Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Final Chapter 31st of Dec

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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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 10 April 29th p. 7

Post by max and liz believer » Fri May 02, 2008 10:13 pm

dmb
Alex Balex
Rachael

Tears_of_Mercury wrote: I love all of the UST and underlying romantic feelings you have. I usually don't like couples with this dynamic -- I actually have a deathly hatred for the R/Hr ship in the HP fandom -- but I can see your Max and Liz so clearly. They manage to swing from sibling-like teasing to deeply rooted best friend talks to romantic and sexual banter/feelings without ever once seeming weird or unnatural.
Thank you! That means a lot.
Tears_of_Mercury wrote: And "kitten" made a reappearance!
:D

Michelle
Michelle in Yonkers wrote: :D Gawd! That was one of the best chapters of anything, ever
:oops: Thank you!

Carrie
Kris
Xmag
Elizabeth
Ronnie
Pookie76
Eve
Natalie36
Emma
L-J-L 76
Alien614
Yayaliens

yayaliens wrote:yay he’s done with Tess!
Bear in mind that just because he’s done with Tess in the previous snapshot doesn’t mean we won’t see her again, since this story kinda jumps back and forth. Just a warning… :wink:

Kay
kay_b wrote:
”She was a whore anyway.”
Was she referring to Tess?
Yep :)

Alien_Friend
Roswell3053
Aurorabee
Sara
Tanya

Behrsgirl77 wrote: AW'flippin'SOME! that's my new word for this story!
I’m really liking that word :wink:
Behrsgirl77 wrote: It reminds me of times when I didn't write and just read Fanfic and enjoyed it...the good old days which I can't wait to return to!!
Oh gosh…thank you :oops:

Christina
Wench on A Leash wrote: Second of all, I forgot to ask this in my last post, but will we be seeing Maria in this?
I’m not really sure myself :roll:, but I think so… :wink:

Dreamsatnight
Paper
Behrlyliz
Confusedfool
Jamy21


As always, thank you Elizabeth, for editing!

You are all too sweet!!


You might be a bit confused as to why I’ve written the below chapter, but it has a purpose (believe me). I realise that it doesn’t really portray Michael in the best way, but just remember that they are kids…


11. Pushed aside

The Parkers’ Residence
Friday evening
(1991) Michael is 7, Max is 6, Liz is 5


“Okay,” Mrs. Parker said and rose from her seat, turning to her son. “Take care of Elizabeth.”

Liz dropped her spoon in the soup and looked up with anxious eyes. “Where are you going?”

“Honey,” Mrs. Parker said with a smile. “We told you. There’s this play in-“

“You’re leaving?” Liz whispered, her eyes large and fearful. “You can’t leave. You just came back.”

Mr. Parker walked up to her to ruffle her hair but she pushed his hands away. He gave his wife a strange look and Mrs. Parker’s smile tensed. She really didn’t have time for this tonight. They were already late.

“It’s only for three days,” Mrs. Parker said.

Large tears were now rolling down Liz’s face and with a trembling bottom lip she said, “But you just came back.”

“Come on, Lizzie. We’ll watch Aladdin, okay?” Michael tried, but Liz didn’t hear him because her mother had stood up and was already walking towards the front door.

Liz jumped down from her chair and ran up to her mother, wrapping her small arms tightly around one leg. “Don’t go.”

Mrs. Parker looked down at the little girl, who was more of an acquaintance than her daughter, and sighed. “Elizabeth, dear. Gabriela will make you some…uhm…tea. Whatever you like. And you can watch that movie with your brother.”

“Nooo,” Liz sobbed, tightening her grip around her mother’s thigh.

The sound of the door bell echoed in the large house and Mr. Parker walked around his wife to open the door. The dark-haired boy on the other side gave him a polite smile. “Hello, Mr. Parker.”

“Hello, Max.”

Max’s attention was quickly diverted to the sound of someone crying to his right. He was so perplexed by the sight of Michael’s little sister crying and clinging to her mother that he didn’t notice his mother saying goodbye and Mr. Parker closing the front door.

“Hey Max,” Michael said with a broad grin and walked up to his friend.

Max glanced in Michael’s direction, “Hey,” before his eyes returned to Liz, “What’s wrong with her?”

“She’s just being annoying,” Michael shrugged. “Let’s go to my room.”

Max looked back at the girl. He had never seen anyone cry that much before. It was kinda freaky. “Uhm, okay.”

His eyes still drawn to the crying sister, he trotted after his best friend.

“We’ll get you something in New York, dear,” Mrs. Parker said, but that only tightened Liz’s grip on her mother’s leg.

“I don’t want anything,” she hiccupped. “I want you. I want you to stay.”

“Well, we can’t, Elizabeth,” her father said and leaned down next to the girl. He took a hold of her hands and tried to pry them off. “Come here.”

“Nooo,” Liz wailed and held on tighter. “I don’t want you to go.”

“We’ll get you a new Barbie, okay? Would you like that?” Mrs. Parker tried while her husband ripped the desperate hands off her leg.

Liz fell to the floor, her face wet from the tears and her hands now holding onto her father. “I don’t want a Barbie!!”

“Okay,” Mrs. Parker resigned and yelled out to the rest of the house. “Gabriela! Come here right now, please!

Gabriela came hurrying down the hallway and her heart broke when she saw the poor girl crying at her mother’s feet. These rich people might have it all, but they had no idea how to raise a child.

Gabriela rushed up to Liz and tried to take her in her arms. But Liz wouldn’t have it. She wanted her parents.

“No!”

Jumping to her feet, she ran towards her father and hugged his leg instead.

“Gabriela,” Mrs. Parker said through her teeth. “We are gonna be late. Take care of this.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Gabriela said. “I’m sorry, ma’am.”

She grabbed the little body around the waist and pulled her away from her father. “Come here, querida.”

“Moooommy,” Liz cried, her arms stretching out towards her parents as they hurried out the front door without another glance in her direction while their daughter was held back.

As the door closed, Liz’s sobs intensified and she sank back into the warm secure body of the housekeeper.

Gabriela pressed her cheek to the top of Liz’s head and slowly stroked her hair. “You want hot chocolate?”

Liz sniffled and piped, “I want my mommy.”

“Mommy has to go away,” Gabriela said in her broken English. “She be back later.”

“Why?” Liz whispered. “Why doesn’t she want me?”

Gabriela’s heart broke at the question, cursing Liz’s parents in her head for ruining a sweet little girl’s life. “Your parents love you very much. But they have to..eh…what do you say…look after some things.”

“But I want them here,” Liz hiccupped.

“Yes, Miss Liz,” Gabriela said and rose from the floor. “Let’s make some chocolate, yes? And watch movie.”

Liz sniffled and nodded. Gabriela looked at the sad little face and couldn’t for the life of her understand how someone could resist those large sad eyes. Liz’s parents were missing out on so much by not even trying to get to know their daughter. She put her hands underneath Liz’s armpits and hoisted her up on her hip. Liz wrapped her arms around the housekeeper’s throat so tightly that she would’ve choked the middle aged woman, had she only been a little bit bigger and stronger.

Together they walked into the kitchen to make hot chocolate. Gabriela managed to pull a small smile out of the little girl as she produced marshmallows from the cabinet and her heart warmed.

“Are we watching the movie?” Michael asked as he came around the corner, Max in tow.

Max was looking at Liz as she put marshmallow after marshmallow into her Beauty and the Beast cup.

“Yes,” Gabriela replied and placed two full cups of hot chocolate on the counter. “Mr. Max, do you want marshmallows too?”

Max scrunched his eyes towards the housekeeper. It always sounded odd to him to have a Mister in front of his name, but for some reason that lady thought that was his first name. Which was weird, because she called Michael mister too.

“Mr. Max?” Gabriela repeated when he didn’t reply.

“Yes, please,” Max nodded.

Gabriela smiled. “Okay.”

Max smiled back. He liked Gabriela. She was nice.

Michael’s house was so weird. His mom and dad were hardly ever home. There were a lot of strange people walking around, cleaning Michael’s room for him and their mom didn’t cook the food. Gabriela did that.

Michael even had a TV in his room. Max shook his head in amazement when that thought entered his head. They had the coolest house. So many things.

“Mr. Max?”

Realizing that he had managed to zone out again, Max looked up at Gabriela. “Yes?”

“How was school?”

“Good,” Max grinned and his thoughts immediately traveled to his day at school where he had been part of winning the soccer game. He had scored two goals.

“Have you seen Adalin?”

Her voice pulled him out of his thoughts and he looked down at the brown-eyed girl.

“But ooh,” Michael said in exaggerated irritation, “It’s Aladdin, Lizzie. Not Adalin!”

Liz dropped her eyes in embarrassment as Michael laughed at her. Being six, Max thought his one year older friend was pretty funny and happily laughed along.

“Be nice to your sister, Mr. Michael,” Gabriela admonished in such a harsh tone that Michael and Max’s laughter came to an abrupt end.

With a sour face at being scolded, Michael turned to Max, “Let’s get the Legos and build while we watch.”

Max thought that was an excellent idea. “Okay.”

Liz wiped some fresh tears out of her eyes and climbed up on the couch, burying herself in the mountain of stuffed animals that she had placed there earlier that day.

Boys were mean.


Twenty minutes later, Liz was not watching the movie very much. Her attention was on the Lego town Mike and Michael were building on the floor, accompanied by sound effects.

“Vrooom,” Michael sounded as he pushed his red sports car along the streets. Putting on a darker voice, he said, “Oh no, I’m late for work again. I have to hurry.”

“I want a house,” Liz announced, now sitting on the edge of the couch, clutching her favorite stuffed animal, Mr. Big Ears, against her chest.

“No, Lizzie,” Michael said calmly. “This game is only for boys.”

“Can’t she have one of your houses?” Max wondered, pointing towards Michael’s neighborhood of seven houses.

Michael looked up at Max as if he had gone crazy. “No, she can’t. We don’t want her playing with us. She’ll ruin it all.”

“I won’t,” Liz protested.

“Watch your Adalin,” Michael said which caused Max to snicker.

“But…” Liz said. “I always get to play.”

She did. Michael and she were always playing together. And her big brother was always nice to her. Not at all like he was today.

“There’s no room for you,” Michael said. “I only have two cars. I have one and Max has one.”

Liz’s eyes flicked to Max’s dark head. He was the one. He was the one that was changing everything. She wanted Max to go home already, so that she could play with Michael.

She didn’t like that Max boy. She didn’t like him one bit.


TBC…
----------

I’ll be right back with the Timeline

edited to add Updated Timeline
Last edited by max and liz believer on Fri May 02, 2008 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 11 May 3rd p. 11

Post by max and liz believer » Mon May 05, 2008 6:50 pm

So, I don't really have time to post right now, but I know that it's evening for a lot of you and for me personally that's when I read most of my fanfiction so I wanted to give you a new chapter now.

Because I really don't have time to post, I'm just gonna post the chapter and add on Timeline and response to feedback later. Because I really need to respond to that feedback. You guys are amazing! And frighteningly spot on in 99% of what you're saying.

But I'll get to that later... When I get back from school.
guel wrote:I hope you post more soon..the timeline shows that is it time for a present or near present part cause the last one were in chapter 1 and 3 :wink: so pleeease come back with the grown up max and liz to show more of their present relationship :D
Okay, then. Here's a 'near present' one. Since I haven't put up the timeline yet, this chapter is before "Playing with Playboys".

We're going back to the drama...

12. Betrayed

The street outside the Crash
Three weeks before the arrival of Brad Matthews to Roswell
(2007) Max is 22, Liz is 21



“Let’s go to my place,” the girl purred into his ear.

He sighed. The night had started out great, but the more alcohol this girl had gotten into her system, the more annoying she had become. All of the things that he would normally be able to ignore had been magnified and were screaming in his face. With alcohol breath.

When her hand wandered down over the zipper of his pants to cup him, he took a step back and placed two firm hands on her shoulders.

“Okay, I think it’s time to get you home.”

“That’s what I’ve been saying,” she slurred. She tried to lean into him again, but his arms held her at a good arm-length. She looked up at him through half-lidded eyes and a pout grew on her glossed lips. “Come on, Max. I wanna fuck.”

Max sighed. God knew that’s where he had wanted the night to end. He really had some frustrations he needed to get out. He had been spending way too much time at Mike’s place, which had ended up with way too many glimpses of Liz’s long legs and firm ass in small clothes.

And Jennie, with her chocolate brown eyes and mahogany hair, had seemed like the perfect choice to work some things out with.

Until she had poured a couple too many tequilas down her throat.

“Jennie, you’re drunk,” he said calmly.

He might be horny as hell, but having sex with a drunk girl wasn’t his way of going about things. He had to be drunk himself to do that and he wasn’t anywhere close to that point.

“I’m getting you a cab and you’re going home.”

“But I thought we were gonna fuck. I’m horny.”

Max stared at her, his body itching to just turn and walk away. She was starting to wear down on his patience.

“I’m calling you a cab,” he stated, picking up his cell phone from his back pocket.

“Come on, baby,” Jennie cooed, snaking her arms around his waist, her tongue licking his throat.

He turned to face her, to tell her to fuck off, when something caught the corner of his eye. His heart starting beating faster and he quickly told the address on the phone, before pulling out of Jennie’s arms and walking towards the hunched figure.

He recognized her hair, her frame and the sound of her tears.

He faintly heard Jennie yelling at him as he quickly walked up to the figure.

“Kitten?”

She looked up from where her face had been buried in her arms and her red eyes made contact with his.

When she recognized him, her sobs turned more violent.

His heart clenched and he sank down on his knees next to her. Threading his fingers through her hair, he gently pulled her against him. She resisted him slightly at first, but quickly gave up and sank into his arms.

“What’s wrong?” he whispered, kissing the top of her head.

She was bunching up his shirt in her fists as fear was quickly creeping into his heart. What had happened? He had never seen her cry like this. All frightening possibilities were striking him almost at once. Was she injured? Had someone hit her? Had someone…raped her?

His eyes closed at this and his arms tightened around her.

“Max…”

Max body shuddered with a shiver of anger as the voice of his earlier companionship broke through their cocoon. The anger returned full force as Liz pulled away from him, her sobs stopping abruptly and awkwardly as she looked up at the brunette woman.

“Oh,” the woman said, sounding offended. “So that’s why you didn’t want to fuck. You’re fucking her, aren’t you? You know what? You’re a jerk, Max!”

Max’s eyes darkened in anger. This girl was more stupid than he thought.

“Get the fuck out of my face, Jennie,” he said darkly.

Jennie’s mouth opened in a second of shock and then she narrowed her eyes. “Fuck off.”

With that she spun on her heels and disappeared.

Max turned around to face Liz, only to find her having pulled herself to her feet and was more or less walking away from him.

He scrambled to his feet. “Liz!”

His fingers encircled her arm and he pulled her to a stop.

“Don’t, Max,” Liz said weakly.

Max frowned. She really wasn’t acting like herself. “Talk to me.”

“Just leave me alone.”

Max walked around her and stared at the crown of her head as she kept her head lowered to avoid meeting his eyes. “Did someone hurt you?”

A tremble went through her and she encircled her waist with her arms. “I just want to go home.”

“I’ll take you,” Max said.

She looked up at him and looked like she was about to protest, but then closed her mouth and numbly nodded her head.

She didn’t say a word the whole ride home. She didn’t say a word as they walked the stairs to Michael and her apartment. She was completely quiet as she pulled her jacket off her and threw it into the closest arm-chair.

Then she started screaming.

Max watched with a combination of shock and horror as the girl he had known all his life fell to her knees, screaming and hitting her fists against the floor as her body trembled from repressed anger. As he snapped out of it, he sat down next to her, trying to put his arms around her. But she smacked his hands away and looked at him with fire in her eyes.

Don’t touch me

“Lizzie…” he tried.

“Don’t call me that,” she said, sounding tired again, the anger suddenly dissipated from her whole being.

She fell back on her heels, before she slumped against the wall, her legs splayed out in front of her. Max looked at her, feeling slightly at loss at what to do.

“This is your fault,” Liz said quietly.

He frowned. “My fault?”

“I guess I should’ve seen it coming.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Max asked.

Liz kept talking as if he wasn’t really there. “He had this idea that… that…” she threw her head back against the wall, her head impacting the hard material making a dull sound. But she hardly noticed. “Ah, fuck this.”

Max narrowed his eyes and crept closer, realization of what had happened dawning on him. “Is this about Sean? Did he do something to you?”

She huffed. “I guess that was the problem. I couldn’t keep him interested-“

Max stared at her, then bit out. “He cheated on you?!”

Liz’s answering silence said it all and he clenched his jaw. “That fucker.”

“I saw it. I walked in on him fucking her in the ladies’ bathroom, ten minutes after he had left me on the dance floor.” A strangled sob escaped her throat and she continued in a strained voice. “He was fucking her right there – for anyone to see.”

Max clenched his fists to control his anger. He wanted to go out, find that idiot and beat him to a bloody pulp. But Liz’s teary face stopped him. Liz needed him now, not that shitty boyfriend of hers. Or, presumably, ex-boyfriend of hers.

He moved to put his arms around her and was surprised to once again be pushed away.

“No Max. You always ruin things.”

He stared at her in disbelief. “I always ruin things?”

“That’s why he cheated on me,” she said, angrily brushing tears off her flushed face. “Because of you.”

Max looked at her like she had just announced that she had been secretly working as a stripper for the past five years. “Have you gone completely insane?”

“The way you keep looking at me. You think he wouldn’t notice? He wouldn’t shut up about it. ‘What are you doing with Max, Lizzie?’ ‘Are you cheating on me?’ ‘Why won’t you have sex with me?’ ‘Have you slept with him?’”

Her voice hitched in her throat and got up from her position on the floor, leaving Max staring up at her.

“Why can’t you just leave me alone? Why can’t you just forget about it? It was nothing, okay? Nothing. It was a mistake.”

He squeezed his lips together so tightly he almost drew blood. He tried to pretend that her words didn’t hurt, but they did.

“Don’t put this on me, Elizabeth,” he said quietly. “He cheated on you because he’s a bastard. Whatever he was telling you to excuse his behavior is just lies. I thought you knew me better than that.” His voice rose in intensity as he uttered the last words, slowly rising from the floor.

“I do know you better than that,” Liz said, firmly keeping eye contact with him as he towered up above her. He was so close she could feel the heat from his body steaming off him. “Don’t you think I know? That you want me?”

She stared at him stubbornly, challenging him to give her a good answer, but she would never have expected what he actually did. In one sudden movement, he closed the distance between them and pressed their lips together. He pulled her bottom lip between his, nibbling at the inside with his teeth feeling her melting into him. His tongue licked her upper lip while his hands pressed her tightly against his body.

And then he pulled back.

“You’re fucking right I want you,” he stated and she looked up at him, slightly dazed, her chest heaving with strained breaths.

Within seconds, she pulled herself together and stepped away from him. “What are you doing?”

“What we both want.”

“I hate you,” Liz said slowly and watched him flinch. “I mean, we’re always fighting. You’re always yelling at me. We hate each other. That’s what we do.”

Because even though she had just accused him of wanting her, she mostly wanted to see how he would react. She hadn’t expected him to acknowledge it as the truth.

Max took one long look at her, before deeply inhaling and dropping his head while running his hands through his hair. “Don’t you think I’ve tried to get you out of my head? But you’re making it bloody difficult, Lizzie.”

“How am I making it difficult? All I ever do is push you away.”

Max’s face snapped up to her. “See. There’s the problem. You push me away, and expect me to go away. But at the same time you’re strutting around here wearing close to nothing. Teasing me.”

Liz huffed. “Oh, excuse me! This is my home. I think I’m entitled to wear whatever I want. I don’t think it’s my fault that you can’t control your urges.”

Max pulled at his hair. “Ugh. For fuck’s sake! You’re pissing me off!”

Liz stared at him, fascinated by the changes running across his face. She could still taste him on her lips and it wasn’t making it easier to resist him. There was something raw and sexual about the frustration and anger rolling off him at the moment.

“Mission accomplished,” she murmured. “I’m going to bed.”

“So now you’re just gonna leave?”

“I’m tired. I just saw my boyfriend of two years fucking a stranger in the bathroom. So yes, I’m gonna leave. I don’t want to deal with you right now as well.”

She turned to walk away, when he grabbed her arm. She stilled, her back to him, and closed her eyes. Wanting him to force her to go with him. Wanting him to turn her around and kiss her again.

“Just tell me that I’m not the only one feeling this,” he said softly.

She squeezed her eyes even harder together. She wanted to. She really did. But it would ruin everything.

“I’m tired. Leave me alone, Max.”

Seconds passed without any of them moving and then he slowly released his grip on her. She waited another second to see if he would do anything, but in disappointment she heard him move behind her. Move away from her.

She swallowed and walked into her room, closing the door behind her quietly.
-------------------------------------------------------
It wasn’t the first night he had spent at Michael and Liz’s place. It was basically his home. He even had his own sheets that he just pulled out on top of the couch whenever he decided to not go home.

Maybe he should’ve gone home this night, because obviously he wasn’t wanted.

In every sense of the word.

He couldn’t deny that it was tempting to get out of there, go to a bar and drown his sorrows in liquor and a beautiful woman. God knew he could get them. At least then he could feel wanted.

But for some reason he stayed.

Two hours later he still couldn’t sleep and he rolled off the couch to make a bathroom visit. The bathroom was just opposite Liz’s bedroom and he momentarily stopped outside her closed door.

As he stood there, he realized that there wasn’t complete silence on the other end of the door.

Hesitating only for the split of a second, he quietly opened the door.


The room was dark, her sobs breaking through the silence with piercing accuracy. Without a word, he walked up to her bed, pulled back one corner of the comforter and crawled underneath. She turned towards him and for a second he was afraid of how she would react.

But she just crawled closer to him, curling into his chest as his arms went around her.

He held her as she cried and eventually as her sobs subsided.

“I don’t hate you,” she said softly.

The corner of his mouth twitched in the darkness and he pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I know you don’t, kitten.”

“Stay with me.”

“What about Mich-“

“He’s at Maria’s. And it’s not like we’re doing anything anyway.”

“Yeah, right,” Max agreed.

“Just sleeping,” Liz affirmed.

“Just sleeping,” Max reaffirmed.

She curled even closer, if that was even possible, and her legs tangled with his. He could feel the softness of her skin acutely against his skin, just now realizing that she didn’t really wear much to bed.

From holding her tiny waist, he had felt the top of her panties and on top she only had a tank top. She was slightly too close to him to wear that little clothes and not letting him explore.

She moved again and he bit his bottom lip as her knee brushed against a very sensitive area. Her movement had him roll onto his back and she moved so that she was semi-draped across his chest.

He looked down at her, meeting her eyes, thinking with clarity he had never had before that she was drop dead gorgeous. And that Sean character was an idiot for treating her that way.

“Max?”

“Yeah.”

“Promise me something.”

He gently pushed back the hair from her forehead. “Anything.”

“Whatever happens, don’t leave me.”

He frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Just promise?”

“Nothing’s gonna happen, kitten.”

“Max…”

He sighed. “Okay, of course. I promise.”

“Thanks,” she whispered and laid her head back down on his chest.

He thought about the oddness of what she had just asked of him for a couple of seconds, before pressing a kiss to the crown of her head.

Within minutes, they were both fast asleep.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Tue May 06, 2008 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Cha 12 May 6th p. 14 + A/Ns p. 16

Post by max and liz believer » Sat May 10, 2008 9:38 pm

Feedback to your feedback to the first chapter can be found on page 16.

dmb
dmb wrote: Liz’s behavior here is very disturbing to me; coming across as a bit of a loose cannon. She’s very lucky that apparently none of her other nearby neighbors were at home or they might have called the police, thinking she was being attacked. Her anger is eating her alive. She’s not dealing with it properly nor in a healthy way.
She does have problems dealing with her feelings, because she tends to lock it all up inside of her. But also consider that Max caught her in the midst of everything. She had just seen Sean having sex with someone else and up steps the person that – according to Sean – was the reason that had him cheating on her. Add on the repressed conflicting emotions she has towards Max in general and we have an explosion. Also, Liz has been spiralling downwards for quite some time now and at some points it just needs to get out. This just shows how much she is hurting on the inside (the inside she normally hides behind insults and huffs)
dmb wrote: This conversation eventually leads to Liz admitting to Max that Sean had cheated on her and it was quite interesting how once again Liz shifted the blame from the real culprit of her anger onto Max. Just like in “Pushed Aside”, where Liz blamed Max for taking her brother away from her, here she’s erroneously accusing Max for always ruining things and for causing Sean to cheat on her.
He’s a very convenient scapegoat, unfortunately. Because she can handle him. She more or less knows how he will react and she can deal with that. So instead of truly exploding on Sean, she takes it out in the “safety” of Max’s company.
dmb wrote: What I’m really curious about is how she went from abstaining from sex with Sean to just three weeks later setting her sites on Brad Matthews and having a casual one night stand with him. For her to not have sex with her boyfriend of two years to then suddenly throw herself at a complete stranger like that is really somewhat shocking.
Well, just because she yelled out phrases from old conversations with Sean doesn’t mean they were the be all end all situation. She might’ve had sex with him eventually. But maybe not as often as Sean wanted to. Or something like that. *looking innocent* I dunno. And about Matthews – maybe it was a way for her to prove to herself that she was attractive enough to get a guy. Maybe she just didn’t consider what that would lead to in the end and how that would make her feel. Maybe she did it because she wanted to feel desired and wanted, because her boyfriend had chosen to have sex with a stranger instead of her.
dmb wrote: She is playing a very. dangerous. game. with his emotions. He is after all a healthy male with a normal sexual appetite and sex drive and she is a beautiful young woman who’s deliberately been sexually frustrating him.
She doesn’t fully understand yet the power she has over Max. If you haven’t already noticed, her self-esteem is not the best and so she doesn’t see herself as a beautiful young woman that can entice Max. She doesn’t fully understand how much she plays with his emotions because she can’t believe (even though he told her so in the previous chapter) how much he wants her. So yes, she’s playing a really dangerous game, but she is also (perhaps falsely) feeling secure in that he would never hurt her and that she can do all of this without repercussions.
dmb wrote: I have to say that the entire scene that the above 5 quotes were from is possibly my favorite so far in this fic. Because in this scene Max really put his heart out there. He was playing no games. He is finally making a stab at trying to fight for her…although ultimately, he didn’t follow through. But at least he made an attempt. He took a major chance.
Yep.
dmb wrote: Would it have made a difference to Liz, maybe, if instead of him saying how much he wanted her and kissing her senseless, if he had also said those three little words that most everyone longs to hear? Is that what she’s waiting to hear from Max? That he loves her?
Maybe…
dmb wrote: Maybe made her second guess her ability to attract someone gorgeous and have that guy succumb to her seduction. It had bolstered her self-esteem to feel desired when the bouncer Joe and pop star Brad liked what they saw. But the person she’d wanted to affect - to be with - was Max. Only he didn’t call her bluff about going after Brad. He just told her to be careful and let her go do what she seemed to want to do. If she wanted to play that game with him in order to feel grown-up or in control or whatever, he wasn’t going to stop her. He had to let her make her own mistakes or come to her senses on her own – whichever came first. Of course, they both wound up suffering for her going through with sleeping with Brad. Max had buried his pain and jealousy with alcohol by the time she came back home. And Liz wound up feeling like a slut before she’d even left the hotel bed.
Precisely, my dear.

Christina
Roswell4life
Alien614
Carrie
Rach (yayaliens)
Smith82
Kay

kay_b wrote: Liz does know that Max wants her. So WHY? Why won't she just get together with him and allow both of them to be happy? Is she sick or something? Does she have some sort of terminal illness?
Let me put your worries to the rest. There’s no terminal illness (except Max’s mother) in this story.
kay_b wrote:
”Why can’t you just leave me alone? Why can’t you just forget about it? It was nothing, okay? Nothing. It was a mistake.”
What exactly is she considering a mistake? I'm still confused about that one.
We still have that one to cover…
kay_b wrote: By the way, does this fic have Dreamer Insurance? Because I'm going crazy with the "will-they-won't-they" dance and my heart needs to know that there will be some sort of HEA after all that.
Yes, it does. I’m not sure I can write anything that doesn’t end up with Dreamer happiness.

Carolina_moon
Alien_Friend
Dreamsatnight
Pookie76
Eve
RiceKrispy
Sara
Alex Balex
Kris
Twilight
– you’ve got some really good thoughts there
L-J-L 76
Lockheart
Paper

paper wrote: I'm glad he finally let Liz know she's not just imagining things. I hope she's not pregnant by Sean. I hope she didn't get pregnant by Max!
She might be silly at times, but she knows how to use protection. So no… No pregnancies in this one.
paper wrote: I am a little confused about the locale though. Liz said he left the dance floor & cheated in the ladies' bathroom. At the Crashdown?
Oh, sorry. That might not have been clear. As dmb said, the Crash is a night club in Roswell. The CrashDown is still there, but that’s the restaurant we all love.

Rachael
Tears_of_Mercury wrote: I accepted around the third chapter that there are certain things about this story's timeline and chronology that I will never understand, and unless misunderstanding it means that I'll jump to story-ruining or story-damaging conclusions, I should just keep my head in the sand and enjoy Max and Liz's sexual tension. But that's just my laziness shining through.
Aww, sweetie. But I know what you mean. I think my dear readers keep track of this story better than I do, because I tend to confuse myself.
Tears_of_Mercury wrote: *hyperventilates* I didn't know that we needed it! I was under the impression that if a couple is in the thread title and unless the author gives a "SAD, ANGSTY ENDING" warning, we can pretty much assume a happy (or at least together) ending. I've spent so much time enjoying the fact that no one's gotten married or impregnanted Tess yet that I haven't even considered they wouldn't end up together. Jo, say it ain't so! They can't NOT be together.
It ain’t so. Take a deep breath. This one has dreamer insurance.
Tears_of_Mercury wrote: She's confused and angry and so very afraid. And while she's trying to ensure she'll survive a possible abandonment by pushing Max away and then pulling him back just as tightly, Max is feeling the sting of her near-constant dismissals and abandonments. It's not a healthy relationship at all.
Brownie points!
Tears_of_Mercury wrote: IDK, I do agree that there's no excusing Liz's behavior, but at the same time I just don't think that she really gets it, you know? Every time she gets close has been when Max has shoved his feelings/desires in her face, and then he pulls back just before his control snaps completely. If Liz does have a disorder, it's probably just perpetual hardheadedness. And unfortunately the only cure that are some painfully, extremely reached realization.
Well said!

roswell3053
Guel

guelbebek wrote: i get the feeling that michael has no clue about the both of them.
Yeah, Michael doesn’t have much of a clue.

Michelle
Michelle in Yonkers wrote: 'K, show of hands -- who else wants to just slap her?
Michelle in Yonkers wrote: She's an idiot, and I want to smack her, or at least get a stun gun. Hopefully that will immobilize the muscles of her tongue.
Haha, okay. I think it would be a bad idea if I let you meet my Liz. That would just end badly. But she definitely needs a good shake (or slap, as you suggested…)

Elizabeth
Blink1lit



Thank you so much everyone!!!

And for those of you that missed my correction to how long Sean and Liz were dating for, here it is again;

Ahum.. I've apparently confused myself. Someone should tell me not to dabble with maths. I was just looking at the years and there's three years between 2004 and 2007. That much I know. But of course, I failed to acknowledge that I had changed the time for "Stranded" from the middle of the year to the end of the year (because the "missing chapter" follows closely after "Stranded" and the "missing chapter" is set around Christmas - as you might've realised), which would make us closer to 2005 and which would mean that Sean and Liz had only been together for two years.
dmb wrote: Now, this is a particularly intriguing idea as well, but again is something I feel hesitate to speculate on since we know next to nothing about Max’s parents. The only things I remember for sure about them concern his mother – that she was the one who dropped Max off in this chapter, and that in the “Strange Comfort” chapter we found out she had cancer and was dead three weeks later, and that Max was pretty devastated about losing her.
Let’s get some info on Max’s family, shall we?

Updated Timeline - Yellow is the previous chapter and green is this chapter


13. Caught on Tape

The Evans’ Residence
Thursday afternoon
(2000) Max is 15


Max followed the muffled sounds of the TV into the living room. A frown of confusion settled across his young features as he laid eyes on the TV-screen, where one toddler was in focus.

He sat down next to his mother on the couch, his eyes not leaving the screen. “Hey mom.”

As soon as he sat down, his mother placed an arm around him and pulled him into her side with a smile. “Hello stranger. Where’ve you been?”

Max put his head on his mother’s shoulder, sinking into her comforting warmth. “Just out. What are you watching?”

“Well,” his mother’s calm warm voice poured into his ears, “I was cleaning out the small cabinet underneath the TV…”

She grew quiet when her son pulled away from her slightly to look at her quizzically. “You were cleaning?”

“Hey,” Diane warned with an amused smile. “Don’t be cheeky to me, young man.”

He shrugged casually, sitting back again. “Just seemed a bit…odd.”

She laughed warmly, which made Max smile. Her laugh could make anyone smile. “It does happen occasionally. Who do you think takes care of the laundry in this house?”

“Me,” he said simply.

“Right. Well, I vacuum.”

“Mom, dad does that.”

“Sometimes I cook.”

“Not to be mean, but your cooking sucks,” Max said with a grimace, watching the video camera follow the unsteady run of a two-year-old which he suspected was a younger version of himself.

“I bake,” Diane said indignantly, trying desperately to come up with something she could do.

Catching onto her pretend agitation, he put his arm around her and placed a kiss on her cheek. “That you do. The best cakes.”

Thank you,” Diane exclaimed followed by, “I always knew there was a reason why I love you the most.”

“Don’t let dad hear that. It’ll hurt his feelings.”

“I was talking about my kids.”

He chuckled. “Mom, I’m your only child, remember?”

She smiled at him and proudly ruffled his hair. “Exactly my point.”

“Mooom!” he complained as she completely messed up his hairstyle.

“Touchy,” Diane mused and then exclaimed, a finger pointing at the TV screen. “Oooh, isn’t she a beauty?”

Max eyes caught onto the dark-haired toddler sitting in the sand. “Who’s that?”

Diane rolled her eyes, which he didn’t see due to his position next to her, and answered with a secret smile, “Little Lizzie Parker. In all her glory.”

Max straightened slightly, his full attention on the little girl. “You have videos of Liz when she was a baby?”

“I know,” Diane said slowly. “I had completely forgotten that I had this. This is, if my memory doesn’t fail me, when you met Liz for the first time.”

He grimaced incredulously. “When she was a baby?”

His mother’s smile widened, her head shaking from side to side in disbelief. She had never discussed the matters with her son, because being in the midst of his teen years she suspected a discussion like that might not go so well. But it was obvious to her that her son was quite smitten with the Parker girl. Diane wasn’t sure how long ago it was now, but Liz had come by one day with Michael to pick something up and her son’s face had been as easy to read as a baby’s picture book.

“Yes…” She laughed as her own son, at the time of the meager age of two, ran into the picture and plumped down opposite Liz. “Oh, I remember this.”

“What?” Max said distracted, watching Gabriela smile into the camera as Liz rapidly moved her chubby arms up and down with a happy exclamation of ‘gooo’, an action that almost pushed the purple pacifier out of her mouth.

Gabriela’s arms were around Liz’s body, supporting the small body while Liz scooped up sand and spread it everywhere with gleeful laughter.

Max was unconsciously smiling as he watched Liz and then saw himself reach forward and pull the pacifier out of Liz’s mouth.

He heard his mother laugh next to him and his smile widened. He was expecting Liz to cry as he removed the pacifier, but apparently Liz was not as feisty back then as she was now.

The baby’s laughter came to an abrupt stop and she watched with big eyes as Max scrutinized the pacifier before putting it back into Liz’s mouth.

“Look at you. You’re so cute,” his mom said.

Max chuckled as his younger self just a few seconds after replacing it took the pacifier from Liz’s mouth again. Liz stilled and looked at the boy that was stealing her pacifier while Max turned the thing over in his hand and then with a determined look leaned forward and put it back into Liz’s mouth.

Diane laughed again. “You’re hilarious. And Liz is not saying a peep.”

“She’s changed a lot since then,” Max said with a small smile.

“Maybe this was when she got fed up with you?”

“Mom,” Max frowned, the smile still present on his lips, “We just met. Are you saying that Liz hates me now because I took her pacifier when she was one? At least I gave it back to her.”

Just then Max took the pacifier again and Diane chuckled. “You were saying?”

Max sighed. “How many times do I do that?”

He watched little Max now put the pacifier into his own mouth for a couple of seconds, wonder across his face, before pulling it out and putting it back into Liz’s mouth.

“If I remember correctly, I had just removed your own pacifier a couple of months before that,” his mom said. “So maybe you kinda remembered what it was and wanted to give it a go again.”

“That’s kinda gross,” Max said. “It’s like sharing a toothbrush.”

“Sharing is caring,” his mother quipped good-naturedly.

After having replaced the pacifier yet another time, young Max pulled it out again and older Max sighed. “Come on, give it a rest already.”

“Oh,” his mother said as Liz’s face now crumbled and she started crying. “Liz seems to think so too.”

They both laughed as little Max quickly put the pacifier back into Liz’s mouth, effectively silencing her.

“You saved the day,” Diane said.

Her now 15-year-old son gave her a bright smile, which reinforced something she had known since the day he was born. He was going to have the girls falling all over him. If they weren’t already doing so.

“I always do, mom,” he answered and gave her another peck on the cheek. “I’m off.”

Diane watched him stand up and told him seriously, but with glittering eyes, “You don’t have any time for your old mother anymore, do you?”

“I always have time for you,” he answered. “Just not now.”

She sighed, shaking her head in bemusement. “Where’re you off to?”

“Football.”

“Try not to break any legs.”

“I won’t. Love you.”

She waved him off. “Yeah yeah. Stop sucking up and buy me some chocolate instead.”

“Consider it done.”

As he walked towards the door, his mother yelled after him, “And don’t tear any ligaments or crush any knees. And protect that head of yours!”

“Bye mom!” Max said with emphasis, laughter in his voice as the words were cut off by the closing front door.

TBC...

-------------

I realise this chapter is kinda short, so I can post another one tomorrow if you're up for it...
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 13 May 11th p. 19

Post by max and liz believer » Sun May 11, 2008 6:35 pm

I'm currently on a one-week break (my first break since Christmas and I'm so happy about it) so there might be more updates this week (at least I will be writing more).

And I had time yesterday to read through everything I've written in chronological order and see if it made any sense at all. I also rewrote the Timeline and made it a bit neater. I've been a busy bee :roll:

Alex Baxel
Alien614
azure
kay
behrlyliz
Chris
dmb
Rach
lockheart
bettylove8
bettylove8 wrote:So although I know that Liz's actions may seem selfish and immature, I love her all the same because that just says to me how fragile she really is that she can be so easily defensive. Although we like to think that Liz is infallible and perfect and will only make the right decisions, the truth is, she's only human. She's just a girl in love with a boy who doesn't know how to deal with those feelings.
Right on the money

Alien_Friend
dreamerbabylioness
Carrie
Rachael
Tears_of_Mercury wrote:He's practically Dr. Frankenstein creating a monster!
Interesting... :roll:

Emma
Christina
Eve
Natalie36
guel
Laira
paper


I'm so happy you liked that little snapshot of Max and his mom. Thank you so much for the feedback!!


Okay, I was thinking yesterday about which chapter to update and strangely enough both bettylove8 and my dear beta were of the same idea as me.
bettlove8 wrote:The one where Max breaks up with Tess...maybe?
But the reason to the breakup and the actual breakup (this chapter is just from an outside perspective) is still to come. It's still locked up inside my head, but I have it all figured out :wink:

Updated Timeline



14. Hello, Goodbye

Three weeks before the prom
(2003) Max is 18, Liz is 17


Liz heard the floor creak and turned around, pressing a top against her front to hide her naked upper body. When she saw who it was, she said acidly, “What the hell, Max? Get out!”

Max raised his eyebrows in interest as he saw her undressed state and then gestured casually with his hand for her to continue. “No no. Don’t mind me.”

He unceremoniously flopped down on her bed, arms behind his head as he stared up into her ceiling that was decorated with ‘glow in the dark’-stars.

“If you look…” Liz warned.

Max rolled his eyes, staring at the ceiling to emphasize his point about not looking. “It’s not like I haven’t seen that before.”

“I’ve never-“

“Other girls, Lizzie,” Max cut in, “Other girls.”

“Well, I don’t care if you’ve seen other girls or not,” Liz huffed and Max could hear from the shuffling of clothes that she was continuing her dressing.

He sneaked a peak in her direction, watching the smooth flawless skin of her exposed back. His eyes travelled down her short demin shorts and down her tanned legs.

She turned around to see him watching her and pulled at the bottom hem of her sweater to demonstrate how much she didn’t appreciate him ogling her.

“I told you-“

Max waved her scolding away with his hand. “Yeah yeah. Whatever, Shorty.”

“What do you want?”

“Can we talk?”

Liz looked at him as if he had gone insane. “Excuse me?”

“I need some advice, alright.”

Liz bit her lower lip thoughtfully before shrugging and taking a seat on the edge of the bed. “Shoot.”

“See. There’s this girl.”

Liz looked heavenwards with a big sigh. “Are you gonna tell me about another one of your sexual escapades?”

“Not this time, Lizzie. But I’m stocking up for a good session later.”

“Whatever.”

Max grinned and then patted the space on the bed next to him.

She considered his invitation for a second, before she laid down next to him, both of them now staring at the stars stuck onto the ceiling.

“You know the new girl?”

“Tess?”

“Yep. So…she’s been kinda hanging around.”

“You mean; she’s been hanging all over you, shoving her boobs into your face.”

“Whoa, graphic Parker.”

“She’s just so obvious. I mean, she’s a little desperate, isn’t she?”

“Well Parker. That’s what guys like,” Max said in all seriousness. “We like it when girls throw themselves all over us. It makes us feel manly and important. Top of the pack.”

“Yeah, you’re all dogs.”

Max rolled onto his side and looked at her profile. “I’m thinking about asking her to the prom.”

“Really?” she grimaced. “But you barely know her.”

“She doesn’t really know anyone here yet, but she really doesn’t want to miss the prom.”

“You fell for that sob story?”

“What do you think of her?”

It was such an honest question that she turned her head to look at him. Seeing that he really needed her opinion on this, she bitterly swallowed her personal hatred for the blonde girl.

“I don’t really know her, but I guess she seems okay.”

“Cool,” Max said and rolled up into sitting position. “Thanks, kiddo.”

“You know, she’s probably only after your body,” Liz said.

Max smiled broadly – and slightly proudly – as he puffed up his chest. “They all are, baby.”
--------------------------------------------------
On the bus, Tuesday afternoon
(2004) Max is 19, Liz is 18


“Oh, it’s the biggest news,” the blonde announced as she sat down in the bus seat behind Liz.

Liz sighed as the sound level on her iPod was not high enough to drown out the chattering teenagers. Not only had she been forced to rely on public transportation today to get to the mall because her car was being serviced, but now she also had to sit and listen to two airheads.

“I can’t believe I’ve missed it,” the brunette friend mused. “I thought he was really off the market this time.”

Liz rolled her eyes as she fumbled in her bag to find the iPod. She was just about to turn up the music as a familiar name reached her ears and instead of turning up the volume her finger pressed ‘pause’.

“Did you see them at the prom? Tess was like all over him.”

He was all over her,” the other girl said and Liz grimaced, her heart itching to press ‘play’ and tune them out but her brain itching to hear the rest.

“And you know what they say about him, right? He’s an amazing fuck-“

“-but leaves straight after,” the girl filled in and they both laughed.

“I wonder why she stuck around for as long as she did.”

“Doesn’t matter. They’re history now anyway.”

Liz straightened at this, her breath caught in her throat. They broke up?

“I guess he got tired of her.”

“Which is kinda what he does.”

“I wouldn’t hold his urge to have one-night-stands against him though,” the blonde girl said with a sugary voice. “I mean, if he ever gave me a second look, I wouldn’t... You know…”

They both giggled and Liz got lost in her thoughts.

Max broke up with Tess? Liz had been sure they had been in for the long haul. She had encountered the girl just five days earlier, an incident she’d had troubles forgetting, but they had seemed nauseatingly couple-like then.

“He’s apparently always up for some fun,” the brunette said.

“He’s working at the supermarket now, did you hear?”

Liz slid down further in her seat. Didn’t these people have anything else to talk about than other people’s lives?

“Oooh,” one girl exclaimed. “I saw him! He was wearing one of those aprons. Oh God. I thought I would faint. Those ugly things would look horrible on anyone else. I’m telling you; total fashion disaster. I wouldn’t be caught dead in something like that. But somehow he looked incredibly yummy.”

“Really? I should go there. Maybe mom needs something from there.”

“I’m not sure when he’s working though.”

Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Liz thought and pressed ‘play’.


TBC...
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 14 May 12th p. 2

Post by max and liz believer » Tue May 13, 2008 8:09 pm

Laira
roswellianprincess
azure
Kris
Carrie
beautifyldreamer
carolina_moon
yayaliens
bettylove8
Alien_Friend
Christina
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dmb
dmb wrote:Although, now I have to wonder how often was he seeing Liz, then, during all those months he continued to date Tess following "The Ring" incident"? Because I'm assuming he probably wasn't spending nearly as much time then at Michael's and Liz's apartment as he had before he started dating Tess. (He could have continued to see Michael, though, away from the apartment as just the two of them for guy bonding activities; but also if the two best male friends did the double dating thing - which Liz may or may not have known about.
I have a confession to make. I wrote that chapter (with the Max and Tess breakup) yesterday. Just have the last part of the chapter to go. But as I've written it now your questions above will be answered.
dmb wrote:Maybe she was just really lonely...maybe she hadn't really seen much of Max in a long while - perhaps feeling "abandoned" that he was now spending most or all of his time with Tess (and possibly Michael with or without a date at times - but away from the apartment whatever the case).
You're one smart cookie.
dmb wrote:Was she dating anyone post prom 2003 until she wound up at that summer 2004 pool party nearly molested by Zach? Had she known Zach before that party? If so, for how long?
To answer those questions; No. Kinda. They've gone to the same school for the last couple of years, but she basically only knows of him.
dmb wrote:And I just had another thought. Maybe the reason why Max was so hard on Liz during the ride home following his "rescuing" her at the party wasn't just that he was mad at her and had been badly frightened by what could have happened to her if he hadn't been there or got to her in time, but also in part because he was mad at himself and feeling partially responsible for what Liz had done to herself by getting so drunk.
Hmm... interesting
dmb wrote:But now in this part (“Hello”), Max is back in her room once more – yet this time it’s supposedly to ask her for advice on his taking the new girl to prom. He acts as though what had happened between them the last time they were alone together in her room (In “Strange Comfort” had never happened. That they hadn’t kissed again (which had been the first time since their first kiss two years earlier). That he hadn’t been vulnerable with her and cried in her arms (which was only the second time that she could recall his ever crying in her presence). Instead, in this part, they were just back to being their usual, complicated selves reacting to Max’s current mixed message.
Yep, that's what they do. They're like freaking jojos. Emotional rollercoasters both of them. And pretty good actors (at least that's what they think themselves) so they can go back to a state of "normal" fairly quickly.
dmb wrote:But this section also has Max telling her how guys like a girl to act.
That's true. But he is only joking. On the other hand, does Liz really fully realise that he is only joking...? You never know
dmb wrote:Maybe Liz just doesn’t want to be another one of the many girls he can later boast about as wanting him just for his body. Maybe Liz’s hesitancy to trust Max with her heart stems from her wanting more from Max than that…and her wishing that he’d want more than that from her, too. Maybe she thinks that that’s all he wants from girls, too…just their bodies…and usually just for one night of casual, meaningless sex at that…(the only exception being Tess).
Bingo

justmeeh - *waves* Hello. Thank you for coming out from behind the tree to let me know that you're reading :D
Natalie36
Emma
roswell3053
Eve
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Ms_Capeside
Ms_Capeside wrote:On your presentation here it said that you lived in Australia, but you are Swedish!!!! :shock: Svensk, precis som jag!!! :lol:
Oh, hey! Trevlig överraskning :D A fellow Swede. We sure are few and far between. Thank you for letting me know that you're reading and thank you for your compliments on my language skills :roll: :D I've been here in Australia for 4.5 years now, but at the end of the year I'm gone. Going back to Sweden to become a regular Swede again (I can't wait :mrgreen: )

Kay
kay_b wrote:Are we getting anywhere close to Max and Liz getting together? This is driving me crazy, lol.
Uhm...well.

And about your other questions, they'll be answered in that other chapter :D

Elizabeth
lockheart
veronica
L-J-L 76


Cookies all around! You must be the smartest readers on the board :D Thank you so incredibly much for taking the time to write feedback!!

Updated Timeline

So... I realised that we haven't really been back to the actual present since chapter 1 so I think it's about time we go back there now.


15. Dealing with Dogs

The dog kennel
Wednesday
(2008) Max is 23, Liz is 22


“Well well well, I never thought I would see the day when Elizabeth Parker would voluntarily pick up dog poo.”

Liz rolled her eyes at the sound of his voice behind her and straightened her back, shivering slightly as the smell of the dog’s feces reached her nose before she had a chance to close the plastic bag.

Tying a knot on the bag, she reluctantly turned to face him.

He was leaning against his car, arms folded across his broad chest and legs crossed at the ankles as he regarded her with an amused smile. She couldn’t see his eyes; they were hidden behind dark sunglasses, but she felt a familiar shiver run through her body.

It was unfair for someone so obnoxious to look so good.

“Yeah, thanks for getting me this job, Evans,” Liz said sarcastically, putting on a big smile as she pulled on the lead to direct the dog on the other end away from the roses.

Max bent his head with a small chuckle, scratching his head as he shook his head from side to side in bemusement. “I can’t believe you agreed to this.”

“I’m fine,” Liz said casually, her nose still being able to hint the smell of feces from the closed plastic bag in her hand.

The truth was, she hated this job. All she did all day long was getting gross smelly food for dogs, getting barked and growled at by some dogs, and then had to walk them around on a piece of grass while watching them to see that they had done their business. And on top of that, she had to pick up that business. The worst case scenario she had been able to conjure up when Max offered his help was a job as a waitress. She never fully realized how evil Max Evans could be until he got her the job as an animal caretaker.

“Yeah, you look it,” Max agreed and pushed himself off the side of his car.

She was not going to give in on this one. He thought she was a prissy brat so she was going to prove him of the opposite. “Don’t you have work?”

He came closer, smiling as he pulled off his sunglasses. She swallowed as his eyes hit hers. He had a way of looking at her, looking into her, that could make her feel warm all over but uneasy at the same time.

“This is my day off.”

“And you decided to go to a dog kennel on your day off?”

“Actually,” he said, looking down at the poodle that was sitting next to them, waiting for the humans to make a move. “I came to see Serena.”

“Oh,” Liz said, instantly repressing the surge of disappointment that washed over her. Of course he wasn’t here to see her. Who was she kidding? She gave him a tight smile. “She’s inside.”

He pushed the sunglasses back down on his nose and gave her a brilliant smile. “Thanks.”

“Is she your next victim?” Liz asked his back as he started to walk away from her.

Without stopping, he said, “Been there, done that.”

His words ripped through her heart, the same way they always did whenever he mentioned the other part of his life; the other girls.

And he once more justified why there could never be anything more between them.
------------------------------------------------------------------
“Did you want a ride?”

Liz closed the door to the cage and hooked the leash onto the door. She looked up at Serena as she rose from her kneeled position, giving her a small and uncomfortable smile. “Uhm… you don’t mind?”

Serena smiled warmly at her. “Of course not. Max mentioned where you live and it’s in the same direction as me. I will be passing by your place anyway.”

Right. Max.

Suddenly she didn’t really feel like riding in the same car as one of Max’s girls. She had enough bad experiences from Max’s girlfriends/ex-girlfriends as it was.

“I don’t want to be of any trouble,” Liz tried, now wanting to get out of this. She really didn’t feel up to ten minutes of uncomfortable silence in a car with Max’s ex.

“Don’t be silly,” Serena said and hitched her head in the direction of the front door. “Come on.”

“Maybe I should take that Dalmatian out for a wa-“

“I already did that.”

“Oh. What about Scotty?”

“Kathy took care of him.”

“Alright, and what about-“

“Liz,” Serena interrupted her with an amused expression. “If you don’t want to go with me, just say so. I just wanted to help you out.”

“No no,” Liz said quickly and shook her head in denial. “That’s not what I meant-“

Serena laughed. “God, Max told me you were slightly odd, but-“

Liz sighed, Serena’s words burning ever so slightly. “Right. Then just don’t mind me-“

“That’s not what I meant,” Serena interrupted, her face now serious. For some reason, her teasing words had rubbed Liz the wrong way, which certainly hadn’t been her intention. “I’m just offering you a ride here, Liz.”

Liz dropped her eyes, taking a deep breath. She was making too much of a deal out of this. She was being rude. “I’m sorry. I just… I’m sorry.”

Serena gave her a friendly smile. “That’s okay. So, shall we?”

Liz smiled at her, the first genuine smile of the day and nodded. “Yeah.”

The smile froze on her lips as Serena asked, “So you how do you know Max?”

“Uhm…he’s my brother’s best friend.”

Serena nodded and Liz could feel her eyes observing her. “Oh. Just that?”

Liz frowned. “What do you mean?”

Serena shrugged with an easy smile. “Nothing.” She unlocked the door to the passenger seat for Liz. “He speaks of you as if he knows you really well, that’s all.”

“Well, we kinda do. Know each other, that is,” Liz admitted, and slid into the car. She waited for Serena to open the driver’s door before adding, “We have known each other since we were…I guess toddlers.”

“Wow,” Serena said, starting the car. “That’s a long time. I guess you’re pretty good friends then?”

Liz cleared her throat, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. “Not really.”

Serena glanced in her direction before looking over her shoulder to reverse the car out of the parking lot. “No?”

“We’re more…rivals,” Liz admitted, wondering why she had the second the words left her mouth. She had never acknowledged that to anyone before.

Other people had said it plenty of times, but Liz had actually never used the term herself.

“Rivals?” Serena smiled, now intrigued.

Liz sank further into the seat, wondering what she had gotten herself into. But for some reason, her lips just kept moving. “He’s always on my case. Always annoying me. Sometimes I’m convinced that he has made pissing me off into his life mission.”

“That’s…interesting,” Serena mused, looking at Liz’s profile. The cheeks of the girl in the passenger seat had gained some color, flustered with annoyance, indignation, or anger. Serena could only guess which one it was. But for some reason, the girl was getting quite worked up just talking about her brother’s friend Max Evans.

“He doesn’t know when to shut up. He doesn’t know anything about personal space. He doesn’t know when to stop acting like my bodyguard.”

Serena’s eyebrows moved north. “Bodyguard?”

“Yeah,” Liz said, staring out at the scenery that sped past her window. “He’s worse than my brother. He thinks I can’t take care of myself and that he needs to… I don’t know…save me from…everything.”

“That does sound a bit annoying,” Serena agreed. She could easily see that being true with Max, but mostly in a positive way.

She hadn’t known Max for very long, but since they shared the same taste in music they had already gone to several concerts together. Serena was quite petite and would easily be squashed in the pressure of the crowd if Max hadn’t been standing behind her, holding his arms around her and pushing everyone away. It hadn’t taken long for Serena to realize that Max was a very considerate person and he was very protective of the people he loved.

It somehow amused her that this girl, a girl that he had known since he could barely walk, saw the qualities that Serena admired as annoying.

“Freaking frustrating is what it is,” Liz huffed and crossed her arms across her chest. Knowing that she had probably said too much, she turned to the red-haired driver and asked, as casually as she could muster, “How do you know Max?”

“He’s a good friend of mine,” Serena answered and saw something close to relief cross the dark-haired girl’s face. But there was something else on her face as well. Suspicion?

“Only friends?” Liz asked carefully.

Serena smiled broadly and looked at Liz out of the corner of her eye. “You thought we had a history, didn’t you? A romantic history.”

The complete relief now flooding Liz’s features supplied Serena with the answer, but also opened up some more questions. If the girl found Max so annoying, why was she so worried about him dating someone?

“Max kinda hinted at that.”

Serena looked at Liz surprised. “He did?”

“I shouldn’t be surprised that he was lying though,” Liz said, shrugging as if it didn’t really matter, “That’s what he does.”

“Are we talking about the same guy?” Serena asked dubiously.

“Why?” Liz asked curiously.

“He just doesn’t strike me as dishonorable,” Serena said. “He seems very upfront about everything.”

Liz snorted. “Yeah, he’s upfront alright.”

Hearing the bitterness in Liz’s voice, Serena once again wondered if there wasn’t more to the Max and Liz story than what Liz was telling her.

Just then her cell phone rang. Excusing herself, Serena pressed the speaker button. “Serena speaking.”

Max’s voice rang out loud and clear, and suppressing a laugh, Serena indicated for Liz to be quiet. “Hey Ser, it’s Max.”

“Well hello there.”

“Whatcha doin’?”

“Driving.”

“How did things go with Liz?”

For some reason she was not the least surprised that Liz’s name popped up so quickly. She winked at Liz, who was listening intently, before answering, “Really well. I really like her.”

“She wasn’t too much of a…”

Serena arched her eyebrow as his voice trailed of and she could almost feel Liz tensing in the adjacent seat. “What Max?”

“Brat?”

Serena frowned as Liz turned her head to look out the window, tension marked in her body.

“Brat? No, not at all.”

“She’s just… She doesn’t mean anything by it. She’s just not used to working, that’s all.” Max’s voice was soft and apologetic and to Serena’s ears it was clear that he was only looking out for Liz. But she had a feeling Liz wasn’t hearing it the same way.

“She was doing really well,” Serena said. “I have a question.”

Max sounded surprised, “Okay. What?”

“How well do you know Liz?”

There was a pause before he answered, “Okay, what did she do?”

Serena laughed. “She didn’t do anything. Why do you assume the worst?”

“She just has a way of scaring people away,” Max answered. “She doesn’t give them a chance to get to know her.”

“I’m sure you wouldn’t have placed her to work with me if you thought she was a horrible person,” Serena said.

“She’s not a horrible person,” Max said softly. “Don’t let her fool you that she is.”

“Fool me?”

“She likes to put on a show. It’s just because she’s…scared, I guess.”

Liz shifted in her seat and looked over at Serena with a strange expression in her eyes. She was mouthing something and Serena lost her own words as she tried to read Liz’s silent ones.

Please hang up.

“Serena?”

The pain in Liz’s eyes had her momentarily dumbfounded, before she answered. “I’m here.”

“Everything alright?”

“Max, I have to go. We’ll talk later, okay?”

“Okay. I just wanted to know how it went with Liz today.”

“Don’t worry,” Serena said with a weak smile. “Everything went really well. I think we’re gonna get along just fine.”

“Good,” Max said quietly. “That’s good. Bye, Ser. And thanks.”

“Bye.”

She pressed the disconnect button and looked over at Liz. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

There was so much more Serena wanted to ask, but she swallowed the question at the sight of Liz’s pale face. They rode the rest of the way in silence.


TBC...
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 15 May 14th p. 6

Post by max and liz believer » Thu May 15, 2008 9:00 pm

Okay, I'm really nervous now. Because I get the feeling that you expect this chapter to be awesome. And don't want to disappoint you when you have gotten all excited about it.

So here's hoping that you will like it (and not necessarily kill me)

dmb
dmb wrote:Was Sean Liz’s only long term/serious boyfriend?
Yes.
dmb wrote:How long had she dated Billy (“Ears, Wine and Virgins”), for example; since he had been wanting them to take their relationship to the next level?
Not very long. He was just a horny teenage boy.
dmb wrote:Previously, I had envisioned that some of the times Max was telling Liz the alleged gory details of his “many” sexual escapades that he had in fact been either exaggerating about some of them OR may have even outright lied about just how many he was really having. I got this impression because of some of Liz’s comments that had made him out to be a manslut, and yet in “Ears, Wine and Virgins” we found out he had only really slept with two women at that time.
Well, yeah. You're onto something there.
dmb wrote:But getting back to my point, in this chapter, he led Liz to believe that he and Serena had been romantically involved, or at least she had been another one of his conquests. But later on, Serena tells Liz they were only good friends. So does that mean 1) Max lied (as Liz told Serena he often does) – this time about what he’d implied to Liz in order to maintain his manslut reputation in Liz’s eyes for whatever reason? Or 2) Serena and Max actually once had a “friends with benefits” relationship but now it’s just a friends only relationship? OR 3) something else altogether? I mean…why did he purposefully make Liz think Serena was an ex, if according to Serena he was just a good friend? Serena was telling the truth, right? I mean, we’re supposed to like Serena, right? Trust her?
Serena is a good person. She is the only sane person here right now that has a very fresh eye on Max and Liz's relationship, something that Maria and Michael don't. Because in Maria and Michael's world, Max and Liz have always been fighting so they don't really think much about that they might be seriously hurting each other now. Serena does. Because she's an outsider. And she and Max have not been romantically involved. Strictly platonic. How long have they known each other? A while. Long enough for Max to value her opinion and unconsciously feel like it's a good idea to place Liz in Serena's care. He knows that Liz needs support in her first work and so he choose it with care. Not for the reasons Liz suspects (to torment her), but because Serena was there.
dmb wrote:Again, if she wants to be treated as a grown-up, why didn’t she get her own damn job?
Liz likes to complain. She likes to make a big fuss out of things. Especially when Max is concerned. And their "war" has been going on for too long and she is too proud to admit to him - and even herself - that she really appreciates him helping her out and that she will later grow to love that job (because animals are sneaky like that - there's a reason why I had her working with animals).
dmb wrote:Anyway, I’m sure Max did choose this job in part to have a little fun with Liz…and to piss her off yet again.
Of course. Why not?
dmb wrote:I am betting Liz has never let herself believe that some of the times that Max came to her and Michael’s place was because he wanted to visit her…just her. After all, from what we’ve seen so far of their past encounters, when it was just the two of them, eventually one or the other would wonder aloud where Michael was…which made it always seem that Max had come to see/spend time with Michael and that if Michael wasn’t there, he’d stick around until he showed up. That Max was just killing time with Liz because there was nothing better to do while he was waiting for Michael.
Very good observation
dmb wrote:What the hell was Max thinking to say something like that to Serena? Sheesh, first Tess, now Serena. Does he tell all his acquaintances that Liz is “odd”?
We don't really know what Max actually said to Serena to describe who Liz was. We don't know if it might just have been Serena herself that came to that conclusion and used that word. But we do know (from how Serena was regretting it after she had said it) that she intended it as a joke. And seriously, if someone said that to me I would take it as a joke. But considering that Liz knew it had somehow come from Max, it is a very sore subject. So nothing about that was a joke to her. It was just confirming what she thought she already knew about how Max sees her.
dmb wrote:For example, so far we’ve heard him call her “Shorty”, although I don’t think that bothers Liz, but we don’t really know for sure…maybe it does and she’s just never let on to him that it does.
Okay, so I have this best friend, who I kinda fell in love with. He used to (and still does) call me everything between heaven and earth. He used to sing this song "Short people got no reason to live" to me. Now, he was just joking. That's who he is. I knew he was just joking, but if you have feelings for that person, you tend to take it even harder. His comments used to hurt me a lot. Some are not really nice (like "smelly") and I used to go to my room (we shared apartment...go figure :roll: ) and cry because he was just so mean. But even though his words were insensitive at times, he was just joking. He could sit around and say comments like Max (see where I'm getting my inspiration from) and be all serious and I would just roll me eyes at him because he was being ridiculous. The difference between Liz and me is that she doesn't know if he's joking or not. The similiarity is that when she knows he's joking, it still hurts. Because that is still the person she loves and he's picking on all her "less admirable" qualities. I eventually told this guy how I felt about him and how it hurt me when he brought his girlfriend over (...) and talked endless hours about her (because we were best friends, that's what you do). He was very cool about it and we are still the best of friends. He never mentioned her after that conversation (unless I asked him about it), because he knew it hurt me. But guys don't really realise sometimes how much their frank words hurt and it's the same with Max. If Liz would just tell him straight out that she hates when he calls her this and that, maybe he would back off, but right now he doesn't know it might be causing her grief. Okay, uhm.. That explanation went for longer than I intended.
dmb wrote:So please, please tell me he never made fun of her “flat-chest”, too, and especially not to others or in front of other people while Liz was present.
No no no. Really no. Because he doesn't find her flat-chested. He thinks she's beautiful
dmb wrote:We also found out he’d referred to Liz as “Little Lizzie” to Tess as well.
But we don't really know if he actually has referred to her as Little Lizzie in front of Tess. She might've picked it up from somewhere else. Maybe she overheard a conversation between Michael and Max or something. We just don't know :roll:
dmb wrote:Please tell me that this isn’t what caused things to go so wrong between them when the “big thing that happened” at the end of 2004 occurred. Please tell me they didn’t get so far as to removing their clothes only to have Max make a comment that inadvertently made her feel even more self-conscious about her breast size/body than she’d already been feeling before she allowed herself to be that vulnerable with him.
I guess you'll find that one out very soon.
dmb wrote:Maybe it isn’t just that Liz is afraid if she and Max got together that he’d eventually abandon her, like everyone else in her life has seemed to (either by their own doings or because they let her push them away.) Maybe it’s that she’s afraid, Max would become bored with her. Find her body lacking. Her boobs too small. Whatever. That he’d loose interest. That he’d cheat on her. Maybe she had been projecting her fears about Max onto Sean.
Girl, you're too good.
dmb wrote:Okay, this really bothers me. Is she thinking Max was protective of her at the concerts because he “loves” her? But I thought she told Liz that they were just good friends?
There are many different kinds of love. Sorry, maybe I should've said "people that he cares about" in that phrase instead. He doesn't love Serena romantically. She's a gorgeous girl and very attractive, but his heart is already taken.
dmb wrote:And while we’re sort of on the subject of saying “nice” things about one another, when has Liz ever really said anything nice about Max to Max?
Hmm... I dunno. But let's remember that Max already comes off as having the biggest ego possible, why would Liz want to fuel that further? And if she said something nice about him, he might just realise that (god forbid :wink:) she likes him...
dmb wrote:Maybe she minored in Psychology in college? :wink:
Haha, maybe she did :mrgreen:
dmb wrote:I was so nervous about what Max might say unwittingly on Serena’s speaker phone. It was actually kind of a strange thing for her to do, since she didn’t know what he was calling her about.
Oh, she does that with every phone call. She's usually alone in her car so she doesn't really think about it. And she has troubles holding the phone to her ear while she drives so it's just easier that way. Besides, she didn't realise what dangerous grounds she was suddenly treading by doing that.

Laira
Kris
Christina
Wench on a Leash wrote:First of all, I like that Serena was so honest and persistent with Liz about driving her home. It's nice that Liz was able to talk to someone other than Michael or Max, and that for once she was able to tell someone about her relationship with Max even if she didn't say much about it, except for the whole rivalry thing.
Yep, I think Liz really needs a pair of fresh eyes on this whole chaotic thing.
Wench on a Leash wrote:I'm surprised he would have made that comment about Serena if it weren't true. First of all, it's completely disrespectful to Serena (who he considers a good friend) for him to act as if he had a sexual relationship with her, and secondly it obviously struck a nerve with Liz. I'm sure he'd know that by now. So either he did it to try and get a reaction out of her, or he really is thinking that she doesn't have the same kind of feelings for him that he has for her and that's his way of coping with the rejection he got from her in the Betrayed part. To just keep acting like the playboy he's always been.
First of all, Serena is not happy about Max making up that little detail about them, so she will let him know. Secondly, it is very disrespectful of Max and I'm not trying to excuse that behaviour, I'm just gonna say that Max kinda has tunnel vision. "Everything is fair in love and war" or what do they say? He makes those comments for a reason and, at this point, if they are true or not is not really his main priority.

azure
twilight
twilight wrote:For two people that know each other so well they seem to have the problem where they can't talk to each other honestly because they both know that they have the power to hurt each other deeply.
Yup. Exactly.

yayaliens
yayaliens wrote:this is better than tv
Haha. Really? Thank you so much :D

paper
paper wrote:Now he's lying to keep his rep intact.
Yes.
paper wrote:Or was it just to hurt Liz?
Not really. He's not really thinking that far. He has his dense y-chromosome thinking hat on at the moment.

bettylove8
bettylove8 wrote:I'm really glad for Serena coming into the picture to give an outside perspective, I'm just worried about her relationship to Max. Because although I understand that they are just friends, that kind of bothers me because it makes me wonder if they did pursue a relationship, it would mean more to him than just sex. It seems though (hopefully) that Serena understands there is something much deeper between the two. I just hope she doesn't get in the way or I'm gonna have to kick her butt.
Don't worry about Serena. She knows her place :D
bettylove8 wrote:He has tons of girls throwing themselves at him all the time, how does she know that she means anything? That what he says to her behind closed doors he wouldn't say to any other girl to get them into bed?
No wonder she's hesitant about him, is there?
bettylove wrote:Okay whoa. Can you say longwinded? :lol:
Oh, I love longwinded. Bring it on :mrgreen:

lockheart
Alien_Friend
carolina_moon
veronica
veronica wrote:alright i absolutely loved the update but one thing i just hate is max
don't get me wrong i love max (lol, who doesn't?)
but why does he act that way towards liz?
hello!!! i just want to bitch slam him!
Haha, okay. Take. A. Deep. Breath. (hopefully he will redeem himself in this part...)

Emma
Natalie36
Natalie36 wrote:still on the rollercoaster ride
Yep, still there. Hanging on for dear life

Eve
extingman
extingman wrote:But now he lied about Serena, why? Is it his way of making Liz jealous? To make her see what she is missing?
You're a smart cookie.
extingman wrote:It's definitely a messy situation, but I'm curious if Max lied about Serena, how many others did he lie about? He's not a virgin by any stretch, but is he really a man whore?
Aha! Max is certainly not fooling you.

Rachael
Tears_of_Mercury wrote:Sorry I haven't reviewed since part thirteen. Life has just... not been the best for me right now.
Sorry to hear that. I hope it gets better.
Tears_of_Mercury wrote:I'm still wondering when we get to meet Maria.
Yeah, I'm a bit surprised myself that I haven't unleashed Maria on you yet. But I only have her in one part this far and that part will be posted in the close future.

roswell3053
roswell3053 wrote:Again, I agree. Why should Liz believe anything that Max tells her regarding his feelings. Max needs to learn that the way to a womans heart isn't through jealousy. He needs to earn Liz's trust and be honest with her. Most women don't want a man that proudly talks about all of his supposed conquests.
Oh boy, does he have a lot to learn.
roswell3053 wrote:I also think that while Max was "dating" Tess, that he was still spending a lot of time at Liz and Michael's. I'm sure that he wasn't with Tess 24/7. I'm sure that they had some run ins, and he probably spent the night, but I think that he was in a way showing some respect to Liz by keeping Tess away. If that is the case, it's probably one of the few times that Max has showed her that he truely cares. Although, I'm sure that Liz doesn't see it that way.
Right you are

Tanya
dreamerfrvrp3
- Sorry I couldn't give you a birthday update. But Laira did on "Butterfly", didn't she? So I hope it was enough. Otherwise, here's one part not too far from your birthday. *hugs*
Aurorabee
Aurorabee wrote:I guess I need to read it again, but I felt like in this conversation with Serena, Max really revealed just how much he cares about Liz. He's looking out for her, concerned that her walls are going to keep someone out who could be a good friend.
Right on the money.

sara
Kay
kay_b wrote:Damnit! Can someone just smack Max, please? He wants her, yet he annoys her to hell. Yes, I know, some guys use it as a form of foreplay but there are always two sides of a coin. While he thinks it's fun jerking her around, it's backfiring, you idiot!
Haha, you're funny. But it's so very true.

Addicted2AmberEyes
RiceKrispy
guel
guel wrote:firstly i have to say i love this idea of the snapshots
:oops: Thank you
guel wrote:Serena and Max could be relatives? are they? or she is someone he really loves as a friend?
Nope, they're not relatives. And he cares about her, but it is very much platonic.

confusedfool
Ju
Ju wrote:Hey! You just said it was NOT my fault you weren't updating... *pouts*
But you're right. You were actually the one keeping from leaving the feedback for the last 2 chapters, you know?
Sorry, hun. I didn't mean it that way. Of course it was not your fault. It was that stupid shopping spree that killed me. And it's no surprise you didn't have time to leave feedback last night because we were after all talking about, what, five things at the same time or something.
Ju wrote:Hahaha! Have I mentioned I'm pimping this story around like crazy?
Hehe. No you haven't. But I'm not complaining :D


Blink1Lit
Kim
Mica
Becky
- Girl am I glad you ventured over here (thanks, Ju!). Thank you so much for the compliments. It warms my heart :D
roswellianprincess16

and

Elizabeth - *muah*

dmb wrote:Now bring on THE chapter, Jo, ASAP please because we can't wait to read it!!!!

(Can you see me bouncing in my seat?)
Actually, I think I can. I was afraid yesterday that I had given you a heart attack after I posted that I was considering posting this chapter. But I'm glad to "see" that you're still bouncing around.


Updated Timeline

So let's get on with it.


16. Crossing the Line

Cabin in Wisconsin
Two days before Christmas
Max is 19, Liz is 18



“How can you be that stupid?” Liz asked, staring at the TV screen.

“I’ve seen worse things.”

Liz turned to look at him. “Worse than eating your own pee?”

Max nodded, taking a big bite out of his ice-cream cone.

Liz grimaced as her eyes fell on the cone. “And I can’t believe you’re eating that at the same time.”

He smiled at her, ice-cream visible all over his front teeth, and mumbled out around the mouthful. “Dis is delishious.”

“You’re disgusting.”

He refocused his attention on the TV. “But you love it.”

“Oh yeah,” Liz said sarcastically. “I soo love to watch ice-cream run out of your mouth as you speak.”

“You want some?”

She looked at him as if he had gone completely mad and then pointed at the TV. “There’s a guy eating a freaking ice-cream made out of a cone and ice that he peed on on the screen and you’re asking me if I want ice-cream?”

He winked at her. “It’s goooood.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’m sure it is.”

The last word was drowned by the telephone and Liz jumped off the couch to answer. “’Lo.”

Max turned his attention back to the TV where the group of guys continued to do stupid and very dangerous tricks. He snickered to himself. Those guys really were jackasses.

Liz plumped down next to him and he glanced over in her direction long enough to see the frown on her face. “What’s up?”

“Michael’s not coming home tonight.”

Max scratched his eyebrow. That’s odd. “Why’s that?”

“Apparently they’ve shut down the road. Due to the heavy snowfall or something.”

“Oh… So where’s he staying?”

“He’s just gonna go to one of the hotels for the night and hopefully he’ll be able to get out here tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Max said simply. That’s sounded alright to him. But after watching the movie for another ten minutes without a single comment from the usually very chatty Liz Parker, he looked over at her just to see her blue expression. “What’s with the face?”

She raised her eyebrows at him, the innate defensive side of her nature flashing in her eyes. “This is how I look. Get over it.”

Ignoring her comment, Max said, “I’m right here with you. I’ll protect you.”

The last sentence was said with a grin, but the truth of the message came through loud and clear.

“Michael will be fine,” he added. “He’s a big boy. He can take care of himself.”

“I know that,” Liz said, rising from her seat.

Max watched her back as she started to walk away from him. “Then what?”

“It’s nothing,” Liz said, disappearing behind the kitchen counter of the open kitchen area.

Max and Liz were in a cabin that Liz and Michael’s parents had rented for them for Christmas. Probably to ease their feelings of guilt about not having time to spend Christmas with their kids. Not like that was anything out of the ordinary for the Parker kids. However, now they were old enough to be on their own without being supervised by nannies, housekeepers and other serving staff.

And now it seemed like it was only going to be Max and Liz.

“You’re not afraid of me, are you?” Max joked, but the grin froze on his face as he saw her turn her back on him as he walked up to the kitchen counter. She was acting strangely. “You’re not, right?”

She laughed. “Of course not.”

Liz rarely laughed at anything he said.

“Kitten? What’s up?” he asked, his voice now serious.

“Not everything is about you, okay?” she said, her voice partly muffled by the refrigerator as half of her body was inside trying to find something to eat.

“Oh, sorry, I thought it was,” Max said lightly, watching her closely.

“Fine.” She slammed the refrigerator door closed, took a glass for the juice she had just retrieved and came to stand in front of the counter, and him, to fill it up. “It’s just… I’ve never celebrated Christmas without Mike, you know. I don’t think I can ever do that.”

Max’s heart rate slowed down and he felt himself relax. It wasn’t worse than that. He could deal with that.

Even though Liz had never personally told him so, he knew how important the holidays were to her and especially that she got to spend them with her brother. Part of that was probably because Liz and Michael really only had each other. Their parents had not been part of the picture since Liz was ten years old; always away on business trips, holidays or staying in any of their other three houses spread around the world.

The only blood relative Liz had around was Michael.

“They’ll have the road cleared before Christmas, Lizzie,” Max comforted.

“What if they don’t?” Liz asked, looking at him with such worry in her large brown eyes that he felt his heart skip a beat.

“Well, if they don’t, I’ll go out there myself and dig a hole for him to go through, how’s that?”

“Doofus,” she mumbled, but there was a smile on her lips.

“Now, how about we do something fun? We might as well enjoy ourselves when Mike’s not around.”

Liz looked at him suspiciously. “What do you mean?”

Max wiggled his eyebrows suggestively before stepping up to the bar cabinet and with a loud ‘ta-da’ flung the doors open. “Alcohol, Lizzie. Lots and lots of rich people’s alcohol. And your parents are paying for it!” Taking in all the alcohol with glittering eyes he added. “Man, your parents really suck on the parental side of things. But I must applaud them on this. They don’t mind leaving their kids in close vicinity of vodka and tequila.”

“That’s a bad thing, Max.”

He shrugged. “I’m gonna see it as a sign.”

She sighed. “A sign of what?” already fearing what he was going to say.

“A sign telling us that we should do the right thing and drink all of this stuff.”

She raised an eyebrow. “All of that? Tonight? Really, Max. That’s a bit optimistic even for you, don’t you think?”

“Have you ever played a drinking game?”

She looked at him carefully. “Eh…”

He smiled at her. A smile that he had no idea of how much it affected Liz’s breathing. And he wouldn’t know until years later. “Come on, kiddo.”

“Don’t call me that.”

“Fine. Shorty.”

Sigh. “Your persuasion skills sorely need updating.”

“It’s either ‘Jackass’ or the drinking game.”

Liz glanced over at the TV-screen where stunt guys were still doing utterly retarded acts and shivered. After that pee-ice cone she never wanted to see anything else that any of those guys did.

She exhaled loudly. “I can’t stand another second of that movie.”

With a large smile, Max started removing bottles of alcohol from the cabinet. “This will be fun, kitten. I assure you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Liz grumbled. But a rush of excitement still went through her.

She would never consciously acknowledge it, but it gave her some relief to know that Max seemed fine with her drinking, even inviting her to drink, despite what had happened a couple of months earlier at the pool party when she had become dangerously drunk and Max had been less than happy.

But who said she was going to get drunk anyway?

But looking at the number of bottles Max was lining up on the table, she knew that this night was gonna end in hangovers in the morning.

Placing a die on the table, Max stated, “The rules are simple. The number you roll is the number of shots you have to take. If it’s an even number, you split with the other person. If it’s an odd, you drink it all on your own.”

Turning a chair back to front and sitting down to straddle it, Liz nodded. “Okay. What are we drinking?”

“Let’s start with tequila.”

She shook her head and smiled at him with amusement.

“What?” he laughed.

Looking innocent, she grabbed the die. “Just line them up.”


One hour later, Liz was not doing so well. Well, she was winning. Which in this game mean that she could barely stop laughing at Max’s jokes.

“That’s not even funny,” Liz giggled.

“Then why are you laughing?” Max asked while trying to fill up some more shot glasses without spilling.

“I’m hot,” Liz said, drastically changing the topic.

“Uh-huh,” Max agreed, tongue sticking out at the side of his mouth as he deeply concentrated on filling the glass.

Liz stood up from the chair, not even noticing as it fell over behind her with a bang, and started to pull on her sweater.

Max looked up from the glass, the liquor still pouring from the bottle and now onto the table as he stared at Liz. “You know, you don’t have to remove clothes in this game. But by all means, go ahead.”

“It’s warm. I’m warm.”

As the sweater moved up over her chest, the tank top she had on underneath followed along, revealing the bottom of her laced bra before she had time to discard the sweater and pull the tank top down again.

This didn’t go unnoticed by Max. He straightened, suddenly feeling very hot himself. How come he hadn’t noticed before how warm it was in this room?

“Yeah, you’re right,” he said, taking a hold of the back of his sweater and pulling it over his head. “It is hot in here.”

Max Evans might be drunk, drunker than he’d been in a while, but nothing could stop him from feeling Liz’s eyes caress his naked upper body. Unlike Liz, he wasn’t wearing anything underneath his sweater.

“Do you work out?” she asked slowly, intense eyes roaming his body.

He grinned. “You like?”

She scrunched her eyes up, looking at him with utter disbelief. “You get that body from playing football?”

“Yep.”

“Wow,” she said softly. “That’s… wow.”

“Stop drooling, Parker.”

She rolled her eyes, trying to redirect her eyes from his chest to his face. “Come on. I’ve seen better. I was just surprised that’s all. I mean, you were pretty scrawny looking the last time I saw you.”

Eyebrow raised, he looked at her dubiously. “You’ve seen better?”

She nodded. “Uh-huh.”

“Who?”

“Jack.”

Max narrowed his eyes. “Lewis?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Yeah right.”

“Oh, you wouldn’t be able to tell. You’re a guy. Only girls can fully appreciate male perfection.”

“Perfection, huh? You call Jack’s body perfection?”

Liz bit her lower lip, nodding. Not that she had ever seen Jack Lewis’ body. But she had heard enough gossip from other girls to know that he wasn’t all that bad on the eyes. On the other hand, she wondered if those girls had ever seen Max’s body, because God…

She sighed dreamily, something that Max misinterpreted as her swooning over the memory of Jack’s body and he quickly stepped around the table so that he was standing in front of her.

She looked up at him in surprise, her muddled brain slowly wondering how he had moved so fast. She was hit with the smell of his cologne around the same time that his hand grabbed hers and brought it up to his chest.

Her breath hitched in her throat as he pressed her hand against his right pectoral, just above his nipple.

She swallowed.

“Feel that,” Max more or less commanded, his voice dark. “Did Jack’s body feel like this?”

Oh God.

Her fingers itched to move along the large expanses of his pectorals, but she didn’t dare to.

She had touched Max several times before, in the midst of fighting over the remote control to the TV or pushing him away as he was trying to steal her lunch in the school cafeteria.

But those incidents had always involved him being covered up and had lacked the almost suffocating energy that suddenly appeared to be simmering around them.

Her mouth felt dry. “I’ve never-“

“Or here?” Max said, moving her hand down across his abdominal muscles.

Her breaths were shallow and fast as she stared at where her hand was molded against his hard muscles, his warm hand pressing up against the back of her hand, keeping it in place.

“Was he the one?” Max whispered.

Her eyes snapped up to his dark ones as he voiced the question. “What are you talking about?”

And just as soon as the question left her lips, she knew. He thought Jack was the one that presumably had sex with her. Just because she hinted that she knew how Jack Lewis’ torso looked, Max Evans assumed that Jack had been the one to take her virginity.

Was he angry? She cocked her head to the side, watching him with wondrous fascination. Why would he be angry? Even if she had seen Jack’s body naked, it would’ve been her own decision to do so and he had nothing to say about it.

Was he jealous? She squinted her eyes and looked closer at him, her intense stare stopping him from answering her previous question.

Which left room for another one of hers. “Are you jealous?”

He huffed. “Of Jack Lewis?”

“Of me being with another guy,” she said evenly.

He looked at her in silence for a long time before answering seriously. “Yes.”

Oddly enough, she wasn’t as surprised by the answer as she thought she would be. “Why?”

He continued to look at her in silence before he let go of her hand and walked away from her.

“Max?”

“Stay away from me.”

She frowned. “What?”

Did he really think that he could just storm off after all of this? Considering all the drinks she had just had, she was suddenly feeling strangely sober and she wouldn’t let him just walk out on her. That was her job.

“You shouldn’t be around me right now,” he said, his voice muffled as he walked into his room.

“Why’s that, Max?” Liz asked as she followed him into his room.

Before she knew what was happening he had spun around and was pressing her up against the wall. His breath was hot against her face as he whispered, his eyes haunted, “Because I can’t control myself around you.”

Her breaths felt harsh in her windpipe and she could feel the warmth of his body flooding her system. “What do you mean?”

He closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against hers. “Don’t ask so many questions, Parker.”

She looked at his closed eyelids and the long dark lashes resting against the top of his cheeks, feeling the world spinning around her.

“What’s happening?” she whispered and watched his eyes slowly open and amber met chocolate.

“Is it always gonna be like this?” His voice was husky and she couldn’t hide her shiver from his body that was intimately pressing hers up against the wall.

“I don’t know what you’re-“

“But you do,” he interrupted. “I need you. I fucking need you.”

A tremble of fear raced through her. Fear that things were about to change. The uncertainty that came with knowing that things were about to change in the next couple of seconds.

“Max…”

His hands cradled her face as his lips feathered across hers and he sighed. “Christ Lizzie.”

Her heart was aching. Her whole body was aching. She needed him too. Always had. But she didn’t have the courage to do anything. Too much was at risk. Too much was always at risk with Max Evans.

She looked into his eyes again, meeting the look of pain in there, and decided to take that step that she had feared since that day in Ryan Anderson’s closet.

She leaned forward, holding his gaze with hers, and fused their lips together. His lips drifted closed as she slowly traced his upper lip with the tip of her tongue, but her eyes remained open. They were open to watch every changing nuance of each and every emotion running across his face as she tasted his mouth.

He didn’t let her work solo for too long before his hands cradling her face angled her towards him so that he could fully enjoy her soft lips. Before long, he pulled back, mumbling, “Jesus, I’m so drunk.”

“Don’t stop,” Liz murmured, grabbing the ears she had made fun of two years earlier and pulling him back to her.

The kiss heated up within seconds and Max’s hands wandered down Liz’s back and grabbed her ass, pulling her up against him. She wrapped her legs around his hips and let him kiss down the front of her neck, pushing the straps of her tank top and bra to the side as he went. They fell off her shoulders, providing him with plenty of skin to feast on.

She moaned, her body arching into his as he trailed his tongue along the upper edge of her bra, which was visible above the edge of the loose tank top that was starting to fall down due to the lack of supporting straps.

“So soft,” he murmured.

“Don’t stop,” Liz repeated, because on some level she was afraid he would do just that.

Max’s mouth latched onto a small birth mark in the cleavage between her breasts and he groaned as his body stiffened even more with desire. Without separating his lips from her skin, he started to pull her tank top upwards, which eventually forced him to part from her skin to remove the piece of fabric and be presented with more of Liz’s smooth skin. Shooting a glance up at her half-closed lids and the pleasure painting her face, Max moved his hands behind her back and unclasped her bra.

Her eyes met his as he removed her breasts from their entrapment and the look of insecurity in her eyes made him hesitate for a second. Then he glanced downwards and got a view of her perfect – absolutely perfect – breasts and thrill ran through him. A crushing need to taste her, to kiss every inch of her naked body and watch her face fall apart as he moved inside of her, flooded his senses.

The little princess that he had grown up with. That he had loved to hate. She was perfect. She was absolutely gorgeous. Which he couldn’t stop himself from saying out loud.

“You’re magnificent.”

She laughed softly, his choice of word funny, but mostly the laughter was due to the relief that came with him liking what he was seeing. She was so afraid he would be disappointed. “Magnificent, huh?”

“Fucking marvelous,” he said with a boyish grin that had her melting in his arms.

She looked him straight in the eye and told him seriously. “Touch me, Max.”

He swallowed. He had been with a lot of women, but for some reason he was nervous. He just really didn’t want to screw this up.

Keeping his eyes on her face, he moved his thumb across her nipple, feeling it go hard beneath his touch.

She whimpered, trying to inch closer to him which had the lower part of her body wriggling around in an area where he was highly sensitive at the moment. The movements caused him to spin on his heels and drop her on the bed with a groan, his own body falling on top of hers as it was pulled down by her legs still wrapped around his waist.

He lifted his body slightly off hers, missing the feel of her naked breasts pressed up against his chest immediately. Resting his weight on his elbows, he cradled her face between his hands and pushed the hair away from her face.

“Tell me to stop,” he whispered and then groaned as she pushed her hips up against his. “Christ.”

“I won’t,” she answered and then pushed at him so he fell over onto his back.

Surprise written all across his face, he watched her as she climbed on top of him, straddling his waist. This put her breast pretty much on a level with his eyes and before he was able to stop himself he leaned forward and pulled one nipple into his mouth.

Liz head fell backwards as she leaned into his mouth. Her whole body tingled. Goosebumps raced across her skin as his hands moved up along the sides of her abdomen, pulling her upper body even closer to him.

His tongue slowly trailed down the center of her stomach, tickling her bellybutton before he moved back and looked up at her. His breathing was loud in his ears, his heart throbbing hard against his ribs as he stared up at the goddess straddling him.

She pushed his hands to the sides and placed her hands on his chest, inhaling deeply as she moved her fingers across the ridges of his upper body. She wondered how his skin could be so soft, yet when she pressed on it there was only muscular hardness underneath.

Max watched her face intently as she ran her fingers across his chest. The combination of her languid strokes with the emotions flickering across her face only served to further heighten his sexual excitement.

Then she bent her head and his eyes closed with a moan as her wet mouth touched his skin. The tip of her tongue circled his nipple, which had him restlessly moving on the bed as he hardened, if possible, even more.

Her tongue trailed down his abdomen, mimicking what she had done to him earlier, and stopped as she reached the upper border of his jeans. He could feel her warm breath against his skin, breathing in and out, before he felt her hands opening the button and slowly pulling down the zipper. He fisted the sheet in his hands to stop himself from flipping her over and driving into her right there and then. He didn’t know what had happened to his beautifully constructed control. He felt like he completely had lost his grip on everything.

He lifted his hips off the bed to help her remove the jeans. As he looked up and met her eyes, the air left his lungs.

Her eyes were large and dark. Her lips red and her face flushed.

She was gorgeous.

Her mouth was slightly open and her breasts moved up and down with each shallow breath. But there was something about the way she was looking at him that told him to take over.

Using his elbows, he pushed himself up into sitting position, coming face to face with her. He took a hold of her hips and pulled her as close to him as he could and then smiled gently at her as his thumbs brushed across her flustered cheeks.

“Are you okay?”

She was acutely aware of each breath she took since her almost painful nipples rubbed against his chest with every one. She could feel how much he wanted her pressing up against her and it felt like she was going to explode any second.

She gave him a weak, breathless smile. “Peachy.”

He pulled her mouth to his, fusing their lips together and coaxing her body to move against his with restrained passion.

Still kissing her, and supporting her back and head, he turned them around and lowered her onto her back. He pulled away from her lips and sat back, straddling her thighs. Looking at her closely, he moved his hands to the button of her jeans and pushed it open. She consistently looked into his eyes, her eyelids growing heavier along with her breathing as he pulled the zipper down and took a hold of the top of her jeans to pull them down her hips.

He momentarily stood up to completely remove her pants, before he crawled back onto the bed, his eyes still locked with hers. His hands feathered along her hips, over the only piece of fabric that was still covering her and pushed his hands inside her panties, just over her hip bone, pulling the piece of fabric downwards.

A tremble went through her body and he focused on her eyes again. “Do you want to stop?”

She bit her lower lip, restless energy rushing through her, torturing her. Knowing that he was the only one that could fix it, she shook her head.

His fingers feathered along the sensitive skin of her inner thigh, moving slowly towards the apex of her legs.

Her hips impatiently rose from the bed. “Please,” she mumbled, her eyes now closed.

He pulled away and bent down to retrieve his wallet from the floor. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Liz lean up on her elbows, watching him as he dropped his boxers and put the condom on.

Liz stared at him, wondering how this was going to work. He was too big. It was going to hurt. But for some reason she didn’t really care. Right now he was taking too long time.

“Hurry,” she moaned, which elicited a smile from him as he crawled on top of her, flushing every naked inch of skin of his body with every naked inch of skin of hers.

He positioned himself at her entrance, dipping into her slightly, which caused her breast to arch up into his chest.

He kissed her. Christ, she tasted good.

His lips brushing against hers with every word, he looked her deeply in the eyes and asked, “Are you sure?”

“Make love to me,” she whispered in a tone that gripped his heart. “Don’t go slow.”

Kissing her again, he pushed into her hard.

It was when he moved through her still intact hymen that the world came crashing down around him. He stopped, watching in something akin to horror the pain flash across her face, and he whispered, “Jesus, Lizzie.”

She looked up at him, a lonesome tear running out of the corner of her eye. “Don’t stop. Don’t you dare.”

“You’re a virgin?” he asked.

She nodded wordlessly. It was not like she could fool him any longer.

“Why did you tell me that you were not?”

She had anticipated him to perhaps be angry with her. She had not expected the sadness and pain in his eyes.

“To shut you up,” she said carefully.

She could feel him so acutely inside of her. He wasn’t moving a millimeter, yet there was no mistaking that he was inside of her. A feeling that was amazing at the same time as it was scary. And a fear that he was going to pull out just because she had lied to him gripped her heart.

She watched him swallow and close his eyes. She felt him breathe deeply as his torso moved against hers, the friction heavenly and bittersweet.

His eyes opened, regret floating in the spheres of golden amber. “It was not supposed to happen this way. Not your first time.”

She grabbed the back of his head then, threaded her fingers through his dark hair and pulled his reluctant head towards hers. Catching his lips with hers, she kissed him thoroughly, trying to pour every ounce of desire into that kiss.

“I want you, Max. Please. Move.”

He couldn’t help but smile at the command in her voice because it sounded so much like the girl he fought with on a daily basis. And it was just what he needed to hear to relax.

And with that he pulled out of her slightly, only to push right back in. She gasped at the sensation, her body protesting ever so slightly with pain with each movement, but the feeling of having him moving inside of her soon overrode the soreness.

He was gentle with her at the same time as he was passionate. He kissed every part of her face, her eyelids, cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, lips, as they together built up towards the climax. His large warm hands caressed her arms, bringing them up above her head and lacing their fingers together as their bodies moved faster. His fingers feathered down the inside of her arms to brush along the sides of her upper body, slowly moving up and down, while his tongue made love to her mouth. His hands cupped her breasts, brushed across her nipples and moved upwards to cradle her face.

Amongst moans and gasping sounds that sounded very much like names, Liz Parker fell apart in Max Evans’ arms.

As their bodies, tired and sweaty, came down from the high, Max gently kissed Liz’s mouth. “I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t say that,” she whispered, tears in her eyes.

Tears because she had inadvertently caused him pain and regret, but mostly because she realized that he might not have taken it this far if he had known that she was a virgin.

“Does it hurt?” he asked softly, his hands floating down her abdomen, unbeknownst to him causing her to react to him all over again.

“No,” she answered, caressing his lips with the tip of her finger, a touch of wonder in her movements.

He was beautiful. He thought that he had hurt her, but he had taken care of her better than anyone else ever could have.

“It should’ve been with someone you loved,” Max said, shamefully averting his eyes from hers as he uttered the words.

A cold shiver had goosebumps break out across her skin at the vulnerability in his voice and she shook her head. “I’m glad it was you.”

He looked up at her with confusion and before he could say anything, she smiled at him gently. “I wanted it to be you.”


Those had been the last words exchanged between the two lovers. Liz had fallen asleep curled up in Max’s arms, but when he had woken up three hours later she had been gone. He had found her sleeping in her own bed and had gone back to his own cold bed with a crumbling heart.

Max never knew that Liz had watched him for an hour before leaving the warm comfort of his body. He never knew that she had traced her finger down his bare chest, softly crying about what had happened.

He never knew that she had fallen hard for him that night. He never knew that she had been denying her feelings up until that point, but after that night there was no way she could deny that she was in love with him.

Max only subconsciously knew how Liz had kissed his lips, had stroked the hair away from his forehead and then whispered ‘I’m sorry’, as he was in deep sleep. He never knew how she had curled up into a ball in the middle of the cold bed in the room assigned to her, shaking with silent tears. He never knew that she had been awake when he quietly pushed the door open to look in, as she was holding her breath and biting her lip until she drew blood to stop herself from calling him over.

He never knew.

Michael returned home early in the morning, leaving no chance for Max to talk to Liz. It was like it never happened.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 16 May 16th p. 12

Post by max and liz believer » Mon May 19, 2008 8:14 am

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and

Elizabeth

and

all possible lurkers

I can't tell you in words how much I value your feedback and especially on the previous chapter. I was quite nervous about it just because everything had been built up around that chapter up until that point which put a lot of pressure on me to pull it off. I'm so happy (and relieved) that you think I did a good job on that.

And thank you to those of you that normally don't post (there are some new people here just from the previous chapter) that came out to tell me what they thought of the chapter. Thank you.

Those of you that analyse and discuss and then analyse some more (you know who you are :mrgreen: ) thank you from the bottom of my heart for getting so involved in my characters. I'll be eternally grateful for that.


Now... I'll shut up so we can get to the chapter.

I thought it might be fitting to wound everything down a bit after the last chapter. So this chapter is more fluff and less drama. It unfolds after the bathroom scene (when Liz accuses Max of being gay and he goes off to prove her wrong) and before Max's mom dies (strange comfort).


17. An Unexpected Visitor

Max’s Bedroom
Wednesday afternoon
(2003) Max is 17, Liz is 16


The miniature ninja aimed an accurate kick to his shin and Max looked down, not knowing if he should be scared or laugh. But he was closer to fear than laughter seeing that this little ninja had followed him around for like forever and he had the eerie ability to get through locked doors.

Max desperately scanned his surroundings, trying to locate the door to get out of the room again. But for some odd reason, the door he had gone through had disappeared. Looking down at the ninja again, he stiffened with fear as the person brought out a large sword from behind his back and aimed it for his leg.

Just before the sword sliced through his tissue, Max jerked awake.

“Hey,” her voice said and he found himself staring up into her dark eyes, his heart beating a mile a minute and cold sweat moistening his forehead.

As soon as he came awake he became aware of the aches in his muscles, the headache, the dizziness and the odd heat that made him freeze.

Wordlessly, he watched her sit down on the edge of his bed, keeping her eyes on him.

What was she doing here?

“How are you feeling?” she asked and he was surprised by the softness of her voice.

Was he still dreaming?

“Like shit,” he answered.

“You look it,” she replied.

No, this was very much reality.

He chuckled, which elicited a violent cough. As he stilled, she was leaning over him with a glass of water in her hand. He was acutely aware of her body pressing into his.

“Thanks,” he mumbled and greedily gulped down the water.

“I brought your stuff from school,” she said, pointing to some place next to the bed. Max couldn’t be bothered to turn his head. His head hurt when he tried to figure out how she knew the combination to his locker.

“You brought me homework, Parker?” Max mumbled, his mouth still feeling annoyingly dry.

He still hadn’t quite gotten over the shock that she was here. She hated sick people. They grossed her out. She had told him this on several different occasions. So why was she here?

“’Thank you so much, Liz, for bringing my homework’,” Liz said, imitating his voice.

He was too tired to glare at her and instead just closed his eyes with a deep sigh.

“You look disgusting,” she said to his closed eyelids and he smiled inwardly. There was the girl he remembered.

His eyes still closed, he said softly, “Gee, Parker. You really have a way to make sick people feel better.”

He could picture her scrunching her nose up in that thoughtful way she sometimes did. “It’s just gross. All those germs spilling out everywhere.”

He opened his eyes and locked eyes with her, giving her a lope-sided smile. “So I guess a hug is out of the question then?”

“Eh,” she said as if he was stupid, “yes.”

“How was school?” Max asked, licking his dry lips as he pulled the blanket closer to his chin. It was freezing in here.

“Pam was caught with her skirt down in the Eraser room.”

Max shook his head. No surprise there. “Sounds like fun. Was she on her own?”

“Tom Basil.”

Max nodded. That made perfect sense. “Right.”

Liz shrugged. “Other than that. Nothing special. That was really the big thing today. You didn’t miss much.”

“Good,” Max mumbled. Not that he was particularly worried. If he hadn’t been feeling like crap, he wouldn’t have minded to stay at home. Except for the football, school was not really his favorite place to hang out.

“Uhm, I got you something,” her timid voice brought his attention back to her and he looked at her curiously.

Was that shyness?

“What’s that, kitten?” he asked.

“It’s only a loan, okay?” she said, some of her normal pushiness slipping back into her voice.

He frowned. Uhm. Okay. “Sure.”

She disappeared from his field of vision, only to pop up a second later with a big box that she placed on the bed, next to his prone body.

He recognized the box immediately. He had seen her paint that particular box when she was around six when she had accumulated a total of three comics and had decided to start a collection.

Max was looking at Liz’s highly valued Phantom comics collection. She wouldn’t let anyone get near it. It was her most prized possession.

But for some reason she had brought it out of her house, possibly brought it on the bus to get to his house and into his room. All that to…lend it to him?

Max stared at her. “You’re lending me your Phantom comics?”

She bit her lower lip and nodded, avoiding his eyes. “I figured you might be bored. And since you don’t have a TV in your room,” she shrugged, “I thought you needed something to read.”

“Lizzie,” he was speechless. “Uhm…thank you.”

Her face slowly changed into the tougher exterior she normally carried. “But if you damage any of them, you’re a dead man.”

He had to struggle not to laugh at the seriousness in her eyes, because he was pretty sure that would have her immediately stomping out of the room, holding the box tightly in her arms.

“Thanks Lizzie,” he said honestly, which had her smiling.

“Sure.”

“Now all I need is a hug and my day will be complete,” he said with a broad grin.

She rolled her eyes. “In your gross disgusting dreams, Evans. No way I’m getting infected with your germs.”

He smiled. “It was worth a try.”

“You know who you got it from, right?”

Max frowned. “Got what from?”

She waved her hands over him. “This disease.”

“Eh,” he looked at her slightly confused. “Not really.”

“That Meg girl,” Liz said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“That Meg girl,” Max repeated slowly before a moment later catching on to what she meant. “You mean the girl you saw me with in the bathroom?”

She met his eyes stubbornly. “Yeah.”

Max cocked his head to the side. Why was she bringing this up? “You think she infected me?”

“Yeah,” Liz answered. “God knows how many she’s been with. Seriously Max, sometimes your lack of judgment baffles me.”

“It baffles you, huh?”

“Yep.”

“Last thing I heard, the flu was not transmitted through sex.”

“But close contact will spread it. She’s sick too, you know.”

“Really?”

“Yep. She was not in school today.”

“Why are you keeping track on her? I thought you hated her.”

“I’m not keeping track of her!” She was offended. “I just happened to find out that she wasn’t in school.”

“Let’s be serious here, kitten,” Max said with a grin. “You’re jealous.”

“Ugh,” Liz sighed and stood up from the bed. “Screw you.”

“No. Since we’re on the topic anyway. What kinda stunt did you try to pull in there? As if anyone would even for a second believe that I’m gay.”

She shrugged. “I thought I would give it a try.”

“That’s fucked up.”

“You sure looked worried though. I’m sure you weren’t that certain that no one would believe it when Meg – very quickly actually - started to believe it.”

“She’s not the brightest crayon in the box.”

“You had sex with her!”

“Well, you kinda forced me to.”

Liz laughed. “What? Are you insane? I did not force you to do anything with that girl.”

“I had to prove that I was straight!”

The intensity of his voice had another cough attack assail him and he disappeared into the covers as he coughed harshly.

He noticed her hand on his shoulder when he stopped.

“Are you okay?”

The area where her hand was connected to his T-shirt was warming up and he nodded. “Yeah.”

“Good,” she said shortly, not sure what to do with herself anymore and quickly pulled her hand away from him. “Well, as much fun as talking to you about your sex adventures has been, I have to go. Some of us have homework.”

“Thanks for the comics, Parker,” Max said softly, trying to catch her eyes one last time. But she effectively avoided his eyes as she gave a small smile.

“That’s alright. Take care of them. Or else…”

He put his hands up in front of him in a frank defensive gesture. “Message received.”

She looked pleased and nodded. “Good. See ya!”

“Yeah,” Max mumbled, his eyes following her departure. She stopped briefly in the doorway and he caught the concern in her eyes before she realized he was looking.

“Bye,” she said and disappeared.

Max pulled himself up into more of a sitting position, pulled the box into his lap and removed the lid. He slowly traced the top magazine with his finger, feeling the glossy surface slide easily beneath his finger. Liz could’ve just entrusted him with her child; this collection meant that much to her.

And Max had no idea how he had earned the privilege to touch, let alone read her comics.

That girl was just a mystery to him.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Mon May 19, 2008 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unbreakable (M/L, AU)
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 17 19/5 p 2 + A/N 22/5 p 8

Post by max and liz believer » Thu May 22, 2008 6:50 pm

dreamerbabylioness
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and

Elizabeth

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you everyone!!

Updated Timeline (Ch. 17 in yellow and ch. 18 in green)


18. The Ball is in Motion

The Apartment
Saturday evening
(2004) Michael is 20, Max is 19, Liz is 18



Liz tiredly threaded her fingers through her hair as she walked down the hallway towards the kitchen. Their voices increased in volume as she got closer.

“But that wouldn’t matter, would it?” Maria said.

Michael grumbled, “I hate ties, woman!”

Liz bit back a laugh as she saw Maria’s eyes darken and she mentally prepared herself for the explosion, but Maria saw Liz first which distracted her from her everyday bickering with her boyfriend.

“There she is!”

Liz’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. What were they up to now?

“Hey Maria,” she said cautiously and continued up to the kitchen counter. Pulling out a glass from the cabinet she turned on the tap and pushed the glass under the stream.

“What are you doing tonight?” Maria asked.

Liz put the cold glass against her lips and took a mouthful of the cold water, carefully observing Maria’s excited face over the brim of the glass. She shrugged in silent response as she continued to gulp down the water.

“When was the last time you did something fun?” Maria asked with infectious enthusiasm that, unfortunately for Maria, Liz was immune to after all years spent in the girl’s company.

“Well,” Liz said calmly and turned on the tap to refill her glass. “I beat Mike on ‘Underground’ yesterday. That was kinda fun.”

Michael sighed in irritation, not particularly appreciating being reminded of his mortifying moments of defeat in X-box games.

Maria sighed exasperatedly. “Your brother doesn’t count, Lizzie.”

Liz eyes widened with the sudden memory and she exclaimed, “Oh, but if you had seen his face yesterday. And the profanities… Dear Lord.”

Maria gave Michael a look that by some miracle stopped him from responding and turned back to Liz with staged calmness. “Alright. Let’s try this again. We’re going bowling. Do you wanna come?”

Liz brightened. She loved bowling. She hadn’t gone bowling in ages.

Maria smiled as she saw the light in Liz’s eyes. “Is that a ‘yes’?”

“I’ll come,” Liz said simply and put the glass on the counter. “Let me just grab my jacket.”
------------------------------------------------
Roswell’s Bowling Alley

Liz reveled in the sounds of the bowling balls hitting the pins as she entered the bowling alley. It was such a relief to get out of the apartment. She had been holed up in there for too long.

Maria came up from behind and hooked arms with Liz. “Come on, Liz. Let’s find some shoes.”

If she had stayed around for another five seconds she would’ve seen Max walk through the main entrance, but as it was she missed the surprise on Michael’s face as he saw his best friend approach and their casual greetings. She also missed the blonde girl that trailed closely behind Max and how Michael politely greeted her.

“It’s a good thing that bowling is so much fun,” Maria said as she and Liz exited the shoe area and walked towards the bowling lanes, “because there’s no way I would otherwise put on other people’s sweaty shoes.” She shivered for emphasis. “Gross.”

Liz was just about to announce her emphatic agreement when a high pitched laughter disrupted her train of thought. Her head slowly turned in the direction of the laughter while Maria walked into Liz as she her body came to an abrupt stop.

“Liz, what-?” Maria said confused as she pulled back from Liz’s stiff body.

She followed Liz’s eyes and felt the good mood wash off her as her eyes landed on Max’s steady girlfriend.

“Liz, I-“

Liz took a deep breath, but her voice somehow managed to come out weak as she asked, “What are they doing here? What is she doing here?”

Maria shook her head quickly. “We didn’t invite them. I promise. I don’t know why she’s here.”

Pulling out of her frozen state, Liz spun on her heels and walked back towards the shoe area. “I’m leaving.”

“No,” Maria said, her desperate eyes falling on Michael as he approached them, probably with the intention of getting some shoes himself. “Michael!”

He frowned at her distress and asked sharply, worry hidden behind his irritation, “What?”

Maria pointed at Liz that was pulling the shoes off her feet. “She’s leaving.”

“She’s what?”

Before he could turn to walk up to his sister, Maria grabbed a hold of his jacket and hissed into his ear, “What the hell is she doing here?”

He looked at her confused. “Who?”

Tess,” Maria said, looking at him as if he was stupid.

He shrugged. “I dunno. She came with Max.”

“Did you invite them?”

He opened his mouth to respond and then changed his mind, glaring at her. “What’s wrong with you? We’ve been out with Max and Tess before. You could’ve told me you had a problem with her.”

She smacked him over the back of his head with the flat of her palm which had his eyes darken. “Maria.”

I don’t have a problem with her,” she hissed and then added in a grumble, “At least not anything that’s relevant right now.”

“What the hell are you on, Ria?” Michael asked, looking over at the shoe area when the dull sound of rubber hitting metal carried over to where he was standing with Maria. Instead of placing the shoes on the metal shelves like any normal human being, his sister was throwing them against the shelves before sitting down to put her own shoes back on.

Michael shook his head in disbelief. What was wrong with these women? Looking down into the fiery eyes of his girlfriend he realized with clear certainty that he would never really understand the female species.

“Think, Michael. Think!” Maria said, louder now than before.

“So she doesn’t like Max,” Michael sighed resigned. “We already know that. But they can co-exist most of the time. They’ve bowled together before without throwing the balls at each other.”

Maria sighed loudly, “Oh. My. God,” thinking of how dense Michael could be at times, “Tess, Michael. Tess. Liz hates Tess.”

A light was turned on in Michael’s eyes and he brightened with understanding. “Oh yeah.”

He had actually caught onto that fact, but since Liz hadn’t had any contact whatsoever with Tess in several months, he had conveniently forgotten about it. After all, his sister had a problem with a lot of people.

Liz walked up to them, her lips in a tight line and determination in her eyes. “Mike. I’m going home. See you later. Have fun.”

“Wait. Liz.”

Liz stopped and sighed before turning to face her brother. With exaggerated calmness she asked, “What?”

“I’m sorry about Tess. I didn’t invite her. It was just a coincidence. They happened to turn up here at the same time, that’s all.” He gave her a light smile, shrugging nonchalantly. “It is Roswell after all.” He was implying that Roswell was not the largest place and between the Crash, the cinema and the bowling alley there really wasn’t a lot to do around here, but his attempt at lighting the situation wasn’t very successful.

“I’m sorry, Mike. I can’t stay.”

“We don’t have to play with them,” Maria said and looked at Michael for verification. “Right?”

Michael shook his head quickly, smiling reassuringly. “Right. We’ve paid for separate lanes already. Tess and Max will be on one, and you, Maria and I will be on another one.”

Liz pondered this for a moment. She really wanted to play. But even though it had been months since she had last seen Tess, their last encounter constituted a sharp memory in her mind. She had really wanted to see the movie back then and look at how that had turned out. Was she just fooling herself to believe that today would be any different?

“Come on,” Maria pleaded with her. “We’ll ignore them.”

Once again she looked at Michael for his support and he, wisely, caught onto his girlfriend’s pointed look and said, “Yeah. They’re not even here.”

Liz looked down at her shoes as she realized that she was standing in old gum and she absent-mindedly started to try and scrape it off with the tip of her shoe. “Uhm…”

“We’re here to have fun,” Maria said. “Don’t let her ruin that.”

Liz bit her lips together. Maria had a point. Who did Tess think she was anyway? That she could actually get away with scaring Liz away? Without even needing to open her mouth? Liz gave a mental huff. No. Tess was not going to win this one.

Liz straightened and a hesitant smile started to spread across Maria’s lips as she saw the determined – and slightly competitive – expression on her friend’s face.

“Let’s go,” Liz said with a hard tone and returned to the shoe area to retrieve the slightly abused shoes from the floor.
-----------------------------------------
Max was surprised to see Liz there. It was not like it was something out of the ordinary. He knew she loved bowling and it was not like she never went outside the apartment. Still it felt weird seeing her. Outside of the apartment.

Since he had started dating Tess things had been different. He couldn’t really put his finger on it, but something had changed between him and Liz. He could trace it back to that night when Liz had started to cry outside her bedroom door after he had yelled at her. Her teary face had haunted his dreams for several nights thereafter, guilt making him question his part in that whole thing and what had really happened.

He had not brought Tess over again. Maybe he had been a bit foolish to think that he could bring his girlfriend over to Michael’s place in the first place, but it hadn’t seemed wrong to him at the time. He spent so much time at Michael and Liz’s apartment anyway so what difference did it make if he brought another person along?

But somewhere along his sleepless nights it had dawned on him that even though Tess kept assuring that everything had been fine between her and Liz, things were not fine between them.

As a consequence, he had not seen much of his arch nemesis these last couple of months. He had still come over without Tess after the movie night incident but things had been different. She had been distant. Cold. Granted, she was not normally overly friendly towards him, but there was always emotion there. She laughed at him with deep mockery, she yelled at him with burning eyes, she teased him with warmth and disliked him with open intensity.

But lately, there had been nothing there. And if they even started a conversation it quickly went dangerously downhill because he intentionally relentlessly provoked her just to get the smallest hint of emotion out of her. It usually ended with her wordlessly walking back to her room and locking the door behind her.

He knew that he was staring right now. But he couldn’t help it.

For the first time in months, Liz Parker’s face was animated. Emotions were shifting across her features so quickly that he couldn’t keep up as she walked up to them.

“Max,” she stated with disdain and he had to struggle to get himself back to his normal self.

“Parker. Who let you out?”

She narrowed her eyes at him, which had his heart beating a fraction faster because that was the most of a response he had gotten out of her in ages. Turning to Tess, Liz smiled. A smile that sent shivers down Max’s spine but which he suspected no one could tell apart from a genuine smile except him.

“Hello Tess. Nice to meet you again.”

Max was standing so close to his girlfriend that he could feel her stiffen next to him, something that made him frown. Maybe Tess had been able to read the fakeness of Liz’s smile after all.

“Liz Parker. I didn’t know you liked bowling.”

Liz’s smile was glued to her face as she retorted, just as sweetly, “I’m just full of surprises.” Donning a contemplative expression, she added, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you here before though. Do you come here often?”

“Tess is kinda new at this,” Max interjected and looked at Liz’s face intently to catch her eyes when she looked at him. But she never did.

He deliberately put an arm around Tess’ waist and pulled her closer to his side. “But she’s learning really quickly. I think she’s a natural.”

Max bit back a smile as Liz desperately tried to hide the nausea she was feeling. She was putting on a good act, he had to give her that, but Max had tickled her enough times just after she had eaten to know how Liz looked like when she was about to vomit.

“Oh, that’s great,” Liz said and slightly turned away from them to look at the score board where Maria had finished adding their names. “Okay then. Well, good luck.”

Tess walked off to get herself a ball and Max took a step closer to Liz, “May the best man win.”

She glanced up at him, rebellion burning in her eyes. “Oh, you’re on.”

Max watched her as she picked up her ball and felt the weight in her hands. He felt an odd sense of relief about being able to compete against her again. He continued to watch her as she chose a second ball for herself so she wouldn’t have to wait for the first ball to come back. He watched as she pushed a strand of hair, which had escaped her ponytail, behind her ear and how she smiled at her brother when he playfully pushed her to the side so that he could put down his own bowling balls.

Liz didn’t know she was being watched.

Max didn’t realize that he was practically staring.

Tess was silently watching from a few feet away, anger smoldering beneath the perfectly touched up surface of her face.
------------------------------------------------------------
“Oh, what was that?” Liz said, leaning into Max in feigned deafness with her hand behind her ear to magnify whatever sound he might allow to cross his lips.

But Max didn’t say a word which had Liz smiling at him. “That’s what I thought you said.”

Because Liz had just defeated Max – for the third time. It didn’t matter that they were not even part of the same game because when the final score came up on the different boards the comparisons started. It didn’t even matter that she only beat him with ten or something points each time. All that mattered was the she could rub the victory in his face.

Tess’ lack of points was, of course, a welcomed bonus. But Liz wasn’t going to even address that. That was another territory altogether. Didn’t stop her from secretly enjoying it though.

“Best out of eleven,” Max said, his dark eyes catching hers.

Her eyes glittered as she snickered. “Maxie Maxie. I thought we said best out of three.”

“I changed my mind.”

Liz stepped closer to him to inform him of that they hadn’t paid for that many rounds when Tess stepped up on Max’s left side, rudely reminding Liz of the fact that she wasn’t alone with Max.

“Max,” she pouted, her finger lazily dragging along his arm. “Can we go home now?”

“Hang on, Tess,” Max said absent-mindedly, not really paying any attention to what she was saying as he waited for Liz to agree or disagree to his preposition.

“There’s no time for another eight rounds, Max,” Liz said, her eyes darkly following Tess’ touches.

Tess looked up and caught Liz’s eyes before Liz had time to look away. Tess smiled smugly and put both her arms around Max’s waist, wrapping herself possessively around him.

Liz swallowed back the nausea and focused on Max’s voice as he answered, “Nine then.”

“Maaax,” Tess whined. “I’m bored.”

“Just a sec,” Max told Tess evenly, his attention still on Liz. He had barely noticed Tess’ grip on him.

“Hmmm,” Liz said slowly, purposefully focusing on his face to try and block out whatever Tess was doing in front of her. “Let me see.” She made a show out of looking away with a frown of concentration on her face as she appeared to be doing mental calculations. “I think I’ve won three times now. That means that I would only have to win twice to beat you out of nine.”

“So?” Max challenged, his eyes trailing across the blush of her cheeks thinking that she looked absolutely stunning when she was exhilarated.

“Could we leave now?” Tess asked and this time Max actually realized that she was talking to him and brought his arm up to his face to glance at his watch. He frowned as he noticed Tess’ arms around him. What was up with her? She was never this clingy.

“We’ve paid for another fifteen minutes,” he answered.

Tess sighed. “I’m bored. Can’t we leave anyway?”

Max turned to his girlfriend and told her gently, “What about you go and get something to eat, okay? It’s on me. You don’t have to play anymore.”

Tess’ face darkened and she shot Liz a sour glare, which Liz professionally pretended to not have seen. She smiled up at Max and said, “Okay, baby.”

Curling a hand around the base of his neck, Tess pulled his lips down on hers.

Liz found herself gasping for air and had to turn her head away. Did Tess ever stop?

“See you in fifteen,” Tess said sweetly and walked away with Max staring at her departure in startled confusion.

“Really grateful to get away, wasn’t she?” Liz said with controlled acidity in her voice.

Max turned, scratching his head as he looked at her. “Something’s up with her tonight.”

Liz rolled her eyes. “Isn’t that obvious?”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “What?”

“Come on, Evans. All the classic signs are there.”

His eyes darkened in irritation; annoyed that she was taunting his intelligence. “Spit it out, Shorty.”

Liz shrugged and breezed past him. His body stiffened as he got a whiff of her subtle perfume. “She’s staking her claim.”

He almost sputtered the words out, “She’s what?”

Liz started to hit the buttons on the panel and quickly changed Tess’ name into her own. “She’s just a tiny bit jealous.”

“Jealous? Of what?” He stepped up to her and pulled her hand away from the panel. “What are you doing?”

She looked up at him incredulously, her heart pounding with the heat of his hand holding onto hers. “I’m changing the names. I don’t want to be Tess.”

“Aren’t you playing with Michael and Maria?”

Liz raised an eyebrow and hitched her chin in the direction of the neighboring lane where Michael and Maria were caught up in a heated act of tongue dueling. “I doubt I’ll be able to get through another round in fifteen minutes with them like that.”

Max grimaced in disgust. “They really shouldn’t do that in public.”

She smiled at him. “Come on, Evans. Let’s see what you got.”


Twelve minutes later, Liz was pointing at Max with a triumphant laughter, “Sucker!” after having hit her third strike in a row and thus finished off her part of the game.

Max still had two rolls to go, and maybe a third one if he got a spare or a strike on the previous two. If he managed to get three strikes he would win, something he was very aware of as he positioned himself in front of the lane.

“You’ll never do it!” Liz said to him, trying to make him lose by hacking away at his self-esteem.

He clenched his jaw tightly and swung his arm backwards in a perfect arc as he bent his knee and let the ball roll.

Instead of watching the ball hit the pins, he turned and watched Liz’s face of disgust at the sound of the ball hitting the pins and he knew that he had gotten the first strike.

“That’s one,” he said and smirked as she looked back at him.

Appearing unaffected, she raised her eyebrow in mild disinterest, crossed her arms across her chest and leaned back in the plastic chair.

Max chuckled as he lined himself up for the next round. And hit another perfect strike.

Liz couldn’t hide her anxiety as well this time and she slowly rose from her chair, stepping closer to the lanes where Max was picking up another ball to go for the third round.

He swung his arm and was just about to let go of the ball when Liz stepped up next to him, her breath sudden and warm against his ear as she whispered, “You’ll never beat me.”

The ball clunked against the lane as he dropped it more than slid it and he turned to the smiling Liz, not knowing if he should yell at her or kiss her. He chose the first option. It seemed to be the least complicated one. “What are you doing?”

She bit her lower lip in a motion so innocent that a shudder of pure desire blazed through his body. “Nothing.”

They both turned their head at the noise of falling pins and both watched in surprise when Max managed to pull off the third strike.

Liz’s chin dropped in shock while Max turned to her with the biggest grin she had ever seen. “You were saying?”

She forced her mouth closed and swallowed. “I still win. Three out of four.”

“I’ll pay for another hour,” Max said his challenging eyes only an inch from hers. He could feel her quick breaths on his face as she looked up into his eyes.

She licked her lips, her breath stilling on her lips as she believed she saw something flash in his eyes. “What about Tess?” Not realizing the double meaning of her question.

In the span of two seconds, his face hardened and he took a step backwards with a sigh. “Right. Tess.”

“Your girlfriend,” Liz supplied, her fists clenching at her sides in an effort to get her breathing and heart back under control.

“I should take her home,” Max mumbled, avoiding her eyes.

Suddenly feeling cold, Liz watched his hurried movements as he started to pick up the balls to put them back on the shelves. “Yeah.”

Liz looked back at Maria and Michael who were still in a lip-lock and sighed. She needed to go to the toilet.

“Maybe another time,” she said to Max who gave a distracted nod.

Feeling oddly rejected, Liz hugged her middle as she walked quickly to the ladies’ bathroom.

The cold water felt refreshing against her skin as she let it splash across her face. She looked up into the dirty mirror, which probably hadn’t been cleaned in a couple of months, and took a deep breath.

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

The voice didn’t surprise her as much as the tone as Liz slowly turned to see Tess standing just inside the door, the swinging door still swinging behind her.

“Excuse me?” Liz said tensely.

The blonde walked up to her, her chest moving quickly up and down in rhythm with her anger. “Do you think I’m stupid?”

Liz stared at her. Did Tess really expect her to answer that truthfully?

“Uh, Tess. I have no idea what you’re talking-“

She laughed bitterly. “Right.” Her laughter ended as soon as it had started and her eyes grew darker. “Keep your filthy hands off Max.”

Liz felt like laughing. This was ridiculous. “What?”

“You heard me.”

Liz frowned, amusement in her eyes. “Are you threatened by me, Tess?”

She laughed. A high-pitched, slightly hysterical laugh which had Liz taking a cautious step back. “What is there to be threatened by? Tell me, Liz,” she bit Liz’s name out as if it was something disgusting that should be spit at and buried five feet under, “aren’t you still a virgin?”

Liz felt like she had been hit in the gut. She inhaled deeply and took another step back.

“I’ve never actually seen you with anyone so unless you had a one-night-stand or something,” she looked Liz over with condescending eyes, “which seems highly unlikely considering how you look, you’re still a baby.”

“Get out,” Liz squeezed out between tight lips. She felt like she was suffocating. She didn’t even try to figure out why Tess’ words affected her so, but it didn’t change the fact that she didn’t appreciate anyone talking to her about her sexual status.

“He doesn’t want you, you know,” Tess said. “Why would he want to touch someone as inexperienced as you? I don’t know why you even try. It makes you look like a whore.”

It was so fast that neither of them noticed before it was over. One second Liz was standing stiffly in front of Tess, the next Tess was pressing her hand to her burning cheek with shock in her eyes and Liz slightly shook her burning hand.

“You hit me?” Tess whispered, slowly getting over the shock. “You fucking hit me?!”

“You have no right,” Liz said, not aware of the tears in her eyes. “You have no right to call me a whore.”

“The way you’re all over him is disgusting,” Tess bit out. “Don’t you think people can see how you behave? But in case you haven’t noticed, he’s mine. Mine. So stay the fuck away from him.”

“I can do whatever I want,” Liz said in a low voice, taking a step closer to Tess.

Having the slap fresh in her memory, Tess wisely took a step backwards, but her lips pulled away to reveal her teeth as she snarled, “He wants us to move in together.”

The air rushed out of her lungs and Liz stared at the girl. “What?”

Tess smiled triumphantly at Liz’s shocked expression. “That’s right. He asked me yesterday if I wanted to move in with him.”

“The hell he did,” someone said from the doorway, causing both Tess and Liz to look towards the girl that had just entered.

“I suggest you leave right now,” Tess snapped.

Maria quickly walked up next to Liz. “What are you doing, skank?”

Tess’ mouth fell open at Maria’s abrupt rudeness which provided Liz with a second away from Tess’ attention so that she could take a deep breath.

“Who are you calling a skank?”

“You prefer ho?” Maria asked calmly but Liz could feel from the tight grip Maria had on her elbow that Maria was far from calm.

Maria could be scary when she protected the ones she loved.

“I can’t believe Max is hanging out with losers like you,” Tess said.

“Losers, huh?” Maria retorted. “Liz here has known Max since she was one, okay? If it came down to it, I’m pretty sure Max would choose Liz over you in a second. You are nothing in comparison.”

However, Maria’s smug slowly slid off her face as Tess’ face, instead of turning angry, brightened. “Is that right?”

“Michael and Liz are his best friends,” Maria said, her voice having lost some of its confidence as she saw Tess looking confidently at the quiet Liz.

“What do you think, Liz? Would Max choose you or me if it came down to it?”

When Liz didn’t answer, Maria looked over at her friend worriedly. It wasn’t like Liz to be quiet when that type of question was thrown her way.

“Liz?”

“Oh wait,” Tess said with a smirk. “I think that already happened. Let me think. Yes, it was you that Max yelled at when we watched that movie. And, yes, I believe it was me that he went home with that night. And let me tell you, he sure showed how much he wanted me that night.”

“You fucking slut-“ Maria started, but Liz grabbed her by the arm and started pulling her towards the door.

“Let’s go.”

“What? No,” Maria protested. She looked back at Tess that was watching them victoriously. They couldn’t let Tess win the argument!

“Please Maria,” Liz pleaded and pushed them both through the swinging doors.

Maria bit her teeth together. She might give up for now, but there was no way she was going to let this one slide. She was going to make a very important phone call to Max later.
------------------------------------------------
Max’s Apartment
Two hours later


Tess languidly stretched out on the bed, dressed in a red tank top and grey shorts, as Max hung up the phone. “Who was that?”

Max slowly turned and looked at her. His voice being the epitome of calmness, he asked, “Is there anything you’d like to talk about, Tess?”

She frowned at him with a light smile. “What do you mean?”

He leaned back against the small table. “There’s nothing you want to tell me?”

She slowly rose into sitting position, looking at him incredulously. “No, silly. Come over here. I’m getting lonely.”

She was unaware of how his jaw tensed and how his arm muscles tightened as he gripped the edge of the table he was leaning against. His voice was controlled as he said, “Don’t you think we should be able to have an open conversation with each other if we are moving in together?”

She stilled and stared at him, caution slowly creeping into her eyes. “Max, I-“

Max slowly pushed away from the table, but didn’t approach her further. “Did you tell Liz that we were moving in together?”

She tried to laugh, but the desperate helpless noise escaping her throat poorly resembled a proper laugh. “What? And you believe her?”

“Why shouldn’t I believe her?”

Anger flashed across her face. “Because I’m your girlfriend!”

He shook his head, still not showing any emotion on his face. “No you’re not.”

Whatever response she had expected, that wasn’t one of them. She stared at him, before she spluttered, “What did you say?”

“That was Maria on the phone,” he informed her evenly. “Excluding the lie about us moving in together, you apparently also called Liz a whore.”

Tess’ eyes widened. “She called me a slut!”

“Before or after?”

“Before or after what?” Tess asked tersely.

Max turned around and slammed his fist into the table, making Tess jump in fright. When he turned his eyes back to her she physically recoiled from the anger in his eyes. “Don’t play games with me, Tess.”

“You’re scaring me,” she said, tears glistening in her eyes. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, okay? Liz was in the bathroom when I walked in. I just told her that she was good at bowling and she turned around and called me a slut.”

Tess swallowed anxiously as she watched Max’s fists clench at his sides. With a low warning grumble, he said, “Don’t lie to me.”

“Why do you believe her over me? I thought you loved me.”

Her voice was loud and bordering on hysterics, which only further fueled Max’s anger. “Maria told me-“

“Maria lied!” Tess screamed, tears streaming down her cheeks. “Don’t you see? Liz has a thing for you. She would do anything to get you for herself. She’s trying to get rid of me.”

His voice was cold when he said, “But I wasn’t talking to Liz, Tess. This was Maria.”

Tess snorted as if that was the most ridiculous thing he could say. “Maria is in on it, of course. They made up this absurd story to break us apart. Why would I start a fight with Liz? Why would I even need to lie about us moving in together?”

“You tell me,” he said slowly, his eyes almost black with barely controlled anger.

With a scream, Tess jumped off the bed. “Fuck you, Max! Be reasonable.”

He laughed humorlessly. “Reasonable?”

“You’re gonna break up with me because two girls said that I called them whores?”

“Not just ‘two girls’,” Max bit out.

She stared at him for a second before she with frustrated screams pounded the wall with her fists. Max just watched her, not saying a word, while he waited for her to stop.

She spun around, her face red and her hair wild. “Do you love her?”

He looked at her dubiously. “Do I what?”

“You do, don’t you?” she hiccupped. “You love Liz, don’t you? That’s why you don’t believe me.”

“This is not about Liz,” Max said.

She raised two perfectly trimmed eyebrows in disbelief. “Oh really?”

“This is about you lying to me, Tess. This is about you insulting my friends.”

“Why do you even care about her? She’s got nothing to offer you. She so…” she pulled at her hair and sighed in frustration, “boooring.”

“She’s my friend,” Max bit out tightly.

“And so…unpredictable. She’s like a five-year-old. She cries and she screams and-and- She so annoying.”

Max raised one eyebrow at the screaming and crying girl in front of him right now, momentarily considering the irony.

“And you know what?” Tess continued her monologue. “She is a slut.”

Max felt himself tighten as blazing anger ignited every cell in his body. Her name came out as a warning, “Tess…”

“She’s always standing so close to you. She’s a… She doesn’t have an ounce of shame in her body. She fully flirts with you – in front of me.”

“I suggest you stop right now,” Max said coolly.

But Tess didn’t stop. “She’s desperate. Just because she can’t get laid she tries to steal other people’s boyfriends-“

“Fuck, Tess! Shut up!”

Tess’ mouth clammed shut as Max’s voice bellowed across the room. Suddenly he was in front of her, his hands positioned on either side of her head against the wall, forcing her to push herself up against the wall. His breath was warm against her face while his eyes were ice cold.

“You have no idea who Liz is.”

“I’m just telling you what I see-“

He narrowed his eyes which effectively silenced her. “You’re an outsider, Tess. Liz is not. Liz holds a part of me that you can never do. You have no idea what Liz has done for me and you shouldn’t speak about things you don’t know anything about.”

“Max-“

“I’m not done,” he cut her off. “What happened that day?” There was no mistaken to what day he was talking about. “Why was she crying?”

“Because you yelled at her?”

“Don’t tempt me, Tess,” he warned darkly and she swallowed. “She was upset when she left after your conversation but I brushed it aside because you said everything was fine. Was it, Tess? Was everything fine?”

“Yes!” she cried stubbornly.

He lifted his right hand and hit it forcefully into the wall next to her and said eerily calmly, “I’m gonna ask you again. Why was Liz upset?”

“You said it yourself,” she said defiantly. “I don’t know Liz. So how am I supposed to get her tantrums?”

He took a deep breath, considered asking her again, but then tiredly pulled away from her. “Go home, Tess.”

Her face turned worried. “Max, what-“

He turned away from her, raking his hands through his hair, thoughts about Liz and his own behavior already ripping into his conscience. “It’s over Tess. Go home.”

“Come on, Max,” she said, trying to make her voice light. “We’re just having a fight, right? You don’t mean-“

He turned around and looked at her coldly. “If you ever approach Liz ever again…”

He left it hanging, but it was enough for Tess to take him seriously.

Taking a deep breath as anger flooded her system, she snapped, “You’re completely fucked up! You know what? I’m glad to get out of here because you’re completely fucked up.”

With that she ripped the bedroom door open and stomped out. He sank down on the bed as the sound of the front door slamming shut echoed through the apartment.


TBC...
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 18 23rd May p. 9

Post by max and liz believer » Sat May 24, 2008 11:43 pm

Okay, since I should really be studying right now I'm just gonna sneak in very quickly and post this part.

I'll come back with FB to your FB later and an updated timeline.

You can thank Laira for getting this part today because I didn't want her to be bored and decided to post early.

P.S. I know that I said I was considering posting a more present part this time, but I think I'm gonna do that after this part. It just works better this way. I think... :roll:

For chronology, this is the first part after "Crossing the Line".


19. Dating the Stalker

The Apartment
Friday evening, in the beginning of January
(2005) Max is 19, Liz is 18



“That was still fucked up.”

Liz reached out to close the slightly ajar bathroom door as she heard the front door open and the voices of her brother and Max slipping into their apartment.

Michael and Liz had lived there for almost a year, and she loved it. She loved the independence, the freedom and the fact that she could come and go as she liked.

Something that she was about to discover wasn’t always true when her brother and his best friend decided to add themselves to the mix.

“Wouldn’t you have gone back?” Michael’s voice asked. “He ended up in a freaking wheelchair and she ended up with that dude.”

Liz leaned into the mirror with the mascara brush aimed for her eyelashes. She always found this particular step tricky. It was not as if she had a lot of practice. She rarely ever used make-up. But she thought she would give it a go today.

The door open behind her, almost having her smear mascara on the top of her cheek and she met Max’s eyes in the mirror.

“Ooops, sorry,” he mumbled before doing a double check and noticing her dolled up face. Instead of walking out like he had been about to do, he casually leaned against the doorframe and raised a questioning eyebrow. “Going out?”

She dropped her eyes to the brush and focused on pushing it back into the black fluid. How was it that whenever he was around, the air seemed to be sucked out of the room leaving them with a throbbing vacuum?

“Yes,” she replied shortly.

He folded his arms across his chest. “Maria?”

She swallowed, not really sure why she was nervous all of the sudden. “I have a date.”

She looked up just in time to observe the surprise flicker across his face followed by the hardening of his gorgeous facial features. “A date?”

She put the mascara down on the small ledge below the mirror and slowly picked up the translucent lip gloss. “Uh-huh.”

She felt his eyes on her as she slightly parted her lips to apply the glistening product.

“With who?”

She briefly met his dark eyes in the mirror before putting down the lip gloss as well. “Sean.”

She could tell that he hadn’t expected that. Sean had always had a thing for Liz. Liz knew it. Max knew it. The whole school probably knew it. But Liz had never shown any interest back. Quite the contrary, she had always sighed and complained about how he would more or less follow her around everywhere. The stalking part was not really appreciated by Michael and Max. Which might be why Max was now looking at her like she’d gone crazy.

“Sean? As in Stalker Sean?”

“He’s not a stalker,” Liz objected, threading her fingers through her hair to smoothen it out.

His face turned pensive and he looked at her quietly, which had her trying to find something to occupy herself with. She picked up the blush and swirled a large brush into it before applying it to her cheeks.

“Is this because of me?” he asked quietly, which had her lowering the brush and looking at him through the mirror.

She felt a shiver run through her and she lowered her eyes to regain control. She suddenly felt like crying. Because this was because of him. Everything was because of him. About how she couldn’t get him out of her head. About how she couldn’t stop thinking about that night. About how they couldn’t ever do that again. Ever.

“No, Max,” she answered softly.

She turned around and he straightened from his leaning position, his eyes pleading with her for something. She didn’t dare to look into his eyes long enough to decipher what that might be.

He stepped up to her, as close as he could get without touching her. “Why did you leave?”

She swallowed. “Please Max, just let me go.”

“Was I too rough?”

She shivered at his guilt-ridden question and before she could answer, he continued, “If I had known-“

She looked up at him then and filled in what she thought he would say, “-you wouldn’t have done it. Yes I know.”

He shook his head. “No, that’s not-“

“Max,” she said, feeling like her voice was running dry. “If you had known, you wouldn’t have touched me.”

He looked at her with wide eyes, begging her to understand. “Lizzie-“

A tear rolled down her cheek, bringing some black residue from the mascara that had yet to dry along. “We were drunk. And we obviously made a mistake. It was not meant to happen. I’m sorry that I lied to you, but the fact still remains that if you had known that I was a virgin, you wouldn’t have even considered sleeping with me. But you thought I was not, so you just wanted to have some fun.”

“Liz,” he said seriously, “You mean mo-“

She shook her head, interrupting him. “Don’t, Max. You don’t have to give excuses. I know that you like to have fun. I was just another girl for you to have fun-“

“Fuck, Parker,” Max interrupted, his voice gaining intensity. “Don’t you ever compare yourself to those other girls!”

Her mouth tightened as she forced her tears back. “What did you think it was? Love?”

“What’s going on?”

They simultaneously turned towards Michael’s voice, finding him staring at them oddly.

Liz tried a smile. “Hey.”

“What are you talking about?” Michael asked harshly, noticing the moisture in Liz’s eyes and the hard-set tone of Max’s jaw. He turned to face Max, with warning in both eyes and voice. “Man, I understand that you have some odd battle to sort out from back when Liz took your bike without asking or something, but if you hurt her-“

“Relax, Mike,” Liz interrupted quietly, which had Michael looking at her oddly. “He wasn’t doing anything.”

Looking past her large hurting eyes, Michael noticed the make-up. “Where’re you going?”

“Out,” Liz said shortly, retreating back into her shell by the harshness of his voice.

“With who?”

Liz resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Great. She didn’t only have one big brother. She had two. “No one.”

“Stalker Sean,” Max filled in, which had Liz sending a death glare in his direction and Michael’s face blossoming with anger.

“Sean Guerin?”

Liz nodded, biting her lip to stop her from screaming at both of them to leave her alone.

“What the hell, Liz?” Michael bit out. “That dude is weird.” He huffed. “You even told me so yourself.”

“He’s not that bad,” she mumbled. All that mattered was that he wasn’t Max.

“Not that bad?” Michael asked heatedly. “He slipped messages into your locker for about a year.”

This would normally be when Max intervened. But not tonight. Tonight he was on the same page as Michael.

“Pictures of himself,” Michael added before Liz had a chance to open her mouth.

Max obviously didn’t know this piece of information and she jumped as his hand whisked across her arm, sending goosebumps in all directions. His voice was soft as he more or less begged her to, “Please don’t do this.”

“It was not like they were naked photos or anything,” Liz said angrily, brushing Max’s hand away. “Only of his face.”

It’s weird!” Michael erupted, frustrated that he wasn’t getting through to her.

He didn’t realize, however, how determined she was to start a new life. How desperate she was to get Max out of her head. How positive she was that getting a distraction – like Sean – into her life would kill that ache inside of her.

Liz looked him straight in the eyes and said evenly, “I’m going, okay?” It wasn’t really a question.

In a way she was happy that Michael had shown up, because Max couldn’t back her into a corner with Michael around. He couldn’t use those eyes of his to convince her to not go out with Sean. But of course, with Michael here, she had to deal with Michael.

“Where are you going?” Michael asked tightly.

Liz sighed. “Dinner and a movie.”

“Drive in or regular?”

Liz sighed again. If she had known it was going to be this difficult to go out on a date she would’ve sneaked out way before they were due home. “We will go and eat. I will make sure to keep my hands to myself. I will sit nicely opposite him and only make safe conversation. Then we will walk to the movies. I might let him hold my hand. We will sit down in the cinema and share a bag of popcorn. We will watch the movie. Then he will probably walk me home and I will tell him goodnight.”

Michael stared at her, perhaps even angrier than before due to her sarcastic tone of voice. But before he could retort, she brushed past him, grabbing her handbag from the table in the hallway.

“Don’t wait up!”

As the door slammed behind her, Michael turned to Max. If Max had expected him to discuss Sean, he was in for a rude surprise. “What the fuck is going on between you two?”

At a complete loss of words, Max looked at his best friend.

“You think I’m stupid?” Michael asked. “All fucking times I walked in on some odd conversation between you two and you look like I’ve just caught you having sex or something.”

Max dropped his eyes at this, internally telling himself to take deep breaths.

“Did you do something to her?” Michael asked, and Max could feel his burning eyes on the top of his lowered head. “Cause God help me if you do anything to her-“

Max raised his head and met his eyes evenly. “I haven’t done anything to her.”

Michael stared at him, his eyes probing to try and find any untruths in Max’s statement. “Then why has she been crying herself to sleep every night for the past week? Actually, ever since we came back from the cabin.”

Max looked worried and Michael frowned as something else flickered across Max’s eyes. “She’s been crying?”

“Did you have sex with her?” Michael asked so bluntly that Max took a step back.

“Michael, I-“

Michael grabbed a hold of Max’s collar and pushed him hard into the wall. His face was only an inch from Max’s as he growled, “Did you have sex with my little sister?”

“No, Mike,” Max forced out. “I haven’t had sex with Liz.”

Michael looked at him for a second and apparently what he saw pleased him because he let go of Max’s collar and took several steps backwards.

“Fuck Michael,” Max said, pushing shaking hands through his hair. Was this part of why Liz had pushed him away? Because she knew how Michael would react?

“Sorry, man,” Michael said, but there was still a coldness to his voice.

“Seriously, Mike,” Max said, looking up. “She hates me.”

Michael huffed humorlessly and shook his head. “That’s the thing, Evans. She doesn’t.”

Michael turned and walked down the hallway, leaving Max alone with his thoughts.

She doesn’t


TBC...
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Re: Snapshot (AU M/L MATURE) Chapter 19 25th May p. 13

Post by max and liz believer » Tue May 27, 2008 8:08 am

Laira wrote:I think we need some qualifications for "soon:ish".
How about now?

First of all, I can't believe I've already reached chapter 20. Secondly, I haven no idea how I reached it so quickly. It must be you, dear readers, and your constant encouragement.

Below chapter is a present one. It takes place after Serena put Max on the speaker in the car and she really realised that something was off with Max and Liz's relationship.

It's kinda short. Sorry about that...

Oh, and there's no Max and Liz interaction in this one. I kinda told myself that I would avoid writing any chapters for this story that didn't have both Max and Liz in it, but I didn't know where to place her in this chapter :mrgreen:


20. My Rollercoaster

Wednesday - A couple of hours after Serena dropped Liz off
Phone conversation between Serena and Max
(2008) Max is 23



“Hey Max, it’s Ser.”

“Hey. What’s going on?”

“I need to ask you something. And you might think I’m crossing some imaginary line by doing so, but I have to ask.”

“What is it, Serena?”

“Were you in a relationship with Liz?”

Silence.

“Max?”

His voice was distant and cold as he answered, “I don’t mean to be rude, but that’s none of your business.”

“She kinda made it my business.”

“She told you?” There was obvious surprise in his voice and Serena couldn’t blame him. After all she had only known Liz for three days.

“So there was something there?”

Pause. “You tell me.”

She didn’t recognize his voice. His normally warm tone was now defensive, like an anxious dog that would bite your hand off if you moved too quickly. “She heard our conversation earlier.”

“She…what?”

“I’m really sorry. I always put calls on speaker in the car. I was about to tell you that Liz was listening when you started saying these things-“

“She heard that?”

His voice was now weak and she visualized an accompanied pale face.

“It was wrong of me to do that, I realize that now. But that’s not why I’m calling you.”

Not being able to get past the fact that she had heard him just yet, Max asked, “She heard me call her a brat?”

“I’m getting the feeling that you’ve said that to her face before anyway, so what’s the big deal?”

“It’s not the same,” Max murmured.

“Max,” Serena sighed. “I haven’t known you for long, but I generally think I’m pretty good at reading people. The information I was getting from Liz and what you were saying about her makes me wonder if I was wrong.”

“Ser, that’s between Liz and I-“

“No, it’s not,” Serena said tightly. “How long have you known this girl, Max?”

“Uhm…most of my life.”

“And why do I get the feeling that she is completely messed up?”

“She’s not completely-“

“Don’t defend her,” Serena interrupted. “Her eyes are empty, Max. Have you noticed? If you’re her friend you couldn’t have missed it.”

There was silence for a long time and Serena briefly wondered if he was going to hang up on her. His voice was quiet as he finally said, “It’s complicated.”

“Oh,” Serena said, realization dawning on her. It was only ‘complicated’ when love was involved. And in their case it was very possible that that meant, “You slept with her.”

He sighed. “For fuck’s sake, Ser-“

“And you forgot to pick up the pieces. She’s broken inside, Max.”

“It’s not that simple-“

“Stop excusing her behavior and just help her!”

I’m fucking trying to!” Max erupted.

“No, you’re not,” Serena replied calmly. “You’re not. Apparently you told her that you slept with me.”

“Ser, I-“

“We can discuss how I don’t appreciate false rumors to be spread about me later, but right now I’m worried about Liz. How is telling her lies helping her?”

“That’s what we do.”

“What?” Serena asked incredulously. What kind of messed up relationship was that?

“So yes. We slept together. Once.”

“What happened?”

“She left. A couple of hours later, when I was asleep. I’ve tried talking to her about it, but she either avoids the subject completely or just pushes me away-“

“Why would she do that?”

Max’s voice turned defensive again. “If I knew that, don’t you think I would fucking try to do something about it?”

“I don’t think you really know at all what you’re doing, Max.”

“Okay, I’m hanging up-“

“Calm down, Max. I’m trying to help you.”

“Ser, you’re accusing me of being an asshole.”

“You said it, not me.”

Anger simmered across the phone line as he stated, “She left. She avoided me. I tried to talk to her. She wouldn’t. She hooked up with some other guy just days after the whole thing.”

“How long ago was this, Max?”

His reply was hauntingly quick. “Four years.”

Serena’s eyes widened in shock. “You slept with her four years ago and you haven’t spoken about it yet?”

He sighed. “Are you listening to me at all? She. Won’t. Speak. To. Me.”

“Try harder.”

“Fuck, Ser! You have no idea what the hell you’re talking about. This is not your place. You’ve known Liz for less than a week and you already think you’re an expert on her life?”

“I’m definitely not an expert on her life, Max. But I saw her face when you talked about her and it scared me.”

He sighed and asked wearily. “What do you mean?”

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that she’s got feelings for you.”

When he didn’t say anything, she continued. “And you making stuff up about sleeping with, for instance, me, hurts her.”

“If she’s so damn hurt by it, why doesn’t she just tell me that’s how she feels?”

“You’re the one that knows her the best, aren’t you? So you tell me, Max.”

Max inhaled deeply and Serena prepared herself for him screaming at her to go to hell and hanging up. But instead, his soft voice drifted across the connection, “I love her. I’ve loved her for a long time. And I’ve been trying to tell her that, but either she doesn’t believe me or she doesn’t love me back.”

“You’re telling her that you love her one second and then you turn around and tell her that you’re sleeping with other girls the next, is that right?”

“You’re twisting it-“

“But that’s basically it, isn’t it? If you remove all your excuses for whatever screwed up interactions you have with Liz, that’s what it comes down to, doesn’t it?”

“It’s not like she’s been available. She got herself a boyfriend soon thereafter.”

“And how did that go?”

“That’s private.”

She sighed. “Max. I might not know her very well, but I think I know you. And from the second I met you, I knew you were unavailable. You put on this whole elaborate playboy façade but it’s so obvious that underneath all of that your heart is already taken. Are you just gonna let her slip away without doing anything? Because she’s slipping, Max. Fast. And I’m not just talking about relationship stuff. I think she’s really depressed. She told me a lot of stuff just now, things I wouldn’t tell someone I had just met. Either I’m really good at getting people to talk, or she just doesn’t have anyone to talk to. And it’s killing her. Stop confusing her, Max. Stop lying to her. You can’t lie to someone you love.”

Her monologue was met with silence and she hoped that it meant her words had been somewhat true.

“She’s very difficult to get close to. If I get real with her, she will bite.”

“You’re a big boy, Max. I’m sure you can handle some bite wounds.” She took a deep breath. “You’re hurting, Max. You have to either let her go and move on, or you have to grab hold of her and shake her. Because she doesn’t get it.”

“I don’t want to scare her away. If I confront her, she runs. And like you said, she doesn’t have anyone to run to. I’m the only one she has.”

Serena almost laughed at the irony of that statement. “And you lie to her.”

His voice was sad as he answered, “It’s complicated.”

A wave of anger floated over Serena. She never knew Max could be this thick-headed. “For Christ’s sake, Max! Stop excusing your behavior! It’s very simple. Her feelings are nothing extraordinary. She might be able to hurt you with her words, but that’s just her keeping you at a safe distance, because you hurt her. Do you get that? You can keep attacking each other or you can show her how to be honest and stick to it. Don’t let her hurt you. I haven’t seen you two together, but I have a feeling you’re just feeding off each other’s insults. It’s not real. Whatever she’s telling you is not real. Look behind her words, Max! She’s telling you something else and you’re too busy licking your bruised ego to tell.”

“Why are you putting all this on me, Serena?”

She sighed. “Yes. Okay. She has a role to play in this as well. But I get a feeling that she is the most broken one here. And I get a feeling that she’s more confused than you are. On top of that, from this conversation alone, I’m pretty sure that part of the problem is that you don’t realize that you have a role in her behaving like that. I tried to give her a ride today and she acted like a scared kitten, completely paranoid about getting into the car with me. It was like she was looking for some underlying reason as to why I would even bother to give her a ride. You’ve known each other since you were like…what did you say? Most of her life? You’ve been part of building her personality.”

“So now it’s my fault?”

“That’s not the point. You may play the blame game with her, but I don’t do that. You have to be the better person here and show her what to do. And for Christ’s sake, stop telling her things that are not true. How is she ever supposed to be able to trust you if she constantly has to analyze and question your every word?”

“Okay,” he said softly.

Hoping that she had finally gotten through to him, she asked. “Will you talk to her?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

His thoughts sounded far away as he answered, “I have to go.”

“Don’t just tell her you love her, show her.”

“Yeah, okay,” Max answered, as if in a contemplative daze and disconnected the call.

Serena slowly placed her cell phone on the kitchen table and took a deep breath. Oh boy.


TBC...
Last edited by max and liz believer on Sat May 31, 2008 10:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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