posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:01:31 AM
SEX, SEX, SEX!

By MamaDee


Rating: NC17

Disclaimer: Same old same old. I don’t own ‘em....just borrowing.

Category: AU....M/L, M/M....No Aliens.

Author’s note: Fluff and stuff..a mixed bag of tricks.



Part 1



“AH_UH_AH_UH_AH_UH_AH_UH_AH!” A female Tarzan yelled shattered the silence.

“What the F*CK!” Max growled as he grabbed his pillow and scrunched it down on top of his head.

“And one and two and three and four,” the voice panted.

Max jumped out of bed and slammed his window shut but not before he got a good look at what was making all the noise across the alley. He smirked as he drew back from the window and watched as a petite brunette bounced up and down, pumping her arms wildly as she completed another set of jumping jacks. He rubbed his hands over his own tight abs absently-mindedly as he watched her trim and taut body moving to a pounding dance beat. He glanced at his wristwatch.

“Oh sh*t!” he freaked as he ran to the shower. He’d slept in again. Not good for someone who was looking for a promotion. Definitely not the way to impress the new boss. He scrubbed himself quickly, cursing again as he got shampoo in his eyes. He rinsed his stinging orbs and reached for the towel, rubbing his eyes briskly as he towelled the rest of himself off. He stumbled out of the shower and stubbed his toe on the toilet. He hopped around the tiny bathroom half blind as he nursed his throbbing toe. He banged his knee into the bathroom door and lost his balance as he slipped on the bath rug. He gripped at the counter wildly as he felt himself falling backwards and then everything went black as he slipped into unconsciousness.

He didn’t hear the pounding on the door as his roommate Michael tried to push it open. But Max’s body was blocking the entrance and Michael couldn’t get the door to budge.

“Max! What the hell is going on in there,” he yelled through the closed door.

No answer.

Michael fumed as he kicked at the obstruction. “Hey, you jerk, I’m late for work! Max!” he banged loudly.

No answer.

“Jeez!” he screamed as he rattled the door handle. Then he stopped as he heard moaning. He put his ear to the door and listened. “Max, are you alright?”

No answer. Just pathetic moaning.

“Crap!” Michael cursed. “Now what?!”

He bit his lip as he tried to come up with a plan. He figured something must have happened to his friend since it wasn’t like Max to act like a total moron.

“Hah!” he snapped his fingers. He headed for the livingroom balcony and climbed the iron rail carefully, hauling one leg after the other over the side. He balanced precariously on the concrete lip of the tiny belvedere and reached his long arms over until they grasped at the brick facing of the old apartment building. His fingers gripped the course of protruding brick as he gingerly stepped onto the narrow ledge that ran along the fourth level of the building. He looked down and swayed as he momentarily lost his balance.

“Whoa!” he cried out as he closed his eyes and hugged the building. “Not a smart move Guerin.” he reprimanded himself. He inched his way across the 8 inch ledge until he reached the small window that served as the only source of light in their bathroom. He peeked in through the window but it was too steamy to see inside.

“Damn,” he breathed harshly.

* * * * * * * * * *

“Liz!” Maria called out to her room mate and best friend for the past 6 years. “Liz, do you need anything at the store before I head out.......Aaaaaaaah!” she screamed as she ran to their living room window.

“Liz! Liz!” she screamed frantically as she banged on the window, trying to get the attention of the idiot who was hanging for dear life to the building across the alley. “Omigod!” she screamed again as he seemed to lose his footing. She covered her mouth and ran screaming into the bathroom almost knocking Liz onto her butt.

“Oof!” Liz cried out as she grabbed at the sink. “Maria. Watch it will you!”

“Omigod Liz, I’m so sorry but you have to come out here. Quick!” she demanded as she hauled her half naked friend out into the living room.

“Maria!” Liz fumed as she struggled with the loose towel around her upper body.”What is wrong with you?”

Maria grabbed Liz’s head and forced her to look straight ahead.

“See! See! Look what that guy is doing!” she screamed. “I think he’s going to jump!”

“Omigod!” Liz mouthed silently since she couldn’t be heard over Maria’s hysterical voice as she wailed in fright. “I don’t think he’s trying to kill himself, though,” she finally offered uncertainly. “I mean, wouldn’t he be facing the other way?”

Maria stopped wailing for a minute and looked again.

“Omigod! You’re right! But what the hell is he doing,” she gasped , eyes wide open. “Omigod! He’s a peeping tom!” she screamed as she opened the window and climbed out onto the balcony, throwing a potted plant at his back.

“Jeez!” she heard the guy scream as he grabbed blindly at the brick. Michael tried to look over his shoulder at the direction of the offending missile as he heard the pot crash below. “Hey!” he yelled as he caught sight of a skinny blond raising her fist in anger at him. “Hey blondie! Quit throwing things at me!” he shouted. “Are you trying to get me killed!”

“Pervert!” Maria screamed back as she made ready to hurl another potted plant.

“Maria! Stop! Those are my pots!” Liz reminded her angrily.

“Oh sorry,” Maria replied contritely. She ran back into the living room to retrieve an ugly lamp and ran back to the balcony to heave it at the crazy stranger.

“Maria! Stop!” Liz insisted. She clutched at her towel and yelled at the stranger. “What’s going on, you jerk? Not enough action in the bedroom?” she ranted as she grabbed another lamp from Maria.

“No, you weirdos! My friend is hurt. He must have fallen in the bathroom and I can’t open the door to get to him. I’m trying to reach him from the window!” he yelled back.

“Omigod!” Liz called out as her hand flew to her mouth. “Wait! Don’t move! I’ll call the fire Dept. Or the police! Or....Omigod Maria! Who do we call?”

Maria shrugged helplessly as she stared in fright at the guy who was hanging from the building.

“I don’t know,” she wailed. “But you better think of something soon cuz I don’t think that guy can last much longer,” she gulped as she pointed to the swaying figure.

“Oh-oh-oh-oh,” Liz stamped her feet in frustration. “Fire dept.!” she finally decided as she ran for the phone. “Maria, go get your mattress!” she ordered.

“Huh?” Maria turned and looked at Liz like she had two heads. “Are you crazy? Do you expect me to drag my mattress down 4 flights of stairs to save that guys ass....which, by the way, ain’t half bad,” she said soto voice as she eyed his backside with interest as he perched there in his boxers. “Nuh, uh,” she shook her head. “Besides, I still think he’s a pervert,” she grimaced.

“Maria!” Liz screamed wildly as she rushed to pull up her jeans. She had flung on a top over her naked breasts and had stepped into her pants sans underwear. She hopped around on bare feet as she searched for her other sneaker. “I’ll help you! Now come on!” she insisted frantically.

“Why does it have to be my mattress?” Maria fumed as she followed Liz into her bedroom.

“Me...waterbed,” Liz explained, tapping her temple.

“Oh yeah. Right,” Maria muttered as she hauled on the bulky object.

They each took an end and headed for the apartment door, struggling as they tried to push the queen-sized monstrosity out through the narrow opening.

“Uhhh....Oh God! Why the hell did you have to get a queen-sized bed, Maria?” Liz grunted through gritted teeth.

“I need room,” Maria huffed as she pushed on her end.

“Arghhhhh!” Liz shouted as she gave the mattress a final shove. “Okay,” she panted, “let’s use the service elevator. We’ll never get this down the stairs in time!” she panicked as they pushed the heavy mattress towards the far end of the hall.

“We should have called the Super,” Maria lamented as they waited for the elevator to arrive.

“No time,” Liz breathed raggedly as she tried to catch her breath.

The doors slid open and they shoved the heavy mattress into the tiny cubicle. It just barely made it inside as the doors swooshed closed. It seemed to take forever for the ancient machine to descend but it finally signalled it had reached the ground floor with a paltry ding! The girls shoved their shoulders behind the mammoth mattress and pushed it into the lobby. Of course, there was no one in sight to aide them so they took a deep breath and as Liz held onto the beast to support it, Maria ran to the doors to hold them open.

“Maria...a little help here, please,” Liz grunted.

As the mattress caught in the door, Maria joined Liz as they pushed it through the open doorway. Unfortunately, they couldn’t maintain their hold on it as the thing sailed off down the front steps and fell unceremoniously onto the sidewalk. It almost banged into the Super who finally made an appearance.

“Ladies, ladies,” he admonished. “Why didn’t you call me!” he said as he stooped to right the fallen mattress.

“No time, “Liz rasped as she held her heaving chest. She pointed to the alleyway as Maria hung her head down, trying to catch her breath.

“What? What is the matter,” the older man queried as he scratched his head.

“Jumper,” Maria looked up, gasping for breath.

“Jumper!” he yelled in shock.

Liz kept jabbing her finger to their left, too out of breath to speak.

He ran around to the side of the building and came back in a panic holding his head in his hands. By this time, the girls had regained some of their strength and were bending over the mattress to continue their journey. The Super had caught on to the situation quickly and helped them move the mattress to the alley setting it up under a now trembling Michael.

“Go back, you idiot!” the Super called up to him as he waved his hands back to the tiny balcony.

“Don’t talk to him like that!” Maria yelled at him. “He’s stuck! Can’t you see that! He can’t move,” she retorted angrily as she swatted his arm. “Okay buddy,” she yelled up to him, her mouth cupped in her hands. “You can jump now!”

“What?!” he yelled back down. “Jump! Are you crazy?!”

“No crazier than you are mister!” the Super yelled back.

“Look!” Maria said pointedly, staring down the old man. “I know you probably mean well...but you’re not helping matters any!” she screamed at him.

The old man jumped back startled. “Okay, lady. No need to bite my head off! Sheesh!” he said, as he shook his head.

Just then, the sounds of sirens split the air and both girls clapped their hands in relief as they waited for the firemen to appear. Liz ran to the front of the alley to lead them to the spot while Maria called up words of encouragement to the helpless Michael.

“It’s okay, now buddy!” she yelled. “Reinforcements are here!”

“Michael. My name’s Michael!” he called back down, wanting to let someone know who he was just in case these were his last words.

“Oh. Okay Michael. My name’s Maria! Nice to meet you,” she called up sweetly.

The Super kept shaking his head, grumbling to himself. “Crazy people.”

Liz came running back with four firemen in tow. They carried a very long suspension ladder and placed it quickly at the side of the building. Two others carried a trampoline and placed it near the ladder, after moving the mattress that lay on the ground as they shook their heads in wonder.

“Did you guys put this here?” one asked in amusement.

The girls nodded sheepishly.

“Well, at least the thought was nice but it wouldn’t have helped your friend up there that much,” he smiled appreciatively.

Maria glared at Liz as she looked down at her soiled mattress. Liz shrugged her shoulders in apology and looked up to see what was happening next. By this time, one of the firemen had reached the top of the ladder and was coaxing Michael over to the first rung. Michael’s muscles were stiff from holding his position for so long and he had trouble getting his legs to move for him. The fireman grabbed him by the waist while Michael shifted his weight and finally managed to reach his right leg over to the ladder. With a little more help he was able to bring his left leg to the rung and very slowly, they made their way down to the alley.

Without thinking, Maria grabbed him and hugged him close.

“Omigod! Are you alright?” she asked anxiously, staring up into his soft brown eyes.

“Uh...y-yeah,” he looked startled as the strange girl clung to him. “Th-thanks for calling for help,” he added gratefully.

Maria looked embarrassed as she pulled away.

“Uh...yeah....sure,’ she said, waving her hands in dismissal. “All in a day’s work,” she grinned sheepishly.

“Look buddy. I hate to break up your mutual admiration society here but what the hell were you doing up there on that ledge?” the head fireman spoke up angrily. “We can’t be wastin’ our time rescuin’ weirdos from buildin’ ledges.....wearin’ nuttin’ but there underwear,” he smirked, looking pointedly at Michael’s lack of attire.

“My friend,” Michael said, suddenly remembering why he had climbed out there in the first place as he tried to cover his half naked body. “He’s trapped in the bathroom. I think he’s hurt,” Michael informed them in a panic as he took off for the front of the building, heedless of his lack of clothing.

“Here, put this around you,” a friendly fireman yelled as he tossed him a blanket.

“Uh, thanks,” Michael called back as he threw the blanket hastily over his shoulders. He dashed for the front of their building and raced up the stairs. Two of the firemen followed, one carrying a heavy ax. They rode up in the elevator, with the girls following in hot pursuit. After all, they had to see this through to the end.

Michael stood helplessly outside the door as he realized he had no keys.

“Step aside,” the fireman carrying the ax demanded and he brought the weapon up and slammed it into the wood, splintering the door in one smash. He pushed his hand in through the gash and quickly unlocked the door. Michael sped in behind him and ran towards the bathroom.

“He’s in here,” he spoke in agitation as he pulled his trembling hand through his hair.

The two firemen put their shoulders to the door but couldn’t budge it. They heard a groan and decided to use the ax to break this door, too. Within seconds they had broken a hole in the door and pulled the wood away to peer inside. There lay a very naked and very unconscious Max, a small pool of blood oozing from a wound in the back of his head. Liz peered in under a male arm and gasped in dismay at the sight, briefly letting her eyes flicker appreciatively at the adonis that lay before her.

TBC

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 3-Jul-2002 2:51:54 PM ]
posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:15:36 AM
Part 2


Maria popped her head inside the door and squealed in surprise at the sight of an unconscious Max sprawled like an hors d’oeuvre on a cracker. She curled her lip in a smirk as she wiggled her eyebrows at Liz. Liz covered her mouth to suppress a delighted giggle while Michael looked over his shoulder in disgust.

“Never seen a naked guy before?” he growled.

“Not built like that!” Liz intoned with relish. She had to force herself to remain grave as she realized that his friend was in serious trouble.

“Is he okay?” she asked with concern.

“I don’t know,” Michael replied as he grabbed a large bath sheet and threw it across his friend’s body. “There’s some blood coming from a gash in the back of his head. He’ll probably need stitches. I just hope he didn’t crack his skull.”

“Omigod!” Liz whispered as she grabbed Maria’s hand. “The poor guy!” she sympathised as she clutched at her friend.

By this time, one of the firemen had called for help and informed them that an ambulance was on the way. Michael dabbed at the blood on Max’s head and Liz knelt beside him to assess the damage. Michael furrowed his brow and gave her a hard look as she gingerly placed her fingers on the wound.

“I have First Aid. It’s part of my job,” she shrugged as she continued to probe the gash. “He’ll definitely need stitches but it doesn’t feel like the skull has been damaged. I can feel a bump but he should have it X-rayed anyway. He might have a hairline fracture.”

Just then Max’s eyes blinked open and he stared up into Liz’s down-turned face. Her hair hung down in a brown cascade and partially covered her features but when she saw Max’s eyelids quiver, she pulled back automatically and smiled beatifically down at him. His breath hitched as he took in her angelic features. Her large doe brown eyes peered at him warmly and from his angle, her head caught a beam of light from the bathroom fixtures, creating a halo effect.

“A-am I dead?” he whispered.. “Are you an angel?”

Liz’s smile widened and she inadvertently cupped his neck as she leaned forward over him.

“Not yet,” she grinned, her eyes twinkling in delight. “And I’m no angel,” she giggled infectiously. “How do you feel?” she queried. “Can you see me clearly? Any double vision?”

Max shook his head in denial as he continued to stare up into her face. She’s beautiful, he thought dazedly as his eyes roamed her face. They fixated on her eyes that were so gentle and so full of compassion, her cute little nose with the uneven bump, the bow shaped mouth that turned up ever so slightly and the alabaster skin that glowed from within. Her hair! Oh God, what beautiful hair! So shiny and silky and it smelled so good. He wanted to touch it and without thinking, his fingers reached up to feel the silky strands. He closed his eyes as his senses reached overload and he groaned softly, closing his eyes reflexively.

“Max! Are you alright?” Michael called out in fear.

“Yes,” he sighed as he fingered Liz’s hair.

Liz smiled and flushed with embarrassment. She turned as she heard footsteps approaching and moved out of the way as the ambulance attendants reached them. She stood up and Max groaned in protest.

“I’ll be right here,” she said soothingly as she moved out of the way.

Max followed her movement as his head swivelled to keep her in view.

“Don’t go,” he begged as his hand reached out to touch her.

Liz leaned forward and clasped his hand as the attendants secured him to the Gurney. It was awkward and she had to twist her body in the cramped space but her heart went out to him as he peered at her pathetically. Besides, she was starting to feel an attraction to him and she had this inexplicable urge to touch him, too. He was so handsome. His amber eyes were so deep set and vulnerable.....almost soulful, if that were possible. She loved his straight nose and his lips! Oh God, those lips. She licked her own as she studied the fullness and sensual curve of that perfect mouth. His skin was golden and flawless....everywhere, she had realized with glee...and his voice was captivating. So soft and deep and alluring. He had the body of a Greek statue. She had never seen a body so well sculpted before and she had seen plenty of washboard abs in her line of work. His ears stuck out a little which added to his boyish good looks. She wondered absentmindedly if his personality was an even match for his outward appearance or was he just another pretty face? She’d seen plenty of those, too.

But, she had to admit that there was something more to this beautiful stranger and she was anxious to find out just what that was. She had sworn off men after her last disastrous relationship with an over-sexed and underdeveloped brain dead aerobics instructor whom she had met at a fitness convention 18 months ago. She’d had a bit too much to drink and he’d cornered her in the elevator of all places! Before she knew it, her panties were around her ankles and he was lapping at her like a thirsty dog. Funny, since his personality matched his table manners! Oh, she’d been a willing participant! But, she also knew that if she hadn’t been under the influence, she never would have dropped her drawers for that animal! He was certainly flexible and she had found herself participating in sexual manoeuvres that she had only seen on the porn channel, but when she tried to carry on a conversation later on, he was only interested in talking about his body and how hard and long he worked on it. What a moron! She gave him a phony telephone number and bade goodbye to the dating game forever.

She threw herself into her own burgeoning aerobics business, established from a small inheritance from her grandmother. Liz had grown up in the southwest but she had decided to move to LA when she graduated from college. That was six years ago. She had soon met up with the bubbly blond who had been her roommate for those past six years. Maria had also moved from a small southern town in Georgia and had headed for Tinsel town to hone her skills as a make up artist. Liz had graduated with a degree in Physical Education and had determined that she would never teach a bunch of high school brats after her first stint as a substitute at her old alma mater. She had been scanning the want ads and had come across a help wanted ad for aerobics instructors in a new Gym that was opening on the Strip. With a tremendous amount of bravado and with little forethought, she bade her parents, two sisters and small town goodbye and headed for fame and glory.

Four and a half years later, she was still toiling under the unhappy influence of an aging redheaded tyrant who’s greatest pleasure was to inflict pain and untold embarrassment on her employees. Liz had had it and was about to tender her resignation when her small windfall fell in her lap. She was greatly saddened by her grandmother’s death but she had to admit that the inheritance had come in the nick of time. With Maria’s encouragement, she approached the bank and was soon carrying out the renovations on the small, but strategically located, building that would become her first foray into the business world.

Maria had decided to join forces with Liz. She had saved up a small amount of money from her limited stints as a make up artist in the Movie Business. She had learned a lot in those brief encounters and decided that she would branch out on her own. She’d struggled for three years but had built a reputable business, small as it was. She and Liz both felt that by joining forces, they would attract clients to both their ventures and so far, the formula had been successful. People who honed their bodies also wanted their faces to look beautiful and people with beautiful faces wanted the whole package to be enticing. It was a win-win situation for all concerned. They soon hired a masseuse who specialized in shiatsu and a young, wild male hairdresser who appealed to their eccentric clientele which ranged from young Hollywood starlets to old Queens looking for a last hurrah.

They named the place Yadda, Yadda, Yadda after overdosing on a night of Seinfeld and it suited the crazy, friendly atmosphere to a Tee. Sometimes Maria would break out into show tunes and before you knew it, the whole place was belting out songs from Oklahoma or South Pacific and bopping around in a frenzy. They added a juice bar and a small karioke stage. The clientele grew as did Yadda’s reputation.

Liz may have left the dating game but Maria was still giving it a go. She met numerous willing and able prospects at their establishment and even though Liz cautioned her about dating clients, Maria had no such qualms. They had one rule. No matter how impressive his charms, he was forbidden access to their books. Maria had once made the mistake of dating an accountant and he had wheedled his way into their accounts, insisting that he could increase their profits by some miracle method. Fortunately, Maria’s brother, a Chartered Accountant himself, happened to visit that weekend and stopped the guy from embezzling half their business. Maria was devastated by the betrayal and vowed never to date another client. That lasted two weeks until the hunky lawyer from the new law firm on Melrose swept her off her feet. Liz shook her head in bemusement and buried herself deeper into the business.

She had had plenty of offers, too, but she was so wrapped up in making her business succeed, that she gave little thought to personal happiness. Maria tried unsuccessfully to persuade her to double date occasionally. Liz always had an excuse, so Maria eventually gave up, deciding that Liz would date was she was ready.

She now eyed her best friend with interest as they stood in the hallway outside the bathroom door. Liz clutched the hand of the handsome young stranger, staring at him with a fondness Maria had never seen on Liz’s face before. She smirked, tilting her head as she watched the two of them. They seemed so intent on maintaining eye contact that Maria could almost feel the sexual tension coming off them in waves. She shuddered unconsciously and felt a pair of eyes on her. She looked up to see Michael peering at her with the same intentness. He glanced away quickly, but not before she matched his gaze. What the hell was going on here? Maria thought wildly. Had they entered the twilight zone of mutual attraction? She crossed her arms and bit her lip in concentration as she watched Liz follow the Gurney down the hall, her eyes never leaving the dark haired mystery man. Michael followed close behind and Maria shuffled into motion, feeling a little left out.

They reached the elevator and waited for the doors to open. They couldn’t all fit inside so Maria sauntered over to the stairwell to walk down. To her surprise, Michael joined her. He opened the door and held it for her while she walked through. She looked up into his face and smiled her gratitude. He answered by winking and she almost giggled in response, she was so taken aback.

“So, I haven’t seen you in the neighbourhood before,” Maria spoke hesitantly. “Have you lived here long?”

“No, we just moved in here a month ago, actually,” Michael revealed openly. “Max and I hail from the Midwest. Kind of a whim, I guess,” he shrugged. “We were sick and tired of cold winters,” he laughed. “I’ve known Max since grade school and we decided that if one were going to make the move, then the other would, too. Max had a job offer with an Architectural firm here in LA. I answered an ad for a stunt man, believe it or not,” he laughed again.

Omigod! He has the nicest laugh and his eyes crinkle up when he does! Maria thought as she stared openly at his face. And he’s so tall and gorgeous and so nice! Where have you been all my life? she wondered inwardly. She was so engrossed in his face that she tripped on the stairs and would have fallen head over heels if Michael hadn’t grabbed her. He pulled her in close to his chest and she clutched at his t-shirt that he had hastily thrown on before they left the apartment. He had also pulled on some jeans over his boxers, much to Maria’s chagrin. Maria clung to him as she peered at his mouth while he did the same.

God! What a set of lips! he thought hungrily. I could eat them. Their so full and luscious. He found himself leaning forward, determined to have a taste but he stopped abruptly when he heard the lower door bang shut and he pulled back as the sounds of running feet echoed in the stairwell.

“We’d better get downstairs,” he stated in confusion as he led Maria the rest of the way down the stairs, guiding her by the elbow.

Maria’s heart was pounding in her chest. She had never been so turned on in all her life and God knows, she’d had plenty of opportunity! She trembled slightly as they made their way down the remaining stairs. They headed into the lower foyer just as Max was being wheeled through the double doors. They sped up to join them. Liz turned as she heard their footsteps.

“I’m going to the hospital with Max,” she stated matter of factly.

Hmmmmmmm. Already on a first name basis, hey Liz? Maria thought in amusement.

“Okay. We’ll follow on my bike.....if that’s okay with you?” Michael turned to Maria, questioningly.

“Sure,” she smiled. “You are referring to a motor bike, right?” she chuckled. “I mean, I just can’t see me riding through LA on a bicycle built for two,” she rolled her eyes humorously.

“Yeah,” Michael laughed. “I may be from the Midwest but I’m not a total hick,” he grinned.

“Sorry,” Maria giggled. “I’m from the South, so you don’t have the monopoly on hickness,” she replied in her soft twang.

“Ahem!” Liz interrupted. “We’re going to LA General, in case you’re wondering,” she informed them archly.

“Oh yeah, right!” Michael exclaimed in embarrassment. “Yeah, we’ll be right behind you guys,” he added contritely. “Are you ready.......Maria?” he turned to her shyly, his cheeks dimpling.

Omigod! Look at those dimples! she swooned. She nodded because she couldn’t trust herself to speak Michael led her to his bike, parked at the curb and handed her a helmet.

“Have you ever ridden on one of these before?” he asked politely.

“Uh yeah, a few times,” she admitted. She placed the helmet over her blond bob and climbed on behind Michael. She wrapped her arms around his waist and held on tightly as the bike roared to life. Michael popped it in gear and they sped out into the traffic behind the ambulance which quickly raced ahead, siren blaring.

Liz sat beside Max, hovering over him as closely as possible as the ambulance attendant checked his vital signs. She subconsciously brought her hand to his forehead to sweep his damp hair away. He closed his eyes briefly at her soft caress and she smiled secretly. Oh, I want to get to know you, so much, she thought fervently.

Max lay on the stretcher, never once letting go of her hand. She’s perfect! he thought contentedly. She’s beautiful, kind and smart. I want her.

TBC




posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:22:08 AM
Part 3


The ambulance doors swung open and Max felt the stretcher being lifted into the air. He was still too concentrated on Liz to take note of much else. She was forced to let go of his hand and he almost panicked until she assured him that she would be following closely behind. His brothers would laugh if they could see him now, he thought in amusement. He could hear it now! What a wussie! Max is in luuuuuv. Ah! Ain’t that sweet! Who’s your girlfriend Max? Man, she’s a hottie! Oh God! If only he’d been an only child! Four brothers who would show no mercy!

At least his Mom would breathe a sigh of relief. She’d been so worried when he left home 6 months ago. He’d just broken up with his long time girlfriend, Annie, and his Mom blamed that on his sudden decision to leave home. Not that he was a kid anymore. But, he was still her kid and she’d never let him forget it. She was so grateful to know that at least Michael would be going with him. Of all her boys, Max was the one she worried about the most. He had been so devastated by his Dad’s sudden passing when he was ten. Being the oldest son, he felt that it was his place to take on the responsibility of head of household. Luckily, his Uncle Bob, his Mom’s brother, lived close by and he had been a constant source of aide and a fatherly substitute. But, his Mom always felt guilty in some strange way because her sweet Max had felt the burden of responsibility at such a young age.

It hadn’t been easy raising five young boys on her small salary as assistant manager at a large dept. store. The hours were long and her youngest son was just a year old when she’d been widowed. Her sister-in-law, Ruth, was an angel and since she’d never had kids, she was only too willing to help her husband’s sister, Eleanor, in her trying times. She babysat for a minimum sum while Eleanor, or Nell, as her family affectionately called her, toiled to put food on the table and clothes on their backs.

Max helped with household chores and tried to keep his younger brothers in line. Summer vacations were spent in the North woods at Uncle Bob’s cabin, swimming and fishing, and as they got older, he taught them how to handle a rifle responsibly and they hunted deer and smaller game. His Mom dated occasionally but, truth be told, she was too busy working to bother with her own relationships. Max was saddened because he felt his father’s presence gradually slipping from his memory. Nell would sit with her young boys at night as they watched home movies of their Dad and she always stressed how much he loved them and how proud he would be of them. Max was the spitting image of his father and sometimes Nell would catch herself staring at him and almost feel as if he’d never left them.

The day she got the call that he’d suffered a massive heart attack and had died immediately was the hardest day of her life. He had been so young and full of life and the tragedy had been so unexpected. He’d left a substantial Insurance policy but Nell vowed to keep the money in trust for her sons’ educations. Two of the boys had graduated from College, Max with a Degree in Architecture and the next youngest, Dave had just passed the Bar and was joining a Law firm in St. Paul. The next was Pete and he was on his way to a degree in Forestry, like his Dad. Tom was studying Biology and wanted to be a Veterinarian while Adam had just graduated High School and was leaning towards Architecture like his oldest brother, whom he adored.

Max missed his family but he felt a strong need to move on, now that his youngest brother had graduated High School. He had dated Annie for almost three years but they had gradually drifted apart. He realized now, that they had really just been good friends who happened to stumble into a sexual relationship. It was good and comfortable but hardly what you’d call explosive. Max had no idea what explosive felt like until he woke and saw Liz leaning over him. A jolt of electricity charged through his body and his nerves tingled with excitement. That’s why he didn’t want to let go of her. She was like an awakening and he was afraid that if they broke contact, he would lose this delicious feeling.

She smiled down on him now as she held his hand comfortingly, walking quickly by the gurney as he was led into the Emergency entrance. She had felt the shock of attraction, too. She had dated several men over the years but she had never had this kind of reaction before. She wondered if this was what love at first sight felt like. It was as if she’d known Max all her life. Holding his hand right now seemed perfectly natural to her. She loved how hers seemed to fit so naturally into his. And she couldn’t stop smiling, in spite of the circumstances! Max must think she was some kind of idiot, grinning like an obsessed school girl! But, when she looked down at him, he was beaming, too.

She wanted to kiss him so desperately and without hesitation, she leaned closer to peck his cheek in a friendly fashion.......just to calm him down. Yeah, right! Max took advantage of the situation and turned his face quickly to capture her lips. Liz squeaked in reaction but then, she allowed him to kiss her, sweetly and tenderly. She kissed him back with as much passion until they heard someone clearing his throat. They broke away in confusion and blushed crimson at being caught. Liz giggled hysterically at her own boldness while Max cleared his throat and tried to pay attention to the Dr.’s words.

“Max Evans, right?” the Dr. asked.

“Uh....yeah,” Max verified.

“Well, we’ll need to clean up the wound and take some X-rays.”

Max nodded and grasped Liz’s hand.

“Is this your wife?” the Dr. asked, turning to Liz.

I wish, Max thought.

“Uh, no,” Liz shook her head.

“Well, then, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait in the lounge,” the Dr. informed her, indicating a waiting lounge to the left.

“Uh, yeah, sure,” she said, letting go of Max’s hand reluctantly, but not before she gave it a reassuring squeeze.

Max kissed her hand before letting it go and he watched her longingly as he was led away.

The gurney was moved into an examination area where Max was dressed in a more appropriate hospital gown, replacing the towel that Michael had hastily provided. He was poked and prodded, had blood taken and had his wound cleaned and taped. He was given a tetanus shot as a precaution and then he was led down the hall to X-ray, where he waited in line for his turn. Meanwhile, Michael and Maria had joined Liz in the waiting area, keeping each other company. While Maria chatted cheerily to Michael, Liz sat quietly and reflected on her feelings. She felt like she’d been struck by Cupid’s arrow and she was completely thrown by her reactions. All she kept thinking of was that tender and...loving...kiss that she had shared with Max just awhile ago. Her intentions had been honorable and she really had just meant to kiss his cheek but it was obvious, now, that Max also felt this strong magnetic attraction to her, too.

She tried to process how the kiss felt. She was right about that sensual mouth. Omigod! What a perfectly delectable mouth it was! His lips were so soft and full and...sexy! Now she knew what had been missing in her other relationships. It wasn’t a demanding kiss that they’d shared. It was a giving kiss. It was a kiss full of promises and sharing. A kiss that held a future. Her eyes watered as she realized how much she wanted to learn about Max. How much she wanted to share with him. She had just met him but she had been completely and utterly bowled over by his presence. Tears slipped down her cheeks unnoticed until she felt Maria hug her tightly.

“Liz. What’s wrong?” she asked worriedly. “Did the Dr. tell you something that’s got you worried?”

Michael leaned closer to hear what was upsetting Liz. If his friend was in trouble, he wanted to know about it.

“Huh?” Liz uttered in confusion as she came out of her reverie. “Omigod.......oh no,” she laughed nervously, as she swiped at her wet cheeks. “Um......I......uh.was...uh...just daydreaming,” she tried to explain, reddening in embarrassment.

“What? Listen, sugar, since when did you start crying when you were......daydreaming?” Maria smirked. “Hey, what happened before we got here, anyway? You and Max seemed pretty cozy at the apartment building. What have you been up to, Liz?” she whispered in her ear.

Liz reddened even more, if that were possible.

“Nothing, Maria. My goodness, what could we have been up to?” she shrugged. “I mean, Max hit his head and might have a concussion. I’m just a little worried, that’s all,” she concluded, sounding evasive.

“Yeah, right,” Maria continued to smirk. “We’ll talk later,” she promised.

Michael looked at Maria for some answers but she just shrugged and reiterated Liz’s words to her. Michael nodded in understanding and settled back in his chair. His hand brushed up against Maria’s and he entwined his fingers with hers as they waited. Maria looked up at him and smiled and he winked back at her, which only made her heart melt even more! She lay her head on his shoulder and sighed in contentment. Liz glanced over at them and nudged Maria conspiratorially who slid her an amused look and grinned broadly. Liz raised her eyebrows and couldn’t help but smile in return. Love was definitely in the air!

*****************

Max pondered his own feelings as he lay on the gurney in the hallway. He’d almost forgotten the pounding in his head as he thought about the kiss. Whoa! What a kiss! He couldn’t believe that he’d been so bold but he didn’t regret one moment of it. She tasted great and he definitely wanted more! But it was more than that. It wasn’t just about sex and stuff. He wanted her.....Liz. He longed to find out what her favorite things were. Did she like going to movies? Did she prefer adventures or those yucky romantic comedies...which he secretly liked but would never admit to it. Did she love chocolate as much as he did. And how about camping? And fishing? And hiking? Maybe she was one of those people who preferred the comforts of home to new adventures. He hoped not because he wanted to spend as much time with Liz as possible. He recalled when the Dr. asked if she were his wife and now he remembered with a jolt how he had responded to that, too. How could he want to marry someone after just meeting her? This was crazy! But all he could think about was Liz and how she returned his goofy...loving..... looks. There it was again! Loving! He’d never been in love before but he felt as though he were glowing inside and out. God! Would they hurry up with these stupid X-rays so he could get back to his angel!

******************

“There he is!” Liz called out excitedly as she jumped up from her seat and ran towards Max. The others followed just as eagerly, hoping that everything was okay and that Max was able to go home.

Max grinned openly as he caught sight of Liz running towards him. Definitely an outdoor girl, he thought happily as he watched her trim figure move towards him.

“So, how is everything?” she asked worriedly as she clasped his hand. “Where’s that damn Dr.?” she demanded impatiently as she turned her head to find some help.

“Hey,” Max chuckled. “Stop worrying. The Doc said that everything was okay and I could go home. I just have to take it easy for a couple of days,” he smiled as she zeroed in on his mouth and kissed him sweetly.

“Good. And I’ll make sure you do take it easy,” she promised as she nuzzled his nose.

“Mm. Not too easy, I hope,” Max hinted as he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

“We’ll see about that,” Liz chuckled in return as she blushed slightly.

Michael and Maria exchanged knowing looks and smirked at their own good luck. If those two were preoccupied then that would give then some time to explore their own blossoming relationship. Way to go, Max! Michael beamed as he wrapped an arm around Maria who leaned in closer to her newest conquest.

An attendant came over and gave Max a sheet of paper with instructions on what to do and to return to the hospital immediately if he experienced any dizziness or blackouts. Max nodded and was about to jump off the gurney to join Liz and the others when he realized that he didn’t have any clothes to wear.

“Uh, Michael?” he said, pointing to his lack of clothing.

Michael, who had barely had time to dress himself, let alone grab some clothes for Max, smacked his head in exasperation. Liz watched the exchange and came up with an idea. She asked Max what his sizes were and took off out through the Emergency doors. There was a thrift shop on the next block and Liz went inside, made a quick sweep of the store and returned in fifteen minutes with jeans and a t-shirt for Max. On the way back, she bought a pair of sandals from a street vendor. She grinned widely as she brought her thrifty purchases back into the hospital. Max eyed her skeptically as she handed him the bag of clothing.

“It’s not Armani but it’ll get you home,” she winked. “Go get dressed. Scoot!” she laughed as she swiped his ass.

He changed in a washroom and came out parading his new duds. “Well?” he laughed.

Liz rolled her eyes and laughed too. “Definitely not high fashion. Let’s get you home and changed,” she grinned as she poked him in the ribs.

The two couples walked out of the hospital, arm in arm, as if they’d known each other forever. Of course, Max had no wheels so he and Liz were forced to flag down a taxi while Michael and Maria headed back to the apartment on the bike. Michael handed him some cash for the cab before he left. Max opened the back door while Liz slid inside. He gave the driver directions and settled back in the seat with his angel. He couldn’t take his eyes of her as he ran them over her hair and face and quickly let them glance over her fit body. Liz was doing the same and she blushed as she realized that Max was staring at her so intently.

“Where are you from?” he spat out comically.

“Uh....New Mexico. You?”

“Minnesota. Favorite movie?”

“Indiana Jones. You?”

“Same. Favorite color?

“Blue,” she giggled. “You?”

Same,” he laughed. “Chocolate?”

“Ummm, better than sex,” she laughed.

“Heh. We’ll see about that,” Max hinted bawdily as he leaned down to capture her lips. She moaned as he kissed her deeply and she opened her lips to let him explore her some more. Oh God, this is heaven she sighed as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him close. Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger played in the background and Liz had to agree with that analogy. Max’s hands roamed her body and she didn’t even care that they had just met! She couldn’t get enough of this beautiful stranger and she wanted more, more, more. They were almost doing it in the back of a cab and had barely known each other for four hours! Life was sweet!

The cab pulled up to the curb in front of Max’s building and they hopped out eagerly as Max paid the cabby. He grabbed Liz’s hand and rushed up the stairs to the lobby and pushed the button for the elevator, kissing Liz while he waited for the stupid elevator to descend. When the doors opened they heard a startled guffaw coming from within. Maria and Michael stood there laughing as they watched the young lovebirds making a spectacle of themselves in the lobby. Max and Liz reddened in embarrassment.

“Good call, Maria,” Michael laughed. “We were just leaving, in case you were wondering,” he chuckled. “We thought you two might want to get to know each other a little,” he grinned, raising his brows. “Looks like you’ve already gotten a head start on that, though!”

“Oh..uh..yeah,” Max laughed nervously as he held Liz tightly.

Liz giggled into his chest and Maria patted her on the back.

“You go girl,” she whispered in between laughing. She was so happy that Liz was finally cutting loose.

“Oh, and Max, I called your boss. He said not to worry and he’d see you in a couple of days,” Michael informed him cheerily. He wished he’d had a camera handy to record the expression on Max’s face. His friend couldn’t have been happier if he’d just won the lottery!

“Thanks Michael,” he managed to call out before the elevator doors swooshed shut. He turned to Liz and smiled sweetly. “Am I moving too fast?” he whispered as he closed the distance between them.

“Uh, uh,” she replied honestly as she kissed him deeply. “I feel like I’ve known you my whole life and I can’t get enough of you,” she said as she pulled back to look up into his face.

“Me, too, Liz,” he replied as he kissed along her jaw and returned to her mouth. “But I don’t want you to think that that’s all I want from you. I really want to get to know you and maybe we should slow down a little,” he breathed heavily as he sucked on her neck.

“Time enough for that later,” she moaned as he felt her breast. “Oh Max,” she sighed as he lifted her in the air. She wrapped her legs around his waist and clung to him as he moved down the hall towards his apartment door. Michael had flung the keys to him before the elevator doors closed and he fumbled with them now as Liz held on for dear life, kissing his neck and jaw while she waited impatiently. They heard someone pass by and realized how sex crazed they must look.

“Way to go Max!” a friendly voice called out to the normally reserved young man. It was their neighbor Dan who lived three doors down. Max looked up and smiled sheepishly at the struggling actor with the killer good looks. Liz didn’t bother to turn around because she couldn’t believe she’d been caught in such a compromising position!

Oh God! His neighbors are gonna think I’m some kind of sex maniac! she groaned inwardly.

Max finally got the key to turn in the lock and swept them inside, shutting the door dramatically as he leaned into it, sandwiching Liz between him and the door.

“Now, let’s find out what’s better,” he breathed heavily as he re-captured her lips. “Chocolate...or sex,” he groaned as his tongue plunged back into her mouth.

TBC


posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:25:57 AM
Part 4


Heavy breathing. Moaning. Sounds of bodies swishing and writhing together.

“Max. Oh Max.”

“Mmmm. Yeah.”

Tongues dragging along heated skin. Wet tongues leaving a trail of saliva over pulse points and quivering flesh. Lips pulling and sucking, pecking and nipping.

Max couldn’t believe he was behaving this way. He’d always been so shy and reserved around women and here he was about to bed a gorgeous, sweet, funny, sexy petite brunette whom he’d just met! But he wanted her so badly! Oh God, did he want her! She was driving him mad with desire and even though he knew he should stop, he couldn’t. He wanted this too much. He was afraid that if he stopped, she would vanish into thin air because this couldn’t really be happening. Not to him. Max Evans. Omigod! He didn’t even know her last name!

“Liz?” he murmured into her neck.

“Mmmmm?” she murmured back as she kissed his jaw.

“What’s your last name?” he breathed raggedly as he massaged the warm skin of her abdomen under her top. He smiled to himself as he realized she was wearing no bra and his hands roamed up to knead the small but firm mounds of her breasts. His thumbs brushed her nipples and she arched her back and cried out passionately. He pulled back and smiled down at her, bringing his mouth to her soft lips and kissing them lovingly. “After all, if I’m going to make love to you, I should at least know your full name, dontcha think?” he grinned sheepishly.

She couldn’t help but grin back as her eyes roamed from his lips to his amber eyes, peering at her so warmly and lovingly.

“Make love?” she whispered in wonder as she realized the full impact of what they were about to do.

“Yeah,” he whispered back as he watched her closely. Damn! Did I just blow it? Maybe she doesn’t feel the same way/ he thought desperately.

Liz’s mind whirled with all the implications of that statement.Oh God! He did say make love, didn’t he? This isn’t just about sex! He really wants me....me , Liz Parker! Her eyes welled up and he pulled back further, mistaking her tears for rejection.

“Oh God! I’m so sorry,” he muttered as he let go of her body, feeling stupid and unwanted. Liz grabbed him and managed to get the word out.

“P-Parker,” she stuttered, trying to control the trembling in her voice. “My last name’s Parker,” she smiled shyly up at him. “And your’s would be.....?” she waited anxiously, hoping her own hesitation hadn’t broken the mood.

“Evans,” he swallowed with difficulty, captivated by those big brown doe eyes.

“Nice to meet you Max Evans,” she joked lightly as her lips curled in a seductive smile.

“The pleasure’s all mine, Liz Parker,” he replied as he leaned closer for another rapturous kiss. Liz Parker from New Mexico. There was so much more about her that he wanted to know but his main focus now was pleasuring her body the best way he knew how. His hands returned to her small, perfect breasts as he coaxed her back into her earlier aroused mood by massaging them gently while teasing the nipples to erection. She slumped forward, pressing her body into his because she needed to feel him close. She liked what he was doing to her...his firm but gentle touch as he heated up her core. She wrapped her hands around his back and massaged the bulging muscles. Her hands moved to his neck and he pulled her closer as he swayed their bodies gently back and forth, her heat bathing his arousal with promises to come. She felt his answering need and pressed herself more firmly into his straining manhood. Max was overcome with passion and he scooped her up in his arms and carried her towards his bedroom.

Liz wrapped her arms more tightly around his neck as she nestled into his chest, feeling the muscles flex and ripple as he lifted her so effortlessly. She felt him kick open his bedroom door and he hesitated once more, looking down at her expectantly. He might want her desperately but in no way would he act like a Neanderthal and take her unwillingly.

“Liz, are you sure you want to do this? I mean, we just met and maybe I’m moving too fast and....”

He was cut off as she lifted her head and kissed him deeply, letting him know in no uncertain terms that she wanted this as much as he did.

“I’m sure, Max,” she breathed raggedly as she pulled away, looking deeply into his eyes. “We can talk later. I want you now,” she spoke huskily.

Max lowered her slowly to the unmade bed, the one he had vacated a few short hours ago. The one where he’d cursed when awakened by this heavenly creature in the early morning. The one where he would now take her for the first time..., the first of many, many times, if he had his way. He lay down next to her, side by side, and kissed her tenderly, over and over again. Liz was mesmerized by those soft kisses and returned them eagerly. Their earlier passion reignited as their kisses deepened. Max’s hands ran up and down her back while hers kneaded the warm flesh at his nape, entwining her fingers in the thick curls of his dark hair. He moaned in delight at her tantalizing touch and pulled her closer so that she could feel what she was doing to his body.

He was rock hard and Liz responded by rubbing her own heat against his turgid shaft. She was wild with desire and she wanted to feel his naked flesh clinging to hers. She moved her fingers to the bottom of his T-shirt and lifted the hem, rolling the light cotton up over his tight abs. She stopped kissing his mouth and moved down to kiss the tight muscles that she was exposing. Max groaned as his head fell back and he allowed her access to his nakedness. As she moved the material slowly up with one hand, the other moved down to tease his erection. He jumped and arched into her hand. She continued her assault on his abdomen as her lips sucked and licked at his soft skin. Her groans joined with his as she made her way up his torso, revealing more and more of that sculpted body that she was so eager to ogle again. Max writhed beneath her as he let the passion wash over him. His hand reached for her silky tresses and he massaged her scalp because he was desperate to feel some part of her.

By now, she had reached his chest, all the while nibbling and sucking and licking his golden skin. His chest was heaving as he tried to catch his breath and then he arched his back and groaned loudly as her mouth attached to his nipple and sucked it in, her tongue running around the tip languidly. He squeezed his eyes shut as waves of desire coursed through him and he scooped her back up into his arms as he kissed her with abandon.

“Oh Liz. Liz. Oh God!” he moaned and groaned her name as he kissed her senseless. His own hands roamed to the edge of her top and with one swift movement, he lifted it over her head and bent down to capture her already erect nipples, one by one. He suckled them lovingly and Liz thrashed helplessly under his ministrations, her hands encouraging him as her fingers wove through his hair and grabbed his scalp.

“Max,” she whimpered as her head swished on the pillow. He kept it up, refusing to be denied the pleasure of her body. For all intents and purposes, Max was a breast man and he loved nothing more than to drive a woman wild with desire by suckling and teasing her nipples. Well, there was one thing he loved more but he would get to that later. Right now, he was determined to pleasure Liz as much as she desired and he had discovered in his limited forays with the female species that they loved this part of the ritual. So he continued his assault on her rosy peaks, enjoying the sensations as much as Liz herself. His hand moved slowly across her abdomen and he edged his fingers along the waistband of her jeans, deftly unbuttoning and unzipping the heavy material as his fingers glided lower and lower. He could feel the heat escaping from her body as he exposed her abdomen and he caught a faint whiff of her arousal.

That’s all it took for him to extricate himself from her breasts. He had to taste her! Liz moaned in protest as she sensed his withdrawal until she realized what his next target was and she purred with delight as he hauled her jeans over her naked hips. He looked up and smirked.

“No undies, either?” he chuckled.

“I was in a hurry,” she rasped as she pushed his head back down. There was only one place she wanted that sexy mouth right now and she was impatient for him to show her what else he could do with that probing tongue of his. He’d already brought her to the brink as he attacked her breasts. She was eager to discover how talented his tongue really was! And she didn’t have long to wait as he plunged the tip of it into her hot, moist flesh. Again, their groans intermingled as Liz rose high off the bed and almost screamed in delight as Max expertly teased and manipulated her swollen sex. He may have had limited exposure to the female form but he had been an avid student and he definitely knew what drove the ladies mad with desire!

“Oh, Max, Max, Max, Max, Max!” Liz canted over and over as he teased her to the limit and then pulled back. He drew his flattened tongue across the expanse of her wet, puffy labia in a steady back and forth motion and then plunged the tip as deeply as he could within her passage. Over and over he repeated this motion and then he’d flick her clit tormentingly and start his journey again. She growled in exasperation as he toyed with her and she decided she’d had enough. She grabbed his head and rammed her mons into his mouth and rocked hard back and forth until she screamed with delight as Max sucked on her clit. Her body jerked as her orgasm washed over her and she bucked crazily until she collapsed on the bed, sated and happy. Max licked at the juices that ran from her body and she moaned quietly as he finished his lapping.

“Wow,” she murmured as she lay back in a daze. She heard Max chuckling, the deep sounds resonating off her thighs as he finished his laving. That’s all Liz needed to hear as she hauled him up with surprising strength for someone her size. Max laughed in surprise and wondered what she was up to until she flipped him over and lay on top of him. “Now it’s my turn.” she smirked as she took control. He was still fully clothed so she tore off his t-shirt and tossed it on the floor. She nuzzled his chest with her nose while nipping at his exposed flesh with her lips and teeth. Max grinned in appreciation as she peppered his chest with nips and kisses. “Oh you beautiful, beautiful man,” she murmured as she explored his body. Max stilled as she reached the waistband of his jeans, suddenly aware of her intent. She dipped her tongue in his navel and swirled it around and around, teasing him mercilessly. His erection jerked in response and she felt him moan helplessly.

“Liz,” he breathed raggedly.

“Uh, huh?” she grinned secretively.

“Please.....” he begged.

“Please what, Max?” she tantalized

“Touch me,” he pleaded.

“Where? Here?” she pointed as she brought her hand to his thigh.

Max jerked as he mistook her intentions. He rose up and glared at her as he mimed frustration.

No. Here!” he growled as he took her hand and placed it on his straining shaft.

“Oh,” she chuckled. “Like this?” she asked, feigning ignorance as she tapped his rod.

“Damn it Liz!” he grabbed her hand again and massaged it over his aching member. “Like this,” he laughed in frustration.

“Hmmmm. Well, I should at least get a glimpse of what I’m rubbing, if it’s that important,” she tormented him. “Here, let’s pull this zipper down and see what’s behind door number one,” she giggled delightedly.

“I’ll remember this, Liz Parker,” he threatened.

“Well I should hope so,” she laughed as she dragged the zipper down slowly. “Oh God,” she breathed deeply as she exposed his manhood as it popped out of his pants, throbbing along its impressive length, thick and glistening with precum. She groaned as she took the head into her mouth and Max sighed in satisfaction as she sucked and pulled on the rigid shaft. Liz fumbled with his jeans as she continued to work his shaft. Max rose up and she managed to pull them down his thighs so she could cup his sac.

“OH God! Yes!” he hissed as she played with his balls and sucked his cock. Finally he sighed deeply as he rocked slightly in her mouth. He was ready to come when she pulled the zipper down but he used as much restraint as possible as she made love to him with her mouth. He could tell that she was impressed with his size. He figured he was about average but Liz’s reaction caused him to think otherwise. He didn’t care as long as he could please her. He could also sense that she was loving this as much as he was.......probably as much as he enjoyed making her come.

He couldn’t think straight anymore as she worked his shaft deeper into her mouth. He pumped harder at each stroke and he knew he didn’t have much time left. His body shook with the constraint he was forcing on it. He felt his balls contract and made a move to extricate himself from her mouth but she held on, refusing to let him do so. She reached behind his sac and massaged the sensitive flesh there and he yelped in delight, spewing forcefully into her mouth as he came in wild, jerking ejaculations.

Liz,” he yelled as he continued to pump a stream of cum into her mouth. “Ah.....ah...ah,” he cried out as he lost control. Eventually, he slowed down and collapsed back on the bed, his erection softening as his release subsided. He pulled her up gently and lay her on top of him, nuzzling her hair and kissing her head.

“Thank you,” he whispered, his breathing coming in jagged heaves as he gulped in air.

“Your welcome,” she replied dreamily as she kissed his chest.”And thank you,” she added, chuckling in delight.

“My pleasure,” he responded as he stroked her back. He yawned as the painkillers he had taken at the hospital began to take effect.

“Sleepy?” Liz murmured.

“Mmmm. A little,” he confessed as he began to doze off.

Liz sat up and smiled down at him. He looked so boyish and innocent, his hair tousled from their sexual romping. She kissed him gently on the mouth and pulled the comforter over their cooling bodies as she cuddled up next to him and dropped off to sleep, a contented smile on her lips. Max wore the same smile as he drew his arms around her in a loving gesture.

TBC
posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:31:42 AM
Part 5


Meanwhile, Maria and Michael had left the apartment building and as they passed by the alley, Maria glanced in forlornly at her mattress that lay in a dirty heap, pushed up by the side of the building. Michael reacted quickly as he realized what had caught her attention.

“Oh wow! I forgot about your mattress,” he admitted contritely.

They walked down the alley to inspect the soiled bed and Maria turned up her nose in disgust.

“Well, I won’t be sleeping on that anymore,” she replied wryly.

“Look, I feel totally responsible for this,” Michael spoke up. “Please let me replace it for you. After all, if it weren’t for me and my heroics,” he smirked sheepishly, “ you’d have a bed to sleep in tonight.”

Maybe I’ll have one anyway Maria thought impishly as she eyed the tall hunk covertly, hiding the sly smile that crept across her features.

“Oh no, that’s not necessary. Really,” she insisted. “I mean, I didn’t have to drag it down four flights of stairs in an attempt to save your crazy ass,” she grinned teasingly.

“Well, now I feel like a total jerk,” Michael retorted. “I insist that we buy you another mattress today. C’mon, Maria. Let me make it up to you. Please,” he begged, turning puppy dog eyes on her.

How does he manage to do that? she shivered in arousal.

“Sure. Why not?” she shrugged in acquiescence.

“But first, I need to take a shower and since Max and Liz are using our apartment.........” he turned to her helplessly.

“Oh...uh, sure,” she answered, uncharacteristically flustered at the thought of this gorgeous guy showering ...naked.....in her apartment. “Yeah, come on up. I’ll whip up something to eat for us while you..uh..shower,” she croaked as she led him into her building. She tapped her foot nervously while they waited for the elevator, her ability to converse suddenly curtailed by her anxiousness.

Michael stood close by her, watching the numbers descend on the rickety contraption while he eyed her slyly. He had to restrain his laughter at her predicament. He never would have taken the perky blond for the nervous type and he was looking forward to playing this to the hilt. Not that he wasn’t attracted to her himself. He was looking forward to developing whatever it was they had, hoping that it would lead somewhere romantic. Unlike his buddy Max, Michael had always been a lady killer but, for the life of him, he’d never felt the force of attraction as deeply as he had with Maria. It had affected him more than usual and he wondered where all this would lead. From his brief encounter with the outspoken pixie, he knew that wherever she led him, it would be one hell of a ride! He twiddled his thumbs as his hands covered his stirring manhood. Yep, one hell of a ride! he whistled impatiently as the elevator doors finally creaked open. Maria looked at him, blushing slightly. He couldn’t decide if it was from arousal or embarrassment, but being the kind of guy who was raised to ease people’s discomfort, he just smiled at her reassuringly as he waited for her to enter the cubicle.

She swept passed him and pushed the button for the fourth floor, her finger shaking slightly as she extended it. She quickly joined her hands, weaving her fingers closely together and laughed nervously as they took the slow ride to God knew what! Michael towered over her as he stood quietly by her side, his arm brushing intimately against her own. He deliberately applied pressure and his finger snaked out to touch her hand. Maria yelped in surprise and bit her lip in embarrassment. She gazed up at Michael and chuckled sheepishly. He gazed back down at her and raised an eyebrow as he shrugged offhandedly. Maria cleared her throat as a sexual flush rose in her cheeks. She felt a searing heat flood her core and her heart beat erratically as she contemplated her options. Her eyes happened to glance downwards and a whimper escaped her lips as she reacted to Michael’s tented jeans, her panties suddenly dampening in response. She swallowed with difficulty as her breathing became labored and beads of sweat lined her upper lip. God! It’s so hot in here!she thought abstractedly as she swiped her lip with a shaking hand. Michael stirred by her side and questioned her politely.

“Are you alright?” he murmured quietly, leaning down slightly as he turned towards her. He was overcome by their mutual attraction, too, as his own heart thumped wildly in his chest. He watched as Maria’s rose and fell heavily and he swore that he could actually see her heart beating just as frantically as his own! “Maria?” he whispered anxiously as he waited for her reply.

Maria turned to look at him, nodding dumbly as she licked her full lips in anticipation. Michael moaned and leaned closer to her, dying to taste those luscious lips. Maria lifted her mouth in expectation. Her heartbeat was pounding in her ears and she swayed slightly as she lost her balance momentarily. Michael grabbed her and pulled her close to his body. She felt faint as his mouth slowly descended on hers and a small, helpless sound escaped her throat as he finally made contact. He kissed her softly at first, savoring the taste of her as his head swam with her essence. He felt her accompanying response which only urged him to deepen the kiss. Her arms came up to encircle his neck and he pulled her in tighter to his body, wanting to feel all of her as he ravished her mouth. Their bodies swayed lazily as the kiss became more passionate. Their lips parted and their tongues tangoed as they continued their love dance.

The heat that rose from their bodies was searing and explosive, their heavy breathing echoing loudly in the cramped space. Maria swished her hips, rubbing Michael’s arousal temptingly and he responded by shoving his hips forward against her molten core.

“Oh Michael,” Maria sighed as she clung to him for dear life.

Suddenly, the elevator doors glided open and they heard an indignant voice, clearing itself in disapproval. They tore apart and looked appropriately embarrassed as the older lady entered the compartment, waving her hand in front of her face at the excessive heat. She glared at them openly and they peered back defensively as they hurried from the overheated space. Maria took Michael’s hand and raced down the hall, towards her apartment. They were both laughing foolishly by this time and she fumbled with the key as she hurried to unlock the door to escape within, away from prying eyes.

She was laughing helplessly by this time as she collapsed on the couch, tears streaming down her cheeks. Michael joined her, laughing just as hard and they fell against each other, their bodies shaking in mirth. Gradually, they began to settle down, acutely aware of one another’s proximity and the old feelings of arousal resurfaced with a bang. Michael swept Maria into his arms and plundered her mouth as he lay down on the couch and pulled her atop of him. His hands roamed her back and bottom while she cupped his cheek with one hand, letting it slip behind his neck as she massaged the heated flesh there. He squeezed her bottom and she ground her pelvis into his arousal as their tongues made love to one another.

Michael slipped a hand beneath her top and ran it up her naked back, gently kneading her soft skin. He fumbled with the clasp to her bra and finally managed to undo the stubborn fastening. He sighed in satisfaction as the material parted and he moved his hand between them to cup her breast as he shoved the offending material out of the way. He rubbed her nipple tenderly with his thumb and Maria moaned deeply as more hot juices escaped her passage and pooled in her already damp underwear. She rolled to the side to allow Michael more access to her breasts. He took advantage of the move by hauling her top over her head and removing the bra straps from her shoulders. She shrugged out of the halter and proceeded to remove his t-shirt, gasping for breath as she did so.

Michael bent down to envelop a large, pale areola . It was so pale that he could barely discern it from the surrounding creamy flesh as he sucked it into his mouth. The nipple immediately hardened in response and stood out large and erect. He tongued the sensitive tip and Maria’s head lolled back in ecstacy as he rolled his tongue lazily over the aroused flesh.

“Michael,” she moaned in delight as he suckled gently on her supersensitive nipples. He smiled happily as he continued to give her pleasure, switching back and forth between both breasts to give them equal attention. Some women responded more keenly than others to this kind of attention and Maria was definitely one of these women. She often complained to Liz, over a shared bowl of ice cream. that most men didn’t have a clue what turned a woman on.

“You know, sugar, I swear that every man I’ve dated was bottle fed,” she’d wise crack. “They wouldn’t know how to suck on a good tit if you showed ‘em. And believe me, I’ve tried ,”she’d giggle helplessly.

Maria was in heaven! Not only did Michael know what to do but he kept it up, driving her crazy with passion as she ground her pelvis into him more urgently.My God, if he keeps this up I’m going to come! she thought giddily. It was as if Michael read her thoughts as he heightened his assault on her breasts and, to Maria’s delight, she did explode, screaming out wantonly as the waves of passionate release washed over her, sending her body bucking involuntarily in response. Michael moved his hand down to massage her mound through her jeans as she continued to jerk from released sexual tension.

“Oh God, Michael,” she moaned in delight. “That’s never happened to me before,’ she sighed as she kissed him in gratitude.

“Me neither,” he murmured honestly. He was overcome with the need to feel himself sliding inside her and he made a move to undo his jeans.

“Wait,” Maria implored as she replaced his hands with hers. “I want to do this,” she pleaded as she slowly undid his button and then slid the zipper down deliberately. “Now, let’s see what you’ve been hiding from Maria,” she cooed as she waited breathlessly to expose his manhood. “Oh Michael,” she sighed in delight as she took his large, throbbing member in her hand, enclosing the stiff flesh lovingly. “You’re so big....and ready,” she moaned as she bent down to kiss the head of his very large and very straining penis. It jerked savagely and she engulfed it in her mouth, needing to devour the man who had just given her the singular most thrilling moment of her sexual experience to date.

The sounds of their combined moaning filled the living room. Michael settled back on his back while Maria did her best to bring him as much pleasure as he had brought her. She slid his jeans down over his hips and off his legs, tossing them on the floor impatiently. She scooted out of the rest of her encumbrances and returned to her joyous task. Maria loved giving head and Liz would often tease her about this.

Sugar, if God made it then he meant for us to enjoy it and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do,” and then she’d proceed to give Liz a blow by blow description of her latest conquest. “You see, this way I get to get a good close up look at what I’m givin’ the key to Shangrila to,” she’d wink. “If it ain’t up to par then it ain’t gettin’ in. Why do you think I have so many different kinds of vibrators?” she’d joke as Liz would go off into gales of laughter. When Maria would come home from one of her numerous dates, Liz would look up expectantly at Maria, waiting for the thumbs up or thumbs down on the night’s performance. More often than not, Maria would escape to her bedroom, returning with an assortment of sexual tools.

“Eenie, meenie, minie, mo?” she’d smirk.

Sometimes Liz would do a trade.

“Here, I’ll take your mo for my meenie,” she’d laugh as she’d exchange her own assortment of appliances.

“Your on, sister,” Maria would comply and return to the privacy of her bedroom to try out the new gadget and give a review later. Liz would do the same and they’d invariably discuss the benefits of their mechanical dates over a glass or two of wine. On one occasion, they got so drunk that they decided to give each other a pleasure ride by using the appliances on one another.
After it was over, they laughed so hard that it was a long time before either one of them could even look at a sex toy again without bursting into laughter.


Right now, Maria was in heaven. Michael’s tool was the right size, the right shape and in the right place and she couldn’t have been more delighted. She spread her legs and straddled his thigh as she rubbed herself frantically on his muscular flesh while she sucked and drew on his cock, taking it deep in her mouth and dragging it out again. Michael was having a pretty good time too as he marveled at her technique.

F*ck, can this girl give good head or what? he groaned as his hips rocked back and forth. He felt the thrill of her pumping right to his core and he knew he couldn’t take much more before he spilled his seed. He wasn’t sure if she’d want to withdraw or not so he hesitated for a moment, making a move to pull her head away but she shook it in determination. For some reason, this touched him deeply as his hand wrestled in her soft blond hair. He let his fingers linger there as her head bobbed up and down in a steady rhythm and he watched in fascination as she moved her heat on his own flesh. He reached to squeeze her bottom and Maria bucked and came on him immediately which sent him jerking into spasms of release.

Michael had never felt this depth of pleasure before and he yelled her name in reverence as he spewed his hot semen into her mouth. Maria gulped it greedily. This was the first time that she’d ever done this and she knew without a doubt that she would, even before Michael came. She was drawn to him by some inexplicable thread and she wanted to make real love to him and to pleasure him wholeheartedly. She felt this pull from the moment she caught sight of his very sexy ass as he clung to the building across the alley. She wanted him.....the whole package.....heart, body and soul. She felt that he wanted her too and that’s why she could give in to her baser urges without even knowing him that well. It was as if she’d been waiting for someone like Michael her whole life and now that he’d arrived, she wasn’t letting go.

She withdrew his penis, pecking it lovingly as she slowly kissed her way up his muscular body until she reached his lips. He pulled her to him and kissed her sweetly and tenderly, their foreheads touching as they eyed one another expectantly. Maria felt torn between lust and some unfamiliar perception.......love maybe? Her eyes glistened as she waited for Michael to speak. He was just as confused and eyed her warily as he detected her tears.

“Michael.........?” she questioned in a tiny voice, her lip quivering as her voice quaked.

“Yeah,” he admitted hesitantly as he processed what had just happened. “I felt it too,” he spoke, referring to their undeniable connection.

Maria smiled shyly through her unshed tears.

“I’ve never felt this way before,” she confessed as she nuzzled his nose.

“Me neither,” he confirmed as he kissed her lovingly. He ran his large hands over her tiny body, reveling in the smoothness of her flesh and the warmth radiating off it. He stared up at the ceiling as her head rested on his chest, smiling contentedly as he kissed her head softly. “What a day,” he sighed, yawning tiredly as he rested on their big, soft couch. His eyes drifted shut and he couldn’t fight the need for sleep any longer.

Maria kissed his chest and reached up to pull the ever present quilt that draped the back of the couch, over their bodies. She relished in the feeling of the steady rise and fall of Michael’s chest as she listened to the comforting beat of his heart. It lulled her into a state of quiescence and soon she, too, was sleeping soundly.

TBC

posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:37:02 AM
Part 6


“Oh God.....my head,” Max groaned as his eyes fluttered open. He touched the back of his head, his fingers grazing the bandage that covered his wound and he winced as the pain shot through his crown. His left hand seemed to be pinned to the bed and he tried to move it but it was stuck. Or at least it seemed stuck. What the hell was holding his hand down? he thought irritably, in no mood for stupid games.

“Mmmmmm......Max?”

“Holy crap! What the hell.........” he shouted as he jumped up in the bed, banging his head against the headboard and groaning loudly.

“Max?” What’s wrong with you?” Liz asked innocently as she rubbed her eyes and peered at him sleepily.

Max stared back at Liz stupidly, momentarily taken aback at her presence in his bed. He shook his head, trying to unravel the cobwebs that seemed to have taken over his brain. He couldn’t remember how or why this gorgeous creature was in bed with him so he just stared at her, waiting for enlightenment.

Liz laughed uncomfortably as he continued to stare at her openly, his mouth slightly agape as his eyes shifted quickly over her obvious nakedness. She grabbed the corner of the sheet and pulled it up to her neck.

“Max. Why are you looking at me like that? Don’t you remember this afternoon?” Liz was feeling really uncomfortable and very unwanted as she moved away from Max in the bed. Max shook his head as he scrunched up his brow in concentration. Liz blushed a deep red and looked for her clothes in desperation while still struggling with the sheet to cover her body. Omigod! He doesn’t remember anything! she thought in horror as she scrambled for her clothes. He must think I’m some kind of pervert or something!

“Could you please stop staring at me like that....and turn around while I find my clothes!” she demanded angrily.

Max’s mouth opened and closed silently as he turned away from Liz, respecting her wishes. What the hell had they done? he thought desperately. His hand came up to brush his hair from his forehead and he caught the unmistakable odor of sex on his fingers. He groaned and gulped as he tried to remember but he was feeling so groggy that it was impossible for him to think objectively. His head was pounding from the pain of his injury and he could barely see clearly let alone summon up a rational thought. He could hear Liz thumping around on the floor as she pulled her jeans on. He felt the bed sag momentarily as she struggled with her sneakers and then he caught the blur of her body as she stormed out of the bedroom. He shot out of the bed and was about to chase her when he realized that he, too, was completely naked. He swayed as he rose quickly and grabbed at the headboard as he felt the room spin out of control. He gulped back the bile that rose in his throat and sank back down on the bed helplessly as a wave of nausea forced him to remain immobile. He heard the apartment door slam shut and the resulting sound of a crashing lamp as it fell from the force of the vibration. God, I hope that was that ugly lamp that Aunt Gladys gave me last Christmas he wished unkindly, a completely irrational thought considering the circumstances. He shook his head, almost in embarrassment as he realized that there were more important things to be thinking about at this time. Liz! She’s really pissed and I can’t even remember having sex with her! Crap!

Max made another attempt at rising and suddenly he ran for the bathroom, shoving up the toilet seat as he heaved and retched into the toilet bowl. He shook with the effort and sank back on his heels, cradling his head in his hands as he massaged his forehead. He wiped the sweat from his brow and breathed in shakily, trembling as his body cooled rapidly. He managed to stand up and peered in the mirror at his reflection. In spite of the stubble on his face, he still looked ghostly pale under the glare of the harsh bathroom light. He turned on the tap and splashed cold water on his face, gulping in the cool liquid and swishing it around in his mouth before spitting it out again. He grabbed his toothbrush and swiped toothpaste on it and brushed his teeth to remove the bitter taste from his mouth. He rinsed his mouth again and sighed heavily as he slunk from the bathroom, glancing at the busted lamp and making a weak V for victory sign before heading back to his bed.

If he felt better he would have run after Liz and tried to apologize for his lack of recollection but he felt way too lousy for that right now. He groaned as his head touched the pillow and he rolled to his side to relieve the pressure on his skull. It felt like a million jackhammers were pounding it right now and all he wanted to do was sleep. He rocked in desperation to lessen the ache until he fell back to sleep in exhaustion.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Michael stirred on the couch and opened one eye when he realized he wasn’t alone. He grinned as he recalled what he and Maria had been doing that afternoon. She slept peacefully and he took this time to admire her face in repose.....which seemed a rarity for this sassy blond. //Not bad// he thought in amusement.She’s pretty sexy really...and good lookin’ too he brushed the soft curls from her face and leaned down to kiss her forehead. She stirred sleepily and rolled over onto her back. Michael had to grab her to catch her from falling off the couch. She barely even flinched from the movement and Michael laughed softly. He moved away from the couch so she could rest on her back. The quilt fell away from her body, exposing a creamy piece of thigh and Michael licked his lips at the sight.

His hand reached out to touch the smooth flesh automatically, his fingers running lightly over her smooth skin. He scooted down on the couch and pulled the quilt over his head as he settled between her legs. He kissed her flat tummy and she moaned quietly in her sleep. He rubbed his nose along her abdomen and lapped at her soft flesh with the tip of his tongue. She stirred in response, sighing deeply. Michael continued down towards her mound, sweeping back and forth across her lower belly until he reached the triangle of hair covering it lightly. I wonder he chuckled as he lifted up the quilt to take a peek. Yep........a real blond he thought delightedly. Oh Godhe groaned as he eyed it lustfully before he covered his head again to take his first taste.

Maria bucked up as she felt his tongue part her labia and sweep along to lap at her flesh. She was still asleep but she wouldn’t be for long. She rocked her hips unconsciously as he continued to tease her swelling lips. Her eyes flicked open as she realized what was happening and she grabbed at Michael’s bobbing head to encourage his movements.

“Oh Michael,” she moaned as she matched his rhythm, slamming her pelvis into his face as she became more and more excited. “Oh God, don’t stop,” she pleaded as she felt herself losing control. Her hands flew to her breasts as she kneaded them, teasing her nipples to increase her pleasure. “Oh my God.” she groaned loudly as she moved faster and faster, rising off the couch as Michael sucked on her swollen flesh. He rolled his tongue over her clit and she shrieked in pleasure, bucking wildly as he sucked on it, as her body trembled from release.

The apartment door flew open at this point as an irate Liz stormed inside, banging the door shut behind her. She glanced at the couch, grimacing as she saw her friend exulting in the afterglow of an orgasm, still clutching her breasts as Michael slowly extricated himself from the depths of the quilt.

“MEN!” she screamed as she made a quick exit to her bedroom banging the door shut behind her.

“Liz?” Maria called out, puzzled.

Michael sat up, pulling the quilt around his nakedness as Maria threw on her top and pants. She ran down the hall and knocked on Liz’s door.

“Liz, sugar. What’s wrong?” she pleaded.”Liz, open the door, hon and tell me what happened?”

“Go away!” Liz shouted, sobbing back her tears.

“C’mon, Liz. Open the damn door and tell me what happened!” Maria demanded, shaking the door knob in frustration. “Did Max do something to you?” she asked angrily. “I’ll kill the son of a bitch if he hurt you!” she threatened.

By this time Michael had managed to get dressed and made it down the hall as he stood behind Maria, clearly puzzled by the circumstances.

“What are you talking about?” he asked Maria in an injured tone. “Max wouldn’t hurt a fly!”

“Yeah. Well Liz is upset by something and all I know is that Max was the last person she was with!” Maria turned on him. “And I swear, if he laid a finger on her I’ll get my brother to teach him a lesson,” she ranted.

“Hey, slow down! Don’t you think you’re jumping the gun here. I mean, we don’t even know why Liz is so pissed!” Michael cut in.

The door flew open and Liz glared angrily at the two conspirators.

“Your friend is a giant asshole.....like ALL men,” she shouted as she strode out of her room. “I need a drink!” she fumed as she swept down the hall towards the kitchen. She reached for the cupboard which held their small stash of booze and poured a generous portion of vodka into a glass. She splashed some orange juice over it and grimaced as she downed the strong liquor, shivering and crossing her eyes as it slid down her throat. She shook her head and reddened as her eyes watered.

Maria and Michael exchanged concerned looks as Liz reached for the bottle again.

“Uh Liz, maybe you should lighten up on that a little,” Maria cautioned her. “Why don’t you sit down and tell us what happened?”

“Huh!” she shot back as she took another healthy swig. She grabbed the bottle and the OJ and sat down on the couch, wrinkling her nose at the lingering odor of sex. “You guysh are all alike!” she glared at Michael who shrank back against Maria as Liz made a move to swipe at him. “I let my guard down once and look what happensh! Love ‘em an’ leave ‘em....thash all you jerksh are good for,” she slurred as the effects of her heavy drinking took swift effect. She rarely drank so it didn’t take much for the alcohol to have an effect on her. She downed her third drink, having slopped some OJ into the vodka bottle in lieu of using a tumbler. She waved the bottle in the air as she made her point.

“Maria,” she sniffed as she leaned towards her friend. “Remember what happened to me lasht time? Remember what I shaid?” she burped loudly. “NO MORE MEN, Maria! No more,” she hiccupped as she took another drink “You shee, all they want is one thing, and when they get that.....woooooosh! Gone! Kapoot!” she pointed into the distance. “I’ve learned my lesshon,” she tapped her forehead. “Yesh. Little Lizzhie Parker hash learned her lesshon, “ she nodded wisely. Suddenly she stood up and stumbled as she swayed in front of her two friends. “I’m gonna be a Nun!” she grinned goofily. “Thash it Maria! Get me to a nunnery!” she giggled hysterically as she collapsed on the floor.

“Omigod Michael! She’s drunk! Help me get her off the floor!” Maria begged as she knelt down to help Liz up.

Michael bent down and lifted her effortlessly, carrying her to her bedroom. The bottle swayed in her hand as she rocked in Michael’s arms. Maria made a grab for it before it fell from Liz’s grasp.

“What the hell went on with those two?” Maria worried as she pulled the comforter over Liz. “Michael, you’d better go back there and ask Max what happened! Liz hardly ever drinks so it must have been really bad!” she fumed.

“Hold on, now, Maria! Don’t jump to any conclusions. Let’s just wait until we find out what’s going on before we accuse anyone of anything, okay? Okay?”

“Yeah, okay,” she added reluctantly. “But he better not have tried anything...you know,” she rallied. Because if he did.......”

“Yeah, I know. You’ll get your brother,” Michael nodded. “Okay, I’m heading back to the apartment. I’ll call you when I find out something, alright?”

“Yeah. Thanks, Michael. I really appreciate it.”

“Yeah, well hold that thought,” he said as he leaned down to kiss her. “I may be back to collect on that,” he winked.

Maria raised a brow and smirked. “Go.......and hurry,” she grinned, shoving him towards the door.

“I’m already there,” he yelled from the door as he took off towards the elevator.

“Yeah, right,” Maria chuckled to herself. She leaned over Liz to check on her and all she could hear was soft snoring as Liz slept off her drinking. She shook her head and wondered what could have caused Liz to get so wasted. Maria had a hard time believing that Max would deliberately hurt her best friend, even though she had just met him. Well, Michael would let her know soon enough. She straightened out Liz’s comforter and carried her drink concoction out to the kitchen . Maria dumped the vile beverage down the sink and flushed the drain with water. She went to the couch to drape the quilt over the back again and fluffed the cushions. She smiled as she recalled how great Michael had been and was just stirring up some of the more outstanding moments when the phone rang.

“Maria! I have to take Max back to the hospital!” Michael shouted out breathlessly.

“What?!What happened Michael?”

“He’s real sick. He’s all flushed and he’s in a lot of pain. Look. Do you guys have a car? I don’t want to wait for an ambulance,” he told her desperately.

“Yeah. Sure we do. It’s parked in the back lot. I’ll come over with the key,” she offered without hesitation. “Michael, do you think he has a concussion?” she asked worriedly.

“I dunno,” Michael confessed. “I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Could you please hurry!”

“Yeah. Sure. I’ll see you in a bit,” she promised as she ran for the car keys and shot out the door, running towards the elevator. “Oh damn! Why is this thing so slow!” she fumed as she fled for the stairs. She rushed down as fast as she could and ran next door to Max and Michael’s building. She took the elevator up to the fourth floor and rushed out, running down the hall towards their apartment door. She pounded on it and bounded in when Michael answered it. He had dressed Max by this time and had sat him on the couch while he waited for Maria.

“Omigod Michael!” she exclaimed.”He looks awful!” she whispered loudly. “Maybe you should call an ambulance!”

“No! Come on! Let’s go!”

“But, what about Liz? Maybe I shouldn’t leave her alone. I mean, what if she needs me!”

“Well, just help me get Max into the car, okay?”

“Oh, yeah, sure!” she readily agreed.

They stood him up and walked him out the door. Maria flinched at the heat coming from his body, worried that they were risking too much by taking this on themselves but she helped Michael anyway since he was so determined to get his friend to the hospital. Max stumbled in spite of their efforts and they grunted under the strain of his almost dead weight. They left through the back entrance and Maria indicated with a nod of her head in which direction their car waited. They lay Max down across the back seat and Michael jumped in the drivers seat. Maria hesitated momentarily and then made a quick decision as she slid in to the passenger seat next to Michael.

“I thought you were gonna stay back with Liz,” he stated.

“Look, I helped you this far. Liz seems fine. She’s sleeping anyway so I’ll just get you to the hospital and then I’ll come right back, okay? Now, move it, Michael!”

Michael started the engine and they eased out of the lot and into the traffic. Max moaned from the back seat and clutched at his stomach. His head thrashed back and forth as he tried to control the sick wave that hit him.

“I’m gonna be sick,” he groaned pathetically and Maria searched frantically for something...anything ....for him to throw up in or on. She spied an old sweatshirt that Liz had thrown on the floor in the back and she whipped around and flung it under Max’s face, holding it as he leapt forward and retched violently. He collapsed on the seat and Maria looked at Michael worriedly. “My God, Michael, what do you think is wrong with him?”

“I dunno,” he shook his head. “Maybe he’s got a concussion, like you said. The doc told him to go back to the hospital if he started getting dizzy or something,” he shrugged as he bit his lip. “We’ll find out soon enough, okay?” he nodded in concern as he cursed the dinner traffic. He banged on the steering wheel in frustration, glancing back at Max in the back seat who seemed to have settled down somewhat since he got sick. After twenty minutes of fitful driving, they finally reached the hospital and Michael pulled up to the Emergency entrance. He and Maria jumped out together and Michael opened the back door as he eased his arms around his friend and lifted him gently from the car.

“Okay buddy, were here now. Just a few more steps and we’ll get you to a Dr.,” he vowed as he and Maria helped Max inside. As luck would have it, the Dr. who treated Max earlier was just passing by and he took one look at the ailing young man and called for assistance.

“What happened?” he shouted over his shoulder at Michael as he bent over Max as he lay on the bed.

“I found him like that in his bed,” Michael informed him. “We took him here right away. He threw up in the back seat, once, and he’s real hot and that’s all I know,” he shrugged helplessly, trying to see what they were doing to Max as he peered over the Dr.’s shoulder. The Dr. was trying to get Max to open his eyes so that he could examine them.

“Max....MAX,” he yelled as he patted his face gently. “C’mon Max. Open your eyes big guy,” he encouraged. Max moaned and squinted against the glare of the harsh hospital lights. “Hey, that’s great,” the Dr. encouraged him as he shone his light into Max’s eyes. The pupils were slightly dilated and he pulled back, nodding. “Yeah, it looks like he’s got a slight concussion.” He gave some quick instructions to the attending staff and he turned back to Michael.

“He’s gonna have to stay here overnight so we can keep an eye on him,” he informed Michael.”It’s just a precaution,” he added as he noted the look of panic on Michael’s face. “This happens sometimes after a bang on the head like Max had.”

“But how come he was okay to leave earlier?” Michael demanded a little angrily. “You shouldn’t have let him leave if you knew this was gonna happen!”

“He seemed fine when I examined him. That’s why we gave him those instructions before he left. Something must have happened to jar his system. Maybe he was over-exerting himself. He should have been resting after that spill.”

Michael and Maria exchanged guilty glances as they recalled the torrid scene they’d witnessed between Max and Liz. Just then, they both turned around in horror as a female voice wailed through the Emergency Room.

“MAXSH! Where are you baby?!”

TBC


posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:39:33 AM
Part 7


“Hey lady!” A distraught man waddled down the corridor, waving his hand at a weaving Liz.

Liz spun around on her heels, almost colliding with a passing nurse and grinned goofily at the interloper.

“Hey, I know you,” she hiccuped as she wiggled her finger at the heavy set guy. “You’re the nishe man who drove me to the hoshpital,” she slurred. “Ah, you’re sho shweet,” she smiled drunkenly. She tripped over her feet as she went to give him a hug.

“Hey, hold on you lush! You owe me twenty bucks for the cab ride!” he fumed as he fought off Liz’s advances with his swatting hands.

Liz belched loudly and then leaned forward and sent a stream of projectile vomit towards the poor unsuspecting man. He gasped in shock as he watched the vile substance cling to his jacket and run down onto his shiny shoes.

“Jesus Christ!” he shouted as he stepped away from the sick girl, shoving her violently towards a nurses aide who was struggling with an overloaded supply cart.

“Oof,” Liz grunted as she landed heavily on the cart, sending a load of linen flying in all directions. She sat up and her lip quivered as she took in her circumstances. “You pushed me,” she accused the oaf and she began to bawl loudly, her shoulders heaving with the force of her crying.

By this time Michael and Maria had made it to her side and Maria glared angrily at the cabby while Michael took matters into his own hands.

“You freakin’ jerk!” he shouted as he grabbed the guy by his lapels and lifted him off the ground, shaking his squat, rotund body until the guy’s teeth rattled. “Why don’t you pick on somebody your own species! Jeez man! You coulda hurt her!”

“Let go of me you weirdo!” the man shouted back as he tried to extricate himself from Michael’s firm grip, his legs dangling like a puppet in midair.

“Not until you apologize to the lady,” Michael threatened as he held the wiggling man effortlessly.

“Apologize?” he spluttered. “Look what the little bitch did to my jacket and shoes!” he pointed angrily at the congealing, putrid mess. “She owes me a lot more’n twenty now!” he snapped. “Jeez, is her head gonna start spinning next?” he ground out as he continued to struggle futilely.

“No, but yours just might if you don’t apologize,” Michael returned, unable to keep a straight face at the humorous reference to The Exorcist.

A small crowd had gathered around the foursome. Liz sniffled loudly as Maria tried to comfort her while Michael stood his ground. An elderly security guard approached him gingerly, tapping him on the shoulder as he fumbled with his radio, prepared to call for assistance.

“Uh, sir. Could you please let the gentleman down and we’ll go to Administration and try and resolve this issue?” he pleaded.

Michael glanced down at the meek man and shrugged.

“Hey, I’d love to do just that but this jerk ain’t goin’ nowhere until he apologizes to the lady,” he stated firmly.

“Oh dear,” the older man muttered as he looked at the two locked in combat. “Uh sir, why don’t you apologize to the young lady and then we can all move to where we can have some privacy?” he begged the cabby.

“No! I don’t owe dat broad no apology,” he grunted as he tried to wriggle out of Michael’s hold.

By this time two more guards had arrived and looked on in amusement at the absurd sight before moving in and grabbing Michael by his upper arms. Michael glared at them but they held on and began to move him and the airlifted taxi driver away from the Emergency area and towards the Administrative offices.

“Maria!” Michael called over his shoulder. “I’ll be right back!” he vowed as he let himself be led away.

“Omigod!” Maria cringed as all eyes swivelled to her and the sniffling Liz.

“C’mon, honey,” a kindly nurse stepped in. “You and your friend follow me,” she said as she led the two to a private examination room. “Now, ” she turned to Liz. “Let’s get you cleaned up, alright?” she winked as she began to extricate Liz from her soiled clothing. “What’s your name, sweetie?” she questioned her as she wiped Liz’s face with a warm, soapy cloth while Maria smoothed her hair away.

“Lizsh,” she hiccuped.

“Well, Liz, don’t you worry about that creep. I saw the whole thing and as soon as I take care of you I’m going to report that guy!” she fumed as she reached for a hospital gown. “Here, uh.....?”

“Maria,” the young woman answered as she helped Liz into the gown.

“Thanks Maria,” the nurse smiled. “My name’s Helen. You two stay in here and I’ll go and talk to the security people. Your friend should be out of there in no time. God, I hate bullies,” she grimaced as she strode out of the tiny room, full of good intentions.

Maria turned back to Liz and hugged her tightly.

“How did you know that we were here, Liz? I thought you were asleep.”

“The phone woke me,” Liz sniffed as she wiped her eyes. “I picked up the extension in my room and I heard Michael shay that Maxsh was shick and I had to come and shee him,” she wailed again. “Oh, Maria, he musht hate me!” she sobbed. “I didn’t know he was shick! I thought he jusht wanted to get rid of me!” she cried loudly.

“Ssssh. It’s okay sugar,” Maria cooed as she rocked Liz in her arms.”Look, why don’t you just lie down here on this bed and we’ll see Max later, okay?”

“Nooooooo, Maria. Max needsh me!” she insisted drunkenly. She swatted at Maria’s hands and tried to jump down from the examining table.

“Liz. Liz!” Maria insisted as she struggled to hold Liz down. “You wouldn’t want Max see you like this, would you? He’d only worry about you,” she wheedled. “It’s better if you just stay here until you feel better, honey.”

“I DO feel better,” Liz glared at her friend. “Now let go of me, Maria!” she spat.

“Omigod, when will this day ever end?” Maria whined as she glanced at her watch. Someone knocked at the door and Maria went to answer it. It was Michael and he grinned down at her in triumph.

“Case closed,” he smirked as he looked over her shoulder at Liz. “I paid the guy the fare that Liz owed him and they sent the jerk on his way. What a freakin’ moron!” he ranted as he pushed his way into the room. “Hey, Linda Blair, feelin’ better?” he joked with Liz.

Liz wrinkled her brow in confusion while Maria swatted his arm.

“No time for jokes, He-Man. How’s Max?” she asked with concern.

“Dunno. I’m gonna go check on him now,” he informed her. “How did......?” he nodded towards Liz.

“I’ll tell you later,” she whispered. “Go find out about Max. I’ll stay here with Miss Congeniality,” she sighed tiredly.

“Hey, you okay?” Michael leaned down to rub her shoulder.

“Yeah. It’s been a long day,” she smiled weakly.

“Tell me about it,” he yawned. ‘Okay, I’ll be back as soon as I find out what’s goin’ on,” he winked as he turned towards the Emergency ward.

“Yeah. Later,” Maria yawned in return as she closed the door to the room.

Liz groaned as she clutched at her stomach.

“Maria, could you get me shomething to eat. I’m shtarving,” she complained.

“Oh, Liz. Do you think that that’s such a good idea. I mean, maybe you should wait until your stomach settles down a bit.”

“Ma-r-I-a,” Liz whined.

Maria shook her head in exasperation. “Okay. I’ll see what I can find. Maybe some toast and tea will do us both some good,” she admitted. “Now, you stay here and I’ll be right back, okay? Liz, promise me you’ll stay here,” Maria demanded. “Liz?!”

“I promish,” Liz nodded slyly, her fingers crossed behind her back.

Maria peered at her suspiciously and shook her head in resignation as she went in search of the cafeteria.

Liz waited a few moments before hopping off the table. She shoved her shoes on and opened the door slowly, grinning impishly as she realized the coast was clear. She chuckled to herself as she crept into the corridor, keeping close to the wall as she made her way to the Nurse’s station. She stood off to the side while she thought about her next move.

“Max Evans is being sent to the third floor,” she heard a female voice utter. “ Routine observation for a possible concussion. Here’s his chart. Room 313,” she told the Orderly.

Liz grinned in triumph as she flattened herself against the wall. She watched worriedly as Max was wheeled passed her and into the elevator. He was asleep but he looked pale and weak.

“Poor Maxsh,” she sobbed as she waited for another elevator. She stepped inside and rode to the third floor. She slipped off the elevator quietly and scanned the corridor for room numbers. She crept passed the Nurse’s station as a flurry of activity created a diversion for her. “305,” she counted quietly as she scooted along the deserted hallway. “311,” she remarked in excitement as she neared Max’s room. The door opened and the Orderly came out. Liz turned her face towards the wall as the attendant walked by, unconcerned. Her fingers tingled as she reached for the door handle. She turned it quickly and slipped inside the room. She let out the breath she’d been holding and stared sadly at Max lying so quietly in the bed. She edged her way over to his side and tears splashed on her gown. She reached out trembling fingers and swept his bangs off his forehead.

“Maxsh, “ she sighed as she struggled with the bed rail. She couldn’t figure out how to get it down so she stood on the bedside chair and lifted her legs over the stubborn device. She carefully straddled Max’s body so as not to disturb him and she settled down next to him, plastering her body along his length. She lay her hand on his chest and closed her eyes contentedly.

“Maxsh,” she whispered, her tiny hand patting his chest lightly. She drifted off to sleep, her lips curled into a small smile.

* * * * * * *

“Liz, sugar, I got us some toast and tea............” Maria ended the sentence abruptly as she peered into the empty room. “Liz? Liz?” she demanded hopelessly, knowing full well that Liz had tricked her. “Damn!” she muttered in frustration. “Now where did she go?”

She set the tray down and went back into the corridor, searching for the wayward girl. She bumped into Michael and pursed her lips in agitation.

“Guess what?” she fumed. “Liz has taken off again!”

Michael snorted in amusement.

“Jeez, for someone so tiny, she sure does cause a lot of trouble!” he smirked. “Well, she couldn’t have gone far,” he surmised. “Maybe she just went to the bathroom,” he suggested. “Why don’t we check them out before we send out the alarm?”

“Good thinking, Michael,” Maria beamed as she kissed him lightly. “I’ll go this way, and you go that way,” she said, scurrying off in the opposite direction.

There were only four bathrooms in the area and they soon met back at the empty room.

“No luck,” Maria sighed heavily, rubbing her neck.

“Me neither,” Michael admitted. “Do you think she took a cab home?” he added hopefully.

“Nuh, uh,” Maria shook her head. “She came here to see Max and that’s where she’s headed. I can guarantee it,” she nodded decisively. “Okay, that makes it simple,” she spoke up with conviction. “We find Max...we find Liz,” she surmised. “C,mon,” she said as she led Michael by the hand.

She strode to the Nurse’s station and plunked her elbows on the high counter.

“Yes, miss,” a nurse addressed her. “How may I help you?” she asked politely.

“We just brought our friend Max Evans into the hospital,” Maria smiled sweetly.”Would it be possible to see him now, before we leave? We just want to make sure he’s feeling better and ask him if he needs anything,” she added demurely.

“Max Evans,” the nurse mouthed as she ran through the recent admittance list. “Oh yes, he was just brought upstairs to the third floor but I’m afraid visiting hours are over now. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow,” she smiled.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” Maria replied sadly. “He has no family here and I’m sure he’s feeling really lost right now. Would it be alright if we just peek in on him? I promise we won’t stay long,” she pleaded, raising her eyebrows and smiling expectantly.

The nurse hesitated for a moment and then nodded in agreement.

“Okay,” she smiled. “He’s in Room 313. It’s down the hall to your left as you exit the elevator. But don’t stay too long,” she admonished.

“No, we won’t,” Maria assured her as she gave Michael a triumphant smile. “And thank you, very much,” she added in gratitude.

“Okay, sweetie,” the nurse replied as she returned to her paperwork.

“Let’s go,” Maria prodded Michael towards the elevators. “I just hope I’m right!” she whispered worriedly.

Michael squeezed her hand.

“We’ll find her,” he smiled. “Stop worrying,” he added.

“Easier said than done,” Maria sighed.

The elevator doors slid open and the two entered quickly. Michael pushed the button for the third floor and they watched as the light ascended, blinking on each succeeding button. The doors opened and they stepped out.

“Left or right, Michael?”

“She said left,” he replied, steering Maria in the aforementioned direction. They eyed the doors, counting the numbers silently as they neared Max’s room. They opened the door slowly, not wishing to disturb Max, especially if Liz weren’t there. They needn’t have worried and they both broke into grins as their expressions relaxed.

“See, what’d I tell you,” Maria smirked. “The girl’s a homing pigeon, where Max is concerned.”

“Yeah, and it looks like Max is a sitting duck,” Michael chuckled quietly. “Now what?” he added as he eyed the two curled up peacefully on the bed. Liz had her head tucked under Max’s chin, her hand still resting on his chest while Max’s arm had drifted around her shoulder, comforting her even in sleep.

“I hate to wake her,” Maria admitted. “I guess we better go tell the head Nurse and see what she has to say. Maybe if we explain the situation, she’ll bend the rules a little,” she shrugged.

“We can only try,” Michael agreed with her as they trudged out to convince the nurse.

TBC
posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:43:04 AM
Part 8


Max moaned, stirring in his sleep at the unaccustomed weight of Liz’s body pressed so closely to his own. Liz responded by panting out little whistle puffs through her slightly parted lips. She hugged him closer, nuzzling her nose into his chest as he switched his body to make more room on the bed. He turned to face her and succeeded in burying her deeper into his arms as he looped them around her tiny form. Max murmured appreciatively and fell back into a deep sleep while Liz blew little bubbles of satisfaction between puffs.

***

Maria and Michael were on a mission. Operation Save Max and Liz.

The Duty nurse lifted her head from her paperwork, peering at the young couple who were hovering on the periphery of her field of vision. She glanced at her watch and frowned.

“Visiting hours are over folks. I’m going to have to ask you to leave, please,” she stated firmly as she raised a brow, cocking her head towards the large clock above the elevator doors.

“Oh....uhm........uh,” Maria grinned uncomfortably as she danced on her toes and wrung her hands together. “Oh God,” she muttered nervously, stealing a glance at Michael who was squinting at the nurse as if to throw her off the scent. “Uh, you see, my friend.......that is.....our friend,” she repeated, chuckling off-handedly as she waved her hands in the air. “Well, it’s really funny actually,” she shrugged her shoulders in amusement, “and I just know you’ll find it just as amusing,” she winked at the stony faced nurse. Maria gulped and took a deep breath before she continued.”Well, okay, it’s like this,” she continued in a more serious vein as she studied the stonewall expression of the Charge nurse. “You see, it all started this morning............” and Maria began filling in the gaps for the unamused woman as she eyed the two suspiciously from behind the safety of her desk. The young woman droned on in a heart felt attempt to win the sympathy of the unamused nurse whose expression became even more morose as Maria neared the end of her bizarre tale.

“WHAT!” she hissed loudly so as not to create an undo disturbance on the floor. “Do you mean to tell me that there is a young woman sleeping in one of my patient’s beds?!” she fumed as she strode out from behind her desk, a trail of murderous vapors following in her wake. She grabbed her chart and ran her finger down the list of names until she came to Max Evans. “Humph!” she spat out triumphantly as she barreled purposefully down the hall towards Rm 313, her polyester uniform swishing noisily as she pumped her legs and swung her arms. “We’ll just see about that!” she smirked as she swept the door open with a flourish, a malevolent gleam in her eye. “Hah!” she cackled as she zeroed in on the two lumpy forms in the bed.

CODE BLUE!.........CODE BLUE! The words rang out over the PA system.

“ACK!” the nurse squawked as she halted in mid stride. Her head spun around at the announcement and she did a double take, torn between her duty and her desire to restore order to her floor. “I’ll be back!” she spat out as she ran out the door at full tilt. Michael and Maria swerved out of her way as she stormed passed them, hell bent for leather.

“Whoa,” Michael whistled. “Nurse Ratchet lives again!” he chuckled as he grinned at Maria.

“Yeah, can you believe that?” she laughed, shaking her head. She turned back to the two young lovers wrapped closely in one another’s arms. “But what do we do about that?” she sighed in defeat, nodding her head towards the bed. She folded her arms and screwed up her face in concentration.

“Damned if I know,” Michael shrugged, scratching his chin. “You know that bitch will be back,” he frowned, “and you know she’s gonna wake Liz and make her leave.”

Maria paced back and forth in the small space, tapping her forehead rhythmically as she forced herself to come up with a plan.

“Helen!” she whispered excitedly. She turned to Michael, her eyes gleaming excitedly. “We have to find Helen.”

“Who the hell is Helen?” Michael looked puzzled.

“She’s this nurse in Admitting who came to our rescue when you were taken off by the security guards. She’s a real sweetie and I’m sure she’ll help us. Come on Michael!” Maria insisted as she dragged Michael out of the room.

***

~ Dream ~

Liz giggled as she whipped her top off and threw it on the ground. She bent over and pulled her skirt down and then looked over her shoulder at Max’s startled expression.

“Oh Ma-ax!” she threw him a cocky grin. “Are you gonna join me?” she teased as she wiggled her bum at him. She dipped her toe into the swirling water of the hot tub and stepped in, holding her arms out for balance as she settled herself into the warm bubbles. “Mmmmmm, this is heaven,” she sighed as her head fell back against the cushioned sides. “C’mon Max,” she beckoned in the moonlight. “Don’t be shy,” she added coyly as she splashed the water playfully.

Max smirked as he followed suit, tossing his t-shirt on the ground and teetering awkwardly as he stepped out of his pants. He kicked off his sneakers and removed his socks and grinned as he joined Liz. He pulled her onto his lap as he seated himself, cupping her bottom and squeezing it gently through her undies as he sought her lips.

“What makes you think I’m shy?” he murmured into her mouth, his tongue poking out to lick at her parted lips.

“I was just kidding,” she sighed as she teased his tongue with her own. “Oh Max, you taste so good,” she moaned as she opened her mouth and engulfed his tongue, drawing it inside and sucking on it hungrily. She ground her crotch into his swiftly hardening erection and whimpered in satisfaction as she felt him responding. She threw her head back and took in a deep, shuddering breath. Max immediately attacked her exposed neck, his lips forming into a firm suction on her hot skin. He suckled the soft flesh, moaning as he tasted her, his breath coming in harsh pants as he continued his attack.

His hand traveled up her back, kneading her smooth skin as his fingers struggled with the stubborn clasp of her bra.

“There,” he whispered against her flesh, a triumphant grin playing on his lips. His other hand came up and he slipped her straps off her shoulders. Liz shrugged the bra off and threw it over her shoulder. She leaned back and Max dove forward to capture her breasts, groaning in pleasure as he suckled her nipples. Liz clasped her hands around his neck as she rocked against his hardness, her face beaming with undisguised lust as she continued to ease the ache between her thighs.

“Max....oh God Max,” she groaned deeply.

Max removed his mouth from her responsive flesh and panted loudly.

“I think it’s time we get rid of some more clothing,” he grinned as he lifted Liz off his lap. Liz’s head jerked up as she sensed his absence and she muttered a protest until she felt his hands slipping under the silky fabric of her undies.

“Mmmm....yeah,” she sighed as she lifted her cheeks to help.

Max scooped his hands under her bottom and slipped her panties off. He watched her expression as he deliberately let one hand linger over her mound. He slipped a finger between her swollen folds and sighed at the creamy heat. Liz jumped in pleasure and rode his finger excitedly before he removed it quickly.

“Not yet,” he teased.

Liz snarled in protest and grabbed his boxers, tugging on them helplessly as he remained seated.

“Max,” she whined pathetically.

“What?” he murmured as he went back to suckling her breasts.

“Stop teasing,” she whimpered.

“Or what?” he laughed against her dark nipple.

“Or I’ll get out,” she threatened, eyeing him murderously.

“Oh, don’t do that, my sweet,” he mumbled, his mouth stuffed with her aroused flesh. “What can I do to help?” he chuckled, enjoying Liz’s frustration way too much.

“You can lift your big fat ass off the seat and get those damn boxers off,” she grumbled as she struggled with the shorts.

“Hey! My ass isn’t big or fat!” he protested humorously as he lifted his butt off the bench.

“Well, how would I know that,” she retorted. “It’s all covered up under these stupid boxers!”

“My, my. Aren’t we impatient?” he teased as he extricated himself from the offending garment.

“No more than you,” she giggled as she wrapped her hand around his arousal.

Max rose up from his seated position and hissed in pleasure as Liz stroked his length.

“Oh Liz,” he groaned helplessly as she increased her rhythm. He sank back against the side of the hot tub and rocked back and forth in her hand. Liz removed her hand suddenly and Max’s head shot up in shock.

“Huh?” he puzzled.

“Not yet,” she teased, a wicked gleam in her eyes.

Max smirked. “Tit for tat?” he alluded.

“Oh most definitely,” she hinted bawdily as she shoved her breasts into his face.

Max growled as he attacked her breasts again. Liz settled back on his lap, sinking down on his rock hard shaft. She shuddered in pleasure as she gently rocked on his manhood. Max mimicked her rhythm, panting loudly as he brought his mouth up to her lips. He kissed her open mouthed, deepening it as he became more aroused.

“Oh Max,”Liz groaned as she stepped up the rhythm. She rubbed her clit against his pelvis as he plunged deep inside her and her body shook with release, her heart pounding in her chest as she jerked spasmodically. Her head fell back automatically and Max plunged deeper and harder until his own release washed over him. He grunted in pleasure as he made one last lunge and then his head collapsed against the side of the jacuzzi.

Liz settled against his chest and giggled uncontrollably.

“What’s so funny?” Max asked in a daze.

She tapped his shoulder and pointed behind him.

A big German Shepherd sat on the grass, his tongue hanging out of his mouth comically as he eyed the young couple curiously, his head cocked to the side in wonder.

“Hey boy!” Max laughed. “Did you enjoy that as much as I did?” he chuckled.

The dog barked happily and wagged his tale.

Max turned to Liz. “How about you?” he whispered lovingly as he placed a tender kiss on her lips.

“Uh huh,” she nodded as she returned the kiss. “Most definitely,” she sighed as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. “I love you, Max,” she moaned softly as she continued to kiss him.

“I love you, too, Liz,” he affirmed as he crushed her to his body, his hands roaming her naked flesh.

~ End of Dream ~

“Oops!” Maria exclaimed as the three of them entered the room. Her hand clapped over her mouth and she rolled her eyes in embarrassment at the scene before them. Liz and Max were kissing passionately in their sleep, their hands roaming their bodies eagerly as sounds of pleasure erupted from their lips.

Michael snorted in laughter and Nurse Helen dropped her head and giggled in embarrassment.

“Well, it’s a good thing Nurse Betty didn’t find them like this,” she laughed as she turned to Maria.

“Omigod!” Maria muttered, shaking her head. “And they’re so sick....and their not even awake!” she uttered in shock. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” she added as she apologized to the nurse.

“Maria, please!” Helen waved her off, laughing in spite of the circumstances.”The stories I could tell you!” she chuckled. “This is mild compared to some of the things I’ve seen around here..believe me!”

“Do tell,” Michael spoke up curiously.

“Michael!” Maria protested as she swatted his arm.

“Some other time,” Helen laughed as she rolled her eyes. “Right now we have more urgent matters to deal with,” she reminded him, jerking her head towards the bed. Max and Liz were still finding pleasure in their bodies and she knew it was just a matter of time before the head nurse returned with a vengeance. “I’m afraid that Liz will have to leave,” she added contritely. “As much as I’d like to help you out here, this is against hospital policy,” she sighed, shaking her head. “Max will probably have to stay here for at least another day, for observation. Don’t worry,” she added as she noticed the worried expressions on his friends’ faces. “It’s just procedure. He looks like he’s on his way to a speedy recovery, anyway,” she smiled as she observed the two writhing bodies in the bed. “Okay, Michael, you tackle Max and Maria and I will handle Liz,” she winked conspiratorially.

Michael gave her a thumbs up and he moved to Max’s side of the bed. He shook his friend’s shoulder gently and bent over to speak quietly in his ear.

“Hey buddy, time to wake up.”

Max shrugged Michael’s hand away as he continued to dream. He had visions of the dog breathing down his neck and he swatted at the dog’s head in frustration. Michael chuckled at Max’s antics.

“Go away!” he called out. “Find your own female!”

“Hey, Max!” Michael insisted through his laughter.

“No.......she’s mine! Go away!” Max insisted.

Meanwhile, Helen and Maria had their hands full with Liz. She was struggling to maintain her contact with Max’s body as she felt herself being roused from her sleep.

“No! Leave me alone! Max!” she called out in her sleep.

That’s all that Max needed to hear as he surfaced from his dream, immediately alerted by Liz’s cry.

“Huh! Wha......!” he sat up as he rubbed his eyes. “Liz!” he cried out as he noticed her for the first time. He scooped her into his arms and hugged her tightly. “Are you okay?” he shuddered as he took in his surroundings. “Where the hell am I?” he inquired to the other three. “What happened?” he demanded as he noted his hospital gown and Liz’s half dressed state.

“Max, you had a relapse from your concussion,” Michael tried to explain. “We had to rush you here, back to the hospital,” he added worriedly. “You were real sick buddy.”

“Oh,” Max frowned. “But why is Liz in bed with me? Is she sick, too?” he added in confusion, looking to Maria for answers.

“Uh, no Max,” Maria screwed up her face in embarrassment. “Liz got a little drunk,” she laughed quietly. “Apparently she was upset by something that happened between you two at your apartment and when she came home she just grabbed a bottle of vodka and started downing it!” she shrugged.

“Oh,” Max mouthed as he began to recall the circumstances. “Oh crap!” he muttered as he hugged Liz closer. “I woke up and I was really confused,” he admitted. “I guess Liz thought I was rejecting her, or something,” he replied sheepishly. “Hey Liz,” he whispered softly. ‘Are you alright, sweetie?” he said, kissing her temple.

“Hi Maxsh,” she hiccuped. “I was having the nicesht dream,” she sighed as she nuzzled his nose.

“Yeah, me too,” he smiled shyly. “Liz I’m so sorry I upset you,” he apologized.

“Awww, thash okay, Maxsh,” she said, pinching his cheeks. “I shtill love you,” she cooed, peering into his eyes lovingly.

“Ahem,” Helen interrupted. “I hate to break up this mutual admiration society but if we don’t haul our asses out of here, Nurse Betty will have our hides for a trophy!” she expounded.

“Okay, c’mon sugar,” Maria encouraged her friend. “We have to go and let Max get some sleep, okie, dokie?”

“Okay, Maria,” Liz yawned. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Maxsh,” she added as she leaned in to kiss him tenderly. “Shleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugsh bite,” she giggled as Maria and Helen helped her out of the bed.

“Is she gonna be okay?” Max asked with concern.

“Yeah, don’t sweat it Max,” Michael reassured him. “Nothing that a pot of coffee and a good night’s sleep won’t cure. See ya buddy!” he waved as he helped Maria lead Liz out of the room.

“Can I get you anything Max?” Helen asked kindly. “Maybe something to eat?”

“Yeah, actually I am a little hungry,” Max admitted. “Maybe some toast and tea, if that wouldn’t be too much trouble,” he added politely.

“Coming right up,” Helen smiled broadly. “Oh,” she added, turning back to him as she stood in the doorway. “It’s great to finally meet you Max,” she winked as she left the room, laughing as she shook her head.

Max stared after her, his face screwed up in puzzlement as he scratched his head.

TBC
posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:45:28 AM
Part 9


The next day....2:00 pm

“Ohhhhhh......Omigod.....Oh God, my head,” Liz moaned pathetically as she rolled over on her side, massaging her temple gingerly as she squinted through bleary eyes. She adjusted slowly to the dim light in the darkened room, taking an experimental breath through oxygen depleted lungs. She made a lapping sound with her coated tongue as she registered the bitter taste in her dry mouth and screwed up her face in disgust.

“Well, how’s Little Susie Sunshine feeling?” Maria’s voice boomed through Liz’s over sensitive ears as she stood in the doorway.

Liz cringed and grasped her head miserably.

“Would you mind not bellowing, please?” she croaked as she tried to form a drop of spittle on her parched lips.

Maria couldn’t stop a trickle of laughter escaping from her upturned mouth.

“Well, sugar, that’s what you get for downing half a bottle of Vodka in ten minutes,” she chuckled unsympathetically.

“Wha.....what did you say?” Liz whispered as she turned to face her roommate. It seemed like every bone in her body ached while her head pounded furiously and she moaned softly, silently begging for the pain to go away.

Maria raised her brow in amusement.

“Seems like you and Max had a little disagreement and when you came back here you grabbed a bottle of vodka and started chugging it like a sailor on shore leave. Ring a bell?”

Liz crinkled her brow as she studied her friend’s face. A light of understanding suddenly appeared and her hands flew to her face.

“Oh shit!” she cursed as she rolled onto her back and groaned. “Maria, tell me I didn’t do anything stupid,” she begged.

“Well, that depends on what you call stupid, Liz. Is puking your guts up over an irate cab driver in a busy hospital corridor while in an obvious drunken stupor stupid? Is stalking Max through said hospital until you find him comatose and helpless and end up crawling in bed with him stupid? Is making out with said comatose Max while being gawked at by your closest friend, a new acquaintance and a very understanding nurse, stupid?” Maria was enjoying her friend’s discomfort more than she should.

Liz peeked through her outspread fingers in horror. She shook her head in denial as she determined whether or not Maria was pulling her leg but she knew, with certainty, that Maria was speaking the truth. She closed her fingers over her face once more and muttered through her hands.

“Kill me now. Please!” she pleaded. “Max will never...NEVER....speak to me again,” she shuddered remorsefully. She curled up on the bed, drawing her knees to her chest in an attempt to disappear from sight. She felt the mattress give under Maria’s weight and her arms encircle her compassionately.

“No need to worry on that account, sugar,” she whispered encouragingly as she kissed Liz’s head. “That guy is head over heels in love with you and you could dance down the street naked and he wouldn’t care. Well, actually, he probably would, but only because he wouldn’t want any other guy within 10 miles of you,” she sniggered. “Liz, when we found you guys, Max was just as turned on as you were...and you were both asleep!” she chuckled. “That was the amazing thing!”

Liz turned around to face Maria.

“Really?” she smiled in relief. “Oh God, Maria, I’ve never felt this way before. I mean, I know I’ve kind of closed myself off from guys lately,” she confessed, “but as soon as I saw Max, I felt something...different. He just makes me feel warm and safe, you know?” she sighed. “Besides that, he’s gorgeous, isn’t he?” she giggled, clutching her head painfully as she did so.

Maria laughed with her, nodding her head enthusiastically. “Yep, the guy’s a Greek god, and that ain’t one word of a lie,” she agreed. “His friend ain’t no throwaway either,” she admitted wryly, smiling smugly at Liz.

Liz’s eyes shut tightly as she tried to stifle her laugh. “Don’t make me laugh,” she begged as she pressed her scalp. “I’m in agony,” she groaned.

“Well now, sugar. Auntie Maria has just the cure for that,” she spoke wisely. “First off, you hop in the shower and get freshened up and then I’ll make you some soup and get you a jug of water and some Gravol. You’re dehydrated so you need to replenish your fluids. The Gravol will settle your stomach and help ease your pounding head. When you’re ready, come out to the living room, wrap up in a quilt and Maria will make all the achey go away, alrightee?” she grinned.

“Yeah,” Liz smiled hopefully at her dear friend. She rolled off the bed and stood shakily. “Maybe I should have that Gravol, now,” she groaned as she clutched her head, sinking back down on the mattress.

“Comin’ right up,” Maria stated as she hurried to the kitchen for a glass of water and the pill container. She returned quickly and sat down on the bed next to Liz, handing her the water and then a tiny pink tablet. “Just take one, sugar. These are pretty strong and they may make you sleepy.”

“I don’t care how sleepy I get,” Liz grimaced as she sipped the water and popped the pill into her mouth. She squeezed her eyes shut and tilted her head back, swallowing the pill easily. She sipped at the water until the glass was drained.

Maria grasped her by the shoulders and eased her back onto the bed.

“Best if you just take it easy until the pill takes effect,” she added knowingly.

“Thanks, Maria,” Liz smiled gratefully. “What would I do without you?”

“Let’s hope you never have to find out, sugar,” Maria grinned as she rose from the bed. “I’ll check on you in a few minutes, okay?” she promised.

Liz nodded her head slightly as she forced herself to relax. Maria slipped out through the door quietly, leaving it ajar as she made her way back to the kitchen to prepare the soup.

* * *

3:30 pm

The Dr. moved back from the bed after examining Max’s eyes and smirked at his patient.

“I heard about your little visitor last night,” he grinned. “You’re none the worse for wear,” he laughed.

“Y-you heard about that?” Max gulped uncomfortably, turning a little pink.

“Oh yeah,” The Dr. chuckled as he made some notes in Max’s chart. “We’ve had to keep some of the nursing students at bay. Man, you’re a legend here, already. There’s some pretty horny ladies who’d love to get in your pants!” he grinned as he waggled his eyebrows.

“Oh crap!” Max muttered. He hated being the object of attention and he could just imagine what was being spread around about him and Liz. “When can I get out of here, Doc?” he pleaded.

“Well, everything looks good now so as soon as I sign the release forms, you’re on your way,” he replied.

“Good,” Max nodded. “Oh thanks,” he added as an afterthought.

“No problem,” the young Doctor saluted as he exited the room.

Max reached for the bedside phone and dialed his number, hoping that Michael would be there to answer. It rang 5 times and he was just about to hang up when a breathless Michael answered.

“Hello,” he gasped.

“Oh, hey Michael,” Max sighed in relief. “I was hoping I’d catch you.”

“Hey buddy!” Michael exclaimed. “How’re you feelin? I called earlier today and they said you were sleeping. Is everything okay?” he added with concern.

“Oh yeah, fine,” Max hedged. “Uhm, look, the Doc is signing my release papers so could you come and pick me up?” he asked hopefully.

“Hey, I’m already there,” Michael answered cheerfully. “Just give me a few minutes to get dressed. I was in the shower when you called. I’ll see you in about half an hour.”

“Thanks Michael,” Max smiled appreciatively. “Oh, uh, Michael, how’s Liz?”

“I was just talking to Maria. She’s pretty hung over,” he chuckled.

“D-does she remember anything?” Max stuttered.

“She does now!” Michael laughed. “Maria filled her in on the more sketchy details.”

“Oh,” Max returned quietly. “Is she pissed?” he whispered.

“Nah. Don’t sweat it Max,” Michael scoffed. “Look I gotta go. “I’ll see ya in a bit,” he promised as he hung up.

Max sighed heavily as he replaced the phone on it’s cradle. He rubbed his hand over his face and grimaced at the stubble. He flipped his legs over the side of the bed and jumped down gingerly. He was still a little woozy and he made his way slowly to the bathroom. He peered at his hazy reflection in the dimly lit bathroom mirror and made a face.

“Jeez man, you look like hell!”

“You don’t look so bad from back here,” a female voice retorted.

Max jumped and spun around quickly, grabbing at the short hospital gown to cover his body.

“Hey Max, nice to see you in an upright position for a change,” the nurse winked sassily.

“Uh....Helen, isn’t it?” Max hesitated as he fumbled with the scanty gown.

“Yep. How’re you feeling?” she asked genuinely.

“Uh, better,” he nodded sheepishly.

“I have some toiletries for you, courtesy of Liz, from the gift shop” she replied as she lifted a bag containing toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and deodorant. “Thoughtful girl,” Helen added as she began to walk away. “Max, she’s a keeper,” she winked again as she left him to his ablutions.

Max leaned into the shower to turn on the faucet, smiling happily.

“Yeah, she’s a keeper,” he beamed as he stepped under the hot spray.

* * *

Michael strolled up the hall, swinging a paper bag in his hand, nodding at the knot of nursing students huddled at the reception desk. They raised their heads in anticipation and whispered conspiratorially as Michael passed by, pointing at his back.

“That’s his friend,” one insisted and there was an answering chorus of giggles.

Michael turned around and shot them a puzzled look, shaking his head in bemusement as he continued on to Max’s room. He knocked on the door before entering and he heard Max call out.

“Yeah, come in!”

“Hey good buddy!” Michael greeted him as he swept into the room jauntily. “How’s it hangin?”

“Better than I expected,” Max laughed as he stuck his head out from the tiny bathroom.

“Good, good,” Michael grinned. “It’s all good,” he chuckled. “I brought some clean clothes for ya, since you barfed over the other ones,” he screwed up his face in disgust.

“Hey, thanks Man,” Max replied as he reached out for the bag. “I’ll be out in a minute.”

Michael whistled softly as he made a quick tour of the room. “So, Max, what’s up with the gaggle of nurses waiting outside?” Michael quipped as he plunked himself down on the bedside chair.

“Shit!” Max swore softly as he emerged from the bathroom, tucking his shirt into his jeans. “You’re kidding, right?” he asked hopefully.

“I kid you not,” Michael answered seriously, raising his hand in a gesture of honesty. “There’s a whole bunch of hotties at the Nurse’s desk and they look like they’re ready to jump someone’s bones.” He smirked at his friend who looked ready to pass out again. “Would that be you, Maxwell?” he snickered.

“Damn!” Max swore again as he sat down to lace up his sneakers. “Somehow they found out about me and Liz last night and it’s gotten blown all out of proportion. Is there another way out of here?” he wondered aloud.

“Jeez, Man. I hardly think they’d try anything right here in the hospital. Calm down, Max!”
“Yeah, right,” Max rolled his eyes. “Okay, let’s go,” he sighed heavily in resignation as he opened the door to his room. He stepped into the corridor and peered around cagily, glancing back at Michael and nodding for him to follow. Michael swaggered out and fell into step by Max’s side. Max tried to look relaxed as he neared the desk, striking a casual pose as the students came into view. A dozen heads shot up and Max felt a jolt of fear as a dozen pairs of eyes zeroed in on him, eyeing him like a blue plate special. He looked particularly rugged and sexy with his unshaven face. His mouth twitched nervously and he flipped his hair back from his forehead as he so often did when he was on edge. Unfortunately, the young women mistook this for a come-on and they surged forward, pinning Max and Michael up against the elevator wall. Max yelped in surprise as he felt a hand cup his scrotum while more eager hands stroked at any piece of his body that they could reach.

“Jeez, Michael, do something!” Max pleaded.

Michael was almost bent over in laughter and then he, too, jumped as a hand squeezed his butt.

“Holy shit!” he cussed as he stood upright. “Hey, hey, hey ladies, don’t handle the merchandise!” he shouted defiantly.

“Girls, girls!” a female voice shouted over the rumble of voices as she clapped her hands to get their attention. “Please girls, behave yourselves!” she insisted angrily. “Leave the young gentlemen alone!”

There was a collective groan of protest as they moved away sulkily from their quarry. They all cast sultry looks at Max before they were whisked away by their Instructor. She turned to the young men and apologized profusely.

“I am so sorry,” she professed. “We’ve just been studying human sexuality,” she laughed nervously, “and there was a particularly explicit film on male anatomy,” she coughed. She wrinkled her brow and studied Max’s face. “You’re Max Evans, aren’t you?” she smiled slyly.

Max nodded dumbly, unable to think of a smart reply. He was still in a state of shock after being molested so boldly.

“Well, have a nice evening, Max. And try to get some rest,” she giggled as she turned away.

Michael stared at his friend and then he burst into laughter. Max was flabbergasted. Michael threw his arm around Max’s shoulder as he punched the button for the elevator.

“C’mon. Let’s get you home before they have to call out the National Guard for your protection,” Michael guffawed, tears of laughter streaming down his cheeks.

“Michael, I don’t think it’s very funny!”Max protested indignantly. “I was just molested by a dozen women in a public place for God’s sake!”

Michael stepped into the elevator and hauled Max in with him. He was laughing so hard that he could hardly breathe. When he finally caught his breathe he smirked at Max.

“Just think of it as a great story to tell the Grandkids, Man! We should all be so lucky!” he blew out another string of uncontrollable laughter, holding his stomach as the elevator descended.

Max frowned in consternation, his arms folded across his chest as he refused to see the humor in the situation.

* * *

Liz was sitting on the couch in their living room, sipping a hot mug of soup while Maria fussed over her like a mother hen. This came naturally to the young woman whose own mother had died from cancer when Maria was just barely 12 years old. She had stepped into the role out of necessity and helped run the all male household with an experienced hand. When Maria met Liz, she fostered the young, lonely woman as if she were one of her own and she’d been doing a bang up job of caring for Liz ever since. There was a give and take to the relationship but nobody did this better than Maria.

“How’s your head now, sugar,” she cooed as she wrapped the quilt around Liz’s shoulders.

“Much better, thanks,” Liz smiled as she sipped the beverage. “Good soup,” she nodded as she supped greedily.

“Yes, I know,” Maria laughed easily. “An old family recipe,” she winked.

Just then there was a knock at the door. Maria got up to answer it and Liz held her breath in anticipation. She set her mug of soup down on the coffee table and smoothed her hair back from her face. Her heart fluttered in her chest when she heard the deep, soft rumble of Max’s voice. A moment later he entered the spacious room and stopped in mid-stride as he spied Liz sitting on the couch. His own heart did a flip flop as he studied her flushed features. She smiled shyly and he returned the smile, walking slowly to her side. He sat down next to her on the couch and took her tiny, trembling hand in his, all the while maintaining eye contact with her. He held it firmly in his own and then brought it to his lips and kissed the knuckles tenderly.

“How do you feel?” he whispered.

TBC
posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:48:03 AM
Part 10


Maria scooted out into the hall where Michael was waiting. She stood on her tiptoes and gave him a scintillating kiss.

“So how was your day?” she mumbled into his neck as she planted soft kisses along his warm skin.

“Mmmmmmm, definitely improving,” he snarled seductively as he bit at her neck

Maria shivered in delight and grinned meaningfully. “Your place?”

“I thought you’d never ask,” Michael grinned back as he took her hand and headed for the elevator.

* * *

Max couldn’t take his eyes off Liz. Liz couldn’t help but stare back at the rugged vison before her. He looked older with his five o’clock shadow and she reached out and rubbed the bristly skin with the back of her hand, crinkling her nose at the prickly stubble. Max turned her hand over and kissed the palm. Liz closed her eyes and a soft sigh escaped her lips.

“Sorry about the beard,” Max confessed. “I rushed right over here,” he added sheepishly.

“I’m not complaining,” Liz shook her head. She leaned closer and rubbed her cheek experimentally on his face. “See?” she smiled. “It’s no biggie,” she whispered against his skin.

Max turned his head quickly and captured her lips in a searing kiss. He moaned as he tasted her again and she drew closer to deepen the caress. Her arms rose to wrap themselves around his neck and she pulled him closer. Max’s arms slid around her back and he tightened the embrace. He leaned back against the arm of the sofa, pulling Liz with him as he lay on his back. She felt him harden beneath her and she wiggled her hips suggestively. Max groaned and shoved his pelvis up into hers, reminding her of where they left off. He opened his mouth and his tongue pressed against her lips, demanding entrance. Liz didn’t waste any time as she complied to his request. She devoured his tongue as she pulled it into her mouth and sucked on it longingly. Max groaned and kneaded the muscles of her back as she played with the hair at his nape, massaging her fingers over and over his tense muscles. The only sounds in the room were the ones they were making as their breathing increased in intensity and tempo. Liz pulled her face to the side to take a deep breath, gasping for much needed air. Max took the opportunity to draw his tongue along her neck, sucking with his mouth as he laved her warm flesh.

“Are you feeling alright, Max? Are you sure you’re up to this,” she rasped as he drove her mad with desire.

“Uh, huh,” he nodded as he tongued her earlobe. “Perfectly alright,” he added as his words buzzed in her ear, his hot breath sending shivers of desire through her.

“Oh, that’s nice,” she whimpered as his hands moved down her body and squeezed her cheeks. She yelped at his bold advances and squirmed her pelvis against his rock hard arousal. She wanted him so badly that she was unable to resist moving sensually over his lower torso and ground her body into him harder and harder. She pushed herself up and started to lift his top over his head.

“Max?” Please,” she begged as he tried to lift up and still support her body. She balanced precariously on his abdomen as he lifted his arms over his head and she growled like a wild animal when his sculpted chest was revealed. She dropped her head and swirled her tongue over his nipples, licking and lapping at the golden flesh repeatedly. She moaned in delight and Max responded to her sexual keening by sounding off some of his own vocalizations. He struggled with her top but she was too involved with giving him pleasure to halt her progress. Her head moved down his body, all the while tonguing his tight abs as she went, swirling her tongue around and around his navel as Max sank back, defeated. Liz laughed at his dilemma, her mouth buzzing into his abs as she sucked and bit down gently. Max bucked his hips in response as he groaned deeply. He was ready to explode any minute and he pleaded with her to undress as he made another attempt to remove her top.

Liz sprang up from his lower torso, flushed and panting. He sucked in his breath at her look of wild abandon and he growled as he reached for her top and whipped it off.

“We need more room,” he rasped as he picked her up and threw her over his shoulder. He hesitated as his eyes swept around the room, searching for the way to her bedroom. She giggled and kicked her legs as she pounded him on the back. “Down that way,” she laughed as she wiggled in his arms.

“Settle down” he remonstrated as he slapped her bum.

Liz’s eyes shot open in surprise. A hot stab of desire reached her core and she moaned loudly. “Ohhhhh God. Do that again,” she begged as she went limp in his arms.

“What? This,” he laughed impishly as he swatted her bum again.

“Aaaah! YES!” she screamed as another thrill of desire made her jump. “Max! Hurry! Please,” she whimpered as he strode quickly to her bedroom. He stopped in the doorway, caught off guard by the femininity of her inner sanctum. It wasn’t frilly and lacy as he might have expected but it was definitely the boudoir of a woman. The delicate fragrance of flowers reached his nostrils and he recognized it immediately as Liz’s smell. She heard him sniffing lightly and she murmured, “Lily of the Valley.”

“Mmmmm, I’ll have to remember that,” he vowed as he reached her bed. He lifted her gently from his shoulder, balancing her in the air with his arms extended. She was ravishingly beautiful, her face flushed with desire and her lips slightly puffy and parted. She peered at him hungrily, her chocolate eyes inviting him to share her secrets. Max whimpered as he lowered her to the bed. He lay down on top of her and smothered her mouth in a deep but tender kiss.

“Liz,” he whispered tenderly, drawing back to lose himself in those eyes again.”Oh God, Liz you’re so beautiful,” he spoke reverently as he brushed her hair behind her ears. “How can I be so lucky?” he wondered aloud as he bent to kiss her again, savoring the taste of her as his nose registered her unique, flowery scent. He rolled to the side and lifted her on top of him, his kisses becoming more impassioned as he stroked her bare back. Liz rubbed her bare breasts against the bulging muscles of his bare chest, her nipples grazing the soft warm flesh as they perked in sexual arousal. Max’s hand slipped to the front of her jeans as he worked on the tightly bound button of her waistband. Liz lifted her torso up to ease his manipulations. His fingers caressed the smooth flesh of her abdomen as the button broke loose, allowing him to slide his whole hand under the heavy denim. He massaged her flat tummy and Liz moaned as he drove his hand closer to her heat where it got caught in the cramped space between her body and the unyielding fabric. He growled in frustration and pulled his hand free. He yanked on the zipper, being careful not to catch it in her tender flesh. Liz rose up and let Max slide her pants down over her rounded buttocks, She was wearing a thong and he paused in his journey to gently squeeze her naked flesh, cupping both tiny cheeks in his big hands.

The echoes of their harsh breathing amplified the sexually charged atmosphere, the ticking of Liz’s bedside clock a gentle counterpoint to their coarser overtures. No more words were spoken as they concentrated on fulfilling their longing for one another. Liz quickly shook off her jeans and then she went about extricating Max from his. They lay back in each others arms, Max in his boxers and Liz in her thong, side by side, as they stroked each others bare backs. They gazed at one another in wonder, neither one having experienced this depth of passion before. They were almost paralyzed into submission by the fierceness of their yearning. Max drew his fingertips along Liz’s jaw line, barely grazing the surface of her skin. She closed her eyes and smiled at the gentleness of his touch. He continued his exploration to her lips and she kissed them softly, allowing Max the satisfaction of shutting his eyes in ecstacy. His fingers trailed down her neck, pausing at the steady beat of her carotid, feeling it quicken as he swirled his digits across her skin. Her chest rose and fell heavily as his tantalizing touch traveled even further, sweeping down to her collarbone and fanning across its length.

She was naked except for her thong but Max treated each part of her with the same rapt attention, drawing out the promise of wilder passion yet to come. Liz settled down on her back, exposing more of herself to Max. His breath caught at her loveliness and he bent down to peck one nipple and then the other, before he enveloped them in the wet warmth of his mouth and suckled them more thoroughly. Liz felt a warmth flood through her whole body as her limbs grew heavy with desire. She panted harshly through her parted lips as she caressed Max’s head with her fingers. Max, in turn, moaned at the double pleasure of feasting on Liz’s body and the feel of her fingers on his scalp, sending sparks of desire through his body. He was awash with raw animal passion for this beautiful creature, the likes of which he had never known and he wanted to taste all of her before he finally gave himself to her.

“Oh Max!” Liz sighed rapturously.

He couldn’t resist her entreaty and he rose up to take her mouth hungrily, his hand still kneading her breast with the tenderest touch. Their tongues swept in each others mouths, taking and receiving pleasure at will. Their thoughts were a whirlwind of passion filled hues, smells and touches. Liz continued to massage Max’s scalp which caused his own desire to skyrocket. He loved the feel of her fingertips as she applied the right amount of pressure to elicit the desired response. He broke the kiss as his mouth slid past her lips, gulping in great amounts of oxygen in his depleted lungs. His bangs were soaked with sweat and he rubbed his face on her pillow to mop his brow. His chest rose and fell in great heaves....and they hadn’t even made love yet! God help me! he thought helplessly.

Liz reached over and touched him through his tented boxers. He jerked and groaned loudly as his gaze swept back to her flushed face. He peered at her through hooded eyes as though daring her to continue. Her lips barely registered the hint of a smile as she massaged his manhood persistently. She slipped her hand through the slit in his underwear and he jerked again at the warmth of her touch. His eyes slid down to his lower pelvis and he watched as she pleasured him. Liz was obviously enjoying this as much as Max for he could have sworn that she was purring with pleasure. She motioned that he should rise up so that she could remove the garment and he did so quickly. Liz purred louder as she recalled his largesse and she bent down quickly to suck it into her mouth. She made a ring with her thumb and fingers, grasping his large cock firmly but tenderly as she sucked and squeezed it.

Max leaned up on his elbows and watched in a daze as she drove him to the brink of release, his body pumping wildly as he rocked back and forth in her mouth. He tapped her head gently because he didn’t want their second encounter to end this way. It took every ounce of his willpower to get her to stop but she pulled away readily, smiling at him expectantly.

“Liz, I want you,” he spoke hoarsely, as he pulled her up on his body. His hardness dug into her soft abdomen and she couldn’t help but grind against him. Her thong was soaked with her own readiness and he slipped his fingers into the elastic and pulled them over her sweet ass as she kicked them free.

“This is what I want,” he whispered as he pushed his stiff cock against her mound. “I want to drive this deep inside of you and I want you to scream with pleasure,” he mumbled into her ear.

She whimpered at his raw words and thrust her pelvis forward. Then she stopped and uttered an oath of frustration.

“We don’t have any protection! Damn!”

“Uh.....yeah, we do,” Max admitted sheepishly as he leaned over the side of the bed and searched in his pant’s pocket for one of the foil wrapped condoms he’d just purchased. “See?”

Liz smiled sexily kissing him lightly with her pouty lips.

“Nice going, Lover boy,” she congratulated him.

“I try,” he smiled in embarrassment.

“Here, let me, Max,” she offered graciously as she unwrapped the latex sheath and rolled it onto his shaft.

Max’s chest glistened with sweat as he waited for her to finish. He rubbed at his salt slicked bangs, sweeping them out of his eyes as he flinched at her roaming fingers again. She tweaked his arousal when she was finished and he growled passionately, flipping her over and pinning her to the bed. He held her arms above her head and smiled down devilishly at his captive.

“Tease,” he accused as he nipped at her neck.

“Pussy whipped.” she shot back, her eyes sparkling with glee.

“Cocksucker,” he rasped as she ran her teeth down his throat.

“Horn dog,” she cried out as he sucked on her ear lobe.

With that, Max slid into her swiftly and deeply, causing her to jolt upwards.

“Oh God,” they groaned simultaneously at the twin peaks of pleasure. Liz automatically wrapped her legs around Max’s hips as he pumped into her, slow at first to enjoy the build up of passion. Liz matched him thrust for thrust as their sweat slicked bodies rubbed together. Liz intertwined her fingers with Max’s, squeezing them as their passion ignited.

“Max,” she panted loudly as she felt herself cresting. “Oh God, Max. Oh please, please, please,” she squealed as her head swept the pillow beneath her. Max brought his hands down and grabbed her bottom, grunting as he pounded into her, his own release imminent.

“Liz, are you ready?” he rasped as he felt himself getting closer and closer.

“Oh God, YES MAX! Oh God,” she screamed as she tumbled into ecstacy, Max exploding at the same time as he thrust into her hard. His body relaxed as he sank down on Liz’s tiny form, aware of his weight but unable to do much about it at the moment. He nuzzled her neck and kissed it tenderly.

“I love you,” he whispered adoringly as he lapped at her salty skin.

Tears sprang to her eyes and she turned her head to gaze into his amber depths.

“I love you, too,” she admitted as she kissed his cheek. “I love you Max Evans,” she murmured to the world.

Max finally rolled off of her to the side and wrapped her in his arms, kissing the top of her head lovingly. She snuggled into his warm chest and sighed happily, her head resting lazily on his body as she listened to his racing heartbeat. It thumped loudly in her ears and she waited patiently for it to slow down. She smiled again as he recovered quickly.

“You’re in good shape.” she smiled into his chest, her breath puffing warmth on his overheated skin.

“Was there ever any doubt?” he chuckled as she giggled in response.

“You know what I mean,” she insisted as she swatted his arm lightly. “You’re heart rate is returning to normal so quickly. I notice things like that, being in the business and all.”

“Oh yeah? And what might that business be, Ms. Parker?” he murmured into her hair.

“The Fitness business,” she stated proudly.

“Really?”

“Yeah, I own my own place over on the Strip. It’s called Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. Well, Maria and I are co-owners,” she admitted.

“Well, I’d love to see it sometime,” Max responded, pulling away from her to gaze deeply into her eyes.

“Yeah and I’d love to see you there,” she smiled as she touched his wet bangs. “Especially seeing you work out,” she batted her eyes coyly, her gaze coming to rest on his bulky chest.

“Well that seems only fair since I’ve already seen you work out,” he returned, smirking at her startled expression.

“When.......?”

“Yesterday morning,” he grinned. “That’s how this whole thing started,” he confessed. “You woke me up with your exercise routine and then I realized how late I was for work and one thing led to another and well...........” he kissed the tip of her nose.

“Oh. Sooo, how do you feel about me waking you up tomorrow morning?” she teased.

“It’s fine with me as long as I get to wake up in your arms,” he replied smugly.

“Oh, I think I can arrange that,” she purred as she drew him closer. “I hope you bought more than one condom,” she stated, raising a brow seductively.

“Yes, m’am,” he smirked as he reached for his pants. “A whole pocketful,” he grinned impishly.

Liz’s smile grew wide, her eyes beaming with delight.

“I like a man who’s always prepared.”

“Well, I was a scout, ya know,” his eyes twinkled merrily.

“Oh goodie,” she giggled. “Then I can count on you to tie me up in some interesting knots,” she laughed as she pounced on him.

Max growled passionately as he captured her lips.

TBC






posted on 3-Jul-2002 11:51:13 AM
Part 11


“Mmmmmm.” Low murmurings of pleasure rippled in the half light of early dawn. A long slender leg peeped out from bone satin sheets, hugging the bedclothes as a dark head bobbed while paying special attention to the big toe tethered to the foot of the aforementioned limb. Max sucked the toe deep into his mouth, tonguing the delicate digit diligently, and thus eliciting another low moan from Liz’s throat.

“Oh God Max,” she keened. “That is so un-fucking-believable!”

Max was forced to laugh, his ears unaccustomed to such language from a girl like Liz. He popped her toe from his mouth and peered up at her, his hair tousled and sexy.

“Hey sailor, watch it or I’ll have to wash your mouth out with soap,” he grinned, looking so devilishly handsome that Liz’s stomach did a somersault.

“Okay, I promise not to swear again if you’ll just get back to what you were doing,” she replied breathlessly, her cheeks flushed and her eyes darkened with arousal.

Max stared back at her, momentarily caught off guard by her rosy flush. “You mean this?” he whispered huskily as he brought her toe to his mouth while continuing to gaze at her longingly. He opened his mouth and drew his lips down over her toe, sucking it in slowly.

Liz’s eyes rolled back in her head and she shuddered uncontrollably.

“Oh my God,” she sighed heavily. “Oh Max......Oh yesssss,” she pleaded. “Oh ple-eee-ease don’t sto-o-op!” she shrilled as her head hit the pillow. She clutched the sheets, bunching them in her fists as she writhed on the bed. //Who knew that toe sucking was such a turn on?// She was so aroused that the sheet was sopping beneath her, rivulets of her juices dribbling from her.

It was then that Max realized the extent of her desire as his hand reached up to stroke her thigh, freezing when it came in contact with her creamy essence. His fingers swirled around the slippery evidence and immediately went in search of the source. He parted her folds and slipped in easily between them, his fingers delving into her hot, creamy passage. Liz bucked up in response, nearly passing out from the double assault. Max dug his hips into the bed, grinding his own raging boner into the mattress to alleviate some of his own building passion as he sucked madly on her toe, his breathing harsh and muffled beneath the sheet. He was suffocating from the stifling heat and he growled in frustration as he tried to shrug the satin from his head and shoulders in an attempt to cool off. He made a lame swat at the offending material, finally managing to free himself from its bonds. He sucked in a nose full of cooling air and flicked his sweaty bangs from his eyes while still ministering to Liz’s pretty toe, the others curled in response to his hot attentions.

He was now in a quandary, his concentrations distracted from their earlier purpose as he overdosed on the scent of Liz’s arousing juices. His mouth watered from the need to lap at her tangy offerings. He withdrew her toe from his mouth while making a concerted effort to massage the front of her inside passage with his two extended fingers, searching for her erogenous zone. He licked his way up her foot, pausing to suck on her dainty ankle. He was ready to explode as his stiff prick rubbed against the silky fabric but he was drawn to Liz’s mound like a salmon to its riverbed, seeking one last chance to mate before dying in the process. His lips ran up over her firm calves, his nose nuzzling the sensitive skin behind her knees. Liz raised her leg involuntarily to give him further access. She let her leg flop to the side as Max crept further up her thigh and she cried out when she felt his head brush against her mound. A few more inches and...................


“MAX!” Liz shrieked in pleasure as his mouth explored her hot, swollen lips. He gently raised her legs over his shoulders and she cried out again as he suckled her clit, nibbling on it tenderly as if he were testing the ripeness of a fruit. Liz’s breathing reached a high feverish pitch as he continued to pump her with his fingers. He alternated his attentions between teasing her sensitive bulb and laving her labia with the utmost consideration. Liz catapulted into ecstacy, her orgasm racking her body with severe tremors, leaving her feeling weak but sated.

She murmured incoherently, “Max, I love you, I love you,” as she fingered his scalp, her legs sliding from his shoulders limply as he moved back to give her a little breathing room. He kissed her thighs as they slid down and he leaned over her prostate form, smiling at her adoringly.

“Had enough?” he teased her quietly as he bent to peck her lips.

She opened her eyes and nodded lazily. She smiled and then glanced down at his own swollen shaft.

“But clearly you haven’t,” she smirked. “Come here lover. Mama’s always got room for one more,” she winked coyly as she drew Max closer to her.

“Are you sure?” he replied huskily, hoping for a yes.

“Oh yeah,” Liz grinned . “Oh yeah,” she groaned as his lips captured hers passionately. “How are we doing for condoms?” Liz mumbled against his mouth.

Max glanced over at the growing pile of discarded wrappers. He breathed a sigh of relief as he spied one still encased in its plastic wrap. He grabbed it and waved it in front of Liz’s nose.

“Last one,” he grinned triumphantly.

“Well, whattya waitin’ for Big Boy,” she replied in her best Mae West accent. “This is the last train to Paradise Falls so ya better hop on,” she chuckled as she wiggled her hips.

“Permission to come aboard, Ma’am,” he joined in the farce as he worked the latex over his throbbing penis, his hands shaking a little from excitement.

“Permission granted,” Liz sighed in gratification as he slid home, filling her with his now familiar size. “Mmmm, I can’t tell anymore where I end and you begin,” she whimpered as he pumped her slowly.

Max reveled in the knowledge that she still wanted him as much as he wanted her. Even after making love all night, it still felt new and exciting. There was so much more to explore and Liz’s eagerness to share in the adventure made him fall more deeply in love with her each time they started over. He had never felt like this before and he was giddy from happiness as a new thrill of excitement washed over him, settling deep inside his core. He knew exactly how Liz felt as her scent mixed with his own arousal, the two combining to form a unique blend of Liz and Max, forever erasing any boundaries that might have existed up until now. He wanted her with an all consuming passion as the flame of desire burned deep inside him.

As all these thoughts whirled through his mind, he could feel his release banking and he only hoped that Liz was with him. He needn’t have worried on that count since they worked together like two halves of a well oiled machine, the gears pumping in unison as they slid over the cog wheel, moving steadily forward.

“Max.....Max.......” Liz called out to him in a whisper,” her voice weak but insistent.

“Yeah baby, I’m here with you,” he almost sobbed in relief as he felt her walls clamp down on his pounding shaft. “Oh God....Oh Jesus,” he cried out as he pumped wildly against Liz’s core, coming undone as he shook with release. He collapsed on top of her, mindful of his weight but too exhausted to make a move. He gasped for air as his chest heaved, his whole body glistening with the effort of their lovemaking. His limbs trembled and buzzed with adrenalin as he tried to regain control of his overworked body but it refused to respond and he couldn’t fight the pull of sleep any longer. He managed to roll off Liz and then pulled her already sleeping form close to his chest. He kissed the top of her head and murmured, “I love you,” before he dropped off, too.

* * *

“Maria!” Michael gasped as he struggled to keep pace, never imagining that someone as tiny as his new girlfriend could harbor so much stamina. He’d lost count of how many times they had made love since they returned to his apartment last night. The only way he would have of knowing was by counting the used condoms that lay in a withered heap by the bedside. His balls ached from overuse but it was a good kind of ache. Not the kind that resulted from holding back but the kind that spoke of giving over and over until it hurt to give any more. He groaned as he gave up his last drop of seed, spilling into her gratefully before he sent a silent prayer of thanks above for Maria’s inventiveness. He had never known any woman who had so many ways of granting sexual pleasure. He recalled each time with amazement and awe and he moaned softly as he wrapped his arms around her pliant body, warm and relaxed from their many encounters. The first time Maria called out his name, he came with such a fervency that he thought he’d pass out. No woman had ever had such a profound effect on him until now and he actually found himself sobbing as she murmured into his ear that she loved him.

“Maria, I love you,” he responded passionately as he kissed her face and lips over and over again, tears of joy glistening in his eyes as she soothed him with her reassuring touch, smoothing his damp hair with her slender fingers. She cooed him to sleep until he woke a short while later wanting her as fiercely as the first time. He couldn’t get enough of her tenderness and her lovingness and he knew he was hooked on Maria. He loved her body like a supplicant at an altar, worshiping every part with the proper attention it deserved. Maria, in turn taught him to be more playful and open to experimentation and he was astonished at how good it felt to let go of any inhibitions he might have harbored previously.

Of course, she gave the best head that he had ever had the pleasure to experience but she also lavished attention with her amazing fingers as she manipulated the tender, sensitive flesh behind his balls with expertise. More than once she had him seeing stars as she massaged body parts that had yet to be explored by any woman. He glowed with remembrance when her finger manipulated the puckered flesh of his anus and he came hard and fast inside of her, a little embarrassed at his overt reaction to such an intimate touch. Maria put him at ease by showing him just how much she appreciated his responsive and after that, she was free to touch, manipulate, massage and explore whatever crevice she had a mind to. He, in turn revealed some of his own tricks, in particular his ability to sustain an erection while pleasuring her with multiple orgasms. She was most appreciative. Her thoughts strayed to Liz and she wondered how her night was going before drifting off to sleep with a smug smile plastered on her face. She cuddled into Michael’s warmth and breathed in his signature scent deeply, sealing it in her subconscious for future reference. Michael pulled her close and slept peacefully.

* * *

Liz stirred as her throat scratched from being parched. She licked her lips and sat up slowly, her breath hitching at the incredible sight of Max lying in the bed next to her. One arm was slung over the side of the bed as he lay on his stomach. The sheets were bunched up around his middle and she suppressed a giggle as she saw the results of her attentiveness on his flesh which bore the many marks of her sucking mouth. The man’s body was peppered with hickeys! She kissed her fingertips and touched one tenderly before extricating herself from the bed. She glanced over at her clock and blinked twice at the time. It was 4:30 pm. They’d slept the day away and she stifled a yawn, grateful that it was Sunday and Yadda was closed. She stretched and climbed stiffly out of the bed, being careful not to disturb Max. He moaned quietly and she waited until he settled back into deep slumber before scooting into the bathroom to relieve herself.

She was a little sore. Alright...a lot. She hadn’t seen this much action since......well, she couldn’t recall, it had been so long. But, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that whether or not she had ever made love as many times as she had last night, nothing would compare to how loved she had felt during the whole process. She was overwhelmed by his adoration for her. She couldn’t misinterpret his feelings for her now and she glowed form the knowledge that not only was she loved beyond anything she had ever experienced, but that she loved back with the same fervor. Being in love was exhilarating and she fairly danced from the joy of it. She hummed as she eyed her reflection in the mirror while brushing her teeth and then gasped in dismay at the hickeys on her neck, chest, abdomen and inner thighs. She craned her neck over her shoulder and was able to detect a trail of hickeys on her buttocks and the backs of her thighs. No wonder she ached so badly! She expected that when Max woke up, he would be suffering the same consequences. Well, so much for showering at work. She’d have a hard time explaining this to her female clientele even though she knew they’d enjoy pumping her for information.

“Oh well,” she muttered. “It was worth every damn mark,” she admitted smugly as she turned on the faucet for the shower. She stepped under the hot spray and moaned in delight at the soothing effect the needles of steaming water had on her battered body. Battered but loved she reminded herself as she leaned against the shower stall while her back benefitted from the hot pulsations. She heard a tapping on the shower door and started from fright.

“May I join you?” she heard Max’s muffled voice pleading from the other side of the door.

“Sure,” she chuckled as she moved aside for him to step inside. “Good morning,” she smiled into his weary face. “Have I seen you somewhere before?” she joked as she kissed him lightly on the mouth.

“Mmmm, yeah,” he smirked as he pulled her close to his body. “And I know you look familiar,” he murmured into her mouth as he prolonged the kiss. Thank God I brushed my teeth, he thought gratefully as he pressed her body closer, running his hands up her back.

Liz made a wincing noise and Max pulled back in concern.

“Hey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” he asked anxiously.

“Yeah,” she replied sheepishly. “Just a little tender,” she smiled as she pointed to the many hickeys spraying her body.

“Omigod!” Max’s eyes rounded as he laughed self-consciously. “Did I do that?”

“Well, lover, I’m pretty sure you were the only one who was sharing my bed last night,” she chuckled as she dug him in the ribs.

“Ow,” Max complained. He stared down and gasped as he saw the love bites on his own body. He glanced back down at Liz and she nodded silently.

“Yep, guilty as charged,” she admitted, laughing openly now. “Who knew?” she shrugged as she laughed heartily.

Max started to laugh, too. “Yeah, we’re just a couple of wildcats, I guess,” he replied, scanning her body as he compared the damage to what he could see of his own. “You’re okay though, right?” he repeated out of concern as he held her tenderly.

“Yeah, more than okay Max,” she sighed happily.

“Me, too. I love you Liz,” he whispered close to her ear as the spray pelted their bodies. “I know this may seem kinda soon but I know what I feel. I knew it the moment I saw you. I felt something,” he added awkwardly, suddenly at a loss for words.

“I love you, too Max. I think we both felt it and it can never be too soon if it’s the real thing,” she added reassuringly, unafraid to express her true feelings for this wonderful man. “I’m so happy Max,” she sighed again.

“Me, too.”

They hugged each other close, standing together until they felt the water turning tepid. They bathed quickly and toweled each other off, forgoing any further lovemaking since neither one was up to the effort. Besides, they were both starving and couldn’t wait to fill their empty bellies. Liz was the first to finish dressing and she headed for the kitchen, automatically filling the kettle and plugging it in before she began an assault on the kitchen cabinets and the fridge. She frowned as she realized that she hadn’t done any recent shopping, the past couple of days taken up with more pressing matters.

“Max, how does ordering out sound?” she called down the hall.

“Yeah, sure, that sounds great,” he agreed as he padded down the hall.

The kettle whistled and Liz turned to pour the water into a waiting teapot.

“Oh, would you prefer coffee?” she asked politely as she reached for the Instant in the cupboard.

“No, I’m a tea drinker, believe it or not,” he chuckled quietly. “I guess it’s all those nights I stayed up with Mom after Dad died,” he shrugged self-consciously. “God, we drank so much tea,” he shook his head in recollection.

“Max, I’m so sorry,” Liz said sympathetically as she reached out to touch his arm.”I know so little about you. I had no idea that your father was dead. I don’t even know if you have any brothers or sisters. I know practically nothing about you,” she admitted ruefully, her brow wrinkling.

“Four brothers, no sisters. A terrific Mom and a devoted Aunt and Uncle,” he smiled down at her. “All of whom I can’t wait for you to meet. Okay, well the brothers....eh...” he waved his hand comically. “Just kidding,” he laughed. “I’m really lucky to have such a great family. How about you?” he wondered.

“Two loving parents, two sisters, no brothers, an odd assortment of Aunts, Uncles and Cousins....and I do mean odd,” she laughed. “But all in all, I’ve been pretty lucky, too. And I know they’re gonna love you, too,” she smiled as she reached up on her tiptoes to kiss him.

He wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her tightly. Liz’s stomach gurgled loudly and she laughed in embarrassment.

“I guess I better order something before I make a complete fool of myself. Name your poison,” she offered.

“Chinese?” he queried.

“Ooh, I knew there was more than one reason I loved you, Max Evans. Chinese it is then,” she rubbed her hands in delight. She dialed the number of The Mandarin restaurant that was etched into her brain. Max glanced over at the phone and shook his head as he laughed.

“We definitely would have met sooner or later,” he grinned. “I order from there at least three times a week.”

“Really,” she laughed as she waited for the call to go through. “Oh hey Ling, it’s Liz. Yeah, just fine thanks. Uhm, yeah, sure the usual. Oh wait a minute.....Uh Max?”

“It’s okay, Liz. I have a feeling that whatever you order will be just fine with me,” he chuckled.

“Yeah, me too,” she smiled coyly. “Uh, Ling, make that two of everything, please. Yeah, that’s right. I have company. Very special company,” she added softly. “Never mind, nosy. I’ll fill you in later,” she giggled as she turned her back to Max. “Ling! Not now! No! Stop! I’m hanging up now. Yes! No! Ling! Goodbye!” she laughed as she hung up the phone. “Uhm, that was....”

“Ling?” Max laughed.

“Yeah,” she chuckled, blushing slightly.”Here, why don’t we sit down and have some tea while we’re waiting?”

She busied herself in the kitchen while Max took a seat on the couch, thumbing through a magazine on the coffee table. Liz set a tray with teapot, tea cups, and milk and sugar in front of Max. She sat down next to him and poured the tea, handing him a cup. He helped himself to milk and sugar while she poured her own.

“So, maybe we should get to know each other a little better, “ she suggested as she sipped her tea, while settling comfortably on the couch.

“Good idea,” Max agreed. “Not that it’ll change how I feel about you,” he added determinedly.

“Me neither,” Liz smiled as she thought how nice it was to meet someone without the entanglements of family to throw a wrench in the works. They chatted about the little details of their immediate families, sharing funny stories to bring the characters to life, when they were interrupted by the doorbell.

“Oh goodie!” Liz exclaimed, jumping off the couch. “Dinner is served,” she laughed delightedly as she skipped towards the door.

Max reached for his wallet in his back pocket and rose from the couch to pay for the meal. He stopped short in his tracks, shocked as his eyes tried to register the sight before him.

Liz had just flung the door open to reveal a stockier version of Max flinging his arms around Max’s woman.

“Lizzie. Oh God, I’ve missed you!” the stranger’s voice rang out as he grabbed Liz in a bear hug and whirled her around.

“M-Matt?” Liz choked out as she heard the sharp intake of breath behind her.

TBC



posted on 3-Jul-2002 12:08:39 PM
Part 12


Max cleared his throat and stood stiffly as he waited for the reunion to take its course. Liz struggled in Matt’s grasp, trying vainly to extricate herself from his tight hug. Matt was unaware of Max’s presence and continued to twirl Liz around the foyer, squeezing her to his chest and laughing boisterously. Max made a move to wrestle Liz free from this Neanderthal but just as he stepped forward, Matt ceased his insane twirling and set Liz on her feet, grinning down at her with obvious adoration. He bent down to kiss her and Max fairly screamed murderously while Liz shrank back in shock.

Matt did a double take and his head swung up as he finally noticed Max glaring at him with contempt, his hands balled into fists by his side. Matt’s eyes dropped to Liz’s and he stared at her for clarification. He let go of her and stepped back awkwardly, shifting uneasily on his feet as he waited for an explanation.

“Matt, what are you doing here?” Liz questioned him, puzzled. “We haven’t seen each other for over three years. I thought you’d gotten married,” she ended almost sadly, folding her arms across her chest protectively. Max moved closer to Liz and stood by her side, his own stance echoing hers.

“Oh, yeah.........well, that didn’t last,” he shrugged in dismissal. “You were right, Lizzie. She wasn’t the girl for me. I should’ve listened to you,” he smirked feebly, keeping a close eye on Max, who although lighter built, looked like he could take on Matt with no problem.

“Oh,” Liz replied quietly. “Well, I’m sorry Matt. I really am but I don’t know what that’s got to do with me, now. Why are you here?” she repeated, shaking her head in puzzlement.

“Hey, do I need a reason to see an old friend?” he laughed nervously. “Come on, Liz. We have a history. I needed a shoulder to cry on, is all,” he shrugged off handedly.

Max took a step forward.

“Max Evans,” he introduced himself somberly as he extended his hand.

“Oh, hey, nice to meet you. I’m Matt Schuster, an old friend of Lizzie’s,” he beamed up at the taller Max.

“Yeah, so I take it,” Max replied in a less than friendly fashion. Max took in his appearance, carefully noting the same dark hair and square jaw that was so familiar to him. The eyes were a little lighter and the brows not so well defined but in spite of his shorter and heavier stature, he could pass as Max’s brother. Max turned to Liz and raised his brow in question. Liz shrugged helplessly and was at a loss for words. She bit her lip and finally seemed to find her voice.

“Uh, Matt, why don’t you come in and sit down?” she pointed into the living room, extending her arm politely in invitation.

“Uh, yeah, sure,” he agreed as he edged past Max in the tiny foyer. Max stood his ground but his eyes followed Liz as she lead Matt into the room. Only then did his feet move to follow.

Liz gestured to the couch and Matt sat down, patting the cushion next to him with his palm.

“Come sit next to me Lizzie. We have so much catching up to do,” he said warmly.

Liz hesitated, sending a silent question to Max who seemed to have turned into a wooden statue. Liz edged to the couch slowly and sat down, not on the proffered cushion, but a little to the side, balancing on the seat as if she were about to take flight. She turned to Matt and asked politely.

“Would you like something to drink?”

“Sure, that would be great,” he replied happily.

“Uh...great. Well, I’ll just go get us all something, shall I?” she replied as she tried to get Max involved in the conversation.

By this time, Max had settled himself stiffly in the easy chair off to the side of the coffee table, facing the couch. He nodded to Liz, glancing at her briefly and flashing her the tiniest hint of a smile before he quickly returned his gaze to Matt, his instant dislike for him only deepening by the minute. Matt’s legs jumped nervously while he leaned forward and drummed his fingers steadily on the coffee table. Max smirked at his agitation and leaned back more comfortably in his chair, his leg crossed over his knee and his hands resting comfortably on the arms of the chair. Liz bustled about in the kitchen, banging kitchen cupboards and upsetting the ice cube tray as she tried to fill the glasses in her haste. She cursed under her breath and then she dropped the ice cube tray. It clattered to the floor and the two men were on their feet instantly, dashing towards the sound.

“Oh, damn, damn, damn,” Liz muttered as she bent down to retrieve the cubes which were sliding all over the tiled floor. The door bell rang and Liz cursed again.

“Max! Can you get that please?” Liz called out just as his head rounded the corner of the kitchen, right before Matt. “It’s probably the food,” she looked up as she threw a cube in a dish towel.

“Yeah, sure,” he readily agreed as he glared at Matt who had bumped into him when he came to a sudden halt. Max retreated and Matt knelt down next to Liz to help her retrieve the gliding cubes. Their hands touched when they reached for the same piece of ice and their eyes met momentarily. Matt’s fingers caressed hers for a moment as he gazed at her deeply. Liz was mesmerized by his stare and couldn’t pry her eyes away.

“I’ve really missed you,” he whispered as he leaned closer, his free hand coming up to smooth her hair from her face. He rubbed his fingers on her cheek and closed his eyes as he recalled what it was like to make love to her. Liz stiffened and made a move to pull back just as Max walked back into the kitchen with the bags of Take-out. He halted abruptly as he caught the look on Matt’s face. Liz looked guilty and tried to stand up too quickly which only sent her off balance. She fell forward into Matt’s arms. He caught her willingly and her mouth was pulled closer to his.

Liz squealed and with an enormous effort, she pulled herself out of Matt’s embrace and finally managed to stand. Max was clenching and unclenching his jaw in an obvious effort to control his temper. His breathing was shallow and uneven and he could barely look Liz in the eye.

“Oh, thanks for paying for the meal Max. I”ll square it up with you later, okay?” she smiled tentatively.

“My treat,” he said quietly through clenched teeth.

“Great,” she smiled a little too brightly. “Um, Matt would you like to join us for dinner?” she asked hesitantly.

“Oh gosh, I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll go, really. I’m sorry,” he said, looking dejected.

Liz immediately felt sorry for the guy. “Oh, no, really. It’s no problem, right Max?” she croaked, noticing how Max’s head had snapped up when she asked Matt to stay.

“No problem,” Max spoke in clipped tones. “I’ll put the food on the table,” he muttered as he pushed passed Matt.

“Great,” Liz’s smile grew even brighter as she tried to ease the situation. “Matt could you bring some plates and cutlery to the table? I’ll get the napkins and place mats,” she offered. She handed Matt the plates and cutlery while she scrambled for the rest of the items, not wishing to leave Matt and Max alone in the same room together for too long. “Well, I guess I’m pretty lucky to be spending my evening with two good looking guys,” she joked lamely as she set the mats in place and arranged the dinnerware. “Oh, I forgot the drinks.”

“That’s okay, Liz. I’ll get them,” Matt offered as he went out to the kitchen to retrieve the glasses.

“Liz, what were you thinking!” Max hissed when they were alone.

“I’m sorry, Max,” she whispered. “But he looked so sad that I couldn’t just turn him away.”

“Well, don’t encourage him to linger,” Max fumed as he lay the cartons of Chinese food on the table.

Liz’s stomach churned uncomfortably as she anticipated an indigestible meal. She sighed heavily and sat down at the table, picking at her place mat while she waited for Matt to return. She forced a smile when Matt sat down after setting out the drinks.

“Wow, this smells good,” he sniffed the air experimentally.

“Yeah. It’s from the Mandarin,” she replied a little too cheerfully. “Help yourself guys,” she added, spreading her hands towards the food as she opened a carton and spread some of the contents on her plate. Normally, she’d be drooling as she did this but tonight she could barely muster up the interest to even check out the contents of her cartons. Being such a regular and loyal customer, Ling always placed a special treat in one of the cartons. Liz looked forward to this, especially after a long day at work. However, she showed no such enthusiasm tonight and she hardly even looked to see what surprise Ling had left her. She didn’t have long to wait for it was Matt who discovered the *treat*.

“Holy shit!” he laughed. “Someone put a condom in one of the cartons!” he exclaimed as he pulled the wrapped prophylactic out of the nest of fortune cookies. “What kind of a restaurant is this?”

“Omigod!” Liz blushed as she grabbed the item and placed it in her pocket. “Ling!” she muttered under her breath. She looked over at Max but he found it much less amusing than he probably would have if Matt hadn’t been there. He quickly glanced at Liz and turned away as he grabbed a carton and heaped his plate with rice.

“So Liz, what other goodies does this restaurant supply?” Matt asked suggestively.

“Huh?” Liz mumbled, distracted by Max’s gruffness. “Oh, it’s just a little joke, Matt,” she replied evasively. “Here, have some rice,” she offered as she passed him the carton. “So, tell me Matt. What have you been doing lately?” she inquired politely, trying to look interested.

“You mean besides getting divorced ?” he wisecracked.

“Uh, yeah,”Liz crinkled her brow in embarrassment.

“Well, actually, I’ve been working hard on a script,” he replied excitedly. “It’s almost done and I just need someone to have a look at it to tell me what they think.”

“Hey, that sounds great! Doesn’t that sound great, Max?” Liz nudged him under the table.

“Yeah.......great,” he mumbled as he filled his mouth with more food, barely acknowledging Liz or Matt.

Liz looked mortified. “So, what’s it about?” she asked with false enthusiasm.

“Well, it’s sort of a sitcom type script. You know, two guys and a girl.......”

“And a Pizza Place?” Liz popped in the joke.

“Yeah..funny Lizzie,” he laughed. “Not a Pizza Place. More like a health club, really,” he remarked casually. “Something like your’s actually,” he smiled. “Maybe I’ll come down there and get some material for my script,” he joked.

“Sure. No problem,” Liz offered tentatively. She could almost feel Max tensing as he was forced to listen to this conversation.

“You look great Liz,” Matt carried on. “I guess it helps to own your own health club. At least you get to work out all the time and stay in shape.” He reached over and touched her hand. Liz smiled at him nervously as she removed her hand from the table, brushing her hair behind her ear as an excuse. “Maybe I should join up. I could use a little working out,” he hinted suggestively.

Max had had enough. He stood up and grabbed Matt’s collar and yanked on it. Max pulled him up and turned him around, glaring at him menacingly.

“What the hell is your game, anyway, asshole?” he yelled. “You come waltzing in here with a sob story to a woman you haven’t seen in years and you expect her to come falling back into your arms?” He shook the smaller man and raised his fist angrily.

“Max! Stop it! Please!” Liz interrupted them. “You’re acting like a jerk!” she accused as she jumped up from her chair and pried his hands off Matt. “Look, this is all just a little misunderstanding,” she added awkwardly as Matt looked on, offended. “Nothing is going on here,” she added quietly as she fidgeted with her hands.

“What?! I’m acting like a jerk?! You’re kidding, right?” Max added, puzzled and hurt by her accusations. “Liz, can’t you see what he’s up to? He’s trying to make a move on you! Don’t you see that?” he stared at her, shaking his head angrily.

“Max, what on earth are you talking about? And don’t you yell at me!” she fumed as she stood with her hands placed firmly on her hips.

Matt looked on quietly at the angry exchange between the couple. He tried to speak but Max and Liz were in no mood to listen.

Max was so angry at this point that he kicked his chair out of the way and strode out of the dining area. He opened the apartment door and slammed it loudly behind him, knocking a picture off the wall.

Meanwhile, Liz stood trembling with outrage by the table, her arms held stiffly at her sides. Matt didn’t know what to do. He cleared his throat and spoke quietly.

“Perhaps I should go, Lizzie. I didn’t mean to start anything between you and Max.”

“Huh?” Liz started out of her reverie. “Oh, no. It’s not your fault, Matt. I mean, Max and I hardly know.....har-dly know ea.......” she left the sentence unfinished because her lip was trembling too badly.

“Oh God, Lizzie, I’m so sorry,” Matt said as he wrapped her in his embrace. “I had no idea that you were seeing somebody,” he confessed as he kissed her temple gently. He rocked her in his arms as her shoulders heaved with sobs.

“No, it’s okay, Matt,” she whimpered as she relaxed in his arms. “You had no way of knowing,” her voice quaked as she allowed Matt to lead her back to the living room. “Max and I’ve had a rocky start anyway,” she sighed. “I guess it was too good to be true. You know me and my luck with men,” she smiled ruefully at him. “You included,” she added uncomfortably.

“Lizzie, I’m so sorry I hurt you. I didn’t mean to. I was never really sure how strongly you felt about me and then Mandy came along and I just......I’m so sorry,” he repeated as she eyed him coldly.

“That’s neither here nor there now,” she said in a hurt voice. “You left me high and dry when that rich bitch came along,” she reminded him acidly, her voice trembling in spite of her best efforts as Max’s words finally sank in. “So now that she finally got tired of you, you come running back with your tail between your legs?” she choked as she fought the stinging tears from splashing onto her cheeks.”You broke my heart, you bastard!” she cried as she jumped up off the couch. “God, what is wrong with me? Don’t I deserve for someone to love me?” she screamed as she bunched fistfuls of hair in her hands. “Why do men keep dumping me? I’m not mean or nasty. I’m not a bitch. Why do the bitches always get to keep the guys? Why dammitt?!” she shrieked.

Matt looked on horrified as she ranted. She was really losing it and he didn’t know how to react. Liz was sobbing hysterically and when he finally reached out to comfort her, she swatted his hands and jumped back angrily.

“Don’t touch me. Get out! GET OUT!” She screeched as she pointed forcefully at the door.

The door handle rattled and Maria swept it open quickly. She’d heard Liz yelling as she hurriedly exited the elevator. She knew as soon as she’d seen Max return to his apartment in a stormy mood that she’d better get back and try to smooth things over. Liz was so easily riled and Maria was the only one who could calm her down. She stopped in her tracks when she saw Matt standing there, also in a state of confusion. Her jaw dropped and she spat out angrily.

“Well, look who’s back? I thought we’d seen the last of you when Candy stole you away!” she growled sarcastically.

“Mandy. Her name’s Mandy,” he returned quietly as he shuffled his feet. Jeez, what is it with all these screaming women! Must be hormones! he thought unhappily.

“Mandy, Candy, Shmandy! Do I look like I give a damn?! It’s all trash, no matter what you call it! Get out of my sight before I do something we’ll both regret,” she threatened as she held open the door widely.

Matt tore passed Maria and glanced back at the distraught Liz. “I’ll call you, okay?” he added feebly.

“You do and I’ll kick your ass to kingdom come!” Maria reiterated as she raised her foot to give him a swift kick for good measure.

Matt swerved his butt just in time to avoid the boot and he ran down the hall as Maria yelled invectives at him. He raced towards the stairs and beat a hasty retreat.

Maria looked embarrassed as some of the tenants poked their heads out to see what all the fuss was about.

“Sorry,” she apologized. “There was a big rat in the apartment and I was just getting rid of it,” she dissembled as she shut the door quietly. She heard the murmur of concerned voices in the corridor and hoped they wouldn’t give the Super too much grief over it. She had more important issues to deal with now, anyway as she turned her attention back to Liz who was in a state of despair, sobbing about losing the one and only man she ever loved. She beat her fists into the couch and kicked her feet into the cushions.

“Sugar, sugar,” Maria cooed to her as she forced her to sit up. She rocked her in her arms and kissed her head softly.

“Oh God Maria!” she cried frantically. “He’s gone and I’ll never see him again!” she wept loudly. Her throat ached from crying and her nose and eyes were swollen beyond recognition. “Oh God, Oh God, Oh God. What am I gonna do?” she rasped , running out of breath and shuddering as she took in a trembling one.

“Ssssssh..........sssssssshhhhh......Liz, honey, you’ve got to calm down, alright? You’re gonna make yourself sick. Now, look at me, sugar. Look at me,” she urged her. “Okay, now that’s better. Now, tell me what happened. Why was Matt here?” she demanded quietly.

“I-I d-don’t know,” Liz’s shoulders shook from the effort to speak in a normal voice. “H-he j-just wanted to t-talk, I think,” she stated in confusion. “I g-guess he and M-Mandy just b-broke up and he wanted to talk t-to me. M-Max,” her lip trembled fiercely as she spoke his name. “Max,” she tried again, biting her hand to quell the trembling, “got pissed off because he thought that M-Matt was trying to hit on m-me,” she hiccuped. “He got rough with him and th-then I got m-mad at Max and then...and then........” she started crying uncontrollably again and Maria could guess the rest.

“Oh sugar. I’m starting to wonder if they’re worth the effort,” she sighed heavily as she rocked the overwrought girl in her arms. “C’mon honey, let’s get you into bed, alright?” she whispered kindly as she led Liz down the hall. She sat Liz on her bed and started to undress her. “Omigod, sugar, what on earth happened to you?!” she exclaimed as she noted the bruises covering Liz’s body. “Did Max do this?” she stated angrily.

“Huh? Oh.....oh no, it’s not what you think, Maria,” she confessed, smiling weakly. “They’re hickeys,” she blushed.

“Do tell,” Maria grinned widely. “So I take it that you and Max enjoyed your evening, hmmm?” she smirked as she removed Liz’s top.

“Yes, it was the most beautiful experience of my life,” Liz nodded sadly as fresh tears welled up in her eyes.

“Ssssh, don’t let’s get started on that again,” she reminded her. “You know, Max was pretty upset himself when he came back to the apartment. He didn’t say anything, though. He just went to his room and slammed the door.” Maria paused as if she were making a decision. She sighed and then forged on, turning to look at Liz with a scrutinizing eye. “Liz, you have got to tell Max. If you ever expect to have a normal relationship with any guy........be it Max or anyone else.....you have got to get this out in the open.”

Liz paled and shook her head vehemently.

“No, Maria. I can’t” she whispered tearfully. “Even my parents don’t know. Please don’t ask me to do that. I can’t. I just can’t!” she choked, looking as though she’d be sick.

“Liz, honey. What’s the worst that can happen? If you think that you’ve lost Max, like you said, then what harm is it gonna do to tell him?”

“What good will it do? My God, Maria. It’s bad enough that he probably won’t want to lay eyes on me again. How do you think he’d feel knowing that I...........”

“Liz, look at you! You can’t even admit it to yourself! Liz, sugar, you are the sweetest, kindest, most giving person I know. You deserve a good life with a good man. I happen to think that Max is that man. And if I’m right, then not only will he understanding, he’ll be supportive and trustworthy, too. Liz, if you do nothing else for me, your best friend in the whole world, will you please do this? I won’t ever expect anything else from you...well, except maybe to be the godmother to your firstborn and have visiting rights whenever I want and to get four weeks vacation with the little darlin’...summer and winter and..........”

“Maria!” Liz sighed. “I don’t even know how to begin. It happened so long ago. I mean, it’s just too painful to bring up after all this time. I just want to forget and move on.”

“But Liz, don’t you see. You’ll never move on if you don’t face it.”

“But, if Max never knows then he won’t think I’m so............. disgusting,” she finished quietly, hugging herself. “Maybe we still have a chance,” she added hopefully.

“Omigod, honey, you’re not disgusting,” Maria cried as she gathered her in her arms. “The jerk who did this to you is disgusting. If only I could get my hands on him now,” she threatened, her voice cracking. “Talk to Max, Liz. Please.”

“Alright,” she sighed. “Hand me the damn phone,” she added grumpily.

“Yes!” Maria laughed as she drew Liz into a bear hug. “I’m so proud of you sugar,” she said, kissing her cheek.

“I’m so scared I’m shaking,” Liz confessed.

“So am I!” Maria stated wide eyed.. “But we’ll get through this. I love you. Max loves you. Michael loves you.”

“Wha......?”

“Well, I’m sure he will once he gets to know you, sugar. To know you is to love you, honey.”


TBC
posted on 3-Jul-2002 12:11:36 PM
Part 13


“Max, will you open the damn door?” Michael insisted as he rattled the door knob impatiently.

Max had remained in his room since he’d returned to their apartment, sulking like a little boy. Michael knew something was up. Max was normally so rock solid and steady. The past two days were so uncharacteristic of his normal behavior that Michael realized this whole explosion of feelings was probably too much for him to handle.

“Give it up Michael,” Max muttered as he rolled over on his side, grabbing his pillow and punching it with a vengeance.

“Hey, man, I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on,” Michael stated matter of factly. “You’ll have to leave that room sooner or later and I can wait if you can,” he reiterated as he slid down the wall and sat down on the floor.

Max ground his teeth and jumped up off the bed. He pulled the door open and strode out into the hall, almost tripping over Michael who had posted himself by his door.

“Oof,” he grumbled as he caught his balance. “What the hell.....?”

“I told you I wasn’t going anywhere,” Michael grinned up at him. He pulled himself up and threw his arm around Max’s shoulder. “How about a beer?” he asked as he led Max into the living room.

“Uh, uh,” Max shook his head.

“Well, do you mind if I have one?” Michael asked as he pulled open the fridge door.

“Nah, go right ahead,” Max sighed as he flopped down on the couch.

“O-kay,” Michael returned as he twisted off the cap and took a swig of ale. “So.....what happened?” he asked, cutting straight to the chase.

“Nothin’,” Max refused to cooperate.

“Hmmm, nothin’,” Michael said, pursing his lips. He stood at the kitchen island, leaning on one hand as he eyed Max knowingly. “Max, I know you better than my own brother. You’re pissed about something. I know it’s got something to do with you and Liz. And I respect the fact that it’s probably none of my business so if you don’t want to spill, that’s fine with me. But if you’d like to get it off your chest then I’m all ears,” he offered.

Max sighed heavily and dropped his head in his hands.

“I acted like a real jerk,” he admitted finally. “God, I can’t believe I said those thing to Liz!
She’ll never want to see me again,” he groaned.

“Somehow, I doubt that,” Michael retorted.

“Michael, you have absolutely no idea what happened, man. I accused her of.....Oh shit, I can’t even believe it!” he groaned again as he slid deeper into the couch. “There was this guy, Matt,” Max explained as he spat out his name with disgust. “He came to Liz’s apartment just as we were about to eat. Apparently, they’re old friends or something and he was comin’ on to her as if I weren’t even in the room! Jeez, I wanted to punch the asshole so badly but Liz was all protective over the jerk and so I started yelling at her like an idiot and before I knew it she was yelling back and then...well, you know what happened after that,” he groaned , shaking his head in frustration.

Michael took another long drink of his beer and set the bottle down on the counter, wiping his mouth with satisfaction.

“Classic case of jealousy,” he surmised. “You’re in love with the woman and you can’t stand the thought of her having been with another guy before,” he nodded wisely.

“No, man, that’s not it!” Max denied vehemently. “I mean, yeah, it makes me sick to think that this jerk ever laid hands on her but he was the one who was out of line,” he insisted.

Michael raised a brow and looked at Max skeptically.

“No, Michael, I am NOT the possessive type,” Max slammed his fists onto the couch. “Did I ever once get jealous over Annie when another guy hung around her?” he demanded.

“Max, if you haven’t realized it by now, Liz is NOT Annie,” Michael reminded him. “In all the years that I’ve known you, buddy, you’ve never acted this way around a woman. Face it Maxwell, you are in LUV,” Michael chuckled, upending the beer bottle to drain it.

“I know that,” Max verified. “I know that,” he repeated quietly, staring off into space as an image of a smiling Liz flashed before his eyes. “It’s like I can’t control my emotions around her,” he added self consciously. “No matter what it is, it’s like it’s just....more when I’m around her,” he searched lamely for an appropriate description of his feelings for Liz. “Michael, I hardly know her. How can this be happening to me?”

“I dunno, man,” Michael shrugged as he laid the empty bottle in a receptacle by the fridge. “I’m feelin’ the same way about Maria,” he admitted sheepishly. “Maybe they’re witches or something,” he laughed as he sat down on the other end of the couch. “It’s weird, that’s all,” he added under his breath.

“Witches?” Max snickered. “Yeah, that would explain a lot!” he laughed. “I know one thing for sure. I’m gonna need some black magic to get me out of this fix.”

Michael reached behind him and grabbed the phone on the sofa table.

“Or a little black box,” he joked, handing him the ebony phone. “Call her Max,” he suggested.

“You think?” he hesitated. “Maybe it’s too soon.”

“Now, Max,” Michael insisted, shoving the phone in his hand.

“But I don’t even know her number.”

Michael smirked and handed him a scrap of paper.

“Compliments of Maria,” he grinned. “I told you they were witches!” he laughed.

“Yeah, right,” Max smiled as he punched in the numbers. He frowned and held the phone up so Michael could hear. “Busy,” he told him, disappointed.

* * *

“Busy,” Liz sighed as she hung up the phone.

“Okay, fine,” Maria nodded as she set Michael’s number on the bed. “Go get freshened up and meet him at his place,” Maria decided.

“What?” Liz exclaimed, shocked. “Maria, don’t you think that’s a bit extreme?”

“Liz, trust me. You have to strike while the iron’s hot. Now, go wash your face and change your clothes. Hurry! Hurry!” Maria cajoled, pushing her towards the bathroom.

Liz stumbled into the bathroom and threw Maria an exasperated look but she did splash some cold water on her face and brushed her teeth for good measure. When she emerged from the bathroom, Maria already had an outfit spread out for her.

“Maria, this is ridiculous!” Liz shook her head. “Why am I doing this again?” she sighed.

“Because he’s the one, Liz. The one you’ve been waiting for your whole life and if you screw this up I will personally hand you over to the Nuns myself,” she chuckled as she handed Liz a fresh blouse. “Besides, I’m getting old and I can’t wait much longer to be a godmother,” she smirked as Liz stepped into a fresh pair of jeans. “Oh....you’d better wear this around your neck,” she grinned as she handed Liz a scarf. “You know....the uh,” she gestured towards the hickeys peppering Liz’s neck.

“Oh yeah, right,” Liz mumbled, blushing a little. “Oh God, Maria, I don’t know if this is such a good idea,” she backpedaled as she studied her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes were still a little puffy and she looked pale.

“Here,” Maria smiled, as she turned her around and began applying a little eye shadow and some mascara to her swollen lids. “This’ll help. Now, some lip gloss and a hint of blush and you’re all set,” she said, wiping her hands together, smiling at Liz in satisfaction. “He’ll understand, sugar,” she said, hugging Liz tightly. “He loves you. Now go get ‘im,” Maria laughed, smacking her bottom.

Liz smiled weakly, her heart galloping in her chest as her stomach fluttered nervously. She opened the apartment door with a trembling hand and stepped into the corridor, swallowing with difficulty as her mouth suddenly went dry. She turned back and looked pitifully at Maria who had stationed herself at the door.

“Maria, I’m so scared,” she whispered, feeling faint from all the tension. “What if....?”

Maria took pity on her and rushed into the corridor.

“I’ll walk you over, okay? It’s a good excuse for me to see Michael again, anyway,” she grinned as she took Liz’s hand and squeezed it.

“Thanks, Maria,” Liz sighed gratefully. She took a deep breath and with Maria’s encouragement, she lifted her heavy feet down the hall.

* * *

Max looked in the bathroom mirror and decided that he needed a shave. He did so quickly and brushed his teeth and combed his hair. He put on a fresh shirt and after a second thought, he changed his pants, too. Suddenly, he wasn’t sure if he had the stamina to go through with this. Michael came into view as if hearing Max’s thoughts.

“It’s now or never man.” he raised his brow.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Max blew out a ragged breath. “God, I’m shaking, I’m so damn nervous!”

“Hey, it’ll be over with before you know it,” Michael said, patting him on the back. “Come on. I’ll walk you out. I need to go to the store, anyway,” he admitted.

“Thanks, Michael,” Max smiled appreciatively.

The two guys walked out of the apartment, one looking confident as he swaggered into the hall, the other looking wan and fidgety as he stooped slightly.

Michael swatted him on the back.

“C’mon man. You’re meeting your woman, not the executioner,” he joked.

Max smiled nervously, his mouth twitching. He swallowed passed the lump in his throat and took a hesitant step down the hall.

“I think I forgot my key,” he stalled as he turned back to the apartment door.

“Nuh, uh,” Michael said, waving it in front of his face.

“My wallet,” Max hesitated, patting his back pocket. “Oh,” he added sheepishly as he felt the bulge in his pants.

Michael grabbed him by the shoulders and steered him down the hall.

* * *

Liz came to an abrupt stop at the top of the steps leading from their building.

“Maybe I should’ve brought a sweater. I mean, it could get cold later,” she paused, turning on the spot to retrace her steps.

“Liz, sugar, You’re only going next door,” Maria smiled patiently, as she encouraged her to keep moving. “I’m sure Max will lend you something if it’s that cold,” she insisted.

“Are you sure we shut off the stove? How about the water? Did we turn off the taps? You know how they tend to drip. We should go back and check the taps,” she uttered in a panic as she made a move to swing around.

Maria caught her and pulled her gently towards her. “Liz, the taps are fine, the stove is off and you are going to quit this stalling and march over to Max’s apartment,” she sighed as she looked her in the eye.

“I don’t wanna do this, Maria,” she sobbed, her lip quivering from stress. “Please don’t make me do this. I’m not ready,” she confessed as she sat down on the step.

Maria sat down next to her and hugged her.

“Okay. But the longer you put this off, the harder it’s gonna be on you,” she reminded her. “But, I’ll never make you do anything you don’t want to, honey. Let’s just sit here for awhile and get some fresh air, okay?”

“Yeah,” Liz nodded, breathing a sigh of relief. She peered up at the night sky, recalling how much brighter the stars appeared in the desert. They stood out so boldly against the darkness, unaffected by light pollution from nearby city lights. She often found herself describing what it was like to Maria who had grown up in Atlanta. She smiled dreamily as she thought about the many hours she’d spent stargazing.

“I miss the desert, so much,’ she spoke in hushed tones. “It’s so beautiful, Maria. I miss the stars shining so brightly. And there’s so many of them,” she enthused. She hadn’t been home for over two years since the business had taken off. Maria had never even visited New Mexico with her and she wished that she could take some time to show her friend all the beauty of the desert. Her eyes sparkled with the memories that she had and her cheeks were flushed with happiness. Her head slowly lowered as she became aware of someone gazing up at her. Max stood at the bottom of the steps, his own face reflecting the adoration he felt for her. She colored even more as she realized that he had witnessed her conversation with Maria, who by now had moved off discreetly with Michael, strolling hand in hand down the street.

“Liz.....” he hesitated as he gazed longingly at her. She looked so beautiful, perched on the step. She was practically glowing and he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. All his nervousness had dissipated as he took the steps slowly. He felt a rush of warmth and love permeate his chest and he beamed from happiness.

“Max.....” she whispered as he moved towards her. His eyes shone with a golden light and she had to remind herself to breathe as he crept closer to her. He looked so handsome and she smiled shyly as he sat down next to her.

“I’m sorry,” they confessed in unison.

TBC


posted on 3-Jul-2002 12:14:57 PM
Part 14

Max reached over and took Liz’s hand in his and brought it to his lips. He nuzzled the soft skin, eyes closed in concentration as he wallowed in her scent, and then planted a tender kiss on her knuckles. Liz jolted from the sexual rush and gasped audibly as he opened his eyes. They held a curious mixture of longing and respect.

“I’d like to take you on a date,” he smiled shyly. “We need to get to know each other, Liz. I mean, you know, more than just stuff about our immediate families. I think we’ve approached this relationship all backwards. We already know we love each other but it’s important that we don’t leave out the liking part. Don’t get me wrong,” he rushed on as he watched her face fall. “I like what I know, already, but I know there’s so much more about you that I want to learn. Especially in light of what happened this evening. I don’t usually go ballistic like that, believe me. I’m really ashamed of the way I acted and I guess I really wanted you to know that.”

Liz paled under his scrutiny and had difficulty maintaining eye contact. She appeared flustered and disoriented and tried to maneuver out of his grasp. Max looked confused and wondered what was wrong.

“Max,” she began in a cracking voice, “............Max.....I -I don’t know where to begin. I was actually on my way over to see you when I chickened out. I have something to tell you. Something about my past that has been haunting me for years. Something that has affected my relationships with men. But it’s so hard for me to tell anyone about this. Maria is the only one who knows and she’s the one who finally convinced me to tell you and.........”. She broke off and wriggled away, standing up on shaky legs. She grasped the rail and wavered a little. Max stood up immediately and was by her side in a moment. He hugged her back to his chest and kissed the top of her head.

“Liz, what’s wrong? You’re scaring me,” he admitted. “Why are you so upset?”

“Oh Max. I’m so afraid to tell you. I don’t want you to think any less of me.....but I know if this is going to work between us...well, I have no choice but to tell you. But, not here,” she added in a panicked voice as she peered around.

“O-okay,” Max hesitated as he felt a huge knot settle in his stomach. “Where then?”

Liz looked up into his face as she turned around, wanting to savor this moment in his arms before she revealed her sordid past. Maybe Maria was right. Maybe he would understand and offer her comfort and love. Or maybe he would be so disgusted with her that he’d turn and run. Either way, she knew she had to face her demons and if she couldn’t face them with this wonderful man, then there’d be no one else to share her burden. She smiled hesitantly and took a deep breath.

“Let’s walk to the park. Please,” she added desperately, squeezing his hand.

Max wore a guarded expression but forced a smile.

“Sure,” he nodded. “Why not?” He squeezed her hand back reassuringly and started down the steps.

Liz’s legs wobbled from the effort but she managed to get some kind of a rhythm going and was able to keep up with his languid stride. Max could feel her trembling and it tore at his heart that she was so upset. They crossed the street and walked the short distance to the local park. They strolled around the paths for awhile, Max sensing her need to steel her courage. He wrapped his arm around her waist and led her to a secluded picnic table. He lifted her up to sit on the table top and he sat down on the bench, peering up at her expectantly. The moon shone brightly overhead, serving as a backdrop to her own dark head. She looked like a fairy Princess perched on her toadstool throne and Max sat there entranced. The trees muffled the cacophony of city noises, allowing them a momentary respite from their Urban surroundings.

“It doesn’t matter what it is you have to tell me,” he spoke softly. “I love you so much now that nothing that happened before will ever change my feelings for you. It’s okay, Liz. You can tell me anything,” he smiled encouragingly as his hands cupped her calves.

Liz suddenly felt very queasy and bit her lip nervously. She toyed with the hem of her shirt and tried to speak but no words would come out. She shook her head helplessly and sighed in frustration. She cleared her throat and tried again.

“Max, this happened a long time ago,” she spoke in hushed tones. “I was attending my fourth year of college. I met this guy....I can’t even say his name,” she confessed with a shudder as she turned away from Max’s probing gaze. “He seemed like a regular guy. He was a fellow student in my Abnormal Behavior Psych class,” she grimaced wryly. “If only I’d paid more attention in class, I might have figured out what his game was before everything got out of control.”

Max stiffened as he felt icy fingers of dread creep up his spine but he leaned forward to hear more of Liz’s confession, in spite of his reservations.

“We were about half way through the semester and we’d gone on a couple of casual dates. You know, movie and bowling type dates. Lots of people around and just two students enjoying each other’s company. Then, one night he invited me over to his place for dinner. I thought nothing of it, really. We’d just finished midterms and I needed some time to unwind so I just accepted his invitation. He mentioned a couple of other people he’d invited. I didn’t know them but, like I said, it was just casual so I didn’t give it a second thought.”

Liz hesitated at this point and fidgeted nervously on the table top. She cleared her throat as her mouth suddenly went dry and she seemed to have difficulty breathing. She took in a long shuddering breath as the memories of that night came flooding back. She droned on in a hollow voice:

It was Hallowe’en. This guy had decorated his place very cleverly. As a matter of fact, I was totally convinced that I’d entered a crypt of some kind. He had asked me to dress up as a vampire and I went along with it. I didn’t want to seem like a party pooper. When I arrived, his friends were already there and both he and they were also dressed as vampires. He kissed me on the cheek and I kissed him back and he introduced me to the two strangers. It was hard to make out their features under all that make up so I never really knew what they looked like. We sat down and chatted while the guy went to get us drinks.

His friends seemed nice enough. Apparently, they were also attending the same college but they were pretty vague about their studies. I didn’t press them, since I didn’t want to appear rude. The guy returned with our drinks and proposed a toast.

*To new friends and new experiences*

We raised our glasses and I took a sip. The drink was spicy and had a strange coppery taste to it. I assumed it was a new twist on a Bloody Mary and even though it tasted strange, I took another sip out of politeness. But it was so awful I couldn’t bear the taste. I put my glass down and sat back on the couch, suddenly realizing that I hadn’t smelled any food cooking. I started to ask the guy something about the meal but my tongue felt really heavy and he seemed to be splitting into doubles. I laughed because I couldn’t seem to focus on his image. I reached out to touch him and my hand seemed to be floating in space. By this time, his friends had moved off the couch and he slid next to me. I couldn’t stop laughing. I had no control over what my mind and body were doing.

He pulled me into his arms and started kissing me. I kissed him back . It was like I couldn’t stop myself. He pulled my dress off my shoulder and begin sucking my breast. It felt so good and I didn’t want him to stop. I let him do whatever he wanted to me. I was aware that his friends were in the room but I didn’t seem to care. Vaguely, I could see them out of the corner of my eye, and they seemed to be getting as involved as we were. But it didn’t matter to me. I just wanted my guy to have sex with me so badly that I would have screwed him in front of these strangers.

It was as if he’d read my thoughts because he started stripping my clothes off. I didn’t stop him. I wanted this so badly that I started to peel his clothes off, too. By this time, the other couple was naked, also. I could hear their heavy breathing and it only made me more excited. I was absolutely out of control and I clawed at his clothes, practically begging him to screw me! It didn’t take much convincing for him to oblige. Before I knew it, we were doing it right on the couch, fucking like two horny dogs. I was on my hands and knees and he came up behind me and rammed into me.

We humped like crazed animals in rutting season while the other couple were in plain sight. Seeing them made me even hornier and I watched them after we finished. I wanted to be with them, too, so I moved over to the floor and waited for them to finish. They had barely pulled away from one another when I jumped on top of the other guy. He was all for it and gladly obliged as he pulled me into his body. While we screwed, the other two went at it. I was wild and I couldn’t get enough. I knew that this was totally against my character but like I said, I had no control over what was happening to me. All I wanted was to get laid.....over and over. Then, I felt her hands on me and I swear I salivated with pleasure. She spun me around and started kissing me wildly and I couldn’t stop myself from responding. My body craved sexual release and I wanted everything they could give me.

The guys watched us for awhile and they got so turned on that they attacked us from behind and as we were kissing and sucking on each others breasts, the guys entered us from behind and began screwing us again. I was screaming from pleasure and so was she. We couldn’t stop exploring each others bodies while the guys drove us mad with desire. Our tongues lapped at each other’s mouths and we both came together while we were joined in the front as we rubbed each other’s clits . I fainted from my orgasm and then I don’t remember anything after that.


Liz hung her head in shame, waiting for a response from Max. Finally, she looked up and she was horrified at his expression. His hands were fisted in agony while his face betrayed his misery. Liz misinterpreted his reaction and moaned pitifully as she scrambled off the table, hiding her face in her hands. She staggered over to a tree and buried her head against the rough bark of the trunk. She wept silently, praying that Max would just leave so she wouldn’t have to witness his abhorrence. He finally managed to find his voice.

“God, that’s so horrible!” he rasped, the pain evident in his voice. “Didn’t you suspect something was up when you went to his apartment? How could you walk in there and not know something was wrong, Liz? Why didn’t you just get the hell out of there?” he asked in a stunned voice.

Liz whipped around angrily. She couldn’t believe that Max was questioning her motives.

“Excuse me?!” she yelled. “Max, weren’t you listening to me? I told you I thought the guy was legit. It was Hallowe’en and why would I suspect there was something wrong with him hosting a Hallowe’en party, complete with authentic decorations and costumes? That’s what people do at Hallowe’en. I’m not a mind reader, Max! Do you have any idea how hard that was for me to tell you? I guess Maria was wrong about you after all,” she cried out in pain as she made a wild dash for open space. She could hear him calling out to her but she didn’t wait to hear what he had to say. She slid on the dewy grass, falling down and scraping her knee as she struggled to get up again. Max caught up with her as she entered a tunnel beneath a bridge and grabbed her arm.

“No Max! Please, let me go!” she wailed as she batted his arms. Her voice echoed off the stone walls and Max held her tight as she fought him with her fists. “Please, please,” she sobbed as she collapsed in his arms. “You’re right. I was a fool and I’m so disgusting. Oh God, Please, let me go!” she pleaded.

“Liz! Liz! Stop!” Max insisted as he held her tight. “I don’t think......You’re not......Liz. Please,” he broke down as he shared her pain. “Oh baby, I was just so mad at what that guy did to you,” he cried as he continued to support her tiny frame. “Oh, my poor sweet Liz,” he murmured into her hair, kissing her head and rocking her in his arms. “God, I can’t believe that anyone could be that depraved,” he swore savagely.

Liz sobbed uncontrollably as Max continued to soothe her. He slid down on the hard surface of the tunnel and cushioned Liz in his lap, stroking her head and back as he murmured quiet words of comfort. Liz trembled violently and was beyond any coherent thought. Max planted soft kisses on her head and cheek while he waited patiently for her to calm down. Gradually, her sobbing ceased and she lay limply against his strong frame, her hand clinging desperately to his shirt.

“Liz, I don’t want you to ever think that you’re disgusting,” he spoke quietly. “What that guy and that couple did was totally out of line but you did nothing wrong. I don’t understand why you’ve never told anyone about it, though,” he admitted in confusion. “Why would you let them get away with it?”

Liz was so exhausted from her distress that she could barely talk. Her throat ached and she just wanted to go to sleep. She breathed in heavily and her body shuddered again.

“The sick bastard videotaped the whole thing!” she cringed. “It was some kind of weird cult initiation and they needed to prove that they’d gone through with it. I just happened to be the unlucky sucker that he chose for his partner. He said it was something about my eyes. Oh Christ, I feel so sick even talking about it! He threatened to send a tape to my parents if I ever said anything. What was I gonna do, Max? Can you imagine how my parents would have felt if they’d seen something like that? He made me watch it when I came to, though! I threw up when I saw how depraved we all acted. He told me that the drinks were tomato juice mixed with some blood and spices and some weird aphrodisiac. I wanted to nail his ass but there was no way I was taking any chances with my parents finding out. I only told Maria three years ago, right after I broke up with Matt.”

“Did he try anything?!” Max’s voice rose angrily.

“No. He turned out to be a jerk but he wasn’t a weirdo. He moved on to greener pastures, so to speak. Mandy is filthy rich.......or should I say, her Daddy is. She was a regular at Yadda and that’s how Matt met her. He figured that her connections would get him further in Hollywood so he dropped me like a hot brick and married the rich bitch. Daddy wasn’t too pleased and cut her off. I guess after living on the skids for awhile, she finally had enough of the Spartan lifestyle and cut Matt loose. That’s why I was so shocked to see him today. We had been an item for over a year before she came on the scene. He was my first serious relationship after the college date from hell,” she joked lamely. “He seemed to ease the pain somehow, even though he had no idea what had happened, and he did treat me well. I guess his ambitions were more important than our relationship, though. After that, I didn’t bother too much with dating. And, until you came along, I’ve never felt anything like what we have with anyone else, Max.”

“I’m sorry I acted like such an idiot today, Liz,” Max apologized. “Being with you brings out the beast in me, I guess. I feel so protective of you and I’ve never felt this way before. I’ve only dated a few women myself and I just got out of a three year relationship with a girl back home before Michael and I moved out here. But, it was more of a friendship thing and I never once felt the kind of passion I feel when I’m with you. I know it’s weird that we feel so strongly about one another. I mean, we hardly know anything about each other and that’s why I thought it was important to get to know each other better so we could avoid any more embarrassments like today. I love you, Liz. I really do and I want this to work.”

“Me, too, Max,” she sighed as she clung to him.”But could we skip the date thing tonight?” she yawned. “I’m so tired after all the excitement of the past three days and I have to get back to work tomorrow. Do you mind?” she asked sleepily.

“No, not a bit,” he chuckled as he hugged her close. “I have to get back to work tomorrow, too or I may be out of a job. C’mon, I’ll walk you back, okay?”

“Yeah, that’d be great,” she smiled up at him through swollen lids. “If this is what the first couple of days are like, I can’t imagine what lies ahead,” she laughed.

“Well, one thing we can be sure of. It won’t be dull,” Max smirked as he pecked her on the lips.

* * *

“Michael?”

“Mmmmm?”

“Where do you think Max and Liz went?”

“Dunno. Does it matter?”

“Nooo. Just wondering. Michael?”

“Mmmmmmm?”

“Pass the chocolates, please.”

Michael leaned over her naked form and popped a chocolate into her mouth. Then he took another one and squeezed it between his fingers and dripped cherry liqueur on her breasts. He pressed his lips against her nipple and his tongue snaked out to lick off the tasty juice. Maria purred with pleasure and giggled as he slurped his tongue over her mounds.

“I still can’t decide which is better,” she sighed as she stretched languidly. “Sex or chocolate?”

“Well, let me give you another taste of both,” Michael growled as he flipped her over on top of him.

“Ooh, yes please,” Maria squealed with delight. “More, more, more, Michael,” she encouraged him as his hands swept through her hair, pulling her close for a passionate kiss.

* * *

Max waited while Liz unlocked her apartment door.

“Are we okay, now?” he murmured as he pulled her into his body for a good night kiss.

“Mm, yeah,” she nodded as her lips met his. “Come in for a bit, please?” she requested.

“Just for a little while,” Max offered. “I know you’re beat and I need to get home, too.”

“Stay until I get ready for bed, please. I don’t want to be alone right now.”

“Sure,” he smiled.

She led him down the hall to her bedroom and she insisted he lay down on the bed to rest while she had a quick shower. She twisted her hair in a bun and lathered her body quickly. She rinsed off and stepped out into the steamy bathroom to towel off. Max had switched on the radio and she could hear the Top Ten Countdown playing in the background. She hummed along to the popular tunes while she finished her beauty routine. She wrapped her robe around her svelte form and stepped into the bedroom. Her eyes lit up with love when she spied Max fast asleep on the bed. He looked so peaceful as she watched the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest. He had rolled to his side and his legs were curled up slightly as he snuggled into the pillow. He’d slipped his shoes off but he was still fully clothed.

Liz bent down to kiss his cheek and he moaned softly.

“Max, sweetie,” she whispered.

“Huh?” he muttered, answering her sleepily, struggling to sit up.

Liz chuckled.

“Here, lover. Take off your clothes. You can spend the night here.”

He was so tired he didn’t object. Liz stripped him in no time and before she knew it, he was fast asleep again. She joined him in the bed, turning off the radio after double checking the alarm setting. She switched off the bedside lamp and snuggled in behind Max.

“Goodnight, sweetheart. I love you,” she sighed blissfully before she drifted off.

TBC


posted on 3-Jul-2002 12:17:09 PM
Part 15


Max felt a chill and stirred from a deep sleep. He reached behind his body and blindly searched for the bedclothes that had mysteriously slipped from his sleeping form. His hand encountered a lump in the bed and he squinted his eyes drowsily as he turned in the bed and tried to discern the alien figure occupying his bed. He’d forgotten that he’d fallen asleep at Liz’s again. The shape was wrapped tightly in his sheets and he poked at it in confusion in his half awake state. A moan erupted from the bulge and he crinkled his brow, waiting expectantly for enlightenment. A female arm emerged from the covers and wacked him on the side of the head. He fell back from the force of the blow and moaned pitifully at the resulting pain. A louder moan of protest came from beneath the balled up covers and the figure shrugged off the sheets, her head finally coming into full view. Max peeked at her from between the fingers that soothed his stinging eye.

“Liz?” he mumbled.

“Mmmmm?”

“Oh.”

“Huh?” she grumbled.

“I didn’t know who....”

“Who what?” she groused as she yawned loudly.

“Never mind,” he insisted as he nursed his eye.

“What’s wrong, Max?” she said with more concern as she opened one eye to ogle him. “Why are you holding your eye?” she said, sitting up and peering at him in the dark.

“Oh..uh.....it’s nothing.” he dissembled.

“Max? What’s wrong?” she urged him.

“You.....uh smacked me in the face..... in your sleep.” he added, chuckling self consciously.

“Omigod, sweetie, I’m so sorry,” she apologized as she scooted over to his side. “Did I hurt you very much?” she cooed as she kissed his cheek softly.

“It stings a bit,” he admitted as he removed his hand.

“O-mi-god!” Liz reiterated as she got a closer look at the damage. The eye was swelling rapidly and it was already half closed. “Oh Max, I’m so sorry, honey. I can’t believe I did that!” she admitted in consternation. “Here, stay there and I’ll get some ice. It looks like it may be closing up.”

Liz hurried to the kitchen and in her rush she stubbed her toe on the kitchen cabinet. She howled in pain as she collapsed on the floor, grabbing her injured toe with both hands.

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhhh,” she cried out as she rolled around on the tiles.

“Liz!” Max called out as he hobbled out of bed. He switched on the hall light and squinted at the bright light through his good eye. “Liz!” he yelled again as he ran down the hall towards the kitchen. “Oh damn! What happened?”

“I banged my toe on that goddamn, stupid, fucking cabinet!” she wailed in pain as she nodded towards the offending piece of cabinetry.

“Here, let me have a look at it,” Max pleaded as he knelt down beside her. By this time, his left eye was streaming with tears from his injury and he was barely able to keep his other one open from the corresponding pain. He plied Liz’s hands away from her foot and peered unsuccessfully at her swelling toe. He wiggled it gently and she screamed, hitting his hand away.

“Stop!” she yelled in agony. “Oh, it hurts so much, Max,” she moaned.

“I think it may be broken,” he made a guess. “We’d better get you to the hospital.”

He stood up and realized that he couldn’t drive them because he was incapable of seeing clearly. He reached for the phone and rang his apartment. The phone rang six times before a sleepy Michael finally answered.

“This better be a matter of life or death,” he threatened grumpily.

“Oh, hey Michael,” Max returned breathlessly.

“Max, for God’s sake, man, it’s”.....He looked over at the clock.”Jeez, it’s three fucking o’clock in the morning! What the hell!”

“Sorry, man, but I think Liz just busted up her toe......... and I need you to drive her to the hospital,” he added pleadingly.

“What! Why the hell can’t you drive her and how the hell did she break her toe?!” he demanded.

“Long story........well, not really. Look, just come over here, will ya?”

“Jeeezzz,” he cursed, muttering under his breath. Max could hear Maria mumbling in the background and he could just imagine what she would have to say to him. He cringed from the thought and looked back at Liz, shaking his head miserably. Liz was balled up on the floor, her hands clutching her toe again as she rocked herself to alleviate the pain.

“Michael?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he grumbled. “I’m coming, I’m coming.”

“Max! What happened to Liz?” Maria demanded as she grabbed the phone from Michael.

“Oh...uh, sorry to disturb you Maria,” Max confessed, his shoulders hunching at her shrill tone.
“She...uh..she uh.......I think, she uh may have broken her toe, but I’m not really sure,” he finished lamely.

“She what?!” Maria screamed into the phone. “How on earth did she do that! Were you two doing some kind of weird sex thing?!” she demanded.

Max held the instrument away from his ear and screwed up his face.

“NO!” he insisted angrily. “Look, I’ll explain when you get here, alright?” he added testily.

“Yeah, you’d better, buddy. I’m starting to wonder whether it’s safe to leave you two alone for two minutes,” she fumed as she threw the covers off of her. “We’ll be there in two shakes,” she added, hanging up the phone abruptly.

Max suddenly realized he was standing naked in the kitchen and he hurried to the bedroom to throw on his clothes. He grabbed Liz’s jeans and top that she’d flung over her chair and remembered to gather some underwear for her before he scurried back to the kitchen.

“Here, sweetie,” he coaxed her to a sitting position. “You’d better get dressed before Maria and Michael get here.

He helped her on with her clothes and was just zipping her jeans when Maria flew in to the apartment, Michael following closely in her wake. She brushed past Max and gave him a puzzled look as she peered at his swollen eye before kneeling down to attend to Liz.

“Oh sugar, what happened?” she cooed as she examined Liz’s big toe.

Liz squinted at her in pain and pursed her lips in exasperation. “I was trying to get some ice for Max’s eye and I was in a hurry and slammed my damn toe into the kitchen cabinet!” she grumbled.

Maria looked back at Max and shook her head.

“Okay, I’ll bite,” she sighed. “What the hell happened to Max’s eye.......and this better be good,” she smirked.

“Shall I tell her or would you like to do the honors?” Max smiled weakly at Liz.

She gave him a lopsided grin and shrugged her shoulders in embarrassment.

“I hit him in my sleep,” she confessed.

Maria raised her eyebrows and smirked at Michael.

“That’s pretty good,” she smiled. “I can’t imagine what you were dreaming about but it must have been a doozy. Okay,” she stated business like. “Let’s get you down to the hospital and see if that toe really is broken. I have no idea what they can do for you....I mean, do they even put a toe in a cast?”

Michael shrugged his shoulders, throwing his arm over Max’s shoulder.

“I guess we’re about to find out...right good buddy?” he winked at his friend.

“Yeah, right,” Max replied quietly as he covered his eye self-consciously.

“Jeez man,” Michael laughed. “I’m starting to agree with Maria. You two are hazardous to each other’s health,” he chuckled.

“Thanks for the support, Michael,” Max muttered. He bent down and picked Liz up gingerly, making sure he had regained his balance before he walked her to the door. “You okay?” he whispered in her ear.

“Always with you around,” she snuggled into him.

“Here’s the keys Michael,” Maria threw them to him. “Let’s go,” she ordered as she swept past Michael into the hall where Max stood waiting with Liz.

* * *
The Dr. stood back after examining Liz’s toe. Max was positioned on the other side of the bed, refusing to leave her side. He held an ice pack to his bulging eye as he listened to the Dr.’s diagnosis.

“Well, it looks like the young lady did indeed break her toe,” he nodded sagely. “Unfortunately, there’s not a heck of a lot we can do for you, Liz,” he shrugged apologetically. “It’s going to be sore and swollen for a few days and it’ll turn black and blue. We could put your foot in a walking cast but you’d probably be just as well off by resting it for awhile. I can give you some heavy duty pain killers and that’s about it.”

Liz nodded appreciatively and peered up at Max who looked so dejected that she squeezed his hand in comfort.

“Max......stop that,” she admonished him quietly. “It’s not your fault. If I hadn’t been such an idiot and turned on the hall light instead of running in the dark, I wouldn’t be here now. Okay, Dr. Wyatt, I’ll take as many of those pain killers that you’ve got,” she grinned sassily.

“You bet,” he grinned back as he went to retrieve a packet of pills for her.

Liz smiled at Max and kissed his hand.

“See? Everything’s gonna be fine,” she assured him.

He leaned closer to peck her lips.

“Yeah, but how about Yadda? How can you work with a broken toe? You won’t be able to lead any exercise classes,” he reminded her.

“Yeah, I never thought about that,” she frowned. “Well, Bonnie will just have to fill in for me. She wanted more hours anyway,” she shrugged. “I guess this is her big break,” Liz joked and Max groaned at her choice of words.

“When I get you back home, you’ll pay for that,” he warned her.

“Oh yeah?” her eyes twinkled. “This could prove very interesting. You won’t be able to suck my toe, you know.”

“Who said anything about toe sucking,” he shot back as he growled in her ear. “You have lots of body parts that need attention.” To prove his point he nibbled on her ear. Liz moaned deeply.

“Don’t start something you can’t finish, Max,” she sighed.

“Oh, I have every intention of finishing.....over and over and over,” he whispered huskily as he licked her ear.

Liz whimpered and turned her head to capture his lips just as Dr. Wyatt came back into the room. He coughed to make his presence known and Max pulled back from Liz, looking ravished and dazed. Liz blushed and laughed.

“Oops!” she grinned, licking her pouty lips.

Dr. Wyatt laughed back and handed her the pills.

“I think you may have some stronger medicine than I could ever hope to prescribe,” he winked. “Take one of these every four hours. Don’t overdo it. You should probably rest for a couple of days. Keep your weight off that foot, especially. This is a rubber cushion that you can slip over your toe,” he added as he passed her the small appliance. “It’ll make it easier to walk. You should be feeling much better by the end of the week. Oh, and Max, I have this for you,” he grinned, holding up a black eye patch. He’d already heard the details of the crazy story from Maria.

Max blew out a laugh, shaking his head.

“Ooh, I love a man with a patch,” Liz whooped, clapping her hands.

“Aarrrr, and that you may, lassie,” Max joked as he put on the eyepatch. He thumped around the room, hamming it up as Long John Silver.

Dr. Wyatt and Liz laughed at his antics. It was at this point that Maria and Michael peeped their heads in. Maria looked askance at Max while Michael joined in the laughter.

“Hey, Max. Can I borrow the patch when you’re finished with it?” he begged. “I always wanted to play a pirate.”

“Aaaaarrrrr, no matey. You’ll haveta be gettin yer own patch,” he growled. “Me and my woman here have need of the patch,” he raised his eyebrows suggestively.

“Hey, Doc.” Michael turned to the physician. “You got any spare patches?” he queried.

“Michael!” Maria gasped, mortified.

“What?” he turned to her, looking puzzled. “It doesn’t hurt to ask.”

“Just a minute,” the Dr. chuckled as he went in search of another patch. He returned momentarily and pushed it into Michael’s outstretched hand. “You didn’t get that from me, okay,” he grinned sardonically.

“Got it,” Michael winked, pointing to his nose. “Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum,” he sang in a deep baritone as he placed his patch over his eye.

Maria wacked him lightly on the head.

“Don’t expect me to swing from your yard arm, matey.”

“Hey, Babe,” Michael teased her. “Don’t give away the family secrets.”

“Ooh, Michael!” Liz laughed gleefully. “A whole yard?”

“Ahem...on that lewd note, I will leave you,” Dr. Wyatt laughed as he returned to duty. “Take care, everybody,” he waved as he departed.

“Bye, Dr. Wyatt. Thank you,” Liz called after him. “So,” she grinned, turning back to Max. “Are you going to carry me?” she batted her eyes as she held up her arms, wiggling her outstretched fingers.

“Yes, wench,” his eyes traveled her body seductively. “To heaven and back,” he promised in a husky voice.

“Oh my,” Liz replied in a breathy voice. “Then what are we waiting for?” she asked coyly.

Max scooped her off the bed and swaggered out of the cubicle, being careful to watch her toe. She held her arms around his neck, clinging to his strong body. She loved how his muscles rippled against her hip bone. She snuggled closer and lay her head on his shoulder, breathing deeply of his masculine scent.

As luck would have it, two of the nursing students who had swarmed Max and Michael just a day and a half ago, came strolling down the hall in the early hours of the morning. They were on the first shift of their nightly rotation and were having a hard time staying awake. Their eyes popped open when they saw Max carrying the petite Liz down the corridor. They grabbed each other by the arms and gaped openly as Max strolled past them, totally oblivious of any other female but Liz. They watched with keen fascination as his biceps bulged in the tight sleeves of his white t-shirt. They licked their lips as they watched his tight ass move in his tight jeans and had to restrain themselves from reaching out to touch it.

“Good evening ladies,” Michael winked as he passed them. “How’s tricks?”

“Eep!” they squeaked as they jumped in fright. “Omigod, it’s them!” they squealed as they ran helter skelter down the hall like two groupies.

“Michael?” Maria gave him a hard look. “What’s that all about?” she fumed, arms crossed over her chest.

“Oh that? Nothing really,” he shrugged off-handedly. “Just our Fan Club,” he grinned cockily as he followed Max and Liz down the corridor.

“You’re what?!”

“Oh, sugar pie, we have some catching up to do,” he grinned as he ran towards Maria and twirled her in the air.

“Michael, put me down!” she demanded in a harsh whisper, slapping him on the chest.

“Not until you smile and tell me you love me,” he teased as he continued to twirl her, despite their growing audience.

“Now, Michael,” she insisted as she struggled to get free.

“Nuh, uh!” he grinned wickedly.

“Alright, I love you,” she whispered, frowning at him.

“Nope. That won’t do. Ya gotta say it like you mean it, wench,” he leered at her, his patch wrinkling as he laughed. “And remember to smile.”

Maria knew it was useless to argue with him so she sighed and relaxed in his arms. “I love you, Michael Guerin,” she smiled sweetly. “Now put me down,” she retorted.

“That’s better,” he said as he kissed her tenderly. He set her down and she couldn’t help but kiss him back.

“I do love you, Michael,” she admitted through glistening eyes.

“I know you do,” he whispered huskily. “I love you, too.”

There was a smattering of applause from a small group of patients and staff in the waiting room. Max turned around and smirked at his friends.

“Show’s over folks,” he laughed. “C’mon Guerin. Liz is getting heavy,” he chuckled.

Liz kicked her legs in protest but couldn’t help but laugh.

“You beast!” she hissed.

Max smiled down at her and kissed the tip of her nose.

“Oh Baby, you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet,” he hinted.

* * *

Michael pulled into the parking lot behind Liz and Maria’s apartment building. It was 5:00 am and they were thoroughly exhausted. They yawned loudly as they piled out of the car. Liz hopped on one foot while she waited for Max to lift her up. He looked so tired, his right eye rimmed with dark circles while his left was safely hidden beneath the dark patch.

“I’m never gonna make it into work today,” he stifled a yawn. “I don’t care if they do fire me.”

“No probs, my man,” Michael informed him. “All I have to do is call in and tell them that you had a relapse and you’re under doctor’s orders to rest for at least another day.”

“Thanks, Michael,” Max smiled appreciatively.

“And what about me?” Maria pouted.

“Oh, that’s easy,” Michael smirked. “You’ll be busy taking care of a sick friend,” he nuzzled her nose.

“Mmmm. Sounds good to me. It’s a good thing that I’m not fully booked today,” she added happily. “I’ll cancel my morning appointments at least and try to make it in after lunch,” she promised Liz.

“Hey, Maria. Just cancel for the day. It’s not like old Mr. Saunders can’t come in tomorrow for his weekly facial. It doesn’t do him a bit of good, anyway,” Liz giggled. “There’s only so much seaweed extract out there. He’ll still look like the creature from the Black Lagoon.”

“Yeah but he just loves to feel me up,” Maria teased Michael who did a double take. “Relax Cap’n Bly. The old guy’s only like 130 years old,” she rolled her eyes. “He says he loves to hear me sing. I can’t let him down, Michael, “ she yawned.

“Well, when’s his appointment?” Michael asked.

“Uhm..... 2:30, as usual.”

“Okay. That gives you about 6 hrs. to sleep before you have to get ready, so let’s go!” he insisted, dragging her back to his building.

“Hey, wait a minute!” Maria stopped as she did some mental counting. “I make it at least 9 hours.”

“Who said you’ll be sleeping the whole time?” Michael smirked as he hoisted her over his shoulder.

Maria giggled uncontrollably as Michael ran down the alley.

Liz and Max laughed as they watched them disappear.

“So, shall we go to bed, too?” he kissed her softly as she rested in his arms.

“Mmm, yes please,” Liz nodded eagerly as he headed towards the entrance.

TBC

posted on 3-Jul-2002 12:19:31 PM
Part 16


Max carried Liz all the way to the elevator and while he waited for the car to arrive, he planted tiny soft kisses on her face and mouth which she eagerly responded to. At this early hour, the hallway was deserted so they were free to express their feelings openly.

“So Max, sweetie,” Liz murmured in between kisses. “When are we officially going on our first date?” she giggled.

“Oh God,” he groaned as he chuckled in spite of his dilemma. “Do you think that’s a wise move?”

“Uh, yeah. Most definitely,” she nodded eagerly. “Strength in numbers, I always say. I mean, let’s look at our stats so far.” She counted off on her fingers. “You ended up in hospital the first time when you were alone in your bathroom. Your second trip was a result of a relapse and where were you? All alone in your bedroom. Your third trip was because you were alone with me in my bedroom and by an unfortunate quirk of fate you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I ended up in the hospital the first time when I got a little inebriated.....yes, a little,” her voice raised at Max’s quirky grin, “ when I was practically alone in my apartment and my second visit was a bizarre result of a fall in my kitchen when I was all by my lonesome, in the dark. So statistically speaking, we would be much safer if we were in a crowd........say at a nice fancy restaurant complete with dancing later on,” she hinted, batting her eyelashes.

“Hmmmm, it sounds logical,” he stated seriously, rubbing his chin awkwardly with his left hand as he struggled to balance her swaying body in his arms. “How-ev-er,” he drew the word out, “there is one basic flaw in your theory. You, my dear, won’t be doing any dancing for a while yet!” he smirked as he nodded his head towards her foot.

Liz frowned and her lips pouted.

“Oh, yeah, right,” she sighed heavily. “But,” she added brightly as she thought about it some more. “I can still eat!” she grinned broadly, rubbing her tummy for emphasis.

“Touche,” Max chuckled. “Ruling out choking on fish bones and chicken bones and lacerations from flying shards of glass from accidently dropped wine goblets and burns from too hot plates and spilled gravy and soup and salmonella food poisoning and intestinal worms and swarms of locusts invading the restaurant...” he took a deep breath, “I do believe that we could actually have a very enjoyable evening out on the town in each other’s company with an armed guard, ambulance attendants and a surgical team standing by.”

“Oh, and don’t forget the Fire Dept. and the Police Dept.,” she joked, getting caught up in the jocularity.

“But of course my little Crumpet,” he said in a fake French accent.

Liz sighed happily as she lay her head down on Max’s chest. “It really has been a whirlwind Romance, hasn’t it?”

“Yep. And this is just the beginning!” he reminded her jovially.

“Are you having second thoughts?” she fretted, peeping up at him through half-lidded eyes.

“Never,” he stated with finality as the elevator doors slid open. He stepped inside carefully and pressed the button for the fourth floor. The doors closed and he stared down at her with a comical expression. “But tomorrow I am going to increase my Health Insurance coverage by about 500%!”

The sounds of their laughter echoed through the ancient shaft as the elevator ascended slowly.

* * *

Maria fell onto the bed as Michael catapulted her into the air. She screamed with a combination of fear and delight as she landed on the unmade pile of bedclothes.

“Ssssh,” Michael cautioned her as he dropped down beside her, unable to contain his own laughter. “You’ll wake the neighbors.”

“Hmmmm, well I guess you’ll have to find something to stuff in my mouth then,” she hinted as she tugged on his jeans.

Michael’s eyes glazed over as he conjured up mental images of what exactly she had in mind. His face flushed as she rubbed her hand languidly across the fly of his pants. His breath quickened as her nails raked along the rough denim. He fell back on the bed and offered no resistance as her fingers slowly unzipped his jeans. Her hand swooped inside his boxers and pulled out her reward.

“Oh Michael,” she sighed wantonly as she admired his thickness, her body going all tingly as she reacted to his manhood. “Oh God, Michael. I love it. I just love it,” she murmured as she dropped her head to lick the silky shaft. It jerked in response and she chuckled, the vibrations of her laughter sending an electric thrill up Michael’s spinal column. A glistening drop of salty essence leaked from the top of his crown and Maria cooed with pleasure.

“Oh sugar, is that for little ol’ me?” she burst out with pleasure as her tongue snaked out to taste the creamy treat. Michael’s hips bolted off the bed at the touch of her teasing tongue. He moaned deeply and thrust his body rhythmically upwards. That’s all the encouragement Maria needed to launch her assault on his exposed flank. She swooped down with mechanical precision and opened her hatch to insert his torpedo. Michael cursed as she drew her lips around his shaft and sucked on it with abandon.

“Oh God!” he groaned helplessly as she sucked her way back up, as if she were snacking on a popsicle. She slurped her way to the top and ran her tongue around the bulbous tip, nipping gently at the sensitive flesh. Michael shot straight up in the air and grabbed her head as if latching onto an anchor. She rolled her tongue around and around in a tantalizing circle until Michael couldn’t control his emotions. His head swam from the pure torture she was inflicting on him.

“OhhhhhhhhGodddddddd!” he screamed as she continued to tease his arousal. “Ma-rrrr-iiii-aaaaa! Oh holy shit! What are you doing?!” he yelled. He broke out in a drenching sweat, his whole body trembling with unleashed desire, as he hauled her up to plant a passionate kiss on her full lips........the same lips that had been pleasuring his pulsating penis just moments ago. “I-can’t- wait,” he panted as he ripped her pants off. “Now!” he demanded as he lifted her high above his pelvis and sank her down on his stiff cock. Maria sighed and threw her head back as he reached up to massage her breasts beneath her blouse. Her huge nipples stiffened immediately, their peaks protruding invitingly from under her lacy bra. Michael’s fingers scrabbled as he grabbed at her buttons frantically, ultimately ripping them off her blouse, the sounds of their popping making little pinging noises as a counterpoint to their heavy breathing. He thanked God for front closure bras as he twisted the clasp, flinging the cups apart. Michael teased the peaks with his thumbs and forefingers until she writhed on his thick prick, overcome by the twin assaults on her most erogenous zones. He sat forward and sucked one into his mouth, drawing the protruding nipple deep inside until it rubbed against the roof. He ran his tongue along the underside, while making little grunting noises like a suckling baby. Maria was insane with desire as she rocked wildly, rubbing her swollen sex up against his rock hard shaft, forcing his penis to hit against her hot spot. She screamed with release as her orgasm ripped through her tiny frame, bucking wildly as she rode Michael. He released his hold on her first nipple as he eagerly sought the second breast. He tugged on it gently, swishing his head back and forth as if he were wrestling with a tasty treat. Maria continued to orgasm, her head spinning from the wild ride. Michael could feel his own release at hand and he flipped her over, quick as a flash, and drove into her fiercely, unable to control his savage need to plunder her. His black patch still clung to his left eye, giving him a dangerous, sexy look.

“I’m gonna fuck you ‘til you scream Uncle!” he rasped through clenched teeth.

“Never!” Maria returned as she shook her head vehemently.

Michael grinned evilly down at her as she panted from the longevity of his assault.

“We’ll see about that,” he gritted as his eyes froze in response to his peak. He roared with pleasure as his release shot through him, arching his back like a King Cobra, punctuating his final lunge into her moist cavern. He sank back down, laying heavily on Maria as his chest heaved for want of oxygen. After a few moments he realized how heavy he must be for Maria and he rolled to the side. Maria looked like a sated wench for all the world as she gazed up at him languidly.

“Shiver me timbers, Cap’n. You can board my ship anytime,” Maria purred as she traced the plains of his chest. She felt his heart still thumping rapidly beneath her fingertips. She leaned forward to kiss his nipples, one by one, as she licked at his salty skin. “Mmm, you even taste like you came fresh from the sea,” she moaned as she nuzzled his skin.

Michael held her head gently as he bent to kiss the top of it.

“And you taste like wild honey,” he moaned as he raised her head to kiss her lips.

* * *

Max carried Liz to her bedroom and lay her down gently on the satin covers.

“How about a nice relaxing bath before you go to sleep?’” he asked as he kissed her forehead.

“Sounds great,” she sighed, wincing at the pain in her toe.

“Here, I’ll get you some water so you can take your pill,” he suggested as he went to the kitchen in search of a glass. He soon returned with a tumbler full of water and handed her the packet of pills. She popped one out of its sealed plastic blister pack and laid it on her tongue, swallowing it easily as she sipped some water.

“Thanks, sweetie,” she smiled as she lay the glass on her table.

“Okay, then. I’ll just run your bath. Be back in a flash,” he promised as he entered the bathroom to start filling the tub. He noticed a variety of bottles filled with a selection of colored liquids. They were labeled according to their usage. “Revitalizing”, “Refreshing”, “Relaxing”. Max chose the latter, hoping it would have the desired effect on Liz. Maybe he’d join her since he could really use some relaxing right about now. He poured a generous amount of the thick, green liquid under the flowing hot water and the smell of eucalyptus filled the steamy bathroom.

“Mmmm, that’s nice,” Max breathed in as he luxuriated in the heady scent. He swirled his hand in the hot water and sighed dreamily. The water soon reached a satisfactory level and he switched off the faucets. He spied some candle columns sitting on the counter and he lit them with a lighter that he found in the bathroom drawer. He switched off the overhead bathroom light and smiled smugly at the romantic setting he’d created. “Ready?” he asked as he re-entered the bedroom. Liz started from her drowsy state as she heard his voice. “Oh sorry,” Max apologized. “I guess I should’ve been quieter.”

“No, that’s okay, sweetie,” she said, shaking her head. “The bath will do me good. Besides I think I’m supposed to soak my toe in hot water, right?”

“Yep. Then, cold compresses.”

Max lifted her off the bed and carried her into the bathroom. Liz cooed with pleasure when she spied Max’s handiwork.

“Ooh, A+,” she grinned as she captured his lips in a searing kiss.

“I try,” he batted his eyes humbly before setting her down on the toilet seat. She started to remove her clothing. He started to peel off his clothes and she watched him with interest.

“Joining me?” she asked in amusement.

“Well, I wouldn’t want you to drown,” he grinned slyly as he removed his pants, shoes and socks.

“Oh, no, that would never do, Long John Silver,” she winked as she gingerly removed her jeans from over her injured toe. “By the way, how’s your eye, Max?” she asked contritely as she stared up at the black patch.

“Oh, I haven’t looked at it in a while,” he confessed. He pulled the patch off his eye and Liz gasped in horror. It was completely closed and swollen and had already turned a nasty shade of black.

“Oh, Max, I’m so sorry,” she cried as her hands flew to her mouth.

He peeped at himself in the mirror, wiping away at the steam.

“Whoa!” he exclaimed. He touched it lightly with his fingertip and winced at the pain. “Heh, well I guess I’d better wear protection the next time we go to bed together,” he joked.

“Oh God, I’ll never forgive myself,” Liz wailed.

“Hey, don’t be like that!” Max admonished her as he kneeled down in front of her, replacing the patch over his battered eye. “It was an accident, Liz. I mean, I could get just as upset about your toe.”

She cupped his cheek with her tiny hand as she leaned forward to kiss him.

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t have hurt my toe if I hadn’t hurt you first, Johnny.”

“Johnny?” Max crinkled his brow.

“Yeah. Short for Long John,” she quipped as she kissed the tip of his nose. “My great big gorgeous Long John,” her eyes twinkled as she fondled his rapidly stiffening manhood that dangled between his thighs.

Max hissed and closed his eyes as she continued to stroke him. She gently tweaked the head of his penis to get his attention.

“C’mon, sweetie, it’s bath time,” she coaxed as she stood up from her perch.

She hopped to the tub and felt the temperature with a swishing hand.

“Perfect,” she smiled as she turned her head to eye Max over her shoulder.

He was busily eyeing her round bottom as she leaned over the edge of the tub and grinned boldly at her as he reached to cup her tush.

“You’ve got a great ass, hon! I think I’ll call you Cheeky from now on,” he winked as he squeezed the warm flesh.

Liz squealed with delight as she made a swift move to evade his groping hands.

“Cheeky?” she giggled, wiggling her bottom at him. “So does that make me your sassy ass wench, Long John?” she burst out laughing as he seized her behind in spite of her maneuvering efforts.

“Grrrrr...arrrrrrr, aye” he mimed as he bent down to nip at her sweet buns. “And a tasty one at that,” he growled as he licked his lips.

“Oh, ho,” she jumped as she blushed with desire. “Keep that up and I may never make it to the tub.”

“Oh, I think you will,” he murmured into her ear as he lifted her firmly by the waist and settled her gently into the scented water. Max joined her quickly, scooping in behind her to cushion her back. He made sure that her injured foot was resting on his outstretched leg while still soaking in the soothing water. His hands moved around to rest on her abdomen, massaging the soft skin with his fingertips. He nibbled on her ear and neck as she sighed deeply with satisfaction.

“Max, you’re too good to me,” she admitted as she stroked his arm, running a finger over the jutting veins that stood out in relief on his golden skin. She loved how they felt so strong and supportive and yet were able to cradle her so gently all at the same time. “I love you,” she whispered as she raised his hand to kiss it.

“I love you,” he returned as he kissed her cheek.

Liz sighed as she snuggled into his chest, inadvertently brushing her lower back against his half erect shaft.

“Ooooh, that feels interesting,” she spoke up as her hand came around her back to investigate the hardening flesh digging into her backbone. “Did you just raise the Jolly Roger?” she giggled as she stroked his length.

“Ooooh, yeah, I guess so,” he hissed as she played with his erection. “God Liz, don’t start something you don’t intend to finish,” he begged.

“Hmmm, now where have I heard that line before?” she baited him.

“Well, I know you’re not feeling....UP!” he squeaked as she tugged on his member. “To it,” he continued hoarsely as she rubbed his straining flesh between her hand and her back, exciting herself, too.

“Max?” she panted.

“Yeah?” he croaked.

“Less talk, more action,” she pleaded as she took his hand and placed it over her mound.

“Y-yeah, right,” he stammered as his head lolled back against the tub, his eyes closing in ecstacy as Liz increased her rhythm. “Oh God,” he groaned. His one hand cupped her mound as his finger slipped between her moist folds. Liz jerked in response and moaned deeply. He began to rub her swollen flesh and she writhed under his light but tantalizing touch.

“Oh Max,” she keened as she rocked into his hand.

His other hand came up to tease and tweak her left nipple which hardened immediately into a stiff peak. Liz brought her other hand down to increase his pressure on her swelling. The combination of her rapidly moving hand, the rocking of her body against his shaft and the water lapping at his sensitive flesh was too much for Max and he spilled his seed over her back, spewing up in a volcanic jet of hot, creamy essence.

When Liz felt the jet stream, she spasmed immediately into his hand, leaking her own silken juices over his pumping fingers. They cried out together as their release jolted through them, their jerking bodies sending splashes of warm bath water over the tiled floor. Their faces, contorted in pleasure, shimmered in the candlelight and the only sound that could be heard was the harsh rasps of their ragged breathing.

Their hands remained where they were, lazily stroking each other even after their fulfillment. Liz angled her face upward and Max twisted to kiss her tenderly, his finger still extended inside her tight walls as his thumb gently stroked her tender nub. She held his softening cock, no longer stroking but refusing to let it go. They nibbled at each others mouths, their tongues teasing their swollen lips. After awhile, the cooling bath water reminded them that it was time to vacate the tub. Max got out first and toweled off quickly, wrapping the terry cloth around his waist before helping Liz out. He enveloped her in a bath sheet and rubbed her gently until she was dry. She relaxed under his touch and her eyes started to droop as a result of the delicious combination of sex, water and medication. He chuckled softly and lifted her naked form effortlessly, carrying her back to the bedroom. She smiled in her sleep as he lay her on the satin sheets. He threw his towel into the bathroom and moved quietly onto the bed. She turned towards him immediately and he winced as he remembered her toe but she was oblivious to any pain and settled into his warmth, snuggling as close as she could get. He wrapped her in his arms protectively and drifted off to sleep, his own contented smile mirroring hers.

* * *
“Uncle!” Maria cried out feebly as Michael rode her to release.

“Thank God,” he murmured into her ear as he rolled off her and set the alarm. He yawned and realized he still had to make a call to Max’s office. He peered at the clock and hoped that someone would answer. As luck would have it, the answering service picked up. He left a brief message and then made one more call.

“Bonnie? This is Michael. Michael Guerin. Yeah. No. No, you don’t know me. I’m a friend of Liz’s and Maria’s. She won’t be in today. She had a slight accident...no, no, nothing serious. She broke her toe, Yeah. No. I’m sure Liz will tell you all about it when she calls later. Yeah. Right. Oh, and Maria spent half the night at the hospital so she won’t be in ‘til after lunch. Yeah, that’s right. She’ll make her appointment with Mr. Saunders. Okay, Right. Alright, yeah. She’ll be in. Okay. Yeah. Bye.”

Michael hung up and shook his head in exasperation.

“What a motor mouth!”

He yawned and rubbed his face and stared down at Maria who was already comatose. He kissed her bumpy nose and pulled her close before he nodded off to sleep.

TBC





posted on 3-Jul-2002 12:22:24 PM
Part 17


The shrill sound of an alarm pierced the silence and Michael swore a soft oath as he reached for the shut-off button. He nudged Maria gently. She moaned and pulled the covers tightly over her head . Michael’s persistent shaking finally forced her to uncover one eye and peek out at the bright light of early afternoon. She blinked at the invading brightness and grumbled something under her breath. Michael’s muffled laughter rumbled from beneath the sheets.

“What’s so funny?” she muttered as she flipped her legs over the side of the bed. “I’m sure you wouldn’t be the one laughing if you had to be roused from your warm bed to tend to a man who’s older than Methuselah,” she spoke venomously as she jabbed him in the side.

“Ow!” Michael complained as he threw the covers off his head. “Hey, I was the one who told you
to forget about going in to work today, remember?” Michael defended himself. “Look, I tell you what. If it’ll make you feel any better, I’ll take you in there myself. This way, I get to check out the competition,” he leered as he smacked his lips. “Whattaya think, honey pie. Do ya think I can stack up to old Mr. Saunders?” Michael gummed the words, barely able to suppress his laughter.

“Ha, ha, very funny,” Maria chuckled, not even trying to hide her amusement. “I think I may have given you the wrong impression about dear old Mr. Saunders,” she winked as she scooted from the bed, skillfully avoiding Michael’s grasping hands.

Michael frowned at her disappearing figure. “Hmmm.” He rose from the warm bed and padded into the bathroom behind her as she fussed with the taps, busily adjusting the water temperature for her shower. He flipped up the toilet seat and relieved himself while she stepped nimbly into the shower, closing the curtain rapidly in a swoosh.

“Michael, don’t you dare flush that toi....AAAH!” she squealed as the temperature plummeted in the shower.

“Oops! Sorry!” Michael yelled over her piercing scream. He laughed guiltily, sticking his head inside the shower curtain to make his apology.

“Ooooh, Michael, I’m gonna get you back for that!” she threatened as she flicked water at him.

“Yay! Water sports! Me like!” he grinned as he stepped inside the tub to join her.

“No, Michael! Stop! No! Look, you’re gonna make me late,” she wailed, trying to push him away.

“Ah, c’mon. I just wanna scrub your back, honey. Please?” he wheedled.

“No, Michael! Absolutely n.....” Maria was cut off as Michael cupped her breasts from behind, massaging them tenderly as his thumbs tweaked her nipples. She leaned back against him, a helpless mass of putty in his hands. She brought her arms up around his neck from behind and turned her head to kiss his smiling mouth. “What are you waiting for?” she moaned as she rubbed her tush into his stiffening member.

“All you had to do was ask,” he whispered hoarsely, as he removed his hands from her breasts and lifted her bottom high in the air. She braced her hands against the tub enclosure, gasping as she felt the tip of his penis brush her already moist, swollen labia.

“Oh God, Michael. You’re gonna kill me,” she groaned.

“You and me both, hon,” he panted as he plunged inside her. “But what a way to go,” he grunted as he set the pace....hard and fast. As he held her bottom securely, he somehow managed to extend his finger to rub her protruding nub.

“Oh, God!” she keened as she arched her back to expose the hood. “Yes! Oh God YES!” she shouted in ecstasy as she came quickly, bucking hard against Michael, sending him spiraling into his own orgasm. He drove into her, making her come twice more before he dropped her down gently onto the tub. Her legs were weak and she slumped against his own trembling form as he leaned his hands against the tiles. He was breathing heavily, gasping for air as his chest heaved in and out. He turned his head towards the shower spray, flicking his hair back and forth as the water ran down his face and chest.

“Yeah. What a way to go,” he wheezed.

* * *

Max slept peacefully curled up next to Liz. Even in his sleep, he held her protectively, one hand gently cupping her breast as he spooned behind her. His other arm was draped above her head, where their hands lay entwined. Liz’s right hand grazed his naked hip under the cool, satin sheets. The phone rang, disturbing their peaceful slumber. Liz moaned as she groped for the instrument, half awake.

“Yeah?” she croaked.

“Oh Sugar. I didn’t mean to wake you but there’s been a slight incident at the Center,” Maria spoke excitedly.

“Incident?” Liz rose in a panic, fear making her suddenly alert. “What’s wrong, Maria?”

“Well, it seems that Cher and Jorge got into it again. She didn’t like the fact that he was putting the make on her boyfriend and they started squabbling and before you know it someone called the cops. Look, don’t worry about it. I can handle it. I just wanted you to know in case they contacted you about it, K?”

“Yeah, thanks Maria. Call me if you need me, sweetie.”

“No probs, sugar. I’ll let you know what happens. Bye,” she rang off quickly as she spotted the patrol car pulling up outside.

By this time, Cher had been pulled off Jorge and was growling menacingly at him as Michael held her back. Her boyfriend, Juan, was eyeing Jorge invitingly as he smoothed down his oily, jet black hair, swivelling his hips tantalizingly at the handsome hair dresser. Jorge was smirking in triumph as he glanced at Yadda’s fireball masseuse, his eyes flashing with the smell of victory.

“Cher baby. Why you wanna a man who don’ wanna the women,” he taunted as he licked his lips, smacking them lasciviously at the dashing Juan.

“He neva had no complaints until he met you, fudge packa!” she ground out as she struggled against Michael’s steel grip.

“Oh, oh, oh,” Jorge clucked. “Such lang-wage from a lady!” he tutted, wagging his finger at her teasingly as he cupped Juan’s tight ass, squeezing the cheek and causing Juan to squeak with delight. “Such a nice firm ass,” he whispered loudly enough for those nearby to hear.

“AAAAAAAH!” Cher screamed as she shot out of Michael’s grasp, hurling herself at the unsuspecting Jorge, grabbing a chunk of his ponytail as she twisted it in her mighty grip.

“OW, OW, OW, OW, OW!” Jorge howled as he struggled with the buxom bleached blond. Juan swatted her on the head, trying to distract her from her purpose as he skipped around on the floor. She grunted as she lifted her foot and brought it down hard on Juan’s instep. He yelped in pain as he hopped around on the good foot, holding onto his injured limb and weeping openly.

“You Bitch!” he cried as he fell to the floor, clutching his aching appendage.

“Look who’s calling who a Bitch?” she howled with laughter, pointing at her ex-boyfriend. “And by the way....you’re a lousy lay!” she added insult to injury, her face contorted in a scowl as she continued to pull on Jorge’s locks.

“ME?! ME?! After fucking you, you big tit floozy, I never wanna sleep with no more women!” he retorted as he rocked on the floor.

Cher turned her full vengeance on the hapless Juan, her head snapping around as her eyes glared menacingly. She gave Jorge’s hair one final vicious yank before hurtling her body onto the unsuspecting Juan, flattening him beneath her ample bosoms. He let out a strangled cry as she grabbed his ears and started pounding his head against the floor.

“You lily-livered queen!” she screamed as his tongue lolled in his mouth and his eyes rolled in his head.

“Juan!” Jorge shrilled as he jumped on top of Cher, slapping her back with all his might. She lurched backwards, emitting a Xena-like warrior cry, sending Jorge soaring into space as he squealed in horror, never once loosening her iron grip on the battered Juan.

“Michael, do something!” Maria entreated helplessly.

“Huh? You’ve gotta be kidding me?!” he shot back as he ogled the buff masseuse. “I’m not going anywhere near Helga there!” he vowed as he stepped back from the fray.

“Ooooooh,” Maria yelped in frustration as she stomped her feet. “CHER! CHER!” she shouted, trying to get her attention.”You’re going to kill him, Cher! Please, please, STOP!” she pleaded with the maniacal woman.

“NEVA!” she screeched back. “Nobody fucks with Cher and gets away with it!” she spat, her face flushed an angry red. “Nobody!”

“AH, AH, AH! Help!” Juan cried out as he clawed at Cher’s face.

By this time, the two patrol cops had forced their way through the crowd and were brandishing their night sticks. They took one look at the scene and had to bite back their laughter.

“Okay, lady, it’s time to let the nice man go!” one finally shouted into her ear. He lay a hand on her shoulder. Big mistake! She spun around and sunk her teeth into the officer’s hand. He yelped in pain, shaking his hand roughly as she loosened her grip.

“JEEZ!” he cursed. “WHAT THE FUCK!”

His partner came to his rescue, rapping the woman hard enough on the head to daze her but not too hard to cause any real damage. He cuffed her while she was taken off guard and hauled her off Juan who was immediately comforted by a weeping Jorge.

“Oh, you poor beautiful man,” he wept as he held Juan’s head to his shoulder, patting his back in commiseration. “That Cher is a beast!” he spat as he glared at the departing figure. “Maria, promise me you won’t take her back!” he begged as he turned to his boss.

“Oh, Jorge, sugar, that’s a promise I can keep!” she vowed, nodding her head vigorously. “Okay, folks. Shows over! Get back to work and get those bodies pumping!” she yelled cheerily to the staff and patrons. “O-O-OK-LA-HOMA..........!” she sang as she steered them away.

Michael stared after her in wonder, for the first time realizing her strength of character. Now he could see why she was such a comfort to Liz and to all those in need. The wisp of a girl was like the Rock of Gibraltar and Michael finally knew why he had fallen so hard and fast for her.

* * *

Max had woken up and listened to Liz’s conversation with Maria, drowsily. He yawned and pulled her back into the safety net of his arms, kissing the back of her head in comfort.

“What’s the problem,” he mumbled.

“Oh, Cher and Jorge are at each other’s throats again,” she sighed as she kissed his forearm.

“And who might they be?” he asked in between kisses.

“Cher is our masseuse and Jorge is our very gay, very handsome hairdresser. All the women...AND the gay men....are crazy about him.” she giggled. “He really is adorable and he’s a terrific hairdresser. Cher is a great masseuse but she has one hell of a temper and from the first time those two met, they were pitted against one another. I guess I’ll have to hear how it all went down from Maria,” she sighed heavily. “Ooooh, ouch,” she winced as she rubbed her tender toe.

“Oh, that’s my fault,” Max admonished himself as he hopped out of bed to fetch some water for Liz. He returned with a tumbler and an ice pack. Liz eyed him with interest as he hurried back into her bedroom, his flaccid member dangling with his balls as he walked. Max caught her rapt expression and smiled secretively.

“Here, sweetie. You should take another pill now and then I’ll ice your toe for you.”

Liz sat up and popped another tablet into her mouth and swallowed it down. She smiled up at Max and lay back down on her silky sheets, spreading her arms as she rubbed them against the luxurious satin. She pursed her lips seductively as she waited for him to make his move. He slipped her foot from beneath the covers and lay it on the ice pack gently while he massaged her calve to distract her from the discomfort. He bent down to kiss her foot and watched her watching him. Her eyes hooded sexily as he continued to rub her leg. His darkened as he felt his prick jerk in response. His fingers crept up her leg, kneading the muscles gently. Liz sighed in appreciation and closed her eyes as she let the sensations wash over her.

“How does it feel?” Max whispered, his breath puffing against her skin deliciously.

“Wonderful,” she replied dreamily.

“I meant your toe,” he chuckled as he nipped at her calve teasingly.

“That, too,” she panted breathlessly as she reacted to his nips, pushing her hips off the bed unconsciously. She felt that familiar tingle between her legs, as the warmth and heaviness settled in her passage. She marveled at his ability to elicit such a rapid and primal response from her. In spite of her injury, she wanted him to make love to her with such a deep need that she wasn’t sure if she should act on it. She desired more control in a situation and Max’s skillful seduction robbed her of that feeling of empowerment. She wondered idly if he felt the same way. She felt his mouth moving slowly up her leg and she squirmed impatiently. Why was he taking so long? Her hand moved of its own volition and spread her lips. They were already slick form her juices and she traced their swollen surfaces languidly, sighing with pleasure at her mounting desire. Max had closed his own eyes as he moved up her leg, drawing out the torture for her. It was torture for him, too. He would have gladly mounted her as soon as he realized that she wanted him, too, but he decided that it should be nice and slow because of her toe injury. Little did he realize that as soon as his lips touched her skin, Liz had completely blocked out any pain from her injury. He heard the soft moan escape her own lips and he raised his eyes to see what had caused the reaction. He gasped with desire as he watched her finger herself. His eyes were riveted to her wet pussy as she rolled her fingers over and over the slick lips. Her swollen clit peeked out from between the folds and he licked his lips as his mouth watered with desire. He was dying to taste her but he forced himself to wait as her self pleasuring tore at his own gut. He began to move his hips against the sheets to start his own masturbating. That wasn’t enough and he moved his hand down to give himself a few swift strokes. He groaned deeply as the thrill of holding his stiff cock jolted through him.

He pushed himself up so that he could watch Liz from a better vantage point as well as get a better hold on himself. He was flushed with desire and his strokes increased in rhythm. He panted loudly as he watched Liz dip her fingers inside her sopping passage, the whiff of her juices invading his nostrils. She pried her eyes open and cried out as she saw that Max was watching her masturbate and was so obviously turned on by it that he had to resort to the same thing.

“Don’t stop,” he rasped, his eyes hooded with desire. “Please, I want to see you come,” he panted as he stroked himself harder and faster.

“Oh God, Max!” she keened as her hips jerked off the bed. “I am coming!” she panted as her eyes rolled back in her head. Just watching him stroke himself as he lost control sent her over the edge, her hips bucking furiously as she tried to keep her eyes open. She wanted to see him come, too. It was such a turn on that she almost fainted from the electrical jolt of pleasure that ripped through her. Max could no longer control his response and his semen shot from his stiff shaft, spurting into the air and landing on the sheets and Liz’s belly in a hot stream. “Oh Maaaax!” she squealed as she continued to rock her hips. He collapsed next to her, shoving his fingers into her cunt as she fingered her clit which seemed so impossibly swollen at this point. He opened his mouth because he couldn’t wait any longer to taste her. Her smell was driving him insane and he flattened his tongue to lave at her juicy cunt. He groaned so deeply that the vibrations sent Liz into another frenzy and she pushed his face down into her slippery lips, demanding more pleasure. “Uh, uh, uh, uh, Oh God, I’m coming again!” she cried out as she shook with release, shivering like a tree limb flapping in the wind. “Don’t stop! Please. Oh God, Please don’t stop!” she begged as she felt another surge of pleasure take control.

Max, to his surprise, felt his own prick stiffening again. He stroked it experimentally and moaned in gratitude as it hardened rapidly under his ministrations. He thanked Providence that he’d remembered to pick up some more condoms on the way home and he tore open a foil package rapidly and shoved it on his arousal which by now was so hard and pulsing that he was ready to explode just at the mere handling of it.

“Liz, honey, spread your legs wide. I’m gonna go as deep as I can,” he promised as he plunged into her cavern.

Liz shrieked in pleasure as he slid inside her and she pulled her legs up over Max’s shoulders to increase the penetration. Max was in heaven. He forced himself to slow down, using long, deep strokes to stimulate Liz who was now experiencing her seventh orgasm in as many minutes. Their bodies were slick with sweat as they suctioned against one another, popping and releasing in a steady rhythm. Max grunted with the sheer force of his effort and didn’t know how much longer he could hold out. He decided after Liz’s tenth orgasm that he had waited long enough and he increased his stroke until he was ramming into her rapidly. He felt the surge approaching and he almost bellowed in relief as he let all his tension go and he spilled his seed into Liz. His heart was hammering so fast that he almost blacked out. Liz had already collapsed in a heap beneath him and not giving any consideration to his weight, he fell on top of her, his breathing harsh and labored from his efforts.

Max rubbed his sweaty forehead on Liz’s, whispering words of love and comfort to her in a nonsensical babble. Liz murmured something just as unintelligible back to him and he nodded in understanding, finally able to roll off of her and onto the cool, sweat soaked sheets. He drew his hand over his damp face, tasting the salt on his palm. He felt around for the ice pack and rubbed it on his forehead and down towards his lips, gratified that he had something to cool himself down. He turned his head to peer at Liz and smiled in pleasure at her dazed look.

“Here, sweetie,” he said, extending his arm to hand her the bag of ice. She opened her eyes and smiled appreciatively at his gesture.

“Ah, thanks, Max. I love you,” she smiled as she took the cool bag and rubbed it on her neck and chest. Max’s eyes glazed over with desire as he watched her nipples pucker from their swollen state as she ran the coolness over and over her sensitive flesh. She continued rubbing the pack over her breasts and moved it slowly towards her abdomen, swirling it around her navel as she cooed with pleasure. Her breath hitched as she touched her still swollen clit and she laughed with unrestrained glee as she realized how good it felt.

“Liz, are you still ...........?” Max could barely speak, he was so enthralled by her movements. His mouth drooled with anticipation.

Liz turned to her lover and laughed delightedly, her eyes sparkling with love and satisfaction.

“No, my darling. I’m not,” she chuckled. “It just feels so good to have something cool touch my...you know,’ she winked.

Max burst out laughing.

“Yeah I bet. You’re really fired up there, aren’t you, sweetie?”

“Yep!” she giggled as she continued to rub her swollen flesh with the soothing ice. “Oh God, this feels sooooo good,” she sighed.

“Here, let me try,” Max offered as he moved down lower on the bed to be nearer to her mound.

“Oh, I don’t know, Max. Can I trust you with this ice?” she smirked.

“Why Liz! I’m crushed!” he deadpanned before waggling his brows. “I have nothing but the most honorable intentions.”

“Huh. Yeah I bet!” she retorted good-naturedly as she handed him the ice pack. She leaned up on her elbows to watch him carefully. He eyed her sexily as he brought the ice slowly to her labia and held it gently on her puffy lips. She hissed with pleasure and he emitted a deep growl, sending a tingle up Liz’s spine. She swallowed past the lump in her throat as her eyelids drooped at half mast. He was doing it to her again! She had barely recovered form her last string of orgasms and already she could feel the desire coursing through her veins again. Her breathing came in short pants as he ran the ice gently over her bruised lips. He poked his finger through the plastic and let an icy stream of water dribble over her tender clit. She jumped in surprise as the shock of the freezing water sent a jolt of pleasure through her burning passage. Liz’s tongue slipped out of her mouth as she saw Max’s slowly snake out of his.

“I’m thirsty,” his voice rumbled as he dipped his tongue to lap at the water running down her folds. He poked the tip of his tongue at her tender nub, barely touching the surface. Liz moaned deeply and began rocking her hips to egg him on. He poured more of the cool water over her lips and made lapping noises as he bent his head to savor her juices. “Mmmmm, tastes good,” he mumbled as he drank from her folds.

“Feels better,” Liz sighed as she rose up higher, grabbing his shoulders for leverage. She leaned forward over his back, stretching her arms out to touch his skin. She ran her fingertips down his spine, kneading the flesh gently as she rubbed her tits over his golden skin. Max made snuffling noises as he ate her out, spreading her lips with his fingertips to dip his tongue inside her hot channel. He moaned as he felt the tips of her nipples graze his exposed back and he pushed her back on the bed in frustration.

“I can’t breathe when you do that,” he laughed. “Besides I haven’t finished watering you down yet.”

He poured another trickle of water over her breasts and watched in fascination as her nipples puckered into hard nubbins. Liz gasped in shock.

“Ah, ah, ah,” she puffed out as the freezing water dribbled over her mounds.

Max hesitated for a split second before claiming his prize. He opened his mouth and engulfed the rosy peaks, suckling and lapping at the sensitive tips. Liz flung her arms over her head and gripped the headboard , her knuckles turning white as she writhed under Max’s counterattack. Her hips moved under him and he answered her by grinding his hard rod into her pubis.

“Maaaaaax!” she shrilled as she slammed her hips into his. “Max, I want you. Please!” she insisted as she pumped up and down.

Max lifted his head, flushed with passion and grinned up at her.

“Are you sure?” he baited her.

“Yes, God dammit!” she cried out, thrashing underneath him.

“Good, cos I want you, too,” he added huskily as he boarded her swiftly. “Oh God, Liz, I want to make love to you forever,” he rasped as his mouth sought out hers. He kissed her deeply and passionately, separating her lips with his probing tongue. “I love you so much. I’ll never get enough of you,” he mumbled as their tongues clashed. He flipped her over on top of him and she reached over to retrieve a condom, idly thinking that someday she wouldn’t have to worry about this step as images of little Maxes flashed through her mind. Her heart warmed at the thought and she leaned down to kiss him sweetly.

“I love you so much, too Max. So much that it hurts,” she confessed, her eyes welling up with tears. He reached up to brush a lone teardrop from her cheek. He cupped her face with his large hand and drew her down to him.

“I’ll never hurt you Liz,” he promised as he kissed her lovingly. “Never,” he whispered on her lips as he deepened the kiss.

She whimpered as he rubbed his hands over the smooth skin of her back.

“Love me Max,” she whispered throatily.

“Gladly,” he answered her, rolling her over gently as he sheathed his arousal.

TBC
posted on 3-Jul-2002 12:59:54 PM

Part 18


“Michael, you big rat! Why didn’t you step in there?” Maria exclaimed after she returned from her duties.

“Whoa! Time out, hon! You saw what she did with those two. Did you really want me getting my butt kicked by Helga the Great?”

“Well, you could’ve tried to pull her off,” she retorted as she picked up some scattered sheets of paper. Michael kneeled down to assist her.

“Maria, are you really pissed at me?” he asked worriedly.

Maria lifted her head and couldn’t resist smiling at his puppy dog look.

“No, Michael. I know it’s not your fault. It’s just that now we’re stuck without a masseuse and I don’t know what Liz is gonna say when she finds out. Our whole business depends on the group working as a whole. Cher, despite her lousy temperament, had a loyal clientele. Part of why our clients come to us is because we have such a crazy mixed up staff. Wait’ll you meet Bonnie!”

“I think I already have,” Michael muttered.

“Huh? When did you meet her?” Maria quizzed him.

“Uhm, well, actually..I haven’t met her face to face yet,” he confessed. “It was more of a meeting of the minds, shall we say,” he smirked. “When I called in this morning, she answered the phone and ...well, let’s just say that I could hardly get a word in edgewise.”

“Yep. That’s Bonnie! Why do you think we let her handle the most advanced aerobic classes? It’s the only way to shut her up!” Maria laughed. “But, she’s a great girl and we all love her.”

“Yeah. I guess,” Michael replied, scratching his head in reflection. “Look, Maria. I know this may be coming from out of left field and you have every right to say no but .......well, I might have a temporary solution to your masseuse problem,” he colored in embarrassment.

“Do tell?” she replied as her ears pricked up.

“Uh, well, as you know, I’ve had a pretty checkered past and .....uh....well.....you see, I did take a course in massage therapy,” he finished quietly.

“What?! Michael, you’ve got to be kidding me!” she guffawed.

Michael laughed self-consciously.

“Yeah, really. Max thought it was pretty funny, too, until he injured his leg playing basketball and then he wasn’t laughing when I was able to massage the kinks out.”

“Omigod! The mental image alone of you massaging Max’s leg is something that will be forever ingrained in my memory,” she burst out laughing, doubling over as the thought melded in her mind.

“Hey, c’mon! It wasn’t anything like that!” Michael insisted, insulted by her implications.

“Michael, sugar, you just used the words, Max, massage and kink in the same sentence. Please tell me that I’m the only other person who has ever heard you confess to this.....this......crime!” she snorted.

“Well, I’m glad to be such a source of amusement to you,” he spat out as he started to walk away.

Maria recovered quickly and hauled on his shirt.

“I’m sorry, sugar,” she looked contrite, having a hard time controlling her quivering lip as she fought back her laughter. “But you have to admit that it does make for a funny picture.”

“Yeah, well.....I guess...IF you have a dirty mind, that is!” he added venomously. “God, Maria, you must know that I have no interest in guys!”

“Hey, that’s not such a crime, Michael. Are you a homophobe? Is that why you didn’t help Jorge and Juan?” she returned angrily.

“Hell, no! Look, why are you trying to turn this into something more than it really is? What’s up with you, anyway?”

“Nothing’s up with me! You’re the one who’s getting all antsy about the gay thing!”

“What gay thing? Jeez, we were talking about massage therapy. It seems like you’re the one who has a problem with it. Not me!” he shouted.

“Sssssh, you two!” a bubbly blond gasped as she came running into the back room. “We can hear you out there,” she pointed to the lobby.

“Oh, uh sorry Bonnie,” Maria blushed. “Uhm, Bonnie, this is Michael. Michael...Bonnie,” she waved her hand absent-mindedly.

“Oh, it’s so nice to meet you Michael,” Bonnie gushed as she extended her hand. She eyed him like a tiger would a sacrificial lamb, licking her lips and batting her eyes.

“Uh, nice to meet you, too, “ Michael mumbled as he shook her hand quickly.

Maria screwed up her face as she watched Bonnie’s performance.

“Cat got your tongue, sugar?” she finally exclaimed.

“Not yet,” she purred as she pirouetted out of the room, glancing back over her shoulder at Michael.

Michael stared after her, his mouth hung slightly open. He stared at her wiggling hips before he was brought back to reality by a slap on the arm. He peered dazedly at Maria, shaking his head to clear the fog. Maria raised her brows in question, her arms folded tightly across her chest.

“What?” Michael exclaimed innocently. “First you accuse me of being a gay basher. Now what? Do you honestly think I would be interested in that blond bimbo?” he asked with injured pride. “What’s up with you, Maria?”

Maria collapsed on the big rattan chair in the office and buried her face in her hands. She let out a heavy sigh and shook her head.

“Honestly, Michael? I don’t have a freaking clue. Everything’s happening so fast,” she moaned as she lifted her head. “I mean, we only met....when was it anyway? Thursday? My God! Just think about everything we’ve been through in the past four days?! I feel like I’ve lived through four months instead of four days! Not that it hasn’t been good,” she reiterated quickly as she saw the crest fallen look on Michael’s face. “It’s just that I think I’m suffering from intimacy overload right now. And then you come up with this totally awesome offer to help us out and I guess it kind of scared me...just a little. As much as I would love to have you around me 24/7, I’m not sure it’s such a good idea.”

“Oh,” Michael replied softly as he hung his head. He kicked at some imaginary dust at his feet, feeling like a real heel. “Yeah, well, I guess I can see your point,” he muttered, unable to look her in the eye. “I mean, you really don’t know me so I can understand why you wouldn’t want me hanging around, cramping your style. That’s okay. I thought we had something special but I guess I was wrong,” he smiled bitterly as he finally looked up, the painful expression in his eyes driving a knife through Maria’s heart.

“Michael, I........”

“Nah, forget it,” he shook his head as he turned away, his lip trembling as he swiped at his wet eyes. “I gotta go,” he barely whispered as he took off out the door.

Maria watched him leave, unable to move a muscle. She wanted to run after him and tell him that he was mistaken but she couldn’t budge from the lethargy that had settled in her limbs. Tears pooled in her eyes and she sat there in a stupor, gazing out the door after Michael. She jumped as the phone rang near her elbow. She picked it up and sniffed as she answered.

“Hello, this is Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. Maria speaking. How may I help you?” she choked out.

“Maria? It’s Liz. What’s wrong? Are you alright?” Liz asked worriedly.

“Oh......ah...sniff.......Michael and I.....I think we......uh.....just broke up,” she burst out crying, finally giving into her grief.

“Omigod! Oh Maria. Don’t move! I’ll be right over,” Liz promised as she tried to think of something comforting to say. “Oh Maria. I’m so sorry.” Oh God! Max, Maria and Michael just broke up, Liz whispered to Max as she covered the mouthpiece with her hand. What! Max retorted.

“No Liz, please don’t. That’s the last thing you need to be doing right now. Look, I’ll keep my appointment with Mr. Saunders and then I’ll be home.”

“Are you sure? We can come pick you up.”

“No sugar. I’m a big girl now. I’ll be fine,” she drew in a shuddering breath. “Who was I kidding, anyway?” she laughed pitifully. “I mean, with my track record, it’s a wonder Michael lasted this long.”

“Maria, don’t say that! Look, forget the stupid appointment! I want you to come home, now! Please?”

“No, Liz. After I see Mr. Saunders, okay? I promise.”

“Alright,” Liz capitulated. “But if I don’t see your butt home in one hour I’m personally hobbling over there to drag you home! Capeesh?”

“Understood,” Maria laughed half-heartedly. “Okay. Gotta go. Mr. Saunders is shriveled up as it is and I’m running low on seaweed extract,” she joked lamely. “I’ll see you in one hour. Promise!”

“Love you,” Liz called into the phone. She blew a kiss.

“Love you, too sugar. Bye” Maria rung off.

* * *

Liz hung up the phone and frowned as she sat down next to Max. She lay her head on his shoulder and sighed heavily.

“Poor Maria. Poor Michael. Max, we have to do something,” she mumbled as she chewed on her lip.

“Uh, Liz. Do you think that’s such a good idea. I mean, they’re both adults. Maybe we should let them work it out themselves.”

“What?” Liz sat up in a huff. “How can you possibly say that after everything they’ve done for us, Max? We owe it to them. They’re perfect for each other and we have to get them back together,” she proclaimed vehemently.

“Well, what do you have in mind?” he asked hesitantly.

“Just the oldest trick in the book,” Liz smiled conspiratorially as she rubbed her hands together.

* * *

“Hey Mr. Saunders,” Maria smiled as she joined her elderly client in her private room.

“Ah Maria, dahlin’, you’re a vision as usual,” he gushed as he took her outstretched hand and planted a gallant kiss on the back of it. His reptilian eyes glazed over as he grinned widely from his chair. “Your so precioussssssss,” he hissed as his eyes bulged in their sockets.

“Oh Mr. Saunders, you’re such a flirt,” she dimpled as she secured the ties on her smock. She pinched his cheeks playfully as she adjusted his apron. “Now, are you ready for your facial?”

“Ready, willing and able,” he winked as he settled back in his chair.

“You are incorrigible, you scoundrel,” she laughed as she warmed the seaweed clay between her palms. She began humming Some Enchanted Evening and Mr. Saunders joined in.

“Ah, South Pacific,” he sighed indulgently as she applied the soothing mask. He began to sing the lyrics in a lilting baritone:

Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger,
You may see a stranger across a crowded room.
And somehow you know, you know even then,
That somewhere you’ll see her again and again
..............

“Mr. Saunders, that was beautiful!” Maria sighed as she massaged his face.

“Not as beautiful as the girl I saw across a crowded room,” he reminisced, his eyes clouded in recollection. “Her name was Esther Rabinski, “ he spoke her name reverently as he closed his eyes, smiling dreamily at her memory. “She was in the chorus line in the Broadway musical back in ‘49. She played a hula dancer,” he chuckled, “and let me tell ya that Mitzi Gaynor had nothing on her . Ooooooooh what a set of gams!” his eyes twinkled as they eased open. “Oh my, oh my, oh my,” he wheezed. “She had hair the color of a shiny black raven and it was all naturally wavy and so long! I was just back from the war and feelin’ mighty proud o’ myself in my gobs uniform. All dickied off and lookin’ like I stepped off an Uncle Sam Poster,” he wisecracked. “I musta seen that show ten times in two weeks,” he grinned as he looked up at Maria’s down turned face as her hands continued to work magic on his wrinkled visage. She smiled with him as he wove his tale. “She was the prettiest girl I ever laid eyes on and I just knew that I had to meet her.” He paused, his big hazel eyes staring off into space. Finally, Maria spoke up, the suspense killing her.

“Well..............did you?” she pinched his cheek gently.

“Heh, oh yes,” he nodded conspiratorially. “You betcha. I hung around that stage door for two solid weeks and finally I got lucky. I found out later that she stayed on to help count the receipts. Her uncle Al had a percentage in the show and he liked to keep a relative close by...........for insurance purposes,” he winked. “Esther was one smart cookie, too. That stage manager was a real shyster and she caught him with his hand in the cookie jar more’n once until they up and fired him. Anyway, like I said, one night I got lucky. They usually shooed all of us away about an hour after the show was over. I finally got wise and hid in an alley across the street. She came out in about half an hour. She looked so adorable but she had another man with her and my heart sank until I got a better look. She wasn’t real chummy with the guy. He seemed a lot older and was just chatting with her while they waited for a cab. I took a deep breath and came out from my hiding place and walked over. It was kinda better that way because I didn’t want to scare her. They looked up and the old guy smiled at me first.

“Hey sailor,” he grinned. “I’ve seen you around here before.” He extended a hand in greeting and I shook it and nodded. “What keeps you here tonight?” he winked over at the girl knowing full well what was on my mind.

“Oh..........uh........well I’ve been waiting to meet this young lady,” I blushed to my surprise. “I was in my late twenties and I’d dated plenty of women but somehow I was absolutely gaga over Esther. Oh Maria. I thought she was beautiful from a distance but close up.....whew!” he whistled through smiling lips. “She was a knockout! Everything about her was perfect. Her big brown eyes, her soft, olive skin and that hair! I just stood there like a fish outta water, my mouth gaping open as if I was strugglin’ for my last breath,” he chuckled. “Luckily, the older gent saw my dilemma and introduced us before I made a complete fool outta myself. After that, I found my tongue and we had a short conversation before the cab arrived. She had the most musical voice I ever heard. The old guy gave me tickets for the next show and somehow I got the courage up to ask her out and then, well.........after a few dates, I asked her to marry me,” he burst out laughing as he looked up at Maria who was gaping in surprise. She’d brought her hands up to her face and smeared mud all over it.

“You’re kidding!” she gasped. Her eyes teared up and she looked like she was going to cry. “And did she say yes?” she asked excitedly as she wiped her face with a towel.

“Yep!” he nodded proudly. “Why do you think I go through all this nonsense every week ?” he chuckled. “I gotta keep my woman interested!”

“Omigod, sugar! Oh that’s such a beautiful story. And South Pacific won so many Tony’s. Omigod! I have to meet her!” she jumped up and down excitedly. “Oh please, please, please, Mr. Saunders! You have to introduce me to her!” she begged openly as she squeezed his arm.

“Hah, you sound just like me!” he laughed. “That’s exactly how I felt. Sure, I’ll introduce you to my lovely wife. Why don’t you come ‘round on Wednesday evening? She loves to meet fans of the show. Problem is, most of ‘em have passed away,” he nodded sadly. “She’ll be tickled to meet someone as young an’ pretty as you, Maria.” He gave her the address and finished his beauty mask routine. Maria’s eyes were shining with excitement as she skipped around the room after bidding him goodbye. That is, until she spied Michael’s jacket that was thrown over a chair as she went into the other room to pick up her purse. She slumped down in dejection.

“Why can’t I have someone fall in love with me like that?” she grumbled as she picked up the jacket and brought it to her nose, sniffing deeply as she hugged it to her chest.

* * *

Liz was beside herself with worry and was about to head out the door in search of her roommate, to the total objection of Max, when Maria breezed through the door.

“Hey Sugar! Hey Max!” she smiled as she closed the door behind her.

“Omigod, Maria! “ Liz hugged her. “I was just about to go find you! Are you okay?” she asked worriedly.

“Yeah. Why?” Maria shrugged.

“Maria!” Liz looked appalled. “I thought you’d be more upset than this about Michael.”

“Oh........uh......that,” she smiled bravely. “Que sera, sera, sugar,” she sighed heavily. “I can’t expect every guy who falls for me to be around forever. If it’s meant to be, then it’ll happen. Things were moving too quickly with Michael and me. I need to step back and take a breather. It’s just too overwhelming. I can’t handle this much affection,” she ran on in choppy sentences as she fidgeted nervously with his jacket.

Liz gaped at her in wonder while Max eyed her sympathetically. At that precise moment she reminded him so much of his sister-in-law Jo. No nonsense Jo who took care of everyone else and tended to ignore her own feelings. It’s a wonder she and Dave, his younger brother, ever got married! he thought bemusedly. The more he pondered it, the more he liked Liz’s back up plan.

“Uh, is that Michael’s jacket, Maria?” Max pointed to the twisted material in her hands.

Maria looked down at the bunched up fabric and nodded sheepishly.

“Yeah. Would you mind returning it Max?” she asked, handing him the black windbreaker. “He left it at Yadda. He was in kind of a hurry,” she added, pursing her lips in embarrassment as she recalled their final conversation.

“No problem,” Max replied as he took the proffered jacket. “Well, I’m going to head out, now. I need to get some things ready for work tomorrow,” he winked. “I’ll call you later, K?” he turned to Liz as he kissed her forehead. “Maria, make sure she stays off that foot, will ya?’ he asked as he gave her a hug. “Don’t worry,” he whispered as he pecked her temple. “I’m sure everything will work out okay. Just have faith,” he reminded her as he squeezed her to him.

Max gave Liz another kiss before he headed out the door.

Maria looked after him quizzically, shrugging her shoulders as she turned back to Liz.

“Okay, sugar. If I have to wrassle you your gonna take it easy,” she threatened as she led Liz to the couch. “Tea?” she asked as she turned towards the kitchen.

Liz smiled and nodded as she settled herself comfortably on the soft cushions.

“Que sera, sera, sugar,” she whispered knowingly as she pondered the final details of her ruse.

TBC






posted on 3-Jul-2002 1:39:13 PM


Part 19


Liz lay on the couch with her foot propped on a pillow. As usual, Maria was hovering around her, plumping her cushion, adjusting her pillow and making sure she was wrapped snuggily in her quilt.

“Maria,” Liz complained mildly. “Would you please sit down and drink your tea?”

“In a minute,” she puffed as she made a circle of the room, picking up and tidying on her way.

“Maria!” Liz insisted. “Sit down. Now!” she ordered somewhat irritably. “You’re always fussing! Can’t you relax for one minute?””

“Alright! I’m sitting!” Maria exclaimed as she plopped down in the easy chair. She picked up her mug and blew on the still too-hot beverage which she preferred to drink once it had cooled to a more palatable temperature. She wrinkled her nose as the steam swirled from the cup. Sipping tentatively, her lips curled into a satisfied grin as she tasted the tannic brew. She sighed happily and lay her mug down on the coffee table. Liz had watched this deliberate performance with an amused expression, her brow arched in mild ridicule.

“Well?” Liz finally blurted out, unable to control her curiosity any longer.

“Mmmm! Great tea!” Maria beamed, rolling her eyes in mock pleasure.

“Yes it is, actually,” Liz replied, playing along for the moment as she took another sip from her mug. She glanced over at her friend who had slumped back in her chair, waiting patiently to catch her off guard. When she was satisfied that she had reached a state of complete relaxation, she squinted her eyes devilishly and then shouted aloud.

“MARIA!”

“OMIGOD!” Maria screamed as she sprang from the chair in horror, grasping at her chest with both hands. Her eyes bulged in their sockets and her head swivelled around in a panic as she attempted to assess the situation. “What the hell is wrong?” she cried as her gaze zeroed in on Liz, who by this time was clutching her sides as she convulsed in laughter, tears of mirth streaming down her cheeks as she rocked on the couch. “WHAT IS SO FUNNY?” she demanded angrily as her eyes narrowed suspiciously.

“O-MI-GOD!” Liz gasped, spittle shooting from her lips. “Oh-I’’m-so-sorry,” she spluttered unsympathetically. “I didn’t think you’d be so scared,” she confessed as she wiped at her eyes, sniffing back the tears of laughter.
“Why did you do that, Liz?” Maria stomped her feet as she stood in the middle of the floor, hands splayed on her hips.

“My bad,” Liz looked contrite, struggling to regain her composure. “I was just trying to get back at you for being so tight lipped about this afternoon,” she confessed. “Forgiven?” she asked in a small voice.

“Yeah, I’ll think about it just as soon as I pull my heart out of my throat,” Maria returned sarcastically, falling back in her chair. She cast Liz a sardonic grin. “What do you want to know?” she finally uttered reluctantly, her face twisted in a look of resignation.

“Well,” Liz spoke up eagerly. “I’m dying to find out about the cat fight between Cher, Juan and Jorge,” her eyes gleamed. “And of course, I would love the scoop on what happened between you and Michael,” she added more sympathetically. “That’s if you want to spill,”she muttered as a footnote.

“Hmmmm,” Maria twiddled her thumbs. Her face softened and she leaned forward in her chair and began to chuckle as she recalled the rumble. “Oh Liz, I wish I’d had a camera. I can’t even begin to describe how funny it was. You know how hefty Cher is and how tiny Jorge is. Well, Juan’s not much bigger and .........Omigod, if you could’ve seen her straddling Juan....it was priceless,” she laughed as she went on to explain as best she could the whole, ridiculous spectacle. Liz was in stitches as Maria embellished the story and bemoaned the fact that she had missed it all.

“I guess we’ll have to start advertising for a new masseuse,” she groaned as the reality of the situation hit her.

Maria’s face fell and she drew her arms around her knees defensively as she recalled the ensuing events grimly.

“Yeah, well, that’s where the Michael end of it comes in,” she sighed as she began to enlighten Liz on that part of the story. When she had finished, Liz made a move to get up from her lounging position on the couch but Maria beat her to it, jumping off her chair before Liz could struggle further. She sat down on the couch next to Liz and accepted a sympathetic hug from her friend.

“Maria,” Liz soothed as she patted her back. “It doesn’t sound that bad to me. I bet if you guys got together and had a good chat about all of this.........well, I just know that you could work things out.”

“Oh God, no Liz!” Maria sat back in horror. “I could never go crawling back on my hands and knees like that! Michael probably never wants to lay eyes on me again! Nuh, uh........no way!” she shook her head vehemently.

“But you do love him, don’t you?” Liz continued to rub her back. “To be honest.........I don’t really know,” Maria shrugged. “I think I do. I mean, we’ve practically carved our names in each other’s ............butts,” she grinned, “but it’s all happening so fast! Don’t you feel like you’ve been swept off your feet by all of this?”Maria asked skeptically. “How do you really feel about Max?” she wondered as she curled up next to Liz.

“Like I’ve been waiting for him my whole life,” Liz replied dreamily. “From the moment I saw him, I felt this........connection, I guess you’d call it, for want of a better word. It was like........chemical. I just get this warm, fuzzy feeling and I feel all glowy and happy when he’s around,” she beamed as she played with Maria’s hair absently, her eyes staring off into space.

“But, you had doubts,” Maria reminded her. “Like, when he woke up and couldn’t remember anything.”

“Well.........yeah,” Liz fumbled. “But, that was to be expected. I mean, we hardly knew each other and we were both confused. No relationship is perfect, Maria. It takes work and commitment,” she prattled on.

“Liz, look at me. You’ve known the guy a grand total of five........no make that.......... four and a half days,” Maria emphasized. “How can you possibly know he’s the one?”” she added disdainfully.

“You’re just saying that because you and Michael are having problems,” Liz huffed as she pulled away from her roommate.

“Liz sugar,” Maria quickly tried to reassure her. “That’s not it at all. I just don’t want to see you get hurt. Don’t you feel that this has all been .........I don’t know,” she searched for a word. “Sudden?”” she added, smiling hesitantly. “When Matt showed up a couple of days ago, it just got me thinking.”

“Maria, how can you even compare what Matt and I had with what Max and I have?” Liz shook her head in disbelief.

“Well, you and Matt did have a year together. And look what happened? You’ve known Max less than a week and you’re ready to make a commitment? Liz, this is not like you. You’re rushing into things and I’m worried that you may be making a mistake. Granted, he seems like a terrific guy and you obviously have strong feelings for each other but maybe you should just slow things down a little. What’s the big rush, anyway? It’s not like you have to get married or anything. Why don’t you get to know each other before you two do something rash?” Maria pleaded.

“Maria, who said anything about getting married?” Liz blustered. “We are crazy about each other but we haven’t even discussed our future other than the fact that we want to spend it together.”

“There!” Maria affirmed. “See what I mean? You are thinking about something more permanent.”

“Maria, this sounds more like something you’re dreading,” Liz eyed her shrewdly. “Are you worried that Michael may be getting more serious about your relationship than you are? Are you afraid to get married?” Liz smirked as she poked Maria in the side. Maria squirmed away from her and Liz laughed openly. “I’m right, aren’t I?” she added triumphantly. “Maria DeLuca is scared sick about taking the plunge. You can’t bear the thought of committing to one guy! You, Maria, are a big chicken!” she began to cluck derisively as she flapped her arms comically.

Maria shot Liz a murderous look as she seethed with the knowledge that her true feelings were laid bare. She might have known that Liz would figure out the truth, even if she herself was unwilling to admit it. She sighed and shook her head, chagrined at being so easily found out.

“You know you’re way too smart for your own good, don’t you?”” she lamented.

“Yeah, I know, but that’s why you love me, right?” Liz winked, chuckling as she nudged her friend good-naturedly.

Maria massaged her temples with her fingertips as she squeezed her eyes shut, nodding in affirmation. She threw her head back on the couch and sighed heavily.

“What now, Holmes?” she quipped as her head rolled to the side.

“Ah, my dear Watson. The game is afoot,” Liz teased as she wiggled her toes, squinting painfully as the injured one protested at the abuse.

Maria grabbed a cushion and batted Liz playfully over the head.

“You, my dear girl are suffering from too much sexual stimulation. Keep this up and your brain will turn to mush. I am now going to prepare a meal most extraordinaire pour vous. That, and a good night’s sleep should cure what ails you,” she laughed as she pushed herself off the couch. “Any special requests?” Maria added as she turned in her tracks.

“Anything as long as it doesn’t involve humble pie and arsenic,” Liz smirked as she threw the cushion at Maria’s retreating back.

“Gotcha,” Maria winked , skipping off to the kitchen to prepare the meal.

* * *

“Michael, are you home?” Max called out as he entered the apartment.

Michael popped his head out from his bedroom and waved lazily.

“Yeah, what’s up?” he mumbled as he rubbed his eyes.
“Oh, nothin’ much,”” Max hedged. “Just got back from Liz’s and I thought we’d go out and grab a bite to eat. You game?”

“Nah. I’m not really hungry, Max. You go on your own,” he muttered as he retreated to his room.

Max wrinkled his forehead in concern and ambled down to Michael’s room. He knocked on the door before entering and stood awkwardly in the doorframe as he peered in at Michael.

“So, uhm, I heard about you and Maria,” he began hesitantly.

“Max, please don’t go there right now, K?” Michael interrupted him. “I’’m really not in the mood to discuss it.”

“Oh.......uh.......yeah, sure,” Max nodded as he turned to leave. He hesitated and pursed his lips to say something else.

“Max, I mean it,” Michael spoke more forcefully, raising his head from the pillow.

Max nodded again and raised his brows in consternation before shutting the door behind him.

* * *

The phone rang and Liz picked it up before Maria had a chance to reach for it.

“Hello,” she answered seductively, glancing at the display and recognizing the number immediately.

“Hey,” a deep, mellow voice replied. “ How’s my sex goddess?”

“Oh, missing my sex god soooooooooo much,” she sighed as she blew him a kiss, panting into the receiver. “But you better get off the phone before my boyfriend calls. He’s the jealous type and I wouldn’t want him finding out about us,”she couldn’t help but giggle.

“Hah! I’ll rip him to shreds and have him for breakfast,”he replied, chuckling deeply.

“Ooooh, so forceful!”she played along. “I love that in a man. When will I see you again?” she purred.

“Hmmmmmm. Well, that depends how long it takes for you to answer your door,” he laughed as Liz heard a light tap on their apartment door.

“Omigod! You jerk!” Liz laughed as she called out to Maria. “Maria, someone’s at the door. Can you get it?”“Yeah, sure,” she replied, wiping her hands on her apron as she strode to the door. She flung it open and squealed with delight as her brother scooped her up into his arms and hugged her tightly.

“Ah, Sis,” he boomed heartily. “Long time no see,” he beamed as he finally let her down. He towered over her tiny form, his large bulk filling the door frame. “Aren’t you gonna invite me in or do I have to stand out here in the hallway?” he laughed as she cuffed his cheek and led him inside.

“Hey my sexy temptress!” he called out to Liz as he swept into the living room and captured Liz in a bear hug as she wriggled her outstretched fingers.

“Oh Teddy, it’s so good to see you,” she laughed, using the nickname that had been bestowed on him by his family for his uncanny resemblance to a teddy bear when he was a toddler. His actual name was Ricardo DeLuca, Jr. and outside the family he was known as Rick but Liz had always called him Teddy from the time they had first met, upon his insistence. He had realized immediately how close she and Maria had become, as though they were sisters and he was so happy that Maria had finally found another female to share her secrets with that he considered Liz his surrogate sister. Liz was thrilled because she had never had a brother and over the years they had become very close.

“So how are my two best girls?” he inquired as he sat down on the couch next to Liz. He frowned as he finally noticed her wrapped foot and quickly turned to face her with a look of concern. “What happened, Lizzie?” he asked, pointing to her injured foot.

“Oh that,” Liz tried to make light of it. “I was walking around in the dark and stubbed my toe. I kind of broke it,” she grinned sheepishly.

“Oooh, I bet that hurt,” he replied sympathetically. “Anything else going on since I saw you two last?”

“Oh, uhm, not much,” Maria replied evasively as she toyed with the tassels on the cushions. “How ‘bout you, sugar? The last I heard you were almost engaged,” she teased him, referring to a rather obsequious secretary she had met on her last trip to Atlanta.

“Ha, ha. Very funny, Sis. Hazel was not exactly my type,” he rolled his eyes disdainfully.

“Well, big bro, you’re not getting any younger,” she winked. “Dad can’t wait forever for grandchildren.”

“Hey, wait a minute. Why am I the one who has to provide the first heir?” he ribbed her.

“Oh, well, I’m still checking out the possibilities.”

“Something tells me that you’ve already found a pretty good prospect,” he replied, watching her expression intently.

“Huh?!” Maria jumped up, looking at Liz accusingly. “What are you talking about?”

“Well, I just happened to drive by Yadda earlier this afternoon, and I saw you and this guy looking pretty cosy, shall we say,” he winked at Liz, who was having difficulty keeping a straight face.

Maria blushed and then blew out an exasperated breath.

“There are no secrets from you, are there Teddy?” she moaned as she slapped him on the wrist. “Alright, yes. I have met this guy, but.......BUT,” she continued before Teddy could utter a word, “I’’ve decided that things are moving way too fast and we should put the brakes on this ......for a while at least,” she fidgeted uncomfortably under his intense stare.

“Maria, I don’’t believe you,” he stated smugly. “You’re scared and you won’t even admit it. I can tell when you’re trying to avoid an issue and this is so typical of you. As soon as things get intense you want to run away and hide. You used to do the same thing when you were little. Always pushing other people towards happiness but you refused to reach for the brass ring yourself. Maria, sugar, you deserve a little happiness now and then, too, you know,” he finished as he scooped her into a brotherly embrace.

“Yeah, I totally agree,” Liz backed him up as she hugged Maria too. “Seems like we’ve had this conversation before,” she chuckled, reminding her best friend of her efforts to reassure Liz of her right to happiness with Max.

“Teddy, I can’t believe you’re saying this! You’re always so cautious and analytical,” Maria eyed him skeptically. “What’s going on here?” she demanded as she drew away from him.

“Sis, life’s too short to be worrying about all the silly details. If you find someone to share it with, then you have to grab onto it before you lose the opportunity,” he added eagerly.

“Okay, just slow down a minute here, sugar,” she folded her arms across her chest and eyed him critically. “You’re not telling me something and I’m not listening to another word until you come clean,” she snorted as she tapped her foot impatiently. “What are you up to Ricardo DeLuca, Jr.?” she demanded.

“Oh, oh. I think she means business Teddy. She’s bringing out the big guns, now,” Liz smirked.

“I never could hide anything from you, could I, Sis,” he shook his head in exasperation. “Yeah, well, I had a bit of a health scare lately and it just got me thinking, that’s all.”

“Omigod, Teddy, what was it? What happened?” Maria demanded as she grabbed his arm, trembling with fear. Please God, don’’t let it be cancer, she prayed silently. Don’’t take my brother, too! her eyes teared up. “Oh, it was nothing really,” he shrugged it off. “I was having chest pains but it turned out to be stress related,” he reiterated as he hurriedly reached for Maria’s swaying body. He eased her onto the couch as he and Liz eyed her cautiously. She had blanched at the words *chest pains* and her legs had buckled from beneath her. “I’m okay, Maria,” Teddy whispered as he hugged her close. “Don’t worry, I’ll never leave you. I promise.”

Maria wrapped her arms around him tightly as she shook from nervous tension. The pain that lay deeply buried within her heart resurfaced with a vengeance as she relived the feeling of abandonment at her mother’’s passing. She and Teddy had grown so close because of it, their father being unable or unwilling to bear the double burden of their grief and his own. She often told Teddy that she hoped she died before he did because she couldn’t bear the thought of being left behind. This same feeling of dread enveloped her now and she clung to him for dear life. Teddy understood the source of this overwhelming panic and he obliged his sister by comforting her with his larger than life presence. Liz looked on with a sense of trepidation, having never seen Maria as anything but a pillar of strength. She watched the silent exchange between siblings and marveled at the strength of their bond.

“You promise me that you’re okay,” Maria sniffed as she searched his face for the truth.

“Yeah, Sis, I’m fine. Really I am. I would never lie about that and you know it. Things have been crazy at work lately. Lots of lay offs and of course that increased our workload. I just let it get to me, that’s all. And that’s why I’m out here, actually. I needed a holiday but the boss didn’t buy it so I’m looking for work now,” he shrugged, his brown eyes ringed with the startling topaz contrast, peering sincerely into his sister’s. His sandy colored bangs fell across his wide forehead as he spoke and Maria swept them back as she beamed up at him.

“So are you telling me that you’re moving out here for good?” she spoke excitedly.

“Looks like,” he grinned back.

“Yes!” Maria danced around as she held onto both her brother’s hand and Liz’s. “This is so great!” she shouted out.

“Teddy, This is great news,” Liz reiterated as she joined in the happy dance from the couch.

“Yeah, well, we’ll see,” Teddy remonstrated. “I have to find another job first, remember?” he raised his brows.

“That shouldn’t be too hard. You’re a great accountant. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of offers,” Maria defended him.

“Oh......uh....yeah,” he nodded hesitantly.

Maria screwed up her eyes and eyed her brother carefully.
“Okay. What gives?”

“Well I’’ve been thinking Sis. Maybe I should try something else. Being an accountant isn’t exactly the most stimulating job in the world. I have enough severance pay to keep me going for a few months. I thought I’d try to find something totally unrelated to accounting,” he smiled sheepishly.

“Oh? And what did you have in mind?” Maria asked skeptically.

“Well, okay now. Don’t laugh.......please,” he begged as he rolled up his sleeves to prepare for his speech. “You know I’ve always been athletic, right? And I’m a great swimmer, right? And I love to help people, right?”

“Y-e-s,” Maria drew out the word, waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop.

“Sis,” he said, drawing himself up and pushing out his chest, acting proud as a peacock. “I wanna be a lifeguard!” he grinned, his handsome face revealing the joy and confidence he felt for his newfound calling.

“WHAT!” Maria shrieked as she brought her hands to her temples, already feeling the beginnings of a major migraine. “Would you mind repeating that?”she insisted as she searched his face for telltale signs of a joke.

“Er.....uh.....I wanna be a lifeguard,” he said with less conviction, his whole demeanor having taken a serious nosedive.

Liz gaped at him open mouthed, her jaw dropping open while Maria started pacing in circles mumbling to herself.

“No, no, no, no, no. THIS can-not be happening. Not to my big brother. Not to the very foundation of my strength . Not to the one I’ve looked up to my whole life. Teddy, you ARE joking.......correct?” she pleaded as she stopped her pacing directly in front of him.

“No, Sis, I’m not,” he stated firmly, staring down at her with consternation. “I was hoping you’d be a little more supportive,” he frowned, amazingly clueless to her reaction.

“Teddy, Teddy, Teddy,” she repeated as she palmed his cheeks with her hands. “You are 29 years old, you have never been a professional lifeguard and you are much too innocent to be prancing around on a beach with that gorgeous bod of yours, falling victim to every barracuda within a 10 mile radius,”she protested. “Think, big brother. Think about this absolutely crazy decision of yours? Liz, tell him he’s crazy!” Maria turned to her best friend, hoping for some support.

Liz looked at Teddy’s crestfallen expression and her heart went out to him.
“I can’t Maria,” she defended his decision. “Look at him Maria. He was so excited when he told us about it. How can you not support his decision?” she asked, shaking her head in disbelief.

“My God! You’’re both crazy!” Maria ranted as she fisted bunches of her hair. “OOH,” she stomped her feet. Liz had inched her way over to stand by Teddy’s side as an advocate for his cause. She held his hand and smiled up at him reassuringly. He squeezed it as a sign of gratitude and they both waited for Maria’’s turn around. She looked over at the two of them and rolled her eyes, sighing in defeat.

“Okay. Who am I to tell you how you lead your life. You’re a big boy now and if this lifeguard thing doesn’t pan out, you can always go back to accounting, right?” she wheedled, hopefully.

“Right!” he and Liz chorused, smiling ear to ear.

“Alright, then,” Maria added more enthusiastically. “Well, how about some dinner, you two?” she grinned as she returned to the kitchen to finish the meal preparations.

Teddy turned to Liz and whispered conspiratorially.

“Thanks, Lizzie. Comrades in Arms,” he grinned as he slapped her palm.

“To the bitter end, Teddy,” she winked, hugging him tightly.

TBC









posted on 3-Jul-2002 1:48:48 PM
Part 20


“Max? Hi,” Liz whispered into the phone............ “Yeah, I miss you, too,” she smiled as she lay back on her bed, twirling a strand of hair between her fingers.............. “Oh, yeah, it’s feeling a lot better, thanks.................. Yeah, you know Maria. Always buzzing around like a busy little bee...........Max, you’ll never guess what? Maria’s brother Teddy arrived tonight and he’s moving here permanently!” she went on excitedly. “Isn’t that great?!........... Maria’s sooo happy....and so am I. I can’t wait for you to meet him. He’s been like an older brother to me since I met him six years ago. And guess what?......No, he’s not going to be the new masseur at Yadda......... Very funny, wise guy. But it’s just as bizarre. He wants to be a lifeguard!................ No, never in his life........I know. Isn’t that too weird?” she giggled as she curled her legs up beneath her. “But he’s absolutely gorgeous and really fit, so who knows? I just melted when he was telling Maria about his plans so I had to back him up........Yep, everything’s all set for tomorrow night. Well, my end of it is so I just hope Maria falls for it........so be convincing! Oh, gotta go. She’s coming!” she whispered excitedly. “ Drop by on your way to work tomorrow morning.........Love you, too,” she smooched into the phone. “Bye,” she said, hanging up quickly.

“Liz?” Maria called out. “Oh, there you are,” she smiled as she poked her head in through the bedroom door. Teddy followed suit, looking around the room that he’d helped set up for Liz. He sat down on the bed and bounced on the mattress experimentally.

“Maria tells me that this old box spring has been getting a little action lately,” he teased her.

“Teddy!” Maria and Liz both shouted in mild shock.

“What?!” he laughed as Liz threw a pillow at his head. “I’m happy for ya Lizzie!” he chuckled as he leaned forward to tickle her ribs. “It’s about time that you starting seeing someone again.” Maria had told him all about Liz’s disastrous relationship with Matt but he had never actually met the guy. He had been around for the many tearful nights that followed though and he, along with Maria, had done his utmost to soothe her broken heart. “So what’s this Max guy like? Will I approve?” he asked, half jokingly.

“He’s absolutely perfect and you will most definitely approve,” she beamed. “Do you believe in love at first sight?” she asked him hopefully, tugging on his sleeve to pull him closer. He settled his head on her other pillow and stared up at the ceiling for a moment before turning towards her. He admired how much her face glowed with happiness and he nodded.

“Yeah. I think I do,” he winked. “I’ve never seen you look like this before, Lizzie. He must be the one,” he grinned as he tweaked her nose.

Liz giggled with delight, her smile expanding to crease her face. Maria settled on the other side of her and Liz reached out to clutch both sibling’s hands. She brought them to her lips and kissed them sweetly.

“I’m so happy,” she choked out. “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

They grinned at one another and then turned their gazes towards the ceiling, each in their own imaginary dream worlds.

* * *

Liz hobbled around the kitchen the next morning, preparing a cup of coffee for herself and Maria while her friend showered. She had written the note and was waiting for Max to arrive so he could hand deliver it to Michael. While she sat on the stool at the kitchen counter, the doorbell rang. She hopped off her perch to answer it, expecting to see Max. She opened the door, smiling but then looked puzzled when nobody was standing there to greet her. She peered down the hallway and noticed the door to the stairwell slip shut. She shrugged her shoulders and was about to close the apartment door when she happened to glance down at her feet and saw a white envelope lying on the carpet. She bent down to pick it up by the edge, using her robe as a shield between her fingers and the package, and saw her name scrawled on the outside.

“Hmmmm?” she wondered aloud.

She closed the door behind her and shuffled back to the kitchen counter. She picked up her coffee mug and took another sip as she stared at the unopened envelope. She pinched it between her fingers at the outermost corner, holding it up to the light to examine the contents. She sniffed at it cautiously and squinted to check it for powder residue. Since the Anthrax scare, she had become overly suspicious of packages of any kind and now that her life seemed to be taking a turn for the better, she was taking no unnecessary chances. Finally convinced that the envelope contained nothing harmful, she pried it open gingerly and peeked inside. There seemed to be a single slip of paper inside which she shook out of the envelope and let slide to the counter. There was a short note scrawled on the sheet and she frowned when she read the inscription.

“Damn!” she muttered as she read the note.

“I’m sorry. Please meet me outside the Ciniplex on Armstrong at 8:00 PM tonight. I’ll explain everything then.

Matt


“Why won’t he leave me alone?” she griped as she slammed the note on the counter. “He’s caused enough trouble already! If Max sees this he’ll blow a gasket!” she thought desperately as she tried to decide what to do. “I suppose I should meet with him just to clear the air. Maybe if I talk to him and tell him how happy I am with Max, he’ll finally get the hint and let it go. I mean, it’s over between us and he should realize that. I love Max. He has to accept that,” she sighed as she lay her mug on the counter to pop some waffles into the toaster oven. While she waited for her breakfast, she remembered the note she had written from Maria to Michael and went to her bedroom to retrieve it for when Max arrived. Maria came out of the bathroom, toweling her hair and was just turning towards her bedroom when the doorbell rang again. She ambled towards the door to answer it.

“Hey, Max,” she smiled sleepily as she let him in. She shuffled into the kitchen to pour herself a mug of coffee. “Coffee?” she yawned as she held up the pot.

“Yeah. Sounds good,” he nodded as he sat at the counter. He glanced down and gulped in surprise as he saw a note peeking out from a mug already placed on the counter. He read it hurriedly and whipped it into his left pocket. Whew. That was close! he laughed to himself. He took the proffered cup of java from Maria. Maria grunted and shuffled down the hall towards her bedroom to get dressed. She pounded on Liz’s door and shouted:

“Liz, Max is here!” before disappearing into her room.

Liz appeared momentarily and grinned at Max from down the hall. She limped up as fast as she could and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Mornin’” she sighed as she kissed him lightly on the lips. “You’re lookin’ good,” she nodded appreciatively as she took in his unfamiliar office apparel. Max was wearing a pair of dark grey dress pants, black collarless shirt of a silky type fabric and a black blazer.

“Mornin’ to you,” he mumbled into her lips as he drew her closer. “I missed waking up next to you,” he moaned as he nuzzled her neck.

“Me too,” she admitted as she nibbled his ear. “Too bad you have to go back to work today.”

“Yeah. I know,” he sighed as he hugged her tighter. “I can’t imagine what it’s gonna be like spending a whole day away from you,” he pouted as he gazed into her eyes. “Oh, by the way, I found your note on the counter,” he chastised her mildly as he withdrew it from his pocket, waving it in the air. “I hid it from Maria just in time.”

“M-my note!” Liz squeaked as she felt for the one she had written in her robe pocket. Her heart pounded from fright as she realized her carelessness. Why isn’t Max exploding! she wondered helplessly as she searched his face for clues.

“Yeah. You know, the one you wrote from Maria to Michael. I must admit that I was expecting something a little more romantic than that, though,” he smirked as he read it aloud. “Plus, it’s got this awful coffee stain on it now,” he frowned as he held it up to her. “And why did you change the time and place of the meeting?” he wondered. inclining his head towards her.

Liz peered closely at the note and almost sighed aloud in relief as she finally realized what had happened. Her coffee mug stain had obliterated the two T’s on Matt’s signature, leaving the letters Ma which Max mistook for Maria.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry about that,” she laughed shakily. “That’s okay. I’ll just write another one,” she stated as she went to pluck the note from Max’s grasp. “I guess I forgot about the time and place,” she laughed apologetically, shaking her head in exasperation.

Max stared at her in confusion. They had discussed the details of their plan thoroughly. He couldn’t imagine how she could get these pertinent facts mixed up.

“Oh! Too late,” he whispered as Maria appeared in the hall. “I’ll deliver this one to Michael. He probably won’t even notice the coffee stain,” he smirked as he re-pocketed the note. “Well, I gotta go. I’ll drop this off at the apartment before I split. I’ll pop in after work, okay?”

“Y-yes. Sure,” Liz stammered absentmindedly as she felt Max peck her cheek before he fled for the office. Damn, Damn, Double Damn she fumed, stewing over her dilemma. Now what? she thought desperately, tapping her front teeth distractedly. Michael is gonna be there at 8:00 PM, now, too. And so is Maria! But, he doesn’t know Matt so maybe I shouldn’t be so worried. I’ll just arrive a little early and pray that Matt gets there early, too. Then, I can drag him away and Michael and Maria will never know the difference! And hopefully, neither will Max! Oooooh, why did I have to be so stupid! she berated herself.

“Earth to Liz,” Maria waved a hand in her face as Liz finally realized that Maria had been talking to her.

“Oh, hey,” Liz laughed as she tried to recover. “So you’re off to work, too, eh, leaving little old me to my own devices?” she dimpled impishly.

“Well, since Max isn’t here to cause any.....distractions, shall we say,” Maria smirked, “I think it’s safe to say that your day will be less spectacular than the past few days. Now, stay off that foot as much as possible and no climbing down fire escapes to rescue stranded kittens!” she grinned, pinching Liz’s cheeks.

“Or stranded Michael’s?” Liz joked.

“Definitely NOT stranded Michael’s!” Maria stated flippantly as she swept out the door.


* * *

Max strode into his bright office space and headed straight for his bosses inner sanctum. He received a few sympathetic stares from his co-workers and a pat on the back from his cubicle buddy Steve.

“Hey,” he grinned disarmingly as he popped his head into Chad Mitchell’s office.

“Hey Max! How you doin’?” Chad boomed as he welcomed Max to sit down. “Whoa, man! What happened to you?” he asked in surprise as he indicated Max’s eye.

“Oh, it’s nothing....really!” Max insisted as he tried to make light of his injuries. “Just a little accident. You know what they say. Most accidents happen in the home,” he laughed nervously.

“Hey man, you must live in some pretty wild house!” Chad bellowed as he slapped Max on the back. “Glad to have you back, though. We’re pretty pushed for the deadline on the Luther Project. They moved the date back a week and we’ve been scrambling without you buddy so all I can say now is.......Get back to work!” he grinned as he pulled Max from his seat and pushed him good naturedly out the door. “Great to have you back, Max.”

Max made a bee-line for his desk and traded bemused looks with Steve.

“So Maxie boy, you’re lookin’ a little rough around the edges. Care to share?” Steve smirked as he typed in his password.

“Steve, you’d never believe me, man,” Max shook his head as he logged on. “Trust me. I will say one thing though. I’ve finally met the woman of my dreams,” he beamed as he brought up his AutoCad program.

“Whoa, back it up Max! Say again! No way good buddy. You can’t leave me stranded amongst this bevy of beauties. They’ll eat me alive, man without back up. Say it ain’t so, Maxie baby!” Steve pleaded with him.

“It’s so, you big studmeister,” Max laughed as he concentrated on his screen. “Now don’t bug me anymore. I have to catch up on a lot of work, here. I’ll fill you in later.”

“Details, Max. I want details!” Steve snarled comically as he maneuvered his mouse.

“Later,” Max promised as he opened the file marked lighting.. main lobby.

* * *

Liz was befuddled. She didn’t know what to do. Should she confide in Michael and ruin her plans for his and Maria’s reunion or should she go ahead with her original plan and hope that she would be able to outsmart her friends and deal with the Matt situation once and for all? The latter choice would definitely kill two birds with one stone but if it backfired, she might risk losing Max’s confidence forever because Max was the one who’d been designated to lead Maria to the rendezvous spot. If he saw Liz there with Matt, she was certain he would never trust her again. Decisions, decisions!

“ARGH!” Liz screamed to the empty apartment.

She paced up and down awkwardly, running her fingers through her hair as she tried to reach a decision. She sat down on the carpet in front of the coffee table and pulled a daisy out of a vase.

“Plan 1, Plan 2,” she rhymed off as she plucked each petal from the inner disc. When she completed the ritual, she proudly held up the last petal. “Plan 2!”

This satisfied her inner demons for a short period until her original doubt crept back.

“Maybe it was a fluke. It always ends up as an even doesn’t it?” she thought skeptically. “I know! I’ll spin a wheel. There’s no way that can be biased,” she reasoned as she went searching for a game board with a wheel. Most of the old boards she and Maria kept around used die instead of spinners. “Hey, I’ll use a bottle,” she decided as she rummaged through the fridge for a plastic container. She fished out a ketchup bottle and placed it on the floor. Then she wrote Plan 1 and Plan 2 on two sheets of paper and laid them on the floor. She bent over the *spinner* and gave it a whirl. It spun around a few times and settled in between the two choices. After several attempts, she had a count of two for Plan 1, four in-betweens and three for Plan 2.

“Well, that’s that,” she said with satisfaction as she slapped her palms together. She returned the bottle to the fridge and sat down with a cup of tea to mull over her plan. But the more she thought about it, the less confidence she had in her ability to carry out the mission.

“It’s all about timing, Liz,” she encouraged herself. “You can do this. You have to have faith in yourself. Maria and Michael deserve happiness and the only way to get those two together is to trick them into being together,” she convinced herself. “They’re both too stubborn for anything else to work. This is a good plan. Max believes in it and I know that this will work. Ooh, damn Matt anyway!” she fumed as she gulped the last of her tea.

Liz was so consumed with her planning that it never occurred to her to change the night of Maria and Michael’s orchestrated rendezvous so that there would be no conflict with her meeting with Matt. Perhaps the blame could be laid on the pain medication she’d been consuming in such large quantities over the past two days. She was definitely not thinking clearly or she would have seen the folly of her ways immediately. Instead, she loomed ahead on this preposterous course of action.......... spinning bottles, pulling petals and rolling die. Oh yes! That was her inevitable next choice. The roll of the die. A crap shoot to end the guessing game. And the overwhelming result was, of course, in favor of Plan 2.

“Yaaaaaaaay! Let’s hear it for Plan 2!” she shouted gleefully as she popped another pill. “Woohoo!” she giggled as she peered blearily at the pill bottle, wondering if it said to take one every four hours or four every hour. She had lost count long ago, anyway, and finally dozed off, gripping the container in her hand. She slept through the morning and late into the afternoon, waking around 4:45 with a very dry mouth and feeling groggy and disoriented. She heard the apartment door open and raised her head with difficulty as she peered through swollen eyelids at her bedroom door.

“Hey Liz, how are you feel...........Omigod!” Maria exclaimed as she took in the disheveled sight of her friend whose pupils were dilated and her lips chapped. “What the hell happened?!” she cried out as she ran to her side, helping her to sit up.

“Huh?” Liz croaked. “I dunno, honest,” she droned as the pill container rolled onto the bed.

Maria eyed the half empty bottle and her stomach lurched.

“Liz, tell me you didn’t take all these pills today!” she said with dismay. “Liz” Maria shook her by the shoulders as Liz’s head lolled about lazily. “Liz, look at me and tell me you did NOT take all these pills today!”

“Whoops!” Liz smiled weakly as she closed her eyes sleepily. “My bad,” she yawned and fell back on the pillow.

The doorbell rang and Maria frowned as she left Liz’s side to answer it.

“Oh, thank God, Max!” she said as she grabbed him by the arm and led him to Liz’s bedroom.

Max felt a surge of adrenalin race through his veins as he hurried behind Maria. His alarm was warranted as he surveyed the scene before him. He rushed to Liz and gathered her in his arms, shuddering as he felt how unresponsive she was. He kissed her temple and looked to Maria for answers.

“I think she took too many pills.....by accident,’ she clarified as she registered the shadow of doubt that swept across Max’s features. “She was given enough to last a week and it looks like she may have taken maybe an extra two days worth of them today,” she shrugged helplessly. “Certainly not enough to kill her but definitely more than her system can handle normally. Max, I’m sure she’ll be fine,” she tried to reassure him.

“What?” he fumed as he held Liz close to his chest. “That’s not good enough, Maria. What if she had taken too many?” his voice cracked. “What if we hadn’t reached her in time? We shouldn’t have left her alone. I shouldn’t have left her alone,” he reconsidered as tears welled in his eyes.

Maria’s lips trembled and she ran out of the room and slammed her bedroom door. She could hear Max sobbing as he rocked Liz in his arms and she sobbed, too. Max was right. They shouldn’t have left Liz alone. She’d been through so much in the past few days and they should have made better arrangements. It wouldn’t have hurt one of them to stay with her, at least for part of the day.

Liz moaned as she felt Max’s grip tightening around her. Her neck was wet where his tears had dampened her skin and she struggled to free herself.

“Max,” she rasped. “Max!” she said more loudly. “You’re squishing me!” she complained as she fought his tight embrace.

“Liz? Liz are you alright?” he blurted as he pulled away from her. He cupped her face and peered deeply into her eyes. She was a bit more responsive and he let out a yelp of relief as he kissed her gleefully. “Oh, Liz, Liz, Liz!” he cried as he scooped her into his arms. “Don’t ever do that to me again........please,” he begged as he rained kisses on her face.

“Do what?” she screwed up her face in confusion. “What is going on here?” she demanded as she became more alert. “And why were you crying? Did something happen to Maria?’ she panicked as she shoved him aside. “Where’s Maria?” she insisted as she bounded out of the bed, momentarily forgetting about her toe. “Ouch,” she grimaced as the pain shot through her foot.

Max just stared at her, shaking his head in frustration as he tried to figure out what was going on.

“We thought you had taken too many pain killers and we...........I ........kind of blamed both of us for leaving you alone today,” he added sheepishly. “Maria found you in a bad state and I just panicked, I guess. She ran to her room ‘cause I kinda yelled at her.