Remember When (M/L,AU,Mature) One Parter 9/16/07

Finished stories that feature the characters from the show, but there are no aliens. All fics completed on the main AU without Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Behrsgirl77
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Remember When (M/L,AU,Mature) One Parter 9/16/07

Post by Behrsgirl77 » Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:48 pm

Remember when...

Author: Tanya aka Behrsgirl77

Rating: Mature/Adult

Disclaimer: I don't own a thing, except my thoughts. The characters don't belong to me, nor do any of the song and lyrics posted. No harm intended.

Summary: One phone call can change everything. For Liz Parker and Max Evans it could very well change their lives for the better or worse, forever.

Author’s Note: Despite how it starts, this is dreamer all the way and I promise you’ll smile when we’re done. This is a story I started 2 years ago, never finished it, but yesterday I was inspired to write and this was the result. The Titles of the chapters as well as lyrics are from Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry, but the title of this story and the last chapter ‘Remember When', belongs to Alan Jackson. My music collection is a wide variety, as you can probably tell from my previous stories. I hope you enjoy.

Special Thanks: To La'Shon, she's my cheerleader, rooting for me never to quit and giving me the courage I need to do things that are way out of my comfort zone. This is for you.

<center>Image
Banner by: me</center>

**Posted In Two Parts Due To Length**


<center>
It Starts With Goodbye
I was sitting on my doorstep
I hung up the phone and it fell out of my hands
But I knew I had to do it
And he wouldn’t understand
So hard to see myself without him
I felt a piece of my heart break
</center>


The breeze blew by, causing lazy strands of her hair to flutter around her face. Taking a deep breath, she realized there was no other choice.

How could she not go?

Just the thought of him, even now, four years later, still caused a familiar flutter in her chest. Her stomach tightened with knots and her eyes stung with unshed tears. She thought she’d moved on. Thought that part of her life was dead and over.

One phone call, that’s all it took, to change everything.

She could think of nothing else ever since. This decision would change her life forever. She would lose everything she’d worked for but not going, that was something that would hurt her more. Her decisions were her own, they may have been wrong, but they were what she needed in her life.

Blind numbness settled in.

Tilting her head up to face the sky, allowing the sun to warm her skin, a tiny tear leaked from the corner of her eye.

Moving on, that’s what she was doing, then. Now, she wasn’t sure what this decision would or could be called. Was she scared of change? This far in her life was she still afraid to make a decision, not knowing whether it would be right? Or would she be grossly wrong again? What if this decision ended all that she coveted; the security, the happiness bubble she’d built for herself? Or would it change her life irrevocably?

A new beginning or a tumble down the mental destruction she’d pulled herself from years ago?

Taking a deep breath, she squared her shoulders, and stood. Today she would make the decision, the very same one she’d made four years earlier.

The decision to change her life, if only life came with a guarantee that she wouldn’t repeat her mistakes.

For Liz Parker, her new beginning would once again start with goodbye.


<center>I Can’t Live A Lie
Could I forget the look that tells me you want me
And all the reasons that make loving you so easy
But even if I made a vow
I promise not to miss you
</center>


“How can you just leave? Do we mean nothing to you?” his voice, enraged and filled with hurtful bitterness surrounded their bedroom.

She felt bad, she truly did. How could she not? She promised herself to him, forever. Not more than two weeks after their engagement, she was going to walk out of his life and not look back.

He wouldn’t understand. And she didn’t expect him to.

Hadn’t she said, time and time again, that she was over him? Hadn’t she promised to only love him for the rest of her life?

Broken promises always hurt.

They hurt him, her fiancé, and they hurt her to have to make them. Life seldom made sense, especially to her.

Liz learned from early on, that life was like a spiral staircase. Not only did you not know when it would end, you weren’t always sure of your footing. They made you dizzy if you looked at them too long, and they seemed to go on forever, sometimes making feel like you can’t go on.

This time in her life, she felt helpless, but walking away from this challenge wasn’t an option.

Breaking his heart again, wasn’t an option.

“Jake, I’m sorry. I know you don’t believe me, but I didn’t plan on this. I didn’t…” her tears brimmed over, and her voice hitched. He made a move to comfort her, and she had to bite back the bitter smile.

Of course he would comfort her, he always did. He was exactly what she needed in her life, at least that’s what she’d convinced herself of. That was until that phone call three hours ago.

Funny how quickly life changed, how her feelings changed. There was remorse in her heart and regret, for knowing all along he wasn’t the one for her. How could she not admit it sooner, she asked herself. Staring up into his blue eyes, she pleaded with herself to find a reason to stay.

To be with him. To live the happy life she created.

She closed her eyes tightly from the thought flashing through her mind, even now, at the most inopportune time. How many times had she wished that the eyes looking down at her were a golden hazel instead of sky blue?

Opening her eyes, she saw how much he loved her. Even now when she was walking out on him, he still loved her. That hurt.

“Liz, you’re not thinking right,” he paused, ran a shaky hand through his golden brown locks and took in a deep breath. “You have to see him. I understand that. He’s hurt. You’re concerned. But you don’t have to leave. If you think I’ll have a problem with it, I won’t. Just…don’t do this.” She knew if she allowed him to convince her, she might just stay. And for all the wrong reasons, she told herself.

Jake was her world for the past two years. He was the world she created for herself. A guy who cherished her, never argued with her. Always treated her like the most precious thing in the world to him. It amazed her that while living in that world, she hadn’t realized how much living she wasn’t doing.

If she stayed now, she would not only regret it, but eventually one day she would leave, on her own.

“You deserve better.”

“Better than what? You know Liz I was there for you. Me, not him! Damn it can’t you just let him go?”

“I have. This is different,” she argued weakly.

Letting out a huff of disgust, one she’d never heard uttered past his lips, Jake turned his back to her. That was another first. Jake was always mild tempered and never lost his cool; this was a side of him she wasn’t sure she could handle.

“Bullshit. I told you that I could forgive you for anything, but I realized I was kidding myself. If you leave, I’ll never forgive you. And I won’t be here when you come back.” He muttered icily causing Liz to shudder at his bluntness.

She stared at his back, tight with anger and hurt, and called out his name, softly. Waiting until he faced her, she swiped the tears from her eyes and tried to find the strength to be honest with him. So honest that he would be able to keep his last words to her.

And because she knew him, she knew it was only his anger talking, which is why he couldn’t look at her when he said it. He didn’t mean it. She knew it, and so did he. If she left now, and came back, he would accept her.

She couldn’t live with herself though.

“Why Liz? Why am I not good enough?” he stood directly in front of her, causing her to cry harder. It hurt her to see him so hurt, but more so because she was the one causing his pain.

“You are. You can’t love me…”

“I do!”

“No, you can’t because you don’t really know me,” she whispered and closed the tiny distance between them, pressing her body against his.

“What the hell are you talking about? I know you Liz, you’re just upset because of the accident.”

She shook her head, leaned up on her tiptoes and reached out, framing his face in her hands. “I care about you. I always will. You helped me through a really hard time in my life, and I love you for that. He’s just someone I never let go of. I have to do this. Not just for him, but for myself. I need to figure out who I am.”

“And you can’t do that with me?”

“No.”

“Why not?” he sounded broken, and she knew she had to make him let her go.

“I just can’t live a lie anymore.” He nodded his head, except she knew he didn’t understand, not now, but he would. Knowing that much provided her a miniscule amount of comfort. Jake leaned down and kissed her lips softly, allowing his tears to fall freely, before turning and walking away.

And Liz knew without a doubt, he wouldn’t ever return.


<center>Lessons Learned
There’s some things that I regret
Some words I wish had gone unsaid
Been some bad times
Damage I could not undo
Something’s I wish I could do all over again
</center>


Liz Parker stood on the sidewalk outside of LaGuardia Airport and realized, besides the suitcases at her feet, she had nothing. A few dollars in her pocket, and a lifetime of regrets standing before her to overcome, were all that were left.

She was twenty-nine, and up until three days ago, working two dead-end jobs, and alone. That was what scared her the most. Would she always be alone?

But more importantly, would she be this way at her own choice, every time?

Everyone made mistakes, she knew this, but why did it always seem like no matter what she thought would be for the better was always just the opposite?

Every unfortunate tear that fell from her eyes was at her own hands. Based on decisions she made on the fly, because she was scared of letting go. Of letting good things happen to her, instead she tried to go after happiness, too bad it was standing in front of her since she was eighteen, and at the age of twenty-five she threw it all away.

That was the natural course for her, though. How was she supposed to know then what she figured out, now?

It dawned on her six-hour plane trip back to the place she left behind without a second thought. No, that was a lie. She thought about it, agonized over the choice every waking moment of her life.

She did Jake a serious injustice; she sacrificed his happiness for hers. She was selfish, and maybe she always was, but she couldn’t change what already happened. She could only learn from past mistakes, and unfortunately for her, she had very little time to do so.

He needed her, whether he realized it or not.

He was, after all, a stubborn ass. The image of his smile, his hands skimming her body as the morning sun moved across their bedroom. The feel of his body moving against hers, filling her, stretching her and completing her; filled her body with longing.

How did she not see it sooner? How did she not realize when she walked out of his life that she was really giving up on her own?

When she was eighteen, it was excusable to not only make mistakes, but to demand things she didn’t even understand. At twenty, she grew past that, but in a way she understood that he couldn’t give make a promise he couldn’t control. He didn’t know what their future held anymore than she did.

So, like many before her, she tried to change him. Tried to make him be someone he didn’t know how to be. She got angry, she resented him, but the fact was they were so much alike it scared her.

What if they ended up with forever, she didn’t know then, and she sure as hell didn’t know now, what that meant.

But if the past two years with Jake taught her anything, it taught her it was possible for someone to let go and love someone completely, and trust in them.

Even though Jake did that for her, she knew going into it, she could never reciprocate.

Life lessons are what shape us; she knew that, didn’t she? Hadn’t she learned that letting go of the one person she loved unconditionally, didn’t make her any happier? And in not allowing bad things to happen, she would never know if they would even come around.

Although she knew realistically, it was inevitable, bad things always happened, but who you had close to you, who you trusted to be a part of your life and live through with, is all that mattered.

Again, something she learned on her plane ride. It was glaringly obvious, but it took breaking another man’s heart to come to the conclusion.

Now, as the New York smog and heat threatened to smother her, she knew there was nowhere else she would rather be. He was all that mattered and she would make him understand that she’d learned her lesson, and that she wasn’t perfect, but she did love him.

She would always love him. Even if he couldn’t, she would be enough, for the both of them.

Liz Parker had learned her lesson, it was a hard fall from grace and the climb back up to the top, was even harder.

But he was worth it.

They were worth it.


<center>Wasted
Sometimes love just slips away
And you just can’t get it back
</center>


“What are you doing here?” he asked, voice gruff from the medication. He looked pale to her, bruises marred his face, and stitches on his arm peeked out from beneath his hospital gown. They said he wasn’t wearing his helmet, something he’d never done. It was a practice course, a freak accident with the bike. She tried to keep her features neutral even though she felt like running to him, holding him and telling him she would never leave again.

“Isabel called me.”

“She shouldn’t have. You can leave,” he said, turning his head towards the window. The pale blue and green shade was drawn closed and up until that moment, a part of her thought he would be happy to see her.

If she had thought about her plan better, she would have already realized he wouldn’t want to see her now, or ever. That however, wouldn’t deter her.

Rather than explain why she was there, because that reason to her, was glaringly obvious. Seeing him again, even broken and bruised still moved something deep inside of her.

He still affected her more than anyone she would ever know.

His inky-black hair was matted to his head, his left ear was split at the top and a few stitches were placed to heal it, his lip; swollen on one side was maroon in color, but lacked any stitching. His face, his beautiful, once flawless face was covered in deep red scratches, purple and blue bruises on his forehead along with a stark white bandage made everything on his face more severe looking.

She closed her eyes, and swallowed back her cry. Because that’s what she wanted to do, drop to her knees and cry because she almost lost him.

He would have died, and he would have hated her.

“Max—”

“Liz, just leave…please.” The pleading in his voice, and the wetness of his eyes, which she could see even from her place at the foot of his bed, was enough for her to back away.

“I’ll go now. But I’m not leaving.” She fought for a calm voice, to stop shaking, to stop the pain of seeing him so helpless.

“Why not? That’s what you’re good at,” came his cynical retort.

Brutal attack. Right where it hurt. He knew how to do that, better than anyone. She figured it was because of how she felt for him, that’s why it hurt. She’d heard worse insults but those didn’t faze her. But from his mouth, they stung. A lot.

“I know you’re angry with me but I’m not leaving you now. You can hate me Max, you can tell me to leave, and you can be pissed off with me, if that’s what you need. But I’m not leaving. Not again.” The determination in her voice was clear and precise. She knew he felt it, because he turned and looked right at her. Their eyes locked and she knew in that moment, he wanted to believe her.

Even after all this time, he still felt something for her, and she hoped for her sake, it was more than hatred.

“Well guess what, Liz? I don’t need you,” he sneered, and turned away.

It hurt.

It was like a bullet to her heart.

It was exactly what she expected. She was in for a battle; one that she hoped in the end wouldn’t be a waste of her time.

She’d wasted so much already.


<center>Over you
Now that its all said and done
I can’t believe you were the one
To build me up and tear me down
What you said when you left
Just left me cold and out of breath
Guess I let you get the best of me
</center>


“Did I not make myself clear? I want you gone,” he’d said but she ignored him, much as she had been all morning. He watched her pace in front of the doctor. Why the hell did she come back? Why now? It pissed him off, and it hurt more than he wanted to admit.

So he didn’t, instead he lashed out at her every chance he got.

“He will be confined to a wheelchair for a few weeks. We need his ribs to heal, and then we can work on the rest of him…” The doctor droned on, but Max wanted no part of a wheelchair.

He was a grown man and he’d survived worse. Liz broke his heart and he lived to tell the tale, wasn’t that the hardest thing he had to live through?

If it wasn’t, it sure as hell felt like it. He was doing fine, before he met her, then she turned his world upside down. He trusted her, which was hard for him to do. He never allowed another to get close enough, but with Liz it was different.

And then she walked out.

And he had to pull his broken heart back together.

He was over her.

And he wanted her out of his life.

She was still beautiful, he thought as he watched the concern on her face. He wanted to spit he was so angry with her for showing up. Even more so, why would Isabel call her?

In fact, that very morning he’d asked her and her disgusting reply was, “I was scared and I knew that if something happened to you, she would want to know.” To which he began to explain all the reasons why he didn’t care if Liz would want to know. He felt it was his business and not hers.

If he died, Liz wouldn’t care; he truly didn’t think she would. Although, as he watched her asking questions about his injuries and how he needed special care for the next few weeks, something inside of him went soft.

Damn her for showing up. Looking just as beautiful as she did the day she left. Except now there were no tears, only worried eyes. Concern for him.

Oh he would make sure Isabel paid for this.

He pressed the bottom to administer a shot of morphine, and he closed his eyes as it took affect, flowing through his veins and taking the edge off the pain.

“Are you sure it’s safe for him to leave in a few days? Don’t you have to run more tests or something?” She pushed her long brown hair, which he’d noticed was wavy today and had little golden brown highlights, away from her face to regard him.

He didn’t like the coloring, she should have left it alone, the waves were different from the usual straight, but he didn’t care. It was her hair. Her life.

“Liz, leave the doctor alone,” he commented, making the mistake of making eye contact with her.

“Max, I just want to make sure you’re okay.”

“I’m fine.”

“You’re taking a morphine drip and you’ve cracked most of your ribs! How can you lay there and say that?” she asked, making her way to his side. He froze. It was one thing talking to her at a distance, no matter how small, but now, she was looking down at him concerned.

A crushing feeling settled over him. The look in her eyes was more than concern, it was a question; one he was ill prepared to answer. However, he was sure it had the desired affect; it weakened his resolve.

His voice softened, “Liz, I trust the doctor, besides I’m feeling better. It’s just the position I’m laying in that hurts.” She didn’t look convinced and he had to bite back the smile that threatened to break free.

She was a stubborn ass.

After the doctor excused himself, Liz hadn’t said another word to him. Instead she settled into a chair in the corner of the room and hadn’t said a word.

“You should go home.”

“I don’t have one,” she mumbled out, studying the white linoleum tiles beneath her feet.

That startled him. What did she mean? He was setting up to ask, but her voice broke through he silence.

“I got Isabel’s phone call and left. Packed my bags, cleared out my bank account, and bought my one-way plane ticket.” She let out a small laugh, which was more for his benefit, he knew.

“I didn’t expect you to come. You know it doesn’t matter, right?” he asked, trying to remove the hurt and resentment from his voice.

She ducked her head, causing her hair to flow around her in a curtain and a part of him longed to run his fingers through it. He closed his eyes to the onslaught of emotions washing over him.

She still had a hold over him, he didn’t like it but he knew he was smart enough to control it from affecting him.

“It matters to me.”

He wished she would leave.

“If you think anything has changed, it hasn’t. I’ll be going home in a few days and you can go back to doing whatever you were doing.”

“I’m staying.”

“Do you want to argue with me? Is that it?” he asked, feeling his frustration rising. Why was she making it harder on herself?

To his surprise, she jumped to her feet and came to his bedside. She reached out her hand to brush his hair away from his forehead, he quickly jerked away. It cost him a lot to do that, not only did it hurt, but also the look on her face pierced through him.

“Max, I understand why you don’t want me here.”

“You don’t have a clue,” he bit out scornfully.

“I broke your heart,” she started but he quickly rebuked her statement.

“Wrong, you would have had to own my heart in order to break it. You give yourself too much credit,” he said coldly, watching as she winced as if he’s struck her physically.

“You’re angry,” she surmised.

“You think! I don’t know why you decided to come back now. Did you think I would die and you could clear your conscious? It’s not going to work, because I’m over you Liz. I’ve been over you for years, so you can take that and get the fuck out of here!” he roared, causing his chest to expand against his bandages, making his body recoil in pain.

“Fuck you!” she said, and he paused, jerking his head up. She never cursed, ever.

“What?” he asked, in disbelief. He must have misheard her.

“Listen good Max, because I’m only going to say this once. I know I hurt you and you can continue to punish me for it, but I’m not here to beg for forgiveness. If that’s what you think than you can go to hell. I can’t make up for the past, I can’t even try because you are too stubborn to let me. I gave up everything I had to be here, and I’m not letting you tell me what to do.” She tried to keep the tears from her eyes and her voice, but she failed.

It unsettled him, and he decided he needed to set her straight once and for all.

She had to leave because he didn’t want her.

Not anymore.

“I’m not telling you what to do, but you need to understand right now. I don’t want you. I didn’t ask you to be here. I’m over you.” He said the words, but for the first time in four years, he wasn’t sure he truly meant them.


<center>That’s Where It Is
In the circles I’ve been running
I’ve covered many miles
I could search forever
For what’s right in front of my eyes
Just when I thought I found it
It was nothing like I planned
When I got my heart around it
It slipped right through my hands
</center>


It had been four weeks since he’d left the hospital and he wasn’t any more inclined to take her visitations than before. That didn’t deter her though. She’d spoken with Isabel earlier, and they devised a plan to get her into his house undetected.

She knew it was underhanded, but what other choice did she have? The longer his resentment grew, the harder it would be for her to tell him the truth. The less inclined he would be to understand. He was hurt, of that she had no doubt.

Max trusted very few, but with the exception of his friend Isabel, she was the only one that knew the real him. He might act like an ass at times, but that was his defense mechanism.

She couldn’t blame him. He’d lived a hard life. Left when he was four, his parents didn’t want him. He grew up in an orphanage, and he retaliated against everyone. She met him when he was twenty, and if she had to put words to the feeling of their first meeting, it could only be love at first sight.

Something she didn’t believe in, not until him. He was a beautiful human being, helpful and giving, and she was special enough for him to show that side of himself to. She’d throw it away, because she was scared.

Their relationship started as friends, because he said he needed time. But soon he expressed his feelings for her, told her how much she meant to him, how he never wanted to give his love to anyone but her.

She was his world, his everything, and she’d told him the same. She’d told him he could always trust her. She’d made promises, she hadn’t intended on breaking, but she did.

She was paying for it.

And so was he, she reminded herself. Because despite how nasty and harsh he was with her, she knew when he looked at her, he remembered.

All those nights he held her, kissed her lips, made love to her and touched her soul. She was the first girl he’d been with. She knew that was special, she also took it for granted.

She wondered if he’d been with anyone since her, she wasn’t sure why it mattered, but it did. To Liz, if he hadn’t shared himself with anyone else, then she still had a chance.

When Max gave his body, he gave it forever, it wasn’t just sex it was so much more than that. He’d told her that he’d hate himself for creating a child with a woman he had no intentions of staying with, of loving forever. It was sacred.

She hoped, that her faithfulness through the years they were apart would be enough to break down some of his walls. A part of her realized that when she’d told Jake that she wouldn’t have sex until she was married, she was really leaving hope open to reconciliation with Max. She knew if she had a second chance with him, and if she could offer herself in that capacity then she knew it would mean something that she’d waited for him.

Liz pulled up to Max’s house, it was a massive structure not that she expected anything less. He was a damn fine architect. She was so proud of him. The warm beige color, the white shutters, the pristine gardens, she’d admired them everyday she came to visit.

Everyday she was shut out from stepping inside.

Making her way to the back window, she waited for Isabel to show up.

“Finally, I was running out of excuses to run to the bathroom.” Isabel said to her as she helped her climb through.

“Thanks. I’m sorry to put you in the middle.”

Isabel shook her head and offered her a smile. “Liz, he needs you. He’s Max; he’ll always need you. Besides that, I don’t think you’d be here, that you would have come, if you didn’t still love him.”

“I do,” she admitted freely.

“That’s what I’m counting on. Now, I’m going to take myself home, I have a date. I will lock the door behind me and I’ve already turned down the ringer on the phone. Good luck,” she said and offered Liz a hug, which she accepted appreciatively.

Steeling herself for a few minutes, Liz busied herself straightening his hand towels and realized that she wouldn’t know how long it took Isabel to leave. She looked at her watch and decided five minutes more would be enough.

Taking a look at the mirror in front of her, she talked herself into opening the door and facing him.

Did she have the strength to stand up against him?

Did she want it enough?

The love of her life, her future, her everything, was just beyond that door.

If that’s where it was, then she was ready for the fight of her life.


****
Continued on next part

User avatar
Behrsgirl77
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 11:21 am
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Contact:

Post by Behrsgirl77 » Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:50 pm

<center>
Used To
I look around me
And I want you to be there
Cause I miss the things that we shared
Look around you
It's empty and you're sad
Don't you miss the love that we had?
</center>


“How the hell did you get in here?” he was startled and damn pissed off that she was here in his house. The one place he knew he didn’t have to see her.

Now she was standing in the middle of his living room, catching him off guard and invading his personal space.

Not one thing in his house reminded him of her. He made sure when he designed and furnished it, not one thing would stick out reminding him of their old place.

With her standing in front of him, looking vulnerable and wearing her heart on her sleeve, he knew he’d never forget it. He’d never forget her. He was crazy to think he could.

It was easy to say it, when she wasn’t around. Regardless, he couldn’t let go of the feeling of betrayal he felt towards her.

It had been weeks, and still she was here. Living with Isabel. As much, as he hated to admit it, he was glad she had somewhere to go. According to Isabel, who decided to fill him in on Liz’s life up until she arrived at the hospital, she truly had left everything.

But did what she have really amount too much? Not if, she had two jobs and an apartment she shared with her fiancé. The news that she had walked away from him, made him feel a bit of triumph. She left him, dropped everything after she got the phone call from Isabel. She wasn’t lying.

He now regretted how harsh he was to her that first day, but she couldn’t have been expecting much. It had been years, and the way she left, saying that what they had wasn’t forever, that it wasn’t what she wanted, was a hard jagged pill for him to swallow.

He never got over it, still wasn’t, but knowing that she’d made a sacrifice for him meant something, but he’d never admit it.

It wasn’t that he wanted her to suffer, but he wouldn’t allow himself to feel anything for her. What they had was gone. They could never get it back, and for that he couldn’t forgive her.

She had yet to respond; instead she stood before him, in her blue jeans and black tank top, her hair pushed back and her purse clutched in her hand, looking lost.

He fought to offer her a seat, but ultimately he knew he couldn’t be cruel. Waving her on, she moved forward, but didn’t sit. He moved to a better position, because while his bruises had healed his ribs were still bruised but thankfully healing well.

Max thought she would jump into the why she was here, but instead the first words out of her mouth, surprised him to say the least.

“Do you remember the song, Leather and Lace?” she asked and he stared at her. Why would she bring up that song, of all things?

He realized she wasn’t looking for an answer when she quickly continued with her thoughts.

“When I first heard it, I thought, that’s us. Lovers forever. You were the leather and I was the lace, together we were perfect. I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago, that I could never be your lace. I could never be what you wanted me to be. I loved you Max, more than I can even say, it’s just the way I felt. The problem was, I was scared. I was waiting for something to happen to us. And as the years went on, and it didn’t, I thought, it can’t be like this forever. It can’t be you and me, and our love, it just can’t be. Not for me.”

“You were worried we’d be like your parents?” he concluded, his eyes pleading her to look at him. He didn’t understand what she was scared about; they were nothing like her parents.

“I needed you to love me, and you did. I needed you to understand me, you did. I tried to do the same for you—”

“You did,” he confessed gruffly. He hated seeing her this way. It was why he avoided her for all this time; too much time with her would break his resolve.

Her eyes connected with his, and she never broke it, not even while she cried through how she felt the past few years.

“I knew I hurt you, I didn’t mean to. I knew you loved me, Max. How could anyone not see it, you showed me every single day. I loved you for that. You didn’t care. You would kiss me on a crowded street, hold my hand everywhere we went, and tell me you love me in a room full of strangers. A part of me felt guilty every time you did. I’m sorry,” she cried brokenly to him.

Finally, he pushed himself to his feet and stood before her.

“Liz, we were nothing like your parents.”

“I know that now. But they loved each other Max, they promised themselves forever, and then my father walked out. He left, didn’t say goodbye, just decided it was too much for him and never came back. What if you did that?” she looked ready to crumble, and he wanted to reach out to her, he wanted to hold her. He ached for it, but the fear that after all was said and done, she would leave, was too much for him to bear.

“I loved you too much to let you go, to walk away. How could you not know that?” he asked gently.

“Then, I didn’t. I thought, one day he’s going to wake up and see; it’s just me. And I was afraid I wouldn’t be enough. I didn’t know how to live without you. But I learned, Max. I learned that I could be without you, but I wasn’t living. Not one day without you felt real. I was just waiting for something…anything to make me feel the way I felt when I was with you,” she stepped closer, seeking something from him with her eyes, and he stepped back.

“Yet you gave your love to someone else,” his words laced with hurt and anger. How could she commit to someone else, yet be standing there before him telling him all of this?

“I didn’t love him,” she pleaded, drops of tears leaking from her eyes at a steady pace. It hurt to look at her.

He shook his head, “No, you were going to marry him before I got into that damn motorcycle accident. It’s because of the accident you’re here, not for any other reason, so don’t feed me this bullshit, Liz.” Irritation shook his body. She reached out placed her hands around his waist, but he didn’t return the embrace. He also didn’t push her away.

“It’s not bullshit! It’s the truth! Why can’t you forgive me? Why can’t you give me another chance? I would do it for you.” He knew it was true, but it didn’t work that way for him.

“I’m afraid if I forgive you that I’ll never forget and I’ll end up resenting you for it. And as hurt as I am, I wouldn’t do that to you, Liz. If I can’t love you the way you want, the way I want to then we can’t ever go back.”

“Damn it Max, stop being stubborn!”

“I wish it was only that. I don’t know how to love you anymore Liz. It’s been so long.” He was honest and he knew it would crush her. She was strong though; he knew that better than anyone. More than she gave herself credit for, she would bounce back from this, but he on the other hand was ruined forever.

The feel of her body against his, her warm tears seeping through his shirt kissing his skin, her sweet flower scent, all of it would stay with him for the rest of his life.

“Love me, Max.”

“I can’t,” he said brokenly. Still she held him tighter.

“Love me, again.”

“Liz—” He hated the sound of his own voice, hated that he wasn’t strong enough to live without her. He had no choice though.

“Max—”

“Stop, Liz. Please stop. I can’t do this with you, not now.” He removed her hands from his waist and turned away.

“Do you hate me? Really, tell me the truth,” she asked, her voice, calmer than before. His back still turned he shook his head, “I could never hate you. I tried, but…I’m just angry and hurt Liz.”

“I am a different person.”

“So am I.”

“We can try.”

“We could have.”

“Now.”

“No.”

“I know you love me.”

“I did.”

“No, look at me Max. Look at me and tell me you don’t love me. Tell me you feel nothing for me. Tell me you don’t want me, the way I want you. Tell me you don’t remember how good it was between us. Tell me that, and I promise I’ll walk away and I’ll never come back. It might kill me, but for you I will.” He froze, she’d asked him for something she knew that if he gave her would be the end…or maybe it was a beginning.

But maybe it was the beginning he was looking for all this time.

What if she left again? What if she couldn’t keep her promise? Where would that leave him? All these thoughts ran through his mind, and he fought with himself not to turn around, not to face her and give in to her words, to her tears.

“Why do you even want me?” Max asked the question that had always been on his mind, because even though Liz was the one that was looking for that something bad to happen to them, she would never know how much it cost him to believe in her.

“I trusted you, above anyone else. I believed you wanted me, to be with me, to share your life with me, but you left me! You left, Liz. And now you’re asking me to do it all over again?” This time he turned to face her, and his words, sharp as a knife sliced through the real problem; Max’s insecurity with himself. He never thought he’d be good enough for her, but he tried. Damn it he tried really hard, but in the end she left just like everyone else in his life had.

His parents didn’t want him, why would she?

He used to believe in something better, he used to believe in her, in them. That was then, this is now. He couldn’t let his resolve weaken, what would he be then?


<center>The Night Before (Life Goes On)
A tear falls off her cheek
And right when it hits his arm he says
Come on baby
I don’t want this night to end
</center>


Liz couldn’t hide her shock. Why hadn’t she realized that she was fighting the wrong battle? Max may still love her, but his fear ran deeper than that. His parents left him, she left him, and they were the things in his life that were stable. She slipped the rug right from underneath his feet.

There had to be another way to make him understand, it wasn’t him. It was never him.

“Did you know the first time I saw you, I thought, he’s the best looking guy I’ve ever seen? I thought, what kind of girl was lucky enough to have you in their life. And then I spilled my coffee on your laptop. I was mortified. Do you remember what you asked me?” she queried lightly.

“I asked if you were okay,” he answered softly. She wished he’d look at her. Instead she decided to move around him, forcing him to face her whether he liked it or not.

“I thought you were going to be pissed. I ruined it; instead you were worried about me. When you smiled at me, I thought, ‘this is the first day of the rest of my life.’ I’m going to make you mine. I thought you’d never come around, but you did. You trusted me, and I betrayed that trust, I left you. But I swear to you Max, it wasn’t because I didn’t want you.” She paused and blinked back her tears. God, she loved him. She wanted to kiss him, until he realized how much he still loved her back.

She knew him better than that, and if she really wanted him back, then she had to put it all on the line.

“I didn’t love Jake. He was a friend, and I decided that since I couldn’t have you, because I couldn’t come back and face you, that I would live with him. I would pretend that he was all that I needed. But he could never be you, ever. When Isabel called me, I thought I would die. I thought if you die, then there is no good in this world. I want you because you are kind, and generous, and loving and caring and one of the best people I know. You would do anything for Isabel, she’s not family but you treat her like a brother and she loves you just as much as you love her. You don’t trust easily, and maybe that’s a flaw, but not one anyone can fault you for. Your parents didn’t deserve you. They left you, they were supposed to protect you and love you, but they didn’t. But I’m not them,” she finished standing mere inches from him, her breath coming in heavy pants. Her tears held at bay.

“I know you’re not,” he defended weakly.

“Look at me then,” she requested softly.

His eyes moved from some place beyond to her shoulder, lifted and met hers. She knew what she’d said affected him. She knew this was her chance.

“I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I knew that then, but I was scared, but not as scared as I am right now, Max. I’m scared you won’t let yourself love me again. I’m scared you’ll send me away and that I won’t have the heart to come back.”

“Liz,” he choked out, his eyes brimming with tears.

“Tell me to leave, Max. Tell me you don’t love me.”

“No. I can’t.”

“Why not?”

He looked away, swiped his eyes and then because she knew he didn’t have anymore control over his feelings for her than she did for him, he reached out and pulled her flush against him. Wrapping her in his embrace. She closed her eyes in thanks.

“I waited so long for you, do you know that?” he asked, his voice muffled against her temple.

“I know, I’m sorry.”

“God, don’t be. I could have come after you. I could have, but…I just…I’m sorry, Liz. I’m so damn sorry.” He cried into her neck, and she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. Providing him the same comfort she needed, and that he returned.

Max pulled away and swiped his tears with the backs of his hands, then reached out and swiped hers away, right before he leaned in and kissed her for the first time in four long years.

“I love you, baby. I have and will always,” he whispered against her lips.

“I love you too, Max. I won’t promise you, but I will spend the rest of my life showing you just how much. Will you let me?”

Who knew that saying goodbye would lead her to the one thing she wanted more than anything? She knew that life took unexpected turns, and even if they were bad, so long as she had Max, she knew together they could face the anything. She needed him, and if felt great knowing that he needed her just as much.

He smiled, cradled her face in his hands and said, “You can have forever so long as I have just as much time. I’ll never let you go, Liz. Never again.” He promised.

Liz Parker smiled; tonight was the night before the rest of her life began...finally.


<center>Remember When
Remember when I was young and so were you
And time stood still and love was all we knew
You were the first, so was I
We made love and then you cried

Remember when we vowed the vows
and walked the walk
Gave our hearts, made the start, it was hard
We lived and learned, life threw curves
There was joy, there was hurt

Remember when old ones died and new were born
And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged
We came together, fell apart
And broke each other's hearts

Remember when the sound of little feet
was the music
We danced to week to week
Brought back the love, we found trust
Vowed we'd never give up

Remember when thirty something seemed old
Now lookin' back, it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are,
where we've been
Said we'd do it all again

Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had

And we'll remember when
</center>


“Kiss me,” he panted against her lips. It had been one year since his accident, and tonight they were celebrating their engagement. Max hadn’t thought they would come so far so soon. But after that day in his house, their breakdown, they vowed to never walk away.

As a result, Liz was more open with her insecurities and he made an effort to rid her of them. He had his own hang-ups, but Liz was sure with every kiss, every touch, that he knew she loved him. That she would never turn her back on him, and he in turn would do the same for her.

“That’s it,” he whispered against her neck, then trailed his tongue down the expanse of her body. Coming to rest against her thighs, gently he parted her. He opened his eyes to look his fill. Her body flush from excitement, the moonlight cascaded across her naked body, illuminating her in a delicate glow. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen; she was also the only woman he’d ever slept with.

While a part of him had wondered if she’d been with Jake, he knew it didn’t matter. It was much to his surprise when she’d confessed a few weeks ago that she hadn’t been with anyone except him.

She was truly and unequivocally his. He smiled up at her from his position and then slid down, resting on his stomach and parted her thighs, widening her for his onslaught.

They had decided to wait to sleep together, getting to know one another was more important, but it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to keep his hands to himself. Wasn’t she the one he’d wanted from the first moment he saw her? Wasn’t she the one that drove him absolutely crazy with her delicate hands, her soft full lips, and her petite body that knew how to push him over the edge well before he was ready?

“I can’t wait,” her panting breath reaches his ears, but he wasn’t ready to give over control, yet.

“Yes, you can.”

“Max…please…” she begged and his resolve broke. Taking another sweet kiss from her delicate flesh, he kneeled up and covered her with his body. He cradled her face in his hands as he traced her lips with his tongue, allowing her a taste of the wetness he’d just created, and then covered her mouth. Their mingled moans filled the room as he pushed into her, slowly at first and then when her legs lifted to accommodate more of him, he slid in all the way. Stretching her, filling her and allowing her body to tighten around him. He closed his eyes tightly, she felt just as amazing as she always did.

He lifted his head, locked eyes with her, and told her exactly how he felt in that moment; like the luckiest man in the world. She smiled, as tears leaked from the corners of her eyes.

Not wanting to go over the edge without her, he pushed deeper, harder and rode her until her body convulsed around him. Straining against his sweat soaked skin, and in that next moment their bodies arched against one another and their cries of ecstasy and love filled the room.

The room that would one day soon be filled with the cries of a baby with jet-black hair like his father and brown eyes like his mother. And the keeper of a love so strong, that when the story was told over again through the years…his mother would start it off by saying… “Remember when…” because wasn’t that how all great love stories began?



<center>THE END</center>

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