|posted on 28-Jun-2002 7:23:42 AM|
Summary: Liz Parker is off to New York to look for a gig for herself and her fellow band mates. Getting turned down one by one, she has a strange twist of fate when she meets her old high school class mate, Max Evans, now an up and rising actor. Though he doesn't want to admit it, Max finds himself falling for Liz and is torn between love and fame.
Category: M/L, a little of M/M and A/I
Rating: PG-13 to R
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me. All the songs belong to Dido
Spoilers: None. AU Fic, no aliens.
Author's Note: The Band consists of Michael who plays the drums, Alex who plays the bass, Maria on the keyboards and background/lead vocals, and Liz acoustic guitar and lead vocals.
Title: Love and Fame
He ran as fast as his legs would carry him, down the long corridor. He could hear the thundering of the heavy feet behind him gaining. He made a sharp turn down the hall, almost running into two young women walking by. He stumbled a moment before regaining his footing.
316. 317. 318.
Damn it! Where was it?
The footsteps were getting closer and he knew that he was running out of time.
He ran into the room, just as another delighted fan walked out.
"Liz!" he called, his voice hoarse from running. He gasped for air and was about to speak again when he was suddenly grabbed from behind. The strong arms engulfed him and started pulling him backwards. No matter how hard he fought, they were too strong.
"Liz, please!" he yelled, glad he had the brunettes attention. "Let me-"
"We're sorry, Miss Parker." one of the owners of the arms said. "He got by us. It won't happen again." And once again he was being pulled out of her life.
No! He couldn't let that happen. He tossed his head back and nailed one of the men in the nose, causing him to drop his grip. With one arm free, he was able to twist free from the others grasp, and then he was right in front of her.
He fell to his knees, taking in air in large gulps.
"Please, Liz, let me talk to you." he pleaded as he stared into her shocked face, oblivious to the four shocked faces, and the two filled with anger. "Please."
Just as he felt the grip of the two security men engulf him once more, she spoke.
"Wait." the simple word was like music to his ears. He was going to get his chance. "I know him. Let him go."
When the men refused to let go, he shrugged them off. "You heard her." he said with a smug smile. He straightened his jacket and waited for them to leave.
The men looked at Liz, before leaving at her assuring nod.
After the men left, Liz crossed her arms and stared at him. Waiting for him to speak. "What do you want, Max?"
Max. It had been so long since he had heard her say his name. He relished on the sound. But if he knew Liz Parker, and he did, he was on a time limit, and she was counting down the seconds.
There was nothing left for him to do but to just say it.
"I love you."
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her best gal pal, shoot up from the bed. "Well, that's our cue to leave." she said quickly, pushing her blonde hair from her face, before grabbing the rest of the auidence and making a quick exit.
But he didn't care. He continued to stare into the face of the only woman he could ever love. The only woman he could be with. Taking advantage of her speechlessness, he continued.
Liz opened her mouth to reply when everything froze.
"Alright! Alright! Hold on a damn minute here!" a voice said, and out walked a blonde. "This isn't the beginning! What the hell is going on here? Who was the last person to have this tape?"
"Oh c'mon guys! Don't you see the little sticker on the tape that says: 'Be Kind, Rewind'? I mean, man, it's only polite!" she went on. "Do you guys have any idea how frustrating it is to get home, wanting to watch a movie you've been dieing to see, ya pop it into the vcr, only to see the ending? Not only does it spoil the ending but it takes you forever to get it back to the beginning because you have piece of crap vcr!"
"Don't. Let this happen again." she said before smiling sweetly. "Anyway, I'm Maria DeLuca. I'm a member of my best friend's band. That's her." she pointed to Liz on the screen. "The brunette with her mouth open." Maria bit her lip. "I hope that the ending wasn't spoiled too much, and I hope you all will stay seated and watch from the beginning. Trust me, it gets better, well, actually it gets worse before it gets better, but then-" she stopped and blushed and her rambling. "Well, I guess, I'll just let you figure it out on your own." she then hit a button on the remote she had been holding in her hand.
"Let me just rewind this for ya." she said. "In the mean, time, I guess I could tell you a little bit about myself, and them. A little bit about everything." she said with a grin. "As I said before, I'm Maria DeLuca, or I should say, Maria Guerin." she said holding her left hand up, proudly sporting a beautiful diamond ring. "Yeah, Michael and I got hitched right after Highschool. Oh, um, he's the drummer of our band. I play the keyboard, and my good friend Alex..." she stopped to hit the pause button to show a picture of the band. "He's the one holding the bass guitar, as you can probably tell, that's what he plays. The guy to his left, that's my Michael. Don't mind his hair, it's a little phase he's going through, but I have every intention of breaking him of it, mind you."
"Anyway, um, and Lizzie, she plays acoustic guitar and lead vocals. I'm lead vocals sometimes as well." Maria then hit the rewind button to finish up. "Well, um, this isn't your typical fairy tale. We all went to school together, even Max. The one who proposed to Liz, yeah. Ya see, he was this popular jock type guy, where we were these lowly outcasts, spending all are time on our garage band. So you can probably guess that we didn't mesh well. Nope, not at all. In fact, Max and Liz were always at eachother's throats." she said with a shudder.
"So you'd be surprised when they meet a couple years later in New York. Ya see, Liz was there trying to get us a gig. Anywhere. Bars, clubs, she sent in our tapes, everything. But she was turned down each time. Where were we?" Maria laughs. "Michael, Alex, and I were back in our home town in Roswel, Nex Mexico, just wasting time. Yep, we left Liz with all the dirty work. She was soooo mad when she fou-"
"What?" she asks. "Wha- Oh, tapes done." she said sheepishly, and then pushes play. "Well, I guess I'll let you find out the rest, I'll be back later. Oh, and feel free to ask any questions."
Maria waves good bye before she leaves.
"I know I'm not around each night, and I know I always think I'm right."
Liz Parker ducked from the flying beer bottle that was thrown, meaning to strike another man in the auidence. Despite the close encounter of the flying beer bottle, her fingers kept strumming the strings of her guitar and she kept the words flowing from her mouth.
"I can believe that you might look around. I'm no angel, but please don't think that I won't try and try. I'm no angel, but does that mean that I can't live my life."
She forced herself not to rush as she missed a flying plate this time. She sure picked a pretty sucky place to preform tonight. Not thirty seconds after she started her first number did the bar burst into a brawl. And she was scared to death. This wasn't the first time she was in a bar brawl. She even had the scar above her eye to prove it.
"I'm no angel, but please don't think that I can't cry. I'm no angel, but does that mean that I won't fly...."
At the end of the song, Liz quickly said a thank you and flew off the stage, just barely missing a stool that was chucked into the air.
"Please, sir, let me come back again, I really need this job." Liz pleaded after the bar fight calmed down a little. Now she was standing in front of the owner of the bar, pleading for him to give her a job. "I promise it sounds even better with the rest of the band here. If you'll just-"
"Listen, Girly." he cut her off. "You got talent, and I'm sure you do sound even better with the rest of your friends, but you're just not our type. I'm sorry."
Liz sighed with defeat. He was right. The people here probably liked head banger music, and their music was far from it. She tucked her red hair behind her ear, and bent down to grab her guitar. She gave him a tight smile before making her way out of the bar.
"Uh, wait a minute," he called her back after a moment. He reached into his pocket a pulled out four twenties and handed them to her. "For your trouble."
"Thanks." she smiled at him and gratefully excepted the money, and then she was out the door.
The exit she took, lead into a darkened alley. It was twelve at night, and the thought of walking down the alley at this time, alone frightened her.
Suck it up, Parker. She said to herself. You'll be fine.
With that in mind, Liz continued her way down the alley.
The end was just ahead and she could see the light post shinning down onto the side walk. A smile spread on her face thinking she was almost out, but it soon vanished when she saw three masculine figures step out from the shadows, blocking her path.
She slowed her pace until she was standing right in front of them, their faces showing clearly. The guy in the middle was wearing a black beanie and was sporting a wacked goatee.
"Hey there gorgeous." he said, and from his distance, Liz could smell the liquor on his breath. "Can you spare some cash?"
Liz looked between the men. "No." she said and started to walk past, until the one on the left grabbed her forearm tightly. She gasped when she felt the cold steel of a blade against her cheek.
"Are you sure?" he asked.
Liz clutched her guitar case tightly in her hand. "Positive." she answered as she swung the case, smacking both the men infront of her on the sides of the heads. She then stomped the toes of the man with the knife, twisted around and threw her case upwards against the mans chin. Then she was running down the side walk as fast as she could carry herself and her guitar.
She reached into her pocket as she ran and pulled out her mase, just in case she needed it. Liz glanced behind her to see if they were following, and then she ran right into a hard body. She fell to the ground with a thud and pointed her mase upwards waiting to spray her next intruder.
"Woah!" a man yelled, holding his hands infront of his eyes. "Don't spray! I'm not going to hurt you!"
Liz watched as the man leaned down and helped her up, she then noticed that his attire was far too nice to be some mugger.
"Are you alright?" he asked after she stood on her own. "Do you need help."
There was something about his voice that sounded familiar, and it wasn't until she got a good look at his face that she knew why.
"I'm fine." she insisted, as she leaned down and grabbed her guitar. "Thanks."
The man chuckled lightly. "Thank you for not spraying me." he said. "I'm M-"
"I know who you are." she said, pushing her hair from her face.
He crossed his arms. "You've, seen my movies?" he asked sounding pleased.
Liz scoffed. "Not hardly."
His brows furrowed in confusion. "Then how could you possibly.." he started. "Do I know you?"
Liz looked him in the eyes. "Think brown hair."
After a moment realization dawned on him. "Liz Parker." he said with an amused grin on his face.
"Max Evans." she replied. And from that moment on, she knew things were going to be going differently.
Maria once again appears.
"Hi again." she said. "Um, that's all I can show you right now. Did you guys enjoy it? Let me know." she then pulled out a nicely decorated shoe box.
"Isn't it pretty?" Maria asked. "This is, the um, question box. Ya know, you have a question about what's going on, you write it down and put it in the little hole..." she points to the hole on the lid. "right there. And well, I'm gonna, I'm gonna leave it right here." she puts it down. "And, I guess, I'll see ya when I see ya..."
Maria returns. She clears her throat. "Ahem.."
"To be continued."
"Alright, so, we last left off where Max and Liz meet for the first time in like, three years." Maria said. "And you would at least think they could be civilized...."
"Well, if it's not the lead singer of the Nit Whits." Max said with a smirk.
Liz smiled sarcastically. "Ohh, ha ha!" she said mockingly. "I see you haven't lost your charm."
He smiled. "So where's the rest of the Nit Whits?" he asked looking around. "Surely they wouldn't have let you run down a deserted sidewalk alone, would they?"
Liz adjusted her jacket to block the cool wind. "They're back home. They have buisness to take care of there before they can come to New York." she answered.
Max laughed. "Buisness? What kind of buisness?"
She opened her mouth to speak when she realized she didn't know...
Maria steps out. "This is the part where she realizes that we've been doing nada, and she gets pissed...."
"You don't know, do you?" Max asked.
"It's none of your buisness." Liz fumed before she walked past him.
He grinned and walked a few steps backwards until he turned around and was in step with her again. "You've changed since highschool."
She glanced at him, but didn't say anything. "Why did you dye your hair. I loved it when it was brown." he said as he reached out a grabbed a few locks of hair.
Liz snatched her hair away and quickened her pace, only to get exasperated when he continued to follow her. "Don't you have anything better to do?" she asked him.
Max pretended to think about it for a moment. "Nope, not really." he said grinning. He could practically see the steam flowing from her ears.
"So..." he started. "Are you still dating that Sean DeLuca, guy?"
Max had to admit, he was attracted to Liz Parker, he has been since high school. She was a very beautiful girl, and she seemed to have bloomed over the last couple of years. He wondered what it would be like to...
"Yes," Liz stated firmly.
"Hi, it's um, me again." Maria said. "I just wanted to fill you in. Sean is my cousin and they dated in highschool and like 2 months after ward. But that's it. Lizzie is just lying to get him off her case...Okay, well, um, back to the show."
"I hear you're dating The Weasel." she said with a smirk.
Maria laughs. "The Weasel is..." she stops when she sees all the annoyed faces. "I'll, um, just let you find out on your own."
Max looked at her confused. "The Weasel?" he asked.
She stopped in front of the bus stop. "Maybe you'd prefer the Gerbil? Well, that's what her non-fans call her." Liz answered still getting a blank look from Max. "Tess Harding?"
Liz laughed at the look on his face. "Yup that's what people call her, the Gerbil. But the 'Nit Whits' and myself prefer Weasel." she said as the bus pulled up. She stepped on board and turned around to look into his angry face. "It was nice seeing you again Max."
Max stood there long after the bus disappeared. "And I assure you it won't be the last time..."
Later the Next Day
"So, do you think Liz has gotten us a gig, yet?" Michael asks as he twirls his drum sticks around his fingers. He was lying in a lawn chair, Maria was on his left and Alex on his right.
Alex stopped tuning his guitar long enough to answer. "She's only been up there for two weeks, I thinks she's going to need a little more time." he answered. But he couldn't stop himself from wondering what she was doing now. They had been waiting for an opportunity since as long as they could remember. He was waiting for the chance to see "The Whits" on every bill board in America...
"Don't you guys feel bad for making her go up there alone?" Maria asked, as she tucked her pencil behind her ear. She was finishing up the first song she ever wrote. She started it back in her Junior year in highschool, but stopped after she and Michael got married.
Michael and Alex looked at eachother before turning back to Maria and shrugged. Michael then leaned over to look at the song she was writing.
"You're actually going to finish that song?"
Maria looked from the paper to Michael. "Yeah, why?" she asked.
"But, ya know, you're married, it's like saying you want a divorce." he said, tossing a drum stick in the air.
"Aww, babe." Maria cooed before leaning over and kissing his cheek. The song she was writing was called Hunter. It represented her as a single woman. "You couldn't divorce me if you wanted too. I'm just doing this to add to our Cd." she said. "If we get one."
"When we get one." Alex corrected. "It's going to happen guys, I know it. We are going to get that phone call that leads to fame."
At that particular moment Maria's cell phone rang. The three friends looked at eachother before Maria grabbed the phone.
"Hello?" she asked as Alex and Michael crowded around her to ear as well.
"Maria!" Liz squealed excitedly. "You won't believe what happened!"
"What?" she asked. "What, what happened?"
"We got it!" she said. "We're going to be famous!"
Maria jumped up from the lawn chair and stared at Alex and Michael with wide eyes. "We're going to be famous!" she repeated. "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, this is soo great!"
Alex and Michael hugged and started jumping up and down chanting: "We're gonna be famous, we're gonna be famous!"
"Oh my gosh, Liz, this is great! Are you serious!"
Liz was silent for a moment. "No, I'm not serious, Maria, I'm pissed off!" she said, her tone showing exactly how pissed off she was.
The look of devastation on Maria's face, caused Michael and Alex to leave their embrace. "What's wrong?" Alex asked.
"That was low, girl." she said into the phone.
"So wasn't tricking me into coming up here, alone, having me do the dirty work, alone!" Liz retorted.
Maria was silent. "Well, yeah it was..."
"Now, I want you three to get your asses up here, pronto. Until you are, I am not gonna attempt to get another gig." she said. "Understood?"
"Yes ma'am." Maria mumbled, and then hung up. "Well, Liz's pissed."
"So, we're not famous?" Alex asked.
"Nope." Maria answered. "Lizzie dear wants us up there right away, because until we're there, she won't get us another gig."
"Geez." Michael mumbled.
Alex stared at them. "We're not famous?"
"No, Alex." they said in unison.
There she was.
Her brown hair cascading over her slender shoulders, her amber eyes sparkling with delight, and her smile lighting up the room.
The picture surely paid off, considering Max spent three hours looking for his year book. He had every student body of the 12th grade to sign his year book, that is except for Liz and her friends. He really didn't care about the others, but he really wanted Liz to sign it. Just to see what she would have put.
Max remembered the rumor going around how Liz Parker had a crush on him. Now he wondered if it were true. Had Liz Parker been crushing on him all through high school but he was just too blind to see it? There was no doubt in his mind that he would have jumped on her boat. And now he had every intention of doing so.
But first, he had to get her to trust him. Earning her trust would be the hardest, but everything after that would be smooth sailing.
Liz casually glanced at her watch. They'd be here any minutes now. After she had hung up with Maria a couple of days ago, she felt a little bad for getting their hopes up, but she couldn't forget that they had every intention of making her do all the dirty work.
She knew that Michael and Maria would get over it quickly, but Alex would be the hardest. He had been dreaming of this moment since he was a kid, and she was sure that Alex was hurt by her practical joke.
Liz got up when she heard the knocking on the door. She opened it and sure enough the rest of the Whits were standing on the other side.
"Hello, Liz." Alex said stiffly as he walked past her.
Maria on the other hand, dropped her bags and pulled Liz into a hug. "Chic, I am soo sorry that we just left you up her all by yourself." she apologized. "I, holding the best friend status, should have known that it was wrong."
Liz laughed at her antics, and hugged her back. "No big deal, I'm just glad you guys are finally here to help." she said as she pulled Michael into a hug.
"This apartment sucks, Liz." Alex called from one of the bedrooms. "Couldn't you have gotten a better one?"
"Being as we have no money, I'd have to say....No."
"Babe," Michael said. "Help me carry up my drums."
Liz knew they were leaving so that she could apologize to Alex alone, and she was grateful.
She found him sitting on the edge of a bed, strumming his guitar. Liz leaned against the door frame and watched him for a moment.
"Did you guys have an okay trip?" she asked later on.
"Did you forget anything?"
He shook his head.
"Are you ever going to forgive me?"
Liz sat next to him. "I know what I did was low, and I promise you I felt really bad after wards. But you can't tell me that having me do all the work wasn't just as low." she told him.
"We were gonna help." he said after a moment.
Liz giggled. "Oh yeah? When?"
She giggled again before resting her chin on his shoulder. "Forgive me?" she asks.
"Why should I?" Alex asked. He was milking this for all it was worth.
"Because Lizzie wuvs Alex." she answered with a pout.
He laughed at the old phrase they used since they were kids. He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her into a hug.
"We'll get there, Alex." she said as she hugged him back. "It gonna take time, but it'll happen."
"Yeah." he agreed.
Michael sat at his drums and twirled his sticks around his fingers. He hadn't been able to play his drums since the ride up here. And that was a long time in Michael Time.
He glanced at Alex and Liz who were still tuning their guitars and the to Maria who was randomly hitting keys out of boredom.
"Alright, guys." Alex said, standing from the couch and throwing his guitar strap over his shoulder. "I'm ready to rock."
Liz stood as well. "Let's try to keep it down though, the Land Lord still might be able to hear it, and he might not appreciate our talent." she said.
Everyone nodded in agreement. "What do we play first?" Maria asked.
She thought about it for a moment as the put on her own strap. "How about 'Don't Think of Me'?" she suggested, getting approval from everyone. "Maybe I should sit down over there and let you guys play. You know, to see if you still have it?"
They stuck their tongues out at her and waited. They knew she wouldn't sit out. She lived to make music.
She glanced over her shoulders to make sure everyone was ready. "Alright, here we go."
"So you're with her," Liz sang, and then the drums and bass made their entrance, soon followed by Maria, as she lightly strummed the strings of her guitar.
"and not with me. I hope she's sweet, and so pretty. I hear she cooks delightfully. A little angel beside you."
"So you're with her, and now with me. Oh how lucky one man can be. I hear your house is small and clean. Oh how lovely with your homecoming queen. Oh how lovely, it must be."
"When you see her sweet smile, baby, don't think of me. When she lays in your warm arms. Don't think of me." Liz continued as Maria came in with for the background vocals.
Their music playing drowned out the knocking on the apartment door, and each of them went on playing, unnoticed to the watching eye in the doorway.
"So you're with her, and not with me. I know she spreads sweet honey, in fact you best friend, I heard he spent last ngiht with her."
"Now how do you feel? How do you feel? When you see her sweet smile, baby, don't think of me. When she lays in your warm arms, don't think of me."
"And it's too late, and it's too bad. Don't think of me. It's too late, and it's too bad, don't think of me."
"Does it bother you now all the mess I made? Does it bother you now, the clothes you told me not to wear? Does it bother you now all the angry games we played? Does it bother you now when I'm not there?"
"When you see her sweet smile baby, don't think of me. When she lays ing your warm arms, don't think of me."
"And it's too late, and it's too bad. Don't think of me. It's too late, and it's too bad. Don't think of me."
The keyboards, drums and acoustic continued on after the music with occasional bass in the background.
After the music died down they were surprised to hear clapping coming from the door way.
Liz looked up and almost died. Oh God. She thought. This can't be good.
"Bravo," Max said as he continued to clap and make his way towards them. "Bravo, Liz, you were right you are good."
"Whose that?" Michael whispered from behind. He didn't even know he was he didn't like him.
"You don't wanna know." Liz whispered back.
Max crossed his arms and grinned. "Who would have thought that the Nit Whits had so much talent?"
They recognized the name immediately. Michael stood from his drums, looking like an angry bull ready to charge.
"Well if it isn't the Weasel's Boy Toy." Liz said with a sweet smile, but dropped it immediatly. "What are you doing here?"
"What?" he asked. "I can't come and see my high school friends?"
"Friends?" Maria asked. "You put used jock straps in our lockers!"
Max couldn't help but snicker. "Well, I'm here today to let, bygones be bygones." he said as he extended his hand.
Liz walked up to him, turned him around and pushed him out of the apartment. "Leave." she instructed.
He just stared at her with a sly smile on his face. He reached up and ran his fingers through her hair. "You really should switch back to brown." he whispered before he left.
After Liz shut the door she groaned. "You'd think that he'd be anywhere, but New York, wouldn't you?"
Maria walks out and waves shyly. "Okay, okay, before you all start throwing your shoes at me, I'm out here because it's the end, okay?" she said with her hands up. "Now, everyone, just put the shoes, down..."
The sound of people putting their shoes back on can be heard.
"Thank you." she said. "How are you guys enjoying it so far?"
"Great! I'm glad you are!"
"I'm gonna go now." she said and slowly started to walk towards the exit. "Don't forget my shoe box." she added, before she disappeared.
Maria's head pokes out from behind the curtain. "To be continued."
"Okay, after Max stopped by the apartment, nothing interesting happend after that. Nothing." Maria says. "We sat around, we played. We went to bars, we played. We went to clubs we played. And Mr. Evans kept his distance."
"He'd stop by a club we'd be playing at every once in a while, but then Mr. Hot Shot got called to do a movie. Don't ask what's it about cause I dunno." she said before the silent auidence could ask. "Any way, this takes a good three of four weeks from where we left off..."
"Finished!" Maria yells in victory. "I finished my song!"
Alex glances up. "What song is that?"
She scoffed. "Only the song that I have been spending three weeks on, in case you haven't noticed!"
"Oh. Well, I didn't notice." he said, getting a pillow thrown at him.
Alex threw the pillow back, hitting Maria in the forehead. Maria squealed before throwing it back, but he dodged it. He grabbed and threw it at her head, but she ducked and he hit the lamp.
At that moment Liz walked into the apartment with groceries.
Alex and Maria looked at eachother before running to the bedroom.
"What happened to the lamp?" Liz asked as she set the groceries down.
Michael, who was sitting on the couch reading a magazine pointed to the bedroom. He glanced up casually at her, then did a double take when he saw her hair.
"Liz!" he yelled and stood up. "What happened to your hair?"
She ran her fingers through it. "Oh, I um, got tired of the red." she answered, before proceeding in putting the groceries away. Her hair was back to her original hair color. Brown.
Alex and Maria poked their heads outside the door to see what was going on.
"Liz!" she squealed shocked. "Your hair!"
"It's brown." Alex finished.
Liz widened her eyes. "What's the big deal? I like the original color."
But Maria didn't believe it. "You didn't change your hair because Max says he liked it how it was, did you?" she asked.
She scoffed. "Please, that was so three weeks ago."
But Maria didn't look convinced. "Liz, everyone knows you've had a crush on Max Evans since Junior High." she said as she crossed her arm.
Liz gasped. "Okay that was back in the day, okay? I'm over him now." she said, trying to reassure herself more than them. "Besides, he's not my type...And it's not like it would work out anyway.."
"Whatever you say, Liz." Alex said before plopping down on an old lazy boy. "So what are we doing tonight?" he asked, changing the subject.
Before anyone could answer, Maria spoke. "We should work on my song that I wrote today." she said, her voice filled with excitement.
"Actually, we need to get money." Liz said. "Because if we have no money, we have no food."
"Right, but, my song it's really good." she insisted. "We can look over a little of it now, and then go job hunting."
"Speaking of job hunting." Alex spoke up. "We really need to get jobs of our own for right now. I mean we won't be able to support ourselves on these gigs every other night."
"Yeah," Michael agreed. "Sooner or later we are going to have played in every bar and club in New York."
"Already a head of you." Liz said, pulling out several applications from her purse. "You guys dig through there, pick out a job and send in the application."
"Later Maria." they all said.
On the other side of the continent, Max Evans sat in his trailer glancing over his script, yet nothing was registering. His mind hand been on Liz Parker since he saw her last month. She really was beautiful...
He spent most of his leisurely time formulating a plan on how to earn her trust. To make her think that he's not such a bad guy. And the only way he could think of, was to give her what she wanted.
Making up his mind, Max reached into his jacket pocket for his cell phone. Punching in the numbers he waited for an answer.
"Talk to me." a voice said from the other line.
"Kyle, it's Max-"
"Hey man, what's up? I hear you're doing the movie-"
"Kyle, this is important so, shut up a minute." he said before he could finish. "Does your dad still work with the Arista Records?"
Max give Kyle the details before he hang up the phone, a smile on his lips.
In two weeks his plan would be in motion...
And in two weeks, Liz would be his...
"This is good, Maria." Liz commented later that evening. They were waiting until they had to play at a local club, so they finally gave into Maria's antics and looked over her song.
"I know!" she squealed.
Liz continued to read over the words, her mind already formulating the melodies and rhythms. "How about you sing this one?" she asked, glancing up at her friend. "After all, it's your music."
"Really?" she asked. "I could? I mean you'd let me?"
"Let you?" Liz asked. "You're part of this band too, you can do anything you want."
Maria squealed again before hugging her friend. "I so wanna sing this song!"
"It's settled then." she said. "We'll work on it sometime tomorrow. Decide how we're going to handle it."
Maria walks out. "Okay, so later that night, we played at a local bar and made a decent amount of money. We were also invited back to sing again next Friday night." she explains. "And we're getting closer and closer to acheiving our life long dream."
Alex second passion, other than music was computers, and that's what he was going to do for a part-time job. He had picked out the application for a computer guy at Radio Shack. He was now sitting in the back room, having a small interview with the manager.
"Okay...Um, microchips, you know what those are right?" the manager Edgar asks.
"Yes sir, what's left in the bag when it finally reaches you." he replied with a straight face.
Edgar slowly raised his head to look at Alex. "That was a joke, right?"
"Yeah, it was." he said, wondering where this guys sense of humor was.
He then started laughing at Alex's joke. "That's funny." he said with a grin. "So, when can you start?"
Later that night, everyone met the bar they'd be playing at in three days. Both Liz and Maria had gotten jobs at the bar, while Michael is yet to find one.
"So," Alex said. "Maria, get me a beer."
"Get it yourself." was her reply.
He grinned. "You work here don't you?"
"Not today." she said with a sarcastic smile.
Maria walks out. "You'll have to excuse me, I was a little cranky, I really wanted Friday to hurry up and roll along so that I can preform my song." she said. "We had practiced a lot, trying to get it to sound, just right, and we finally did. So there was being a real brat when the manager comes up...."
The manager comes up to their table with a look of worry on his face. "Our preformers for tonight, aren't coming. I need you to play!" he told them. "Just do a couple songs tonight, and do the rest Friday night. Please tell me you can preform!"
The group looked amongst eachother before Liz spoke up. "We'd have to go get our stuff-"
"Terrific!" he yelled. "Can you be ready in an half an hour?"
"Twenty minutes." Alex replied.
Maria stared at Liz. "Does this mean I can do my song?" she asked hopefully.
Liz smiled. "If you wanna."
"Are you ready Maria?" Michael asked as he set up her microphone.
She nodded silently. This would be the first time she'd be the lead vocals in front of a audience. She wrung her fingers together. She was nervous, because for the first time, she wouldn't have her keyboards to keep her mind off the attentive audience.
Liz walked up from behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You alright?" she asked as she put her guitar strap over her shoulder.
"Fine." she said, and gave her a smile. "Let's do this." she added with an encouraging grin.
Liz nodded before she motioned to the owner that they were ready. She took her place to the left and behind of Maria, adjusting her microphone.
"Good evening. Let's give a nice round of applause for tonights preformers, The Whits!" he said, as he clapped with the audience.
Maria glanced back at her friends once more getting their reassuring smile.
"With one light on," she say, as Liz did a solo on her acoustic. "In one room. I know you're up, when I get home."
"With one small step upon the stair, I know your look when I get there."
"If you were a king," then started Michael on drum, followed by Alex on his bass. " up there on your throne, would you be wise enough to let me go, for this queen, you think you own."
"Wants to be a hunter again. Wants to see the world alone again, to take a chance on life again, so let me go."
"The unread book and painful. The tv's on, the sound is down. One long pause, then you begin. Oh look what the cat's brought in."
"If you were a king up there on your throne, would you be wise enough to let me go? For this queen you think you own."
"Wants to be a hunter again. Wants to see the world alone again. To take a chance on life again. So let me go. Let me leave."
"For the crown you've placed upon my head, feels to heavy now, adn I don't know what to say to you, but I smile anyhow. And all this time I'm thinking...Thinking.."
"I want to be a hunter again. Want to see the world alone again. To take a chance on life again. So let me go."
"I want to be a hunter again. Want to see the world alone again. To take a chance on life again. So let me go. Let me leave....Let me go."
After Maria finished the song, she finally opened her eyes at the sound of applause and whistling. She watched as a very impressed owner walked onto stage.
"The Whits, ladies and gentlemen!" he said, causing the crowd to erupt in more clapping.
Maria glanced happily back at Michael, who mouthed a "Great Job." to her.
"The Whits will be playing here every Friday Night!" the owner went on, as he looked back at the group. His eyes telling them they got the job.
Maria's mouth gapped as she stared at her friends, before they all embraced in a huge hug.
"Fame, here we come!" Alex yelled.
"And he's right." Maria said as she walked back on to stage. "We were on the road to fame. But that for a different time. So ya'll come back, now ya hear?"
She started to leave. "Ya'll know the deal now, to be continued, yadda, yadda, yadda."
|posted on 28-Jun-2002 7:29:26 AM|
Maria is surprised to find yet another piece of paper in her box. She clears her throat, unfolds the paper, and read. "Where is the bathroom."
Snickering can be heard.
"Okay guys, enough is enough, I happen to take this very seriously." she said with a frown. "You're lucky I like you folks...." she sighed..
"So," Maria says. "We are several steps closer to fame, and we have no idea that our last step would be thanks to none other than Max Evans himself."
"The Max Evans who put jock straps in our lockers. Max Evans, who put Liz's number in the boys bathroom, and wrote under 'Call for Good Time'. Max Evans who got his ass kicked by Liz for calling her a dike." she said. "Now why in the world would he be helping us out?"
"I'm not looking for a more sophisticated answer other than....To get her into bed..."
"Enjoy the show."
Max Evans walked down the terminal to board his plane. He was going back to New York. Back to Liz. Within a few more days, Liz would finally have what she wanted, and so would he.
He puts his carry-on in the over head compartment before sliding into his window seat. The movie he had been working on was successfull, but he was glad to be going back. He was already offered to star in another movie, but he declined. He had other things to do.
Those things consisting of winning Liz Parker over. It would be no easy task. He knew that much. But there was no way in hell, that he was going to quit. Not this time.
When he was finally done with Liz, she wouldn't be able to turn him down.
Max smiled. Oh yes, this was going to be fun.
"I was thinking." Liz said as she and her fellow band mates, sat around the living room eating their Tv Dinners. "That song of yours, would sound really great with an electric guitar."
"But you don't have an electric guitar, Liz." Maria replied.
"Not yet." she said. "They have a really nice one on sale at that guitar place, like right across from where you work, Alex. And I was thinking, that maybe, with half my earnings from every Friday night at the Night Shade, and from what I'm being paid to waitress, I'm thinking that I could buy the guitar." she went on.
"And ya know, I can switch from acoustic to electric when needed." Liz continued. She looked up at her friends. "What do you guys think?"
The three looked at eachother before looking at Liz.
"It's your money, Liz." Michael said. "You can do whatever you want with it."
She nodded. "I think I'm gonna buy it."
"Then you'd have to buy an amplifier." Alex said.
Liz nodded. "I know, but it's just a really cool guitar and I really want it." she said as she stuck her fork in her mash potatoes. "I just want our band to be the best, ya know, for when we make it."
"It will be, Chica." Maria said, patting her on the shoulder. "We are gonna rock the world."
Liz smiled before dumping her food down the sink. "I'm kinda tired, I think I'm going to take a little nap." she said with a yawn.
"Night, Lizzie." Alex called before scarfing down his salsbury steak.
"Liz's little nap, turned into an all nighter." Maria said. "And though she didn't tell me, I know she had this really, bogus dream."
"The Whits' self-titles CD is now in stores today!" Carson Daily of TRL speaks into his microphone. "And here with us to celebrate is the lead singer and guitarist, Liz Parker."
Liz smiled at all the adoring fans, as they cheered and clapped. And like any respectful celebrity, she shook hands with as many of them as she could.
"How are you doing, Liz?" he asked.
"Oh wow." the awe-struck star says, as she runs her hand through her hair. "This is amazing." she looks out the window to the streets. "Look at all those people!"
Hundres upon hundreds of faithful fans stood in the cold streets before her, clutching signs.
"The Whits Rule!"
"Please let me come up to meet Liz Parker!"
"Liz Parker, Marry Me!" a young man a written on his bare chest in 40 degree weather.
There was even a "Alex Whitman is a babe!"
"My gosh, this feels great!" Liz said. "It's amazing!"
"So, inquiring minds, want to know." Carson started. "Do you have a boyfriend?"
Liz blushed and was about to answer when someone already did.
"Yes." came a voice from behind her. She turned to see Max Evans.
...Woah, where'd he come from? Now I know this a dream.
He walks up to her and wraps his arm around her waist. "She's taken." he told everyone as he leaned down and kissed the side of her neck.
...Alrighty, Liz, time to get off your high horse right about now.
"How long have you two been together?" Carson asked.
"Several months." Max, yet again, answered for her.
...Why am I just standing here? What in God's name is going on. This is a nightmare!
"Infact." he went on, as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small velvet box. "I think it's about time..."
"Yes!" she yelled before he could ask.
"No!" she yelled as she bolted up right in bed. Her breathing labored and her eyes were wide.
Maria came trudging into her room. "What in the hell is going on here?" she asked wiping her eyes. "Did you run out of batteries or something?"
Liz threw her pillow at her. "That's not funny, Maria."
"Well, what am I supposed to think?" she asked. "I hear this wild, YES, and then a distressed NO, and. C'mon girl you know how my mind runs."
She sat down next to her friend. "So what's up?" she asked.
"I had the weirdest dream ever." Liz mumbled, the scenes still fresh in her mind.
"Wanna talk about it?"
"No!" she yelled, but then recovered. "I mean, no, it's okay, I don't want to bore you with all the stupid details. Go back to bed, I'm fine." she said, as she laid back down, surrounding her body with the blanket.
It was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream, just a dream...
"A damn good dream!"
Liz sat in a spinning chair in Radio Shack. Alex's break was ten minutes ago, but he's still working. Finally he settles himself down across from her.
With a grin on her face she leaned her forearms on her legs. "So, you wanna come with me to purchase my first electric guitar?" she asked. "I even have enough for an amplifier.."
He grinned himself. "C'mon, lets go."
"And there off." Maria says. "Off to spend money on a guitar that would make everything better. Off, into the hands of..."
Liz immediatly stopped her delightful skipping, when she heard the voice. She glanced at Alex and then back to the guitar shop.
"We can make a run for it, Alex." she mumbled through the side of her mouth.
"On three." he said. "One...Two...Thr-!"
"I thought I that was you!" the giddy blonde said. "It's me, Pam Troy, what are you doing all the way out here..."
"Other than trying to get away from you?" Alex mumbled.
"Oh, just, hanging around." was Liz's reply. "What are you doing here?"
Pam giggled. "I got to college here, silly." she said. "What college do you go to?"
Liz cast Alex a sympathetic look. "Uh, we put college on hold for a little while."
"Ohh, surely not for your ba- Ohhhh." Pam said, as realization dawned on her. "Well, good luck!" and with that she was gone.
"That's two, people Alex!" she said after Pam was out of ear-shot. "Two people we have spent all of our high school years, waiting to graduate just to get away from them. And there here!"
"Calm down, Liz, New York is a popular state, and Max was just probably coincidence. You'll probably never see him again."
"You're catching the irony of this situation, aren't you?" Maria asks.
"Let's just buy my damn guitar, and leave."
Her little happy-go-lucky shopping spree moment, was over.
"Hello, Gentlemen, what can I get you tonight?" Liz asked. She was waitressing at the Night Shade until they had to go on. She's seen a lot of familiar faces here and have become good friends with some of them. Even the pot-belly owner of the joint was a good of the Whits.
"Just a couple of beers. Thanks Liz." they said nicely before carrying on with their previous conversation.
"Two beers, Ed." she said as she walked up to the bar, just as Maria did.
"You gals, playing tonight?" Ed asked, handing them each their order.
Liz grabbed hers and smiled. "Yep, you gonna stick around to watch this time?"
He handed Maria her order. "I wish I could, babes, but you know, the old woman."
Maria scoffed. "Why do men call us that?" she asked Liz before she walked away.
Liz laughed lightly. "Maybe next time." she said before walking off.
"There are like, a million bars, and clubs in the entire state, but which one do you think Max Evans picks?" Maria asks.
"Anyone? Three guess."
"Yes! The Night Shade! Thank you to the guy in the back." she tilts her head to the side. "Your kinda cute."
"Ahem." she whips her head to the side to see Michael.
"Um, yeah, and well....Alright."
Max found an empty stool at the bar and sat down heavily.
"What can I get you tonight?" the man behind the counter asked.
He lifted his head. "Just a beer."
Max had just gotten back from Liz's apartment, only to find that no body was home. He was really hoping he could see her, but it didn't look like he'd be seeing her tonight.
He glanced around. He's come here before, and it's never been this packed before.
"Good evening!" a voice boomed over the microphone. "I'm glad to see you regulars back, but I'm really glad that there are some new faces here. I guess word travels fast huh?"
"Well, for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about. We have a preformance tonight, just like we do every Friday night. So with out further ado, here's the Whits!"
The crowd broke out in applause and whistling as Max just stared shocked as they walked out on stage.
"Thank you!" he said, though no one could here him above the crowd.
"I told you'd would sound great with the electric!" said happily over the crowd.
"The Whits!" Rob the owner said once again. "Here every Friday night!"
"Hey Rob, can we help you close up?" Liz asked, she was so giddy that she didn't care what they did at the moment.
"No, you kids go home." he said. "I'll see you and Maria tomorrow night though."
"Night Rob!" they called as they helped carry the equipment to the van.
"You guy were great." a voice said from behind as Liz started putting stuff in the back.
She glanced behind her a smile on her face. "Thanks!" but did a double take when she saw Max.
"Oh, no." she mumbled, grabbing Alex's base and putting it in the back. Just then Alex walked up with one of Michael's drums. He almost dropped it when he saw Max.
"Just a coincidence, huh Al?" she said with a grim smile as she took the drum away from him.
"Ya need any help?" Max asked stepping closer to the van.
"No." she answered forcefully. "We're fine."
Michael and Maria walked out with the other set of drums, and almost did an Alex when they saw Max.
He took in all the shocked faces around him. "Surprised to see me?" he asked with a grin.
'What do you want?" Liz asked with an exasperated sigh.
"It's not what I want, it's what you want." he said with a smile. "I'm here to help you get a record deal."
"I don't think we have been properly introduced." Alex said as he walked up to him, his hand extended. "Alex Charles Whitman, III."
"Alex.." Liz mumbled.
He merely glanced at her. "So, um, a record deal, huh?"
"Meet me at this location." he said handing them a card. "Tomorrow at 3." and with that he left.
"I don't trust him." Maria said, as she looked at the card in Alex's hand.
"Me neither." Liz agreed.
"Oh c'mon guys, it's our chance!" Alex declared. "Let's not blow it. This may be our only, chance."
Liz stared into the desperate face of her dear friend. "Fine."
"Ok, one, it was a good thing Lizzie was doing for Alex, but two, bad thing she was doing for herself. Very, very bad..." Maria said. "Well, I can it's safe to say, that it's gonna be a bumpy ride." she chuckled a little. "And you guys have no idea."
"To Be Continued."
"So, Max Evans, what do you think when you hear that name?" she asks. "Bet 99.9% of you think, BABE! What does Liz think? 75% Hunk of Burning Love, the other 25% arogant, self-centered, he can stick it where the sun-don't-shine, ass."
"But then again, that's just her."
"We're gonna be famous, we're gonna be famous..." Alex kept chanting as he walked around the apartment. They were gonna meet Max at a small studio owned by a man named Valenti.
Valenti. As in the actor, Kyle Valenti's father, who just so happens to work for Arista Records.
Okay, okay. So Liz was getting a little excited. Nothing to unusual. Who wouldn't get excited to be getting a chance of a lifetime?
But she also had to be worried. Max Evans was behind this, and who know what could be up his sleeve...
Other than a strong, muscular arm, leading to an equally muscular and sexy chest....
Knock it off, Liz!
She has been thinking very impure thoughts of Max Evans. Her enemy. This is just wrong. So very, very wrong...
"Are you ready yet, Liz?" Alex called as he knocked on her bed room door.
"In a minute."
"We're gonna be late!" he called back.
Liz rolled her eyes, before pulling her hair into a loose ponytail.
It's not like she's trying to impress anyone.
She glanced in the mirror once more, before exiting her room.
"Okay, the gangs all here." Alex said. "Let's move."
Max glanced at his watch again, as he sat patiently in the waiting room with Jim Valenti. Jim trusted Max, so of course, he'd take his word on how good this group was.
Really they were. But that's not the reason Max set up this meeting.
"Okay, I think we all know why Max set up this meeting, so let's just fast forwards through that little thought..."
Finally the group walked through the door. Three mintues late.
"Well," Jim said, standing from his seat. "I see punctuality isn't your best skill."
"Punctuality is the virtue of the bored." Maria said from behind Michael.
He cleared his throat before motioning to the back room. "Shall we?"
"Go ahead and play one of your songs." Jim said through the intercom. Once he let go of the button allowing them to him, he turned to Max. "They better be good."
"Don't worry." he said. "They are."
"I'm glad I brought my own sticks." Michael said. He never felt comfortable playing the drums without his own sticks.
"What do you guys wanna play?" Liz asked.
"No Angel?" Maria suggested. Everyone agreed.
Liz grabbed the acoustic and slid the strap over her shoulder.
She glanced behind her to see if everyone was ready, once they were. She started to sing.
Jim gave Max a hundred watt smile. The kid was right, these kids were good. After the group had finished their song, he pressed the intercom button.
"We have gold." he said to them, watching happily as they jumped for joy. He then turned to Max. "It's a good thing you're doing for these kids."
Max just nodded and stared into the face of a very happy Liz Parker. He was glad he was the one who made her that way.
The Whits started to leave the studio with plans to start recording within a few days. Right now, they were gonna celebrate!
"We did it, Alex!" Liz yelled, wrapping an arm around his neck. "We've got gold!"
Alex chuckled, before wrapping his arms around her waist and swinging her. "I can't believe it's finally happend!"
"Well believe it, mister!" Maria said, with an equally excited Michael. "We're gonna be famous!" she started, now joining in with Alex's chant.
"Liz," Max said, grabbing her gently by the elbow and leading her a little ways from the group. "Congratulations."
"Thanks, Max." she said, letting up a little. Maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all. "We never would have been noticed if it were for you. I don't know how we will be able to thank you enough."
He grinned. "You could, got out with me tonight." he suggested.
Liz stared at him. Nuh uh. "Max, no." she said and tried to walk away.
"Liz, wait." he said, grabbing her arm again. "You said it yourself, you don't know how you'd be able to thank me enough. It would be an honor for me."
"Liz," Alex said as he approached her. "Let me just borrow her for one minute, Max."
He pulled her to the side. "Go out with him."
"Okay, whose side are you on?" Liz asked.
"Yours, all the way, but c'mon, he gave us our chance! The least you can do is give him his." he said.
Liz crossed her arms. "A chance to rip my heart out and do a mexican hat dance on it?" she quired.
"Liz, please. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't be here. C'mon he can't be all that bad."
She glanced over at Max. He was gazing at her. A pleading look in his eyes. She looked back at Alex, the same pleading look.
Liz groaned. "Fine, but only one, date!" Alex leaned down and hugged her before pushing her into his direction.
"Well?" he asked, with a smile.
"Fine." she sighed.
"Great, I'll pick you up around eight?" he said. "Is that good?"
"Fine." was all she said.
"You won't regret this, Liz." he said. "I promise."
"I hope so," she said after he turned away.
"What time is it?" Liz yelled the fifth time in thirty seconds.
"The same time it was the last time you asked." Michael yelled back.
"Gee, I dunno, Liz. You seem pretty anxious for someone who didn't want to go in the first place." Alex called.
Liz came out in a black, knee length dress. "I just want to get this over with." she said, before turning around to show off her dress. "Is this too much?"
Alex gapped at his friend. He had never seen her show so much skin.
"This is too much isn't it?" She asked from his look. "I over dressed, I have to change, I don't wanna give him the wrong idea."
Someone knocked on the door.
"Woops, too late now." Michael said as he stood to get the door.
He pulled the door open to see Max on the other side.
"Hey." Michael mumbled before returning to his seat.
Max took that as an invitation and walked in, just as Liz walked back out with her purse. He smiled at her beauty.
"Evening, Liz." he said. "You look beautiful."
She blushed. "Thanks." she replied before glancing at her friends. "I'll see you guys later."
"Wait a minute." Alex said, before he grabbed Max, and pulled him away from Liz. "I gotta tell you something about her first."
Intrigued Max leaned closer to Alex, waiting for him to spill. "Her favorite pick up line in the world is, 'If you were a booger, I'd pick you first.'..." he told him before giving him two thumbs up. "Go get 'em tiger!"
"So, Mr. Evans takes my good friend Liz to this romantic restuarunt, and ya know, it makes me wonder why my guy doesn't do that?" Maria said. "I think I'll go have a little talk with Mr. Guerin right now."
Max smiled at the waitress as she grabbed the menus and left. They had both given her their order and now they were alone.
He continued to gaze at her, before he reached out and grabbed a few tendrils of her hair. "I'm glad to see that you changed your hair back." he said.
She tucked her hair behind her ear, causing them to fall from his fingers. "Yeah, well, it was time for a change anyway."
He grinned. "So, you're not really dating Sean DeLuca, are you?" he asked after a moment.
"What makes you think that?" was her reply from behind her glass of water.
"Simply the fact that Sean got married last month."
Liz shrugged. "He sneaks around."
Max didn't believe her. "What's wrong, you couldn't find the right guy?" he asked.
"There are easier things in life than finding the right guy. Like nailing jello to a tree." Liz answered.
"Well, don't sound too optimistic." he mumbled. "You're gonna need a man sooner or later and-"
"Needing a man is like needing a parachute, if he's not there the first time you need him, chances are you won't be needing him again." Liz said before could continue.
Max stared at her. He didn't expect it to go like this. But he could play her game.
"And ya know," Liz continued. "I want a sensitive guy-one who will cry when I hit him."
"So, what about you?" Liz asked. "Do you really enjoy being with the Weasel?"
He shrugged. "To tell you the truth, I still miss my ex." he answered.
He nodded, before grinning. "But my aim is getting better and better."
Liz was the next to laugh. Max couldn't help but smile at the sound of her laughter. It was like music to his ears.
"Well, the two soon-to-be-lovers-" looks at all the shocked faces. "What? C'mon, it's not like you guys didn't already KNOW it was gonna happen, I mean please. I didn't spill any major secrets."
She cleared her throat. "Anyway, they talked about everything, movies and music, which btw, turned into this big argument because Max doesn't like Nsync." Gasp! "I mean, I for one-"
"What!" she whips her head to the side to see Michael motioning her over with a grin.
"Um, 'cuse me."
"Max!" Liz yelled at him trying to get him to stop talking. "Max, listen to me. There are two ways to argue with a woman and win." she said. "Neither one works. So give it up!"
"I can't believe you can have respect for someone who doesn't write their own music, play any instruments, and everything they do is choreographed, right up until they have sex after a concert." he argued. "It's pathetic."
Liz laughed. "Okay, I'm done, it's no use."
"So you give?"
"So I win?"
"Not by a long shot. There'll be other times." she answered.
A slow smile spread on his face. "Does that mean I'll be able to see you again." he asked.
"I probably won't be able to get rid of you."
Max walked Liz up to her apartment, where they stopped at the door. It was a little after 11, and Liz was pretty sure her fellow mates were already in bed. She stopped at the door and turned around.
"I'm surprised to say that I had a good time night." Liz told him.
"Yes, we should do it again some time." was his reply. "I really enjoy your company, Liz."
She smiled. "Thank you."
They stared at eachother a few moments longer before Max slowly started to lean towards her.
What's he doing?
He licked his lips and continued to move every so slowly towards her.
Oh, my, gosh. He's going to kiss-
Another giggle. "That tickles!"
"Do you hear that?"
"What I don't hear anything."
"Exactly! The movies stopped!"
"Get off me, Michael, I'm on the remote!"
"Where is it?!"
Liz turned her head just as their lips were about to meet, causing his lips to contact her cheek instead.
"Um, Good night, Max." she said, before she quickly disappeared behind the door.
Max stared after her. "Good night, Liz."
A very embarrassed Maria walks out. "I am sooo sorry about that guys, ya know I just-"
Michael walks behind her and slaps her ass, causing her to jump and squeal.
She glared playfully after him before giggling. She then turned back toward the audience.
"Um, to be continued."
"Okay, review." Maria says, clasping her hands infront of her. "Liz goes to New York to get us a gig, while we stay home doing absolutely nothing. She finds out, she get's pissed, so we are forced to go up." she rolls her eyes.
"She meets Max, some secret emotions she's felt, but hid since for like, ever, finally resurfaced, and she goes out on a date with him. Only, because he got us a record deal and because Alex begged her to." she went on.
She smiles. "Now, let's see what's happening right now."
"Liz, I think I found it." Maria said. She was standing on a chair, searching through the top shelf of the closet. She finally pulled down a large box. "I believe this is it." she added, blowing dust from the top.
"It's been up there for four weeks, and it already is covered with dust?" Liz asked, poking her head inside the closet. "How dusty is it in there?"
"Pretty dusty." she said before setting the box on the floor and kneeling infront of it. She grabbed a pair of scissors from Liz and cut off the tape. Soon she had the box completely opened, revealing the contents.
Liz reached inside, grabbing a handful of papers. She laughed as she skimmed over some of them. "Oh Gosh, these are bad." she said handing the old songs they had written to Maria. "Really bad."
"Oh my, this is like, third grade crap!" Maria declared. "When did we write these?" she asked, before flipping to the back to see the date. "We were sophomores!"
Liz shook her head. "That's sad." She reached back inside and pulled out a scrap book, before squealing with delight. "Oh! You rememeber this?"
Maria scooted on to the other side of Liz, bringing her knees to her chest. "Yup, you and I made that a year or two after we formed the Whits. It took me 15 rolls of film for you to compose the book." she said, before glaring at her. "And you didn't even use all of it!"
Liz ducked her head in mock guilt, before turning the page. "Awww." she said as she gazed down at the picture of Michael and Maria. They had the sides of their heads together. Liz had cut the picture in the shape of a heart, before putting it on another heart, cut from pink construction paper.
"How old were we?" Maria asked, as her fingers skimmed over the picture. "Fifteen?"
"No, you guys started dating at thirteen and I took this like, three months afterwards." Liz corrected. "That's a good picture of you two, do you want me to take it out for you?"
She shook her head. "Naw, leave it in there. It's pretty."
They continued to flip through the book until they were distracted by a paper falling out. "What's this?" Maria asked, reading over her own chicken scratch. "Oh, nevermind, just another one of my stupid 5th grade songs."
"Wait." Liz said before she could put it aside, and took it from her. "There's some more on the back."
"Huh." Liz grunted.
She glanced at Maria. "This is the song I started to write after I thought Sean and I were really going somewhere. I never finished though." she said. "We broke up bef- Well, you know the story."
"Uh huh." she said. "So what it is doing on the paper that I wrote my really bad, 5th grade song on?"
Liz glanced at Maria's song. "Hun, that's from two years ago."
"Nuh uh." she said. "I didn't suck that bad!"
Liz ignored her comment, as an idea came to mind. "You know, we should sort through all of these songs, and pull out the really good ones. Then we can put them on our CD." she suggested.
Maria grinned. "Let's get busy."
"Okay, so far we have three songs that we know are gonna be on the cd." Alex said as he helped sort through the endless piles of songs they've written. "And here's the pile that is a definite possibility."
"Ohh, how about this one?" Maria asked, passing Alex the piece of paper she was holding. "Liz sang that at our first concert at the Soap Factory. The crowd loved it."
Alex skimmed over the lyrics, immediatly recognizing it as Liz's song, "My Lover's Gone". He nodded his head in agreement before passing it to Liz.
"What do you think?" he asked her.
Her brows furrowed. "I don't know. I'm not sure if I really like this song. Maybe it we fancy it up a bit." she suggested. "Yeah, but it in the possible pile."
"You do realize that the Possible Pile is gonna get bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and that will just give us another pile to look through?" Michael asked as he watched Maria place piece by piece of paper in the possible pile. "Are you even reading those, or are you just adding to the pile?"
"I'm skimming." she mumbled.
Liz snatched away a paper that she was about to add to the pile. "Let's see what you're skimming." she said. "Um Maria, these are all your songs."
Maria sighed. "I want have more of my music on the album. And I wanna sing more too!" she said exasperated.
"Maria, all of this stuff we can work out, but you can't just keep putting songs that you know are bad in the pile." Liz told her. "Now I know you have good songs in there, you just have to find them instead of putting everyone of the bad ones in the pile. As for you singing more songs, we can go through the songs we already know are going to be on the CD, and you can pick what you want to sing. We can work this out."
Maria sighed. "Yeah I know, I'm sorry." she mumbled. "I don't know what got into me."
"I know what's gotten into all of us." Alex said, setting aside his pile. "We are all getting a little too excited, and stressed out about the album. Let's go out and have some real fun."
Liz smiled at Alex as everyone agreed.
"What are you kids doing here so early?" Rob the manager of the Night Shade asked.
Alex shrugged and sat in a stool at the bar. "We needed to get out." he said. "We needed to do something fun."
Rob set down the mug he was wiping. "Well, I don't open the bar until fifteen til seven, so I don't think you guys will be having any fun."
Maria reached into her bag and pulled out a stack of papers and handed them to her confused boss. "Tell us what you think."
"Maria!" they all whined. The whole point of coming to the bar was to get away from the music for right now.
"What?" she asked innocently. "I want to know what he thinks."
Rob eyed the papers in his hand before he started to read the writing. "You guys write these?" he asked lifting his gaze from the paper for just a moment to look at Maria.
She nodded proudly. "The one you're reading is mine." she quickly looked at her friends. "Don't worry its not one of the crappy ones, I assure you."
"That's good kid." he said as he ruffled Maria's hair.
"Let me see." Michael said, grabbing the paper from Rob.
She walked behind Michael and read over his shoulder. "I wrote it a long time ago, it probably wouldn't hurt to use a few adjustments, but I think it's pretty good." she said before resting her head on his shoulder.
Michael looked up at Liz and grinned, before handing her the paper. "I think we have a winner, Liz." he said and grabbed she side of Maria's face and kissed her tenderly on the cheek. "My baby's so talented."
Alex leaned his arms on Liz's shoulders and rested his chin on the top of her head. "Not bad." he said as he read Maria's writing. "What do you think, Liz?"
Liz looked up and smiled at Maria. "This is definetly going on the cd." her song was entitled Don't Slide, and Liz vaguely remembered them trying to get the rhythm for it going, but they never finished.
They heard a grunt from behind the bar and a mug being put roughly in it's place. The gang looked to see a frowning Rob.
"Aww." Maria said and rubbed his arm. "Just think what this will do for the place."
"I am." he said. "Once you kids are gone, who's gonna play every Friday night? I mean, really play, so that everyone likes it and will come again."
"No, that's not what she meant, Rob." Alex said. He wrapped an arm around his shoulder and gazed at the wall with a far away look in his eyes. "Imagine. When The Whits are famous, you can say that we played here every Friday night. Then this would be like, a tourist attraction." he said as he glanced at Rob. "People would come all over the world just to touch that stage.."
Liz looked at Michael and Maria as they shook their heads.
"You, my friend," he poked him in the chest. "would be famous."
Rob looked amongst the group. "You guys get famous!" he said before he went into the back room.
"Why'd you tell him that?" Liz asked once Alex sat back down.
He shrugged. "It could happen." he said.
Rob reentered the bar carrying two beers and two sodas. "Beers for the guys, and I know you girls don't drink so here's a soda." he said.
"Aww, you're such a sweetheart." Maria said and patted his balding head. "Thank you."
The next instant the phone rang and Rob was gone again.
"To The Whits." Alex said, holding up his bottle.
"The Whits." they said and clinked the bottles.
Liz brought her drink to her lips and took a sip. She then smiled at how happy her friends looked. Just the thought that they were finally getting somewhere had changed them completely. They were finally going to get somewhere in life. They were going to be recognized all of the world. A dream come true...
"So what are we drinking?"
Liz froze in mid-drink and grimaced. She didn't need to turn around to see who the voice belonged too. She could also tell by the expressions on her friends faces.
"Hey Max, my man." Alex said standing from his stool and shaking his hand. "You wanna beer?"
Max grinned and shrugged off his coat. "Yeah that would be great thanks."
"How'd you get in here?" Liz asked. She knew Rob hadn't opened the bar yet.
"The manager let me in." he said with a shrug. "Thanks, Alex" he added grabbing his beer. "To The Whits."
"I got to go to the bathroom." Maria said. "And so does Liz."
Maria grabbed her arm, causing her to spill her soda on the floor. The guys watched as Maria dragged Liz to the bathroom. They looked at eachother and shrugged.
"All over my shirt!" Liz yelled again as she wiped furiously at her shirt with a wet paper towel. "Maria, you royally suck, and, by the way, I don't have to use the bathroom."
Maria sat on the sink counter. "Me neither." she said.
"Then what are we doing back here?"
"You never told me about your date." she said.
Liz's hand stopped wiping at her shirt and she moved her gaze to stare at Maria. "You dragged me back here to talk about my date?" she asked. "Causing me to spill soda all over my shirt?"
Maria shrugged and smirked. "Sooo, what happened?" she asked. "Did you guys have fun?"
She tossed the tearing paper towel into the trash, before shrugging herself. "I guess I did." she mumbled.
"You guess?" Maria questioned.
Liz sighed and hoped up onto the sink counter, before tilting her head back and groaning. "I don't know. I did have fun, I enjoyed our conversation. Even if it were Battle of the Sexes banter-mainly on my part." she said with a grin. "But I don't want to get my hopes up you know? I don't want to get burned again."
Maria wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "Hey, you have to believe that not all guys are like Sean DeLuca-"
Liz stopped her by hoping off the counter. "You're right, the rest are like Max Evans." she said before walking towards the door. She placed her hand on the knob and looked over her shoulder. "Never again. I swore to myself, Maria. Never again."
"Liz," Alex called as he saw her come out of the restroom. "Rob brought you another soda."
Max turned his head and watched as she walked towards them. He couldn't help the smile that spread across his face. He had just come from their apartment, in hopes of persuading her into going on another date with him. He had an amazing time with her last night, he had learned a lot about the average school girl she once was. She had dreamt of becoming a singer since singing songs from her Elmo Cd at age two. It was just coinidence that she met her soul mate friends who shared the same passion for music. Max also learned that there was something dark that was deep inside of her. Something that prevented her from ever giving her heart to another man. And he was determined to find out what it was.
Liz finally reached the counter and grabbed her soda. "Alex, I am going to go change and then open up the bar. Will you put the chairs on the floor for me?"
"Sure thing." he said standing from his stool and heading toward the table.
Liz gave Max a slight smile before heading toward the back room to change. As Liz was unbuttoning her shirt, Maria came in.
"Man, you can cut the sexual tension with a knife." she commented as she pulled her shirt over her head.
Liz laughed, before pulling on a white shirt with the bars name in purple air paint letters. "Maria you don't know what you're talking about."
She just laughed and grabbed her black skirt from her locker. "Liz, I'm serious, he wants you so bad, he can probably taste it." she said as she pulled on her skirt and grabbed her black apron.
Liz started to tie on her own apron as she spoke: "Well, I hate to break it to ya, babe, but he ain't gonna taste anything." she said with a grin.
"I don't know.."
"Well, I do." Liz said pulling her hair back into a pony tail. "I'm serious Maria. I promised myself."
Maria looked at her with serious eyes. "Some promises are meant to be broken." she said as she followed Liz out.
"She dated that one guy, um..Paulie something." Alex said after taking another drink of his beer. "But Sean was her only serious boyfriend."
Max had pressed Alex for information about Liz, and was surprised about how openly he discussed it. Probably the beer. "So what happened between them."
Alex laughed. "Well, Sean and Liz-" at that moment the two girls walked through the doors. Alex brought his fingers to his lips. "Shhhhh..."
"Shhh, what?" Maria asked. "What are you two talking about."
"Noothing." Alex said, rolling his eyes to look at the ceiling as he twiddled his thumbs. He then turned his head to Max. "Right?"
Liz and Maria eyed eachother before they heard the slamming of the phone. Everyone turned to look at a very stressed out Rob.
"Alex, I need you to work the bar tonight. Ed's wife went into labor today, and Mark is on vacation." he said approaching him. "And I can't work tonight cause it's my wife's and my anniversary."
"Sorry man, I can't help you. I have to be at work in.." he looked at his watch and his eyes widened. "Ten minutes! I gotta split!"
He held his hands up. "Sorry, man, I gotta work tonight too."
"I can handle the bar tonight," Liz offered. "Who all is working tonight?"
"You, Maria, Candice, and Shari." he said. "That's not nearly enough waitresses, you know how busy this place can get. ⊕#%$." he cursed.
"I can work the bar."
Everyone turned to look at Max. He shrugged.
"What? I don't have anything planned for tonight, and I wouldn't mind helping you guys out." he said. "You don't even have to pay me."
Rob smiled. "Thank you!" he said and shook Max's hand gratefully. "Thank you so much!"
Max smiled. "Not a problem."
Liz glanced at Maria before she continued to stare at Max. She barely noticed Rob patting her on the back.
"You girls keep the place standing alright?" he said as he grabbed his jacket. "I'll see you all Friday night."
Max rolled up his sleeves. "So, lets get this place open."
Maria walks out. "So, well I guess that about covers it." she said.
"Yup, I think so."
"To Be Continued."
"Okay, so you tell me," Maria said. "What were we supposed to do? Rob was right, we wouldn't be able to handle all the customers alone."
She shrugged. "So we couldn't do anything but accept Max's offer and allow him to work the bar." she thought a moment. "Wait, no, we accepted, Liz tried everything in her power to make sure that Max did not, work the bar."
"Rob, wait, Rob." Liz called as she continued to follow Rob around. "Are you-I mean, are you really sure that Max, I mean, Mr. Evans working here is a such a good idea."
"I mean, do you realize how famous he is? The customers are going to be bugging him for autographs left and right." she continued. "And you know Shari, I mean, admit it, she's gonna try and get into his pants..."
"With that seductive, 'Hello, Mr. Evans.'" she continued.
"And you know, Rob, I am only thinking of his well being. Being as I am a huge...." she gulped and grimaced. "Fan and all."
"Liz!" he said more sternly this time. "Listen, Max offered, and I am not going to turn him down just because he won a few awards.."
"No, buts Liz. Now get to work." and then he was out the door.
"Any luck?" Maria asked as she saw her friend approaching. Liz gave her a defeated look. She winced. "That's a no, right?"
Liz sighed and leaned against the counter, as the first of the daily costumers started to enter. "This is not good, Maria. Not good at all."
"I'll catch you girls later." Michael said as he walked up to them, and kissed Maria's cheek. He then wrapped a reassuring arm around Liz's shoulder. "Everything's going to be okay."
She smiled weakly before pushing herself away from the counter and walking towards the newest group of customers.
"Hey, boys." she said sweetly. "What can I get you this evening."
"Uh, Liz, we need to ask you something." one of the men asked.
"Sure Derek, what's up?" she asked, stuffing her hands in her apron pockets.
"Are you and the rest of ya'll gonna be famous?" the other man asked.
Liz smiled. "We're hoping too." she said. Her faced softened at the sad looks that came over them. She placed her hands and top of theirs and squatted down. "Aw Derek, Partick, we'll never forget you guys."
"You and Maria are my favorite waitresses, Liz." Patrick said his old eyes staring at the table. "You guys can't just leave."
"Yeah." agreed Derek.
She smiled sadly before kissing both men on their balding heads. "I'll be back with your beers. On the house."
Liz walked up to the counter and leaned against it next to Maria. "Two beers," she called, forgetting Max was the one behind the counter.
"Derek and Patrick are upset." she told Maria. "They don't want to see us go."
"Me neither." Max said placing ice cold beers on the counter behind her.
She once again grimaced before looking at Maria's smirking face from the corner of her eyes. Liz turned around, grabbed the beers, and gave him a tight smile before heading back towards the two men.
Max watched her go before looking at Maria. He raised an eyebrow at her as she continued to stare at him with a smirk on her face.
"I think you're trying to hard." she said, before grabbing her own orders and heading out.
"Or not hard enough." he mumbled.
Liz laughed. "Okay guys I'll be back with your orders in a few minutes." she said and she started to make her way to the counter. She momentarily lifted her gaze from her order pad to see Shari leaning over the counter, shamelessly flirting with Max.
Maria noticed Liz's sudden stop and looked between Liz and what she was looking at. She watched as Liz narrowed her eyes and continued towards the counter.
She leaned an elbow on the counter and glared at Shari. "Take a hike." Liz said watching as the slutty waitress slowly walked away.
"Someone getting jealous?" Max asked, smiling at how the tables had turned. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "Relax, you're the only girl in my eyes."
Liz rolled her eyes and removed his arms. "Please, I'm just saving you the trouble." she said and started to walk away, not noticing the smile that had spread on her lips.
"Okay, right there!" Maria said, 'Do you see it?"
She pointed to Liz's eyes. "Do you see the twinkle in her eyes? And look at that smile! Lizzie's gonna fall, and she gonna fall soon!"
"Am I right? Huh?" she asked.
"Yeah buddy, that's what I thought."
Maria walked in step with Liz. "What was that about?" she asked, already knowing that Liz had a little jealous spurt.
"What?" she aske seeing Maria's knowing look. She rolled her eyes. "Shari was throwing herself all over him, the look over annoyance was evident in his face." she said.
"Mmmhmm, or in yours."
She shook her head. "This has got to stop. Miss-I'm-a-Slut can't keep doing this." she said as she walked through the door to the break room, Maria following. "And I'm going to stop it."
"Shari," she called watching as the young blonde blew out a puff of smoke before taking another drag.
"What do you want?" she asked, clearly annoyed. "I'm a little busy right now, in case you can't tell."
"You need to stop."
She sighed, and put out her cigarate in the ashtray. "Stop what?" she asked as she primped herself infront of the mirror.
"Flaunting yourself infront of every male species that enters this bar!" Liz declared.
Shari looked at Liz through the mirror. "This is about Max isn't it?"
Liz hated the way she said his name. As if she had the right to call him by his first name.
"No this is about Mr. Evans." she corrected. "You have no right-"
"Save it, Liz." Shari interrupted as she turned around and stared at the woman infront of her. "I can do whatever I want. I'm sorry if Max is attracted me and not you."
Maria watched as steam flowed from Liz's ears. "That's where you're wrong, Shari." Maria said before Liz could.
She just raised an eyebrow.
"Liz is the only reason Max is working her tonight. They went on a date a couple of nights ago and plan on doing it again, tomorrow night." she said, watching as Shari's jaw dropped.
"Maria.." Liz whispered through the corner of her mouth.
"Shh, I'm on a roll." she said.
Shari narrowed her eyes at the girls. "I don't believe you." she said simply and walked past them.
Liz gave Maria a "What Now?" look, in which Maria only grinned.
Maria and Liz walked after Shari out of the back room. "Oh, Max." Maria called, getting the man's attention from behind the bar. "Could you help us with something?"
Both Liz and Shari looked at Maria.
Max grinned at the three girls, his gaze resting on Liz a while longer. "Sure, Maria, what's up?" he asked.
Maria walked behind Shari and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Could you please tell Shari that you and my dear friend, Lizzie," she tossed her head in the direction behind her. "went on a date just a couple of nights ago and you plan on doing it again, tomorrow." she finished with a wink.
Max's brow's furrowed for a moment before he saw Maria's wink, a grin breaking out on his face. He looked between her face and Liz's. He could tell that Liz was more than a little pissed with Maria, but he himself, was going to have to talk her.
Max exited from behind the bar and walked up to Liz. Her eyes sent a warning, but Max ignored it. He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him. "Yes, that's right, Maria." he said, with a smile.
His eyes locked onto Shari's to see them red with anger. She was attractive, sure, but she wasn't the one she was after. Maybe next time.
"We are going on a date tomorrow night. A very romantic one." he tilted his head to look at Liz. "Isn't that right?"
Liz's eyes widened as she was put on the spot. She looked between the glowing face of Maria and narrowed her eyes. She then looked at Max to see his handsome grin on his face. Finally she looked at Shari. Her arms were crossed, her eyes narrowed, and a firm lne placed on her lips. She raised an eyebrow at Liz as she tapped her foot.
Liz narrowed her eyes even more at the girl infront of her, before grinning widely. She wrapped both her arms around Max. "Yes, that's right." she said with a sweet smile on her face, though her eyes told those of a different feelings.
Shari's mouth gaped open. She stared at the three of them before letting out an exasperated sigh and heading towards the back room. "I'm outta here!" she called.
Maria couldn't stop laughing as she leaned her hands on her knees until tears flowed down her cheeks. Both Max and Liz were shaking from their mirth as well, neither of them had let go of eachother.
Liz's giggles suddenly stopped when she felt his forehead lean against her temple. "I guess you have to go out on a date with me now." he whispered to her.
Her eyes widened before she squeezed them shut again. She released her grip from around him and twisted from his own. "We better get to work Maria." she said grabbing her still laughing friend and left Max.
Max continued to stare after Liz and Maria. Another smile broke across his face. This may be easier than he thought.
"She twinkled again." Maria said. "Did you guys see it? Ya know when we were all laughing? She had that twinkle in her eyes."
She sighed. "It felt good to finally be able to see the twinkle in her eyes again."
"See ya next time, guys. To be continued."
"Yes, we all know it's been a while, and I'm sure you all thought we just up and left this peice of work behind, didn't you?" Maria asked as she walked onto the stage. "We guess what folks, we're back and have every intention of finishing this."
She grinned. "Recap. Rob couldn't work the bar one night and there was no one else to do it either. When suddenly, Max Evans himself volunteers to manage the bar himself."
A picture of Max handing a beer to Liz from behind the bar, appeared on the screen.
"When one of our waitresses-" she grinned. "Excuse me, FORMER waitresses decided she was going to hit on Max. Well, Liz didn't like that, not a bit. So we made a fool out of the chick, and hooked Max and Liz up on another date at the same time."
"And that's, ladies and gentlemen, is where we will continue."
"Liz hold still! I can't get your hair done if you don't keep still."
"I don't want to do this Maria!" Liz called as she pushed Maria's hands away from her hair. "You set me up to this! It isn't fair!"
Exasperated Maria threw her hands to the side. "Fine, you call Max up and tell him that you are cancelling the date."
Liz looked at Maria through the mirror, and saw the seriousness in her eyes. Maria raised an eyebrow, challenging her.
"Fine," she said as she got up from the chair and grabbed the phone on her night stand. "I will."
Maria sat on the corner of the vanity with her arms crossed. She watched as Liz punched in the numbers and twirled the cord around her fingers as she listened for an answer. A few moments later, she hung up.
Liz looked at her. "I got his answering machine."
She shrugged. "So? Leave a message."
"I'm not going to leave a message on his answering machine cancelling our date. That's low." Liz declared. Her eyes widened then. "That means he's on his way over!"
Maria grinned. "So I guess we better hurry." she said as she rushed to her side again, desperately trying to fix her hair. Yet Liz once again pushed her hands aside and ran towards the window.
"I gotta go." she mumbled as she opened the window and started down the fire escape.
"Elizabeth Parker!" Maria called and watched in horror as her roller fell from her hair. "My rollers!" At that moment, Michael reached Maria's side and together they watched Liz climb the rest of her way down the escape.
"Trying to escape." he commented. "Would have been easier to take the door."
Maria sighed with relief once Liz made it safely to the ground. "She's crazy."
"That's why we wanted her in the band, remember." Michael said. "We liked her spunk."
She shook her head. "Love is knocking on the door to her heart, and she's not answering."
Liz gazed up the fire escape and watched as Maria's figure left the window. She sighed and ran her fingers through her hair, feeling the curls surround her fingers. She then ran her hands over her skirt, trying to act natural for any passerbys. Liz felt a little bad for running out on Maria like that, but she couldn't take any chances. She wasn't going to be another victim to Max Evans.
She grimaced as she recongized the voice. She turned around to face Max. He had a bewildered look on his face.
"I was going to go up and get you." he said motioning to the door. Liz noticed the flowers in his hands.
He looked at the flowers as well, he had meant to surprise her with them. He shrugged and gave them to her. "I hope you like them."
Liz sighed and took the flowers. "Thank you, I love them. Their my fav- well, my second favorite." she told him as she brought the flowers to her face.
Max grinned and raised an eyebrow. "What's your favorite?"
"Roses." she answered with out a thought. "White roses."
He nodded. "I'll remember that next time."
Hearing that, Liz bit her lip. "Yes, about that Max." she said her gaze shifting to meet his. She really hadn't noticed before how beautiful they were. They seemed to twinkle whenever he looked at her. As she continued to stare into his eyes, she forgot everything about wanting to cancel their date.
"Yeah?" he asked, waiting for her to continue.
She smiled and stared down at the daisies. "Nothing." she said before looking at him again. "Ready?"
He nodded and led her to his car.
Max took her to a wonderfully fancy restuarunt, with devine dinner and great music to dance to. And that's where they were right now. After the waiter took their orders, Max asked Liz to dance with him, and she couldn't very well say no, could she? No, that would be too rude.
Now as they swayed slowly to the music, she urged herself not to get attached. She didn't need to fall in love. Not right now, not at this time in her life.
Liz was almost there. She was so close to reaching her dream, and being in love would only make things all the more difficult. They'd both end up hurt.
Yet no matter how hard she tried to keep her distance from Max Evans, he always seemed to bring her back to him. Like now, when they first started dancing there was plenty of room between them, but now her head was tucked under his chin, as he scent filled her nose. It was rather comfortable.
Liz inwardly groaned and shut her eyes tight. It wasn't working, she had to stop while she was ahead. Just then the music stop, and Liz parted. She smiled and tucked her hair behind her ear.
"Thank you for the dance." she said shyly.
"My pleasure." came Max's reply as he continued to stare at her. Max had noticed how she had relaxed against him. Granted it took some time and some persistance from him, but he finally had the feeling of her entire body up against him.
And what a wonderful feeling that was... he thought to himself.
"I think that's our food." Liz said pointing to their table.
Max nodded and followed her to their table and slipped in across from her. He was hoping she'd loosen up with a little wine, and maybe, just maybe, he'd get what he was after tonight.
"Let's take a poll, shall we?" Maria says as she enters the stage. "Who thinks Liz will blow him off again? Or what about little Lizzie finally giving into Max's charms?"
She grinned. "We'll see you next time. To be continued,"
|posted on 28-Jun-2002 7:34:14 AM|
"Well, an awful lot of you think Liz should wait a while longer. Let him beg right?" Maria said with a shrug. "Hey, I agree, but is Lizzie? Let's see, shall we?"
"Michael, where's the damn spaghetti noodles?" Maria called from the kitchen. She yelped when hot water splattered from over the stove and bit her hand.
"In the cupboard."
She looked there. "Uh, no."
"Uh, yes." he said as he got up from the couch and walked into the kitchen. He grabbed the cupboard door and swung it open. "See, right ther-"
"Well they were there a minute ago." he said rubbing above his eyebrow.
Maria patted his chest. "Well go get some."
He was about to argue when she rushed towards the ringing phone. She smiled sweetly at him before answering.
Liz's whispering voice came over the other end. "Maria?"
"Liz," she asked. "What's wrong, why are you whispering? Where are you?"
She was silent a moment. "Max's."
Maria could have dropped the phone. "Come again?"
Liz sighed and stared out the balcony window. She held a wine glass in her hand. She noticed her hand shaking, causing the contents inside to splatter across her hand.
"Max's." she said again.
Maria pressed the bridge of her nose. "Why?"
Exasperated Liz swallowed the contents of her glass. "Because I'm stupid," she mumbled. "I can't believe I'm here Maria, he invited me inside for some wine, and I-I just.."
"Okay, Liz, shhh." Maria soothed. "Calm down, where is he?"
"In the bathroom, I'm afraid to ask him to take me home." she said softly.
I'm not ready for this... she added to herself.
As if she knew what Liz was thinking, Maria said: "Honey, do you want me to come pick you up?"
"Would you?" she asked hopefully, "I'm not ready for this."
"Do you really have to ask? Get yourself ready, I'm on my way."
"Thank you, Maria." she whispered. "I'll make something up."
She nodded thought Liz couldn't see her. "Give me the directions and I'll be on my way."
After Liz hung up with Maria and placed her cell phone in her purse, Max came out.
She turned and gave him a small smile.
"You alright he asked?" as he walked towards her.
"Oh, um, Maria called me." she said thinking up a lie. "Alex is sick, and she-they need me, so she's coming to pick me up."
His brows furrowed and he looked a little hurt. "Can't she and Michael handle that?"
"Oh, um, yes, but Michael's not there, you see. And Alex, is like a two year old when he's sick and, she can't handle it alone." she muttered reaching around him to grab her jacket from the chair. "I really am sorry about this. I had a wonderful time."
"Then we should do it again." he offered.
She forced a smile. "Yes, we should." she said as she walked backwards to the door. "You call me and we'll make a date or stop by at the bar and...You know."
Max jerked his head towards the balcony when he heard a car honk. "I guess that's Maria." he said walking towards her. He finally stopped, trapping her against the door and his body. He placed his hands on either side of her head and leaned closer to her.
She stopped him with her fingers on his lips. "Not yet, Max." she muttered. "Please."
He stared into her eyes and saw the tiniest glint of fear there. This caused him to step away. Nodding he opened the door for her.
"Thank you." she said, and then she was gone.
He walked towards the balcony and watched as she slipped into Maria's car and drove away. It was going to take more time than he originally thought. He needed to have her before he left to start on a new movie in 4 weeks. It was a most.
Max grabbed the wine glass that he had filled for himself and took a sip. This would need a lot of planning.
"What did you tell him?" Maria asked as the drove closer to home.
She turned her head. "That Alex was sick. Do you think he bought it?" she asked hopefully.
Maria bit her lip. "Oh, yeah, of course."
Liz sighed and threw her head back against the seat. "I'm just not ready for this Maria, I can't..I need time."
"I know sweetheart." she said. And she did know. Liz had gone through enough heartache. "If he really loves you the he'll understand."
Liz went rigid. "Who said he loves me?"
She bit her lip again. "No one, just a figure of speech. I'm sorry."
Maria remembered she didn't like to hear the L word.
"A very dangerous word." she had alway said. The only time she says it is when she's referring to her music and the members of the band. But that's about it.
Ten mintues after they got inside, there was a knock at the door. Liz got up from the couch and was about to open the door, but something made her check the peephole first. What she saw made her heart jump into her throat.
She ran back into the living room, grabbed Alex's hand and tossed him into his bed. "Act sick!" she ordered. She grabbed the glass of water on his nightstand and flung it into his face.
"LIZ!" he yelled. "What the hell!"
Maria walked in. "What the heck are you doing?" she asked.
"It's Max! Go answer the door."
She bit her lip for what seemed like the thousandth time that night and when to answer it.
"You're sick." Liz ordered. "So act like it."
Alex looked at her in bewilderment. "What?"
"I told Max you were sick, so please, Alex.." she muttered impatiently.
"Yeah, they're in here." Maria said loudly.
He groaned and wiped the fake sweat from his brow. "The things I do for you.." he muttered. And then he let out an over dramatic moan.
Liz glared at him in which he simply shrugged.
"Hi, Liz." Max said as he entered the room.
"Hi Max!" she said trying to act surprised. "What are you doing here? You should go I don't want you to get sick." she added as she started to push him out.
But he stopped her. "I couldn't stay away. I want to make sure everything was okay here."
"Ohh, everthings fine." Maria said. "Let's go."
"Ohhhhhh." came Alex's moan.
Max's brows furrowed again. "That sound pretty bad." he said. "Are you okay man."
"Ohhhh." he moaned again and then coughed loudly. "I'm fine, really. Don't worry about me." he laid the back of his hand over his forehead. "Oh woe is me."
Liz jabbed him in the side and he yelped. "Oh I'm sorry Alex, I just wanted to make sure you're warm."
"I'm fine, Liz." he muttered. He then looked at Max. "It was so nice of you to stop by. Stay awhile."
"No!" Maria and Liz yelled the same time. Both men looked at the girls.
Alex sighed. "They are always depriving me of my company." he said. "You see, I have no friends."
Liz rolled her eyes and pressed the heel of her hand to her head. Bad idea.
Their was a rustling of paper behind them and they all turned to see Michael standing in the bedroom doorway with groceries.
"Michael!" Maria yelled excitedly. "You're home! Come, let me help you with the groceries."
"Maria." he said as she lead him away from the three people in the room.
Alex wiped a fake tear from his eyes. "It all started in highschool.." he started.
"Alright!" Liz yelled. She glared at Alex and then looked at Max apologetically. "Alex isn't sick. I only said he was because I wasn't comfortable alone with you yet."
Max rubbed his forehead. "Yeah, that's what I figured." he said softly. He then walked up to her and took her hands. "I know you're not quite ready yet, and I understand that, but just don't give up completely."
Alex coughed, before getting out of bed and leaving the room. After he left, Max could tell Liz was uncomfortable again. He kissed her forehead.
"Be planning our next date." he told her and then he left.
Liz sat on the edge of the bed, a small smile playing on her lips. Maybe Max wasn't such a bad idea after all.
"And do you know what Max is thinking?" Maria asked. "That he should get an oscar for THAT performance."
"See ya later guys." she said. "To be continued."
A tall lanky man walks out. He stands in front of the silent crowd and clears his throat. "Hi." he says.
He scratches behind his head. "Um, Maria isn't here right now, but um, I can get you all started today." he continues.
"Um, well, I guess I just start, huh?" he smiles a little. "Enjoy."
"No, no, no, Maria." Liz said as she stopped her rythmic strumming. "It's -"
Maria sighed and rubbed her temples. "Right, Liz, I remember, I'm sorry, I'm just nervous." she said.
"Mia, we have been doing this for years, why are you scared now?"
"Because it's MY song," she replied as she placed her hands over her heart. "They are coming from me, here..."
Michael put down his drum sticks and walked behind Maria. He started to rub her shoulders.
Maria smiled at his kindness, and looked into her best friends eyes. "I'm sorry, I can do this, really. I just need to learn how to keep the beat."
Liz smiled. "I know you can. Here, let me show you something.." she put her guitar down and grabbed the microphone from it's stand. "Hold it. Good, now tap the beat with your fingers." she said as she demonstrated the beat by taping her foot. "It's starts off at a slow, easy pace..."
Liz motioned to Alex to start playing on the electric. "Listen, close your eyes." she instructed. "Keep the beat with your fingers..." she grabbed her fingers and gently tapped them on the handle of the mic. "Like this..."
Maria nodded. Her eyes closed as she concentrated on the beat. Liz nodded to Michael and he went back to his drums, soon she followed suit and grabbed her acoustic. She smiled at Maria as she started to strum, she too was keeping the beat.
"Even on a day like this, when you're crwaling on the floor.." Maria sang. "Reaching for the phone to ring, anyone who knows you anymore."
"It's all right, to make mistakes, you're only human. Inside everyones hiding something..."
"Staringa t the same four walls, have you tried to help yourself, the fings around your eyes they don't hide that you need to get some rest..."
"It's all right to make mistakes yuo're only human. Inside everyone hiding something.."
"take time to catch your breath and choose your moment...Don't slide."
"Don't slide...Don't slide....Don't slide....Slide...Slide..."
"Even at a time like this when the morning seems so far. Think that pain belings to you but it's happened to us all."
"It's all right to make mistakes you're only human. Inside everybody's hding something."
"Take time to catch your breath and choose your moment...Don't slide..."
Liz grinned. "Yes." she whispered to herself.
Maria had finally opened her eyes and she was smiling at Liz now as she sang.
"You brought this on yourself and it's high time you left it there....Lie here adn rest your head and dream of something else instead..."
"Don't slide....Don't slide....Don't slide....Slide...Slide..."
The music faded out and Liz jumped from the stool she was sitting on. "Awesome!" she declared and pulled Maria into a hug. "Excellent!"
Michael came up and kissed his wife on the shoulder and whispered words of praise into her ear.
"It's offical now," Alex said. "We are the bomb..."
Liz smiled at the group in front of her before she set her acoustic aside. They had come such a long way. Starting out as your typical garage band getting a few local gigs here and there, and now they are well on their way to fame. This is what she's been dreaming of!
"Awesome." she whispered again. It seemed like a dream to her. A wonderful dream that she didn't want to wake up from.
"You guys sounded great." Rob said as she entered from the back. "Are you playing that tonight?"
Maria looked at Liz who shrugged. "No, I don't think so. I need to work a little more.."
"But we are playing the two newest: 'Honestly Okay' and 'My Life'." Alex said.
Rob nodded as he tossed Liz and Maria their aprons. "Are you guys about finished with recording?" he asked.
They shook their heads. "No way," Michael declared. "We want to add a few more songs yet. It'll be a while."
Alex nodded in agreement. "So far we only have five songs."
"Six if you count 'My Lover's Gone.'" Maria added.
Liz made a face and shrugged. "I dunno..."
"If she doesn't sing it I will.." she said.
Alex shook his head. "We'll deal with it as it comes." he looked at his watch. "Right now, I gotta split, I'm being paid to fix some old fart's computer."
The girls said good bye to Alex as they tied on their aprons. Michael grabbed his stool at the bar as Rob handed him a beer. The girls had just started pulling the chairs down from the tables when some of the first regulars came in.
Liz smiled at them before making her way to where they had seated. "The regular, boys?"
They smiled kindly at her "Of course, thank you Liz."
"I can't thank you enough for helping us with the record deal." Liz said as she walked towards her apartment building.
"Liz," he said and smiled. "It's no big deal. You've already thanked me by going out on these past few dates with me."
She smiled at Max and stared down at her hands. "And I must admit, I had more fun than I thought I would." she whispered. "I'm sorry I was so harsh to you before. It's just that-"
"You don't have to explain, really." he said before she finished. "I wasn't the nicest guy to you either in the past. I'm the one who should be sorry."
They climbed the steps to her door in silence. Liz pulled the keys from her purse and held them loosely in her hand.
Max grinned before tucking a strand of her hair behind her ear. "I'm leaving tomorrow to go back to L.A." he whispered. "A movie project I gotta get done."
Liz nodded, though she couldn't help the disappointment show in her eyes. She had grown fond of their time together. She felt as if she were finally able to let someone into her life. To fall in love...
"Oh." she said.
"So, I was hoping I could get a kiss before I leave..." he said. "...Maybe?"
Liz's breath caught in her throat as she watched him lean ever so slowly closer to her. And this time, she didn't stop him...
His lips were only centimeters from hers and when the gap was finally closed between them, her heart fluttered. It was like an electric current shooting through her body. She hadn't felt a kiss like that since she played 7-Minutes-in-Heaven with Sean....
Max pulled away, staring into her bliss filled face. As he waited for her to open his eyes, he ran his thumb over her bottom lip.
"Thank you." He whispered, when she finally opened her cloudy eyes.
"Mm." she mumbled. "Um....Ahem, thank you."
She shook her head. "I mean, you're welcome."
Max chuckled slightly and leaned in to kiss her again. "I'll see you soon." he whispered, leaning his forehead against hers.
"Yes." she said. "Soon."
"I've got to go." he said, pulling back reluctantly.
"Yeah." she said again, slowly willing herself to pull out of her blissful haze. "I'll see you.....When I see you."
He nodded, wanting to kiss her again. But he knew that if he did, he wouldn't be leaving after all. He lifted his hand to the air and waved at her.
Liz watched until she couldn't see him anymore. Finally she walked through the door and leaned against it, sighing heavily.
She bit her lip and wondered what was in store for her and Max....
"Hey folks, me again," Alex said. "I'm afraid that's all we have for tonight....But be sure to come back soon. If this lazy bum of a director will get of her bum and actually do something about it."
"To Be Continued." he said.
"I was the first one to notice a change in Liz." Maria explains as she casually steps out onto the stage, her hands clasped behind her back. "I was happy my best friend was finally living life to the fullest, but something scared me about it..."
"She was falling too fast." she continues. "I could tell, and the best friend in me immediately started to feel guilty. I had been the one who helped set Max and Liz up. I hadn't told her to take one step at a time, and if she got hurt. I was never going to forgive myself...."
Mtv's TRL was showing on the television and the group was crowded in the small living room, each of them doing their own thing.
Liz was lightly strumming her guitar with a pad of paper next to her. Maria was sitting in a recliner filing her nails. And Alex was holding Michael's drum sticks over his head while he tried to get them back.
"Alex!" Michael roared, "Those are my favorite sticks, give them back!"
Alex waved them over his head from his standing position on the couch. "C'mon and get them, monkey boy."
Liz looked over at Maria and met her gaze. Both girls rolled there eyes before standing up. Maria went to her hubby and grabbed him by the ear, while Liz grabbed Alex's arm and twisted it behind his back.
"I think it's about time for them to have a time out, don't you think?" Maria asks tugging on Michael's ear.
"Absolutely." Liz agreed and followed Maria into the bed room.
Both boys were pushed onto the bed, while Liz and Maria towered over them with their arms crossed.
"Now I want you two to sit here and think about how immature you're acting." Maria said sternly.
"And once you children are done, then maybe you can come out." Liz added.
With that, both girls turned and walked away.
Alex glared at Michael and shoved him. "This is all your fault." he mumbled.
Michael continued to stare at the floor before shoving Alex back. He grinned in satisfactory at hearing a loud thud.
Liz and Maria were both giggling when they heard the phone ring. Maria being closet she looked at the caller id.
"Unknown Name and Number," she said to Liz. She grabbed the phone and was about to hang up on the person who could only be a salesman when Liz stopped her.
"Wait, it could be Max!" she declared, grabbing the phone from her hands. "Hello?"
Maria watched with her arms crossed.
"Oh," Liz said. "They're dead," she hung up.
Maria raised an eyebrow when Liz looked at her.
"Salesman." she said.
"Do you know what movie project he's doing?" Maria asked as the group got out of the van and entered the studio.
"Some thriller," Liz answered. "He said he'd call.."
Maria could hear the disappointment in her voice and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "No worries, babe, he'll call."
She smiled. "Thanks Maria," she said. "I don't know why I'm acting this way, it's not as if we're a couple or anything."
Maria wanted to give her a warning. Don't go into deep.
"Liz, I've been meaning to tell you something -"
"C'mon guys," Alex called grabbing Liz and Maria both by the wrists and rushing into the studio. "The sooner we get this album done, the sooner we'll be famous."
They once again were met with Jim Valenti, but this time he wasn't alone.
"Kyle Valenti?" Maria squealed. "Oh my Gosh! I love your movies!" she ran up to him and started to shake his hand, then out of the blue she hugged him.
Michael give Kyle an apologetic look as he pried his wife away from the actor. "I'm sorry, really. She forgot to take her medication today.."
Alex and Liz snickered behind them.
The actor smiled. "It's all right, really." he said. "So this is the infamous Whits. Maxwell has told me so much about you guys."
"He has?" Michael asked. "That can't be good."
Liz glared at him before stepping forward and extending her hand. "I'm Liz -"
"Parker." he finished, taking her hand. "Max spoke of you the most."
Liz blushed and giggled a little. "Did he?" she asked. "All good things I hope."
"But of course." he responded.
Maria, Alex, and Michael rolled their eyes and his attempted charm. Maria could tell that she wasn't interested in his attempt to swoon her, she simply blushed at knowing Max spoke of her often.
Jim cleared his throat from behind his son. "Kyle's hear on business as well." he said. "He looking for some songs to be played for his new movie he's working on. You were the first ones I told him about."
"Really?" Alex said, his excitement heightening. "We're coming up with new songs everyday."
"Wonderful," Kyle said. "I was hoping I could hear some of your work."
"Of course you can!" Maria piped.
He grinned. "Excellent. Let's go." he placed his hand on the small of Liz's back and led the way.
"I'm sure you guys have probably already guessed, but there was major flirtation on Mr. Kyle Valenti's part, which did make Lizzie a bit uncomfortable. But Max Evan's has he wrapped around his little finger so tight that she's not even attracted to him..." Maria says.
"This is the part where I start to hate him. Anyway, Kyle left, promising to deeply consider our music, he flew back to California, and Max called her the next day..."
Liz is laying on her bed, listening to her CD player. The volume is so high that she can't hear Maria calling her name. She jumps when she feels a pillow hitting her face.
"What?" she snaps ripping off her headphones.
"The phone," she answers. "It's Max."
Maria watches as Liz's eyes widen and reaches across the nightstand to grab her phone. "Hello?" she says, not even trying to hide the excitement in her voice.
"Good Evening, Liz," the deep voice of Max replies. "I hope I didn't wake you."
"No, no," she said. "I was already awake. I was just listening to some music is all." she sighed. "How are you?"
Max smiled into the phone and laid back in bed. "I've been better. It gets awfully lonely up here." he grinned when he heard her laugh. "How have you been? You haven't been seeing someone behind my back have you?"
Liz rolled her eyes. "Oh yeah, I have three dates set up so far. Kyle Valenti one of them." she said.
He sat back up again. "Kyle?" he asked. "You're going out on a date with Kyle?"
She smiled. "I'm kidding. Getting jealous?" she asked.
"He was hitting on me the other night at the studio. He thought he was really something, let me tell you." She said laying back on the bed herself. "He even offered to take me out for dinner, but I declined."
"Did he?" Max asked, his eyes glaring at the door when he heard the knob turn.
"Hey Maxwell," Kyle starts but stops when he sees him on the phone. "Oh, sorry."
"Liz, I'm sorry to cut this phone call short, but I really need to go." he said, already regretting the words immediatley.
"Oh," came Liz's response. "Well, okay."
"I'm sorry, Liz, really I am."
"It's alright, Max, don't worry about." she said. "As long as you promise to call me tomorrow."
He smiled. "Of course." he said. "Sweet dreams."
"Good night, Max," she said softly before hanging up.
Max held onto the phone a little longer before finally hanging up. His eyes met Kyle.
"Did I tell you I met that pretty little thing." Kyle said. "Let me tell you, she is-"
"To be left alone." Max said. "You stay away from her."
He gave Max a confused look. "Woah, Max, buddy. Relax." he said. "I thought you weren't interested in a relationship."
"Well, then why," he started but then it dawned on him. "Ohh...Go get her, Max."
Max got up and stood infront of him. "I've been working hard these past few weeks to get her to loosen up to me, I don't need you to get in the way."
"Afraid she'll lose interest in you?"
Max was on his way to the dresser when he heard Kyle's remark. He fixed his angry gaze at him through the mirror. "Not in the least, Kyle. Just stay away from her. Understood?"
"Yeah. Gotcha, Max." Kyle said angrily.
"Max never struck me as the jealous type." Maria commented. "What do you guys think? Do you think his little conversation is just a precaution, or do you think he's harboring unknown feelings for Miss Parker?"
"To be continued you guys."
"This band has been through bad times together." Maria says from her position on the stage. "We've been there for each other through thick and thin. Each of us experiencing our own heart ache. We've cried many tears, one of us always having a soggy shoulder from it. That's what a true friend is, you know. Now, you'll see that some wounds can't be healed."
She smiles sadly. "It's not who you think..."
"Now, I was thinking," Liz said as she sat indian style on the couch. "for this song, I'm pretty sure it will be fairly easy to compose a piece for each of you to play for it."
Maria scanned over Liz's words. She had made several adjustments for the song she finally decided to put in the CD. "My Lover's Gone" is one of her best work. She lifted her head and smiled at her best friend.
"It's beautiful, Lizzie," she answers honestly. "I'm glad you decided to use it."
Liz smiled in return. "Thank you," she said. "now, if only Alex will get here-"
At that moment the door to the apartment opened and in trudged the bands bass player. His head was down as he rushed past his band mates and into his bedroom.
"What's his problem?" Michael asked.
Liz looked at Maria before closing her eyes. "It's September 8th," she whispered. "Her birthday."
Maria nods at Liz and watches as she stands up and slowly follows in Alex's direction. She leans against the door jam and watches as the distraunt young man pulls a wrinkled piece paper from his wallet.
"I miss her, Liz," he said not looking up.
She smiles sadly and crouches down infront of him. "I know, Alex." she whispered. "I'm not going to promise you that it will get easier, but I can promise you that you'll always have a shoulder to lean on. I have two of 'em."
He smiled sadly at her antics and slipped something else from his wallet. She stood up only to seat herself beside him. It was a picture. A picture of a beautiful young girl with raven black hair and deep hazel eyes. She felt tears welling up in here eyes as she felt her own ache in the pit of her stomach.
"Too soon," he whispered. Even then, Liz could hear his voice cracking. "Gone too soon."
She couldn't remove her gaze from the picture. She looked so much like him. They could have passed as twins. She was several years younger than them, but she was wise beyond her years. She wasn't just a sister to Alex, she was a sister to all of them.
Liz heard Alex's deep intake of breath and she gripped his shoulder tightly. "I'm sorry," was all she could say. She longed to do something that would make him feel better, anything.
She slowly pulled the piece of note pad paper from his hands and read his words. It was a song. The song that he had written for her and played at the funeral. Tears finally streamed down her face as she remembered the raw emotion in his voice.
"I thought it was funny when you missed the train," she sang. She tried her very best to sing it just the way he had that evening so long ago. "When I rang you at home they said you'd left yesterday. I thought it was stange when your car was found, by the tree in Ennis where we used to hang around."
"Dear Isobel, I hope you're well and what you've done is right," she continued to sing even when she felt his body shaking with sobs. She simply pulled him closer to her. "Oh, it's been such hell, I wish you well, I hope you're safe tonight."
"It's been a long day coming," Liz raised her head when she heard Maria's voice sing with her. "And long will it last, when it's last day leaving, and I'm helping it pass by loving you more..."
At that moment Liz's own voice cracked as a sob escaped her. She laid her head atop of Alex's and let her tears flow down her cheeks. Maria sang on.
"And who he would become, all the things he'd done. Would he have loved you and not let you down, and would he be stronger than his father. Don't punish yourself, leave it well alone." Michael gripped his wife's shoulders from behind and kissed her wet cheek. He smiled at her bravery as she continued to sing for her best friend.
"Dear Isobel, I hope you're well and what you've done it right. Oh it's been such hell, I wish you well, I hope you're safe tonight. It's been a long day coming, and long with it last when it's last day leaving. And I'm helping it pass by loving you more."
"It's been a long day coming, and long will it last, when it's last day leaving. I'm helping it pass by loving...loving you more..." Maria flashed Alex a teary smile as she knelt before him and wrapped both he and Liz into a hug.
After his sobs subsided, Alex felt the need to wipe his cheeks dry and acknowledge just how lucky he was to have such amazing friends.
He smiled at them. They were such beautiful people. "Thank you, guys. That was beautiful."
It only took him a moment to realize what needed to be done. "I want it on the album." he said.
Liz and Maria looked at each other, both wiping away tears. "Are you sure?" Liz asked. "I don't want it to upset you."
"It'll upset me if it's not on the album, Liz." he told her. "You guys sang it so beautifully, I want it on there. For Isobel."
They smiled. How could they say no?
He smiled happily. He knew they wouldn't deny his offer and he gazed lovingly into the picture. "Happy birthday, Isobel."
"That was a very emotional moment right there," Maria says as she wipes away a stray tear. "We did indeed put that song on our ablum. And the music video we made for it, was completely dedicated in the memory of Isobella Charlsie Whitman."
She grinned. "But just so you know, she wasn't the only Isobel to enter his life.."
The group had spent most of there time on "Isobel". They wanted to make it perfect and they were never going to settle for second best.
"I think we have it guys." Alex said as a slow smile spread across his face. "I think this is finally it."
The four friend looked amongst each other. Weeks of tears and sweat had gone into the piece and it was finally finished. They needed to celebrate.
Liz grabbed her jacket. "We should go to the Night Shade." she said. "If you guys are up for it, we can perform that song tonight for the audience."
Alex nodded and wrapped his arm around Liz. He leaned down and kissed her cheek. "You're the greatest."
"Feeling just a tad left out over here." Maria said. "I do produce some vocals."
"Oh but of course," Alex added with a grin. He kissed her nose. "You're awesome."
Maria looked over his shoulder at Liz and stuck her tongue out. "I'm awesome."
Liz rolled her eyes. "I'm the greatest." she retorted.
"And I'm bored," Michael added. "Now let's go."
Finally, he was back in New York. The entire month he had spent on the movie really put a toll on him. Though he wouldn't admit it out loud, he found that he was missing something back here in New York. He couldn't figure out what.
"It's been a long day coming," he heard her voice flow around the room. At that moment he knew exactly what he had been missing. "and long will it last, when it's last day leaving. I'm helping it pass by loving...loving you more."
He had been mesmorized by her beauty. Up there on that stage was where she was meant to be. Her shiny brown hair was pulled back into a simple pony tail, her auburn eyes twinkling with delight as the audience applauded. He couldn't help but feel the slight hint of jealousy when he watched Alex wrap his arm around her and kiss her temple.
"Thank you," she said happily into the microphone. She laughed when the crowd applauded even more. "Thanks. How about a nice round of applause for Alex Whitman who wrote this wonderful song."
The crowd hooted and hollowered as Alex took a step forward. The way he was clutching his bass, you would think he was nervous. He continued to watch as the owner walked up on stage.
"The Whits." he said, just like he did every night, and would continue to do.
He pushed his way through the crowd as the band exited the stage. They walked down the side steps and out the back door. She was the last to go through.
"Liz," he yelled over the still applauding crowd. She didn't hear him.
He finally got to the door just to see them filing into the car. "Liz," he called again. She turned.
"Max?" she asked. He could hear the excitement in her voice and he couldn't help but smile.
"Hey," he said softly. She was walking towards him, a surprised and confused look on her face.
"I thought you wouldn't be back until next week," she said. "Not that I'm complaining."
He grinned and tugged on her pony tail playfully. "I had to see you,"
She smiled before giving him a hug. She had missed him. The time he was away she had thought long and hard about their "relationship", and she had decided that she was just going to go with the flow. If it turns out to be a little fling, then she was going to enjoy that just as much as if it were an actual relationship...But if she fell in love, well, she would have to make sure that he felt the same way before she actually voiced her feelings.
"I'm glad you're here." she whispered.
"Liz," Michael called from the passengers side window. "Time to go."
"I'll drive her." Max offered. He looked down at her. "If that's okay with you."
Liz looked back at Michael and nodded. She could tell that he wasn't happy about it, but he respected her wishes and told Alex to drive on.
She felt Max's hand slip into her's and their fingers intwined. "My car's this way," he said softly.
Liz smiled as they made their slow walk to his car. "How was it?" she asked.
He gave a shrug. "Same ole, same ole." he answered. "It's fun for the first couple of weeks and then it starts to feel like a job."
She laughs. "Then why are you still doing it?" she asked him.
Another shrug. "This is something I've always wanted to do." he looked at her. "I'm sure you can relate."
"Absolutely." she answered. "But I don't think my music is ever going to start to feel like a job to me."
He nodded. "That's good." was all he said. He needed to think. This felt different than before. Different from every other girl he's pursued. Max needed to think things through. He glanced over at the beautiful angel walking beside him. This was getting harder by the second...
"He means more difficult." Maria said. "Sorry, bye."
He went against his better judgement and stopped. "Would you like to come over to my place?" he asked.
Liz took in a deep breath. The moment of truth. Will she be able to handle it if it's simply a fling...
"Yes," she whispered.
"Okay, stop." Maria said. "I'm done. I'm leaving. I can't watch this anymore."
"See you next time guys."
"This is the part in the story where you can tell that I hate Max Evans." Maria says. "And the best friend in me kicks in. Needless to say, I don't get praised for it like I had originally hoped..."
Maria glanced at her watch as she paced the length of the living room. Alex and Michael followed her every move.
"If she wears a hole in the floor," Alex said quietly. "You're paying for it."
"Yeah, yeah," was Michael's response. "Maria, baby,"
He stood up and slowly walked towards her. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"I'm waiting for, Liz," she said calmly.
Michael looked over his shoulder at Alex, who gave him a shrug, and then he over Maria's head at the clock. "She's been gone for three hours," he said as he slowly placed his hands on her shoulders. "I don't think she's coming home tonight,"
"Nuh uh." she said pushing him away and rushed to the phone. She picked it up.
Oh boy, Michael though.
"...Hotel please." he heard her say. "7865? Thank you."
Michael walked up behind her as she hung up the phone only to pick it back up again. "Now what are you doing?"
Maria finished dialing the number the operator had given to her before she finally looked at him. "I'm calling Max's hotel, and getting Liz the hell out of there."
"You can't," Michael said grabbing the phone from her grasp. "This isn't your place to interfer-"
"You don't like him either, Michael," she said picking the phone back up. "Can you honestly tell me that you wouldn't do the same thing I'm doing?"
"Yes." he said, once again grabbing the phone and putting it down. "Liz is a big girl, she can make her own decisions."
"No, no, she can't." Maria said, this time she pulled the phone away from his reach when he went for it. "Back off, Michael."
He blew air through his cheeks before he slowly backing away with his hands in the air. Maria felt a bit guiltly.
"I love you, Michael," she said as she dialed the number once more. "But this is something I have to do."
"Max Evans' room, please."
"So, you play this bad-ass cop, who falls for the woman he's supposed to arrest?" Liz asks. "Hasn't that been done before?"
Max grinned and took another sip of his wine. "Yes, but not by me."
"The girl's innocent, though, right?" she asks. "I mean, she has to be."
He shrugged. "Maybe."
Liz rolled her eyes, she shouldn't have asked. They were standing outside on his balcony, the cool breeze running over her skin, giving her goose bumps.
Max noticed her shiver from the corner of his eyes. Slipping out of his jacket, he offered it to her, and then helped her put it on when she accepted.
Liz smiled. "Thank you, Max," she said as she looked up at him.
He was staring down at her with such intensity, that she could almost feel his blood boiling. She felt him tuck his finger underneath her chin and gently lift. Liz closed her eyes when his thumb smoothed over her bottom lip.
"Liz," he whispered huskily.
She opened her eyes and watched as he slowly leaned down and kissed her lips. She gazed into his open eyes as his lips brushed gently over hers. She closed her eyes when she felt his hands gliding up her back. This was it. If he doesn't stop, then neither would she. There would be no turning back now...
Max pulled away from her, cupping her face in his large hands. Her lips were pink and slightly puffy. They kept calling to him until he leaned down once more and captured them between his. Pulling back again he leaned his forehead against hers and closed his eyes.
"Liz," he said again. Max opened his eyes and stared into her beautiful face. All previous thoughts of having her tonight flew from his mind.
"I want to get to know you first," he whispered softly with out even thinking.
Liz blinked once. Twice. Had she heard him right? A smile played on her lips and she was about to respond when his telephone rang.
Max sighed. Grabbing her hand in his he led her into the room, and towards the phone.
"Hello," he said. This had better be important. If it were his manager, he was going to be royally pissed.
"Let me speak to Liz," Maria unwelcoming voice said.
He looked at Liz in confusion before handing her the phone.
"Hello," Liz repeated.
"Liz, babe, it's Maria,"
Liz grew concerned. "Maria what's wrong?" she asked, letting go of Max's hand and sat on the bed. "Is everything all right?"
"No, something's happened." she said.
"Oh my Gosh, what?" she was now standing again as Max watched on.
"Just get over here right away." she hung up the phone before Liz could respond.
Max looked up at Liz from his sitting positon on the bed. "Is this another decoy so you can go home," he asked with a grin. But his grin faded when he saw her serious look. "What happened?" he asked as he stood up and rubbed her arms.
"I don't know, she wouldn't tell me," fear was etched in her voice when she spoke. "Max, you have to take me home, right away."
Max nodded and grabbed his keys from the dresser and led her out the door.
"Liz is going to be sooo pissed at you," Alex said.
Maria just glared at him. "Oh no she's not. She's going to thank me," she insisted. "I could hear the annoyance in her voice. She hated being there."
"Maybe she was annoyed at you," Michael offered. "Maybe she and Max were getting freaky and you interrupted them, right when they were about-"
"Shut up!" both Alex and Maria said together.
Maria walked to the window and sat down in the chair infront of it. And she waited. She waited until she saw Max's expensive car pull up to the curb.
"They're here," she announced.
"And what are you going to tell her?" Alex asked.
Maria grinned. "I won't have to tell her anything." she said. "You see, Liz and I are so in sync with each other that she knows this was just a plan to get her out of Max's-"
"Pants." Michael said.
Maria glared at him. "So, she's only acting like she's worried out of her mind to make Max think something was really wrong, right?" Alex asked.
"Maria!" Liz called as she burst into the apartment, followed by Max. "What's wrong?"
Maria looked right at Max. "You can go now," she said pointing to the door.
Liz looked behind her at Max. He gave her a shrug before walking towards the door. "Call me," he whispered to her, before Maria slammed the door in his face.
She turned around and winked at Liz. "You're welcome."
Liz raised an eyebrow. "....for?"
"Well, I'm kind of tired." Michael said faking an yawn. "I think I'm going to shower and go to bed."
"I'll join you," Alex said. Catching himself he corrected. "I think I'm going to skip the shower..."
"Maria," Liz said, her angry rising. She could tell by the way Michael and Alex had scattered that something was up. "Nothing's wrong, is there?"
Maria looked cornered. "Well, nothing's wrong, persay..." she said. "But um, I was...."
"You were what, Maria?" she said now her voice was rising.
"Saving me," she repeated. "Saving me from what, exactly?"
"Max," that was all she could do was parrot Maria. "Max. You were saving me from Max?"
"Did he have a friggin gun pointed to my head that I didn't know of, Maria?" she asked.
"Well, if you call his -"
"Shut up, Maria."
"Okay, in case you guys haven't guessed, Liz is really ticked off." Maria said. "And I feel absolutely terrible. Look at my cheeks, I'm red with embarrassment."
"Liz, I don't want you to get hurt," she said. "I know he'll hurt you. I'm just preventing it from happening in the long run.."
"He said he wanted to get to know me!" Liz half screamed. "How is that going to hurt me?"
"You believed him?" when Liz nodded, Maria scoffed. "Please Liz, how can you believe that bull?
"Easily," Liz muttered as she turned away from her friend.
"Liz, wait," she called after her.
"I can't talk to you right now, Maria," Liz said softly. "Just leave me alone."
"She couldn't talk to me for three weeks." Maria says. "I mean, really talk to me. I have no body to blame for that but myself...."
"Wait, no, I can blame Max Evans." she shrugs. "To be continued you guys."
"Liz and I are still in our little tiff," Maria said. "We'll talk, but not like we used to. She told me that she'll have to gain my trust again,"
Maria gives us an "as if" look. She shrugs.
"She'll understand sooner or later...Maria is always right."
"Michael, Gosh dern it, hold still!" Maria yells as she walks towards him.
"Maria, babe, please," he wipes the sweat from his brow. "put the comb down."
She continues to walk towards him looking as if she's gone crazy. "I love you, Maria." he tries.
"I know, baby," she coos. "and I'm doing this out of love."
Michael tries to duck when she pounces on him.
"Hey, hey, hey!" a voice says from behind them. "Keep the sex role playing on a down low, okay?"
They look over to see Alex pointing at them with a remote. "People are trying to watch decent tv out here." he says. "Cut us some slack."
"Man, she's trying to comb me! Help!" he says desperatley. "If you're a true friend, you'd help."
Maria is glaring at Alex from where she's hanging on Michael's back. "Take one step in here buddy and you'll get the comb too." she said. "Understood?"
Alex looks from Maria to Michael and stares sympathetically. "Sorry man," he says as he starts to close the door.
Michael's desperate cries echo through the room...
"What are they doing?" Liz asks from her seat on the couch.
"Michael is being combed." Alex answered.
Liz scrunches her face. "Ouch,"
He nods. "Yeah,"
Liz stares at Alex's profile. "Why?"
"Maria wants to start working on the cover of our album now," he answers. "She's going to be taking pictures of us when he's...combed I guess."
Liz lifts her head and gives him an "ohhh" look. "Gotcha."
The next moment they hear the door to Maria's bedroom, and her voice coaxing Michael out. "C'mon, Michael," she said.
"No!" came his firm response
"You look cute,"
"I don't WANT to look cute! I want my old hair back!"
Alex and Liz looked at each other and laughed.
"Michael Ira Guerin, get your ass out here right now!"
"Ira!" Liz and Alex said together before toppling over each other in laughter. Their laughter subsided when a disgruntled Michael finally entered the room.
"Wet cat?" Alex leans over and asks Liz.
She tilts her head. Yes! He does look like a wet cat!
She giggled and nodded. "Yup,"
Maria bounced into the living room with a digital camera in her hands. "Alright, we're ready," she said giddily. "Everybody stand up...Wait, how are we going to do this?"
"You, stand here," she moved Alex to the right.
"You, there," Michael to the left.
"No, you back over here," Alex moved to the left. "And you here," Liz on the right.
She shook her head. "Here, no, no, I mean over there."
The phone rings. "No body answer it! Let the answering machine get it!" Maria declared. "Michael, back over there...Further, further...Further more..Stop!"
"Maria?" Alex asks. "Where are you going to stand?"
"Um...Right there." She said cringing at the sound of the still ringing phone.
"Whose going to take your picture?" Michael asks.
The answering machine picks up, it's Alex. "I'm sorry, I can't come to the phone right now, so if, well...Actually, I CAN come to the phone now, I mean, like, I'm at the phone right NOW, recording this message, but I'm doing this NOW, whille you're listening to it LATER, except for you I guess it's NOW, like, when you're listening to it...I mean, like, wait, gosh. This is so confusing...." and then the infamous beep.
Alex grins happily at his message as Maria falls onto the couch. She rubbed her temples, urging her mind to work.
"Guys, it's Valenti," Jim's voice said from the other end. "I have some news, I want you guys to call me ASAP and come on down..."
The gang looked at each other before each of them reaching for the phone.
"Hello! Jim!" Liz yelled, sighing with relief when he answered. "What's the news?"
"Just get down here," came his response. "I know you'll guys will like this.."
"The main thing going through our minds is that this is our big break. But none of use will voice it for fear of jinxing our only chance to fame." Maria says. "Liz seemed to be the only calm one of the group, but even I could tell she was a wreck on the inside. She has been waiting for this moment since she was four...."
The group entered the building and immediately walked to the desk where the secretary, Janice, sat.
"Hey, Jane," Maria said. "Valenti called, and he wanted to see us.."
Janice pointed a perfectly manicured finger towards the door behind her. The conference room.
They looked at each other for a moment before following in Alex's step and entered the room. Jim Valenti was seated at the end of the table, with a stereo sitting in front of him. As they approached him, they heard familiar music flowing from the speakers. They stared at each other in shock and fell into chairs around Jim.
"Hey, hey, hey, this is Chaz Morrison, for the Planet, and that was 'Don't Think of Me' by some anonymous band." came the Deejay over the radio. "If anyone, anyone at all, can fill us in on who these new comers are, call me at -"
At that moment Jim had picked up the phone at his side and was holding it out to them. "This is your chance.." he said.
Liz looked at Alex, she could tell he was itching to make the call. "Go for it."
Maria gripped tightly to Michael's arm as Alex punched in the number.
"Hello, this Chaz, do you have band's name?" they heard over the radio.
"Yeah...The band is called, the Whits."
Maria walks out with a grin on her face. "To Be Continued.."
Max turned up the radio as the familiar lyrics filled his car. He smiled when he realized it was Liz's voice gliding from his speakers. Jim Valenti was a man of his word, and he had promised Max that Liz's band would get their big break.
"That was just a piece of the song that has taken this state by storm," the DeeJay interrupted. "and we have the creators of this song on the air, right now. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Whits."
Max chuckled when Alex gave a enthusastic: "Wassssssup?"
"And who am I speaking to?"
"This is Alex Whitman, I supply the bass line," he answered. Max could hear the excitement in his voice.
"I'm Maria DeLuca-Guerin, and I play keyboards and vocals," came a feminine voice.
"Michael Guerin, drums."
Max shivered slighty, he knew who was coming next. "Elizabeth Parker, acoustic and vocals."
She sounded so beautiful. He could picture herself laughing with her friends, tucking her hair behind her ear self-consciously.
"And which one of you lovely ladies sang to us?" Chaz asked.
"Liz started off, and then I joined her closer to the middle." Maria answered.
"You girls have beautiful voices and I'm sure I speak for every one when I say, I'm glad I've found out who you are," he said. "We'll be going to a short break, won't you hold on the line longer?"
"Of course," the foursome responded.
"Awesome, I'm Chaz M-"
Max flipped off his radio and stared out into the road. He was happy for Liz and her friends, of course, but now that he thought of it, he hadn't expected them to be noticed so soon. He knew there would be a lot of feed back on their music. It was good, no doubt about it. And they were going to go places.
But how could he continue out with his plan if they became famous so quickly? These celebrities "relationships" never worked. He has had plenty experience...
It's not as if it were an actual relationship, he reminded himself. A conquest.
Max felt a pang of guilt hit the pit of his stomach but quickly pushed it aside as he pulled into the parking lot of Valenti's studio. He ran a hand through his hair as he gazed into the rear view mirror. He then stepped out of the car and entered the building.
He walked into the conference room only to be stopped Valenti's finger, stopping him from speaking. The people in the room were staring intently at the radio as some one spoke through it.
"I really like that song, I think the it has a great beat, and I love the lyrics." a woman says. "Those girls have beautiful voices, and I know there are going to go places."
Liz and Maria smiled giddily at each other.
"Thank you, very much. Next caller, hello?"
"Hi, I'd like to know where and when I can get there CD." a male voice said.
The DeeJay chuckled. "Don't we all, but I believe they said, that they are not quite finished with the album yet, but once they are, your favorite station will be the first to know..."
Jim Valenti cleared his throat and stood from his chair. "I'm sorry kids, but I have to be leaving now." he said, getting a collective "aww" from the group. He rolled his eyes as he straightened his tie. "I want you guys here at the studio, 7am sharp to finish with this album, alright?"
The group nodded. "You guys, if we want to add anymore songs to this, we have to do it now," Alex said, looking particularly at Liz. "I know you have been in a writing frenzy because I saw your light on last night, so try your best to get whatever song you're working on now done as soon as possible."
"Jim," Maria said as he walked past her. "How'd you do it?"
"Yeah," Michael added. "How'd you get them to play our song?"
Jim grinned and grabbed the door knob. "I am a man with connections." and with that he walked out the door.
The room started to buzz with laughter and excited words and Max watched in awe Liz's eyes brightened as she spoke giddily with her friends. He has never seen her so happy. He would find himself looking forward to seeing that warm smile. Her twinkling eyes.
The excited commontion died down, and Liz made her way towards Max.
"Hi," she said softly.
"Hi," he responded.
They stared at each other for a long moment, before Alex walked up to them.
"Liz, we're going to go to the Night Shade to celebrate, and share the news," he said. "do you guys wanna meet us there?"
Liz looked at Max. He smiled. "Sure, I don't have anything better to do."
Alex grinned. "Great, c'mon guys," he said to the others.
The rest of the band started to file out of the conference room. Max received a cold glare from Maria in which he simply raised his eyebrow to in response.
After everyone left, Max took Liz's hand in his and pressed a soft kiss on her knuckles. "Congratulations." he whispered.
"Couldn't have done it with out you," she replied.
He didn't say anything more, but simply pulled her closer to him and softly kissed her lips. Her kisses were intoxicating, he could never get enough of them. Pulling away, he gazed into her a beautiful face and smiled. He brushed his thumb acrossed her bottom lip.
"Shall we go?" he asked.
Liz nodded and then took his hand in hers. "We shall,"
"Yeah okay, so Max seems like a real sweety." Maria says. "But honestly, we all know how this is going to go down. I'd like to say that I was the one who stopped him, that Liz finally came to her senses before she got burned again. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen, this isnt' your typical fairy tale you know. Max is the prince, turned toad, and then becomes a prince again."
"But is his sudden transformation for the better too late?" she asks. "See you next time."
"You know, we left Roswell for many reasons," Maria says from her infamous position infront of the screen. "One of my reasons, besides the obvious, was to get away from my mother."
She grins sarcastically.
"Yet somehow, our little 15 minutes of fame travels from New York to New Mexico, and apparently a little 'birdie' told my mother of our big break." she sighs. "Aww geesh."
Liz sat quietly on the couch, her legs curled beneath her supporting a pad of paper on her thigh. She stared into the blank television screen as she pressed her pen against her lips. She was in the process of writing her new song, but there was something about it that just wasn't right.
She brought the pen down to the pad and listened to the sound of it scratching out lines of her work. Biting her lip, she reread her song.
Liz's sudden spark of inspiration had nothing to do with that fact that she and her friends were well on their way to fame, but a certain someone who had helped them along that way. She really believed that things were going some where with Max. Some where good. Maybe his reputation as a womanizer wasn't true at all. He seemed really genuine.
Alex walked into the living room. He grabbed the remote from the between the cushion and seat of the recliner and then fell backwards into it. Pointing the remote at the tv, he glanced at Liz to see her smiling at the television..
"Oh," he said softly and set down the remote. "Are you watching this?"
Liz rolled her eyes at Alex before shaking her head.
"Good, cause I hate that show." and then he turned on the tv. As he flipped through the channels, he spoke. "So what was so great about that other world you were in..."
She sighed and let her head roll back onto the couch. "Everything," she responded softly.
Alex knew she was talking about her "relationship" with Max. If that was what she wanted to call it. Like Maria, Alex didn't trust Max at all. He knew he was a good guy, only with bad intentions. But unlike Maria, Alex chose to keep his opinion on the situation to himself. Besides, Liz was a big girl, she could handle herself.
He smiled at how happy she looked. Max seemed to be taking care of her. After he returned from making his movie, they started going out more and more. Each night of her return her smile was brighter than before. But behind her happiness, Alex could feel what was about to come and he felt like on ass of a friend for doing nothing about it. If he told her what he thought about it, he would probably be in the same boat as Maria, and he didn't want that. All he could do for her was be there when it happens.
And hope that it doesn't...
"Oh...My...Gosh." Maria's shaky voice said from through the doorway.
Liz and Alex looked at her in her concern. "What's a matter?" he asks.
"I just got off the phone with Amy," she mutters.
Alex mouths "Amy?" to Liz in which she mouths "mom".
"You're mom," he says.
"That's who I said," she answered. "Anyway, Amy says she's coming to New York."
"Aw, Maria, that's great," Liz said with a smirk on her face. She knew that it was not great.
"Great?" she asks. "You think that's great? No, no, no, no, Liz. It is not great. It's a friggin night mare!"
Alex looked at her in confusion. "Don't you love your mommy?" he asks tilting his head to one side. "I love my mommy, do you love your mommy Liz,"
At Liz's glare Alex bit his lip and dropped his head. "Sorry."
"Okay, let me just clear this up for you," Maria says. "My mom, I love her, really, absolutely positively LOVE her. To me, she is the greatest mommy in the world, but...She hates Michael."
"Yeah, yeah, I know, in-laws they all hate each other, right? Right." she continues. "But she doesn't really know that he's....Well that he's......That he's her son in law."
She grimaces. "I know! And Michael doesnt' know that she doesn't know that I didn't tell her that I married him...." she mutters in one breath. She shakes her head.
"Now, Liz, her parent's well, they hate the fact that their daughter is the only member of the Parker clan that has never gone to college." she shrugs. "It's quite sad too, cause if she didnt' want to be a rock star, she could have won a Nobel Peace Prize for her extraordinary doings. She is great in science and could probably find the cure for cancer...But this has been her childhood dream, and her parents just....Disowned her."
"Or so she thinks. It's just one big misunderstanding that will blow over later on. But," she places her hands on her chest. "this is about me. What am I going to do?"
Maria runs her hands through her hair. "What am I going to do?" she yells into the apartment.
"What are you going to do about what?" Michael asks as he enters the apartment.
Liz and Alex look at each other before slowly rising from their seats and heading their seperate ways. Alex whispered "good luck" into her ear as he passed by her with his coat.
Michael looked around suspiciously before looking at Maria. "Hunny,"
"My mother's coming," she blurted out. "Apparently she heard about our little 15 minutes of fame on the radio and wants to see us..."
"Ahh," he says as he rubs her arms. "Don't worry about it, babe, I'll stay out of her way if she stays out of mine."
He kisses her on the nose and heads towards the kitchen.
"Okay, this is me, just standing there thinking, what should I do," Maria says pointing to herself on the screen.
"I can't really lie to him still about my mother can I?" she shakes her head. "No, no, that would be bad."
"So this is me doing something about it."
"Michael," Maria whispers.
He turns and looks at her. "Yeah?"
"We need to talk..."
Max stared at the open magazine in front of him. The picture of him with Tess covered the 1/4 of the page and in big bold letters was "Couple Updates". This article sliced into the lives of celebrities and get straight to the juicy detail. Apparently, this month, his "break-up" with Tess the juiciest thing they could find.
He grimaced and hoped that Tess wouldn't read the article. He couldn't deal with her amongst everything else going on. Glancing back the photo he froze. He could have sworn he saw Liz's body in place of Tess'. He shook his head and tossed the magazine aside.
Things were going swell with Liz. She was more open with him. Sharing her secrets and her past. There was almost nothing that Max didn't know about her.
Max fell back onto his bed, with his hands clasped behind his head. One conversation was still fresh in his mind. She told him everything of her relationship with Sean DeLuca. The ⊕#%$ used her, completely. They had dated for several years in high school and she was in love with him. Finally after prom night, Liz gave herself to him, and that was that. The bastard went moved to California to start a new life. One that didn't consist of Liz. It became evident to Liz that sex was all that Sean was after...
And now Max felt like an ass, cause he was going to do the same thing.
Throwing his legs over the side of the bed, he sat up and rested his elbows on his thighs. He rubbed the pads of his fingers over his face trying to think...Of anything. He had bonded to Liz and hated the fact that he was going to be another Sean in her life. She didn't deserve that. She deserved someone who would be there in the morning when she woke up. Some one who will hold her through out the night and talk to her until she fell into a deep slumber. Some one who could stay awake for hours and appreciate how beautiful she truly was as she slept. Those were the things Max Evans couldn't give her....
Or wouldn't give her.
Max shook his head again. He can't get attached, he is not ready for that kind of commitment yet.
The name ASS kept running through his head until it was interrupted by a soft knock on his door. He trudged to the door and threw it open.
He stood in shock and seeing Liz stand on the other side, holding a bottle of wine.
"Liz?" he said softly as he stepped aside to let her enter.
"Maria is going to tell Michael that her mother doesn't know that they're married," she said casually. "and I don't really want to be there when he erupts, so I came here."
She looked at his blank face. "Is that a problem?" she asked.
He shook his head. "No, no, not a problem," he answered and helped her shrug off her denim coat. "I'm glad you're here. I was just thinking about you in fact."
She smiled. "Really?" she handed him the bottle and grabbed two glasses from the dresser. "Only of good things I hope."
"The best," he said pouring the wine into the awaiting glasses. He set the bottle down and reached for his glass, his fingers skimming over her's. He watched as she brought the glass to her lips and drank.
"So, what should we do?" he asked softly.
Liz set down her glass and shrugged. "I'm sure we can find something to do," she said as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She stood on her tip toes and kissed him delicately on the lips. "Don't you think?"
Max nodded and pulled her tighter against his body. "I'm sure we can too," he leaned down and met her lips with his again.
He'd just have to think about what should be done in the morning....
"Yeah, yeah, I know you guys hate me, but please don't throw anything." Maria said as she walks out her arms shielding her face. Bringing them down slowly she looks around. "I mean, seriously guys, you KNOW what's gonna happen. You guys can almost picture what the opening scene is going to be when we come back."
"You guys have creative imaginations. Use 'em." she grins. "To be continued."
"So...How badly would you guys hate me if I just stood here and stalled for a while?" Maria asks with a wide grin on her face.
"That badly huh?" nodding, she continues. "Well, so I guess I won't stall.."
She points a remote to the screen and presses play.
"Oh, well would you look at that," she mutters. "the VCR must be broken. Aw schucks."
She stands there and pretends to be trying to fix it, until some random reader jumps onto the stage. Maria's eye widens and she tosses the remote into the air and runs. Grabbing the remote, the reader presses play.
Her eyes slowly fluttered open, immediately met with the morning sun, shining through a crack in the curtains. Liz lifted her head and stared into the sleeping face of Max. She smiled slightly remembering the night before. She let her head fall back onto his chest, listening to the rythmic beat of his heart and she sighed contentedly. Last night was the night she pushed her insecurities aside and took that dangerous leap that could have led her to heart ache. She remembered a very vivid dream, where when she awoke, her lover was gone...but he was here, his arm draped loosely over her hip, his hand splayed across her back. He hadn't left her.
And all she could think of that moment was: In your face, Maria.
Maria comes out with her hands over her eyes. "I'd just like to say, that I think that was just a bit harsh." she nodded at no body and left.
Liz heaved another sigh. She was fully awake now and she knew she wouldn't be going back to sleep. So instead, she stared into nothing, drawling circles and hearts on his chest with her finger pads. Liz started day dreaming about times that she would spend with Max. Definetly more times of her waking up in his arms. That was something she knew she could never live without. She knew what was happening to her, she was falling in love...If it had been with anyone else, Liz would probably have been scared to death. But this was Max, things seemed so different with him. This was someone she could love completely..
Of course the "what-if's" would start to settle in. Like, what if he is just another Sean out to use her? But what if he really did care for her? What if he could love her?
If he were another Sean DeLuca, she'd get over with it. After all, she had gone along with this, fully knowing that it could very well end up to be a one-night stand. There are other fish in the sea. Yes, she would get over it. She was sure of it...
When Max felt Liz stir in her sleep, he quickly closed his eyes and pretended as if he were still sleeping. He couldn't look at her. Not yet. He needed to think, and if she knew he was awake, she'd probably want to "talk". He's had those talks before and they are not something he looked forward too.
Max's heart skipped a beat when she started running her fingers gently over his chest. Surely she had heart his heart sputter? He willed his body to stay in control as he continued to run through his thoughts.
Opening his eyes, he stared at the ceiling and tried to think of what he would do. He was becoming a softy, not wanting to hurt her, which is why he didn't leave as soon as he woke. That and the fact that she came to his hotel room, and not the other way around. However, if he had been the one who went to her first, he would guess that Alex or Michael would have camped out on the couch that night to make sure he didn't slip out at the crack of dawn.
He heard her sigh again and cringed. She was getting attached, and he knew it. She couldn't get attached, just like he couldn't. There would be too many complications. She wouldn't trust him when he's away and he wouldn't -
She snuggled closer to him and kissed the area above his beating heart. Max closed his eyes again as his arms tightened their grip around her small frame. On their own accord of course. He felt her lift her head and he could feel her eyes on his face. He tried to keep his eyes closed but they too had minds of their own, and he was now looking into the beautiful face of Liz Parker. The sun light shining through the curtains making her eyes sparkle.
"Morning," he whispered.
"Morning," she said with a smile.
Max's fingers pushed a strand of her hair behind her air, and trailed down the side of her face to her chin, and then worked there way back up to skim over her lips. He felt her body glide up against him and then her lips were on his. His fingers tangled in her hair as he deeped the kiss, his tongue sliding past her lips and dancing with hers. Max groaned when she pulled back. He stared into her chocolate brown eyes and wondered what he had gotten himself into...
Liz pulled away from Max, her arms still wrapped around his neck.
"I should probably go now," she whispered before leaning down and kissing his neck.
"...I guess.." he mumbled, trying to recapture her lips. Finally he found them again and ran his tongue over her bottom lip. She tasted so sweet, he wanted to start the car up again and drive back to his room. He groaned and pulled her completely into his lap, letting his hands roam under her shirt. Maybe no body would notice...
"Max," she groaned between kisses. "somebody'll notice.."
He dropped his head on her shoulder and led his hands slide from underneath her shirt. Max had told himself to stay in control, but that never seemed to happen when he was with Liz.
She kissed the corner of his mouth. "I really need to go, they're probably worried," she said as she kissed his pulse at his neck.
He nodded kissing her again.
"See you tonight?" she ventured to ask.
Max froze for the briefest instant. "..yes," he answered softly.
He watched her eyes twinkle before she kissed him one last time and got out of the car. When she was inside he started the car and pulled out onto the road. Max really needed to think. Okay, so he wasn't going to deny it anymore, he has feelings for her. Feelings, that's it. He would have felt like an ass if he just got up and left last night, but hey, he does everytime he does, no matter who it is.
But he'd feel like a really BIG ass if he had done it to Liz. Maybe he could try a relationship type thing...
He shook his head, dismissing the thought, and turned on his radio.
Liz's voice filled his ears. He couldn't get away from her.
Liz entered the apartment and went straight to her room, ignoring her friends' concerned looks. She grabbed her guitar from the corner of her room and sat on her bed. She was in such an inspirational mood, that she felt she could come up with the music for her new song right now. With the words running through her head, she strummed the strings of her guitar, searching for the right chords.
More and more ideas were coming to her, not just for this song, but for every song on the album.
There was a knock on her door and Alex poked his head in. "Liz," he said softly.
Uh oh. She was lost in the music of her guitar. He shook his head. Max must have really did a number on her.
"Want to talk about it?" he asked.
Liz gave him a weird look. "Uh, no." she said before moving her fingers around the frets of her guitar.
He sat down next to her and tried to speak, but she beat her to it.
"Idea," she said excitedly and turned to him. "we talk to Jim, and we can like get people to add extra instrumentals to the music. Like this one, that I'm working on right now...It would sound really cool with all these other instruments, like a flute...Or something."
"A flute?" he asked.
"Yeah, or like, additional precussion." she added.
"Liz, what did he do to you?" he asked placing his hands on her shoulders.
She grinned to herself. "A number of things..." she said softly.
He stood up. "I'll kick his ass..." he declared on behalf of his best friend.
Liz stared up at him for a moment. "Alex, are we talking about the same thing?" she asks.
His brows furrowed. "Well, what are you talking about?" he asked.
She only raised her eyebrow.
"Oh. Ohhhhh!" he muttered. "I see, well then in that case...Yes, yes, extra instrumentals would be awesome. What did you have in mind."
"Those two music freaks stayed in that room for 2 hours discussing what they could add to our album." Maria says coming back onto the stage. "Needless to say, it had a pretty good effect on our music, but that's for another time..."
"To Be Continued,"