|posted on 27-Mar-2002 1:55:35 PM|
Category: Max and Liz A/U
Rating: NC 17
Summary: School teacher Liz Parker's father is in serious debt. Millionaire Max Evans is to blame, In order to save her father from humiliation on his death bed, Liz makes an indecent proposal, be Max Evans mistress for a year.
Note:don't sue me, I'm a poor high school student
Max speaks fluent Spanish, and this is set in Australia, (no place like down under baby!!!)
The sun shone warmly, Max noted as he spared a glance out the kitchen window while water poured into the glass carafe. With deft movements he turned off the tap and slid the carafe into the coffee-maker, spooned freshly ground coffee beans into the filter, then switched it on.
The eggs were done, toast made,and on impulse he placed it all on a tray and carried it out onto the terrace.
He returned to the kitchen, all but drained the orange juice, in a few swallows, then he poured the coffee, collected the morning newspaper, and ventured into the early Spring sunshine.
Allowing himself time for a leisurely breakfast had log become a habit, and this morning was no different. It was the best part of the day for him, as he skimmed the headlines, read what interested him whilst enjoying the food he prepared. He persued the business section, then reached the socila pages, scanned the photo spead and was about to turn the page when his own reflection leapt out in a lower right corner frame.
Hmn, Tess looked stunning. The profile was perfect, the smile just right, her stance practised to present the most attractive image. His gaze slid tot he caption, and his eyes narrowed a little.
Celebrating the recent takeover by Evans, Maxwell Evans, multi- millionaire entrepreneur,and Tess Harding enjoy an evening at Dejeuner restaurant.
A brooding smile found it's way to his mobile mouth. Yes he could lay claim to wealth and business now, he refleacted with grim satisfaction. He lived in a beautiful home in one of Sydney's prestigious harbour subhurbs. He possessed an enviable investment portfolio, and owned real estate in several capital cities.
It would appear he had everything, but what the columnist didn't touch on was his background. His life and his sister's were not always fame and wealth.
Max sat on his terrace, overlooking Sydney, he spent three years of his life here on this terrace, every morning, and spent three years living in this house, but then his mind took him back to times where he didn't even spend a year in one location.
He lived in the "rich" part of New York so to speak.
Max's mother was a stunningly beautiful woman, she had blond long hair, like Isabel, and her eyes were like his, she was a great mother, but her only flows were that she was addicted to sex and drugs, which would ultimately be her down fall.
At the age of 15 Max and his 13 year old sister, ran away from home, his mother's new boyfriend tried to rape Isabel that day, he had just got home from school when he heard his sisters screames from her room. It ended when Max took a baseball bat to the guys head two times. That evening he packed up his belongings, took out everything he and his sister had save up and ran, he had always been a smart ass but what they did next was illegal, he had forged their identities and gotten them into a public school in the Bronx, that's how he learned Spanish. The school was bad, drugs, gangs, the works. Max went to school in the day and worked at night, his sister worked after school so that they could pay for a place to stay. They never stayed in one apartment in one area for long, but tried to stay as close to an education building as possible. At 18, Max and his 16 year old sister graduated High school, he was very proud of Isabel, they had both graduated with honours and both earned scholarships for Harvard. They both attended and succeeded, after they graduated, they both split up, with Isabel persueing Acting and modeling, and he started in a math oriented fields, accounting, banking, the odd real estate company and succeeded with money. He moved to Australia, 5 years ago. He was now CEO of a few different businesses in Sydney.
Now at the age of 29, he was a very rich man on his own accord, Isabel was a successful model, and she was beginning her deal with movies.
His life had been rough, but now he was rich, and as the lady's say attractive, he could have any woman he wanted, and he often did, but selectively. His latest conquest however, Tess, was hinting at something more than just sex, she wanted marriage and he really wasn't intrested in a wife at the moment, he didn't believe in marriage.
The shrill scream of the phone broke his thoughts, he frowned breifly then picked it up.
'Buenos dias, querido' said the feline voice, it was supposed to make him hard and needy, but unfortuenately for her it didn't happen,
"Tess" he acknowledged
"Am I disturbing you darling" she purred
"Yes you are actually, I was haveing breakfast" he said curtly.
"Oh I'm sorry darling, but I was hoping to have dinner with you tonight." she purred again,
He apreciated her suduction, but he wanted to do the hunting for awhile. "I'll have to take a rain check"
"Someother time then?" she asked trying not to sound to dejected.
"Maybe" he replied, and ended the call.
Max cast a brooding gaze at the immaculate grounds, he looked at the shimmering water of the pool and then at his garden, he had worked very hard on it. He glanced at his watch, and realised that it was time for him to leave for work. He finished his breakfast, rinsed the dishes and set them into the dishwasher, then he went to his room to dress.
He owned many suits and today he chose a black Armani suit, he added a buttoned waistcoat, a blue silk tie and black handmade Italian shoes, he then shrugged on a jacket, grabbed his breifcase and laptop, and walked down the stairs towards the front door. Max set the security system, got into his Mercedes and reversed out his garage, on his way to work.
He owned office space on the high floor in one of the cities buildings. Traffic was heavy, and opened his laptop at a set of lights and cheaked his day's scheduled appointments. Fifteen minutes later he eases the car down two floors of the basement car park and slid into his reserved space.
With deft movements, he shut off the ignition, got his laptop and briefcase in the back seat and opened the door, and stould up, fixing his suit before closing the door and securing the car alarm.
He stilled at the feminine voice, and turned slowly to face it's owner, his body alert beneath the relaxed stanse, ready to attack if needed.
Burnette, petite,slendor, brown eyes, attractive. She didn't seem the likely opponent, but he knew better. He was aware what a practised martial arts expert could do, gender wasn't a consideration.
Dammit, these floors, the entire building was patrolled by security, how the hell did she get in.
"Yes" he replied
"I need to speak with you"
"I'm a busy man." he stopped to watch his watch
"Just 5 minutes please"
"Make an appointment with my secretary" he replied gruffly.
"I tired that already, and it didn't work, your security is impenetrable" she replied steadily.
"You managed to access this car park" He'd have someone in it immediately.
"Mark" she responded, she hoped that he wouldn't fire the man.
"Ah one of your lovers?" he asked arrogantly
"No" she replied simply, " my best friend"
"Are you going to bribe me, as you you did him?"
"And waste more time?"
Max was intrigued, sharp tonge, "You have two minutes"
What is your name?
"Liz" she stoped and looked his dead in the eyes, "Jeff Parkers daughter"
His face now steel, his expression negative," No"
She had prepared for this, so she persued the matter," You offered me two minutes, please hear me out"
"I can multiply it by ten and the answer will still be No" he gratted
"My father is dying" she pleaded
"And you want my sympathy?"
His features hardenen even more, his eyes piercing her dangerousely. "You dare ash for leniency for a man who embezzled several hundred thousand dollars from me?"
She tried to hide her desperation at the matter at hand, "My father is hospitalised with an inoperable brain tumour." she puased, "If you press chages agains't him he would spend the last days of his life in jail,"
"No" he replied walking toward the elevator.
"I'll do anything" she countered
"It will take muck more than you can give to save his name" he said coldly
"You don't know that" she said
"YES I do" he drawled with certainty
"Please" she pleaded
"You have one minute to get out of here before I call security, if you refuse to leave then you can join your father in jail." he replied coldly.
Max expected, anger or sobbing from her, but she surprised him, she lifted her head high, and squared her shoulders, a single tear trickled down her face but she turned and walked away with no backwards glance. He stould in the elevator, and turned his key and the door closed.
"That was very interesting," siad Max to himself as he entered his office. He held shared in one of Sydney's biggest computer technology advancesand internet company's. He flipped on hte intercom, spoke to his secretary, Kelly, on the days schedule, and got tho work.
Two hours later, Max finished the file he had been working on, and had some time to kill. His mind taking him to a certaim burnette he met this morning, he then sommoned the Parker file, a couple seconds later, the file was on his computer screen. He read the file over.
Jeff Parker, widower, one child, Elizabeth, single, twenty-five, High School teacher. It listed an address of the school and a contact telephone number. Hobbies
He lifted as eye,...tae-bo? he inwardly laughed.
He printed out the information, and slid it in his jacket pocket. He then got his detective friend, Micheal, on the phone, " get me everything on Jeff Parker, medical, personal, everything, I want to know the man's damn shoe size." "Will do Maxwell" said Micheal, he knew better than ask Max "why."
An hour later, Max received the fax he'd been waiting for, Jeff Parker was in serious debt, gambleing, "I should have known" Max grumbled. Medically, his information that his daughter gave was correct, Jeff was very sick.
The man had used the money from gambling to pay for his wife's medical bill, she had cancer, and the doctors tried everything they had to save her. This of course needed money, "which he embezzled from me", Max thought. He scanned the page again, it was dated six months ago, Jeff had almost gotten away with it, but and audit had picked up irregular deposits.
Max leanded back in his chair, deep in thought, "What next?" he thought, Madre de Dios, What was he thinking the father is a theif. Why in the world should the dauther intrest me?.
Intrigue, he corrected later that day, Human relationships, family loyalty. How far did hers go? He recalled the squared shoulders, the proud stance and the single tear and was intrigued, he wanted to find out more about this woman. Depressing the inter-office communication system, he contacted his secretary,
"If Elizabeth Parker calls put her through."
It took twenty-four hours, and he felt saticfied at knowing he'd calculated correctly. He kept it breif, he named a resturant, and time, "7:30, meet me there"
Liz had expected rejection, bt felt aconfused between hope, and despair.
"I can't" she said
"Why not?" he asked alittle annoyed
"I work nights" she said, proudly
"Call in sick" his reply smooth as silk , dangerously?
"Dear god," she thought she couldn't lose her job. "I finish at eleven tonight." she said stedily
There was an uncomfortable silence for awile then
"Not your stamping ground" she said sarcasticly
"Where?" he ground out
She told him
"I'll be there" he said afterwards
It was almost imposible to get a parking space, as he slipped his Mercades, in the small spot. He slipped in half an hour, before closing time, he sat at a table, ofdered coffee, and watched the way she handled the clientele.
I t made her nervous, as he intended it should. He watched as she endevoured to ignore him, and experienced wry amusement, only to haveit chance to mild irratation when a drunk customer ran his hand over her curved rear. He didn't need to know what she said, the message was clear, the dangerous fire in her eyes and the pink in her cheeks. Did she resent her father for his mistakes, and her having to pay for them? perhaps not he saw the pride and courage she had shown, qualities which he identified with and admired, wasn't that why he was here tonight?
Liz was finished at eleven, she took a pile of dirty dishes to the kitchen, muttered her apology for not being able to stay overtime, hung up her apron, quickly repaired her make-up, and smoothed over her hair, then reentered the resturant.
Mexwell Evans was not a man to be kept waiting. He stood at the door, in all black, the cloths gave him a dangerous look, a " don't-mess-with-me" look, past the arrangant, hard as nails businessman, there was also a drop dead gorgeous man. she thought as she waked up to him, "What was she thinking, the man was impossible."
they walked out to the pavement, and waited for the traffic to break. The car was large and luxurious, the leather a rich texture beneth her fingers as she slid into the front seat. He switched on the ignition, the engine purred to life, and he swung the vehicle out into the stream of cars heading into the city.
She didn't say a word, coffee he'd indicated. Where was hardly here nor there. Most certainly it wasn't in this part of town.
Her nerves where on end, this was her chance, she dare not blow it. It didn't take long before they escaped the inner city. He took her to a small quite cafe, of course there was a parking space where he needed it. The tension mounted as he slipped into it, and cut the engine. Dear heaven, her feet were killing her, the stiletto heals was part of the uniform, she wore a sheer black hose, short skirt and skimpy top, she hated it as much as she hated the job. She stood on the pavement, holding down the pain of her calves and tried to walk smoothly as he led her to the cafe.
He chose a pavement table, and htey were no sooner seated then a waiter appeared to take their order. She requested a latte decaffeinated or she'd never sleep, and felt her stomack swirl as he added a request for gourmet sandwiches.
"Eat" was the command, for he knew the scenario well. Food on the run, if she was lucky. Probably none. He leaned back in his chair, and studied her. When she had finished two sandwiches and sippped a third of her coffee, then he cut to the chase. "I suggest you state your case" he instructed smoothly, and saw her pause momentarily.
Her hands rested on her lap, she hated Max Evans as much as she hated what she was about to say. She lifted her chin, sat with her back completely strait, her eyes, brown fire.
"I'm working two jobs, I also work on weekends. Subtract rent, food, utilities, it would take a lifetime to pay you back what my father owes. 'Oh dear God, how am I going to do this." she asked herself silently. She had no choice. "I have only myself to offer" this was the hardest thing she had to do, and she hurriedly sought to clarify. "As your mistress. Sexually, and socially for one year."
Max sat there shocked, he had the overwelming desire to shake her, and don't stop to query 'why' "That's the deal?" His voice dangerously quiet, and she barely suppressed a shiver of apprehension. Would he take it? Dear lord what if he didn't?
"I'm prepared to negotiate."
He surveyed her features, she was dead serious about this, "On what terms?"
'I'll sign a pre-nuptial stateing I have no claim to any of your assets during our liaison, upon it's conclusion or during my lifetime. In return, you waive any charges agains't my father.
He took a few minutes before answering, "Your loyalty is admirable, but are you prepared for the reality?" his reply cynical.
She was dieing inside, she looked at him, really looked at him, he was tall, black hair jet black, hazel eyes, suberb facial structure, strong jaw, strong forhead, and a sensually moulded mouth. But there was something in her expression that disturbed her. A hard ruthlessness that had little to do with business matters. It was deeper than that. Beyond the expensive clothes, visual trappings of success. He was, she deducted intuitivey, a man who had seen much and weathered more.
It made him complex, dangerous. A quailty that wasn't depicted in his biography, or apparent in any media photographs. Nor was it omplicted by words, or visiable in pictures among the social pages.
"I could be the lover from hell," Max pursued silkily, and watched her expression freeze for an instant, then a quick recovery.
"Or lousy in bed"
His smile held wry amusement at her audacity. Skilled, undoubtedly, she reflected with a degree of apprehension. He had the look, the self-assured knowledge of a man comfortable with himself and his expertise in being able to pleasure a woman.
"How would she be able to go through with it?" sanity restored a sense of retionale. The chances of him agreeing to such a way-out proposal was almost nil.
Desperation shredded her nerves, and almost tore the breath from her throat.
There was nothing else. She'd sold her apartment, kept onlt the most basic furnature, downgraded her car, and emptied her bank account in a bid to help her father. It hadn't come close to covering a fraction of the debt he owed.
"You place a high price on your services," He didn't relinquih his appraisal, and wondered if she knew how easy it was for him to read her. To take payment in human kind wasn't new, Max mused. It went back centuries, held many quises. In today's society, it would be deemed coercion. Except it had been her suggestion, not the deal, the gave rise to the legalities of the situation.
It had intriguing connections. No misconceptions, no false misunderstandings. It could even prove interesting.
Male satisfation and gratification. Not the most enviable of reasons. Yet there was part of him that wanted to have her beneath him, to drive her to the edge of sanity and hear her beg for release. Again and again.
Sexual chemistry, he thought wryly, and wondered if he dare persue. He watched as she ate the last sandwich and finished her coffee. The pallor had disappeared from her cheeks, also the sharp brightness from her eyes.
Liz pressed the paper napkin to her lips, then discarded it. She was tired.
'No. thanks.' she replies politely. Please, she silently begged, give me an answer.
Her heart kicked into high gear, was he contemplateing her offer, or marely playing a cruel game?
Did he relise how much she'd gone through in the past month, aware of her fathers mistake, and waiting for the axe to fall? How she'd existed on her nerves, sleeping little, haunted by what outcome might be?
'I'll drive you home'
She heard the words, and each one sank like a stone in a pool of negativity. "I can get a cab to my car." she said stiffly, painfully awere she had just enough money for the fare in her purse.
'I'll take you there.' A firm silky directive that boded ill should she dare to thwart him.
Did she utter thanks? It seemed superfluous, and she simply inclined her head as he summoned the waiter, paid the bill then rose to his feet.
In the car she sat in silence, unable to utter a word as the vehicle slid smoothly through the streets where thinning traffic made the passage more swift. 'Where is your car?" Max asked as he reached the cafe where she worked nights.
"The next street to your left, halfway down, on the right.'
Precise directions that brought him close to the aged, barely roadworthy Mini that was her sole method of transportation. Liz reached for the door-clasp and turned toward him. 'I take my offer doesn't intrest you?"
Max picked up the document delivered by courier only hours before. The pre-nup. Skilfully worded and legally scripted, it contained sufficient clauses to cover every eventuality, and then some. He flipped through the pages, fifteen months; he’d extended the timeframe, why? He had no clue, Miss Parker had guts in asking this of him, he intended to find out how much so, he would perform a VERY thorough investigation of how loyal she could be. Max cursed himself for extending it, for all he knew; he might what out by the first month. There was a separate document, a waiver dropping all charges against Jeff Parker, and yet another document that amounted to a personal agreement between Max Evans and Elizabeth Parker.
The question was....did he implement them?
He weighed the pros and cons of this, then finally decided that there were advantages of having a mistress, it was a business deal between miss Parker and himself, why not indulge himself in this game? Max picked up a pen and rolled it absently between his fingers idly, he had to get out and think about this logically.
Liz sighed as the final bell rang, she’d been nervous all day, she still hadn’t gotten an answer from Max Evans and to her that was a bad sign. She’d felt so foolish last night, asking to be his mistress, the man probably thought she was a mad woman, or worse. Liz packed her things and exited her classroom, she would go home and try to come up with something else to get her father out of this mess, “Of course Maxwell Evans wouldn’t take me seriously, I don’t believe I actually listened to Maria and Michael.” She smiled at the thought of her friends, they had helped her through the tuff times growing up and they are here for the mess that she’s in now, Maria and Michael had given her money to help her, but unfortunately it didn’t even cover 1% of what she had to pay back to the mega millionaire Max Evans, then Michael suggested she meet with Max personally, and what she does is make a total mockery of herself and her morals to him, even at the thought of the man Liz felt her blood boil, she hated him that much, what she also hated was the way he made her feel, it infuriated her.
“Hey Miss Parker, may I carry your books?” smiled Ryan, one of her best students, she was in such deep thought that she didn’t even hear him approach her. “If you like dear ” she smiled as he asked her about the lesson on William Shakespeare, when he suddenly asked “are you in trouble miss?” Taken back by the question she answered “ No, why?” There’s a suit by your car. Ryan replied, she looked up and felt herself flush,
“Do you want me to get rid of him?” Ryan asked eyeing Max up and down, sizing him up. The thought of Ryan standing up to Max Evans was laughable, except she didn’t smile.
‘It’s okay Ryan’ ‘Are you sure miss?’ he asked a final time.’ I can go get help’
‘I know him’ she said, ‘thanks you for carrying my books Ryan, I’ll see you in class tomorrow. She walked up to her car, and looked over her shoulder, Ryan had followed her to her car, he waited till she unlocked it and put her books in before he gave Max a keen look then turned on his heel and left.
‘I see you have a defender.’ Max drawled as she pushed the door closed and stood looking at him.
‘ Yes’ the ball was in his court, it was time for him to play it. One eye brow lifted,
‘ Is there somewhere, we can talk?’
‘There’s a park not far from here’ she began
‘ How about your apartment’ of course he knew where she lived.
‘My...my landlady is against tenants entertaining in their rooms.’
He could imagine ‘Get in your car Liz, I’ll follow you.’
Five minutes later they pulled into a two-story brick complex that looked a little worse for wear. It needed paint a new fence and the landscaping was horrendous. ‘Second floor’ she said as she open the main door with the master key. Her room was just that, rooms, with a portable cook top, small fridge, sofa bed, small desk with laptop and a chair. Basic, he and Isabel had lived in worse.
‘Would you like to sit?’ she asked
‘I’ll stand’ was the reply she received. He dwarfed the room; he was too tall, to broad, too much. She decided. He could sense her tension, feel it, he admired her control, then he wondered what he could do to break that control, he snapped back to the subject at hand, instead of his sexual fantasies and imaginative thinking.
‘I need to set up an appointment for you with my lawyer.’
‘Is that a yes Mr. Evans?’
‘I have set out my terms.’ his gaze was direct, inflexible. ‘It is essential you fully comprehend them’
A conditional yes based on his requirements. Whatever made her think it might be different?
‘The only time I’m free is between Three-thirty and five.’
He withdrew his cell, punched in some digits, had a brief conversation and ended the call
‘Four tomorrow afternoon.’ he withdrew a card and wrote down something on the back.
‘The name and address.’
Liz inclined her head. ‘Thank you. Is there anything else? She asked
‘Not for the moment’ he replied,
‘Then is you must excuse me.’ She walked to the door, opened it, and stood waiting for him to leave aware of the faint amusement apparent, the slight quirk at the edge of his mouth as he inclined his head and walked past her to the stairwell. ‘See you tomorrow Miss Parker.’ he smiled, amused at her bluntness and left.
Liz had gotten home from work at 3 today, she had visited her father as usual, and to her displeasure he wasn't getting any better, in fact he was getting worse, everyday she tries to be cheerful, and clearheaded to keep her sanity. She had an appointment with Maxwell's lawyer today, it was a surprise that she was calm in this matter, normally she would go crazy and fall apart, but she had to keep her wits in this, 'I would be his mistress for 12 months then walk away, nothing to it right?' she thought as she picked out her most professional outfit then went to take a shower.
'Mr Evans your sister is on line one’ his secretary said threw the intercom. 'Thanks Kelly' he said looking up from his notes, he put his sister on the speakerphone then continued with his work. 'Hey Is' he said
'Hey Max, how are you' replied Isabel
'Hum I'm fine, and you' he replied 'boy this was going to be an interesting conversation'...he thought
' Ah! Max I met someone' she said barely holding in her excitement
' Hhmm.I must be losing it, she actually fooled me into thinking this was going to be boring' he thought.
'That's great Isabel who is he, what does he do, where is he from, does he drink, smoke, do drugs?' he rambled going into big brother mode.
'Cool it Max, His name is Alex, he's a musician he's from Florida,' she heard his snicker at this, 'note Max if you call him a teeny bopper I will kill you, and NO to all your other questions' she heard his laugh
'Well Max what's up with your social calendar, are you still dating that blond bimbo.. What’s her name? Tina. Trina.... Tracy’
'Tess and No we're not dating anymore' he didn't tell her about Liz, he would when the time is right
'Well it's about time Max, I could have told you she was a blond excuse my French 'BITCH' but you never listen to me.'
'Yea Is you are a know it all' he smirked,
Brother and sister spoke for an hour time passing by them.
Maxwell Evans lawyers were housed on a high floor in one of the inner city's glass walled office buildings; she parked her car on the out skirts and rode the bus into the city. She made the four o'clock appointment witha minute to spare, and no sooner had she checked with the reception and taken a seat than an elegantly clad woman emerged into the foyer and escorted her into a luxuriously appointed office where an immaculately attire man in his late thirties rose to greet her.
Miss Parker. Take a seat.' He motioned to one of the chairs, then resumed his position behind the desk. Max had been delayed.' he pulled out three documents and opened the first. 'However, we can begin without him.' He handed her three copies. 'If you examine the pre-nup agreement, I'll go through it with you.'
He was thorough, Liz noted, following the document clause by clause as he clarified legalese. Every eventuality was covered.
She noted with consternation that she was to reside in Max Evans' home. Surely a mistress was a part-time lover who was maintained in an apartment of her own, and made herself available on request? Max Evans had also changed the changed the time span from twelve months to fifteen, thereby lengthening her conditions?
Should he choose to terminate the relationship prior to the agreed upon date, the months remaining would be reduced to a percentage and calculated against the total amount owed. An amount she would be deemed liable to repay over a specified time.
Effectively, she had nowhere to move nothing to negotiate. He held her legally, and contractually. In the palm of his hand.
Max Evans walked into the office as Liz cast the pre-nuptial agreement to one side and examined the second document.
She directed him the briefest of glances, her gaze cool, dispassionate.
The personal agreement was personal, for it covered health issues, blood tests. There was a part of herself that was offended insulted even. Twin flags of colour heighten her cheekbones, and she was only measurably appeased to discover Max Evans had already subjected himself to similar tests.
'A necessary precaution.' the lawyer said smoothly as she stiffened at the starkly listed requirements. The waiver followed, and she read it through carefully, ensuring the lawyer's spoken words tied in accurately with the written clauses.
'You are, of course, free to disregard these documents.'
She thought about it, walk away and not think about Max again, but, she had her father to think about, her inherited half-million dollar debt, she had to get out of it, fifteen months wasn't a lifetime and she would be over with it and could go back to her life.
'Do you have any questions?' the lawyer asked, taking her silence for granted.
'A doctor’s appointment had been arranged following this. I have also organised a concurrent consultation with an independent legal colleague to advice you on the documentation. The test results should be through within a forty-eight hour period, a copy of which will be available to you.'
It was professional efficiency at it's best. So why did she feel as if she'd just stepped onto a roller coaster?
'Thanks You' Liz said as she rose to her feet and took the cards the lawyer pressed into her hand.
'The doctors suite is on the forth floor,' he informed. 'My legal colleagegue has a suite on the ninth floor.'
Convenient, effectively saving travel time, and ensuring she could arrive at work on schedule.
Liz inclined her head in Max's direction, then walked to the door as the lawyer held it open for her and his secretary escorted her to the lift bank.
The lawyer closed the door and turned toward the man who was seated comfortably to his right.' I hope you know what your doing.'
'You've effectively ensured everything is watertight,' Max drawled, waving a hand in dismissal as his long- time friend crossed to a concealed bar and was preparing two glasses of whiskey.
Ice, a splash of whiskey and soda, then the lawyer turned back to face the man who'd joined him so long ago in a climb to success.
'This time your dealing with a human being, not one of your stocks and bonds.' he said, taking a quick gulp of his beverage, this was different, and proved to be interesting, his friend was in over his head.
'The deal intrigues me, as does the woman.' Max said, unaware that his friend was staring at him in amusement.
'Your writing off a large sum of money.'
'One can only hope the reward for doing so will be adequate.'
The lawyer filled his glass again and tossed back a long swallow from it. 'I wish you well Max.'
'Gracias, amigo.' It should be very well indeed, he thought as his mind flashed images of the lovely Liz Parker.
Liz walked into the restaurant at six; she donned an apron, the stiletto-healed pumps, and went to work. There was no time to reflect on the day’s activities, although lack of adequate sleep ha her mixing up two orders and incurred the owner's wrath. Her arms throbbed after hours of carrying plates, trays and dishes, and she vowed if she incurred one more familiar pat on her rear, she'd walk.
Tonight she managed, by dint of circling the block numerous times, to find a parking space on the main street, and at eleven she collected her bag, her pay packet, and walked out onto the pavement.
The voice startled her, as did the man.
Maxwell Evans presented a hard as nails figure, his face worn from the day, tired and a hint of anger.
'What are YOU doing here?'
He slanted her a rock hard look. "Terminating you employment.'
Her mouth opened and closed 'You can't...'
'Watch me' he said dangerously
He was gone for only a few minutes, and when he returned his face was cold and remote.
'Get in your car. I'll follow you home'
Her chin lifted and her eyes flashed brown fire. 'In two or three days you can tell me what you want me to do. For now, you don't have a snowflake's chance in HELL of ordering me around."
"Brave words pequena." His voice was deadly quit. " Get in the car Liz"
She did, and drove home, parked the car, then stood her ground on the pavement as his car slid into the kerb and he crossed to her side.
"I'm too tired to conduct a post-mortem." If she didn't get inside and sit down soon, she'd fall down.
Sensing her weakness, he said," drink a glass of warm milk. And call in sick tomorrow."
'Yes and No' she countered then turned away from him and offered a brief goodbye over her shoulder.
He let her leave, aware that he couldn't stop her.
He waited long enough to see that the light in her room go on, then he slid into his car and drove off.
The weekend lay ahead of them and on Monday the blood tests would be available and he'd ensure the documentation was signed.
Even as he cleared the street and gained the main road he had to wonder why he should be concerned about a slip of a thing with dark hair and brown eyes.
She meant nothing to him. He had every reason to dislike her and distrust her. Dammit, his legal eagle thought he was certifiably insane to conceder the deal he'd drawn up for him.
So why was he not only going through with it, but giving way to protective instincts he would have sworn he didn't possess, except for his sister.
He drove home, garaged the car, then prowled the lower floor, made coffee, drank two cups, before entering his study, booting up the laptop, and worked till he was to tired to continue.
Liz spent a restless night, she woke several hours, she had a huge headache and her night's encounter with Max kept playing itself over and over in her head. She took two painkillers for the headache and tried to clear her mind, within minutes she fell fast asleep, until the clock alarm blared at nine in the morning. Breakfast was on the go as usual, some toast and O.J she showered and donned a pair of well fitting blue jeans and a cotton top, her jewellery was gold bangles and a small pair of gold studs as she grabbed her purse and drove to Maria's New age shop on the Rocks, where she and her friend sold scented candles, earrings, CD's and crystals.
"Hey chick" said Maria as she entered the store, ready to get to work?
Hey Ria, she said and they set about stocking shelves and mostly talking most service came at lunchtime, so they had most of the morning to catch up on the weeks events.
Liz debated on if she should tell Maria about the weeks events concerning Max Evans, in the end she decided not to, she wanted this to be as private as possible, she would find a good time to tell Maria after they received the tests.
Her stomach evcuted a nervous somersault. How soon would Max Evans want to cement the relationship?
Tell it how it is, a small voice taunted. How soon would he want you to perform sexually? How often? Every night Liz
The thought of a large male body possessing her's stopped the breath in her throat. For the sort of money involved, he would want service. Hell, he'd want her to perform EVERY trick in the book.
'Not hungry?' asked Maria
'Not really' she answered she wasn't feeling very well
"Darling listen to me, you have to eat something it is good for you to skip meals." Said Maria in her motherly protective voice
"I'll get something at home" she said, she looked at her watch 'Look Maria I have to go, I have to check on my father.' she said as she gave her best friend a hug.
She drove straight to the hospital, moved thought corridors, took the lift and walked into the ward her father shared with three other patients.
And faltered as she saw Jeff Parker had a visitor. Not a friend. None other than Max Evans
Liz's expression was of horror and anger, How dare he show up here. Her anger soon subsided when her father looked at her. Max watched beneath slightly hooded lids as she crossed quickly to her father's side, caught each of his hands in hers and leaned forward to brush her lips against one cheek, than the other.
'You've been helping Maria,' Jeff Parker said in a slightly slurred voice. His smile faintly crooked, and her heart tore at what illness had done to her once strong and proud father. 'Look who came to visit,' he continued huskily.
She threw Max an intense glance that spoke volumes, 'Yes, so I see.'
Her eyes on the other hand said, "If you've said, anything to upset him..."The warning was there. He gave a shrug that from what he saw pissed her off even more.
She was like a lioness defending her cub from another predator Max thought, claws barely sheathed, and ready to spring.
'I'm sure you'd prefer to be alone,’ he suggested smoothly. He inclined his head toward Jeff Parker, then repeated the action to Liz as he moved to the end of the bed. 'Goodnight.'
Then he was gone, and Liz was left to wonder his motives for showing up here of all places. She stayed for an hour, and was grateful that her father was bright under the circumstances, she had tried to ask him 'why' Max was here but he changed the subject, the man was driving her insane even before she signed the damn papers.
Monday morning proved to be intense. Liz almost expected to see Max waiting beside her mini when she finished school. She drove strait to the hospital and he wasn't a surprise visitor. That evening there was no call, and she spent another restless night, and was five minutes late for class the next morning. At ten the office delivered a message from Max Evans, he had given a number for her to call him. The students scrambled out the door instantly as the bell rang, and she made her way to the first available pay phone.
The number was for his private cell phone, which of course ate coins so fast it made your head spin. She must have caught him in a meeting for his tone was brief and to the point.
'Can you meet me at my lawyers office this afternoon?'
'I can try' she replied, her coins ran out and she replaced the receiver.
She took the bus to the lawyer’s office, and got their fifteen minutes late for her troubles. Max was already there; as she walked into the office, sank into a chair, and accepted a glass of chilled water.
The lawyer regarded her thoughtfully, 'Your medical test are available and they are both clear. He said eyeing both Max and Liz.
'Are you agreeable to sign the documentation?'
The trap was closing; she closed her mind from everything her mind was telling her, 'Yes'
It was done within minutes. Her signature first, then Max and the witness was the lawyer. She had to leave; to remain here and exchange meaningless pleasantries was beyond her.
'If you'll excuse me?' She rose to her feet. "I'm due at the hospital."
'I'll leave with you" this coming from Max, as he stood up, shook the lawyers hand then followed her out.
' Where is your car?" He asked upon exiting the building
'It's at school, I caught a bus in."
In that case, I'll drive you to the hospital and we can collect your car afterwards,' Max declared smoothly.
'There's no need for you to visit." She needed time away from him, to absorb what she had gotten herself into.
"I'm parked across the street."
He was so damned imperturbable; she wanted to HIT him. 'No.'
'The ink is barely dry and already you want to argue with Me.' he said smoothly but there was the hint of steel, she chose to ignore it.
'I'd prefer to visit my father alone, I'd also like to spend tonight in MY room. Emphasising MY for him to get the idea. 'I need to pack, clean, notify the landlady who wouldn't be pleased to receive notice in twenty-four hours, and of course want her rent for the month in lieu.
He stood there and looked at her thoughtfully
'I have no intention of renegotiating.'
I should hope not,' his voice soft, but cold. 'Be aware that I am a ruthless enemy.'
This too she chose to ignore as the light changed and she walked over to the bus stop, leaving him to look at her in complete anger, knowing this she smiled slightly, she may be his mistress, but he didn’t scare her, she hoped she could keep that frame of mind for the bedroom.
It had taken an hour, to get back to school, traffic was bad on the main bus route, when she finally got to school and her car, it was almost 4:20, she walked up to her car, slid the key in the slot, then slide behind the wheel. She made to close the door, only to discover that something was holding it, ’Liz?’ she jumped at the sound of his voice, Max had followed her back here and his hand supported the doorframe.
She turned on him, 'Do you take pleasure in freaking me out, what are you doing here?' she fumed
He looked at her with a slight smile on his face; 'It would help if you knew my residential address.' She got a pad and pen from her school supplies and wrote down the address.
'I expect you there tomorrow afternoon.' he drawled.
'After school finishes, when I've visited my father.'
‘Six’ Max insisted, 'No later' with that he closed the car door, and she twisted the key in the ignition. Tomorrow would come soon enough, but for now, she reversed out of the parking lot and drove to the hospital to see her father.
“Damn the man!” Screamed a very angry Liz Parker to herself as she started getting ready for dinner with the very infuriating Maxwell Evans. She could handle tonight, right? She hoped so, as she got into the shower. After a quick shower Liz emerged from the en suite then proceeded to do her make-up, she used minimum make-up for the perfect effect; less was definitely more where she was concerned. Then she stepped into her black silk briefs and matching lacy bra, it was very sensual for a teacher and what she wore under her cloths didn’t matter, if she dressed appropriately for the position she held, she then invaded her suitcase for the most uncrushable outfit she had. She contemplated over the two outfits that fit her description of uncrushable, a black pants suit or a red short dress, in the end she decided on the suit, she didn’t want to feed Max’s obvious sexual imagination. She did her hair in a smooth French twist, looked herself over in the mirror, then, satisfied with her appearance, and exited the room.
Liz walked down the stairs, silently, she paused at the bottom and looked at the man standing by the window, Maxwell Evans was truly a handsome man, she thought for the one-hundredth time, he was successful, with a sophisticated image hidden with a certain ruthlessness. He was all male, she mused, as she looked him over, he was wearing black dress slacks and black dress shirt tucked in, with the first two buttons opened, he absolutely oozed sex appeal. He was drinking something, red wine probably, as she watched him down the red liquid in one gulp.
She cleared her throat to get his attention, he turned on her, watched his swift appraisal of her, then got goose-bumps on her arms as she held his intense gaze. If he wanted to unsettle her, he was doing a very good job of it, but he’d be damned if she’d let him sense her apprehension. “Let’s go” He said smoothly, and she proceeded him from the room, walking at his side as they travelled to the foyer then the front entrance.
She should, she supposed, offer some sort of conversation, as they entered his car, and reversed out of the garage. She debated on what she should ask; she really didn’t know what an innocent mistress should ask her unknown ‘lover’. So she went with came first in her mind.
“How was your day?” She asked hesitantly.
“Are you interested?”
She cast him a quick glance. “I know what you do, of course. But I comprehend little of what it involves on a day- to-day basis.”
“Focus, concentration. Research. Always striving to be one step ahead of the competitors.”
“You’re a very successful man.” That much was common knowledge Liz, she scolded herself silently.
Most men would go into a long conversation on their accomplishments, unable to stop boasting, and boring her beyond comprehension, Max Evans didn’t do that, which added to his mystery.
The question startled her.
“Your day” he prompted smoothly.
“ Where would you like me to begin? The landlord from hell? Two teenagers from rival gangs who are about to clash, just the fact that I don‘t know when that’s the problem, or how about the subject of poetry where my students debate which poet is better, Britney Spears or Emily Dickinson?
“I’m sure it was fascinating,” he said sarcastically as he reversed into a parking space that seemed to be especially reserved for him. She chose to ignore his sarcasm.
“Come here often?” She inquired as they both entered the restaurant.
“Maybe a couple times a month” he drawled as he then spoke to the maiter d’ in fluent French.
Ah! he speaks French, I wonder what else he does that might be of use, Liz though as they sat at the table.
“You said that you come here often” continued Liz as she engaged the ever-intriguing Maxwell Evans in conversation, they had spoke of mostly business and life on their part, but not anything personal, she would end up in this mans bed soon, or so he insisted, so she had to know something about him before they did...it.
“Not alone I’m sure” she added as she looked over at him, they had finished dinner and he insisted on desert which was a very delicious cake, chocolate was always her favourite but this chocolate cake was very rich, and very sweet, and very unhealthy for her.
“No” he said, meeting her eyes steadily, humour evident in his.
She looked away, instead choosing to pick up her water glass and taking a slow sip. “Is there any particular woman who is going to be...Surprised or outraged by our...arrangement? She asked.
He offered her a slow sensuous smile, “Outraged.... No, Surprised of course.
“Am I a likely target of a bad tempered woman?”
“I am tied down to no woman, nor am I obliged to offer anyone an explanation for what I do with my life.” He drawled.
“Well you certainly made that crystal clear, did you”?
“I wouldn’t have it any other way, would you like some coffee?
“What I’d like is some fresh air.”
“Then stop off for coffee”
“Fine” she nodded
Max summoned the waiter then paid the bill, while she went to the powder room. She met him the door as he put his hand on her back, and walked her outside.
The air was cool and fresh, the mist from the sea a welcome distraction from the warm hand still on her back. The lovely Italian music of the Mandolin player drifted to her ears, and many people walked the promenade, it wasn’t late but the night was beautiful.
There were shops and markets all around them.
“So tell me some more about yourself, do you have any siblings?”
“Interested in my personal life aren’t you Elizabeth, he drawled but answered her. “Yes I have a sister, Isabel”
“Isabel.... Evans, wait as in THE Isabel Evans, the supermodel?” She asked shocked
“Yes THE Isabel Evans” he said sarcastically,
“Isabel lives to New York, my former home, and before you ask anymore questions, YES she really is my sister, even though she doesn’t look it, and YES I am an American, I was born in New York.” He murmured obviously more interested with her hair then their conversation, before she could do anything about that, he reached behind her and pulled the pins holding up the stylish knot and undid it, watching the chocolate brown hair cascade down her shoulders, he lightly ran his hands thought it twice before he let it go. She watched his eyes close for a brief minute and he then took in a deep breath.
“Coffee?” He asked
“Um. Yes” she said a little breathlessly.
He nodded as they walked to the very quaint waterside cafe for coffee. They ordered, then drank in complete silence.
“Thank You” said Liz as they walked to his car.
“For what exactly? A pleasant mean”
She wasn’t sure how to answer him. “That too”
He disengaged the alarm and unlocked the car door; he gave her a look across the roof’s smooth top.
“Get in the car”
He sounded almost grim, as she sat in silence as they drove to his home.
The night isn’t over yet, she thought of what they would share in the coming hours.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 25-Jun-2002 1:51:58 PM ]
|posted on 24-Jun-2002 12:35:44 PM|
Liz made an effort to breathe normally, as they approached his driveway. "This is it, would he want sex as soon as we get to his bedroom, or would he leave me be for tonight, I guess I'll find out, she thought as Max slid smoothly into the garage.
Max could tell that she was nervous, he saw the rapid beating of her pulse at the base of her throat and squashed the impulse to drag her against him and kiss her senseless. He gave her a thoughtful look as they reached the foyer, and watched as she fumbled with her purse, and dress.
“Ah, the little princess is nervous” he thought with a wicked gleam, he would play with her nerves for awhile, then go in for the kill, or in this case the.... Pleasure.
They ascended the staircase in total silence, Liz and Max both in thought about the night ahead.
As they reached the second floor, Max saw that Liz was shaking a little, “What did she think he was going to do, rape her? He wanted a warm and willing woman in his bed, not a skittish coy, innocent.
They reached the bedroom, and he switched on the lights, dimmed them down low, then shrugged off his black evening jacket, he watched through hooded eyes as she slid off her pumps and removed her jacket.
Liz crossed to her yet unpacked suitcase and extracted the longest, most unattractive nightshirt she could find and headed for the en suite.
“Why bother” Max murmured sexily, “You wouldn’t be wearing it for long”
She paused, her back stiff as she turned around fully intending to glare at him, Big mistake, the look he sent her could melt a polar cap, she quickly turned around and fairly ran to the en suite.
Safely locked behind the door of the en suite, Liz leaned back on the door for support, how was she going to get through this night, that one look from Max a minute ago did things to her, for one thing she was panting, but she dismissed that theory because she practically ran to the bathroom,
“Ok I’ll just remove my make-up and change then go in there and face the dragon, I mean I signed up for this and it is to help my father” she lectured herself.
It took her 5 minutes to remove her make-up and dinner outfit, and the nightshirt to her dismay was a little to form fitting than she originally thought, it was a royal blue frock with a white floral design on it, it was meant to be a turn off but it wasn’t doing a great job of hiding her firm breasts or her slender hips.
“Damn You Maxwell Evans” she thought for the thousandth time tonight. Well it was better than nudity, despite his mockery, she’d be damned it she walked into that room buck naked, no matter how appealing he might seem.
Max, on the other hand, had no conscience what so ever, she stood momentarily paralysed as she saw his side profile.
He had a large frame, but not to large, he was all muscle with tight buttocks, a thin waist, and long athletic thighs, her gaze moved up to his broad shoulders and big biceps.She was so absorded in his to-die-for body that she almost jumped out of her skin when he turned to face her. She flushed as she reviewed his frontal area, he had hard pecs and a well defined six-pack abs with a trail of fine hair in a v shape leading the way to his very large, very aroused male appendage.
“Dear God, how in heaven was she going to accommodate such a large man.” She thought shakily.
Max walked slowly to the bed in the middle of the room, he pulled back the covers and settled on the mattress, he propped himself up, then patted the spot next to him on the bed, motioning her to join him. Liz wanted to run, but she sucked it up and hesitantly stepped forward, at least the bed was big enough so she could have some undisturbed sleep after.
Step after step was a silent plea to get it over with, she tried to keep her calm, but, she didn’t think it right to sleep with him, she barely knew him,
“Tell me again how I got myself into this” she silently scowled as she reached the bed and slipped in.
“Being shy is one thing; cara mia, but I’m not a monster so there is no reason for you must fear me.” He drawled, as he slid his fingers through her silky hair
“How many languages do you speak?” She asked diverting the subject, trying her best not to moan as he massaged her head gently.
“Five, Spanish is one I use most frequently, but Italian I use when I make love.” He whispered seductively before he captured her lips for a scorching kiss.
Liz felt drunk, “Oh Dear, what if I don’t please him? What if I don’t...?” All thoughts slid from her mind, as his lips moved over her neck, sending a hot trail of fire through her body, he nipped and licked at the pulse that beat franticly there. She closed her eyes at the sensation and relaxed against him a little.
Max lifted his head slowly, his gaze almost black with the sudden bust of passion, he watched her through hooded eyes, she was flushed, the slight pink hues on her cheeks adding to her attractiveness, she was defiantly a beautiful woman.
She slowly opened her eyes and locked on his, she knew she should be scared of his black gaze but found it very sexy, his hair was ruffled and he had a slight sheen on his body, she moved her handed to his forehead and brushed his raven hair off his face, she watched his already dark gaze went onyx black as he pulled her nightshirt off over her head, his hands finding her breast and gently stroked the nipple into a tight peak, his lips found hers, as he gently swept his tongue on her bottom lip, coaxing her lips to part, his hands working their magic on her other breast.
Max fought for some sort of control, her soft lips and even softer breast were making his already hard member painful, he pulled away from her clinging lips and replaced his hands on her right breast with his lips, he lapped at the burgeoning nipple with his tongue, then drew it deep into his mouth, suckling gently, then smiling wickedly as he heard her moan and her body writhe, her hands almost painful buried in his hair.
His hands slowly slid to her waist, not content he slid his hands to her thigh, he then began to gently rub against her silky underwear, parting the flimsy fabric and stroked highly sensitised flesh, pushing gently till he found her nub, she instinctively closed her legs but was too late for his long fingers found their way inside her, and was working unspeakable magic in her. She panted and locked eyes with him again, his eyes were dark and dilated, his face etched in concentration, his hands moving, stroking, almost searching for something...
“AAHH” Liz screamed as she went up and over.
Max smiled and willed his fingers out of her body, out of curiosity he bought his fingers up to his lips and tasted,
“Sweet and Spicy, a fitting combination for the woman herself.” He thought as he gently sucked on his fingers, then returned to fondle her exquisite breast. He lapped again at them then moved lower, his appetite and curiosity getting the better of him led to her navel, he moved lower.
“He wouldn’t” Liz thought, “but she saw him suck on his fingers awhile ago and almost lost it, the man was very sensual, to sensual for his own good she conceded” as she gasped when she felt his tongue on her throbbing centre.
Max almost let go when he heard her gasp of pleasure, her taste could become addictive if he didn’t stop, he could see her shaking slightly when he looked at her, hands gripping the tangled sheets like a lifeline, body sweaty and damp, wet in some more intimate parts, her hair was tangled and her eyes clamped shut, she looked like a pagan goddess.
His mouth claimed hers again for a hot kiss of promises, then he slid his hands down her thighs, pulled them open then plunged deep inside her.
And Stilled. Madre De Dios.
Liz went from exquisite pleasure, to horrible pain within seconds, she experienced the sting as he went threw her maiden head, and stilled, it hurt so much that she cried out, and instinctively tried to move away from him, in hopes to lesson the impact of it.
Max didn’t move, his self control at a minimal, shuddering with the attempt to let her adjust to him, “Damn it!” He thought, “she was a VIRGIN!” Max cursed every saint, in all five languages that he knew, even mixing them up a few times.
For several minutes he couldn’t speak, he closed his eyes and tried to catch his breath, upon opening, his eyes locked with hers, and he willed his mouth to move, his voice came out husky and low.
“Why the HELL didn’t you tell me?” He demanded angrily, as he rested most of his weight on his elbows, “God Damn it, she looked hurt and fragile,” again he cursed heaven and hell silently.
Her mouth shook, and her eyes were too big for her face, “You wouldn’t believe me, you had this picture of me as some worldly woman, who threw herself at you with the pretence of saving her father.”
The irony of it was that she was right. “Why?” He snarled
“I never met a man I felt enough for to...wanted to be this intimate with” she waited a beat, “Besides what difference does it make?” She asked softly, trying her best to sound indifferent.
For the third time that night Max cursed every saint that he knew. “I could have been a lot gentler, and more careful.
“Look if you were going to have a post mortem, would you mind moving?” She needed to inject some black humour into this situation or she would cry.
“Oh, no, little one,” he murmured seductively, “I’m not nearly finished with you yet.” His lips moved over her temple, down to her lips, his kiss gentle and full of promise.
When broke for air, she gasped, “I am”
“No” he argued gently “You’re not. Believe me you‘re not.”
His lips feathered hers, seeing the softness, exploring in a way that stirred her senses.
He was the most sensual man she ever met, and he had the most sensual mouth, skilled, and a sexy body that was currently moving in her, she groaned both in surprise and pleasure, his mouth closed over her breasts, he took the tender peak between his teeth, rolled it gently, then began to suckle, he did this for a couple minutes, before he switched to the other peak.
She’s almost there, Max thought, her body clenched around his body, he withdrew slightly, then heard her gasp as he eased forward again, he repeated this movement, slowly, and was well aware of the fact that she picked up his rhythm.
Max was about to lose control, the last rational thing he did before he let go, was lift her legs and wrap them around his waist, rocking softly back and forth, moving quickly and pulling out almost completely out of her before he plunged again, his actions in unison with hers.
Max then took her to the edge, held her there, then brought her tumbling over, letting her scream her joy, before he took her mouth again. Afterward, he brushed a stray piece of hair out of her face, and gave a secret smile when he saw her sated look and drifting eyelashes. He withdrew from her body, immediately his body shuddered with the loss of hers, walked to the bathroom, filled the spa-bath and returned to collect her, he stepped into the tub with her gently nestled in his arms and let her rest against him, his hands found soap and a soft sponge and he cleaned every inch of her body. After a few minutes of soaking, Max lifted out of the bath, towelled dried her off and settled her into bed, cradling her body extremely close to his and then fell soundly asleep.