|posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:11:18 PM|
|Title: THE EYE OF THE TIGER|
Rating: heavy R, NC-17
Author: Nicole (aka dreamangel)
THE EYE OF THE TIGER
Tess clutched her purse tightly as Max walked her to the Valenti homestead door. This was the part of the night she’d been waiting for, the goodnight kiss. She turned to face him, smiling in anticipation, and looked up at him through her lashes.
He was so perfect, so adorable, with his ears, his hands in his pockets…But his eyes, there was nothing adorable about those eyes of his. They were intense, golden-brown and fierce. He reminded Tess of a tiger she had seen at the zoo, one of the rare times Nasedo had let her go on a class field trip, in her youth. All sinewy muscles and lax posturing, but always alert, and so powerful. A king…
Her king, she thought happily. He was destined to be hers, and now that Liz had screwed up, there was nothing stopping them from being together.
Since Liz had slept with Kyle, Max had turned to her, started trusting her, and he had finally agreed to a date. Real simple, she hadn’t wanted to press her luck, and they had done a late movie with ice cream afterwards. And now here they were, at the doorstep, and she was waiting…
“I had a good time tonight,” she told him.
He blinked, as if he had forgotten she was there, and then nodded. “Yeah…Yeah, me too.” He quirked his lips and looked toward the street, where his Jeep was parked. “I guess I’ll take off,” he took a hand out one of his pockets and gestured to the vehicle, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Tess.”
He started to step past her, and she moved subtly, as if by accident, and bumped into him. Max reached out to steady her, and she leaned into him, tilting her head so that they were in the perfect position to kiss, and waited for Max to take the hint.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
She managed to suppress the urge to roll her eyes. “Fine,” she said sweetly, “But isn’t there something you’re forgetting?” She rose on tiptoe and puckered her lips a little.
Max leapt back from her as if bitten, and glanced around skittishly. “Um…Tess…I…um…”
Drat! He was still denying their attraction. She closed her eyes for a moment, blocking out his stuttering excuse, and focused on the images she wanted him to see. The images of him and her together. It had worked once after all…
Max suddenly coming toward her, desire in his eyes, pressing her against the screen door so that it dug into her back, and ravaging her. She was like a drug, her body felt soft and hot beneath his hands, her mouth yielding and sweet. He wanted her, he had to have her, take her, she was his, his queen…
NOW! Tess opened her eyes and Max was there, his mouth crashing down to take hers, to plunder hers…And she submitted willingly, clinging to his strong shoulders. This was how it was supposed to be between them, primal, instinctive…
“Hu-uh,” a throat cleared nearby and Max immediately moved away, shaking his head. He blinked rapidly for an instant and then pinned her with a slightly suspicious glare. Tess smiled at him innocently, willing a blush to come into her cheeks, as if she hadn’t expected that passionate a response from him, and then turned to the door, where Kyle was standing, arms crossed.
“Hi Kyle!” she greeted cheerfully.
“Hey,” he nodded at her, “Evans.”
Max was staring straight at Kyle, tense, his eyes burning with ferocity. “Valenti.” His tone was cool, but it had this edge to it…
Kyle ignored him and turned back to her, “It’s past curfew, you’re lucky Dad’s out and didn’t catch you.”
She nodded in agreement, “I’ll be right in, Kyle,” she assured him. He gave her a skeptical look and then went inside, leaving her alone with Max again. “So…” she turned to him, but his attention was still fixated on where Kyle had last stood, “I guess I’ll see you later.”
“Good night Tess,” he replied, and walked away, not looking at her again.
She sighed and opened the door up, walking in with a swing to her hips. Kyle was leaning against the kitchen doorframe, arms still crossed, staring at her with one eyebrow raised. “Have fun?” he asked.
She nodded, and then her smile became wistful. “I just wish I knew how he really felt about me,” she confided.
A dark look crossed his face and she wanted to take it back. There had been a time, not too long ago, that she had considered something more than this friend thing with Kyle, but then he and Liz had… And Max had… And now she had what she wanted, and she was glad things hadn’t progressed further between her and Kyle.
“Seemed pretty obvious how he felt,” Kyle snickered, “That was some kiss.”
A wicked smile flashed over her lips, her eyes lighting up as she recalled Max’s passionate kiss, but then…it hadn’t been real. Not really. “I mindwarped him,” she muttered.
“I said I mindwarped him!” she cried, flinging herself on the brown couch, “He wouldn’t have kissed me otherwise.”
“Tess…” Kyle sat down next to her, shaking his head, “You can’t-”
“I know,” she interrupted, “It’s just… I’ve waited so long for this Kyle, for him to come to me. And now I have him and it’s like he’s not all there.” She frowned, not sure if she was explaining how she felt properly, but she couldn’t find the right words. “He’s my destiny, Kyle. He’s my King, and I’m his Queen, his wife. But he’s still fighting that other side of him, the alien side, and until he accepts it, I’m never gonna know how he really feels about me.” She sighed in frustration, leaning her head back. “And I don’t want to wait forever.”
They were silent for a time, staring at the blank television set. Then Kyle cleared his throat and she looked at him curiously. He met her gaze, blue eyes sparkling with mischief. “You can always get him drunk,” he suggested, grinning.
“Drunk?” Tess repeated, staring at him uncomprehendingly.
“Yeah,” Kyle nodded, his grin widening, “Last year, Maria entered Liz in a Blind Date contest the radio station was doing, and she won. Well, I got drunk, and I went over to Max’s and goaded him into coming with me to check out Liz’s date. Well, we got there, and Dog-boy was kissing Liz, and Max started walking away, but I told him to hold up and offered him a drink.”
She propped herself up on one leg and leaned closer to him. “What happened?” she demanded.
“He took one sip.” Kyle held up his fingers about half and inch apart, “One, tiny sip, and he was wasted. That boy cannot hold his alcohol.” He shook his head. “Anyway, as I said, he was wasted, completely shit-faced, and it was like he was a different person. He said he was tired of hiding, and I didn’t understand what the hell he was talking about because I hadn’t involuntarily joined the ‘I know an alien’ club yet, and he kidnapped Liz, kissed her in front of a crowd of people-”
“What does that have to do with me?” she cut in again, not wanting to hear anymore about Max’s former relationship with Liz Parker.
He rolled his eyes at her, “I was drunk too, and therefore didn’t think, or really remember, about half the stuff that happened that night, but I do know a lot of stuff happened that couldn’t have actually happened.”
“And that makes sense how?” Tess drawled.
“Weird stuff, Tess. Stuff that had I been sober, I might have busted Max on.”
“You mean he used his powers?” she asked, jaw dropping.
He nodded, “Yup, and he didn’t care Tess. He had no inhibitions, he’d say whatever he was thinking, and do whatever he wanted.”
Her mind was racing, “And if he’s with me when he’s drunk,” she said slowly, “I can ask him how he feels about me, and he’ll tell me the truth.” Well, how do you like that? She smiled, it was perfect.
“Basically,” Kyle agreed, “Now, could you get off my couch? There’s some naked women mud-wrestling tonight on the porn station that I don’t want to miss.”
Tess made a face and got up, disgusted by his maleness. It was bad enough he stashed his gross magazines under her bed and left condom packages lying around, she didn’t need to know he watched porn too…Yuck!
“Good night, Kyle,” she called down the hallway, “Thanks for the advice.”
“No prob,’ he yelled back, and then, “Take her down! Woo-hoo, now that’s some nice-”
Tess slammed her bedroom door shut, blocking out the sounds of the horny teenage boy, and changed for bed, thinking of how to put ‘Operation Inhibtionless Max’ into action. There was that party at the old Soap Factory next weekend…
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Sep-2002 10:12:53 PM ]
|posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:17:14 PM|
Max was hiding in a corner of the building, pulling a Michael by scowling at all the teenagers partying. He didn’t know why he was here, there was no place for him at a rave, he was what Isabel referred to as a ‘party pooper’.
But earlier that day, he had been sitting on his bed, moping, when Isabel had come in, trailed by Tess. Iz had given him a look of disgust, turned off his cd player, muttering about the Counting Crows, and ransacked his closet. Tess had given him a smile and sat beside him on the bed. He had ignored her, and stared at Isabel, not understanding why she was going through his stuff.
By the time his sister got around to rummaging through his dresser drawers, Max had found enough of his brain to be able to question her actions. “What the hell are you doing?” he demanded.
Isabel rolled her eyes, “What does it look like I’m doing? And watch your language,” she scolded.
“It looks like you’re messing with my stuff.”
“Give the man a prize,” she mocked, then she pulled out a pair of jeans and threw them toward the bed. “I’m looking for an outfit.”
Max removed the jeans from his flushed face, messing up his hair in the process, and gave his sister his best ‘Look’. “Isabel,” he said slowly.
“What?” she responded impatiently, finally meeting his eyes, “Why are you giving me that look, Max?”
“Somehow, I don’t think my clothes are going to fit you,” he told her, as if explaining it to a child.
Her face screwed up in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“My clothes,” he held up the jeans, “Will not make a good outfit for you."
She made an exasperated sound and threw a pair of socks at him. These he caught, and Tess burst out into giggles next to him. He ignored her again, concentrating on the tall blonde glaring at him.
“I’m not going to wear them Max, you are,” she informed him.
“But I’m already dressed,” he protested.
“Like I’m going to let you wear that to a party.” She shook her head and grabbed red button-down that was flung over his desk chair from her adventures in his closet. “Go change,” she ordered, gesturing to the clothing he now held in his hands.
Max just stared at her, bewildered. “What party?”
“The one we’re going to at the old Soap Factory,” she elaborated.
The old Soap Factory… For a moment, Max’s memories caught hold of him, and he could again feel Liz’s small hand within his, could see her gorgeous smile again… He could almost taste her lips, a soft wind ruffling her wild hair, as they leaned toward each other… Only to be interrupted by Kyle.
It seemed to him that Kyle always managed to come between them.
“That’s not a good idea, Isabel,” he whispered, still half caught in remembrances.
“Oh come on Max,” Tess piped up, nudging him playfully, “It’ll be fun!”
He gave her a dubious look, but got up and headed to the bathroom anyway. Being near Tess had been unnerving him lately. Since last weekend… He was almost sure she had mindwarped him into a kiss, but he couldn’t be completely certain. When Tess was around, his alien side kept clamoring to the surface, and the need to take nearly overwhelmed him.
Only now, those primitive urges went more towards Liz. He wanted to punish her for sleeping with Kyle. She was his, and she had no right to go around fucking other guys!
Max froze and stared at himself in the bathroom mirror. He was shirtless, his skin flushed red, and he could see the receding anger in his eyes. He was losing control, and he couldn’t afford to, not at this point. The chance that someone would get hurt was too great.
He shrugged into the shirt Isabel had picked out for him and then went back into his bedroom, where the two girls were waiting for him. It was obvious that they had used their powers to ‘freshen up’ while he was in the bathroom. They were both wearing much more pronounced make-up than a few minutes ago, and their hair was done in styles Max couldn’t even comprehend.
Isabel tossed him the keys to the Jeep, “Let’s go.”
So now, here he was. Alone and uncomfortable in a corner. Truth be told, he was looking to catch a glimpse of Liz, just in case she had come. He had told himself to stop thinking about her, be cause if he did see her, and she was with Kyle, or any other guy, he wasn’t sure what he would do.
“Hey,” greeted a chipper voice.
He spun, and saw Tess, who he had avoided since he got here. “Hey,” he murmured noncommittally.
“I got you a Cherry Coke,” she said, smiling at him widely. She held the beverage out to him. Max took him, surprised.
“I thought they were only serving alcohol?” He made it into a question. He had passed the food and drink table earlier and hadn’t seen anything on it but beer, beer, and more beer.
Tess shrugged, “Well, I found the soda.”
“Where was it?” he inquired, bringing the can to his lips.
“Over there.” She gestured across the building, watching him avidly. He frowned as he took a big gulp, his throat parched, wondering why she was looking at him like that.
In an instant, the whole factory seemed to double up. Max shook his head, squinting around, and then turned to Tess. “That din’t taste like…Kerry Choke,” he informed her. He looked at the can in his hand.
It was red, with squiggly black lines on it. What had happened to the old cans, the ones with the purple and black waves, and the actual pictures of cherries? He liked that design. He missed that design. He concentrated hard, and his hand did the cool glowing thing, and tah-dah! The can was no longer red and black, but purple and black, with the nifty cherries once more. He grinned, proud of his accomplishments, and looked up, wanting to find Liz, to show her…
The can in his hand went flying to the floor, and he frowned at Tess. “You made a mess,” he told her disapprovingly.
She rolled her eyes at him, which he thought was very rude, but it was Tess, so what did he expect… “Max, you can’t use your powers like that in public!” she hissed.
“I’m the King,” he said, feeling surly now, “I can do whatever I want.” And whoever he wanted, and right now, he wanted Liz.
“How about we get some fresh air,” Tess suggested.
Fresh air…he pondered that. Fresh air meant outside, outside meant quiet, and privacy…Liz liked those things, which meant she would probably be outside. Which meant he should be outside. “Okay.” And he began walking toward an exit, anxious to find Liz.
“Max!” Tess cried, running after him, but he didn’t slow down for her to catch up.
Once he was outside, he searched eagerly, walking through row after row of parked cars, looking for his Liz. He didn’t see her anywhere. So he stopped, frowning, and looked back and forth down the aisle of vehicles, spotting his Jeep at the end of it.
Liz wouldn’t be here, he realized. She wasn’t a party girl. She would be at her house. He’d just have to go there then. He nodded decisively to himself, and strode to his car. A hand on his arm stalled him though. He looked back to see Tess, breathing heavily, sweat shining on her forehead. She held onto his arm and lifted up her leg, swearing, and he noticed the heel of her shoe had broken.
“You couldn’t have waited?” she demanded of him, fixing her shoe. “Where are you going in such a hurry?”
Her jaw dropped open, and she stared at him, blue eyes wide. “What?!” she screeched.
“I going to Liz,” he repeated.
“Max… Why?” He opened his mouth to answer, but she continued. “I mean, she betrayed you, Max. She had sex with Kyle! Or do you not remember that!” He frowned, expression darkening, but still, she went on. “And besides, what do you want with her anyway? You have me Max. I’m your Queen, your destiny.” She looked deep into his eyes, trying to snuggle close to him, but he pushed her away.
“I hate you.”
Again, her jaw dropped, and he realized she had a really big mouth. She could probably fit a whole sandwich in it and eat it in one bite… “What?!”
He blinked, wondering which part she hadn’t understood. “I hate you,” he said again, more slowly this time, “You’re a bitch, and I hate you.”
“Max…” She reached for him, “You don’t mean that.”
He nodded up and down, several times. “Don’t touch me. And yes, I do. You just screwed everything up the moment you appeared. So I’m gonna tell you something, Tess.” He looked her straight in the eye and wished she’d stop bouncing around. “You don’t belong here, we don’t want you. So go away.”
And then he went away, because everything in him wanted Liz, and he wanted her now. <<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>>
|posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:19:38 PM|
It was the breeze from the window that woke her from her delicious dream. A dream in which Future Max had never come, one where she and Max were “cementing” their relationship…
A dream she never expected to come true.
Liz lay in bed, eyes closed, fighting back helpless tears. The look on Max’s face that night still haunted her. That look of disbelief, of betrayal-
She didn’t remember leaving the window open when she came in from the balcony earlier…Her breath caught in her throat and she sat up, looking around wildly. Her gaze immediately locked on the shadowy figure leaning on her dresser.
Amber eyes gleamed in the moonlight, and she gasped as he came towards her, movements lithe and predatory. Like a tiger stalking it’s prey…
“Max,” she breathed, “What are you doing here?”
The thought occurred to her that she was still trapped in her dream world, and that she was experiencing yet another fantasy of Max… Liz had imagined similar circumstances many times. Ones where Max swept into her room, determined and passionate, ignoring her excuses, not taking 'no' for an answer…
Because he knew she really meant yes...
“I had to see you,” he whispered back, and there was something in his voice. Something lost and vulnerable, that let her know this wasn’t a dream. Panic triggered in her mind, and she got out of bed and took one step forward, and suddenly he was there, hands on her elbows, steadying her as she tripped over her own feet. “Liz…”
Liz reveled for a moment in the feel of his arms, of his body… She felt safe for the first time since that day in the pod chamber. She felt whole.
His hands slid up her arms, causing her to shiver, his fingers traced the line of her tank top’s strap, and then his palms flattened, continuing down her back until they slipped beneath the hem of her top and rested on the warm skin of her back. The contact was nearly electrifying, her senses felt heightened, her body tingling with anticipation…
But they couldn’t do this. They couldn’t be like this together. Realizing that she was too close to him to think straight, she stepped backward quickly, falling against the bed. Liz stared up at him as he closed the small amount of distance she had managed to gain. He looked back down at her, laughter lighting his eyes.
His deep chuckle sent shivers sparking down her spine, and she looked away from him, only to have him move into her field of vision by sitting down next to her. Curses, foiled again! She thought darkly, unable to look away again. His eyes were so captivating… She loved losing herself in his loving gaze…
A smile graced his perfect lips as he leaned into her, his hand working it’s way into her hair and dragging her closer to him. Liz bit her bottom lip, and Max let out a groan, causing a thrill of power to run through her, before he fused their mouths together.
She gave into the kiss immediately, she couldn’t not. And it felt as it had the night they found the orb, carefree and passionate. Something Max hardly ever was, something he couldn’t afford to be. And even though they had kissed hundreds of times, each was a new experience.
This kiss… Max took control immediately, there was none of his usual reserve, his deference to her wishes. It was nearly over-powering, the strength she could feel in him as he held her to him, her soft body molding against his larger frame.
She felt herself being pushed back, onto the bed, Max moving to lie above her. Alarm bells went off in her head. They couldn’t be doing this! And then she tasted the alcohol on his breath and pulled away.
Max curled up where she had left him, lying on his side, head cradled on one arm. He looked nonchalant, sated…All but his eyes, they watched her every movement with a hungry intensity that made her body hum.
“Max, what did you drink tonight?” she demanded.
His brow furrowed, and he looked as if he were thinking very hard, and then his expression cleared and a self-satisfied smile lit his face. “I had a Kerry Choke,” he informed her.
“A Kerry cho-Oh! A Cherry Coke,” now it was her turn to frown, “Are you sure that’s all you drank, Max? Because you have alcohol on your breath.”
He sat up, shaking his head back and forth repeatedly, “That’s it. I ‘member ‘cause it was in that new can, and I thought I don’t like that can-“ Liz tuned him out, her mind racing over possibilities. He was definitely sure, even in his inebriated state, that a Cherry coke was all he had to drink, so that meant someone had spiked his soda. “-So I changed it into the purple and black can and then-“
“Max,” she interrupted. “Where’d you get the coke? Who gave it to you?”
He looked at her disapprovingly, “It’s rude to interrupt someone when they’re talking, Liz. But I’ll forgive you.” An innocent smile spread over his face. “If you kiss me.”
“Max! It’s important, who gave you the drink?”
He shook his head, “Kiss first, then I’ll tell you Tess did it.”
“Tess? Tess gave you the drink?” Why would Tess do something like that? Didn’t she know how it effected Max’s physiology?
“Who told you?” he demanded, incensed, “I didn’t get my kiss yet!”
“Ssh!” she hissed, listening intently for any indication that they had woken her parents up. Fortunately, it seemed they had not. “Come on, Max, we need to get you home,” she whispered, slipping her sandals on and grabbing a sweatshirt from her closet. He stood, and she took him by the hand, helping him through the window and down the fire escape. They argued for several minutes over who was going to drive, Max finally relenting after making Liz jump for the keys. An act he found hilarious and she humiliating. The drive to the Evans home was quiet and uneventful, although Liz found it very unsettling to drive with her dark-haired mystery man eyeing her as if she were his last meal.
Liz, mindful of Mr. and Mrs. Evans’ proximity parked the Jeep as quietly as she could, and brought Max around the back way to his bedroom window. She had him climb in first, and then she hopped up on the sill, intending to make sure he got to bed alright, but she, as had happened previously, tripped and went falling. Max caught her again, and held her firmly against him, and the only thing in her mind was ‘thank goodness he has a shirt on’.
She looked up at him, and he gave her his trademark slow, half-smile, leaning down toward her to plant a tender kiss on her lips and then resting his forehead against hers. Liz closed her eyes, fighting against the longing that was welling up within her. They really couldn’t do this.
“I should go,” she murmured, “Before your parents wake up-“
He placed a finger to her lips, stopping her from speaking, and then traced them, an awed look on his face. “My mom and dad are in D.C. for a convention,” he told her, tilting his head down toward her again.
Her breath caught in her throat, “You should get to bed,” she said before their lips could touch, “You know, sleep off the effects of the beer…”
Max let her go, and for an instant, his attention left her as his head swung toward the bed. He stared at it for a long time, long enough that she began to worry. “Max?”
“I haven’t slept since I saw you with Kyle.”
The statement caused her heart to ache and tears formed in her eyes. His tone had abruptly changed, becoming hard and accusing. He looked back at her, and the betrayal was back in his eyes, fresh as it had been that night only a few weeks ago. She realized suddenly that the alcohol had done more than take away his inhibitions, it had dampened his painful memories. And just now, he was remembering what she had done to him.
“Why…” his voice had changed again, this time broken, like a lost little boy, “Why did you do that to me, Liz? I don’t understand…”
“Just tell me why, Liz.”
Because you asked me to! She wanted to scream, because there’s so much more at stake than our feelings, Max! But she didn’t, she just shook her head and turned to leave, reaching out to grab the sill again.
Pain shot through her arm and she was spun back around to face him and his burning eyes. “Max, you’re hurting me!” she exclaimed, trying to free her arm from his grip. Max didn’t release her arm, instead he dragged her closer to him.
“You hurt me Liz,” he whispered intensely, “Do you know what it felt like to see you with him!” She winced as his hand tightened around her lower arm, and at the disgust in his voice. “You had sex with him Liz. You gave him your virginity. You gave him what was mine!” he hissed.
Her head came up, ready to chew him out for his blunt words, and for his audacity for thinking she belonged to him, even though she was well aware she did…But the stark possession in his eyes stopped her. For one moment he wasn’t her Max, he was just utterly and vividly alien, and in that moment, he took her.
His mouth crashed into her with bruising force, his hand tightened still further, pulling her flush up against him, and suddenly her clothes were gone, and so were his, and she was practically crushed as he swept her up against his chest.
Liz clung to him, slightly frightened of this new, aggressive Max, and yet a part of her was excited, aroused even, to have all her darkest fantasies coming true. She submitted to him without a fight, allowing him to dominate her in every way as he lay her on his bed, his body atop hers, wholly masculine and obvious in his intentions.
She knew she should protest. He was drunk, the future depended on them, etc, etc, the arguments were endless. But her sanity was not, and if she had to stay away from him even a day longer, she would lose her mind.
He wouldn’t remember this in the morning, she knew, and she knew if he did, he’d hate himself, and expect her to hate him also, but his actions tonight were those of a desperate man, and she couldn’t hate him for finally taking what they both wanted. Not even if it wasn’t the perfect, tender experience they had blushed over when they imagined it.
Ma needed her. It was as simple as that. Tonight, he needed, and she gave. With all that she was, she gave.
|posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:22:06 PM|
He felt like he had been hit with a sledgehammer.
Max sat up in his bed slowly, unwilling to provoke the pounding sensations in his head, and opened his eyes. Ah! The light, the light! He shut his eyes again and then carefully squinted, glaring at the half-open curtain that was letting in the early morning sun. He rubbed at his forehead with his hand, soothing away the headache with his powers.
When he could finally think again, he tried to figure out what had happened to him. He never got headaches, he never got sick…It was something his alien heritage didn’t allow for. He was always perfectly healthy. Perfectly normal.
Max thought back to last night, and had a hard time coming up with anything that had happened the night before, after Tess had handed him that Cherry Coke. Everything was just a big blank. Which scared him, because the only time he had ever completely forgotten such a large chunk of time, was the night of the Blind Date concert. When Kyle had gotten him drunk and he had kidnapped Liz.
At least, that had been the gossip going around school the next day. He couldn’t remember anything between seeing her kiss that Shallow guy, and her staring at him in awe in front of an enormous number of people.
Uh-oh…He shook his head, Tess wouldn’t have…Would she? But what purpose would she possibly have had to get him drunk? There was noth-
He was naked.
The realization made him scramble from the bed, staring at it in horror. There was a patch of dried blood on the pale blue undersheet, and as he didn’t feel injured…He glanced at the full-length mirror on the bathroom door, turning this way and that, and he didn’t appear injured…Someone had lost there virginity last night. Someone besides him.
He closed his eyes against the sight in denial, but when he opened them, the spot was still there. Mocking him. Max sighed and sat down on the floor, wrapping the top sheet around his waist. He hung his head, and wished the universe didn’t hate him.
It was obvious to him what had happened. Tess had got him drunk, and in his intoxicated state, had seduced him into betraying Liz and fulfilling his destiny.
Tess was just rat enough to come up with such a distasteful scheme. And if she could do something like this, he more than likely had been right about her mindwarping him into that kiss… Of course, a kiss was nothing compared to this. She had practically forced him into sex! And he found it hard to believe that Tess was a virgin!
He wondered why it was such a big deal. Liz seemed to have no problem sleeping with guys she didn’t love, why should he with Tess? They were destined to be after all…
Max grimaced. He didn’t want to have to deal with Tess today, he didn’t want to have to deal with the consequences of her deception… He hated all she stood for, destiny…Bah-humbug.
He just wanted to be with Liz, he didn’t care if she had slept with Kyle, though everything in him denied she had, he needed to be with her.
What the hell was he supposed to say to her when news leaked out about he and Tess’ drunken night together? And for that matter, what was he supposed to say to Tess about it? He wasn’t sure he could look at her and not vomit…
Running water suddenly stopped, and he realized that Tess must still be here, and he’d have to confront her.
The door to he and Isabel’s connecting bathroom opened, and Max looked up from his position on the floor, stealing himself against the feelings of revulsion he was experiencing. To his incredulous surprise, the girl who stepped out of the bathroom was not Tess. She was just the last person he’d ever thought to see coming toward him in nothing but a towel.
She stopped walking and stared at him, expression guarded, as if she weren’t quite sure what to expect of him. Max rose from the floor, keeping the sheet around his waist, and Liz’s arms came up, wrapping her arms around herself to keep her towel up. The continued staring at each other awkwardly.
Then he couldn’t take it anymore. “What happened last night?” he asked softly.
She hugged herself tighter. “As near as I can figure, Tess got you wasted.” She gave him a brief quirking smile before lapsing back into silence.
“That doesn’t explain why you’re here,” he pointed out gently.
She shrugged and looked down at the floor. “You came to my room last night, and I didn’t think it was safe for you to drive yourself home, so I acted as escort.”
Simple, plausible explanation, except for one thing. “So why am I naked? And why were you using my shower?”
He was watching her intently, so he noticed her eyes widen, and the blush that suffused her entire face. “Oh…um…” She gestured wildly with one hand, as if searching for an answer, and then tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, which she only did when she was nervous…
Max frowned, and strode toward her, lightly grabbing her wrist, and carefully examined the ring of bruises surrounding it. “Who did this?” he demanded. He looked up into her face, and she averted it immediately. A panicky suspicion rose in his mind and he heedlessly stripped the towel from her body. She gasped, and flung her arms up to cover herself, but it didn’t matter. His eyes roamed every inch of her exposed skin, noting the teeth marks above her breast, the handprint bruises on her shapely hips…
He shook his head in horror and backed away from her. “No…” he rasped. He had done it. He had hurt her! How could he possibly have done that to his Liz?
“Max,” she said softly, and she came toward him, suddenly not caring about her naked state. He backed away more quickly, not wanting her to touch him, not understanding how she could want to after what he had done to her, and tripped on the sheet. He went stumbling to the ground beside the bed, and before he could get back up, Liz’s arms were around him.
He tried to struggle away, but she held him fast, and he finally gave up. “I raped you,” he stated, voice broken.
“No!” she protested, loosening her hold to sit, looking him straight in the eye, “You did not,” she said firmly.
He touched her wrist gently and winced. “No?” he asked, “Evidence suggests otherwise.”
“I never said no, Max.”
He met her gaze seriously. “It doesn’t matter Liz, I abused you.” He felt a lump form in his throat and he closed his eyes to prevent tears from flowing. “I never wanted it to be like that. I wanted it to be perfect, something to remember… Not an abomination-“
“Stop it!” she cried, and he opened his eyes, startled. She was standing, hands on her hips, glaring at him. “I wanted it, Max. I wanted it just as much as you, and don’t you ever think otherwise. If I hadn’t, I would have clobbered you with that baseball bat.” She gestured to the wooden bat next to his night table.
“How can you even say that?” he demanded, standing up, “Look at you! You’re black and blue! And you were a virgin!” Her first time, like that- Wait…His last exclamation lingered in his mind, and he looked down at the spot of dried blood, and then up at her. “You were a virgin,” he repeated quietly, and she bit her lip, refusing to acknowledge what he’d said. “Liz… You didn’t sleep with Kyle, did you?”
He knew it! And she couldn’t deny it now, not with the evidence staining his bed. She shook her head, and a sense of satisfaction coursed through him, followed by utter confusion.
She shook her head, “I’m not supposed to tell you.”
“Liz,” he sighed, but she shook her head again, adamant. He stared at her, at a loss. He didn’t want to force her to tell him, he didn’t want to do anything that could remind her of last night. He didn’t remember what had happened, but he knew he had used her harshly, and he never, ever wanted to do anything that could be construed in such a fashion again.
In his helplessness, he noticed her discomfiture as she kept looking over at the towel still lying crumpled on the floor. He started and walked to his dresser, grabbing a pair of boxers and a T-shirt. He held them out to her cautiously, and then turned his back as she put them on.
“The Granilith,” she said, sighing heavily.
He spun around, “What?”
“It can be modified into a time machine,” she told him, “And I had a visitor, who told me that if I didn’t make you fall out of love with me, the world would end.”
“What?!” he exclaimed.
“Look,” and she met his eyes, serious as brain cancer, “I don’t want to lie to you anymore, Max, I’m sick of it and what it’s doing to us. But please, Max, please don’t make me say any more, I promised.”
Her eyes were pleading with him eloquently, and he relented, because he couldn’t bring himself to press the issue, but… “I don’t understand how the world could end just because I love you Liz.”
“Tess,” she took a deep breath and continued, “Apparently, we got very…very close the night of the Gomez concert, and that made Tess jealous, and she left Roswell. Which left the three of you without a fourth, and you needed her when your enemies came.” She then gave him a warning glare. “And I’m not saying anymore!”
Tess, he thought, of course she was the problem. Heck, the girl was practically the root of all evil. She had fooled him for a time, but now he had her number…Wait? Very close? Did that mean what he thought it meant?
He studied Liz, who was watching him warily, obviously preparing to stick firm to her decision to not tell him anymore, and alarm struck him again. He had been carrying a condom the night of the concert, just in case, but last night…
“I’m not saying anymore!” she repeated, interrupting him.
“No!” he burst out, “Protection! Did we use protection last night?”
She could be pregnant for Jebus’ sake! Which was something he probably shouldn’t be feeling pleased about, he mused, but he could help smiling, in his head of course, at the thought of starting a family with Liz Parker. It had been an unattainable dream for so long, but then…And now…But he didn’t want to start a life with her with an experience like last night. He wished he knew exactly what was going through her mind, to know if he had traumatized her for life, even though she seemed quite sure he hadn’t…
“I’m on birth control,” Liz informed him, allaying his fears/hopes, “I started the week after the Gomez concert, when I found out what could’ve happened. I wanted to be prepared in case…” she blushed and gave him a quick look, “You know.”
Less than a month…That wasn’t any guarantee. “Can I check?” he queried, dubious of whether she’d let him touch her again no that the drama was over. But she nodded, and he went to her, slipping a gentle hand beneath his T-shirt and resting it on her abdomen, where she’d been shot. Where this whole thing had started.
He focused, probing her body for any changes, no matter how slight, and found none. He shook his head, “We’re safe,” he murmured, looking down, deep into her eyes. He didn’t remove his hand. “Can I heal you?” he inquired.
“Max…” she breathed, but he lifted his free hand and placed a finger over her lips.
“I can’t stand knowing what it must have been like for you, Liz. I can’t remember, but I need…I need to take your pain away Liz. I never wanted the memory of our first time to be something so, so-“
Now she cut him off, but she used her lips, granting him a tender kiss of absolution. “Then make me a new memory, Max,” she whispered against his lips. He looked down at her, the sultry cast to her chocolate eyes made his heart race, his skin warm, and his body tense with anticipation. How could she be so forgiving?
“Liz,” he breathed again, and tilted his head down toward her, asking permission to kiss her with his eyes. She granted his unspoken request easily, and leaned into him, wrapping her arms around his bare shoulders. He trembled at the contact, and he felt as if he were glowing all over.
The kiss increased in passion, but he was careful not to overwhelm her, and she was often the one who made the first move. She was the one who took his shirt off her body. Max stared with rapt fascination at her bare breasts, and then watched as she slid his boxers off her hips and down her graceful legs. He moved on instinct, slowly approaching her as one would a tiger, not sure if it would let you pet it or if it would try to take off your head. Liz let him touch her, just a feather-light caress before he rested his hands on her hips, aligning his fingers onto the bruises and healing them. Then his hands glided up her trim body, causing her to gasp and shiver when his hands ran over her taut nipples. Max bent his head and gently laved his tongue over the bite mark, healing that as well.
Liz gasped once more and her knees buckled. He caught her and lifted her up into his arms. Looking down into her eyes, he asked her, “Are you sure?”
Her arms went around his neck and she smiled a content smile. “Make love to me, Max.”
A half-smile appeared on his face as if by magic, and making a mental note to get the condom from the night table drawer, he walked to the bed, sheet falling from his body, with his beloved in his arms, and laid her down upon it, intent on making new memories to erase the old.
|posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:24:08 PM|
“What the hell are you doing?”
Tess straightened in alarms and spun, wiping the tears off her cheeks as she faced Kyle. He was staring at her suitcase, frowning. “I can’t stay here,” she informed him, “Nobody wants me here.”
He blinked in confusion and then he shook his head, smiling. “I take it last night didn’t go so well.”
She snorted, “You can say that again.” And then she went back to stuffing her necessary belongings into the luggage bag. Tears were stinging her eyes again as she relived the humiliation of last night; Max’s harsh words, walking home, her heel breaking twice!… She just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.
“Tess,” Kyle said softly, and suddenly he was there, taking the shirt out of her hands and putting it on the bed.
“Kyle!” she sobbed, and turned into his embrace, clinging to him as she wept, and letting him sit them down on the bed.
“Ssh,” he murmured, rubbing her back in a comforting rhythm, “Tell me what happened.”
“H-he…he c-cal,” she hiccuped, “called me a bitch!” she wailed, “And he said he ha-hated me!”
“Evans said that?” Kyle demanded, incredulous.
Tess nodded and hiccuped again, but tried to calm down. “He told me I had messed up everything, that I didn’t belong here…that nobody wanted me around,” she sniffled, “He told me to go away. And he’s right Kyle,” she looked at him earnestly, “I don’t belong here, that’s why I’m going.”
“Whoa, whoa, hold up, okay,” he said, standing up. He looked at her, shook his head, and started pacing around his former room, “Was he drunk when he said all this stuff?” he finally inquired, waving his hand around in an all-encompassing gesture. Tess nodded. “Well, there’s your problem,” he told her, smiling broadly, “He was drunk, he didn’t mean it.”
Her jaw fell open and she stood, glaring at him. “You said when Max was drunk he says whatever he feels in his heart,” she reminded him, “Of course he meant it!”
“Well, yeah,” he kinda ducked his head, “But you gotta factor in the fact that drunk people aren’t always rational, and he might have just been saying what he was feeling at that particular moment.” Kyle nodded, liking his logic, “Was he angry with you?”
Had Max been angry with her? Um…yeah. “Maybe a little,” she admitted, turning away from him and picking at the clothing in her suitcase.
“Just a little?” Kyle prodded.
“Maybe a lot,” she returned haughtily.
“See?” he asked, “There you go. What did you do to make him angry?”
She winced and looked at him from the corner of his eye. “I might have mentioned the Liz sleeping with you incident…”
He was frowning now, “Did you or didn’t you, Tess?”
He held his breath for a moment and stared into the mirror on his dresser, then blew it out in a deep sigh. “You know,” and he looked at her again, “Max was wrong Tess. You do belong here, with me and my dad. You’ve made us a family again Tess, and I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”
“Kyle.” She smiled, happy tears now forming, and hugged him. She felt the same way about him and Jim, they were her family, and she wanted to belong to them. But what Max had said was still praying on her mind. “What should I do?” she asked him, staring up into his blue eyes.
“I say you go find Max and get everything straightened out. Here,” he reached in his pocket and handed her his keys, “Take the Mustang. I’ll stay here and unpack your stuff.”
They grinned at one another and then Tess gave him a light slap, saying, as she headed out the door, “You just want to look at my panties.” And then she was gone, grin on her face, before he could formulate a properly disgruntled reply.
Tess pulled up outside the Evans’ house and sat in the red Mustang for a few minutes, breathing deeply and trying to figure out what she wanted to say, as she was no good at apologies. Finally, she steeled herself and got out of the car. As she was approaching the front walk another car came speeding up, radio blasting, and parked in the driveway. Tess met Isabel’s gaze as the taller girl got out of the tan car, and she gave her a hesitant smile.
“Hey,” Isabel greeted back nonchalantly, “Looking for Max?”
Tess nodded and followed her friend through the garage and into the back door of the house. Isabel dumped her stuff in the laundry hall and then headed to the kitchen, Tess on her heels, and then both girls stopped in their tracks, both staring at the spectacle before them.
“Ahem!” Isabel cleared her throat loudly, and Max and Liz broke apart immediately, looking at them with embarrassed expressions. Liz bit her bottom lip and eased herself off the kitchen counter, hiding her face in Max’s back.
Tess just watched the two of them, not feeling as betrayed as she should have. There was just a sense of resignation at the sight of them, so obviously together. She decided right then and there to finally screw destiny. Max and Liz belonged with each other, and nothing anybody did was going to change that. And, she realized, she didn’t really want to.
True, Max was an amazing kisser, and in their past life they had been completely in love. But he was right, they were different people in this life. They could make their own choices. And why would she want a guy who was head over heels for another girl? She didn’t. She wanted someone who would love her for her.
“Izzy, Tess,” Max said, not meeting their eyes, the tips of his ears red, “Hi! Um…” He finally looked at his sister, “I let Liz borrow one of your skirts and one of those tank tops you always wear…The ones that are too small for you, you know?”
“I can see that,” Isabel replied, bemused, but their was this grimace on her face and Tess knew she was thinking about the compromising position they had walked in on while Liz was wearing her clothes.
“I can get them back to you tomorrow, Isabel,” Liz offered, peering around Max.
“That’s okay,” the blonde returned, “You can keep them.” She grabbed a soda from the refrigerator and then walked out of the kitchen, leaving the Tess alone with the couple.
They all stared at each other awkwardly, and then Max finally spoke. “I…we wanted to talk to you, Tess,” he told her.
She nodded quickly, “I wanted to talk to you too.”
There was more nodding going around, and then Ma spoke again. “Um, why don’t we go into the living room?” This suggestion prompted more nodding and they all headed out of the kitchen and to the designated room, Tess walking ahead of the pair, who were almost touching, but not quite…
They just had a tendency to brush against each other and give each other secret smiles, which Tess caught as she sat down, and she had a pretty good idea why they were so “together”.
“So,” Liz started.
“So,” Max repeated.
“I’m sorry!” she blurted out, much to their surprise. She turned pink and rushed to elaborate. “I know what I did was wrong, and I’m sorry. I just…I was confused, and I needed to know something, but it doesn’t even matter anymore because I realize I don’t even like you like that Max. I mean, yeah, you’re very, very attractive, but I’m not in love with you like I thought.” She took a deep breath and then continued, “I’ve just been hung up on this destiny thing, and I was all ready to leave after last night, but I talked with Kyle, and I realized I don’t care about destiny. It basically sucks, and I refuse to make everybody’s lives, including my own, miserable because of it.” She looked at them, smiling, “So I promise not to be a problem anymore. In fact, I think it’s great you two can still love each other after everything… It gives me hope that maybe I can find the same thing for me,” she admitted shyly.
They did this unison blink thing and then exchanged glances. “Thank you?” Max said, looking bewildered.
“Yes,” Liz concurred softly, smiling at Tess, “Thank you, and I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for Tess. Everybody has a soulmate, Max and I were just lucky to find each other so early.” She took his hand, and they exchanged that secret smile again. Then, suddenly, Max frowned.
“You were going to leave?”
“Yeah. You just said some stuff last night that got to me, but Kyle caught me, and he explained things to me. I had said some hurtful things, and you retaliated the only way you could, Max, you hurt me back.”
“No,” she interrupted him, aware of the guilty expression on his face that he was getting ready to apologize, “I know you don’t remember anything from last night, and I know you didn’t mean them, so don’t worry about it, okay?”
He still looked regretful, but nodded. Liz leaned forward on the couch, “Things have happened between the three of us that I’d like to have put behind us,” she told Tess, who nodded in agreement.
“I’d like that too.”
Liz smiled at her, “Friends, then?” she inquired, holding out her hand.
“Friends,” Tess agreed, and shook the extended hand.
“No more talk about leaving?” Max put in, resting his hand on top of theirs.
“No more,” she promised, “Roswell’s home.”
They exchanged another set of grins, and then Liz rose from the couch, giving Max a tender kiss on the forehead. “I have to head home before my parents wake up,” she informed them, glancing at the VCR clock.
“I’ll drive you,” Tess offered, “I need to get back to the homestead before Kyle steals all my underwear for his Buddha prayers.”
“Your underwear?” Liz asked as they headed for the front door, Max escorting them with an amused smile on his face.
Tess nodded sagely as they stepped out into the morning light and headed toward the Mustang, waving good-bye to Max. “He keeps praying to get laid.”
“Really?” Liz wrinkled her nose.
“Uh-huh,” Tess laughed, “He’s such a pervert.”
“Oh, I know,” Liz exclaimed as they pulled away, “When we were dating he kept asking to…”