posted on 4-Jan-2002 9:44:41 AM by skyserpant
Something has been uo with the board and it would not allow me to post! Anyway I have a few new parts for you guys so I hope you like it! Also I have a new fic called 'Love's funny that way', I will post it after I post this so check it out!





PLAY

Title: PLAY
Author: Tina Katselos
Disclaimer: Yes it is unfortunate that the characters aren’t mine isn’t it? Thankfully by baby (Max) now belongs to UPN!
Summary: AU fic, no aliens, both Max and Liz live in New York. There’s a new club that opens that’s called Play, needless to say, a lot happens in this particular club!
Rating: I'm not sure, so far PG 15, but there may be swearing so maybe R? As I said before I'm not sure.
Feedback: Yes please!!!

‘DJ Just Play that song ‘cause I wanna be dancing all night long’ - Jennifer Lopez

Part 1

There were loud noises coming from everywhere. Drivers beeping their car horns, people winding down their car windows and yelling at each other. If it wasn’t people in cars yelling at each other and making too much noise it was the people on the street. Everywhere one turned there was some sort of action happening. It wasn’t everyone’s piece of cake but to Liz Parker it was everything. This was not the only life she’s known, she’s lived in a small town before but it was too suffocating. THIS was the only life she could live. If it wasn’t happening than Liz wasn’t around. The only time she sat on her ass was when she was in a class, or studying. She was on her fourth year of University, currently completing her honours in Business Management. You couldn’t tell by looking at her that she was a brain. Yet she was, she was a brain that just loved to party! She loved to party, but most of all she loved to dance. She loved to get out there and know that every guy was looking her way. She’d give it everything. They way she’d move would have them all drooling. She knew how to play her cards, and when Liz played, she played to win.

“Man, I cant believe it, where is he”? Maria, Liz’s roommate asked. Maria was talent just waiting to be discovered. She’s worked at a t local bar where’d she sing twice a week. Her regular job was being a receptionist at an accounting firm. It wasn’t the best but Maria was waiting for her big break. The big break that would make her a star. They’d been living together since Liz came to New York right out of high school to attend college and they’d struck a tight bond. At the moment they were waiting outside their apartment for Alex, another good friend of theirs. Liz met Alex at College and later introduced him to Maria. The rest as they say is history.

“Who knows, I mean you know what Alex is like. He probably forgot. We need to replace Alex as a friend Maria” Liz said. It was a game they played with each other. They all knew how much they meant to each other and how close the three of them had become so they played on it.

“Your right Liz, I mean, maybe we should bring in a woman this time, you know get the girlie thing going, have a few sleepovers…”

“I think we’ve grown out of sleepovers don’t you think, and I mean really, Alex is pretty good at bonding, even though he is a man”, Liz said, even though they’d played this game many times before she’d never gotten sick o it.

“And” Maria responded, “Who else would laugh at your lame jokes”?

“Very funny Maria”

“ I know, I know, I amaze myself sometimes, by the way Liz, did you read this weeks people magazine”? Maria asked while raising her eyebrows.

“Yes I did Maria, and yes I saw the article on Michael Guerin, and no I don’t find him all that attractive”.

“Liz, are you blind? I mean he is all man, a total babe”.

“He’s just not my type”

“What do you mean he’s not your type? He’s a tall, sexy artist, I mean how much sexier can someone get”?

“Maria, we are so sad, were talking about this guy like we know him, I mean, it's not like were gonna meet him anytime soon. He’s a semi – celebrity and were, well…us”

“I never said we would meet him, I just think he is stunning to look at, those eyes, those lips, mama mia the man oozes sexuality”.

“Liz turned to Maria to say something but was distracted me a really loud horn. Both girls turned to where the noise was coming from and saw that it was Alex, twenty minutes late, finally arriving.

As Liz got into the car the first words that came out of her mouth were, “you jerk, we’ve been waiting for twenty minutes, where have you been? Do you know how cold it is”?

“Hey” Alex said in defence, “I didn’t tell you to wait outside”

“Where else would we wait Alex?” Maria asked, “Do you know how long it takes to lock and unlock that door? There’s like twenty separate locks there”.

“Ok, I'm sorry, but my third date with Isabelle went a bit overtime, but I'm here aren’t I?” Alex emphasized the word ‘third’ because after three years of lusting after Isabelle Evans he finally got her to agree to not only one, but three dates. “I’ll never do it again, am I forgiven”?

Alex knew that Liz and Maria could not resist he’s cheeky smile and Liz leaned over to the driver’s side and kissed him smack bang on the cheek! “Your forgiven Alex, you know we love you”.

“Yes, yes I know, so girls enough about that, who’s exited about tonight”.

“What’s there to be exited about, a new club, big deal?” Liz said in a very bland voice.

“Liz”! Both Maria and Alex said at the same time. As if surprised that she could even mutter such a thing, they were going to THE new club tonight, the club that had been the talk of the social chatter for months and thanks to Alex, the three of them had been invited to the opening.

“Guys relax, don’t get so worked up, I'm sure… that when I get there it will be great”!

“That’s the Liz we all love” Maria said smiling, “anyway” Maria continued, “tell us, how did you convince, who ever you had to convince to allow us to come on the opening night”?

“Do you guys know anything about Isabelle”? The girls shook their heads, waiting for Alex to go on. “Well her brother is like this business tycoon and he’s only our age, and he has like something to do with this place so were invited”.

“Wait, wait, wait” Maria said, “You’re telling us, that Isabelle Evans is related to Max Evans, head of Beaufort Enterprises”?

“Yea…I am” Alex responded.

“So…” Maria continued, “You’re dating like the richest girl on campus”?

“Were not dating exactly, I mean we’ve only been out on a few dates” Alex responded.

“So who pays”? Maria asked Alex

“Who pays for what”? Alex said while looking at Maria with a questing look.

“Your dates, I mean…usually the guy pays, but compared to her you have peanuts so…”

“Maria! “ Liz said loudly, “I can’t believe you’re asking that”?

“C’mon Liz, as if you don’t want to know”?

“Well know that you mention it I do, but I'm not rude enough to ask”.

“Thanks Liz, Alex said sarcastically, “you really make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside”.

“Anyway” Liz interrupted, “what sort of work does this Max Evans do? Does he own like a business or something”?

“He owns businesses Liz, like in plural” Maria answered, “the guy is filthy rich, he’s cute too”.

“Maria, you think everyone is cute” Alex joked.


…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

“Well where is she”? Liz demanded, they had just arrived and Alex told them that Isabelle would be waiting at the door.

“She’ll be here don’t worry about it”.

As Alex was speaking to them, Liz saw that a big, heavy bouncer was walking towards them.

“Great” Maria said, “time to go I think”.

The heavy bouncer spoke, holding a clipboard with paper in there apparently holding peoples names in there.

“Do you have an invitation”? The big man spoke, “uh not exactly, were waiting for Isabelle” Alex manage to get through.

“Yes Isabelle said she would be running late, can I have your names”?

“Uh Alex, Maria and Liz” Alex said.

The bouncer looked at his list and hey presto a smile appeared on his face. “Yep, it says Alex plus two, which I assume means you two lovely ladies”. As he said this he opened the ropes and let them in.

Liz was leading them in, and the first thing she saw was the most attractive man she’d seen in her life talking to the blonde, curly haired, young woman. As Liz walked past he looked up and caught her eye. Liz gasped, he was gorgeous. He had dark hair and amber eyes. She felt herself being pulled towards him. He was staring straight back, he’s eyes glued on her and she stood there, not moving, just looking. She was in a trance until:

“Move it Liz, stop taking your time” Maria’s abrupt comment cut through her thoughts, geez, she was losing it.

“Sorry Maria, so guys what do you think? The bar”? Liz said this knowing that it was always their first stop at a club

“The bar it is princesses” Alex replied. The three walked to the bar, all the while Liz searching for the man who made her heart flip merely looking at him.


Part 2

Liz could feel his eyes on her everywhere, this dark mysterious man with those eyes that looked as though he wanted to devour her on first sight. But of course Liz at this time was quite tipsy so it could have all been in her imagination.

“C’mon Liz, just one more drink than that’s it’”, she could hear Maria complaining. They had sort of a deal happening, when ever Liz and Maria would go out Liz handled the money because when Maria had money in her hand there was no stopping her.

“Maria you’ve had enough”, Liz reasoned with her, “we said we weren’t going to have a late one anyway”

“Liz, stop being a party pooper, this is great, were both having a great time, why go home early, now come on stop pissing me off and lets go to the bar”.

Maria was right, they were having a great time, Liz was having a ball. This place really was a blast. So, with Maria in the lead and Alex in tow they headed to the bar.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Liz could feel her whole body relaxing, she was about to sit down when she heard a loud voice coming over the speaker.

“First of all I would like to introduce myself” Liz’s head turned to where the man was speaking and saw it was none other than the Greek God himself. ‘What’s he doing she thought’.

“I’m Max Evans the owner of PLAY. Welcome to our opening night. So… how’s everyone feeling”? Almost everyone in the club joined in a sequence of ‘great’, ‘fantastic’ and basically screaming. “That’s great to hear,” he continued. When Liz found out who he was her heart dropped. The owner? This was the young business tycoon? Isabelle’s brother? He was really out of her league. Liz gave herself a mental shake. Why should she care? She’d only seen him once.

Liz went back to giving him all of her attention.

“I'm just quickly going to give you a run down on the nights. Friday night will remain the same as tonight, commercial music, and house at the end of the night. Saturday nights will be mainly house and Sunday will be retro. Now Thursday night is still not finalized. We want our Thursday’s to be laid back so tomorrow were holding auditions for a singer who we hope to have performing on Thursday’s. They will be held in this room, beginning at four pm. So I’d like to leave you with a song that I think is fitting for PLAY’s opening night”.

As Max was walking of stage Maria rushed straight up to Liz. “Did you hear that? Auditions, tomorrow. Were going”.

“Ok’ Liz said dully.

“My God Liz your drunk”!

“No I'm not”

“Yes you are”

“Maybe I am, but only a little”

“You’re incorrigible”, Liz responded with a radiant smile, leaving Maria once again curious as to shy Liz was still single. Maria thought back to Liz’s last boyfriend. All of a sudden one of Liz’s favourite chart songs blasted out from the loud speakers. As she heard the music Liz immediately stated to move, her body taking over her mind.

“I can wait all night and day, to go to a party sit down and wait, give my request to the DJ, cause’ my song he’s gotta play. And when I hear that beat, I get my body up on my feet, I grab a guy and move my feet, he’s playing my song… Play, come on play that song, play it all night long, just turn it out turn it on”

Anyone who looked at Liz would have said she was a sight, the way she was moving, her eyes closed, mouthing the words, men were drooling, Liz knew it, and she thrived on it. Attention in New York was different to attention in the small country town she’d grown up in. She wasn’t judged here, she was admired, and she was sexy.

Max Evans was talking to the head bargirl Tess. They’d dated for a while but both decided that it wasn’t working out. It just didn’t feel right, there was no spark. Anyway, Tess was totally involved with her new boyfriend Kyle Valenti. Max had nothing against him, in fact when they did meet they got along pretty well. He was happy to see Tess move on, but Max on the other hand felt that he was never going to find ‘the one’. He thought back to the brunette that walked into the club as he and Tess were standing at the door. He remembered how he felt when he saw her. He felt a jolt to his system; he totally tuned out on Tess and remained riveted on the vision before him. For a moment they were in their own world until Tess poked him in the ribs, demanding his attention. When he turned around once more the vision was gone, making Max wonder if that’s all it really was, just a vision. Something that was conjured up out of his own mind. Still he could not help but scan the club looking for her.

“Tess, I'm going for a stroll see what’s happening Ok?

“Sure, anyway I have to get back to work or my boss is gonna fire me”

He gave her one last smile and took off.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As Max walked around the club, he could not help but be proud of himself. This was the first nightclub he’d ever participated in and it was damn great success! Max was only 26 yrs old but he was one to keep and eye on. Richer beyond he’d ever thought he could be Max was the future. He was young and extremely successful. Not only did he now run a nightclub but also owned property all over America, he owned restaurants, hotels you name it. But at the moment they were all in the hands of management. All his time was taken up by PLAY. This was where he belonged. He’d lost so much of his youth working hard, doing he’s best to make money. When he was sixteen he’s parents passed away, leaving him to look after he’s eleven-year-old sister Isabelle. They lived with relatives until Max got a job as an apprentice carpenter. When working on a particular house, Max summoned up the courage and spoke to the owner, Sam Beaufort. Needless to say Sam was saw something in Max. He saw Max’s willingness to work and achieve. Sam was a big business man who owned a lot of the restaurants and buildings in New York. So Sam took Max under his wing, and within three years the profits of Sam’s enterprise ‘Beaufort’ tripled. When Max was twenty-two years old Sam died leaving everything to Max as he had no children, and the rest as they say is history. Max continued to expand the empire and increase it's profits, but lately that wasn’t enough. He craved his youth; he wanted the adolescence that he missed out on.

Just then he spotted her. She was dancing to the song ‘Play’, moving in such a sensual way that Max could not help but be drawn towards her. When he reached her, her eyes snapped open as if she could sense him. Was he seeing things again? He had to know if this was real to he grabbed her face and brought his mouth down to hers.

“Just turn it out, turn it on” Jennifer Lopez

Part 3

“So where is Isabelle, I mean she did she was coming didn’t she”?

Alex was leaning against the bar, waiting for Isabelle, he and Maria were talking. Actually, Maria was making Alex feel worse then he already was. Why did she have to bring up Isabelle? Sure, he was looking for her. But with Maria talking about it, it made him fell that much more rejected. She said she would be here and she wasn’t. As he felt himself sink into a greater state of depression his ears shot up at Maria’s next words.

“Oh Alex” Maria said in a high-pitched teasing voice. “There’s a tall leggy blonde walking straight towards you, and with her she has a friend, and may I say that the friend is not bad, not bad at all…Oh my god!!! That’s Michael Guerin the painter, how does she know Michael, oh my God are they walking towards us, Alex they’re walking towards us. This has to be joke, it's a joke right I mean…”

“Maria!” Alex said loudly, “you’re giving me headache”, he then lowered his voice, “just act cool, act normal OK?”

“Fine, but I’ll act normal, when you stop looking at Isabelle with your mouth hanging open”.

Alex shut his mouth, giving Maria one last look before turning to Isabelle.

Maria couldn’t take her eyes off Isabelle’s ‘friend’. He was what you could safely call very handsome. He was tall with light coloured messy hair and lips to die for.

“Hey Alex”.

“Isabelle, your ah… pretty early”. Alex said while looking at he’s watch.

Isabelle laughed and said, “I know I'm late but blame Michael here, he was my ride and was only about two hours late”.

Michael defended himself by saying, “Hey I was sleeping, the game went overtime and I fell asleep on the couch”.

Isabelle just shook her head. “I forgot to introduce, Alex this is Michael”.

As Alex and Michael shook hands Alex did some introductions of he’s own. “Isabelle, Michael, this is one of my best friends Maria.

As Maria stretched her hand out to extend it to Michael she said, “I know who you are, I have been following your career for a while now ad I must say I am very impressed with your work”

Michael looked at the beauty in front of him. He was mesmerized. But he spoke soon enough so he would not look like a complete idiot.

“Thank you Maria, you can never hear enough honest praise” he responded while he took her hand and held on to it for longer than necessary. Alex looked at Maria, he was surprised that she played it so cool. Maria turned to Alex and gave him a small secret smile. She then turned to smile at Isabelle and said, “So this is the famous Isabelle I’ve been hearing so much about”.

Alex’s faced turned bright red until Michael replied my saying, “I know exactly what you mean, on the way here Isabelle was stressing that…” Isabelle hit him on the stomach but Michael kept on going “she was stressing that Alex would leave before she had a chance to see him”. Now it was Isabelle’s turn to go red, something that she rarely did.

*So, she likes me, I can handle that* Alex thought to himself. “So Isabelle, would you like a drink”?

“Sure, lets go”

So Isabelle and Alex left Maria with Michael, *great* she thought, *now what am I going to say*, before she said anything Michael, spoke up, “so Maria, can you dance”?

“That’s not all I can do” Maria said with a grin as she pulled Michael onto the dance floor, shocked as she saw Liz and Max on the way.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As Liz saw Max’s lips moving towards hers all she could think of was ‘I cant let this happen, I don’t even know the guy’, but still she did not move as his lips touched hers.

As soon as Max felt her lips underneath he’s own. Not only did he know she was real, but he knew she was special. She felt like magic. He’s head was spinning, and when she opened her mouth and let his tongue push past her lips he felt like he was in heaven. Just when he thought the moment was perfect, she pulled away from him, looking shocked and… and angry?

“What do you think you’re doing? Liz said sounding exasperated.

“I'm sorry, I didn’t know what came over me, I…I, hang on a second, I didn’t hear anyone telling me to stop, in fact from where I was sitting, I’d say you were enjoying it”!
“Well what do you expect, I was shocked, I mean it's not everyday that some stranger comes and just kisses you. Man, you have a nerve”. Liz didn’t even know why she was getting so worked up, she was attracted to him in a major way, she wasn’t used to it. Feeling something so strong for someone she’d just met.

“So are you saying you didn’t enjoy it” Max said with an adorable grin, so adorable that Liz felt herself weaken, before she totally let down her guard, she gave an exasperated sigh, about to turn and walk away.

Max saw that she was about to leave, and grabbed her by the arm. “I didn’t get your name”. “It's Jennifer” Liz lied.

“So Jennifer, when will I see you again”?

“Tomorrow probably, my friends auditioning and I'm going to give her some moral support, but…don’t come anywhere near me. I really don’t appreciate being mauled”.

With that, Liz turned on her heal and walked away, walking straight into Maria and … she did a double take, Michael Guerin? The look on their faces told her that they had witnessed everything.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Maria and Alex were giving Liz a hard time on the drive back from PLAY. So much that Liz felt like stopping the car and walking home. She would, but the thought of getting mugged and murdered did not appeal to her.

“Liz” Maria said, “I have to hand it to you, you are one fast worker, you have to teach me how you do it”.

Alex joined in, just fuelling Liz’s frustration more. “My God Liz, I didn’t know you had it in you, you go girl”. Both Alex and Maria found this highly amusing. So amusing they were still going by the time they got to the front of the girls apartment building.

When Liz and Maria walked out of the car, Maria opened her mouth as if to say something more but was out in her place by Liz. “One more word Maria and I swear, you will suffer”.

“Fine girl, no need to get violent on me, you seem really frustrated” Maria just couldn’t help herself she had to say it. “It wouldn’t be sexual frustration by any chance would it”?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As Liz and Maria and Alex accompanied by Alex’s guitar walked into PLAY they were surprised at how different it was with light on.

“WOW” Maria said, “This is weird”. As Liz was ready to make a smart comeback, she felt a hand on her back. She turned to see Max.

“Jennifer, how good to see you”, he said with a teasing grin.

“Who’s Jennifer”? Maria and Alex asked in unison.

‘Just turn it out, turn it on’ – Jennifer Lopez


Part 4

“Who’s Jennifer”?
……………………

Max looked at all three in confusion, “Jen”?

“I repeat,” Maria said loudly, “Who’s Jennifer?
“What’s going on”? Max asked, getting more confused by the second.

Alex just sat there watching, a smile forming his lips as he was beginning to understand the current situation.

“Liz babe, are you going to tell me what’s going on”? Liz shot Maria a warning glare but it was too late.

“Liz”? Is that your name…you lied? It's not Jennifer”? Max finally understood what happened. “Why did you lie”?

“Oh my God”? Maria laughed out loud, “this is beautiful, it really is”. Liz continued to glare at Maria, who was just making the situation worse. Slowly a smile formed Liz’s mouth too. In no time, Maria, Liz and Alex were in hysterics.

“Sorry Max, I know I shouldn’t have lied” Liz said in between giggles, she leaned up and pinched his cheeks, “but you looked so cute, that I just had too”!

Max was finding the situation quite funny himself, but he decided to make Liz feel a little guilty. “So you lied to me, do you know what an idiot I feel like? Thanks Liz, thanks a lot.” With that he turned away, hiding his smile. As he walked off he felt a small hand on his shoulder. He turned around to face Liz.

“Look Max I'm really sorry, I didn’t know that you couldn’t take a joke…YOU JERK”! She yelled when he suddenly grinned. “You don’t care, you just…you just”. As a laugh escaped from Max, Liz too could feel herself starting to giggle again. Soon they were doubled over with laughter. “So” Max said, “how about dinner”?

“You don’t give up do you”?

“Not when it's something I want”.

“We’ll see Max, we’ll see”.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

“Max, why is Maria last to perform”? Liz asked him

“She was the last one to get here”

“No she wasn’t, actually we were one of the first one’s”

“Really, sorry Liz I must have made a mistake, you don’t mind do you”? Max did not want to tell Liz that the only reason Maria was last was just because he could spend more time with her. But he had been to forward already and did not want to push his luck.

Liz looked at Max’s face, instantly realizing what his intention was. “Your only keeping Maria here just so you could keep me here, my god you are unbelievable”! Liz did not know why she was so worked up. In any other situation she would have been flattered. Even now she was, but there was something about Max. Liz felt uncomfortable with the fact that she felt such an emotional pull towards him. She was afraid. Her last relationship was a tragedy. It was all one sided. Liz believed herself to be in love with Peter, but all he wanted was sex. And the weekend after he got it he left her. Peter took her virginity and all the trust Liz had.

As Liz walked off Max was instantly on her trail. She turned to him about to say something but Max started speaking first. “ Liz please don’t leave, let me apologize, I'm sorry about before, it's just that I want to be around you, I don’t want you to leave, but I didn’t know what to say”. Liz was shocked, not at the words but the look in his eyes. Words were words, anyone could utter them, but what she saw in his eyes told her that it was all truth. She couldn’t believe it. She felt herself breaking down, when she looked at him she knew that she could trust him. “ Fine, I’ll stay, and… choking back the last bit of her pride “I’ll have dinner with you, if you still want to”?

Max picked her up and hugged her tightly, “I promise you, you wont regret it”.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Finally it was Maria’s turn to perform and she choose to do Pat Benata’s ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. Maria gave the sheet music to the drummer and bass man and guitar player, it seemed that Alex had brought his guitar for nothing.

Maria’s voice boomed over the speakers, her great voice being heard from all those in the room.

‘You’re a real tough cookie, with a long history and breaking little hearts while you wanted me. That’s ok, but see how if I care, put on the jukes, let’s see how you’re doing.
Hit me with your best shot! Why don’t you hit me with your best shot? C’mon hit me with your best shot, fire away”.

It was the perfect song, strong, direct and Maria’s voice was great. When Maria finished everyone was clapping, Liz had a huge smile on her face and Alex was grinning form ear to ear. Max stood up and approached Maria, “welcome aboard Maria, your hired”. Maria let out a squeal and hugged him, thanking him over and over again. She was so happy.

“So”, Max said, why don’t you stick around and we can work out all the details”? Liz stood up seeing it was her cue to leave. Max looked in her direction, Liz smiled and said, “7o’clock tonight, don’t be late”. With that she and Alex left the club, leaving Maria and Max to the details.

Part 5

As Max exited the club he could not help feeling more than a little pleased with himself. Firstly he had one very talented singer for PLAY’s Thursday nights, which looked like it was going to be a huge success, and secondly: tonight he had a date. Not just any date, but a date with what to him was the most beautiful woman in the world. He smiled to himself, if only Michael could see him now. Max, Isabelle and Michael had been friends for as long as Max could remember. They were like brothers. They all grew up together in New York, all doing it hard. Michael’s upbringing was not the most functional of all upbringings. He’s father passed away a year after he was born, due to a Heroin overdose. His mother in turn, became an alcoholic. The only people who Michael ever let close to him were Max and Isabelle. Max was glad because he could not imagine his life without Michael. All those years of feeling alone, feeling not wanted, Michael was there, he wasn’t one to say much but his presence only made Max feel more worthy. Now Michael, Max and Isabelle were all going great. Max was a wealthy businessman, Michael was an up and coming artist and Isabelle was studying to get her degree in law. It wasn’t easy but it was finally happening. For Max it already happened but his greatest pleasure was watching Isabelle and Michael finally fulfilling their dreams. In a way he was envious of them. Both Isabelle and Michael took things at their own pace. They were content in life, just working and praying it would all work out. Max on the other hand never had any time to just sit back and relax, since he was seventeen he was thrust into the world of competition, of winning. He never had any time to sit back and take things in stride. He never had a chance to enjoy his youth. But now he decided things would change. PLAY was the only thing he was working on at the moment and the rest of the time he planned on recapturing what he lost. He wanted to fall in love; he wanted to know what it was like to be loved. And for the first time in his life he felt that it could really happen.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Maria walked into the apartment she shared with Liz, the smile on her face so big it looked as if she had a coat hanger wedged in her mouth! “Elizabeth Parker, get your sorry ass down here this instant” Liz came running from her bedroom and quickly enveloped Maria in a big hug.

“Maria, I am so happy for you, I can’t believe it's finally happening, so tell me everything, is it a done deal”?

“Everything is finalized, but firstly tell me, are you really going to dinner with Max Evans, like the Max Evans”?

“Yes I am, but it's nothing really, were just going to eat, talk you know”.

“Don’t oh ‘nothing really’ me Liz, that guy is like obsessed with you, smitten, delirious, you name it he’s got it”.

“Maria please, Max Evans, this” Liz said while pointing to her face, “I don’t think so, you know I actually think he’s on medication or something because…c’mon, you’ve seen him”.

“Yea I’ve seen him Liz, and don’t you worry about it, you are a babe, and believe me he is smitten. You should have seen him today Liz, he drove me crazy! He kept asking me all these questions, like: What’s Liz’s favourite flower? What’s her start sign? Does she like Italian food? Does she like Chinese? I sweat chika he did not stop until I threatened to slap him and bring him back into the world of the sane”.

“You didn’t”?

“I did, anyway, you rushed out of there so fast you forgot to give him an address to pick you up”.

Liz realized that Maria was telling the truth. “Well did you tell him, you know, did you give him the address”?

“Liz babe, it's me you’re talking to here, the master of the dating game, of course it told him. He’ll be here in an hour”.

“An hour is more than enough, I’ll be ready in fifteen, as you can see, I’ve already showered and the make-up is in place I just have to see what I'm going to wear”.

“Ok let’s go and raid our closets”.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
Fifty minutes later, Liz was ready. She was wearing a cream, clinging knee length skirt. A black turtleneck top that had high neck that flopped over, a thin cream belt tied around her waist, and chocolate brown knew high boots. Her hair was left down but Maria decided to work on and give it the ‘I just got out of a car going at full speed but my window was open’ look. With Maria in charge of her make up Liz looked nothing less than breathtaking. Maria gave her the final once over and grinned.

“What’s so funny Maria”?

“Nothing Liz, I was just thinking of Max’s reaction when he sees you, he is going to be blown away”.

“You really think so”? Liz asked shyly.

“Just look at yourself doll” Maria tuned Liz around so she could look at herself in the mirror, “you look hot”.

The look on Liz’s face just made Maria want to pinch her cheeks. ‘What the hell’ Maria thought. She once again turned Liz around and pinched both her cheeks. “Chika you look fantastic, and don’t you forget it”.

Liz was pleased with the way she looked. She’d been called sexy, exotic, everything apart from beautiful. She always thought she would never be beautiful but… Just then the doorbell rang. Liz looked at Maria, nervousness written all over her face. “Maria answer it”.

“What, no way you answer it, he’s your date”.

“C’mon Maria, don’t be like this, just give me time to regroup”. With that she went into her room and tired to calm herself down by taking deep breaths. She tried to remember Maria’s breathing techniques but after a while she stated to sound like an idiot. A loud knock interrupted her thoughts. It was Maria; she opened the door and looked at Liz like she was from another planet. “My goodness Liz, you sound like you’re giving birth, get out here and greet the fine man”.

Slowly Liz rose of her bed, trying to pull herself together. When she walked out of her room and into the lounge she saw Max. She felt her breath catch in her throat; she walked towards him as if she was in a daze. Time seemed to slow down. The man was truly beautiful.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Max looked at Liz and felt his gut tighten. She was walking towards him as if he was in a dream sequence. Even if he wanted to, he could not take his eyes off her. But luckily he did not want to. He was content to watch her all night if he could. He could just imagine it. Liz walking towards him and when she reached him turn back and walk towards him again, and again and again. He smiled at the idiocy of what he was thinking. He also smiled because finally he felt young again and he had Liz to thank for it.

Maria was watching from the doorway of Liz’s room all the while waiting for them to say something. When it looked as if they were going to spend the whole night just looking at each other Maria cleared her throat. “Eh em, so are you guys going to like exchange pleasantries of what”?

Max and Liz looked away embarrassingly. Max was the first to recover. Liz was so entranced by the man she failed to see what he held in his hands. He leaned over towards her and gave her two white roses. Liz looked up at him astonished, “how did you know”?

“Uh…I think I had something to do with that,” Maria said from the background, once again forgotten.

“That’s right” Max said, “I asked Maria what your favourite flowers were and…”

“Thank you Max”

Max gave Liz a deep stare and said, “You look beautiful Liz”.

“Thank you Max, you don’t look to bad either, in fact, you look great”. And he did. He was wearing grey slacks and a black turtleneck jumper. The clothes slung to his physic in the most perfect way.

“Actually” Maria said once again interrupting “you’re kinda dressed the same, both wearing turtle necks…”

Liz turned and gave Maria and venomous stare that could crack ice and Maria quickly zipped her mouth shut.

“Let’s go” Max said, “I have reservations and if we don’t leave now we’ll be late”. He held out his hand to Liz and she accepted it gratefully. Feeling more comfortable than ever before.
Part 6

Straight after Liz left the first thing Maria did was pick up the telephone and call Alex. It almost rang through by the time Alex picked it up. When he did he sounded as if he was out of breath. “Whitman Enterprises, Mr. Whitman speaking”.

“You wish babe”.

“Maria, how nice of you call, how are you on this lovely evening”?

“What’s wrong you Alex, did you swallow happy tablets or something”?

“No in fact I did not”.

“What then, you got laid”?

“Maria! You shock me”

“Give it up Alex, tell me what’s going on, and why did it take so long for you to answer the phone? I almost hang up”?

“Oh that, yea I was up stairs with Isabelle”.

“Upstairs, as in, in your room upstairs”?

“That my dear is none of your business”.

“Nothing is ever ‘none of my business’, you know that”.

“Right, right, I forgot who I was talking to, anyway, what’s up”?

“You’re avoiding the question”.
“Maria!”

“Fine, be like that, anyway I was just calling to say that Liz just left on her date”.

“Her date, hmm, interesting, she hasn’t been on a date since that jerk Peter, so who’s the lucky man”?

“You wouldn’t believe it but it's Max Evans”.

“Max Evans, the surprise kisser Max Evans, the owner of PLAY”.

Maria heard Isabelle in the background say “are you talking about my brother”?

“Yea” Alex replied, “I told you about Liz, anyway she’s on a date with your brother at this very moment”.

As Alex and Isabelle started their own conversation Maria hung up the phone went to the video player, threw in a tape that had past episodes of ‘Sex and the City’, sat back on the couch and watched. In an hour she would get up and start getting ready for tonight. It was Play’s second night and she was supposed to attend because she was the star attraction of Thursday nights. She gave a happy sigh, wondering if Michael was going to be there tonight. She hoped he was. Her mind wandered to Liz and what was happening with her and Max. She smiled, knowing that they were perfect for each other, but hoping that Liz would realize it.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….



As Liz and Max entered the restaurant, the aromas of authentic Greek cooking filled her senses. She looked at Max, smiling. She didn’t bother to ask how he knew her favourite cuisine; she knew Maria must have told him. Without even checking their reservation Max took Liz’s hand and led her to a table in the corner. It was perfect, the lighting was dim and it was very discreet. Just after they took their seats, a male waiter approached them.

“Mr. Evans, how lovely to have you join us this evening”.

“Thank you Carl, things running smooth tonight”.

“Very, were doing out best to make you proud” the waiter said with a smile.

As Liz listened to their conversation it dawned on her the reason why Max just walked to the best table in the house without waiting to be seated. He owned the restaurant. She pondered just how many he actually owned. If her favourite had been Italian would he have taken her to an Italian restaurant he owned? She frowned at the thought, all of a sudden feeling very uncomfortable. Here she was Liz Parker, college student, barely scraping by in the city of New York, having dinner with one of the wealthiest men in New York. Suddenly she felt Max’s intense gaze in her and she looked up. He was staring at her, she stared back and suddenly all her doubts disappeared. All she felt was the powerful pull that was between them. The energy that seemed to crackle around them at this very moment. He reached over and placed his hand on hers from across the table. “Thank you Liz”.

“For what”?

“For coming tonight, for making me feel the way I'm feeling”.

Liz almost teared up at his words. Was he for real? She gave him a bright smile. The waiter approached them again accompanied with what Liz saw to be a very expensive bottle of champagne. She looked to Max and he smiled saying: “this is to celebrate us, here together”.

“I’ll drink to that”, Liz said as she held up her glass in a toast. As she took a sip of her champagne she looked at Max, she really felt like this might work out. She hoped it was not wishful thinking because she could not bear to be put through any more heartache. And she knew that if anyone could hurt it would be Max, only because she knew without a doubt that she was falling for him.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Max looked at his watch and was shocked at what it read. It was much later then he expected. He should have been at PLAY at least thirty minutes ago. He’d been so caught up in Liz that he didn’t even realize time fly. Their food was now long gone and they were on their third cup of coffee each. They were speaking of their time in New York, her schooling, and his business. Nothing too deep though. This was their first date and Max did not want to talk about his past. He knew he would tell her, but now was not the time.

“Sorry Liz, I hate to do this, but we should have been at the club half an hour ago”.

“We”?

“Of course…unless you don’t want to then…”

“Max calm down, of course I want to, I was just surprised that’s all”.

“Great, let’s go”.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Surprised was indeed right! Liz was totally taken back from Max’s words. It was the ‘we’, which got her the most. It was so long since she heard those words from someone that she was interested in. But coming from Max’s mouth the words seemed so…right. She and Max were going to the club together. They were a ‘we’ going to the club. It sounded weird but great at the same time.

Max parked his Bentley outside the club and young man rushed over to them and took Max’s keys. Liz assumed that was the valet. Hey, it wasn’t her fault she was clueless about the workings of the rich. With Max’s arm around Liz’s waist they proceeded to the entrance of PLAY.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Walking in Liz was surprised at the thought that it was only last night that she had come to PLAY for the first time. It was hard to believe that it was only last night that she had met Max for the first time. Was it really only yesterday that she found him? She shook her head in wonder, just unable to believe that before yesterday she had no trust in men. That before yesterday, when she’d meet a man that she was interested in she would always have doubts. Peter had stuffed her up big time.

One year ago

Liz was walking out of one of her classes, a smile lighting up her face as she saw one of her best friends Alex Whitman walking towards her. As he approached her she felt and a hand on her back. Startled Liz turned around, when she did, she saw Peter Copereli. “Peter, hey… “ Liz was wondering why Peter Copereli, the man that every female at NYU was lusting after, was approaching her.

“Hey Liz”

Liz just continued to stare at him, waiting. “Um, I was just wondering” Peter said “if you’d like to join me for a coffee at about six, there’s some things I’d like to discuss with you about our last class, the lecturer was going so fast that I could hardly take any notes”.

“Well, sure Peter, where would you like to meet up”?

“Say Tony’s” Tony’s was a popular day time hangout for the students, it was a café slash Pizza restaurant.

“Sure Peter, Tony’s it is”. With that Liz flashed him a bright smile and continued to walk towards Alex.

As it happened Peter did not want to discuss their class together, rather he admitted that he only asked her there because he apparently had been interested in Liz for months. Peter was smooth, always saying the right things and just knowing what to do to make Liz feel special. They were together for two months and Liz believed that she was in love. She was totally smitten, never questioning Peter when he told her he loved her. Never questioning Peter when he would suddenly call off one of their dates because his ‘grandmother’ was sick. Their two-month anniversary fell on the same day as Liz’s 20th Birthday. As a surprise Peter got her one of the best rooms at a five star New York Hotel. When they arrived he opened a bottle of champagne, toasting to his eternal love to her. That night they made love and Liz believed that it would be forever; little did she know that this was all a game to Peter. He’d had his fun deflowering the young virgin and now wanted to check out other avenues.

Three days later Peter turned up at Liz’s door unexpectedly. “We have to talk Liz”. The way he said that made Liz feel afraid. He said it quietly and in a very serious tone. “Is Maria here”? Peter asked.

“She’s at work, what is it Peter? Are you OK”?

“I'm fine Liz, look, we should sit down”, she led Peter to the sofa taking his hand, her eyes telling him to go on.

“Liz, I'm sorry, I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it, I’ve fallen in love Liz, I'm so sorry, I couldn’t control it, it just happened. I tried to stop it but I couldn’t, my feelings were too strong…”
As Peter continued Liz felt her whole world collapse. A sense of hopelessness descended on her heart. She tried to talk but no words were coming out of her mouth. Then suddenly the tears started falling and she found her voice. “How long”? Liz asked softly.

“About 2 weeks”. That was all it took and Liz was hitting out at Peter with a vengeance.

“TWO WEEKS? You were with her for two weeks but three days ago you slept with me? You took my virginity knowing that you would break up with me”? Liz started slapping him, punching, trying to harm his beautiful face. But it did not make her feel better.

“Liz please let me explain”. Liz suddenly stopped, she had no energy left. She felt weak and defeated. “Please Peter, just leave”.

“Liz, don’t let it end like this…”

“If you ever cared for me, even at all, you’ll just leave”. She felt Peter look down at her, taking one last look before turning and walking away.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Liz tried to get herself to forget those thoughts. It served no purpose to bring up the past. The only regret she had was not finding a way to blow up Peter’s car. ‘Till this day, she had no idea why he slept with her when he was apparently in love with someone else. Maria would always day it was because he was a ‘dickhead’. Liz would smile and agree with her. Trying to forget about all that, Liz whispered to Max that she was going to look for Maria. She let go of Max’s hand, knowing that this time it would turn out all right. She could see from the look in his eyes that he was genuine. She had no intention of letting something this good go.

Part 7

Maria spotter Michael out the moment she walked into the club. But of course, trying to be as cool as possible prohibited her from approaching him the first moment she saw him. So she spent the first half of the night anticipating his next move. Making sure that wherever he was, she would always be in view. She saw him enter the male restrooms and cursed herself because it wasn’t like she could wait outside the restrooms, tapping her foot until he finished, so she decided to walk around, familiarize herself with what was now he workplace. She grinned, that sounded great. The new cub PLAY was now her work place. It felt good that finally her dreams were now becoming a reality. She could see it now. She would be performing, singing her heart out, and someone from the record company would come in for a drink and bam! They would sign her up and within a year she would be the biggest star in the world. Madonna, look out, Maria Deluka is coming!

Suddenly she saw Liz coming towards her, the look on her face alone told Maria that the date was a success. “Liz babe, I knew it, I just knew it. It went great didn’t it? I'm telling you I can sense these things, I feel vibes you know”? Maria was happy that her friend was happy. Her friends were important to her and to see them happy was all that Maria wanted.

“Oh Maria, I cant explain it, Max is so…he’s so, he’s just like this…he’s fantastic Maria, he really is”. Liz’s eyes took on a wistful look and all Maria could do was laugh.

“Well Liz since we have you all done and happy I think it's time we concrete on me, we need a plan Liz. Michael Guerin is about to walk out of the male restrooms at any second and I need to get his attention. I’ve been walking around the club all night, you know socializing, just doing my job but he has yet to acknowledge me. I'm about ready to walk right up to him and say, ‘hey buddy, remember me? Maria Deluka from last night, we were dancing, and you couldn’t keep your hand off my but all night’? I don’t know what to do Liz, I am like majorly attracted to this guy and he’s been ignoring me”.

“Maria, I cant believe this is you speaking, what ever happened to women power? I mean come on, you’re stressing over a guy who has not even approached you? He sounds like a jackass to me”.

As if out of no-where Michael appeared behind Maria and said “who sounds like a jackass”?

Maria looked at Liz, her eyes begging her to save the situation. “Well, um…you know there’s this um…this guy, that lives above us and he um…he breeds um…snails and well yea, Maria and I just think that he’s a jackass, right Maria”?

“Yea Liz is right, the snails are really annoying, and you know what snails are like”? Maria gave a fake smile to Liz, and a look that said ‘great going’.

Michael was the next to speak up. “Ah so you’re Liz, the one Max has not stopped raving about. It is you right, he did say it was Maria’s friend”.

“Yea it's me, but I'm not sure that he was raving about me”.

“Oh he was raving about you all right, in fact the last two times I spoke to him you were all that he was talking about”. Maria lifted her eyebrows in Liz’s direction and turned back to Michael.

Before leaving the two of them alone Liz pulled Maria towards and whispered into her ear, “remember what we said Maria, women power”.

“Of course Liz, believe me I have it all under control, I'm am going to work my magic and by the end of tonight I’ll have him wrapped around my little finger”.

“You do that” and with that Liz left the two of them alone, ‘great’ she thought, ‘now what am I gonna do”?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Alex loved going to places with Isabelle. Everywhere she went they all knew her by name. There was no more waiting in line at a club. No wait to be seated at an exclusive restaurant. Hell today a valet walked up he and Isabelle as they were getting out of the car an offered to park his car. He felt like a king, he felt like someone important. Yet there was a down side. Tonight he made a folly. He did a Julia Roberts in ‘Pretty Woman’. When the valet offered to park his car the man just stared at him. Alex just stared back, just wondering what they guys problem was. Then Isabelle took a twenty-dollar note out of her purse and handed it to the man. Alex felt his cheeks flame, his embarrassment so deep, he felt like… and idiot.

“Alex relax” Isabelle said softly, “this” she said while lifting her hands, motioning her whole world, “takes a lot of getting used to, believe me, I know exactly how you feel”. She leaned down and gave him a peck on the lips. After that Alex felt much better. Together they approached the club and predictably when the bouncer saw Isabelle walking towards him, he lifted the rope, and greeted her as she walked straight in.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Liz had been walking around the club aimlessly for a good ten minutes. She’s spotted Max but he was having a heated discussion with one of the bar tenders. She wondered what it was about. Shaking her head she continued to walk around when she spotted Alex with Isabelle. Breathing a sigh of relief she approached them, she snuck up behind Alex and covered his eyes with her small hands. Isabelle watched her with narrowed eyes. Liz gave her a small smile. Alex could explain this later.

“Guess who”?

“Oh, let me guess, are you really short, have long brown hair and wearing a turtle neck”?

“Alex”! Liz said while taking her hands away from his eyes and standing in front of him with her hands on her hips. Looking younger than her twenty-one years. “Have you been talking to Maria”?

“Yea I have, she called me before she left, relax Liz you look great”.

Isabelle spoke next; she seemed to be relieved about something. “Oh you’re Liz, you scared me for a while, I was wondering who it was that was placing his hands on my man”.

“I'm so rude” Alex said, “I forgot to introduce you, Isabelle this is Liz, Liz, Isabelle”.

“It's great to finally meet you Isabelle, Alex has told me so much about you”.

“Well it's great to finally meet you Liz, not only because you’re Alex’s friend, but you also have a connection to my brother I hear”.

“Wow, word does go around quick doesn’t it”?

“Yea it does” Isabelle said, “Michael told me that you’re making him happy, so that’s all that matters”.

“Well he’s making me pretty happy too actually, in fact” she turned to Alex, “everything’s going great, I cant imagine anything going wrong”. She looked to Alex’s face and saw that his expression was one of shock.

“Liz, I, um, look”

Liz looked towards the direction of Alex’s finger and was stunned, she saw a man with dirty blond hair, tanned skin, a strong jaw line and although it was too far to tell she knew he had brown eyes. She knew because it was Peter.

Part 8

Liz just stood there, immobilized, powerless. Tonight, with Max and with everything going so well she had finally decided to leave the past behind her. She wanted, NO, she deserved to move on. But now…now Liz did not know what to do, or how to think. Correction, she knew how she should think. She knew she should ignore Peter, but still, after a year the pain was still seemed so raw. It wasn’t that she had any romantic feelings for him. The only feelings she had for him were anger, betrayal and hurt. It was just that seeing Peter again, after that day in her apartment brought everything back. The pain, the loneliness and the worthlessness. It all seemed so surreal. This whole thing, what was she thinking anyway? Did she really think she could move on and forget everything? God! She hated the way she was feeling.

Liz knew that although her world stopped, the rest of the environment was functioning on a normal basis. The music was still blasting in the background. She could hear Alex ask Isabelle to fetch Maria. She felt Alex’s hand on her back, rubbing it. She heard him mumble soothing words but she could not quite hear exactly what he was saying. Then she heard Maria run up to her and grab her in a hug. She clung on to Maria tightly, not crying but just holding her.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Maria remembered that day when Peter had come to the apartment one year ago. She remembered walking in and finding Liz on the sofa, crunched up and watching one of the dull soaps that was playing on the television. Maria thought she was sleeping until she heard a sob escaping from Liz’s lips. Immediately she rushed to Liz’s side and cradled her as you would a child.

“Shh, Liz, you don’t have to tell me it's ok, it's ok, you don’t have to tell me. It's ok baby, it's ok”.

Maria and Liz stayed that way in silence, with Maria hurting for her friend and with Liz just sitting there and softly crying.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

It had taken Liz two days to open up to Maria and tell her the whole story and Maria was not going to let it happen again. She looked at Liz straight in the eye and said: “Liz, remember before with Michael how you told me to be strong”?

“Yea” Liz said weakly.

“Well now it's your time to be strong. Don’t let him hurt you again, Liz please, don’t let him win again. Your stronger now Liz, you can deal with it”.

“I can”? Liz asked in a voice that was barely above a whisper.

“You can Liz”. Maria said with a smile.

“Uh…Liz”? Both Maria and Liz turned around at Alex’s voice.

“Yea”? Maria answered.

“You’d never guess who’s coming this way”.

The girls turned around both not able to believe that Peter was heading towards them.

Meanwhile…

Max was so angry, he was furious, it was the second night of PLAY and already he had to fire a bar tender for serving free drinks to his buddies. Now he was on bar tender short. Luckily it was nearing the end of the night and he could afford to have one less bar tender, but was he going to do now? He had to find another bar tender by Thursday that’s what he had to do. All of a sudden he saw Isabelle walking towards him, a serious look on her perfect features.

“Iz what is it”?

“Look Max, I just wanted to warn you there’s an old flame of Liz’s here and she seems pretty upset. Maybe you should go to her, try to comfort her”.

Max felt his chest tighten, “an old flame”? He choked out. “What is she still interested”?

“I don’t know, all Alex said was that it was a bad break up, I…” Without another word Max took off, circling the club, looking for Liz.

On the other side of PLAY…

“Oh my God Maria, he can’t be coming this way”!

“He cant, but he is, the bastard”. Maria said venomly.

“What am I going to do”?

“Just be cool babe, make him see how great things are going for you”.

“Do you want me to beat him up for you Liz”? Alex asked.

“Actually Alex, I think I can take care of it myself”.

As Peter approached Liz, she felt her pride swell. In that moment the world as she knew it took on a different light. The look of him made her almost sick. How could she have ever believed herself in love with him, was a mystery. She saw him now for what he truly was. A fake was what he was. Peter was a snake. He was all looks and no heart.

“Hey Liz, long time no see, how are you”? Peter said as if they were nothing but casual friends.

“I'm fine Peter”, she refused to ask how he was. He didn’t deserve any sort of questioning from her.

“Look I just want to apologize for what happened I was a jerk…”

“Yea… you were, but look, I'm over it”. And Liz was surprised to feel that she was. All she needed was to let go. She’d been holding on to the past in a way to avoid future intimacies. But she did not want to do that anymore. She wanted to be free to experience things such as love. Peter already took away her virginity without a care, she would be damned if she would let him take away anything else.

Peter’s words broke into her thoughts. “So do you think we can be friends”? He said with a smile that a year ago would have melted her but now mad her realize how foolish she was.

“I don’t think so Peter”. With that she turned on her heal and walked straight into the site of Maria and Alex’s smiling and proud faces. But there was one face that she wanted to see and it was not there. Max was nowhere to be seen. As she approached her friends she gave them a smile, telling them that everything was fine and that she was feeling great. She turned to Isabelle and asked: “Isabelle, where’s Max”? Isabelle looked at Liz in an apologetic way.

“Isabelle, what is it? Where’s your brother”?

“God Liz, I'm sorry, I went up to Max after I got Maria, he rushed right over, and when he did he saw you and Peter. I know it was totally innocent but he saw the way Peter smiled at you and…you should have seen his face”.

“What…what do you mean”?

“Liz, you have to understand something about Max, he’s not like other guys…”

“I know that Isabelle” Liz interrupted.

“No, you don’t get it, I mean; he feels things, like really deeply. The look on his face when he saw you…he was just devastated. He just walked off, I tried to get him to stop but he kept on walking…he cares about you Liz, that’s why he was so irrational. I’ve never seen him act like this. His feelings are deep, that’s why he reacted the way he did…” Isabelle could tell my looking at Liz that she felt strongly for her brother too. “But” Isabelle added, “He probably went to his place, you could go there and explain…” She said in a suggestive tone and a smile on her face. “Here” Isabelle wrote the address on the back of a card that she extracted from her bag. Liz looked at it shocked. Max actually lived in one of his hotel suites, and in the penthouse no less. Isabelle also gave her one of those card keys. “Here take this, if he’s not home, he should be but if he’s not just surprise him”.

“You’re the best Isabelle, thank you,” She said excitedly and she gave Isabelle a big hug.

“Wish me luck,” she yelled as she left the club in a hurry.

“You wont need any Liz, believe me” Isabelle said and then turned to Alex and to Maria who was now standing next to Michael. Funny with all the drama she didn’t even see him approach the group. “Great, Max is gone, now I have to finish up here, you know that you’re all sticking around after closing don’t you”? Isabelle said in a commanding tone. “That’s when the real fun starts”.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Part 9



Liz felt like she had waiting for ages outside the club, just waiting for a taxi to take her to Max. She was feeling restless and very impatient. She was tapping her foot on the pavement, cursing under her breath when finally she a taxi heading her way. She raised her arm and waved it around trying to get the attention of the taxi driver. Seeming to take no notice of her, the taxi driver just speed right past her.

“Ass hole”! She yelled as she saw the cab disappearing down the road.

“Now that isn’t very lady like is it Parker”? Liz got chills down her spine when she heard Peter’s voice.

“What do you want”?

“I just wanted to say hi”.

“Well, you said it so goodbye”.

“I also wanted to tell you that I wasn’t very happy with the way you blew me off back there”.

“Piss off Peter, you’re the last person I want to talk to”.

“What do you mean”? Peter asked, as if truly puzzled as to why she wanted nothing to do with him.

“Think about it, or are you really that dense that you don’t know”?

“Why are you acting like this Liz, it was almost a year ago, cant you just forget it? By the way, in case I don’t see you happy birthday for next week”.

Liz saw red. She felt her blood boil. How dare he bring up her birthday after what happened on her twentieth. Without thinking she slapped him, hard across the cheek.

“You bitch, you… stupid whore, that’s what you are, I knew you would be easy from the first moment I say you. Hell, you were even easier than I thought. Just a few good lines, some ‘I love you’s and that’s all it took”. Just then Liz looked up and saw a taxi coming down the street. She put her arm and signalled the cab driver. Thankfully this driver stopped. But before she hopped in she turned to Peter and said: “A year ago I was naïve and wanted to believe everything you said. It's funny how much one can change in year. But you? You will never change,” she said in a dangerously low voice. “You will always be a bastard, therefore alone. You’re a heartless pig and you’ll always be that way. I feel sorry for you”. With that, she took the back seat in the taxi, closed her door and gave the taxi driver the address to the exclusive hotel where Max was living. She gave peter one last look, feeding her pride, as she saw the look of absolute shock on his face.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

After the D.J played his final song the lights in the club came on. There were choruses of ‘no’s’ and ‘one more song’ coming from the crowd. But no matter what the crowd said, closing time was closing time. By the way, what the other patrons did not know that the real party began after the club officially closed. When the last of the crowd left the lights were once again turned off and the DJ put on one record and left the equipment unattended. The record that he put it was ‘The Best of the Doors’. Maria was surprised and looked towards Isabelle questioningly. “This is cool isn’t it”? Isabelle said to Maria.

“Yea it is, do you always do this”?

“Well we just opened last night, but all the clubs do it I think. After it closed, only the workers and some friends stick around and have their own private little party”.

“So what do you do at these parties”? Maria asked. She liked this idea. Only she, and her friends in the club. ‘The Doors’ playing in the background. It was heaven. They were all sitting on the couches in the corner of the club, when Maria turned to her side noticed a petite blond girl with curly hair making her self a drink behind the bar. As Maria looked at her she heard the blonde yell out, “anyone want anything”?

“I’ll have a Vodka Sunrise” Isabelle yelled back.

“Same”, Alex yelled out.

“Maria, what are you having”? Isabelle asked.

“Malibu and pineapple juice”

“Scotch and coke” Michael yelled out.

“Who’s that”? Maria asked Isabelle.

“That’s Tess, she’s a bar tender here also comes to NYU with mwa! She also…” Isabelle leaned in to whisper into Maria’s ear “used to date my brother”. At Maria’s expression Isabelle quickly added, “but…their relationship fazed out quicker then you could snap your fingers, there was nothing, no chemistry, so spark, nothing. But she’s a great girl, one of my closest friends”.

“Sounds cool, but just for the sake of well, Liz’s jealousy… lets not tell her”. Maria said

“Great idea” Isabelle replied.
……………

Liz felt that the cab driver was just not driving fast enough. She was very anxious, becoming more so by the second. “Look, I'm sorry to ask this but do you think you could speed it up just a little”? Liz asked the driver.

“Look lady, I told you before, I can’t go over the speed limit, unless you wanna get out and walk”.

“No that’s fine, thank you”. Still she could not stop feeling like this. She wanted to get to Max and she wanted to get there now!

“Here we are Miss” As she gave the cab driver the money she owed him she could not help feel somewhat afraid. What if Max wasn’t there? What if she had to wait in his room all night? What if he was with another woman? The last thought creeped her out the most. Shaking her head as if get rid of those thoughts she headed into the hotel.

As she walked in Liz could not contain the gasp that left her lips. Never in her life had she been to a hotel that looked this classy and she was only in the lobby. She started to walk to the front desk but changed her mind. Instead she spotted the elevators pressed the button and walked in. As she walked in she saw a man in hotel uniform standing near level buttons. As he saw her he asked: “What floor Miss”? Liz really had no idea which floor to go on so she quickly went through her bag trying to find the piece of paper that Isabelle had given to her at the club. She gave the ‘elevator man’ a small smile and said: “I’ll just be a second let me just look for the room number…” Liz felt her cheeks flame, the word ‘embarrassment’ was an understatement. Suddenly she felt a piece of paper. Not wanting to get her hopes up she took the paper out of the bag and with that the key came out also.

“Here it is”! Liz said triumphantly with a huge smile on her face. She showed him the paper. He looked at it, shocked.

“The Evans floor”? The ‘elevator man’ sounded shocked.

“Yea, why”? Liz asked. This man was creepy.

“Nothing, it's just…well not many people come up here. There are only three expanded penthouses up here and they belong to Mr. Evans, Mrs. Evans and Mr. Guerin”.

“Yea well, I'm special” Liz said sarcastically, where did that come from? Liz wondered. Tonight she felt daring, she felt as thought she could do anything. She faced her demons and was ready for the next step. Suddenly the elevator opened and the ‘elevator man’ led her to Max’s front door. Liz laughed at the term ‘elevator man’. She had no idea what to call him so she called him ‘elevator man’. ‘What a girl Max found’, Liz thought, ‘I don’t even know what to call the guy who pushes the button in the elevator’.

Liz found herself in front of Max’s door, almost hyperventilating. After what seemed like hours she found the courage to knock. At first she knocked lightly but there was no answer, then she knocked harder and louder and still no answer. After minutes of knocking Liz decided to let herself in.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Max sunk on the couch with a heavy sigh. His head was spinning, probably because of all the whisky he consumed when he’d come home after seeing what could very well be the love of his life leaving his life when she’d only just entered it. He lay back on the couch. His eyes closed trying to block out his emotions. Yet he could not forget the look on Liz’s ex’s face. He’s expression was one of supreme confidence. He had the look of a man that had what he wanted. And when he smiled at Liz, a smile that said ‘I’ve got you where I want you’ Max felt his heart, break. He was glad that he could not see Liz’s face, he was hurting enough. He didn’t want to see Liz’s reaction to Peter. If she had feelings for Peter at all…he couldn’t even think about it so he poured more whisky into his glass and drank. All of a sudden he heard a knock on the door, he tried to get up but when he did his head started spinning and he felt extremely intoxicated. Instead of putting himself through any more torture by even contemplating getting of the couch he simply lay back and closed his eyes. He heard many more knocks follow the first but was doing his best to tune them out. Who ever was there would come back tomorrow he thought. It was probably Michael wanting to demand why Max left so early, in turn, giving Isabelle the task of closing up PLAY’s second night. All of a sudden the knocking stopped. Max let out a low breath, waiting for the sound of footsteps walking away from his door leaving him in peace. He listened as carefully as he could in his drunken state but could not hear anyone walking away.

Max took a sharp intake of breath as he heard his door slowly open. He knew it was not Michael, as the only person who had his key was Isabelle. Isabelle was still at the club so all he could think was that it was an intruder. He didn’t know what to do. If he got off the couch he would collapse anyway so he choose to stay on the couch and let the intruders take anything they wanted. Although both options were not very promising but the stay on the couch seemed so much more comfortable.

When the door opened fully max was shocked that in fact it was not an intruder breaking in at all. “Liz”? Max let out softly.

He didn’t know why she was here, and at the moment he didn’t care. “Liz” he said more hopefully. All he wanted to do was take her in his arms and kiss her senseless.

“Max” she whispered as she walked towards him. He gave her his hand and she took it, just loving the feel of him. He pulled hr down towards him and she sat.

“I just want to explain about Peter”.

Suddenly Max remembered everything, Why he left the club and why he was so unbelievably drunk.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

When Liz walked in the welcome she got from Max was overwhelming. He seemed to please see her. She thought that it would not be as hard as she thought. Her hope was sky high. Once she mentioned Peter he closed off emotionally. She saw the change in his face, in his eyes. For a moment she felt deflated. Rather than backing off, Liz only decided to try harder.

“Max please look at me, she saw him try to look at her but he could not look her straight in the eye. His head was…swaying. Liz then realized that Max was well and truly tanked! The man was so drunk eh couldn’t even look at her properly. “Lie down Max and I’ll explain”. And as she expected the second he hit the pillow he fell asleep.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Max woke up the next morning with a stiff neck and still dressed in last nights clothing. He was still on the couch. He heard noises from the kitchen. He turned his head and say Liz wearing his shorts and one of t-shirts cooking breakfast. He tried to think back to last night and tried to remember what happened after he got home from the club. His mind drew a complete blank. He had no recollection of last night’s events at all.

Part 10

Max’s awakening process was speed up one hundred percent at the sight of Liz. He was suddenly fully aware of his surroundings. He looked around the apartment as if expecting it to have changed for some reason. He looked back at Liz and yes she was still there, it was not illusion. She was in his kitchen making what smelled to be eggs and bacon.

She turned to him as if feeling that he had awoken. “Max hey, it's about time you woke up. It's eleven thirty”. Max was speechless; Liz acted as if it was perfectly normal for her to stand around in his clothes, making breakfast in his apartment. Then it hit him, hard. Maybe the reason she was standing around in his clothes and in his kitchen was because…because they slept together. They slept together and he did not remember a thing.

“Max, are you OK”? Liz asked, "You look a little worried".

Max looked at Liz and asked in a worried voice, “Liz, what happened last night”.

“What do you mean what happened last night, don’t you remember”? Liz asked casually.

“Ah…that’s the thing, I don’t remember”.

Liz turned her face away from Max so he wouldn’t see the small smile that she had. She turned back to him and said in a serious voice as possible. “You really don’t remember” Liz pretended to act hurt and shocked. “You don’t remember anything at all”?

“Sorry Liz, it's just that…”

“You don’t remember what happened last night? My God, I'm so embarrassed.

“Liz I'm so sorry, did we…you know. Well did we?

Liz looked as his pained expression, her heart constricting at the way he was looking at her. She decided to put him out of his misery.

So…you don’t remember passing out when I tried to tell you Peter means nothing to me and that I’m happy where I am in life now, with you”?

Max was dumbfounded. Firstly she was telling him that nothing had occurred last night and then she blurted out extra casually that she had no feelings for her ex! Liz almost laughed out loud at the expressions that crossed Max’s face. Confusion, relief and pleasure. Max almost jumped out off the couch, but was then confronted with a stabbing feeling in his head.

“Max what’s wrong”? Liz asked anxiously.

“Nothing, I think it's just a bad case of a hangover. I'm just going to take a quick shower and some aspirin. After that you and I are going to talk”.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

As Michael walked a kitchen that was not his own, to make a cup of coffee his mind went back to last night. He loved the time of the night where there were not many people there. They had their own little private party. Only his friends and the people who worked at the club stayed back. He thought back to Maria and how in one weekend he had become so close to her. Last night after they had settled with their drinks he and Maria and talked, really talked. He’d seen how caring she’d been with Liz and he knew that she was the type of person that he wanted to be with. It surprised him, the fact that he could trust Maria totally. When everyone finally decided to go home, he didn’t want to say goodbye to Maria so he offered to take her home. As he stopped the car in front of her apartment they began to talk again.

“Maria, I really want to thank you for listening to me tonight…I cant tell you how much I appreciated it. You’re the first person apart form Max and Isabelle who knows the full story of my childhood. I was scared that you would have turned away. I mean how many people would want to stick around anyway”. Michael turned his face towards the window to hide his pained expression. He felt his eyes water at the memories that he had tried so hard so forget. Finding his mother passed out on the floor on numerous occasions. Bringing friends home and having her yell about how much of a hassle he was. And then finally, him leaving home at the age of sixteen to pursue a career in the art world. It had taken a long time, many years of struggling, hardly eating and many times having no where to sleep.

“I could never turn my back on you Michael”.

When Michael heard those words he could not contain himself. He turned to her, his eyes asking her if what she said was true.

“You can trust me”, with that, she placed her hand on his face and moved her face towards his. When their lips met Michael felt that finally he was at peace. They kissed for a while then Maria said, “So, you wanna come up for some coffee”?

“Sure, coffee sounds great”, he said with a grin. Both Michael and Maria knew that there would be no coffee made that night.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Liz heard Max enter the kitchen. As he did so she had just finished cooking breakfast. She looked at him and saw that although he did look better the poor baby still looked like he was experiencing some pain. She flashed him a bright smile and motioned him to sit down. He did so. Liz pushed a plate towards him.

“You know Liz, you could have just ordered room service. We so have this on the menu”.

“I know that, but don’t you ever make you own food”?

“Actually no, I don’t think I’ve ever cooked”.

“I don’t cook much either, in fact I hardly ever cook at all, but since you showed no sign of waking up early I decided to amuse myself. I mean really, how hard can bacon and eggs be anyway”?

“Not hard” Max said as he took a bite and had to control himself to keep from spitting it out. He never knew that bacon and eggs could taste so bad. “Can you just pass me the orange juice Liz”?

“Sure here you go”. She took the glass from the breakfast bench and placed it in front of him.

“Actually, can I can get the whole bottle, I love the stuff”.

“Ahh….OK” Liz said in a questioning tone. She watched him take a huge gulp of the juice, emptying the glass in the one go.

“So Max, what do you think of my cooking”? Liz asked hopefully. She had never really cooked a breakfast before. Always settling on cereal of toast.

“It's great Liz, one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had”. Max said while doing his best to swallow the eggs he had just forked into his mouth. He pushed the plate away when he was half finished.

“Aren’t you hungry”? Liz asked.

“Actually, I don’t usually have a big breakfast, sorry”. Yea right! Max Evans usually ate like a starved man in the mornings. His appetite was always at its strongest when first awakening.

“Don’t stress Max, it's fine”.

“Aren’t you eating”? Max asked Liz.

“I don’t usually have breakfast, anyway Max, we need to talk”.

“Yea we do Liz”

They both sat in silence, waiting for the other to start. After what felt like ages, Liz spoke.

“Why did you leave last night Max”?

Max took a deep breath. Wondering how much he should say. He heard Liz before when she said she had no interest in Peter and that she was happy being with him. But what he was afraid to tell her was how he had fallen so hard, so soon. The last thing he wanted to do was scare her away. “I left because I didn’t want to stop you from doing what you wanted to do. I didn’t want you to feel obligated to me. If you wanted Peter I was not in the position to stop you. Also I was…I was hurt Liz”.

Liz walked around the table to reach him. She bent down and cupped his face. “So many missed messages, so much confusion. I'm sorry fro hurting you Max”.

“Liz, don’t apologize. It wasn’t your fault. You’re right, it was only confusion. I'm just…it's just that…” Max was cut off by the feel of Liz’s lips on his own.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

After Isabelle awoke in the morning she decided to call Alex. She couldn’t keep the smile off her face every time she thought of him. He was her…everything. Granted they’d only been together for a short while, but in that short while he was slowly becoming her world. It had been only six hours since she’d last seen him but already she was missing him. It didn’t help that he gave her cheeky adorable smiles whenever he did something funny. It also didn’t help that he made her feel fantastic. Just being around him, listening to his voice put her in a great mood. She dialled his number and to his surprise he answered in less than two rings.

“Whitman residence”.

“Hey Alex”.

“Isabelle, what a perfect way to wake up in the morning”.

“You were sleeping? Sorry Alex I’ll call back later”.

“If you think you’re getting off the phone then think again, I was dreaming of you anyway and I’d rather hear the real you than just the thought so…” Isabelle felt herself blush at Alex’s words. How did she become so lucky? They had a quick conversation, basically discussing the day that was to follow. Last night Maria had mentioned having Alex and Isabelle over for breakfast before Isabelle’s classes started. Alex and Isabelle ended their conversation with the agreement that Alex would be over to pick Isabelle up in an hour. Isabelle hung up the phone and began to think back to where she first really met Alex.

3 Weeks previously

Isabelle had been leaving the University and walking to her car when she spotted a tall lanky man staring at her. She’d felt this man’s eyes on her quite a bit in the past and decided to approach him, as it was obvious he never planned to do so. As she walked up to him she saw a look of confusion cross his face and then turned his head as if expecting her to be walking towards someone else. Isabelle smiled at this. It wasn’t the first time a guy was nervous around her.

As she approached him she noticed that the look of confusion was still on his face. Trying to get passed that she said the first thing that came to mind.

“We must have the same taste in clothes,” Isabelle stated bluntly”.

“Excuse me” Alex asked unbelievably.

“It's just that every time you’re around I can feel you staring at me as if I'm wearing something of yours”. Alex blushed furiously at Isabelle’s comment. His face turning so red that it looked like it was going to burst.

“Ah, I'm sorry that I offended you in any way, it's just that…”

“It's just that what”?

“Well…how do I say this? I think you’re really um, attractive and I guess that’s why I'm always staring”. Isabelle was shocked to say the least. Never had she uncounted such honesty from a man. She also felt very comfortable around him.

“So Alex, what do you think about meeting up for a coffee? Then we could get to know each other better”?

“Sure”! Alex said a bit to enthusiastically, suddenly his features changed. “Actually I have a class now, but what about drinks tonight”?

“Sure, let me just give you my number and you can call me later on”.

That night Isabelle saw what she had been missing out on all her life. Ever since Max had struck it, Isabelle had been dating men and not finding what she wanted in any of them. It wasn’t until she met Alex that she realized that what she wanted was someone honest, funny and genuine. But what Alex didn’t know that she was in love with him. She was afraid to tell him because she’d never said that to anyone before. Not even Max. With her brother they more or less took each other for granted. But with Alex the relationship was too new for Isabelle to drop such a bombshell. She would have to wait, but she just didn’t want to wait fro too long.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Alex found a great parking outside of Maria and Liz’s apartment. He went around the passenger side of the car but Isabelle was already out. He didn’t open the door for her and he probably never would again after the first time. The first time he did that he received the biggest ear bashing from her, hearing about how she could open door her self and that she was fully independent. He agreed, giving her a blank look telling her that it was going in one ear and out the other.

They walked together to the front of the door, not noticing Michael’s car parked across the street. What they didn’t know was they were both in for a big surprise.

Part 11 *Busted*

“God, how many locks do these girls have”? Isabelle asked Alex while inspecting the numerous locks that protected the girls from any outside intruders.

“It is New York Isabelle, not exactly the safest place in the world if you know what I mean”.

“I understand Alex but this many? Come on, it must take them at least ten minutes to lock up and get in”.

Alex smiled at Isabelle’s comment, remembering the opening night of PLAY when he picked up the girls. They were waiting outside, freezing, because they could not be bothered unlocking the doors to wait inside. Isabelle turned to Alex in time to see a smile play across his lips. Automatically she felt a stab of jealously, she tried to contain it. It wasn’t her, she never felt jealous or even remotely insecure in a relationship, but now, it was…different. She knew that what Alex had with Maria and Liz was totally platonic but still…

“You really love them don’t you Alex”?

“Who”? He asked as he turned to look at her.

“Maria and Liz”.

“Yea I do, I mean, they’re my best friends. Alex had no idea of Isabelle’s inner turmoil. “By the way Isabelle, did I tell you how stunning you look this morning? Red is really your colour”.

In that moment all of her doubts and insecurities were gone. She turned to Alex and gave him a brilliant smile. As if not being able to help himself Alex leaned in and gave her a quick kiss. They shared a smile and resumed knocking.

“I don’t think they’re here Alex, I mean really, how long have we been standing here for”?

“Knowing Maria she’s probably sleeping, we’ll just have to wake her up” Alex said and knocked harder on the door.

Just then they heard a mumbling sound from inside the apartment. Isabelle and Alex turned to each other and shared a surprised look.

“Was that a man’s voice”? Isabelle asked Alex.

“It sounded like it, maybe it's Kyle”.

“Who’s Kyle”?

“Maria’s step brother, she hasn’t seen him in like a month. He’s got a new girlfriend and he spends all of his time with her, she’s been on his back about it. She hasn’t even met her yet”.

“Yea, that’s like my friend Tess, you know the girl from school and she works at the club”?

“Max’s ex-girl friend right”?

“I’d hardly say girl friend, but yea. Anyway ever since she met Kyle…hang on a second, what does Maria’s step brother look like”?

Before Alex got a chance to answer, the door swung open to reveal Michael Guerin wearing nothing but a towel.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

From sitting on a chair in the kitchen, Max found himself in the indeed very great position on the couch. Yet he was not alone on the couch. Liz was there with him, they were both sprawled on the couch kissing passionately. Max was aware that they were going too fast too soon. He was almost at the point of no return so he decided to put a halt to things before they did something that they may regret. It was too soon, Max wanted to make love to Liz, not just have a quick roll. He pulled his mouth away from hers, it was one of the hardest things he had ever had to do.

By this time Liz was ready to rock’n roll and was therefore taken aback by Max’s actions. When he stopped kissing her she lifted her head and looked at him.

“Max, what’s wrong”?

“Sorry Liz, I just think that were going too fast…you know, too soon”.

“That should be my line” Liz laughed and she placed he her hands and proceeded to unbutton his shirt.

“Liz please, I'm being serious. I don’t want our first time to be on the couch, I want it to be special. Anyway, does Maria know where you are”?

“Oh my God Max, you’re right”. Liz said quickly as she scrambled up and tried to make herself look presentable. “I’ve gotta go, Maria must be worried sick”.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

“Michael! What are you doing here”! Isabelle asked, shocked at seeing Michael wearing nothing but a towel answering the door to Maria’s apartment. “And put on some clothes, do you want me to go blind”?

Michael scurried back to Maria’s room, quickly waking her up from a deep sleep. His eyes rested on her face for a moment. Although she had eyeliner smeared across her cheek, she still looked like an angel.

“Michael what is it”? Maria asked in her sleep-induced state.

“Isabelle and Alex are here”.

“What”?

“Isabelle and Alex are here”.

“I heard you the first time Michael, what are they doing here…oooohhh.”

“What”?

“I invited them for breakfast this morning I totally forgot, my God, I have to get dressed. Michael, go and entertain them”.

“What do you want me to do”?

“Just go out there and stall long enough ‘till I get there ok? Ok great, now go”.

As Michael left the room, Maria had time to reflect on the previous night. Michael was fantastic. He really knew how to please a woman. Maria was no virgin, but before last night she never knew how fantastic sex could really be. Michael did everything right, he knew exactly what to do and when to do it. The look of satisfaction did not leave Maria’s face for the next twenty minutes. From singing in the shower to dancing while blow waving her hair. The girl was on cloud nine and felt as thought she would never come down.

As Maria walked into the kitchen where she assumed that everyone would be she found herself singing to herself. "My eyes adored you, though I never laid a hand on you my eyes adored you..." She continued singing until she found herself in the kitchen confronted with Isabelle yelling at Michael.

"At least put on a shirt Michael, and some normal pants, so you really think we want to see you parade around in nothing but you boxers"? Isabelle said in a loud voice to Michael. He'd been walking around in his boxers for the last twenty minutes.

"I think she has a point man", Alex said, of course taking Isabelle's side.

"Actually, I think that Michael looks great in what he's wearing” Maria said as she entered the kitchen and came up behind Michael, placing her palms on his chest.

"Yea, you would” Isabelle said, her face had a look of worry on it, but deep down she had to admit that she was happy for Michael. This was out of character for him. The fact that he was still around and smiling proved that. Isabelle was surprised to say the least. The lone ranger finally found a place to call home. But of course, given the reputation she had she felt obliged to keep up appearances.

"So ah...you guys had fun last night"? Alex asked Michaela and Maria.

"Alex"! Maria exclaimed.

"That's really none of your business” Michael answered.

"I think it’s quite obvious what happened here, Alex". Isabelle frowned Michael.

"Guys, what's the big deal, were all adults here, how about acting like it hey"? Maria said, uncharacteristically being the voice of reason.

"Look", Michael responded, "maybe we should lay off this subject, what happened last night is our business, so let's do what we were planning on doing and have some breakfast".

........................................................................................................................

Max and Liz pulled up outside Liz's apartment building. Before Max had the chance to go to the other side of the car and open the door for Liz, she was out of there already heading to the front door. *Just like Isabelle* Max thought. He really did not understand why women found it offensive for men to open doors for them. Isabelle had said something like, a woman can open a door herself, and she was not an idiot. She knew how to push or turn a knob. Then she would go on and Max would do his best to listen but in the end he would end up blocking her out, giving her blank stares and nodding when she expected him to do so. Liz's voice interrupted his thoughts, as well as seeing Michael's car parked out front.

"Hey great, Alex is here. Maybe Isabelle is here too".

"Liz that's Michael's car". Max said surprised.

"Maybe he came with Alex and Isabelle".

"Yea, maybe". Max said, but he had a feeling that, that did not happen at all. He caught glimpses of Michael and Maria last night. They looked pretty chummy...no! There was no way that Michael would have spent the night. It wasn't in his character. Yet still Max had doubts. Well he would find out soon enough anyway.
........................................................................................................................

Kyle waited outside Tess's apartment, waiting for her to come out. He decided to finally have Tess meet Maria. He should have done it earlier, but all he wanted to do was keep Tess to himself. But after hearing all the messages Maria had left on his answering machine, he decided to grab the bull by the horn and get the introductions out of the way. He knew that once the two most important women in his life met, they would get along like a house on fire.

Tess came running out of her apartment, wearing fitted jeans and a bright red singlet top. Sure the outfit wasn't anything special...but there was a certain way that she wore her clothes that made her look like she was coming down the runway of the catwalk. She approached his car and opened the door. "Hey baby” Tess said as she gave Kyle a quick kiss.

“Hey beautiful”

“So… I'm finally going to meet Maria".

"You sure are. Look Tess, I just want to warn you..."

"About what"?

"Its nothing really, but sometimes Maria can be...I don't know how to say it...ah...she can be a bit high strung a times".

"Relax Kyle I can handle it".


Kyle made himself relax prepared fro the worst, yet having no idea what they were about to walk into.


posted on 4-Jan-2002 9:45:51 AM by skyserpant
Part 12 * Surprise! *

“Finally a parking spot” Kyle exclaimed as he pulled into a parking spot around the corner from the girls apartment.

“I would have been faster if we walked” Tess said as she opened the door and got out of the car.

“Hardly” Kyle said in a lame voice.

“My God Kyle”, Tess said in a soft voice.

“What is it babe”?

“Its nothing, just that I’m starting to feel nervous all of a sudden”.

“You nervous? No way”, Kyle joked.

“Kyle, I’m serious”.

“Hey, Listen” Kyle said as he turned her in his arms, “you’re going to win them over, I promise you, I mean come on, its you babe”. Kyle said as he looked in her eyes. He then leant in and kissed her.

“Thanks Kyle”, the relief in her voice evident, but that soon changed, once again her expression was one of slight panic. “Hang on a second, what do you mean them”?

“Oh, Liz and Alex might be there too”.

“And they are…”?

“Maria’s roommate and best friend”, Kyle finished.

“Great Kyle, Not just Maria, but her friends!”

“I told you Tess, they’re going to love you”.

“They better” Tess said as they headed towards the girls apartment.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Oh my God”! Liz exclaimed.

“What is it”? Max asked in a worried tone.

“Look over there down the street”, Max followed Liz’s gaze and was shocked to see none other than his ex-girl friend Tess.

“How do you know Tess”? Max asked Liz.

“Who’s Tess”? Liz asked, “I was looking at Kyle, Maria’s stepbrother, that must be new girlfriend. We haven’t seen him in like… ages, because of the new girl his with. Maria is going to be so stoked”, Liz said while waving her arms out to get Kyle attention.

Max had to think fast. It was bound to come out soon that Tess was his ex. He knew it should not be a big deal but things were so new and fragile with Liz that he did not want to stuff things up in any way. He put on a blank face as he saw Tess approach with Kyle.

“Hey Liz” Kyle said as he enveloped her in a big hug. “Long time, no see”

“And whose fault is that”? Liz asked.

“I know, I know, I'm really sorry, but… I have a very good reason”. It was as if Kyle just noticed Max’s presence, as his gaze went past Liz and he extended his hand.

“Hey Max, surprise seeing you here”. Max took Kyle’s hand and gave it a firm shake. “I'm here with Liz” Max said. “Tess, how are you”?

“I’m great” Tess replied.

“How do you guys know each other”? Liz asked.

“Ah…Tess is a bar tender at the club” Max said quickly.

“I thought you looked familiar, I’m Liz, Maria’s roommate”.

“Nice to meet you Liz” Tess replied.

“Same here” Liz said, “why don’t we head inside, Maria is going to be so happy to see you Kyle”.

“I know, I'm cant wait to see her again, do you think she’s upset”?

“Upset why? Because she hasn’t seen you in a month? Relax Kyle” Liz said as he too started getting nervous, “you know Maria, she’ll get over it in like two minutes”.

With that, all four headed into the apartment, with Tess and Max feeling more uncomfortable by the minute.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Yea, I saw Alex’s car so that means he’s here too, God Kyle their gonna be happy to see you, although beware of Maria, she’s uh…a little pissed” Liz told Kyle as they walked to the apartment. Liz and Kyle had started walking ahead discussing old times leaving Tess and Max walking behind both feeling slightly uncomfortable. Yes they were still friends, it was just that this, was a pretty weird situation.

“That’s great, I missed you guys, it’s been too long” Kyle said.

“Tell me about it”; Liz replied, “Anyway, how do you know Max”?
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“So I take it Liz doesn’t know about our previous…relationship”? Tess asked Max and they were following Kyle and Liz.

“I didn’t think I had to tell her, I mean we only went on out first date last night”

“Last night? You guys look so much closer than that”!

“I know its freaky, when I saw her I knew that I had to ask her out, I knew that there was something with her that I just couldn’t put my finger on” Max told Tess with a certain look in his eyes.

“Pretty fast mover”.

“I guess its just one of those things, and anyway, it didn’t even enter my head to tell her about you, I mean its not like I'm in the habit of discussing my past relationships with a girl on the first date. How was I to know that it would turn out this way”?

“Look, I wont say anything if it makes you fell better, but if she does find out in the future I don’t think she’ll take it too well. You should tell her soon Max, she’s Kyle’s sister’s roommate”.

“And best friend” Max added.

“Which is exactly why you should tell her, I mean, it looks as though we’ll be seeing a lot of each other”.

“You’re right, I will tell her, but not today”.

“What ever Max, just don’t wait too long”.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“So how do you know Max any way” Liz asked Kyle.

“I always sort of knew of him, but I never really knew him until he and Tess broke up”.

“What”? Liz replied.

“What, what”? Kyle asked.

“Max and Tess were an item”?

“Didn’t you know”? Kyle asked.

“No I did not know” Liz said as a smile formed her mouth.

“Liz” Kyle said warningly.

“What”? Liz shot a look at Kyle, a totally innocent expression crossing her features.

“Don’t what me, you’re planning something, I know you Parker”.

“Relax Kyle, I'm just going to have a little fun.
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

They walked into the apartment just as Maria had finished loading the dishwasher. Liz looked around with a questioning eye.

“We just had breakfast”. Maria said, answering Liz’s unspoken question.

Liz nodded her head and said hello to everyone. She then proceeded to make introductions.

“I have a surprise for you Maria”.

“Ooooohhhh I love surprises”.

“Come on in” Liz yelled. And there, as if out of no-where appeared Kyle Valenti. Maria ran to him and gave him a big hug, followed by and even bigger shuv.

“That hurt”! Kyle exclaimed.

“It was meant to”, replied Maria, “You don’t call, you don’t return my messages…”

“I’ve been busy” Kyle tried to explain.

“Busy with what”? Maria replied indigently.

“That’s why I'm here, I’d like you to meet her, Maria, this is my girlfriend Tess Harding”.

With everything that was going on Maria had failed to see Tess standing behind Kyle. All of a sudden her whole mood changed. Maria’s expression changed from anger to delight as she approached Tess and enveloped her in a warm hug. “Welcome to the fold Tess, finally my lazy brother here has done something right and introduced us.

Tess returned Maria’s hug with enthusiasm. Relief was an understatement when describing what she was feeling. When she saw the way she spoke to Kyle she found herself wondering how she could get out of this situation. But now she was ecstatic. It seemed as though it was all working out.

“So, come on into the lounge area, we can talk get to know each other, I really want to understand the person who finally stole Kyle Wyle’s heart”. Maria babbled on.

Tess shot a look to and embarrassed Kyle. She lifted her eyebrows but Kyle only responded with a shrug. No sooner were Tess and Maria involved in conversation about anything and everything.

Meanwhile Liz was in the kitchen with Max when Alex entered. “Hey guys” Alex said. He shook Max’s hand and then patted Liz on the head. He moved before she got the chance to give him a light punch on the arm. “How many times have I told you not to do that? I'm not a dog”.

Alex just smiled and asked: “Hows things”?

“Weird” Max replied.

“You don’t know the half of it” Alex said.

“Maxwell!” Michael exclaimed as he too walked into the kitchen and slapped him on the back. “It seems that there’s a party happening at the Deluka and Parker residence”.

“What are doing here”? Max asked.

“Here we go”. Alex said to Liz in a quiet voice.

“What do you mean”? Liz whispered back.

“Michael ah…spent the night here”.

“He spent the night? Like with Maria”?

“Yes” Alex said, both he and Liz still talking on soft tones.

“Well go Maria, the sly thing, must talk to her and get all the details”. Liz said in an exited tone, she rushed from the kitchen to find Maria to get all the juicy details.

While Liz took off in search for Maria, Max was doing his best to come to terms with all the days events.

“You OK Maxwell”?

“What”? Max replied, his mind clearly somewhere else.

“I asked what’s wrong with you, by now you would have sat me in a corner and had me write lines ‘I shall not take things so fast in a relationship’”.

“Its your life Michael, you’re the only one who decides how to live it”.

“What’s wrong with you Maxwell”?

“What do you mean”?

“I mean…what’s going on”?

“Its Tess”

“What about her?”

“She’s here”

“You’re kidding”

“I wish I was”

“Have you told Liz about your…relationship to Tess, I mean, your ex-relationship”

“Not yet, but I will”

“Why is Tess here anyway”?

“You’ll never believe this, its truly beautiful, you know Tess’s boyfriend”?

“Yea Lyle” Michael replied.

“Its Kyle” Max corrected.

“Whatever, get to the point”

“Well Kyle… is Maria’s brother”.

“That’s crazy, Maria’s an only child”.

“Biologically I guess”

“English please” said a frustrated Michael.

“Kyle is Maria’s stepbrother”.

“Weird…”

“That’s and understatement”.

“So what’s the big deal Max? Yea, Tess is here, but who cares, just tell Liz about it and then all will be fine” Michael said patting Max on the back.

“You think? Well then I guess it’s too bad because Liz and Tess already met and I told Liz that I know Tess just because she works at the club”.

“Have I not taught you anything Maxwell”?

“What do you mean Michael”?

“When you lie, do it right.” Seeing the look of complexity cross his best friends features Michael decided to simplify his statement. “If you’re going to lie Max, at least do it right, you know, so you can get out of it when the truth comes out”. With that ambiguous statement, Michael left Max on his own to contemplate what his next step would be.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

One minute Maria was sitting on the couch chatting to Tess and Isabelle and the next thing she knew Liz had dragged her into the bathroom, telling her that she had to tell her something ‘important’.

Once inside Liz only stared at Maria, waiting. “Yes”? Maria asked.

“What’s this yes business, you know what I'm talking about”.

“Talking about Liz? You haven’t said anything”!

“Spill Maria” Liz replied warningly. Suddenly understanding what wavelength her friend was on Maria just started blabbing.

“Oh Liz…I just can not explain what it was like, the man is truly amazing, those hands, the lips, the body…”

Liz was listening intently to Maria, happy for her friend yet worried at the same time.

“Maria, I'm happy for you I really am, but do you think maybe it was too soon, you know, to get involved”.

“That’s the thing Liz, I can’t explain it mean, it just felt right, you know”?

“I know Maria, I mean I'm just being a hypocrite”.

“WHAT! You and Max”?

“I wish”

Maria just stared waiting for her to explain.

“This morning for example” Liz started “I was all ready to go for it until he decided that it was too soon, that he did not want our first time to be on a sofa”

“Harsh”

“It was nice of him actually, but Maria, I wanted him” Liz emphasized the last three words”
“What can I say Liz, he sounds like just your type”, Maria said with a smile, she was about to leave the small bathroom when Liz stopped her with the following words:

“By the way, Kyle’s girlfriend Tess...”

“You don’t like her”?

“Maria, can you just listen before you start jumping to conclusions”!

“Sorry babe, continue”

“Well Tess is Max’s ex-girlfriend”

“So you figured it out”

“YOU KNEW…”

After a heated conversation and a hug to make up for it, Kyle was summoned to the bathroom; Liz and Maria had a plan.


posted on 4-Jan-2002 9:46:53 AM by skyserpant
Part 13 *Just a small lesson*

“I wonder what that’s about”? Isabelle asked the others, they were all in the lounge area, contemplating what was so important that Kyle had to go speak to Liz and Maria.

“Who knows with those girls” Alex replied, “sometimes I don’t even understand them”, he said shanking his head.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“So… are we clear”? Liz asked, as she, Maria and Kyle were about to exit the tiny bathroom.

“Clear Captain” Maria mocked Liz, saluting her, Kyle on the other hand seemed quiet, he had something in his hand and he seemed to be studying it.

“Kyle, what are you doing” Liz asked him.

He held up what he had in his hand, Liz gasped and snatched it off him. “Normal much”?

“Its just that I’ve never seen one up close before, I’ve actually never seen one at all apart from advertising”.

“Well now that you are familiar with tampons Kyle, can we get back to it” Maria tried to restrain herself from shouting.

“Sorry…” Kyle mocked her while he held up his hands. “So are we ready”?

“Yes we are” Liz replied “but don’t make it too obvious Kyle, not like we planned or anything”.

“How stupid do you think I am”? Kyle asked.

“Kyle”! Maria exclaimed, “You were checking out tampons for goodness sake”!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

When Liz, Maria and Kyle walked back into the living area, they were confronted with five pairs of eyes. “What?” Maria asked.

“What were you doing in there”? Michael replied.

“I was just showing Kyle something”

Michael just looked at her quizzically, then returned to his conversation with Max. Liz gave Maria a look, which told her to start the plan.

“So why did you guys brake up Liz”? Maria began. Hearing this Max’s head snapped back, all of a sudden Michael and his theory on the KFC conspiracy did not seem too interesting, not that it was valid, but he had to hand it to Michael, he had a great imagination. Acting like he could not hear what the girls were talking about, he pretended to pay attention to Michael, but did his best to hear what was being said on the other side of the room. Thankfully he missed the wink that Kyle sent to Tess, telling her that what was about to be said was just a joke.

“Well, Kyle and I just decided that it wasn’t working out between us, I mean, its difficult to explain…” Liz answered Maria’s question. She looked at Max from the corner of her eye and saw that her plan was working. He was pretending to be in a conversation with Michael, but Liz just knew that he heard every word that she saying.

Kyle? Max thought, she was dating Kyle, why didn’t she tell m? she must have known I would feel uncomfortable. It then hit Max that he was doing the same thing. So instead of putting himself through slow torture he left Michael and went to stand next to Liz.

“So you and Kyle huh?” Max asked her.

“Yea, its nothing really, I mean it was a long time ago, Its not a problem that were still friends, I mean, I'm here with you, the past is the past right?” Liz replied, doing her best to look totally innocent. Tess had to do her best to hold back her laughter. She realised what was going on the moment Kyle winked at her. What could she say, Max needed this, in fact, in her eyes, he needed Liz. She gave him something that no one else could give him. Fun.

“Yea it is, speaking of which…” Max was about to blurt out the truth about he and Tess when Maria butted in.

Maria said the first thing that came to her head. She had a feeling that Max was about to spoil the fun so… “You always said that Kyle wasn’t to hot in the sack anyway Liz, I understand why you broke it off”.

At Kyle’s outraged expression and Tess’s burst of laughter, Max suddenly felt that something was not right, he saw Liz looking down, trying to hide her giggles but a few broke loose. All of a sudden he understood. He didn’t know how Liz found out about Tess, but he knew she knew. He should have felt like a fool, but the only thing that he was feeling was relief. Pure and beautiful relief. “Very funny girls” Max said dryly, “I know I should have told Liz about Tess, I was an idiot, so shoot me”.

“No need for violence Max”, Liz answered him, “this was just to show you that you can tell me things, I'm not going to freak out, we’ve only known each other a few days, there’s over twenty years of our lives that has passed, you don’t have to be scared to tell me anything OK? I'm a big girl, I can handle it.”

“Sorry Liz, I guess you could say I was not thinking straight, will not happen again, I promise” Max said as he gave her a small kiss on her nose. She only smiled and nodded. Maria noticed that Liz looked somewhat dazed. Imagine what would happen when they did it? Maria thought.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Bye Max” Liz said as she walked him to the door. Everyone had already left but Max wanted to delay his stay so he could say good-bye to Liz in private. He would not see her until Friday because they were both extremely busy. He, with PLAY and Liz, with a major essay due in due that she was already behind in. These next few days Liz had to do nothing but study. But Liz had a feeling that study would come difficult because of the dark eyed man who had just recently captured her heart.

“I’ll see you soon Liz” Max replied as he leaned in and kissed her. They’d kissed before but this was different. Before the kiss was passionate and hurried, but this time the kiss was… sensual, slow. At the first touch of their mouths Liz immediately felt a tingle in her tummy. The tingle then turned into a need to deep and powerful. Yet, as if they both knew what each other were feeling, they purposefully kept the kiss slow. Knowing that they had no time to further their kiss and turn into something more, much more.

At last they parted, breathing heavy. Max gave Liz one last short kiss, opened the door and left the apartment. Although Liz knew she’d see him in only a few days, she already missed him.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It was Tuesday morning and Max had just finished a breakfast of 2 eggs, three pancakes, 2 glasses of orange juice and a piece of toast. He was always at his hungriest in the mornings. He smiled a small smile when he thought of the breakfast that Liz had made for him. She was a terrible cook, the breakfast was disgusting, but as long as she cooked he would eat. There was no way that he could hurt her by not eating, even if he did get food poisoning.

He walked over to the phone, picked it up and dialled. To his surprise Liz picked up the phone on the third ring. “Hello”.

The sound of voice alone sent him to heaven. “It’s Max”

“Hey” She said softly.

“Hey yourself” Max replied. “Just wanted to call before I headed off to work, how are you”?

“Tired, very tired”.

“Poor baby”, it was the first time Max had used any type of endearment with Liz. He surprised even himself. But still, it seemed natural, like he had been calling her ‘baby’ forever.

Liz could not keep the blush from her cheeks and the smile off her face at Max calling her baby. She loved it! “I’ve only had a few hours sleep, I need to get this thing finished before Friday”.

“I'm sure that you can do it, anyway Liz, I don’t want to keep you away from your studying, I just wanted to call and hear your voice, see you on Friday”.

“Thanks for calling Max, bye”, with that she hung up the phone and returned to her study. These days the only thing that kept her going was the fact that she only had another two months until she finished, then assignments would be a thing of the past.

With that she headed to her computer, switched it on and began.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Friday, 3 o’clock

“Finally”! Liz exclaimed as she clicked on ‘print’ for the second time that day. The first time was because she wanted to go over her work before handing in the finished copy. Liz felt as though a great weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Nothing ever felt better than finishing an assignment, and at the moment she felt great. She let the computer print off the pages to her work as she headed into the shower. She planned on handing in her work, sleeping for a few hours, then get ready and meet Max at the club. He sent her a message on her cell telling her that he ad to be there early because a new bar tender was starting today. Since he knew that she was extremely sleep deprived he knew that she could not be there too early. So Liz planned on going with Maria.

Stepping out of the shower and drying herself off she wondered what it would be like seeing Max again after four days. Did he still want her? Was he having second thoughts? He hadn’t called since Tuesday morning and the only communication with him since then was the message he sent to her cell earlier today. Turning on the hair dryer she let the loud sound block out any other troubling thoughts. She would deal with Max and her insecurities tonight. Right now she had an assignment to hand in.

One hour later…

“Ah sleep, precious, beautiful, fantastic sleep” Liz mumbled before setting her alarm clock for eight o’clock, she was already showered, so she should be ready by ten, since Maria wanted to make her appearance at 10:30. But then again Liz always showered just before she got ready to leave the house so… well she could think about that later. Right now she needed to close her eyes.

“Don’t forget marvellous” Maria said quietly, walking into her room.

“What about it”? Liz asked.

“Just another adjective for you to use for how much you love your sleep”. Maria stepped further into the room and approached the bed. “Sleep tight Liz, do you want me to wake you later or…”

“I’ve got it Maria” Liz said pointing to the alarm clock, “but thanks”.

“No problem, I’d do anything, you know that”?

“I know that Maria, that’s why I love you”.

“Right back at you chika, do you want me to close the light”?

“Yea, thanks” Liz replied gratefully.

“Do you want me to read you a bedtime story” Maria replied with laughter evident in her voice”.

“See you in a few Maria” Liz replied warningly.

“Fine, fine, I was only trying to help…” Maria went on as she walked out and closed the door behind her. Almost instantly Liz fell into a deep and peaceful sleep.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

That freaking alarm clock! Liz hated it! It was the worst noise in the whole damn world! Was already nine? Geez, she felt like she just fell asleep. Rolling out of bed Liz stumbled to her wardrobe and pulled out her robe. When she opened the door to her room she walked straight into Maria.

“Watch it doll”

“Sorry Maria” Liz said in a tired voice then followed it with a yawn.

“Is my Lizzie still tired”?

“Very”

“Nothing a nice long shower wont fix, now hurry and get ready”

“Sure thing Captain” Liz replied while saluting her.

“Move your ass sister”! Maria yelled at Liz just before Liz slammed the door on her.

Even over the running water Liz could hear Maria, Liz smiled to herself, the girl was always talking!

“You know Liz, in some countries, slamming doors is looked upon and being rude and inconsiderate. Some people may even take offence, but not me, uh uh. I… being the kind person that I am, will forgive you…”

Smiling Liz drowned out Maria and contemplated what she was going to wear, tonight she wanted to look hot.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Chika you look hot! Cat woman eat your heart out” Maria said as Liz exited he room and hour and half later. Liz was wearing a black, skin tight, sleeveless off the shoulder top, with even tighter black, slightly bell bottom pants. She has gold, long drop earrings, that and a small gold ring on her finger, a gift from her parents for her 21st being the only jewellery she wore. Her hair was up, in a low ponytail and the make up, dark and heavy. Even she had to admit that she did a good job.

“You don’t look so bad yourself Maria, in fact, you look amazing”! That she did. Maria, always one to dress on the slightly more eccentric side, tented to wear more…flair in her clothing. Wearing a fitted orange knee length dress with thin straps, Maria looked nothing less than a stunning sight. On anyone else the colour would have looked too much. But Maria has something about her, a confidence that allowed her to carry off any outfit.

“Why don’t we just say that we both look fantastic” Linking her arm through Liz’s Maria headed to the door. “”Our rides here, c’mon. Let’s show our men what were made of”.

“Just turn it out and turn it on” Jennifer Lopez


posted on 4-Jan-2002 9:49:24 AM by skyserpant
Part 14 *Where the party’s at*

Approaching the club Liz was about to walk to the back of the line, until Maria whispered in her ear. “What are you doing”?

“Lining up”

“Babe, are you thinking straight? Your dating the owner and I work here, we do not line up”

“Oh”?

“’Oh’ she says, Liz you are unbelievable”

Walking to the front, the bouncer lifted up the rope, allowing them to walk in. “Miss Parker, Miss Deluka” he said nodding his head. “Ready for a great time”?

“Always Joe” Maria spoke, heading into the club as if she owned it.

Liz automatically put her radar on for Max but after looking around through the crowed she gave up.

“What do I feel like tonight”? Liz heard Maria say. “Do I want Bailies, do I want Vodka of shall I go non-alcoholic”?

“I think a Bailies would go down great” Liz answered.

“Bailies it is, c’mon”.

The two girls ordered their drinks. But when Liz reached into her pocket to take out money, she felt an a warm arm curving around her waist and heard Max’s unbelievably sexy voice, talking to the bar tender. “I never want you to take money from these girls, ever”. Max said in a tone that demanded obedience.

“Max please…” Liz started.

“Don’t want to hear another thing” Max said in a determined voice. The way he spoke, the look on his face made Liz want him all that more. Max Evans was all man. Liz almost trembled at his touch. The word ‘want’ did not seem to cover what she felt for this man. She felt so much more. She knew that it was too soon, she knew she should wait, but… what Max made her feel was something that she had never before experienced. She never even knew that these feelings existed. She turned around to face him, and found herself in his arms. She was almost face to face with him. ‘Almost’, because of her petite frame. She looked up into his face and was happy to see his look of extreme appreciation. His eyes almost burned a hole through her clothes. She smiled, happy that he liked what he saw. She knew that she good tonight, but he - Max looked unbelievably sexy. He was wearing grey slacks, and a crisp, long sleeved white shirt. He looked wonderful and smelled even better.

“What are you smiling about? His face inching closer to hers with every word.

“Just about how sexy you’re looking tonight”. Smiling, she did the same as he, moving her face closer to his, anticipating his kiss.

“Interesting”? His lips just a breath away from hers.

“What is”? Liz almost lost track of the conversation, he playing havoc with her emotions and she loved it.

“I was thinking the same about you, you look unbelievably beautiful and extremely sexy”.

“Great minds think alike” Liz could not take it anymore, she touched her lips to his, just before she exploded. When their lips met, they forgot where they were. Oblivious to all onlookers, this moment was about them. The kiss slowed. Max tasted Liz’s mouth. First outlining her lips with his tongue. Then letting it enter into her mouth to explore her delicious taste. Liz greedily accepted Max. Wanting as much as he would give. Liz slowly lifted her head and whispered quietly, “Max, we have to stop”.

“Why” He dipped his head and caught her lips once again. He felt as though he could not get enough.

“Too public”

“I don’t care”, and he didn’t, not for the first time since he first Liz was he throwing caution to the wind. Kissing her as if he had all the time in the world Max felt happier than he had in a very long time.

With a sigh, Liz ended the kiss. The look in her eyes telling Max that there was plenty more of that to come, but now was just not the right place. One thing that Max knew was that the right pace would be soon, hopefully anyway…

“Your drink Madam” Liz was shocked at hearing Maria’s voice. She turned around to see Maria holding the Bailies that she ordered. “I was going to give it to you before but you looked kinda busy so…”

“And you didn’t interrupt, that’s not like you at all Maria”

“Sarcasm doesn’t suit you Liz”

“And being polite does not suit you”

“Really”?

“Yes really”

Max was worried, it seemed that an argument looked to brake loose at any moment, so before anything did happen, he decided to step in. “You girls aren’t gonna like, have an argument or anything are you”?

Both girls looked at Max like he was from another planet (pardon the pun). Maria looked the more confused out of the two of them. “No Max, Liz and I are not going to start throwing punches at each other. We are completely civilised”.

“I didn’t mean that…” Maria cut him off before he was able to say any more.

“Max, relax, hey I rhyme, I'm a poet and I didn’t even know it”.

“That’s Maria for you Max, multi talented”.

“You got that right” Maria was stunned, she didn’t even hear Michael approach. She almost humped at his touch. His warm hand curved around her waist. She welcomed him with a smile. “So what’s going on”.

“Nothing much” Max turned to Michael. Things are running smoothly and there’s a great turn out”.

“Great stuff”

“You’re not much of a talker are you Michael” this coming from Liz.

“If there’s something that has to be said…?”

“Anyway” Maria spoke up “as intriguing as you guys are, I think I may take Liz to the dance floor and start the night off with a bang.”

“I saw Tess up there before actually” Michael regrettably let go of Maria.

“She’s not working tonight”?

“Nope, she gets every second Friday off, I think its only fair.”

“Such a sweet heart” Maria whispered to Liz sarcastically. “C’mon”

“By the time they got to the dance floor, the song ‘Play’ by Jennifer Lopez had just fininshed. Liz was somewhat disappointed. It was one of her favourites. Never failed to put her in a party mood. But, it was followed by another song that Liz loved. ‘Dance with me’ by 112.

I see you, looking at me
I can tell by your eyes that you’re feeling me
And I really want you to get close to me
So wont you dance with me


As Max was circulating around the club he saw that it was jam packed. He spoke to Joe earlier who was the bouncer at the front and he learned that they were even knocking people back. At the moment it was guest list only. He couldn’t stop the smile that formed. He loved it. With one eye on the club and one eye on Liz, Max was practically drooling. He had it bad and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He saw Tess approach the girls on the dance floor and join them. Turning around and looking at Liz he could not help the warm feeling that was slowly making its way to his heart. He couldn’t get enough of looking at her. She was mezmerising.

If you’re sexy and you know it clap your hands
If you’re sexy and you know it clap your hands
If you’re sexy and you know it
And you really wanna show it
If you’re sexy and you know it clap you’re hands


All of a sudden, once again. Liz felt a pair of warm hands on her back. “You’re not clapping your hands”

“What” Liz was so giddy. She was breathless. It was agony being this close to Max and not being able to do anything about it.

“Well your incredibly sexy and song does say for you to clap your hands”

She turned her head and looked at him. Their eyes locking instantly. She saw a fire in his eyes that almost scared her. She was feeling so many things. She had butterflies in her tummy, she was slightly scared at how strong her emotions were when concerning this man, but most of all she was exited. Very exited!
He moved behind her. His front pressed up against her back. Both swaying in sync to the music. They each knew what the other was feeling. With out a second thought Max whispered in her ear. “Let’s get out of here”

“What about the club”? Liz asked breathlessly.

“Who cares, Isabelle’s here. She can handle it.”

With a smile, Liz kissed him on the lips took his hand and was about to lead him away when she an all too familiar voice bring her out of her sexual daze. It was a voice that she was doing her best to forget.

“Well, well, well. What do we have here”?

Liz looked into the face of someone who at one time was the most attractive thing in the world but now could not stand to look at. Once again, Peter was serving his purpose in life. To make hers as difficult as possible.


posted on 4-Jan-2002 9:53:44 AM by skyserpant
Part 15 *Some people just never learn*


“Well, well, well. What do we have here”?

Honestly, some people just never learn, Liz thought. What was Peter up to now anyway? This asshole just could not take the hint. Rolling her eyes Liz took Max’s hand and walked away. She thought she was safe until she heard his voice again from behind.

“Leaving so soon Parker? I thought maybe you would stay and give me a little re-run of what happened last year on your birthday”

Hearing this Max did all he could to control his emotions, and his fists. Liz had told him about this guy but did not give him all the details. Isabelle filled him from what she had learnt from Maria. And what he learnt was that this Peter guy had used Liz and hurt her, intentionally. Unable to contain himself any longer Max walked up to Peter.

“I’d be careful what you say” Max’s voice was low but very dangerous.

“You’re telling me to be careful”? Peter’s voice was full of fake surprise. “You’re the one who should be careful buddy, this bitch is not all you think she is. But, for a first timer I have to admit she’s great in the sack, and…”

Peter did not have time to finish his sentence, for Max threw his fist in Peter’s face, knocking him to the ground. “If I ever” Max said in a voice that could cut ice “see you in here I again, I’ll kill you”.

“You fucking prick” Peter spat, as he slowly rose from the ground, his hand over his lip where it was bleeding. “Who are you to tell me where I can and can’t go”?

“Max Evans, owner”

Liz loved the look that crossed Peter’s face. She quietly smiled to herself, aggravating Peter that much more. He stepped towards her, and Max moved forward also. Liz saw what was about to happen and stepped between them. “Max no, please, he’s not worth it”.

You’re right, OUT!” Max shouted. Peter walked away dejectedly and Liz felt a pang of sadness. How did it get this far? She and Peter were lovers for goodness sake. Why did it have to come to this? Seeing the look in her eyes, Max squeezed her hand. “Let’s go”

“Where”?

“Anywhere”.

..…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Max and Liz ended up in Max’s apartment, sitting over coffee, both mulling over what had happened. Both were quiet, the mood sullen. After a few minutes, Liz could not take it anymore. “Max I'm sorry”

“For what”?

“For everything, for Peter being such a jackass, for bringing you into this whole mess, if I had known what would have happened…”

“What would you do Liz”? Max was staring right at her, his eyes glued to hers. “Would you do anything different? Because I know I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t change anything about this last week”.

“Really” Liz started to smile.

“Really” Max returned her smile and slowly it turned into a sexy grin. How could she doubt that, Max thought. She was the closest thing to perfection that he had ever come across.

Liz looked at Max and new that what he was saying was true. The look in his eyes showed her how much he cared about her and she knew that her eyed mirrored the exact emotions. Liz looked down suddenly shy. She felt her cheeks heat up at the way that Max looked at her. She couldn’t help it. No one had ever looked at her that way. She only raised her face again when she felt Max tilt her face up with his finger.

“Don’t be embarrassed of me, please don’t be embarrassed of me” He then leaned in and kissed her. His hands resting on the side of her face. For a while, all they were doing was kissing. Max did not want to push Liz into anything so he kept it safe and slow. It was Liz who initiated it further. Pulling him on top of her she lay back on the couch. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him with all the passion she had inside of her. She couldn’t get enough of his taste. At the moment he tasted like Scotch, his taste alone was enough to her sexually intoxicated. Unwinding her arms from around his neck, Liz reached for the front of him and started undoing the buttons of his shirt. She then started to kiss his chest and stoped when she heard Max speak.

“Liz are you sure”?

“Yes, yes I am” She looked into his eyes and was very pleased to see his desire blaze forth.

Satisfied with her answer, Max lifted Liz into his arms and carried her to the bedroom.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Liz woke up in the morning feeling extremely lethargic in a way that only exhaustive and amazing lovemaking could make one feel. The night was amazing. They did things to each other that now made Liz blush. They made love countless times, countless beautiful times. She stretched in a cat like saw Max looking at her with a lazy expression on hi face.

“Hey” Liz whispered.

“Hey yourself” He whispered back before tenderly kissing her on the mouth. “How do you feel”?

“Amazing” stretching once again she saw Max’s gaze drop to her exposed breasts. He lightly trailed his fingers across them, making Liz want him again. She couldn’t believe it. As if last night was not enough. She reached down under the grey silk coves and grabbed him. “Are you up for another round Mr Evans”?

“Always Miss Parker” He rolled on top of and began once again to make her feel and discover things that she thought only belonged in erotic fairytales.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………


When Liz opened the door to her apartment she was surprised to see that it was empty. Looking in the lunge room and the kitchen and finding no-one she decided to take a shower.

When she got out of the shower she put on her bathrobe and sat herself down in front of the television. Seeing that there was nothing on she threw in a tape of ‘Sex and the City’. She hated missing that show so she and Maria always taped it. Usually, she watched it with all her attention focused on it, but today she didn’t hear a thing that was said. All she had was a soft smile on her lips, remembering last night.

When Maria came home and hour later she found Liz sitting in the same position. ‘Sex and the City’ had finished long ago Liz now seemed to be entranced in watching ‘Jerry Springer’. Which was funny, because every time Maria put that on, Liz would not stop complaining about how stupid and well… stupid that show was.

“Liz”? Maria asked suspiciously, “what are you doing”?

“Just watch Sex and the… what! When did that finish? And why am I watching this crap?”

“I'm as baffled as you are doll”.

“Anyway” Switching off the TV with the remote she turned to Maria. “What’s going on”?

“Nothing” Maria said, looking at Liz strangely. She was acting very weird today. Granted, Maria had no aversion to people smiling, but Liz was creeping her out. Suddenly Liz got off the couch and walked into the kitchen. “Do you want a coffee Maria”?

“Sure” Maria followed Liz into the kitchen and stared at her, trying to figure out what was up with Liz and why she was in such a happy mood. Then it clicked! Maria didn’t see Liz around the apartment in the morning before she went to the shops and usually Liz was up pretty early. She must have been at Max’s and she must have… hmmmmmm, interesting!

“You had sex didn’t you”?

“What are you, a sex detector”?

“Uh huh” Maria smiled. “Now tell all to MD here”.

“MD”?

“Maria Deluka” Maria corrected.

“Well MD, there’s not much to tell. We spent the night together and that’s it”.

“That’s it? What do you mean that’s it? I always tell you the details, now spill”.

“OK, but not all the details, now what do you want to know”?

“Was it any good”? Maria’s eyes glittered; sex was always her favourite topic.

“It was amazing” Liz gushed.

“Oh, I like this already”.