posted on 17-Dec-2001 2:51:44 AM by Trinity Star1323
Title: As Lovely As You
Author: trinitystar1323
Email: misery_chick_⊕hotmail.com
Rating: PG-13 for now…
Disclaimer: The WB owns Roswell, the characters, and situations. No
infringement intended. Nothing is mine.
Summary: Alternate Universe. No aliens. Everyone is 23…
Category: Liz/Max, with a little Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex.
Authors Notes:


"And you're sure the caterers are taken care of?" Isabel asked fiancée anxiously who in reply nodded his head. In less than two months she would be getting married to the love of her life, Alex Whitman, and she wanted everything to be perfect. She had always wanted her wedding to be near Christmas, and now it was happening. Her dress was picked out, the church and minister booked, all flower arrangements were already made, and the banquet was all squared away. The photographer had already been debriefed and lectured on what exactly to get pictures of, invitations had already been sent out, a cake had already been selected, and the entertainment had already been reserved for the banquet.

Now all Isabel had to worry about was finding a third bridesmaid. She had already asked her best friend Maria DeLuca and Tess Harding, both of whom agreed without hesitation, but she was unsure of whom to ask to be her third and final bride's maid. She had gone through her list of friends, but none of them seemed to suit her list of required needs to become the one.

Maria was Michael's girlfriend, and Isabel was Michael's best friend, so there was no doubt in her mind that Maria would have to be one of her bride maids. Besides that, Isabel had been friends with Maria since high school and throughout college. Then there was Tess, who was Max's girlfriend at one point in time but no longer, and Max was Isabel's brother, so she had to ask Tess, otherwise either Max would become angry or Isabel would have to listen to Tess snivel about not being one. However, only a week ago Max had broken things off with Tess, which left Isabel in quite a predicament. Isabel had met Tess in college, and the minute she had introduced the girl to Max, Isabel regretted it. They were never that good of friends, but once Tess and Max started going out there wasn't much that Isabel could do.

"Sweetheart, what's wrong?" Alex asked, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing the curve of her neck. He could tell that she was stressing out, she always did, but in the last two months she had become what Max and Michael referred to her as, 'the wedding Nazi.' All of her free time was spent on making sure the wedding would be perfect, but to Alex, just getting married to her was enough to reach perfection.

"I can't figure out who to make my third bridesmaid. I've been racking my brain for three weeks now just trying to find someone, but I can't think of a single soul. Jenny is too pretty and way to flirty- I won't have that on my wedding. Rachael would ruin everything by complaining about the dresses not being short enough. And Lora would most likely forget to even show up! I don't have anyone." Isabel cried. To add to her stresses she was also pregnant. It didn't help that one minute she was blinding everyone with her bright smile and the next minute she was crying her eyes out, but Alex stuck by her side and tried to help her through everything.

"Is that all?" Alex asked teasingly. Isabel whirled around and glared at him, her tears drying up immediately and her once depressing mood turning to anger. "I know someone who would be perfect for the job."

"She can't be too pretty, or too snobby! I don't want to be shown up at my wedding. And if she ruins my wedding, I swear Alexander Whitman…" Alex hushed Isabel by placing a finger to her lips before she could finish. He knew her emotions were running rampant, but sometimes she truly went overboard. "And… and… Alex who do you know that could possibly be perfect enough to be my bridesmaid? Are you cheating on me?"

"Shhh, no. Isabel, don't ever think that I could ever love another woman, or even want another woman. I was talking about my sister." Alex laughed, trying to push Isabel's fears away as he pressed a kiss to her forehead. She visibly relaxed, but only for a moment before she pushed herself out of Alex's grip and stared at him incredulously.

"Since when do you have a sister? I've known you for two years and never once have you mentioned having a sister. I've met your parents and never once have they mentioned a sister! You've been lying to me this whole time?" Isabel sobbed, tears streamed down her face as she continued to look at Alex, her heart broken that he had kept this from her.

"Well, she's not my real sister, and I haven't seen her for three years. Her name's Liz. I went to high school with her and in our sophomore year her parents died in a car crash. My parents took her in and so in a way we adopted her. She took on our last name, but it was never legal." Alex could tell that Isabel was still skeptical of what he was saying so he continued on. "You know all those pictures of that girl with brown hair that you asked me about when you first moved in- you know the one you thought I was having an affair with? That's my sister! I tried telling you then, but you made me forget when you told me we were having a child."

"She's your sister? Oh my god, Alex! She would be perfect… but, will she be able to come on such short notice?" Isabel asked. She was slightly wary of having his sister come, she was extremely beautiful from what Isabel had seen in the photographs and Isabel did not want to be outdone at her own wedding. She also feared that her attitude might be more arrogant that Isabel could stand. "And… and what's she like?"

"I haven't seen nor heard from her for three years; well until yesterday. Her boyfriend broke up with her, so this would be good for her and she's really sweet. You'd love her." Alex hoped he was convincing enough. He really did believe that Isabel would love his sister, and he also believed that getting Liz away from New York would be best, otherwise she might do something rash when it came to her boyfriend. She had called him the night before, crying her heart out to him about how she had given her love to her boyfriend and he in turn had cheated on her while on a trip. She was nothing like all the other famous models; she actually cared about people and their feelings, and most importantly she didn't care what others thought about her. And lastly, it would be nice to spend Christmas with her. "And I'm sure she'd say yes. I was going to invite her to the wedding anyway, so if you want to use her as a bridesmaid I'm sure she would do just fine."

"Ok, can you ask her tonight?" Isabel asked hopefully, her anger and fear dissipating with each passing moment. Alex truly was the best thing in her life and she wouldn't give him up for the world, but during moments like these she loved him more then ever.

"Of course." Alex smiled and kissed Isabel on the forehead, holding her tightly in his arms and contemplating the call he would have to make. Liz would not be happy that he had kept his impending marriage from her, but he also knew she would be ecstatic for him. She always put her own feelings on hold when it came to other's, but that still didn't help his growing fear that she would still be slightly mad at him for not even telling her. "I'll call her tonight."

*** Later that Night***
Alex furiously scrubbed at his blackened tongue with a toothbrush- he and Isabel had gotten into a paint fight while he had been working on one of his pictures, touching it up with some paint, when out of no where paint was dumped over his head. He was a famous photographer and well-known artist.

Gray foam poured from his mouth, spattering the oversized New York Rangers hockey jersey Liz had given him. Her now ex-boyfriend had been on the team and as a Christmas present she had had her boyfriend and the rest of the team give her two jersey's, one signed and one not- the one which wasn't signed was one of the player's actual jersey's.

In the mirror, his troubled eyes dwelled on Liz, which caused his gaze to flick to the cordless phone standing ominously on the closed toilet lid. Isabel had gone out for the night with Max, Michael, Kyle, Maria and Tess; she had invited Alex, but he had told her he needed to talk with Liz. Spitting the toothpaste out, Alex stuck his tongue out and checked it. It's still black. Depressed, terrified, and disfigured for life Alex snatched up the hated phone and wandered aimlessly into his bedroom. He stumbled around, rehearsing what he was going to say to Liz.

"This is awkward timing Liz, I joined this convent and I met Isabel… no, too corny. Liz I'm married. No, to forward and a total lie." Alex stopped his pacing and looked at himself in the full-length mirror. He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to straighten it out to look its best, but it didn't work. "Liz I have two weeks to live and I've decided I wanted to get married… or maybe not. Liz, I'm not gay! I found someone who doesn't confuse me… hmmm, has potential."

Alex turned away from the mirror to continue pacing, which effectively walked him straight into his dresser. Momentarily stunned, Alex glared at the dresser, and if looks could kill then that dresser would be long gone. Having enough with his rampant thoughts and ways of telling Liz, he grabbed the phone and punched in Liz's number while absently primping himself in the mirror. When someone finally picked up he was surprised to find she was staying in a hotel and that someone answered. Suddenly all of his fears and anxieties returned.

"Yeah, um hi. I was calling for Liz Whitman, but seeing as it's so late, I could just leave a mes…" Before Alex could finished he was cut off from being able to tell the receptionist that he just wanted to leave a message. Leaving a message would be far simpler than actually talking to her. But then he heard the click of the phone and the sound of Liz's breath on the other line. "Good evening, madam. I have a request for twenty pizzas and seeing as its two am in the morning I wasn't sure the order…"

"Alex! Hey you. God, it's so good to hear your voice." Liz laughed softly though Alex could still hear the tired tone seeping through. He had woken her up and now he felt like an ass for doing so. "I didn't expect to hear from you again and my machines been eating my messages so I wasn't sure who I was missing messages from.… and… and I'm sorry about last night. I don't know what came over me, I just didn't have anyone I could talk to and oh god, and it was terrible. I hope you can forgive me."

"Oh, no, Liz, don't worry about it. I'm more than happy to listen. If you ever have a problem or need someone to talk to you should know that I'll always be here for you!" Alex replied. He was quickly forgetting why he was even talking to Liz, at least he was until he looked over at his dresser and saw the picture of he and Isabel. They were sitting in the park, swinging on an old tire swing. "Look, Liz, I have to ask you something. Something so incredibly important, that if you turn me down, I don't know what I'll…"

"Alex, you're rambling. What is it? Whatever it is I'm sure I'll say yes." Liz assured Alex, using her most convincing and soothing voice as possible. "So, why'd you call? What's up?"

"I called… I called because I met someone." Alex suddenly pulled the phone away from his ear as a loud squeal of excitement and a string of questions was blasted through the phone and into his ear. He smiled and laughed at Liz's sudden jovial mood and was happy to know that she wasn't mad at him, at least yet.

"That's great Alex! You haven't really had anybody since that sweet girl, Laurie Depree. Whatever happened to her? Is she still in Roswell, or did she move away?" Liz asked, completely straying from Alex's original conversation.

"No, no, Liz, you don't understand. I've never felt this way about anybody! And she's completely wrong for me, well not completely, but Liz, I swear I never thought I'd have a chance with her. She's so beautiful and vibrant, nothing like Laurie. And she's so down to earth, despite what everyone thinks." Alex paused for a moment trying to collect his thoughts and think of the right way to continue on. "Well anyway, the reason I'm calling is because, well, we're getting married; in two months."

"Whoa, wait a minute. Did you just say you're getting married! Alex!" Liz squealed gleefully. She overly happy that Alex was finally getting married, though she was slightly saddened that he hadn't told her earlier, though she was sure he had had his reasons. "I'm so happy for you!"

"Liz, I'm scared and I need you." Alex admitted. He hadn't wanted to say anything, but it was true. He was scared. He kept imagining that Isabel would back out at the last minute, or that something else would go horribly wrong. "If you can't come and hold my hand, I'll never get through this. Please come, please."

"Alex, of course I'll come! I'll take the earliest flight I can!" Liz giggled. She was more than happy to be getting out of New York, especially after her recent break up with her boyfriend of two years, Kyle Valenti. Being able to see Alex and watch him get married was definitely the time away she needed.

"I can't wait for you to meet her, she's great and I know you'll love her!" Alex breathed a sigh of relief. The two continued to talk through the night; catching up on old times, talking about what they've been doing, and just aimlessly rambling about whatever came to mind. They even talked until they fell asleep; both of them still with the phone attached to their ear and both grinning unlike ever before.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Sitting in the living room with Kyle, Michael, and Max, Alex kept his eyes trained on the television as they watched the New York Rangers vs. the Anaheim Might Ducks. When Alex had woken up this morning he had been surprised to find the phone still attached to his ear and to hear the soft breathing of Liz as she slept. Soon thereafter Liz woke up and told Alex she would call him later once she had her flight information. True to her word she had called back and told him that she was scheduled to land the next day around seven AM. Since then Michael and Max had been grilling him about who his sister was and why he had never said anything about her.

"So, what's she look like?" Michael asked. The other night he had heard from Isabel about Alex's sister being the third bridesmaid; she had then gone on about how uneasy she was about having someone as pretty as Liz there. This immediately sparked Michael and Max's interest. However, Maria quickly put Michael in his rightful place by reminding him that he was going out with her and was therefore taken. "You got any pictures?"

"Um, yeah…" Alex said uneasily. He wasn't thrilled about having Liz meet Michael, Kyle, or Max. Sure they were great friends, but Liz was going through a difficult time and he did not want to have to hurt either of them because they decided to do something stupid. Liz was a very pretty woman and Alex did not want Kyle, Michael, or Max thinking they could take advantage of her while she was in her current state of emotion.

"So can we see?" Max asked anxiously. He too was surprised to learn that Alex had a sister, to some degree. She had taken on their last name, but that was it; she wasn't legally connected to Alex, and according to Isabel she had also just broken up with her current boyfriend. Max was most definitely intrigued.

"Sure… they're in the photo room." Alex pushed himself up from his seat on the couch and started towards his photo room. Kyle, Max, and Michael were right on his heels, all preparing themselves and hoping that Isabel hadn't exaggerated. Michael knew he was in a relationship, but he wasn't ready to settle down, and if someone new came around than he was willing to give things a go. Kyle had just gotten out a bad relationship and was currently looking for someone new to stake his claim on. And Max was single; thanking the lord above that he had finally broken things off with Tess.

Upon reaching his photo room, Alex pulled a box out of his closet and started pulling out portfolio after portfolio. Before he had hit it big, Alex had started out by taking head shots for Liz; she was one of the most photogenic persons he knew. Her natural beauty was astounding and it showed beautifully in every picture; it was obvious that she had been made to be put in front of a camera. So during college Alex had photographed Liz, using her to build up his portfolio, and she using him to build up her career. He had taken some of his best pictures ever when he had been working with Liz.

Alex handed each of them one portfolio- he had nearly twenty- and waited with a baited breath for their reactions. He could tell from the moment that they each opened up the portfolios that they were lost, just as he had always been and always would be.

"Whoa, Alex, you sister is a babe!" Michael whistled as he took in the photo before him. Alex looked over at the picture as well and chuckled though he wished he could have not let Michael seen that picture. He and Liz had gone to the beach for the day and while Alex took off to take pictures Liz had decided to bathe in the sun. When Alex came back he found Liz lying on her stomach. The top to her bikini had been taken off and she had braided her hair loosely, letting a few tendrils remain loose. As Alex had come closer Liz had turned and looked up and smiled. Then she had pushed herself off the ground and onto her knees, making sure to cover her chest with the towel, twisted around slightly and smiled straight at Alex. It was the perfect picture, so Alex had taken it, and now it was immortalized forever in his portfolio. The sky was blue and filled with clouds, the ocean was a misty green-blue color, and Liz looked like a goddess.

"Yeah man, she's got a great bod." Kyle added as he too leered at Liz's picture. Alex moved over to Kyle's side and inwardly groaned as he noticed the picture Kyle was gawking at. Again, Alex reminded himself to go through his portfolios of Liz and re-categorize them once he had some time. But as Alex gazed at the picture he was once again brought back in time. Liz had just gotten her first modeling job and after the shoot she had come home tired and completely worn out, so Alex had told her to go take a bath. He hadn't meant to, but as he passed by he noticed the door was opened a crack, and that's when he had seen her. Her body was wrapped in a peach colored towel and her hair was piled loosely on the top of her head with a bunch of pins. The towel clung to her curves and legs, fitting her to the T. The steam from the water billowed up behind her causing a wonderful effect. So Alex had run and gotten his camera, only to return to an even better scene. She still had her towel wrapped around her, but she was now letting her hair loose, pulling each pin out as she watched in the mirror with a half smile gracing her lips. It had been one of his best pictures ever.

Alex was afraid about what Max would say, or even what he had seen because so far Max hadn't said a word. It was bad enough having two of his best friends leering at the woman he thought of as his sister. Much to Alex's relief, Max had received one of the more conservative portfolios. But, it was Max's words which blew Alex away.

"Wow, she's beautiful." Max whispered. He was entranced with the picture before him. He hadn't been able to tear his eyes away from the picture. Her chocolate brown eyes drew him in and he became lost as he gazed down at her picture. Never before had anything evoked this sort of response or emotion from Max, but there was something about her. She was the most ravishing creature he had ever seen. She was a goddess. She was sophisticated, sultry, flirtatious, sexy, and whimsical; at least that's what Max got when he looked at her picture.

Alex moved over to Max's side and gazed down lovingly at the picture Max was staring down at. It was one of Alex's favorites. Liz had just received a job for some major magazine and would be going to Paris to do the shoot; the only problem was she would be leaving that night. So that day, Alex and Liz had gone out to the desert so Alex could get one last roll of her for his portfolio- he had an interview for a job in a few days and he wanted something good to show the people- he got better than good that day.

She was wearing a turquoise tube top of some sorts- it had strings going around her shoulders and neck, which held it up. Where the strings were attached to the fabric there were a string of black beads, and just underneath the beads were a few patches of brown and tan leather- it had been a gift from Riverdog, a close friend of the family. She had also been wearing these earrings which Riverdog's wife had given her in congratulations for her success. They were gold and dangled down to about the middle of her neck. Part of her hair had been swept back and tied with a piece of long brown leather twine, sort of like a rope. And the best part, she hadn't been wearing any make-up except for a little lip-gloss. He had taken the picture without even knowing it. The wind was whirling around her, her head had been tilted and was resting on her shoulder as she looked at thoughtfully, a deep sadness in her eyes because she knew she probably wouldn't be seeing him anytime soon. It was his best photo to date and he definitely had to agree with Max; she was beautiful.

Turning the page, Max began to cough violently as he took in the next picture. No longer did he see the same innocence he had seen in the last picture. Instead he saw a sultry goddess who was teasing him with an explosive amount of her glorious skin. Max felt a raw jealousy growing inside of him as he gazed down at Liz's picture. Alex had seen her like this, and for some reason this unnerved Max a great deal. He hadn't even met her and yet jut the thought of someone else seeing her naked, or nearly naked caused him to grow angry with rage.

Alex wanted grab the book from Max's hands and lock it up in a safe before anyone ever saw what Max had just seen, but it was too late. Kyle and Michael were already by Max's side and whistling at the picture which had caused such a reaction from Max. Alex remembered the moment perfectly; again the picture had been an accident. He and Liz had been in Hawaii with his, no strike that, their family, and Liz had gone off with some guy. Later that day she had come back and told Alex she was going off by herself and would be out by the coral. When she didn't come back after a few hours Alex went out in search for her. He had gotten eyeful when he had finally found her, and to his luck he had his camera with him.

She hadn't been wearing a thing, except for a towel, which rested freely on her hips, showing off her perfect hips and her lush breasts. A few hibiscuses adorned her hair and brought out her chocolate brown hair. However, that wasn't the picture Alex had gotten. Instead he had alerted Liz of his presence, to which she twisted around, smiled at him while shielding her breast from him with her arm and hand, and slightly pulling the towel up so that it was sagging as much. The towel still hung low on her hips, showing off part of her behind and all of her back along with the curve of her breast which wasn't covered by her hand. The wind had just picked up when he had snapped the picture. It was another one of his perfect pictures.

"Ok, I think we've had enough…" Alex stated as he grabbed the portfolios away from Michael, Kyle and Max- though Max was reluctant to give it back. After he had put them away he ushered his friends back down to the living room where he prayed that none of them ruin their friendship with him by putting the moves on his sister, though Alex wasn't too worried about Max. At least he hadn't said anything too rude ad he hadn't been leering at her as Michael and Kyle had, instead he seemed to look at her with a more critical eye- one filled with love. Maybe Max did have to be watched.

*** That Next Morning***
After spending a few more hours with his best friends, and after having breakfast with Isabel, Alex and Isabel set off for the airport. Michael and Kyle had tried to come along, but Alex had told them it was out of the question. He was slightly surprised to see Max glaring at Kyle and Michael, and even more surprised to see Max's glare letting up once Michael and Kyle's smiles dropped when Alex told them they couldn't come. Maybe Max wouldn't be as big of a problem as Alex had suspected he would be.

The airport was jam-packed and it was disgorging passengers into the swarming ant colony called Roswell airway as soon as they got off the plane. Alex and Isabel kept an eye out for Liz, trying to find her in the throngs of people. And than, Alex saw her. She was carrying one bag- she always did pack light, even for a girl, and she was trying to pull a few flyaway strands of hair into place. She looked as nervous as a schoolgirl, looking all around the airport for any signs of Alex or anyone else she might recognize.

The minute their eyes connect their faces lit up in smiles and they began to run towards one another. Liz shed her bag along the way, but was careful of the people she was pushing past; Alex wasn't as nice. He slammed any and all heedless civilians away if they got in his path towards Liz. The moment they reached one another, Alex swept Liz up into his arms and spun her around, laughing like crazy. After a few minutes and a lot of strange looks from those passing by, Alex put Liz down and kissed the tip of her nose- it had been a tradition because they couldn't stand kissing each other on the cheek.

Isabel felt a wave of jealousy run through her as she watched the interaction between Alex and Liz. She now knew she had seen Liz before, not only in Alex's portfolios, but in her fashion magazines as well. And while she knew she had nothing to fear, but she couldn't get over the way Alex looked at her and the way she looked at him. She was far prettier than the pictures Isabel had seen of her; it didn't appear as though she had aged at all. She was thin with long luscious brown hair and these doe brown eyes that made guys swoon- oh yeah, she had nothing to worry about. And her tight blue jeans with white tank top and peach colored men's work shirt- all of which showed off her every curve- wasn't helping.

"Can you believe it? Can you believe I'm actually gonna do this?" Alex asked excitedly. Seeing Liz again was rekindling a flame he had lost long ago when she had taken off to Paris and not returned. For two years she had stayed in Paris and never once did she contact him, except for the occasional post card or holiday card. But now, seeing her again brought back a spark in his life.

"I'm so happy for you Alex! So where is she?" Liz beamed up at her brother and than followed his gaze. Her mouth gaped open as she caught site of the woman she presumed was his wife to be. She was nothing like Laurie, except for the blonde hair. She was tall, slender, with a body to die for; all in all she looked like some sort of goddess that Liz only wished she could be. Her face was strikingly beautiful, not at all perky and vapid, but lovely and interesting. She suited Alex perfectly. "You must be Isabel!"

"You must be Liz." Isabel knew her voice was strained, but she was slightly surprised by the excitement in Liz's voice and the genuine friendliness in it as well.

Relinquishing herself from Alex's hold, Liz walked towards Isabel purposefully, her eyes locked on Alex's fiancée. Than, just as she reached her, Liz threw her arms around Isabel and held her tightly with such a genuine warmth that Isabel couldn't help but hug her back; all the while Alex watched on, beaming.

"I'm so happy for you two! I just know you two will last; I can tell!" Liz gleamed happily. She pulled away and took another look at Isabel; Alex had been telling the truth, she was nothing like the girls he usually dated. But from what Liz could tell she already liked Isabel, and she couldn't wait to get to know her better.

***In the Car***
"Liz, I just want to thank you for agreeing to come on such short notice. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't been able to come. Everything would have just been a complete disaster and I think I would have just lost it had you not been available." Isabel rambled on until she noticed the confused look occupying Liz's face. Glancing at Alex, who now had a guilty look on his face, Isabel turned around once again to face Liz. "You do know why you're here, right?"

"Because you and Alex are getting married." Liz replied calmly, though after Isabel's little rant Liz wasn't sure that was the correct response. She noticed the annoyed look on Isabel's face as she turned to glare at Alex before returning her gaze to Liz and smiling.

"Not exactly. Ok, I have this monstrous favor to ask of you." Isabel stated, nodding her head in confirmation on how big of a request it truly was. She waited a moment to see how Liz reacted and she was surprised to say the least.

"Go on; I can't agree until you ask me!" Liz laughed, carefully regarding the way Isabel was now looking at her, a smile spread wide across her lips and her eyes beaming back in response.

"Ok, I know this is completely presumptuous and burdensome, but I'm in dire need and I know you would be perfect for the job." Again Isabel paused as she looked at Liz, smiling sweetly at her. She couldn't help it, after only knowing Liz for an hour at most, Isabel felt more relaxed and friendly than ever before. Liz's joyful spirit and constant smile was contagious. "Will you be one of my bridesmaids?"

"Of course Isabel, I'd be happy to! Though, I must say I am a little surprised… I guess it just means we'll have to get to know each other better!” Liz giggled. She felt at complete ease around Isabel, which she was surprised by. Laurie, Alex's last girlfriend, had been extremely sweet, but there was something that Liz couldn't place about her, but none the less, Liz had to agree with Alex, Isabel was definitely someone you could easily love. "So how long do we have to become best friends?"

"Well, putting it that way, we only have two months, so I think we are in some serious need of some time alone. Maybe some shopping at the mall, oh and you have to meet Maria! You two will definitely hit it off!" Isabel smiled back at Liz and than turned in her seat and looked at Alex, who was chuckling as well. Never before had she seen his eyes shine so brightly as they were now, and for the first time she understood why Alex had missed Liz as much as he had. She brought out the best in people, and she wasn't anything like the models Isabel had met before; she was kind, generous, funny, caring, and down to earth. "Oh my god, I just had the best idea! Why don't you stay at my house? My mom is going all off on me, saying I can't be with Alex until we are married- it's tradition. So that will give us plenty of time to bond! And I can invite Maria to come over as well!"


[ edited 7 time(s), last at 14-Oct-2002 2:04:42 AM ]
posted on 17-Dec-2001 2:53:15 AM by Trinity Star1323
Chapter 1 cont.
Alarms immediately went off in Alex's head. There was no way he was going to have Liz staying in the same house as Max. It wasn't Max he was worried about, it was the fact that more than often Michael and Kyle ended up at Max's house where they would drink and watch sports. By the end of the game they would be pretty rallied up and really drunk- definitely not a good environment for Liz to be in after her disastrous break-up, especially when Max's favorite team was the New York Ranger's and Liz's ex was on the team.

"Um, Izzy, I don't think that's such a great…" Alex didn't even get to finish his sentence before Isabel was glaring at him, telling him with her eyes that this was what she wanted and if he tried to interfere than he would pay. He chanced a glance at Liz through the rearview mirror, and a smile took over his lips as he saw her smiling right back at him. "Well, I guess if Liz is ok with it, but sometime I'd like to spend some time with her."

"Fine, fine, fine, we'll work it all out so we each get time with Liz! Ok, first thing is first, we need to get you in for a fitting for your bridesmaids dress." Isabel stated pointedly as she turned and looked back at Liz, letting her know that this was serious business. "What time is good for you? I'm guessing your going to want to rest, so?"

"Oh, sure, whenever actually. I'm so used to flying that the jet lag doesn't really affect me anymore; so whenever is good for you." Liz shrugged. Originally her attention had been completely on Isabel, but as they drove into Roswell, Liz was suddenly in her own world; a world filled with memories both good and bad. In Roswell her parents had died and she had had to live with the Whitman's. In Roswell she had met her best friend and in a way brother. And in Roswell she had experienced a real life, not one made up of lies and deceit. The boys were honest and the jobs were decent.

"Great, than why don't we go this afternoon once you've gotten settled in. I can't wait to see you in the dress I've picked out- you'll look stunning, not that you don’t already, but oh god, Maria and Tess will be so jealous!" Isabel knew she was rambling, but she was so giddy that for the first she didn't care. Being around Liz was too much fun. Suddenly the car came to a halt and as Isabel looked out the window her smile grew even bigger. "Liz, welcome to my home!"
***
Once Alex had left, and rather reluctantly Isabel noticed, Isabel helped Liz with her luggage and showed her to the guest bedroom she would be staying in. To some degree Isabel couldn't wait until Tess caught wind of just whom Liz was and that she was staying with Isabel, right next to Max's room- that would surely send the girl into a fit of rage which Isabel would gladly laugh at.

After they were finished settling Liz in, Isabel called Maria and told her to meet she and Liz at the bridal shop so that she could meet Liz while Liz was fitted for her dress. Maria agreed with hesitation, telling Isabel she couldn't wait to meet her, especially after hearing the way was responding towards her.

"Max, Michael, we're taking off!" Isabel yelled at her brother and best friend who continued to watch the television, completely oblivious that anyone had even come in or was leaving. She peered into the living room and wasn't surprised to see Max, Michael and Kyle all watching a hockey game. She was about turn and lead Liz towards the door when she heard Liz gasp. Meeting Liz's gaze, Isabel felt her heart constrict as she saw Liz's eyes misting over as they were now glued to the television screen. Following her gaze, Isabel stared at the television in wonder. On the screen was a blown up picture of one of the players from the New York Ranger's. She didn't understand Liz's behavior at all, but knew without a doubt that something about the player was upsetting her. "Come on, let's get out of here."

Once they were in the car and on their way Isabel decided to bring up the incident back in the house. She was still confused as to why Liz had suddenly looked as if she were going to cry when Kirk Savard's picture had come up on screen. Granted he was cute, there was nothing extremely worthy about him to cause someone to cry.

"Hey, you ok? What happened back there?" Isabel asked, concern flooding through her voice. She noticed that Liz seemed to flinch away slightly, but than her smile returned and so did her cheery attitude.

"W-well, he's my ex-boyfriend. We just broke up." Liz said softly. She didn't want to talk about Kirk or her relationship with him. They had been happy for two long years when he had ruined everything by doing something she wasn't sure she could ever forgive him for.

"Oh…" The remainder of the ride was driven in silence. Isabel was surprised to learn that Liz had been going out with Kirk, especially when she could easily be going out with someone who was much cuter. Normally models went out with really famous people, so Isabel wondered what had driven Liz to go out with Kirk of all people.

Upon arriving at the bridal shop, Isabel was happy to see Maria wasn't there yet. She wanted to surprise Maria with Liz's identity. Ushering Liz inside, Isabel set about telling her sales rep exactly what she needed and that she needed it done as soon as possible. Immediately afterwards, the sales rep quickly dragged Liz off, telling her that they would be more than happy to fit a dress for her. They recognized her on the spot, and having her wearing one of their dresses would do wonders for their business.

Nearly forty-five minutes later Maria arrived. Isabel promptly asked her where she had been and was surprised to find out that Maria actually had a valid excuse this time- she had had to fix a flat tire. When Maria asked Isabel where Liz was, Isabel smiled and told her to follow her. Doing as Isabel said, Maria waited patiently to find out who this Liz girl was and how she was able to make Isabel as giddy as she was.

However, the minute both Maria and Isabel saw Liz as she stood up on a small stool while the tailor worked around her, placing pins all over her dress as he muttered something about her waist being too tiny, their mouths dropped open. She looked absolutely stunning. Though Isabel was pretty sure it had something to do with the smile Liz was wearing instead of the dress.

"Maria DeLuca, meet Liz Whitman?" Isabel was unsure as to whether Liz went by her real last name or by Alex's last name. It still caused a little jealousy inside of her to know that someone else shared Alex's last name that wasn't really family, but considering it was Liz, Isabel felt no real threat.

"Whitman's fine." Liz smiled and extended her hand to Maria while shinning her pearly whites at the petite and fiery blonde whom smiled right back up at her.

"Oh my god! I can't believe this. Isabel, you mean to tell me, Liz, as in Liz-the-model-Liz is going to be at your wedding? You are so lucky; you're wedding will be famous." Maria gushed as she continued to look up at Liz, taking in her over all appearance. Immediately Maria could tell she wasn't anything like all those other famous people who thought that everyone was beneath her- instead she reminded Maria of someone like Mother Theresa. Her smile was positively radiant, and even though she had so much attention it was easy to see that she didn't enjoy it. Sticking out her hand, Maria shook hands with Liz. "It's so cool to meet you. I mean, I can't believe you're Alex's sister; I never would have imagined it."

"Well, I'm not really his sister, but he took care of me when I needed it, and I see as the brother I never had." Liz explained. She looked down at the dress, which the tailor was working on, and than back at Isabel. She had to admit Isabel did have good taste. Usually brides chose these really ugly bridesmaids dresses, which looked horrendous, but Isabel had chosen something simple, yet elegant.

Throughout the fitting Maria and Isabel talked with Liz, learning all about her life as a model: what it entailed, what some of the benefits were, what the other models were life, how she lived without eating. This of course got many laughs out of Liz who quickly set the record straight. If there was one thing Liz hated it was when other people had false theories about her profession. She told them about her time in Paris and how all she ever did was eat, but to keep everything cool she just exercised, as did a lot of the other models. This in response elicited a grunt from Maria, which caused Isabel and Liz to burst out laughing. By the end of the session the girls were in a fit of laughter, all retelling stories of their lives as they caught up and became good friends.
***
"So, Alex, my man. When's you sister coming into town?" Kyle asked as he, Max, Michael and Alex walked down the streets of Roswell towards Alex's house. Michael, Kyle and Max had just finished watching the game at Max's house and after a small argument, Michael and Kyle decided they wanted to see Alex. As soon as they called and asked him if he wanted to get together Alex knew without a doubt why they wanted to get together, but he wasn't to going to deny them; they had to meet Liz sooner or later.

"She's already in town." Alex said through clenched teeth. Kyle was really getting on his nerves, as was Michael. Since he had shown them his pictures of Liz all they had talked about was her body and other things Alex did not want to hear about someone he saw as his sister. However, Alex was intrigued by the fact that Max didn't seem to take Michael and Kyle taking about Liz so lowly very well. His jaw would clench and his eyes would shift, glaring first at Michael and than at Kyle. "She's out with Isabel and Maria."

"That's cool. Man, I bet Maria will be all bent out of shape- feeling all jealous, I can't wait to see her reaction to Liz." Michael laughed. Kyle followed suit and chuckled, but Max and Alex kept quiet. Alex already knew that Maria and Liz had hit it off. Isabel had called and told him that she wouldn't be able to meet him for dinner because she, Maria and Liz were going out. In the background Alex had heard Maria and Liz chattering and laughing away. Now Alex couldn't wait to see how Michael reacted when he found out Liz and Maria had become friends. "Why didn't you ever mention her before? I mean, I can't believe you've been keeping her from us."

"She never contacted me until a few days ago, and I doubt she would have even of wanted to come, but…. Nevermind." Alex quickly cut himself off. He did not want to give Michael and Kyle a reason to start pursing Liz- so not telling them that she had just broken up with her boyfriend was a very good idea. Alex knew Michael was a complete horn dog, he had been since Alex knew him and he continued to be, even though he was dating Maria. Michael was known for fooling around, and it hurt Alex to know that Maria did nothing to stop Michael- because he would always come back, sniveling and begging for her forgiveness. Kyle wasn't much better, but at least he didn't cheat on his girlfriends, he simply treated them like crap. Alex wouldn't let either of them do that to Liz; she had been hurt enough.

Max was deep in thought as they continued to roam down the streets of Roswell. His mind was consumed with thoughts of the heavenly angel he had come to know as Alex's sister. All he could think about was her soft brown hair, her deep doe brown eyes, and that sultry smile that she wore in every picture. He had wanted to continue to look through Alex's portfolio so he could see more of Liz, so he could at least mesmerize her body through his pictures if he couldn't do it in real life, and so he could ease the heartache he felt when he wasn't able to see her.

Max knew these were irrational thoughts, he hadn't even met her and yet she consumed his mind- it were as if she were some type of drug that everyone had said was great but Max just couldn't get a hold of any. And he hated hearing Michael and Kyle talk about her as if she were only a great body and nothing else. God knew she had a great body, but Max saw something else in her; something he couldn't describe and he wasn't sure he wanted to be able to. But there was one thing Max knew, he had to meet her, if only for a few minutes. And as soon as she was within his grasp he would pour his heart out and hopefully she would stay with him.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
After the fitting, Liz had accompanied Maria and Isabel to the mall where they all splurged and bought bundles of clothes, all varying from casual to funky, to dressy. Isabel and Alex had promised to show Liz around town the next day, and Liz couldn't wait; Maria would have gone as well, but she was stuck working. Liz couldn't wait to see Roswell- she hadn't visited her hometown in nearly three years, and the only person she had even kept in semi-contact with was Alex.

Once they were done shopping at the mall, Isabel and Liz joined Alex for dinner, who happened to be late because he had been spending time with Max, Michael and Kyle. Liz laughed as she remembered how relieved Alex had appeared once she told him that she wanted to stay with Isabel and get to know her and that she still wanted to spend some time with him. She knew that he was worried about her, and she understood why he was acting the way he was, but sometimes his over protectiveness was annoying.

As the night wore on Isabel and Liz retired home and to their rooms where Liz immediately fell asleep and Isabel went and called Alex so that they could talk- if they couldn't sleep together than talking on the phone would have to do. Throughout the night Liz would wake up feeling the loneliness from her recent break-up. She and Kirk had been inseparable, which was why she had moved back to New York a year ago. And for one blissful year she had felt more loved than ever before. But than Kirk had ruined it by going and sleeping with some floozy fan after a game. He had come home saying he was sorry, but Liz was unwilling to listen to him- he had hurt her in a way that she had thought was impossible. And now she paid for it by having nightmares and waking up feeling lonelier then ever before.

The next morning Liz woke up to the sound of her cell phone ringing. She jolted out of bed and glared at the offending phone on the nightstand before picking it up and answering it. When she heard whom it was she sighed and wished she could go back to sleep. Waking up to the sound of Kirk's voice after a sleepless night was not her idea of a good morning. After she had woken up a little more, Liz told Kirk she would call him back on another line in a little while because her cell was running out. She really didn't want to talk to him, but she needed him to know that what they once had was completely over.

After showering and confirming with Isabel that it was really alright for her to use the phone, Liz made her way downstairs and into the kitchen, first making sure that no one was inside before walking in and picking up the phone. The instant the phone began to rang Kirk answered and began rambling on about how much he missed her and how he needed her. Liz listened patiently, but suddenly her attention was caught by the beauty coming from the outside, and soon Kirk's voice was but a mere whisper in her ear as her eyes were now trained on the Evans' backyard.
***
Max had slept restlessly all night. At first he hadn't been able to get comfortable, and than once he had found a comfortable way to sleep his mind began to play tricks on him. All night he had thought of Liz- she had filled his restless dreams, unwilling to give him a few minutes alone. But he didn't mind, dreaming of Liz was one of his latest favorite past times. He didn't even have to think to conjure up an image of her anymore because his brain was so accustomed to her being on his mind at all times. Sometimes it was just her smile, or her eyes, but usually it was her face that stuck in his mind. But Max didn't complain, at least he had a picture of her.

Making his way to the bathroom, Max was taken aback when he stepped in and was overcome with the sensual scent of vanilla. He had never smelt something as sweet or arousing as this before, and he was sure that Isabel didn't use vanilla, so it confused him as to how the scent had invaded his bathroom. But he didn't mind, it reminded him of Liz. He imagined her smelling of vanilla; her scent enveloping him and never leaving him. Just the thought made him aroused, and as he closed his eyes to try and regain some sense of control he was pushed over the edge when the picture which Alex had taken of Liz in Hawaii. The one where she had been covering her firm breasts with her hands and that towel had just been covering the lower half of her perfect behind. He had been insanely jealousy that Alex had seen her with so little, but the fact hat he was marrying Isabel and not Liz, did help a little; however it didn't help with Michael and Kyle.

After he had washed up and shaved, Max made his way downstairs and into the kitchen where he came to an abrupt halt when he saw the object of his desire sitting before him. He hadn't expected or even thought that anyone had been here. She was sitting on the ledge of the windowsill, one leg slightly bent and the other straight, with the glow of the sun framing her. The sunlight bathed her skin, kissing its every crevice and making her look like an angel. And Max had never seen anyone as beautiful as she was at that moment. She was wearing a tight fitting white tank top, of a sort, with spaghetti straps. It ended right above the mid-section of her rib cage and it gave Max a great view of her glorious skin. It was tight and clung to her every curve, showing off the perfection of her breast and her shapely form. Covering her lower regions were a pair of matching white daisy dukes, which also gave Max a wonderful view of her beautiful long legs. Over her skimpy sleep ware, she had a light blue long sleeve men's work shirt- the sleeves had been rolled up just enough so that they weren't dangling past her hands. Half of her hair had been pinned up in a bun and the other half cascaded down her shoulders and reaching down to the middle of her back.

Finally pulling himself from his self-induced trance, Max finally noticed that his goddess, Liz, was staring right at him, or at least appeared she was, but it appeared her mind was far, far away. It was also then that Max noticed that she was on the phone; the chord of their phone rested gently on the upper portion of her thigh, and for the first time Max wished he could be that phone. His blood boiled and his heart felt as though it were going to explode at the site of her. All of this distracted him from the fact that he had been staring at her. And he wasn't sure how long he had been staring at her, but he was fully aware the moment she began talking. Her voice was music to his ears, sounding sweeter than a harp.

"Kirk, no. Listen, I'm not having this conversation- we're through and that's final. You're the one who decided to that you needed to seek sex from someone else, so I've decided I don't want to stay with you." Liz paused for a moment, listening to Kirk tell her how much he loved her and how she was just mad- this only fueled Liz's anger. "I don't want to talk to you right now. I have other things I need to do and speaking with you is not on my list. Maybe once I get back we can talk, but don't call me again."

Looking down at the phone as she replaced it on the phone cradle, Liz could feel the tears building up. Kirk had always been able to make her cry whenever he wanted to, and Liz was sick of it; she had cried enough over him. Turning back around to face the garden, Liz finally lets go and let a few tears slide down her cheeks. She felt horrible. Even though she hadn't done anything she still felt like the bad guy because she had dumped Kirk. She hated feeling this way.

"A-are you alright?" Max choked out. He hadn't even meant to talk, but the moment he had seen her first tear slide down her cheek he had wanted to pull her into his arms and give her the comfort she obviously needed. Seeing her cry was wreaking havoc on him- he didn't want to see her crying, he wanted to see her smiling and laughing. She didn't deserve to be unhappy.

Surprised that someone else was in the room with her, Liz whirled around and was shocked at what she saw. Her hand flew up to her mouth and she covered it to hide her gasp. Never before had she seen anyone as handsome as the man who was now standing before her. And it didn't help that he was only wearing a pair of boxers and nothing else. His exquisite chest was perfectly sculptured. Every move he made caused his muscles to ripple, and the sun gleaming down into the kitchen caught on his skin making him look like a Greek god.

His soulful brown eyes drew her in and try as she might Liz was unable to look away. Her heat was pounding a mile a minute and she desperately wanted to be wrapped in his big strong arms. Just the thought made Liz shudder. Thinking about his body near hers, holding her protectively in his arms while they kissed long, sweet, passionate kisses was all that Liz could think about and it made her dizzy with desire. At least it did until Isabel's scream from upstairs caused her attention to be diverted.

A minute later Isabel came barreling down the stairs, tears streaming down her face and a look of total devastation. Liz was instantly by her side trying to calm her down, but everything she tried didn't seem to work. She then looked over and noticed that the man she had been staring at was now staring at she and Isabel, a lopsided grin adorning his face as his eyes were now lit up. Liz was perplexed as to why he would be smiling at a time like this.

"Izzy…" Max chuckled while taking a step towards his sister. He knew her emotions were running awry because of the wedding and her pregnancy, but sometimes she really was too much. "What's wrong?"

"Th-they ran o-out yellow roses!" Isabel sobbed as she detached herself from Liz and moved into Max's arms. She immediately buried her head in the crook of his neck and began crying to her hearts content. She had just hung up with Alex when the florist had called to tell her that they wouldn't be able to get any yellow roses due to the winter conditions. It was bizarre, but for the first time it appeared as if it might actually snow for Christmas.

"Is that all? Izzy, everything will work out just fine, you'll just have to pick out some other flower to replace them, that's all." Max said reassuringly as he gave his sister one last squeeze. Once he had let go of her completely he picked up the phone and called Alex. Knowing Isabel she wouldn't be better until she had talked with Alex and he had promised to fix everything. However, as soon as he picked up the phone his senses were filled with the intoxicating smell of vanilla. His attention was immediately drawn back to Liz, who stood in the middle of the kitchen looking back and forth between he and Isabel.

After contacting Alex, Max sat down next to Isabel and tried to comfort her as best he could until Alex made it over, but his eyes were still glued on Liz who was now watching Isabel. He had seen her steal a few glances in his direction and each time their eyes would connect he would feel his heart skip a beat. She was the ultimate distraction, which was not a good thing when Isabel or anyone else was around and they wanted his attention. As he looked back up at Liz he wanted to chuckle at the look of confusion on her face. He wanted to talk to her, to tell her who he was and find out about her, but Isabel needed his comfort until Alex arrived- then he could work on getting to know Liz.

It wasn't until Alex showed up that realization dawned on Max. He hadn't even thought about it before, but now as Alex took Isabel from Max and Max got another good look at Liz, he realized that she was wearing her pajamas, she had been using his phone, and it was still pretty early in the morning; she had slept in his house. Again his blood began to boil and the pounding of his heart drowned all the sounds around him out. The shock that Liz had slept in his house, most likely right across from his room, devastated Max, but it also made things less confusing. He had wondered why he hadn't been able to sleep, and then there was the shower and his bathroom; everything made sense now.

"Izzy… Izzy, calm down. Everything will be fine." Alex reassured Isabel as he pulled her into his lap and looked over at Liz sympathetically. He could only imagine what she must be thinking. The look of utter confusion was apparent on her face, and while Alex wanted to laugh he couldn't while Isabel was still upset. "Sweet pea, we can go out today and find something better. Yellow roses aren't that great anyway."

"Bu-but we're supposed to take Liz out! And I wanted yell-yellow roses!" Isabel cried hysterically. She hated being this way, but it was hard having to deal with everything. Luckily she had Alex though and he always seemed to be able to help her through the emotional roller coaster she was on. "Oh god, I wanted everything to be perfect and now it's all going down the drain!"

"Isabel, we don't have to go out today; you take care of the flowers and I'll just relax and spend some much needed time reading or something, ok?" Liz hoped Isabel would accept her offer. She didn't want Isabel to be mad at her for possibly ruining her wedding because she wanted someone to take her around town.

"No, I can't do that, then I'd be a bad friend… oh god!" Isabel wept, clinging even tighter onto Alex as she cried into his chest. Max watched on in amusement. His sister had been getting worse and worse since she had become pregnant, but this was just ridiculous.

"No, Isabel, really. I don't mind." Liz tried again. She kneeled down in front of Isabel and looked her straight in the eye. "I really don't mind and I think that you should take care of this. Besides we have the rest of our lives to become friends, but only two months before your wedding- I think the flowers are more important then you and Alex showing me around town."

"Are you sure?" Isabel asked hesitantly. Already her tears were beginning to dry up and her lips were curving up into a smile. She couldn't believe how sweet Liz was, or how willing she was to make others happy, even if it meant that she sacrificed her own happiness. "I don't want you to be stranded here all day… what will you do?"

At this point Max decided to jump in. He had been listening carefully and when the chance had arisen he decided to grab it while he still could. Just thinking about spending the day with Liz was causing Max to become dizzy- a whole day being near her, showing her around, and getting to know her sounded like a day in heaven.

"I... I could show her around." Max offered.

posted on 17-Dec-2001 2:54:13 AM by Trinity Star1323

Part 2

"You got it?" Alex asked. Max nodded quickly. Alex had been lecturing him for close to an hour while he and Liz got ready for their day out on the town. He had never known Alex to be so stringent, or for him to be so hard on about rules. Though he didn't want to admit it, he was scared. Alex was never one to resort to violence, but Max had just learned that the very scrawny man was anything but that.

"Yeah, I promise." Max answered eagerly, hoping to appease Alex. So far he had agreed to the fact that if he hurt Liz he would be dead, if he put the moves on Liz, he would be dead, and if he did anything else to Liz that upset her in any way, he would be more then dead. This of course left Max in a huge predicament. He in no way wanted to hurt Liz in any shape or form, but he did want to get to know her. Just the thought of being near her was putting a great deal of strain on Max; he wanted so much more, but if all Liz wanted was friendship than that was what she was going to get, a friend.

"I swear Max… I may love your sister, but I am not opposed to dismembering you if anything happens to Liz. She's in a fragile stage right now and I don't want you or anyone else making things worse." Alex insisted. He held Max's eyes for a second before taking a good look at his friend and his attire. Never had Alex seen Max dressed so nicely, and the usual stubble on his face was shaven clean. But still, Max was continually checking himself in the mirror. "You look fine… anyway, there's no need to impress her. She isn't like that, just be yourself and you'll impress her enough."

"So you think I should wear something simpler?" Max asked. Pulling off his top, Max dashed across his room and pulled out one of his old shirts. It was his old New York Rangers shirt- gray, soft, comfortable, and slightly worn from his many years of wearing it.

"Not that!" Alex shook his head venomously. He grabbed the shirt away from Max and threw it into the trashcan. Just as Max was about to retrieve his favorite shirt, Alex stopped him. Max looked at him quizzically, wondering why Alex suddenly hated the New York Rangers so much. Seeing his questioning look, Alex decided to answer his silent question, even though it wasn't something he wanted to be blown around town. "Her recently x-boyfriend was on the team. I don't think wearing that shirt would exactly bring about a nice day."

"So what should I wear?" Max asked in annoyance. He searched through his closet and drawers trying to find something that was nice yet himself, comfortable yet something Liz would like, and something that was casual yet also met Liz's standards. It was only after a few minutes of Max's own thoughts running through his head did he hear Alex's laughter behind him. Turning to face his one time best friend, Max glared at Alex, scowling at him for thinking this was funny. "You're supposed to be helping me here. I mean, that's what friends do, help their friends pick out something nice to wear."

"What's wrong with what you've got on right now? I'm approve." Liz asked, her voice soft and teasing. On the outside she was trying to keep her cool and look calm, but on the inside she could hardly control herself. Just the site of his toned, bare chest was driving her wild, and this scared Liz. She had only been in love once and that had turned into a mess, leaving her completely broken while her ex got off scotch free. But after meeting Max she couldn't get over the feelings she received when she was with him. No longer did she feel sad and lonely, but instead complete and blissful.

Max whirled around as he heard Liz's teasing voice, and he was shocked to see Liz standing in the frame of his door. He hadn't even thought to close his door, but now he wished he had. He had yet to put on a shirt and for some reason he suddenly felt shy about not having a shirt on. Her eyes were dancing with laughter, which left Max with a lump in his throat as he got a good look at her. Her laughter was soft and throaty and she was the picture of perfection in his mind; and now she was standing in his room, telling him that she liked him without a shirt on- there was a god.

Max and Alex both took a good look at Liz, and both had very different reactions. She wore a pair of old blue jeans, which had holes in the knees and fit snugly- showing her every curve. For a top she wore a tight fitting gray long sleeve baby-tee with a yellow sweater which came down to the middle of her rib cage. A hint of her stomach could be seen when she shifted or stretched. A red scarf and gloves completed the outfit with her long brown hair tumbling down her back like a waterfall.

Max had never seen anything as perfect before in his life. She was beyond perfection, and no words could describe exactly as he felt at that moment. All he wanted to do was scoop her up in his arms and kiss her senseless, but he held himself back, making sure to follow Alex's rules. He knew that if he wanted a good relationship with Liz he was not only going to have to win over Liz, but Alex as well. There was no way he was going to forget his friendship with Alex- they had known each other for three years now, and never before had Max met such a great person.

Alex grimaced as he saw Liz standing before he and Max. He had seen the way Max looked at her, and he had also seen the way she looked and acted around him. It wasn't that he though Liz looked bad, she looked beautiful, but he didn't like the way Max was looking at her, or the way her clothes naturally made her look perfect. He returned his gaze to Max and noticed that Max was just as speechless as he was. Clearing his thoughts, Alex cleared his throat in hopes of generating some sort of conversation before anything happened.

"Oh, hey." Max stuttered. He tried to come up with something delightful and witty to say, but all he could muster up were those two words. Glancing over at Alex pleadingly, Max silently begged Alex for some help. If it wasn't obvious before, Max was sure that Alex now knew his feelings for Liz.

"Hey Liz. Max will be done in a second… do you mind waiting down stairs? I think Isabel has stopped crying, so you two could talk until we're done, if you wanted." Alex offered. Liz nodded and then turned, leaving Max and Alex alone. The next thing Alex heard was Max breathing a sigh of relief. He wanted to knock Max up side the head, but after witnessing the way he had been looking at Liz with so much love and devotion, Alex knew that he didn't have the right. If anyone were going to help Liz beside himself, Max would be the man. "Ju-just…"

"I won't hurt her." Max vowed while effectively saving Alex from stumbling over his words and trying to sound like the protective brother he was. He wanted reassure Alex that what he felt for Liz was more then some attraction because she was beautiful, though god knew she was, but there was more to her and Max swore that he would find out as much as possible.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
The November air was crisp and cool, something Max wasn't accustomed to, and yet somehow he didn't notice it as he strolled along the main drag of the Roswell with Liz by his side. Despite the chilly day, the sun cascaded down, engulfing the town in its light and giving off a slight bit of warmth. Usually the winters in Roswell were mild and temperate, but this year they had been down right cold and frosty.

Because it was just before Thanksgiving the park in the center of town was decorated with corn husks, pumpkins, cardboard cutouts of pilgrims, and other decorations adorned the usually clean park. But the brown, orange, yellow and red leaves were sprinkled all over the ground, covering the grass areas, but leaving the walkways clear. They added to the already beautiful day and made the park look exceptionally inviting.

Fluffy white clouds crowded the sky, but never hid the sun. The trees were almost barren from all the fall foliage, but still with all the leaves on the ground it made up for the trees. There were a few families in the park, mainly all with children. They were all playing and laughing as they ran around, jumping into the leaf piles or having picnics. Others were simply sitting in the park, talking quietly with their friends or lovers, holding each other tightly to shield the other from the cold.

Many of the buildings were garnished with Thanksgiving decorations as well; some going all out while others used the bare minimum. While one would have two statues of aliens dressed in pilgrim clothing in the front of their store, another would simply write out the words, 'Happy Thanksgiving' on the window. All in all the town was extremely festive. There were lights hung all around: on light post, street signs, over hangers, and anywhere else they could be hung.

Having not been back in over three years, Liz had a hard time believing that this had used to be her home town. It had changed a lot since she had left; it was more festive and charming in its own little way. She once again fell in love with Roswell and wondered what had compelled her to leave. Had she remained she probably would have met Max instead o Kirk, and then maybe she wouldn't have felt half the pain she did at this point.

There was no denying for Liz that she was attracted towards Max, but she was still scared due to her last relationship. Kirk had taken a piece of her heart with him when he had cheated on her and Liz wasn't sure if she wanted to give her heart out again; it was still wounded and it would be awhile before she would be ready to jump back into the dating game. She only hoped that she would meet somebody like Max- someone who made her feel complete even though they had barely even spoken a word to each other. Someone who made her feel special with just one look. And someone who had Max's special something that Liz just couldn't describe.

They had been walking for a little over an hour, all the while Max had been reacquainting Liz with the area. He would point out everything that was important, and even a few other things that he saw as significant or special places. However the truth was, Max now felt that every place he went with Liz was special- even the sidewalk they were walking on.

Soon they neared the Crashdown, and as they did Liz suddenly stopped as a dreamy smile took over her lips. Suddenly grabbing Max's hand, Liz pulled him across the street and towards the small café. Max wasn't about to complain. He immediately took notice to the fact that her hand fit perfectly into his, as if it, or rather she were made just for him. However, he pushed that thought to the back of his mind and tried to concentrate on something else. He was unsuccessful at that as well.

"I can't believe its still here." Liz laughed, her whole face lighting up as she stopped in front of the café, peering in through the windows and watching the waitresses inside bustling about inside. Her eyes were glued to the café, and Max soon followed her gaze, though he was slightly confused as to why she was so excited to see the Crashdown. It had been there since he had first moved to Roswell three years ago.

"Was it here when you used to live here?" Max inquired. Though his mind was far from concentrating on how long ago the Crashdown had been in Roswell. All he could think about was that Liz was still holding his hand, grasping it tightly in her own. He could feel the electricity around them surging with energy, and as he stared at her, her beautiful smile and throaty laugh overcame him. Alex had been right the whole time, she truly did look as though she had come right out of an advertisement- she was beyond exquisite.

"I was a waitress here- it was my first job! I had to wear this dorky turquoise dress and this silver alien apron- oh god, it was so embarrassing." Liz rolled her eyes as she continued to laugh at the memories she was conjuring up in her mind of all the fun times she had had at the Crashdown. "Alex used to work there as well; we had so much fun working there together. He was one of our only cooks except for Jose. It was terrible, Alex couldn't cook if his life depended on it, so after a few days he was switched to a bus boy."

Max froze suddenly as an image of Liz wearing one of the Crashdown's crazy, and very short uniforms entered his mind. He could vividly see her, with her hair cascading around her shoulders and down her back, the pair of antennas bobbing around on her head, and that short dress clinging to her body and showing every curve. He could also imagine how easy it would be to take that thing off. He had noticed, many times before, that they simply snapped shut, but thinking about Liz wearing something like that was wreaking havoc on his body and making it extremely hard for him think clearly.

Snapping from his reverie, Max caught the downward glance that Liz gave as she looked at the Crashdown one last time before starting to walk away. It wasn't until she had reached a certain point and was thwarted from moving forward did either of them notice that their hands were still entwined. It had felt so natural that neither let go, but now as they stood on the sidewalk, looking down at their entwined hands with a look of amazement, they both reluctantly pulled their hands away. They both felt the loss immediately, and when they both chanced a look at each other they were amazed to see their feelings reciprocated in the other's face.

Then, as if a silent agreement had been passed through them, Max reached out and grasped Liz's hand back in his. Liz looked away shyly, but smiled all the while. Kirk had never made her feel this way, and while she wasn't sure what was going on between she and Max, she knew there was something- she could feel it. Now she just needed to know if Max felt it as well.

"So… Max… tell me something about yourself." Liz said after they had started down the street again. Her eyes drifted back and forth between the town and her hand which Max was holding. She wanted to take off her glove and feel the soft caress of his hand as he held hers tightly in his own, but she was afraid that might be too forward or Max would think badly of her.

"Well, what do you want to know?" Max asked. He wasn't sure what to say and he was having trouble coming up with any words at all. All he could think about was the fact that he was holding her hand, and she hadn't retreated or pulled away when he had taken hold of her hand again. And with her being so close by he could smell her sweet scent. It was a mixture of vanilla and raspberries, something he was growing more and more fond of.

"What do you do with your life? When did you move to Roswell? Why did you move to Roswell? How do you know Alex? Where did you live before? Anything!" Liz giggled, her eyes lighting up as she saw him respond with a similar smile after looking at her. Her heart skipped a beat and Liz had to will herself to stay calm, just because he looked at her and smiled didn't mean anything.

"I grew up in California with my sister Isabel, and our parents; nothing too exciting. I played basketball for the UCLA team, but after freshman year I decided to go to New Mexico University instead. That's where I met Alex, and that's where Alex and Isabel fell in love. So I played on the team and spent four fun filled years in college studying to become an architect."

"Eww, so you're an architect; never would have thought!" Liz interrupted, cringing her nose as she thought about Max and he being an architect. She had imagined him to be something like a doctor or lawyer, but never an architect. But if it suited him, then it didn't matter to her. However her real question had yet to be answered; what she really wanted to know was whether or not he had a girlfriend.

"And do you have something against architects?" Max teased. Liz shook her head 'no' and motioned for him to continue on. They were still walking around the town, and yet it had been lost to both of them as soon as Max had started talking. "I graduated a year ago and started working for a small company, but half way through the year I decided to start my own company. And that's where I am now- living in Roswell and sharing a home with my sister. Depressing, I know."

"That's not depressing at all! I think its amazing that you started up your own business and own your own house already." Liz said in awe. She had a hard time comprehending the staying in one place factor. Since she had started modeling all she had done was move around, at least until Kirk. He had gotten her to settle down and start to only take jobs in New York or other places close by so she could continue to live in his plush apartment. She had her own, but living in his had always seemed like a better idea.

"And what about you? I pour my heart out, so I think I deserve to know something about you." Max stopped for a second and looked at her pointedly, waiting for her response. Before she could answer her stomach began to rumble, which caused Max to burst out laughing, but a look of worry swept over his face. He knew models were famous for not eating, however Alex had insisted that Liz was the biggest pig. But after that Max wasn't so sure. "Why don't we get some lunch and then you can tell me. Do you like Chinese?"
***
Settling down on a bench in the middle of the park, Max set about opening up the many cartons of food they had ordered from the Chinese take-out. They had decided to simply share everything instead of each getting something. He handed Liz a spoon for her wonton soup, as well as some chopsticks and a fork for the chow mien. He wasn't sure what to expect; the stereotype of models was stuck in his mind and he wasn't sure how he would react if Liz didn't eat much. She was already beyond skinny and he couldn't imagine how she could possibly be as thin as she was if she didn't eat.

All around them children were laughing as they ran about the park. The ground was covered in a variety of different colored leaves, and the sky was a mixture of a overcast day with a bit of sunshine. It truly was the perfect scene and Max hoped that Liz didn't mind sitting in the park to eat. He hadn't wanted to be cooped up in a small restaurant and he figured she would enjoy the outdoors a lot more.

Max almost choked in shock when he saw Liz dig into the food, scooping straight into her food and practically purring as she ate it. He had never seen anyone, besides his sister after a day of shopping, eat as Liz was. Though it did cause Max some bit of relief. All of his fears about her not eating were quickly settled, though he now wondered if she was a bulimic- she was way to skinny for her own good.

"Oh my god, if this place had been here when I was around I don't think I ever would have left!" Liz exclaimed as she scooped another mouthful of chow mien into her mouth. As she chewed she looked up and almost spit everything out when she saw the amazed and confused look on Max's face. She had to hold back her laughter for fear that he would think she was laughing at him. "If you don't take something soon I'm going to finish it by myself."

"You'll eat all of this?" Max asked incredulously. There was easily enough food for he and Michael alone, and that was on a good night, but the idea that Liz could finish all of this off by herself was something Max couldn't see.

"Yeah, easily!" Liz nodded vigorously as she shoveled another load of food into her mouth, chewing it and swallowing it before taking another spoon full and eating that as well. Max stared on in udder shock.

"Um, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but…" Max was once again cut off by Liz's laughter in response to Max's awkward words and glances.

"I'm a total pig, but somehow I keep this…" Liz indicated to her body before continuing. "Don't even ask me how because I can tell you, eating pizza, Chinese food, Mexican food, pastries and ice cream is less than healthy."

Nodding his head in comprehension, Max dug into the food, taking a few bites every so often, but he was content watching Liz eat. His eyes were instinctively drawn to her mouth and her luscious lips. Every time her tongue would peak out and glide across her lips, Max had to make sure not to groan. She was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen and every minute he spent with her seemed to get better and better.

"So now it's your turn. Tell me about you." Max finally found his vocal chords and he was amazed that he was able to get out any type of understandable sentence. He had been watching her enough that he could close his eyes and come up with a clear picture of her, and yet he couldn't get himself to look away. He was elated to notice that she was looking straight back at him, but he couldn't gauge her true reaction because she was always smiling and laughing- though Max didn't mind that. He loved watching her laugh- her face lit up and her throaty laugh was so distinct, something Max was growing fond of.

"Well… I went to New Mexico University for my freshmen year, but then I got contracted for a photo shoot in Paris, so I left. I spent maybe a year there before returning back to the states. I hated living there with the other models, they were arrogant and, oh god, I don't know. But I continued my education through a school in Paris- kind of like a study abroad thing. It was pretty cool, but when I came back and settled in New York I had problems transferring my credits and I was so busy so I jut dropped school completely." Liz cringed and berated herself for being as stupid as she was to drop school. It had been the biggest mistake she had ever made and if she could change one thing in her life it would be that. "For the next year I traveled back and forth between France and New York, taking any and all jobs I could get. So that's pretty much it. Nothing extremely interesting."

Max knew that Liz was hiding the information about her boyfriend whom she had recently broken up with, but he respected her need to keep some things to herself. He felt bad that she wasn't able to continue on with her education, though he did understand that her job was demanding and didn't allow for much time for studying.

Looking down, Max was amazed and shocked to see that all of the food was in deed gone. He chuckled as he closed the boxes and cartons up and proceeded to throw them away. When he came back Liz had her hand extended towards him and in her palm were two fortune cookies. Never before had Max opened fortune cookies; he never believed them and he didn't see a point. But today he saw a point.

"Come on, its tradition!" Liz quipped. Max snatched one out of her palm and the two began to crack them open. She waited for Max to read his out loud before she was willing to reveal her own. "Well?"

"Romance is a possibility." Max read aloud. He hadn't even read it to himself before he had said it, but now, hearing it and comprehending it, Max became elated with the idea. Maybe it was telling him that a romance with Liz was possible. Or maybe even more then a romance was possible. A thousand and one questions whirled through Max's mind about what his fortune could mean.

"New love is on the way…" Liz gasped as her eyes locked with Max's. They were both surprised by their fortunes and the fact that they both dealt with love in some way or another and that they both dealt with love coming soon. She hadn't wanted to get her hopes up, but in light of everything that was quickly pointing towards something between she and Max, Liz was more than excited and not just a little bit scared. She still remembered the way Kirk had callously pushed her to the sidelines while he had been away on a trip and she had been stuck in his apartment, waiting for his arrival.

"Well… I guess… I mean- yeah." Max stammered. He didn't have a clue as to what he should say. Instead he smiled, took hold of Liz's hand and started down the walkway through the park and back towards the town.

"What is it? Cat got your tongue, Max?" Liz teased, but she quickly sobered and smiled at him. She wanted to gain some perspective on what he believed in and what his goals were, but she wasn't sure how to bring it up. "What do you think the most important thing is, Max?"

"What most important thing?" Max asked. He had been so lost in thought that he hadn't heard what Liz was talking about. He was still reeling over the fact that Liz had yet to protest the fact that he was holding her hand while they strolled through the park. It was one of the most perfect and romantic things Max could think of, but because it involved Liz, it only made it better.

"In love. What do you think the most important thing in love is?" Liz asked nonchalantly. She fell in step with him, letting herself get a little closer then she had before. Now when they walked their upper arms would brush against each other and Liz smiled as she felt his muscles flex each time he would bend his arm. She could tell that he was pretty well built, especially after this morning, but feeling it was even better. She could only imagine what it would feel like without his shirt on.

"Well, I don't think it's asking too much to want to feel it in my head, heart, body, and soul all at the same time, and to have that feeling to be mutual. The problem is that when you're a kid you think life is gonna be like the movies. Dreams come true, the good guys win, people live happily ever after... all that crap. But one day you wake up and realize you've been had. Of course life isn't like the movies. That's why there are movies. Besides people have problems, insecurities, flaws-- and you have to learn to compromise, to overlook, to forgive. Its not settling, it's life; real life." Max paused for a moment as Liz stopped and looked inside one of the passing store windows She wasn't as bad as Tess, and Max was thankful for that. Whenever he had gone out for walks around the town with Tess, she had always wanted to look at every window display and she would than analyze it for hours on end. Liz was far simpler; she took a look and continued on. However something caught Max's attention as Liz looked in this window.

Looking down at whatever it was that had caught Liz's attention, Max's heart swelled as he watched Liz kneel down in front of the glass separating her from the small kitten who was pawing on the window. She was cooing loving words even though the cat couldn't hear or understand. And she was gently stroking the glass where the cat was frantically trying to get out. It was a small white kitten, not even a month old. And while Max usually hated cats, for some reason or another he suddenly loved them. And he suddenly had the perfect idea of what to get Liz for Christmas, or even Thanksgiving.

"What about you? What do you feel is the most important aspect of a relationship?" Max asked once he and Liz had started down the street again. She had been unusually quiet since she had seen the kitten and Max wondered what had happened, but he wasn't going to ask. Instead he would wait for her to open up to him if and when she chose to.

"True love. I believe there's one special person out there who's meant for each of us. And when your eyes meet, it'll be magic and you'll both know it instantly." Liz said dreamily. She was secretly thinking about Max and his wonderfully soulful eyes. Never before had she seen such beautiful eyes that drew her in the way his did.

"And have you found that person?" Max asked hopefully but the moment the words were out of his mouth he silently berated himself for being so forward and for putting her in the trap he had just made. He hadn't meant to ask her, but somehow the words had escaped his mouth without him even knowing. But the worst part was that she wasn't answering, at least she hadn't, yet.

Liz didn't know how to answer. It was true that when she looked in his eyes that she felt things she had never felt before, but she was still scared. However, she didn't want to lie and ruin any chances she might have had with Max. She instead stopped and looked Max straight in the eye, smiling as she tried to see if he saw it as well.

Max swallowed the lump in his throat. Looking into her eyes he was overcome with an onslaught of emotions, things he had never felt before and was sure that he was only able to feel them because he was currently looking into Liz's eyes. Silently he was jumping for joy and crying out to the world that he had finally found the one person he would love forever, and from what he could tell she loved him too. With just one look in her eyes he could see the love and devotion he felt towards her reciprocated.

"Maybe…" Liz nodded slightly and than ducked her head away in embarrassment. She couldn't believe she had just admitted to Max that not only did she think she had found the person she was in love with, but that he was the person. He had to have known she was talking about him, especially after the way she had been searching his eyes so desperately for her answer. But it was true. After all those years of telling her friends that true love was locked away in the eyes and now she was proving herself correct.

posted on 17-Dec-2001 2:55:52 AM by Trinity Star1323
Part 3

"It was so amazing, just seeing our baby up on the screen- I don't know how else to describe it." Alex gushed. He and Liz were sitting in the living room while Isabel was talking with Max about another get together that she wanted to have. Liz and Max had just gotten back from their walk around town, and the moment they had gotten back Alex had whisked Liz away as Isabel had taken Max to a separate corner of the house.

"That's really cool, you'll have to show me sometime." Liz smiled and hugged her brother. Deep down she felt a pang inside her heart as the thought of having children filled her mind. She had always wanted a child, and with Kirk it had seemed like a possibility, but now that wish was long gone.

Liz knew she shouldn't dwell on it for too long, but Kirk would have made a great father, and their children would have been absolutely adorable- an off set brown or black hair with brown eyes. She had wanted a son so that she could watch he and Kirk playing hockey or some other sport together, though a girl would be just as nice. "I wish I had a baby…"

Max froze mid-step as he entered the living room. Had he just heard Liz right. She wanted to be pregnant. Instantly an image of her glowing and pregnant with his child popped into his mind. His eyes grew wide and he had to fight himself from picking Liz up, throwing her over his shoulder and taking her to bed right that moment. He couldn't help but feel his thoughts were insane. He had just met Liz and yet he was imagining her pregnant with his child. Definitely suitable for institutionalization

With an elbow to his stomach from his sister, Max was brought back to reality. A blush swept up over his face as he tried to regain some control over his already overheating body. The image of Liz pregnant was burned into his head and for the life of him, he couldn't seem to get rid of it, no matter how hard he tried.

"So Isabel, how far along are you?" Liz asked as Max and Isabel joined them in the living room. She was glad when Max came and sat down beside her, she couldn't explain why, but his presence was comforting.

"A little over three months." Alex blocked Liz and Isabel out at this point as he knew they were lost in their own world now talking about their upcoming baby. Grabbing Max's arm, Alex led him upstairs and into Max's room, where Alex immediately closed and locked the door.

"So, how'd she do? Any breakdowns? Anything I should know about?" Alex was genuinely curious as to how Liz was during his time away. He knew Max would take care of her, at least he hoped he would, but he still couldn't get past his protective brother stage. Liz was a very good friend- practically a sister- and he did not want just anyone slobbering all over her and possibly going out with her. He had seen the way they looked at each other and he knew that they were head over heels for one another, but first he had to intervene and play the bad guy.

"No, no man. Nothing happened, I swear. We just walked around, had lunch and walked around some more." Max tried to be as sincere as possible. He did not need to be screwing things up with Alex. He knew if Alex told Liz not to trust him, then she would most definitely follow Alex's rules, and Max did not want that.

"You had lunch?" Alex snorted before he burst out into a fit of laughter. The idea of Liz having lunch, that was a weak way putting things. Liz didn't have lunch, she swallowed whole areas for lunch. "You mean she had her lunch and yours as well, as well as everyone else's!"

"Oh, um, yeah… you were right about that…" Max chuckled as he remembered his own amazement at how much Liz had eaten. After getting Chinese she had insisted on getting some sort of dessert- they had gotten ice cream and they had yet to eat it.

"Ok, onto more serious stuff." Alex said pointedly. Comparing Liz and Tess was like chocolate to cabbage- there was no comparison and he wanted Max to know that. He also knew exactly how Max had been with Tess, and from what Alex could tell, Max had done a 180 when it came to Liz, which meant he was serious. "First off, I need to know how you really feel about her. And don't lie, cause you do this thing where you scratch the side of your head, and it isn't pretty."

"We-well… um, well, you know… I th-think, now, well." Max couldn't believe it. He wanted to yell out that he loved her and worshipped the ground she walked on, but saying that to her brother was not a very good thing in Max's mind. So he fished around for the right thing to say, but he couldn't come up with a good enough way to say it. The fact was, love seemed like such an insignificant word when it came to Max's feelings for Liz. "Do you believe in love at first site?"

"Max, you're talking to me, Alex- the guy who fell in love with your sister at first site. So if you're asking me, then yes." Alex chuckled as he saw the tips of Max's ears turn red along with the rest of his face. He knew this was hard on Max, but it was funny as hell for Alex. "So are you trying to tell me you fell in love with Liz the first time you saw her, which was just this morning?"

"No… I think, no I fell in love with her the minute I saw that picture of her." Max sighed and plopped his head in his hands as he waited for Alex to blow up at him for falling for his sister even though Alex had told him not to get to close. And while he knew it was a long shot, he was secretly praying that Alex could give him some pointers on how to win Liz over, though he wasn't sure that would ever happen now.

"Al-righty… and let me guess, you wanted my help, right?" Alex asked teasingly. This was great. Not only did he have Max on the verge of breaking down, but he also held Max's fate in the palm of his hands. He liked having all the power.

"You're not mad?" Max asked hesitantly, unsure of whether or not he should be jumping for joy or kissing Alex's feet.

"Nah… man, I don't know what's taken over you, but since you've met Liz you have changed, and for the better. Now, you want pointers, well, let me just tell you that Liz and Tess are nothing a like. Tess, well… she…"

"I know, I know… I don't even know what I saw in her. And I know they are different. I mean, Liz… she's just… she's in this whole other class- someplace I'll never even be near and yet she's letting me in." Max sighed again.

"Yeah, I know. So first off, I know with Tess you both sort of had this on-again-off-again relationship With Liz, no way- you can't do that." Alex insisted. "Don't be unavailable. Again and again people say they are available when in reality they are consumed with something/someone. If you want Liz to like you, be available to have a relationship if you say you want one.

Two. Don't cling, demand or beg for attention. It's good to like someone and want to be with him or her. But when you want closeness while the other person wants space, being a great catch means allowing the space gracefully. What's more, it means cherishing the space. And I know that Liz will like some space for right now, especially because of her break up with Kirk.

Three. Don't manipulate or ask leading questions. Manipulation is one way to get what you want in a relationship. However, when you manipulate, what you get is not given freely. Now Kirk, he manipulated Liz, a lot… and I know you're sincere, so you should be cool.

Four. Don't marry her in your head. When you are barely dating, yet already walking to the altar in your head, it shows. What's more, it takes away from enjoying the process of dating. Have an eye on the future, but don't live it in your mind just yet.

Five. Don't try to force the relationship. In general, do exactly as you two want to do. You should be able to let Liz do, as she will, without forcing her or the relationship to be different. Observe, accept and choose.

Six. Don't come on strong. It's fun to sweep a new someone of their feet. However, being swept of your feet is dangerous to the heart - the relationship usually does not survive past the initial rush. You have to grow slowly, lightly into the relationship.

Seven. Don't expect to be saved or fixed. Everyone has something they are trying to improve in their life and right now Liz is trying to improve her life. Relying on a new partner in the process of this improvement is unattractive. So don't try and help her- simply be there for her.

Eight. Don't give up yourself, your opinions, and your values. This one is important, especially with Liz. She loves guys who value their opinion and don't give in to peer pressure. Mainly, be yourself.

Nine. Don't block communication. Relationships are for relating, be they romantic or otherwise. Relating between humans means communicating. If you do not communicate, you do not have a relationship. Liz loves to talk, so talk back, and express yourself freely.

And finally, and this is the most important and I swear, if you break this I will kill you. Number ten. Don't play games - be honest. Honesty does not mean revealing the details of your sordid relationships on the first date. It does mean being honest about your goals, priorities, intentions, wants, and other things. Don't hide from her because she can sniff you out like a rat." Alex finally finished.

"When did you become all- knowing about love and having a relationship?" Max asked.

"Liz!"
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
"The San Jose Sharks are currently tied 3 to 3 with the Washington Capitals…."

It was Saturday, nearly three days since Max and Liz had gone out, and since then Max hadn't had any free time to spend with Liz due to his work. Though it really wouldn't of mattered; Isabel and Maria had been keeping Liz as busy as possible. He had hardly even seen her due to the amount of time she spent with Isabel and Maria, and even Alex. And Max couldn't help but feel a little jealous over the fact that she had gone back over to Alex's for the last two days, but luckily she was coming back today.

Michael and Kyle were lounging on the couch beside him. It was a little after five and while the three knew they were supposed to be getting ready for some nice dinner party that Isabel had planned, they couldn't tear themselves away from the game. It was almost over so they didn't see much harm in waiting another fifteen minutes, anyway, it wouldn't take them too long to get dressed.

Max couldn't wait until tonight, he would finally get to see Liz again, and she would undoubtedly look beautiful. He wondered what she would wear, and as he mind began to wander he saw a flurry of different things that she could possibly wear. Most appealing was she in something that showed off just the right amount of skin and was very tight, but Max would settle for anything as long as he got to see her.

He had wanted to spend the day with her and get to know her better, but Isabel and Alex hadn't allowed any time for that, so Max was stuck with Michael and Kyle. Which brought about the thought that tonight would be the first time that Michael and Kyle would meet Liz. Max feared that moment more than anything in the world. While he knew he and Liz were hitting it off great so far, he also knew he wasn't the ladies man like Michael and Kyle were. Kyle could get any woman he wanted, as could Michael- though Maria would be there and seeing as Liz was a loyal friend of Maria's already, Max didn't expect to have too much trouble with Michael.

"Man, I gotta go piss." Kyle interrupted Max's thoughts as Kyle pushed himself off the couch and started towards the bathroom. Halfway there he heard Max yell that the downstairs bathroom was broken so he had to use the upstairs one. Kyle mumbled something unintelligible before turning and making hi way up the stairs. Kyle desperately wanted to get back to the game, but when nature called there was nothing he could do, but follow the call.

As a commercial aired, Michael turned towards Max and then looked around the room, wondering where Kyle was. He turned to look over in the kitchen, but he saw no one. Turning back towards Max, Michael was about to voice his concern for where their friend went when a loud scream filled the house.

"You Pervert!" The words were screamed and they echoed off the walls. Following was a loud bang and then a thump. Max was out of his seat in a second, as he knew that voice- it was Liz's. He didn't know what Kyle had done, but whatever it was he would pay. Michael was right behind Max. The two took the stairs up two at a time as they ran towards where they heard Liz's scream. As soon as they reached the hallway they both suddenly stopped mid-stride at the site they saw.

It was Kyle, sprawled out on the floor with one hand over his eye and the other holding his crouch as he laid on the floor in the fetal position. Michael began laughing as soon as he saw Kyle groaning in pain. But Max wasn't as thrilled or elated by what he saw. He knew that Kyle had to have done something horrible to end up this way. Silently he thanked god that Liz was ok, but he still wondered what Kyle had done. No matter what he would have to have a stern talk with him later.

"Ky-kyle, man, what'd you do?" Michael howled in laughter. He clutched his side as he watched Kyle groan again as he tried to roll over.

"Oh god- she's got an arm and a leg on her." Kyle moaned in pain. Finally past some of the pain, Kyle rolled himself against the wall and steadied himself.

"Kyle, what the hell did you do?" Max demanded as he glared first at Kyle and then at Michael before looking worriedly at the bathroom door.

"What the hell did I do? I didn't do anything except follow your orders!" Kyle snapped back. He brought his head up and watched as Max made his way over towards the bathroom door and tentatively knocked on it.

"Liz… Liz, are you ok?" Max asked softly, all the while praying that Kyle hadn't done anything to her.

"Whoa, shit, Liz is in there! Kyle, you dog!" Michael laughed even harder, but suddenly sobered up as he looked over at Kyle. "So she's as hot as she used to be?"

"Kyle, don't answer that. Just get downstairs. Now." Max ordered. He motioned for Michael to help Kyle down while he tried to talk to Liz and find out what had happened. Once they were gone, Max turned back towards the bathroom door and knocked on it again. "Liz, come on, it's just me, Max. Are you ok? Did Kyle hurt you?"

"Max?" Liz called out. She wrapped the towel a little tighter around her body. She felt horrible enough, but now she had to go face Max and tell her what she had done. Then she would have to go apologize to his friend- if that guy was his friend.

"Yeah Liz, it's me. Are you ok?" Max asked. He could hear that something was wrong and while he didn't want to press for information he also didn't want to let Kyle get away with whatever it was that he had done. He waited another minute and when he didn't think Liz was going to answer he raised his hand to knock again. But just as he was about to knock the door cracked open just the slightest and then a little more.

Steam rushed out and Max's senses were filled with the scent of vanilla again. His eyes grew wide as a very clad Liz came into his view. She wasn't wearing anything but his towel around her body. If that wasn't a step in the right direction, Max wasn't sure what was. He quickly pulled himself together as he cautiously took a step inside. There were tears in Liz's eyes and she was clutching the towel to her body.

"I-is he ok?" Liz asked shakily. Max stared at her, completely bewildered as to what she was talking about until he remembered that there had been a reason as to why he was in the bathroom with Liz. Quickly shutting the door so that no one else got a look at Liz, Max then took another step towards Liz, one of his arms outstretched as some sort of offering for a hug. Liz quickly ran into his arms and buried her head in the crook of her neck. She felt horrible for what she had just done, but it had been in self-defense and she hadn't meant to hurt him as badly as she had.

"Yeah- yeah, he's fine. But are you ok?" Max asked softly as he ran his fingers through her wet hair. Her scent surrounded him and feeling her bare skin against his arms was wreaking havoc in his body. And to make things worse she was only wearing a towel- his towel no less. He had dreamed up this scenario- only she wouldn't be in tears- and it was much nicer in reality then it was in his dreams. "Liz- what happened?"

Downstairs…
"So?" Michael urged Kyle on as he handed him an ice pack and sat down beside him at the kitchen table. Kyle's eye was swelling up and quickly turning black, but Kyle wasn't too concerned about that- it was his crouch that was bothering him. Michael had waited for Max to come downstairs so he could hear about Liz as well, but after fifteen minutes, Michael decided that Max was taking way too long and he needed to know. "What happened?"

"I was going upstairs to piss, like Max told me. When I got to the door it was closed, and I thought nothing of it, so I turn the knob. It jerked a little but then gave in. I hadn't expected it, but oh god, there she was, standing naked and rubbing herself dry with her towel. Man, she's sweet!" Suddenly a smile the size of the Grand Canyon spread across Kyle's face as he thought about what he had seen.

"Wait a second, you saw her naked?" Michael asked incredulously.

"Man, you should have seen her. She's got tities…"

Kyle's sentence was suddenly cut off as Max's hands came around his throat and he was jerked out of his chair and thrown up against the wall. Michael tried to tear Max away, but Max pushed Michael away with ease as he kept his hold on Kyle. As Kyle regained some semblance of his senses and got a good look at Max, he was taken aback. Never before had he seen the murderous rage he was seeing Max's eyes at that moment.

"Don't you dare talk about her that way." Max warned. His voice was low and dangerous. Neither Michael nor Kyle had ever seen Max this way and they weren't sure they wanted to ever again. "Do you hear me? Never, again."

"Whoa, Max, what the hell is your problem?" Kyle spluttered. He too tried to get out of Max's grasp, but his attempts were futile. He wasn't sure why Max was so mad, but he knew if he planned on living until tomorrow he had better do as Max said. Again he tried to think of what he had done that was so bad, but he couldn't think of anything. "What the hell did I do?"

"You know exactly what you did." Max narrowed his eyes and glared at Kyle. He was ready to kill him. Had Max known that Kyle had so little class then he never would have become friends with him, but now that he knew, he wasn't going to let him stick around.

"Whoa, whoa… Max. What did Kyle do?" Michael asked. He was blown away by Max's reaction. Not even when Kyle had put the moves on Tess had Max been this mad, but now, Kyle gets a sneak peak at Liz and Max goes ballistic.

"He was being disrespectful." Max murmured as he shoved Kyle a little harder into the wall. He was acutely aware of how big of jerk he must look like, but the minute Liz had told him that Kyle had walked in on her when she didn't have a thing on. And then he had just stared at her until she had punched him- at that point Max just felt something snap inside of him. "I think you owe Liz an apology."

"Max…" Liz's soft voice drifted through the kitchen and the minute it reached Max's ears he eased up his grip on Kyle as he turned to look at her. She was now wearing an oversized sweatshirt and a pair of jeans. Her hair was still wet, but she looked just as beautiful in Max's eyes. He watched as she made her way over towards him, her gaze locked on him. "It was just an…"

"No, Liz, it wasn't your fault. The door was closed and Kyle should have knocked. He also shouldn't have just stood there." Max glared at Kyle once again before softening his gaze as he turned back to look at Liz. She was now at his side and looking up at Kyle with a grimace.

"Well I think he learned his lesson." Liz noticed that Kyle was now covering up his groin with his hands, and this caused her to laugh softly. Sticking out her hand as a gesture of acceptance and apology, Liz waited for Kyle to shake, but Max wouldn't allow it. First he wanted Kyle to apologize for how rude he had been. Just because Liz was forgiving, didn't mean that Max had to be as well. Tightening his grip on Kyle's throat, Max glared at him, waiting for his apology.

"I-I'm sor-ry." Kyle choked out once he got the idea that Max wasn't going to let up until he had apologized. Slowly, Max loosened his grip and let Kyle slide to the floor. After having a moment to compose himself, Kyle took Liz's hand and the two shook.

Michael watched on, trying to hold in his laughter at the whole situation. He knew for a fact that Kyle wasn't sorry, and he couldn't wait to hear what Kyle had to say about Liz once they were alone. However, something that had caught Michael's attention was the way Max had defended Liz, and the way Max looked at Liz. He had never seen Max react in this manner before- not even when he had cracked jokes about Tess or any of Max's other girlfriends. He would definitely need to have a talk with Max to find out what was going on.

After everything was resolved, Michael and Kyle left while Max and Liz got ready for the dinner. They only had half an hour now, and no one was particularly worried. It had been arranged by Alex for Max to take Liz to the restaurant, that way Max could have some time alone with Liz before having to go and do the whole Isabel dinner thing. Max was ecstatic to have some time alone, and he couldn't wait to see Liz in her dress.

Promptly at 6:30, Liz was out of her room and waiting in the kitchen. She had wanted to surprise Max with her dress, but when she found out that he would be taking her to the restaurant she couldn't help but be a little disappointed and excited. While she knew she would enjoy the time alone, she was also disappointed because she had wanted to surprise him.

The moment Max entered the kitchen he was stunned by Liz's beauty. He felt his heart beat double time and all of the air in his lungs quickly rushed out. She looked absolutely stunning and her dress was everything he had thought it would be and more. The dress itself was fabulous and he was sure Isabel would flip out over it, but the only reason it looked as good as it did was because Liz was wearing it. It was short, only coming down to her knees, with no straps- just a simple tube top dress- with iridescent satin purple material and one slit up to her mid-thigh. It was simple, yet elegant and it clung to her every curve, accentuating all the right areas and showing off a great deal of skin- the towel had covered more of her then this dress did and yet it wasn't skimpy at all. Her hair was swept up and pinned together loosely at the crown of her head, leaving a few wisps and tendrils which fell in her face.

"Yo-you look bea-utiful." Max struggled to get his mouth to work, and once it did he couldn't believe what was coming out of it. He sounded like a stuttering fool, but then that was what she had reduced him to- a stuttering fool.

"You don't look so bad yourself." Liz smiled radiantly at him as her eyes swept over him. When he had first come into the kitchen she had had to hold onto the counter so as not to falter from how handsome he looked. He wore a simple black jacket and pants with a white shirt and tie, but Liz knew those clothes anywhere. But he looked sexy as hell with his jacket undone and his tie still not completely tied. Kirk had always worn clothes like that- only without the tie- and she was slightly surprised to see Max wearing them as well. Coming up to stand in front of him, Liz ran her hands over his shoulders as she smoothed out the fabric before moving towards his tie and giving it a little yank. "Never would have thought you to be an Armani man."

The color drained from Max's face, and his eyes grew wide before a sexy half-smile overtook his lips as his eyes lit up at Liz's touch. Isabel had bought him the suit, as well as a few others like it, saying that they were her gift of style to him. Before he had wanted to strangle her for buying him such nice clothing, but now he wanted to kiss her feet and shower her with gifts for scoring him some points with Liz. He would definitely have to buy her something in return.

Producing a white rose from behind his back, Max handed Liz the flower and then offered his arm for Liz to take. Liz was taken aback by Max's sweet gesture, and in return, as she took the flower she gave him a peck on the cheek as well as another radiant smile. Max nearly blew a gasket the moment Liz's soft lips touched his skin. He had imagined what her lips would feel like since he had first set eyes on those perfect lips of hers, but never in his wildest imagination would they be as velvety and soft as she had just proven.

Max stood there in shock for a moment, unsure of how to respond, but when he felt Liz's arm touching his own he looked down and took note that she was now holding his hand. Shaking his head and trying to rid himself of the thick fog, smelling of vanilla which surrounded him, Max smiled back at Liz before taking grabbing his keys and jacket and starting towards the door. He helped Liz with her jacket at the door and then they were off.

The ride there was spent in complete silence. Neither Max nor Liz could think of a thing to say, but the looks between them were enough to improvise for the missing conversation. Every few minutes Liz would look over and watch as Max would continue to look out the front windshield while driving, but then at the last moment he would catch her gaze and their eyes would connect before Liz would look away. Then it was Max's turn.

posted on 17-Dec-2001 2:56:15 AM by Trinity Star1323

By the time they finally made it to the restaurant Max was amazed that they hadn't gotten in a car wreck due to the amount of time he had spent looking at her. After parking, he and Liz made their way to the front, hand in hand where they were to meet Alex and Isabel. Kyle, Michael and Maria were supposed to show up together, and Max didn't have a clue about Tess, he just prayed she didn't pull anything funny while Liz was around.

That was wishful thinking. The minute Max stepped in he was pushed back up against the door just as suddenly. Liz was pulled from his grasp and a burst of blonde curls flew into his face as a pair of lips attacked him. The scent of cheap perfume invaded his senses and therefore taking over the intoxicating and natural smell of vanilla. And finally he felt a pair of hands grasping and groping at his body.

"Max! I understand baby and I forgive you. I've missed you so much, let's never be apart again." Tess squeaked. Max was repulsed, but no matter how hard he tried to pry Tess off she only tried harder to stay on him. Off to the side he could see the hurt look in Liz's eyes, but her face was a mask as she abruptly turned and took Alex's hand as he ushered her away after glaring at Max.

"Tess, get off." Max demanded. Giving her one final push, she finally came loose. But that didn't stop her from reattaching herself. Pulling himself from her grasp, Max looked at her sternly before speaking. He didn't want to hurt her, but sometimes she was so dense that she wouldn't let anything get through to her. "Tess, we broke up- now get off of me."

Max strode towards the table where Liz was now sitting next to Alex with Maria on the other side of her. Across from her were Kyle and Michael. Isabel was just to the left of Alex, and it appeared to Max that Alex wasn't the only one to be glaring at him. He now had not only Alex, but also Isabel and Maria, both of whom were people Max did not want to get on their bad sides. Desperately wanting to sit beside Liz, Max walked over to Maria and whispered something in her ear. He wasn't going to let Liz get away that easily.

After convincing Maria to move down a seat, Max sat down beside Liz and gently took her hand in his own. As she turned to face him he again saw the hurt in her eyes, but he in turn silently pleaded for her to understand. She nodded slightly before returning her gaze to Alex and Isabel- Max felt as though he had just been stabbed in the heart. It hurt to know that he had hurt her, but it also sparked something inside of him because now he knew that Liz felt something for him.

"So, Isabel got to you too." Alex teased as he playfully hit Max on the arm. Max and Alex's suits were almost identical, except Alex's was navy blue while Max's was black. However Alex had noticed that Max had looked hurt after Liz had turned away from him, but Alex was a better friend with Liz, and he understood that she was distressed after seeing Tess attacking Max at the entrance. Max sighed and nodded in response, but his gaze never faltered as he looked at Liz. But before he could answer, Isabel interrupted.

"Ok, since everyone's here I think we should get started. I'd really like to thank everyone for coming, and while most of us know each other, there is a newcomer among us and I feel it is pertinent for us all to be friends. I'd like you all to meet Alex's… well, good friend, and my bridesmaid, Liz Par-Whitman." Isabel stated as she gestured towards Liz and smiled graciously. She motioned for Liz to stand as well, but Liz simply ducked her head and blushed as everyone stared at her. Despite the fact that she was a model, she had never been able to deal with a lot of people staring at her. "Liz, this is Maria, her boyfriend and my friend Michael. Over there is Kyle- as you have already met, and beside him… is Tess. And of course you already know Max."

It was at this point that Michael finally got a good look at Liz. While she was very pretty, and he couldn't get past what Kyle had told him about seeing her naked, he didn't feel the strong surge he thought he would. He had always believed that upon meeting some sexy model that he would want to jump her or something, but after the way she had reacted to Kyle, and then offered a truth, well he couldn't help but like her. She had these endearing qualities that were there even though he hardly knew her. And there was just something about her that screamed out that she would make a great friend. He could tell why Max was so taken by her- and that was a whole other topic. Michael knew for a fact that Max was whipped, he could see it in his friend's eyes and it was something Michael had never seen before except in Alex's eyes- it was love.

Kyle was still getting over and trying to ban the image of Liz completely naked and looking so sweet, from his mind. He knew he would be dead if he ever said another word in front of Max about Liz- at least anything demeaning. But he had to admit, she was nice, and definitely not like the stereotypical model- not that he knew the stereotypical model. But she was forgiving, and willing to over look him being a complete pervert, which in his books made her a winner and someone to pursue, if only Max wasn't already in the way. Alex had warned him that there was something between Max and Liz, and Kyle wasn't the type of person to stab a friend in the back. Though he did have to admit, with the dress she was wearing she was making it hard for him to keep his resolve.

Tess, on the other hand, wasn't as friendly towards Liz. She had seen the way Max had been looking at her throughout the dinner, and she had also taken note that when he had opened the door for Liz that he had placed his hand on her back as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Sure she had messed things up by breaking up with him, but she wasn't about to let some nobody work their way in to her spot with Max. Those puppy dog eyes wouldn't get Liz anywhere.

It wasn't until half way through the dinner that Tess finally recognized Liz, and once she did she decided to use it to her advantage. It slightly shocked Tess to see someone like Liz up close, because in Tess's mind Liz had to be airbrushed, otherwise those pictures of her in those magazines had to be fake. Deciding to bring that up, Tess just let the words fly from her mouth, hoping that it would not only embarrass Liz, but somehow make Max see that Liz wasn't as special as he may believe her to be.

"Oh my god, now I know where I've seen you before, Liz!" Tess exclaimed. Everyone at the table turned and looked first at Tess and then Liz, who had been deep in conversation with Alex. She immediately stopped and turned to look at Tess, not wanting to be rude or unfriendly. "I can't believe I didn't place your face sooner… it's just your body is so different! Do they just use your head because you look nothing like you did in that lingerie add I saw you in."

Everyone grew silent. Alex was coughing violently as he tried to cover up his surprise that Liz had taken that sort of job. Max was clenching his fist and jaw as he tried to justify Tess's actions in his mind- but he found no reason to simply get up and throw her out. Kyle's jaw had dropped open in sheer amazement. He wasn't sure what Tess was talking about, he had seen Liz and she was everything and a bag of chips. Michael was in just as much shock as Kyle- while he hadn't seen her, he had seen Alex's pictures of her, and if what he had seen was still true then Liz had no problem in carrying off a lingerie add. Isabel and Maria were ready to take Tess down for what she had said, but it was Michael and Alex who were keeping them back.

Liz was mortified. She didn't know how to answer. Either she could tell the truth and have everyone look down on her, or she could lie and still have everyone look down on her. Alex was already down her back, and she would have to explain to him no matter what. And Max, well, she didn't want him thinking badly of her, so she thought it would be best to at least tell him the truth, but that would wait until they were alone. But there was still Maria, Isabel, Kyle and Michael to deal with.

"Don't you remember Max? About a year or two back when you bought that little number…you know, the black chemise, charmeuse and chiffon with, well, you know." Tess glared playfully at Liz and then gave Max a sultry little smile. Everyone was mortified beyond belief. Not only had they heard too much, but they couldn't believe how disrespectful Tess was being to Liz. They all knew what Liz's job was, and if she chose those sort of jobs, then there had be a reason behind it.

However, Max was suddenly lost in thought. He knew exactly what Tess was talking about, only he wasn't thinking about Tess in that outfit, he was recalling the picture that had been burned in his head since the day Tess had shown him that damn catalogue. Slowly, the picture took its place in his mind and it was then that Max suddenly remembered why he felt as though he had seen Liz somewhere. No wonder he had thought it looked so good on the model and not on Tess. Almost immediately he could feel the strain in his pants, but he willed his body to cool down- he didn't need to scare Liz away when she was already vulnerable from Tess's attack.

"Tess, first off I don't think it's any of our business, and I also don't believe it is very polite of you to treat my friend and Alex's sister that way. Secondly, I remember Liz mostly from all of the bridal magazines I've seen her in, so I wouldn't know, and I doubt anyone else here would either. And thirdly, I think you owe Liz an apology." Isabel sneered at Tess through clenched teeth. She was embarrassed beyond belief and she could see that Liz was obliviously hurt as Alex and Max tried to comfort her. Alex was whispering something to Liz, and Max had her hands between both of his. She watched as Liz whispered something back to Alex before looking over at Tess.

"Well, Tess… yes that was me and my body… but that was two years ago… I'm older, so…" But Max wouldn't let her finish.

"And she looks even more beautiful today." Max stated, as he looked straight at Tess before he returned his gaze to Liz. Then gently, bringing the hand clasped in his hand, he kissed her knuckles before giving her a bright smile, hoping that would ease some of her discomfort. Michael, Alex, Isabel and Maria watched on in awe. They had never seen Max act that way before, and they had to applaud him on his save. However, Tess wasn't as thrilled by his response, and Kyle was just stunned into stupidity.

"Thank you." Liz whispered once everyone had broken into his or her own conversations. She smiled shyly at Max and then leaned over and gave him another kiss on the cheek- much to Tess's dismay and everyone else's surprise. No one had missed Liz's small showing of affection, but they didn't act as though they had seen it, they didn't want to embarrass her anymore then they already had.

"Dance with me." Max leaned over and whispered in Liz's ear after Tess's outburst. His eyes pleaded with hers as he offered his hand. There were only a few couples out on the dance floor, and Max couldn't wait to have Liz in his arms so he could apologize for Tess and try to get Liz to understand that there was nothing going on with him and her. He also wanted her to know that everything Tess had said was completely untrue, and even though he knew it would embarrass her, as well as himself, he wanted to tell her how ravishing she had looked in that catalogue. But most of all Max just wanted to hold her.

Liz nodded her head and Max quickly helped her out of her chair before leading her down to the dance floor. Gingerly taking her into his arms, Max relished in the feel of her body against his. Her delicate and silken skin was unlike anything he had ever felt underneath his finger tips and he dreamed of being able to feel more of her skin against his own. He was surprised when she rested her head on his shoulder, but he didn't mind one bit. And in response he pressed his face into her hair and let her scent consume him.

Liz couldn't think of anywhere that she would rather be at that moment than in Max's arms. She had instantly melted into his body and let him do as he pleased as the music floated over them. And feeling his hard body pressed against her was quickly wrecking havoc on her.

She was relieved to know that he wasn't repulsed by what she had done, and even better was that he still accepted her, or at least it appeared as though he did. And for first time since she had broken up with Kirk, Liz felt, as though she were free and ready to try and open up her heart again.

As though he were on auto pilot, Max moved his hand up and under Liz's hair, lightly caressing her head and letting her silky tresses sift through his fingers. He could feel her hot breath against his neck and took all of his restraint to not attack her with his hands and lips, as he desperately wanted to. But instead he just held her closer and let

"Liz…" Max started, but as soon as Liz shifted her head so that she was looking up into his eyes he knew that he didn't need to say a thing; everything he had wanted and needed to say had already been done through their own silent ways. Liz had wanted to tell him so much as well, but she too knew that there was no need to speak at a moment like this; it was too perfect and there was no need to ruin it.

"Lucky bastard." Kyle muttered to Michael as everyone watched Max and Liz dancing gracefully together. There was no doubt in anyone's mind of the nature of Max and Liz's relationship- well all except for Tess. She was still angry with everyone, especially Max, because her plan had backfired. But she would have her revenge, and Max as well.
***
Instead of going home after dinner, as everyone else had, Liz and Max had opted to go for a walk. It wasn't that late, and though it was cold, neither Max nor Liz wanted to return home where Isabel and Alex would hound them with questions.

The night air was cold and brisk, but Liz was used to it from all the time she had spent in New York and Paris- only then she had worn better coats. Aside from that fact, there wasn't anything better that Liz thought she and Max could do. The city was bursting with lights that had been strung up all over along with the other decorations. The sky was clear, and all of the stars could be seen, even with all the lights strung up. And to add to the festivities, a small amount of snow had fallen on the ground- it truly was the perfect night.

"You look cold." Max said as he took a sidelong glance at Liz before slowing down. He and Liz were once again holding hands; Max hadn't even noticed until now. But as soon as he stopped, it thwarted Liz from moving on too far ahead of him.

"That's cause I am." Liz laughed. She smiled up at Max, but secretly wondered why he had stopped so suddenly. "But its ok, I'm used to it."

"No, hold on." Max insisted. Removing his black overcoat, Max then took off his regular jacket and folded it over his arm as he proceeded to remove Liz's overcoat. Then, helping Liz into his own jacket Max felt a small piece inside of him grow as the thought that she was wearing something of his planted itself in his brain. After helping her with her overcoat, they started walking again.

"What about you?" Liz asked as she stopped once again. She felt bad about stealing Max's jacket and she didn't want him to get cold either. Besides she could think of better ways for him to warm her up. Liz quickly banished those thoughts from her mind, and instead focused on him simply putting his arm around her instead of simply holding her hand.

"Oh, no… this coat is plenty for me, but are you warmer now?" Max asked worriedly. While he really wanted to take her in his arms and keep her warm the old fashioned way, he was afraid that might be too forward and he would scare her off. So instead he decided to be a gentleman and give her, his jacket.

"Oh, yeah… much." Liz murmured. She could smell his cologne as well as something else that was just Max lingering on his jacket, and she snuggled in a little closer to his jacket. Upon seeing this move, Max quickly wrapped his arm around Liz's shoulders as he feared that she still might be cold.

"You need a better coat." Max laughed as he looked down at her. She was smiling back up at him, her eyes shining with adoration and gratefulness. In Liz's mind she was screaming out a thank you to the gods above for Max finally making a move and for bringing them closer.

"This was my mother's coat." Liz said as she flapped her hands in her pockets, causing the coat to "poof" out as a result. But as the cold air rushed up underneath her jacket she unwittingly nestled her body closer to Max's.

"Then your mother must be freezing." Max teased. He watched as the town passed by them. Usually when he was with Tess the town would be the only thing he would notice, but with Liz it was different. All that seemed to matter was her.

"She passed away." Liz said somberly as she looked away and over out towards the park. There were still a few other people out. Just beyond the park was the Crashdown, and again Liz felt the tears rising up in her eyes. The last time she had passed by with Max she had been able to keep her emotions in tact, but after talking about her mother and then seeing her old home, it was becoming hard.

"Sorry…" Max wanted to kick himself. He had completely forgotten about Liz's parents being dead- though he was sure he should remember because it inadvertently put her with Alex, and because of that he now knew her.

"Don't be. Both my parents passed away eight years ago. I hardly even remember them." Again Liz could feel the tears welling up in her eyes. It was true, she hardly remembered anything about her parents, and despite the amount of pictures she had of them. But suddenly, as she felt Max pull her a little closer and rub her arm with the hand he had originally resting on her shoulder, she felt a wave of comfort sweep through her. Looking up at him, Liz couldn't help but wonder how she had ever managed to deserve to meet someone as great as Max.

"What were they like?" Max asked softly, hoping his question wouldn't drive her away. He waited patiently for her answer, knowing that she was having a hard time dealing with talking about it, but he also could tell that she wanted to, otherwise she would have pulled away as she did sometimes.

"Well, my dad was a lot like me, and we were really close. I spent a lot of time with my dad. But my mom and I were never that close. I don't know, we just never hit it off, and I regret that now because I hardly knew her and now I wonder things about her- things I'll never know." Liz confessed. A few tears had escaped and were now slowly making their way down her face.

"Well, what do you remember most about your mom?" Max inquired. He didn't want to be nosy, but he knew that this would help Liz get past some of her anxieties over her mother. Alex had told he and Isabel all about Liz's parents, and Max was amazed to hear that Liz knew so little about her mother.

"Um, well…my mom always listened to Elvis Costello on laundry day." Liz shrugged slightly. That was all she truly knew about her mother, beside the usual motherly things. But then as Liz tried to remember that as well, she found that she was drawing a blank. "My Grandma Claudia and I were more connected then my mom and I. I remember that whenever Grandma Claudia would come and visit that she and I would go up to my room and talk for hours on end. I know it hurt my mom, but I never felt truly comfortable talking with my mom like I did with my Grandma."

"Elvis Costello huh? Well, at least she had good taste in music. And I wouldn't let it get to you about not feeling the same about your mother as you did about your grandmother. I was never very close with my father, and even though he's still and I know I should cherish my time with him, I take him for granted- my mom too. We're only human, and we aren't perfect." Max reflected, hoping that somehow he had eased Liz's fears.

They had come back in full circle now and were quickly coming back towards the restaurant. The only thing that stood between them was a small driveway, and as both Max and Liz noticed this, they became increasingly sad that their night was coming to an end.

"Thank you. I had… um, well I had a good time." Liz stammered. She didn't want to go back quite yet, but it was growing increasingly cold out, and Alex would be worried about her if she didn't return soon.

"Yeah, me too… maybe sometime we could do it again… only next time we'll make sure you have a better coat." Max said as he stopped in front of his car. Opening the door for Liz, he suddenly found her right in front of him, her lips a few mere inches away. He had turned slightly to help her in and she had turned to get in on her own, and as if fate had wanted them to, they had found themselves increasingly close. "So um, listen. I was wondering if you wanted… that is if you aren't busy…"

"Max, you're stuttering." Liz teased. She noticed that he had yet to move away, and feeling his hot breath against her skin was making it increasingly hard for her to concentrate on whatever it was that he wanted to ask her.

"Well, I was just wondering if you wanted to come with me to find a pumpkin. Isabel is like this total Thanksgiving Nazi and she wants a pumpkin, and seeing as Thanksgiving is only like a week away now, I thought…" Max was suddenly silenced by Liz's finger which she pressed lightly against Max's lips.

"I'd love to." Liz bit her lower lip as she removed her finger from Max's lips. Almost the second it had left his tongue snaked out and licked the spot where her finger had been. It was at that moment, as Liz stared into his eyes that she saw them turn a shade darker. She could feel herself leaning forward, and she could tell that he was as well, but all she could think was that he was going to kiss her.

"Good…" Max breathed out as he leaned in a little closer. He could still distinguish the taste Liz had left when her finger had touched his lips. And while he wasn't sure why he was being so forward, he couldn't help cut continue on his journey to reach her lips.

Unfortunately, the gods weren't with Max, because as he was about to meet her- he could practically feel the hint of her lips pressed against his- when his head hit the top of his jeep, causing him to jerk back and wince in pain. He mentally kicked himself, but stopped when he heard Liz's laughter filling the silent night. Despite the fact that he had hurt himself, he would gladly do it again if it made Liz laugh again.

Not wanting to be cheated of what she was sure was going to happen, Liz suddenly leaned forward and pressed her lips against Max's. Before she could pull away she felt Max's arms encircle her waist as he gathered her closer.

The moment he had felt her lips pressed up against his own, Max had forgotten his sudden head injury and was completely taken in by what was happening at that very moment. He was unwilling to let her leave. She tasted unlike anything he had ever tasted, and her lips were softer then he had thought. She surrounded him, and he loved it.

Timidly, Liz brought her arms up and around Max's shoulders as she felt herself being lifted from her seat and into the air by Max with one arm, as his free hand moved to her cheek and cupped it. Not wanting the kiss to end, and feeling Max's tongue gently tracing her bottom lip, Liz slowly opened her mouth and granted him the access they both wanted. The minute their tongues met, Liz felt a jolt run through her. Kissing Kirk had never been like this. Max was gentle as he kissed her, and yet he was thorough, making sure not to miss a single spot.

Slowly, as their need for air reared its ugly head, the two broke away. Their eyes were immediately locked, and neither could tear themselves away from the other. But Max knew that their night had t come to an end some time. Reluctantly, Max let Liz slide down his body, but their gaze never broke. He watched through lust filled eyes as her tongue suddenly darted of her mouth and retraced over where his tongue had only moments ago been, and he had stifle the groan which he wanted to release.

"Wow…" Liz whispered as soon as her feet touched the ground. Max nodded in reply before gently taking his hand, which was cupping her cheek and gently caressed her jawline and leaning in again. This time their kiss was short and sweet, but just as meaningful as their first.

"Yeah…" Max whispered back finally. As if they had mutually agreed, Max helped Liz into the car and shut the door for her before getting in as well and starting back towards his home. All the while all that either of them could think was that they couldn't wait until tomorrow.


posted on 17-Dec-2001 2:58:22 AM by Trinity Star1323
Part 4
The field was littered with hues of beige and orange, and surrounding the pumpkin field were trees which were adorned with a multitude of colors. To add to the already perfect scene, the sun was sitting right behind a mountain right before them, which caused the light to spill forth and encase the small area in a radiance of light. The area was small and baroque, something neither Max nor Liz had seen in a long time.

A wide yellow and white tent set at an angle between the meat market and the cider mill with the path to the CowShed bisected the tent. The tin roof shed stood at the edge of the woods near the pumpkin patch. It was decorated with corn shocks, etc. and became a waiting station to re-board the hay wagon after choosing a pumpkin from the patch. And fire kept everyone warm.

The large tent was also a Harvest Market. Apples and pumpkins were the featured attraction. Gourds, squash, Indian corn and bittersweet were also major attractions. Sorghum, Apple butter, maple syrup, corn meal and brooms were sold in the tent as well. An antique counter, old scale and antique register were displayed in the tent. Bakery products were sold in the tent as well.

Great patches of pumpkins, bunches of Indian corn, squash, gourds and bittersweet filled the fall outdoor market with the bounty of the harvest. Corn shocks decorated the farm's barnyard. It was a place out of the past that would refresh a person. The horse-drawn buggy was sitting down at the farm's long lane through the woods by the pumpkin patch where customers picked their own right from the stem.

It was a little after ten in the morning, but already there were a few people out and about, trying to find a pumpkin or some other Thanksgiving decorations. Max hadn't even known of this place until Alex told him- Alex had said Liz would love it, so Max was willing to make the hour drive to get there.

Picking up a pamphlet, Liz started to read through, but she suddenly stopped, causing Max to come to jerking halt as well due to their hands which were holding on to each other. A smile crept up onto her face as a small squeal made its way past her throat. Before Max could question her antics, she began to read from the pamphlet.

"There's still a place in New Mexico where you can sip the sweet taste of apple cider straight from the old wooden press. Every weekend till the snow flies the pulleys, belts and gears mesh to produce one of God's finest aromas. For over 100 years the cider mill on the Kuhn's farm has been pressing sweet apple cider every fall along the county road while the copper kettle boils apple butter over the wood fire nearby. To complete the autumn celebration donuts, funnel cakes, apple cookies, cobbler and dumplings are served at the historic farm." Liz simultaneously licked her lips at the thought of apple cider and all the other wonderful delicatessens that had been mentioned.

"We'll get some after we find a pumpkin…" Max conceded, though he was more then happy to get her anything she wanted. The minute he had seen her eyes light up and her tongue had snuck out to swipe against her lips he had known he would give into her every whim. But he hadn't expected her reaction.

"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Liz squealed as she threw herself into his arms. Kirk had never been this nice to her, and he had never brought her to such a beautiful place. It was so simple, and yet it was Max's presence that made it truly perfect. When he had first parked and helped Liz out, she had been awed by the site before her, and as she and Max made their way through the small area she had fallen more and more in love with it and him. He had driven a long way to bring her here, and she was surprised that he had when there was a pumpkin stand at the local grocery.

Max held Liz close, reveling in the feel of her body against his own as she murmured her words of gratitude. She was wearing an oversized black sweatshirt which fell off her delicate shoulders on one side, giving Max a good view of her beautiful skin, as well as a pair of blue jeans which fit her snugly. Her hair was once again worn down, and it swayed as the wind whipped past them. Even dressed down she still looked like a goddess in Max's mind.

Liz wasn't much better off. She hadn't meant to attack him, but he was treating her as though she were some sort of queen, when she didn't believe that she deserved to be treated this way at all. But hugging him and smelling his cologne as she pressed herself a little closer to him made everything seem to right to be wrong. His soft gray UCLA sweatshirt caressed her skin as they hugged, and she couldn't get over how wonderful he and his clothes smelled- Kirk smelled of sweat or overly used cologne, something Liz was not fond of.

Since their kiss the night before it were as though a silent agreement had been set between them- somewhere along the lines that something was going on between them. And while Max wanted to call Liz his girlfriend, he didn't want to be too presumptuous and drive Liz away, so whatever their agreement was that let him hug and kiss her, he would live with it until they made some sort of real acknowledgment of what they had.

Walking through the fields hand-in-hand, Max and Liz wandered around trying to find the 'perfect' pumpkin, as Isabel had refereed to it. She had actually given them a list of things, which the pumpkin had to have or be to be a perfect pumpkin. Liz thought it was downright funny, and Max was slightly embarrassed, but he knew how his sister was and this wasn't half as bad as some of the other holidays.

As they walked, Liz and Max talked about all sorts of things- they were engrossed in their conversation together. Max would banter on about one thing, to which Liz would respond with equal fervor. Never before had either of them had such stimulating conversations. To Max, actually talking while enjoying time with a person was a new experience. He hated it when Tess talked because all she talked about were clothes and other mindless things. And Liz liked being able to elude the topic of hockey, which seemed to be the only thing Kirk knew how to talk about.

"…coming so close and yet just missing each other. Do you know what I mean?" Liz asked, stopping for a moment to take note of Max's reaction to her confession. They were talking about love and how most people pass up their true love without even knowing it. While Liz would usually never talk about this sort of thing with Kirk, she felt comfortable discussing it with Max. She felt as though she could discuss anything with him.

"There's this poem by Rilke, I don't remember the whole thing, but it's about that. About waiting for that person, and wondering if you'll ever find them. And the last line of it goes, 'Who knows? Perhaps the same bird echoed through both of us, yesterday-- …' " Max said as he and Liz started walking again.

"'--separate, in the evening...' " The two said together. Again they stopped and stared into each other's eyes, a smiling lighting up both of their faces as they realized they had just shared the same thought. Liz ducked her head away shyly at Max's intense gaze. It unnerved her slightly for someone beside Kirk to be looking at her that way, but it also felt good.

"Yeah…" Max slowly. He was spellbound. Whatever spell she had weaved on him was working like a charm and Max never wanted to be released from her magic. He watched as her cheeks turned a dark crimson red as she tried to avoid his gaze. Seeing her this way made Max feel alive and complete- as though there were finally a purpose to his life.

Silence engulfed the two as they both fiddled around, unsure of what to do next. Breaking their revere, Liz laughed softly before turning on her heel and starting down the next row of pumpkins.

"Sports." Liz finally decided. Max paused for a moment, unsure of what Liz was talking about. He didn't want to bring up any bad memories of her ex, and he certainly did not want to upset her. "Who is your number one pick for the NCAA?"

"Gonzaga is my favorite team, but for who I think will win, I have to go with Stanford or Cal State Northridge. Though, I'd love to see Gonzaga go all the way and win." Max jabbered on. He was surprised that Liz knew about sports, or that she was even interested, though he guessed having a professional hockey player for a boyfriend would probably make sports an important part in her life.

"Gonzaga?" Liz asked incredulously, but teasingly. She tried to hold in her laughter, but she wasn't able to as the thought of Gonzaga actually winning made her double over in a fit of giggles. Max watched in amusement as Liz tried to regain control of herself, but every time it looked as though she were, she would look at Max and break down again. Her laughter filled the valley around them- it was throaty and sultry, everything Max had always thought it to be.

"And who would you pick?" Max asked just as incredulously, but there was a teasing tone to his voice. He smiled down at Liz, who had finally calmed herself down, and awaited her answer. She sealed her lips and gave Max a devilish smile. When she refused to answer, Max gathered her into his arms and began his attack. Alex had told him all about Liz and just how ticklish she was.

Immediately Liz tried to break free, but with one of Max's arms around her waist tickling her, and the other holding her hand, she found that it was impossible. She shrieked in delight and once again tried to wiggle out of Max's grasp, but he was holding onto her as though she were his lifeline.

"Ma-Max, pl-lea-se!" Liz half cried, half pleaded. Using all the strength she could, Liz jerked herself away, only to cause both she and Max to topple over onto a nearby haystack. Liz landed first, falling into the soft pile as Max fell down right on top of her. Their laughter died down as they noticed their close proximity and the smiles on both of their lips- both of which looked very enticing.

Holding her breath, Liz waited in anticipation for Max's next move. His lashes lowered over his eyes and he first glanced up into her eyes before looking down at her luscious lips. Slowly leaning down, Max rubbed the tip of his nose against Liz's before he brought his lips in contact with her own. Their kiss started out slow and sweet as Max brought one of his hands up and cupped her face while bracing himself up so that he didn't crush her, with his other free hand.

Liz sighed as Max's mouth covered her own, and she kissed him back just as eagerly as he was kissing her. On their own accord, her arms slid up and around his neck as she clung to him, afraid that he would disappear if she didn't. She could faintly feel his fingers lightly caressing her neck as his hand made its way to the back of her head. He caressed her scalp before running his fingers through her long tresses.

Max inwardly groaned as he felt Liz's hot little hands on the back of his neck. And the feel of her velveteen lips and tongue were pure heaven. He loved the taste of her and he did not want to stop kissing her. Their tongue danced together, delving, caressing, and stroking each other.

Involuntarily, Liz let a soft moan escape from the back of her throat as she felt Max's body draw closer to hers. She knew this wasn't right, she had just broken up with her boyfriend- she was supposed to be mourning- and yet she couldn't stop. If she had her way, she and Max would be kissing all day. However, the gods decided differently.

"He-hey you two… you're smashing our display!" An old woman cried out, but the smile touching her lips let everyone around know that she wasn't mad. Liz and Max pulled away from one another immediately, both looking dazed, their eyes filled with desire. Liz blushed as she first realized the crowd around them, second when she saw the woman who had broken them apart, and third when she saw the dark look in Max's eyes as he stared down at her. Those eyes were drawing her in and as much as she wanted to look away, she couldn't.

First getting himself up, Max helped pull Liz to her feet before looking away sheepishly. He couldn't believe that he and Liz had just made out in a pumpkin patch and in front of all these people. He thought he would die of embarrassment, but for some reason, as he looked over at Liz he no longer felt embarrassed, only proud that he had kissed her and in public, which technically meant that they were together.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
"This brings back memories." Maria quipped, laughing softly as she watched Michael struggle to break through Isabel's window. All throughout high school Michael had come to her window and snuck in whenever he wanted to spend time with her, and now, nearly six years later he was still doing it. Isabel whole-heartedly agreed, but she knew that Michael meant business when he was coming through windows.

So she left, going in search of Alex who was downstairs watching some basketball game. He was waiting for Liz to come home so that he could take her back to his house where she would stay the night. His parents were coming to visit and they wanted some one on one time with he and Liz, which Isabel understood as well.

Michael almost laughed as soon as he got inside. Maria had her arms crossed over her chest, and there was this little smirk on her face- she looked so innocent and yet so sexy. However, Maria didn't find it so funny that Michael was laughing at her. Standing up, Maria proceeded to smack Michael upside the head before giving him a pointed look.

"If you came here to laugh at me…" But Michael wouldn't let her finish. He quickly gathered her up in his arms and kissed her soundly. It was his sure-fire way of shutting her up- no matter what she was going off about he could always shut her up with one of his kisses.

As he had expected, Maria quickly stopped talking and started kissing him back. Once he was sure she wouldn't start up again, Michael released her lips and took a step back.

"Hi…" Maria smiled while the daze she was in continued to ware on. Michael watched her for a moment and waited until she was somewhat coherent before he started up with the reason he had come over in the first place. He hadn't been expecting to find Maria here, only Isabel, Max and Alex.

"Where's Max?" Michael asked quickly as he surveyed Isabel's room. It always looked neat and tidy, though today there seemed to be something different about it. He would definitely have to ask her later.

"Hmmm?" Maria asked, still completely dazed. She faintly felt Michael pulling her down onto the bed, and that's when her mind truly kicked in. "Not here! This is Isabel's room!"

"Funny Maria, but I wasn't thinking that, I just needed your head to clear. Now where's Maxwell, I need to talk to him and his window was locked." Michael explained. He had wanted to talk with Max the night before about Liz and what was going on between the two of them, but Max had decided not to return home as everyone else was. So now Michael had to get up sometime before noon on the weekend and actually try to hold a conversation. He had been hoping to talk with Max and find out how he could help with the Liz deal. It was obvious to Michael that Max was head over heels in love with the girl, and for once Michael approved of her for Max.

"Oh, Max is out with Liz… they're out picking up Thanksgiving decorations for Isabel's big dinner this Thursday!" Michael said enthusiastically. She had heard all about his plans of where he was taking Liz- he told Isabel who in turn had told Maria- and what they were going to do for the day. It was things like these that made Maria jealous; Michael never took her out on any sort of special surprise dates, like picking out pumpkins, or a picnic by the lake as Alex had done for Isabel only a few weeks ago. "You know, you could learn a lot from Max and Alex… surprise dates are always a plus and they are usually greatly rewarded afterwards!"

"Hey, I cooked for you yesterday morning, that's a surprise in itself." Michael protested as he watched Maria fume. "You try to find some guy who will get up early on a Saturday morning just to cook for his girlfriend- and I mean decent cooking."

"You cooked me scrambled eggs. Michael, with your chef abilities you should be able to whip up an omelet for me, or something else that doesn't consist of breaking two eggs and mixing them up in a frying pan with a fork." Maria complained.

"Well what's so damn romantic about picking out a pumpkin? You go to the store, you pick one out and your come home! I could come up with something a thousand times more romantic then that." Michael argued.

"He didn't bring her to the store." Maria said sarcastically. "He brought her out to that pumpkin patch… you know, Kuhn's farm. And he's making it an all day event. Now I'd like to see you top that. Or the picnic Alex threw for Isabel at the lake. He cooked everything, and I don't mean scrambled eggs. Then they stayed out all night and into the morning, dancing. So don't tell me you can top that, because you don't have a romantic bone in your body as far as I'm concerned."

"Want to bet?" Michael countered bitterly. He couldn't believe all the things Maria was forgetting. Not only had he gotten her a new bumper for her car, but he had brought her to see his favorite hockey team played instead of bringing Max, Alex or Kyle. That was love and romance. "I want you to get all dressed up and look real nice… be ready at 6 tonight. I'm going to show you romance."

"This ought to be good." Maria mumbled as she watched Michael stalk off downstairs. She faintly heard Michael telling Isabel that he needed to talk with Alex for a minute, and this immediately made Maria smile. Maybe he really was going to give her a romantic evening out.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
The horse drawn buggy slowly made its way back up the path leading from the pumpkin patch back up to the house and tent. After looking through the entire patch Max and Liz had found Isabel's perfect pumpkin. However, along the way, Liz had fallen in love with a lopsided pumpkin that everyone else was saying how ugly it was. The moment Max had seen her eyes cloud over with tears as yet another child had pointed at the disfigured pumpkin and laughed, he had picked it up and told her that it was perfect. This of course caused Liz to give him a big grin as well as a kiss on the cheek.

Of course afterwards they had continued their search Isabel's pumpkin. It still made Max laugh that his sister was always so stringent when it came to holidays and how all the decorations had to be flawless. Though he didn't laugh when he learned that Liz thought it was cute, though he was willing to deal with it for Liz.

After they had found a pumpkin for Isabel, they had caught an empty buggy. They sat on the edge of the wagon, letting their feet swing freely as the buggy teetered from side to side, shaking and bobbing up and down with every move it made. Max had his arm around Liz's shoulder, and Liz was resting her head on Max's shoulder as she hummed a tune softly, completely unaware that she was even doing so.

The old man who sat in the front guiding the horses would turn around periodically and smile as he saw the young couple. They were sitting so close together that it was hard to tell where one began and the other ended. His wife had told him all about this young couple- how they had fallen into one of their haystacks and starting making out like teenagers- but he didn't mind. They were young and in love, and they might as well have fun while they could.

Upon arriving back at the farmhouse, Max picked up both pumpkins and set them down in a small cubbyhole where the attendant said they could place them until they were ready to pay. Moving on, just as Max had promised, the two went and got some apple cider. Liz was ecstatic. She hadn't had real apple cider since she left Roswell- back in New York it was all bottled and processed, therefore making it not taste quite as good.

"I told you it's better from the press. The stuff in the bottles sold at the store doesn't even compare…" Liz asked before she took another sip of her own. She watched Max intently, trying to gauge his reaction. They had spent three hours in the pumpkin patch, laughing and talking, or simply walking hand-in-hand in silence. Liz hadn't had this much fun in a long time. "But, we're missing one thing."

"What?" Max chuckled lightly as he watched Liz's face light up. The sun was glowing behind her, causing her hair to look even shinier, her skin to glow, and for her to look like an angel. He watched her sip her cider and was happy that he was putting that smile on her face.

"Grapes. My mom always told me, you can't drink fresh apple cider without grapes." Liz shrugged. And then, before Max knew what was happening, Liz up and out of her seat, making her way towards the big tent where all of the fresh produce was. Unsure of what to do Max simply waited for Liz to return.

A few minutes later Liz was back in her seat across from Max with a bag of green grapes in front of her. She had bought a small bag and then gone and then washed them so that she and Max could eat them. Then, she spread a branch out on top of the plastic bag and tore one off the stem.

"Here. Eat this grape and then drink some of your cider, it will taste better, I swear." Liz nodded her head as if to solidify her argument, but Max was still wary. He took the small grape into his hand and looked back at Liz, wondering if she were serious. But one look told him that she was, so he did as she said.

Popping the grape into his mouth, Max grimaced slightly. They were sweet, but grapes had never been his favorite food- in fact he didn't like them at all, but Liz wanted him to try it, so he would. However he could taste a part of Liz on the grape, which immediately somehow made the grape all the sweeter. Once he had eaten the grape he took a drink of his apple cider.

Amazingly enough, Liz was right- it did taste better. It brought out the taste somehow and the cider truly did taste better. And even the grape taste didn't seem to bother him as he ate it. The truly amazing thing was that Max actually reached out and picked another grape.

"Ah, so I've made another believer!" Liz laughed as she ate a few grapes herself.

After having their cider, Max and Liz made their way around the small farming area. The place itself was actually somewhat like a very small village. First they visited the greeting barn, where they got to see what an original house from the 1800's looked like. Then, moving on, they made their way into the orchard. There, Max found that Liz had some off fear of apples right off the tree. In the end he found out it was because the one time she had picked an apple from a tree, it had had a worm in it.

Once they were done roaming around in the orchard for a little while they made their way over to the garden where they learned that the main purpose of the garden was to draw insects away from all of fruits and vegetables. Next came the food-drying house and brick bake oven- both of which awed Liz. She hadn't known that people actually could bake in ovens such as these, or that this was how they had dried food.

However, the real fun came after the barn and original house. It was just past the original house that Max had his real surprise for Liz. Alex had told him that Liz was a real sweetheart and lost it all when it came to animal farms. So upon hearing that these guys had an animal farm he had known it would be perfect.

"Oh my god, Max, come here! Isn't he adorable?" Liz squealed in rapture as she watched a calf makes it way towards her. She kneeled down so that she could reach through the fence and pet him. Max knelt down beside her and began to gently pet the calf as well, though his eyes were glued on Liz as she looked at the calf with pure love and adoration in her eyes. He wasn't sure how he had found her or how he had somehow won her over, but whatever he had done he would continue to do.

"Come on, I have one more surprise before dinner." Max said after Liz had finished looking through the small animal farm. He had watched as she cradled small bunnies while petting them, or while she cooed loving words to a horse. And no matter how much he had hated it when Tess had done it, he couldn't get over how adorable or how perfect it was when Liz did it.

"Max, this is too much… you don't have to do all of this for me, just spending time with you is enough for me." Liz gave him another smile as she tried to let him know that he really didn't need to do all of these things for her. She was serious. She had had just as much fun walking down town as she had today walking around the farm. And she knew that she would have enjoyed just going to the grocery store just as much as she had by coming here. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Liz looked straight into his eyes before giving him a small peck on the lips. "Coming here, buying me that pumpkin, all of this, it's wonderful, but you don't have to try to impress me, or do special things… I just want to spend time with you."

"But it comes naturally when it comes to you." Max found himself saying. He couldn't believe that he had just blurted that out, but it was the truth, and no matter how much he wanted to deny it, he couldn't. When it came to spending time with Liz, he wanted to do extraordinary things that she would never forget. "Beside, this is the last surprise, except for dinner and then we're headed back home. I promise."

"Ok…" Liz conceded. But it was at that point that Liz decided she needed to do something just as special for Max. He had been a complete sweetheart to her, and a wonderful person to hang out- and Liz wanted to repay him for all of this. He had made her feel like she were the queen and he was her king, and that was a feeling she hardly ever felt. But she still felt as though he was doing too much for her.

As they came closer to his next surprise, Max suddenly stopped and took something out of his pocket. He turned and handed Liz a blindfold, which she looked at skeptically.

"Um, Max… I don't think this sort of thing is a public affair… and you know the haystacks are off limits." Liz teased, but after receiving a mock-stern look from Max she simply smiled and put the blind fold on, as she knew he wanted her to. However much she was prepared for Max's sweet surprises, she was not prepared for Max to suddenly scoop her up in his arms and before staring to walk again. "Max! What are you doing? You're going to hurt yourself."

"It's a surprise, and don't even try to use that excuse on me. You are lighter then a feather, so I won't hurt myself." Max retorted as he continued up a small hill. The ground was covered in cobblestone, which did make it a little hard for Max to walk while carrying Liz, but he did not want to see her fall from having to walk with a blind fold on. The other passing patrons watched on in entertainment, wondering what was going on and why this man was carrying a blindfolded woman.

Making his way towards the school belfry, Max was careful of where he stepped. Usually no one was allowed up in the bell tower, but because Max knew one of the employees, and because he had helped renovate the area he was able to convince them to let him go up to the bell tower. It had a spectacular view, and Max knew that Liz would love it.

Upon reaching the school, Max started up the small stairwell, which wasn't in the best shape, but it was sturdy. He climbed up carefully, making sure not to bump Liz's head or his own on anything. And once he reached the top he carefully placed Liz back on her feet, told her to stay where she was as he opened the window shutters, and then returned to her side.

"Okay, ready?" Max stood behind Liz, his arms wrapped around her waist as he rested his chin on her shoulder. He wanted this moment to be impeccable, which is why he had waited until so late in the day. The sun was just setting, the sound of buzzards and crickets were filling the silence that surrounded them, and it was all exactly as he had planned it. Tentatively, Max took off the blind fold and waited for Liz's reaction.

"Oh Max…" Liz gasped softly as she turned around and planted a kiss on his lips and gave him a hug. She then turned and looked back out at the scene before here. The whole estate could be seen, as could the orchard, the pumpkin patch, and the flowers. The manor was bathed in a myriad of colors: oranges, yellows, reds, pinks, and even a light blue.

The mountains behind them were caste in the soft glow of the sun as well. The caps of them were covered in snow, and that sparkled as the sun's rays hit it. Across from the mountains was a lake. It could just barely be seen, but it still looked beautiful. It was someplace Liz had never seen before, and she knew she would never forget it. Not even the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pizza could compete- only it wasn't because of the view, it was because of the company.

"Max, this…" Max hushed Liz by placing a finger against her lips. He was still standing behind her, his arms snaked around her waist and his chin resting on her left shoulder. But now that Liz had seen everything he figured it was time for the next part of his plan which he and Alex had devised.

However, Liz quickly stopped him. Before he could move and start back down the stairs, Liz turned to face him, her eyes shinning with fresh tears and filled with a look of love. She bit the bottom of her lip and looked at him longingly before slowly leaning in and claiming his lips. Max responded immediately by gathering her body near his own and holding her close. She in turn encircled her arms around his neck as they kissed each other with fervor. It was slow, but passionate, sweet, but demanding, and one of the best kisses either one of them had experienced.

Down below, everyone watched on in mirth as the couple above kissed with an unknown passion. Their bodies were framed by the opening in the belfry, and the sun engulfed them, making it appear that they were some perfect couple from a movie, and to Max and Liz, they were.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Promptly at six o'clock Maria was ready and dressed to kill. Isabel had helped her with her hair and make-up, and Alex had given his 'oh-s-manly' opinion, which mainly meant he had said she looked good while never tearing his gaze from the television. This of course upset Maria and Isabel, which caused Alex to immediately turn off the TV and apologize profusely while trying to appease both women. He couldn't wait until Liz got back, he needed time away from Isabel's crazy mood swings and Maria's outlandish rants.

As he had promised, Michael showed up at Isabel's door readily at six o'clock with a bouquet of flowers and a limousine behind him. He had talked for quite some time with Alex, trying to come up with the perfect night out, but Alex had only suggested things that sounded trivial and insignificant, like going for a walk around town while it was all lit up, or cooking a meal for her. But Michael wanted some substantial, something that would let Maria know that just because sometimes he was a complete an utter hormonally driven male, he still loved only her.

Upon arriving and seeing Maria all dressed up, Michael's jaw dropped open and he couldn't even form any words to tell her how beautiful she look in her form fitting black dress, and with her swept up, she looked absolutely exquisite. He tried to say something, or do something, but he couldn't- he was hopelessly lost. Then, on their own accord, his hand twisted from behind his back and handed Maria the bouquet of red roses that he had bought her. There wasn't anything more romantic then a dozen red roses, at least that's what Michael thought.

Maria was just as surprised- Michael had actually taken a shower and found a suit, which was the biggest surprise. The red roses were sweet, but generic- she would have gone with the daisies or tulips, but this was Michael so she knew she couldn't expect much.

Taking the flowers from him, Maria headed into the kitchen. She was disappointed that he hadn't said anything yet about how nice she looked- even Alex, once he had turned off the television, had said that her beauty compared to none other, of course then Isabel beat the day light out of him. This helped Maria to know that she looked beautiful, but it would have been nicer to hear it from Michael. Returning to the front door, Maria found Michael just as she had before, standing there with his mouth open.

"Well, let's get this over with, because right now it isn't very romantic." Maria snapped. She was angry that Michael hadn't noticed anything special about her or even commented, and she would hold that against him. A guy did not take a girl out without telling her how beautiful she looked- it was a rule.

"Wait! Maria…" Michael started as he finally found his voice. He knew Maria pissed at him, though he wasn't sure why. "Maria… you looked… you look…"

"Yeah I know, just don't say it, ok? I'm sorry I didn't meet your…"

"No, Maria, you look gorgeous…" Michael let his sentence trail off as he gave Maria the once over. She truly did look like his own personal goddess. Her hair was swept up and the dress she was wearing was perfect for what Michael had planned.

Maria was speechless for the first time in a long while. Michael had just told her she looked gorgeous, and that didn't happen very often at all. Once in a blue moon he would tell her that she 'looked good' or something along those lines, but never gorgeous.

"You don't look half bad either." Maria said as she walked up to him and wrapped her arms around his neck, planting a soft kiss on his lips. Michael immediately reacted and in turn pulled her close as he deepened the kiss. Before either of them knew it they were in a heated make-out session with Isabel and Alex watching at the door and the limousine driver watching from over by the car.

"Our ride awaits." Michael whispered as he led Maria over to the limousine.
***
They arrived at the La Italiana's shortly afterwards. Michael escorted Maria in and helped her sit down once they were brought to their table. Maria was awed by what Michael had pulled off. Somehow he had managed to get reservations at one of the nicest restaurants in Roswell without even a days notice. Now that was romantic.

"Michael, thank you." Maria said sincerely. In response, Michael took Maria's hand in his own and kissed her knuckles softly before gazing into her eyes lovingly.

"And this is only the beginning."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
"I don't know how you did this, but it's extremely beautiful, Max." Liz smiled as she once again found herself looking around the small room. They were still at the manor, and Liz couldn't believe everything that Max had done for her. She was still adamant that he couldn't continue to pull surprises like this, but she couldn't help but enjoy what he was doing.

Somehow he had managed to secure one whole hall of the restaurant just for he and Liz. It was a little after six and the sun had finally set, giving way to the moon which was now proudly pouring its light down into the candle lit room. The small room smelt of vanilla from the many burning candles- there were no lights, just candles and the moon.

Their hands were clasped together and laid in the middle of the table as they gazed into one anothers eyes. It truly was the perfect moment, but not because of the wonderful scenery, rather because of the people who were there. Liz couldn't think of a better situation to be in- just she and Max alone. There was no need for anything romantic or special, just being together. And Max felt the same way.

Once their food was served, Liz once again found herself smiling unlike ever before. She had thought that because of how fancy the place looked that Max had somehow reserved the section of some well known restaurant that had fancy food and the works, but that was far from the truth. Instead, sitting in front of her was an old fashioned, home cooked meal.

A slab of ham that was bigger than her hand took up over half of the plate. Bean soup, Kuhn's Acres freshly baked hearth bread, fresh yellow butter, a crock of locally made apple butter, seasonal relish, sweet and sour cabbage salad, green beans with smoked side meat, beef and noodles, mashed potatoes, bread dressing and giblet gravy were a few things which filled the table. It was just like an old fashioned home cooked meal with her parents- something that Liz hadn't seen or tasted in a long time.

"Max, this is wonderful!" Liz exclaimed as she continued to look at all the food. Never before had someone gone to such great lengths to show her such a good time. Usually, whenever Liz went out with Kirk for dinner, he would bring her to some sort of really fancy restaurant where you had to wear the men had to wear suits and ties and women had to wear dresses or something dressy. But this, it was exactly what Liz wanted- it was home.

"I hoped you would like it." Max confessed as he gazed lovingly at Liz, giving her hand a light squeeze before letting it go so the two of them could eat. The day had been a complete success. Liz had enjoyed herself, and for the first time Max had seen a smile that reached her eyes, making them sparkle and shine unlike ever before. All of this was worth it if he could forever see that smile.

"Oh, I do, Max, I truly do. This is better than any extravagant restaurant or anything else out there. I can't believe you did all of this for me… thank you." Liz said sincerely and she gave him another one of her radiant smiles before ducking her head away in embarrassment and pushing a few stray strands of hair behind her ear. There wasn't a single word in the dictionary that could describe the emotions that were arising in Liz. She was absolutely smitten over Max, no matter how much she wanted to deny it, but it didn't help to soothe her fears that he would somehow turn out like Kirk. At first he would be smooth, cool, and loving, but then he would turn into a worse and worse person. "Now really, how did you pull this all off?"

"Really? You know I'm an architect, well, I used my resources. I helped rebuild this place for free for one organization or another on restoring historical landmarks. Plus I know a few of the employees here…" Max trailed off as he saw Liz smiling shyly at him. He hadn't seen that smile, and it was even more enticing then some of her others.

"You rebuilt this place? For free? Wow… I mean… wow; that's really sweet of you. I don't think I know anyone, well beside you, that would do anything like that." Liz confessed. And it was true. Liz knew that the only charity thing Kirk had done was get her the autographed jersey for Alex, as well as one of his teammates jersey's for Alex as well. And even that she had had to beg him for. "The Dukes."

"What?" Max asked, completely thrown off by her statement. What did she mean the Dukes? Was she trying to tell him off politely, or was that some sort of code word?

"The Duke Blue Devil's. You asked me who my favorite team was, and now I'm telling you." Liz giggled softly as she saw the incredulous look on Max's face, but soon it softened and the two began laughing.

"The Dukes…" Max chuckled as he settled back and enjoyed himself.

They continued to talk throughout dinner. First about Max's family and then about Liz's, both reveling their secrets of their past lives to one another. Liz was extremely surprised to find out that Max had actually worked on building one of the sets for one of her photo shoots and she had somehow missed him. And Max was surprised to find out that Liz had been in his hometown for a photo shoot while he had been there and that he had missed her.

As the night wore on and the food diminished, Max moved on to the final portion of his plan for Liz. He knew that it wasn't anything quite like what they had done all day, but he also hoped that Liz would enjoy it just as much as he would. Leading her outside, Max brought Liz to the orchard where the trees were strung up with white Christmas lights. There was a circle of candles around a small clearing, and Max led Liz right in to the area.

The minute Max and Liz hand entered into the circle the orchard filled with the soft sounds of music. Gently pulling Liz into his arms completely, the two swayed to the music, letting themselves be completely filled by its profound sounds. Liz was too awe-struck to say anything in response. Max had certainly given her the perfect day, and now she had to figure something out to do for him.

Who knows how long I've loved you?
You know I love you still.
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to I will.
For if I ever saw you, I didn't catch your name.
But it never really mattered, I will always feel the same.


As they danced slowly with one another, both could feel themselves letting go completely and giving into each other. Liz rested her head against Max's chest and felt herself melt into his body as she stopped letting her mind make her decisions and finally started letting her heart work again. There wasn't any other place she wanted to be then with Max Evans', and no matter how dangerous she knew it was to give up her heart, she was willing to open it again, if only to experience life with Max.

Love you forever and forever,
Love you with all my heart,
Love you whenever we're together,
Love you when we're apart.


Max couldn't get enough of Liz. While one of his hands entwined itself in Liz's hair and caressed her head- he loved feeling her silky tresses graze over his skin- his other hand lightly massaged her back, gently rubbing the middle section before moving down. Then, as though they were sharing their thoughts, they both looked at one another- Max looked down as Liz looked up- their eyes met, and in that moment both felt a love passing through them unlike anything every before. Sometime between that, they leaned forward and brushed their lips together so that they were barely even touching, just teasing. Wanting more, Max dipped his head a little lower and captured her lips with his own. Liz quickly responded by pressing herself against him and opening her mouth when she felt him sweep her lips with his tongue. Their kiss soon intensified, and that's how they stayed. Sharing sweet kisses and dancing in the moonlight of Kuhn's orchard while the rest of the world passed by.

And when at last I find you, your song will fill the air;
Sing it loud so I can hear you.
Make it easy to be near you.
For the things you do endear you to me,
Ah, you know I will.
I will.
-Ben Taylor

posted on 17-Dec-2001 3:00:20 AM by Trinity Star1323
Part 5

With Thanksgiving only being a day away, Isabel was really starting to freak out. Everyone was going to be coming together at her and Max's house and in her mind everything had to be perfect, which was why she had Kyle and Tess out in the back cleaning up the yard. Max and Liz were out in the front raking the leaves and putting up some the decorations, and Maria and Alex cleaning up around the house while she and Michael cleaned the kitchen and began to prepare some of the food.

The holidays were the worst for Isabel and sometimes she wondered how she was able to deal with them. But because of her impending pregnancy and wedding her stress levels were nearly tripled. She had to continually check to make sure everything for the wedding was still going to plan- she had a little less than month until her wedding. And then of course there was the baby issue- she had to continually go in to the dress shop where they would try to make her dress fit her changing form, though luckily she hadn't put on much weight.

Then of course there was dealing with Alex. While she usually loved his goof-ball side, during the holidays she couldn't stand it, which is why she had sent him off with Maria. That way they could joke around together while not annoying or disturbing her.

Of course this year there was more to do then usual. All of the parents were coming, all except Liz's and Isabel felt horrible for that. Though luckily Alex's parents would be there, and they would help her through the holiday, though Isabel suspected that Liz had pretty much gotten over the demons of her parents death. But beside Alex's parents, Mrs. DeLuca would be there, as would Mr. Valenti, Mr. and Mrs. Guerin, Mr. and Mrs. Harding, and her own parents.

The parents were all supposed to arrive sometime within the night, but Isabel still wasn't completely sure when- she had assigned Michael, Max, Alex and Kyle to take care of it. It worried her at first where they would all stay, but it was soon decided that the Whitman's would stay with Alex while the Mrs. DeLuca and Mr. Valenti would stay at Kyle's, but only because they had started going out and requested to stay together. That only left Mr. and Mrs. Harding, who had originally expected to stay with Tess and Max, but because of their breakup and because of Tess's small housing it was decided that they would stay with Isabel and Max along with Liz and their own parents. Alex had tried to take Liz back, but Isabel wouldn't hear of it, and neither would Max.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
When Isabel had told Liz and Max that they would be working on decorations they had figured it would be for the house, or let alone for their own pleasures, but they had been sorely mistaken. Instead of carving pumpkins or putting up neat colored lights, the two were stuck painting a cardboard cutout of the town for a play that the local children's theater was putting on. It wasn't that they minded as much as they didn't like Isabel misleading them. But none the less they were having a blast.

Max couldn't believe for someone as fashionably knowledgeable and for someone who had to be keen on their colors that she could paint so horribly. And he didn't mean that she couldn't paint- well she couldn't- but it was the fact that she was making the grass an olive green instead of grass green. To make things worse she painted the sky purple instead of blue. Isabel was going to have his head.

"Um, Liz… what color is the sky?" Max asked. He had to stifle the laughter that was waiting to explode from his mouth, and that was hard. But what really set him off was the lost expression on Liz's face as she looked at him blankly before turning back to their project and looking at it imploringly.

"Well… blue... sometimes…" Liz didn't have the foggiest idea as to what Max was getting at, but she wished she did. Again she found herself lost in the painting she was working on, completely oblivious to what she was doing.

"And what color is your sky?" This time Max couldn't keep the laughter out of his voice as he watched Liz turn and glare at him. It was easy to see that she was trying to concentrate while painting and that it annoyed her that Max was interrupting her, but this was too much fun for him to let it pass by.

"Blu…" Realization dawned on Liz like a ton of bricks. Her mouth gaped open and she turned her glaring eyes from the painting back to Max who was now on the ground laughing to his heart content. "Jerk!"

"It's ok… we'll just tell the kids that the artist never passed kindergarten." Max teased. But a second later he wished he hadn't because in that next moment a bucket of paint was tossed straight onto his laughing form. This followed was by Liz bursting out into a fit of giggles as she watched the paint drip all over Max.

"You look good in red!" Liz laughed hysterically, but she began running when she saw Max's eyes light up in a playful manner. The last time she had seen him this way was when the two of them had been out in the pumpkin patch.

However in the next moment Max was up off the ground and tackling Liz to the ground as well while getting red paint all over her. He pinned her to the ground and watched her wiggle around so as to try to escape, but he kept her down tightly. With her hands being held above her head by one of his own hands Max had free reign to do as he pleased.

"So… you think this is funny? Well, just to let you know this is an off red, more of an orange-red then a red." Max stated matter of factly, though it was hard for him to try and hold in his laughter as he watched her struggle. He was instantly drawn in by how beautiful she looked and how much he liked this position, along with which came her throaty laughter that rung in his ears. However, what he didn't like and hoped Liz couldn't feel was how he reacted to being in this position; of course Liz wasn't helping but rubbing up against him while she was trying to get away.

However, Max was lost and quickly forgot about that as he watched her try to wriggle her way free from his grasp. Her top had gotten lower and the v-neck was quickly showing more and more cleavage, and while Max knew he should look away, he couldn't. Instead he decided to have some fun.

Taking his index finger, and making sure she was held down tightly enough, Max wiped some of the paint off his face and onto his index finger, where he then began its way down to Liz. Staring first at her forehead, Max listened as Liz squealed as soon as his paint covered finger came in contact with her skin.

Dragging his finger down her forehead until he reached the bridge of her nose, Max started over again, only this time starting just to the left and coming in at an angle. Once he was finished with her forehead Liz had three red lines, making her look much like a Native American Indian getting ready for a ritualistic dance. However, decided it wasn't enough.

Using some more paint off his own skin, Max began daintily drawing small circles and stars on her exposed skin, first on her arms and then her chest- though he was careful not to make her uncomfortable. In the end Max couldn't help but be proud of his work, however it was the smoldering desire in Liz's eyes that truly caught his attention.

The minute he had looked in her eyes he had become a lost cause. It was useless to fight it, and it was even more useless to not give in. Leaning down, Max captured her lips without any pretense- there really was no need anymore. Everyone knew they were a couple, and only one person didn't accept it- Tess. Not that Max cared, nor did Liz. But as they made out on the front lawn, Max still pinning Liz to the ground, they found that they were quickly getting lost in the moment. Nothing else mattered at that exact moment.

"I knew it!" Isabel screamed in anger as she stomped out the front door and over towards a very startled Max and Liz. They had broken apart the minute Isabel had started yelling at them. "I leave you two alone for five minutes and what happens? You start making out! Well that's it, Liz, you come inside and help me cook and Max, you… OH MY GOD! Is that a purple sky?!"
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
"So, a purple sky?" Max had taken the blame, despite Liz's protests, and now he was regretting it because he had to help Michael- Mr. Perfect Chef himself- cook. It wasn't that Max couldn't cook, he could, and quite well, but he didn't like to. Though he had become more adept to it after Tess had left, but then he remembered that he did most of the cooking while he and Tess had been together. "Max, what color is the sky?"

"It's about to be purple and brown, just like the black eye I will give you if you don't shut up." Max said angrily. If it wasn't bad enough that he had to help Michael cook he also had to endure his tormenting, which was not something Max wanted to go through right now. He was already having a hard enough having to stop himself from dragging Liz off so they could continue what they started, and he didn't need to have to add decking Michael to his list of things to do.

"Testy, testy… what's wrong with you? Peeling potatoes not your idea of fun? Oh… that's right, making out with Liz in front of the rest of the world is more of your speed." Michael continued to tease. He knew that he was really pushing Max's buttons, but it was fun and as soon as Kyle got in the kitchen along with Alex then the real fun would begin.

"What's Max's speed?" Alex asked as he walked into the kitchen and over to the sink so that he could wash his hands. He watched as Max's face grew a bright red where upon he ducked it away from everyone's view by shoving a potato in font of his face- this of course only made Michael and Alex chuckle.

"Oh, Max's speed, well for today I think it's learning what color normal objects are. Hey Max… let's ask Alex what he thinks. Alex, what color is the sky?" Michael asked semi-seriously, hoping that Max would see this to be as fun as he did.

"Right now?" Alex asked as he peered out the window. "Well... I don’t know… purple, wait no, that's Max's sky!"

The next thing Alex knew a potato had been chucked at his head and it hit him square in the forehead. Michael began laughing until one was flung at him as well. Now it was Max's turn to start laughing as he saw the dumbfounded look on both of his friends faces. To make things better Kyle chose that exact moment to join them.

"Guerin, Whitman… Evans' what's up with them?" Kyle couldn't help but laugh at his two friends who looked as though they had just been struck by lightening or some other object and were now stupefied.

Without words, Max answered by picking up a potato and showing it to Kyle, who promptly fell into a fit of laughter. The idea of Max actually throwing a potato at those two was priceless to Kyle, especially since he knew how some of the last food fights Michael, Max and Alex had ended. Usually it was the girls who would get into food fights, but not with Max, Michael and Alex. The only difference was that with those three the kitchen, or any other room they visited was turned into a dumpster of spoiled food.

"Watch it Max, Isabel's on the warpath- she wants everything to be perfect." Alex warned as he started to sneak up behind Max with a bag of flour, which Michael had been using. Before Alex could do anything Kyle speared him with a sharp look telling him to take his own advice. Defeated, Alex sank back towards the counter and put down the flour. However in the next moment all hell broke loose.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sitting down at the dinning room table, Alex pulled off his coat and scarf. Liz sat beside him, staring down at her cup of cocoa with gently drumming her fingers on the wooden table. Max was still in the kitchen with Michael and Kyle while Maria, Isabel and Tess were out front. Liz and Alex had been given cleaning duty, which they had quickly finished.

“Hi…” Alex said as he came and sat down beside his sister and best friend. He could tell that something was eating her up inside and he feared that it might have something to do with this being Liz’s first Thanksgiving since her parents had died. Even when she had lived with he and his parents, somehow Liz had always come up with some excuse or another to get away on the holidays so that she could be alone.

“Hi.” Liz said warily. She looked up and over at Alex and gave him a sad smile. “It’s been a long time since we last talked, huh?”

“Uh, yeah… I’d say so.” If Liz wanted to play this game then Alex was up for it. She could dodge him all she wanted but he or Max would get this out of her.

“How ya been doin’? How’s work?” Liz asked, trying her best to keep up sense of a normal life. This wasn’t bothering her, really, it wasn’t. She could deal with sitting through one Thanksgiving.

“Hm, well let’s see. Since Isabel has been freaking out due to her pregnancy and our marriage, I’d have to say that I haven’t gotten much work done.” Alex laugh sardonically while rolling his eyes, making Liz laugh in the process. But soon the smile fell off Alex’s face as he looked up at Liz. “So how have you been? I thought you would have fallen off the edge by now- you holding up all right?”

“Um, how’s things with the wedding?” Liz asked quickly, trying her best to throw him off.

“Good- good… considering that I had tried to contact you for four months and you didn’t answer me until just a month ago… and since then you’ve been spending every waking moment with Max.” Alex said bitterly. He had been hoping he and Liz would have some more time together, but so far he had hardly seen her at all due to all the time she spent with Max. This wasn’t what they were even supposed to be talking about, but she was avoiding his questions. “So how’s married life?”

“Oh come on.” Liz protested weakly.

“You’re living with him.” Alex insisted.

“Where else am I supposed to stay?” Liz asked in rebuttal.

“Don’t throw that at me- I have a room you could stay in.” Alex retorted. “You’re living with him.”

“Alex, please…” Liz pleaded. Right now she didn’t have the strength to fight with the only person besides Max whom she knew she could trust. Besides right now she had her own demons to fight through.

“Fine… so how are you holding up? Ready for Thanksgiving?” Alex asked. If she was going to avoid his other questions then he would get right to the point. She needed to face the facts that she was unwilling to participate in any holiday activity solely because her parents were no longer alive, and she needed to accept this. She also needed to accept the fact that her parents were gone and that no matter what she believed, other people were there for her. “Ready to meet Max’s parents?”

“Oh-um… yeah, no…yeah. I mean, I just don’t understand what the big deal is- you know? I play the girlfriend and meet the family… it just sounds stupid to me.” Liz brushed his question aside as best she could by answering but not answering it.

“You haven’t told him anything about you yet.” Alex said as it all dawned on him. Liz scoffed in response, while looking away in disgust. “Liz, Max is madly in love with you, you have to know that by now… and when he chooses to marry you, which he will, how are you going to explain the fact that no one except for me will be on your side of the church?”

“I don’t see why I have to explain anything to him.” Liz replied angrily. This wasn’t what she needed. Right now she didn’t need to be fighting with one of the two people whom she trusted and loved.

“Your right… you should just stay in your little fantasy world and stay safe, as you always have… maybe you should start dating Kirk again because Max- he doesn’t even know who you are! Well that is unless he’s hitting you again cause you know, that might ruin your career if you were to come in with a black eye, like at that awards show.” Alex knew he was being harsh, but the truth needed to be said. He was her friend and brother and if he wasn’t willing to acknowledge the truth then no one would. The whole world had seen the picture of Liz and Kirk together at the yearly NHL awards show and it was more then obvious that someone had been knocking her around. Besides, Alex had received a few calls from hospitals over the years, telling him about his sister and asking if he could come and take her. But before he could ever get there, Liz was gone.

“Don’t you ever mention Kirk around me again!” Liz hissed quietly. Tears pooled in her eyes as she fought to keep herself in control of her emotions. She was trying her best to keep her voice down just enough so that Max, Michael and Kyle wouldn’t hear their conversation in the next room over. “You don’t know anything about my life… and… and… I’m leaving!”

“Right, right... that’s right, just do what you do best. Why don’t you go take another year off in Paris? I’m sure you could pick up another abusive boyfriend if you didn’t try.” Alex yelled as he watched Liz pick up her jacket and scarf. He was about to run after her, but it was Max who intercepted him. He watched as Max dashed after Liz after shooting him a deathly glare. Well at least his point had been made and maybe now Max would be able to get Liz to open up.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Lying on the lounge chair with Liz on top of him, the couple contentedly watched as the sunk sank down, filling the world around with a magnificent golden glow- a perfect spot for any couple. Max bent his head and kissed the crown of her head before returning his gaze to the sky before them. He couldn’t think of anything more perfect then this moment right now.

Being with Liz was everything that Max had ever hoped for. She was kind, generous, loving, and one of the most beautiful persons that Max knew- both inside and out. Of course it helped that she returned his feelings, even if she did close up at times. Nonetheless, it was nice for Max to finally have someone he truly cared about and for that person to reciprocate his feelings.

Off in the kitchen Isabel and Michael were grueling over the stove, trying to fix diner as well as the Thanksgiving feast. The Whitman’s and the Evans’ would be here any moment. Mrs. DeLuca and Mr. Valenti would be here later that night, as would the Harding’s. Alex and Maria were out in the front, fixing the monumental mistake which Max had supposedly made. And Kyle and Tess were off at the store, picking up the last of the supplies Isabel would need.

After the fight between Alex and Liz, it had been Max who had stopped Liz from going any farther then the front porch. He had brought her out back hoping for some time alone. He had heard everything that Alex had said, or at least most of it- some of the conversation had drowned out when Alex had mentioned him marrying Liz, something Max could definitely see happening if Liz would take him. However his attention had been brought back to him at the mentioning of Kirk abusing Liz. He hadn’t known. And to add that stress to the holidays, Max knew Liz needed a break. Beside that point, Max could see how nervous and anxious Liz was becoming and knew that she needed some time to adjust to actually spending time with not only one family, but numerous families for Thanksgiving.

Before Max, and her untimely return to Roswell, Liz had shoved the thoughts of her parents to the back of her mind. If she didn’t think about them then they didn’t exist, or they were just off on some cruise that couldn’t be reached by anyone. Kirk of course had helped Liz forget about her parents as he too had long ago forgotten about his own parents. Though his were not dead, he had just chosen to leave them behind due to his success.

The last time Liz had celebrated Thanksgiving had been with Alex and his family back in high school. She had started to pull away in college. Instead of returning home with Alex she would remain on campus, refusing to go home for some lame reason or another. Finally the Whitman’s and Alex had given up on asking Liz, especially after she had up and left for her career, forever leaving behind the family life.

Which was why it was such a surprise to still see Liz here.

So far everyone believed she was dealing fairly well. They had noticed that as Thanksgiving and the arrival of the parents came upon them Liz grew more and more nervous. And with that nervousness springing up, Max had become even more supportive of Liz, making sure to stick to her side and help her through this as much as possible.

Then of course there was Kirk- a subject Liz didn’t even want to broach.

“Can we just stay like this forever?” Liz asked quietly, unwilling to break the moment she and Max were currently sharing. It was really a rhetorical question, one that she knew Max would never answer because both already knew the answer.

“What’s wrong?” Max answered in response, already sensing that this was eating her up inside. He knew that her question was just a distraction for the problem at hand. She didn’t want to see and greet everyone’s parents, which was understandable, but she needed to open up and let things out. Part of it Max knew to be her own parents and the demons that resided with their deaths. But there was something else.

“It’s just… nothing, I’m just being silly.” Liz offered. She pressed a kiss to his shirt-clad chest before returning her gaze to the sunset, which was quickly sinking away. In response Max merely wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her to him. Right now she needed his reassurance- whether it was for her parents deaths, the numerous families about to enter her life, or Kirk. Max was willing to stick by her side and wait until he found out, and when he did, he would do his best to make sure she was all right.

“Liz you should know by now that I won’t think anything is silly with you… I mean did I find your sky silly?” Max asked quietly, not wanting the other’s to hear their current conversation. This was serious and Max wasn’t sure that he or Liz needed anyone else butting in. “Now what’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Liz insisted, but continued to avoid his gaze as he stared down at her imploringly.

“Don’t shut me out, Liz. Please, if you don’t tell me then tell someone else. I’m sure Alex or anyone would be more then willing to listen to what’s wrong, but you have to know by now that I love you and will not think anything that you think to be silly- whether it be that the sky is purple with pink dots or that the perfect pumpkin is really the one that no one wants.”

Max’s heartfelt confession made Liz’s heart lurch in her chest. It was the first time he had said that he loved her and it had come out so naturally, unlike any of the fake announcements by Kirk or anyone else. And it scared Liz beyond belief. The last time she had given her heart to someone so completely was with her parents, and they had died. Kirk had been an easy toss aside, someone to occupy her mind and pretend to love, while in reality he had been just another guy that Liz had not truly loved, just used as someone to stop the beat of her heart. The last thing she wanted was for Max to get hurt and or to die.

“What did you say?” Liz asked carefully, trying to see if he would say that he loved her again. In turn Max went over what he had just said, trying to figure out what had caused to reaction from Liz that he had received. A look of pure joy and utter disbelief had crossed through her eyes and he was unsure as to what had caused it. And then the three words came to him. He couldn’t believe that he had told her that he loved her without even thinking, it had simply come out on its own volition. Not that it was untrue, as he was positive that he loved her and always would, but he had been afraid that it would scare her away if he told her that he did indeed love her, despite only knowing her for such a short period of time.

“I-uh… I said I love you.” Max swallowed the lump in his throat and waited for Liz’s response. Either she was going to sock him, get up and leave and never speak to him again, or throw her arms around him and tell him she loved him as well. Max was hoping for choice number three, though he was doubtful that it would come true.

“You love me?” Liz asked softly while staring at him quizzically. Suddenly she became frantic as she tried to get out of the corner Max had unknowingly just backed her into. A look of determination set over her face as she stared at him in disbelief. “Bu-but you don’t even know me and as flattering as it is I don’t think you should be throwing those words around as though they mean nothing.”

“No, Liz, I’ve never told anyone except for Isabel and my parents that I love them, and even then those words never held more meaning then they do now. I know we’ve only known each other for a short time, but I know that I will never love anyone like I love you.” Max stated honestly, knowing that there was no reason to lie at this point. Either he could have agreed with her, thus lying to her, or he could be truthful about his feelings, which he was positive of. “I love you Liz, and while I know it may be soon and I do not expect you to say those words back to me what with all the added stresses in your life, I want you to know that I love you and I always will- this I know without a doubt in my mind.”

“Ma-maybe I-we should go inside… it’s getting dark.” Liz whispered, trying her best to pull away from Max, but he wouldn’t have it. She was avoiding the topic at hand. And while it pained Max that she wasn’t willing to reciprocate his declaration of love, he understood that she had never had this sort of relationship before, as Kirk hardly seemed like much of a boyfriend.

“What are you so afraid of? Why won’t you tell me the truth?” Max asked, his voice raw with emotion.

“Max…” Liz pleaded while squirming against him, trying her best to release herself from his tight grasp. Why was he holding her in place? Suddenly she began to feel claustrophobic as she wildly tried to yank herself free.

“Liz I love you, please, what’s wrong? Why are you so afraid? Why don’t you want to face me or anyone else? You can’t just keep running away from your fears and problems...” Max pleaded while gently brushing his fingers through her long tresses. He could feel her tears as they it his shirt and stained it with another drop of her sorrow. “Please, I want to help you with this… whatever this is…”

“Maybe I’m not good enough for your love.” Liz finally whispered. Max’s heart nearly stopped when he saw the desolate and forlorn look captured within her normally joyful eyes. No longer was the carefree and loving look locked away in her brown globes, but instead a look of absolute abandon and fear.

“Where would you get such an idea?” Max asked incredulously while silently preparing himself to beat the crap out of whoever had put such a horrible thought in Liz’s mind.

“What if your parents don’t like me? What if they think I’m-I’m just some lonely orphan who killed her parents and is looking for her next victim, or someone to leech off of. What if they think that I’m just using you, or what if they thought Tess was better?” Liz whispered fearfully. She buried her head in the crook of Max’s neck, unwilling to look him in the eyes to see that what she was saying actually held some truth. She knew it was all just a simple fear that Max’s parents would hate her, but to see it in his eyes would mean that it was true.

“My parent’s could never and will never hate you, nor will they ever think any of that. And even if they did, I wouldn’t care because I love you and nothing else matters besides us. They have no say who I date and love- they can’t control my heart when you own it.” Max stated sincerely, willing Liz to see that he meant every word. “Now what’s wrong?”

“I-uh… I just don’t think I can do this... I don’t think I’m ready to do this. I can’t do this.” Liz finally admitted. It felt good to finally get all of this off her chest. With her budding fears that Max’s parents would hate her and her past anxieties stemming from her parent’s death, Liz was not sure she would be able to deal with this. “I know this is bad timing and that I should have said something before, but I just can’t deal with this right now.”

“No, no Liz, it’s ok, I understand. But you have to understand that you can do this and once… once you do this everything will be better.” Max contended, unwilling to hear any of Liz’s fallacies. She could make up anything she wanted but right now he wouldn’t believe it. “Now really, what’s wrong? What aren’t you telling me? Is it Kirk? Is he bothering you?”

“I don’t want to talk about Kirk!” Liz cried. Max quickly tightened his grip, hugging her small body to his own. Whatever this was, was far deeper then he had ever believed.

“Ok, ok shh, we won’t talk about him.” Max said while pressing kisses to the crown of her head and forehead. “Is it your parents? I heard what Alex said… and I want to know you Liz, I really do, but I won’t push you until your ready. But Liz, I want to be here for you, and unless your willing to open up then I can never help you heal these wounds.”

A long silence fell between the two as Liz cried on Max’s shoulder, unwilling to talk at this point in time. She clung to him, unwilling to give up the heat that he gave her. She had thought that she was opening up before by admitting she couldn’t do this, but to admit the truth was something Liz had never believed she would reveal. But somehow, something inside of her told her to reveal the truth to Max. Maybe she knew that Max really would help her through this, or maybe it was because she knew that she could trust him. Either way, Liz knew she had to do this.

“My grandparents died on Thanksgiving and my parents died a month later on Christmas day.” Liz finally whispered. Max looked down at her in horror. Realization hit hi hard. The mere thought that someone you loved could die on Thanksgiving was bad enough, but to lose your parents only a month later on Christmas was all that much worse. Did Alex know this or had Liz somehow kept it from him? It seemed impossible the believe that no one could have known this.

Wrapping his arms all the more tightly around her, Max tried to let his love for her flow through him so that she could feel just how much he truly loved her. He also wanted to let her know that he would always be there for her, no matter what. However, before he could speak, Liz continued on.

“My grandparents were coming to Roswell to spend the holidays with us, but they never made it. Th-their car crashed into a semi when their brakes failed… I-uh…I remember my parents coming in that morning and telling me that my only other family wouldn’t be coming to Thanksgiving- that this year it would just be us.” At this point tears were streaking down her cheeks, making it impossible or Max to brush them all away. So instead he merely let her use his coat to soak them all up as she continued on with her story. Periodically he would drop a kiss onto her head, or warm her arms as he tried to help her through this atrocious story. “When Christmas rolled around we were still dealing with the will and some other arrangements. My parents had gone up to my grandparent’s cabin to pick up some of their belongings- saying that some of their presents were there. They promised to be back on Christmas morning… but they never showed up… I waited all day, but they never came. No one came for me that day- I was left alone, wondering where my parents were. Th-the next morning the sheriff came to me, saying that my parents car had been run off the road by a drunk driver- they had been killed upon impact, and hadn’t been found until that morning. I didn’t even get to say merry Christmas to them… I didn’t even get to tell hem goodbye as I had with my grandparents because their bodies… their bodies…”

Liz couldn’t say another word and Max didn’t need to hear her say it to know what she was trying to say. So instead of pressing her to say more, Max merely hugged her to him, giving her the support he knew that she desperately needed at this point in time. Everything he had heard was beyond comprehension. Things like that weren’t supposed to happen. Children weren’t supposed to lose their most loved people on holidays. And everyone should be able to say goodbye. But all of this had been ripped from Liz. And for that Max couldn’t help but admire her. She had grown up to become an amazing woman, whom he loved.

Gingerly, he picked her up and walked into the house, ignoring the imploring looks from Isabel and Alex as Liz continued to cry on his shoulder. This was Liz’s secret and if she chose to share it, then maybe they too would know. But until Liz told them, Max would keep her secret safe in his heart while trying to repair hers.

He brought her up to his room, where he promptly shut his door and first laid her down before lying down beside her. He pulled her body close while whispering soothing and loving words into her ear, hoping that he could do or say something that would heal the wounds that had been made so many years ago. But he knew that no matter what he did, nothing could ever heal the harsh wounds that had so callously been placed in her heart.

Finally, after some time, she fell asleep in his arms. The only way he could tell was when her breath began to even out from its original erratic puffs. But her crying never ceased. Even in her sleep tears seeped out from her lashes. And with each one that trickled down her cheek, Max brushed it away with his lips. Until finally, he too fell asleep, holding Liz tightly in his arms and praying that somehow he would be able to help her through her first Thanksgiving and Christmas.


posted on 17-Dec-2001 3:01:34 AM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 6

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Isabel asked hesitantly. She gave Alex a quick kiss on the cheek as they lay together on the couch. Tess and Maria were in the kitchen gathering some drinks and crackers. Kyle and Michael were at the airport picking up the Evans’ and the Whitman’s. Because of the holidays and sudden delays in flights the Harding’s, Jim and Amy wouldn’t be coming until the morning.

Since his small tiff with Liz, Alex had been in the dumps feeling guilty and hating himself for pushing Liz as he had. He knew that she had never been able to deal with Thanksgiving, but it had been eight years since her parent’s death and he had hoped she would be able to have gotten some help to deal with the problem.

He had silently watched on as Liz and Max had talked outside, or at least it appeared they had talked. He had also watched as Max had carried Liz into his bedroom, locked the door and not come out in the past six hours. Isabel assumed that they were asleep or talking, as it appeared Liz needed. This of course troubled Alex- not so much the talking part, but rather that they sleeping together. Not that he had any say, but Max and Liz hadn’t been going out for very long, and while he knew Max wouldn’t abuse Liz in any way, Liz was still getting over her break up with Kirk.

“No, but there’s nothing to be done until Liz comes out and talks this over with me.” Alex confided. He gave Isabel a shaky smile and peck on the cheek before leading her into the kitchen to finish with the last of their preparations for their parents whom would soon be there.

However the moment they reached the kitchen the doorbell rang. Isabel ran for the door, only to have Alex start freaking out over the fact that she was running in her condition. He quickly caught her, sat her down and proceeded towards the front door.

He saw Michael’s mat of hair first and knew that it was show time. It would have been best to have Liz and Max up and around, but with everything that had happened Alex understood, besides it was late and it would be better to talk in the morning when everyone wasn’t so emotional.

The moment he threw open the door, eight arms bombarded Alex, all attacking to hug him while four lips sought out to kiss him.

“My baby boy!” Trish Whitman cried as she and her husband pulled their son into their arms, hugging him as though they hadn’t seen him in ages, which they hadn’t. The last time they had spoke was nearly four months ago when he and Isabel had announced their wedding. “Oh, I’ve missed you so much… and where is my girl? Where is Lizzie? I thought you said Lizzie was here, did she pull out again? Alex, you really need to have a good, long talk….”

“Trish… Trish, give the boy some room.” Charles Whitman scolded his wife teasingly as he embraced his son as well after his wife was through. He gave Alex a sympathetic smile as his wife continued to rant and rave about Liz and how worried she was, especially after seeing the same picture millions of other people had seen as well. He too was curious as to where their ‘daughter’ was, but he knew his son would explain.

“Mom… mom….MOM!” Alex cried out, trying his best to calm her down while giving Diane and Philip Evans’ a hug and welcome as well. Once everyone was inside he ushered them into the living room where Isabel was waiting.

“My baby girl!” Diane cried as she pulled Isabel into her arms. Upon pulling away she examined Isabel’s stomach, placing her hand over the small bump that was making itself known. “Oh, honey… how far alon…”

“Give the girl some room to breathe, she’s pregnant Diane.” Philip interrupted causing Isabel to laugh. All the while Trish was still ranting over the fact that Liz was no where around.

“And where is my son? Did Max have to do some other job, or is he just out of town and coming in tomorrow? I remember how he always did that sort of thing, flying in at the last minute, not caring about being with his family… I swear sometimes I just want to give him a piece of my mind… and is he still dating Tess? Patricia was talking my ear off about Tess coming to her, crying her little buns off about one things of another and…” Diane rattled on.

“MOM!” Isabel cried, trying just as hard as Alex was to quiet down his mother. The two husbands watched on in amusement. Finally their children were learning what adult life was really like. It was playing house and going to work all day, it was listening to your wife prattle on about one thing or another.

“Mom, dad…. Mr. and Mrs. Evans’ if you will please all sit down then we can explain.” Alex clarified as he escorted both families over to the couch. Taking Isabel’s hand and watching as Kyle and Michael disappeared, Alex sighed in relief as everyone quieted down. “Now, Liz and Max are here….”

“Well where is he?”

“Well where is she?” Diane and Trish asked simultaneously.

“They’re asleep… they have had a very rough day and…” Alex didn’t even get to speak after this point.

“Oh my god, you mean it’s true? You mean my little Maxwell really did dump Tess? I thought Patricia was just making things up… I mean you know how that woman gets. First its one thing and then it another. Sometimes I wonder what has gotten into that woman seeing as she talks my ear off everyday practically… but Max and Tess they were good together- not demanding too much commitment or responsibility. Is Max aright or is he regretting breaking up with her? And how could he after all that he and Tess have been through?” Diane started talking a mile a minute as Trish began freaking out as well.

“A rough day? You mean a rough year? I always knew being with that man was the wrong thing. I knew he would hurt her, but whenever I tried calling and talking with her to let her know I was concerned it was always Kirk who answered. And do you think he would let me talk to her? No, never… I swear I’m going to give that man a piece of my mind someday. He’ll pay, mark my word. I mean hasn’t that girl been through enough? First losing her grandmother and then her parents… does she really have to be that abusive man because she could really do so much better!” Trish shook her head while flailing her hands about wildly. All the while the two husbands watched their wives with mock indignation.

“They get this way sometimes.” Philip and Charles explained to Alex and Isabel, who merely sighed and sat down across from their parents, waiting for them to let them explain.

That didn’t happen for another hour.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The first thing Max registered when he woke up nearly seven hours later was that there was a loud commotion going on outside. However he pushed that to the back of his mind as he moved to pull Liz back against his body. She was so soft and pliable as he pulled her tightly against his body. He figured that she had her legs curled up because they weren’t tangled up with his own as they had been.

He gave her a hug, noting how she seemed so soft and just seemed to meld with him. Dropping his head intending to kiss her head, he was instead brought face to face with…

A pillow?

Where was Liz?

Max shot out of his bed, his eyes darting around trying to find Liz. She was nowhere to be seen. He was about to go outside of his room and see if she was the one causing the commotion. He knew that she and Alex had been fighting before, but before he left he noticed something. His window was open.

When he and Liz had gone to bed, together, his window had been closed; locked.

No it was open; wide open.

How long had she been gone?

He jerked on a sweatshirt as he glanced over at the clock. Just past midnight and Liz was out and about in a city she hadn’t been in for some time now. What happened if she got lost? What happened if someone tried to hurt her? How would Max live with himself if anything happened to her? He knew he never should have allowed himself to sleep. He should have watched over her and made sure that she slept peacefully, only he hadn’t, and now he was paying for his mistake.

Max took the steps two at a time as he barreled down towards the door with his keys in hand. He didn’t even have shoes on, but it didn’t matter at this point. All Max knew was that he had to find Liz.

“Max?” Diane, Philip, Isabel and Alex called out as he sprinted past them. He ignored their cries as he yanked the door open and started towards his car, intent on finding Liz and bringing her back home; where ever she wanted that to be.

Alex, Isabel, Philip, Diane, Trish and Charles ran after Max, trying to catch up with him, but to no avail. However upon seeing him jumping into his jeep and burning rubber as he gunned the engine and sped down the street, they promptly followed. Isabel pulled out her cell phone while Alex drove. Their parents were left standing in the driveway of Max’s home, trying to figure out what had just happened.

The phone rang a few times before Max grabbed it from the glove compartment and answered.

“Liz?” Max asked frantically, praying that it was she.

“Max? What’s going on?” Isabel asked just as worriedly. She knew that this had to be urgent for her brother to act this way as she had never seen him react this way before.

“It’s Liz. She’s gone.” Max hollered into the phone, hoping that Isabel could hear him over the wind that was blowing around him.

“What do you mean Liz is gone?” Isabel asked.

“Liz is gone?” Alex screamed his eyes growing wide with fear. This wasn’t good. She had run before, but if she had run after everything that she and Max had endured then it meant that things really were bad and she needed help. Help that Alex intended to get her as soon as they found her.

“I woke up and she was gone.” Max explained.

“Ok, Max, everything is going to be ok and we are going to find Liz… now, you take the north side of town and Alex and I will take the south side. I doubt she went to the desert, so we can rule out the east and west sides…” Isabel proceeded to try and calm Max down as she and Alex headed towards the south side of Roswell, praying that they would find Liz before it was too late.

“Iz, I can’t lose her. I love her… and god, if I lose her I’ll be nothing.” Max cried, his frustration growing, as he saw neither hide nor hair of her.

“Max you aren’t going to lose her- we’ll find her… even if we have to search all night, we’ll find her.” Isabel promised.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It was sometime after one in the morning when Liz finally reached the Roswell cemetery. She walked through the graveyard, stooping every once in awhile to drop a carnation she had bought before coming. Finally, after what seemed like years, Liz stopped in front of three graves, lying together. They all had the same headstone, just different names.

She placed the bunch of roses on her mother and grandmother’s headstones, and on her fathers she placed a bundle of lilies. It had been hard to find a shop open that still had flowers, but she did and that was all that mattered.

Unconsciously hugging herself, Liz stared with dejection down at her parents and grandmother’s graves. She didn’t even know what she was doing out there, all she knew was that she had wanted to see her parents and grandmother. Right about now she needed their advice, needed to hear them tell her everything would work out between she and Max, and that no matter what everyone else told her, everything would be ok.

Only they couldn’t do that anymore. They were gone and could no longer give Liz the solace she desperately needed from them. For only they could give her what she truly needed: acceptance and closure.

“Mom, dad… grandma… I know it’s late so I hope I didn’t wake you up… I could come back later if it would be more convenient.” Liz spoke softly, as she did when she was a child. She felt like a child.

Sighing, Liz remained silent for a moment, simply watching the three graves, wondering how her parents and grandmother were. She hoped that they were happy.

“I met a man… a real man, not like Kirk. His name’s Max…I think even you would approve of him daddy… he’s really sweet, and I think that he genuinely cares about me.” Liz whispered as she kneeled down before the three graves. Tears pooled in her eyes and she had to fight to keep from sobbing aloud. “He-uh… he said he loved me, and… oh god, daddy… I love him, I really do, and I want to tell him. But… oh, daddy…. Mom, grandma, I wish you were here. I need you so badly right now… I’m so afraid….”

At this point Liz was sobbing as she gazed lovingly down at her parents and grandmother’s graves. It had been a long time since she had last visited her parents. In fact the last time she had seen them was when they had died, leaving her to fend for herself in this world.

“Daddy, mom… grandma… please, just this once… I know its asking a lot, but can you please help me out… answer me in some way… I-uh… I’ve been burned before and I don’t think I’ll be able to stand losing Max. If he were to die or to leave me then I would be lost… I would rather die then lose him.” Liz confessed softly. She waited for some response, something to let her know that everything would be all right. Something to let her know that her parents and grandmother had heard her and confirmed that everything would turn out positively.

But it never came.

Liz glanced at her watch, noticing that it was now near two in the morning. Not wanting to return to Max without her parents and grandmother’s acceptance, Liz laid down on the grass, closing her eyes as she silently listened, waiting patiently for their response. She knew it would come, she just had to wait. Maybe they were asleep, or maybe they were buy. But they would respond and then she would return home.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

It was sometime around six in the morning when Max finally returned home, defeated, tired, and heartbroken. Alex and Isabel had returned sometime around three, only for Alex to return searching while Isabel could get some rest. He was leaving it up to her to explain to their parents what was going on while he and Max valiantly searched for Liz.

Sometime around five, Alex wandered back into the house, his head hung low and his shoulders drooping slightly. He had known that he had pushed Liz for answers, but he hadn’t though he had pushed her that hard. Only now he knew. Had he remained quiet then maybe none of this would have happened. Liz and Max would happily be sleeping in separate rooms right now while he and Isabel shared a bed, all as their parents rested peacefully in their beds as well.

Only that wasn’t what was happening. When Alex arrived home his parents attacked him with questions. He filled them in with what he knew and when they were done they all went to the living room, praying that just maybe Liz would return at some point. Diane and Philip were up as well, waiting for their son to return.

When Max did return he barely even acknowledged his parents, instead he waved them off as he hung his head and walked back to his room. For the next hour he remained in his room sitting on his bed, contemplating where Liz could be and how he could get her to come back. His hands rested, shaking in his lap as he stared down at the ground.

So lost in thought, Max never even heard the light sounds of footsteps, or the soft thud coming from the body that slyly dropped into his window. However he did hear the rustling of the jacket on the body and as he looked up, relief spread through him. He sprang to his feet and crushed Liz to him, unwilling to let her out of his sight or arms.

“Whe-…” Max started only to have Liz interrupt him.

“I love you… I love you so much, and I’m sorry… so sorry…” Liz half whispered and half cried. Her body was damp from sleeping in the graveyard through the night and she shivered from how cold it was. But as Max continued to embrace her she felt an unexplainable warmth creep through her body.

Max nearly jumped for joy at Liz’s confession. No longer did his fatigue from staying up all night bother him for he was holding Liz in his arms and she had just professed her love. She had come back to him. And to top things off she had said that she loved him. And while he was confused as to why she was apologizing, he wasn’t going to question anything. He was even too afraid to let go and open his eyes for fear that this was all a dream- an illusion that would be brought to light if he questioned it.

“I love you too.” Max whispered back as he continued to hug her. It was at this point that he noticed just how wet and cold she was. He pulled away slightly and looked her over. Her eyes had dark circles underneath them and she was deathly cold/pale. He could feel his own clothes dampening from her wet ones being pressed against his own.

Tentatively, not wanting to scare her away, Max reached down and started reaching for the hem of her shirt. When she nodded her permission, Max gently peeled her shirt from her body, leaving her in her bra and jeans. Next he unzipped and unbuttoned her jeans, sliding them down her shapely legs and kneeling before her, giving her a form of support as she lifted first one leg and then the other as Max slipped her jeans from her body.

He knew he shouldn’t, but Max couldn’t help but stare at her goddess like body, which was clad in panties and bra. Fixing his gaze on her face, Max gingerly pulled her back to him as he kneeled before her, pressing his face against her smooth stomach, glorying in her perfection and their love for each other. He hugged her waist tightly as she ran her fingers through his hair.

Feeling somewhat under dressed and embarrassed by her earlier behavior, Liz tried to pull away, only to have Max hold her tighter. She felt his lips gently pressing feather light kisses to her stomach, his lips running along the edge of her panties, and she marveled at his silken touch.

With a trembling hand, Liz cautiously reached down and caressed Max’s cheek as she kneeled down in front of him as well, bringing her face to face with him. She wasn’t quite sure what they were doing or just how far they were going, but at this moment she didn’t care. She just wanted Max to hold her forever.

Unbuttoning his shirt, Liz slid it off his shoulders while her eyes remained glued to his smooth, bronze skin. She pressed an open mouth kiss to his heart as her hands wandered over his skin, caressing, touching, tickling. Her eyes flew up when she heard him gasp softly after she had raked a nail over his nipple.

Still unsure of where this was going, Liz reached for his jeans, intending to do whatever it was that Max wanted from her. She bit her bottom lip as her hands trembled while undoing his jeans. A moment later she felt her hands being steadied by Max’s large, warm hands.

“Liz…” Max said hoarsely while gazing into her eyes questioningly. He bit back a moan as her doe brown eyes returned his lustful stare. Only he could tell that Liz wasn’t ready for this, and neither was he. Their relationship was too new, too fresh to head to this direction. But as he felt her hands pushing his jeans down he couldn’t stop the groan of pleasure from having her hands on his skin. However once his jeans were down to his knees he found his voice. “Liz… we… we don’t have to do anything.”

Liz merely nodded as she visibly relaxed. She was resting on her knees, her hands still clutching the material of Max’s pants. Her hands stilled and she glanced up at him. With just that one look, Max couldn’t hold himself back as he pulled Liz up his body and gazed deeply into her eyes.

Her gaze fell to his lips, and unconsciously, Liz licked her own lips, not knowing that at that exact moment, Max was looking at her lips as well. And in the next instant, Liz had her lips pressed lightly against Max's. The moment their lips touched Liz felt something within her start to shift and she became dizzy from the feeling of it, but she never took her lips from Max's. And in turn, Max forged on, drawing Liz back into his embrace and fusing their lips together more forcefully. Seeking out entrance to her mouth, Max lazily dragged his tongue over her lower lip before suckling it into his mouth, and this gave Max the exact response he had hoped for. The second Liz's mouth opened to accommodate his, she felt his tongue slowly begin to make love to her mouth. And the dizzy feeling increased, and again she felt some sort of shift within her, as if part of her was giving way to a completely new part.

It felt wonderful and new, like something Liz had never experienced.

As the kiss deepened Liz watched as everything in her mind grew dark, and all thoughts were pushed away, except that at that moment she was willing to do anything to make Max happy. Her hands snaked around his neck, bringing him as close as physically possible while still devouring his mouth with her own. She faintly felt his hands wandering down her bare back and then to her behind, which he cupped and massaged with his usual gentle caress. Everywhere his fingers touched a trail of fire was left in its spot, and Liz was badly in need of him putting it out. Passion was consuming the two as they continued to kiss passionately.

Breaking apart, they both dragged in ragged breaths of air. Their eyes remained on each other as they remained kneeling in front of each other, their arms hugging the other close to the.

Smiling against Max's shoulder, Liz reached down and grasped his hands in hers. His eyes followed her movements and he stared at their entwined fingers as they lay between them. Then, his gaze drifted over her body, coming finally to the face that would forever be his ultimate image of beauty. He watched a one single tear seeped out of her lashes and down her cheek. Max reached up and wiped it away, then leaned closer to brush his lips over her cheek. The warmth of his breath against her skin caused a tremor to pass through her body. However, he felt his breath catch when she brought one hand up to rest on his cheek, then moved her head in closer to capture his mouth in a long, sweet kiss.

Kneading her palms in his own hands, Max leaned in and kissed her forehead, his lips lingering for a few seconds so he could continue to feel her soft velvety skin beneath his lips. He then let go of one of her hands to bring his fingers up to trace her jaw line, delicately touching every inch of skin that he could. It seemed like an eternity had passed for Liz before Max inched his face closer to hers; his lips merely an inch or two away. His fingers had tangled in her hair, then his lips had met hers. It had been short and loving at first, but soon their kisses had become hungrier, deeper, as they let themselves get lost in each other. Max cupped her face in his hands and bent down to kiss her gently, when they parted, she smiled at him. She moved in for another kiss, and as their lips met both sighed in contentment. Her hands slid over his chest as her mouth moved in time with his own. Their kisses were slow, languid and he savored the taste of her on his lips.

“Hold me…” Liz murmured. Her breath against his ears left him feeling sensations that he had never felt before. And as he heard he speaking he thought he was listening to an angel, but her words were anything but angelic. He stared at her with questioning eyes for a moment before nodding his head in confirmation. Max understood her need to be held, as he too wanted to simply hold her in his arms forever. He helped Liz up, and with his hands enclosed around her waist they made their way back to Max's bed.

Standing by the end of the bed with the cool carpet under their feet, Max couldn’t help but look at Liz. All day long Max had spent the day looking at Liz and learning the way she looked and the way she moved. And now, as they stood in his dark bedroom, lights off, the glow of the fresh morning light streaming through the windows acting as their only light, Max could finally say he knew Liz completely. He had never thought she looked more beautiful then she did now; she was wearing a bra and panties, but he had never found white cotton undies so sexy before. The love and adoration in each other's eyes was pouring out as they gazed at each other.

Moving to each other, his arms encircled around her waist, as hers did the same, and together they stood, unmoving, simply feeling each other's warmth, rejoicing in having someone special to hold. For Max, he couldn't think of anything beyond the point that there would be no more dream-hugs, then waking to find his arms clenched tightly across his chest and Liz no where in site, because finally Liz was with him. With his arms around Liz, he knew that she'd still be in his arms in the morning from now on. Slightly moving apart, the two looked into each other's others, as Max silently asked for permission to continue; his only response a nod from Liz. As their faces moved closer and their lips meet for the first time in what seems like years a small fireworks explosion occurred between the two. And they kiss tenderly, then firmly, their passion restrained, then wanton. And when Liz's lowered lip quivered after Max ran his tongue along it, she suddenly followed suit, licking his lips, as he tasted her again.

"I love you." Max whispered after moving his lips across her cheek, nibbling at her flesh and approaching her ear. The words and the rush of air accompanying them caused a wave of pleasure to flow through Liz, and Max held onto her body tightly as she slightly trembled. And together they stood still, together and in love.

“I love you too.” Liz murmured.

Finally, Liz loosened her grip on his body and Max felt them traveling up and down his back, her fingertips playing across his bare back. And Max did the same, rubbing her velvet flesh with his fingertips. Pressing their bodies together, kissing, then hugging some more, Max and Liz quickly become acquainted with each other's bodies. As Max ran his fingertips along the edge of her bra lightly touching her skin, he watched as the breath in her throat caught; and in response he lightly kissed her cheeks, her forehead, her lips, and then he pulled back to look at her face. Liz's eyes sparkle as she smiled up at Max, before she softly kissed his lips; it was Max's turn for the warm feeling inside to take over as a smile broke out over his face.

Sliding her hands into the loopholes of his jeans, she rid them from his body and as Max felt her fingers dancing lightly on his skin he shivered through the heat that was building within him. His hands found their way back to her waist as he linked fingers with hers and dropped their hands to the small of her back. Holding each other tightly again, pressing their bodies at the hips, their mouths once again sought each other's out. Only this time Liz kissed Max's lips, his cheeks, and finally his temple.

Moving his face past her, Max pressed his face into her hair, breathing in deeply so he could smell her intoxicating scent. Liz's skin tingled in response as his hands moved up her back. Lifting his head from her hair, Max moved in first to kiss her, then he moved out of the way so he could peel her bra from her body. It was as though a silent agreement had been passed between them and he knew this was what she wanted. As the cool night air hit's Liz's skin, Max warmed her with his hands moving across her body.

Max pulled Liz's bra from her body, leaving it hanging between her arms as he moved his hands back down, caressing her torso with his palms; rubbing her skin to keep it warm. The warmth spread from her torso to the rest of her body, and she felt a heat begin to grow within her body. Pulling her bra from her arms, Liz finally lowered her arms before caressing his chest and then running her fingernails up his back. Wrapping her arms around Max, Liz pulled him with her onto the bed.

Lying on her back with her arms over her head, Max nibbled at her lips, then down her chin to her neck and finally to her chest. He licked at her nipples, feeling them tighten and harden beneath his tongue. He continued nibbling down her body, feeling her muscles tense as he neared the border of her last article of clothing, but he finally crossed the border, staying outside the soft material. Her legs spread involuntarily as he nibbled at the dim outline of what lied beneath, an immeasurably small distance from his lips. Finally growing frustrated, Liz pulled Max up to face her and they kissed, long and deep.

Her hand slid down his back and he leaned into the sensation, exposing his chest. Her other hand stroked him there, tracing a line from his neck downward, causing Max to feel an electric sensation running through his nerves as her hands caressed his taut stomach muscles. But then she pulled away, causing Max to quickly return to the reality of the matter.

"Liz?" The soft glow of the morning light drifting into Max's room gave Max a beautiful view of Liz as she caressed him. He watched as she pulled away after he had questioned her, but before Max was willing to do anything he had to make sure this was what Liz wanted. The last thing Max needed was to scare Liz off and lose her. He gently pulled himself away from Liz's body and helped her so she was sitting up beside him. "Can I touch you?"

"Yes." Backing away and then leaning back down on his bed, Liz watched on hesitantly as Max leaned back down, hovering over her. She felt a warm tingle of anticipation as he looked from her breasts to the pair of panties she wore. She knew they wouldn’t be making love tonight, but this was so much better. Slowly, Liz lifted her hips and let Max help her slip out of her panties. "I've never done anything like this before."

"Neither have I, but when I'm with you it comes naturally." Her body tensed with anticipation as he tentatively touched her nipple with a fingertip. And then she felt his mouth scorching her skin with each kiss as he made his way back down her neck towards her breast. The next thing she knew his hand was gently gliding down her side to her hips and thighs, his hands lingering there before touching her other nipple. "Does this feel good?"

"Yes" Her soft moan only drove Max further as he pressed a soft kiss to her nipple. Watching him as he stroked her, Liz briefly wondered how she had grown to trust Max so completely in the last month. And she wondered how she had grown to love him so completely.

Again he bent down and kissed her as he gently touched the smooth skin between her legs. Reaching down, Liz held his hand there as she returned the kiss before she reached up to hold him. As he kissed her neck, she felt a wave of warmth sweep over her, and it intensified as he worked his way down to her nipples. Without even knowing, Liz found herself hugging his head to her breast as he kissed her. A wave of anticipation swept over her, and she realized that she was grinding herself against the pressure of his hand between her legs. Changing from kissing her nipples to sucking on them, Max found that as he did so, it released a wave of pleasure through Liz's body. The waves continued, each one more intense than the one before, until Liz found herself relaxing in a state of infinite pleasure, looking up at him as he looked at her, a smile splayed over both of their lips.

Leaning in, Liz captured Max's lips with her own, and as she did she felt her bare breast softly resting on his chest as she kissed him, and as she moved, the feeling in her nipples as they slid across his skin was echoed by a soft moan. And in response Max slid his hands gently across the smooth skin of her back and then to her hips. This in turn caused Liz to feel his erection press tightly against her thigh. She moved to touch him, but he thwarted her attempts, casting a sidelong glance, he smiled shyly.

“If... I don’t want things to happen that shouldn’t happen right now, and… and if you touch me I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop myself.” Max admitted sheepishly. Liz immediately felt guilty. He had pleasured her and now as she wished to do so as well, he was denying because he was too afraid that his control would snap. And for that she loved him even more. Seeing the guilty look on her face, Max smothered her feelings with a sound kiss. “Don’t… don’ think that way. Just holding you in my arms is all I need.”

“Then hold me… hold me all night and don’t ever let go.” Liz pleaded softly.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Max again leaned down and kissed her full lips, leaving her with a promise that when they were both ready they would come together as they should.

As soon as Liz had returned from her state of bliss, she let her hands wander over Max’s body, caressing his skin as she worked her way down to his boxers. As she reached the hem she looked up into Max’s eyes, silently asking him if this was what he wanted as well. Tentatively, he nodded as his hands covered her own, helping her in taking off the final barrier between them. Both knew that they wouldn’t be making love today, but they needed to be near each other, and this felt right.

They lowered themselves down onto the bed so that Liz lay beside Max, their legs entwined, their hands clasping each other’s and heads nestled together. Max smiled down at his angel and kissed the top of her forehead. They had been through so much today and now they needed their rest.

"I love you… I love you more then I knew was ever possible." Max whispered. He placed another kiss on the crown of her head before pulling her body tightly against his and resting his head near hers.

“I love you too.” Liz murmured quietly, dropping a kiss on his shoulder before letting her eyes close once again.

This was how they laid together, holding each other until sleep took over them both. And this was how Alex found them the next morning.


posted on 17-Dec-2001 3:02:06 AM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 7

Thanksgiving morning…

It was after ten in the morning when Alex decided to go check on Max and see if he had made any progress. He had called all the airports and bus stations asking if anyone fitting Liz’s description had shown up anytime within the last twenty-four hours, but so far no one had seen hide nor hair of her. Diane, Philip, Trish and Charles were helping as well, offering any place they could think of that Liz might have gone to. Isabel even went as far as to try calling Kirk.

So to say Alex was more than a little surprised to not only find Liz in bed with Max, but naked as well, was an understatement in the least. His first reaction was to slam the door shut while cursing himself for yet again seeing more of Liz then he ever wanted to. His second reaction was to slam his fist through the wall, imagining it was Max’s head instead of the wall. Alex ignored the pain that came with that. And his third reaction was to reopen the door, cover his eyes and call out to Max and Liz, hoping that they would wake up.

However that didn’t work out as nicely as Alex had hoped.

Instead, Alex was forced to blindly walk through Max’s room, tripping on an occasional article of clothing, while trying to reach the bed. He shook the first body he came in contact with, however that was a mistake in itself, for as soon as his hand came in contact with the soft flesh, Alex immediately knew whom he had touched and where. He jerked his hand away as quickly as possible, but it wasn’t soon enough; the damage had been done.

Liz jolted up screaming as she felt a third hand on her body. She knew exactly where Max’s hands were, as well as her own, so to wake up with a hand shaking her breast and calling for her to wake up wasn’t exactly her idea of a wake up call, especially when she saw who was trying to get them to wake up. Having someone you see as a brother touching you in a place like that just wasn’t right.

“Oh my god!” Liz screamed, trying to cover herself up as Max jerked up from his place of resting, his arms automatically tightening around Liz’s waist as he placed himself protectively in front of her. As soon as his eyes focused and he got a look at who was in his room and who was attacking Liz, Max nearly jumped out of his skin.

“Get the hell out!” Max bellowed while covering Liz’s naked body as best he could. The idea of any man, even Alex- her brother to some degree- seeing Liz in anything less then decent coverage was unacceptable to Max. When Alex didn’t make a move to leave, Max started to get up. “I said get out!”

Alex stood frozen in the center of Max’s room trying to avert his eyes from both naked bodies in front of him, one, which was like a sister, and the other one of his best friends. And seeing someone with Liz, whom Alex saw as his sister in every aspect, made him extremely angry. As much as Alex trusted Max, he knew how things had been with Tess, and he had overheard Max numerous times talking about how his relationship with Tess was only about the sex.

“Liz, get dressed.” Alex instructed. His eyes remained rained on Max’s face, which was currently turning a deep red from his own anger. Both men stared one another down as Liz remained hiding behind Max, unwilling to leave the safety of his embrace. “Liz…”

“I said get out.” Max shot back. His voice was low and dangerous, signaling to Alex just how dangerously close he was to something besides words coming from Max. When Alex didn’t move, Max tugged the blanket up to Liz’s chest, making sure she was completely covered before grabbing the first article of clothing he could find- his jeans- and tugging them on as best he could without giving Alex too much to see. Turning towards Liz, he grazed her face with his knuckles and pressed a soft kiss to her forehead as he prepared to go have a quick talk with Alex so as to settle whatever had suddenly sprung between them.

Only Max never got that far, for as soon as Alex saw Max moving in to kiss Liz, he reacted. All Alex could see was that Max and Liz had shared a bed together, completely naked. And that was enough to set him off.

“You asshole!” Alex hollered as he jerked Max around and slammed his fist into Max’s face. Liz screamed as soon as she saw her brother hit Max and she clutched the sheet to her body as she tried to get up and help Max, who was on the floor with Alex towering above him.

“Alex, stop! Please!” Liz pleaded, but he didn’t listen.

“How could you? She’s my sister man, my sister!” Alex exclaimed wildly. His nostrils flared and his eyes were wild, unlike anything Max had ever seen before. “I trusted you with her! I even tried to help you out in getting to know her so you could ask her out, and this is how you repay me? Why?”

“Stop it!” Liz cried. She kneeled beside Max who was propped up, using his elbows to keep himself upright. Blood was trickling down from his nose where Alex had punched him. And his eyes were filled with anger. He too ignored Liz as she tried to bring his head to rest on her lap. Instead he shoved himself up and lunged at Alex. The two landed in a heap on the other side of the room with Max on top of Alex. “Max! Alex!”

“What the hell is your problem?” Max asked angrily. This was not his idea of a good morning. He had been in his own personal heaven upon waking up with Liz snugly pressed against his body, her scent surrounding him, and the knowledge that everything would be just fine as long as they were together.

“Why her? Couldn’t you find someone else to fuck around with? Why Liz? Huh? Why my sister?” Alex bellowed. At this point both sets of parents and Isabel had joined together at Max’s door to see what the commotion was all about. Philip and Charles started into the room, but heir wives held them back. But Alex and Max were too focused on each other. Alex watched as Max looked at him in confusion. “Don’t you think I know your reputation Max? Fuck em’ and leave em! You did it to Tess and you’ve done it with every other woman you’ve ever been with. Well I won’t let you do that Liz- she’s been through enough… Liz, go pack your bags, you’re coming to my house.”

“No, she isn’t. She’s staying right here.” Max informed Alex coldly. He couldn’t believe that Alex had just said half the things he had especially with Liz in the room. How was he supposed to explain to her that while what Alex had said had been true that things were different now? That with her Max wanted it to last forever.

“You don’t have any say in this Max, she’s my sister and if I have to, I will bring her home by any means. Even if that means I have to knock you out, I will.” Alex retorted. He started to shove Max off him only to have Max push him back down.

“No, she’s staying her.” Max stated adamantly. “Now I don’t know what’s crawled up your ass and I certainly don’t know when you became brother of the year to Liz considering you’ve completely forgotten about her since she left, but I love her. I love her so much that it makes my heart ache when she isn’t around. And I now know that until I met Liz I’ve just been wasting my life- I’ve just been existing. But when I met Liz… when I met your sister, I started living. And I won’t give that up- I won’t give her up… not without a fight.”

Both men remained silent as they glared at one another, trying to assess what the other would do next. Max could hear Liz crying and it broke his heart to know that he was probably causing this, but he wasn’t going to let Alex take Liz away from him. He had meant every word he had said and while this wasn’t exactly the ideal place for Liz to learn of just how much he loved her, Max was glad that it was out. Now he just hoped that Liz wasn’t scared off by his admissions.

“Alex, please…” Liz begged as she crawled over beside the men she loved with all of her heart. She knew that if asked to chose she would pick her family because as much as she loved Max, the Whitman’s had always been there for her. It was the Whitman's who had put her through college. It was Alex who had helped her overcome most of her heartache over her parents and grandmother’s deaths. And it was Alex who had always been not only her friend, but brother.

For a moment Alex remained silent as he looked first at Max and then Liz. There were tears in her eyes and she was clutching the bed sheets to her body. It still angered him that Max had slept with Liz after only knowing her for a little over a month. He knew that Liz was a levelheaded person and the only reason she would sleep with Max so soon was if he had somehow pressured her into it. But as much as he wanted to take Liz away and never let Max see her again, it was Max’s heartfelt words that made Alex rethink his decision.

“Wh-why don’t you two get dressed an… and we can talk about it some more downstairs over a cup of coffee, or something.” Alex muttered. Dejectedly he pushed Max off him, got up, and hastily left the room, but not before tossing both Liz and Max a look that told them both that he was serious. He hardly even looked up at his parents, fiancée, or the Evans’. However they followed behind him, knowing that Max and Liz would need their time alone right now.

As soon as Alex was gone, Liz crawled over to Max, who was resting his back against his wall as he raked his fingers through his hair. Gently she wiped away the small trickle of blood that was once again making its way over his lip. Leaning in, she pressed a kiss to his lips to reassure him that everything was ok. And in response Max pulled her onto his lap, needing to feel her body close to his own and so he could know that Alex hadn’t succeeded in taking her away this time.

“Are you alright?” Liz whispered, burying her head in the crook of his neck while tightly wrapping her arms around his waist, letting the sheet around her body fall to the ground. Max immediately picked it up and made sure that she was covered as he did not want a repeat of this mornings events.

“Yeah, don’t worry about me… what about you?” Max was still worried about how Liz would react to Alex’s revelation about his past. How could he possibly explain to Liz that everything he had once been was lost now that he had met her? Without a doubt Max knew that Liz was the one, and last night had only solidified his beliefs. What he and Liz had shared the night, or rather morning, before was far more special then anything he had ever experienced.

“He’s just trying to protect me, Max… you have to understand. He’s just worried and he doesn’t want me to be with someone like Kirk again, that’s all.” Liz tried to explain out of nowhere. Max stared down at her in confusion, trying to figure out where her little outburst had come from.

“Liz… no matter what I hope that you know I would never hurt you intentionally. I know it’s inevitable, but I will do everything I can to make sure that I never hurt you.” Max said honestly. And it was true. Hurting another person was inevitable. There were bound to be fights over stupid and petty things, and hurtful things would be said, but in the long run Max knew he would never hurt Liz anywhere near how much Kirk had. “But Liz, everything I said was true… I love you unlike I have ever loved anyone before. And I won’t give you up without a fight.”

“I love you too, Max.” Liz whispered. Together, they rested in each others arms for the next five minutes, reveling in how perfect it felt to be near the other and how wonderful it was that they found each other. Once they were finally able to tear themselves apart from each other, they went about getting dressed so they could try and work things out with Alex.

Back downstairs Alex sat at the kitchen table with Isabel by his side trying her best to comfort him. She gently dapped at his nose with a wet cloth trying her best not to hurt hi anymore then he already was. It hurt her to see her brother and fiancée fighting. And it hurt more to know that things had become so sour in such a short amount of time.

“They’re adults… and you don—“

“No, Isabel. You’re wrong, I do have a say in this. Liz, she’s my sister, or as close of one as I’ll ever have. And as her brother I will not allow anyone to hurt her… I already let Kirk hurt her and I don’t think I could live with myself if Max ever hurt her. Because then it wouldn’t only be Liz who would get hurt, but our relationship would be strained and I wouldn’t be able to live with that.” Alex admitted softly. “Isabel I love you, but…”

“But nothing. I know Max doesn’t have the best record with women, but I’ve never heard him say anything like that before. He’s never said that he’s loved anyone-ever! So I know he has to be serious… because Max doesn’t say things that he doesn’t mean.” Isabel confided hoping it would strengthen Max’s case. As much as she loved her brother she did have to admit that his past was a little shady, but Liz had brought something out of him that she had never known or seen, and now Isabel was positive that Max was finally ready and wiling to settle down and remain with one woman.

For a moment Alex remained silent while contemplating Isabel’s words of wisdom. It was true that in the time that Alex had known Max that his reputation with women had been less then stellar. But when Liz had arrived it was as though Max had done a 180, completely changing his ways. And since Max had started seeing Liz, Alex had noticed some things.

However, before Alex could respond, someone else did.

“Isabel’s right.” Max said sadly. “Alex, I know that you have no reason to trust me, and if I were in your shoes I wouldn’t trust me either. But I swear to you, I will never intentionally hurt Liz… because Liz, she means everything to me. I mean, I’ve never felt this way about anyone.” Pausing for a moment, Max turned and gazed at Liz lovingly. It was hard to say this aloud, especially when he and Liz hadn’t spoken to each other about this alone. But if it proved to Alex that he was in this relationship with Liz for the long run, then Max was willing to say anything. “She’s my home.”

“Max, I trust you. But Liz… she’s the sister I never had, only now she is my sister, and I know that you wouldn’t hurt her, but you have to understand my concerns. I mean, it’s like you’ve changed overnight and how do I know that you won’t change again, and when and if you do Liz will be left in the cold.” Alex said, honestly voicing his fears of this blossoming relationship. “It’s one thing to date, and I know that’s none of my business, but you’ve only known each other a month and already you guys have… have, well, you know.”

“Have what?” Liz asked, perplexed as to what Alex was trying to say.

“You know, had sex.” Alex finally said. Upon saying it he was met with the looks of complete shock and one look of utter horror.

“Max, you pig-headed jerk! And to think I stuck up for you!” Isabel reproached harshly. She couldn’t believe that her brother could use Liz so soon. At least now she understood why Alex was so mad.

“Whoa, what the hell are you talking about?” Max asked. He and Liz were beyond shocked at the fact that Alex believed they had had sex.

“Max, I know what I saw this morning, so don’t try to de—“

“Oh my god.” Liz whispered in embarrassment before turning and burying her head in Max’s chest. Just the thought that Alex had not only seen her naked, but had assumed that she had had sex with Max horrified Liz beyond belief.

“We didn’t have sex.” Max said adamantly, but he was met with two set of deaf ears.

“God, I mean I expected this sort of thing between you and Tess, what with Tess being the slut she is. But my god Max, to take advantage of Liz… I don’t even know how we can be related.” Isabel scolded.

“No, Liz this wasn’t your fault… so don’t go feeling guilty or as though you did something wrong…” Alex assured as he started to get up, but Max stopped him by extending his hand and pushing Alex back into his chair.

“I said, we didn’t make love!” Max said once again, only this time he waited until both his sister and soon to be brother-in-law were quiet. And this time they listened.

Isabel and Alex stared at Max and Liz in utter confusion. They had heard what he had said, but Alex had seen them naked, and Isabel knew her brother all too well.

“But I saw…”

“You saw Liz and I sleeping together. And that’s all that happened. We slept.” Max assured, though making sure to leave out what else they had done in the early morning hours when Liz had returned.

“No, but you two were…”

“We slept, and that’s all.” Max said once again.

“Okay then, that clears everything up.” Alex stated before getting up and walking into the next room with Isabel trailing behind him. Everyone was baffled by Alex’s strange behavior, but neither Max nor Liz cared as it appeared as though they didn’t have any problems or qualms coming from Alex or Isabel anymore.

“Th-that went well.” Liz whispered as she continued to cling to Max. He held her just as tightly, reveling in the knowledge that Alex didn’t seem too mind him dating Liz anymore.

“Yeah, but just imagine his reaction when we do finally…” Max let is voice trail off as he didn’t want to say anything that he wasn’t even sure would happen between he and Liz, at least not until Liz was ready.

“Yeah…” Liz said as she nodded her head in agreement. “Yeah…”

posted on 16-Jun-2002 12:53:37 AM by Trinity Star1323
Just bumping in anticipation of posting a new part tonight.

Joey
posted on 16-Jun-2002 1:43:05 AM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 8

As soon as all the commotion had broken down, and once Alex and Max had settled their differences, the household returned to normal. At least, as normal as it could get.

Since the parents had all listened to Isabel and adjourned to a guest bedroom, it gave Liz ample time to suddenly tell Max she felt like going for a walk. With everything that had happened that mourning, Liz didn’t know how she was supposed to deal with seeing the Whitman’s and meeting Max’s parents. It made her uncomfortable.

She hadn’t celebrated a Thanksgiving or Christmas or any sort of holiday in years.

And as her doting and loving boyfriend, Max followed. He too knew that Liz was uncomfortable and probably nervous about meeting all the parents. God knew he was unnerved about everything, especially after his little episode with Alex that mourning. How was he supposed to explain to his mother why he hit Alex?

So after getting dressed, the two snuck out of the house.

They walked in silence, needing the time to regain their composure. But they remained close. Either they were holding hands or Max had his arm draped over her shoulder or Liz had her arms wrapped around his waist.

“We could leave,” Liz suddenly suggested. Her voice was soft, almost sounding like it belonged to a child. And it tugged at Max’s heart, reminding him of just how scared Liz was.

“No, we can’t.” Max let his words come out as soft as possible, but his voice was still authoritative, letting Liz know that she wasn’t going to get out of this so easily.

“But…”

“Liz, you have nothing to worry about. I know you’re scared and I know you think…”

“No, Max, you don’t know,” Liz abruptly snapped. Tears were welling up in her eyes and her bottom lip trembled. “You don’t know what its like. All your life you’ve grown up with a family. And you know what, you’ve probably taken them for granite, and you probably still do. Just like I did. But I can’t take my parents or family for granite anymore because I don’t have any! I can’t tell them that I love them or that I’ll miss them while I’m away on a trip. And do you know how that feels? No. And you won’t until you lose both of your parents and the rest of your family, leaving you completely alone. And once this big world completely consumes you, then and only then will you know.”

For a moment Max merely stood staring down at Liz, letting her words register in his mind and heart. She was openly crying now and she looked like a complete wreck. And as soon as her words completely registered, Max pulled her into his embrace. She was right. He didn’t know how she felt and he had taken his parents for granite. They had been there for him every single step of his life. And he was lucky to have that. But Liz, after only a few short years, had had to give her parents up.

And she was right about him continuing to take his parents for granite.

“Oh god, Liz… I’m sorry, so sorry…” Max breathed out as he crushed her petite form to him. He wanted her to know that he would never take her for granite and that he would always be there for her, but he knew that just hugging her and being there for her right now was enough.

But while he was there for her, he also needed to fix a few things back at home. He needed to let two very special people know that they meant the world to him, even if he didn’t show or tell them all the time.

With that thought in his mind, Max pulled back slightly and stared down at his girlfriend. Tears were still trickling down her cheeks and her eyes were puffy and red.

She looked so vulnerable, yet so sexy.

Kissing her tears away, Max chuckled softly when he felt Liz smiling against his own skin. He loved it when she smiled.

Grabbing her hand, Max suddenly started pulling Liz back toward his house.

“Wh-where are we going?” Liz asked. Her voice was a little shaky, causing Max to tighten his hold on her hand.

“We’re going home and I’m going to do something I should have done a long time ago.”

Not even fifteen minutes later Liz found herself standing in front of Max’s door with Max at her side, tightly holding her hand as he knocked. She wondered why he was knocking when it was her own house.

But a moment later her question was answered when an older woman answered. She looked haggard and older than she actually was.

“Max!” Diane cried, immediately pulling her son into her embrace. Tears of happiness rolled down her cheeks as she crushed her son to her. It had been such a long time since she had last seen him that it actually felt foreign to see him again.

As Max continued to hug his mother, Liz slipped by, intending to go to her room where she could get some rest. Unfortunately the Whitman’s had other plans.

“Lizzie?” Mrs. Whitman whispered in awe. She hadn’t seen Liz in years, at least not up close and personal. Sure magazine pictures and various television appearances had caught her eye, but none of them meant anything. Within moments, Mrs. Whitman had Liz crushed against her. “Oh, my Lizzie,” Mrs. Whitman cried. Her hand shakily ran from the crown of Liz’s head down to the middle of her back while tears seeped from her eyes.

A moment later Mr. Whitman joined his wife and ‘daughter.’

After a few minutes Mrs. Whitman pulled away and took a long, hard look at her daughter. “My gosh, you’re so skinny!… but so beautiful!” Tears continued to trickle down her face as she once again pulled Liz back into her embrace.

And together, two families joined together, merging as one to finally find their happiness.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sitting at the large table with everyone else, Liz couldn’t help but smile. This was the first time she had ever had a real Thanksgiving dinner. With Kirk, everything was pretty much mapped out. Thanksgiving was usually spent in bed or with Kirk hanging out with his teammates; it was never near traditional. And Liz hadn’t had any sort of traditional Thanksgiving since her parents.

Yet, as she glanced over at Max, she couldn’t help but enjoy the idea of this being a first; their first.

Grasping her hand within his own, Max gave Liz’s tiny hand a gentle squeeze, giving her the reassurance she needed.

“You okay?” He asked.

In response, Liz merely nodded her head and leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, which did not go unnoticed by any of the mothers, or fathers.

“Ohh…. You two are so adorable together,” Diane cooed to which Trish Whitman nodded in agreement.

“When did you start going out?” Charles asked. While he was not Liz’s biological father he was her surrogate in every manner, which gave him the right to act like an over bearing ogre and give Max the third degree, even if he already knew Max.

“Dad…” Alex warned lightly.

“After Liz came to town,” Max answered. He wasn’t going to back down.

“Well, I’m proud of you son; you snagged a real beauty,” Phillip teased, causing Liz to blush.

“Besides, you and Tess weren’t good together,” Diane continued. “I never liked that girl. There was always something about her that just got under my skin… and don’t even get me started on her mother.”

“Can we please not talk about Tess,” Max pleaded. He knew that this was already stressful enough on Liz, and adding this sort of conversation had to be making her uncomfortable. Besides, this was their first Thanksgiving and he wanted it to be memorable.

“Of course,” Diane quickly agreed. She had to bite her cheek so as not to let one last comment slide. “So, Liz… what do you do?”

Everyone stared at Diane in shock, including her husband.

“She’s a model, dear,” Phillip whispered in embarrassment. Liz ducked her head and tried to hide her laugh as she watched Diane gasp in shock.

“Oh… wait, how did you know?” Diane queried. This time it was her husband that turned red in embarrassment. He was not about to admit to his wife, or son for the matter, that he had been perusing through a lingerie magazine.

“So, Liz… any interesting shoots lately?” Phillip asked, hoping to avoid the subject at hand. Luckily his wife didn’t seem to mind, though he was sure he’d get an earful later.

“Actually, no. For the last month and a half or so I’ve just been keeping low down here in Roswell. My agent has called a few times, but I’ve told him I’m really not ready, what with my break up wit Kirk,” Liz explained.

“Oh, Kirk… That’s right, you were with him at the Stanley Cup and there was all that talk about the black eye yo…” An elbow to his gut quickly shut Phillip up. His wife glared at him. Now that she recognized Liz, she fully remembered hearing all the gossip in the magazines and television shows about the dangerous relationship between Liz and Kirk.

“Well, how about some pumpkin pie?” Trish asked, hoping to change the subject.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Lying in bed, Liz gazed into Max’s eyes as his hand slowly traveled up her body. They were both naked, once again, but neither had any intention of doing anything but a little making out and sleeping, as neither was ready; both wanted their first time to be special; something that they would remember.

He pressed feather light kisses to her collarbone before slowly pulling away and letting his eyes follow the path of his hands.

“God you’re beautiful,” Max commented as he carefully edged closer toward her, narrowing the gap between them. She could feel the tiny puffs of his breath as he grew closer, and she could feel his throbbing member against her leg, but it didn’t have the same affect on her as Max’s simply caresses. Knowing that they could be so open and close to each other without having to have sex made the experience all the more sensual.

She watched as his hand shook as it slowly began to reach her breast.

“You can touch me, Max; it’s okay… I want you to,” Liz stated softly. She liked this; she liked knowing that Max was letting her have full control of the situation; it made her feel safe. Reaching down, Liz grasped one of his hands in her own and placed it on her breast.

At first, Max clumsily let his hand fumble about on her perfect skin. But soon his hand grew steady and he started a slow, careful massage. He watched as Liz’s eyelids fluttered shut and he knew that his actions were exactly what she wanted. He reached up and grasped a stray strand of her luscious brown hair that dangled freely around her neck and shoulders, and brought it to his nose, taking in the scent.

It was a sharp contrast; his bronze hued hand pressed against her pale ivory skin.

As Max explored her body with his hands, Liz let herself revel in the pure ecstasy of his touch. Only Liz never expected Max to do anything but touch her. Which is why she gasped in surprise when she suddenly felt the smooth skin of his cheeks brush against her nipple. Both moaned upon the intimate touch and contact, and both began to breath a little quicker. Letting Max have free reign over her body, Liz ran her fingers through his short, thick hair as she moaned in delight. And soon Liz found herself straddling him, her knees sitting on each side of his unclothed legs.

The smoothness of his actions made each breathe hitch in the back of Liz’s throat. It was like he was intentionally taking his time and exploring each and every crevice of her body so as to not forget. And as Liz closed her eyes, she couldn’t help but think that tonight he was all hers and Liz was not going to waste their time.

Unfortunately her cell phone didn’t think the same way she did. The blaring ring of it jolted Liz and Max apart, and Liz quickly reached for, intending to turn it off. However, upon seeing who it was, Liz couldn’t help but answer. Both groaned in protest as Liz rolled off Max and reached for her phone.

“Hello… oh, no…. no…. I can’t, my brother’s wedding is a month away and I can’t miss…but… I don’t know….well…okay… yeah… I promise.” Suddenly Liz paused in her conversation and stared down at Max. Her eyes lit up and a smile graced her lips. “Actually, Palely, I want two tickets… I won’t do it unless I can get two tickets… than take me off th…you promise?… Okay, great! Put the second under the name of Max Evans’… yes… yes… I know and I love you too Palely.”

Placing her phone back down on the floor, but only after turning it off, Liz gazed down at Max, a smile playing at her lips.

“What did you just get me into?” Max asked carefully.

“Well,” Liz started. Her voice was soft and she was playing with a strand of hair; twisting it in her fingers. And with her sitting upon his naked chest, and her being equally naked, Max couldn’t help but think about how sexy she looked right now. He loved that they could be this way.

“Well what?” Max probed playfully. Somehow he was positive this would be a good thing; which at this point made him very happy.

“Well, I kind of, sort of…. Well, I agreed to do a photo shoot.” Liz finally answered softly.

“A photo shoot? What kind of photo shoot? And where?” Max queried.

“Oh, it’s just on this private little island… and its just for some swimsuit calendar,” Liz mumbled the last part under her breath. But Max had heard her loud and clear.

While he and Liz were only starting a relationship, already he was growing jealous at the idea of other men drooling over or even looking at Liz. And just the thought of the photographer…

“…And you’re coming with me,” Liz continued to babble. Max had missed half of what she had said. But upon hearing that he would be going, some of his fears were alleviated. As long as he was there than there would be no problems; it was just the rest of the world. “Oh, come on… please say yes,” Liz pleaded.

The only answer Max gave her was to lock his lip, Both Max and Liz shuddered upon contact, and both felt a wave of hunger wash over them as their tongues dueled and mated together.

“Is that a yes?” Liz asked a moment later once they finally pulled apart.

“No…” Liz’s face sunk at Max’s refusal; she had been sure he would agree. “That’s a-- when do we leave?”

This time an even brighter smile broke out on Liz’s lips, and she couldn’t help but squeal in excitement. She and Max were going away for a week to a private island where they could relax and have fun together. What could possibly be better?

“Two weeks,” Liz answered before refusing their lips together.

posted on 16-Jun-2002 11:43:58 PM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 9

“What do you mean he’s going with her?” Tess asked in disbelief. She was talking on the phone with Isabel. Originally she had hoped to speak with Max, but that had been shot down when Isabel had informed her that he was with Liz, shopping for their upcoming trip.

“I mean exactly what I said; he’s going with her. She has a shoot and she wanted him to come, so he’s going. Jesus Tess, get over it… you and Max broke up… anyway, it’s not like you loved him.”

“That’s besides the point,” Tess argued.

“No, that isn’t besides the point. He and Liz… they’re like me and Alex.”

“No, Max isn’t a geek.” The click on the other end of the phone did not signal to Tess that Isabel had hung up. Only when a loud buzzing followed by a dial tone occurred did Tess figure out that her friend had hung up on her. “Stupid bitch…” Tess muttered under her breath.

“Who’s a stupid bitch?” Maria asked as she and Michael emerged from her room. On any other day Tess would never be at Maria’s home, but it was where her parents were residing and Maria had been nice enough to let Tess stick around while her parents were home for the holidays and Isabel’s coming wedding.

Aside from that small fact, Tess had let it slip that she and Max were thinking about marriage, which had been a complete lie on Tess part, but Tess had really thought that she and Max were going somewhere; at least they were until Liz came.

“No one,” Tess grumbled. She knew better than to talk badly about Isabel when Maria was around, as Maria and Isabel were good friends; and as it seemed, Maria and Liz were becoming fast friends as well.

Things were getting bad.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Oh god, no!” Liz had to cover her face to hide her embarrassment and muffle her laughter.

“Ahh, come on…. Liz…. Liz!” Max goaded, as he paraded around the fitting room in nothing but a tiny, black Speedo. On any normal occasion there was no way he would be caught dead in something like this, but the reaction from Liz was enough. “Come on, just say it. You think I’m sexy… dead sexy…”

It was at that point that a little old woman decided to wander into the dressing room. Her eyes nearly bugged out of her head and she stopped in her tracks as she took a good look at the young man before her.

This time it was Max who tried to hide his face, and the rest of his body as he dashed back into his private dressing room. All the while, Liz fell to her side, laughing at the whole situation. So lost in her bout of giggles, Liz didn’t even notice the old woman totter over to her.

“Now that’s what I call a butt!” The woman exclaimed before heading toward an empty room, but not before glancing back towards Max’s room. Of course that only made Liz laugh harder.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“…No; that was beyond humiliating,” Max protested. He and Liz were walking around the mall. After that last incident, Max had refused to buy anything from that store as he was too self-conscious to try anything on, especially with that perverted old lady wandering around inside.

“Oh come on, it wasn’t that bad,” Liz argued, though she couldn’t hide the laughter that seeped into her voice. “It was funny as hell, but it wasn’t that bad.”

“Yeah, you weren’t the one parading around in nothing but a Speedo,” Max disputed.

“Oh right! I’ve just had to have my picture plastered all around when all I have on is a piece of string going up my…” Max quickly slapped a hand over Liz’s mouth, stopping her from continuing on. Quite a few males heads had turned at Liz’s confession and there was no way Max was going to let any of them get any better of an image in their minds, especially when Liz was with him.

“Okay, okay… but you do have a better body and…”

“Oh, I don’t know. That woman seemed to like your ass…” Liz stopped and let Max walk ahead of her so that she could get a good look. However he stopped as soon as her words registered in his mind, and he turned bright red at her reminder of what had just taken place. “And I’d have to agree with her.”

Catching up with him, Liz laced her fingers with his own and laughter at the scowl on his face. “Ahh… I’m sorry…. I was just kidding around,” Liz cooed.

“What, I don’t have a nice ass?” Max asked mock astonishment.

Seeing the gleam in his eyes, Liz knew he was kidding around. But, already having the upper hand, she decided to play a little more.

“Well, I’ve seen it before, but I haven’t felt it for a good couple hours…” Before Max could even say a word, Liz had her hands on his butt. He jumped in response and the yelp that escaped from his mouth caused quite a number of people to turn and look at the young couple.

“Did you just cop a feel of my butt?” Max queried as seriously as possible.

“Yep,” Liz affirmed with a nod of her head.

“Good.” And before Liz could protest, Max drew her into his arms and pressed his lips to her own. He didn’t care that they were in such a public place or that people were looking at them. Just being with Liz and being able to kiss her was all that mattered.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Did you guys have fun shopping?” Trish Whitman asked as she watched her daughter and boyfriend walk inside the house.

Blushing slightly, Liz had to bite her cheek from saying too much. Unfortunately, Max was a lot more brazen then Liz. “I’d just like to inform you that your daughter has a lot to learn about mall etiquette,” Max said in a mock-serious tone, causing Liz to blush all the more.

“Oh dear, what happened?” Trish asked with a giggle. She loved seeing Liz so carefree and happy, and she was glad that she and Max were getting along so well.

“Well…” Before Max could say another word, Liz slapped a hand over his mouth, refusing to let him tell her surrogate mother about their adventures.

“And like you’re any better!” Liz asked indignantly. “I’m sure Isabel would be mortified if she found out about…”

“That’s enough!” Max insisted as he quickly clasped a hand over Liz’s mouth, refusing to let her go on.

At this point Trish was in a fit of laughter.

“What’s all the commotion?” Alex asked as he and Isabel came out of the kitchen and joined the small group of people out in the foyer.

“Oh, dear…” Trish wheezed. “I was just learning about Max and Liz’s escapades at the mall, though it appears neither will tell me as they are both too embarrassed.”

“Oh god! Don’t tell me that I’m forever banned at the mall, Max!” Isabel exclaimed angrily.

“No, I just don’t think that you’ll want to be seen with Max at the mall for quite some time!” Liz blurted out before Max could stop her. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Liz knew that she was in trouble. Escaping Max’s grasp, Liz took off, heading for refuge in the back yard. Immediately Max took chase.

“Oh god, now they’re going to make out… I swear, sometimes they’re like a bunch of teenagers,” Isabel scoffed, causing everyone to laugh.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“So… I heard some things,” Maria whispered knowingly to Liz. Leaning forward in her chair, Liz stared Maria dead in the eye.

“What sort of things?” Liz asked playfully. They were at the dress shop once again. Because Liz would be leaving in a week, Isabel thought it would be best to make sure all of the alterations were done on Liz’s dress before, just in case something happened and she got stuck at the shoot for a bit longer than expected.

“Things about someone’s adventure at the mall,” Maria said softly before leaning back in her chair with her hands behind her head and a knowing look on her face.

“Ahh… and what would those things entail?” Liz queried.

“Well, from what I heard it involved a black Speedo, an old woman, and someone copping a feel of another person’s lower anatomy.” Liz stared at Maria in shock.

Opening and closing her mouth, Liz tried to figure out what to say. Finally her words came to her. “How did you know?”

“I have my sources,” Maria said in a sing-song voice.

“Mariaaa,” Liz whined.

Patting her friend’s knee, Maria smiled endearingly. “Michael’s a security guard, hon… he saw the whole thing on tape.”

“Oh my god,” Liz grumbled as she buried her face in her hands and shook it in disbelief. A moment later her head snapped up and she stared at Maria quizzically. “Wait… I thought Michael was with you that morning.”

“Uh, yeah, he was… but one of his co-workers told him he had to see this hot chick that he was positive he had seen in some magazine or another… bet you can’t guess who!”

“Maria!” Liz exclaimed. A moment later, Liz glanced at her friend’s smiling face and she couldn’t help but grin as well. “Besides… it was his butt…not his, lower anatomy, as you so eloquently put it!”

posted on 21-Jun-2002 12:52:59 AM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 10

“Oh, I got one! Mommy, mommy! Daddy’s on fire!” Maria exclaimed animatedly. “Shut up and get the marshmallows!”

The group burst out in a fit of laughter at Maria’s latest retort. Everyone was gathered together around a large table at a local restaurant; even the parents had joined their children for a night out.

In two days Max and Liz would be taking off for their week’s vacation on the island of Bali. And while Max was apprehensive about everything, especially his reaction to what he already knew Liz would have to wear, he also knew it would be good for them to get away and be alone, if only for a little while.

Of course, at first, Isabel had insisted that they couldn’t leave, as this was her wedding and if they missed it then she would kill them without haste. However, upon promising not to miss one moment, Isabel cooled down and told the two to have fun.

“Hmmm, ok…” Diane said thoughtfully as she attempted to play her children’s games. “How about… Mommy, mommy! I hate my sister’s guts!” Diane exclaimed. Everyone sat on pins and needles waiting for the punch line, but it never came.

“And?” Michael queried. Isabel rolled her eyes.

“I don’t get it, what did I do wrong?” Diane asked. Sometimes she found that what youngsters were doing now-a-days was just too hard.

Sighing, Alex leaned over and wrapped an arm around Diane’s shoulders. “See, you’ve got to add a punch line, like… mommy, mommy! I hate my sister’s guts! Well then you could say, Shut up and eat what’s put in front of you!”

“Ewww, Alex!” Isabel swatted her fiancée’s arm as various bouts of laughter’s and snickers of distaste were passed around the table.

“That’s seriously fucked up!” Michael exclaimed. This time it was Maria who hit her boyfriend, to which he responded by apologizing. “Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Evans’ and Whitman.”

“Okay… well, let’s see,” Phillip stated slowly. He wasn’t quite sure what to say, but he figured he could come up with something, after all, he had hung out with Max and his friends and heard what they had talked about. “Ahh! Mommy, mommy! Can I play in the sandbox?” Pausing so as to make people wonder how he would end it, Phillip smiled at the puzzled faces of everyone around the table. “Not until I find a better place to bury daddy!”

The whole table burst out laughing at Phillips excellent choice for his mommy, mommy joke. A few of the patrons surrounding them turned and looked at the jovial group, wondering what had put them in such high spirits.

“Right on dad!” Max said as he gave his father a high-five.

“Phillip,” Diane chastised her husband, though she too was fighting to hide her laughter.

“Oh, come now Diane… we’re all adults and we’re just having a good time,” Phillip explained light-heartedly. Returning his attention to the others at the table, he smiled as he watched everyone interacting together; everyone looked so happy; Isabel and Alex were waiting to be married and expecting their first child, Max had finally found a great girlfriend whom Phillip was positive his son loved, Michael was realizing that Maria was the one for him, and if his intuition was correct, then Kyle and Tess would be hooking up very soon.

“So, Max… Liz… whacha guys gonna do in Bali?” Kyle asked casually once everyone had quieted down. This whole dinner was mainly one last get together before the wedding and Liz and Max’s quick vacation.

Turning and glancing at Liz, Max merely shrugged in response.

Facing Kyle, Liz answered for Max. “Well, unlike the image you probably have in your head, this isn’t really a vacation; most shoots take a lot of time and I hardly have any time to myself because I’m always out at one place or another, or I’m out with the girls.” Feeling Max tense slightly beside her, Liz forged ahead. “But I’ll skip hanging out with the girls to give Max a tour of the island, and Palely gave us a few extra days just to enjoy ourselves.”

“Oh, how horrible it must be to be you… to live the rough life; to travel to exotic places, to have people jerk off…”

“Okay, that’s enough!” Max insisted as he pinned Kyle with a scathing He wasn’t about to listen to his friend talk about jerking off, especially when Kyle was implying that it was Liz whom he jerked off to.

“Sometimes your so crude, Kyle,” Isabel continued for her brother.

“Hey, I’m just saying I like her body,” Kyle said in defense.

“Guys, its okay, really… I’ve heard a lot worse…” Liz insisted, hoping to placate everyone.

“Yeah, like hearing from Michael about Max’s Speedo parade or your gropage in the mall!”

“Maria!” Everyone whined.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“So, I had a really good time tonight.” Maria leaned up and pressed a quick kiss to Michael’s cheek.

Raising an eyebrow, Michael gazed down at his girlfriend. “What? I don’t get no lovin’ tonight?”

“Lovin’? Michael Guerin, I don’t think I’ve ever heard those words come out of your mouth before. Where did you pick up such lang… you’ve been hanging out with Kyle, haven’t you!” Maria grinned as she watched her boyfriend shyly duck his head and nod. “Well, don’t let him corrupt you too much.”

“Yes ma’am,” Michael agreed dutifully.

“Now that will get you some lovin’!” She leaned in and pressed her lips to his, letting him take over from there. Michael quickly assessed the situation and took over upon Maria’s relinquish of control.

They kissed tenderly, then firmly; their passion restrained, then wanton. When Maria's lowered lip quivered after Michael ran his tongue along it, she suddenly followed suit, licking his lips, as he tasted her again.

"I love you," Michael whispered after moving his lips across her cheek, nibbling at her flesh and approaching her ear. The words and the rush of air accompanying them caused a wave of pleasure to flow through Maria, and Michael held onto her body tightly as she slightly trembled. And together they stood still, together and in love.

“I love you too,” Maria murmured.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Ohhhh, god, yes!… mmmm, Alex, yes, please don’t stop…” Isabel moaned her delights as her husband-to-be continued working his magic on her feet. She relaxed further into the comfort of her down comforter and over-sized pillow, all the while enjoying her husband’s exquisite fingers and hands. “Have I told you how much I love you?”

“I think you’re in love with my hands,” Alex countered.

“Maybe right now,” Isabel agreed. “But, I do love you…”

“And?” Alex probed, pausing his foot massage to see what his fiancée would say.

“And… and if you stop I’m going to kill you,” Isabel giggled.

“Oh, you think you’re so funny,” Alex quipped. He gingerly placed Isabel’s foot down onto the comforter and slowly crept up her body, being careful not to crush her. His eyes held a predatory look and as Isabel gazed at her fiancée, she couldn’t help but smile.

“Uh-oh, am I in trouble?” Isabel whispered seductively.

“Oh, yeah,” Alex affirmed.

“Am I going to pay for my ways?”

“Ohhhh, yeah,” Alex drawled. At this point he hovered over his wife-to-be and he smiled a Cheshire cat grin. Immediately Isabel grew worried. She only saw that smile when…

Before Isabel could react, a glob of lotion was spread across her face. She glared at Alex, unwilling to believe he had actually just done that.

“You did not just do what I think you did?” Isabel scoffed.

“I did,” Alex laughed.

“Alex Whitman, you’re so going to pay for that!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Am I really never going to see you?” Max queried quietly. He and Liz lay in their bed, gazing upon one another. They were leaving in a few hours and both wanted to try to rest and relax before having to take off on their journey.

“Well, I will be busy, but, I guess I could make time for you,” Liz said playfully. Max cracked a smile and let out a lazy laugh.

“Then what am I supposed to do with my time?” Max asked.

Scooting a little closer, Liz rested her head on his chest and listened to the steady beat of his heart. “You’re welcome to come with me to the shoots… though I’m not sure I want you to, cause then all the other girls will flirt and flaunt themselves… and…”

“And nothing. Liz, I think you know by now that I love you, and its not because you’re a model; I love you for you,” Max insisted. His voice wasn’t above a whisper as he spoke, and Liz couldn’t hide the tears at his heartfelt confession.

“I love you too,” Liz whispered. Neither spoke after that, deciding to just leave everything be. After all, nothing mattered as long as they were together.

posted on 26-Jun-2002 2:01:12 AM by Trinity Star1323

Chapter 11

The beach, normally filled with the screams of small children and teenagers, was eerily quiet, except for the sound of orders being barked out and cameras snapping every few seconds. A boat lay on its side in the sand like an old wreck that had been left to rot in the sun. Only, there was someone on it.

In the center of it all, one of the few people to actually be wearing a decent amount on clothing, was the coordinator and photo shoot director. He called out to his assistant, Daniel, and instructed him to get the next model, as he did not like the one currently on the boat.

Both were perpetually hip and young.

“Liz, you’re up,” Daniel shouted, hoping to catch the attention of the petite brunette who was currently cuddling up with a handsome, young man. From the looks of it, Daniel was fairly sure that they were a couple, as he had seen them arrive together. Though, Daniel knew all to well that their relationship would most likely not last through the shoot, as the male would most likely grow attracted to one of the many other models.

It was a standard occurrence which caused many fights among the models.

When she didn’t respond, Daniel started over toward the young couple. He had worked with Liz before and knew her to be very professional and extremely nice, which was what caused his confusion. Usually she was ready to go at the snap of someone’s fingers, yet, today, she hardly even paid anyone, except the young man, any attention.

“I like this,” Max breathed out before his lips once again pressed leisurely against hers. He hovered above her, his weight mainly resting on one arm, while his other hand rested possessively around her waist, though it was currently kneading her breast through the silky material of her robe.

“Me too,” Liz purred in contentment once they pulled apart. Her head lulled back, her hair cascading down to the ground, as she let Max feast on her neck; licking, kissing, nipping and tasting to his delight.

They had arrived the day before, spent the better part of the day and night resting, and awoken early that morning for the beginning of the shoot. At first Liz had suggested Max remain in their suite or roam around as she didn’t think he would want to come and watch. However, upon his insistence, she relented and let him follow.

Much to Liz’s luck, the morning shoot was fairly tame, with Liz wearing a simply sarong and wife beater that had been cut off just above her navel. Even the coordinator had been nice enough to talk with Max and let him watch the whole thing, just as he was doing now.

Unfortunately, this afternoon was a little bit more risqué, and she could only imagine what Max would think or do once he saw what she was posing in. She knew he would be less than pleased, as he had expressed his fears and concerns, though he had promised to try and keep his outburst to a minimal.

Just as that thought entered her mind, she heard her name being called. Cocking her head so that she could see over Max’s shoulder, Liz groaned in protest, causing Max to stop his ministrations and turn to glare at whatever had upset his girlfriend.

“Liz, you’re need on set,” Daniel stated. He averted his eyes from the boyfriend, hoping not to cause any sort of trouble; these men were always so arrogant and volatile; one look at their girlfriend and you were dead meat.

“I’ll be back soon,” Liz promised before giving him one last kiss, though making sure not to let it go too far.

Extracting herself from the comfort of her boyfriend’s arms, Liz let Daniel help her up and dutifully followed him over toward the boat. She hadn’t expected to be called over as they normally only used her for waterfall or sand shots; they liked the more endowed women for the shoots that used props.

Pulling the tie on her robe, Liz let the silk slide from her shoulders and fall like a puddle to her feet.

“Fuck me!” The whole crew turned and stared in shock at Max’s exclamation. His eyes looked as though they were going to bug out of his head and the veins in his neck were straining against his skin. Of course, that wasn’t the only thing straining to be set free.

The moment Max had watched the robe fall from her he had nearly had an aneurysm. His heart had lurched forward in his chest and breathing was no longer an option. The words, ‘itsy bitsy, teeny whiny, yellow polka dot bikini’ didn’t even describe what Liz was wearing.

“Liz, are we going to have a problem?” Steve, the director and coordinator asked in irritation. He had wanted Liz the moment he had seen her picture at the agency; he wasn’t going to let some boyfriend of hers get in his way either. She was going to be his star.

“No!”

“Yes!” Liz turned and glared at Max, silently letting him know that he was letting his outburst get out of control. Yes, the bikini was a little on the small side, and maybe it didn’t cover quite as much as Liz hoped, but this was a big shoot and Steve was a major photographer who had a lot of say in the modeling industry. If she did well than her career would be made.

“No…” Max finally relented, though he did get up and march toward the set, unwilling to stay in his original spot while other men were gawking at his girlfriend.

“Good, than, Liz, get on the boat… Daniel, back the fill off, I don’t have enough shadows!” Steve yelled out his commands, completely ignoring everyone else as he steadily worked his way through one pose after another, playing with Liz like she were a doll and nothing else.

From the sidelines, Max continued to watch while attempting to hold his temper. He could tell that some of the men were taking their time looking at Liz, and he really couldn’t blame them when she was wearing practically nothing. The two small silver triangles that covered her breast were more like miniature mirrors off a disco ball, as was the bottom of the suit, though it was a little more string like.

“Good, that’s great… Sandi, there’s a strand that isn’t curled, fix it!” Steve barked, though he continued to shoot, simply opting to take pictures of things besides Liz’s face. A moment later, once her hair was perfectly curled and make up just the right hue, Steve stopped and started toward Liz.

Unconsciously, Max too a step forward as well.

“Man, she must be one good lay,” one of the crew workers commented dryly to another, completely unaware that Max was standing behind them and that he was her boyfriend. “No way Steve would pick someone like her unless for this shoot unless she was giving him some extra attention…”

“Think her tits are even real? Monica’s ain’t…”

“They’re small, they gotta be real. But, still, what I wouldn’t give to have a go with her… just ram it right in her from behind, oh yeah…”

Max’s whole body was shaking as he continued to try and hold in his fury. Liz had told him that men would say things that often were beyond crude, but he had to ignore them, especially if he was on the set, otherwise he would get thrown off and be banned from getting too close. He wanted to pummel the both of them, to tell them that her breasts were better than anyone else’s, to tell them that they even laid a finger on her that they would be dead.

But he didn’t. Instead his eyes remained glued to Liz as she quietly spoke with Steve.

“… I just want you to work it off slowly and cover yourself with your arms; roll around a little, let the sand cover you… think suggestive, provocative…” Letting his words trail, Steve began to back up, once again resuming his position.

However in the next moment, as the shoot took up again, he started nearing her, and much to Max’s astonishment and fear, she began removing her top. He bit down on his tongue and his fists balled up at his sides as his body trembled from the fury that was over taking him.

He watched through rage-filled eyes as her top was taken from her grasp and Steve jumped up on the boat, taking photos of her from up above, as she used nothing to cover herself but her arms and pristine white sand that was sticking to her luscious body.

“It’s just a shoot… she’s only doing her job,” Daniel insisted softly, hoping to ease some of Max’s obvious tension. Max’s only response was to grind his teeth as he watched Steve practically straddle his girlfriend. His erection was completely evident as he did so, and Max was seriously contemplating running over there and pounding him to a pulp. He didn’t even hear the whistles of delight from a few of the crewmen.

However, it was when Liz turned and began raising her arms and Steve continued to take pictures that Max lost it.

Luckily, it was also when Steve called an end to the session.

“That was great! Great… Liz you are beautiful and perfect!” Steve announced joyously. Liz ducked her head blushed at his compliment, but when she looked past him, hoping to see Max, the smile dropped from her lips.

He was angry. She knew he was gong to be angry, but he was beyond what she had pictured he would be.

Once again covering herself from prying eyes, Liz waited until one of the men handed her, her robe, before jumping off the boat and pushing her way over to her boyfriend, who stood stock still, his eyes blazing.

“Max…” Liz’s voice came out soft, sounding almost like that of a child. She placed a gentle hand on his chest and awaited his reaction. When he finally did react, it wasn’t exactly what she was expecting.

Without warning, Max wrapped his arms around her waist, roughly pulled her to him, and pressed his lips to her own. The kiss was rough and bruising, unlike any Liz had ever experienced with Max before. He was staking his claim, letting everyone know that Liz was his and no one else was to touch her.

His mouth plundered hers, and Liz could quite literally feel herself melting in his arms as his tongue swept into her mouth, reaching every crevice before pulling back and enticing her to chase after him. She could feel his hands digging into her hips as he held her roughly to him, but she didn’t mind; the feel of his sculpted abs pressing into her body as his strong, warm arms embraced her, hiding her nakedness from everyone, only fanned the fire that was quickly building within her.

In dire need for air and the need to ‘mark his territory’, Max ripped his mouth from Liz’s, though he did not stray far. “Mine,” Max stated emphatically against her lips. Liz could merely nod as she was sure that her vocal chords would not work at a moment like this.

Her legs trembled as he bent his head down and slowly, but surely, worked at her neck. He brushed her hair to one side so as to gain greater access, all the while he suckled, nipped and feasted on her exposed skin, causing a whirlwind of wanton need to take over Liz. She lost all coherent thought as he slothfully trailed his tongue down to her collarbone, all while his hands suddenly eased and began trekking upwards, caressing her silken skin.

When his palms met her breast, everyone, including Liz, gasped in surprise. They all watched as his thumbs expertly swept across the underside of her breast before moving in for the kill.

“Okay, we’ve got a shoot to finish people!” Steve suddenly shouted, pulling everyone out of his or her stupor and or voyeuristic mood. But underneath his cool exterior, Steve was seething; he wasn’t about to let some meager architect steal his star away from him; Liz was his, and soon the world would know it.

posted on 7-Jul-2002 5:53:22 PM by Trinity Star1323
Chapter 12

“Come on, Max!” Liz sighed. She massaged her temples and fought the impending migraine; she could feel it coming, and unless Max forgave her and let everything go then she was positive that she would be bed ridden the entire night. Instead of going out and enjoying their time together she would be fighting a massive headache and Max would be ignoring her and continue to throw his little tantrum.

Not that Liz didn’t understand why Max was angry, she did, but she had told what to expect. She had specifically told him that she would be wearing some very skimpy things and that she might even have to take off her clothes in some of the shoots, but the shoot wasn’t for some nude magazine, it was for a calendar, so it wasn’t like the company was going to put a nude picture of her in it; practically nude, but not completely nude.

Still, Liz just wished tat Max would forgive and forget. This was their time to enjoy, not to spend apart and mad at each other.

Coming up behind him, Liz wrapped her arms around his waist and placed a chaste kiss on his bare back. She smiled against his skin as she felt his muscles tense and jump underneath her lips. Maybe he wasn’t still mad at her.

“He was hitting on you! And you didn’t even try to stop him; you took off your top and let him stare at you like any of those other sluts,” Max bit out. He hated the way he was feeling right now. He didn’t want to be mad at Liz, but it was eating him up to see her taking off her clothes for any man beside himself.

Even though he wanted to break down and tell her that everything was okay, he knew that would only be a lie, and one thing Max didn’t want with Liz was a fake relationship. With Liz, Max was positive that she was it; she was the one, and for that reason he wanted to work things out, not bundle them up and throw them in a closet.

He cringed as he felt Liz shrink away from him at his words. He hadn’t meant to be so uncouth, but it was true. The way she had been acting and looking up at Steven had made Max think twice about everything. He knew Liz loved him, and while he didn’t want her to give up her career or life to be with him, he wasn’t sure he could deal with her looking at other men like she had looked at Steven today.

“I didn’t know you thought of me that way,” Liz whispered bitterly. Kirk had called her a slut on numerous occasions and hearing it from Max only drove the spear a little deeper into her heart. She had thought Max loved her, but to hear him call her a slut proved otherwise.

Turning around so as to face her, Max gazed at Liz, his eyes pleading with her to understand his side of things. “I didn’t say that! I said that the way you acted around Steven was like those other girls, but I never said you were or are a slut,” Max corrected coldly. He couldn’t believe Liz was trying to turn this on him. “I know I can’t force you to change and I know I have no right to ask you to stop working in this field, but Liz, I can’t deal with this. I want to know that you are mine and mine alone.” His breathe hitched in his throat midway through his declaration causing him to let all his emotions free.

Seeing the sorrow and remorse in his eyes, Liz tried to fight back the tears in her eyes. She knew this was hard on him, but he had to know that she was his; had she given him any reason to believe otherwise? “Max, I am yours,” Liz finally whispered. She wrapped her arms tightly around herself, trying to fend off the cold sensation that suddenly enveloped her. “No one could ever compare to you; you’ve opened up my whole world and for the first time ever I feel like I actually belong somewhere. I love you, Max, but modeling is my life and you can’t ask me to stop, just like I can’t ask you to give up your job…”

When he didn’t respond or move to comfort her, Liz nodded in understanding, turned and left the room.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Gazing out at the beach before her, Liz struggled to keep herself from crying. He hadn’t even fought back or tried to say anything, he had simply let her walk away.

“Liz?” At the sound of Daniel’s voice, Liz jumped. As soon as she gathered her wits, she turned and faced her friend. Immediately bells went off in Daniel’s mind. He knew exactly what was wrong.

Opening his arms, Daniel only waited a moment before he felt Liz in his embrace. “It’s okay…. Everything will be okay,” Daniel whispered as he pressed a chaste kiss to the crown of her head.

Time past slowly for Daniel as he held Liz protectively in his arms, giving her the comfort he knew she needed. He had known Max was mad about this afternoon and he was pretty sure that things would turn out this way; they often did. That was why Daniel knew some of the models hated taking their boyfriends or husbands to the shoots.

Once Liz pulled away, the two sat down on the sand and stared at the ocean. Neither said a word. Daniel knew he just had to wait until Liz was ready to open up and tell him what was wrong.

Just as he believed, it only took a little bit of time. “I don’t know what to do. Max is the first man I have ever loved, but I’m going to lose him if I don’t quit.” It was a problem that Daniel knew all too well. His wife often threatened to divorce him if he didn’t quit, but after a lot of counseling and working through their problems and insecurities, Daniel had a happy marriage to the woman of his dreams.

But that didn’t mean there were problems.

“It’s tough; I’m not going to lie about that, but it’s workable,” Daniel stated softly. He sighed and wrapped his arm around Liz’s ting frame as he felt her rest her head on his shoulder. “Sometimes you have to be willing to sacrifice things. And by that, I don’t mean that you have to give up your job, I simply mean that you have to be willing to compromise, and you have to be open and talk with Max.

Right now he’s confused. He doesn’t know that what he saw going on between you and Steven was really just an act. He doesn’t know that there’s nothing going on between you Steve, rather you and the camera. He thought you were smiling at Steven; he thought you were taking your clothes off for Steve; he thought you were interested in Steven, not the camera.”

“But how do I make him understand?” Liz queried.

“That’s isn’t your job; he has to come to terms with everything, he has to learn to understand that there is nothing going on besides you doing your job,” Daniel explained as best as he could. “Liz, you are a beautiful, smart, and kind woman. You could have any man you wanted, so don’t settle for someone who isn’t willing to allow you to be yourself.

It will take time, and you will have to talk, a lot, but in the end, if Max can’t understand that you are simply doing your job, and if he still doesn’t trust you, then that isn’t love.”

“But I love him,” Liz protested weakly.

“I know you do, and that’s the worst part… just because you love someone doesn’t mean he will love you back.” Again, letting the silence engulf them, Liz contemplated Daniel’s words. He was right. If Max couldn’t accept her for her than maybe he wasn’t the right person for her. Even though she knew she loved him and she was positive he loved her, Liz also knew that sometimes love wasn’t enough.

But that didn’t mean they couldn’t try.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The soft sound of the piano wafted past Max as he sat in the lounge, drowning his sorrows with alcohol. Four hours had past since Liz had walked out on him, leaving him to his own devices. He didn’t know where she was or whom she was with.

Though he did have his suspicions.

As much as he trusted her, Max still had this fear that he wasn’t good enough for Liz; that one day she would past him and fall in love with someone else; someone who was rich and famous and who could help her career. Only Liz wasn’t like that, and Max knew that.

Unfortunately his alcohol-laden mind didn’t think that way. Instead images of Liz and Steven sharing a bed filled his mind. He could hear her calling his name out time after time as he brought her hours of pleasure. He could see her throwing her head back while in the throes of ecstasy. He could smell their scents mixing as their sweat merged and mingled.

Max’s blood was nearly boiling over and steam was practically pouring out of his ears as the thoughts continued to bombard his mind. He tried to ward them off, t refuse their entry, but the harder her tried the more images flew at him.

“Hit me!” Max slurred out to the bartender.

“I think you’ve had enough,” the bartender replied calmly. He had seen these types before; the boyfriends of the models. It was always the same; model went off with photographer for a “private” shoot while the boyfriend was left knowing exactly what was going on.

“I’ll tell ya hen I’d had ‘nough!” Max garbled in annoyance.

Glaring at the drunk, the bartender picked up the phone behind the counter and dialed a few numbers. He didn’t have to put up with his and he didn’t plan to; this was a resort hotel, not some run down, honky bar. “Security down at the bar, please; I’ve got a drunk on my hands.”

“I’m not drunk!” Max demanded loudly. His arms flailed about as his eyes filled with rage.

“It’s okay, I’ve got him.” The bartender turned and looked toward the small voice coming from the doorway. He eyed the petite brunette, wondering if he should allow her to take whom he could only assume was her boyfriend back to her room. He didn’t want to think about what this man could and probably would do to her.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea, ma’am,” the bartender said without putting the phone down. Security was waiting for confirmation to actually come down.

Liz merely waved the man off she slowly made her way towards her boyfriend. Coming up beside him, Liz placed her hand on his arm, letting him know she was there. “Max…”

“Oh, it’s you!” Max snapped venomously. He stared, blurry-eyed at the girl in front of him. He slapped her hand away and returned his gaze to the counter and the shot glass. “Did ya fuck ‘em? Did ya…”

“You’re drunk, Max,” Liz said quietly, slightly ashamed. It hurt to hear him say such things, but she understood that he was inebriated and didn’t have all his senses. He would never say anything like this to her.

However she couldn’t stop the tremble of her body as she watched him turn and glare at her. She had never seen such hatred in his eyes. “I loved you… I loved you and you fucked him! You won’t even fuck me but you’ll fuck him!” Liz took a step back and once again hugged herself, trying to ward off his insults and harsh words.

“Ma’am, why don’t you return to your room and let me take care of this guy,” the bartender offered with a shy smile. He felt like punching this guy for saying those things; this woman hadn't slept with anyone, she had been crying her heart out. At least that what’s it looked like with the tell tale signs of red eyes, a hollowed out appearance and the tear tracks lining her cheeks.

“You’re gonna fuck ‘em too, aren’t ya!” Max yelled angrily. He turned and tried to lunge at the bartender while screaming, “You can’t have her! She’s mine! You hear me; she’s mine!” Luckily, because he was sitting down, Max only succeed in falling to the floor. But the bartender had had enough.

“We have a situation.”

Not a moment later two police officers walked into the lounge, prepared for the worst. However, they never expected what they found. Instead of seeing some big brawl or some drunk beating on his girlfriend, one of the models was crouching over a slumped over form. She was crying and the man was mumbling incoherently.

“Max, please, let’s just go back to the room,” Liz pleaded softly. She really didn’t want to make anymore of a scene then they had already made. As she saw the officers approaching, she go up and faced the two men.

“Ma’am, are you alright?” One of the men asked. He eyed her and then the man, wondering if maybe the man had hurt her. But from the looks he hadn’t done anything physical, luckily.

Nodding her head, Liz had to bite her lip to stop from sobbing aloud. “Ca-can you just help me get him up to my room?” Liz asked hopefully. She knew she wouldn’t be able to drag him to her room and it didn’t appear as though he was going to cooperate and walk.

“Are you sure that’s what you want, ma’am? It might be safer to let him sleep someplace else,” the other officer suggested. He didn’t want to have to deal with some drunken guy trying to rape anyone.

Again nodding her head in affirmation, Liz glanced down at Max before returning her gaze to the men before her. “He won’t hurt me,” Liz insisted. Now she just hoped she was right.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Luckily for Liz, as soon as Max was brought up to their room he passed out. The officers had laid him on the floor, stressing that it would be good to keep some distance and that if anything happened than she shouldn’t hesitate to call for help. After thanking them and showing them out, Liz had changed into her nightgown and gone to bed, alone.

It wasn’t until half way through the night when Max awoke. He was disoriented and everything was still a blur in his mind. However, upon feeling the cold floor beneath him, Max deduced that he had probably gotten drunk and stumbled back to his room.

Spying the bed just in front of him, and seeing Liz sleeping in it, Max pushed himself to a standing position and quickly shed his clothes. However, as soon as he reached the bed and saw the stream of tears that had dried on her face Max wanted to kick himself.

The whole night came rushing back to him, or at least most of it did. He remembered their fight and how Liz had walked out after he hadn’t answered. But how was he supposed to answer?

He also remembered bits and pieces of the scene he had caused in the lounge. Tears welled up in his eyes and his heart nearly lurched in his chest at what he had said to her. He hadn’t meant a single thing he had said; he had been a blithering idiot and had driven her away in the process.

Kneeling before her, Max brushed a stray tendril of hair from her face as he gazed lovingly at his angel. “Liz?” He had a blistering headache already and he knew was going to get worse, but right now he had to apologize to Liz and try to fix things. Gingerly rubbing her cheek and placing a soft kiss on her forehead, Max once again whispered her name, hoping she would wake. He had to fix things right now.

A moment later he watched as her eyes fluttered open. He could see the pain etched in her beautiful globes, and once again he felt his gut wrench as guilt consumed him. What had he done?

“What do you want Max?” Liz asked tiredly. She didn’t want to deal with this right now, she was too emotional and she was afraid she might snap at any moment.

Collecting her hands within his own, Max pressed a kiss to her knuckles; she flinched away in response. “I’m sorry, Liz… please forgive me,” Max pleaded. His heart filled with self-loathing as he watched Liz pull away from him.

Of course she wouldn’t forgive him; how could he expect her to forgive him when he couldn’t even forgive himself?

But what scared Max the most was the fact that she was cowering away from him; it was like she was afraid to be near him.

“You’re drunk, Max… just go to sleep; we’ll talk in the morning,” Liz whispered fearfully. Her hand rested on the phone on the nightstand behind her. She could still smell the alcohol on his breath and she knew he could snap at any moment. Kirk had often come home drunk and Liz knew all to well the effects of the stupid substance.

Shaking his head, Max gazed at his girlfriend, his eyes filled with remorse. “I didn’t mean what I said; I don’t know what came over me… I was just so upset and…”

“Go to sleep, Max.” She didn’t want to hear this right now; she didn’t want to hear his lies.

Fire and determination filled Max’s eyes. He refused to go back to sleep until Liz was back in his arms. “Not until you listen to me,” Max growled. He didn’t mean for his words to come out the way they did, but he could tell that the alcohol still had some effect on him. He just hoped it didn’t have enough of an effect to cause him to do something stupid. Softening his voice as well as his gaze, Max let a hand drift slowly across the bedspread until he was but a mere inch away from touching her. “Please, Liz… please…”

“Please, what, Max?” Liz suddenly cried. The floodgates broke open without preamble and soon Liz found herself crying as her body trembled beneath the blanket. “What do you want from me? I can’t change, Max! I can’t change for you. I can’t just abandon my work, no matter how much I want to if it means being with you. But, Max, if you can’t accept me for me then we can’t be together.”

Feeling his heart twist and knot at her decree, Max knew there was nothing he could do. She was right; if he wanted to be with her than he would have to accept everything about her, including her work. But that didn’t mean he liked it.

“Liz, I love you so much, but seeing you with Steven, and hearing those guys talk about you… it made me crazy. I’ve only ever seen you smile that way at me… and to see with Steven, taking of your clothes and smiling up at him as though he meant the world to you… it tore me to pieces…”

“Don’t you get it, Max?” Liz interrupted. She was afraid to get near him, so she remained on the other side of the bed, phone in hand. “Steven means nothing to me! Steven could never be you.” Her voice was nothing but a whispered sob in the end.

“But the way you look at him makes me think otherwise,” Max argued. His eyes pleaded with her to understand what he was trying to say.

Raking her fingers through her hair, Liz tried to keep her cool. “I’m not looking at him, Max! I’m looking at the camera; Jesus!”

“I don’t…” Pausing so as to lower his voice and stop himself from letting his temper get the best of him, Max breathed in and out, slowly and steadily. “I don’t want to fight, Liz.”

“I don’t want to fight either,” Liz conceded. Her features softened and once again hope filled her heart.

Taking one last deep breath, Max forced himself to forge ahead. He knew it would kill him to ask the next question, but in order to move on he needed to know. “Just tell me one thing: do you love him?”

Her brow furrowed and Liz racked her brain, trying to figure out whom Max was talking about. “Love who?” Liz finally asked in confusion.

“Steven,” Max sighed. Already he could feel his heart shattering as, in his mind, he heard her saying yes.

A gasp left Liz’s lips at Max’s admission. At first she was mad, but soon understanding dawned on her, and Liz comprehended why max was asking this. But did he really believe that? Did he really think she could love anyone but him? Was this what this was all about? “I love you, Max,” Liz whispered brokenly. She had no other way of answering. “Steven is nothing but a photographer- a coworker at best; he could never be you.” A tear slipped from her eye as she watched him lower his gaze. “Max, we can’t be everything for each other; we can’t share every bit of our lives”

“But I want us to be; I want us to,” Max sobbed. At that Liz felt her whole heart break. She too began bawling as she reached over and covered his hand with her own. Grasping it with her own, she pulled at him, urging him to join her on their bed. It didn’t take much coaxing on Liz’s part before Max lay beside her, his arms holding her tightly to him as they cried together.

It wasn’t until nearly a minute later before Liz found her voice. “I love you, Max and I love you even more for saying that.” With those words leaving her lips, both settled down, finally letting their bodies receive the rest that both so desperately needed.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Jul-2002 6:04:55 PM ]
posted on 7-Oct-2002 12:43:52 AM by Trinity Star1323
Chapter 13

The steam from the shower was making it hard for Max to be able to shave, but was making it even harder was knowing that Liz was just on the other side of the curtain, completely naked and covered in water. Max could only imagine what it would be like to be inside the shower with her, and he had to do just that, imagine, because Liz was still mad at him about the previous night.

What was worse, was that Max agreed with her; she had every right to be mad, even pissed off at him.

Not even Max could believe half the things he had accused her of and said to her. He was filled with guilt and self-loathing for his behavior, and he had every intention of making it up to her. He was finally going to show Liz that she meant everything to him, and he was going to show her that he was finally ready to accept her- all of her.

However, much to Max’s luck, Liz was being very gracious. Not only had she allowed him to sleep with her in the bed last night, but she was also allowing him to tag along for the shoot, if only to prove that he could act like a grown up. And though Max didn’t know it, Liz also liked having him there to thwart Steven’s attempts at getting her to come back to his room. But she was still mad at him, and she had no intention of letting him off too easily.

Peeking out of the shower, Liz glanced at Max and then at the towel. “Max,” Liz said, causing him to knick himself as he jumped at her sudden appearance. He turned and looked toward her, a small smile playing on his lips. Maybe she wasn’t as mad as he had thought and maybe that shower wouldn’t just exist in his imagination.

“Yeah?”

“Leave.” The look of disbelief that took over Max’s features was almost too much for Liz. “I said leave! I want to get out of the shower, so you need to leave.” Liz had every intention of playing this for all it was worth. Of course she was also wary of Max. He had said a lot of hurtful things the other night and as much as Liz wanted to, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to get past those words.

“Uh…um…” Max was speechless. After gaining back some of his wits he shuffled out of the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

That had never happened before. Liz had never kicked him out of the bathroom whenever she was getting out of the shower. Usually they would share a few delightful kisses, maybe a few loving caresses, and at least a hug. But this time: nothing!

All Max knew as he walked out of the bathroom was that he needed to fix things between he and Liz, and fast.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Liz, we need you on the set.” This time, instead of sending Daniel, Steven decided to get Liz by himself. He had watched in amusement and glee as Liz had almost completely ignored Max, and if Steven’s sources were right, than Max had been a very bad boy and Liz was extremely mad, and vulnerable.

Which made right now the perfect time for him to make his move.

All he had to do was make her see that with him she could succeed, but if she remained with Max, the overbearing, drunk boyfriend, then her career would plummet. And if Liz were like all the other models than she would accept Steven’s offer, thus making her a star.

Gazing at her body appreciatively, not even Steven could deny that she was beautiful in a more natural way, and maybe that was what intrigued and attracted him. As much as he loved to play with big breast while fooling around with some of the other models, he could tell that with Liz, it wouldn’t be like that. Instead, their time together would be different. He would worship her petite figure, paying homage to the goddess she was.

As he walked away, his hand resting on the small of Liz’s back, Steven turned and smiled smugly at Max, letting the boy know that he was going to win.

Max was ready to tear Steven a new one, but he remained where he was, not letting his temper get the best of him. He was set on acting like a mature adult and showing Liz that he could and would continue to act civilized, even if it meant having an aneurysm while Liz was away.

An hour passed without incident. Max watched on begrudgingly as Steven touched and caressed Liz. He had seen Liz glare at the man on numerous occasions, but he had also seen her smile in appreciation as he had gently pushed her hair out of her face. And with each shy glance or sultry smile, Max couldn’t stop the pangs in his heart.

Wasn’t he allowed to be jealous? Wasn’t he allowed to let Liz know that this hurt him? Didn’t she understand how much he loved her and wanted her all to himself?

And that’s when it hit him. While he had already known he was head over heels in love with Liz, it really hadn’t hit him as hard as it did at that exact moment. Not only was he head over heels in love with Elizabeth Parker-Whitman, but he did want her all to himself.

Getting up from his previous spot of occupancy, Max headed back toward the hotel, intent on fixing everything between he and Liz. On his way back he handed a note to Daniel, instructing him to give it to Liz. He also asked Daniel to keep Liz busy for the remainder of the day as he planned to do something for her.

But first he needed to make a few plans, and fast.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Seven o’clock couldn’t come soon enough for Liz. As mad as she was at Max, she still missed spending time with him. Beside, she liked watching him give her puppy dog eyes as he pleaded for her forgiveness. Sometimes she was positive she would cave in, but then she would find some inner strength and continue to be a bitch to him.

Besides, he deserved it!

After the photo shoot, Daniel had insisted that they go out and have some fun and catch up. At first Liz hadn’t been suspicious, and she had even been inclined to go since Max had taken off sometime during her photo shoot- another reason to mad at him; he had left her alone with scummy old Steven with only Daniel to intervene. Luckily Max hadn’t caught site of Steven copping a feel of Liz’s behind, otherwise she was positive he would have killed Steven.

At first they simply walked along the beach enjoying their time together. Daniel talked about how wife and kids and how much he missed them. He told Liz all about his daughter and how he was positive she was going to become the next Mia Hamm. He also went on to talk about his son and how he had gotten in trouble in his elementary school science class for mixing the wrong chemicals and causing a tiny explosion; Daniel was very proud!

As time passed, Liz started opening up about her life. At first she candidly spoke of her past, but as more and more time passed she spoke more freely. She genuinely felt comfortable around Daniel and really enjoyed his company. While she had known him from past shoots she had never gotten to know him as well as she was on this shoot.

Soon Liz found herself telling Daniel everything about she and Max. She started from the beginning, telling him about her relationship with Kirk and how he had beaten her every time he or she came home. She then moved on to talk about how taken she had been by Max at first sight and how within only a few days she knew that she had found her soul mate.

After walking on the beach the two got some lunch and continued to talk and get to know one another. Liz learned more about Daniel’s life; about how he had met his wife in high school and had known she was the one and how much he missed her and was thinking about quitting, if only to remain closer to his wife and kids.

But as much fun as Liz was having, she couldn’t stop thinking about Max. Was he waiting for her back at their room? Was he even worried about where she was? Had he caught a plane back home?

After about three hours, Liz started to grow antsy. She hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Max since he had left during the shoot. And she was ready to complain when Daniel’s cell phone rang. Moments later Daniel was ushering her toward the wardrobe room.

Upon arrival Liz became extremely suspicious when Daniel instructed her to pick out any dress she wanted. When Liz asked why, Daniel simply shrugged and urged her to find a nice, expensive dress that would knock a certain someone off his feet.

At that little incentive, Liz started picking through the dresses. A giddy feeling swept through her at the idea of Max doing something special to make up for his past wrongs. She could just imagine him putting together some sort of beach picnic where they could be alone and talk everything out. And in the end everything would be worked out and everything would be perfect.

Immediately she started looking through the shorter dress selection. She definitely wanted to knock Max off his feet, and what better way then to wear a little sexy something? She found a few dresses that she really liked, but just as she was about to try them on she stopped.

A feeling of dread swept through Liz at the realization that it might have been Steven who wanted her to wear something nice for tonight. She knew all to well that Steven liked her; she could tell every time he brushed his groin against her leg, purposefully. And while she knew that some models would sleep with Steven if only to strengthen their careers, Liz was unwilling to get involved with Steven so as to make her way up the modeling ladder.

At that thought, Liz began to rummage through the longer, more conservative dresses. She was not going to bow down to Steven’s wants and needs. If he wanted to have dinner with her than that was fine, but if he tried to put any moves on her then she would quickly refuse and return to her room, where Max would hopefully be. However she was not going to lead Steven on by wearing some smutty little dress that she would only wear for Max.

Unable to decide what to wear because of her predicament, Liz turned and stared at Daniel, silently pleading with her eyes for some advice. As if sensing her impending feeling of doom, Daniel smiled and said, “Max.”

With that one word, Liz returned to the slinky dresses. She immediately picked out the short red velvet ones, as she knew how much Max liked her in red; than again Max liked her anything!

Within fifteen minutes she had found the perfect dress; it was a simple, yet short- mid thigh- spaghetti strap red velvet dress that clung to her body. It had a slit up her right leg, revealing more skin than Liz usually preferred to, but she knew Max would like it. . She showed Daniel and he quickly agreed, saying that he was certain that would blow Max’s socks off, along with a few other things. After picking out some shoes and jewelry to accompany the dress, Daniel ushered Liz to the day spa. Max had directed him to get Liz to find a beautiful dress for his special night and then to take her to the spa where she could relax and be pampered until it was time.

At first Liz protested, but when Daniel assured Liz that this was all part of some big plan, Liz relented and let the spa’s personnel lead her away. All Liz knew was that Max had planned something big, otherwise there was no way he would have gone this far.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“No, no, that one,” Max stated firmly. He didn’t care about the cost or anything; tonight was going to be perfect, and in order for it to be perfect, everything had to be perfect. And while Max knew that there was a chance Liz wouldn’t even show up, he hoped and prayed that she would give him another chance, if only to prove that he was a good person whom deeply loved her.

“As you wish, sir,” the hotel worker answered. “It will be delivered within the hour.”

“An hour; tops,” Max insisted. He only had an hour and a half before Daniel was supposed to pick Liz up from the spa and bring her down to the secluded little spot Max had found for their night out. He had already had the staff help him setup a small area with blankets and the likes so as to keep warm. A fire had also been built and tiki torches and had been placed strategically around area.

Now all that was left was the food and a few other small details, most of which Max had just taken care of. And while it had cost him quite a bit, Max knew it was worth it; Liz was worth it.

“Of course, sir; everything will be ready within the hour,” the staff worker agreed. He smiled at the young man before him. Yes, this was definitely going to be an interesting night.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Back at the spa, Liz slipped into her dress, shoes and jewelry, per Daniel’s request. After being pampered for three more hours, Liz felt relaxed and very special. Along with giving her the royal treatment, the spa had had a few of the hair designers and makeup artist come down and do everything that was needed, so now all Liz had left to do was get dressed and she’d be ready to meet Max. Daniel had rushed Liz back to her room in order for her to get dressed.

However, the moment she stepped out of the attached room, she stopped dead in her tracts. For before her were over a hundred white roses littering the room. Rose petals had also been scattered about the floor. A man stood off to the right beside Daniel, both smiling at Liz.

He approached Liz slowly, letting her soak in everything that was happening. Extending his hand, he held out the card that this young woman’s suitor had instructed the deliveryman to give her. She took it form his fingers and gingerly opened it. Tears immediately pooled in her eyes as she read the card.

‘For the times I should have, but didn’t. For the wrongs I have committed. For the love of my soul.

Max’

And somehow, as Liz re-read the card, she knew that she would never forget this night, even if she tried to.



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 7-Oct-2002 12:44:38 AM ]
posted on 14-Oct-2002 2:04:13 AM by Trinity Star1323
Chapter 14

The fire roared to life as Max squirted a few more ounces of butane onto it while adding a few logs; there was no way in hell he was going to let anything mess up his night with Liz. This wall between them was coming down tonight, even if it was the last thing Max did. He quickly checked the tiki torches before heading over to the table, which had been elegantly put together with various exotic foods.

The staff had done a wonderful job putting everything together, especially on such short notice. Max had to commend them for everything they had done for him and he would have to remember to tip them well once he and Liz left.

The champagne was resting over to the side in a bucket of ice. The meal was being kept heated by a small portable barbeque or sorts. The blankets had been strategically placed all around and scarves and over various fabrics had been draped all around, giving the area a secluded exotic paradise feel.

Max was dressed to the T in a pair of dress pants, a white button down shirt, though he had opted to let a few buttons remain undone; Max had never been one to dress too formally, though he would if Liz wished him to.

It was close to seven thirty and Liz would be arriving any moment; well she would if Daniel followed through, as Max prayed he would. Max prayed for a lot of things that night, especially for Liz to forgive him and give him a second choice. He couldn’t stop pacing about the secluded area as he waited for her. Since his major mess up the last night, Max had figured quite a few things out.

The most important of those things was that he didn’t like not having Liz around. He didn’t like seeing the hurt in her eyes, or the disappointment that had practically radiated throughout her being whenever she looked at him. But especially, Max didn’t like having Liz mad at him.

He never intended to make her mad, and hopefully, after tonight he would learn how to never make her mad again.

Hearing a rustling of the bushes and the soft shuffle of the sand, Max stopped mid-stride and stared over at the entrance. He watched, completely spellbound, as the love of his life was led blindfolded through the area and into the center of the blanket bundle. Daniel gave Max a quick wink and Liz a simple peck on the cheek before taking off, leaving the two completely alone.

At first Max merely admired the beautiful goddess before him. She looked so sexy, yet so innocent. Only she could pull off two looks that were as similar to day as night, and still look beautiful. He loved the short red dress, and though he didn’t want Liz to get the wrong idea, his body hardened in response. He silently chided himself, but continued to gaze at her lovingly. Her hair cascaded down her back like a chocolate waterfall, only with a slight curl at the end. And her makeup looked almost nonexistent, though Max easily knew the difference; he always would.

Slowly, Max made his way over to Liz. She stood stock-still, and he could tell she was nervous as she was nibbling on her bottom lip. Not wanting to scare her, Max let his hand reach out languidly as he gingerly removed the silk blindfold. He watched as her eyes leisurely opened; immediately Max knew she liked what he had done. A dreamy look overcame her features as she took everything in.

“Oh Max,” Liz whispered reverently. She couldn’t keep the awe out of her voice as she continued to look around. Never had any man gone to such lengths for her. Returning her gaze to her boyfriend, Liz’s lips curled upwards and she crooked a finger at him, gesturing for him to come closer.

Max was immediately at her side, waiting to hear whatever she had to say. However, that never happened. Instead he got something much better, for in the next moment he found Liz in his arms as she pressed a soft kiss to his cheek and then his lips. “Thank you Max, this is beautiful.” At this point Max had to swallow the lump in his throat. Just the feel of Liz’s body pressed up against his once again made him ache for her.

Down boy, the night’s only started, Max silently told himself. He smiled back at Liz.

“Anything to make you happy,” came Max’s reply. He eagerly returned her kiss, but did not let his lips settle for too long. He didn’t want to let Liz get the wrong idea. This was her night and nothing was going to ruin it. “Come, dinner is waiting.”

After escorting her toward his make-shift sitting area, Max prepared their dinners and quickly returned to Liz, sitting beside her as he served her the special-made dinner. He was happy to see the smile that lit up her face as soon as he placed the plate in front of her. It was her favorite food: Chinese. It was also the food that they had first eaten together.

They ate in silence, enjoying the company of the other. Liz couldn’t get over how far Max had gone for her. No man had ever done so much for her. God knew Kirk had never gone to such lengths; hell she was lucky if Kirk would even fix his own dinner, let alone set up a romantic evening for two.

When had she gotten so lucky? The question whirled in her mind as her anger toward Max slowly vanished. Since she had first met him Max had been nothing but a sweetheart; a true friend and a wonderful boyfriend. He was attentive to her needs and put up with a lot of her emotional problems, even though he didn’t have to. And as dinner came to an end Liz had forgotten why she was even mad at Max.

As soon as he had cleared their plates, Max asked Liz for a dance. They danced in the velvety soft sand of the alcove. The tiki torches burned brightly, along with the fire, causing a wonderful glow to fill the area. Off to the left, Max had brought along a portable CD player so that if Liz agreed to dance then they would have music.

You rise like a wave in the ocean
And you fall gently back to the sea
Now I want to know how to hold you
Return to me


“I’m sorry,” Max whispered as he pulled her close. His arms tightened as he felt her body grow rigid for a moment. Darting a quick glance, Max could tell that Liz had already forgiven and forgotten, but he had brought everything back to the front of her mind. But even if she had forgotten, Max knew that everything would still be in his mind, and he didn’t want that. This was quite possible his last chance with Liz if she didn’t forgive him. “I never meant to hurt you; I never wanted to hurt you. But seeing you with Steven it tore my heart apart.” Max paused as he collected his thoughts. He needed Liz to know the truth. “I’ve never been jealous before and I’m not used to the feeling, but seeing you with another man makes me jealous because my mind won’t allow me to believe that I’m good enough for you. But I want to be, Liz; I want to be everything and anything I can be with you.” He could feel her tears soaking through his shirt and he silently berated himself for making her cry. However he needed to get this out. “I want to be a better man when I’m around you.”

You shine like the moon over water
And you darken the sky when you leave
Now I want to know how to keep you
Return to me
Turn to me


“Oh Max!” Liz cried as his words touched her heart. Never had a man said such things to her. Sure she had heard something similar in some movie or another, but she knew Max was speaking honestly. “You are more than good enough for me; you’re too good for me. Don’t you know how wonderful you are? You make me feel so cherished and like I’m the only woman in the world. And you love me, and that’s all that really matters.” This time Liz gazed tenderly up at her boyfriend, the fire and passion in her eyes almost knocking him to his knees. But it was the love that shook him to the core; never had he seen so much love in one person’s eyes.

Everything I tell you has been spoken
And everything I say was said before
But everything I feel is for the first time
And everything I fell, I feel for you


“I love you so much, Liz, and I hope you’ll continue to let me love you. I also hope you’ll understand that I’m not used to these sort of things as I have never loved anyone as much as I love you. Because sometimes I’ll end up doing stupid things and I know it’ll probably hurt you, but know that I don’t do them on purpose, I do them because I love you and I don’t know what else to do.” All Liz could do was merely nod as tears trickled down her cheeks. At least he was honest, and for that she loved him even more.

I am here calling the wind
I am here calling your name
I am here calling you back
Return to me


Without another thought in their minds, the two danced, hugged, kissed and laughed together, completely oblivious to the wind whipping Liz’s long brown hair and the fire roaring before them. Everything was finally worked out and their problems were but a thing of the past. Liz laughed gleefully as Max twirled her into his embrace. Only instead of letting go, he held her tightly, knowing that now was the time. Ever so slowly he unwrapped Liz from his arms and gazed down at her. Very soon his whole world would change, and he just prayed that it would change for the better.

I know what it means to be lonely
And I know what it means to be free
Now I want to know how to love you
Return to me


“Come on, let’s go back to the room…” Max whispered in her ear, a smile playing on his lips. He knew he had properly wooed her and that she had even forgiven him for his mistakes. However, now was the time to set his second part of his plan into action.

I am here
Return to me


“Okay,” Liz agreed simply.

As they neared the room, Max pulled away and instructed Liz to go ahead, as he had to pick something up before he could meet her in the room.

Nearing the door to their room, Liz waited patiently for Max. When she turned to check to see if he had caught up, Liz was saddened to see he hadn’t arrived. However, as soon as she turned back around so as to enter her room she found a note on the door that read, ‘Open the door.’ It was on a simple piece of white paper with fine black ink that looked as though it had been etched on.

Ahh, more surprises. Liz smiled gleefully; Max was too nice to her for her own good.

Quietly as possible, Liz opened the door just as the note instructed her. She was just about to walk in when something caught her attention.

On the floor in front of her was a trail of Hershey kisses with vanilla scented candles on either side of her and music floating through the room.

For a moment Liz merely stared at the chocolate candies and candles, wondering what to do. However, as her eyes continued to wander around the room she noticed a second note. This time it read, ‘Follow the trail.’

Doing as it said, Liz slowly made her way through the apartment, being careful not to step on any of the chocolates, as she was positive that hotel would not be happy if she smeared any on the nice white carpet floor. She was also careful to not spill any of the candles.

As she continued through the suite, following the trail that had been made for her, Liz couldn’t help but breathe in and sigh. It smelled so heavenly in the apartment, and everything that was happening was just too romantic. Passing through she and Max’s bedroom, Liz soon found herself in the bathroom. She gasped as she took in the sight before her.

Falling from the ceiling was an array of rose petals, but dominating over all of them were whole white roses, softly patting down to the ground all around her. She smiled and giggled as she made a quick turn. That’s when she saw the final note. It sat atop a heart shaped box that was covered in red velvet. ‘Now that I have kissed the ground you walked on, and showered you with roses, its time for you to open your heart to me.’

Tears pooled in Liz’s eyes as she delicately picked up the heart shaped box in front of her. The rose petals were still falling all around her, and the Hershey kisses and candles still sat at her feet. Gingerly, Liz opened the box. She already knew what was inside, but the thought that Max was doing all of this warmed her heart and made her love him all that much more.

The moment the box snapped open Liz gasped in shock.

There was nothing there.

“You can’t have the ring until you say yes,” Max whispered as he came up behind Liz and wrapped his arms around her waist. He knew it was a bold move, but everything had to be perfect for this.

Ever so slowly he picked up her left hand and slid the ring on her finger. A smile lit his face as he heard her sudden intake of breathe. In response he pressed a kiss to her finger and the ring now encircling it.

“Yes,” Liz cried softly.

AN: Song credits go to October Project


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 14-Oct-2002 2:07:05 AM ]