posted on 28-May-2002 8:29:06 PM by ravrac
Hi, Guys:

My 'well' of thoughts is dry right now for my fic "Smelling the Flowers Along the Way." But while I've been trying to get it going again, I had another idea, which I've posted a little of at this time. Let me know if you think there's any potential. And if you do, I already have a few ideas to continue it. Meanwhile, I'll be working on my other fic as well. And once again, thanks so much for the feedback. It really helps.

Hope you like this.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


Harvest Time

“Miss Lizzie, there’s a young man at the door for you.”

“Thank you, Mia. Show him into the drawing room, would you, please. Tell him I’ll be there shortly.”

“Yes, Miss.”

(On the phone)

“I’m sorry, Maria. I have to hang up. I think Kyle’s downstairs waiting for me.”

“Oh, Lizzie, you know Kyle would wait for you forever, if you asked him to. You have him wrapped around your little finger.”

“I know,” she said with a giggle. “But I don’t want to abuse his affection for me.”

“Isn’t it about time he proposed to you?” Maria asked with curiosity.

“Maria! Don’t say such things. Besides,” she said as an afterthought, “I’m positive he hasn’t spoken to father yet. And I know he’s too concerned with proper decorum to do anything before he has father’s blessing.”

“And do you think your father will give it when he asks for it?”

“Father thinks very highly of Kyle and his family. So I have no doubt that he will.
“Look, Maria, I really should be going. I’ve made Kyle wait much too long already.”

“All right, Lizzie. Let me know ‘when’ he asks you,” she said, with emphasis on the ‘when.’

“You know you will be the first one to hear about it, after father, of course. I’ll talk with you on the bus to school Monday. Good-bye, Maria.”

“Bye, Lizzie. I’ll talk with you soon.”

(Meanwhile, downstairs)

“Sir, may I get you anything while you wait for Miss Liz?”

“No, ma’am. I’m fine.”

“As you wish, sir. She’ll be down shortly.”

(About five minutes later)

“Oh, Kyle, I’m so happy to see you,” Liz said as she ran to put her arms around Kyle.

“I’ve missed you, Lizzie,” Kyle said once he’d hugged her and kissed her gently on the forehead. I just got back into town from the business trip my dad sent me on. I wanted to make sure to be here for the harvest festival. After all, I can’t have my girlfriend dancing with any of the other young men in the area. They might get ideas you’re available or something,” he said with a grin.

“Does that mean I’m not available?” Liz shyly asked.

“Well, at least unofficially, you are. But I plan to rectify that as soon as I can talk with your father,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

“Oh, Kyle, you just missed father. He left a few hours ago on business and won’t return until the night we auction off our picnic baskets. And I know we’ll have to follow through with that, since it does help raise money for the local school district and all. I know the school district really depends on that. You know I wouldn’t want to cancel my share in helping out.”

“Lizzie, honestly, you worry about practically every cause that comes up. I swear, you’d probably water a caravan of camels if their owners asked you to,” he said chidingly.

“Kyle, please don’t be angry with me. Besides, you know how much it means to father for me to participate. You know he’s really been ill. I think I want to do it more for him than for any other reason. I somehow feel he may not be around much longer. And if it can bring even a small measure of joy to my father for him to see me take part, then I’m not going to let anything keep me from doing so.”

After sulking for a minute or two, Kyle regained his composure. “I know, Lizzie. I’m sorry. I forgot about your father. Of course, you should take part, if only to encourage your father. But as soon as your father returns, my first action will be to make an appointment to speak with himabout you and me.”

“And do you have anything specific in mind to speak with him about??” Liz asked knowingly.

“You know exactly what I have in mind, Lizzie. You and I have known each other ever since grade school. And I know you know I love you with all my heart. I think it’s about time to tell your father my intentions concerning you.”

Before Kyle could continue, Liz once again put her arms around him, this time pulling away from him and giving him a gentle kiss. “Oh, Kyle, I can’t wait. But you better go for now; otherwise, Mia will tell father you were here and that you stayed much longer than you should have.”

“Okay, Lizzie. But remember, we’ll need to start making plans for our future soon. I’ll talk with you soon, my love,” he said, and then gently returned Liz’s kiss and left.

Part 1b

(At the Evans residence)

“Oh, Mom, I can’t wait till the picnic auction. I so hope Alex will be the highest bidder for it. I like him so much. Besides, I know he won’t try to manhandle me the way the other young men would,” she said as her mother was helping her to get dressed.

“I hope so for your sake, Izzie. Your father and I have really come to like that young man. But, Izzie, dear, how do you think he would feel learning that you’re ‘not from around here’?”

“I’m not sure, Mom. But I somehow get the feeling he would be able to understand and accept me, or any of us,” for who we are. If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve had him in so many of my college classes, I wouldn’t feel so confident.”

“Well, if you’re certain, dear. Your father and I just want you to be happy. We know it hasn’t been easy making the transition from Antar to here. For that matter, it’s been hard on all four of us having to live undercover all these years. I’m just glad we found this ranch just after you kids got out of Earth’s high school so that we could discreetly blend in with the area.”***

“Mom, why did we come to Earth? Did dad ever tell you why?”

“I don’t really have all the details, dear. I do know the leaders of our world have been in contact with some on Earth. But from what your father says, the communications have had to be secret. From what we were able to learn of Earth’s inhabitants before coming, we do know many on Earth fear the idea of people living among them from other planets. For that matter, from our observations over the years, many Earth people seem to have great difficulty in just accepting their own kind without prejudice. So imagine the hysteria that would develop if they even had an inkling there are some of us living here in the first place. Of course, I know there’s much more to it than even what I know. I know your father has other reasons for coming here, but he felt it would be better if I did not know them. He felt the less his family knew, the better off we’d be from danger.”

After completing her thought, Diane’s mind wandered to her son, Max, wondering how he was coping with living here on Earth. As she continued helping her daughter, she asked her “Izzie, dear, I haven’t been able to talk with Max since he’s been out of town on business for your father. Do you know if he has any plans to attend the picnic auction?”

“I doubt it, Mom. You know how reserved and shy he is. And since we didn’t really have the chance to adapt in the local schools, he’s never really tried associating with any of the nearby residents. So don’t hold your breath about him.”

“That’s really a shame. You know, I’ve caught sight of that young woman Liz who lives over at the next ranch. Somehow, I think she’d be perfect for Max.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you’re right, Mom, especially since Max has admired her from afar ever since we moved here. But don’t ever tell Max I told you that. He’d never forgive me.”

“Don’t worry, dear. Your secret is safe with me.”

Unknown to Isabel and her mom, though, they’d had an unannounced listener. Phillip had been concerned about his son ever since their arrival on Earth. He’d never seen Max try to fit in with anyone in the area. He had been concerned about Max being able to fulfill his duties for Antar and for Earth when the time finally came. Phillip had been waiting patiently for Max to take any kind of step that would steer him in the direction of his destiny. Since Max wasn’t cooperating with that destiny, though, Phillip decided he was going to nudge Max in the right direction, without his knowledge, of course. If Max ever learned of his father’s interference, Phillip feared his son would likely never forgive him. But at this point he was concerned, not only for his son’s long-term happiness, but also for the destiny he knew his son must face. He was willing to risk the possibility that Max would definitely be angry if he learned of his father’s involvement in the little scheme he had in mind to implement. He only hoped, if it got that far, Max would one day be able to forgive him.

TBC-?*bounce**bounce*

[ edited 22time(s), last at 16-Jan-2003 6:37:23 PM ]
posted on 20-Sep-2002 4:23:20 AM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

I started this story several months ago. But because I got almost no fb, I got very discouraged about it. Recently, though, I felt the need to make a further effort in spite of the lack of interest. So please at least give it a chance.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”
Part 2a

(The day of the picnic auction)

Several of the picnic baskets of the girls in the area had by now been auctioned off, including Maria’s. And, of course, her boyfriend Michael had gotten it. Liz was still breathlessly waiting for hers to be as she sat on the grass talking with Maria.

“Liz, isn’t this exciting, your basket still hasn’t been auctioned. Who do you think will get it this year?”

“You know who I’m hoping will get it. Besides, practically everyone has bid on and gotten one anyway. And I know Kyle’s been patiently waiting for mine. Anyway, who else could possibly get it now? There’s no one else left, I don’t think.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure of that.”

“What are you talking about, Maria?”

“I don’t think I’ve seen Max Evans bid on any baskets.”

“Maria, are you nuts? I don’t think I’ve ever seen Max bid on any baskets, ever. Besides, I think I heard he’s been out of town. “

“Well, I think it would be so cool if he ever did bid on yours. I’ve seen the way he looks at you every time he sees you at the Seed and Feed store.”

“Maria, you don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no way he’s been doing that. Besides, you know Kyle and I are practically engaged.”

“Has anything been announced?”

“Well, no, not yet.”

“Just remember what they say, “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.’ Or, in this case, ‘till the incredibly shy, but secretive, Max Evans bids.’”

As Maria was teasing her friend with such an unlikely notion, the bidding began on Liz’s basket. “Okay, everyone. We know whose beautiful basket this is. Shall we start off the bidding at $25.00.”

“Fifty,” yelled Kyle immediately.

“We have fifty. Do I hear anything higher?” the auctioneer said.

“I have been authorized to bid as high as I need to, sir, to purchase this basket,” a young man said as he stood and spoke to the auctioneer.

Being totally shocked by this unexpected turn of events, Kyle was beside himself. “Well, I’ll bid $200, then,” he responded.

“Let’s just cut to the chase, Mr. Valenti. What is the highest you will go to purchase this basket?” the young man asked him.

Kyle hesitated, knowing he couldn’t prudently go much further. But he didn’t want Liz to think he didn’t care. He almost felt that would be worse. So he spoke. “I’ll go as high as $500,” he said resolutely.

“Very well, then.” The young man paused, causing Kyle to think he was going to stop bidding. Instead, the young man walked closer to the auctioneer and continued speaking. I’m authorized to bid as much money as I have here in my pocket,” he said, counting the money, “which is $2,000.”

Needless to say, Kyle was devastated that he was not able to bid high enough for Liz’s basket, and walked away dejectedly.

Liz herself was so overwhelmed she was not even aware that Kyle had walked away.

Of course, what had happened had certainly not been lost on Maria.

“Lizzie! That’s the most I’ve ever heard of anyone paying for a basket. Who do you think it could be?”

Once Liz regained her bearings, she said, “I have no idea. But I certainly plan to find out,” she said as she stomped off to talk with the auctioneer, in an attempt to find out just that information.

Part 2b

Max had just arrived home from his weeklong business trip for his dad and was feeling like just crashing, without even eating anything. Before he had a chance to escape to his room, though, his father walked into the living room.

“Hi there, son. You’re finally back. In fact, you’re just in time for the picnic basket auction.”

“Dad, you know I’ve never gotten involved in that before. What makes you think I’d start now? Besides, I’m too tired to even think about going over there. All I want to do is just go crash for the evening.”

“Well, okay, Son. If that’s what you want.
“Oh, by the way, an envelope was brought over for you by special messenger. I thought you might want to get it as soon as you got home. It might be important.”

“Okay, Dad. I’ll take it upstairs with me. I’ll talk with you tomorrow.”

“Okay, Son. Oh, I almost forgot, Max. Do you have any plans for tomorrow afternoon?”

“No, Dad. I haven’t really had a whole lot of time to make any, since I just got home.”

“Well, I was hoping you would consider joining us at the harvest festival, then.”

“I don’t know, Dad. What’s the use? You know it’s basically a social event for everyone in the area. And I’ve never really gotten acquainted with anyone well enough to want to waste my time trying to make ‘small talk’ that would basically mean nothing to me and probably even less to whomever I might try speaking.”

“Son, I hate to sound like a broken record, but you’ve known ever since we arrived on this planet that we’re supposed to become better acquainted with its people and, hopefully, find someone for – that is, to help us with our planet’s future.”

“I know, Dad. But in case you haven’t noticed, things aren’t as simple here as I remember them on Antar. I almost wish Earth had the same custom of just preselecting one’s mate. To be honest with you, I don’t think I’ll ever become well acquainted enough with any of the young women on this planet who would be, not just suitable enough to help out, but at the same time be someone I wouldn’t become bored with and just feel like I’m going through the motions, if you know what I mean.”

“I think I have a pretty good idea, Son. But just to at least do something different this one time, would you at least come for the sake of your mother and me? I’ve never asked before, and I’ve never insisted. But it would really mean a lot to us if you would at least come this one time.”

“I don’t know, Dad. I’m really too tired to make such a decision right now. Tell you what I will do. I’m going to go get cleaned up and go to bed for the evening. Can I let you know tomorrow?”

“Sure, Son. I’ll accept those terms. Sleep well.”

“Thanks, Dad. By the way, what are you all dressed up for?”

“Oh, I’m going to take your mom out. It’s our 25th anniversary. And it seems to be a custom on this planet to make it a special event. So I want to be especially attentive to your mother this evening, especially to show my appreciation to her for all the sacrifices she made to come to this planet with me.”

“You know, Dad, I really admire and respect the love the two of you have. I guess that’s why it’s so hard for me to find anyone here. I keep thinking about the love the two of you share, and I just can’t imagine being able to find such a complement for me here. I think you guys have ruined me for life. I almost feel, if I can’t have the kind of deep and abiding love you two have, I don’t want any.”

“I’m happy you feel that way, Son. Don’t give up in your search before you’ve even begun. I have a feeling, if you’d just put forth even a little effort, you’d find what you’re looking for.”

“Maybe,” Max said. To himself he thought, ‘I already have found it. It’s just not ever going to be a reciprocating arrangement. So why waste time wishing.’ To his father he added, “Have a wonderful evening, Dad. Give mom a hug for me, will you.”

“I’ll do that. Son. And don’t forget I want an answer tomorrow.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t. Besides, I don’t think you’d let me anyway.”
Even as Max thought about his mom and dad having shared such a wonderful life together, his heart ached to be able to share that kind of life with someone. But his practical side told him to not even think about it further. Again he thought to himself, ‘Why mope about for something you’ll never have.’

As he slowly trudged up the stairs to his room, he opened the envelope his father had handed him when he came home. He read it over several times, trying to figure out what exactly it meant. There was a card inside that said:

“Thank you so much for participating in our picnic basket auction this year.
“Rest assured, the money you gave as your very generous purchase for the basket will greatly benefit the school district.
“You may pick up the basket tomorrow at noon. Please bring this card as your claim ticket.

“Once again, thank you very much for your generosity.
“We look forward to seeing you at the picnic tomorrow.”

It was signed by the superintendent of the school district.

Needless to say, when Max read the above, he was totally clueless as to what donation the school district was talking about. But more importantly, he had no idea whose basket he had supposedly purchased. Somehow, he couldn’t shake the feeling that his father must have had a hand in this little mystery. If it weren’t for the fact that he wouldn’t want to offend whoever the young woman was whose basket he had unknowingly purchased, he would definitely have confronted his father about it.

Except for two things: One, his father had just left to take his mother out. And he didn’t want to put a damper on their night out. Secondly, it was already too late in the evening to get to the bottom of this, which again meant he would end up possibly disappointing some young innocent. It just was not Max’s style to intentionally offend anyone. So he decided he would, after all, attend this ‘hoe-down,’ if for no other reason than to appease whoever the young woman might be.

Once he’d decided what to do about the basket, he got himself in the shower and then rolled himself into bed. He was so exhausted from his day of travel, he was asleep before his head even hit the pillow.

tbc-?????

I really need encouragement. So please help me out.

*bounce**sad**bounce**sad**bounce**sad**bounce*
posted on 23-Sep-2002 1:25:53 AM by ravrac
First off, Eve, in case you haven't noticed, I've posted a couple more chapters to my story "Smelling the Flowers Along the Way." Just wanted you to know that seeing your mention of it helped me know, even though I hadn't posted anything on the story for almost five months, there have been those who have not forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder.

For everyone else, as well as you, Eve, I've posted a little more on this story as well. Thanks for your feedback. It helps a great deal.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.

“Harvest Time”
Part 3

After the auction, Liz had tried several times unsuccessfully to contact Kyle. Once she’d had time to dwell on what had happened, she had been heartbroken that Kyle had not been able to purchase her basket. And she knew by Kyle’s sad face when he left how devastated he had been not to be able to. She knew Kyle had a good job. But she couldn’t imagine anyone who would have been able to pay as much as was paid for her basket. The rest of the evening, after having tried to locate Kyle, she lay on her bed, glumly trying to figure out who could have possibly paid such an outlandish amount for the basket. Maria had called her, trying to get her to say who she thought might have done it, but Liz had been in too foul a mood to discuss it with anyone. Besides, they had discussed earlier that practically all the young men in the area had already purchased all the other baskets before Liz’s was up for bid. The only person she and Maria had concluded had not bought one was – ‘Max? No, that can’t be,’ she thought to herself. Besides, everyone knew Max was never present for the harvest festival, let alone purchasing any baskets.

But then she was reminded that whoever had purchased her basket was not present, but they had authorized someone else to buy it. But she just could not bring herself to accept that possibility. Sure, she remembered Maria having told her that Max had some kind of a secret admiration for her. But she’d never seen any inclination on his part. She even remembered when Max and his family had moved into the area and how she’d even had somewhat of a crush on him.

They had attended high school, but only very briefly. They’d only been there long enough to attend the last couple of months of school, just before it was time to graduate. Liz remembered how Max had been her lab partner for that very brief time, but she never remembered getting more out of Max than “Can you pass the eyedropper,” or whatever it was they were using during their experiments. If anything, she always got the impression from him that he was too good for her, or anyone else for that matter. Ever since they’d been out of school, though, Max had never once attempted to get better acquainted with her.

Then Kyle and his dad had moved into town, and she and Kyle had hit it off immediately. They had started just hanging around as friends. But as time had passed, they had become more comfortable with each other. It had never really been a passionate friendship, but rather, one of ‘We spend so much time together, we might as well be married. We practically live over at each other’s houses anyway.’

As she contemplated that last thought, she started questioning her relationship with Kyle for the very first time……’I must be in love with him. I know if he had asked me to marry him tonight, I would have said yes. So why don’t I feel a passionate attachment to him? I thought I was heartbroken about the basket earlier. But now that I really think about it, is that what I was feeling?’

As Liz continued trying to objectively analyze her relationship with Kyle, she became more and more confused. She realized she couldn’t remember ever having been in love with someone before Kyle. But she also realized, after having various conversations with Maria about her and Michael, she always somehow felt jealous of their relationship, even though she was already seeing Kyle by then.

As Liz continued lying on her bed, she suddenly had an idea she was completely surprised about. ‘Maybe this whole situation with the basket is a good thing after all. Maybe this will help me to resolve in my heart what my real feelings are for Kyle.’ That was her last thought as she drifted off into a sound sleep, considering how upset she’d been earlier that evening.

Part 4a
(Harvest Day Picnic)

Considering how heartbroken Liz had felt the previous evening, she still couldn’t believe how soundly she’d slept, not even dreaming about Kyle. She never had gotten hold of Kyle the night before, and he’d never tried calling her this morning. That in itself upset Liz only a little, which again surprised her greatly. Why wasn’t she more upset with him for not calling her.

If anything, she found herself feeling exhilarated about the day’s possibilities. She still hadn’t been able to figure out who’d purchased her basket, no matter whom she’d tried bribing to do so, which only served to feed her vivid imagination as well as her curiosity only more. She’d long since forgotten about the possibility she’d considered last night, that of one Maxwell Evans, especially considering how aloof and rude and high and mighty he’d always been to her over the years. No, she chose to imagine that her mysterious suitor was someone of noble birth from a nearby community who had observed her secretly when she had possibly traveled through his town, on her way to the closest shopping center their region had.

Liz had been so engrossed in her dream world, imagining her dream man, she didn’t hear a young man walk up to her. So he once again repeated his words. “Miss, the gentleman who had the claim ticket for your basket is waiting for you at the horse stable.”

At hearing the words “horse stable,” Liz was immediately shaken from her daydream. “The horse stable? Why on earth would he be there?”

“I don’t know, Miss. He didn’t say. He just asked me to direct you there.”

When cold reality hit her in the face, Liz realized she was not going to be wined and dined, as she had imagined in her dream. ‘Oh, well,’ she thought to herself. ‘It figures. He probably works at the stable and didn’t have time to get cleaned up for lunch.’ Of course, she knew that really made no sense at all, considering the sum that had been paid for her basket. But she decided dreams really don’t come true after all. So there was no use trying to wish things were any different in real life. She resolved to stop trying to conjure up some sort of ‘Prince Charming’ and just get this duty of hers out of the way before she once again focused on where Kyle had been hiding himself since yesterday.
If nothing else, she realized she, at least until last night, had always been able to count on Kyle. He was dependable as the sun coming up and going down every day. Which was why she had been so perplexed about not being able to contact him. ‘Oh, well,’ she thought, ‘I’ll think about that more thoroughly once I get this -- what promises to be a very long lunch out of the way.’

Liz was still lost in thought when she heard someone clear their throat. Without even realizing it, she’d walked all the way over to the stable. It wasn’t until she heard someone clearing their throat that she thought to pay attention to her surroundings. As she did so, her eyes came from examining the ground, where she’d been looking all this time, to the legs of someone standing before her. She was still at a total loss as to who this young man was as she slowly raised her eyes from his well-dressed feet, to his very well-defined torso, and finally to his chin. It wasn’t until she got past the chin and was confronted with a set of the most beautiful hazel eyes she’d remembered seeing since……then it hit her.

”Max? What are you doing here?” she asked in a less-than-civil tone.

“Well, believe me, it’s as much of a surprise for me to see you. All I know is someone delivered a claim ticket to my house last night about having purchased someone’s picnic basket.”

Before Max could continue, she finished for him. “Oh, great. Now I get it. You’re not here because you want to be. You’re just here because you were curious. Is that it?” she said with anger in her tone.

Choosing not to directly admit to what Liz had just said, he chose instead to make an observation of his own. “Are you going to tell me you weren’t even a little curious to know who could have purchased your basket without even showing their face?” he said with a teasing tone in his voice.

Liz couldn’t help but show by the expression on her face that was exactly what she was.”

Without her even saying a word, Max continued, “I thought so. You see, I actually don’t think much differently than you.”

When she didn’t respond to his statement, he offered, “Look, I’m as much in the dark as you are as to who purchased your basket. I just didn’t want you, or whoever it was, sitting here all day, feeling as though they’d been stood up. Can you at least agree with me that’s probably what you would have thought?” he asked, as if he were trying to bring about a truce between two warring factions.

Liz couldn’t help but agree with his line of reasoning. Deciding at least for this one time not to try looking for something further to find fault with in the young man she’d liked at least a few years back, she responded, “I have to admit, that’s exactly what I would have thought.”

“Since you went to all the trouble of preparing what at least on the outside looks like such a beautiful basket, what do you say we call a truce and at least enjoy the fruits of your labors, while I at least enjoy what apparently cost a great deal.”

“Well,” she thought briefly, “I guess that’s all right. After all, I would have otherwise sat here, becoming angrier by the moment, if no one had shown up. Which brings me to my next question. Why did you want me to meet you over here?” she asked with great curiosity.

“Well,” he said, with a twinkle in his eye, “I figured whoever had gone to such great lengths to purchase your basket, I thought I might as well find the right setting to display such a worthy purchase.” As he concluded his comment, he gestured behind him.

As Liz looked past Max, he could tell by her expression that she was awed by the sight. “Wow, Max. That definitely will enhance the experience,” she said as she gawked at the sight before her.

“I’ve never seen such beautiful horses before. I don’t remember ever seeing such a beautiful sight before, or such a carriage before, now that I think of it.”

“Well,” Max said sheepishly, “I guess that’s because we don’t use that carriage very often.”

By his use of the word “we,” Liz couldn’t help but grasp the meaning that it belonged to his family.

Realizing Liz was stunned speechless by the sight, Max began feeling a little uncomfortable, thinking perhaps he’d overdramatized the event a little too much, and then worrying Liz would think he was flaunting his family’s wealth.

When Liz still did not speak, Max haltingly continued, “I-I-I hope you’re not offended or put off by my choice of transportation.”

Realizing Max was possibly feeling he’d offended her, Liz quickly responded, “Oh, no, Max, not at all. I was just admiring the beauty of the rig, horses and all. Now, as I stand here admiring it, I honestly can’t think of a better mode of transportation for enjoying our feast,” she said shyly.

“Well, then, my lady, your carriage awaits,” Max said, as though he were her foot servant.

Liz grinned shyly at his phrase as she slowly took his hand to assist her in climbing into the seat of the carriage.

Once Liz was seated, Max climbed aboard and skillfully took the reins of the carriage, directing the horses to slowly exit the stable and onto the road not often used by most of the people in town. And all Liz could think at that moment was, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’ as they slowly and quietly rode off.
tbc-???

As always, FB greatly appreciated.

*happy**bounce**happy**bounce**happy**bounce**happy*
posted on 23-Sep-2002 1:13:34 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

I didn't want to leave the next scene hanging, since it's kind of setting everything else up that's to come. Hope you like it.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.

“Harvest Time”

Part 4b

Max and Liz had ridden the horses and carriage into the woods near their ranches and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the picnic Liz had so lovingly prepared the previous day. At first, conversation between them was strained, neither really knowing what to say to the other. So both made feeble attempts at conversation such as the weather, which didn’t last very long. How many ways could one say what a beautiful day it was. And indeed it was. The sky was a beautiful clear blue, with not a cloud in the sky. The birds were chirping merrily in the woods where they had stopped to have their picnic. The air was cool enough for a wrap, which Liz had brought just in case, but other than that, it was a typical beautiful day, with nothing to complain about.

Once Max had brought them to the secluded area he had come to many times when he needed to contemplate his ‘life’ on Antar, Max had laid out a beautiful blanket on the grass. He realized, as he did so, it was the first time he’d ever brought anyone to his special place. Even Isabel had not been privy to his private ‘realm.’ Somehow, he felt a sense of peace and contentment in having chosen it to bring Liz. He didn’t know why, but something had told him she would approve of it, though he couldn’t understand why that seemed to be a concern to him.

After Max had laid out the blanket and set the basket on it, Liz had proceeded to remove all the goodies she’d prepared for her basket. Max had just sat on the blanket, silently observing her as she had done so. Because he’d only ever observed and…..yes, he had to admit it…..admired her from afar, he’d never experienced the sensations he was now having. As he continued silently watching Liz’s every move, he began noticing things that he’d never had the time or the circumstance to notice before. As her hair fell forward in her movements to lay everything out, he noticed how she’d unconsciously push it back behind her ears. It was almost mesmerizing to watch how it flowed. Though he’d never touched her hair, it looked soft and luxuriant. He found himself wishing he could just run his hands through it to feel its softness.
*****
Though they ate in silence, each found it to be a comfortable, companionable one. Neither really felt the need to say any unnecessary words. If anyone had been watching, they would never have guessed the two had only ever been in each other’s company only to do lab projects, and only for the briefest amount of time. If anything, the casual observer would have just assumed the two were high school sweethearts, enjoying just another in a long string of romantic interludes.

They had been sitting silently, enjoying the atmosphere, but all the while Liz continued wondering why she’d never seen Max come to any of the Harvest festivals in the past. Her curiosity finally got the better of her. So she broke the silence. “Max, do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“No, not at all. Ask away,” he said, as he lay in a leisurely fashion, with his arms crossed under and supporting his head, as he looked up at the beautiful sky. As he did so, though, he unconsciously realized clouds were slowly beginning to roll in.

“Why haven’t you ever come to any of the Harvest festivals since you’ve lived here?” When Max did not immediately respond, Liz began having doubts that he was going to. “Of course, you don’t have to answer…..if it’s something you don’t want to talk about,” Liz hesitantly said.

Max himself wasn’t sure he knew how to answer her question. As he was pondering how to respond, he heard Liz make her last comment, and then he responded, “No, it’s okay. I don’t mind. It’s – it’s just kind of embarrassing, though.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the truth is I’ve always felt a little awkward around people. I’m sure you must remember how things were in school,” he said, as his voice trailed off.

“Well, now that you mention it, I do remember you always kind of kept to yourself, with your sister and your friend Michael. You always acted” –

When Liz didn’t finish her sentence, it aroused Max’s curiosity, wondering if he could really finally get an idea of what Liz had thought of him all this time. “Go ahead, Liz. Say it. You thought I always acted – how?”

“Are you sure you really want to know?” she asked, now wishing she hadn’t let it slip that she’d actually had a preconceived idea about him all this time.

“Yeah, I really do.”

“I’m not sure you’ll really want to hear.”

“No, really. It’s okay,” he said, now more curious than ever.

“Okay. Here goes. I always thought you kept to yourself because you felt you were better than me and everyone else in school,” she said, not wanting to look him in the face as she spoke. “I guess I always thought of you as being stuck up,” she said, blushing as she expressed what had been her honest assessment of him.

“Oh,” was all Max could say for several seconds.

“I’m sorry, Max,” she said, as she tried to read the expression on his face.

It took Max a few seconds longer to gain his composure, and then he said, “No, don’t be. I asked you to tell me what you thought.” He paused again, and then continued, “I just didn’t realize you felt that way,” he said, as he sat up.

“Well, since you’ve allowed me to be so honest with you, you at least deserve the same consideration.”

“What do you mean?”

“What impression did you have of me in school?”

“Oh, I’d really rather not say,” Max said, blushing at the thought of telling Liz how he’d always thought of her as his dream girl.

“I’d really feel better if you would. You deserve to be as honest with me as I was with you.”

“I can’t, Liz.”

“Why?”

“Because I” –

Before Max could explain why he couldn’t tell Liz his honest, heartfelt thoughts, the clouds that had so gradually rolled in now covered the sky and suddenly let loose the rain that they’d held. Without warning, big drops of rain began falling on them. Both completely forgot what the topic of conversation was. At that moment, their most immediate thought was to find some shelter for protection from the rain, until the downpour subsided.

Max remembered, from his moments of solitude in the area, that there was an abandoned barn not too far from where they’d stopped. They quickly pulled everything up in the blanket and threw it into the carriage before immediately ascending into it and directing the horses toward the barn. But by the time they’d gotten to the barn, they were both soaked to the skin.

Max was concerned for Liz’s health, worried that she might catch a chill and develop pneumonia. Of course, he realized he could have quickly dried her clothes with his powers, but he didn’t want to do anything that he’d have to explain later. Instead, he pulled Liz into his arms, trying to rub her arms and back and other parts of her body down, hoping that would help warm her up, at least somewhat.

Even as he was trying to warm her up, he felt her shivering. He frantically began looking around in the barn to see if he could find any blankets that he could wrap her up in. By the time he got back to her, she was shaking uncontrollably. He quickly took the one blanket found and wrapped it tightly around her, continuing to rub her body down to create some amount of warmth. Liz had been shivering so much that, when Max asked her if she was feeling any kind of warmth, all she could do was nod her head.

As he continued rubbing her down, he couldn’t help but look into her deep chocolate-brown eyes. Suddenly, he forgot about the weather. All he could think of was kissing her cold, trembling lips.
*****
Liz had been shivering uncontrollably from having gotten soaked in the rain. When they’d started out on their picnic earlier that day, it hadn’t occurred to either of them to bring anything to protect them from the rain. There had been no indication at all that such a thing would happen.

When it had begun pouring, she and Max had quickly gathered everything they’d brought and thrown it into the carriage, before Max promptly directed the horses in a direction he seemed familiar with. A few minutes later, what appeared to be an abandoned barn came into view.

Once they’d gotten inside, Max had turned to Liz, only to realize she was shaking fiercely from having been soaked through to the skin. He’d quickly jumped down from the carriage, appearing to be looking for some kind of cloth that might help them both to try to dry themselves off.

He’d only been gone a couple minutes. When he returned, she could see he must have found a blanket lying around. He’d promptly lifted her out of the carriage, wrapped her in the blanket, and begun rubbing her body down, through her clothing.

Though the whole process of observing Max do everything had only taken a couple of minutes, as Liz had sat on the seat on the carriage, watching him, even though she was shivering, she realized it was the first time she’d ever seen what actually looked like a concerned expression on his face. She also realized, until that moment, she’d never really thought of Max as anything more than an arrogant young man, who never appeared to care about anyone but himself, and perhaps his sister Isabel and their own family.

So when Max had lifted her from the carriage, wrapped her in the blanket, and begun rubbing her down, she found herself feeling stunned to suddenly be looking up into the most beautiful amber-flecked eyes she’d ever seen. But what stunned her even more was to suddenly see a look in those eyes that she wasn’t sure she could identify. It appeared to her that his eyes suddenly became dark and glassy, almost as if he himself was seeing something for the first time.

Somehow, Max’s look seemed familiar to her, though she was sure she’d never seen it on him before. She found herself trying to jog her memory as to where she’d seen such a look before. Within only seconds, she began having a mental picture in her head of where she’d seen such a look. It was on a date she’d had with Kyle. They’d gone out on several dates, as nothing more than good friends. But on the particular occasion she was seeing in her head, when she looked up to Kyle in the same way she’d looked up at Max, she remembered that same look in his eyes……

Though Liz had not moved much for several seconds due to her chill, she immediately found her body warming up, and it wasn’t from the fact that Max was trying to warm her body up with his hands. Suddenly, it registered in her head that – was it possible that Max was thinking of kissing her? The idea embarrassed her to her very toes, not because the it seemed repulsive to her, but because, until that moment, it had never occurred to her that Max Evans, ‘the guy with the rich family next door,’ would have ever thought of her in that way.

When Max had continued staring at her for several more seconds without following through with what Liz had expected, she found her heartbeat slowly returning to normal. But she found part of her was feeling extremely disappointed that he hadn’t done what she’d expected. Then she began mentally berating herself for having thought such a stupid thing in the first place. ‘What would such a good looking, rich young man want with the likes of her and her father?’ she thought.

She decided she couldn’t embarrass herself any further and began to reach out to Max’s hands, intending to pull the blanket from his grasp, so she could finish the job herself, when the unbelievable happened. Max pulled her body toward him, raised her chin toward him, and kissed those cold, trembling lips…..

Though Liz had actually thought he might kiss her, the fact that so much time had passed before he finally did so completely caused her to be totally unprepared for the experience. And what an experience it was. It had been a gentle, chaste kiss, and then he step ever so slightly back to see how Liz had responded to him. When he did so, Liz just stood there, almost as if she were in a daze.

At first Max was concerned by her apparent lack of response. But when he went to let loose of her, he felt her arms go up around his neck as she stepped toward him. ‘Could it be that she’s responding?’ he thought to himself. Not knowing for sure, but wanting to find out, he again bent toward her and began kissing her. This time, as he did so, he felt Liz’s soft, petite hands caress the nape of his neck as she gently ran her hands through his hair.

The feel of Liz’s hands on Max’s body sent fiery bursts through him. Without even realizing it, Max was releasing the bursts of heat and, in so doing, was, not only warming both him and Liz up, but ended up drying their clothes as well, all within only a matter of minutes. But because both young people were so focused on each other, neither realized it had only been a few minutes. To both of them, it seemed they’d been in each other’s arms for an eternity. Both were thinking to themselves, and wondering why they’d never taken the time to get better acquainted until now. Both again thought to themselves, if this was how great it could be between them, then maybe they should rethink that prospect.

Though neither of them knew it at that moment, they would definitely have the opportunity to become better acquainted, but not in a way that was going to be to the liking of either of them. If anything, the opportunity that would arise would initially serve to make them despise one another. Or, rather, one would do the despising. The other would despise the circumstances that had brought about such an ‘opportunity.’

As always, let me know what you think.

*bounce**wink**bounce**wink**bounce**wink**bounce*
posted on 23-Sep-2002 7:33:11 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

As you may have detected from my previous post, there are going to be some ominous things taking place, and there will be some tears of sadness shed as well. Thought I'm purposely being a little nebulous for the time being, I'm hoping to eventually answer any questions that might come up as the story proceeds. If somehow I don't address a question anyone has, let me know. It might just be an oversight. Sometimes I have to go back and reread my own stories to make sure I do answer questions that I've intially raised. And sometimes, even then, I forget to answer those questions. So just ask if that happens.

One question I will answer that someone recently asked, was what time period is this supposed to be? As you'll find out when you read this next part, it takes place in the present day, with vehicles and all. It's just that they live in a part of the country where hay rides and carriage rides are typically when wooing a prospective mate.

In case you haven't already figured it out, from reading some of my other stories, I love to create romantic moments and for the characters to be more three-dimensional than just jumping in the sack because they can't control their hormones. Hopefully, by filling in details about the emotions felt in the moment, as well as personal thoughts each character may be thinking, I'm helping the reader to see what makes each of the characters tick and what motivates them to behave in the ways which are revealed in my storylines.

I hope this tidbit of information will be useful to those of you who are reading or have read some of my stories.

Don't expect the next chapter to be posted for at least the next few days. I think I've created enough questions in my own mind to keep me busy trying to fully develop the plot that I've already laid the groundwork for.

With all that said, I hope this next part will leave you begging for more. And the only way I'll know it's working is to hear what you think about it. So you know what to do by now, I hope.

On with the story:

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 5

After what seemed like a very long time, although in actuality it had only been several long seconds, Max and Liz slowly pulled apart from one another, each looking at the other and trying to comprehend what had just happened between them. For Max, his realization was that it was the reality of a dream of a lifetime coming true. He had just been enjoying the most intimate moment of his life in the arms of the only person he’d ever imagined wanting to experience it with.

For Liz, it was the realization that until that moment, though she’d enjoyed many ‘kisses’ and intimate moments with Kyle, who was supposed to have asked her father for her hand in marriage, she’d never really experienced a truly wondrous and completely satisfying intimate moment until now.

As she stood there speechless, coming to terms with what had just happened between her and Max, the one young man she had never dreamed in a million years could, let alone would want to, make her feel the most amazingly satisfying intimate moment of her life, she felt her body flush in embarrassment.

At first, she couldn’t understand why the word ‘embarrassment’ popped into her head. But then she realized why. It was because she couldn’t help but wonder if possibly she was only wishing that Max were feeling the same things she was. After all, she didn’t know the young man well enough at all to really feel that she could read his mind concerning such intimate matters. She especially started doubting her thoughts as she stood there looking up into his eyes. No matter how hard she tried, she could not even begin to imagine what he must be thinking.
*****
As Max and Liz had separated after what to Max was the most amazingly satisfying intimate moment of his life, he stood looking down into her beautiful doe-brown eyes, trying to gauge what she must be thinking at that very moment. Though he’d loved her from afar during the whole time he and his family had lived in the area, he’d never taken time to really get to know her, which was a regret he immediately felt. Though he tried with every fiber of his alien being to try to use any ‘powers’ that might be at his disposal to ease his feelings of insecurity around her at this moment, none were forthcoming, leaving him in a total state of fear as to what she must be thinking of him at this moment. Was she thinking he had taken advantage of her at a very vulnerable moment? Again, he continued berating himself for not having taken the opportunity over the years to get to know her better, so that he could understand her present silence.

Just as he opened his mouth, finally deciding he better try to apologize for his seemingly – what he considered ‘primal’ behavior toward her, his cell phone went off, making both him and Liz jump at its unexpected sound. So he never got to apologize to her for what had happened, another error of omission that would come back to haunt him for a very long time.
*****
The cell phone rang a few times before Liz had the presence of mind to say something. “Uh, Max, are you going to answer that?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Right.
“Hello?”

(Pause.)

“What!?” he responded.

(Another pause.)

“Yes, we’ll be right there,” he said, before promptly hanging up.

After Max hung up, he could only look down at Liz with what appeared to be sadness on his face.

“What is it, Max? What’s wrong?”

“We need to get back right away.”

“Did something happen to your family?”

“No, Liz. It’s – it’s your father?”

“My – my father? What happened? Where is he?” she asked in a panic.

“From what I understand, my father had gone over to visit him. Apparently, during the course of their conversation, your father had a heart attack.”

Immediately at his words, Liz began crying.

Because of this unexpected trauma that now befell her, both she and Max promptly forgot what had just transpired between them. Max could see Liz’s fear written all over her face. It hurt him deeply to see her experiencing so much pain.

“Come on, Liz,” he said, as he hugged her protectively, let’s get you back so you can get to the hospital to see your father as soon as possible. He did so with an air of authority that completely surprised him. Though his father had often tried many things, since bringing his family to Earth, to make Max respond in such a way, he had failed miserably. It wasn’t until Max experienced in that moment wanting to protect Liz in any way he could, that such an emotion overpowered him.

Though Liz barely knew this young man, it touched her deeply that he was being so attentive to her emotional needs at this instant. But she didn’t have time to contemplate his sincerity now, a subject which would haunt and plague her for many months to come.
*****
Max got Liz to the hospital in record time. Even having been stopped by the local sheriff, Sheriff Valenti, which Max realized was the father of Liz’s current beau, did not interfere for long. Once Sheriff Valenti realized what their hurry was, he kindly let Max off with a warning, considering he’d been going at least 30 miles over the posted speed limit for the area.

As Sheriff Valenti watched Max drive off, with his son’s girlfriend in the passenger seat, he couldn’t help but wonder how it had come about that Max Evans had apparently been the young man who had purchased Liz’s picnic basket the previous day. Though, as he tried to recall, he hadn’t remembered seeing Max at the festivities when his extremely disappointed son had lost the bid for her basket. He was also reliving a moment he’d shared with his son, when he’d tried valiantly to get Kyle to call her, in spite of the fact that he would not be sharing her picnic lunch. He hadn’t been able to get Kyle to understand how important it would be to keep the lines of communication open under such trying circumstances. He realized, as he continued dwelling on the subject a little longer, it was no use worrying about it now. It was obvious that Liz had other, more trying circumstances befalling her for the time being. He only hoped Kyle wouldn’t live to regret not having made that phone call when he’d had the chance.

As it was, he was still feeling his own regret for having sent his son out of town recently, regarding a side business he was trying to get well established before he retired. He only hoped his son would one day forgive him for having possibly contributed to their breakup, if that ended up being what happened to his son, which he fear would happen if his son didn’t come to his senses soon and get in touch with Liz.
*****
As soon as Max and Liz got to the hospital, he jumped out of his sports car, which they’d gotten into once they’d returned to Liz’s family ranch, and ran over to her door, opened it, and assisted Liz out of it. Just as she stepped out, Max held his hand out to steady her. She was so overcome with emotion, Liz instead stumbled and began falling to the ground, expecting to experience a very painful bump to her tailbone. But Max’s reflexes were too quick for that too happen. Instead, as she began falling, Max stepped toward her and grabbed whatever part of her body he could, which ended up being her very small waste. It was such a reflex response that Liz found herself pulled tightly to his chest when she finally had time to register what had just happened. At any other moment in her life, she would have felt giddy with pleasant emotions. But at this moment, all she could do was look up into his beautiful eyes and whisper, “Thank you, Max.”

As she did so, Max was again looking into those beautiful doe-brown eyes that had captivated him earlier. He could see the emotional distress in her eyes, and once again he felt that powerful emotion of wanting to protect Liz from any harm that might come her way. But he realized time was of the essence in getting her to her father. Neither of them knew how serious his condition was, and he knew he’d never forgive himself if she didn’t have the chance to see her father before, heaven forbid, he should die. Though his heart once again ached to kiss her trembling lips, he gathered all the emotional strength he could muster to focus on getting her to her father NOW.

“Never mind that right now, Liz. Let’s go see how your father’s doing,” he responded.

All Liz could do in response to his answer was numbly nod, as he whisked her off to the entrance of the emergency room of the hospital.
*****
Once they were inside, the emergency personnel directed them to the room where Liz’s father was. Before Liz was allowed to enter, though, the head ER doctor indicated he needed to speak to her first, “alone,” he’d said, as he glanced toward Max.

Liz turned toward him with concern.

“It’s okay, Liz. I’ll wait for you out here. If you need me for anything, I’ll be right here.”

Again, Liz could only nod as she was quietly followed the ER doctor to his office.

“Miss Parker,” he began, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but there’s nothing we can do for your father. I honestly don’t expect him to make it through the night.”

As he paused, Liz sat motionless in the seat facing him, as tears quietly began streaming down her face.

The doctor knew there was no way of cushioning such a blow, but he also knew she would need to know what she was facing when she went to speak with her father, very probably for the very last time.

As he continued to pause, Liz mustered up energy she didn’t know she had to ask, “Does he know he’s dying?”

“Yes,” he responded solemnly.

Feeling there was nothing more to be accomplished by wasting any more valuable time she could be spending with her father, she said, “I want to see my father.”

“But I need to give you further information about his illness and so forth.”

“Nothing else you have to say at this moment is going to help my father. So I’d much rather use what precious little time there is left with him….before he’s gone, she whispered.

“Yes, you’re right. Very well, then, let me show you to his room,” he said, as he waited for her to follow him.

Even as the doctor thought about what she’d said, he realized perhaps it would be better for her not knowing that it was an argument he’d been in the midst of with Mr. Evans when his heart had given out on him. Though it obviously wasn’t what had caused the damage to his heart, which had occurred over years of neglect of taking care of his health, the doctor realized it might cause a rift in the relationship the young woman apparently had with the Evans boy, whom he’d observed had brought her to the hospital in the first place. No, he decided the young woman would already have too many other painful things to deal with in the next few days. He decided he did not want to be the one to cause her any more pain. He only hoped the young man was not the image of his father.
*****
Liz stood outside her father’s door for several seconds, trying to compose herself, before entering his room. She did not want him to see how difficult this whole situation was for her. She did not want him to experience guilt as one of his last emotions. Instead, as she struggled to compose herself, she determined she would not allow him to waste his precious failing strength trying to console her. With that resolve in mind, she opened her father’s door.

She valiantly struggled to have a smile on her face as she opened his door. “Father,” she whispered, as she walked up to his bed. She wasn’t sure if he was awake, since his eyes were closed.

But as soon as he heard her sweet voice, he opened them. “Oh, Lizzie, I’m so sorry” –

“Please, Father, don’t apologize for anything. I just want to sit with you and talk about old times,” she said, as she once again struggled to maintain her composure.

Her father knew her only too well to see right through her charade. But he too realized he would not last much longer. The only thought he tried to hang onto right now was the here and now. He was thankful he’d had the presence of mind – during one of the moments when he wasn’t feeling so much regret and self-loathng – to prepare, not only a handwritten letter, but a video for her as well, both of which he could only hope would give her comfort and solace during the days that lay ahead for her. He knew only too well how hard her life was going to be as soon as he was gone and his will was read. He had brought up her to be a loving, caring woman, who always tried to consider others’ feelings ahead of her own.

He’d always been so proud of her when she’d been in school. She’d even been accepted into Harvard University, because of her grades, in what had been her passion throughout school, science and biology. It had broken his heart that she’d had to turn it down when his health began failing him. He’d tried desperately to encourage her to go anyway, but to no avail. She had refused to leave him. As much as she’d loved her passions, she’d loved her father more. No amount of conversation he’d attempted to have with her would sway her. And he’d learned long ago, once Liz Parker had made her mind up about something, there was no changing it. Thinking back on her decision, he was grateful that her firm determination had been instrumental in her being here to lovingly spend the last few moments of his life with him.

After Liz had begged her father not to apologize for anything, he became silent for several seconds. Finally, when he continued his silence, she couldn’t stand it any longer. “Father?” she said, as she walked up to his bed and sat down on it.

Her actions brought Mr. Parker out of the past. He now realized he needed to give her a past that she would be able to hang onto in the hard days that were still to come for her. As this thought occurred to him, he silently reached his weak hand out to her and pulled her down toward him, effectively causing her to lie down beside her father. That was the way they remained for the rest of the night, quietly talking about more pleasant moments they’d experienced with each other over the years, until both of them fell asleep in the comfort of one another’s arms.
*****
Liz was dreaming her father was saying good-bye to her, and she kept begging him not to say that. “Please, Father, don’t say that. You can’t go. It’s too soon,” she said, as she was crying in her sleep.

Suddenly, she heard her name being called. “Liz. Liz.”

“Father, what happened? Your voice changed,” she responded.

Again, as though not hearing her question, she heard, “Liz. Liz…..Liz, wake up.”

At those last two words, she immediately sat bolt-upright, and came into direct eye contact with Max Evans.

“Liz” –

But before he had a chance to continue, when she realized she had been lying down with her father, she turned around to look at him again, praying she’d still be able to say good-bye to him one last time.

But as she did so, Max again spoke. “I’m sorry, Liz. Your father passed away just a few moments ago,” he said in response to her movements.

As she began to cry profusely, Max was once again cut to the heart to see her in so much pain. He once again pulled her into his arms, trying to somehow lessen the pain he knew she must be experiencing at that moment.

As Max pulled her gently toward him, Liz took solace in his gentle touch and his tender caresses. Little did either of them know that it would be the last time for a very long time before they would so willingly and freely embrace one another in such tenderness again.

*happy**wink**happy**wink**happy**wink**happy*
posted on 26-Sep-2002 2:00:13 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

I have to say I'm really disappointed I haven't gotten too much feedback. The only reason I'm posting the next couple chapters is because I had already been fired up from doing the last couple. But I'm beginning to run out of steam. So I don't know when I'll be able to muster up more to continue. Oh, well.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 6

The next few days went by in a blur for Liz. Though there were many things needing to be cared for, she basically did them in a daze. Now that both her father and her mother were gone, she had no family members to rely on in helping her with the tasks at hand. Of course, she had her very dear friends Alex and Maria.

Even Kyle, though he was still distant with her, offered to help her with anything she’d need. She had only to ask, he’d said. Of course, he knew Liz never would. He’d known her long enough to know she would never ask for any help. He knew, if he really wanted to, he’d need to take the initiative. The problem was, he didn’t want to. He was still nursing his bruised ego over the picnic basket fiasco. Of course, he knew nothing that had happened had been her fault. But somehow he just couldn’t bring himself to break down his walls just yet. He knew, once things had settled down around Liz, they’d both be able to talk things over and resume their relationship. Of course, he also now realized he wouldn’t be able to ask Liz’s father for his permission for them to marry.

But he knew now was not the time to dwell on something that at this point was the least of Liz’s concerns. His father had again asked him to go on a business trip related to the new business he was still attempting to build before he retired. With all that had happened in the last few days, he decided it might just be what he needed to get his mental faculties in order before he was ready to resume his relationship with Liz. He knew he wouldn’t be around when the memorial was held for Liz’s father, but he just couldn’t face all the emotional turmoil she would be in at that time. Yes, he decided, he would be only too happy to make this trip for his father.
~~~~~
With the help of Maria and Alex, Liz was able to get all her obligations taken care of. As she was finishing up her last task, she reflected on the fact that even Max had tried assisting her with her tasks. As much as she’d enjoyed his all too brief association the day her father had died, though, she had needed some space from Max. She still hadn’t come to terms with the possible implications of the most amazing kiss she’d ever experienced, with him. And she still wasn’t ready to do so.
~~~~~
Max had tried several times lightening the load he knew Liz had been carrying since her father’s death, but she had continued pushing him away. Ever since experiencing the most amazing kiss he’d ever had in his life, with Liz -- which wasn’t hard, since he hadn’t kissed anyone else before -- he hadn’t been able to rid himself of the image that had imprinted itself on his subconscious mind. He’d thought of it during every waking moment, and it was his last thought before going to sleep at night.
~~~~~
After everything had been taken care of to prepare for Mr. Parker’s memorial, the day finally arrived for it. Liz had purposely kept herself busy with all the arrangements, not wanting to think anything further ahead about her future and the impact her father’s death would have on her. Though she’d tried many times to get her father to open up about his financial affairs, he’d always rebuffed her efforts, saying he didn’t want to burden her with such matters.

Now she was feeling uneasy about these things, wondering what other tasks she might have to undertake to get his estate in order. She knew she did not have the strength or the know-how to continue living in and maintaining the home she’d practically grown up in. And it saddened her deeply to know that she would likely have to sell her lifetime home to a stranger. These were just some of the things she’d been trying to avoid thinking about while she got everything arranged for her father’s memorial.

But except for the memorial, which would take place in a matter of moments, and the reading of her father’s will, which would take place in the next couple days, she was finally at a point where she knew she would be having to face all the subjects that she’d been putting off. She would have continued dwelling a little further on these matters. But as she’d been sitting in the mortuary chapel, waiting for the memorial service to begin, a few more people came up to her to offer their condolences. ‘Well,’ she thought to herself, ‘I guess I’ll have to put these things off for just a little longer.’
~~~~~
The memorial service lasted for about a half hour, during which time the minister read many scriptures of comfort from the Bible. After the service concluded, everyone in attendance was invited to join the family – namely, Liz – to offer any condolences and other words of comfort which had not yet been offered. One of the tasks that Liz’s friends had overseen for her benefit was any food people would be bringing to share for the gathering. It had also been determined to hold the gathering in Liz’s home, since her friends felt it might be helpful for Liz to be in a place of comfort at this time.

Liz circulated among the various people who had come to the gathering. As she would quietly circulate, she would sometimes come upon people talking with one another, discussing some of the things they remembered about her father. Though it was comforting to hear these things, it was also very difficult for Liz, because it only reinforced the point that her father would no longer be walking into their home. So after trying to circulate as much as she felt she had the strength for, she discreetly looked around to make sure no one was watching her, and then she quietly left the house and went out into the barn, wanting nothing more than to be by herself so she could cry her eyes out over her loss.

Though Liz had been positive no one would notice her exit, she didn’t see the person who had quietly been observing her the entire night – Max. He hadn’t wanted to approach her before the memorial or at her home because he somehow had sensed she was purposely keeping her distance from him. Of course, he knew the emotional turmoil he’d been in ever since the day of the picnic. So he understood why ‘he’hadn’t really wanted to approach her. But he didn’t know Liz well enough to know why she’d been avoiding him or, for that matter, if it was just his imagination that she had been. But having watched her the entire night, he couldn’t restrain himself any longer. He had to find some way of trying to console her. So after waiting for a few minutes, he quietly followed Liz out to the barn.

Because there were no lights on in the barn and because Max didn’t know where the light switch was, he had to quietly step in and patiently wait to see if he could identify any sounds that might indicate where she was. He found he didn’t have to wait very long. Within a matter of seconds after he’d paused, he heard muffled moans and periodic nose blowing. He waited a few more minutes, hoping the moaning and other noises he was hearing would finally cease. But there was no stopping. Finally, he couldn’t stand to hear her pain any longer. He quietly walked in the direction of the noises and knelt down to the level of them. Liz had been so preoccupied with her emotional distress that she didn’t hear a sound until Max spoke.

“Liz….” Max trailed off.

Instantly, Liz stopped in mid moan and looked up in the direction of the voice. Of course, she knew it was Max. But she was startled, nevertheless, to hear him. “Max, I – I really need to be alone right now.”

“I – I know you do. It’s just that – it’s just – I just want you to know you’re not alone. I know you don’t have any other family now, but I want you to let me be of help to you in any way I can,” he softly said.

“Max, I really appreciate it but” –

She didn’t know what to say. How could she tell this gentle, sensitive man that she didn’t think she’d ever be able to go to him for help, for fear, if she really fully fell in love with him, he would break her heart because of not feeling the same way? No, she knew she would never ask him for anything, but she also knew she couldn’t tell him that.

“Thanks, Max. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Will you promise me you’ll let me help you?”

Liz hated it when people asked her to promise something she had no intention of doing. How was she going to answer him without necessarily lying?

“I promise, if I think you can help me, I’ll ask,” she said, hoping it wasn’t written on her face she had no intention of ever asking for his help.

Even as Liz spoke, something told Max she would never ask him for anything. But he decided he would not question her on the subject for now. He just made a mental note to himself that he’d have to pay extra special attention to how things were going in her life. For now, he would just respect her privacy and leave her – or at least let her think she was by herself. He went back to the house and quietly and patiently waited for all the guests to leave.

Alex and Maria, of course, were still there when everyone else left. It was obvious by the way they were dragging that they were themselves exhausted from the activities of the past several days.

“Hey, guys,” Max said, “why don’t you go on home. You’ve both run yourselves ragged today, helping Liz.”

“I’d love to do that,” Maria said, “but I’d hate to leave all this mess for Liz. She doesn’t need to be concerned about this trivial matter right now.”

Alex was so tired he could only nod in agreement with Maria’s comment.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll do it. I’ve been aching to help Liz out in some way, but she hasn’t let me do anything. It would really mean a lot to me if you guys would allow me the pleasure of doing this one thing for her.”

Alex was still too tired to give a response. He only hoped and prayed Maria would not turn down this wonderful offer. He knew, if he had the chance, he would fall asleep before his head hit his pillow.

In Maria’s mind, she was thinking, ‘Are you nuts? Only a person deeply in love with’ – then it occurred to Maria what was possibly happening between Max and Liz. She and Liz had briefly talked about Max’s having bought her picnic basket, but with all the details needing to be addressed, they hadn’t gone into much more detail than that. Somehow, though, she couldn’t help but wonder what exactly had transpired between the two of them. At this moment, she was sure she had an idea, but she decided to keep her thoughts on that subject to herself for the time being.

“You know, Max. You’re absolutely right. Alex and I are exhausted. I for one am not going to ‘look a gift horse in the mouth.’ So, please, clean up to your heart’s content.” As an afterthought, she turned to Alex and said, “Is that okay with you, Alex?”

Once again, all Alex could do was nod his head in agreement.

Just as Maria and Alex were about to leave, Maria realized she hadn’t seen Liz in a while. “By the way, Max, do you know where Liz is?”

Of course, Max knew where he had last seen Liz, but he didn’t want to provide this information, just in case Maria forgot about going home and went looking for her. So he said, “I’m not sure exactly where she is right now. But I’ll go check up on her in a little while. Don’t worry about her. I’ll make sure she gets to bed safely.”

Maria silently thought, ‘I have no doubt that you will.’ She said to Max, “Okay. I won’t worry.”

Again, Alex was too tired to even acknowledge Maria’s obligation. All he could do was point Maria in the direction of the car.

“Good night, Max,” Maria said.

“Good night, Maria, Alex.”
~~~~~
As soon as Max was sure Maria and Alex had driven away and had been gone for about 10 minutes, Max went through the house, making sure no one else was in the house, and then he used his powers to quickly put the kitchen and the rest of the house in order.

Then he got to the task at hand that he’d been aching to address all night. He once again quietly walked out to the barn to see, first, if Liz was still there; and, second, if she was still sobbing. He again waited for several seconds, waiting to see if he would hear her sobbing. When he was satisfied she wasn’t, he walked toward where he’d last seen her. He could still barely see her because of the lack of light. But what he did see cut him to the heart. He found Liz curled up into the fetal position, her hair strewn around her head. Even in her sadness, Max was in awe of her beauty.

After observing her for a just a couple of minutes, he gently gathered her into his arms and carried her to her room. Once he gently laid her on her bed, he removed her shoes and got a throw lying nearby to lay over her. When he was certain she was comfortable, he quietly closed her door, only leaving it cracked, just in case he heard her cry out in the night. He got his wallet, jacket, and car keys together, and was ready to walk out the door when it occurred to him, if Liz awoke in the middle of the night and came downstairs, it might be difficult for her to realize she was all alone in the house. So at the last moment, he decided he would just ‘camp out’ on the couch, just until he was certain Liz was ‘okay’ in the morning. Then he would be on his way.

*sad**sad**sad**sad**sad*
posted on 26-Sep-2002 2:11:41 PM by ravrac
Yeah, I know. I doubled up on this chapter. But something strange happened. After I did so, it didn't show up on the list of new posts. So I thought I'd try again and see if that makes a difference.

Anyway, hope it works this time.

My previous comment was as follows:

"Hi, Everyone:

I have to say I'm really disappointed I haven't gotten too much feedback. The only reason I'm posting the next couple chapters is because I had already been fired up from doing the last couple. But I'm beginning to run out of steam. So I don't know when I'll be able to muster up more to continue. Oh, well."

And Chapter 6 follows below. I thought I had included Chapter 7, but I guess I didn't. Oh, well, by the apparent lack of interest, it doesn't look I'll need to post it any time soon.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 6

The next few days went by in a blur for Liz. Though there were many things needing to be cared for, she basically did them in a daze. Now that both her father and her mother were gone, she had no family members to rely on in helping her with the tasks at hand. Of course, she had her very dear friends Alex and Maria.

Even Kyle, though he was still distant with her, offered to help her with anything she’d need. She had only to ask, he’d said. Of course, he knew Liz never would. He’d known her long enough to know she would never ask for any help. He knew, if he really wanted to, he’d need to take the initiative. The problem was, he didn’t want to. He was still nursing his bruised ego over the picnic basket fiasco. Of course, he knew nothing that had happened had been her fault. But somehow he just couldn’t bring himself to break down his walls just yet. He knew, once things had settled down around Liz, they’d both be able to talk things over and resume their relationship. Of course, he also now realized he wouldn’t be able to ask Liz’s father for his permission for them to marry.

But he knew now was not the time to dwell on something that at this point was the least of Liz’s concerns. His father had again asked him to go on a business trip related to the new business he was still attempting to build before he retired. With all that had happened in the last few days, he decided it might just be what he needed to get his mental faculties in order before he was ready to resume his relationship with Liz. He knew he wouldn’t be around when the memorial was held for Liz’s father, but he just couldn’t face all the emotional turmoil she would be in at that time. Yes, he decided, he would be only too happy to make this trip for his father.
~~~~~
With the help of Maria and Alex, Liz was able to get all her obligations taken care of. As she was finishing up her last task, she reflected on the fact that even Max had tried assisting her with her tasks. As much as she’d enjoyed his all too brief association the day her father had died, though, she had needed some space from Max. She still hadn’t come to terms with the possible implications of the most amazing kiss she’d ever experienced, with him. And she still wasn’t ready to do so.
~~~~~
Max had tried several times lightening the load he knew Liz had been carrying since her father’s death, but she had continued pushing him away. Ever since experiencing the most amazing kiss he’d ever had in his life, with Liz -- which wasn’t hard, since he hadn’t kissed anyone else before -- he hadn’t been able to rid himself of the image that had imprinted itself on his subconscious mind. He’d thought of it during every waking moment, and it was his last thought before going to sleep at night.
~~~~~
After everything had been taken care of to prepare for Mr. Parker’s memorial, the day finally arrived for it. Liz had purposely kept herself busy with all the arrangements, not wanting to think anything further ahead about her future and the impact her father’s death would have on her. Though she’d tried many times to get her father to open up about his financial affairs, he’d always rebuffed her efforts, saying he didn’t want to burden her with such matters.

Now she was feeling uneasy about these things, wondering what other tasks she might have to undertake to get his estate in order. She knew she did not have the strength or the know-how to continue living in and maintaining the home she’d practically grown up in. And it saddened her deeply to know that she would likely have to sell her lifetime home to a stranger. These were just some of the things she’d been trying to avoid thinking about while she got everything arranged for her father’s memorial.

But except for the memorial, which would take place in a matter of moments, and the reading of her father’s will, which would take place in the next couple days, she was finally at a point where she knew she would be having to face all the subjects that she’d been putting off. She would have continued dwelling a little further on these matters. But as she’d been sitting in the mortuary chapel, waiting for the memorial service to begin, a few more people came up to her to offer their condolences. ‘Well,’ she thought to herself, ‘I guess I’ll have to put these things off for just a little longer.’
~~~~~
The memorial service lasted for about a half hour, during which time the minister read many scriptures of comfort from the Bible. After the service concluded, everyone in attendance was invited to join the family – namely, Liz – to offer any condolences and other words of comfort which had not yet been offered. One of the tasks that Liz’s friends had overseen for her benefit was any food people would be bringing to share for the gathering. It had also been determined to hold the gathering in Liz’s home, since her friends felt it might be helpful for Liz to be in a place of comfort at this time.

Liz circulated among the various people who had come to the gathering. As she would quietly circulate, she would sometimes come upon people talking with one another, discussing some of the things they remembered about her father. Though it was comforting to hear these things, it was also very difficult for Liz, because it only reinforced the point that her father would no longer be walking into their home. So after trying to circulate as much as she felt she had the strength for, she discreetly looked around to make sure no one was watching her, and then she quietly left the house and went out into the barn, wanting nothing more than to be by herself so she could cry her eyes out over her loss.

Though Liz had been positive no one would notice her exit, she didn’t see the person who had quietly been observing her the entire night – Max. He hadn’t wanted to approach her before the memorial or at her home because he somehow had sensed she was purposely keeping her distance from him. Of course, he knew the emotional turmoil he’d been in ever since the day of the picnic. So he understood why ‘he’hadn’t really wanted to approach her. But he didn’t know Liz well enough to know why she’d been avoiding him or, for that matter, if it was just his imagination that she had been. But having watched her the entire night, he couldn’t restrain himself any longer. He had to find some way of trying to console her. So after waiting for a few minutes, he quietly followed Liz out to the barn.

Because there were no lights on in the barn and because Max didn’t know where the light switch was, he had to quietly step in and patiently wait to see if he could identify any sounds that might indicate where she was. He found he didn’t have to wait very long. Within a matter of seconds after he’d paused, he heard muffled moans and periodic nose blowing. He waited a few more minutes, hoping the moaning and other noises he was hearing would finally cease. But there was no stopping. Finally, he couldn’t stand to hear her pain any longer. He quietly walked in the direction of the noises and knelt down to the level of them. Liz had been so preoccupied with her emotional distress that she didn’t hear a sound until Max spoke.

“Liz….” Max trailed off.

Instantly, Liz stopped in mid moan and looked up in the direction of the voice. Of course, she knew it was Max. But she was startled, nevertheless, to hear him. “Max, I – I really need to be alone right now.”

“I – I know you do. It’s just that – it’s just – I just want you to know you’re not alone. I know you don’t have any other family now, but I want you to let me be of help to you in any way I can,” he softly said.

“Max, I really appreciate it but” –

She didn’t know what to say. How could she tell this gentle, sensitive man that she didn’t think she’d ever be able to go to him for help, for fear, if she really fully fell in love with him, he would break her heart because of not feeling the same way? No, she knew she would never ask him for anything, but she also knew she couldn’t tell him that.

“Thanks, Max. I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Will you promise me you’ll let me help you?”

Liz hated it when people asked her to promise something she had no intention of doing. How was she going to answer him without necessarily lying?

“I promise, if I think you can help me, I’ll ask,” she said, hoping it wasn’t written on her face she had no intention of ever asking for his help.

Even as Liz spoke, something told Max she would never ask him for anything. But he decided he would not question her on the subject for now. He just made a mental note to himself that he’d have to pay extra special attention to how things were going in her life. For now, he would just respect her privacy and leave her – or at least let her think she was by herself. He went back to the house and quietly and patiently waited for all the guests to leave.

Alex and Maria, of course, were still there when everyone else left. It was obvious by the way they were dragging that they were themselves exhausted from the activities of the past several days.

“Hey, guys,” Max said, “why don’t you go on home. You’ve both run yourselves ragged today, helping Liz.”

“I’d love to do that,” Maria said, “but I’d hate to leave all this mess for Liz. She doesn’t need to be concerned about this trivial matter right now.”

Alex was so tired he could only nod in agreement with Maria’s comment.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll do it. I’ve been aching to help Liz out in some way, but she hasn’t let me do anything. It would really mean a lot to me if you guys would allow me the pleasure of doing this one thing for her.”

Alex was still too tired to give a response. He only hoped and prayed Maria would not turn down this wonderful offer. He knew, if he had the chance, he would fall asleep before his head hit his pillow.

In Maria’s mind, she was thinking, ‘Are you nuts? Only a person deeply in love with’ – then it occurred to Maria what was possibly happening between Max and Liz. She and Liz had briefly talked about Max’s having bought her picnic basket, but with all the details needing to be addressed, they hadn’t gone into much more detail than that. Somehow, though, she couldn’t help but wonder what exactly had transpired between the two of them. At this moment, she was sure she had an idea, but she decided to keep her thoughts on that subject to herself for the time being.

“You know, Max. You’re absolutely right. Alex and I are exhausted. I for one am not going to ‘look a gift horse in the mouth.’ So, please, clean up to your heart’s content.” As an afterthought, she turned to Alex and said, “Is that okay with you, Alex?”

Once again, all Alex could do was nod his head in agreement.

Just as Maria and Alex were about to leave, Maria realized she hadn’t seen Liz in a while. “By the way, Max, do you know where Liz is?”

Of course, Max knew where he had last seen Liz, but he didn’t want to provide this information, just in case Maria forgot about going home and went looking for her. So he said, “I’m not sure exactly where she is right now. But I’ll go check up on her in a little while. Don’t worry about her. I’ll make sure she gets to bed safely.”

Maria silently thought, ‘I have no doubt that you will.’ She said to Max, “Okay. I won’t worry.”

Again, Alex was too tired to even acknowledge Maria’s obligation. All he could do was point Maria in the direction of the car.

“Good night, Max,” Maria said.

“Good night, Maria, Alex.”
~~~~~
As soon as Max was sure Maria and Alex had driven away and had been gone for about 10 minutes, Max went through the house, making sure no one else was in the house, and then he used his powers to quickly put the kitchen and the rest of the house in order.

Then he got to the task at hand that he’d been aching to address all night. He once again quietly walked out to the barn to see, first, if Liz was still there; and, second, if she was still sobbing. He again waited for several seconds, waiting to see if he would hear her sobbing. When he was satisfied she wasn’t, he walked toward where he’d last seen her. He could still barely see her because of the lack of light. But what he did see cut him to the heart. He found Liz curled up into the fetal position, her hair strewn around her head. Even in her sadness, Max was in awe of her beauty.

After observing her for a just a couple of minutes, he gently gathered her into his arms and carried her to her room. Once he gently laid her on her bed, he removed her shoes and got a throw lying nearby to lay over her. When he was certain she was comfortable, he quietly closed her door, only leaving it cracked, just in case he heard her cry out in the night. He got his wallet, jacket, and car keys together, and was ready to walk out the door when it occurred to him, if Liz awoke in the middle of the night and came downstairs, it might be difficult for her to realize she was all alone in the house. So at the last moment, he decided he would just ‘camp out’ on the couch, just until he was certain Liz was ‘okay’ in the morning. Then he would be on his way.


*sad**sad**sad**sad**sad*
posted on 26-Sep-2002 6:34:34 PM by ravrac
Hi, Guys:

You've restored my confidence that someone (or rather, a few 'someones' are reading this story. So I'm going to show my appreciation by adding the next chapter that I somehow omitted when I added 6. Hope you like it. I know for sure it will begin answering some of the questions some of you have already asked. Let me know what you think.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 7

In the morning, sunbeams began filtering into Liz’s room. No matter how hard she tried, she could not block out the sunlight. So she finally sat up on her bed. It took a few minutes of her going through in her mind what had happened the previous day before she remembered last night had been the night of her father’s memorial. Then she wondered where Maria and Alex were. She hadn’t seen them since having gone out to the barn. And then – wait a minute, the barn. Now she began wondering how she’d gotten up to her room. She certainly didn’t remember coming upstairs. She was preoccupied, thinking of all these things, when it finally occurred to her she was all alone in her home. At that thought, she immediately began crying all over again at experiencing the renewed sadness she felt because of her loss.

She didn’t realize how long she’d been sobbing. So she was completely shocked to hear a voice say, “Liz, are you awake?”

Of course, once again, she immediately realized it was Max. “Max? What are you doing here?” she asked, as she tried to discreetly dry her tears.

Max knew he could hear her crying, but he didn’t want to embarrass her. So he said, “Well, I was just getting ready to leave, and I wanted to check on you before I did.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m awake,” she responded, going to open the door to him.

“Okay. Well, then, I’m going to head out.”

“Wait. Max, where’s Maria?”

“Oh,” he said sheepishly, “I – I hope you don’t mind, but I sent Maria and Alex home last night. They both looked really exhausted. I had to tell her I’d make sure you were okay before I went home.”

“You – you mean you stayed here overnight?”

“Well, I – yeah, I did. I’m sure, if I had left you here by yourself, Maria would have never let me forget it,” he said, hoping it sounded like a plausible excuse for his being here. Of course, there was no way he would have left her here by herself.

“Oh. Well, then, thanks. I know they must have been really tired. They’ve both been such great friends these last few days,” she said, forgetting anyone was actually listening to her.

“Okay. Well, if you don’t need anything, I’m going to get going.”

“Oh, yeah. Okay,” Liz said, having forgotten Max was even there. “And, Max?” Liz said:”

“Yeah?” he said, as he turned to leave.

“Thanks for – for staying last night.”

“No problem, Liz. I just wanted to make sure you were okay before I left.
“Maybe I’ll see you in the next few days,” he said, hopefully. Of course, he had no idea he would definitely be seeing her in a few days. But it certainly wouldn’t be under what anyone would have called ‘ideal circumstances.’
~~~~~
As Liz became more alert and began jotting down errands she’d need to do during the day, it suddenly dawned on her she was supposed to meet at her father’s attorney’s office for the reading of her father’s will. Since her appointment was within the next hour, she quickly threw herself together, hoping to make it to the office on time.

When she arrived, she was breathless, from having hurried over. She still had about five minutes before her appointment. So she sat down in the lobby of his office to compose herself. She had no idea why, but she was feeling extremely apprehensive, wondering what her father’s will might reveal to her about his wishes for his estate.

She’d been there only a couple of minutes when someone else entered the office. Of all people, she looked up to see – Mr. Evans? ‘What is Max’s father doing here?’ she wondered. She didn’t have much time to dwell on that question, however, because at that point, her father’s attorney opened his door. What surprised Liz most, though, was that Mr. Evans was also asked to accompany them in.

Now Liz was feeling more apprehensive than ever. Why on earth would Mr. Evans need to be here? Again, she didn’t have any time to ponder the question because Mr. Jackson, her father’s attorney, was bent on getting the matter of the will taken care. Apparently, he had other pressing matters to attend to that day as well.

Mr. Jackson began the process by addressing Liz. “Ms. Parker, I’m sure you’re probably wondering why Mr. Evans is in ttendance with us today.”

Liz could only nod in the affirmative.

“Well, just a few days before your father died, he reviewed his will and then made an amendment to it. In that amendment, he names your father as the beneficiary of some things.”

To say this news was new to her would have been an understatement. She was shocked to the tips of her toes to hear such news. Though she heard the rest of the will being read, for the most part, she just sat there in silence. She was too stunned to do much of anything else.

She tried hard to focus on what Mr. Jackson was saying to her, but she found she was only comprehending maybe every few words or so. But the gist of what she gathered from what she did hear was as follows:

“Because of your father’s illness, he was not able to maintain his payments of the debts he owed, most of which was to Mr. Evans. That’s why your father, sensing he would not last much longer, revised his will. Because of your father’s debts to Mr. Evans, he willed the house to him, along with the rest of the estate, for Mr. Evans to dispose of at his discretion. Though your home will no longer be in your name, you will be allowed to continue living in it, with two stipulations….” Mr. Jackson paused, not sure Liz was paying attention to the stipulations he was about to reveal to her.

Liz had continued sitting, silently crying, as Mr. Jackson had continued droning on about her father’s debts. It was only when she realized he’d stopped talking that she consciously looked in his direction.

“As I was saying, Ms. Parker, your father left your home to Mr. Evans, with the stipulation that you would be allowed to continue living in it. But Mr. Evans also has some stipulations of his own.” Again, he paused, wanting to make sure she would be paying attention to what he would next say. When he could see she was still paying attention, he continued, “The stipulation Mr. Evans has made for your continuing to live in the home is that you agree to the following: First, that you marry Mr. Evans’ son, Max; and, two, that you and Max produce an heir.” Even as Mr. Jackson had mentioned the second stipulation, he could only cringe at how it must have sounded to Liz, as though they were going to be livestock he was breeding.

It had been hard for Mr. Jackson to have to drop this bomb on Liz. He had repeatedly tried to jar Mr. Parker to his senses when he was redrawing his will, but to no avail. It had appeared to Mr. Jackson that ever since Mr. Parker had become ill and had not been able to continue taking care of his finances, that he had given up on life. The only thing that seemed to have made sense to Mr. Parker was, making sure Liz would be well taken care of. So when Mr. Evans himself had been the one to suggest the possibility of the two families being united in marriage, Mr. Parker had been only tooeager to ‘seal the deal,’ fearing that Mr. Evans would suddenly renege on his offer if the ‘contract’ were not immediately drawn up.

Mr. Jackson knew Mr. Parker had never been able to forgive himself that his daughter had given up her dream of going to Harvard. The only reason Mr. Jackson had been privy to all the details was because he had presided over the meetings the two men had had. Even as he had witnessed what the plan would be, he could not have even imagined how difficult it was going to be for Liz to have to sit there and hear all the details he’d just dropped on her. Now that he had been the ‘messenger,’ though, he could only sit and wait to learn what Liz’s response would be.

Literally several minutes went by as Mr. Evans and Mr. Jackson patiently waited for Liz’s response.
~~~~~
After Mr. Jackson had concluded speaking, Liz had almost gone into a catatonic state. She could not believe what she had just heard. As she heard Max’s name mentioned, she was reminded of the most amazing kiss she’d shared with Max only days earlier. The more she thought about it, though, it became quite clear to her that Max must have been in cahoots with his father. ‘Why else would he have tried to seduce her,’ she thought. With each passing minute, she became more and more convinced that the whole ‘picnic basket’ event had been a setup.

It was bad enough that Max had played her for a dupe that day, and then that he’d awakened her senses to the kind of kissing she’d never known existed. But then for him to take advantage of the situation in her own home the night of her dad’s memorial – but even as she had that thought, she had to grudgingly admit he hadn’t imposed himself on her. If anything, he’d been a perfect gentleman. The more she thought about his whole demeanor, she realized that was why she was so angry. He had basically been ‘killing her with kindness,’ probably expecting that before long, she would just drop herself at his feet, begging him to have his way with her. ‘Well,’ she thought, ‘he’s got another think coming. I’d rather die myself than let him touch me again.’

She continued in her self-induced catatonic state, reflecting back on all the things that Mr. Jackson had just dropped on her. Marry Max? Have an heir? How dare they dictate to her who she would marry and that she must have an heir? ‘I will not accept these terms,’ she thought to herself. But in the next instant, she was remembering, if she did not agree to the terms, she would not be allowed to remain in the home where he was raised, the home that held all the happy memories she’d collected of her family, bother with her mother and her father. Finally, she decided, for the time being, she would have to go along with the terms, at least until she could gain the strength to separate herself from the nightmare she’d just walked into. She realized the only way she might be able to buy time to do that was to put Max off for as long as possible. There was no way she was going to – just the thought of having to – she couldn’t even bring herself to imagine – this area would require a lot more calculated planning than she had available to her right now.

Liz finally seemed to slowly be coming out of her ‘coma.’ Mr. Jackson and Mr. Evans had watched her intently for several minutes, patiently waiting for her to fully grasp the gravity of the proposal set before her. Suddenly, Liz ignored Mr. Evans and looked at Mr. Jackson, and said, “What do I need to do?”

Mr. Jackson was so shocked by her apparent composure, all that came out of his mouth was “Huh?”

“What do I need to do to agree to the terms?”

“Oh. Well, uh, I’ve drawn up a contract for you to sign, indicating your acceptance of the stipulations.”

“Okay. Where do I sign?”

Totally surprised by Liz’s apparent total composure, again, Mr. Jackson could only respond with one word. “Here,” he said, as he laid the one page before her.

Liz didn’t even bother to read through the page. She already felt like her free will had been removed from her. At this point, all she wanted to do was get ‘the deed’ over with and get out of the office as soon as possible.

She was just getting to the door and preparing to exit the office when Mr. Evans addressed her. “Uh, Ms. Parker?”

As much as she already despised the man, she dutifully turned to him, waiting to see what vile thing would next come out of his mouth.

“In anticipation of your agreement, I’ve made arrangements for your marriage to take place in two days, at my home,” he added.

Liz had already had as much as she thought she could handle. But at his words, she was totally and utterly speechless. So she didn’t bother to even try responding to his comment. She just continued her exit, now wanting to get out of the office more than ever. She desperately needed to get away and unload all the emotion that had come to the surface while she’d been subjected to the nightmare that she now knew would become her real life.
~~~~~
(Earlier, at the Evans home)

After leaving Liz’s, Max had gone to his favorite secluded place to think over all that had happened in the last couple of days. It was still hard to believe that Liz Parker now had no one to watch over her. It concerned him deeply that she would be living by herself now, and his protective side was having a hard time dealing with that. ‘There’s got to be something that can be done,’ he thought, ‘o make sure she’s taken care of.’ He’d dwelt on the matter at length before finally deciding he better head home. He hadn’t contacted his parents the previous night to let them know where he was.

Just as Max was entering his home, his father was just leaving. “Max, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you all morning,” he said.

“Oh, I – I just needed to go clear my head for a little while,” Max responded.

“Did you even come home last night?” his father asked.

But before Max could even respond, Diane called out to her husband, “Dear, you better hurry. Otherwise, you’ll be late for your appointment.”

“I’m just leaving, Diane,” he called back to her.

To Max he said, “Max I need to talk with you as soon as I return. Please stick around. I should be back in an hour or so.”

“Oh. Okay, Dad.” He paused and then said, “Is everything okay, Dad?”

“Of course, Son.”

“Well, then, what’s up?”

“I can’t really give you specific details until I return. What I find out at my meeting will have an impact on what I need to talk with you about. Now, I’ve got to get going.”

Max didn’t have a chance to even respond to his father’s comment. But what his father had said left Max thinking all kinds of things. Would they be returning to Antar? Had their presence been detected by some of the dissenters on Antar, who’d been wanting to prevent them from coming to Earth in the first place? Max had so many questions he decided he wasn’t going to focus on it until his father returned.


*bounce**big**bounce**big**bounce**big**bounce*
posted on 27-Sep-2002 11:44:59 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

The creative juices are still flowing. Enjoy it while it lasts. Here's another part.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.

Since Max’s father had basically told him to wait for his return, he decided to go into his room and listen to some of his CD’s, while he continued daydreaming about Liz and how he might be able to help her.

His father, true to his word, returned in about an hour and a half. He no sooner returned, and he immediately came to Max’s room. “Okay, Max. I need to speak with you in my study…now, Son.”

Feeling uneasy at hearing the sound of his father’s voice, he responded immediately, “Yes, sir.”

Once they were both inside the room, Mr. Evans turned toward his son and began.

“I had an appointment today to hear the reading of Liz Parker’s father’s will.”

“What” –

“Please, Max. Let me finish before you start asking questions. I know you’ll have a lot, but I need to give you all the details first.

“The reason I needed to be in attendance was because Liz’s father, just a few days before he died, had revised his will, making me the beneficiary for pretty much his entire estate.”

As his father continued to speak, Max could only sit there in shock. ‘What in the world is he talking about? How could his own father do such a terrible thing to poor Liz?’ These were just a couple of questions that Max already had.

“I won’t belabor the details, Son. To make a long story short, I still plan to allow Liz to continue living in the house. I believe it will be easier for her to recover from her father’s loss if she’s in an environment she has good memories of.”

At hearing these words, Max began relaxing and sighing in relief. ‘Thank god,’ he thought to himself. ‘It’s really nice of dad to do such a considerate thing,’ he continued thinking. Of course, his pride at his father’s supposed considerate gesture was short-lived.

“However,” Mr. Evans continued, “I’ve made two stipulations for her to continue doing so.”

At those words, Max suddenly felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up on end. Instantly, he sensed whatever else his father had to say, he was NOT going to like.

When his father had continued pausing, Max said, “What. Were. The. Two. Stipulations?” he asked, haltingly.

“Number one, she has agreed to marry you” –

“What!!!!!?” Max burst out, before his father completed his sentence.
“in two days,” he added, as Max had stood up in anger.

“How could you pull such a terrible thing on Liz? My god, Dad. She just lost her last living relative. Don’t you have any emotion at all as to what you’re doing to her? How can you honestly think she can think rationally right now? Of course, she’s going to agree. You obviously haven’t given her any other options.

“I won’t do it, Dad. I won’t be a pawn in your scheme. I refuse to put Liz in what can only be a very uncomfortable arrangement for her, to say the least.”

“You have no choice in the matter, Son.”

“Why?” he grudgingly asked.

“If you refuse to cooperate with me, I will have no other choice but to rely on your sister to marry a human that she does not know or love. I know you love your sister. Do you really want to subject her to that?”

“Yet it’s okay for you to do that to Liz? Or even me, your own son?” he asked in disbelief.

“Please understand, Son, I would not resort to these tactics if I had any other options. But time is running out. We’ve already been on this planet for some years now. But as late as just a few days ago, I still had not seen any indication that you were any closer to mating than when we arrived years ago.”

“Don’t you understand about humans, Father? If there’s anything I’ve learned since we’ve been here, is that that just isn’t the way Humans deal with their mating ritual. Don’t you understand how important it is for a Human to feel they love the person before they make the monumental decision to spend the rest of their lives with them in marriage?”

“Then you’ll have to immediately get to work once the wedding’s over. Because I have another stipulation for Liz as well, and she’ll need your help on the matter.”

Max gulped in fear, not looking forward to hearing what that stipulation was, but realizing he needed to know what other unspeakable words his father had subjected Liz to, so that, hopefully, he would be able to deflect some of the damage when he talked with her, if she’d even let him do so.

“The other stipulation is that you and she must produce an heir.”

At hearing his words, Max felt like he wanted to cry. ‘How had his father turned into the monster that now stood before him?’ he wondered. He could only imagine how Liz was going to treat him after being subjected to the tyranny of his father.

The more he thought of the circumstances, the more he began berating himself. If he had made more of an effort to get to know Liz during all the years he’d been in the area, he knew things would be so much easier for her now.

He also began realizing, during all the time he’d secretly loved her from afar, it had never occurred to him how critical things had been on his own planet. His father had never discussed the details urging them to come to Earth. So he’d never felt his father’s urgency at trying to encourage him to become better acquainted with the females on Earth. The more he continued reflecting back on the time he’d been on Earth, the more he realized it was going to take a very long time to come to terms with the guilt he would forever carry at having unwittingly put Liz in the position she now found herself. He only hoped that one day Liz would be able to stomach his presence. At this point, and for a long time into the future, he was certain she would not be able to stand the sight of him.

Though there was no way he was going to share this point with his father, he promptly vowed to himself that he would never force himself on Liz. If – and that was a big word, for such a small spelling – anything EVER happened between them, he was determined it would only be if she initiated it. He would wait an eternity, if that was what it took. He knew his father would possibly continue hounding them when no heir would be forthcoming, but he would find some way to keep his father’s prying and meddling at bay. He found himself vowing to do whatever it would take to protect Liz, even if it meant lying to his own father, something he’d never considered until this very moment.

As Max concluded his last thought, he realized his father was still standing there, awaiting a response from his comment about the second stipulation. Knowing it was useless to argue the matter, he mustered up as much calmness as he could and responded, “Well, I guess I better go get myself ready for my wedding day.” Then he walked out of his father’s office, not even waiting to see if his father had anything further to say.
~~~~~
Even though Max had initially put up an argument about his father’s plans, Mr. Evans was just a little surprised at the overall calmness in which Max had accepted his destiny. Even so, he was already mentally devising a plan to implement, just to make sure the second stipulation was fulfilled.

As always, let me know what you think.


*happy**happy**happy**happy**happy*
posted on 3-Oct-2002 8:52:21 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

Thanks for your FB and patience with me in getting these next parts up. FYI, sometimes when I'm reading others' fics, I seem to subconsciously use ideas I've seen in the stories. If anyone feels I've done that, and any part or idea seems too close to an idea one of you has used, please let me know, and I'll try rewriting the part. If I have done that, it was totally unintended. It might have just seemed to me that whatever idea it might have been seemed to tie in with my storyline. Even so, if I've inadvertently used any of your ideas and it offends you, let me know; and I'll try rewriting any portions that are leaning in that direction.

With that said, I doubt that most of these two chapters will fit into that area. So here goes:

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 9

The day of the wedding arrived much too soon for Liz’s satisfaction. Of course, two days’ planning was a short amount of time for even the simplest planning, even for something as simple as planning a ‘picnic basket.’ At that thought, Liz couldn’t help but choke up, remembering it had only been a week or so since she’d prepared the basket that she had totally expected would be purchased by Kyle. She hadn’t been able to talk with him ever since that night. She learned, during the day of her father’s memorial, that Kyle wasn’t even in town for it.

She sat for a few more minutes, wistfully thinking what might have been if Kyle had not shut himself off from her. Now, she realized the next time she saw him she would be a married woman. If she’d sat there much longer, she would have totally ruined the makeup Maria had so carefully helped her apply. Though it was going to be a rather small ‘wedding,’ with only the Evans family and Alex and Maria and their families, she was grateful she would at least have her two very dear, very close friends to commiserate with. She was certain she would not make it through the day if not for their constant encouragement.

But now ‘the big day’ was only minutes away. She’d asked her friends to give her some time alone so she could mentally compose herself to bear the rest of the day. But the ‘grains in the hourglass’ were too quickly draining to the end of their travel. She hadn’t seen Max since being informed what would be expected of her. She just couldn’t imagine having to be in the same room with him, let alone – no, she refused to think any further for the time being. For now, all she could bear was to take one moment at a time. She refused to think any further than that for now.
~~~~~
Ever since Max had been informed by his father what would be expected of him, he’d basically gone into hibernation. He’d had to totally rethink what lay in store for him and – and – he couldn’t even bring himself to say her name. It continued to gnaw at him the guilt he felt for having unknowingly put her in such an abominable position. He only hoped one day she would not cringe just at the sight of him.

The wedding was now only minutes away, but Max felt he’d never be ready for the destiny that awaited him shortly. He only hoped Liz would be civil to him, at least in front of their family and friends.
~~~~~
Though the wedding lasted for at least 25 minutes, to Liz and Max, each in their own thoughts, it was all too brief. The minister had already come to the point of “You may kiss the bride.” Amazingly, they’d both forgotten that would be said. So neither had thought enough ahead as to how they would respond to the statement. When the moment suddenly arrived, both tensed up at the thought. But Max didn’t want to give the appearance that he didn’t want to kiss her. He realized, though, no matter what choice he made, he would likely upset her. But at this point, he decided he needed to at least put on appearances for the others, even if only for the briefest of moments. It would only be a matter of time before everyone realized their wedding was a sham. But that moment didn’t have to be now.

Though he felt as though he’d been thinking for several minutes, it had only been seconds since he’d heard the minister say he could now kiss the bride. So not wanting to think any further, he hesitantly lifted Liz’s chin up to him and gently kissed those beautiful, soft lips he’d kissed for the first time only days ago. Though it was brief, he still thought for the briefest of moments that he’d felt a connection with Liz, that he’d felt her fear, her anxiety, her anger, her determination, her hatred, and – desire? But the connection was so brief he suddenly realized he must have just imagined it. He feared the desire he’d felt was only the desire he felt for her, and it scared him that he might not be able to restrain the alien side of himself in her presence.

He’d heard the Antarian stories of how at the moment of the kiss, at the close of the ceremony, the reproductive urges of Antarians were awakened. But it wasn’t until that moment that he’d realized they weren’t just stories he’d heard. He’d never given any credence to such stories because no on had been able to explain to him how something as simple as a kiss after a ceremony could have such a profound emotional and physical effect on a person. Now was not the time to try analyzing the how’s or why’s, but it would be a subject that would frequently gnaw at him in the coming days, as his ‘destiny’ with Liz began to unfold.

Max had no idea how grateful he’d be that his family had planned a small wedding celebration, which included eating dinner and just relaxing with family and friends. The way Max had been feeling ever since kissing Liz, he was more and more certain he would not be able to keep his hands off her if they were alone. Yes, he was very grateful he had his family and friends to distract him, even if only by their presence.

Liz too was grateful for the distraction of the others, though for quite opposite reasons. She feared Max might try forcing himself on her, not because of being an alien – after all, she was not even yet aware of this ‘minor detail.’ Her thought was that he must, after all, be ‘his father’s son,’ and that he would probably be like any other dutiful and obedient son in wanting to fulfill his father’s wishes, especially when he could get his own physical satisfaction in the process. And though she’d felt determined only days earlier to keep her distance from him, she wasn’t sure it would be possible to accomplish that when they were alone, especially if he were forceful on the issue. But he somehow seemed to understand she needed some space. So he’d pretty much just spent the time circulating with everyone else.

Finally, though, after too short a time, both Max and Liz thought to themselves, the family and friends were shooing them out, wanting the newlyweds to ‘enjoy their evening,’ if that were even possible, they both thought, again to themselves. Before they left, though, Mr. Evans said, “Max, Liz, would you like to have some champagne with everyone before you leave?”

“No, sir,” they both said simultaneously. Max looked at his dad questioningly, wondering why his father had made the offer, knowing the reaction Antarians have to Earth’s alcohol.

Liz had turned it down for an entirely different reason. She’d experienced how alcohol sometimes made her feel just a little too free-spirited. And she definitely did not want to feel that way tonight.

Not feeling rebuffed in the least, Mr. Evans said, “Well, why don’t you two at least have some punch with us, then, before you go.

Not wanting to appear ungrateful for everyone’s hard work, they both decided it was the least they could do before they left. So they sat for another 15 minutes or so, casually conversing with the others, until they’d each finished their punch.

As soon as Max observed Liz was finished, he indicated to his father once again that this time they would be leaving, and not to worry about them. They would make their way back to Liz’s ranch on their own.

Even as Max and Liz were making their way out of the house, they saw a carriage waiting for them, much like the one they’d taken on their picnic only a week earlier. If they’d been paying closer attention, they would have noticed the sign on it that said “Just Married.” Right now, though, that was the furthest thing from their minds. At this point, it seemed to both of them the carriage wasn’t going to be fast enough to get them back to Liz’s.

Part 10

No matter how quickly Max tried to get Liz and himself to her home, neither of them could seem to keep their hands off one another. If it hadn’t been for the fact that neither wanted to be on display to the world, they both would have stripped naked on the spot and consummated their marriage right there in the carriage.

In spite of the fact that they both seemed eager to be in one another’s arms, something kept nagging Max in the far recesses of his mind. In spite of the alien, primal hunger that threatened to consume Max if he could not have Liz soon, something kept reaching out to him, telling him there was something terribly wrong for him to be feeling this way. He was subconsciously remembering what he’d thought earlier about the Antarian stories regarding the wedding kiss. And amazingly, there was a part of him that was able to rationally think through the rest of the night since the kiss. Though he’d begun to feel the urges he’d heard so much about over the years, he’d had the determination to fight them, at any cost, so as not to ravage Liz against her will.

But there was something else that subconsciously was bothering him. It was becoming increasingly more difficult to fend Liz off of him as they continued heading back toward her home. She seemed to have developed her own primal hunger for him. This too was of great concern to Max, not because he didn’t want to fill her needs, but because it was too out of character for her from what he’d observed of her over the years. They hadn’t spoken two words to each other from the time of the memorial until the wedding. But he couldn’t imagine she’d feel anything more for him than the disgust he felt for himself.

He knew, if he was going to save both himself and Liz from themselves, he’d have to do so soon. Within minutes it would be too late for either of them to prevent what would without a doubt be the biggest mistake of their lives. Not that it would have been wrong as far as outward appearance and decorum were concerned. In the eyes of the average human, they had fulfilled the legal and spiritual aspects of ‘mating.’ But Max’s concern was not just ‘for the sake of appearance.’ His concern was that, if there was even a shred of possibility that he could salvage the mess his father had made for him and Liz, and actually make a true success of the arrangement and over time be able to truly have Liz see him for who he really was, someone who had been deeply in love with her for years, he would have to somehow get both of them through the next few hours without making that mistake. He knew it would be a monumental task. And at that thought, he found himself feeling extremely grateful for his alien side right now because he knew it would probably require all the alien strength he could muster to get through the night.

Once Max had determined why it was so important to try regaining some semblance of logical thinking, he began going through his head what had transpired after the wedding. The dinner had gone well. Everyone seemed relaxed and calm. Then, as he and Liz were preparing to leave, his father had asked them to stay for some champagne. But both of them had refused any alcohol. So what could have happened? All they’d both had was punch……

Suddenly, Max felt as though he wanted to vomit. All too quickly, a picture came into his focus, and everything became clear. His own father had once again tried to manipulate them. It wasn’t enough that he’d forced them to marry against their wills – although, Max had to admit, it didn’t take much coaxing for him on that matter. But to think his own father must have drugged him with alcohol, knowing how it would affect him.

And what about Liz? What could he have given her? Somehow he doubted it was alcohol. Liz had only indicated she became somewhat free-spirited with it. But that definitely was not how she was acting now. She was acting almost as if she would explode if her primal urges were not satisfied. Once again, things suddenly became clear to Max. He’d also heard over the years about a drug the Antarians use to help ease any inhibitions one might have when first consummating the mating ritual. But there was something else about the drug he’d heard about that, for the life of him, he could not remember at this time. If that was what his father had given her, though, he knew he had his work cut out for him for the rest of the evening. His most immediate concern about that was, are there any side effects for humans? And if so, what are they? And he definitely had some unfinished business he needed to take care of with his father first thing in the morning

As Max and Liz finally pulled up to her home, Max tried to mentally prepare himself for what he feared would be a very long night.

Let me know what you think.

*bounce**happy**bounce**happy**bounce*
posted on 6-Oct-2002 12:38:39 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

Thanks so much for your feedback. It really helps me to keep plugging along. Here's the next part, to thank you for your efforts.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


Part 11

Max had no sooner brought the carriage to a complete stop than Liz jumped down from the carriage and bolted toward the house before Max could stop her. He chased after her, not sure why she had taken off in such a fashion.

It didn’t take long to grasp the meaning of her actions, however. As he stepped into the entryway of the house, there lying in the doorway was one of Liz’s discarded garments. He looked up the stairway leading to the second floor just as he saw another garment being thrown to the floor and Liz disappear as she turned the corner at the top of the stairs.

Things were occurring much too quickly for Max to maintain his focus on the importance of the topic that had been on his mind as he and Liz had approached her home. He ran up the stairs after Liz, all logical thought having left his head. He had no trouble finding Liz because the door to her room was wide open. The vision standing before him was one that he’d never even dared believe would ever come true; and yet, incredibly, there Liz stood, in all her naked glory, beckoning him to come to her.

In that moment, the full force of the alcohol had its effect. His alien primal hormones kicked in, and he quickly followed her lead in stripping to the skin. Without any further encouragement from Liz, he came toward her and pulled her into his arms. The instant touch of skin to skin sent the feel of electricity shooting through both Max and Liz. Their lips were drawn together like magnets, neither willing to let the kiss cease, as their hands seemed to take on a life of their own, each using the sense of touch to heighten the physical drive in both of them.

As the kissing and the touching took on a sense of heightened physical desire, they walked each other toward the bed, both in a mental haze, neither seeming to be able to control their hunger. They fell to the bed, still locked in the kiss that had begun several seconds earlier, their bodies responding more and more urgently to their craving for one another.
~~~~~
As their kissing and caressing reached feverish proportions, Max began having flashes, though at first, he wasn’t sure what they were. But suddenly Max was realizing they were flashes of things that had happened in Liz’s life. She was a little girl, and her mother had made her a dress. It had embarrassed Liz greatly. But she’d worn it because she didn’t want to hurt her mother.

In the next flash, he saw Liz crying. At first, he wasn’t sure why. But then he saw her standing before a coffin, her mother inside. Liz hadn’t understood how her mother had died. She was, after all, only 10 when it had happened.

Next, he saw himself as Liz was sharing her info with him in lab homework. Then he saw how she’d thought he was arrogant and stuck-up.

Next, he saw Liz talking to Kyle, and how Kyle was going to ask for her father’s permission to marry her. And then her disappointment that Kyle had not won her basket at the Harvest festival.

Then he saw the scene play out between her and his father, with his father giving the two conditions for which she would be allowed to remain in the only home she knew that held all the beloved memories of her now deceased parents. And then her self-loathing at having felt like a prostitute being given to the highest bidder……

As the last picture played out in his mind, he slowly began coming out of the haze of primal desire and was beginning to remember the resolve he had made to himself, for himself and Liz, only minutes earlier. As the seconds went by, his mind was continuing its battle back to some semblance of logical thought.

Suddenly, the haze that had surrounded him at looking at Liz naked began clearing, and not a moment too soon. “Oh, Max, please, don’t tease me anymore. I’m burning up. I need you desperately,” she was saying, as she was trying desperately to get a response from him.

Max yearned, though he knew only too clearly why she was saying those words, to have her really mean what she was saying. But he sadly reminded himself she was not speaking from the heart but from chemicals that were ruling her body. So he continued his uphill battle for several more seconds, trying to gain control of his desire for Liz, all the while not being able to get her one specific thought out of his head, ‘….felt like a prostitute…..’ Finally, the magnitude of those words sank in to his subconscious, and he was able to emotionally and physically battle back from the edge, oh, so painfully, slowly beginning to regain control of his body.

Now able to register what had almost happened, he found himself dangerously intertwined with Liz and began trying to slowly pull himself from her embrace. Even as he was trying to do so, though, Liz was not making the precarious situation easy on him.

Somehow he mustered up what alien powers he had and was able to turn Liz around in his arms, until finally he had her back toward him. Even as Max had been battling with Liz, trying to turn her body away from him, Liz seemed to have her own ‘superhuman’ strength to prevent his efforts, undoubtedly, Max guessed, a side effect of the drug his father had given her.

Finally, though, Max’s efforts prevailed, and he had Liz facing away from him. Even so, Liz was struggling every moment, trying to break free of his embrace, so that she could get her ‘hunger’ satisfied. But Max, having already mentally prepared himself for just such a battle, had already pulled his Antarian energies together, keeping a very tight grip on Liz’s body, keeping her arms pinned to her sides, preparing to settle in for the evening, to keep Liz’s ‘superhuman’ efforts at bay.

The ‘physical’ battle continued on through the night. Another side effect Liz seemed to have was that her ‘strength’ did not subside throughout the night. Neither did she want to sleep. If Max had not known for certain that Liz was human, as the night wore on, he knew he would have begun doubting himself, thinking Liz, was, in fact, an alien herself.

Finally, though, in the wee hours of the morning, sometime just before dawn, Max began feeling Liz struggling less and less, until finally, around 5:00 a.m., he found she had stopped moving altogether. Not sure if he was imagining it or if Liz was possibly just pretending, he waiting for another 15 minutes or so to see if, in fact, she would remain motionless in his arms.

During the time he was waiting, he suddenly was realizing how peaceful and quiet everything was. He also for the first time was able to pay attention to the softness of Liz’s skin against his. With her back toward him and his arms still around her body, having been preventing her from turning toward him, he still had her in a warm embrace. Now not having to spend his energies trying to prevent any ‘arousing’ movements, he had the luxury of just holding her close to him. For the first time he could smell her scent of vanilla and strawberries.

He found himself just wanting to revel in her scent, wanting to gently snuggle with her, with his lips and nose gently nuzzling her ear, as she lay motionless against him. Having spent all his Antarian energies trying to keep her from turning toward him, he’d also warded off the effects of the alcohol on himself, to the point that now he was not worried about ravaging her against her will, but instead, found himself cherishing the moment of serene happiness he was feeling.

As he was enjoying the moment, he also felt a little sadness, for he realized this was not a situation Liz had willingly put herself in. He also realized he better store up the joy and happiness he was feeling in this moment because he was certain, when Liz awoke, she would not find the position they were both in – naked, in each other’s arms – satisfying to her in any fashion.

Even as he had that thought, he was reminded of the image he’d seen in Liz’s head of feeling like a ‘prostitute.’ He was also now more certain than ever that that image would haunt her for a very long time, and that her anger and hatred, if that’s what she’d already been feeling toward him, would be even more intense toward him from now on.

It saddened him greatly to even have to think that Liz would have such harsh hatred toward him because, he knew in his heart, he had loved her deeply from the moment he’d become acquainted with her at school. Of course, he’d never dwelt on those feelings, never imagining it would be possible she would ever take an interest in him. He was certain, especially now, when she finally learned of his alien status, she would hate him even more, only being able to think of him as a monster.

As he continued thinking of his alien status, he was once again reminded of his father, and how low he had sunk to bring about this union that, when the world found out the circumstances behind it, would likely want to string up, not only Max, but the rest of his race. Why couldn’t his father understand how important Earth’s custom of ‘marrying for love’ was to its people. How would Earth’s people possibly want to intermingle with aliens from another planet when they were not even allowed the dignity to do so in a way that was acceptable to them. No, the more Max thought of what his father had done, the more he found even himself deploring such a concept.

But there was nothing Max could do for his own situation now, or for that of Liz, but to make the best of a bad situation, if that were even possible. He knew he would have plenty of time to suffer for his father’s harsh methods and ideas, but he decided he would allow himself this one treasure, that of holding Liz, his only love, tenderly in his arms for what he feared would end up being the only time in his life it would ever happen, especially once Liz got through with him. With that last thought in his head, he gently moved the tendrils of hair lying around Liz’s neck and tenderly kissed her neck, softly whispering, “I love you with all my heart, Liz, and always will, no matter what you’ll think of me when you awaken.”

He then lightly repositioned his arms around Liz, not wanting to awaken her just yet, and not wanting to waste this precious limited amount of time he knew he would have to enjoy the feel of her body next to him before reality would hit him in the face – namely, one very angry Liz Parker, or rather, Liz Evans now -- when she awoke in a very short time. With these last few thoughts and regrets in his mind, Max drifted off into what would be the most peaceful moments of sleep he would have for a very long time.
~~~~~
Liz was dreaming of Max, and the idea of being married to him. The idea in itself seemed absurd to her. She didn’t even really know him, except from school, when they were lab partners. The next thing she knew, he had somehow purchased her picnic basket, and they had kissed. What had surprised her most about it was that she’d really enjoyed it. How was that possible, she’d wondered.

But the idea that still continued gnawing at her was the audacity of Max’s father at basically ordering her to marry his son, Max. And then, not stopping there, he was ‘ordering’ her to produce an heir with him. It was bad enough the idea of marrying someone she didn’t even love. But to have to – to – she couldn’t even bring herself to think of such an idea.

The next scene playing out in her dream was the wedding. She was remembering everything that had taken place. But she especially was remembering how Max had seemed to keep his distance from her after the wedding. Although she was grateful for his distance, part of her was surprised to feel a little uncomfortable about it. As absurd as the idea had been that she would have to ‘produce an heir’ with Max, she now found it even more absurd that she was disappointed he was keeping his distance. Now for the first time it occurred to her. Was she unattractive to him? She continued vascillating with that thought, especially when she’d remember back to when they had kissed during the picnic. He hadn’t seemed put off by her then. So what was wrong with her that he didn’t want to be around her, she thought.

As the night had continued, they’d had a nice meal with his family and her friends. Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly, all things considered. Then she remembered having one last drink with everyone before they left.

As they were riding back to her home, she had begun feeling extremely apprehensive, worrying more and more that Max would force himself on her, not so much because he really wanted to than for the idea of them producing the stupid heir his father had ordered. Surely, she thought, Mr. Evans must have told him of the arrangement. Why else would Max have seemingly been willing to allow his father to do such a thing if he were not in agreement. Perhaps Max just wanted to do the deed and get it over with. He probably planned to have mistresses on the side, so he wouldn’t have to be stuck in the arrangement himself. Of course, no one seemed to consider what her needs were. Who would she – wait a minute! ‘Did I just think that?’ she dreamed. ‘What needs do I have? I don’t even want to think of the idea. Still, I am curious about Max and’…..

Even in her dreams she was having a hard time trying to figure out what she really and truly felt about the whole situation. She continued dreaming about how they’d left the party, but then she got to a point where everything basically blacked out for her, and she remembered nothing more about the previous day until she woke the next morning.

*happy**happy**happy**happy**happy*
posted on 28-Oct-2002 8:56:59 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

Sorry it's been awhile, but things have been rather hectic. They still are, but I felt the need to at least post one chapter. If I feel up to it, I'll post another one in another couple of days. Of course, feedback would really help motivate me. Thanks.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”


Part 12

Liz’s dream had long since ended. Gradually, her subconscious mind was becoming aware of soft background noises. At one point, her subconscious mind even seemed to register someone’s voice; then she heard her name mentioned. At that instant, she tried with much effort to focus on the words….“I love you with all my heart, Liz, and always will, no matter what you’ll think of me when you awaken.”

At hearing the words spoken, Liz found herself feeling utterly content and at peace with the world, and deeply loved. Her subconscious mind drifted off once again into dreamland, this time into a world that Liz would swear, when she would first think back on it, would never happen in her lifetime, if she had anything to do with it. For the time being, though, her subconscious allowed her to enjoy her fantasy.

~~~~~Dream Sequence~~~~~

She was deeply in love and being kissed senseless, but for several seconds in the dream she had not seen the face of her beloved. All she knew was that he was treating her like a precious piece of porcelain, ever so gently, for fear that any other touch would break his precious treasure.

They had been wrapped in each other’s arms, neither wanting to let go of the other. They had just been married and were on their honeymoon. To celebrate their love and devotion to one another, they had just finished consummating their relationship by the most intimate of acts. Both had been virgins. So both were therefore inexperienced at knowing what to expect from the experience.

(Shortly before their consummation)

Liz had heard from others’ experiences and from ‘books’ she’d read that pain would be involved. So she’d mentally tried to prepare herself for it. But nothing had been able to prepare her for what the reality was. It was the worst possible pain she could have ever imagined.

Instantly, her beloved paused, not wanting to hurt her. He had lifted himself slightly, trying to help ease the pain he feared she was experiencing. When he did so, she was finally able to look into the beautiful amber eyes of her beloved, and she could see in his expression how much it was hurting him to see her in pain. “Liz, love,” he said, as he placed several delicate kisses around her face, “I promise, if it hurts too much more, I’ll make the pain go away,” he said, as he continued with his delicate kisses.

At seeing the deep love in his eyes that he held for her, she couldn’t help herself. She loved him more than anything else in the world, even her beloved mother and father, who had both died, not being able to witness the joy she’d felt at marrying the one person in the world she’d never have imagined she could be happy with. With silent tears still streaming down her face, she nodded ever so slightly her willingness to proceed.

Her beloved proceeded with their ‘journey,’ trying desperately to cause as little pain as possible. Even so, Liz had cried out at the immediate pain she experienced at losing her virginity. She had tried not to, not wanting to make her beloved feel guilt at having caused the pain, but she couldn’t help it.

At hearing her cry of pain, he couldn’t bear it. “Liz, love, hold very still for just a moment. I’m going to make the pain go away,” he said, as he gently touched his hand to her abdomen.

Liz nodded her head and held still while he proceeded with his task. In an instant, she immediately realized she was feeling no pain at all. Realizing this, she touched her hand to his head, whispering, “I love you so much, Max.” As she did so, she pulled his head toward hers and kissed him deeply, connecting with him in a way that she’d never thought possible.

They continued with their love-making, experiencing the deepest love for one another they had never known existed until that moment. The most amazing thing to both of them was that, not only was it physically fulfilling, but it was emotionally satisfying as well.

Not wanting to separate from one another for even an instant, they pulled one toward the other, until each was being held by the other in a deep embrace, and then they both sighed from the satisfaction they felt from the other and drifted off into a comfortable slumber.
~~~~~
After Liz’s dream ended, she slowly began to stir from her sleep. Still dwelling on the emotional high from the satisfaction she’d experienced from it, she ever so slightly began stretching her body, wanting to wake up without forgetting the most beautiful dream she’d ever had.

Unfortunately, there was one minor detail preventing her from being able to stretch as freely as she’d wanted to. She suddenly realized her arms were pinned down to her side. In that instant, reality came crashing down on her as the events of the previous day suddenly came to mind. The only problem was, her memory stopped at the point that they’d been heading back to her home.

She stopped her movement momentarily, trying to clear her head enough to consciously grasp the circumstances she was now in. She slowly took her hands – that were not pinned – and began slowly tracing the arms that were, not tightly, but ever so snugly embracing her body. Even as she did so, she could feel the soft, even breathing of someone lying behind her.

Once again, she began moving, ever so gently trying to free herself from the strong arms that were embracing her. Gradually, one by one, she began freeing one finger then the other, and then finally each arm from its lock on her body, and began pushing the arms away so she could sit up. Just as she thought she’d met with success, the owner of the arms and hands took one of his hands and cupped one of her breasts and gently began squeezing it, in so doing, pulling her body back closer to his.

It was only at that moment, Liz felt the sensation and realized she was naked from head to toe. That one realization was enough for her to forget she was trying to quietly remove herself from the strong arms encircling her. Suddenly, silence was the last concern on her mind as she mustered up the small amount of female strength she could to get rid of the arms encircling her. After several attempts and several moments, though, when she was not succeeding, she finally got the one idea that did help her. She took hold of one of the arms and bit down hard, with no intention of letting go until she was released.

She didn’t need to worry. Almost instantly, the arms released her as she heard a male voice yell out in pain.

“Ow!” Max yelled, as he awoke from his calm slumber to the pain his arm was now experiencing. His initial reaction was to try making the pain stop. Before he did so, though, he suddenly realized what was happening. He was staring right into the eyes of Liz, who at that moment was already showing the beginning signs of the hatred in her eyes that Max had so hoped and prayed he had only been imagining he’d see.

Before he even had time to utter a word, though, Liz had already gone into action. She began yelling and screaming at him, hitting with him with her rolled up fists as hard as was humanly possible. “How could you,” she yelled. “What did you do, drug me, so I wouldn’t put up a fight?” she continued yelling, as she also continued barraging him with her fists. “It’s not enough that I had to practically sell myself as a prostitute to be able to remain living here. You had to take advantage of me, not even allowing me the dignity of preparing myself for your onslaughts,” she yelled, still pounding him with her fists.

Even as she did so, Max could feel intermittent moisture hit him as she continued attacking him. It grieved him deeply to realize she was crying as she was hitting him. He knew it would do no good to try talking with her. Even if he had spoken, he knew there was nothing he could say to lessen the emotional pain she was feeling right now. So he decided to remain silent as she continued barraging him with her fists.

And he was amazed how hard she was hitting. He was suddenly becoming aware that he was actually in pain from her attacks. He also realized he would not be able to heal himself once she was done, since she would then be able to see that her attack had not lastingly affected him. Somehow, he actually feared that would upset her more than learning he had healed himself. So he resolved in his heart to allow her anger to take its course, and that he would suffer the pain for as long as need be, if for no other reason than for her to see she had had some effect on him. He had also somehow sensed she would need to have that satisfaction since she’d had no choice in all the things that had taken place in her life over the last couple days.

Finally, after several minutes, Liz’s energy subsided, and she could only curl up in a heap on the floor, pulling her legs toward her with her arms, rocking back and forth as she continued to weep over her lost innocence.

Though Max was definitely in a great deal of pain from Liz’s attack, he quickly forgot about it as he quietly sat, watching Liz in her despair. He couldn’t bear for her to think what she was thinking. So he ever so slightly moved toward her, being cautious so as not to draw her anger full force once again.

Though he was still naked, he’d forgotten about that. All he could think of was comforting Liz, at the same time realizing Liz too was still naked. He instantly felt himself becoming aroused but immediately forced himself to think of her instead of himself. He gather a blanket from the bed and took it to wrap around Liz, as she continued rocking back and forth in tears, oblivious to what Max was doing.

Once he’d wrapped Liz in the blanket, he dared to speak. “Liz,” he said, ever so softly, careful to keep his distance, “it’s not what you think.” Then he waited for a response.

At hearing Max’s voice, there was something that seemed familiar to Liz. She stopped crying, trying to register why it seemed so familiar. Instantly, she was reminded of the marvelous dream she’d had of being with her beloved. ‘No, that can’t be,’ she thought to herself. ‘It’s not possible my dream actually happened. I know we’re not on a honeymoon. And I’m definitely not in love with him. I don’t even like him. In fact, I hate him,’ she continued yelling to herself. Then it sank in what Max had just said to her, ‘it’s not what you think.’ Suddenly, she had to know what he meant by that.

Max had been waiting for several seconds for Liz to respond to his statement. Finally, he saw Liz lift her head toward him, as if she were waiting to hear what he had to say. “Nothing happened between us last night, Liz,” he again said.

At hearing those words, Liz’s first reaction was to feel an immediate sense of relief that he had not ravaged her against her will. But in the next moment, she found herself again realizing the state of undress they were both in.

Max watched Liz’s face as she registered what he’d just told her. For the briefest moment, he felt a sense of relief that she finally understood. But all too quickly that moment was past, and he found Liz staring at him, looking him up and down. Suddenly, he was once again reminded of his own appearance and actually began blushing as he felt Liz’s eyes boring into him. He promptly stood up and turned his body away from Liz, embarrassed that she seemed to be enjoying watching him at this awkward moment.


As he went back toward the bed and grabbed another blanket to wrap around himself, he heard Liz’s voice. “Then how do you explain the fact that we’re both naked? Or the fact that I awoke with your arms pinning me down? Or that, as I was moving away from you, your hand seemed to know right where to grab me to pull me back?” As she’d made her last comment, she found herself blushing at the memory of him having grabbed her breast.

Max was so unprepared for her questions, he didn’t know how to respond to her. He also didn’t see her blush as she’d made her last comment. How was he going to explain that his father had drugged them both? No, he was sure she wouldn’t accept that well at all. For that matter, he still couldn’t believe how low his father had stooped. Finally, he decided to feign ignorance. Still not sure what he was going to say, he began to speak anyway when…..the phone rang. ‘Save by the bell,’ Max thought to himself. When Liz made no movement to answer it, Max said, “Are you going to answer that?”

“Not until you answer my questions.”

Again, Max was at a loss for words. Then it occurred to him who might be on the phone, his father. “I have a feeling it’s my father.”

“Then you better answer it.”

Max gave her a hesitant look before doing just that. He still hadn’t even decided what he was going to say to his father. So he certainly was not ready to speak with him. But just glancing at her as he was thinking, it occurred to him she definitely did not want to speak to his father. Anything he might say would probably be a lot more civil than what might come out of her mouth. So he finally decided it would be best to speak with him.

So he picked up the phone. “Hello?”


*shy**happy**shy**happy**shy**happy**shy*
posted on 30-Oct-2002 12:41:48 AM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

For those of you who have chosen to leave feedback, I just want you to know how much I appreciate it. Even though it has been virtually nonexistent for the most part, I'm finding I'm enjoying writing the story anyway. So in spite of the apparent lack of interest, I'm going to post when inspiration moves me. If there are periods of time when I don't, just remember, feedback really helps my adrenaline to flow. For now, it's flowing. So here's the next part.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 13

“So, you finally decided to answer the phone. I hope I didn’t interrupt anything,” his father said, with a hint of sarcasm.

Max decided to let Liz know it was his father. So he said to him, “Hang on a minute.”

With his hand over the mouthpiece, he turned to Liz and said, “It’s him.”

“Well, then, you better come up with some kind of story, if what you told me is true,” she said, as she gathered the blanket wrapped around her and headed to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

As soon as she’d left the room, he began speaking to his father. “This is not a very good time to talk,” he said a little harshly.

“Oh, I figured that,” he said. “That’s why I called. I’m planning to be over there in a few minutes so we can talk more thoroughly. Normally, I would have expected you to report in to me here, but I’ll be leaving out of town on business shortly. And….of course, I don’t want to interrupt any intimate moments between you and your….wife. So as soon as I come by to talk, I’ll be leaving. Just wanted to give you a warning, so neither of you will come to the door unprepared for a visit.”

“But” –

Before Max could get in a word, his father had already hung up on him. He was still standing there, holding the phone, when Liz opened the bathroom door. “What did he want?” she said, in a hateful tone.

“He called to let us know he’ll be over here shortly,” he said, as he hung up the phone.

“Well, I have nothing to say to him,” she said, as she gathered clothes she was going to wear.

“Actually, I’m glad to hear that. He won’t be here long, but I do have some things I need to say to him. And it would probably be better if you weren’t around anyway,” Max said, as he began collecting his clothes to get dressed.

“Oh, I see. You’re going to check in with him and give him all the intimate details of what went on. Well, you’re right about one thing. I definitely don’t want to be around for that,” she said, not so much in anger, but again feeling as though she was being treated as property rather than as a – a wife.

Max thought he even detected tears in her voice as she spoke. But he didn’t have time to concentrate on that right now. He needed to get dressed before his father arrived. He only hoped he’d be able to have a more fruitful conversation with Liz afterward. Before leaving the room, though, he felt he had to say something to her. “Listen, Liz?”

“What?” she said in aggravation.

“I, uh – I just want you to know I’m sorry you were put in this situation. I know, if you’d had a choice, this wouldn’t have been something you would have wanted to do,” he said, and then left the room.

An apology was the last thing she’d expected to hear from Max. It had never occurred to her he’d even given a thought to her feelings. It made her wonder what more there was to Max that she hadn’t expected. With that thought in mind, she decided to see what more there was to this person who was now her husband. So she silently followed him, hoping he’d talk to his father in her father’s study, since she knew of a secret passageway leading into the room.
~~~~~
Max got downstairs just as he heard a knock at the door. He opened the door to see his father standing there.

“So, Son, how was your wedding night?” he asked eagerly.

Max was not about to discuss anything that Liz might accidentally hear, especially if it was something that would upset her, like alien business. “Father, would you step into the study. I’m sure, since it’s your home now, you’ve taken the trouble to know where it is,” he said sarcastically. He didn’t speak another word until they’d entered the study and he’d made sure the door was securely closed.

“So, how was it?” he father once again asked.

Max responded with a question of his own. “What the hell did you think you were doing?”

“What are you talking about?” his father responded innocently.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about. How could you, Father? How could you interfere with our intimate lives? I never imagined anyone could stoop as low as you did. It’s bad enough that you gave me alcohol, when you knew how it would affect me. I could almost excuse that. But to stoop so low as to drug Liz as well? How could you do that? How could you risk giving her something that might have been lethal to her? Did you ever even stop to consider what effect that Antarian drug could have on her? How could you stoop so low?” he yelled.

Phillip Evans was silent for several seconds. The furthest thing from his mind was that Max would have figured out what he’d done. If anything, he’d thought Max would have been grateful to make his initiation into the intimate world easier. He’d been absorbed in his thoughts for several more seconds when he finally realized Max was still waiting for an answer.

“You really didn’t give me any other choice, Son.”

“What?!! What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well,” he began, “ever since we came here, I’ve been trying to help you to come to terms with what your destiny is. But you’ve fought me every step of the way. Every time I’ve tried to discuss the subject with you, you’ve eluded it. Time is running out, Son. I finally had to take matters into my own hands. If it hadn’t been for your sister inadvertently letting it slip that you had any feelings for Liz, I would have even gone so far as to choose someone for you. At least you’re mated with someone you have feelings for.”

“That’s all you have to say? You can’t even apologize for possibly putting Liz’s life in danger?”

“My concern for her welfare is the least of my worries. I have much greater issues I need to contend with, such as the lives of two planets.”

“Well, Father, I guess that’s why it’s been so hard for you to motivate me to follow my destiny. If following my destiny means not being concerned for my subjects, then I want no part of it.”

“Well, that’s not a choice you have the luxury of making. You will succeed me if it’s the last thing I do. And I expect you to produce an heir within the next month or….”

“Or what, Father? You’ll tie us both up and force us on each other? As long as I live and breathe, I will refuse to force myself on Liz. If anything develops between us at all, it will be because she wants it to happen, not just to be obedient to your wishes or…my own desires.”

After Max’s outburst, his father was silent for several more seconds. Max watched his father closely, trying to read his expression. But no matter how hard he tried, he was not sure if he’d reached his father. While he was still trying to determine his father’s response, his father finally spoke again.

“Max, I am sorry you’re feeling pressured by my ultimatum. But you don’t understand how important it is that an heir be produced.”

“Well, why don’t you once and for all come out with it and spell it out for me. Why is it so necessary for an heir to be produced?”

“Max, the reason it’s so necessary is that, if you do not produce an heir and something unexpectedly happens to me – and your cousin Khivar does produce one, he and his heir after him will become king in my place. Khivar has already chosen his mate. Of course, she is from Antar. But you must know we’ve been in negotiations with some of Earth’s people. If an heir is born with one parent being from Earth, it will protect Earth. If that does not happen, and Khivar and his line take my place, Earth will be doomed to attack and slavery under his rule.
“I truly am sorry my methods have seemed too unorthodox for your liking. But I’m at a point where I’m desperate, and I’m willing to do anything to prevent Khivar from having the throne. My biggest regret is that I never told you until now what my reasons were for coming to Earth. Maybe, if I had, you would have understood my concerns for you to be mated with a human.”

At hearing his father’s revelation, Max was rendered speechless for several minutes. His father knew it was a lot to unload on his son on the spur of the moment, but he’d finally been backed up against the wall, with no other options being made readily available to him.

While Phillip was spending his time regretting having been so secretive over the years, Max finally spoke. “I really wish you had been more forthcoming with me before now. I don’t like the ultimatum, but at least now I understand your reason behind it.”

“Then you’ll reconsider?”

“The only thing I’m willing to reconsider is the part I will play in your scheme. But my feelings have not changed with regard to Liz. I still will not force her to be a pawn in a scheme that she has no choice in.”

“But I need” –

“I understand you need an heir. This is what I will agree to. Allow me the next two months to get to know Liz on her terms. Allow us to be spontaneous with one another. If something happens between us and an heir is at least conceived, so be it. But if, after that time frame, an heir has not been conceived, I will release Liz from her agreement with you. She will also be allowed to have her family’s home.”

“And what about the need for an heir?”

“Once I have freed Liz of her obligation to me, I will marry any human you choose, as long as that person knows exactly what is expected of them and why. Those are my terms. If you don’t agree to them, I don’t care what you try. I will never agree to produce an heir with anyone. I don’t even care that it will mean the lives of two worlds. You at least owe me and Liz the dignity of trying to come to terms with the cage you’ve put us in.” After Max finished speaking, he went silent.

His father looked at his son thoughtfully before finally speaking. “You really love this human Liz, don’t you?”

“I’ve loved her from the first day I met her when we first came to this planet. She’s never done anything to deserve being treated as abominably as you’ve treated her in this arrangement. And I refuse to force her to do anything she does not wish.

“For that matter, I’m ashamed that you forced her to marry me. One thing I’ve learned since being here is how precious a right it is to be able to marry someone because you’re in love with him or her. I know how important that is because I am in love with her. But she was not allowed to make that choice. I know she was dating a young man before I entered the picture. And I have no doubt, if you had not interfered, she would have married that person. Being able to make the choice of whom she was going to marry was taken away from her. I refuse to also take away from her the choice of who she will be intimate with.” Again, after speaking, Max went silent.

His father once again could only stare at him. This time, though, Max saw something in his father’s eyes he’d never seen before. It looked like – was it admiration? No, that couldn’t be. His father had never before given any indication that he was in awe of his son. What would make Max think that was what it was now?

Finally, after staring at Max for several seconds, Phillip again spoke. “I’ve never told you this before, Son, but I’m proud of you. I’ve never seen you take such a firm stand on any subject until now. I can see you’ve given this whole situation a lot of thought. I’m especially impressed how you’ve taken the human woman’s feelings into consideration.”

“Her name is Liz, Father. She at least deserves to be spoken of by name. She is, after all, your daughter-in-law.”

“You’re right, Son, she does. Once again, I stand in awe of your determination. These qualities will be very useful, should you finally replace me as king. The people of Antar and the people of Earth deserve to be considered in decisions that will have long-lasting effects on them and their descendants. I only hope you will succeed in providing the heir that will be needed for that outcome.”

“As I said before, Father, if that happens, it will only be because Liz…..or whoever else may be involved has willingly assisted me in doing so.”

Phillip Evans paused before responding. “I understand what you’re saying, Max. I will not interfere again. You have my word.”

“Thank you, Father. And you have my word. If nothing has happened at the end of two months, we will make other arrangements.
“Oh, before you go, I have a question for you. When will I be resuming my business travel for you?”

“Oh. Well, I took the liberty of freeing up your travel calendar for quite some time. In fact, two months was exactly the time frame I had in mind to give you and Liz more time to become better acquainted.”

“Oh. Well, I guess I can use the time,” he said hesitantly.

“Thank you, Son, for understanding.
“Well, I must be going. I have a plane to catch. I still need to keep up appearances for my life here on Earth. I have not explained these details to your mother. So she still does not know the full details for our coming to Earth. I would appreciate it if you would not share any of this conversation with her.”

“I understand, Father. I will keep this between just the two of us. Have a safe trip.”

“Oh, Max, before I leave, I have one more question.”

“What’s that?”

“Where did you get all those bruises?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“Why don’t you just heal them?”

“I think that’s one you can figure out, Father.”

“Oh. Oh, I see. Yes, I understand. Well, maybe one day you’ll be able to tell her.”

“Maybe. But she’s got too much to deal with right now. I can’t drop this on her too, especially right now.”

“Well, you know I’m not a religious man, but I’ll pray that one day you’ll be able to.”

“Thank you, Father. Take care.”


*sad**shy**sad**shy**sad**shy**sad*
posted on 1-Nov-2002 3:43:13 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

Don't have much to say since I'm not getting much feedback. But I'm still feeling like posting.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”


Part 14

During the entire time Max had been speaking with his father, neither had any idea their every word was being heard by another, Liz. Neither Max nor Phillip Evans knew of the hidden entrance to the study. So Liz had been able to sneak into a hidden room in the study and basically had a front-row seat to all that had just been spoken between the two.

As the conversation proceeded, Liz became more and more stunned by the arrangement she had become a party to. Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined the things she’d just heard discussed between her ‘husband’ and her ‘father-in-law.’ She’d been so stunned by the entire discussion, she sat in shock for several minutes after Max and his father had left the study, trying to come to terms with all the things she’d learned. Being the analytical person she was, she’d actually brought pen and paper with her to make any notes, should she hear anything she felt might be useful at a later time. But it took her several minutes before she even began writing an outline of the things she’d learned.

Finally, as she reflected back on what she could remember, she began making an outline that went as follows:

1. Could it be that Max and his family were honest to goodness aliens, as in from another planet?
2. His own father had drugged, not just his own son, but her? And if that were true, that would explain why she couldn’t remember past a certain point last night.
3. The most amazing revelation to her was that – Max Evans had been in love with her ever since high school? How was that possible? She couldn’t remember him ever giving any indication he felt that way.
4. Max was destined to be a king of another world? Did that mean she, by association would be his – though she had a hard time saying it – his queen?
5. He’d basically vowed to his father he WOULD NOT force himself on her. He’d said, if anything happened, it would only be because of her willingness?
6. This point, Liz decided might be especially useful if she ever found a use for it – Max could be drugged with alcohol. That would definitely be something she’d need to keep in mind.
7. She was deeply touched to realize Max had not revealed the circumstances they’d found themselves in that morning. He was….protecting her dignity, from his own father.
8. If she refused to be intimate with Max, he would release her from the arrangement in two months.

That was as far as she got before the magnitude of the revelations she’d heard finally began sinking in. When it finally did begin sinking in, she was helpless to control the tears that began streaming down her face. She sat in the secret compartment for several minutes as the tears continued to flow.
~~~~~
After Max had escorted his father to the door, he too was overcome by magnitude of the situation both he and Liz were in. Now that he finally understood his father’s motivation, though he’d never forgive him for what he’d done to Liz, he was now forced to realize that the lives of two worlds were at stake. Though he knew the stakes were high, he also knew he would never take Liz against her will. The question that lay before him now was, how could he keep himself from acting on the desire that had already been unleashed in him after the wedding kiss. No, he could not let his guard down at any moment. For if he did, he knew he would not be able to restrain himself. Though he loved Liz with every part of his being, he decided the safest thing for her would be for him to keep his distance. He realized that would not help him in his agreement with his father. But at this point, his only concern was to not use any possibly vulnerable moments there might be between them to take her against her will.

At his last thought, he began wondering what Liz had been doing this whole time and decided to go find her to make sure she’d recovered from their earlier discussion before he thought any further about how he would keep his distance. He went back to her room, only to find she was nowhere in sight. So he went through the rest of the house, calling for her as he went. But to his amazement, she was nowhere to be found. He returned to the study, wondering if she had gone there looking for him once his father had left. As he did so, he began calling out her name, wondering if she would hear him in a location he was not familiar with. “Liz? Liz, where are you? I need to talk with you.”

Liz had continued sitting in a heap, crying, for several minutes. It wasn’t until she heard Max calling for her that she realized she somehow had to pretend not to know any of the things she’d just overheard him speaking to his father about. She also realized she couldn’t allow him to find her here; otherwise, he’d know for sure she had heard everything. So she quickly dried her tears and returned through the secret passageway leading to the study. Fortunately, there was another secret entrance leading to the outside of the house. So she took it. She hoped Max would finally go outside, where he would find her, seemingly taking a walk in the garden.

When Liz finally did get outside, however, she couldn’t bring herself to pretend to be taking a leisurely walk. She was no sooner outside and away from the house, than she collapsed on the ground, crying more now than ever. The things she’d just learned continued to bombard her thoughts, to the point she was overwhelmed by the enormity of their meaning. She was so overcome with sobbing, she did not hear the footsteps that approached her.

Suddenly, she was pulled from the ground into warm, strong, comforting arms. She already knew without looking, it was Max who had pulled her up into an embrace. Though she tried to stop crying, the tears proceeded more intensely than ever. Max didn’t utter a word the entire time, feeling it might be better if she could rid herself of the grief of her losses as completely as possible, while she still had tears to shed. He just continued holding her, stroking her long, dark, silky hair, trying to provide comfort in any way he could. It was breaking his heart to see how overcome she was over the circumstances she found herself in. He’d had no idea she would be so devastated.

Of course, unknown to him, she was really crying over all the revelations she’d been privy to, and she was still trying to sort out her own thoughts and feelings as to the impact it would have on her and…Earth if she did not cooperate with Max’s advances…

As the last thought crossed her mind, she began remembering how Max had been adamant that he would not force her into anything. Suddenly, remembering that point gave her a measure of peace, and she was finally able to slowly cease her wailing.

Though she’d stopped crying for several minutes by now, she had not tried pulling away from Max. Having heard the conversation he’d had with his father and the love he’d expressed for her gave her a sense of safety in his arms. Somehow she could even sense he would not harm her.

Though Liz had finally stopped crying, Max continued holding her to him, not wanting the moment to end, even though her closeness was playing havoc with his Antarian hormones. But he was determined not to do anything that would upset her. For now, he would be content just to hold her. After several minutes of doing just that, he finally found the strength to pull her slightly away from his embrace so he could look into her face to see how she was doing.

Just that one simple gesture proved almost too much for him. As he looked down into her beautiful chocolate, doe-brown eyes, trying to gauge how she was feeling, he was suddenly overwhelmed by his desire for her and was not able to rein himself in quickly enough before bending down and kissing those beautiful soft lips he’d kissed yesterday at the wedding and…last night when they’d arrived home.

When Liz looked up at Max, she was overwhelmed by the desire she saw there, intermingled with tenderness and love. So when Max suddenly bent down and kissed her, though she’d just found out he was an alien, as well as all the other details about him, she instantly forgot all of it, as she responded immediately to his kiss. She somehow knew she would likely have submitted to anything he asked, if she remained in his arms much longer.

But it ended before it even had a chance to begin. Suddenly, she found herself being pushed away from Max. “I’m so sorry, Liz. I took advantage of you at a vulnerable moment. But it won’t happen again. I think for your own good, as well as my own weaknesses, it would be best if we keep our distance from one another. I know you’re upset about the circumstances. And believe me, if it were in my power to change things, I would. I don’t want to make things any more difficult for you than they already are. So I think it might be best if I sleep in the barn.”

“What?!!” Liz said in shock. She even surprised herself at how shocked she was. Wasn’t it just that morning she was appalled to awaken in his arms and, not only that, but to find herself being fondled by this person she hardly knew, despite the fact she was now married to him?

“You can’t be serious, Max.” Though she was amazed to hear herself as she spoke, she somehow had to at least get the chance to get to know him better. And she was certain, if he lived in the barn, that would not happen. “In fact, the more I think of it, I think it’s ridiculous for you to do that. The house is quite large enough for us to both live there. I…I agree with you it would be wise if you sleep in another part of the house. But…there are other bedrooms – my father’s, for example.” She had no idea why she’d even suggested that, but the more she thought of it, the more she liked the idea of Max taking her father’s room.

“No, Liz, you don’t understand. I can’t promise that I – that is” –

How was he going to explain to her how attracted he was to her and that just thinking of her made him ache to be with her. Didn’t she understand what torture it would be for him to be near her and still keep his hands off her?

“I understand we’re both civilized human beings,” she said, as she choked somewhat on the last three words. “Besides,” she added, “I at least deserve to get better acquainted with you, so I can have a better idea what I’ve gotten myself into.” Even as she spoke, she knew she was sinking deeper and deeper into a hole she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to climb out of. But it was said. All she could do was wait to see how he would respond.

After several seconds of silence, Max spoke. “Well, what you say makes sense. And you do deserve to at least get to know your ‘husband,’” he said, almost choking on the last word. “Agreed?” he said, as he held out his hand.

“Agreed,” she responded, as she reached to shake his hand. Even that simple gesture was almost too much for them. Both felt the electricity run through them, and instantly stepped back from one another, both afraid what might happen if they maintained contact for too long.

As Max began walking away, he began thinking how awkward things might be between them, with them just being there alone. As an afterthought, he turned back toward Liz with a proposal. “Liz, I know things have been difficult for you, happening as suddenly and unexpectedly as they have. So I was thinking. Would you like to have Maria come and stay and visit a little while -- until you – that is” –

How could he explain he really wanted someone else there for his sake as well as hers? Perhaps by having someone else there, he’d be able to keep himself in check. As he was trying to figure out how to get out of the hole he’d just fallen into, Liz came up with an idea of her own.

When Max paused in his thought, Liz could see the turmoil written on his face. Was it that he was trying to really protect her from him, but couldn’t find a way to validate a reason for having someone come and stay? Suddenly, she had an idea of her own.

“You know, Max, that’s a really good idea. I was thinking. You know, we really only had a celebration for friends and family. What do you think about the idea of having, like, an ‘Open House’ for everyone in town? I’m sure many people were probably a little hurt that only family and friends were invited, especially since I’ve known so many of the people in town practically my whole life.”

“I hadn’t thought of that. The more I think of it, the more I like the idea.”

“So how about we spread the word that we’ll be having ‘Open House’ in a month. And during that time, Maria can stay here with me and help me make all the arrangements and get everything prepared.”

“That’s a wonderful idea,” Max said, feeling a huge sense of relief.

“And…I was wondering…would it be okay if we hired Mia back just for that short time? She always took care of matters such as this for Father and me. I know she would be a great help to me for this.”

“Consider it done,” he responded. “Well, if you don’t have anything else to add, I need to get some work accomplished,” he said, as he shyly looked toward Liz.

Of course, Liz knew, from his conversation with his father, that his time was his own for the next two months. But she didn’t want to let on she knew anything about that. Instead, she felt a little giddy with herself as she suddenly realized she needed to go call Maria and see if she’d even be available to stay. So she ran to the house, feeling the first measure of joy since her father had died.

*shy**shy**shy**shy**shy*
posted on 9-Nov-2002 10:54:38 AM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

For those of you who have been reading my fic and been patiently waiting for the next part, I finally got the time to get it up. Hope you like it. And thanks for your feedback. Just sorry it took so long to post this next part.

RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 15

“Hi, Maria.”

“Liz? What are you doing, calling me? I thought you’d be – shall we say, preoccupied for the next several days,” she said, trying to be as subtle as she knew to be, about as subtle as a heart attack.

“Maria, please.”

“Oh, right. I’m sorry, Liz. I – I forgot how awkward this has all been for you. I wish there were something I could do to help you.”

“As a matter of fact, Maria, there is. That’s exactly why I’m calling.”

“Oh? What’s up?”

“Well, I was just having a conversation with my – that is, with Max (she couldn’t believe she had already almost referred to him as her husband) about having an ‘Open House’ for all the people in town who weren’t able to attend the wedding.”

“Oh, Liz, that’s a wonderful idea. When do you plan to do that?”

“We were thinking sometime within the next four weeks or so.”

“That sounds perfect. What can I do to help?”

“Well, I – that is, we were wondering if you’d like to come stay with me for the next few weeks while we make all the arrangements. I’m also planning to have Mia come back and help.”

Maria was stunned at the idea of staying with Liz for all that time. Suddenly, she wondered if Liz felt threatened or intimidated by Max and, of course, she couldn’t keep her imagination from running wild right then and there. “Liz, is everything okay with you and Max? He hasn’t hurt you, has he?” she said with concern.

“No, of course not, Maria. It’s nothing like that. We were just talking about how things happened so quickly that we didn’t really have time to plan something for all the neighbors and townspeople. I – I think it’s Max’s way of helping me – helping me adjust to our ‘arrangement,’” she said, not realizing she’d used the word ‘arrangement.’

When she did, Maria couldn’t help but wonder what was really going on. The more she thought about Liz’s invitation, the more she determined she should go, if for no other reason than to observe firsthand what was really going on. It was obvious Liz was not going to give her anything specific.

“You know, Liz, that really sounds fun. I’d like that. I was already beginning to miss you, and it’s barely been 24 hours,” she said. “So when should I head over?”

“Well, the sooner you get here, the more quickly we can get started with our plans.”

“Okay. Just give me an hour or so, and then I’ll head over.”

“That is so great. I look forward to seeing you. See you soon, then. Bye, Maria.”

“Bye, Liz.”

As Liz was getting off the phone, Max came walking into the house.

“So, were you ever able to get ahold of Maria?”

“Yes. As a matter of fact, she’ll be over in an hour or so.”

“Oh, that’s good,” he said, not really knowing what else to say to fill the awkward silence.

“Look, Max?”

“Yeah?”

“I just want to thank you for the idea of having Maria come over for a little while. And – and I just wanted to apologize for hitting you the way I did earlier. It was just” –

“Please, Liz, you don’t need to explain. If I had been in your shoes, I might have probably reacted in the same way. Like I said before, I’m just sorry you were put in such a situation, not having any say on the matter. And about what my father said about his two conditions, I just want you to know that – that is, I would never want to force anyone to do anything they didn’t want to do, especially something as” –

“As intimate as that?” Liz filled in the gap.

“Yeah, exactly. I also want you to know I had no idea my father had planned any of this. It was just as much of a surprise to me as it was to you.”

“I appreciate that, Max. Thanks for your patience with me.”

“You know what. I’d really like to talk about something else, if that’s all right with you,” he said, becoming more uncomfortable as Liz tried indirectly complimenting him.

“Sure, I understand.
“You know, I was thinking, maybe Maria could take the adjoining room next to mine. That way, if we’re up late, we won’t disturb you.”

“Oh, yeah, that might work,” he said. He was also thinking, though he hated to admit it, it would probably be a great deterrent for him to go into Liz’s room even when his hormones kicked up.

“Well, I guess I should go get the room ready for her, then,” she said, not knowing what else to say.

“Oh, sure.” He hated to see her go, though. “Say, would you mind if I come help you get it ready?”

“No, not at all. That’s really kind of you.”

“Not a problem.”

So the two of them went upstairs to do just that, each distracted by their own thoughts as they did so. The bed needed to be made. So Liz got the sheets and blankets to get it ready, and then Max began helping her with it. As they started doing so, though, both began blushing, remembering what had happened earlier that morning.

“You know, Liz, on second thought, I’m going to go get something ready for dinner.
“By the way, I got ahold of Mia while you were on the phone” –

“How” –

“Oh, on my cell phone. Anyway, she’ll be happy to return to help us out. So she’ll be here again tomorrow.”

“Oh, thanks, Max. That really is nice of you,” she said, as he stood at the door to the bedroom. Again, they both went silent, feeling flushed once again.

“Okay. I’ll see you downstairs when you’re ready to eat.”

“Okay. If Maria gets here before I come down, would you send her up?”

“Sure. No problem.”

Max couldn’t wait to get out of that room. Just being around the bed reminded him all over again of what he was trying not to do, that was, to allow his hormones to run wild. Yeah, the more he thought about it, the more pleased he was to have suggested having Maria come over for a few weeks. Of course, it wouldn’t help him with the ultimatum his father had given him, but that really was the whole idea.
*****
Max was downstairs getting things on the table when he heard a knock on the door. “Hi, Maria. Come on in,” he said, as he held the door open for her.

“Max, don’t you look so cute in that apron,” she said as she pinched his cheek with her fingers. “Don’t tell me Liz has already domesticated you,” she said, jokingly.

Max blushed at her comment but decided not to comment on it. “Liz is upstairs getting your room ready. So I thought I’d get dinner ready for us.”

“Oh, that’s so nice of you,” she said, as she began running up the stairs.
*****
“Liz!” She yelled, as she dumped her bags on the floor.

Liz came running down the stairs when she heard Maria’s voice. As they stood looking at each other, they grabbed one another into a hug. “It already feels like it’s been so long. Thanks again for coming, Maria. I got your bedroom ready for you. So just make yourself at home.”

Just as they were emptying her bags, Max tapped lightly on the door. “Hey, you two, dinner is ready.”

“Okay, Max. We’ll be down in a few minutes,” Liz responded.

The rest of the evening was rather uneventful for everyone, which really surprised Maria. She couldn’t help but think, if this were she and Michael the day after getting married, which she hoped would happen sometime soon, they wouldn’t be able to keep their hands off each other. For that matter, she definitely knew they wouldn’t want any company for at least a couple of weeks. Of course, she had to remind herself the ‘arrangement’ between Max and Liz was not your normal run-of-the-mill kind of arrangement. The more it occurred to her, the more an idea began formulating in her mind. She was not going to share with Liz her idea because she was sure Liz would not approve. Instead, she decided she would enlist the help of her boyfriend, Michael.
*****
The first few days of Maria’s visit were as uneventful as her first meal there. But she had been formulating a plan to fix that. By the time she’d been there a week, she’d been perfecting her plan to stir things up a bit for Max and Liz.

At the end of her first week, as she and Liz were continuing with their plans for the big event, Maria casually mentioned to Liz, “Oh, by the way, Liz, I won’t be here for dinner tonight. Michael’s going to come and get me, and we’re going to go out for dinner and to see a movie.”

“Oh, that’s nice, Maria,” Liz said, a little uncomfortably. But she couldn’t help wondering how she would manage to get through the night alone with Max.

Of course, Maria could tell by the look on Liz’s face what she had initially only guessed. For some reason, Max and Liz didn’t seem to want to be alone. Well, she was going to fix that.

“Say, I have an idea. Why don’t you and Max join us. I’m sure Michael won’t mind.”

“Well, I don’t know. Let me go see if he’d like to do that.” But she certainly hoped and prayed he would be willing to go.
*****
“Max,” Liz softly said, as she entered her father’s study, “are you in here?”

“Oh, yeah, Liz. How are you and Maria doing with the plans for the ‘Open House’?”

“Actually, we were taking a breather, and Maria was telling me she and Michael are going to dinner and a movie in town tonight. She wanted to know if we’d like to join them. So, what do you think?” she asked, hopefully.

“I don’t know, Liz. I’m not really in the mood.”

“Oh,” she said, and then paused. “Well, you know, I think I’m going to join them anyway; that is, if you don’t mind,” she added as an afterthought.

It hadn’t occurred to Max that Liz would want to go without him. But then, again, he had to remind himself, she still didn’t know him very well. “Oh. Well, okay,” he said, in a disappointed tone. “Do you know when you’ll be returning?” he asked.

“Actually, no, I don’t. But I can call you from town and give you that information,” she said, hesitantly.

“I just want to make sure you all get back safely,” he said, trying to camouflage his concern for Liz’s welfare.

“Sure, I understand,” she responded. “Well, I’ll go tell Maria I’ll be going with them, then,” she said, after waiting momentarily to see if Max had anything else to say.

“Okay. Have a nice time,” he called, as she left the study.
*****
“Okay, Maria, it’s all set.”

“So you two are going to join us?” Maria excitedly asked.

“Well, no. Actually, only I will be coming with you,” she hesitantly responded. “Is – is that okay with you?” she added uncertainly.

Surprised, but not wanting to hurt Liz, Maria finally responded, “Yeah, sure. That’s fine. I’m just a little surprised Max won’t be coming. That’s all.” To herself she thought, ‘Michael is going to kill me for inviting them and to only have Liz come. But I can’t disinvite her now. I can see she really wants to come.’

“Well, Michael will be here in a few minutes,” Maria said, “so we better get going, Liz,” she said, as she headed toward the living room door.
*****
Liz had left the study a few minutes earlier, giving Max time to think through what had just happened. Liz had just asked about possibly joining Michael and Maria for dinner and a movie, which, Max realized, would have basically been a date. Suddenly, it dawned on him he couldn’t pass up this opportunity. It would be a chance to get to know Liz in a more relaxed atmosphere. So he hurried downstairs, hoping he’d catch them before they left.

Once he got downstairs, though, he heard a vehicle outside. ‘Oh, no, not already,’ he thought to himself, as he rushed toward the door. He no sooner opened it, and he saw Michael’s van driving away.

‘Once again I’ve blown a chance,’ he thought as he glumly closed the door.

Just as he closed the door, Mia, the housekeeper, came out of the kitchen, getting ready to leave for the evening. “Will there be anything else, sir, before I leave?” she asked.

“No, thank you, Mia.”

“I’ve left dinner on the table for you and your wife,” she said, as she went to put on her coat.

“It’ll just be me tonight, Mia.”

“Why? Where’s Mrs. Evans?”

“She’s gone out with friends for the evening,” he answered, as he solemnly sat on the sofa.

“And you’re not going with her?” she asked sharply.

“Well, I – I guess I told her I wasn’t in the mood to go.”

“Mr. Evans, may I speak freely?”

“Of course, Mia.”

“Are you crazy to pass up a chance to go out on a date with your own wife?” she asked emphatically.

“A date?”

“Yes, sir, a date. How else do you expect her to respond to you if you don’t woo her?”

At her words, Max began blushing but did not respond.

“I know. I know. I shouldn’t be saying such things. But….”

“But, what, Mia?”

“Well, I hope you don’t mind my saying so, but I see how you look at her. Even though you don’t know each other very well, you’re in love with her, aren’t you?”

Floored by her candor, he couldn’t speak because he was choking at her words.

“Sir, are you all right?” she asked, concerned that he seemed to be choking.

After several seconds, Max was finally able to speak. “Am I that obvious?” he finally asked.

“Only in a subtle way,” she answered.

“Answer me truthfully, Mia. Do you think I have a chance to win her over?”

“I think you need to give her some time.”

“Unfortunately, that’s not a luxury I have,” he sadly responded.

“Well, it may help if you spent some time with her, like tonight, for instance,” she said with a smirk.

“But I don’t have any idea where they went.”

“My dear Mr. Evans, I haven’t been taking care of this household for a very long time, but I have learned one thing. Liz has always been dependable at leaving word where she would be.”

“You mean you’ve known that all along? Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked excitedly.

“Well, I wasn’t sure you really cared to know.”

Before she could say another word, Max grabbed her in his arms and twirled her around. You’re a sneaky little housekeeper, aren’t you. Remind me to keep my eye on you in the future,” he said as he gently set her down on the floor and ever so slightly kissed her forehead. “From now on, Mia, please call me Max. I have a feeling we’re going to become very good friends in the next few weeks. Now, please tell me where they went, and I’ll be on my way,” he shyly pleaded. Once armed with that very vital piece of information, he took off, praying he would be able to make up for his stupidity earlier.

‘Hurry, my prince. Time is of the essence,’ Mia thought to herself, as she whisked the rest of the house into shape with the wave of her hand.

As always, I'd like to know what you think.

*happy**wink**happy**wink**happy**wink**happy*
posted on 18-Nov-2002 1:36:05 AM by ravrac
A special note to the following readers:

Eccentric One -- for your special email about putting the title first, as well as your kind thought about nominating it for "The Best Story you're not reading." I had no idea anyone thought that much of the story. But especially for your kind words about posting, even if only for seemingly myself at times. Your kind words were very encouraging and uplifting to me.

Caligirl -- for your kind words about being "an amazing writer."

Natevans -- for your gentle nudges to post more.

Liz Halliwell -- for leaving me motivating emails as well.

And last, but by no means least -- Strawberry Shortcake, for your kind words of encouragement as well.

As you can see, it doesn't take much to encourage me, but it feels so rewarding to receive it. Thanks again.

To reward you all for hanging in there with me, I'm posting another part. Hope you like it.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 16

When Michael, Maria, and Liz took off, things seemed a little strained to Liz. Something told her Michael was a little upset about something, though she didn’t know him well enough to know for sure. The longer the silence continued, the more uncomfortable she felt about having tagged along. It suddenly occurred to her this was a really bad idea.

Even Maria, who was normally full of things to say, was uncomfortably silent. Finally, Liz couldn’t bear it any longer. “You know, guys, maybe this was a bad idea. If it will help, you can just drop me off and I’ll get a cab back home,” she said sadly.

“Everything’s fine, Liz,” Maria said, trying to fill the silence. “We’re going to have a good time tonight….aren’t we, Michael?” she said. Liz couldn’t help but catch the nudge Maria was giving Michael as she spoke.

All Liz could hear was a grunt from him. At receiving that kind of response, Liz began formulating a plan as to how she could give them their space. Once they got to the theater, she decided she was going to sit as far away from them as possible. Hopefully, that would appease Michael.
*****
The trio had just purchased their tickets for ‘The Four Feathers,’ and then they entered the theater where it was showing. Michael and Maria seemed to have clearly in mind where they were going to sit, which was as far forward as they could go. As Liz watched them hurry to the front, she knew they had other things on their minds besides watching the movie. She knew without a doubt they wouldn’t be able to view it in a decent fashion from that close distance.

Needless to say, she purposely did not follow closely behind them. She decided to find a seat situated much farther back, where she wouldn’t be forced to watch Michael and Maria ‘accidentally’ during the movie. She settled in, ready to enjoy the movie, since there was nothing else to do in a theater, by herself.

Liz was just watching the trailers to other movies that would be coming in the future, when she heard a voice say, “Is this seat taken?”

A little annoyed that the person had to choose that seat when there were plenty of other seats available farther away, she decided to hopefully steer the person in another direction. “Actually, it is,” she said. She continued to speak as she began to look up. “My – Max?!” she gasped. “What are you doing here?”

He sat down and began speaking. “Well, the more I thought about it, the more I decided it would be kind of nice to get out of the house for a while. But by the time I had made the decision, you guys had already left. So I didn’t have any choice but to follow you guys here.
“So, where are Michael and Maria?” he asked, though he was sure he already had an idea.

“They, uh, felt like sitting closer to the screen.” Feeling like she had to make excuses for them, she continued, “I can’t watch a movie that closely, though. It hurts my eyes,” she said, ‘in more ways than one,’ she finished to herself.

“Well, it looks like I’m just in time, since it hasn’t quite started yet.”

“Yeah, you are.” For the life of her, Liz honestly didn’t know what else to say. Suddenly, she was feeling extremely self-conscious. Having Max sitting so close to her, one of his legs accidentally rubbed up against one of hers. As it did so, it sent electricity shooting through her body, and she could feel herself feeling flushed just at his closeness. Immediately, she began to get up to leave, not feeling she could sit through an entire movie sitting so close to him and trying to keep her sense about her.

But as she did so, Max grabbed her hand. “Where are you going?”

“Suddenly, I’m not feeling so well,” she said, which was at least partly true.

“Then I’ll go with you,” he said, as he got up to follow her.

Not wanting to make a scene, Liz decided not to continue the conversation until they got out of the theater room.

Once they were out, Max said in concern, “Would you like me to take you home?”

“No. No. I think I’ll be okay. I just suddenly felt extremely claustrophobic.” How could she tell him just sitting next to him was making her feel this way, she wondered.

“Would you like to just go get something to eat?” he asked, genuine concern in his voice.

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good idea. Why don’t we go to the Chinese restaurant Senor Chow’s. Michael and Maria will be going there after the movie.”

“That happens to be one of my favorite places.”

“Really? Mine too.” For the first time Liz had touched on something that she learned she had in common with Max. She ventured a little further to see if there might be anything else they could relate to. “They have a pool table there. I love playing pool. How about you?” she asked.

As she spoke, Max almost thought he detected ‘hope’ in her voice. “Unfortunately, I’ve never learned how to play it.” Seeing the disappointed look on her face, he added, “But I wouldn’t mind learning,” he said, with a gleam in his eyes. It was so brief, Liz was sure she had imagined it.

“Great. I’ll show you,” she said, as they headed to the restaurant.

“Wait. What about Michael and Maria? Won’t they be concerned what happened to you?” Max asked, more out of curiosity than concern.

“Actually, Maria left me her cell phone, just in case, as she put it, ‘I wandered off.’ So she’ll call me when she starts looking for me.”

“Well, then, shall we go,” he said, as he innocently, but gently, directed her out of the theater and toward the restaurant, placing his hand in the small of her back as they proceeded.
*****
Max and Liz finished their meal, and then Liz proceeded to show Max how to play pool. Even as she demonstrated her technique, Max couldn’t help but admire her enthusiasm and her joy as she did so. Most of all, though, he was once again entranced by her beauty. He still could not believe this beautiful creature was his wife. For only a brief moment he again yearned to hold her in his arms, kissing her passionately. But before he could dwell on it further, he was jarred from his thoughts.

“Well, are you ready to try, Max?” Liz asked.

“Oh, sure.” He took the pool stick and did the best he could, but failed miserably, barely even hitting the cue ball.

“I can see you really need some help there,” she said, as she began trying to position his hands and his body in a way that would help him have a better aim. Even as she innocently did so, though, Max found himself aching to pull her into his arms right then and there. But he fought it with all the self-control he could muster. He was so focused on reining in his hormones he once again totally missed the shot.

“Hmm,” Liz said, almost to herself, “there’s got to be another way. I know. Here, Max, I’m going to position myself with the cue stick. Then you put your arms around me and try to get a feel for what the correct position should feel like.”

Max paused briefly, once again remembering what it felt like to touch his skin to hers. How could he stand to be that close to her, he thought, without reacting. As he caught his mind once again wandering, he realized Liz was waiting for him to do what she’d said. So obediently he bent over her body and laid his hands gently over hers. As he did so, he was overcome by her scent of vanilla and strawberries. ‘Oh, God,’ he thought. ‘I can’t do this,’ and he quickly stood back to his original position.

“What’s wrong?” Liz asked, wondering why he’d so quickly retreated from her.

“Oh…nothing. I think I get the idea now. Here, let me try.” Not wanting to look overly foolish, he decided to nudge the balls in the right direction, using just a smidgen of his powers.

Liz stood by, watching Max as he once again attempted to hit the balls. This time he was extremely successful. “Well, I guess I’m a pretty good teacher,” she said, not realizing Max had heard her.

“Yes, you certainly are,” he said, with a glint in his eye. “How about we play a real game. I think I’ve got the hang of it now.”

And so they did so for the next few hours, not realizing how quickly the time had gone by. Just as Liz was getting ready to take a shot, Maria’s cell phone rang.

Max couldn’t hear the conversation because Liz had turned away from him as she spoke to Maria on the phone. But when she hung up and slowly turned back toward him, he could tell something was wrong.

“Is everything okay, Liz? Are they okay?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m sorry. Yeah, they’re fine. It’s just that” –

“That what?”

“Well, they won’t be meeting us here. They, uh – they decided they’re going to stay in town tonight. So Maria wanted to let me know she, uh – she won’t be coming back home with us tonight.”

At first Max was confused by her nebulous explanation. But then he suddenly understood what she was trying to say.

“Oh, I see. Well, I guess she’s really been missing Michael since she’s been visiting us. They probably just felt like spending time by them-” – he suddenly realized what he was about to say and did not finish his thought.

“You know, Max, suddenly, I’m not really in the mood to stay here anymore. Do you mind if we head back?”

“No, not at all,” he said, suddenly realizing that it would only be he and Liz alone at home for the first time since their marriage a week ago.

The trip home was silent, neither feeling comfortable with the idea of being alone together at home. Max, of course, was concerned about maybe not being able to maintain his control. Liz, though, had other things on her mind. As she was dwelling on the conversation she’d had with Maria, she was reminded of Maria’s words. She had told Maria during her stay about the arrangement she and Max had. Not surprisingly, Maria mentioned it during their conversation. ‘What is wrong with you, Liz? Can’t you see how much in love with you Max is? Are you so blind that you don’t see how he steals looks at you when he thinks no one is looking? God, Liz, even Mia can see it. I’m beginning to think the only person not aware of it is you. How can you not be attracted to him? Have you forgotten how all the girls at school mooned over him, just wishing he’d even give them one look? Well, you might be oblivious to the need for love, but I’m not. I know you’re not going to like this, but I’m staying in town with Michael tonight. My mom invited him to spend the night, and I’m going to take advantageous of the chance to spend the time with him.’

Maria had said more, but the thought that kept playing itself over and over in her head was ‘you might be oblivious to the need for love.’ As she continued replaying the thought in her head, she was reminded of the kiss between her and Max the day she’d learned of his alien origins. She’d thought back to that moment many times, even since Maria had been staying with her. Each time she’d thought about it, she was also able to vividly remember how it had felt to be in his arms. More importantly, she was remembering how, if their kiss and embrace had continued, she would not have been able to deny him anything. Suddenly, just that thought was making her flush with desire. She also suddenly realized Max had been saying something to her.

Max had been discreetly glancing over at Liz periodically as they were heading home. They’d been silent during the entire trip. Max couldn’t help but get the feeling Liz was mentally miles away. Suddenly, as he glanced at her once again, he noticed her skin had turned a bright red. Remembering back to her earlier comment about not feeling well, it occurred to him maybe that was why she looked so flushed. “Liz, are you feeling all right?” When she didn’t respond, he took his hand and gently brushed it against her cheek, concerned about her color. Though he was immediately concerned about the heat radiating from her, he didn’t have time to think further about it because of Liz’s reaction at his touch.

Liz was just coming out of her self-induced haze of memories, suddenly aware Max had said something to her. But before it registered what he’d said, she felt him brush his hand against her cheek. She’d felt her body flush at her memories. Almost at that moment, Max touched her, startling her to the point of jumping in her seat.

“What!??” she said, almost out of reaction than that she had actually heard what he’d said.

“I asked if you were feeling all right. I’m sorry I startled you. But I saw you suddenly turn red, and I was remembering you said earlier you didn’t feel well. I was just concerned. That’s all,” he said, worried she might be misinterpreting his actions.

“Oh,” she said, wishing she hadn’t been so startled by his touch. She knew it would only serve to remind Max of his resolve to keep his hands off her, not wanting to make her hate him any more than he was certain she already did. Even as she had that thought, she found herself feeling disappointment at the idea of not being kissed again by the man sitting next to her, the man she’d initially despised because of being forced to marry him, the man that she suddenly realized she had slowly and subtly been falling in love with.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she finally said, in response to his concern. I’m – I’m sorry about how I jumped. I didn’t mean” –

But Max didn’t let her finish her thought. He thought he knew what she was going to say. “No, Liz, you don’t need to apologize. I – I shouldn’t have touched you like that.”
Even as he spoke, Liz could hear a hint of sadness in his voice.

They continued the rest of the way home, with no further conversation. Once they returned home, Max silently walked with Liz up the stairs, all the way to the door of her room. There was a continued moment of silence as they looked into each other’s eyes. Liz thought she saw the slightest hint of desire in Max’s eyes, but it was gone before she could be sure it had really been there at all. He let out a frustrated sigh and then said, “Well, good night, Liz.”

“Good night,” she said, as Max walked away from her. She continued watching him until he was out of her sight, and then went into her room and closed the door. Ever since Max had brushed his hand against her face, she’d felt a growing desire within her to be kissed by him. She subconsciously continued thinking about it as she undressed and got ready for bed.
*****
Liz had now been in bed for several hours but had not been able to sleep. All she could think of was Max, and how she’d wished so much he’d kissed her as they’d stood at her door. Now, though, another thought came to her. She got up and quietly left her room, heading toward Max’s room.

Max too had been tossing and turning in bed, kicking himself for not having given Liz a good-night kiss at her door. As they’d looked at each other, for the briefest of seconds he thought he’d seen something in her eyes. He wasn’t sure, but he’d thought it was yearning. But he was afraid that once again he might have misread her expression. So, instead, he’d quickly turned away, so as not to tempt himself any further.

Once he went to bed, he just lay there, tossing and turning, for what seemed like hours. In actuality, though, it was really only an hour or so that he’d been restless, before a deep sleep finally overcame him. It was in this position that Liz found him when she quietly crept into his room. She stood at the side of his bed, looking down at him as he slept. It looked as though he too had had a rough night. His blankets lay strewn loosely on the bed, with only his sheet barely covering him. Just looking at his well-toned muscular chest was enough to stir the desire she’d felt earlier, when he’d brushed his hand across her cheek.

Suddenly, not thinking at all, only responding to her heart, she quietly pulled the blankets back onto the bed, straightening them up, and then lay down next to him, covering both him and herself, with the blankets. After not having been able to sleep for most of the night, within only a matter of seconds after having gotten into Max’s bed, she was fast asleep.

*bounce**bounce**bounce**bounce**bounce*
posted on 22-Nov-2002 6:39:08 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

Here's the next part. Hope you like it. And once again, thanks again for your little tidbits of encouragement. Every little bit helps.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”


Part 17

Max had been sleeping most of the night, mostly in a dreamless state. Occasionally, his senses seemed to detect the subtle hint of vanilla and strawberries, scents he’d already become accustomed to connecting with Liz. But by now he’d been training his subconscious to block out the emotions that had initially been stirred by them.

Now, though, daylight was filtering in through his bedroom windows, and he was slowly becoming aware of his surroundings. And try as he might to somehow block out the aroma of strawberry and vanilla that he had come to associate with Liz, he was now finding it impossible to do so.

Max still wasn’t fully awake, only feeling a little more conscious of his surroundings, when his consciousness suddenly made him aware he had an arm around something….or was it someone? Still smelling the scent of strawberries and vanilla, he found himself not willing to fully awaken, for fear he would have to realize he’d only been having the most realistic and satisfying dream yet of the object of his affection. But he knew he’d have to face reality eventually. So he finally forced himself to deal with his loss.

Opening first one eye, then the other, it still took him several seconds before he could clearly focus in on his surroundings. Once he had both eyes open, and had been able to focus in on his surroundings, he realized he had an arm wrapped snuggly around a body lying perfectly formed into his embrace. He found his face snuggled gently into the soft, fragrant, silky hair attached to the body lying beside him.

As the seconds ticked by, he continued lying there, not wanting to move a muscle, for fear he would realize he really had been only dreaming the most wonderfully satisfying, emotionally fulfilling dream he’d ever had, especially in recent weeks.

He continued lying there in his self-imposed frozen moment, not willing to accept that he was only dreaming these surroundings. As he continued lying there, though, he suddenly felt movement. And he realized it wasn’t his movements. It was the movements of the body lying next to him that he had thought he had only been dreaming about. But then he also heard a soft, feminine moan.

Within a matter of seconds, the body lying so snugly against him began stretching, and then the body turned toward him. Did he dare own up to the fact that he was awake, or should he pretend to be sleeping, he wondered?

Not yet ready to face what might happen if the person knew he was awake, he decided to take the chicken’s way out and pretend to be asleep.
*****
Liz had fallen asleep almost immediately after snuggling into Max’s bed and getting cozy next to him. She had slept soundly the rest of the night. She hadn’t dreamed at all. So when she awoke, she found herself feeling amazingly refreshed. She had to admit it was probably the best night of rest she’d had in a very long time.

As she was slowly awakening, she was gradually becoming aware of the fact that she had an arm wrapped gently, but snugly, around her. She hadn’t sensed any movement from the arms, nor any body movement.

As her senses were becoming more aware of the surroundings, she was suddenly remembering what had happened the previous night that had contributed to her awakening in the room she now found herself in.

Even as her memories were returning, she found herself actually feeling a measure of contentment being here. The previous night she had thought it would be hard to make the bold move of coming here. But now she was glad she had. Suddenly, she was feeling extremely amorous and had the overwhelming desire to snuggle even closer to her ‘husband.’

Still not feeling any movement from Max, she decided she’d need to somehow subtly awaken him. She began stretching, and then couldn’t resist the desire to turn toward him. She wished so much he’d show some sign of giving in to his emotions, but up until last night, that hadn’t seemed likely. It had gradually become more and more obvious to Liz that she really would have to make the first move, which was what she now began doing.

Even as Liz was turning toward Max, she got no indication he was really awake. So she did the first thing that came to her mind. She lightly began kissing his eyelids, with no response. Next, she gently took a finger and began outlining his eyebrows. Still no response. She began caressing his well-toned chest. Still no response. Next, she began showering delicate, feather-light kisses on his chest.
*****
Max had been pretending for the last several minutes to still be sleeping. But each time Liz touched him, he found his resolve to keep his hands off her disintegrating. He’d thought he’d be able to hold out. But the last straw was when she began showering feather-light kisses on his chest. Suddenly, he found himself involuntarily let out a groan. He couldn’t stand it any longer. He opened his eyes to find Liz looking deeply into his.

Before Liz could prepare herself for anything, Max groaned. He instantly opened his eyes, and Liz found him looking deeply into hers. She was even less prepared for his next movement. He pulled her body toward him and quickly shifted himself so that he had her pinned under him. Without Max even realizing what he was doing, he pulled both her arms up over her head and held them there as he began showering her with deep, passionate kisses. He gradually let loose of her arms and shifted his hands down to her nightgown. He found the edge of it and began raising it to her upper body, finally exposing her beautiful chest.

During the several minutes Max had been caressing Liz’s body, she lay there, feeling more and more aroused as he continued his caresses. As he began raising her gown, she found herself feeling more aroused with each touch. Finally, he’d exposed her chest and just lay there looking at her for several seconds, almost as though he were having a struggle within himself.

Slowly, he lowered his head toward her and began reverently kissing one breast, then the other. Even as he was doing so, he was feeling himself becoming more and more aroused with each touch of her body and with each kiss of her soft, delicate skin. Even as he was doing so, though, he felt a struggle raging within him. He’d sworn he would not do this to Liz, but here he was, doing just that.

As Max was continuing to reverently caress her, Liz was finding herself ready to attack him with the same kind of reverent treatment he’d bestowed upon her. But before she could take action, Max suddenly stopped and began berating himself right before her.

“What’s wrong, Max?” she softly asked, immediately feeling an emptiness as he got up from the bed. But Max wouldn’t answer. Suddenly, he couldn’t get away from her fast enough. He immediately headed toward the bathroom. He had to take a freezing shower RIGHT NOW, before he forced himself on Liz any further.

Max had gotten up and left so quickly, without so much as a word, that Liz found herself lying there on the bed, only partially covered by the blankets that hadn’t yet fallen off the bed when Max had begun shifting both of them on the bed.

When he’d headed to his bathroom without even a word of explanation, Liz was left there on the bed, feeling a sense of self-loathing and worthlessness she’d never imagined she could feel. She’d been certain, if she took the initiative to come to him, he would realize she wanted to be there. But now all she felt was cheap. Not being able to think clearly any further, she tearfully pulled herself together and dragged herself to her own room, locking her door behind her after entering. She went to her bed and cried and sobbed for a good part of the rest of the day.
*****
Max stayed in the shower for several minutes, trying to clear his head. He couldn’t believe he had allowed himself to touch Liz the way he had. He’d vowed he would wait for her, no matter how long it took. But he hadn’t been able to do that. ‘What is wrong with me?’ he thought.

Finally, after he’d practically frozen under the shower, he felt able to pull himself together. When he returned to his room, though, he couldn’t believe the emptiness he felt to see that Liz was not still in his bed. He quickly got dressed and went looking for her.

He stopped at her room. He jiggled the handle of her door, only to find it was locked. “Liz?” he softly called. “Are you in there?” He waited for a response, but there wasn’t one. He began walking away. But as he did so, he thought he heard a soft moan. Thinking perhaps he’d imagined it, he waited for a time to see if he’d hear it again. When he didn’t, he again began walking away. But then he heard it again. This time he was certain Liz was in her room. He quietly walked back to her door, listening intently. After only a few seconds, he heard the sound again. This time, though, he clearly heard her sobbing. “Liz, I know you’re in there. Please let me come in.”

“Go away.”

“Wh- -- what?” he asked in shock. “Why? What’s wrong?” Again, he shook the handle of her door.

“Go away. I don’t want to see you.”

“Please, Liz. I need to know you’re all right.”

“I’m not all right. Just go away.”

“But why? Please tell me what’s wrong.”

But Liz refused to let him in. If anything, she continued sobbing even more deeply.

It was killing Max to hear her sobbing like that. He could easily have used his powers to gain access to her room, but something told him it wouldn’t be wise to do so right now. He wracked his brains, trying to grasp the reason for her abrupt change. He waited for several hours downstairs, hoping Liz would finally leave the haven of her room to come get something to eat. But she never did. Max couldn’t bear it any longer. He had to get out of the house. He couldn’t bear the thought that Liz didn’t want to see him.

He finally got a jacket from the hall closet and was heading toward the door as Maria came happily bounding in.

Immediately upon Maria’s return, though, she could tell by the look on Max’s face that something was terribly wrong. “Max? What’s wrong? Is Liz okay?” she asked, feeling a sense of foreboding.

“I don’t know what’s wrong, Maria. Liz won’t talk to me.”

“What? Why?”

“I don’t know. She won’t tell me.”

“Something must have happened. Tell me what happened, Max.”

For some reason, though, the thought of telling Maria what had happened earlier made him feel extremely uncomfortable. “I – I can’t talk about it. I – I’m going for a drive. It’s nothing personal, Maria. I just – it’s too embarrassing.”

Maria wasn’t really sure what to say to that comment. But then she had another idea. “Well, I guess I can understand that. But…do you think it would help if you talked to Michael?”

“I – I don’t know. Maybe that would be a good idea. Is – do you know where Michael is right now?”

“Well, actually, he just dropped me off. But why don’t you call him on the cell phone? I’m sure, if you catch him, he’ll be happy to come back and get you. Maybe you guys could go for a drive and have a talk.”

“That’s a great idea, Maria,” he said, as he put his arms around her and gave her a big hug.

“Okay, Max. That’s enough. I think you better call Michael before he gets too far away.”

“Oh, yeah, right. I’ll do that right now,” he said, as he headed toward the phone in the kitchen.

Well? What do you think?
*happy**wink**happy**wink**happy**wink**happy*
posted on 27-Nov-2002 11:59:35 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

Thanks so much for your kind words. It really means a lot when you take the time to let me know what you think about the story. For those of you who have, I'm so glad you're enjoying it and looking forward to another part. So I hope you'll enjoy this next one.

Thanks again for your input. As always, let me know what you think.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”


Part 18

(Shortly after Michael had come back to get Max)

“So what’s going on, Max? You seemed really upset on the phone.”

“I guess you could say that. I woke up to find Liz lying next to me.”

“And that’s bad because?” Michael queried.

“Don’t you get it, Michael? I vowed I’d never force her to do anything against her will. And the first chance I get, I start attacking her.”

“What are you talking about?”

At first, Max was embarrassed to be having this conversation. But he knew Michael was well aware of the importance of his relationship with Liz, at least the part about having to produce an heir. The more he thought about the whole thing, the more he wished he could be as open with Liz as Michael was with Maria. Suddenly the floodgates of his thoughts began to open.

“I can’t bear to be near her, Michael. When I am, I want to attack her on the spot. I want to make her mine in every way imaginable. But I know that’s the alien side of me, and I don’t want to treat her just as an object. I want to savor every moment with her. I want to linger in her arms. I want her to linger in my arms. I want to….” He trailed off, not really sure where his thoughts were heading.

“You want to what, Max?” Michael asked, as he was pulling up to his apartment in town.

After a very long pause on Michael’s part, Max responded, “I want desperately to make love to her. But I want her to want it as much as I do. I want her to know it’s not because of this stupid ‘condition’ my father put on us, but because I’ve been in love with her since I first laid eyes on her. I can’t bear for her to think I’m only interested in fulfilling my father’s wishes.” Again, Max’s voice trailed off.

Seeing the expression on Max’s face, Michael decided Max needed to get his mind off of his problems for the time being. What better way, Michael was thinking, than for both of them to drown his sorrows with a beer. Of course, Michael knew that both he and Max had next to no tolerance for even one sip of alcohol. But what the heck. The way Max was moping right now, Michael decided Max wouldn’t be going anywhere for the rest of the night.

“You know, Max, you need to get your mind off of all of this right now. And I know just the thing to help.”

“Oh? What did you have in mind?” Max asked.

“Hang on. I’ll be right back.”

Max saw Michael go into the kitchen momentarily, and couldn’t help but wonder what Michael had in mind. He didn’t have to wait for long. Michael returned immediately and put a bottle of beer in Max’s hand. “Here. This should do the trick,” Michael said.

“You know, Michael, under normal circumstances, I’d say you’re nuts to even suggest such a thing. But I have to say, this is one time I have to agree with you.” And with that, Max opened the bottle and began drinking.

What surprised Michael most, as he watched Max, though, was that he didn’t sip it. He practically drank the whole bottle down in one gulp. ‘I knew Max was feeling down, but I had no idea he felt that bad,’ Michael thought to himself. Now he knew for sure Max would be spending the night.
*****
Shortly after Michael had come back to get Max, Maria went looking for Liz. She still didn’t know what had happened between her and Max. But she could tell by the way Max was behaving that it couldn’t have been good. So she promptly began heading up the stairs. But before she could get very far, she heard Mia calling to her.

“Maria, were you just going to see Liz?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I was,” she said, as she turned around to look at Mia.

“Dear, I know you care very deeply for her. But would you mind just this one time if I went up to talk with her?”

Startled that Mia would even suggest such a thing, but not wanting to seem disrespectful to this housekeeper that had been a part of Liz’s family for the past couple of years, she responded, “Of course not. I guess it doesn’t really matter who goes to her, as long as one of us does.” Though Maria was dying to find out what had happened, she decided she’d have to wait to find out for now.

“Thank you so much, Dear. It really means a lot to me. I almost feel like part of her family, having lived with her and her father before he died,” she said, almost as though she knew what Maria had been thinking about living here the last couple of years. Before Maria could even think of a response to her statement, though, Mia had already headed up the stairs.
*****
Liz had stayed in her room, keeping the door locked, fearing that she might actually give in the next time Max might come to her door. Part of her desperately hoped he would, but the other part of her was too ashamed and embarrassed to have to face him, especially after she had imposed herself on him earlier that morning. She didn’t know if she’d ever be able to face Max again after today.

Liz was still lying on her bed, sobbing, when she heard a light tap on her door again. Of course, she imagined it was Max, but her hopes and fears immediately subsided when she heard Mia’s soft, sweet voice.

“Liz, Dear, please let me in.”

“I’m sorry, Mia, but I don’t want to talk with anyone right now,” she said, still partially sobbing.

“That’s okay, Dear. You don’t have to say anything. I actually wanted to talk to you. Please let me in,” she said yet again.

‘She wants to talk to me?’ Liz thought to herself. Her curiosity got the better of her, wondering what Mia could possibly have to say to her right now. So she slowly got off her bed and went to unlock her door and open it ever so slightly.

Mia no sooner slipped in than Liz immediately closed the door behind her and locked it again.

As Liz did so, Mia got a good look at her. “I know you don’t feel like talking now, Dear, but I can tell something’s troubling you. I just wanted to assure you that Max is a very fine young man. I know he wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.”

Hearing Mia speak of Max only made Liz cry more. “Oh, dear. Max hasn’t hurt you, has he?” she asked, not sure why Liz was crying.

“No, it’s nothing like that,” she said, as she went back to sit on her bed. “It’s just that – well” – but Liz was too embarrassed to tell her what had happened.

“Well, I’m glad to hear that. Maybe it might help you to understand Max more if I tell you a little bit about him,” Mia offered.

Surprised at Mia’s words, Liz asked, “But how can you tell me anything about Max? You’ve only known him since you came back to the house.”

At hearing Liz speak, Mia realized, if she shared too much, she might be overstepping her bounds as far as her prince was concerned. But she had come to know Liz over the past couple of years as well. And she knew Liz was a loving, compassionate young woman. So she decided to ‘test the waters’ by sharing what she had at least ‘observed’ in the short time she’d been here with Max.

“Actually, Liz, that’s true. But I’ve had a lot of time to observe him since I’ve been here, discreetly, of course. In fact, I’ve been observing both of you.”

Suddenly, she had Liz’s attention. “What do you mean?”

“Well, I see how he looks at you when he thinks no one notices. He loves you dearly, Liz. I think the problem is that he’s afraid.”

“Afraid? Afraid of what?”

“Afraid for you to see him for who he really is.”
“Oh,” Liz replied, almost as if she knew what Mia was alluding to.

“Liz?” Mia asked.

“Yes?” Liz responded, with her back toward Mia.

“Do you see him for who he really is?” she asked, again ‘testing the waters.’

“Yes,” she said simply.

Again testing, “What do you see?”

“I see that he’s got a lot of self-control. He always tries to put others’ feelings ahead of his own….” And then she trailed off.

“Anything else?” Mia asked, almost as if she felt there was something Liz wasn’t telling her.

“Well, yes. But I’m not sure it’s something I should share. I don’t know if it’s something he would want others to know. As it is, he doesn’t even know that I know.”

“That he’s from another planet?” Mia supplied.

“What?!!! How do you know that?” Liz squeaked out, as she whirled around to face Mia.

“Liz, my dear, there is much I need to share with you.” And Mia sat herself and Liz down on the bed to begin her story of what she knew of Max’s life.
*****
Max and Michael had been drinking beer after beer for the last few hours. Both of them were dazed out of their minds. Even so, the next thing that came out of Michael’s mouth was like a beacon going on for a lost ship in the ocean.

“Max,” Michael said in slurred speech, “I just had a thought.”

“Oh?” Max responded, equally as slurred.

“Didn’t you tell me, when you woke up this morning, Liz was lying next to you?”

“Yeah. So?”

“Well, did it even occur to you to ask, or even wonder, how she got there? I mean, you didn’t put her there, did you?”

There was a verrrrry long pause, during which time Max registered what Michael had just said. Suddenly, Max jumped out of the chair he’d been slumped in. He grabbed Michael into a big bear hug, saying, “Michael, you’re a genius.” Before Michael could even register what was going on, Max had taken off running down the street at ‘warp’ speed.

‘Well,’ Michael thought, ‘at least he won’t be a danger to anyone driving down the road.’ That was his last thought before he passed out for the rest of the night on his sofa.

Max was so excited by the prospect of Michael’s epiphany, he had forgotten how far he lived from town. But the sheer implication was enough to spur him on. Though he had stopped a couple times to catch his breath, the sheer desire to be near Liz was enough to keep him going. Finally, about an hour after he’d taken off from Michael’s he’d reached his home.

*bounce**bounce**bounce**bounce**bounce*
posted on 5-Dec-2002 10:26:11 AM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. Been rather busy. This next part is a little short, but hopefully it's enough to set up the next part. Hope you like it.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”


Part 19

After the conversation Mia had had with Liz, she left her to think about everything Mia had revealed to her about Max and his background.

To say Liz was overwhelmed by Mia’s unexpected visit was putting it mildly. She was amazed to learn that Mia too was an alien, also from Max’s planet. During all the time she’d known Mia, she’d never suspected anything out of the ordinary about her. But even more amazing to her was the fact that not even Max was aware of Mia’s connection to him. She definitely had much to think about after Mia left her.

The more time Liz had to reflect on her conversation with Mia, the more she was anxious to try to clear the air with Max. As Mia was leaving Liz, she’d said she would take Maria out for the day and perhaps treat her to an afternoon of shopping, and likely even spending the night in town. So when Liz decided to leave her room to wait for Max to return from wherever he’d gone, she didn’t need to worry about running into Maria and having to fill her in on what had happened earlier. As she remembered back to the beginning of the day, she decided she’d rather not think about it any further than absolutely necessary, that of having to discuss it with Max.

As the day wore on, Liz was becoming less and less certain that she would see Max. It wasn’t like him to stay out all night. But Liz had to remind herself she hadn’t exactly given him anything to work with when he’d wanted to talk to her. The sun had already set a couple of hours earlier, and still there was no Max in sight. Liz finally had to face the fact that she wouldn’t be able to clear the air tonight. So she dejectedly headed upstairs and went to bed, as silent tears slid down her face. Considering how emotionally drained she’d become through the day, though, within only minutes she’d fallen fast asleep.
*****
For most of the night, Liz slept soundly, not even dreaming. But in the wee hours of the morning, she was awakened by someone quietly calling her name. “Liz, are you awake?” she heard being softly spoken in her ear. Before she had time to even clear her mind from the deep sleep she’d been in, she felt the blankets being lifted and the bed creak as someone got into bed next to her. She didn’t even have time to feel fear because the voice began speaking again, even as big, strong hands connected to muscular arms wrapped around her small frame, pulling her flush against another body. “Liz, I’m so sorry about this morning – I mean yesterday morning. I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong idea,” he said, as he gently caressed her neck with soft kisses.

Liz was now fully awake. At hearing his sweet confession and apology, she was deeply touched and turned ever so slightly toward him. “I’m sorry too, Max. I shouldn’t have locked you out when you wanted to talk. I was just so embarrassed and felt maybe I’d done something wrong,” she softly whispered up to him in response.

At hearing her soft, delicate voice, Max took her face in both his hands and said, “You have nothing to be sorry for.” And before Liz could say anything in response, Max had had pulled her face toward him and given her a gentle, chaste kiss, at least it started out that way. He pulled back to look at Liz, as though asking for permission to go further. When Liz only looked at him with an encouraging smile, he again pulled her toward him to kiss her. This time, though, within seconds the gentle, chaste kiss was replaced by a deep, passionate kiss filled with urgency. As the kiss continued, each could feel a deep moan of desire escape their throats.

As they heard one another simultaneously, they stopped momentarily, Liz giggling and Max chuckling. But in the next moment, as they were looking at one another, with the help of the first rays of dawn filtering into the room, they saw how their expressions changed from that of humor to that of a deep, hungry passion. Again, Max looked at Liz, silently asking her permission to continue what they’d begun. As he looked at her, he saw her ever so slightly nod her head, and that was all the encouragement he needed.

As Max was becoming more and more intimate, Liz was remembering the experiences she’d heard of others and from books she’d read, that pain would be involved. So she’d mentally tried to prepare herself for it. But nothing had been able to prepare her for what the reality was. It was the worst possible pain she could have ever imagined.

Instantly, Max paused, not wanting to hurt her. He had lifted himself slightly, trying to help ease the pain he feared she was experiencing. When he did so, she was able to once again look into the beautiful amber eyes of her beloved, and she could see in his expression how much it was hurting him to see her in pain. “Liz, love,” he said, as he placed several delicate kisses around her face, “I promise, if it hurts too much more, I’ll make the pain go away,” he said, as he continued with his delicate kisses.

At seeing the deep love in his eyes that he held for her, she couldn’t help herself. She loved him more than anything else in the world, even her beloved mother and father, who had both died, not being able to witness the joy she was now feeling at having married the one person in the world she’d never have imagined she could be happy with. With silent tears still streaming down her face, she nodded ever so slightly her willingness to proceed.

Her beloved proceeded with their ‘journey,’ trying desperately to cause as little pain as possible. Even so, Liz had cried out at the immediate pain she experienced at losing her virginity. She had tried not to, not wanting to make her beloved feel guilt at having caused the pain, but she couldn’t help it.

At hearing her cry of pain, he couldn’t bear it. “Liz, love, hold very still for just a moment. I’m going to make the pain go away,” he said, as he gently touched his hand to her abdomen.

Liz nodded her head and held still while he proceeded with his task. In an instant, Liz immediately stopped experiencing pain. Realizing this, she touched her hand to his head, whispering, “I love you so much, Max.” As she did so, she pulled his head toward hers and kissed him deeply, connecting with him in a way that she’d never thought possible.

They continued with their love-making, experiencing the deepest love for one another they had never known existed until that moment. The most amazing thing to both of them was that, not only was it physically fulfilling, but it was emotionally satisfying as well.

Not wanting to separate from one another for even an instant, they pulled one toward the other, until each was being held by the other in a deep embrace, and then they both sighed from the satisfaction they felt from the other and drifted off into a comfortable slumber. It wouldn’t be until later that Liz would realize the dream she had had several days earlier had just become reality.

*happy**wink**happy**wink**happy*
posted on 12-Dec-2002 7:33:16 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

I'm baaack! Here's the next part. Thanks, all of you, for your continual bumping. This has been a really hectic week, which is culminating in a test I'm taking tonight. I don't feel ready for it, but I'll definitely be glad to get it out of the way.

Anyway, here goes. Hope you like it and that it was worth the wait. Savor it, though. I don't have another part ready after this, and I don't know when I will. But keep nudging me. That will definitely help.

Here goes!

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”


Part 20

After having been awake until the early morning hours, Liz slept until early afternoon. As the daylight was now pouring fully into her window, she was becoming aware of her surroundings. Almost immediately, she also began remembering the most amazing experience of her life that had transpired with Max only hours earlier. She felt a smile of sheer happiness and contentment cross her face as she started reaching for Max. When she still hadn’t felt him after a few attempts, she consciously sat up, shyly holding the sheet up against her naked body, looking around to see where he might be. But when she did look around, she was extremely disappointed to find Max was nowhere to be found in the room.

Curious as to where he had gone, she pulled the sheet off the bed and wrapped it around herself as she headed toward her closet, looking for a robe to put on. Once she’d done that, she opened her door and went walking down the hall, wondering where she’d find Max. The first place she looked was Max’s room, and sure enough, there he was sprawled out on his bed, still out cold to the world. Feeling a little confused as to why he had gone back to his room, she walked in and sat on his bed as she tried to figure out what had happened for Max to now be in his own bed.

As she was sitting there, deep in thought, Max began stirring. As he did so, he could feel the weight of someone sitting on the bed. Trying to figure out where he was, he began looking around, and then suddenly remembered having been at Michael’s place the previous night. But now he realized he was awakening in his own bed. Still trying to figure out how he’d gotten home, he began sitting up in his bed, deciding to ask whoever was on his bed if they knew how he’d gotten home.

As he was trying to sit up, though, he realized he had a horrendous headache, and then was reminded of all the beer he and Michael had drunk the night before. “Oh, man, I feel awful,” he said out loud, as he immediately fell back on the bed.

Startled by his voice, Liz said, “What’s wrong, Max? Can I get you something?”

As Max lay back in his bed, he heard Liz’s voice. It wasn’t until that moment he realized he was lying in his bed stark naked, the only thing shielding him from Liz being the sheet from his bed. “Liz!!! What are you doing in here?” he asked in shock.

“I was going to ask you the same question.”

Trying to remember what had happened the night before but not being able to, he said, “I honestly don’t know. The last thing I remember was being at Michael’s for most of the night. And then, when I woke up, I found myself here. Did Michael drive me home?” he asked. But then he said, “Never mind. That doesn’t make sense. Michael had as much beer to drink as I did.

“Do you know how I got home?” he asked, as he looked at Liz.

Suddenly, at hearing his words, it was becoming painfully clear to Liz that he didn’t remember the most amazing night that they had spent together. This startling realization hurt Liz to the core. She hurried toward the door, desperate to leave before she completely lost control of the tears threatening to slide down her face.

Just as she reached it, though, Max spoke. “Liz, wait.” He spoke with such authority in his voice that her own body betrayed her and she froze, with her hand just having reached for the doorknob.

Max couldn’t understand what invisible force was driving him, but he suddenly could not bear the thought of Liz leaving his room at this moment. He couldn’t fight his alien desires any longer. Though his biggest fear was that Liz would despise him for what he was about to do, he could no longer fight the primal hunger that was raging within him.

Forgetting the state of undress he was in, his bolted from his bed toward Liz. Grabbing her wrist firmly, he said, “I can’t let you leave, Liz.”

Feeling immediately aroused, not only by Max’s appearance but also the touch of his skin on hers, she felt her throat go dry. The only word that would come out of her mouth was “Why?”

“I don’t have any more strength to fight the hunger I have for you, Liz. I didn’t want it to be this way, but I can’t help myself any longer….”

Before Max could finish his sentence, though, Liz put a finger to his lips. She took his hand in hers and silently walked them both back to his bed. Still not uttering a word, she removed the robe she’d been wearing, revealing to Max her state of undress as well.

Unable to control his aching hunger for her any longer, Max attacked her lips, wrapping his arms tightly around her petite body as he did so. Immediately a connection was opened between them, and Max saw flashes of what had transpired between them in the wee hours of the morning. Now it was becoming instantly clear to him why she had seemed almost crushed when she was going to leave his room. Realizing how hurt she had been feeling, he said, “I’m so sorry, Liz. I didn’t” –

But once again, before he could say another word, Liz silenced him, this time by kissing him with all the hunger and desire that had been raging within her. Unable to have a coherent thought, but being spurred on only by all the pent-up desire within him, Max picked Liz up and laid her almost reverently on the bed, where they remained for most of the rest of the day, each freely and willingly displaying the deep love and hunger for the other that had been building over the last several days and had as yet still not been satisfied.
*****
Maria and Mia had returned from town at midday, after having spent the night there. As Maria was walking up the stairs to her room, she happened to catch a glimpse of Liz as she had walked down the hall toward Max’s room, entered, and then closed the door. Not sure exactly what was going on, but not wanting to disturb what she hoped was going on, she hurriedly ran back down the stairs to find Mia. When Mia heard what Maria had to say, they both agreed the only prudent thing to do was to head back to town for another day. So without further discussion, they headed back out the door and out to Mia’s car.
*****
Max and Liz were taking a breather from their love fest, but neither could bear not to feel the touch of the other. So Max was maintaining a possessive hold around Liz’s body, having it spooned flush up against his own. Liz had her arms draped over his. As they lay there holding one another, Max could smell the sweet fragrance of vanilla in her hair. Feeling intoxicated by her scent, he again began planting feather-light kisses along the back of her neck as he whispered, “I (kiss), love (kiss), you (kiss), so (kiss) much.”

Sighing contentedly, Liz wiggled around in his arms until she was facing him. “And I (kiss), love (kiss), you (kiss), with (kiss), all (kiss), my (kiss), heart,” she said as she locked her lips with his on the last kiss. Immediately, the passion flared between them once again, and they set out on another segment of their ‘journey’ of love, repeating the process and taking several more ‘journeys’ before the day was over.

Finally, several hours later – or, more precisely, late that evening – though the two lovers still didn’t feel their hunger for one another had yet been quenched, they had to acknowledge that there was another hunger, one calling for physical sustenance, that would not allow them to continue until that hunger had been satisfied.

After their last heated, passionate kiss and embrace, they grudgingly pulled apart, just at the moment when both their stomachs began rumbling. Simultaneously, as Max and Liz were still holding each other in their passionate embrace, Liz again began giggling as Max began chuckling. They were both doing so to the point that they actually began laughing, not able to control themselves any longer.

Several minutes later, they were able to get their laughter under control, again, simultaneously. It was almost as if they were in unison with all their emotions. They simultaneously stopped laughing. As they looked into each other’s eyes, they forgot how hungry they were and again began a passionate kiss, only to be rudely interrupted yet again by both their stomachs reminding them of what they had been about to do. Once again, they grudgingly pulled apart. But this time, Max gently held her in his arms for just a few more moments as he lovingly put his hands in her hair, stroking it softly, as he whispered in her ear with such tenderness, “I love you so much, Liz. I’ve wanted to be near you like this for so long.”

“I have a confession, Max.”

Pulling slightly away from her, he said, “What’s that?”

“So have I.”

Stunned by her confession, Max felt his desire for her flare up yet again. He began pulling her toward him once again. But before he could succeed, Liz spoke again. “I’d love to continue where we left off,” she said, “but I think we really do need to get sustenance first. Otherwise, we might get rudely interrupted at a very inopportune time.”

Giving her one last quick passionate kiss, he said, “I hate to admit it, but I know you’re right. Shall we go ‘quickly’ take care of that?” he asked, with a hint of desire still in his eyes. Not wanting to bother becoming too encumbered with unnecessary clothing, they each took a part of the sheet on the bed and wrapped themselves in it. Of course, that meant they had to move together to the kitchen, but neither seemed to mind having to maintain skin contact as they went. It only served to make them want to hurry to finish the chore of eating, so they could get back to ‘more pleasurable’ activities.

As they sat in the kitchen eating, they took the fruit and other food they found and took turns feeding each other, periodically ‘accidentally’ dropping food on one another. And, of course, the only way they could clean it up was to ‘lick’ it off the shoulders and noses where the food would periodically land.

As they continued playfully feeding each other and kissing and necking in between bites, the phone rang. Right at that moment, they’d been in one of their more passionate lip locks. They grudgingly pulled apart so Max could answer the phone.

“Hello,” he said, in between feather-light kisses being exchanged between Max and Liz. Instantly, though, Liz noticed a change in Max’s expression as he said, “When? Okay. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” and then hung up.

“What’s wrong, Max?” Liz asked, immediately feeling something was terribly wrong.

“That was Michael. He said Maria was injured.”

“What? I’ve got to go,” Liz cried. “How bad is it?”

“I don’t know. I’m going to go find out and take care of” –

“Take care of what?” she asked.

Realizing Max had almost said he was going to go heal her, if he could, he wasn’t sure how to finish saying what he’d begun.

“I’m going to make sure she’s well taken care of and has the best care,” he finally finished.

“I’m coming with you. She’s my best friend.”

“No, Liz, I need you to stay here.”

“What? No, I have to come. I’ve got to make sure she’s all right.”

Knowing how hard it must be for her to hear this terrible news, he pulled her into a gentle hug, as he softly caressed her hair. “I know,” he said. “But I need you to stay here, in case Mia comes back. She’ll wonder where you are. I don’t want her to worry about you as well,” he finished softly in her ear.

Tears silently falling down her face, she finally responded, “Okay. I know you’re right. But please let me know as soon as you can how she is. Promise?”

“You know I will,” he said, as he once again held her in his arms, giving her one last kiss before they both hurried back upstairs to get dressed.

Fifteen minutes later, they kissed one more time before Max took off to make sure Maria was okay. “I love you so much, Liz. I’m so happy we were able to spend the day together. I’ll be back as soon as I can, so we can continue where we left off. That is, if that’s okay with you,” he said, as he looked into her eyes, waiting to see response what he would find.

“I love you with all my heart, Max. I’ll be waiting for you when you get back. Just make sure Maria’s okay, will you?” she said, those beautiful doe-brown eyes reinforcing the love she’d just expressed. Liz stood on the porch watching Max as he drove off. She remained there until Max was finally out of sight, and then sadly went back into the house, to anxiously await any news she might hear about Maria.

*bounce**bounce**bounce**bounce*

P.S. The above icons are desribing more my nerves than my excitement. But at least it looks exciting.

posted on 26-Dec-2002 2:43:29 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

I'm back! Thank you so much for your friendly bumps and reminders for me to post more. It's really gratifying to see that you still want more. So I finished this part up just last night, with a few finishing touches just now, just for your efforts and reminders. Hope you like it.

CATEGORY: M/L, with others blended in. AU. Characters do not belong to me. Aliens do exist
RATING: PG – PG-15
SUMMARY: Max and Isabel live on a ranch with their parents. Liz lives with her widowed father on a neighboring ranch. It’s harvest time.


“Harvest Time”

Part 21

Max had only been gone about 30 minutes or so when there was a knock at the door. ‘Surely that can’t be Max already,’ Liz thought. ‘Maybe it’s Mia,’ she thought, hopefully. Without stopping to check and see who it was, she opened the door wide. “Is that you, Mia?” But before she could even grasp what was happening, she was grabbed and pulled from the house, screaming momentarily, before she was promptly rendered unconscious.
*****
Max had just pulled up to Michael’s apartment and jumped out, in a hurry to see how Maria was doing. He began hammering hard on Michael’s door. “Maxwell, what is your problem?” Michael irritably said when he opened the door.

“You’re kidding me; right?” Max said, as he pushed himself into Michael’s apartment. “Where’s Maria? What can I do to help her?” Max asked, with deep concern in his voice.

Realizing Max was serious, Michael said, “What are you talking about, Maxwell? What did you hear about Maria? Is she in the hospital? Who told you she was hurt?”

“Well, you – you did, Michael. Don’t you remember? You called me at home, telling me Maria was in an accident. I rushed all the way over here to see what I could do.”

“I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, Maxwell. I never called you. What are you talking about? You’re not making any sense.”

At first not hearing what Michael was saying, Max was trying to figure out himself that had happened. He knew without a doubt the voice on the phone was Michael’s. But now he was to understand Michael was saying he hadn’t called? Suddenly, he felt a knot in his stomach. Suddenly, he feared Liz was in danger. “Michael, where’s your phone?”

“What?”

“Where’s your phone? I need to call Liz.”

“Why?”

“I’ll tell you in a minute. Right now I really need to talk to Liz.”

“Okay. All right already. Here’s the phone.”

Max dialed his home as soon as he could grab the phone out of Michael’s hand. Surely, his gut was mistaken, he prayed. He was certain, if Liz were home, she would answer the phone, knowing how worried she was about Maria and all. With each ring of the phone, though, Max’s fears became more and more pronounced. Finally, after letting the phone ring four times, the answering machine picked up. He knew without a doubt Liz would not have let the machine pick up if she were there.

Suddenly, it became abundantly clear to him he needed to get home. Without any explanation to Michael, he charged back out to his car, jumped in, and began to head back home.

Max had not taken the time to explain anything to Michael. Instead, he’d hurried back out to his car, apparently not planning to stick around a minute longer. It wasn’t like Max to behave like this. So Michael chased after him, just in time to jump into the passenger’s side of the car, before Max tore off back down the road heading to his home.

“What is wrong with you, Max? What’s going on? Why did you think something happened to Maria?”

“All I can tell you, Michael,” he said, as he concentrated on the road home, “is that someone called our house, telling me Maria had been in an accident, and that I should hurry into town to try to heal her injuries. And the voice on the phone sounded like you, Michael. But you’re telling me you didn’t call.” Max stopped talking for several minutes, while Michael sat next to him, dumfounded by Max’s assertion about the phone call. While he was trying to grasp what was happening, Max again began speaking.

“Michael, I have this terrible feeling whoever called did so as a ploy to get me out of the house. When I called home, Liz didn’t answer the phone. The machine picked up instead. Michael,” Max said, feeling a lump in his throat as he tried to finish what he was going to say, “I have this terrible feeling someone’s after Liz.”

“But why, Max? Why would anyone be after Liz?”

“I’m not sure, Michael. But I pray I’m wrong and that maybe Liz was just indisposed when I called,” he said, just as they reached Max’s driveway.

Initially, as they drove up, Max felt a sense of relief, seeing someone walking around in the house. But his sense of relief was immediately replaced by a sense of foreboding when he realized the person walking around in the house was, of all people, Maria.

“Maria, you’re okay,” Max said, suddenly feeling his stomach had been ripped open.

“Of course I am. Why shouldn’t I be?

“What are you doing here, Michael? Wait a minute. Is something wrong? Michael, what’s going on? Where’s Liz?”

As Max sat on the sofa, his head in his hands, Michael went to put his arms protectively around Maria. Then Mia walked into the room. Without having heard any of the conversation, she immediately sensed in the air that something was terribly wrong.

“Max? Michael? Is everything all right? Where’s Liz?” she asked, fearful that she already knew the answer to her own question.

“I don’t know, Mia.” Max appeared so distraught, Michael filled Mia in on what had happened.

Finally finding his voice, Max asked, “But who would want to take Liz? It doesn’t make any sense.”

It broke Mia’s heart to see Max so broken up by Liz’s absence.

“I’m afraid it does make sense, my dear.”

“What are you saying, Mia?”

“I was hoping you and Liz would get together before anyone had a chance to do this.”

“Do what, Mia? What are you talking about?” Max asked in confusion.

“I’m afraid, my dear boy, Liz was taken to prevent the two of you from producing the heir your father spoke with you about,” she supplied.

“How do you know anything about what I discussed with my father?” Max asked, feeling his anger mount.

“I know, my prince,” she paused for effect, “because I was sent here to keep a watchful eye on Liz.” Again, she paused, not sure how Max would react to this information.

Speaking out of anger and despair, and not thinking clearly, he yelled, “Then why weren’t you here to protect her? It’s your fault she’s gone. If you’d been fulfilling your duty, this wouldn’t have happened.”

“Maxwell, you can’t mean that. You yourself said whoever called used my voice to deceive you. Surely, they could have done the same with Mia if she’d been here.”

Sitting back down on the sofa, feeling even more despair, Max again spoke. “I know, Michael. You’re right.

“I’m sorry, Mia, I didn’t mean that,” he said, again holding his head in his hands.

“I understand, Your Majesty. I too feel responsible for her disappearance.”

“’Your Majesty’?” Max echoed. “Why did you say that? I haven’t become king yet. Father told me that would only happen if I were to produce an heir,” he trailed off.

“That’s correct, Your Majesty.”

“Are you – does that mean” – but Max couldn’t finish his thought, because he feared he already understood where Mia was going with her response.

“Yes, Your Majesty, Liz has conceived.”

Embarrassed that Michael and Maria were present to hear this revelation, but shocked that Mia would confirm the question that he could not ask, he now could not comprehend why Liz would be in danger if she had conceived a child.

Almost as though Mia could read Max’s mind, she again spoke. “Even though Liz has conceived, your throne will not be assured until you have bonded with the child, my prince. That will only happen if you are able to provide the energy the child will need. Liz does not have the energy the child will need to grow properly in her womb. That can only come from an Antarian.”

As Mia was speaking, it suddenly dawned on Max the words Mia was using. “Wait a minute. How do you know about Antarians? Or to call me ‘My Majesty’? Or, for that matter, that Liz would have conceived? How can you possibly know all these things….unless” – at that point, Max’s voice trailed off.

“Yes, Your Majesty,” Mia responded, in answer to Max’s unfinished question, “I’m also Antarian.” Seeing the look of anger on Max’s face, Mia continued, “Even your father was not aware of my presence here, sir. I was sent by the Antarian council when it became known there was a prospective mate here for you on Earth. The council knew, if Khivar got wind of this news, he would likely attempt to prevent any possible union between you and her.”

When Max continued silent, Mia began speaking again. “I am truly sorry, sir, that I was not here to protect Liz. I take full responsibility for her abduction,” she said, as she hung her head in despair.

Hearing Mia’s words brought Max out of his self-induced trance. “No, Mia, you cannot blame yourself. If anyone deserves blame, it should be me. I was the last one to have her in my presence. I should have known something was wrong.”

Michael, having remained silent for the last several minutes as he listened to the conversation between Max and Mia, finally spoke up. “This is ridiculous. It’s nobody’s fault. Let’s face it. Khivar used a tactic that none of us ever even suspected would be used. Besides, there’s no use blaming anyone. The important thing right now is to decide what we need to do to get her back. So let’s use our energies for that, shall we?” he finished.

Max had become so overwhelmed at the realization of Liz’s abduction, he’d momentarily lost sight of what he would need to do to rectify the situation. Hearing Michael’s simple, but profound, statement, Max for the very first time switched into ‘leader’ mode. “You’re right, Michael. I’ll need to get in touch with my father. Perhaps he can provide more specific details to help us.”

After pausing for several seconds, Max again remembered having just learned that Mia too was Antarian, and that perhaps she too would be able to assist him with his strategy.

During the entire exchange among the others, Maria had remained silent. Without warning, she began sobbing and ran to her room upstairs.

As Michael watched her exit, it suddenly dawned on him Maria had known nothing of his alien status, let alone Max’s and Mia’s.

Max looked at Michael as Michael was watching Maria leave the room. “What’s the matter, Michael?”

“Don’t you get it, Max? I never let Maria in on our alien status. All this time, she thought we were all just students coming from another state, or country, even, for that matter. I’m going to have to go up and try to explain to her what’s happening,” he trailed off, as he took the stairs two at a time.

Suddenly, as Max watched Michael chase after Maria, it dawned on him that, as much time as he'd spent with Liz the last day or so, he still hadn't talked with her about his alien status. Of course, he also realized the subject hadn't come up under the circumstances, but now he was berating himself for not having at least discussed the subject with her. If he had, maybe she wouldn't be in the awful situation she was now. And all Max could continue doing was to blame himself. Now, more than ever, it was imperative that he get her back safely.
*****
It had been several hours since Liz’s abduction, during which she’d been unconscious the entire time. But now the drug that had rendered her unconscious was finally wearing off, and she began regaining consciousness. As she did so, she realized she could hear the voices of at least two people speaking in whispers. Not being familiar with her surroundings, she decided to listen as carefully as she could to the voices, hoping it would help her to learn where she was.

Several minutes passed as she tried unsuccessfully to hear what was being said. But finally the two voices seemed to move closer to her, and she could finally understand them. “How long do we need to keep her from Max?” she heard a female voice say.

“Khivar said either until his bride becomes pregnant or until Liz is separated from Max long enough for the fetus to die when it hasn’t been able to get the energy from Max that it will need to survive,” was the male’s answer.

More was said, but Liz was no longer listening. She was too caught up with the words she’d just heard to be paying attention any further. If what she’d overheard were true, it would mean – was it possible it meant – then, as she was contemplating the words, she subconsciously rested one of her hands on her abdomen. Instantly, she felt a warmth there she hadn’t noticed before. As she looked down at it, she realized there was a soft glow emanating from the area. Suddenly, the meaning of the words of the two people she’d just been listening to took on more meaning, and she realized the urgency of her situation. She became so focused on her maternal instinct of protecting her unborn child that she didn’t have time to dwell on the fear that would have otherwise consumed her.

Suddenly, the most important thing to her was reaching the protective and life-giving arms of her love. The only other thought on her mind at that moment was that she was glad she already knew about Max's background. Otherwise, she knew she would have irrationally felt a loathing for him. But now, having spent some of the most glorious, satisfying, loving moments she'd experienced in her life with him, all she wanted was to once again be in his safe, protective arms. The question she pondered now was, what would be needed so that she could be embraced by them again as quickly as 'humanly' possible.

Let me know what you think!
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posted on 16-Jan-2003 6:36:32 PM by ravrac
Hi, Everyone:

I'm sooooo sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been feeling a little discouraged that I hadn't finished some of my stories. So I've just been working on another part for "Smelling the Flowers Along the Way." I'm going to try posting that, hopefully, tonight. Then, if I can think clearly enough, I'll try to get back to this one.

Thanks so much for not forgetting about it. It warms my heart.

I'll hopefully be back later tonight.
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