DreamerMaxBehrian wrote: In my dreamer mind, I envisioned him having Liz on the brain by that time (because of the recent bonding experience they'd shared in Ch 5 - the chronological chapter that preceded this one...) and maybe he'd thought having mindless sex with Meg would help take his mind off Liz. Only that didn't happen. But now that I've re-read it again, I can see how maybe MiY is right. Hmmm. Jo...which was it?
I can’t tell you that
Wench on a Leash wrote: o_o This is me.
O_O This is me in the midst of reading.
o_O? This is me after reading.
Haha, I love this. I can totally picture you
Wench on a Leash wrote: I wonder if she's sort of considered one of the "freaks" or "outcasts" at school? Or maybe she's just considered "weird" or "odd" because she's intelligent and won't put out easily? Or 'cause she doesn't go to stupid high school parties or something. Max had mentioned something to her about what the guys said in the locker rooms when Michael wasn't around the time she finally did go to a college party and "tried to be like everyone else for once". I'm just really curious as to why people at school find her "odd" in the first place.
It’s mostly because she always speaks her mind and she doesn’t take crap. This separates her slightly from the rest of the crowd. She just doesn’t play well with others
and of course
You amaze me with your thoughts. Thank you!!
Updated Timeline Chart
9. The Other Woman
Saturday evening, a couple of weeks after the prom
(2003) Max is 18, Liz is 17
Behold! Max Evans has a girlfriend.
Maybe Liz Parker should be happy about this.
Maybe it should please her to know that he was no longer sleeping around, but had actually formed a commitment to one
But Liz Parker was not happy when Max dragged Tess over to the apartment and she could hear the blonde’s giggles echo down the corridor to her room.
It didn’t please her to see them making out on the couch as she went to get a glass of water.
Liz Parker was annoyed.
If Max Evans wanted to tickle his girlfriend, he should do so at his own place.
If Max Evans wanted to suck on his girlfriend’s face, he should do it somewhere else.
Hearing Tess’ laugh, Liz pressed firm hands over her ears and filled her head with ‘la la la la’ as she walked to the bathroom.
“Gaaah,” she pressed out as she slammed the door shut, not caring if the couple had heard her.
It was just rude. It was just fucking rude to go to someone else’s house and make out with your girlfriend on their couch.
She angrily pulled off her shirt and threw it on the floor. At the back of her head, she knew that she was probably acting like a five-year-old throwing a tantrum, but she just had the urge to stomp her feet and scream.
“Fucking idiot,” she mumbled, his face clear in her head. “I hate him. I hate him. I hate him.”
She pulled her pants and panties down her legs and stepped into the shower. The water dials, shampoo, conditioner, yes everything, were treated like they had cheated on her. She angrily turned the dials, kicked the shampoo bottle around on the tiled floor, hit the conditioner bottle repeatedly into the wall and stepped on the bottle of shower cream, which spurted the product out into the water, fumes of strawberry-scented cream filling the air.
She felt much more relaxed after the shower. Some people needed to go outside and scream. Some people got drunk. Liz Parker abused her cleaning products and she felt rejuvenated.
After towel-drying her hair, she wrapped the towel around her petite body and opened the bathroom door. Only to be faced by The Girlfriend herself.
“Oh,” she said, looking at Liz’s freshly cleaned face and wet hair with a glint in her eye. “Hello.”
“Hey,” Liz mumbled, her eyes darkening as she took a firm grip on the top of her towel so it wouldn’t – for some odd reason – fall off.
Tess slowly raked her eyes down her towel-clad body, a condescending smirk on her face. “Little Lizzie. Didn’t know you were here.”
Oh, and did Liz mentioned how much she hates his girlfriend? Especially this quality of hers to look down at Liz and make her feel like an insignificant ugly ant.
“I live here,” she said, trying not to be too affected by her tone of voice. She could handle this girl. It was just another blonde.
But it wasn’t. It was the blonde Max had chosen to be his first girlfriend. There must be something about this girl to have Max sacrifice his playboy status and that intimidated Liz.
“Yeah, I heard,” Tess said slowly and cocked her head to the side, as if talking to a child.
Liz squinted with her eyes, focusing on the girl’s face hard. Maybe her anger could disintegrate the blonde on the spot. That would be cool.
“How’s school?” Tess wondered with a smirk.
Oh yes, blondie. Rub it in. You’re in college. I’m still in high school. Yes, you are the cooler person here.
Liz covered the sarcastic voice in her head with a tight smile. “Marvelous.”
“You know,” Tess said, a thoughtful expression on her face. “I’ve always wondered something.”
Liz sighed in frustration. “What?”
“Max and you spend a lot of time together, don’t you?”
Liz rolled her eyes. Here we go again. The Assumption with a large A.
“Have you two ever…” she left the question hanging, looking at her with a smirk that had Liz suspect she already knew the answer.
Of course Blondie knew the answer. That was probably one of the first things she had asked Max about.
Liz donned a bored expression and said in a monotonous voice. “Yes, actually. He’s my fucking buddy. Whenever he gets tired of the likes of you, he comes to me. He always comes back to me.”
Liz had to struggle not to laugh as Tess’ eyes widened in shock. It was actually a really funny expression.
The shock passed quickly and the blonde’s face darkened. Almost spitting the words out, she looked down at her (even though Liz was an inch taller) and said, “He would never be interested in you. Just look at you.” She waved her hand across Liz’s chest, which had Liz shrinking into herself. “You’ve got absolutely nothing
to offer him. You’re flat as a plank, your face is plain, your hair is boring and your personality is awful.”
Okay, so Liz had kinda set herself up for that defensive reply. Didn’t mean it didn’t hurt.
“Max has told me the truth, okay,” Tess said darkly. “He’s told me that you are just Mike’s annoying little sister who won’t leave him alone.”
Liz felt hot tears burn her eyes. Tess’ earlier words were not nearly as hurtful as her last words. She pressed her lips together and took a step to the side to step around the girl when she bumped into something.
She already knew who it was without having to look up. His smell surrounded her in a protective cocoon. At least it had symbolized safety a couple of seconds ago, now with Tess’ latest words ringing in her head, it was only suffocating her.
“Hey,” she heard him say and she squeezed her eyes shut, not being able to move because he had grabbed a hold of her arms, probably to steady her. But that didn’t explain why he hadn’t let her go yet. “Is everything alright?”
Just peachy, Liz thought.
Liz heard rather than saw the sugar sweet smile on Tess’ face as she answered, “Everything’s fine. Liz was just showing me to the bathroom.”
“Oh,” Max said and his hands let go of Liz’s bare arms.
She immediately started walking to her bedroom, as if she was a captured animal just let free. She could feel Max’s eyes at the back of her head and as she shut the door to her bedroom behind her, she could hear Max ask Tess what had happened.
She leaned her head against the door and squeezed her eyes tightly together, willing herself to take deep breaths.
She could hear them moving around outside her door, so she turned and twisted the key in the door in case Max decided to walk in.
She let the towel drop on the floor and pulled out her body lotion. Tears running down her cheeks, she methodically massaged lotion into the skin of her legs, biting her tongue to stop herself from sobbing. A sob caught in her throat as she heard Tess laugh loudly in the living room and she heatedly wiped the tears off her cheeks with the back of her hand.
Why was she letting that girl get to her?
She pulled out some underwear, a pair of pajama pants and a T-shirt from the wardrobe, and quickly dressed.
As she pulled the T-shirt over her head, there was a knock on the door.
She froze and stared at the door, soundlessly willing the person on the other side to go away. The handle moved but, to her relief, the voice drifting through the door didn’t belong to the guy that only seemed to cause her grief.
“Why’s your door locked?”
Wiping her eyes clear of any tears, she turned the key and opened the door.
Her big brother looked at her oddly. “Have you been crying?”
She shook her head, “I’m just tired,” and turned her head away.
“What are you doing in here? We’re gonna watch a movie.”
“I have to study,” Liz lied.
Michael looked at her suspiciously. Liz was a smart girl. She rarely needed to study.
“It’s ‘The Ring’,” Michael said, knowing perfectly well that Liz had a weakness for horror movies. It was her closet obsession. He also happened to know that she had wanted to see that movie when it was running in the cinemas but never got around to.
“You rented ‘The Ring’?” she asked, hoping that he would say ‘no’ even though she really wanted to see that movie. She just knew that she would have to go out there
to see it.
“Yep,” Michael smiled. “You never saw that one, did you?”
She shook her head, her shoulders sloping. She was going out there, wasn’t she?
Sighing deeply, she resigned with an “Okay.”
“Cheer up, squirt. You’re not going into war.”
“I’m just tired,” Liz mumbled as she switched off the light in her room and followed Michael down the hallway.
Tess’ laughter bombarded her eardrums as she approached the living room. Without looking at them, she sank down in the bean bag next to the couch.
“Oh, you’re joining us?” Tess asked so sweetly it made Liz’s teeth ache.
“Uh-huh,” she answered.
“How about we convince the boys to watch something funny instead,” Tess proposed.
Liz sank further into the bean bag, wondering why Tess was talking to her. She was just her for the movie. Why couldn’t Max’s new girlfriend just leave her alone?
“I actually prefer horror movies,” Liz mumbled.
Tess laughed like she had said something funny and Liz looked over in her direction, for the first time looking at Tess – and inadvertently Max. She quickly wished she hadn’t. Tess was curled up against Max’s side, her head resting on his shoulder. Max had one arm wrapped around her shoulders, his fingers playing with her curls, while the other hand was resting on her thigh.
Liz intentionally avoided looking at Max and directed her eyes firmly on Tess’ face. If she just focused on Tess’ face, she could block out everything around. “What’s so funny about that?”
Tess’ face fell at her cold tone and Max shifted slightly. With a hint of warning to his voice, he spoke for the first time since she had joined them, “Liz…“
“Yeah, yeah,” Liz mumbled, turning her head away. “I’ll be nice.”
“So, what’s this movie about?” Tess asked and Liz rolled her eyes. This was going to be a long night.
Tess lasted for about thirty minutes before she was hiding her face in Max’s chest, talking loudly about how scary the movie was.
Liz put up with her monologue for about ten minutes, her jaw clenched and her hands squeezed into tight fists, before she turned to Tess and snapped, “Could you shut up?”
There was a second of silence as everyone stared at Liz and then Max spoke, “Fuck Liz. What’s your problem?”
She really didn’t want to cause a scene, she just wanted that stupid person to not talk during the movie, so she sank further into the bean bag and said, without looking at him, “It’s just a bit annoying when people
talk during the movie.”
“She’s just asking questions,” Max answered, his voice tense.
Liz crossed her arms tightly across her chest. “Fine. Whatever. Just do it quietly.”
“Why are you being such a bitch?” Max asked, anger coloring his voice.
“Hey,” Michael intervened, but Liz had already straightened and was staring at Max heatedly.
“I’m being a bitch?” she questioned with dark eyes.
“Yes,” Max answered. “Tess is my guest and you’re treating her like shit.”
“Oh,” Liz huffed, his tone cutting into her. She wanted to explode with the unfairness of the situation, but she found herself at a loss of words as the pain in her chest numbed her. So instead of informing him of every single word that Tess had said to her earlier, she rose from the bean bag and walked away without another word.
“Lizzie, come on,” Michael yelled after her, but the tears were already rolling down her cheeks. There was no way she was going back there.
Then she heard Tess’ voice, which had her quickening her steps, “Max? Max, where are you going?”
He reached her just outside of her door, his fingers digging into her arm as he spun her around. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
She closed her eyes as he yelled into her face and missed the look of confusion cross his face as he noticed her tears.
She hit out with her arms, removing his hands from her arms and walked away from him. “Fuck you!”
He caught her again, his voice softer now, “Hey. She’s really a nice girl. Just give her a chance.”
Keeping her head down to hide her tears, she said tightly, “Yeah, whatever.” She was at the point where she would say anything he wanted to hear, just so he would let her go.
She was very close to breaking down and she really didn’t feel like doing so in front of him.
“She was trying to be nice to you and you just-“
“Nice,” she repeated, her voice hitching on an uncontrollable sob. “She was not…” Her voice failed her as another sob ripped through her.
His grip on her arms loosened and she pulled an arm free to press a hand against her eyes.
“Why are you crying?” he asked softly, confusion in his voice.
A teary laugh squeezed past the sobs. “You just screamed at me and you’re wondering why I’m crying?”
“You don’t cry…“ Max said insecurely.
Liz looked up at him with wet eyes and said, “Yes, Max. I cry. And before you start accusing people, maybe you should get your facts straight.”
With that she stepped out of his hold and walked into her room, slamming the door behind her and leaving Max staring at the wooden barrier wondering what had just happened.
Thank you everyone soooo much for the feedback (and some of you for posting feedback several times). I would love to respond to some of it (as I normally do), but I'm afraid that my messed up brain right now would say something that wouldn't make sense and just confuse you further. So, I'll just say this; I looooove all your feedback, every single thought!!
max and liz believer wrote:
My brain was so dead I couldn't even answer questions to what the most common clinical signs of right-sided heart failure were.
Man, I hate when that happens....
Yeah, doesn't that just suck?
It's good to see you back...
And it's good to be back
Hi Tanya! *waves back*
Besides hating Tess, a lot of you were upset with Michael in the previous chapter. I haven't covered him much yet, so I understand if you're a bit confused about his role in all of this. The way I see it; the reason why he didn't do more when Max was being mean to his little sister is because he's resigned. He's like the mom of two screaming children below the age of two who just sits down on the couch and zones out. He's so used to them going on and on that he doesn't even bother anymore (one of you commented on this, and now I can't find that comment to quote it, but it was very true). He did
try to intercept, which tells us that the argument was enough for him to bother at all. Yes, he didn't
run after Max and Liz and that might've been wrong, but he's also human. He's sick and tired of their constant battles and doesn't even attempt to figure them out anymore.
Someone mentioned that Max might've thought Liz was PMS:ing and I thought that was a funny comment. I think that maybe Michael thought she was PMS:ing and that's why she was being so sensitive all of the sudden. Because the problem wasn't really what Max said or his tone of voice, it was more that he picked Tess' side and scolded Liz (embarrassed her) in front of the girl that had just more or less bullied her. And there was no way that Michael would be able to pick up on that.
So, I'm not saying that what Michael did, or didn't do, was correct. I'm just saying that he's not a heartless person that doesn't care if his friend abuses his sister. It's just a sad consequence of a looong series of incidents.
I've blabbered on for too long. If it doesn't make sense, blame it on the germs.
Let's step away from the whole Tess situation and all that drama, shall we?
In the Middle of Nowhere
One month before Christmas
(2004) Michael is 20, Max is 19, Liz is 18
“Transformers are way cooler!”
“They’re not real!!”
“Oh and Ninja Turtles are?”
She huffed. “You know what I mean.”
“No, little Lizzie. You’re not making any sense.”
Mike sighed. “Would you two shut up for just a second?”
Without taking his eyes off Liz, Max answered his best friend. “We’re having an important discussion here.”
Mike sighed again. “Important my ass.”
“But Turtles are funny.”
“So’s your face.”
Liz’s head fell backwards with a loud exasperated sigh. “Would you stop that already?!”
Michael and Max were currently in this phase in their lives when every statement could be met with a ‘so is your face’ or ‘so is your mother’. It had been slightly funny when they had started, but five months of that crap kinda took the joy out of it.
Max opened his mouth to respond when the car started to shake and slow down. Horror filtered through Max’s eyes for a split second, disrupting his general cool countenance.
“What did you do?” he asked Michael, leaning in to look for any warning lights on the panel.
“I didn’t do anything. It just…” The car made some odd coughing sounds until it came to a complete stop. “…died.”
Liz stared at the two males occupying the front seats. She didn’t know if she should laugh or cry. The expression of horror mixed with concern for his ‘baby’ looked really amusing on Max’s face, while Michael looked really funny trying to pretend he wasn’t aware of the death glares Max was sending his way.
But twenty minutes later, Liz was very close to crying.
“Whose brilliant idea was it to take this piece of junk through the desert anyway?” Liz muttered.
“Shut up,” Max warned. No one called his dark blue 1968 Chevrolet Impala ‘a piece of junk’ and lived.
“You know, Maxie. They are building new cars now. New cars, so that you won’t have to drive around in old cars-“
“Liz-“ Michael warned, but it was too late.
“Would you shut up for a second?!” Max erupted, staring at her with wild eyes. Something that had Liz fascinated instead of intimidated. “You bitch and moan about the quality of my car when it would be nice if you would help us figuring out a solution!”
She shrugged. “That’s easy. Since you two boneheads have both dysfunctional cell phones, we just have to sit and wait for someone to pass by.”
Michael looked up from the display screen of his cell phone which was still displaying the lack of reception in this area. “How many cars have we met the last hour, Liz?”
Liz bit her lower lip. She had no idea. She had been concentrating on Max’s face the whole time to see his every facial expression as they battled out another battle of wills.
Looking nonchalant, she shrugged again. “About two.”
“Zero, Lizzie! No fucking cars whatsoever!”
“Hey,” Max said calmly to Michael, looking at Liz oddly. “Take it down a notch, Mike.”
Sure, Max had been the one screaming at Liz just a second ago, but he always screamed at Liz. Yelling was the foundation of their relationship. But Michael almost never raised his voice at his little sister and Max immediately saw the hurt creep into Liz’s eyes at Michael’s voice level.
“Okay, fine,” she bit out and turned her back to them so they couldn’t see her expression.
But she had a feeling Max already had. Even though they went on each other’s nerves most of the time, Max was the closest thing she had to a best friend. He seemed to be able to read her and tell what was wrong before she had even realized there was something wrong. It was unnerving at the best of times, but at least she knew that he would always be there. Even though it might be to pull her hair or just piss her off in general, he would be there.
Max wanted to step up to her and check so that she was okay, but Michael interrupted him. “What are
we gonna do, Maxwell?”
Max looked down at his own dead phone, silently cursing himself for not charging it that morning, and sighed. “Maybe we just have to wait, like Lizzie said.”
she has a point,” Liz grumbled softly from side of the road where she had sat down.
The corners of Max’s mouth twitched as Michael glared at her.
“Or maybe I should walk around and see if I can get reception anywhere,” Michael said thoughtfully.
“Yeah, do that,” Liz said sarcastically, as if it was the most ridiculous idea on the planet.
Michael stared at his two years younger sister and opened his mouth to possibly snap at her again when Max intercepted.
“Seems like a good enough idea.”
Liz scoffed. “Good idea? There’s probably as little reception hundred feet away as it is two miles away. In case you two haven’t noticed, we’re in the middle of fucking nowhere.”
“Liz, you’re not helping,” Max said evenly.
They were all tightly wound and this was Liz’s classic response to frustration. Michael losing control over his feelings was also a classic sign of frustration and the two of them together right now equaled disaster.
“Okay, fine. Do your thing. How far are you gonna walk anyway?”
“I’ll walk along the road until I get reception or find a town, whatever comes first.”
Concern flickered across Liz’s face. “Do you really want to do this, Mike? Who knows what might be out there? You might be bitten by a snake and lay there dying without anyone knowing.”
His facial expression softened at her worried tone. “That won’t happen, Lizzie. I’ll be careful, ‘k?”
Unconvinced, she regarded him carefully for another second before reluctantly agreeing. “Okay.”
Michael walked up to her and ruffled her hair, smiling at her lovingly. “See you later, squirt.”
Michael turned to Max and managed to keep a straight face as he told him, “Don’t kill her, okay. I like my sister. Most of the time.”
In the background Liz rolled her eyes. Because all three of them knew that Max would protect her with his life if it came down to it.
“As long as she doesn’t piss me off,” Max said.
Michael sighed with pretended worry on his face. “Seriously? That is synonymous to signing her death sentence.”
“Fuck you,” Liz said, to no one in particular.
Max and Michael both shook their heads at each other, donning their most parental expressions.
“Wherever did she pick up that language?" Max murmured.
Michael shrugged. “How the fuck do I know?”
Max grinned and slapped him on the shoulder. “Penelope and I are counting on you, man.”
“Hey!” Liz cried out at the blatant disregard for her as Max obviously only has his car on his mind.
Michael smirked knowingly at Max and nodded. “Don’t stress. I’ve got it under control.”
And with that, Michael was off, headed for the longest walk of his life. For a guy who was generally too lazy to get up from the couch to open the door for the pizza delivery guy, that was saying a lot.
Twenty minutes later
“She was a whore anyway.”
“That’s really not a very nice thing to say, Shorty. She’s a person, you know.”
“Not like she can hear me,” Liz shrugged. “Probably wouldn’t even understand what I’m saying if she was standing close to me.”
“Yeah,” Max said seriously, dragging the stick around in the sand next to his folded leg. “You do tend to mumble.”
“I do not
mumble,” Liz objected.
Max smiled, something Liz missed out on due to the fact that she was laying down in the stubble behind him, his back towards her.
“Yes, you do.”
“I do not.”
“Do no- You’re an asshole.”
Max rolled his eyes. “Very mature, Lizzie. How old are you again?”
“None of your business.”
Before Max could comment on her illogic, Liz called out, “Oh my God!”
Her exclamation made Max look at her in alarm. “What’s wrong?”
Liz was already scrambling to her feet, excitement drowning her features. “There’s a cow!”
Max frowned. “There’s a cow?”
Liz laughed. “Yes, stupid. Over there!”
Max followed the line of Liz’s pointed finger and yes, there was a cow. Across the street. Staring at them.
Before Max had a chance to react, Liz was running across the street and was climbing into the paddock.
“Wait, Liz!” Max yelled, jumping up from his seated position to follow her.
She was already patting the cow as Max climbed into the paddock.
“Hello, baby,” she cooed, pressing her cheek up against the ruminant.
Max watched with an amused expression. “’Baby’? You know that she’s like ten times your weight, right?”
Liz ignored him. “Isn’t she adorable?”
Max refrained from snorting. “Yeah… Cute as a button.”
“I want a cow.”
Max laughed. “Kitten, what are you gonna do with a cow?”
“Milk it of course. Just imagine getting fresh milk every morning.”
“Do you know that they have to have calves regularly to keep producing milk? Where are you gonna put all the calves? In your roof-top garden in New York?”
“That’s not true. Those women in Africa continue to breast-feed until their kids are like six…”
“That’s just gross-“
“They continue to produce milk because there’s constant suction.” She blushed as the words left her mouth. God, did she just say that?
Max had to fight not to laugh at the way her face turned red. “Suction, huh?”
“You know what I mean.”
“I’m not really sure, Parker. Please explain.”
“Shut up. You’re such a guy.”
“Thank you for confirming that. I wasn’t really sure this morning in the shower.”
Liz scrunched up her face. “Eww. Mental image.”
Max stepped up close to her. “I bet I’m hot as hell in that mental image.”
“Stop it. There’s a cow here. You don’t talk about things like that in front of a cow.”
“I’m sure it won’t bother her. Maybe it will up her milk production.”
Liz looked at him disgusted. “I can’t believe I never fully realized how gross you really are. You’re possibly worse than Mike.”
Max looked offended. “Not possible.”
Liz gave him a lopsided smile. “Yeah, you’re right.” She patted the cow in silence, her thoughts miles away. “Nothing’s gonna happen to him, right?”
Max’s heart skipped a beat as he looked down into her worried eyes, but he quickly pushed the feelings to the side. Like he always did. “No, squirt. He’s a big guy. He can take care of himself. Maybe he can finally use that knowledge he’s acquired from watching all those ninja movies.”
Liz snorted, but Max could see her relax somewhat. “Yeah, right. Have you ever seen him practicing that stuff? He looks like an idiot.”
Max grinned. “Had the misfortune of walking in on him once…“
“He’s such a nerd.”
“Guess it runs in the family.”
Turning her gaze upon the cow once again a thoughtful expression fell across her face. Before Max had a chance to ask her what was on her mind, she asked, “Have you ever ridden a cow?”
He stared at her dubiously, wondering if his ears were deceiving him. But he should know better when it came to Liz. Anything
could come out of that mouth.
“Can’t say that I have,” he answered.
“We should do it,” Liz said with eyes glittering with excitement.
He raised an eyebrow. “You want to ride the cow?”
She turned to him with a large grin. “Yes.”
“No no,” Max said, “Let me rephrase that. You want to sit – on top of the cow – and ride it?”
“Yes,” Liz repeated, the slightest hint of impatience creeping into her voice. “What’s the matter, Maxie? Chicken?”
He snickered, shaking his head in amusement. “You’re on Parker.”
Liz looked at the cow. “She seems nice enough, right?”
Max shrugged, “I guess,” while he was smiling on the inside. This was going to be fun. Liz was already chickening out.
“Could you help me up?” Liz asked.
Max grinned. “My pleasure.”
Her eyes narrowed at the sight of his grin. “No funny business.”
He saluted. “No m’am.”
“You want my help or not?”
“I’m waiting for you.”
Max sighed, “Okay,” and laced his fingers together to form a step that she could put her foot into.
She grabbed his shoulders and pushed herself upwards with one foot in his hands. Just as she turned to lean into the cow, the cow moved. This caused her to lose her balance and she fell over with a small shriek, almost pulling Max over as well.
The sight of Liz scrambling to regain a more respectable position than the one she had fallen into had Max laughing.
And then the cow decided to investigate what all the fuss was about and leaned around, stretching her long neck out so that she could nuzzle the human on the ground.
“Ugh,” Liz said, slightly disgusted but mostly scared by the large head coming her way.
This only made Max laugh even harder. He was having troubles to remaining on his feet.
Then the cow open its mouth, letting some grassy saliva run out along its long tongue.
“Max!” Liz shrieked, afraid that the cow was going to eat her. “Help!”
But Max was now sitting down in the grass, still laughing hard, not making a single attempt to help Liz out. Besides, it was not like the cow would have Liz for lunch.
The saliva dropped in a big splash on her forehead and she curled into a ball, whining, “Ew ew ew ew. Cow drool. It’s on my face. Get it off.”
Max wiped a tear out of his eye before grabbing her foot and pulling her away from the cow.
She sat up, frantically trying to clean her forehead with the sleeve of her shirt. Which was difficult since she was wearing a T-shirt.
“Ugh, gross gross gross.”
“Do you have any idea how funny you look?” Max laughed which stopped Liz in the midst of her wiping and she sent a death glare in his direction.
Gathering as much strength as she could, she kicked the shin of his leg.
“Why didn’t you help me?” she asked, still glaring at him.
Max rubbed his leg, the temporary look of pain quickly disappearing from his face only to be replaced by previous merriment.
“You looked like you had it under control.”
Liz’s face darkened and she bit out, “I hate you.”
“I hate you too,” Max cooed and quickly pulled his upper body backwards as Liz’s hand came flying through the air intent on hitting him.
There was a few seconds of stillness as Liz and Max stared at each other in silent battle of the wills. Then, as if running by the same alarm clock, they simultaneously attempted to get up from their seated position. Before Liz could get a hold of Max, he was off, running down the meadow.
Liz ran as fast as she could, but even though she had always been fast, her short legs proved to be at her disadvantage.
“Ow,” Max heard behind him and while still running, he shot a glance over his shoulder to see Liz falling in the grass.
He slowed down and slowly turned. “You okay, Parker?”
“I think I...ow,” Liz rubbed her ankle, “I think I sprained my ankle.”
Max hesitated before carefully starting to walk towards her. “Can you feel your toes?”
“Yes,” Liz moaned in pain. “But it fucking hurts.”
“Okay,” Max said, cautiously stepping up to her fully aware that she might be tricking him.
She looked up at him with large glistening eyes. “I don’t think I can walk.”
Pushing his suspicions to the side, Max fell to his knees next to her, intending to examine her foot when she lunged at him, causing them to fall backwards in the grass.
Before Max had the chance to comprehend what was happening, Liz was rubbing her face against his, efficiently spreading whatever cow saliva she had left on her face onto his face.
She laughed and pulled back before he could grab onto her.
“Oh, you’re gonna pay for that,” Max threatened as she scrambled backwards on the heels of her hands to try and get as far away from him as possible before attempting to rise.
She didn’t get very far.
Max trapped her underneath his body, smiling down at her as she realized her defeat. He opened his mouth to say something but was cut short by Michael’s voice floating across the meadow.
“Hey dorks! Killing time is over!”
Without even looking into the direction of the voice, Max pulled away from Liz with such speed that one might think she had been on fire.
“I managed to establish contact with civilization!” Michael’s voice announced.
Max reached out a hand for Liz, which she took with a small smile, and pulled her to her feet.
“Good acting,” Max said, referring to her foot.
“Thanks,” Liz said, but stumbled as she started walking.
Max frowned. “You alright?”
“Uhm,” Liz said, “This will sound stupid, but I actually did
sprain my foot.”
Max rolled his eyes, “You idiot,” and leaned in and folded a supporting arm around her waist.
He stilled and looked at her face suspiciously as a mischievous smile spread across her features. “Got you again.”
He let go off her waist and sighed. “Funny. You’re a funny girl, Parker.”
Liz smiled proudly and ran off – on her completely healthy feet – to greet her brother. Max stood back and watched her with a smile on his face. She sure was something.
“Come on, Evans, let’s see if we can resuscitate that loser car of yours!”
Max’s smile tumbled off his face. He hated that girl.