posted on 1-Sep-2001 4:52:00 PM
Title: Same Time Next Month
Author: Phaedra
Category: You’ve got to be kidding. Max and Liz.
Rating: NC-17. Anything else is just not as fun!
Disclaimers: I don’t own anything to do with the show or the books. But don’t blame me if the characters jump ship to let me write for them…
Distribution: Ask first or else.

Part 1

Liz Parker wiped off the Crashdown Counter again. Just in case she missed a spot when she cleaned it the two times earlier. Maria bustled around refilling the ketchup and sugar bottles. Every now and then she would glance up at the door. Alex had been grounded to the break room because his pacing was starting to worry the customers.

The front door opened and both Liz and Maria were startled. They looked hopefully at the newcomer, but let out their breaths when they saw it was just Kyle. He sauntered over to the counter and commented, “Busy night.”

“It’s dead,” Maria contradicted.

Kyle rolled his eyes and said, “I was being sarcastic, Maria. What’s your problem? The fewer the customers, the easier we’ll have it.” He looked over to where Liz was rearranging empty glasses. “How’s it going Liz?”

“F-fine,” she squeaked.

“And if you buy that, you probably think Michael went to charm school,” Maria quipped.

“I’m fine,” Liz insisted.

Kyle and Maria both looked at each other and said simultaneously, “Yeah, right.”

At this point, Alex came out of the break room. “Guys, if I stay by myself much longer, I’m gonna hyperventilate. I mean, this is our last chance! It’s devious, under-handed, manipulative, conniving… well, pick your adjective. I don’t think Buddha would approve.”

“Speaking of which, did you remember to bring it?” Maria asked Kyle.

“You doubted me? I’m always prepared,” Kyle drawled.

“Cut the boy scout act,” Maria directed with a half smile.

“Well, I am! Speaking of being prepared, are both of you, umm, *prepared*?” Kyle wagged his eyebrows.

Liz blushed and nodded. Alex, however, had a horrified look on his face. “Oh damn! I knew I was forgetting something!! Oh, God, do you think I have time to go to the store?? Oh God!!”

“Breathe, Alex,” Kyle said dryly. “I’ve got plenty in my car.”

Maria narrowed her eyes. “Why am I not surprised?”

Alex practically bounced as he got closer to Kyle. “But what if,” he whispered with raised eyebrows.

“What, you don’t think you can wear my size?” Kyle grinned, enjoying the blush that now covered Alex’s face.

“Kyle,” Liz warned.

“What?? Gotta be prepared when trimming lamps,” Kyle answered.

“I don’t even want to know,” Liz murmured.

“Look, it’s almost time. Do you have the vodka?” Maria interrupted.

Kyle produced his flask with a flourish. “One sip guaranteed to relieve the alien of your choice’s inhibitions.”

“Okay, I’m going to hide it near the ice machine,” Liz said and swallowed nervously.

“Hey, are you getting second thoughts?” Maria asked. “You were the one that came up with this plan.”

Liz searched her thoughts. She didn’t know if she could continue to go on like this. Max hated her. Well, maybe hate was too strong a word. But still. He had given up on her, and she was withering like a flower deprived of the sunlight. She had to be strong. So much responsibility was resting on her shoulders. And there seemed to be no end in sight. Unless…. Unless her plan worked. And she could have one night a month. She had sacrificed so much, surely twelve hours a month wasn’t too much to ask.

Liz looked at Maria. “No, I’m not having second thoughts. I need this. We all do.”

“Okay, then, take up your positions because the pod squad is about to come in,” said Kyle.

*****

“So, what was so urgent?” Max asked, Tess sitting beside him in the booth. “And tell me again why we can’t meet in the break room.”

“Kyle and Maria are fighting about their parents going out,” Liz offered.

From his position at the counter, Alex hit the send button on his cell phone. Kyle’s cell vibrated and he said, “Show time,” before raising his voice to “fight” with Maria.

Outside, Liz did her best to look worried as she said, “I’ll be right back,” and quickly walked over to Alex and told him to go see what was going on in the break room. After Alex left on his “task”, Liz went over behind the counter to grab four glasses. She leaned over to scoop some ice into them and secretly poured Kyle’s vodka over the ice. Then she filled each glass with cherry coke.

Liz went back to the booth and began setting down the cokes, and Max told her, “We didn’t order anything to drink.” Ouch.

About that time, Alex came out of the now quiet break room, and Liz glanced in his direction before saying, “Look. I’m trying to be nice. You can’t just come in here and not order anything. It would look suspicious.” Liz deliberately looked at the other two tables filled with customers. “Now, let me go talk to Alex real fast and then we can get down to business.”

Liz approached Alex and asked softly, “Is Agnes here yet?”

“Just pulled in the parking lot,” Alex replied.

“Have they yet drank their cokes?”

Alex looked up and said, “They’re drinking them right now.”

Liz breathed a sigh of relief and turned to look at them. Tess and Isabel wore dreamy looks, Michael looked angry, and Max looked like he had lost his best friend.

The break room door opened and Agnes came out followed by Kyle and Maria. Kyle saw the way that all four aliens looked and muttered, “Wusses. All of them.” Kyle walked over to the table, and Tess stood up and walked with him outside. Alex and Maria followed suit and soon only Max was left in the booth. Liz cautiously made her way over to him.

“Max?” she murmured.

He looked up with tears in his eyes and asked, “How could you? I don’t know what’s worse. Your sleeping with Kyle or lying to me. How could you, Liz?”

“Max, I can explain.”

He suddenly stood up and swayed slightly. “You hurt me,” he accused.

Liz tentatively reached out and stroked his arm. “I know. I didn’t have a choice. Please, let’s go somewhere we can talk privately.”

Max looked like he was about to refuse, so Liz leaned up and kissed him softly. Immediately, his hands tunneled through her hair, and he drank from her lips. Liz felt her world start to spin. So long. So very long. It was all she could do to pull away and say, “Come with me, Max.”

“Will you tell me the truth?” Max asked, his hands still buried in her hair.

“Yes. I promise. Come with me.”

Max looked down into her doe eyes and followed because what choice did he really have? She owned him. Body and soul.

***********

Liz drove the jeep to the Embassy Suites in Clovis. She couldn’t take the chance that anyone recognize her. Soon, she and Max were in their room. “But Liz, I don’t understand why we had to come all this way to talk,” Max repeated for the fifth time that hour.

Liz’s reply was the same. “Security. No one can know what I’m about to tell you.”

“But a motel room?”

“A suite.”

“Whatever. Are you trying to be deliberately cruel? There was a time when I’d have given anything to get you alone like this. But now…” Max trailed off. Tears came back to his eyes as he added, “It hurts.”

“Just for a little while,” Liz reassured while she double checked the locks. She went to stand in front of him, but she couldn’t keep eye contact. How was she supposed to start? What if she said something wrong? She began to talk and pace at the same time. “Max.. what if I told you that if we were together, Michael and Isabel would die?”

“That’s nonsense. Why would you think that?” Max asked and tried not to get dizzy from watching Liz pace.

Liz stopped pacing. “You told me.”

“Liz, I never said anything of the sort. If someone told you that, he wasn’t me.”

“He was,” Liz stated.

“No. Maybe he was a shapeshifter, but he wasn’t me,” Max denied.

“It was you, Max. You fourteen years from now.”

“I don’t believe it,” Max continued to deny.

Liz continued, “You used the Granolith and came back to stop Michael and Isabel’s deaths.”

“I DON’T believe it!”

“Max, it’s true. The Skins had taken over the planet, and you came back to try to prevent it from happening.” Tears began to fall from Liz’s eyes. “Oh, God. You said it was all our fault. Tess left because of us, and you weren’t strong enough without her. So I had to make sure that there was no “us” so that Tess wouldn’t leave.”

“LIES! ALL LIES!” Max roared.

Liz broke down completely. “It’s the truth. I swear,” she sobbed.

Max grabbed her by the shoulders and shouted, “WHY ARE YOU LYING TO ME???!!”

“Oh God, Max. I’m not.” Liz stared intently into his angry eyes and pleaded, “All you have to do is look. I’m not lying.”

“That’s the first thing you’ve said that makes sense,” Max said as he swooped down on her mouth.

The kiss was fierce and hard, but Liz didn’t care. She imagined herself pouring the events of that night and every night since through her lips. The connection sprang to life, and Max tried to jerk away. But Liz’s hands held his face in place as she refused to stop kissing him.

At some point, Max stopped trying to leave Liz’s arms. He wrapped his arms around her to hang on while his universe tilted and his perceptions were rearranged. Liz loved him. Oh, how she loved him. She’d ripped her soul out for him and confined herself to a lifeless existence. He felt her ever growing despair and how she was barely hanging on to her existence. She thought about death often, and it was beckoning her closer to its flames. She was past caring.

And this… this was a last desperate attempt to hang on. A hail-mary pass with one second on the shot clock. One last attempt before she succumbed to death of body as well as soul.

And he was the cause of this. Or rather, his future self was the cause of this mess. It seems that the future him hadn’t realized that he and Liz couldn’t survive without the other. Max felt intense hatred toward that man that he refused to claim as any version of himself. To do this to Liz, to bring her to this point was unforgivable. It wasn’t right nor fair nor just. It was just plain wrong, on every level.

Max tore his mouth from hers and whispered, “I’m sorry, oh God, I’m sorry. I should have known. I shouldn’t have given up. Oh God, don’t give up on me now, baby.” He gave another tug on her hair. “Don’t give up. Please!”

Liz blinked her eyes open to me his anguished amber gaze. “I’ve got to Max. We can’t have a future. The cost is too high. I know that.”

“But..”

“No buts,” Liz interrupted. “I wish I was stronger, braver. But I’m not. That’s why you’re here. We may not have a future, but we can have a fantasy. Once a month. Twelve hours, if I’ve calculated correctly.”

“Once a month? What are you talking about? I’m not going be able to have you for half a day then give you up. It’s not possible. I’m never letting you go again!” Max crushed her small frame to his and buried his face in her hair.

“Oh, but you will. You see, Max, you’re drunk, and in less than twelve hours you won’t remember any of this. Until next month, when I give you another shot of alcohol. Between that time, you’ll be able to focus on your destiny, your people. But for twelve hours every month, you’re mine. I can survive hell if I have the promise of heaven. Tell me you’ll agree. Please, tell me you’ll agree,” Liz pleaded.

Max tried arguing, pleading, everything he could think of to change Liz’s mind. But it did no good. She was firm. Either this or nothing. And in the end, he assented. She wasn’t the only one that had been dying a slow death, and maybe, just maybe, this fantasy would fight its way through to make itself known in reality. Max had to hope that eventually he would remember all that he learned tonight. But until then, he was going to squeeze as much life as possible out of these precious few hours.

His mouth came back down on hers, and his tongue brushed over trembling lips until they parted, allowing him access to the deep recesses of her mouth. She was so sweet, and for a while, she was his.

Liz slanted her mouth over Max’s, desperately trying to consume him in a greedy gulp. So long. So very long. She’d thought she’d never know his taste again, never feel her body pulse with life or heart thunder with a need so great it couldn’t be caged.

And she knew she’d lied. To that future incarnation of Max. She was ready, had been ready for months. He only had to touch her, and she was his. Instinctively she knew that it would be like this for the rest of her life. And could only revel in that fact. If bliss such as this existed, then why settle for second best? She couldn’t. She wouldn’t.

Max lifted her body up and felt her legs circle his waist. She had one hand in his hair, pressing his lips hard to hers, and the other hand was gathering fistfuls of his t-shirt. His erection throbbed against her womanhood, trying to bury itself despite the layers of fabric. He moaned into her mouth and was rewarded when she ground her hips into his.

Liz tore her mouth from his to pull his t-shirt over his head, and then she clamped down on the newly exposed skin of his neck. She flicked her tongue over his jugular where his pulse was the strongest and sucked hard. He was moving his arms to get rid of the t-shirt and once that was accomplished, he guided her own shirt up and over her head before bringing her mouth back to his. Their tongues dueled in imitation of a more intimate act, and the connection roared back to life. Their mutual desire reflected back at them, feeding on itself, urging them to go faster, slake their thirst, satisfy their hunger. And do it now.

Liz ached for his possession. Literally ached for it. She wanted to feel him everywhere at once. Where he wasn’t touching, her skin chilled in sadness, and she would press herself closer to try to chase the chill away for good. He was every erotic fantasy she’d ever had brought to life. Warm and smooth with the touch of steel under it all. He felt wonderful, amazing, and he made her feel invincible.

God, she was amazing. Soft where he was hard, delicate yet strong, demanding he pay homage to her like a pagan queen. And Max did. With every touch, every kiss, he paid homage at the altar of the love of his life. Her breasts were perfect. Different textures, changing from smooth globes to velvet areola to hard nipples. Desperate, he arched her back and trailed his mouth down to the valley between her breasts. He slowly licked his way around one delicate mound, tasting its sweetness, then opening his mouth to envelop as much of her lush beauty as he could hold. She had her hands in his hair and his name tumbled from her lips in an endless litany as he suckled.

Liz tried to remember why breathing was important, but for the life of her, couldn’t find a single reason. Her universe had narrowed so that it only included Max and the wicked things he was doing to her with his mouth and hands. It had to be wrong to feel such sinful pleasure. But even if the flames in hell were her fate, she wouldn’t, couldn’t leave his arms. He was a powerful drug that she had become addicted to long ago. A habit she didn’t want to break. To hell with being a good girl; she was going to be bad. Very bad. And she’d revel in every shrieking second.

Liz tossed her head back and forth and murmured unintelligible things. Max removed his mouth from her very hard, very wet, very red nipple. “Hmmmm… baby what’d you just say?” Max’s breath moved over her wet flesh, causing her nipple to tightened even more. In response, she tightened her legs and pressed her throbbing core to his. Max nuzzled one soft mound and asked again, “What did you say, Liz?”

“Have me, oh God, have me,” she moaned.

“I am, I will,” Max vowed and gently took one distended nipple between his teeth. “Oh God,” he heard her hiss, and in response he rapidly flicked his tongue across the hard nub.

Liz dimly heard herself chant Max’s name as fire swept through her, causing her body to gush more of her womanly fluids. Her panties were soaked, and the crotch of her jeans had to be getting wet. She didn’t care. She literally shook from the pleasure that was almost pain. In one tiny corner of her mind, she realized that Max was so thoroughly enjoying her body that she would stay in this tortured state unless she took matters into her own hands. Or more specifically, him into her hands.

She untangled her fingers from his soft dark hair, and guided her fingertips over the cords of his neck to the smooth plains of his chest. Her fingers came to one flat nipple, and she raked her fingernails over it. Lightly at first, then growing harder.

Max tore his mouth from her breast and tried to catch his breath as he felt himself harden even more in response to her touch. Her fingers pinched one of his nipples, and fire poured through his veins. Unable to stop himself he began to thrust into her warmth despite the fact that fabric still separated their sexes. In response, she ground herself harder against him. Max growled and shoved her against the wall as he continued to hump her.

Liz licked his neck then bit down, marking him as hers. “Liz,” he groaned as his hips moved faster. Liz shifted herself so that her clit received the maximum stimulation. She rubbed her button hard nipples against his chest and clawed at his back. Through the connection she knew he was closer to coming than she was and so she brought her mouth back to his and lapped at his lips with her tongue.

Max’s mouth opened to suck her tongue inside to mate with his. God, did anything taste better than Liz? She was a mixture of spicy flavors, and he was never satisfied. She had taught him everything he knew about kissing, or more specifically how to kiss her. He now wielded that knowledge expertly to tease and coax her into the storm they had created.

Max felt hot puffs of air coming from Liz’s nose and knew she didn’t want to remove her mouth from his. So he tore his mouth from hers to rumble into her ear all the things he intended to do to her. All the ways he intended to have her. He told her that he knew how wet she was and how her clit was throbbing and pulling on her womb. Max let images pour into her mind as he talked. He teased her with his lust, promising to satisfy her every way possible. She only needed to follow him.

Liz knew she was close, could feel herself tightening in anticipation. And when he whispered, “I’ll love you forever,” she felt the first wave crash over her and opened her mouth to scream his name.

Max crushed his lips to hers to muffle her cries and groaned as he exploded. Then all was quiet except for the ragged breathing of two people who had been separated for far too long.

Max knew he should move, that he should be embarrassed about the wet front of his jeans. But he didn’t move nor did he feel embarrassed. How could he when Liz was raining soft kisses over his face, and he felt her joy and love pouring from her into him. So, he concentrated on sending all his love back into her and telling her how much he adored her. He touched his forehead to hers and held her face between his hands. Then looking into her eyes, he repeated, “I’ll love you forever.”

Liz smiled through happy tears and affirmed, “I know. I intend to love you longer. When forever has come and gone, I’ll still be with you. You’re my other half; the best half.”

“My soul knows yours, Elizabeth Parker. My memory may forget these hours, but my soul won’t. It used to be mine, but I gave it to you freely long ago. Don’t ever forget that you hold my life in the palm of your hand. I’m yours. Always.”

Were any wedding vows more sacred? More meaningful? More true? Their souls were bound together now, their desired stirred to complete their bond physically.

Liz allowed her legs to loosen around his hips, and her feet slowly touched the ground. Their eyes locked together as their lips sealed their vows. This kiss ended, and they embraced. Liz tucked her head into the nook of his shoulder, and Max laid his cheek against her shiny hair. They held back their mutual desire to enjoy the peace in the eye of the storm.

Max suddenly raised his head and smiled down at Liz. “I need a shower. How ‘bout you?”

Liz looked up into his carefree eyes and wondered how much of it was due to his being drunk. She also wondered how much longer she had left in paradise.

“Don’t be sad,” Max said. “We can take one together. Come on!”

Liz allowed herself to be drug into the bathroom. Max turned on the water, then he looked back at her and asked with a grin, “Do you need help taking anything off?”

Pushing aside gloomy thoughts, Liz’s eyes twinkled, and she said, “I don’t know. What do you think?”

“I think you must need some help because you’re not naked.”

Liz laughed. “Neither are you.”

“I can fix that,” Max said eagerly and proceeded to shuck his jeans and wet boxers. When he looked back up, Liz had discarded the rest of her clothes, and her beauty made him catch his breath.

Liz was doing some looking herself and watched in fascination as his erection got harder. Her mouth suddenly dry, Liz wet her lips and said, “If we don’t take that shower now, we’re not going to get one at all.”

Staring at her glistening curls, Max asked in a gravelly voice, “Why do we need a shower again?”

“I don’t know, but let’s make this fast,” Liz answered. She quickly stepped into the shower, and Max followed. She grabbed a bar of soap and began to bathe herself.

Max felt like the top of his head was about to explode as he watched Liz’s hands move over her body. Desperate to touch her, he plucked the bar of soap from her fingers. Max glided it over her hard nipples and felt her thrust her breasts into his hands to increase the pressure. He did so, but soon it wasn’t enough. Liz whimpered, and Max brought one soap filled hand to her curls. He lathered them before working the bubbles into her lower lips.

“Oh God,” Liz gasped as his clever fingers found the hard nub of nerves amid the folds and rolled it in his fingers. She raised one foot to rest on the wall of the shower to allow him better access to her quivering flesh. It felt so good. How come it never felt like this when she touched herself? Easy answer: her body knew it belonged to Max and wasn’t satisfied with substitutes.

Max discarded the bar of soap and moved his hand back to cup her mound. He combed his fingers through her curls as the water rinsed them. His other hand palmed her breast, and his mouth moved down to suck the crook of her neck. She was a feast, and he intended to devour every bite of her.

“Max please,” Liz moaned.

Abandoning her neck, Max rumbled in her ear, “Please what?”

“Touch me,” she hissed.

Max licked the shell of her ear. “I am touching you.”

Frustrated beyond belief, Liz clamped her fingers over his and shoved them into her aching center. Oh God, that felt good. Everything he did felt good. So good that it ought to be a sin. Liz didn’t care because she was done being a good girl. Breathing hard, she rode his hand in a desperate attempt to seek her release.

Max felt her hot walls tensing in anticipation and smiled against her cheek. Through their connection, Max could feel Liz’s pleasure and her total absorption in what his hands were doing to her. But he wasn’t done yet. He knew exactly where he wanted to be and concentrated on sending those images to her.

Suddenly his hands weren’t enough. She wanted more of him. All of him. “Oh God,” Liz wailed and whirled in his arms. Their mouths crashed into each other, and their tongues dueled as each tried to satisfy their mutual hunger. Liz felt his engorged manhood against her stomach and instinctively rubbed against it in an attempt to get Max to give her what she wanted. What they both wanted.

Max groaned into her mouth, and he lifted her up so she could wrap her legs around his waist. His erection nestled against her hot lower lips, and Max fought for control. Liz wasn’t helping matters as she screamed into his mind, “Take me!” All he wanted to do was plunge to the hilt in her honeyed depths, but this was her first time. He had to be careful.

Liz tore her mouth from his and said, “I don’t care. I want you inside me. Now.”

Max’s eyes blinked open. “But Liz..”

In answer, Liz reached down and guided his cock to her entrance. She began to slowly impale herself on it and whispered urgently, “Max please..”

At her words, Max’s control snapped, and he thrust into her. He felt her pain as he tore through her maidenhead and quickly put his hand down to heal it.

“You didn’t have to do that, but thanks,” Liz gasped. The pain had been brief, and the new sensations were overwhelming. Full. She felt full as her body stretched to accept him. She could also feel Max’s pleasure in her tight walls as if it were her own. Her thoughts merged with his, and she squeezed her inner walls in response to his desire.

That was all it took for Max to groan and turn so that her back was against the wall of the shower. He slowly began to thrust into her and thought he’d died and gone to Heaven. She was tight and hot and wet and his. Better than any of his fantasies, and he’d had plenty.

Lust poured through Liz’s veins as he moved within her. She knew he was holding back and wanted more. “Harder, faster, deeper,” she thought over and over and was rewarded when he abandoned control completely to pound into her. He made sexy little grunting noises in the back of his throat, and Liz responded with high pitched whimpers.

Max’s orgasm hit first and triggered Liz’s. Her walls clamped down on him hard as she milked him of every drop. They shuddered and tried to catch their breaths. The pleasure echoed through both of them. Slowly they opened their eyes and smiled. Neither could remember the other looking so happy. “I love you,” they affirmed as their lips met to kiss tenderly.

Max reached down to shut off the water and carefully stepped out of the shower. Liz’s legs were still circling his hips, and he was semi hard inside her. Not bothering to dry off, Max carefully knelt on the bed and gently unwrapped Liz’s legs so that she was kneeling too. His erection sprang free, and they both groaned at the loss.

Liz trailed her fingertips up Max’s chest, grazing his hard nipples, before burying themselves in Max’s wet hair. She pulled his lips down to meet hers and felt his hands cup her face as he made love to her mouth. She wrapped her arms around his neck and caressed the wet hair at the nape of his neck.

Pulling his mouth from hers, Max licked the drops of water still on Liz’s face and ran his fingers through her hair, drying it with his powers. He pulled back and waited for Liz to open her eyes.

Liz felt his heated gaze and lifted heavy eyes to take in his beautiful face. His nervous, beautiful face. “What?” she asked.

Max mumbled something and blushed.

“What?” she repeated and watched, fascinated, as Max’s blush spread down his face and neck. And beyond. Damn, he was cute.

Max couldn’t force the words past his lips, so he looked into Liz’s eyes and connected with her again. She gasped at the images he sent her, and he shut his eyes, embarrassed. What must she think of him?

But he forgot that the connection went both ways, and suddenly Liz shoved him down and brought her mouth to his manhood. He jerked as her tongue licked its way up his hard length. “Liz?” he gasped.

“Ladies first,” was her reply as she flicked her tongue against his sensitive sacs. Involuntarily, his body bowed off the bed. Shuddering, he twisted handfuls of the bedspread in his hands and tried to keep from thrusting again. Max looked down and saw Liz’s shiny hair spread across his hips and thighs. Oh God. Max shut his eyes and tried to hang onto some semblance of control. He knew it was a losing battle, however, as he felt his cock give up a portion of its treasure.

Liz’s hair was falling in her face, and she brushed it back. She wanted a clear of his fascinating sex. Her eyes widened as a drop of iridescent fluid appeared at the tip. Unable to help herself, she licked it off and earned a groan from Max. It tasted salty. Musky. Not bad at all. But perhaps she needed more than one drop to be sure. The scientist in her concurred, and she set about trying to coax another taste. She knew she would eventually take him fully into her mouth and was a little nervous. She didn’t want to gag. So, she decided to explore the pulsing vein on the underside of his erection first.

Max felt her hot breath on him, and he wondered what she would do next. He thought vaguely that if the anticipation didn’t kill him, her sexy mouth would. But what a way to go. He gasped as he felt Liz’s velvety tongue stroke the base of the underside of his cock.

Liz could feel his pulse thundering against her tongue as she inched her way to the tip. Another drop was her reward, and she carefully sucked it off. Rubbing her tongue against the roof of her mouth, she decided that she had been mistaken. It tasted like Max and was damn good. Addictive, just like the rest of him. To hell with being nervous. Liz’s eyes glazed over, and she took him in her mouth.

Max nearly came right then and there. She still had her tongue on the underside of his cock, and her lips tightened as she gave an experimental suck. “Oh God Liz,” he gasped, and she removed her mouth.

“Did I do something wrong?” she asked worriedly.

“Oh God, no,” he urgently replied.

Liz smiled, “So you liked it?”

“No,” Max denied. “I loved it. I nearly came.”

“I know,” Liz sighed. “I’ll have to see what I can do about that.” And she brought her mouth back down on him. His tip reached the back of her mouth, and she concentrated on relaxing her throat. She wanted all of him. He slid further inside the warm cavern of her mouth, and Liz slowly sucked her lips back to his tip.

Unable to help himself, Max thrust his hips up and was rewarded when she enveloped him once again. She set up a rhythm, and Max wondered how long he could last. “Liz, you’ve go to stop. I’m going to come.”

Liz brought her mouth up and swirled her tongue around his blunt head before freeing her mouth. “Max, look at me,” she directed. He opened glazed eyes and turned his head to look down. “I don’t want to stop. I want all of you.” And she went down on him again.

Max watched her dark head bob and felt himself helplessly thrust into her mouth. He lowered his head against the mattress and gave himself to Liz. He screamed her name as he came, and it felt so good that he could’ve sworn he lost consciousness.

Liz smiled in satisfaction as she crawled up Max’s body. His mouth was open, and he was making sexy little moans that were driving her wild. She licked one of his yummy nipples before burying her face in the crook of his neck. Her clit was throbbing, and she clenched her inner walls because she knew it would be awhile before Max was able to do anything.

Her eyes flew open when Max’s hands grasped her waist, and he sat up with her. His eyes gleamed in the semi dark room, and he growled, “You’re wrong. I’m always “up” for anything you have in mind.”

Liz’s eyes widened as she became aware of his hardness pressing into her. “But…” she said, only to have her words cut off with a hot kiss from Max.

“Anytime I’m around you, I’m semi hard. Always. It’s been this way for years. At first, I was scared you’d notice, so I hid behind books and baggy clothes. And then this past year when you finally noticed me, I got worse. I was always hard around you, so I had to start satisfying myself in the morning before school. I still do. Even after the whole Kyle fiasco. I hated myself for needing you so.”

“Oh, Max,” Liz whispered with tears in her eyes. She fastened her mouth to his and let all the love in her heart pour through her lips. Max responded, and soon their mutual desire reached a fevered pitch.

Max guided Liz over his erection and pushed up into her. He walls grasped him eagerly, welcoming him home. Liz gasped against his lips as he started raising her up and down in a slow rhythm. Liz took over, and he lay back down to let her ride him.

Liz kept up the pace he started and leaned forward to brace her hands against his chest. This somewhat changed the angle of penetration, and Liz moaned as his cock found an especially sensitive area.

Max opened his eyes to slits. He stared at Liz as she moved with her head thrown back, eyes closed, and mouth open. He looked further down and saw her breasts bobbing, nipples hard and seemingly begging for his touch. Max glided his hands from her waist to cup her breasts. He flicked his thumbs over her nipples and was rewarded with her gasping his name.

Needing him faster, Liz increased the pace to maximize her pleasure. She felt Max instinctively arch his back to thrust into her, and she held on for dear life as his hips began to buck underneath her. Determined to stay with him, Liz met him thrust for thrust. She impaled herself, trying to get him as deep as possible. Deep enough to steal part of him for herself to keep forever. Her orgasm was suddenly upon her, and Liz screamed Max’s name in ecstasy.

Max felt her inner walls squeeze him, and he thrust one more time before erupting into her. Still joined, Liz collapsed against him, and Max held her close as he murmured his love for her.

*****

The bedspread lay in a pile on the floor at the foot of the bed. Sheets were rumpled and pillows were tossed in odd places. Liz was stretched out and sighing softly as Max traced patterns on her back. She felt *good*. Every bone in her body had the consistency of melted wax, and she was certain she had a goofy grin on her face. Just like Max.

A new song came on the radio, and Max’s ears perked up in recognition. Gomez. His heart turned over. So many memories attached to that song. Bittersweet, tugging on invisible strings to pull him into the past. Max’s hand stopped, and he sighed. He didn’t want this night to end. He didn’t want to go back to the misery of his life. Actually, life was the wrong word. Existence was more like it. An existence where Gomez meant betrayal instead of loving sacrifice.

Liz felt his sadness and decided a distraction was in order. A happy memory to replace the sad ones. She rolled over and said, “Max?”

“Hmmm?” *God, I love you.*

Liz sat up. “Dance with me?” She bracketed his dear face with her hands and kissed him softly. Taking Max’s hands in hers, she pulled him to stand with her beside the bed. She reached up to twine her arms around his neck and began to sway with the music.

Max wrapped his arms around her tightly, trying to keep her close. He didn’t want to lose her again. She was his other half, but the destiny gods had decreed otherwise. He wanted to throw his head back and howl in pain. Why the hell had they given him a heart if they were only going to rip it from his body? Why would anyone want to do that? Want that for their leader? He didn’t know, but he planned to behead them.

Trying to breathe, Liz let Max hold her. They were both swaying, but Liz wasn’t satisfied because she knew Max was still inwardly struggling against the ties that bound him. And she admitted that she was angry that these obligations dared to intrude on her time. She only had twelve hours a month when he was hers, and she freely admitted to being selfish enough to want all his attention for that short span.

So, Liz fought back using the one weapon in her arsenal guaranteed to bring Max back to her. Face buried against the hard plains of his chest, Liz’s tongue snaked out to lick warm skin. Lightly at first, then slowly dragging her tongue until it came into contact with his nipple. She rained hot, opened mouth kisses over it before dipping her mouth and lightly raking her teeth over his pecs.

Max’s troubled thoughts screeched to a halt, and his heart began thunder as Liz lured him into her storm. Her mouth was like quicksilver as fire flamed everywhere her lips touched him. “L-Liz?” Max shuddered as his legs locked to keep himself upright.

“Hmmm?” was her reply as she continued to rub her body against his in rhythm to the music. She switched her attention to his other nipple and stroked the one she had just abandoned. God, he tasted good.

Max made a strangled noise in the back of his throat as her teeth skimmed over his sensitive flesh. “What’re you doing?”

“If you have to ask, I must be doing something wrong.” Liz chuckled and nuzzled her nose against a wet button-hard nipple before blowing on it to watch it tighten even more.

Max trembled. Between the wicked things her mouth was doing to him and the brushing of her body against his, he felt like he was going to spontaneously combust. “Umm, I think we better sit down.”

“Oh no you don’t,” Liz ordered and stroked her hands down from the sides of his waist to the firm cheeks of his ass. She squeezed her hands and enjoyed the way his muscled bunched at her touch. Oh God, how long had she been wanting to do that? About as long as she had been wanting to do this she decided, and traced her fingers down the crack of his buttocks.

“Liz!” Max hissed between his teeth and brought his hands up to cup her face as he fused his mouth to hers. He drank deeply from the well of her mouth, trying to satisfy his thirst as his body burned. If he’d been capable of rational thought he would have been stunned that after coming three times in one night, he was now ready to go for a fourth round.

Liz allowed herself to be distracted from her goal for a moment. “We Haven’t Turned Around” echoed through her head, and she moved her mouth in time to the music. Stroking his tongue with hers, enticing him to follow her lead. To come dance with her the ageless dance of man and woman, united together.

Liz gentled the kiss, and soon they broke apart for much needed air. Max skimmed his lips down her cheek and nuzzled his nose in the sensitive spot behind her ear. Liz shivered against his light touch, leaned her head back, and tried to pick up her train of thought. There was something she was forgetting… damn, that felt good… ~~So you say we haven’t turned around~~… oh yeah, she remembered. “Max, dance with me,” she repeated.

“Mmmm.. kay…” And he began to walk backwards to the bed.

“No, I really mean dance,” Liz protested.

Max pulled his head back to look into her soft eyes. “You want to dance? Really?” Liz nodded, and Max arched one black brow. “Naked?” Liz nodded again. Tongue in cheek, “Why Elizabeth Parker, I’m shocked. The Prom Committee wouldn’t approve.”

Liz licked her lips and told Max exactly where the Prom Committee could go. Then with a feline smile she began to dance before him. Undulating her hips and shoulders, she stroked her hands up her body to cup the undersides of her breasts, plumping them in offering. Her nipples were already hard, and she brushed her thumbs over them. Liz’s breath came out in a gasp as the simple touch vibrated down to her core. She threw her head back and slowly brought her arms higher until they were twined over her. “Dance with me Max,” she enticed, looking at him through heavy eyelids.

Max stood there, transfixed. Oh God, what had he done to deserve this enactment of one of his fantasies? He watched helplessly as she looked at him with luminous eyes and slowly stretched out her hands, inviting him to join her. Unable to resist her siren’s smile, he took her hands in his and let her lead him into the inferno.

Hot. So very hot. Her body radiated the heat from her inner fire, and Max clenched his jaw. She would burn him alive, and he could only revel in the fact. He literally jumped when she moved their still-grasped hands to his waist and squeezed lightly. “Move your hips Max,” she urged in a low voice. “Follow me.” Slowly, hesitantly, Max began to sway in time to the music.

Bodies brushing, they slowly danced. Max had his hands on her hips, and she had moved her arms around his neck. Never taking her eyes off his, Liz let him lead her around in a small circle. Her breasts nestled against his chest, nipples hard and wanting more of his attention. Liz began to rub herself harder against him, back and forth, and they both groaned.

Max twirled her around and pulled her back into the heat of his body, panting as he tried to remember how to breathe. One of his hands roamed over her back, enticing her to perfect the fit of their bodies. She made a mewling sound in the back of her throat, and his hands moved down to her ass. He raised her body slightly and inserted one leg between hers. He felt her wet curls and rubbed his leg into her, coaxing more of her damp heat to flow.

Liz arched her neck and shut her eyes against the overwhelming arousal. She felt his hands push her up even farther on him so that her feet barely touched the floor. Helplessly, she wrapped her legs around his hips and felt his raging erection. His mouth crashed down on hers to give her wet, open mouthed kisses which she returned passionately.

Dancing forgotten, Max walked to the bed and pressed Liz backward until she lay flat on her back with her legs dangling over the side. He pushed her legs wide and pressed his palm against her wetness. “Thank you,” he murmured against her lips. “Thank you for wanting me this much.” His voice was hoarse with emotion and unable to help himself, he ran a finger down her slit before parting her folds to coax more of her juices.

Liz moaned in protest when he removed his fingers. She dimly heard him say, “Liz, look at me.” Raising heavy eyelids, Liz watched him bring his fingers to his mouth and taste her. Slightly embarrassed, Liz glanced away. “Look at me, baby,” he repeated. Swallowing, she forced her eyes back to his and watched as he licked his fingers clean.

Max had just discovered something that tasted better than tabasco: Liz. Licking his lips, Max told her, “I want more,” and proceeded to drop to his knees to bury his face in her. He greedily lapped her fluids while moaning a continuous, “Mmmmm… Mmmmm… Mmmmmm…”

Liz tried to catch her breath against the sensations pouring through her. His moans caused his tongue to vibrate against her, and Liz’s hands tangled in his soft hair. She pushed his head against her, demanding more of the sweet torture. He rewarded her by swirling his tongue around her clit before taking it in his mouth to suckle.

Max could feel the trip-hammer of Liz’s pulse in the tiny nub of nerves against his tongue. Unable to satisfy his voracious appetite, he lapped his tongue against her folds before pushing it down into her core. She made a high, keening sound, and he held her hips in place as his mouth continued to devour her.

Liz thrashed on the bed, shaking her head back and forth. Every muscle in her body was coiled with tension, and she was certain that even her toes were curled. “Max, oh please,” she gasped, unsure if she was asking him to stop or continue.

In answer Max trailed his hands up her calves to her thighs. He placed her legs over his shoulders and brought his hands to her hips. Slowly, he straightened, and her hips rose off the bed. Grinning at his resourcefulness, Max pulled her center even closer to his hungry lips. He licked her outer folds before circling his tongue around her hard clit.

Liz arched her back in an attempt to bring him closer to her. Desperately, she held onto handfuls of the sheets, searching for something to hold on to as Max’s mouth rained torrents of pleasure upon her. Her heart thundered in her chest, and the storm rolled through her body, closer, ever closer. Max scraped his teeth against her and lightning sizzled in her veins as her legs tightened, and she came. Hard.

Max felt her legs relax and looked down at her face. Her mouth was open and her skin was flushed as she tried to catch her breath. She wore a satisfied expression on her face, and he felt proud that he was responsible for putting it there. Her musky scent caused his nose to twitch, and unable to help himself, he perused her curls. She was still wet, and he felt a greedy desire for more.

The waves washing over Liz were pure bliss. A balm to her parched soul. She felt his mouth come back down on her, and Liz’s eyes flew open as she was sucked back into the sea of their desire. His wicked tongue lapped her up with relish, and in no time at all, Liz was back on the edge, panting for more. Which he gave her in waves.

Max couldn’t get enough of her to sate his thirst. He greedily wanted more of her juices. *Now.* He was drinking her in as soon as her body released more of its fluids, and it still wasn’t enough. Trying to taste every drop of her, he sucked one of her lower lips into his mouth. Liz gasped and hissed out his name through teeth clenched against the pleasure, and Max grinned impishly before subjecting the other lip to the same sweet torture. Liz jerked and again came against his mouth, giving him more of her addictive liquid to drink down.

Oh God, the pleasure kept coming in never ending waves. Just when she thought she’d reached the apex of her desire, he proved her wrong and sent her flying even higher. Oh God. Where had he learned to do this? Liz knew he had been a virgin too, yet he had mastered her body so effortlessly. Playing her like a maestro. Could all of this be due to some innate alien quality that made him a good lover? He sucked her swollen knot into his mouth. Oh God. As long as he didn’t stop, she could care less.

When he was satisfied that he had thoroughly cleaned her, Max raised his head and smiled triumphantly. She was far gone, past reason, reduced to a world of pure sensation. And he had done it to her. And he wasn’t finished. “Liz? Liz, love, release your hands.”

Dimly hearing him over the roar of the waves, Liz summoned the willpower to unclench her fists from the sheets. But without something to hold onto, her body trembled uncontrollably, in a free fall as it tried to come back down to Earth. She barely felt Max shove her up the bed so that she was in the middle.

Max knelt on the bed. Her legs were still wrapped around his neck, and contemplated his neck move. What to do next? His cock was screaming for him to finish what he started and give himself some relief, but his thirst had yet to be slaked. Maybe one more time, one more taste. He carefully lowered them so that her hips were on the bed. And though her legs were still thrown over his shoulders, he was able to reach up and palm one of her breasts.

It was happening again. She was going back up, faster, faster, and Liz struggled to catch her breath. His clever fingers rolled a nipple between them before dragging his thumb across the sensitive areola. As his fingers plucked at her, she felt invisible strings tug at her core and more liquid gush from her body.

Max’s mouth came back instantly to greedily gulp her down. She arched her spine, and Max’s free hand came around to hold her hips in place. He didn’t want her going anywhere. Mewling faintly in the back of his throat, Max lashed at her hot center with his tongue. Her juices nearly gone, Max plunged his tongue down as far as it would go and sucked hard to try to draw more from her. He heard her huskily call his name, and he pinched her nipple between his fingers in response.

Liz felt him move his tongue up her slit, carefully bathing her folds, before sucking her throbbing clit into his mouth. A thought pierced the lust-induced haze in her mind: he wasn’t going to stop pleasuring her with his mouth anytime soon. And though that was fine, *wonderful*, Liz wanted more. She wanted him inside her so they could take flight together.

Max felt her tugging on his hair, and he raised his head slightly. Her eyes met his, and her pupils were almost completely dilated. Her look was wild, and she licked her lips before pulling on his hair again. “Up,” she growled. “Come up.” Max grinned wolfishly before crawling up her body. Her legs slid off his shoulders down his arms, but he wouldn’t let them come off entirely. When his face was level with hers, Liz’s legs were back, spread wide. Damn, she was flexible. He must’ve died and gone to Heaven.

Her entire body felt rubbery, and Liz easily accommodated the change in positions. She brought her head off the bed to meet his lips in a boiling kiss, and she tasted herself mixed with his saliva as he sucked her tongue into the hot cavern of his mouth. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Liz enticed his tongue to dance with hers.

Max followed her lead and gradually increased the pace until they could barely breathe. His erection was a steel rod against the curls guarding her center, and he flexed his hips to rub it against her, coating it with her womanly fluids.

In response, Liz raked her nails up and down his back mindlessly. She tore her mouth from his to groan into his ear, “I want your cock inside me, Max. It feels so good when you’re inside me. Like velvet covered marble, only hot. So hot. Do I feel as hot and as good when you’re inside me, Max? Do you like it as much as I do?”

“God, yes!” Max shuddered as he reared back and plunged to the hilt. *Finally,* they thought as they both saw stars. After a moment’s rest to savor the sensation of being surrounded by the hot glove of Liz’s body, Max began to thrust into her over and over. Her walls grasped him eagerly, welcoming him home. His hips slapped rhythmically against hers as he drove into her with piston-like motion. He grunted his satisfaction as she took him deeper inside her.

Liz felt herself being pushed backward as he pounded into her. Her head came up against the headboard of the bed, and her hands flew back to brace themselves. Like a primitive, he ravaged her mouth and plundered her body. From her position, she had no control, no barriers against the depth of penetration of his erection. She was certain he was touching her womb with every thrust and gloried in it.

Somewhere, sometime, Max had left the world of civility. All he knew was the frantic urge to mate, to bond. Sucking her lips, Max relished their sweetness before skimming his tongue over her jaw. He nuzzled the crook of her neck and tasted her. Salty yet sweet. Unable to help himself he bit her gently, marking her as his.

Liz felt the love bite and groaned as the sensation zinged its way down to her core. Involuntarily, she tightened her inner walls and caused Max to jerk then slam into her more rapidly. Their bodies were covered in sweat which made it easier to slide against each other, and they were panting so hard that it made long kisses impossible.

With lungs starved for oxygen and hearts thundering, they went racing over the edge together. Max couldn’t stop himself from continuing to bang into her as his release went on and on, and Liz continued to milk him. Max buried his face in the crook of her neck and gently brought her legs back down to rest on the bed. He rained kisses over her face and was rewarded when her eyes fluttered open. The look of love in them was blinding as she took his face in her hands and tenderly kissed him.

Their lips clung together before they pulled away. Liz smiled as she looked into Max’s adoring eyes. He tried to roll off her, but she wrapped her arms around him and said, “Nuh-Uh. You’re not going anywhere.”

“But Liz,” he protested in a raspy voice.

“Stay with me?” Liz asked. “I want you as close to me as possible.”

Max gave in and relaxed against her. “Just tell me if I get too heavy.”

Liz smiled contently as sleep began to claim her. “You’re perfect. Right where you are.”

“I know. I’m home,” Max murmured as he joined her in dreams.

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 4:54:39 PM
A truck rumbled in the distance, and it startled Liz awake. Not coherent, Liz nuzzled a spot in the crook of Max’s neck that seemed made for her. What a lovely way to wake up, she thought idly. Her eyes had no more closed again before they snapped back open. Panic cleared the remnants of sleep and Liz sat straight up in bed. Muscles complaining loudly, she looked over at the clock. Three in the morning. Damn, damn, damn. “Max? Max! Wake up!” she cried and shook his shoulder.

Max’s eyes blinked open, and he smiled stupidly at the vision before him. “Hiiiiiiiii,” he said sleepily. All he got for his troubles was another shove. “Whasrong?” Max asked and looked around.

Liz tried to climb over Max to get out of bed. Her mistake. His arms wound around her waist and pulled her back on top of him. “Where you going?” he asked huskily and raised up to kiss her. Liz instinctively arched back, trying to prevent contact with his mouth. One kiss and she was a goner.

Max’s face reflected puzzlement for a moment before clearing. “Morning breath, huh?”

“The key word being morning,” Liz murmured. “We’ve got to get ready and go back to Roswell.”

Max’s face fell, and he raised his arms from her waist to her back to pull her closer. “Don’t wanna. Let’s stay here and make love all day,” he pleaded as he placed kisses on the top of Liz’s head. He felt hot tears on his chest and sat up with Liz still in his arms. “Liz?” he looked at her questioningly.

“Please don’t make this any harder,” she whispered through dry lips.

“But it’s only,” Max glanced at the clock, “3:15. Surely we can stay a little longer. It isn’t morning yet.”

Liz pulled back. “Max, we’ve got to shower and get cleaned up. There can’t be any clues to what really happened this night on you or your clothes.”

“That won’t take a minute to fix,” Max protested.

Liz continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “Then we’ve got to drive back to Roswell.”

“We can make it in an hour.”

“And hope Bob’s engine doesn’t explode,” Liz commented. “It will take about 90 minutes, Max, and you know it.”

“Okay, so why get back to Roswell at 4:30? You said twelve hours. I didn’t come into the Crashdown until 7. That’s two and a half hours extra. Wouldn’t you rather spend them here in bed? With me?” Max pleaded.

Liz tenderly cupped his face. “Of course I would darling. But I’m not certain about when the alcohol will get out of your system. And I can’t be anywhere near when that happens, Max.”

“But two and a half hours? Liz, you’re a good scientist, I trust your calculations,” Max said earnestly.

Liz sniffed and resisted the urge to wipe her nose. “And as a scientist, I know that unknown variables can skew the best of formulas. I have no idea how our night’s activities will effect how your body metabolizes the alcohol. In humans, it speeds it up. You’re mostly human, Max. But not totally. I’ve calculated your metabolism based on a human male, not a hybrid.”

Max struggled to think. He supposed he was lucky that the alcohol didn’t seem to impair his thinking too much. Just his memory and inhibitions. Concentrating, Max countered, “But since my hybrid status is what caused this phenomenon in the first place, wouldn’t it make sense that it would skew the metabolism lower than a human male?”

“That’s what I’m hoping Max. But I’m not certain, and I don’t want to take the risk of being wrong,” Liz stated calmly, her words temporarily soothing her despair.

“But would it be so bad if you were wrong, and I came back to myself?” Max asked. “Liz, I love you. That hasn’t changed for me. Don’t you think I would give you the chance to explain? Don’t you think I would understand?”

Liz shut her eyes in resignation. “That’s the problem Max. You *would* understand. You *would* forgive me. And there would be no way for me to stop you anymore. This nearly killed me. I know I can’t do it again. I’d give in, and we’d be together. And Michael and Isabel and innocent people would die.”

“But surely there must be some way…”

Liz shook her head. “No, there’s not. Let’s suppose that you do find out. And we are together. What do you think will happen if we screw everything up again? I’ll tell you. I’ll send you back into the past again. And we’ll do everything over. Except I won’t even have you for 12 hours a month. Because there’s only one other thing that we didn’t try.”

Max saw where she was headed and shook his head. “N-no… NO! I would NEVER ask you to do that!”

“I’d have to, Max. I’d have to leave town. Disappear. Go somewhere you can’t find me.”

Max’s eyes got wide, and he declared, “Elizabeth Parker, there’s no place you can go that I won’t find you.”

Liz smiled sadly, “I’d find a place. I’d have to.”

“Liz, this isn’t fair to you! You shouldn’t have to carry the weight of all of this on your shoulders! You shouldn’t have to settle for twelve hours a month!”

“Don’t worry about me.” Liz forced a laugh. “You know, this isn’t fair to you either. I don’t know if you’ll remember any of tonight ever again. I may have to tell you again next month.”

“No, you won’t,” Max reassured. “Just kiss me and I’ll use your memories to remember. That’s how I found out about what happened that night of your blind date. I kissed you in the kitchen, and my aggression reminded you of that kiss up on stage. And you remembered and so did I. Everything.”

Liz breathed out a sigh of relief. “Well, then. We should get going. The sooner we get you home, then sooner next month will come.”

Max nodded and got up out of bed, Liz still in his arms. “I *can* walk,” she teased.

“I know. I just like carrying you.”

“My goodness, you’re quite the gentleman,” Liz drawled, trying to keep the mood light.

Max turned on the bathroom light and set Liz down on the counter. “Gentleman?” he asked with a slight grin and turned the shower on. “Really? Well, I’ll have to see what I can do about that.”

Liz watched him approach her and felt her heart begin to race. She didn’t know what he had in mind, but she was all for it. He stopped just in front of her and put his hands on her thighs and slowly pushed them apart. “I can be gentle, Liz. I can be anything you want,” he murmured and skimmed his hands up her thighs to her arms.

Max knew they had to leave soon. But if he was clever, he could combine several tasks and leave Liz with the knowledge of how much he adored her. He leaned in and kissed her sweetly, deliberately connecting to pour his love into her. The room was becoming steamy as he ended the kiss. Max smiled and looked behind her to grab a towel from the towel rack and laid it down on the cold tiles leading to the shower. Then he came back over to Liz and offered his hand. “Would you like to step down, milady?”

Liz nodded and soon her feet touched the towel covered floor. “Thank you, kind sir,” Liz said as she looked up into his beautiful eyes.

“Come! Your bath, or in this case, shower awaits!” Max said in a commanding voice that made Liz giggle.

When Liz was in the shower, Max followed behind her. “Max,” she protested. “We don’t have time for this.”

“Ah, but we must make time for cleanliness is next to godliness!” Max proclaimed.

Liz rolled her eyes and thanked her lucky stars that he was trying to make this easier on her. “No, that’s not what I meant,” she laughed.

Max leaned down and plucked two small individually wrapped bars of soap off a ledge in the shower. Then arching one eyebrow, he exaggeratedly intoned, “Did you or did you not say that we must shower?”

“Well, yes..”

Max interrupted, “And did you or did you not say that we must remove all evidence from our clothes and bodies?”

“Yes, Max, I know that’s what I said, but..”

“And are we not pressed for time?” Max continued in the same quasi-British voice.

Liz ran the tips of her fingers over her brow and cheek. “Yes… which is why you shouldn’t be in here.”

The eyebrow was still in place only this time Max peered down at her. “Milady, this is the fastest, most efficient way to get you clean and spot-free. Now I suggest you quit dawdling and tell me which soap you prefer? We have a “For the Face” soap.. which smells like soap, or a “For the body” soap which smells like soap! Which is your preference??”

Liz bit her lip to keep from laughing. “Um, why don’t we use the “For the Body” soap?”

“Excellent choice!” Max proclaimed and threw the other bar out of the shower. He peeled the soggy wrapper off the remaining bar of soap and carefully inspected it. “You can’t be clean unless you have a clean bar of soap!”

Liz was literally shaking with laughter at this point. Max was definitely still drunk because he wasn’t normally so carefree, so.. funny. Who’d have thought that underneath that serious exterior, Max Evans was a cut-up?

When his hands were full of bubbles, Max began to wash her. First her arms, then legs, then torso. Every time he found a love bite, he would exclaim, “A spot!! We must make sure that not a trace of it remains!” And he would rub his hands over it removing it with his powers, then get down eye level to make sure that the job was “properly done.” And Liz would feel herself get a little more aroused as she laughed.

The only time he faltered in his charade was when he bathed the curls between her legs. As he was making sure he had done a proper job, he suddenly cupped her ass and brought her to his mouth. He heard Liz groan his name, and he sucked harder on her clit to send her flying. As she trembled, he kissed her center gently and stood up. “There you go, milady,” he said in a gutteral voice. “All clean and spotless.”

Liz came back to herself and watched Max bathing himself. His back was to her, but she was certain that he was sporting a huge erection. “Max?” she said and brought her hands around his hips to grasp his swollen sex. “We need to hurry.” She played with his sacs in one hand increased the pressure in another. “Come on Max..” she urged and felt him tense as he said in a strained voice, “Coming.”

Liz leaned her head against his back and pressed her lips to it while his body heaved. Then he spun around, brought his hands to her face, and hotly mated his mouth to hers. They kissed for a short time, then reluctantly broke apart. “Come, milady. Let’s get you dry,” Max said quietly.

They stepped out of the shower and Max enveloped Liz in a towel and wrapped one around his hips. He briskly dried her body off then ran his fingers through her hair to dry it. He looked around and found her clothes. With a wave of his hand they were stain and wrinkle free. Liz quickly put her clothes on as Max dried his own hair. He cleaned his clothes and was about to put them on when Liz said, “Wait. You have to get rid of those marks.”

Max looked in the mirror and ran his hands over his neck and torso. “Better?” he asked, and Liz nodded. She went into the bedroom to make sure they weren’t leaving anything.

What she should have done was stay in the bathroom and watch Max dress. If she had, she would’ve seen the small love bite on his inner thigh.

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

They didn’t reach Roswell until just after 5 a.m. Liz was driving the jeep and quickly made her way to Maria’s. On the way back, Max had told her funny stories about anything he could think of to keep her mind off their parting. He didn’t want to make this any harder on Liz. He already felt guilty because of the burden that was on her shoulders. He refused to add to it, so he didn’t plead to try to change her mind. His Liz was determined and wouldn’t be swayed from the path she thought that was right.

Max was silently hoping that the mark might trigger some memories when he was sober. If not, surely he would wonder when he started disappearing one night a month. Surely he couldn’t completely forget everything he’d learned. There had to be some way to get this knowledge to his sober self! There had to be some way around this end of the world mess, and he was going to find it.

If only he would remember!

Liz pulled up the jeep to the curb in front of Maria’s house and looked over at Max who was staring at her intently. “What?” she asked.

“You’re so beautiful, Liz.”

“Not really, but thank you.”

Max reached over to cup her cheek. “But you are – inside and out. I don’t know what I ever did to make you fall in love with me.”

Liz smiled gently. “You were you.”

Max leaned forward and pulled her face to his. He tenderly kissed her mouth.. once, twice… then rested his forehead against hers.

Liz savored every nuance, trying to imprint every detail on her brain for the long month ahead. After a few minutes, she murmured, “We’ve got to get you inside.”

Max took a deep breath. “I know,” he said and withdrew his hands.

They walked around the house to Maria’s window which was open. Presently, Maria stuck her head out the window and whispered harshly, “You’re late!”

Max noticed Maria didn’t seem to be too happy, so he tried to make her smile. “Are ya gonna call the warden on me?” he asked in his best James Cagney voice.

Maria rolled her eyes and replied, “Max, don’t push it.”

Max helped Liz up onto the window ledge first, then he followed her into Maria’s darkened room. The only light came from the full moon outside.

Liz was trying not to think about what was about to happen. If she did, she’d lose it. So hard; so very hard. She shook her head and then pointed to the sleeping bag on Maria’s floor. “Go ahead and lie down Max. You need to get to sleep before the alcohol wears off.”

Max swallowed. He hated this. They deserved better. Liz deserved better. But he did as he was told because he didn’t want to make this any harder on her. Liz had already suffered enough because of him, and he wasn’t about to add to her pain.

Liz watched Max take off his shoes and lie down on top of the sleeping bag. Maria had a pillow for his head, and he reached behind his head to fluff it a little. Liz knelt down beside him and took his hand in hers. “Tired?” she whispered.

“Not really. I don’t want to go to sleep Liz. Because when I do, this will all be over.”

“Max…”

“No, don’t worry. I’ m going to stay here and do what I’m told. I just wanted to say thank you and I’m sorry. Thank you for loving me. No matter what I do, that is my best achievement. And I’m sorry. For putting you in danger and putting you in this position. I never wanted to see you hurt, but that's what has happened.”

“Max don’t apologize. Because as much as this hurts, I wouldn’t trade loving you for the world. I love you. With all my heart. Always.” Liz leaned down and touched her lips to his, trying to savor these last moments. Their kiss was slow and deep and poignant.

“Liz,” Maria whispered urgently. “You’ve got to go.”:

Liz bravely broke the kiss and whispered, “Good bye my love.”

Max squeezed her hand. “No, not good bye. Just til we meet again. Same time next month.”

“Yes,” Liz whispered as a tear rolled down her cheek. “Same time next month.” Then she was gone.

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

And what did the rest of our group do with their twelve hours?

Well, Kyle had planned on taking Tess to a club, but they got side tracked by a bed. No, now get your mind out of the gutter. For a change.

See, on the drive over to the club, they passed a new furniture store that was having a grand opening sale. Tess wanted to stop, but Kyle said that they didn’t have time. Well, Tess immediately started crying, and Kyle, being a typical man, caved.

Tess had plenty of money from the proceeds of selling Nasedo’s antiques, and she wanted to pay in cash. But that wouldn’t do as she was supposed to be sleeping in her car tonight. So, he talked her into buying on credit card. He figured he could always say that he went out and charged everything to her that night. And hope that she wouldn’t kill him.

Soon Tess had a new queen size bed and mattress. Then of course, they had to go find sheets. But none of the department stores were still open. Kyle suggested the twenty four hour Wal-Mart, but Tess threw another fit and made him drive all the way to Albuquerque to go to Target. She found a sheet set then wanted to look for some framed posters to hang on the walls of her bedroom.

They had to pass by the electronics section, and Kyle coaxed her into trying out a PlayStation 2. They spent several hours playing computer games. Every time Kyle won, he demanded a kiss from Tess which made losing awfully easy for her.

They finally got back to Roswell around 4 a.m. Tess had fallen asleep, and Kyle put her back in her car on the street in front of the Crashdown. Following the plan, he turned her cell phone on and locked her inside. Then he drove back home and hoped he could find a reasonable explanation for the charges on her credit card.

****

Alex and Isabel went to Frazier Woods. Alex was, um, prepared, but that was more of a “just in case a miracle happens and Izzy tries to seduce him” sort of thing. He wanted to take her somewhere special where she could be herself.

Alex brought a blanket to sit on, sleeping bags to curl up in, and a long black duffle bag. Isabel unpacked a picnic basket while Alex turned on some lanterns to give them light to eat. The food wasn’t gourmet or terribly romantic, but it was perfect for a night out under the stars. Sandwiches, chip, cole slaw, and cookies. Normal food that Isabel appreciated because of the last month of her mother’s cooking disasters.

Alex entertained her with lists he had made up with titles like, “Top Ten Reasons We Know Pam Troy’s Had a Boob Job.” Each time he made her laugh, Alex felt a sense of accomplishment because she hadn’t laughed much at all lately.

When they were done eating, Alex pulled out the long duffle bag. Inside was a telescope he had borrowed from Liz. He set it up, and they spent a few hours finding constellations and talking about the events of the last few months.

Alex was a very good listener, and Isabel let the whole Vilandra debacle pour out of her. They discussed the situation, and Isabel felt so much better talking about it to someone with an objective viewpoint. She was so scared of making another mistake and betraying her brother. At one point, Isabel reached over and squeezed Alex’s hand and said, “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For being such a good friend. I’ve really missed you Alex,” Isabel confessed.

Alex thought he could live for months on her soft, heartfelt words.

Later they snuggled under the sleeping bags and looked at the stars. Alex made up funny, modernized versions of how each constellation got their name, and Isabel would occasionally add to his stories. Laughter filled the woods.

Isabel fell asleep on Alex’s shoulder, and he spent the rest of the night watching her. When 4 a.m. rolled around, Alex woke her, and they headed back to town. He took her to Michael’s apartment and left her sleeping on the couch.

*****

Michael and Maria went on a date and had a good time. Yeah, I was shocked too. Although, to be fair, it took a couple of tries for them to get it right.

Maria’s idea was dinner at Chez Pierre. She *really* ought to have known better. She figured that since she was paying for dinner, Michael could at least dress up and come with her. Problem: Michael’s inhibitions were gone not his entire personality.

It took forever for Maria to find clothes for Michael to wear. He tried to explain his “smell it and wear it” system, but all that caused was a lecture about how all men were pigs. Not to be outdone, Michael had countered with how women expected men to read their minds and not act like themselves.

Typical Michael and Maria.

What wasn’t typical was that instead of walking away and saying “whatever,” Michael kissed the living daylights out of Maria to shut her up. Maria was liking this no inhibitions thing until the got to the restaurant, and Michael dissed the menu. He wanted normal food and wanted to talk in his normal loud voice and not have the waiter look down on him when he asked for meatloaf. Needless to say, Maria was not happy when they were asked to leave.

Nor was she happy why Michael decided to go to one of those bar/restaurant sports lounges. They ate dinner at the bar, and Michael watched a hockey game. Maria could only talk to him during commercials, and so after she was done eating she got revenge by climbing on Michael’s lap, kissing every part of him she could reach and moaning really loudly until they were asked to find a room. Now it was Michael that wasn’t happy.

Maria was nothing if not a quick thinker and came up with an idea where they could both have what they wanted. They broke into an ice skating rink, and Maria got Michael to teach her how to play hockey. It was finally a date that Michael didn’t feel completely clueless about, and Maria could get the attention she craved. They had a great time, and if Maria needed a whole lot of up close and personal instruction on how to shoot a puck, well, Michael didn’t mind.

After they were done playing hockey, Michael wanted to go out to the Pod Chamber. Maria happily complied because it was something to do together other than watch TV. They spent two hours going over the chamber trying to find a hidden panel or some kind of clue how to use the Granolith. Michael was frustrated about not finding anything and quite vocal about it since he had lost his inhibitions, but Maria was there to point out that he shouldn’t be so hard on himself. That led to a whole conversation where Maria learned how much pressure Michael had been putting himself under.

It was a very thoughtful couple that made their way back to Michael’s apartment. Isabel was already asleep on the couch, and Michael sat down to wait by the phone. Maria went back home to wait for Liz to bring Max and put their plan in action. It was going to be hard to convince all four aliens and the Evans’ parents where they had been all night.

*******

So, here was the plan: after Max fell asleep, Maria waited until the twelve hours were officially over to wake him up. She made sure he was sober before going into her “act”. She told Max that she had found Max walking in the Park. He was really a mess, so she got him to crash at her place because he didn’t want to go home.

Max asked if she had called his mother, and Maria said, “No, you made me promise not to.” Predictably, Max freaked out and called his frantic mother. He explained what happened and rushed out the door.

Alex had gotten Isabel to call her mother early in the evening and make up this whole spiel about how Max was mad at her, etc. And that she and Michael would look for him. So, Diane Evans called Isabel at Michael’s with the news that Max had been found at Maria’s. Isabel woke up, answered the phone, and went along with what her mother was saying even though she didn’t remember any of the night’s events. But they must’ve happened, right?

The phone call woke Michael up, and he had the same problem as Isabel about remembering the night’s events. But being Michael, he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to look stupid. Isabel then called Tess who had supposedly been out looking for Max, too, to tell her he had been found. Tess figured the reason she was in front of the Crashdown was because Max would always turn up at Liz’s.

So, there were four clueless aliens who were told by parents and friends of the night’s events. None of them were on good enough terms with each other to confess that they didn’t remember anything. They soon forgot about it and moved on.

Except Max.


"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 4:57:02 PM
The first indication Max had that something wasn’t quite right was the morning after his supposed “wandering”. He’d been in the shower, trying to loosen up his muscles which had apparently gotten cramped from sleeping on Maria’s floor, when his hand had brushed over his relaxed member (and upper thigh, though he wasn’t aware of it).

*Flash*

“We have a “For the Face” soap.. which smells like soap, or a “For the body” soap which smells like soap! Which is your preference??”

*Flash*

Pain tore through Max, and he barely noticed his rapidly stiffening length. What the hell was that?! It felt like someone had slipped a dagger through his heart. Grief, such grief, overlaid with hope and courage. And the faint, faint taste of… something. He didn’t recognize the flavor, but it tasted wonderful. Max stood still for a few moments longer, trying to figure out what was going on. Trying to use some of the knowledge from his therapy.

Clearly the grief had to do with Liz. Grief that he once had given her his heart, and she now wanted no part of it. Hope and courage was Liz, too. The hope that they could still be friends, perhaps more someday. Courage that Liz had shown when she dreamwalked him and saved his life in New York. Quite explainable. Of course, that didn’t explain why his mouth was watering.

And what the hell was that British accent soap thing about?! Was he officially losing it? Had he watched one too many Monty Python movies as a child? Max thought hard. Really reaching for a somewhat plausible explanation. Ummm… British … Monty Python… That Holy Grail movie… Eureka! He was associating Liz with the Holy Grail!!

Wait until he told his psychologist! Max’s triumph screeched to a halt. Good grief, he HAD lost it. All that psycho-mumbo-jumbo was rubbing off on him… He had a brief glimpse of himself, dressed like Freud, sitting beside Nicholas, who was lying down on a leather couch… *So! You seem to have an inferiority complex, which has been exasperated by your perpetual adolescent appearance. And quite specifically your lack of penile development. Veeeeery interesting..* he said in heavily accented English.

Max shook his head, abruptly shut off the shower, and grabbed a towel. Yup. Losing it. Since when did he freak out and start wandering around aimlessly? Never. He was more of a mope on your bed type of person. Luckily Maria had found him and brought him to her house. The thing was, he didn’t remember *any* of it! The stress of losing Liz must have gotten to him. But why hadn’t he done this when she was gone last summer?

Max’s mind was still occupied when he dressed, so he didn’t see the love bite yet. He did, however, notice that his jeans were terribly snug. Damn. He really should’ve taken care of that in the shower. But today, it just didn’t appeal to him. It was like eating crackers when what you wanted was a steak. Max groaned as a thought occurred to him. What if self gratification no longer, er, gratifying? Oh God. He didn’t know if he could go to school, see Liz, and not grab her to slake the fire that was slowly consuming his body and his mind.

The rest of the day was like an episode from the Twilight Zone. His heartache was back from a dull presence to one that he was painfully aware of. There were times when his eyes glazed over, and he would remember what it had felt like to have Liz’s hands on his back, his chest, his arms, his face. It had been months since they had been together in Michael’s apartment, yet he could almost, *almost* feel her touch as if it were yesterday. And that taste. Oh God, what was that faint taste in his mouth? He hadn’t brushed his teeth, drank water, or eaten for fear it would leave. His tongue roamed over every nook and cranny it could reach trying to get more.

His nostrils would flair as he tried to find an outlet for the energy that consumed him. He had to do something, anything to keep whatever was raging inside him under control. It teased him with the thought that he was a short distance from Liz and could be buried inside her welcoming heat in less than ten minutes. And she wouldn’t turn him away. No, she’d be as desperate for him as he was for her. Wanting him to thrust deeper and harder until they were one entity of tangled limbs, hearts and minds.

To say the least, this was not his normal reaction to depression at all. He should be lying on his bed listening to the Counting Crows. Or lying on his bed lightly sleeping to escape the pain. Or dreaming of the time when he and Liz were together. Doing something that didn’t involve any movement.

He should NOT be voluntarily cleaning out the garage!! Losing it. He was definitely losing it. But at least he’d have a clean garage when the funny farm came to get him.

***

The second clue that Max had that something wasn’t right happened that first night. He was lying in his bed on the edge of sleep - *finally* - when he heard Liz’s voice whisper, “Stay with me?” Instantly awake, Max sat straight up in bed and called her name. He peered into the dark corners of his room, but there was no one there. Slowly, he lay back down and tried to calm his twitching body.

When Max again started to drift off to sleep, he heard Liz’s voice declare, “I intend to love you longer. When forever has come and gone, I’ll still be loving you.” His eyes blinked open and made a cursory sweep of the room. Nothing. Just his mind playing tricks on him; torturing him with what might have been. And his body? Well, it was obvious what it wanted.

It took another hour for Max to fall asleep. He ended up having to get another pillow for his head because his arms were wrapped around the one he normally used. He pressed the pillow tight to his chest to ease his literally aching heart. Surprisingly, it helped a bit. The last thing he heard before entering the dream plain was Liz whispering, “Same time next month.” Unconsciously, he tightened his arms around the pillow and murmured her name.

***

Max didn’t remember what he dreamed until the following morning during homeroom announcements. His attention was caught by one of them asking for people to volunteer for the Prom Committee. His heart lurched, and he closed his eyes only to see a vision of him and Liz dancing. Naked. He heard snatches of Gomez and felt the press of Liz’s breasts with their hard nipples against his chest. He felt her wet heat against his leg, and the softness of her skin as he lifted her up. Oh God, he remembered…

This was what he had dreamed last night. This was why he didn’t want to wake up this morning. It felt delicious, and he fought for control. *Not now.* Not sitting in class where he didn’t have an outlet for his passion. Max dug his fingers into his palms, drawing blood and not caring in the slightest. It was only a dream, only a dream. It wasn’t real. Couldn’t be.

But when he felt his body start to shake and overheat, Max knew what he had to do. He raised his hand and asked for a pass to the bathroom. Thank goodness for baggy pants and loose shirts or there would have been comments as he walked up to the teacher’s desk. Max was literally trembling with lust by the time he made it to the bathroom sink. He looked at his flushed face and dilated eyes and whispered, “What’s happening to me?” Twisting the knob for cold water, Max splashed his face and tried to calm down. More specifically, he tried to calm his painfully hard member. This was ridiculous.

The door to the bathroom began to open, and Max quickly turned before he could be identified and entered one of the stalls. Panting, he shut his eyes only to hear Liz’s voice echo seductively through his head. “I want your cock inside me, Max. It feels so good when you’re inside me. Like velvet covered marble, only hot. So hot. Do I feel as hot and as good when you’re inside me, Max? Do you like it as much as I do?”

The flash overpowering his reality, Max threw his head back and groaned, “God, yes!” as he came and came, completely soaking the front of his jeans. Max didn’t notice because for an instant he felt himself buried deep within Liz, pounding into her over and over. For an instant he had heard her scream his name in completion. Answering, he shouted her name.

“Max!?! Is that you?!” Alex cried. “Are you alright in there?!?!”

Max barely heard him over the roar in his ears. The scene before his eyes dissolved, leaving him looking at a bathroom stall. “Alex?” he whispered as he felt his knees start to give out. He opened the door and stumbled out.

“Max! What’s wrong?!” Alex asked as Max fell to his knees on the cold bathroom floor and braced his hands on the cold surface.

Max looked around and tried to calm his racing heart; it was just a fantasy. One that had completely obliterated reality for seconds. Oh God. He couldn’t stay at school; not until he found out what was going on. “I don’t know, but I think I need to go home,” Max said weakly.

***

Alex helped Max stumble to the nurse’s office, and she immediately had him lie down. After she took his temperature, she told him, “103.8 - You’ve got a fever. And your friend said that you were dizzy, too?”

Max nodded and tried to recall something important he was forgetting. “Um, do you think you could call my mom to come get me?” he asked. He had to get home and find out what was going on. This couldn’t keep happening.

“Certainly,” the nurse confirmed and took down Mrs. Evans’ phone number. After she finished making the call, she brought Max a cold washrag. “Here dear. Try to cool down. You’ve soaked your shirt and the front of your jeans in sweat.”

Max’s breath caught as he suddenly realized why part of his jeans was wet. “Yeah, I got really hot,” he said embarrassed and hoped she wouldn’t recognize the smell. “Could I get something cold to drink?” he asked, and once she was gone he waved a hand over the front of his jeans to remove the evidence of his loss of control.

Losing it. He was definitely losing it. In more ways than one, it seemed.

***

Once Max was home, he reassured his worried mother (“But Max, you never get sick,”) that he had probably just overdone it yesterday. She went back to work, and Max went into the bathroom to clean himself up. He carefully washed his lower anatomy in cold water, trying to get rid of the stickiness and, more importantly, his erection. It was then that he discovered the mark.

“What the hell?” he muttered when he saw the faintly red place. Turning over the possibilities of its origin, Max decided he must’ve got it when he was cleaning out the garage yesterday. It must be a bruise. Not that he remembered hurting himself, but that was the only explanation he could come up with. He shook his head and placed his fingers over the mark to remove it.

And all hell broke loose.

The flashes came in a torrent, and Max slid down to the floor as they washed over him. Too much information to process. Emotions, sensations, images. He grabbed the sides of his head and tried to focus. Liz. They were of Liz. And she was… And he was… Oh God, he’d lost it. His fantasies were overpowering him.

Max curled up in a fetal position on the cold floor. He could literally feel her, taste her, hear her. Sometimes the barrage would slow down for a few minutes, only to speed back up again. Max began to get dizzy as he tried to find something to hold onto in the storm tearing through him. Orgasm after orgasm punched through him, causing his heart to pound so hard that he was afraid it might burst.

It wasn’t like he hadn’t had fantasies before. Ever since he’d found Liz in bed with Kyle, his mind would come up with all sorts of different scenarios to explain it. They all ended up with him finding out that Liz loved him. Then he would make love to her and discover that she was still a virgin. Then they would be together from that day forward. But none of his fantasies had ever affected him like this.

Max forced himself to relax and let them flow into and over him. And while this helped to slow the flashes down, it also made them more real. He could almost believe they were really happening. That he was really thrusting into Liz, that she was calling his name to urge him on, that he was nipping at the soft skin of her neck to mark her as his. The primitive in him roared in triumph as he claimed his mate, and his heart ached at the realization that they had to go back to Roswell.

Max slowly became aware of the cold tile floor against his back. Confused, Max wondered why he was no longer in the sleeping bag. Had he passed out in Maria’s bathroom? He must have because he literally ached for Liz. Shaking, he wondered how he could survive another month. His eyes blinked open and adrenaline rushed through him as he sat up and reason returned. It was Monday, he realized; two days had passed since he had woken up at Maria’s. And he was home sick because of a fantasy that had taken over his mind and body briefly.

Another flash had come, he realized. And once again, he’d gotten so lost in a fantasy that he had confused it with reality. How long had he been lying on the bathroom floor? It couldn’t have been too long because his lower anatomy was still wet. Dizzy, Max slowly sat up and looked down at his damp body. The odor of semen filled his nose, and he realized that he had climaxed again. Twice in one day he’d lost control of his mind and body.

He waved his shaking hand over the wetness to remove it. Using the bathroom wall to keep him steady, Max stood up and made his way to his bedroom. He crawled onto the bed and glanced at the clock. It was after two in the afternoon; he’d been lying on the bathroom floor for almost four hours. What was happening to him?

******

A case of overwrought hormones? Alien mating instinct? Something to do with the orb? Liz had gotten a weird mark because of it; maybe now he was. Only problem was that he had put the mark on Liz last spring. How did he get his?

Those were Max’s thoughts over the next month. He couldn’t get her out of his mind, out of his dreams. But at least he didn’t have any more incidents with fantasies supplanting reality in his mind. Somehow that episode in the bathroom had given him back a little more of his control. Which totally didn’t make sense, but Max wasn’t going to question it.

The information in the flashes themselves was cryptic. Puzzle number one: they all began with Liz telling him some tale about how their being together would cause the end of the world. Ridiculous. Puzzle number two: she’d show him a future version of himself with long hair and leather pants. Long hair? On Max Evans? Definitely not. Too much trouble and attention getting. Tight leather pants? No way. Isabel wore enough leather for the entire family. And besides, he would have to forgo underwear if he wore the tight pants, and there was no way that was going to happen.

There had to be some symbolism in there somewhere, but he couldn’t figure it out completely. The only thing he’d been able to come up with was that maybe his subconscious thought that Liz had left him because he seemed too conservative. That his world, Liz, would end unless he made some changes in his appearance. Hmmm… Maybe he should let his hair get a little longer and get some new clothes?

He made the mistake of asking Isabel and was promptly taken to the mall. Some of the stuff he refused to buy; specifically close fitting pants. He was having even more of a, er, “problem” than he’d ever had in the past. Now he sometimes had to satisfy himself twice a day. And even then, it didn’t seem as, er, satisfying as it had been in the past. His stupid sex didn’t seem to know the meaning of the word ‘down’. So, no fitted pants.

But amazingly, Isabel worked around that one problem, and soon he had a new wardrobe. Problem solved, right? Wrong. The damn dreams kept coming with occasional flashes when he was in school, but none overpowered him like they had that first day. The flashes generally came when he was around Liz. Sometimes he literally had to dig his fingers into his hands to keep from crushing her to him. He had to be satisfied with seemingly casual touches. So that theory was a bust; now what?

Max decided that maybe the next part of the dream was sort of an echo of the first. He kept coming back to one of his first theories. Maybe instead of the world ending, this long hair, leather clad Max had meant that *his* world would end. And Liz was certainly his world, his everything. Perhaps the lovemaking in his dreams should be added into his theory. Perhaps it was a clue.

But what kind of a clue could be found in the hot scenes played out in his head? What were the meanings behind the dreams? Besides the most obvious, which was that he wanted to make love to Liz. Actually, truth be told, the fantasies were faintly embarrassing to Max. Against a wall, in the shower, in bed on top and bottom, they made love everywhere and with abandon.

And don’t even get him started with the nude dancing. Where the hell had that come from? Had Isabel made him to see Dirty Dancing too many times? Was he more stressed out about not going to the Prom than he thought? Was it an enticement to get him to socialize or to release his inhibitions?

There was no way he would ever grab Liz and start humping her. No. Way. He wouldn’t treat Liz any way except tenderly. No banging into her until her head came flush with the headboard. No bracing her against a shower wall as he tried to go deeper, pound harder, thrust faster. Nope. And taking her with her legs thrown back? That would have to hurt. No way was Liz *that* flexible. It was just a fantasy out of control. Alien hormones or something.

Liz wouldn’t want to be treated in such a manner. Would she? Maybe the dream meant he would lose her if he did that. Maybe alien sex was too intense for humans? But that didn’t fit with the first part of the fantasy about him dressing too plainly. Maybe his dreams were taunting him with what he wouldn’t do? Maybe along with his clothes, he was too conservative in other areas as well? Maybe she’d slept with Kyle because she didn’t think he could please her?

Max got paranoid and bought a book on the internet about making love. One way or the other, he’d find out if he was too intense or too conservative for Liz. Then he could continue analyzing the rest of the dream. As it turned out, the book did more harm than good. What he thought Liz wouldn’t want? What he thought he could never do? Well, that’s what women wanted. Hell.

He read the book and paused every so often to turn it sideways . With all sorts of positions to fantasize about, Max wondered what Liz would like best. There were a few positions Max thought he could do and not screw up, pardon the pun. There were a few more that would require a certain amount of coordination. Could he risk dying of embarrassment to try them with Liz? Was it possible for him to let go of his control and lose his inhibitions to give Liz what she wanted?

Max kept reading. The book claimed that one way to add spice to plain vanilla sex was to role play. “What’s wrong with vanilla?” Max thought. It was his favorite flavor. He paused mid thought. Oh hell, he *was* too conservative. Liz would probably fall asleep if he made love to her like he wanted to – slowly building her fire as he covered every inch of her in kisses. She’d be asleep, and he’d be... Sigh. Max continued to read the book as it described some of the more popular role playing games. He wasn’t too sure about whips and chains, but blindfolds and scarves had real possibilities.

Role playing… fantasies… Well there was that one fantasy he’d had in the sixth grade that seemed to haunt him. Liz was standing at the blackboard with three others in a spelling bee. Hair in pigtails, she wore a short pleated plaid skirt, a thin white blouse, knee socks and shiny black patent mary janes. And when she misspelled a word, her lower lip trembled as she looked up at him with sad eyes. He’d gone home and had his first orgasm while fantasizing about that very outfit. There was just something about those white buttons… What he wouldn’t give to… Max’s mind went into overdrive.

So in an effort to change his ‘dullness’ in Liz’s eyes, he started wearing trendier clothes, skipped his monthly haircut and wondered how to attract and make love to Liz. The female population positively salivated over him and tried to get his attention. But Max’s mind was otherwise occupied. On positions and role playing and seducing Liz. Thank God for his scanning abilities, and the fact that all of his teachers taught by the textbook. Otherwise, his GPA would have been toast.

His body was… energetic. Understatement that. It was all he could to do to sit still in class. His mind was very busy, happily occupied in fact, but his body was just plain antsy. It wanted to touch Liz and be inside her. He began to exercise harder to release some of the frustration. This didn’t go unnoticed by his Phys. Ed. teacher, who recommended one of those universal weight lifting machines.

Max’s father was all too happy to get one for him. Anything to stop his son from running laps in the backyard at odd hours of the night.

It was a very interesting month for Max.

**** *****

Liz’s month was equally interesting. After bawling like a baby for the entire day after taking Max to Maria’s, Liz had gotten herself under control and tried to resume her normal life. Working at the Crashdown, studying hard, hanging out with Maria and Alex. She wasn’t fooling anyone, though.

Her concentration was shot. Gone. Obliterated. She couldn’t get orders right or comprehend textbook chapters. It was like a big chunk of her brain was missing, stolen by Max in the wee hours of that night. All she had left were memories, and they were so wonderful that they made reality pale in comparison. So Liz lived for her dreams. Her fantasies, which made the ache go away as long as she could forget about losing Max.

Then there was the other problem she struggled with – her conscience. She had deliberately taken advantage of Max’s alcohol intolerance to steal a few hours with him. Hours that he would never remember. It had been all well and good when it was just a theory, but she had gone one step further and put theory into practice.

And unlike the others, she had been entirely selfish in her actions. Maria, Alex, and even Kyle had used the opportunity to lighten their partner’s load, to give them a chance to talk about their problems and what they had been feeling all these months. Liz hadn't done that. She had dumped her problem on Max’s capable shoulders to give herself some relief. And to add insult to injury, she had seduced him. She’d stolen his virginity as surely as he’d claimed hers, and he had no memory of it.

What kind of person was she? She was terrible, doing repugnant things to the one person she loved the most. Future Max had trusted her to do the right thing, and she had betrayed him. Not only that, but she had also betrayed her Max, too. She was selfish, horrible, and deserved every bit of heartache she experienced.

Liz decided to stay away from Max. She vowed to never take advantage of him again. She’d be strong and leave him to his destiny.

Well, she had good intentions, but let’s face it, Liz was overlooking the reason she had come up with the plan in the first place. There was too much responsibility resting on her shoulders. Too much sacrifice, too much pain. Telling her human friends hadn’t helped relieve the burden previously, and it didn’t relieve it now. It was one thing to say figuratively that you had the weight of the world on your shoulders, but another thing entirely to literally have that kind of responsibility.

And cutting herself off from the warmth of Max’s love was driving her mad. Her emotions were on a perpetual roller coaster, living for the brief intervals of time where she and Max had to communicate in class. She was awake, so conscious of him. She swore she could hear him breathing while their teacher lectured, and she felt invisible strings pulling her body into contact with his. He seemed to grow more and more attractive on a daily basis. She couldn’t think when he was around, only feel.

Being around Max turned off her brain, or at least dulled it, so that her desires could take control for those precious moments. And she wanted Max. Badly. She wanted his hands and lips on her again. She wanted to taste him, touch him. But she couldn’t and it was slowly killing her.

The rest of the time she was away from Max was hell. Pure, unadulterated hell. What was the old saying about ignorance being bliss? Well, it was true. Now Liz knew what she was missing. Knew what it was to be fully loved by Max Evans. Knew what it was to have another person know you so completely that they satisfied your every want before you were even conscious of it.

And Liz also knew that she would never experience any of it again.

*** ***
Sobs shook Liz’s petite form from head to toe. The tears kept coming, but they brought no relief. She should have stopped crying by now, but how could she? This was supposed to be the night for her and Max. Their twelve hours of paradise that made the rest of the month bearable. But Liz had vowed not to use Max anymore to alleviate her pain. And so she stood under the warm spray of the shower, hoping it would mask the sound of her crying.

She stumbled out of the shower and wrapped herself in a towel. Sitting on the toilet seat, she rocked back and forth to try to get herself under control. But it was no use, the tears kept coming, and she tried to muffle her sobs as best she could. God, what was she going to do? Her mother and father were worried sick, and Maria kept telling her to tell Max. But she couldn’t. The risk was too great. Oh God, why hadn’t Max just let her die that day in the diner?

Maria stood outside Liz’s bathroom door, debating on entering. This was ridiculous. Liz was just as bad, if not worse, as she had been before the infamous “plan” had been enacted a month ago. Frankly, Maria didn’t know if Liz could take much more because she was getting worse by the day. Liz needed Max but she had convinced herself that stealing twelve hours a month with him was wrong.

How ironic that Liz wanted to play by the rules when nothing about what had been asked of her was fair. Well, if Liz wouldn’t take what she so desperately needed, it was up to her best friend to get it for her, to present it to her as a fait accompli. Liz was going to get her twelve hours. Screw the rules.


"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 4:59:31 PM
Maria Deluca was a woman on a mission. Lookout. She pounded on Michael’s door late that afternoon until it was thrown open. “What?!” snapped the irritable owner.

“Bad time?” Maria drawled as she pushed her way inside. “Too bad. My Mom and Jim are over at the house, and I need a place to crash. I come bearing chocolate cake and cherry coke. No need to thank me since you won’t anyway.”

Michael rubbed his eyes. “Couldn’t you have gone to Liz’s place?” he gruffly asked as he walked back over to the couch. Plopping down, he turned his attention back to the hockey game on television. How the hell did the Ducks get ahead of the Bears??

Maria bustled around the kitchen. “Liz is working, and besides I wanted to see you,” she called.

Scooting further into the couch, Michael mumbled a reply that sounded an awful lot like “how lucky for me.”

Maria let it go because at the moment she was otherwise occupied. Liberally pouring Kailua laced chocolate sauce on a piece of chocolate cake. Then dousing that with smelly tabasco. Bleah. How the aliens could stand to ruin good food that way was a mystery to Maria. But since it aided her cause in this case, she wasn’t going to complain. For added measure, she poured a little rum in the cherry coke. One drunk – hopefully willing to do some scheming – alien coming up!

She walked over to the couch and put the cake and drink in front of Mr. Excitement. “Thanks,” Michael muttered and began to shovel food into his mouth while keeping both eyes on the T.V. He might have been an alien, but he was still a typical male.

Maria looked at the game and rolled her eyes. Hershey Bears? Mighty Ducks? Where the hell did they come up with such lame ass names? They sounded like cartoons instead of teams. She glanced over at a glassy eyed Michael who had gobbled his cake and half of his cherry coke. Perfect. Time to put Operation Liz into action…

“Umm, Michael? I need you to do me a favor.”

“Huh?” he grunted and tried to watch the players skate with one eye. He got too dizzy if he left both eyes open. Damn, they skated fast.

Maria raised one eyebrow and plucked the remote control from Michael’s clumsy hand. Shutting off the T.V., she repeated her question.

“Maria! Turn it back on! The Bears just got a power play!” At least he thought they did. It was hard to tell because one player kept morphing into two…

“Not until you do me a favor,” she stated then jumped off the couch to dance nimbly away from reaching fingers. “No, I’m telling you that you can’t have it back until you do me a favor!” Maria laughed as she ran behind a table, with him hot on her heels.

Michael was on the opposite side and threatened, “Deluca, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll give me back the remote control.”

“Ooooh, whatcha goin’ do to me, big boy?” Maria teased and batted her eyes.

Michael pointed one finger at her pert nose and tried not to grin. “What I should have done a long time ago. Spank you.”

“Ooohh.. so spanking turns you on, huh? Kinky. Any other fetishes you’d care to divulge? Chains, toes, peanut butter?” she asked and wagged her eyebrows.

“Just this one that involves a gag,” he growled and jumped in one direction then pivoted around the table in another.

Maria wasn’t fast enough and felt his arms start to reach for the remote. So she did the only thing a girl *could* do in a situation like that. She stuck the remote in her pants. “Ha! I win! Now do me the favor!”

Michael narrowed his eyes. “Either you pull it out of there or I will.”

“You wouldn’t,” Maria said, completely forgetting that Michael was now drunk - alien-style.

“Oh no?” And with that, he stuck his hand in her pants. His fingers closed around the remote that was pressed again her silky underwear. … Her thin, silky underwear. … Which barely covered her…

*ab, ba, dab, duh…*

Michael swallowed and tried to remember what he was doing, but his other brain had taken control of his body. Eyes fixated on her pants, he rubbed his fingers against her. That felt niiiiiiiccccceeeeeeee…

Well, Maria was no fool and quickly realized that a different tactic would be much more effective in getting what she wanted. On both accounts. She leaned into him and whispered seductively in his ear, “Michael, do me a favor, and I’ll let you see what you’re touching.”

***

Max and Isabel were arguing in front of Max’s closet. “It’s old, Max.”

“Like a good friend,” he countered and grabbed the shirt back.

“But you’ve got all these new friends,” Isabel said and waved at his closet. “And they’re crowded.”

“The more the merrier. You can never have too many friends.”

Isabel shook her head and grabbed another shirt. “It’s out of style.”

“Au contraire. The classics never go out of style,” Max insisted and tried to pull the hanger away from the Roswell Fashion Police run amok. He’d created a monster.

“Max! I thought you wanted my help!” Isabel stated, annoyed. “How am I supposed to stop you from dressing like a nerd if you have stuff like this in your closet?”

“It’s just the weekend, Iz,” Max reasoned. “No one’s going to see me.”

“Well they might if you ever went out on a date!” Isabel pointed out, exasperated.

“What are you, my pimp?!” Max asked as the phone rang. He looked at the phone, then looked at his sister. “Stay!” he ordered. “Do *not* remove any clothing from my closet.”

Isabel threw her hands up and walked out. She wasn’t a damn dog.

Max answered the phone and was surprised to find Michael on the other end of the line. “Hey, Liz wants you to meet her over here in an hour.”

Max’s heart gave an involuntary jump before he could open his mouth. “She does? Did she say why?”

“I dunno, Maxwell. I’m not your answering service. Just get over here already.”

The line went dead, and Max slowly put the phone back on the hook. Liz wanted to see him? For reasons unknown? At Michael’s apartment?? Max thought hard and debated changing clothes. Michael would be sure to comment if he did, but it might just be worth it if he could get her attention. And maybe then she would realize that he wasn’t as conservative as she thought and she would… and they would…

“Isabel!!!”

***

Half an hour later, Max knocked on Michael’s door and was surprised when Maria answered it. “Maria? What are you doing here? I’m supposed to meet Liz.”

“Actually, I’m on the way to pick her up right now. Why don’t you come in, and I’ll cut you a piece of cake before I go,” she offered.

“No, thank you. I’m not hungry,” Max replied as he entered Michael’s small apartment.

“Max. Perhaps you don’t quite grasp the significance of this situation. I have offered you chocolate cake which I have made myself. If you don’t accept, I will have to revoke your “girlfriend” status. Now, let’s try this again,” Maria intoned. “Max, would you like a piece of cake?”

Max leaned against Michael’s kitchen counter and smiled. “Why, yes Maria, I would love a piece of your chocolate cake,” he said obediently and looked over at Michael on the couch. He was engrossed in a game, and Max knew from years experience that nothing would penetrate the fog until a commercial came on. He turned his head back to Maria. “So, umm, did Liz tell you why she wanted to see me?” he fished.

“No, but she sounded really excited,” Maria fairly sang and set a piece of Operation Liz cake down in front of him.

Max nodded and gamely swallowed a bite of the alcohol-laced dessert. “I.. I… Aye yam.. too,” he mumbled around his suddenly heavy tongue. “You know, there’s something funny about this cake,” he said carefully.

Maria froze. “Funny?” she asked in an unnaturally high voice.

“Yeah, funny.” Max thought hard for a moment then brightened. “Needs tabasco.”

“Oh! Oh! That’s right; I forgot,” Maria said relieved and got the red bottle. “Here. Now, promise me you’ll wait here for Liz, okay Max?”

Max gave a deep sigh. “I’ll wait anywhere for Liz,” he assured and forked another piece of cake into his mouth. Yummmmmmy.

***
Thirty minutes later, Liz was still trying to figure out how she had let Maria talk her into going over to Michael’s apartment. Easy answer: she was a wuss. “Maria, tell me again why I’m here? Because I would think that you would be all too happy to have Michael to yourself for a few hours.”

“I didn’t think about the chocolate sauce having Kailua in it. <> He’s drunk, and it’s all my fault. If we’re alone, I might give into temptation. And I don’t even want to think about what he might do. I need some help and you’re nominated,” Maria stated in a no nonsense tone as they made their way up to the second floor.

“But you told me he opens up when he’s drunk. This would be a good opportunity for both of you to talk,” Liz began.

Maria interrupted, “But that would be taking advantage of him. He wouldn’t really want to talk to me if he wasn’t drunk.”

“Only because he doesn’t know how to express himself and is afraid of how much he cares for you,” Liz explained.

Maria stopped in the middle of the fluorescent lit hall and raised her arms slightly as she gestured. “But he’s drunk, Liz. Haven’t you been preaching for the past month about how it was wrong to take advantage of Max while he was drunk? How’s this any different?”

“Because.. because.. I was being selfish,” Liz sputtered. “I was using him.”

“And what do you think I’m doing with Michael?? I’m being just as selfish as you because he definitely wouldn’t want to confide in me if he was sober.”

“But that’s not using him. That’s doing something that makes him feel better. That’s helping him find a few moments of peace and acceptance.”

Maria put her hand on the door. “You really think so? *Really*?”

Liz gently smiled. “Yeah, I do.”

“I can’t tell you how glad I am you said that,” Maria said triumphantly as she threw open the door to reveal two very drunk aliens, an empty cake pan and an empty bowl of Kailua chocolate sauce. Operation Liz was in the final stage!

“Oh my God, Maria! What have you done?!?!” Liz eyed a wide smiling Max who slowly rose from the sofa. He wore pleated charcoal pants and a cream silk turtleneck. His hair had the teeniest amount of gel in it and was that.. oh it couldn’t be.. no way… an earring?? On Max Evans? Her Max? Mercy. Gotta get me a spoon fast. Anyone that looked that good deserved to be gobbled.

“I helped Max find a few moments of peace and acceptance,” Maria chuckled and closed the door.

Max strolled over to Liz and stopped just short of her. “Hi Liz,” he said tentatively, smile still in place. “I’m happy you’re here.”

“Max, tell me you didn’t eat any of the chocolate sauce,” Liz pleaded. *No, hands you are NOT going to touch him and feel how happy he really is! Bad hands! Bad!*

Max blinked several times before replying. “But I had to. I didn’t want my “girlfriend” status to be revoked.” He leaned forward and confined in a whisper, “I had to eat most of it because Michael was yelling at the Bears.”

“Oh God..”

“Oh, don’t worry, they’re not real bears. That’s just the name of the team,” Max reassured. “They’re ahead now.”

Liz gave a strained smile and turned to Maria, trying to forget temptation personified a few feet away. “How much Kailua did you put in the sauce? I need to calculate how long they’ll be like this.” *How long they’ll not able to remember anything that might happen while they were drunk… Bad brain! Bad!! Don’t even think about it!!*

Maria walked by Max, patted him on the face, as if to say “good boy,” and plopped down beside Michael. “Not that much. Two cups.”

“TWO Cups!” Liz shrieked. *Even with the difference in alcohol percentages, that still puts us well into Saturday morning.. we could have breakfast together and… Ack! Liz Parker, I told you to stop thinking like that!*

Maria’s grin got even bigger. “Yeah, and then there was the rum in the cherry coke… “

Liz gulped and eyed the empty two liter bottle of Cherry Coke. “How much rum?” *How much longer do we have together?*

Maria grabbed the hidden rum bottle and placed her thumb and index finger about an inch apart.

“You didn’t measure?” Liz asked, still stunned by how much alcohol Michael and Max had consumed. Well, Max more so than Michael since he had eaten most of the cake and sauce. *More time, more time!!!* Liz bit her lip to keep from smiling. This was bad. Really, it was. Not the time to grin like a lust crazed idiot. Hear that brain??

“Nope!” Maria looked entirely too happy with herself as she stretched her legs out and put her hands behind her head.

“Oh God… This is bad. You gave them too much. We’ll be lucky if they sober up by tomorrow afternoon!” Liz exclaimed and tried to ignore the voice at the back of her mind shrieking, “Wahoo!! Nookie Time!!” Stupid voice; shut up. “If it feels good, do it!!” was the response. I *said* SHUT. UP. <>

Max had been silent up until now, absorbing the fact that Maria had deliberately gotten him drunk. There was something he was missing in this conversation… Like why Maria seemed so pleased, why Liz seemed so panicked… No, that wasn’t it, though those were good questions… Something else…

*What did Liz mean by: “calculate” how long they’ll be like this?*

Calculate? As in a formula? Liz had a formula for how long it took for alcohol to work its way out of an alien’s system? Where would she get such a formula, and more importantly, *why* would she have such a formula in the first place? Unless… Hmmmmm… A suspicion began to form in Max’s mind.

“I need some paper and a pencil,” Liz muttered, completely oblivious to Max’s narrowed eyes. Max’s knowing narrowed eyes. Using a nubby pencil and the back of an envelope, Liz sat down on a barstool and began to scribble.

Max observed her for a minute then moved behind her and began to knead her shoulders. “You’re tense. Let me help you.”

Every thought flew out of Liz’s head when he touched her. God, that felt good. It had been so long… She could smell his male scent and hear him lightly breathing. Her nipples hardened and her inner walls clenched. She bit her lip to keep from moaning. This was what her body had been wanting for the past month. To be touched by him.

Her reactions didn’t go unnoticed. Max noted each and every clue. Why Elizabeth Parker, you’re not so indifferent to me after all. Could you possibly want me as much as I want you? Have I finally gotten to you? Do you crave my touch as much as I crave yours?

Max let his fingers trail down Liz’s back then up again, coming to rest on top of her shoulders. He gently massaged and let the area he was touching gradually increase to include her upper arms. Stepping closer, he lightly trailed his nose against the shiny fall of her hair and inhaled. Liz. Spicy, sweet, and something else… Aroused.

Liz tried to catch her breath and keep from panting. Fire. Everywhere he touched. Spreading, burning. Through her body, through her mind. Destroying reason and leaving only the desperate need to love and be loved.

Max moved his head forward, coming to rest beside the shell of her ear. “I’m up to twice a day now,” he breathed.

“What?” Liz hissed through her teeth and made the mistake of turning her head to look at him. And promptly got caught in amber flames.

Max stared at her for another moment before continuing. “I come but it isn’t satisfying, though. It’s like eating crackers when you want a steak. Is that fair, Liz?”

Realization belated dawned on Liz. He was hungry. For her. Across the room, Maria decided that now would be a good time to offer to show Michael her matching bra. Within moments, the couple had quietly disappeared into his bedroom, leaving Max alone in his seduction.

“And when we’re in Chem Lab?” he rumbled and slowly began to bring his head forward. “The room is cold and I can see the press of your hard nipples against your shirt. And I wonder if it’s just the cold causing them to tighten. I wonder if you could be thinking about me. If you could want me to roll them between my fingers and perhaps pinch them. If you could want me to taste them, pull them into my mouth.”

His face stopped inches away from hers, and Liz’s vision narrowed to his lips and teeth. Her breathing sounded unnaturally loud in the still of the dimly lit room, and the drumbeat of her heart pulled at her tight breasts and sopping sex. He was seducing her with his words, his presence. She saw him wet his lips and struggled not to groan. He was so close. All she needed to do was lean forward, and she’d know the pleasure of his mouth on hers again. Reason had long left, and Liz struggled to remember why it was so important not to give in. Not to touch, caress. Her nails were curled into her palms, pressing tightly into the soft flesh in an effort to control them.

Max observed everything. All the little things that let him know she was weakening, bending to his will. He angled his head forward until his nose met the shell of her ear. He slowly brushed the rim, arcing down until his mouth was even with her earlobe. “Or perhaps you wouldn’t want me to be gentle. Maybe you’d want me bite them…” His incisors clicked together. “… Mark them… brand them as mine.”

Liz involuntarily arched her neck back, instinctively bearing it to him in the age old sign of submission. She wanted to be marked, branded, possessed so completely that anyone who looked at her would know he owned her – body and soul. Which was only right because he would be hers in the same manner. It should have been too much, too soon. But it wasn’t. It seemed right. Natural. Complete.

Licking the side of her cheek, Max went in for the kill and murmured, “Sometimes I smell you, and I know you’re wet. I don’t know why I know that, but I do.” Another swipe of his tongue. This time along her jawline. “And my mouth, it waters. For you.”

His tongue stopped at the tip of her chin. “Just.”

And he brought his head up so that his mouth was even with hers. “Like.”

“This.”

His mouth lowered to hers and Max’s month ended the same way it began. With all hell breaking loose. But this time, this time there was one big difference.

He knew.

All of it.


"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:02:27 PM
He knew. He remembered every exquisite detail. Last month he had finally learned the truth behind Liz’s supposed “betrayal”. Last month he had confirmed what his heart had known all along: Liz loved him and only him. Last month they had given each other their innocence and had discovered the depths of their desire. Last month he had become addicted to Liz Parker and had been experiencing withdrawal symptoms ever since.

Tongues tangled and lips meshed with bruising force, Max tried to swallow Liz whole. He was starved for her taste, and he brought his hands up to cup both sides of her face to hold her immobile while he plundered every recess of her sweet mouth. His tongue was hot and insistent against hers; it seduced Liz’s to move forward into his mouth where Max clamped his lips over it to suck. More. He wanted more.

His thumbs caressed Liz’s cheeks in a downward sweeping motion until they came to rest under her chin. Lifting her mouth higher, Max took her lower lip between his teeth and ran his tongue along the tender flesh, over and over. He pulled her lip away from her mouth as he released it, only to cover her mouth again to stroke a thousand more fires.

Liz felt one of his warm hands leave her face to twist the rest of her body around so that Max could step between her legs which were braced on the lower slats of the barstool. His hand glided to her thigh to cup one firm cheek of her buttocks, and he lifted her out of the chair into his hard, aroused body. Unable to help herself, Liz wrapped her leg around Max and temporarily gave in to the temptation of relieving the throb of her sex by rubbing against the prominent bulge in his jeans. Good. He felt so damn good, even better than she remembered. She gasped into his mouth and tightened her leg to get his cock closer to where she wanted him most.

Max growled deep in his throat as he felt Liz’s heat burn under the friction of her undulating pelvis. His pants had long ago crossed over the mark of uncomfortable, and now he could feel the imprint of the teeth of his zipper on his swollen flesh. He wanted to shed the confining garment, but that would mean taking his hands off Liz and that just wasn’t going to happen. So he settled for raising Liz’s other leg around his hips and drawing her harder to him as she began to thrust her hips rhythmically.

As Liz speared her fingers through the dark silk of his hair, her conscious began to scream at her brain for allowing such foolishness. Had she not vowed to stay away from Max and leave him to his destiny? Had she not sworn to never use him again? Was she so weak that she could let her body govern her actions instead of her mind?

Desperate, Liz tore her mouth from Max’s, only to whimper as his lips attacked the curve of her neck. “Max, no… We can’t do this. It’s wrong,” she protested weakly, her body still throbbing and draped around him like a living vine. *Then why does it feel so right?*

“The only thing wrong is that we’re wearing too many clothes,” Max muttered against her skin. He had to taste her all over, had to brand her as his.

“Oh God,” Liz hissed as he carefully took a bite of her warm flesh between his teeth and sucked hard to mark her. “Umm, no Max…” : ant, pant::

He retracted his teeth and replaced them with his tongue.

Lick. “Oh God.” : ant, pant:: “It was wrong of me to take..”

He blew on her wet skin then brought his mouth back to her neck.

::gasp:: “a-advantage of you last month when you were drunk.”

“Isn’t that the guy’s line?” Max quipped around the tip of his tongue, which was busy leaving a trail of fire as it ascended from her neck to her small ear.

“Umm, no, but I deliberately…”

He nuzzled behind her ear.

“Oh God…”

He licked the skin behind her ear from bottom to top.

“Got you drunk,” Liz moaned, and she arched her neck back, as if she was surveying Michael’s dirty ceiling.

“Mmmm, and I forgot to thank you for that, “ Max rumbled in her small ear. His tongue traced its contours before he added, "Thank you.”

“You’re… no, Max! I was being entirely selfish last month,” Liz tried to explain as Max sucked on her earlobe and rubbed one hand up and down her back.

“And even more so now,” was the semi-grouchy response. Hungry for another taste of the ambrosia of her lips, Max abandoned her mouth to lick his way up to their sweetness. “Give me your lips, Liz,” he directed when she pulled her face away from his mouth that was demanding entrance.

“No, I should be giving you a chance to talk about your problems,” she started earnestly and twisted her head further away.

Max interrupted with, “Talking isn’t going to relieve my problem, Liz.” He used one hand to turn her face back to his and kissed her deeply. Hungrily. And he began to walk forward.

“And what you’ve been feeling,” Liz tried to continue against his lips.

“I’ve been feeling horny as hell,” Max growled and ground against her to emphasize his point. Then, he set her up on the worn formica counter and trailed his hands over her thighs. She was now at the perfect height to kiss and touch, and he continued to savor her taste and softness.

“No, you’re not listening to me,” Liz protested huskily. “I took advantage of you.”

“Oh, nooooooo,” Max drawled as he nuzzled her face and began to slide his hands under her skirt. “Definitely not.”

“No! I mean, yes!” Liz took a deep breath and began again. “Yes, I took advantage of you, and it was wrong of me to do so.” *But it sure did feel good.*

Max hooked his fingers over the top of her panties and asked slowly, “And this is a bad thing?” He slightly narrowed his eyes; she was out of her mind.

“Yes!” Liz exclaimed, relieved he understood and disappointed at the same time. “And so what we need to do is… not this,” she finished lamely.

“Because it’s wrong?” Max pretend pouted, all the while inching her soaked panties down her smooth legs. Not only was she out of her mind, but she must think he was too.

“Yes,” Liz implored and tried to ignore how her body was tingling all over. It was damn difficult to convince Max to stop when she hadn’t convinced herself. Her body and most of her brain wanted more touching and more kissing, preferably while he was embedded deep within her. But wasn’t there something she should…

Max let her panties fall to the floor in a damp heap. “Does this feel wrong?” Max questioned as he lifted her foot to his mouth and sucked on her big toe.

“Yes!” Liz lied and gasped as she felt his tongue’s caress all the way to the roots of her hair.

“You don’t like it?” Max asked quasi-innocently because he knew better from her dilated eyes and clenched hands. He casually released her toe, but he kept her foot in his hand to wrap around his waist. Then he slowly trailed it up from her ankle to her calf to the inside of her thigh.

“Yes! No! Oh God, Max!” Liz hissed. How was she supposed to keep a thought in her head when he did things like that? His hot hands were magic. And his mouth ought to be registered as a weapon.

Seeming to read her mind, Max brought his face to hers and took a deep breath. “Do you like my mouth on you, Liz?”

“Max, it’s not whether,” she started.

“Do you like it or not?” he demanded harshly, nostrils flared.

Liz couldn’t, wouldn’t lie to him anymore. “Yes. I love your mouth on me. And your hands. And your whole body, really. But it’s wrong.”

“No, it isn’t,” Max countered and began to lean forward…

… As Liz leaned back on her elbows, trying to put distance between his insanity inducing, lethal weapon of a mouth and hers. She protested lowly, “It is.”

Max closed the distance as her back came flush with the top of the counter. “No, this is right, Liz,” he decreed and fused his mouth to hers, licking at the seam. Asking, no, royally demanding entrance to feed. But Liz wouldn’t open her mouth, so Max decided to satisfy his hunger another way.

Liz saw him raise up and breathed a short lived sigh of relief. She didn’t think she could have held out another second. Max wasn’t the only one starving. Liz mentally damned future Max to hell in case the other thousand times hadn’t done the trick.

Suddenly, she felt cool air hit her upper thighs and the wetness between her legs. Looking down, Liz saw her bare legs spread wide and her skirt bunched in Max’s hands. “Max! What’re you doing?!”

He smiled wickedly, and she knew she was in trouble. “Satisfying a craving,” he responded with a sultry half smile.

“No Max,” Liz protested weakly. “Oh, God, I need to get off this counter,” Liz told herself and tried to make her body get up. But it had a mind of its own and wouldn’t obey her. Quite the contrary, it was busily pumping out more of her womanly elixir in preparation of its master’s homecoming. Her body remembered how he gloried in her taste and was as desperate to give as to receive pleasure.

“Now you *are* being selfish,” he commented with a mock frown, distracted by her flesh and smell.

“Max! I’m trying to do the right thing here,” she declared and clenched her inner walls to try to stop the flood pouring out of her aroused core.

“So am I,” Max insisted lowly and swallowed against his watering mouth.

Liz watched, mesmerized, as his head began to lower. Recklessly she blurted, “I stole your virginity! I seduced you!”

“And I wish you’d let me return the favor,” Max growled, inches away from her drenched curls. God, he was thirsty.

It suddenly occurred to Liz that she was in nearly the same situation as one of her dreams. Granted this was Michael’s apartment and not the Crashdown, but… Liz opened her mouth only to be cut off by Max.

“Liz? Shut up.”

Liz felt his warm, velvety tongue plunge into her heat and break through all of her noble intentions. It felt better than she remembered; how was that possible? All Liz knew was that she had somehow stumbled into an island of pleasure in the midst of a sea of despair. And the relief was overwhelming. Unable to stop herself, she clenched her inner walls around his talented tongue. To hell with right or wrong; the bad girl was back. And feeling decidedly decadent. Brazenly she cupped her breasts and rubbed her nipples with increasing pressure.

Meanwhile, Max was greedily consuming every moisture laden inch between Liz’s soft thighs. His mouth was parched for her taste, and he repeatedly returned to slake his thirst in her flowing fountain. She was salty, sweet and spicy. More subtle than tabasco but a hundred times more addictive, and Max didn’t want to miss a drop.

Liz arched off the counter trying to get closer to the source that was giving her such ecstasy: Max. At some point her legs had found Max’s shoulders, and they were currently crossed to keep him trapped where she wanted him. Her fingers itched to comb through his dark hair and bring him harder against her, but she didn’t want to gag him so she threw her hands back to grip the opposite edge of the counter.

While waiting for his next round of Liz’s nectar, Max began to methodically clean her curls. He wrapped his lips around each lock and sucked from roots to tips. Then he would go down on them again and bring the wet curl to the roof of his mouth so that his tongue could wash it clean. The few hairs that came out due to overzealousness were carefully shoved down into his pockets. Some would call them souvenirs; Max would call them evidence. Clues, if you would, to try to convince his sober self that he wasn’t dreaming or fantasizing. No, this was real, and if he had his way, it wouldn’t be a once a month occurrence.

Liz was about to scream with frustration. While his mouth pulled at her curls, his fingers were lightly painting her lower lips with more of her dew. She could feel the texture of his fingertips as he brushed her inner folds, but he never went where she throbbed the most. To hell with gagging him; he deserved to be punished for bringing her to this point only to deny her what she wanted most. One of her hands left the edge of the counter and tunneled through his hair to try to push his mouth from her mound to her clit.

Max chuckled and began to drink anew. Touching everywhere except the pulsing knot of nerves that wanted his attention most. Her hand tugged insistently at his hair, and Max reached up to encircle her wrist. He pulled her hand away and looked up at her from the delta between her thighs.

“Max,” Liz whimpered when he stopped. “Please.”

He brought her hand to his mouth and licked her fingers before nipping them in retribution. “Not yet,” he murmured against her fingers, which promptly dipped into his open mouth.

Liz whimpered against as he began to suck on her fingers. She lifted up her head to peer down into his burning amber eyes. “Please… let me come,” she pleaded lowly. “I’ll gush and you can drink your fill… Oh please.”

Max’s eyes gleamed wickedly as he answered, “Promise?” and went down on her with a growl. Hungry little “Mmmms” vibrated through his nose as he plied her swollen clit with lips, teeth and tongue.

Liz’s hands slapped flat against the counter, and she used them for leverage to lift her hips higher. She was close. Close enough to feel herself start to tremble against the overwhelming tension. Close enough to be beyond words, incapable of doing anything except clench her teeth and grunt to her mate. Close enough that when the tension finally snapped, she let out a low keening sound as she felt every nerve shriek from overloaded pleasure.

As soon as she came, Max felt a wild triumph course through his veins at the flood that greeted his eager tongue. He was responsible for this feast, and he began to gulp her down ravenously. Dimly he heard a door open and someone saying, “Oh my God!” He snarled as he jerked his head in the direction of the intruder and used his powers to push her back into the bedroom. The slamming of the door was ringing in his ears when he went back to devouring the banquet spread before him. He greedily slurped and licked and scraped until there was not a drop left.

Liz’s sanity was a long time in returning. Only the leaping of a new fire shocked her out of her lethargy. She knew from experience that Max delighted in drinking her juices, and if she didn’t say something fast he would give her orgasm after orgasm, trying to slake his thirst. Now, there was nothing wrong with multiple orgasms. Quite the contrary. But Liz was remembering the conclusions of their last night together. She couldn’t keep using him.

“We shouldn’t have done that,” she sighed.

Max licked her from core to clit before raising his head. “We shouldn’t?”

“No. I told you that it was wrong,” she said sadly and closed her eyes.

“Really. Well that’s too bad for me, isn’t it?” Max mused and straightened. “You’ve done me in, Liz Parker.” The sound of a zipper lowering filled the room, and Liz’s eyes popped open. “I’ve got quite a problem. I’m hard, Liz. Painfully so.” Shoes plopped off and fabric rustled. “And you know what? It isn’t going to go away on its own, and since this is wrong, you shouldn’t do anything to help me.”

But Liz wanted to. Badly. In “helping” him, she would be “helping” herself.

“But you don’t mind if I help myself, do you?” Max asked. “I’ve had to do this plenty of times over the past month, and I always imagine you’re with me. And now I don’t have to imagine.”

“Max?! What are you doing?” Liz hissed, afraid to look down at him. Knowing what she would find: temptation made flesh.

Max continued as if he hadn’t heard her. “You know, I’m fully extended and not even twitching. I’m that hard and taut.”

Liz shut her eyes against the mental picture that had formed in her mind. “Stop…” she trailed off.

“I’m trying, but it’s no use,” Max answered. “My cockhead is wet, and I’m full to bursting. I don’t see how I can wait another minute. I’m under so much pressure that it’s a miracle that only drops are escaping instead of a steady stream.”

“Max,” Liz whimpered from a sudden dry and thirsty mouth.

“I’ve got my hand wrapped around my cock now, Liz. It feels good, and I know when I come I’ll make a huge mess,” Max informed her. “But you know what, Liz? As ready as I am, I’m still restraining myself in the hope that you might change your mind. Because my hand isn’t hot enough, tight enough, silky enough to compare to being inside you.”

Liz shuddered and tried to draw a breath into her oxygen starved lungs.

“What I’m doing is nothing more than a pale imitation of what we could be doing.” Max stared at her hungrily. “I want to be inside you, want your walls to be squeezing my cock and milking it to completion. I can’t even begin to tell you how you make me feel when we’re making love. It’s beyond words.”

Liz curled her fingers into her palms to keep from reaching for him. To keep herself from giving them what they both wanted. She could barely remember her own name, let alone why it was so important to resist him. He wanted her – how could she be using him when he wanted her?

As if knowing her internal struggle, Max added, “You think this is wrong; that it’s selfish on your part, so I’m forced to seek relief in this manner. Like I’ve had to do every day since last month.” Somewhere along the line, Max had lost track of his original seduction and had become enmeshed in his own trap. Sensations were pouring through him so fast that he had quickly gone past the point of no return.

“Do you know that my first day back at school, I had to run to the bathroom during homeroom because of this? I had gotten hard and felt the first tremors of release run through me. I was so out of control that I was afraid I’d climax before I could get some privacy. And when I did come, my eyes nearly rolled back in my head. Liz? I’m that way right now,” he harshly whispered.

Liz’s eyes blinked open as she finally realized the absurdity of her actions. She leaned up on her elbows to view the scene before her that surpassed her imagination in every way. Sweat glistened on Max’s body, and the wisps of hair touching his face and neck was wet. He was panting through his mouth and had his eyes squeezed shut.

Liz sat up and further noted that his entire frame was taut with tension. He certainly hadn’t been exaggerating. “Max, sit down,” she softly commanded.

“It won’t help,” he denied.

“Trust me, it will,” Liz reassured.

Max’s eyes fluttered open, and he looked at her hotly. “Liz, nothing’s going to stop me from coming,” he told her and tried to remember the point he’d been trying to make before his body stole his rational thought. “Besides, isn’t this what you want? What you decided would be best for both of us? That making love to each other was wrong? Wrong for me to make my dreams a reality? Wrong for me to experience more joy than I’ve ever felt in my entire life?”

Max would have continued with his soliloquy, but Liz’s mouth covered his. Finally. Their kiss was steamy, passionate, and Max let go of his hard, wet cock and grabbed her hips.

When Liz felt his hands at her waist, she tightened her grip on his shoulders to urge him forward. His abs came into contact with her drenched heat, and she wrapped her legs around him as he pulled her off the counter. Liz brought one hand down to find his hard sex, and she slowly slid down his body.

Her small hand on him caused a stream to bubble forth, and he whimpered. Then he felt her deftly position him at her entrance, before she impaled herself on his engorged cock. Hot. Tight. Wet. His. Max knew he didn’t have much time before he erupted, so he quickly turned and sat her down on his abandoned barstool. Once she was more stable, Max harshly whispered against her lips, “I’m sorry; I can’t wait,” and began to pump furiously into her.

Liz had her hands on Max’s flying hips, and in less than thirty seconds he began to climax. She rained kisses over his flushed face and enjoyed the completeness that came from having him deep inside of her. They’d been pining for each other all month, and Liz decided to stop trying to figure out if this was right or wrong and just enjoy being with him. Her climax caught her by surprise, and she tightened her legs around him.

Max drifted down from Heaven and gently kissed Liz’s eyes, nose, and lips. He felt her smile, and he whispered, “I’m home…”

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:05:12 PM
Part 8

“Mmmmm…” Liz purred and let her legs fall from Max’s hips. Every bone in her body seemed to have the consistency of jello, including her brain. Not that she cared. At the moment she was very, very happy and had no plans of moving unless Max wanted to go another round. Which he very well might as he was still semi-hard. Yep, Liz was one happy camper.

Max’s face was lit up from the inside he was so happy. His eyes followed his hands which were roaming over Liz’s soft body to heal any bruises he’d made with his mouth and teeth during his seduction. She was so beautiful to him, and he didn’t want to mar her perfection. And to be honest, he was looking for an excuse to keep touching her, to keep being a part of her.

Both were in such a blissful state that neither were really aware of their surroundings. They were together and that was all that mattered.
~~~ ~~~
“I’m telling you, you can’t go out there!” Maria hissed as she blocked Michael from leaving the bedroom.

“But the next game starts in five minutes! Now will you move it?” Michael demanded.

Maria rolled her eyes. Why did Liz get the alien that got amorous when he was drunk? More to the point, it was depressing as hell to think that Michael was interested in a hockey game when she was in her underwear. “No way, space boy. What Max and Liz need right now is privacy and lots of it.”

“Well what *I* need right now is to watch them drop the puck. And guess what? It’s my apartment, so my needs come first!” Michael retorted and picked up Maria by the shoulders and set her aside.

“But Michael…”

“Save it Deluca,” he told her and opened the door. Only to promptly shut it. Squeezing his eyes shut he said conversationally, “I just really didn’t need to see that. But don’t worry, I’ll be okay. I’m a mentally healthy and stable person, I can handle this.”

Maria scolded, “I tried to tell you not to go out there.”

Michael opened his eyes. “Yeah, but you didn’t tell me that my kitchen was being used as a rent by the hour motel room!” Michael rubbed his face. “I’m probably scarred for life.”

“Don’t blame that on Max and Liz; I figured that out about five minutes after I met you.”

“Funny,” Michael said flatly. “You’re a real comedian.”

“Hey, somebody has to be the straight man,” she grinned.

Michael pressed his lips tight against his mouth in an imitation of a smile. Then he opened the door a crack and yelled, “Hey horndogs, your hour’s up! Now get dressed and get the hell out of here! And if you know what’s good for you, my kitchen counter *will* be sanitized before you leave! Now MOVE IT!!!”

“You know, you’d make a good bouncer,” Maria commented.
~~~ ~~~
An hour later, Liz pulled off the highway into the Northern New Mexico Carnival’s excuse for a parking lot. She’d insisted on doing something normal because “she’d missed her friend as well as her lover.” And as she negotiated the potholes, Liz was glad that they were in a jeep that was made for this type of thing. A semi-decent parking space was found, and she and Max climbed out to hold hands as they walked toward the main fairway.

The smells of fast food mingled with the distinctive stench of a barnyard. Liz crinkled her nose and asked, “What’s that smell?”

“Old MacDonald had a farm,” Max sang.

Liz quirked one eyebrow at him. “No ee-eye-ee-eye-oh?”

“Couldn’t afford the whole verse. Mr. MacDonald runs a cost conscious farm,” Max confided in a stage whisper.

Liz burst out laughing and abruptly stopped walking when her ever questioning mind whirled. “Max, why is it that sometimes you seem so serious – like you’re not drunk at all – and then other times you make comments about farms… and bears?” Hershey Bears to be specific.

“Mmm.. good question.” Max thought for a moment. Damn, he hated thinking when she was around. All he wanted to do was laugh and play and make love.. preferably all three at the same time! His eyes started to cloud over.. that sex book had a really good section on… Gulp. Now, where was he? Oh yeah, thinking. With his brain. The one in his head.. er skull. “Maybe it’s because I’ve lost my inhibitions, but I’m still in full possession of my facilities,” he tried. “Plus, I’m happy! I haven’t been happy since… well, since we were together last month.” *Trust me; I’m happy allllll over.*

“Know what?” Liz confided with a grin, eyes on his face instead of his shorts. Er, pants. Er, hell… Why were they here, again? A hotel was looking better and better. Damn her peripheral vision. Ummm.. Peace and acceptance; that’s why they were here. *Well, I sure wouldn’t mind ‘accepting’ a ‘piece’ of him!* Shut up subconscious! Biting her tongue, Liz finally answered. “I’m happy too.” *You have noooo idea how happy I am.*

Max snatched her to him and swung her around in a circle. Their combined laughter mingled together, and people stopped to watch the couple whose joy was infectious. Ah, young love.
~~~ ~~~
As Max and Liz strolled through the entrance, their mood turned somber because they remembered the last time they ‘went’ to a carnival. Nasedo. FBI. Hall of Mirrors… Nearly connecting only to be ripped apart. The whole experience had left permanent scars on both of their psyches, Max’s in particular. A fact that Liz knew all too well. She squeezed Max’s hand reassuringly and looked at him. “This is a different time, a different place. We’re going to make some happy memories to replace the bad ones because I refuse to let those monsters have any part of you.”

Max took a deep breath and tried to calm the pounding of his heart. He knew she was right; he *knew* it. Now if only he could convince his thudding heart of the same thing. He hated this. Really *hated* this. Drowning in fear, helplessness. It was only a carnival. He’d been to plenty of carnivals before and nothing bad had happened. Just that one time, and that was in the past. Nothing to be afraid about today. Right?

Liz saw all of his inner turmoil as emotions flitted across his suddenly pale face. A fine sheen of sweat dotted his forehead, and one of his hands was fisted so tight that the knuckles had turned white. She mentally damned the FBI to hell and become more determined than ever to break their hold on this wonderful man. To remove every injury inflicted upon him. Until he was so strong that no one would ever hurt him again.

Max felt Liz’s arms encircle his waist and her tiny hands rub his back. He visualized Liz rubbing her healing balm into his heart and mind. Gradually, his breathing calmed as her presence soothed his soul. He’d needed this – oh, how he’d needed this. His psychologist couldn’t help him the way that Liz could. Even her scent soothed him.

If only she’d stayed in Roswell last summer.

If only the future hadn’t intruded.

If only they had drawn closer and faced their problems together.

For there was one thing Max was absolutely certain of: he and Liz could overcome anything, as long as they were together. So now he drew from her strength and let it flow into dark canyons carved by pain and fear. She brought light and comfort and, most importantly, love into his world. Was it any wonder she’d owned his heart from the moment he saw her? Was it any wonder that she was the only one capable of healing the healer?

Max lifted one hand to Liz’s silky tresses and combed his fingers into its lushness. Gently tugging her head away from its resting place on his chest, he looked down into her concerned doe eyes. What had he ever done to deserve her love? He didn’t know, but he planned on cherishing her for the rest of their lives. And beyond. Unable to help himself, he lowered his head and claimed her mouth. His lips pressed against hers lazily, as if he had all the time in the world. And if he had his way, he did have all the time in the world.

Inhaling his distinct scent, Liz let him mold and shape her lips as he slowly rocked his head back and forth. Max seemed bent on savoring the taste and feel of her, as if he was trying to map every nuance of her lips. She concentrated on pouring every ounce of love she felt for him into the kiss. His lips were so warm, so soft, so giving. Much like the man himself. How could she not love him? Mimicking his often used mannerism, she brought both of her hands to cup the sides of his face and gently stroked his cheeks.

When Max paused and reluctantly pulled away to rest his forehead against hers, he took a deep breath and felt the first of many ghosts depart. He could do this. He could face his fears, battle his demons, and generally do things that he once considered impossible – as long as he had Liz by his side. Why couldn’t she see that he wouldn’t be any kind of leader without her? She was his perfect balance, his inspiration, his soul. And though she didn’t know it yet, his mate.

Seemingly reading his mood, Liz whispered, “Ready to make some beautiful memories, Mr. Evans?”

He straightened and engulfed one of her tiny hands in his larger one. A perfect fit. “With you? Always, Miss Parker. Lead on.”
~~~ ~~~
Liz looked around and tried to decide what to do first. Best to work up to the hard stuff. Scanning her surroundings rapidly, she found something she deemed innocent enough. Little did she know. “Look,” Liz pointed. “They’ve got a petting zoo.”

Max couldn’t resist. His voice was deep as he drawled, “A petting zoo, huh? You know, I feel obligated to point out that if you wanted to pet an animal, all you had to do was ask.”

“Maybe I want to pat an innocuous, cute and furry one,” Liz chuckled. So, he was going to be a bad boy; this was gonna be good.

“Hey, I’m furry,” he lamely protested.

Liz rolled her eyes. “I feel I should remind you that I’m very familiar with your chest.”

“Well, I am furry! … Just not on my chest. Other areas, though… Wanna see?” Max asked eagerly.

“No!” At least not right now.

“Damn!” Max sniffled and pouted, “So I’m not furry. Maybe I could get hair transplants?”

Liz snorted with contained laughter. “I like your chest as it is. Save your money.”

“Well, don’t you think I’m cute?” Max raised his eyebrows and gave her a toothy grin, trying to sell it.

Tongue in cheek, Liz affirmed, “You *are* cute. In a wild animal, ready to pounce, kind of way. But love, only a blind idiot would consider you harmless.”

Max stopped dead in his tracks. “Did you just call me ‘love’?”

Liz kept on walking, pulling his hand. “Come on, Fur-boy. Let’s go visit your cousins.”

Max reluctantly started moving. “But Liz…” he protested because really wanted to see if his heart would jump that high again. She called him “love”! Inadvertent endearments! Progress!!

“Come on!!”

With laughter in their eyes, they entered the tin covered building that proudly claimed the title of “Wee Ones Petting Zoo.” The first pen held three baby lambs, and a caretaker named Linda. She would bring each lamb to the front of the pen for the children to pat and praise.

Max watched the scene before him and pulled Liz in front of him so he could rest his chin on top of her head. She’d called him ‘love’ unknowingly. It had just slipped out naturally. Life was good. The lovers stood there for a few minutes, and soon Linda brought one of the lambs up to where they were standing. “His name is Hershel,” she informed them.

The smile on Liz’s face grew when the lamb looked up at her and emitted a soft “baa.” Unable to resist, Liz bent down and carefully petted the lamb’s white coat. “Aren’t you sweet?” she cooed.

Max stepped up to the waist high fence and leaned down to rub his fingers over Hershel’s back. The skittish lamb jerked away, and Max laughed quietly. Straightening, he looked over his shoulder at Liz, a wicked grin claiming his lips. “Soft fleece,” he commented suggestively as he held her eyes.

She nodded and watched his head come toward hers, certain her was about to kiss her. She was a mature person; she could handle one little kiss. Without going up in flames and attacking him. It wasn’t like she was starved for him or anything. Her tongue peeked out to lick her lips in anticipation as her breathing became unsteady…

But his eyes twinkled, and he changed his destination to the curve of her ear. Max touched his smooth lips to the outer part of her and nibbled his way down to her lobe. He heard Liz moan in the back of her throat when he kissed her soft skin. His breath made warm puffs of air as he added very, very softly, “But not as soft as yours.

“W-what?” Liz bit back a moan - or tried to. It escaped through her nose, causing it to vibrate. She tilted her head to allow him better access as the light teasing touch of his lips melted her insides. Another moan escaped and Liz bit her lip. It felt so good, though. Her body was reacting before she had a chance to think about controlling it.

His tongue licked the upper inside of her ear before he drew back a fraction of an inch to murmur softly, barely above a whisper, “Not as soft as you… everywhere.” Max bathed the skin above her ear and elaborated, “Ears, mouth…” Smiling slightly, he began to kiss his way down the skin behind her ear and added with each press of his lips, “Stomach , thighs , back .” He felt her tremble and lean into him, silently asking for more. Which he was more than ready to give. “Breasts.” He took her small earlobe in his mouth and gently sucked. “Lips.” He ran his teeth lightly over her earlobe and pulled it lightly, causing another moan to burst forth from her. Then he returned to sucking her lobe, only stronger this time.

A child inadvertently ran into them and broke the spell Max was weaving. Liz glanced down and swallowed against a suddenly dry mouth. She felt him press a kiss to the top of her head, and she reluctantly forced her legs to move forward. As she tried to clear her head, she thought Max ought to come with a warning label. Damn.

The only thing that kept her from dragging him to the nearest bed was the smirk on his face. She really ought to do something to wipe that smirk off his face, but if she did do that wouldn’t it cause him to smirk all the more? Double damn. You know, it’s hard to act offended when your panties are soaked. I’m just sayin’.
~~~ ~~~
They saw many different kinds of animals and paused occasionally to laugh at their antics. Well, it was hard to say if Liz was laughing because of the Petting Zoo’s animals, or the one behind her making outrageously suggestive comments. Probably a combination of both. Max was having a field day: he got to flirt, make Liz laugh and press his aroused body against hers. Only thing that would make it better would be if they were both naked.

Liz got very involved with a tiny gray kitten with bright blue eyes. It had just been weaned and was mewling loudly. She knew the kitten was probably missing its mommy, so she snuggled it to her bosom and bent her head so that her chin rested lightly over its head.

Max listened carefully and heard Liz purring to the tiny kitten, trying to mimic the sounds of the missing mama cat. *Mmm, she’s purring like she does when I’m touching her, and she wants more.* Smiling tenderly, he stepped close behind Liz and wrapped one warm arm around her. His other hand combed repeatedly through the long tresses of her shiny hair, and he bent his head to murmur, “Do you like petting your kitty as much as I like petting mine?” Yeah, Max plays dirty, but then again, all’s fair in love and war.

Liz blinked a few times wondering if she was hearing things. Probably not. After the lambs, she was having to rethink her ideas about what Max would say in public. Apparently, just about anything. “Behave yourself Mr. Evans, or you just might get scratched,” she teasingly warned.

Behind her, Max turned his answering snort into a cough and commented, “Well, I’d better be careful, then hadn’t I, Miss Parker? The last time I didn’t behave, my kitten dug her claws into me.”

Liz rolled her eyes and didn’t look back at her irrepressible boyfriend. But she did soothe, “Aww, did she hurt you, baby?”

Another endearment! “Only in the best possible way,” he answered, tongue in cheek.

“Mmmm.. you enjoy pain then?” Liz queried over her shoulder.

Max’s amber eyes danced, and he smiled wickedly. “Oh, this wasn’t painful. It was nothing but pure pleasure. For both of us. My kitten can sink her claws into me anytime,” he growled.

Liz handed the gray tabby back to the attendant before she turned to look up at him impishly. “Well, Mr. Evans, I’ll have to keep that in mind,” she pledged stepping up so that she was directly in front of him. Batting her eyes innocently, Liz placed one of her tiny hands on his chest.

He narrowed his eyes and warned, “Now, now. Don’t do anything rash, Miss Parker. I told you I’m into pleasure, not pain. And it would be most painful for me not to react normally to claw marks. And I don’t have to tell you what my normal reaction would be, or do you need a reminder?”

Liz ignored his question because she remembered said reaction quite well. “On the other hand, a public place would limit the amount of retribution for the kitten’s alleged bad behavior,” she mused, trying to keep the upper hand.

Max leaned down until his nose was inches away from hers. “Perhaps. If the injured party gave a damn what the public thought. Which he doesn’t, thanks to Kailua and rum.”

“It would definitely be a risk,” Liz breathlessly concurred.

They were eye to eye now, locked in a silent battle of wills. Liz glanced down, and Max’s muscles tensed. Her smile widened and she bit her lip; he could practically see the wheels turning in the minx’s head. Max’s tongue snaked out to lick his lower lip slowly, positively salivating over different ways of punishing her.

Sighing disappointedly, Liz gave Max’s chest a little push before removing her hand and looking away. He seemed to slump a little because he thought she didn’t want to play. He really should have known better. <> Out of the corner of her eye, she observed Max straighten and look off in the distance. Fast as lightning, her hand shot out and raked her nails down his pecs, nipple and abs. Hard. Then she ran like hell.

Max let out a triumphant whoop and charged after her. Liz couldn’t out run him so she darted in and out of different aisles, hoping the pedestrians would slow him down. No such luck. He caught up with her and wrapped one arm around her waist while the other swung her legs up. They were both breathing heavily and had silly grins on their faces.

“Didn’t you hear me calling for you? Here kitty, kitty, “ he taunted. “You were a very bad kitty to misbehave and run away! I’m going to have to punish you.”

“Now, Max… This is a public place,” Liz cautioned.

“Now, Liz… We’ve already established that I don’t give a damn,” he responded and brought his head closer to hers. Close enough that he knew she could feel his hot puffs of air on her face. “Besides, what kind of person would I be to let my kitten be naughty and not do anything?” he mocked and quickly ducked down to nip the top of her ear. “I wouldn’t want to encourage her recalcitrance, now would I?”

Liz forced herself to shut her eyes on amber temptation and deliberately turned her head. “Umm.. and the children around won’t make you reconsider?” Oh God, her body and noble intentions were melting in such close proximity to his heat. She barely stopped herself from purring in pleasure. Wouldn’t do to reinforce the kitten metaphor…

Max continued to walk with Liz in his arms, not noticing the strange looks they were receiving. He only had eyes for her. “The running away problem should be easy to prevent. I’ll just put my kitten on a leash.” And thanks to the wonders of books bought off the internet, he knew just how to do it. Never underestimate the power of a good education.

Liz gulped, “You mean you’d just… tie her up?” Her heart was pounding, and she didn’t know if it was in anticipation or in apprehension. Either way, she was in deep trouble.

“Mmm hmm. I’d have to; I wouldn’t want her to get lost.” Slowing his pace, Max glanced down at her and wondered what she would do if she had any idea of the thoughts running through his head. If she had any idea what he wanted to do with her, to her. Probably not. But for now, he’d play this little word game and tease her mind with the possibilities.

“But a leash? Sounds scratchy.” Liz worried her lip and tried to decide how she felt about a leash. 90% of her was indigent… but there was this 10% left that was gooey at the thought of totally being at his mercy.

“Good point,” Max concurred. “I wouldn’t want anything that might feel uncomfortable. How about something more on the lines of silk or satin? Tied just a little tighter than loose. I don’t want my kitty to run away, but I don’t want to hold her completely immobile either. She just needs to be close enough…”

“Close enough for… what?” she prompted, as more of her inhibitions turned to mush.

Max stopped walking entirely and captured her chocolate eyes with his as he whispered, “Everything.”

Their mouths seemed drawn together, closer and closer, until they could taste each other’s breath, feel the heat escape their mouths as they lightly panted. And then…

“Mmmmmoooooo!!!!”

The two lovers jerked away from each other; the spell broken by the baby calf in the pen they were now near. Max reluctantly set Liz down on her feet and grumbled, “It has to be named Maria.”

“Awww, don’t be mean,” Liz cooed. “We wouldn’t want to traumatize all the youngsters, anyway.”

“Very true, so let’s find a hotel before I explode and give them an early education. Their poor parents would have to give “The Talk” to them a few years too soon, and they’d eventually end up on Jerry Springer.” Max swooped down and kissed her hard, then he pulled away slightly to breathe, “I’m starving for you. All this walking around has worked up an appetite, don’t you think?” His tongue sneaked out to lick the seam of her soft lips. “Aren’t you hungry, Liz?”

Mimicking his gesture, Liz licked Max’s lips and responded sultrily, “Oh yes.” The baby calf mooed again, and Liz turned her attention back to her. “And it sounds like I’m not the only one,” she noted.

Max gulped in air and barely restrained himself from carrying her off. The only thing that stopped him was his master plan to have Liz more than once a month. As long as they were in a public place, there was the very real possibility that he could come back when he was sober, and people would remember them. More evidence, he had to keep creating more evidence. He also had to keep himself from inadvertently blurting something out in the meantime. Max did wonder briefly at his control over keeping this information secret. Intoxicated, he shouldn’t have had any control whatsoever. Either he was building up a tolerance or having Liz in his life was just as, if not more, important than keeping his heritage a secret.

Then again, maybe God had finally had mercy on him and answered his prayers.

Max turned his attention back to Liz and the baby calf who was being fed a bottle. He surveyed them for a moment then walked over beside Liz. Tilting his head down, Max said out the corner of his mouth, “Now that gives me ideas.”

“Oh really?” Liz drawled. “Like milk, huh?”

“Does a body good,” was the eager response.

Liz made a show of giving him the once over. “I can see that,” she flirted as the calf noisily slurped her bottle.

Tongue in cheek, Max remarked, “That’s a pretty cursory examination. Here I’ve been working out all month long, and you barely spare me a glance! All that time and effort lifting weights just wasted!”

“Awww… poor sweet baby,” Liz comforted.

Max did a fair imitation of a sniffle. “You’ve just crushed my ego.”

“And here I thought men wanted to be admired for their intelligence,” Liz mused.

“No, no, no. You’ve got it all wrong. We just want to be to be lusted after for our looks,” he informed her.

“Really,” Liz drawled. “Well, you’ve got a very admirable body, Mr. Evans.”

“No, no, no. You can’t go back and say that now. It doesn’t count,” he pouted.

“It doesn’t?” Liz fought a smile because he was really pouring it on thick.

“No. I think I may cry. My girlfriend doesn’t think I’m hot.”

“And this, of course, is why she rode you hard not more than three hours ago,” was the droll response.

Max shook his head and gave a pitiful little sigh. “You know, I thought you’d at least want to cop a feel…”

“Done that.”

“Or swat my ass,” he continued.

“That can be arranged.”

“Or rip my clothes off,” he added.

“If you recall, you were the one that decided to start your own party without me,” Liz reminded him.

“You think I’m ugly, don’t you?” Max accused.

“You know, we should go back to the pigs to have this conversation. Just so you’d be in good company when you ‘ham’ it up.”

Max grinned and opened his mouth to bait her further, but Liz cut him off by putting her hand over his mouth. “I think you’re gorgeous and plan on mapping every inch of your body with my tongue. Twice. But not right now, so cut the crap. You dish out any more, and I’m gonna need waders. We’re already in a barn – do I need to spell it out for you?”

Shoulders shaking in silent laughter, Max bit his lip and nodded his head. They both turned back to observe the calf who was halfway done with the bottle. A few minutes passed, and Max commented, “Now that little guy is getting off to the right start. Sucking away. Satisfying his hunger. Give you any ideas?”

“Oh good grief.” Liz rolled her eyes and began pulling him away. “Remind me to tell your mother that you’re obsessed with cows and bottles.”

“So I’ve got an oral fixation; it’s not a crime,” he defended.

“The things you do with that mouth of yours ought to be,” she asserted.

“Complaining?”

“Nope,” she quickly denied. “Now look at the baby horses.”

Max obediently turned his attention to the pen in front of them. A baby filly was standing on unsteady legs, and he commented, “She reminds me of you.”

Liz blinked. “I remind you of a horse?”

“Oh yeah. Long, sleek… wobbly until she gets her legs,” he explained. “You have to be gentle with her at first because you don’t want her to lose her spirit, her fire. You want her to come to trust you and your relationship. And then when she accepts you, she flies like the wind when you ride her. You can’t tell where you end and she begins; you become one. But you have to be careful not to ride her too long or too hard or the wobbly legs might return. And you always let her know how much she pleases you.”

“Sounds like you know a lot about horses,” she said through a throat tight with emotion.

“Just one particular thoroughbred,” Max confided and watched with interest as an attendant offered a carrot to the young horse.

Liz blushed. “Well, you’re a terrific, um, trainer.”

He smiled rather wickedly. “Why thank you, Miss Parker. May I make a professional observation? That little lady over there has a poor carrot nibbling technique.”

“Max!”

“You could give her lessons,” he replied. “Your nibbling is nothing short of remarkable; out of this world, in fact.”

“Ugh! You’re impossible! I can’t take you anywhere,” she lamented.

“What? You don’t like carrots?” he asked innocently then ruined it by adding, “Because if you don’t, I’ve got something that’s just as long and hard and tasty. You could nibble all you wanted.”

Liz just buried her face in her hands. “Come on… let’s go see the chickens. And don’t say one word about chicks or pecking or scratching Or bird seed OR worms. Got it?”

Max licked his lips. “No problem.” She’d left the most obvious one out. Oh, he really must have her flustered!

They walked in the direction of the clucking chickens, and he asked, “Wanna see a cock?”

“WHAT?!” Liz shrieked, causing people around them to turn and stare.

“A rooster. It’s right over there.” He was all innocence as he pointed in the corner of the pen. “You have a very dirty mind,” he confided in an aside whisper.

“Actually it’s more homicidal at the moment,” she corrected dryly.

“Wuh-oh! Mad scientist girlfriend on the loose!” he cried and put both arms around her to “hold her back.” His voice took on an almost cartoonish accent as he warned, “Run for your lives!! She knows the periodic table, and isn’t afraid to use it!”

Liz talked to herself: “I am not here. No way; this is a hallucination. I must have finally snapped and am now lying in the mental ward of Roswell Hospital. Yeah, that must be it. They must have pumped me full of drugs when I was admitted, and now I’m having an allergic reaction. I’m probably doomed to be in a coma for the rest of my life. “

Max smiled ruefully at her conversation and picked her up in his arms again. “Look at the bright side; if you’re in a coma, I’m in here with you,” he comforted and scanned his surroundings. Finding what he was looking for, he began walking.

Pretending not to hear him, Liz decided, “Bad karma. Trapped in a coma with a lunatic. I must have done something pretty horrible in my last life. If I ever wake up, I’ll have to consult with Kyle about remedying that.”

“Not a good idea. Kyle’s off his rocker,” Max said. “ You should hear what he did with Tess’s credit card last month. Budda wouldn’t approve.”

“They put me in the mental ward and let you run around loose?” she wondered.

“My parents bought off the judge,” Max informed her and stopped walking.

Liz nodded. “Figures. There’s a reason why there are so many lawyer jokes, you know.”

“Definitely. We keep a list on the refrigerator of the best ones.” He kept his hands on her shoulders and told her, “Now stay here and behave. I’m going to go get you some natural Prozac.”

Liz turned her head and just looked at him. “Fine,” she ‘reluctantly’ agreed.

Max reappeared a few minutes later with a Golden Retriever puppy in his arms. “Here!” he said with a big grin and held the puppy out to her. “Pup-py!!! Natural Prozac!”

Hell, how was she supposed to resist that? “You fight dirty,” she remarked and reached for the small squirming bundle. For her troubles she got licked in her face, and she began to giggle despite herself.

Reaching out to scratch the puppy’s floppy ears, Max crooned, “Good boy.”

Cuddling the puppy in the crook of her neck, Liz wondered aloud, “What am I going to do with you?”

His eyes twinkling devilishly, Max suggested, “Take me to a motel room and let me make mad, passionate love to you?”

“Shush! There are small children around,” she hissed.

That only caused Max to walk around to her side – the one opposite the puppy – and elaborate in a voice that only she could hear, “I want to lick you all over, Liz. But not like that puppy. No, I wouldn’t want to lick you fast because I might miss some nook or cranny where your taste is stronger. I’d want to lap at you slowly until you were panting with frustration.”

“Max, be good,” Liz pleaded.

Undaunted, he continued to murmur in her ear, “You have a unique taste, a distinctive flavor. It changes slightly depending on the part of your body I’m sampling. Saltier between your breasts, sweeter on the underside of your arms, smoky between your legs, sharper on your neck near the beating vein of your jugular.” Unable to help himself, Max leaned down and kissed her neck, barely avoiding getting licked by the puppy. “And your lips, your mouth? They’re the most difficult to describe because their taste is ever changing. A delight to the palette. Sweet then spicy; spicy then sweet. Hard to define but infinitely addictive.”

“You’re crazy to think you can seduce me with a puppy in my arms,” she informed him and cuddled the pup closer.

Max *knew* he could. “Look at him, Liz. Panting, squirming, trying to get closer. That’s like you when I’m making love to you slowly. I’ll feel your legs between mine squirming around restlessly. You want to wrap them around my waist and ease the ache between your thighs. But your legs are caught, and they twist and turn trying to get under mine. You’ll dig your feet into the mattress and buck your hips upward to slip one leg under mine. And you know what you do then, Liz? You tilt your pelvis and rub yourself up and down on my leg, humping me until you’ve soaked my thigh with your sweet honey.”

“You just won’t back down, will you?” Liz grumbled, feeling the betraying dampness between her thighs.

“Never,” he denied then crushed his mouth to hers, as if he was a starving man. And perhaps he was – it had been a long month to go without her lips. “My desire for you is as complex as the taste of you. I feel so many things when I kiss your lips, sample your mouth. So many different emotions fly through me, and I want to communicate them to you. Share them with you so you’ll feel what I’m feeling.”

“Oh God,” Liz moaned, barely aware of him removing the puppy from her arms. How could any woman alive resist him when he used that deep, gravelly voice? Not Liz Parker, that’s for sure.

And Max wasn’t even done yet. He moved his lips back to her ear and finished in a rumble, “Inevitably, I’ll become selfish and want to taste your essence. So I’ll go down and taste, no, devour your sex. It’s faintly embarrassing because you make me lose control, make me greedy and self-centered. All I can think of is that I want more. And it makes me feel powerful, primitive, when your body feeds me. It’s like I’m branding you as mine; loving you so completely that you won’t ever want to look at another man.”

Liz gasped when he gently nipped her earlobe before turning away to take the puppy back to where it belonged.

“You are SO going to pay for this,” she vowed and started walking toward the exit with an evil smile. He wouldn’t know what hit him when she was done with him.

TBC....

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau
posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:07:44 PM
Liz smiled evilly and every thought fled save one: payback. It was going to be the proverbial bitch. Max had inadvertently given her the perfect means of revenge with his outrageous flirting. He wanted her – to touch, to kiss, to love.. and he kept insisting that he didn’t give a damn what anyone thought in public. Well, he may have lost his inhibitions, but he was still her Max Evans. So with that thought in mind, Liz stopped at one of the large steel supports and dug through her purse. Oh yes, he was going to pay…

Meanwhile, Max had given the puppy back and couldn’t find Liz where he left her. He scanned the crowds and spied her leaning against a pole scribbling on a small pad of paper. Hurrying to her side, he asked, “Bored already?” and indicated the items in her hands.

Liz looked up at him with that same mischievous smile and shook her head. “With you around? Hardly.”

“Damn! And here I was thinking of all sorts of ways to, ah, entertain you,” he saucily replied and wagged his eyebrows.

“Actually, that’s what I was doing. Planning something for your entertainment.”

Max’s eyes lit up. “No need to think too hard. You’ll find me *very* easy to entertain.”

Liz glanced down at his crotch. Quickly, but not so fast that Max wouldn’t know exactly where she was looking. “I can see that,” she drawled suggestively.

“Give you any ideas?”

“Definitely. Wanna play a game, little boy?”

Max snorted then answered, “Apparently we already are. Playing a game, that is. This one’s called bullsh..”

Liz clapped her hand over his mouth just in time. “Now, now, children are present,” she lightly scolded.

Max’s eyes twinkled, and he licked her palm over his mouth. Which she promptly snatched away. Spoilsport. “Perhaps we should play memory,” he tried. “Because you’ve obviously forgotten a lot about my, ah, attributes. Which are anything but little. But I’d be more than happy to remind you.”

“I’ll just bet you would,” she concurred. “And as tempting as I find your most generous offer, I’ll remind you that since it’s ladies first I get to choose the first game we play.” She blinked several times and added, “Unless you’re afraid that I might pick something too difficult. I wouldn’t want to bruise one of your, ahem, larger attributes… your ego, I believe it’s called.”

Max chose to let that last taunt pass and focused on the first. “Difficult.” Max savored the word and cocked his head to one side. “I do believe that was a challenge, Miss Parker.”

“That would be correct, Mr. Evans,” Liz replied smartly.

“And exactly what kind of game are we talking about here? I can think of several, but we don’t want to get arrested.”

“Not to worry. This game is completely legal. Hangman.”

“Hangman?” Max licked his lips in an effort to hide his smile. “I seem to recall playing that game.”

“When I was ten.”

Liz put both hands behind her back and rocked her feet. “You said you were easily entertained,” she reminded him.

“And you said something about difficult and challenging.”

“This *will* be difficult and challenging,” she affirmed. “Just not the way you’re thinking.”

“Ah, you’ve acquired the talent of mind reading.”

“Nope. Some things are as plain as the nose on your face. The evil in your eyes. The wickedness in your smile. The penis in your pants.” Take that, Max Evans. You’re not the only one who can make naughty comments.

Max bit his lips to keep from laughing, but all that did was cause the laugh to come out his nose. He clapped his hand over his mouth and contemplated the sky before replying in a strangled voice, “Really.”

“Yup,” Liz said, fighting a smile of her own. “And to answer your unspoken question, no I’m not going to use any science terminology. These will be completely ordinary, innocuous words.”

“I thought you said earlier that I wasn’t innocuous. How am I supposed to guess innocuous words? Is that why you think this game is going to be difficult and challenging?”

“Nope. I have every confidence in your ability to regress to a time when you were more innocent.” And that really wasn’t so long ago. Liz marveled at the changes Kailua had wrought. If Max was like this at school, he’d have the entire cheerleading squad after him.

“Well damn. I don’t know if I’m up to that.” He sure as hell didn’t feel the least bit innocent OR innocuous at the moment.

“That’s the whole point, Max. You don’t have to be, ahem, *up* at all. But if you truly think that’s all you will need in the way of a challenge, I guess I’ll have to abandon my original plan.”

Backtracking was obviously necessary because this plan of hers was sounding more intriguing by the second. “Now, now, let’s not be too hasty. I might be able to think innocuously.”

Liz was shaking her head. “No, I think you’ve sold me on your inability to think in such a manner. So there’s really no need for me to provide extra entertainment. You will be challenged enough.”

Max stopped walking entirely and turned the corners of his mouth down. His lower lip trembled, and he let out a truly pitiful sounding whimper. If I were you, I’d get out my waders. This should be good. “So! It finally comes out. Not only do you think I’m ugly but stupid as well. I may cry.” Snerk.

“Awww, there, there,” Liz crooned as she rubbed his trembling back. “I’m sorry, baby. I don’t think you’re dumb; I just think that you’ve got a dirty mind and don’t want to take advantage of you.” This last part was said with a decidedly mischievous lilt.

“Oh, but you should feel free to take advantage of me,” Max said earnestly and batted his ridiculously long eyelashes. “I *like* being take advantage of by beautiful brown eyed brunettes. One in particular.”

Liz pretended to consider and pursed her lips. “Well, if you’re sure…”

“Positive. Now what’s your plan?” He hoped he didn’t sound too eager.

Liz began to walk and was nearly to the Petting Zoo exit before she replied, “My plan was to make it harder, er, more difficult for you to think of innocuous words. You know, so it would be more of a challenge.” And so she could get her fair share of revenge.

Max blinked a few times as his mind whirled with possibilities. And thanks to that book off the internet, there were a lot of them. “Umm, it wouldn’t involve you taking your clothes off. Would it?” He could always hope.

“Well, not right away,” Liz explained. “I wouldn’t want to get arrested for indecent exposure.”

“So, we’re playing strip hangman?” Max needed verbal confirmation. His luck normally wasn’t this good. Quite the contrary.

“Yes and no.” They were now outside walking past the game booths which held a variety of cheap stuffed animals from their rafters. Vendors yelled out enticements of easy winning, and shrieks of delight from the fast rides could be heard in the distance.

Max swallowed and said over the noise, “Liz, I’m dying here from all this teasing. Tell me already.”

“Ah, you guessed the second part.”

Max actually growled, or maybe it was a snarl. Either way, he hauled her up until she was eye level. “Your challenge. What was it?” he demanded with blazing eyes.

And it was all Liz could do not to melt in a big puddle. He’d used The Voice on her in the Petting Zoo, and now he was staring at her with Tiger Eyes. Ready to pounce and damn the consequences. Liz knew she was trapped, and all she really wanted to do was bare her neck in surrender. But there was the matter of payback.

Max watched her eyes drop to halt mast, and her lips part in invitation. One that he was nearly helpless to resist answering. He moved in even closer and watched her eyes shut completely. “The game, Liz. Tell me the details or I’ll make up some of my own.” He rubbed his cheek against her before adding, “And you’d be surprised at how creative I can be when properly inspired.”

Liz buried her nose against his neck and inhaled deeply. It was so hard to think rationally when he was like this. His confidence and sensuality rolled over her head, and she had to struggle to clear it. “Well, Mr. Evans, that may be, but I’ll remind you that this is my game, my rules.”

He smiled ruefully. That was his Liz – ever needing to be in control, and he respected, even understood, her feelings on that matter. For as much fun as he was having teasing her, wasn’t this little skirmish of words about control, about trust? With that thought he pulled back and surrendered to his mate. “Your game. And your rules. If only you will tell them to me.”

The rush of power that swept through Liz was delicious, and it strengthened her resolve and position. “Each letter you guess will not be without ramifications. Consequences. You’ll want to guess carefully.”

A thrill of excitement was smothered before Max allowed himself to respond. “I seldom guess, but when I do, it’s always very carefully.”

“I’m glad to hear it. Most prudent,” Liz said approvingly. “Now the first rule is that you’ll be punished for each wrong letter you guess. Likewise, you’ll gain rewards for each correct response.”

“Sounds.. promising,” he mused. “Now tell me the rest of it. What’s my punishment and what’s my reward?” Then Max took her tiny hand in his and raised it to his lips to kiss as gallantly as any knight. Then he inquired about his fair maiden’s choice of favors, “And what, my dear Miss Parker, is my prize for winning?”

Liz’s pulse jumped in response, anticipating his coming reaction. Her opponent must have felt it in the slender wrist he still had clasped. Oh, he was going to make her work to stay in control if his knowing smile was any indication. She carefully extricated her hand and folded it against her body. “Which question do you want me to answer first?”

Bowing his head slightly, he generously allowed, “Ladies choice.”

“Why thank you, kind sir. We’ll start with the prize, the motivator: a private lap dance if you win.” Liz kept her eyes trained on his chest, knowing that if she chanced a glance at his face she would be lost. “The reward for correct letters is my removal of an article of clothing of your choice during said dance.”

Max had a brief flash of smooth skin undulating before him and had to fist his hands to keep from reaching for her. “I do hope the word is short or else I fear you’ll be completely naked.”

Liz blinked as her mind sifted through possible replies. “You *fear* I’ll be naked? Do you find me repulsive? Perhaps I should start out naked and don an article of clothing for correct answers.”

Max rubbed his finger over her supple lips. “Ah, but that’s not what you really want, is it? I think you know what will happen, how I’ll react. I think you want to push me, see how far you can go before I snap.” He wondered if she realized that she needed to do very little to obliterate his control. One night a month had nothing if not whet his appetite to take her over and over until they passed out in exhaustion. “Liz – you should know that your attire or lack thereof won’t make a difference in the end.”

Liz drew in a sharp breath as his implication found its target. “You sound awfully sure of winning. But you might lose. You need to consider that possibility."

“What? No consolation prize? Maybe you’d better tell me of your penalty for incorrect answers.”

Liz nervously gnawed at her lower lip. In light of his previous comments regarding his control, she had a moment of doubt. What she was planning was dangerous – for them both – and could very well backfire. Yet she knew she needed him nearly crazy to fulfill her ultimate goal: get him into the House of Mirrors. Get him to a place where his worst nightmare began.

Get him to it, get him through it, get him on the road to recovery.

The House of Mirrors was just a place, but at the moment it was more than that to Max. It was pain and fear and helplessness. Liz was willing to bet that he would shut down if she took him there right now. So, she’d dig away at the control of his until he didn’t give a damn about where he was or where he’d been. She’d make him live in the here and now by setting his body on fire. And then after it was done, after he realized where he was and that bad things hadn’t happened this time, she’d plant the seeds of recovery.

But in the meantime, she had a tiger to deal with.

“Remember how I said the challenging part of this game would be my making it difficult for you to think?”

“I believe your exact words were ‘difficult to think of innocuous words’. Now you’re upping the stakes to my not being able to think at all?” Max drew one of his warm hands across her shoulder and mused, “You must be worried about losing. I think I’m flattered.”

“Don’t be. I just got to thinking that there wasn’t anything in this for me. If, no when, you lose I want to have a prize as well. It’s only fair, don’t you think?” Liz’s words were completely impulsive and not what she’d intended to say at all. The purpose of the game was to get him to the Hall of Mirrors, not her winning a prize.

Right?

But then there was that damn little voice inside her head whispering, “Can’t you see it? I know you’ve dreamed about it. Don’t you deserve the indulgence?”

Hell. Obviously Max wasn’t the only one having trouble thinking clearly. Liz risked a peek at his twinkling amber eyes. Big mistake because the confidence lying there made her add foolishly, “Unless *you’re* the one that’s afraid of losing.”

“It’s hard to be afraid of losing when I have no idea what penalties are involved.” Max could read the emotions as the flew across her face. He’d knocked her off balance by taunting her ego. Confusion warred with temptation before giving way to stubborn pride. She may not have intended to go this far, but she wasn’t going to let herself back down now. Which suited Max perfectly.

“Okay. Fine. The penalties. If you guess a wrong letter, you have to hold your hands behind your back and let me do whatever I want to you. No talking back or trying to be in control. Just you being completely submissive to me for a minute.” Liz set her mouth and jutted her chin out just a little more. She wanted nothing more than to wipe that cocky grin off his face. He didn’t seem the least bit concerned about losing control while she had her way with him.

If she only knew.

Max couldn’t believe his luck. Not only was Liz offering lap dances – possibly naked lap dances – but she was also offering him the perfect way to get under her defenses. The perfect way to get her so aroused that she would forget everything except her desire for him. From there it would be child’s play to convince her to go someplace private so he could satisfy the hunger inside her.

She seemed bound, set, and determined to help him resolve the ghosts of his carnival capture. And while some small corner of his head knew she was right, there was an ever growing desire to keep the all too familiar ghosts and get her in the nearest motel room. Max supposed that made him a horny coward.

Unfortunately, Liz chose that moment to interrupt his thoughts by taunting, “And I would be looking so smug if I were you. Because if these penalties don’t punish you enough, my prize when you lose definitely will wipe that smile off your face.”


"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains"

-Jean Jaques Rousseau