posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:08:37 AM by PixiBitch
UB

Thanks to BordersInsanity for this great new banner for my story.*happy*



So the board ate my whole fic. Can you believe it? It just disappeared! But the web goddess (wenhaver) told me to just go ahead and repost, so here it is, complete with the brand spanking new part. Except, no spanking. Not yet, anyway.;)

Author: PixiBitch
Disclaimer: Roswell doesn't belong to me, nor do any of the characters. Don't sue, because I have no money. *s*
Distribution: Ask, and ye shall recieve, but Schurry was first. ;)
Rating: PG13, but working it's way up to NC17.
Pairing: Z/L AU
Summary: Liz has lived a sheltered life with her surrogate family, the Valenti's, but she takes off for a vacation in Roswell, looking for a walk on the wild side. She doesn't realise that a certain reforming bad boy has been asked to watch over her.
Notes: I've decided to kind of combine Max and Zan for this story, so bear with me (I'll even use both names!). Liz is around 24 for this story, and Zan is 29. It's an alternate universe, with no aliens and no powers. I'm using some of the other main Roswell characters, but I might leave some out. *s* Guess we'll see how far I get. This is loosely based on an idea I got from a book I read a long time ago. This is my first ever fic, and I think I'm only writing it because I've been so inspired by the fantastic writers on this board. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


PART ONE

Every head in the place turned the moment she stepped inside. She hesitated briefly, surveying the dim little roadhouse, the glare of the bar lights harshly illuminating her from behind, leaving her face in shadow. Women spared her a single cursory glance, while men strained for a better look. Zan set his glass aside and stared. She walked slowly to the bar, the click of her boot heels punctuating the gentle sway of hips wrapped in tight black leather pants. She was petite but with curves in all of the right places, and when she leaned forward to check out the cooler behind the bar, she swept back her shiny chocolate colored hair, tucking it behind her ear. From the description he’d been given, he had expected her to look like a schoolgirl, not a centrefold. The black leather and torn, tight tee she wore told Zan and every other man around exactly what was underneath, but even that body didn’t compare to her face. A sweet looking, innocent beauty, he though to himself. Kinda like Snow White. Hell. He’d had stranger fantasies.

She ordered a shot of tequila, and he watched in the cloudy mirror that ran the length of the wall as she pushed the folded bills across the stained wood to the bartender. She picked up the glass and tossed back the shot, eyes widening as the liquor burned her throat. The glass came away from her mouth slowly, her small pink tongue sliding across her lips. As if making a sudden decision, she turned empty jigger on the bar rim down and ordered another. As the bartender sloppily poured her another, she leaned down to grab her purse. Several men standing at the wooden rail leaned back, inspecting the small rounded curves of her bottom, faithfully outlined by the tight leather. She didn’t belong here, Zan thought with a spurt of irritation. What did she hope to accomplish showing up at The Crashdown?

Boyd McCall, a local lowlife, slid onto the barstool beside her, and spoke to her in a voice too low to carry. She tucked her hair behind one ear, cocked her head to one side and smiled. God, what a smile, Zan thought, and watched her as she joined the man on the dance floor. The haze of cigarette smoke hovered around her head like a halo. Boyd bent, his greasy hair flopping into his face as he murmured in her ear, his hand straying to her ass and squeezing. She stiffened, freezing in place, then she pulled back and made a fist. Great.

TBC (hopefully)

[ edited 10time(s), last at 11-Feb-2003 4:58:13 AM ]
posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:10:06 AM by PixiBitch
Part Two

Oh Lord, Liz thought. She was in deep sh*t now. She just had to go looking for a little excitement, and as her luck would have it, she managed to pick the one bar that had a little too much local color. She’d never done anything even close to this adventurous in her whole life and now that her first vacation in five years was going rapidly downhill, she just wanted to make it out without getting raped or having her throat cut. As casually as she could, she unclenched her fist, trying not to let anyone see how scared she really felt.

“Um.. no thank you. I’m not looking for that kind of company.” Not yours at least, she added silently. Boyd stank of BO and booze, and looked greasy. Since inexperience was almost Liz’s middle name, she didn’t know what she was looking for in a man. But she knew for sure that Boyd wasn’t it. Stepping away from his groping arms, she turned and made her way back to her seat at the bar. He snagged her wrist, yanking her back into his arms, this time pulling her closer. Her long hair had fallen into her face, and he pushed it back. Eww. Even his nails were filthy.

“You walked in here showin’ it all off, slut, and I want some.”

His thin arms held surprising strength, and he kept her close to him as he whispered in her ear what he really wanted to do to her. Liz didn’t know what disgusted her more, his ‘sweet’ nothings, or his hot, foul breath in her face.

“Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?”

“Don’t you talk about my momma.”

He scowled at her, and Liz tried to force down the need to yell for help. The only person she could rely on to get her out of this was herself, so she tried using the good manners that her years with the nuns at the orphanage had taught her.

“ Okay, I apologise if I offended you. But what part of no don’t you understand, so I can explain it to you?”

Boyd’s face reddened, and his bony hands tightened painfully on her arms. Oops. Sister Mary Elizabeth always told her that her mouth would get her into trouble one day. She tried to move away, but he just wouldn’t let go. Fear crept up her spine, but she kept telling her self that she could get out of this in one piece. She could.

“Hey, Boyd! Ain’t never seen a girlie turn you down that fast!”

Raucous male laughter came from one of the smoky booths, and Liz had to bite back a groan of frustration.

“And you ain’t gonna.”

One of Boyd’s hands released her arm, and snaked to a rounded breast, grasping hard. Hissing in outrage, she smacked his cheek, hard. The whole bar went suddenly silent. Liz could feel eyes on them, but it didn’t seem to discourage him at all. Instead, a smirk slowly spread across his long face, and she realised with a jolt that he was getting off on her struggles. There was only one thing for it. Yanking backwards with all of her strength, she pulled up her knee, and rammed it into his groin. He howled like a coyote, and let go so abruptly that she almost fell. She turned to head for the exit, her heart sinking when an enormous mountain of a man, arms covered in tattoos, moved to block her path.

“Um.. well, I’d love to stay. I really would..but I have to go now.”

She tried desperately to hang on to her bravado, but had a suspicion that it’d disappear completely if that mammoth of a man laid as much as a finger on her.

“You’re not leaving just yet, little girl,” he rumbled, advancing on her.
“Sorry. I really have to leave, “ she said, hating the fear in her voice. When he raised his hand, she backed up quickly, right into an unyielding body. Just as quickly, a warm palm closed heavily over her shoulder. Oh, no! She was surrounded.

The fat man froze, mid-reach. Liz struggled under her captor’s grasp, but found that she couldn’t move, as if the hand was pushing her down into the floor. I’m toast, she thought. She obeyed the silent command to be still, suppressing her panic as the giant’s gaze shot to somewhere behind her. High behind her. And the angry flush in his face drained to white.

“Leave her alone, Tiny.” The voice was low and whiskey-rough. Sexy.

“She was begging for it, Zan.”

“Try again.”

His words hung like smoke in the stale air, and Tiny’s eyes narrowed to slits.

“Step off.”

Tiny moved back, like an obedient dog. Very slowly, Liz turned and look straight at a throat rising from a back tee shirt. She let her gaze climb, up past the goatee, the lip ring, and the most incredible lips to a pair of warm amber eyes. He has the longest lashes, she thought absently. And a pierced eyebrow. She licked her lips nervously. With his dark spiky hair and handsome face, he was danger. There wasn’t a sound in the bar, except Rob Zombie on the jukebox and Liz shivered. Zan kept his eyes on Tiny, even though she knew he was aware of her stare. She hadn’t seen him when she’d come in, and it was hard to believe that she’d missed him. But she didn’t need a rescuer.

“Back off, Zan.”

His gaze slid to hers, and she felt a jolt of heat low in her belly. He arched the pierced brow, sinister.

“You wanna go with him?”

Trying to ignore the response his voice called from her, Liz looked at Tiny again and gulped. “No.”

“Then shut up.”

Her brown eyes widened. “Excuse me?”

“You ain’t takin’ her nowhere,” Tiny blurted.

The liquor suddenly made her brave. “And neither are you!” She ducked under Zan’s hold, and walked back to the bar. Her heart pounding, she pulled out her money and slapped it on the bar, ignoring the trembling in her hands. She concentrated on downing her shot, so she missed Tiny backing off, but when she looked in the mirror, Zan was alone. He turned his head to look at her, and their eyes met. She felt like a fly caught in amber. Even from across the room, it hurt to look into those eyes. An aching, hot feeling flooded through her and the most erotic images came to mind. She blinked and tried to shrug then off. No doubt the nuns were saying Hail Mary’s for her soul right now.

TBC
posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:12:11 AM by PixiBitch
PART THREE

She became aware of someone standing behind her and the nape of her neck prickled. So he hadn’t left.

“Let’s go.” He spoke to her reflection. She fought the urge to instantly obey, much as Tiny had, and stayed on her stool.

“Leave me alone.”

“Love to, sugar, but you either walk out with me now or the next time your family sees you it will be with a toe tag. “

“I don’t have any, “ she said, turning on the seat to face him. “Family, that is. Not toes. “

His eyes softened for a second. She didn’t know whether it was stupidity or bravery that was making her brush him off, but she enjoyed the danger. Live on the edge, and this would be protector wasn’t going to stop her. She’d been a good girl until now, and look what it had gotten her. A nice life, all in all, but bor-ing. This was her chance to walk on the wild side.

“So let me get this straight. You want me to come, with you?”

His gaze ran over her like warm, seeking hands, and one corner of his mouth quirked.
“I haven’t even touched you yet.” She inhaled sharply and her cheeks flooded with burning color. Suddenly he was much closer, and she could feel the heat of his body as if it were a touch. He trapped her with an arm on either side of her and leaned in close.
“And yes, you’re leaving with me. “

She looked over his arm at Tiny, who was sitting at his booth, idly spinning a switchblade between his fingers as if it were a pencil. With a renewed determination that she didn’t quite feel, Liz turned back to the bartender and opened her mouth. Zan’s eyes flashed golden fire, and before she could speak, he’d grabbed her arm, ducked and lifted her over his shoulder. Suddenly the subdued bar was filled with the sound of laughter, handclaps and her shrieks. Her held her in place with one big palm on her ass, as he picked up her purse and strode out of the door of The Crashdown, as if he did it every day. She scratched and kicked, but he just kept walking, his long strides eating up the distance between the roadhouse and her car.

“Help!! Somebody help me” she called out.

“Shut up, lady.” His tone was infinitely calm, and she realised that his voice was even more unsettling with his long fingers so close to the part of her anatomy that was most affected by it.

“Rape!”

“I’ve done it a lot of ways, baby, but let me tell you, this is next to impossible”

“Bastard,” she spat.

“Probably.” He stopped and lifted her off his shoulder, letting his hands run up her thighs and over her bottom as he put her down. For one shocking moment Liz felt almost as if he was stroking his fingers across her bare flesh, and the world spun crazily around her. The moment she regained her balance, she drew back and slapped him as hard as she could. He didn’t even blink as the red of her palmprint blossomed on his cheek, and she realised that he’d let her do it.

“Happy now?”
“No.” She knew she sounded petulant, but dammit, he’d just carried her out of the bar, kicking and screaming. He opened her purse and dug around for her keys, holding it up out of reach when she tried to snatch it from him.
“Behave yourself.” Holding the hotel and car keys in his hand, he tossed the purse to her. He bent down to the red sporty convertible, and opened the passenger door. “Get in.” She blinked once in surprise.
“And how did you know that this was mine?” He grinned. “Lucky guess.”
He opened the drivers door and got in. She didn’t move.
“Lady, I can take your fifty thousand dollar car, or you can come with. “
She flopped down into the seat, and slammed the door. The fact that Zan seemed to find her anger amusing only pissed her off more. He only stopped to remove the helmet from a big wicked looking motorcycle, and throw it in the back seat, before they left The Crashdown behind.

TBC..

posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:14:02 AM by PixiBitch
PART FOUR

He drove in silence, trying to concentrate on the road ahead instead of the petite girl next to him, who kept shooting him death stares from under her long dark lashes when she thought he couldn’t see. Instead of reinforcing her irritation with him, all those glances did was tighten the cloth across his crotch even more. Dammit. He’d never met a woman who made him rock hard with only the touch of her eyes. Her wide, innocent eyes, he reminded himself. Shorty was a good girl, he knew. That put her way out of his league, and he told himself that the only reason that she even knew he existed was because he was repaying a favor he owed an old friend.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t call the cops.” Her voice was quiet, but had a tremor in it that made him look at her face.
“I saved your ass back there, sugar. And if I was gonna do anything to you, I coulda done it in the parking lot, and ain’t no-one would have rode to your rescue.”
She tried to think of a smart reply, but the truth of his words made her sink a little further down into the seat. She’d been outnumbered and way out of her depth tonight. Who knew what might have happened if this stranger hadn’t decided to help. It didn’t mean that she appreciated his methods, but she somehow knew that she had nothing to fear from him.
“Did anyone ever tell you that you’re a lousy conversationalist?” The tension in the car had suddenly become thick, and although Liz knew that Zan probably wouldn’t tolerate small talk, she decided to try.
“Yeah.”
“A bully?”
There was a long pause, then, “Yeah.”
“Sexy?” she blurted.
His lips flattened, and he frowned.
“Look, I don’t want nothing from you –“ he broke off abruptly. “You got a name?”
“You want to know NOW? Don’t you think you should have asked me that before you played cave man back there?”
“Wasn’t time, lady.” She ignored the second, unspoken request for her name, until he grabbed her purse from her lap, and started to dig through it one handed. As she snatched it back, he pulled her wallet free, and flipped it open, looking at her drivers licence. He glanced down, then up at her face.

“Hey, Elizabeth Parker.” Oh, God. That voice. She crossed her arms across her chest, suddenly feeling vulnerable. This man made her feel things that she’d thought only existed in flowery romance novels, but why did he have to be so arrogant and high handed? Perhaps the damp ache between thighs was a strange side effect of the tequila, she thought hopefully. Perhaps it had nothing to do with the effect that *he* had on her, or the spicy clean smell of him. She shifted slightly, and the stab of sensation was enough to make her head spin and she gasped sharply.
“ You okay?” he asked. “Are you gonna barf?”
“No. Um.. maybe. Maybe I just… drank too much.” She choked out.
His big hand slid behind her back, pushing her forward.
“Just put your head between your knees ‘til it passes. If you wanna puke, lemme know so I can pull over.” Her silky hair slid forward, and suddenly all Zan could see was the profile of the twin mounds of her breasts. Reminding himself to breathe,his hands tightened on the wheel until his knuckles turned white, and he forced his gaze back to the road. Determined not to look again, he reached out and turned the stereo on.
//I tried so hard, and got so far
But in the end, it doesn't even matter
I had to fall, to lose it all
But in the end, it doesn't even matter//

Relaxing slightly, Zan mouthed the words to the song, taking the turn-off for the motel. Liz stared out of the window, watching the passing scenery, when she suddenly realised where they were. Her motel!
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He turned off the ignition and took out the keys. Taking his helmet from the back seat, he didn’t so much as look at her once.
“Makin’ sure you’re home safe for the night, then jetting.”
“Oh. How did you know I was staying here?”
“Because it says so on your room key, bright spark.”
She felt an irrational twinge of hurt at his obvious lack of interest in her. Perhaps she had wasted her money on the new clothes and makeup. Maybe all any man would ever see when they looked at her was a nice girl, not the kind of woman they’d want that way. Her heart sank. Not that there were many opportunities for anything else. Any guy who wanted to date her had to get past her boss and friend Jim Valenti, his son Kyle and her close friend, Alex. She fiddled with her purse strap, deep in thought. They seemed to think that she needed protecting from the world, when all she wanted was to experience everything it had to offer. Maria, Kyle’s stepsister, was Liz’s best friend, and sometimes she felt like she was the only one who understood. Her job as a research biologist at Valenti Inc took up most of her time, but she wanted to be seen as more than a pretty little geek.

The sound of the driver’s door slamming shut broke her out of her reverie. Before she could touch the handle, her door opened, and Zan took her arm, pulling her out of the car. She didn’t even have time to protest, as he half steered, half dragged her to her room, pressing the button on the keychain to mobilise the car alarm as they walked away.
Using her key, and then handing it to her, he swung the door wide open, and stepped back. When she hesitated outside, he gave her a hard look, his pupils black pinpricks in the golden brown of his eyes.
“You better not even think of going anyplace else tonight, princess. You’re up way past your bedtime.”
“You’re not my brother, don’t tell me what I can and can’t do,” she snapped.
“No, I’m not your brother,” he agreed, reaching out to touch her soft cheek briefly, forcing himself to stop. “But I ain’t gonna let you kill someone on the road just to spite me. You’re drunk.”
“You’re right.” She stumbled, but grabbed his arm to stop herself from falling over. He grimaced to himself. He’d known her less than an hour, but the only thing that was stopping him from opening those sweet lips with his own was the fact that Jim had asked him to make sure nothing happened to her. He was sure that the man who’d saved him from life on the streets would be less than thrilled if he found out what effect this girl had on him. The only solution was to watch over her from a distance where possible, and the feel of her tiny hand on his bicep wasn’t helping to convince him, not when he could feel the heat of it even through his jacket sleeve. As gently as he could he pushed her over the threshold of the door, and started to close it. She put her hand on the frame, and looked back at him through the gap.
“Try to stay out of trouble, Elizabeth Parker. You don’t belong here in Roswell.”
He pulled the door shut with a click, imagining her look of irritation as he strode away. He grinned, remembering the feel of her draped across his shoulder as he carried her out of The Crashdown, and the intoxicating scent of strawberries that clung to her pale skin. Decent girls like her didn’t hang out with guys like him, he thought, his smile fading slowly. Wishing things were different wouldn’t make them so. While he headed back to the roadhouse and his ride, Liz climbed into the double bed, her hair and skin still slightly damp from the lukewarm shower she’d taken. Her last thoughts before sleeping were of amber eyes and a whiskey rough voice.

TBC..

posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:16:32 AM by PixiBitch
PART FIVE

Max ‘Zan’ Evans knew he shouldn’t get any closer to her than he really had to. Just the strawberry vanilla smell of her made him crazy. Hell, everything about her drove him nuts. She was a heady mix of innocence and sensuality, and she didn’t even know it. For the hundredth time, he tried to focus on any one of the beautiful, willing girls in his recent past, but all he could see in his mind’s eye was her dark glossy hair, her thickly lashed brown eyes.. the shape of her rounded bottom in those tight leather pants. He forced his thoughts to screech to a halt. He’d spent the last three nights trying to reason Elizabeth Parker into a neat, isolated corner of his mind. He told himself that he needed to go back, back to feeling the way he had before he’d seen her in The Crashdown. Like nothing. He wondered which was the lesser of two evils – feeling jaded and empty at twenty nine, or worrying over a too innocent beauty with a sultry walk and a smart mouth? He wished he could walk away and forget her, but he knew that he couldn’t. He’d promised Jim.

As he relaxed on his bike, he kept one eye on the entrance to UFO. She was really pushing her luck this time, he thought. UFO looked like an average club from the outside, with it’s oh so tasteful décor, black suited bouncers and a line to get in. But inside, it was a designer cesspool. The place had more drugs going through it on a regular basis than a Columbian cartel, which attracted the weird and the wired. Jim would have a heart attack if he knew that the girl he thought of like a daughter was in there, but Zan knew that for Liz, that was probably half the fun. She seemed to enjoy her little rebellion as much as she was enjoying exploring Roswell and meeting most of the locals. Last night it had been the streets, and conversations with people who would sell their soul and hers for a few bucks. He’d been there, too, staying out of sight, making sure that she was safe. For three days he’d watched her push the limits of safety – a couple of relatively harmless guys getting a little too familiar with her, a scruffy teenager trying to snatch her purse without success. So far nothing serious had happened, but that was probably because almost every man within sight came to her rescue just because of her looks and because of whatever payback they might receive. The paybacks were what had brought him out of hiding tonight.

Patting down his pockets, he found a slightly crushed cigarette and put it between his lips. He pulled out his zippo and lit up, squinting through the smoke at the entrance to UFO. It was a wide opening, and he could see into about a third of the club through the large glass doors. He took a long draw on the smoke, blew it out in a short stream, then made a face at the stale taste and pitched it into the gravel. He saw her walk toward the entrance, and his chest tightened unfamiliarly as she came closer. She paused on her way out, shaking her head at someone he couldn’t see. Her steps were even, and Zan wondered whether or not she’d had a drink tonight. She hadn’t the past three. She walked out toward her car, and he enjoyed the sight of her unexpectedly long, lithe legs in her platform high heels. He groaned inwardly at her choice of clothing, because even though he definitely approved of her tight purple tube dress, he knew that most of the red blooded guys in that club had probably felt the same way. It underlined every curve she had, and the narrowness of her waist, but the shimmery fabric managed to look soft as well as clingy. He adjusted his jeans.

As if feeling his eyes on her, Liz looked around when she was half way to her car and spotted him.

“ Still babysitting me, Zan?”

He arched one dark brow, his gaze sliding heavily over her from head to toe.

“You’re no baby.”

She cocked her head and smiled at him.

“I’m glad you noticed.”

“Hard not to.”

He decided that he liked the pink blush stealing into her face. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen a real one.

“This is getting really irritating. Don’t you have a life, a girlfriend, or someplace else to be?”

He slowly shook his head, and she marched toward him and stopped beside his bike. She planted her hands on her hips and looked him over so thoroughly, Max felt his groin tighten. Sweet Jesus. She obviously had no idea what she was doing to him. She was temptation incarnate and there was no way he could do what he was thinking. He leaned forward, propping one arm on a handlebar. Just the same, he let his thoughts race ahead, and ended up with her image sprawled on white sheets without a stitch of clothing..

“Look, Zan. You have to stop following me around.”

For a fleeting instant, he wanted to tell her to call him Max, instead of the nickname he used during his years on the streets. Instead, he decided to see her safely home as soon as he could, and get home to his cold shower. He started the bike’s engine.

“Get on.”

“Get real.” She turned away and headed toward her car, but he rode up beside herand blocking the drivers door. For long moments the only sound was the rumbling purr of the bike.

“ I don’t need rescuing tonight.”

“Are you admitting that you did the other night?”

“I’ll admit to being loaded and nothing more.”

“Barfed all night, did you?”

She shot him a fulminating glare.

“Maybe. Nice of you mention it.”

He grinned briefly, then his gaze moved somewhere beyond her, back toward the club.

“Make some new friends tonight, princess?” He jerked his head, indicating the three men walking away from UFO, toward Liz’s flashy little car.

“Oh shit.” Max was surprised by the real fear coloring her voice, and wondered exactly what had happened inside that place. He wanted to ask her about it, but he recognised two of them from the local newspaper. Real bad company, he thought. He recognised the look on their faces as their eyes travelled over her and her expensive car. A girl like Liz was nothing but ready cash and a little fun for them. She had about as much chance of successfully blowing them off as a mouse would a tiger. His lips flattened into a grim line as she tried to open the car door. He could tell that she was scared.

“Don’t be a hero, Liz. You can’t handle this and you know it.”

“I wouldn’t have to if you’d move that lump of metal!” She yanked on the door handle again.

Max didn’t say another word, just wrapped his arm around her waist and dragged her across his lap and onto the bike. She immediately sprang into motion, her elbow driving into his stomach, her fist clipping him sharply on the chin, making him bite his tongue. But he was stronger and faster, and within seconds he had pocketed her car keys and sped away, waving to the hoods left behind. Unaccustomed to straddling a man’s lap and the speed of the motorbike, Liz struggled to keep her balance until he pulled her closer. She glared at him.

As they slowed down and came to an intersection, Zan rubbed his chin gingerly.

“That wasn’t a bad left cross, princess.”

“I hate you.”

“Good.”

She could feel her face grow warmer as she struggled to hold on to her temper, and pull down her tube dress to cover her panties.

“Stop” she gritted out. She had to repeat it four times before he sighed and pulled over to the curb. She leaned back to look up into his eyes, and tried valiantly to pretend that she sat with her open thighs draped over a stranger’s every day. Max let his eyes run over the hiked up hem of the purple dress, her soft pale thighs, and the mysterious shadows in between. His fingers tightened on the handlebars while other parts of him clenched harder.

“Why do you keep on butting in where you’re not wanted?”

He swallowed and looked into her eyes.

“I keep on telling you. You’re like a lamb to the slaughter.”

She rolled her eyes.

“You seem determined to gamble with your life. This place isn’t like the nice suburb you probably come from.”

“Oh, whatever. I am not a lamb! And anyway, what do you care about my life? You don’t even know me!”

She looked toward a lively bar on the other side of the street, and for a second, Max could almost hear the cogs moving behind her expressive brown eyes. She was thinking of ways to dump him and get back into the fray.

“Night’s over, Liz.”

She wasn’t sure she could keep on challenging him, sitting in this position, because while her brain was telling her to bitch him out and scream rape, another, lower part of her had other plans. She decided that she needed to get off the bike and away from him as soon as possible, and with that in mind, she scrambled around until she was facing the opposite direction. She tried to move forward, away from his hard lap, but the tightness of her skirt and the slope of the seat made it impossible. She cleared her throat nervously.

“So what are you waiting for? Take me home, bad boy.”

He leaned forward until his lips were startlingly close to her ear.

“You wouldn’t know bad if it was right behind you” he whispered.

Suddenly she could almost taste her hammering pulse, but she turned and met his heavy lidded gaze head on.

“Is that so?”

“Yeah. Or you wouldn’t be riding with me.”

“Well I don’t exactly have a choice.”

He gunned the engine and the bike shot forward into the night. She was jerked back against him with the force, and he wrapped one arm around her waist. Her breath caught audibly, then released slowly, and Max fought the urge to bend and press his lips to her temple. The temptation to do more told him that he should really send her packing, and he knew that she had no idea how much he wanted her. He wasn’t suppose to be aching for her, just keeping her fine body from ending up on a mortuary slab.

posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:18:30 AM by PixiBitch
PART SIX

He shoved the kickstand down and killed the engine. The silence stretched out between them, grating on Liz’s already tightly wound nerves. She half turned, meeting his shuttered gaze. He appeared relaxed, legs spread, leaning back, obviously waiting for her to get off. She shifted between his thighs as she slid her leg over the bike. As she stood, the ground seemed to roll underneath her feet. She’d only had one drink, hours ago, so the wave of dizziness didn’t make any sense.

“You alright?” He was concerned her sudden paleness, and the dazed look in her eyes.

“I – I don’t think so. I had one drink earlier and I feel like I’m going to puke.”

He frowned, and turned her in the direction of her room.

“Not on me.”

They walked to the motel together, and although she still felt unsteady, Liz was pretty confident that she wasn’t going to actually throw up. She was opening the door when she realised that he’d stopped a few steps behind, and looked back. He was sneaking a glance at her bottom, and she just managed to catch him as he looked away. Hmm. So maybe he wasn’t as indifferent to her as he seemed. She gathered up her nerve and decided to take a chance.

“Want to come in?”

His smile was mocking. “So I can watch you get sick?”

She tried her best to imitate his sneer, but it lacked the same effect. She couldn’t really pretend to blow him off when she’d just shown him that she might be interested. She shrugged. So perhaps it was time to try another tactic.

“Chicken.” She smiled teasingly, “Are you scared?”

“Nooo.. but you should be.”

“Me be scared of you?” He nodded slowly, still keeping his expression carefully blank.

“You wouldn’t hurt me. I bet you’re pretty harmless under all of that..” she gestured toward his piercings, and the big motorcycle.

She stepped closer, becoming bolder when he didn’t respond. He didn’t move a muscle, but his eyes never left hers. She watched as his pupils dilated, leaving glittering amber rings around the blackness. Very slowly she placed one small hand on his chest, feeling the muscle tightening under her palm, and the strong beat of his heart. Liz moved up onto tiptoes, almost close enough to kiss him, but she was afraid that he might push her away. Instead, she challenged him with words.

“See? You’re not so scary.”

“Back off, Liz.” The words were little more than a growl.

“Or you’ll do what?” she taunted him, confident now. His complete stillness only tempted her to push her luck. “Come on, Zan. What will you do?” She moved fractionally closer with her hands on his shoulders, so that her breath rushed over his lips. Abruptly his expression changed from empty to predatory, and her bravado drained away. She pushed away with feigned casualness, and walked back to her room, opening the door and intending to close it in his face. The next moment he was pressed against her back, pushing his way into the room, and slamming the door closed without releasing his grip on her.

“See, princess, you don’t know what danger is.“ he murmured silkily into her ear, “ It was right behind you the whole time.” He turned her around, and her heart give a lurch when she saw his face.

“Z-Zan?” An unreadable expression darted across his features and was quickly gone.

He bent quickly and slanted his mouth across hers, his kiss bruising and shockingly intimate. Panic skated through her, making her push at his shoulders and try to tear her mouth away. But he followed her every movement, stealing her breath and giving her his own in return. She tried not to respond, not to recognise the rightness of his hands on her, or to love the taste and feel of his mouth and tongue on and in her. Still Max kissed her, his big body pressing her backward, toward a chest of drawers. She realised that she was supposed to stay afraid, but somehow she knew that he wouldn’t hurt her. Her body was already betraying her, her skin dampening and the secret petals between her thighs ached and slickened. Without warning, her mouth softened beneath his, and her tongue grazed his as it withdrew. He jerked back, catching his breath, and glared at her, seemingly angry with his reaction. The challenge in her eyes must have pleased him, because instead of letting go, he bit her upper lip lightly, the metallic hardness of his lip ring brushing her lower one over and over. Max pressed tiny, hard kisses to her open mouth, as he grasped her hips and dragged him up his body, grinding his hardness against her softness.

Liz distantly wondered why this felt so amazingly right, when every time that another man had tried to do this, she’d felt nothing more than revulsion or mild curiosity. This wasn’t the same. Nothing about it was. This domination made her ache, and she thought she might go crazy if she didn’t have more of him. He gave it, sliding one leg between hers and lowering her on top of the drawers. One hand pushed into her hair, holding her still so that his mouth could resume it’s deep exploration of hers, while he used his free hand to tug down the neckline of the tube dress. The air cooling her bare skin should have jerked her to awareness, and made her pull away, but all she could concentrate on was the sliding motions of his tongue against hers, mimicking the act of love. Until his fingertips made contact with her breast, his thumb brushing roughly across one tightly budded nipple. She yelped, the tiny sound swallowed by his mouth, and her eyes flew open, looking directly into his narrowed dark honey colored ones. He tore his mouth away, using his grip on her hair to force her head back. He nibbled the sensitive skin of her neck, licking a path down to the upper swells of her high breasts.

His hands squeezed her ribs, then ran over the curve of her hips and down to grasp the hem of her dress. He paused for a second, and she clutched fistfuls of his jacket tightly. They both panted. Liz felt like she was about to come apart any second. She tugged the leather in her hands and he bent to her mouth again greedily. This kiss was slightly different, less demanding, more sensual, each brush of his lips against hers communicating his hunger, instead of enforcing a response. He pulled her closer still, until her thighs were either side of his hips. His hands ran down her back to her rounded bottom, and pushed up under the dress. He groaned low in his throat. She was wearing a thong, and Max’s fingers touched soft naked skin. It almost brought him to his knees. He pulled his hands away, settling them on her hips instead, but the pale, petal soft skin of her inner thighs seemed to beg for his touch. She would have sworn she could feel the brand of each finger as his hands stroked up and down, each time drawing nearer to the tiny mesh panties that shielded her core. She throbbed and burned with a ferocity she’d never come close to feeling before, even when she’d pleasured herself, and it seemed as if the room was spinning crazily around them.

Max was aware of every separate pulse of blood through his veins by the time he lightly touched the thin fabric between her legs. Desire was riding him hard and although he wanted nothing more than to push the damp panties aside and taste the sweetness that he knew lay beneath, he knew that if he removed that barrier it would all be over. He was trying to teach her a lesson about men, but instead he was learning that his control went up in flames when he touched her. Pulling back to look at her face, he was captivated by the changes her arousal had made. Her reddened lips were swollen from his kisses, the rosy flush in her cheeks and the blackness of her eyes made her so beautiful to him that he swayed toward her again without conscious thought. Her hips arched, pushing her into his palm, and he had to fight to keep from losing his head. It was several seconds before he realised that her broken whispers were words, not just moans.

“Hmm?” He stroked her tousled hair, and pressed a rough kiss to her temple, even as he let one finger trace gently over her femininity.

“P-p-please..” her plea was almost inaudible, but when he heard it, he closed his eyes briefly and had to remember to breathe.

“You want it, baby?” His lips brushed hers as he spoke, before he kissed them with calculated thoroughness. He couldn’t resist pressing a fingertip into the delicate fabric covered softness under his hand, and rubbing lightly against the hidden knot of nerves he knew lay beneath. She cried out, and her eyes flew to his in surprise.

“Omigod.” Her voice was throatier now, and Max knew that it wouldn't take him long to bring her to the edge. It blew his mind how responsive she was to him, and since he was almost certain she was a virgin, he knew that none of her reactions were faked. It made the lesson that he had to teach her that much more difficult. Trying to tell himself that he’d regained a measure of control, he began to rub her rhythmically, gradually increasing the pressure. Liz turned her cheek against his shoulder, losing herself to the pleasure pulsing sharply through her, quickening. Her body was moving against his without volition, her back arching, her breasts rubbing against his tee shirt, her trembling thighs open in welcome. She twisted against him, and tugged at his wrist, silently begging him to deepen the caress, but he wrapped a strong arm around her back to still her.

She felt the pleasure grow and swell until she felt as if she would burst with it. She knew that she was about to climax any second, and sought his mouth with her own. At the last second, he turned and whispered harshly into her ear.

“I could f*ck you right now, baby, and you’d never see me again.”

“No!” She tried to push him away, shocked by the deliberate cruelty in his voice, but it was too late.

Her head went back and her hips lifted her further into his touch as she shuddered, biting her lower lip so hard that a bead of blood appeared. The spasms of pleasure were so powerful that she was afraid she’d scream. Max felt her orgasm as clearly as if it were his own. He couldn't take his eyes off her face, but held her as far away from himself as he could. He knew he’d look less like a bastard if he was on his knees in front of her, shaking with release, so he clung desperately to what was left of his self control.

TBC..
posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:19:42 AM by PixiBitch
PART SEVEN A

Liz was shaking with combined reaction and fury by the time Max moved away. His words seemed to echo in her head, and she concentrated on being angry instead of the truth in what he’d said. He’d been right, though. She’d never behaved that way in her whole life, much less with a man she barely knew! He probably thought he was a whore. She felt her face grow uncomfortably warm as she tried to pull her clothing back into place. Feeling as composed as she possibly could, she pushed herself off the chest of drawers.
“You proved your point, now please, go away.” She tried to sound commanding, but her voice came out too softly. His eyes searched hers, and he looked for a moment as if he was going to speak. But he didn’t. Keeping his expression carefully blank, he left quietly, leaving her to her thoughts.

On shaking legs she walked into the tiny bathroom and sat herself down on the cool tile floor. Maybe this break hadn’t been the great idea she’d originally though it would be. She’d strayed out of her depth, and now the most gorgeous, sexiest, intriguing man she’d ever met probably thought that she was a slut. She'd never imagined that her body was capable of such amazing feelings, and it hurt to think that her honest response to his touch probably made him think she was skanky. It was enough to make her feel ill… or maybe that was just the single rum and coke from earlier making an unwelcome return appearance. She managed to reach the sink just in time, and retched until her stomach was empty. Suddenly terribly exhausted, she cleaned her teeth and changed into her pyjamas, unable to think straight anymore. With her last coherent thought, she wondered if Zan went straight home, and whether she’d see him again. Both things bothered her more than they should have done.

Max missed his old jeep, but there were definitely times when he needed to get someplace fast, and he really appreciated the bike, for practical reasons. The place he needed to be right now was just his apartment, but most importantly, it meant that he was a safe distance from Liz Parker. Remembering the tears shining in her eyes before he'd left, he grimaced. What the hell was wrong with him? All he’d meant to do was kiss her, play a little rough and scare her into realising she shouldn’t be so trusting of strangers. Instead, he’d been seconds away from wrestling her onto the floor and doing what he’d been trying not think about ever since he saw her in The Crashdown. Lord it had been good, he thought, and what they’d done had been relatively innocent compared to the things he wanted to do to her. Their 'simple' kisses and caresses knocked spots off of any of his past sexual experiences when it came to chemistry or intensity. Perversly, he suddenly hoped that he hadn't made her hate him. As he unlocked his door and bounded up the stairs, he mentally thought up ways to avoid Jim’s next ‘phone call. Jim was over protective, mainly because thought of Liz as a daughter, as well as the fact that she was one of the best research biologists his company employed. When she’d taken an indefinite break from work, taking some highly sensitive lab notes with her, he’d understandably freaked out and called in an old favor.

He absently noticed that Michael’s door across the landing was closed, which at this hour meant that he was either putting in a shift at the bar/restaurant that they co-owned on Fifth and Main, or that he had some female company. Sighing, he made his way into his own apartment and switched on the lights. He didn’t begrudge helping Jim Valenti, since he and Michael pretty much owed him their new lives. They had been wild boys, teenage runaways, doing small time burglaries in order to survive, when they’d broken into the wrong house one night – Jim’s. Instead of pressing charges, he’d put the fear of God into them, and steered them onto the straight and narrow. From what he had said on the telephone when he called to ask for help, Jim was afraid that even though Liz had no idea how important those lab reports were, if he pulled rank and cut her little rebellion short, she’d never forgive him. At the same time, he’d never forgive himself if something happened to her, since they had information that a third party was out to obtain the file, by hook or by crook. Pushing aside the thread of worry he felt when he thought about Liz being followed or watched, he strode into the bathroom and turned on the shower. One handedly twisting the dial down to cold, he began to strip.

TBC....

posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:55:50 AM by PixiBitch
PART SEVEN B

Max felt like his skin had turned to ice by the time he switched the spray back to hot. Truthfully, the memory of the look on Liz’s face before he left had more to do with his regained control than the cold water. His idea of teaching her not to trust so easily had backfired so badly. The second he had seen the confusion and stunned pleasure in her eyes as he gave her release, he had wished he’d kept his big mouth shut. Or even better, that he hadn’t let her goad him into kissing her. No, he admitted, he wasn’t sorry he had touched her, and that was the problem. Even the spectre of Jim on the horizon wasn’t enough to stop him from wanting to drive back to the motel and take up where they left off. He wanted to strip that tube dress off of her petite body and look his fill, he wanted to… Jesus. He was just about to switch the dial back to icy when he heard his door open and slam shut. He eased the shower door open and had one foot on the mat when he heard a muffled curse and a rattle.

“Jesus f*ck – “

Max smiled and relaxed, stepping back into the shower. He turned back toward the water, letting it beat down against his chest and stomach like tiny warm needles.

“Michael, you better not have broken the lock this time.” He called, knowing that he’d hear since the door was ajar. He didn’t expect an answer, but when he turned around to grab the bottle of liquid soap, Michael was sitting on the laundry hamper, pulling on a bottle of Stella.

“You’re joking, man. I know you remember how good I used to be with locks.” He sat with his arms relaxed between his knees, the green bottle hanging from his fingertips.

“You could always just knock.” He moved away from the spray and rubbed the spicy scented soap across his shoulders and upper chest, then down his arms, the thick white foam almost obscuring the black tribal tattoo that curled wickedly around one of his muscular biceps. The rich suds ran in rivulets down his back and hard stomach before he stepped back under the water to finish up and rinse.

“I didn’t think I needed to.” Michael’s tone was flat and deliberately casual. The two of them had been the best of friends since they were both thirteen, and Max had been the one he had confided in when his father had started beating on him regularly. He had known that Max would understand, because although he hadn’t been abused, he didn’t have a home life either. He’d been in foster homes for as long as he could remember, and the most he knew about his parents were their names. There were times Michael had wished he could say the same, when he wished himself anywhere on Earth but under Hank Guerin’s fists. Max had always been the quieter, more introverted of the two, until the summer they’d turned sixteen. Then all hell had broken loose, and they’d just been Rath and Zan – the crazy nicknames they’d given each other – two best friends, living on the streets, without parents, without rules.. without homes.. without love. Thirteen years on, Max was still the closest thing he had to family.

The sudden quiet in the room pulled Michael from his reverie. When he looked up, Max was standing in front of the sink, knotting a small white towel around his hips.

“So how did tonight go?” It wasn’t just idle conversation. Michael had been included in Jim’s ‘favor’, and had been alternating keeping tabs on Liz, in between running Mexicale.

“Fine.” Max walked past him, out past the living room, and into the large kitchen. Michael straightened, and stretched slowly, yawning, before following. Max took a tumbler out of the dishwasher, grabbed a bottle of Chivas from the cupboard above the fridge, and filled the glass half way. He was savoring the spreading heat from his first taste when he noticed the suspicion written all over his friend’s face. Deciding to ignore it, he took his robe out of the dryer and shrugged into it, removing the damp towel and shoving it into the washer. He’d almost sank the entire glass before the silence was broken.

“Okay, Maxwell. Spill it.” He should have known that Michael wouldn’t let it lie. He shrugged his shoulders, licking the last of the burning liquor from his lips and schooled his expression into one of careless boredom.

“Nothing to spill. I’m just tired, that’s all.” He placed the empty glass in the sink and padded through the apartment to his bedroom with Michael trailing behind him like his shadow. Max pulled on sweats, and hung up his robe before turning back to his friend.

“That’s bullshit, man. You never drink that stuff unless you’re worked up over something. Last time you broke it out was when you wrecked the jeep, remember?” Max’s jaw tightened and Michael knew with sudden insight what had caused his tension.

“It’s her, isn’t it?” He knew he was right even before Max’s solemn amber eyes met his dark ones. He ran his hands restlessly through his shaggy, light brown hair. “You should have worked and let me watch her. I knew she got to you. Well - “

“It’s too late, Michael.” Max’s soft interruption sounded entirely too resigned for his liking.

“What’s too late, Max? Just what exactly happened tonight, bro?”

“If you sit down and promise to stay calm, I’ll tell you. “ Michael nodded tersely, and both men sat on the edge of the bed.

Twenty minutes later, Michael was contemplating snatching the bottle Max had taken out earlier. He’d known that Max wanted the Parker girl, ever since Jim had faxed them her photograph. He'd smiled when he had shown him the casual shot of her, laughing, with her hair blowing in an invisible breeze. Michael had know then, because it wasn't a smile he'd ever seen on Max's face before. It had vanished as quickly as it had come, but he remembered it all the same. But when he'd mentioned it, Max was adamant that he was intent on watching her from a distance, being as uninvolved as possible, because of her connection to Jim Valenti. Distance, hell. From what he’d told him (and Michael knew he’d only given him the basics) he’d gotten to know her INTIMATELY. Even worse, if he knew Max like he hoped he did, he got the distinct impression that he liked her. A lot. Michael sighed with disgust and shook his head. Then something nasty occurred to him.

“Wait – you said she wasn’t drunk, right?” Max nodded.

“I told you, she said she’d had one drink in the club, but – “ The two men looked at each other, in sudden understanding.

“What if there was something in the drink?” Max was furious that he hadn’t realised earlier, given Liz’s hurry to leave the club and her dizziness. No, he berated himself savagely, he’d been thinking with his d*ck. Michael stood up and pulled his car keys from his pocket.
“Where are you going?” Max questioned sharply.

“I’ve only had a mouthful of my beer, so I’m driving us over to the motel. We better make sure she’s okay.” When Max looked uncertain, looking at his watch, he thought he’d better spit out the obvious. “If she was drugged, whoever did it, did it for a reason.”


As they locked up and walked to Michael’s Celica, Max felt a stab of fear and something else he didn’t want to name. No, if he pretended that it wasn’t protectiveness, the worry he felt was because of obligation, wasn’t it? His subconscious told him he was a liar.

TBC.....

posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:57:01 AM by PixiBitch
PART EIGHT

Max felt his worry blossom into all out panic when they spotted the patrol car parked outside of Liz’s motel room. Michael had barely braked when he got out of the car and strode across the parking lot. His step faltered then slowed slightly as he recognised Liz’s voice.

“I told you, when my friend left, I went to sleep and I didn’t wake up again until the yelling started, and then the men ran off. I don’t know why I didn’t wake up earlier but -“ A male voice interrupted, and Max assumed that he was a Police officer.

“So at eight, you went to UFO and returned around eleven with an unknown man, who stayed for around forty minutes before leaving, correct?” Max felt his temper flare at the insinuation in the officer’s voice.

“He isn’t unknown! Like I already said, his name is Zan.” Despite his anger, he smiled when he heard Liz’s icy tone. Without seeing her face, he could picture her prim expression.

“Last name?” Now the guy’s sarcasm was out in the open, and Max decided it was time to make an entrance.

“Evans.” He stepped into the small motel room, and surveyed the scene. Liz’s luggage had been opened and the contents strewn carelessly around. She was sitting on the bed, in the middle of the mess, wearing blue cotton pyjamas with a black sweater pulled on top of them. Her hair was tousled from sleep and her eyes looked enormous in her white face. The two police officers were obviously in the middle of taking her statement, and Max had to stop himself from going to her. To do what, he had no idea, since he was sure she was still furious at him. Admittedly, he also didn’t have too much experience with offering comfort to women, so he decided to deal with the two uniformed officers first.

“My name’s Max Evans.” He shoved his hands into his sweatpants pockets and moved a little closer to the bed, putting himself between Liz and the men. “Liz and I are dating, and I was here earlier tonight, but I had to go home to change clothes.” He felt rather than saw Liz’s intake of breath, and imagined her confusion. He only hoped she’d play along. The older of the two officers, a skinny, sandy haired man, eyed him with slight suspicion. He didn’t bat an eyelash.

“Well, the thieves who broke in here took her purse, so she’s going to need to report her credit cards stolen first thing tomorrow.” He looked down at his notepad, then past Max.
“Miss Parker, can you think of anything else of value that they might have taken, along with the money and cards?”

She thought carefully, tilting her head to one side.

“No, I mean, my journal has some work stuff in it, but that’s locked in my car.”

Max felt the tension in his shoulders relax. At least he knew that Jim wasn’t going to go totally ballistic on them, even if he wouldn’t forgive himself for leaving her alone. The men must have been watching the motel, and when he’d left to cool off, he’d handed them the perfect opportunity. He was so busy calling himself every kind of a*shole that at first he didn’t quite hear what the officers were saying.
“ – I’m assuming that’s alright with you?” The red haired cop was staring at him expectantly.

“I’m sorry,” he apologised, “I missed that. “

“It clearly isn’t advisable for Miss Parker to stay here tonight, so perhaps if she could stay with a friend, we could contact her there in the next few days if we get any information. That way we can send someone over to dust for prints.”

Oh sh*t. Max’s heart gave a sickly lurch. His gaze flew to hers, but to his amazement, she didn’t object. She just looked at him, her eyes clear and serene, which seemed bizarre considering what had happened. With a start, he realised that she must be in shock. After all, he sneered at himself, she’s hardly thinking of time alone with you after being drugged and robbed, all in the same night. He began to wonder whether she would have responded to him at all without the influence of whatever drug had been in that drink, but he pushed the thought away. He needed to make a decision.

“You want the address?” Michael materialised in the doorway, seemingly out of nowhere.
“I’ll give you the number, too. “ He looked quickly over his shoulder at Max, before turning back to the cop. “Hurry up, Zan, we ain’t got all night.”

Max had a sinking feeling that he knew exactly where this was headed. How the hell was he going to keep Liz Parker at arms length when she was sleeping down the hall? Sighing heavily, he turned to her. She still hadn’t moved from her spot on the bed. He sat down, hesitantly putting his hand on her shoulder. As if on cue, she looked up at him, their eyes locking.

“I’m sorry.” He spoke haltingly, but the look in his eyes told her that the apology was heartfelt. But what was he sorry for? She was going to ask, but he shook his head.

“What happened?” He was relieved at the change of subject, even though he really did need to know exactly what had gone on after he left. She looked almost spaced out, and he could see that her beautiful eyes seemed reddened. Had she been crying? He wanted to go and find the scum that had done this and beat the shit out of them.

“After… Well, you know… I felt weird, so I got into bed. I fell asleep right away and I only woke up when I heard the shouting and noises.” A single tear trickled down her cheek, and he brushed it away with his palm before she could pull away.

“ There were men in my room, but they ran away – “ Her words turned to whispers and she trailed off, wiping her face. “Thanks for the offer, but it’d be better if I just moved to another hotel.”

“What are you going to pay with? I thought they took your wallet?” He didn’t want to waste time sitting and convincing her, when what he really needed to do was get her belongings packed, drop her at the apartment and call Jim. While he didn’t exactly trust himself around her, he knew that he wouldn’t risk leaving her alone again.

She regarded him sadly.

“You don’t even know me. What would you get out of it?” Her cheeks flushed deep pink and he knew she was remembering their kisses. She stared down at the quilted bedspread.

He was trying not to want to kiss her, and think of a good answer instead when Michael came up with the perfect solution.

“Maxwell and I have a restaurant on Fifth and Main, called Mexicale, and we’re kinda short staffed right now. Maybe you could work some shifts for us, and earn yourself a few bucks. “ She opened her mouth to speak but he held up his hand. “You’d be doing us a big favor, so that way, you and Maxie would be quits.”

Liz hugged herself, and considered Michael’s offer. Max was almost afraid she was going to turn him down, and then he’d have to come clean, when she slowly held out her small hand.

“Deal.” He shook her hand gently, watching Michael’s sly grin out of the corner of his eye.

“Deal.” He agreed.

“But it’s only until I can get some travellers checks, and get back on my feet. “ She didn’t know how long she could deal with being in such close proximity to him, knowing what he must think of her. She was grateful but puzzled by him telling the police they were dating. She’d felt sick, like they’d thought she’d picked up some random guy… but he’d taken it all away. Why had he done that? She wondered. Why should he care?
“Okay, Zan?” She placed deliberate emphasis on his name and was gratified when she saw a momentary flash of guilt on his face.

“It’s a nickname. Anyway, now you know the real one.” He stood and looked down at her, his expression once again blank. He glared at his best friend, wondering why Michael had taken the liberty of putting her exactly where he had been trying to avoid having her – less than ten feet from his bedroom. He eyed him suspiciously.

“Well, boys and girls, lets get packed and go home.”

That smile on his face was entirely too innocent, very un-Michael-like, and his tone was almost chipper. Gritting his teeth, Max started to gather up the clothing scattered around the floor. What the hell was Michael up to?

TBC...

posted on 22-Jul-2002 11:58:18 AM by PixiBitch
PART NINE

Max put the small backpack he was carrying by the side of the double bed in his spare room. Michael set down Liz’s small suitcase just inside the doorway, while she looked around. He frowned. She still seemed kind of vacant and dazed, and he wasn’t sure what he should do. He thought of offering her a glass of brandy or something else to help her sleep, but he didn’t think that was a good idea with whatever drugs she might have in her system. She tucked a long strand of hair back behind her ear, and he noticed that her fingers shook as she did it.

“Are you hungry?” he asked. She shook her head immediately, her palm going to her stomach.

“Then you might wanna take a shower, and hit the sack.” She stared at him, uncomprehending.

“A shower?” Her voice came out faint and high.

“Yeah, you know, you take your clothes off and stand under running water ..” He trailed off when Michael snickered and Liz blushed red.

“I just thought you might want to clear your head a little before you get some rest.” It came out harsher than he’d intended, but he refused to apologise. Instead, he brushed past her, across the hallway, opening the bathroom door. This was a bad, bad idea. She made him feel like a cross between a bumbling idiot and a caveman, and no matter how much he tried to cover it up, he knew that it was going to turn into a disaster. He felt her presence behind him, but he didn’t turn around. He lifted a thick white bathsheet down from a shelf and handed it to her. She glanced around, not really taking in her surroundings, but noticing that it was so obviously a man’s bathroom. Even without the faint scent of men’s toiletries, she would have known, probably because of the empty counters and severe black and white color scheme. She smiled ruefully. She’d never been in a man’s bathroom before, so ironically, this was probably the biggest first she’d had on her whole ‘adventure’. She imagined what Maria would say if she knew.

“I’ll leave you alone.” Max interrupted her musings as he made to go.

“Zan – Max – thank you.” He shrugged, and she touched his arm briefly. “I’m really grateful that you came back after what happened earlier.” A tiny frown creased her forehead. “Why did you come back?” Her eyes had lost a little of their glazed expression, and she was looking at him in expectation. He mentally scrambled for an explanation, and decided to stick as close as he could to the truth. He hated lying to her.

“I just remembered you saying that you felt sick after that one drink. I wanted to make sure you were alright. “ He felt stupid saying it. God knows, he must have been the last person she’d have wanted to see, under any other circumstances. They stared at each other for long seconds, neither of them wanting to mention what had happened before, or particularly conscious of the awkward silence. She reached out toward him again, and he tensed.

Just then, Michael’s hand wrapped around his elbow, surreptitiously pulling him out of the bathroom. He smiled widely at Liz, and Max was once again struck by the oddness of his behavior.

“Have a nice shower.” He drawled, before firmly closing the door behind them. Immediately the fake smile dropped off his face.

“Man, she’s exhausting.” He stage-whispered. Max followed him to the living room, determined to find out what the hell was up. Michael flopped down onto the beige leather sofa, hitting the button on the remote to switch on the TV. Max waited for him to speak. And waited. And finally, he gave in.

“You mind telling me what the fuck you were thinking back there? He demanded, trying to keep his voice as low as possible.

Michael kept his eyes on the football game.

“Doing you a favor, Duke. You ought to be thanking me.”

Max let out his breath in a frustrated sigh.

“Exactly how was bringing her to the apartment ‘helping me’? I know that we can keep an eye on her here, but did you just forget all the stuff we’ve been talking about? About me and – “

Michael smirked.

“She could have refused, couldn’t she? Look, man, I was totally with you when you said you wanted to stay away, but you broke your own rule, so don’t be taking that one out on me. Way I look at it, she digs you, you got a definite thing for her, and you’re both consenting adults.” He shrugged, looking back at the TV, suddenly animated. “Nice pass, dude. Whoo hoo!” He turned back to Max, who was staring at him in disbelief.

“So. You think that I should forget about Jim asking me to do this favor, and just… get into her pants.” He tried hard to look like it wasn’t a prospect he’d enjoy (at least the last part).
“No.” He relaxed at Michael’s indignant reply. “What better way to keep an eye on her, Maxwell?” The only thing that stopped him from cursing long and hard was the sound of the bathroom door opening. Checking the hallway, he saw Liz emerging from the bathroom, carrying the clothes she’d been wearing. She had the huge towel wrapped around her, secured under her arms, and he remembered that she’d been revealing much more flesh in the dress she’d worn earlier in the night. Her skin was still damp, and now her cheeks were flushed a deep pink from the heat of the water, her long dark hair dripping water, and trailing down her back. She stopped for a second, and looked directly at him, before disappearing into the bedroom. He blinked, and it seemed almost as if the image of her, still flushed and beaded with water, was burn onto the inside of his eyelids.

He turned back to the overgrown kid, who was whooping and cheering at the television set.
“You can’t just decide things like this without talking about it with me first, Michael. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.” He promised quietly. Michael watched him go to the kitchen, eyeing him thoughtfully.

Liz climbed into the wide bed, with it's crisp, clean cotton sheets. Sighing deeply, she decided that the past five hours had been alternately the best and the worst she'd had in recent memory. She felt this magnetic pull towards a man she'd known for less than a week, who probably thought god only knew what of her. Confusion wasn't quite the word, but it was a good start. Closing her eyes, she inhaled the scent of Max's liquid soap that she'd used in the shower. Groaning slightly, she knew she didn't have to guess who she'd be dreaming of tonight.

TBC

posted on 22-Jul-2002 12:00:27 PM by PixiBitch
PART NINE C

Waking totally disoriented, Liz opened her eyes a crack, only to squeeze them shut again a second later, hit by a wave of recognition. The past twenty four hours seemed like a horrible nightmare, but glancing at her watch, she knew that at eleven thirty, it was past time to get up and face Zan. Pushing the sheets back and sitting on the edge of the bed, she strained to hear the faint sound of the television. Ugh. That meant there wouldn’t be any avoiding him. She grabbed her backpack and dashed into the bathroom.

In the living room, Liz’s small silver cellphone started to buzz, the tiny vibrations moving it along the surface of the coffee table. The man lazing on the sofa picked it up and pressed the green button.

“Yo.”

“Liz? Oh my god, who is this?” The voice on the other end was feminine, and not a little demanding.

“She’s in the shower right now. You want me to tell her you called?”

“Who are you, and what are you doing with Liz’s phone? “ He held the handset slightly away from his ear as the girl proceeded to threaten all kinds of repercussions if he didn’t answer, which ranged from her calling the police, to kicking his ass. Irritation warred with admiration, as he fought to get a word in edgeways.

“I’m Michael, and Liz is staying at my friend Max’s place. He’s helping her out, because her stuff got stolen.”

“I knew something like this would happen! “ She paused for a second. “So where exactly is Max’s place? “

Leaning back into the soft leather, Michael let one corner of his mouth tip up into the ghost of a smile. Things were about to get interesting.

He’d barely ended the call and put the phone back where he found it when Liz walked past him into the kitchen, and poured herself a cup of coffee. She took a few fortifying mouthfuls before she carried it back into the living room.

“Where is Zan?” She asked the question as casually as she could, seemingly fixated on the hot cup she held.

“Busy.” He shrugged. “We’ve got a full day ahead of us. I gotta take you across to Mexicale and show you the ropes, so you’re ready for this weekend.”

“What’s happening this weekend?” Inwardly, she questioned her sanity, taking a job she knew nothing about, with people she barely knew, but she felt a tiny spark of excitement that she couldn’t put out.

“Friday night we have a bachelor party, then the usual Saturday night crowd.” He stood and grabbed his jacket from the chair. “Ready to go?”

Swallowing the last of her vital morning coffee, Liz quickly rinsed it out in the kitchen sink, then headed back to the bedroom to grab a sweater. It suddenly occurred to her that she might need to change out of her jeans.

“Am I dressed okay for working?” She mentally went through the clothes that she’s brought with her, but none of them seemed suitable for waitressing.

“We have uniforms for the waitresses at work.” He looked her up and down, recognising what had snagged his friends interest. She wasn’t his type, but she was really pretty, with that long shiny hair, big dark, soulful eyes and petite figure. He shook his head once. Appreciating the scenery was all well and good, but they had things to do. He headed toward the door.

“I need to speak to Zan before we go..” she trailed off uncertainly at the look of exasperation on Michael's face. Something about this tall, moody guy made her a little nervous. Like he was totally unimpressed by what he saw, and although she had confidence, it unnerved her.

Putting his hand on her back, he pushed her toward the next closed door in the hall. Opening it, he gave her a little shove.

“So talk.”

She didn’t dare talk. She wasn’t sure she could do it without swallowing her tongue. Max was sound asleep, dead to the world. But it wasn’t his lack of consciousness that bothered her. It was his lack of clothes. His leanly muscled, tanned body was sprawled across the bed, laying on his back, with one arm flung out toward her, while the other covered his face. The rumpled sheet was draped low on his hips, and she could clearly see the faint sheen of the skin on his hairless chest, and the dull gleam of the silver ring piercing one of his flat brown nipples. Her eyes slid over his abdomen, the bands of muscles defined by the narrow strip of light coming through the gap between the dark blue curtains. Hard and flat, she could make out the fine line of black hair bisecting it, disappearing under the sheet. She could feel her heartbeat in her throat, and for a split second was torn between running out of the room and climbing into the bed with him. He sighed roughly in his sleep, and she gave a guilt start, stepping back into Michael, who made a sound suspiciously like a laugh before he smothered it. She shot him what she hoped was a bored look, then walked out of the apartment and onto the landing. A few moments later, he followed her out, locking up behind him.

“Why didn’t you just tell me he was asleep?” Her voice came out surprisingly even, considering that a gnawing ache had sprung to life low in her belly, and she she couldn’t get the image of Zan's sexy, half naked body out of her head.

Michael got into his car, motioning to her to get in the passenger seat. He looked at her once as she fastened her safety belt.

“I’ve always been more visual than verbal.”

She snorted. “So I noticed.”

Once they got to the restaurant, the day passed quickly. Liz immediately liked the place, with it’s big mahogany bar and the wooden booths with their red glass bowls and candles. Michael gave her a quick tour of the bar, and the tables, before taking her into the kitchen and introducing her to the chefs, Juan and Carlos. Liz was used to hard work, and was looking forward to working in the restaurant. After all, she reasoned, it was a great way to get to meet more of the locals, as well as earn a few dollars until her travellers cheques arrived. The other waitresses, Tess and Jen, seemed friendly, too, and the barman, Joe, winked at her and flashed a broad grin as she passed by. Maybe this job was going to turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

It was almost seven when Max pulled up behind Mexicale. He’d told Michael that he wanted them to alternate shifts, so that he’d be able to avoid Liz until Friday night. That way, he reasoned, he could stay up, then sleep while she was working – since there was no way he could sleep in his room, knowing she was next door – and get things back to normal. God knew he could use any break he could get after the erotic dreams he had about her all morning. Then, all through his shower, he'd been haunted by the faint scent of her strawberry soap. Taking a deep breath, he opened one of the double glass door and walked in.

“Hey, Max.” Tess’s voice sang out, and Max returned her greeting with a quick smile, and a mumbled ‘hey’. He looked for Michael, but his eyes fell on the small brunette serving table four. She’d tied her hair up on top of her head with an elastic band, and a few stray strands hung down, the untidiness somehow looking cute, rather than scruffy. The uniform of red men’s styled shirt, with black pants and suspenders seemed to define her shape, rather than conceal it. She turned to walk toward the bar and almost stepped on him.

“Sorry! I wasn’t – “ She looked at his face, and smiled. “Is it time to go home?”

He looked at his watch.

“You got about six minutes left. Then you can go.” He smiled back in spite of himself, and reached out to tuck a heavy lock of hair behind her ear before it fell into her face. She blushed, searching his eyes.

“Well, I’ll get my coat and we can go.” She made as if to go into the back but he reached out and touched her shoulder lightly, frowning.

“My shift just started. Michael’s going to take you out for dinner, then to the movies or something.” He watched her eyes fill with disappointment, before she looked down and bit her lip. When she looked at him again, the expression was gone.

“I guess I’ll see you at home then. “ She walked past him and disappeared into the back.

He headed for the bar, absently noticing the strange expression on Tess’s face before she turned back to the customers she was speaking to. He wondered if she’d been listening to his and Liz’s conversation, but dismissed it. Why should she care, he thought. She knew he wasn’t interested in her that way, never had been. As he watched Liz and Michael leave out of the corner of his eye, he was unaware of Tess’s blue gaze on him again.

TBC....

posted on 22-Jul-2002 12:03:31 PM by PixiBitch
PART TEN A

Max felt like he must have gone through every single receipt and delivery note from the past eight weeks. His back was aching from sitting bent at his desk in the back of the restaurant for over two hours, doing the books. Wearily rubbing the back of his neck, he turned to read the clock on the wall,behind the bar. Although it had been pretty busy, the restaurant had closed well over an hour ago at eleven, and after the last few customers hanging around the bar had left, he’d sent the rest of the staff home shortly. He’d almost had to push Tess out of the door, after she’d tried to insist on staying behind with him, “To help with anything extra that needed taking care of”, she’d said. Although he was ready to fall asleep where he sat, he smiled faintly, remembering the disappointment written all over her face when she’d stepped outside, ready to make one last offer - and he’d firmly closed and locked the big glass door behind her.

Obviously surprised by his rejection , she’d pouted for a moment,  before covering her reaction with a sweet smile and saying goodnight. Max wondered just how long it would take her to understand that he wouldn’t change his mind about her. He’d taken her out once or twice for coffee when she had first started to work at Mexicale, but he’d quickly realized that although she was undeniably pretty, with a good body…there was no chemistry, no real spark between them on any other level. Not like the way it was between he and his unexpected houseguest. Still, he might have been tempted to indulge Tess before now, if she'd worked anywhere else. He and Michael had strict rules about not mixing business with pleasure, and he was much more interested in keeping Tess Harding as an employee than dating her or even just making her a one night stand.

Thinking about the hands off policy toward staff, Max groaned inwardly. There was definitely one of his workers that he hadn’t been able to get off his mind all night. Liz.  He'd concocted lots of elaborate plans for revenge against Michael while he'd been lying in his bed, sleepless throughout most of the previous night, every cell of his body painfully aware of the occupant of the next room. Truthfully, he’d stayed behind so late fervently hoping that she’d be in bed and asleep by the time he got home. He had seen hurt and disappointment  briefly flicker across her expressive face before she’d left with Michael, and he could tell that she had picked up on his avoidance of her. He felt a sinking sensation in his chest and stomach before he mentally shook himself.

Why the hell should she care if he had decided they should stay out of each other's way? He needed to stop the ‘what if’s and wishful thinking. Even if a woman as smart, upscale and beautiful as Elizabeth Parker WAS interested in him, there was no way she’d want anything to do with him if she found out that he was spying on her for Jim Valenti, about his past, or that he was lying to her. With a stab of irony, he acknowledged that it was typical of his luck to find the real life woman of his dreams, and then find out that she was off limits. Groaning tiredly as he rose, Max grabbed his jacket and keys, and headed for the door.

He made his way into the apartment as quietly as possible, knowing that since Michael’s Celica was parked in the small lot behind the building Liz was already home. He quashed the small surge of jealousy that he felt, knowing that Michael had spent the last few hours with her, talking to her.. He broke off his train of thought when he saw a faint light glowing in the living room. As he’d expected, it was deserted but he realized that the kitchen light was on. As he walked in, his eyes were drawn to a small note taped to the fridge door.

Zan (Max)

Michael took me to the store after dinner. We didn’t have dessert, so I got us cheesecake.
Liz.

Ps. I know I said this already, but I’m really grateful  for you letting me stay. Thank you.

He tore his gaze away from the note and turned around, hearing soft footsteps behind him. Liz padded into the kitchen, her small, bare feet almost silent on the linoleum. She was wearing loose gray drawstring pants that rode low on her hips, and he could see a tantalizing strip of creamy flesh just above them that her matching tank top didn‘t quite cover. She was obviously dressed for bed. Although he pretended to busy himself by filling the kettle, he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, taking in her tousled hair and soft, sleepy brown eyes. She had tiny pillow creases on one flushed cheek, and he realised that he must have woken her as he came in. He was contemplating making an apology, and had just opened his mouth to speak when she stretched up on tiptoe to open a cupboard and grab a drinking glass. Her movement lifted her breasts so that they thrust against the thin cotton. His words died in his throat.

As she lifted the tumbler down, he saw her wince and gingerly lower it to the counter. He noticed that she was holding her right arm awkwardly, and even though he knew he should go and pretend to watch tv until she was finished, he wanted to make sure that she was okay.

“What happened?” he asked awkwardly.

She looked at him quizzically, her head tilted to one side.

“What happened to what?”

Her voice came out breathless, and Liz cursed the fact that he’d caught her half asleep. She’d meant to stay up to talk to him, but had gone to bed upset and disappointed, positive now that he meant to stay away from his own apartment just because she was there. It made no sense. When she’d been telling him to get lost, he’d been her shadow. When she decided that she wanted to speak to him, to see him, he treated her like she had a serious personal hygiene problem.  And she couldn’t quite figure out why that stung as much as it did.

He gestured toward her right side.

“Your arm.” he clarified.

She lifted her shoulders to shrug, and winced again, caught off guard by the ache that had been building up all day. Reading the pain in her eyes, he moved closer, making Liz suddenly very self conscious. He frowned, his eyes darkening to golden brown as he thought for a moment.

“It must be from carrying trays and plates today. I guess you’re not used to carrying heavy things, princess.” he stated, without derision. Nonetheless, Liz took a step backward as she felt her temper flare.

“I’m a scientist, not a pack animal.” she replied abruptly, her pointed chin coming up.

He looked down at the floor for a moment and his jaw clenched as he bit back a reply. He rolled his broad shoulders, as if felt a little uncomfortable himself. She belatedly realised how exhausted he looked, and felt a surge of concern.

“I can help ease the pain a little.” he finally offered.

Liz’s chocolate brown eyes went wide and she felt her cheeks flame with the thoughts that ran through her head. Suddenly she was seeing him as he had been that morning, gloriously naked under the sheet, his smooth bare skin whispering a silent invitation to her to join him in the rumpled bed. Oh yeah. She had no doubts that he could find a way to make her forget the pain. Forcing the sexy images out of her head, she cleared her throat.

“Like how? Are you going to magically make it all better?” she joked nervously.

He continued to regard her with that patient golden brown stare.

“No. Do you want me to help or not?” He asked tiredly.

“Yes. Please. If you don’t mind.”

As she followed him out of the kitchen and watched him head for the bathroom, she realized that she had sounded overly polite and prim. She wanted him to think of her as smart, sassy.. maybe even sexy. But not prim.

“ I mean, thanks.” She added, hoping she sounded casual.

He strode back in with two white towels and a small bottle of some kind of liquid in his hand. Correctly interpreting her quizzical look, he held it up for her inspection.

“Massage oil.” he offered, in his best matter of fact voice.

She just looked at him dumbly, her pink mouth slightly open.

“What’s it for?” she asked, stupidly.

Liz stared at his face, watching his caramel colored eyes sparkle with mischief for a second and those full, sensuous lips twitch into a boyish smile that flashed dimples before he schooled his expression to seriousness. He’d decided to try to ease her aching muscles and test his self control at the same time. Maybe this way, he’d lose whatever this fascination he had with this tiny brunette. Yeah, a voice in his head snickered, that's why you want to rub oil into her pale, soft skin. To get some distance. Max ignored it.

“Massage.” he pronounced solemnly.

The regarded each other silently for a few seconds, until Liz broke the silence.

“I’m not taking my shirt off.” she said, trying to sound authorative. Instead she knew that she sounded like a nervous high school girl, which was ridiculous, she thought wryly, since he'd rubbed a lot more than her shoulders the previous night. Plus, on the practical side, she needed to try to ease the tightness in her arm and shoulder if she wanted to be able to work tomorrow.

He smirked at her, and his voice held a faintly mocking note.

“I didn't ask you to.” 

He gestured toward the sofa, so she sat down uncertainly, and with more than a little trepidation. She watched a corner of his mouth tip up into a crooked grin, and felt her pulse jump. Her heart thundered in her chest when he sat down on her right, so close to her that the hard length of his thigh was pressed to hers.

TBC ...

posted on 22-Jul-2002 12:06:21 PM by PixiBitch
PART TEN B

For one long silent moment, they simply sat regarding each other, almost afraid to break the fragile peace. Brown gaze searching golden. Zan seemed to be very good at hiding his feelings behind a blank expression, Liz thought, and her heart sank a little further. After their mindblowing encounter the other night, and his genuine care and surprising kindness after she was robbed, she’d hoped against hope that he perhaps liked her at least a little. But she really couldn’t tell, and it was driving her crazy.

She told herself that she was a smug, arrogant pig, even reminding herself of the cruel way he’d that he'd treated her before leaving the motel the night before. Her face flushed hot at the memory. Still. It didn’t make him any less appealing or attractive, damn the man. She bit her lip, and prayed to whatever deity might be listening for a little extra self control. After all, she didn’t want to make an even bigger fool of herself than she already had, by throwing herself at him again.

As tired as he was, Max suddenly realized that there was at least one part of him that was definitely wide awake and raring to go. Looking away, he ground his teeth. For god’s sake, she wasn’t modeling Victoria’s best or anything like that! Just soft gray cotton PJ's. Oh, and nothing else, the voice in his head helpfully supplied. He shifted his arm so that it lay across his lap, shielding the growing bulge that had throbbed to life beneath his zipper.

She scooted fractionally closer, and looked like she was about to speak when they were interrupted by the high pitched chirping of a cellphone coming from her room. As she jumped up and hurried to answer it, Max sat back and breathed a deep, heartfelt sigh of relief. She went straight to his head, just like those shots of Petron that he and Michael used to like so much. He’d never felt anything like it, and that had him almost climbing the walls with frustration. The sound of Liz’s raised voice interrupted his inner musings.

“- It’s almost midnight, Jim! I know that you guys were worried about me, and you know it’s not that I’m ungrateful but…”

“I’m a big girl now, I’m a grown woman and I can take care of myself.”

“I did NOT just take off! I’d been telling you and Kyle for months that I needed some time to myself!”

“I’m sorry that you’re upset, but I’m not coming back. I’ve met ..new friends here, and I’m going to stay a while longer.”

Her voice wavered slightly, but she wouldn’t be swayed. Max’s mouth twisted sardonically at the word ‘friend’. He hadn’t had too many of those, apart from Michael.

“Is she there right now? Could I talk to her for just a minute, please?”

Max had no idea who Liz was referring to, but her voice changed completely, becoming animated although she lowered her voice to barely above a whisper, so that all he caught were brief snatches. 

“...But apart from that it’s been fine.. Yeah, that’s how come I’m staying here. “

She start to laugh, and Max imagined that he could see the impish smile on her face, before the sound died.

“Tall, dark brown hair, you should see him, 'Ria… these amazing eyes…” Her hushed voice had taken on a wistful tone that pulled at something in his chest. His hand rubbed his breastbone asbently as he listened.

“He has this kind of.. I don’t know, like a force on me. I don’t know how else to describe it.  No, you don’t have to worry about that, Maria. Trust me, the feeling is not mutual. “

Max’s interest was definitely peaked now, and he had the uncanny feeling that she was talking about him. He ignored the sharp pang of guilt he felt at her subdued tone. He couldn’t be honest with her, and there really didn’t seem to be a way that he could let there be anything between them. Not when she didn’t know the truth about why he’d been following her. He rubbed his eyes. Why did *she* have to come along and make everything so complicated? For the thousandth time in the past week, he cursed Jim Valenti.

TBC..
posted on 22-Jul-2002 12:08:43 PM by PixiBitch
PART 10C

Liz slowly walked back to the sofa, and as she sat down, Max noticed that her posture was even more rigid and tense than before. He frowned, taking in the stiff set of her shoulders and the anger lurking in the depths of her chocolate brown eyes. He noted that she'd taken the right strap of her tank top down, so that it was tucked modestly beneath her arm.

“Everything okay?”

“ Yes." She hesitated, staring at the towels on the coffee table. “Actually, no, but you wouldn’t understand.”

He raised his pierced eyebrow.

“Try me.”

As he spoke, he gently turned her shoulders so that she faced slightly away from him. He stroked her hair away from her face with careful fingers, the brush of his hand against her cheek making her heart stutter briefly. Her gaze flew to his, her eyes revealing a flash of vulnerability, before she lowered her lashes. Max frowned, his fingers still toying with the silky ends of her long hair.

“Um.. Can we fasten this back first?”

“Oh. Sure.”

She pulled a covered rubber band from her wrist, where she’d put it earlier when she’d taken it off before getting into bed. Unexpectedly, he took it from her, their fingers brushing lightly, leaving tiny sparks of near-electric sensation in the wake of the brief contact. With deft hands he gathered the thick shining strands into a topknot, securing it with the elastic. He poured a little of the oil from the small bottle into his hand, and moved closer. Max rubbed his palms together slowly, spreading the fragrant oil over his long fingers. He eyed the creamy expanse of her bare shoulders and delicate neck with a combination of apprehension and anticipation, before finally grasping her upper arm lightly with both hands and starting to stroke.

Liz’s eyes closed at his first touch, drinking in the delicious sensations of his warm breath on her sensitive, exposed neck and the seductive sensation of his slippery fingers confidently running over her right arm and shoulder, expertly loosening her muscles. As she relaxed, her head drooped forward, like a flower on it’s stem and she sighed happily.

“So what wouldn’t I understand?” he asked smoothly.

“That was my boss, Jim Valenti.” Liz was still annoyed but she needed to vent, and besides, she and Zan might actually have an honest to God conversation, which would be progress, she thought with a wry smile.

“I’ve worked for Valenti Inc as a research biologist since right after I left Harvard.” she explained.

“ I’ve known he and his son Kyle for years, and I guess they’re the closest thing to family that I have. I love them to death, although there are definitely times I could cheerfully murder both of them," she joked.

"Then there’s my best friend, Maria Deluca, who is also Jim’s stepdaughter.”

He watched as she smiled happily when she thought of her riend, and Max tried to concentrate on massaging her sore arm instead of pouncing on her and exploring the rich sweetness of her mouth with his own again. The way he’d been wanting to since she walked into the kitchen.

“Mmhmm.” he murmured, encouraging her to continue. She shuffled slightly backward, so that the firm curve of her backside pressed against his thigh, and he paused for a second while he remembered to breathe normally.

“Anyway, since it seems like I spend most of my life at work, I decided to take a break and go somewhere where I wouldn’t have them breathing down my neck, bossing me around. He wants me to turn around and go back, but I‘m managing here just fi-ine thanks to you.” Her breath broke as one slick palm glided down her narrow forearm, one finger brushing over her erratic pulse.

“So you chose Roswell?” his tone was a blend of amusement and disbelief, but Liz could tell that he was grinning. She had the urge to turn around and glimpse his smiling face, but was almost afraid to break the spell.

“Hey, I like Roswell! “ she defended jokingly.
“Besides, I haven’t exactly traveled a lot, and I’m curious. To me, this place is exciting.”

He didn’t speak for a long time, and Liz wondered if she’d in advertantly said something wrong.

“Do you have any brothers or sisters, Liz?”

“No. From what I remember, I was an only child. “ She paused. “I always wanted a real brother or sister, though. The other children at the foster homes usually treated me like an outsider, but that was okay. That’s what I was. “

He listened to her words, momentarily stunned. There was no trace of bitterness in her voice, just simple acceptance. As surprised as he was to hear that she’d grown up in foster care, he was amazed that no one had fallen in love with Elizabeth Parker and adopted her. She must have been an adorable child, he thought, with her rich dark hair, and a beautiful, almost ethereal face.

“You weren’t adopted?” he asked curiously.

She shook her head.

“No. After my mother left me at St. Mary’s, I got moved from foster home after foster home. There was always something." She shrugged her shoulders.

“No one wants an angry child. Then I grew into an angry teenager, and learned that no one wants those, either. Unless..…” she trailed off.

“Unless they want to use them.” she finished quietly.

Max sucked in his breath, feeling a ball of unreasoning fury gather in his gut. She didn’t have to explain herself. He’d seen it with his own eyes, the sly way that some of the ‘father’s’ had looked at the teenage girls, the ones that they were supposed to be providing a home for, taking care of, protecting. He hadn’t realized that his grip had become painful until he heard her intake of breath and he released her, rubbing her shoulder in wordless apology.

“What about you, Zan?” she glanced at him sideways, through lowered lashes and he had to force himself to concentrate.

“What about me?” he kept his tone light and kept up the slow, sensuous movement of his hands, half hoping she‘d get distracted and let the conversation drop. She couldn’t have guessed.

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” she asked, almost shyly.

“Not that I know of.” He tried to sound matter of fact, but when she turned her head to listen, without looking at him, he could practically hear the cogs in her head turning. He almost smiled. Nothing got past her.

“You, too?”

He hesitated momentarily before replying.

“Yeah.”

She was quiet for so long that he wondered if she was going to let him off that easily.

“Tell me.”

He was considering making a cutting remark, but her whispered “please” stopped him. He couldn’t push her away again, not about this.

“I don’t remember much before the care home. The local sheriff found me wandering alone in the desert when I was about six syears old… Took me to the authorities. Cut a long story short, I got adopted by a decent family when I was eight…”

His throat was tight, but he hadn’t realized that he needed comforting until he felt her small hand cover one of his. They both stilled, and Liz let herself fall back against his chest, her head resting so naturally on his shoulder. They sat that way for a few minutes, leaning into each other, neither one saying
anything or acknowledging the shared moment. Max was the first to pull away, pouring a few more drops of oil into his palms and resuming his comforting, yet sensual ministrations. Liz felt each of his fingers like a scorching brand against her skin, taking away the pain in her slender limb and leaving behind a swelling awareness of his presence so close behind her, and the way that his knuckles brushed her side every time they stroked down the sensitive underside of her arm.

She found herself holding her breath, swaying imperceptibly toward him, into the lightest brush of his fingers against her ribs. Max had never dreamed that torture could be so achingly enjoyable. He watched through lazy eyes as she leaned into his hands like a sleek little cat. She was so responsive, he marveled. Just touching her this way had hardened his most vulnerable flesh until he felt as if he were carved from solid marble. He could count every heavy pulse of his blood. He wanted so badly to press his mouth to the column of her throat, and trace the faint outlines of her veins beneath the delicate skin, to hear her breath break for him.. But he didn’t know if he could stop himself and it was too soon. He couldn’t be this way with her, not without complete honesty between them. He tried to force the compulsion back, but even as he did, he felt the press of her shoulder blades against the muscles of his chest. Just one kiss, he decided. He’d allow himself one taste before he pulled away again, something to soothe the ache in his gut.

Liz  felt the oil coating Max’s palm as he cradled her cheek. There was a sudden weight to the silence between them, and she could almost hear count every thump of her heart as his dark head descended toward hers, his hard mouth claiming and exploring her own, probing deeply. Liz turned around completely without pulling her mouth away from his, eagerly meeting each thrust of his tongue with one of her own.  He wrapped one arm around her narrow waist, anchoring her against him, his caution forgotten in their greed for each other. Instead of holding back, she pressed herself to him ardently, his mouth stealing the tiny, sounds that she made. He shuddered in reaction as he felt her tiny hand steal under his shirt. He hadn’t felt her pull it free of his pants, but he was beyond comprehending anything beyond her, the taste of her mouth, the feel of her…Their passion was quickly flaring out of control and it was only through sheer force of will that he kept himself from laying down on the sofa and pulling her with him.

She ran her palm up his hard stomach and ribs, admiring his lean muscles and silky skin as she went. Her slim fingers stroked every inch of firm flesh that she found, wondering at his perfection even as he panted against her lips. She smiled against his mouth as she discovered one flat male nipple, rubbing it with her fingertips, marveling as she felt it tighten. She loved his body, and the hot, achy way that touching it made her feel. She carefully scraped a short fingernail lightly against the bud, and he tensed immediately , growling low in his throat, the sound transferring itself to her through their joined mouths. He clutched her waist with one hand and reached under his shirt to snare her wrist as he struggled desperately to bring his body under control. He broke the kiss, and groaned helplessly when he heard her murmur a protest. Consolingly, he pressed tiny, sweet kisses to the side of her neck, rubbing at the bare skin of her waist with his thumbs as he did so. Gradually, their breathing slowed, and he lifted his head to look at her. He smiled faintly at the dazed sheen in her eyes and her swollen satin mouth.

Dragged air into his oxygen starved lungs, he rested his forehead against hers. Her eyes found his, and he knew that she had a dozen more questions for him, about his past, and who he was. Questions that he couldn’t honestly answer until he’d finished his favor to Jim, and told her the truth.

“Liz…” he panted.

“Hmmm?”

“Do me a favor?” he asked quietly, pressing a quick hard kiss to her mouth.

“Mmhmm.” Her lips clung to his once more.

“Please go to bed. Now.”

She leaned back and looked at him, vulnerability written in her posture and in her dark doe eyes.


“Oh.”

She pulled out of his arms and started to get up until he pulled her back, forcing her to meet his gaze.

“I want you. Believe me baby, I do.” he confessed. “But this is happening too fast. We need to spend some time together. Do you agree?”

She nodded hesitantly, and he was shaken by how much he wanted to be wrong about not being good enough for her.

“Are you going to ignore me again tomorrow?”

He sighed deeply. He’d lost the battle to keep her at arms length, but it didn’t mean he was going to lose the war.

TBC

posted on 22-Jul-2002 12:13:56 PM by PixiBitch
PART ELEVEN


Liz set both of the hot plates that she was carrying down in front of the two men seated at table ten, and laughed at something one of them said to her. Michael watched her thoughtfully from his spot at the corner of the mahogany bar, suspicious of her obviously good mood. She’d been just like that ever since he’d picked her up at the apartment shortly before noon, and he didn’t like it one little bit. In his experience, when a woman behaved like that, it was either because they had one over on you, got laid, bought new shoes, or… the L word.

Michael shook his head. Since her car hadn’t moved from the same spot it’d been for the past forty eight hours, and he knew she hadn’t been shopping, all of the other options meant bad news. He scowled, shooting Liz a moody glare, ignoring the wary looks he was getting from Tess and Joe.

Liz checked the clock on the wall for the hundredth time in the past hour. Ten more minutes, she told herself. Just ten more minutes, and she’d see him again. She smiled dreamily, unaware of Tess watching her from beneath lowered lashes. Even waiting tables was exciting if it meant that she’d get to spend a few hours with him. Right as Liz was doing a little internal happy dance in anticipation of working a shift with him, Max was sitting slumped on his sofa, dreading having to look her in the eye again.

He’d spent the last hour going through Liz’s backpack for her car keys so that he could find her journal and take out the damned file that was causing Jim Valenti so much trouble. He’d felt so damn guilty that once he held it in his hands, he’d been half tempted to burn it to ashes. Instead, he called a reputable courier company, and arranged to have it delivered to Jim’s home by ten am the following morning.  He’d have to call him in the morning to tell him that favor was finally all done and finished, but at least with that out of the way, the only thing he had to worry about was telling her the truth.

He sighed mournfully, suddenly feeling terribly tired. Although he owed her his honesty, he knew that once she knew about his past and how he’d met her, she’d vanish out of his life, go back to her middle class life, sensible job and the respectable men that she probably dated occassionally.  Checking the time, he realized that he couldn’t put it off any longer, and set off for Mexicale with mixed feelings. A hard look settled on his face as he walked past a small mirror in the hall. He forced a cocky grin. If he was a big enough asshole, maybe he wouldn’t even have to tell he'd been decieving her. Maybe she’d walk away before she found out just how big a shit he really was.

------

Liz was taking chocolate cake out of the fridge when Michael wandered into the kitchen with studied casualness. He caught sight of the serene expression on her face, which perversely only irritated him even more. This small girl was messing with his best friend and that didn’t sit well with him at all. He could tell that she had Max all worked up and behaving out of character, when he‘d barely known her a week. Michael’s short conversation with her friend Maria hadn’t yielded any information, beyond her being a “total sweetheart”, which Michael discarded out of hand.

He didn’t really understand women, beyond the fact that they didn’t operate on Earth logic, but for a while back there, he’d been sure that both he and Max had managed to steer entirely clear of both major commitment or emotional entanglement. He just wanted to be certain that Max wasn’t going to screw up their near perfect record, and since he was being uncharacteristically irritable, what better way to find out what was going on get it from the horse’s mouth?

“So,” he began, “ How are things with you, Liz?”

She looked up at him with those Bambi eyes for a moment, and he almost snorted aloud. She had to be putting it on. She was just too much. She had the wide eyed innocent thing down to a fine art. In that moment, it registered that the ‘other’ thing that irked him so much with her was that she wasn’t like any of the girls that he or Max had ever dated, which made her an unknown quantity. Michael didn’t like those. They almost always ended up biting him on the ass. It wasn't that he didn't like Liz, in fact, he wanted to encourage Max to see as much of her as possible, work this thing for her out of his system. He just wanted to be sure that it wasn't going to become anything more serious.

“I’m fine, thanks.” She smiled at him and her eyes filled with genuine warmth. “ I still can’t thank you and Zan enough for coming back to the hotel the other night. I don’t know what -"

“It’s fine, really,” he interrupted. Gratitude didn’t sit well with him. “ As long as this is working out for you.”

He waved a hand toward the restaurant.  Liz walked out of the kitchen carrying a tray laden with the desserts for her table, flashing an impish grin as she passed.

“ It’s sweet of you to ask, but I’m totally fine. This is kinda fun,” she called back over her shoulder.

Michael scratched his head, staring at the counter for a moment. Sweet? He was pretty sure no one had ever called him that before. The sound of a locker opening and closing snapped him back to attention, and he looked up to see Max standing a few feet away.

“Zan, what’s up with - “

“I got that thing that our friend was looking for,” he bit out, his gaze boring intently into Michael’s.
"I mailed it off to him, so he should get it tomorrow."

Michael started as he realized what Max was talking about, and unconsciously looked at Liz, who was standing over at the register, printing out a check.

“Well, that’s cool. So what about her?” He jerked his head in her direction.

Max’s jaw clenched and he looked at her, then back to Michael.

“Come on, Michael. You know I like her.”

Michael nodded, almost impatient.

“But I’ve lied to her. ..And there are so many other things. It‘s just easier if she walks away now.”

“Screw that martyr bullshit, Maxwell. You want her?”

“You know the answer to that, and keep your voice down
in case she hears you!” He whispered urgently.

“Then go for it. Life’s too short, Duke.” He saw that Max was about to protest, so he held up one hand and continued. “ She’s totally into you, I can tell. Why don’t you take her out, get to know her a little better and then…” he made a crude gesture with his hands.

Max smirked.

“No, Michael, I mean, I really, really like her.” he placed special emphasis on the word ‘like’.  “I can’t sleep with her while I’m still lying to her.” He sighed deeply.

“ You don’t have to get THAT physical with her yet, man. You can tell her the back story first if you wanna.” He shrugged. “And don’t forget, you two can always do the whole appetizer thing.” He turned away as Tess sashayed in, looking very interested in their conversation.  Max frowned in confusion.

“Appetisers?” He echoed.

Michael grinned at Max’s puzzlement.

“Come on, Duke, you know what I mean. Appetizers are
those little things that make us more hungry.” He said the last part in his best Eric Cartman voice, and winked at Max as he walked back to the bar. He smirked as the sound of Max’s laughter drifted back to him from the kitchen.


posted on 22-Jul-2002 12:16:47 PM by PixiBitch
Okay, so I apologise in advance if this part is long-winded and kinda sucky, but I've toyed with it and toyed with it, and since I really just want to use it as a bridge to help me get to the end of this part 12 - where the really juicy stuff happens - I've decided to just post it, even though I'm not happy with it. Your feedback is what's kept me writing this, so please, let me know what you think of the latest effort. BTW - I'd like to make a special thank you to Allie1031, Strawbehrry Shortcake and Eviloona for all of their wonderful suggestions, and for letting me bounce my ideas off of them.*happy*


PART TWELVE A

By the time seven o’clock rolled around, Liz could feel herself practically shaking with bewilderment and frustration. Hearing Tess’s loud shriek of laughter for what seemed for the millionth time in the last hour, she forced herself to hold onto her temper and concentrate on what the girl at the table in front of her had just asked for. She pulled her gaze away from the sight of the perky, curly haired blonde smiling up into Zan’s face as he joked with Abby and Joe at the register.

“I’m sorry, did you want the baked potato, mash or fries with the steak?” She asked politely, determined not to seem jealous. She couldn’t help glancing at the couple at the table, noting their loosely clasped hands and the long stemmed  red rose laying on the cotton cloth. She sighed inwardly. How come she seemed to be confronted by couples out on romantic dates tonight, when she couldn’t even seem to get Zan stand still long enough to notice her or speak to her? It felt like everywhere she looked, there was something to remind her of her seeming lack of appeal in that department.

Luckily, the customer broke into her self-examination with her choice of potato, and Liz managed to smile brightly if blankly before collecting their menu’s. Shoving the laminated folders roughly into the designated drawer, she sighed deeply, watching Zan covertly from beneath lowered lashes as he helped Joe with a list of drinks.  Tess seemed to be hovering around him in the background like a vulture, or, Liz thought with a sudden flash of spiteful inspiration, a guard-gerbil. She couldn’t help feeling hurt by the attention that he was
paying to Tess tonight, especially in light of what had happened the night before and wondered for a pained second if he’d ever dated her, or kissed her. Squelching that thought and clasping her drinks order, she steeled herself to approach him.

Giving him a taste of his own medicine and ignoring him right back would be so much easier if he wasn’t so drop-dead gorgeous, she mused, taking in the fit of his black cargo pants, and how the emerald green of his shirt played up the golden tan of his skin and the rich dark brown of his slightly spiky hair. She stared for a second too long and almost stumbled when he looked up, his sherry colored eyes staring directly into hers. She felt the heat of that knowing look flush her cheeks a warm pink.

“Evenin’, princess.” He drawled in greeting, wiping his hands off on a bar towel. “What can I do for you?”

His eyes ran over her like fingers, deliberately obvious in their assesment. But Liz could have sworn she saw his arrogant smirk freeze as he lingered over the way that the suspenders framed her high breasts, up her throat to her face. She’d taken a little more time over her makeup than usual tonight, outlining her eyes with black kohl and glossing her lips to a deep, dark cherry pink, and wondered nervously whether he'd noticed or not. After all, she’d done it all in anticipation of seeing him tonight. She couldn’t be sure, but she thought she saw his eyes darken momentarily before he clenched his jaw, and looked away, muttering under his breath. Uncertain of how to handle his odd mood, she hesitantly held out her scribbled order, trembling imperceptibly when their fingers brushed as he took it from her. He stepped closer, meeting her gaze again and seemed about to say something, when Tess leaned across the bar, ruining the moment.

“Sorry to interrupt, Max, but some of  the Ellis party have started to arrive. What do you want me to do with them?”

He continued to stare deeply into Liz's eyes for long seconds before acknowledging that anyone had spoken.

“Hmmm?” He rumbled.

“You know, Kevin Ellis - the bachelor party…?” Liz wondered with a spark of irritation how Tess managed to turn such an innocent question into flirting.

“Put ‘em in the back room,” he replied flatly and turned back to Liz, missing Tess’s pout as she flounced off toward the large, loud group of guys that were standing in the waiting area.

After a brief moment of hesitation, Liz just opened her mouth and took the plunge.

“D-did I do something wrong?” She hated the vulnerable note in her voice, and lifted her small, rounded chin, hoping he wouldn’t notice. "You've just been really distant with me ever since you came in. "

She watched as something like guilt flared in his eyes, before vanishing beneath the deliberately blank mask that she had come to recognise. She couldn’t have guessed that Max was furious with himself for getting into this mess, for lying to her, for trying to avoid her so that he could get his guilt under control. And why was it that she seemed to be able to see straight through him every time? Even when he was deliberately trying to push her away, she somehow seemed to be able to appeal to a place inside of him that he’d thought was long dead, and make him want to get on his knees and beg for forgiveness  - even as the hardened cynic in him sneered.

The guarded expression in her long lashed, doe eyes had him silently berating himself for acting like a dick. Besides, he thought, even if he could never believe that she could ever feel more than curiosity and attraction for him, that didn’t mean that he couldn’t spend time with her and pretend for a little while. He reached out, almost hesitantly, stroking an errant strand of hair away from her cheek, and tucking it gently behind her ear.

“No, Liz, you didn’t do anything wrong. Everything is fine.” He assured her in a hushed tone. Somehow, in the loud and bustling restaurant, their conversation seemed strangely intimate.

“I’ve just been in a weird, shitty mood today.” Max shrugged, and bit his pierced bottom lip briefly, as if in apology. “I’ll shake it off later, once we get busier.”

Liz frowned. Something didn’t seem quite right, but when she opened her mouth to ask if he was sure, one long finger laid upon her lips silenced her, emptied her head of anything but the eroticism of the simple touch and the tingling of her sensitive mouth. She watched, entranced as he started to bend toward her, his eyes darkening to a deep caramel, and closed her eyes in dizzy anticipation of the touch of his mouth against hers.

And nothing happened.

Confused, Liz opened her eyes, and blinked in surprise. There, stood right next to them, was possibly the sluttiest woman Liz had ever seen. She was all shocking pink lipstick, big, blond, bleached hair, pushed up mounds of cleavage, and a turquoise blue halter necked dress which was so short that it was inching it’s way up, well past the level of decency. The object of Liz’s astonishment narrowed her small, heavily made up blue eyes at her, before summarily dismissing her and batting her false eyelashes at Zan. She smiled widely at him, and leaned forward to touch his arm, giving both of them an eyeful of the grand canyon between her mostly-exposed breasts. Liz winced.

“Zan, sweetie,” The bimbo purred, “ I got your call….and here I am. Ready, willing and able."


TBC....


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 22-Jul-2002 12:58:12 PM ]
posted on 22-Jul-2002 1:00:36 PM by PixiBitch
*Author's Note* I should be posting the remainder of Part Twelve by Sunday night. And from now on, I'll be aiming for updates on Sundays and Wednesdays, since I want to get this fic to a stage that I'm happy with before I have to take a three week break in September. I hope that there are a few of you out there still interested in reading this!)

posted on 22-Jul-2002 1:25:44 PM by PixiBitch
Alienchica - You'll have to wait til Sunday to see exactly who the slut is, but I think it's safe to say that she's not going to be Zan's latest girlfriend. *s* As for Zan admitting that he cares for Liz... well, he's already done that, both to himself, and to Michael. The trouble is, he's not convinced that it's a good idea for them to get involved, seeing as he's been lying to her by omission ever since they met.
Anyways, just wait til Sunday. There'll be plenty of 'developments' then. *big*
posted on 28-Jul-2002 5:50:53 PM by PixiBitch
AUTHORS NOTE AND QUESTION
I'd originally intended to post the rest of Part Twelve tonight, but I'm taking care of my six month old neice this evening, and she'd decided that I have to stop trying to mess around getting it just how I want it, and amuse her instead. *S* I promise that it'll be posted by tomorrow night, though.

I also have a question about an idea that I have for a new Max/Liz story.... One that starts out as Max/Michael, is for a little while sort of Max/Michael/Liz, and then ends up as CC, featuring Maria, Alex, Kyle and I might be persuaded to include Isabel.;) It's not just going to be smut all the way (although it's definitely going to be NC-17), it's going to be a Dreamer and Candy love story, too. By the time I'm finished, I'm even going to - hopefully - convince any Polarists among you how perfect Max and Liz are for each other.

It's going to be AU, of course, but I'm trying to find out whether anyone apart from me likes the idea and thinks that I should write it. The entire description is up in the Fanfic Discussion forum, where it's being totally ignored. *s* I'd be really grateful if I could get a few opinions on the idea.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 28-Jul-2002 5:56:03 PM ]
posted on 29-Jul-2002 4:20:32 AM by PixiBitch
Gagnes Girl - Well, my whole thing is that I didn't just want to write a peice of Max/Michael/Liz smut. I thinkt he only time that they work together as a pairing is when there's a relationship written in behind it.

BUT, that's not even the direction that I'm going in anyway. There are only going to be a small handful of Max/Michael scenes, and an even smaller handful of Max/Michael/Liz scenes - I'm not going to turn them into a full on threesome. RosDeidre's Crazy Times Two does that so well, it wouldn't even cross my mind to try.

I guess another idea that sparked this fic bunny was a chat that my friends and I had about trying to turn a gay man straight (which as we all know, doesn't happen). I mean, how much would a guy have to love you to cross to the other team? But, what if the gay man was actually bisexual? I know that there was another fic on this board that kind of did something similar, and I remember that her Michael was flamingly camp.. Mine won't be that way. I just thought that this idea would work, given the individual personalities of each of the characters..

In my new story, the characters will be exactly as they originally were in the show, pretty much. Uh.. no, scratch that. I just remembered the abomination that was Season Two. Let's say, I'm just going to make the characters true to the way that they started out.*happy*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-Jul-2002 4:24:58 AM ]
posted on 29-Jul-2002 6:34:39 PM by PixiBitch
Okay, so this part isn't anywhere near as long as I wanted it to be, but I did promise to post tonight, so I'm calling this Twelve B (but I'll finish this part on Wednesday day, with any luck). For once, it wasn't my procrastinating that distracted me - Majesty posted two new parts of To Hell And Back, and Mockingbird39 posted another fabulous part of Innocent. I'm a total sucker for brilliantly written Max/Liz. *happy*


Part Twelve B

Liz could almost hear Max’s inward groan, and had to fight a smile. Whoever this skank was, it didn’t take a psychic to figure out that he wasn’t exactly pleased to see her.

“Actually, Pam, it was Michael who left the message, not me.” He corrected, tersely.

She shrugged her shoulders, and Liz stared in horror for a second, praying that the scanty lycra covering her generous chest would stay up. Who knew that they even had obviously fake silicone boobs in Roswell, she wondered. She blatantly ignored the pang of hurt than stabbed through her as she wondered if Zan found them more appealing than her 32Bs. At least they were real, she thought cattily, unconsciously lifting her little
nose into the air.

“Anyway, I got the message and I’m here now. So. Just tell me where you want me. After all, you are the man.” She flirted outrageously.

Her lip curling in disdain, Liz turned away, and unable to resist, mimed sticking her fingers down her throat. Hearing a snicker, she turned to see Allie setting down a tray of clean margarita glasses on the bar, trying desperately not to crack up. Liz tried to walk casually over to the taller girl, who was hiding her grinning face behind the fall of her long, honey colored hair.

She looked back at Zan and the overblown blonde, noticing how even though he was talking to her, his gaze kept moving back to Liz. She felt a summery heat roll through her chest at the warmth in his dark golden gaze. Maybe tonight was going to turn out well, after
all, she sighed to herself. But first, she had questions.

“So..” She whispered conspiratorily, huddling close to Allie, pretending to rearrange the glassware, “ Who is the skanky ho?”

The other girl’s bright blue eyes sparkled with mischief.

“Actually, that one has made a career out of being skanky. Well, that and gossiping.” She informed. “Her name is Pam Troy, and she’ll be our stripper for this evening.” .

Liz’s eyes went wide. Allie laughed, enjoying Liz's reaction.

“Strippers? I didn’t know there were going to be strippers.” She hated the prudish way that had come out, but couldn’t hide her surprise.

It wasn’t that she objected to their being naked women
on the premises, exactly. She just didn’t like the thought of them being around M…. No, that wasn’t it, she denied. She just objected to it for moral reasons. Yep. One glance at Allie told her that she wasn’t fooling anyone else, though.

“Yeah, you know. Strippers are those women that they
usually have at bachelor parties. They take their clothes off, and the guys give 'em money.” She teased dryly.

“Don’t look so worried, Liz, they won’t be out in full view. The strippers will be tucked away in the back room, with the party.”

“Oh, I wasn’t worried.” Liz denied quickly, trying to sound unfazed. “It was just that no one had mentioned it before now.”

“I’ll be working back there tonight.” Allie informed her, as she busied herself replenishing the shot glasses on the back wall.

“But won’t it get a little rowdy? I mean, one waitress back there with all those drunk guys?” Liz frowned.

She liked to think that she could hold her own, but she wasn’t at all sure that she liked the thought of being one girl, stuck in a private dining room with a bunch of pumped up, booze laden guys between her and the exit.

“Oh, it’s usually fine.” Allie said reassuringly. “ There are always two of us back there, and Michael keeps an eye out, to make sure that no one gets too drunk and things don’t get out of control. They just like to have girls work the bachelor parties instead of guys, which totally makes sense since all the boys do are stand around and watch the naked ladies anyway.” She laughed out loud at Liz’s fierce little scowl in Max’s direction.

“Relax, babe. I know for a fact that there won’t be anything on display back there tonight that Mr Evans over there will be wanting to see. Unless, of course,
you feel like giving us a little show.” She giggled, nudging Liz’s ribs with her elbow. Liz jumped in surprise, unable to deny the warm flush that suffused her cheeks at the other girl’s words.

“No, you’re wrong. He and I aren't- “ She started.

“Oh, whatever,” Allie stage whispered. “Then why does he keep looking at you like he wants to eat you up?”

Her tone was triumphant, and Liz felt her blush turn into a wash of burning color. She couldn’t prevent the cheeky, hopeful grin that curved her lips.

“He does?” She strove to sound careless, but really, she was suppressing the impulse to squeal out loud. If Maria had been there, she probably would have done, she thought fondly, and made a mental note to send her a text message later. She hadn’t heard from Maria in a day or so (which was weird), and was really missing her.

She’d wondered if her best friend had found a new man,
but swiftly dismissed the idea. She probably would have insisted on sharing all of the details by now, if she had. She snapped out of her wonderings when she saw Zan escorting Pam to the private dining room at the rear of the restaurant. Oh well, she thought, straightening her shoulders. It was going to be a busy, busy night. Better get back to work.

Liz hurried back to her section, and was surprised to see Tess standing at a table for four, holding an order pad, and recommending the house wines. Tamping down her immediate flare of irritation, she waited patiently for the blonde to finish taking the order. As soon as she turned away, Liz approached her.

Ignoring her presence, Tess passed the order on to Carlos, one of their junior chefs. Liz impatiently twisted her hair into a knot at the nape of her neck, feeling her temper start to ignite. What was the girl’s problem, she wondered. She didn’t expect to get along with everyone, but Tess always seemed to be talking down to her, treating her like an idiot, or just totally disregarding her. Like right now.

Well, she thought determinedly, this is going to end
here. She folded her arms across her chest, and tapped one small foot. Tess turned her curly, bright head toward the dark haired girl, widening her cornflower blue eyes in faux surprise.

“Sorry, Liz.” She apologized, too sweetly. “I didn’t notice you there.” She smiled confidently when Liz shifted her weight to one leg, mistaking the gesture for discomfort, instead of rising temper.

"Tess, why are you waiting my tables?” Liz bit out.

“Oh. Didn’t he tell you?” Tess’s smile was very reminiscent of the cat that got the cream.

“Didn’t who tell me what?” Liz gritted out, staying the urge to stamp her foot. She already felt like an idiot. She didn’t want to underline it by acting like a nut, too.

“Max.” Tess clarified. “ He’s put you down to work the bachelor party.”

Liz stiffened.


TBC..








[ edited 2 time(s), last at 29-Jul-2002 6:47:43 PM ]
posted on 29-Jul-2002 7:13:49 PM by PixiBitch
NATEVANS- Um.. because it is? *big*
posted on 31-Jul-2002 4:07:59 PM by PixiBitch
Okay, you guys. I got hit with this nasty flu bug, and it's killing my sinuses. So the update I was going to post tonight is getting set back to tomorrow night - that's me this week. Running one day behind. *S* But I promise it'll be worth it. Um.. at least, I hope it will.

As for all of the great questions...*happy*Well, it seems as if most of you guys have figured out some of what's behind Liz's allocation to the bachelor party. It's no big surprise that Tess really is a deceitful bitch.;) But at the end of this part, something is going to give between Max and Liz, BIG TIME. *s* I'm totally enjoying writing the build up.

I'm amazed by some of the FAB authors who have stopped by to leave feedback! Pathos, your current story is one of my current addictions! I feel so loved. *sniffed* I am such a feedback whore.
posted on 8-Aug-2002 3:01:35 PM by PixiBitch
Hey guys. Sorry about the lack of an update - the past three days I've been offline totally. It felt like I had a huge migraine, plus chills and a fever. *blech* Hopefully, I'll be all better in time for the weekend.
Allie- Actually, although I know the waitress doesn't look anything like you, the name was a shout out to you.(and you can repay me by updating WSGAN? again. *heehee*).
There are going to be other shoutouts to some of my faithful feedbackers and favorite authors, so keep your eyes peeled.*happy*
posted on 30-Aug-2002 3:59:36 PM by PixiBitch
AUTHOR'S NOTE

Okay, so I promised more frequent updates, and then real life got icky, tricky and *busy*. I've had lots of problems with my contact lenses, been sick as a dog with flu, and am moving house in just over a week. Sorry it's been so long since I've contributed anything of substance to this story. :( The good news is that I'm definitely going to keep working on this til it's all done, ASAP. Just bear with me if the updates aren't quite as often as you'd like. Thanks for sticking with this story.*happy*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Aug-2002 4:50:40 PM ]
posted on 18-Nov-2002 1:11:37 AM by PixiBitch
AUTHORS NOTE ( yes, another!)
I'm so sorry that I haven't updated recently, but I've moved 6000 miles away and gotten married, and my life has been *crazy*. Fun, but definitely on the nutty side. BUT, I definitely haven't abandoned this story, and am currently working on an update. No promises but hopefully there'll be something here by Friday. Thanks for sticking with this.*happy*
posted on 9-Jan-2003 6:01:35 PM by PixiBitch
AUTHOR'S NOTE. (Yes, another one)

I know that y'all are probably sick and tired of my author's notes, but I really am working on an update. I'm touched that anyone is still reading this, but it's become a kinda challenge to myself for me to finish it. Thing is, I've been a busy, busy girl since September - my wedding, moving halfway around the world, yadda yadda - and most recently I've been struggling with depression. Long story, but I'm temporarily back on the other side of the world again for work reasons, away from my guy and my home. I should be able to get myself pulled around pretty soon (gimme a week or so and I promise a big and juicy new part. Girl scout's honor.;)) Thanks.
posted on 7-Feb-2003 1:00:06 PM by PixiBitch
I'm working on it, I promise!*happy*