posted on 20-Aug-2002 5:29:03 AM by WhiteRoses
Title: Delectable
Author: WhiteRoses
Summary: M/L AU NC-17… Very loosely based on the movie "Simply Irresistible." Trust me when I say loosely. Liz is the Amanda part… and Max is a food critic. The rest will come later! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing! Just a few words and a computer. Please don’t sue!

Part One:

New York….

"You bastard," Tess shrieked, throwing her glass of water across the table at his face.
Max felt the wet substance hit his face. Causally, he reached over and grabbed a cloth napkin, wiping the cool water off his face. By that time, he was watching Tess’s retreating figure make it’s way out of the restaurant.
"Another one bites the dust," Alex scoffed as he took a seat at the time.
Max let out a sigh. "It was time," he stated as thought it explained it all. And for those who knew Max Evans, that statement certainly did.
"Third date," Alex groaned in realization. Just like Max to get out just before anything got to serious. "That would explain the wet and wild do you are now sporting."
Chucking slightly, Max ran one hand through his now wet hair. "And that will be the last time I ever bring a date to work with me."
Alex smirked. "You know, you could wait until after dinner to break up with a girl. Just a suggestion."
Max’s smile faded slightly. "Maybe you should limit your suggestions to my career and not my love life."
Throwing his hands up in defeat, Alex gave up. "Fine, fine. And on that note, you are all good to go. Just got off the phone confirming your flight."
"Windy City… here I come," Max announced.

Chicago….. Two days later…

"Those flames were really, REALLY big," Michael gulped.
Liz collapsed next to him on the floor. "Whatever possessed me to believe I could do this."
"Suck it up," Maria sputtered, emptying the rest of the fire extinguisher unto the stove. "We need to find a place where we can get a stove pronto."
Letting out a groan of frustration, Liz hid her face in her hands. "What would the point be Maria? Get another one so I can set it on fire too."
"Those flames were really, really big," Michael repeated.
Maria walked over to him, smacking him on the arm. "You’re not helping Michael," she scolded.
"Hey," Michael protested. "I am the one who got his eyebrows singed off. Next time you open an oven that is going to explode into flames you’ll know that getting another weapon is not the first goal on your agenda."
Maria knelt down in front of him, examining his eyes. "They are only a little toasted. You’ll be fine."
Michael threw his head back. "I give up," he grumbled, getting up from his chair. "I’ll be in the dining room, clearing up the rest of the dishes. If anything else happens, please don’t call me."
As soon as Michael left, Maria plopped down in the chair he had been sitting in. "Don’t mind him," she told Liz. "He’ll just complain to hear his own voice. Now about this new stove…"
Liz put up her hand to silence Maria. "Don’t even bother Maria. We are not going to get another stove. I quit. Never in a million years will I be my mother."
Maria looked down at her friend with concern. "Chica, you’re getting better. You can’t just close down the restaurant."
"I have to Maria," Liz sighed, getting up off the floor. "I am barely able to pay the bills. Since mom died, our steady customers have dwindled down to two. Isabel, because she is a loyal friend, and Mr. Dallenger."
"But you forget, he orders almost all of his meals from us," Maria stated cheerfully.
"The man is ninety years old," Liz exclaimed. "His taste buds have got to be non-existent by now."
"Still Isabel," Maria protested.
Liz glared at her. "Only orders coffee. Face it Maria… Since my mom left the Delectable to me, I have driven it into the ground. I’m not Nancy Parker."
Maria got up from the chair and gave Liz a quick hug. "And no one expects you to be. Just give it your best shot. Things always have a way of falling into place."
Liz rolled her eyes. "Fine, a couple more weeks. "But I have my doubts of being learning to cook in that time."
"I believe in miracles," Maria teased. "You just have to pray…"
"Pretty damn hard," Michael finished as he reentered the kitchen, depositing the dishes in the sink. "Damn hard," he added for good measure.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-Aug-2002 9:40:18 PM ]
posted on 27-Aug-2002 9:39:04 PM by WhiteRoses
Oh wow! Bumps and everything. Thank you so much. I hope that you like this next part... Also, I am starting a new fic called "Angels Standing By." Check it out if you get the chance!


Part Two:

"So what is your first stop," Alex’s voice rang through Max’s cell phone.
"Isabel’s," Max told him, not moving his eyes from the window. He hadn’t been to Chicago in years. Hell, the last time he had come to see his sister. His book tour kept him pretty busy. Besides, whenever he did talk to Isabel, all she would ever do is question him about…
Alex’s laugh brought Max to reality. "I almost forgot that Isabel lived in Chicago."
Max smile wickedly. "I can’t wait to surprise her."
"I said almost," Alex informed him.
"You didn’t," Max yelled as his eyes grew bigger. "You told her that I was coming."
"I thought that it would do you some good to spend time with your sister," Alex defended himself. "After all, you two never get to see each other."
"There is a reason for that," Max declared. "Don’t get me wrong, I love my sister to death, but she can be pushy and overbearing. After a few hours, I guarantee that we will be at each other’s throats."
"That sucks man," Alex falsely sympathized. "Especially since your hotel reservations are at…"
"Don’t tell me," Max groaned.
"Casa de Isabel," Alex stated. "But perk up. I can’t be that bad."
Max shook his head. "You don’t know her."
"She seemed nice when I talked to her," Alex confessed.
"I’ll send her your regards," Max said sarcastically. "You know the one… love from my former publicist."
Alex couldn’t contain his laugh. When Max knew he was in a losing battle, he would always threaten Alex’s job. "Have fun. I’ll see you in a couple of days."
"Bye," Max grunted, turning the phone off.

"You will actually get to set the table for two tonight," Isabel informed Maria as she sat down for her usual cup of coffee.
Maria raised an eyebrow in interest. "Does that actually mean you are going to eat here?"
"Shut up," Isabel retorted. "I’m serious."
"Hot date," Michael teased. "Some guy you really must hate, because I can’t think of a reason why you would want to give him food poisoning."
"Positive thoughts," Maria threatened him. "Or else."
"Liz still pretty bummed," Isabel asked.
Maria nodded. "Hell yeah. The delivery guys just left. Set her back a pretty penny too."
"I think she is upstairs praying that she doesn’t set this stove ablaze," Michael added.
Maria hit him. "POSITIVE thoughts," she emphasized. "Besides I don’t think it is God she is looking to for guidance."
A sad look filled Isabel’s eyes. "You don’t mean?"
"Been going through her mom’s stuff all morning," Maria sighed. "First time since…"
"So who is the wonderful dinner guest," Michael quickly changed the subject. Liz’s mom was probably the most touchy subject in their lives right now, and Michael didn’t know if he could hand three crying women at once.
Isabel wiped a tear from her eye. "My brother," she replied softly.
Maria dropped the tray full of plates she had been carrying. "Your brother," she gasped. "… coming here."
Isabel nodded her head. "Yeah my brother. Max Evans."
Michael stared at her in disbelief. "Max Evans, as in the food critic Evans. The guy who writes all those books and does the tours Evans."
A hand came up to cover her mouth as Isabel realized what she had done. "Oh God," she whispered. "I am so sorry."
"What were you thinking," Michael scolded her. "Liz doesn’t need this right now."
Isabel stood up from her seat. "I didn’t mean to. I don’t think of Max as the food critic. He’s just my brother."
"Your brother who is going to ruin us for good," Michael added.
"Enough," Maria yelled. "Instead of arguing and blaming, lets just think of a way to solve this problem."
"Hire a new chef," Michael suggested.
Maria turned and glared at him. In fact, her expression scared him enough to make him back up a couple of steps. "I am going to tell you this one more time and one more time only," she warned. "POSITIVE THOUGHTS! There is a silver lining around here somewhere, and damnit, we are going to find it."
Isabel cleared her thought, almost as afraid of Michael to speak. "Who is going to tell Liz," she asked softly.

Liz looked around her room. Her mother’s cookbooks and recipe cards were strewn as far as the eye could see. "Please," she whispered, a tear falling from her eye. "I need a little direction mom. Everyone expects me to keep the restaurant going, but I don’t see how I can. I’m not you."
Her plea was met with silence. Another tear made it’s way down her cheek. "I guess that I am just talking to myself," she sighed, crossing the room to her dressing table.
Suddenly, a little box hiding behind the lamp caught Liz’s eye. "What’s this," she thought to herself. Picking up the box, Liz gently removed the lid. Inside was a beaded necklace. Liz recognized it immediately.
"Oh my god," she gasped. "Grandma Claudia’s necklace."
The antique beads stood out against the white of the box. Liz recalled watching her grandma running around the kitchen of the Delectable when she was a little girl, whipping up the most spectacular dishes one could imagine. When Liz’s mom took over, she seemed to always do the same thing. Dancing, singing, and cooking up a storm. Both had always wore this necklace, saying it was what brought them their luck.
Liz reverently took the beads out of the box, unlatching the hook. "Maybe you can bring me some luck too," she hoped, placing the necklace around her neck. "Now, lets go see what I can blow up this time."