TIC TAC - (CC,AU,Adult) - COMPLETE - 7/12/15

Fics using the characters from Roswell, but where the plot does not have anything to do with aliens, nor are any of the characters "not of this Earth."

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 21

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:09 am

mary mary: Well said, lol.

moomin: Max will stop… in time. We just have to get him to that point.

Keep thinking that way. ;)

Um, no, we’re not… well, there will be moments along the way. :)

Yeah, he deserved a drink in the lap for sure.

Natalie36: They will… eventually.

keepsmiling7: Lol, at this point you’d be right.

Well… yeah, it’s gonna happen. ;)

begonia9508: Assumptions is the name of the game here, for all of them.

Max can pretend disinterest, but we all know better.

This group will be good for Liz and Aaron.

Earth2Mama: That could get really awkward with the Maria/Kyle/Tess triangle, huh? We will see how those three come out if it and if they can avoid too much drama.

Lol, voting for hot dirty dreamer sex? Hmm… who knows… ;)

Uh-oh 5, huh? That was probably an interesting experience, lol. We’re glad you enjoyed your time with your nieces.

Alien_Friend: Lol, you just never know. Easing the tension would certainly help things, huh? Michael’s a good friend and he’ll do his best to get Liz and Aaron out of the house and involved. The group definitely has their good moments.

Oh, that secret… we’ll see.

kay_b: Misunderstandings, assumptions… it’s all part of the story here.

Tony called that one right, didn’t he?

itsme69: Lol, but then it would be over so soon!

The Max and Liz story should be interesting as it unfolds. ;)

Smac: Thanks! Funny how everyone sees so clearly what’s going on here except for those involved, huh? Dirty dreamer sex, huh? You just never know. Michael hadn’t forgotten his promise to help Liz. Isabel, believe it or not, is a decent person… it’s just weeding through all the crap to get to her. Oh, the blowup between Maria and Tess… yeah, probably not gonna be pretty.

Cardinal: :D You know us so well…

Lol, yes… but that situation will present itself soon.

Rodney: You’re right, his behavior and reactions do need to be reevaluated. But it’s gonna take some time before he gets to that point.

Hmm… would hate to be in that closet when those two got locked in there. Well, either of those two pairs, actually, lol.

Eva: Ah, yes, you’re right on the money! The fights would die a sudden death if Liz didn’t come back at Max when he has something rude to say… which, granted, is often. Ah, yes… more patience please. ;)

sptfire86: Lol, let’s see if the night continues as it has started….

kismet: Oh yeah… and we get prove of this today lol.

Tony is soooo wise! Denial is the group motto.

Alex is missing, but he will be back soon. ;)



Part 21

Fateful Encounter

Tony grinned in amusement and handed the girls their drinks. “You’re getting a lot of attention tonight, girl.”

“Guess slutty’s in tonight,” Tess snorted and slammed another shot back.

Max grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet as he stood. “Let’s dance before you start a war that I have no interest in bein’ in the middle of.”

“Says the girl whose skirt is just as short as Max’ dick,” Maria said, giggling when she earned a death glare from Max.

Liz snorted into her drink, causing the liquid to erupt over the sides of the glass. “Oh, my God,” she choked out. “That was great!” Sooo not true, but it was still funny.

Isabel tried to keep a neutral expression. She knew why her sister was being a bitch to Maria and she felt for her. On the other hand, Maria was her friend and it wasn’t fair to leave her clueless.

“Michael and Kyle are really doin’ their best, huh?” Tony asked, nodding towards the bar where the boys were with... four girls!

“Fine friend,” Maria complained, “about an hour ago he was all over me.”

Isabel rolled her eyes and shook her head. “They’re guys,” she muttered. “They’re slaves to their dicks.”

“That’s true, especially for guys in New York,” a new voice said from behind.

Maria glanced up and smiled when she recognized Courtney. “Hey, you found the City’s newest hot spot!” She motioned for the other girl to join them and then introduced her to the others.

Isabel frowned. Somehow the girl seemed familiar. Hadn’t she been with her at the hairdresser last week? The one who had made rude comments about the coffee there?

“So which guy were you rambling about?” she asked when she sat down next to her new and only friend in New York for now.

“Oh, Michael and Kyle.” Maria turned and pointed at them.

“Ah, the best friend, right?”

“Um-hmm. I’ll introduce you if he ever shakes loose of the herd of skanks that have him cornered.” She rolled her eyes. He seemed perfectly happy to be in the midst of skank heaven.

“And who’s the other guy?”

“That's Kyle.”

“Another friend of yours or just a random guy?”

“Good friend.”

“Very good friend,” Isabel snorted.

“Uh-huh,” Courtney said, amused. “Ya got a thing for him?”

“We just have a thing... together. It’s just annoying for him to be all over me one second and then the next minute he’s hornier than hell for a bunch of bitches in heat.”

“Ah, c’mon, I bet if ya get out there on the dance floor where he has a good view he’ll be all over you in no time again. You’re much hotter than those girls, Maria.”

“Well,” she tossed her hair back over her shoulder and sighed dramatically. “I suppose that’s true.”

“If I’m right, then you’re gonna introduce me to your best friend,” Courtney said, grinning and taking Maria’s hand to drag her out on the dance floor.

Isabel looked after them, worried. If Maria’s new friend was right, Tess would be in a pissy mood all night.

Tony glanced between the two girls he had been left with. Isabel looked like she had something on her mind but she was steadily going through her drinks. Liz was staring holes through Max and Tess out on the dance floor and watching her alcohol intake. “I’m gonna get a complex here, girls. I’m a pretty good-lookin’ guy and I’m sittin’ here bein’ ignored by two hot girls.”

“You’re not bein’ ignored,” Isabel denied and gave him her sweetest smile.

“Not bein’ adored either,” he snorted. “You wanna dance?”

Isabel glanced at Liz. Well, she was no one’s babysitter, right? “Yeah, sounds good.”

Liz forced a smile when they got up and moved out onto the dance floor. They made a disgustingly perfect couple, she thought as she watched them. She sighed when Max and Tess started walking towards the table. Of course. Tess pointed to something to her left and took off towards the restrooms. Yes, this had been such a good idea!

Max threw himself back down in his chair and stared at her.

“What?” she snapped.

He gnawed on his lip ring as he shrugged. “Just tryin’ to figure you out.”

“Don’t even try,” she answered coldly and glanced away from him.

“I just don’t get the arctic treatment I get from you when you’re the one with this whole other life that you hide from everyone.” He shook his head, studying her rigid profile for several minutes. “Guess it explains a few things though, doesn’t it?”

“What do you mean by that?” she asked.

He took a drink of his beer and shrugged. “Where’s Aaron tonight?”

“None of your business.”

“Ya know, I don’t get why you’ve gotta be such a fuckin’ bitch all the time,” he snarled, slamming his bottle on the table. “You’re the one who started this war between us and you’ve never told me why. You let them all think it was me and that’s fine, whatever, but I’m gonna eventually find out why the fuck you went from hot to cold in a heartbeat.”

“Don’t waste your energy on it,” she told him.

He rested his forearms on the table, slowly spinning the bottle between his fingertips. “Then tell me why we’re at each other’s throats all the time.”

“Because that’s the way we are. Point,” she told him, not really interested in taking the discussion any further.

“It’s interesting how you think you get to make all the rules.”

“Fine, if you can’t help it, Max, then just go on and ramble as much as you’d like. I’m tired of the game right now,” she leaned back in her chair and took her drink in her hand, smiling at a guy who passed the table and looked at her.

Max met the guy’s gaze head-on, his eyes gleaming dangerously as he gave a sharp shake of his head.

“You are unbelievable,” Liz said as she realized what he had done.

“Why? ‘Cause I don’t care to see another guy puttin’ a move on you?”

She rolled her eyes. “Goodbye, Max.” Liz got to her feet again, deciding to sit at the bar as long as it would take to empty her drink and then she planned to go home.

Max smacked his palm down on the table and sat there for several seconds before he got up and stalked over to the bar to stand next to her. “You know, I’m about fed up with your attitude. You’re the one who walked out on me so I don’t know where you get off actin’ like I’m the bad guy.”

“Get the hell outta my face now, Evans,” she hissed.

“Tell me what the fuck happened that mornin’, Liz,” he insisted. “Just tell me and I’ll walk away.”

“Max, we just had sex, okay? It was just that and the next morning... it was over.”

“And up until that mornin’ I wouldn’t have pegged you as the type for a one night stand.”

“Guess you were just wrong.”

“I’ve been wrong about a lot of things, but I don’t think that was one of ‘em. That night wasn’t just about a quick fuck and I’m gonna hound you until you tell me what happened.” He motioned to the bartended and nodded when the man handed him another beer. “You’ve obviously got a lotta shit goin’ on and you don’t want anyone to know about any of it, but that’s eventually gonna blow up in your face. Keep hidin’ that kid of yours and eventually he’s gonna realize what you’re doin’ and he’s gonna believe you’re ashamed of him.”

*****

Kyle tried to focus on what the girl in front of him was saying, but he couldn’t help but let his gaze slip out on the dance floor where Maria and someone he didn’t know were dancing. Her hips swayed to the music in a delicious way and her body was just too hot to ignore.

Michael smirked when Kyle couldn’t keep up with the conversation going on around him. His eyes were locked on Maria and if he didn’t watch it he was gonna start drooling at any moment.

“So?” The black-haired girl in front of him put her hands on her hips and looked at him questioningly.

“Hmm? Yes,” he said, gambling on that being the right answer. He swallowed when she glared at him. “Um... no?”

Michael snorted and then laughed when his friend had no clue about what he was talking about.

Kyle shrugged and grinned sheepishly. “Sorry, ladies, higher brain malfunction.”

“Excuse us, ladies,” Michael said, bumping his friend’s shoulder so that he would move.

“What’re you doin’?” Kyle asked.

“Saving you from anymore embarrassing answers since you’re not interested in Missy.... Mindy.... whatever her name is, anyway.”

“Well, fuck, man... do you SEE Maria out there?”

“I can see her,” Michael said.

Kyle rolled his eyes. “No, you don’t.”

“I’m just not drooling over her like you do.”

“I was just thinkin’ about goin’ over there. You don’t have to go... you can stay over here.”

“I’m gonna get a drink,” Michael agreed. He was pretty sure Maria would introduce the other girl in no time anyway.

“Good idea, let’s grab a drink,” Kyle said when he noticed Maria leading the way to the bar.

“You’re hopeless, Valenti.”

“I’m tellin’ ya... this thing we’ve got works, man.” He leaned back against the bar and grinned at Maria when she collapsed against him, laughing at something the other girl had said. “You’re lookin’ awful hot out there, Maria,” he said with a teasing grin.

Michael insinuated himself in between them and the new girl and held his hand out. “Michael Guerin,” he introduced himself.

“Courtney Banks,” she said with a bright smile. Close up he looked even better.

He mentally repeated her name, trying to figure out why it sounded familiar and then shrugged it off when it didn’t come to him. “Haven’t seen you around before,” he said.

“I just got to New York a few weeks ago.”

“Wanna drink?” He nodded at the bartender when he motioned to the bottle he held and then held up two fingers when she said yes.

“Thanks,” she said when he handed her the bottle, their fingertips brushing against each other briefly.

Maria glanced between Michael and Courtney and rolled her eyes.

“So Courtney, how d’you know Maria?”

“We met yesterday at a photo shoot.”

“Oh, right, you were the one she came out with, right?”

Kyle snickered. “You guys came out together, huh?”

Maria grinned, enjoying havin his attention back.

His arm settled around her waist as he watched Michael and Courtney ease into a conversation as if they weren’t even standing right there.

“He’s going into flirting mode,” Maria said.

“And he can still hear you,” Michael said, motioning for them to go away.

Maria glanced at Kyle. “Ya wanna go home?”

Kyle’s eyebrows lifted in interest. “Yeah? I mean, that’s not a question. I’m ready if you are.”

“Uh-huh, just lemme talk really quickly to my new coworker,” she leaned in, “gotta warn her.”

“Oh, please, like that’s gonna matter.”

“Trying anyway,” she said and leaned in to steal a kiss.

“Okay, give it your best shot.”

Maria let go of him and poked Courtney on her shoulder. “Hey, can I talk to ya for a sec?”

“Don’t go anywhere, Michael,” Courtney said, letting her finger trail across his chest as she moved past him.

The girls went in directions of the restrooms, where the music wasn’t as loud. Maria turned to look at Courtney, taking in a deep breath. “Okay, me an’ Kyle are leaving now.”

“Okay...?” She wasn’t sure why exactly Maria had wanted to talk to her but she was sure it wasn’t to let her know she was leaving.

“Alright, here it is... Michael, I can see you’re drawn to him.”

“Is that a problem?”

“Well, no, not really. If ya want him go for it. You should know though that he’s a one night only guy.”

“Well, sometimes that’s all you need,” she said with a wink.

Maria nodded, a little surprised. “Okay, I just wanted you to know. Michael’s pretty honest about that as well, but since we work together I don’t want you to hate me because he’s a jerk,” she said with a smirk.

Courtney smiled. “I appreciate the warning and no worries; if he stays true to form then I won’t hold it against you.”

“Have fun then and just wait a while in case ya choose his apartment,” she told her with a wink. “Kyle lives there as well.”

Courtney nodded with a grin. “Gotcha.”

“Alright,” the girls started to walk back to find Michael and Kyle at their table again, where everyone else was sitting again.

“Did we miss anything?” Maria asked as she sat down in Kyle’s lap.

“Nope, just Evans lightin’ the place up with his sunny disposition,” he answered.

“Fuck off, Valenti,” Max snapped.

“Ready to leave?” she asked, grabbing Kyle’s collar with both hands to bring him closer.

“I’ve been ready. I was never ready to leave your apartment, remember?” he growled against her lips.

“Think you can hold back until we get home?” she teased.

“We caught a ride with Guerin and he doesn’t look like he’s ready to leave which means we’re gonna have to catch a cab.”

“Uh-huh, fumbling in a cab...” She bit his earlobe playfully. “Can’t wait.”

“Can you cover my part of the tab and I’ll pay ya back tomorrow?” he asked his roommate.

“Got ya,” Michael nodded as he pulled the other blonde girl next to him into his lap.

Tess made a face at Kyle and Maria and tried to shoot the finger at them but only unbalanced herself and nearly fall off of her chair. Max quickly moved to steady her and slid her beer closer when she made a grab for it.

“Don’t come home anytime soon,” Kyle said, the comment aimed more at Tess than Michael, since he knew his roommate wouldn’t do that even without his reminder.

Tess shot to her feet and weaved drunkenly. “I’ve got my own sex to have,” she slurred before turning to grab Max’s ears with the intent of holding him still so she could kiss him. “Tell him about all the sex we’re gonna have, Max.”

Max just rolled his eyes and caught her when she collapsed in his lap. “Oh, yeah, lots of sex,” he repeated, shaking his head.

Michael snorted, shaking his head at his little sister. He leaned forward to look at Max intensely. “Ya get her home safe.”

“Not goin’ home,” she muttered. “’m goin’ with Max.”

Max nodded at Michael over her head. “I’ll take care of ‘er.”

Liz rolled her eyes at Max and his new drunken buddy. Why was she here again?

Michael turned his head to look at Courtney in his lap. The girl was hot, just the type he preferred. One of his hands rested on her lower back, soothing the bare skin under her top.

Max shifted and caught Liz’s disgusted expression. “Whatcha say we cut outta here early, party girl?” he murmured against Tess’ ear.

“Uh-huh, let’s go,” she nodded wildly.

Michael watched them go and exchanged a look with his older sister. “You got any idea what’s goin’ on with her?”

Isabel just shrugged, it wasn’t her secret to tell, and Tess would kill her if she did. But please, wasn’t it all too obvious suddenly?

He shook his head and focused on the girl in his lap again. “So, got any plans for the rest of the night?”

“Hmm, let’s see,” she bit her lip, pretending to think.

He raised an eyebrow when she got playful. “Gotta think about it, huh?” he played along. She was a sure thing, he knew it.

“Yeah, well, there are some options,” she teased.

“Options?” he asked, confused. There were no options.

She looked at him, smiling. It was cute how his eyebrow lifted up when he frowned at her; it spoke to something gentle in him. Maybe going home with him wasn’t a good idea. She wanted to get to know him a little better because he was pretty interesting.

Michael cleared his throat, wondering what she was thinking. “So, what kinda options are we talkin’ about?” Maybe she just meant somethin’ like his place, her place... someplace in between?

“Sex or no sex I guess,” she told him with a wink.

“I know what my vote is.”

“But you’re gonna have an occupied apartment and I have...” she made a face, “nothing you wanna see, sooo...” she got out of his lap, but turned and rested her hands on each of his thighs, “I guess this’s gonna have to wait for a while.”

“No, no, it doesn’t have to wait. There’re other options... car? Hotel room?”

She chuckled. “Ya know that sounds a little desperate.”

He grinned. “It did, huh? Make ya change your mind?”

“Tempting,” she let her eyes wander down his body. Damn, he was hot. Was she really willing to risk an amazing night with him? Who knew if they would ever get the chance again.

“Uh-huh, sounds like you could still change your mind.”

Courtney smiled and leaned forward to brush her lips against his. “See you around, Michael.”

“Not if I see you first,” he said with a grin.

She chuckled and straightened up, winking at him before she turned to leave. Oh yeah, he was staring after her, she could feel it.

Isabel smacked the back of his head. “Close your mouth.”

“Did you just got dismissed, Guerin?” Tony asked, laughing.

“She’ll be back,” he said, leaning to the side to watch her until she was swallowed up by the crowd.

“Not tonight though.”

Liz got up from her chair, gathering her things together. “Alright, guys, I think I’m gonna leave now.”

Michael glanced up at her. “Hey, I’ll give ya a ride.”

“You don’t have to,” she denied.

“Well, no, I don’t have to do anything,” he said with a grin. “I do things ‘cause I want to.” He glanced at his sister. “Hey, Iz, you want me to go ahead an’ get the tab before I take off?” He grinned. “Or did ya just wanna get it out of the kindness of your heart?”

“I’ll get it,” Tony said.

Liz motioned over her shoulder. “I’ll just run to the restroom first.”

“Okay, I’m ready when you are,” Michael said. He waited until he and Isabel were alone before he brought up the subject that could go one of two ways. “So, Iz...”

“Sooo Michael....” She said suspiciously, “whatcha want?”

“What makes you think I want somethin’?”

“The way you look at me.... the way you started that sentence. I know you, Michael, so just go ahead and get it out, whatever it is.”

“Well, see... the thing is...” he rolled his eyes when she gave him the look that told him he was in danger of being smacked again. “Don’t you want Tess to come hang out over at your place?”

“Hang out?”

“Yeah, ya know... until she finds her own place.”

Isabel bit her lip to keep her from telling where to stick that idea. Knowing about Tess’ feeling she could only imagine how weird she had to feel being around Kyle all day. “Okay,” she answered, already missing the quiet her apartment offered.

“I mean, I know it’s a hassle and the kid’s... wait, did you just say okay?”

She rolled her eyes. “She can stay with me. Not for long though. She’s gotta find her own place.”

“Hey, I can help with that. We’ve just gotta make sure she finds a job.”

“She already has one,” Isabel told him and then made a face. “And she might be late on her first day.”

“She has one? Hell, when did she have time to find a job?”

“When she was out shopping with me,” Isabel said proudly. “It’s at Mitchell’s store in the mall.”

“Okay,” he said slowly. “But Mitch sells computers and other electronics... what’s she gonna be doin’?”

“Tess can sell anything, Michael.”

“Ah, sales... well, that’s probably a good place for her to start. I’ll keep my ears open an’ maybe we’ll get lucky an’ find an apartment for her.” He smirked. “I don’t think we’re gonna be able to pawn her off on Evans long-term.”

“They seem to get along good though.”

Michael snorted. “Go figure, right?”

Isabel glanced over her shoulder when she saw Liz from a distance. “Ya won’t try anything with the waitress, right?”

“Huh-uh, not my type.” His head snapped to the side to glare at her when she made a sound of disbelief. “No comments about my type only bein’ required to be female an’ breathin’ either.” He shrugged. “She’s nice an’ just seems to be havin’ a rough time. Kinda seems like she could use a friend or two, ya know?”

Isabel narrowed her eyes at her brother. Since when did he care about people other than his family and the few close friends he had? “If you say so.”

“Okay, Iz, let’s be serious here. Me,” he pointed to himself, “her,” and then to Liz. “Do you see it happenin’?”

“I’ve seen a lot worse things happen,” she shrugged.

He snorted. “Whatever. I’m not the only one who has questionable taste on occasion.” He grinned and gave her a shove. “Of course my bad decisions are always alcohol-induced.”

“Okay, I think I’m ready to leave,” Liz said as they approached them.

He stretched as he stood up and he glanced at his sister. “You need a ride home?”

Isabel glanced at Tony. “I don’t think so.”

“Ah, got it.” He lifted his foot to place it on the chair next to Tony and leaned over under the guise of checking his shoestring. “What you two get up to’s your business, but she’s not locker room conversation, got it?”

Tony shrugged his right shoulder, not bothered by the warning. “I don’t kiss an’ tell, Guerin.”

“Well, we’re gone. Iz, get home safe an’ if you decide to go out an’ play, make sure he wears a ‘raincoat’,” he said with a teasing grin.

Isabel groaned. “Good night, Michael.”


A/N: Here is the trailer for our new fic Double Dare, posting will start next Sunday. ;) DOUBLE DARE
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

User avatar
Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

TIC TAC - (CC,AU,Adult) - Part 22 - 6/12/11

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:25 am

Natalie36: Thanks! That’s definitely one word.

begonia9508: They certainly aren’t making things easy.

That’s definitely one theory about why she left Max… we’ll see.

kismet: Max will keep pushing. She won’t make it easy and she isn’t gonna tell him right away, but he’s a stubborn man and he wants an answer. He absolutely still has feelings for her. Michael is a good friend and he’s gonna be very good for Liz. Michael likes to help people, but it’s rare for him to bring outsiders into their group and that’s what Isabel meant with her thoughts.

You remember correctly. ;)

Thanks!

Earth2Mama: Well yeah that is what it is, nothing really romantic in this at all. Good news are, you don’t have to take much more of it, because after the uppy next week the worst will be over and we can (slowly) direct them into the right directions of this story. It won’t happen overnight, but this casual thing between them is definitely not something the fic is focusing on at all.

In fic time we have just written the 4th day at all of this story lol, so it’s still a long way to go and while most of the readers think that the Maria/Kyle thing will blow badly, then we will might have a surprise. ;)

Liz definitely hides something. If you are right with your suggestion about Trent and her while she slept with Max has yet to be revealed. ;)

mary mary: She hasn’t shared that info yet. She’s keeping it close to the vest for now. No, Max is completely clueless about it and it’s making him crazy. Oh, Tess will get her feelings out there.

Alien_Friend: He’s a great brother, lol. Tries not to be too nosy while still looking out for his sisters.

Lol, already certain about Courtney, huh?

Max won’t be giving up. He wants answers because all he has is questions. Oooh, you have theories? You can share them. :) We love theories.

Nah, Kyle was playing the field and even though he knew he could, he wasn’t gonna leave with anyone else. Maria… we’ll see what and how long it takes to get her to that point.

Thanks!

Finally… DD posting day is here!

itsme69: Sundays are good… only bad thing is they’re the day before Mondays… ungh!

keepsmiling7: Oh, don’t look for Liz to suddenly share the truth… he’s gonna have to work for it. Believe it or not, Max wasn’t trying to be cruel with that remark about Aaron – he just wanted her to know how the little boy will feel when he discovers he’s been kept a secret… but Max doesn’t have all the pieces to the puzzle either.

Tess… just wait and see.

Rodney: It would be the best thing if she were to get it out in the open. She’s gonna burn her bridges if she isn’t careful.

Well… that’s certainly an unflattering description, lol. Hopefully as his character grows, he’ll move up on that list.

Oh, it’ll come out, but right now she isn’t giving him the satisfaction.

LOL, Kyle definitely likes to have his cake and eat it too… so to speak. ;)

Shocked, huh? Shocked is good.

Cardinal: As usual, you’re likely onto something.

LOL, chances are good that they’re not gonna buy that clue right away… but you already knew that. :) Max and Liz are certainly heading that way.

Eva: These two are stubborn and neither of them wants to give in. You’re right to believe him. He honestly does not know what went wrong.

Yup, it’s just the beginning… it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. But worth it. :)


Part 22

Growing Together

Michael hooked his arm around Liz’ shoulders and steered her towards the door. “Enjoy yourself tonight?”

She shrugged. “Would’ve been better without Evans.”

“Okay, but... takin’ him outta the equation... which I know can be hard to do... did you enjoy yourself?”

“Yeah, it was nice.”

“Can I ask you a question?” he asked as he unlocked the door. “And, no pressure. If ya don’t wanna answer it, that’s cool.”

“I can’t stop you anyway, can I?”

“What’s the deal with you an’ Evans? I mean you’re both pretty easy going until you get around each other.”

“We just passionately hate each other,” she told him, hoping he would drop the subject.

“Yeah,” he snorted, “kinda figured that much out on my own.” He slid in behind the wheel and started the engine. “It’s cool if ya don’t wanna talk about it. If I’d ever seen the two of you together I’d think you’d had a one-nighter that didn’t end well or somethin’.” He eased out into traffic, sticking his arm out the window and flipping off the slowpoke he had just cut off when they honked the horn at him.

Liz swallowed and looked out of the window to hide her expression. Wow, that really hit close to home, she thought.

“Don’t worry ‘bout it. I’m just bein’ nosy an’ it’s none of my business. Besides, whatever it is, I’m sure you can handle it.” He turned the radio on, leaving the volume at a respectable level and glanced at her. “How’s Aaron doin’?”

“He’s doin’ good,” Liz said, relieved that he let go of the Max topic.

“He’s what, about four years old? Will he start school this year?”

“Next year, his birthday’s in December.”

“It’ll probably be a help when he starts school. Not havin’ to worry about havin’ a sitter all day an’ stuff. Probably give you more time for your own stuff.”

“Still a long way until then,” she said, suddenly realizing how tired she was.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” He glanced at her when she sighed quietly. “You don’t have to work in the mornin’ do ya?”

“No, but I’ve got a class at 10am.”

He nodded. “I hope we didn’t keep ya out too late. I know sometimes it helps to get out an’ unwind.”

God, how sad was it to hear a guy her age saying ‘I hope we didn’t keep ya out too late’? She was still young; her weekends should be always like this. “It’s okay.”

“Hey, you work every weekend?”

“Not every single one, but close to it.”

“So, maybe you an’ Aaron would like to get out for the day one Saturday? My dad likes to barbeque an’ my nephew and Cody are always there, so your brother would have some little guys to play with. You could kick back and relax for a few hours outta the city.” He smiled. “Evans never goes, he’s not into the whole family thing.”

She snorted. “Yeah, I bet.” Her gaze wandered over his features in the dark car. “Yeah, that’d be cool, maybe I can get my schedule free one of these Saturdays.”

“Cool, my dad loves to have a bunch of people over for his barbeques... he’s been like that since we were kids.”

She smiled sadly. “Consider yourself lucky.”

“Oh, right, sorry. Losin’ someone always makes ya take stock of what you’ve got. I don’t know how my sisters an’ I come across, but I don’t take my family for granted.” He reached up to play with the new stud. “You never know what could happen,” he said quietly.

She studied him carefully. “That sound like you know what you’re talking about,” she said quietly.

“More than I want to,” he admitted. “My older brother, we lost him on 9-11. Things were pretty rough for our family for a while.”

Liz bit her lip. “I’m sorry.” She didn’t know what else to say. She knew how much it hurt to lose someone in your family.

He smiled slightly and shrugged one shoulder. “They say it gets easier with time, but... I don’t know. Some days I think they’re right and others,” he shook his head. “Other days somethin’ just brings those memories up and it’s like it’s right there in your face again.” He cleared his throat and reached over to gently thump her arm. “That’s why it’s important to have friends,” he said with a smile.

“I know,” she nodded slightly. But what if you had hardly time to have friends?

He glanced around as they drew closer to where the café was. “I hope you’re gonna let me drive you all the way home. I’m really not comfortable just lettin’ you walk this late at night.”

She nodded. “Yeah, okay.” Trent was out with his friends, so he wouldn’t see her and she wouldn’t have to explain to him why someone had driven her home.

“Your sitter... you said she lives in your building?”

“Yeah, she’s my neighbor. I’ll just leave Aaron with her tonight; I don’t wanna wake him at this time.”

He nodded. “Yeah, those little guys get cranky if ya wake ‘em up after they’ve been sleepin’. My nephew’s a little bear if you disturb him when he’s sleepin’.”

Liz suddenly frowned. “Do you have more brothers and sisters? Isabel and Tess don’t have kids, do they?”

“My youngest sister, Ava, she and Tess are twins.”

“Don’t know if I ever saw her, since they’re twins.”

“Nah, it’s doubtful. She doesn’t live in the city. She stayed closer to Dad and Nicole... our stepmom,” he clarified when she glanced at him in question. “They give her a hand with her little boy Chase when she needs it.”

“So, your mom and dad are divorced? Or is she...”

“Oh, no, Mom an’ Dad divorced years ago... they just kinda went their separate ways an’ it actually worked out a lot better for all of us.”

“So you still have contact with your mom as well?”

“Mom’s nice, but she’s always been kinda, I don’t know... emotionally distant I guess. I’m not sure she really knew what to do with us when we were kids. As we got older she was able to deal with us a little better, but Dad’s the one who usually did stuff with us.” He snorted. “Mom, well... I just don’t think she had a clue. That maternal instinct missed her or somethin’.”

Liz pointed at a street. “This way.”

He nodded and made the turn.

“It was the other way around in my family,” she finally started, feeling the need to share something as well, since he had. “My father was always away at work, while my mom was there.”

“You were pretty close to your mom?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re not from New York are you?”

“No, I’m from Roswell,” she giggled. “Yep, you heard right. Famous little Roswell.”

“Roswell... New Mexico? Home of the little green aliens?”

“That’s the one! Although, they’re actually grey.”

He snorted and made another turn when she motioned to the next street. Damn, she walked all the way over here every day and night? “Wow, that had to be somethin’ else growin’ up there, huh?”

“If you meet the people in Roswell, ya might wonder if some of them are aliens.”

“I’ll bet. I mean, growin’ up around that craziness would have to make some people a little weird.”

“Yeah, I love it there, though. I was planning to go back there over the summer, but it seems like I won’t have any time.”

“Yeah,” he smiled, “that’d be a long trip no matter how ya made it.” He was certain her decision was motivated more by lack of time and money than the length of the trip.

“Yeah, my grandma was sad to hear we couldn’t come, but maybe I’ll find some time around Christmas.”

“Yeah, Christmas should be spent with family... or friends.”

Liz remembered her last Christmas. It had been anything but fun. “Yeah.”

“The first time the holidays come around after losin’ someone... it’s probably the hardest.”

“It’s here,” Liz pointed at the building on the right.

Michael glanced up at the building as he parked next to the curb.

“It’s not pretty, but it’s where I live.”

“As long as it keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, who cares what it looks like?” he asked with a grin.

“Right,” she unfastened her seatbelt and laid her hand on the doorknob. “Thanks for driving me home, Michael.”

“Anytime.” He glanced at a couple of guys leaning against the wall at one end of the building. “You want me to walk you up to your door?”

“No, it’s okay. They always hang out there.”

“Yeah, alright. I’ll just wait here until you’re inside,” he said, not liking the way the guys looked. “Hey, I’d do the same thing for my sisters or Maria.”

She smirked. “Okay, do whatever ya need to do.”

“Thanks, I’ll do that.” He shrugged as he slouched down in his seat. “Usually do anyway. I’ll see ya over at the café next time you’ve got a shift.”

“That’ll be pretty soon then.”

“I’m glad you came out with us tonight, Liz.”

“Maybe we can do it again sometime,” Liz said. She wasn’t sure how soon it was possible.

“Sure, if we’re not clubbin’ one of us is havin’ a party, usually over at my place, but it’s always gonna be a good time.”

“Does you place include a daycare?” she joked.

He chuckled. “Well, no, but we’ll figure somethin’ out.”

She nodded. “Okay, thanks again. It really meant a lot to me.” At first she had been unsure about his intentions since Michael Guerin had a certain reputation, but he seemed to be a nice guy.

“Cool. I’ll let ya know what Iz says about the daycare situation as soon as she gets back with me.”

“Alright,” she nodded. “Guess I should go.”

He smiled. “Take care, Liz.”

*****

Max struggled to hold Tess upright as he fumbled to fit his key in the lock. She had been as adamant as a drunken person could be that she wasn’t going back to her brother’s apartment and he had finally agreed to let her come home with him. She had tried singing for a while and then she had thrown up over a stairwell. He grimaced. That was gonna be an unpleasant surprise for someone, he thought as he turned the key and pushed the door inward.

Tess swayed as he maneuvered them through the doorway and he steadied her as he turned to flip the light switch. She blinked owlishly as she glanced around the living area of his apartment and she made a humming sound.

“What?” Max asked. “You gotta puke again?”

“Huh-huh, it’s just so… clean.”

“Yeah, and we wanna leave it like that.” He helped her over to the couch and helped her to sit down before going over to his desk and grabbing the empty trash can beside it. He carried it over to the couch and set it down next to her. “Don’t throw up on my floor. I’m gonna go find you somethin’ to drink, okay?”

“Um-hmm.” She glanced around his living room, shaking her head at the precision organization. She would never have guessed that he was a neat freak. She stripped her shirt off as she got up, dragging it around behind her as she weaved her way around the black leather couch to look at the few personal things he had displayed on the shelves.

Her fingertips trailed over a framed photograph and she leaned in closer to look at it. “Should’ve known you’d be a weekend warrior,” she mused, shaking her head and rolling her eyes. He was dressed in camo gear, his left arm slung around another guy decked out in camo gear. They had some kind of rifles hanging over their shoulders and they were grinning widely. She’d had no idea he had that many teeth.

She wandered further and paused in another doorway, fumbling for a switch and grinning when she found it and flooded his bedroom with soft light.

“Tess, where’d ya go?” Max called when he came back into the living room and discovered that she wasn’t there.

“Your bed looks much more comfy than the couch.”

“Well, yeah, but, uh... you don’t wanna sleep in here.”

“No?”

“No. The TV’s in the living room.”

“And?”

“Well,” he faltered, “there’s no TV in here.”

“And?”

He glanced around at his bedroom and shook his head. “Don’t you wanna watch TV or somethin’? Besides, if you need to throw up again, the trash can will be a lot closer than my bathroom.”

She frowned at him, but her brain wasn’t able to put all the information together. “Okay.”

He sighed, relieved. Perfect, no little blonde puke machine taking up residence in his bed tonight. “Okay.”

“I’m thirsty,” she realized when she saw the glass of water in his hand.

He reached for her arm and steered her back towards the living room and the safety of the couch before handing her the glass.

“Thanks,” she muttered and swallowed it down at once.

“Uh, Tess, that’s probably not a good idea,” he warned, taking a step back.

“Huh?” She looked at him confused.

“Drinkin’ down all that water after you just puked up all that alcohol?”

“Wrong?” She hadn’t been drunk very often in her life.

“Water can be pretty harsh,” he said, shaking his head. “Just... just sit down and be still.”

Tess swallowed. “Um, Max...”

He grimaced and made a grab for the trash can before she could throw up all over the plush carpeting he had installed himself.

“Thanks,” she muttered after a while and wiped her mouth, disgusted.

“Well, that was fun,” Max said as he helped her to lie down. “I’ll be right back.” He hurried to clean up the mess she had made and grabbed a washcloth that he ran cold water over. He squeezed the excess water out and carried it into the living room along with the trash can. “Not a lotta fun, is it?” he asked, sitting on the coffee table and patting her face with the cool cloth.

“What the hell was I thinking coming back here?” she muttered miserably.

He frowned and slowly withdrew his hand. “Hey, you’re the one that said you didn’t wanna go back to Michael’s place. I didn’t have to bring you here,” he snapped defensively.

“I didn’t mean HERE,” she gestured around the room. “I meant here, like the city.”

“Oh, right… sorry. I just,” he glanced around at his place and shrugged. He had only brought one person here and that had ended up being a huge mistake. Other than his mom or Michael stopping by on occasion he didn't have company, so he wasn’t used to people being in his space. “Doesn’t matter.”

She rolled to her side and her stomach made an awful response to the move and for one second she thought she would need the trash can again, but then the sick feeling faded. “We’re both lonely,” she said tiredly and grabbed his hand that lay on his thigh.

“You sure Kyle’s worth puttin’ yourself through this misery?” He shrugged his right shoulder at her startled gaze. “Anyone payin’ attention would notice it, Tess… it’s written all over your face.” He looked down at her hand in his. “Every time he looks at another girl with interest it’s there, but it’s even worse when that girl’s Maria. Maybe most of ‘em don’t notice it ‘cause they’re so close to the situation, I don’t know.”

It took a few moments before the shock about his knowledge passed and she could consider whether to deny it or not. But what was the point of denying it anyway? “Tell me how to just get over him and I swear I’m gonna do it, Max. I’m so sick of this.”

The left corner of his mouth turned up in a brief smile for a moment before he shook his head. He was familiar with the feeling. “I wish I had an answer for you.” He moved, lifting her legs out of his way and laying them across his lap when he sat on the couch and leaned back. “You’re not getting his attention the way you want to. Right now he looks at you and he sees Michael’s pesky little sister.” He patted her leg when he saw the look of hurt on her face. “I’m not sayin’ this to hurt you, Tess, just tellin’ you what I’m seein’. You want him to really notice you… stop payin’ so much attention to him.”

“I don’t know,” she said slowly, “somehow I don’t think he’ll ever see me the way I want him to see me.”

“Maybe he won’t.” He shrugged when she glared at him. “And maybe he will, but you don’t want him to notice you followin’ him around like a puppy.” He grinned and caught her foot when she risked upsetting her stomach by kicking him. “There’s no equality in a relationship like that, it’s too one-sided.”

“So what do I do?”

“You got a job yet?”

She groaned. “Don’t remind me, gotta be there in the morning at 8am.”

“An’ you went out an’ got loaded?” he snorted.

“I didn’t want to get drunk like that,” she sat up, “but did you see how he looked at her?”

“So? You’ve gotta stop obsessin’ over how he’s lookin’ at Maria or any other girl, otherwise you’re gonna waste your time on the wrong thing. Okay, fine, he’s got a thing goin’ with Maria or whatever. So what? Neither of them’s serious about each other and what they've got goin’ on isn’t a real relationship. You keep makin’ smart remarks around her an’ irritating him just to tick him off all you’re gonna do is push him farther away. If you’ll notice you’re not endearing yourself to him at all. You see the two of ‘em tonight at the café?” He nodded when she looked at him. “You’ve got ‘em so annoyed with you that they’re comin’ together against you… that’s not what you want is it? Them getting closer?”

“No,” she rested back on the couch again. “I want them to stop this... whatever it is. I want Maria to finally see that Michael’s who she wants.”

He snorted. Yeah, that was gonna happen. “You an’ Maria used to be pretty tight, right?”

“Yeah.”

“So, the thing with Kyle got between you?”

“I just couldn’t stand to see them together.”

“Does Maria know why you left?” he asked, frowning. Considering the nature of her relationship with Kyle he couldn’t imagine Maria staying involved in something that she knew was hurting a friend.

“She doesn’t know.”

“Girl, you’re just diggin’ yourself deeper an’ deeper in this hole. So, what’d you do, just take off without tellin’ her why you were leavin’?”

“Kinda, yeah...”

He shook his head. “You guys were good friends, right?”

“We were best friends, but before I got the chance to tell her, she told me about him and her.”

“So you kept it to yourself ‘cause you didn’t wanna hurt your friend,” he mused. “But seein’ them together was too much to handle so you took off.” He groaned and shook his head at her miserable expression. “Wow, the way you’ve been diggin’ you should be hittin’ China pretty soon. Okay, whether you’re stayin’ with Michael or not you’re part of this group so seein’ the two of them together is gonna be hard to avoid. You’re gonna have to talk to her, Tess. Get outta their apartment to give yourself some distance from the situation… and when you’ve had a little time to get yourself together, talk to her an’ deal with this.”

“Are you gonna to deal with the waitress?”

That brought him up short. “There’s nothin’ to deal with,” he denied.

She snorted. “Yeah, sure.”

“You got somethin’ to say about the situation?”

“Uh-huh,” once more she raised her upper body to look at him. “I think you like her... a lot. More than you want to like her.”

He shrugged and got up to go get a beer for himself. “Everybody’s got somethin’ they can’t let go of,” he muttered as he sat down once more.

Tess frowned. Her brain was still blurry, so she wasn’t sure if she got that right. “You already had something with her?”

“Like I was tellin’ you earlier, Tess… not havin’ that balance is a disaster,” he said cryptically and took a long swallow. “When one person has all the cards, all the answers, all the power, whatever you wanna call it…” he shook his head. “Doesn’t work.”

“So... she did something to you?”

He chuckled but the sound held no humor. “Doesn’t really matter now.”

“C’mon, Max. I told you about Kyle, now tell me about her.”

He cringed internally. He hadn’t talked to anyone about this. “What d’you wanna know?”

“I wanna know how the thing with you two started.”

“It was… I don’t know, ‘bout a year an’ a half ago when we met the first time. I was goin’ through a pretty rough time, tryin’ to readjust to life in the City an’ not doin’ a very good job of it.” He sighed and dropped his head back against the couch. “We ran into each other at a grief counseling meetin’ of all things. I don’t know why either of us was there… never said a word durin’ the meetin’ but afterwards I asked her if she wanted to go somewhere for coffee.” He smiled slightly. “Never expected her to say yes. We kinda got to know each other over the next few days… as well as you can get to know someone when you’re leavin’ things out,” he muttered bitterly as he thought about the little boy he had met recently. “I asked her over for dinner. I’m no gourmet chef or anything but I can make a decent meal.” They hadn’t made it halfway through the meal before other things had taken their attention. He smiled at the memory but it quickly faded. “The next mornin’ she took off. She wouldn’t take my calls, wouldn’t see me… just shut me out.” He shrugged and took another long drink. “Then about 8 months ago I went to the café to meet Michael to pick up some designs and there she was. I was hungover an’ seein’ her just brought it all back. She came over to the table with a glass of juice an’ I guess she wasn’t expectin’ to see me ‘cause she tripped herself up an’ I ended up wearin’ the juice.” He worried the lip ring for a couple of minutes. “I went off on ‘er. Hell, I couldn’t process seein’ her again but the look on her face when she saw me,” he shook his head. “It was cold. That hurt, and combined with the hangover an’ the juice bath… I lost it. I have no idea why things went the way they did an’ she won't tell me.”

Tess ran her hands through her hair. “That’s weird, why would she just run off like that?”

He shrugged. “I have no clue.” He ran a hand through his hair. “Haven’t had a civil word to say to each other since that day.”

“Weird. She doesn’t look like someone who hurts people, but I guess you can never tell, huh?”

“No, people are remarkably two-faced,” he said, aware of how cynical he sounded.

“Well, Max, maybe you should take your own advice,” she grinned.

He turned his head to look at her, lowering the bottle before he could take a drink. “What?”

“Ignore her! Don’t bite back when she starts something. Just shrug it off. I bet she’ll start to wonder why ya seem to be so unaffected lately.”

“I shouldn’t give advice,” he muttered.

“I think it’s a good idea. Maybe we should both go with it.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “You have any idea how hard it’s gonna be to keep my trap shut when she goes off on me? That woman pushes every button I’ve got. We may have only spent a few days together, but,” he growled under his breath, “she knows what to say an’ do to piss me off.”

“I’m gonna help you shut your mouth and you’re gonna help me get Valenti interested in me!”

“You think that’s gonna get her attention?”

“I’m sure she’ll react in some way to it.”

He slouched down further and stretched his legs out, crossing them at the ankles. “So, what’re you proposing exactly? For us to act like a couple or somethin’?”

She bit her lip while she thought about it. She hadn’t thought about pretending to have a relationship with Max, but maybe they could both get something out of this. “Hmm, that’s an interesting thought, Max.”

“Think so?”

“We have nothing to lose anyway, right? Maybe they’ll finally start to SEE us if they think we’re with someone else.”

He shrugged. “Well, I guess if it’ll give ya a hand getting Valenti’s attention. All I want from Liz is an explanation, nothin’ else.”

“Uh-huh, nothin’?”

“Nope.” He got to his feet and moved to the window to look down at the street below.

“Hmm, okay. Then maybe you can get her to talk to you though. I mean, there’s a reason she started something with you in the past and I’ll bet 100 dollars that she’ll be bothered by the thought of you and another woman.”

“I’ve tried to get her to talk to me.” He shook his head. “Waste of time.”

She shrugged. “We don’t have to do this.”

“Nah,” he said with a forced smile. “It might work for you. And who knows, maybe it’ll drive her crazy seein’ me with someone else.”

“It will,” she said certainly.

“This could get interesting,” he said with a smirk.

“Not sure how big brother will react though,” she thought aloud.

“It’s your life, right? Michael seems to understand that.”

“True.” She wasn’t sure about it when a friend of his was involved though, but she was old enough and Michael just had to deal with it.

“What’re you gonna tell your sister?”

“The truth, I think. Isabel would see right through this anyway.”

“She already knows about Kyle doesn’t she?”

“Yeah, figured it out on her own.”

He nodded. “Not much of a surprise there.” He wondered if he’d be in for a lecture from big sister.

“So... how do we do this?” she asked. Exhaustion was finally coming over her and she tried to get comfortable on the couch.

He turned to lean his shoulder against the window frame as he looked at her. “I think we can figure it out tomorrow. You’d better get some shuteye since you’ve gotta get up early enough to get back over to your brother’s place so you can get ready for work.” He went into the bedroom to grab a light blanket for her. “I keep it cold in here so you’ll want this,” he said as he shook it out and spread it over her.

She smiled sleepy. “For a fake boyfriend you’re pretty good, Max.”

“The alcohol and lack of sleep must be messin’ with your brain,” he muttered.

She giggled slightly and snuggled closer against the back of the couch. “G’night,” Tess mumbled before she drifted off to sleep.

Max watched her for several minutes before moving the trash can closer to her and turning the light out. He turned the small desk lamp on in case she woke up, knowing how the dark could make everything more confusing in an unfamiliar place. He walked into his bedroom and pulled his shirt off before throwing himself down on the bed. What had he just gotten himself into?
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Part 23

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:34 am

Earth2Mother: Hm, the plan of Max & Tess is definitely double-edged thing. Can turn out vice versa, we will see. ;)

Yeah, the Max / Tess friendship is just developing and we have a feeling they will bond a lot during the fic.

We will see if you are right with your suggestion about the Trent/Liz/Max triangle. ;)

Okay now, ready to get over the worst of the K&M stuff in this fic? Here we go…. It can and will only get better afterwards… Really! ;)

keepsmiling7: Something they will do… but you’ll have to wait for it.

Lol, you don’t have to worry about Tess, promise.

We think Michael and Liz are on their way to becoming good friends.

mary mary: Oh, they could try that… and eventually, they probably will.

It is a mystery, and until Liz opens up about what happened from her point of view, it’ll stay that way.

Alien_Friend: Lol, you just never know how these things will play out. It should be interesting to see how this plan works out. Liz’ reaction will be telling.
You have good theories about the Max and Liz situation and their past… however, we can’t tell yet if they’re correct or not. :)

We’ll certainly have more opportunities for Max and Liz to bump into each other.

It’s likely that Kyle may notice Tess more if she isn’t around.

We’ll see more friendship moments between Michael and Liz.

angiebrenna: Lol, yeah, this plan would probably blow up in record time in reality.

Eva: So true, lol!

This crazy scheme is risky and it could end up with outcomes that neither of them anticipated.

Natalie36: It definitely could backfire. We’ll see more of the friendship developing between Michael and Liz.

begonia9508: Good idea! We will eventually get Liz’s point of view and it’ll help to explain a few things. Think she’ll be relieved to see him with Tess, huh? Interesting… we’ll see.

itsme69: Oh, we’ll see him make an appearance soon. We’ll have more of that interaction before too long.

Cardinal: That’s one way to interpret what we know so far. :) In time we’ll find out if you’re right.

Lol, the Unholy Alliance… that’s good.

This’s very true. Liz’s reaction should be telling.

kay_b: Michael and Liz are going to be good for each other.

What made Liz run? Oh, she’s still holding that answer close.

Yeah, plans made over alcohol aren’t always the best ones to follow once sober again. We’ll just have to wait and see how that works out for them.

kismet: It should be interesting to see what these two come up with, lol. Backfiring is always a possibility in these sort of situations.
Michael is a sweetheart.

We’ll definitely see Liz’s point of view in time. And you’re absolutely right about the truth!


A/N: Little Kyle and Maria warning here. ;) Gonna be the last for the fic! ;)



Part 23

Weird Arrangements

Maria and Kyle stumbled through the front door of his apartment, tongues dueling and hands fumbling with each other’s clothes. They fell back against the door while he tried to slap all the locks into place without separating from her. He growled when the last one finally cooperated and they could continue back to his bedroom without breaking their concentration.

They crashed down onto his bed and froze at the startled squeak that came from the second pillow. “Damn it, Loco,” Kyle muttered as he reached up and turned the bedside lamp on.

Maria giggled when she saw Loco standing up on the pillow he had taken ownership of, his whiskers in motion as he chattered angrily at being disturbed. “I think you’ve finally lost that pillow,” she said, plucking at a corner of it.

“Well, I sure as hell don’t want it with ferret hair all over it.” He made a face at Loco, ignoring the critter’s rant as he scooped him up along with the pillow. “Not to mention it’s gonna smell like you now, Loco,” he griped as he carried the little guy out of the room along with his new possession.

Maria shook her head in amusement and leaned back against the remaining pillow. She had lost count of the number of pillows Kyle had gone through since Loco had discovered them. Once the ferret had succeeded in obtaining one he would sleep on it for a few days before he started shredding it and then the hunt for a new one would be on.

“I don’t know why he never goes after Michael’s pillows… it’s just mine,” Kyle complained as he came back into the bedroom and kicked the door closed. He kicked his shoes off and pulled his shirt over his head before climbing on the bed and settling over her, weight braced on his forearms. “Now, where were we?”

"I think you wanted to tell me how sexy I am," she teased.

"Think I really need to tell ya, huh?" He let his forefinger trail down over her right breast.

She shrugged with a grin. "It never hurts to hear."

He chuckled and motioned for her to get rid of her top. "No, I suppose it doesn't," he said, watching her. He left a trail of kisses from her throat to her belly button, whispering in between each kiss. "Sexy... gorgeous... beautiful... hot..."

"I think ya gonna have to repeat it again," she groaned softly as a shiver ran down her upper body.

He retraced his path, once again whispering the words between kisses. "Hot... beautiful... gorgeous..." he kissed her deeply and met her hooded gaze. "...sexy."

Maria smiled up at him. "Ya know what to say to make me happy."

"You should always be happy, Maria." He grinned at her.

She was – most of the time at least. There were some dark sides in her life, but she knew that as long as she had great friends like she did, everything would be okay.

He kissed her again. "Let tomorrow sort itself out," he said, wondering if she was thinking about Cody's impending appointment. "Don't worry about it tonight."

"I will," she promised and let her fingers trace over his bare upper body.

Kyle's muscles twitched in response to her touch and he lifted an eyebrow when she paused at his belt buckle and then started back up again. "Think you're goin' in the wrong direction," he growled.

"In a hurry?"

He snorted. "Kinda been in a hurry since we picked you up earlier."

Her fingertips brushed back down over the bulge in his jeans. "True."

"Still teasin', Maria," he huffed impatiently. "You had to know you couldn't just answer the door lookin' all sexy like this an' then expect me to not wanna get you in bed."

"Nope, I intended to get this reaction," she said cheekily.

"An' then make me wait all night? Ya know, a guy could suffer permanent damage from a prolonged erection, right? So, it's up to you to save me from damagin' such an important part of my body since you caused all the blood to run south when you opened your front door."

Hmm, weird, Maria thought, why did she get always a reaction from Kyle about her sexy outfits, but never from Michael? Well, not that she wanted one, it was just a mystery how he seemed to be totally immune to her.

"I don't know where your mind is, but I know where it isn't... what's up?"

She smirked. "Nothing important, just liking the fact you took me over the bimbo at the club," she wiggled her eyebrows.

"Yeah... might've been a lotta hot girls out tonight, but none of 'em compared to you."

Her index fingers hooked into the waistband of his pants. "So right about that."

"Well, that's what I've been sayin' all along."

Kyle took in a sharp breath when she started to open up the buttons of his jeans, the knuckles of her fingers brushing against him intentionally.

Okay, that was more like it. "You've been torturin' me for hours an' now you're gonna tease? 'Cause two can play at that game," he warned with a playful grin.

"We got all night, why hurry?" She whispered as she looked at him.

"No reason," he agreed.

Maria nodded. Quick and fast sex was good with him, but sometimes a little tenderness was good too.

Kyle forced himself to slow down when he realized that she was in the mood to just enjoy each other.

"What about you get rid of those jeans though", she pulled on the open ends of it.

He quickly stripped his jeans and boxers off, tossing them aside and holding his arms out. "Better?"

"Much", she laughed.

"Yeah, I think you're right. But now you're the one who's overdressed."

"You could so something about it."

"Hmm, I could," he mused thoughtfully. "Love the way you look in those shorts but they're gonna have to go if sex is on the menu."

"IF?"

He grinned. "Not if?"

She shook her head. "Not if."

"And people say they don't understand this thing we've got goin' on," he said with a shake of his head as he set about getting rid of the sexy little shorts.

"They’re just envious," she decided.

"Gotta be..." He ran his hands up over her smooth legs, teasing her sides as he passed over her ribcage. "You gotta be at work early in the mornin'?"

"8am," she sighed.

"Oughta be a law 'bout goin' to work early on a Monday mornin'," he said as he palmed her breast and lowered his head to press a kiss to her flesh.

"I’d vote for it," she told him and leaned into his touch.

He smiled and let his fingertips brush against her skin, just the barest of touches as he moved his hand from breast to hip and back again, each time passing closer to the part of her that was aching to be touched.

"Tease," she said, smirking.

"Like you said... what's the rush?" She shifted restlessly when his fingers brushed her inner thigh before retreating once more. He nudged her with his erection and winked. "Trust me, that's not goin' anywhere anytime soon."

"You’re being mean."

"Mean?" His fingers paused at her side and he raised one eyebrow. "You know what would be mean?"

"I doubt I really wanna know..."

"Gonna tell ya anyway..." He grinned mischievously and dug his fingers into her side, knowing how ticklish she was.

She immediately started to giggle. "Kyle!"

He laughed when she started to squirm, trying to get away even though she knew she didn't stand a chance.

"Stop it," she yelped, laughing.

His fingers relaxed until they were just stroking her side and he glanced up into her laughing eyes. "You have a sexy laugh, did ya know that?" he asked as they relaxed and he settled between her legs.

"And you've got sexy fingers," she told him with a wink.

He chuckled warmly. "That a hint?"

"Uh-huh..."

He shifted to give himself more room so he could ease his hand between them, letting his fingers slide between her wet folds. He kept his strokes slow, letting the pressure build while watching her face and listening to her breathing for his cues.

"Very sexy fingers," she breathed.

"Must not be doin' it right... you're still articulating," he said with a laugh. He teased her entrance as he slid further down her body, kissing every inch of skin he came in contact with.

"Everything right," she muttered.

He blew over her heated flesh, seeing the shiver that raced over her body. He eased one finger inside as his tongue slipped out to trace a path from her clit to her entrance. He added a second finger when he recognized her breathy moan and he worked them in and out while sucking on her clit.

Maria dug her nails into the thin sheets at her sides. Her cheeks were glowing from arousal.

Kyle could hear her breath coming in panting gasps and he knew it wouldn't be long.

"Kyle," she breathed, announcing her impending orgasm.

He ran his tongue around her clit before sucking on it hard, knowing it drove her crazy and would give her that final push.

She let go of the blankets and grabbed his shoulders instead when she came.

Kyle moved up over her, soothing the tremors racing through her body before his right hand wrapped around her upper thigh. He knew she would be boneless for several minutes after coming and he kissed her slowly as he entered her, groaning at the feel of her wet heat gripping him as her inner walls contracted around his length. He rolled them over, letting her lie on top of him while she recovered from her first orgasm.

"I love the way you do that," she whispered happily.

He smiled and kissed her, loving the way it felt to be inside her while she was draped over him all sated and drowsy.

Her fingertips drew tiny circles on his muscled chest as she recovered. She smiled when she saw the goosebumps on his skin, his reaction to her touch.

"What're you smilin' about?"

"This," she let her fingernails ran over his sides when new goosebumps appeared.

"Like that, huh?"

"Yeah," she rested one hand flat on his chest and steadied her chin on it to look at him.

He wondered what she was thinking as she watched him. He shifted his hips and saw her eyes darken. "What?"

"Nothin'", she told him secretly.

"Uh-huh..."

She moved her lower body slowly towards him without turning her head.

He made an inarticulate sound and the hand resting on her hip tightened.

"Don't want me to move?" she teased.

"Move," he rasped.

Her hips pressed further towards him as she tested his reaction.

"C'mon," he breathed out.

"See! Too much teasing is no fun," she said, grinning, and lifted herself up to settle over him.

"I don't tease too much... you wanted slow and that's what you got."

"And it's what you'll get as well," she said as she started to move painfully slow.

"Yeah, torture me," he huffed out.

Maria moved her hands to rest on his stomach as she pressed herself against him, groaning slightly at the intense feeling.

"You do know that you get at least two orgasms outta this deal an' I only get one, right?"

"Yeah," she looked at him, her long blonde hair falling over her shoulders and tickling her naked breasts. "That's why we have to make sure ya enjoy it."

"Not complainin'... well, maybe a little. I've been waitin' for this all night."

Her hands grabbed his and she moved them up to rest on her hips as she started to move against him more intensely.

Kyle followed her directions willingly, gripping her hips and letting his thumbs move inward to brush against her.

She leaned forward to kiss him, groaning into his mouth when he took advantage of her lack of control to move into her more fully.

He chuckled, the sound reverberating through his chest. He suspected she loved that move because more often than not she made sure he was in a position to make it.

Maria threw her head back, gasping for air when he held her closer.

Kyle rolled them over again, needing more leverage. He thrust deep as his hips picked up speed, his mouth crashing against hers as he felt himself getting close.

She chuckled at his impatience but followed his lead, lifting one leg up to rest on his back. Her fingers drove through his short hair to hold him close.

The sound of her laughter barely registered past the roar of his own impending orgasm and he squeezed his eyes shut, resting his forehead against her shoulder as he came hard.

His soft sexy moans against her skin where all she needed to come for the second time that night.

"You don't need me to tell you, but you're fuckin' amazin'," he mumbled against her neck.

She smiled tiredly. "We are amazing," she corrected him.

"Well, that's true," he agreed smugly.

"Can you set the alarm for me?" she asked. "I promise I’ll try to get up quickly without disturbing you too much."

He snorted and shook his head. "Like I'm gonna hear that thing go off that early," he said as he reached over for the alarm clock. "What time?"

"Make it seven," she said, already hating to get up at that time while everyone else would sleep.

"Ungh, seven? You workin' another long one?"

She nodded tiredly and snuggled closer against him.

*****

Liz opened her bag to find her keys in the semi-dark hallway of her apartment building. She stumbled a few step backwards when the front door was ripped open.

“Where have you been?”

She glanced up in irritation when Trent spoke up, his tone demanding. Why was he home? He had said earlier he would be out with some of the guys and normally he wasn’t back home until dawn. “Out,” she answered shortly after she had pulled herself together.

“Out,” he snarled. “Since when do you go… out?”

Liz stepped inside and ignored his question. “Leave me alone.”

“Who were you with? Are you fuckin’ around with some stupid guy now?”

"None of your business, Trent."

"My apartment, my business."

“Your apartment?” she echoed.

"That's right."

“I’m paying half of the rent.”

"Not the half that puts your name on the lease," he snapped. "Who were you out shakin' your ass for?"

“I was out with friends.”

"Liar. You think anyone really wants to be seen out with you? God, a guy could have more fun with a blowup doll... at least she wouldn't be so rigid all the fuckin' time."

His words hurt more than she would admit. “Just leave me the hell alone? Why do you care anyway?”

"Where's that little brat tonight?"

"He's with Mrs. McGinty, where else would Aaron be?"

"I don't know." He followed her through the apartment, leaning against the doorframe in the kitchen when she went to the refrigerator to get a drink.

“Sure as hell not with you,” she muttered.

"Hey, I never asked for a kid an' you'd better be grateful that I didn't kick your ass out the door when you brought him back here. You think I enjoy listenin' to the little bastard cry all the time?"

She snorted. “I never asked for this situation either, Trent. I wasn’t wishing my parents would die in an accident so my little brother has to be brought up without them. But unlike you, I’m dealing with the situation.”

"What's that supposed to mean? I told you if you decided to keep him it was over between us... there's nothin' for me to fuckin' deal with."

How could she have ever loved that jerk, she wondered. "Easy thing to do huh?"

"Kids are just one more goddamned responsibility and one that I don't want."

“Oh yeah, I can see that.” She took a sip of her drink and shook her head.

"You know, back when we first started hangin' I thought you'd loosen up but all you've done is get more uptight." He ran his right hand through his hair. He had done everything to make her life miserable, hoping she'd just move out but she wasn't budging so much as an inch.

She wished it was possible to just get rid of him forever, but how would she be able to afford an apartment in New York on her own? With Aaron.

"How long do you really think you can hold things together, Liz?" He shifted to block the doorway when she tried to leave the kitchen. "Seriously... how long?"

“I need to protect my brother, can’t you understand that?”

He snorted and shook his head. "Protect him?" he scoffed. "You leave him with that old woman half the time and the rest of the time you're either at the café or that armpit of a club pretendin' you can dance. How's he better off with you than with a foster family? At least with them he'd have a chance for a normal childhood."

She swallowed hard. How often had she thought about that? How often had she wondered if he was right about it? “I… I…”

"I... I..." he mocked cruelly. "You have no defense. You think if child services knew how you were makin' the money to pay for his medical bills and your half of the rent they'd just overlook that?"

“I’m not a whore,” she snapped.

"Well, no one would accuse your frigid ass of that," he snarled.

“I’m going to my room,” she said, trying to get out of the door.

He refused to move as his gaze raked over her. "Did you really think this getup would make some guy stand up and take notice?"

"As you can see... it worked," she hissed, not caring to tell him the truth.

"It worked?" he echoed. "You're tellin' me you let some guy get in your panties?"

“I’m not telling you anything.”

"Because it's not true," he said, dropping his arm and moving to let her pass.

"Whatever," she muttered and walked away.

He shook his head and followed her. "What're you doin'?"

“I’m goin’ to bed!”

"Alone... how appropriate. I've got a date tomorrow night so keep a muzzle on the kid. I don't need anyone thinkin' I've got a brat at home."

“Why don’t ya go to her place then?”

"I don't know... maybe 'cause I live here."

She rolled her eyes. “I’m going to my room now.”

"Go, no one's forcin' you to stay." He glared at her retreating back and he punched the wall before turning and going into the living room to catch the game on TV.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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TIC TAC - (CC,AU,Adult) - Part 24 - 6/26/11

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:42 am

Earth2Mama: Death wishes for Trent again, huh? Yeah, he definitely deserves no happiness at all!

Liz probably didn’t think of the consequences that could have when she moved in, in the past. Now it’s unfortunately too late for her. But you’re right, if Max knew the truth… maybe it would be a start…

Hmm, why did Maria think about Michael in that weird moment? Maybe she secretly wishes he would see her the way other men see her a lot. But somehow Michael is totally immune to her when it comes to feelings other than friendship… yet. ;) You can see her thought… somehow as a start for her for the BIG realization that is coming up slowly. ;)

kismet: Understood. ;)

Liz would be happy to move out, she just hasn’t figured how to make it happen.

Trent is a jerk. He’s not fit to be around her and especially not Aaron. Hmm, moving in and sharing a place with Maria is an idea. Of course, Maria now has a small apartment. She had to give up her old apartment when Tess left.

secretk: S’all good, lol, we respect everyone’s right to their opinions. Hmm, why did Maria think about Michael in that weird moment? Maybe she secretly wishes he would see her the way other men see her a lot. But somehow Michael is totally immune to her when it comes to feelings other than friendship… yet. ;) You can see her thought… somehow as a start for her for the BIG realization that is coming up slowly. ;)

Trent’s not a good guy and it’s understandable that Liz has a hard time with him. Right now she’s stuck in the situation. Max’s current attitude actually has little to do with the way she behaves around him. She knows that in spite of his actions he’s nothing like Trent. Her side of the story where her and Max’s past will come out eventually.

Oh, the plan may or may not work. Kyle and Liz neither one seem to have much interest in who Tess and Max are dating. It might take more than a fake relationship to bring the others around.

We’re glad you’re enjoying the fic. Michael is a good guy and he genuinely wants to help Liz. He’s a great friend and a loyal one. Alex is weird, huh? LOL. Isabel may just get there, we’ll see.

Complicated is a good descriptive for Max. He does have his reasons and yes, he definitely crosses the line at times when it comes to Liz. He’ll come around in time, question is what’s it gonna take for him to ease up and maybe fight for her instead of with her?

There’ll be plenty of Michael and Maria interaction in this fic.

begonia9508: Liz would love to move out. It’s not easy for her to get a new apartment that’s close to the places she works and that isn’t too expensive… add the fact that a roomie would have to accept Aaron as well and that she’s incredibly busy with shifts and school… She won’t stay forever with the big ass though ;), promise.

mary mary: Another vote for Trent’s demise, lol.

Oh, we’ll learn more about Liz’s situation, there’s still plenty there that hasn’t been revealed.

keepsmiling7: That’s definitely on the list of things to do here. Liz and Aaron can’t stay with Trent for much longer. The situation is volatile considering his attitude and behavior. A lot would be resolved if Liz and Max could sit down and clear the air.

Cardinal: Hmm… we’ll have an answer to that question… eventually.

Maria hasn’t yet consciously realized that there’s anything more than friendship there. You can see her thought… somehow as a start for her for the BIG realization that is coming up slowly. ;)

Interesting idea… however, whether or not it or part of it is correct we’ll have to wait and see.

You can definitely “make up the stuff”. ;)

Alien_Friend: We haven’t gotten a clear answer on that one yet. Well, we know Michael has the means to help out. He would certainly step in and give Maria a hand if she would allow it. Would Liz allow it if that option was opened to her? She has Aaron to consider, so that idea has potential.

Kyle’s a good guy and he does treat Maria well. He’s not devoted to her and she doesn’t come first in his life but he does care about her deeply. They don’t really break up since they’re not really together, but it was the last big scene like that with them.

Two weeks… a lot can happen in that time…

Eva: Exactly! They both know and accept that what they have together isn’t anything permanent and it’s something that for Maria, gives her a connection that doesn’t exist with a one-night stand. Kyle’s safe, he won’t hurt her, and he cares about her just as she cares for him.

The situation Liz is in is a dangerous one, and it’s one that’s escalating as Trent becomes more volatile. If it comes to the point where he becomes violent we can only hope that someone will be there to help her and Aaron out.

Drogyn: Trent definitely had every right to end the relationship when Liz decided to raise her brother. Liz made a choice, and so did Trent.

He’s doing his best to get her to leave and if she had the means she’d be out the door.

No, we wouldn’t suggest waiting on calm and rational anytime soon.

sarammlover: Lol, looks like your timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

There’s a lot going on and a lot that needs to be revealed, discussed, and settled. The plan Max and Tess have come up with may be destined to fail, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Oh, don’t look for Michael and Maria to see things right away. Courtney is still in the picture and that’s another hurdle for our couple to deal with. We will have lots of screen time for them throughout the story though.

Liz definitely has a lot of responsibility on her plate. Taking Aaron was never a question in her mind. He’s her brother so handing him over to someone else to raise just wasn’t something she could do. While we can understand Trent not wanting to take Aaron on, he could’ve ended the relationship without being such a dick all the time. There’s a lot going on with the Max and Liz storyline and that’ll all come out eventually. This group is chaotic, but they’re gonna be good for both Liz and Aaron.

Isabel, lol, does have her act pretty much together. Eventually she’s going to have to deal with what she did to Alex though. She’ll come to the realization at some point that he’s not a bad guy. Should be an interesting moment when the two of them see each other without their biases.

Glad you’re all caught up!

sptfire86: Very well said… and we don’t think Max would care for Trent either, lol.

Rodney: It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Hey, we make no promises that this plan will work.


Part 24

The Guerin Abstinence

“Nervous?” Tony teased as he leaned against the wall next to the front door of Isabel’s apartment, hands shoved into his pockets while he watched her fumbling around to find her keys in her bag.

“No, why would I be nervous?” she denied. Actually she was, but there was no way she was admitting it. And it wasn’t even real nervousness, more like excitement. Yes, it was definitely excitement.

He shrugged with a cheeky smile and reached up to brush her hair back. “Ya just look a little… flushed.”

“Well, it’s hot, right?” she stated and finally found her key to open the door.

Tony chuckled slightly. “It is.” He knew it wasn’t the heat, but he would keep that to himself. Isabel Evans was not a woman who showed any kind of nerves… At least in her opinion.

Isabel glanced around the apartment with a critical eye, making sure that everything was in place as she turned to shut the door behind them. She turned the locks and carried her keys and purse over to the bar between the kitchen and living room. “Would you like something to drink?” she asked and then wanted to kick herself. She was NOT nervous. What was wrong with her tonight?

“You got beer?”

She snorted. “Yeah. Make yourself comfortable and I’ll be right back.”

He nodded and walked over to sit on her large and very comfortable beige couch.

Isabel opened the freezer door and let the cool air brush against her heated face. This was just ridiculous, she thought. “Okay,” she muttered to herself. “Get the man a beer and go out there and play it cool.” She was not going to let Richard’s betrayal keep her from getting on with her life.

Tony glanced up when she came back, a smile escaping his lips when she sat down in front of him on the coffee table. “Thanks,” he nodded and took the bottle from her.

She glanced at the clock on the mantle above the fireplace. “Are you working tomorrow?”

“Late shift.”

She nodded. “That’s good.”

He nodded slightly and leaned forward to place the beer on the coffee table next to her before he rested his lower arms on his thighs and looked at her intensely. “What’s on your mind?”

“On my... Nothing in particular. Why?”

“Seems like there is.”

“It’s just been a long few days,” she said, not really wanting to talk about it.

He nodded, placing his hands on her thighs and pulling her a little closer. “Maybe I could do something good and give you a massage?” He grinned. “They say I’m good with my hands.”

“They say that, huh?” She smiled teasingly. “And who would ‘they’ be?”

He made a face. “Let’s not talk about that.” Last thing he wanted was a reminder of his ex right now.

“Guess I’ll have to find out for myself then, huh?” She shifted, reaching out to carefully move the framed photograph next to her back so she wouldn’t knock it over.

“Who’s the guy?”

“What?” She turned to follow his gaze and she smiled tightly at the photograph she had just moved. “Oh, that’s my brother.”

Damn, he had expected the answer as soon as he has asked the question. It was too late to take it back not though. “He looks a lot like Michael.”

She nodded. “Can’t really miss the resemblance can you? His name was Matthew.” She picked the photograph up and stared at it. “Matthew Chase Guerin…” she swallowed hard, trying not to think about the fact that the anniversary of his death wasn’t far away.

He caressed the outside of her thighs with his thumbs while his palms pressed gently against them. “You miss him a lot, huh?”

“It’ll be four years that he’s been gone this year.” She shrugged. “It’s gotten better with time, but yeah, I still miss him. He shouldn’t have been there that morning, ya know?”

He shook his head. “The planes shouldn’t have been there, Isabel.”

No, Matt shouldn’t have been there, she thought. She had been too busy to meet him for breakfast that morning and if she had just made the time he wouldn’t have been there. She nodded after a moment. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“There’re probably a lot of people who think that someone they love who was killed there shouldn’t have been there, ya know? Maybe they cancelled on a date, maybe they forgot something and ran back into the building or maybe they were just there to surprise a wife or husband at work. But no one could’ve known that would happen, Isabel.”

She tapped her temple and smiled faintly. “I know that up here, but...” she shook her head. “My heart’s a different story.”

“How old was he?”

“He had just turned 21 a few weeks before.”

Definitely too young to die, Tony thought sadly. “And was he more like you or like your feisty little sister?”

“Matt was… I don’t know, I think we’re all a little like him in some way. He was the oldest so we all kinda picked things up from him. I guess you’d say he was kinda like a combination of the best things in each of us.” She snorted and laughed quietly. “I’m sure we picked up some of his bad habits too.”

Tony chuckled. “I bet I would’ve liked him then.”

“Yeah, I’m sure you would’ve.” She sighed and reached up to rub her eyes. “He was pretty easy to get along with.”

“He was a Guerin,” Tony said gently. “Ya can only love the family.” He pinched her side lightly to lighten the mood.

She snorted. “Depends on who you ask. I could name a few people who wouldn’t appreciate being put in that category.”

“Seriously? Their loss.”

“Think they’d disagree with you,” she said thinking of the guy who had lost a job because of her. “We’re a pretty likeable bunch other than those few though.”

“Those who don’t like you are just envious.”

She wasn’t so sure about that. What’s-his-name from the apartment above Michael’s had good reason to dislike her. “Let’s talk about you for a while. What brought you to New York?”

“I wanted to get away from everything at home, ya know?”

“Everything, huh? There a girl in that ‘everything’?”

He looked at her, smirking. “Probably.”

“Uh-huh, sounds like a yes to me.”

“There was... someone,” he admitted. “Long story.”

She nodded. “Gotcha.” She lifted her hand to cover a yawn and smiled. “Sorry, it’s not you.”

“Uh-huh,” he said with an amused smile.

She smacked his arm with the back of her hand. “Shut up.”

“Guess I should go home, huh?”

Isabel made a face. “This makes two times now that we’ve tried to get together. Ya think someone’s tryin’ to tell us it’s just not gonna happen?”

He smirked and leaned forward to steal a quick kiss from her lips. “Let’s hope not, huh? They say the best things come in threes.”

She chuckled and nodded. “They do say that. Guess we’ll see.”

He got up from the couch and walked over to the front door. He put his hand on the doorknob but turned around again before he pulled it open. “You’re probably too good for a one-nighter, Isabel,” he told her with a wink.

*****

Maria walked into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes tiredly and wondering why she had stayed up so late. Scratch that, she thought. She knew exactly why she had been up late and he was still sleeping. She grinned. She might be tired, but she was also relaxed. She glanced up from making coffee when she heard the front door close and she nodded when Michael came into the room. “Long night, CB?”

“They’re all long nights, RP.” He grinned and shook his head at her. “You’re one to talk. You look like you didn’t get any sleep last night.”

She shrugged and poured water into the reservoir, pushing the button on the side and slumping over the counter while she waited for it to brew. “Who needs sleep, right?”

“That’s what I always say,” he muttered, not bothering to try and hide a huge yawn.

Maria yawned just as widely and shook her head. “I’m not gonna survive today.”

“Ah, you’ll make it. You goin’ by to see Cody before they head over to the hospital?”

She made a sad face and rubbed her temples, hoping her building headache would go away soon. “No, there won’t be any time to do that.”

He nodded. “Well, don’t worry, I’ve got ya covered. I’ll go by and hang with ‘em for a while this afternoon.”

“Thanks.” She was relieved that he would be there with her brother. It helped her to not feel too guilty when she couldn’t get over to see Cody. Her mom would have her hands full getting him ready first thing in the morning and she didn’t want to add the extra distraction.

“He’ll be back home before ya know it, Maria. Just keep in mind that it’s routine testing.”

She nodded while she glanced through the room. “Is Tess still out?”

Michael just shrugged. “Guess Evans took her back to his place. Which is kinda weird,” he added as an afterthought.

“Uh-huh,” Maria lifted her eyebrow. “I always thought he lived in his shop,” she said, giggling. “Never been to his apartment.”

“I’ve been by there... never made it past the living room though. He’s a little bit weird about his space. And the guy is a serious neat freak.”

“Really?” she asked, surprised. “More than you?” She stuck her tongue out at him.

“Maria, if I didn’t know better I’d think the guy had OCD.”

“Never would’ve thought that,” she admitted, but then shrugged. “At least Kyle will be happy if she stays there all day.”

“Doubtful that she’ll do that. Unless she wants to get fired before she even starts her new job.”

“She has a job?”

“Um-hmm, that’s what Iz said last night.” He opened the refrigerator and started digging around. “You hungry?”

“No, couldn’t eat anything right now.”

He nodded and pulled bacon and eggs out. He had expected that answer. “Okay, but I’m starvin’.”

She glanced at the clock behind her. “I need to go anyway, I’m already late.”

“Be careful an’ I’ll call ya when I leave the hospital, let ya know how the little guy’s doin’.”

She slipped from her stool and walked towards him. “Yeah, okay.” She stretched and made a face when every muscle demanded more sleep. “Will you be home tonight?”

“No plans yet... got somethin’ in mind?”

“Not really, but I’m teaching gym classes in the early evening, maybe we can meet up for dinner afterwards?”

“Cool, call me an’ lemme know when an’ where.”

“Okay,” she hugged him quickly, but once her exhausted body leaned against him it lasted longer than planned.

“Ya gotta get some rest, RP,” he said quietly.

“Yeah, maybe next year,” she tried to joke.

“Uh-huh, think it’s time to take a couple days an’ get outta the city,” he said with a wink.

“Yeah, I wish I could, but my work schedule tells a different story.”

“S’okay, we’ll figure it out.” He kissed her forehead. “Don’t overdo it today, girl.”

“Uh-huh, I hope I don’t have a furious Courtney at my job waiting to tell me what a jerk my best bud is?”

“What? Me, a jerk?”

“Did ya go home with her?”

“No.”

“No?” Okay, she was confused now.

“No,” he shrugged. “I kinda thought it was headin’ that way, but she went home alone at the end of the night.”

She smiled inwardly. Thank God, so no Courtney whining about Michael. “And where did you just get back from?”

“Oh, ran into Tony and we hung out. That reminds me,” he said as he broke off a piece of bacon and chewed it, “gotta call Iz an’ give her shit about not getting laid... again.”

“I hope you’re not thinking about calling her this early,” Tess said as she stormed into the apartment.

Michael turned to look at his little sister when she suddenly appeared. “Um, why not?”

“Because it’s barely after seven, dumbass,” she said and she went straight to the bathroom.

“Apparently that makes three Guerins who didn’t get laid last night,” he muttered as he turned his attention back to his eggs.

Maria leaned in to kiss his cheek but he turned around at the same moment and she met his lips instead. “Ungh, Michael!”

“What? I didn’t do it!” He wiped the back of his hand over his mouth.

“You turned,” she said, mimicking his movement.

“Ungh, gross,” he mumbled against his sleeve as he wiped his mouth again. “You’ve kissed Kyle and who knows what else you’ve done with him with that mouth, RP!”

She snorted. “Yeah, you do know that your mouth’s been in even more disgusting places, right?”

“Yeah, but none of them were on your best friend.”

“Doesn’t matter,” she shook her head. “I need to go.”

He snorted. “Don’t forget to call me!” he hollered after her.

“Sure sweetheart,” she teased before she was out of the door.

Kyle stumbled into the kitchen and over to the coffee pot, pulling his mug down and resting his arms on the counter on either side of the machine as he waited for it to finish. “God, you’ve gotta love that girl,” he mumbled.

Michael made a face. “I don’t wanna hear about sex between my best friends.”

He snorted. “I was actually talkin’ ‘bout her makin’ coffee before headin’ to work.”

“I doubt she made it for you, but okay...”

“And who d’you think she made it for? You?”

“No, herself, but she was runnin’ late and didn’t get the chance to drink it.”

“Whatever.”

Michael just rolled his eyes and motioned to the frying pan as he grabbed a plate. “You hungry?”

“No, not yet.” Kyle frowned when he heard a door in the apartment slam shut and a second later Tess ran through the living room. “Holy hell, even at 7am in the morning she’s here and loud.”

He turned around to see his sister flying around the room like a maniac. “New job,” he commented and went back to his breakfast.

“And what’s that? She’s our maid now?”

Michael snorted and dug into his scrambled eggs, pausing when he realized that Tess hadn’t snapped back at Kyle’s comment. “Uh, Tess?”

She walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator to take a sip from the water. “Huh?”

“Um, you feelin’ okay this mornin’?”

Kyle smirked. “Yeah, you’re actin’ a little bit... I don’t know, weird?”

“Everything’s fine,” she assured them. “Little hang over, but no time to feel bad, I need to get to my new job so...” she grabbed her bag. “I’ll see ya ‘round.”

“No time for breakfast?”

“Nope, I’ll get something on a break.”

“Where’d she spend the night?” Kyle muttered as he sipped his coffee.

“Evans,” Michael answered shortly.

“What’s up with that?”

“No clue, man.”

“You’re okay with her spendin’ time with Evans?”

Michael glanced at his friend while he thought about it. “I’ve gotta talk to him.”

Kyle snorted into his coffee and then cursed when the hot liquid splashed onto his hand. “That’ll go over well.”

“Well, I’ll see him this afternoon anyway. Gotta get my tat extended after I visit Cody.”

“Good luck then.” He paused. “The thing with Cody, that’s just routine, right?”

“Yeah. Maria won’t have the time to visit him today, so I’m gonna stop by for a while.”

“Cool, I’ve got some things to do but if I get a chance maybe I’ll stop in an’ see him.”

Michael nodded. “He’d be happy to see you since he thinks you’re gonna marry Maria one day.”

Kyle spit his coffee out this time and he dumped the rest of it in the sink while he grabbed a dishtowel to wipe himself off. “He thinks what?”

“You kiss his sister, so you’re gonna marry her,” Michael teased.

“No, no, no, that’s not the way it works. Hell, you’ve kissed her,” Kyle pointed out, “you marry her.”

“I don’t kiss her,” he denied, remembering the moment earlier.

Kyle rolled his eyes. “It ain’t just a river in Egypt,” he muttered under his breath.

“What? I kiss her like friends do.”

“Sure you do.” He shrugged. “Just sayin’ the kid sees a lot more of you than he does of me.”

Michael shrugged. “If it makes Cody happy, hell, I’ll let him believe one of us is gonna marry his sister.”

“Good, let it be you.”

He snorted at his friend. “So you get to have sex with her and I need to marry her? No way.”

“Hey, you said you’d let him believe one of us was gonna marry her... I’m not getting married anytime soon.” He shook his head. “Probably never.”

Michael yawned. “I’m too tired for a conversation like this.” He grabbed a bottle of water and made his way over to the bedroom. “Oh, hey, haven’t told ya the big news: We’re on our own again, Isabel’s gonna take Tess in.”

“Have I mentioned lately that I love your sister? Isabel, that is... not the little snot that’s been hangin’ ‘round here.”

“You already tell her?” Michael teased.

“Yes, Michael, don’t you see the black eye?” He shook his head. “Isabel would either knock my lights out or make sure I walked funny for a week... hell, no, I’d never tell her somethin’ like that.”

*****

Max sauntered into the store where Tess was working, leaning on one of the glass-topped showcases while he waited for her to finish up with a customer. He nodded when she glanced up and sent a curious smile in his direction. It had been a slow day at the shop and he didn’t have anything scheduled until later on when Michael and Kyle were planning to stop by, so he had closed up for a couple of hours.

He had decided to head uptown and pick Tess up from work since he knew she would be getting off soon. He doubted that she had eaten all day after the night she’d had so he figured she’d be ready to go out for something to eat. He straightened up when the customer left and she held a finger up, letting him know she’d be right back. He smiled when she ran back out a few minutes later, bag in hand.

“What’s your hurry?” he asked with a grin.

“Let’s get outta here before another crazy customer comes in with weird questions,” she hissed.

“Not havin’ fun, Tess?” he asked with a laugh.

“First day at work with a major hand over? Um... no!”

“Bet you’ll think twice before you drink that much again.”

“I didn’t puke on your furniture, did I?”

“No, thank God.”

“Sorry about that,” she said and followed him through the mall. “So what’re we doin’ now?”

“S’all good.” He shrugged. “Thought I’d take you out for somethin’ to eat.”

She groaned. “Very good idea, I’m starving.”

“Kinda thought ya might be. And the good thing is your stomach’ll be able to tolerate food now.” He chuckled. “Got a preference?”

“Hmm, I would say Sal’s, but maybe we could go to The Sweet Spot? They have good food and a certain waitress should be there right now.”

Max felt another moment of doubt about their plan but he shrugged it off. “Alright.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 25

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:46 am

mary mary: Tess was just suggesting they head over to the café where Liz works.

Earth2Mama: Max isn’t completely sure of the plan either.

If Tess can keep her cool we might see some progress with Kyle.

Lol, doesn’t look like it, does it?

Matt had gone to catch up with his dad since he had some free time.

begonia9508: Good point about Liz – she really can’t afford to lose either of her jobs right now.

Lol, well, let’s hope Liz doesn’t do that even if Max is giving her a hard time.

secretk: Thanks!

Isabel knows, question is: What’s she gonna do about it now?

Michael will definitely do anything for Maria.

No worries, Max knows he likes Liz. Circumstances have just put them at each other’s throats and now they’re kinda stuck with this thing between them. He’s not sure this plan will work because he’s certain Liz doesn’t care about him.

keepsmiling7: Lol, don’t think it’s gonna work, huh?

sarammlover: None at all? Lol, see their plan isn’t totally without its good points.

Eva: There’s a very good chance you’re right about Isabel and Tony.

Cardinal: Lol, Kyle’s not sure how to react to that. We’ll see soon if Max has any luck there.

Michael and Maria… well, they don’t always do things in the right order.

Rodney: Well, of course not… where would the fun be in that?

Yep, nothing like starting off on the right foot.

The homewrecker… well, she’s gonna make it interesting.

Isabel does have her good points, we just haven’t really seen many of them highlighted so far.

Lover of Metallica: Lol, you might be the only one to say that.

Tess did handled that well. As for Max, well, we’ll see soon.

It’s gonna be a while before Michael and Maria finally get to that point. It’s not gonna be easy and at times it’s likely to be painful but they will get there.

Isabel and Tony… things look like they’re stalling out with the two of them but you never know.

Lol, Alex and Isabel, those two are gonna be interesting.

Smac: It won’t be long before we see how Max does with Liz.

He’s not too sure about this alcohol-induced plan, lol.




Part 25

Keep It Under Wraps

Michael walked along the hallway that led to the room assigned to Cody, left hand stuck in his pocket and whistling under his breath. He glanced up at the nurse walking out of the little boy’s room, winking at her when he recognized her. She was old enough to be his grandmother and she had been working the floor for almost as long as Cody had been in and out of the hospital.

“How are you today, Michael?” Annie Webster asked with a smile.

“Good, how ‘bout you?”

“Can’t complain and who would listen if I did?” She winked and patted his arm.

“How’s the little man doin’ today?”

“He’s tolerating the tests well. Seems a little quieter than normal, but whatever it is he won’t talk about it.”

He nodded, wondering what was up with that. She continued on her way and he stepped into the doorway, hiding his left hand behind his back and knocking on the frame to announce his arrival.

Cody looked up and a wide smile appeared on his face. “Mike,” he called out loudly and a little breathlessly.

“Hey, little man, how’s it goin’?” he asked as he crossed the room. “Where’s your mom?”

“She wanted a coffee,” the little boy answered.

“Miss Annie thought somethin’ might be botherin’ you...” he tipped his head to one side as he studied the little boy. “Wanna talk about it?”

The boy looked at his friend uncertainly. “Will I have another birthday?” he asked quietly.

“What?” Michael sat down on the little boy’s left side. “What’s got you askin’ somethin' like that, Cody?”

The young boy placed one hand on Michael’s side to pull himself up a little higher. “They say I’m lucky to see my next birthday.”

“First, they’re wrong. You’re doin’ good, buddy; you’re holdin’ on and you’re takin’ it day by day. You’re gonna see more than just your next birthday.”

“Otay,” Cody said and snuggled closer to Michael.

“Who, uh... who said that, Cody?”

“One of de nurses to anoder one.”

“I see. Well, they shouldn’t have said anything like that and I’ll take care of it.” He wrapped his arm around the boy’s thin shoulders. “Was your mom in here when they said that?”

“No. But de one who said it has dis,” he reached up to brush his fingers against Michael’s eyebrow piercing.

“Okay, I’ll take care of it. And don’t let what a couple gossips said worry you, you hear me?”

Cody nodded, but it was still on his mind.

“Hey, I brought ya somethin’ but ya gotta guess which hand it’s in,” he said with a teasing smile.

The little man smiled briefly and tapped his index finger against Michael’s left upper arm.

“Think that’s the right one?” he asked.

Cody bit his lip as he thought twice before he raised his hand again and tried the other arm.

Michael smiled and lifted his left eyebrow. “Sure?”

“No,” he replied uncertainly.

“Gotta pick one...”

The boy decided to take the right side again and leaned back to rest against the pillows to look at his friend.

Michael shifted one of the items in his hand to the right and held the gift bag out to the little boy. It was just a small remote-controlled dinosaur but since Cody couldn’t get out and run around like other kids his age books and toys like this kept him occupied.

“Thank you,” Cody shouted excitedly as soon as he realized what it was.

He grinned and brought his other hand from behind his back, laying the small flower arrangement he had picked up for Amy on the table by the bed. He had already put the batteries in the remote and the dinosaur so it just needed to be turned on. “You’re welcome, little man.” The eyes lit up, it roared, and the small clawed hands waved around as the dinosaur ‘walked’.

Amy stood in the doorway and watched the boys for a moment before she walked in. “Hello, Michael.”

“Hey, Amy,” he greeted with a smile. He stood up to hug her before snatching the flowers up and holding them out to her.

“Oh, Michael, you know you don’t have to do this.” she said but smiled.

He shook his head. “What fun would it be if I HAD to do anything?”

She smelled the flowers before she walked over to the small table to place them next to her bag. “Not working today?”

“Nope, had the day off an’ since my little buddy had to be here I thought I’d drop by and check on him, hang out with you guys for a while.”

“That’s good. Cody was sad that Maria wasn’t able to come by today. Work had her tied up longer than she expected.”

“Yeah, she wasn’t too happy ‘bout it either.”

“She needs to work,” Cody explained.

“Yeah, she does, but she still wanted to be here with ya,” Michael said as he sat down on the edge of the bed again.

“You see her tonight?”

“I’m gonna swing by and pick her up when she gets off... make sure she eats a little somethin’ before she goes home to crash for the night.”

“She’s very skinny,” the little boy said. “Make her eat much.”

“Yeah, she could stand to put on a pound or two... whatcha think... pizza? Maybe fatten ‘er up on Sal’s cheeseburgers?”

Cody giggled. “Both.”

“Both, huh? Well, you an’ me, we could handle that, but Maria? I’ll never get ‘er to eat both in one night.”

A soft knock made them all look up before young nurse walked in. She smiled politely – especially at the man sitting on the bed. “Hey, little guy, we just need to check your blood pressure again.”

Michael glanced at the piercing over her left eye before looking back at Cody and giving a small nod in her direction. He winked when the little boy nodded, indicating she was the nurse who had made the comment that had upset him and he got up to give her room to take Cody’s blood pressure.

The nurse did her job in a short amount of time and smiled at the little boy. “Okay, we’re done and I promise the tests are almost done for today.”

Michael looked at Amy and smiled as he excused himself, certain she was going to think he was chasing after the nurse for a ‘date’. He caught up with her several doors down and he reached out to touch her arm. “Hey, can I talk to you for a minute? Privately?”

The nurse smiled at him, her cheeks slightly flushing. “Sure.”

“Lead the way.”

She walked down the corridor and stopped at a small room where they stored towels and other supplies.

Michael stepped into the storage room behind her and leaned back against the door. “You been doin’ this job long?”

“A few months,” she replied.

“So, you’re familiar with patient care... you know to have empathy... right?”

She frowned. “Of course I have empathy.”

“Uh-huh... and talkin’ about a little boy not makin’ it to his next birthday where he can hear you? What the fuck is that?”

She swallowed. She hadn’t talked about that in front of the boy, had she? She tried to remember. “Um…”

“You’d better have somethin’ better than that,” he snapped. “Those are not the kinda thoughts you put in anyone’s head and especially not a little four-year-old!”

“I’m sorry,” she mumbled. “I wasn’t aware that he could hear me.”

“You don’t even say somethin’ like that inside the walls of the hospital.”

“It’s not easy to see these sick people all day,” she tried to defend herself.

“Then find another job. What do you think it does to him if he hears you sayin’ stuff like that? Any patient, not just him. Losin’ hope is the biggest loss ‘cause once they lose that it’s all over.”

“Look, I apologized okay?”

“Just watch it around him. And be glad it wasn’t his mom or sister he told.”

She nodded and reached for the door knob, hoping he would step aside so she could get out.

Michael shifted out of her way, glaring at her as she left the room. He didn’t really care what she thought about him as long as she watched her mouth around Cody.

*****

Max shoved the double doors of the café open with one quick move and held them open long enough so Tess could enter. She laughed at something he had said before and shook her head in amusement.

Liz glanced up from behind the counter, controlling the urge to roll her eyes when she saw who had just walked in. Her shift had just started and yet she was facing the worst customers already. She tried to hide the shock when the two people, who had just come in, suddenly hugged each other and kissed briefly. When did that happen?

“Let’s go over there,” Max said smiling and pointed to their usual booth.

Tess shot a quick glance at Liz as she slid into the booth. “She’s watchin’ you,” she said with a teasing smile.

He snorted as he sat down across from her, taking her hands back in his on the table.

“You can act like you’re not interested all you want, but I know differently, Max Evans. I was not that drunk.”

Max shook his head. “Fine, wanna give her something more to watch then?”

She smirked and shook her head at him. He wanted to be unaffected by the waitress but he wasn't. “I’m not sure whether or not I like that gleam in your eyes.”

“Hey, you’re the one who came up with it.”

“Um-hmm, blame it on the alcohol.” She grinned at his disgruntled expression. “Alright, hit me with your best shot.”

He laughed. “You know how perverse that sounded, right?”

Tess just grinned.

“Alright, c’mere,” he said and pulled her closer over the table, leaning forward to kiss her.

Liz neatly slid two glasses of water on the table between them, silently congratulating herself when water bounced up out of one of the glasses to splash right in Evans’ face. “Get you guys anything?”

“We sure as hell didn’t order water,” Max said as he wiped his face.

“Well, since it’s free to every customer it wasn’t necessary for you to order it.”

“We’ll take a vanilla shake,” Tess ordered.

Liz looked between the two of them. “Just one?”

“With two straws,” Max added.

“You’re gonna stick your tongues down each other’s throats but you want two straws...” she rolled her eyes. “Be right back.”

“She’s pissy,” Tess said, satisfied.

Max watched Liz walk away, noting the irritation in the set of her shoulders and in her walk with satisfaction. “Good.”

“So, what’re we gonna do tonight, huh?”

Max slouched down and shifted to the side so he could stretch his legs out. “I don’t have any plans, so the night’s pretty much open at this point.”

“We have to come up with something,” Tess said.

“Not that hard to do,” he said, shifting his booted feet directly in Liz’ path when she approached with their milkshake.

Liz ignored him and stepped over his feet. “Your milkshake,” she said coldly.

“Hope it’s as cold as you are,” he muttered.

Tess rolled her eyes when the other girl left again. “Hey, thought we agreed you’d ignore the urge to piss her off.”

He shrugged. “I can’t help it... you’d think I’d have better control of it, but I don’t.”

“But this way ya won’t really get anywhere, buddy.”

“You really think I’m gonna get anywhere with her?” He lowered his head, shaking it as his eyes followed Liz’ every move.

“Not the way you’re acting right now, that’s for sure,” she said and leaned forward to take one of the straws between her lips.

His expression turned challenging when Liz turned and caught him staring at her. “Why couldn’t I get hung up on someone without an attitude?”

“Thank God, someone normal,” Tess said when she saw Isabel entering the café and she shot a glare at Max. His complaining about Liz was getting on her nerves… again.

Max straightened up and moved over when Isabel nudged his leg. “Shove over, Evans.”

“Nice and charming as ever,” he muttered.

She snorted at him as she settled into the booth. “Are you irritating the waitress again?” she asked knowingly.

He snorted and leaned forward to take the second straw to sip on the shake, his eyes meeting Tess’ while he drank.

Tess just shrugged and rolled her eyes. “Don’t look at me. You’re the one aggravating the situation.”

“Since we’re talking about situations here,” Isabel said. “Did you talk to Michael yet?”

“Was I supposed to talk to Michael?” Max asked.

Isabel rolled her eyes. “I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Oh, me?” Tess frowned. “What was I supposed to talk to him about?”

“No, I just asked if you did… and ya obviously didn’t so I’ll tell you.”

“What was I supposed to talk to him about?” she asked, confused.

“Well, Michael and I decided that you can bunk in with me for a while,” Isabel said. “A short while!”

“Michael and you decided... why? Am I already getting on his nerves?”

Isabel tried to think of a way to tell her this without hurting her. “No, it’s just that the boys don’t really have the extra room for you and I have a guest room so you can finally sleep in a bed again.”

“Uh-huh,” Tess said, not sure she believed her sister’s explanation. “It was Kyle, right?” she asked, hurt. “He wants me outta the way?”

Max pressed his knee against hers under the table.

“I think it’s really for the best if you get out of their apartment, Tess,” her sister said calmly.

“Nice way of not answering the question.”

“I was just talking to Michael about it, not to Kyle.”

“Yeah, but whose idea was it?”

“I don’t know,” Isabel rolled her eyes. “Just move your stuff over to my place Tess, before I think about it twice.”

“Hey, didn’t you say you wanted outta there anyway?” Max asked, taking Tess’ hands in his when Liz came over again to ask Isabel what she wanted.

Yeah, but I wanted it to be my idea, she thought. She forced a smile and nodded, remembering that they were putting on a show for the benefit of the waitress. “You’re right, Max.” She let the smile relax until it became flirtatious. “I guess I should expect that... you were right about last night too.”

Isabel watched them both, annoyed. Okay, what was wrong with this picture?

Liz wasn’t any happier to see the two of them fawning over each other.

“I’ll have an iced coffee, Liz,” Isabel said.

She nodded. “I’ll have that right out for you,” she said and turned, forcing her steps to keep their regular pace. She didn’t care what Max Evans did or who he did... he’s an asshole who only cares about himself, she reminded herself.

“Okay, what sick game are you two playing here?” Isabel asked as soon as Liz moved away.

“I don’t know what you mean,” Tess tried.

“Don’t gimme that innocent shit, Tess.”

She shrugged and nodded at the waitress. “Okay, fine, I’m helping Max with his little problem.”

“And this has nothing to do with your own little problem, huh?”

“What? No!” She rolled her eyes when Isabel just stared at her, waiting for the truth. “Fine, it’s to help both of us. Happy now?”

“Happy?” Isabel echoed. “This’s total bullshit.”

“Do you have a better plan?”

“Telling certain people the truth would be a good beginning.”

“Yeah, well... I haven’t quite got there yet.”

“Obviously.”

“Okay, you know what? It’s not as easy as it sounds.” Tess shook her head and reached for the milkshake.

****

Michael glanced up when someone rapped on the door and he nodded at the man lounging in the doorway. He shook his head at Kyle when Cody waved at him silently, shifting closer to rest his head on Michael’s shoulder.

“How’s it goin’, partner?” Kyle asked as he came closer to the bed.

Cody shrugged one shoulder and burrowed closer to Michael.

“Little guy’s tired,” he said in response to his roommate’s questioning look. “Those doctors and nurses have been runnin’ him ragged with all those tests, haven’t they?” The little boy had been poked and prodded enough that afternoon to make a grown man want to scream in frustration but he had handled it bravely.

“I’ll bet. When’re they gonna let ya outta here?” he asked, resting one of his hands on the little guy’s leg.

“Wanna go home now,” Cody mumbled.

Michael could hear the cranky note in the little boy’s voice and he knew he had just about reached the end of his patience with being stuck in the hospital. “Tell ya what, little man,” he said just as Amy came back. “Ya gotta hang for tonight, but you’ll get to go home tomorrow afternoon.”

Kyle held up the bag he had in his left hand. “Maria called me and asked me to run by and pick somethin’ up for you. Said it might make ya feel a little bit better since ya gotta stay here tonight.”

The little boy perked up slightly at the mention of his sister. “M’ria said for you to bring me somethin’?”

“Um-hmm.” He reached into the bag and pulled out the yellow duck that Cody favored. “She heard Quackers got left at home this mornin’ on your way out and she thought the two of you might be lonely if you weren’t together.”

Michael took the stuffed animal from Kyle and handed it over to Cody, who snuggled against it with a sigh.

“Yup, that right there looks like a happy duck,” Kyle said, patting Cody’s leg.

Amy took a seat next to the bed and rubbed her face tiredly. “He loves that thing,” she said with a tired smile.

“Yeah, Maria said it got overlooked this mornin’ when you guys were on your way out.” He smiled at Amy, seeing the exhaustion in her features. “How’re you guys doin’?”

“We keep going,” she told him with a weak smile.

He nodded. “You guys had dinner yet?”

“Told Maria I’d take her out for dinner after we leave Max’ shop,” Michael said and straightened up slowly when Cody fell asleep.

Kyle reached out to hold a couple of wires out of the way so he could settle the little boy more comfortably in the bed. He glanced at Amy. “But you’ve eaten, right?”

“I’ll get something later.”

“Um-hmm... no need to wonder where your daughter gets that from,” he said, shaking his head.

“We should probably head out,” Michael said as he glanced at his watch.

“Yeah, we’d better make sure at least one of these Deluca women eats today,” he said with a wink at Amy.

“You getting another tattoo?” Amy asked when Michael was getting ready to leave.

“Yup, got one all picked out.”

She shook her head, amused. “I’d never put myself in pain willingly.”

“Nah, doesn’t really hurt.”

“You getting one as well?” she asked Kyle and glanced at him. The boy wasn’t really tall, but he was slightly taller than Maria. He was good looking and well trained, but sometimes she wondered what there really was between Maria and Kyle.

“Thinkin’ ‘bout a lip ring,” he said with a shrug. He grinned. “Whatcha think?”

Amy chuckled. “I doubt I’m any help with that, Kyle.”

“Ah, c’mon, you can tell me what ya think. Is it a mistake to get pierced?” he asked, interested in her opinion.

“If you want it, you should do it,” Amy said. She didn’t have anything against piercings or tattoos as long as it wasn’t too much.

He nodded. “I figure it’s all good so long as I don’t end up with everything on my body pierced.”

“I know someone who’s gonna like the lip piercing,” Michael teased, knowing Amy was cool with it. He had spent so much time with the woman that he knew what he could say in front of her what not to say.

Kyle glanced at Amy, gauging her reaction to Michael’s comment. He didn’t know her as well as Michael did and she was pretty cool, but she was still a mom!

Amy caught Kyle’s testing glance and laughed.

“Yeah, well, we’ll see what she has to say after she sees it,” Kyle said, relaxing at Amy’s response.

Michael walked over to Amy and gave her a quick hug. “You call me if anything changes,” he murmured to her with an intense glance into her eyes.

Amy nodded and reached up to pat his cheek. “You behave yourself.” Her voice lowered. “Keep her mind off of this, Michael.”

He nodded briefly. “We’ll distract her.”

She released him and took her seat next to the bed again. “You boys have a good time tonight.”

“We always do,” Kyle assured her.

“Bye Amy,” Michael said as they walked to the door slowly to not disturb Cody’s sleep.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 26

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:19 am

Earth2Mama: Yeah, Max tends to react strongly around Liz, good intentions don’t really help at all.

Tess will move today.

We bet Michael will keep an eye on that nurse from now!

keepsmiling7: Lol yeah. When all of them would know the truth, it would be hard to come up with a storyline, lol.

begonia9508: Lol no, he’s in his very early twenties by now, but they do say boys need longer in growing up. Hehe

If Kyle shows any reaction to the Max/Tess plan…. Hm we will see. ;)

Michael definitely saved the day again!

mary mary: We are sure Michael will keep an good eye on her from now on. ;)

secretk: Yay, Michael is Mr. Loveable. Hehe

You are right. The nurse was stupid and she should consider herself lucky that Michael didn’t report her or anything.

Kyle is full of surprises, isn’t he? ;)

The plan of Max and Tess is definitely not the smartest one on earth. But it’s their way of dealing with things lol. We will see if it will help…at all.

moomin: Michael is definitely someone you can count on, if you are on his list of the people he loves. ;)

We are nearing the point where Max will find out more about Liz. Just a bit more patience.

Lol, yeah Tess is not doin’ so well on the Kyle front yet, huh? They will be together in the end (otherwise Rodney would kill us *duck*), but it’s a long way to that point, hehe.

Our New Yorker gang still have to figure out a lot of things! But they fic is not over anytime soon, so they will have lots and lots of time to make things right. ;)

Eva: Aww thanks. Michael is definitely and important part in this here and he’s a great guy with a lots of different faces that make him loveable. Of course there will be times when we want to kick his ass, lol.

sarammlover: You are right. Amy, Cody and especially Maria need Michael and Kyle in their lives. They give the DeLuca family strength and support as good as they can.

Alien_Friend: Tony will definitely make an appearance now and then lol.

M&M still have to learn to enjoy kissing each other, hehe.

Yeah agreed, the nurse really deserves some ass kicking.

We are nearing the point where Max will find out a bit more about Liz. ;)

Have a good time, girl!

Smac: Lol, yeah. No matter how stupid the plan is, it shows some reactions, huh?

Yeah, the little man definitely got a hard life.

Rodney: The plan from Max and Tess is not the smartest, but no matter if they love each other or not, they definitely get some jealousy as a reaction. Well at least from Liz, lol.

Lol, no piercings for Rodney. Yeal well, we don’t do it as well.



Part 26

Temporary Insanity

“How’d the testing go today?” Kyle asked when they stepped into the elevator.

“Pretty much the same as usual,” Michael said.

He pushed the button for the first floor. “Sucks that he’s gotta go through that. Hell, that all of ‘em have to go through it.”

“Yeah, and some nurses are just no help,” the other man muttered.

“Get one that shouldn’t be workin’ directly with patients?”

“Yeah, Cody overheard a nurse talkin’ to another one about how he’ll be lucky to see his next birthday.”

“What the fuck? Even if you’re thinkin’ somethin’ like that you never say it here!”

“I had a few words with her,” Michael said firmly and ran his hand through his hair. He had also informed Annie of the situation. “The sad thing is she could be right.”

“Yeah, I know.” Kyle leaned against the wall as he watched the numbers count down. “I don’t know how they’ll survive it if they lose him.”

Michael glanced at his friend. “That’s gonna break her into pieces.” And him as well, he thought. The little boy had been in his heart since he was born.

“Just gotta keep hopin’ that he’ll get a transplant soon. And in the meantime, try to keep her mind occupied.”

“Yeah,” Michael replied. They had been playing the waiting game for over four years now.

“You already know where we’re takin’ her to eat?”

“Not yet, let’s see how late it is when we’re finished at Max’s.”

“You care if we stop on the way and grab somethin’ to eat? Just somethin’ to snack on ‘cause I’m starvin’.”

“We can do that,” Michael agreed when they walked out of the building. His eyes immediately start to hurt from the brighter light outside and he groaned as the heat hit them in the face.

“God, I can’t wait ‘til it starts to cool off.”

“Yeah, freakin’ heat.”

Kyle snorted and followed Michael to his car. “Hey, so what happened with that chick from last night?”

“Hell, I don’t know. When it was getting interesting she just disappeared.”

“You get her number?”

“Nope, but since she’s a friends and coworker of Maria’s, I think that’s not necessary."

“Not necessary,” Kyle snorted. “Way to play it cool, man.”

Michael grinned. “She’ll come around. I know she was interested, she’s just playin’ games.”

“Just hang back an’ let her come to you... it’s so the way to play it.”

“And it works out pretty well,” Michael grinned and the boys high-fived each other.

“Hell yeah, it does.”

It took them almost 20 minutes to drive the few blocks to Max’s shop. “I hate New York traffic,” Michael complained as he stopped the car at one of the few parking lots behind the building.

“Why d’you think I use public transportation so much?” Kyle grinned and climbed out of the car.

“Because Maria makes you.”

“Yeah, that’s why.” He rolled his eyes and pushed the back door of the tat studio open, sighing in relief at the wave of cool air.

Max glanced up when the other men walked in and nodded before he turned his concentrated back to the woman sitting in front of him, legs spread wide while he tattooed the last bit of her inner thigh.

“Now there’s the kinda job a guy could get used to,” Michael said with a grin.

“No doubt.”

He dropped down in one of the chairs and leaned back while he waited for Max to finish up with his customer.

“Alright, Cate.” Max got up and stretched, wincing at muscles that were stiff from sitting in the same position for too long. “I think we’re done.”

Kyle watched the woman as she shifted and contorted her body to examine the artist’s handiwork. Damn, Evans had it made.

“It looks great,” she said excitedly.

“Definitely a good job,” Kyle muttered.

“Do you have a napkin?” Michael asked Max. “Valenti’s drooling.”

Max shook his head at Kyle. “You might have to sit him over the sink before his tongue falls out.”

The woman grinned at them and walked over to the chairs where they were sitting. “Wanna have a better look at it?” she asked teasingly and lifted her foot up to an empty chair to show off her inner thigh.

“Nice... work,” Michael said with a glance up at her.

“Nice underwear,” Kyle muttered, not really caring about the tattoo.

Max snorted at the comment. It was to be expected, he thought.

She set her foot down slowly and smiled at the man in front of her. “If I wasn’t married…” she said with a wink and walked back to Max so he could finish up with necessary things before she could leave.

Kyle’s mouth was still hanging open and Michael leaned over to nudge him. “Not your best look, Valenti.”

He turned to look at him, mouthing a: WOW.

Yeah, there was no denying the chick was hot, he thought as he turned to watch her.

Max finished up with Cate and sent her on her way, promising to be there next time she wanted a new tat. He glanced at the clock and turned to lean back against the counter to focus on the guys. “How were things over at the hospital?” he asked, knowing that’s where Michael had been for a good part of the day.

“Pretty much the same as every other time,” Michael said shortly.

Max nodded, dropping the subject. Michael was close to Maria and her family and he knew it would hurt him if anything happened to any of them. Sometimes he wondered how someone so smart could be so fucking blind.

“How do you manage to keep him down when ya gotta do tattoos like that?” Kyle pointed at the exit Cate had just left through.

“You would ask that,” Max said, rolling his eyes.

“I’m just wondering, man. There’s no way I could keep it down.”

“Dude,” Michael groaned, “no one wants to know about what’s goin’ on in your pants!”

Kyle shoved his friend. “At least there was something going on in my pants at all last night.”

“Hey!” Michael protested. “I told you, I’m lettin’ her come to me.”

“No luck with Maria’s friend, huh?” Max asked, surprised.

“She left him high an’ dry,” Kyle announced helpfully.

“Ouch,” Max grinned and walked over to prepare everything for Kyle’s piercing.

“What’d you do with Tess last night? Drop ‘er off an’ head back out?”

Max shrugged and hoped Michael was as uninvolved in his sister’s sex lives as Tess claimed he was. Tess was playing her part of their game so it was up to him to do the same. “Nope, went back to my place for the night.”

“Uh-huh, with my sister?”

Max shrugged one shoulder. “Yeah, that a problem?”

Michael thought about it. He didn’t want to be involved in Tess’ or Isabel’s sex lives, but the thought of Max and his little sister wasn’t his favorite one. “So you’re sleepin’ with her?”

“That’s really none of your business.”

Michael nodded. That was pretty much a confession, wasn’t it? “Yeah, well, don’t let it become my business,” he told Max with a little friendly warning.

Max shrugged, unconcerned. “Wasn’t plannin’ to.”

Kyle waited until Max disappeared into the back for something before he leaned in closer to Michael. “You’re okay with this?”

“That has yet to be seen,” Michael replied skeptically.

The thought of Max sleeping with Tess just rubbed him the wrong way somehow. “I wouldn’t let my sister sleep with Evans... if I had one.”

“And you suggest I should do what exactly about it?”

“I don’t know... tell him it’s not cool.”

“And have my sister hatin’ me?”

Kyle shrugged, irritated that this was bothering him. Why should he care who Tess screwed around with? As long as she was busy with Evans she wouldn’t be bugging him. “Just sayin’.”

“He’s gonna regret it if he’s playing games with her. As long as she’s okay with it, I won’t say anything.”

He rolled his eyes. “Alright, she’s your sister.”

Max came back in the room and motioned for Kyle to follow him.

“What’re the chances this thing’s gonna swell up?”

“50/50 I guess.”

“Alright, well, if it swells up how long’s it gonna take before it’s back to normal?”

“Depends. If you cool it a lot then it should take only a few days.”

“Alright,” he said as he sat down. “Work your magic, Evans.”

****

“Okay, and one more time,” Maria shouted over the music, earning a groan from the women in front of her.

“Up, up, up,” she continued in rhythm, the music pounding while she moved onto the step board in front of her and then back down. Sweat was running down her whole body, but she kept going without showing any signs of weakness. “Okay, very last minute now, ladies, keep going. Up! Up! Up!”

The music stopped and everyone in the room finally started to relax again. Several women ran to their water bottles immediately, while others just dropped down to the floor. “Very good, everyone.”

“How do you do this, Maria?” Tracy asked and wiped her forehead breathlessly.

“Training,” she replied with a wink.

“I tell myself after every single class that I’m never coming back,” one of the women lying on the mat in front of them complained.

“And yet you are here again,” Maria said, laughing as she got her water as well.

“Yeah, I obviously have a thing for pain,” she said, shoving herself to her feet to go in search of water.

“I’ll be teaching another class tomorrow by the way.”

“I’m sure I’ll be here... just heaping more abuse on this body.” She shook her head.

“It’ll pay off when your husband gives you a compliment,” Maria said, grinning.

Tracy shook her head. “Marcy’s husband is a tech-head. She’d probably pass out cold if he paid her a compliment.”

Maria gathered her things together and snorted. “I’ve gotta go, ladies. See you all tomorrow.”

Courtney was taking a tour of the facility with one of the employees when a door opened and several people left together. She glanced through the plate glass window and her eyebrows lifted when she recognized the woman hurrying to the door. “Maria?” she asked the blonde as she stepped out into the wide corridor that ran between the training rooms.

“Hey,” the other girl greeted her, smiling. “Seems like we keep running into each other, huh?”

“Yeah, looks like it,” she said with a laugh. “You’re a member of this gym?”

“I teach a few classes here.”

“Oh, really? I was thinking about a gym membership, ya know, takin’ a few classes just to kinda keep in shape.”

“Well, you’re definitely at the right place then. This studio is pretty much the best in New York. At least for what normal people can afford.”

Courtney snorted. “Well, I’m about as normal as you can get. Are you on your way out?”

“Yeah, I’m ready to be off from work today.”

“Been a long one, huh? So, you do this in addition to the modeling?”

“Yeah, now and then during the week.”

“And you still feel like going out after this?”

“Not always, but I’m trying to enjoy my life, ya know?”

“Yeah, what’s the point if you can’t enjoy life, right?”

“You are so right about that.” Maria fumbled in her bag to get her cell out.

Courtney turned to the woman who had been showing her around. “Sorry ‘bout that,” she said when she realized that she had just been ignoring her. “I think I’ve seen enough for today.”

“Ya got plans?”

“Not really, just tryin’ to get used to the city.”

“I’m meeting friends for dinner, wanna come?”

Courtney bit her bottom lip. She didn’t want to intrude, but it would be nice to spend time with other people. “One of those friends wouldn’t happen to be Michael, would they?”

Maria smirked. “He’ll be there.”

“Well, in that case... I don’t have any plans,” she said with a grin.

“Let me just make a quick call.”

Courtney nodded and moved to one of the other studios to watch a class in progress to give Maria privacy for her call.

Maria dialed Michael’s number and waited for him to pick up.

Michael fumbled for his phone with his left hand, reaching around to pull it from his right side since Max still had his arm hostage. He flipped the phone open and lifted it up to his ear. “What’s up, RP?”

“Hey, CB, ya still at Max’, huh?” she asked when she heard the sounds in the background.

“Yup, he’s puttin’ the finishin’ touches on the tat. You about ready to go?”

“Yeah, I’m finally done today.”

“Cool, how long before ya get here?”

“We’ll take the subway, so only about 20 minutes.”

“We? Who’s we?” he asked curiously.

“I met Courtney and invited her. Is that okay?”

He tried to sit up a little straighter, wincing slightly when Max’ death grip on his arm prevented him from moving. “Yeah, sure, that’s cool. She say anything about me?”

Maria inwardly rolled her eyes. “Asked if you’re gonna be there.”

He grinned and nodded. Yeah, she sooo wanted him! “You’ll be here in, what’d you say, 20 minutes?”

“Yeah.”

He tipped the phone away from his mouth. “You gonna be done with me in the next 20, Evans?”

Max grunted an affirmation, his attention focused on the tat gun.

“Yeah, we’ll be ready.” He glanced at Kyle who was staring at himself in the mirror. “Valenti’s got somethin’ new to show ya.”

“Can’t wait to see it.”

“Yeah, bet his fat lip’s gonna be a real turn-on,” he said, grinning at his roommate.

“It is not fat.”

“That thing’s gonna need its own zip code, Valenti,” Michael said, laughing at his own joke. He glanced at Max when he snorted. “Hey, that was funny.”

“Be nice,” Maria warned. “Alright, we’ll be there soon.”

“Cool, be careful, RP.” Michael disconnected and set his phone on the table next to him.

“Would you stop moving now?” Max asked.

Michael grinned. “She’s bringin’ the hot girl with her.”

“Certain that she won’t turn ya down again?” Kyle teased, holding the ice pack against his lip.

“Hey, she didn’t turn me down,” he denied.

“Whatever.”

Max rolled his eyes at the conversation as he set the tat gun aside and reached for a cloth to dab any excess ink and blood from the tat. He leaned in closer, inspecting it for any mistakes and nodding to himself when he didn’t find any. “How’s that?” he asked, leaning back.

Michael lifted his arm and inspected the tat as it ran further down to his wrist now.

“Rocks,” Kyle said.

“Badass, Evans,” Michael agreed.

*****

“There isn’t much to pick up,” Tess said as she opened the apartment door and let Isabel and her in. “Just the few things I picked up when we went shopping. The damn airport’s still playing games with my luggage.”

“They’re takin’ their time, huh?”

“I think I have to call them again. What the hell can take so long?”

Isabel shrugged. “It’s probably better not to ask.” She made a face at the rodent that had climbed up on the back of the couch to stare at them. “Michael just couldn’t get a normal pet could he?”

Tess snorted. “Nothing in here’s normal, sis.”

Loco climbed down to the floor and grabbed some little toy and scurried out of the room with it. “I hope that stupid thing doesn’t think we were gonna try to take his toy.”

Tess grinned. “Wanna give him something else to play with?” She glanced around the room, her grin getting wider when she noticed something. “Kyle’s cell maybe?”

Isabel shook her head. “I’d be inclined to say yes, but Loco would probably take it apart and choke on the sim card and then the guys would be pissed at us.”

“Hey, it’s on the counter. Loco could even get it without our help.”

“True, but I suppose it’s not his fault he’s a creepy little furball.” She glanced around. “Alright, start getting your things together so we can get outta here.”

Tess nodded and looked around the room. “Hmm, what should I pack the stuff in?”

“The guys probably have some boxes out in the storage closet on the balcony.” She paused at the bar between the kitchen and living room to browse through the guys’ mail. “So, what’s goin’ on with you and Max?”

“What do you mean?” the younger girl asked innocently.

“No, no, no, we’re not gonna play that game, Tess Guerin. You know exactly what I mean. The two of you were actin’ like a couple and you just told me what, a day or two ago, that he wasn’t all that. So what’s goin’ on?”

“I’m just helping him make the waitress jealous.”

“Um-hmm... so the two of you are... what exactly? Are you sleeping with him?”

“No, we’re not sleeping together. We did that one time, but I doubt it’ll happen again.”

Isabel snorted. “I think you’re playin’ with fire, Sis.”

Tess shrugged. “What’s the worst that could happen anyway?”

“Uh, you could fall for him?”

“For Max?” she asked in surprise and looked at her sister. “Why would ya think that?”

“Because he’s the kinda guy that girls just want to fix and it’s not that hard to fall for them.”

“You don’t have to worry about that, okay? You know Max isn’t the one I want.”

“Uh-huh, so the two of you are basically gonna have a make-believe relationship in the hopes that the people you really want get jealous?”

“Kinda.”

“Um-hmm.” Isabel pinched her lips together between her teeth to keep from telling Tess that it was a stupid plan. “Okay, well, we should probably start getting your stuff together.”

The other girl agreed with a snort and walked over to get one of the boxes Isabel had suggested. She opened the door to the storage closet on the balcony and gasped in surprised when she saw her luggage. “Oh that ASSHOLE! I’m gonna kill him!”

“What’re you yelling about?” Isabel asked, sticking her head out through the doors. She frowned when she saw the bags stuffed into the closet. “Oh.”

“I am so gonna kick his ass,” Tess decided, placing her hands on her hips.

“Kick his ass later, let’s just get this stuff inside. Oh, shit!” she shouted and scrambled to grab Loco when he walked out on the balcony. The last thing she needed was to explain a ferret suicide to her brother.

“Why do I want him again?” Tess hissed as she grabbed her bags.

Isabel shook her head, holding the furry and now angry creature away from her body. “That’s between you and your heart... not getting involved in that one.”

“You are so supportive.”

“Hey, I could give you a list of Kyle’s finer qualities, but you already know what they are.” She put Loco down on the couch and went to help Tess haul her bags inside. By the time they were finished Loco had figured out how to get one of the smaller bags open and he was digging through the clothes, chirping excitedly and pulling things out.

“Hey! Get out!” Tess grumbled and used her foot to push the pet away, gently.

Loco hissed at her and ran under the couch to hide.

“I’m gonna be so glad to finally move out again,” Tess decided.

“Not enjoying having Loco around?” Isabel asked, laughing when the critter in question ran out from under the couch dragging a pair of ice-blue lacy panties. “Those wouldn’t happen to be yours would they?”

Tess grinned. “They are, but I’ll accidently forget them.”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want them back either.”

“Ha ha, funny.”

“Although, he’ll parade around the apartment dragging them with him at some completely embarrassing moment... like in the middle of a party.”

Tess thought about it for a moment before she went after the pet to get the panties back.

Isabel snickered. Tess was in for a fight, she thought. Loco didn’t like to relinquish his possessions.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 27

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:10 am

Earth2Mama: Lol, yeah, Kyle isn’t quite sure why he doesn’t like the idea of Max and Tess together. It’s gonna take a lot of little things to get him to that point.

keepsmiling7: True… we’ll just have to wait and see if that happens here.

Eva: Lol, yeah, sounds like that might fit Kyle’s situation here.

begonia9508: Right now Kyle’s still in denial. He isn’t giving any serious thought to why this is bothering him.

secretk: True, but right now Kyle isn’t aware of why it bothers him to see Tess with Max.

We will be seeing more of Liz before too long.

The thing with Courtney will definitely lead to jealousy at some point.

We’ll be catching up with Alex soon.

mary mary: Lol, also very true.

Cardinal: Alex is still around, he’s just been quiet for a bit.

Lol, yeah, that’s probably true.

Yeah, Courtney will play a very important part there.

The Unholy Alliance may actually pull the plan off.

sarammlover: Yup, and while he doesn’t understand what’s going on… he’ll eventually figure it out.

Rodney: Oh don’t worry, just because Kyle gives a bit of a thought to Max/Tess right now, won’t mean he is happy to have his couch back. Lol

Nah, Alex is just busy ;). He will be back soon.

kismet: Yay you’re back. ;)

Lol, thinking of a Kyle/Liz combination? Hm, interesting. :D We will see how this Max/Tess plan will turn out and affects the others in the end.

Oh Courtney will be the starting shot. We doubt M&M will run really fast though, lol.



Part 27

Open New Doors

Michael picked at the edge of the bandage covering the new tat while he waited near the door for Maria and Courtney to arrive. Max had left the keys with him while he finished cleaning the studio up for the night and Kyle was still icing his swollen lip. He ran his hand through his hair as his gaze followed the bumper-to-bumper traffic creeping along at a snail’s pace. This time of day the streets were always bursting with vehicles and every one of the drivers seemed to feel as if they own express rights to the road.

He was pulled out of his musings when he noticed the two girls dodging the slow moving cars, laughing as they jumped up on the sidewalk and ran up to the door. His eyes slid down over Courtney and a smile settled on his lips when she noticed him and smiled. He unlocked the door and pushed it open, motioning for the girls to come inside as he stepped out onto the sidewalk. “Gotta lock up and then I’ll be back,” he said with a wink.

Maria watched him for just a few seconds as he pulled the metal gate down over the front of the shop’s windows, crouching down to lock it into place before jogging around to the end of the building and turning the corner.

“Where’s he goin’?” Courtney asked.

“He’ll be right back,” Kyle mumbled around his icepack. “Can’t lock those from inside so he’s runnin’ around back.”

“Hey,” Maria crouched down next to him. “Lemme see.”

He lowered the icepack and stuck his swollen bottom lip out. “I don’t think it’s goin’ down,” he complained.

“Don’t worry, it will eventually,” she said and turned his head towards the light. “Looks good.”

“I can’t eat for like three hours and he said I should avoid alcohol and oral sex until it’s completely healed... that’s like 6-10 weeks, Maria.”

“Ungh... that’s looong.”

“I know,” he whined.

“Suck it up, Valenti,” Max said as he finished clearing off his work table. “Six weeks, and I didn’t say you couldn’t have ANY alcohol, just that if you’re gonna drink you should stick with beer. I do recommend no drinking, but if you’ve gotta drink, just stay away from the hard stuff. Otherwise you could damage the tissue that’s healing. Not to mention it’ll hurt.”

“Who cares about the alcohol?” Maria asked.

“Well, I kinda do,” he mumbled. “But... six weeks?”

“You could use a straw...”

He snorted and then winced. “Doesn’t help with the sex part.”

“That one would really bother me,” Michael said as he walked back in.

“Well, it’s not like you can’t have sex at all,” Max said. “You’d think I just announced that you’d been castrated.”

Maria snorted and got up again, walking over to Michael to kiss his cheek. “Hey, CB.”

“How was work, RP?” he asked, draping his arm over her shoulders.

“Exhausting, but at least the workout’s doing something good.”

“Well, at least there’s somethin’ positive comin’ out of it.”

“How’s Cody doing?”

“He’s hangin’ tough. Kept him occupied with a little remote controlled dinosaur for a while... think I’m gonna pick up another one before I go over to see him tomorrow. We’ll have a dinosaur race. I got him the T-Rex, ya know how much he loves that one.”

“Thanks for distracting him for a while.”

He nodded. “Kyle brought Quackers for him and he was pretty happy about that.”

Maria smiled. “I can imagine. He loves that thing.” Her gaze wandered to his arm. “Can I see?”

“No,” Max answered before Michael could peel the bandage back. “It needs to stay covered for a couple of hours at least.”

“I’ve heard about this shop. My neighbor was talking about the other day. His name’s Caleb Winston, ya know him?” Courtney asked.

Max glanced at her as he ran the name through his mind. “Big guy? Looks like he should be in a biker gang but isn’t?”

She laughed. “Yeah, that’d be him.”

He nodded. “So, you got any tats?”

“Yeah, a small one,” she lifted her top and showed off the lengthwise letting on her side.

Michael leaned in closer to inspect the tat, the fingertips of his right hand tracing over it as he raised one eyebrow. “Metallica, huh?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “Now he’s gonna say ‘I love you’.”

Max chuckled at that. Everyone who knew Michael quickly became aware of the fact that he was a huge fan.

“Whatcha think, Guerin? Think it’s a sign? True love?”

“Gotta admire a girl who knows who her music,” he said, settling back in his chair.

Courtney smiled. “There’s a band playing tonight at one of the clubs downtown. I’ve heard they’re pretty good and they do some Metallica covers as well.”

“Yeah? Hey, we should head over there.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Kyle mumbled.

Max shook his head. “Didn’t you guys mention dinner first?”

“They won’t start to play before 10pm anyway,” Courtney said as she pulled out the flyer for the event.

Michael took the flyer and looked it over. “Yeah, we’ve been there before. Best bands never hit the stage before 10, so they’ve gotta be good.”

Max glanced over the other man’s shoulder. “I know the owner, we can get in with no problem.”

Maria gave him a push. “Is there a club owner in the city that you DON’T know?”

“Not my fault that those guys tend to have a lot of tats.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “Not that I’m complaining since most of the time we get in without havin’ to pay the cover,” she clarified.

“Let’s go then,” Michael said, heading for the back door.

Kyle slung his arm around Maria’s shoulders as they followed Michael and Courtney. “C’mon, Evans, let’s go grab some grub.”

*****

Isabel pulled up next to the curb in front of her building as a taxi pulled away and she climbed out to walk around to the back of the car. She popped the trunk and scanned over the luggage squeezed into the tiny space. She was just about to yell for her sister when James hurried over to join her.

“Evenin’, Ms. Guerin, can I give you a hand with your things?”

“My sister’s things, James.” She motioned to Tess when she finally came around to stand on the man’s other side. “This’s Tess, she’ll be stayin’ with me for a short while.”

James smiled and tipped his hat in greeting. “I can get these things for you if you’d like.”

“We’ll get the smaller bags, but if you could bring the larger ones up we’d appreciate it,” Isabel said with nod at her sister. They gathered up the more manageable bags and went inside, taking the elevator to her floor. At her apartment she unlocked the door and they stepped into the foyer where Isabel turned and blocked her sister in the doorway. “Before we go any further we should discuss the ground rules.”

Tess frowned at her. “The what?”

“Ground rules, baby sister! Whether you believe it or not, there are a few and I expect you to follow them.”

“Like what?” she asked slowly.

“Well, first: No dirty dishes in the kitchen. I hate having dirty dishes on the counter or the sink, we’ve got a dishwasher, put them there.”

“Okay, no dirty dishes. I can live with that one.”

Isabel nodded. “We just have the one bathroom, so no blocking it for more than 30 minutes, replace toilet paper when it’s all used up, and don’t leave hair in the sink, shower or tub.”

Tess rolled her eyes and made a rolling motion with her free hand. Chances were good there were more of these rules to come. She had a feeling bathroom time was going to be an issue, but no reason to bring that up at the present time.

“Okay, what else…” Isabel bit her lip while she thought about it. “No loud music unless I agree to it and absolutely no leaving stuff lying around on the floor or anywhere else. Put everything back where you got it from... Oh, and no male visitors allowed... no wait, no visitors at all. If ya wanna hang out, then please go somewhere else.”

“God, I had forgotten just how fun you are to stay with,” Tess griped.

Isabel smiled. “If you follow the rules, we’ll get along beautifully.”

“So basically as long as I don’t make a mess, don’t make any noise, and don’t take equal time in the bathroom things will be fine.”

“Yep, pretty much.”

“Um-hmm.” Why had she left Michael’s again?

“I’ve already put fresh linens on your bed,” Isabel said as she walked into the apartment.

Tess rolled her eyes again, closing the door with her elbow when her sister finally let her inside. She followed her through the rooms, glancing around as she tried to remember the last time she and Isabel had occupied the same space.

“Oh, and one more rule,” Isabel remembered. “Don’t answer the house phone unless you can see that it’s James.”

“What? Why?”

“Because Richard calls all day and I haven’t changed my number yet.”

“Doesn’t sound like normal ex behavior,” she commented.

“He’s a hopeless case.”

“Sounds to me like he oughta be seein’ a shrink,” Tess muttered.

“Yeah, maybe you can convince him to do that.”

“Why don’t you just let Michael talk to him? He could probably get that idiot to back off after just one conversation.”

Isabel snorted. “You think Michael would leave it with talking?”

“No, of course not, but Richard would never bother you again either.”

She sighed. “Maybe I’ll do that.”

“That pansy could use a good ass-kicking.”

“More than one,” Isabel agreed.

“I don’t know why you don’t just turn Michael loose on him.”

“Let’s not talk about him anymore, okay?” Isabel begged. It still hurt, especially her pride, that the bastard had dared to cheat on HER!

Tess shrugged. “Okay.” She glanced around the guestroom. “There’s no TV in here?”

“No, why would I need a TV in here?”

“Um… I don’t know, for your guests maybe?” She wrinkled her nose. “You do have cable, right?”

“I don’t have guests very often and YES, I do have cable,” Isabel snorted and shook her head.

“Just checkin’.” She sat on the end of the bed and glanced up at her sister. “So, thanks, ya know, for lettin’ me stay with you.”

“I think this’s the better solution right now, ya know?”

“Yeah.” She made a face. It was a better solution because Kyle was an idiot who couldn’t see what was right in front of him. “Maybe distance will help,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders.

“It definitely won’t make things worse.”

She nodded in agreement. “True. Any other rules and regulations or can we get ready to go out?”

“No rules I can think of now, but I’ll tell you as soon as I come up with more,” Isabel said, amused because she knew it would annoy her little sister. “So where should we go?”

Tess rolled her eyes at the threat of more rules and shifted around to pull her phone out of her pocket. “Why don’t I just give Max a call and see what he’s up to tonight?”

“Yeah, call your boyfriend and check on him,” Isabel said, stretching the word boyfriend out a little bit too long.

She stuck her tongue out at her sister while she waited for an answer. “You’re a riot,” she said, shaking her head. She held her hand up when he finally answered. “Max, hey, it’s Tess.”

“Tess who?” Max growled into the phone, grinning.

“Oh, yeah, like you don’t remember,” she snorted. “Please. Hey, anything goin’ on tonight?”

“We’re heading to the café right now for dinner and after that we might go see a band. Interested?”

Tess covered the mouthpiece as she glanced at her sister. “Dinner over at the café and then maybe checking out a band?”

“Yeah, okay.”

“We’re in,” she told Max. “We’ll meet you guys there.”

*****

The group laughed about something Michael had said when they entered their regular café. “Oh wow, it’s nice here,” Courtney said when she glanced around. “Not so loud and overcrowded like a lot of the New York café’s.”

“We come here like every day,” Maria nodded. “It’s very nice here, the coffee’s better than Starbuck’s and the food’s very good and not too expensive.”

“The waitresses are a pain in the ass though,” Max muttered.

“Only with you,” Maria said, shaking her head at him. “You’ll just have to ignore Max’s bad manners when it comes to our regular waitress,” she explained as she slid into their booth. “I won’t say you should excuse him because there’s no excuse for his behavior.”

Max just shrugged one shoulder at her pointed look.

She rolled her eyes at him and kicked him under the table when Liz approached, her expression apprehensive when she saw Max with them. “Great, she’s already sorry she came to work today. See what you’ve done? Bite your tongue and try to be civilized for five minutes.”

He slouched down in his seat and rested one arm along the back of the bench while she took everyone’s orders. He stared at his menu when she brushed her hair back and an image of her at the club came to him. Yeah, that was all he needed right now, he thought. He jumped when Michael kicked him and he looked up. “What?” he snapped.

“Liz asked if you wanted anything.”

“Number seven with the works, double up on the cheese, and a number four with mustard, no mayo, and extra pickles.”

Maria felt her back teeth starting to grind. She recognized the last half of his order and just knew that meant Tess was coming.

“I’m starvin’,” Kyle muttered.

Maria caressed his back with a pouty lip, knowing he could only eat soft food for the next few days.

Michael felt bad for his friend but he was hungry so he had ordered the triple cheeseburger and extra fries. “Guess you’d better not have any fries… I’ll bet if you get salt on that piercing in the next few days you’ll seriously regret it.”

Kyle stared at the menu for a minute before looking at Maria. “Maybe somethin’ like pancakes? Soup’s gonna be salty too.”

She took the menu from him and studied it for a minute. “Or creamed rice,” she teased, reading from the kid’s menu.

He took the menu back, feeling grumpy because he was being denied one of his favorite things.

“Don’t be a pussy,” Max said. “You’ll survive a few days without fries and pizza.”

Kyle glared at him. “Why don’t you take your advice and shove it where the sun don’t shine?”

Maria rolled her eyes at Courtney. “Ya still wanna hang out with us? The boys tend to get on your nerves,” she grinned and shoved Michael slightly.

Courtney glanced at Michael and smiled when he looked up. “Yeah, I think I’ll stick around.”

“At your own risk,” the other girl said, amused. She already knew her new coworker had it bad for Michael. She only hoped that she wasn’t expecting anything serious. Michael would never do that, he probably wasn’t capable of having a real relationship.

Michael gave Maria a warning nudge under the table. Before she could say anything he turned to Courtney. She had surprised him when she had ordered an actual meal. He had half expected her to order water and a small salad and then tell the rest of them how unhealthy they were eating.

Max smirked when Michael tried to keep Maria from saying anything about him that might sound unflattering. What was up with him and the new girl anyway? He looked up when the bell over the door jangled and he slid over when Tess and Isabel joined them. “Figured you guys would beat us over here,” he said, letting his eyes slide over her.

Tess leaned in to give him a small kiss, not sure how her brother would react to it. Did Max already tell him? “Yeah I had to memorize all the rules Isabel was reading out to me,” she complained.

Michael was opening his mouth to comment on the kiss Tess had just given Max when Isabel got comfortable next to Kyle and stared at him. “What’s with your lip?” she asked as she watched him pressing an ice pack on it.

Tess glanced over at him. “Looks to me like a major mistake happened. What look were you goin’ for exactly?”

“Not a look you’d have a clue about,” Kyle muttered and turned to Isabel to show her the new piercing.

Isabel grabbed his chin and tipped his head slightly to get a better look at it. “Aww, you poor thing.” She turned to look at Max. “What’d you do to him?”

Max shrugged. “Beauty knows no pain.”

She stuck her tongue out at him. “I’m sure the piercing will look great once the swelling goes down,” she assured Kyle.

“Of course it will,” Maria assured him.

Tess rolled her eyes when the girls fawned over him. Okay, if things were different, yes, she’d be at the front of the line, but things weren’t different. “So, ya know anything about the band we’re gonna go check out tonight?” she asked Max.

He turned to look at Courtney and Michael. “Ask them.”

Michael shrugged. “Heard ‘em before, they do a lotta Metallica covers, so they’re worth a listen.”

Tess looked at Max. “So, any chance you know the owner at this club too?”

He grinned and hooked his arm around her. “Bet on it.”

Tess shot a glance at Kyle, annoyed when he didn’t even seem to notice she was sitting there snuggled up against Max’s side.

Liz came back to the table, serving some of the food the group had ordered. She tried to ignore Max and his new little clinger. “Can I get you anything else?” she asked tiredly. After the fight with Trent last night she hadn’t gotten much sleep and the upcoming days weren’t promising any time for relaxing.

Michael glanced up when Liz started placing their plates in front of them, wondering at the exhaustion in her features. She usually had a tinge of tiredness around her eyes and now that he knew some of her story he understood why. He waited until she had brought the remaining plates over and asked if anyone wanted anything else before he nudged Courtney.

“Your food’s gonna get cold,” she said.

“Nah, it’ll be fine,” he said with a shake of his head. “I’ll be right back.” He settled on one of the stools at the counter and waited until Liz turned and noticed him.

“Michael? Did you need somethin’?”

“Just wanted to see if everything was okay.”

“As okay as things can be,” she told him with a small smile. “Just tired. I’m not used to bein’ out so late.”

He winced. “Yeah, I guess that’ll kick your ass pretty quickly with the rest of your workload.” He tipped his head to one side to study her. “Sure that’s all?”

“That’s all,” she assured him.

He doubted that was all, but while they had talked and learned a few things about each other, he didn’t know her well enough to pry too deeply. “Alright.” He grinned. “Guess you’re probably not too interested in goin’ out again tonight, huh?”

She chuckled. “Not a chance, Michael.”

He shrugged with a wink. “Worth a try. I’d better get back before my burger gets cold. Tell Aaron I said hey.”

She could easily see why Michael seemed to be a magnet for women. He had a way of putting a smile on people’s faces and his behavior was just… comfortable. “Go on and eat your greasy food.”

He lifted his right hand to his forehead as he laughed warmly. “Yes ma’am.”

“How much did ya let Max extend your tat?” Maria asked when he came back to the table.

He shoved a couple of fries in his mouth as he shook his head. “Didn’t take it up over the shoulder. Decided to go with just down an’ around the wrist. For now,” he added quickly.

“Make sure ya keep it wrapped tonight,” Max told Michael.

“Mom won’t let me show it off yet,” he muttered, nodding at Max.

Maria yawned widely as she stretched out in her seat.

“You must be tired,” Courtney said. “First ya worked in the morning and then you taught those fitness classes. I’d be dead by now.”

“It does make for a long day,” she agreed.

“Ya goin’ out with us tonight?” Kyle asked her.

“No, I think I’m gonna get some sleep tonight. I’ve got another early day tomorrow and I really need to catch some zzz’s.”

Interesting, Tess thought. If she wasn’t going then Kyle would be out alone.

“Considering that option too.” Kyle made a face. “Bet I can’t impress the ladies with this lip either.”

Michael snorted. “Man, no one’s gonna be tryin’ to get any kinda action from you with that fat lip.”

“Shut up, Guerin,” his friend said and sipped on his cold drink.

“I’m out as well,” Isabel said.

Michael glanced at his sister and then at Kyle. “Hey, was Tony workin’ tonight?”

“You’re wasting your breath,” Isabel said. “I’m not goin’.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 28

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:31 am

Natalie36: Hope you’re in for a long ride ‘cause we’ve got a ways to go before things start coming out.

Earth2Mama: Lol yeah, why do we put ourselves through pain?

begonia9508: Lol, well, if it helps, Courtney will be the reason Maria starts realizing a few things about her best bud Michael.

Wow, the first Michael in Roswell history that you like? And you hate Max here, lol. Well, we’re pretty proud of that then.

Rodney: Yes, he does contradict himself, doesn’t he?

Yeah, lol, Isabel doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to live with.

Love the MISSING poster idea for Alex, lol!

Smac: Liz does have a pretty sucky life right now. Max did bite his tongue in that last part, with a little help from a friend, lol.

secretk: Lol, the things we do for our friends. Funny what can come out looking like a bonus, isn’t it?

Well, we still have a lot deeper to go into Max’s character. We haven’t seen all that his character has to offer.

The house rules are important, especially in this situation.

Lol, that’s cool… they’re not a main focus other than Max being a tat artist, so you’ll probably be able to overlook it most of the time. ;)
Things will start getting interesting fairly soon.

No apologies for repeating yourself… and especially not when it comes to adoring Michael. We do have plenty of that particular friendship in this fic, and it plays an important part for each of them.

mary mary: Lol, it’s not everyone’s thing!

Cardinal: Yeah, we think she is jealous… just a bit.

Excellent line… loved it!

Alien_Friend: Well, might be better to hate that you keep forgetting about Courtney than to forget that you hate her… maybe…
Liz could use a hug or two.

Michael and Courtney, well… that one should play out in an interesting manner.

Thanks!



Part 28

Thick as Thieves

“We could watch a movie together then?” Maria suggested, glancing at Kyle and Isabel.

“Only if you can convince Tess to tell you where she hid the fuckin’ remote,” Kyle muttered. “I still can’t find it.”

“Well, I would’ve told you if I hadn’t just found out that you hid my fuckin’ luggage. What the hell were you thinking?”

“What was I thinkin’?” he snapped, the words coming out all wrong because he was talking fast and his lip was swollen. It was only aggravated further when he sat up and he accidentally shoved the ice pack against his lip. “I was thinkin’ that I’d appreciate it if you’d get your fat ass off my fuckin’ couch.”

“I don’t have a fat ass.”

“Could’ve fooled me,” Maria muttered under her breath.

Tess glared at her but bit back any comment and turned to Kyle again. “As you might know, you’ve gotten rid of me so congratulations, ya got your damn couch back.”

“Now stop holdin’ my remote hostage and I’ll be a happy camper.”

Michael sighed as he wiped his fingers on a napkin after eating his burger. He glanced at Courtney with a small smirk. “It’s not always like this with the gang around,” he told her and leaned back to rest his arm behind her on the backrest.

“So now it’s just the four of us tonight?” Tess asked, hiding her disappointment. She didn’t doubt that the night would be fun but she had hoped for a night out with Kyle.

“Oh, c’mon, don’t let them ruin a fun night out,” Max said with a teasing grin.

She smiled and leaned against him. “True, it’s gonna be fun.”

Michael tried to control the urge to roll his eyes. “Not an image I can get used to,” he mumbled under his breath.

Not far away Liz was thinking something very similar as she watched Michael’s little sister snuggling up to Max. It took an effort to not gag at the sight when Tess rested her hand against his chest and whispered something that made him laugh.

“You gonna be able to make a short visit at the hospital tomorrow?” Maria asked Michael, worried that Cody wouldn’t have anyone to distract him from the tests. By the time she had gotten off it was late and she wouldn’t make it to the hospital before visiting hours were over.

“Um-hmm, got it covered. Oh, that reminds me, I picked up somethin’ while I was at the mall getting the dinosaur for him... when you get back to the apartment, go grab the bag on my dresser. Remember those recordable storybooks you saw last time we were out? They’ve got his favorite story out now... you can read it aloud an’ record your voice an’ I can take it to him tomorrow if ya want.”

She smiled, relieved. “You’re the best,” she said and gave him a quick kiss at the corner of his mouth that didn’t go unnoticed by Courtney.

They both seemed close and she wondered if that might cause trouble if she and Michael ever hooked up or whatever.

Max snorted and shook his head at them. How did they not see what was so obviously in front of them? he wondered.

Isabel smiled at her brother’s thoughtful gesture. “We should all get one of those books and record them so when he’s got appointments and tests he’ll have something to occupy his mind.” She knew Maria worked so much that she couldn’t always be there when Cody had to have tests.

“What’s wrong with your brother?” Courtney asked, not sure if she should ask.

Michael shifted to rest his leg against Maria’s under the table. “Little man’s got a heart condition so unfortunately he sees more of the hospital than anyone ever should.”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know that,” Courtney said, glancing at Maria.

“Thanks. He’s gonna be fine,” she insisted.

Kyle pulled her closer and rested his chin on her head. “Kid’s a fighter, just like his sister.”

“That’s right,” Max agreed. “You DeLuca’s don’t know how to just let life bulldoze right over you.” He winked at her. “Just don’t ever quit fightin’.”

Maria leaned into Kyle, enjoying his comfort. “We won’t,” Maria told Max determinedly.

Tess knew it was wrong to feel jealous about all of the attention and care Maria got from all the boys around her, but she couldn’t help it. Cody was a nice little boy and he didn’t deserve this condition, she hoped as much as everyone else that he would be alright someday.

Kyle glanced at the clock before checking on Maria. “Hey, what time ya gotta be on the job tomorrow mornin’?”

“7am.”

“We get outta here pretty soon an’ watch a movie you might actually get a decent night of sleep.”

Fantastic, Tess thought.

“I’m not sure we should turn Kyle loose on the movie choice, Maria,” Isabel said as she tossed her money down to cover her meal.

“His taste isn’t as bad as Michael’s, but you’re probably right.”

Kyle glanced between them. “Hey, I’ll have you know I have very good taste in movies.”

“Wait just a minute,” Michael protested. “What the hell’s wrong with my taste in movies?”

“Other than the fact that the main cast is always dead in the end?” Maria teased.

He shrugged. “I don’t write ‘em, just buy ‘em.”

“See, that’s the problem.”

“Huh?”

“If people like you wouldn’t buy those movies, then they wouldn’t be produced in the long run.”

“People like me? What’s that, people with no taste in movies?” Michael shook his head and threw a French fry at her.

“Hey, stop that, CB.”

He reached for one of the pickles on Tess’ plate and held it up. “Take back that remark about me not havin’ any taste in movies or you’re gonna get pickle-slapped.”

“Nope,” she said stubbornly and stuck her tongue out at him. “Mess with the food all ya want, I’m not the one who wants to go out tonight.”

“Hmm, that’s actually a good point,” he mused when her fingertips tapped against her own plate in a threatening manner. The fries left on her plate were covered in ketchup and he couldn’t go out covered in ketchup spots. He grinned slowly. “It’s not like you have the best taste in movies either.”

She snorted. “That’s just because you have no taste.”

Max groaned. “You two... stop it.”

“Do you agree with him that I have no taste in movies?” she asked. “’Cause I can hit you with a ketchup fry too.”

Max raised his free hand. “Nope, not the way I like my ketchup. And considerin’ how much time the two of you spend hangin’ out on the couch on Sunday nights watchin’ each other’s crappy movie choices I don’t think either of you have much room to bitch about the other’s taste in movies.”

Maria and Michael both laughed. “We have seen a lot of bad bad movies,” Michael agreed.

“Yeah,” she said with a laugh. “I can’t even blame all of those on you.”

“I always thought his collection was just porn,” Kyle said with a grin.

Maria snickered. “You know he has some in his collection.”

“Some?”

Michael shook his head at her. “Hey, I’ll take my choice of movies over the ones you pick.” He snorted. “I’m not the one who has some movie about a gay dude – “

Kyle snorted at that and immediately regretted it when his lip started to throb again. “She just got it ‘cause the dude looked like you.”

Maria made a face. “Please.”

“The guy looks like Michael. Evans, back me up here, man.”

Max finished chewing a bite of his hamburger before shaking his head. “Man, I don’t watch movies with guy on guy action.”

“What movie is it?” Tess asked, amused.

“Well, I don’t know the name,” he muttered. “I just know she bought it.”

“Rented it,” Maria insisted. “I didn’t buy it.”

“Didn’t ya like gay Michael in it?” Max teased and almost choked on his drink when Michael kicked him under the table.

“Pretty sure Maria said she saw one with a gay dude that looked a lot like you too, Evans.”

Maria nodded. “Um-hmm, very broody like you, very confused...” she grinned at him teasingly. “Very gay.”

Michael shook his head and glanced at Courtney. “I think we should leave before this conversation starts makin’ sense.”

Max snorted at that. “Conversations with the two of you rarely make any sense. The rest of us just pretend it does and keep goin’.”

“Just as well all pretend to like you, Maxie Max,” Maria said sweetly and pinched his cheek.

Liz nearly choked when she overheard Maria’s little pet name. Maxie Max. She had a feeling he would hate that one.

Max glared at Maria for several long seconds before he nudged Tess with his hip and they got up. “No one else would get away with that,” he growled as he leaned over to kiss her head. “Tell Cody I said hey an’ if ya need anything, you’ve got my number.”

She nodded. “Thanks. Have fun tonight.”

He gave her a thumbs-up and then turned to the others. “Ya comin’, Guerin? Or you still tryin’ to figure out how your movie got released?” he asked with a grin.

“See what you did?” Michael told Maria as he got up with Courtney.

She just grinned and shrugged. “The guy sure looked an awful lot like you, Michael.”

“I don’t know if we’re friends anymore now.”

“Whatever, CB. Ya know ya love me.”

He snorted. “Full of yourself today, huh?”

She stuck her bottom lip out. “So you don’t love me anymore?”

“Watch and see how he can’t just leave with that,” Kyle hissed to Isabel, amused.

“You’re seriously gonna pull the pout out?” Michael asked.

“You said we’re no longer friends,” she said pretending to be sad and turning to stare at her cold ketchup-fries.

“Aww, RP, ya know I wasn’t serious.” He rolled his eyes and sat back down beside her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer, waiting until she leaned into him to start tickling her.

She giggled. “Michael, quit it.”

Kyle looked at Isabel knowingly. “See?”

“Huh-uh, not until you say we’re friends again.” He winced when she jerked and he lost his balance slightly, banging his elbow on the edge of the table. “Say it, RP.”

“I... I...” she tried under laughs, “I didn’t say we’re no longer friends, you said it.”

He paused, frowning. “Oh, right.” He shuffled to the side when she turned the tables on him and her fingers dug into his side. “Well, ya gotta admit ya know I was just jokin’ then.” Her fingers found his most ticklish spot and he started laughing like an idiot as he shoved back to get out of reach... and landed on his ass on the floor at Courtney’s feet.

Courtney looked at him, amused. Oh, hell, what had she gotten herself into?

Maria burst out laughing. “Nice move, Michael.”

“That was pretty suave,” Max smirked. “Hope your moves in the bedroom aren’t quite that... graceful.”

Michael grabbed the edge of the table to pull him up again. “Now I won’t say it,” he told Maria with a glare, but his eyes still smiled at her.

“You won’t say what?” she asked with a grin. “You seem to be having some issues with your memory tonight, CB.”

“And you have issues with your clothes,” he said, grinning when he noticed that some ketchup covered fries had landed on her lap during the fight.

“Ungh, Michael, look what you did!” she exclaimed.

“Oops.”

“That’s your response? You’d better be glad I wasn’t plannin’ to go out tonight.”

“Or what?”

“Or... or I don’t know... I’d either have to go home and change, makin’ us even later, or I’d have to go half naked.”

“Not that bad,” Kyle interrupted with a grin.

“He’s right about that, DeLuca,” Max agreed.

“Not that bad for you maybe,” Maria grumbled and then grinned.

“Can we go now?” Tess asked impatiently.

Max hooked his arm around her neck and tugged her up against his side. “You keep tellin’ me to play nice, so it’s only fair if you do the same,” he growled in her ear.

“Enough is enough,” she whispered back.

Kyle glanced at Michael and nodded his head towards the new couple, shaking his head slightly.

Michael shot a glance at them before looking at his older sister and raising an eyebrow. He nodded when she made a motion with her right hand, essentially telling him to let it go.

Liz stopped by, giving some wet wipes to Maria. “Here, you should get most of the ketchup out with this.”

Max pulled his wallet out and grabbed a couple bills to cover him and Tess. The chain rasped against his hip as he reached back to slide the wallet back in his pocket and he smirked when it caught Liz’ attention.

She rolled her eyes and turned to look at Michael. “Have a nice evening.”

“Try to do the same,” he said with a nod.

She glanced around the café that was still filled with other guests. “Doubtful.” And when she got home there was homework waiting.

“Well, we’ll get outta your hair and give ya one less table to look after.” He watched her walk away and turned to drop his part of the tab on the table when he noticed the amount Max had laid down. Well above cost of two meals, he thought but didn’t comment. He had no idea what the story was between Max and Liz, but he’d bet his trust fund that there was one.

Kyle gave Maria a little nudge. “Let’s go as well.”

“Yeah, I’m ready to just relax for a while.”

*****

“Ya got the popcorn?” Kyle leaned over the couch’s backrest where he was sitting next to Isabel and glanced at Maria in the kitchen.

“No,” Maria mumbled as she went through the different cupboards and cabinets. “But I found moldy bread,” she said, disgusted as she lifted it off of the counter with two fingers.

Kyle laughed slightly. “Then let Michael get it, I’ve been looking for it the last few days.”

“Ungh, you two are...” She shook her head and leaned over the counter to look at him. “Disgusting. There’s no popcorn, Kyle.”

“There has to be,” he insisted and got up to look for it himself, joining Maria in the kitchen and slapping her ass playfully when he motioned for her to move a little, so he could look in the cabinet.

Isabel just rolled her eyes. She just didn’t get this thing between them. The whole friends with benefits thing just didn’t appeal to her at all. “Told you we should’ve just stopped at the store,” she called back to Maria.

“Yeah, should’ve known.”

Kyle snorted. “Whatever.” He moved over to another cabinet and stretched up to reach the top shelf. “Ha! Told you it was here.”

“Lemme look at the expiration date,” Maria demanded.

“Ungh, I’m sure it’s fine, Maria,” Kyle complained. “Jeez, at least you can eat it.”

She made a sympathetic face and kissed the corner of his lips carefully. “Sorry.”

He was just cranky because he couldn’t eat what he wanted and he was taking his mood out on her. “No, I’m the one who should be sorry.” He smiled and shrugged. “I’m the one who wanted to get the piercing.”

Isabel groaned. “You want me to leave you two alone?”

“Play along,” he whispered and winked at Maria. “No, we don’t mind if you wanna watch.”

“Yeah,” Maria shrugged. “No big deal.”

“We’ve got this one move that would totally blow your mind.” He kept his expression serious as he turned to look at Isabel. “See, what we do is – “

Isabel made a disgusted face as she threw one of the couch pillows at him. “Do not share any further please.”

Maria laughed. “You sure?”

“Ungh, completely, totally, utterly sure that if I never see the two of you get naked and sweaty it’ll be too soon.”

“What about a threesome?” Kyle suggested with a smirk.

“Yeah, Kyle’s been wantin’ to try that out for a while, Iz,” Maria said, looking away because she couldn’t keep a straight face.

“How’d you know that?” Kyle asked seriously.

Maria’s eyebrows lifted as she looked at him. “What? You really do wanna try that?”

“Hell yeah.”

Isabel shook her head. “No way. I love ya both to death, but I’m so not goin’ there with you.”

“Killjoy,” Kyle said, but winked at her.

Maria glanced at him curiously. “What would you have done if she’d said yes?”

“What would I have...?” he repeated stupidly. “I would’ve taken you both to the bedroom.”

“Ungh, no.” She shook her head at him.

“Yeah, I know you’re not into that stuff.”

“Well... not just that... she’s Michael’s sister!”

He turned to look at her, surprised. “Well okay, I’ll give you that much, that would be weird... but with a different woman...?”

She thought about it for a minute and then went with another angle. “What if I said I wanted a threesome, but with another guy?”

He made a face. “No way.”

“See? Same thing.”

“If you two don’t get in here immediately and stop talkin’ about sex with each other, I’m gonna leave.”

“On our way, Iz,” Kyle yelled. “Two guys...” he shuddered. “That’s just wrong for so many reasons.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 29

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:39 am

begonia9508: Lol, it could definitely be something else, huh?

Earth2Mama: Lol, definitely better than the other way around. ;)

Eva: This group is made up of some great friendships.

It’s funny how the ones involved are almost always the last to notice, isn’t it? Yeah, that should be a big flashing warning sign for Courtney.

mary mary: Max isn’t giving much up there… we’ll have to wait.

secretk: Apologies for long comments are never necessary. ;)

Lol, we agree that action movies rock, but there’s nothing wrong with the occasional chick flick.

Courtney definitely noticed… and it probably should’ve raised a red flag for her.

Hmm, Liz could potentially take the wrong meaning in the large tip, but chances are good she won’t know who left it. She could just assume it was Michael since he has a tendency to leave a large tip. Hopefully she didn’t notice it was Max and come to the conclusion that it was left out of pity or as a reminder of her other job… that could get ugly.

Max and Michael both seem to be pretty clear about who the other likes, lol.

Yeah, a threesome of that variety would be a total turnoff.

Cardinal: It’s coming, but it might be a bit longer.

Oh, no… never ever, lol.

Smac: Two sides of the same coin, lol. Michael and Max aren’t exactly the type to sit down and have that talk. At least they’re not at this time. Liz will do her best to keep that to herself.

Max wouldn’t draw attention to it… then someone might want to know why he left the sizeable tip and he’d have to explain, lol.

keepsmiling7: Max will be relieved when this little game is over. He’s really not all that into it. He’s getting closer to learning the truth.

Alien_Friend: LOL! Kyle didn’t get the memo, but we doubt he’s gonna change his mind. This group can be very funny without even meaning to be.
You too?

We’re pretty sure that will only increase once he learns the truth about her situation.

Body’s can be rude like that, lol.

sarammlover: Lol, they’re getting there. It won’t be too terribly much longer. Max did leave a sizeable tip and for once he bit his tongue. Tess… that situation is coming to a head as well.



Part 29

Night’s Falling

“Is there anywhere in the city that you don’t know someone at the door?” Tess asked as the guy at the door waved them on through.

Max shrugged. “Knowin’ the owners or the bouncers, either one works to get us in the clubs without getting stuck with the ridiculous cover charges.” He didn’t know any of them beyond inking their tats and most of the time he didn’t care to know them any better anyway. Unfortunately this guy wasn’t one of his customers.

“So which of your tats did Max do?” she asked the man when she realized that the only tat she could see was peeking just under the edge of his sleeve. It looked more like the kind of tat guys in the military had.

“Hell, I wouldn’t let Evans near me with a needle,” the guy laughed.

Max just nudged her to get her moving, not interested in getting into how he knew the other man. “C’mon, let’s go grab a drink.”

Michael frowned at Max’ back but followed them inside with another glance at the man at the door.

“Hey, you wanna dance?”

Four words that Michael would be happy to never hear in the same sentence and directed at him. He glanced at Courtney. “I don’t dance.”

“No?” She made a face, “That’s really a shame.”

“That’s only ‘cause you’ve never seen him dance,” Tess snickered.

Michael nodded. “Believe me, you don’t wanna dance with ME.” He nodded towards his younger sister. “You two could go.”

Tess rolled her eyes at him. “I’m with someone who doesn’t mind dancin’.”

Max smirked. “Go ahead, Tess. Michael and I are gonna get the drinks,” he gestured to the overcrowded bar.

“You’d better be glad Kyle’s not here,’ she hissed at him. “Dancin’ with another girl isn’t exactly the same.”

He just smirked. “We’ll dance later. Whatcha want to drink?”

“I think you’d better be glad you’re not expectin’ to get lucky with me tonight.” She turned to Courtney and smiled. “Looks like the boys are tryin’ to get rid of us, so...?”

“Let’s dance. Their loss.”

Michael shuddered. “Not my loss,” he muttered after the girls took off. “Just do not get the whole dancin’ thing.”

Max shrugged and then realized that Tess hadn’t answered the question about what drink she wanted.

“She likes anything fruity with rum in it,” Michael said when Max looked like he had no idea.

“Let’s see if we have a chance to order a drink within the next hour,” Max said as they walked to the bar.

“So, Evans, not to be getting all up in your business or anything, but, you an’ Tess... what’s that all about?”

Great, Max thought, just the conversation he wanted to have right now. He was about to open his mouth when the next band on the stage appeared and the music pounded out of the speakers loudly, making it impossible to have a halfway normal conversation.

Michael rolled his eyes. Looked to him like Max was relieved to not have to answer his question. If Tess was all that into Evans, well, that was certainly her deal, but in the time he’d known him Max had never stayed with anyone and Tess might be a little shit at times, but she deserved better than that.

Max nodded a few times when people who knew him passed by, most of them customers of his from the shop.

Okay, he knew the bar was busy, but this was just ridiculous, Michael thought when almost 15 minutes had passed and the bartender hadn’t even made it to them.

“Michael,” someone said and he turned around. A woman who was just getting ready for her shift at the bar smiled at him. “What can I get ya?”

“Couple shots of tequila and two beers,” he said, raising his voice to be heard. “You guys must be shorthanded tonight.”

“Had two call in sick,” she said before getting his drinks.

“Who’s she?” Max asked during a break of the sets on stage.

“The bartender?”

“Yeah, she knows your name and the way she looked at you,” Max lifted his eyebrows, “history?”

Michael just smirked and leaned on the bar. “Think every woman I know’s been in my bed?”

“From what I’ve seen I’d say yes.”

“Wrong answer, buddy,” the bartender said as she set Michael’s drinks on the counter. She reached up to pinch his chin before looking at his friend. “This bad boy right here’s a heartbreaker and I’ve got enough good sense not to fall for him... or in his bed consequently.” She winked at Max. “Now, what can I get for ya?”

“Beer and something sweet with rum.”

“Hmm... nothin’ in particular?”

“I’m a whisky and beer man. I have no clue about this stuff, so mix something up that a woman would like,” he told her with a wink.

“Um-hmm, you’re just as bad as he is. Be right back with your order.”

Max glanced at Michael. “And I always thought the only women you didn’t sleep with were your sisters and Maria.” Well, he was pretty sure that last one would happen sooner or later.

“Hey, if they’re lookin’ for serious they know better than to mess around with me.”

“Did you tell your newest date?”

“Did you tell yours?” Michael countered.

Max rolled his eyes. “There’s nothing in the dark with your sister and me, Guerin. We both know exactly what we’re doin’, so you can back off.”

“Just sayin’ you’re not exactly Mr. Commitment either.”

“Maria’s cool with you hanging out with her?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t she be?”

Max shrugged. “Don’t know. The girls seem to get along pretty well and I thought you had some weird rule about not sleeping with friends of the other.”

“My name’s not Kyle.”

“Huh?”

“Maria an’ Kyle have that rule goin’ on.”

“So she doesn’t mind if you sleep with friends of hers?”

“She’s sleepin’ with my best friend... so why would it matter if I slept with one of her friends?”

Max shrugged. “Well, her and Kyle are kinda permanent, while you...”

“They’re not permanent,” Michael denied.

“Maybe not Kyle.”

“What d’you mean?”

“Well, if you take a look at Maria... it’s not like she’s with anyone else that often, is she?”

Michael shrugged. “So?”

Max sighed. “I’m just suggestin’ that maybe if Maria and Courtney are friends, and we all know Maria could use a friend at work, then you shouldn’t fuck things up with Courtney so that it’ll fall back on Maria,” Max lifted his hands. “I’m not sayin’ anything else.”

“I haven’t even screwed this chick yet, man. Since when did you take on the job as my fuckin’ conscience?” He slammed one of the shots back and glared at Max. “Don’t you ever suggest that I’d do anything to hurt Maria,” he snapped as he grabbed his beer and turned to stare out at the crowd.

Max lifted an eyebrow at his friend’s outburst. “Sorry, I know it’s none of my business.” Damn, when the hell is he finally gonna open his eyes and LOOK at Maria?

“That’s right, it’s not any of your fuckin’ business.” He sipped on his beer and scanned the dance floor, looking for his date.

Whatever, Max thought. He was pretty sure that one day either him or Maria would get hurt with this ignorance thing they had going on. It was just a matter of time.

Tess was laughing at something Courtney had said as they made their way to the bar. “Oh, hell,” she muttered when she got a look at the guys.

“What’s wrong?”

“No clue, but they both look pissed.”

“Maybe it’s just because of the long line at the bar,” Courtney suggested.

“Yeah, could be.” But I doubt it, she thought.

Max’ face lit up a bit when he saw Tess. Thank God, someone to talk to. Guerin was still pissed off.

“What’s up with you and Michael?” Tess asked.

“He’s pissed because I told him to be careful with his new date.”

“And why’re you stickin’ your nose into his business like that?”

“Because he was sticking his in ours.”

Tess laughed at that. “Seriously? You guys are like two little kids on the playground.” She tugged on his hand. “C’mon and dance with me.” She sobered when she caught the scowl he sent in her direction. “Or we could just stand here in a little silent, angry group. That could be fun too.”

“I think you should quit before you swallow your foot,” the bartender advised as she set a frothy pink creation on the counter next to Max’ beer.

Max ignored her as he put the drink in Tess’ hand. “Hope you like it.”

Tess took a sip and hummed happily. “Bahama Mama, one of my favorites. How’d you know?”

“Lucky guess,” he said with a wink.

Michael just rolled his eyes. What an idiot. Like he’d had any clue whatsoever.

Courtney wrapped an arm around him to distract him. “Hey, wanna go over in front of the stage? The band we’re lookin’ for comes on soon.”

Michael inhaled deeply, ignoring Max as he looked down at Courtney. “Yeah, let’s do that.”

“Wow,” Tess mused after her brother and Courtney had left, “you seriously pissed him off.”

“Everything I said was true,” Max muttered.

“Okay, we’re friends, right?”

He frowned. “I guess we are.”

“Then I can tell you that you’re seriously bringin’ me down here, Max. We came out to have fun and you’re killin’ it.” She shook her head when he started to speak. “You wanna be all broody and irritable, I’m fine with that.” She wrinkled her nose. “But not tonight.”

He had to smirk. “Demanding much, huh?”

“Yes, tonight I am.”

He pulled her closer. “Let’s have some fun out on the dance floor then.”

“That’s more like it.”

*****

Courtney didn’t know what to do to cheer Michael up. She didn’t know him all that well, so how was she supposed to know what to say?

Michael could feel his temper starting to cool as he listened to the band onstage. They were decent, but hopefully they’d be finished soon. He couldn’t really fault Max for being concerned about Maria, but the fact that he had even suggested that he’d ever do anything to hurt her... that just pissed him off.

“I think they’re finally finished now,” Courtney said when the song ended.

“Sorry,” Michael muttered when he realized that his date was gonna start taking his mood personally pretty soon.

“Anything I can do to cheer you up?” she asked hopefully.

He shook his head. “It’ll pass. Evans is a dickhead sometimes.”

Courtney studied his features. The pissed off look was pretty sexy on him, she had to admit that much. “Okay.”

“Sometimes I think he’s an asshole ‘cause he gets off on it.”

“What’d he do?”

He opened his mouth to unload on her but quickly bit it back. “What’re your expectations here?” he asked instead. He motioned between them. “I mean, what exactly are you lookin’ for?”

Wow, she hadn’t been expecting that question. Not yet and sure as hell not here. “Um... I don’t know, Michael. I wasn’t really planning on anything.”

“I don’t really do relationships, so maybe we should just get that out in the open right now. I’m not tryin’ to be a dick or anything, just... don’t want any misunderstandings between us.”

She nodded. “Maria already told me that much.”

“Okay. I just don’t want you thinkin’ I’m lookin’ for anything serious ‘cause I’m not. At all.”

She nodded. “Okay.” She had to admit that his confession was a little bit disappointing. Maria had warned her, but hearing it from him was different. She could easily see herself getting emotionally attached to him.

“So anyway, long as we’re on the same page.”

*****

Maria snuggled closer against Kyle, resting her head on his shoulder while Isabel was lying on the couch on his other side, her head resting on his thigh.

“This movie’s bad,” she complained.

“Yes, it is,” Maria admitted.

“Well, I think I have to agree with you guys.” Kyle sighed when he glanced at both women with a grin. Every guy he knew would be so jealous of him.

“Who picked this crappy movie again?” Maria mumbled.

“Hey, you both agreed,” Kyle said and pinched her side with the hand that was wrapped around her.

“I know, but... this’s beyond bad.”

“Yeah,” Isabel agreed and lifted her head. “The movie was supposed to cheer me up.”

“Well, I would say I could put somethin’ else in, but I don’t think Maria’s gonna make it through another movie.”

“Probably not,” Maria rubbed her eyes. “How late is it?”

“After 11pm,” Isabel answered.

“Already, huh?” She sighed. “Should make my way home pretty soon.”

“Why not just stay here tonight?” Kyle asked.

She thought about it. “Yeah, but then I’d have to get up early because my stuff’s at my place.”

“Well, c’mon then, I’ll run ya home.”

“You don’t have to, Kyle,’ she denied. ‘You should be sitting here on your couch, enjoying havin’ it back to yourself.”

“It won’t take that long an’ it’s too late for you to even be thinkin’ ‘bout ridin’ the subway.”

“Yeah,” Isabel agreed. “Just last week another woman got mugged an’ this one ended up in the hospital.”

“See,” Kyle insisted. “I can enjoy the empty couch later.”

Isabel smiled and shifted to lean against the arm of the couch. “Just give in gracefully and say yes, Maria.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine.”

“Hey, none of us wants you getting mugged out there,” Kyle said as he leaned over to look for his shoes. “You gonna hang around, Iz?”

“Depends… Are you gonna be back soon or are you gonna rattle her apartment up first?”

Maria snorted, and it quickly turned into a laugh.

“With this,” Kyle gestured to his swollen lip, “…no fun.”

Isabel smirked. “I’ll wait then.”

*****

“They’re good, aren’t they?” Courtney screamed excitedly over the loud music when she turned to Michael while the band onstage was playing.

He smirked and nodded. “They’re good.” She was probably the only woman who was having so much fun, he thought, amused. He liked it though; the other girls were standing mostly at the bar or far away from stage while their men enjoyed the band.

“Cool, this’s my favorite,” Courtney squealed happily when the band started a new Metallica cover. She whipped some strands of hair out of her face. “It’s freakin’ hot in here, isn’t it?”

“Bad air-conditioning,” he agreed and handed her his beer so she could take a sip. “It’s pretty warm too, sorry.”

She smiled and shook her head. “We’ll get a cold one when they take a break.” She wasn’t leaving this spot a second sooner.

“No problem with that”, he told her, once again fascinated that she wasn’t getting bitchy about too loud music, too crowded rooms, too hot air or warm beer. She seemed to be pretty easygoing

Courtney just nodded and got right back into the music. She knew he was interested, question was: could she hold his interest longer than one night?

Tess glanced at Max. They were standing next to the others who seemed to be having quite a lot of fun. “This music’s silly,” she complained.

Max shrugged. The music was okay but now he just wasn’t in the mood and the crowded room was starting to make him feel like he was being suffocated. “Wanna get outta here?”

“Yeah, I think so.” Right now she’d rather spend the rest of the night in Isabel’s air conditioned apartment in her bed than here.

He nodded his head, motioning to the exit and reaching for her hand to keep them from being separated. She yelped when a group of drunk college guys who were playing around tried to pull her over to join them. She wasn’t expecting it when Max turned and grabbed the one who was holding onto her other wrist. Before she could so much as blink he had put a move on the guy that literally flipped him over and left him lying on the floor.

Max pressed one booted foot on the guys’ ribcage, holding him down as he looked at the other guys in the group. They had backed off, hands raised up in a gesture of defeat, leaving their friend at his mercy. His eyes blazed with anger as he looked down at the guy, seeing someone completely different as the club around him faded away and all he could see around him was sand and a man who represented the enemy.

“Max! Max!” Tess tugged on his arm to get his attention. What the hell was wrong with him? Yeah, okay, it was great that he had tried to protect her and if he really was her boyfriend then she would think it was pretty hot, but… uh, he was overreacting just a bit.

“Evans, leave him alone,” Michael stepped up next to the other man and pushed him a few steps back. He turned to glare at the guy on the floor. “Touch her again and I’ll break every finger on your fuckin’ hand.”

They looked up when the guy from the door showed up, called in due to the disturbance. His blue eyes swept over the scene, taking in the details in seconds. He recognized the expression on Evans’ face, the taut muscles, and the look in his eyes. In his mind he was thousands of miles away, his mental status set in fight mode. Necessary in the field and a disaster waiting to happen in a setting like this.

“Yo, Sarge, stand down. We’ll take it from here.”

Max shook his head, blinking a few times to clear his vision. His heart was racing and he couldn’t hear anything but the blood rushing through his veins as his eyes focused on the man standing across from him. He pulled his arm free of Tess’ hold as the situation suddenly hit him and he realized what he had done. What he could have done. He backed away and turned, heading for the door and not caring if Tess caught up with him or not.

Tess shot a quick glance at Michael, making a quick sign to let him know she would follow Max before she turned to run after Max.

Ungh, the air outside was as hot as it was inside, she thought as she glanced along the streets. “Max,” she yelled when she saw him close by, rolling her eyes when he didn’t bother to wait for her.

“Max,” she called again when she caught up with him, grabbing his arm to make him stop. “What the hell is wrong, Max?”

“Leave it alone, Tess,” he growled. He was still on edge and the last thing he wanted was curious questions.

“Fine, but stop running, Max, okay? I don’t have any interest in spending the night with Michael and his newest date. So if you wanna leave then at least have enough decency to walk me home. I’m not interested in taking the subway at this time of night, you know?”

He forced his steps to slow, letting her catch up. At least she hadn’t asked what was wrong with him, as if he was defective or something. “Sorry.” He changed direction slightly, knowing that she was staying with Isabel now. He was just grateful that she hadn’t suggested hanging out at his place. He rolled his shoulders as the sights and sounds of the city began to ease in and take the place of that other place and he glanced at Tess. “You get all moved in with your sister?” he asked finally.

“Yeah,” she snorted. “I even found the luggage that was missing at the airport. The idiot really dared to hide it from me, can you believe that?” She knew he was ignoring what had just happened. For tonight, she would let him get away with it.

“I’ll assume the idiot in question would be Kyle.”

“Who else?” She sighed.

He shrugged one shoulder. “Hope it was hidden someplace that had been Loco-proofed.”

“Don’t remind me,” she groaned. “The little furball ran through the apartment with my panties.”

Max chuckled unexpectedly at that image. “Guess you should be glad he didn’t do that in the middle of a party… he has before ya know.”

“Yeah, Isabel warned me about the exact same thing when I was planning to leave them just so Kyle would see what he’s missing.”

“She’d know. Last time they were hers.” He grinned and nodded when she looked at him in surprise. “Oh, yeah. Water main busted over by her place so, no water for the shower or anything else. She stopped by the guys’ place to grab a shower after workin’ a double shift. Yeah, party was in full swing and Loco snuck in and snagged a souvenir. He ran through the crowd, trying to drag ‘em and ended up trippin’ himself up and getting all tangled up in ‘em. I thought sure that was gonna be his last night on the planet.”

Tess tried to control her laugher. “Damn, I wish I had seen that,” she giggled.

“Oh, you can see it. Maria recorded the entire thing and then Michael posted it online.”

She gasped. “No!” And then she started to laugh again. “And they’re both still alive?”

“Oh, yeah. The only reason they managed to survive that is because your brother and Maria were hangin’ out at the apartment one night and they got totally trashed.” He frowned, thinking. “I think it was after they’d had a scare about Cody and he’d spent the night in the ER. Anyway, once he was home again they decided to unwind and started goin’ through the shots like crazy. Kyle comes home an’ they’re watchin’ music videos, right? Now, you gotta picture this… they’re both drunk off their asses, tryin’ to stand upright in front of the tv, and singin’ that Britney Spears song… what is it, Hit Me Baby, One More Time or somethin’. I mean, top of their lungs. It was bad.” He snorted. “Kyle recorded the entire thing an’ then sent it to Iz… next mornin’ that little vid was online an’ no one was payin’ any attention to her vid anymore.”

“Are they still online? I’ve gotta watch them when I get home.”

“If not, I’ve got ‘em saved on my computer at home. I can always email ‘em to you.” They crossed a busy street and stepped up onto the sidewalk. “Word of caution though. Don’t watch ‘Ferret Panty Raid’ with your sister around if she’s in a mood.”

“Good point.”

“So, whatcha think about Courtney?”

“I think the whole Michael/Maria/Courtney situation could get really interesting.”

He snorted. “Your brother and Maria… I don’t think I’ve ever known two people more oblivious to what’s right in front of ‘em.” He thought about Michael’s reaction earlier when he had dared to bring up how things with Courtney could potentially affect her. Guy had just about blown a gasket. He shrugged and glanced at the street sign. Just a couple more blocks. “It’s interesting that everyone BUT the two of them sees it.”

“Interesting? It’s ridiculous. I hope that maybe seeing Courtney and Michael together will finally help Maria to realize it.” She glanced at him. “Yeah, I’m speaking for my own interests here.”

“I think it’s gonna take more than some girl who’s around for a day or two.” He shook his head as they crossed another street. “You don’t care about someone the way the two of them do about each other and it not mean somethin’. Of course he’s gonna have to wake up an’ see it too. I don’t know what it’s gonna take for that to happen ‘cause obviously Kyle doesn’t threaten their relationship.” And that’s exactly what it was gonna take… something that one of them felt threatened their relationship.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

User avatar
Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 925
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 30

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:31 am

Earth2Mama: Well, Courtney won’t be any fun for the Candies at all, but hey…. She will be the reason for certain persons to realize certain feelings ;).

No, right now he is not talking to anyone about it… unfortunately.

mary mary: It’s usually easier to analyze other people’s problems than it is to really see your own. And no, Tess is far from being a dummy, but she’s not really thinking clearly when it comes to Kyle.

Oh, what happened between Max and Liz will be revealed in time, but that’s definitely a possibility.

Natalie36: Glad to hear you’re all caught up!

keepsmiling7: Oh, they’ll probably get around to that conversation sooner or later.

Smac: It’s true that Michael got pretty pissed at Max over that little conversation. You could be right on target with your assessment.

Max has a hard time opening up to someone, especially a stranger, about what’s going on inside of him. As for Liz, well… he won’t admit anything to Liz because she’s already walked out on him once and he doesn’t know why. He isn’t willing to just put himself out there with that particular admission. PTSD is a very real thing that many veterans experience. That could be a reason why Liz took off without a word… we’ll have to wait and see. And you’re right, none of our group knows about Max being in the military.

Michael was honest, he’s not looking for anything serious. Courtney will be the one for Michael to test the waters with a potential relationship.

LOL, that’s one way to look at it.

secretk: Thanks!

LOL, no arguments from us.

No, Liz won’t go ballistic with Max.

Max does have his good side, it just hasn’t really shown itself very well up to this point. Michael isn’t trying to lead Courtney on, he’s just telling it like it is.

As far as Michael knows he’s just pissed because Max suggested he might hurt Maria… and for Michael that’s the worst thing that he could be accused of.

Lol, we’re pretty sure that Courtney will act as a catalyst for the Candys.

Max will eventually get to a point where he deals with things.

Alien_Friend: You’re likely right about that. Until you give a guy a reason to think you’re not gonna just BE there, things aren’t likely to change.

Max does know the bouncer from the service and the last thing he wants to do is talk about that subject. No, he doesn’t talk about it, he keeps it all inside. No one from the group knows about his past.

These two guys do have a lot in common.

Rodney: We can at least say that for Max and Tess, lol.

Yes, Alex is still MIA… but he’ll be putting in an appearance soon.

Loco is a little thief… and underwear… well, that’s as good as anything else

Cardinal: Someone, somewhere is eventually going to start asking questions.

Lol, Tess does have that advantage here. Her problem’s being tackled from both sides. No, Courtney won’t be a threat right away.

Yeah, he’s still missing… but he wanted us to let everyone know he’ll be back soon.

sarammlover: That would be nice, but we wouldn’t suggest holding your breath. ;) Max and Michael really got into it over that, however, it didn’t clear up much for Michael.

begonia9508: Thanks! Yeah, Michael and Maria… right now neither of them sees what’s right in front of them.

kismet: Hm maybe someone will help him to deal with it… eventually.

A little switch? Well maybe a tiny bitty lol.



Part 30

Into Darkness

Maria turned one of the lamps on while Kyle locked the door and she dropped down on the couch, kicking her shoes off and wishing the stupid air conditioner was blowing colder. It wasn’t much cooler inside than it was out on the streets. Hopefully once she got in bed she’d go right to sleep and the heat wouldn’t keep her awake.

Kyle tugged the collar of his tee shirt away from his neck. Damn, it was warm in here! “Ya know you could always just grab what ya need for tomorrow and come stay over at my place tonight.”

She smiled. “Yeah, I know, but it’s alright, Kyle. I won’t be here for long anyway.”

“No need to go to the gym for the sauna. You should charge admission to your apartment,” he said as he dropped down on the couch in a spineless sprawl.

“Hopefully this heat wave will be over soon,” she agreed.

“Yeah.” He turned his head to look at her. “I know Tess isn’t your favorite subject, but whatcha think’s up with her an’ Evans?”

“I thought she was smarter than to hook up with him, but well… Maybe it’s just a passing thing or Tess is trying to rebel against Michael. No clue. Maybe she just wants attention.”

He reached behind him, hooking his left arm over the back of the couch. “Yeah, I just don’t see it.” Max was a good guy, but he wasn’t the kinda guy who was looking for a relationship. And why did he even care again? Ungh, let Michael worry about. “Michael seems to be pretty interested in that Courtney chick,” he said to take his mind off of the Tess situation.

“Yeah,” she snorted, “but you know him. The interest won’t hold on that long as usual. I just hope he’s made everything clear and she isn’t hoping for too much since I’m working with her and the last thing I need is a whining Courtney at work.”

“You’re probably right.” He wasn’t so sure about that though.

“That doesn’t sound all to convincing,” she said and bent her head to look at him. “Do you think Michael wants more with her?” she asked, surprised.

He shrugged one shoulder. “I don’t know. He just seems kinda interested in her. I mean, he always acts like he’s interested in chicks, ya know? Just doesn’t really feel like he’s actin’ with her.”

Maria chewed on her lip while she thought about it. Michael in a real relationship with a girl? She really couldn’t see that. “I guess we’ll see,” she finally said. “I can’t imagine it though.”

He laughed suddenly. “Ya know what? You’re right, I can’t really imagine it either. I mean, can you see Michael as the kinda guy settlin’ down with one girl?” He snorted. “Michael Guerin, boyfriend… huh-uh. One girl? Doin’ stuff like buyin’ flowers an’ goin’ out on real dates?” He shook his head and laughed again. “God, what am I thinkin’?”

Maria laughed as well. “I don’t know, but that just sounds unreal.”

“Yeah, think you’re right.” He sat up straighter and stretched. “Alright, I guess I’d better get back before Loco mysteriously disappears or becomes a victim of a ferret-napping.”

“Okay, I think I’m gonna take a shower and then try to sleep,” she said and yawned at just the thought of her bed.

Kyle reached over to pat her thigh as he got up. “You need more than a few hours of sleep,” he said with an affectionate smile

“Uh-huh, tell that to my boss and my bank account,” she told him with a wink.

“Got a couple things I’d like to tell your boss, but since ya need the job an’ all, I’ll control that urge. How’s your weekend lookin’?”

“Not so sure right now, but if I have to work it’ll be in the afternoons I guess.”

“Cool. It’s gonna be another hot one. Ya know the beach house my family owns?” He waited until she nodded to continue. “They said the folks who were rentin’ it for the summer had to cut their vacation short.” He grinned. “Won’t be rented again for a couple weeks so if we don’t end up with any other plans an’ everybody’s free, can you say beach party?”

Maria smiled brightly at that idea. A weekend away from all the mess of her real life would be really great. “I hope we can do that,” she said excitedly.

“Cool. Keep me posted an’ I’ll get with the guys and see what they’ve got planned for the weekend. Mom an’ Dad said if we wanted it for the weekend all I’ve gotta do is call the caretaker an’ he’ll get the place all stocked up for us.” He yawned and then grinned sheepishly. “Guess you’re not the only one who’s ready for some sleep. Get some sleep, Maria, an’ I’ll catch up with ya tomorrow.”

She nodded as she stood up to go to the door with him. “Do we have to take Tess with us?”

He snorted and turned the lock. “I s’pose that depends. If we do a group outing Evans is usually included in them… and since she seems to be attached to him like some sorta abnormal growth she’d probably be goin’ too.”

She made a face. “Or we just don’t tell anyone and go alone,” she joked.

He chuckled and shrugged. “They probably wouldn’t wanna go anyway with both of us goin’. They didn’t waste any time getting outta the café the other night when we went out. We could really cover all the bases by inviting Liz too.”

“Oh, we should do that. Max will throw a major fit,” she giggled.

He opened the door and leaned against it as he looked at her. “Yeah, an’ she was pretty cool the other night when we went out. Although, I’ve gotta admit, just watchin’ her an’ Evans go after each other is pretty damn entertaining. The girl doesn’t let him get away with anything; she throws it right back at him. It’d almost be worth puttin’ up with Tess just to watch the show.”

“I think nothing is worth putting up with Tess, but yeah I know… Can’t do anything about her.”

“Ya know, what she did totally wasn’t cool, but don’t let her bein’ back put a damper on things. She’s Michael’s sister so it’s not like we’re gonna be able to get around her bein’ here.” He reached out to tip her chin up. “An’ I know you won’t put him in the middle, you’re too good for that an’ you care about him too much.”

“At least I have you to unload my frustration about her,” she told him with a wink.

He grinned. “I’ve got wide shoulders, I can take it. Alright,” he straightened away from the door, “I’m outta here for real this time. Much longer and it’s just gonna be a waste for you to try an’ get any sleep tonight.”

She snorted and shoved him on the shoulder playfully. “Yeah, get outta here, Valenti.”

“Alright, call me tomorrow,” he called over his shoulder as he started down the hallway.

****

Michael was sitting on a bar stool at the end of the long bar, watching Courtney as she showed the frazzled male bartender how to mix the drink she had asked for. The guy had never heard of the drink and without waiting for him to ask how to make it, or worse, if there was something else she wanted, she had hopped up on the counter, spun around and dropped down behind the bar. He wasn’t paying much attention to the ingredients so much as the way she had just taken charge of the situation.

“And that is how you do it,” she said, popping a cherry in her mouth and chewing it as she turned to wink at Michael.

He could feel himself grinning like an idiot but he couldn’t seem to stop.

“Um, you can’t be back here,” the bartender tried again.

Courtney picked her drink up and placed it on the counter next to Michael. “Think you’ll remember how to make the next one?”

The poor guy was nodding but after a second he just shook his head and shrugged. “No.”

“Well, no worries, I can always show ya again if need be.” She motioned to Michael before hopping up on the counter again. “He’s waitin’ for his drink.” She sat on the stool Michael had been keeping open for her and rolled her shoulders before taking a drink. “I could go for a smoke right now.” She glanced at him, her eyes sliding over him. “You smoke?”

Michael shook his head and made a face. “Nope. I’m a sportsman, don’t do unhealthy stuff like that.”

She nodded with a slight shrug. “I try not to but sometimes I just really need one.”

“Bet you’ll get rid of that habit pretty fast if ya hang out with us. None of us smokes.”

She glanced at him uncertainly. “Is it that big of a deal to you?”

He shrugged. “You can do whatever ya want.” It wasn’t like he could tell her to stop.

“But you wouldn’t date a smoker?”

He smirked. “I don’t date at all. But if I did, I’d take a nonsmoker over a smoker,” he agreed.

“Good to know,” she said with a teasing grin.

There was something about her that fascinated him. She wasn’t the normal girl he could meet everywhere in New York. He couldn’t really pinpoint what it was though.

Courtney was about to ask him why he never dated when they were suddenly surrounded by darkness. “What’s going on?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” he said, glancing around.

People started to move around restlessly and their voices began to rise when the lights didn’t come back up after a few moments.

“It’s a terroristic attack,” someone suddenly yelled.

“Oh my God,” someone else breathed.

Michael knew they only had seconds before the crowd was in a full out panic and once that happened there would be no way of controlling the situation. He grabbed Courtney’s arm to get her attention. “Get behind the bar,” he said, aware of how quickly situations like this could escalate. Once the chaos began anyone could be trampled or worse just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong moment. “Don’t argue with me, just get back there and stay there.”

He heard the bouncers trying to get control of the situation before it got out of hand and a moment later he heard the loud popping sound that signaled the generator kicking on. Unfortunately, many of the clubbers didn’t connect the sound with the low emergency lighting that kicked in and it sent them running for the doors. There was no way to keep that many people from panicking and yelling wasn’t going to work because they’d never hear him over the yelling and screaming as they fought to get out the door first.

His trained eyes watched as the bouncers pushed the doors open and moved out of the way, letting the people spill out onto the sidewalk where they scattered and disappeared into the streets that appeared to be lit only by car headlights. One of the bouncers started fighting his way through the crowd and Michael followed the path the man was trying to take. He quickly located the man’s target and he shoved away from the bar, reaching the fallen clubber first. He grabbed the guy and pushed his way past the crowd to get him safely to the bar that was now deserted. The man was probably around his age, but a lot skinnier and smaller. He had probably lost balance when the others had pushed him towards the exits.

“What’re you doin’?” the guy yelled, half-dazed but trying to free himself of the person pulling him deeper inside the building. “We have to get outta here!”

“Runnin’ out there isn’t gonna do any good,” Michael told him.

The guy jerked his arm free and stumbled back a few steps. “If you wanna stay in here while we’re under attack, go ahead, but I’m getting out!”

“You don’t know we’re under attack. Could be nothin’ more than a blackout due to the heat.”

“Leave me alone,” the other man said and made his way to the doors.

Michael shook his head and turned to Courtney. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah, fine.” She swallowed hard. “You really think it’s just because of the heat?”

“The lights are off along the whole street,” one of the bouncers said after talking into the radio he held.

“Happened back in ‘03,” Michael said, glancing at Courtney in the low lighting. “That may not be what it is, but with the heat wave we’ve been under, there’s a very good chance that’s what caused it.”

She nodded and slowly started to relax again as she stepped in front of the bar again. “Okay.”

“Can any of you guys see if the blackout’s taken out more than the block?” Michael asked one of the bouncers. He suspected it had taken out a large portion of the city just from how dark it looked outside.

“Nothing for sure, but I think all of the downtown area’s dark right now.”

“Great.” He rubbed his eyes. “We might as well stay here for a while. There’s not much point in getting caught up in that mess outside.”

*****

Max and Tess reached Isabel’s building and they stopped in front of the big double doors where James stood and watched the entry.

“That’s probably a riddle no one but they can figure out,” Tess said, talking about her brother and Maria.

Max nodded. “Want me to walk you upstairs?”

She shook her head. “No, I think I’m good on my own for the rest.” She gave him a quick hug. “Get home safe, Max.”

He nodded and let go of her again. “G’night.”

Max waited until she was inside before he turned and started back in the direction that would take him home. He had only made it about a block when the lights around him suddenly began shutting down in a domino effect. For a matter of moments the streets of New York City fell eerily silent but within seconds chaos was in full force. He turned around and watched as lights further down continued to shut down, leaving the streets illuminated by the lights of the sea of vehicles that had stopped so drivers could get out and look around.

“What the hell,” he muttered. Somehow he had a feeling this wasn’t going to be something that was resolved in minutes and he knew it would be best to get off of the streets before people started panicking.

*****

Tess pushed the button on the elevator and waited impatiently for it to arrive. “Is my sister already home, James?”

“No, Miss Guerin, she hasn’t returned since you left with her earlier this evening.”

She nodded. “Okay, thanks.” That would give her some alone time in front of the large TV, very good.

The elevator finally opened and she pushed to button for the right floor. The doors closed with a soft sound and after a small jerk she started her ride upstairs.

Tess leaned against the wall of the elevator as she reached down to take her shoes off of her hurting feet. She almost stumbled to the side when the car suddenly stopped again with bigger jerk. “What the…?” The lights overhead started to flicker until they finally died.

It took several moments before she was able to wrap her mind around the situation. “I’m stuck,” she whispered into the dark fearfully.

*****

“Ungh, Loco, get away,” Isabel said and used her feet to push the small pet away from the couch. “Go and do whatever you always do, but just leave me alone.” She glanced up when the front door was opened and Kyle walked back in. “Your pet’s getting on my nerves,” she whined.

Kyle laughed and walked into the room, crouching down to pick Loco up, cradling the ferret in his arms. “She just has no love for you, buddy,” he said and scratched its head.

Isabel just snorted at him and shook her head.

“I’ll be right back. I need to change my shirt after being out in the heat,” he told her and walked to his room, taking Loco with him.

Isabel just rolled her eyes. She could understand dogs as pets. Cats were pushing it because there was that whole litter box thing going on. Birds, no. Ferrets? No, ferrets were rodents. They were part of the rat family, she was certain of it. How her brother and Kyle had become so attached to the little nuisance was beyond her. She rolled her head along the back of the couch to look down the hall when she heard him coming back. Loco was running in front of him, chasing a small green ball with a bell in it.

“Can’t you just lock that thing in your room?” she asked.

“I could, but since he has some sort of weird obsession with my pillows I’m not gonna turn him loose in there.”

“We can lock him in Michael’s room then,” she mused.

“Mr. Inquisitive over there isn’t allowed in there either. You know how Michael collects comics? Well, he had just brought home one that he’d gotten autographed at the last convention and he left it in his room without knowin’ Loco was in there… apparently Loco took offense to it ‘cause by the time Michael got home it was nothin’ more than a pile of colorful shreds.”

“And yet the little rat’s still around,” she teased.

Kyle shrugged. “Can’t explain it,” he said as he dropped down on the couch. He laughed when Loco finally caught up with the ball, staring it down for several moments before he suddenly squeaked and jumped up in the air to pounce on it. “So, ya prepared for the Tess invasion over at your place?”

“As much as I can be I guess. I’m pretty sure she’ll get on my nerves soon, but I think I can deal with her for a while.”

He snorted. “Tess? Get on your nerves? You’ve gotta be kiddin’.” He shook his head. “Think you’re gonna get her to tell ya why she left?” he asked.

“She’s not always that bad, Kyle,” she told him. “It hasn’t been easy for her.”

He tipped his head to the side as he studied her. Was she actually defending her sister? “She left Maria hangin’ with the apartment, Iz. What kinda excuse is there for that? She knew how financially strapped Maria is. You don’t just stick your friends like that.” He shook his head. “Bet you won’t get her to tell you the truth.”

She chuckled. “How much you gonna throw in?”

“Hmm… I’ll bet a weekend in Atlantic City, all expenses paid. Loser pays the tab.”

“You’d better be prepared to pay then, buddy,” Isabel said, amused.

He rolled his eyes. “You’ve gotta get her to talk first.” He and Isabel went to Atlantic City every once in a while to hit the casinos and they usually managed to walk away from the tables with a pretty decent payout. They could tear the town up though, which usually took care of their winnings

“I already know, Kyle.”

“You already know what? That you’ve gotta get her to talk?” Wasn’t that the whole point of the bet?

“Good grief, Kyle,” Isabel groaned. “You’re pretty slow on the uptake today.”

“Now I’m slow?” He frowned at her. “The only other thing you could’ve possibly meant was that you know why she left… and if that was the case you would’ve already told me… like earlier when I asked if you thought you’d get her to tell you why.”

“I don’t tell ya everything, Valenti,” she smacked the back of his head. “Guess there’s too much blood in your swollen lip tonight, huh? I know why my sister left, buddy.”

“Well?” he demanded in exasperation. “Are you gonna share with the rest of the class?”

“Nope, sorry, but I can’t do that. I promised Tess I wouldn’t tell anyone.”

“Was it a good enough reason for leavin’ Maria high an’ dry?” He shook his head. No, there was no way any reason was good enough for that.

“It’s not my secret to tell,” she said. She wanted to tell him, but Tess would kill her. “One day you’re gonna find out, Kyle.”

He was quiet for a few minutes. “I can respect that. You told her she needs to talk to Maria, right?”

“Yeah, and I hope she makes it quick since the whole group is suffering from it.”

“Yeah, you’re not the only one. Girl, her bein’ here’s just drivin’ Maria up the wall.”

“I know,” Isabel said and glanced around the room. “Hey, ya wanna watch another movie?”

“Sure, why not?” He was pretty sure she was just putting off going home. She loved her sister but she didn’t like sharing her space. “Hey, so, what’s up with your sister and Evans? They kinda seem like they’ve gotten pretty tight in a pretty short amount of time.” He glanced at her as he got up to go find a movie.

“She’s probably just trying to be a little bit of a rebel, ya know?”

“Yeah, I s’pose that’s a good way to do it.” He held a movie up, turning to put it in when she gave her nod of approval.

Isabel slouched down in her seat and lifted her feet up to the couch. “She’ll get over it.”

He snickered. “Yeah, it won’t take long before the novelty wears off,” he agreed. He dropped the DVD in the slot and hit the button to slide the tray back inside. “Hey, what’re you…” He glanced around when the lights suddenly shut off.

“Forget to pay your electric bill?” Isabel joked.

“Funny, but no.” He walked over to the window and looked out at the city. “Wow, remember the blackout a couple years ago?”

“No way,” she said, getting up and moving to the window to look outside. The entire skyline was black as far as they could see. “That’s not good.”

“Huh-uh.”

“Damn,” she whispered.

“Hold on, I’m gonna grab a couple flashlights.”

Isabel stared down at the headlights of the cars that were stopped, traffic already backing up because the traffic lights were out. She turned when she heard a thumping sound followed by irritated chattering. “I think your pet just ran into a wall,” she said when she heard Kyle come back in the room.

“We can still hear Loco, so he’s alright,” he told her and handed her one of the flashlights.

“Wonder how long it’ll last this time,” she wondered aloud.

“Hopefully not too long,” Kyle said, already glancing at his cell on the coffee table.

“What? You think you’re gonna get called – “

“If this’s a bigger problem and a major part of the city is dark then I’m pretty sure.”

“It could be a busy night then.”

He sighed. “I really hope they get it solved in a few minutes. People get really annoying out there at times like this.”

“Tell me about it. The hospitals get swamped too.”

Kyle glanced at his cell when it suddenly started to buzz along the table. “Great.”

Isabel listened to his call, knowing before he hung up that he was being called in.

“I gotta go,” he said and shoved the cell into his pants pocket. “Stay here, okay?”

“Worryin’ about me?” she teased with a smile. “Just be careful out there. People get crazy in a blackout.”

He nodded. “Hey, if you can reach your brother, tell him to get to the station, okay? They haven’t been able to reach him yet.” Kyle rolled his eyes. “Bet he’s already talking to Maria.”

“Don’t get me started on the two of them. I’ll tell him when he calls,” she said knowing he’d be calling to make sure she was someplace safe.

“Alright, Iz, please stay here, okay?”

“I’ll stay as long as I can handle your psychotic pet.” She looked over her shoulder when the door opened. “Just be careful out there.”

“Will do,” he said with a grin. “Catch ya later.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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