posted on 27-Jul-2002 7:38:40 AM
Title: Wishing it Was Me
Author: Polarist aka Nikki
Disclaimer: I don’t own anyone or anything dealing with Roswell. If I did there’d be a whole lot of polar nookie going on. ;)
Rating: NC-17
Summary: AU um.. this was an idea that was haunting me, so I’m finally giving in and writing it. I’m not sure what’s going to occur so bear with me.

PART 1

A woman stepped onto the platform of the subway station. She was dressed in a long dark trench coat, her hair hidden under a scarf and her eyes concealed behind dark glasses. She pushed her glasses down the bridge of her nose only enough to peer over them. She took in her surroundings. As the train moved away, she looked over her shoulder to ensure no one was following her.

She ascended to the street and went to the public phone a block away from the station. This had been her nightly ritual for the past three years. It was her escape from her controlled life, a life that only made her miserable, but there was no way of removing herself from it.

She held the receiver in her hand, not intending to place a call. She was just waiting. An approaching car stopped at the curb two feet away from the booth where she was standing. She hung up the phone and casually walked towards the car. Even though her appearance was aloof, her body was eager. Her heart was beating fast and her adrenaline was pumping. She loved her nightly tryst. She quickly looked around again before sliding into the car. For the past two weeks, she had felt like she was being watched. She didn’t know if she was being paranoid, but she wanted to get out of there fast.

The driver gazed at her and noticed how nervous she appeared. He was slightly surprised, for she was usually a picture of calmness. He removed his hand from the steering wheel and placed it on her knee. She sighed in comfort. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the seat wishing the ride was almost over. When she felt the coldness against her knee where his hand had been moments ago, she opened her eyes and smiled. They were there. They climbed out of the car, closing the doors behind them. The woman turned around, feeling that familiar sense of being watched as she glanced around the surrounding area. As the man came up beside her, he noticed her gazing beyond the parking lot. He took her hand to lead her to his apartment. As soon as they entered, he went straight into the kitchen while she looked around his living room.

He removed two glasses from the cabinet, opened the freezer, and took out a bottle of White Zinfandel. “Is this your new piece?” she called out while he poured the wine into the glasses. Carrying them, he walked to her and smiled, handing her one.

“It is. What do you think?”

Taking a sip, she moved closer to the piece. “You should have picked a different model. Maybe someone more attractive.” She smiled, turning her head towards him.

He stood beside her, shaking his head. “We must not be looking at the same thing. This painting is about beauty, passion, sensuality, and love. I have to admit this is my best work so far.” Taking another sip, she reached out to touch the painting, but his hand covered hers. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it. “It’s not dry yet.”

Smiling, she turned to him. “Are you going to display this at the exhibit?”

He stood in front of the painting admiring the model in it. “I’m already sharing the original. I sure as hell am not sharing the copy.”

Her heart skipped a beat at the sadness in his voice. “Are you regretting our arrangement?” He turned around, took her glass from her, placing both glasses on the coffee table, and escorted her to the couch.

“Regret this? Never. What I do regret is not finding you first,” he said, caressing her cheek. She closed her eyes and swallowed. “What’s bothering you, baby?”

She stood up and turned her back to him. “Lately, I've had the feeling that someone's been watching me. It’s starting to scare me.”

He also stood up, then wrapped his arms around her. “Why can’t you just leave him?”

Sighing, she gently disentangled herself from him. “You know I can’t. Why even bring it up?”

He gripped her shoulders, making her look at him. “You’re scared of him. You can deny it all you want, but I can see that you fear him.” She broke their eye contact. He lifted her chin up so their eyes could meet again. “Has he ever hurt you?”

She turned away and closed her eyes. “No. He wouldn’t.” She faced him again and walked to him. “Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this anymore.”

He shook his head, holding her face between his hands. “Don’t talk like that.”

“It’s not fair to you. I wish you did find me first, but I know we can’t change that.”

You’re everything to me. I need you in my life. I love you, baby. I know I can't have you all to myself. I have to share you. I hate it, but I’ll accept anything I can get. I can’t lose you.”

She lifted her hand to his cheek. “Baby, I love you with all my heart. If only things were different. I can’t lose you either, but this isn’t fair to you. I was stupid to think I could...” She paused and took a deep breath. “Kiss me, Michael.”

He didn’t hesitate. He leaned in slowly and brushed his lips against hers. He could taste her tears against his lips. He pulled her in, holding her tight. They were both afraid that this might be their last night together. “Please don’t leave me, Elizabeth.” She opened her mouth to him as tears slid down her face.

Michael slowly untied her jacket's belt and moaned when he saw what she was wearing, or almost wearing. She smiled against his lips before whispering, “Just saving time.” He slid the jacket off her arms, picked her up and carried her to his bedroom never breaking their kiss. He gently placed her on his bed and followed her down, his hands roaming over her soft skin. She sat up pressing her lips to his as she slowly unbuttoned his shirt. Every movement, every touch was unhurried and filled with love and desire. Every time they were together, they took things slowly. They needed each other. They knew that, once it was over, they would have to return to the life they both hated.

He kissed every part of her exposed skin, loving the sweet taste and scent of her. She threw her head back, reveling in his touch. She loved him with all her heart. She wished she could leave her husband for him, but there would be too many consequences if she did. Besides she didn’t want to put him in any danger. She’d die if anything happened to him because of her.

She rolled him over and sat on top of him, trailing small kisses down his body. He loved the feel of her. His hands gripped the sheets as her mouth suckled and bit places that sparked his passion. He slid her up so their lips met, deepening the kiss. She descended on him. They both moaned at the contact. She sat up and slowly began to move her hips. He held onto her thighs, gliding his hands up to her breasts, kneading them.

Their bodies were glistening with sweat, but they continued their feverish assault on each other. After a couple hours, they both felt their approaching release. Their speed finally increased as each wanted the other to fall into the abyss. With one final thrust, they both tumbled into ecstasy.

He lazily drew circles on her back as she combed her fingers through his chest hairs. She sighed and tried to roll out of bed. “Don’t. Stay with me,” he whispered with pleading eyes.

She sat up and turned to him. “You know I can’t. I’m going to take a shower.”

Michael nodded. Once he heard the water running, he placed his head in his hands. It was getting harder for him to let her go. Whenever they were together, he was fearful that each night would be their last. That was his worst fear: never seeing her again.

She stood in the doorway, wrapped in a towel, watching him. She had tried to leave her husband plenty of times, but he was too powerful. She was scared of him, but what scared her the most was the idea of never being held in Michael’s arms again. If it was up to her she’d be in his arms for eternity, but it wasn’t, so she could only hold on to their nightly rendezvous. For the past two weeks, every night they had spent together had felt like the last, so she wanted to cherish each and every moment with him. She had never thought she could love anyone as much as she loved Michael, and it thrilled her that her love was returned. His love was unconditional. Something she’d never experienced. He was always open and honest with her. Everything he did for her didn't have any hidden purpose behind it. He was always trying to please her. He only wanted to make her happy.

Michael felt the bed sink slightly and looked up, catching the love that was shining in the eyes of the woman he adored. She kissed him, pouring everything she felt for him into the kiss. “Don’t forget I love you.”

He ran his fingers through her hair while his other hand traced the outline of her face. “Will I see you tomorrow night?” She smiled and nodded.

“The only thing that can keep me away from you is death.” She kissed his forehead, his nose, and stopped at his lips. “I'd better go.” He nodded and reluctantly grabbed his clothes to get dressed. This was the part he hated the most. Her leaving.

He drove her to the subway station. She leaned towards him, brushing her lips against his. She pulled back. “Goodnight, Michael.” She opened the door, reluctantly climbing out.

“Liz,” he said softly. She turned her head towards him. They smiled at each other. “I love you.” She pressed her fingers to her mouth and blew him a kiss. “Tomorrow?”

She nodded. “Tomorrow.” She closed the door. He stayed where he was until her figure disappeared down the stairs. He hated watching her leave. All he wanted was to wake up with her right beside him every day. He waited a few minutes before driving off.

[ edited 5 time(s), last at 1-Aug-2002 6:34:02 PM ]
posted on 28-Jul-2002 1:34:48 PM
Part 2

One of the most prestigious galleries in New York was closed to the public while the employees and volunteers were preparing for the exhibit that would take place that night. The owner had invited everyone who was anyone in the hope they would show up to admire the artwork of all genres displayed in the gallery. To say this was an important night for all involved would be an understatement.

People were scuttling around preparing the quaint building for its big night. The caterers were setting up the food, the bartenders were wiping down the bar and checking inventory. The social planner and an assistant were going through their checklist, making sure everything was going as planned.

Someone entered the gallery unnoticed as a man across the room stepped back to survey his work. He nodded slightly in approval. He bent down, gathering his equipment to move on to the next display to install the lighting that would accentuate every piece of art. When he stood back up, he felt a presence behind him, a woman, pressing her body to his before he could turnaround. He moved forward, trying to get away from her, but she wouldn't let him. Every step he took away from her, she swiftly took another one towards him, always staying close to him.

“Why don’t we take a break?” A low sultry voice drifted up to his ear.

“I’m busy,” he replied, irritated, while walking away from her.

“Michael, why do you keep resisting me? Resisting this?”

Michael stopped in his tracks keeping his back to her. "I have to finish this,” he answered.

She approached him smoothing her hand down his tense back and trailing her nails across his shoulders and along his arm. “Soon you’ll realize how perfect I am for you,” she whispered.

“I don’t have time for this. The plan is to have these lights up before the doors open tonight. And if my assistant ever shows up, maybe that’ll happen,” Michael snapped.

“Ask and ye shall receive,” a voice said from behind them.

Michael turned around. He smiled as he walked up to the newcomer. “It’s about time.” The woman bored into the person, who had so rudely interrupted her conversation with Michael, with cold eyes. “Gabe, my man,” Michael exclaimed as they slapped hands.

“Yup, the man is here,” he replied.

"Gabriel, it's good to see you," the woman said, giving him a brilliant smile while she laced her arm through Michael’s.

“Maria, how’s it hanging?”

She was still smiling. “How’s your mother and father?” she asked while casting a sideways glance at Michael. He was oblivious to it. He was looking over his shoulder while untangling himself from her grip.

“Come on, Gabe. You were supposed to be here hours ago.”

Gabe followed Michael to where he had left his equipment. “Sorry, man, but I had a family thing.” Michael threw him a doubtful look. "No really. I had family time. Well, mother and son time. The only attention I get from my dad is when I'm doing something he doesn't like."

Michael could hear the bitterness in the sixteen-year-old boy. He could relate to him because he didn't have a father figure to look up to when he was Gabriel's age. "Your mom knew you had to be here early."

Gabriel shrugged. "I know, but when she woke up and suggested we go to brunch, I couldn't say no.” Under his breath he said, "It feels like she's the only one I have.” Michael pretended not to hear him. He knew if Gabriel wanted to talk, he'd bring it up when he was ready. In the meantime, Michael made every attempt to be there if he needed a man's point of view.

They worked in silence. Michael was nervous about tonight. He glanced over at Gabriel, noticing his mind was somewhere else. Even though he was comfortable around Gabe, the silence was getting to him. “Are you coming tonight?” he asked, hoping Gabe would open up to him.

"Of course. I wouldn't miss it for the world. I know how important this night is to my mom, and I want to support her.” He looked at Michael. "You know, like she's always supported me."

Michael nodded, but didn't say anything. He knew not to push him, so he waited until Gabe was ready.

"Ummm… Michael?” Gabriel turned around to face him. "Can I ask you for a favor?” He avoided Michael's gaze.

Michael watched the young man’s actions. “You know you can ask me anything." He frowned. "Except, of course, for money. I am after all a struggling artist,” he said playfully, trying to lighten the mood.

Gabriel smiled, letting out his breath. "I… Well, you see...” He cleared his throat, then took a deep breath. "My mom's birthday.” He stood up with Michael following suit. Sighing, he faced Michael. "I made my mom something and I need your trained eye to tell me if I should toss it or not. I was also hoping you could stash it at your place for me if it's worth keeping."

"I can look at it for you, but I don't think I'm the best candidate to hide it for you," Michael said as he shook his head.

“Yeah, you are, man. My mom would never expect you to have her present.” Michael sighed, then nodded. Gabriel smiled. He was grateful that Michael was willing to help him and was always there for him when he needed him. "Thank you," he whispered.

Michael shrugged. "No problem, but just remember if I ever need money, you're the first one I'm coming to."

Gabriel chuckled. "Well, you might be lucky if I have five bucks in my pocket. I mean, I am only a sixteen-year-old boy."

"Yeah, whose family is rich,” Michael added.

"Correction: a rich father who refuses to give his son anything," he whispered bitterly as he shoved the remaining tools back in the box. They both took a step back and admired their handiwork, shaking hands in approval.

posted on 29-Jul-2002 4:27:06 PM
A man stood in the doorway watching a woman going through her clothes. She was tossing items on the bed and the floor. He noticed that they weren’t what she usually wore. She’d put on selected items, but quickly remove them, throwing on various types of sweats and t-shirts.

She didn’t want him anywhere near her. He knew this, but she intrigued him.

When she was in nothing but her underwear, he entered the room. He made sure she saw his reflection in the mirror. As their eyes met, she quickly grabbed for a piece of clothing to conceal herself from his prying eyes.

"Oh baby, why are you covering up?” He moved closer to her and snatched the piece of clothing away.

"Don't touch me," she growled as she backed away from his grasp. He kept advancing until her back hit the wall. She didn’t want him anywhere near her. She had made that clear to him on many occasions, but he was coming towards her like a rabid dog. She panicked immediately at his proximity. "I thought you were supposed to meet one of your whores," she spat out as she clutched the shirt tighter against her body.

"Liz, honey.” He leaned in, placing his hands on the wall on each side of her. "I thought maybe we could work things out. We are married after all."

"Not by my choice.” She tried to duck out from under his arms to escape, but he stepped closer, blocking her in.

He removed one of his hands from the wall, pressing his body against hers, and caressed her bare shoulder. "Why do you have to act like this? All I want is you. To feel you, to touch you," he whispered huskily in her ear.

"I'm only your wife by name. So get away from me," she growled. She tried to push him away, but he was stronger, so she flattened her back against the wall and lifted her chin. She didn't want to show him fear. She met his eyes with equal intensity -- her anger matching his lust.

He licked his lips as his eyes strayed to her cleavage. He lifted his hand, trailing his fingers along her exposed skin. "No, I think it's time that you started acting like my wife. Right now.” He leaned forward to take her lips, but she turned her head. Instead, his mouth latched onto her neck kissing her before starting to suckle it. "Mmmm... you taste so good," he murmured as his hand gripped the piece of clothing obscuring her from his sight. With a hard tug, he pulled it away, exposing her naked flesh to him.

"Stop..." she whispered trying to steady her voice. “Stop!" she repeated louder and with more determination. She felt his hands cupping one of her breasts and she bit her lip to stifle the tears threatening to spill down her face. "Max, please."

Upon hearing her plea, his hand trailed down her body until it reached the edge of her panties. Liz had never felt so helpless and terrified. She didn't want to let this happen, but she didn’t know how to stop him. He was too strong. With renewed anger, she turned her face towards him. "This is the only way you'll ever have me: without my consent. Does that make you feel like a man?” she spat out.

She tried to push him away again, but he pressed himself more firmly against her. "Just get it over with and once you're done, I'll just make a date with Agent Pierce. He's mentioned to me on several occasions how he wants to get to know me," she said coldly.

Max’s hands roamed her body. He brought one hand up, tangling it into her hair. His other hand stroked her shoulder. He scraped his nails along her skin, circling one of her breasts. He leaned his head down and nibbled her neck, biting her experimentally. She winced in pain. She closed her eyes, not wanting to see what he was doing to her. She wanted to detach herself, but when she felt his hand encircle her neck and squeeze, her eyes flew open and stared into her husband's cold ones. "You know how much I hate threats, Liz. If I ever find out that you so much as looked at Agent Pierce, that artist you're fucking, may just be in an accident."

Liz's eyes widened, but she quickly hid her shock and fear from him. She didn't say a word; she couldn't. He smiled menacingly at her as his grip around her neck tightened and slightly lifted her up. "Just because we don't share a room doesn't mean I don't know when you sneak out,” he growled. Then he shook his head. "Would Gabriel approve of that? What would he say if he ever finds out his mother is nothing but a cheating slut?” he taunted.

Liz closed her eyes as she started to become light-headed from the lack of oxygen. She didn’t think it would end like this. Her head started swimming in the black emptiness as she teetered on the edge of consciousness and unconsciousness. She tried to focus as hard as she could on the one thing she had to be strong for: her son. She couldn’t leave him with this man the way her mother had left her with her father, but she also didn't want to give Max the satisfaction of seeing her pleading for her life. Max released his hold on her. Her body slid to the floor while she gulped in the air her lungs were screaming for. She'd never thought he would ever hurt her. If she had been wrong about that, maybe she was wrong about everything. There was a time when he'd cared for her in his own narcissistic way, but throughout the years, he'd become callous. He frightened her. He even frightened her son.

When she heard the door slam, she broke down, unable to hide her fear anymore. She curled up into a ball, wondering what she was going to do. She had to get herself, or at least Gabriel, out of this situation. She'd thought about going to the FBI to tell them of her husband's activities to get out of this hell called a marriage. She blamed herself for allowing Gabriel to be around a father like Max. She wanted to get Gabriel away from this place. She didn't want to put her son in danger. Max was too unpredictable. But she knew he would find Gabriel no matter where he went.

She couldn’t tell Michael what Max had almost done to her or about Max’s threats against him. Knowing Michael, he could make the situation worse, but she couldn’t hide anything from him no matter how hard she tried. They knew each other too well.
posted on 1-Aug-2002 6:24:04 PM
PART 4

Both Michael and Gabriel glanced at the clock. Gabriel was beginning to worry. His mother was supposed to be here before the gallery opened to the public to check over everything and go through all the last-minute details. He spied Isabel, the social planner, talking to the bartenders. She was holding a clipboard on which she was making check mark motions every so often. Gabriel's forehead furrowed as he walked over to her. "I thought you and my mom were supposed to do that?” he asked, pointing to the clipboard.

"She called and told me to start without her. She's running a little behind schedule," she replied, only briefly looking up to smile at him. She moved swiftly to the next display.

Michael approached Gabriel, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Did you find out where your mom is?” Like Gabriel, he was worried about Liz's whereabouts, too.

Gabriel shook his head. “She told her that she was running behind schedule,” he said, pointing at Isabel. He sighed. "She was supposed to be here hours ago. How am I supposed to get home and change?” he asked Michael. Gabriel didn't know if he should be disappointed and hurt because this was the first time she'd ever let him down, or worried because something must have happened to make her break her word.

"Come on, I'll take you," Michael said, putting his arm around the boy. "You can grab your clothes and then we can head to my place to change."

“Thanks, man.” Gabriel smiled, relieved.

Gabriel stopped him as they approached Michael’s car. “You know this is a good idea. I can get my mom’s present.” Michael unlocked the doors while Gabriel walked around to the passenger side. “Then you can look at it for me and at the same time it’s at your place for me to stash it. Thanks again, man.” Michael nodded as they both climbed into the car.

*****

Gabriel snuck into his house, not wanting to encounter his father. He had never understood how his mother could fall for a man like his dad. But if his mom had loved him enough to have a child with him, he must have been a good guy at one point. Whenever he asked her his mom how they met and fell in love, she would just sigh and tell him it was a long and boring story. She never talked about her past and he didn't understand why.

He desperately wanted to know why his father hated him so much. When Gabriel was younger he'd done everything he could to get his father's approval, but as he grew older he eventually gave up. He had finally gotten the hint that his father didn’t want anything to do with him, no matter how often his mom told him that his father loved him, but was just busy. Still, a part of him wanted to bond with is father. To do things like toss the ball around outside, talk about girls, sit in front of the TV, watching sports and veg. But, most of all, he wished his father were proud of him.

As he headed out the door back to Michael's car, Gabriel scoffed, knowing that could never happen. His father was too caught up in his own life to worry about him. At least, he had his mom. He gently placed his mom's gift on the backseat of Michael's car and hung his garment bag on one of the hooks in the back. Climbing into the passenger seat, he closed the door and stared out the window.

He looked dejected. Michael wondered what had happened. He liked the kid and would do anything for him. He didn't know if it was because he was Liz's son or because, deep down, he'd wished Gabriel was his. He had dreamed of having children with Liz, and the fact that she'd had Gabriel with another man hurt. When he'd first met Gabe, he'd resented him because every time he saw him, he envisioned Liz with Gabe's father. But when he saw the person Gabriel was and was becoming, he couldn't help but like him, he was so much like his mother. Michael promised himself that he'd be there for Gabriel whenever he needed him.

Michael pulled into a parking space in front of his apartment building.
Gabriel looked around and whistled in admiration. "Not bad for a struggling artist," he joked. Gabriel liked Michael. Sometimes he wished his father would at least treat him the way Michael did. He felt awkward and guilty because there were times he wished Michael was his father.

Pursing his lips to hide a smile, Michael shook his head and grabbed the garment bag for Gabriel who seemed to be wrestling valiantly with a large package.

When they entered his apartment, Gabriel placed the package on the floor in the middle of the living room. "With a place like this, you should have women crawling all over you."

"Is that all you think about?” Michael sighed, shaking his head.

"Man, you should take what you can get because you don't know how much longer you have," Gabriel cracked.

Michael shook his head. "What are you trying to say?"

Gabriel laughed. "What I'm trying to say is you're old, man. Just give in to that crazy chick at the gallery. Because, pretty soon, you may not find another sexy woman after you."

Michael slapped him on the back of the head and said, "I'll have you know, I am not old."

"Man you've been around as long as dirt," Gabriel said, rolling his eyes. Michael lifted his hand again to hit him, but Gabriel moved out of the way. "Hey, you don't have to get violent," he added, chuckling.

"If I knew your mother wouldn't kill me, you'd be dead, kid."

"Whatever," Gabriel retorted, rolling his eyes. "You couldn't catch me if you tried. I wouldn't want you to have a heart attack or anything."

"You are so dead," Michael said as he pretended to reach for Gabriel.

"I give, I give.” Laughing, Gabriel held his hands up in surrender. Turning serious, he looked intently at Michael. He didn’t know why he was suddenly nervous. Michael had always been cool with him. He wanted Michael's opinion, since he knew how much his mom loved his work. He trusted that Michael would give his honest opinion, but that was what scared him. "So are you going to look at this for me, or what?” he asked as he pointed to the present on the floor.

Michael nodded and waited for Gabriel to show him what he'd made. When Gabriel lifted the tarp off the canvas, Michael took a step forward to examine the painting. He remembered the scene. It was Liz and her mother. Michael knew how much she loved her mother and how it had almost destroyed her when she had died.

Gabriel knew the other woman in the picture was his grandmother, but he didn't know anything about her. The only thing he knew was the picture he'd taken from his mom was the one she treasured the most.

Michael thought back to the moment depicted in the painting. It was a time when Liz had been happy. She and her mother had been close. A month after this picture was taken, Liz’s mother had been diagnosed with cancer. When her mother’s condition had worsened, Liz had become distant. He had seen less and less of her. When she hadn’t been at the hospital visiting her mom, she had been home cleaning the house. It was as if she was walking around in a daze. He had been very worried about her. One day, when they were alone at her house, he had stopped her from cleaning and wrapped his arms around her. She had tried to push him away, but he had only held her tighter. Her body had trembled in his arms. He had pressed her closer to him. She had finally broken down. He had held her the whole night while she had cried herself to sleep.

Michael touched the painting. Liz’s mom had accepted him when her husband hadn't. The day she died had meant the end of his and Liz's relationship. Mr. Parker had shipped her away. He and Liz didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye. When she had come back two years later, she was married with a child.

He and Liz had agreed to keep their relationship a secret from Gabriel. Michael took his hand away from the painting. He quickly rubbed his face before glancing at Gabriel. "When did you start painting?"

He shrugged. "I had to take an art credit and when the teacher introduced oil paints, it was like I'd found my calling. Besides, I grew up around art.” He lifted his shoulders again. "Something was bound to stick.”

Michael nodded. "I think your mom would love this." He paused gazing at the painting again. “No. I know she’s going to love it.” Liz had told him she'd lost the photo her son had reproduced. "I can see that I may have some competition," he joked as he tousled the boy's hair.

Gabriel, picking up on the playfulness, said, "That's just one more piece of evidence that you're an old man. You might as well admit it."

Michael crossed his arms. “The only thing I’m admitting is that you need to hurry up or you’re not going to be there before your mom,” he retorted. Gabriel nodded and looked around, wondering where he could change. "You can change in there.” Michael pointed to the extra bedroom. "There's even a bathroom if you want to take a shower. The towels are in the closet.” He smirked. “I suggest you take a shower."

Gabriel rolled his eyes and left the room. Michael heard the shower and stared at the painting again. He always thought he'd be the one who married Liz. The day she had come back on the arm of Max Evans, the son of one of New York's alleged mobster, he had been crushed. He couldn't stay and watch his love with another man, so he'd left, only returning three years ago.

He couldn't stay away from her, no matter how hard he tried. How could he when she had been all he'd thought about for so long? They had run into each other one day at an art show in the park three months after he'd returned. They had talked, had had coffee and ended up in his apartment reacquainting their bodies as well as their hearts. Ever since that day, she'd come to him in the middle of the night. He knew it was wrong, but he couldn't deny his heart.

Michael sighed as he headed to his room, where he had left his latest piece. He stared at the painting, smiling. Gabe made it a point, whenever they were together, to suggest different women for him to date. He couldn’t tell Gabe that he already had someone. He sighed again. He just had to be patient. One day she would be his again.