posted on 25-Jan-2003 4:23:05 PM by JO
Author's Note: If you're reading this thread, and it sounds familiar, it's because I've posted this story here before. Now, it was several moons ago and I'm trying to start on the 3rd story, so I wanted to post it as a refresher. Hopefully, those of you that loved it the first time will love it again and those that are new will love it too. [I'm also hoping that someone will volunteer to make me one of those beautiful banners/fanarts. I've got ideas - just not too good at putting them to paper]

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Pathos
Author: JO
e-mail: jolovesroswell⊕yahoo.com
Catagory: M/L, post-Departure (future)
Summary: Liz returns to Roswell after an 11 year absence with secrets.



PART ONE
2014

Liz Parker sat perfectly still, staring at her reflection in the mirror. She looked relatively unchanged, despite how bleak her life seemed at the moment. She closed her eyes, keeping them closed for several seconds, just enough time for a solitary tear to drip down her face. She had seen him tonight, for the first time in probably three years. He was the only man who could make her feel so many different things: love, hate, emptiness, grief. She opened her eyes slowly and stared directly at her reflection. Somehow, along the course of the years, her eyes had lost their luster and sparkle. They used to sparkle when she looked at him, and she knew, deep within her heart, that no man would ever make her feel how Max Evans made her feel.

She swallowed and blinked hard, fighting for the control she so desperately wanted. One look, she thought, and it all comes flooding back. They had locked eyes the moment she stepped into Maria’s house, just as Maria had planned. They held the gaze for several seconds and she remembered the way Max’s mouth turned up at the corners in a semi-smile. Blindly, she threw Maria her anniversary present and bolted. She could not see Max, not tonight, and had foolishly believed Maria when she had said Max would not be in attendance. She nervously bit her lip, catching her reflection again, remembering exactly how it had been to look into his eyes, even for those few seconds. It was like he was trying to melt away a decade of absence with one look, trying to make her remember just how amazingly wonderful they once were. Max had always looked at her that way, especially after Tess. During that time, she had felt like he wanted her to look at him with love in her eyes, but no matter how hard she tried and no matter how much she wanted to, all she could picture was his one night with Tess. Technically, they had not been a couple, but Liz had always held out hope they would one day be together again. Max’s night with Tess had instantly shattered any of the dreams she so voraciously held on to.

She sighed and twirled a long strand of hair around her fingertips. It should have comforted her that Max looked just as shitty as she felt. Wasn’t that what old girlfriends were supposed to think, how they were supposed to feel? But somehow, despite all the anger she felt, the most painful and surprising emotion she felt was regret. On the way home from Michael and Maria’s, she had once again stumbled into her fantasy world and had seen the vision that she dreamt about each night while a senior in high school and her first years of college. Max, dressed in his tux, and she in a beautiful, white wedding gown, laughing and smiling with each other, passionately kissing each other. Even now, simply staring at her reflection, she could feel his lips on the back of her neck. She felt them sting and burn and sear the very core of her soul, marking her, enticing her, just as they had done that night. If she blocked out everything around her, she could feel his hands on her body, clumsy yet loving and gentle, just as they had been that night, their one and only night together.


Quickly she wrapped her hands around her head, temporarily hoping to crush her own skull if that would erase the memory of her weakest moment. That was the night everything changed between them. That was the night she stumbled to his bedroom window in a drunken stupor, and confessed everything to him. That was the night he swore his son did not matter, that she mattered more than anything, that she was his life. That was the night she believed the same words he had been repeating for three years. That was the night they gave in to their passion, changing them, everyone and everything around them in ways only Liz Parker knew.





[ edited 4 time(s), last at 11-Feb-2003 6:23:39 PM ]
posted on 25-Jan-2003 9:30:30 PM by JO
max and liz believer: This is the first part. It picks up in 2014. Departure was the last thing that applies in the Roswell tv reality.


Glad you all like it!!!

JO
posted on 28-Jan-2003 9:48:15 PM by JO
PART TWO


Liz rested her chin on her hands, directly avoiding the reflection she had been staring at so intently moments earlier. Surely he sensed her shock when they made eye contact. Despite everything that had happened between them, she and Max had always shared that special connection, since the day he had healed her. She smiled slightly remembering all the times Maria had complained about wanting Michael to be more like Max and now, years later, it was Michael who was the devoted family man and Max who was the loner.

Furiously rubbing her eyes, she glanced at the clock on the night stand. 2:30 a. m. Max had always had this insomniac effect on her. Just thinking about him and their life together used to keep her up all hours of the night, wondering, hoping, dreaming. Now, it was the dreams that kept her awake. Dreams in which she was finally happy. Dreams that they were together, as a family, but those dreams would never come true. She had been the one to run away from him. As a matter of fact, she had always been the one to run away, claiming Max’s best interest at heart.

Standing quickly from the stool, she was suddenly agitated with herself. She had always had Max’s best interest at heart, but now wondered why she had not been selfish. By leaving him to his destiny, running away from him in the desert, she had been overwhelmed with guilt and confusion after hearing Max’s greater purpose. By following through with Future Max’s plan, she had saved Michael and Isabel, and assured that Tess would stay in Roswell. Had she known what was to come of Tess staying, she would have never done it, no matter how desperate Future Max seemed. Everything about her life now was wrong, and the worst part, the part neither her heart nor her mind could understand, was that she had done it to herself.

* * *

She knocked hesitantly at the door, glancing around quickly for signs of anyone she knew. Both cars were in the driveway so she knew Maria would be home. She raised her hand to knock again when the door slowly opened, revealing Evan, Maria’s six-year-old son. “Hey, Aunt Liz. Mom’s in the kitchen.” And just as quickly as he had appeared, Evan was gone, running up the stairs as fast as he could.

“Maria,” Liz called as she walked into the house and closed the door. “Michael?”

“In here, Liz,” Maria called from the kitchen. “We’re in the kitchen.”


Liz sat her purse on the couch and walked slowly into the kitchen, fully expecting to see Max sitting at the table with Maria. She paused just outside the kitchen door, peeking into the room before stepping in. She was surprised to see Maria and four-year-old Livvie sprawled across the kitchen floor coloring. Liz leaned against the door frame and watched as Maria instructed her blonde pixie-haired child how to color in the lines. Immediately, she felt the same sadness she always felt, knowing what she could have had. “Ant Wiz,” Livvie screamed, throwing down her crayons and running toward Liz. “You is hewe.”

Liz recovered and bent down quickly, scooping Livvie into her arms. She hugged her tightly as Livvie blew a raspberry on Liz’s cheek. In return, Liz lifted Livvie’s shirt and blew on her stomach, prompting giggles to echo from the little girl’s mouth. Liz quickly kissed her nose just as Livvie began to squirm to be put down. “Come on, you can cowor wif us.” Livvie grabbed her hand and pulled Liz to the kitchen table, where Maria now had the coloring book and crayons spread out.

“Livvie girl, why don’t you go get the new book Aunt Liz sent you and we’ll read it to her, okay?” Livvie’s green eyes sparkled as she smiled widely at Liz before running out of the kitchen to her room. “That should keep her busy for a few minutes. Four-year-olds have no attention span, or at least she doesn’t. I think she gets that from me.” Maria pulled out a chair before turning away from Liz. “Want some coffee?”

“Love some,” Liz replied, sitting down at the table slowly. “Thanks.” Liz watched as Maria poured two cups of coffee and turned back toward her. Maria carefully sat one cup in front of Liz before she sat down next to her at the table. Liz held the cup in her hands, taking light sips as she and her best friend sat in uncomfortable silence. “I’m sorry about ruining your anniversary party.”

“You didn’t ruin it, Liz,” Maria said, leaning back in the chair. “As usual, all of Roswell just wanted to know what was going on with you and Max. After you stormed out, he just disappeared.” Liz opened her mouth to speak, instantly concerned for Max. Maria noticed it too and amended her words. “Not gone disappeared, just disappeared from the party. I found him in Evan’s room. He was telling Evan and Livvie a story. He’s really good with kids, you know.”

Liz’s jaws tightened and she bit her lip, trying to control the tears now pooled in her eyes. Of course Max is good with kids, she wanted to say. Max would have been a loyal and wonderful father. “I’m sure he’s great with them, Maria,” Liz whispered as she moved the cup from side to side in her hands.

“Okay, Liz, you’re thirty-one years old and you’ve been in and out of Roswell for the past ten years, mostly out. I love you and I love Max and I’m sorry that you got mad because he was here, but, damn it, if you still love each other -”

“Who says Max still loves me?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “You’re kidding, right? For a Harvard educated person, Liz, you’re extremely dense.”


Liz wildly avoided Maria’s eyes. Maria normally hit the nail on the head. She blinked and remembered Max’s smile when they had first locked eyes the other night. Instantly her heart warmed and her mind flooded with a montage of Max’s many smiles. She cleared her throat, pushing the memories into the farthest corner of her mind. “Who said I love him? He has a son, Maria. A son with Tess who killed Alex. Remember Alex?”

“Don’t even start with that, Liz. Of course I remember Alex. I love Alex and I miss him every day. I stayed here, remember? I didn’t run away.”

“Please Maria,” Liz pleaded. “Please don’t do this. I....I’ve made mistakes and I’m sorry, but I’m here now. I don’t want to fight with you about something that happened a million years ago. Please.”

Maria’s face softened and she reached out for Liz’s hand. Liz gratefully accepted it, thankful that she had avoided Maria’s interrogation once again. If Maria knew the real reason Liz had left Roswell in the middle of the night almost eleven years ago, Liz was certain she would be dragged kicking and screaming back in to the alien abyss, the place she desperately did not want to be. “So, are you ever gonna tell your bestest friend what you’re hiding?”

“Wh- what?” Liz released Maria’s hand, her eyes darting back and forth across Maria’s face for any signs of recognition. “Why do you think I’m hiding something?”

Maria shrugged as she took another sip of her coffee. “I just think you are. And I think it’s big. I wish you’d share it with me. You know how I hate being out of the loop.”

“There’s no loop, Maria,” Liz nervously replied as she stood and walked over to get more coffee. “No secrets. Nothing to hide.”

Maria swivelled in her chair to face Liz, who was leaning against the counter top. She watched as Liz’s hands gently shook as she raised the cup to her lips. “So you’ll forgive me if I think you’re lying, won’t you?”

“Maria.” Liz sighed and rolled her eyes, taking a small step to the side.

“Okay, okay. I won’t press you. You’ve always kept your secrets for a reason.” Maria stood up and walked toward her oldest friend in the world. “But usually your secrets have to do with Max.” Maria had not been prepared for the look of horror that flashed momentarily in Liz’s eyes. The coffee cup in Liz’s shaky hands fell to the floor, shattering on impact. Liz tucked her hair behind her ears and quickly darted away from Maria.

“I...I’ll clean this up, Maria.”

“Liz, what’s wrong,” Maria asked, grabbing Liz’s arm as she bent down to pick up the pieces of the shattered cup.


“Nothing. Nothing’s wrong.” Liz pulled her arm out of Maria’s grasp and stepped away from her. “I...I should go. I forgot I had to be somewhere. Bye, Maria.” Liz turned on her heels and ran out of the kitchen toward the front door.

Maria sighed as she heard Michael yell at Liz and bent down to pick up with was left of the coffee cup off her kitchen floor. “What’s wrong with Liz,” Michael said, as Maria stood up with the broken cup in her hands. He kissed her cheek and waved his hands across the cup, restoring it to its normal condition. “She almost knocked me down running out of here.”

Maria placed the cup in the sink and leaned against the counter top, determination written across her face. “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”


posted on 2-Feb-2003 12:04:13 PM by JO
PART THREE


After leaving Maria’s house, Liz knew she had to get out of Roswell. She had come back strictly for Maria and Michael’s anniversary and her plan had been stay a few days then return home. As she drove away from the city and into the desert, she knew she couldn’t disappear so easily this time. Maria was relentless. She would pursue Liz for the rest of her life, especially now that Maria knew Liz was hiding something from her. Something big. Something about Max.

She drove blindly away from the city, almost content to keep driving until Roswell was merely a spec in her rear-view mirror. But Roswell meant too much to her. Max meant too much to her. She was so caught up in her thoughts, she hadn’t realized she’d driven directly to the place she hadn’t returned to since the morning she left Roswell: the quarry. She exited the car and carefully made her way down the rocky hill. She stopped half of the way down, took off her jacket and threw it on the ground. She sat down gently and pulled her knees to her chest. So many memories held in this small quarry. Their first meeting as a group, after Topolsky had contacted Alex. She remembered exactly how scared and vulnerable she had felt at that moment. How it had become the six of them in one fatal swoop. And how they were bound together by a common secret, a secret that still bound them today.

It seemed like she always had Max on the brain when she came here. Today, for instance, as well as the morning of her departure. This had been a special place, for all of them, not just for she and Max. A faint smile crossed her lips as she remembered the intimate scene Max had set for them on their first date, post-Tess.

September 2001

Liz, blindfolded and wearing a new black dress, sat in the front seat of the Evans’ car. Max drove, occasionally glancing to his right to make sure Liz was still wearing the blindfold.

“Where are we going, Max?” She raised her hands toward her eyes, touching the silk fabric that covered them.

“Don’t you trust me, Liz,” Max asked with a laugh.

“Not when you blindfold me, no. I’m just going to take this thing off.” Her hands wrapped around to the back of her head, grasping for the knot that held the blindfold over her eyes.

“No,” Max pleaded, reaching for her, accidentally swerving the car to the right in his attempt to stop Liz from removing the blindfold.

“Max,” she screamed, bracing her hands on the dashboard as Max regained control of the car.

“We’re almost there, Liz. Please wait, okay?” After several minutes, Max pulled the car to a halt, quickly scurrying to the passenger side to retrieve Liz. He tenderly helped her from the car and gently guided her path down the hillside. “We’re here,” he said after abruptly stopping their downward trek.

Liz smiled as she felt him move behind her and, after kissing the back of her neck, he removed the blindfold, revealing a candle lit quarry to a stunned Liz. Small candles illuminated the entire quarry, creating a pool of dancing lights in the water. Overhead, it seemed that every star in the sky sparkled, matching the flicker of the candles.

“Oh Max,” Liz gasp, covering her mouth with her hands. She shivered as he placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her carefully to the table set for two on the rock ledge less than two feet away from the. “How did you- ” she began as she raised her tear-filled eyes to meet his soft amber ones.

“Maria,” he responded and Liz could see a faint blush sweep across his face.

“I -”

“Liz,” he said, gently placing his fingers over her lips to quiet her. “I...I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of. I’ve hurt you in ways that could have been avoided, that should have been avoided, and I’ve asked you to sacrifice so much. I’m sorry, Liz. I’m sorry for everything.” He took her hands into his and smiled what she called his shy smile. “I don’t care about what’s happened in the past. It’s over and done. I want to start over with you, Liz. I want to make you fall in love with me again. I want to make all your dreams come true. Will you let me do that?”

Liz nodded her head, her eyes suddenly lost in Max’s. ‘Yes, Max, I will”


Liz pulled her knees closer to her chest and rested her chin on them. She stared at the rock ledge that had held the table. It had once been flat and smooth, magically jutting out into the quarry. Now, it was jagged, scarred and unsafe. Instantly, she remembered that the quarry held other non-happy memories too.


Summer 2003

She paced nervously beside Maria and Michael. Max had not arrived, even though he had called this meeting. He had sounded anxious when they talked, and Liz worried that any number of things could have delayed his arrival at the quarry. Isabel stood by the water’s edge, her cell phone attached to her ear. Liz watched her as she laughed and could only assume she was talking to Diane or her two-year-old son, Alex. Liz shuddered as her mind wandered back to the previous summer and hoped they were not revisiting problems of the past.

They had just graduated from high school and Isabel had been married for almost six months to an attorney in Mr. Evans’ firm, Jesse Ramirez. Max and Michael were wary of Isabel being involved with him, let alone marrying him, but after some convincing from Maria and Liz, they had seen that it was best for Isabel. Somehow, though Liz could never determine exactly how, Max and Michael found out Jesse worked for the FBI. After months of prodding, Jesse had admitted as much to the group, shocking Isabel completely. He swore to them he wasn’t involved in FBI dealings anymore, especially after he married Isabel. Liz thought it was extremely ironic that only weeks after confessing to them he had worked for the FBI, Jesse was shot on Main Street in broad daylight, trying to protect Isabel and their unborn child from a kidnaping by the FBI Special Unit. His death was listed as accidental, the result of a drive-by shooting, but it still caused chills to run down Liz’s spine, knowing how close the FBI had been to Max, to all of them.

She paced several steps away from Michael and Maria, her nervousness now brimming to the surface. She looked at the top of the quarry and smiled, relieved to finally see Max’s outline appear. Instantly, her relief turned to confusion as she saw a petite blonde appear by his side.

“Tess,” Maria seethed through her teeth, stepping forward in front of Michael. “What is she doing here?”

Liz turned and watched as Isabel’s mouth dropped in shock. She quickly turned away from Isabel, trying to control her own anger as she watched Tess and Max make their way down the rocky slope to the waiting four-some. She felt Isabel brush against her as she calmly walked toward Tess, waiting for Tess and Max to reach them. Tess smiled at Isabel from several yards away and remained smiling until Isabel drew her right hand back and slapped Tess squarely across the face. Tess stumbled to the right and Liz watched in confusion and horror as Max reached out for her to prevent her from falling onto the rocks. “You bitch,’ Isabel spat as Max helped to steady Tess. Isabel then turned on her heels and stormed away from them.

“What is she doing here, Max?” Maria stepped into the spot vacated by Isabel. “You just had to come back and ruin our lives a little more, didn’t you. Was there someone left on your list to kill? Me? Michael? Liz?” Michael stepped behind Maria and placed his hand on her shaking shoulder, trying to calm her down.

“Tess came back to help us. She’s changed.”

“You’re a fool, Max. Things like her don’t change.” Maria glared at Tess as she folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot continuously on the ground.

“What do you really want, Tess,” Michael asked, stepping around Maria and pushing her behind him. “And where’s Max’s kid?”

Liz slowly crept toward Michael, highly interested in all the questions that had been raised in the past ten minutes. She was too shocked to form words, too numb to think clearly. Tess was a lying murderous bitch that had destroyed all their lives, and Max had brought her back into the fold, believing the vile filth that came out of her mouth. She glanced down and back up again, curious to see what Tess would say to defend her crimes.

“There was no baby. It was just a trap to get you home.” Liz blinked, unsure if she really believed Tess, and when she raised her head, discovered Tess was staring directly at her. She shook her head, lowering it slightly when something caught her eye. Max was holding Tess’ hand. Tess had been gone for two years, and somehow, despite all the progress she thought she and Max were making in their relationship, he was holding Tess’ hand. She raised her eyes to meet Max’s, her brow furrowed in confusion.

“I don’t care what you say, Maxwell,” Michael said, accidently knocking her with his elbow, shaking her from her thoughts about Max and Tess’ intertwined hands. “I don’t trust her and I’m never going to trust her again. She lied to us, used us and killed Alex. You may be a hybrid, Tess, but you’re nothing like us.”

“God dammit,” Max screamed, flinging his arms into the air. Liz jumped as a clap of thunder echoed through the quarry. The ground rumbled and Liz looked to her left at their ledge. Where it had once stood, proud and special, a broken piece of rock sat in its place, with the remaining pieces rolling down the hillside toward the water. “We’re talking about home, Michael, our real home, and finding the answers you’ve been looking for your whole life. Tess can give that to us. She can answer every question.”

“She can also get us killed,” Michael continued, ignoring Max’s pleas and focusing a steely glare directly at Tess. Liz watched as Tess and Michael locked eyes, neither blinking or giving an inch. “Let’s go, Maria.” Michael wrapped his arm around Maria’s waist and Liz watched as they walked arm-in-arm up the rocky slope to their car. She quickly turned her attention back to Max and Tess. In an instant, just as she had done minutes earlier, Tess invaded Liz’s personal space.

“You’ll never be rid of me, Liz Parker,” she taunted. “Me or my son.”


Tess was right, she thought. I’ll never be rid of them. Tess’ plan to disrupt Max’s life at all costs had succeeded and Liz knew that, until they were finally free of Tess, she and Max would never be together. His son, Tess’ son, was heir to the throne, a vital commodity when it came to waging war against Max. And no matter how much she tried to deny it, Tess’ son was Max’s first. No child she had could ever compare to that.

Liz nervously bit her lip and looked out into the quarry. She sighed loudly. Dusk was upon Roswell and this was her favorite time to be in the desert. The first twinkling of the stars that were almost reflected in the desert floor. The rock formations that seemed to melt as the sun set behind them. She ran her hands through her hair and sighed again, wishing, not for the first time in her life, that Max were there to share it with her.

The second Max had entered her brain, her heart fluttered and instantly warmed, her stomach began to turn small somersaults, just as it had done since the day he healed her. She closed her eyes, unaware of the gentle breeze that blew because she was so absorbed in remembering the way Max’s touch felt on her skin. She felt his lips brush hers, the stubble from his jaw line tickle her neck. She could hear her own heartbeat as it fluttered faster. These reactions only meant one thing to her: Max was near. She opened her eyes and scanned the quarry for him. Relief and sadness flooded into her heart at the same time until she saw a small rock roll past her hand.

She glanced slightly to her left and her whole body warmed. Turning around, she saw him, standing behind her with his hands in his pockets. “Hi, Max.”

He smiled his shy smile for her once again. “Hello, Liz.” And Liz couldn’t help the faint smile that crossed her lips as he sat down beside her on the rocky hillside.

posted on 11-Feb-2003 6:24:09 PM by JO
PART FOUR


“Beautiful night,” he said, staring overhead. Liz glanced at him out of the corner of her eyes before joining his upward gaze.

“Do you ever just look at the stars any more, Max? I mean, after you, it’s hard for me to look at them without wondering what else is out there, if all my questions will be ever answered. Sometimes I wish I could look up, just to look up, and admire the beauty of the universe.”

Max cleared his throat and leaned closer to her. “I was just making polite conversation,” he whispered. Liz opened her mouth to speak, turning her head to look at him. They locked eyes. Then it happened, something that had not happened between them in several years. They laughed, strong, hearty, friendly laughs. Liz had forgotten how good it felt to laugh, especially to laugh with Max. He looked so beautiful when he laughed, when he really laughed. The lines around his dimples creased and his whole face lit up. Mostly, when Max laughed, he laughed with his eyes. Liz had always gone weak in the knees whenever Max looked at her. Those beautiful amber eyes had been her undoing from the first moment, and they haunted her in her dreams even now.


They laughed and talked as old friends did. They talked about their families, their mutual friends, the high school reunion Liz did not attend, Michael and Maria’s kids, and Alex. Max told her about taking Alex, Evan and Livvie to the park the previous week in which Evan fell into the fountain, Alex lost his two front teeth flying out of a swing and Livvie ate a caterpillar. By the time, Max finished the story, Liz was in tears from laughing. She continued to laugh after Max had stopped talking and did not offer any stories from her personal life, leaving them sitting in silence after the laughter died.

“I can’t believe it’s been ten years,” Max finally said, unable to handle the silence any longer. Liz’s breath caught in her throat, uncertain exactly what Max meant. They hadn’t spoken to each other since that night and they certainly had never spoken about what had happened in Max’s childhood bedroom.

“Wh- what are you talking about, Max?”

“Michael and Maria,” he offered simply. Liz breathed a small sigh of relief. There was only so much reminiscing she could handle for one day. “Who knew they would get married.”

“Who knew Michael would agree.”

“Exactly,” Max said, laughing at Liz’s statement. He paused slightly, glancing at Liz who was rolling rocks around in her hands. “Liz,” he began then suddenly cleared his throat. “I...we’ve never talked about it...you know, that night.”

“Max -”

“I don’t care, Liz. I mean, you left. I don’t understand why and there’s nothing I can do to change it but I can’t pretend that when I see you, when I’m with you, I don’t still feel something. You know what I mean, don’t you Liz? You feel it too. I know you do.”

Liz quickly nodded her head and her eyes caught the broken, scarred ledge on the corner of her vision. She rolled a rock in her hand for several seconds before launching it toward the water. “I’m different, Max. Lots of things have changed and I don’t think you want me in your life the way I am now.” She stood and scooped her jacket up off the ground, dusting it with her hand. “We’re just...different.”

Max stood quickly and grabbed her hand as she turned to leave. “Please don’t shut me out, Liz. We’re both different people, but I need you in my life.” Max tenderly reached for her face, caressing her cheek with his thumb. Liz shocked them both by leaning into his touch. She closed her eyes, basking in the delicate touch of Max’s skin on hers. It had been so long since she felt it in real life. She felt the warmth creep around her heart and she impulsively grabbed Max’s arms to steady herself. She felt his breath blowing lightly against her face, and she felt a light buzzing in the back of her brain, knowing exactly what had happened the last time she had felt it. “I love you, Liz,” he whispered, his breath hitting her neck, causing goose bumps to roll down her flesh. “Please don’t shut me out.”


“Max,” she whispered as she felt his lips graze her earlobe. The warmth surrounding her heart quickly made its way outward, warming her whole body as it traveled. Her body rocked with slight tremors and she dug her fingers into Max’s shoulder, dropping her head forward slightly. Max pulled her body tightly against him, holding her as she rode out the wave of release. She dropped her hands to his waist, allowing herself to enjoy the moment of being in Max’s arms again. He pulled her tighter against him and Liz’s eyes widened as she felt his erection press against her hip. Her body momentarily convulsed, causing her hand to involuntarily brush him. She felt it throb as her hand grazed him and a low groan erupted from Max’s throat.

Her brows furrowed and Liz opened her mouth to speak. Before she could form the words to tell him that this could not continue, Max’s mouth crashed onto hers. He held her against him with one arm and ran his free hand through her hair. Their tongues dueled, hungrily lapping at each other with an overwhelming passion and longing neither could control. Liz felt her brain go fuzzy and before she could control it, a single image passed between them.


Liz laughing and playing together with two dark-haired children, wishing Max was with them


Liz quickly pushed him away and drew her fingers to her mouth, horrified at what Max had seen and knowing that it had been too much. Tears threatened to stream down her face as Liz quickly ran from the quarry, and, once again, away from Max.