . . and we don’t serve pizza . . .”

Oh shit! She couldn’t believe she just told him all that! Now he was going to think she was a stalker or something, watching what he ate everyday. Oh God! She should have kept her mouth shut. What was the matter with her? Oh no. Why was he looking at her that way? What did that mean?

She knew all that? About him? What did that mean, he wondered? She was either a really, really good waitress with a really good memory, or . . . did he dare to even think it? Could she possibly . . . ? Did she . . . like –

No. It wasn’t possible. No one could ever think that way about him, and especially not her. That was only an unrealistic dream for him. One that would never come true. The thought depressed him, and his smile wavered, but he was good at covering his feelings, he’d been doing it for years, so he plastered the smile on his face again and asked, “So what do I order on Saturday mornings?”

She bit her lower lip, wondering if she should pretend she didn’t know. But the damage had already been done, so what did it matter? He was going to think she was a freak anyway. “Um . . . you like the Riker Special. Ham and eggs.”

“With a side order of-”

“Picard Pancakes,” she finished for him and they both laughed.

They’d made their way to the booth he liked to sit in and she stood there awkwardly, with her books in her hands while he had his hands stuffed in his pockets. If he took them out, he was afraid he might touch her, and if he touched her, he’d have to wrap his arms around her, and then kiss her, and of course he couldn’t do that. He could never do that.

“Well,” Liz shot a quick look toward the back of the restaurant. “I’ve got to go change. My shift starts in a few minutes.”

“Okay,” Max nodded, playing absently with the change in his pants pocket. She started to walk away, and Max watched her go, and then he suddenly remembered something and he called her back. “Liz?”

She turned to him with her large, expressive eyes, and said, “Yeah?”

“Um, the notes? From Biology? Can I take a look at them?” He didn’t want to get behind in class. They worked really well together as lab partners, and he didn’t want to be unprepared for tomorrow’s class.

“Sure,” Liz looked down at the books in her hands and pulled the notebook out from beneath her Biology book and handed it to him.

“Thanks,” he smiled and then chewed on his lower lip.

“Sure,” she stared at him for a minute longer, thinking that she was forgetting something, but for the life of her she couldn’t remember what. It would probably come to her later. “Well, um, I’m gonna go . . . change.”

“Okay,” Max was working that bottom lip, showing his nervousness. “I’ll see ya . . . in a few minutes . . . when you come back down.” He watched her turn and head for the swinging door to the back room and as he bent over to sit down, he missed seeing her turn around to look at him as she pushed through the door. Settling onto the vinyl covered seat, he looked up to see the door swinging back and forth in her wake.

He sat there for a minute, thinking about all the things that had happened today, and he couldn’t contain his smile. He’d talked to her more today than he ever had before, and it’d been exciting, exhilarating, electrifying. He liked it. He liked it a lot.

Agnes came by his booth slinging a glass of water in front of him, and he quickly moved Liz’s notebook so it wouldn’t get wet. After the surly waitress was gone, he opened the book, flipped to the last pages, and his mouth fell open so far it almost hit the table. Her neat handwriting with her precise notes filled the page, but that wasn’t what had shocked him. No, what had him staring in amazement were the images in the margins, at the top and bottom of the page, and dotted here and there all over the page.

Little hearts. Big hearts. Hearts with arrows through them. Hearts interlocked together. All of them with the initials M.E. + L.P. in them. M.E.? As in me? As in Max Evans? He looked up quickly to see if anyone else had seen, but nobody was looking in his direction. Holy Christ! Liz had written his initials all over her notebook!

Or did M.E. stand for someone else? Who else had those initials? Mark Erickson? No, he was in 9th grade and Max didn’t think he’d even hit puberty yet. Manny Exposito? No. Manny was gay. Everybody knew that. Marshall Everett? No, he was one of those Goth guys, with the black fingernails and black hair down the middle of his back. Not Liz’s type.

Who was Liz’s type? Was he Liz’s type? Well, that is, beside the whole alien thing. But then again, he couldn’t ignore that. He wasn’t any better than the other guys he’d just listed. He wasn’t Goth. He wasn’t gay. He wasn’t green behind the ears.

He wasn’t human either. He had to remember that.

Still, the idea that Liz might have written her initials with his, inside of a heart, was something that made his pulse quicken. They could never be together, but it was something he could always dream about. And in a perfect world, their differences wouldn’t matter, and he could take that first step –

“Hey,” Michael dropped into the seat across from Max. “Where were you? I looked for you after school.”

“Michael!” Max blurted out, startled by the sudden intrusion.

“What’s that?” Michael looked at the notebook in Max’s hand. It didn’t look familiar.

“Nothing!” Max slammed the cover down so Michael couldn’t see it.

“Nothing?” Michael raised his eyebrows.

“Biology notes,” Max admitted, opening the book to the first page but being carefully not to let Michael see the back ones. “It’s Liz’s. I borrowed it because I missed class today.”

“Why?” Michael frowned. He knew Max was at school this morning. He saw him there before the first bell.

Max pushed the notebook toward the wall, and leaned back against the seat. “I spent the morning in the counselors office, trying to get transferred out of Speech.”

“Why?” Michael was bored already.

“Why?” Max asked. “Because it was SPEECH.”

“So what’d you transfer into?” Michael asked, looking around the Crashdown.

“Um,” Max hesitated, and then let it out, knowing what the reaction would be. “Drama.”

“Drama?” Michael snorted. “DRAMA? You chose Drama over Speech?”

Max just nodded his head.

* * * * *

Liz pulled a clean uniform off the hanger and slipped her arms into the sleeves. She quickly snapped up the front and then reached for the silver apron that went with it and tied it around her waist. She walked to the mirror above her dresser and looked at her reflection while she placed the antenna headband on her head and once that was complete, she checked her apron pocket for a pencil and her order pad.

Ready now, she headed toward her bedroom door to start her shift in the Crashdown. Catching a glimpse of her books on her bed, she paused, and then reached out and grabbed her copy of Romeo and Juliet. Maybe if it was slow, she’d be able to study her lines. The book was small, and it fit in the pocket of her apron, so it wouldn’t be in the way if it was busy tonight.

And if it wasn’t, if the after school crowd was light, maybe Max would stay around and they could practice their lines together. She could always hope! Or maybe if he was too embarrassed to read Shakespeare with her, they could go over Bio –

“Oh SHIT!” she cried, suddenly remembering her notebook and what she’d written in it. “Oh God!” The hearts! The initials! The initials inside the hearts! “OH GOD!” She ran for the door.

I will try to post the next part on Wednesday, or maybe Thursday. Probably Thursday. Maybe Wednesday. Hell, I don't know!

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 7-May-2002 1:21:43 AM ]
posted on 9-May-2002 1:46:10 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author Note: I’m here! I’m here! Didn’t mean to keep you waiting! Glad to see you singing around the camp fire while you were waiting!

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 4

Max sat in the booth listening to his best friend laugh at him from across the table. He’d expected this kind of a reaction, so he waited while Michael enjoyed making fun of him. He knew the idea of him taking a Drama class was going to cause him to be the butt of quite a few jokes.

“Drama? Drama? You?” Michael couldn’t contain his laughter.

“Yeah,” Max crossed his arms over his chest. “Me.”

“Okay, who are you?” Michael asked. “Cause you can’t be Max Evans. Max Evans would never take Drama. Max Evans would die before taking Drama.”

“Max Evans was dying in Speech,” Max placed his hands on the table and leaned toward Michael. “So he decided to give something else a try. Something new. Something different. Something . . . unpredictable.”

“Like I said,” Michael leaned toward Max. “Who are you and what did you do to Max Evans?”

“I can be unpredictable,” Max said defensively.

“When?” Michael leaned back and waited for the answer.

“When?” Max shifted uncomfortably under Michael’s intense scrutiny.

“Yeah,” Michael nodded. “When have you ever been unpredictable?”

Max stared at him, not knowing what to say, wondering if he was right. Was he really that predictable? Liz said basically the same thing earlier, though she was a lot nicer about it than Michael was being. Did he do the same thing, day in and day out, so much so that everyone knew exactly what to expect from him? Had he ever been spontaneous in his life? Had he ever just done something that he wanted to do and worried about the consequences later?

Was he in a rut?

“Well?” Michael asked, still waiting for an answer.

Max was saved from having to give that answer by a sudden noise at the back of the restaurant. He turned to see Liz flying through the swinging door, dressed in her Crashdown uniform, and running right at him. She came to a sliding stop next to his table and he looked up at her with wide eyes. She was out of breath, like she’d run through her apartment and then down the stairs without stopping.

“Liz?” he stared up at her pale face.

She tried to compose herself, as if nothing was the matter, and she flew around the restaurant like that all the time. Tearing her eyes away from Max, she turned to his companion and said, “Hey Michael!”

“Yeah,” Michael grunted a greeting.

“So,” she turned back to Max. “Can I have my notebook back?”

“Your notebook?” Max looked from her face, pale a moment ago and now turning bright red, to the notebook on the table by the napkin dispenser. Turning back to look into her huge dark eyes, he said, “I haven’t read it yet.”

He wasn’t sure why he told her that, but it felt like the right thing to do.

“You haven’t?” Her eyes were almost popping out of her head, and then she pounced, nearly throwing her body across the table to reach it, with Michael looking at her like she had lost her mind.

Max, on the other hand, thought he knew exactly what she was doing – and why, and it gave him a warm feeling inside. If he was right, and by her actions he was hoping that he was, then she didn’t want him to see the notebook. She wanted to hide what she had written on the last page. She didn’t want him to see the little hearts, with the initials inside.

M.E. + L.P.

Max Evans plus Liz Parker? A smile was spreading across his face as she grabbed the notebook and held it close to her chest, and then as her eyes turned back to his, he wiped the smile off his face so she wouldn’t see it. He didn’t want her to know what he knew, or thought he knew. He could be wrong. M.E. could stand for Mason Ellison, and he was tall and good looking and available and straight. And human.

Maybe M.E. didn’t stand for Max Evans at all. Deciding to test her reaction, Max said, “But Liz, I haven’t read it yet.”

“GOOD!” Liz blurted out, and then she looked from Max to Michael, like they were aliens ready to zap her. Well, the aliens part was right. “I mean, I said I’d email you the notes, remember?” she focused on Max.

“Yeah,” he nodded, remembering it very well, but he was fairly certain she wouldn’t be emailing him the hearts and initials too.

“So,” she took a step back from the table. “I’ll just . . . I’ll go . . . put this away.”

Max watched her turn on her heels, and then she was running again. She bolted through the door into the back of the Crashdown, and then Michael looked at him questioningly. Max could read his face clearly. Without any words at all, Max knew what he was asking. What was wrong with that girl?

“I guess she wanted to put the notebook away,” Max shrugged, unable to keep the smile off his face.

* * * * *

Liz slammed her locker closed and leaned against it, trying to regain her composure. She’d secured the notebook inside the steel box, so she didn’t have to fear Max would see it anymore. That was a close call. Too close. She would have died if he had seen it. She could fantasize about him all she wanted, as long as it stayed a fantasy. If it spilled over into the real world, she knew she was in trouble. Max didn’t want her for a girlfriend, or a lover (lover?), or anything else. They were lab partners, classmates. Nothing more.

Gathering her wits about her, she straightened her uniform and made a beeline for the swinging door. Time to go back to work. She marched out into the café and headed right for his table. Reaching into her apron, she pulled out her order pad and when she reached her destination, she calmly asked, “Can I take your order?”

“I’ll have the usual,” Max smiled up at her. Her face lit up and it made him feel warm inside. Her eyes met his and they shared their little joke, before she turned to look at Michael.

“And you?” she asked.

Michael had been coming into the Crashdown nearly as long as Max had, and his tastes were nearly as predictable as Max’s. Admitting that to himself, Michael said, “I’ll have my usual too.”

“I’m sorry, Michael,” Liz looked at him apologetically. “I don’t know what your usual is.”

Max had been taking a drink of water, and he nearly choked to death on it. In one fell swoop, Liz had managed to cut Michael down, while at the same time, she’d reinforced the idea in Max’s head that she was paying special attention to him, because she . . . liked him? Was it possible? Why else would she know everything he liked to eat, for every day of the week, but she didn’t have a clue what Michael usually ordered?

Could this day get any better?

* * * * *

Max sat in his favorite booth, doing his favorite thing, watching Liz Parker. He’d been doing it for years, and he thought he was just lucky that he’d never been caught. He thought he hid it well, either coming here with Michael or Isabel or working on his homework over a burger and fries. He’d watch her when she wasn’t looking, when she was busy taking care of her customers, or when she was talking to Maria or one of the other Crashdown employees.

Sometimes she’d notice him doing his homework, and she’d stop by and talk to him, to ask him about his assignment or compare it to her own homework, and those were some of his most enjoyable times. When they just talked, like friends. But the best times of all would be when he’d pull out his Biology book to study, and since they were lab partners, she’d come by and if she had time she would sit down across from him and they’d study together.

They didn’t even have to talk. It was enough for him that she was there, across the table from him, and sometimes she’d reach out to get his attention and touch his hand or his arm and in those moments he was certain he had died and gone to heaven. If he had been a normal boy, he might have tried to take her hand and hold it. Or ask her to a dance. Or out to a movie. Or just for a drive. But he wasn’t a normal boy, so he’d never asked her the things he wanted to ask, or told he the things he wanted to say.

So he did the only thing he could do. He came to the Crashdown everyday, and watched her from across the crowded room. He’d fantasize about telling her the truth, had told her at least a thousand different times, and each time the outcome was always the same. In a perfect world, Liz Parker wouldn’t care that he was different.

But they didn’t live in a perfect world. And he was different. And the only place he could ever tell her the truth about himself, was in his daydreams.

“Here you go, Max,” Liz said as she reached his table. “One Mercury Burger, heavy on the hot sauce, just the way you like it.”

“Thanks,” Max smiled and moved his arms off the table as she set the plate in front of him.

“Where’d Michael go?” she asked.

“Oh,” Max shrugged, “he had to leave.”

“Oh,” Liz replied, and then stood there awkwardly. She was tongue tied, unable to think of what to say because her brain turned to mush whenever he looked at her with those honey brown eyes of his. And the way his hair looked, with his bangs falling over his forehead like that, made her want to run her fingers through it, so she kept her hands stuffed in the pockets of her apron so she wouldn’t be tempted.

“Do you got a minute?” he asked, surprising himself, and then he shocked the hell out of himself even further when he asked, “Can you take a break? Can you sit down?”

Liz stared at him for a second, with her mouth hanging open. Did Max just ask her to sit down? At his table? With him? What did that mean? Did it mean something? Was there some meaning to it?

“Liz?” Max looked up at her, wondering if she had heard him. Maybe she didn’t want to sit with him. Maybe she was trying to think of a nice way to tell him she didn’t want to sit with him.

“Maybe for a minute,” she finally found her voice. Her eyes swept around the café, seeing that it wasn’t too crowded yet, and slipped into the seat across from Max.

He stared at her as she sat down, and suddenly everything that he wanted to say to her flew out of his head. All he could think of was all the things he couldn’t say to her. Like ‘Will you go out with me?’ or ‘Can I have your phone number so I can call you?’ or ‘Will you eat lunch with me sometime?’ or . . .

‘I like you.’ He couldn’t admit just how much, not even to himself.

Liz was looking at him expectantly, after all, he was the one that asked her to sit down, so he said the only safe thing he could think of. “Can I borrow the book?”

The book? The book? She already took the notebook away from him. She couldn’t let him see the notebook. She was lucky he had been talking to Michael and hadn’t looked at the notebook yet. She would just die if he saw what she wrote in her notebook.

“The Shakespeare book?” Max added.

Oh. That book. “Sure,” Liz leaned back and reached into her silver alien apron. She pulled it out and held it out for him, watching his hand as he reached across the table to take it from her. His fingers came so close to hers, just millimeters apart, but they didn’t touch. He pulled the book gently out of her grasp and then she set her hand back on her lap.

“Thanks,” Max smiled at her again and set the book down on the table near his plate. “I just thought I’d look at the lines while you were working. I mean, since I don’t have a book yet to read. I’ll get my own book tomorrow. Then I won’t have to borrow yours.” Oh God, he was rambling and he knew it.

“That’s okay,” she clasped her hands together on her lap. “I don’t mind sharing. Maybe . . .”

“Maybe?” Max arched his eyebrows questioningly when the word just hung in the air. Maybe what?

She bit at her lip nervously, and then sucked up her courage and said, “Maybe we could practice. Together. Later. If you’re not busy. Since we only have one book, and it would be hard to practice our lines when I’m here and you’re somewhere else and we only have the one book.” Lame! Lame! Lame! She was breaking out in a sweat. Did teal green uniforms show pit stains?

“That’s a good idea,” Max nodded.

It is? He thinks it’s a good idea? Really?

“What time do you get off work?” he boldly asked. He was liking this Drama class more and more. “I could meet you when you get off work. We could go somewhere . . . quiet . . . to practice . . . when you get off work.”

“We could practice on my balcony,” Liz suggested, thinking it would be quiet there, and no one would disturb them so they wouldn’t have to be embarrassed reading Romeo and Juliet to each other.

“You have a balcony?” Max asked, surprised.

“Yeah,” Liz smiled. Not too many people knew about her balcony. Maria and Alex. Her family. That was about it. “It’s right outside my bedroom.”

“Oh,” Max said after a second. Outside her bedroom? Was he going to get to see the inside of her bedroom? Would he have to go through her bedroom to get outside to her balcony?

“Have you seen the fire escape out on the side of the building?” Liz asked and then mentally slapped herself. Of course he’d never seen the ladder! Why would he pay any attention to her ladder?

“Yeah, I’ve seen it,” Max nodded.

“Oh,” Liz felt that warm glow inside again. “Well. That goes up to my balcony. You could just go up that way, and I could meet you there.”

“Up the ladder?” Max asked. Not go to her front door? Not have to talk to her parents? Sweet!

“Do you want to meet me there at 7:00?”

“Sure,” Max grinned. “I can do that! 7:00. Sure.”

This had been a day like no other! This had been the best day of his life! And the best part about it? It wasn’t over yet! Max could hardly wait for 7:00 to arrive. Him. Liz. Alone on a balcony outside her bedroom. Life was getting sweeter by the minute!

Look for the next update on Monday night, maybe Friday, but probably Monday.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 9-May-2002 1:55:58 AM ]
posted on 14-May-2002 1:19:01 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author Note: Thanks everyone for the incredible feedback and the bumps! Oh, just a reminder that when I post, it is usually late in the evening Pacific coast time (USA).

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 5

Max sat in his jeep, looking at his watch and wishing that time would move faster. He’d left the Crashdown at 5:00, gone home to shower and change, and then he’d driven right back. He’d been sitting in the jeep ever since, and he still had 20 minutes to go.

He looked down at the book on the seat next to him and then picked it up, leafing to the page he’d already memorized. Truth be told, memorization came easily to him and he wondered if it was one of his alien traits. Reading something once was all it usually took to store it in his memory. As far as tonight was concerned, remembering the words wasn’t going to be the problem.

No, the real difficulty for him would be getting the words out of his mouth. His brain knew what to say, but his mouth didn’t work right around Liz. Would he stumble over his words? Would his voice crack? Would he sound like an idiot?

Looking at his watch again, he saw the minute hand had barely moved and he let out a sigh. Growing more nervous minute, by long, torturous minute, he decided to climb from the jeep and wait in the alley. His boots thudded dully on the dry pavement as he rounded the corner, with the copy of Romeo and Juliet tucked in the pocket of his leather jacket and he made his way toward the ladder. It took him only a moment to realize he wasn’t alone and he came to a sudden stop. Looking up, he saw a sight that took his breath away.

Liz was leaning over what must be her balcony, only an arms length away from the top of the ladder, with her elbow on the bricks and her chin resting on her palm. She was looking up at the sky, in the waning light of a late summer night, and her hair was cascading around her shoulders. Her red shirt complimented her rich skin tone and Max decided the sun must love her skin as much as he did.

He watched her from the shadows of the street below and then he saw her take a deep breath, followed by a long sigh. At least he thought it was a sigh, until the sound of it drifted down to him, and he thought he heard a name floating with it. A boys name, uttered no louder than a whisper.

His name. Max.

Had she just said his name? Whispered it like a prayer? Was she thinking of him? No, he must have heard it wrong. Liz wouldn’t be saying his name like that . . . would she? No. No, that was impossible. Stepping out from the shelter of the building, breaking into her quiet thoughts, he looked up at her and said, “Liz.”

Startled, she dropped her hand from her chin and looked down at the street below her. Her face registered surprise to see him so soon, and then she turned a deep shade of red, afraid that he could tell she had been thinking about him.

“Max! Hi!”

“Hi,” he smiled up at her. He shifted from one foot to the other, unable to hide his nervousness.

“You’re early.” She was trying to get her heart to settle down, and butterflies had suddenly taken flight in her stomach.

“Yeah.” He couldn’t stay away. They stared at each other, her on the balcony, him on the street below, and then he cleared his throat and asked, “Can I come up?”

“Yeah,” she nodded, with a smile lighting her face.

Max hastened to the ladder and pulled himself up quickly, lifting his right leg over the top of the balcony wall, followed a moment letter by his left.

Liz stepped back to give him room and once his feet were firmly planted on her balcony floor she said teasingly, “Very impressive.”

“Yeah?” Max asked, and then ducked his head, feeling embarrassed.

“Yeah,” Liz bit on her lip, feeling her own cheeks turning red again.

“I try,” Max stuffed his hands in his pockets and focused on the floor at his feet.

“Come on,” Liz finally managed to say and her hand reached for his arm to guide him along. He pulled his hand out of his pocket and her hand slipped into his while they walked across her balcony. He could feel a bolt of electricity shooting up his arm and he wondered if she could feel it too. Probably not, he decided, since she wasn’t looking at him like he was a freak, doing something weird to her. It must be just something he could feel.

Liz felt a tingling in her hand, like sparks dancing on her skin, and she tried not to react to it. She didn’t want Max to think she was some love sick fool. He’d probably laugh at her if he knew how he made her feel. She led him over to the lounge chairs near her window and then she stopped, turned around to look at him and reluctantly dropped his hand. She didn’t have a good excuse to hold it anymore.

“So,” she looked up at him. “This is my balcony.”

“It’s very impressive,” Max looked around and then smiled shyly when he saw her blush again. He’d never felt so awkward in his life.

After a short silence, with neither one of them knowing quite what to say, Liz asked, “Did you bring the book?”

“Yeah,” Max nodded and reached into his jacket pocket. It wasn’t a large book and he pulled it free easily and handed it to her. “Here you go.”

“Thanks,” she said as she took it. Glancing at his jacket, she asked, “Aren’t you hot? It’s a little warm out to be wearing leather, isn’t it?”

“Oh, yeah,” Max looked down at his coat. He couldn’t tell her that he was never hot. He was never cold either. It was another one of those ‘alien things’. His metabolism was different than hers . . . theirs . . . everyone else’s. He could walk around in the desert in the noon day heat, or the bitter cold of a winter’s night, and never feel a thing.

He stripped the jacket off and then looked around for a place to put it. He finally draped it over the back of one of the lounge chairs and then noticed a leather bound book with an embossed E P on the cover sitting on the table between the chairs. Curious, he pointed at it and asked, “What’s that?”

Liz was staring at him, at his broad shoulders beneath the black t-shirt he wore. My, they were big shoulders. She could see the way the muscles of his back moved underneath that shirt and she felt those butterflies going crazy in her stomach. He turned around and she was looking at his chest again, ready to drool, when she realized he had said something to her.

“What?” she stammered. What did he say? He was pointing at something. What was he pointing at? Oh! “That? That’s my journal.”

“You keep a journal?” Max asked, genuinely interested.

“Yes,” she shrugged. “My Grandmother gave me one on my sixteenth birthday, and I’ve been keeping a journal ever since.”

“You got lots of secret stuff in there?” Max asked teasingly.

“Um,” Liz blushed. “Girls always write secret stuff in their journals.” Of course, Max had no idea that most of the secret stuff in her journal had to do with him. That was her little secret. She bent over and picked it up, deciding that she better put it away, before he accidentally saw what was written inside. She hadn’t written hearts and initials only on her Biology paper.

Max watched her climb through her window and he followed along behind her. He squatted down, because the window was so low to the ground, and he looked inside, seeing Liz’s bedroom for the first time. She had a full size bed, same as him, and the bedspread was a shade of orange. He though that was a strange color. She had mementos stacked along her headboard, and then he saw something that made his eyes pop.

She had one of those bookcase headboards, filled with books and stuffed animals and pictures of family and friends. Just the type of thing you’d expect. She also had something he didn’t expect to see. A valentine that she’d been given in 5th grade, in Mrs. Elmer’s class. It’d been created by hand, with construction paper and white lace paper doilies. His mom had helped him. He’d been so nervous when he gave it to her, and she’d given him the biggest smile. She’d kept it all these years?

Liz came back to the window after putting the journal away, and he backed up so she could crawl through. He reached out his hand to help her and when their palms met, he felt that jolt through his body again. He’d never had that happen with anyone else before. It didn’t happen when he touched Isabel or Michael. It’d never happened during PE playing contact sports with the guys in school. It’d never happened in any of his classes, when he’d touched one of his classmates, boy or girl. So why did it happen with Liz?

Maybe because his feelings for her were different than his feelings for anyone else?

He reminded himself not to think about that. He could never have anything with Liz. He would have to content himself with daydreams about her, knowing he could never tell her the truth about what he was. He couldn’t take the risk.

“Thanks,” Liz rose to her feet, letting her hand linger in his. He felt so warm, and that funny feeling was back, radiating from the center of her palm and then flowing up her arm. “So,” she finally released his hand and let hers drop to her side. “Shall we?”

“Shall we?” Max arched his eyebrows again. Shall we what? Kiss like there’s no tomorrow? Dance under the moonlight? Wish upon a falling star?

“Are you ready to practice our lines?” she clarified.

“Oh,” Max shook off his wishful thoughts. It wasn’t even dark out yet. How could they dance in the moonlight, anyway? “Sure. I’m ready. I think.”

“Do you want to sit? Or stand?” she asked.

“What do you want to do?” he asked.

“Whatever makes you comfortable,” Liz countered.

“Well,” Max scratched behind his ear in that endearing way of his and Liz could feel herself melting. “In the scene they’re standing up, so maybe we should too.”

“I’m game,” Liz smiled, using a phrase he had used in class today. It brought a smile to his face and he ducked his head, the way he did when he was embarrassed. She was a puddle on the floor now, melting all over the place.

He stuck his hands in his back pockets because he didn’t know what else to do with them. She bent over and picked up the book and turned the paper cover, thumbing through the pages until she found the right one. She moved closer to him, standing side by side, and held it open so he could see the lines too. He didn’t bother to tell her he already knew them. She might move away if he did, and then he wouldn’t get to smell the scent of the shampoo in her hair, or her sweet perfume, or was that just her?

“Okay, Max,” Liz looked up at him. “You’re first.”

“Okay.” He swallowed what little spit he had left down his dry throat and then he warned himself to concentrate on the task at hand. It was hard to do because she was standing so close. He chided himself because they were lab partners and he stood this close to her lots of times. But there’d always been a lot of people around too, he thought. Teachers and classmates, and downstairs there were always plenty of hungry customers around. He’d never been this alone with her before.

“Max?” Liz looked at him questioningly.

“Okay,” he repeated, ready this time. Damn. She was leaning her shoulder against his arm. Damn. How could he concentrate if she was leaning her shoulder against his arm like that? He took a deep breath and said, “Okay,” one more time.

Liz could feel the warmth of his arm against hers and she wondered if she was too close. She had moved, trying to be close enough so that he could read the book, but then she’d gotten too close, and actually touched him. Now that she was touching him, she didn’t want to pull away like she didn’t want to touch him, but she didn’t want to make him uncomfortable either. Maybe she’d just stay like this, touching him, and let him move away if it made him uncomfortable.

Max looked down at the book in her hand, but he couldn’t see the words. He was totally focused on his arm touching hers. Man, this day was burned into his brain! So many good things had happened today! Knowing that Liz was waiting, he began to recite his lines.

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing Pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” If only he could kiss her, Max thought as he finished the line. It was his ultimate dream, to kiss Liz Parker. Of course, in that dream, she kissed him back with as much passion as he felt kissing her.

“Good pilgrim,” Liz began her lines. “You do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this, for Saints have hands that Pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy Palmers’ kiss.”

“Have not Saints lips, and holy Palmers to?”

“I Pilgrim. Lips that they must use in Pray’r.”

Max was lost again, thinking only of those lips he longed to kiss. His lines were committed to memory and he recited them with ease, but his attention was focused on the petite girl beside him. He had decided that he had made the best decision in his life this morning when he agreed to transfer out of Speech into Drama. He’d never had a more amazing day than this one, and tomorrow held promise for more of the same. When the final line was read from that scene, Liz looked up at him, smiling from ear to ear and Max thought he’d never been happier in his entire life.

“Should we try it again?” she asked and he eagerly nodded.

They practiced side by side for the next hour, with Liz laughing at herself when she couldn’t remember the lines after she put the book down. He had her lines memorized too, and he’d give her little hints when she got stuck, not enough to give himself away, but enough to keep their pace flowing smoothly.

All too soon the night descended and their evening came to an end. It was one of the best nights he’d ever had, and he knew he would remember it for a long time. She was so easy to be with, yet she was torture at the same time. Michael and Isabel had warned him for years to stay away from her, to not get involved, to remember who he was and why he could never be with Liz.

Being here with her tonight, he knew she was the only one he ever could be with. He knew it in his heart and in his soul, that if he couldn’t have Liz Parker, he would spend a solitary life, alone, an outcast in the world. Only Liz could make him a part of this one.

“Do you think you’re ready for tomorrow?” Liz asked when they called it a night.

“As ready as I’ll ever be,” Max shrugged.

“At least you know your lines!” Liz tapped the book lightly against his chest. “I just know I’m gonna flub mine in class!”

“I just hope I don’t faint!” Max laughed, enjoying their easy banter. “You know I’m not good in front of people.”

“You won’t faint!” she scolded him and her hand squeezed his arm affectionately.

The contact sent another charge through his body and he had to restrain himself from grabbing her and kissing the daylights out of her. Each time she touched him it was a little harder to resist her. Shocking himself by the boldness of it, he said, “I hope not, but if I do faint, will you give me mouth to mouth, till I recover?”

The butterflies in her stomach were in a frenzy, and after a pause, Liz answered, “If you want me to.”

He hadn’t meant to say that out loud, but he had, and now it was out there, between them. How was he supposed to get out of this one? Did he want to? Deciding the best thing to do would be to treat it as a joke, Max said the only thing he thought he could. “Don’t worry. I won’t faint.”

“That’s good,” Liz dropped her eyes from his sensing his change. She wasn’t going to push him into something he wasn’t ready for, or didn’t want to do. He didn’t think of her ‘that way’, and it was something she needed to keep reminding herself.

She and Max were just friends. Just classmates. Nothing more.

‘I gotta go,” Max finally said, even though he didn’t want to.

“So I’ll see you in the morning,” Liz walked him to the ladder. “I emailed you the Biology notes. Let me know if you got them.”

“Thanks,” Max walked to the ladder and then turned around to face her. “I’ll check when I get home.” He wanted to say something else, to delay the inevitable, but the night was late and he really had to go. He would have liked nothing more than to take her in his arms and kiss her, but he knew he could never do that. Instead, he said, “Goodnight Liz.”

“Goodnight Max,” Liz replied and watched him reach for the ladder. His leg swung over the top of the brick wall, and then he was hovering on the other side. She could see herself throwing herself at him, grabbing his ears and kissing him until he was breathless, but she knew she couldn’t do that. Not today, anyway.

She watched him as he climbed down the ladder, and when he reached the bottom he looked up at her one more time. That one look was enough to send her heart racing. It wasn’t just one classmate saying goodnight to another. No, the look in his eyes said so much more than that.

Look for the next update on Wednesday or Thursday.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-May-2002 1:43:41 AM ]
posted on 16-May-2002 2:02:21 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author Note: All I can say about your feedback is . . . WOW! I’m so glad you are enjoying this story! So, everybody seems to want them to KISS! Well, you know, they’ve only been in this class together ONE day! After all these years of pining away for Liz, I don’t think Max is going to step out from behind that tree just yet! Give him a few days!

For those of you that like Shakespeare, I think you will like the next few parts! (After this one. No Shakespeare in this one.)

Allie1031, yes, yes, Maxeo and Lizziet is a god awful title, and it was intended to be my working title as I fleshed out the story, but it made me laugh every time I looked at it, so I kept it! Thank you for all your wonderful compliments. After all that praise, I hope this part doesn't let you down too much! I like to have humor in my stories, but usually they are fairly heavy in the angst factor, mainly because of what the show turned into. I use my writing to sort out my own feelings about the show, as I suppose a lot of us do. For the most part, most of my other stories have a fair amount of NC 17 material.

1 Tiger Lily, you felt like a voyeur after part 4? Just wait!!

lizzylizard, you like all those quotes from Romeo and Juliet? I’ll say it to you too! Just wait!

ChrissyP47, you want Max and Liz to have a stage kiss where fireworks are flying? Well! Guess what I’m gonna say! JUST WAIT!

It’s not going to happen over night, so, stick around for awhile everybody. Now, on with the story . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 6

Max sat at the lab table he shared with Liz waiting for her to arrive. He’d had a great day yesterday, and last night he’d had some of the best dreams of his life. He’d awakened early this morning, eager to start the day and he’d been out the door at the crack of dawn. He’d driven past the Crashdown, driving slowly down the alley hoping for just a glimpse of her, but she either wasn’t up yet, or she didn’t spend the morning hanging over her balcony on the off chance that he would be driving by.

Oh well, he knew at the time that he would see her soon, in their first class of the day. He was waiting there now, wondering if she would get here early enough so that they could talk before class started. Usually they sat side by side, studying their notes and not saying anything to each other unless one of them had a question about one of their assignments. He’d never been able to ‘break the ice’ with her, to just start up a random conversation. He wasn’t involved in any sports or after school activities, and he never knew what to say to her.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There were lots of things he wanted to say to her, but he couldn’t. He picked up his pencil and tapped it on the paper in front of him while he looked at the notes she’d emailed him from yesterday’s class. Her message had been waiting in his inbox as soon as he got home last night and he’d opened it right away.

She had sent him emails before, last year, when they were juniors. Progress notes from their biology labs or assignments or study materials, and they’d always been detailed and precise and efficient. She never included anything personal, she never added any idle comments, and he wasn’t expecting any this time either, but he’d been pleasantly surprised when he opened the email.

There, at the top of the screen, she’d written Dear Max. Dear Max? She’d never written that before. She’d always written just ‘Max’, or ‘Hi’, or sometimes she’d just send the notes without a greeting at all. Why had she written Dear Max this time? It had made his pulse quicken when he read it.

Then at the bottom of the email, where she normally just wrote her name, or an L, she’d written him a personal note instead. He read it now, for what had to be the tenth time since he sat down in class this morning, and a smile crept across his face.

Hope those notes help, but you didn’t really miss that much. Let me know if you have any questions.

Oh, BTW, thanks for the ride home after school. I’ve never ridden in a jeep before and it was fun, though the seat left a little to be desired. Has anyone told you that there’s a spring on the right side that pokes right up into . . . well, you get the picture. LOL!

I had a great time in class today, in Drama. It’s fun to do something different, don’t you think? At first I signed up for the class because I needed the credit, and I wanted to do something not related to science for a change, and now I’m really glad I did. I never thought I’d enjoy acting out lines from a play, but after biology, I think it’s turning into my next favorite class, especially after today. Did you have a good time? I know you don’t like talking in front of the class, but hopefully you won’t hate it too much.

There was one phrase he kept reading over and over again, and he couldn’t help the smile that it gave him. ‘. . . it’s turning into my favorite class, especially after today’. Especially after today? Why had today become special? Was it just a coincidence that her two favorite classes were classes that they shared? He knew he was grasping at straws, but it made him feel good inside anyway.

He could feel her coming before he ever saw her and he lifted his eyes from the paper to watch the door. Her footsteps were coming rapidly, as if she was hurrying, and then he could feel her pause just outside the door. After a moment that seemed like forever, she finally appeared in the doorway and their eyes met right away.

He felt that familiar tightness in his chest he got every time he looked at her, and he struggled not to show it. She was wearing a pale blue sweater today, with a scoop neckline, and a pair of dark jeans that hugged her hips and his breath caught in his throat. She really was beautiful, he thought, even though he knew he could never tell her that.

Liz had paused at the door to gather her wits about her and then she stepped into the classroom. A smile threatened to erupt on her face when she saw him and she fought it off, especially since he was looking right at her. She didn’t want to give herself away. She had been terribly disappointed yesterday when he hadn’t shown up for class until it was almost over and seeing him here now gave her that warm feeling inside again.

She ducked her head when that smile she was fighting started to win and she headed in his direction, shirting around the table and saying softly as she passed behind him, “Hi Max.”

“Hi,” he tried to contain his grin as she took her seat next to him. He was tongue tied again, unable to think of anything to say to her and when his pencil tapped nervously against the paper in front of him, he said spontaneously, “I got your email. Thanks for the notes.”

“You’re welcome,” she shot him a quick smile while she pulled her book out of her backpack. She pulled her notebook out too, and opened it to the last page and Max couldn’t help but notice she had rewritten it. He liked the original notes better, the ones with all the hearts and initials.

They were quiet for a minute while she arranged her things around her and when she finished, Max leaned a little closer and said in a low voice, “You know what you said about the seat of my jeep?”

“In my email? Yeah,” Liz nodded, leaning in toward him.

“I fixed it. The spring,” Max clarified. “It won’t poke you next time.”

“Oh,” Liz felt her pulse racing again. Next time? He wanted there to be a next time? “Really?”

“Yeah. Isabel and Michael have been complaining about it for months.”

“They have?” His sister and his best friend had been complaining about it for months and he never did anything about it, but she mentioned it once and he fixed it? What did that mean? Did it mean something? Anything? Nothing at all?

“Yeah,” he nodded and then looked away toward the papers in front of him. She thought he was reading his notes, to prepare for class, when he turned his eyes on her once more and leaned toward her again. In a quiet voice, he asked, “Can I ask you a question?”

“A question?” Liz arched her eyebrows. A question like . . . Will you go to the dance with me on Friday? Do you want to go out to dinner sometime? Would you like to see a movie with me? “Sur-” it came out as a squeak, so she tried again. “Sure. Ask away.”

“Well, I’ve been wondering . . .”

Oh! Was this it? Was he going to ask her out!? Please . . .

“. . . for quite a while now . . .”

Movies? Dinner? The dance? Which one would it be?

“Why’d you choose Killercat as your screen name?”

What? Killercat? He wanted to know about Killercat? No movie? No dinner? No dance? Just a question about her email address? Damn!

“I’ve always wanted to ask you why you chose that, but . . .”

He always wanted to know? She was melting again. He always wanted to know! Always? How long was always? Was always like during the last week? Or was always like always . . .?

“I had a cat,” Liz answered, “when I was little. A tabby. She used to pounce on my feet every time I walked by her. She used to hide under the couch, or a chair, or my bed, and then she’d attack my feet when I passed by. My dad teased me, and said she was trying to kill my feet. I started calling her Killercat, and the name just stuck.”

“I don’t remember you having a cat,” Max smiled at her story.

“She died when I was eight,” Liz said nostalgically. “She was really a sweet cat.”

He could remember it now, the day in the third grade when she’d come to school with her eyes red rimmed and he knew she had been crying. Was that when her cat had died? He’d wanted to ask her what was wrong, so he could help her through whatever was bothering her, but of course he hadn’t. He hadn’t known her for very long, and he’d been certain she didn’t even know who he was.

Killercat was a sweet cat?” Max joked at the oxymoron, trying to keep the mood light between them. He hadn’t meant to bring up painful memories.

“She was!” Liz punched him on the arm for teasing her and then they laughed together. As soon as he felt her fist hit his arm, he grabbed her hand and wrapped his around it. Their laughter was easy and relaxed and their shoulders were touching as they leaned in toward each other and just as her head dropped down to rest on his shoulder, Ms. Hardy entered the classroom. Time for class to start.

* * * * *

Max stood in the cafeteria line, trying to decide what he wanted to eat. He could order a burger and fries and wait for it to be cooked, or he could just grab a ham and cheese sandwich from the case. Deciding on the latter, he opened the door to the cooler and reached inside. The sound of a familiar voice reached his ears and he turned to look out by the tables.

He saw her immediately, with her back to him and her long hair trapped beneath her backpack. She was talking to the Sheriff’s son, Kyle, and it made the hackles rise on the back of his neck. He knew she was friends with Kyle. They had dated for a while back in 10th grade, and Max had been froth with jealousy. It wasn’t long after her grandmother died that fall that he noticed they had stopped seeing each other, but they remained friends over the years.

He hadn’t seen her date anyone else for the rest of the year and he knew he was wrong to think it, but he was secretly glad. One day he’d been passing by in the hall, and Liz and Maria had been talking at her locker and he had overheard. He hadn’t meant to, but he couldn’t help the way she grabbed his attention whenever he was near her.

They’d been talking about boys, and Maria had said, “Don’t worry Liz, Mr. Right will come along. Grandma Claudia said you’ll know him when you meet him.”

He heard Liz’s answer too, and he thought she sounded wistful when she said, “I already met him, Maria, but Mr. Right doesn’t even look at me.”

Max always wondered who she meant that day. He wondered if she had broken up with Kyle because of that other guy, but he never saw her date anyone else. Not for the rest of 10th grade and not throughout 11th grade. He’d seen Todd Richmond ask her to junior prom, but she’d turned him down, and he’d always wondered about that too. Todd was one of the most popular guys in school, and he knew Liz wanted to go to the prom, he’d heard her and Maria talking about it in the Crashdown, but she’d stayed home that night, just like he had.

Max took his sandwich to the cashier and he paid for it while he watched Liz and Kyle talking. She was relaxed and laughing, the way the two of them had been in Biology this morning, and then he saw Kyle reach up with his hand and tweak her chin. He felt that flare of jealousy again and when the cashier gave him his change, he lowered his head and headed out of the commons. He had no right to feel that way. He headed for the doors to go outside to get some fresh air, when he heard his name being called.

“Max. MAX!”

He stopped and turned quickly, holding the sandwich in his hand, and then he saw her running toward him. He was surprised that she had even noticed him, and when he looked around he couldn’t see Kyle anywhere.

“Hey Max!” Liz said cheerily when she reached his side.

“Hi,” he eyed his sandwich awkwardly, with his head bent forward and darting his eyes to look at her and then quickly away.

“Are you going outside?” she asked. “Do you mind if I walk with you?”

“No,” Max whipped his head up to stare at her. “I don’t mind.”

“Is that your lunch,” Liz pointed at the sandwich in his hand as they pushed through the doors.

“Yeah,” he nodded. “Ham and cheese.”

“You like those?” Liz scrunched her nose up.

“No,” he laughed. “But it was fast, and cheap.”

“I’ve got a couple of Galaxy subs in my backpack. You want one? They were made fresh this morning, Crashdown’s finest.”

“Are you serious?” Max gaped at her. Galaxy subs were one of his favorites.

“Yeah,” she nodded with a thousand watt smile on her face.

“Okay,” he beamed. “Sure.” He walked by a trash receptacle and tossed the ham and cheese sandwich in, looking forward to a triple meat sub with the works.

“You want to sit over there?” she pointed to a table in the shade of a tree.

“Sure,” Max said again and let her lead the way. When they reached the table they sat down side by side and she plopped her backpack down in front of her. Unzipping the front pocket, she pulled out one mouthwatering sub and placed it in front of him. She reached back in for the second, and he waited for her to unwrap hers before he tore into his.

He never thought to wonder why she had brought so much food, way more than she could eat on her own.

If I can get it ready, I will try to post part 7 Thursday night. In the wake of the final episode airing, everybody seems to need a Roswell fix, and part 7 might give you a little boost. No cementing. No kissing yet, but I still think you’ll get a kick out of it.

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 16-May-2002 2:14:19 AM ]
posted on 17-May-2002 1:03:55 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author Note: Is everybody ready for the next part? I was making a couple of last minute corrections, but I think it’s ready now. Keep in mind, this is only the second day that Max has been in Drama with Liz. I don’t think he’s gonna jump her yet! On with the story . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 7

Max exited the boys bathroom and his eyes swept the hallway looking for her. He knew this was the most direct path between her fifth and sixth period classes, and he’d gone out of his way to come this way too. He knew it was silly, he was going to see her in class in a minute anyway, but he couldn’t help himself. Not seeing her, he stuffed his hands into his front pockets and made his way toward class. He continued to look through the throng of teens headed to the final class of the day and then he heard her voice at his side.

“Are you looking for someone?” Liz asked curiously. “I saw Michael headed to his art class.”

“Oh! Hi! No!” Max said in rapid succession. “I wasn’t looking for anyone,” he fibbed.

“Are you ready for this?” she asked, sounding a little apprehensive.

“No,” Max admitted bluntly and then they both laughed lightly. Turning a more serious gaze at her, he conceded, “I’m not any good at this.”

“At what?” Liz asked. “Talking in front of the class?”

“Yeah,” Max nodded. “It’s not my strong suit.”

“I know what you mean,” Liz agreed. “I don’t like talking in front of anyone either, but this feels a little different.”

“Different?” Max asked. “What do you mean?”

“Well, it’s like you can pretend you’re someone else, you know? It’s not you up there, it’s whatever character you’re playing.”

“Right,” Max nodded. “That’s what Mr. Wimp said.”

“Who?” Liz laughed.

“Mr. Wimp – Wimpet.” Seeing the surprised look on her face, he hastily said, “Sorry. Everyone calls him that!”


“Well, yeah!” She’d never heard that before?

Her hand darted out, giving his arm shove and she laughed, “I can’t believe you guys call him that!”

He fell sideways in an exaggerated gesture and grinned from ear to ear, enjoying their physical contact and easy banter. Just a week ago he never would have thought they’d be walking down the hallway together, laughing like this and enjoying each others company.

“I can’t believe you never heard him called that before!” Max countered. “In fact,” Max cringed as he remembered it, “when I was changing classes yesterday, I called him that by accident. To his face!”

“You’re kidding!” Liz was shocked and she came to a sudden stop just outside the doors to their Drama class. “You didn’t!”

“I did!” Max was dying inside at the memory. At the time, he thought Wimpet was going to pop a gut! Her hand touched his arm again, this time lingering there, and Max looked down at it with the laugh dying in his throat. The contact made his pulse quicken, and his hand lifted to touch hers, letting his fingers cover her fingers. He couldn’t help himself.

Her hand felt so small and delicate beneath his and their eyes were glued to each other, and then the moment was broken when the bell rang to signal the start of class. He dropped his hand away from hers and looked away quickly, knowing he had been too close to overstepping his bounds. He couldn’t be with her like this, no matter how much he wanted to.

“We better go inside,” Max suggested and slipped his hand into his front pocket. He couldn’t meet the questioning look in her eyes.

“Okay,” Liz nodded, wondering what had happened to his jovial mood. Was it something she had said?

Max let her walk into the classroom first and then he followed silently behind her. She took her seat in the front row again and with an inward groan, he took the seat behind her. He looked longingly at the seats at the back of the room and then shook it off. He’d sit wherever Liz wanted to, just as long as he could be near her.

Mrs. Wainwright breezed into the room and Max wondered if she had spent time on the stage. She seemed to have a ‘presence’ about her and she seemed to love being front and center, as if she was used to commanding the attention of the audience. And isn’t that what a classroom was? One big captive audience?

“Did anyone stay up all night reading Romeo and Juliet cover to cover last night?” Miranda asked teasingly. She loved the stage, but she knew teenage boys and girls had more important things on their minds.

Max had almost raised his hand, and when the classroom laughed at their teacher’s comment he was glad that he hadn’t. He knew the book cover to cover, line by line. He could recite any passage you might want to hear, not that anybody cared.

“Well, we have a lot to accomplish today, so let’s get cracking,” Wainwright got down to business. “Romeo and Juliet is a tragic tale of . . .”

Max tuned her out choosing instead to concentrate his attention on Liz. He couldn’t help himself. He’d sat in this position before, in a classroom in the seat right behind her. Her hair was shining in the light of the overhead bulbs and he’d always longed to touch it, to feel if it was a soft as it looked. In the light he thought it looked like strands of silk. He could spend endless hours just looking at her –

“page 19, Max.”

Max was startled out of his ruminations at the sound of his name being spoken and he blurted out, “What?”

Liz turned around to look at him and he felt his cheeks turning hot. Why did this always happen? She leaned towards him and in a low voice she said, ‘Turn to page 19.”

“Oh,” Max nodded and followed her instructions. When he reached the page, Liz smiled at him encouragingly. She knew he didn’t like to read aloud.

“Let’s see,” Miranda looked around the room. Benvolio. Benvolio. Who would make a good Benvolio? Settling her eyes on Justin, she gave him a knowing look and he braced for the inevitable. “Justin, you will be our Benvolio today. Seth,” she turned to the poor sap next to her, “You will be Mountague. Max, you of course, will be our Romeo.”

Me? Max wondered. Why was he always Romeo? He knew he’d be doing the scene with Liz today, playing Romeo to her Juliet, but he just assumed that he’d get other parts the rest of the time, or mercifully no part at all and instead get a chance to just daydream about Liz.

“Justin, we start with you . . .”

Max paid close attention as the scene played out and he hit his lines like an old pro. Having a photographic memory came in handy sometimes. It wasn’t often that he was thankful for his alien powers, but this was one of those rare times. He could tell that they were leading up to his scene with Liz and when the time came he thought he was ready. He had forgotten their teacher wanted them to do the scene standing in front of the class.

“Excellent!” Miranda exclaimed as the scene came to a close. “Now, lets move forward. Turn to page 57. Romeo and Juliet are center stage, participants in the dance, and this is when they first come face to face. Max? Liz? Come. Did you memorize your lines? Good! Good! Max, you stand here, and Liz . . . you stand this way . . .”

Max and Liz had risen from their chairs and Miranda positioned them the way she visualized it in her head. They stood close together, with Max shooting worried looks at Liz, trying to fight off his fear of screwing things up. He just knew he was gonna suck.

“Okay, you two, just relax,” Miranda set the scene. “Liz, Max, put your right hands like so . . .” They both followed direction, each pressing the back of their right hand against the small of their own back. Miranda positioned them so that they stood facing each other and slightly off center, Max to the left, Liz to the right. She lifted first Max’s left hand and then Liz’s, and she brought them together, smiling inwardly at how their fingers seemed to blend together. “Excellent! Now, remember, you are two star crossed lovers, seeing each other for the first time. You come together in the dance, flowing together, and then apart, together and apart, displaying the first signs of your mutual attraction. Think of this dance as a mating ritual.”

Mating ritual? Max swallowed hard, thinking it sounded like more than just a mating ritual. She moved aside, relinquishing center stage, and all eyes turned to the couple at the front of the room. With unspoken agreement, Max and Liz began to slowly dance, following the ancient music playing only in their heads. Holding her left hand in his with their eyes glued to each other, they began to move as one across the front of the room. Max began his lines slowly, concentrating only on her face.

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing Pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this, for Saints have hands that Pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy Palmers’ kiss.”

They moved slowly with Max circling around Liz, staring at her with a smoldering sensuality while they recited their lines. Liz looked up at him with innocence and grace, feeling the familiar tingling at the center of her palm where her hand touched his, a sensation that she’d come to like. The energy traveled up her arm, feeling warm and comforting, and even though she knew it was only caused by her reacting to his touch, she liked to think that it was his energy, his life force, flowing into her and blending with hers.

Max felt it too, the strange sensation when they touched, almost as if they were connected at a deeper level than just at the point of their hands. Seeing no repugnance on her face, he let the feeling flow instead of reining it in. After all, if she wasn’t feeling it too, what harm could there be?

Miranda watched her star crossed lovers act out the ancient dance mesmerized by the way they moved. They were physically in tune with each other and she could have easily believed they were lovers in real life, though she was certain that they weren’t. In unison, their bodies flowed with the dance, changing direction, switching their contact from left hand to right, as if they’d performed this ritual a thousand times. The Bard’s words floated from their lips as the scene played out before a silent classroom.

“Then have my lips the sin that they have took,” Liz stared up into Max’s face as she said her final line.

“Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg’d: Give me my sin again.” Max answered with his own closing line and they came to a stop, with their eyes still locked on each other and they hands still touching. The room was silent for a moment until the quiet was broken by Miranda Wainwright’s enthusiastic clapping.

“Wonderful! Excellent! Nicely done!” She cocked her head and raised her finger, pointing at her Romeo and Juliet and chaffed, “You’ve danced before, now haven’t you!”

Max had been lost in the moment, but at the sound of their teachers voice he came slamming back to reality. His hand dropped away from Liz’s and a blush suffused his face. He suddenly found the floor very interesting and after a quick glance in Liz’s direction, she looked like she was counting floor tiles too. He was wondering if they could go sit down now, but Liz wasn’t moving so he didn’t either.

Liz was struggling with her own internal questions. That tingling sensation in her arm was gone now, along with the sense of unity that had accompanied it, and she felt the loss of it. She couldn’t understand it, but when she touched Max, she was filled with a sense of oneness with him, as if they were no longer two uniquely different individuals, but two halves that created a greater whole.

She darted her eyes in his direction, but he was concentrating on his fingernail, and he looked like he hadn’t felt it at all. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on her part that there could ever be something between them.

Mrs. Wainwright interrupted their thoughts when she swept to the front of the class and her arms encompassed her two star pupils. Max turned an even deeper shade of red as she squeezed him around the shoulder with one arm and he looked over at Liz to see a blush forming on her face too.

“Shall we move on to Act II?” Miranda smiled.

Max gratefully returned to his seat, but his respite was short lived. Act II was the balcony scene and as Justin and Tyler read their lines leading up to Romeo’s next one, Max watched Liz. She was sitting sideways in her chair, reading along in her book, following the scene, and when she felt the intensity of his gaze, she looked up briefly, meeting his eyes for a moment before he dropped them to concentrate on his book.

Looking back at her own book, she let her hair fall along the side of her face so he couldn’t see the smile that she couldn’t contain. He’d been staring at her and she liked the feeling very much.

Max, meanwhile, was looking down at his book, but not seeing the words. He was deep in thought, remembering the way it had felt when he was touching Liz’s hand in front of the class. For those few minutes he’d felt a greater peace than he’d ever felt before. The loneliness that he lived with had dissipated, as if touching her had united them and for those brief moments, he didn’t have to be alone anymore.

The loss of her contact now left a physical ache at its parting. Deep in his heart, he wanted that feeling back, that connection to her that made him come alive. How could he live without it, now that he knew that feeling existed? How could he go back to his solitary life, when just a touch of her hand gave him such a sense of completeness?

“Max?” Mrs. Wainwright touched him on the shoulder and Max nearly jumped out of his skin. “Sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you! It’s your line.”

“Oh. Sorry,” Max tried to calm his racing heart. He hadn’t been paying attention. He cleared his throat and with a quick glance at Liz, he began to recite his lines.

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Liz is the sun.”

The classroom erupted in laughter and Max raised his eyes in surprise. What was so funny? Why was everyone laughing? Liz was the only one that wasn’t laughing and her face was beet red. Why? What was going on?

“Quiet class! Max, why don’t you try that line again,” Mrs. Wainwright suggested, trying to hold back her own smile.

Max straightened in his chair and cleared his throat, still feeling confused. He could hear isolated snickers here and there but he tried to block them out. Taking a deep breath, he started again.

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and . . .” and oh My GOD! He said LIZ! He said LIZ was the sun! Holy shit! That’s why everyone was laughing. He’d said LIZ!

“Juliet!” he blurted out. “Juliet is the sun.”

Laughter erupted again and this time it was Max that was turning beet red. Even Liz was laughing and he saw her put her hand up to cover her mouth.

“Can I do that over?” Max looked pleadingly at his teacher and the classroom was rolling now.

“Yes,” Miranda couldn’t help laughing too. “Class! Quiet! Go ahead, Max.”

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.” Max sighed inwardly that he’d said the line correctly this time, and he continued on. It was a long passage, but the words flowed freely.

“. . . It is my Lady, O it is my love. O that she knew she were . . .”

As soon as those words were out of his mouth, he realized how true they were. Liz was his Lady, his love, yet she didn’t know, and she never could. He could never have the one thing that he wanted most of all. She was forbidden to him, their differences a chasm too wide to cross. The love of his life would never know the depth of his love for her. It was the only way to keep her safe.

‘. . . See how she leans her cheek upon her hand. O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek.” Max finished and looked up expectantly, first at Liz and then at Mrs. Wainwright.

“Very good, Max.” She walked past him and patted his shoulder again. “Class, that’s all the time we have for today. Study Act II Scene I tonight. We’ll pick up where we left off tomorrow.”

The bell rang just as she finished and the classroom was filled with the buzz of students gathering their things and talking amongst themselves as they headed toward the door. Max lifted his backpack from the floor and zipped it open, glancing at Liz as she did the same, and they put their things away in silence. Max was feeling embarrassed about quoting her name earlier and didn’t know quite what to say to her. He stood awkwardly by his desk, wondering if he should just leave, or if he should ask her if she wanted a ride home, or if she ever wanted to look at him again.

Liz could feel the tension between them and she struggled to find something to say. He’d said her name instead of Juliet when he was reading his lines, but what did that mean? He’d been embarrassed by it, but was that just because he’d flubbed the line, or was it because he was thinking of her at the time? She didn’t know what to think. Their easy camaraderie from before class was gone, replace by this awkwardness between them.

Finally, she zipped her backpack closed and raised her eyes to look at him. “I think . . . I think it went really well,” she broke the silence. “Our scene, in front of the class.”

“Yeah,” Max nodded in agreement. “I didn’t feel uncomfortable or anything. Well, maybe a little bit, at the beginning.”

“Yeah,” Liz smiled, feeling the strain start to lessen. “You just concentrate on the words and ignore everything else.”

“Right,” Max relaxed as their conversation began to flow. They turned toward the door, walking side by side with a sense of familiarity. Deciding to make fun of himself, he deadpanned, “Now if I could just remember proper names, I’d be fine!”

“That was embarrassing!” Liz ribbed him and started to laugh again. “The look on your face was so funny!”

“Great,” Max rolled his eyes and then joined in her laughter. “Hey, I hear Captain Kirk calling my name,” he said, referring to his usual Tuesday after school snack.

“And Saturn Rings,” Liz reminded him.

“And Saturn Rings,” Max nodded happily. “Do you need to go to your locker first?”

“No,” Liz shook her head.

“Let’s go then,” Max led her out the nearest set of doors and they headed for his jeep like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Part 8 will be posted on Monday night, after the season finale of Angel.

posted on 21-May-2002 1:22:06 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Oh God! I just finished watching Angel! What a cliffhanger! I’m hyperventilating! At least I have something to look forward to in the fall!

Okay,mermaidgirl, you sang again so here’s another part.

I know some of you are looking for 'crumbs', but we'll get there! Max hasn't been in the class very long, and well, you know, this is sweet Max, the Max that has loved Liz Parker all his life, not the wham, bam, thank you ma'am we saw in an observatory on TV. He's still hiding behind that tree, so be patient with him!

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 8

Max locked the doors to the UFO Center and then slipped the key into his front pants pocket. He turned to walk the short distance to his waiting jeep when he paused and let his gaze wander across the street. All this time he’d never known the fire escape down that alley let to Liz’s amazing balcony. Thinking about it now, he wondered how often she went out there, sitting in one of those lounge chairs. He wondered if she ever stared up at the stars, the way he did from his bedroom window.

He wondered if she ever wished upon the same star as he did. Or wondered what life was like out there in the blackness of space. Or felt as small and insignificant as he did. Or as lonely.

He felt the draw, the pull, and he slowly crossed the street, with his hands at his sides and his eyes riveted to the top ledge of her balcony. Was she there now? He thought he could feel her, just on the other side of that brick wall and he wanted nothing more than to climb up there and see her.

Unable to resist, he called out, “ Liz? Are you there?”

The pen in her hand froze on the paper at the sound of a familiar voice. His familiar voice. She knew that he was working tonight at the UFO Center so she hadn‘t expected to see him. Closing her journal and putting it on the table next to her chair, Liz carefully made her way over to her balcony wall.

Max thought he could hear a rustling sound and then soft footsteps and he hoped it was Liz, and not her mother or her father. What would he say if it was? What was his excuse for not walking up to her door like a normal person? Or just calling her on the phone? Or just waiting to see her at school tomorrow? After all, she wasn’t his girlfriend. He was never going to be her boyfriend. There could never be anything between them.

He had to remind himself of that every day, because every day for a few minutes he would forget that, and then he’d daydream about a world where she could be more than just a girl that he knew and sat next to in class. For a few minutes he could hold her hand, or touch her cheek . . . or kiss her lips.

For a few minutes every day he could be happy while he dreamed of all the things he could never have, and then he’d have to remind himself of who he was, and what he was, and he’d have to give up the one thing he wanted more than anything in the world.

Movement caught his eye and his breath caught in his throat. It wasn’t her mother and it wasn’t her father and it wasn’t just a fantasy of his overactive imagination. Liz Parker, in all her majestic beauty was staring down at him. And she was smiling.

“Hi,” Max smiled nervously.

“Hi,” she replied, feeling the whispery beat of butterfly wings. “I thought you were working tonight.”

“I was,” Max answered. “We closed at 9:00.”

“Oh. I didn’t know it was that late already.” She had been writing in her journal, and she always lost track of time when she did that.

“Yeah. It’s twenty after.”

“Twenty after?” she questioned. She didn’t see him look at his watch when he said it. “Do you have an internal clock or something?”

“Something like that,” he nodded and she saw him drop his eyes for a moment. He shifted nervously and then looked up at her again, asking, “Did you get to study any of Act II tonight?”

“Not really,” she leaned over the balcony ledge with her chin resting on her upturned hand. “Agnes called in sick so I had to cover for her.”

“I didn’t get to either,” Max admitted. “Milton kept me pretty busy tonight. We have to keep current on all the latest UFO sightings, you know.”

“Of course,” Liz played along. “We wouldn’t want aliens to land and not know about it.”

“Right,” Max bit at his bottom lip and stuffed his hands in his front pockets while he studied the pebbles imbedded in the concrete at his feet.

“Do you want to come up?” Liz asked softly.

“What?” his head shot up to look at her.

“Do you want to come up?” she said again and then quickly added, “We could go over our lines for a few minutes, so we’ll be prepared for class tomorrow.”

“Okay.” He pulled his hands from his pockets and reached the ladder in a few short strides. He climbed quickly and then paused when he reached the top and said hesitantly, “It’s late. Maybe I shouldn’t. I wouldn’t want your parents to get mad at me for being out here. I wouldn’t want you to get in trouble.”

“Well,” Liz turned back to look through her bedroom window. She’d never had anyone out on her balcony this late before. Or at least, not someone like . . . Max. She wasn’t sure how her parents would react. Turning back to him, she suggested, “Well, this feels an awful lot like the scene we should practice, doesn’t it? You could stay there, on that side of the balcony and I could stay here, and we could play out the scene. That way if one of my parents comes by, it will be easy to explain what we’re doing.”

“You want me to stay here on the ladder?” Max asked.

“Dumb idea?” Liz asked uncertainly.

“No,” Max assured her. “Not at all. We’ll be mirroring the scene.”

“Exactly,” Liz smiled. Pointing toward her bedroom, she said, “I’ll . . . I’ll just go get my book.”

“Okay,” Max watched her go. Even though he was fighting a case of the nerves, he was glad he hadn’t gone straight home. Look what he’d be missing if he had.

Liz retrieved her copy of Romeo and Juliet from her bedside table where she had put it earlier. She had planned on reading it in bed, before she went to sleep, hoping it might give her pleasant dreams of her Romeo tonight. She flipped through the pages as she walked back toward Max and when she reached him she turned the book so that they could both read it. “Should we start here?”

“Sure,” Max agreed, barely noticing what passage she meant. He was too caught up in the nearness of her. As she leaned over the balcony, a strand of her hair fell against his hand and he finally learned the answer to one of his oldest questions. It was as soft as silk.

“I’ll start,” Liz said trying to concentrate on the words in front of her. It was a difficult task, with him so close. “This is one of the most famous lines in the play. I hope I don’t butcher it too badly.”

“You’ll be fine,” Max reassured her and gave her an encouraging nod.

“Okay, here goes,” Liz had to bite her lip to keep from smiling. She had an impish look in her eye and she caught Max completely off guard when she began to speak.

“O Max, Max, wherefore art thou Max?”

He nearly fell off the ladder and Liz doubled over with laughter. She had tears in her eyes from laughing so hard and when she saw the shocked look on his face, for a minute she thought she was going to pee her pants. Poor Max. His face was red again, just like in class this afternoon.

“I’m sorry!” Liz spit out between fits of laughter.

“No fair!” Max scolded her when he had secured his hold on the ladder.

“I’m really sorry!”

“I’m never going to live that down, am I?” Max grudgingly smiled.

“Probably not,” Liz tried to compose herself.

“Just read the book,” Max retorted, and then a genuine smile of his own spread over his face. She really had the most beautiful laugh.

“Okay, I’ll do it right this time.” Her playful eyes turned serious and she began to recite the familiar words.

“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy Father and refuse thy name; or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”

Max took a breath and said softly, “Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?”

“Tis but thy name that is my enemy. Thou art thy self, though not a Mountague. What’s Mountague? It is nor hand nor foot, nor arm nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O be some other name. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet . . .”

Max listened to her as she spoke, wishing that what kept him apart from her was something as simple as a name. A name he could change. A name he could overcome. A name he could cast off and never hear again. But it wasn’t his name that created the conflict between what he wanted and what he couldn’t have. It wasn’t his name that would make her turn from him in fright. It wasn’t his name that would make her flee into the night.

“. . . Romeo, doff thy name, and for thy name, which is no part of thee, take all my self.”

“I take thee at thy word,” Max looked at Liz, not needing to read the words on the page. “Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz,d. Henceforth I never will be Romeo.”

“What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night, so stumblest on my counsel?”

“By a name,” Max recited the words that could have been written for him. “I know not how to tell thee who I am . . .”

The words that flowed from his mouth held such double meaning. How could he ever tell her who he really was? He had played the scene out in his mind a thousand times, but how could he tell her the truth? It wasn’t his name that was different, but the very essence of who he was. How could he ever expect to receive her acceptance, when he wasn’t even human?

“. . . And the place death, considering who thou art, if any of my Kinsmen find thee here.” Liz’s words rang true.

“With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls, for stony limits cannot hold love out, and what love can do, that dares love attempt. Therefore thy Kinsmen are no stop to me.”

As if she was speaking directly to his plight, she read the next line. “If they do see thee, they will murther thee.”

“Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye than twenty of their swords . . .” Max watched her face as he said the words and once more the lines hit home. The horror he was afraid he would see in her eyes if he ever told her the truth was more deadly than any weapon man could bring against him. Her rejection would not just tear his heart apart, it would kill his very soul.

“I would not for the world they saw thee here.”

“I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes; and but thou love me, let them find me here. My life were better ended by their hate than death prorogued wanting of thy love.”

And isn’t that what was happening to him now? He was dying a slow, tortuous death from loneliness, wanting of her unattainable love. He hid in a cloak of normalcy, never drawing attention to himself, blending into the background, yet his soul was starved of what he needed to survive. But for him, taking the risk and revealing himself wasn’t an option. He wasn’t the only one that could be hurt. He had Isabel and Michael to protect, so he watched the world go by, knowing he could never be a part of it.

“What’s going on out here?” Jeff Parker said from his daughter’s open window.

“Dad!” Liz jumped and whipped her head in his direction.

Max’s foot slipped off the rung of the ladder at the sudden interruption and he nearly plummeted to the street below. He held on with his hands for dear life and when he regained his footing, he slowly raised his head above the top edge of the balcony.

“Liz? Who’s out here with you?” Jeff frowned.

“Dad, you scared me!”

“Liz,” he said sternly, waiting for an answer.

“Dad, this is Max,” Liz tried to sound calm. “Max, this is my Dad.”

“Hello Mr. Parker,” Max mumbled.

“Max and I are studying,” Liz tried to explain.

“Studying?” Jeff sounded doubtful. He recognized this boy from the restaurant. He was a regular.

“Yes,” Liz answered insistently. “Max is in my Drama class and we’re practicing a scene we have to read tomorrow. See?” She held up the book, showing him the cover. Any father should readily understand that no teenage boy would willingly hang onto her balcony reading Shakespeare. No way. They’d die first.

“Romeo and Juliet?” Jeff arched his eyebrows.

“Romeo and Juliet,” Max nodded disdainfully.

“I feel sorry for you, Max,” Jeff smirked.

Max and Liz looked at each other, letting only their eyes show their relief. Her father didn’t seem to be mad.

“Lizzie, it’s late,” Jeff looked at his watch. “It’s time to call it a night. Romeo, you better get on home now.”

“Okay, Mr. Parker,” Max smiled and watched him turned from the window and disappeared from sight. Looking back at Liz, he was glad she couldn’t see his blushing face in the dark. “I better go.”

“Okay,” Liz closed the book and set it aside. “At least we got to practice a little.”

“Yeah,” Max lingered on the ladder, wishing he didn’t have to go, and knowing he had to. Her hand was so close to his, and he knew it would be such a simple thing to reach out and touch her, but he resisted the urge, just as he had countless times before.

“I’ll see you in the morning then,” Liz took a step back, bringing their night to an end.

“Goodnight, Liz.”

“Goodnight, Max.”

She watched him climb down the ladder, hand by hand, foot by foot, and when he reached the street below he looked up at her one more time. She leaned over the railing and with words committed to memory, she said, “Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

A smile spread over his face and Max responded with Romeo’s answering verse, “Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast. Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest.”

Liz sighed, feeling a contented happiness and then she gave him a final wave good night before disappearing from sight.

Max stared up at the empty space where she had been a moment before, wishing the night hadn’t come to an end so soon. He place the palm of his hand against the rough surface of the brick and said softly, “With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls, for stony limits cannot hold love out . . .”

With a wistful sigh he dropped his eyes to the sidewalk and turned away. His footsteps rang hollowly, echoing through the empty alley, with his mind recalling words written centuries before, feeling like they were written especially for him.

He paused once, looking over his shoulder at her darkened balcony, cloaked now in shadows, and his voice drifted on the air, soft with melancholy. “O blessed, blessed night, I am afeard all this is but a dream . . .”

Look for the next update probably on Thursday.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 21-May-2002 1:23:46 AM ]
posted on 24-May-2002 12:32:06 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Kitcat26, thanks for the nomination! I never seem to have the time to go anywhere except here on the active fic board. That was quite an eye opener, seeing my name listed over there!

For those of you wondering about how the rest of the gang are going to react to Max and Liz’s growing closeness, well, read on and you’ll start to see . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 9

Liz was furiously scribbling notes as she read through her textbook, while absently taking small bites of her sandwich every few minutes. She had a test coming up the day after tomorrow, and she wanted to be ready. She wasn’t going to let lunch interfere with her studying, or anything else. At least, that’s what she thought.

A shadow fell across her and she felt the air turn suddenly cold. Looking up, she saw the shadowed figured with the sun dazzling behind her, and she raised her hand to her eyes to try to block the glare. It didn’t help, but it didn’t matter either. From the shadowed stance, Liz knew who it was.

“So I left you like a million messages last night. Why didn’t you call me back?”

“You called me twice Maria,” Liz corrected.

“Don’t talk semantics,” Maria dropped down to sit next to her best friend. “Why didn’t you call me?”

“It was late when I got your message,” Liz explained. “I didn’t want to wake you.”

“What’s up with you Liz?” Maria asked. “Every night I call you and every night all I get is your answering machine, and then you never call me back. What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” Liz fibbed.

“Something.” Maria peered at her friend closely, and then her eyes flew open wide and she pounced. “You’re seeing someone! You’re seeing someone and you didn’t tell me! Liz!”

“No,” Liz shook her head insistently. “I’m not.”

“Then what is it?” Maria demanded. “You’re not acting normal!”

“I’m not feeling normal,” Liz admitted under her breath.

“What? What is going on? Liz, tell me!”

“There’s nothing to tell, Maria,” Liz sighed.

“Liz . . .”Maria said warningly.

“Really, nothing’s going on, Maria. You’d be the first one I’d tell if there was.”

“So where were you last night?” Maria pinned her down. “And the night before, and the night before that? I never talk to you anymore, except when we’re working at the Crash.”

“I’m sorry,” Liz reached out and squeezed her friends hand. “I haven’t been a good friend lately, I’ve been so busy.”

“Busy doing what?” Maria pushed for details.

“Just homework.”

“What kind of homework? If it was just homework, why couldn’t you answer the phone?”

“Well,” Liz hedged and then decided honesty was the best policy. “It’s homework I’ve been doing with a partner.”

“A partner?”

“Yeah, a partner,” Liz nodded.

“What partner?” Maria pressed.

“Um,” Liz was only delaying the inevitable, and she knew it. “Well, it’s Max. Max Evans.”

“Max Evans? Mr. Hunk? Mr. Lab Partner from Heaven? Mr. I Want in his Pants So Bad I’m Ready to Implode?”

“You want in his pants, Maria?” Liz teased.

“No! I was referring to you when I spoke in the first person. I know you have a thing for him Liz.”

“No I don’t,” Liz denied it.

“Yes you do,” Maria countered.

“No I don’t,” Liz insisted.

“Yes, you do,” Maria could be just as insistent.

“What am I gonna do, Maria?” Liz looked at her friend pleadingly.

* * * * *

“What’s with you?” Michael asked.

“Me?” Max didn’t know what Michael meant.

“Yes, you,” Michael gave it a shake and zipped up. “You’ve been acting weird lately.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Max finished up and joined Michael at the sink.

“I can never reach you anymore. You’re never home. I know you’re not working every night, so what have you been doing?”

“Just homework,” Max dried his hands on a length of paper towel.

“Bullshit,” Michael confronted him.

“Leave it alone, Michael,” Max warned.

“What is it, Max?” Michael was determined to get to the bottom of his friends behavior. “What are you doing every night? Isabel says you get home late all the time, and . . .”

“And what?” Max was getting irritated.

“And . . . and you’re acting weird.”


“In a good mood and shit,” Michael admitted the unthinkable. Max? In a good mood? Max not full of angst? Max not moaning about the state of the world? Max SMILING? No fricking way!

* * * * *

“So you and Max have a biology project you’re working on or something?” Maria asked.

“No, not biology,” Liz shook her head.

“Then what? I though biology was the only class you guys had together.”

“He transferred into another class of mine. Last week,” Liz told her. Maria had a classic ‘Why didn’t you tell me’ look on her face and Liz felt a pang of guilt. She’d been so busy, she’d been ignoring her best friend lately.

“What class?” Maria asked.

“Drama,” Liz said lightly and waited for the explosion.

“Drama? You’re in Drama, with MAX? MAX is in DRAMA?” Maria’s hands waved wildly in the air. “Just to clarify here, we’re talking about Max Evans, right? MAX EVANS?”

“Yes, Maria.”

“I can’t believe it.”

“Believe it.”

“So, what have you been doing together? What kind of ‘homework’ do you have in Drama?”

“We’ve been reading a play together,” Liz filled her in. “Practicing our lines. He comes over and we practice the scenes together and then we have to do it in class together the next day. Actually, Max is really good. He’s so shy usually, you know? But when he’s playing a part, he kind of opens up. I’ve never heard him talk so much before. He’s even been giving me a ride home after school, ’cause our last class is together.”

“That’s why I never see you after school anymore,” Maria drilled her a look. “You and Max Evans, huh? It’s about time!”

“It’s not like that, Maria,” Liz shook her head. “It’s just school work. Because we’re in the same class together. It’s nothing more than that.”

“So what play are you practicing?” Maria knew it was a lot more than ‘just school work’ as far as Liz was concerned. Liz had been in love with Max for years. That’s why she never dated anyone. She was pining away for the unattainable Max Evans.

“What play?” Liz shied away from telling her.

“Yes, what play?”

Liz bit her lower lip the way she always did when she was nervous or avoiding something, and then with a sigh she let out, “Romeo and Juliet.” She covered her face in embarrassment as Maria began to roll on the ground, laughing her head off.

* * * * *

“I’ve had a lot of homework,” Max told Michael, trying to sidestep the issue.

“Where have you been,” Michael asked. “At the library? ‘Cause you haven’t been doing your homework at home.”

“I, um . . . I have a partner I’m working with,” Max tried to be vague.

“Partner? What partner? What class?”

Max stared into Michael’s eyes, knowing he wasn’t going to give it up until he heard it all. Taking a deep breath, he said, “Liz.”

* * * * *

“Let me get this right!” Maria was wiping at her eyes. “You and Max are reading Romeo and Juliet together.”

“Yes,” Liz nodded.

“Let’s see. I’ll take a wild guess and say that you have the roll of Juliet.”

“Yes,” Liz nodded again.

“And if the heavens are aligned and all the gods are watching, Max is playing Romeo.” Maria was enjoying this.

Liz was chewing on her lip again and she nodded to her friend.

“So you and Max are Romeo and Juliet,” Maria snorted a laugh. “This is just classic!”

* * * * *

“Liz? As in Liz PARKER?” Michael narrowed his eyes.

“Yes,” Max turned his back and headed out the bathroom door. “That Liz.”

“So have you been with her at the library or something?” Michael dug for more.

“No,” Max answered.

“Then where?”

Sighing deeply, Max stopped in the middle of the school hall and stared at his friend. “Her place. We’ve been studying at her place.”

“At the Crashdown?” Michael looked surprised.

“No, Michael. Not in the Crashdown. We’ve been studying in her room.”

“You’ve been . . .” Michael looked at him in shock. “You’re been studying biology with Liz Parker, in her bedroom?”

“No Michael,” Max looked around to make sure no one else was listening. Focusing on Michael again, he said, “Liz has a balcony outside her bedroom, and we study there. And . . . it’s not biology.”

“Then what class is it?”

* * * * *

“So what’s he like as Romeo?” Maria smiled.

“He’s . . . he’s . . .” and Liz got a far away look in her eyes. “He’s just . . . so . . .dreamy.”

“I knew it!” Maria exclaimed.

“You knew what?” Liz looked confused.

“True love will always find a way!”

* * * * *

“Drama? DRAMA?” Michael sputtered. “You’re in Drama with LIZ? So that’s why you wanted that class instead of Speech. Shit Max. You know you can’t-”

“Michael, leave it alone.” Max was tired of listening to the same old thing.

“Max, we can’t get involved. You know that!”

“Yes,” Max shot back. “You’ve been telling me that for years. I am well aware of the fact that I can’t get involved with-”

“Then what do you think you’re doing? Playing footsie on her balcony? You-”

“Michael, shut up! It’s homework. We do homework together. Nothing more. Just drop it.”

“Max,” Michael grabbed his arm and held it firmly, but his tone was gentler. “Are you sure that’s all it is?”

“Yeah, Michael,” Max said dejectedly. “That’s all it is.”

* * * * *

Liz leaned over her balcony wishing she had a view of the UFO Center across the street from the Crashdown, but she was facing the wrong direction. Her balcony looked over the back and side of the restaurant, not the front. She knew he would be getting off work soon, she’d heard him talking to Michael earlier, but she didn’t want it to appear obvious she was watching for him. She couldn’t very well park herself on the sidewalk outside the UFO Center doors. Well, she could, but she didn’t want to look pathetic. So instead, she waited here, hoping he might walk by, and she’d be able to get a glimpse of him.

* * * * *

Max stepped outside into a warm September night and his eyes looked skyward to scan the stars. Venus was shining brightly tonight, low in the sky, and he wondered if Liz had noticed, or was she oblivious to the beauty of the night?

Was she out looking at the stars too? He’d noticed a telescope on her balcony, and at first he’d been surprised, but he shouldn’t have been. She liked science. Biology. Chemistry. Astronomy was no different. Looking at the entrance to the alley that ran beside the Crashdown, he decided to walk that way.

His footsteps echoed on the quiet street and his long strides quickly crossed it. Making his way down the alley, his steps suddenly faltered when he saw her. She was sitting on the ledge of the balcony with her knees drawn up to her chest and her chin resting on them. She was looking upward and he wondered if she was looking at Venus, like he had been a moment ago, and what she might be thinking about. Looking at her upturned face, glowing in the starlight, a thought struck him. The beauty of the night couldn’t hold a candle to her.

He blushed suddenly, chiding himself for reading so much Shakespeare lately. ‘The beauty of the night.’ If Michael heard him say something like that out loud, he’d probably decide he had lost his mind and have him put down like an old rapid dog. It was a good thing that none of them could read minds.

She turned suddenly and looked down from her high perch and the look that crossed her face made his heart skip a beat. Was that look for him? No. It couldn’t be. He was only seeing what he wanted to, changing her friendly look into something . . . more.

“Hi, Max,” Liz couldn’t help the smile on her face.

“Hi,” he responded, slowly walking closer to her. “You know, this looks like a scene right out of our play. Right now, I should be saying . . . But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Liz Parker is the sun.”

He laughed as he intentionally made fun of himself, reminding her of his faux pas on their second day of class together. Her laughter drifted down to him and he thought it sounded like music floating around him.

“And then I’m supposed to sigh,” Liz said, and proceeded to do so.

“So then Romeo goes into a really long winded oration, blathering on and on until he runs out of breath and nearly passes out.” Max then pressed the back of his hand against his forehead and acted like he was about to faint.

“And, of course,” Liz picked up his cue, “Juliet can’t hear him even though he’s hiding like a pervert in the bushes just a few feet away. She must be deaf because of all that inbreeding among the upperclass in Elizabethan society. So, not knowing he’s there, she waxes poetically, ‘O Maxeo, Maxeo, wherefore art thou Maxeo?”

Max started cracking up on the street below. He never knew she had a sense of humor like this. She was always so serious in Biology, and though he had seen her laughing with her friends before, he had never been a part of those encounters.

“And then Romeo says, Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?” Max had reached the base of the ladder now, and he stared up at Liz with a smile lighting his face.

“But he doesn’t,” Liz moved to a sitting position on her balcony. “Because Romeo might be dumb, but he’s not stupid. He knows not to interrupt a woman when she’s speaking. So she says he should doff this and doff that, and that he should ‘take her’. So Romeo is after all, Romeo, so he tears ass up the ladder.”

Max was doubled over with laughter now and his shoulders were shaking. Straightening up, he reached for the rung of the ladder and started to say, “So Ro-” and then he cracked up again. Wiping a tear from his eye, he tried again as he climbed quickly. “So Romeo high tails it up the ladder thinking he’s gonna get a little.”

“But!” Liz held her index finger up in the air as Max appeared at the top of her balcony, right beside her. “Romeo doesn’t know Juliet is going to make him marry her first!”

“Bummer,” Max deadpanned and they both cracked up.

Even as she laughed, with her side aching and her eyes watering, she was amazed by what was happening. She’d never heard Max laugh before. Not like this. She’d known him for years and seen him smile at jokes or embarrassing situations, but she’d never seen him double over in laughter before. She’d never seen him glowing with genuine humor. His eyes were sparkling.

“C’mon,” Liz gestured for him to join her once she recovered enough to speak.

“Yeah?” Max turned more serious. She wanted him come over the balcony? That would be okay?

“Yeah! C’mon,” she waved him onto her balcony. She climbed down from the ledge and walked back toward her lounge chairs, with Max following behind her.

“Your Dad won’t be mad?” Max asked. “If he sees me here?”

“No,” Liz shook her head. “I told my parents you might come by now and then so we could practice. They know you work at the UFO Center and I said I’d just let you come up this way,” she indicated the fire escape.

“And they’re okay with that?” Max asked.

“They thought it was weird,” Liz admitted, “but when the Crashdown closes at 9:00, you can’t come in that way, so I said this would be easier.”

“As long as they don’t mind,” Max shrugged. He didn’t want to do anything that might get her in trouble.

“Really, it’s fine.” She took a seat in one of the chairs and then motioned for Max to take the other.

He sat down and after an awkward moment of not knowing what to say to her, he said the only thing that came to mind. “What do you think Mrs. Wainwright’s big announcement is tomorrow?” At the end of class today, Wainwright had said she had an exciting announcement to make tomorrow that would affect them all. Max hadn’t a clue what it might be. Neither did Liz.

“I don’t know,” she said.

“Me either,” Max echoed. Voicing one of his fears, he speculated, “What if she’s leaving? I mean, what if she’s moving or something, and the class is cancelled, and we have to all, you know, go into other classes?”

“I wouldn’t like that,” Liz admitted.

“Me either,” Max echoed her sentiment. It was the last thing he wanted. “I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.” Knowing it was late, Max reluctantly rose to his feet, saying, “I should go. I still have some homework to do.”

“Me too,” Liz nodded. “I mean, the homework part, not the ‘I should go’ part.” She let out a little laugh and Max grinned widely.

He made his way back to the ladder with Liz following close behind him. She hated to see him go so soon, but considering she hadn’t really expected to see him at all, even a few minutes was enough for her. His hand reached for the top rung, and then paused and he turned his head back to look at her.

“I don’t work tomorrow,” he said. “I mean, I have free time, so . . . if you . . . I mean, if you don’t work late, I thought maybe we could do some more reading together, for Drama. If you’re free, I mean.”

“I get off at 6:00 tomorrow,” Liz replied. “You could come over at 7:00, if that works?”

“Yeah,” Max smiled. “That’ll work great. I’ll see ya tomorrow.”

Liz watched him climb down the ladder and leisurely walk toward the front street. Before he rounded the corner he turned back and gave her a wave and Liz answered him with a wave of her own. When he was gone from sight, she made her way back to her bedroom and climbed through the window deep in thought. Maybe Max Evans wasn’t as unattainable as she had once thought. Maybe, just maybe, she had a chance.

Look for the next part to be posted on Monday night. I know some of you are anxious for those ‘crumbs’, but you’ll just have to come back to see what happens next!

posted on 28-May-2002 12:14:21 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Alley, you asked if Alex would be in this story. Well, as I said in the beginning . . .

There was never a shooting at the Crashdown Café. Liz Parker was never shot. Max Evans never had to save her life. Word never spread of a strange happening in a little town in New Mexico, because the shooting never happened. Nasedo never heard about it, so he never showed up. He never dragged that piece of trash Tess with him. Consequentially the trash never came to town, so she couldn’t kill dear, sweet Alex.

Read on, and ye shall see . . .

Oh, this part is posted in two sections due to length. Crumbs? Crumbs? Where the heck are those crumbs?

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 10

Max saw glimpses of her dark hair up ahead and he elbowed through the crowd of students, apologizing under his breath as he pushed forward, trying to reach her before she got to class. He heard her laughter floating back to him and he looked to see who she was walking with, and then jealously flared inside him when he saw a boy beside her, with his arm draped over her shoulder. Who was Liz walking with? Who was making her laugh? Who had his hands all over her?

He felt a momentary urge to zap the guy into outer space, and then he moved forward to see who his competition was. He hadn’t really seen her with anyone since 10th grade, when she was dating Kyle, one of the worse time periods of his life. Kyle Valenti, star football player, captain of the basketball team, wrestler extraordinaire. Was there any sport Kyle wasn’t good at? Max had been jealous as hell of him, and it felt like a stab in his heart every time he saw Kyle with his arm around her, or holding her hand, but much to Max’s relief, it hadn’t lasted long.

He’d secretly been relieved that she hadn’t dated again, but at the same time he always wondered why? She was beautiful, and smart, and she was funny too, and any boy would have been lucky just to have her look his way. After all this time she still didn’t have a steady boyfriend, and Max thought all the boys at West Roswell High must be really stupid not to have noticed her . . . except that guy up ahead with his arm around her. Why now, right when he was getting so close to her?

He came up behind her, ready to do battle, and when he saw who she was walking with, he reined in his machismo, feeling stupid, and very relieved.

“Max!” Liz blurted out, startled by his sudden appearance.

“Hi Liz,” he smiled at her and then lifted his eyes to look at the boy beside her. “Hi Alex.”

“Hi Max,” Alex nodded a greeting. He raised his eyebrow at the look he noticed pass between his best friend and the school enigma. Was something going on between Liz and Max Evans, Man of Mystery? Alex had known Max for years, but nobody really ‘knew’ him. He always kept to himself, the silent type, quiet and reserved. He didn’t look reserved now though, Alex thought silently as he watched their body language. Max looked like he was staking his claim. Liz looked like she liked it. Interesting.

“How’s it going?” Max asked politely

“Good,” Alex answered. “Just catching up with my girl,” Alex gave Liz’s shoulder an affectionate squeeze. Liz hugged him back and Max looked away and Alex thought he knew a jealous look when he saw it. Max was jealous? Of the attention he was giving to Liz? This was a new development, and about damn time. What had taken them so long? Alex took his arm off Liz’s shoulder and looked at Max, asking, “Where you going?”

“Class,” Max met his eyes, and then looked at Liz. “Liz and I have class together.”

“What class?” Alex asked. He knew they had Biology together, but that was in the morning.

“Drama,” Max and Liz answered at the same time and then they both laughed easily.

“Drama!” Alex exclaimed.

“Yeah,” Max smiled and then slowed as they neared the next classroom. “This is it.”

Alex came to a stop in the hallway, surprised that the quiet, reserved, sometimes painfully shy Max Evans was taking Drama, but then he saw the way he looked down at Liz and wasn’t quite as surprised anymore.

“We’ll see ya later,” Max waved a good-bye and Alex watched him place his hand against the small of Liz’s back to guide her into the room. It was a very possessive gesture, Max evidently staking his claim once again, and Alex couldn’t help but smile. Was Liz finally getting what she had patiently waited so long for?

Liz walked to the front of the class with Max following right behind her. He’d been hoping they would get to talk, at least for a little bit before class started, but the final bell rang as they were sitting down and Mrs. Wainwright breezed into the room.

“Class, I have wonderful news to share . . .”

Max watched Liz watching Mrs. Wainwright and he almost missed her startling announcement. He was mesmerized by the shiny texture of Liz’s hair and then the sudden murmuring in the classroom broke through his haze just in time for him to hear, ‘. . . on December 17th, right before Winter Break. We have a lot to do in the next 2 months you thespians!”

Liz turned around to look at him and he could see that her eyes were wide, apparently surprised by whatever Wainwright had said. He leaned forward, whispering, “What? What is it?”

“Did you hear what she just said?” Liz whispered back.

“No,” Max shook his head. “I wasn’t listening.”

“The Drama department is doing a production of Romeo and Juliet, on December 17th.”

“You mean on stage?” Max kept his voice low as Wainwright continued to talk.

“Yes,” she nodded. “In front of an audience. I wonder who’s going to-”

And then her words were cut off when Wainwright appeared in front of her and announced excitedly, “And our very own Max Evans and Liz Parker have been selected to play the title characters, Romeo and Juliet!”

Max slammed back in his chair with the blood rushing out of his face. What did she say? Did she just say his name? She said him name! No! Why did she say his name! That was a mistake wasn’t it? No! She couldn’t have said his name! He must have heard wrong! Why was Liz looking that way? She was red, but smiling, and biting her lip too! That meant she was happy, and embarrassed, and nervous. Why was she nervous? Because Mrs. Wainwright had said her name too, that’s why! No! NO!

A play? He was going to be in a play? Playing Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet? IN FRONT OF PEOPLE? Maybe he should die right now!

Max heard the applause and he looked wildly around the room, wondering what they were clapping about, and then his eyes grew even wider when he realized they clapping at him, and Liz. He heard calls of congratulations, and the blood came rushing back into his face, turning his cheeks bright red. His eyes locked onto Liz’s and the only thought in his head was HOLY SHIT!

* * * * *

“Liz?” Max stood in the alley and called up to her balcony. “Are you there?” He could hear the rustle of movement, the sound of footsteps, and then she appeared at the balcony wall, like a vision from his dreams. Smiling at the sight of her, he said, “Hi.”

“Hi, Max,” Liz looked down at him in nervous anticipation. He was right on time. He was wearing a green t-shirt and dark denim jeans and on this warm night he had decided to forsake his leather jacket. “Come on up.”

She watched the way he moved as he climbed up the ladder, one hand over the other on the metal rungs, his movements sure and true. The muscles of his arms flexed as he pulled himself upward and Liz forced herself not to think about what they might feel like wrapped around her. He gracefully climbed over her balcony and then he was standing before her, tall and handsome and looking at her with that piercing gaze of his.

“So,” he slipped his hands into his front pockets. “That whole thing today with Wainwright was a surprise.”

“It sure was,” Liz agreed. She leaned back against the balcony wall and placed her hands behind her on the top ledge. “I wasn’t expecting anything like this when I signed up for the class. I mean, I thought we’d just do stuff in the classroom, not have a big production in front of an audience.”

“I know,” Max scratched a spot behind his ear.

“How do you feel about that?” Liz asked, knowing how he didn’t like to draw attention to himself. He never seemed comfortable in crowds, with the attention focused on him. He seemed to avoid it at all costs, and she thought it was because he was so shy.

“I don’t know,” Max moved to stand beside her, leaning back against the balcony wall just like she was. “I mean, it petrifies me, the thought of standing up there on stage in front of everyone. But on the other hand, it’s exciting too, you know? But . . . but . . . I don’t know if I can do it. In front of an audience? What if I get stage fright?”

“You don’t get stage fright in class,” Liz reassured him. “You seem really relaxed, like you’re enjoying it when we do the scenes together.”

“Well, yeah, I guess so,” Max said, knowing the real reason for that. When they read the scenes in class, he was with her, and it felt like the most natural thing in the world. He felt like he could do anything, when he was with her. Still, this was a whole different ballgame. “I’ve never done anything like this before. What if I’m horrible? What if I freeze? What if I die on stage?”

“You’re not going to die on stage,” Liz laughed.

“Maybe not,” Max laughed with her, “but Michael’s gonna want to kill me when he finds out.”

“Michael?” Liz looked up at him in confusion. “Why would Michael want to kill you?”

Oh shit! He shouldn’t have said that out loud. He couldn’t explain to Liz what he meant by that. They had a rule that he, Isabel and Michael had made years ago, to protect themselves. Don’t do anything that would draw attention. Hide in plain sight. Blend in but never stand out. He’d never played sports because of it, even though the coach had begged him to join the wrestling team. Isabel had never tried out to be a cheerleader, even though she was dying to be one. Michael had never reported the abuse he’d received in his foster homes, silently enduring it for years, just to avoid prying eyes.

“I mean,” Max stammered. “Rehearsals are going to eat up all my free time. He and I won’t be able to do stuff together until this is over.”

“Stuff?” Liz looked at him enquiringly, with a smile playing at her lips.

“Guy stuff,” Max felt his cheeks burning.

“Guy stuff?” Liz teased. “Like what? Babe watching, beer drinking, and spitting on the ground stuff?”

“Yeah,” Max laughed. “Stuff like that.”

“Will Michael be able to survive without you being around to do ‘guy stuff’ with?” Liz tried to keep a straight face.

“How will he know what babes to look at? Which beer to drink? What if he spits into the wind instead of away from it?” Max was trying not to crack up. Being with Liz, laughing like this, was the most fun he’d ever had in his life.

“What if he spits into the wind?” Liz laughed. “Then he’ll probably end up spit faced.”

“Spit faced?” Max barked out and doubled over laughing.

“Yeah,” Liz giggled. “Hopefully he won’t be spitting into the wind when he’s drunk on all that beer, because then he’d be spit faced and shit faced too!”

“Stop!” Max cried. He wasn’t used to laughing like this. He pressed his hand against his aching side and his face hurt from smiling so much.

“I think Michael will survive,” Liz nudged Max on the arm and then the smile on her face suddenly disappeared, replaced by a look of wonder. As soon as the skin of her arm touched his, that tingling sensation flowed through her, warming her insides. Swallowing hard, she hid her reaction to him, not wanting him to see how much he affected her. She’d die if he ever found out just touching him made her knees weak.

Yeah,” Max felt the bolt of electricity shoot through his arm. He straightened up, suddenly feeling awkward and unsure, hoping that she hadn’t sensed anything different about him. He still couldn’t figure out why she was the only one that made him react this way. Just one simple touch of her hand to his arm made him quiver in a way he’d never felt before.

Looking at her face, for a moment he thought he saw something there, some . . . fear? Some . . . alarm? Some . . . terror at the monster that he was? The look passed quickly and Max wondered if he had really seen it at all. Maybe it was just him, translating his own fears onto her. Maybe he was just afraid of seeing that look on her face, knowing how he would be devastated to have her react that way to him.

Back in a second with the rest . . .

posted on 28-May-2002 12:15:05 AM by Breathless
Part 10, con’t

“Are you hungry?” Liz asked stepping away from the wall, urging him to follow her with a nod of her head toward the chairs a few feet away.

“No, I’m fine,” Max tailed along beside her.

“You sure?” she looked up into his intense eyes. “I can’t tempt you with cookies? Cake? Men in Blackberry pie?”

“What kind of cookies?” he asked playfully.

“What kind of cookies do you like? I could bring a tray back . . .”

Max saw her turn to head toward the window and he reached out to stop her, closing his hand around her lower arm. “Liz, that’s okay. You don’t have to do that. I’m really . . . I’m not hungry. Don’t go.”

“Okay,” Liz paused, turning her focus back on him. His hand started to fall away from her arm and their fingers brushed together, touching for longer than the moment warranted. Max didn’t want to let go, but he knew he had to. His hand dropped away to his side, wishing that things could be different.

She watched him slip his hands in his back pockets in a gesture that was becoming more familiar to her. He seemed to do that when he was feeling awkward. Wanting to set him at ease, she said softly, “I’ll just get my book, and we can get started. What scene you want to practice? The dance? The balcony scene? A new one we haven’t tried yet?”

“Liz . . .” Max stopped her from leaving with the sound of his gentle voice. “Why don’t we try it without the book? Act I Scene 4. The dance. I know my lines by heart.”

“Me too,” Liz felt her pulse racing at the tone of his voice.

“Romeo sees Juliet for the first time,” Max set the scene with his softly spoken words, and as before, they struck a cord within him. “He’s lost to her the moment that he sees her, captivated completely by her beauty. There’s something in her that calls out to him and he can’t tear his eyes away from her.”

“She dances, unaware of the eyes that watch her as she swirls around the great hall,” Liz took up the thread. “She laughs-”

“-and his heart swells with the love he feels for her,” Max said as he moved closer, staring down into her eyes. “He joins the dance, just to be near her.”

“She sees the masked stranger and her attraction is instantaneous,” Liz continued. “She wonders, What man is behind the mask? Why does he hide his face from her? What secrets does he hold?”

“He makes his way to her,” Max stepped forward, “and their hands-”

“touch,” Liz finished and their left hands moved together, palm to palm, just as they had in class. Their bodies began to move to the music playing only in their heads, dancing within the confines of her balcony walls.

“You do this quite well,” Liz stared up into his penetrating gaze.

“I saw it in a movie once,” Max replied, with his eyes riveted to hers.

“Romeo and Juliet?” Liz asked. “10th grade English?”

“Yeah,” Max nodded.

“Me too,” Liz concurred. “Did you see the one with Olivia Hussey?”

“Yeah,” Max said again. Their hands switched as they moved in the opposite direction, right palms together now.

“Olivia Hussey is the fantasy of every Sophomore boy,” Liz lamented.

“Not every boy,” Max refuted.

“No?” Liz doubted.

“Not mine,” Max asserted.

“What’s your fantasy girl like, Max?” she asked, knowing that she shouldn’t, unable not to.

“The girl of my dreams has dark hair,” Max said truthfully as they moved, with strands of miniature light bulbs lighting their path. “Long dark hair.”

“Olivia has long dark hair,” Liz reminded him.

“My dream girl has deep, dark brown eyes,” Max couldn’t look away from her.

“Olivia has deep, dark brown eyes,” Liz reminded him, in case he had forgotten.

“My dream girl has a smile that puts the sun to shame,” Max smiled.

“I think you’ve been reading too much Shakespeare,” Liz teased.

“You could be right,” his smile widened.

By unspoken agreement, as if each were in tune to the other, their dance came to an end and Max was once more Romeo to Liz’s Juliet.

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing Pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” He couldn’t take his eyes off her as he spoke.

“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this, for Saints have hands that Pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy Palmers’ kiss.” Her palm was alive with sweet sensation, a feeling she never wanted to end.

“Have not Saint’s lips, and holy Palmers too?” Max quoted.

“I, Pilgrim. Lips that they must use in Pray’r,” Liz demurred.

“O then dear Saint, let lips do what hands do: They pray. Grant thou, least faith turn to despair.”

“Saints do not move, though grant for Prayers’ sake.”

“Then move not while my Prayer’s effect I take. Thus from my lips by thine . . . my Sin is . . . purg’d.”

They were frozen in place in the center of her balcony, eyes locked together, breaths trapped in their lungs, aware of nothing and no one but each other. Their bodies were close, but only their hands were touching, and then Max huskily said, with his face just inches from hers, “This . . . this is where the stage direction says Romeo and Juliet kiss for the first time.”

“I know,” Liz said breathlessly with her eyes bouncing back and forth between his eyes and his lips.

“We’ll have to do this on stage . . .” Max felt the irresistible pull toward her.

“I know . . .” Liz said again.

“And maybe during rehearsal . . .” he focused on her lips now. Her full, red lips.

“Maybe . . . probably . . .”

“And this is like a rehearsal . . .” Max tried to convince himself that’s all it was. Just a rehearsal.

“Yes,” Liz agreed. A rehearsal. They should be realistic during rehearsal.

Her heart was hammering in her chest as his lips inched closer to hers. He was hesitant, as if he were afraid, or holding back, and then he closed the final distance and his lips touched hers. Soft, sensual lips, touching her, kissing her . . . loving her.

She was lost within his kiss, forgetting how to breathe, living out a dream, and then all too soon his lips parted from hers. She opened her eyes to look into his, so close yet too far away, and then she asked, “Does it say how many times they kiss?”

Max swallowed hard and then with his heart beating wildly, he said, “Twice. I think the book says twice.” He moved close again, watching for her rejection, and when he didn’t see it, he kissed her again, a deep kiss, long and passionate, and as it drew to an end, he mumbled against her lips, “No . . . I think it was three times. Definitely three times.”

“Yes,” Liz agreed. “I’m sure you’re right.”

She felt his lips cover hers again and she was nearly overwhelmed by the sensations. Kissing him was everything she had ever dreamed it would be. Everything. He was gentle, yet strong. Tender yet passionate. Loving yet smoldering with raw energy. The tingle she had felt in her hand when he touched her was nothing compared to how he made her feel when they kissed. There was no comparison.

Max Evans was everything she had ever fantasized him to be. Everything and more.

Max couldn’t believe what he was doing, but he had wanted this for so long, dreamt of it for years, he couldn’t stop the flood. Liz Parker was in his arms and he was kissing her. His hand was embedded in the silk of her hair and her slightly parted lips felt full and warm to his. When had God ever favored him so? When had the heavens ever shined upon him, benevolently granting him his wishes? When had he ever been blessed with his deepest desires?

Never. The answer was never . . . until now. He could barely contain his joy, and then it happened. The flash. His mind filled with images . . . pictures . . . fragments of thought and emotion, overwhelming his senses. He’d never experienced anything like it before.

He pulled back from her suddenly, wondering, had she had seen it too? Would she know him now for what he really was? Some creature from the deepest recesses of space, sent here for some unknown purpose? Would she flee from him, seeing the monster that he must be, on a world where he didn’t belong? Looking into her eyes, he didn’t see the revulsion that he knew would be there if she ever knew the truth about him. Maybe she hadn’t seen it after all. Maybe it was just something within him.

“Max?” she looked at him questioningly, surprised by his sudden change.

He looked at her, not knowing what to say. He shouldn’t have kissed her. He shouldn’t have begun something that could lead nowhere, for either of them. He should have listened to Michael and stayed away from her. But maybe the damage wasn’t irreparable. They were Romeo and Juliet, after all, not Max Evans and Liz Parker. They were playing a part, following the written instruction on the page. Romeo kissed Juliet because the play told him to.

“We’ll . . .” Max stepped back from her and tried to cover his mistake. “We’ll have to ask Mrs. Wainwright how she wants that part to play out. You know . . . one kiss . . . or two . . .”

“Or three.” Liz wasn’t about to let him forget about number three.


“We could ask her tomorrow,” Liz suggested.

“Yeah,” Max nodded while he avoided looking at Liz directly. After an awkward pause, he met her eyes and said, “I should probably go now. It’s getting late.”

“Okay,” Liz tried to hide her disappointment. She didn’t want him to go, but if he needed to she wasn’t going to try to stop him. Taking a chance, she said, “I’m glad you came over.”

“Me too,” Max replied without thinking. He would remember this night for the rest of his life, the night he kissed Liz Parker. If nothing else in his life ever worked out, he would always have that. He made his way over to the ladder and he paused there, not wanting to go but needing to think through everything that had happened here tonight.

“So I’ll see you tomorrow,” Liz couldn’t quite meet his eyes. She didn’t want him to go, but she didn’t want to push him into something he wasn’t ready for. She’d waited for years for him to notice her, and now that she thought he had, she wasn’t going to rush him, even if it killed her.

Max reached out for the ladder and his hand paused there while he waged an internal battle. He desperately wanted to kiss her again, but knew that he couldn’t. Her actions told him that she hadn’t seen the things he saw, which was good, but it didn’t mean it would always be that way. He had to be careful. He had to go back inside himself, burying his emotions so she couldn’t see them, but that was easier said than done. Once he’d started to display them, hiding his emotions was going to prove very hard. Maybe impossible.

“Max?” Liz said questioningly after he lifted his leg over her balcony and he was poised to descend.

“Yeah?” he asked.

“Your dream girl . . . you said she had a smile that put the sun to shame . . .”

“Yes,” Max nodded, looking at her seriously. “I did.”

“Well, I-”

“I was wrong,” Max interrupted her, holding onto the ladder tightly.

“Wrong?” Liz asked.

“Yeah,” Max admitted. “Her smile doesn’t put the sun to shame.”

“No?” Liz asked.

“No.” He couldn’t help how he felt, and he couldn’t help telling her. “Her smile doesn’t put just the sun to shame. She puts the moon and the stars and everything else in between to shame too. Nothing in the universe compares to her.”

“Oh,” Liz breathed out, not sure how to take what he had just said. She wasn’t sure what he meant. Who he meant. She watched him as he climbed down the ladder and when he reached the bottom he turned his face up to hers again. She wondered if he had felt the same things she had felt when they kissed? She’d been filled with such a sense of belonging, as if she’d been waiting her whole life for that one, perfect moment. It was beyond anything she had ever experienced before, and she wondered, was it too much to ask that he had felt something too?

“Goodnight, Liz,” Max said from the base of the ladder. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Goodnight, Max,” Liz wished she could say more. She watched him until he disappeared around the corner and then she kept watching even long after he was gone. Her fingers rose up to touch her lips, hoping she would feel his sweet kiss again soon.

Look for the next update on Thursday.

posted on 31-May-2002 12:23:13 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Here I am!!! Sorry! It’s hard to post as early as your guys seem to want me to! I have to fight my kids for the computer, you know!

I kind of thought you all might enjoy those crumbs in part 10! I tell you, I had quite a good time writing that chapter! I had to proof read it over, and over, and over again! To those of you wondering about Isabel, well, yes, we will be seeing her, but think of her as season 1 Isabel, back when everyone pretty much still liked her, before she got shoved down our throats.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 11

Max lay on his bed staring up at his ceiling unable to sleep, replaying every moment that had transpired tonight. There was no question that tonight had been the best night of his life. He’d kissed Liz Parker. Not once. Not twice. Three times! THREE TIMES! And she’d kissed him BACK! Could life get any better? He’d dreamt about it for years. He’d wondered what her lips would feel like, what she would taste like, how she would respond to him if he ever got up the courage to kiss her, and now he knew.

There was no better feeling in the entire world. Kissing Liz was better than anything he could ever have imagined. How had he gotten to this point, living out something that he thought he would never get to experience?

He and Liz had developed an easy rapport with each other in the last week or so, ever since he transferred into her Drama class, and for the first time in his life he had found himself excited to wake up each and every morning, anticipating another wondrous day.

Today had topped the list so far, but he was apprehensive too. The visions he had gotten when they kissed was something new and he didn’t know what it meant. Were his powers developing further? Was this just a new phase in his maturing, with new skills becoming apparent as he aged? If so, why was it only with Liz?

Maybe if he concentrated on what he had seen, he might be able to understand it better. He knew if he could confide in Liz to help him sort through this puzzle, the first thing she would do would be to ask what did the visions have in common?

Well, that was simple. When he had been kissing Liz . . . kissing her soft, warm, sweet tasting lips . . . kissing her delicate, full, lush lips . . . kissing her – with a sigh he mentally shook himself to return to the matter at hand. Start over, Maxwell, he scolded himself, and this time concentrate!

Now, when he had been kissing Liz, the visions had had one common theme. They were all about Liz. He’d seen everything, from his first glimpse of her when he climbed down from that school bus and saw her on the playground with her friends, all the way to now, seeing her through his eyes at the Crashdown, in the classroom at school, or sitting on her balcony wall, looking up at the stars.

But he’d seen himself too. Sitting beside her in Biology quietly taking notes. Walking through the hallway with his head down. Eating lunch with Michael or Isabel or just alone. Sitting in the Crashdown, eating or reading or doing his homework. Could that be how she saw him? Was he looking at himself through her eyes? Had he somehow picked up on her inner thoughts? Did she really think that he never noticed her? Never stared at her for hours on end because he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her? Never barreled into people in the hallway because his eyes were glued to her instead of where he was going? Did she never suspect how he felt about her?

Of course she didn’t. She could never know how he really felt about her. She could never know he dreamt about her every night. She could never know how his heart raced every time he saw her. His life was too dangerous to ever involve her in it. He had to protect her at all cost, even though it meant a life without her.

* * * * *

Liz sat at her window, staring up at Venus hanging low in the night sky just below the crescent moon. She couldn’t sleep tonight. Too much was going through her mind. Max had kissed her. She had kissed Max. Life was beautiful!

But . . . was it just a part of the play? At first she wasn’t sure, but when he kissed her a second time, she knew it was more than just Romeo kissing Juliet. With the third kiss, he’d taken her breath away with the intensity of it. Literally and figuratively. She’d been swept away by the emotions that engulfed her when he kissed her and it had left her with a sense of wonder, and awe, and . . . something more? Something that she’d only dared to dream?

She’d never felt anything like it before, but she really wasn’t a bit surprised by her reaction to him kissing her. After all, she was in love with him. There, she’d said it. She was in love with Max Evans. Now, the question was, could Max Evans love her back?

He’d pulled away from her so abruptly, it made her wonder if she’d read him wrong. It almost felt like he regretted kissing her, but then when he talked about the girl of his dreams when he had stood on her ladder right before he left, she could almost believe he meant her. She’d gotten so many mixed signals, she didn’t know what to think.

With both apprehension and anticipation, she wondered what tomorrow would hold.

* * * * *

Max stood in front of his locker putting away his belongings, holding onto his notebook and Biology text for his first class. He kept his English book too for second period, so he wouldn’t have to go back for it, just in case he got a chance to talk to Liz between classes. He didn’t want to have to excuse himself from her just to go get a damn book out of his locker.

He’d spent half the night thinking about her and he’d come to a decision. He might not be able to ever tell her how he felt about her, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t be friends with her. This last week or so, since he transferred into Drama with her, had been the best time of his life. Just talking to her, like friends, easy and comfortable with each other, had made him happier than he’d ever been before. He didn’t feel like such an outcast when he was with her. He –

“Tell me what I’m hearing is wrong,” Michael slammed his shoulder into the locker next to Max.

“Jesus Michael!” Max jumped at the sudden intrusion and his heart began to pound erratically in his chest. He let out a breath through clenched teeth and asked, “What are you talking about?”

“I heard a nasty rumor going around,” Michael glared at him.

“What rumor?” Max asked, noting the grim set of his jaw. Shit. He didn’t need this right now.

“You. A play. Romeo. Any of that sound familiar?” Michael saw Max roll his eyes heavenward and he said with anger, “Tell me what I’m hearing is wrong.”

“Okay, you’re wrong,” Max decided to placate him while he finished arranging things in his locker.

“I saw it Max,” Michael struggled to keep his voice low. Max shot him a look and he felt his hackles rise. “I saw the sign on the bulletin board outside the Drama department. ‘West Roswell High presents Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, staring Max Evans as Romeo'. Tell me it’s just a mistake, right? A typo? Tell me the poster was wrong.”

“It’s not wrong,” Max zipped closed his backpack and slung it over his shoulder. Closing his locker, he turned to head toward class.

“Max! You can’t do that!” Michael said forcefully as he fell into step beside him. “The lead part in a play? You can’t draw attention to yourself like that!”

“Michael,” Max kept his voice low. “It’s a high school play, not Broadway. What’s the big deal?”

“Max, you’ll be the focus of attention. What if someone sees you? Recognizes you? We agreed not to-”

“Michael, give it a rest,” Max spit out in exasperation. “The only people that are going to see me are teachers, students, and a few parents. It’s a school play! It’s not like the state football or basketball championship that gets televised all over the state. It’s no big deal.”

“It is a big deal, Max!” Michael fought to control his anger. “What happened to keeping a low profile?”

Max stopped in the middle of the hall, staring at his only friend, the only person he’d ever allowed to be his friend. They were the same, the same alien DNA flowed through their veins and was embedded in their cells, yet they couldn’t be more different. Looking at Michael, Max thought they were as different as night and day. Reining in his anger, Max said, “There’s no threat in this. It’s not dangerous. It’s a simple school play. I’m gonna get on stage and probably make an ass out of myself and that will be the end of it.”

Max turned from him, heading down the hall again and Michael followed at his heels. “Why?” Michael asked point blank. “You’ve never shown an interest before. Why now?”

“Why?” Max echoed his question. He didn’t want to get into this. Not here. Not now. Not ever. “Because I want to.”

“It’s because of her, isn’t it?” Michael pinned him down. “It’s because of Liz Parker. She’s doing this to you.”

“She’s not ‘doing’ anything to me,” Max fumed as he walked down the hall. He was so tired of listening to the same old refrain.

“This isn’t you, Max,” Michael insisted.

“This is me,” Max retorted. “For once in my life I’m doing something I want to do. There’s no harm in it. There’s no risk to us.”

“Max-” Michael grabbed him around the arm to bring him to a stop.

“Drop it, Michael,” Max yanked his arm away.

* * * * *

Liz pushed through the school doors with Maria at her side and right away Liz knew he was close. She could sense him. On some level she knew that was strange, but she didn’t have the time to process that right now. It was enough to know that he was somewhere close by and her eyes swept the hall looking for him. Sure enough, there he was, talking to his friend Michael just a short distance away.

“C’mon,” Liz headed off in his direction with Maria trailing along beside her.

“He’s with that weird Michael guy,” Maria wrinkled her nose in disgust. “He’s scary.”

“Michael?” Liz shot her friend a look. “Michael’s alright. He’s just had a hard time. Hurry up. I want to talk to Max before class starts.”

“About what?” Maria asked.

“Nothing,” Liz answered as she made a beeline for Max.

“Nothing?” Maria raised her eyebrows. “You’re dragging me across this school so you can talk to Max about nothing?”

“Yes, now flirt with Michael so I can talk to Max,” Liz instructed.

“Flirt? With that nut case?” Maria shook her head. “No. No way. Forget it.”

“Flirt with him and I’ll cover your shift tomorrow night,” Liz offered.

“How about Friday instead?” Maria tried to work this to her advantage.

“Friday?” Liz frowned.

“Yes, Friday,” Maria insisted.

“Okay,” Liz agreed. “Now be convincing.”

“But of course,” Maria said smugly.

“Hi, Max,” Liz said softly as she reached his side. His head whipped to the right at the sound of her voice and his entire demeanor changed. His anger of a moment ago fled, replaced by the gentle nature she was accustomed to.

“Hi, Liz,” a smile spread across his face.

“Hey Michael,” Maria tried to be her most alluring.

Michael looked her up and down and then mumbled, “Whatever.” With a final exasperated look at Max, he headed down the hallway with Maria glaring at his retreating back.

“Well I . . .” Maria fumed. Who did that jerk think he was? Turning on Liz, she said, “You owe me!” and then she headed in the opposite direction.

“What was that all about?” Max asked innocently. He couldn’t help noticing how shiny her hair was today, or how red her lips looked, or how her pink shirt hugged her curves, or –

“Nothing,” Liz shook it off. “Are you ready for our test this morning? Did you get those notes I sent you?”

“Yeah,” Max nodded and they turned toward their morning class. Smiling, he said, “Thanks. I’d never pass Biology without you.”

“We couldn’t have that,” Liz teased. Turning serious again, she remembered what she wanted to ask him. “Max?”

He darted a look at her, sensing the change in her tone. With just a touch of apprehension, he asked, “Yeah?”

“Um, well . . .” Liz hedged. She didn’t know exactly how to ask him this. She wasn’t any good at being the aggressor, but if she waited for Max to make the first move, she might die an old maid first. Looking up at him, she tried to ask the question that had been floating in her mind all night.

“Are you going to the football game on Friday night?” As soon as she said it, she knew she had wimped out. That wasn’t what she had wanted to ask him.

“The football game?” Max said in surprise. He never went to the football games. “No. I have to work.”

“Me too,” Liz let out a sigh. She’d just remembered she agreed to cover Maria’s Friday shift. Damn!

“Oh,” Max said, wondering why she had brought it up in the first place. Did she want to do something? Was she suggesting they go to the game? Together? Damn! Why did he have to work?

“What time do you get off?” Liz asked.

“Not till 9:00,” Max shook his head.

“Yeah,” Liz frowned. “We close at 11:00 on Fridays. We have a pretty good after game crowd on those nights.”

“Maybe I’ll come by after I get off,” Max suggested.

“Yeah, why don’t you do that?” Liz said enthusiastically. “But!” her eyes opened wide. “We don’t have pizza! You like pizza on Friday nights.”

“Maybe we’ll have to order in,” Max said with a smile.

Liz bit at her lip, contemplating the meaning of his words. It felt like he was suggesting they privately eat pizza, her and him, the two of them, with no one else around. Okay, it was just pizza, but it was still private pizza! Sweet!

“What I was gonna ask was,” Liz felt a sudden streak of boldness, “do you want to come over on Saturday? I mean, I have a copy of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. I thought we could watch it. Study their style. If you have other-”

“I have to work,” Max cut in.

“Oh. Well, maybe another time,” Liz cut in quickly, trying to keep the disappointment out of her voice. He didn’t want to do anything with her. She knew that. Why was she pretending there was something more here than there was? It was stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

“I could pick you up when I get off?” Max suggested. “We just bought a new DVD player. Is it a DVD? Because if it’s VHS, we have a VCR too. I mean, everybody has a VCR, right?” God! Could he just shut up now? Why did he always babble around her?

“You mean go to your place?” Liz asked.

“Well . . . yeah . . . I guess so . . . if you want . . . is that what you want?” Max finally managed to ask.

“Sure,” Liz smiled. Max? DVD’s? His place? Romeo and Juliet? Life just got better and better!

Look for the next part to be posted on, you guessed it, Monday night!

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 31-May-2002 12:49:27 AM ]
posted on 4-Jun-2002 12:55:43 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Wow, it sounds like you are ready to lynch me for not posting sooner! I’m sorry! Yes, I was here earlier, but I wasn’t ready to post! I’m still not sure if it's ready yet, but I’m afraid you’ll come looking for me if I wait until tomorrow night! So, here you go!

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 12

Max closed the doors to the UFO Center and locked them securely before turning to look at the Crashdown across the street. He’d done this so many times, stood here on the sidewalk, looking over at the welcoming lights and the jovial atmosphere inside the restaurant, and knowing he wasn’t a part of it. The team must have won again. The restaurant was rapidly filling up and Max stood there wondering if he should just go home, or should he venture over there? Sliding his hands in his pockets, he knew he was getting cold feet.

She was going to be busy, too busy to have any time to spend with him, or share a pizza like they talked about, and he’d end up just sitting at the counter by himself. And parties and crowds weren’t really his thing. Not surprisingly, he wasn’t even sure what his ‘thing’ was, since he never allowed himself to really open up. He spent too much time hiding from the world.

With his hands stuffed in his pockets and his shoulders hunched, he dejectedly turned toward his jeep. It would probably be best to just go home. She probably wouldn’t even notice that he hadn’t stopped by after work. Maybe he could call her later, and talk to her about tomorrow.

He walked along the sidewalk with his head down and when he reached the corner he ran headlong into a warm body coming around the building. The air expelled harshly from his lungs at the sudden impact and he bounced backwards, saying “What the-”

“Sorry man!” came a hasty apology. “I didn’t see you.”

“That’s okay,” Max mumbled and moved to skirt around the guy. He took another step toward his car and then he heard his name called.

“Is that you Max?”

Max lifted his head and peered at the tall shadow, recognizing his voice now. “Alex?’

“Yeah,” the smiling youth stepped into the light of the streetlamp. “You going to the Crash? We won again. It’s time to celebrate.”

“Celebrate?” Max looked across the street longingly. What would it be like to just fit in?

“C’mon,” Alex nodded his head in the direction of the restaurant. “I bet we can get Liz to give us a couple of Milky Way smoothies, on the house.”

“You think?” Max’s lips began to curl at the edges.

“Sure,” Alex slapped him on the shoulder. They stepped into the street together, walking side by side, and Alex easily opened the conversation. “So, Romeo huh?”

“Yeah,” Max looked at him with the smile widening on his face. “Surprising, huh?”

“Just a little,” Alex laughed. “But hey, who can resist playing Romeo to Liz’s Juliet, right?”

“Exactly!” Max blurted the word out before he had a chance to think about what he was saying. “I mean-”

“I know exactly what you mean,” Alex grinned and pushed through the doors into the Crashdown. “Let’s grab a booth before they’re all gone.”

Max trailed along next to Alex and they slid into a nearby booth. It felt a little weird, sitting with Alex and talking like friends. He’d known him for years, but they’d rarely spoken, not like this. Max sensed a subtle shift, as if his world was changing, and looking over at Liz as she poured a drink at the soda fountain, he thought he knew why. She was the cause.

In opening up to her, was he also opening up to her world? To fitting in? To being a part of things, instead of always on the outside looking in? Could her friends become his friends too? Before, that idea might have scared him, thinking the risk of exposure was too great, but maybe they’d been wrong all these years. It felt good, sitting here talking to Alex, and Max couldn’t help wondering where all this might lead, and what the future might hold.

* * * * *

“Hi Alex,” Liz said brightly as she set two cups of water on the table. Her voice softened as she turned to look at his tablemate, and she said, “Hi Max.”

“Hi Liz,” Max had his eyes glued to her. Alex just watched, with a grin on his face.

“The usual?” she looked wide eyed from one boy to the other.

“No,” Alex surprised her. “Tonight we’re being bold men, right Max?”

“Um, right,” he blushed when Liz looked at him quizzically. “Bold. Men. Bold men.” Jesus!

“We’re adventurous!” Alex exclaimed. “No more mundane soft drinks. We want Milky Way smoothies!”

“Bold, adventurous, men . . .” Liz looked from Alex, to Max, and then back to Alex, trying not to laugh in their faces. “Do you want your usual to go with that?”

“Oh, yeah,” Alex and Max both said at the same time, nodding their heads, and then they both rolled their eyes when they realized she got them. Bold and adventurous. Right.

“Okay,” Liz’s eyes were dancing with merriment. “Two smoothies, for a couple of smooth talking adventurous men, coming right up!”

Max watched her walk away, listening to the sound of her suppressed laughter, and he leaned toward Alex and said in a low voice, “We’re not very smooth, are we?”

“Oh, absolutely not,” Alex shook his head at how pitiful they were and they both cracked up.

Max couldn’t keep his eyes off of Liz as she made the smoothies and poured them into tall glasses. She grabbed a couple of straws and then leaned through the window to the kitchen, motioning for the cook to hand her something. He passed her a flat, white box, and at first, Max couldn’t tell what it was. She made her way back to the table trying valiantly not to spill the drinks, with Max watching her every move.

“Two Milky Way smoothies, one for you Alex, my adventurous friend, and one for you Max, my bold leading man.” The boys looked sheepishly at each other and then Max dropped his eyes down to his drink, trying to hide the grin he couldn’t contain. “And this,” Liz said with a flourish as she set the white box in front of Max, “is for you. Alex, I’ll be back with your usual in a minute.”

“Liz?” Max was nearly speechless as he stared at the box with the words Enrique’s Pizzeria across the top. His eyes rose to meet hers wondering if she had ordered this just for him.

“It’s pizza night,” she tried to make it sound casual. “Enjoy.”

* * * * *

“Busy night, huh?” Max said softly, leaning against one of the few empty spots at the counter. Liz turned at the sound of his familiar voice, and the soda flowed over the top of the cup she was filling, dripping all over her hand. Cringing slightly, Max said, “Sorry. Didn’t mean to distract you.”

“That’s okay,” Liz laughed at her clumsiness. She wiped her hand on a damp towel and then cleaned off the cup. With a look over at the booth Alex was sitting in, she said, “You look like you’ve been having a good time tonight.”

“Yeah,” Max nodded and picked at a spot on the countertop. Laughing lightly, he added, “Alex is trying to talk me into singing in his band. I think he’s razzing me about the whole play thing.”

“Well, I heard he’s looking for a new singer again,” Liz looked at him impishly.

“I don’t think so,” Max laughed. “Being in a play is one thing. Standing on stage and singing is something else entirely.”

Liz came out from behind the counter with the cup in her hand and paused in front of him. She always felt really protected when she was near him, as if he was her knight in shining armor, and tonight was no different. He towered over her, making her feel safe.

“Liz, about the pizza . . .” Max stared at his fingers self-consciously. And to think, he almost hadn’t come in tonight. What would she have thought of him, if he had just gone home after work, after the trouble she had gone through?

“I’m sorry I couldn’t join you,” she shrugged it off. “Agnes called in sick again so I’m stuck working ‘til closing.” Besides, she thought to herself and swallowed hard, it wasn’t like they had made a date or anything. Not really. It was just . . . pizza. “It was the right kind, wasn’t it?” she asked, “Supreme? With the works?”

“Yeah,” Max smiled crookedly. “Perfect. Just the way I like it.” Well, so much for pizza. Now if he could only get up the courage to tell her how much he liked her.

“Good . . .” she smiled awkwardly. “I, ah . . . I have to . . . take this . . .” Liz indicated the cup in her hand and Max watched her move over to the booth by the front windows. A line was beginning to form at the register and she gave him a helpless shrug, letting him know she was sorry she couldn’t talk right now.

Smiling to himself, Max headed back to his table, until the bell above the door stopped him and the restaurant erupted in a cheer. Max looked up just in time to see a jubilant Kyle Valenti enter, with his entourage behind him. He was smiling from ear to ear and getting high fives from all directions, the star quarterback getting the royal treatment. He saw Liz reach across the cash register and give him a high five too, and Max felt his jealousy flare. He didn’t like Kyle touching her. He knew his reaction was wrong, but he couldn’t help it. He’d been jealous of Kyle for as long as he could remember. Fighting back the urge to rush over there and wrap his arm around Liz possessively, Max returned to the table and slipped in across from Alex.

“Don’t worry,” Alex leaned across the table so that only Max could hear. “He doesn’t mean anything to her. They’re just friends.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Max felt the blood rushing out of his face. Was Alex implying something? Had his face given something away? Was it that obvious?

“Of course you don’t,” Alex flashed him a smile and went back to eating his fries. Max wasn’t fooling him.

“Hey Brian,” Kyle slapped hands with the guy right behind Max and then he took another step forward. Max looked up at his smirking face just as Kyle said, “Well, if it isn’t our own Maxeo! How fore art thou Maxeo?”

His entourage erupted in laughter and Max felt the blood rushing back into his face now. He was ready to bolt from the table and wipe that grin off Kyle’s face, but then suddenly Liz was there, and he didn’t want to create a scene in front of her. He gritted his teeth, willing to take the taunting if it would spare Liz, and then she opened her mouth and surprised the hell out of him.

“Kyle, that’s my line!” Liz laughed as she elbowed him, hard, in the ribs, treating his comment as a joke even as Kyle bent over double with the air rushing out of his lungs.

Kyle came up sputtering and rubbing his rib cage, hearing the renewed laughter all around him. If it had been anyone else he would have been mad, but it was Liz, so he put up a good front. He’d always blamed Max Evans for his breakup with Liz, even though he freely admitted Max had never done anything to cause it . . . except breathe. He’d seen the way Liz looked at him and try as he might, Kyle knew he never had a chance. Their breakup had been amicable and they’d remained friends, even though he’d always wished for more.

“Besides, Kyle,” Liz continued. “You’ve got it all wrong. It’s like this . . .”

With intentional overly melodramatic flare, her hand flew to her forehead and she intoned, “Oh Maxeo, Maxeo, where fore art thou Maxeo?” She then twirled in a half circle and fell backwards across Max’s lap, hoping he was a quick thinker and he’d catch her before she rolled off his lap and landed on the floor under the table. Luckily for her, she fell right into his open arms and Max didn’t miss a beat.

“Oh Lizziet, Sweet Lizziet, see how she leans her cheek upon her hand,” Max smiled down into her face, almost laughing when she hastily moved her hand from her forehead to her cheek. Then she proceeded to switch to the other hand, before going back to the first, as if Lizziet couldn’t decide which hand to lean her cheek upon. Amidst the laughter of the crowd all around them, Max continued. “O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek.” Impulsively, he leaned down and planted a kiss on her cheek to bring their impromptu scene to a close.

A round of applause joined the laughter filled restaurant and then Liz scrambled from Max’s lap, pulling him to his feet beside her. She curtsied and after rolling his eyes and blushing profusely, he bowed, feeling oddly liberated. Who would have ever thought he’d have this much fun being the center of attention?

* * * * *

“Long night?” Max asked as she dropped into the seat across from him. She’d just let the last customer out and turned the sign on the door to read closed.

“Yeah,” she nodded and let out a long sigh. Her hand rose to pull her headband out of her hair and then she shook her ponytail loose. “We were really busy.”

“Hungry?” he asked. His hand touched the white box on the table and he told her, “I saved some for you.” He’d used his powers to reheat it a few minutes ago, when she wasn’t looking, just in case she wanted some.

Liz looked at the box and shook her head. She’d given it to him a couple of hours ago, and cold pizza didn’t sound appealing right now. “Thanks anyway, but I think I’ll pass.”

“You look tired,” his voice softened.

“A little,” she admitted.

An involuntary yawn overcame her and she covered her mouth with her hand but it was enough for Max to know it was time to leave. They’d both had a long day. He rose to his feet and slipped his arms into his leather jacket, fighting the ever present urge to pull her to her feet and kiss her breathless. That was a fantasy that was just never going to go away.

Liz slid out of the booth to stand beside him, staring up at his handsome face. His eyes were boring into hers, so deep, so mysterious, so enthralling, she could just feel herself falling under his spell. His hand lifted to touch her cheek, the same cheek he’d kissed earlier, and his thumb brushed lightly over her skin. She felt like she was melting right into him, and then his warmth was suddenly gone as he stuffed his hand into his front pocket.

“I should go,” he said, dropping his eyes from hers, “. . . so you can get some sleep.”

“I’m glad you came.” Liz wanted to reach out and touch him too, but he seemed to have pulled back a little and she didn’t want to overstep. His eyes rose to meet hers again, and she added, “You looked like you had a good time tonight, other than when Kyle was being, you know . . . Kyle.”

“Oh, he was just jealous,” Max played it off as if it was unimportant.

“Jealous?” Liz looked at him questioningly.

“Yeah. I had the prettiest girl in school falling all over my lap.” Max dipped his head as soon as he said it, knowing that he shouldn’t have. He felt the heat rise in his cheeks, with a small part of him wishing he could take the words back, and the majority of him wishing he could tell her so much more. He could still feel the softness of her cheek against his lips and he knew it was a feeling he would never forget.

Liz stared at him in surprise, momentarily speechless by his comment. Pretty? He thought she was pretty? O, sweet rapturous tongue, say it again! She blushed, and then sobered when she saw how pink his cheeks had turned. Was he embarrassed he said that? Wanting to ease his tension, she lifted her hand to touch his arm, and she said with humor in her voice, “You have Pam Troy falling all over your lap?”

“No!” Max shot his head up, panicked that she had taken the comment the wrong way, and then relief flooded through him when he saw the twinkle in her eyes. She was teasing him. Shuddering for effect, he said, “Pam Troy is the last person I want on my lap.”

“You know,” Liz tried to sound serious. “Pam has always wanted to get in your pan-”

“Let’s not go there!” Max pulled his hands out of his pockets and held them up to fend off the image of Pam Troy. He didn’t want her anywhere near his pants or his shirt or his anything.

“Sorry!” Liz said, laughing with him.

“So,” he said, when the laughter began to subside. “I guess I better go.” He turned toward the front doors with Liz trailing close behind him, hoping that tomorrow would get here quickly so he could see her again. A thought struck him and he turned abruptly and Liz barreled right into him. His hands reached for her shoulders to steady her and he stared down into her face, only inches from his.

It would be so easy to kiss her right now, he thought, with his eyes focusing on her full lips. He felt drawn to her, to taste her sweet taste, but if he did, there was no way he could hide what it meant. They weren’t out on her balcony now, practicing a scene from the play. They weren’t in a crowded restaurant, acting out a skit. They were here, alone, just inches apart, and if he kissed her there would be no going back. She would know exactly how he felt about her, how he wanted her every day of his life, how he ached to tell her everything. It would be so easy to just lean down and touch her lips with his, but if he did, it would throw her into a world he wanted to protect her from. He couldn’t do that to her. He loved her too much.

“So,” his breath was trapped in his throat, “I’ll, um . . . I’ll pick you up tomorrow . . . around 4:00?”

“I’ll be waiting,” Liz nodded. Her hands had found their way to his waist, resting lightly just above his hips and her head was tilted back as she looked up at him. His lips were so close, and for a moment, she thought he was going to kiss her, but then he pulled back into himself and the moment was gone. Feeling the change, Liz broke the contact and unlocked the Crashdown doors. He hesitated, because he really didn’t want to go, and then he forced himself to step through to the outside.

“Goodnight, Liz,” Max turned and smiled at her awkwardly.

“Goodnight.” She lingered in the doorway for a moment and then slowly closed the door. She turned the lock and they stared through the glass at each other for a minute before he turned to walk away. She watched him until he was swallowed by the night, hoping tomorrow would come quickly.

Next update should be Thursday. I think!

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 4-Jun-2002 1:10:38 AM ]
posted on 7-Jun-2002 12:11:19 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: I think Alex was a big hit in the last part! He really is a great friend, isn’t he? You’ll be seeing more of Max and him together. You all left such amazing feedback that I can’t even begin to answer it! I’d be here all night and then you’d never get to read the next part! Let me just quickly say to Akasha24 that no, there will not be any ‘Big Bad” in this story. No Tess. No skins. No Kivar. But Michael is going to be one huge pain in the ass! And to my dear friend Linda, I’m glad you ventured over here. I know I’m heavy on the angst usually, but I wanted something a little more fun this time!

Well, on with the story . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 13

Maria barreled into the Crashdown like a woman on a mission and when she didn’t see Liz, she headed directly to the back. Spying her at the rack of lockers, Maria rushed over to her with her finger waving in the air. “Max Evans kissed you and you didn’t tell me? How could you not tell me? Details! I need details now!”

“Hello Maria,” Liz looked at her sarcastically. “I’m fine. Thank you for asking. And how are you?”

“Liz!” Maria grabbed her friend by the shoulders. “There’s no time for pleasantries. Alex called me and told me that Max kissed you last night, right here in the Crash! Tell me! Everybody’s talking about it!”

“Everybody?” Liz looked worried.

“Me and Alex,” Maria nodded.

“You and Alex are ‘everybody’?” Liz felt the laugh building inside.

“Everybody that counts,” Maria said in all seriousness. “Now tell me!”

“It wasn’t what you’re thinking,” Liz closed her locker door. “Max kissed me on the cheek, but we were acting out a part. We were in ‘character’. It didn’t mean anything.”

“Alex said it meant something,” Maria insisted.

“Alex?” Liz raised her eyebrows. “What did he say?”

“He said Max swept you into his arms and kissed you passionately and you two were practically going at it right there in one of the booths.”

“Alex said WHAT?” Liz shouted.

“He said Max kissed you on the cheek.”

* * * * *

“You got any job openings here?” Michael asked as Max sorted through the latest shipment of alien head shot glasses.

“No,” Max answered distractedly, concentrating on the new inventory. Picking up one, Max looked at the green head with the big black eyes and said, “Why would someone want to drink booze out of one of these?”

“I don’t know-”

“It’s one of our best sellers,” Max cut him off.

“Humans are stupid?” Michael offered. Back to pressing matters, he said, “I need a second job. You got any ideas?”

“I heard Liz say last night that they needed a cook over at the Crashdown.”

“You were with Liz last night?” Michael asked.

“I was at the Crashdown last night,” Max set the record straight. “Liz was there too. She was working.”

“And you heard her say they need another cook?” He could do that. “How much does it pay?”

“I didn’t ask,” Max frowned at him.

“Find out for me,” Michael insisted.

“Excuse me?” Max glared at him.

“C’mon. I need another job. Go over and ask Liz what it pays.”

“Go yourself,” Max looked at him like he had lost his mind.

“No. That Maria girl is over there.”

“What?” Max stared at him. What did Maria DeLuca have to do with anything?

“I don’t want to run into her. She’s . . . annoying.”

“Then why do you want to work there?” Max snorted. “She’s there all the time.”

“Like I said, I need a job,” Michael stared at him. “Roswell doesn’t have a lot of options.”

* * * * *

Max pushed through the doors into the Crashdown and his eyes automatically searched the room for Liz. He felt disappointed when he didn’t see her, but Maria was over by the counter and he made his way in that direction.

“Hey,” he said as he slid onto one of the stools.

“Max. Hi,” Maria said when she turned from the soda fountain. She looked him up and down, noting his little UFO Center vest. He was just too damn cute for words! “What’s up?”

“I came over for lunch. Is Liz around?”

“In the back,” Maria looked toward the swinging door. “She’s on break.”

“Oh,” Max was disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to see her.

“Just go on back,” Maria tilted her head in that direction.

“You think?” Max raised his eyebrows.

“Sure,” Maria’s attitude said ‘don’t worry about it’.

Max rose to his feet, feeling a little apprehensive to intrude on her, but the prospect of seeing her had greater pull. He pushed through the door into the back and he saw her right away, sitting on the window seat by the big picture window not far from the stairs. She was reading a book, and Max recognized it as soon as he saw it.

Nearing her, not wanting to startle her, he said softly, “Romeo and Juliet, huh?”

“Max!” Liz jumped at the sound of his voice.

“Sorry. I was trying not to scare you. Guess it didn’t work,” he cringed inwardly.

“It’s not 4:00 yet!” Liz tried to straighten her appearance.

“I came for lunch,” Max tried to explain. Pointing back toward the café, he said, “Maria told me to come back here.”

“Oh. Sure. No problem,” Liz smoothed a hand through her hair. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. But . . .” he shifted. “I was wondering about that job you have available. The cook.”

“You want to be a cook at the Crash?” Liz asked. The prospect was making her heart race.

“Not me,” Max shook his head. “Michael. He needs a second job.”

“Tell him to come talk to my dad. Can he cook?” Liz asked. They’d had more than one ‘cook’ show up not even knowing how to boil water.

“Yeah,” Max assured her. “He can cook.”

“Speaking of food,” Liz set her book aside and rose to her feet, remembering why he was here. “What would you like to have?”

Looking at Liz, he had to bite back his immediate answer. ‘Her’. He would like to have ‘her’. Since he couldn’t, he’d settle for something simpler.

“I’ll take a Galaxy Sub,” Max smiled.

“Fries to go with that?” she asked.

“Sure,” Max felt himself relax. Why not?

“I’ll go tell Jose,” Liz breezed past him and he got a whiff of her intoxicating scent. His feet followed along behind her and he stood in the doorway to the kitchen watching her. Her hair was piled up on her head today, held in place by one of those hair clippy things and she wasn’t wearing those silly antennas. Her dress fit her curves the way it always did and her slim legs still glowed with the remnants of a rich summer tan. She moved around the kitchen with ease and Max noticed it wasn’t Jose that was making his sandwich.

She was. She piled on the meat, and the vegetables and instead of the usual salt and vinegar, he saw her pick up the Tabasco sauce and sprinkle it over the sandwich. She looked at the bottle in her hand like she wasn’t sure if that was enough, and Max said, “I little more.”

“More?” Liz looked up, surprised to see him standing in the doorway. She hadn’t realized he was there. “You want more of this?”

“Yeah,” Max nodded, with a small smile playing at his lips. She must think it was strange the way he liked Tabasco sauce on everything. Hell, he thought it was strange, but that was just the way his system was.

“Like that?” Liz asked as she sprinkled on a generous amount.

“That’s good,” Max held his hand up to tell her it was enough and then he slipped it back into his front pocket. He watched her wrap the sandwich and put it in a plastic bag and then she went for the fries Jose had just taken out of the deep fryer.

“Hey!” Jose scolded when he saw what she was doing. “Those fries are for table 5.”

“Not any more,” she smiled at him impishly. She took a generous helping and put the fries and the sandwich in a paper bag with a big alien head on the front. She added a couple of napkins and then walked across the kitchen, handing it to Max when she reached the doorway where he was waiting. “Do you want something to drink with that?”

“Sure,” Max took the offered bag. His fingers were so close to hers, and if he just moved them a little he could touch – and then she was off again, headed back into the restaurant to get his drink.

“The usual?” she smiled over her shoulder as she pushed through the swinging door. “Or are you bold and adventurous again today?”

“The usual,” Max grinned and followed along behind her again. She filled the cup with cherry coke, covered it with a lid, grabbed a straw, and walked back in his direction.

“So,” she looked up at him. “I’ll see you around 4:00?”

“Yeah,” Max smiled and reached to take the drink from her hand. His fingers wrapped around the cup, covering her fingers too, and he noticed how slowly she pulled her hand away. “How-” he stammered as he tried to get his mind to work. It was hard to do when she was standing so close. “How much do I owe you?”

“It’s on the house,” Liz smiled.

“Oh?” Max raised his eyebrows. According to Alex, only best friends got their food ‘on the house’. “Thanks.”

“Liz! Table 5’s up,” Jose called from the back.

“I better let you go,” Max stepped back from her and turned to leave. “I’ll see you at 4:00.”

“Bye Max,” Liz watched him go. He pushed through the Crashdown doors and ran across the street and then she noticed how he looked back in her direction before he disappeared inside the UFO Center. Her stomach was all a flutter from the brief contact they’d had when their hands touched and the tingling in her fingers still lingered. 4:00 o’clock couldn’t come soon enough.

* * * * *

Liz raced around her room in a panic trying to find the right thing to wear. Should she wear a dress? No. A skirt? No. She was just going to his house, she didn’t need to dress up for it. His house! She was going to Max Evans house! The butterflies in her stomach were in full flight.

Calm down, Liz scolded herself. She was just going to his house to watch a movie for Drama. It didn’t mean anything. At least, she didn’t think it meant anything. Oh god! What if it did mean something? She tore through her closet, shaking her head at everything she saw.

“Romeo’s downstairs,” Maria appeared in her doorway with a wide grin on her face. Seeing Liz standing by her closet in only panties and a bra, she added, “It’s a good thing I didn’t send him up here like I was going to. He’d be getting quite an eyeful!”

“He’s here?” Liz felt her panic double. “What time is it?”

“Ten minutes to four,” Maria leaned against the doorframe.

“He’s early! Maria, I can’t find anything to wear!”

“I thought you said this wasn’t a date,” Maria crossed the room and began to thumb through her friend’s clothes.

“It’s – it’s not. It’s just research, for our play. That’s all.”

“Then what does it matter what you wear?” Maria was enjoying this.

“Maria!” Liz stamped her foot.

“Girl,” Maria laughed. “You have got it so bad!” She pulled a denim skirt off a hanger and then a black v-neck shirt with three-quarter length sleeves and said, “Here, wear this. It’s casual, but nice. Wear your black leather boots. Guys get turned on by leather.”

“You think?” Liz held the skirt to her hips.

“Oh yeah. Max will be drooling. Now hurry up before your Dad starts talking to him.”

“My Dad? Oh shit!” Liz pulled on the skirt quickly and then the shirt. She slipped her feet into the boots and zipped them up and then raced for the door. She came to a sudden stop in the hallway and ran back to the bedroom to get the video of Romeo and Juliet and then raced downstairs following right behind Maria. She paused at the swinging door to the café to compose herself and then after counting to 5, she pushed through slowly.

She saw him right away, standing by one of the booths, talking to Alex who was leaning back casually and drinking a coke. Max had one hand in his pocket and the other was tapping the table as he talked, and he was smiling. His dark hair was curled around the nape of his neck and his dark t-shirt showed off the muscles in his arms. He began to laugh and Liz thought Alex must have said something funny, and then he glanced in her direction with his eyes full of humor. He did a double take when he saw her and the smile faded, replaced by a different look.

Sucking in a breath, she wondered, what did that look mean? Adoration? Wonder? Devotion? Love struck? No. It couldn’t be any of those things . . . could it?

Max watched her walk in his direction, with his heart stuck in his throat. It was beating a mile a minute and just looking at her made him feel dizzy. Alex was still talking, but Max couldn’t hear a word he was saying. All of his senses revolved only around Liz. It wasn’t what she was wearing that left him speechless, even though her appearance was breathtaking. It wasn’t the way she moved as she glided smoothly across the floor or the way the light in the room seemed to shimmer all around her.

No, what made his heart pound wildly in his chest was the look in her eyes as she stared at him, like he was the only person in the room.

Was that really how she felt, or was he just reading her wrong? Was it just his own wishful thinking that was making him see things that weren’t really there? Would he ever be able to look at her and not long for what he knew he could never have?

“Hi, Max,” Liz came to a stop in front of him. “I hope I didn’t keep you waiting.”

“You didn’t,” Max shook his head. Looking down into her dark eyes, he couldn’t stop himself from saying, “You look really nice.”

She felt the butterflies beating wildly in her stomach and then he looked down at the floor in that shy way of his and she wondered if he didn’t mean to say that. Feeling self-conscious, she too found the floor interesting and she said softly, “Thank you.”

Glancing at her, he wondered if he had made her uncomfortable. That wasn’t his intention at all. He shouldn’t have said it, but it was true. No, it wasn’t entirely true, he admitted. She didn’t look nice. She looked beautiful, but he couldn’t tell her that.

“You do look really nice, Liz,” Alex piped up. He inwardly shook his head at his old friend and his new friend in the making. Staring at the floor wasn’t going to get them what they both so obviously wanted. “Are those new boots?”

“No Alex,” she laughed and poked him lightly on the arm. Maybe Maria was right about the leather.

“No, I’ve seen you wear those before,” Max smiled his lop sided grin.

“You have?” Liz stared up into his twinkling eyes. He’d noticed what she wore before?

“Well, yeah,” he nodded and his fingers fidgeted nervously on the table. He looked from Liz to Alex and back to Liz, and when he met her eyes again he cleared his throat and said, “Are you ready?”

“Yeah,” Liz nodded and then she looked down at Alex. “We’re going to Max’s place to see-”

“- a movie,” Alex cut in. “Max told me.”

“Yeah,” Max lifted his hand to scratch behind his ear. “Well . . . while I was waiting for you I, um . . . I told Alex about . . . the movie.” He rolled his eyes at his own inability to speak when he was near her.

“Oh,” Liz looked back and forth between the two boys. Alex was one of her closest friends, second only to Maria, and she liked the idea that he and Max might be becoming better friends. It made him seem more a part of her world somehow.

“Well, we better go,” Max suggested.

“Yes,” Liz nodded and then turned to Alex. “I’ll see you later?”

“You know it,” Alex grinned. “Hey Max, do you think there’s any chance you might be able to get that sister of yours to notice me?”

“I don’t know,” Max let out a quick laugh. With his eyes focused on Liz, he continued, “I’m starting to think anything is possible.”

Sitting in the booth, Alex shook his head as he watched Max and Liz head to the doors. He couldn’t understand why they were so blind to something that was so painfully obvious to everyone else. Max was in love with Liz and she was head over heels for him. When were they going to open their eyes and see it for themselves?

Max’s house? A movie? Maybe a little popcorn if they get hungry? Come back on Monday to see what happens!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Jun-2002 12:31:31 AM ]
posted on 11-Jun-2002 1:07:00 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author Note: Well, I had the day from hell! I hope your day was better. I just hope today doesn’t turn out to be the rosy day of the week, because it could be all down hill from here! Grrrrrrr.

I've been tweaking this for the last hour, so I better just post it . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 14

“Home sweet home,” Max said as he opened his front door. “My parents went to Santa Fe for the weekend, and Isabel’s probably at the mall, so we should be able to watch the movie in peace and quiet.” Max stepped back so Liz could enter first and once they were inside he closed the door behind him. “The living room is this way.”

Liz took in all the sights around her, soaking in the home that he lived in. The walls were adorned with pictures, everything from standard school pictures, to professionally taken family photographs. There were no baby pictures, or anything when he and his sister had been toddlers or pre-school age. It served to reinforce the knowledge that before the Evans adopted them, Max and Isabel had lived a mysterious life that no one knew anything about. They had simply appeared one night in the desert, naked and alone, and no one had a clue about what had happened in the first six years of their lives.

“What?” Max said, looking at her curiously.

“What?” Liz was startled out of her thoughts.

“I thought . . . you looked like you were going to ask me something,” Max stared at her.

“No,” Liz said hastily. She might be curious about him, but she didn’t want him to think she was prying into his life.

“Oh,” Max said uncertainly. He was nervous as hell. Crossing into the living room, he let it go and said, “Here we are.” Max held out his hand to her and Liz looked at it, wondering what the gesture meant. Did he want to hold her hand? When she didn’t move, he smiled and said, “Can I have the movie?”

“Oh! Yeah!” Liz blushed. The movie! The reason they were here! Duh! She slipped it into his hand saying, “Here you go.”

“Thanks,” Max took it from her. He stared at her for a moment because he couldn’t help himself, and then he pointed to the right, beyond her shoulder, and said, “That way is the kitchen in case you get hungry or thirsty. That way,” he said, pointing to the hallway on the left, “is the bathroom. Second door on the right. In case you . . . need to . . . ” and then the color rose in his cheeks.

“Pee?” Liz said with a broad smile.

“Yeah,” Max laughed, feeling the tension in his body relax, even though his face was three shades of red.

“Thanks. I’m fine right now, but since the movie is over 2 hours long, I’ll probably need it before we’re done.”

Liz took a seat on the couch and Max went to insert the video into the DVD player. He picked up the remote from the coffee table and then took a seat on the couch next to Liz. He looked at the remote as if it was a foreign object, or alien for that matter, and then Liz reached over and pointed at one of the buttons.

“I think you’re supposed to press the one that says ‘play’,” Liz teased him.

“You think?” Max laughed at his ineptness.

“I’m pretty sure!” Liz grinned from ear to ear.

“I swear,” Max pressed the button and the movie started to play. “It does take a rocket scientist to figure out how these things work.” They laughed together and then their attention appeared to focus on the screen as the opening credits began to roll. They became engrossed as the opening scenes began to play out, wondering how what they were seeing on screen would translate over to the stage.

The movie was filmed on location in Italy and the sets and costumes were opulent, all things that a high school production couldn’t emulate. They watched as the opening sword fight set the tone and they both eagerly awaited the first appearance of the title characters.

“Oh, oh,” Liz exclaimed and her hand was nudging Max’s thigh. All of his attention was suddenly focused on the energy flowing through that point on his leg and he had to force himself to listen to what she was saying. “Look, Romeo is coming! Look! Look!”

“I’m looking!” Max laughed.

“Romeo is just such a . . .” Liz wrinkled her nose trying to come up with the right word, “such a-”

“Player?” Max offered.

“Exactly!” Liz smiled at him. “He’s been sowing his oats all over Verona. I wonder how many notches he has on his belt?”

“I don’t know,” Max blushed. That was one area he had no expertise in. There was only one girl that had ever interested him, that he would ever be interested in, and if he couldn’t sow his oats with her, he wouldn’t sow them with anyone.

“You’re up!” Liz slapped his leg this time and Max hoped she couldn’t see him blush. He tried to concentrate as he watched the scene unfold, but he couldn’t help focusing on her hand, resting on the couch next to his thigh, instead. When she touched him, it felt so . . . right. It would be so easy to just cover her hand with his, to entwine their fingers together . . . but of course . . . he couldn’t.

The movie continued to play and it wasn’t long before it was Max’s turn to say, “Here you go. Juliet’s coming up.” His arm was draped casually over the back of the couch now, and he was so close to letting it fall to her shoulders . . . but he didn’t. He couldn’t. But, oh god, how he wanted to. He forced his attention back to the TV as Romeo joined the feast at the Capulet’s and the first encounter of the star-crossed lovers began.

“Look at how he stares at her,” Liz sounded awestruck. She leaned forward, watching intently with her hand pressed to her chest.

Max darted a look in her direction, wondering how she could see Romeo’s adoration of Juliet, but she’d never once guessed how he felt about her. He must have hidden it well. His hand hovered near her shoulder, wanting to thread his fingers through her silky hair and then he silently sighed as he dropped his hand onto his lap. The longing never went away.

“Oh my,” Liz suddenly blurted out and Max returned his attention to what she was looking at. The dance had ended, but Romeo wasn’t going to let their evening end at that. He was kissing Juliet passionately, and Liz hadn’t remembered how ‘energetic’ he was in this scene. Would Max want to kiss her that way?

Somehow, she thought his kiss that night on her balcony was more appropriate, a perfect kiss that cried out Romeo’s love for Juliet. Whoever Max Evans fell in love with would be one lucky girl, Liz thought as she remembered the passion of his kiss. He had made her feel so . . . cherished when they kissed that night, and that was only acting out a scene in a play. Her fingers touched her lips, remembering how he had felt, and wishing it had been real.

Max watched her engrossed in the movie and he knew he should be paying attention to it too, but he couldn’t keep his focus off of her. She was so close, just inches away from him on the couch, but so unattainable. Her arm brushed his as she shifted position to lean back against the couch and it caused his skin to quiver.

He heard her audible sigh and he just had to ask, “What?”

“See?” Liz pointed at the screen. “Olivia Hussey, every sophomore boy’s fantasy.”

Max glanced at the TV, seeing Juliet on her balcony with her long dark hair falling around her shoulders.

“You look a lot like her,” Max said. Dark hair. Dark eyes. Delicate skin.

“Yeah, sure,” Liz laughed. “I’m Olivia Hussey, without cleavage.”

“You have cleavage,” Max said and then his eyes flew open wide. Did he just say that out loud? He didn’t mean to say that out loud! Oh shit! He said that out loud! He made it even worse by stuttering, “I’ve . . . noticed.”

Tape. Where’s the scotch tape? He should just tape his goddamn mouth shut!

He’s noticed? Liz stared at him in surprise thinking, ‘Max Evans has noticed my cleavage’? The truth was probably more like ‘Max has noticed her lack there of’.

Max felt the heat in his face and he wondered how he was going to get his foot out of his mouth. “We should . . . we should watch this part,” he pointed at the TV. “It’s – it’s the balcony scene.” His face was flaming as she continued to stare at him and he blurted out, “Do you want popcorn? Something to drink? I can get you something to drink!”

“Okay,” Liz found her voice. Max bounded from the couch and disappeared into the kitchen and it wasn’t long before she heard the sound of kernels popping in the microwave. She rose from the couch and made her way down the hallway until she reached the second door on the right. Closing the bathroom door behind her, she stared at her reflection in the mirror. Max had noticed her cleavage? She wasn’t sure if that was good, or bad.

Max was in the kitchen mentally kicking himself in the butt. How could he say that out loud? It just slipped out, but how was he supposed to face her now? She knew he had been looking at her chest! Damn, he was such an idiot!

Cringing inside, he picked up the bowl of popcorn and tucked it in the crook of his arm. He picked up the cherry cokes with his right hand and he made his way back into the living room. She passed him, obviously just returning from the bathroom, and he avoided looking her in the eye as he fell into step behind her. She took her seat and he set the popcorn bowl on the couch beside her and then sat down with a safe distance between them. They watched the movie in silence, each of them trying to concentrate on the images on the screen and not the person sitting next to them.

As the wedding scene unfolded in the church with Friar Lawrence, Max reached into the bowl to scoop up a handful of popcorn. Liz reached for it at the same time and her fingers slid over the warm skin on the back of his hand. She let it linger there, feeling that tingling sensation shoot up her arm, and then she pulled her hand away, saying, “Sorry.”

“S’okay,” Max gave her a quick smile, wishing she would have left her hand there. The uncomfortable silence between them dissipated and he turned his attention back to the TV. The sword fight between Romeo and Tybalt was just beginning and he pointed at the screen, saying, “This part’s really good!”

Liz looked at him, smiling to herself. It was just like a guy to like the fight scene the best.

Max felt her eyes on him and he glanced in her direction. He did a double take at the smile that played at her lips and then curiosity got the best of him. “What? What are you laughing at?”

“Nothing,” she answered, but her eyes were twinkling.

“Something,” Max smiled back.

“No. Nothing,” she bit her lip to hold back a giggle.

“Tell me,” Max was grinning now, even though he didn’t know why.

“Nope,” Liz shook her head. She reached into the popcorn bowl and grabbed a handful, smiling widely as she turned her attention back to the TV.

“Tell me,” Max insisted.

“Nope.” Liz looked at him sideways and then down to her hand and the next thing he knew, a popcorn kernel was bouncing off his forehead.

“You didn’t-” Max felt the popcorn fall into his lap. She did! She was giggling now and Max plucked a kernel out of the bowl and nailed her right between the eyes.

“Hey!” she cried and threw another piece at him.

“You started it!” He bounced another one off her forehead.

“Hey!” she cried again and threw a handful at him.

He tried to duck but multiple kernels peppered his face and before he knew it, he was retaliating with a handful of his own, hitting her in the face and getting it in her hair. He laughed when he saw a kernel disappear inside the v of her shirt, right down that cleavage they had been talking about, and that made her throw another handful at his face. He could feel popcorn slipping under the collar of his own shirt and with a mischievous grin, he picked up the bowl and dumped the whole thing on her head.

Liz shrieked with laughter and hit the stainless steel bowl away and it clattered onto the floor. She tried to scoop up a handful from her lap to hurl it at him, but he was leaning over her now trying to grab her wrists.

“No! No you don’t!” Max was laughing too. She struggled against him, giggling and laughing, and then she slid sideways on the couch. Max toppled over onto her with his body pressing down on hers and he pinned her hands to her sides.

“Max!” she cried out, laughing and wiggling under him. His hands released her wrists, but only so he could reach her ribs, which he began to tickle mercilessly. She was convulsing under him now and shrieking, “Max! MAX! STOP!”

He tickled her all the more, both of them laughing uproariously, and then her hands were on his trying to peel them off of her. She withered in exquisite torture, and then he suddenly stopped.

“Max . . .” Liz stopped her struggling. Her eyes grew wide looking at his face hovering just inches above hers, feeling the weight of his body flush against hers, and the laughter died in her throat. His eyes had taken on a burning intensity and they moved back and forth between her eyes and her lips. She held her breath as he inched closer, tilting his head slightly to the right as his lips neared hers, both their hearts beating wildly, their lips only a breath apart now, so close she could feel the heat –


His eyes widened and he whipped his head toward the entry to the living room, blurting out, “Isabel! What are you doing here?”

“The question is, my dear brother,” Isabel frowned at him with her hands on her hips, “What are you doing here!”

“Watching a movie!” Max blurted out. He was so surprised to see her standing there, he didn’t even realize Liz was still wedged beneath him.

“A movie?” Isabel looked at the TV. “What is it? A skin flick?”

In unison, Max and Liz looked over at the TV just in time to see Romeo’s naked backside, standing in front of a window on the morning after his wedding night. Looking down at Liz, Max said in all seriousness, “I don’t think Mrs. Wainwright is going to have me do that.”

“I don’t think so,” Liz agreed. He turned his head to look back at his sister and Liz whispered into his ear, “But I’d pay to see it.”

Max turned back to look at her with eyes even bigger than before. What did she say? Was she talking about him? About his . . . bare . . . ass? She looked at him and shrugged innocently, and then unable to suppress a smile, she said, “I’ve noticed.”

“Max! Can you get off your little friend long enough to GET OVER HERE!” Isabel was fuming and if looks could kill, then he surely would be dead. That’s when Max realized he was crushing Liz with his body stretched out over hers and the blood rushed to his cheeks. He scrambled off of her and then helped her to a sitting position.

“Liz, I’m sorry about that,” he stammered. “I didn’t mean-”

“It’s okay, Max,” Liz felt her own cheeks growing red.

“MAX!” Isabel shrieked.

“O – KAY!” Max jumped to his feet.

“MY ROOM!” With a final glare, she turned on her heels and marched toward the stairs.

“Sorry,” Max looked down at Liz. “I gotta -”

“NOW!” Isabel bellowed.

“GO!” Max ran for the stairs. Before he disappeared, he turned back to Liz and pleaded, “Don’t go anywhere. Just stay there. I’ll be back in a minute.”

“Okay.” Liz felt bad for him. Isabel was scary. She heard their footsteps climb up the stairs and stomp across the floor above her head and then Isabel’s voice floated down to her, followed by Max’s deeper tone. She could only hear bits and pieces, but it was obvious Isabel was mad.

“Max, how could you! You know-”

“Isabel! Keep . . . voice down! You . . . the . . . neighborhood . . . hear?”

“You know you can’t . . .what about . . . don’t you care. . . going to do to Michael? How can . . .”

“Give . . . a rest . . . for God’s sake! Why can’t . . . and Michael . . . get off my back! I’m not . . . anything wrong . . . ”

“If I hadn’t . . . just how far . . . not safe, for any of us!”

“I know . . . feel, Isabel! I’ve heard . . . years!”

A door slammed closed and their voices went quiet. Liz knelt in front of the couch trying to find all the errant pieces of popcorn they had thrown around the living room and then Max was suddenly at her side, helping her. They quietly went about cleaning up their mess, scooping up handfuls of popcorn from the carpet and between the cushions and underneath the couch, and when their hands brushed together in the bowl, Liz let her fingers close around his and she said, “I’m sorry, if my being here upset your sister. Maybe I should go.”

“No,” Max squeezed her hand. “Don’t go. We still have to finish the movie.” He carefully plucked a kernel from her hair and let it drop into the bowl, and he smiled as he smoothed the strands with his fingertips. “Just ignore Isabel.” His eyes took on a humorous glint and he added, “That’s what I try to do.”

They finished cleaning up and then resumed their positions on the couch, watching the movie to its conclusion. Max kept his distance, knowing that he’d let things get carried away earlier. Isabel was right, as much as he hated to admit it. It wasn’t safe. He was warring with himself, wanting Liz so much but knowing they were just too different. His heart and his mind were completely at odds.

Staring at the TV blindly, he could feel her eyes darting in his direction. After years of wanting her, and dreaming of her, the object of his desire was almost within his grasp, so close he could almost taste it. He was almost sure Liz had wanted that kiss just as much as he had, but then, she thought he was Max Evans – teenage boy. Shy. Quiet. Founding member of Wallflowers Anonymous. But that’s not what he was at all. He might look that way on the outside, but underneath this human exterior, what kind of thing was he?

As much as he wanted her, and loved her, how could he ever ask for her acceptance when he couldn’t even accept himself? How could he even think of starting some kind of relationship with her when he couldn’t bear to think of telling her what lay beneath the surface, about the secrets he’d been hiding from the world all these years?

Yet if he kept the truth from her, how could he ever hope for a lasting relationship if it was based on lies?

Glancing over at her quiet figure next to him, he felt torn in two directions, with everything he wanted pulling him toward her, and his compulsion to hide his secrets dragging him the other way.

He’d never felt more conflicted . . . and he had no idea what to do about it.

Yes, yes, you just know Isabel had to make her appearance sometime! What lousy timing! Don't look at me! It's wasn't MY fault! She just showed up! She was supposed to be at the mall! *tongue* Come back on Thursday (if the week from hell lets me) to see what happens next!

posted on 13-Jun-2002 11:39:02 PM by Breathless
This absolutely amazing banner was made for me by ChrissyP47! Isn't it just the best? So fitting for this story!

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: First of all, thanks to all of you who wished for my week to get better. It didn’t work, my whole week has been as bad as Monday, but thanks for thinking of me! I'm trying to post this a little early tonight, because I'm tired as hell.

As far as this fic goes, yes, Isabel sure has crappy timing! I tried to get her to stay at the mall, but she just wasn’t listening! But, don’t be too harsh on her. It’s Michael that you have to look out for! Wink! Wink!

So anyway, don’t you just hate it when somebody sees something, and then jumps to the wrong conclusion? Doesn’t it just make you want to tear your hair out and scream at them, telling them not to believe everything they see, but they just don’t listen?

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 15

“He did what?” Maria stared at Liz with her mouth open wide. They were walking down the hallways of West Roswell High and Liz couldn’t hide the smile on her face. She was floating on cloud nine after her encounter with Max on Saturday, and even though she’d already told Maria everything already, she didn’t mind telling the story all over again. She got butterflies in her stomach just thinking about it.

“You heard me,” Liz grinned. “One minute we were sitting there watching the movie and then the next minute, he’s got my hands pinned to my sides and he’s leaning across me and he almost kissed me. It was so . . .”

“Dreamy?” Maria finished for her friend.

“Yes,” Liz sighed.

“Oh, girl! You’ve got it so bad!” Maria teased.

“I know,” Liz sighed again. “If it hadn’t been for Isabel, I know he would have kissed me. I just know it.”

“Speak of the devil,” Maria motioned toward the far side of the quad. Isabel had just breezed through the doors, attracting the eye of every boy within sight. She ate up the attention she garnered, and her reputation as Ice Princess was well earned as she swept through the quad with an air of untouchability. Her brother entered behind her and Maria elbowed Liz teasingly, saying, “And there’s your Romeo.”

A smile lit her face and linking her arm through Maria’s, she moved to head in his direction when she suddenly stopped dead in her tracks. Her smile disappeared as Paula Holt approached him, invading his personal space, and then Liz’s mouth fell open when Paula practically draped her body all over him.

“What the hell?” Maria stared at the sight. Max had his head bent forward while Paula whispered in his ear and when he straightened up, he was smiling and nodding his head. Paula slipped a piece of paper into his hand and though they were too far away to hear, Maria could see enough to follow the gist of it. Paula was giving him her phone number. Max was thanking her for it, with a promise to call her later. To make matters worse, as Paula walked away from him, swinging her miniskirt covered ass from side to side, Max stared at her retreating figure, eating up the show.

Poor Liz. Maria glanced over at her, and sure enough, her best friend had noticed. Her hand was hovering over her mouth and she was chewing on her lower lip and her expressive eyes couldn’t hide the surprise, the shock, the deflated look that crossed her face. Paula Holt was flirting with Max, and Max seemed quite interested.

“Liz . . .” Maria said softly.

At the sound of her name, Liz turned on a smile that she didn’t feel and said jovially, “Did you bring anything good for lunch today? Maybe we could eat outside. There’s that nice spot-”

“Liz,” Maria tried to sympathize. She knew full well how Liz felt about Max. How she’d always felt about Max. She saw the look on her face quiver, and then that false façade fell into place again and she smiled.

“It’s supposed to be warm out today, not hot like last week.” Liz linked her arm through Maria’s again and she walked with her friend down the hall toward class. “It’ll be fun, eating outside in the shade and-”

Maria knew that Liz had eaten lunch with Max on more than one occasion in the last week or so, and that she had probably looked forward to eating with him again today, and her suggestion that the two of them meet for lunch instead clearly indicated what they had just witnessed had shaken Liz. When Liz stopped talking, she followed her friend’s gaze and sure enough, Max was once again the center of attention.

A swarm of girls had gathered around him and he was chatting away, smiling as if it was a common thing, having girls swoon all over him. Susie Baker just slipped a note into his shirt pocket and it didn’t go unnoticed by Max. His eyebrow arched as her hand pressed flat against his chest and then he was smiling at her and nodding his head.

“Maybe it doesn’t mean anything Liz,” Maria suggested, trying to come up with a reason why Max would have nearly kissed Liz on Saturday, and then today be flirting with all the girls in school. It just wasn’t like him.

“So Evans, huh?” Kyle suddenly appeared at their sides. “He’s crossed over into Babe Magnet status.”

Both girls looked at Kyle sharply, and then Liz hesitantly asked, “What do you mean?”

A chorus of giggles echoed in the hall and the three of them turned to stare at the spectacle happening just up ahead. Max must have said something funny because the girls were all laughing and preening in front of him.

“Babe Magnet,” Kyle repeated as he stared at Max. “See, there’s two ways to attain Babe Magnet Status. “There’s me,” he held out his hands and smiled at the obvious. “It’s called the Jock Factor. Quarterback of the football team, captain of the basketball team, state champion in Greco Roman wrestling. It gets the girls every time,” he smirked.

“Max doesn’t play sports,” Maria reminded him. Liz was silently watching the display just up ahead.

“No he doesn’t, but he has the next best thing,” Kyle continued. “He’s got the Leading Man Factor. You know how groupies fawn all over movie stars? Well, this is the high school version of it. Max is in the spotlight now, and the girls have taken notice. Instant Babe Magnet.” Looking at Liz and Maria with that quirky smile of his, Kyle finished by saying, “All those girls? It’s hard to resist!”

“Shut up Kyle,” Maria shot him a look. She could feel how tense Liz had become.

“Sorry,” Kyle held up his hands as if it wasn’t his fault. That’s just the way things are. With a wave, he headed off to his first class of the day.

The first bell rang and the crowd of girls around Max dispersed. Liz quickened her stride to catch up to him, with Maria in tow, and then Pam Troy swooped in out of nowhere. She plastered her body to his side and to Liz’s mortification, her hand dropped down to cup Max’s butt. She lost sight of them in the crowd, but the image of Pam Troy’s hand touching Max intimately, and Max reaching back and covering her hand with his, was almost more than she could take. Liz came to a stop in the hallway feeling her world crashing down around her.

“What you saw probably means nothing at all,” Maria said gently. “He’s probably heading to class right now just waiting for you to show up.”

“He didn’t even notice me,” Liz said in a near whisper as her unfocused eyes stared down the hallway.

“Liz, that doesn’t mean-”

“It’s okay, Maria,” Liz said, resigned to the obvious. “Go to class, before you’re late. I’ll see you at lunch.”

“We’ll talk,” Maria said pointedly.

Liz nodded and once Maria had disappeared down the hall she made her way to her classroom. As excited as she had been this morning to see him again, a part of her had been apprehensive too, and now it appeared she had good reason to feel that way. After nearly kissing her on the couch in his living room, he’d been so quiet in the jeep when he drove her home. She should have known right away that something was wrong. And then he hadn’t called her, or come to see her on Sunday, and now she could see why. He’d probably been too busy to even think about her.

* * * * *

Max stood by his lab table sorting through the contents of his backpack. He hadn’t gotten a chance to stop at his locker to empty it out the way he normally did in the mornings and it was full of things he didn’t need for this class. He felt someone brush against him and hoping it was Liz, he turned to look behind him with a smile on his face.

“Hi, Max,” came the sultry voice.

“Hi . . . Chyna,” Max’s smile wavered slightly. What was up with that? Ever since he walked through the doors this morning he’d been barraged by people he hardly knew. Girls he knew by name only were suddenly stopping him in the hall. Some he might have been in a class or two with over the years and others he wasn’t even sure who they were, or even what grade they were in. Why were they suddenly paying attention to him? He tried to be polite, and smile, but it made him uncomfortable.

That Susie Baker had slipped her phone number into his shirt pocket, as if he would even want it, and then she had the audacity to feel him up! Jesus! And then Pam Troy had shocked the hell out of him when she grabbed his ass! He had to literally take her hand and move it off of him! What kind of girl grabbed a guy’s ass, especially someone she barely knew? The word ‘slut’ came to mind, but he still couldn’t figure out why she had done it to him. It wasn’t like they’d ever been friendly to each other before.

He looked down at the note in his hand, suddenly remembering Paula Holt had given him something too and he hadn’t had a chance to look at it yet. He unfolded it now and when he saw what she had written his eyes nearly bugged out of his head. She wanted to do WHAT to him?

“Hi Max,” Liz said quietly as she slipped onto the stool next to him.

Max jumped at the sudden sound of her voice. He could feel his cheeks flaming over what he had just read and not knowing what else to do with it, he stuffed the note quickly into his front pocket. He swallowed hard as he looked over at Liz and then he saw the color in her cheeks. Oh God! Had she seen it? Had she seen the note when she was walking behind him to take her seat?

“Liz! Hi!” he said sharply. She met him with a forced smile and his stomach suddenly twisted in a knot. He saw her eyes drop down to his pocket and then he knew for sure. She did see the note! How was he supposed to tell her that he was just as shocked by the note as she was?

Liz took her time to arrange her things around her and she tried to keep her eyes off Max. She’d seen him reading a note when she walked through the door and she wondered if it was one of the ones she saw passed to him in the hallway, or was it a new one? The way he shoved it in his pocket, he really must not have wanted her to see it.

Max watched her from the corner of his eye sensing something wrong, but not sure what. He’d wanted to call her all day yesterday, to talk about the play, or about biology, or any excuse he could think of to keep her on the phone, but every time he tried, Isabel started harping on him again. Then Michael came over and started in on him too. Why couldn’t they just leave him alone? He was tired of fighting about it all the time.

He was well aware that he could never tell Liz the truth. That he could never be with Liz the way he wanted to be. That the closest he could ever get to having a relationship with her was to pretend it on stage. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t be friends. What harm could that be? She was no threat to them. He trusted her completely.

“Hi Max,” a voice broke through his thoughts and his head snapped up to look at who it belonged to. He racked his brain trying to remember her name and he could feel his cheeks warming up again.

“Hi . . .” Shelly? Sheila? Sally? Sara! That was it. “Hi Sara.”

“Tara,” she smiled.

“Oh. Sorry,” Max cringed inside. “Tara.” He hated it when that happened. His cheeks were flaming again. She just smiled at him and Max watched her move on to her seat. What was going on? Was he the butt of someone’s joke or something? Did he have a sign on his back that he couldn’t see? Nobody ever paid any attention to him. Why was today different? Maybe he’d ask Liz if she knew.

“Liz,” he turned his head to look at her and then he stopped short. Her hand was covering her face like she was in pain and he leaned forward in concern asking, “Liz? Is something wrong? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she dropped her hand and forced a smile. “Fine.”

“Are you sure?” He wasn’t convinced. He could sense something – different.

“Yeah,” her smile widened and she turned to flip through the pages of her textbook.

“Okay,” Max sat back uncertainly. Something was wrong, he just didn’t know what. He stewed about it for a minute and then he leaned forward again to get her attention. “Liz-”

The final bell rang and Ms. Hardy began the day’s lecture, demanding the attention of the class. Their table was near the front of the room, and as their teacher droned on, Max knew his question would have to wait. Maybe they could talk at lunch, or on the drive home after school. Something was bothering Liz, and Max just hoped it didn’t have anything to do with him.

* * * * *

“So tell me,” Maria said, looking sideways at her best friend. She took a bite of her sandwich, waiting for the denial that she was sure was coming. She knew Liz better than anyone else in the world.

“Tell you what?” Liz kept her eyes on her food.

“Tell me what’s going on between you and Romeo,” Maria stated bluntly. “What happened in class this morning?”

“Nothing,” Liz took a bite of her sub. The normally succulent food was tasteless and she was tempted to spit it out. Nothing tasted good today.

“Liz,” Maria faced her down.

“Nothing happened,” Liz held her ground. “I’m serious. Absolutely nothing. Max got hit on a couple more times in class, and then at least once more before I left the room to go to second period.” She took another bite of her sandwich, even though she wanted to throw up.

“Liz,” Maria said consolingly. She knew how much her friend was hurting.

“It’s fine, Maria,” Liz forced a smile. “I’m fine. Max is a good looking guy. I’m just surprised it took this long for the girls to start flocking all over him.”

“That doesn’t mean he’s going to pay any attention to it,” Maria tried to talk some sense into her. “He likes you, Liz-”

“Oh come on, Maria,” Liz shook off her friend’s positive spin. “I don’t have the looks of Chyna Prescott. I don’t have the body of Paula Holt. I’m just a science geek with an Olivia Hussey complex and-”

“With a what?” Maria frowned.

“Nothing. Let’s just drop it, okay?” Liz looked at her pleadingly.

“Hey Liz, Maria,” Kyle said as he approached their table. “What’s going on?”

“I’m trying to figure out what an Olivia Hussey complex is,” Maria smiled and felt Liz’s glare.

“Who?” Kyle looked perplexed. Was she that new girl? That blonde sophomore with the perky –

“Don’t you people ever pay attention in class?” Liz shook her head at them. They’d all seen the movie in 10th grade English.

Kyle and Maria shared a knowing look and then answered in unison, “No!”

Liz rolled her eyes and then Kyle looked down at the feast on the table before her and said, “Liz, I’ve known you a long time, and there’s no way in hell you are ever going to eat that whole sandwich.”

Liz looked down at the food in front of her and she had to admit he was right. She’d brought two 6” Galaxy Subs today, one for her and one for Max. But she’d seen him and Isabel and Michael take off in the jeep, going off campus for lunch somewhere.

“My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I made it,” Liz shrugged. Holding out one sandwich for him, she asked Kyle, “Do you want it?”

“Sure,” he smiled. Crashdown Galaxy Subs were the best. He climbed onto the bench next to Liz and took the sub from her hand. In thanks, he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and hugged her. His friendship and sense of humor was just what she needed right now and she laughed softly as she leaned her head against his shoulder.

Max walked from the parking lot with hurried strides, leaving a sulking Isabel and irritated Michael in his wake. He’d rushed them through lunch so he could get back quickly, so that maybe he would get a chance to talk to Liz for a few minutes before lunch was over. Crossing the neatly trimmed landscape of the school grounds, he headed in the direction he thought she might be, but as he neared his destination, his footsteps slowed and then faltered. Coming to a halt, he saw a sight he had hoped to never see again.

Up ahead, sitting at a table in the shade of a large tree, sat Liz and Maria . . . and Kyle. It wasn’t the fact that they were all together that hit him so hard. No, he’d seen the three of them together many times before. But it’d been a long time since he saw Kyle with his arm around Liz . . . or Liz with her head on his shoulder.

Backing off slowly so he wouldn’t be seen, Max retreated into the depths of the school with that image burned in his brain. Raking his hand through his hair as he walked blindly through the hallways, it dawned on him that might be why she was so standoffish to him today. Had his near kiss on Saturday crossed the line because . . . because, oh god, was she . . . seeing Kyle again? Oh god, no. No.

He felt his heart crashing to the floor.

* * * * *

Liz fidgeted in her seat, sensing Max sitting right behind her. She tried to concentrate on everything that was going on around her, but all she could focus on was the feel of his eyes boring into the back of her head. She knew she was just imagining it, that he wasn’t really staring at her, but she couldn’t shake the feeling.

He’d come to class just as the bell rang and they hadn’t had a chance to talk. In fact, they hadn’t really talked all day. Every time they ran into each other, some girl would come along and attach herself to him until finally Liz had started to just avoid him all together. It was too painful to watch the girls flirting with him and him paying attention to them.

Mercifully, it seemed Mrs. Wainwright planned on concentrating on the ensemble scenes this week, instead of the Romeo and Juliet ones. The next several days would cover the fight scene that Max liked so much, the scene where Romeo slew Tybalt in the streets of Verona. Liz would be practicing her scenes with the Nurse. At least not having scenes with Max let her relax enough to concentrate on what she needed to do.

When the bell rang to dismiss school for the day, Liz was both relieved, and apprehensive. She gathered her things together and she wondered if Max would want to talk now. She wasn’t sure what to say to him if he did. She felt his eyes staring at her and she raised hers to look at him.

“Liz,” Max began, relieved that finally they had a chance to talk. No rushing off to the next class, or interruptions from other students since the classroom was almost empty already. It’d been the weirdest damn day, and he was hoping beyond hope that what he had seen at lunch wasn’t what he thought it was. “I – I have to take Isabel to the mall. There’s a sale at Franco’s that she says she can’t miss-”

“Oh,” Liz looked at him with wide eyes and then she plastered on her smile. “Oh, yeah. The leather shop. I saw that ad in the paper.”

“Yeah, well, I said I’d drive her over there-”

“Oh, yeah, no problem,” Liz said hastily and gathered her things together.

“It’s not too far-”

“It’s okay,” Liz tried to cover the hurt. He didn’t want to give her a ride home. He was making excuses. She stuffed her things in her backpack so she could flee the room. “Maria said she’d give me a ride home. We both work at – Oh!” she looked at her watch. “I have to run or I’ll be late!” Hoisting her backpack off the desk, she looked at him once more as she backed away, “So, I’ll – I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye Max.”

“Bye,” Max said softly and stared at her retreating figure. He’d only meant that he needed to drop Isabel off at the mall first, before they went to the Crashdown. Did she not want to ride with him anymore? Was it all true then, what he had seen at lunch? Kyle and Liz together? Was his worse nightmare coming true?

On Saturday he thought – she’d been – had he been that wrong? He thought sure their relationship was growing stronger, growing into something more than just . . . friends . . . but today everything seemed to have fallen apart. Was it the kiss? Had she sensed something in him that repelled her? When he almost kissed her, had she seen some part of the alien inside him that he tried to hide?

Were Michael and Isabel right the whole time? Was staying away from Liz the only safe thing he could do? He sank into the chair behind him on legs that suddenly didn’t want to hold him up anymore. His eyes stared at the empty doorway and he wondered, had he lost her? Had the only thing he ever wanted just slipped through his hands?

Come back on Monday to see what happens next!

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 14-Jun-2002 3:10:49 AM ]
posted on 14-Jun-2002 1:04:11 AM by Breathless
I just wanted to clarify that I didn't make the cover art that I posted with the story. I tried to edit my post to say that, but it wouldn't let me until just a minute ago. I'll let you know the name of the person that created that magnificant art, as soon as she tells me what posting name to use.

posted on 14-Jun-2002 3:14:42 AM by Breathless
Hey ChrissyP47, I edited my post to reflect your posting name. As you can see from the comments, I'm not the only one that thinks your cover is beautiful!

Once again, THANK YOU!
posted on 18-Jun-2002 12:10:15 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: I didn’t expect quite the reaction I got from that last part. I’m sorry if I depressed everybody! I know things have been pretty light up until that last part, when the angst got a little thick. I’m still trying to stick to my resolve to keep the angst-o-meter in the low range, but we just have to get past these silly misunderstandings. And then we have to deal with – oops! Can’t give the story away! Let’s see, when last we met, Liz had just walked out of school, and left Max wondering what had happened. Let’s see where he’s at now . . .

Oh, this is posted in two parts due to length restrictions.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 16

Max pulled into the school parking lot and brought the jeep to a stop near Maria’s jetta. He sat there, deep in thought, with his engine still running, while he weighed his options, listing them off numerically in his head.

One. He could go in there, tell Liz it had been a mistake on his part when he almost kissed her on Saturday, and that he hoped it wouldn’t affect their friendship. Because they were friends. Just friends. Nothing more than friends. Michael and Isabel would like that plan. He hated it.

Two. He could go in there, find Liz, sweep her into his arms, kiss her crazy like he should have done on Saturday, pledge to her his undying love and carry her off into the sunset. Now he liked that plan, but Isabel and Michael would hate it. And after seeing Liz with Kyle at lunch yesterday, he didn’t know how she would react either. Would she fall into his arms and smother him with kisses? Or would she turn her back and walk away, arm in arm with Kyle?

Three. Did he have a third option? Was that it? Just two choices? The first choice meant keeping the status quo. He could see her, and talk to her, and dream about a life with her, knowing it would never be anything more than a dream. Never.

The second choice could give him everything he ever dreamed of, or he could lose her completely. What if she didn’t want him ‘that’ way? What if the reason she was so closed off from him yesterday was because the near kiss on Saturday had crossed a line she didn’t want crossed? Wouldn’t it be better to at least have her in his life, even if it was only just friends, than to not have her at all?

Turning the key in the ignition, he shut the jeep off and turned his unhappy gaze toward the school. One thing was for sure. His choices sucked. With his decision still wavering, he climbed from the jeep and headed inside to find Liz.

* * * * *

Liz stood at her locker putting away her things and dreading her upcoming class. What would it be like today? Girls flirting with Max. Max flirting back? She didn’t know if she could take it. She must have been stupid to think that Max was going to kiss her on Saturday. She must have just read the whole thing wrong. Why would he – Max Evans – school hunk, ever be interested in her? She was plain, not beautiful like Chyna Prescott. She was flat chested, not well endowed like Paula Holt. She wasn’t an easy lay, like that slut Pam Troy. She was a brainiac, and everyone knew how boring a brainiac was.

“Hi Liz,” Kyle beamed a smile as he casually leaned his shoulder against the locker next to hers.

“Hi,” she arched her eyes in surprise. “You’re early. You don’t usually get here before the first bell.”

“I know. I have to meet Shelly Rogers so I can get my homework.”

“Your homework?” Liz shot him a disapproving look. “You have Shelly doing your homework?”

“Yeah,” he shrugged as if someone else doing his homework was normal.

“Kyle-” Liz scolded.

“Hey, there she is,” he cut her off. “See ya later.” He started to chase after her and then stopped to look back at Liz. “Are you coming to the game on Friday night? You missed last week.”

“I know. I had to work, remember?” She felt a pang of longing thinking back on last Friday, remembering Max in the Crashdown and how much fun they’d had together.

“You don’t work this Friday, do you?” he asked and raised his hand to pluck a piece of lint from the shoulder of her black shirt.

“No. I’m free this Friday.” She never had any plans on Fridays. Or Saturdays either.

“Then you better come to the game, “ Kyle urged her. “We’re gonna go undefeated this year, just wait and see. We’ll be all state this year.”

“I don’t know,” Liz hedged. Did she want to go to the game, or stay home alone and mope?

“I want to see your face in the stands,” Kyle shot her one of his most charming smiles.

“Well, maybe,” she tried to muster an answering smile. Maybe it would be good to be with friends.

“Good,” Kyle gave her chin a tweak. As he ran off to chase down Shelly, he called back over his shoulder, “It’s a date! Friday night!”

She waved him off with a smile on her face. Kyle always said that. The stands were filled with his Friday night ‘dates’.

Max stood frozen in the hallway with his hopes and his dreams dying all around him. There was no mistaking what he had just seen and heard. Liz was going on a date with Kyle on Friday night. What he saw yesterday at lunch was real. Kyle and Liz were back together. Option two didn’t exist anymore. He couldn’t declare his undying love for her when she was dating someone else.

He took a ragged breath, and steeling his heart against the pain of losing her, he walked in her direction. When he reached her side he tried to keep the anguish he felt out of his voice.

“Hi, Liz.” Her head shot up suddenly and his eyes darted away and back and then away again, finding it difficult to look her in the eyes.

“Hi, Max,” she said a little too loud, a little too fast, feeling her heart suddenly start racing in her chest.

“I saw Kyle a minute ago,” he tried to sound normal. “Friday night, huh?”

“Yeah,” Liz nodded. “It should be fun.” She was talking about the football game. He thought she meant the date.

“Look, um . . .” he shifted uncomfortably. “Um, about last Saturday . . .”

Liz’s hand froze in the air, mid way to her locker. Was he talking about –

“Things got . . . after the popcorn fight, things got a little carried away. I – I didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Oh,” Liz felt her heart shattering. Her eyes fell closed and then she forced herself not to let him see how she was dying inside.

“It was just dumb on my part.” Max tried to make it sound light. “We’re still friends, right? Partners?”

“Right,” Liz forced a smile. “Of course. Why wouldn’t we be?”

“Good,” Max hid behind his own mask. “Good.” He stood awkwardly beside her and then with his head down he said, “Look I’ve gotta go. I’ve got to go see Michael . . . so . . . I’ll see you in class.”

“Class. Right,” Liz nodded. She wasn’t going to let him see her cry.

“Okay, then . . . bye.” He stood there for another moment, already regretting his decision to choose option one, but knowing there wasn’t any other choice. With heavy feet, he moved off down the hall. He tried to convince himself it was the right decision – for her. He had to think of her first. She deserved a normal life, and that was something he couldn’t give her.

* * * * *

Liz sat at the lab table in her first period class, highly conscious of Max sitting beside her. She had tried to shut his presence out, to concentrate on the work, but she just couldn’t stop thinking about him, and what he had said before class.

Friends. Just friends. He only wanted to be friends.

She drew the contents of the vial up into the glass pipet and prepared to introduce it into the medium when Max’s hand suddenly closed over her arm to stop her.

“Liz. Don’t.”

She looked up at him, seeing both surprise and shock registered on his face and in confusion she asked, “What’s wrong?”

“We’re trying to grow a culture here,” he pointed at the vial in her hand, “not kill it.”

She looked down and sure enough, she’d filled the pipet with a sterilizing agent. “Oh, God! I’m sorry, Max!” She’d almost ruined their whole biology experiment.

“No harm done,” he shrugged it off. She’d kept him from screwing up plenty of times before. Concerned, he leaned close to her and asked quietly, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she lied. He looked at her like he didn’t believe her and she added, “I spent too much time studying last night. Didn’t get enough sleep.”

He could see it too, the dark circles under her eyes, the strain on her face. His hand lifted to brush a strand of hair off her face and said, “You push yourself too hard. You should take better care of yourself.”

She looked at him with wide eyes, and if she didn’t know better, she would have sworn his soft voice and his gentle touch meant something . . . something more than ‘just friends’. But she did know better. He’d told her so this morning.

Trying not to show how she really felt, she said teasingly, “Thanks Mom.”

His lips curled on one side, giving her his lopsided grin, replying, “Anytime.”

They turned back to their lab assignment with Liz letting Max take over. She couldn’t concentrate. All she could think about was how wrong she had been. The near kiss on Saturday hadn’t meant anything to him. Just a mistake on his part. They were just friends. Just partners. Nothing more. She’d never felt so depressed in her life.

* * * * *

Max closed his locker door after putting away his things and headed toward the cafeteria. Maybe Liz would be there and they could have lunch together like they had done a few times last week. Friends could do that, right? A guy and a girl could eat lunch together and it didn’t have to mean they were more than just friends, right? Liz ate with Alex all the time and it didn’t mean anything. Yesterday, she ate with – yesterday she ate with Kyle and that did mean something. Shit. He could feel his depression getting deeper.

He should have gone for it this morning. The hell with what Isabel said. The hell with Michael. The hell with Kyle. He should have told Liz how he felt about her. He should have fought Kyle for her.

But no, the choice he made had been the right one. Kyle could give her all the things he couldn’t. Kyle could take care of her and keep her safe. Kyle could make her happy. Kyle could take her all the places he would never get to go. Kyle was what she needed. Kyle was . . . over there against the wall, kissing another girl!

Max saw red. How dare he! He made a date with Liz for Friday night, and now he was over there kissing another girl? And not just kissing her. He was practically swallowing her for lunch. That bastard! How could he do that to Liz? The steam was nearly coming out of his ears and his hands were fisted at his sides, ready to go over there and kick his ass, when Alex suddenly appeared at his side.

“Hey, Max. You going to lunch? I was gonna – hey,” Alex noticed his clenched jaw and narrowed eyes. “What’s wrong?”

“Do you see that?” Max spit out with his eyes glaring at the sickening display across the hall.

“What?” Alex asked in confusion.

“That!” Max seethed. “Kyle!”

“What about Kyle?” Alex didn’t get it. Kyle was being . . . Kyle.

“What if Liz saw?” Max stared at Alex now. He thought that he was her friend. How could Alex watch that and not be as sickened as he was?

“Liz?” Now Alex was more confused than ever. Waving his hand toward Kyle and his flavor of the week, he asked, “What does Liz have to do with that?”

“Liz and Kyle are dating, and you think it’s okay for him to-”

“Whoa! Slow down! Time out!” Alex blurted out and formed his hands into the letter T. “Who said Liz and Kyle are dating?”

“I – I heard them. This morning,” Max admitted. “Talking about a date. On Friday night.”

“Oh. That,” Alex smiled.

“What do you mean, ‘Oh, that’?” Now Max was the one who was confused.

“I have a date with Kyle on Friday, too.” Alex watched Max’s eyes grow wide and then he laughed and clamped his hand on his shoulder like a couple of old friends. “Everyone has a date with Kyle on Friday. It’s the football game.”

“Oh,” Max felt an immense sense of relief. “You mean Liz and Kyle . . .”

“They’re friends,” Alex saw the change in Max’s face. “Just friends.” He smiled inside, wondering when it was finally going to dawn on Max that Liz was pining away for him? It was obvious he felt the same way about her, too. Why couldn’t they see it? Maybe they needed a little help. Giving Max a slap on the shoulder, he said, “Speaking of Liz, why don’t we see if she brought anything good for lunch?”

“Sounds good,” Max smiled, forgetting all about Kyle.

Back with the rest in a minute . . .

posted on 18-Jun-2002 12:11:11 AM by Breathless
Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 16 con’t

“There they are,” Alex said as they entered the cafeteria. Maria and Liz were in line, getting ready to pay for their meals. Deciding true love needed a push in the right direction, Alex thought a little jealousy might make Max open up those eyes of his, and fight for what he wanted. “You know, Liz has had her sights on someone for a long time now, and she’s just waiting for him to make the first move.”

“She has?” Max suddenly felt his good mood evaporate. “She is?”

“Oh yeah,” Alex pressed it. “She’s head over heels for him, but so far, he’s blind as a bat.”

“Oh,” Max frowned. Who was the guy? He’d never seen her eyeing anybody. He never overheard her talking about anybody. Who could it be? Oh god! It was probably that Mason Ellison! He had seen her looking at him, just last week right here in the lunchroom. He remembered all those hearts on her biology notes, the ones with the letters M.E. + L.P. inside, and through his rising jealousy he wasn’t even thinking clearly. His own initials never crossed his mind. Just to reinforce his blind jealousy, he noticed Mason standing over by the pop machine and, yes . . . yes . . . damnit! Liz was staring right at him. Shit!

* * * * *

Was that everything, Liz wondered as she looked at her tray. Sandwich. Chips. Apple. She really liked apples. Something was missing. What was it? What? Oh, duh! Something to drink. She reached into her pocket and came up with two quarters.

“Maria? Do you have a quarter I can borrow?”

“Sure,” she reached into her pocket and fished one out.

“Thanks.” Liz headed over to the pop machine and waited patiently for the guy there to make his choice. His hand wavered back and forth between the Sprite and the Mountain Dew while she waited and waited, remembering him from last week and the week before and the week before that. Just pick the Dew for God’s sake she wanted to shout at him. He always picked the Dew. She watched as his hand finally pressed a button and a green Mountain Dew can fell to the slot at the bottom of the vending machine. He reached in, picked it out, nearly barreled into her when he turned around and then walked off without even an apology. Jerk.

Max felt his stomach twist in a knot watching Liz watching Mason. God, she was standing right next to him, right by the Coke machine. Damnit. That’s who it is. She’s in love with Mason Ellison. Tall, dark, handsome, human Mason Ellison. Shit. How come he never noticed it before?

“C’mon,” Alex headed toward the table Maria had claimed and Max trailed along behind him. Liz was just taking a seat as the boys arrived at their table.

“Anything good to eat today?” Alex asked.

“Just the same old poison,” Maria answered.

“Max!” Liz blurted out, surprised to see him.

“Hi, Liz,” he stood there with his hands in the pockets of his cargo pants.

“You guys gonna eat?” Maria asked around a bite of veggie pizza.

“Yeah,” Alex nodded. “Save our seats.”

Maria nodded and mumbled, “Sure.”

Max tore his eyes away from Liz and followed Alex over to get in line to pick his poison, as Maria so aptly called it. He decided the pizza looked good, except he chose a slice of supreme, with everything on it. The spicier the better.

At the table, Maria was keeping her eye on Max. Something wasn’t right. “He told you this morning that he wanted to just be friends?”

“Yes,” Liz was losing her appetite again. “Partners. He called us partners.”

“Hum,” Maria frowned. Partners didn’t give those kind of looks to their partners, not the kind she saw Max give Liz a minute ago. Nope. That was not a ‘partners’ look.

Paula Holt moved into line next to Max and Liz felt her stomach sinking. The girl was flirting up a storm and Max looked like he was pretty interested. Paula’s hand was rubbing up and down his arm and then Max leaned down while she whispered something in his ear. Liz looked away, not wanting to see anymore.

Max straightened up feeling the color rising in his cheeks and stuttered, “Um, I – I have plans on Friday. Sorry.”

“You should cancel your plans,” Paula said in a sultry tone. Her fingers stroked the exposed skin at the base of his throat and dipped down below the opening of his shirt. Toying with the top button, she said, “I’ll make it worth your while.”

Max raised his hand to hers and pulled it away, gently but firmly. “Sorry, I can’t.”

“Well,” she wasn’t giving up. “You have my number. Give me a call if you change your mind.” She moved off and Max stared after her.

“What was that?” Alex asked with his eyes on Paula’s retreating back.

“I don’t know,” Max frowned. “These girls keep giving me their phone numbers and . . .”

“And what?” Alex asked.

“That’s the second time she’s . . .” Max turned away from Paula and looked at Alex with a perplexed look on his face. He leaned close and whispered what Paula had just offered to do, not wanting anyone else to overhear.

“She offered to give you a what?” Alex choked.

“Shhh,” Max cringed. He didn’t want anyone else to know. Especially Liz.

“Just out of the blue? Just like that? ‘Hey Max, you want a’-”

“Yes!” Max cut him off before he could say it. “I mean, I don’t even know her.” He glanced over at Liz, still hoping she hadn’t seen that note yesterday. He didn’t want her to think he would let some girl do that to him. She was looking down at her food, toying with her apple, and he hoped she hadn’t seen Paula at all. “What kind of girl offers to do that to someone she doesn’t even know?” Max asked.

“Can I have her number?” Alex joked. Max looked at him sharply and he laughed, saying, “Kidding. Who knows where her mouth’s been.”

They made their selections and made their way back to the table to join the girls. Alex sat across from Maria, Max sat across from Liz and he noticed she hadn’t eaten much. Concerned, he leaned closer and asked, “Aren’t you feeling any better?”

“No, I’m fine,” Liz tried to act normal. “It’s cafeteria food. It’s not very good.”

“I hear ya,” he took a bit of his pizza and made a face. She couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled out.

* * * * *

Michael stood on the other side of the cafeteria staring at Max, and he wasn’t very happy. He made sure Isabel knew about it. “Look at him. He’s flirting with her.”

“Michael-” She was so tired of this.

“He’s not going to stop, you know.”

“He’s felt this way for years and he’s always kept his distance,” Isabel reminded him.

“This is different. He eats lunch with her. He goes to her house. Jesus Christ, he’s in a play with her! This is bad, Isabel. Really bad. We have to do something.”

“Like what?” She didn’t like the sound of that.

“I don’t know,” Michael glared across the room. “But I’ll think of something.”

* * * * *

At the table, Maria swallowed the last bite of her pizza and pointed at Liz to get her attention. “I forgot to tell you I have to go the post office after school for my mom.”

“You do?” Liz frowned. Darn. Her shift was supposed to start right after school. She’d have to call her mom and tell her she was going to be a few minutes late.

“I can give you a ride home, Liz,” Max offered.

“Oh, that’s okay, Max. I’ll just go with Maria. It won’t take that long.”

“You sure?” he hid his disappointment well. “The lines are really long at the post office in the afternoons.”

“That’s okay,” she shook her head. “I – I need some stamps anyway.” Even though he had said he wanted to be friends, it was just too hard to be around him when she wanted him so much, and he didn’t want her at all.

* * * * *

Liz sat at her desk trying to concentrate on Romeo and Juliet, wondering if Max was going to be late. Maybe it was Coach Stevens again, trying to convince him to join the wrestling team. Max had said he’d held him after class talking about it before.

Then on the other hand, maybe he was in the eraser room with Paula Holt, or Chyna Prescott, or God forbid, Pam Troy. Would he come to class, smelling like chalk dust? He’d looked really interested in Paula today at lunch, and everyone knew what she was famous for. The best mouth in the state, that’s what everyone said.

* * * * *

Max looked left and right and then hurried across the parking lot and headed back into school, hoping no one had seen him. He dusted the dirt off his hands and then his pants and when he saw the nearly empty halls he raced for the Drama room. Damn! If he didn’t hurry he was gonna be late. He raced into the room just as the late bell was ringing. He looked for Liz right away and there she was, looking right at him. He tried not to look guilty and then sucking in a deep breath, he absently brushed at his pants again and headed toward his seat.

Liz felt her stomach churning and for a minute she thought she might throw up. Just when she wondered if he was going to make it to class at all, he shows up, with his cheeks all flushed and his hair messed up and breathing heavy and . . . God . . . was that a sheen of sweat on his skin? Oh no. He was dusting off his pants. Chalk dust? She just wanted to die. Was it Paula? Had Paula performed her ‘magic’ on him?

Max took his seat and Mrs. Wainwright arrived with her usual flair and class got started. They broke into small groups, practicing different scenes and Liz thought Max looked quite engrossed with the choreography of the sword fight. She remembered him saying he liked that part of the movie.

She missed the looks he kept darting at her throughout the class. He was good at not getting caught. He’d been doing it for years. She looked like she was totally absorbed in her scenes and his stomach fluttered in anticipation as the hour drew to a close. The bell to end the day finally rang and Liz gathered her things together while Max made his way back to his desk. He watched her out of the corner of his eye and then when she looked like she was almost finished, he broke the silence between them.

“So, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.” He said it as casually as he could, even though his heart was racing a mile a minute.

“Yeah,” Liz nodded. “Tomorrow.”

“Unless I see you at the Crashdown later,” he added. Or even before that, he thought silently.

“Captain Kirk Tuesday?” she teased, surprised that she could fake a smile so well.

“Yeah,” Max smiled back. He hoisted his backpack over his shoulder and started to back away. “So . . . I’ll see you later.”

“Bye,” Liz said as she watched him leave. He turned his back and she couldn’t see the smile that spread over his face as he walked out the door.

Well, I wonder what Max has up his sleeve? I’ll try really hard to post the next part on Thursday. That is, if I don’t have another crappy week.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 18-Jun-2002 12:38:16 AM ]
posted on 20-Jun-2002 10:16:17 PM by Breathless
I'll be back a little later to post the next part, probably in a couple of hours. I have to go put the finishing touches on it.

Thanks for the bumps!
posted on 21-Jun-2002 1:40:31 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: I’m really sorry this took so long to post. I got off the computer to drive my younger son someplace, and my older son took over and wouldn’t give it back! I’ve been waiting and waiting for him to get off the damn thing! Kids!

Anyway, let’s get to it . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 17

“Why are you walking so slow?” Michael asked. He still couldn’t figure out why Max had kept him after school. He knew he liked to get out of this hellhole as soon as possible.

“I’m not walking slow,” Max pushed on the school door with his shoulder. He ambled toward the parking lot with his hands stuffed in his front pockets.

“Yes you are.”

“No I’m not.”

“Yes you are,” Michael insisted.

“What’s the rush?” Max asked calmly.

“To get the hell out of school,” Michael glared at Max like he was nuts. What was going on inside that head of his? “Why did you make me wait? I thought you wanted to talk about something.”

“No,” Max said casually. “I don’t have anything to talk about.”

“Then why’d you ask me to wait? I coulda been outta here fifteen minutes ago!”

Instead of answering, Max focused his attention on the parking lot and he fought to keep the smile off his face. It looked like his timing was just about perfect. His strides lengthened now and he pulled his hands out of his pockets. As he neared them, his pace slowed again and he made sure his face didn’t give anything away.

“Maria? Liz? Is there a problem?” The girls were standing next to the jetta and they didn’t look happy.

“Max!” Maria whirled around, dropping her cell phone down from her ear. “Thank God. A friendly face.”

“What’s the matter?” he feigned ignorance.

“My car,” her hand flew out to point at it disgustedly, showing her displeasure. “My tire’s flat and my jack is missing and I can’t reach my mom and Alex isn’t answering his phone and-”

“You need some help?” Max offered, looking back and forth between Maria and Liz. He noticed Liz checking her watch, knowing she was late for work. “I have a jack. Do you have a spare?”

“Yeah, I have a spare and I would love your help.”

“Michael,” Max kept his eyes on Liz. “Go get my jack.”

“Wha . . .?” Did Max just order him to do something?

“It’s in the back,” Max added. “Aren’t you late for work Liz?” he asked innocently.

“Yes,” she admitted. “I called my mom, but Agnes called in sick again and they’re understaffed . . .”

“I can give you a ride,” Max suggested and then added with a smile, “I have a date with Captain Kirk anyway.”

“Well,” Liz looked from Max’s virtuous face, to Maria’s relieved one, and tried to not noticed Michael glaring at her. “If you’re sure . . .”

“I’m going there anyway,” Max shrugged his shoulders offhandedly.

“Okay,” Liz accepted his offer with a nod of her head. “If you’re sure you don’t mind.”

“No, I don’t mind.” He didn’t mind at all. Happy with himself, Max struggled to keep his face neutral as he led Liz around to the passenger side of his jeep. He helped her up and when she was settled in, he walked around the back of the jeep and commanded, “Michael, help Maria.”

“What?” Michael was flabbergasted. Had Max set this whole thing up? Shit! Things were worse than he thought! And who did he think he was, ordering him around –

“I said,” Max turned to stare at him, “Maria needs help. Be nice and help her.”

“Shit,” Michael muttered and headed for the back of the jeep.

Smiling again, Max turned his attention to Maria and said, “Michael will take good care of you.”

“Thanks, Max,” Maria smiled at him and then shot a not so friendly look at Michael when he came back with the jack. There was something wrong with that guy, but she had her mace in her purse if she needed it.

Max climbed into the front seat of the jeep and started the ignition, pleased beyond words that everything had gone according to plan. Liz was in his jeep again. He was driving her home again. She wasn’t in love with Kyle again. Life was feeling sweet. Now, he just had to get her to get over that Mason Ellison. The only M.E. he wanted her thinking about was Max Evans.

* * * * *

Maria narrowed her eyes and sent a sidelong glance into the kitchen. He was working today. Whatever possessed Mr. Parker to hire him, Maria had no idea, but she was keeping her eye on him. He wasn’t very friendly, probably the surliest cook they’d ever had, and she half expected him to poison half the town. His only saving grace was that he really was a damn good cook.

“Are you glaring at Michael again?” Liz came up beside her with a coffee pot in her hand.

“Someone has to watch him,” Maria whispered.

“Watch him?” Liz frowned. “Why?”

“To make sure he’s not a mass murderer waiting to happen,” Maria was dead serious. “That guy is just . . . scary! You know, he wouldn’t talk to me at all when he was changing my tire. He just kept muttering and moaning, moaning and muttering. I think he’s insane.”

“There’s nothing wrong with Michael,” Liz tried to defend him. “It’s just his social skills leave a little to be desired. That’s all.”

An insistent bell began ringing and they both looked over at the pass-through to the kitchen, and Michael’s glowering stare. He was pounding the bell that signaled an order was ready and when he had her attention, he hollered, “Hey you! DeLuca! Your order’s getting cold! Table 3. Pronto!”

Maria glared right back at him and then hissed, “His social skills leave a little to be desired? More like he has no social skills at all! He’s insufferable! When the car wouldn’t start, he looked at me like it was all my fault, and then when he finally lifted the hood and took a look at it, he nearly blew the thing up! He’s a menace, I tell you!”

“DeLuca!” Michael shouted again.

“Coming!” she shot back.

Liz shook her head, thinking she would have to talk to her Dad about scheduling them to work opposite shifts. They were like oil and water. They didn’t mix well at all. He’d only been working here for a couple of days, but it’d been apparent right away. She knew Max had mentioned he had another job, but she couldn’t remember where. Maybe she should go ask Max about it.

She looked over at the booth he was sitting in, surprised that he was still here this late. He’d brought her home after school and he’d been here ever since. He was talking to Alex now and it looked like they were getting along great. She liked the fact that he was making friends with one of her friends, but that thought led to her remembering that that’s all he wanted, to be ‘just friends’ and she couldn’t help the sad look that crossed her face.

* * * * *

Across the Crashdown, Alex couldn’t get his mind off the note Paula Holt and given Max. Why couldn’t something like that ever happen to him? “So did any other interesting offers of carnal pleasure fall into your lap today?”

“Alex!” Max shot his eyes across the room to see where Liz was.

“Well?” he tilted his head sideways.

“No!” Max whispered forcefully, with his cheeks heating up.

“Are you sure you can’t remember Paula’s phone number?” Alex pressed.

“No,” Max shifted uncomfortably. He really didn’t want Liz to hear about this.

“Can you get it for me?” he grinned.

“What?” Max blurted out. He couldn’t believe he was hearing this.

“I don’t want to be the last virgin in the senior class,” Alex deadpanned.

“Alex,” Max laughed and shook his head. His covetous friend had nothing to worry about. He wouldn’t be the only virgin come Graduation Day. Max thought he’d probably die a virgin since he wasn’t exactly ‘from around here’. Who knew what would happen if he ever had sex with Liz. Oops! Sex with Liz? He shouldn’t even be thinking about that, especially after telling her this morning he only wanted to be friends. God! He was such an idiot but it had really rattled him when he saw her with Kyle. Damnit! Could he take back what he said? How?

“I’m serious, can you get her number for me?”

Max shook his head. “I threw it away.” He wasn’t going to tell Alex about his photographic memory. “I think you can find someone better than Paula Holt.”

“What about your sister? Can I call your sister?” Alex just wanted to see how he would react.

“You touch my sister, you know I’ll have to kill you,” Max warned.

* * * * *

Back over at the soda fountain, Maria was trying to find out what was bothering Liz. “Why the sad puppy dog eyes?” Maria cupped Liz’s chin with her hand.

“It’s Max,” Liz dropped her eyes down to the floor.

“What about Max?” Maria looked over at him. Alex was laughing at something Max had said and Max was smiling too and she couldn’t see why that would make Liz so sad.

“It’s the whole ‘lets be friends’ thing,” she said dejectedly.

“Oh,” Maria nodded. How could Liz be so smart and so dumb at the same time? If Max wanted to be ‘just friends’, then she was the Queen of England. Look at him. He’d been here for hours.

“It’s hard, seeing him all the time,” Liz darted a look in his direction. “And after today . . .”

“After today what?” Maria frowned at her. What happened today? All she saw today was Max hanging on Liz’s every word, following her with his eyes everywhere she went, sizing up every guy that even looked at her.

“He . . .”

“He what?” Maria urged her to continue.

Liz bit her lower lip and then looked down at her hands and said softly, “He was late getting to Drama today because . . .”

“Because what?” Maria had to drag it out of her.

“I think he was in the eraser room,” Liz tried to keep the tremor out of her voice. “With Paula Holt.” She could still see the image of him wiping the chalk dust off his pants as he came running into class late.

“No!” Maria was shocked. Everyone knew what Paula’s specialty was.

* * * * *

In the booth across the restaurant, Alex eyed him as Max picked up his Cherry Coke. “So you did it, didn’t you?”

“Did what?” He tensed at the other boy’s change of tone. He took a sip of his coke to try to hide his sudden concern.

“Let the air out of Maria’s tire.” Alex smiled when Max choked on his drink. That would be a big ‘yes’.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Max lied. He couldn’t look Alex in the eye as he said it.

“I saw the look on your face when Liz turned down your offer to drive her home,” Alex wasn’t fooled. “So when did you do it? After lunch?”

“Before 6th period,” Max admitted with a sheepish smile. He’d spent a lifetime lying, covering up the truth, hiding. He didn’t feel like lying to Alex tonight. “I was afraid if I did it earlier, Maria might have gone to her car too soon and fixed it before school got out. I didn’t want to take the chance, so I rushed out there after PE was over. It almost made me late to Drama.”

“Was that it?” Alex asked. “Just the tire?” He’d already heard about how Michael had tried to blow her engine up.

“Well,” Max hedged. “Um, I kind of messed with her distributor cap, and I thought about crawling under her car to let her oil out, but I decided that was probably going too far.”

“Probably,” Alex snorted, picturing how Amy DeLuca would go ballistic if her car blew up.

Max darted a look at Liz, and then turned back to the boy across from him. “You won’t tell her, will you?”

“Liz? Why don’t you just tell her,” Alex urged.

“Tell her what?” Max looked down at the tabletop.

“That you like her,” Alex stated the obvious.

“It . . . it’s complicated.” He looked over at the pass-through into the kitchen and his eyes met Michael’s. Michael didn’t look happy. In fact, he looked down right angry. The look wasn’t lost on Alex, who sat back and took it all in. Why would Michael object to Max going out with Liz? What would be so complicated about that?

* * * * *

“Maybe it’s not what you think it is,” Maria suggested. “You didn’t really see him with Paula, did you?”

“Just at lunch today,” Liz admitted, but it didn’t change the way she felt. She saw the way he touched her hand, holding it right there in the cafeteria.

“DeLuca! Order’s up for tables one and four!” Michael barked.

“Could he be any more annoying?” Maria fumed. “Put a sock in it!” she yelled in his direction.

“Maria!” Liz scolded.

“He probably does, you know,” Maria dropped her voice conspiratorially. “Put a sock in it! I bet he’s not really that endowed!”

“Maria!” Liz was shocked. She’d been looking?

“DeLuca!” Michael bellowed again.

“Yeah, yeah!” She headed to the pass-through, glaring at Michael the whole way.

* * * * *

Liz finished wiping down the last table and at the sound of a chair scraping behind her, she turned to see Max lifting it off the floor and turning it over onto the surface of one of the center tables. Walking over to him, she reached him just as he began to lift another chair.

“Max, what are you doing?” she looked up into his guarded eyes.

“I’m just . . . helping out,” Max dropped his eyes away from hers and set the chair upside down on the table.

“You don’t have to do that,” she said, stopping his hand as he reached for the next chair.

“I just thought . . .” his eyes met hers again. “You’ve been working since school got out and you look so tired.” The circles under her eyes were more pronounced now than they had been in Biology this morning.

“You should go home. Aren’t your parents going to be worried about you?” she asked. “You’ve been here since school got out too.”

“They went to Santa Fe today. They won’t be back until Friday.” Her hand was resting on his arm and even through his leather jacket he could feel her energy pouring into him. Tearing his eyes away from her, he looked back toward the kitchen and said, “Besides, I’m waiting for Michael.”

“Oh,” she pulled her hand back and brushed a strand of hair back from her face. So he wasn’t here for her after all. She knew that, even though her heart didn’t.

“Yeah,” he looked down at Liz again. “We’re going back to his place. You know . . . to do guy stuff.” The look in his eyes softened and Liz couldn’t help the smile that spread over her face.

“Watch out for the wind,” she teased lightly.

“I’ll remember,” Max smiled back. A sudden thought occurred to him and he became more animated. “So tomorrow Wainwright’s taking us on stage. That’ll be different.”

“Really different.” She was just about to say more when Michael burst through the swinging door and stormed into the room.

“Let’s blow this joint, Maxwell.” He brushed past Liz without even acknowledging her and headed toward the front doors carrying his jacket in his hand.

“I gotta go,” Max looked at her apologetically. Michael could be so rude sometimes. He was torn between following Michael or staying here with Liz, so they could talk . . . or . . .

“I’ve gotta go, too,” Liz dropped her eyes and stepped back from him. She was surprised at how well she could cover up her disappointment at his leaving. Her eyes swept back up to meet his and she said in a teasing tone, “I’ve got . . . girl stuff to do.”

“Girl stuff?” Max arched an eyebrow. What kind of . . . girl stuff?

“Yeah,” Liz was smiling now. “Bubble baths and candlelight and . . . and . . .” fantasizing about a tall, dark haired hunk that in her daydreams didn’t wanted to be ‘just friends’. Oh no. In her dreams they were way more than just friends.

Max swallowed hard at the sudden images flooding his brain. Candlelight? Bubble baths? Wet skin in a bath full of steaming water? Christ Almighty! His imagination was running away with him! He’d thought about it a thousand times or more. Her hair piled up on top of her head with little beads of moisture trickling down her throat, down to join the water that lapped at her skin, her rich . . . wet . . . skin . . .

“You know, just girl stuff,” Liz finished lamely. She rolled her eyes at herself, feeling suddenly embarrassed, wondering if she sounded as dumb as she felt.

“Oh,” Max looked at her helplessly. “That girl stuff.” Would she notice if he just kind of buttoned up the front of his coat? Or would that only draw attention to his obvious –

“Max!” Michael said impatiently from the doorway.

“I gotta . . .” Max jerked his thumb over his shoulder in the direction of his irritable friend.

“. . . go,” Liz finished for him.

“Right,” he sucked in a deep breath of air, realizing that he’d stopped breathing somewhere along the line. “So,” he looked at her long and hard. “I’ll, ah . . . I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” Liz nodded. “Goodnight, Max.”

She watched him head after Michael and as he went through the doors, he turned around and looked at her once more. He paused there with that familiar half smile of his lighting his face and then he turned reluctantly and disappeared beyond the steamed up front windows of the Crashdown Café.

Okay, a word of warning . . . Next week is going to be an extremely busy week for me and I’m sorry to say I doubt I’ll be able to post on Monday. It will probably be Wednesday at the earliest, maybe Thursday. Sorry about that.

posted on 27-Jun-2002 12:14:00 AM by Breathless
Somethings screwy. Let me try that again.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 27-Jun-2002 12:18:58 AM ]
posted on 27-Jun-2002 12:20:21 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: It’s been a lonnnnng week already, and it’s only Wednesday! Not good! Darn it anyway! Carol, I wanted to post this before you head off to you know where, you lucky dog! Man, I wish I was going, but duty calls.

I’m beat so let’s just get on with the story . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 18

Miranda Wainwright led her class into the auditorium for their first up close view of the stage. Max fell in step behind Liz, staying close to her and hoping she couldn’t see his knees shaking. It was all starting to feel real now, standing on the stage and looking out over the seats, and he wasn’t sure if he could do it. He was going to be horrible. He just knew it.

He felt a warm hand on his arm and the jolt of electricity that accompanied it told him who it belonged to. He looked down to see her concerned face looking up at his.

“Are you okay?” Liz asked quietly.

“Yeah,” he nodded but his smile showed his nervousness.

“You look a little pale,” she squeezed his arm to lend him her support.

“Well, it’s a little overwhelming,” he admitted.

“I know. I did a play in 6th grade,” Liz commiserated, “and I remember what it was like to walk out there the first time.”

He smiled at the memory, recalling the night he had sat in the hard seats that lined the cafeteria floor facing the makeshift stage. She’d played a small part in Into the Woods, and though her lines were few, he still remembered every one.

“You must remember to project your voice,” Miranda Wainwright’s voice boomed around the auditorium. She was center stage, and her presence there was commanding as she spread her arms wide. Max was more certain than ever that she must have spent a part of her life on stage. She seemed so comfortable there. “Project from here,” her hands indicated the stomach area, “and let the words spill forth from your mouths and out over the ears of your audience!”

Yep, she was full of dramatic flair, Max smiled.

He felt Liz’s hand move down his arm and it slid into his as she started to walk across the stage, pulling him along with her. It felt like the most natural thing in the world to him, to have her palm against his. He could feel yesterday’s ill-conceived decision to keep her at arms length waver again. How could he keep denying that which he wanted the most in life? How could they ‘just be friends’ when he secretly craved her so much?

“I wonder what the sets will look like?” her voice was touched with a sense of awe. “Where will the balcony go? How will they show the streets of Verona? What will the burial crypt look like?” She felt the heat rising at the thought of Juliet’s bedroom chamber. How were they going to do that scene? The bedroom scene . . . The morning after. It was going to be torture being on a bed with him.

“I don’t know,” Max’s own voice had a similar tone. He had a pretty good picture in his mind of how he thought the sets should look, and it shouldn’t be too hard using a little extraterrestrial ‘help’.

“Okay you thespians,” Miranda boomed out again. “Shall we give a scene a go?”

There were mumblings and grumblings among the class with no one wanting to be the first and Miranda eyed her star couple. They were magical to look at, him so tall and handsome with such smoldering intensity, her so small and petite yet with such a commanding presence. Looking at them, she wondered if they were even aware that they were holding hands.

“Max? Liz? Come, come,” she motioned them over.

Max looked down at Liz with a shrug of his shoulders and a grimace on his face and then followed her to the center of the stage. Miranda looked deep in though as she contemplated which scene and then her face lit up in eager anticipation.

“Yes, yes, Act II, Scene I. Perfect! Perfect! Do you know your lines?” she looked at them expectantly.

“I think so,” Liz nodded, and felt her cheeks begin to burn. She hoped she wouldn’t say the wrong thing.

“Yes,” Max nodded. He knew each and every word by heart. The hard part would be to actually get them to come out of his mouth.

“Chad? Robert?” Miranda turned to the boys who were standing by the curtain. “Behind there is a raised platform. Please push it out onto the stage. It has wheels so it should move easily.” They did as instructed and Liz watched her makeshift balcony wheel into place. Miranda motioned for her to climb it and she felt all eyes upon her as she mounted the steps that led to the top. She smiled nervously down from her raised perch.

“Now Romeo,” she turned her attention to Max and she couldn’t help noticing how his eyes were riveted to his faire Juliet. Yes. Perfect! At the sound of his name she could see how he had to literally tear his eyes away from her, and Miranda nearly squealed with excitement. “Romeo will enter from the right, wandering through the orchard on his way home after the feast.”

“You want me to go over there?” Max asked, pointing to the right side of the stage.

“Yes. Yes, off with you Romeo. Get thee to the far side of the stage.”

Max almost laughed out loud at that and when he glanced at Liz before he started to move, he saw that she was struggling to bite back a laugh of her own. Mrs. Wainwright really got into this stuff!

Once he had moved into position, Miranda gave him his instructions. “Move forward, and start with line 43, just before Romeo sees Juliet.”

Max took a deep breath and tried to swallow back his jittery nerves. He could do this. He was somebody else up here on stage. Somebody that wasn’t Max Evans. Somebody that could do and say all the things he never could. For a little while he could pretend that his life could be something more than what it was.

Moving onto the stage, he began his lines. “He jests at scars that never left a wound.” He said it in an offhanded manner, Romeo speaking to himself as he walked through the imaginary trees, and he slowed as he looked up and saw the vision on the balcony. He stopped, and in a voice that was soft and gentle, yet carried through the air, he spoke again.

“But soft . . . what light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief, that thou her maid art far more fair than she . . .”

Miranda sighed inwardly and her heart began beating wildly. How was it possible that he had never done this before? He was a natural, and the words, some of the most difficult in all of literature, flowed easily from his tongue.

“. . . It is my Lady,” Max paused as he looked up at Liz. He tilted his head and his eyes closed briefly as he let out a deep sigh, “O it is my love. O that she knew she were.”

Liz hit her mark perfectly, her eyes looking upward toward the imaginary moon, letting out an audible sigh, with her cheek leaning against her hand. In her heart, how she wished his words were true.

“She speaks,” Max was caught up in her beauty, “yet she says nothing. What of that? Her eye discourses, I will answer it.” He stepped forward and then he stopped. “I am too bold, ‘tis not to me she speaks. Two of the fairest stars in all Heaven . . .”

Miranda raised her hand to her mouth to silence her own sigh. They were perfect together, two souls in harmony. There was silence all around her, no bored students shifting from one foot to the other as they watched, no whispered conversations carried on in the background. Her students were just as enthralled as she was.

“. . . through the airy region stream so bright, that birds would sing and think it were not night. See how she leans her cheek upon her hand,” Max raised his arm as if he was reaching out, wanting to touch his fair vision on the balcony. “O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek.”

“Ay me,” Liz sighed deeply.

“She speaks,” Max took another step toward her, drawn to her. “O speak again, bright Angel, for thou art as glorious to this night . . .”

Liz could hear his words singing to her, captivating her, and when he finished his passage, she flowed easily into her own. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy Father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”

“Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?” His eyes were riveted to her face. He was so caught up in the moment, he’d forgotten all about stage fright.

“Tis but thy name that is my enemy. Thou art thy self, though not a Mountague. What’s Mountague? It is nor hand nor foot, nor arm nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O be some other name. What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d. Retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, and for thy name, which is no part of thee, take all my self.” Liz threw her arms out to embrace her unseen Romeo and Max stepped forward excitedly.

“I take thee at thy word,” Max spoke directly to Juliet now. Liz jumped backwards as if she were in shock and then her eyes ‘searched’ for the intruder while Max imparted to her, “Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz,d. Henceforth I never will be Romeo.”

“What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night, so stumblest on my counsel?” With her hand hovering over her breast, Liz leaned forward to peer over her ‘balcony’ at Romeo below.

“By a name,” Max moved closer with his body language crying out to be near her. “I know not how to tell thee who I am. My name, dear Saint, is hateful to my self, because it is an enemy to thee. Had I it written, I would tear the word.”

“My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words of thy tongue’s uttering, yet I know the sound.” Liz looked down at him as if her heart resided in the hand he was holding up to her. “Art thou not Romeo, and a Mountague?”

“Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.”

“How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore? The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, and the place death, considering who thou art, if any of my kinsmen find thee here.”

“With love’s light wings I did o’erperch these walls,” Max swept his hand in the air, “for stony limits cannot hold love out . . .”

Miranda held her own hand to her breast, enraptured by the sight and sounds of her Romeo and Juliet. They were magic on the stage. Pure magic.

“. . . Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow, that tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops-”

“O swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon,” Liz broke in, “that monthly changes in her circled orb, least that thy love prove likewise variable.”

“What shall I swear by?” Max stood close to her now, staring up into her enchanting face.

“Do not swear at all, or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self, which is the God of my idolatry, and I’ll believe thee.” She was leaning toward him now and his eyes could see only her. There was no more stage or imaginary balcony. There was only the air that separated them.

“If my hearts dear love-”

Max nearly jumped up on the platform that served as the balcony. This was the moment where they should once again kiss, and it was that remembrance that brought Max slamming back to earth. What would happen if he kissed her again? Could he hide behind the character of the play? Did he want to?

His voice faltered and Liz felt the instant change. She too had become swept away and her arms had begun to rise in anticipation of welcoming him in a lover’s embrace. Her lips were poised to feel his lips upon hers and then the reality of where they were reasserted itself. She dropped her eyes from his and looked away, he dropped his eyes from hers and turned aside.

Clearing his throat he turned to Mrs. Wainwright and with his emotions in turmoil, he asked, “Um, h – how much of the scene did you want us to do?” He darted a look at Liz and she looked away with her hand nervously raking through her hair. She felt her cheeks burning, but it wasn’t from embarrassment. Her entire body was hot, heated by internal flames of desire. She dipped her head, hiding behind her hair as it fell forward to shield her face.

Miranda felt the sudden change, the smoldering sexual energy ready to ignite into a blazing inferno and then extinguished by an awkward sense of discord. It took a moment for her to find her own voice, and as she looked at her watch she saw the hour drawing to a close.

“Well done. Well done. That’s all the time we have for today. Tomorrow we begin work on Act III. We will meet here, not in the classroom, so please be prompt. There’s much to do!”

* * * * *

“I think that went okay,” Liz said as they walked slowly through the deserted halls to her locker. “Do you think it went okay?” He’d been so quiet since they left the auditorium.

“Yeah,” Max nodded and darted a look in her direction before he went back to looking at the patterns on the floor tiles. “I think it went okay, you know, for a first time and all.”

“Me too,” she raised her eyes to look at him, holding his gaze for a moment before they both looked away. “At least we know all the lines,” she smiled.

“And I didn’t call you Liz instead of Juliet,” he laughed softly as he darted a quick look at her again.

“Yes,” Liz chuckled along with him. “That was good.”

“I think-” they said at the same time and then they both laughed awkwardly.

“You go first,” Max urged.

“I was just going to say, I think we work really well together-”

“Me too,” Max agreed wholeheartedly.

“-and that the practicing we did, you know, on my balcony, well . . . I think it helped.”

“Me too,” Max agreed again.

Hesitantly, she said, “I could – talk to my Dad about rearranging my schedule for next week, I mean, if . . . you want . . . so we can practice . . . more . . .” she left it hanging.

“Okay,” Max looked at her and held her gaze, not glancing away this time. “After this weekend I’m pretty open. Milton didn’t schedule me for very many hours. We don’t have a lot of business in October.”

“We slow down too,” Liz relaxed a little. “Which is fine with me, but it drives my Dad crazy. He keeps hoping for a UFO sighting or something, to drive in more business.”

“Milton’s like that too,” Max commiserated. He felt his stomach tighten, knowing that his reaction to an actual UFO sighting would be so much different than hers, or her Dad’s, or nearly anyone else that lived in Roswell. It was just another reminder of why he had made that decision yesterday, to not let her get sucked into the alien abyss. Of course, that was before he knew the truth about her and Kyle. That they weren’t dating. That she wasn’t dating anyone. That she wasn’t kissing anyone on those dates that she wasn’t going on. That the only person she had kissed lately was actually him. Because of the play. Because they were in a play together and they had to kiss.

Oh sweet mother of god, he wanted to kiss her again so bad!

Liz reached her locker and fumbled with the lock, rolling her eyes when she couldn’t get it opened the first time, and then turning red when she screwed it up again. Finally she heard the lock click on the third try and she quickly put what she didn’t need inside, and took out what she would need to study tonight.

Max leaned against the locker next to hers, waiting for her to finish and trying not to smile at the flustered look on her face. She really was cute when her cheeks turned red like that. Before he knew it, the words were out of his mouth before he had time to hold them back. “I was thinking about going to the game on Friday night.”

“You were?” her head whipped up to look at him.

“Yeah,” he nodded self-consciously. “And since you’re going too, maybe I could meet you there.” He saw the surprised look on her face and he took a quick breath and rushed on, “I mean, you, and Maria, and Alex. You know, friends, just hanging out at the big game together.” Coward! Coward! He was nothing but a big fat coward!

‘Friends’, Liz thought as her eyes dropped from his. She was starting to hate that word. Pulling a book out of her locker, she said, “But you never go to the games.”

“I thought I’d try something new.” His eyes followed the motion of her hand as she tucked the book into her backpack and then his eyes lifted to meet hers again. A smiled played at the corners of his mouth as he said, “I thought I’d be unpredictable for a change. Maybe I’ll even eat a hot dog, instead of pigging out on pizza.”

“You?” Liz laughed in disbelief. “No pizza on Friday night? What’s the world coming to? Is the apocalypse right around the corner?” She closed her locker and stared at him hard, saying, “Who are you?”

“Just me, Max Evans, Mr. Unpredictable,” trying to step out from behind a tree he finished silently. Leaning his weight against the locker, his gaze took in the dark pools of her eyes, depths that he could sink into. His eyes drank in the soft creamy texture of her cheeks, so delicate and smooth, and the silkiness of her dark hair, cascading around her beautiful face. It would be so easy right now, to lean closer to her, to let his lips touch hers again, to give in to everything he wanted. Instead, his eyes looked away, breaking contact with hers and he said, “I might even drink a Sprite, or a Snapple, or maybe even a Mountain Dew.”

“No Cherry Coke?” Liz feigned shock. “The world might implode!”

“You’re right,” he laughed with her. “The world can only handle so much unpredictability. I better not push it.” He felt his emotions rising and falling like he was on a roller coaster ride, up one minute and down the next. Just the sound of her voice, or the look in her eyes was enough to make him soar into outer space. But then he’d remember what he said to her on Tuesday, about being just friends, and he’d feel himself plummeting to the ground. She seemed just fine with the idea of them being ‘just friends’, and that served to depress him all the more. God he hated those words.

Just . . . friends.

“C’mon,” he said, valiantly trying to shake off his confusing thoughts. He pushed off from the locker, saying, “I’ll give you a ride home.”

She turned from her locker and fell into step beside him, feeling the intensity of his eyes as he looked over at her. She could melt inside when he looked at her that way. How was it possible that he could make her feel like this when he wasn’t even interested in her? Could she ever look at him as ‘just friends’ or would she always ache inside for him? The way his eyes looked into hers made her feel so many things, and she wondered, did he ever feel things when he touched her? Did his hand ever tingle the way hers did? Did his heart ever race faster when he heard her voice? Did his breath ever catch in his throat when he saw her across a room? Did his body ever come alive when she was near?

Had her presence ever affected him at all?

“Then on the other hand,” she forced a light tone into her voice as they walked side by side down the hall. “If you don’t try something new, you’ll never know what you’re missing. You might lose out on the one thing you might have wanted most of all.”

“You might be right,” he smiled down at her. If only he could tell her that it was her that he wanted most of all. That it was her that he thought of all the time. That it was her that he loved with all his heart. But he couldn’t. He just couldn’t. Could he?

“You gotta take risks sometimes.” Liz’s eyes widened, wondering who said that? It couldn’t have been her. Miss Gotta Have a Plan Liz Parker didn’t take risks. They weren’t planned!

“That’s probably true,” Max smiled down at her, “but for tonight, I think I’ll stick with the Spaghetti and Spaceballs.” Taking risks just seemed so . . . risky.

“With a double order of garlic bread?” Liz laughed and nudged him on the arm.

“Nope.” A smile lit his face as they pushed through the doors to the outside and he knew he had to take the plunge sometime. “Tonight I’m trying the new cheese bread!”

Damn! Was he being daring or what? Taking risks was heady stuff!

Look for the next update next Wednesday. I know you’d like to see it Monday, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Work is a bitch!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Jun-2002 12:49:53 AM ]
posted on 4-Jul-2002 12:16:59 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Thanks everyone for thinking about me this week, and your well wishes. My week was definitely better than last week, thank you very much. AND, I have a four day weekend! WOO HOO! I know you’re waiting for this, so lets just get to it . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 19

Max hurried through the school hallways headed to the auditorium and his 6th period class. Wednesday they’d rehearsed the balcony scene and yesterday the opening fight scene. He wondered what today would be like? Would he get to work with Liz again? Would they get to do another scene together? The balcony scene again, maybe? A different one?

He walked into the auditorium at a fast clip and headed down the aisle to the stage. He could see Liz there already, right in the middle of the stage and she was intently listening to Mrs. Wainwright, whose arms were flailing about excitedly. He saw Liz glance in his direction and the sudden smile that lit her face made him almost trip over his feet. Was that smile for him? Had he caused it? Could it be?

“Max! Good! Good! You’re here!” Miranda motioned him up onto the stage. “Come, come. We have much to do.”

Max jumped up onto the stage and quickly moved to stand close to Liz, saying, “Sorry I’m late.” Liz was looking at him curiously and he just shrugged his shoulders apologetically, and mouthed the word ‘Stevens’. Coach was at him again about wrestling. Liz nodded in understanding.

“Today,” Miranda spoke up to gain everyone’s attention. “We will start with Act I, Scene IV, when Master Capulet welcomes his guests to his feast. From there we will move into the dance and on to the completion of scene IV. William? Take center stage.” William Hennings had the roll of Capulet, Juliet’s father, and he moved into position as instructed. “No, no,” she motioned with her hand. “More to the right I think. More . . . more . . . Yes! Right there!”

“Juliet? Lady Capulet? Let’s move you into position. Pete, Tom, Heather, come on, all the dancers move to the left.” Max sighed inwardly as Liz moved away from him, but he didn’t have long to lament it as Miranda soon shooed him to the right. “Tybalt? Where’s Tybalt?”

“Here,” Adam Baker stepped forward.

“Tybalt,” Miranda instructed. “Go stand by Lady Capulet. Romeo? Benvolio? To the right, boys. Wait in the wings, just off stage. Yes! Yes! Behind the curtain. Off with you!”

“Capulet will begin his welcoming speech and Romeo and his compatriots will enter from the right. The lights will come up to reveal the dancers and Romeo will mill about the stage until he sees Juliet. Let’s see how this goes. William? You start.”

“Welcome, Gentlemen. Ladies . . .” William began and Max stood in the wings waiting for his cue to walk on stage. “. . . ‘Tis gone, ‘tis gone, ‘tis gone! You are welcome, Gentlemen.” Max saw Mrs. Wainwright point at him and he entered the stage behind Greg, moved past Capulet and then fanning out to mingle. Miranda instructed Juan to start the music and the dancers began to move around the stage the way they had been shown in class.

“Romeo? Look around as if you’re checking everything out, then stop when you see Juliet. Tybalt? After Romeo speaks, you become angry at his presence,” Miranda directed.

Max nodded and moved slowly, languidly, while Liz moved to the dance. He paused with his eyes focused on her and began, “What Lady’s that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?”

“I know not, sir,” Ryan answered. He was playing a servant and damn glad that his role was small.

“O she doth teach the torches to burn bright,” Max spoke in rich tones. “It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night. As a rich jewel . . .” Max moved around the stage, following Liz as she danced from left to right and back again. His words flowed smoothly and Tybalt, on the hand of Lady Capulet, darted dagger like glances in his direction. Liz also darted glances at Max, Juliet taking notice of her Romeo for the first time, and Max finished his lines with, “. . . Did my heart love ‘til now? Forswear it, sight, for I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” He stared at Liz, knowing how true those words were. The first time he saw Liz, when he stepped off a school bus when he was just a boy, he’d felt it instantly. The attraction. The connection. The love. He’d never seen anything more beautiful than his Liz, and even after all these years, that had never changed.

“Excellent!” Miranda cried out. “Excellent! Now Tybalt, stop and say your first line to Lady Capulet, then storm over to William over here.”

“This by his voice should be a Montague,” Adam stepped out of the dance and moved to the front of the stage. “Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe. A . . . a . . .” he tried to remember the next line. “A . . . villain that is hither come in spight, to scorn at our solemnity this night.” This shit was hard to remember!

“Young Romeo it is,” William quoted his lines while the two of them looked at Max across the stage.

“Tis he, that villain Romeo,” Adam said, trying to make it sound angry.

“Content thee, gentle coze, let him alone. A bears him like a portly gentleman. And to say truth, Verona brags of him to be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth . . .”

While William and Adam recited their lines, Max moved into the dance, making his way closer and closer to Liz. Miranda felt the magic, the way his presence on stage drew the eye even when he wasn’t speaking. His focus on Liz made the two of them stand out, and they weren’t even in costume yet, or under stage lighting. This was going to be beautiful!

Max stared down into Liz’s face as he moved into position in front of her and their hands lifted to touch. They moved with the movement of the dance, Liz looking up at him demurely, Max looking down at her like she was all that existed in the world. Tybalt finished his lines and exited on the left and Max drew Liz out of the dance to the right hand side of the stage.

She stood in front, looking coy and chaste with her head dipped forward and her hand stretched out behind her. Max held that hand reverently, weaving his fingers around hers, standing behind her and to the side. His voice was soft, yet it floated out over the stage and the seats.

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine,” he lifted her hand, “. . . the gentle sin is this.” Liz could feel his breath on her hand as he raised it to his lips, saying, “My lips. . . two blushing Pilgrims . . . ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” He kissed her hand and she darted away, with him following her across the stage.

“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,” she glanced at him shyly, “which mannerly devotion shows in this . . .” He came around to face her and she lifted her hand into the air, saying “for Saints have hands that Pilgrims’ hands do touch . . .” Max lifted his own hand and their palms touched softly, reverently, sensually, “and palm to palm is holy Palmers’ kiss.”

She finished her line and darted away, with Max chasing after her. “Have not Saint’s lips, and holy Palmers too?”

“I, Pilgrim,” Liz nodded demurely. “Lips that they must use in Pray’r.”

She took another step and Max moved in front of her. “O then dear Saint, let lips do what hands do.” He lifted her hand into the air, threading his fingers through hers. “They pray. Grant thou,” he leaned close with his eyes traveling over her face, “least faith turn to despair.”

“Saints do not move, though grant for Prayers’ sake.” Liz countered shyly.

“Then move not while my Prayer’s effect I take,” Max focused on her lips, moving closer to her. “Thus . . .” he swallowed, “. . . from my lips by thine,” his lips hovered just above hers, “my Sin . . . is purg’d.” He stared at Liz, wondering if he should kiss her now, or were they only expected to do that later? She looked at him expectantly and he couldn’t resist. With his heart pounding in his chest, he leaned down and kissed her quickly and then pulled away.

“Then have my lips the sin that they have took,” Liz lifted her hand to her mouth. It was hard to remember her lines when she could still feel Max’s lips on hers.

“Sin from my lips?” Max looked down at her and sighed. “O trespass sweetly urg’d. Give me my sin again.” His lips took hers again, deeper, longer, more forcefully, and then they broke apart, both of them staring at each other for a moment before turning to look at Mrs. Wainwright expectantly. Was that alright?

Max could feel his heart beating wildly in his chest. God! He’d just kissed Liz again! This was the best class in the world!

Liz was trembling inside from the joy of feeling Max’s lips on hers. He must have the most beautiful lips in the whole world! So soft and warm and full and tender and hot and sensual and . . . and . . . it was finally sinking in. Max had kissed her again!

“Well done!” Miranda clapped. “Well done! Let’s pick it up from the top, but don’t stop this time. Max, the first kiss, make it just a little longer.”

“Okay,” Max smiled. He could do that!

“The second one was just right. Good intensity,” Miranda beamed. “Then break apart and move away quickly. Okay everyone, let’s do it again!”

They moved back into their original positions and Max couldn’t help the grin that covered his face. Liz, on the other hand, was trying to steady her wildly racing heart. She was going to get to kiss Max again! YES!

Max stood in the wings again, waiting for his cue and watching Liz across the stage. Her face looked flushed, high color in her cheeks, and the smile on her lips hinted at some hidden meaning. Had she been as affected by the kiss as he was? His chest was still thundering from the excitement of it. His insides were aglow, lit by the flames she fanned in him. In this world of masquerade and make believe, could he dare to think her smile was for him?

He pushed the thought aside as he moved onto the stage, burying it in the background so he could think about it later, and they walked through the scene again. They’d come far from that first day when he joined the class and was barely able to recite a line, let alone understand it. In just a few short weeks he’d broken out of his shell and embraced something new, and thrived.

As he watched Liz move around the stage he knew he had her to thank for it. It was only because of her that he’d stayed in the class, had the courage to open up, had the desire to try something new.

His pulse quickened as he moved into position beside her in the dance. His stomach fluttered in anticipation of the kiss that was to come. To Liz, to the class, to the school, it was Romeo kissing Juliet, but to Max it was so much more than that. It was the culmination of every dream he had ever had, to hold Liz Parker in his arms and kiss her tender lips. This was as close to reality as he would ever get, and he was going to savor this day, and all the others that accompanied it. As they walked through their paces the moment drew near and Max once more felt his pulse racing wildly.

“Then move not while my Prayer’s effect I take,” Max let the words flow. She was so close he was nearly intoxicated by her scent. He had to fight to keep his breaths even, knowing he was about to kiss her again. Looking down at her for a moment he thought her breathing was as strained as his, her pulse racing just as wildly and then he had to push that thought aside, storing it away to think about it later.

“Thus . . .” he drew in a breath, “. . . from my lips . . . by thine . . . my Sin . . . is purg’d.”

He could see her eyes focused on his lips, charting the progress as his mouth drew closer to hers. He hesitated briefly and then their eyes fluttered closed as their lips touched and for a brief moment he let himself believe he was Max Evans kissing Liz Parker, and not Romeo and Juliet, acting out a play.

When their lips parted, Liz pulled back with her hand hovering over her lips, and she wasn’t acting. He had taken her breath away and the warm, tingling sensation in her lips still lingered even after his lips were gone. It took her a moment to be able to find her voice.

“Then have my lips the sin that they have took,” she said breathlessly.

“Sin from my lips?” Max stared into her eyes intently. “O trespass sweetly urg’d. Give me my sin again.”

His lips quickly took hers, kissing her again, with his hand coming up to cup the soft skin of her cheek. Her arms rose to surround his shoulders and he drew her closer as the kiss deepened, his lips covering hers, his arm sliding around her back and pulling her closer still, his hand threading into her hair. Her kiss was nearly scorching his lips and he could feel her energy pouring into him . . .

“Max . . .”

. . . blending with him . . .


. . . becoming a part of him . . .


. . . his senses coming alive . . .

“Max . . .”

. . . awakening inside of him . . .


. . . rousing something that he’d kept buried.

“Max!” Miranda shook him on the shoulder.

His eyes popped open and he snapped back from Liz with his eyes growing wide. He was confused for a moment and then Miranda’s face swam into view and he remembered where he was.

“Max, dear. That second kiss was a little long this time. We don’t want the play to run three hours.”

“What?” he stammered and then he heard the snickers coming from behind him. He looked around the stage and then his cheeks flamed when he realized he’d gotten carried away. He shot a look at Liz and thought her face looked as red as his felt. “Sorry!” he blurted out, first to his teacher, and then to Liz. “Sorry! Can we do that again?”

Laughter erupted once more and Liz covered her face with her hand, from embarrassment and also because she couldn’t hide the smile on her lips. Was it just the moment? Getting caught up in the play? Or was there something more behind that kiss? She was so confused by the things he said on one hand, and the way he made her feel on the other. Was she just reading things into the kiss that weren’t really there?

“Let’s take it from the top again,” Miranda waved her arms around in the air.

They returned to their places and the scene unfolded again, with Max concentrating hard to keep from screwing up. He wasn’t quite as relaxed in the scene this time, worried about how Liz was reacting to all of this. He was afraid he had embarrassed her, and now he was nervous about the upcoming kiss. It was so hard not to get carried away when she was so close, and she tasted so good, and he felt such a sense of peace when he was touching her.

His line was next and his nerves began to show. “Thus . . .” he swallowed hard, “. . . from my lips by thine,” he moved closer to her, “my purge is Sin.”

“My Sin is purg’d,” Liz whispered.

“What?” Max stared at her uncomprehendingly.

She whispered again, “You said, ‘my purge is Sin.’ It’s supposed to be ‘My Sin is purg’d’.”

“Oh!” Damn! He’d screwed up again! Loudly, he said the right line, “My Sin is purg’d,” and then gave her a quick peck on the cheek.

Liz was rattled too, but she tried to get on track with her next line. “Then have my lips the sin that they have took.”

“Sin from my lips?” Max tried not to stammer. “O trespass sweetly urg’d. Give –” his voice cracked and his cheeks flamed again. “Give me my sin again.” He looked at her like a drowning man and then he leaned down to kiss her. As soon as his lips touched hers, a series of images open in his mind . . .

Liz skipping rope on the playground . . . Liz playing dress-up in front of a bedroom mirror . . . Liz riding her bike down Main Street . . . Liz walking down the aisle in the grocery store beside her mother, while a young dark haired boy walked past her going in the opposite direction, with their eyes locked on each other.

Stunned by the images, he pulled away from her slowly, hoping and praying that she hadn’t seen it too. It must have been his nerves causing his powers to surge, overloading his senses. The look on her face gave nothing away, so he looked down, so she couldn’t read his eyes.

“Keep going,” Miranda urged. “Nurse! Benvolio!”

Max moved away from Liz, thankful that he had only a few more lines. He couldn’t concentrate at all, not after the flash of images. What did it mean? Was he seeing things from inside her mind? How was that possible? He knew they couldn’t have been his memories, at least not the first three. They were from when she was young, before he’d been ‘born’, before he came to live in Roswell.

They finished out the scene, with Liz darting concerned looks in his direction, and then Miranda called it a day. She was pleased with what they had accomplished so far, and while she expected bumps and ruts along the way, her star couple was shining brightly.

“Next week, Act II people! Read your lines! Study your lines! Know your lines!”

The students began to disperse and Liz slowly moved in Max’s direction. He’d seemed a little out of sorts there at the end, a little flustered, and she hoped it hadn’t been anything she’d done, or said. She wasn’t quite sure what to say to him, and he looked like he was trying to avoid looking her in the eye. Did all that kissing bother him? Did it make him uncomfortable?

“Max –” she started, not sure what she was going to say.

“Sorry about that,” Max was trying to regain his composure. “About before. Sorry I flubbed up my . . . lines.” What he meant was the kiss and the lines, but he thought it best just to talk about the words.

“I think we’ll probably screw up plenty of times before we’re ready to put on the play,” Liz laughed lightly. “At least everyone got a good laugh out of it.”

“Yeah,” Max smiled nervously and tried to relax. He was still thinking about the images he had seen, and in particular, himself as a young boy passing by Liz in the grocery store and the look that they had shared. He’d always thought that Liz had never noticed him, but the image that he saw told a different story. The knowledge made him feel warm inside.

“So,” Liz said as they turned in unison and headed for the exit, side by side. “Are you still thinking about going to the football game tonight? Trying something new?”

“I’m thinking about it,” Max nodded, with his smile reaching all the way to his eyes.

“Well, maybe I’ll see you there,” she punched him softly, playfully, on the arm.

“Maybe,” he grinned and held the door open for her. Their banter was friendly and relaxed as they headed out into the parking lot for another ride home to the Crashdown Café. They both were glowing on the inside from the kisses they had shared, and the butterflies in their stomachs were still flying high.

I hope to have the next part ready about next Tuesday or Wednesday. For those of you who are reading Captive Hearts, I plan to post the next part tomorrow night (Thursday night my time).

posted on 4-Jul-2002 12:23:30 AM by Breathless
Grrrr. This board is screwing with me. Double post
posted on 4-Jul-2002 3:22:30 AM by Breathless
I wonder if it's the board? I've been having trouble all night.
posted on 4-Jul-2002 3:51:54 AM by Breathless
Let me try posting it on this page to see if it will work. The board must be having problems.

This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Thanks everyone for thinking about me this week, and your well wishes. My week was definitely better than last week, thank you very much. AND, I have a four day weekend! WOO HOO! I know you’re waiting for this, so lets just get to it . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 19

Max hurried through the school hallways headed to the auditorium and his 6th period class. Wednesday they’d rehearsed the balcony scene and yesterday the opening fight scene. He wondered what today would be like? Would he get to work with Liz again? Would they get to do another scene together? The balcony scene again, maybe? A different one?

He walked into the auditorium at a fast clip and headed down the aisle to the stage. He could see Liz there already, right in the middle of the stage and she was intently listening to Mrs. Wainwright, whose arms were flailing about excitedly. He saw Liz glance in his direction and the sudden smile that lit her face made him almost trip over his feet. Was that smile for him? Had he caused it? Could it be?

“Max! Good! Good! You’re here!” Miranda motioned him up onto the stage. “Come, come. We have much to do.”

Max jumped up onto the stage and quickly moved to stand close to Liz, saying, “Sorry I’m late.” Liz was looking at him curiously and he just shrugged his shoulders apologetically, and mouthed the word ‘Stevens’. Coach was at him again about wrestling. Liz nodded in understanding.

“Today,” Miranda spoke up to gain everyone’s attention. “We will start with Act I, Scene IV, when Master Capulet welcomes his guests to his feast. From there we will move into the dance and on to the completion of scene IV. William? Take center stage.” William Hennings had the roll of Capulet, Juliet’s father, and he moved into position as instructed. “No, no,” she motioned with her hand. “More to the right I think. More . . . more . . . Yes! Right there!”

“Juliet? Lady Capulet? Let’s move you into position. Pete, Tom, Heather, come on, all the dancers move to the left.” Max sighed inwardly as Liz moved away from him, but he didn’t have long to lament it as Miranda soon shooed him to the right. “Tybalt? Where’s Tybalt?”

“Here,” Adam Baker stepped forward.

“Tybalt,” Miranda instructed. “Go stand by Lady Capulet. Romeo? Benvolio? To the right, boys. Wait in the wings, just off stage. Yes! Yes! Behind the curtain. Off with you!”

“Capulet will begin his welcoming speech and Romeo and his compatriots will enter from the right. The lights will come up to reveal the dancers and Romeo will mill about the stage until he sees Juliet. Let’s see how this goes. William? You start.”

“Welcome, Gentlemen. Ladies . . .” William began and Max stood in the wings waiting for his cue to walk on stage. “. . . ‘Tis gone, ‘tis gone, ‘tis gone! You are welcome, Gentlemen.” Max saw Mrs. Wainwright point at him and he entered the stage behind Greg, moved past Capulet and then fanning out to mingle. Miranda instructed Juan to start the music and the dancers began to move around the stage the way they had been shown in class.

“Romeo? Look around as if you’re checking everything out, then stop when you see Juliet. Tybalt? After Romeo speaks, you become angry at his presence,” Miranda directed.

Max nodded and moved slowly, languidly, while Liz moved to the dance. He paused with his eyes focused on her and began, “What Lady’s that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?”

“I know not, sir,” Ryan answered. He was playing a servant and damn glad that his role was small.

“O she doth teach the torches to burn bright,” Max spoke in rich tones. “It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night. As a rich jewel . . .” Max moved around the stage, following Liz as she danced from left to right and back again. His words flowed smoothly and Tybalt, on the hand of Lady Capulet, darted dagger like glances in his direction. Liz also darted glances at Max, Juliet taking notice of her Romeo for the first time, and Max finished his lines with, “. . . Did my heart love ‘til now? Forswear it, sight, for I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” He stared at Liz, knowing how true those words were. The first time he saw Liz, when he stepped off a school bus when he was just a boy, he’d felt it instantly. The attraction. The connection. The love. He’d never seen anything more beautiful than his Liz, and even after all these years, that had never changed.

“Excellent!” Miranda cried out. “Excellent! Now Tybalt, stop and say your first line to Lady Capulet, then storm over to William over here.”

“This by his voice should be a Montague,” Adam stepped out of the dance and moved to the front of the stage. “Uncle, this is a Montague, our foe. A . . . a . . .” he tried to remember the next line. “A . . . villain that is hither come in spight, to scorn at our solemnity this night.” This shit was hard to remember!

“Young Romeo it is,” William quoted his lines while the two of them looked at Max across the stage.

“Tis he, that villain Romeo,” Adam said, trying to make it sound angry.

“Content thee, gentle coze, let him alone. A bears him like a portly gentleman. And to say truth, Verona brags of him to be a virtuous and well-govern’d youth . . .”

While William and Adam recited their lines, Max moved into the dance, making his way closer and closer to Liz. Miranda felt the magic, the way his presence on stage drew the eye even when he wasn’t speaking. His focus on Liz made the two of them stand out, and they weren’t even in costume yet, or under stage lighting. This was going to be beautiful!

Max stared down into Liz’s face as he moved into position in front of her and their hands lifted to touch. They moved with the movement of the dance, Liz looking up at him demurely, Max looking down at her like she was all that existed in the world. Tybalt finished his lines and exited on the left and Max drew Liz out of the dance to the right hand side of the stage.

She stood in front, looking coy and chaste with her head dipped forward and her hand stretched out behind her. Max held that hand reverently, weaving his fingers around hers, standing behind her and to the side. His voice was soft, yet it floated out over the stage and the seats.

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine,” he lifted her hand, “. . . the gentle sin is this.” Liz could feel his breath on her hand as he raised it to his lips, saying, “My lips. . . two blushing Pilgrims . . . ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” He kissed her hand and she darted away, with him following her across the stage.

“Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,” she glanced at him shyly, “which mannerly devotion shows in this . . .” He came around to face her and she lifted her hand into the air, saying “for Saints have hands that Pilgrims’ hands do touch . . .” Max lifted his own hand and their palms touched softly, reverently, sensually, “and palm to palm is holy Palmers’ kiss.”

She finished her line and darted away, with Max chasing after her. “Have not Saint’s lips, and holy Palmers too?”

“I, Pilgrim,” Liz nodded demurely. “Lips that they must use in Pray’r.”

She took another step and Max moved in front of her. “O then dear Saint, let lips do what hands do.” He lifted her hand into the air, threading his fingers through hers. “They pray. Grant thou,” he leaned close with his eyes traveling over her face, “least faith turn to despair.”

“Saints do not move, though grant for Prayers’ sake.” Liz countered shyly.

“Then move not while my Prayer’s effect I take,” Max focused on her lips, moving closer to her. “Thus . . .” he swallowed, “. . . from my lips by thine,” his lips hovered just above hers, “my Sin . . . is purg’d.” He stared at Liz, wondering if he should kiss her now, or were they only expected to do that later? She looked at him expectantly and he couldn’t resist. With his heart pounding in his chest, he leaned down and kissed her quickly and then pulled away.

“Then have my lips the sin that they have took,” Liz lifted her hand to her mouth. It was hard to remember her lines when she could still feel Max’s lips on hers.

“Sin from my lips?” Max looked down at her and sighed. “O trespass sweetly urg’d. Give me my sin again.” His lips took hers again, deeper, longer, more forcefully, and then they broke apart, both of them staring at each other for a moment before turning to look at Mrs. Wainwright expectantly. Was that alright?

Max could feel his heart beating wildly in his chest. God! He’d just kissed Liz again! This was the best class in the world!

Liz was trembling inside from the joy of feeling Max’s lips on hers. He must have the most beautiful lips in the whole world! So soft and warm and full and tender and hot and sensual and . . . and . . . it was finally sinking in. Max had kissed her again!

“Well done!” Miranda clapped. “Well done! Let’s pick it up from the top, but don’t stop this time. Max, the first kiss, make it just a little longer.”

“Okay,” Max smiled. He could do that!

“The second one was just right. Good intensity,” Miranda beamed. “Then break apart and move away quickly. Okay everyone, let’s do it again!”

They moved back into their original positions and Max couldn’t help the grin that covered his face. Liz, on the other hand, was trying to steady her wildly racing heart. She was going to get to kiss Max again! YES!

Max stood in the wings again, waiting for his cue and watching Liz across the stage. Her face looked flushed, high color in her cheeks, and the smile on her lips hinted at some hidden meaning. Had she been as affected by the kiss as he was? His chest was still thundering from the excitement of it. His insides were aglow, lit by the flames she fanned in him. In this world of masquerade and make believe, could he dare to think her smile was for him?

He pushed the thought aside as he moved onto the stage, burying it in the background so he could think about it later, and they walked through the scene again. They’d come far from that first day when he joined the class and was barely able to recite a line, let alone understand it. In just a few short weeks he’d broken out of his shell and embraced something new, and thrived.

As he watched Liz move around the stage he knew he had her to thank for it. It was only because of her that he’d stayed in the class, had the courage to open up, had the desire to try something new.

His pulse quickened as he moved into position beside her in the dance. His stomach fluttered in anticipation of the kiss that was to come. To Liz, to the class, to the school, it was Romeo kissing Juliet, but to Max it was so much more than that. It was the culmination of every dream he had ever had, to hold Liz Parker in his arms and kiss her tender lips. This was as close to reality as he would ever get, and he was going to savor this day, and all the others that accompanied it. As they walked through their paces the moment drew near and Max once more felt his pulse racing wildly.

“Then move not while my Prayer’s effect I take,” Max let the words flow. She was so close he was nearly intoxicated by her scent. He had to fight to keep his breaths even, knowing he was about to kiss her again. Looking down at her for a moment he thought her breathing was as strained as his, her pulse racing just as wildly and then he had to push that thought aside, storing it away to think about it later.

“Thus . . .” he drew in a breath, “. . . from my lips . . . by thine . . . my Sin . . . is purg’d.”

He could see her eyes focused on his lips, charting the progress as his mouth drew closer to hers. He hesitated briefly and then their eyes fluttered closed as their lips touched and for a brief moment he let himself believe he was Max Evans kissing Liz Parker, and not Romeo and Juliet, acting out a play.

When their lips parted, Liz pulled back with her hand hovering over her lips, and she wasn’t acting. He had taken her breath away and the warm, tingling sensation in her lips still lingered even after his lips were gone. It took her a moment to be able to find her voice.

“Then have my lips the sin that they have took,” she said breathlessly.

“Sin from my lips?” Max stared into her eyes intently. “O trespass sweetly urg’d. Give me my sin again.”

His lips quickly took hers, kissing her again, with his hand coming up to cup the soft skin of her cheek. Her arms rose to surround his shoulders and he drew her closer as the kiss deepened, his lips covering hers, his arm sliding around her back and pulling her closer still, his hand threading into her hair. Her kiss was nearly scorching his lips and he could feel her energy pouring into him . . .

“Max . . .”

. . . blending with him . . .


. . . becoming a part of him . . .


. . . his senses coming alive . . .

“Max . . .”

. . . awakening inside of him . . .


. . . rousing something that he’d kept buried.

“Max!” Miranda shook him on the shoulder.

His eyes popped open and he snapped back from Liz with his eyes growing wide. He was confused for a moment and then Miranda’s face swam into view and he remembered where he was.

“Max, dear. That second kiss was a little long this time. We don’t want the play to run three hours.”

“What?” he stammered and then he heard the snickers coming from behind him. He looked around the stage and then his cheeks flamed when he realized he’d gotten carried away. He shot a look at Liz and thought her face looked as red as his felt. “Sorry!” he blurted out, first to his teacher, and then to Liz. “Sorry! Can we do that again?”

Laughter erupted once more and Liz covered her face with her hand, from embarrassment and also because she couldn’t hide the smile on her lips. Was it just the moment? Getting caught up in the play? Or was there something more behind that kiss? She was so confused by the things he said on one hand, and the way he made her feel on the other. Was she just reading things into the kiss that weren’t really there?

“Let’s take it from the top again,” Miranda waved her arms around in the air.

They returned to their places and the scene unfolded again, with Max concentrating hard to keep from screwing up. He wasn’t quite as relaxed in the scene this time, worried about how Liz was reacting to all of this. He was afraid he had embarrassed her, and now he was nervous about the upcoming kiss. It was so hard not to get carried away when she was so close, and she tasted so good, and he felt such a sense of peace when he was touching her.

His line was next and his nerves began to show. “Thus . . .” he swallowed hard, “. . . from my lips by thine,” he moved closer to her, “my purge is Sin.”

“My Sin is purg’d,” Liz whispered.

“What?” Max stared at her uncomprehendingly.

She whispered again, “You said, ‘my purge is Sin.’ It’s supposed to be ‘My Sin is purg’d’.”

“Oh!” Damn! He’d screwed up again! Loudly, he said the right line, “My Sin is purg’d,” and then gave her a quick peck on the cheek.

Liz was rattled too, but she tried to get on track with her next line. “Then have my lips the sin that they have took.”

“Sin from my lips?” Max tried not to stammer. “O trespass sweetly urg’d. Give –” his voice cracked and his cheeks flamed again. “Give me my sin again.” He looked at her like a drowning man and then he leaned down to kiss her. As soon as his lips touched hers, a series of images open in his mind . . .

Liz skipping rope on the playground . . . Liz playing dress-up in front of a bedroom mirror . . . Liz riding her bike down Main Street . . . Liz walking down the aisle in the grocery store beside her mother, while a young dark haired boy walked past her going in the opposite direction, with their eyes locked on each other.

Stunned by the images, he pulled away from her slowly, hoping and praying that she hadn’t seen it too. It must have been his nerves causing his powers to surge, overloading his senses. The look on her face gave nothing away, so he looked down, so she couldn’t read his eyes.

“Keep going,” Miranda urged. “Nurse! Benvolio!”

Max moved away from Liz, thankful that he had only a few more lines. He couldn’t concentrate at all, not after the flash of images. What did it mean? Was he seeing things from inside her mind? How was that possible? He knew they couldn’t have been his memories, at least not the first three. They were from when she was young, before he’d been ‘born’, before he came to live in Roswell.

They finished out the scene, with Liz darting concerned looks in his direction, and then Miranda called it a day. She was pleased with what they had accomplished so far, and while she expected bumps and ruts along the way, her star couple was shining brightly.

“Next week, Act II people! Read your lines! Study your lines! Know your lines!”

The students began to disperse and Liz slowly moved in Max’s direction. He’d seemed a little out of sorts there at the end, a little flustered, and she hoped it hadn’t been anything she’d done, or said. She wasn’t quite sure what to say to him, and he looked like he was trying to avoid looking her in the eye. Did all that kissing bother him? Did it make him uncomfortable?

“Max –” she started, not sure what she was going to say.

“Sorry about that,” Max was trying to regain his composure. “About before. Sorry I flubbed up my . . . lines.” What he meant was the kiss and the lines, but he thought it best just to talk about the words.

“I think we’ll probably screw up plenty of times before we’re ready to put on the play,” Liz laughed lightly. “At least everyone got a good laugh out of it.”

“Yeah,” Max smiled nervously and tried to relax. He was still thinking about the images he had seen, and in particular, himself as a young boy passing by Liz in the grocery store and the look that they had shared. He’d always thought that Liz had never noticed him, but the image that he saw told a different story. The knowledge made him feel warm inside.

“So,” Liz said as they turned in unison and headed for the exit, side by side. “Are you still thinking about going to the football game tonight? Trying something new?”

“I’m thinking about it,” Max nodded, with his smile reaching all the way to his eyes.

“Well, maybe I’ll see you there,” she punched him softly, playfully, on the arm.

“Maybe,” he grinned and held the door open for her. Their banter was friendly and relaxed as they headed out into the parking lot for another ride home to the Crashdown Café. They both were glowing on the inside from the kisses they had shared, and the butterflies in their stomachs were still flying high.

I hope to have the next part ready about next Tuesday or Wednesday. For those of you who are reading Captive Hearts, I plan to post the next part tomorrow night (Thursday night my time).

posted on 10-Jul-2002 12:58:04 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: A lot of you have asked about the flashes Max is getting. First of all, Max is the only one getting them. Liz hasn’t seen any of the flashes Max has. He gets them when he lets down his defenses (the first kiss on Liz’ balcony) or feels overwhelmed or loses that iron control of his (like when he was flustered on stage in the last part, when he let a kiss get out of hand. Directly after that, he flubbed his lines and such and when he kissed her, his powers surged and he got the flashes). He will also get a flash (gotta wait for this one!) when he uses his powers on an object. Just touching an object won’t give him a flash, but touching an object while using his powers will.

Will Liz get flashes??? Well, you’ll have to wait and see about that!

This part is posted in two sections due to length restrictions . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 20

Max stood outside the football stadium looking at the faces that streamed past him on their way to their seats. All this time, he never realized so many people went to the football games, but in a small town like Roswell, there wasn’t a lot of other entertainment. For a lot of people, this was the highlight of their week.

“What are we waiting for?” Michael asked irritably.

“Nothing,” Max said absently as he watched for a certain familiar face.

“Then why don’t we go inside?” Michael grumbled.

“In a minute,” Max craned his neck to see better.

“Why’d you want to come to the game anyway?” Michael asked. He could understand going to a hockey game, or maybe even basketball, but football?

“It should be fun,” Max still wasn’t paying much attention to him, just enough to follow Michael’s train of thought. “Show some school spirit.”

“School spirit?” Michael frowned. Who the fu –

“Liz!” Max called out as soon as he saw her. He waved his hand in the air and a huge smile spread over his face. Michael wasn’t smiling at all, especially now that he knew why they were here. Liz Parker was headed in their direction, with that weird Maria girl, and that gawky Alex Whitman. That’s what this was all about. Shit. Max was getting in too deep.

“Max!” Liz waved back and whispered to Maria, “God he looks hot!” He was dressed in a black sweater with a green stripe across the chest and dark green cargo pants, topped off by that black leather coat he looked so sexy in. He looked happy to see her and the butterflies in her stomach were all a flutter, until she saw the look on Michael’s face and her stomach began to sink. Michael didn’t look happy at all.

“Hi Liz,” Max hurried over to her, with Michael trailing along behind him. “Hi Alex. Maria. I wasn’t sure I’d find you guys. I didn’t know so many turned out for the games.” He thought Liz looked incredible in her West Roswell High sweatshirt and a pair of snug fitting denim jeans. She was wearing a Roswell hat too, with her hair pulled through the hole in the back and he thought it was the cutest damn thing he had ever seen. She looked so casual and relaxed and happy.

“You made it,” Liz beamed at him. She hadn’t been sure he would come.

“Yeah,” Max smiled down at her, feeling excited and giddy and . . . alive. Senior year was shaping up to be the best year of his life!

Alex and Maria traded knowing looks and Michael stood off to the side, watching Max and Liz make goo goo eyes at each other. This was bad. Very bad.

“Hey guys,” Maria broke into the staring contest going on between her best friend and what looked like one very smitten Max Evans. “Let’s go find some seats before they’re all gone.”

They turned as a group, Alex and Maria in front with the others following directly behind, Michael on the left, Max in the middle and Liz on his right. When they got inside the stadium, Max could feel the crackle of excitement in the air, the anticipation of what was to come, and he wondered why he’d never let himself be a part of this before?

The stands were filling rapidly and they hurried up the stairs to claim a section of seats. Max made sure his seat was next to Liz, something Michael noted with displeasure. He was going to have to talk to Isabel about this. It was obvious Max was getting too close to Liz. He could read it all over his face. They were going to have to do something.

“Did you eat that hotdog you said you were going to?” Liz smiled impishly up at Max, reminding him of his pledge to be unpredictable. He was sitting so close she could feel the warmth of his body next to hers and she definitely liked the feeling.

“Not yet,” he admitted with a half smile. The stands were filling up fast and they all had to squeeze together, which he didn’t mind at all. She was sitting so close he could feel her shift against him every time she moved. He could smell her perfume too, and a part of him wondered if that was just her, the way she naturally smelled. It was intoxicating, that special scent of hers, and he would like nothing more than to bury his nose in her hair and just breathe her in, but of course he knew he couldn’t. Michael would probably blow a gasket if he did something like that. It would definitely violate the ‘Keep the humans at arms length’ rule.

“I saw a hot dog stand outside,” Max smiled at Liz with flecks of gold lighting his eyes. “Come with me?”

“Sure,” she nodded and then turned to Maria with the biggest smile on her face. Her eyes were shining happily as she said, “We’ll be right back.”

Maria watched them rise to their feet and her voice rose as she said, “Don’t get lost!”

Max led the way, squeezing down the row of seats trying not to step on feet or trip over his own and then he felt Liz fall against the middle of his back when she lost her footing. He turned back to see if she was okay and his hand automatically slipped into hers to help steady her. They inched down the row and then maneuvered their way down the stairs and it wasn’t until they reached ground level that Max realized he was still holding her hand. It felt so right, so perfect and when he reluctantly let her go, he felt the loss of her warmth immediately.

He should have kept holding it, he thought as they walked along side by side. He should have kept her hand in his until either she pulled it away, or if she didn’t, then he could have threaded his fingers between hers and told the whole world she was his.

But of course, she never could be. That was only a dream of his. A dream that could never come true. He had to be content with moments like this when he could be near her, knowing it could never be anything more.

Liz walked along at his side, quietly lamenting the loss of his touch. The tingling in her palm had faded away now, and she missed it. She missed that sense of belonging that she felt when their hands were touching. She’d never felt anything quite like it before, and though she knew it was only caused by how strong her feelings for him were, she couldn’t help wishing that he felt something too.

“Do you want one?” Max asked as they neared the hot dog stand.

“Sure,” she said and began to slip her hand into the front pocket of her jeans.

“It’s on me,” Max smiled at her and Liz felt her stomach flip over. He was buying her a hot dog? Yes! When they reached the front of the line, he asked, “Do you want anything on it? Ketchup? Mustard? Onions?”

No, no onions, Liz thought. No onions tonight. No. No way. Uh uh. No. She’d be worried about her breath all night. She didn’t want to take the chance with onion breath, not with Max sitting right next to her. No. Absolutely not. No way –

“Liz?” Max said when she didn’t answer.

Snapping out of it, she nodded her head and said, “No.”

Max stared at her wondering if she meant yes or no. She had nodded her head yes, but then said no. What did she mean? Should he ask her? He didn’t want to order her the wrong thing. Did she want something else on it? “How about cheese? Do you want any cheese? Or chili? Or sauerkraut?”

“Sauerkraut?” Liz made a face and shook her head rapidly. “Just ketchup and mustard for me.”

“Okay,” Max smiled at that. When they reached the counter he said, “Two hot dogs, ketchup and mustard only.” He would normally have onions on it because he liked the strong flavor, but not tonight. No onions tonight!

He paid for the hot dogs and passed one to Liz and they moved off toward the stands again. They walked slowly, neither one of them any too anxious to return to their seats, and Liz broke the comfortable silence when she pointed at the hot dog in his hand and asked, “Good?”

“Yes,” Max nodded and then took another bite. Chewing quickly, he added, “Definitely a change of pace from pizza!”

“See? Trying something different is good!” she smiled and then took a bite of her own hot dog. She felt a glob of the mustard/ketchup mixture drip off the dog and she prayed that it hadn’t landed on her chest. She saw his eyes darting from her face to her sweatshirt, face to sweatshirt, bouncing back and forth and when she looked down, there it was. A big red and yellow glob right in the middle of the R in Roswell. Damn!

“You, um . . .” Max pointed at her chest and tried not to laugh. “You, um, you dripped.”

Liz let out an embarrassed sigh and rolled her eyes and that made it even harder for Max not to crack up. Pointing toward the restrooms, she said, “I better clean it up before it stains.”

Max watched her go and he walked over to lean against the wall while he waited for her to come out. She reappeared a few minutes later frowning down at the mess that she’d made. The stain had spread even wider when she tried to wash it off and he could tell by her red cheeks that she was embarrassed. Wanting to ease her discomfort, he offered, “Let me help.”

He took the last bite of his hot dog, wadded up the wrapper and threw it in the nearby trash. Chewing hardily, he grabbed a fresh napkin, soaked it in the nearby water fountain and then stood in front of her with his hand poised over her chest. She could see the way he hesitated, not wanting to touch her inappropriately, yet wanting to help her out. Her eyes met his and she could see that he was the embarrassed one now.

“Here,” she said trying to fight her own smile. She took off her hat and pulled her sweatshirt over her head, revealing a t-shirt underneath, and handed it to him. Relieved, Max dabbed at the stain and when she wasn’t looking, he used his powers to remove it completely.

“There,” he smiled, proud of himself. “Is that better?” He would have dried it too, but she would have noticed that so he left it damp.

“Thanks,” she beamed up at him, surprised that he’d gotten the stain to disappear.

“You’re welcome,” he bit back his own grin and slid his hands into his pockets, feeling happy and elated and shy and bashful, while he watched her slip the sweatshirt back on. She pulled her hair out from the collar and replaced the cap on her head, tugging her hair through the hole in back once again. He remembered when he was little, and she’d wear her hair in a ponytail, and he’d felt the urge to pull it and run away, just to get her attention. He never had though. He never had the courage.

A cheer went up in the stands and Liz looked in that direction, saying, “It sounds like the game’s about to start.”

“We better go then,” Max said readily, even though he would have preferred to stay here and talk to her. He liked being with her, talking to her, walking beside her.

She turned around to head back into the stadium and Max felt a sudden urge he couldn’t deny. His hand shot out and before he could stop himself, he gave her ponytail a tug. She whipped her head around in surprise and Max suddenly felt 8 years old again.

“I,” he stammered, “Your hair was – I was trying to – fix your – you had a . . . hair . . . thing . . .”

“My hair?” she looked up at him questioningly. She reached up to run her fingers through the hair coming out of the back of her cap, and she turned around so he could see and asked, “Does it look okay?”

“Yeah,” Max tried not to laugh. “It looks great.”

I’ll be right back with the rest

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 10-Jul-2002 1:20:33 AM ]
posted on 10-Jul-2002 12:59:13 AM by Breathless

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 20 con’t

They made their way back into the stadium and the crowd cheered in anticipation of the teams taking the field. Max heard the announcer introduce the “Captain of the West Roswell Comets, Kyle Valenti,” and he expected Liz to stare out onto the field as Kyle made his grand entrance. Everyone in the stands was going wild, cheering and chanting his name, but when Max looked down at her, bracing himself for the look he expected to see on her face, he was surprised to see her looking up at him.

She smiled at him self-consciously and then looked up into the stands to pinpoint Maria’s location so they could find their seats. Max looked down at his feet, unable to wipe off the huge grin on his face. She didn’t look at Kyle at all! They reached the stairs and Max let Liz go up first. When they reached their seats, he looked at Michael and said, “Scoot down.”

“What?” Michael looked up at him like he was crazy. If he scooted down, he’d be sitting next to that Maria girl. Why would he want to do that?

“Scoot down, Michael,” Max insisted.

Michael grumbled under his breath as he slid down the bench. When he came within inches of Maria, she turned to look at him with a not so friendly glare. Great. This was just great. Could this night get any worse?

Max motioned for Liz to sit next to Michael, and then he took his seat next to her. Alex leaned forward, noticing the seating arrangement and then nudging Maria with his elbow. She followed his gaze and then the two of them nodded in silent agreement. Max and Liz looked awfully comfortable together down there! Michael noticed it too, and he wasn’t happy.

West Roswell won the coin toss and elected to receive. The kick-off ensued and the game began. Kyle took the field with the adoring crowd cheering him on and Max watched Liz from the corner of his eye as she followed the progress on the playing field. He could see that she enjoyed watching the game and every once in a while her eyes would dart toward him and he’d look away quickly so she wouldn’t catch him staring at her.

On the field, Kyle took the snap and dropped back, pumping his arm while he waited for Aaron Spikes to get into the open. He released the ball and it sailed through the air, right into Aaron’s outstretched hands and the crowd roared. Aaron tucked it into his side and tore down the field and Liz jumped to her feet shouting, “Go! Go! GOOOOOO!”

Max looked up at her in surprise, never having seen her quite this animated before, and then he looked over at Michael, who was staring at her like she was crazy. It was just a damn football game. What was all the excitement about? Max shrugged and then a loud cheer went up as Aaron crossed over into the end zone.

Touchdown! 6 Points, West Roswell Comets!

Everyone had risen to their feet to cheer on the team and Max followed suit, watching everyone go nuts with a humorous look on his face. This was fun! Why hadn’t he done this before? Liz was jumping up and down beside him and the next thing he knew she was grabbing his arms and hugging him while screaming incoherently. Max was surprised at first, but he quickly recovered and responded by hugging her back. He liked this game!

Another cheer went up as the extra point was successfully kicked through the goal posts and Roswell took the lead 7 – 0.

The game progressed with the Hondo Hornets unable to mount any offense and Roswell soon got the ball back. Kyle returned to the field to the cheers of his adoring fans and began their drive down the field. Max could feel Liz tensing up in anticipation of the next play, the next score. Kyle handed off to his running back Marcus DeLong and he headed up the sidelines. Liz dug her fingers into Max’s thigh as she watched Marcus race down the field and then she slapped Max on the leg when Marcus was knocked out of bounds on the 40 yard line.

“Too bad!” she cried out and turned her face up to look at Max. “It was clear sailing if he’d gotten past that last guy!”

“Yeah,” Max squeaked out. This was a new Liz, one he hadn’t seen before, and he liked it. She was animated and excited and the fact that she’d had her hand all over his leg a minute ago didn’t hurt! He could still feel her energy flowing through his body and she wasn’t even touching him anymore. This was amazing! He wondered if it was because she normally kept a tight rein on her emotions, and tonight she was letting them run free?

Could he do that? Could he let his defenses down, and just enjoy being here? For once in his life, could he just let himself feel, instead of calculating every thought, every action, every reaction?

On the field, Kyle let the ball fly, right into the hands of Chris Thornton who had his feet planted firmly in the end zone. Touchdown! West Roswell Comets!

Liz jumped up from her seat and Max jumped up with her. She threw herself into his arms and he twirled her around with his arms wrapped tightly around her. Football had to be the greatest game ever invented!

* * * * *

“Do you want anything to drink? Eat?” Max asked as they stood to stretch their legs. It was halftime and they had fifteen minutes to kill, or as Max preferred to think, fifteen minutes all to themselves.

“I’m fine,” Liz shook her head.

“Are you sure?” Max prodded and smiled. “I think I hear a Cherry Coke calling me.”

“I guess I could use one too,” Liz admitted and dropped her eyes from his.

Max saw her draw her arms together and he chided himself for not noticing before. “Are you cold?”

“Just a little,” Liz admitted. She had forgotten to bring a jacket, and when the sun went down in the desert in October, it got damn cold.

“Here,” Max shrugged off his leather coat. “Take this. I don’t need it.”

“Are you sure?” she echoed his words.

“Positive,” he smiled down on her and helped her slip her arms into the sleeves. The jacket was miles too big for her, but she looked adorable in it, and the fact that she was swallowed up in his coat wasn’t lost on him. He led her to the stairs and neither one of them notice Michael as he watched their every move.

* * * * *

“When’s the next period start?” Michael asked Maria in his usual gruff tone. Max had disappeared with Liz a while ago and they weren’t back yet. He was starting to think that he needed to go find him, to make sure he didn’t violate any of the rules they’d lived by all these years. Making out with a human in the back of the jeep would definitely qualify as a violation.

“They’re not called periods,” Maria said disdainfully. “It’s called quarters. Football has four quarters.”

“So how much time until the next quarter starts?” Michael shot back at her.

“There’s the scoreboard,” Maria pointed out the huge structure at the end of the playing field. If he could be rude, she could be rude right back.

Michael looked at the sign he’d been looking at all night, and sure enough, it was counting down the minutes until half time was over. Shit. Maria was probably laughing at him now. He didn’t need this shit. Why had Max decided to come to this stupid game anyway? And why had he been dumb enough to come with him?

“I’m outta here,” Michael abruptly rose to his feet. “Tell Max I’ll catch him later.”

* * * * *

Max and Liz returned from the concession stand and took their seats just as the second half got under way. The third quarter was just as exciting as the first two, with Kyle throwing another touchdown pass and Marcus DeLong running for another. Liz squealed in delight each time their team scored, and Max was the happy recipient of her excited hugs. Max thought everything was going great, until he looked down the row and saw Maria and Alex giving each other high fives, while a glaring empty spot took up the space where Michael should have been sitting. He had disappeared somewhere around halftime.

“Maria? Alex?” Max asked. “Do you know where Michael went?”

Maria shook her head and said, “He left just before halftime ended. I think he was bored. I know he was irritable as hell. Rude too.”

Max understood that Michael simply didn’t know any better. He hadn’t been raised in a loving home, not like he and Isabel had been. Michael had suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of his foster parents over the years, and it wasn’t until he had convinced Michael to let his dad help him that he’d escaped the torment.

But even that had its down side. For the last two years, ever since the courts proclaimed Michael an emancipated minor, he’d lived on his own, supporting himself, with no one to care for him, or look out for him. No one to love him. All Michael had was Isabel and Max, and that left him mistrustful and suspicious of everyone else.

“Oh,” Max said, feeling a pang of guilt for not paying more attention to him. He’d have to make it up to him later. Maybe he’d let Michael beat him at foosball for a change.

A roar went up from the crowd and Max felt Liz’s hand bounce against his leg and all thoughts of Michael left his mind. Roswell had just taken over possession of the football on a fumble recovery, and Kyle was headed back onto the field. Suddenly, in Max’s eyes, Kyle wasn’t looking like such a bad guy after all! Max sat back and enjoyed the game, waiting for that next score, and the hug that was sure to come.

* * * * *

“Wow! That was exciting, wasn’t it?” Liz beamed up at Max.

“It certainly was,” Max couldn’t contain his grin.

They made their way out to the parking lot and their evening was fast coming to an end. Max was trying to delay the inevitable, Liz was racking her brain trying to think of a reason to drive home with him instead of Maria, but she couldn’t think of anything that wasn’t blatantly obvious.

“I had a great time, Liz,” Max looked down into her face, illuminated by the lights in the parking lot.

“Me too,” she tried to keep the deep sigh out of her voice. She was just about to ask if he was coming back to the Crashdown to celebrate the win, when Michael showed up and put a damper on everything.

“Can we get out of here now, Maxwell?” he asked gruffly.

Max frowned at him, wondering why he had to be so rude all the time. Why couldn’t Michael just enjoy the game, the way he had? Why did he have to make everything so difficult?

“Michael-” he began, and then Liz cut him off.

‘I’m glad you came,” Liz looked at Max with genuine pleasure. “Maybe we can do it again sometime?”

“Sure,” Max nodded enthusiastically.

“C’mon, Max,” Michael whined.

“So, I’ll see you Monday, in school,” Liz said, bringing their night to a close. She didn’t want to say goodbye yet, but Michael had been his friend for years, and she didn’t want to cause any trouble between them. “Or maybe tomorrow, in the Crashdown . . .”

“Okay,” Max sighed. He backed up, headed for his jeep, but unable to take his eyes off of her. “Good night, Liz.”

“Good night, Max,” she watched him go, with Michael at his side, feeling like her life was full of new possibilities.

That night, she slept with a new companion. A black leather coat that smelled rich and masculine, and filled her night with erotic dreams. When she saw him in the morning, serving him a Riker Special with Picard on the side, her cheeks would turn red at the memory of those dreams.

The next part should be ready next Tuesday (I think).

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Jul-2002 1:04:15 AM ]
posted on 16-Jul-2002 2:43:47 AM by Breathless
Good Lord, Nettygirl! Even with all that scruffy facial hair, JB sure makes you do a double take, doesn't he?

Yummy is right.

So, I plan to post the next part on Tuesday night (my time, which is Wednesday morning for a lot of you).

posted on 17-Jul-2002 12:29:58 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13

Author note: Well, it seems that many, many of you wanted a closer look at those dreams that Liz had, the ones that made her blush when she saw Max on Saturday morning. Do you see that rating listed up there, right below Category? It says Rating: PG 13. Now, I can’t describe blushable dreams and remain within that PG 13 rating! And I was really trying to keep this story within those boundaries! You know, more innocent. No pounding, throbbing or fluid ejecting!

I wonder if I’ll be able to restrain myself? It’s getting harder, um . . . I mean, more difficult stay PG 13 with each passing chapter.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 21

Michael paced back and forth across his living room floor wearing a rut in the carpet while a frustrated Isabel sat on his threadbare couch watching him. “We have to do something,” he demanded. “He planned the whole thing! I saw the sliver mark on the tire stem where he used his powers the let all the air out of her tire!”

Isabel had come right over when Michael called her and told her they had to talk. She knew what it was about before she ever got there. The problem that just wouldn’t go away. Max.

“Why would he do that?” Isabel shot back, trying to defend her brother. Michael was still going on about ‘The Incident’ as he called it, last week when Maria got a flat tire and he thought Max had something to do with it.

“Why do you think?” Michael shot a look at her. Wasn’t it obvious?

“Liz Parker,” Isabel said flatly.

“Exactly,” Michael nodded. “I’m telling you, he planned the whole thing so he could drive Liz home. And then he spent the whole god damn night in the Crashdown. Hell, he closed down the place. I had to drag his ass out of there, otherwise he probably would have spent the fucking night!”


“Isabel, this is serious,” Michael stopped his pacing and stared at her. “He went to the football game with her on Friday! He’s never gone to a game before. EVER! You didn’t see them together the way I did. He’s getting close to her. Really close.”

“And there’s nothing we can do about that,” Isabel insisted. She thought about that for a minute and then changed her mind. “Well, there is something –”

“No!” Michael shot her a deadly glare. “Absolutely not!”

“We should just tell Max it’s okay with us if he wants to see Liz.” Isabel said it whether he wanted to hear it or not.

“NO!” Michael was getting hot. “We have to stop this, not encourage it!” In agitation, he started pacing again.

“I’m not talking about telling her our secret!” Isabel shot back. “He can see her without telling her about us. It’s just a high school thing anyway, Michael. They’ll date for a little while and then they’ll break up, just like everybody else. It doesn’t mean he’s going to marry her!”

“You’re kidding, right?” Michael looked at her disbelievingly. “Max? You’re talking about the Max that has been obsessed with Liz for how many years?”

“He’s not obsessed,” Isabel lowered her voice.

“You’re right. He’s in love with her. He always has been.” Coming to a stop in front of her, he slowly sat down beside her. “Look, we can’t risk Max getting too close to Liz. What if something strange happened if they kissed or if they –”

“Don’t even say it!” Isabel cut him off. He was talking about her brother!

“Well, we don’t know what will happen when one of us has sex –”

“Michael!” She so didn’t want to have this conversation with him.

“Well, have you had sex?” He kept pushing it.

“No!” Isabel turned red.

“Well, neither have I, and neither has Max. So we don’t know how we’ll react.” Michael wasn’t going to let this go. They had to think about this. They couldn’t just bury their heads in the sand. “Max isn’t going to give Liz up. You know it. I know it. Not on his own.”

“I know,” Isabel, sounding deflated, raked her fingers through her long hair.

“And now he’s more determined than ever,” Michael thought back to how Max had planned out the attack on Maria’s car, making sure that he stayed around after school instead of taking off on his bike the way he normally did, so he would get rooked into helping that nutcase while Max drove off with Liz in his jeep. And then there was the football game on Friday. Max hadn’t gone because he had suddenly acquired a taste for the game. No, there was only one reason that Max wanted to go to that damn game. “Look. Liz is the key, here. If we could somehow get her to not be interested in Max, but let him down gently, maybe Max would finally get over her.”

“Come on, Michael,” Isabel rolled her eyes. “We’re talking about Liz Parker. We both know she’s as crazy about him as he is about her.”

“There’s got to be a way . . .” Michael’s jaw twitched with worry. There had to be some way to put an end to this budding romance between Max and Liz.

* * * * *

Max walked down the hallways with his backpack slung over one shoulder, looking forward to his Biology class. It was the start of a new week and it was rich with possibilities. He hadn’t seen Liz at her locker earlier, but he knew he’d be seeing her in class shortly, and he could hardly wait.

He dreamt about her last night, a good dream. A dream where balconies couldn’t keep him from her. A dream where an alien boy and a human girl weren’t so different. A dream where kisses didn’t stop when the make believe was over. Yep. It’d been a really good dream, even if he did have to get up in the middle of the night to change his sheets.

A smile crossed his face as he remembered back to the football game on Friday night, and he wondered, why hadn’t he gone to the football games before? If he thought it was exciting having Liz slap his leg during the Romeo and Juliet movie, it didn’t compare to what it was like when Kyle threw a touchdown pass, and Liz bolted out of her seat, jumping and screaming and throwing herself at him. She’d literally jumped into his arms and he twirled her around and she screamed in his ear and then they’d all high five’d each other, Liz, Maria, Alex and him, Max Evans, acting like a member of the human race. It had been exhilarating.

Kyle had thrown three touchdown passes, handed off two more to his running backs, and he’d even scored one himself on a quarterback sneak. They’d trounced the opposition and the undefeated status of the team was still intact by the end of the night.

As the game progressed, Max decided that he loved Kyle Valenti. Every time Kyle scored a TD, Max had been rewarded with the sweetest hugs he’d ever had in his life. If he’d been closer to the field, instead of high up in the stands, he would have ‘helped’ Kyle score even more, just so he could feel Liz in his arms again. Football was a great game! He could hardly wait for this Friday when he could do it all over again!

“Well, I better go to class,” Isabel said brightly at his side, breaking in to his chain of thoughts.

“Bye,” Max finally focused on something other than his intoxicating thoughts of Liz. “I’ll see you late – hey! What’s Michael doing over there?”

“Where?” Isabel asked and looked around.

“There,” Max pointed over across the quad. “What’s he doing with Alex?”

Max frowned slightly at the sight before him. Michael appeared to be in a deep conversation with Alex, who was nodding his head slowly as he listened. Their discussion seemed very one sided, with Michael doing all the talking and Alex doing all the listening, except for an occasional interjection on his part. But as far as Max knew, Michael and Alex had never even had a real conversation before. Why now?

“Let’s go over there,” Max began to walk in that direction.

“Wait!” Isabel cried out and Max turned to stare at her.

“What?” he frowned.

“Um,” she couldn’t think. Shit! Michael wasn’t supposed to do this here! Damn it! Plastering on one of her patented smiles, she said, “Nothing. Nevermind.”

Max stared at her for a minute longer and then nodded toward the two against the far wall and said, “C’mon. Let’s see what’s going on.”

Isabel trailed behind Max, waving her hand frantically trying to catch Michael’s attention and then she had to drop it down to smooth it through her hair when her brother turned around to look at her. Frowning again at how weird his sister was acting, he let it go when he reached the far side of the quad.

He reached their side just in time to hear Michael say, “. . . it’ll never work.”

“What will never work?” Max asked Michael. He turned to Alex and smiled as he said, “Hi, Alex,” and then turned back to Michael and repeated, “What will never work?”

“Ah, Max! Jeez. Hi! I didn’t see you coming!” He shot a look at Isabel and she glared right back at him.

“What will never work?” Max asked again.

“Um, Alex!” Michael stammered and then did the first think he could thing of. He threw his arm around Max’s shoulders and in an overly cheery tone of voice said, “Alex here was asking if I wanted to join his band! I was just saying with me working two jobs, it’ll never work. I don’t have the time.”

“Oh,” Max stared at Michael. Why was he acting so weird? Shrugging it off, he turned to Alex and asked, “Still looking for a singer?”

“Yeah,” Alex nodded and stared at the two boys in front of him. All this time and he never knew. How could he have been so wrong about Max? How was he going to tell Liz? It was going to break her heart.

In retrospect, he could see it now. He remembered the look he’d seen pass between Max and Michael in the Crashdown last week, and now he understood why Max had called it ‘complicated’. The first bell rang and Alex felt a sense of relief. That revelation had been a shock, to say the least, and he needed time to think about what he was going to tell Liz.

“Well, good luck with that,” Max told Alex and gave him a half wave as he turned to head to class. Michael turned with him, still with his arm around his shoulders and Max frowned again. Michael was never this touchy feely. What was up with that?

“Maybe Alex will ask you next, Isabel,” Michael joked. “You want to sing in his band?”

“Michael,” Isabel wanted to scream at him. “Class is this way.” She grabbed him and pulled him off her brother and Max just shook his head as they disappeared in the opposite direction. Was it just him, or were they acting really strange today?

* * * * *

“Get in here!” Isabel pulled Michael by the arm into the eraser room. “Tell me you didn’t do what I think you just did!”

“I did what needed to be done,” Michael stared down at her. Somebody had to protect them, and since he was the only one that seemed willing to, he accepted the job.

“What exactly did you say?” She thought Michael was looking pretty smug, but she was also fairly certain by the look on his face that things hadn’t gone according to his stupid plan.

Michael folded his arms over his chest and squared his jaw. “I followed the plan. The plan I came up with.”

“Michael,” Isabel huffed, “you’re not Liz Parker. You don’t know how to make a plan!”

“Well it was a good enough plan fool Alex Whitman,” Michael said indignantly.

“You think he bought it?” Isabel asked.

“It looked like it to me,” Michael asserted.

“So you told Alex everything that we talked about? About Todd and Stanford and him waiting for Max to graduate, so Max could join him in California?”

“Well, no . . .” Michael admitted.

“I thought you said that was the plan!” Isabel was getting a bad feeling. “Why did you change the story, and what exactly did you say?”

“Max showed up too soon!” Michael whined. “I didn’t get the whole story out.”

“What part didn’t you tell Alex?” Isabel glared at him.

“The part about Todd,” Michael admitted.

“Don’t tell me,” Isabel was afraid she knew where this was going. She was picturing that overly affectionate hug Michael gave Max in the hallway a few minutes ago. “Who did you say Max was involved with?”

“Well . . .” Michael hedged.

“Well?” Isabel glared.

Michael stared at her wondering if he could avoid answering the question. The look on her face said probably not. Steeling himself, he told her the truth. “Me.”

* * * * *

Max neared the Biology room and he could swear he could feel her presence on the other side of the door. Almost like his body knew when her body was near, or his mind was somehow connected to her mind. Maybe it was like that internal clock of his that always knew what time it was without having to look at his watch or maybe he had some sixth sense that could ‘feel’ Liz, even though she was out of sight. He moved through the doorway, and there she was, sitting at their lab table, more beautiful than ever.

“Hi,” Max said softly as he took his seat beside her. Inside, he was overflowing with happiness to be near her again.

“Hi,” Liz beamed at him. “Did you have a good weekend?”

“I had to work most of it,” but she knew that. He’d come over to the Crashdown on his lunch break, and then again when he got off. The only thing that had prevented him from asking her out on Saturday night was the fact that she had to work the closing shift. He wondered where she might like to go on their first date, if they ever had a first date. Putt putt golf? Go cart racing? Laser tag! He could chase her around in the dark!

No. She’d probably like something more romantic. Dinner? A movie? One of the school dances? When was the next dance? Wasn’t Home Coming soon? Didn’t they have a dance for that? He thought he’d heard Isabel talking about it. Would Liz say yes if he asked her to go? The hell with being ‘just friends’!

Somewhere during the second quarter of the football game on Friday night he had decided he wasn’t going to let the world pass him by anymore. He was having fun for a change, instead of just watching from the sidelines, and he liked it. Just because he was different didn’t mean he wasn’t entitled to enjoy life.

Breaking into his thoughts, Liz leaned forward and asked, “Did you get a chance to read over Act IV this weekend?”

“Not really,” Max dipped his head close to hers. He could smell her scent so clearly and he had to restrain himself from nuzzling his nose against her cheek or her ear or . . . her throat. Oh man, he really wanted to nuzzle her throat! “I – I worked too much, but next weekend I don’t have as many hours.”

“Do you want to get together and practice?” Liz asked before she even had a chance to think it through. Maybe he had other plans already. Why was she always blurting things out without thinking?

“I work Saturday morning but I’m free in the afternoon,” Max told her. Maybe practicing in the afternoon would lead to something else in the evening. Dinner? A movie? A walk in the park? Hand in hand? Kissing on a park bench? Kissing under the park trees? Kissing on the way back from the park? Kissing on her porch? Kissing –

“Saturday?” Liz asked. “Where?”

“Um, where?” Where did she want to kiss? Is that what she was asking? No, wait. Practicing. She was talking about practicing. The play. Practicing the play. Get a grip. “Um, your place? My place?” he took a deep breath and tried to stop thinking about kissing. “My parents will be home and Isabel will probably have her big fat nose around –”

“Max,” Liz laughed and he smiled back at her. Her heart raced a little faster seeing him look at her that way. How could he look at her like that? That was a ‘just friends’ look? She’d hate to see how he looked at someone he was really interested in. The poor girl would probably combust! Lord knows, she was ready to right now!

“I could pick you up at 2:00,” Max looked at her questioningly. “After I get off.”

“You don’t have any plans?” Liz asked.

“No,” he shook his head. “No plans.” The only plans he wanted were plans that included her, and maybe kissing. “So . . . I’ll pick you up at 2:00 then?”

“It’s a date,” Liz said happily and then her eyes widened as she realized what she said. Date? DATE?? There goes her big fat mouth again –

“Yeah,” Max nodded and turned his head with a grin spreading over his face. It’s a date!

Come back next week for the next part. Probably Tuesday.

posted on 23-Jul-2002 11:22:59 PM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: Hummmmmmmm

Author note: I told you guys it was Michael you had to look out for! Of course, Michael doesn’t come up with very good plans. I see many of you are ready to lynch him, but I have a feeling he’s doing a good job of that himself. As for whether Alex or Liz will believe Michael’s story, well, that’s still to be seen.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 22

Max stood in line to pay for his lunch and his eyes swept over the cafeteria, keeping a look out for Liz. He was hoping they would get to eat together today, but he hadn’t seen her since biology this morning. In fact, everybody was being scarce. He hadn’t seen Alex since this morning when he was talking to Michael in the hall. Come to think of it, he hadn’t seen Michael since then either. He’d seen Isabel in their 3rd period English class, but she’d been irritable so he tried to stay away from her. Maybe she was PMSing. It was best to run and hide when she was PMSing. For about the millionth time, he thanked God he was ‘born’ a man.

The line inched slowly forward and Max was starting to get irritated by the girl behind him who kept pushing her tray into his back. He took it in silence for a while because he didn’t like to make a scene, but finally he turned around with the intention of asking her to stop.

“Hi, Max,” the girl said shyly and then the two girls behind her giggled.

“Um, hi,” he said back and then turned forward again. Who the hell were they? They looked about 14 or 15 and he thought they were probably freshmen. He didn’t know them from Adam, so why did they know him by name? Weird.

Ignoring them, his eyes swept the room for Liz again and then he saw her, sitting at a table over on the far side of the cafeteria with Alex, and the sun was streaming in through the windows and shining on her hair. She always looked so pretty with the sun shinning on her hair. Or the moonlight. Or the starlight. Or the lamplight. Or the firelight. Or the –

“Hi Liz,” Max almost sighed out loud when he reached her table, then he remembered who else was there. “Hi Alex.”

“Max!” Alex said with a start.

“Hi Max,” Liz said and leaned her chin into her hand. She stared at him as he set his tray on the table and when he met her eyes again, she shook herself and sat up straight. “Um, Alex! What were you saying?”

“Um, what was I saying,” Alex muttered. “That’s a good question. Um . . . so . . . oh! So anyway, about my band. I still need a singer. You can’t have a band without a singer. What do you say Liz?”

“Alex,” Liz laughed and shook her head back and forth. “Do you know how gay I would look up there on stage? I can’t sing!”

Oh, Liz, Alex cringed and shot Max a look. Don’t say gay! What ever you do, don’t say gay!

“You know, Liz,” Max arched an eyebrow at her and teased, “that’s not a very politically correct thing to say. What if Manny Exposito were to hear you. You might hurt his feeling.”

“Well,” Liz covered her mouth with her hand in contrition and rolled her eyes. “I wouldn’t want to be politically incorrect,” she laughed while Max chuckled and Alex cringed next to her.

“Have you ever tried it, Liz?” Max asked and took a bite of his sandwich.

“What?” Liz batted her eyes. “Singing, or being gay?” she laughed and Alex covered his face with his hand.

“Singing,” Max snorted.

“Well, no,” Liz admitted. “Not on stage anyway. But my voice can peel paint in the shower.”

Max tried not to choke on his food over the thought of her in the shower. “Well,” he cleared his throat and smiled his crooked grin, “to quote a very good friend of mine, ‘If you don’t try something new, you’ll never know what you’re missing’. How do you know you won’t like it, if you’ve never tried it? You might be really good at it. And if it turns out you’re gay? Well, at least you know you tried, right Alex?”

Alex gaped at Max, surprised at how open he was being about it.

* * * * *

“Did he tell her? Did he tell her?” Isabel hovered behind Michael, spying at Liz and Alex across the cafeteria.

“How do I know? I’m not a mind reader,” Michael retorted.

“Well, what do you think, Mr. Plan Maker?” Isabel mocked. “Oh, wait, here comes Max. Oh . . . oh . . . no, Alex must not have told her yet. Look at that. Liz is flirting. Oh that’s disturbing. Oh god, my eyes are burning. Max is flirting back. Oh good lord, I think I need therapy now.”

“What?” Michael frowned. What the hell was she going on about?

“What if he finds out about this, Michael?” Isabel fixed him with a glare. “Max is going to kill you. You know that, right?”

“Alex won’t tell,” Michael said smugly. “He promised to keep it between him and Liz. And Liz isn’t going to spread something like that around. She’s not the type. She’ll keep it to herself. She’ll want to protect Max.” Smiling in satisfaction, Michael added, “Max will never know anything about this.”

That little nagging doubt in her mind, the one that wondered if they had done the right thing, exploded into full fledge worry as soon as she saw who walked up to the table. Michael was still basking in his handiwork and she whacked him hard across the chest to wipe that smile off his face.

“What’d you do that for!” Michael glared at her while he rubbed his chest.

“Who is Liz’s best friend?” Isabel was thumping her foot on the floor with her arms folded tightly across her chest.

“That Maria girl,” Michael made a face.

“And who does Liz share everything with?” Isabel asked.

“Again, that would be Maria,” Michael said. “What’s your point?”

“And what was Maria’s nickname in 9th grade?” Isabel arched her eyebrow.

“Miss blabbermou-” Michael’s eyes shot open wide.

“You idiot!” Isabel hit him again and turned on her heels. “You are going to be so dead when Max gets done with you.”

* * * * *

“Okay everyone,” Mrs. Wainwright clapped her hands together. “That’s it for today. We’ll continue with the rest of Act III tomorrow. Be prepared!”

Max brushed at his clothes self-consciously and headed over to Liz, wondering if she had seen him practicing today. He had been disappointed that they weren’t practicing any of their scenes together, but he’d watched her doing some stuff with Juanita, and she was really good. Really riveting.

“Max,” Liz squeezed his upper arm when he neared her. “You were so good! You made me just cry right along with you!”

“I didn’t look gay or anything, did I?” Max asked and then he laughed when she hit him on the arm for teasing her about what she had said at lunch. He’d been rehearsing the scene after Romeo slays Tybalt, when he flees to Friar Lawrence’s cell, and Romeo had to roll all over the floor crying like a baby. It was embarrassing as hell, trying to cry on demand.

“No, Max, you were so good –”

“Max, Liz, ah good, you’re together,” Miranda announced as she walked over to join them. “Excellent rehearsals today! Excellent! Max, Romeo’s turmoil you emoted so strongly. You were wonderful! Simply wonderful!” Max dipped his head and bit at his lower lip, feeling embarrassed but enjoying the praise, too. Miranda patted Max on the shoulder and then turned to Liz. “And you, my dear,” Miranda pinched Liz’s cheeks, “Your tears over your banished Romeo, so real!” Liz was basking in Mrs. Wainwright’s praise, and smiling up at Max, right up until Miranda quoted, “And Death, not Romeo, take my Maidenhead.”

Miranda sighed and clasped her hands together, Max raised one eyebrow and then scratched behind his ear before scrutinizing the ceiling, and Liz turned a thousand shades of red. Did Mrs. Wainwright really have to talk about maidenheads? Intact maidenheads? Virginal maidenheads?

“Now,” Miranda pulled her eyes back in from the stars, and wrapped one arm around Max and the other around Liz. “Tell me what your schedule is like. We’re running a little behind. Can you practice after school today? We need to pick up the pace a little.”

“Well, sure,” Liz said and turned to look at Max.

“Um, yeah,” Max nodded and looked at Liz. “Where? Here?”

“Excellent!” Miranda smiled. “Yes, yes. Right here. I just need to get the stage set. Juan!” she called out. “Juan! I need help getting set up for the next scene!”

“Um, what scene do you want us to do?” Max asked.

“Act III, Scene 5,” Miranda smiled at him and his eyes flew open wide.

Did she say Act III, Scene 5? Sweet!

“Why don’t you two practice your lines together while I go check on the props backstage,” Miranda suggested. “Then I’ll help you with your pacing and show you how I want you to move about the stage.

“Okay,” Max was feeling the fluttering in his stomach. Act III Scene 5! They watched Miranda fly across the stage and disappear behind the curtain and then Max turned to Liz. “Well, um . . . how do you want to do this?”

“Let me get my book,” Liz crossed over to where her backpack was lying on the floor. “I don’t have that scene memorized yet.”

Max lost her somewhere around ‘Let me get . . .’. As soon as she bent over to rummage in her backpack, that was it. All he could do was stare. Those jeans she was wearing were nice and snug and she sure looked good. Really good. Damn, she looked good.


“What?” What did she say? Damn! She was standing in front of him now, and she must have asked him something. He must have zoned out when she bent over like that –

“Do you have the scene memorized yet?” Liz asked him again. Is that sweat on his forehead? Is it too warm in here for him?

“Yeah,” Max scratched a spot behind his ear. “Yeah, I think I know the lines.”

“Well,” she said, opening her book to the right page. “I guess I go first.” She took a deep breath and looked up at him self-consciously before dropping her eyes back down to the book.

He stared down at the top of her head, wondering if it was just his imagination that the book opened right to that page, as if it was permanently creased there, and then he got lost in the sound of her voice.

“Wilt thou be gone?” Liz said softly. “It is not yet near day. It was the Nightingale and not the Lark that pierc’d the fearful hollow of thine ear. Nightly she sings on yond Pomegranate tree. Believe me, Love,” Liz lifted her eyes to his. “It was the Nightingale.”

“It was the Lark,” Max stared down into her dark eyes, “the hearld of the morn, no Nightingale. Look, Love, what envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east. Night candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops. I must be gone and live,” Max lifted his hand to cup her cheek, “or stay and die.”

“Yond light is not daylight, I know it, I,” Liz leaned her cheek into his hand. “It is some meteor that the sun exhales to be to thee this night a torch bearer and light thee on thy way to Mantua. Therefore stay yet,” Liz closed her eyes and kissed his palm, “thou needst not to be gone.”

The feel of her lips on his skin made his senses come alive, his heart rate soar, and sent his breathing nearly out of control. “Let me be ta’en; let me be put to death; I am content, so thou wilt have it so. I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye; ‘tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s Brow.” His thumb gently brushed across her lips, caressing the soft, smooth skin. “Nor that is not the Lark whose notes do beat the vaulty heaven so high above our heads. I have more care to stay, than will to go.”

The rest of the words flew out of his head as he stared down into her face. His hand dropped down to her throat, spanning her warm flesh, feeling her pulse against his palm. It felt like the perfect moment for a kiss, and not just because the play called for one. He was falling into her eyes, with no willpower to resist her, and he said breathily, “I want to kiss you now.”

He saw her eyes grow wide, and the magnitude of what he’d just said hit him. “I mean,” he stammered, uncertain of what her reaction was, “I mean, I think I’m suppose to kiss you now. But . . . but . . . we don’t have to practice that, if you don’t want to. I mean, we can wait for Mrs. Wainwright if you’re not comfortable . . .”

“No . . .” Liz shook her head and Max bit at his lower lip, feeling crestfallen. She didn’t want him to kiss her? Oh god, he wanted to kiss her so bad, but if she didn’t want him to, then he wouldn’t, even if it was killing him not to –

“. . . I’m not uncomfortable,” Liz finished.

“Oh,” Max let his breath out and then gave her a tentative smile. “Um . . . maybe we should start over . . .”

“Okay,” Liz swallowed and dropped her eyes. She wasn’t sure what to make of what just happened. Maybe it didn’t mean anything at all. Maybe it meant he wanted to kiss her, like he said. Maybe it meant he was only going to kiss her because he was supposed to, like he said. What was he trying to say?

“So, you’re first,” Max took a step back, putting some space between them.

Liz nodded, concentrated on the pages of the book, and started over. “Wilt thou be gone?”

Just then a scraping noise sounded behind them and they both turned to see Miranda and Juan pushing a bed out onto the stage. Liz looked up at Max and then quickly away, not wanting him to see the look on her face. Was Mrs. Wainwright actually going to have them get . . . on . . . the . . . bed . . . ? Together? Well, she knew that scene was in the play, she’d been expecting it, but to actually have to do the scene was different than just thinking about it. Oh my!

Max’s eyes were glued to the bed. Holy shit! He was really going to get on a bed with Liz Parker. And everyone was gonna see it, and everyone was gonna know it, and everyone was gonna see that his body knew it too!

“Right here is good,” Miranda instructed and the bed came to a stop. “Thanks Juan. You can run along now. Thanks for your help. See you tomorrow in class.”

Juan jumped off the stage and headed for the doors and the three people left on the stage didn’t notice Michael slipping inside the door before it closed. He hid back in the shadows, so Max couldn’t see him.

“Well,” Miranda beamed a smile at them, “shall we give this scene a go? Do you know your lines?"

“Yes,” they both said at the same time, and Max looked at Liz out of the corner of his eye. Didn’t she just say a minute ago that she didn’t have it memorized yet? Maybe it hadn’t been his imagination that the book fell open to that page after all. He had to fight the smile that wanted to spread over his face.

“Liz,” Miranda took her by the elbow and led her to the right side of the bed. “Lay down here, with your head on the pillow. Yes, just like that. Yes. Good.”

Max watched, with his eyes glued to Liz. He couldn’t not watch her.

“Now let’s just drape your hair over your chest like this,” Miranda went on and noticed the color rise in the girl’s cheeks. She smiled and teased, “We’ll have your hair be a little wild! How’s that sound? After all, you just spent a passion filled night with your new husband!”

Liz felt her cheeks flaming red, and wondered if somehow Mrs. Wainwright had peeked into her dreams.

“Yes, now you look perfect!” Miranda gushed. “Suitably ravished for a new bride!” Max was biting on his lip, trying not to laugh, when Miranda turned on him and announced, “Your turn!” She took him around to the left side of the bed, saying, “Now we want Romeo to lay by his bride. On your stomach.”

Max knelt on the bed trying to avoid looking at Liz. He thought he’d probably lose it if he looked at Liz. Oh god, he wanted to look at Liz. “Yes, like that,” Miranda instructed. “Closer. Closer. Get a little closer to her Max. Max,” Miranda got up next to his ear, “she’s your bride. Get a little closer.”

Max did as he was told and found himself mere inches from Liz. He tried not to react, but he was damn glad he was lying on his stomach.

“Now, the scene starts with you both asleep. Liz? Lift your chin up and turn your face toward Max. Max, you should be facing her . . . oh, yes, I like that,” Miranda approved of Romeo tucking his head under Juliet’s chin. “Now put your arm like this . . .” She moved back to the right side of the bed and lifted his arm, draping it across her chest and bringing his hand over to join Liz’s. She was pleased to see the way their fingers intertwined without any prompting from her. “Is that comfortable for you Liz?”

Liz nodded, not trusting herself to speak. Max was breathing against her throat! His arm was resting across her chest! Across her chest! Wait. She wasn’t sure if that part was good, or bad!

“Max?” Miranda asked. “Are you okay with this?”

“Yeah,” Max tried not to let his voice crack. His arm was across Liz’s chest! He ventured a look at her and she was staring right at him. Oh God!

“Now let’s see how this works. If at any time either of you are feeling uncomfortable, just let me know. We want to feel a sense of intimacy in this scene, of two lovers, but only within your comfort zones.”

“Okay,” Max and Liz said at the same time, and then looked at each other.

“Very good,” Miranda smiled. She was quite pleased. “Now Max, you will be the first to wake. You will slowly open your eyes and look at your Juliet, remembering your night of passion. You will kiss her gently, not wanting to wake her and then stretch and rise from the bed. Go over to the window and ponder the coming day, and then Juliet awakes, and your dialogue begins. Whenever you’re ready. . .”

Max nuzzled his nose into Liz’s throat, just like he had wanted to do earlier today, and his eyes drifted closed in bliss. God, her skin was so soft, and she smelled so good, and her hair was like a bed of silk. He could feel the rise of her breast against his arm and he was certain he had never been closer to heaven. It was only with great reluctance that he moved from this perfect spot.

He slowly lifted his head and his hand drifted up her arm, touching her skin with tender caresses. He looked deeply into her face, gazing at her sleeping form with love shining in his eyes, and then he moved closer, touching his lips to hers. He parted from her with great effort and rolled over to sit on the side of the bed. He stretched as he rose to his feet, and then slowly walked the short distance to the imaginary window.

“Wilt thou be gone?” Liz said softly and shifted on the bed. Her heart was still racing from the feel of his lips a moment ago.

Max turned from the ‘window’ to see her, and he didn’t have to fake his look of adoration. Her hair was wild around her face, and her cheeks were full of color. Her eyes were staring into his and he couldn’t look away.

“It is not yet near day,” Liz continued. “It was the Nightingale and not the Lark that pierc’d the fearful hollow of thine ear. Nightly she sings on yond Pomegranate tree. Believe me, Love,” Liz held out her hand for him. “It was the Nightingale.”

“It was the Lark,” Max took her hand and sat back down on the bed, “the hearld of the morn, no Nightingale,” he shook his head. “Look, Love,” his eyes darted toward the window, “what envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.” Turning back to her, he sighed, “Night candles are burnt out and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops. I must be gone and live,” he leaned in and kissed her reverently, then pressed his forehead to hers, “or stay and die.”

His breath was labored as he looked into her eyes, hanging on her next words, waiting for a chance to kiss her again. He had to force himself to move away, to stay within the confines of the play.

“Yond light is not daylight, I know it, I,” Liz said as he rose from the bed and crossed to the window again. “It is some meteor that the sun exhales, to be to thee this night a torch bearer, and light thee on thy way to Mantua. Therefore stay yet,” she held her arms out to him, “thou needst not to be gone.”

Miranda could see the air forcefully expelled from his lungs as ‘Romeo’ surrendered to her invitation. He rushed back to the bed, into her outstretched arms, kissing her as he proclaimed, “Let me be ta’en; let me be put to death,” his words were punctuated by kisses reining over her face. “I am content, so thou wilt have it so. I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye; ‘tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s Brow.” His lips kissed a trail of fire down her throat, feeling her labored breath against his ear. “Nor that is not the Lark whose notes do beat the vaulty heaven so high above our heads.”

He tore his lips away from her throat then, and kissed her mouth deeply before ceding, “I have more care to stay, than will to go.” His hands cupped her face as he kissed her again, and then he smiled down at her, “Come, Death, and welcome; Juliet wills it so.”

Michael stood in the shadows watching the scene play out in front of him. His sense of foreboding grew as he took in the sight, of Max reacting in a way he had never seen before. The Max Michael saw now was without his usual reservation, without bounds, without his iron control.

The Max he saw up on that stage was unbridled and unrestrained . . . and unacceptable.

Come back next Tuesday (?) for the next part.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 23-Jul-2002 11:52:47 PM ]
posted on 24-Jul-2002 12:37:38 AM by Breathless
Just a clarification, Liz doesn't know yet. Alex hasn't told her. He was ready to tell her at lunch, but then Max showed up and he changed the subject to talk about a singer for his band instead.

posted on 31-Jul-2002 12:18:19 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: Still thinking . . .

Author note: Hummmm. It seems everyone is tired of Michael butting in. Well, he’ll get his due. The only question is when! In the mean time, how much trouble can he cause . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 23

Liz led Max through the Crashdown and up the stairs to her apartment, and he was still feeling the butterflies in his stomach from the intensity of the scene they had practiced after school. All the kissing, all the touching, all the laying on the bed had really gotten him worked up. He could still feel the softness of her skin on his lips, still smell her arousing scent all around him, still feel the rise and fall of her breast as they lay together on the bed – and then her mother came out of the kitchen and those butterflies kicked up a storm. He was certain Mrs. Parker was reading his mind, and knew what he was thinking.

“What’s up, honey?” Nancy asked innocently, and Max felt his cheeks start to burn. Nancy had noticed Liz had been spending a fair amount of time with this boy lately, and she wondered if something was developing between them. He seemed like a nice boy. Well mannered and polite.

“Mom,” Liz kept walking. “You remember Max, don’t you?”

“Yes, hello Max,” Nancy smiled at him. She’d seen him in the Crashdown for years.

“Hello, Mrs. Parker,” Max said politely.

“Liz? Is this the young man whose jack –”

“We’ve really gotta go, Mom,” Liz cut her off and ushered Max ahead of her. “My shift starts at 6:00. We don’t have a lot of time.”

Nancy smiled to herself as the two kids disappeared down the hall. Now she had a pretty good idea whose jacket Liz had been wearing all around the house since Saturday.

“What was that all about?” Max asked as he entered Liz’ room. He was feeling funny and nervous and he went out of his way not to look over at her bed. Okay, he looked. Looked again. Again. Damn.

“Nothing,” Liz shook her head. She came up beside him, looking at him closely and said, “Max?”

“Yeah?” his voice cracked and he had to clear his throat. “Yeah?”

“Are you okay?” she asked with concern. “You look a little flushed.”

“I’m fine. Just fine. Fine . . .” He couldn’t stop looking over at her bed. She slept there every night. Dreaming. Right there. In that bed. Good god almighty, his eyes opened wider, was that what he thought it was? Lying right there? Was that her –

“Good,” Liz smiled, and then looked over at her bed, wondering if she had remembered to make it this morning. Her eyes grew wide and her cheeks flamed red when she saw what was right there, right in the blessed middle of her bed. Damn! Her bra! Her barely a B-cup bra! Her little white sensible cotton bra! Why couldn’t it be the red lacy one? God! She raced across the room and grabbed it, while Max turned away and looked down at the floor, pretending he hadn’t seen and trying to hide the grin on his face.

“So, um,” Max slipped his hands into his front pockets, darting looks at Liz while she moved around her room. “We have that big test in Biology on Friday.” He wandered around, touching things on her desk and then her dresser. He noticed a picture there, of Liz and Maria and Alex. They’d been best friends forever, and Max had always wished he could be a part of it.

“Yeah,” she appeared beside him, with one hand on the handle of the top drawer of her dresser. She looked like she was hiding something against her leg, and Max was pretty sure he knew what it was. He glanced away and she opened the drawer quickly, stuffed the bra inside and closed it even faster, but Max still got a peek inside.

Wow, he grinned. Lingerie! The top drawer was filled with lots and lots of lingerie!

“It shouldn’t be too hard,” Liz propped her elbow on the dresser top and brushed her fingers nervously through her hair.

“What?” Max blurted out and felt his cheeks burning again.

“The test,” Liz stood up straight trying to stop fidgeting. “The biology test.”

“Right,” Max took a breath. That kind of hard. “So,” he met her eyes again, “maybe we should study together on Thursday night. For the test.”

“Sure,” Liz folded her arms over her chest, then unfolded them, then folded them again.

Max could see a pulse point in her throat, throbbing to the beat of her heart, and it made his own pulse beat a little faster. Okay, a lot faster. Okay, really fast. He could admit it. She was making his pulse beat really fast. Her hand was on the dresser now, really close, and he thought it would be so easy to just lift his hand and cover hers. His hand moved, pulling free of his pocket, moving up toward hers, lifting up to – to scratch his head. Damn. Chicken shit!

It should be easier than this, Max scolded himself. He’d just spent the last hour kissing the daylights out of her at school, but now, when he wanted to do it for real, he couldn’t do it. Here he was in her room, alone with her, and he was reasonably certain that if he asked her if he could kiss her now, she wouldn’t refuse. At least he didn’t think she would. Should he ask her, or should he just do it?

Should he tell her how he felt about her first? Should he tell her he liked her, and then if she said she liked him back, then he could kiss her? Or should he kiss her first, and then tell her he liked her? He was nervous as hell, and his hands were feeling sweaty, and he was about to take the biggest plunge of his life.

“Liz . . .” he hesitated, picking at the grain in the wooden dresser top with his fingertip, and avoiding her eyes.

“What?” she looked from his face to his hand, so close to hers on the dresser. He was almost touching her. Almost.

“I . . .”

I want to bend you over backwards and kiss you ‘til tomorrow.

“I . . .”

I want to carry you over to that bed and do to you what Romeo did to Juliet.

“I . . .”

I want to make your hair look wild and your lips look puffy, and put that rosy afterglow in your cheeks.

“I . . .” he looked up and met her eyes. “I better go so you can get ready for work.”

Oh Christ, he berated himself. He was pathetic.

“Yeah,” Liz looked down at her watch. Her shift was going to start in a few minutes. “Let me get your jacket.”

“Hey, Liz,” Jeff Parker knocked on his daughter’s door. “Are you decent?”

“Yeah, Dad,” Liz called out. “Come on in.”

“Have you got a min – oh . . . Max, right? I didn’t know you were here. Am I interrupting?”

“I was just leaving,” Max stood stiffly, hoping Mr. Parker didn’t know about all the things he wanted to do to his daughter. Liz took his jacket out of her closet and crossed her bedroom to give it to him. He took it from her hand and shyly smiled, saying, “Thanks.”

“Thank you for letting me borrow it,” Liz smiled back, trying to ease his awkwardness at having her father right there.

“So . . . I’ll see ya later,” he looked from her dad to Liz, knowing he’d lost his chance yet again. One of these days he wasn’t going to chicken out.

“Bye, Max,” she couldn’t take her eyes off him.

“Bye, Liz,” he backed out slowly and then disappeared down the hallway.

* * * * *

Michael watched from the Crashdown kitchen as Max came down the stairs with a big sappy grin on his face. Just looking at him, it was obvious Liz hadn’t gotten the word yet. He didn’t want to see Max hurt, but keeping their secret was paramount. They didn’t know how they got here, or why, and until they learned those answers, they had to stay together, and stay away from humans. Max used to know that.

“Hey, Michael,” Max grinned at him when he saw him standing in the doorway. “You working tonight?”

“Yeah,” Michael nodded. “You hanging out here tonight?”

“Nah, I have to go home.” He followed Michael into the kitchen and watched from the doorway as Michael went back to the grill.

“So what were you doing?” Michael checked on the fries in the deep fryer.

“Me?” Max raised his eyebrows. “You mean upstairs?”

“Yeah,” Michael rolled his eyes. “You. Upstairs. Liz. What the hell were you doing?” He was still upset over what he had seen after school, in the auditorium. Liz and Max on stage together. Only bad could come of it. His anger caused a burst of power to surge through his hand and down into the fryer, and the boiling oil spit high into the air. Michael hissed out in pain as it burned his cheek and splashed on his hand.

“Jesus, Michael,” Max hurried over to him, looking around hastily to see if anyone else noticed. “Are you alright?” His brow was creased in concern and he gasped when he saw the skin blistering on his friend’s face. “Hold still, Michael,” Max held his chin firmly. He peeled Michael’s hand away and gently covered the burn with his palm. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

Alex stopped in his tracks outside the kitchen with a stunned look on his face. Was that Max? Had he just heard Max say ‘I don’t want to hurt you’? He peeked around the door jam into the kitchen and he saw a sight he never would have believed before today. Max’s hand was cupping Michael’s face, in a very intimate way. His eyes bugged out as Max leaned forward, and Alex took a step back so they wouldn’t see him. Were they kissing, right there in the kitchen?

“I’m sorry,” Max said as he healed Michael’s cheek. “Did I upset you?” He could tell Michael was mad about something, and it was usually either something Max had done, or hadn’t done, depending on Michael’s mood.

“I saw you, with Liz. After school,” he said accusingly.

“Michael, you know how I feel,” Max sighed. He was tired of apologizing for being in love with Liz. It was time Michael and Isabel got used to it. He wanted Liz to be a part of his life, if she would have him, but he didn’t want to lose Michael either. He was like a brother. “I don’t want her to come between us.”

Alex couldn’t resist the urge to peek into the kitchen again and this time Max had Michael’s hand between his, holding it. Holy shit! Max was holding Michael’s hand!

“Is that better?” Max asked, tilting his head to look at the spot on Michael’s cheek were the burn used to be, while he healed the burn on the back of Michael’s hand.

Oh God! Alex cringed from across the room. Max was tilting his head like he was going in for another kiss! Oh Crap! He didn’t want to see that! He tried to quietly back away, but he bumped into the mop that was leaning against the wall. It clattered to the floor and Max and Michael shot a look in his direction.

Max looked instantly guilty, wondering if Alex had seen him using his powers. Michael assessed the situation quickly, turning it to his advantage. He lifted his arm and draped it over Max’s shoulder, giving him a buddy-buddy hug.

“Hey Alex,” Michael said nonchalantly. “What’s going on?”

“I . . . I was just . . . looking for Liz. Yeah, I was looking for Liz.”

“She’s upstairs,” Max tried to act normal.

“Thanks,” Alex back peddled and headed for the stairs.

“Do you think he saw anything?” Max asked worriedly.

“Nah,” Michael shook his head and tried not to smile. “He didn’t see anything.”

* * * * *

Liz was just finishing tying her apron around her waist when she heard the knock on her door. She smoothed her hair with her hands and picked up a ponytail holder from the bowl on her dresser and shouted, “Who is it?”

“Alex,” he opened the door a crack and asked, “Are you decent?”

“Why does everyone keep asking me that?” Liz laughed lightly and then raised her voice. “Yeah, come on in.” She turned to him with a wide smile, but the look on his face made it disappear fast. With sudden concern, she asked, “Alex? What is it? What’s wrong?”

“Liz,” he stepped into her room and closed the door. “I think we need to talk.”

* * * * *

Liz hovered in the doorway of the restaurant kitchen watching Michael as he cooked. What she’d heard tonight was the biggest shock of her life, a crushing blow that she was still reeling from, but Alex would never lie to her. And as much as she wished it was just some delusion or a bad dream, Alex had seen it with his own two eyes, right in this very kitchen just a couple of hours ago

The tragedy of it all was finally sinking in and now that the restaurant was finally slowing down, she thought they would have a moment to talk. This was going to be one of the hardest conversations she’d ever had. She hesitantly moved forward and when Michael glanced up to see her, she almost lost her nerve. Maria was right. He was scary.

“The order’s not ready,” Michael said as he flipped the lone burger on the grill.

“I didn’t come in here for the order,” Liz found it hard to look him in the eye.

“Then why are you here?” he asked sternly.

“I . . . I want . . .”

“Spit it out if you want to talk to me,” Michael said irritably. “I haven’t got all night.”

What did Max see in him, she wondered? He was rude and insulting and mean and –

“Well?” he stared at her.

“I just wanted to say I know about you and Max, and I’m sorry if I-”

“You can’t tell him that you know,” Michael interrupted her, reacting quickly to what she said. Alex must have finally told her. “We’ve been keeping it a secret for years and now is not the time to come out of the closet. It would make him feel really bad if he knew you knew the secret. Please, Liz . . .”

“I won’t say anything,” Liz promised. She would never do anything to hurt Max.

“Thanks,” Michael had to fight hard to keep his face straight. And Isabel said his plan would never work. Ha! She’d keep Max at arms length now and once he felt her cooling off toward him, Max would back off. He wouldn’t keep pursuing her if she was giving him the cold shoulder.

Finally, their age old problem of what to do about Max had been laid to rest.

* * * * *

Liz tossed and turned and finally gave up the idea of trying to go to sleep. Today had gone from the best day of her life, to the worst. She’d gotten up this morning excited about a new day, and the prospect of seeing Max. In Biology this morning he’d acted so . . . so . . . Interested in her and she’d even been foolish enough to think they had made plans for a date. On Saturday! How naive was that?

All this time, all these months and . . . and . . . years of dreaming about him, and mooning over him, feeling herself falling in love with him, and she never had a chance. Not even remotely. No wonder he wanted to be ‘just friends’. No wonder he said that ‘almost’ kiss at his house had been just a mistake on his part. He’d gotten carried away in the moment, but then he’d come to his senses. And those things Isabel had said that day, when she’d made him go upstairs with her. Now it made sense. So many things made sense.

Max and Michael. She could see all the signs now as clear as day, how could she have never seen it before? Max never dated. Michael never dated. She’d never seen either one of them with a girl, other than Isabel and she didn’t count. They hung out together all the time, just the two of them, and now she could understand the secretive looks that had always passed between them. They were inseparable, and always had been.

How was she going to face Max now, knowing what she knew? What could she say to him? Should she pretend that nothing was different? But it was different and she didn’t think that she could fake that it wasn’t. Max, the love of her life, the man of her dreams, the only boy she had ever cared about, was in love with another guy.

* * * * *

Max stared up at his bedroom ceiling with his hands behind his head and a huge grin on his face. He couldn’t sleep, but that was okay. It gave him more time to think about Liz. What a day it had been! Maybe the best of his life so far!

He’d been so excited to see her this morning and in Biology she’d been so open and the way she looked at him made him dizzy, and he was pretty sure she had agreed to go on a date with him on Saturday! They’d had a great time at lunch together, and then the best part happened. After school. Lots and lots of kisses after school! Sure, it was because of the play, but he’d still gotten lots and lots of kisses!

And he’d even gotten to nuzzle her throat, and lay his face in her hair, and put his arm across her . . . well, put his arm across her. All of him was happy about that! And the way she kissed him, and looked at him, and talked to him. He was one happy Romeo.

Only one thing marred the day. He’d chickened out in her room, and then her dad walked in and he lost his chance to tell her exactly how he felt about her. But tomorrow was another day. Maybe tomorrow he’d get up the nerve to tell her everything, and then maybe he wouldn’t have to live with just his fantasies anymore.

Come back next Tuesday to see what happens next!
posted on 6-Aug-2002 5:27:41 PM by Breathless
Just a bump to help me find it later . . .
posted on 7-Aug-2002 12:17:43 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: Currently still PG 13

Author note: Well it looks like many of you want Michael to suffer. Believe me, he’ll get his comeuppance, but first we have to get through this part. I told my muse that this is the last angsty part, at least as far as Max and Liz go. Michael? Well, he might have to suffer for awhile after what he’s done. I’ve been told you’re gonna hate Michael even more after this part, and I apologize in advance for any gay stereotypes portrayed here. It’s not intended of offend.

Posted in 2 sections due to board restrictions . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 24

Poor Max, Liz thought, watching him through the diamond shaped window from the back room of the café. He was sitting in his usual booth, studying his homework over the Spaghetti and Space Balls Wednesday Special, and hiding what he was from the world. That was no kind of life. He should embrace who he was, and not let secrets suffocate him. She’d always known he was hiding something, but she’d had no idea it was this. She’d always thought he and Isabel must have suffered some trauma as children that led to their being abandoned in the desert. She thought that was the secret that he hid.

Now that she knew the truth, it was so much worse than she expected. Overcoming a childhood trauma, and learning to cope with it, and live with it, that was one thing. But this secret of his was something else entirely. This secret meant they could never be together, never share the things she had always wanted to share with him. None of her dreams were realistic anymore.

How could she ever expect him to be what she’d always thought of him as? The man of her dreams. The love of her life. The one. The only one. All those fantasies were gone now, obliterated like a puff of smoke on the wind.

She knew she’d been withdrawn these last couple of days, ever since she found out his secret and she’d seen the questioning in his eyes. ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘What did he do?’ ‘Why was she so distant?’ The truth was, it was hard to pretend that everything was the same when her whole world was crumbling around her.

* * * * *

Max sat in his usual booth, drinking his usual drink, nibbling on his usual meal, but not feeling much of an appetite. He was making notes for his English paper but finding it almost impossible to concentrate. He could feel Liz pulling further and further away. He didn’t know what he had done to make her become so distant from him and he spent most of his time racking his brain trying to figure it out. He’d looked for Alex, to see if he knew what was wrong because he knew Liz told him everything. They were best friends. That’s what best friends did, but Alex had been MIA lately.

He hadn’t even considered talking to Maria. Whatever problem Liz had, Maria had it too. He could see it in her eyes when she looked at him, like he had done something wrong.

A shadow fell across the table and Max looked up quickly, hoping it was Liz. His pulse began to hammer in his veins when he saw her and he felt his palms begin to sweat. Her eyes locked on his and then quickly looked away, and Max filled with a surge of panic, wondering if somehow she had found out about him. Could that be why she was avoiding him? There was something about her eyes that screamed ‘I know your secret’. What was he going to do? Should he try to explain what he was? But how? He didn’t know what he was! And how did she find out? Had she sensed something in him when they kissed earlier in the week and somehow put it all together? Oh God! This was just the kind of thing Michael was afraid of.

“Is there anything else you’d like?” Liz asked and then added, “We’ll be closing in a few minutes.”

“No, I’m fine,” Max answered. What else should he say? If she knew or suspected something, he needed to talk to her about it. If she didn’t know, then starting a conversation about aliens on earth probably wasn’t a good idea. What should he do?

“Well, I’ve got to go clean up,” Liz pointed back over her shoulder.

“Okay,” Max felt the strain between them. “I’ll just wait for Michael, if that’s alright.”

“Sure,” Liz looked at him and tried to hide her broken heart.

Michael watched his handiwork from the pass-through window, gloating over the scene he was witnessing out there in the restaurant. Wait until he told Isabel about this! By the look on her face, Liz appeared to had given up Max completely and Max looked like he was taking a step back, putting up that wall between them again. Excellent! He knew his plan was going to work! He never had a doubt in his mind, no matter what Isabel said.

Liz stared down at Max, desperately wanting what Alex had told her to be a lie, but she knew he wouldn’t have said it that if it wasn’t true. She just had to give up the idea of ever being with Max, the way she had always dreamed. That was never going to happen now, but if she couldn’t have him ‘that’ way, maybe they could at least be friends, just like he had said before.

“Liz?” he called out as she started to turn away. “Do you have time to sit down?” Max asked hopefully. “Just for a minute?”

“Sure, for a minute,” Liz smiled self-consciously and lowered herself down into the seat directly across from him. She smiled shyly and then tried to think of something neutral to say. “Max . . . well, about this Saturday . . .”

“Oh yeah,” Max said eagerly. “I’ll pick you up after I get off work, right?” They hadn’t talked much in the last couple days, and he silently prayed for her not to change her mind. He would just die if she changed her mind.

“Sure,” Liz replied and then worried at her lower lip. Saturday? He still wanted to practice on Saturday? Well of course he did. His sexual preference didn’t effect their class assignments. They had a play to prepare for.

“I was thinking,” Max said before he thought it through. “Maybe we could watch a movie or something afterwards,” he suggested and then the look on her face made him think twice. “I mean, rent a video or something . . .” What did that look mean?

“Sure,” Liz said again, biting back her surprise. “As long as you think Michael won’t mind.”

“Michael?” Max didn’t get that. What did Michael have to do with anything? Shaking it off, he tried to make his words sound light, “Don’t worry about Michael. He’ll be glued to his TV watching hockey.”

“Okay,” Liz smiled back. “Maybe we could stop at the video store after school tomorrow.”

“Sure,” Max smiled in agreement. He didn’t know what had caused the riff between them the last two days, but maybe it was over now, and things could get back to normal. Maybe Liz just suffered PMS every once in a while, too, just like Isabel, but she was talking to him again now, and that filled him with a sense of relief, even though he still wondered why things had been so strained between them.

There was one other nagging question that he couldn’t think of a reasonable answer to. Why did Liz think Michael might mind if they watched videos together on Saturday?

* * * * *

Finished with his shift, Michael left the kitchen and barreled through the door into the restaurant. His long strides took him quickly across the floor and his large presence loomed over the booth Max and Liz were sitting in. He saw the startled, and then guilty look Liz sent his way, and he smiled inwardly. Liz had bought the whole thing, hook, line and sinker. Ha!

“Well,” she rose to her feet quickly, “I need to finish cleaning up.” She looked from Michael, to Max, and then back to Michael, with her mind conjuring up the image of them locked in a passionate kiss. Did Max make Michael feel things too, like the things she felt when Max touched her? Or when he kissed her?

So,” Max grabbed his leather jacket and slid out of the booth. Looking down at Liz, he said, “Tomorrow, after school we’ll go to the video store, and then we’ll come back here, to study for the test.”

“Video store?” Michael turned a look at Liz.

“Well, we, um . . .” Liz stammered.

“Liz and I have rehearsal on Saturday,” Max cut in, noticing how Michael was making Liz uncomfortable. Why did he always go out of his way to do that? Michael better just get used to her being around, and quit acting like such a jerk. “We thought we’d watch a movie afterwards.”

“Oh?” Michael raised an eyebrow.

Max saw a look pass between Michael and Liz and then he pressed on, giving Michael a warning look. “I told her you wouldn’t mind.”

“No, I don’t mind,” Michael fought to keep a neutral face. Max walked right into that one.

“Good,” Max gathered his books together and tossed his jacket across his arm. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Liz,” he smiled down at her and then walked backwards out the door, staring at her until he got outside. Liz watched him through the window as he headed toward his jeep.

“Damn, I think it’s gonna rain,” Max held his palm up, feeling a drop of moisture. He held his books out to Michael and asked, “Will you hold these for a sec?” Michael took the books and Max slipped into his jacket before taking them back.

“Wait,” Michael reached out and adjusted Max’s collar. He could still see Liz in the window, watching them, and he wasn’t one to let an opportunity pass him by. He lifted his hand and tousled Max’s hair, teasing, “I can’t take you anywhere. You can’t even dress yourself.”

“Get your hands off me, you freak!” Max laughed and shoved Michael backwards. He was definitely in a much better mood now than he was earlier. Liz was talking to him again and everything seemed to be good again.

* * * * *

Liz turned the key in the lock and flipped the switch to turn off the lights to the Crashdown sign above the restaurant doors. She turned and leaned back against it, letting out a deep sigh. She’d seen it with her own eyes now, the intimate way Michael touched him, and Max’s smiling response. A week ago, she never would have guessed that Max was gay. He seemed so . . . virile . . . so manly . . . so male. How could he be a sissy boy?

She instantly scolded herself for thinking in stereotypes. That was just wrong. Just because Max was gay didn’t change who he was. He was still the sweet, sensitive boy that she’d always known. She couldn’t help the feelings she had for him, and even knowing that there was no chance for them now, she was still hopelessly in love with him.

Her heart ached as she thought about him locked in an embrace with Michael. There was no way she could compete with that. The most she could ever hope for now was to have Max’s friendship in her life. Maybe they could do their hair together, or go shopping at the mall, or go to chick flicks. Or maybe she should just think about becoming a nun now, since the only man she would ever want to share her bed, was rocking the boat with another guy.

“Why the long face?” Maria asked as she put the last chair up on the last table. “What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing,” Liz sighed and pushed off from the door.

“Something,” Maria countered. A knowing look crossed her face and she said sympathetically, “It’s Maxie boy, isn’t it?”

“Don’t call him that, Maria,” Liz said dejectedly.

“As soon as he transferred into Drama, we should have known. It was a dead give away.”

“What are you talking about, Maria?” Liz frowned.

“C’mon,” Maria threw her arm around her friend’s shoulder and they walked together to the back room. This definitely called for ice cream and commiserating. It wasn’t everyday that you found out the love of your life was batting with the boys. Opening the freezer in the kitchen, she asked, “Hot fudge sundaes or banana splits?”

“No bananas,” Liz shook her head rapidly. “I don’t want to look at any bananas.”

“Okay,” Maria tried to suppress a laugh. Taking out the ice cream, she smiled, “Hot fudge sundaes it is!”

“Why did you say that, about Drama and how we should have known?” Liz asked as she grabbed two bowls.

“You said he was a natural in class, right? Like he came out of his shell and really got into it.”

“Right,” Liz nodded.

“Well,” Maria looked at her like it was so obvious. “It’s that Hollywood thing.”

“What Hollywood thing?” Liz was totally lost.

“All of Hollywood is gay. You know that, right?”

“It is not!” Liz laughed at the absurdity of it.

“Yes!” Maria insisted. “Everybody knows it! They’re all gay!”

“Maria! They are not!”

“Tom Cruise? Gay. Nicolas Cage? Gay. Keanu Reeves? Gay!” She pointed the ice cream scoop at Liz and declared, “Mel Gibson – Gay.”

“Mel Gibson is not gay!” Liz shot back. “He has like a million kids!”

“Okay, I’ll give you Mel,” Maria backed down. “One straight arrow in a barrel full of fruit.”

Be right back with the rest of it . . .

posted on 7-Aug-2002 12:19:17 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 24 con’t

Max pulled into the school parking lot the next morning and brought the jeep to a screeching halt. He switched off the ignition and without a word he jumped down to the ground with his long strides carrying him across the pavement. He had one destination in mind, and one person he wanted to see.

“Max,” Isabel called out from her side of the jeep.

“What?” Max turned around impatiently. He didn’t need to look at a watch to know how late it was and he was going to miss Liz if he didn’t hurry.

“I . . .” she stared at him, not knowing how to tell him. Guilt was eating at her alive, guilt over her support of Michael’s stupid plan to keep him apart from Liz. He’d been miserable these last few days, ever since Alex told Liz the awful lie, and she hated seeing her brother this way. He’d been moping around like he lost his best friend, and in a way she guessed he had. There was no denying the fact that he’d always wanted Liz Parker, that he was only really happy when he was around her, and the last few days just proved that. Maybe it wouldn’t be so wrong –

“Isabel, I have to go,” Max grumbled irritably.

“Ma –” Isabel started to call him but he had already turned away. She climbed from the jeep and watched him disappear into the school, unable to keep up with his quick pace. She knew where he was going, and it was just a matter of time before the shit hit the fan.

* * * * *

“Richard Gere? Gay. Tom Selleck? Gay. Russell Crowe -”

“Maria!” Liz laughed as they made their way through the halls of West Roswell High. When was she going to stop? “You’re making all this up!”

“You know,” Maria shook her head with a slight frown furrowing her brow. “I couldn’t understand it at first. There’s so much chemistry between you and Max, no way could he be gay –”

“Chemistry?” Liz blurted out. Maria thought they had chemistry?

“Oh God, yes,” Maria exclaimed. “The looks you two give each other could melt things.”

“But . . .” Liz was confused.

“But then I got to thinking about those old romantic comedies we used to watch, remember? Doris Day and Rock Hudson? They had chemistry coming out their ears, but he was gay.”

“Oh,” Liz nodded, remembering.

“And look at Julia Roberts and Rupert Everett,” Maria continued. “Remember ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’? Their chemistry was sizzling on screen together, but he’s gay. That must be you and Max, too. It’s the only explanation I can come up with, because when he looks at you, I swear he looks like he wants to jump your bones.”

“But he’s jumping Michael’s instead . . .”

* * * * *

Max pushed his way through the halls, irritated that Isabel had made him late this morning. He wanted to talk to Liz before class started, and now he’d be lucky to make it to her locker before the first bell rang. With the big test they were preparing for tomorrow, he knew they wouldn’t get to talk much in class this morning. He hurried down the hall and much to his displeasure, he was stopped by Natalie Stevenson.

“Hi Max,” she stepped right in front of him, blocking his path.

“Hi,” Max tried to be polite. He thought she was in his 4th period math class, but he wasn’t sure. Did she have a question about math? “I, ah – I can’t talk right now. I’m late-”

“I just wanted to give you this,” she slipped a note into his hand.

“Okay, well, thanks, um, I’ll talk to you later.” Without a backwards glance, he hurried down the hall.

* * * * *

“Tom Hanks isn’t gay,” Maria said with her back pressing against the locker next to Liz. “At least I don’t think so, but he did have that TV show where he dressed up like a woman and wore a wig and fake boobs and –”

“Yes, Maria,” Liz shook her head as she bit back a snort. She was a who’s who of Hollywood knowledge.

“Now I know why Michael turned his nose up at me when you made me flirt with him that day in the hall,” Maria kind of changed the subject.

“Why?” Liz asked as she put her book in her locker.

“Well he’s gay,” Maria waved her hand in the air. Oops, she hadn’t changed the subject after all. “Well, I’ve gotta go. I’ll see you at lunch.”

“Bye Maria,” Liz shook her head as her friend walked away.

* * * * *

Max raced around the corner and he barreled right into a girl loaded down with an arm full of books that went crashing to the floor. Bending over, he quickly helped her pick them up, all the while craning his neck to see if Liz was anywhere in sight. Rising to his feet, he sighed in relief when he saw her up ahead and he shoved the books he was holding back into the girl’s hands, along with a folded slip of paper he had forgotten he was holding. Barely even glancing at the girl, he apologized, saying, “Sorry, I didn’t see you. Here you go.”

Taking off again, he chased after Liz, while the girl he’d bumped into rearranged her things. Her eyes grew wide when she saw the note that hunky Max Evans had given her, and she turned to her friends excitedly. “Max Evans just slipped me a note! Me! I can’t believe it!”

“What’s it say!” the other girls squealed.

The first girl opened it and her eyes flew open wide. “It’s his phone number!” she jumped up and down excitedly. “Max Evans gave me his phone number and it says to give him a call!”

Tommy Holden happened to overhear as he was passing by and he leaned over saying, “Let me see. What’s the number?” He’d had his eye on Max since 10th grade PE, but he always thought he was straight. Looking at the note, he saw the little hearts and flowers everywhere and smiled. Yep. Definitely gay. The rumors must be true! He copied the number down quickly and then swished his way off to class.

Max was oblivious to the commotion left in his wake as he raced after Liz. He reached her just as she closed her locker door and trying not to sound out of breath he said, “Hi Liz.”

“Oh, hi, Max,” Liz smiled up at him, somewhat startled by his sudden appearance. The butterflies in her stomach took flight and she scolded herself for her unrequited reaction to him. Would she ever be able to get over him?

“Um . . . about the video store, after school today –”

“If you and Michael are busy, it’s okay,” she said hurriedly.

“Me and Michael?” Max looked at her questioningly. Why was she always asking him about Michael lately? “Michael and I can do some guy stuff later,” he tried to joke and then his smile faltered when a strange look crossed her face. He cleared his throat and started over. “So, anyway, maybe we could get a couple of videos, make it a double feature. I’ll try to keep the popcorn in the bowl this time, and not down your shirt.”

Oh shit! He didn’t just say that, did he? Another comment about her chest? Oh God! Now he really wanted to look at her chest, because he was thinking about her chest. SHIT! He could feel his cheeks flaming.

“That was just a lucky shot that day,” Liz laughed and punched his arm lightly. She was embarrassed now, thinking about how she had reacted to his comment about her cleavage. As if he cared.

They fell into step side by side and headed off to their first class of the day. By lunch time, ‘Max Evans’ phone number was written all over both the girls and the boys bathroom walls.

* * * * *

Liz wandered the aisles trying to find a movie she thought he might like. She was holding three in her hand and flipping first one and then another over to read the back cover while she tried to decide. Wasn’t Bette Midler popular with gay guys? Would he like Beaches? Or what about For the Boys. It had Bette Midler and a whole bunch of guys in uniform. Maybe he’d like that.

Or what about The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert? Was Max a Queen? Did he like to dress up? With lipstick and blush? Dangly earrings and a wig? Did he wear a frilly robe around the apartment, waiting for Michael to come home? Maybe it would be better if she didn’t know the answers to these questions!

Max was wandering among the new releases but everything was pretty picked over. He spied a copy of A Knight’s Tale and he thought Liz might like that one. Had she seen it yet? He held on to it while he scanned for something else to go with it. When he asked her if she wanted to watch a double feature, she said her afternoon was wide open, so he thought he’d go for it. Anything to keep her near him.

Moving down the rows, his hand shot out and grabbed a copy of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as soon as he saw it. Now this was a good movie! He’d seen it at least ten times already, but he’d never watched it with Liz. He could just see it now, the two of them, sitting in his dark living room, close together on the couch as the scene where Yu Shu Lien watches the love of her life Li Mu Bai tragically die, well if it made her cry, he’d be there to comfort her. Definitely, he was taking this movie home tonight.

A few aisles over a cell phone rang. Natalie Stevenson reached into her pocket and answered it, with her face turning into a frown as she listened. “You’ve got the wrong number.” She pressed the disconnect button and put her phone away, wondering why people kept calling her and asking for Max Evans?

Maybe one more, Max thought, deciding to have plenty of movies for Liz to choose from. His eyes fell on a familiar face and since he knew how girls went nuts over Brad Pitt, he picked up The Mexican. Julia Roberts was in it too and she was easy to look at, if you could get past that huge mouth. It looked like she could swallow the state of Texas. Happy with his selection, he looked up, wondering where Liz had gotten to.

He smiled when he saw her across the store and he headed in her direction wondering what she was looking at. He didn’t think he’d ever been over in that part of the store before. He was so focused on her when he neared her that it took him a moment to realize what section she was in. His eyes opened wide when the titles he was looking at sunk in. The Crying Game? He rented that one once, before he knew what it was about, and he thought it might have scarred him for life! Looking at the other titles, his eyes started popping out. Men in Love? Chasing Amy? Wasn’t that about a . . . lesbian? What was Liz doing over here?

“Max, hi,” Liz smiled when she realized he was there. “What did you find?”

“A Knight’s Tale,” Max grinned at her. “It’s got that Heath Ledger in it,” and he raised his eyebrows at her. All the girls liked Heath Ledger.

Liz stared at him, wondering if he was letting slip his tastes in men. “What else?” she asked, trying to keep her tone normal.

“The Mexican,” Max rattled the box in front of her and smiled. “Brad Pitt.”

Wow. Max liked Brad Pitt, too? Looking at the third DVD in his hand, she asked, “And who do you have there?”

“This is one of my all time favorite movies,” he looked at the title in his hand. She could see by the soft look in his eyes that he held this movie in high esteem.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he nodded reverently.

She’d seen it once, and the love story in it had touched her heart. This was one of Max’s favorites? Hers too.

“What did you find?” Max asked.

“Nothing,” Liz said hastily. She backed up to the counter behind her and dropped the videos she was holding. Suddenly, they didn’t seem appropriate anymore.

“So, what should we get?” Max asked.

“This one,” Liz took Crouching Tiger out of his hand and Max couldn’t help the smile that lit his face. “And . . . boy, it’s a hard choice. How do you choose between Brad Pitt and Heath Ledger?”

“I know,” Max grinned and gave her that ‘knowing’ look. Liz took it the wrong way.

On the far side of the store a cell phone rang out, followed a minute later by the sound of an aggravated female voice. “This isn’t his number! Stop calling me!”

At the register, Liz watched Max as the clerk checked out their videos. She wished she could talk to him about his secret, tell him that she knew and he could be honest with her. Maybe it would be good for him to confide in someone instead of keeping it all locked up inside. It might hurt like hell to have to listen to him talk about his feelings for Michael –

“What?” Max said, breaking into her thoughts. He looked at her uncertainly, wondering what she was thinking about.

“What?” Liz looked at him, startled, and shook herself.

“It looked like you were going to ask me something,” Max said expectantly.

She stared at him for a long minute, wanting more than anything to tell him all that she knew, but she’d made a promise to Michael, and she was going to honor that promise, even if it killed her. “No,” she smiled. “I’m just looking forward to Saturday.”

“Me too,” Max smiled back.

Come back next Monday or Tuesday and watch the shit hit the fan! Or maybe even earlier . . .

posted on 13-Aug-2002 12:42:36 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: I’ll get back to you on that

Author note: Okay, here I am. Here I am. I won’t make you wait until tomorrow. For me, it’s still officially Monday as I post this.

Now, I have to tell mg_ros that Maria apologizes for calling Keanu gay! You were quite upset by that, but Maria had it on good authority that he was. She read it in a tabloid, and after all, those tabloid papers never lie!

So, I know you all are eager to see what happens next, so let’s get to it. Posted in two sections due to length . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 25

Max sat at the lab table in his Biology class staring at the notes Liz had sent him the night before, after their study session in the Crashdown. He would have preferred to study on her balcony, where they could have been alone, and maybe he could have gotten up the guts to talk to her about how he felt about her, but she wanted to study in the restaurant and he didn’t want to press it. Maybe Saturday, after rehearsal, or during the movies they rented. Maybe then he could tell her all the things he wanted to.

As he waited for her to show up for class, his thoughts drifted back to the last time they had watched a movie together, that day at his house when she came over to watch Romeo and Juliet. It was the closest he’d come so far to kissing her when it hadn’t been part of the play, when she would have known it was really him, and not just Romeo. His lips still burned from all the kisses they had shared, but he wanted her to know it was real, that it was him, Max Evans, that wanted to kiss her that way.

He could still hear the echo of her laughter ringing in his ears, and he pictured the popcorn falling on her head. He could still feel her hands tugging on his as she tried to stop him from tickling her. It had been a perfect moment, and only the kiss that he’d come so close to giving her would have made the moment better. He could still remember the feel of her body beneath him, her face so close he could feel the heat radiating from her, their hands joined together and their game turning into something . . . more. And then Isabel had come home and ruined the moment.

Would it be so bad? How could loving Liz lead to disaster the way Michael and Isabel claimed? How could something that felt so right be wrong? Yes, he and Liz were different, but everything about him on the outside appeared to be human. Granted, inside he was different, but outside, he didn’t think what he was would hurt Liz.

He’d kissed her and his saliva hadn’t burned her or made her glow or done any other weird thing to her as far as he could tell. His other . . . fluids, well, something like that happening between them was only a dream on his part, but even if by some miracle that were to ever happen, the proper protection should be enough to keep her safe. There was always the possibility that his species was the type to mate and kill, but he doubted it. Then again . . . maybe that was why Isabel, Michael and he were the only ones that existed.

Shaking that thought off, he wondered what would it hurt, to take the chance? What Michael and Isabel were afraid of was exposure, but Max was certain if he told Liz the truth, she wouldn’t turn them in. She wasn’t that type. He was sure of it, but it was only his gut feeling and not solid evidence that made him think that. But Michael and Isabel weren’t going to listen to his gut feeling. They weren’t willing to risk their lives by letting him tell Liz the secret, and until he had their approval, he felt trapped, like there was nothing he could do about it. It wasn’t just his life here. The three of them were linked together, and what affected one of them, affected them all.

“Hi, Max,” an overly friendly voice broke into his thoughts and a hand suddenly appeared, dropping a folded piece of paper onto the table in front of him.

He looked up suddenly and saw the smiling face of Manny Exposito and he returned his look with a quizzical half smile of his own. “Hi Manny.” Now that was just weird.

Manny took a seat in the row behind him and Max could feel his eyes boring into the back of his head. It had happened to him a lot lately, girls saying hi to him who had never talked to him before. Girls leaving notes in his locker, dropping notes on his desk, like this one. Girls slipping notes in his hand as he walked down the hall. But that was the first time a guy gave him a note. What was up with that?

Liz stood in the doorway watching Manny pass Max a note. All this time she had been in love with him and she never even had a chance. She felt stupid now, to think that she had once thought there could ever be something between them. Trying to hold her tortured emotions at bay, she skirted around him and took her seat beside him, just as Ms. Hardy entered the room.

“You made it,” Max looked at her in relief. He’d been afraid she wasn’t going to make it on time, or worse yet, not come to school at all. God, how he missed her when she wasn’t here.

“Yeah,” Liz smiled at him and removed her text and notebook from her backpack. As she settled in, her eyes kept drifting to the note on the table in front of him and finally she had to ask, “Aren’t you going to open that?”

“I guess so,” Max shrugged. He wasn’t really interested in anything Manny had to say to him, but he didn’t want to be rude either. He opened the note and read it and Liz couldn’t help darting looks in his direction. He wrote a quick reply and then turned on his stool to pass it back to Manny with an impassive look on his face. Liz couldn’t help wondering what it said, but this side of his life wasn’t any of her business. But it still was hard to watch.

Max could sense the tension in Liz and he leaned closer, asking, “Is anything wrong?”

“No,” Liz was quick to respond. She flashed that smile at him again and said with false buoyancy, “I’m fine. Everything’s fine. Everything’s great.” She settled in at the table and tried to keep her voice unemotional as she asked, “Did you get the notes? From yesterday?”

“Yes,” Max nodded, sensing the underlying tension. “I got ‘em. Thanks.”

“Sure,” Liz smiled quickly. She tried to shake off the depression that watching Manny flirt with Max had caused. Max couldn’t help what he was. If she wanted him in her life, she had to learn to accept him as he was.

“Okay boys and girls,” Ms. Hardy said from the front of the class. She walked to her desk and picked up a stack of papers and walked toward the first row of seats. “I hope all of you studied hard for this test. Put all your books and notes away. You have until class is complete to finish the test. If you finish early, bring it to the front and then you’ll be excused.”

“I hate it when she calls us boys and girls,” Liz mumbled under her breath.

“Me too,” Max smiled. He put away all his things and grabbed the tests as they were passed to him. He gave one to Liz and then turned around to pass the rest to Manny. Manny was pouting over Max’s note back to him declining his offer to ‘hang out’ on Saturday night, but Max didn’t even notice. Turning forward again, Max leaned slightly toward Liz and said, “Are you going-”

“Quiet! Quiet please!” Ms. Hardy said loudly from the front of the room. “No talking during the test.”

Max shrugged apologetically and mouthed the word ‘later’. Liz picked up her pencil and nodded, showing curiosity in her eyes before her false smile slipped back into place. She turned her attention back to the papers in front of her and Max tried to concentrate on the test too. The room was silent, except for the occasional cough or the creak of a desk when someone shifted position, or the rustle of papers as someone turned a page, or the sound of pencil lead scraping across the paper.

Max’s thoughts drifted, unable to focus on the test, and soon he was reliving what it had felt like when he kissed Liz for the first time, that night on her balcony. His eraser tapped against the paper, but he didn’t hear it. He was too caught up in what it had felt like to hold Liz, and then that exquisite moment when his lips touched hers. What if Isabel had never come home that Saturday, when he’d almost kissed Liz again? Would things be different today? Would he be walking through the halls holding her hand the way he had always dreamed, or stealing into the eraser room with her between classes? Would he be kissing her on her balcony every night, no longer having to pretend it was just for a part in a play?

But maybe Liz never wanted that. Maybe to her, that’s all it ever was, just a part in a play, and the things he’d felt when he kissed her had only been in his own mind, things he wanted her to feel. What about the things he had seen when he kissed her on the stage last week? Had those images really come from deep inside of her, memories he could somehow see? Or was it all just things his mind had fabricated?

The way she had avoided him recently, it was easy to believe that he had been wrong, that she didn’t feel anything for him, and probably never had. He –

His thoughts were interrupted when he heard her pencil roll across the table and fall to the floor. She started to slide from her stool, but it had rolled to his side and Max whispered, “I’ll get it.”

He slid from his stool and squatted down with his hand stretching out to close around the pencil. He noticed right away that the lead had broken and as he picked it up, he pinched it between his finger and his thumb to change it to a sharp point again. It only took a moment, but as he used his powers on the pencil, it opened a series of latent images that had been imbedded on the wood. He slammed back against the stool as the images overwhelmed him.

She had used this pencil last night while they were studying for this test. She had scribbled notes with it, notes that she later typed and emailed off to him. But it wasn’t the notes that had left a lasting image on the pencil. No, it was the tears she had shed after he went home that left the indelible impression. And it was the reason she was crying that was now shaking him to the very core. She had been crying because of him.

“Max?” Liz whispered. She reached down and gently touched him on the shoulder and he heard her ask, “Are you okay?”

Was he okay? He couldn’t answer that. Not yet. He needed time to assimilate everything he had seen. Everything he had felt. He looked up at her, speechless, as the images played out in his mind. She thought he wasn’t interested in her? She thought he thought their near kiss in his house had been a mistake? She thought he only wanted to be friends, just friends?

She thought she wasn’t good enough for him to possibly be interested in her? That she wasn’t pretty enough? That she wasn’t sexy enough? He wondered how she could think something like that, but the images told him how. He saw himself through her eyes, standing in the hall smiling at the girls that were flirting with him. He saw himself passing notes back to Chyna Prescott and Megan Fields, never realizing how that looked to Liz. He didn’t think anything of it, because none of it meant anything to him, but it had meant a lot to Liz. It had meant a lot . . . because . . . she . . .

She was in love with him?

He could see it all now. He could feel what she had gone through, when he’d almost kissed her at his house and then shut off his emotions after his argument with Isabel. When he’d come back down stairs and kept his distance from her, he hadn’t realized how that had hurt her. He had been trying to protect her from the uncertainties in his life, but he’d only hurt her in the process.

And then the girls had started showering him with attention, whether he wanted it or not. In her mind, he’d seen the image of her standing in the hallway, watching him as one girl after another vied for his attention, and in his attempt to be polite, she’d seen it as him eating up his new found status. Pam Troy. Chyna Prescott. Paula Holt. Liz thought he was interested in Paula Holt? Wait! Liz thought he’d been in the eraser room with Paula Holt? No! Never! The only girl he wanted to get in the eraser room was Liz!

How could he correct this? How could he let Liz know how he felt about her, but keep her safe at the same time? How could he shield her from what he was, without lying to her? And what about the truth? What if he told her the truth, and the hell with what Michael and Isabel thought? Would she be able to accept it? Would she be able to accept him? Would she still love him if she knew what he was? He felt her hand touch his shoulder and he jerked his head up to look at her.

“Max?” Liz whispered worriedly.

“I – I slipped,” he managed to whisper back.

“Are you alright? You look . . .” Stunned? Had he hit his head? Was he hurt?

“I’m fine-”

“Max?” Ms. Hardy was suddenly standing over him. “Is there a problem here?”

“No,” Max shook his head and slowly rose to his feet. “Her pencil fell. I was just getting it for her.”

“Get back to your tests,” Ms. Hardy eyed then both and then headed back to her desk.

Max returned to his place on the stool and his eyes were drawn back to Liz. She was still looking at him with concern, and something else too. He’d seen it there before, that special way she looked at him, and now he knew it for what it was. She, Liz Parker – girl of his dreams, was in love with him.

His hand slid across the table and she reached for the pencil he was handing back to her. Their eyes were locked on each other and hers flew open wide as he slipped the pencil into her outstretched hand and then wrapped his hand around hers. His eyes bore into hers as his fingers gently caressed her skin, holding her hand in his, refusing to let go until they heard the scraping of Hardy’s chair as their teacher rose to her feet again. Max reluctantly pulled his hand back and the two of them sat side by side at their table, with their eyes looking forward, staring blankly at the tests before them.

Ms. Hardy strolled down the aisles of the classroom, looking at test papers, keeping watch for problems, and when she reached Max and Liz it snapped them out of their haze. In an effort to stop thinking about what just had or hadn’t happened between them, Liz threw herself back into the test. Max, on the other hand, couldn’t concentrate at all. He wanted the class to end, so he could talk to her. To tell her . . .

Tell her what? That he was in love with her, too? That he’d always been in love with her? Could he finally tell her the truth?

The minutes ticked by like hours and while his eyes kept darting to her, her eyes were riveted to the test. It wasn’t long before she closed the test booklet and pushed back from the table. She set her pencil on the table, took the completed packet to the teacher and with her eyes staring at the tiles on the floor she returned to the table to get her things. She was afraid to look at Max, still confused by the way he had touched her, and the way he had been looking at her. Why would Max look at her that way?

Max watched her spellbound as she zipped her backpack closed and then her eyes briefly met his. ‘Good luck’, he saw her mouth the words and then with an uncertain smile she turned from him and left the room. He watched her go, and as the door closed behind her he broke out of his daze. He looked down at his own test and saw that it was only half way completed.

He struggled to write quickly, scribbling answers to the written questions and then he cursed silently when he broke the pencil lead in his haste. He grabbed the pencil that Liz had inadvertently left on the table, using it to quickly finish the written answers and then he waved his hand over the multiple choice ones, watching as circles magically appeared in a random pattern. He didn’t care if he failed the damn test, but Hardy would never let him out of the room if he tried to turn it in incomplete. It took far longer than he wanted it to, and as he scribbled the last answer, he rose to his feet, grabbed his backpack and hurried across the room. Ms. Hardy frowned slightly when she looked at the test, noting the sloppy work. He was usually impressively neat in his papers, with his handwriting clear and legible, but this effort was anything but.

She looked up at him questioningly and he asked in a quiet voice, “Can I go?”

She looked through the test once more and then finally nodded her head. Before she had a chance to say a word, Max was racing across the room and barreling through the door. It closed behind him with a loud report in the empty hallway and his head whipped in both directions wondering which way Liz had gone.

He rushed into the commons and then outside, but he couldn’t find her anywhere. In frustration he snapped the pencil he’d been holding in his tightly fisted hand, startling himself out of his agitation. Feeling guilty for breaking Liz’s pencil, he used his powers to seal the two halves together . . . and he got another flash.

He took a staggering step as he came out of the vision and his eyes opened wide in shock. His mind was still processing everything he’d seen, bits and pieces sailing at him at warp speed, and a new picture started to form. Alex coming to her room, taking her hands and leading her to her bed, talking to her gently . . . telling her . . . telling her . . .

In astonishment, Max cried out, “He told her WHAT?”

Back with the rest in a sec . . .

[ edited 4 time(s), last at 13-Aug-2002 1:25:02 AM ]
posted on 13-Aug-2002 12:45:13 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 25 con’t

Max paced outside the hallway of Liz’s 3rd period class wondering when the teacher was going to finally let her go. He hadn’t been able to find her before or after 2nd period, and then he’d ended up skipping 3rd period altogether because he was too upset to concentrate. And now here he was, waiting outside her classroom, wondering if she was inside. The lights were off while they watch some stupid video and it was too dark to see if she was there, and with each passing minute he could feel his agitation mounting. He was at his breaking point and if he didn’t find her soon, he thought he was going to explode.

He paced back and forth, going over the latest flash in his mind. Alex told Liz he was GAY? Where had he gotten a stupid idea like that? He didn’t think Alex was the type to make up shit like this –

Suddenly, his eyes narrowed as a memory resurfaced, of Monday morning when he had seen Michael talking to Alex. He’d thought it was strange at the time, he’d never seen Michael talking to Alex before, and then when he’d walked up, Michael had thrown his arm around his shoulder in a very un-Michael gesture. But why? Why would Michael say something like that to Alex?

A horrible suspicion entered his mind and his hands fisted at his sides. Would Michael really do something like that? Would he go that far? Was Michael spreading ugly rumors about him in an attempt to keep him apart from Liz? That bastard! He was gonna have to kick his ASS!

Pacing again, Max tried to figure out how he was going to fix this mess. He was in love with Liz. Liz was in love with him. Liz thought he was in love with Michael! How had things gotten so twisted? He needed to talk to her NOW! He had to set this straight, and he did mean STRAIGHT! As in NOT GAY! The lights flicked on inside the room and the door finally opened, with students spilling out into the hallway. Max searched the faces frantically but she wasn’t there. Finally, Maria exited the room and Max stared behind her, expecting Liz to be following, but the room was empty.

“Max?” Maria noticed him right away and sensed by the wild look in his eyes that something was wrong. “Are you okay?” she asked as she drew near.

“Where’s Liz?” he demanded.

“She got called down to the office about twenty minutes ago. What’s wrong?”

Instead of answering, Max took off in that direction with Maria hurrying along behind him.

* * * * *

Alex was walking along with his easy gait, headed toward the cafeteria and his date with a chilidog with extra cheese, when Max Evans stormed by like a man on a mission. Maria was trailing behind in his wake and a handful of other curiosity seekers followed behind. Max didn’t usually attract this kind of attention. Correction, Max never attracted this kind of attention, or not until the whole Romeo thing, but this was different than that. There was an expectant feel in the air, like something was about to explode. Alex joined the growing throng, to see where Max was going, and what was going to happen.

Max wasn’t aware of the people behind him, or the students that eyed him as he single mindedly headed toward his destination. If Liz was in the office, he was going to find her. And talk to her. And straighten out this mess. How could Michael tell her something like that? Gay? Was it all just a ploy to get Liz to stay away from him? Would Michael actually go that far? He stopped in his tracks suddenly and Maria almost barreled right into him.

Was that why Manny Exposito gave him that note in Biology today, wanting to ‘Hang Out’ on Saturday? Man, that was just sick! Did that mean – did everybody think he was gay? Had the rumor spread throughout the entire school? Holy Shit! Michael was going to PAY for this! Max was seeing red now and as the object of his anger stepped into view, his rage overflowed. He dropped his backpack from his shoulder and ran full tilt down the hall.

“Michael Guerin you SON OF A BITCH!” Max bellowed and raced right at him.

Michael whipped his head toward the familiar voice and stopped near a bank of lockers looking at the incredible sight. Max always contained his anger, rarely ever shouted, and never got violent. Looking at the freight train that was barreling toward him down the hall, he stood there speechless with his feet frozen to the floor. Ut oh.

“I told you you were gonna be dead meat when Max found out,” Isabel taunted from behind Michael and stepped out of the line of fire.

The crowd, startled into silence when Max so uncharacteristically shouted at the top of his lungs, was now murmuring and muttering and the buzz was starting to spread. The word “fight, fight, fight” began to be chanted and a circle began to form around the would be combatants. Max slammed into Michael going full out and they flew into the lockers with the sound of metal clanging and crashing, rending and wrecking. Their bodies wrestled against the lockers, denting the metal with shoulders and heads and fists that failed to connect to faces.

Michael pushed Max off and it was only through sheer willpower that he didn’t use his power to hurl him across the hall. Max lunged at him again, swinging wildly and connected with a solid right cross to the jaw. Michael stumbled backwards and Max was at him again, slamming his head into the lockers with the resounding clang of metal ringing all around them. The crowd was eating it up, with hoots and whistles, urging the fight on.

“Max!” Isabel shouted, trying to stop this spectacle. It wouldn’t be long before a teacher noticed. The crowd moved as the combatants lurched down the hall, grappling and throwing wild punches.

“Max,” Michael pushed him off. “Stop!”

“How could you?” Max stared at him, pulling in deep breaths of air. “How could you?” Max ran at him again and pinned him with his back against the wall and Max’s arm pressed tightly against Michael’s throat. “HOW COULD YOU?”

“How could I what?” Michael croaked out and pressed his hand against Max’s face, trying to push him away but Max shook him off.

“How could you tell Liz that? HOW?” Max spit the words into his face while his stranglehold tightened.

“I didn’t tell Liz anything,” Michael hissed as he broke free and Max staggered back. Michael lunged forward and pointed his finger in Max’s face saying through gritted teeth, “I didn’t say anything to Liz.”

Max slapped his hand away and got in the taller boy’s face angrily shouting, “You’re right. You hadAlex tell her because you knew she trusted him and would believe him.”

“That’s right!” Michael pushed Max backwards. “I did! And I’d do it again!”

Fury erupted in Max again and he lunged forward, grabbing Michael around the collar of his shirt. They wrestled, swinging punches wildly and then they went down in a heap of arms and legs, rolling across the floor as they fought. Even though Michael had the weight advantage, Max’s fury gave him the upper hand and he soon pinned Michael to the floor. Coach Stevens would have been proud.

Max’s fist slammed into Michael’s face once, twice, three times, and then Isabel joined the ruckus, trying to stop her brother before he killed his best friend.

“STOP! MAX! MICHAEL! BOTH OF YOU, STOP!” she screamed.

Alex reacted very uncharacteristically, because he was hoping Isabel would notice him and he could give her a call sometime, and as Max pulled his arm back for another punch, Alex grabbed him and pulled him off Michael.

Max struggled out of Alex’s grasp and shouted at Michael’s face, “Why? Why did you do it?”

“I DID IT TO PROTECT US!” Michael shouted back as he rose to his feet. One eye was starting to swell shut and his nose was bleeding. He wiped the back of his hand across the cut on his lower lip and he said trying to control his own rage, “I did it for us!”

“I told you they were gay,” Tommy Holden said to Megan Wright and Marty Newman, while a murmur went up amongst the crowd.

Isabel was looking at Alex in a whole new light. Out of all the students present, he was the only one who tried to help. Everyone else just stood there and watched the bloodbath, while he risked life and limb coming between two angry aliens. She liked his spunk. She might have to call him sometime.

“Protect us?” Max shouted back and pressed harder. “Protect us from WHAT?”

“From LIZ!” Michael shouted back and Alex held onto Max to keep him from punching Michael again. Isabel tried to hold Michael back to keep him from doing the same. Michael glared at Max, Max glared at Michael, Isabel gave Alex the once over, Alex definitely noticed.

“You let her come between us!” Michael hissed at Max.

“I knew it all the time,” Tommy waved his hand through the air.

“You told her I was GAY?” Max seethed. “You went too far, Michael!”

“I was willing to do whatever it took to protect us,” Michael shot back.

“Max?” a small voice broke through the male rage and Max whirled around to see Liz standing a few feet behind him, looking scared and confused.

She stood just inside the circle of students wondering what in the world had gone on here. There’d been a fight, that was obvious, but why? And why had she heard her name mentioned? She’d heard Max’s voice, loud and angry, and she had pushed through the crowd to see what was going on, just in time to hear Michael accuse her of coming between them. Did Michael feel threatened by the movies they had rented to watch on Saturday after all?

“Liz . . .” Max looked at her with the fight draining out of him. His hair was a mess and his jaw hurt and he took a step toward her, saying, “Liz, it’s not what you’re thinking . . .”

“Why are you fighting with Michael?” she asked, looking back and forth between the two.

“Liz,” Max stammered and shook his head to get the hair out of his eyes. “What he said, it’s not true. None of it’s true.”

“I don’t understand,” Liz shook her head back and forth, at a loss for words.

“He lied, Liz,” Max pleaded for her to listen. “Michael lied.” His anger surfaced again and he turned on Michael, glaring at him as he ordered, “Tell her Michael! Tell her the truth!”

Michael glared right back and then his shoulders sagged and his eyes dropped away. “Okay, okay. I lied. He’s not gay.”

“Tommy, you’re such an idiot,” Marty Newman slapped him up the side of the head.

Deep in the crowd a cell phone rang and Natalie Stevenson pulled it out of her pocket, turning angry as she listened. She hissed into the phone, “Will you people stop calling me! This isn’t his number!” She marched over to the wall and threw her phone in the trash.

“Max,” Liz looked at him sadly. “Don’t deny who you are.”

Max stared at her, and then at Michael, and finally at Isabel. He’d been denying who he was, what he was, what he wanted, for years and he didn’t want to do it anymore. Liz was right. It was time he admitted to the world exactly what he was.

Just a boy in love with a girl, and it was time to let her know that.

Max turned his eyes to Liz, and his feet slowly carried him in her direction, stopping only when they stood face to face. She stared up at him, not knowing what to expect, and then his hands were suddenly flanking the sides of her face. His lips swooped down to cover hers and her heart nearly leapt out of her chest. Her arms flew up to push him away, shocked that he would be kissing her, and then a wave of emotions washed over her, love and desire, loneliness and fear, and she held her hands at bay. His kiss was long and hard, tender and sweet, and the most intense thing she had ever experienced. He finally pulled back, staring at her with heated eyes, and for a minute she was sure she’d forgotten how to breathe.

“That’s who I am, Liz,” Max said breathlessly, staring down into her eyes with his hands still cupping her face, hoping she understood. “I’ve wanted to do that for a long time, Liz. A very long time.”

“Max . . .” she looked up at him, stunned by what had just happened. He kissed her! Max kissed her! Right here, right in the hallway, right in front of everyone. Max kissed her! Max KISSED her! Max kissed HER! Should she faint now, or save it for later?

His breathing was none too steady, but he’d finally come out from behind that tree, and nothing was going to stop him now. Like a slow motion scene from the movies, Max lowered his head and covered her lips with his once again, with his heart racing a mile a minute in his chest. His hands lowered from her face, slowly wrapping around her body and then pulling her tighter against him. She melted into him and her hands, ready to push him away just a minute ago, now slid over the muscles of his back as the dreams she thought were shattered, finally came to life.

Liz was confused beyond reason, but of one thing she as absolutely sure. She had never been happier in her life. Ditto for Max. They were in a world all their own.

Isabel and Michael stared at them. Alex and Maria gawked at them. The students in the hall cheered for them. The teachers finally came to break it up.

Max and Liz were oblivious to everything going on around them, except the taste and the touch and the feel of the one person they had always wanted, and never thought they’d get a chance to have.

His lips, those blushing Pilgrims, crushed down upon hers, showering her with his devotion. He held her vestal body in his arms . . . his lady, his love . . . overjoyed that she finally knew. His worse fear, that she would reject him, had not come to pass.

She embraced him, her bounty as boundless as the sea, the love she had kept hidden finally allowed to rise unfettered to the surface, flowing without restraint from her heart into his. Their lips, after years of wanting, fused together in rapturous harmony, singing of their mutual love.

Mrs. Wainwright came around the corner and her eyes nearly popped out of her head. By the look of the crowd, she could have sold tickets!

Well, you all wanted Michael to get his ass whooped, so I hope that was worth the wait. He deserved it. In the show, Max and Michael got into 2 shoving matches and one all out fight, and I rather enjoyed those testosterone filled events! Come back next week to see what happens next! Will Max tell Liz his REAL secret?

posted on 20-Aug-2002 12:13:06 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: See note below

Author note: Well, it seems that most everyone was happy that Michael got what was coming to him. I don’t usually advocate violence, but the jerk deserved to get his ass kicked!

Now my problem is, I don't know how in the world I can live up to all the praise you've given me! You've made my heart sing with how receptive you've been to this tale, but I probably can't top that last chapter! But I'll keep trying! See, Jason Katims is quoted as saying "a happy couple is a boring couple". I'm gonna try to prove him wrong! Are you with me?

Now, when I began this story, my intention was to keep the rating PG 13. Many of you have asked me to reconsider that, suggesting that I slide that rating to the nookie side. Well, ever since Max kissed Liz in the hallway, he’s been whispering in my ear, begging me to let him have more than just a kiss. So, for those of you who enjoy PG 13 fics, and prefer not to read about a couple of horndogs, you could consider Part 24 a sort of conclusion to that segment of the story. Max and Liz went through trials, but they are together now. For those of you that enjoy an amorous Max and Liz, stick around and see what develops. Virgin eyes will still be safe for awhile, but expect anything . . . well, not anything . . . expect things to heat up at any time. I don’t give warnings at the beginning of a part, because then you know what’s coming. (Coming? Okay, stop snickering.) That said, the new rating on this story is PG 13 to NC 17. Are you happy now?

Let’s see what Max and Liz are up to, I mean . . . let’s see what Max and Liz are doing now . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 26

Liz sat outside the Principle’s office waiting for Max to come out. She could hear the rumble of Mr. Valdez’s deep voice through the closed door and she wondered just how much trouble Max was in. He’d never gotten into a fight before, hell, he’d never gotten into any trouble before, so maybe they’d go light on him. She was praying he wouldn’t get suspended, or god forbid, expelled! Fighting wasn’t tolerated on campus.

She looked at her watch to see how much time was left before lunch ended, knowing she’d have to leave for her 4th period class soon. Well, she decided, she’d just skip class if she had to. Talking to Max was more important. Especially now . . . now that he’d . . . kissed her!

Her worry about what was going to happen to him couldn’t overshadow the joy that bubbled inside her. Max had kissed her! Everybody saw it. Everybody knew it. And it wasn’t just acting out a part in a play! Max Evans, man of her dreams, her very own Maxeo, had kissed her!

The doorknob turned and Liz bolted upright in her chair, looking expectantly at the door. Michael came through first and she couldn’t read the expression on his face. He normally wasn’t very communicative and he definitely was anti-social and he stared at her with an unreadable expression as he passed by. She heard voices next, the deep rich tones of Principle Valdez, followed by the softer resonance of Max’s voice.

“It’s only because of your impeccable record that we’re letting you off this light, Mr. Evans,” Valdez warned. “Another incident, you’ll be facing suspension.”

“I understand,” Max acknowledged. “Thank you, sir. Nothing like this will ever happen again.”

“See that it doesn’t.”

Max appeared in the doorway and Liz rose to her feet with her eyes locked on his. His expression was neutral except for the small smile that briefly crossed his face when he first saw her waiting for him, and then was gone quickly so Valdez wouldn’t see it. He politely said goodbye and then the door closed and Max was left standing alone with Liz.

“Well?” she asked, holding her breath.

“Detention,” Max smiled. “After school all next week. I guess I won’t be having a Mercury Bacon Burger on Monday, or a Captain Kirk Tuesday, or-”

She threw her arms around him and blurted out in relief, “Thank God you didn’t get suspended!”

“No,” he smiled at her outburst. “No suspension.” His arms wrapped around her and he let his fingers thread through the soft strands of her hair. The fight. The detention. The loose tooth in his mouth. It was all worth it. Feeling her in his arms, seeing that look in her eyes, hearing the worried tone in her voice all told him she was concerned about him, and that made his heart swell with happiness.

He never thought this would happen, holding Liz in his arms, feeling her arms around him, kissing the top of her head like he was doing right now. He’d dreamt about this his entire life, and he’d go through a thousand fights if this were the outcome.

“Only detention?” Liz pulled back slightly and looked up at him.

“Yeah,” Max nodded. His hand stroked across her cheek and he added, “That and a ten page paper on avoiding violent confrontations.”

“Max,” she looked at him seriously. “I don’t under-”

“Liz,” he silenced her with his fingertips to her lips. “We need to talk, but not here, not now. There’s not enough time, and I don’t think now would be a good time for me to start skipping classes.”

“You’re right,” Liz agreed, seeing the humorous light in his eyes.

“My detention doesn’t start until Monday. When school gets out today, let’s go somewhere, so you and I can talk . . . about what happened,” he suggested.

“Okay,” Liz nodded and they turned to head out into the crowded halls.

His hand slipped into hers and he couldn’t help the thrill that passed through him as he felt her fingers thread between his. He couldn’t contain the smile that spread across his face, knowing that he was walking through the halls of West Roswell High, holding Liz Parker’s hand . . . and it wasn’t just a fantasy!

The first bell rang and they turned to face each other, knowing they needed to go in opposite directions to get to their next classes. He held Liz’s hands at her sides, looking down into her upturned face, and then he leaned in, slowly moving closer, hesitating with his lips just inches from hers, still finding it hard to believe that it was all real. He closed the final distance between them and his lips touched hers, and years of wishing for the impossible came true.

Liz felt her heart racing wildly in her chest in reaction to the feel of his lips on hers. This wasn’t just practicing for a part in a play anymore, and she had to keep reminding herself of that. She wasn’t dreaming in her bed. She wasn’t daydreaming on her balcony. She was standing in the halls of West Roswell High and kissing Max Evans, man of her dreams, object of her affection, love of her life, and he was kissing her back!

The hallways began to clear and Max reluctantly parted his lips from hers. His cheek brushed against hers wanting to delay the moment of separation, and then his forehead came to rest against hers. Looking into her eyes, he said huskily, “I’ll see you 6th period.”

“Okay,” she smiled up into his face, feeling happier than she ever had before. Teasingly, she added, “Don’t get into any more fights.”

“I won’t,” he let out a small laugh.

She stepped back and Max held onto her hands until the very last moment, and even then their separation was slow. Their fingertips lingered together, still touching as their hands slid apart and then they both felt the loss of contact as she stepped back and turned away. Max stood in the middle of the hall, watching Liz as she walked off to class, seeing her turn around, looking over her shoulder at him as she walked away. His heart ached to see her go, and at the same time filled with anticipation of later in the day when he would see her again.

With a final smile in his direction, Liz disappeared around the corner and Max finally turned to head to his next class. He was floating on cloud nine the whole way there.

* * * * *

Max watched from the front row, enthralled by Liz as she moved about the stage. Miranda was moving her through the pacing for Act III Scene 2, a particularly emotional scene where Juliet cries over the fate of her dead cousin Tybalt and the banishment of her husband Romeo. He hung on her every word as her presence dominated the stage.

“O Tybalt, Tybalt, the best friend I had . . .” Juanita wailed next to Liz. She was playing the part of Juliet’s Nurse, and Max thought she was doing a fine job, even if the Olde English came out with a Spanish accent.

“What storm is this that blows so contrary?” Liz breathed life into her lines. “Is Romeo slaught’red, and is Tybalt dead? My dearest cousin and my dearer Lord! Then dreadful trumpet . . .”

Max listened intently as the scene played out, reciting the lines in his head right along with Liz. The scene progressed and Max could feel the emotion in the air. He hung on the sound of her every word and when the scene ended, he was surprised to see Mrs. Wainwright turn toward him.

“Romeo,” Miranda motioned for Max to join them on stage. “Come, come Romeo.” Max scrambled from his seat and mounted the stage, making a beeline to stand beside Liz. He forced himself to keep his hands to himself, even though he was dying to reach out and touch her. He grinned inside, thinking the look in her eyes suggested she was feeling the same way.

“Juliet’s bedroom will be on the left side of the stage and Scene 3 will lead into Scene 4 where Friar Lawrence and Romeo discuss his banishment. We will use spot lighting to highlight sections of the stage on a given scene. Scene 5 will swing back to Juliet’s bedroom and the morning after their marriage has been consummated."

Upon hearing the word ‘consummated’, Max darted a look toward Liz and his mind was back to that day at his house when he and Liz had watched the movie. He could still remember seeing the movie version, with Romeo walking naked across the screen and he almost choked on his own spit when Mrs. Wainwright asked, “Max? How do you feel about nudity?”

“What?” Max sputtered and his cheeks started flaming. He darted a look at Liz and saw that she was looking pretty pink too. Nudity? This was ahigh school production. Nudity? Did she say nudity?

“Calm down,” she chuckled and patted him on the arm. “From the waist up only. After all, it is Romeo’s wedding night. We wouldn’t expect him to be dressed from head to toe, now would we?” she winked. “But I won’t ask you to do something that makes you uncomfortable. Are you adverse to playing a scene shirtless?”

“Um,” Max stuttered. “I, ah . . .”

He looked at Liz and he could see the smile she was trying to hide behind her hand. She met his gaze and with an impish look lighting her eyes, she whispered, “I’d pay to see it.”

Her face turned even redder than before and he was sure his matched hers, shade for shade. Looking at his teacher again, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “I guess I could do that. I mean, as long as it’s just my, uh, shirt, and nothing else.”

“Excellent,” Miranda beamed and then turned her sights on Liz. “And how about you, dear?”

“Me?” Liz suddenly turned white as a ghost. No no. No, no, no. Nudity? No. No, no. No –

“I’d pay to see it,” Max whispered, covering his mouth to try to hold back his snicker. It didn’t work.

“Of course you wouldn’t really be nude, Liz,” Miranda continued. “You would wear a flesh toned body suit and your long hair would cover what needs to be covered. You’re not planning to cut your hair, are you?”

“No,” Liz said meekly. She looked at Max again, who was staring at the floor trying to fight off the big grin on his face and she said hesitantly, “I guess I could do that, I mean,” she swallowed hard, “as long as I’m not really nude.”

“Excellent!” Miranda smiled. She could just see it now! The air will be screaming with sexual tension! Happy with their progress, her voice rose to dismiss the class. “That’s it for today everyone! Study your lines this weekend.”

* * * * *

“Wow,” Max said as they made their way across the parking lot. “That was . . . interesting.”

“Yes,” Liz stared down at the pavement, biting her lip to try to hold back the grin that wouldn’t go away. She couldn’t help wondering how soon they would practice Scene 5 again, and how soon they could get to the shirtless part! When were ‘dress’ rehearsals going to start? “Well, we were wondering how Mrs. Wainwright planned on presenting that scene . . .”

“Yes, we were . . .” Max looked out over the few cars that were left in the parking lot. Darting a look at her again, he hitched his thumb over his shoulder and asked, “Are you going to be okay with that? With what Mrs. Wainwright said?”

“Well,” Liz nibbled on her lower lip and then her eyes took on that spirited look she always got when she teased him. “I won’t look if you won’t look!”

“Oh, I’ll be looking,” Max said before he could stop himself. Damn! He didn’t mean to say that out loud!

“Then so will I,” Liz laughed and her cheeks flushed bright red. Was there ever any doubt? Shirtless Max? Please!

Max felt his arm brush against hers and he slipped his hand inside hers, smiling at the way her fingers automatically entwined between his. Was there any better feeling in the world? Well, maybe one or two, kissing being one, and this talk about going shirtless made him think about the other one. His smile just wasn’t going away!

* * * * *

“Max . . .” Liz said softly as they drove through the streets of Roswell, headed to the Crashdown.

Max turned his attention from the road and looked at her, squeezing the small hand he held in his. Her large eyes dominated the delicate features of her face and the look of uncertainty he saw there caused his stomach to twist. Was there something wrong? He couldn’t stand it if there was something wrong. For the first time in his life he felt like it was possible to live the life he always wanted, and a part of him was waiting for him to wake up, for him to realize it had only been a dream.

“What?” he asked softly.

“About today . . .” Liz said hesitantly and dropped her eyes to look at their clasped hands.

“Today?” Max glanced at the road quickly and then back to her. He knew what she was asking.

“About Michael . . . about the fight . . .” She looked up at him and her questioning gaze held his. “The things Michael told Alex. Why? Why did he say it? Why did he want me to think that? Why would he say those things about you –”

“Liz,” Max released her hand and slowed the jeep, shifting it down to third, and then to second, before turning off the road. He pulled to a stop in the shade of a tree and without saying a word, he climbed quickly from the jeep and hurried around to her side. He slowed as he neared her door and then he reached for the handle and slowly opened it. He stared at her for a moment, still amazed that she was here with him like this, and then he held his hand out to her and said, “We should talk, but . . . but not here. Let’s go down by the lake.”

Liz looked from his intense eyes down to his outstretched hand, and slowly slipped her hand into his. She climbed from the jeep and they walked hand in hand to the water’s edge. Max led her out to the dock and their footsteps echoed beneath them as they walked across the wooden slats. The water looked dark, and cold, with the mirror like surface hiding the secrets that lived below in those tranquil depths.

“Liz . . .” Max wasn’t sure where to start, or even what he could say. How could he tell her why Michael did what he did? He darted a look at her and she peered up at him expectantly, trustingly, her face open and honest, and he didn’t want to lie. But he couldn’t tell her the truth either. Not yet. Not now. He wasn’t ready to risk losing her.

She tugged on his hand and pulled him to a stop, standing in front of him face to face. She could see his internal struggle and she encouraged him to say whatever it was. “You can tell me Max. You can tell me anything.”

He gave her a nervous half smile, wishing that were true, and knowing that there were some things he couldn’t risk telling her. The secret that he harbored wasn’t his secret alone. He didn’t have the right to give the others away.

“Liz . . .” he said again with his eyes darting between her face and their hands, clasped together between them. Still hesitating, he looked toward the end of the dock and a real smile graced his lips. “C’mon,” his eyes sparkled. “Let’s go sit down.”

This was one of his daydreams, to sit on the end of this dock and dangle their legs in the water. To dive into the depths on a hot summer day or to float on the surface on a warm evening with the darkness holding the world at bay. Just her and him, the two of them . . . together.

They sat down side by side, smiling at each other as they took their shoes off and let their feet slip into the cool water. Settling in, Max took her hand and laced his fingers between hers, resting it against his thigh while they watched their reflection ripple in the water and she waited patiently for him to talk.

“Liz,” Max looked down at their hands instead of into her face. He hated keeping the truth from her, but he felt he had no other choice. With his left hand, he picked at a splinter of wood on the edge of the dock and then threw it out across the water, watching as it arch through the air. Ripples fanned out from the center when it hit the surface and Max watched the expanding ring until it mingled with the water churning around his feet. Turning his eyes to look at Liz again, he said, “You know that . . . what Michael said was a lie. I mean . . . what he said about me.”

‘Yes,” Liz said softly. She held his hand in hers, battling a million questions in her mind, but staying quiet to give him a chance to get out what he wanted to say.

“You have to try to understand Michael,” Max picked at the wood again. “He’s lived a hard life, with people that . . .”

“People that treated him badly,” Liz offered her insight.

“Yes,” Max met her eyes again. He sighed sorrowfully, and then admitted guiltily, “I shouldn’t have hit him today, but . . .” But he’d been so shocked that Michael would go that far to try to keep him away from Liz. He felt her hand tighten in his and he continued on, saying the only things he felt he could. “Michael and I . . . we’ve been friends for a long time. We have a lot in common. Michael was abandoned, just like my sister and I, and we just . . . we gravitated toward each other. All three of us. Isabel and I were lucky, the Evans found us and took us into their home. Michael didn’t get that lucky. Michael got . . .”

“The short end of the stick,” Liz squeezed his hand.

“Yes,” Max nodded and a small smile touched his face and then was gone. “Because of that, he doesn’t trust anyone. To him, it’s the three of us against the world. He knows I’ve . . . liked you, for a long time-”

“You have?” Liz felt the butterflies alight in her stomach. A long time? How long? A week? A month?

“Yes,” Max leaned closer and touched his forehead to hers. “A long time,” he whispered and his eyes fluttered briefly closed as he gave in to the desire to kiss her. He sighed when their lips parted and his eyes opened to look into hers. “But . . . Michael . . .”

“Michael doesn’t trust me,” Liz finished for him.

“No, he doesn’t,” Max straightened up and looked at her woefully. “He doesn’t trust anyone. He thought –”

“I would just hurt you?” Liz leaned toward him, gazing into his eyes.

“Yes,” Max squeezed her hand. “He just wanted –”

“– to protect you,” Liz remembered Michael’s heated words this afternoon at school.

“That’s right,” Max cupped her cheek with his hand. He was glad she was making this so easy for him. “It’s not you, Liz. I don’t want you to think he has something against you. Michael doesn’t trust anyone except me and Isabel, and sometimes I even wonder about that.”

“I feel sad for him, that his life has been so hard,” Liz lamented the life that Michael had lived.

Max disengaged his hand from hers, brushing his hand through her hair before draping his arm around her shoulders, drawing her closer to him. The compassion in her voice amazed him, reinforcing in him the reasons why he loved her so. He’d always known she would be this way. She had every reason to loath Michael, as mean, and rude, and sharp-tongued, and disagreeable as Michael had always been to her, yet she could sit here and talk about how bad she felt for him.

“I’ll just have to show Michael that he can trust me,” Liz said candidly. “That you can trust me, too.”

“I do, Liz,” Max smiled at her with much more than trust in his eyes. “I do.”

His eyes traveled over her face, a face that had stolen his heart years ago. He’d dreamed of this day for all of that time, fantasized about taking her in his arms and showing her just how he felt about her. And now that that day was here, it was better than any dream or fantasy he could have ever imagined.

To touch her hand. Her face. Her lips. The reality of it was so much more than his mind could ever envision. The girl of his dreams was finally his.

His eyes focused on her lips and his hand rose up to cup the side of her face. “I want to kiss you now,” his eyes lifted up to hers, echoing words he had said earlier in the week, words that he wasn’t afraid to say to her anymore.

“That’s good,” Liz breathed out, feeling her heart rate climb, “because I want to kiss you, too.” His eyes softened, with just a hint of a smile playing at his lips as he moved closer. She felt him hesitate only briefly, and then his lips were on hers, warm and full . . . making all of her dreams come true.

Come back next Monday or Tuesday to see what happens next!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 20-Aug-2002 12:40:26 AM ]
posted on 27-Aug-2002 1:49:02 AM by Breathless
Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author note: Hey, I know I’m late, but it’s still Monday where I live!

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 27

Max pulled another sweater off a hanger in his closet and lifted it up to look at it. After a few seconds he shook his head and dropped it on the floor, looking for something else. Isabel walked into his room, heard the commotion coming from the open closet door and nearly laughed out loud when she saw him standing there with half the closet contents around his feet.

“Max! What do you think you’re doing?” she asked in astonishment.

“I can’t find my black sweater,” Max frowned.

“So pick something else,” Isabel stated the obvious.

“Nothing looks right,” he pawed through his things.

“Max, I think Michael was right. You are gay.”

“Very funny,” Max glared at her. “You know, I shouldn’t even be speaking to you now. I can’t believe you went along with that idiotic idea. Jesus Isabel, you’re my sister. You’re supposed to support me.”

“Max, I’m sorry,” Isabel said contritely and stared at the floor. Her hands fidgeted and she worried at her lower lip. “I tried to tell you what was going on . . . but . . . I’m sorry.”

She met his eyes again and he could tell she really meant it. He should stay mad at her, for a very long, long, time, but he couldn’t. “I’ll disown you if you ever do anything like that again,” he warned.

“I promise,” Isabel vowed. “It was stupid, and completely wrong, and I’ll never try to interferer in your life again.”

“You better not,” Max yanked a sweater off a hanger without bothering to look at it. He pulled it over his head and moved out of his closet, walking over to his dresser to pick up his wallet. He opened it to make sure he had enough money, and then tucked it in the back pocket of his dark jeans. Looking at his reflection in the mirror above his dresser, he ran his hand over his chin and healed the small nick he’d received when he shaved earlier. His skin felt smooth, no five o’clock shadow, no stubble to scratch Liz’s tender check when he, hopefully, kissed her later tonight. That thought brought a smile to his lips.

“Why are you primping?” Isabel walked over and sat on the edge of his bed, teasing him in an effort to ease the tension between them.

“I’m not primping,” he stared at her reflection in the mirror.

She watched him smooth his hair with his hand and she said, “You certainly are! Max, it’s only a football game!”

“It’s . . . it’s more than that,” Max said softly and then turned around to look at her. Lifting his shoulders in a self-conscious shrug, he said, “It’s our first date.”

“Is that why you’re so nervous?” Isabel asked. She wasn’t teasing him anymore.

“Yeah,” he admitted and slowly sat down on the bed next to her. He clasped his hands together between his knees and he leaned forward, taking in a deep breath and then letting it out slowly. “What if . . . what if, after all this time, what if we go out, and she decides she doesn’t like me? What am I gonna do then?”

“Max,” Isabel squeezed his knee. “That’s not gonna happen.” Liz Parker not liking her brother? No way.

“But what if it does? Or what if something freaky happens? Or what if I can’t control my powers around her? Or if I get excited and-”

“Whoa,” Isabel held up her hands. “I don’t want to hear about your sex life-”

“Isabel!” Max rose from the bed, turning red. That’s not what he meant. Sex was the farthest thing from his mind. Okay, it wasn’t the farthest thing from his mind. Actually, it was right there at the front of his mind. But he was a guy. He might be an alien guy, but he was still a hot blooded teenage American guy.

“Speaking of sex,” Isabel said casually, “do you have Alex Whitman’s phone number?”

* * * * *

“Which one, Maria?” Liz asked, holding up a red sweater and a black lace top. “Which one should I wear?”

“What message are you trying to give him?” Maria asked.

“Message?” Liz looked at her blankly.

“The black lace says, ‘Hey, look at me. I’m hot. I’m sexy. Take me back to your place and make me a woman!’ The red one says, ‘I’m innocent, but I’m fire on the inside, just waiting for you to ignite me.’ So, what message do you want to give him?”

Liz wrinkled her nose and asked, “What should I wear if I was considering becoming a nun about three days ago?”

Maria laughed and rose from her spot on the edge of the bed. She walked over to Liz and took the black lace top and returned it to the closet, saying, “Wear the red. Max loves you in red.”

“What are you talking about?” Liz stared at her.

Maria cupped her chin as she passed by and scrunched her cheeks. “You need glasses. You’ve been blind for so long. When you wear that sweater, the red one with the little white buttons down the front, his eyes turn a different color. Darker, needier, more . . . aroused. How can you not see that?”

“He does?” Liz sighed.

“Yes, he does,” Maria sat on the bed again. “Now, do you have everything? Lips gloss?”

Liz nodded, and pulled the sweater over her head.

“Breath mints?”

“Yes,” Liz nodded again and tugged her sweater into place.

“Whistle in case he turns into an octopus and you need to get away?”

“Maria!” Liz laughed.

“A condom in case you decide you don’t want to get away?”

“MARIA! You’re talking to a former almost nun!” She turned around with red cheeks and tried to cover her embarrassment by running a brush through her hair.

“C’mon,” Maria rose from the bed and wrapped her arm around her best friend. “Max will be here in a minute and I guarantee you, he is going to think you’re beautiful.”

They walked downstairs arm in arm and just as they stepped into the restaurant from the back room, Max walked through the front doors. He saw Liz right away and stopped in place, with his hand still on the door handle. She was laughing, and the music of it filled the air and then her eyes locked onto his and he saw the change.

He saw the way her eyes, sparkling with humor a moment ago, now were lit from within, from some inner source. He’d heard a song on the oldies radio station that his Mom liked to listen to, a song that talked about the ‘Look of Love’. Was that what he was seeing in her eyes? Was that look caused by how she felt about him? He couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face just thinking about it. Someone trying to enter the restaurant bumped him from behind and he stepped out of the way to let her by. Before he knew it, Liz was standing in front of him and he found himself at a total loss for words.

“Hi, Max,” Liz stood before him, feeling nervous. Her hands fidgeted and she bit at her lower lip while she waited for him to say something. He was wearing his leather jacket again tonight, and she really thought he looked sexy in it. Were former almost nuns supposed to think that?

“Hi Liz,” he sighed as he looked down at her. He looked surprisingly good for a guy who got in a knock down, drag out fight earlier in the day. He’d fixed his loose tooth and healed his bruised jaw and all that was left was a mouse under his eye. He decided he better leave some evidence since so many people had seen the fight. He wasn’t able to stop smiling as he looked at her and then he shook himself and asked, “Are you ready?”

“I have to go get my jacket,” Liz said and feeling bold, she slipped her hand into his to lead him into the back. She felt the butterflies in her stomach take off in wild flight as his fingers entwined with hers and she had to fight the urge to pinch herself. Was this really happening?

Max couldn’t stop smiling. He knew he must look like the village idiot, but he didn’t care. He was holding Liz’s hand. He was taking her on a date. If he wanted to, he could probably stop right now and kiss her. Should he? Right here, in the back of the Crashdown? Would she let him? Would she like it? His hand squeezed hers and she stopped to turn around and gaze at him with a questioning look in her beautiful dark eyes.

His eyes traveled over her face and then he slowly lowered his lips to hers. He could see the way her eyes focused on his lips the closer he got and then they were touching and fireworks were exploding and parades were marching and Santa Clause was granting the wishes of all the little kids in the world. He kept it short, because the last thing he wanted was to have her father walk in at the wrong time, and as their lips parted, he said softly, with a smile lighting his face, “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“You have?” Liz was melting inside.

‘Uh huh,” Max nodded, smiling shyly at her. “For about a million years. Or maybe it just seems that long.”

“I’m glad you didn’t wait for a million more,” Liz said as she leaned into him. Her knees were too weak to hold her up.

“Me too,” Max let out a deep sigh at his admission. His arms were around her, ready to kiss her again, when they heard the heavy tread of footsteps coming down the stairs. Max stepped away, feeling self-conscious and nervous and ready to run.

“Max, right?” Jeff Parker said as he reached the bottom step, eyeing the young man closely.

“Yes . . . Mr. Parker,” Max nodded.

“You’re taking my daughter to the football game?” he asked.

“Yes, if that’s alright with you, sir?” Max asked.

“Midnight curfew,” Jeff warned. “You’ll have her home on time?”

“Oh! Absolutely, Mr. Parker!” Max was quick to respond.

“Dad!” Liz whined. Why was her Dad being such a –

“Midnight!” Jeff insisted and Liz rolled her eyes.

“Not a problem, Mr. Parker,” Max agreed. “Midnight. Not a minute later.”

“Have a good time,” he smiled as he moved into the Crashdown. Max seemed to be a nice boy, respectful and polite. But, if he touched his daughter he was gonna have to kill him.

“I’ll be right back,” Liz reluctantly backed away from him and went to get her jacket.

Max watched her run up the stairs and then his gaze turned toward the kitchen. He walked over there slowly and stood in the doorway, watching Michael as he cooked. He either didn’t know he was there, or he was ignoring him on purpose, so Max spoke first.

“Michael,” Max stared at his hands and shifted anxiously in the doorway. “Look, I’m sorry, about today . . . I didn’t mean –”

He lifted his eyes just as Michael turned to look at him and his mouth fell open. Michael’s eye was almost swollen closed, a bruise the size of Alaska covered the left side of his face and his lip was split down the middle.

“Jesus, Michael!” Max blurted out. “Did I do that? God! I’m so sorry!”

“Yeah,” Michael turned back to the grill. “You just got in a lucky shot.”

Max moved forward, into the kitchen, knowing he shouldn’t be there, but unable not to. He’d done something awful today, lost his control and hurt his own ‘brother’. He didn’t know what to say. “Michael–”

“Forget it,” Michael mumbled. Max moved closer, just a foot away now, and his hand lifted to touch his bruised cheek. Michael pulled back and said, “Don’t.”

“It looks painful. Do you want me to . . .” Max offered.

“No,” Michael shook his head. “Too many people have seen it already. It’ll have to heal naturally.”

“I’m sorry,” Max said again.

“Forget about it. Isabel said you were gonna kick my ass when you found out, and she was right. I should have listened to her.” He paused for a minute while he weighed what he wanted to say, and then went on. “I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt you, Maxwell. I hope she’s as trustworthy as you think she is.”

“She is, Michael,” Max said without a shadow of a doubt in his voice. “I can feel it. I know you don’t believe that, but I do. I trust her with my life.”

“I hope we never have to find out if she’s worthy of that trust,” Michael leveled his one good eye at Max.

Max nodded and when he heard Liz’s footsteps coming back down the stairs, he backed toward the door. “I know I’m right, Michael. I know it.” The two boys exchanged a long look, knowing everything was changed now. For the first time, one of them had opened up to another, a human, and the ramifications of that were still to be seen.

Max backed out of the kitchen just as Liz reached the bottom of the stairs. He filed his conversation with Michael into the back of his mind where he could reach it later, but he wasn’t going to let it spoil his enjoyment of tonight. His hand reached for hers without conscious thought, like they were always meant to be together, and they walked out into the Crashdown.

They were looking at each other, not paying attention to anyone or anything else, until they heard the bell above the front doors ring. They both looked up at the same time and their smiles turned to startled surprise. Isabel Evans and Alex Whitman were entering the Crashdown, side by side, talking and . . . laughing?

Alex saw the look on Max’s face, Overprotective Brother kicking in in full force, and he pointed his finger at Isabel, saying, “She called me!”

* * * * *

Maria stood in the open doorway watching Michael as he moved around the kitchen. He’d taken a terrible beating earlier today, and the evidence was on his face. More than that, it was in his eyes too, or at least the one that wasn’t swollen shut, and it was in his bearing, the way he stood with his shoulders hunched dejectedly.

She felt bad for him, the way he looked so vulnerable and lost, and she let go of all the animosity she usually felt toward him. She moved into the kitchen and when Michael looked at her with his one good eye, she said, “Damn, Guerin! Next time you see a train barreling at you, you should step aside.”

“Your order’s not ready yet,” he mumbled.

“Well, that would make sense, since I’m not working and none of these orders are mine,” she quipped as she neared his side.

“Then what are you doing here?” he grumbled.

“Let me see . . .” her hand reached up to his chin and turned his face to look at her. He flinched away, and she cupped his chin again, holding it firmly. “Max really did a number on you,” she sympathized.

“Look. I don’t need – ”

“Hold still,” Maria insisted and opened her purse to reach inside. He watched her pull out a small white jar and when she removed the lid his nose wrinkled in disgust.

“What the hell is that?” he growled.

“Something that’s going to help you,” she said patiently. “It’s a salve made out of natural herbs and medicinal plants. It will help you heal.” She dipped her finger into the cream and applied a small amount to his lower lip. “Put a little on every two hours and by tomorrow it should be better.”

“It stinks,” Michael grimaced, and when his tongue touched his lip, he blurted out, “It tastes like crap!”

“But it will help you heal faster, and cut down on the pain. Just try it, Michael.” She held the jar out to him and he stared at it, ready to tell her to get lost – to leave him alone - but something in her eyes made him temper his normal response. Hesitantly, he slowly lifted his hand and took the jar from her.

“Every two hours,” Maria reminded him.

Michael watched her turn to leave the kitchen and he called out, “Hey,” just before she disappeared. She turned to face him and he stared at her for a moment before he said, “Thanks, DeLuca.”

“You’re welcome, Guerin,” Maria smiled.

He turned back to the grill, flipping the hamburgers in front of him, but listening to the sounds of her footsteps as she walked away. It wasn’t often that humans had been nice to him and he didn’t know quite how to react when it happened. His hand squeezed the jar and he slowly slipped it into his pocket.

Just a comment about Max here. I know some of you would have liked to see Max ream Michael for what he did, but I thought it was more in character of season 1 Max to be upset with himself for losing control and beating Michael up like that, especially after Max saw the extent of Michael’s injuries when he walked into the Crashdown kitchen and saw Michael’s face. Remember, Max knows that Michael suffered abuse at Hanks hand for years. I thought it was also fitting for Michael NOT to give Max an apology, since in Michael’s mind he feels justified for what he did. He honestly believes they shouldn’t associate with humans.

Come back next Monday or Tuesday for the next part.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Aug-2002 2:27:55 AM ]
posted on 2-Sep-2002 10:03:33 PM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author note: I’ve worked this part to death, so I’m just going to post it and stop fussing over it.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 28

Max inched his way along the bleachers feeling Liz’s hand clasped tightly in his. He hadn’t let go of her since they left the Crashdown, except to start the jeep and shift it into gear. He would have used his powers to shift if he could have, so that he would never have to let go of her hand, but of course he couldn’t do that.

But nothing was going to keep him from holding her hand for the rest of the night. Nothing. And nothing could stop the huge smile that was plastered on his face.

Except . . .

Now that all his dreams were coming true, now that he was out on the first date of his life, with the only girl he’d ever wanted to be with, he was afraid he was going to find out that that’s all it was. Just a very vivid dream, and then he would wake up and he would be in his room, on his bed, and he’d have to face another lonely day of watching life move on without him. He squeezed her hand again, just to make sure she was really here.

“Does this look okay?” he asked, showing her a vacant section of seats.

“This is great,” Liz smiled. “We’re near the forty yard line, so we’ll have a good view of all the field.”

As they settled in their seats, Max was overcome with a case of the nerves and suddenly taking Liz to a football game for their first date seemed like a really stupid idea. He was an idiot. An imbecile. He should have taken her to the movies or something. God! She was probably going to hate him by the end of the night. She was probably just waiting to tell Maria what a jerk he was. He was stupid, stupid, stupid –

“Isn’t this exciting?” Liz beamed up at him. “The anticipation before the big game? If we win tonight, and next week, we’ll go to state for sure!”

Ut oh. Why was he looking at her that way? Was he bored with her already? She knew it! She knew it was too good to be true! She was boring, boring, boring. He was never going to ask her out again!

“You really like football?” Max asked her. Maybe she wouldn’t hate tonight after all.

“Well, yeah . . .” she nodded and tried not to sound like a boring geek. “It’s fun. The passing, the running, the body checks!” See? She could show Max she knew how to talk football! No. Wait! That last one was a hockey term, wasn’t it? Oh God! She was so stupid!

Body check? In football? He knew that was a hockey term from hanging out with Michael all these years, but he didn’t know it was a football term too. But Liz should know! She was the smartest person he had ever met!

To try to cover her mistake, she blurted out, “It’s so exciting when Kyle throws the long bomb!”

“Kyle . . .” Max felt his hackles rise. His eyes narrowed and he had the sudden urge to growl. He’d like to throw a long bomb right at him, and watch it blow him up!

Ut oh. Why did Max say Kyle’s name like that? Did he not like Kyle? And why was she talking about Kyle anyway? God! She was saying all the wrong things! “It’s good to show school spirit, right?”

“Right,” Max kept his tone light. Kyle’s a bastard! Kyle’s a bastard! Kyle’s a bastard! Kyle’s a bastard!

Liz mentally pounded her forehead against a wall. God, stop talking about football and talk about him! She cleared her throat and started over. “I’m surprised you never went out for sports.”

“Me?” Max arched his eyebrows. Sports? He couldn’t get involved in anything that would make him have to get a physical – from a doctor.

“Yeah, you!” Liz bumped her shoulder against his playfully. “You’re so . . .” He’s so what? Strong? Built? Muscular? Frigging HOT. Well, yeah! But that wasn’t what she was trying to say! “You’re so . . . athletic looking!”

“I am?” Max grinned down at her. She thought he was athletic looking? Cool! He better keep working out! He needed to stay buffer than Kyle.

“I’ve seen you play basketball, and you already said Coach Stevens wanted you to wrestle. I’m surprised you never did.”

Max stared at her, wondering when had she watched him play basketball? In gym? No, she couldn’t have seen him play in gym. They never had PE at the same time. Wait. There was that time in 10th grade when his Liz radar went into high gear and he looked around the court and saw her. She’d been wearing one of those blue Roswell gym shirts and tight black leggings. Really tight black leggings. Her gym class was coming back late from a run on the track and his tongue had practically fallen out of his mouth when he saw her. And then that shithead Greg Morton had passed the ball to him and hit him right on the head and almost knocked his ass out. Great. She hadn’t seenthat, had she?

“I like basketball, but, I guess I never thought I was good enough,” Max shrugged. “Not to play on the team, anyway.”

“Oh, I thought you were really good,” Liz was smiling broadly now. “You move really well around the court.” Max was grinning too, and feeling pretty good about himself, and then she added, “But you should watch when people pass you the ball!”

God! She had seen it! He could feel the heat start to rise in his face. But wait. She remembered that? From 10th grade? Now he was smiling again. She remembered!

Max could feel the warmth of her hand in his and he had to keep reminding himself that this was real. That he didn’t have to pinch himself to make sure he was awake. He never thought this would happen, that Liz could ever feel the same things for him that he felt for her. He’d been convinced that no one could ever feel that way about him, especially Liz. But sitting here beside her, with his fingers threaded between hers and the back of her hand resting on his thigh, it wasn’t just a dream anymore. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.

“Well, it looks like the game is just about to start,” Liz pointed out at the field and then she became lost in the intensity of his gaze. His eyes were darker than she had ever seen them before and a rush of desire swept over her, causing her cheeks to become suffused with heat. The look in his eyes made her want to launch herself right at him, and kiss him until they both passed out from lack of oxygen.

“Good,” Max reined his emotions back in. He had to be careful, and control himself. He didn’t want anything . . . unusual happening. What if he started glowing or something?

His fears reared up again and he couldn’t help but wonder what would she do if she found out what he was. Would all his dreams come crashing down around him? Would she run from him in fright? But if he didn’t tell her the truth, and she found out later, would she think him a liar? Untrustworthy? The monster that he always believed himself to be? Everything he ever wanted looked like it was right within his grasp. Liz in his life, feeling connected to the world, feeling a part of things. But if he did or said the wrong thing, would he end up losing it all?

“You okay?” Liz asked curiously, concerned by the look he was giving her.

“Yeah,” he said, giving her an uncertain smile and then further comment was cut off when a familiar voice broke in.

“THERE you guys are!” Maria bellowed from the stairs.

Behind her, Alex was tugging on her arm. “Maria,” he hissed, “they’re on a date! Let’s leave them alone!”

“If they wanted to be alone,” Maria shot back, “he should have taken her to the movies.”

“HI!” Liz waved wildly with her free hand and then looked over at Max when she felt him shift beside her. Would he mind if their friends joined them?

“Pinch me,” Max muttered under his breath. This had to be a dream. Behind Alex, much to Max’s surprise, was Isabel, standing with her hands on her hips and a perturbed look on her face. Max had seen that look before, and if Alex didn’t turn around and pay attention to Isabel very soon, his sister was going to make Alex regret it.

“What?” Liz let out a small laugh. Did he just say ‘pinch me’?

Max tore his eyes off the small group that was headed their way and shook his head as he looked at Liz. “Isabel,” Max kept his voice low and leaned close to her. “I’m getting the definite impression my sister is interested in your friend Alex.”

“I noticed that,” Liz chuckled. “He doesn’t seem her . . . type.”

“I know,” Max agreed. He pulled his feet back as Maria scooted by and sat next to Liz, followed by Alex and then Isabel. Looking up at his sister, he just had to get in a dig. “A football game, Isabel? I thought you said football games were for-”

“Fun. I said they were fun, Max,” Isabel cut him off. Alex took his seat next to Maria while Isabel glared at her brother, and Max had to fight back a smile. Alex and Isabel. Would wonders never cease? What next? Michael and Maria? On a cold day in hell –

A roar went up from the crowd and all eyes turned to see the team take the field. The game began, and Kyle (the bastard) soon had their first drive underway. They scored within a few plays and the crowd went wild, and Max once more became the proud recipient of Liz’s excited reaction. She jumped to her feet and straight into his arms and Max wrapped her into a bear hug, smiling from ear to ear.

He shot a look over Liz’s head out onto the playing field, and decided if Kyle kept the scoring up, then he might just think about rescinding his bastard status.

With the second score, Max decided to take it a step further, and instead of just settling for a hug, he kissed her too. He could do that now, he reminded himself, because they weren’t ‘just friends’, they were more than friends. She stopped her jumping as soon as his lips touched hers, and while the crowd went crazy around them, they stood in the stands oblivious to it. Max was in Lizland now and the only thing he was aware of was how her lips felt against his, so soft and warm –

“Down in front!” an irritated voice shouted out from the stands behind them and Maria had to tug on Liz’s jacket to get their attention.

“Girlfriend!” she bit back a laugh. “Save it for later!”

Max and Liz broke apart with a start, and when they saw everyone staring at them, their cheeks turned a matching shade of red. Max got a bashful grin on his face and took his seat, tucking Liz in close beside him, and then Maria’s words penetrated his mind. Girlfriend. Maria said the word girlfriend. Liz was his girlfriend!

LIZ WAS HIS GIRLFRIEND NOW! Could life get any better?

* * * * *

By halftime, the Roswell Comets were comfortably ahead and in control of the game. Maria stood and declared it was time for a bathroom break and Isabel tagged along, batting her eyelashes at Alex as she passed him by. Alex stood up and quickly followed after her, and Max could only shake his head. After all these years of insisting they needed to stay away from humans, Isabel was really letting her hair down.

When their friends were gone, Max leaned close to Liz and said, “Alone at last.”

“Alone?” Liz looked at him with arched eyebrows and then looked around the stands. The crowd had thinned out, but the stands were far from empty.

“You know what I mean,” Max nuzzled against her ear. She could feel his warm breath on her cheek and her throat and her pulse was definitely speeding up. She was both relieved and disappointed when he pulled away, relieved because she wasn’t sure she could control herself around him, disappointed because she wasn’t sure she wanted to control herself around him.

Taking a deep breath and telling herself to calm down, Liz tried not to think about how her skin trembled everywhere he touched her. “I, ah . . . I better go to the . . . too,” she stuttered.

“Oh, sure,” Max rose to his feet, thinking he could probably use a trip there himself. Still holding her hand, he led her down the row to the stairs and they headed in the direction their friends had gone a few minutes before. He dropped her off at the girl’s bathroom with the confidence that he would be able to take care of his own business and be back before she re-emerged. After all, he did have a sister, and he knew how long girls took in the bathroom.

Inside the restroom, Isabel and Maria were washing their hands when Liz entered. She only caught the tail end of their conversation, but it was enough to make her ears perk up.

“ . . . so Alex doesn’t have a girlfriend?” Isabel fished for details from Maria. “Or someone he’s interested in?”

“Like who?” Maria frowned. Alex? A girlfriend?

“Like Liz?” Isabel asked. She always saw Alex around Liz, eating lunch with her, walking with his arm around her shoulder, hugging her sometimes. She’d even seen him kissing Liz on the forehead. She knew Liz was head over heels for her brother, but what about Alex? Had Alex spent all these years pinning for Liz, too?

“Alex?” Maria snorted. “Alex and Liz? No way! They’ve been friends forever, but only in a ‘just friends’ kind of way.”

“Isabel,” Liz walked in their direction. “Why are-”

“Liz!” Isabel jumped, startled at the sound of the girl’s voice.

“Why are you asking about me and Alex?” Liz asked. Why was Isabel fishing for information?

Isabel tried to hide behind her ice princess exterior, but she couldn’t conceal the way her cheeks colored with pink. She wasn’t used to getting flustered like this, or letting her real emotions show. Seeing the way the two girls were looking at her, Isabel felt the ice crack and she admitted the truth. “I . . . I think Alex is cute.”

“Alex?” Maria raised an eyebrow at her admission. “I thought you had a thing going with Michael.” After all, they went everywhere together.

“Michael!” Isabel was shocked by that comment. Curling her lip disgustedly, she hissed, “Michael is like a brother.” A shudder passed through her at just the thought of being romantic with Michael. Pity the poor girl that got stuck withhim!

“Oh,” Maria acknowledged that with a nod. Michael and Isabel weren’t – no – forget about it! Michael was an ill-tempered lout with a bad attitude. She wasn’t interested in him at all. She wasn’t. She wasn’t. She. Wasn’t.

“So,” Isabel recovered and a smile began to spread over her face. “Alex is available, huh?”

* * * * *

“Hey,” Max walked up to Alex who was leaning back against the wall just outside of the restroom. “Waiting for the girls?”

“Yeah,” Alex nodded his head. “What takes them so long? Are they in there doing their nails? Styling their hair? Maybe a bikini wax?” Both boys arched their eyebrows at that sudden image, Max thinking of Liz, Alex thinking of Isabel, and then they both shifted uncomfortably.

Note to self, Max felt a blush rising in his cheeks, throw out the tight jeans.

“I haven’t got a clue what Isabel does in there,” Max smirked, “but sometimes it seems like she practically lives in the bathroom.”

“Hey, Max . . .” Alex turned hesitant and then straightened up, standing tall even though his head was bent forward and his eyes were staring in rapt concentration at his shoes. He finally looked up to meet Max’s gaze and he asked, “Are you okay with . . . I mean,” his face cracked in a classic Alex smile, “you’re not really going to kill me if I touch your sister, right?”

“Alex,” Max squeezed the other boy’s shoulder. “If you touch my sister, please, whatever you do, I don’t want to know about it!”

“Fair enough,” Alex laughed in relief.

“Hey,” Max nodded toward the restroom door. “Here they come.”

The boys watched as first Maria and then Isabel came out of the door, and then Max felt his stomach flip when Liz followed them out. He thought she looked gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous, and as she neared him his arms reached out to wrap around her.

In the far shadows near the parking lot a lone figure stood. He could see the group of five talking and laughing, Max with his arm around the girl he had always wanted, Isabel looking comfortable with the dark haired boy who was obviously taken with her. They were the only family he had ever known and he could feel them slipping away. This feeling was worse than any beating he had ever suffered at Hanks merciless hand.

He was alone now, an outsider even among his own.

Michael turned away and slowly headed toward his motorcycle, feeling dejected and abandoned, until a sound behind him stopped him in his tracks.

“The game’s not over yet,” Maria’s voice broke the silence.

Michael suddenly stopped, knowing she was speaking to him. He turned around slowly to see her standing just a few feet away with her features obscured by the shadows. Behind her, he could see the others, standing still and watching from a distance.

She took a step forward and her face became illuminated by an overhead lamppost. With sincerity in both her voice and her eyes, she said, “We have a seat waiting for you.”

Michael wavered in indecision. He wanted to go, to join them, to be a part of this new group that had formed, but he was afraid, too. He’d spent too many years hiding to suddenly be at ease with what he still considered the enemy, the people that would hunt him down if they ever found out what he really was. But he’d also spent too many years being alone, living from day to day with only Max and Isabel to anchor to, and he couldn’t survive without them. If their world was growing, expanding, with new people becoming important factors in their lives, he was just going to have to learn to live with it, or spend a solitary life.

“It’s your choice, Guerin,” Maria said with a parting shot and turned back toward the others.

Michael watched her go with his good eye, the one that wasn’t swollen closed, and he felt a rising sense of panic as she walked away. She moved four feet, five feet, six feet away and then he called out, “DeLuca.”

Maria turned back and fixed him with a stare, “Yeah?”

Michael stood stock still while he waged an internal battle, and then his stance softened as he came to a decision. He looked at the others, Isabel standing beside Alex Whitman, and Max standing protectively near Liz, knowing things were forever changed, and he had to change with it or he’d be left behind.

“Wait up,” he said finally and fell into step beside Maria as they headed to joint the others.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Sep-2002 10:30:21 PM ]
posted on 9-Sep-2002 11:59:52 PM by Breathless
Hey all. Sorry to disappoint, but the next part isn't quite ready yet. I was up late last night posting Captive Hearts and then had a long day at work today and I just got home a few minutes ago.

I have to do some editing tonight and then I should be able to post part 29 tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

posted on 11-Sep-2002 12:37:00 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author note: Here I am. Thanks for all the bumps! You all are the best!

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 29

Max pulled to a stop in front of the Crashdown and looked through the windows at all the activity going on inside. Kyle and the team had won another game, and while the evening had been every bit as exciting as last week, even more so because he got to hold Liz’s hand throughout the entire game, what he wanted now wasn’t a restaurant full of wild, happy fans. What he really wanted was someplace quiet, where it was just the two of them, just him and Liz. Alone. Together.

Glancing over at her, looking so tiny on the passenger seat next to him, he wondered if that was what she wanted too, or did she want to go join the crowd and celebrate? He would do what ever she wanted, and he was just about to ask her, when she spoke first.

“Max?” she turned her wavering eyes in his direction, shying away from meeting his gaze head on. “We still have time before my father’s curfew is up. Do you . . . there’s a . . . we could . . .”

“What?” Max gently cupped his hand under her chin and turned her face to look at him. “You can tell me. I won’t bite.”

She laughed self-consciously and even in the dim light of the street lamp he could see her blush. She glanced at the hustle and bustle going on inside the Crashdown and then said cautiously, “I was wondering . . . if . . . maybe you’d like to go for a walk . . .”


“It’s still pretty warm out, and we’ve been sitting all night, and I thought maybe we could stretch our legs-”


“Or we could go inside the Crashdown. Are you hungry?” Her hand reached for the door handle, saying, “I bet there’s still a slice of Men in Blackberry-”

He gently grasped her chin and turned her back to look at him, with his lips swooping down to cover hers before she could get the word ‘pie’ out. He cupped her face with his hands, feeling her surprise, and then she was melting into him, wrapping her arms around him, both of them still utterly amazed about everything that had happened today. He took his time, tasting the sweetness of her lips, feeling her soft skin underneath his fingertips, knowing that he had waited his whole life for this.

What he didn’t know, was that she had, too.

He could sense her nervousness, her anxiety, her fear of doing or saying the wrong thing, and he understood what she was feeling. He felt exactly the same way. It had been a wondrous evening, but everything was so new between them, they were still walking on eggshells, afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing.

His lips slowly parted from hers and as he looked into the dark pools of her eyes, he said with more calmness than he felt, “I think a walk sounds like a wonderful idea.”

He climbed from the jeep and hurried around to her side not even noticing the cars that pulled to a stop around them. Max barely registered them, as consumed as he was with reaching Liz and taking her hand in his again, until the familiar voice of his oldest adversary broke through just as he was helping Liz from the jeep.

“Well, if it isn’t Maxeo. How for art thou Maxeo?”

Max whipped his head around to look behind him, bridling at the familiar voice. A curse lodged in the back of his throat as his nemesis stepped out of his red mustang and Kyle – oh wait – look at that. Kyle’s arm was in a sling. HA! The bastard wouldn’t be making any moves on anyone tonight!

“Kyle,” Liz bristled and climbed from the jeep to stand beside Max. She was all set to scold him for teasing when she saw his injured arm. Her entire demeanor changed and Max shot a look at her with his jealously rearing its ugly head again. He had seen Kyle go down on the field toward the end of the game when a 230 pound linebacker broke through the front line and sacked the star quarterback. Max had been startled, and even jealous, when Liz jumped to her feet with concern etched all over her face, but she’d relaxed when Kyle walked off the field under his own power. Now she looked concerned about him all over again.

Max knew it was wrong, to act like a jealous boyfriend, but he doubted he’d ever not be jealous of Kyle. After all, the bastard had kissed Liz first. That motherf*&#%# coc#%*&$er son of a b&%$* ⊕sswipe –

“Oh Kyle,” Liz’s tone became worried. She reached out her hand to touch her old friend on the arm and asked, “What happened?”

– a car alarm went off down the street, with nobody nearby to set it off –

“Hey Liz,” Kyle turned his award winning smile on her. He knew he’d probably always have a soft spot for her. “I just tweaked my shoulder when Big Ben creamed me.” Kyle couldn’t help but notice the way Evans had his hand possessively on Liz’s shoulder. Damn. Oh well, if Max made her happy . . .

– the burglar alarm went off in the camera shop over on the corner –

“Are you alright?” Liz asked Kyle worriedly. “Is it serious? Are you going to be out for a while?” She knew without Kyle, they wouldn’t make it to the state championship this year. She also knew if it was a bad injury, it could seriously hinder his college prospects. She knew he was hoping for a scholarship.

– the bucking bronco child’s ride in front of Peterson’s Pharmacy came to life and made a wild dash for freedom –

“It’ll probably be alright,” Kyle shrugged and then winced at the pain the movement caused. “If it still hurts in the morning, then I have to have it looked at. For tonight, I’m supposed to keep it immobile, and keep ice on it to keep the swelling down.” He was trying to be positive, but deep down he was afraid he might have tendon or ligament damage, maybe even a separated shoulder. His chance for college might have ended on the field tonight.

“Maybe you should go home and rest,” Max suggested. He liked that idea. Then Kyle wouldn’t be around for Liz to fret over.

– the Crashdown sign behind Max began to hum loudly, like it was getting ready to for take-off –

“And leave all my adoring fans unfulfilled?” Kyle boasted and pointed at the packed restaurant. He gave Liz a friendly tweak on her chin with his good hand and – the streetlamp across the street exploded in a hail of sparks and glass and the three teens turned in unison to look across the street.

Liz stared at the spectacle wondering about the conduction of energy that was surging through the light fixture.

Kyle stared at the lamppost thinking ‘Sparks, hey that’s cool’.

Max bit on his lower lip thinking, ‘Oops, did I do that?’ That’s when he noticed the alarms going off and the mechanical horse rocking wildly back and forth and the UFO sign getting ready for mach I. He dampened his powers and looked at Liz out of the corner of his eye, wondering if she had noticed anything weird.

“Well, I gotta go,” Kyle smiled at Liz and sized up Max as he turned to walk away. “Catch ya later.”

Max watched him go and then turned back to see Liz watching Kyle, too. He wondered if maybe she was going to want to follow Kyle inside the Crashdown because he was hurt, and he was her friend, and just the thought was enough to make his jealousy flare again. He fought it off quickly, not wanting a repeat of sparks and alarms, and he asked, “Do you want to go inside?”

“Inside?” Liz turned her eyes up to his and tried to hide her disappointment. “You don’t want to go for a walk?”

“No,” Max said hastily, “I do want to go for a walk, if you still want to go for a walk, but if you don’t want to go for a walk, then we don’t have to . . . go . . . for a walk.” Huh? Did that come out right?

“What?” Liz was laughing.

“Let’s go for a walk,” Max dipped his head bashfully and then slipped his hand into hers. They walked in silence for a minute while they ambled down the sidewalk and Max tried to get up the courage to ask the question that he’d been wanting to ask all night. The shops and businesses fell behind them as they strolled along and soon they reached the park that dominated the middle of town. A park bench looked like it was calling him and he pulled Liz along with boyish zeal, “Let’s go sit down.”

He tugged on her hand to hurry her across the grass and they sat on the bench under the willowy branches of a tall tree. He would have liked nothing better than to have her sitting on his lap, remembering his recent fantasy about kissing her in the park, but he settled for having her sit on the bench beside him instead.

He couldn’t help the grin that had become an almost permanent fixture on his face and he sucked up all the courage he could find. “Liz? Um . . . I was wondering . . .”

What was he wondering, Liz held her breath. He seemed so shy, and nervous, but excited too. Was he going to ask her something? Something about tomorrow and practicing the play? Something about the movies they had rented?

“ . . . if maybe you would . . .”

If she would what, Liz wondered? What did he want her to do? She could think of all kinds of things she wanted to do, and kissing him again was right there at the top of her list.

“. . . maybe want to go . . .”

Go? Go where? Go as in go . . . somewhere? Go as in . . . go . . . out? Was he going to ask her out again? Please? Please, please, please? She thought he’d had a good time tonight, but it was just a football game. Would he want to take her out again? Where? Dinner? A dance? The movies? Please don’t ask about screen names again!

“. . . to the Homecoming dance with me? It’s a week from tomorrow.” Max stared at Liz, hoping that she had enjoyed tonight as much as he had, and that she would want to go out with him again.

A dance? Did he just ask her to a dance? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!

“Um . . . sure,” Liz finally sputtered out.

“Great!” Max beamed. “Great! Maybe we could go out to dinner first?”

“That’d be great!” Liz could hardly contain her joy. Dinner and a dance! Sweet! Happy feet! Happy feet! She was doing mental cartwheels across the lawn! She was racing down the middle of Main Street singing at the top of her lungs! Wait until she told Maria!

Max stared at the radiantly happy look on her face and he just knew he had to kiss her again. How could this day possibly get any better? He’d kissed Liz Parker, girl of his dreams. He’d asked her on a date and she accepted! He took her on said date and afterwards she agreed to go on another! How could anything possibly top that? Well, he leaned closer, staring at her lush lips, he could think of something . . .

With his eyes focused on her lips and his heart pounding faster in his chest, he slowly cut the distance between them. A charge went through his body, like a bolt of lightning as his lips covered hers, and then he was lost within the kiss. His hand threaded through the silken strands of her hair and his eyes fluttered closed, reveling in the feel of her sweet lips against his. He felt like he was living in a dream, one that couldn’t possibly be real.

“Pinch me,” Max mumbled against her lips when he came up for air, not even realizing he had said it out loud. He went right back in for more, thinking that kissing Liz Parker was something he would never get tired of doing.

Liz pinched him on the side and giggled softly when he pulled away from her in surprise. “Well? You asked me to,” she said innocently and Max could only stare at her, wide eyed, with a blush rising in his cheeks. Had he said that out loud?

His grin matched hers and he went in for another kiss and his eyes nearly popped out of his head when he felt her tongue touch his lips. His lips parted and her tongue slipped inside his mouth, touching his own tongue, and Max had the answer to his earlier question. This day just kept getting better and better!

A flash hit him then, a series of images like a video playing in his head . . .

She sat on a stool at the counter with her right leg tucked underneath her and her left leg swinging freely back and forth. Her elbow was propped on the countertop with her chin resting on her upturned hand and her eyes were riveted to the book in front of her. History wasn’t her favorite subject but she was diligently pressing on.

The bell above the Crashdown door rang as a new customer entered and feeling easily distracted, she turned her eyes away from her book to see who it was. Her leg froze in mid swing and her pencil dropped unnoticed from her hand when she met the timid eyes of the new boy at school. He was standing just behind a man and a woman and his sister was right next to him, checking out the paintings on the walls and the alien themed décor all around the restaurant.

His eyes, a color somewhere between hazel and honey, were staring into hers and she felt her stomach flip upside down. His dark hair fell across his forehead and curled around his neck and she felt her heart beat a little faster. His parents crossed the restaurant to sit in one of the orange colored booths and his sister grabbed his hand to pull him along.

The boy’s eyes dropped to the floor as he was dragged across the room and Liz dropped her own down to her history book again, but the words written there might as well have been written in a foreign language. She couldn’t read a word. All she could think about was the new boy, Max, and the fact that he was right across the room. She turned to dart another look in his direction because she just couldn’t not look, and her stomach went all queasy when their eyes met. He was looking right at her.

What did that mean? Why was he looking at her? And why did his looking at her make her feel so funny inside? She didn’t know anything about him, except the rumors going around school that he and his sister were found abandoned in the desert and the Evans adopted them. She darted a look at him again and her elation plummeted when she saw him looking down at his menu. Maybe he hadn’t really been looking at her at all. Oh well. He was too cute to ever notice her.

With a sigh she closed the cover on her book and gathered her things together. She’d never be able to study now, not with him so close. She slid from the stool and tucked her books close to her chest as she headed toward the back of the café. She couldn’t help but notice that he was concentrating so hard on the menu that he didn’t even notice her leave.

Once in the backroom, she dropped her books quickly and pulled the closest thing she could find over to the door. She was too short to see through the diamond shaped window without standing on a box, and even at that she still had to stretch to see. She could just barely see the top of his head and she wasn’t sure, but she thought he might be looking back this way. Standing on her tiptoes on the rickety box she tried to stretch a little higher, and then the box gave way and she plummeted to the floor, twisting her ankle when she landed . . .

Max was breathing heavy as he broke off the kiss, surprised by what he had seen. These flashes were one of the strangest things he’d ever experienced, and once again he was relieved to see that she must not have seen it too. She wasn’t looking at him like he was a freak doing freaky things to her.

“Maybe we should go back now,” he suggested. “It’s getting late, and I don’t want your Dad waiting for me with a shotgun in his hands.”

“Max!” Liz elbowed him lightly in the ribs. “My Dad doesn’t have a shotgun!”

“Well, that’s good to know,” Max laughed into her ear and resisted the urge to tickle her. He remembered the position they ended up in last time he tickled her, and he wasn’t sure if he was ready for a repeat of that just yet! He’d just have to settle for kissing. Lots and lots of kissing. Their cheeks brushed together, hers smooth, his too, and then he was blindly seeking out her lips, lost in the feel of her. Time had no meaning when he was kissing Liz Parker. Their lips were bruising from the unaccustomed devotion, but neither one of them noticed, until a parade of cars speed by with revelers shouting to the heavens.


“I think the Crashdown just closed,” Liz mumbled against his lips. “They always do that.”

‘What? Act like idiots?” Max kissed her again, because he just couldn’t stop.

“Yeah,” Liz leaned in for one more. Or two. Or three.

“I better get you home,” he pulled away reluctantly. With an inward sigh, he rose to his feet and pulled her up beside him. Holding her hand tightly in his, they turned to walk back to the Crashdown with Max’s thoughts drifting back to the vision he’d seen just a short while ago. He’d always wondered how Liz sprained her ankle in the third grade. Now he finally knew.

* * * * *

They returned to the Crashdown just as Jeff Parker was finishing locking up the place. The lights were dim and Jeff pushed open the door to let them inside so Liz wouldn’t have to fish out her key. He took a quick glance at his watch, pleased to see that it was only 11:45 and Max had brought Liz home well before her curfew. That could mean one of two things.

Max was a good kid, respectful, polite, upstanding, disciplined, mindful, and treated his daughter right.


It had been a bad date and Max was bringing her home early and he was never going to darken their doorstep again.

Jeff wasn’t sure which scenario he liked best.

“Did you two have a good time?” Jeff asked cheerily.

“We had a great time,” Max and Liz said together and then they both laughed while their cheeks turned a matching shade of pink.

“Well,” Jeff said, and focused on Max. “Thanks for bringing her home on time.”

“I’ll, um . . .” Max hesitated and scratched a spot behind his ear. “If it’s alright with you, sir, I’ll just walk Liz up to her door.”

Jeff stared at the young man in front of him, judging what he saw and deciding it met his approval. “Sure,” he nodded. “Go right on up.” He had a feeling he was going to be seeing a lot more of this young man, and judging by his actions so far, that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. But just for the record, if he did anything more than hold his daughter’s hand, he would definitely have to kill him.

Max guided Liz to the back of the restaurant and then up the stairs to her apartment. They stood outside the door, both of them feeling awkward as their first date was coming to an end. Max wanted her home with time to spare so that her father wouldn’t be judging him harshly. Liz was lamenting the fact the Max was bringing her home early, warring with the side of her brain that said it must be because he’d had a terrible time.

“I had a great time, Liz,” Max said and he laid her fears to rest.

“You did?” Liz sounded surprised. She couldn’t help it. She was a science geek, not a babe, and she still found it hard to believe Max could ever see anything in her.

“Yes, I did,” he nodded and Liz saw him smile from one gorgeous ear to the other.

“Me too,” she sighed.

“So,” he hated to see their night come to an end, but he knew it must. He lifted his hand to stroke her hair back from her face and then he let it rest there, cupping the side of her cheek. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” Liz agreed with her eyes looking up at his face, at his eyes, his nose, his chiseled jaw line, his incredibly lush lips.

Max took a quick glance behind him and not seeing any evidence of Jeff Parker yet, he leaned into Liz for one more amazing kiss. He could feel the jolt of electricity course through his entire body when his lips touched hers, and he knew it was a feeling he could become addicted to. Tearing himself away from her, he had to keep telling himself he was going to see her tomorrow, and he could kiss her again then. And the day after. And then the day after that.

It didn’t make leaving her now any easier, though.

His lips parted from hers and then he brushed them over the soft skin of her cheek, saying huskily, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow,” Liz said again. It was the only thing she could get her mouth to say.

* * * * *

Max was floating on cloud nine as he made his way down the stairs and toward the door that would take him into the restaurant, to the only way he knew out. He stopped suddenly when he heard his name called.

“Max,” Jeff said from the dimly lit kitchen. “I can let you out the back way.” Jeff moved forward and Max followed, and he soon found himself stepping out into the alley that ran behind the Crashdown.

“Goodnight Mr. Parker,” Max said politely.

“Goodnight Max,” Jeff nodded and closed the door.

* * * * *

Max turned the corner with a silly grin on his face, headed in the direction of his jeep, when a voice coming from behind him stopped him short.

“So, you finally got your head out of the sand and realized how great my girl was, huh?”

Max froze in mid step and then slowly turned his head in the direction the familiar voice was coming from. He saw the shadowed figure leaning up against the brick façade of the neighboring building and he wondered, was Kyle trying to start something here? On edge and cautious, Max asked, “Your girl?”

“Liz,” Kyle jerked his head back toward the Crashdown.

“Look, Kyle,” Max started. He didn’t want to say or do something that he might later regret, but if Kyle was stating his intentions toward Liz, Max wasn’t going to take it without a fight. Now that he knew what it was like to be with her, no way was he ever willingly giving her up.

“Hey,” Kyle saw the way his shoulders had stiffened and his eyes had narrowed. “I’m not trying to challenge you here. But I am telling you this . . . you better take care of her. She’s been waiting a long time for this, and if you hurt her, you’re gonna have to answer to me.”

“She’s been waiting . . .?” Max didn’t understand. Waiting for what?

“For you,” Kyle answered his unspoken question. “I don’t know why it took you this long to notice her, but she’s been in –” Kyle snapped his mouth shut and straightened up, walking slowly up to Max. “Look. She’s had a thing for you for years, and if you don’t treat her right, I’m gonna have to break your face.”

“For . . .” Max found it hard to contain a grin. For years? How many years? Wow. His dreamy smile gave way to a more serious look as he refocused on the boy in front of him. “I would never hurt her, Kyle.”

“See that you don’t,” Kyle warned. “She’s special. Make sure you treat her that way.”

“I will,” Max lifted his hand and placed it on Kyle’s shoulder. In the last few minutes his animosity toward the other boy had lifted, and he rescinded his bastard status. How could he hold a grudge against someone who obviously cared for Liz, and was only looking out for her? She had a true friend in Kyle, and Max had only recently opened up enough to let himself experience what friendship was like. He’d always had Michael and Isabel who were family, but he’d never had real friends before, human friends. Because of Liz, that wasn’t true anymore. Even though they didn’t know his secrets, Max considered Maria and Alex newfound friends. Looking at Kyle tonight, he thought maybe his name might someday be added, too.

His hand glowed faintly as he healed the torn tendons in Kyle’s shoulder and Max repeated solemnly, “I will, Kyle. I’ll treat her like a queen.”

Look for the next part probably next Tuesday.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 11-Sep-2002 1:22:16 AM ]
posted on 17-Sep-2002 11:33:50 PM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17
Disclaimer: Lyrics by KC and the Sunshine Band.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 30

Max pulled his jeep to a stop in his driveway and looked around, noticing his mother’s car was gone. Did that mean what he thought it meant? Was the house empty? He looked at the passenger sitting next to him and a thrill went through him at the thought of having her in the house with him, all alone, just them. He hadn’t felt this nervous last time she came to his house, but things were different between them now. Last time, the thought of kissing her seemed like just an impossible dream. Now, it was the highlight of his day.

So why was he nervous?

“Here we are,” Max pulled his keys out of the ignition, and promptly dropped them on the floorboard. Shit, he cursed silently. He reached over to pick them up and bumped his forehead on the steering wheel, making the horn honk loudly. Shit and double shit. Liz tried to stifle a laugh and Max rolled his eyes in embarrassment. Good lord, he chastised himself, he wasn’t usually such a klutz. He was suave, smooth, debonair. He opened his car door and tripped over his big feet, and went sprawling over the driveway. From Liz’s vantage point, he was there one second, and then gone the next!

“Max?” she asked with laughter sparking in her eyes. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah!” he jumped up to his feet with his face as read as a fire hydrant. “Just checking the tires!”

“Oh, okay,” Liz bit down on her lip to keep from laughing. He was so cute when he was embarrassed. She watched him hurry around to her side of the jeep so he could help her out, and much to her chagrin, she tripped over the door jam, too, falling right into his chest. His strong arms caught her and when she looked up into his face, it was his turn to laugh at her now.

“Harder than it looks, isn’t it?” he teased.

“It certainly is,” Liz said dreamily. He was talking about climbing out of the jeep. She wasn’t.

“Well, shall we go inside?” Max asked, enjoying the feel of her leaning into his chest. She was so small it made him feel protective of her whenever she was close like this.

“Um, sure,” she straightened up. She missed the feel of his hard muscles as soon as she pulled away from him and she couldn’t help but wonder what he would look like under that shirt. Damn! That was a dangerous thought! It sent a bolt of heat right through her!

Max turned to head toward the house and slipped his hand into hers, wondering why her cheeks had suddenly turned so red. Was it because she fell out of the jeep, too? He hoped none of the neighbors were watching! He reached the front door and fumbled with his keys again, searching for the right one with just one hand. He didn’t want to let go of Liz with the other. He was just starting to insert the key into the lock when much to his surprise, the front door was wrenched open and he was staring right into the face of his mother. He almost dropped his keys again.

“MOM!” Max blurted out. “You’re not here!”

“I’m not?” Diane Evans raised an eyebrow at her son. Her gaze shifted over to the pretty girl standing next to him, and then down to where their two hands were joined between them. Now this was something new. Max, holding a girl’s hand? Wait until she told Philip!

“I mean,” Max stammered, “your car’s not here. I thought you weren’t here because your car’s not here.” Was that a good recovery, he wondered? He released Liz’s hand at the same time that he felt her tug hers free and both of them were turning a deeper shade of red. It was one thing to hold hands and kiss at school, but you couldn’t let your parents see it!

“Isabel borrowed it,” Diane explained the car’s absence. When it became painfully obvious Max was just going to stand there until the end of time, Diane said to the girl beside him, “Hi, I’m Max’s mother. And you would be?”

“Liz,” she blushed. “Liz Parker. It’s nice to meet you Mrs. Evans.”

“Please,” she stepped back to let the kids have room to come into the house, “call me Diane.” Max let Liz go in first and then he followed behind her. “Parker,” Diane mused. “Are you related to the Parkers that own the restaurant in town? The one with the UFO above the door?”

“The Crashdown,” Liz nodded. “Yes. It belongs to my parents.”

“Yes,” Diane nodded. “I’ve seen you there before. Max, when you were little, you used to beg us to go there –”

“Mom!” Max was starting to sweat.

“If he’d had his way,” Diane laughed as she reminisced, “he would have made us eat there 7 days a week! Breakfast, lunch and dinner! I think he was quite taken with –”

“Mom!” Max was dying of embarrassment.

“– all the alien décor in the place. Aliens everywhere!”

“That’s what we’re famous for,” Liz laughed lightly.

“Mom,” Max tried to change the subject. “Liz and I have to practice the play. We’re just gonna to go in the living room now.” He was eager to get Liz away from his mother before she could tell her any more stories.

“Can I get you kids anything?” Diane asked. “A soda? Ice tea? A snack?”

Max turned to Liz with a questioning look in his eyes and Liz just shook her head. “No, I’m fine,” she declined.

“We’re fine, Mom,” Max led Liz away. “Don’t go to any trouble for us.”

“Oh, it’s no trouble,” Diane looked back and forth between the two teens with a broad smile on her face. It was no trouble at all! Max had never brought a girl home before, and Diane wanted to make her feel very welcome! “I’ll go get you some cookies!”

“Mom –” Max started to protest, but his mother was already running for the kitchen. Great, he fought not to roll his eyes. His mother was going to bring them milk and cookies. He could feel his cheeks burning already. “Well, this way,” Max led Liz from the foyer into the living room.

Liz walked a step in front of him, feeling the way his hand pressed against the small of her back. She liked the feel of it there, warm and slightly possessive. “So,” she looked up at him and then her breath nearly caught in her throat. He was staring right at her, and the look in his eyes was so . . . hungry. And she didn’t think it had anything to do with cookies! “So, um,” she stuttered, “what, ah, what scene did you want to practice?”

“Practice?” Max stood in the living room, staring down into Liz Parker’s gorgeous dark eyes, unable to concentrate on anything but her. His hand was drawn to her cheek like a magnet, with his senses absorbing the softness of her skin and the sweetness of her scent. He was totally under her spell. He leaned toward her, she leaned toward him, their lips moved closer and closer together –

“Here you go, Ma – oh!” Diane stopped suddenly with a plate of cookies in her hands. Goodness! Max was kissing that sweet young girl! Oh my! Her fist figuratively pumped in the air and her mind shouted YES! She’d been telling Philip for years that Max was just a late bloomer, and it looked like she was right! He was finally coming out – no, no, that wasn’t the right term. He was emerging from his shell, and thank god he’d chosen a nice girl, and not one of those skanky creatures she saw hanging around on the streets. Oh, she was so proud of her little boy!

“Mom!” Max jumped away from Liz. Did she see that? Did she see him kissing Liz? And why should he care if his mother saw him kissing Liz? Was this a normal human response, not wanting your mother to see you kissing your girlfriend? Max got a sappy look on his face again at just the thought of that word. Girlfriend. Girlfriend! Man, did he like the sound of that word! GIRLFRIEND!

“Here you go,” Diane set the plate on the coffee table and backed out of the room. “I’ll just leave you alone now.” She could see that these two were embarrassed to be caught kissing and she hurried to get out of their way. Besides, she had to go call Philip! Was this girl, Liz Parker, the reason for Max’s sudden interest in the high school football games? He’d gone last week, and then again last night, and she had thought it was a little strange. He’d never shown an interest before. Now that she thought about it, he’d been so nervous before he left for the game, and she’d seen the way his hand shook when he poured himself a glass of juice before he left. Had last night’s football game been more than just a game? After he was gone, she’d seen the shambles he had made of his bedroom. It wasn’t like him to throw his clothes around and leave them on the floor like that, but then, he’d never dressed for a date before. Is that what last night’s game was? Her son’s first date? She ran for the phone in the bedroom. Wait until Philip heard about this!

“Sorry about that,” Max looked at Liz with that embarrassed little grin on his face.

“It’s okay,” Liz shrugged it off with her own nervousness showing in the way she chewed at her lower lip. Besides, her parents were acting pretty weird, too. Here she was, a senior in high school, and her dad was giving her a curfew! Making sure her boyfriend had her home by midnight! For crying out loud! MIDNIGHT? Wait. Did she just refer to Max as her boyfriend? Oh god, she liked the sound of that! Did a few kisses constitute Max being her boyfriend? What would he think if she called him that? Was it too soon? Would it scare him off?

“So,” Max brushed his fingers against hers, “what scene do you want to practice?” He knew what scene he wanted to practice, but with his mother here, he thought it might not be safe. A reprisal of Act III, Scene 5 would have to wait for another time.

“I don’t know,” her fingers twined between his. Who could think of practicing at a time like this? Her brain turned to mush when he was this close. “The balcony scene maybe?” she suggested. She thought she could do that one in her sleep now, so it wouldn’t take a lot of effort to remember the lines.

“Sounds good to me.” Max looked around quickly to make sure his mother wasn’t close by, and when the coast was clear he snaked his arms around Liz and pulled her close. He felt the length of her body press against his and he leaned down to steal a quick kiss, which turned out to be not so quick. Her lips tasted too sweet for him to stop kissing and it wasn’t long before his hand was threading through her hair to send the kiss even deeper.

Diane peeked around the corner and got quite an eyeful. Her little boy was acting very grown up! Either Max had done this before, which she rather doubted, or he was a quick learner! Oh my! She better go call Philip again and make sure he had that little heart to heart talk with his son!

“Did you hear something?” Max broke off the kiss and looked around the room.

Just the sound of her heart racing, Liz thought, and she shook her head back and forth. Just the fireworks exploding in her head! Just the angels singing in the heavens. Just the devil whispering in her ear . . .

That’s the way, uh huh uh huh
I like it, uh huh uh huh
That’s the way, uh huh uh huh
I like it, uh huh uh huh
Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight!

“No?” Max arched an eyebrow at her. He was sure he had heard something. Music in his head maybe? Uh huh, uh huh. Where did that come from! In an effort to fight off any alien visions and phantom songs, Max scooped his hands under Liz’s arms and lifted her up onto the coffee table, smiling at her devilishly.

“Now you’re up on your balcony, M’Lady.” He kissed her on the back of the hand and stepped back, never taking his eyes off her, and launched into his oration. “Soft, what light through yonder window breaks . . .”

Diane headed back toward the kitchen but her footsteps faltered as she passed by the living room. Her conversation with Philip had quieted her down somewhat, listening to his voice of reason. He was calm, cool, and collected. A consummate professional. She had no idea that at this very moment he was hauling ass home from the office as fast as he could so he could see for himself! All Diane knew as she stood near the archway to the living room was that Max and this girl Liz seemed to have taken Shakespeare to a whole nother level. Their lines flowed so smoothly together, seamlessly, flawlessly, as if the words were written just for them. She’d never heard anything more beautiful. She hovered in the hallway, just listening.

“It is my Lady,” Max’s voice floated to Diane. “O it is my love. O that she knew she were.” She heard a sigh, and then his voice came to her again. “She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that? Her eye discourses, I will answer it . . . I am too bold, ‘tis not to me she speaks.”

Was this her son, Diane wondered? She’d always known he was a sensitive boy, but listening to his voice it felt like so much more than that. The emotion just poured from his tongue.

“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy Father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”

Diane could hear the same emotion in the girl’s voice, too. Liz. Liz Parker. She’d always suspected Max had a thing for this girl but he’d never acted on it and after a time she had come to doubt her suspicions. She’d always known her children were a little different, but she attributed that to the life they had lived before they came to live with her and Philip. Whatever had happened to them, she knew it must have been traumatic, but they would never talk about it. Still wouldn’t. Maybe someday they would open up and share their inner selves. As their mother, she would always hope.

Diane remembered back to the first time she suspected Max had strong feelings for Liz Parker, that day when he came home after school and he was more upset than she had ever seen him before. He usually kept his emotions in check, even as a small boy never giving in to the temptation to cry, but that day he’d worn his emotions on his sleeve. There’d been a shooting in the restaurant that he hung out in after school, the Crashdown, and a friend of his, his biology lab partner, had almost been hit. It was just a miracle that she had bent over to pick up a fork that she’d dropped and the bullet passed within inches of her head. It had profoundly affected Max, and at the time she thought it was because he had deeper feelings for the girl, but he never acted on it, and after a time she suspected that her initial assessment must have been wrong.

Now, listening to the sound of their voices, she knew she hadn’t been. Max had always had strong feelings for this girl, and now it appeared she had equally strong feelings for him. It made a mother’s heart sing.

* * * * *

“What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night, so stumblest on my counsel?” Liz quoted.

“By a name,” Max moved closer to the coffee table, “I know not how to tell thee who I am. My name, dear Saint, is hateful to my self, because it is an enemy to thee. Had I it written, I would tear the word.”

They were both so absorbed in their Shakespearean world that they didn’t notice they had an audience. Diane stood in the archway into the living room, with Philip at her side. Both of them were enthralled by the rehearsal they were watching.

“My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words of thy tongue’s uttering, yet I know the sound,” Liz looked down at Max. “Art thou not Romeo, and a Mountague?”

“Neither, fair maid,” Max stared up into her radiant face, “if either thee dislike.”

“How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore? The orchard walls are high and hard to climb, and the place death, considering who thou art, if any of my kinsmen find thee here.”

“With love’s light wings I did o’erperch these walls,” Max swept his hand through the air and that’s when he saw them. His parents. Standing there. Watching them. Their practice session came to a rapid end. “Dad!” Max blurted out. “When did you get home?” The unasked question was, ‘How long have you been standing there watching?’ His cheeks were turning bright red.

“I just got home, son,” Philip beamed. His wife had been absolutely right. The heterosexual vibes coming from the living room were thick enough to cut with a knife. Philip had never been more proud. Way to go, son! Now maybe he could stop worrying about the weird relationship between Max and Michael.

* * * * *

Max sat beside Liz on the couch, watching her as Li Mu Bai died in the arms of Yu Shu Lien. They were watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and he knew that this scene would be an emotional moment for Liz, because that was just the way she was. Watching the tears fall down her cheeks now wasn’t surprising. She felt things like that strongly. His fingers were threaded between hers and he asked softly, “Are you okay?”

“It’s so sad,” Liz sniffled and looked up at him with watery eyes. “They loved each other so much but now he’s gone and they’ll never be together.”

Max brushed his fingers over her cheek to wipe away her tears. The movie proved one thing to him. Life was too short, too precious, to just stand back and watch it rush by. You had to fight for what you wanted, and thank god, yesterday he’d done just that. In a way, he supposed he should thank Michael for that awful lie he told, because it had been the impetus to propel him out of his normally passive behavior. It had provoked a strong reaction in him and instead of denying his desires, it forced him to act, to go after what he wanted, and the result of it was this. He’d never been happier in his life.

Max lifted his arm and draped it around Liz’s shoulder, drawing her close to him. She snuggled into his chest, resting her hand against his heart, and they contentedly watched the rest of the movie. It didn’t matter any more that his parents might walk into the room at any moment and see them like this. Why try to deny what was so obvious? Max wanted the whole world, no, the whole universe to know Liz was his.

She lifted her face from his chest and the sadness had left her eyes, her tears gone, replaced by a look that caused his stomach to grumble. It was a new look for her, one he’d never seen her give anyone else, a look reserved just for him. It spoke volumes, this new look of hers, and he answered her in the only way he could. His lips covered her lips, with their kiss saying everything that needed to be said.

Diane and Philip were doing high fives in the kitchen.

I will try to update next week, but no promises. Maybe late next week.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Sep-2002 2:56:49 AM ]
posted on 25-Sep-2002 2:49:37 AM by Breathless
Sorry to disappoint you all but I've been working 12 hour days and I'm too pooped to post! The next part is almost ready but I haven't been able to work on it much because of my schedule.

I'm still hoping to have it ready for Thursday night (Friday to most of you), but if it's not ready then, it will probably have to wait until next Tuesday.

Sorry! How DARE really life interfere with fanfic! The nerve!

posted on 27-Sep-2002 2:51:07 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 31

Maria and Liz wandered up and down the aisles of Yvette’s Formal Shoppe, the place at the mall where all the girls went to pick out a dress for the Homecoming dance. Yvette’s had the latest fashions, and the biggest selection, but even so, Liz was having a hard time finding something suitable. Maria wasn’t helping.

“What about this one, Liz?” Maria asked, holding up a dress that would have fit perfectly, if she were living in a commune in the 60’s. A few flowers in her hair were the only things missing.

“I don’t think so,” Liz crinkled her nose and shook her head. Maria shrugged her shoulders and put it back on the rack and kept looking.

“So how did it go yesterday?” Maria dug for information. She was referring, of course, to Liz’s movie date with Max. “Did you and Max get all hot and bothered? Were you all over each other?”

“Maria!” Liz turned bright red. She looked around the shop to see if anyone was listening.

“C’mon, Liz!” Maria begged. “You’re the only one with a love life! Spill!”

“There’s nothing to tell,” Liz pawed through another rack of dresses. She could feel Maria’s eyes boring into the back of her head so she took a deep breath and let out a long sigh. “He took me to his house and we practice the play and we watched the movies and then he took me home.”

“That’s it?” Maria groused. It had to be more than that. Liz had been practically glowing all day with that sappy look on her face, and Maria knew a look like that wasn’t caused by any movie. “You’re holding out on me Liz,” Maria accused.

“No, there’s really nothing to tell,” Liz tried to sound convincing. “After all, his mother was home. You should have seen her! She opened the door when we got there and saw us holding hands and I think you could have knocked her over with a feather, she looked so surprised.”

“Well,” Maria deadpanned, “she was probably glad to know her son isn’t gay.”

“Maria!” Liz’s eyes flew open wide. “Stop that!”

“He’s probably never brought a girl home before!” Maria sent her a wicked grin. “With as much time as Max spends with Michael, his parents probably wondered what side he buttered his bread on.”

“Maria, will you just help me find a dress?” Liz rolled her eyes.

“Okay,” Maria pinched Liz’s cheeks affectionately. She turned back to the dress rack and took a closer look at a black spandex dress with sequence all over it. She held it up for Liz’s inspection, but Liz just wrinkled her nose and shook her head no. “So,” Maria put it back and thumbed through the rest of the dresses, “what else did you and Max do?”

“Well . . . ” Liz felt her cheeks heating up again, and Maria’s keen radar didn’t miss it.

“What?” Maria demanded. “Details! Give me details!”

“Well,” Liz admitted, “Max and I . . . me and Max . . . well . . .”

“Spit it out!” Maria cried excitedly, holding on to Liz’s upper arms.

Liz felt her whole body flush in embarrassment. “We were in the living room and we were gonna practice the play, but first he kissed me, and then he kissed me again, and then we were really kissing . . . and then his mother walked in the room.” Maria snorted a laugh and Liz rolled her eyes at the memory. “She was bringing us a plate of cookies and Max got so embarrassed. I could tell by the look on her face that she’d never seen Max kiss a girl before.” Liz chewed on her lower lip, remembering what a thrill that knowledge had given her. She knew it was too hard to believe that a guy as good looking as Max had never kissed another girl, but it was nice to pretend it was true. She wanted him all to herself.

“Then what happened?” Maria dug for more information.

“Then we practiced the play and watched the movies,” Liz shrugged. “We went out for ice cream afterwards, and then he took me home.”

“Home?” Maria frowned at Liz in disappointment. “That’s it? Movies with Mom and ice cream?”

“Yeah,” Liz went back to searching for the right dress. “I mean, we couldn’t exactly do anything with his parents right there! And my dad is still acting overprotective with the stupid curfew, and Max doesn’t want to get on his bad side by bring me home late.” Liz conveniently left out the part about stopping at Buckley Point on the way home. She was still savoring the taste of his lips on hers, sweet and spicy at the same time, a taste she could easily become addicted to.

With a deep sigh Liz turning back to the task at hand, wandering the rows, pulling out one dress and then another, but nothing satisfied her. She wanted this dress to be perfect. She never thought she’d ever actually be going on a date . . . with Max . . . to a dance . . . a formal dance. Which dress would he like?

She pulled out a black crepe sheath, but shook her head. Too somber. Too dark. Too boring. She was boring enough, she didn’t need her dress to be boring, too. She found a green chiffon, free and flowing, but when she stood in front of a mirror and held it up to her, it didn’t look right. Too foo foo.

“Can I help – Liz!” came a voice from behind her and Liz spun around to see Isabel Evans towering over her. Man, that girl was tall! Staring hard at Liz, Isabel asked, “What are you doing here?”

“Um,” Liz stammered. “I’m looking for a dress, for the dance. The Homecoming dance. I didn’t know that you worked here.”

“I just started a couple of weeks ago.” Isabel stared at the small girl in front of her and asked, “Did . . . did Max ask you to the dance?”

“Um, actually, yes. He did. Friday night . . . after the game . . . he asked . . . me,” Liz’s voice trailed off. Isabel always made her nervous.

Max was taking Liz to the dance? Isabel fought her initial reaction, reminding herself that things were different now. They’d spent so many years closing themselves off from everyone, it was hard to take in these sudden changes. She knew Michael was having a hard time with it, but she was starting to feel relieved. She’d had a lot of fun at the football game on Friday night, and she was starting to think maybe it would be possible for them to live a normal life.

“So, you need a dress?” Isabel asked cheerily and Liz looked at her with wide eyes, wondering, what had this imposter done with the real Isabel Evans? She was acting like a pod person, from that old movie ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’. Someone must have replaced the real Isabel Evans with this replica that stood before her. The real Isabel would never be this nice.

“Yes,” Liz stammered and looked at the rows of dresses. “But . . .”

“Let’s see . . .” Isabel thumbed through the hangers. She paused and looked Liz up and down, and then shook her head and kept looking. She kept muttering, “No . . . no . . . no . . .” as she looked at dress after dress, trying to find something suitable.

Isabel’s scrutiny was making Liz feel uncomfortable, inadequate, as if Isabel had judged her, and found her lacking. Liz shrank back into herself, feeling plain and mousy.

“Red,” Isabel said with surety as she pawed through the dresses. “Something red. Max loves you in red.”

“What?” Liz shot a startled look at Isabel. That was the second time someone said Max liked her in red. How did they know that?

“Red,” Isabel smiled at the smaller girl. “It’s a perfect compliment to your skin tone.”

“Oh,” Liz was taken aback by the compliment. Isabel had never been nice to her before.

Isabel walked down the rows quickly and selected several dresses and Liz meekly followed her to the dressing rooms. “Here, Liz. Try these on and see what you think. I’ll be right outside if you want a second opinion.”

“Thanks, Isabel,” Liz said with genuine appreciation. After all, Liz had never bought a formal dress before. She needed all the help she could get.

* * * * *

“What are we doing here, Max?” Michael whined. There were a lot better things to do on a Sunday than go shopping at the mall.

“I need something for the Homecoming dance. It’s in less than a week, and I don’t want to wait until the last minute.” Max stepped into another men’s shop and Michael tagged along.

“Are you serious?” Michael grumbled and when Max shot him a look he mumbled, “Sorry.” Old habits died hard.

Max looked at Michael and held his tongue. It was going to take his friend a while to come to terms with the way things were now. Max was going to have to be patient. “Help me pick something out, Michael. I’ve never gone to a dance before. I need all the help I can get.”

* * * * *

When Liz tried on the third dress, she knew it was the one. The material flowed around her, draping her curves, at least what curves she had. It was held up with spaghetti straps, and when she turned around to look at her reflection in the mirror, she saw the plunging back was open almost all the way to her backside. She’d definitely have to go braless, but for her, who was going to even notice? It wasn’t like she had much to jiggle. The only problem was, the dress was too big.

“Isabel?” Liz stepped out of the dressing room. “Do you think you have this one in a smaller size?”

“Oh, my!” Isabel stood staring at her with her hands on her hips. “You are going to set Max on fire with that dress!” But Liz was right. The dress was at least one size too big, and since it was the last one they had, normally that would be a problem. But it was a problem Isabel knew how to deal with. “Take it off and give it to me. I’ll go in the back and see if I can find the right size.”

Liz returned to the dressing room still thinking about what Isabel had just said. She was going to set Max on fire? Really? She slipped out of the dress with a smile on her face, and handed it to Isabel over the door. Isabel took it into the back and when she was sure no one could see what she was doing, she held the dress in her hands and closed her eyes in concentration. After a moment, she opened her eyes and a yellow glow emitted from her palm. She swiped her hand over the dress and it shrank to fit Liz’s exact size. Happily, she took it out to her brother’s girlfriend for a final fitting.

* * * * *

“Should I wear a suit, or a tux?” Max asked Michael as he looked around the shop.

“How should I know?” Michael retorted. “I’ve never gone to a stupid dance.”

“Why don’t you ask Maria?” Max suggested. “We could all hang out together.”

“Are you nuts? Maria DeLuca?” Michael was appalled at the idea. “Besides, I don’t know how to dance.”

“Well, I don’t either,” Max admitted. “But there’s a first time for everything.” Everything? Max wondered about that. Maybe ‘everything’ was taking it a little too far. Maybe.

“Right,” Michael snarked, and then he winced when he felt the cut on his lip split open again. He touched it with the tip of his finger, and winced again.

Max felt another stab of guilt, for about the hundredth time since their fight on Friday. He lifted his hand to Michael’s face, saying, “Let me see.” Michael turned his head away and Max took on a more insistent tone. “Michael, let me see.”

The bruise on his face was fading and his eye wasn’t swollen closed anymore, but the cut on his lip hadn’t healed yet. Leaning closer to take a better look, Max got a whiff of something really nasty.

“Jesus, Michael!” Max crinkled his nose and waved his hand in front of it. “Is that you?”

“No!” Michael batted his hand away. He pulled the small jar out of his pocket, unscrewed the lid and shoved it under Max’s nose. “It’s this!”

“Man, that stinks!” Max pushed it away. “Were the hell did it come from, and why are you using it?”

“Maria gave it to me,” Michael replaced the lid and slipped it back into his pocket. Max didn’t need any further explanation. Everyone knew about Amy DeLuca’s herbal remedies.

“C’mere,” Max pulled Michael by the arm into a deserted area of the store. He looked around to make sure no one was watching and sensing that the coast was clear, he touched his index finger to Michael’s lower lip. It was over so fast no one could see a thing, and Michael’s lip was once more painless and unmarred.

“Thanks,” Michael swiped his hand over his mouth, feeling the smooth skin.

“You’re welcome.” Max still felt guilty.

* * * * *

“So, Liz, ” Isabel took the rejects out of the dressing room. “I was wondering . . . I mean . . . do you know if . . . I was curious . . .”

“Yes, Isabel?” Liz asked. She certainly was acting strange.

“Well, Liz . . . I was . . .” Deciding the best way would be just to blurt it out, Isabel went for it. “Do you know if Alex has a date for the dance?”

“Alex?” Liz almost choked on her own tongue. A date for the dance? Alex? Ha! Ha ha ha! Liz could hardly contain the laugh. “Um . . .” she bit her lip. “No. No date.”

“Really?” Isabel beamed.

“Not yet,” Liz threw that out there and her eyes widened at Isabel’s reaction.

“Is he planning on asking someone?” Isabel pounced. “Who? Anyone I know?”

“Well,” Liz stammered. “I . . . I thought I heard Sarah Fuller say she was thinking about asking him,” Liz fibbed. “Unless . . . someone else asks him first.”

Isabel thought about that for a moment and then excused herself from Liz. She had a phone call to make.

* * * * *

“Liz said to meet her here at 1:00,” Max scanned the food court for her petite frame. He was weighed down with a garment bag containing a new suit, new shirt and new tie. More bags in his hand contained new socks, new shoes and even new boxers. He was all set for the dance.

Michael had a bag in his hand too. It contained a Metallica CD.

“She must be running late,” Max turned in a circle, keeping his eyes open for her. He craned his neck trying to see beyond the hordes of milling shoppers and then his face broke into a wide grin when he heard her familiar voice behind him.

“Are you looking for someone?” Liz tapped Max on the shoulder.

He spun around and sighed, happy to see her again. His voice softened and he said, “Not anymore.”

Michael stared at the sight before him and fought not to roll his eyes. Max was staring at Liz. Liz was staring at Max. Both of them had dopey smiles on their faces and they weren’t saying a damn thing. With a groan, he asked, “Can we eat now? Max . . .? Max . . . ? Um, Max . . .?” Oh Christ.

Max let out a deep breath and in a voice as sweet as honey, he asked, “Do you want something to eat, Liz?” He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Her hair fell in waves around her face today, caressing her soft looking skin and if his hands hadn’t been full of bags, she would have been in his arms already. “Are you hungry?”

“A little,” Liz admitted. The truth was, she wasn’t sure she could eat. Her stomach was full of butterflies already and she didn’t think there was any more room.

“Do you want to find someplace to sit down first?” he asked.

“Sure,” Liz tore her eyes away from him to look out over the expanse of crowded tables. “How about over there?” she pointed.

“Lead the way,” Max grinned and fell into step beside her. Maria followed Max and Michael trudged along behind her. They set their bags on the seats and Max immediately reached for Liz’s hand, threading his fingers through hers as they walked side by side back to the food court. They were so lost in each other, they barely noticed their two best friends walking behind them.

They followed behind the lovebirds, Maria with her hands folded over her chest and Michael with his hanging stiffly at his sides. Maria ventured a look in his direction, and then did a double take when she got a look at his lower lip. Her hand shot up and grabbed his chin, turning his face toward hers and she exclaimed, “Holy shit! It worked!”

“What the fu-” Michael jerked his head back. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he said sharply.

“Your lip,” Maria waved her hand toward his face. “It’s healed. My salve worked! I told you it’d be better by today!”

“Yeah,” Michael cringed, remembering the awful taste of that crap she gave him. Grudgingly, he muttered, “Thanks.”

“I have to tell my mother it worked!” Maria’s excited voice had risen an octave. “That’s the first time! It’s actually never worked before!”

She was bouncing against his arm now and Michael was looking at her like she had lost her mind. She was crazy. She was insane. It hadn’t worked at all. The only thing that crap was good for was burning out nasal passages with its stench.

Max turned back and a look passed between the two boys. It wasn’t hard for him to tell exactly what Michael was thinking. This was why it wasn’t safe to get too close to humans. It was dangerous. The risk of exposure was too great. He turned his gaze back to Liz, knowing in his heart that she poised no danger to them, but at a loss of how to convince Michael of that. His hand subconsciously squeezed hers a little harder and he was rewarded with one of the sweetest smiles he had ever seen. His concerns melted away under the warmth of that smile, and his face filled with a contented glow.

Michael’s ever watchful gaze took it all in. Max and Liz. Their smiles. Their eyes. Their hands locked together. To the world, they looked perfect together. But in Michael’s eyes, Max had forgotten the cardinal rules they had always lived by. Hide in plain sight. Stay away from humans. Don’t get involved.

Humans couldn’t be trusted, not even innocent looking little brunettes, or their crazy blonde best friends.

TBC sometime next week

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 27-Sep-2002 3:18:43 AM ]
posted on 2-Oct-2002 11:33:57 PM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

This part is posted in two sections due to length . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 32

Max fought valiantly to control is racing heart as he climbed the stairs to Liz’s apartment. He walked to her door, straightening his suit jacket as he went and adjusting the tie that felt like a noose around his neck. What maven of fashion had determined that men should tie a length of fabric around their neck and pull it really tight in a mistaken belief that it made them ‘look good’? He slipped a finger between his shirt and his throat, feeling like he was almost strangling.

He surveyed his appearance one last time, dusting off his spotless suit jacket, checking the crease in his black trousers, rubbing the top of his left shoe on the back of his right pant leg, and then his right shoe on his left leg, to heighten the polish. He double checked the small white rose pinned to his lapel, affixed there securely thanks to his mother.

Satisfied that he looked as presentable as he was going to get, he took a deep breath, ran a nervous hand through his hair to make sure it was in place, adjusted the small box in his left hand and then lifted his right to knock on the door.

* * * * *

Liz sat in the chair in front of her desk trying to will herself to remain calm, but she was losing the battle. Her stomach was a bundle of nerves and she couldn’t keep her hands from shaking. She knew he was going to be here any minute and she wasn’t ready yet.

“Are you almost done?” Liz asked for the tenth time in the last two minutes.

“Juz . . . un . . . moe . . .” Maria said around a mouth full of bobby pins as she slid the last one into place. Liz had decided to wear her hair up for the dance and Maria was helping her. With a grunt of satisfaction, Maria spit out the bobby pins and declared, “Perfect!”

Liz turned around with wide eyes and then rose from the chair to look at her reflection in the dresser mirror. A small smile played at the corners of her mouth, pleased with what Maria had been able to do with her hair. It was piled high, showing off her neck and shoulders, with wispy strands softly falling around her face.

“You look gorgeous!” Maria beamed. “Max is going to love it.”

“You think so?” Liz asked hesitantly. Her dress clung sensually to her petite body, flowing around her curves in layers of soft red. The spaghetti straps accentuated her delicate shoulders, the bodice draped her breasts seductively, enhancing the beauty that god had given her and displaying the cleavage that Max Evans had already noticed. The skirt flowed around her hips and flared out around her legs, falling to just a few inches above the floor. Black strappy sandals peeked out below the hem. Turning to look at her exposed back in the mirror, she drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“Liz,” Maria smiled encouragingly to her oldest friend. “You look beautiful.”

“You think he’ll like it?” Liz asked uncertainly and fingered her dress.

“Of course! Max won’t be able to take his eyes off you.” She moved her head back and forth slowly and added under her breath, “He won’t be able to keep his hands off you either!”

“Maria!” Liz blushed. Just the thought of his hands touching her made her skin heat up.

“Oh, you know you love it girl!” Maria teased. “Max Evans? Hands? Body? You know you want it!”

“Maria!” Liz blushed even harder. Maria knew her so well.

“Liz, honey,” a knock sounded on her door and her mother stepped into her room. “Max is here – oh, Baby, look at you! My little girl is looking so grown up! Oh,” Nancy felt herself tearing up. “Where’s my camera!”

“Mom!” Liz called out as her mother disappeared and then rolled her eyes at Maria. They both knew what was going to happen now. Her mom was a nut about taking pictures.

Just to highlight that thought, Nancy ran past the bedroom door shouting, “Jeff! Jeff! Where’s the film?”

“I better go save Max,” Liz said and turned to Maria, hesitating. “I . . . I wish you were coming tonight, too. It doesn’t seem right going without you.”

“Don’t worry about me,” Maria shrugged it off. “The important thing is that you and Max go have a good time, and then of course, you have to tell me all about it! And I mean everything!” Maria wiggled her eyebrows and Liz felt her cheeks flaming again. “Besides,” Maria sobered, “I can’t go to the dance. I have to keep my eye on Michael to make sure he doesn’t poison half the town tonight.” She and Michael were working the closing shift together, but the truth was, it wasn’t the town that had to worry. With the barbs they constantly volleyed back and forth, they’d probably be at each other’s throats before the night was over.

Liz rolled her eyes at Maria’s comment and then the two hugged fiercely. Maria was truly happy that Liz was finally getting the date she’d fantasized about for years. She deserved it. Breaking off the hug, Maria pushed Liz out to arms length and said, “Go! Mr. Dreamy is waiting for you!”

“Thanks, Maria,” Liz let out a nervous sigh and looked toward the hallway beyond her bedroom door. They’d been together for a little over a week now, her and Max, but this would only be their second real date. They’d seen each other all week, they’d held hands at school and they’d even stolen kisses on her balcony when they were supposed to be practicing for the play, but everything was still so new she was as nervous as a skittish kitten. “Wish me luck.”

“You don’t need luck tonight,” Maria shook her head. “You’re wildest dreams are coming true Liz. Let yourself enjoy it.”

* * * * *

Max stood awkwardly just inside the apartment door while he waited patiently for Liz. His internal clock told him it was only five after six, that he’d only been standing here for five minutes, five of the longest minutes of his life, five minutes of having Jeff Parker stare at him. Five minutes of hell.

“So you work at the UFO Center, huh?” Jeff asked.

“Yes,” Max answered, shifting awkwardly. “Yes . . .”

Jeff was sitting in an easy chair in the living room and Max was standing stiffly in the foyer, just a few feet away. “I thought so,” Jeff nodded. “I’ve seen you come in the restaurant wearing that little orange vest.”

“Yes,” Max nodded. He scratched behind his ear and then his eyes swept around the room for about the hundredth time, trying to look at anything except Jeff Parker’s paternal gaze. “Yes.”

“Are you going to keep working there after graduation, or do you have college plans?” Jeff asked.

“Well,” Max stammered. “I, um . . . I don’t know yet.” How was he supposed to answer that? How could he tell this man that his college plans all hinged on what Liz ended up doing? He’d follow her anywhere, if she wanted him to. If she let him. He racked his brain to think of something else to say and then he sensed her presence walk into the room. He could smell her fragrance on the air and he turned his head to look at her, feeling the air being literally knocked from his lungs. He couldn’t even put a name to how beautiful she looked.

She stood just a few feet away with her hair piled high on her head, exposing yards of rich looking skin. Sparkling red earrings dangled from her ear lobes, twinkling in the lamplight, giving her an air of sophistication. Her dress was beyond beautiful, hugging her gorgeous body and causing his own to take notice. He sighed deeply, telling his body to calm down, but it wasn’t listening.

Liz couldn’t take her eyes off of Max either. His black suit fit him perfectly, accentuating his broad shoulders, his muscular chest, his trim hips and his long legs. She smiled at the sight of the small white rose in his lapel and the corsage box in his hand, containing more of her favorite flower. His long, elegant neck led her eyes up to his handsome face, smiling at her from across the room.

“Hi, Max,” Liz said softly.

“Hi, Liz,” Max couldn’t help his audible sigh.

They stood frozen in place, staring at each other, Max feeling his pulse racing, Liz feeling her cheeks heating up, but this time it wasn’t from embarrassment. This time, the heat in her body was caused by the look in Max’s eyes.

“Sor,” she squeaked and cleared her throat so she could start again. “Sorry to keep you waiting.”

“S’okay,” Max shook off her apology. “I . . . I . . .was . . .” he couldn’t get his brain to work.

“Max and I were just getting to know each other,” Jeff piped up.

That comment brought Liz crashing back to earth and she looked at her father, and then at Max, wondering what kind of torture her Dad had put him though. Her mother breezed by and Liz rolled her eyes, knowing things were about to get even worse.

“Picture time!” Nancy exclaimed loudly. “Liz! Go stand next to your little friend.”

Oh, God! Liz cringed inside. Little friend? She called Max her ‘Little Friend’? She made it sound like they were five years old and still in kindergarten! Her cheeks were flaming beet red again. She gritted her teeth and crossed over to stand beside Max so they could get this torture over with. Thankfully, he appeared to be taking it all in stride.

“Oh, wait,” Max stared at the box in his hand. “Liz, this is for you.” He lifted the lid and picked up the white rose corsage in his slightly trembling hand. His eyes darted to the spaghetti straps of her dress, and he wondered how in the world he was supposed to pin it to her? His face was turning red with embarrassment. If he tried to pin it to her dress, he’d have to pin it right to her . . . to her . . . no, he couldn’t pin it there. Now he understood why Isabel had suggested he get her a wrist corsage. Cursing himself for not listening, he fumbled with the flowers and used a little alien magic to correct his mistake. He swiped his hand under it and made the proper adjustment without Liz or her parents noticing. Smiling once again, he said, “It goes on your wrist.”

“Oh, Max,” Liz sighed as he slipped it into place. “It’s beautiful! White roses are my favorite.”

“I know,” Max dipped his head bashfully and dropped his hands to his sides. Liz stared up at him with wide eyes, just about to ask him how he could know that, when her mother and her camera interrupted.

“I have got to get a picture of this! Liz,” Nancy instructed, looking through the lens now. “Stand on the right, honey . . . No, my right . . . a little closer . . . a little closer . . . that’s good . . . a little closer . . .”

Max was watching the camera with a nervous smile but the closer Liz got to him, the harder it was to keep his eyes facing forward. He felt her small body inch over until her side was touching his side and in an automatic gesture, he raised his hand to touch the small of her back. As soon as his senses realized his hand was touching bare skin, his eyes nearly popped out of his head. The camera noticed.

“Now smile,” Nancy cheerily announced and began snapping pictures. “Smile . . . smile . . . say cheese!”

As the flash strobed repeatedly in front of his face, Max could feel his jaw falling open. Had Liz forgotten to zip up her dress? It wasn’t just a square of flesh exposed above the material of the dress that he was feeling. The fact was, he wasn’t feeling any dress at all! His hand inched upwards feeling bare skin. Downwards . . . bare skin. Sideways . . . more bare skin! He’d never felt so much bare skin! He snapped his jaw closed and swallowed hard and he couldn’t stop himself from leaning slightly backwards and turning his eyes to the left to look at the back of her dress. Oops! There was no back to her dress! Holy shit! He was actively staring at her naked back now, forgetting all about Mrs. Parker taking pictures. The camera caught it all though. His mouth was hanging open again, nearly hitting the floor, taking in the sight of the cutest little mole right there on her –

“Max!” Nancy called out. “Look at the camera!” Her finger was shooting pictures in rapid succession.

Max whipped his head forward with a grin spreading from ear to ear. His hand was on Liz Parker’s naked back! Wow! That old adage really was true. Men really did think about sex every seven seconds. Or was it every five? Or did the latest study say it was three? It didn’t matter. When it came to Liz, for Max they all applied.

* * * * *

“Honey, don’t forget your wrap,” Nancy draped a black lacy shawl around her daughter’s shoulders. “We wouldn’t want you to catch cold, now would we?”

“Thanks, Mom,” Liz gathered the shawl close to her, embarrassed by her mother’s fussing. Max didn’t seem to mind though. He had a grin on his face that wouldn’t go away.

Jeff hoisted himself out of the chair he was sitting in and walked over to Max, putting his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “What time does the dance end?”

“Midnight,” Max answered quickly, tearing his eyes away from Liz to look at her father. His grin had disappeared as soon as Jeff touched him.

“Have her home by 1:00,” Jeff squeezed his shoulder.

“Dad-” Liz felt mortified. 1:00? She was 18 years old! Why was he acting like she was 15 and going on her first date? Oh. Yeah. Probably because she had never really dated before. Kyle didn’t count. He had only been a summer thing, a long time ago.

“Okay,” Jeff relented. “1:30, but not a minute later.”

“Yes, Sir,” Max pledged. “1:30.” He led Liz to the door and repeated earnestly, “1:30.”

“Have a good time, kids,” Nancy beamed, thinking they looked adorable together. Jeff watched them leave with his eyes closely watching Max. He was a man, and he knew about the seven second rule, too, and he’d seen that grin on the young man’s face.

Max closed the door behind him and breathed a sigh of relief. He’d survived talking to her parents, and her father in particular, and now it was finally just the two of them, ready to start their date.

“I’m sorry about all that-” Liz started to apologize about her parents.

“Sorry about what?” Max shrugged it off. “Your parents were just acting like . . . parents. They only act that way because they love you. By the way,” he grinned, “you better get double prints of those pictures. My mom’s going to want a set.”

“Okay,” Liz laughed lightly and dropped her eyes, with her cheeks turning the most beautiful shade of pink.

“Well, it’s 6:30 and our dinner reservation is for 7:00, so we should probably head that way,” Max suggested. Chez Pierre wasn’t that far away, in fact, nothing was very far away in a small town like Roswell, but he could take his time driving there. She nodded and he followed her down the stairs and out the back door, the whole time lamenting the fact that her shawl was ruining his view.

Max didn’t notice Michael watching them from the kitchen, or see the look on the boy’s troubled face.

* * * * *

Back in a minute with the rest . . .

posted on 2-Oct-2002 11:35:53 PM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 32 con’t

Max held the restaurant door open for Liz and they stepped into the dimly lit interior. She’d eaten in Chez Pierre only once before, back in 10th grade when Maria had entered their names in a radio contest for Valentines Day, and much to her mortification, she had won. She’d had to suffer through a horrible ‘date’ with that Doug guy, the whole time wishing she’d been here with Max instead. At one point she’d even imagined Max was standing outside, watching her, but she knew it couldn’t have been. He barely even noticed her back then.

They followed the waiter to their table and Max held her chair out for Liz to sit down. The waiter arched his eyebrows for a moment, surprised that chivalry was still alive and well, and then returned to his normally impassive visage. “Anything to start? Something to drink? An appetizer perhaps?”

Max looked to Liz first, letting her decide. She really didn’t think she could eat, as keyed up as she was, and her large eyes turned from Max to look up at the waiter. “Just water for me.”

Max had to tear his eyes away from Liz to say, “Cherry Coke, please.”

The waiter left and Max turned his gaze back to Liz. His fingers toyed nervously with his silverware and then he took the cloth napkin off the table and placed it across his lap, just for something to do. He was so worried about whether Liz was having a good time or not, his stomach was tied up in knots.

“So, um . . . you’ve eaten here before,” he ventured as they both looked over their menus. “Is the food as good as they say it is?”

Liz looked up at him suddenly, wondering how he knew she had eaten here before. She couldn’t remember ever mentioning it. “I ate here once, a long time ago.”

“I know,” Max smiled shyly. “You won that radio contest, back in 10th grade.”

“You remember that?” Liz was astonished.

“Well . . . yeah,” Max admitted, flashing her a quick, shy smile. “You wore your hair up, like you have it tonight, and you had on a black dress. I thought you looked really pretty that night.”

“You . . .” Liz stammered and her hands twisted in her lap. “ . . . You saw me that night?”

“Yeah,” Max flushed, remembered how jealous he’d been. He could still remember the ache he’d felt in his chest when the radio DJ urged Doug Shellow to kiss Liz and he’d bent her over backwards, right here in this restaurant, and planted one right on her lips. He’d felt like zapping the guy right to the moon, but of course he didn’t. “It was hard not to notice,” Max added. “You had that KROZ van following you around all night.”

“That was so embarrassing,” Liz covered her face with her hand. “I was mad at Maria for a month afterward.”

“You didn’t have a good time?” Max asked her.

“No,” Liz rolled her eyes remembering the whole ordeal. “Maria rooked me into it. I didn’t even know anything about it until it was too late. That guy wasn’t who I wanted to go out with.”

“He wasn’t?” Max looked at her in surprise.

“No,” Liz met his gaze. Taking a chance, even though she was afraid it might make her sound pathetic, she reached across the table and touched his hand with her fingertips. “I wanted to go out with you.”

Max stared at her, stunned by the admission. She had wanted to go out with him? Way back in 10th grade? Did she have any clue that he had wanted the same thing? His hand curled around hers and with a hesitant smile, he said, “I was in the crowd outside, watching you through the windows, wishing it was me in here eating dinner with you.”

“You were?” Her breath caught in her throat at the realization that she had seen him that night, that it wasn’t just a figment of her imagination. Wow. Her heart was racing with the news.

Their eyes were locked on each other, both of them thinking the same thoughts. ‘I wasn’t just another face in the crowd? I wasn’t just a lab partner? All this time wasted, when they could have been together?’ Their hands were joined in the middle of the table and the waiter had to clear his throat three times before he finally got their attention to take their order.

* * * * *

“I was standing up there on stage listen to that inane DJ trying to make it sound like it had been the best blind date in the world, and all I wanted to do was go home. I was so embarrassed by the whole thing. And then, to make matters worse,” Liz shook her head as she remembered all the horrid details. “I look in the front row, and there’s Kyle, and he’s drunk.”

“I noticed that,” Max looked over at her with a smirk on his face. They were in his jeep now, headed toward the school for the dance, after sharing a fabulous meal at Chez Pierre.

“You were there, too?” Liz looked at him wide eyed. “You saw all that?”

“Fraid so,” Max nodded. “I followed you there after you left the restaurant. I left shortly after Kyle staggered on stage and promptly puked on Doug Shellow’s shoes.”

“Oh, God! That was awful!” Liz covered her face with her hand. She could laugh about it now, but at the time, she’d been mortified. “That’s when I left, too.”

“I know,” Max said softly. He’d seen her beg Maria to take her home, and that’s when he left too. They were quiet for a minute and then Max’s voice cut through the silence. “Liz? Can I ask you something? Something . . . personal?”

“You can ask me anything, Max,” Liz assured him. “I have no secrets.”

He looked back at the road, trying to cover the look of regret that suddenly loomed on his face. She was so honest, so open with him, while the weight of his secrets was enough to smother the life right out of him. He wanted to tell her it all. Everything. About who he was, and what he was, but he couldn’t. He wondered of the guilt of keeping his secrets would one day crush him.

“What?” Liz asked and gently touched her fingers to the back of his hand.

“Um . . . I was wondering . . . I know it’s none of my business, but . . .”

“What, Max?” Her curiosity was more than piqued.

“Well, I was wondering . . . back in 10th grade . . . what I mean is . . . when school started up again, you were seeing Kyle, and then you weren’t, even though you two stayed really close friends all this time, and I can tell he still really likes you and I always kind of wondered . . . why . . .”

“Why Kyle and I broke up?” Liz said what he couldn’t seem to.

“Yeah,” Max darted a look in her direction. He knew he didn’t have the right to ask her about it, but for some reason he felt the answer would be important.

“My Grandmother came to visit us that fall,” Liz began slowly in a voice that took on a far away tone. She turned her face forward, staring through the windshield, seeing another place, another time. “I loved my Grandmother so much, and she knew me so well, better than my own parents. We always had the longest talks, about everything. Family. School. Boys.” She sent Max a half smile, looking at him through lowered lashes, before turning serious once again. “We talked about life, and love, and the future. One night, we sat on my bed talking like we always did. She’d seen me with Kyle earlier in the day, and she said he wasn’t the one for me. She said there was someone else I was waiting for. She said she could see it in my eyes. She said I had to be patient, because the road to finding your true soulmate – Grandma was a romantic,” Liz glanced at Max again, feeling her cheeks turning pink. “Anyway, she said the road to finding the one person you were meant to be with wasn’t always easy, and it could be complicated, but it would be worth the journey. She said my journey hadn’t started yet.”

Liz looked down at her hands, clasped together in her lap, and she was silent for a moment. Max wanted to urge her on, to hear what she had to say, but he remained quiet until she was ready. His heart ached for her when she continued, hearing the pain laced in her voice. “She died the next day. It was really sudden,” Liz looked up at Max for a moment and then quickly back to her hands in her lap. “None of us were expecting it, and that was the last real conversation we ever had. Afterward, I thought a lot about what she said, and I knew she was right. Kyle wasn’t the one for me, but I’m glad he and I stayed friends.”

“Why didn’t you ever, you know, date anyone else?”

“My Grandmother said I’d know him when I met him, my, you know, ‘soulmate’,” Liz rolled her eyes at the sappiness of it. Her smile faded away and she said quietly, “So I was waiting . . .”

“Waiting for . . . ?” Max had to ask, and held his breath for her answer.

She toyed with her hands in her lap, exposing her nervousness, and then she looked up and met his gaze. “For you to notice me.”

“Liz,” Max felt her revelation slam him square in the chest. “I noticed you my first day at elementary school, before I ever got off the bus.”

“You-” her voice caught in her throat. “You did?”

Max whipped the jeep over to the side of the road and brought it to a rapid stop. In his haste, he popped the clutch and killed the engine, but he didn’t care. He turned in his seat and his hands reached out, caressing her face beneath his fingertips. “Liz Parker. You are the most important thing in the world to me, and even though I never had the guts to let you know it, you always have been. From the moment that I saw you, I knew you were the one for me. The only one. The idea that – that you could feel for me the way I feel about you, I mean, that was like my wildest dream. I’ve always wanted to be with you, Liz. Always.”

“With me?” Liz looked at him like his words couldn’t possibly be true.

“Yes, Liz. With you.” He saw the disbelief in her eyes and he knew there was only one way to make her see that he meant every word he said. He leaned across the seats and crushed his lips to hers, showing her just exactly what she meant to him. No more wasted time spent apart. No more listening to Isabel or Michael telling him he couldn’t have the only thing he really wanted. He was standing up for what he wanted. Liz Parker was the love of his life, and he was finally letting her know that.

His lips took hers in a searing kiss, letting his emotions pour over her in a flood. His mouth fused together with hers, allowing himself the freedom to show her what he had kept hidden for so many years. Their lips opened, granting intimate exploration, their tongues touching first with hesitancy, then with more urgency. His hands moved down her throat as the kiss deepened, moving along the delicate skin of her shoulders and then wrapping around her to pull her closer.

Liz leaned into him, feeling his hands sliding along her sides and around to her back. Her breath caught as his warm fingers came into contact with her own heated skin, setting her nerve endings on fire, creating an explosion of sensation all along her spine. She moaned into his mouth, an audible expression of the way he made her feel, surrendering to her feelings of love and want and desire. She’d waited years for this, and she was going to savor every moment.

At the feel of the bare skin on her back, Max was forced to break off the kiss before he let himself get carried away. He slowly parted his lips from hers, with his labored breaths coming out in heavy pants, the hot air expelling from his lungs and touching her even hotter skin. He wanted nothing more than to kiss the sensual skin of her throat, down along her bare shoulders, past where her smooth flesh was broken by the thin material of the spaghetti straps that held her dress in place, covering the creamy mounds of her –

“We should probably go . . .” Max sighed into her ear and tried to calm his breathing, “. . . or we’ll be late.” With the direction his thoughts were going, if they didn’t leave now, they might never make it to the dance.

“You’re right,” Liz swallowed and leaned into him, pressing her cheek against his while she tried to calm down. His shoulders were so broad and she could feel the muscles in his back flex every time he moved. She wanted to just bury her nose in his long, elegant throat, to taste his skin, to put a mark on him that said he was hers so that everyone would know it. Her voice was husky when her lips brushed his ear, “We . . . should . . . go.”

“Go . . . right,” his cheek brushed against hers, his lips dragging across her skin on the way to take her lips again. His mouth covered hers, feeling her eager response to him, and he wanted nothing more than to climb over there and kiss her like there was no tomorrow. His hand, caressing the side of her face, dropped down to her throat, spreading his fingers wide so he could touch as much of her silky skin as possible. His thumb stopped just below her collarbone, knowing he was letting himself get carried away again. It was too soon for this. He didn’t want her thinking he was like those other guys out there, wanting only one thing.

“So,” he pulled away from her, seeing the heated look on her face in the light from the nearby lamppost. “The dance.” He swallowed hard and settled back into his own seat. His hand was shaky when he reacted for his keys to restart the ignition. He took a deep breath and let it out, smiling at her in that special way of his before he slipped the jeep into gear and headed toward school.

Liz had stars in her eyes the whole way there.

Come back next week to see what happens at the dance

posted on 10-Oct-2002 12:53:10 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author Note: Hopefully this will work. I tried forever to get on the board, but it kept saying ‘Page cannot be displayed’.

For those of you hoping for Maria and Michael to hook up, don’t hold your breath! You’ll turn blue and pass out before Michael learns to let down those stonewalls of his, and let somebody in.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 33

They could hear the music coming from the gym long before they reached the open doors, which were decorated in school colors with festive balloons and paper streamers. They were fashionably late, not surprising after their make-out session in the jeep on the way to the dance, and the repeat performance after they came to a stop in the parking lot. Max and Liz had a lot of time to make up for.

As they neared the doors they could feel the rumble of the music in their chests and Max squeezed her hand a little tighter as they stepped into the darkened interior. Pulsating bodies moved on the dance floor in the middle of the room, arms and limbs flaying in jerking motion as the lights strobed over them. They stood watching from the sidelines, both of them mesmerized by the sights and the sounds all around them.

This was their first time. Their first dance. Both of them were a little unsure, but they were together. And that was all that mattered.

Max looked at Liz in the strobing light, knowing he was here with the most beautiful girl in the entire school. He was proud beyond words, and the happiest boy in the room as another of his fantasies came to life. He’d always wanted to take Liz Parker to a dance, a school dance, and here they were.

“Liz?” he said her name but the sound didn’t travel in the deafening roar of the music. “LIZ?” he said a little louder, but still she couldn’t hear. “LIZ?” he shouted full out, but the sound was lost in the music. He lifted his hand and touched the bare skin of her shoulder, wondering why he hadn’t done this to get her attention in the first place. Her skin was like silk and he didn’t think he ever wanted to take his hand away. In his mind he sighed her name.

“Yes?” she turned her attention away from the dance floor, looking up at him. “Did you say something?”

“Do you want to get something to drink?” he asked. “Punch?”

“What?” She couldn’t hear anything over the music.

“PUNCH?” Max shouted. “DO YOU WANT PUNCH?” He could see her staring at his lips, like she was reading the words he was shouting.

“SURE,” Liz shouted back and they made their way to the refreshment table. Max lifted his hand to the small of her naked back, to guide her, and just because he wanted to touch her. He watched her out of the corner of his eye, still hardly able to believe she was here with him. This had to be the best night of his life.

“Are you hungry?” he ventured a question. He wondered if she might want some cookies to go with the punch.

“Just punch for me,” Liz looked up at him innocently. “I’m still full from dinner.” She knew she couldn’t eat another thing. Being here at the dance with him was making the butterflies in her stomach fly around like crazy.

“Okay,” he stared down at her, trying not to let her see the adoration on his face. He was walking around with his head in the stars, floating on cloud nine. They reached the table with the punch bowl and both of them were taken by surprise by the sight that greeted them there.

“Romeo! Juliet!” Miranda Wainwright exclaimed. “How beautiful you both look!”

“Mrs. Wainwright!” they both declared at the same time.

“What are you doing here?” Liz asked, no longer needing to shout now that they were farther away from the music.

“I’m a chaperone. I’ve been chaperoning the dances for years,” she wagged her finger at them, “but I’ve never seen you two here before!”

“We’ve never been before,” Max said after looking down at Liz first.

She smiled at them with a knowing look, noticing the way they held each other’s hand. So sweet. So innocent. So in love. She let out a sigh and then poured punch into two cups and passed them over. “Have fun you kids!”

Just then the music stopped and Max and Liz sipped their punch while the lights in the gym brightened. Kyle Valenti took the stage, decked out in a black tux with a cummerbund in blue to match the school colors. He had a folded sheet of paper in his hand, and he walked up to the microphone, tapping it to get everyone’s attention. Max sipped his punch while Kyle cleared his throat and began his speech.

“It’s that time again,” Kyle looked out over the audience, “to announce the King and Queen of tonight’s Homecoming dance.”

“Oh, this is so exciting,” Isabel exclaimed as she walked up to her brother and Liz.

“Isabel,” Liz said in surprise. She knew Isabel was coming, but this was the first time she’d seen her. Leaning forward slightly, she looked around the taller girl and grinned, “Hi, Alex. You’re looking handsome tonight.”

“Hi, Liz. Max,” Alex acknowledged them with a grin that wasn’t going away. He was floating on cloud nine, too. Sure, he hadn’t exactly gotten a chance to really touch Isabel yet, but they were here together, Isabel was his date, and the night was still young!

“Alex,” Max nodded at him and then he smirked at his sister. All those years of her and Michael all over his case about Liz, all the time, and here she is, out with a human of her own. Way to go, sis.

“So without further ado, drum roll please,” Kyle looked at Ryan, the drummer in the band. The expectant sound of drum roll filled the air and Kyle took center stage again. “Everybody, tonight’s King of the Castle, Royalty Extraordinaire, is none other than . . .”

Max was looking out over the crowd, taking a sip of his punch, wondering who it might be . . .

“The ever dramatic . . .” Kyle drew out the moment, “MAX EVANS!”

Max choked on his drink and Liz had to slap him on the back. “Max? Are you okay? Max? Max?”

Isabel hid her smile behind her hand and turned away so Max couldn’t see her. She was on the committee to tally the votes, and Chad Stevens hadn’t even come close. Max had won by a landslide and was it any wonder? He looked like the perfect Homecoming King!

“Max, old buddy,” Kyle yelled into the mike. “Come on up here!”

Max looked at Liz like he was a dying man, and she urged him to go. “Get on up there, Max,” she teased, “Your subjects await you!”

“Liz, no . . .” he shook his head, and then he heard the applause around him. Years of hiding in the background left him unprepared for this kind of attention.

“Go Max,” Liz’s face was glowing, full of pride and encouragement and support. “Go on. It’s a new adventure for you. Enjoy it.”

He reluctantly made his way to the stage with his head held low and a spotlight tracking his progress. He climbed the steps to the stage and Kyle held his hand out to the new King. They shook, and years of animosity slipped away, replaced by a friendly camaraderie that neither would have thought possible just a few weeks ago. Max felt his cheeks flaming under the spotlights while Kyle set a papier-mâché crown on his head.

“And now . . .” Kyle eyed the drummer as he spoke into the microphone once again. Drum roll filled the air as Kyle turned back to the audience, building the excitement. “And now for tonight’s Lady of the Court . . .” Kyle looked down at the paper in his hand and a smile spread over his face. “The Regal Queen of West Roswell High is none other than . . .”

The crowd was tense in anticipation, as was Max. He wasn’t sure what was expected of him. This was a total surprise. It was the last thing he expected when he walked through those doors tonight.

“Our Queen for the night is . . .” Kyle tried not to laugh as he shouted out “MAX EVANS!”

The crowd erupted in a roar, with people bending over in fits of laughter. Max covered his face with his hands, vowing to kick Michael’s ass again! He was never going to be able to live that down! It would go down in the annals of West Roswell High! If it hadn’t been for Kyle’s hand on his arm, he would have bolted from the stage.

“Kidding! I’m kidding!” Kyle shouted over the laughter. Max was turning a thousand shades of red, right to the tips of his ears. He was going to be the butt of endless jokes for a long time. “Quiet!” Kyle shouted into the mike again.

“You know,” Kyle covered the microphone and whispered to Max. “You have to dance with the newly crowned Queen.”

“I do?” Max looked at Kyle with concern, forgetting all about the gay comment. What would Liz think when she saw some other girl named his Homecoming Queen? He’d seen the names on the ballot forms, and he didn’t want to dance with any of those girls. He only wanted to dance with Liz. How would it make her feel if she had to watch him dance with some other girl? He tried to find her out in the crowd, but the lights were shining in his eyes.

“Yes, you do,” Kyle gave Max a squeeze on the arm, and for once in his life, he had no jealousy toward this tall, dark haired enigma. Liz had been in love with him for years, and Max had finally opened up his eyes and noticed, and about damn time. After thinking it over long and hard, Kyle had come to the conclusion that as long as Max could make Liz happy, then he didn’t have a problem with that.

“Our Homecoming Queen . . .” Kyle yelled to the accompaniment of drum roll, “is . . . none other than . . . our little scene stealer, the second half of our dramatic duo . . . LIZ PARKER!”

Liz’s hands flew to cover her mouth with surprise. “But . . . but . . .” she stammered. She turned to Isabel, who was smiling like the cat that ate the canary. “But I wasn’t even in the running. Neither one of us were. How . . .?”

“Write in vote,” Isabel gave Liz a congratulatory hug. “You won by a landslide. Now get on up there. Max is waiting for you!”

“Congratulations, Liz,” Alex hugged her too and then pushed her toward the stage.

The spotlight tracked her as she made her way to the front and Max was waiting for her at the top of the stairs. He was grinning from ear to ear as he took her hand and led her to the center of the stage. Max took the rhinestone encrusted crown out of Kyle’s hand and stood in front of her, staring into her sparkling eyes, shining in the stage lighting.

“You look beautiful,” he said and leaned down to kiss her, not caring who was watching. Parting from her, he slipped the crown into her dark hair and raised his voice so that everyone could hear. “I pronounce you, Liz Parker, Queen of West Roswell High.” He curled her hand around his arm and they both faced the audience. He leaned close to her ear, and in a soft voice, so that only she could hear, he said, “My Queen.”

“My King,” Liz smiled up at him, while cameras took their pictures and the band began to play.

“Time for you two to dance,” Kyle reminded Max and urged the new royal couple off the stage.

Max led Liz down the stairs and out into the middle of the dance floor. He took her small delicate hand in his firm but tender grasp, and slid his right hand around her back, drawing her close to him as they slowly began to dance. They stared into each other’s eyes, mesmerized by the magic of the moment, and Max spoke softly against the backdrop of music. “I always wanted to do this.”

“Do what?” Liz was melting into him.

“Dance with you.” The corners of his mouth rose as a contented smile spread over his face, knowing another one of his fantasies had come to life.

“I used to dream about it,” Liz admitted shyly, and watched his smile widen.

“You did?” He was still having a hard time believing he had lived in her dreams, too.

“Yes,” she nodded lightly. Her bashful eyes held his, taking on a bolder hue. “In fact, I dreamt about it last night, and last week, and last month, and -”

His lips swooped down to kiss her, because he just had to kiss her again. He’d been such a fool, and wasted so much time, when they could have been together, instead of just dreaming of each other.

The dance floor started to fill around them, but neither one of them noticed. They were too caught up in each other. When their lips finally parted, Liz tucked her head under his chin, and Max pulled her closer, resting his cheek against her hair. He was highly aware of the feel of the warm skin of her back against his palm and as they moved slowly, turning in a small circle with their bodies pressed together, Max hoped she couldn’t tell just how strongly she affected him.

She could.

* * * * *

Maria gritted her teeth together in irritation at the sound coming from behind her. Him and that damn bell! If he didn’t stop ringing it soon, she was going to take it and cram it up his –

“DeLuca!” Michael bellowed. “Table 3 is up!”

Maria spun around and bore down on his smug face, staring out at her from the pass-through window into the kitchen. She’d like to wipe that annoying look right off his face. Her irritation was off the scale and she was starting to think he was getting off on riling her up like this. His eyes seemed to flare every time he made her angry and he looked like he was doing it on purpose. Bastard. Well, she’d just have to turn the tables on him.

“Michael,” Maria softened her stance and leaned against the counter into the kitchen.

“What?” Michael sensed the change in her and took a step back. What the hell was she doing?

“I think you’ve got a secret admirer out there,” she nodded her head toward the restaurant. “Somebody can’t keep their eyes off you.”

“Who?” Michael stepped forward, unable to hide his curiosity. Sure, he’d spent his life thinking they needed to stay away from entanglements with humans, but he wasn’t blind. He’d noticed the girls. Mindy Strafford was at table 6 and she was sitting with that cute Angie Turner.

“No, not that table.” Maria could tell where he was looking and she bit back a snort. He was making this so easy.

Michael shifted his gaze to table 5, seeing Paula Holt sitting there. He wasn’t surprised to see that she wasn’t at the dance. Why should a guy go through the hassle of renting a tux, taking her to dinner and then the dance, when she gives it out in the eraser room –

“No, not table 5, either,” Maria watched his face. God, this was gonna be good! He was such a sucker.

Michael’s eyebrows knitted together as his gaze shifted to table 4, and then 3. A couple of 10th grade wannabes were sitting at one table, Greg somebody or other, and his buddy Aaron. At the table next to them was a couple in their twenties, probably out on a date.

“Keep looking, tooty fruity,” Maria laughed. She couldn’t help herself.

Michael’s eyes flew open in surprise at the words she had used, and then the color drained out of his face when he saw who was at table 2, and staring right at him. What the fu –

“It looks like Tommy Holden is free tonight,” Maria snorted. “Should I tell him you’re available? I mean, since you and Max broke up –”

Michael wasn’t one to get embarrassed easily, but this was an exception. His foolhardy plan had come around and bit him on the ass. He turned back into the kitchen quickly so Maria couldn’t see the flaming color in his cheeks and he wished fervently that he could blow something up. Listening to Maria’s laughter wasn’t helping.

* * * * *

Max could feel Liz’s cheek against his chest as they slowly swayed on the dance floor. His eyes were closed with his cheek resting against the top of her head while his hand held on to hers tightly. His right arm surrounded her, holding her close, with his hand splayed across the warm skin at the small of her back. He tried not to move it, no matter how much he wanted to. He’d done that a little while ago, let his palm stroke down her spine, feeling the curve of her back, her shoulder blades, her ribs beneath the skin, and then he’d felt his body’s reaction to those tactile sensations. It was safer to leave his hand in one spot while he tried to keep his hormones in check.

“Hey guys,” Alex broke into their intimate dance. He had to say it three times before either one of them heard a word. “Guys,” Alex nudged Max on the shoulder. “This isn’t a slow dance.”

Max and Liz startled apart at the sound of his voice and then they looked at each other sheepishly. Liz covered her mouth, trying not to laugh at the way Alex was undulating on the dance floor. He looked like his finger was stuck in a light socket the way he was jerking around.

Max, on the other hand, had to avert his eyes from his sister. She was jiggling like a bowl of jello in her strapless dress, and that was just something he didn’t want to see.

“Do you want to go outside?” Max asked, staring down at Liz. “To get some fresh air?” He wouldn’t mind spending some alone time with her, either. He’d had a great time tonight, dancing with her all night long, but the music was so loud, they’d hardly had a chance to talk.

“Sure,” Liz agreed quickly. He let his hand slide up her back as he led her to the doors and she couldn’t help the tremor that passed through her at his touch. He had the most amazing hands. Soft, yet full of strength, warm and electrifying, making her nerve endings stand up and take notice.

“Are you leaving?” Alex asked in surprise as Max and Liz started to walk off the dance floor. “You’re going to miss the last song.”

Max looked at Liz, asking silently with his eyes what she wanted to do. Anything was fine with him, inside, outside, he didn’t care, just as long as they were doing it together.

Liz looked up at him, sensing that they could stay if she wanted to, but their night would be over soon, and they’d hardly had a moment alone all night. She squeezed his hand and her lips curved in a very unbashful smile. “I think there’s more we’d miss by staying here, than by leaving.”

“Everybody is meeting at Denny’s for a late night snack,” Isabel looked back and forth between Liz and her brother. “Are you two going?”

“No,” Max shook his head slightly, and began to draw Liz off the dance floor. “We’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

“Where are they going?” Alex asked as they watched Max and Liz leave the building.

“If you had been waiting for years, pining over one special girl the way my brother has,” Isabel’s tone was soft and wistful, “I don’t think you’d need to ask that question. I think anywhere where they can be alone together for a little while will suffice.”

“If Max has been pining away for Liz all these years, why did it take until now for him to finally admit it to her?” Alex asked the question both he and Maria had been wondering.

“Oh Alex,” Isabel turned into him for the final song of the night, a slow song that they fell into easily. “Someday maybe we’ll be able to talk about it, but it’s just all tied up in our past. We’ve had a lot of issues to deal with.”

“I guess so,” Alex said, knowing the story of the two small children found wandering out in the desert, abandoned and later adopted by the Evans. “If you ever feel like talking about it,” Alex offered, “Liz and Maria say I’m a good listener.”

“Thanks, Alex. Maybe someday I will.” Looking at him, Isabel found herself questioning the rules that she, Max and Michael had created so many years ago. Maybe the key to their survival wasn’t to hide away from the world, to shut everyone out.

Maybe the key was learning how to trust . . . and who.

I’ll update this again next week, probably on Wednesday or Thursday. What are Liz and Max going to do after the dance? Come back next week to find out!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Oct-2002 1:20:53 AM ]
posted on 17-Oct-2002 1:02:42 AM by Breathless
I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for a while now trying to think of what I want say, and not sure if I have the words. Oh, sure, me not have the words, right? I can be pretty long winded when I want to, and don’t get me started on a rant or you’ll regret it!

But at the moment I’m not here to rant, but rather I’m sitting here trying not to cry. Why are my eyes filling with tears? Well, the answer is very simple. It’s because you voted me this:

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


For those of you that follow my writing, you know I am a devoted Dreamer, and Max Evans has always been my favorite character. When the opening scene unfolded in the Pilot, and Max Evans risked it all to save the life of Liz Parker, I was drawn to their characters, both Max and Liz, but especially Max. I felt a connection to him, just as Liz did, and I’ve tried to show that in my writing. Thanks to this award (and also runner up Best Portrayal of Max Evans in Captive Hearts) I feel blessed, giddy, emotional, excited and WONDERFUL!!!!

I feel like Sally Fields standing up on the stage at the Academy Awards shouting YOU LIKE ME!!! YOU REALLY LIKE ME!!!!! Oh God! Where’s my Kleenex? I’ve crying again!

Of all the awards I could have won, Best Portrayal of Max Evans is the one I’ll cherish the most.


posted on 17-Oct-2002 1:05:21 AM by Breathless
This outstanding banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 34

Max led Liz outside of the gymnasium and the cool air was welcome after the sweltering heat on the dance floor. The sky was clear and dotted with a million stars and he couldn’t help but look upward, and wonder. Was one of those his? The world he came from? He wished he could talk to Liz about it, hear what her thoughts might be on the subject, but he couldn’t bring himself to admit to her what he really was.

He felt guilty for not being completely honest with her, but he was too afraid of losing her to admit the truth now. It would crush him if she couldn’t accept him for what he was, so he continued to hide behind his human façade.

“It’s a beautiful night,” Max turned his eyes from the stars and looked down at her with that soul melting smile of his.

“It is,” Liz agreed and leaned into his arm.

“The night’s not over yet,” Max walked slowly, with no apparent destination in mind, just holding her hand and enjoying her company. “We have more than an hour until your curfew is up.”

“Almost an hour and a half.” Liz wasn’t in any hurry to rush home.

“Do you want to go for a drive?” he asked hopefully.

“Where?” Liz asked, not that it mattered.

“Nowhere,” Max shrugged. “Anywhere. There’s this place out in the desert I go to sometimes when I want to think. You can see the stars really well from there. Would you like to see it?”

“Go out in the desert?” Liz felt her pulse rate rise. “Tonight?”

“I promise, I won’t turn into an octopus,” Max joked and then instantly regretted it when he saw the shocked look on her face. He’d seen a flash from her earlier in the week, when he’d snuck a kiss from her at lunchtime, and he’d seen a conversation between her and Maria about octopus hands . . . and condoms. He’d been stiff for the rest of the day.

His fear that he had offended her was quickly abated when she laughed embarrassedly and punched him lightly on the arm. “Have you been eavesdropping on me and Maria?”

“No,” Max chuckled along with her. “It’s a guy thing. We all want a few extra hands at times.” Did he just say that out loud? Oh Christ. Now he felt like he was blushing.

“Really?” Liz arched an eyebrow and lifted her hand to remove the rhinestone crown that was still resting atop her head.

“No!” Max blurted out. “Don’t!” He surprised even himself with his outburst, but something just felt right, looking at her with the crown sparkling like stars in her hair. It suited her. He didn’t know why he thought that, but he did. “Leave it,” he urged her. “It looks really pretty in your hair. Don’t take it out. Not yet.”

“Okay,” Liz brought her hand back down. His crown had disappeared a while ago and Liz thought the last time she saw it, it was sitting on the edge of the stage. Maybe someone would save it for him, so he could keep it as a souvenir.

They made their way to the jeep and Max helped Liz in before hurrying around to his side. They made they’re way out of town and he quietly contemplated trading the jeep in for a different car, something that Liz could sit closer to him in, instead of this old military jeep. Maybe she could go car shopping with him, and he could pick out something she’d like. He chuckled to himself, knowing how Michael would react if he did something like that. He was so whipped, but he didn’t care. Whatever made Liz happy!

They drove out into the night, along a highway that got little traffic this late. The music played softly on the radio and they were both content with each other’s company, talking about whatever came to mind. The miles fell behind them and it wasn’t long before Max saw the turnoff in the headlights. He slowed the jeep and pulled onto a dirt road. The going was bumpy for a few miles and then Max pulled to a stop. He hurried around to the passenger side and helped Liz out, lifting her up by the waist so she wouldn’t snag her dress, and then setting her feet on the desert floor.

“Max,” Liz said with awe. “It’s so beautiful here.” The moon wasn’t yet full but it was bright enough to cast a glow over the landscape. A rock escarpment rising high into the air dominated the terrain and she knew in the daylight it must look magnificent, in glorious shades of orange and yellow and brown. Scanning the skies, her voice floated like soft music on the night air. “I’ve lived here my whole life, but I’ve never seen the stars look so vibrant before.”

“It’s why I like to come here,” Max admitted with a sigh. “It feels closer to the stars here, like you can almost reach out and touch them.”

“Do you come here often?” Liz asked, leaning her cheek against this shoulder.

“Whenever I want to think,” Max took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“I’m glad you wanted to share this with me,” Liz looked up at him, moved by the depth of emotion she could see in his eyes.

“We probably shouldn’t stay,” Max lamented as he looked down at her and the dress she was wearing. She’d only get dirty out here, and maybe even tear her dress on the scrub grass or cacti. And then there were the rattlesnakes and the scorpions and the tarantulas . . .

“I don’t want to go yet,” Liz stared up at him, feeling content just to stand here with him, under the majesty of the stars. “We’ve come all this way . . .”

“I have a blanket . . .” Max started to say and then he wondered if she was going to take that the wrong way. He hadn’t come out here with an ulterior motive in mind. “I mean, if you want to sit down for a little while. So you won’t get dirty. That is, if you want to sit down. Or we could go. I could take you back home. Whatever you –”

“I’d love to sit with you under the stars,” Liz cut him off.

Max felt the air rushing in and out of his lungs as another of his fantasies came to life. He’d always wanted to bring her here. With great difficulty, he stepped away from her and ransacked the back of his jeep, finally finding the gray blanket he always kept stored there. They walked a short distance until Max found a fairly level spot and he unfurled the blanket, letting it drift down to the sandy ground. His breath hitched as he sank down into the middle of it and drew Liz down beside him.

“Remember last year, when we were in Astronomy class together?” Max asked after she settled down next to him, tucking her legs underneath her. His arm circled around behind her back and she leaned her head against his shoulder.

“Yes,” Liz remembered it clearly. He had sat just an aisle away from her, but it had felt like miles.

“I always wanted to bring you out here, to show you this. Once you get away from the city lights, you can see so much better. See,” he pointed to a spot low on the horizon. “There’s Orion’s Belt.”

They pointed out the constellations to each other, everything they had learned in class a year ago, and things that Max had studied on his own in his never ending quest to find out what he was, and where he came from.

He leaned back on one elbow with his legs stretched out in front of him, watching her face in the moonlight. He thought she looked stunning with her hair piled atop her head and her crown shining like jewels. He felt his body stirring with suppressed need, but that was nothing new for him. It was a reaction she caused in him frequently. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had known she was the one, the only one, even if he’d never been able to tell her.

She leaned back, lying beside him on the cushion of the blanket, looking up at the diamond studded sky, and he had to fight the urge to turn into that octopus they had been talking about. He wanted more than anything to run his hand over her flat stomach, up her ribs, to cup the fullness of her breast, to slip that strap off her shoulder and watch her creamy skin come into view, only imagining what she would look like under the stars, glowing in the moonlight. Instead, he lay down beside her, shoulders touching and their heads close together, both of them looking up at the night sky.

“Max?” Liz asked, feeling his warmth beside her.

“Yeah?” he answered, forcing himself not to move. He wanted to roll over so badly. Right on top of her. It was another of his fantasies, but that one wasn’t going to be realized tonight. After years of longing for her, they’d only been together for a week, and he wasn’t about to blow it now. He’d take things slow, one step at a time, and see what happens.

“Do you think there’s life out there?” Liz asked, staring up at the stars.

Max felt the air leave his lungs in a rush, surprised by her question. He contemplated the answer for a minute, and then gave the only one that he could.

“Yes,” Max stated. “Somewhere. Out there.”

“I think so, too. We can’t be all there is,” Liz’s thoughts were lost among the stars. “Even if they’re three feet tall and green, or those skinny gray things with the huge black eyes, or even if it’s a just cloud of sentient organic dust, there has to be something out there.”

“I’m sure there is, Liz,” Max reached for her hand and squeezed it. Should he tell her? Now? Should he let her know that life did exist among the stars and he was a living example? But with her scientific mind, he knew she would want proof and then he’d have to show her. And then what? What would she do if she saw him use his powers? How would she react then? It was one thing to dream about life out there, to contemplate it, to theorize about it, and something much different to look it in the face.

“The universe is too big for only us,” Liz continued her thoughts. She turned to face him, with her eyes true and sure. “I hope we find out in our lifetimes. It’s just too sad to think that in all the expanse of space, that we’re all there is.”

“Liz,” he lifted up, leaning on his elbow again. He looked down into her eyes, so close to telling her, but years of hiding still had a firm grip on him. He cupped her face with his hand and he did the only other thing he could. He leaned down and kissed her. Deeply, tenderly, feeling closer to her than he ever had before. His hand slowly moved down her throat, feeling her collarbone under his palm, moving lower over the exposed skin of her shoulder, feeling the heat of her skin and the swell of her breast. His heart was hammering in his chest, and his hand stilled suddenly, knowing this was as far as he should take it.

And then he got the flash . . .

“Liz!” Maria raced into the Crashdown, desperate to find her best friend. Spotting her taking an order at table 4, she rushed over to her. “Liz! We have to talk!”

“Maria!” Liz was stunned. “I’m right in the middle –”

“In the back! Hurry!” Maria insisted.

Liz frowned and took the rest of the order, offering an apologetic smile to the three teens at the table. “So that’s one Galaxy Sub, one Mercury Bacon Burger, and one Worf Salad. Anything to drink with that?”

“Cherry Coke for me,” Max answered.

“Make it two,” Michael huffed. Michael always huffed.

“I’ll have an Iced Tea,” Isabel said to be different.

“I’ll be back with your drinks in just a minute.” Liz looked at the faces at the table, turning her gaze to Max lastly, but of course he wasn’t looking at her. He was never looking at her. Which was probably good, because if he had been looking at her, she might have climbed into the booth and tried to tear his clothes off. And her dad probably wouldn’t have liked that too much, sexually molesting the customers like that. Max didn’t mind though, at least not in her fantasies.

Blushing now, she turned in the order at the window, served them their drinks and then joined Maria in the back, keeping an eye on Max through the diamond shaped window in the door. “So what’s so important, Maria?”

“I heard a rumor,” Maria stared at her friend, who was basically ignoring her so she could stare through the window.

“What rumor?” Liz asked distractedly. She was always distracted when Max was in the restaurant.

“You. Kyle. The party at Ferguson’s house. Kyle’s telling everyone he got to second base.”

“What?” Liz turned suddenly, with her eyes bugging out. “KYLE SAID WHAT?”

“Yes! I heard it from Paulie, who overhead Kyle talking about it in the boys locker room.”

“Well, that’s a lie! Kyle was drunk at Ferguson’s party,” Liz huffed. “He was puking in the garden and I was trying to give him some moral support, you know, be there for him, and when he went to stand up, after he’d puked his guts out, he groped me when he was trying to get back to his feet. I didn’t let him ‘get to second base’!

“We’ll that’s what he’s saying!” Maria said.

“Well, he’s lying, or exaggerating,” Liz put the rumor to rest. “When I give myself to someone, I want it to mean something, to both of us. I want it to be the most important thing we can give to each other. Brushing against my boob when he’s so drunk he can’t stand up straight does not constitute reaching second base.”

The vision faded and Max stared at her, feeling both deepening desire and . . . relief. He’d heard the rumors in the boy’s locker room, how Kyle had reached second base with Liz, and to know it wasn’t true made his heart soar. He’d certainly felt crushed at the time. Just the thought that Kyle might have touched her made him shudder. He felt that surge of desire sharpen, a craving to forge something more between them, but he couldn’t agree with her more. Giving yourself was the most important gift you could give. Max moved his hand away from temptation, up toward her cheek, not ready to ask that of her yet.

“We should probably go back,” he said huskily, with his face hovering just above hers. “I don’t want to give your Dad an excuse not to let me see you again.”

“You want to see me again?” Liz let the words slip out, still finding it hard to believe, even after the wondrous night they’d had, and all the wonderful things he had said.

“Of course I do,” Max rushed the words out. “I –” He’d almost blurted out that he was in love with her, but it was too soon to tell her that . . . even though it was true. He didn’t want to scare her away. “I had a great time tonight. Did you?”

“Oh yes,” Liz felt her pulse quicken when his hand moved from her shoulder to rest lightly over her ribs. She liked the feel of his hand there. She covered it with hers. “Tonight has been the best night of my life.”

“It has?” Max was sure this must be a dream. It was too perfect.

“Yes,” she smiled up at him with her eyes sparkling as brightly as the diamonds in her hair. Her hand rose up his arm, over the smooth fabric of his jacket, sliding across his shoulder and tangling in the hair at the back of his neck. She pulled him down toward her, whispering, “It has.”

He felt himself falling into her, his mouth covering hers, tasting the sweetness of her lips, and then feeling her tongue tentatively probing against him. He opened up to let her in, turning the kiss more heated as their tongues mated together, reminding him of just how much he wanted her. He leaned into her, letting his hand drift up her side, feeling her ribs under the soft material of her dress. He couldn’t fight the desire as his fingers moved a little higher.

Liz was floating in the clouds, living out her fantasies, out here, alone with Max, under a canopy of stars. It was such a perfect moment, beyond her wildest dreams and she pulled him closer, wanting to feel his weight on her. He broke the kiss suddenly and looked down at her with heated breaths raining from his lungs, trying to judge her face to make sure he wasn’t misinterpreting what she wanted. She looked so innocent, but her eyes held something more, causing his heart to race even faster in his chest. It suddenly dawned on him he could feel her heartbeat under his hand, and it was racing just as fast as his.

His mouth crashed down on hers, intensifying the kiss and consuming her with his desire. She could feel his weight leaning onto her more fully, with his leg lifting over hers, sliding between hers, pressing the length of both their bodies together. She could feel his hand, hovering right below her breast and she silently begged him to touch her, to take her places she’d never been, to feel things no one else had ever made her feel.

He broke the kiss again, this time with his need driving him to taste the tender skin of her throat, kissing her places he hadn’t dared kiss before. His mouth latched onto her sweet flesh, kissing under her chin, down to the hollow at the base of her throat, out along the prominent ridge of her collarbone, dropping lower still, feeling the swell of her breasts on his lips. He could feel her fingers deep in his hair, her labored breaths against his ear, his name whispered from her lips sounding like a plea, but still he held back, calling on the last reserves of his control to keep from taking things too far.

His lips returned to hers, eager and passionate, feeling his body reacting to the soft moans coming from her throat. He fought the driving urge to let his fingers drift a little higher, told himself he couldn’t touch her the way he really wanted to – and then he got another flash . . .

They stood on the gray blanket face to face, Max staring down into her eyes, sparkling in the starlight, Liz unable to tear her eyes away from the intensity of his gaze. Much of his face was cast in shadows, but not his eyes. They fairly glowed from within and she was mesmerized by them.

Max knew he had never laid eyes on anyone more beautiful, more exciting, more alluring. She was everything he had ever wanted in his life. Everything and more, and his desire was overwhelming him. He could feel it in her too, the need to be touched, to be wanted, to be loved, and his hand rose up to remove the rhinestone crown from her hair. He tugged it gently, carefully, swallowing hard as the sparkling jewels pulled free and he dropped it to the sand beside his feet. Her eyes gave no indication that she objected, and his hand returned to caress the skin of her throat. Slowly, giving her time to react if she wasn’t ready, he moved to the strap on her shoulder. The strap that held her dress in place.

She made no attempt to stop him, so he allowed his fingers to curl around the thin cord, slowly moving it along her shoulder until it fell over the side and lay limply against her upper arm. When she made no effort to still his movements, his right hand lifted to her left shoulder and repeated the process, tugging the strap off her shoulder, slowly, carefully, and then her dress tumbled from her body, billowing in a cloud of red around her feet.

He stared at the sight before him, Liz Parker in all her glory, her body glowing palely in the moonlight, her breasts unencumbered by a bra, magnificent in their beauty. She was everything he’d ever dreamed she’d be.

Her hands moved to his chest, parting the lapels of his jacket and sliding it off his shoulders. It fell behind him to the desert floor, but neither of them noticed. He was too overcome by the feel of her fingers working the buttons of his shirt, unfastening each one in agonizing slowness, one button at a time, and then he was helping her, tearing his shirt off and tossing it aside. He swept her into his arms, feeling the naked skin of her chest, the swell of her breasts, against his own heated flesh. Her nipples were hard points of fire against his skin as the fantasy continued to unfold.

She could feel the strong reaction in his body, the swell in his pants that made her pulse race and her breath rasp in and out of her tortured lungs. The night air caressed their bodies, the warm breeze whispered across their heated skin as they touched each other, with their hands and fingers exploring things they had never seen or felt before.

His hand rose to cup a tender breast and his body sighed in contentment at the feel of her hard and distended nipple . . .

Max felt her body freeze, stiffening beneath him as he came out of the flash. He lifted his head from hers, afraid she might have seen what he saw, felt all the things he felt, and he wondered how he could explain. He didn’t understand what he had just seen any more than she did. If she did. How could he know if she had seen it too, unless he asked her?

“What was that?” Liz whispered. Her lungs were heaving, trying to draw in a breath of air, but it was hard to do with the feel of Max’s hand on her ribs like that. More fantasies come to life.

“What was what?” he swallowed hard, panting heavily. He felt paralyzed, not knowing if she had seen the flash, too.

A coyote howled in the distance again and Liz turned her eyes toward the sound, whispering once again, “That . . .”

“Coyote,” Max managed to answer, and moved his hand lower on her ribs. It must have been the animal that frightened her, not the flash. But oh God, what a flash! Was it his fantasy . . . or hers? “Maybe . . .” his breath was still ragged, strained, “ . . . maybe we should go back.”

She stared up into his face, wanting to stay, wanting more . . . and then the coyote howled again, sounding closer. The look on her face gave Max his answer, and he scrambled to his feet pulling her with him before she could say a word. They stood together on the blanket, Max with his arms around her holding her close, Liz with her hands against his chest, feeling his heart beating rapidly below his shirt.

“It’s late,” he stared into her moonlit eyes, wanting to live out the fantasy he had seen in his vision and knowing that he couldn’t. Not yet. Maybe someday? “I better get you home.”

Her hands rose up to thread through his hair and then they were kissing again, with the intensity of before just hovering on the edge, waiting to ignite again. He still wasn’t sure if her reaction had been caused by the coyote, or by the flash, so he held himself in check, beating down the desire to let things get swept away again.

Forcing himself to break the kiss, he stepped back and reached down to retrieve the blanket from the ground. He carried it in one hand while he held hers in the other, and he led her back to the jeep. He lifted her inside, kissing her once more before he stepped back and closed the door. He shook the sand and dirt out of the blanket and folded it neatly before returning it to the back of the jeep and then walked around to his side, pausing at the door before climbing in and settling behind the steering wheel.

Their evening was almost over now, a magical night coming to an end, but full of promise for the coming morrow. Max held her hand the whole way home.

Join me next week to see where Max takes Liz next!

Runner up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 4 time(s), last at 17-Oct-2002 1:54:29 AM ]
posted on 24-Oct-2002 1:07:23 AM by Breathless
Sorry, but no update tonight. My disk is corrupt and won't open but hopefully I have a back-up at work. I'll see tomorrow, and try to post the update tomorrow night.

posted on 25-Oct-2002 1:19:04 AM by Breathless
SweetLilDreamer originally wrote:
Hey! I'm watching CSI right now, be back in half an hour to check on my favorite fic!


I was watching CSI too! I'll be back in a minute with the new part.

posted on 25-Oct-2002 1:22:34 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 35

The lunchroom was crowded, too crowded, but Max barely noticed. He was too busy to notice. He was watching Liz. But unlike most of the days of his life, he didn’t have to hide it anymore. He could sit here with his elbow on the table and his chin resting on his upturned hand, straddling the bench while he watched Liz sort through the contents of her lunch, and he didn’t have to pretend that he wasn’t doing it, or look away when she looked in his direction.

He could do this all day long, just sit and watch Liz Parker while she ate. It was the most enjoyable part of his day, well, besides the times he got to kiss her, or walk with her in the halls, or hold her hand, or act out in class, or –

“Aren’t you going to finish your lunch?” Liz asked innocently, noticing he had barely touched his sandwich.

“Ummmm,” Max said distractedly while she peeled the banana in her hand. “Yeah,” he swallowed hard. “Sure.”

He had no idea what he had brought for lunch, or even if he had eaten it already. He could only think of one thing that he really wanted to eat – wait! He shouldn’t be thinking about that. Not now. Not yet. It was too soon. Too soon. Oh good god almighty, what was she doing now?

Max watched as she slowly lifted the banana to her mouth, parted her lips, and let the fruit slip inside, into her moist cavern, her tongue sliding along the thick underside of . . . the banana. Yeah! The banana. She could do the most exotic things to the . . . banana. His own appetite for food was gone now, replaced by a different kind of appetite.

Max was mesmerized by the way she was eating the banana. It was slow torture watching her insert it in her mouth, between those rosy red lips of hers. His groin was throbbing as he watched her consume the banana.

Liz finished peeling the banana and her lips closed around it, biting down on the delicious fruit, inserting it deeply into her mouth –

Oh Jesus! Max watched the banana disappear into her mouth and he knew he was this close to losing it. So far, he’d kept away from developing a physical relationship with her, forcing himself to keep his hands to himself, even though he craved to touch her. But watching her eat that banana was causing his body to go into overdrive. Was it always going to be like this, him seeing Liz and his body screaming for him to make her his? Almost like a deeply embedded need for him to mate with her, to seal them together before it was too late. He didn’t know what to make of it. Was it just the hormones of a horny teenage guy, or some alien drive to claim his mate?

All he knew was, watching her eat that banana was driving him slowly insane. He wanted to drill his banana right into her . . . NO, NO, NO! That was just wrong on his part! He needed to treat her with respect. He needed to treat her with dignity and honor. He needed to . . . nail her as fast as he could. He groaned as he watched her mouth surround the banana again.

“Did you say something?” Liz pulled the banana out of her mouth and looked at him. His face was a little flushed and his eyes looked a little glazed and she wondered if he might be coming down with something. She was also having a really hard time keeping her eyes on his face. Seeing him sitting there like that, straddling the bench next to her, his muscular legs open wide, she had to force herself to keep her eyes above his shoulders, because if she let them drop, there’d be no way for him not to notice what she’d be staring at.

“Max?” she reached out to touch him.

Max was focused on her mouth and he couldn’t help thinking that he was sitting in a really bad position. His legs were wide apart, and if she looked down, she’d be able to see just how much he enjoyed watching her eat that banana. He felt her hand suddenly touch his thigh and he bolted upright on the bench, feeling the electrical charge course through his body. The sound of her voice registered in his brain and he could feel a blush rise in his cheeks.

“Wh – what?” he stuttered. Could she tell what he was thinking about? “Did you say something?”

“You’re lunch . . .” Liz pointed at the tray on the table by his elbow.

His eyes drifted to the tray but snapped right back to her when she took the last bite of the banana and then put the peel on her tray. She chewed and swallowed and Max grabbed her hand and jumped to his feet, blurting out, “Are you done?”

“Max?” Liz said with a start. Wasn’t he going to finish eating? He pulled her to her feet and started to drag her across the lunchroom. He was acting a little strange but she had to admit that he was making her pulse race a little faster. Okay, a lot faster. Hell, it was ready to burst. The vibes he was giving out were making her molecules vibrate.

She pulled him to a stop and he turned back to see the questioning look on her face. He leaned close and then paused to let his eyes flick around the lunchroom. Definitely too public. He put his lips near her ear and said huskily, “Come on . . .”

He turned quickly, holding her hand tightly in his and she had to almost run to keep up with his long strides. He was intent on his destination and her repeated attempts to ask him where they were going were answered with silence. They rounded a corner into a sparsely populated hallway, and suddenly it didn’t matter anymore. Liz knew exactly where they were going, and she couldn’t help the thrill that spread through her body.

“Max,” she said coyly this time.

He spun her around in front of the eraser room door, wrapping his arms around her and nuzzling his face into her hair, over her cheek, brushing her lips with his as he backed her inside. He closed the door quickly behind him and leaned back, pressing his hand against the doorknob and sealing it closed, using his body to block what he was doing so she wouldn’t see.

“So, the eraser room, huh?” Liz bit at her lower lip, feeling slightly nervous. “I’ve never been here before.”

“Me either,” Max prowled closer and drew her into his arms.

“I thought . . .” Liz looked up at him and swallowed hard.

“You thought what?” Max leaned down and stole a kiss.

“I . . . I thought,” she managed to breath out when their lips parted. “I thought you . . . and Paula Holt –”

“What?” Max reared back, looking at her in shock. “Me and Paula Holt? In here? Never! I wouldn’t let her touch me. You’re the only one I’d ever let –”

He stopped himself before he let the words slip out. Everybody knew what Paula was famous for, but he didn’t want Liz to think he was expecting that from her. “You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted to bring in here.”

“Really?” Liz was feeling hot and bothered, and deeply relieved. Paula hadn’t preformed her magic on him that day he was late for Drama class? That made her very happy!

“Really,” Max pulled her close and his breath floated around her face, warm and inviting. “You have no idea how many times I’ve wanted to drag you in here.”

“You have no idea how many times I wanted to drag you in here!” Liz admitted with a blush.

She let her hand roam up and down his chest, feeling the heat radiating off of him. God, his body felt hard and muscular beneath his shirt. In her fantasies, his body was sculptured, rippling with muscles, but she didn’t have any first hand knowledge, not yet anyway. She was still eagerly waiting for Mrs. Wainwright to have him start practicing his shirtless scenes!

“You wanted to drag me into the eraser room?” he grinned at the blush that covered her face. “I like the sound of that!”

Max leaned his forehead against hers and then he couldn’t stop himself. He took her lips in a heated kiss, teasing her with his tongue, and the intensity of it took her breath away. She was putty in his hands, and when his lips lowered to her neck, she tilted her head back, exposing her throat to him. The heat of the kiss was raising goose bumps on her skin, making her nerve endings fire with jolts of electricity, and she silently wondered if he ever made love to her, how would she ever survive? Surely she would spontaneously combust.

“Max . . .” she sighed in sweet surrender.

“What . . .?” he mumbled as he sought out her lips again. He couldn’t not kiss her, even if he tried. He was too far gone, caught up in his need for her.

“Don’t stop,” she begged dreamily. “Don’t . . . stop . . .”

His heart raced faster, hearing the tone in her voice. Sultry. Sensual. Sexy. She was making every part of him stand up and take notice. His lips made their way down her throat again and he wanted so badly to bury his face in the swell of her breasts, between the cleavage that was just barely visible above the scoop of her neckline. His hand was on the small of her back and as she lifted her arms to surround his shoulders, her shirt lifted too, and suddenly his hand was flush against her warm skin.

He hadn’t touched the bare skin on her back since the Homecoming dance two weeks ago and he was in seventh heaven again, sliding his fingers over her soft flesh, feeling the warmth of her silken skin. His hand splayed over her back, rising up under her shirt, not too far, but he was encouraged that she wasn’t objecting.

Liz was lost within the heat of their kiss. Never had she imagined kissing Max Evans could ever feel this good. Better than any fantasy she had ever dreamed. His hand was roaming over her lower back, up and down her spine, staying just below the lower edge of her bra, then sliding sideways, across her ribs, wrapping around her side, and then to the back again, in constant motion, making her blood boil, making her want even more. Did he know what he was doing to her?

Did she know what she was doing to him, Max wondered? He could hear the soft moans coming from her throat and he’d never been so hard in his life. Could she tell? How could she not tell? Oh God, did she know how badly he wanted her? He broke off the kiss and stared into her eyes, his ragged breath drowning out all other sounds . . . except . . . her own ragged breath . . . her lungs heaving as rapidly as his . . . her eyes just as . . . dark with desire as his. Oh God. Their mouths crashed together again.

Her hands clutched at the back of his shirt, moved up to bury her fingers in his hair, then back down, in constant motion just like his. A surge of heat raced through her when his hand rose high up her back, his palm causing fire to race up her spine, and down too, heat pooling in her most intimate places. He was setting her on fire, just by a touch and a kiss.

They were in a full body embrace, fitting together like two interlocking pieces of a puzzle, their mouths consuming each other, his body throbbing against hers. He could feel her breasts pressing into his chest, her nipples hard and prominent even through the layers of their clothing, and Max was certain if she moved against him just one more time, he was going to embarrass himself terribly. His tongue thrust deeply into her mouth, doing things he would like to do to other parts of her body too, and then he got the flash . . .

A young girl stood in front of a mirror looking at her reflection, wearing a grown up party dress, playing make believe. She swirled around in the dress watching the red material billow around her, looking and feeling as soft as clouds. She went through a series of poses, first sweeping her dark hair up onto her head, then blowing kisses at the mirror, then practicing the technique on the back of her hand, before finally breaking into girlish giggles.

The child began to change, the reflection morphing into an older version of her, the loose fitting dress now filled by seductive curves. Liz stared at her image, looking at the crown of diamonds in her upswept hair, her red earrings dangling from her ears, her dress, the way it fit her body.

Her hands removed her earrings one by one, and then rose to take the crown out of her hair. She held it close to her chest for a moment, cherishing it, and then looped it over the upper right edge of her dresser mirror where it hung there, sparkling in the light from the candles that lit her room.

Looking at her reflection once again, Liz curled her fingers under one spaghetti strap and slowly pulled it off her shoulder. It lay limply against her upper arm while her fingers moved to the other strap and repeat the movement. In the reflection she could see her red dress began to slide down her body, exposing her skin slowly, an inch at a time. Her breasts came into view, high and proud with firm dark nipples prominently displayed. Her ribs came next, and then her waist, her navel, and then the dress fell past her hips to billow around her feet on the floor.

Her hands rose to her throat as she stared at her reflection and she watched the candlelight flicker over her exposed skin. Her hands fell from her throat to touch her breasts, to cup them, and then dropped lower, to glide over her stomach, her hips, to slip through the patch of dark curls at the junction of her legs, to slip between them.

Warm hands slid around her waist from behind and Max materialized behind her. His presence was powerful, welcome, and she leaned back into his strong chest. He raised a hand to cup her breast, watching her face in the mirror, and then let his left hand drop down to join her’s between her legs.

He felt a sigh go through her body, and heard it like a whisper. Her skin was radiant, her body glowing from the inside out. Wispy strands of hair dangled around her face and shoulders, and his eyes were drawn to the magnificent beauty of her breasts, her body. He stared at the sight reflected in the mirror, his dream girl in all her beauty, bathed in the candlelight and wrapped within his arms.

She met his mirror eyes, seeing the desire reflecting there, the need, the want, the love. She turned within his embrace and her hands move to his chest, parting the lapels of his suit jacket and sliding it off his shoulders. It fell silently to the floor. He watched her as she worked at the buttons of his shirt, unfastening each one, one at a time, in agonizing slowness. She peeled it from his shoulders and it drifted to the floor to join his jacket. His hands rubbed gently up and down her arms, feeling the warmth of her naked skin while he placed tender kisses along her forehead, at her temples, smelling in the scent of her hair.

Her hand stroked over the muscles of his chest, arousing him, exciting him, and he swept her into his arms, heatedly taking her lips, feeling the naked swell of her breasts against his own heated flesh. Her nipples became hard points of fire against his skin, boring into his flesh, flaming his needs.

His hands traveled down the curve of her back, sliding over her silken skin, curving in at the small of her back, and then out over the soft swell of her bottom. Her nudity was tantalizing, alluring, igniting the fires within him. He wanted her, more than he’d ever wanted anything else in his life.

She could feel the strong reaction in his body, the swell in his pants that made her pulse race and her breath rasp in and out of her lungs. His hands were touching her in places he had never touched before, causing her body to tremble with need for him, making her skin burn for him, compelling her to touch him in the same way.

Her hands went to the waistband of his pants, sliding the belt out of the loops, unfastening the buckle and pulling it free. The air became trapped in his lungs as her fingers tugged his zipper lower, down over the prominent bulge of his desire, until his pants slackened and slid down his legs. Her eyes were riveted to the front of his boxers, tented by his rigid flesh, and her hand slowly reached for him . . .

Max came out of the flash with a start, gasping for breath and feeling the pressure in his body ready to explode. If she had touched him in the flash, he was sure he would have come right then and there, creaming the front of his pants without her hands being anywhere near him. His eyes were blinking rapidly, his cheeks were on fire, his groin was aching with unreleased desire, and his heart was thundering in the silence of the eraser room.

Liz stared at him trying to catch her breath. Her heart was racing wildly and the juncture at the top of her legs was throbbing in a way she had never felt before. He hadn’t touched the bare skin of her back since the night of the dance, and to feel his hand slide under her shirt now was causing a riot of sensation inside her. She wondered if he had any idea what her fantasies entailed, what he did to her in her dreams, what she wanted him to do now.

“Max . . .” she finally found her voice, and then the bell above the door rang loudly. Lunch period was over. 4th period was ready to start.

“Liz . . .”

What could he say? That he wanted to make love to her? That he was ready to ravish her right here in the eraser room? That he was an oversexed alien wanting to plunder her body? That he ached with desire to bury himself inside her? That he wanted to screw her brains out? JESUS! He needed to calm his ass down!

“W – we better go,” he stuttered.

“Y – yeah,” Liz was struggling with her own thoughts. Like what would he do if she jumped him right now? Would he like it? Would he think her a slut, like Paula Holt? What would he do if she –

She did it anyway, launching herself at him at the same time that he lunged toward her. She couldn’t get enough of him, he couldn’t kiss her hard enough, and then reality once more crashed in on them when the door rattled in its frame. Someone was trying to get in.

They broke apart, with Liz sure they were about to get caught, and Max not knowing how to explain to her that the door was sealed. It rattled again, and then they heard what sounded like a fist slamming into it. A familiar voice grumbled and they heard heavy footsteps walk away, and Max was fairly sure they belonged to Mr. Vaughn, the janitor.

“We better go,” Max looked at Liz sheepishly. He didn’t know how in the world he was going to be able to get through 4th period English, but they couldn’t stay in here. Vaughn was bound to be back.

“Yeah,” Liz sighed. “I think you’re right.” Her heart was still racing a mile a minute.

Max used his body to block her sight of the door again, and he unsealed the lock. The glow from his hand flared and disappeared so fast, she couldn’t see a thing. At least he hoped she couldn’t. He inched open the door and peeked outside, and with no teachers in sight to see them, he hustled Liz out of the eraser room.

They hurried off to their next classes, with both of them counting the minutes until 6th period, when they could be together again.

See ya next Wednesday or Thursday for the next part

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Best FanArt Cover
Maxeo and Lizziet

Runner up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 25-Oct-2002 1:29:11 AM ]
posted on 31-Oct-2002 1:30:50 AM by Breathless
Moved to page 145

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Oct-2002 1:38:27 AM ]
posted on 31-Oct-2002 1:33:00 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author note: LTL, I was pleased to read your feedback about the rating factor being kicked up a notch. You had reservations about me taking this into NC 17 territory, and truthfully, so did I. I liked the innocence of Max and Liz and didn’t want to lose that. But, just as Season 1 Max and Liz steamed up the screen when they got in a room alone together, my Max and Liz just can’t be denied. The question that remains is: How long can they hold out before giving in to temptation?

Then there’s that other little matter of Max’s secret. How many years did it take him to tell Liz he LIKED her? I imagine telling her he’s an ALIEN is going to be just a tad bit harder.

To everyone that was wondering about the flashes, and if Liz was seeing anything, too, read on!

Posted in 2 parts due to length . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 36

Maria watched out of the corner of her eye, smirking at the lovesick look on her best friend’s face. Liz was cleaning the milkshake machine again, as if it wasn’t already gleaming from when she cleaned it five minutes ago, or five minutes before that. Liz was a goner. No doubt about it.

The bell above the Crashdown doors rang out and Liz turned to look quickly, with a smile spreading over her face as soon as she saw him. Max stopped in mid step as soon as their eyes met, and then with a private grin just for her, he made his way over to his usual booth. He stood beside it while he waited for her to come around the counter to join him. When she reached him, he looked around the restaurant for any sign of her father, and when he appeared to be nowhere in sight, Max gave in to the urge to kiss his girlfriend.

Girlfriend, Max smiled at the thought. His girlfriend Liz. Liz was his girlfriend. He had a girlfriend named Liz! Oh, life was sweet!

“Hey,” Liz said shyly when their lips parted. “I was starting to wonder if you were coming.”

“I had to take Isabel to the mall,” Max let his fingers toy with a strand of her hair. “She got called in to work at the last minute.”

“Oh,” Liz leaned closer, ready for another kiss, and then her father barged through the door from the kitchen and Max took a step back. He liked her dad, but he could be a little scary.

“Hey, Max,” Jeff nodded as he walked toward the register at the front of the restaurant.

“Hi, Mr. Parker,” Max tried not to look like the horny teenager who wanted to steal his daughter’s virtue. He dropped down into the booth so he wouldn’t be tempted to jump Liz right in front of her father.

“You ready for a Captain Kirk special?” Liz asked, smiling at him in that special way of hers and holding her order pad in her hand.

“Well, let’s see . . .” Max perused the menu, deciding whether he wanted to try something new today. “Maybe I’ll just have an Alien Blast instead.”

“An Alien Blast, huh?” Liz teased. “Are you sure you want to be that adventurous?”

“Just write it down,” Max said snidely and poked his finger at her order pad. As soon as he touched it, he got another flash . . .

“So that’s one Galaxy Sub, one Mercury Bacon Burger, and one Worf Salad” Liz tapped the eraser of her pencil against her lower lip and then looked up from her pad to glance at Max again. “Anything to drink with that?”

“Cherry Coke for me,” Max answered, meeting her gaze with those sensual eyes of his.

God! Liz cried out in her mind. She couldn’t tear her gaze away from him. His eyes were so HOT! They burned right through her. They set her on fire!

“Make it two,” she vaguely heard Michael respond. She didn’t hear Isabel at all. She wasn’t listening anymore. There was only one thing she was focused on, and that was Max. He was looking at her instead of down at the table, or over at his sister, or at Michael, the way he usually did when Liz was near him. This time, his eyes were looking right into hers.

“So,” her tongue darted out to moisten her lips. “You said you want the . . .”

“Galaxy Sub and a Cherry Coke . . .” Max trailed his voice off as she moved closer to the table. His eyes grew large as she climbed into the booth and straddled his lap, and his mouth dropped open in surprise. “Liz?”

“Can I tempt you with dessert?” she asked in a sultry voice, while Michael and Isabel went into cardiac arrest on the other side of the booth. Max and Liz didn’t notice.

“Dessert?” Max swallowed hard.

“Yeah,” Liz breathed the word out. Her hands went to the front of her uniform and she tore her snaps open, exposing a silver bra and panties, and yards of scrumptious skin. “Do you see anything on the menu that you like?”

“Liz?” he said again and he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her. Her breasts were overflowing her bra and he could see the dark circles of her nipples under the fabric. Her panties rode low on her hips with the silk barely covering her –

“Do you need to see more of the menu?” Liz asked and her hands rose to the clasp on the front of her bra. She flicked it open easily and peeled it aside and Max felt a rush surge through his body as her breasts came into view. His mouth watered, thinking dessert never looked so good.

“I’ll have one of those,” Max pointed at her left breast and then leaned forward for a taste . . .

Max came out of the flash in a rush, with his cheeks flaming red when he realized he was staring right at Liz’s chest. God! Is that what she really looked like, underneath her clothes? Holy God! Was that a fantasy of hers? Oh shit! What was he supposed to say to her after seeing something like that?

“Max?” Liz looked at him quizzically.

His eyes shot up to her face and the color in his cheeks deepened. Did she say something? Ask him something? She must have asked him something. She looked like she was waiting for an answer. What was the question?

“What?” he managed to croak out.

“Do you want any dessert with that?” Liz asked innocently.

“YES!” Max nearly shouted and then he slammed his mouth shut. No! Wait! What was she asking? She was offering dessert. No! She was asking about dessert, if he wanted dessert. She wasn’t offering to be dessert . . . was she?

Oh God, these flashes were getting . . . better and better.

“So, what would you like?” Liz nibbled at her lower lip. Max was acting a little . . . stressed.

“I’d like . . .” his hand slowly rose with his finger starting to point toward her. “I’d like one of – ”

“I swear I’m gonna kill him before the night’s over,” Maria was suddenly there, breaking into their conversation.

“Who?” Liz asked, knowing the answer, tearing her eyes away from Max to look at her friend.

“Michael!” Maria harped. “He’s so exasperating!”

“What’d he do this time?” Liz asked. Her eyes darted back and forth between Maria and Max. Maria was talking deep breaths because of Michael. She wasn’t sure why Max was.

“Nothing! Everything!” Maria fumed. “He walks around like he has a stick up his ass – ” and then she narrowed her eyes and raked them up and down Max, muttering, “Maybe he does.”

Max felt his mouth drop open and his cheeks flamed all over again. Maria didn’t really think that story was true, did she? He thought that had all gotten straightened out. The key word being ‘straightened’. As in ‘straight’. As in not gay. As in never was gay. He was speechless as Maria bounded away, and then he looked helplessly at Liz. “She doesn’t still think – ”

“No,” Liz reassured him. “She just lets Michael get under her skin, and the biggest way to get back at him is by reminding him that he’s gay.”

“But he’s not – ” Max said, worried that the rumor hadn’t gone away yet.

“I know that. Maria knows that. Everybody knows that,” Liz laughed lightly. “But when Maria tells him he is, it’s funny to watch him squirm!”

Max looked around Liz to the pass-through window into the kitchen, and sure enough, Michael was there, watching Maria as she moved around the restaurant, and he could see that Liz was right. Michael’s jaw was clenched and his nostrils were flaring, and he was definitely bristling under the surface. Serves him right, Max decided. Bastard! Max loved him like a brother, but he still deserved to pay!

“So, about that dessert?” Liz asked and was surprised at how fast Max shot his eyes back to her. He nearly gave himself whiplash.

“No,” Max tried to control himself. “No dessert. Not right now.” God! He was never going to be able to look at dessert the same way again!

“I can’t tempt you?” Liz asked chastely.

“Oh, you tempt me plenty, Liz,” Max taunted her back and then to his chagrin, her father suddenly appeared at her side. Oh SHIT! Did he hear that?

“What are you tempting our customers with?” Jeff asked his daughter and Max leaned forward, covering his face with his hands. Could he just die right now? Slow and painless, or was Mr. Parker going to make him suffer?

“I’m trying to convince Max that he wants a piece of Men in Blackberry pie,” Liz sounded innocent, and Max looked up to see if Mr. Parker was buying it. He had to admit, Liz was good. If he hadn’t seen her fantasy in the flash, or her flash him in her fantasy, he never would have guessed what was underneath the surface. But isn’t that what fantasies were? Hidden desires that you didn’t act on? He wondered if there was any way he could get Liz to act on hers.

“You should take her up on her offer,” Jeff smiled at the young man. “There’s nothing like finishing a good meal with a nice helping of dessert.”

“Okay,” Max gave in to temptation. “If you insist.”

* * * * *

Liz sat down and fell back into the soft cushions of her chaise lounge, cradling her journal to her chest while she thought about what she wanted to write about tonight. So much had happened lately and she hadn’t had much time to write, but that’s what happened when you finally got yourself a boyfriend! And when your boyfriend was as gorgeous as Max Evans, well, who wanted to waste time writing in a damn book anyway, when she could be with him?

With a sigh, she opened the journal to the last page and brought the point of her pen to the blank page . . .

It’s November 15th, and the most amazing things keep happening to me. Max took me into the eraser room today, and it was as fantastic as I always dreamed it would be! First off, I have to set the record straight. Max and Paula Holt were NEVER in the eraser room together! Never! She never gave him that, well, she didn’t go down, well, what I thought she did to him? She didn’t! Max is one job Paula hasn’t blown yet!

So what about Max and me? Sometimes, there’s this perfect moment in time, when everything comes together and the entire universe makes sense. And then sometimes the exact opposite happens, and it feels like you’re living in chaos. And sometimes, like today, you’re somewhere in between. It was a perfect moment, when Max swept me into his arms and kissed me like there was no tomorrow.

And then the strangest thing happened. I . . . I saw something. Something . . . unusual.

Max makes me feel so wonderful when we’re together, but sometimes it’s so strange. When I kiss him, it’s like I can’t get enough of him. Like I crave to be with him. And I do mean ‘WITH’ him. And when he touches me, it feels so right, so comfortable, so . . . familiar.

I did say this was strange, right?

And then there’s the things I’ve been seeing lately. It first happened after the Homecoming dance a couple of weeks ago. When Max took me out to the desert, and he kissed me underneath the stars. I got a, I don’t know what you’d call it. A flash of images? One minute we were kissing, and the next I see myself hurling through space with the stars all around me and a red dwarf sun and then I felt like I was plummeting to Earth, but at the same time, I knew it wasn’t me that was actually falling. Does that make any sense? Why would I fantasize something like that when I was in the middle of kissing Max Evans? A coyote came along at the same time and we left right away and I never got a chance to tell him about it. Which maybe is good? He probably would have thought I was crazy!

Then today in the eraser room, it happened again. We were kissing. Really kissing. Okay, it was kind of more than kissing, or it would have been if we’d had more time. Anyway, I got that flash again. Only this time I was seeing Max, when he was young. He was only five or six, but I knew it was him, and he was walking down the middle of a road and I think he was with his sister Isabel. I think they were . . . naked. Isn’t that weird?

And then suddenly he wasn’t little anymore. He was grown, like he is now, and I saw him walking down the hallway at school, watching me! Like he couldn’t take his eyes off me! He even bumped into Ryan Felcher because he was staring at me instead of where he was going! And you know the really strange thing? I could swear that I felt everything he was feeling. He thought . . . Max thought . . . I was beautiful! Me! Liz Parker. Beautiful? He must be blind.

Too bad it was just a fantasy on my part.

Back with the rest in a second . . .

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 31-Oct-2002 1:34:49 AM ]
posted on 31-Oct-2002 1:36:07 AM by Breathless

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 36 con’t

Max stood in the alley that ran along the side of the Crashdown, staring up at the top of the brick wall. He could sense that Liz was up there, outside on her balcony, and he debated whether he should call out to her or not.

He should just go back home, but it wasn’t that late even if it was dark out already. It was closing in on winter, after all, and darkness fell early. Maybe he could just call out to her, and if she answered, he’d take it from there. See where it would take them. Hell, he knew where he wanted it to take them. He stepped forward, out of the shadows.

“Liz?” his voice broke the silence of the night. “Are you there?”

His palms were turning sweaty while he waited to see if she responded. He was sure she was up there, and he was sure she wouldn’t mind his sudden appearance, but he wasn’t prepared for the look on her face when she appeared over the balcony wall.

“Hi, Max,” Liz stared down at him, sighing in to her hand so he wouldn’t see how besotted she was.

“Hi, Liz,” he smiled up at her. Just looking at her made his pulse quicken.

“I thought you went home,” she looked down at him, happy to see him again. Earlier, she’d seen him polish off not one slice of Men in Blackberry pie, but two. She heard him mumble something about dessert never tasting so good before.

“I did,” Max answered. How could he explain to her that he had to come back? That he couldn’t stay away? That being near her was the most important thing to him? That he just couldn’t stop thinking about her.

“Do you want to come up?” Liz offered and Max started climbing before she got a chance to get the last word out.

“Do you think your parents will object?” he asked when he reached the top of the ladder.

“I can go tell them you’re here, and then they won’t care,” Liz offered. Her parents knew he would be stopping by now and then to practice the play.

“Sure,” Max climbed over the balcony wall and followed her to the window that led into her room. “Wait,” his hand curled around her arm before she could climb inside, and he turned her around to face him. She was looking up at him with her dark eyes so open, and honest, and it bothered him that he had so many secrets that he kept from her. “Liz, I . . .” He struggled with his desire to tell her, and his fear of her knowing the truth, and once again his fear won out. “I missed you,” he told her truthfully. He leaned close, brushing her cheek with his thumb, adding, “That’s why I came back. I couldn’t stay away.”

“I’m glad you did,” Liz leaned into his chest, enjoying the feel of the strength that coiled within his muscles. Her lips reached for his and they kissed, softly, gently, and then she pulled away. “I missed you too.” They kissed again and then Liz led him through the window and into her room.

Max had spent more time outside on her balcony, than inside here in her room, and he still felt a little awkward here. He slipped his hands in the pockets of his cargo pants, watching her as she walked toward her bedroom door.

“I’m just going to tell my parents you’re here, and that we’re rehearsing, and then I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” Max flashed her that shy smile of his and she disappeared down the hallway. He looked around her room while he waited for her to come back and then his eyes fell on a familiar object. It was hooked over a corner of the mirror above the dresser, and Max thought she must have put it there after she got home from the dance, after their drive out in the desert. He crossed the room and lifted his hand to the crown, touching the rhinestones that looked so much like diamonds. He was glad she had kept it. He smiled, thinking about his own crown, and how it sat on the top of his computer in his room. Isabel had brought it home for him when she saw that he had left it on the stage.

“I brought this for you,” Liz said as she reentered her room. “Are you thirsty?”

Max pulled his hand back quickly from the crown and saw the drink Liz was holding out for him. Cherry Coke, of course. “Thanks,” he took it and set it on her dresser. “So, are your parents okay with me being here?”

“Yeah, it’s fine,” Liz moved closer to him. “But it’s a school night, so they don’t want you to stay too late.”

“Okay,” he slipped his arms around her waist and drew her in to him. His lips sought her out and as they came together, he couldn’t help thinking back to their encounter in the eraser room earlier today. He’d wanted to drag her in there for years, and today it had finally happened, and it had been better than he ever imagined. If it hadn’t been for Mr. Vaughn and his untimely interruption, Max wondered just how far things would have gone, and how many classes they would have skipped before they were done?

“Maybe,” Liz mumbled against his lips, “maybe we should practice. The play.” He kissed her again, and this time she could feel him nipping at her lower lip. God, she loved it when he did that! What was she saying a minute ago? Oh, yeah. “A scene from the play. We should rehearse a scene from the play, in case my mom or dad decides to check up on us.”

“Okay,” Max tried to tear his lips away from hers. It worked for a minute, and then he went right back for more. He couldn’t get enough of her. His mouth rushed at hers, and his fingers threaded into the silk of her hair, pressing her harder against him.

“The play,” she said breathlessly when they came up for air. “We should practice the play.”

“What scene?” Max nipped at her throat, nibbled at her ear, then let his lips move a little lower. Just a little.

“Um,” Liz bent her head back, breathing hard. What were they talking about? “What . . . scene?”

“What scene do you want to practice?” Max drug his lips along her throat, down to her collarbone, then back up her throat on the other side. She pulled back and he chased after her, until he saw the look in her eyes. That look sent an electrical charge right through him. Straight to his –

“Um,” Liz swallowed hard and her hand clutched at her throat. The things he made her feel, when he touched her, when he kissed her! Was it any wonder she tried to jump him in the eraser room today? She pulled his octopus arms off her and slid her hands into his, walking backward and pulling him with her. She bit at her lower lip before breaking out in a not so innocent smile. “I think we need more practice with Act III, Scene 5. What do you think?”

Once Max swallowed his heart out of his throat, he grinned as he followed her to her bed. “Yeah, I definitely think we need more practice with that scene. Definitely.”

Liz felt the back of her legs touch the edge of her bed and she sat down, still holding one of his hands as she scooted into the middle. She stretched out, letting her head fall back against a pillow, watching Max as he lowered first one knee, and then the other onto the surface of her bed. He hovered above her, staring down into her face with undisguised desire, and then she tugged on his hand to pull him down to join her.

Max could feel his heart pounding in his chest as he looked down at Liz, with her hair fanning out over her pillow, framing the beauty of her face. He wasn’t sure what to do, whether to lie down beside her, the way they had practiced it on stage, or to do what he really wanted to. The decision was taken from him when he felt Liz pull him down, right where he wanted to be.

His body stretched out over the top of hers and for a moment he was worried about crushing her, but then their lips were crashing together and her body seemed to just mold around him. He could feel her hands moving over his back and her leg running up and down the side of his and he couldn’t keep his knee from working its way between her legs. Her touch was igniting sparks along his spine, making him swell with deepening desire and he didn’t even try to hide it. He couldn’t have, even if he had wanted to.

His right hand cupped her face, holding her while he kissed her heatedly. His left hand roamed up and down her side, feeling the soft texture of her shirt and the unmistakable feel of her bra beneath it. His thumb lightly lingered along the side of her breast, sensing that she wouldn’t mind if he touched more, but he was still hesitant. He wanted to touch her, to cup his hand over her breast, to feel her nipple harden under his palm, but he held off, not wanting to push too far, too fast.

“Max . . .” Liz moaned out when his lips moved to her throat, kissing a trail of fire along her skin.

“Yeah?” he sucked in a breath when he felt her leg wrap around the back of his thighs. God! What was she doing to him?

“We . . .” she breathed heavily. “We should practice our lines . . .”

“Okay,” he sucked on her collarbone. His hand moved down her side, touching the skin on her stomach, and he gave in to the temptation to snake his fingers under her shirt. He let his hand rise up her side, feeling the warmth of her delicate skin, with his large hand spanning from her ribs in front, all the way around her side to her back. “You go first.”

“Okay,” she tried to concentrate. What the heck were her lines? Oh yeah. “Wilt thou be gone?” Liz said softly into his ear and then took his lobe into her mouth. At the same time, his mouth was sucking on her throat and sending shivers up her spine. “It is not yet near day. It . . . it was the Nightingale and not the Lark that pierc’d the fear –” she moaned as she felt his lips move downward, “– the fearful hollow of thine ear. Nightly she sings on yond Pomegranate tree. Believe me, Love,” she sighed against his ear. “It was the Nightingale.”

Max lifted his mouth from her throat and attacked her lips once more before parting to voice his lines. “It was the Lark, the herald of the morn, no Nightingale. Look, Love,” he kissed her again while tightening his grip on her side. “What envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east. Night candles are burnt out, and,” he kissed her hard while his fingertips rose to touch the lower edge of her bra. “And . . . and . . .” his hand rose up the side of her breast, “. . . and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops.” He shifted slightly so his hand was not obstructed by his pressing weight. “I must be gone and live,” he rasped against her lips, unable to stop the movement of his hand, “or stay and die.”

“Yond light is not daylight, I know it, I,” Liz answered back by arching her breast toward his hand. “It is," she swallowed, “some – some meteor that the sun exhales, to be to thee this night a torch bearer and light thee on thy way to . . . to . . .” Touch me! Touch me, she silently begged. She arched again, feeling his hand cup her, and then his thumb brushed over her pointed nipple. “There . . .” she nipped at his throat. “There . . .” she trembled with sensation. Yes, yes, there, oh god! Right there! “Th – therefore stay yet, thou needst not to be gone.”

“Let me be – ” Max started to say his lines but Liz was pushing at his chest, pushing him away from her. He pulled his hand away and he lifted above her, wondering what was wrong. Had he gone too far? Was it wrong of him to touch her? Was she turning down his advances? With a heaving chest and eyes that begged her not to push him away, he stammered out, “What? What’s wrong?”

She pushed on his chest again and Max reared back, lifting off of her and settling back onto his ankles. She sat up with him, looking heatedly into his face, and then her eyes flicked down to his chest. He could see her struggling to even out her breaths, to draw air into her overtaxed lungs, and then the words that came out of her mouth made him forget how to breathe.

Her hand touched his chest directly over his heart, and then she asked in almost a whisper, “Can you take your shirt off?”

“What?” Max gaped at her. Take his shirt off? Did she just say what he thought she said? Her parents were right out in the other room, and she wanted him to . . . “You want me to take off my shirt?”

Liz looked into his eyes, wondering if the look she saw there was confusion, or was it something else? Was she being too bold? Did he think she was too easy? “No,” she shook her head. “Mrs. Wainwright wants you to take off your shirt.”

“Mrs. Wainwright?” Where had she come from?

“Mrs. Wainwright,” Liz said their teachers name again. “She wants you to do this scene without your shirt. We should be . . . realistic . . . in the scene. We might as well,” she felt the quickening of his heart underneath her palm, “we might as well do the scene the way we’re supposed to. I mean, we should get used to doing it that way. Right?”

“Right?” Max mimicked her word as his mind tried to register everything he was hearing. Liz wanted him to take his shirt off. Because that’s the way they’d have to do it in the play. On stage. “Right,” he began to nod his head vigorously. “Shirtless. On stage. Practice. Now. Okay!” His hands reached back behind his shoulders to grasp his olive green t-shirt to pull it over his head, while at the same time he could feel Liz trying to tug it off him too. A part of him realized it was going to be even harder to hide the tent in his pants without his shirt covering it, but fu – nevermind. He pulled his shirt free and tossed it toward the foot of the bed, not even noticing where it landed. His eyes didn’t leave her face, but his cheeks began to flush as her gaze swept over him.

Liz couldn’t tear her eyes away. His chest muscles rippled as he moved, flexing as he pulled the shirt over his head, and the tuffs of hair under his arms had to be one of the sexiest things she had ever seen. She noticed he had a mole on his left side just a few inches below his armpit and the dark brown color was nearly the same as the nipples that adorned his chest. Those dark circles were a rich chestnut brown and she couldn’t stop her hand from reaching out to touch him.

“Liz,” Max hissed as she came into contact with his skin. Her fingertips circled around one nipple, and then the other, and then dropped lower, tracing along the muscular ridges of his stomach. He silently watched her touching him, feeling the throbbing in his groin intensifying with each stroke of her fingertips. He was both relieved and disappointed when her hand rose higher instead of lower, and then she was pulling him down to the bed again, laying back and pulling him with her.

His weight settled onto her again, feeling her hands roaming over the bare skin of his back. He’d never had a feeling like this before, of such exquisite torture, each brush of her fingertips causing his muscles to tighten in response, each rake of her nails causing his spine to shiver, each arch of her body up toward his bringing him closer to losing his mind.

“Liz,” he hissed again when her leg lifted and wrapped around him, letting his thigh slip between her legs. His lips met hers with increased zeal, devouring her as their bodies rocked together. Her shirt had risen up and he could feel the skin of her stomach touching his. Her soft stomach. Touching his hard stomach. With something even harder standing between them. If he thought it was difficult not to cream his pants in the eraser room today, then tonight, here with Liz like this, it just might turn out to be impossible.

“We should . . . ” Liz tried to concentrate but his lips were moving down her throat again, headed lower than her collarbone this time.

“We should . . .” She could feel his fingers curl around the neckline of her shirt, pulling it lower as his lips moved downward, exposing more of the swell of her breasts. The upper edge of her bra came into view and a corner of her mind patted herself on the back for wearing the red one today. The lacy one, with the push up padding. Maria and Isabel both said he liked her in red.

“Max, we – we should recite our lines,” Liz finally got her thought out. Her fingers were threaded through his hair, and she pressed his face into her breast.

“You first,” Max reminded her and buried his nose into her more than adequate cleavage. At least it was as far as he was concerned. He thought her assets were pleasantly proportional.

“Okay,” she arched against him. “Here goes . . .”

“Wait a minute,” Max flanked her hips with his hands, trying to stop her movements. He was going to lose his load any second if he didn’t slow this down. He shifted slightly, so his lower body wasn’t in such intimate contact with hers, but he didn’t know if it was going to help.

“What?” Liz looked up at him with wide eyes. She might be a biology major, but she was sexually naive. Then again, so was he.

He tried moving off her but before he knew it, they’d actually rolled over. Switched positions. He found himself looking up at Liz, who was sitting on his lap now, with her hands pressed against the muscles of his chest. How did that happen?

“Liz –” he started to say, and the words cut off as he felt her move against him. She was sitting right on him, her legs straddling his hips, and . . . oh god . . . he could feel the heat radiating out from her. She moved against him, and Max knew it wouldn’t take much more.

“Your skin is so smooth,” Liz said as her hand roamed over his chest. “So . . . smooth . . .”

“Liz . . .” he was trying with all his willpower not to move. What were they supposed to be doing? If her parents happened to come by? Her mother? Her father? Her father! Oh yeah! They were supposed to be practicing the play!

He rolled them back over, forcing himself to put a little distance between them. He remembered his mother telling him that in old movies, the guy always had to keep one foot on the floor. No matter what they were doing on the bed, the guy had to keep one foot on the floor. Maybe he should try that, so he could calm his ass down for a minute. He sat on the edge of the bed, with his right foot tucked underneath him, and his left foot firmly on the floor, and he tried to remember his lines.

Liz was facing him now, instead of sitting on him, and he cupped her face with his hands, kissing her deeply before rushing out his lines. “Andjocunddaystandstiptoeonthemistymountaintops.”

“What?” Liz stared at him and snorted a laugh. Had he said that all in one word?

“Imustbegoneandlive,” he turned her and bent her over backwards until she was draped over his lap, “or stay and die.”

Her top had ridden up when he moved her, exposing the rich skin of her stomach and her navel, and even the lower edge of her ribs. He splayed his hand over her, touching her, moving upward, exposing more of her tantalizing skin as he nudged the shirt higher, feeling the thundering of her heart beneath his palm as he forced his hand to stop just below her breast. One foot on the floor was supposed to calm him down?

“It’s your line,” Max panted.

“Oh,” Liz tried to think. She was lying here across Max’s lap, looking up at his well muscled chest, feeling his hand so close to touching her breast, and she was supposed to remember her line? Was it ‘Take me’? Was it ‘Touch me’? Was it ‘Grope me and stroke me?’ No . . . no . . . it was . . . “Yond light is not daylight, I know it, I . . .”

She didn’t say anything else, so after a minute of watching her heated eyes staring at his chest, he said, “It’s still your line.”

“It is?” Her eyes darted up to his, showing her surprise. For the life of her, she couldn’t remember her lines. She was craving for him to touch her, to rip her bra off and molest her, so how was she expected to remember her lines? She reached for the book on her nightstand, stretching for it and making Max silently groan. The book fell open to the page immediately, she’d read this scene so many times.

Max leaned closer to remind her of the next passage, and to let his fingers slide a little higher, when her bedroom door suddenly opened and Jeff Parker was staring right at him.

Oh shit.

“Liz, it’s getting –” Jeff started to say and then her father saw red. Max Evans was half naked on his daughter’s bed. Said daughter was sprawled over his lap. Shirt of formerly innocent daughter was riding up her ribs with the help of the hand of that formerly nice and polite young man. “What’s going on here?”

“DAD!” Liz cried out in surprise, looking at her father from upside down.

“ONE FOOT ON THE FLOOR!” Max blurted out, as if that made any sense. He suddenly remembered where his hand was and he pulled it away quickly, but the damage was already done. Death was eminent.

“What’s going on?” Nancy came up behind her husband and looked over his shoulder.

“Mom!” Liz scrambled to sit up. Max was shifting uncomfortably, trying to use his arms to cover his partial nudity and the tent in his pants the size of the Sears Tower, and trying to see where the hell his shirt went. If he was going to die, he wanted to be fully clothed. He spied it on the end of the bed and he grabbed it quickly, holding it in front of his chest.

“Liz?” Nancy raised an eyebrow.

“Mom, we’re rehearsing the play!” Liz held out the Romeo and Juliet book she was still clutching in her hand. “I told you that’s what we were doing in here!”

“Rehearsing?” Jeff barked out. “With that boy half naked? What kind of rehearsing is that?”

“I told Mom all about it!” Liz was trying to do damage control. “In this scene, Max has to have his shirt off, and we have to practice it, so we’re comfortable doing it together. It’s Act III, Scene 5!”

Max took that moment to hastily put his shirt back on, smoothing his hand nervously through his hair afterward. He was avoiding looking at Mr. Parker at all costs.

“Yes, we did talk about that,” Nancy nodded, and gave her husband’s shoulder a squeeze. “It’s just the play, dear.”

“What kind of play is that school putting on?” Jeff huffed.

“Shakespeare,” Nancy teased her ruffled husband. “It’s a classic, dear, full of sex and drugs and suicide. You signed the consent forms for your daughter to be one of the leading stars.” Nancy led Jeff out of Liz’s room, and looked back at the two teens, Liz still sitting on the bed and Max standing a few feet away now, looking awkward and embarrassed. “Max?” his head whipped around to look at her. “You probably should go home now. It’s late and that’s probably enough ‘rehearsing’ for tonight.”

“Yes, Mrs. Parker,” Max was surprised he was still breathing. He watched Liz’s parents disappear down the hallway, and he noticed how her mother made a point of keeping the bedroom door open. He was busted big time. When their footsteps faded, Max ran his hand through his hair and hissed out, “God! That was awful!”

“It was embarrassing,” Liz climbed off the bed and moved close to him. “Are you all right?”

“Yeah,” he gave her that half smile of his. “Other than your father scaring the crap out of me!” Liz stepped closer and he held up his hands to fend her off. “No! I’m not taking any more chances tonight! I’m still alive, and I don’t want to tempt fate!” He backed up toward the window, but the look on Liz’s face made him stop. Who wanted to live anyway? He crossed over to her quickly, swept her into his arms, bent her over backwards and kissed her hard.

“I have to go now,” he tore his lips away from hers, “but we have a date in the eraser room tomorrow.”

“I’ll be there,” Liz bit her lip shyly, but her eyes were anything but.

Max climbed through the window quickly before he had a chance to change his mind again, and headed for home and one very cold shower.

Come back next Wednesday or Thursday for the next part.

Runner up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 31-Oct-2002 2:21:52 AM ]
posted on 8-Nov-2002 12:29:07 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author note: Sorry I’m late. Real life gets in the way sometimes. Enough chit chat. Let’s get to it.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 37

“I never thought I’d see the day,” Michael muttered from a distance, watching Max sneak Liz into the eraser room. “I can’t believe it.”

“What are you going on about?” Isabel frowned at Michael’s surly expression.

“Max! That’s what I’m talking about!” Michael couldn’t believe she wasn’t as worried as he was. “Max used to be the cautious one. He always thought everything through, never acted rashly, hell, even you have accused him of passively watching everything going on around him. He never got involved. Now look at him. He’s top billing in a play. He’s voted King of the Homecoming dance. He’s sneaking Liz Parker into the eraser room. It’s just a matter of time before he fu-”

“Michael!” Isabel warned.

“It’s just a matter of time before they have sex, is that better?” Michael shot back and then muttered, “If they haven’t already.”

“Are you jealous?” Isabel arched an eyebrow.

“Of course not!” Michael fumed at her suggestion.

“Oh, because I thought maybe you were still pining away for him –”

“Shut up!” he felt his cheeks heating up. It was bad enough when Maria teased him, now he was getting it from Isabel, too? “It was a stupid plan and it bit me on the ass, just like you said it would. Are you happy now?”

“Michael,” Isabel softened her tone. “What is it you’re really worried about?” She saw him look away, averting his eyes from hers, and she touched him gently on the shoulder. “What is it Michael?”

“It’s just . . . I have this – need – to protect him. I can’t explain it.” How could he explain it when he didn’t understand it himself? “Before, I never felt the drive very much, because we all stayed in the background. Nobody ever noticed us. But now, Max is so visible. He’s not just a face in the crowd anymore. And that worries me. There’s a reason why we always wanted to stay in the background. We might not know why we’re here, or who brought us here, but we’ve always known instinctively that we had to hide. Now look at him. It . . . it scares me, Isabel. What if I can’t keep him safe?”

“Michael,” she said somberly. She knew it took a lot for him to admit that. “Do you feel like you need to protect him from Liz? Because he’s gonna fight you – ”

“No,” Michael shook his head. “I’m not getting any bad feeling from Liz. I don’t think she’s a threat to him, per se, but the exposure he gets by being around her might be. I just don’t know.”

“Talk to him,” Isabel urged. “Tell him how you feel. And when you do it, don’t be adversarial toward Liz. She’s a part of his life. Accept it.”

* * * * *

Max swept Liz into his arms as soon as the eraser room door was closed. He sought out her lips, kissing her tenderly, teasingly, smiling as he did it, enjoying the feel of her arms wrapped around him. Was there any better feeling in the world? His hands threaded into her hair, tilting their heads to deepen the kiss, loving every minute of the new life he was living.

“What?” Liz mumbled against his lips and toyed with the hair at the nape of his neck.

“What do you mean, ‘What’?” he mumbled and nipped at her lower lip.

“You’re smiling,” Liz looked up at him in the dim light. “Why are you smiling like that?” She was smiling too. She couldn’t help it. It was a natural reaction whenever she was near him.

“Smiling?” Max looked down at her. “Hummmm,” he faked a serious look while he pondered. “Maybe because I aced the Bio quiz today?”

“I think your lab partner had a lot to do with that,” Liz pointed out.

“Yes,” Max smiled again. “I think I better thank her.” His mouth swooped down to capture hers and they were both smiling through the kiss.

“What else,” Liz managed to mutter. “What else is making you smile?”

“Let’s see . . .” Max thought a minute. Liz was wrapped up in his arms with her body snug against him, and he’d be happy to spend the rest of the day, just like this. “I saw Manny Exposito trying to pick up Michael in the lunch room today. That made me smile!”

“Max!” Liz scolded. “Poor Michael!”

“Poor Michael?” Max stared at her in shock. “He’s the son of a bitch that started the whole thing! It serves him right!”

“But still, he’s your friend, and he’s miserable.”

“You know,” Max stroked his fingers through her hair, feeling the silky texture against his fingertips. “This is exactly why I . . . I think you’re so special,” he stopped himself short of saying what he really wanted to say. “Michael’s never been very nice to you, but still you’re concerned about his well being. It takes a special person to be that way. But let’s not talk about Michael anymore. He just needs to find his own girlfriend. Besides, the real reason I’m smiling is because of you, and the fact that your father didn’t kill me last night.”

“It was a close call,” a grin spread over her face and then Max was on her again, taking her breath away with the intensity of his kisses. He was backing them slowly across the room and when the back of his calves touched the bench he broke off their kiss. He sat down abruptly, looking up at Liz in the semi-darkness of the small room, silently inviting her to join him, but he wasn’t quite prepared for the manner in which she did so. Instead of sitting beside him on the bench the way he expected, she moved forward and straddled his legs, sitting on his thighs and staring down into his face.

Visions of dessert swam in his head.

“Liz . . .” he said, and his smile was replaced by a look of surprise. He hadn’t expected her to be quite so . . . bold? So . . . overt? So . . . amorous? His libido was careening out of control. Further conversation was cut off when she sealed her lips to his and Max gave in to his desires. The heat of their kiss flamed between them and Max felt the awakening inside him, the drive to claim her as his. It was frightening, and exhilarating at the same time. It was primal, the urge rising from deep within and taking precedence above all others, to seal his fate with his chosen one.

“Max . . .” Liz felt the pull, the desire, the need. It was strong, dangerous, and completely undeniable. She had kept her feelings for him hidden for so long, now that they were allowed to run free, she couldn’t contain them. She needed to be with him, in the most intimate sense. Her lips crushed against his with her hands buried in his hair, not letting him escape her now that she had him.

Speech became impossible with their mouths locked together and their tongues dancing intimately. His hands slid under the soft cotton of her shirt, sliding up the smooth skin of her back, touching her ribs and her shoulder blades, gliding up and down along her spine. Sparks of electricity raced under his palms, firing along her heightened nerve endings, making her body sing in response to his touch. He had the most amazing hands. No one had ever touched her like this before.

His lips tore away from hers and trailed down her throat, kissing and nipping at her skin, unable to get enough of her taste. His senses were imprinted with her now, the smell that was uniquely her, the sounds she emitted that only he could hear, the unparalleled taste that only she possessed, her very essence that only his alien sixth sense could perceive. Their bond was growing with each kiss, each touch, each caress.

“Max,” she sighed as she arched her head back and her chest forward. His right hand moved forward, around her side, feeling her skin quiver beneath his palm while his mouth grazed downward. He could feel her hands roaming over his back, pulling at his hair, pressing against the back of his head to encourage his further exploration. His right hand rose up her ribs, coming into contact with the lower curve of her breast, while his left arm tightened around her hips, sliding his hand down to her butt and pulling her closer to him.

It was torture, feeling the heat of her body against his, but it was such sweet torture.

“Oh god,” Liz clung to him tightly, reveling in the intimacy of his touch. His hand pushed upward on her breast, cupping it from beneath and causing it to swell up toward his wandering mouth. His tongue flicked over her pliant flesh with his nose and chin nudging the fabric of her shirt aside, while he silently thanked god for scoop necklines. His lips touched the leading edge of her bra and he let his hand cup her more fully, with his thumb stroking over the prominence of her nipple.

‘Yes’, Liz sighed inwardly. She’d wanted him to touch her like this for so long. She’d dreamed about it. Fantasized about it. Agonized that it would never happen, but it was, right now, right this very moment. How could anything be any better? His mouth latched on to the swell of her breast, leaving his mark just above her bra line before moving lower –

The bell rang to signify the end of lunch and the beginning of 4th period and Max brought his explorations to a stop. His hand continued to cup her breast while he lifted his face to look up into her heated eyes. He breathlessly suggested, “We – we could skip 4th period . . .”

“We could . . .” Liz considered, with her own breath none too steady.

“But . . . ?” Max could hear the word in her tone.

“You have that big test in English. You shouldn’t miss it. And . . .” she swallowed hard. She tried not to let out a disappointed sigh when his hand lowered to her waist.

‘And’ they were in the eraser room, Max thought through his sex addled haze. This was not the place for him to steal her virtue. If they didn’t stop now, he wasn’t sure he could stop, and he wanted their first time together to be something special, not this.

‘Their first time’ he smiled inwardly at the thought. It wasn’t long ago that he was sure he’d never have a first time. That he would never share himself with another. That Liz could never feel that way about him, never want him in the way he wanted her. Now, it didn’t seem like such an impossibility after all.

“You’re right,” Max pulled his hands from beneath her shirt and straightened out the fabric. “I shouldn’t miss the test. It’s 20% of my grade.” His hands slid down her butt and lifted her as he rose to his feet. He held her against him as they kissed one more time, and then she lowered her feet to the floor. His lips brushed over her forehead and then he slipped his hand into hers and said, “I’ll walk you to class.”

They were both smiling as they exited the eraser room, leaning into each other intimately, playfully as they walked arm in arm down the hallway. Max had never been happier in his life, and in his heart he knew the best was yet to come.

* * * * *

Max dropped Liz off at her 4th period class, lingering with her until the last possible moment. His body was humming from their session in the eraser room, and he was loath to leave her. He knew that Isabel and Michael thought he shouldn’t be involved with her, that they were at risk because of his relationship with her, but the truth was, he felt more alive now than he ever had before. It was as if his whole life had been building toward this moment, and he had merely existed before now.

Of course, he’d always known it. He’d become entranced with Liz the moment that he saw her and in all these years, it had never changed. She’d always been the only one that made his heart race, or his blood boil. Maybe it was an alien thing, sensing your mate instinctively. Maybe it was chemical. Maybe it was fate. Whatever it was, he had loved her all of his life, and the need was in him to seal their fate together before something could happen to tear them apart. He needed her, like he needed no other.

“So, I’ll see you in 6th period,” Max kissed her one last time and then stepped back, still holding her hands in his.

“On the stage,” Liz reminded him they weren’t going to the classroom today.

“Right,” he nodded and felt her fingers slip away from his. “I’ll see you then.”

Liz disappeared into her classroom and Max turned to hurry to his next class. The hallways were nearly empty with the late bell due to ring any second and Max moved quickly, hearing his footsteps echoing around him. His thoughts were still of Liz, and the feel of her breast in his hand, her lips on his, their bodies molded together, and then another sound penetrated his fog.

Footsteps. Behind him. He turned around quickly, but no one was there.

He felt a chill go up his spine, why, he wasn’t sure. Why should it spook him that someone else was in the hall? There was always someone going somewhere. A teacher. A student. One of the secretaries from the office. So why did he get the distinct feeling someone was following him?

He turned forward again, walking slowly toward his class and the footsteps started up behind him again. The chill up his spine doubled and his pace quickened, hearing the footsteps quicken too. Damn! Someone was following him! He hurried around a corner and darted into an alcove with the heavy footsteps coming faster and closer. A tall figure flashed in front of him and instinct took over. Max thrust his hand out and to his amazement a wall appeared in front of him, shimmering and waving in the air, like a . . . shield. A protective shield.


“Max!” Michael cried out at the apparition before him. Some kind of barrier had sprung up between them, separating them. What the fuck?

“Michael?” Max stared at him through the barrier, as shocked that it had been Michael tailing him, as he was by this new power. Instinctively, he pulled the power back into his palm and the shimmering green tinted shield disappeared.

“What the fuck did you do?” Michael hissed and looked around the empty hall to see if anyone else had seen.

“I don’t know,” Max answered while he absently rubbed his palm with his fingertips. “I heard your footsteps and I didn’t know it was you. It just . . . happened. Why the hell were you following me anyway?”

“I was just making sure you were okay,” Michael dismissed it. That wasn’t important. This new power was. “Have you ever done that before? Created that barrier? That . . . shield?”

“No,” Max shook his head. “”Why were you making sure I was okay? You’ve never followed me around at school before. What the hell’s going on?” Sudden understanding lit his eyes and a scowl spread over his face. “This is about Liz, isn’t it? You were spying on me and Liz! What’s your problem, Michael? Liz is no threat to us, and if you do anything to hurt her, I swear to God – ”

“I’m not gonna –”

“I order you to leave her alone!” Max demanded. “You got that Michael?”

Michael stared at Max, wondering who the hell this person was that was standing in front of him. He wasn’t the same Max he used to know. This Max had a level of confidence that the old Max never had. This Max had a presence about him that demanded compliance. This Max was passionate instead of passive, strong instead of weak. This Max was a man of authority.

Was it just a coincidence that this Max had risen to the surface when Liz Parker became a presence in his life? Had Liz somehow brought out the latent leader in Max that Michael somehow had always known he was? Did being with Liz make Max stronger?

“Do you hear me Michael?” Max barked.

“Yeah,” Michael capitulated. “I hear you. I’m not gonna bother Liz. You’re with her. I get that. In fact, I think . . . maybe . . . its right. She’s right. I mean, she’s right for you. She brings out your strengths.” He stared at Max, seeing the relief color his friend’s eyes. “She makes you a better man. Alien. Whatever.”

“Thanks, Michael.” It was a huge relief for him to know that Michael wasn’t going to fight him on this anymore. The final bell rang and Max cursed under his breath. He was late for class. Well, he’d just have to create himself a late pass, to explain his tardiness. He squeezed Michael on the shoulder and said, “I’ve gotta go.”

Michael nodded and watched him walk away. He always thought he knew Max, they were kindred brothers after all, but Max had changed a lot lately. This wasn’t the first time recently that Max had ‘ordered’ him, and Michael had backed down to heed his leaders command. As weird as it sounded, Max was the leader of their little band of aliens, and he was finally starting to act like it.

That was good, right?

I may try to post the next part on Sunday night. If not, then look for it Wednesday or Thursday.

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Nov-2002 12:53:55 AM ]
posted on 10-Nov-2002 11:49:44 PM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Author: Debbi aka Breathless
Category: Max and Liz
Rating: PG 13 to NC 17

Author note: Grrrr. The site isn’t cooperating very well for me tonight. I keep getting those website not responding messages. Anyway, this part is a little shorter than usual, but I’ll be back later in the week with a longer one. Crossing my fingers, hoping this works . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 38

Max stood under the warm spray of the water letting the sweat wash off his body. They were doing a unit of weightlifting in PE this semester and he’d gotten a pretty good pump going. His chest muscles were showing the results of his labors and his biceps and triceps were definitely looking more pronounced. His stomach was always flat, but even more defined now. Which was good. If he was going to be half naked up on stage in front of a bunch of people, he didn’t want to look like a scrawny ass kid. Besides, the way Liz had looked at his chest last night in her room, well, something else was swelling just remembering the look in her eyes.

“Are you happy to see me?” Kyle turned on the showerhead next to Max.

“Jesus!” Max jumped with a start, snapping out of his memory of holding Liz’s breast in his hand. He reached for his soap, trying to ignore the smirk on Kyle’s face.

“I’ve got aches on top of aches,” Kyle commented about his workout and dipped his head into the water. Once soaked, he leaned back and ran his hands down his face to get the water out of his eyes. He eyed Max again, and decided to tease him a little more. “What have you and Liz been ‘up’ to lately?”

“What?” Max shot a look over at him. He didn’t usually talk to guys when they were in the showers. Of course, it had been the school showers where he’d first been able to see how normal he appeared, how human, at least on the outside. He could only guess what he looked like on the inside. He was reasonable sure he had one heart, right where it was supposed to be, and one set of lungs. He had a navel just like everyone else, and he always thought that’s how their bodies were nourished in the pods. Just like an umbilical cord. He didn’t know if he had anything ‘extra’ inside though. He’d been able to avoided doctors, and hospitals, and x-rays for years. After all, he’d never been sick a day in his life.

“You and Liz?” Kyle let the water drill into his chest. “You two still going out?”

“Yeah,” Max glanced over at him, judging Kyle’s reaction. He was glad he didn’t see any animosity there.

“Good,” Kyle turned his chiseled body away from the water and let it drill into his back.

Max darted a quick look over at Kyle, secretly glad the rumors about how far he’d gotten with Liz weren’t true. Kyle hadn’t touched her. Not really. He was the only one who had ever felt the weight of her breast in his hand. He was the only one who had ever stroked his thumb over the hard peak of her nipple. He was the only one who he had ever felt – okay, that was enough thinking. Kyle might get the wrong impression if he jumped to attention again.

“How’s your shoulder?” Max asked, to change the subject to neutral shower talk.

“It’s good!” Kyle flexed his shoulder and turned forward into the spray again. “I could have sworn I separated a shoulder, or at the very least tore some tendons, but when I woke up the next morning it felt fine. Surprised the hell out of me. I really thought my playing days were over.”

“That’s good,” Max nodded. Kyle wasn’t such a bad guy after all. He was glad things worked out.

“There was one weird thing, though,” Kyle frowned as he reached for the soap and lathered up his body.

“What’s that?” Max froze suddenly. Something weird?

“There was all this silver stuff on my shoulder when I looked in the mirror the next morning. Right where I got hurt.”

Max felt his stomach lurch, wondering if it had anything to do with him, and if Kyle, or his dad, were suspicious. Maybe he shouldn’t have healed Kyle after all. He leaned back to take a look at the shorter boy’s shoulder where he had touched him that night, after the game.

“Oh, you can’t see anything now,” Kyle noticed Max’s movement. “It faded away after a day or two.”

“What did it look like?” Max tried to sound nonchalant.

“Aw, just a splotch of silver,” Kyle shrugged. “It must have been from the team doc spraying that stuff on it to stop it from hurting.”

“Oh, yeah, that makes sense,” Max agreed, hoping Kyle believed it. “Did anybody else see it? Did you show it to your dad?”

“Nah,” Kyle shrugged it off. “No big deal. My shoulder wasn’t hurting anymore so I didn’t have to go back in to have it looked at.”

“Well, I’m glad you weren’t hurt,” Max finished rinsing off. Close call. He’d have to be more careful. He couldn’t just go around healing people if it left a residual mark behind, even if it was temporary. He turned the water off and reached for a towel, saying to Kyle as he headed back to the lockers, “Good luck in the state championship.”

“Yeah,” Kyle nodded as he watched Evans walk away. “Thanks.” He’d been jealous of Max for years, but he wasn’t such a bad guy, really. His thoughts turned to Lacey Dunmire, wondering if he was going to get in her pants this Friday. He was still wondering if she was really a blonde.

* * * * *

Liz was standing on stage when Max came bursting through the doors and hurried up the center aisle to join her. His cheeks looked a little flushed, probably from hurrying from gym class, and his hair still looked damp. That meant he had probably just recently taken a shower. A shower in the boy’s locker room. A shower where he was naked. A naked Max Evans. Oh god. Her fantasies were flowing freely.

Was there any better image than a naked Max, with water glistening on his body, running in rivulets down his skin? Water coursing over ridges and ridges of muscles? She’d seen those muscles herself now, just last night in her room. His incredibly hard and sexy muscles. Her hands had touched him, his chest, his stomach, his back. Her legs had felt just how hard the muscles of his thighs really were, and that wasn’t the only thing that felt hard when he pushed his knee between hers. She was sure she had died and gone to heaven –

“Is everyone here?” Mrs. Wainwright clapped her hands together. “We have much to do today!”

Max hurried to Liz’s side and he resisted the urge to bend her over backwards and lay one on her. He could control himself . . . couldn’t he? Her hand reached for his and their fingers twined, and he thought . . . maybe not. Would Mrs. Wainwright object if he took Liz on the floor right now?

“The costumers have the wardrobe just about ready and we need to get some fittings to make the final adjustments. The dressing rooms are in the back, one for the actors and one for the actresses. Yes, yes,” she heard the moans, “quarters are tight. But this is the theater!” Miranda waved her hands through the air.

The costumers came out and began to pass out the costumes to the cast. Max was hovering behind Liz and trying to smell her hair, instead of paying too much attention, until Cheryl thrust a pile of clothes at him. He looked at them with a slight frown, seeing a white frilly shirt with ruffles. He had to wear a shirt with ruffles? They knew he wasn’t gay, right? He pinched the shoulders between his fingers and his thumbs and held it up for inspection with his nose wrinkled in distaste. So much for looking macho on stage.

He saw the dark gray quilted jacket next, with two-tone gray and black sleeves. Maybe the shirt wouldn’t be so bad if it was hidden by the jacket. The fabric was really soft and it reminded him of what he’d seen Romeo wearing in that movie he and Liz had watched. Wait. A sudden lump formed in his stomach at the memory of what else Romeo had been wearing and he grabbed for the pants. What he saw made his mouth dropped open in shock.

“I can’t wear this!” Max blurted out.

Liz was looking at him wondering what was wrong while Mrs. Wainwright hurried over to see what the commotion was all about. Max stood in the center of the stage holding up the pants he was expected to wear.

“This must be a mistake!” Max felt his cheeks flaming. “I can’t wear this! These are . . . TIGHTS!” He looked at Liz, and then at his teacher, blushing even harder than before. “You’re not serious, right? This is a joke, right? Tights? You expect me to wear tights? On stage? In front of everyone?”

“This was the style of dress, Max,” Miranda tried to soothe him.

“But . . . but . . .” Max was flustered. He walked around with a major hard-on every time he was near Liz, and he was supposed to wear tights!

“Look, Max,” Miranda tried to hide her smile. “This was the style of dress worn in that time period. The shirts were loose, yes with ruffles and even lace, and I agree that the jacket is rather puffy . . .” She saw the panic in his eyes and she tried to calm him. “Max, the jacket will come down and cover the, um . . . the codpiece –”

“Codpiece?” Max arched his eyes and then turned even redder when she pointed at the two-tone patch right at the crotch of the tights.

“Romeo won’t have his assets on display,” Miranda patted him on the back reassuringly. “Don’t worry Max.” Well, there was that bedroom scene where he was supposed to be shirtless, but she wouldn’t mention that right now.

* * * * *

Liz smoothed down the material of the dress and looked at her reflection in the dressing room mirror. She and Max, as leads in the play, had been given private dressing rooms, but they were really no large than closets. Alone with her reflection, Liz turned back and forth, looking at the dress. The rich velvet was a deep red with heavy, full skirts. The style was high waisted, with a low, square neckline, showing off an abundance of cleavage. She was certainly no Olivia Hussy, but as she turned from side to side, she thought she didn’t look half bad. Would Max notice?

In the dressing room across from her, Max wasn’t as happy with his clothes. He slipped off his t-shirt and pushed his arms through the long sleeves of the frilly ‘blouse’ he was supposed to wear, tugging it into place and looking at himself in the mirror. What had Maria called him? Maxie boy? Looking at his reflection, he thought that sounded about right.

With a sigh, he slipped off his pants and picked up the tights. His frown deepened when he realized he couldn’t exactly wear his boxers underneath, too much bulk under the tights, and he gritted his teeth and snarled, “This is great! Just frickin great!” He dropped his boxers and tossed them on his pants, and then slipped his legs into the tights, pulling up the snug fitting material. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he turned a deeper shade of red, realizing he’d put them on backwards. Shit! He turned around and looked, and sure enough, the codpiece was stretched over his butt. Shit again! He pulled them off and tried to keep his balance as he pulled them on the right way. He fell sideways with the tights halfway up his legs and his shoulder hit the door. He quickly prayed the door wouldn’t give way and he wouldn’t fall out into the hallway with his ass hanging out! He just knew he was never going to survive this play.

The door held and Max got the tights pulled up around his hips. He stuck his hand down the front to adjust himself and he tried not to think about Liz. He sat down on the only chair in the small room and slipped the dark gray booties on his feet.

Booties and tights and ruffled shirts. God, he cringed, maybe he was gay after all!

Standing in front of the mirror, he turned from side to side, trying to see just how much there was to see. The dark fabric of the codpiece did a pretty good job of camouflage, but the bulge was pretty evident. He wondered if Liz would notice.

* * * * *

Max finished tugging the jacket into place and stepped out into the hallway, wondering if Liz was ready yet. He knocked on her dressing room door lightly and when he heard her answer he called softly through the door, “Can I come in?”

He heard her muffled assent and he turned the knob, pushing into a dressing room that was small, but twice the size of his. That thought flew out of his mind as soon as he laid his eyes on her. In fact, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. She was breathtakingly beautiful, standing in the middle of the room looking like she had stepped right out of the 1600’s. Her dress suited her perfectly, enhancing her delicate features, letting her innocence shine through, yet at the same time, her sensuality had never been more evident. He could barely breathe just looking at her.

Liz had her eyes locked on Max and she was rendered speechless. He looked so tall and handsome in his costume, with the jacket enhancing his broad shoulders, and the tights accentuating his muscular legs. He looked like sex personified, and she knew everyone’s eyes would be riveted to him. He oozed sex, from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. Maybe he should always wear ruffles.

“Liz, you . . .” he moved closer, feeling drawn to her.

“So do you,” Liz responded, somehow knowing what he was thinking.

He walked forward until he stood directly in front of her. His hand lifted to touch the skin of her cheek, and then he moved it lower, down her chin, down her throat, down past her exposed collarbone. Her breasts swelled above the bodice of her dress and he wanted to touch her, craved to feel the softness of her skin, while fighting the urge at the same time. This was not the time or the place.

He couldn’t stop himself from looking though, and his eyes were drawn to the wealth of cleavage her dress displayed. For the first time he noticed a mark he’d left behind, in the eraser room this afternoon, leaving a hickey just above her bra line, to mark her as his. It was just barely visible above the bodice of the dress, and he wondered if she had noticed it yet. It had a silver cast to it, instead of the normal reddish tone he had seen on other throats around school and he wondered, did everything about him have to be different?

“I must have gotten a little carried away this afternoon,” Max bit down on his lip as his fingertips brushed over the hickey, and the pale skin of her breast.

“Maybe I should do the same to you,” Liz stepped closer to him. Her fingers reached for his shirt and parted the ruffles. The hard muscles of his chest came into view, and she pulled the fabric down to expose as much of his chest as she could. She could feel the protrusion of his sensual nipple, its stiff little peak, and her lips moved as close to it as she could. She was sucking at his skin before he realized what she was doing, and then he felt her hands on his butt, feeling him through his tights. Oh God, his mind silently exclaimed! His codpiece was sure to burst!

“There,” Liz smiled with satisfaction when she accomplished her task. He was marked, just like she was, and it felt good. For both of them. “Now you’re mine,” Liz licked her lips.

“Always,” Max couldn’t take his eyes off her. His hand rose to the back of her head and he pulled her roughly forward, repeating the word heatedly before he crushed his lips to hers. “Always.”

Noise filled the hall outside the door, students filing out onto the stage again in full costume and Max reluctantly broke apart from Liz. Their faces were flush with excitement and desire, and it was only a matter of time until they gave in to what they both had always wanted.

Look for the next part on Wednesday or Thursday.

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


posted on 11-Nov-2002 1:51:26 AM by Breathless
Just testing the board

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Nov-2002 1:29:28 PM ]
posted on 11-Nov-2002 1:30:09 PM by Breathless
The board was acting crazy last night and I couldn't edit anything or update the title line, so I just went to bed. Now it looks like things are back to normal.
posted on 14-Nov-2002 11:48:43 PM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 39

Liz stood on the far side of the stage and watched the way Max moved. He had the grace of a cat and the body of a leopard, with sleek dark hair and muscles that bunched and coiled, waiting to spring into action. He was back in his street clothes now, after their costume fitting, and Max was on the far side of the stage with a sword in his hand. He swished it back and forth while he joked and laughed with Adam who was playing the role of Tybalt, and the character Max had to slay. They began a pseudo fight with their makeshift swords clashing together, and Max’s laughter rang about the stage.

He put his arm out behind him for balance and lunged forward on one leg, thrusting his sword at Adam. Adam countered and blocked the blade, and lurched forward with a move of his own. Max blocked it easily and pressed forward on the offense, backing Adam into the curtains.

Liz watched Max with a smile on her face, thinking he looked happy, and relaxed. He always used to look so tense, so weary, so serious all the time, and it was rare to see him smile. Now days, he smiled more than not, and a part of her hoped that she had something to do with that.

Max raised his hands in victory after running Adam through with the blade, or to be more precise, after slipping the sword blade between Adam’s side and his arm. The boy clutched at his chest in a mock death scene, and did a stand up job of it. He fell to the floor milking his death scene, and Max set his boot encased foot square on Adam’s chest and declared victory. Liz couldn’t help but laugh.

Even dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, Liz thought Max looked incredibly sexy on the stage, and after seeing him in costume earlier, she could just picture him in the tights, with his ruffled shirt open and loose, exposing his well muscled chest as he ran sweaty and wild and brandishing a sword across the stage. The girls in the audience were going to faint!

Max glanced around the stage and when his eyes fell on Liz an embarrassed smile crept over his face. She was watching him, and she must have seen him acting stupid with Adam. He’d never really played much as a boy, only with Isabel and Michael, and neither one of them had exactly been a barrel full of laughs. He dipped his head and walked in Liz’s direction.

“Hey,” his lower lip twitched in that self-conscious way of his, and he shook his head to clear the hair out of his eyes.

“Hey right back at ya,” Liz ran her hand up and down his arm when he finally drew close enough.

“Attention everyone!” Miranda clapped her hands together and the cast members gathered around the stage. “Rehearsals are coming along nicely, but the sets still need a lot of work. We’ve got four weeks to whip this play into shape people, so I’m asking for volunteers to help build the sets.”

“When?” Pete Cochran asked. He was wondering if there was any way this might get him out of Math.

“Tonight,” Miranda started and was met with groans. What respectable high school teen wanted to give up a Friday night? “Tomorrow,” she continued, “whatever time you can give.”

Max and Liz looked at each other and silently nodded in agreement. He spoke up in a voice loud enough to carry over the grumbling of the others, “Liz and I can help tonight. What time?”

Miranda beamed a smile at her star couple. She knew she could count on them.

* * * * *

“C’mon, Michael,” Max pressed, and turned off the ignition to his jeep. “It’ll be fun.”

“Maxwell,” Michael huffed as he opened his door and climbed out. “Building sets for a stupid play on a Friday night is not my idea of fun.”

“It’s not just building the sets,” Max slipped his keys into his pocket and headed for the familiar double doors. “There’s lots of painting to do, backdrops for scenes, and you have the best artistic skills. You might even be able to get extra credit for it in your art class. It might even help you get a passing grade! Hell, you might actually earn enough credits to graduate in the spring!”

“Very funny,” Michael glared at him.

“Besides,” Max narrowed his eyes at his friend. “You owe me. You owe me big time for your inexcusable–”

“Alright! Alright.” Michael lifted his hand to fend off the finger Max was pointing in his face. “I told you I was sorry! When are you gonna let that go?”

“NEVER!” Max shot back and opened the doors to the Crashdown. You didn’t just forget about it when your best friend told the whole school you were gay.

They stepped inside and Michael’s mouth set in a grim line. “She’s not going to be there, is she?”

Max followed his line of sight and saw Maria taking an order from a customer. “No,” he replied, “I don’t think so.”

* * * * *

Maria finished writing on her order pad and then tore off the top sheet. Smiling politely, she told her customers, “I’ll be right back with your drinks.” The five year old sitting at the table put a straw in his mouth and shot the paper wrapper at Maria’s face, hitting her right between the eyes. His mother scolded the boy and Maria glared at him, while deciding what kind of poison to add to his Sprite.

She heard snickering coming from a nearby booth and looked over to see that damn Michael Guerin laughing at her. Bastard. Max was smiling too, but at least he had the good sense to look guilty for doing it. Michael, on the other hand, was enjoying her discomfort too damn much!

She reached the pass-through to the kitchen just as Liz arrived to pick up a steaming bowl of Solar Flare Chili. “So,” Liz put the hot bowl on a tray. “You’re coming tonight, right?”

“What time?” Maria frowned and darted a look over at the booth Michael was in.

“Mrs. Wainwright said to meet her at school at 6:30. She’s gonna order us all pizza so we won’t starve. Come on, Maria. It’ll be fun!”

“Fun like a poke in the eye,” Maria wrinkled her lip. “You know I’m not mechanically inclined. I’m a menace with a hammer.”

“Well, maybe you can paint some of the sets,” Liz suggested.

“Okay,” Maria tweaked Liz’s cheek affectionately. “I’ll do it to help you out, on one condition.”

Ut oh. “What condition?”

Narrowing her eyes, she glared over in Michael’s direction again. “I’ll help out as long as gayboy’s not there. Putting up with him here in the Crashdown is as much as I can take.”

* * * * *

Max pulled to a stop in the school parking lot and hurried around to the passenger side to help Liz out. He set her on her feet slowly and then wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into the warmth of his body. He leaned forward, trapping her between him and the fender of the jeep and she tried to decide which was actually harder. The metal, or Max? She was pretty sure the answer was Max. They were just getting swept away in another incredible kiss, when the loud roar of a motorcycle broke into their ardor.

Liz pulled her lips away from Max to stare at the object that had interfered with her quality smoochies, and then she asked in surprise, “What’s he doing here?”

“Michael?” Max darted a look over at his friend as he parked his bike and took off his helmet. “I asked him to come.”

Max had said that way too casually, and Liz turned to lock her eyes on his. “I asked Maria to come.”

“This could be interesting,” Max's eyes gleamed maliciously. He so enjoyed watching Maria get her shots in. “Let’s not tell him.”

“Are you sure that’s wise?” Liz asked doubtfully.

“No,” Max laughed, “but it’s bound to be fun!”

“Max, do you like to watch train wrecks, too? Airplane disasters? Car accidents on the freeway?”

“Only if they involve my supposed best friend who tried to keep me from my dream girl by telling the whole world I was gay,” Max said as he hugged Liz a little tighter.

“Am I your dream girl?” Liz asked with a twinkle in her eyes and a warm glow spreading throughout her insides.

“Yes,” Max leaned down and kissed her gently. “You’ve been the only girl in my dreams for years.”

“Do you two ever give it a rest?” Michael grumbled under his breath. Max glared at him and Michael mumbled a half hearted apology. “Sorry.”

“Let’s go inside,” Liz kissed Max one last time and then slipped her hand into his. “Hi Michael,” she acknowledged him as she walked by. He really was an ass, but he was Max’s friend, and she’d just have to try to get along with him.

* * * * *

“Who ate all the Supreme?” Michael whined, looking down at the table with all the pizza. The one perk he had for being here was free food, and he’d only gotten one damn slice of Supreme. His taste buds demanded something far stronger than mere pepperoni.

“You snooze, you lose,” Max smirked and took another bite of his pizza with the works.

“Here, Michael,” Liz held out her plate for him. There were two slices of Supreme there, untouched and looking extremely tempting.

“Nah,” Michael waved her off. “That’s yours.”

“Really, Michael,” Liz insisted. “I’m happy with plain old pepperoni, so if you want this, it’s fine . . .”

Liz was trying her hardest to make Michael like her, for Max’s sake, but she didn’t think it was working. For some reason, Michael seemed to have something against her, and try as she might, she couldn’t break through his tough exterior.

“You sure?” Michael eyed the pizza. His eyes lifted up to look at Liz, checking for any signs that her tone didn’t match her intention. Hank had sounded nice to him on many occasions, only to turn around and beat him within an inch of his pathetic little life. But Liz wasn’t like that, Michael had to keep reminding himself. Liz wasn’t like that at all.

“It’s yours if you want it,” Liz held the plate out to him.

Michael took it from her tentatively, and then eagerly consumed the pizza. He was enjoying it thoroughly, nodding his thanks to Liz, seeing the relieved smile that crossed over her face, and then a commotion sounded from across the room and his stomach rolled.

Michael’s mouth dropped open, and he couldn’t help wondering, what the hell was she doing here?

“Maria!” Liz called out.

“I’m here!” Maria exclaimed and made a beeline for Liz. “I’m here!” her hands waved in the air, and then she noticed Michael. The air went out of her sails and she came crashing back down to earth. Great. Gayboy was here. She reached the makeshift table on the stage where her friends were sitting, and greeted them in turn. “Hi Liz, Max,” she smiled and then her eyes flashed a little darker and she said, “Mikey.”

“Michael,” he huffed. “The name’s Michael. Not Mike. Not Mikey. Not Mick the Dick. It’s just Michael.” He glared at her, knowing what name she usually called him behind his back, but he wasn’t gonna go there.

“Okay, Michael,” she stressed his name. He could be pissy about his name if he wanted to, but he was Gayboy in her book, until she found a better name for him. “So, did you leave me any pizza?”

Maria took a slice of Supreme off Michael’s plate and started to munch away. Michael’s mouth dropped to the floor, irked that she had the nerve to take the food right off his plate, and he cried out “Hey, get your own!”

He tried to grab it back but she was too quick. She took a big bite and then held it out for him, with a big crescent bite mark out of the end, and said around a mouth full, “You wannit bak?”

Max was enjoying himself tremendously. He rubbed his hand over his face trying to hide his smile from Michael, but this was just too good. Maria really had a way of getting under Michael’s skin in a way Max had never seen happen before. Darting a look at Liz, he saw her smiling at the antics going on between their two best friends, too. He knew Liz was going out of her way to be nice to Michael, even though he didn’t make it easy, and Max was grateful to her for that, but they both were enjoying Maria getting her digs in.

Their bickering continued and Max picked up his last slice of pizza, tuning them out and concentrating his attention on Liz, until his eye caught movement, two people coming up the center aisle, headed for the stage. When he saw who it was, and what she was wearing, he nearly dropped his pizza on the floor.

“Hi guys!” Alex waved as he drew near.

“Hi Alex!” Liz and Maria waved back enthusiastically.

“Isabel?” Max stared at his sister. Or at least, he thought it was his sister, but he wasn’t sure. He’d never seen her look quite like this before. Her room was full of magazines, Glamour, Elle, Mademoiselle, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and her manner of dress usually reflected the current trends in the fashion world. What she was wearing now was surely a violation of every fashion rule known to womanhood.

Her long blonde hair was covered by a triangle of cloth, a red and white bandana, similar to the one their neighbors dog wore around his neck. She was wearing a green and blue plaid shirt (Isabel in plaid?), with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows and the tails hanging down around mid thigh. On closer inspection, wasn’t that his shirt? Yes! Yes it was! Had she been raiding his closet?

“Hi Isabel,” Liz smiled at her boyfriend’s sister. She gave Alex a ‘way to go!’ look and saw him blush all the way to the roots of his hair.

“Hi Liz, hi everybody,” Isabel swept her eyes over the faces at the table. Liz was smiling at her, Maria and Michael were darting looks at each other and pretending they weren’t, and then her eyes settled on her brother. He was staring at her.

“Isabel, you’re wearing my shirt,” Max looked her over. She had on baggy jeans too, and it suddenly dawned on him she was wearing his pants too!

“Get over it,” Isabel shot back, knowing what he was thinking, and then she turned a bright smile on Alex. She wasn’t about to get her own clothes dirty!

“What are you doing here?” Max had to ask. This wasn’t like Isabel. She was usually one of the ones in charge of things. School dances. Pageants in the park. There was a reason why they called her the Christmas Nazi. She was the organizer that ordered everyone around, not one of the peons that did all the work.

“I’m here to help,” she flipped her hair haughtily, but Max could see the vulnerability she was trying to hide.

Max knew Isabel gave off an uppity air, knew that people called her the Ice Princess behind her back, but he also knew that inside she was more like a scared little girl, just wanting to find her place in the world. To see her now, shedding the image of perfection she always tried to display, was quite a shock to him. He could see her letting down her defenses, slowly but surely, and he turned to look at Liz, thinking she had a lot to do with the changes going on in all their lives. He reached out and squeezed her hand, silently thanking her for opening up a new world for all of them.

* * * * *

Michael stepped back and looked at the backdrop he’d been painting. He had colorful smudges on his face and his arms but he didn’t even noticed them. He was too absorbed in his creation. His eyes swept over the set, a wood panel that he had transformed into a bedroom wall, with lace curtains framing a window just beginning to glow with morning light.

“You’re really good at that,” Maria said from behind him.

Michael whipped his head around, surprised by her voice, and even more surprised to see that she looked like she really meant what she said. He turned back to look at the panel and a strange sensation swept over him. For one of the first times in his life, he felt proud of something he’d accomplished. He was good at something, even if it was only painting on a wall.

“Thanks.” He didn’t know quite what else to say. He wasn’t sure anyone had ever complimented him before.

“You’re welcome,” Maria nodded her head. She watched him, sensing his stonewall exterior was only on the outside. Inside, he wasn’t the unfeeling jerk he usually acted like. He should let people see what he was really like, she thought silently. Let the world see what he tried to hide.

“Here,” she grasped his chin in her hand and turned his face toward her. “You got paint on your face.” She had a cloth in her hand and she lifted it to her mouth to moisten it with her tongue. She raised it to his face, wiping the smudge off his cheek, and he reacted swiftly.

“Get the hell away from me!” Michael pushed her hand away. “That’s just gross!” His hand rubbed viciously at his cheek to get her spit off.

“Oh shut up, ya big baby,” Maria shot back and turned on her heels, marching off across the stage.

Michael watched her go, with his eyes flashing, and his hand still touching his cheek.

* * * * *

“This is kind of creepy,” Isabel cringed.

“It’s supposed to be creepy,” Alex pawed through the box of props. They were helping create the burial chamber for the end of the play and they were searching through an old storeroom. The box was full of fake spider webs and skeletons, things used for Halloween to decorate the school, and Alex lifted out a mask with the eyes hanging out. “Boo!” he thrust it toward Isabel’s face and laughed when she screamed.

“Alex!” she slapped him on the arm, and then her face turned pink with embarrassment. “Don’t do that!”

“Do what?” he asked innocently trying to keep the smirk off his lips, and then his heart raced a little faster when she buried her face against his shoulder.

“Don’t scare me,” she lifted her eyes to look at him. She didn’t usually admit that things scared her. She tried to pretend that nothing ever fazed her, that she was cool and collected and in control, but inside she was a mess of fears.

“You don’t have to be scared with me,” Alex sobered, and brushed his fingers over her cheek. They held each others eyes for a moment and then Alex dropped his hand and cleared his throat. “Um, we should take this box out to Mrs. Wainwright.”

“Right,” Isabel moved away from him, self-consciously running her hand over her scarf covered hair.

Alex tried to close the lid on the box but only succeeded in spilling half the contents in his rush to pick it up. Severed heads rolled across the storeroom floor and his face flamed red, silently lamenting the fact he was such a geek. They both bent over to pick up a skeletal hand that had fallen at their feet and their heads bumped together.

“Sorry!” they both said at the same time.

“It was my fault,” they both said again, and then they were laughing while they rubbed at the bumps on their heads. She helped retrieve the contents Alex had spilled and they made their way back toward the stage, walking side by side, with Alex carrying the box and Isabel holding a severed head in her hand.

* * * * *

“So where the hell are they?” Maria stood in the center of the stage and swept her eyes in a wide circle. Michael was painting another panel, this one a street scene to be used as a backdrop for the sword fight. Alex and Isabel were building caskets for the burial chamber, and Alex was showing her how to use a hammer. Maria thought Isabel must be a slow learner, because Alex had to repeatedly show her how to hold the nail. It couldn’t have anything to do with him needing to wrap his fingers around hers to hold the nail in place, now could it?

Other helpers were coming and going across the stage, but Maria couldn’t find Max or Liz anywhere.

Backstage, Max was working hard . . . at kissing his girl. Liz was wrapped up in his arms, thinking he was doing a pretty good job of it, too! He had one hand in her hair and one arm around her back, holding her as close as he could get her, while his mouth plundered hers. Their mouths were intimately connected, lips and tongues touching, tasting, torturing each other with pleasure.

Max moved his hand downward, along the curve of her back, nipping at her lips as his desire grew. God, how had he lived all these years without the taste of her lips on his? Without the feel of her supple body pressed against his? She was perfect for him. So perfect. Utterly perfect. His lips crushed against hers while his hand moved along the small of her back, dropping lower, feeling the waistband of her jeans, the soft swell of her butt as his hand cupped her and pressed her closer.

His breathing was becoming ragged now as he let himself get swept away, forgetting where he was, who he was, living in the moment.

Liz could feel his hard body against her, around her, holding her. She was a prisoner within his embrace, and a willing one at that. His mouth plundered hers, while his hand explored her body, and her hand did a little traveling of its own, too. Her hands moved over the bunched cords in his back, the ridges of taut muscles that flexed with every movement, over the hard muscles in his arms, his shoulders, his back, everything feeling so incredibly hard. Everything.


Her hand moved down his back, down his spine, down past the waistband of his overly strained jeans, down to cup the only place on Max Evans that wasn’t rock hard.

Their lips broke apart and they drew in ragged breaths of air, staring at each other with their faces flush, Max with his hand on her butt, Liz with her hand on his, both of them wanting the same thing.

“We, uh . . .” Max swallowed hard. “We, um, we should probably go back,” he breathed heavily, “before someone misses us. . .”

“Yeah,” Liz nodded, not moving her hand. He didn’t move his either. “Um . . . Maria . . .”

“Maria?” he prompted her when her voice trailed off.

“Maria?” Liz was lost in the depths of his eyes. Who the hell was Maria? Oh yeah. Maria. “She probably has her radar out looking for us already.”

“Maybe we should go hide from her . . .” Max bit his lower lip nervously.

“Hide . . .” Liz felt a shiver of excitement run up her spine. “Like . . . somewhere . . . more private . . .”

“Yeah,” Max fought hard not to rub up against her. His lower region was screaming for attention. “I saw . . . a storeroom . . . back that way.” He flicked his head in the direction behind him, because he didn’t want to point with his finger. Pointing with his finger would mean he would have to move his hand, and he didn’t want to do that. No, his hand was quite happy where it was.

“Okay,” Liz stared up into his heated eyes and felt her heart race a little faster.

“Okay?” Max sucked in a breath.

“Yeah, okay,” she nodded and gave him a smile, one that was both innocent, and wanton, at the same time.

“Okay!” Max smiled enthusiastically, and finally removed his hand from her backside, grabbing her hand as he turned to drag her as fast as he could into the storeroom. His excitement deflated quickly, along with a certain part of his anatomy, as soon as he turned around and saw four disgruntled teens standing in a row, blocking his path, glaring at him with their arms folded over their chests, feet tapping impatiently on the floor, sparks flying from their eyes. Ut oh. Busted!

“I thought we were invited here tonight to help you,” Maria huffed, “not to do all the work while you two play kissy face.”

Max and Liz turned embarrassed glances toward each other and then Liz rolled her eyes before offering an apology. “Sorry. We were taking a break. We were just coming –”

“Yeah, I bet you were,” Michael muttered and the others broke out laughing while Max and Liz turned beet red.

They turned as a group to return to the stage, Max and Liz in front leading the way with the others following behind.

“For a minute there, I was thinking we might need to get a hose out, to separate them,” Alex teased and Liz covered her burning face with her hand.

“We’ve been hosing Max down for years,” Isabel quipped. “He goes into his Liz fantasy world, and it’s the only way to bring him back.”

“Is everybody having fun, making Liz and I the butt of your jokes?” Max shot back at their friends.

“Oh, yeah!” the four teens responded as one.

Max looked at Liz, and Liz looked at Max, and a silent agreement passed between them. Max drew her close and slipped his hand into the right back pocket of her jeans. Liz did the same, sliding her hand into the left pocket of his, cupping his butt and smiling up at him when they heard the gasps behind them.

Isabel covered her eyes and muttered, “Oh that’s disturbing! Oh my eyes!”

Max and Liz were staring at each other with a glint sparkling in their eyes, enjoying their friend’s discomfort. That’ll serve them right for teasing them! They walked side by side back toward the stage, arms crossed over each other, hands in back pockets, and smiling up a storm.

* * * * *

The six teens stood together at the edge of the stage staring proudly at what they had accomplished. Michael had paint on his face and his hands and his clothes. Maria clutched an empty bottle of cedar oil in her hand, used liberally while she’d been forced to work with Michael. Isabel had dirt on her cheeks and broken fingernails. Alex had a throbbing thumb from Isabel slamming into it with the hammer. Max had a smile on his face, the kind that people had rarely seen before. Liz had one too. They both had a warm glow inside them, looking out over the fruits of their labors.

With Maria’s help, Michael had created lifelike backdrops, the city of Verona on panels of wood. Each panel would slide into place to create sun drenched streets for scenes of sword play, grand halls for festive dancing, hallowed alters for secret weddings, burial chambers for untimely deaths. Juliet’s bedchamber and balcony took center stage, raised above the other sets to give it a sense of height and prominence.

Alex and Isabel had brought together the props. Swords for sealing star-crossed fates, drinking chalices for merry party goers, holy bibles to bind two souls together, spider webs to coat silent corpses. Gauze like linen draped the bed in Juliet’s private chamber, lending it an ethereal quality, of purity, befitting the lovers that would soon occupy it.

The props and backdrops would set the stage, and Max and Liz would bring them all to life.

I’m going to try to post the next part on Sunday night.

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 15-Nov-2002 12:36:46 AM ]
posted on 15-Nov-2002 1:09:40 AM by Breathless
Morrigan Undomiel originally wrote:
I say for the play they have sex on stage! (This is how desperate I am for NC-17 right now) It would be all sleazy and fun...

Okay, that just made me laugh out loud! I think Max is a little shy to be having hot and wild sex on stage - in front of his parents! But it's an idea! LOL!

posted on 18-Nov-2002 1:54:08 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 40

Max sat on a stool across the counter from Liz watching her as she filled his coffee cup. Her movements were sure and practiced from years of working in the Crashdown, and he should know. After all, he’d spent years sitting in this restaurant watching her grow from a pretty girl into the beautiful young woman she was today.

“So, what do you want to do today?” Liz set the coffee pot aside and leaned over the counter toward him. Her arms were folded in front of her, resting on the countertop, and Max pushed his coffee cup aside so it wouldn’t be between them.

His hand slid up her arm, brushing her skin with his fingertips, tracing the tip of one up her throat and over her chin, up past her lips to tap her on the nose. His eyes were full of mirth as he smiled at her, suggesting, “We could go for a drive. It’s Saturday. I don’t have to work, and as soon as you get off, we have the rest of the day all to ourselves.”

“Where do you want to go?” Liz reached up for his hand and held it in hers.

“Anywhere you want to go,” Max answered with a dopey grin. “I’m not picky.”

“Well, we could – oh, there’s Agnes!” Liz stood up straight when the doorbell chimed and she saw her replacement enter the restaurant. Her shift was finally over and now maybe she and Max could spend some quality time together – alone. “I’ll go change. I’ll be back in a minute.”

“Okay,” Max leaned forward, ready to steal a kiss from the sexiest waitress in the south, until he saw her father push through the door from the kitchen. He sat back deciding there was no need to tempt fate by indulging in objectionable public displays of affection, at least from her father’s point of view.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” Liz bounded off toward the back of the restaurant, and the stairs to the apartment above.

Jeff Parker walked by on his way to the front, keeping an eye on his daughter’s suitor. The young man sure seemed to make Lizzy happy, but there was way too much hand holding going on for his taste. Hand holding led to kissing, and kissing led to . . . to . . . more kissing. He could deal with his daughter kissing. He drew the line at hickeys, though. His daughter was way too young for hickeys. Sucking on body parts just wasn’t allowed.

“Hi Max,” Jeff said as he walked by.

“Hello Mr. Parker,” Max nodded politely, and held his coffee cup a little tighter. Over the years his biggest fear had been being discovered by the military, or the FBI. Well, that fear paled in comparison to the fear that shot through him every time his girlfriend’s father looked at him. Father’s were the scariest people on the face of the earth, at least when it came to dating their daughters.

Jeff saw Max’s eye’s dart from his, down to his coffee, and then his head turned to look toward the door Liz had disappeared through. Probably watching for Liz to return, Jeff thought, and then his eyes bugged out. Wait! What was that? Right there on his neck? Was Max sporting a . . . a . . . HICKEY? Where was his shovel? He had a dead boyfriend to bury!

“Hey,” Michael slid onto the stool next to Max. “What are you doing?”

“Waiting for Liz,” Max sipped his coffee and darted a look at Liz’s dad again. Why was he looking at him that way? Right at his – oh wait, hickey! He lifted his hand to cover it, but the cat was out of the bag. Damn, busted again!

“You’re so pussy whipped,” Michael turned up his nose.

“What?” Max shot him a look, forgetting about his hickey.

“You!” Michael reached over the counter for the Tabasco sauce and poured it into the bottle of Snapple he’d brought with him. Settling into his seat again, he swirled it around to mix it in, and then took a drink. “It’s always ‘Liz this’, and ‘Liz that’. You have Liz on your brain 24 hours a day.”

“You should try it sometime,” Max turned back to his coffee.

“You want me to think about Liz 24 hours a day?” Michael swept his eyes around the restaurant. Where was she anyway?

“Don’t even,” Max shot him a warning look. “Get your own girlfriend.”

“So I can fall into the abyss like you?” Michael countered. “No way.” Maria walked by, loaded down with an arm full of steaming plates and Michael watched the way her ass moved in the short uniform.

“No way, huh?” Max smiled into his cup. It was only a matter of time. The door to the back opened and he looked around Michael quickly, smiling at what he saw. Liz had changed into low riding jeans and a black shirt that didn’t quite cover her belly, and set his appetite racing. He spun around on the stool with his legs spread wide and Liz slipped right between them, resting her hands on his thighs. His coffee was left forgotten on the counter behind him. Same with Michael on the stool next to him.

“You ready to go?” Liz leaned into him. Her hands rubbed up and down his thighs, and Max darted a look over at her father. Was that – did Mr. Parker have a butcher knife in his hand?

“Yeah!” Max grabbed her hands to leave, so he could live another day.

“Where ya goin?” Michael asked and he took a hit of his Snapple. He saw Max look to Liz, and he muttered “Whipped,” under his breath.

Max leaned close and whispered in Liz’s ear, and a slow smile spread over her face, along with a pink stain that colored her cheeks. She looked at him shyly, and then nodded her head vigorously.

“Let’s go then,” Max took her hand and slid off the stool. “See ya later, Michael,” he added as an afterthought.

“Yeah, whatever,” Michael rolled his eyes.

“Where you going, Lizzie?” Jeff asked his daughter as they headed for the door.

“We’re just going for a drive, Dad,” Liz tore her eyes away from Max to smile at her father. “We’ll be back later.”

“It’s supposed to rain,” Jeff eyed the jeep through the Crashdown windows. That thing wouldn’t give them very much protection in a rainstorm. Which was maybe a good thing! Not too much cuddling could go on in an open jeep, right? Right? Shit! It would’ve been so much easier if Liz had been a boy. Then Jeff probably would have been giving his son “The Talk” right about now, and handing him a condom! His eyes suddenly fell to Max’s butt, wondering if that horny bastard had a condom in his wallet!

“Dad?” Liz stared at her father. “Dad? Are you alright?”

“NANCY!” Jeff turned from the register and fled to the back of the restaurant.

“What was that all about?” Max looked at her father like he had grown three heads.

“I have no idea,” Liz stared in amazement.

* * * * *

Liz enjoyed the feel of the sun on her skin as the jeep sped down the highway. Her hair flew around her face, whipped by the wind, and she relaxed back in the seat, with Max’s warm hand in hers. She loved the way he always held her hand, or put his arm around her, making her feel like she was something special to him. His touches were so gentle, so tender, and yet sometimes, he would let himself go, and the rough way he would pull her to him would set her blood on fire. He was complex, with many layers, and she liked that about him.

And the fact that he was the sexiest man alive didn’t hurt.

Max watched Liz out of the corner of his eye as he drove, silently thanking whatever alien power had brought him here. He had no idea where he came from, or why he was here, and for the first time in his life, he simply didn’t care. He was here. He was with her. That was all that mattered.

Liz sat up a little straighter, thinking that this stretch of road looked a little familiar for some reason, but she wasn’t sure why. “Do you come out here often?”

“Not anymore,” Max grinned at her. “I spend all my time with you.” He turned on his blinker and slowed the jeep to take the next exit.

“Where did they find you?” Liz suddenly asked and her eyes swept over the landscape. “The Evans, I mean. Where did they find you and Isabel?”

“Just right up there,” Max pointed ahead to a curve in the road they were traveling now. “My parents were coming back from Bitterlake. Mom saw us first and she made Dad pull over. She could tell by our size we were kids, out in the desert, at night . . .”

His voice trailed off and Liz turned to look at him. “Why did she think you were lost? I mean, from the road, what made her think something was strange? You could have just been out for a walk with your family or something.”

“Well . . .” Max hedged, and Liz thought he looked uncomfortable, or maybe even embarrassed.

“I’m sorry,” Liz quickly covered. “I didn’t mean to pry. You don’t have to –”

“We were naked,” Max looked more than just embarrassed at his admission. She thought he looked a little lost, too. “Isabel and I . . . Mom could tell from the road, and she knew immediately something was wrong. I mean, why would two little kids be wandering around in the desert, at night, without any clothes on? The Evans took us into town and turned us over to the Sheriff, and eventually they adopted us. Mom said she wanted to take us home that night, but we had to go to this orphanage for awhile, until the paperwork could be taken care of.”

“Max . . .” Liz clasped his hand between both of hers. She could feel the prickling of something in her mind, and then she remembered what happened in the eraser room, when they’d been kissing and all of a sudden she’d gotten this image of a boy and a girl, at night, walking on a road that looked like this one, naked and alone. That was kind of weird. What he described just now, well, it sounded just like that vision she saw in the eraser room. What was up with that? “Do you know how you got out here like that? Who left you out here? You must remember your real parents, right? Your family?”

“No,” Max shook his head. “We don’t remember anything from before the Evans found us.”

“How awful! Nothing?” She couldn’t imagine what it would be like not to remember your family, or parts of your life.

“Nothing,” Max said softly, hating to lie to her. He should tell her the truth. Everything. Soon. Now? Was this the right time? Maybe he should wait, until things settled down. They were so busy rehearsing for the play right now, and with school. Maybe when school let out for Christmas break, after the play was over, they could sit down and he could tell her everything. It was only a month away. He’d been waiting for years to tell her, what would a few more weeks hurt?

Until then, he could pretend he was normal. Just a normal guy, with a normal girlfriend. It was what he always wanted.

The jeep slowed as he neared the place he’d first brought Liz after the dance. The rock face jutted high into the sky and the striations were vibrant with multi-colored earth tones. It was lonely and desolate here with the scrub grass and the cacti that sparsely covered the ground, but Max had grown accustomed to it here. He wasn’t sure why he kept coming back, there actually wasn’t much to see here, but when he wanted to get away from Roswell to think, this was usually where he came.

He pulled to a stop and jumped out of the jeep, hurrying around to Liz’s side before she had a chance to get out. He slid his hands around her and lifted, feeling her ribs beneath her shirt and her hands settling on his shoulders as he picked her up. He set her down, letting his hands slid up her sides as her feet touched the ground and his thumbs lingered along the sides of her breasts. He watched her face for any sigh that his touch was objectionable, but instead saw just the opposite. The look in her eyes said she welcomed his touch. It set his hormones racing, but he tried to keep them in check.

Her hands moved up along his shoulders and his neck until her fingers plunged into his hair and then she was pulling him down to kiss her and he was more than willing to comply. After all, it was his favorite thing to do.

He kissed her long and hard, fisting his hand into the material of her shirt, holding on to her as if he feared she were a dream that might drift away from him. Her kisses were just as unbridled as his, with a part of her hoping that his control would slip and he’d once again show her the fire that resided within him. When Max Evans let go, when he let that fire burn bright, he could ignite an answering call within her, a flaming desire so strong it was unparalleled.

Max broke off the kiss and stood staring at Liz with his breathing as strained as if he had just run a marathon. He wanted her so badly, craved her with every cell in his body, yet he hesitated. He couldn’t ask that of her, not until she knew the whole truth about him. If Liz Parker was someday willing to make love with him, he owed her nothing less than the absolute truth first. It was one thing for a man to make love to a woman. It was something else entirely to ask her to give herself to someone like him.

“Max . . .” Liz stared up at him breathlessly. He’d abruptly broken off their kiss and his eyes were just staring into hers. Did he know how much she wanted him? Did he know how she dreamed about him at night, and during the day, too? Did he know how long she’d waited for him?

“I want to show you something,” Max finally found his voice. He slid his hand into hers and headed for the pillar of rocks that rose above the desert floor. They climbed up a sloping surface with Max holding her hand securely in case she slipped, and then he came to a stop in front of a flat shelf. Symbols adorned the rock surface, carved there over a period of time, and Liz couldn’t help the radiant smile that spread over her face when she saw them.

“You did this?” she asked in amazement. The fingers on her left hand rose to touch the letters carved in the stone, L.P. + M.E. dotted here and there along the surface complete with a heart wrapped around the initials to contain them.

“Yes,” Max admitted with a bashful grin. “I did this one on my sixteenth birthday,” Max touched one of the hearts with just the name Liz carved inside. “My dad gave me the keys to the jeep that day, and this was the first place I came. My first drive on my own. I wanted to celebrate, and this was as close as I could come to having you here to celebrate it with me.” He looked from the rock face to Liz, and their eyes connected in the way only theirs could. His hand tightened around hers and his voice took on the tone he used only with her. “So I wrote your name in the rocks, so there’d be a record. So that years from now, everyone who came here would know that . . . Max Evans loved Liz Parker. ”

“Max . . .” Liz looked at him with tears starting to shine in her eyes.

Max swallowed hard and said softly, “I just wanted you to know.”

A tear spilled over the rim of her eye and she buried herself in his arms, pressing her face against his chest. She’d never heard anything more beautiful in her whole life, until he spoke his next words.

“I love you, Liz. I always have.” He buried his hand in the hair at the back of her head and held on to her tightly. His nose nuzzled close to her ear and he whispered, “All my life, it’s been you, Liz. Only you. I’ve always been waiting for you.”

“It’s been the same for me, Max,” Liz lifted her head and cupped his face between her palms. “Even when I was little, it was always your face I looked for in a crowd. Your voice I always listened for. I’ve been in love with you, too, Max. For as long as I can remember.”

Their lips came together, forcefully and passionately, spurred on by their joint professions of love. To hear her words filled him with a joy that far surpassed anything he had ever known before. It was beyond his wildest imaginings that Liz Parker could love him the way he loved her, and he let his fears recede to the background of his mind.

He pulled back from the kiss, breathing heavily, and staring intently into her eyes. The desire that he saw there drove his passions and he dropped down to his knees, resting his hands on the bare skin above her hips, between the lower hem of her shirt and the top edged of her jeans. He stared up at her now, with his eyes saying so much more than words ever could. She hovered above him with her eyes locked on his and then she slowly lowered her lips to his, igniting their passion once again.

She slowly dropped down to her knees to join him, feeling a shiver of excitement shoot along her spine as his warm hands slid under her shirt and up her back. His hands roamed, his fingers touched and caressed and dug into her flesh, while their mouths fused into one. His fingers found the band of fabric that sliced across her back and he worked at it to set it free. His inexperience showed in his fumbling movements but his persistence overcame his lack of skill. The hooks finally came undone.

Max tore his lips away from hers, dragging a deep breath into his starving lungs, and looking into her eyes to gage her reaction. He didn’t want to do anything that she wasn’t ready for, that she didn’t want to have happen between them. He wanted her more and more with every passing moment, but did she want the same?

Her face looked flushed, highlighted by the color in her cheeks, and he thought he’d never seen her look more beautiful. It could have been just the sun warming her skin, or embarrassment by what he had done, but he was hoping the rosy glow that was spreading over her cheeks was caused by her wanting him, too. Her breathing wasn’t any steadier than his.

Her hand threaded into the hair at the back of his head and she pulled him back to her, sealing their lips together again. He wrapped one arm around her waist to press her body closer to his, while the other hand moved forward, around her side, underneath the now loose bindings of her bra. Her kiss intensified as his hand moved closer to his destination and his palm rose up the swell of her breast. She tore her lips away from his and sucked in a deep breath at the feel of his palm surrounding her and she pressed her cheek against his, breathing heavily into his ear.

Max could feel his heart thundering in his chest while his hand molded to her pliant flesh. Was there anything in the world that felt better than this? Than the soft, supple shape of Liz’s intimate flesh? She felt like she was made to fit in his hand, and he wondered, would she look anything like his fantasies or dreams? He just had to know.

His lips moved down her throat feeling the low vibrations caused by her soft moans. Did she enjoy his touch as much as he did, he wondered? Her moans told him yes. Her hand pressing against his head, encouraging his downward progression told him yes. Her body arching into his hand told him yes. Her nipple, hard and prominent, and waiting for his mouth, told him yes.

His lips trailed down the skin of her throat and then brushed over the soft knit of her shirt, down until he came to the hard point that dented the fabric. His lips kissed her hard peak, opened to take her cotton covered nipple into his mouth, nipped and tugged at her through the material, and then her voice, whispered and hoarse, told him what he already knew.

“Yes . . . Max . . .yes . . .”

The desire in her voice drove him on, spurred him into further action, and his hand fumbled at the fabric of her shirt, tugging it upward to expose the beauty he so badly wanted to see. Her shirt and bra, held in his fisted hand, bunched up above her left breast, and he stared at the incredible sight before him. Her compact nipple jutted out from the center of her creamy mound, the tip enticingly dark against the pale surrounding skin.

He’d seen breasts in magazines before, and in movies, some larger, some smaller, but never one as beautiful as hers. His lips moved forward tentatively to brush over the peak, and his eyes fluttered closed as he opened his mouth more fully to take her in. His lips surrounded the hardened nipple, gently at first, tasting her tenderly, and then her gasp of pleasure swept into him. His hand, still cupping her breast, squeezed tighter while at the same time his lips sucked at her harder. He tugged at her, flicked at her with his tongue, sucked at her, while he listened to the music that flowed from her throat. Her husky tones of passion filled the air, sounds that he once thought he would never get a chance to hear.

Thunder rumbled in the distance but Max couldn’t hear it over the racing of his own heart. His face moved to his left, seeking out her right breast, and her hand pulled the fabric of her shirt aside, exposing her full chest now. Her offering was joyfully accepted with his mouth tasting her treasure, his throat letting a groan of gratitude escape as he covered her nipple with his hungry lips. Her taste and her feel were imprinted on his brain, burned into his mind, a part of him now that he couldn’t live without.

Liz could feel the soft strands of his hair between her fingers as she pressed him against her breast. Had she ever experienced anything better than this? Than the feel of Max Evans intimately loving her? She’d longed for this, fantasized about this, prayed that someday Max would notice her and the joy of experiencing it was now flooding her senses. Want was overcoming her shyness, making her gather her shirt in her hands, lifting it up and over her head, letting it fall at her feet.

Max pulled back to see her more clearly, swallowing hard at how beautiful she looked. Her hair was loose and wild around her face, framing her rosy cheeks, and tender throat and shoulders, and Max couldn’t keep his eyes from sweeping over her body. Her skin was so rich and vibrant, and her breasts so pale and chaste. No one else had ever seen the sight she was allowing him and his senses filled with possession. She was his, only his, forever his. His hands glided over her, touching the delicacy of her skin.

His hands were making her skin tingle, like small charges under the skin exploding with sensation anywhere he touched. Cupping her breasts, stroking her nipples, gliding over her ribs, sliding around and up her back, her spine. Her laborious breathing turned to gasps as he once again adored her breasts with his fingertips, touching her in ways that no one else ever had. Shockwaves rolled through her with every caress causing a quickening need in the center of her body. She wanted him. So much.

Her hands tore at his shirt and Max helped her, lifting it quickly over his head and tossing it aside. His arm swept around her and pulled her body flush to his, chest to chest, hip to hip, thigh to thigh. His lips chased after hers, kissing her heatedly while his mind drank in the exotic feel of her skin against his. Her hard nipples drilled into his chest, her soft breasts flattened against his skin, the hard bulge in his pants pressed into her flat stomach.

The sun faded in and out of the drifting clouds but neither of them noticed. They were too caught up in each other, two young lovers in the heat of passion. The first raindrops fell, dotting the rocks around them, and still they didn’t notice. His mouth once more sought out the nectar of her breasts, sucking on one and then another, while Liz allowed her hands to grope over his back and chest, up and down his smooth skin, growing more bold, touching the ridges of his stomach, lingering there, on the verge of moving lower.

His mind begged for her to touch him and pleaded with her not to. He was sure the slightest brush of her hand would be all that it would take to bring him to a shattering climax. He wanted more than anything to feel that with her, by her, to share that ultimate moment with her, yet hesitant at the same time to take things to that level yet. He wanted this to last forever between them, not just an interlude to be rushed and left behind.

Besides, there was still that matter of secrets to be shared.

The sky rumbled above them and the heavens released large, fat drops of rain, sprinkling down on their partially naked bodies. They broke apart, staring up at the lowering sky above them, blinking as the rain peppered their faces, cooling their skin and beginning to coat the ground as the rain intensified. Max dropped his eyes back to Liz, entranced by the sight of the water drenching her skin, shimmering on her shoulders, dampening her hair, drops collecting on her chest, her breasts, running together and forming small rivulets, a sight that was enough to drive him insane.

“Max . . .” Liz looked at him with her hand pressed against his chest. His muscles were slick and shining from the rain, so hard and hot, she could almost hear the rain sizzle when it touched him.

Rain was gathering on her eyelashes, making her blink, coating her skin in a fine sheen. If he had the power to control the weather, Max wasn’t sure if he would want the rain to stop, or intensify. Looking at her, so wet and wild, he thought she was absolutely gorgeous.

“We . . .” Max tried to think, but his mind wasn’t functioning too clearly.

“We should go,” Liz got out what Max couldn’t. They stared at each other, with the rain pouring down on them and then their mouths were crashing back together. Their chests, wet and slick, pressed together, their hands roamed over backs, arms, shoulders, in constant motion, learning the intimate feel of the other. Their mouths hungrily joined, searing kisses that made the rain sizzle from the heat their passion generated.

Neither could get enough of the other, and then the sky was pierced with a blinding bolt of lightening, followed closely by an ear shattering peal of thunder, and the heavens opened up in a deluge. They broke apart suddenly, startled by the tumultuous noise, and the sudden onslaught of pounding rain. Liz squealed as it drenched her and Max grabbed for their clothing, pulling her to her feet and trying to shelter her with his body. He helped her pull her shirt over her head and tug it into place, and only then, after she was covered, did he pull his own shirt on.

Max grabbed her hand and they started to run for the jeep, when Liz stopped suddenly and turned back to sweep her eyes over where they had been. Her discarded bra was lying on the ground and she hastily retrieved it, embarrassed that she’d almost left it behind. She wadded it into her hand and then they were once more racing for the jeep.

Lightening cut across the sky again, followed by an explosion of thunder just above them and Liz squealed in fright. She practically jumped into Max’s arms and then laughed at herself in renewed embarrassment. Max swept her off her feet, laughing at her, with her, and twirled her around in the rain, giddy from pure joy. He carried her to the jeep, not caring about the storm that was raging in the sky above them. Their clothes were soaked and their hair was plastered to their heads, but none of that mattered.

He might be an alien, but Max was ruled by human emotions, and today Liz Parker told him that she loved him. He was the happiest man on the face of the earth.

Look for the next part on Thursday night

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Nov-2002 2:36:03 AM ]
posted on 22-Nov-2002 1:08:17 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Best Fluff Fanfic This one’s new!

Author note: sunrise 102, I have to comment on your feedback. Yes, Jeff is acting a little archaic in his thinking, but I tend to find that is true in men who have daughters. Not that I would want to put labels on people, but men seem much more comfortable thinking of their sons as having sexual needs, than they are with their daughters. Now I’m not saying that all men are that way, but I don’t think that much has changed over the years, not when it comes to father’s attitudes toward their daughters.

This part’s a little long, so I’ve posted it in 2 parts . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 41

The stars were shining brilliantly in the night sky, like shimmering points of light sparkling across the heavens. Max stood at his window and stared up at them in silent contemplation, looking at them for what they really were, just stars in the sky. Nothing more. He couldn’t think of one of those twinkling orbs as possibly home anymore, not now that he’d found home right here on earth.

He’d never really felt connected to the stars, even though he’d always known that’s where he came from. Michael was the one that wanted to return to wherever ‘home’ was, but not him, not Max. He felt no real draw to find out about his alien heritage, or why he’d been brought here. His biggest desire, besides Liz, was that he could be normal, human, just like everyone else.

But of course, he never would be.

A tentative knock caught his attention and he turned to see Isabel hovering in his doorway. “Hey, Iz,” his gaze returned to the night sky. “I thought you were out with Alex.”

“I was,” she entered his room and quietly closed the door behind her. “He just dropped me off.”

“You’re home early,” Max said absently. He was feeling a little melancholy. A little down. Counting Crows was playing on his stereo.

“Max, it’s midnight,” she came up beside him and looked out the window, too. “It’s not early.”

“Oh.” He refocused his eyes and stepped away from the window, crossing over to his stereo to lower the sound so it wouldn’t disturb his parents.

“What’s the matter?” Isabel asked, even though she knew the answer.

“I just miss her,” Max shot a look at his sister, afraid he’d see scorn or contempt there, feeling a sense of relief that he didn’t.

“Max,” Isabel said with sympathy. “She only went to Albuquerque for the Thanksgiving weekend. She’ll be back tomorrow.”

“She said she might be home tonight, but . . . I guess not. Her parents must have decided to stay the whole weekend.”

Max returned to the window and the two stood side by side, looking at the stars but not really seeing them. Isabel was the one that broke the silence first, voicing one of her oldest fears. “What if they come back for us? What if someday a ship comes to take us home?”

“This is my home, Isabel.” He was quiet for a minute and then he turned from the window and moved over to sit on the end of his bed. “I want to know where we came from, and why we were brought here . . . but I’m scared, too. What if we find out what the truth is, and we don’t like it? If they come back for us, will they give us the choice to decide if we even want to go? Will they let us decide what we want to do?”

“You mean,” Isabel sat down next to him, “you think they might force us to go back, even if we don’t want to go?”

“I don’t know,” Max shrugged. “Maybe they don’t even know we’re here. Maybe they thought we died in the crash. Maybe they’ll never come looking for us.”

“Maybe . . .” Isabel nodded, deep in thought. For the last few weeks her life had become quasi-normal, and she liked it. She didn’t want any alien weirdness to screw it up.

The phone rang suddenly and Max lunged across the bed to grab it off the nightstand. His melancholy mood had instantly shifted to excitement, knowing who would be calling him at this time of night.

“Hello! Liz?” the words rushed out of his mouth.

“How’d you know it was me?” her voice sounded in his ear. The tone suggested she was smiling, and he could picture her face in his mind.

“I was hoping you’d call,” Max hunched over the phone, forgetting Isabel was even in the room. With a smile on her face, she gave her brother the privacy he deserved, and quietly left his room, closing the door behind her.

“Where are you?” Max asked, clutching the portable phone tightly in his hand.

“Home,” Liz looked at his picture on her nightstand while she sat on the side of her bed. ‘We just got in a minute ago.”

“Can I come see you?” the words were out before he knew he was even going to say them.

“Now?” he could hear the surprise in her voice. “Tonight?”

“I missed you . . .” Max spoke softly. He knew he sounded sappy, but he didn’t care. She was home again, and he was happy.

“I missed you, too,” Liz sighed.

“I won’t stay long,” Max gripped the phone tighter. “I won’t even come up. I’ll just stay on the street below your balcony . . .”

“Okay –”

Liz pulled the phone away and arched her eyebrows at it, with the sound of the sudden click she’d heard still echoing in her ear. He’d hung up without even saying goodbye! Knowing Max, she thought he was probably already sprinting for the jeep. Did he know how to make a girl feel special, or what?

* * * * *

It only took him a few minutes to make it across town to the alley behind the Crashdown. He scrambled from the seat of the jeep and hurried around the side of the building headed for her ladder, and he nearly tripped over his feet when he saw her leaning over the balcony wall, waiting for him.

It was a warm night for November, with the southwest locked in the midst of a mini heat wave, and temperatures had reached nearly 90 degrees during the day. Even now at midnight it was still warm, and the way she was dressed was reflective of that.

“Liz!” Max called up to her softly, seeing her eyes light up at the sound of his voice. She brushed her hair behind her ear in a gesture that made his pulse quicken, and the sight of her wearing that cute little red tank top made a smile spread over his face. He really did like her in red.

“Hi,” she felt the butterflies in her stomach take flight. She would have thought by now she’d be used to this, used to Max, but every time she saw him, or heard his voice, she just melted inside.

“How was Albuquerque?” he shifted from one foot to the other.

“Boring,” Liz admitted. “You weren’t there.” One of the street lamps was shining right on him, highlighting his muscular frame. He was wearing that olive green t-shirt again, and she wondered if he had more than one. He seemed to wear it a lot. Maybe it was his favorite color. His jeans fit him nicely, not too loose, not too snug, and his boots made him look even taller than normal.

“I’m glad you’re back,” his hands slipped into his back pockets, forcing himself not to climb up her ladder. It was late, and he needed to stay down here, even if he was dying to climb up there and kiss her.

“Me, too.” She darted a look over her shoulder and then turned back.

“Are your parents still up?” he asked.

“No,” Liz shook her head. “Dad was tired from the long drive. They went to bed right away.”

“Oh.” Max felt the pull to go up and join her getting stronger, but he didn’t want to get her in trouble. He really shouldn’t be here. She looked behind her again and then she seemed to come to some sort of decision, and much to his amazement he watched her climb over the balcony wall and descend the ladder.

“What are you doing?” he asked when she reached ground level. He was trying desperately to control his raging hormones, and the ever present urge to crush her against him and kiss her crazy.

“Let’s go somewhere,” she looked up at him hopefully, only a foot away from him. “I slept most of the way coming home, and I’m not tired now. Besides,” she pressed her hand against his chest, “I’ve missed you.”

His hand lifted, wrapping his fingers around hers, saying, “You mentioned that.”

“Did I?” she was lost in his eyes.

“Yeah,” he was lost in hers. “I think so.”

“What do you think two people should do,” her left hand rose up his arm and over his shoulder, “when they’ve missed each other, the way we have?”

“I think,” Max felt her hand slip into his hair, and a shiver went down his spine. “I think they,” his head dropped lower, “they probably,” his lips hovered above hers, “would want to do this . . .”

His mouth covered hers, sealing their lips together. He could never get close enough to her, her nearness was never near enough for him, his desire would never be satisfied, until that day when she could became his in every sense of the word. Until then, he’d have to settle for a kiss, so he might as well make the most of it. His lips crushed down against hers while fire flamed inside them both. He hadn’t seen her since Wednesday, three days that felt like an eternity to one very love struck alien.

“So, where do you want to go?” he mumbled against her lips.

Liz didn’t answer right away, thinking about how one of these days she was going to ask him if maybe they could meet at Michael’s place. Alone. Just the two of them. She hadn’t been able to get up the nerve yet. She wanted him so badly she could taste it, but she didn’t want him to think she was easy, or a slut, or someone like Paula Holt.

“Wherever you want to go,” Liz left it in his court. She’d follow him anywhere.

“I have an idea!” A smile lit his face and she could see the little boy in him, eager to be off on an adventure. His hand wrapped around hers, and his long strides moved them quickly toward the jeep, making her have to race to keep up with him.

“Where are we going!” She held on to his hand, feeling his excitement bleed into her, trying to contain her laughter.

“You’ll see!” Max lifted her into the jeep and kissed her quickly before running around to his side. In a few minutes, if all went well, another of his fantasies would come to life.

* * * * *

“C’mon!” Max jumped out of the jeep as soon as he brought it to a stop. He ran around to the passenger side and swept Liz into the air before setting her feet on the ground.

“The lake?” Liz smiled against his lips as he kissed her.

He took half a step back and wrapped his hand around hers, pulling her toward the water. “Let’s go swimming!”

Liz looked up at him thinking he looked like a little boy on Christmas morning. The moon was out in full force, casting a silvery glow over the landscape, and his eyes were sparkling with excitement. She didn’t think she’d ever seen him look quite so exuberant before.

“C’mom!” he smiled widely.

Liz could see the moonlit water just barely peeking through a line of trees, looking tranquil, and quiet . . . and cold!

“Max,” she tugged on his arm, “you want to go swimming?”

“Yeah!” he beamed, urging her to follow him. “It’ll be fun!”

“You want to go . . . skinny dipping?” she asked incredulously, and Max came to a sudden stop.

“Skin –” Max started to repeat what she had said and then his mouth snapped closed. He stood stock still, swallowing hard, and then he stumbled all over his words. “Well, no – yeah – no – um – not – I mean – not skin – skin – um – swim – swimming – just swimming . . .”

“Not skinny dipping?” Liz stared up at him wide eyed. Max stared down at her not knowing what to say. If it had been daylight, she would have seen how red his face was. “Max, we don’t have any bathing suits. Usually, when you go swimming without bathing suits, it’s called skinny dipping.”

Max was still staring at her, and now all he could think about was skinny dipping. He could picture her nude body diving off the dock, slicing though the cool water, sliding though the depths, breaking through the surface from below with the water sliding off her skin. In his excitement about swimming with Liz in the lake, he hadn’t thought about bathing suits. After all, he could easily change a pair of pants into swimming trunks . . . but not in front of Liz. He’d gotten carried away in his excitement, and now he didn’t know what to say.

In the light from the moon, Liz thought she could see his mouth moving, but no words were coming out. Was he changing his mind? The thought of skinny dipping with him was . . . exciting. And a little scary, too.

“I’ve, uh,” it was her turn to stumble over her words. “I – I’ve never,” she cleared her throat, “I’ve never been skinny dipping before . . .”

“Um . . .” Max tried to keep his eyes on hers, but he was a guy, and all this talk about skinny dipping was making it very hard to concentrate on her eyes. “Ne – neither have I . . .”

“Well,” Liz couldn’t keep the gleam out of her eyes, “I won’t look if you won’t look!”

“Liz,” Max cocked his head at her, “I’m a guy! How can I not look!” He gave her one of those award winning smiles of his and then his eyes opened wider as he thought of a compromise. He desperately wanted to make love to her, to claim her as his eternal love, but he also knew he couldn’t ask that of her yet. Not when he was still keeping secrets from her. “How’s this,” he suggested. “We go skinny dipping, but the underwear stays on.” Maybe then he wouldn’t be so tempted.

Yeah, right!

“Okay,” Liz could see the wisdom in that. Was she going to learn the answer to question number 3?

“Last one in is a rotten egg!” Max shouted and ran for the lake.

He pulled her along racing through the shrubs and trees that bordered the lake, until their feet hit the dock and then his hands were on his shirt, pulling it over his head as he ran across the wood. He hopped on his left foot while he pulled off his right boot, and when it finally came free he switched feet, pulling off his left boot. His hand went to the button on his pants, and then he paused, and looked at Liz.

Liz had run onto the dock, keeping pace with Max, swept up in his excitement. Her tank top was somewhere on the wood behind her and her shoes weren’t far away, and she was yanking down the zipper of her pants. Thank God she’d had the foresight to put on her black underwear today! Her bra was lacy and not too transparent, but she could only imagine what the water would do to it. She doubted she would be able to hide anything, but on the other hand, did she even want to?

She felt eyes on her and she lifted her head, looking straight at Max, who was looking straight at her. His hand was on the button of his jeans, her hand was on the zipper of her pants, both of them hesitant, and watching what the other was doing.

“You first,” Liz said, trying to look at his face, and not at what might be behind that zipper. She was already breathing hard, trying to convince herself it was because of the running, and not the sight of his bare chest. His muscular bare chest. His oh so incredibly sexy and muscular bare chest.

“Ladies first,” Max swallowed hard. He was losing the battle to keep his eyes on her face. Was there anything sexier than Liz standing in front of him in a black bra? A black lacey bra? A black lacey bra that barely hid the dark circles of her nipples? Oh God! Did he really think he was going to be able to keep his hands off her?

“No,” Liz shook her head. “I said it first so I have first dibs, and I say you go first. Besides, this was your idea. It’s only fair that you go into the water first.”

Max stared at her, hoping he could get into the water before she could tell how turned on he was. Maybe the cold water would cool him down. He briefly thought about cold water and shrinkage, and decided that was the least of his worries right now. Turning his back to her, he unfastened the button on his jeans and lowered the zipper. His pants slid down his legs and as soon as they hit the dock, he dove into the water. It was so cold it took his breath away, but he came up to the surface more exhilarated than he had ever felt before.

“Your turn!” he grinned up at her, treading water.

Boxers! Liz smiled to herself. The answer to question number 3 was boxers! Blue and white plaid boxers!

Liz couldn’t help feeling self-conscious, standing on the dock half dressed with Max staring at her. She was glad it was dark, and with the moon behind her she thought maybe he couldn’t see that she was blushing now. He’d seen her breasts before, on that day in the rainstorm out in the desert, but she’d never done anything bold like this before, stripping her clothes off in front of a boy. But then again, it wasn’t just any boy out there in the water watching her. It was Max.

“C’mon, Liz!” he called to her. “The water’s great!”

The eager tone in his voice broke through her nervousness and she ignored the butterflies in her stomach as she lowered the zipper on her pants. She wiggled them down her hips and slim legs, thankful that her panties stayed in place. It might be dark, but it wasn’t that dark.

Back with the rest in a minute . . .

posted on 22-Nov-2002 1:09:53 AM by Breathless
Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 41 (con’t)

Max floated in the water, sucking in his breath as he watched her pants pool around her feet. Her body was gorgeous in the moonlight, a soft silver radiance glowing all around her, caressing more skin that he’d ever seen before. He was going to have to keep her at arms length, he realized, because there was no way in hell that he could hide the raging boner he was sporting. He wanted them to have fun, enjoy an adventure together, and he didn’t want her to think he was just a horndog. She meant so much more to him than just a sexual object.

Liz stood on the edge of the dock, bending forward with her arms over her head, checking Max’s location once more before she pushed off and dove into the water in his direction. She arched gracefully through the air, feeling free and alive and sexy and more than a little naughty, and then she hit the water and the shock of it coursed through her entire body. The water was fricking cold! It was like ice! She wouldn’t be surprised if she were turning blue already!

She sputtered up to the surface, anything but graceful, gasping for breath, slapping wildly at the water, reeling about and looking for Max, but she didn’t see him anywhere. Where did he go?

Max looked up at her from below the surface, and with his enhanced eyesight he could see her clearly even in the dark water. Her feet were kicking wildly, and her arms were churning the surface to stay afloat, and the thin fabric of her bra did nothing to hide the way her nipples had turned to hard points. He’d seen a glimpse of the dark triangle of hair hidden beneath the silk of her panties when she was standing on the dock, but now, here in the water, the material was almost transparent. He tried not to groan, because he wasn’t ready to drown just yet. He still had too much living to do.

“Max!” Liz whirled wildly around in the water. “Max! Where are you!”

Max kicked his feet, slicing through the water aimed right at her.

“Max!” Liz shouted in accusation, “This water is cold!”

Max could hear her muffled voice, but couldn’t make out the words. His body cut through the water silently, steadily, stealthily, like a predator closing in for the kill.

“Max!” she called out again and then he exploded out of the water just inches in front of her, scaring the crap out of her, causing her to scream in fright. He was laughing as he grabbed at her, she was laughing and screaming as she hit at him, and splashed at him, and then jumped on him to try to drown him for scaring her so.

“You jerk!” she pushed his head under the water, forgetting all about how cold it was, seeing the excited glint in his laughing eyes before he disappeared below the water again, and then she felt his hands on her ribs, and then his arms wrapping around her as he pulled her under with him. Liz screamed again, feeling him dragging her down, and she pulled in a quick breath and held it as he dragged her below the surface.

They looked at each other below the water, Max with a grin on his face and bubbles leaking out his nose and Liz with her hair floating all around her and her face full of excitement and happiness. Their arms were around each other, their legs were in motion, touching and bumping against each other, and then Max kicked upward with his powerful leg muscles.

They broke through the surface, each drawing in a deep breath of air, and highly conscious of the feel of their wet bodies pressing together. Max could tell just by the look in her eyes that she had felt his obvious state of arousal and his face grew hot, partly from embarrassment, partly from desire, and he wondered how she was going to react. It only took a moment to find out.

“You jerk!” Liz splashed him in the face with a blast of water. “You didn’t tell me the water was going to be freezing!”

“Freezing!” Max laughed and splashed her back. “What are you talking about! It’s just right!”

“Only for polar bears!” Liz lunged toward him to dunk him under the water and Max arched away from her, trying to swim deeper into the water. Liz grabbed for him to keep him from getting away and succeeded only in grabbing his shorts.

“Whoa!” Max cried out as he felt her hand on his ass, and then his boxers pulling downward.

“Sorry!” Liz pulled her hand away quickly and covered her mouth in embarrassment. She hadn’t meant to do that . . . but damn, he had a cute ass! Or at least it looked that way in the quick flash she saw of it!

“I thought we said underwear stays on!” Max was grinning impishly as he cut through the water in her direction again. His wet hair was plastered to his head with water dripping down his face and Liz was certain she’d never seen him looking so carefree before.

“That was an accident!” Liz backed away, trying to look innocent, knowing she wasn’t. The smile on her face gave her away.

“Accident, huh?” Max was having the time of his life. “I’ll show you accident!”

“Max . . .” Liz kicked her legs a little harder, trying to put some distance between them, trying not to giggle. “What are you gonna do . . . ?”

“You can’t get away from me!” Max cut through the water like an alligator.

“Max . . .” Liz felt her stomach flipping excitedly and then he reared up from the water and lunged at her. She screamed and laughed at the same time, trying to swim away from him, headed to the dock and safety, and then she screamed again when she felt his hands on her, pulling her back to him, wrapping around her while she struggle to get free, feeling his hands touching her sides and her shoulders and her back and then he suddenly let her go and shouted in triumph.

“Victory is mine!” Max shouted out and thrust his arm into the air, waving her bra back and forth above his head.

Liz stared at him incredulously, and then looked down at her chest, seeing nothing but naked skin there. Now how’d that happen? She hadn’t even felt him unhook it! Her first instinct was to cover up, to hide herself from him. Her second instinct was to get him back. She decided to go with the second.

Max was lording over the spoils of his victory, patting himself on the back for his manly prowess, and gloating over how alien powers could be so sneaky sometimes! When you were in a battle of the sexes, the important thing was coming out victorious. He knew his clumsy hands would never get her bra off the human way, so he cheated. She never saw it coming.

Neither did he. While he was bowing in triumph to the unseen masses, she darted below the water and yanked his shorts down around his knees. The water was so dark she couldn’t see a damn thing, but his reaction was priceless. His victory dance turned to defeat as he scrambled to pull his shorts back up. He was thrashing in the water and when his head broke above the surface again, even in the moonlight his cheeks were burning red.

“That’s a point for you,” Max smirked, “but I’ve still got this!” He held her black bra up above his head.

“Give it back,” Liz tried to tread water with one arm covering her chest.

“Nope!” Max grinned. “I won it fair and square.”

“Max,” Liz drifted closer to him. “Give it back to me.”

“Come and get it,” his eyes were glinting with amusement. Had life ever been this sweet before?

“Maaaaaxxxx. . .” she drawled out his name.

“Liiiiizzzz . . .” he did it too.

“Give it to me!” she demanded.

“Come and get it!” he challenged.

She lunged for him and he held her bra up just out of reach, laughing at her as she tried to grab for it. She didn’t like to be defeated either, so her modesty flew out the window. She was climbing over his back now, grabbing at his hand, for the moment not caring that her breasts were pressing against his arm, his shoulder, even his face. Of course, that was all it took for him to lose the battle. One sight of her breast bouncing in front of his eyes and he was a goner. Defeat had been snatched from the jaws of victory!

When were men ever going to learn? Women ruled the world! She snatched her bra back in apparent victory, until she saw the heated look in his eyes, and then she was a goner, too.

They stared at each other in silence, their humor giving away to the incredible magnetic pull they felt toward each other, the very water heating up around them as desires took over. They drifted closer, with their chests pressing together now, and Max was highly aware of the feel of her hardened nipples touching his skin. Liz’s attention was focused lower, on the hard steel that pressed against her stomach. His arms were around her back, touching her naked flesh, fantasy after fantasy coming to life for him. Liz floated in the water with her bare skin touching his and her arms around his shoulders, thinking her daydreams had never prepared her for this.

Max stared at Liz feeling the tension in his body coiling tighter, Liz stared at Max feeling her body trembling in growing desire, and then their mouths were flying toward each other. Their lips crashed together, eagerly, hungrily, moans drifting over the water as their passion exploded. Her fingers tore at his wet hair and dug into his shoulders as she vainly tried to climb inside his mouth. His tongue plunged between her lips, demanding entrance in sexual imitation, thrusting deeply, repeatedly, while groans and whimpers of desire tore from his throat.

His legs scissored back and forth, slowly, steadily, to keep them both afloat, with each movement causing his overly excited manhood to press rhythmically against her stomach. Her legs lifted to wrap around his hips and suddenly it wasn’t her belly he was rubbing against anymore. He let out an audible gasp, feeling their sexes separated only by cotton and silk, thin swatches of fabric the only thing keeping Max from sealing his fate to her. His right hand slid down her back to her butt, feeling her curves and contours, pressing her harder against him while his rigid length stroked against her femininity.

Her hips took on a matching cadence as they bobbed intimately in the water, Max living on pure sensation, feeling the heat of her body burning away the chill of the water. His mouth consumed hers, nipping at her, sucking at her lower lip, stealing her breath from her, digging his fingers into her flesh as their lower bodies moved in an intimate dance.

His hips pumped against her with each stroke of his magnificent length taking them both closer to a place they’d never been. Liz felt her body tensing in the middle, on the verge of something new, grinding against him, feeling the heat of his body even through his shorts, burning right through to her very core.

Max fought the nearly overwhelming desire to swipe his hand between them, to make the barriers of their clothing disappear, to take his aching erection and bury himself in her depths, to feel her sheath him within her body. His climax was so close, just on the verge, feeling his body winding tighter and tighter toward that eminent, explosive release.

Max felt her small hand slide under the waistband of his boxers, felt her fingers fanning out to span over his butt, felt his underwear slipping further from his hips and the enormity of what they were doing broke through his sexual haze. He tore his lips from hers, taking in ragged gulps of air and staring into the heated depths of her eyes. She wanted him as much as he wanted her, he could see it in her eyes, but she had no idea what she was getting herself into. He had to stop this, before it went too far. Calling on all his willpower, his years of iron control, he forced himself to say the things he didn’t want to.

“Liz,” her name came out in a groan. “We –”

“I can’t stop . . .” her mouth flew at him, cutting off his words.

He kissed her back hard, desperately, and then his sense of responsibility reared again. “Liz,” he mumbled between heated kisses, torn between attacking her and tearing her away from him. “We can’t. We . . . it’s not safe.” He forced his hips to still their movements, to stop this dangerous dance between them. He stared into her eyes, trying to make her understand. “It’s not safe, for you . . . and me . . . it’s . . . not safe.”

Liz could see the heated look in his eyes and she knew he wasn’t rejecting her. She’d been afraid for a moment that he didn’t want her, but his eyes told her that he did. She looked behind her, over toward the dock, wondering if he carried any protection with him, in his pocket, or his wallet maybe?

The water lapped around their chests and shoulders and Max followed her line of sight, wondering what she was looking at. His breath caught in his throat when she turned back to him and she asked haltingly, “You don’t have . . . anything . . .?”

Max let his breath out slowly, trying to control his raging hormones. He purposely didn’t carry a condom in his wallet, so he wouldn’t be tempted. He couldn’t allow himself to make love to her until she knew the full ramifications of what that might mean, the risks that she would be taking making love to someone that wasn’t even human. He slowly shook his head back and forth and said, “No. I don’t. I didn’t . . . bring anything.”

“We could still . . .”

Still what? Was she actually about to suggest that they go ahead without protection? She’d never been that reckless in her life, but she ached for him. She wasn’t worried about disease. She was a virgin and she thought that he was, too. He’d never had a girlfriend before.

“Liz,” Max said longingly. “You have no idea how much I want . . . this,” a trembling smile curled his lips. “But . . . we can’t. It’s not . . . safe . . .”

“There are other . . . things . . . we could do . . .”

The tentative smile disappeared from his face as the meaning of her words sunk in. Would it be safe for her to touch him? For him to touch her? Every point where his skin was in contact with hers was screaming at him, alive with sensation. Her arms around his shoulders, her chest pressed against his, her nipples hard little points pressing into his flesh.

Her legs locked around him.

Her molten center hot against his rigid sex.

Her eyes looked wide and innocent, but the meaning of her words sent his desires raging out of control. His hand followed her lead, sliding under the elastic of her panties, cupping the pliant flesh of her butt, touching her more intimately than he ever dreamed. Sparks were igniting along his spine, racing along his nerve endings, clouding his mind in a sexual haze. He wasn’t even aware that he was moving through the water until his feet were climbing up the shore.

His hand was pressing her hard against him as the night air cloaked their wet skin. He was barely aware of the sand beneath his feet as their mouths hungrily kissed. He dropped to his knees on a patch of soft grass, cold and damp in the night air, but neither of them noticed the chill. He set her down on the ground, feeling her legs loosen their hold around his hips and he looked down at the majesty of her. Her breasts looked full and lush in the moonlight, her stiff nipples small and dark, her stomach flat and taut, her legs spread apart, still covered by a square of black silk that tantalizing hid the secrets of what lay beneath.

His hand gently touched her breast, cupping her from the side and below, brushing his thumb gently over her nipple, enthralled by how he could make it harden even more. His eyes darted between the exposed flesh of her body, and the beauty of her face, so full of desire and innocence at the same time. He hovered above her with his knees between her thighs, feeling her arms circle around him, her hands pulling him down to her, and then he was upon her, with his mouth hungrily taking hers and his body pressing her down into the grass.

His hands traveled over every bit of exposed skin he could touch, while her fingers dug into the muscles of his back, his butt, urging their sexes together even with the layers of wet silk and cotton separating them. His rigid length pressed against her welcoming body, feeling her heat burn right through him, knowing that if he let himself go all his hopes and his dreams could come true on this night. He could fulfill his every desire tonight. He could satisfy the craving in his body while his mind and his heart filled to overflowing with her love. The air around them filled with the sounds of heated moans escaping from their throats, while a battle raged in Max’s mind, between wanting her and wanting to keep her safe, and safe was losing.

Max tore his lips from hers to move down her throat, kissing her, tasting her, nipping at her skin. He sucked at the hollow at the base of her throat, nipped at the ridge of her collarbone, and then moved lower between the swell of her breasts. His hand kneaded and squeezed her, stimulating her prominent nipple into a hard peak and feeling her arch up toward him. A moan of pure pleasure tore from her throat as his mouth clamped down on that prominent peak sending tingling sensations straight to her core.

“Max . . .” Liz sighed in pleasure. God! Was this feeling he was causing in her normal? She’d read countless books and magazines on the human sexual experience, but nothing on those pages gave justice to what Max was making her feel. The sensations that swept through her body with just the touch of his hands or his lips were beyond written word, and she hadn’t even climaxed yet. How would she ever survive one?

He tore his lips away and paused just to stare at her. At her beauty. At her grace. At her elegance. His eyes drank in every line, ever curve, every square inch of her body and committed it to memory.

Liz. His Liz. Forever Liz.

His hand cupped her breast lovingly, intimately, while his mouth reclaimed what was his, feeling her arch up beneath him, withering in growing bliss under his rapt attention. Had anything ever felt this good before? His hand squeezing her breast, his mouth loving her nipple, his heated skin all over hers? She arched higher feeling a cry bubble up from her throat and then she saw the lights flash through the trees.

Headlights. From a car.

“Max,” she tightened her hand in his hair and he froze at the sudden worried tone that filled her voice. “Someone’s here.”

“What?” he tore his mouth away from her breast and moved higher, positioning his body to shield her, to protect her. The sound of an engine rumbled through the trees and tires crunched over gravel, followed by the faint squeal of breaks as the vehicle came to a stop and the engine cut off. Moments later a car door opened and slammed closed.

“Shit,” Max scrambled to his knees and then his feet, pulling Liz up with him. He looked around wildly, trying to find a place to hide her, somewhere she would be safe until he could retrieve their clothes and get her out of here. He silently berated himself for his foolishness, wondering how he could have been so stupid to expose her out here like this.

“Max,” Liz whispered with her arms crossed over her chest. “Someone’s coming.”

He could hear it, too. Footsteps on the gravel, coming toward the lake.

“C’mon,” Max hunched over her protectively with his arm around her shoulders. He couldn’t let anyone see her like this. “Over here,” he urged.

He led her back to the lake trying not to splash as he hurried them toward the dock. Waist deep in the water now, he urged her under the pilings, to hide in the dank space underneath the wood slats of the dock. It was dark, and the water was cold, and both of them could feel the chill seep into their bones.

“Stay here,” he whispered and moved away from her.

“Where are you going?” she grabbed for him. She didn’t want to be left here alone.

“To get our clothes,” Max kept his voice low. She was hugging herself tightly and Max couldn’t tell if she was cold, or scared, or both. “Just stay here. I’ll be right back.”

She hovered in the narrow space between the water and the underside of the dock, watching Max as he levered himself out of the water. He reached upwards, stretching to grab her clothes and all Liz could see of him was his taut stomach muscles and the wet material of his shorts molding around his body. He hoisted himself up a little higher and then she could see the shadow of his arm through the slats in the wood above her, reaching for something and pulling it closer. He dropped back into view with her clothes and shoes in his hands and handed them to her, careful to keep them above the waterline.

“Here,” he whispered and pressed them into her hands. “I’ll be right back.”

She clutched her things to her chest and watched him swim a few feet down the dock, closer to his own clothes. He was back quickly, holding his things above the water to keep them dry and he rejoined Liz just barely in time. He wrapped one arm around her and pulled her close, feeling her head rest against his chest, while the sound of footsteps echoed loudly in the crawlspace they were hiding in. Someone was walking on the dock above them.

The beam of a flashlight cut through the slats in the wood, swinging left and right, back and forth, and Max could feel the tremors in Liz’s body growing stronger. Her teeth began to chatter from the cold with goose bumps standing out sharply on her skin, and Max silently cursed himself for getting her into this mess. He should have known better. He should have controlled his overactive hormones. What had he been thinking, skinny dipping in the lake, exposing her like this? What would her father do to him if they got caught out here? Would he ban him from seeing Liz? Would he try to keep them apart?

The footsteps passed by overhead and they watched the beam of light as it danced through the slats in the wood until it reached the end of the dock. It paused there, sweeping back and forth, and then turned back in their direction. The footsteps neared again and then paused right above them. Max and Liz held their breaths and tried not to make a sound, and then a voice drifted down from above, a voice they both recognized.

Deputy Hansen.

“Everything’s quiet here,” Hansen spoke into the walkie talkie affixed to his shoulder. “It was probably just kids goofing off on a Saturday night. There’s a jeep up in the parking lot registered to a Max Evans, a high school kid, but he’s nowhere in sight. I’ll leave a ticket on the windshield for parking illegally after hours, and then I’ll head back in to the station.”

“Roger that,” a voice crackled from the speaker.

The beam of the flashlight made its way back up the dock accompanied by the Deputy’s footsteps and Max listened closely, waiting for the coast to be clear. A few minutes later an engine came to life and the police cruiser pulled away and Max led Liz out of the water and up to dry land.

“Liz,” he dropped his clothes in a pile on the ground so he could rub his hands up and down her shivering arms. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry about this. I never would have brought you here if I’d known this was going to happen.”

“Max,” Liz tried to speak through her chattering teeth. “It’s okay. It’s not your fault. Somebody in one of the nearby houses must have heard me shouting and called in a disturbance. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have been so noisy.”

“Let me get you home,” Max pulled the shirt out of her hands and began to dress her. He wasn’t very cold thanks to his alien metabolism, but he could see that Liz was freezing. He thought her lips might even be turning blue. The temperature must have dropped 20 degrees since they got here, and he suspected the heatwave was coming to a rapid end. He needed to get her into the jeep, and get the heater going. That would help warm her up. He helped her into her pants and then her shoes, and it was only after she was completely dressed that he turned to his own clothes and hastily put them on.

He kept his arm around her all the way to the jeep, trying to use his body heat to keep her warm. She shivered the whole way there but just before he helped her climb inside, she paused and cupped his face with her cold hands.

Looking into his tense gaze, she said reassuringly, “I had the best time of my life tonight. Thank you.” She could see by the sorrowful look in his eyes that he was feeling guilt, or remorse, for them nearly getting caught in a compromising position. She wanted him to know without a shadow of a doubt that she didn’t regret a single moment of tonight.

“Promise me we can come back and do this again,” her eyes held his unwaveringly.

She could see his hesitance, his reluctance, and then just the barest of a smile touched his lips. His hands lifted to cup her face too, and he said softly, “Next time, I’ll make sure we bring bathing suits.”

“Oh, absolutely not,” Liz shook her head back and forth and then laughed at the surprised look on his face. “I’ll skinny dip with you any day, Max. That’s what made it so much fun!” She kissed him quickly, feeling his lips curving into a much bigger smile than he’d had a moment ago, and then she climbed into the jeep while he stood there stunned, just watching her.

“You know,” Max finally found his voice. “You’re pretty amazing, Liz Parker.”

“So are you, Max Evans,” Liz smiled through her chattering teeth. “Now take me home before I turn into an ice cube.”

Max hurried to the back of the jeep first, and retrieved the blanket that he kept stored there. He wrapped it securely around Liz to help fight off the chill, and then hurried around to the driver’s side to take her back home. It had been an amazing night, with an amazing girl, and even though it had ended on a bad note, it couldn’t take away the joy that being with her had given him.

He couldn’t stop smiling the whole way home.

Neither could she.

Look for the next part on Sunday night.

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Nov-2002 2:03:05 AM ]
posted on 25-Nov-2002 12:51:01 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Best Fluff Fanfic

Author note: Sorry I’m late! I got caught up in reading flomac’s Will you still love me and I lost track of time. Liz just got in the wreck and Bella is going to be waiting at school but no one will be there to pick her up and Max doesn’t know where Liz is or what school Bella goes to and he’s frantically trying to find out and Jeffrey just went to Sacramento because his father had a heart attack so he won’t be there to help! Whew! I have to post this quick so I can go back there and read some more!!! I sure hope Liz didn’t get hurt too bad in the wreck!

Okay, now back to my story . . .
To ChrissyP47, and everyone else who is bothered that Max hasn’t told Liz his little secret yet. I know you are anxious for Max to tell her the truth so their relationship isn’t based on lies or deceit, but keep in mind that Max has spent his whole life hiding this secret. He’s never told his parents. For years he isolated himself from people, never developing friendships for fear of being found out. I hope this part helps you see how he feels about it.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 42

The timer went off on the stove and Michael ditched the remote control he was holding so he could point his hand toward the kitchen to silence the irritating racket. He’d get the pizza in a minute, but right now the Red Wings were down to 30 seconds left on a power play and it looked like they were about to score. He couldn’t miss that, now could he?

A knock sounded at the door, which Michael tried to ignore, and then it came again a little more insistently, making Michael mumble a curse. “Who the fuck’s bugging me during the game? They got a death wish or somethin?” The knock sounded even louder and Michael shouted out, “GO AWAY!”

The front door to his apartment opened and Max stepped inside, shaking his head at his best friend. Michael was way too obsessed with hockey.

“SCORE!” Michael threw his arms up in the air and smiled widely at the TV. “RED WINGS RULE!”

“Michael,” Max goaded. “You seriously need help.”

“What the fuck you doing here?” Michael headed into the kitchen to get the pizza before it burned.

“Good to see you, too,” Max quipped.

“You hungry?” Michael tore off two paper towels when he saw Max shrug noncommittally. He cut the pizza in large slices and handed one to Max before heading back into the living room with the rest. “So why aren’t you someplace with Liz making goo goo eyes?”

“She’s sick,” Max sank down on a corner of the couch and stared at the suddenly unappetizing pizza.

“Sick?” Michael whipped his head in Max’s direction. “Does it have anything to do –”

“No, Michael,” Max rolled his eyes. “She has a cold. Just a cold. There’s no ‘alien’ connection, except . . .”

“’cep wha?” Michael asked around a mouthful of pizza.

“Except she caught the cold because of me,” Max looked at Michael with guilt ridden eyes. He’d just come from seeing her, and she’d been coughing and sneezing up a storm. He wanted to heal her so badly, but of course he couldn’t. She’d looked so miserable, with puffy eyes and a nose that was redder than Rudolph’s, but if he healed her, she’d know there was something different about him and he’d have to tell her the truth, and he didn’t think he was ready for that yet.

“What’d you do to her?” Michael asked accusingly after he swallowed.

“I didn’t ‘DO’ anything to her,” Max bristled. Michael just stared at him until Max reluctantly admitted, “We went swimming at the lake last weekend and she got chilled, and then she came down with a cold.”

“You do know its November, right?” Michael arched his eyebrows. “Most people don’t go swimming at the lake in November. The water is fricking cold in November.”

“Well, it didn’t feel that cold at the time,” Max shot back and then couldn’t help the smile that crossed his face at the memory of that night.

“What the hell were you doing out there with her at this time of ye–” Michael started to say and then his eyes opened wider. “Did you fuck her? Is that why –”

“Michael!” Max cut him off sharply. “No! I didn’t fu – No, I didn’t!”

“But you wanted to,” Michael said, reading the expression on his friends face.

Max shifted uncomfortably at his end of the couch and then slowly nodded his head. “Yeah. I wanted to.”

“But . . .” Michael waited for Max to get it off his chest.

“But,” Max met his gaze and turned away. “I can’t. I won’t. Not until . . .”

“Until?” Michael wasn’t looking away.

Max met his gaze head-on, knowing Michael wasn’t going to like what he was about to say. “I can’t be with her like that until . . . until she knows the truth.” He could see Michael bristling, ready to object, and Max hurried on. “I want to tell Liz the truth about us. I will tell her the truth. But not . . . until . . . you and Isabel agree. I know that I’m not the only one involved here.”

Michael stared at him long and hard, and then said in a deadly serious tone, “And what if I never agree?”

Max stared back, knowing Michael meant it. Michael had always been the one more connected to his alien nature, maybe because life had dealt him such a shitty hand. Humanity had never treated him kindly. “Michael, don’t . . . don’t say that . . .”

Michael held his gaze for a minute more and then looked away. He knew how Max felt about Liz. Everybody knew it. Max wore his heart on his sleeve where she was concerned. Just like he couldn’t get Maria out of his – NO! He wasn’t going to go there. Maria didn’t mean anything to him. Nothing. She was annoying. Irritating. A gigantic pain in the ass. What was she doing right now? Sleeping? In her bed? Taking a shower? A bath? A bubble bath? Oh fuck!

Trying to get the image of a naked Maria out of his mind, Michael picked up the remote he’d dropped earlier. Now that the hockey game was over, he wondered what else was on. He flipped through the channels slowly while he munched on his pizza, not finding much of interest, until the screen suddenly filled with the image of naked bodies going at it. Bare breasts. Bare butts. Nipples. Pubic hair.

Max tilted his head to the side with his eyes glued to the screen, and asked, “When did you get cable? I thought you couldn’t afford it.”

“The neighbor’s got it,” Michael watched the screen intently. “I spliced into it.”

“Um,” Max studied the technique, “isn’t that illegal?”

“Yeah,” Michael nodded. “So sue me.”

The couple on the screen were going at it hot and heavy and Max and Michael couldn’t tear their eyes away. Max wondered if Liz would like him to do that to her. Michael wondered if he was ever going to get a chance to try that on anybody.

“Michael,” Max said with determination. “After the play is over, I want to tell Liz everything. Everything that I know. Are you gonna have a problem with that?”

“No,” Michael wasn’t really paying attention. He was too busy wondering if Maria was really a blonde like that chick on the screen, or if her blonde hair was only on her head.

Max’s eyes were riveted to the screen and then to his horror something exploded out of the guys back, something vile, something hideous, something alien. Tentacles of some kind snaked through the air and tore the unsuspecting woman apart. Blood was everywhere, and Max’s worst nightmare played out on the screen.

“OH JESUS!” the words hissed out of his mouth. It was what he feared the most, that loving Liz Parker would bring out the alien monster inside him, and he would destroy her in the blink of an eye, with no control to stop it.

“It’s just a movie, Max,” Michael switched the channel quickly with the remote control. “It’s not real.”

“It could be . . .” Max tossed his unfinished pizza on the coffee table and rose to his feet. He was sickened by what he just saw, Hollywood’s version of alien life on Earth, reminding him of what kind of freak he really was.

“Max, we’re not like that,” Michael flipped the channel to the cartoon network and left it there. He tossed the remote aside, and watched Max as his friend paced around the room.

Max rubbed his hand across his face trying unsuccessfully to fight off his demons. What if making love to Liz made him change into the monster that he knew lived inside him? What if his overpowering urge to be with her triggered some metamorphosis from within, and turned him into some hideous alien beast?

What if the ultimate act of loving her caused her harm . . . or even death?

“Max, we’re not like that,” Michael said again.

“You don’t know that,” Max shot a tortured look at Michael and kept up his nervous pacing. “We don’t know what we are, what we’re really like. Hell, for all we know, maybe we were sent here to exterminate mankind!”

“You’re a healer, Max,” Michael said with conviction. His tone caused Max to stop his pacing and the two boys locked eyes together. “We all have gifts, and yours is healing. A giver of life. You could never kill anyone. There’s nothing violent about you.”

Max stared at his friend, wanting to believe what he was saying. His words sounded heartfelt, and Max couldn’t help but feel grateful to Michael for at least trying to ease his fears. He knew Michael wasn’t happy about his deepening relationship with Liz, and he could have easily played on those fears in a bid to keep the two of them apart.

“Thanks,” Max finally said.

“It’s the truth. Look,” Michael laid it out, getting his own worries off his chest. “I have strong reservations about you and Liz. You know I don’t want her to know about us. You know I think you don’t have any business being anywhere near her. But, it’s not because I think you would cause her any harm. I don’t trust them, any of them. I can’t help it.”

“You can trust Liz,” Max returned to his place on the couch. “I do.”

“I don’t.”

The two boys stared at each other from opposite ends of the couch and then in unison they turned their attention toward the TV, watching the cartoons on the screen but not really seeing them. Michael had always mistrusted humans. Even in his earliest memories he had instinctively known they were dangerous and couldn’t be trusted. It was why he had hidden behind the rocks when the car found Max and Isabel that night in the desert. It was why he had fought like a feral animal when the deputy found him hiding out in the barn on the old Pohlman ranch. It was why he had never reported the years of abuse he had suffered at the hands of a succession of foster parents. It wasn’t easy to let go of beliefs that had been seeded from a time before he was born.

Michael was the first to break the silence between them, uttering two simple little words that represented a profound change in his thinking, his actions, his way of life. Until now, trust had been an emotion reserved solely for the three of them, three aliens living on planet Earth. How could he be expected to trust a human, to trust Liz, just because Max asked him to?

With his eyes still glued to the television, Michael said softly, “I’ll try.”

* * * * *

Michael rapped his knuckles on her partially opened door and listened for her response. Liz might be sleeping and if so he didn’t want to wake her. He knew rest was the best medicine for her. Well, Max was probably the best medicine for her, but that was another matter.

“Come in,” Liz’s raspy voice called out and Michael pushed into her bedroom. The surprise was evident on her face when he walked in and doubled when she saw he was holding out a steaming mug of tea for her. She sat up in bed with the covers pulled up around her and asked, “What’s this?”

“A DeLuca Special guaranteed to cure your cold,” Michael grinned when he saw her wrinkle her nose. “Don’t worry, it not only smells good, it tastes good, too. It’s tea, with lemon and honey. I left all the gross stuff out. Don’t tell Maria.”

“Thank you, Michael,” Liz took the steaming brew out of his hand, touched that he had brought this up to her. It seemed like such an unMichael like thing to do. Most of the time it seemed like he barely tolerated her, except she had to admit that lately he had been a little nicer. He was still gruff and impatient most of the time, but every once in a while he would do something nice like this, and for a while she would believe maybe he didn’t hate her after all. She took a tentative sip and then her eyes opened wide in pleasure. “Michael, this is good! Really good!”

“Thanks,” he dropped his eyes and shifted uncomfortably, unused to hearing praise and not sure how to react to it.

“Maybe we should add this to the menu,” Liz decided to tease him a little, to ease his obvious discomfort. “We can call it Space Brew!”

“How about Earl of the Greys,” Michael joked back. “You know, Earl Grey tea and little grey aliens with big black eyes? Get it? Earl of the Greys?”

“That’s a good one Michael,” Liz chuckled, which sent her into a coughing fit. She looked pretty miserable and Michael stepped closer to her, patting her on the back awkwardly and wishing he could do something for her.

A tapping at the window drew their attention and Liz’s hacking subsided. Max was crouched outside on her balcony, staring in at them through the glass. Liz set the tea on her nightstand and scrambled off the bed to let him in. Unlocking the window she lifted it quickly, suddenly feeling better all ready.

“Max. Hi!” she stood beside the window in her flannel pajamas. “I didn’t think I’d see you tonight.”

“I just got off work,” Max climbed through the window and stood close to her. “I wanted to come by and see how you were feeling.” His gaze swept over to Michael and he said, “Hey, what are you doing here?”

“Michael brought . . . brought . . . me some . . . tea –” Liz answered and proceeded to sneeze her head off. Max handed her a couple of tissues from a box on her desk and she blew her nose, looking at him in embarrassment.

“Medicinal tea,” Michael added for Max’s benefit. “Maria said it’s a surefire cure for the common cold. If Liz is lucky,” Michael said pointedly, “maybe it will work as well as that salve she gave me worked on my lip. You drink that up, Liz,” Michael shifted his attention back to her, “and I bet you’ll be fine by morning.”

Michael lifted the tea from the nightstand and handed it to her, sending a look toward Max as soon as she took the cup out of his hand. Max picked up Michael’s insinuation and he lifted his hand to cup the back of her head. As soon as she took a sip his hand began to glow, sending her just enough of his healing power to help her, without giving himself away. It was over quickly and the two boys exchanged a glance, Max feeling grateful that Michael had found a way for him to heal Liz without exposure, and Michael feeling oddly warmed by it all. It felt good to help out a friend.

“Wow,” Liz said after swallowing the warm brew. “Maybe this stuff really does work. I feel better already!”

“I told ya,” Michael played it off as completely natural. “Well,” he hitched his thumb over his shoulder, pointing toward the door. “I have to go back to work now.”

“Thank you,” Liz gave his arm a squeeze.

“Yeah, Michael,” Max said sincerely, “thanks.” Their eyes locked for a moment and Max saw that Michael knew what he meant. For years Michael had insisted he couldn’t use his healing powers on humans, it was too dangerous, but tonight he’d willingly given his permission, even actively encouraged it. That was a huge shift in his way of thinking, a giant change in his attitude, and Max wasn’t going to forget that.

“Yeah,” Michael said awkwardly and headed toward the door. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”

Michael disappeared quickly down the hallway and Max stared at the empty door in deep thought. If he wasn’t mistaken, the last barrier that prevented him from telling Liz the truth had just come crumbling down. Only a couple more weeks now, and then he’d be able to tell her everything. Just as soon as the play was over and everything settled down.

Now he just had to figure out how to tell her.

He felt Liz set the empty teacup down on the nightstand and he turned his attention back to her. “You better get back into bed now.” Max put his hand on her back and guided her in that direction, pulling back the covers to make sure she settled in comfortably. He sat on the bed beside her, taking her hands between his, and looked adoringly down into her face. “You sleep now,” he kissed the back of her hand. “We’ve got that big rehearsal tomorrow and you need all the rest you can get.”

“You take such good care of me,” Liz squeezed his hands and settled into her pillows.

“Only because I love you so much,” Max leaned over her and brushed her hair back from her face. Her eyes still looked red and itchy, and her nose wasn’t much better, but he thought she still looked beautiful.

“Max,” she sighed his name and cupped his cheek with her palm. “I love you, too.” She felt him lean closer, with his lips nearing hers, and she knew he was about to kiss her. “Don’t,” she warned and touched her fingers to his lips. “I’m contagious. You’ll just end up sick, too.”

Max pulled her fingers away from his mouth and smiled down at her. “You infected me a long time ago. Who cares about a little cold bug when I need my Lizfix? I can live with a cold, but I can’t last another minute without kissing you.”

Her eyes closed in bliss as he leaned down and kissed her forehead, and then her cheeks, and then finally her lips. He let his hand slip behind her head and he sent another wave of healing into her to finish what he had started earlier. He kept the kiss short and innocent because she needed rest and when he parted his lips from hers he could see that she was feeling better already. He smiled at her, secretly wondering if she felt better because of the healing, or the kisses.

“Goodnight, Liz,” he brushed his lips over her forehead one last time before rising from the bed.

“Goodnight, Max,” she watched him cross over to her window and let himself out.

In the morning she wouldn’t stop to wonder why the window was locked when Max had been the last one through it, and she hadn’t gotten out of bed to lock it behind him. She would be too busy marveling at how wonderful she felt, and praising Michael’s tea.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the next update will probably be next Sunday.

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 25-Nov-2002 1:16:50 AM ]
posted on 2-Dec-2002 1:17:59 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Best Fluff Fanfic

Author note: I hope everyone that celebrated the holiday had a good one! The board isn’t being too kind to me tonight, so I’m crossing my fingers that this will post right.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 43

Max pulled up in front of Michael’s apartment building and watched for him, hoping he wouldn’t have to get out of the jeep to hurry his ass up. Liz was waiting at the Crashdown for him to pick her up, and if Michael didn’t get his butt out here soon, he and Liz were going to be late for rehearsal. His fingers tapped anxiously on the steering wheel, and he was just about to abandon Michael all together, when he finally burst through the front door and hurried down the walkway to the jeep, pulling on a jacket as he ran.

“Hey, man,” Michael yanked the door open and hopped inside. “I really appreciate the ride.” Max popped the clutch and put the jeep in gear before Michael could even get the door closed.

“What happened to your bike?” Max shot him a quick look while he maneuvered his way around traffic.

“It’s in the shop being repaired. Something’s wrong with the carburetor.”

“You couldn’t just . . . ?” Max finished his sentence by swiping his hand through the air, with his palm glowing yellow.

“I tried,” Michael shrugged indifferently, “but it didn’t work.” He felt Max’s questioning eyes on him and he broke down and admitted, “I tried to fix the damn thing, but I almost blew it up instead. I decided I better let the experts fix it before I destroyed it beyond repair.”

“When do you get it back?” Max downshifted for a red light. The engine quieted as it idled, just enough for Max to hear Michael’s muttered response.

“As soon as I earn enough money to pay for it,” Michael mumbled and stared out the window.

“Michael,” Max waited for his friend to look at him. When their eyes met, Max asked, “Do you need some money? I’ve got some money in savings –”

“I don’t need your charity,” Michael looked away. He was fiercely independent, and didn’t ask for help from anyone. Not even Max.

“I’m not offering charity,” Max slipped the jeep into gear when the light turned green. “I’m offering a loan, which I expect to be paid back – with interest.”

Michael’s stiff demeanor softened and he turned his eyes from the window, looking at Max now with gratitude reflected in his eyes. Teasingly, he said, “With interest? You’re a real hard ass, aren’t ya?”

“Hard ass?” Max arched his eyebrows and smirked. “Actually, Liz says my ass is the only thing about me that’s NOT hard.”

“Comments like that are gonna scar me for life,” Michael wagged a warning finger at Max and then snorted a laugh.

Max’s eyes were filled with humor now, and his anxiety of a few minutes ago had lifted. Changing the subject, he pointed at Michael’s feet and said, “Give me that CD down there.”

“What CD?” Michael looked around his feet but he couldn’t find anything.

“There’s a Radiohead CD down there,” Max tried to concentrate on his driving.

“I don’t see nothing,” Michael insisted.

“Check under the seat,” Max suggested. He’d seen the CD earlier. It had to be there.

Michael reached under the seat and felt around for the familiar shape of a CD jewel case, and instead found something else. He pinched it between his index finger and his thumb, and pulled it gingerly out from under the seat. “I didn’t find the CD, but I did find this. You want to tell me about it?”

“Wha–” Max started to ask and then nearly drove off the road when he saw what Michael was holding up in the air, for the whole world to see.

“B-cup, huh?” Michael teased.

Max’s eyes nearly bugged out of his head when he saw the bra Michael was holding in his hand. A black bra. Liz’s black bra. Holy shit! It must have slid under the seat last week, after they went skinny dipping at the lake, or was it from the day they got caught out in the rain storm out at the rocks? Either way, it was Liz’s bra, and Michael was holding it in his hand! Crap!

“GIVE IT HERE!” Max swerved all over the road trying to get it away from Michael. The bastard was teasing him, holding it just out of his grasp, just beyond his fingertips.

“How did this get under the front seat of your jeep, Maxwell?” Michael dangled it beyond his reach. “I thought you said you haven’t fu –”

“I haven’t!” Max shouted indignantly and tore the bra away from Michael. He wadded it up in his hand, but just the feel of the silk and the lace was enough to make his body react. After all, it was silk and lace that had caressed Liz’s breasts.

“Then how’d her bra end up under your front seat? The logical conclusion is that you took it off her, here in the jeep.”

“You don’t even know it belongs to Liz,” Max countered. “Maybe it’s Isabel’s! Maybe it fell out of her gym bag when she was using the jeep!”

“Max,” Michael looked at him like he had lost his mind. “That bra is a b-cup. It’s not Isabel’s.”

Max stared at him with his mouth not working and no easy comeback floating from his lips. He was saved further comment when a siren roared to life behind him and Max looked into his rear view mirror to see the flashing lights of Roswell’s finest. Shit! He pulled over to the side of the road and silently watched the sheriff’s cruiser come to a stop behind him. Max lifted his hand to run it over his face in exasperation, knowing he was about to get another ticket and silently lamenting how that was going to affect his insurance, and then he realized he still had Liz’s bra in his hand. Hastily, he tucked it between his legs, and then a strangled groan escaped his lips. Was he really sitting on Liz’s bra now? Jesus, he could feel it under his ass. His hormones were raging again. Talk about bad timing.

Max watched his side mirror and after what seemed like a lifetime, the driver’s side door of the cruiser opened and none other than Sheriff Valenti made the slow walk up to his car. Max rolled his window down and the Sheriff tipped his hat, holding his ticket book in his hand while he leaned down and looked inside.

“License and registration, please.”

“Yes, of course,” Max said politely and motioned for Michael to open the glove box. Michael fished out the registration while Max reached into his wallet to retrieve his license, and he asked the Sheriff, “Did I do something wrong, Sir?”

“You were weaving all over the road, Mister . . . Evans,” Valenti said after scrutinizing the license. “Have you been drinking?”

“Absolutely not,” Max’s voice clearly reflected shock. He might have a lot of secrets, but a teenage drinking problem wasn’t one of them. A panicky thought struck him and he wondered if Sheriff Valenti was going to have him climb out of the jeep to do a sobriety test! He’d see Liz’s bra for sure!

“Where are you headed in such a hurry, son?” Valenti asked and then the name sunk in. Max Evans. Was this the Max Evans Kyle talked about?

“Um,” Max stuttered. “Ah, my friend is late for work –”

“Evans,” Valenti repeated the name, deep in thought. “Are you the Max Evans that’s in the school play that’s coming up? I think my son called it Maxeo and Lizziet?”

“Um, yes and no,” Max flashed an awkward smile at the sheriff and a glare at Michael who was choking back a laugh next to him. “I am the Max Evans in the play, but it’s actually Romeo and Juliet, not, um, Maxeo and . . .” his voice wavered when he noticed Michael’s shoulders shaking in laughter. Red with embarrassment, Max looked at the Sheriff again, saying, “Kyle just calls it that to tease us.”

“Oh. I get it,” a smile creased Jim’s face. “Kyle’s got quite a sense of humor. Look Max, I don’t normally let kids off the hook just because they’re friends of my son, but Kyle speaks highly of you, so I’m gonna let you go this time. Be careful of your driving and pay attention to the road. Arrive alive,” Jim finished and tipped his hat affably. He was letting Max off with just a warning.

“Will do, Sheriff,” Max nodded and tried not to show his surprise.

“Since when are you friends with the Sheriff’s son?” Michael turned in his seat and watched through the back window as Valenti walked back to his cruiser.

“I don’t know,” Max put his license away and returned his wallet to his back pocket. “Kyle is a friend of Liz’s, so maybe I get friend privileges via association.”

“Friend privileges?” Michael stared at Max in amusement. What the hell were friend privileges?

“Well, it got me out of a ticket, so I’m not complaining.” Max slowly eased back into traffic and tried to ignore his friend sitting next to him. He couldn’t ignore the presence of Liz’s little black bra under his butt, though, or the way it made his libido kick into high gear.

* * * * *

“Thanks for the ride,” Michael scrambled out of the jeep and headed into the Crashdown at a fast clip for his Saturday afternoon shift. He knew he complained about his job a lot, but the truth was Mr. Parker was a generous boss. When Michael went to him, asking for extra hours so he could afford to fix his bike, Mr. Parker had readily agreed. Michael didn’t want to repay that generosity by being late.

Just as he reached out for the door handle to the restaurant, the door flew open and someone was practically jumping into his arms. Michael’s instinct to fight first and ask questions later kicked in and he almost blasted his attacker, until he realized who it was. Liz. For some unfathomable reason, Liz Parker had him in a bear hug and was kissing his cheek! What the fuck was that all about?

“Michael!” Liz kissed his startled face. “Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!”

“For what?” Michael’s eyes almost bugged out when she kissed him again, this time on the left cheek. His eyes darted over to Max who was climbing out of the jeep and watching the two of them with keen interest.

“For the tea! I woke up this morning and my cold was gone! I feel wonderful! THANK YOU!” Liz hugged him again.

“Um,” Michael stood there stiffly, knowing her condition had nothing to do with the tea. He looked at Max helplessly, not sure what to say to her. “Um, your welcome?”

“Max!” Liz bounded over to him, full of energy. “Look! No Rudolph nose. No itchy, watery eyes. No sneezing my brains out! My cold is gone! All thanks to Michael and his fabulous tea!”

“Yeah,” Max wrapped her in his arms and shot a look at Michael over her shoulder. “Michael’s tea.” Was that jealousy he was feeling? Because Liz thought Michael had cured her, when it really had been him? He wanted her to know so badly, to proudly show her the special things he could do, like making her cold go away. But not yet. He still had to figure out how to tell her, in a way that wouldn’t scare her to death.

“Do you know what this means, Max?” her face looked into his, radiant with color.

“You don’t have to stockpile cases of Kleenex anymore?” Max tried to make light of it.

“It means I’m not contagious anymore,” she faced him eagerly. “Now I can do this without suffocating!” Her arms were suddenly around his shoulders and her lips flew at his, kissing him with enough intensity to take his breath away. He staggered backwards under her assault, surprised that she would kiss him this way in front of her parent’s restaurant, and then all thought left his mind. How could he think when her arms where around him and her lips were on him and her body was pressing against him?

Her hands were threading through his hair and pulling him down to meet her hungry mouth, and who was he to resist? Her kisses were too good, too sweet, and he had no willpower against her. Her hands were moving over the back of his neck making his skin flame at her very touch, and he pulled her tightly against him, pressing his hand against the small of her back.

He kissed her back with a force equal to hers and it was only through years of practicing rigid self control that he kept his hand on her back, instead of letting it drop down lower, the way he wanted to. Their tongues touched sending flames of desire through both their bodies and Max had to break off the kiss before he took her right there on the sidewalk.

“Wow,” he said, struggling to catch a breath. “I guess you are feeling better.”

“Thanks to Michael,” she turned to look at him with a grateful smile on her face – which turned to stunned surprise. Not only was Michael staring at them, but half the customers in the restaurant were pressing their faces against the windows, watching the spectacle on the sidewalk.

Max stood up straight and positioned Liz directly in front of him, so no one could see that he was sporting a boner the size of Texas. His gaze swept over the faces that were staring at them through the window, and he nearly died when his eyes locked on Mr. Parker’s. Liz’s father was staring right at him, looking every bit the overprotective father, and – and, was he still carrying around that butcher knife? Yes, yes he was! And this time he was sharpening it! The blade was glinting in the sunlight!

“We,” Max squeaked out and then cleared his throat. “Um, we better go or we’ll be late for the rehearsal,” he managed to say and turned Liz toward the jeep with his hands on her shoulders. He kept glancing back over his shoulder to see if Mr. Parker was running at him yet, with the knife raised above his head, like a scene out of the movie Psycho. He could hear the discordant strands of music in his head, the strident violins that rang out when the knife arced through the air, and Max whipped his head around half expecting to see Mr. Parker looming over him, wearing a wig and shouting “Mother”!

He wasn’t, though, and Max helped Liz climb into the jeep before running around to his side and hopping in. He remembered too late what he had left sitting on the front seat and before he could stop her, Liz had picked up her little black bra and held it dangling from her hand.

“I’ve been looking for this for two weeks!” Liz cried out in surprise and Max felt his face turning bright red. “What’s it doing here?”

He snatched it out of her hand and looked to the window quickly, but he was certain the damage was already done. If Mr. Parker saw that he had Liz’s bra in his car, he wouldn’t be eating any more Mercury Bacon Burgers on Mondays. He’d probably be the burger. Mr. Parker would probably grind him up in the back room and serve him on a platter.

“What are you doing with my bra in your car?” Liz asked, this time keeping her voice down. Her cheeks were turning as red as his now.

“Nothing,” Max was twisting it nervously in his hands, not even aware he was doing it. If he had known it was in his car, he would have given it back to her right away. Right after he took it in his house and rubbed it all over his body. Right after he let that silky material rub up and down his hard–


“W–what?” Max tried to look innocent, to not betray his lust filled thoughts. “It was under the front seat. It must have fallen there after we got caught in the rain out at the rocks. You – you must have left it here. Michael found it when –”

“MICHAEL FOUND MY BRA IN YOUR CAR?” Liz was mortified. Oh God! She tried to pull it out of his hand but Max’s fingers had a mind of their own. He didn’t want to let go. She tugged harder and Max felt the elastic pulling through his fingers. Couldn’t he keep it, just for a little while? “Max!” Liz scolded. “Let go!”

“Is everything all right here?” Jeff Parker asked from the driver’s side of the jeep. At the sound of his voice, Max let go of the bra and it shot across the jeep like a rubber band. He whipped his head to the left toward her father’s voice, with Psycho music screaming in his head.

“Fine!” Max blurted out. “Everything’s fine!”

Jeff stared at the two red faced kids, wondering what was going on. What were they fighting over in the car? Jeff turned his focus to his daughter and asked, “Liz?”

“What? Yes! Fine!” she sat rigidly in her seat. “Everything’s fine!”

Jeff darted his eyes back and forth between them, knowing something was up, just not sure what. On second thought, maybe he didn’t want to know. Turning from unpleasant thoughts of horny teenagers, he asked Liz, “Are you going to be home for dinner?”

Liz shifted her gaze to Max and lifted an eyebrow questioningly. She’d been so sick yesterday, they hadn’t really made plans beyond the rehearsal. “I don’t –”

“No,” Max broke in and then hastily added, “we don’t know how long rehearsal will last, so we’ll just get a bite to eat after we’re done.” He turned to Liz quickly and added, “Is that okay with you?”

“Yes,” Liz nodded her head in agreement. “That would probably be best, since we don’t know how late we’ll be. We’ll get something later, when we’re done. With practice. Rehearsal. When’s it’s over. When practice is over. And we’re not rehearsing. Anymore.” Liz knew she was rambling, but she couldn’t help it. She was hoping and praying that her father couldn’t see her bra, which was currently on the floor by her feet. She tried to nudge it under the seat.

“Okay,” Jeff stepped back from the jeep when Max started the engine. He engaged the clutch and slipped the gear into reverse, while Liz leaned over to grab her bra. Jeff stepped forward again and Liz dropped it like a hot potato. “Liz?” Jeff asked. “When can we expect you home?”

“I don’t know, Dad,” Liz stared at him and decided to leave her bra under the seat. It was safer there. After all, it’d been there for two weeks before it was detected, right? Maybe she should leave it there for two more! “I’ll call you if we’re gonna be late, okay?”

“Sure, Lizzie,” Jeff smiled at his daughter and then turned a more serious look at Max. “Drive safely.”

“I will,” Max nodded vigorously, and backed up, right into traffic. The driver of a car behind him slammed on his breaks and hit his horn loudly. Oops! Flustered, Max pulled forward, feeling Mr. Parker’s eyes boring into his brain. The driver in the other car was shouting out profanities and Max was pretending he couldn’t hear them. “I’ll just, um,” Max felt his face on fire, “I’ll look behind me this time.”

Jeff stood on the sidewalk shaking his head back and forth while he watched the jeep inch out into the street and disappear around the corner. For the life of him, he couldn’t understand why the parents of teenage boys ever let their sons out of the house. They were a menace to the world, not to mention a threat to innocent teenage daughters.

I’ll try to post the next part on Thursday, but no promises. It might have to wait until Sunday.

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Dec-2002 1:42:38 AM ]
posted on 9-Dec-2002 12:59:28 AM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Best Fluff Fanfic

Author note: I'm glad you all that that last part was fun! We've reached the point in the story where it's time for the dress rehearsal. Just for a disclaimer so Billy the Bard doesn't think I stole his stuff, quotes from Romeo and Juliet are, of course, written by William Shakespeare.

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 44

Liz stood in the wings watching Max out on the stage. He was in full dress, from the two tone puffy jacket right down to the skin tight gray tights. His lithe movements across the stage reminded her of a cat on the prowl, a very big cat. A very sexy, virile, dangerous cat. A powerful, hard, sleek, sensuous, hard, erotic, hard, masculine – did she happen to mention hard? Liz fanned herself, knowing the color in her cheeks wasn’t caused by the heavy dress she was cloaked in. No, the heat currently surging through her body was caused by the sight of one Max Evans, dressed in character, the epitome of Romeo, running across stage in mid fight, challenging Tybalt for slaying Mercutio.

A kinsman threw Romeo a sword and Benvolio helped shed him of his cumbersome jacket, yanking it off his shoulders and down his arms. Max stood in the center of the stage now with his ruffled shirt hanging open loosely, exposing the taut muscles of his chest and stomach, nearly down to his navel. His thigh muscles flexed and bunched as he lunged toward Tybalt with his rapier. The fight scene raged from one side of the stage to the other, with Max’s wild hair flying around his face making him seem even more potent, more erotic, more enticing. It was only sheer willpower that kept Liz from running on stage and jumping his bones right now.

The two men grappled in the center of the stage, their swords interlocked, their bodies fighting for dominance over the other, testosterone filling the air, and then they pushed apart, pointing their rapiers at each other while they circled, stalking their opponent. Liz could see Max’s chest heaving for air, dripping with sweat, his skin glistening under the stage lighting. God! He was so friggin hot she could hardly stand it.

Max lunged forward and his sword ‘pierced’ his enemy’s heart, slaying the murderer who slew Mercutio. Adam crumpled to the stage and Max stumbled backwards showing Romeo’s shock and fear over the deed he had just done. Tybalt was dead, at Romeo’s hand.

Benvolio grabbed Romeo trying to pull him away from the dead man at their feet. “Romeo, away be gone. The citizens are up, and Tybalt slain. Stand not amaz’d; the Prince will doom thee death if thou art taken. Hence be gone away.”

Max fell to his knees in the center of the stage and wailed, “O I am Fortune’s Fool.” He rocked back and forth in agony over what he had just done, the murder of his dear Juliet’s cousin, while Benvolio urged him to flee.

“Juliet!” Miranda whispered fiercely and came up behind Liz. “Juliet, you must get ready for the next scene.” Miranda was relieved that her Juliet had recovered quickly from her cold. For a while she’d been afraid they would have to cancel their first dress rehearsal.

“Scene?” Liz said the word like it was foreign to her. How could she think when Max was out there on the stage with his shirt half off?

“Liz,” Miranda turned her away from the stage. “You need to change for your next scene, in the bedroom chamber when the nurse comes to tell you of Tybalt’s death. Come, come, Juliet, the scene draws near.”

Max stumbled off the stage, pulled by Benvolio, and as soon as he was beyond the curtain he stood up straight and looked for Liz. He could smell her scent in the air and knew she had been here only moments ago, but now he couldn’t see her anywhere.

“She’s changing for the next scene,” Juanita whispered from behind him and he turned quickly, turning pink when he saw the impish grin on her face. She could see that his Liz radar had gone into high gear when he couldn’t find her and she just shook her head at the connection those two seemed to share.

“Oh,” Max managed to say and his mind filled with thoughts of how she would look next. Today was their first full dress rehearsal, and the bedroom scene was coming up. He’d yet to see her in the full body suit she would be wearing when they were in bed together, but already he could feel his reaction. God! Was he in trouble or what?

Act III, Scene 1 ended and Scene 2 began. The stage lights highlighted Liz as she moved around her bedroom chamber, eagerly waiting for word from Romeo. Nurse entered and Max watched spellbound as Juliet was told of Tybalt’s death at the hand of Romeo. The tears flowed down her face and Max vowed silently to himself that he would never be the cause of tears like that to be shed by Liz. Her happiness was paramount to him and he swore on all that was holy that he would never intentionally make her cry.

The material of her white nightgown flowed around her petite body as she moved around the raised bedchamber, but even more than her physical presence, it was her inner strength that Max couldn’t tear his eyes away from. Yes, he loved the beauty of her face and the sensual lines of her body, but it was what was inside her that he loved the most. Her strength. Her vibrancy. Her zest for life. She embraced the world, something he had never been able to do, at least not until now. She had brought that out in him, and his newfound exuberance could be laid right at her feet, all attributed to her.

“Time to move into position, Romeo,” Miranda urged Max toward the wings on the darkened side of the stage. His scene with Friar Lawrence was just about to start. He kept an eye on Liz as she finished her scene, and the words she spoke caused his libido to rear its sizeable head.

“Wash they his wounds with tears?” Liz wailed to the Nurse. “Mine shall be spent, when theirs are dry, for Romeo’s banishment. Take up those cords – poor ropes, you are beguil’d, both you and I, for Romeo is exil’d. He made you for a highway to my bed, but I, a maid, die maiden widowed. Cords. Cords. Come Nurse, I’ll to my wedding bed, and Death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead.”

Maidenhead? Wedding bed? Max gulped at the sound of those words. People shouldn’t say those words together, not in the same sentence. Especially not Liz, and especially not when he was wearing tights! Thank god his side of the stage was dark!

“Hie to your chamber, I’ll find Romeo to comfort you,” Juanita quoted the Nurse’s lines. “I wot well where he is. Hark ye, your Romeo will be here at night. I’ll to him, he is hid at Lawrence’ Cell.”

“O find him,” Liz clutched Juanita’s hands. “Give this ring to my true Knight, and bid him come, to take his last farewell.”

“Romeo, come forth, come forth, thou fearful man,” Friar Lawrence stepped onto the stage with the spotlights shifting onto him. Juliet’s bedchamber in the center of the stage was now plunged into darkness. “Affliction –” Scott started to say and then noticed Max wasn’t following him. He looked back into the wings to see what Romeo was doing.

Crap! Max’s mind was in a panic! How could he step out on stage like this? Think about something else, something besides Liz’s maidenhead! What was the square root of 1,516,842,337? Was there a square root of 1,516,842,337? What was a square root again? Who could think of math at a time like this? All he could think of was volcano’s erupting and geysers spurting and space shuttles standing upright on the launching pad.

Max looked down at his lower anatomy and heard the phantom announcer’s voice in his head, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we – have – LIFTOFF!’

“Max?” Scott hissed. “Are you coming?”

“Almost,” Max answered before he knew what he was saying.

In her bedchamber, Liz was wondering what Max was doing. Their dress rehearsal had gone off without a hitch so far, but at the moment Max seemed to be having some kind of problem but she couldn’t tell what it was. Was everything okay down there? In the darkness above the rest of the stage, Liz slipped out of her nightgown and climbed under the tangled sheets on the bed.

“Max –” Scott hissed again, keeping his voice low.

“Father, what news?” Max got his body under control and stepped out onto the stage, much to Scott’s relief. “”What is the Prince’s doom?”

Liz lay on the bed, clutching the cotton sheets to her chest and listening to the tone of Max’s voice. Just the sound of it made heat pool between her legs. Thank god no one could see her face in the dark.

“Hence from Verona art thou banished,” Scott continued his lines. “Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.”

“There is no world without Verona Walls,” Max flowed into his lines.

Liz lay in the dark, listening to his voice drift up to her, counting the seconds until his scene would end and he would come join her on the bed. They’d practiced this before, but never in full costume, not that Max was going to be in “full” costume. More like half costume. Half naked Max. Oh god, she liked the sound of a half naked Max. Visions of his naked chest filled her mind and nearly made her hyperventilate.

Nurse was in the scene with him now and Max lost himself in his lines. “Spakest thou of Juliet? How is it with her? Doth not she think me an old murtherer now I have stain’d the childhood of our joy with blood removed but little of her own? Where is she? And how doth she? And what says my conceal’d Lady to our cancell’d love?”

“O she says nothing, Sir, but weeps and weeps,” Juanita worried at the apron that covered her dress. “And now falls on her bed, and then starts up, and Tybalt calls, and then on Romeo cries, and then down falls again.”

“As if that name,” Max clutched at the ruffled shirt that covered his chest, “shot from the deadly level of a gun, did murther her as that name’s cursed hand murder’d her kinsman. O tell me Friar, tell me, in what vile part of this anatomy doth my name lodge? Tell me that I may sack the hateful mansion!”

Romeo and Friar Lawrence scuffled over the dagger Max snatched off a table and held poised above his head, ready to strike into his chest. Scott wrestled the knife away from Max, and pushed him to the ground, standing over him and admonishing, “Hold thy desperate hand. Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art . . .”

Liz lay silently on the bed, listening to the words being spoken on stage below her. Yes, definitely, Max’s form definitely cried out he was a man! No doubt about that! He was about as manly as a man could get, at least in her opinion. Those tights didn’t hide a thing! The air up here in her bedchamber was getting hotter and hotter.

She lay on the bed trying not to move, with only the thin sheet over her, swaddled in what could only be called a cat suit, a thin covering from her shoulders to her toes in rich flesh tones, molded to her body. The fact of the matter was, the covering she wore was nothing more than a thin layer of clinging fabric that disguised nothing. It was like a second skin, opaque yet revealing at the same time. Touching it was like touching skin. She wondered, would Max notice?

The scene on stage changed to Paris and the Capulets discussing the upcoming nuptials and Max made his way silently backstage. He hurriedly climbed a ladder and silently slipped into Juliet’s bedchamber. He peeled his shirt off as he silently made his way through the dark and dropped it on the floor where he would be able to find it easily later. He slipped onto the bed trying not to make a sound and he stretched out on top of the covers, moving close to Liz.

He could do this, Max told himself. He could lie on this bed beside his dreamgirl and – and – oh god! His hand groped for hers in the dark but encountered her ribs instead, ribs that were covered by a layer of fabric so thin it felt like he was touching bare skin. Oh, he liked the feel of it. The soft, rich warmth of it. The heat coming off her body was making his own temperature rise. Okay, it wasn’t just his temperature that was rising. He was experiencing liftoff all over again.

“Hi,” Liz whispered. Her lips were close to his ear and the warmth of her breath on his throat wasn’t helping his problem at all.

“Hi,” Max whispered back. Think of something else, he scolded himself. He had to take his mind off his lust filled thoughts! Hockey. He could think about hockey. All those guys slapping that puck around on the ice . . . ice . . . cold ice . . . cold caused shrinkage . . . Max was in desperate need of some shrinkage. He tried to picture ice in his mind.

While Max was picturing ice, Liz lifted her hand to touch his shoulder . . . his naked shoulder. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be moving right now, but his skin was so smooth and so soft, and the muscles under the surface were so rock hard, she just had to touch him. She leaned into him, drawing in deep breaths of his rich masculine scent, nearly overwhelmed by her desire to be with him. What would it feel like, she wondered, to take him to her bed? Lying here beside him, she knew that she wanted that to happen, and soon.

She could feel the way his muscles flex as his hand moved slowly over her ribs, and if they had been alone, she would have moved his hand higher. Her body ached to feel his hand touching her intimately again, like he had last week at the lake. Her nipples grew hard and pouty just thinking about how his hand had caressed her. Without conscious thought, her hand slid over the muscles of his back, along his shoulders, down his spine and then up his neck, into his soft, dark hair.

Max turned his face toward Liz, nuzzling his nose into her neck, just the way they had practiced it these last few weeks. The voices of Paris and the Capulets faded into the background and Max stepped into Lizland, where his senses registered only her. He could feel the pulse point in her throat, feel her heated breaths exhale against his cheek, feel her heart pounding underneath his exploring hand. His wandering lips gave in to temptation and found hers in the dark, and his former thoughts of ice had long since melted into a puddle and evaporated under the wall of flames that swept through him.

“Romeo, you’re supposed to be sleeping,” came a whispered voice from right above him. Max broke away from Liz with a start and stared up into the eyes of Miranda Wainwright with his heart racing wildly in his chest. Crap! Busted again!

“Let’s just move this hand a bit,” Miranda suggested and moved Max’s hand down to Liz’s waist. “There,” she said with a wink, “I think that’s a little better. We want to keep this play to a PG 13 rating!”

“Sorry,” Max felt his cheeks flame bright red. Miranda’s sudden appearance was like a bucket of ice dumped on his head, and he finally got his little problem under control.

“Let’s get you situated here,” Miranda hovered over them. Liz lay perfectly still while her teacher arranged her hair around her face and over her chest. Max tried to think about fishing with his dad, so his libido wouldn’t get out of control again. “There,” Miranda finished fussing over them. “Perfect. You’re up in a minute.”

“I hope not,” Max muttered under his breath. Mrs. Wainwright hurried off the stage and he closed his eyes, trying to focus on making it through this next scene. The bedchamber was suddenly flooded with light and Max and Liz lay perfectly still, two lovers sleeping together on the morning after their wedding night, limbs tangled together intimately.

Miranda watched from the wings with her hand clutched in the curtain, watching her star couple. Max stirred and the rich color of his exposed skin contrasted sharply with the white sheets, just the effect she was hoping for when she asked if he would be willing to do this scene shirtless. The girls in the audience were going to swoon when they saw him, and the women, well, the women might not be thinking maternal thoughts either.

She watched him kiss a sleeping Juliet and then he moved away from her, slipping from the bed with cat like grace. He wandered over to the realistic looking window that that strange young Michael Guerin had painted, and from a distance, it almost looked real, like Romeo was standing at an actual window, looking out at the morning sunrise. Under the stage lighting he almost looked nude with the fabric of the tights molding to his skin and the color blending with his flesh. She knew she was pushing the envelope here, after all, this was a high school production, but it was Romeo and Juliet, and the sexual vibrancy between her star couple just couldn’t be contained.

“Wilt thou be gone?” Liz said softly and Max turned from the window. His chest was fully exposed now, chiseled and strong and youthfully smooth. “It is not yet near day,” Liz continued. “It was the Nightingale and not the Lark that pierc’d the fearful hollow of thine ear. Nightly she sings on yond Pomegranate tree. Believe me, Love,” Liz held out her hand for him. “It was the Nightingale.”

“It was the Lark,” Max neared the bed and took her outstretched hand in his, “the hearld of the morn, no Nightingale.” He sat back down on the bed and cupped his Juliet’s fair cheek. “Look, Love, what envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east. Night candles are burnt out and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountaintops. I must be gone and live,” he leaned in and kissed her tenderly, “or stay and die.”

“Yond light is not daylight, I know it, I,” Liz followed his movements as he rose from the bed and reached down to the floor to retrieve his shirt. “It is some meteor that the sun exhales, to be to thee this night a torch bearer, and light thee on thy way to Mantua. Therefore stay yet,” she held her arms out to him, “thou needst not to be gone.”

Miranda watched as Romeo tossed his shirt aside and raced back to his bride, giving in to the temptation of the heart. He rushed back to the bed, tearing the sheet away from her, slipping into her outstretched arms and kissing her with abandon. Their passion was palpable, filling the air around them, something more than just lovers.

“Let me be ta’en; let me be put to death,” Max punctuated his words with kisses reining over her face, her throat, burying his face in the long hair that covered her chest. “I am content, so thou wilt have it so. I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye; ‘tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s Brow. Nor that is not the Lark whose notes do beat the vaulty heaven so high above our heads.”

Miranda was holding her breath, mesmerized by the intensity of the scene. She had known from the first day he walked into class that their pairing would be glorious. Poetry in motion on the stage.

“I have more care to stay, than will to go,” Max held her face between his hands and kissed her again. “Come, Death, and welcome; Juliet wills it so. How is’t, my soul? Let’s talk, it is not day.”

“It is, it is!” Juliet said in rising panic, frozen by the sound of the lark coming from the open window. “Hie hence, be gone away!” She pushed away from him and reached for the nightgown that lay at the foot of her bed, slipping it over her head in a rush. The fabric billowed around her as she hurried from the bed with her hair tousled and wild and one shoulder exposed. “It is the lark that sings so out of tune, straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps,” she said as she ran to his side, helping to pull the shirt over his head, watching the sun filtering in through the window. “Some say the lark makes sweet division, this doth not so, for she divideth us. O now be gone,” she pulled him up from the bed and desperately clung to him, “more light and light it grows.”

“More light and light,” Max wrapped her in his arms, “more dark and dark our woes.” Their kiss was full of despair at their eminent parting, and then a knock at her bedroom door cause them to clutch frightfully at each other.

“Madam,” Juanita called from off stage.

“Nurse!” Liz answered.

“Your Lady Mother is coming to your chamber. The day is broke, be wary, look about.”

“Then window,” Liz pushed Max toward the window he had been standing at earlier. “Let day in, and let life out.” She embraced him one more time with her face pressed against his chest and her arms tightly around him. He held her to him, with his eyes closed and his fingers threading through her silken hair one last time.

“Farewell, farewell,” he turned her face up to his. “One kiss and I’ll descend.”

Max kissed her, telling himself not to get lost in the kiss. They were practicing the play, not living out his fantasies . . . but then again, maybe they were. Hadn’t he always fantasized about Liz? Hadn’t he always dreamt about kissing her? Hadn’t his fantasies involved more than just kissing? Their lips parted and their eyes locked together, both of them knowing just how much stress his codpiece was currently experiencing. Romeo tore himself away from Juliet and climbed through the bedroom window, out onto the balcony that would lead him away from his heart.

“Art thou gone so?” Liz leaned though the window, clutching at him still, helping him to slip into his quilted jacket. “Love, Lord, ay, husband, friend, I must hear from thee every day in the hour, for in a minute there are many days.”

Liz couldn’t help but think this felt familiar. How many times had Max climbed up her balcony? Or climbed through her bedroom window? Didn’t Maria tease her almost everyday that Max knew her balcony intimately, yet he’d only set foot in her living room once? She climbed through the window and joined Max on the balcony, helping him settle into his clothes while he headed for the rope ladder that would take him to the stage below. “O think’st thou we shall ever meet again?”

“I doubt it not,” Max kissed her deeply before lifting his leg over the balcony wall and descending down the ladder. “And all these woes shall serve,” he said when he reached the ground below her, “for sweet discourses in our times to come.”

Miranda watched from behind the curtains, certain that she’d never seen a rendition of Romeo and Juliet as emotionally and sexually charged as this one. Max Evans and Liz Parker must have been born for these rolls, they seemed so suited to play them. Their performances were so genuine that she could almost believe that Max was from one world and Liz was from another, separated by class distinction, their love forbidden by mortal man.

Little did Miranda know just how true her thoughts were. Was the world ready to embrace the kind of star-crossed lovers that resided in Roswell, New Mexico?

Look for the next part next Sunday. I’ll try to post earlier (Thursday) but it’s doubtful.

Runner Up
Most Creative Title
Maxeo and Lizziet


posted on 15-Dec-2002 10:19:14 PM by Breathless
This award winning banner art is by ChrissyP47

Best FanArt Cover

Best Portrayal of Max Evans
Maxeo and Lizziet


Best Fluff Fanfic

Author note: Thanks for the great feedback everybody!!! Ari, yours left me kinda, breathless! Jo, good to see you again.

I know I’m not posting as much as before, but with the holidays and all, it’s hard to find the time to write, post, read the wonderful stories posted on the board, and I was kinda of taken with Taken on the sci-fi channel the last couple of weeks. I have been asked about my new fic, Aftermath, and when I might start posting it. I had originally planned to post it at the first of December, but I had to delay that. The plan now is to start it 2 weeks from tonight. It’s not set in stone, but that’s what I’m shooting for.

So, enough of my rambling, on with the story. Posted in 2 parts due to length . . .

Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 45

Liz stood in front of the full length mirror in her dressing room and slowly removed the burial cap from her head. They’d just finished more than three hours of rehearsal and though she was tired, she was exhilarated, too. It’d been so exciting, especially her scenes with Max. He was nothing less than . . . spectacular.

His presence on stage was enthralling to say the least, and her body was still vibrating from the intimacy of the scenes they’d performed together. A knock sounded at her door and she raced to it, silently hoping it would be him. She flung the door open and she was suddenly swept into a crushing embrace, though not the one she was expecting.

“LIZ!” Maria shouted, with her shrill voice bouncing off the walls of the small room. “You were fantastic! You and Max are so good together! You two are SO Romeo and Juliet!”

“Maria!” Liz was bowled over by the jubilant attention. “What are you doing here?”

“Mrs. Wainwright ordered a couple of 4 foot Galaxy Subs. I guess she figured everyone would be hungry after a long rehearsal. We set ‘em up back stage, along with potato salad, chips, drinks, stuff like that.”

“We?” Liz asked. “Who’s ‘we’?”

“Michael helped me,” Maria pretended like it didn’t mean anything.

“Michael, huh?” Liz noted.

“It doesn’t mean what you think it means,” Maria wagged her finger in front of Liz’s face. “He’s the one that made the sandwiches, bitching the whole time, I might add. I thought since he made them, it only fitting that he help deliver ‘em, too. Your father agreed.”

“Well, I for one am famished!” Liz declared and wiggled out of her dress. She’d burned up a lot of energy during rehearsal. Ogling Max could do that to a girl.

“Well, according to what I saw out on that stage, it looked like what you’re hungry for starts with the letter M, and ends with an X. You and Romeo were sizzling out there!”

“Maria,” Liz slipped out of her petticoats and draped them over a chair while she looked around for her street clothes. “You have no idea how hard it was for me to keep my hands off him. He’s driving me insane!”

“What do you mean?” Maria leaned back against the dressing room door, eager to hear the details.

“Well, I know that he wants me, as much as I want him.” She found her pants and then she paused, holding them in front of her with a far away look in her eyes. She was remembering last week, skinny dipping at the lake. The feel of his aroused body was permanently seared into her mind, but she could also tell that he was holding back, refusing to take that final step with her. “At least I think he does, but . . .”

“You mean, you two haven’t . . .” Maria arched her eyebrows.

“No,” Liz shook her head. “He won’t let things go . . . that far. I mean, physically, I think he wants to, but he just . . . won’t. He’s a perfect gentleman.”

“And you’d like a little bit of caveman,” Maria surmised. Liz shot her a look and she slowly nodded. Maria knew her so well. “Look, Liz. It’s Saturday and the night is young. Take him someplace special, someplace private, steal his keys and don’t let him leave until you get what you want. What you both want.”

“Steal his . . .” Liz pondered and then was startled by a knock on her door.

“Liz? Are you decent?” Max poked his head inside and his eyes popped when he saw her standing in the middle of her dressing room in only her panties and bra. God! He was already desperate for a cold shower and the sight of her in just her underwear was about to push him over the top. Only Maria’s presence was keeping him from sealing the door behind him and having his way with Liz. “Sorry,” he looked away quickly. “I didn’t mean –”

“I was just leaving, Max,” Maria grabbed his arm to keep him from fleeing. “When you’re, uh, finished here, you can find Michael and me out where the food is. Take your time,” Maria smirked, “Take all the time you need. I’ll try to save you something, that is, if Michael hasn’t eaten everything already. That boy has a taste for free food.”

Max felt his cheeks flushing with heat, embarrassed to be standing there with a half naked Liz while Maria was still in the room. His eyes kept darting to Liz, and then guiltily to Maria, and then back to Liz because he just couldn’t stop looking at her. His embarrassment faded as Maria departed, closing the door securely behind her, but the heat in his face still remained. After all, Liz was still half naked, and standing no more than 5 feet away from him. She was staring at him too, unmoving, and his eyes tried unsuccessfully to stay on her face.

“Are you, um,” he wasn’t even sure what he was trying to say. “Are you hungry?”

“Very,” Liz answered.

Max watched her walk his way, and it didn’t look like she was thinking about food. Not the way her eyes were sweeping over his body. He could hardly breathe, and swallowing was an impossibility. She stood just inches away from him now, looking up into his eyes with unvarnished desire, and he couldn’t help but react. His arms were around her before he knew what hit him, drawing her scantily clad body up against his.

“God, Liz,” he mumbled against her lips. “You’re so beautiful.” He kissed her hard, almost savagely, with his hands gliding over her enticing flesh. His hands moved over her shoulder blades, her back, her spine, the swell of her hips, the soft mounds of her ass, all of it skin he just had to touch. The silk that covered her didn’t hide much, and his mind was a fertile ground of imagery.

Liz let her hands roam over his back, feeling his taut muscles under the material of his shirt. She worked her way lower, on down to his hip, while her mouth made love to his, tongues and lips intimately connected. She could hear the hunger in his soft moans, matching a similar tone coming from her own throat, and she moved her hand forward.

“Liz,” he moaned and covered her hand with his. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to pull her hand away from its close proximity to his overly aroused manhood, or if he wanted to grind himself into her to relieve the growing ache in his loins. His sexual frustration was at an all time high, and that meant he knew how easily things could get out of hand if he let it.

“Liz,” he said again and brought her hand up to his lips. “We should go get something to eat.”

“Eat. Food. Right,” Liz tried to control her raging hormones. Boys weren’t the only ones that suffered from desires getting out of hand. She forced herself to turn around and grab her pants from the floor where she had dropped them. Max let out an involuntary groan when she leaned forward at the waist, lifting one leg to slide into her pants, showing off her enticingly supple ass, covered only in a pair of nearly transparent bikini panties. Thank god he wasn’t wearing tights.

His Lizland fantasies were taking flight, vivid and graphic, in glorious detail. His jeans didn’t constrict him in his Lizland world. How could they, when they were down around his knees? In his Lizworld, she wasn’t standing three feet away from him, either. No, in his fantasies, he was doing all the things he dreamed about, and right now that involved driving into Liz from behind with wild abandon. His hands were on her hips, pinning her to him while he thrust his –

“Max? Max? MAX?”

“Wh – what?” her voice snapped him back into reality and he swallowed hard. He could feel a sheen of sweat covering his body, and he had to fight to control his breathing. There was no doubt in his mind what he would be doing alone in his bed tonight. His body was in serious need of relief.

“Are you ready to get some –” Liz started to ask.

“Get some?” Hell, YES he was ready to get some! Did she want it right here, on the floor? Or on her balcony, or her bed, or his bed? Or in the jeep? Or out in the desert? Or –

“Food?” Liz looked at him innocently. “I asked if you were ready to go get some food, before it’s all gone.”

“Oh. Food,” Max sputtered out. “Yeah. Food. I’m starving.” Was that a good cover? She couldn’t tell what he was thinking, right?

Visibly shaking himself out of his carnal thoughts, he could see that she was completely dressed now, right down to the cute little sneakers on her feet. He couldn’t help but noticed that they matched his own. She finished hanging up her costumes and grabbed her leather jacket off the back of the chair and then she was standing beside him, ready to go.

Liz slid her hand into his and they turned as one toward the door. Her face remained innocent, open, honest and pure, and he had no idea of the lustful thoughts going on inside her mind. He would have been surprised to learn that hers were just as graphic as his. She’d seen the desirous heat in his eyes a moment ago, and the condition that his body was in was pretty obvious. If she had her way tonight, she was going to turn that look of unquenched need on his face into one of contentment and satisfaction. She didn’t know exactly how to break through that iron control of his, but she’d start by getting him alone, in a private place, and then worry about the rest later.

Liz left the dressing room with a smile on her face and thoughts of seduction on her mind. If Max thought he was in trouble earlier, when they were rehearsing the play, it didn’t compare to what was going to happen later. How much control could one guy have?

* * * * *

A hand closed over Michael’s arm and a voice grated on his nerves. “Lay off the goodies, Gayboy.”

Michael glared up at Blondie’s face, wondering if he could incinerate her without anyone noticing. “Will you stop calling me that!”

“Look,” Maria mock sympathized with him. “I know it’s hard when you break up with someone, but Max has moved on. He’s with Liz now. Drowning yourself in food isn’t the answer.”

“I’m not drowning myself in food!” Michael was exasperated. “I’m just hungry.” He rose to his feet from the makeshift table and towered over her, reminding her for the millionth time, “And I’m NOT gay!”

Maria harrumphed, and looked him up and down. “That’s not the tune you were spouting a few weeks ago, buddy boy. I think you are.”

“I am not!”

“Are too.”




“No, YOU shutup!”


“MAKE ME!” Maria shouted with her hands defiantly on her hips.

With that, Michael did the one thing Maria wasn’t expecting. He grabbed her by the shoulders and laid one on her, planting a heated kiss right on her lips. She was putty in his hands, turned on by his forcefulness and intensity. He was almost bending her over backwards, and he was by far the best kisser she’d ever had, and when he abruptly ended it and held her out at arms length, it took her a moment to open up her eyes.

Wow! What a kiss! Who would have thought Gayboy had it in him!

Michael stared at Maria. Maria stared at Michael. His hands were still on her shoulders, squeezing tightly, and for a minute she thought he was going to kiss her again, and then a sound to his left drew their attention. A muffled sound, like a strong inhalation of breath, smothered by a hand.

“Max!” Michael blurted out and released Maria like she was the embodiment of fire, burning his hands.

“Liz!” Maria cried aloud and self-consciously raked her hand through her hair.

Max and Liz stood in the wings by the stage curtain, staring at their best friends. Liz had her hand over her mouth, silencing her surprised gasp. Max was arching an eyebrow at Michael, not quite as surprised as Liz was.

“That’s not what you thought it was,” Michael was staring at Max, looking defiant and shell shocked at the same time.

“What do you mean by that!” Maria backhanded him across the chest.

“What the hell did you do that for!” Michael rubbed a hand over his aching pecs.

“Why the hell did you kiss me!” Maria demanded.

“It was the only way to shut you up!”

“Here we go again,” Max mumbled to Liz.

“I’ll say whatever I want, whenever I want to say it!” Maria stood her ground.

“Please don’t! The world doesn’t want to hear it!”

“Arrogant bastard!”

“Crazy bitch!”

“Hey, guys?” Max tried to interject.

“I’d rather be crazy than gay!” Maria shot back.




“I’m not really that hungry,” Liz wrinkled her nose as she looked up at Max.

“Me either,” Max looked down at her and gave her hand a squeeze. Together they turned around and headed back through the curtain, both of them trying not to hear the sounds of food flying from the table, sent reeling by passionate bodies and wild kisses. Just before they left the stage, Max looked back over his shoulder for a quick peek, thinking ‘not bad’, and giving Michael an 8 for his technique. Maria should be grateful for the educational value of bootlegged cable TV.

Back with the rest in a second.

posted on 15-Dec-2002 10:20:58 PM by Breathless
Maxeo and Lizziet
Part 45 (con’t)

Max emptied their tray into the trash receptacle and placed it on top of the bin before moving over to the doors, holding one open so Liz could go out first. They left the Burger Palace and Max reached into the front pants pocket of his jeans to retrieve his keys. He opened the passenger side door for Liz and helped her inside, then hurried around to his side of the jeep.

“So, what would you like to do now?” he asked, shoving his keys into the ignition.

“Um,” Liz was feeling a little nervous now. She was about to suggest something that would take their relationship to a whole nother level, and she wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He had avoided that deepest level of commitment so far, and she wondered what was holding him back. She didn’t want to push him into something he wasn’t ready for. Tentatively, she asked, “Do you want to go to Michael’s?”

“Michael’s?” Max stared at her dumbstruck. Why would she want to go to Michael’s? Michael and Maria were probably still rolling all over the table backstage of the auditorium at school, so what reason would Liz have for wanting to go to Mi – Oh! Michael wouldn’t be there. Not if he was still making out with Maria. That meant if they went to Michael’s, they would be alone. Is that what Liz wanted? To be alone? Together? Just the two of them? Did . . . she . . . want . . .?

“Do you have a key?” Liz asked. “To his place, I mean. A key so you can get inside, if he’s not . . . home?”

“Yeah . . .” Max answered looking dumbstruck.

“I mean,” Liz clarified, “do you have it on you?”

“Yeah . . .” he said again. It was the only word he could make his mouth say.

“So, we could go over there . . .?” she asked.

“. . . Yeah . . .” Max finally got out.

Was she thinking about what he thought she was thinking about? This was going to wreak havoc with his resolve to wait until after the play to tell her about his origins, and his further resolve not to make love to her until she knew the full truth about him. Could he do this? Could he put himself in a position of being alone with her and keep his hands to himself?

“Do you think he’d mind . . . if we went over there . . . when he wasn’t there . . .?”

“Yeah,” Max answered. “Probably. Maybe. Maybe not.”

Oh screw Michael, Max thought and turned the key in the ignition. The bastard owed him big time anyway! He slipped the gears into reverse and made the short journey across town to Michael’s apartment. Liz was quite for the most part on the trip there, and Max wondered if she was changing her mind. Maybe now that she had time to think about it, maybe she didn’t want to be alone with him after all? If she was worried about him trying to steal her virtue, she didn’t need to. Not yet anyway. He could control himself, couldn’t he?

He reached out and took her hand in his, threading his fingers through hers lovingly, and when she lifted her eyes to look at him the air was almost knocked from his lungs. Ut oh. The look she was giving him wasn’t filled with uncertainty or reserve. The look she had was full of fire, and desire, and he could feel his resolve to keep his hands off her deflating, just as fast as another part of his anatomy was inflating. Now what was he going to do?

He turned the corner onto Michael’s street, forced to take his hand away from Liz’s so he could downshift the gears. She turned her eyes up the street and Max could see the tension drain from her, with her shoulders visibly sagging.

“It looks like they beat us here,” she tried to hide her disappointment.

Max swept his eyes up the street, noticing the red Jetta parked up ahead next to the sidewalk. Dusk was claiming the day, but even in the growing darkness there was no mistaking it was her car. Not with the glowing alien head antenna ball and the tacky bumper sticker showing Sigourney Weaver blasting apart an alien and declaring, ‘Earth’s best defense – A woman suffering PMS’.

“That’s Maria’s car,” Max stated the obvious. “I guess she gave him a ride home. His bike is in the shop getting repaired.” Max slowed the jeep as they passed by the car and he watched Liz’s face. “So what do you want to do now?”

“How about we go for a drive?” she suggested easily. “We could watch the sunset.”

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Max grinned at her and headed toward the highway. They drove south, on 285, feeling the warm air whipping around them. It would get cold in the desert later tonight, but right now, as the sun sank down below the horizon filling the sky with vivid shades of reds and oranges and purples, the air was like a blanket, surrounding them in its warmth.

The jeep flew down the highway and Max unconsciously made his way to the place that always drew him. The rock escarpment loomed into the air and he wound his way around the base of it, bringing the jeep to a stop facing west, into the setting sun. They sat in comfortable silence, holding hands as the orange globe slipped below the horizon.

“It’s almost red,” Liz leaned against Max as they took in the sight of the last rays of the setting sun. The sky was vibrant out here in the desert, and the red of the sun tugged at something in her mind. It was elusive though, just out of her reach, and it flittered away like a whisper on a breeze.

“It used to feel so lonely here when I’d come out to watch the sunset,” Max said softly beside her. “Like another lost day was coming to an end, where none of my dreams had been realized.”

“What were your dreams, Max?” Liz lifted her head from his shoulder and watched his face, lit by the orange hue of the setting sun. He looked sad, pensive, lost in melancholy memories, until he turned his eyes to look at her and his whole face changed.

“You, Liz,” Max sighed out her name. “You were my dream. The thought of touching you. Holding you. Loving you. You were always in my dreams.”

“I was?” her voice was soft, tender, the undertone clearly unbelieving. He couldn’t mean her.

“Yes, you,” Max held her eyes with his. “You mean everything to me, Liz. I knew you the moment I saw you. I knew you were the one meant for me. I used to come out here and just think about you, and dream about what it would be like to be with you.”

“You don’t have to dream about it anymore, Max. We’re here, and we’re together.” Her hand cupped his face and she leaned toward him, feeling him moving toward her. They met somewhere in the middle, and just before their lips touched, she uttered, “It’s what we both have always wanted . . .”

His lips covered hers, living out the dream that for years he never thought would become a reality for him. The sun slid below the horizon and night settled over the desert. The passing minutes held little meaning for them as their lips whispered a timeless tale of love and desire. His hand caressed the delicate skin of her throat while his mouth mated with hers, starting out as soft, gentle kisses that soon turned hungry with need and wanting. This was the stuff of his dreams, the rich landscape of his wildest imaginings, right down to the feel of her hands urging his jacket from his shoulders.

“Liz?” he broke off the kiss and sucked in a gasping breath. Night had cloaked them in darkness, but the rising moon bathed them in enough light that he could see the passion in her eyes glowing brightly.

“Take this off,” Liz pushed at the jacket and Max hastily obliged, tearing it from him and tossing it in the backseat to join hers.

As he settled back into his seat the breath was once again knocked from his lungs by her sudden presence on his lap. She climbed across the seat and straddled his thighs and the next thing he knew she was aggressively kissing him in a way that was both shocking and exciting. His body was rapidly responding to the way she was pressing against him and he knew he’d been foolish to think he could ever resist her.

“Liz?” he managed to get out before her lips were on him again. His hands moved up her thighs to her hips trying to quell her movements, knowing that his willpower was rapidly reaching the limits of his tolerance. “We should stop –” he mumbled around her lips, but she wasn’t interested in talking. Not right now. There was time for talking later.

Her hand reached down between the seat and the door, fumbling for something that she couldn’t see, and then she pulled the lever and his seat went crashing backwards. Startled by the sudden movement, Max reached for her shoulders and pushed her up from him, breaking off their kiss. He was reclining on his back now, his shoulders nearly level with his knees, and Liz’s face loomed above him while her body lay almost flush against his.

“Pinch me,” Max stared up into her face, knowing that this had to be just another one of his dreamworld fantasies. He wasn’t really here, with Liz Parker, under the stars, feeling her body stretched out on top of him, was he? It was just a dream, right?

Instead of a pinch, her lips crashed down onto his and her body snuggled even closer, if that was possible. He’d never seen her this aggressive before and he was helpless to resist her. His arms surrounded her with one hand urgently fisting in her hair, forcefully taking her lips in a searing kiss, while his right hand slid under her shirt, moving up her back and along her spine. Her straddled legs brought her denim covered heat into direct contact with his hard as steel erection and when she moved her hips he couldn’t hold back the groan of pleasurable pain that escaped his throat. His pants were so tight it was torture, but the most exquisite kind of torture imaginable.

“Liz,” her name tore from his throat. “God . . . you’re killing me.”

She wasn’t sure what he meant by that and she lifted slightly from him, feeling a sense of uncertainty. Was she being too aggressive? Was she doing something wrong? Didn’t he want this? As hard as he felt, she had been sure he wanted the same thing she did, but she’d never done this before. Her body was burning with desire but maybe he didn’t – and then she saw the look in his eyes and her worries fell away. She might not know much about the fine art of lovemaking, but there was no misreading the fire in his eyes.

She scooted back on his lap a little and pulled him up by his arms until he was sitting, facing her. Her hands fell to the hem of his shirt and hovered there for a moment, before quickly lifting upwards, pulling his shirt up and over his head and letting it join their jackets in the back seat. She pushed him back down to the seat and the surprised look on his face was quickly replaced by heated desire when her hands began to stroke over the muscles of his chest. Her eyes followed the path of her hands, thinking he really was a magnificent specimen.

“Liz,” he said again, unable to not say her name. He grabbed her by the shoulders and forcibly pulled her down to join him, devouring her lips as his passion mounted. His hands wandered over her back, under her shirt, touching her skin, causing a cacophony of sensation along her nerve endings and then he was pulling her shirt free. She didn’t resist as he tugged it over her head and tossed it aside. She was immediately aware of the feel of his skin against hers as she lay upon his chest, atop hot, solid skin that covered layer after layer of hard muscle.

His hand roamed over her back, touching her everywhere while their lips fused together. Outside the night air cooled quickly in the desert, but inside the jeep it continued to rise, heat pouring from their flesh as their lips sealed together. His hand went to the band of elastic and silk that sliced across her back and he separated the hooks, quickly ridding her of the bra that hid her feminine beauty.

At the same time, her hand was active, sliding between their bodies to the front of his jeans. She brushed over the prominent bulge she felt there, thrilled by the gasp that tore from him when she stroked her hand along the length of him, before stopping to work at the button, popping it free and tugging down his zipper. He groaned loudly at the sudden release of pressure and then he groaned again when he felt her hand touch him, covered only by his boxers now.

“Liz,” he hissed this time. He had never felt anything more wonderful than her hand touching him, even if it was through a layer of clothes. He surely must have died and gone to heaven because this kind of pleasure couldn’t possibly be real, could it?

“Max,” Liz said his name as she lifted up from him. She’d never touched a man before and the sensation was strange and exhilarating. She could feel the heat radiating from him through the cotton of his shorts, and even though she knew the mechanics of how the male body worked, feeling it in action was completely different than reading about it in a book.

Looking at her in the moonlight, Max was overcome by the sight of her, every square inch of her, from her dark eyes sparkling like starlight, to her wild hair and kiss ravaged lips, to the pale skin of her breasts tipped with points of darkness. He pulled her back down to him while rising up to meet her, and his mouth opened to take in a dark nipple, loving first one and then the other. Her hand tightened around him, feeling the length and size of him, stroking him up and down through the cotton of his boxers.

“Liz,” Max groaned with his forehead pressed against her chest, knowing he should try to stop her. He couldn’t take much more of this.

His erection was hot and throbbing in her hand and she wondered, would the skin there be as smooth as the rest of him? She fumbled at the opening in his boxers and her hand slid inside, grasping him, feeling just how hard he really was. His skin felt like velvet covering a rod of hot steel and she was amazed by the size of him, the texture, the heat that poured from him. She pumped her hand up and down experimentally, feeling pleased and oddly empowered by the gasp that tore from his throat. He abandoned her breast and sought out her mouth while his hips responded to the movement of her hand.

“Make love to me, Max,” Liz pleaded against his mouth.

“Liz,” Max desperately tried to regain control. He could barely speak because of what she was doing to him. “We – we can’t. I don’t have any –”

“I do,” Liz said heatedly against his lips. Her hand continued to stroke him, amazed by the feel of him, skin like silk over steel. She could hear him gasping, groaning in rhythm with the movement of her hand, and the sound of it caused her own excitement to skyrocket. “It’s in my purse. On the floor –”

That was all it took for Max. The feel of her hand stroking him intimately and the knowledge that she had come prepared sent him into that blissful world of sexual fulfillment. His hand reached for hers to stop her movements but already it was too late. He’d been in a heightened state of sexual arousal for far too long, and the feel of her hand touching him, stroking him, her fingers wrapped around him, was too much. A groan tore from deep inside his throat while fireworks exploded inside him.

“Liz . . . God Liz . . . God . . .” was all he could say, the words tumbling out of his mouth while pulse after pulse of exquisite sensation poured through him. His hips thrust up toward her, his male member pumping out blissful spurts of his essence while he held her hand in place. “God, Liz . . . God . . . Oh God . . .”

His entire body was swept into another plain of existence, to a place he had never been before. The pleasure coursed through him like an electrical charge, sweeping through every part of him and rendering him speechless. He’d satisfied his own needs many, many times before, alone in his bed, or under the hot spray of the shower, but it had never felt like this before.

But then, this was the first time he had climaxed at the hand of someone else.

He slowly became aware of her weight against his chest, her head tucked under his chin, her lips touching his throat, her hand still held in place by his, holding on to his softening penis. Realization of what had just happened sank into his brain and along with it came embarrassment and shame. God, he’d just creamed all over her hand. She asked him to make love to her and he creamed all over her hand! What was he supposed to say to her now?


He heard her say his name, softly, hesitantly, and he could only imagine what she was thinking. She slowly lifted her head from his chest and her hand pulled free of him. His shorts fell back into place, covering him, and he felt her wipe her hand against the cotton, attempting to remove his wetness. His cheeks were on fire now, certain that she found him gross, and pathetic, and a loser, and –

“Did I make you feel good?” she asked breathlessly, uncertainly.

Her eyes were wide and innocent and he stared up at her in surprise. Did she make him feel good? Hell yes she made him feel good! He’d never felt so fuckin good in his entire fuckin life! Holy CHRIST, he felt good! He was doing back flips across the desert floor, he felt so fuckin good! He was soaring through the sky without benefit of wings. He was singing from the rooftops!

“What?” His brain couldn’t get his mouth to say what he was thinking.

“Did I –”

“YES!” he cut her off, still lacking the means to articulate what he was feeling. He reminded himself that everything that was happening between them was new to her, too. She was just as innocent in the ways of the flesh as he was, and probably knew no more about how to please a guy than he knew about pleasing – her. Her! Pleasing HER! God! She’d just done the most amazing thing to him, but what had he done for her?

“Good,” a smile broke over her face. “Good. I wanted to make you feel good.”

“You did. I do. Feel good, I mean. I –”

Since his brain couldn’t get his mouth to function properly, he did the next best thing he could think of. His hand shot into her hair, cupping the back of her head and pulling her down to him, kissing her with passion and intensity, pouring out the emotions he couldn’t seem to say. He kissed her long and hard, feeling her naked chest against his, her naked back under his palm, and then he felt her shiver. Goose bumps were starting to rise on her skin, and the realization of just how cold the air had turned seeped through to him.

The last thing he wanted was a repeat of the week before, when her exposure at the lake had caused her to become so sick, so he broke off the kiss and whispered in her ear, “We s