posted on 20-Dec-2002 4:23:47 PM by tyranese
Banner4nicola
Christine thank you so much for the banner! I hope everyone will appreciate it as much as I do!


Title: A Farewell to Arms
Authors: Nicola, Lana & Scifidreamer
RATING: Nc-17
SUMMARY: Basically it's the dreamer version of the movie 'love and war' with a few different twists and a different ending. Max is a New Zealand soldier and Liz is an American nurse rah rah rah.
DISCLAIMER: We don't own the characters or the idea.
AUTHORS NOTE: We'll post the parts we wrote ourselves so it's not confusing as to who wrote each part...

......

Northern Italy 1918

Here, during the final year of World War I, Italy was defending itself alone against the Austrian invasion. The United States of America was one of Italy’s allies but the US army was already fully committed to France. So President Wilson sent in teams of Red Cross doctors and nurses to boost Italian morale and help care for the wounded.

The truck rumbled below her feet as it changed gears to turn the corner. She wanted to take off her leather boots and rest her socks against the vibrating ground so she could feel the trembles up her legs but there was not long to go now before they arrived.

Liz Parker patted her hands against her thighs in anticipation and fought silently with herself to calm her hammering heart.

“It’s a handsome city, isn’t it?”

She crooked her head to the side to gaze at the American boy driving the vehicle. He evoked no sentiment inside her but she didn’t want to disappoint him for he was clearly fascinated with her.

“Yes, unquestionably,” she replied. “This countryside is without a doubt charming and if I wasn’t so anxious to get to the sanatorium then I would have taken much pleasure in travelling through it.”

He smiled. “Well, perhaps on some occasion when you are not engaged we will be able to explore it together?”

“Perhaps,” Liz replied having no intention of doing anything with him. “But are we not here to do a job? I think it is rather unorthodox of you to make plans with me on such a premature occasion. Especially, when we have no idea of how much we will be demanded of in the upcoming weeks.”

“Perhaps I am purely securing the future,” he alleged. “Does not a clever man make a point of attaining what he wants, even if it is on the wrong occasion?”

Liz rolled her eyes to herself. “A clever man does, yes. However, you are yet to prove that you have achieved that title to me so I am ignorant of your astuteness.”

“Give me time,” he said. “Give me time dearest and I will.”

Outside crowds had gathered to shout approval and greet the squad of Americans that were arriving.

When they reached the new sickbay Liz could not be more pleased to get out of the unventilated truck. She waved her hand in front of her face as she walked around the side of the vehicle to start unloading supplies.

Her best-friend was there already scratching under her bonnet and bad-tempered because of the high temperature. She was delighted to see Liz.

“I think I may already be regretting volunteering,” she said pessimistically.

Liz smiled. “But I thought I heard you appraise the Italian men and their good looks just a few hours ago? Were you not delighted to find such a well endowed kingdom?”

“Oh I was delighted, right up until I found out they weren’t driving our trucks and these school-boys were,” Maria groaned.

After the trucks were unloaded and were about to depart the male that Liz had driven with came and spoke to her. “Don’t forget our date,” he said.

She forced a smile. “You know where I am.”

Maria hooted with laughter.

“Don’t even think it,” Liz defended herself. She looked around the crowds and bounced up and down to see past the people. “I have to find a toilet, come on.”

The mayor was giving a speech in Italian. He welcomed the nurses to the town and expressed gratitude towards them for their generosity.

“This place looks like a nunnery,” one of the nurses named Tess, pointed out.

Isabel, the head nurse, gathered the group together. “It looks like a nunnery because that’s exactly what it used to be. Now if we can head up the stairs, there is a lot of work to be done.”

Liz and Maria rejoined the group and followed quietly.

“You know what I read once?” Liz said to Maria quietly. “Italian men respect their wives, they spoil their mistresses, but the only women they ever really love are their mothers.”

……………

The trench smelt like wet soil, decaying flesh, cigarette smoke, and rifle powder.

Just for a change, he desired to whiff something saccharine or at least, zesty. He wanted to taste something that he hadn’t already had, just once. He wanted to glimpse at something that wasn’t horrific, just for a break.

Max Evans reached into his rucksack and pulled out a letter from home. Though it was three weeks old it still helped him flee the dreariness of the trench he lived in.

Dearest Max,
We love you and pray for your life everyday.


“What are you going to do when the wars over?” A comrade asked in the milieu.

His best friend, Michael Guerin, answered the question with built up fervour. His words were soaked in the dreams he had every night the reverie he had everyday.

“I’m going to find myself a fine-looking girl and drive down to the seaside to eat scrumptious foods and drink alcohol. We’ll make love on the sand all night and then watch the break of day.”

Johnson, a British combatant, punched Guerin’s arm. “That’s touching man.”

“I didn’t think that the English referred to sex as making love,” an Italian fighter in their platoon said.

Guerin laughed. “Only the respectable men do, I must have picked it up off Max.”

Weir glanced at Max. “Evans, what are you going to do when the wars over?” he asked.

Max glimpsed at Weir over the paper in his unclean hands. “I’m going to start preparing for the next one,” he answered. He had little room left for optimism in his intellect, all his time was devoted to remembering all he had learnt in his prior natural life. In this spiteful, livid place he saw only one way of surviving, that was to not disregard what you left behind and what you had to get back to.

Abruptly a boy jumped into the trench from above and like a reflex, all the men reached for their rifles.

“It’s okay,” the boy said. “I’m just the delivery guy. Do any of you speak English?”

The soldiers laughed and dropped their rifles.

Max put his letter away. “Most of us do,” he answered. As the captain of their platoon he felt a certain liability towards his men. He felt he owed them enough to remain breathing and offer a few words of support. He didn’t consider himself first-class at giving pep-talks but he did his best.

“Oh, that’s grand,” the boy said. He held his hand out to Max and they shook hands to introduce themselves. “The names Kyle Valenti, I’m from America.”

“America,” Max said surprised. “It’s good to meet you Kyle, my names Maxwell Evan’s, I’m from New Zealand.”

“That’s quite a far bit away,” Kyle said. “So, how long have you guys been down here?” he asked while he handed out cigarettes, coffee and candy bars.

“Three months,” Guerin replied.

Weir lit the cigarette in his mouth. “Any news for us from the land of the living?” He asked.

“I’ll tell you, it seems to be more interesting down here then it is up there,” Kyle replied.

“I find that doubtful,” Johnson said.

Max listened to the bangs above and, feeling uneasy, crawled upwards to where they shot their rifles from. He stared out at the battlefield, searching for something to cause alarm but came across nothing. The gold and yellow sparks from the explosion in the air lit the area a great deal so if a planned assault were about to take place he would spot something.

Gradually he moved back to where he sat previously and checked his rifle just in case. He sensed he needed to be ready to stand in.

“What do you think about while you’re down here?” Kyle asked, obviously enthralled to be near the action like a genuine soldier. Max felt a tinge of irritation towards his innocence; did he know how horrifying it was to be down here experiencing fatality everyday?

When the explosions from above became louder and more evident, Max’s heart started thumping with adrenaline. He had a ghastly feeling that something life-changing was about to happen.

Suddenly a shell flung in and hit the side of the bunks before flying straight towards Johnson and hitting him in the back of the head. Flesh and brains exploded everywhere and Johnson’s body fell to the ground still twitching and shaking from the impact.

“No!” Max exclaimed leaping forwards to try and help.

Guerin held him back. “There’s nothing you can do,” he yelled. “There’s nothing you can do, look at him!”

Max shoved him away and landed on his knees next to Johnson’s body. “No, come on, come on…someone get a stretcher down here!” He rolled the body over only to find a mass of mangled flesh where a face was supposed to be.

Kyle, shaking from shock, retched at the sight of the body. Max would have wondered if he still thought the life of a soldier was thrilling if he wasn’t too busy trying to think of something to do with Johnson’s body. Before he could do anything an explosion from above pitched the trench into gloom. Max flew back and hit the wall with the force and was knocked out for a minute.

When he came to, all he could see was smoke, blazing flames and bodies. Some were groaning for help and some weren’t. He got up and discovered he had slashed his forehead and the blood was dripping down his temple but that was a small priority to him. He stumbled across the trench and found Guerin lying on his stomach with a hole in his back. Max pulled on a helmet and heaved his friend up onto his shoulder.

Knowing the only thing he could do was make a run for it, he set off in the direction of safety. Bullets whizzed past him, missing his body by millimetres and cracking the earth beside him. Soil and chunks of muck soared up, clouding his eyes. Up ahead he couldn’t see much but the explosions in the air lit up the ground where he was running.

Michael was a dead weight on his shoulders and he could feel the muscles pulling in his back with every step he took. He didn’t want to injure his friend wound further by his bumping up and down but there was nothing he could do to help right now. Finally, he found a group of stretcher-men heading to the trench to clean up the carnage and scavenge for breathing soldiers. They took Michael from him and told him to go to safety and get his head checked but Max wouldn’t leave his men behind.

He ran back to the trench again to collect who he could find and found Weir and Tyson struggling to get up.

“What’s that white on my leg?” Tyson asked.

Max got covered in Tyson’s blood when he lifted him up over his shoulder. “It’s your bone, you’ve dislocated it. Don’t worry you’ll be fine. Hold on. Weir, can you walk on your own?”

Weir’s face was painted with horror. His left arm was absent and he was screaming ear-piercingly in agony.

“Blimey,” Tyson cried. “Weir, come on! You’ll be okay, you’ll be okay!”

Max rapped one of his arms around Weir’s shoulders and they all ran and limped as far as they could get to the stretchers. The stretcher men came and collected them and again Max tried to go back. He got half way when an agonising feeling spread through his right leg. He collapsed to the ground in anguish and howled in pain.

He passed out again and when he roused from his sleep he was in a little hospital tent on a cot next to other wounded soldiers. He looked around hoping to see a familiar face but he couldn’t find any of his men. His leg was throbbing and he couldn’t move it, all he wanted was to get up and take charge again.

“Please,” he said to a doctor. “Where are my men?”

The man looked at him peculiarly and said something in Italian before walking away. Max closed his eyes and tried to calm his speeding heart. Please, he thought, let them be alive.

When he opened his eyes again he was thinking more coherently and observed that all the men in this tent were either captains or officers. Their high rankings were visibly marked on the shoulder straps of their uniform.

“Gray!” he called when he finally noticed him. He was higher above him but they were good friends.

Officer Gray rolled his head to look in the direction of the voice that had called him. “Evans!” he replied grinning. “Fancy seeing you here you kiwi bastard, what have you done to yourself?”

“I’m not quite sure,” Max said. He felt his head start to go hot and knew a fever was coming on. A drip of sweat dripped down the side of his face and he closed his eyes to try and compose myself.

“Get better,” Gray said. “For Heaven’s sake I expect to see you at the Piave River in June.”

Max felt the darkness crawling over his eyeballs trying to suck him into oblivion and the last thing he saw before he lost perception was his bandaged and bleeding leg.

………………

“What’s going on?” Maria asked running up behind Liz as she tied her apron.

“They’ve just brought in a wagon load of patients,” Tess answered. She put her white hat on her head and tied it behind her hair.

It was late evening and all the nurses knew instantaneously that the rest of their evening would be spent immersed in helping save the soldiers lives. Their objective was to help as many as they could last until morning.

Isabel walked through into the single titanic hospital ward they had. She clapped her hands once and called to her nurses, “Girls, girls. Elizabeth, you will handle this side, section A, Tessa section B, and Maria section C.”

While the three girls hurried out to the lift to help their new patients Isabel continued to assign divisions of the room, two beds each. “Gorgia section D, Harriet section E, Rachael section F…”

The first patient to come up the lift was a blond man with a chest wound, Liz lead the stretcher through to her section and came back to get the next man. He was a striking dark haired man with a bullet in his leg. Liz reluctantly handed him over to Tess who had less experience and would be able to handle looking after him.

By the time all the men were in their beds and truck was empty, only a quarter of the ward was full. Five of the nurses had one patient each and the rest were left to assist them. All and sundry was confident that this would not be the last load.

Liz fussed around her patient deep into the morning, cleaning his wound and re-bandaging his chest. She dabbed his face with wet towels and tried to aid him through his fevers but did not think he would make it. Nevertheless, she did her greatest and sustained even when Harriet offered to take her place so she could go put her feet up.

Liz was very fervent about her work. She put her patients ahead of herself on every occasion. She was very professional and took great superiority in her work, though sometimes when she lost the fight to death she took it too expressively. She was the classic case of getting too involved in her work.

“Liz.” Tess approached her confidant around four in the morning. “I’m going to head to bed; will you keep an eye on my patient? I’ve done all I can for him for now.”

“Of course Tess,” Liz said. She yawned into her hand. “Get some sleep for the both of us.”

Tess patted Liz’s arm. “Get someone to cover for you soon or you won’t be able to keep your eyes open tomorrow.”

Liz rubbed her forehead and smiled at her friend. “I’ll go to bed when I know he’ll be okay,” she replied.

Tess rolled her eyes. “You are compulsive, I think you’ve done just as much as you can for him and he has you to show gratitude for lasting this long.”

Liz continued to sit with her patient wiping his sweat-covered face for another half an hour before going to check on Tess’s patient. While she was un-wrapping his bullet wound she watched his face, he wasn’t completely peaceful but his well-sculptured face was appealing to her. She could appreciate good looks when she saw them, even if quite frequently she didn’t pursue the man who held the charisma to attract her attention.

There were only two other nurses still up and walking around helping the soldiers. One of them, named Monica came and asked if she was okay.

“I’m in good health, I’m better then some of these guys,” Liz replied. “Don’t worry about me.”

“You just looked a little dazed for a second there,” Monica said. “If you’re sure, you’re okay…”

“I am,” Liz said smiling as if to prove it. “Thank you.”

When Monika left, she continued examining his wound and cleaning it. After a few minutes he started to shift and gradually woke up. When his eyes flickered open she looked down at him with a smirk on her face.

“Hey soldier,” she said. Butterflies fluttered, flapped, and waved in her stomach.

He looked up at her with bewilderment. He had the most handsome eyes. “Am I going to die?” He asked.

“Eventually,” she answered, still smiling. “But not in the near future.”

“Are you certain?” He asked.

“I’m positive,” she replied.

He spoke again promptly before falling to sleep once more, “I love you, will you marry me?”

Liz chuckled to herself as he slept. She’d had a lot of patients and they’d said a lot of things to her but that was by far the most unanticipated.

The next time Max woke he felt woozy. His eyes moved from side to side under his eye-lids and his head throbbed inexorably. It was as if a tennis ball was bouncing about in his brain. When coherent thoughts started coming to him he unhurriedly eased his eyes open to find himself in an active, bright, hospital ward.

He batted an eyelid in an attempt to adjust to the light and let out an exhausted mouthful of air. He could see other patients lying in their beds, some were being fed by their nurses, some where sitting-up staring into space. Max knew what they were all thinking.

After all the things he had seen he marvelled at how he was still sane. Nothing in his previous life had prepared him for what had been thrown on him for the duration of this one. That’s how it felt, like this was a different life, a different hell that in no way allied his childhood.

He wondered whether he would ever feel the contentment of being alive again. He had felt the terror that caused his men to shrivel into their shell holes and pull the trigger on their lives. There was nothing human about the hostilities of this conflict; zero of what he had seen resembled anything humane.

His fingers quivered as he replayed the horrors of the preceding two years in his mind. His heart impaired for the men that vanished, their bodies blown to particles so minute not even the birds would find them.

“Good afternoon sleepy-head.”

He was shaken from his daze by a nurse touching his arm. A flash of a brunette splendour flickered in his mind but this woman in front of him was not her. He heaved a sigh dismally when he realized he must have conjured her up on his own.

“Good afternoon,” he replied slowly.

She smiled gaily, her big cherry lips glossy with too much lipstick. “I’m Tess, I’m going to be your nurse while you’re getting better. How do you feel? How’s your leg?”

Her blonde hair was pulled back and confined within her nurses’ cap which allowed her immense, sparkling blue eyes to be viewed candidly. To most she would be a very eye-catching specimen of the perfect woman but, though attractive, ignited no spark within him.

It had been an awfully long time since he had seen a woman, let alone spoke to one. “My head feels sore but otherwise I’m too thankful to be in daylight again to complain,” he said.

“Well that’s good.” She was overly enthusiastic and Max hoped that that would bring him into high spirits rather then irritate him. “I’m just going to check your wound,” she said.

Max stared around the room while he waited. There were about sixty beds in the ward and only a small percentage of them were occupied. On the opposite wall to him there were sets of French doors in a sequence, four beds- a door, four beds-a door. At the head of the room there was a nurses’ station and down the centre of the room wooden tables with trays holding jugs of water and glasses were set out.

The ceiling was high with wooden beams and in-between every two beds a light and cupboard was positioned. From what he had seen before, this was the typical, clean, tidy hospital ward.

He rolled his head to look at the entrance when he heard laughter. Two nurses walked in together talking amongst themselves. It had been an extremely long time since he had heard authentic laughter, it was a beautiful sound. The nurses parted with smiles on their faces and one of them approached the bed next to his.

It was her, the woman that he had seen earlier. She was stunning, far too good-looking to be working as a nurse. She had dark brown hair, soft cheeks and a petite frame. Her lips were thin and rosy, her eyes animated but at the same time serious. They were dark puddles of auburn, the colour of all delectable things—sweet coffee and strawberry chocolate.

She looked up from her patient and caught him watching her. She smiled, showing more perfection—glistening white teeth and then looked away again.

“Oh my,” he heard Tess whisper to herself. “Liz, Liz, would you come here for a moment?”

So that was her name. Liz, he could get used to saying that. Liz.

Liz gracefully floated over to the bed and stood next to Tess. She looked down at the wound and, he could have been wrong, sniffed slightly. She shot Tess a look, which resembled a look of apprehension.

“Is everything okay?” He asked finally.

Liz smiled reassuringly at him. “Everything’s fine, how do you feel?”

“I feel great,” he said a little too forcefully.

“That’s wonderful,” she replied. “You’ll excuse me I must check bed eight.”

She walked away and a few seconds later Tess followed her. “Gangrene?” she asked.

Liz nodded. “When does the doctor arrive?”

“Not until tomorrow,” Tess answered.

“He doesn’t have that long. We are going to have to aerate the wound every hour until then.”

Tess’s eyes widened. “But you can’t do that, it’s not allowed without a doctor’s permission.”

“I don’t care,” Liz whispered. “He’ll loose his leg otherwise; he’s too young to loose his leg.”

Tess shook her head. “That sort of thing could get you shipped back to the states,” she said. “You’re stupid if you do it.”

“If you won’t help me,” Liz said, “I’ll do it by myself.” She walked away leaving Tess and Max watching her, both for different reasons.


[ edited 10time(s), last at 16-Feb-2003 10:40:50 PM ]
posted on 20-Dec-2002 4:44:42 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
This is amazing. Seriously amazing. I would love more of this so you guys post more soon. Can't wait.
posted on 20-Dec-2002 4:57:54 PM by Pixie
ooohh I really do love this!! post more soon!!
posted on 20-Dec-2002 5:24:12 PM by Ripley Rip Tide
Wow, this is excellent! I haven't seen the movie, but I am very intrigued by your version.

*sad* I hope Michael is okay - what about Kyle?

lol - I know this a War story, and I would be naive to think that all of the main characters survived. *big*

I can't wait to see your next part!

Great job!

Ripley
posted on 20-Dec-2002 5:30:57 PM by Lolita Behrbuns
Nicola: I'm so glad you posted this right away!!! What a brilliant beginning! Very descriptive! I loved reading it. I felt like I was actually there!

Who will be posting the next part and when?

Oh and don't forget Canadians fought in WWI too! *happy*


*wrap, wrapped, un-wrapped* *wink*

*bounce*


Cristine

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 20-Dec-2002 5:31:49 PM ]
posted on 20-Dec-2002 6:20:05 PM by b4echstarrynite
awww!! I fuckin luv dis book I read it soo many time....its by ernest hemmingway. its my fav of his! I can't wait 2 c how u portry it wit max n liz!!!I hopr liz doesn't get shiped back! tess is seems stupid but maybe its jus me! lol im sooo happy ur writing this!! good luck n great start!!!

brettainy
posted on 20-Dec-2002 7:05:17 PM by Cassandra
WOW great story just the kind I was looking for I like max and his kinda dark look on the war I hope that ill see more of that please don't make tess too bad I know shes not a dreamer fav. person but its an AU and she is a different person with a different history so can't she be good??
will there be any others couples in this fic???

any way I LOVE the story update soon!!!!!!!!!!!
posted on 20-Dec-2002 7:10:34 PM by roswellluver
Great start, I hope Liz can keep Max from losing his leg! Thanks for wriitng!
posted on 20-Dec-2002 8:07:46 PM by liz1490
hey this is a great story I cant wait for you too update. soon please?*bounce*bump*bounce*
posted on 20-Dec-2002 9:17:56 PM by salonica
BUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love Liz's determination, on things.
When will they meet each other.and fall in love!!*bounce*
posted on 20-Dec-2002 9:43:20 PM by carolina_moon
Well! I can already tell this one's gonna be a doozy!*big* great job so far, the trench scene's were really well done!*big*
posted on 21-Dec-2002 2:19:09 AM by tyranese
WOW guys thank you so much for the feedback!
aZNroSweLl anglgrl, pixie, ripley, brettainy, cassandra, roswellluver, bethany, Salonica, carolina_moon, Christine (I can't believe I miss spelt it again! I'll try and mention something about the canadians in the fic, will that make you happy?!)

I see some new names, people I haven't met before. That makes this even more worthwhile! The next part will be posted by Scifidreamer, I can't tell you when that will be. Thank you again for the amazing feedback!!!

-nicola
posted on 21-Dec-2002 2:22:25 AM by Lolita Behrbuns
Hey Nicola! A little mention would indeed make me *big*. LoL I hope she posts the new part soon!! Will you be writing the nookie parts?
posted on 21-Dec-2002 2:33:38 AM by frenchkiss70
Amazing start. I hope Liz will be able to save Max's leg.
Please post more soon*happy*
posted on 21-Dec-2002 2:14:04 PM by Lolita Behrbuns
bump! *bounce*
posted on 21-Dec-2002 2:28:51 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
BUMP.
posted on 21-Dec-2002 6:13:21 PM by jeremiah
This is off to a great Start! I Love it already, I cant wait for more.
posted on 21-Dec-2002 7:57:52 PM by Dreamn Girl
I love war stories, more particular ones that include dreamer moments. I can't wait to read more
posted on 23-Dec-2002 4:41:56 PM by tyranese
BUMP so scifidreamer can find this thread!
posted on 23-Dec-2002 5:10:44 PM by Lolita Behrbuns
Ooohh!! Does this mean a new part will be posted today?!

*Cristine crosses her fingers*
posted on 23-Dec-2002 5:17:00 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
quote:
Lolita Behrbuns originally wrote:
Ooohh!! Does this mean a new part will be posted today?!

*Cristine crosses her fingers*


Me crossing my fingers too. *happy*
posted on 23-Dec-2002 6:46:10 PM by AmorporML
I found the fanart for this story posted over at FF, it was so beautiful I had to read the story and I'm so glad I did. I love this story, and I'm looking forward to more.
posted on 24-Dec-2002 1:33:51 AM by Eccentric One
I don't think I left feedback for this before. Shame on me! *sad*

This was a fabulous beginning. I'm glad Liz is there and taking over Max's care. I was initially very disappointed that he wasn't in her section.

Can't wait for the next part. This looks like it's going to be a great story.

Kara
posted on 24-Dec-2002 5:13:44 AM by scifidreamer

hey all,

happy holidays!!!

just wanted to let everyone know I'll be posting the next part sometime today? sheesh it is the next day already. well hopefully it'll be up later to day.

and thanks for the bump Nicola. very handy *big*


posted on 24-Dec-2002 4:54:36 PM by tyranese
Everyone shout, YAY SCIFI! Give her a little support
people *wink**bounce*
I can't wait for the new part, what about you guys?

*bounce*
posted on 24-Dec-2002 5:18:13 PM by Lolita Behrbuns
quote:
tyranese originally wrote:
Everyone shout, YAY SCIFI! Give her a little support
people *wink**bounce*
I can't wait for the new part, what about you guys?

*bounce*


Yup! Me too!! Will it be posted this afternoon? Please say yes!*bounce**bounce*
posted on 24-Dec-2002 6:26:34 PM by Lana Lane
Part 1 has rendered me speechless - again Nicola. The best christmas present ever as christmas has eaten me up these last few days it seems but it's not santa's jingles that has got me all excited and giddy, oh no it's news that Scifi is coming with part 2 how incredible is that? It's going to be fantabulous. I sure won't be sleeping tonight as I sit here impatiently waiting for it. I love everything about this story so far, please hurry back and thankyou so much for the banner Lolita. It's so amazing

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 24-Dec-2002 8:57:33 PM ]
posted on 24-Dec-2002 10:55:28 PM by Lattegirl
Nicola I loved this part! I loved the movie in love & war (which I just have to add I bought at walmart today on dvd for just $5*big*) This is such a great begining. I also have to say how much I liked how liz was like fine t**s if you won't do it I will yea liz!! Isabel being head nurse how perfect, I also second that vote for you writing the nookie parts. I know its biased of me but I just love your writing, can you blame me?*wink* No I'm very much looking forward to scifi's next part so YEA SCIFI!!! please post as soon as you can!!!!!!!!

edited to add *scoots over for nicola on guttercouch**wink*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Dec-2002 10:58:48 PM ]
posted on 24-Dec-2002 11:41:53 PM by tyranese
You guys are so sweet!!!! *dabs eyes with hankerchief*

See, scifi, we're all hanging out for the next part!!

Thank you so much, you guys are too nice!

-nicola


posted on 24-Dec-2002 11:49:41 PM by jeremiah
BUMP!
posted on 25-Dec-2002 12:02:14 AM by skyiris
Great start of the story! You have to post more soon! I can't wait to see how Max and Liz will act around one another and what things will get in there way. -Sky*bounce**bounce*
posted on 25-Dec-2002 12:24:32 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
I'm dying for a new part!!!!
posted on 25-Dec-2002 12:45:40 AM by Lattegirl
*angel*BUMPIN FOR SCIFI!!*angel*
posted on 25-Dec-2002 1:46:00 PM by the better twin
mmm! this is great. post more soon!!
posted on 25-Dec-2002 2:25:50 PM by marteloise
very interesting
can''''t wait to read more!!!
posted on 25-Dec-2002 8:21:26 PM by Lana Lane
Bumping to say that my eyes are droopy from lack of sleep and alcohol but christmas does come once a year. Correction twice, as soon as you're able to post the next part so where are you scifi girl? Please hurry back.
posted on 25-Dec-2002 9:51:16 PM by jeremiah
BUMP!
posted on 25-Dec-2002 10:48:08 PM by Lattegirl
*bounce**tongue**bounce*BUMP*bounce**tongue**bounce*
posted on 26-Dec-2002 1:29:13 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Waiting...waiting...and waiting...
posted on 26-Dec-2002 5:47:12 AM by WLV~XOXO
Bump Bump Please Post More Soon!!!
posted on 26-Dec-2002 11:23:06 AM by Lizzie_Parker17
Very nice!
I really liked the start of this!
I can't wait for more!
POst soon!
britt
posted on 26-Dec-2002 2:02:21 PM by angelbehr
Excellent start!!! I can't wait for the next part!

~Ang~
posted on 26-Dec-2002 4:55:24 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Where is our new part?
posted on 26-Dec-2002 7:42:05 PM by Lattegirl
*angel*the "roswellians" are getting restless! so please post soon scifi!!!!!*angel*
posted on 26-Dec-2002 10:36:53 PM by Alien614
Just found this fic. Theres only one thing wrong though, you need to post another part ASAP!*happy*
posted on 27-Dec-2002 10:44:36 AM by Lana Lane
Christmas must be giving you little time to breathe let alone type hey scifi? Please post as and when you can because I for one am going nuts here not knowing what's coming next? MASSIVE BUNCHIES OF BUMPS FOR MORE
posted on 27-Dec-2002 2:34:36 PM by tyranese
BUMP! Scifi, you here? We want a new part!!! *big**bounce*
posted on 27-Dec-2002 6:42:14 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Come on....I'm dying for a new part.
posted on 30-Dec-2002 1:07:55 PM by Lattegirl
*angel* BUMPIN FOR SCIFI *angel*
posted on 30-Dec-2002 3:06:39 PM by Lana Lane
Bunchies of desperate bumps for more scifi
posted on 30-Dec-2002 3:35:17 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Scifi, where are you?
posted on 30-Dec-2002 3:41:14 PM by Lizzie_Parker17
bump!
brittt
posted on 31-Dec-2002 11:29:08 AM by Lana Lane
bump
posted on 31-Dec-2002 11:31:19 AM by angelbehr
bump...
posted on 31-Dec-2002 6:30:23 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
How about today? A new part before the new year?
posted on 1-Jan-2003 3:59:49 AM by Lattegirl
*bounce**tongue**bounce*BUMP*bounce**tongue**bounce*
posted on 1-Jan-2003 4:24:50 AM by AlienDreamer101
I like this fic, can't wait for more.

~Shari
posted on 1-Jan-2003 11:44:47 AM by PSW2001
Bump!! *bounce* Bump!!*bounce*
posted on 1-Jan-2003 3:57:06 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
BUMP.
posted on 1-Jan-2003 9:59:12 PM by Eccentric One
New part! New part! New part!

Come on! Everybody join in on the chant. Maybe then we'll get that new part we are all so anxious for.

Kara
posted on 2-Jan-2003 3:08:32 AM by Lana Lane
bump
posted on 2-Jan-2003 3:13:38 AM by tyranese
quote:
Lana Lane originally wrote:
bump


I double that
posted on 2-Jan-2003 3:15:49 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
quote:
tyranese originally wrote:
quote:
Lana Lane originally wrote:
bump


I double that


I triple that.
posted on 2-Jan-2003 3:45:00 AM by Lattegirl
*angel*bump*angel*
posted on 3-Jan-2003 1:15:51 PM by Lana Lane
seriously bumping for more. Please post something soon Scifi.
posted on 3-Jan-2003 8:41:53 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
BUMP.
posted on 3-Jan-2003 8:47:58 PM by Eccentric One
Do we need to organize a hunting party to go find Scifi and the next part? Maybe they're lost somewhere and can't find their way to this thread? *tongue*

Kara
posted on 3-Jan-2003 10:34:02 PM by carolina_moon
Sci Fi, dude I swear to God if I have to come looking for you...........................*big* Just kidding, although a new part would be great!*happy*
posted on 3-Jan-2003 10:34:30 PM by tyranese
I think she must be having too much fun with her holidays to remember us. She's written it...I just hope she's okay!

posted on 3-Jan-2003 10:53:55 PM by Lolita Behrbuns
Wait...maybe she had a little too much on new year's and she's passed out on the gutter couch! *wink**tongue**big*

Scifiiiiii!!! Where are you?!!!
posted on 4-Jan-2003 9:05:17 PM by Lattegirl
*bounce**bounce**bounce**bounce*BUMP*bounce**bounce**bounce**bounce*
posted on 4-Jan-2003 9:13:51 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
We should really start a search party.*big*
posted on 5-Jan-2003 9:59:53 AM by Lana Lane
I hope everything is okay with you scifi? As I send bunchies of bumples for more.
posted on 5-Jan-2003 10:26:59 AM by Nana
Anyone's here?
posted on 5-Jan-2003 2:17:18 PM by Eccentric One
Has anyone heard from Scifi? Nicola, have you been in touch at all?

Kara
posted on 5-Jan-2003 3:04:36 PM by tyranese
I haven't heard a single thing from her since after christmas *shy* I'm starting to worry now?! Maybe I should start writing another part two just in case? She can catch up and write some parts later on when she gets back? What do you think? Lana should I do that?

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Jan-2003 3:11:32 PM ]
posted on 5-Jan-2003 3:17:20 PM by Nana
Tyranese, please, do it!!
posted on 5-Jan-2003 4:42:26 PM by Lana Lane
quote:
tyranese originally wrote:
I haven't heard a single thing from her since after christmas *shy* I'm starting to worry now?! Maybe I should start writing another part two just in case? She can catch up and write some parts later on when she gets back? What do you think? Lana should I do that?

My thoughts exactly Nicola, I really hope she's okay and if you feel you can do another part 2 what with all your other wonderful stories on the go then please do it as part 3 is done and dusted.
posted on 5-Jan-2003 6:55:26 PM by Eccentric One
I'm all for it!

Kara
posted on 5-Jan-2003 10:19:09 PM by Lolita Behrbuns
Yeah Nicola! I take it you got my pm. *wink*

Scifi wherever you are, I hope that you're okay.
posted on 6-Jan-2003 4:45:19 PM by Lana Lane
Just me desperately bumping
posted on 6-Jan-2003 5:30:02 PM by tyranese
Christine what bmail was that? I don't think I got it *sad*
What did it say?
posted on 6-Jan-2003 11:42:56 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl


Where ever you are Scifi, hope you're ok.

BUMP.
posted on 7-Jan-2003 3:45:31 AM by Lana Lane
No news yet -sigh- *sad*
posted on 7-Jan-2003 3:22:46 PM by tyranese
I've started writing part two *begs* don't hate me scifi!
posted on 7-Jan-2003 5:25:24 PM by Lana Lane
Nicola,
Seriously? I can't wait to read it and I'm sure she won't Bunchies of bumps
posted on 7-Jan-2003 5:43:38 PM by tyranese
Ohhhhhhhhh here it is. It's short, not as good as scifi could have written but it's something, right?
I hope you like it *happy*

Chapter Two

Staring at the ceiling was the only entertainment Max could find oh his dreary first afternoon in the ward. None of the patients could talk to him so he was left alone with his thoughts. However they were haunting and he wished to keep them sealed in his memory away from his conscious.

He pretended he was at home listening to his mother play the piano after dinner. She would chant quietly to herself and he could hear the words even from his bed upstairs. Her voice used to urge him to sleep and it amazed him that it still worked now at his late age.

Her soft finger taps on the keys would make the most beautiful tunes and when she played it was as if nothing could be wrong in the world. She would sometimes play with her eyes closed and her hair back so she could pretend she was somewhere else, in a gorgeous meadow with the wind blowing through her hair.

Diana Evans was a stunning woman and she was appreciated by everyone, but no one adored her as her husband did. He would come home from work and stay with her in the kitchen, talking about his day and then asking about hers. Max was their only child, their pride and joy, their most prized possession.

When the war begun in 1914, when Max was 21, most people assumed it would be a short war. His parents remained cheery, refusing to talk about the matter in front of their son. Only he seemed to notice the rifle posts being positioned on the beaches and the trenches being built in every neighbourhood. New Zealand prepared the only way they knew how but it was all futile because if the enemy were to arrive, there would be doubt as to who would win.

Anything German in the district was considered appalling and was scorched in gigantic bonfires, not to mention what happened to every Hun who was unfortunate enough to live near by. Every single one of them in the city was sent packing. “Go back home!” People would shout as they pitched rubbish at their hunched backs. Diana and Philip Evans stayed uninvolved, refusing to take part, scared to take part. Max knew a German woman down their street who, when he was little would always give him a hard candy when he walked by her house. When he started getting older she would cluck over him and tell him how handsome he was.

Max knew she was sleeping with the man on Kennedy road. He had been walking home one day and caught them kissing behind the tool shed on the corner. He didn’t think anything of it, just kept his mouth shut and minded his own business.

She was sent from the city on August 17th 1914, besides her generous contribution to the country and her sociability. She had never shown anyone anything but love so Max was livid when he found even people who were supposed to be her friends turned on her. He helped her flee before everyone could get to her, her last words to him were, heavily accented but kind, “You’re a good man Max, thank God for you. You’ll see he’ll keep you from harm, he’ll save your soul.”

After a year passed and the war was still in full action men started volunteering their services and were sent overseas to fight for their King. Max’s friends all seemed too eager to go fight in his opinion, they would constantly talk about how girls loved soldiers and they would be bona fide men if they went. Max disagreed with them saying war wasn’t something to get keyed up over. He had no intention of volunteering himself but in 1916, when he was 23, the New Zealand government passed a law which made it compulsory for men between the ages 20 and 46 to go and fight.

Trucks came through the streets picking up men with their suitcases. Sobbing mothers and fathers that were too old to get involved stood outside their front doors waving them goodbye. Max put off getting involved for a long time but could no longer keep from getting drawn in. His mother was beside herself, as if she had had some idea that this would happen but could not deal with it. When it was time to leave Max had kissed her and told her he would be back as soon as the war was over. His father, being just over the enlisting age was able to stay home with her and that helped because Max knew Diana would not have been able to take care of herself if they both left.

He sat on the back of the truck next to one of his only friends that weren’t already out fighting and waved to his parents as cheerfully as possible. He had no idea what was ahead of him but he wasn’t in the least bit animated about it.

All the men were shipped off to military training camps in the country and then placed in groups according to their strength, stability, and knowledge. Max was immediately made a first private but as time went on and he showed continual flawlessness he was convinced to go to officers’ school.

Knowing he had no way out and he may as well do what he could, he went and was made Captain Maxwell Evans in charge of a platoon of twenty-five men.

He wrote to his mother and she informed him that his father had joined the Home Guard, a group of volunteers over fifty who looked after the neighbourhood and practiced military customs. Many found the group of men silly, practicing with wooden guns and fake weaponry but eventually the government gave into their pleas and gave those men truckloads of rifles, grenades and anything else that may help keep the country safe.

Max was sent to Italy and was nervous to find he would not only be the Captain to New Zealand armed forces but Italian and British also. Here he met First Private Michael Guerin a British soldier, and they became comrades quickly. Max tried to become a friend to all his men but Michael seemed to show most interest in being a laudable soldier to his commander and Max took care of him.

He wondered where his friend was now; hoping he was alive and they would cross paths once again.

“How are we feeling now?”

Max was pulled out of his half-conscious daze and arched his head to the side to see a smiling Nurse Parker looking down on him. He smiled back and felt his heart speed up; she certainly was a good reason to be happy about being wounded and in this ward. She would keep him entertained for hours; he would watch her float around the patients.

“I’m feeling fine,” He replied, “How about you?”

She laughed. “I’m not the one with a bullet in my leg, I’m better then fine.”

He watched her unwrap his leg and he spoke, his voice thick with emotion, “You’re much too beautiful to be a nurse.”

She glanced up from his would and caught his eyes. Her cheeks grew red. “Thank you,” she said.

When he was about to open his mouth and say something further Tess approached the bed and said in a teasing voice, “Liz Parker I think you are spending far too much time with my patient.”

Liz smiled. “Tess can you please give him the caster oil to drink?”

Max screwed his face up. “No thank you,” he said.

“You don’t have a choice,” Tess said forcefully. She held the glass to his lips and he swallowed the contents cautiously.

“Am I going to loose my leg?” He asked Liz.

She paused what she was doing and took his hands in hers. “Not if I can help it,” she replied comfortingly.

Tess looked at Liz angrily. “We’re not supposed to discuss that with the patients,” she said.

Max didn’t even notice Tess leave; he couldn’t tear his eyes away from Liz who was quickly capturing his heart with her beauty and compassion. He noticed a strand of hair fall over her forehead and he longed to sit up and brush it away for her. She looked up several times from his leg and smiled reassuringly at him and each time he was smile back, his breath getting caught in his throat. She was perfectly sculptured, divine through and through, with pearly white shaped teeth and glistening brown eyes. He’d never in his whole life come across such a fantastically exquisite woman.

“All done.” She bandaged his leg up again and patted his hand with her own. “Don’t worry,” she whispered leaning into him, “everything will be fine, I promise.”

…………..

“Liz, the doctors waiting for you, Maria did inform you that you’ve been assigned as his surgery assistant, no?”

“Yes Isabel, I’m on my way,” Liz replied. She walked down past the ward while fixing her nurse cap and headed into the surgery room where the Doctor was looking through some papers.

“Good evening Doctor,” she said. “How are you?”

“I’m very good, Miss Parker, thank you. How are you?” He looked up from his work and smiled. His name was Domenico Caracciolo and he was Italian.

“As well as can be expected, thank you,” she replied. “What are we looking at?”

“Maxwell Evans file,” he replied.

“Oh,” Liz said her eyes clouding over. Her stomach fluttered with thoughts of him and it worried her to think she might feel more for him then a nurse should feel for her patient.

“You’ve seen the wound, was there any uniform lodged inside the tissue?” He asked.

Liz blinked. “Yes, there was.” She bit her lip and tapped her fingers against her forearm. “There’s a smell when you first open the bandaging. There could be gangrene…”

Domenico did not hesitate before speaking, “We’ll have to amputate.”

Liz shook. Without thinking she spoke back sternly, “No that can not happen. He is too young to loose his leg.”

He stared at her face for several seconds before asking, “How do suggest we deal with this then?”

“In America they had some success with a treatment in the John Hopkins hospital. I have been aerating the wound every hour and—“

He cut her off, “I’m well aware of the workings at John Hopkins hospital. We’ll operate tomorrow.”

Liz nodded. Before leaving, Domenico touched her arm and asked her if she would join him for a little sigh seeing around the countryside.

Liz swallowed. “I’ll think about it,” she replied, not catching his eyes. She left the room hastily.

The next morning Max was lying in the operating room and Tess was about to put him to sleep when he spoke, “No, not yet. Where’s Liz?”

“That’s Nurse Parker to you,” Tess reminded him.

“I’m right here soldier, what’s wrong?” Liz leaned over him and stared into his eyes.

He swallowed. “I’m a little afraid I’m going to wake up with no leg.”

“You and me both partner,” she replied. She squeezed his hand lovingly. “I’ll see you when you wake up.”

“Doctor,” Max said. “Can you keep the bullet for me?”

The Doctor nodded and Liz smiled at Max before he was put to sleep.

After the bullet was removed the Doctor turned to Liz and said, “I don’t smell the odour you talked about?”

Liz smiled happily. She was so relieved.

“It would still be safest to amputate now.”

“Max doesn't care about being safe he just wants to keep his leg,” she argued.

“Second operations are a great luxury in times of war,” he reminded her. Liz looked at him pleadingly.

After a few minutes he relented, “But what would life be without these little luxuries?”

After Max stitched back up and sent back out to his bed Liz and Maria were cleaning up the operating room.

“He certainly is handsome,” Maria commented.

Liz nodded. He was more then handsome, he was more then beautiful. She sighed longingly. “I know, but it’s not very professional getting involved with patients.”

Maria frowned. “I’m talking about the doctor Liz.”

Liz blushed. “Oh, yeah…right. So was I.” She paused. “He asked me to go out with him.”

Maria seethed with jealousy. With a grunt she pretended to whack Liz over the head with a folded sheet. “I think I hate you,” she said.

posted on 7-Jan-2003 5:44:25 PM by b4echstarrynite
wow awsome part!1 I luvd it!! I really hope maria doesn't hate liz!!!hmm I hope max gets better!! great part I can't wait 4 mor!!!!

brettainy
*bounce* *bounce*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2003 5:48:28 PM ]
posted on 7-Jan-2003 6:12:19 PM by carolina_moon
Excellent! ruddy brilliant! whoevers' turn it is next please come 'round soon!????!*big*
posted on 7-Jan-2003 6:25:05 PM by Lana Lane
You should see my face now Nicola
that was amazing
How do you do it time and time again when I continue to struggle and take forever to write something a quarter good as this? Oh that's right, you're a writing megastar It was incredibly descriptive and captures the mood perfectly. I thought I was *actually* there as only your work can. Kudos so much for making time to post, you don't know how happy you've made me.
wheee!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2003 6:26:34 PM ]
posted on 7-Jan-2003 6:36:04 PM by skyiris
Great new part! I can't wait for more! -Sky
posted on 7-Jan-2003 6:47:02 PM by frenchkiss70
Awesome part*happy* I'm glad they saved Max's leg*happy*
Please post more soon*bounce*
posted on 7-Jan-2003 7:21:39 PM by Lolita Behrbuns
Whoohoo! A new part! The drought is over! Good part Nicola! Glad Max didn't lose his leg!

Just curious, since it is somewhat based on the movie, is Liz older? Oh and is there dreamer insurance on this fic?

Lana I heard you have the next 2 parts written. Will you be posting it soon?*wink*
posted on 7-Jan-2003 8:17:38 PM by tyranese
Little AN, No, Liz isn't older then Max. Max is older then Liz. Not everything in this version is going to be the same as in the movie. Dreamer ending is assured *wink**big**happy*

Hope that answers all your questions. Thank you for the FB!!!!!!


posted on 7-Jan-2003 8:27:03 PM by SugarManiac2011
Great story!! The part was fantastic!! I can't wait for more! :D
posted on 7-Jan-2003 8:50:53 PM by Eccentric One
Yes we have an update! I find this story so intriguing. As an American, we have very concept of what WWI was like. Our history classes tell us that it started when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated. We entered the war and the Treaty of Versailles (which sparked the fire that fuelled WWII). But we don't really understand the devastation. We didn't loose an entire generation of healthy young men in the trenches.

I only really started to appreciate its horror when I lived in England. That was in 1993/4. When I was there, there was a judgment handed down that absolved men of being traitors to their country. Why were they branded that? Because they were soldiers in the trenches. They had refused to "go over" and were executed by their own men as traitors. 75 years later, that label was finally lifted off their memory. What a choice those soldiers had. "Go over" and most likely be killed. And if you were lucky, they recovered your body. Chances were pretty good you'd be left in no man's land. Or you could refuse and be executed for treason.

Anyways...Tess seems to be quite jealous of Liz. Not only her skill as a nurse, but of the interaction she has with Max. No doubt she isn't blind to how Max responds to her. And Max asking for her before he was put under will no doubt sit very poorly with her.

Will Liz go out with the doctor? And if she does, will Max find out about it?

I can't wait for Max to wake up and realize he still has his leg. I bet some of the first words out of his mouth will be to ask for Liz...uh Nurse Parker.

Kara
posted on 7-Jan-2003 10:45:22 PM by roswellluver
Thank goodness Max didn't lose his leg! Thanks for wriitng!
posted on 7-Jan-2003 10:52:31 PM by jeremiah
Nicola! that was an amazing part! You gave such Great descriptive words, It felt real! I cant wait for more!
posted on 8-Jan-2003 12:06:43 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Woohoo. A new part. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Max and Liz both like each other. That's good. Wonder what's gonna be next? Come back and post more.


posted on 8-Jan-2003 3:42:21 AM by Lana Lane
quote:
Lolita Behrbuns originally wrote:
Lana I heard you have the next 2 parts written. Will you be posting it soon?*wink*

What little bird told you that? -smile- as Nicola is not just the very best writer ever but a very inspirational essential to this story. What do you think Scifi because you are too, please come back soon.



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Jan-2003 11:40:37 AM ]
posted on 8-Jan-2003 7:31:48 AM by JaneLane
I hope Max is gonna be okay! I hope Liz doesn't go out with the doctor! Thanks for the update, I'm hoping for another one soon!!!
posted on 8-Jan-2003 8:50:59 AM by angelbehr
I'm so happy that they were able to save Max's leg! Will Liz go out with the good doctor...I hope not!

~Ang~
posted on 8-Jan-2003 9:32:29 AM by marteloise
I'm so happy that they save max's leg, but why do I have the feeling that max keeps his leg only b/c the doctor likes liz ?? but liz achieved her ends.
thanks for the update !!

posted on 8-Jan-2003 3:31:02 PM by Lattegirl
Great Part Nicola thanx so much for writing it. Anyway I loved this story so much I'm so glad you guys thought of it. I hated the doctor in the movie & I don't like him in this either but I not worried we are all dreamers here right? I'm worried about scifi though, where is she? I hope she's okay. Again thanx nicola for the part
*angel*bumpin for scifi*angel*
posted on 8-Jan-2003 4:34:57 PM by Lana Lane
quote:
Lattegirl originally wrote:
I'm worried about scifi though, where is she? I hope she's okay.

She's back and she's okay so please don't worry, she'll be posting something soon.
posted on 8-Jan-2003 7:17:24 PM by the better twin
how could anyone be more handsome than Max! Maria should have know Liz was talking about Max! lol, well post more soon!!
posted on 10-Jan-2003 12:50:22 PM by Lana Lane
Just call these parts transional till Nicola and Jane (scifi) can post theirs and kudos again for the feedback you've left this story before. It means so much to all of us.


Part Three

On the ward, the patients had been fed and bathed, and the beds freshly made as nightfall drew quickly in. Liz Parker was just as crisp and refreshed as the wards looked after spending a little prime time to her self earlier that day, thankfully able to recharge her flagging batteries. She rarely took time out for herself. Liz Parker was unselfish and caring and always ready to give to the point of self-sacrifice. She needed a break even if she refused to see it for herself. Her peers made her go, almost having to push her out of the doors. All the patients were rested and doing as well as could be expected. They’d contact her if they needed her. With much protest she accepted for even she could not deny that her heart was heavy and her bones weary.

She should have slept. She’d walked and wrote in her journal to past the time instead. She couldn’t sleep. She hadn’t found that magical element, that missing piece of the puzzle that would allow her to be claimed fully into peaceful slumber since she’d arrived. She believed that there wasn’t such a thing anymore and after all that she’d seen and her misunderstanding with Maria was taking its toll, there never would be again. She hated ill feeling and what hurt the most was that it was over a man, and a man that Liz had no interest in. A doctor indeed, Liz found it quite humorous until her conversation with Maria. Why was life getting so complicated these days?

As she wandered she wondered why she had never realized before how sunny the world could be when war was tearing it apart and leaving it’s ugly mark upon everything it touched? But for some reason today it glowed. Thankfully it had continued to be a relatively quiet day, the first real day they’d had in weeks which was gratefully received by all. It had been so very difficult to cope these last few weeks with the war raging with no sign of quitting. The heat had also been frightful, particularly today, making it harder to perform ‘miracles’ on the wounded where even the hardest of hearts would have had trouble. Nothing was seemly perfect, able to go to plan anymore. God moved in mysterious ways.

Now standing in front of the mirror, her night duties just about to start, she brushed her hair, tying it up into loose bun as she then tucked it under her nurse’s hat. She applied a little lip-balm and remembered back to when she’d spent hours in front of her dresser at home priming herself. There was no place for that here and little time, besides who would be taking any notice? With a shaky hand she thought of only one thing. Max, would he be looking? And that was her downfall, for Maxwell Evans was now a constant waking thought for her and for the life of her she couldn’t understand why? Was thinking about her too? The thought of him struck Liz with such force and clarity that she stood transfixed in front of the mirror. She couldn’t make him out? Nothing like this had ever happened to her before. What was wrong with her? She’d cared and nursed so many men that this unforgiving war had presented her and not once had she reacted this way, so passionately as she had about saving him and his leg. In fact not once in her whole life had she reacted to a man this way and it was unnerving because that’s all Max Evans was. Just a man, a normal man in need of nursing back to health. Just like any other who had come for her to care for, nothing more nothing less.

She swallowed down deep because in her heart of hearts, in that place she kept secret to all but her journal she knew that Maxwell Evans wasn’t like any other man. She suddenly pictured those soft brown eyes looking at her and it made her feel distinctly uncovered. A shiver spiked and travelled the entire length of her spine. Phwoar was the only word to describe Captain Maxwell Phillip Evans. He was the most gorgeous man she’d ever clapped eyes on. Six feet, plus tall if he was an inch, not that she’d ever seen him standing due to his injury, with a head of thick, jet black hair and eyes to die for. He was the picture of male perfection and against her better judgement little Liz Parker was finding it increasing difficult to concentrate on her work, on her purpose for being there. Breathing out deeply she was glad that the opportunity for her to wear fancy clothes wasn’t there, grateful that her appearance and make up was minimal. She was beginning to be unsure of herself and how she was around him and that just couldn’t happen. She wouldn’t let it be so. As she watched him from afar, amazed at now mild mannered and calm he was after all that was happening to him, her stomach flipped whenever he looked back at her, smiled at her with his perfect white teeth. To her astonishment she suddenly found herself getting the strangest feeling deep inside, like she had to be near him? It was too crazy to even contemplate logically. She was being foolish, possible cabin fever to blame being cooped up amongst such horror.

When she had finished getting herself ready she closed her eyes and offered up a fervent pray. She was just being foolish. She had to stop thinking about him in this way, whatever way that was? Everything finally getting to her after all this time, when she vowed that it never, ever would, her only reason. She couldn’t let it, she mustn’t let it because had a job to do nothing more, nothing less.

“Get a grip Liz,” her voice barely more than a whisper whilst heaving a deep sigh then opened them again, turning round - almost knocking over the girl standing behind her. “Isabel!” she said somewhat startled by her presence.

“You better get a grip because we need you to be on your toes,” Isabel looked sternly at her. Liz nodded. “I need you to be,” she then added, a smile gracing her features.

“I know, everything’s fine.”

“Are you sure?” Isabel could see she was troubled.

“Everything’s peachy, you know me.” And how Liz’s smile was bigger than hers.

“Yes I do.” And Isabel thanked her lucky stars that she did because Liz Parker was a nurse in a million. “I don’t know what I’d do without you Liz?”

"Oh stop it," Liz blanched, her voice becoming higher and louder.

Isabel placed her hands on her own shapely hips. “How was your day?”

“Good thank you.”

“Rested and ready to go?”

“Of course.” Liz didn’t let on that she hadn’t slept. She knew Isabel would be disappointed in her.

“Wait for me?” Isabel asked as she quickly took a timeout to readjust her face also.

Shaking her head in apparent amazement Liz looked on. "What's your secret?" Referring to Isabel’s ability to always look so neat and perfect no matter what without even a hair out of place.

“Whatever do you mean?”

“You always look so perfect.” Liz said openly. She felt more than a little plain standing beside Isabel.

“Don’t be ridiculous Elizabeth but sun, sea, excitement and the love of a good man always helps.” Both women looked at each other and suddenly giggled uncontrollably. Two out for four wasn’t too bad. Where they were it was never lacking in sunshine and the unexpected. The sea and love could wait. Eyeing herself up from several different angles Isabel was ready to go. “Shall we?” And Isabel motioned for Liz to go through the door before her. Liz mirrored her exact movements.

“No please after you. Age before beauty.” And both women chuckled because Isabel was only 28 days older than Liz.

*~*

For what seemed like the hundredth time that night, Max glanced over at Liz to take in her appearance. Her long sleeved, crisp white and grey uniform was nothing short of beautiful. The drape of the dress flattered her petite figure, and it set off her features to perfection.

Throughout the entire evening, day and night too, all the time to be precise he’d be watching her and he'd had trouble keeping his mind on his troubles and not on her. As he looked at her again, he realized how quiet she was tonight, appearing like she was in deep thought about something? Rather than shout out and question her he continued to watch from afar. It wasn’t his place to, not yet any road. He wandered what she was thinking of in that moment? Max inhaled deeply.

Tonight, he was going to talk to her and a very big part of him wished he could just get up and walk with her and take her away from the madness so they could just be together, alone together. However, he knew that wasn't possible, so he kept his mind focused on the here and now, determined to make the most of it.

*~*

“Nurse,” Was the weakened voice from across the ward. Looking up from her desk, leaving the comfort of her dimly lit desk and her half written letter Liz glided quickly and quietly across the floor.

“Yes Marcus, is everything okay?” She was crouching beside his bed in the corner.

Marcus Ferguson was lying flat on his tummy with his palms resting at either side of his head, the only position available and comfortable for him, what with his back so severely burnt in the blaze. Liz could see why the discomfort, her eyes travelled down as his freshly bandaged injuries were already weeping with blood and infection. She gently touched one his hands, one of the few places untouched by the flames. “Okay Marcus, I’ll just go and get some more bandages and medication. I’ll be right back.” Her tones were soothing and instantly calmed his pounding heart. He gently closed his eyes and smiled weakly.

At only twenty Marcus was so afraid and hated being unable to do the simplest of things such as rolling over, sitting up. The back of his arms, legs and buttocks were so very painfully, his back being the worst. Even the thick blonde hair on the back of his head had been scorched away. Yet never once did he whine or complain. It was miracle that he’d made it this far. The doctors didn’t hold out much hope for him surviving through the night, but every morning he would continue to astound them as they found him alive and relatively well.

“O-Okay- then- then would you- read to me a- again?” He was finding it difficult to talk the pain was so great. Liz’s heart was over whelmed at his strength and determination and regretted every single moan and groan she’d ever uttered in her life. She squeezed his hand just a little more, afraid that she might hurt him.

“Of course I will, just you try and stop me,” And she quickly turned to gather up what was needed not noticing that someone was watching and listening the whole time as Max continued to watch Marcus with the angel working at his bedside.

*~*

With no interruptions Liz had tended to Marcus’ wounds with the minimal of fuss. She tried her hardest to work quickly, desperate not to hurt Marcus more than she had to, putting herself into awkward and painful positions in order to complete the task in hand. Marcus was so strong and hardly murmured as she bathed and redressed him.

Reaching for his favourite book she rested her aching bones in the chair beside him and was about to start as promised, but it had all been too much for the young soldier as he gently fell into slumber, the much needed pain relief kicking in. Gently stroking his cheek Liz sat and watched over him until she was sure that he was well and truly at peace then rose to her feet. Her back and knees were aching from her nursing of Marcus and she winced while returning back to her station.

Out the corner for her eye she saw Max moving awkwardly in his bed, like he was in pain. His leg not going him any favours. She hated this pointless war and what price it left upon the wounded. Her heart was heavy, her body weary but she by his bedside in seconds. “Max!” Max was trying to reach for a glass of water on the bedside table, leaning over just a little too far, about to fall. She was there to catch him.
“Easy Max, go steady,” She clasped tightly onto his broad shoulders as he encircled a strong, powerful arm suddenly about her waist and in that moment something strange happened. It was like just by him holding onto her he took all her aches and pains away. How could that be? She instantly shook off that stupid notion and stiffened.
“You're supposed to be resting! What on earth were you thinking of?” she gently scolded. “You know if you need anything then you only have to ask, that’s why I’m here.” And she gently eased him back down onto the bed, his arm still encircling her waist. Max said nothing.

Liz found it difficult to judge his mood held deep within his dark smouldering eyes. She’d been finding it harder and harder of late. A sensuous lock of hair fell across his brow and she almost felt herself yearning to stroke it back into place. What was she thinking? This situation was getting really strange and frightening for her. There was something unnerving in the way that he looked at her.

“I know,” His voice tentative. He was close now, his warm breath against her hair. “But you looked like you needed a break and I didn’t want to disturb you,” he added quietly failing dismally to conceal the pain that was raging through him. She was clearly taken aback by the comment. What did he mean? Had he been watching her? Goosebumps covered and rippled up her spine, seemingly covering her entire body at the mere thought of him watching her. This was getting crazy. She consciously shook the feeling off once more.

“Never mind what you think I need, I know what you need so in future just call me and I’ll do whatever it is you want okay?” Max felt like she was telling him off even when her tone never wavered. The last thing he wanted to do was to add to her worries and be more of a burden to her. Max felt utterly foolish when she was completely right of course. He couldn’t feel any worse. His eyes swept towards hers in obvious relief and she flashed him a smile, causing a surge of happiness to flood through him. Inside he was so very happy to have her close by him again, was that selfish of him when so many needed her tender loving care also? The ward remained quiet and still.

An untimely silence suddenly fell between them as Liz gently let her arms slip away from him in order to past him the glass of water. She almost betrayed herself by wanting to gasp at the loss she felt when his warm arm fell away from her waist. Was it getting hot in there or was that just her? Her lips formed a partial grin as she dangled the glass from her fingers and gently placed in his grasp when he held out his hand for it. "Here," she said smiling.

"Thank you," he was the reply. Max felt the bolt of electricity pass from her into him as their fingertips lightly brushed in the exchange and his eyes flashed up towards her face. Had she felt it too? A painful silence engulfed them.

"You’re welcome," she added quietly. Her face continued to tell him nothing if she was reeling from their contact before. Max was fighting to control his emotions.

She should have gone from his side at that moment, she knew that but she didn’t. She couldn’t, her feet seemly nailed to the floor. His eyes were intoxicating. Max gulped in the liquid so fast Liz thought he’d choke. “Slowly Max,” Her voice laced with concern, almost breathless. She wished she’d found the time to sleep earlier because she was beginning to feel a little giddy. Max finished gulping down the water in silence. He was unable to resist stealing occasional glances at his carer.

After a few minutes, he felt the desire - no - the over whelming need, to have her in his arms. Her body dangerously near his, trying desperately to say with actions what he couldn't say with words as she took the glass back from him. As her fingertips brushed over his again, he felt his heartbeat tumble over itself and he offered her a small smile. He reached for her, stopping mid flow. This wasn’t the time what was he thinking?

“You’re very good with us,” Max said softly, suddenly getting bolder. The pain almost bearable now she was there by his side.

“It’s my job,” There was a sparkle of humour in her eyes. Max’s smile grew at hearing her understatement,

“It’s more than that and I’m eternally grateful to you Elizabeth Parker.”

She smiled an uneasy smile and whispered, "Oh," Max could tell, though, that she was still uncertain of what he was saying was true.

“I really mean it!” Max added confidently. Liz’s smile grew to fill up her face and lit up the darkened room.

“Why thank you Maxwell Evans,” and she playfully curtsed, gently clasping at the skirt of her uniform. Their eyes locked in an eternal moment. Liz hadn’t a clue why she did that or why she was feeling so much at ease all of a sudden? An awkward silence filled the cool, night air, seemingly lasting for a long while until Liz finally broke it.
“Well… if that will be all then I'm going to make certain that you lie back and rest." She mildly threatened. She stepped closer towards the bed and shifted one of the many pillows against his back. Her eyes followed his outline down the bed, stopping at his heavily bandaged leg. Her stomach turned over and the near loss he’d almost encountered. No man should lose a leg if it could be saved. “How’s the leg?” She gently fluffed up the deep piled of pillows that surrounded it.

“Okay, thanks to you,” and he went to sit up.

“Now, lie back and relax,” she encouraged. She didn’t handle praise too well, especially coming from him. Liz bent to place her hands on his shoulders and applied light pressure as she reclined him back down. The look in his eyes was one of exasperation, but it quickly changed as he complied and shifted to find a comfortable position. Liz sighed, her warm breath caressing the skin on Max's neck, sending shivers down his spine as she lent across him. As she adjusted the pillows under Max's head, she was blissfully unaware that Max was finding it hard to function, nothing like this had ever happened to him before. Was there no way to let her know how he felt without spelling it out tom her? How could he, besides what was it he felt? How could they ever be anyway? Now, in the cold light of their newfound closeness and the ward being so quiet it felt like, for the very first time that they were completely alone. All Max knew was that he wanted to talk to her, be with her and he didn't know how to let her know or even if he was ready to do so? Did he have to find and say the words what failed to come? Could he dare tell the truth, a truth that even he was yet to understand properly? He wanted to shout it out but how could he? To Liz he looked like he was going to say something again, but changed his mind, obviously realizing how futile it was to argue with her.

"Yes, ma'am!" was his boyish reply. She smiled when she realized he was learning that it wasn't wise to cross her. His voice showed signs of the strain his recent activity had placed upon his body.

“Rest now,” she said sternly.

"You know, you really would make a very good sergeant." For a moment, Max stared, and Liz saw a flash of mischief enter his eyes. It disappeared as fast as it had appeared, and she figured it was her imagination. She raised her eyebrows in question.

“Oh really?” Max smile grew. Liz had never seen anything as lovely as his smile. She had leave. Now. “So?” Her sugary voice from broke the stillness and quiet of the night and into his pleasant reverie. He looked blankly at her. “Anything more I can do for you Max?” A million wicked lusty thoughts suddenly bombarded Liz’s brains in the next second. Her skin prickled, like fire. Where the hell did they come from? It was getting hotter in there. Instead of telling him what she really wanted to say, she forced herself to put distance between them and tried putting up an emotional barrier.

She had too because was plain to even she, that she was falling in love with Max Evans. Who wouldn’t? How she knew she was going crazy and in desperate need of sleep. Liz felt her knees knock and her teeth chatter in sudden realization. She was just over tired that’s all. Nothing more. Nothing less and she was far from being ‘in anything’ with Maxwell Evans. She offered him a fleeting chance to reply, before turning on her heels to go back to her desk.

"Yes," Max said with a voice as smooth as honey. She came to a halt instantly, afraid of what was coming next?

"Yes what?” She mumbled.

“There is something else you can do for me,” he sat up as she stepped back in closer towards him.

“And what’s that?” She was certain he could hear her heart beat; it was pounding so fast.

“Tell about yourself?" She smiled a confused smile at him.

“What do you want to know?” She answered without the thought of refusing him, quickly coming to her senses. “Look Max you need your rest-,”

“I’m not sleepy. I just wanted to talk, that’s all if that’s okay with you?” It was said slightly forcefully. His leg was uncontrollably throbbing but there wasn’t a herd of wild horses that would make him tell because she’d leave to get someone or be distracted. “Please?”

She nodded. How could she refuse him with a face like that? Silence reined once more and Max was suddenly robbed of speech. “Is, is there anything you want to ask me? That you want to know about me?” He babbled.

“I don’t want to know anything, you’re the one who wanted to talk remember?” her tone was never hostile but Max could sense that she was uncomfortable. He regarded her intently, again unable to say just what was on his mind.

"Well... god, I’m sorry for making you feel uncomfortable Liz I never wanted that to happen." Her face was unreadable as she absorbed his meaning. Finally she nodded slowly, as if not quite sure of how to respond? Instead of continuing the conversation, he nodded as well. Once again there was an uncomfortable, suffocating silence.

"Uh…it doesn’t matter… well… thank you for asking me but I better get back to writing my letter,” she stammered, embarrassed to be reminded of the ridiculous
mess she was making, and she turned to leave. Reluctantly, Max pulled further back from her just enough to ease the increasing ache that had formed deep within his belly since her coming over to him. He was amazed that he'd ever been attracted to anyone like he was to her, Liz's classic beauty made anyone that had ever held his eyes, look like some kind of cheap call girl or something? He felt strangely warm and happy, deeply contented just to breathing in the same air as Liz Parker.

“May I be so bold as to ask who is the letter to?” he returned, eyes twinkling.

“Excuse me?” She was more than taken by his question when nurses and patients interaction should be kept to a minimal. She was completely dumbfounded at what to say and how to handle the pending situation? Max witnessed the change in her.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry-,” he stumbled. He just didn’t want her to go so soon.

“It’s okay Max, it was just a letter back home. That’s all.” Max couldn’t help but notice the sadness held deep within her eyes.

“You miss it don’t you?”

“Yes, very much. Don’t you miss your family back home in…?”

“New Zealand,” Max helped her out.

“New Zealand it must be so beautiful there?” Liz said wistfully.

“Yes it is… but I’ve seen things far more so,” She slowly lifted up her head to meet his glace. Her heart fluttered as their eyes locked again once more. She missed her home, her family and her friends so very much it made her weak. She’d lay awake some nights just thinking about home and how her life used to be. She wished she could say that she’d give anything for the chance to go back to them, that might have been true before but hand on heart she could not now because the truth be known since Captain Maxwell Phillip Evans had arrived she hadn’t thought about home quite so much. Truth be known she didn’t want to leave, besides her work here was too important and she was needed here in more ways than one. The thought of not wanting to leave because of Max never entered her mind.

“Oh really?”

“Yes,” Again he gave her one-worded answers. Max was a man of very few words. There was that awkward silence again. “Please sit and talk with me Liz?” He held his breath, waiting for her answer. She glanced at her watch and cocked an eyebrow, shrugging elegantly. What harm could it do?

"Sure, if you want to, why not? The evening's still young. And alls well." Oh if only that were true as Liz parker had never felt so utterly out of control in her life. He grinned in relief. For a moment, he'd been afraid she was going to say no.

“Thankfully,” Max was finding it hard to make coherent sentences. He hated everything about this war and he had no idea what to say next as it was up to Liz to say something.

“I miss home so much actually, especially now because it’s at this time that we have the festive of light.” Liz said excitedly.

“What’s that?” He was mesmerized by everything about her and her life. Max remained speechless, unable to speak transfixed by her. Listening only to her, watching only her.

Liz was taken back to another time and place as she remembered how it all went. She relayed to Max how once a year the whole town would get together for a massive party, where everyone would make a contribution and the fields, streets and buildings were littered with lights and candles. There was much eating and drinking to be had and dancing. It was wonderful. Liz’s eyes sparked as she talked of the latter and of Daniel.


(continued in the next post due to length)


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Jan-2003 12:56:22 PM ]
posted on 10-Jan-2003 12:55:03 PM by Lana Lane

“Oh how we danced and danced. We had so much fun that night.” She sighed deeply.
Max raised his eyebrows somewhat shocked by the mere name of another man on Liz’s lips.

“Oh that’s sounds really- interesting,” He couldn’t hide his disappointment, taking what she had said literately. Who was this Daniel? A friend? A lover? Max suddenly felt his cheeks heat with concern. Liz could feel a change in Max as she instantly read what he was thinking by the bewildered look on his face and in that moment she had this overwhelming desire to put him straight.

“Actually, we're just…friends. I mean…Daniel Williams and I. We grew up together. We're not, um… I don't hold his attentions." She blushed, gesturing vaguely at Max. She felt stupid at her clumsiness. Why was she explaining herself? She coughed ever so lightly. “Much do the dismay of mine and his parent’s, and him,” With her this close to him, her face turning towards him, he could smell the slight scent of her perfume. For a moment, he couldn't remember the topic of their conversation. He couldn't focus enough to bring it to mind.

“Oh,” Then he realized what she’d just said. “Oh,” Max couldn’t help but smile as Liz’s eyes fell away from him. This man, Daniel wasn’t her beau. Max felt like the happiness man alive. She was sitting on his bed, very close to him.

“I could have danced all night,” she said, her voice dreamy.

“I could oblige you there,” Max agreed, chuckling lightly. He wished that he could, that they could, that they were somewhere completely different, somewhere far, far away from this madness. “That would be nice.”

“Yes, it would be,” she said, pulling back to look at him. What was she thinking? “I bet you’re pretty nifty on your feet aren’t you?”

He smiled. “I am as it goes.” Max was forgetting himself, motioning to get up and out of bed.

“Captain Evans stay right where you are before you bring out the sergeant in me,” He so longed to take her into his arms and show her just how good of a dancer he was. He wanted to take her into his arms and show her everything, right here- right now.

“I’d love to dance with you that’s all.” He honestly confessed.

"Excuse me?" Liz asked, and Max saw the unmistakable flush that crept into her skin. She wanted that so much too. She couldn’t believe what was happening. Quickly she changed the mood, suddenly afraid of what was to come.

"Mm," he muttered.

“What?” Liz was intrigued, her right foot bounced in a sign of impatience.

“Are you saying to wouldn’t want to dance with me?” He said with a pout.

“No it’s not that at all,” she face prickled with heat and embarrassment.

“That you wouldn’t want to spend an evening with me?”

“No,” Liz was getting uncontrollably flustered.

He shrugged. “Because if it was then, I would have to ask- Tess!” And he crossed his arms across his chest after that last comment.

If he was honest with himself, something he wasn't entirely certain he wanted to be at this point, spending an evening with Liz held far more appeal than an evening with Tess any day of the week and twice on Sunday when, if, the chance ever came. Liz blood suddenly ran icy cold. Why did she even care if Max asked Tess? Slowly, she turned to face him, unsure of what to say when her entire mood changed as she noticed smile on his face. Max caught her gaze and held it. He was joking with her about asking Tess as realization kicked in. He was teasing her- flirting with her maybe? She laughed, and he smiled wider. When she recovered, she pinned him with a look.

“Do you mean to tell me that you planned this entire conversation from the start? That you were asking me out on a date Captain?” Was she now flirting with him? This was so crazy but it was making her a fuzzy warm inside.

“Would that pose a problem if I was?” Max asked. She drew her lips drawn in a tight line.

“Only if I’d have said no.” She said confidently.

“And would you have done?” His question brought her mind back to their surroundings. Her eyebrows winged upward, then her eyes narrowed.

"Hmm how does a little ole thing like me be lucky enough to hold your interest so?" She smirked, finding increasing difficult to breath wanting to be in his arms by now so much. It was incredible what an affect Max was having on her after such a short space of time. She refrained from answering him directly.

“Just lucky I guess?”

It was truly remarkable how well they were interacting together, how they just seemed to fit. It was frightening. Liz could almost visualize Max holding her in his arms as they swayed to the music, oblivious of everything - and everyone - but each other. She felt like she couldn’t breathe beginning to wonder what Max was thinking, if he was thinking the same as she? Max continued looking at her with eyes that were melting into her very soul. Max was thinking exactly the same thing and of how well she’d fit against him. He couldn't help but notice from the very first time he’d laid eyes on her that her body soft and yielding. She was now sitting on the side of his bed. He breathed in her subtle fragrance, suppressing the intense urge to bury his face in the crook of her neck. Her hair, upswept, escaped its clasp in places to fall in soft curls, framing her face. She cleared her throat, and he could see her pulse racing in her graceful neck.

"Oh really?" Her eyes wide, she regarded him questioningly. Pretending what had happened never had. Max was finding it harder and harder to breathe, to form coherent thought patterns. Not all that long ago, there had been a time when he would have insisted never getting too involved with woman. Leaving as soon as things looked like getting out of hand, anxious to avoid entanglement lest ‘she’ think they were handing for anything more? Max was always the perfect gentleman who rarely had girlfriends anyway. He knew now that he'd never consider Liz a nuisance or a burden to him. Liz was different. Leaving her was furthest from his mind. Their ‘relationship’ maybe be newly formed, not yet matured but that much Max did know. What ever it took he was staying. That thought was followed by the somewhat unsettling knowledge that he'd been attracted to and felt a strong connection with Liz from the moment he clapped eyes on her. After ignoring and denying his feelings for longer than he could remember, days seemed like months in that place he was finally ready to stop fighting. He wasn't quite ready to act on them, either. He was willing to take his time and get to know her even better if she’d only let him? They had a possible connection that Max yearned to explore given the chance. He could feel it why couldn’t she? Her skin, soft and luminous, beckoned to him. He wondered what it would feel like to trail his lips from the spot under her ear to her neck and then down to her shoulder. Feeling his eyelids grow heavy with these tantalizing thoughts, he so wanted to pull her closer for so many reasons one of which being so that she couldn't see the heady desire he knew was evident in his face. It was bad enough when he had realized how improper it was for him to be there with her, thinking the things he had been. More than that, it was awkward, especially with her sitting on his bed.

“How about you Max?” Liz asked, expertly changing the subject. Max saw her discomfort and chose a different path. Max cleared his throat,

"Well,” And he told her of his life, his home, his family. “… My grand father died when I was very little. It broke my grandmother’s heart, especially after they’d over came so much.”

“How do you mean? What happened?” Liz could sense something was there.

“She wasn’t his first love. He loved another but their families never got on,” Liz could see that Max was finding it difficult and wished that she’d never asked. “It’s okay Liz, I want to tell you if you want to hear?”

How did he know what she was feeling? What she was thinking had she dare say anything out loud? She couldn’t tell. She just nodded. “They loved each other very much, both knowing that they were perfect together.” He stopped and looked directly “but their relationship was hurting those they cared about the most so rather than risking more and shaming their families by staying together. She resisted my grandfather’s affections. They chose to forsake destiny and be apart.” Max signed deeply as Liz got the insatiable urge to hold his hand. She fought relentlessly not to do so. “In the end, they both realized that their love could overcome any obstacles,” Her expression was unreadable in the near darkness. Liz could see he was fighting to remain composed. There was more to come. “She was very ill and she had held the secret of her illness from him,” Liz openly gasped afraid of what was coming.

“Oh,” A silly, unfeeling answer but nothing else would come.

“And she died suddenly before they could take that chance and live out that love and it broke my Grandfather’s heart, he never, ever recovered from losing her,”

“I’m so very sorry Max,” And she was, her eyes filling as well as her heart. "It's so sad. It all seems so hopeless and unfair, ending that way. All that wasted time of not being together.” Her heart was breaking for Max as she yearned to know more about him.

“I know but he found my Grandmother,” and happiness swept across his face. “And they were happy, very happy together besides just think, if they hadn’t have ever met I’d never have been born.” He was trying to lighten the heavily set mood. It wasn’t working but that was such an impossible thing for Liz to dare comprehend. A world without Max… her chest suddenly felt so tight.

"Yes there is that," Liz countered. Max could see that she was keeping something from him.

“What are you thinking?”

Liz lightly shook her head. “It’s not my place to say,”

“Please, tell me,” Max almost pleaded whilst Liz continued wringing her hands tightly together.

"Please don’t take this the wrong way Max but I can understand why they did what they did in the beginning, thinking more of how it would affect others if they got together and the consequences of them giving in to their desires," Liz was amazed at her own insight when romance had always eluded her by her own choice. That was the last thing Max wanted to hear because held within that sentence was the answer to all of his unanswered questions about where he and Liz were heading? Her belief seemed to be, think of others before her own happiness.

"But surly a life without finding true love is impossible to comprehend?" he conceded.

“I wouldn’t know of such things.”

Max paused before answering, then looked intently into her eyes and lowered his voice. "Let's talk about something a little nicer, like what a wonderful time I’m having just talking with you. Thank you for sparing me the time Liz.”

She smiled. "You’re welcome and thank you for saying that."

“I really appreciate all the help you’ve given me.”

"I'm always glad to help, you know that." Looking down at her hands it was only then he realized just how close they were and that she was shaking.

“I know,” He whispered. His voice drifted over her like a soothing balm. A shiver shot straight down her spine. She then smiled a beautiful smile that almost blinded Max, and a smile that he’d never forget. "Your smile is sweeter than even my mother’s Liz and it makes everything I’ve gone through so worthwhile.” He said without thinking, his head cocking slightly over to one side. He looked utterly adorable in his confession. She detected a note of sadness in his voice, so she did her best to reassure him. It touched her heart to know.

"You must love her very, very much?"

"Yes I do." He sighed. "I just wish I had gotten more time with them."

"Hey, you will again that much I do know" she said softly. She was no fortune-teller but it her heart of hearts she prayed for that. She wanted Max home and safe.
"We don't need you getting down and melancholy now do we so why don't you lay back and relax?" His eyes grew softer and his grin widened as she felt his hand gently squeeze hers. She didn’t know what to do? He reached out further and took both of her hands in his. Completely at a loss she didn’t move it away from him. She couldn’t.

He gently began to raise her hand to his lips to place a quick kiss on it. He so wanted to kiss her; it was like the air he breathed. For a fleeting moment, a flash of hesitancy appeared in her eyes, almost like there was something more that had happened? That she wanted him too kiss her? Just as quickly as it had appeared to him, it disappeared, and Max figured he had just imagined it and he stopped pulling her hand upward mid flow. He held his breath as he waited for her to speak.

For several long moments, neither one of them spoke. Then, Liz glanced down at their joined hands, and Max swore she was fighting to control her breathing. He glanced down to see that his thumbs were unconsciously drawing slow strokes across her fingers, and he grinned. He couldn’t help it. Suddenly, he realized it was probably best to put an end to this, even though he wished they could prolong it a little more. In truth he wanted to prolong it forever. It was neither the time nor the place. Mores the pity and Max was fighting temptation all the while, however propriety won over his own wishes. She had a job to do and this was not the right thing to do however right it felt to him. Her eyes widened, her breath catching in her throat. It was obvious that she could sense a difference in him as his hand rested rather intimately on her lower back. She glanced at him and he saw passion glimmer in her deep brown eyes. He welcomed the answering spark of excitement that shuddered through his body and heart. He brought a hand up to her slender neck and caressed the soft skin his fingers encountered, never breaking eye contact. After a moment, a slow, gentle smile graced Liz's lips, and Max knew that she understood, at least in part, what he was trying to say. That’s what Max’s was wishing for. He couldn’t understand any of this, what was happening only that he felt right and he never wanted it to end.

Her gaze dropped and focused on his chest. He so wanted to press his lips to her forehead in silent gratitude not needing words. Someday, he'd be able to say them; he just needed a little more time but how could he in their present situation? Liz glanced down briefly and tried to hide her grin, she was acting like an excited child at Christmas time then, lifting her head, she looked at him again. His thumbs began to stroke the backs of her hands once more, and his eyes softened, taking on an almost tender, yet melancholy look.
"Well…I… should be going, anyway," she said reluctantly. “You need to get some sleep and allow your body to mend, and I need to get back to my letter. My mother said she would handle it if I couldn’t write all the time, but if I can, if I have the time I try to and now I have the time. I don't like to miss a day not writing to them, and I always feel bad when I do, so...”

“Liz...” he interrupted, his tone pointing out to her that she was rambling. He’d noticed that always happened when she was nervous, and being this close to Max certainly set her nerves on end.

“I'm sorry, Max, I’m rambling again when you should be sleeping,” she said and glanced down.

“Don't be, it was my fault,” he said softly, his voice compelling her to lift her head. "I guess I was sleeper than I thought to act in such a way, besides your letter home is far more worthy of your time than I am.” He paused, his eyes becoming very serious. “Thank you.” Those two words might not mean much to someone else, but to her, they meant everything in the world, and Liz knew just what he meant. He didn't have to say it. It was in his eyes, his touch, and even his smile. He was thanking her for her time. Her help.

“You're more than welcome,” she replied rising slowly. “I'll be right over there if you need me,” she whispered. “Goodnight, Max.”

“Goodnight, Liz.” he added in a husky timbre but she didn’t step away. She couldn’t. Her feet wouldn’t carry her.

“Nurse?” was the gentle whisper that clung into the cool, dim light reaching and piercing the moment penetrating deeper than any spear or bullet. Both gasped at the ill-timed call and un- timely demise of their conversation. “Nurse are you there?”

“Yes, I’m here,” she quickly answered, grateful of the interruption.

“Can I have a glass of water please?” was the muffled plea back.

“Of course. I’ll be right there,” She glanced back at Max.

“Duty calls.” They both said together then a moment of uncomfortable silence followed. Max felt his breath catch in his throat at the look on Liz's face. The moonlight bathed her face in a soft glow, and for a moment, the only thing on Max's mind was how badly he wanted to kiss her. Slowly, he held onto her hands and lifted his face towards hers. She seemingly lowered her face to his, obviously feeling the same thing he was? He wasn’t sure.

“Must be something in that water or is it me?” She joked. Max was finding it hard to smile when he knew he would be thankful of the interruption later, especially considering the tenuous strings that held their relationship together at this stage. Relationship? That was laughable what relationship? On paper this was an impossible relationship and it could never be.

“Definitely you,” He answered as he pulled back to gaze into her eyes, he could see the hint of surprise at his actions mixed with a small amount of what appeared to be relief on her part. Although it was obvious they both had enjoyed each other's company, they knew they had to take things much slower. It was a confusing time for the both of them. Her feet still seemed unable to carry her away from Max.

"I better go.”

“I know,” he said releasing her hands, unsure if the pain of their parting was obvious to her? Max leant back and whispered, "I was about to say that I think we should say goodnight," Max was wondering if she could sense the lie he was telling?

“Me too until you need me again that is,” Liz added boldly. He’d always need her. They’d already had this conversation. She had to go. Now. Someone might see. She was needed. Startled by the shift in her thoughts, she almost withdrew her hands from his and stood up to distance herself from him, but something kept her there. She was reluctant to leave, wanting to sit with him and make sure he was all right. For some reason, she was reluctant to let go. Part of it, she reasoned, was added reassurance that he was safe. After going through the gamut of emotions she had experienced, she needed the physical touch and closeness to set her mind at ease. He could have died… lost his leg… he still wasn’t out of the woods yet. The feelings she had felt were very real, and she had no desire to go through that again. In fact, those feelings were the other part of why she was so reluctant to leave, only she wasn't ready to admit what they all meant ... not just yet.

“Liz I’ll always need you,” he felt himself trembling. Summoning every bit of strength she had, she managed to croak out,

"Oh," Her face changed direction as she dipped down towards him and he placed a soft but lingering kiss that had been meant for her sweet lips just to the left of her mouth. The only thing Liz did wrong was to look back at him and that was her undoing. She wanted him just as much as he wanted her but just before their lips lightly touched…

Max’s eyes refocused and he realized his mind was playing wicked tricks on him and that Liz was gone from his side.

She wasn’t reaching out to him with her sweet lips for that fated first kiss but already half way across the room as aid for another. Max’s heart sank. Although she knew he couldn't see her clearly, Liz parker was finding it increasing hard to function. Her skin was heated and prickly, her chest unbearably tight from Max’s closeness. She gathered up the water jug and gave the older soldier a drink. He was too weak to hold it for himself so she cradled his head in her arm and did it for him. Max watched her every movement, as she made sure the soldier was comfortable then made her way back past Max’s bed. Her eyes were seemingly fixated by something her hand reaching to touch the place where his hands had encased hers so delicately moments before, and a small smile crossed her face.

With a sigh, she turned and went to her table without looking at Max once. It was the hardest thing Liz had ever had to do. He’d give anything to know what she was thinking at that moment, daring to hope that she was thinking of him?

Unable to catch her eye again he uneasily settled back down into his bed, his eyes never leaving her. As he watched her writing her letter back home, he had to do something to occupy his restlessness. He reached over for the bedside table, for a book he’d already read a thousand times and in light that made it hardly readable very, very slowly because there was no way on gods green earth that he was sleepy tonight even when his body craved it so. He reached too far over but remained silent as pain tore through him. He couldn’t risk Liz coming back to his aid unsure of what he’d end up doing to her.

This was insane why was he thinking this way, with his status with Liz the way it was? Non- existent. His heart continued to pound so fast and as he lowered himself back further onto the bed, he realized that he wasn't even sure what that status was? He couldn’t stand a moment of her not being by her side was that wrong of him to feel that way? When they had talked about their lives and he took her hand he had felt something pass between them, and he knew she had felt it, too. He only had to look in her eyes to see that was true. While they discussed his mind wasn't on where they were or the propriety of the situation and when they had finally looked into each other's eyes that was when things had changed. He had found it very difficult not to tell her everything, tell her how she made him feel. What made it more difficult, where they were and the current status of their fragile relationship; She was a nurse and he was her patient. Is it possible that she was feeling the same as he?

He saw the way she’d looked at him before they’d parted. It was a look that made his heart burst into life. However, he didn't want to admit anything, as that would mean he was more involved than he continued to tell himself he already was.


posted on 10-Jan-2003 2:27:36 PM by Roswell_Freak
Really but REALLY good part, it'S very much different from the movie. Max stayed himself and they still have that beautiful soulmate thing going on. ahhhhhhhhhhhh.....WHY ISN'T THAT ME!?!?!??!
posted on 10-Jan-2003 2:45:01 PM by roswellluver
Great Max and Liz scene! Thanks for writing!
posted on 10-Jan-2003 3:12:37 PM by PhoebeAnn
!!Great part!!*tongue**happy**happy**angel*
posted on 10-Jan-2003 5:44:26 PM by jeremiah
That was a truly amazing part! I could feel the eletric from those two, Lan you did an amazing job with this chapter, I love this story so much! Lana, Nicola and scifi, This truly Rocks!
posted on 10-Jan-2003 11:47:39 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
I'm acting like a child excited on Christmas. Lana, that was a terrific part. I love it. I was smiling like crazy when I was reading that part. Love the whole flirting thing going on. Oooohhhh. I need a new part soon. You guys come back soon with more. *happy*
posted on 11-Jan-2003 1:02:53 PM by Lattegirl
OH! This is so much better than the movie because for one its max & liz. and two its written so much better. I love being able to hear what's going through thier minds. ahh our beloved tortured soul mates. So thank you so much nicola, scifi (I'm so glad your okay) & lana for taking the time to write this beautiful story & for sharing it with us.*angel*
posted on 11-Jan-2003 3:16:26 PM by the better twin
mmmm, their conversation was so cute. post more soon!
posted on 12-Jan-2003 4:30:08 PM by Lana Lane
Just to say a MASSIVE THANKYOU to Roswell_Freak, roswellluver, PhoebeAnn, Jeremiah, Aznroswell anglgrl, Lattegirl and The better twin for the fantabulous feedback you left . Kudos for taking the timeout to read my transional parts. I'm posting part 4 so the story can get back to the way it ought to be written as I sit here chanting Nicola, Jane where are you? Please post a part 5 soon

Part four

*~*

Later that night

Liz watched Max lay there, unable to resist a reflection on all that had happened between them earlier that night.

The emotional roller coaster she'd been riding had taken her to such heights, then sent her plunging to such depths she was amazed she wasn't more exhausted than she was. It was stressful enough to realize just how far Max would push himself and how easily he put his own body's needs asides for the safety of others, that’s how come he ended up here, let alone what they had discussed. Although it touched her deeply to know that he counted her among those cherished enough to share parts of his life with, she knew it was wrong for her to even have gotten that close. In a way, she felt that was the reason why she was so drawn to him, by the trust that he put in her and vice versa. She was never that open with anybody – ever. Of course, her mind told her there was a lot more to it than just being open with Max but she wasn't sure she was ready to admit it.

Countless times, she had chided him for his inability to admit when he needed help or admit how he was really feeling, and here she was, doing the exact thing he was. If she was really honest with herself, she needed him just as much as she felt he needed her. Was that wrong of her to consider? They had been thrown together for a reason, and in recent days, she had begun to understand a lot more, especially her own feelings and they scared the hell out of her.

She was now standing over Max as he lay sleeping, blissfully unaware of her presence. Her gaze slowly perused every feature of his face, drifting from his forehead to the compelling amber eyes that were now closed, across his cheekbones and down to his strong jaw that could either soften with dimples or tense in anger, impatience and pain. Her heart was pounding that fast she was sure she’d wake him. She took a step back. Finally, her eyes came to his mouth, a mouth that could stretch into a wondrous smile or purse in extreme pain, a mouth that she believed to be tantalizingly tender and could stir emotions in her that had since been dormant.
Liz Parker thought herself untouchable but with every passing day she was finding that harder and harder to believe it.

Liz listened to Max's breathing, slow and steady, and breathed a sigh of relief that he had finally relaxed enough to get some sleep. He needed to. She carefully watched his face and saw his lips move before he spoke…

“Liz,” he gently called out in the darkness.

He was dreaming. Was Maxwell Evans dreaming about her? Her whole body trembled. She shut her eyes, stumbling backwards. She thought of her mother, her father, sleeping peacefully in their bed at home and of her friends tucked up too. She was in a world of her own. She had to think of anything but the here and now.

She was failing, placing her fingertips where Max’s fingers had been on her hands earlier. They seemed to be tingling, as if he’d branded her with his mark. Her heart was racing with the look in his face. It was one of sheer tenderness and the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. It was as if he was silently daring her to touch him even while he was sleeping and for a brief moment, with shaky hand she hesitated, stepping back wondering if she should? Inner desire won over reason and she slowly leaned forward once more. She paused again, just before her eyes drifted shut and she relished the feelings that washed over her as she tentatively touched his cheek with her fingertips, without thought nor consequence; Leaning back instantly at their shared contact. The connection made was unmistakable, stunning her back into reality. With no warning, the atmosphere changed between them. It was like the time before a storm, Liz thought, when the air is charged with electricity and you can’t wait for the thunder and lightening to start. Her heart was racing.
What was she thinking?

Someone might see. It was such a stupid thing to do as she quickly hurried back to her desk as fast as her wobbly legs could carry her, the familiar giddy and dizziness enveloping her, her only comfort.

*~*

The next day

Liz could think of nothing else but Max. He was in her constant thoughts how ever hard she tried to push him out. She knew things were getting- strong, dangerous, undeniable between them and it had worked up to the point that she felt she had to leave his side the night before, twice no less unable to trust herself a moment longer. Although she tried to deny it, something went off inside her when she saw the way he was looking at her through the doorway, what he said to her last night, how he held her hand so close…today was going to be difficult enough what with the heat and a new shipment of patients arriving at any moment, let alone facing Max again.

She reprimanded herself the entire time. What was she doing, thinking of Max in that manner? How could she have allowed her defences to slip so easily, not to mention letting him see it? She was foolish to think that she could hide from him. She prayed that she was wrong and that he hadn’t seen it. Who was she kidding? The same thing was sure to happen again, she could feel it. That thought alone sent her mind in several directions, none of which she should be thinking, so she forced her mind back to the matter at hand. Her work. The patients.

“I hate all this writing we have to do,” Tess said behind her, thankfully interrupting her thoughts. “I don’t know about you but that’s not why I came here.” Lifting the second stack of files with a light grunt, clearing the desk, she joined Liz who was heading towards the stairs.

"It all comes with the joys of nursing I’m afraid.” Liz replied gently, unmoved by Tess’ comments. She liked Tess Harding very much. She reminded her of her friend Jasmine Wilson back home, but she did have a tendency to say things without thought and right now that was something Liz could do without.

“I know, I know but it’s so frustrating.” Tess said.

“And we have to take all of these upstairs?” Maria whined from the other side of her with a definite tone in her voice. Liz knew that Maria was still mad at her, as her words to her were still so fresh in Liz’s mind.

‘I think I hate you’.

Maria had no reason to be mad. Liz didn’t ask for the doctor’s affections and it was so unfair for Maria to act that way. Only if Maria knew the truth of where her true affections lay? How could she even speak of such things even if Maria was her very best friend? Why was life getting even more complex for Liz Parker these days?

“Yes Maria, all of them I’m afraid then we'll have to find a place to file them upstairs, once we get through the other stacks of folders and files up there first." She sighed in exasperation, never without a smile, wondering if they would ever make sense of the cluttered state of the room? Liz was just glad of the opportunity of not having to face Max just yet. She wasn’t quite ready, if at all?

“Oh goody,” Maria replied sarcastically.

“Maria –,” Liz hated the function between them.

“Bet this is Isabel’s doing?” Tess added, none the wiser of what was happening between Liz and Maria.

“What?” Liz and Maria both said together. Liz smiled, they were always doing that but her heart was suddenly heavy when the smile was unreturned by Maria. This had gone on long enough and Liz was determined that she and Maria would talk about this whole mix up later.

“I bet we have to do this because of the new patients due in, she only wants to spy the good ones first, for herself.” Liz and Maria just looked at each other, just grateful that they kept a hold of their bundles okay. How could she say such a thing? They were they to heal and care not to score. Liz sighed deeply, she was quickly losing patience with Tess, something that she never, ever did especially watching her leer and loom over Max all the time. It wasn’t Tess’ fault. Tess didn’t mean anything by it so was just thoughtless at times.

“I very much doubt that Tess,” Liz said back in a somewhat bitter tone.

“And I’m not going to even ask because I certainly don't need ‘Dragon Lady’ accusing me of being disorganized, do you?” Maria answered. She could see that Liz was fighting with something deep inside of her. She had been all day, in fact from the very moment that Captain Evans arrived. No matter what had happened, Liz was still her best friend and she wished she hadn’t said what she had to her, besides Maria liked Isabel; she liked her a lot even when she hid it from the world so well. She respected Isabel, not that she’d ever say. Tess thought for a moment then shook her head slowly.

There was now an uncomfortable silence as the three girls were about to make their umpteenth trip upstairs in order to store away all the files of the dearly departed patients, either departed from getting better and leaving or dying, the latter being the case, Room had to be made for the new.

Maria was about to open her mouth when they heard a sudden burst of noise and commotion from behind them. The newly transported were arriving and the place was a buzz with screaming and noise.

“Here we go again,” Maria said instead, already steps ahead of the other two along the corridor. It wasn’t excitement in her voice but the need to help. Liz was sure, that in a strange way Maria loved what she did just as much as she did. It was so very hard and difficult to cope with but it was the most worthwhile thing and satisfying thing that Liz had ever done in her life and she was so proud. She’d do nothing to jeopardize it.

Not even for Max.

*~*

Five trolleys were feverishly wheeled in. The doctors were yelling what had to be done and who had to go where. Liz quickly looked at what was thrust before her. The man before her lay wailing and reeling. Liz was finding it difficult to hold him down. He had dark, crinkly hair, a small moustache and was covered head to foot in blood. He was the worst of the lot. Liz acted without thought quickly gathering up bandages, meditation…everything that was needed when suddenly-

“Maxwell!”

The girls shoot a look to a new boy being wheeled into the ward. He was one of the luckier ones. The ones who still had everything attached. “Bloody hell. It's good to see you, you crazy bastard!” Michael yelled from across the hall, fighting to sit up. “So this is where you’ve been hiding yourself?” Michael looked about him. He’d always been one for a girl in uniform. “You lucky, lucky bastard what did you have to do to get in here?” he joked, suddenly ignoring the pain that was raging through his body as the utter chaos continued around them. The screams were blood curdling as the life saving work carried on.

Max sat up sharply, his smile beaming. “Well, well if it isn’t boy wonder, will wonders never seize?”

“Bloody right it’s me, I wasn’t about to let you have all the fun,” Michael said confidently. Maxwell was unsure if he literately meant it or not? What had happened? He was fighting to get up and go to his friend he had so much to tell. Truth be known Max just wanted to give him a manly hug, he’d missed him. His plan was abruptly interrupted.

“Look, you might think you can have that kind of talk where you’re from but I just won't tolerate that sort of language in on my ward!” Was the boom heard from the doorway as they saw Isabel standing there with her hands tightly planted firmly at her hips, glaring only at Michael. Liz, Maria and Tess scampered in behind her.

Their wounded suddenly cared for as best as could be expected and taken to where they needed to go. Minutes continuing to feel like seconds they were now free to see what the commotion was about?
“Or what little lady?” Michael tempted her further as his smile grew. Maria peered round Isabel’s shoulder. She couldn’t take her eyes of the brash young man with spiky up hair as the hot doctor that she was ‘fighting’ with Liz for was long forgotten about. “I like you.” Michael crossed his arms, looking only at Isabel.

"That will change I can assure you!” Isabel replied, clearly discomfited and somewhat angered by his words.

“I doubt that somehow,” Michael swiftly replied.

“Give it time,” Isabel answered. Liz's face lit up. This wise guy had no idea.

"Oh, really? Fabulous! I love a challenge. I maybe shot to hell but you're mine for the duration of my stay here!"
Isabel just smiled at him, ignoring his comment. She’d had worse, most of the men brought he hadn’t a clue what they were saying and allowance had to be made.

She lightly coughed. “And who may you be?” Max couldn’t help but smile, progressing into a snort even when his leg throbbed so hard. He couldn’t help it because they had no idea what they’re letting themselves in for, either of them.

“The love of your life.” Michael added sarcastically. He was amazed how well he was holding up after all he’d endured. Hell on earth wouldn’t have even come close.
For Isabel to be totally gob smacked took a lot but she was, and Michael had rendered her this way. She felt her cheeks begin to blush. This was not happening. She was about to retaliate further when she caught sight of the man lying beside him. He was quiet, even when blood covered one side of the white blanket covering him. He face was scorched. He just looked over at her and smiled. Everything seemed to stop for her in that moment, unable to take her eyes of him for a second. She later found out that his name was Alexander Whitman and she hadn’t got a clue why her heart seemed to bounce whenever she passed, tended to him or heard his name? Isabel was about to retort when the ward was a mass of noise and chaos as more soldiers were brought in. Some of them were wailing, riddled with pain as the nurses and doctors jumped in to help. There was so many, too many. The badly wounded were sorted and again separated from the reasonable in minutes, and the ward was relatively quiet again. The days usually went like that.

Able to breathe again, Isabel clicked her heels on the hard floor as she dared to go to Michael’s side once more.

“Name,” she snorted.

“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours?” Michael then noticed the petite blonde haired nurse with the most piercing green eyes that he’d ever seen pass by his bed, and momentarily he was totally transfixed by her. Michael just continued to look at Maria, mouth open as it was left to Max to introduce him. Everything was always left up to Max.

“That's Michael Guerin ma’am, and bad language is the least of your problems he's got chronic diaharria of the mouth.” And Max was far from joking. Once Michael got going he rarely stopped. Max was about to add something more, enjoying the light relief when a voice interrupted his flow.


continued in the next post
posted on 12-Jan-2003 4:37:01 PM by Lana Lane

“Liz… Liz is that you?” And it was then that Max saw Kyle, the American in the bed opposite him. Max’s heart leapt as he instantly sort out the petite brunette. he sensed her presence before his eyes found her.

“Kyle?” Her face suddenly lit up in complete surprise. Max didn’t like it, his hands fisting at the bed sheet.

“You two to know each other?” Max stumbled out.

“Do we?” Kyle could hardly contain himself, as Alex was the first to click to the obvious.

Kyle really liked this girl.

This was so not good news.

It’s amazing what you can sense when you can’t see a thing.

“So this is the girl you’re been driving us crazy insane all this time?” Alex ended it with a giggle. Alex was always a giggler. Pain ripped through his side but that was the least of his worries. Alex had never been so scared in his life at what was to become of him? He was a writer, not a soldier and he still had so much left to say and do. He was too young to die and for him to be left blind was too unbearable to even contemplate. They all shouldn’t be there. Panic covered him like a blanket.

“It’s okay, we’ll get you sorted Alexander.” Isabel reassured him gently and Alex believed her. He loved how she called him Alexander. She had a voice of an angel if only he could see her. He truly believed that she was the most beautiful thing he’d ever come across, inside and out. He’s wondered his whole life when and where he’d meet the girl of his dreams when all he had to do was wait till a pointless war came along, him being shot to hell and blinded for him to meet her. God sure does move in mysterious ways.

Max wasn’t finding the whole thing quiet as funny as he had done previously. He didn’t like the way Kyle, the American was making ‘his Liz’ smile. His heart skydived when he saw the look on Liz’s face. A look that seemed to favour the heated attentions Kyle was showering her. Max shot Liz a look wanting to get her away from his tenacious grasp, desperately yearning to move toward Liz and wrap an arm intimately, protectively around her waist. Wanting to pull her snugly to his side to let this joker know that she was his and to back off.

“Is anyone going to share it with the rest of us?” The bitterness in Max’s voice was there for all to hear.

“He drove me here.” Was Liz’s flippant reply, Max was sure that his face must have looked red hot. What had happened between them? “How is that rickety old pile of rusty nails anyway?” she added.

“I’d love to say just the same if I could,” Kyle said, ignoring the pain pulsing through him. Liz was purposely not looking at Max and Kyle was the last person she wanted to see.

“It finally gave up the ghost then? I hate to say I told you so.” All Max saw was their interaction and it was setting his blood a blaze. What he didn’t sense, what he could see was that Liz seemed almost hostile towards Kyle because Liz was far from being happy to see Kyle in the ward, when she couldn't have been more happy to get away from him at this moment. This she didn’t need.

“Yes and no.” Kyle added, unable to take his eyes off of her. Blissfully unaware that Liz was not thriving on his affections one bit, Poor Kyle always the last to know on everything.

“Which is it?” Liz added while refilling the water jugs. Max wasn’t feeling more and more uncomfortable with this whole situation.

“Sadly I can’t say, I am without her so I can’t tell what state she’s in? I left her to deliver to the trenches and the next thing I know is I’m here- with you.” Liz was at a loss for words. He was chatty but things didn’t look too good for Kyle, from America. “Enough about that, when are we going on that date you promised me?”

Max continued to watch with jealousy and every time he caught Kyle casting an appreciative look her way, his shoulders straightened, knowing that there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. Although his mind told him over and over that it really was a hopeless cause, he wasn't ready to fully allow their relationship to venture forward at this point. And he knew that he wasn’t about to pass it over to someone else.

“I hardly think now is the time to discuss such things.” Liz answered, feeling Max’s eyes bearing into the back of her head and for the life of her she couldn’t understand why she was finding it so increasing difficult to look at him when she’d promised herself that she could handle it, that there was nothing there to handle. She had the overwhelming urge to tell Max that she wasn’t the least bit interested in Kyle. She decided against, fighting an eternal battle with herself.

“What harm can it do besides, by the feel of things I’m going to be here for a while,” Kyle added pleadingly. Liz raised her eyebrows. She was too tired for this.

“Hey I totally agree with her, now is definitely not the time.” Max suddenly added firmly. Liz shook her head again as she looked from Max to Kyle. What was occurring here? After scrutinizing Kyle, she returned her gaze to Max and added airily, "Time for the both of you to settle down don’t you think?"

“Was I even talking to you?” Kyle answered Max’s statement. There was on love lost between these two that was for sure. Liz never thought the mild manner boy from America would have it in him, no matter how annoying he maybe to her. Kyle wearily sat up. “Why the concern, do you want her all for yourself or something?” Kyle said joking. Liz caught her next intake of breath tight within her throat. She could feel everyone’s eyes on her as she dared to look upon Max. What would he say? The seconds ticked by painfully.

Finally.

“Yes.” Was Max’s sudden yet simple, totally unexpected reply back as all eyes now fell upon him and him alone, Max was in no doubt that.

What did he just say? Liz felt faint, needing to sit down. She’d tried to tell herself after their meeting last night that it was nothing, that they where nothing, that Max was nothing. She had to because they could never be. Max was looking for her eyes but Liz was refusing to meet them.

Was she angry with him? Was it wrong of him to suggest such a thing? he knew now was not the time. he couldn't help himself. He always had attracted the attention of women without even trying, he reminded himself ruefully. Past experiences told him this was true but with Liz it was different. She was different. She was acting as though he didn’t even exist. An uncontrollable wave of jealousy knocked him for six and he had to interrupt whatever was happening between Liz and Kyle, whatever way he could because Max was jealous. He was truly, madly, deeply jealous. That was another thing that had changed, he suddenly realized. He was jealous - jealous of any and all men who vied for Liz interest when jealously had never been a problem for Max.

“I do want her for myself as it happens.” Max even surprised himself with his confession. An enormous painted sign with the words ‘I love Liz Parker’ couldn’t have said it any better but he was no longer in control of his emotions.

“What?” was the collective reply back from everybody!

“Thankyou god,” Michael mouthed skyward. Maybe being shot in the ass was worthwhile after all? This looked like being fun. He stole a glace over at the petite blond who’d caught his eye earlier. He was dumbfounded that she wasn’t looking back at him, he was sure that he’d seen a look of ‘he’ll do nicely’ from her before? Why were women so confusing?

“Actually Liz holds my attention very nicely." Max was acting like a madman. He felt Liz’s eyes on him as he imagined squeezing her upper body to emphasize his point to Kyle, and feeling her shudder from under his touch. How could he do that when he couldn’t even move?

“Oh she does, does she?” Kyle butted in, ruining Max’s fantasy. “I saw her first and you my friend, are talking rubbish.”

“Yes, yes she does and I’m not your friend.” Max spat out bitterly, which was a lie because he liked the young fellow but this was Liz’s affection’s they were talking about and they were worth fighting for.

“Okay,” Kyle replied, with a glint in his eyes. He was riddled with pain but that all seemed to pass in that moment. “But it's a shame for a woman as gorgeous as Liz to be alone, besides you’re fair game aren’t you?”

Max saw Liz's face change somewhat, thinking the ultimate worst and not how it was; that she was taken by his comments and not that she was now barely tolerant of Kyle. Kyle looked confidently away. Getting wounded had given the boy from America courage. This still didn’t alter her feelings towards him. Her eyes narrowed as she watched him, and she looked back to Max and rolled her eyes.

"Fair game, what am I?" she muttered under her breath, she was amazed that the boy she had met before could say something as brash as that. Kyle’s body hurt like hell but he couldn't hide the grin that sprang to his lips.

"Well, you are rather attractive," he teased only half-joking. The pink in her cheeks heightened as she realized what she'd said.

"I didn't mean . . . I . . . Oh, my gosh." She moved a hand up to her mouth. Liz felt her colleagues glaring at her and she knew she had to do something quickly, “Stop it both of you this is a hospital not a schoolyard.” Liz added as she went to step towards Kyle.

“No wait,” Max suddenly poured out. “My leg hurts so much,” ignoring him she steeped closer to Kyle. “Liz I need you to come and mend me.”

Mend him what kind of a foolish thing to say was that? She wasn’t a doctor just the sweetest thing he’d ever encountered and hoped would be around to care for him forever. He was too afraid to confess that he was referring to her mending his soul. That would be foolish of him.

“No! Liz look, I need you more.” Kyle butted in. If Max had the power he’d get out of bed and knock seven bells out of that guy.

“I need you first.” Max yelled without thinking. This wasn’t helping the situation but he had to do something. Kyle went to answer him as Michael smiled a mischievous grin whilst opening his mouth to say something.

“Boys, boys!” Liz yelled unable to take very much more of this insanity.

Secretly she had to admit that she was warming to their affections, especially Max’s. Was he jealous? Her stomach tumbled. The ward was quieter now the wounded dealt with and it almost felt like all was well. What harm could a friendly bit of banter do?

She gently put her hands on her hips. “So who hurts the most?” She crossed her arms totally unsure about just how to take the whole situation and of what to do or say? In a strange kind of way she was beginning to like what was unfolding in front of her eyes. Nothing like that had ever happened to her before, the people back home wouldn’t believe that two men were capable of fighting over her. There was Daniel of course but he’d never put the spring in her step and the beat in her heart in all the time she’d known him. Not like Max.

In that moment she decided to play along rather than have the face what she already knew that she was falling for Maxwell Evans and that he was to be her first, her last, her everything. But that was insane and could never be.

“Me, me.” They both piped up together. Liz gushed.

“Hmm, which one of you is the least capable of looking after themselves?” her gently tapped her fingers on her upper arm.

“Oh please,” Tess muttered not enjoying that Little miss prim and proper, plain Liz Parker was getting all the attention and from Captain Maxwell Evans of all people. She really, really liked Liz but deep inside she seemingly liked Max more, was that wrong of her? She’d never tell of course. Why did men have to make things so difficult all the time?

“Me, me!” Both men repeated. Liz was finding it harder and harder not to laugh. Max looked so adorable.
The look that Isabel was giving her helped her not to succumb any further and she pushed herself confidently towards Kyle. This wasn’t funny anymore. She was trying her hardest to be upset with them, but it was obvious that she wasn't completely angry, or Max wouldn't have seen the softness in her features. Banking on that small chance that he could still turn this all around again, he gave her his most disarming smile.
She looked like she was going to disagree and continue their ‘discussion’, but after a split second, she carefully concealed her expression and stepped forward. Max watched her as she walked past him. Somehow she knew he still wanted an answer to his unasked question, but she wasn't about to give it to him, at least not now, if she’d give it at all? Some time was needed for her to collect her thoughts and put some distance between herself and Max how ever impossible that might sound.
Everything was too fresh and too raw, and she knew she'd say something she'd later regret if she answered him now but what was her answer? There was no answer. It was much safer to continue as normal, so that's just what she did.

“Max,” Her voice sounded from directly behind him. He froze. Abruptly, he looked up to face her, and all words fled from his mind. There was no way he was going to admit anything to her, especially not jealousy, but he had to say something. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out, so he closed it again. Her eyes varied in the emotion they displayed, first a hint of contention, but then a small mixture of curiosity blended with a little bit of ... anticipation? He couldn't quite tell.

“Kyle, you both win- I'll go get your papers and tell you your assigned nurses.” She blurted out. She had to get out of there. Lifting a stack of folders into her arms, she headed toward the door. "Are all of these going upstairs too?" she questioned towards Isabel.

“Yes.” Isabel quickly answered.

"Hey! I do that, besides I know exactly where everything is, " Tess piped in, her panic for all to see.

"I'm sure you do, pity no one else knows where to find anything." Maria added smartly.

“There's an order to everything…” Maria gently nudged her. She could sense that Isabel wanted Liz to go when Tess was not the brightest crayon in the box.

"Well, the sooner we get them done, the sooner we can do our jobs!" And Liz quickly turned on her heels. That drew everyone’s attention because that was so unlike her to act that way, so out of character. Just what was going on with her lately? Enquiring minds needed to know.

"Well I never did, what was that all about?” Tess butted in, totally confusion at why Liz had bit her head off? Maria saw Tess look towards the ward.

"Don't worry, I'll make sure the boys behave themselves so don’t you worry." Maria was showing signs that her mislead jealously towards Liz having been asked out by the doctor were subsiding and her friendship with Liz salvable besides there was no way that Maria would let Tess loose alone on the ward. She was a valued friend but a man-eater if ever she saw one.

“But I do the filing-,” Tess continued on.

“I think Liz should do it this time,” Isabel said, interrupting Tess mid flow, wanting her best nurse to have the opportunity to regain her thoughts. Isabel sensed that something was wrong with nurse Parker and made it her job to find out just what that something was later.

“Okay,” The facetiousness in Tess’ tone wasn't lost on them as she briskly walked to the far end the room, giving Max was side ward’s glance and beaming smile which totally missed by him as she passed.

Max was too busy watching Liz walking out the double doors. He couldn’t take his eyes off her, totally bemused with what was going on? Why was she acting this way? Could it be that she really did care for him? Then he smiled, either Liz wasn't as effected as he thought she was, or it was all an act, and she would say something and own up to him about her feelings later. Somehow, he hoped, no he knew it was the latter. Nevertheless he wasn't about to do anything to jeopardize that again. No, it was much easier to simply pass it off as concern for her involvement with the men she met in this line of work and nothing more. Liz was right not to response to his pointless advances. Liz Parker had a heart of gold and it was big enough to share with the entire world.

Sometimes as he watched her Max could sense that she was too trusting and that could lead to trouble if she wasn't careful, not from his or her own doing. She had a head on her and she was more than capable of taking take of herself but Max wanted that to be his job, to help keep her safe and that was the conclusion Max had come to for his reason for bring there, the reason why he’d gotten shot. Max hated the war but he was now somehow thankful to it. What started out as a small part of him enjoying the pipe dream of them together, had grown into a larger pipe, and he had to admit that protecting her was something he relished, in any capacity, if only he could get up and walk!

Max Evans was a frustrated man but there was something about Liz that kept him wanting to know more about her. At the same time had him keeping his distance. Max Evans was far from giving up on her. Liz Parker scared him by the way she was making him feel. Max had never felt anything this powerful for another human being before. He had family, he had friends; he even had a dog back home, Beth who he loved more than life itself. He’d never experienced anything like Liz Parker before and he was petrified.

He could talk himself out of the obvious till he was blue in the face when he knew he was interested and no longer fairly certain he was interested. I knew he was. He couldn't make a move yet especially after what had happened the night before and today. It was too early, and it would either scare her off or cause a problem in their newly found friendship and at that moment that meant more to Max anything in the world. It had to be cherished and nurtured. As far as they had already come, that wasn't even an option. No, he would take things slow for now, very slow. He still wasn't entirely sure of what he was feeling, so he needed time to explore those feelings and see where they led besides it was out of his hands. Let him dare forget that there was a war raging. He just hoped Liz would be patient enough to wait for him and give him a chance but also willing to explore and share her feelings with him. Max was a very intelligent young man he knew she had feelings for him, it was written all over her face and held deep within her eyes. If not… well he honestly didn't want that to be the case. His heart couldn’t take it.

After going around and around in his mind about the reasons why, Max convinced himself in the next few minutes that he could wait because he already knew in his heart of heart’s that they were meant to be and in time she’d see it too. See that she was the one, the only one for him. He just had to patient and prayed that she would come to see it too, soon. He’d have to prove how good they’d be together, how they were meant to be together. He’d find the words to say.
Praying also that she and she alone was his assigned nurse.

“So Maxwell what’s her story?” Was the cry from Michael and all Max could think of was what he was hoping for.

*~*

With one final glance back, Liz pulled the door closed behind her and breathed a deep sigh of relief, resting her free hand on the cool surface. She was shaking, finding it hard to breathe. She couldn’t believe that she’d blasted Tess like that when none of this was her fault. Guilt riddled Liz yet at the same time Liz felt alive, bright and suddenly happy, with her brain firing on all cylinders and her nerve endings tingling. What just happened? Where Max and she on the same wave length? She hadn’t felt this way- ever. If only she could manage to keep her feelings to herself. She had to for her own self-preservation. This just couldn’t happen; she couldn’t let herself fall in love with Max. She could deny it to herself but hiding if from others was proving impossible. Spending so much time alone with him was going to make that extremely difficult but that was her job, how could she not? She’d just have to try and let that be an end to it.

Of course, Max didn't exactly make it very easy, and at times, times that were occurring more frequently, she caught revealing looks in his eyes as he looked at her, in the brief seconds before he concealed them by looking away. If what she thought she was seeing was really what she was seeing, she might not be the only one who was struggling after everything that had been said, and things that hadn’t. Was Max finding it as difficult as she? Her legs threatened to fall from under her that thought alone strangely able to put an extra bounce to her step and a smile on her face. Was this possible? Could she have a relationship with Max?

“God help me do the right thing?” she whispered.

Then she began to let her head overcome her beating heart and she is standing rigidly with sweaty palms as beads break out on her forehead. What’s the right thing? This can never be and the knot of panic and confusion growing deep inside of her only got bigger and bigger with every passing second. Where was this all going to end? More to the point how could she change the assigned nurse’s if she was to be put with Max?

Afraid of the answer Liz mentally shook herself down and began hurrying down the corridor, an action that almost felt like she was walking into her destiny.







posted on 12-Jan-2003 5:20:49 PM by Lana Lane
AN I can't seem to edit this in after posting the part but any feedback you'd like to leave please do so. Please don't abandon this amazing story idea just because I can't seem to express myself with words properly. I'd leave Nicola and Jane (scifi) to write it for themselves if it meant it was read as I leave my first desperate bump for part 5

Edited just to say everyone has their doubts about their own abilities, me included. Pretty silly huh? Bi.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 6:28:51 AM ]
posted on 12-Jan-2003 10:07:34 PM by tyranese
Lana if I could whack some sense into you I gladly would. What is wrong with you? Why will you not let yourself have praise, huh? You ARE SO a good writer and these past two parts prove that. Please don't let me read you being modest about your writing ever again! I'm sure everyone else who is reading this story agree's with me. You are doing an awesome job!! I love what your imput on this story is! *bounce*


~nicola
posted on 12-Jan-2003 11:55:57 PM by roswellluver
Too bad Kyle had to show up and be so fixated on Liz! Thanks for wriitng!
posted on 13-Jan-2003 3:01:04 AM by jeremiah
Lana! Nicola is so right1 You are a EXCELLENT Writer! please dont put yourself down! I LOVE THIS! Please continue!
posted on 13-Jan-2003 5:20:44 AM by Lana Lane
Thankyou for the feedback that was left, it mean so much to me. Nicola (I consider myself well and truly talked to. I can't find the words to thankYOU enough), roswellluver (all stories need a bit of spicing up and I'm glad your still here enjoying it) and Jeremiah (your kind words and support never seize to amaze me. You rock)

Desperate bump #2 for part 5

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 6:36:35 AM ]
posted on 13-Jan-2003 3:43:45 PM by marteloise
great great parts!!
love how max got all jealous..lol
can''t wait for more!!
thanks for the update *big**big*
posted on 13-Jan-2003 6:52:36 PM by carolina_moon
Hehe, I love how Max and Kyle were fighting for Liz's attention! It was so gorgeous*big*
posted on 13-Jan-2003 8:43:21 PM by tyranese
Jane is supposed to have written this part, but next one will have to be hers...neither me nor lana are updating again until she has! Jane! We want a part from you next OKAY?!!!

CHAPTER FIVE

Running through the forest as fast as he could, Max didn’t think his legs could carry him far enough away from the rain of bullets set on killing him and his men. Tree branches, bushes, and flax, whipped at his face, his chest, his arm and legs stinging him. His skin felt on fire, his face scorched.

“GO! GO! GO!” He screamed at his men. Tripping over a root sticking out of the ground Max rolled along the earth coming to stop in front of one of the enemies. He looked up at him and the malicious sinister rival looked down on him. He started screaming something in German, aiming his gun at Max’s head, his sole focus to eradicate him. Max’s heart thundered in his chest, doubling, tripling its pragmatic speed.

Abruptly there were three swift, unexpected whizzing bullets behind him and hit the enemy in the leg, the back, and then finally the head. Staring up at him, Max saw the gloomy realization of the end cross over the man’s eyes; he saw an existence flash in the foreigner’s eyes. For that split second before he buckled, Max saw the man as who he was other then the opponent. Trembling to the core, feeling his body freeze with terror, Max barely heard his friend calling and pulling on him.

“Captain! Captain!” Michael grabbed his arms helping him up. “Let’s go, let’s go!” He exclaimed.
He couldn’t move, couldn’t think, at least not about anything but death.

“Captain! Captain!”

Tess shook her patient, noticing the buckets of sweat dripping from his body. She put her hand on his forehead. “CAPTAIN!” She cried. “Wake up!”

Max sprung up on the bed, panting furiously, his legs aching from running. “ARGH!!!!!” He screamed. “STOP!!”

On the other side of the ward Liz looked up from her patient and ran over. “What’s going on here?” She yelled. “Tess what are you doing?!”

“I’m not doing anything!” She yelled back.

“STOP!” Liz YANKED Tess’ hands off Max and yelled, “Don’t touch him! Can’t you see you’re hurting him?”

“I wasn’t doing anything! I didn’t touch him,” Tess cried.

“What is going on here?” Isabel’s relentless, strict voice demanded as she approached them. “I demand to know what could be so vital as to disturb the sleep of every man in this ward. Both of you, stop, think and get a control of yourselves for heavens sake. I have every right to send you back to the States!”

Liz sucked in a deep breath and stepped back. What on earth had she just done? What had come over her? “I apologize,” she said. “Tess was not at fault, I am the cause for the disturbance Isabel and I very sorry.”

“So you should be,” Isabel said. “Liz, this is not your patient I suggest you leave Tess be. She knows what’s she’s doing.”

“I know,” Liz mumbled. “I’m sorry.” She dared a glance at Max who was lying back with his head in his hands breathing heavily and sweating feverishly. She wanted so much to reach out and touch him, to make sure he was okay but they were right—he was not hers. She had no right. Looking away and clenching her jaw she apologized once more before walking away dismally.

Liz!”

The most unforeseen called her back. She froze in mid-step.

Max revealed his eyes. “I’m fine,” he said.

She turned around and looked at him. He stared intently into her eyes; he was telling her what she needed to know with his gaze. “I’m fine,” he repeated. “I’m fine.” As if he knew exactly why she needed to know.

She nodded, her breath catching in her throat. Looking away from him she walked from the ward, running to her room when she was out of their view. Throwing herself against her door, she felt tears burn her eyes. What was happening to her? She was never this amateurish. She spent half an hour calming down before she returned to the ward.

Maria came to her when she was in the linen cupboard. “Are you okay?” She asked. “You look so sad. Do you miss home?”

Nodding Liz whispered, “I miss home, I’m so confused.”

“This is so unlike you, you’re usually so collected. Maybe you should take the rest of the day off?” She asked.

“I can’t, I’m needed,” she said. Liz avoided Tess for the rest of the day, also Max, but for an entirely diverse motive.

Max Evans was a fascination, and nothing more. He had nothing to offer her; he was a Captain in the army for heavens sake. As soon as he was restored to full health he would be going back to the front to fight. She would never see him again.

It was not safe to fall in love with him. She needed someone who could offer her constancy and fortification. She needed someone that she wouldn’t have to worry about being killed in a hundred different horrific ways before this war was over. She had to keep her mind off him.

There was only one thing she could think of doing to help:

She went to the Doctor.

Anything to help herself from being hurt in the end, as she was certain she would be with Max Evans.

……

The sunshine warmed the back of Max’s neck in the familiar way that reminded him of the times at home when he would sit with his father in the garden. They would drink cold beer and talk, mostly about work. His father wasn’t an affectionate man; Max suspected it was because his father, Max’s grandfather, hadn’t been either.

That’s why he had treasured those moments they had together especially.

Now that he could move around in a wheel chair, he was spending a lot of time outside on the balcony. He was glad some of his men were here to share this ward with him…that meant he could stop worrying about them.

“Look at him,” Kyle said tugging Max out of his daze. He turned to look at the American volunteer who was gradually becoming one of his friends, despite his constant flares of jealousy when Liz would go near him. He knew that Liz saw nothing in Kyle and that she just didn’t want to hurt his feelings. No ones but his, he thought sourly. “He’s good-looking, he’s Italian, he’s a doctor—we never stood a chance.”

Max grudgingly leaned over the railing on the balcony and stared down at the road below. His Liz, his handsome, amiable, witty, American girl was being swept away by some man that was not him. It affected him deeply, making his bones grind together and his heart beat haphazardly. His abdomen churned with nausea and his eyes grew shadowy.

“It’ll never work,” Kyle continued. “I mean he’s ancient! He has to be nearly forty.”

Elizabeth made herself comfortable in the doctors automobile and shot a quick look at the hospital before the engine revved to life. A movement above her made her glance up to the balcony where she observed Kyle and Max gawking down at her. She caught a pair of angry, hurt eyes belonging to Captain Evans and bit her lip to keep from groaning at the despair she encountered.

“Ready?” Dr. Domenico Caracciolo asked.

She looked away from the balcony and smiled at the Doctor. “Of course, drive away,” she said.

She was quiet throughout the short journey, her eyes absentmindedly watching the scenery they passed. What she had been certain was the right thing suddenly didn’t seem such a good idea. Who was she to brawl against what the cosmos had premeditated for her? Because that’s what it felt like, she was rebelling against what was intended for her.

She got so troubled she groaned out loud into the humid country air. Hoping the Doctor hadn’t noticed, she glanced at him. He was talking, he hadn’t heard. No one heard, no one saw, no one knew. What was she going to do? What had she gotten herself into?

“Liz? Are you listening to me?”

“Of course, I’m sorry I’m just a little distracted. What did you say?”

He asked her what her views were on the war. “I imagine they are very articulate, you have proven yourself to be a very complex creature.” He smiled.

Liz smiled back. “Thank you,” she said. “Although I’m positive you’ve got me wholly accurate. I don’t have a great deal of interest in the war; I think it is a waste of life. I am illiterate on its causes but from what I do know, I believe it is a bundle of men trying to gain more authority over one another. They are slaughtering each other to get to the top, leaving us nurses to clean up after them. But who will be left to accompany the most powerful in his victory?”

What was she doing? How could she be here acting like she was enjoying herself when all she was doing was thinking of another. Tell him! Her heart screamed. She wanted to go back to the hospital and ring the hurt out of Max’s eyes. Tell him! That her heart was in her extended hand and it was only for him. That the sun and moon rise in his eyes. That she wanted to feel his pulse against her lips when she whispered sweet nothings to him. She was convinced that the truth would set her free and she would have what was meant to be. She didn’t know if she could endure Max leaving the hospital when she had so much to say. She wanted to reach out to him, to whisper tender words that were soft and sweet.

“Sounds like you are talking about Germany,” the doctor said.

“The Red Cross doesn’t take sides,” Liz replied. “That’s one of the reasons I joined. What I really want is to be working next to the surgical crews working at the front.”

“That’s a very dangerous place to be,” he said.

Liz shrugged. “I know, but that’s my desire.”

……

Max wheeled himself around the ward collecting money off his soldiers, some not his soldiers. Everyone contributed by putting a coin in the metal cup he had clutched to his chest.

“What are you doing?”

Spinning around, Max discovered Nurse Deluca standing with her hands on her hips, staring at him crossly. “Hi Maria! You look beautiful today. That grey nurse uniform really does wonders for your figure. You’re practically a shinning angel.”

Maria snorted. “Okay enough is enough, what do you want?”

“I was wondering if you could somehow get your hands on some brandy for my men, you see we are all having a hard time being stuck in here all day and—”

“No.” Maria started walking away.

“Maria!” Michael called. “Please? Isabel will never know. It’s to help us relax; we’ll be more helpful patients if you do.”

Looking around the ward, Maria could see all the soldiers nodding their head in agreement. She tried to keep the smile off her lips.

“You see,” Max said wheeling himself after her. “You’re our favorite nurse and—”

Quietly Maria whispered, “What about Liz?”

Max looked at her in shock, swallowing nervously he opened his mouth—

“Look,” she said more loudly. “If I do this for you, you all have to be good little soldiers?”

Everyone nodded and let out cheers of agreement.

She smiled. “Fine, give me the damn money but if you do so much as one bad thi—”

“Thank you Maria!” Michael and Max called in unison. Michael added, “If I could kiss you I would—”

“There will be none of that,” Isabel said entering the ward. Maria quickly tipped the coins into the pocket on her apron and scuttled away.

Liz walked in the entrance to the ward tying her apron, making Max look in her direction. Maria stopped to talk to her. “How’d it go?” she asked.

“He’s all yours,” Liz whispered back. Tess was sitting in the office and when she came out Liz went and apologized to her for her performance yesterday. “I don’t know what came over me,” she said.

“I do,” Tess whispered her eyes flashing. She smiled, winked and walked away shaking her hips and ass to emphasize her point. Liz turned bright red, maybe someone did see.

……

Dear mother and father,
Italy is by far the most beautiful country! I just wish I could enjoy it more instead of focusing my thoughts on one thing. More like one person actually. I need your help…


“Hello.”

Liz looked up from the desk in her quarters and nearly fell off her chair when she discovered who was next to her.

“Max? What are you doing here?” She felt her cheeks flush. How had he managed to sneak in on that wheel chair, carrying himself with such quiet? He was smiling.

“Who are you writing to?” He asked curiously leaning forward to look at the letter.

Liz snatched the paper up, opening her desk draw and shoving it inside before he could look. “I don’t think that’s any of your concern,” she said breathlessly.

His smile faded. “Maybe it’s Kyle’s concern then, or maybe the Doctors?”

Liz gasped in surprise by what he had said. “It’s no ones concern other then mine and the people who get it.”

“People?” Max asked. “Oh, so you’re writing to your parents.”

How did he do that?

His eyes shined. Quietly, shyly, he asked, “How was the big date?”

Liz got up from her chair and walked to the door, holding it open she said, “I think you should leave.”

“Liz?” He asked softly. “Do you really want me to, or am I the only one who—”

Liz stopped him before he could say anymore. “Please stop, don’t say anymore. I can’t be having this discussion with you.”

“You can’t or you’re too afraid to?” He asked lovingly. His eyes were so warm. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to bother you. I’ll leave you alone to get back to your letter.”

He headed for the door but Liz sighed. “No, wait,” she whispered.

He turned his face to her. “Yes?”

“I just…this isn’t the right time,” she said. “This isn’t the right life, any other time maybe but, you must understand.”

“You’ll forgive my ignorance on this one circumstance, for I don’t understand at all,” he replied. He continued towards the door. “Have a good evening.”

……

“You’re doing marvelously, try again…great!”

Turning her head, Liz looked out the window down onto the small courtyard. Tess was helping Max with his first walking attempt, he was using crutches and wobbling everywhere like a new born calf with broken legs. She smiled to herself and watched him as he hopped around.

Opening the window, she called out to them, “Tess, it’s time for your lunch break! Do you want me to take over?”

They both looked up at her. “Okay, Liz if you want to!” Tess called back. Liz practically sprinted down the stairs and out the side door. Tess grinned at her when she got there. Max had his arm around Tess’ waist to help him stand and she stepped away, looping his arm around Liz.

“I’ll see you later,” she said.

When she looked away from Tess she noticed Max was staring at her. “What?” she asked blushing.

“Nothing,” he answered quietly. “Look,” he said, “watch.” He let go of her and walked along with his crutches, he was wobbly but it was a big improvement. Suddenly his leg buckled and Liz grabbed him before he fell.

“Very well done, Captain,” she said saluting him. “But maybe”—she tried to keep from laughing at the look on his face—“you should stop practicing so you don’t have to go back to the front too soon.”

“Right, good idea…” he replied. “Who would want to leave here anyway? Beautiful nurses and...” he paused. “Beautiful nurses…”

Liz smiled. “Anyone in particular you’re taking about?”

Max’s eyes darkened. “Yes, there’s this one young lady,” he said. “She’s oblivious of herself, it’s maddening but one of her most appealing qualities.” He leaned his head towards hers; his eyes staring unblinking into hers. Before covering her mouth with his he whispered, “Liz is her name…”

Liz closed her eyes and sighed against his mouth. It was too much, she wouldn’t make it. His tongue brushing against hers was such an incredible feeling she let out a loud groan. His fingers wrapped around her neck, urging her closer…

A bang to their left broke them apart, panting into one another’s faces they stared at each other. “This is wrong,” she whispered.

“It’s the only thing that’s right,” Max argued.

……

“Major General Gray!”

“Captain Evans! It’s good to see you,” he said. “You’re healing quite well, I hear. I’m here to give you your medal of valor, A Victoria cross, the highest medal of valor available! You’ve also been promoted to a major.”

Max was shocked.

“The higher up you go the further you go from the front.”

“Don’t want to be away from the action, sir,” he said, saluting him.

“Of course, you wouldn’t. If we had more soldiers like you we would have ended this war a long time ago.”

Everyone gathered outside, including the nurses to watch Max be rewarded his medal. He had to be dressed up in his uniform; Liz thought he looked breathtakingly handsome.

Major General Gray spoke, “The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest award. Established in February 1856 by Queen Victoria, the medal is awarded for "most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour, self sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. A total of 633 members of the armed forces have been awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. Of these, 187 had been killed during their act of heroism.”

Liz felt her heart swell with pride. She had never been so proud of someone in her whole life. She felt tears sting her eyes. What was she going to do with herself when he was gone?

After photo’s had been taken for the newspaper Michael approached Max to congratulate him.

“You know I owe you my life,” Michael said.

“Salute your commanding Major, Private,” Major General Gray said.

Max smiled.

Michael saluted Max. “Well done sir.”

“At ease private,” Max said. “And thank you.”

“This means we’ll have a new warrant officer in the trenches with us?” Michael asked.

“Not if I can help it,” Max answered. “I’ll turn down my promotion before I let that happen. I refuse to be away from my men.”

“Well done,” Major General Gray said. “Well done, you’ll be a General yet.”

“Got to make it to Lieutenant Colonel first,” Liz added. They all looked at her surprised. “Or have I got it wrong?”

“You’re right,” Max said.

She smiled, “Thought so.” She shook the Major General’s hand and introduced herself.

“How did you like the ceremony of Major Evans getting his medal?” He asked.

“Not just any medal! Britain's highest award!” She exclaimed.

“Major, your nurse is very…proud of you.”

Max wanted to hug her.

“I better be going…” Liz said blushing. “I have work to do. It was nice meeting you sir.”

She caught Max’s smiling eyes when she walked away.

...

Here's a picture of Max's medal if anyone would like to see it:
Mvic

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Jan-2003 8:47:58 PM ]
posted on 13-Jan-2003 10:10:52 PM by kiwigirl
This is so good I can't wait till the next part don't take to long

bump

*angel**bounce**angel*
posted on 13-Jan-2003 11:02:12 PM by carolina_moon
Damn! I'd bet he does look handsome in that uniform!!!!*big**bounce*
posted on 13-Jan-2003 11:05:44 PM by Eccentric One
Yes!!! *bounce* They kissed!!!

But now that Max is recovering so well, is he going to have to leave the hospital soon? How will both of them handle that? Max has pretty much already declared his feelings - although I'd love to see him declare them in full. But how much in denial is Liz still? She's getting there, but I think she is still fighting it.

How close are we to the end of the war? Perhaps the fighting will cease before Max is fully healed? Or will Liz get her wish to go to the front and join Max there? I know there are tons of locations along "the front" but could fate put them at the same place?

Has anybody been in contact with Jane? I fear if she is still MIA and neither Nicola nor Lana will update until Jane does that it could be a long time before this story gets updated. And that's just wrong. Somebody please put my mind at ease.

Kara
posted on 14-Jan-2003 12:03:34 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Woohoo! They kissed. *happy*

So Max is getting better...and...and...wouldn't that mean him leaving? Oh and plus he got promoted. There would be pain for both of them. That would be sad. And what's going to happen after that? After he leaves her?

I still can't believe that Liz went out with that Doctor. I mean seriously as Kyle said he's old. And why would Maria like him anyway?

Soldiers and brandy. It's kinda funny the soldiers making Maria sneak some for them. *big*

Great part, Nicola. So Jane please please post the next part soon so then Nicola and Lana can post. I can't wait and neither can anybody else. So come back soon with more.

-Justine
posted on 14-Jan-2003 1:35:02 AM by roswellluver
Drat, sounds like Max (and maybe Liz too) is headed back to the front soon! Thanks for wriitng!
posted on 14-Jan-2003 5:16:38 PM by the better twin
I missed the last part! but Max and Kyle fighting for Liz was too funny. post more soon!
posted on 14-Jan-2003 6:10:59 PM by Lana Lane
-sigh-. I couldn't have said it any better myself Nicola, not by a long, long way.

I had no idea that you were posting something new so soon. Dare I say that it knocked me for six when I saw it? What an absolute treat you gave us and I can't stop myself from smiling It was perfect, just perfect in every single way and just how I imaged it should go. Truly amazing and how much did I love the introduction of the metal? I'd have never have thought of that, have you got a Max in uniform stashed away too? Yum me. Please excuse the gushing but I'm truly, madly, deeply in love with this story and it's not just because I have a part in the proceedings. It's because it's an incredible idea that's just going to run and run. I can't thankyou enough, and Jane, if your out there girl? I hope you're okay and please post more soon. My first desperate bump for part 6

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Jan-2003 6:13:16 PM ]
posted on 14-Jan-2003 7:35:56 PM by frenchkiss70
Did I really miss three parts?
Lana, your parts were breathtaking. I loved every words you wrote, everything was perfect. Awesome job.
Nicola, wonderful part, they finally kissed*bounce* And Max recieved the Victoria Cross and was promoted. Wow!
I can't wait for more*bounce*
posted on 15-Jan-2003 4:01:35 AM by Lana Lane
bumpity bump bump bump
posted on 15-Jan-2003 10:57:55 AM by marteloise
they kissed !!!*bounce**bounce*
great part !!!
thanks for the update!!
posted on 17-Jan-2003 12:04:50 PM by Lana Lane
Shamelessly bumping so Jane (scifi) can read it. please post more soon
posted on 19-Jan-2003 1:05:30 AM by Lattegirl
*angel*BUMP*angel*
posted on 19-Jan-2003 11:48:27 AM by PSW2001
Please post more soon!!

BUMP!*bounce*
posted on 19-Jan-2003 4:49:51 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
BUMP.
posted on 19-Jan-2003 7:25:50 PM by kittens
Already planning sending them back where they can be injured again.
They should send them to the non-life threatening areas to recoop first, geesh.
posted on 19-Jan-2003 7:28:25 PM by kittens
Already planning sending them back where they can be injured again.
They should send them to non-life threatening areas to recoop first, geesh.

And do they really have time to be doing the angst thing??
posted on 20-Jan-2003 4:44:01 AM by Lana Lane
Bumping for Jane to see, please post more soon and kudos so much for all the bumps and feedback. It's very much appreciated by all 3 of us.
posted on 20-Jan-2003 5:17:19 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
BUMP.
posted on 20-Jan-2003 11:55:24 PM by Lattegirl
*angel*BUMP*angel*
posted on 21-Jan-2003 9:01:45 PM by kiwigirl
I said don't take to long. lol

bump*bounce*bump

*bounce*bump*bounce*
posted on 22-Jan-2003 7:08:42 AM by frenchkiss70
Bump*bounce*Bump*bounce*Bump
posted on 22-Jan-2003 8:02:39 AM by marteloise
BUMP!!!
posted on 26-Jan-2003 7:00:20 AM by Lana Lane
bumples Jane please come back and post something soon.
posted on 26-Jan-2003 9:01:34 AM by PSW2001
BUMP!*bounce* BUMP!*bounce*

*bounce*BUMP!*bounce*

BUMP!*bounce* BUMP!*bounce*
posted on 26-Jan-2003 1:24:57 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
BUMP!!!!
posted on 26-Jan-2003 9:04:04 PM by destinyrebel
Just got all caught up and wow... Amazing fic, you know, if I was to only say the least... Love the idea behind this... Great choice.
Anyway, I need more... I want to know what happens with Max and Liz and Michael and Maria, too... Everyone, really... So, hurry!

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 27-Jan-2003 12:52:37 AM by tyranese
BUMP!!!! *sad*
posted on 27-Jan-2003 2:25:33 AM by destinyrebel
B
U
M
P
!
!
!

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 27-Jan-2003 3:46:28 PM by destinyrebel
BUMPING!!!
I really, really want more... *wink* Can you tell?

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 27-Jan-2003 4:33:48 PM by tyranese
yes I can tell destinyrebel! I'm working on it right now okay? Thank you for the support
posted on 27-Jan-2003 4:42:32 PM by destinyrebel
Are you kidding? You've got to be kidding?
That is amazing news! I can't wait! Haha!!! Yay!!!

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 27-Jan-2003 8:42:56 PM by pure dreamer
So far, this is very, very sweet. Thank you for writing. *angel*
posted on 29-Jan-2003 9:52:39 PM by Lana Lane
quote:
tyranese originally wrote:
I'm working on it right now

Just the best news ever so you go, I go? Sounds like a plan please hurry back soon Nicola and cover us all in happiness
posted on 29-Jan-2003 10:09:16 PM by jeremiah
Bumping!
posted on 30-Jan-2003 12:03:47 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Woohoo. Nicola gonna get us new part. What happen to scifi? I thought you guys weren't gonna post a new part till she does. Anywhoo, just happy.

Waiting....*happy*

-Justine
posted on 30-Jan-2003 12:26:03 AM by destinyrebel
BuMpInG aNd StIlL wAiTiNg...!

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 30-Jan-2003 3:01:51 AM by Lattegirl
*angel*BUMP*angel*
posted on 30-Jan-2003 3:23:21 AM by tyranese
Shortest part I've ever written but I had to post something or it would bother me through the weekend. Scifi seems to have disappeared again so we have no choice but to continue on. Enjoy!
sorry it's a bit angsty and sad...

CHAPTER SIX
“I used to stare at the stars from my balcony at home. I learnt all about the constellations.”

Max’s head shot around when he heard Liz’s voice. She stood with her arms wrapped around her chest, looking at him shyly. “You shouldn’t really be sitting out here this late,” she added.

“It’s not as monotonous out here as it is in there,” he replied. He motioned her over and she hesitantly sat down on the bench next to him.

“Can I ask you a question?” she said.

“Of course.”

“What’s the battle like?” she swallowed, unsure. “I mean…you hear stories but, is it as…”

“Gruesome?” Max offered. “Yes, worse.”

She could tell he was having a hard time talking about it all. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have—”

He cut her off, “I need to talk about it.” He stared into her eyes unblinkingly, as if he was afraid he would miss something. “If you’re willing to listen.”

“I am,” she said. She wanted to put her hand on his arm to ease the dreadfulness in his eyes but she was afraid that he would take it the wrong way. She folded her hands on her lap, crossing her feet under her chair. “Tell me what you want.”

He slid across the seat further away from her and then slumped back gloomily. Liz sensed he couldn’t touch her while he spoke. Not didn’t want to, couldn’t. She didn’t know what to stare at, his profound stirring eyes, which made her breath catch in her throat, or his well-formed, soft, sensual lips. His body appeared tight and stiff but he was large and masculine sitting adjacent to her. He was impossibly handsome, even in his pyjamas.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” he said quietly. He wouldn’t catch her eyes. “I’m still reeling.”

“Of course you are I haven’t met a single soldier that isn’t in some way still trying to deal with what they’ve seen.” She didn’t know if that was the right thing to say but she wanted to do something to make the pain in his eyes fade away.

He slid back across the seat and put his hand on her knee. “Stop talking to me like you’re a nurse.”

She stared at him puzzled. “I am a nurse.”

“You know what I mean,” he spoke softly. “Liz can I—?” He brushed the hair off her forehead and leaned his face closer to hers. Abruptly, she turned away.

“Max I can’t,” she said. “Please don’t. I can’t get involved with you, you have to understand. You’re going back to the war, men die in war. I can’t get hurt like I know I would.”

“Are you certain of my death?” he asked slightly irritably. Hadn’t they been through this? Weren’t they done pondering?

“No, I’m…even if you don’t die you’ll be gone,” she answered. “No one knows how long this war will go on.”

“Liz,” he said. “Look at me.”

“I can’t.”

“Look at me,” he repeated, taking her face in his hands again. “I’ve been in trenches caked in mud for two years. I’ve seen men under my command, and others, go over the top and be showered with bullets, their brains spraying over my uniform”—he noticed her grimace—“I am a soldier in the British army, I’m not an Italian doctor, I’m not a lawyer in your America. You’re right I could die a thousand different ways to Sunday but if I have minutes left, and not good minutes, I want to spend them with you. Knowing I have you. It’s crazy but please, take pity on a worthless soldier down on his knees.” He pressed his mouth to hers but she yanked away from him.

“You aren’t a worthless soldier, Max,” she said panting slightly. “You are one of the strong ones. You don’t need me. I’ve seen what my friends go through, the worrying, and the constant nerve-raking torment for their soldiers’ lives. I can’t do it; I’m too small to carry another life on my soldiers.”

Max took her hands in his. “Don’t you feel the same way about me?” He heart footsteps walking around the ward and lowered his voice to a harsh whisper. “Liz I’m falling in love with you. Don’t be startled, please.” When he had kissed her he had been filled with an immense sensation of bliss because he thought she had finally given into him. What had happened between then and now to change her mind about getting involved with him? Something had happened and he was going to find out what.

Liz felt her eyes sting.

“I can tell you feel the same way.” He let go of her hands and cupped her cheeks again. “You can’t just pretend it’s not there. The hurt, it’s an angry inevitable fiend. I’ve never felt this before—”

“Stop!” Liz cried wiping the tears from her eyes. “I know all of what you’re saying, but if I stay away now I can stop any hurt in the future.”

“What about right now?” He asked loudly. “Liz please don’t deny what me or you what our hearts are so unashamedly crying!”

“You have no idea what my heart believes,” she retorted.

Max let go of her and slumped back dejectedly. “Liz I’m going to ask you for the last time—”

“And I’m going to tell you for the last time,” she said sadly.

“But you kissed me back,” he said at a complete loss.

She came back with, “I was wrapped up in the moment.”

“So if I do it again, you’ll—“

“Liz? What are you doing out here? Kyle’s asking for you.” Isabel walked out onto the balcony and put her hands on her hips. “Liz are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Liz replied wiping her eyes quickly. “What did Kyle want?”

“Feeding, I think,” Isabel answered. “Major, don’t you think you should be resting?”

Max ignored her, not tearing his gaze away from Liz. Isabel took the hint and left.

“Liz…”

She stood up and brushed her apron with her hands. “I have to go tend to my patient,” she said dismissing him. “We’re finished aren’t we?”

“Apparently.”

She walked to the doors and heard him mutter, “To him you go. To him you serve.”

Liz went to Kyle, trying to keep from bursting into tears. “What would you like?” she asked quietly. “What can I do for you?” Maybe if she buried herself in work she could hide the burning hurt in her heart.

“Will you feed me?” he asked. “I’m starving.”

“Your hands still broke?” she asked faking a smile.

“It hurts to move,” he said, obviously lying just so she would stay near him. She sighed and said she’d be right back. On her way back to the bed she noticed Max come in from the balcony on his wheel chair and wheel himself over to his bed. Someone had to lend a hand to get him up, she looked around but there was no one. Maria was writing a letter for Alex whose hands were burnt and all the other nurses had gone to bed.

She put the food next to Kyle and went to aid Max, her heart beating rapidly.

“I don’t need your help,” he said to her sourly.

“You do so,” she replied.

“I do not,” he repeated louder, angrier. “Why don’t you get Tess? My nurse. I want her to help me.”

Liz felt like a thousand knives were stabbing her all over her body. Her eyes filled up but she didn’t want him to know it so she looked away and covered her mouth with her hand to keep from groaning in agony.

Max instantly regretted what he said, seeing her whole face crumble. He could see the tears in her eyes. “Liz I’m—”

She let go of his arm and walked out of the ward as quickly as her legs would take her, running the last few feet.

“Liz?” Kyle yelled after her. “Where is she going? What about my food?”

“Leave her alone,” Max said grumpily.

“Like you can talk, what did you say to her you bastard?”

“Boys!” Maria cried. “Stop! Kyle I’ll feed you in a moment.” She helped Max onto his bed and fluffed his pillows. “Whatever are you two going to do?” she whispered.

“Excuse me?” Max asked.

She shot him a knowing look and then went to help Kyle.

…….

Lying down on her bed, Liz buried her face in her pillow to try and block out some of her heart-wrenching sobs. Her body shook with her blubbering and she clenched her fists on her blankets. Why wouldn’t the hurting stop?

With one uncouth sentence Major Max Evans had shredded her heart into tiny pieces and she couldn’t bring herself to hate him for it. For the last week she had been floating in seventh-heaven because of their kiss, but that was only until a letter from her mother had arrived yesterday. She had never been the type of daughter to withhold information from her mother so when she wrote to her last she informed her of her situation completely. She had told her she was falling in love with a soldier but she was terrified of being hurt. That was before the kiss, but her mother’s words had hit her hard.

Nancy had said to guard her heart at all costs and stay away if she didn’t want to get hurt. A relationship with a soldier could never become anything and she shouldn’t waste her time. If it hadn’t been for that letter she never would have turned Max down this evening.

Liz sat up and wiped her eyes sadly. What a mess her heart was in, what a dilemma, what a pickle. She got up off the bed and walked over to her dresser, where she poured some water from her jug into the bowel she washed her face in. She dipped her face under the water and dabbed her eyes, fixed her hair and headed for the door. Life had to go on, she couldn’t just stay in her room crying over her misfortune. Wouldn’t it be wonderful in the war just ended and she could be with him?

She headed towards the ward, clenching her fists, she wouldn’t look his way. She would feed Kyle and finish her duties but she would not acknowledge Max Evans. He had made it very clear he didn’t want her if she didn’t want him.

Maria was sitting next to Kyle and Liz relieved her, stealing her seat. She ignored Maria’s sympathetic eyes as she walked away.

“Do you believe in miracles Liz?” Kyle asked.

Liz looked towards him miserably. “Not today,” she whispered.

posted on 30-Jan-2003 3:37:27 AM by frenchkiss70
*sad**sad**sad**sad**sad**sad*
That was so heartwrenching. Why is Liz being so stubborn? Why did she listen to her mother and not to her heart? Nancy is not my favorite person right now.
And even if I understand Max's reaction was a knee jerk, it hurted*sad*
Things are so complicated betwen them.
I hope you'll be able to fix this*happy*
Please post more soon*angel*
posted on 30-Jan-2003 3:49:07 AM by Lana Lane
quote:
tyranese originally wrote:
sorry it's a bit angsty and sad...

oh god dare I read on after the new part of the talented miss parker has completed me? How can I not, it will bug me all day if I don't. I'm so happy that you found the time to post something. Back in a min, just composing myself.


posted on 30-Jan-2003 4:04:13 AM by Lana Lane
quote:
tyranese originally wrote:


“Do you believe in miracles Liz?” Kyle asked.

Liz looked towards him miserably. “Not today,” she whispered.

Maybe not today, maybe tomorrow instead? Or the day after? Can't she see that Max is *her miracle?* That was amazing Nicola and it's a miracle to me that you need to co write this story at all? My heart is breaking for them why is the simplest of things always the hardest to see? I'm praying that Liz dare open her eyes soon but I can't see that happening with Nancy being like she is? Liz is so stubborn and Max isn't helping. Another possible situation. I've found my place with this story I'll do the transional while you do the bigger, better stuff Nicola. You too Scifi, please come back soon just so we know you're okay if nothing else. Fantastic work Nicola and kudos for posting.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Jan-2003 4:06:39 AM ]
posted on 30-Jan-2003 9:14:50 AM by PSW2001
Nancy's advise just made both Max and Liz sad. Will Liz change her mind? Will Max leave soon? Please post next part soon.
posted on 30-Jan-2003 10:22:12 AM by angelbehr
I hope Liz's resolve crumbles soon!!!!

~Ang~
posted on 30-Jan-2003 2:59:46 PM by roswellluver
Liz needs a pep talk on seizing the day, not guarding her heart! Thanks for wriitng!
posted on 30-Jan-2003 3:02:12 PM by marteloise
really hope that liz won't continue to follow her mother's advice..
alala... it's so complicated ! ! !
thanks so much for the update!!!
posted on 30-Jan-2003 11:23:37 PM by dreamforever88
This is really, really, really good. I just caught up with all the parts, and am hooked.

Please, please post more soon.

posted on 30-Jan-2003 11:46:14 PM by carolina_moon
Who listens to their mother anyway? Stop giving excuses and go for it will you!?!*wink*
posted on 31-Jan-2003 12:15:11 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Oh, man was that sad or what? Heart-breaking and both heart-broken. Hope things clear up soon. Thanks for posting Nicola. *happy* Can't wait for the next part. Post more soon.

-Justine
posted on 31-Jan-2003 1:33:28 AM by Lattegirl
..................did you hear that? that was the sound of my heart breaking for Liz. & Max I know she hurt you but Tess? I mean really urg that was so low. He had better redeem himself & quickly!!!! but nicola you are a godsend thank you so much for updating!!!!! I loved this part angst & all, it was FABULOUS like always.
posted on 31-Jan-2003 4:01:15 AM by Lana Lane
quote:
Lattegirl originally wrote:
nicola you are a godsend thank you so much for updating

I second that as I give my first massive bump for Nicola to post *again* pronto please
posted on 31-Jan-2003 9:03:30 PM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 1-Feb-2003 1:01:34 AM by Tabithella
I really want to bang max & liz's heads together, and as for Nancy - don't get me started.

You are both wonderful writers and I think your styles compliment each other beautifully - please keep it up

Tab

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Feb-2003 11:10:10 PM ]
posted on 1-Feb-2003 2:30:12 AM by frenchkiss70
Bump*bounce*
posted on 3-Feb-2003 2:35:43 AM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 3-Feb-2003 5:25:34 AM by frenchkiss70
Bump*bounce*
posted on 3-Feb-2003 9:34:47 AM by PSW2001
Bump!*bounce* Bump!*bounce*

Bump!*bounce* Bump!*bounce*

Bump!*bounce* Bump!*bounce*

Bump!*bounce* Bump!*bounce*
posted on 4-Feb-2003 2:49:39 PM by Tabithella
Bump*bounce*
posted on 4-Feb-2003 11:11:08 PM by tyranese
bump 4 lana*bounce*
posted on 5-Feb-2003 1:30:41 PM by Lana Lane
Thanks for the bump Nicola . I'll definately try and start on part 7 tonight but I don't know what had me blushing the most, the ideas discussed or Tabithella's kind words? I've never been so honoured in my life, to have someone say that my writing complements yours is so amazing. How mad is that when you're unmatchable Nicola? Thankyou so much Tab.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Feb-2003 4:37:52 PM ]
posted on 5-Feb-2003 5:37:05 PM by dreamforever88
bumping
posted on 6-Feb-2003 4:54:27 PM by Tabithella
Bump*bounce*
posted on 6-Feb-2003 11:55:22 PM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 7-Feb-2003 6:23:40 AM by Lana Lane
I'll be posting pt 7 later tonight all being well, kudos again for all the wonderful feedback and bumping that's been going on here. Nicola and myself both really appreciate it. Bi.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Feb-2003 6:25:06 AM ]
posted on 7-Feb-2003 11:19:32 AM by destinyrebel
I can't wait!

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 7-Feb-2003 2:20:56 PM by tyranese
wahooooooo tonight! yipee! I can't wait! *tongue**wink*
posted on 7-Feb-2003 8:39:45 PM by Eccentric One
New part tonight?! Wahoo!!!!!

Kara
posted on 8-Feb-2003 2:50:14 AM by Lattegirl
*bounce*yes!! lana how did you know that I was dying for a new part???? I just hope I can manage to stay up long enough to read it lol *angel*bump*angel*
posted on 8-Feb-2003 10:45:21 AM by Eccentric One
I thought there was supposed to be a new part Friday? *sad* I couldn't manage to stay up late enough to wait for it. But I was so hoping it would be posted when I got up Saturday morning.

Kara
posted on 8-Feb-2003 3:59:13 PM by tyranese
lana where are you?
posted on 8-Feb-2003 4:13:09 PM by Ebony
Bump!
posted on 8-Feb-2003 4:36:01 PM by Lattegirl
*angel*bumpin for lana*angel*
posted on 8-Feb-2003 6:16:25 PM by salonica
I hope is going to do the right thing. I hope her and Max get ogether. They love each other to much.
*bounce**angel**bounce**angel**bounce**angel**bounce*
posted on 9-Feb-2003 5:43:35 AM by Eccentric One
Still waiting for the part from Friday night.

Kara
posted on 9-Feb-2003 6:20:24 AM by Anais Nin
Just found this fic, and I'm immensely enjoying it!

Bump... *bounce* Lol...

Continue soon!
posted on 9-Feb-2003 4:03:11 PM by destinyrebel
I was going through some old mp3s of mine and re-found this old song... *big* It's called The General by Dispatch. Anyway, the lyrics really made me think of Max and his current situation in this fic... Thought I would share while I was waiting for that promised new part... *wink*

There was a decorated General with a heart of gold
That likened him to all the stories he told,
Of past battles won and lost
And legends of old
A seasoned veteran in his own time

On the battlefield he gained respectful fame
With many medals of bravery and stripes to his name
He grew a beard as soon as he could to cover the scars on his face
And always urged his men on

But on the eve of great battle with the infantry in dream
The Old General tossed in his sleep and wrestled with its meaning
He awoke from the night to tell what he had seen
And walked slowly out of his tent

All the men held tall with their chests in the air
With courage in their blood and a fire in their stare
It was a gray morning and they were all wondering how they would fare
Till the old general told them to go home

He said: I have seen the others
And I have discovered
That this fight is not worth fighting
And I have seen their mothers
And I will no other, to follow me where I'm going
So

Take a shower, shine your shoes
You got no time to lose
You are young men, you must be living so
Take a shower, shine your shoes
You got no time to lose
You are young men, you must be living
Go now you are forgiven

But the men stood fast with their guns on their shoulders
Not knowing what to do with the contradicting orders
The General said he would do his own duty but he would extend it no further
The men can go as they please

Not a man moved their eyes gazed straight ahead,
Till one by one they stepped back and not a word was said
And the old general was left with his own words echoing in his head
He then prepared to fight

He said: I have seen the others
And I have discovered
That this fight is not worth fighting
No, and I see their mothers
and I will no other
to follow me where I'm going
So
Take a shower shine your shoes
You got no time to lose
You are young men you must be living
So
Take a shower shine your shoes
You got no time to lose
You are young men you must be living
Go now you are forgiven.


*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 9-Feb-2003 4:21:13 PM by Lattegirl
Great song Destiny! I will have to download it so I can listen to it while I read the new part Lana has written for us.*wink*
posted on 9-Feb-2003 4:47:22 PM by marteloise
bump!!
posted on 9-Feb-2003 5:01:36 PM by destinyrebel
Lattegirl, not sure if it's got that...old time feel to it but it's still pretty good... It has a beautiful chorus... Anyway, yeah, download it, either way... And I hope you like it! *big*

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*

posted on 9-Feb-2003 6:43:54 PM by Lana Lane
An I'm sorry for the delay in posting. I feel so bad about not being able to post friday as promised. I've been poorly and I really should be in bed now but I had to post the part. It isn't much, at least it's something till the talented Nicola can post again.

Warmest thankyous to Kara and Lattegirl for their encouragement and destinyrebel for the wonderful song This is dedicated to you. Take care all and if you're out there nicola please post to all your stories soon. Bi.


Part 7

Liz Parker was tired, so very tired after weeks of going through hell and back and not just because of the war that still showed no signs of quitting. Life in the same room as Maxwell Evans was bad enough, caring for him was worse. Life was getting intolerable and she didn’t know what to do about it? She thought she was coping with it. She was terribly mistaken.

She slipped her nightgown off and looked at her image reflecting back to her in the mirror. She’s always wondered if she was good enough to reveal to men, well one man in particular. She’d only ever wanted Max to see the real her no matter how crazy that sounded. She blushed at the mere thought and quickly washed herself, then patting herself dry. Slipping her uniform on she had a brief look at herself from both side’s, front and back. What was she doing? Why even bother? As she continued dressing she imagined a man standing behind her adjusting the straps as she put them on her shoulders. She imaged Max as she brushed her skin and closed her eyes, in an attempt to remember their intimacy again. The way Max had kissed her, the way it felt on her skin and had made her whole body tingle. Her felt her legs go to give out from under her.

Liz was prone to being so careful when it came to meeting men, her mothers doing but there was something about Max which made her smile. Her heart had been lifted, there was no doubt about that and she was ready to start a new life? Confusion was blinding her. It was a crazy notion besides she had told him it was over between and they were hardly speaking to each other. Maria was trying her hardest to help but even this was too sensitive to talk to Maria about. But life wasn’t getting any easier, getting back to normal as she’d hoped. She did stop to think she was taking it all too seriously but something was pulling her towards Max with a force she hadn’t experienced before. Lastly she grabbed her hat, opened the door and headed for the ward, feeling her heart race a million miles an hour as her stomach filled with butterflies’ as she got closer and closer to where Max was.

Today was going to be different. She could feel it.

*~*

Max looked up at the clock, again. It was 8.45am, only fifteen minutes until Liz walked through the doors, not that he was counting but he couldn’t wait, he wanted to see her face again, feel her eyes looking into his and to have the smell of her hair drift past him. He was finding just being in the same room as her increasing harder to cope with; Max couldn't stand to hear ‘that’ tone on her voice whenever she spoke to him. They hardly even spoke to each other but what more could he do? Max spited himself. It made him feel like less of a man than she deserved. She’d told him as much. He so desperately wanted to reach out and touch her chin with his finger, needing her to just stop and look at him. He’d give anything to get the opportunity to gently urge her to look up and meet his gaze for once. Longing for the moment when he could once again see those brown depths look upon him with the love he knew she had for him. He knew she felt something for him. He couldn’t give up hope. Max discovered a courage and strength he never knew existed from the way she looked at him.

He’d heard what she’d told him, that they could never be but she needed to know what she meant to him. She meant so much to him. That she meant everything to him. Didn't Liz understand he couldn't just walk away from this? From her! This was Liz! His Liz! His life. How could he just sit back and leave her? She was asking too much of him.

“Nope it’s still 15 minutes,” Michaels’ eyes drifted upwards. “Correction, 14 minutes till the lovely Liz perks up this dull little place,” Michael continued on.

“I be damned if I know what you’re on about Michael?” Max said abruptly.

“Ah huh, Liz must be something special to get you to lie so convincingly!” Michael ventured.

Max was about to say something when Michael smirked in his usual cheeky way. Max rested his hand on Michael’s shoulder whispering as he walked past him, “Like you wouldn’t believe Michael, like you would not believe!”

“Oh yeah, gimme details,” Max shook his head, “Oh come on give, give, give,”

“Woe, there’s way too much testosterone here for my liking,” Maria whined from beside them. “I’ll leave you men to it,” she said gathering up the glasses from their tables.

Max leant close and whispered in her ear, “Please put in a good word for me Maria?” As he did he brushed arms with Maria and she noticed a slight blush in his cheeks. Maria knew the score even if Liz didn’t.

“I’ll try but you know she’s not talking to me,” she whispered back. Max looked at her from under those long dark lashes of his. “Consider it done,” she replied, raising her eyebrows as she scratched him affectionately behind the ear whilst walking off.

“Hey what was that all about?” Michael said questioningly not enjoying the interaction between them one bit.

“Nothing,” Max grinned back. Even if Maria didn’t know it, Max knew that Michael worshipped the ground she walked on. They had some crazy thing going on here; Maria was helping out on his love life without having a clue about her own. Max made a promise that he’d do something for her in return before he left. His heart twisted painfully at the thought of leaving.

“Just so long as it is nothing,” Michael warned. “Now what’s this about Liz? Has she given you the green light yet?” he added excitedly.

“Michael!” Max didn’t like her or what they had, or didn’t have, being referred to in that manor. It sounded so sordid and that wasn’t how it was.

“Hey, I’m just a concerned friend asking don’t get out your pram,” Michael raised his hands. Max realized his mistake.

“No she hasn’t, in fact she’s giving me mixed signals and it’s driving me crazy Michael,” Max confessed. He didn’t want to burden anyone with his problems; Max was selfless like that.

“Oh, so what are you going to do about it?” Michael stared back at him.

“I have no clue what I’m going to do about it, all I know is that she’s wonderful Michael, absolutely bloody wonderful,”

“And…?” he was searching Max for more, just grateful that he was actually talking to him about this rather than bottling it up. “…She hasn’t given you any resume, is that it?” Michael scoffed, finishing his sentence for him. Max said nothing. He was speechless.

“I fear it’s love my friend, and you have fallen badly!” Michael informed his mate.

“Don’t you think I know that, but what good is that without it being reciprocated?” Max suddenly felt like he couldn’t breathe. “Well, if this is love then I am happy to experience it. I have only just met the one for me and already I can’t wait to see her again, I can’t live without her does that sound crazy?”

“A little but if it’s what floats your boat then so be it!” Michael’s wisdom unsettling Max.

“But she doesn’t want me,” Max sighed.

“Now that’s crazy, what’s wrong with the girl?” Michael queried loudly. His face frowned. “Shit! You haven’t bloody asked have you?”

“I have and she doesn’t want me that much I do know, I haven blown it Michael, my one and only chance,” Michael could see that his eyes were red rimmed.

“At least you had one,” Michael laughed, unsure of what to say? Max glared at him failing to see what was so funny? “I haven’t had a look in, not even a sniff, of the fair lady Maria. Nothing!”

Max’s heart sank, “I have blown it! I didn’t even ask why, pin her down into actually giving me a good enough reason why? God, what an idiot she must think I am!”

“Calm down Maxwell, I am sure she is only having a lend of you, she will be back later and you can patch things up then, start over!” Michael said confidently.

“You’re right” Max finally admitted, things could be worse. He was already going through hell.

“Aren’t I always?” Michael added smugly.

Maria was in a daze as she came back, aimlessly humming to herself while she busied herself with her duties, regardless of the fact that everyone else could hear her. She giggled as she heard the men speaking, choosing now to interrupt them.

“So Max, you’re from New Zealand?” She didn’t give him time to reply. “Bet it’s a nice place? I’ve never been there before. Let’s face it, I guess I never will,” Maria replied longingly, without drawing breath. She so wanted to see more of the world. if only this bloodily war would allow her too.

“It is a wonderful place, maybe you should see it someday?” Max replied, seeing her disillusioned. “And I am bias when I say it’s the best place on earth.” Max was trying to stay focused and listen to what she was saying to him. He liked and had a lot of time for Maria but Liz was in his every waking, and sleeping thought. He couldn’t stop thinking about her, everything about her from her head to the tips if her toes. He wondered what she would look like with her hair down? He’d seen it in his dreams enough times, among other things. His heart was pounding so fast at the thought of it falling in ringlets. He loved the colour so much, it emphasised her beautiful eyes. Liz didn’t need to prim herself. She wore little makeup, just enough to cover her complexion and highlight her lips and cheekbones but she still looked a million dollars to Max. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever see and he guessed that she was never out to make an impression. She’d captured his heart without even trying. Max looked at the clock- 9.00am then his eyes flicked towards the door and when he saw her everything went into slow motion.

*~*

When Liz finally reached the door she grabbed the handle and held it tight, eager to get started. The quicker the day began, the faster it would be over. Breathing deeply she closed her eyes and walked in with a quickened pace.

*~*

“Hi sweety, you made it!” Maria joked as she stepped through the door. Liz just smiled as her eyes went straight to where she didn’t want them too, resting on Max. It wasn’t like Liz to be so observant of a man’s body, but she was infatuated and couldn’t help herself. Max was like a magnet and she was a moth to a flame. How could she even think otherwise?

Liz willed herself to look at Kyle, who gave her a quick wink and a smile. She wished that it had been Max but he hardly gave her the time of day, which she had expected after what she’d said to him. So the harmless flirting had officially begun. The only thing left to do. She had to make Max understand that they were never meant to be. Liz calmly strolled over to where Kyle lay.

“Guess I did what have I missed?” Liz asked calming.

“Oh this and that. Max was just telling me about where he’s from. It sounds wonderful,” Maria said excitedly.

“I know, it sounded like heaven when Max told me about it, ” Liz suddenly said without thinking. Max enjoyed compliments about his home at the best of times but to hear Liz say she thought his homeland sounded like heaven was something else. Max's eyes lit up and smiled, revealing his pearly-white teeth.

“Thank you Liz, maybe you should go there one day?” he was trying to be nice. Not talking to her was killing him softly. ‘Don't give it up, Liz. Don't give it up. Please. I’ll always be here for you, just don't give it up on me,’ he whispered to himself, praying that somehow she would know and feel his love for her. Liz couldn’t believe her ears, not only was she in the same room as a man with the most intoxicating, deep and dreamy eyes she’d ever see, but he didn’t seem to have a bad word to say about her. After all she’d said and done. He was even asking her to go there? “It wouldn’t suit me,” she blurred out sharply, not even looking at him. Max’s lip tightened.

“Oh that’s right you’re too good for me aren’t you Liz?” Max was speaking out of turn. He just didn’t know what to do- Max Evans was at his wits ends. Liz never felt so unwanted. So hurt when this was all her doing. She quickly turned away, avoiding looking into his eyes. She felt herself beginning to cry. Max immediately felt awful, wanting to make it right. Liz said nothing just hurrying off to continue on with her duties. Max went to get up and go after her.

“She’ll be on her lunch break soon so you can make it right then can’t you Max?” a voice said from behind the curtain. It was Maria. “Why do you have to be such a man all the time?” she glared over at Michael. “My guess is you’re sending too much time with this oaf,”

“Hey-,” Michael felt insulted but she stopped his words with a wave of her hand.

“Close your mouth Max, it doesn’t suit. No matter I’ll help you resolve this mess. Just leave it with me,” and she disappeared too.

*~*

The sun beamed down and heated the ground. Things were peaceful once again. It was her break and Liz had spent a little time in the sun and her freckles were beginning to show. It was easy to forget where she was? What was going on around her? The time was well received and she needed a break. It reminded her of the times spent by the sea as a child; with her dripping hair and salt kissed lips but this was far from being those happier carefree times. If only that were true, all she could think about was her dry palate and the need to quench it with something cool and refreshing, determined not to let a certain Maxwell Evans come to mind. It was time for her to grab her hat and head inside for a cool drink. Her deep brown eyes sparkled and her chocolate hair glistened as she ran her fingers through it in a vain attempt to detangle it as she slowly strolled in to the hospital.

Max was fascinated by the way her body painted a slender silhouette on the wall as she walked across the ward. Time stood still for him whenever she was around. Max couldn’t bare much more of this.

“Oh, you stay out there Liz, I’ll get you what you want,” Maria said quickly, almost stopping her in her path.

“I’m fine, I’ll get it,” When Max heard her he didn’t listen to a word she said – preferring to concentrate on the way her nose tweaked as her lips moved to talk. Liz was obviously totally oblivious to Max’s complete infatuation with her; she’d made that perfectly clear to him.

“No really, I’ll do it for you, was it a cool glass of water filled with ice maybe?” Maria jokingly asked her.

“Oh yes please, with a wedge of lemon maybe?” Liz added, knowing full well that there hadn’t been a lemon, let alone any fruit around the place in weeks.

“Of course and don’t forget the cherry,” both girls said together. Laughter filled the room. “You go on outside, I’ll see what I can do,” Liz looked at her before Maria raced into the kitchen and asked the chef, to create a chicken dish like he had never created before, on a plate big enough for two. Now everyone knew not to mess with the wrath of Maria, besides she was a cutie with a knockout smile how could he refuse? Chef was at a loss with the ingredients he had but he tried as best he could.

*~*

“Here you go tiger, I have added extra spice for good measure.” Maria said proudly, presenting Max with a plate of food.

“What’s this?” he’d already had lunch even though he’d only picked at it. Again!

“Your recipe for success my dear fellow,” Max took the plate with a look of confusion on his face. Maria raised her eyebrows. “It’s for Liz,”

“Oh,” he re juggled his walking stick into the other hand, wandering why he was even using the damn thing anymore? He didn’t need it. Max looked down and saw 2 forks.

“I know, I know it’s Liz’s lunch but I thought you might like to share it with her?” Maria’s grin failed to hide the obvious fact that she knew Liz would be delighted at the prospect of sharing a meal with this handsome young man.

“Is that allowed?” Max asked.

“Well, there’s only one way to find out besides what harm can it do?” Max wasn’t convinced. “Beautiful food for beautiful people,” Maria’s smiled filled up her entire face. It was a corny line, but Max humoured her.

“Okay,” Max swallowed against the dryness in his throat. “What if she doesn’t want to see me?”

Maria laid her hand on Max’s shoulder before leaving him to it. “Max, this is Liz and even if she doesn’t know it right now, you’re the one person she probably wants to see.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m her best friend remember and even if she’s not talking to me, I know what she’s thinking and I do have eyes in my head. I can see what’s going on here. It’s worth a try. You have to at least try don’t you Max?” she knew that he had already been trying so hard. Why did Liz have to be so stubborn and listen to what her mother had to say so intently? Liz had her own life to lead and Max was her best chance but the situation was getting desperate, especially now. “Good luck, now get your butt out there,” and she whacked a napkin over his arm, slowly turned him round to face the door and lightly pushed him towards it. She could see him trembling just a little as he proceeded outside.


*~*

It was amazing how much stronger Max was getting on his feet, with every passing day and everybody knew it wouldn’t be long before he was fit enough to leave the hospital. He could barely breathe just thinking about it because max knew in his heart that he was ready to leave now.

He found Liz in the gardens, sitting alone under a tree. As he approached the table his voice box tightened and butterflies started to do a merry dance in his stomach. She glanced up and as their eyes met he stumbled on his words and putting the plate on the table, leaving Liz to start the conversation. “I didn’t want anything for lunch,” Liz said harshly. She didn’t what to know Max’s intentions and whatever they were she was not going to make this easy for him. What she said to him before was the right thing for them to do and there was no way around it.

“Maria’s idea?” he replied quietly.

“Oh,” she vowed to be having words with the medalling vixen later. Liz knew she had to say something. To see him just standing there, looking at her was heart breaking. “Thank you for bringing it out Max,” Liz smiled self- consciously. His fingers lightly brushed against hers as he handed her the fork. Both felt the sudden spark surge between them but said and did nothing, knowing it was better that way.

He stood while she sat, silence being their common link.

“May I sit?” Max finally dare ask. Her head was so jumbled by confused thoughts but she needed to sort them out.

“Do you think that’s wise?” she whispered.

“I know I’m trustworthy, should I be concerned about you Liz?” Max said briskly, taking the concerned as being a ‘no’, and the sitting down as a ‘yes’ and he slowly sat down on the bench beside her careful to keep his distance. He didn’t want that but he believed that she preferred it that way. Liz just continued looking down at her food. “So you never answered me question before?” Max said confidently.

“And what question was that?” she was just happy that they were talking civil to each other and that he wasn’t pressuring her.

“About going to New Zealand?”

“But I’m too good for that, remember?” She could have kicked herself for saying that as her mother’s letters and her defences kicked in. Why couldn’t she just see that Max was trying to be nice?

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that,” Max’s heart felt so heavy. Liz wanted to stay that she was the sorry one, that he had nothing to be sorry about but the words wouldn’t come. “I still want us to be friends Liz and you are more than good enough to go, you really should find the time if you can,” his eyes and tone were mesmerising. She couldn’t breathe.

“Really? Are you offering to take me?” Liz couldn’t believe she had asked such a question? It was foolish and stupid to let her defences down. “Sorry I don’t know what I am thinking? You hardly even know me so you wouldn’t be asking me such things. Ignore me, I’m thinking crazy thoughts, it must be the heat?” She was babbling again. She dug her fork deep into her bowl even when she wasn’t hungry, intent doing 2 things, trapping a certain piece of chicken and avoiding his gaze. She was failing on both counts as she continued chasing the morsel around and around the plate whilst Max stayed sited on the bench beside her. Breathlessly Liz finally speared the chunk of meat hard, only to have dressing slid down her fork and on to her hand as she lifted it towards her mouth. She paused for a moment to think whether licking it off would disgust Max, what a thing to think? But within a split second of her thought he leaned across and wiped it off her hand with his finger and then popped it into his mouth. Vital functions failed Liz completely as she watched him smile at her, his breath hot on her skin. He didn’t know why he’d done that? He just had to do it.

“Can’t waste good food!” A man after her own heart she thought. She couldn’t answer that. They both laughed with relief, at least it broke the ice. Max thought for a second then just blurted it out, “ You’re right, I don’t know you, but I’d like to if you’d let me Liz please let me?”

Liz couldn’t believe her ears. Why was he continuingly making this so damn hard? She grimaced; she couldn’t take this. “I thought you just wanted to be friends Max?”

“I do, I want that so much” Max pleaded, whispering near her ear. Tears burned her eyes, and she pressed her lids closed against them.

“It doesn’t look like that to me, didn’t you hear anything that I told you?” and she got up quickly. Max went to lightly grab her arm.

“Please don’t go Liz, please stay here and talk to me,” he begged.

“Why it won’t make any difference, your leg is almost full healed and you’ll be leaving soon. End of story so if it isn’t connected with those 2 things then please I’d be grateful if we keep this strictly professional,” and she went to leave.

“I’m not giving up Liz if that’s what you’re hoping for!” He couldn’t help but raise his voice.

“Do what you want Max. I don’t care anymore,” and she was gone before he could reply. His knees suddenly felt weak and he sank down again into the bench knowing that was his final chance and he closed his eyes and began to cry.

*~*

(Later that day)

Knock, Knock

“Come in,”

“You wanted to see me?” Liz smiled as she stepped into Isabel’s office.

“Yes I did, come in Liz, sit down,” Isabel asked comfortably.

“Thank you,” she said closing the door behind her as she now sat opposite Isabel. They sat like that, in silence for a good few seconds.

“Liz, please don’t take this the wrong way but I’m considering putting you on leave for a few days," Isabel looked at her sternly from behind her desk. Liz returned a hard, yet confused glare at her

"Why? I don’t understand? What have I done? Have I done something wrong?” Liz stammered out breathlessly. She needed to work, now more than ever. Having time to think was not the best thing for her right now.

Isabel stood up. "Take it easy Liz, there’s no need to panic you’ve done nothing wrong.”

“Then why do you want me to take leave?” Liz said through a throat restricted with emotion. “I’m needed here,”

“I know but we can cope, baring anything serious then I call you back. I’m worried about you, Liz, that’s all," Isabel then walked around her desk, pointing lightly at her best nurse. "I get the feeling you’re letting things get to you Liz and in this job you can’t afford to, like a said before, you’re too important.” Isabel added firmly.

“I’m fine- really,” Liz was trying so hard to sound believable then her whole world was crumbling. She’d just faced Maria about what she’d arranged earlier. It didn’t go to well. They argued. Things were getting desperate and Liz had walked off without giving her a chance to explain. Maybe Isabel was right? Maybe Liz did need to get away for a while? Just for a little while.

“Really? Because if you let him get you then you’re a liability," she voice was forceful yet gentle.

“I don’t understand what you mean?” Him? Who him? Liz’s heart began pounding so fast because she knew exactly what Isabel meant. She meant Max.

“I know Liz,” Isabel smiled gently. She was her boss but she was Liz’s friend too.

“You know what?” playing dumb, Liz shook her head.

“I know about Max.” Liz's jaw clenched, and her lips pulled into a tight line, at her superiors apparent concern for something that wasn’t there. Liz had been so careful as to hide any interaction she and Max had shared that was anything, but in the call of duty. How could she have been so careless? Isabel leaned her hands into her desk and met Liz's concerned stare.

“You-,” Liz couldn’t find the words as she got up from her chair.

“Yes I know, I’ve always known," Isabel said in a low voice, her tone expressing she understood perfectly the situation, perhaps better than Liz. "There’s no need to look so concerned Liz, I’m just asking what you are going to do about it?"

Liz's expression turned to one of realization and regret. "I am doing something about it, the only thing I can do,” she answered as she pushed her fingers through her hair.

“Are you? Is it?” Isabel blushed she didn’t mean to sound so spiteful.

“I…” Liz was at a loss for words. She couldn't stop herself from pacing again, her hands wringing in venting her frustration. "If I knew sooner, I would have stopped it sooner, I would have never let it gone this far!"

“Now far has it gone Liz?” Isabel interjected.

“Far enough,” Liz saw the look of shook on Isabel’s face. “Oh, nothing as far as that,”

“So what are you going to do?”

"I don’t know?” Liz looked up to the ceiling, wanting to yell.

“Then you should know Elizabeth because this can’t go on, it has to stop. Your job and his well being is at risk here,” Isabel suddenly realized what her innocent words meant to her. “Liz, that's not what I meant." She was angry with herself when she saw the tears in her eyes. “Could you watch Max suffer?” Liz slowly shook her head. “And do you think he wants you to suffer?” Liz did nothing, she was unsure of just what Max was feeling and thinking. “And do you think I can just stand back and watch my best nurse suffering?" she asked.

“No,” Liz finally spoke.

“Then don’t,” Liz couldn't answer, and turned away to walk back to the corner of the room. Isabel just smiled at her, “I shouldn’t even be telling you this but how can I not? I know what I see even if you can’t. I should be telling you to end it, or transferring you or Max but I can’t do that either. I’m talking to you as a friend now but just think how boring it is not to feel emotion Liz and you need to live a little. We all deserve that don’t we?” Isabel was surprising even herself with her candidness. She had Alex Whitman to thank for that. He was the most remarkable man Isabel had ever met and just being with him, talking to him was opening Isabel’s eyes to all sorts of possibilities.

Liz took the few short seconds she needed to find the words she needed to say. She didn't need to look very far into her heart, because they were right there. Waiting. Liz was truly amazed that she’d been enough to capture the imagination of one Max Evans. She was plain, he was gorgeous and she was giving up on him before they’d even got started. She couldn’t resist temptation anymore. Isabel was telling her what her own mother had failed to do. Everything a side her own happiness was the important factor here, all our possibilities faded away in light of other, more wonderful possibility…a life with Max and a future together. Liz walked towards the door, her need to find Max and tell him that she’d been stupid, that she wanted things to be different between them; Her thoughtlessness making her skin crawl and her temples pound.

“Would you excuse me a moment?” Liz's eyes widened with surprise. The words came in a rush. Suddenly everything had clicked into place. She and Max felt right for the very first time.

“Of course,” Isabel said and with a glance and gently smile at Isabel, Liz turned and left the office. She had to do something. There was no way in hell she intended to sit on her hands. Not anymore. Liz marched as quickly as she could across hallway and off to where Max was. Liz Parker had finally realized how stupid she’d been because what’s life without risk as she is almost running the corridor to tell Max she loved him and that she was his, if he'd have her?






[ edited 1 time(s), last at 9-Feb-2003 6:54:23 PM ]
posted on 9-Feb-2003 7:45:10 PM by Eccentric One
That was wonderful! But I'm sorry you're not feeling well.

I have a horrible feeling that by the time Liz makes her way to the ward that Max will be gone. I think he was convinced when Liz walked away from him earlier that it was all over. He had his last chance with her and it didn't work. He might decide that leaving it the best option left to him. At least then he won't have to see Liz and constantly be aware of the fact that he can't have her.

That would be truly tragic. To have him be gone when Liz has finally decided that she should take a risk with Max. I hope that isn't what will happen, but I can't completely see it.

So who's up next? And how soon can we expect the part? Yeah, I know...I just get a new part and I already want the next one. It's called greed.

Kara
posted on 10-Feb-2003 1:27:04 AM by Lattegirl
Lana, eight pages you are too kind!! well I'm afraid I'm off to bed as well, but I am taking this wonderfull chapter with me. I will tell you how incredible you & this story are in the morning. Lana I'm so sorry your not feeling well. I love new parts but please do take care of yourself hun. Thanx for writing!!*big*
posted on 10-Feb-2003 5:55:19 AM by frenchkiss70
I'm sorry to hear you're not doing good. I hope you'll feel better soon.
Liz is so stubborn, it's infuriating. She was so harsh with Max, I despise Nancy, she wasn't able to let her daughter to have a chance to be happy.
I'm glad Isabel is wise and caring enough to give Liz a last chance with Max. I just hope it's not too late. Max was so crushed after their last talk, he might have decided to leave. Without knowing Liz loves him.*sad*
Wonderful part*happy* I can't wait for more*bounce*
posted on 10-Feb-2003 8:19:40 AM by marteloise
really hope that you will feel better very soon !!!

thanks so much for this long part!! hope that max didn't leave until he knows that liz loves him !!!
posted on 10-Feb-2003 9:38:55 AM by roswellluver
Thank goodness Isabel talked to Liz! Thanks for wriitng!
posted on 10-Feb-2003 10:10:40 AM by DAYDREAMER
I can't believe you left it there!!!! Wonderful part of course!! Hopefully not so long till the next post!!!

BUMP
posted on 10-Feb-2003 12:24:23 PM by Lattegirl
Lana . I have been sitting here trying to think of new ways of saying incredible, fabulous, wonderfull & immense but all I could come up with is saying them in different lanuages lol. oh I am so happy liz finally came to her senses I'm just hoping max is there. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this new part Lana even though you didn't feel good. I just wanted you to know how much I apreciated it. Nicola does this mean that its you turn now?? or is it scifi's? Well either way I can't wait!
*angel*Feel better soon Lana*angel*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-Feb-2003 12:30:40 PM ]
posted on 10-Feb-2003 1:53:20 PM by tyranese
Lana you are incredible!!! You did an awesome job with this part but how could you end it there? I have to write the sad bit? Everyones going to hate me!! *sad*
Thank you for posting even though you aren't feeling too well. YOu know our hearts are all with you. Especially mine, so get well as soon as possible!
Now, the part? What can I say? It was awesome, you wrote it beautifully and you portrayed their emotions vividly and readable. I still can't believe you left it there!!
I'll talk to you later, get better you and well done *bounce*
~nicola
posted on 10-Feb-2003 11:49:51 PM by Tabithella
Lana, that was wonderful, I really love your writing.

Thank God for Isabel, finally talking some sense into Liz, I just hope it's not too late.

Please update this wonderful story again soon

Tab
posted on 11-Feb-2003 12:13:36 AM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
Lana....awesome part.

Something sad is going to happen,right? I'm thinking by the time Liz finds him he's probably gone or planning on leaving. I don't know.

Thanks for updating. Post more soon.
posted on 11-Feb-2003 4:01:49 AM by Lattegirl
quote:
tyranese originally wrote:
I have to write the sad bit? Everyones going to hate me!! *sad*

Nicola don't be silly, we will not hate you! how can you say that? even though I don't like to admit it I love to cry, that is why I love your stories so much as long as I get a happy ending its all good. so quit worrying & start writing*wink* *angel*Bumpin For The Fabulous Nicola*angel*
posted on 11-Feb-2003 6:56:23 PM by destinyrebel
Amazing update. Just insanely amazing...
Liz is so damn headstrong... Sometimes, I just want to knock some sense into her... But I guess that feeling can pass... Although, a lot of time has pasted and a lot of bad feels have surfaced, I still think Liz can make it to Max before it's too late... Cause you know, you guys wouldn't have made Max leave, already... Would you? I mean, you guys wouldn’t break our collective dreamer heart like that, would you? Please, tell me you wouldn’t. I need to know you wouldn’t...
God, if Max has already left, I think I would break down and lose a lot... He needs to be there... Didn't he even say that it wasn’t finished and that he wouldn’t give up? He told that to Liz as she walked away, right? Right. Okay... So, he’s going to be there and Liz is going to tell him the good news and all will be well... Right? Please?
Argh... Another part should be posted really soon, so, I don't lose it... Please?

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Feb-2003 6:57:38 PM ]
posted on 12-Feb-2003 2:07:24 PM by Lattegirl
*angel*bump*angel*
posted on 12-Feb-2003 2:29:22 PM by Ebony
Bump! Great fic, I love it. I know it's a dreamer-fic, but maybe a bit more candy, too...? Anyway, keep posting! *bounce*
posted on 12-Feb-2003 9:18:05 PM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 13-Feb-2003 9:07:37 AM by PSW2001
Great part!! Can't wait to see Max's reaction. Please post next part soon.
posted on 13-Feb-2003 6:44:29 PM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 14-Feb-2003 3:42:15 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
To two talented ladies.

Happy roses, chocolate and Jason Day.
posted on 15-Feb-2003 4:33:26 AM by Lana Lane
quote:
aZNroSweLl anglgrl originally wrote:
To two talented ladies.

Happy roses, chocolate and Jason Day.

*Blushing* Thank*you* so much Justine , I'm feeling better already after reading that and all the wonderful feedback that was left. Do you all know how amazing you all are? Now I'm not the only one who knows that no one does the sad better than tyranese as I bump the
'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Nicola' for part 8. Please post soon!

posted on 15-Feb-2003 1:09:10 PM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 16-Feb-2003 10:38:07 PM by tyranese
Hi everyone! While I was writing this I just couldn't stop so thats why its quite long, I had to end it somewhere so Lana could write the next part. *begs* Don't hate me!! I really hope I wrote this okay.

important: Some of the WWI info is correct some isn't, I did my best. enjoy...



Chapter Eight

Max went to see General Rosetti.

Max had served under General Rosetti since he had come to Italy and they had come to know each-other fairly well in the last couple of years. Major General Gray was just below Rosetti’s command.

The General was a tall man, slightly taller then Max, with short black hair and a thick moustache. He was slender and carried himself stiffly, but the movements of his body were gentle and in his green eyes held a sadness that remained when he smiled at Max.

“Good morning, Sir,” Max said, saluting him.

“Good morning Major,” Rosetti came out from behind his desk. “At ease soldier.” They shook hands. The General stepped away and went back behind his desk. “How are you?”

“Very well sir.”

“I said, At Ease.” Rosetti smiled.

Max slipped his feet apart and held his hands behind his back.

“What can I do for you?”

“I’ve come to reclaim my men,” Max spoke with natural authority.

“All healed are we?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Surely you are not thinking of going back to the trenches?” He lit a cigarette and offered Max one.

Max declined. “If it’s possible”—he paused—“I want to be in heavy weapons, in the destroyer brigade.”

Rosetti’s features made his revelation transparent. “Surely you’re not serious? Why that’s the most treacherous subdivision…”

“I want to be in heavy weapons,” Max said sternly, and then, realizing he was talking to a General, not just A General but His General he cleared his throat and apologized. “I’m quite sure, I have had plenty of time to think about my future here and I—”

“What has come over you?” Rosetti asked. “I’m talking to you as a friend; do you have a death wish?”

“Not everyone in the destroyer brigade,” he choked on his next word, “dies.

“Of course not.”

“I hope to offer my full services, my full potential, to the British army before this war is over, Sir.”

“You’re entirely sure you want this, Major? And may I remind you, you are welcome to a safer position, beyond the front line.”

Her indifferent face as she walked past him, clutching a plastic bowl of water to her chest. “I’m sure,” he finished.

~~~

She stood in front of his bed staring blankly at the flawlessly tucked and folded blankets and sheets.

Unnerved, she bent and looked under the frame, his belongings were gone. Where were they? Where was he?

Biting her lip she walked swiftly to the balcony and peered out through the French doors, expecting him to be there ~hoping to see him there~ Kyle, Michael, Alexander, Wilson, Mark…they were playing cards. No Max. Starting to panic, she turned and walked back into the ward ignoring Kyle’s voice (‘Liz, want to join us?’).

She rubbed her temples and scratched the back of her leg with her left foot. A feeling of blockage, her air pipes astringently smothering, her heart haphazardly going into over-drive, her whole body just seemed to slowly burn with terror. Facing the inevitable was unbearable. He wasn’t gone. Couldn’t be gone. And then finally…Must be gone?

She strolled hurriedly across the ward, then quickened to a jog and finally a sprint down the staircase to the court yard. She flew out the doors, a smile on her face, out of breath. Breathless for him, anticipating him, craving him, seeing him?

No, not seeing him.

Her smile fell from her face and then suddenly flew back into place. The bathroom! He must have gone to the bathroom! He would be back now. She turned and ran back up the stairs, straight past Maria who called for her but whom she ignored. Into the ward she went, flying with bright red wings taking her to him…

His bed was empty. He was not there.

She frowned; her hands clenched the sides of her uniform. “Maria?” she spun around walking back out in the hallway. “Where’s—?”

“Oh Liz,” Maria said.

“Oh Liz, what?” But she knew, she could not bear it. Not now, not ever. He must have gone back out onto the balcony when he got back from the bathroom. That’s where he’ll be! She walked towards the balcony, stopping short when she saw he was not there.

“Liz, I’m so sorry. He’s gone, darling. He left.”

“What are you talking about?” Liz asked. Her face was deathly white. “Who is gone? What are you talking about?”

Maria stepped close to her and went to wrap her arms around her friend. . .

Liz yanked herself away. “He can’t be gone. He was here this morning.”

“He left this afternoon around two, I’m so sorry.”

Couldn’t, wouldn’t.

“He left you this—”

“No.”

“I’m so sorry…”

“Stop saying that!” Liz yelled, now she had the attention of the whole ward. “Why should I care anyway?” Her face crumbled. “Why would I care if he left? I didn’t want him here to begin with”—her voice cracked—“he was a nuisance, interrupting with every day—every day—”

Her hand went over her mouth, she broke down. “Every day—”

She couldn’t take it. She couldn’t bear it. Not now, not when she’d finally realized her full feelings towards him. Not when they were at last going to be together.

She ran to his bed and threw herself down on it. It still smelt like him, the pillow case had not been cleaned yet. She buried her face in the cotton, dampening the material with her tears.

“Liz?”

“Just leave me alone!” She yelled her shoulders shaking.

Sighing, Maria put a small white envelope down on the bedspread beside Liz. She stroked her friends arm comfortingly and then walked away not knowing what else to do.

~~

Tucked in-between her white sheets, Liz slept with her face pressed against Max’s letter.

Liz,

Yes, my love, I will keep my word to you. This afternoon I remembered something William Shakespeare once said. ‘Love comforteth like sunshine after rain’ though his meaning may not be preordained as I interpret it, I realized I am still in the shower and have not earned my warmth.

Oh dear, beautiful, maddening, infuriating Liz, if only you would let me bring you the stars that you spend so much time observing.

I could worship you with all my feeling until we were both quiet. You’re are all the exquisiteness I have ever seen united into one and I will not allow myself to pass you by with so much as one divine kiss on a balmy Wednesday afternoon.

I will have you. I promise you that as long as our two spirits are circling this planet I will find you. If the fateful should happen, as you so recurrently vex, if my life shall conclude before I can find you my soul will not fly to New Zealand, its coming straight for you. Nurse Parker, the saint of Red Cross hospice.

I am off to earn my stars, my heaven on earth.

Your soldier,
Major Evans

~~

“Stop, straighten up!” Major yelled as he marched back and forth in front of his men. “Where are your brave faces? Where are your courageous hearts?” His hands were clasped together behind his back. “You are soldiers about to make the flight of your life. Do not be afraid, do not falter, your energies will not go unobserved. Have confidence in yourselves, good luck and for God’s sake, I expect to see you on the other side.” Sucking in a deep breath Max ran his eyes over his men one more fateful time. He saluted them one final time before yelling, “GO! GO! GO!”

Up, up, up, the men dashed, scampering along the dark ominous earth. The bullets got sixty-percent of them before they got ten feet. Major Evans watched with regret.

“And you wanted to come back here?” Corporal Johnson asked tightening his helmet. “Should have stayed away.”

Max stared and said nothing. The planes were flying over head in flocks. Hadn’t they destroyed enough yesterday? He aimed his mortar, watching and waiting like a tiger about to pounce on its prey. Just a little closer, he thought. Closer… Then he’d plummet a bomb straight for the rival and watch as it blew up in the air, its remains flying onto the banks of the river.

Looking at his men marching along he yelled, “Don’t fucking die right in front of me. Faster! Don’t dilly dally!”

They didn’t stand a chance. It was June 1918 and they were being attacked by the Austrians on the Piave River near the town of Caporetto. Max stared at the red water and surveyed his surroundings. The river flowed in a generally north-west to south-east direction, joining the sea to the east of Venice. North-west of Treviso it looped around a hilly area called the Montello. The river from that point to the sea was very broad, some 800 yards in places, but fast-flowing.

On the first day, the attacking Austrian units managed to gain a foothold on the west bank. But their efforts were not proving to be as successful today. The planes had blown up most of the bridges yesterday so the men were fighting on the river banks and in the water.

Why had he come back? He tried not to think about it.

She had her hands on her hips while she was talking to the soldiers who were sitting under the evening stars drinking (‘Where did they get that from?’) and playing cards.
“Liz, please?”
“You know very well, Mr. Guerin that I am nothing but Nurse Parker to you.”
“Trivial piece of information,” Michael spat out. “Will you, put in a good word for me? I will owe you my life.”
“Do you not already owe me your life? Did I not stitch up your lower back?”
“Ah yes,” Max said sipping his drink. “Michael, you can not disregard that we all before now owe Liz our lives.”
“Does she desire them?” Kyle asked.
“Liz,” Max said softly. “Would you feel momentous to know you hold my life?”
She blushed. “If you were to offer it, I would feel obliged to take it.”
“Oh, well Liz you may have mine,” Kyle said.
Winking at Max, Liz turned to Kyle and spoke as kindly as possible, “I’m sorry Kyle but one is more than enough and since Major Evans was first to ask…”


By the end of the day the Austrians failed to follow up. Small gains were subsequently made, but the Austrians eventually withdrew after an Italian counter-attack. They lost 84,000 men in this action; the Austrians 69,000.

~~

Weeks went by, and then months without word. Liz begun to wish she would forget the combatant who had left with her heart dragging along behind him on a rope tied around his waist. That way he would always be aware of her presence but could keep her at a distance.

It was on this day, when she was finally giving up optimism, that a note came in for the nurses. It was July second.

“We’re being moved to the front line,” Liz announced trying to keep the enthusiasm out of her voice. Not only would she be closer to Max, but also, it was one of her longest dreams to work with the surgeons on the front line, where she could do most well.

Only a selected group were going—Isabel was staying at the ward and so were Maria and Tess so Liz was on her own. She didn’t mind. She was too excited about the prospect of seeing Max and making a real difference with all the wounded men. She packed her things, folding her letter from Max and putting it in her pocket.

She said goodbye to her friends, hugging them roughly. She said goodbye to her patients and did her paperwork and through it all, the only thought crossing through her mind was. . . Max . . .

The ride was long and Liz sat next to the window in the truck. She had a book resting on her lap but couldn’t quieten her thoughts for long enough to read it. The land passed her by and soon the thunderous bangs of the bombs weren’t in the distance but right in front of her.

“I’m coming Max,” she said to herself. “Hold on.” She was convinced he needed her. Who would be there to pick him up if he fell?

The truck was stopped several times by officers who made the journey more drawn out but it was modus-operandi so there for had to be done. The driver handed over their paper work and they checked the back before letting them go on. It seemed surreal that they were able to just drive to the front. The road was bumpy and wet; the rain was coming down on the fields.

Up ahead she couldn’t see any sign of the conclusion of the road, it eternally drew on. Suddenly they turned a corner and were in front of a large field filled with white hospital tents. It was aflutter with life.

She was helped out of the truck and stood staring ahead at the black smoke in the sky and the red thunderous explosions. She couldn’t believe it, for months it had been so far away and suddenly it was right in front of her. Her heart clenched with fear.

Her mothers face flashed in front of her, ‘What are you doing so close to the jaws of that shark?’ she demanded.

Swallowing Liz whispered to herself, “I’m going for him mom.”

“What was that?” Wendy asked.

“Oh nothing, I was just talking to myself,” she said.

“Scary, isn’t it?”

Liz nodded.

“Come ladies!” The driver yelled. “Get out of the rain!”

The nurses huddled together and walked towards a small tent that held six beds. It was a large step down from the chambers that they had had to themselves at the hospital. It had dividers to get changed behind.

They were given ten minutes to settle in before they were required to get to work. Liz put her suit case on her bed and walked out of the tent. If Max was here she was going to find out. There was no way she could handle not knowing his whereabouts.

“Signorina, come sta? perduto?”

She spun around and came face to face with and Italian soldier. He was tall and blonde with sparkling blue eyes. He looked amused. She didn’t know much Italian but she recognised the word ‘perduto’ as being ‘lost’. Smiling she shook her head. “In nessun modo.” By no means, she said.

“Buono.”

“Bye.” She turned and walked away. She needed to find someone who spoke English and get them to tell her where the British soldiers were. And how she could get to them.

~~~

“What are you crazy?”

She was standing in front of Lieutenant Gordon who, she had a sneaking suspicion, did not agree with her theory to find the British soldiers on the other side of the river.

“There may be wounded men that need immediate help,” she argued.

“That’s what the stretcher-men are for!” She wished he would stop yelling. “All wounded men are brought back here to the camp, it’s bad enough that you’re here let alone there. The Austrian’s bomb that river and this camp mercilessly. You’re crazy, get out of my sight. You want to help, go to that tent, or that one. There is plenty for you to do here, get that idiotic idea out of your head.” He stormed away before she could say another word.

Her forehead crinkled with embarrassment.

“He’s right you know, you are crazy.”

“I don’t need your—” she turned around to face the man who was so rude as to make her feel worse.

He crossed his arms over his chest and he was grinning. His foot was bandaged and his head. “But don’t mind his yelling at you, he’s just in a bad mood today. The names Steven.” He held his hand out and she shook it.

“Liz,” she said quietly. He was a short man with jet black hair and blue eyes. He had many freckles.

She didn’t like the way he was looking at her. She had been warned about staying away from soldiers, many of them hadn’t been with women since the beginning of the war and couldn’t be trusted to be ‘polite’.

“Why did you want to go across the river?” he asked.

“To help.”

He lit a cigarette and offered her a puff. She declined. “I can tell,” He said, “You’re looking for someone.”

“I—” Maybe he could tell her where Max was? Maybe he knew him? She was about to ask but saw Dr. Domenico Caracciolo heading towards them. “I’m not looking for anyone,” she quickly said.

“Nurse Parker!” The doctor said. “Well I’ll be damned.”

Liz greeted the doctor with kind familiarity but excused herself quickly; using the justification she had to get to work.

She worked non-stop for the next fourteen hours straight. By the end of it she was dizzy and could barely continue standing upright. Every time a new patient would come in she would ask him whose command he was under. “Major Evans comrade?”

No one had any word on him.

She went to her tent to rest and remembered she hadn’t unpacked. She didn’t have the strength to put everything away so she just pulled off her blood soiled uniform and hopped under the covers. Sleep claimed her speedily.

~~

Three days passed of constant, ‘Whose command are you under?’ and then as she kept hearing names she didn’t know, ‘Do you know Major Evans?” A couple of people had heard of him but no one knew where he was. A lot of men knew General Gray.

Another week. She was on her feet from six in the morning until one in the morning the next day. She barely got breaks and she didn’t ask for them, how could she? Men did not stop fighting and getting injured so that meant there was a continuous abundance of men to facilitate.

Half way through July, she’d lost track of the exact date, around six-forty she was sitting outside with her nurse hat in her hands and her hair falling out of its clips. Her white apron was blood-stained and dirty, as were her hands. She stared out at the afternoon sun with a look of helplessness. Where are you, she wondered? She just needed to lay her eyes on him one more time. Was that too much to ask?

Obviously it wasn’t because, there, walking along a dirt-road leading a group of nine men was Major Evans. He looked unkempt and grubby, tired and like he hadn’t slept in days. Nevertheless he walked with his usual strength and leadership. He stopped to help one of the men who were limping but she wasn’t looking at them. Her breath caught in her throat. She couldn’t believe it. She thanked God and walked towards him.

When she was near to him she stopped and crossed her arms over his chest. She could hear him and if she strained, maybe she could breathe him?

You could barely tell he had been injured. He walked almost flawlessly apart from the slight hesitation in his step. In a moment he was going to turn around and see her. Give me strength, she thought.

He dismissed his men and remained where he stood while they walked tiredly away. He was staring at the sunset, the same sunset she had just been watching. She thought about saying his name but when she opened her mouth no noise came out. She stood.

Max ran his hand through his hair. He was thinking about her. It was the first time he had been able to in a while. He wanted her standing in front of him. For the past three days he had walked back from battle, his platoon of sixty now consisted of nine. They had pitched tents in the thick forest at night and mourned over their loses during the day.

Finally maybe they could eat something other then wild berries and stale pieces of old bread. Tonight he would get a bed to sleep in.

Standing with the wind blowing against his back he could smell the pungent stench of blood coming from behind him. It was being blown from the tents where doctors and nurses fought to save lives. His men had gone to bathe and he needed to join them but he couldn’t move his feet. He wondered if anyone would notice if he collapsed right there in the middle of the road?

When he turned around he walked with his eyes to the ground. That was until he caught sight of her. It couldn’t be? No, he was just daydreaming and delusional from lack of sleep.

“Max?” she said quietly.

He lifted his head and stared at her. Had he just heard her too?

“Max, oh my God.” She ran to him and wrapped her arms around his tired stiff body. He couldn’t bring himself to hug her back.

“What are you doing here?” he asked. She looked so worn-down and messy, she looked so beautiful.

“I’m here doing my job,” she answered. “And—looking for you.”

This had to be some kind of beautiful dream. “What—?”

Before he could say any more she put her hand over his mouth. He looked down at her wonderingly, was she for real? He didn’t have to wonder for any longer, she rose up and pressed her mouth to his, kissing him fiercely. It took him a moment to register but when he did, he brought his hands up to cup her cheeks.

When she broke away she panted quietly. “Why did you leave?” She saw he was in no state of dress or mind to answer.

“What do you mean, you…” He paused, “Not here.” He read her mind. “I have to go—”

She nodded.

“There’s a place I could meet you tonight, it’s a motel…”

“Motel?” There were no motels around here. Her face slowly registered, she laughed. “That’s a brothel house.”

He didn’t say anything.

“I’ll be there,” she said. “But I can’t be there until after eight.”

He nodded. He looked so tired and sore. He had a cut on his forehead.

What could she do? She wanted to take the foreboding out of his eyes. Not foreboding at her, menacing of what he’d seen. She kissed him again with all her compassion, with all her force. Everything she had built up since he left.

It was an awkward departure. Max was confused but happy. Liz was relieved but nervous. They both couldn’t wait until that night.

''
She walked nervously up the steps, past many hussies with soldiers against the wall. Liz asked someone if they’d seen Max. They didn’t know. A lady pointed upstairs further so Liz carried on. She stopped at the next door and knocked. Sure enough, Max opened the door and let her in. He was clean and shaven and wore a washed Major’s uniform. His medal hung on his chest.

He was impossibly handsome. Her heart stopped.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t think it would be this bad,” he said referring to the building.

She silenced him by covering his mouth with hers. The room was concrete with a wooden window looking down on the road below. There was a bed and a chair but nothing else. The blankets looked clean.

Liz didn’t care. She wrapped her arms around his neck. “I love you,” she said. “I’m with you.” She felt so small standing in front of him in his full uniform. “Everything’s perfect.”

“What happened to—?”

She cut him off again. “I was stupid.”

They sat down on the bed.

“Do you still—?” Liz wondered. Did he still want her or had her refusal turned him off?

He looked shocked. “You’re crazy. How could you ask me that?”

“I don’t know…”

“Liz.” He pressed his forehead to hers. “You know what kept me going these last few days? The thought of you.”

She had tears in her eyes. “Then show me, touch me,” she whispered. She placed her hands over his and led them down to her breasts. “I’ve missed you.”

Max shuddered with delight. “Miss”—his voice cracked—“Miss, doesn’t adequately describe what I’ve felt in your absence.” They kissed feverishly, attacking each other with their mouths. Liz ran her hands under his jacket and felt his warm skin under his shirt. He was so warm and inviting…

Neither of them knew what they had in store the next day or for the rest of the year but right now they needed this moment.

posted on 16-Feb-2003 10:54:17 PM by Eccentric One
Before I even read this, I just want to say....

Yeah baby! A new part!

Kara
posted on 16-Feb-2003 11:12:00 PM by Eccentric One
Now I've read it. I'm so glad they finally found each other. Even in such awful circumstances. I'm glad that they were able to get away to somewhere...but the poor dears...a brothel? I'm thinking that it is entirely possible that both of them are virgins. How awful to lose that under such circumstances. Even if it is to the person you love.

And on that note...how could you leave us there? Talk about the eternal "will they or won't they" debate.

Now the next question, after the above mentioned one, is how will they get out of this? How long will it be before Liz can join Max in NZ? And there is no doubt in my mind that she should go there. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. No one should ever go without having seen it.

Kara
posted on 16-Feb-2003 11:54:43 PM by roswellluver
Thank goodness Max and Liz found each other again! Thanks for wriitng!
posted on 17-Feb-2003 12:12:31 AM by narly21
::sigh:: They're finally together. Their devotion for eachother is beautiful. The circumstances do suck but I'm glad they have this opportunity to be together. Now, the question is will they or won't they?!!?
HURRY BACK!!*bounce*
posted on 17-Feb-2003 1:02:49 AM by destinyrebel
Dude!!! They finally got together! Holy Hell!!! It happened! *big*
I'm so happy right now... I was so sure that she lost him...
And that note? Dear god, I was weeping... So insanly sweet...
Loved the new part! I'm so happy they are together! Woohoo!!! *tongue*

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 17-Feb-2003 5:31:45 AM by frenchkiss70
She found him again. I'm so happy*happy* I thought she'd lost him for good because of her stubborn attitude.
They're together now*angel* But for how long?
Please post more soon*angel*
posted on 17-Feb-2003 9:16:47 AM by PSW2001
They met again!! Wish them have a longer time together! Please post next part soon.
posted on 17-Feb-2003 12:48:16 PM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 17-Feb-2003 3:51:04 PM by marteloise
they found each other again!!!*bounce**bounce**bounce*
how long will they be together ???
great great part!!*bounce**bounce*
posted on 18-Feb-2003 11:12:29 PM by aZNroSweLl anglgrl
*happy*<-- Me happy.

They're finally together....woohoo...*big* So what's going to happen next? They're not going to live happily ever after are they?

Anyway, thanks for updating. Post more soon.
posted on 19-Feb-2003 12:46:52 AM by Lattegirl
finally! I have been trying to make time to read this since.... well it feels like its been forever. it took me getting the flu to finally get a chance to read lol who cares? on the inside I am doing a happy dance. Nicola I have no idea why you could possibly think that we would hate you!?!?!? that part was so incredible! I know you could have kept going but you had leave lana something right? lol I loved how she kept asking & asking soldiers looking for her max awhhhh my dreamer heart is content.... for the moment *angel*please post soon lana*angel*
posted on 19-Feb-2003 6:11:08 PM by Lana Lane
And you've done this one too wheee. You've made me the happiest person alive. I truly can't wait to read this I can feel myself getting better just knowing you've posted. back as soon as possible with my reaction to the amazing.
posted on 20-Feb-2003 2:06:51 PM by destinyrebel
*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*
posted on 22-Feb-2003 3:55:10 AM by Lana Lane
ThankYOU so much for the wonderful new part Nicola in_love you don't know what it means to me to get the opportunity to read such amazing work and my medicinal fix of your writings left me with dribblies and droolies. They found each other and it wasn't a dragged out, long winded process. You're made me so happy, you're my sun you know that? This is where I say I can't wait to find out whats coming next? and please post more soon but wait, its me posting next isn't it. It will be an impossible task but I'll try and do your parts proud. I'll post as soon as I can wave

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 22-Feb-2003 3:58:32 AM ]
posted on 22-Feb-2003 6:20:50 AM by PSW2001
Bump! *bounce* Bump! *bounce* Bump!*bounce**bounce*