Mountains So High (CC, AU, Adult) - Pt 63 COMPLETE - 5/22/11

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

Part 41

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:58 am

Earth2Mother: Lol, well, we’ll see what happens with them as things progress. Yeah, there’s a reason for Mark being the way he is.

Yeah, that plan’s out the window whether Maria knows it or not. We’ll find out fairly soon what Michael’s reaction is.

kismet: Hmm… well, we’d have to get him back up on that mountain first. Not sure he’s gonna cooperate with that one.

Yeah, they’re just not giving her much to work with.

mary mary: Yeah, the ol’ apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Well, staying up on that mountain is one option. People like that definitely make life interesting.

Well, that’s one week down… one more to go…

Eva: Mark may surprise you even more as we move further along.

Maria’s folks are definitely blind to what she wants.

Oh, that meeting is going to be interesting… and it’s coming soon.

Alien_Friend: Mark is being a jerk and he’s not even thinking about waiting for her to explain things to him. We’ll see the situation begin to unfold soon.

Courtney’s just a girl who fell for a guy who doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. We hope she finds someone too.

Yup, it’s getting closer. :)

begonia9508: You’re right – and we think she’s thinking right along those same lines.

sarammlover: Yup, we agree. Well, the parents are actually thinking they’re just going to see their daughter – Maria’s parents have no idea that Michael’s up on the mountain with their daughter. Mark is definitely assuming the worst. Courtney… surprise ya? ;)



Part 41

Everyone was gathered around the fire after finishing dinner, talking and laughing, and just enjoying each other’s company. It was their last night on the mountain and while they were all ready to get back down, a few of them wished the end wasn’t so close. The last few days had been filled with fun and happiness as the two newest couples began to explore their relationships.

Michael and Maria were relearning their way while Max and Liz were taking their first steps into uncharted territory with each other. Tess and Kyle were completely happy and she had been talking about wedding plans since they had settled down to relax for their last evening. She and Maria had been discussing different aspects of the wedding with the occasional helpful bit of information from Max while the rest of the guys had been content to discuss any and all sports.

Max cast a glance at Liz when she moved to stand up. “Goin’ somewhere?”

“Think I’m gonna just take a breather,” she said, resting her hand on his shoulder to tell him she needed a moment alone. “I’ll be okay.”

He nodded but his gaze followed her as she walked off to stand near the edge of camp. He turned his head when Maria called his name and he shook his head when he caught her questioning look.

“I’ll go talk to her,” she offered. “You can take my place.”

“Huh?”

“We’re discussing flower arrangements and whether to go with real or fake flowers,” Tess said, catching him up on the conversation.

“Real, definitely. More expensive, but also a lot nicer.”

Nick raised an eyebrow when Max easily slipped into Maria’s place in the conversation. “Dude, you’re not supposed to be able to talk about stuff like that.”

Max just shrugged and grinned. “Why?”

“It’s just not right.”

He glanced after Maria, seeing Liz jump when she approached her and reached out to place a hand on her arm. He had felt the nervous tension in her all day long but she hadn’t wanted to talk about it, insisting that she was fine. He had let it go because he knew she was still trying to figure out how things worked with the shift in their relationship but he was worried about letting it go for too long.

Maria held her hands up when Liz jerked around to look at her. “Hey, easy, girl, it’s just me.”

Liz smiled sheepishly. “Sorry, just got a lot on my mind tonight.”

“Lemme guess: Max?” Maria teased slightly.

“He’s part of it,” she said.

“Wanna talk about it?”

Liz shrugged. “I don’t know. I just... I feel like once we get off this mountain everything’s gonna change.”

“Yeah,” Maria shoved her hands into her pockets. “There’s no way around that, Liz.”

She bit her bottom lip. “Yeah... I mean, I guess it’s already changed, but it’s like...” she sighed. “It’s like, once we’re down there it’s... I don’t know... real, ya know?”

“What’re you afraid of Liz?”

“I...” her mouth opened and closed a few times. “Change, I guess. I feel like everything’s about to change and I don’t know if I’m ready for it.”

“Change doesn’t have to be something bad Liz.”

“No, I know,” she said with a faint smile.

“We just have to go back and see what happens, Liz. It might be tough and strange first, but I believe everything will be okay.”

“Yeah? Is it normal to have these moments of doubt, Maria? It’s just, I don’t doubt Max... but I guess I just doubt my ability to be what he needs.”

“It’s pretty normal. And Max has known ya for a very long time now, Liz. Don’t ya think he’s already figured out that you’re what he needs you to be?”

“I’m obsessing about this too much, right?”

Maria smiled and hugged one arm around her friend. “Yeah, probably.”

“He does seem to be happy,” Liz confided with a small smile. “I’m completely lost in this relationship thing and he’s confident enough for both of us, but I need to feel that way too... he deserves it.”

“Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, Liz. Just...” Maria shrugged, “take it easy.”

“Yeah, he keeps tellin’ me the same thing.”

“See, seems to be true then, huh?” Maria teased. “I know it’s easier said than done. I don’t know what it’d be like to go from best friends to lovers. Michael and I were never just friends.”

Liz snorted. “Somehow I believe that.”

“Just have faith in yourself, girl.”

“Max is just...” she turned to look at him, smiling when she saw him and Tess deep in discussion about some wedding detail or other. “He’s Mr. Forever, ya know? I’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see it.”

“And that’s a bad thing?”

“No, it’s not a bad thing. And it’s not like he’s putting any pressure on me...” she rolled her eyes when Maria just gave her a look. “Right, I know, stop putting that pressure on myself. I’m tryin’.”

“When you start feelin’ like there’s too much pressure, think about me still havin’ to face my parents.” She paused and checked on Liz, chuckling when the other girl smiled. “See, my life is much worse.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that one,” Liz agreed. “I know it’s just nerves along with a little bit of fear... I’ve just gotta get a handle on it.”

“You just climbed that mountain, Liz. How hard can it be to deal with some nerves and fear after that?”

She snorted. “Fallin’ off the side of a mountain’s a different kinda risk. We’re talkin’ about riskin’... hell, everything.”

Maria snorted. “You’re crazy, Parker.”

“Yeah, I’m crazy,” she teased. “And you’re the one who just jumped back into a relationship with Michael.”

The blonde bit her lip and smiled. “He’s the right one. I know it.”

“You both look really happy.” She smiled and nodded when Max glanced at her. She knew he was concerned about her and she had brushed him off all day.

“So do you,” Maria observed as she watched the little gesture between Max and her friend.

Liz watched him for another minute before turning back to Maria. “Thanks for the reality check. Hope you’ll be ready to give me more of them ‘cause this probably won’t be the only freak-out I have for a while.”

“If ya promise to help me pull the pieces together after my parents rip me apart?”

“Aww, Maria,” Liz said, hugging her friend tightly. “I’ll be here for you. Always,” she promised.

“Ditto.”

“I think your guy’s getting impatient for you to get back to him,” she said with a smile. “He keeps looking over here.”

“Feel ready to get back to yours as well?”

“Yeah. I know he can hold his own with the wedding conversation with Tess, but I’m sure he’s ready for you to take over again.”

“Let’s go then.”

They rejoined the group and Liz smiled at Max as she sat down next to him again.

“You okay?” he asked quietly when she leaned against his side.

“Fine,” she answered. “Just needed a little advice from a friend.” Her right hand settled on his thigh. “Don’t worry about it.”

He covered her hand with his bigger one and squeezed it. “Ya want some chocolate?”

“That a real question?”

“Here,” he placed his coffee in her hand. “I’ll get some.”

*****

It was late afternoon as the group sat in the van driving back to the lodge where their journey had started just a few days before. Maria glanced out the window, feeling uncomfortable about what she knew was coming. She knew the day would change her whole life and it scared her.

“You okay?” Michael asked, glancing to the side from where he was sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Yeah,” she sighed. “Just nervous.”

He reached out to squeeze her hand where it rested in her lap. “Me too.”

Liz glanced at Max dreamily, trying to imagine where things would go from here now that things had changed.

“What’re you thinkin’ about?” he asked when he caught her staring at him.

She smiled, shaking her head. “Nothin’, just trying to imagine the future.”

“Am I in there somewhere?”

She frowned. “Of course you are, goofy.”

He laughed and dropped a kiss on her cheek. “That’s all I need to know.”

The van came to a stop after a few more minutes in silence, letting everyone know that the trip was definitely over. They all climbed out, stretching and starting to get their packs out of the back. “Wow, I can’t believe it’s already over,” Tess said, feeling sad about it.

“We’ll have to do like again,” Kyle agreed. “Maybe a different mountain though.”

“I hope that’s not a hidden complaint about the guides,” Tony told the couple, his tone amused. He turned around when somebody tapped his shoulder and he smiled in surprise when he came face to face with Vanessa Morgan.

“Welcome back,” she said with a smile and gave him a hug.

Tony lifted her up off of her feet as he hugged her and he kissed her cheek when he set her down again. “I didn’t know you were gonna be here,” he said.

“Surprise,” she said, smiling.

“Best surprise I can think of.”

Behind him Nick snorted and muttered, “Liar,” under his breath.

Tony shifted just enough to bump into his buddy and he rammed his elbow into his side. “Nick, why don’t you make yourself useful and use your back instead of your mouth,” he growled.

Vanessa smirked. “Are we still on for our date tonight?”

“Sounds good.”

“You’re actually gonna go out with this loser?” Michael asked, intentionally bumping his shoulder against Tony’s as he passed him.

Vanessa glanced at her date for the evening and smiled. “I guess I am.”

“Um, Vanessa… that’s the part where you were supposed to correct Guerin’s comment about me bein’ a loser,” Tony said with a wink.

“I’ll correct him after tonight,” she told him with a wink.

“I’ve got a twenty spot that says he’s gonna do somethin’ stupid,” Nick said.

Michael grinned and shrugged. “I’ll take that bet. I think Tony might be able to pull this off.”

“You two are not betting on me.” He glanced at Vanessa. “We should leave before they will make you run.”

The guy’s just grinned and high-fived each other.

“If he cooks for her the date’ll be over before it even begins,” Nick joked.

Tony rolled his eyes as he started to say goodbye to the rest of the group. “Hey, so ya might stop by again someday, huh?” he asked Kyle.

“Yeah, that might just happen.”

Tony nodded and looked at the last person in the row. “I guess I’ll be seein’ you around more often in the near future?” he asked Maria with a smirk.

She glanced at Michael, watching him as he tried to untangle a couple of straps on two of the packs and she nodded with a smile. “Yeah, I think that’s very likely.”

“Good,” he said and gave her a small hug, “I’ve already gotten used to you and you’re good for Guerin.”

“Don’t be tellin’ her any lies,” Michael said as he straightened up from what he was doing. He wasn’t close enough to hear what his friend was telling Maria and Tony was probably trying to be helpful, but that had a 50/50 chance of actually being helpful.

Maria laughed. “He didn’t.”

“Uh-huh, we’ll see…” He trailed off when he saw Mark step out of the lodge with a group of people and it only took moments to recognize Amy and Carson DeLuca. This wasn’t good, he thought. They hadn’t noticed him yet but he knew it wouldn’t be long before they did and it wasn’t gonna be pretty. He could feel it.

“Um, Maria... isn’t that your parents over there?” Liz asked when she turned to follow Michael’s stunned look.

Maria jerked around and muttered several colorful epithets under her breath when she saw her parents walking towards them with Mark and his parents. She glanced back at Michael and she felt her nerves settle just the tiniest bit when he gave her a determined nod. He wasn’t going anywhere, he was going to stand there and face them with her.

“Oh, boy,” Max muttered when he realized what was going on. “This could get real ugly, real quick.”

Nick made a face and looked at Vanessa and Tony, pointing at the lodge. “Let’s leave ‘em alone.”

“Yeah, we probably oughta do the same,” Kyle said quietly to Tess. “You think?”

“Yeah, they don’t need an audience for this.”

Liz glanced at them. “Agreed, but if this gets outta hand we make sure her parents know we’re behind them.”

Max nodded. “Works for me.”

Maria glanced at her parents again... and Mark... and his parents. Oh God! It wasn’t planned like this. She had thought she could talk to Mark and only Mark first. She was pretty sure her parents hadn’t noticed Michael yet, but they were coming closer and it was only a matter of seconds.

Michael waited until the others had made themselves scarce before he turned to Maria. “How you wanna play this? We wanted to talk to Mark and Courtney first… you wanna just jump in now or just let your parents deal with the fact that I was one of your guides on this trip, take care of Mark and Courtney later without the parents around, and then face the parents?” He was out of his depth here and he knew her father was going to be beyond angry when he realized the guy he was so sure he was rid of was back and intent on a relationship with his daughter.

Maria sighed. On the one hand she wanted this to be over, but on the other hand, she wanted to talk to Mark first. Otherwise this could get really mess. “We probably shouldn’t reveal the truth just yet,” she told him. “I... I need to talk to him alone first.”

He nodded. As much as he wanted this nightmare to be done and over he didn’t want a huge scene right in front of the lodge.

Maria turned to look at her parents again as she put her pack on the ground. She could see her father’s face turning into a grimace when he recognized Michael. “God, I wish I could just run now,” she muttered to herself.

“If I can’t run, neither can you,” he said and forced a smile.

“You better not,” she told him and then tried to look cool when her parents and the others approached them. “Hey, everyone. Wow, I didn’t expect you to already be here, Mom.”

“Well, I’d heard that you were having a good time but I had no idea that you’d run into an old… friend,” she said delicately. She turned to Michael and held her hand out to him. “Michael, how are you?”

“Hello, Mrs. DeLuca. I’m good, thanks. How’re you?” God, he felt nervous. Amy wasn’t the problem though; it was Maria’s father, the head of the family.

Amy glanced between her daughter and the boy she knew still held Maria’s heart. It was written all over the younger woman’s face regardless of the fact that she was clearly trying to hide it. She hadn’t necessarily agreed completely with her husband’s adamant refusal to accept Michael and they had gotten into plenty of disagreements about it but never in front of their daughter. “Carson, come and say hello,” she said and reached for his hand to pull him forward. She squeezed his fingers in warning because as much as he disliked public scenes Michael was a sore subject and it wouldn’t be unheard for him to lose his temper.

She didn’t know what Mark knew or if he even knew anything at all, but she knew her daughter well enough to know that she would want to handle Mark on her own and without an audience.

Carson’s eyes bored into the younger man as he shook his hand and did his best to make the grip as painful as possible. It only annoyed him further when Michael kept his expression neutral. “Michael,” he grated out, in deference to his wife’s warning.

“Mr. Deluca,” Michael responded with a nod. Stay calm, he ordered himself.

Mark watched the interaction with both amusement and tension. Carson looked like steam was going to escape from his ears at any second and Amy was watching her husband carefully. His gaze shifted to Maria. She seemed kinda lost and he even felt a little sorry right now. Maybe it hadn’t been the best idea for this run-in.

Carson gave a sharp nod and released Michael’s hand. He turned his attention to his daughter and smiled as he hugged her tightly. “Mark wasn’t sure if your friends would be staying longer or going home today. Will you be coming to stay with us?” he asked hopefully.

“Is Mark already at the cabin with you?” she asked, hoping he would say no.

“He moved his things over a couple days ago,” her father answered.

Damn it, she thought. “Well, then, of course I’ll stay with you.” She didn’t have a good feeling about this, but if she wanted to talk to Mark first, then she had to.

“Well, I’m sure Mark will go with you and help you pack your things.” He looked meaningfully at Michael. “You must have things you need to attend to after being away for so long.”

“I need to go get the keys for the cabin from Liz. You guys wait here, okay? I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Maria said, hoping none of them would insist on coming with her. She needed to talk to Michael alone.

“I’ve gotta check in with the Evac Unit that picked you up,” Michael said with a nod in Mark’s direction. “Gotta find out if they need anything else from me.” He hefted his pack up and hooked one of the straps over his shoulder, nodding to the others as he passed them to follow Maria.

“Why would an Evac Unit be at the lodge?” Carson asked suspiciously.

“They’re not,” he answered coolly. “But the pilot has lunch here every day and this’ll save me a trip later.”

Maria walked through the door of the lodge first and moved left so she would be out of her parent’s sight. She glanced at Michael when he reached her. “My father is bein’ an ass again, sorry.”

He shrugged. “Didn’t really expect anything else. How’re you holdin’ up?” he asked gently.

“Good so far.” She made a face. “I’m gonna have to go to their cabin with them though.”

He nodded. He didn’t like that she was going into the first part of this mess alone. He reached for one of the flyers on a stand behind him and flipped it over on the reception desk. He grabbed a pen off of the polished surface and scribbled out his phone number and address with rough directions. “You don’t really need to bother with the directions unless you can’t reach me. If anything happens and you can’t deal with Mark, your parents, or the situation, I want you to call me. I’m gonna head to my place and clean up so I can find Courtney and get that out of the way.”

She took the flyer from him and shoved it into her jacket pocket. “Okay, I’ll call you as soon as I’ve got things straight with Mark and all.”

“If you change your mind… about talkin’ to them alone first… I’m here, Maria. I don’t care what time it is or what I’m doin’, if you call me I’ll be with you as soon as I can get there.”

She sighed. “Right now I can’t even tell you where I’ll be. I only know that the cabin they’re stayin’ at isn’t too far from here.”

“I’ll find out from someone here. They always know where the out-of-towners are stayin’.” He took her hand and tugged her closer to whisper a kiss against her lips. “You’ll call soon either way, right?”

“Tonight at the latest,” she whispered and hugged him tightly.

Michael didn’t want to let her go but he knew they were on borrowed time. He pressed a kiss to her forehead, letting his lips linger for a moment. “Tonight,” he agreed gruffly and released her.

She smiled briefly. “Tonight.”

“Okay. You worried about it?”

She was, but she wanted to look brave in front of him. “They can’t do anything, right? Pulling the money isn’t a threat for me.”

“Hey,” his touch was tender as he cupped her cheek and brought her gaze to his, “it’s only a threat if it’s somethin’ that can come between us. We don’t need your parents’ money to make it.”

“I know,” she agreed and straightened up. “Gotta say goodbye to the others now.”

Michael nodded and straightened up, letting her go. He glanced up when Tony and Nick flanked him. Tony bumped his shoulder and Nick gave him a friendly shove as they showed their support.

Maria smiled at them. “Watch him for me, will ya?” She pointed at her friends who were sitting around a table drinking some hot chocolate. “I gotta go.”

The guys nodded and Nick gave her a sloppy salute.

Maria walked towards her friends slowly and crouched down next to Liz. “Hey.”

Liz studied her friends’ face for several long seconds. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “I have to leave you guys though. My parents are stayin’ at a cabin a few miles from here and I need to go with them.”

Liz shook her head. “You should stay with us, Maria. Once you tell Mark it’s over he’s gonna be even more unbearable than usual.”

“Uh-huh and staying here would only make my parents mad. I doubt that would be smart right now.” Maria sighed. “Are you guys staying here for a while?”

Tess gasped audibly. “We’re not just leaving you here!”

Maria smirked. “Thanks, guys.” She stood up again. “I have to go now. Wish me luck!”

“Good luck!” they shouted, raising their hot chocolate mugs in the air.

She gave Liz a quick hug before she went back to meet Mark and the parents, feeling nothing but weird, guilty and lost.


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Okay, another TIC TAC character is waiting for ya at our author's page (link in the siggie). Meet Max Evans!

TRAILER: MAX VID
Last edited by Double Trouble on Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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

Part 42

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:38 am

Eva: Oh, it’s slow going, but we’re getting there.

Amy will be a help for Michael and Maria.

mary mary:  We’re getting there!

Alien_Friend: Finally, lol.

Maria and Michael will get to spend some time together soon. Yup, Amy’s gonna be a help for our Candy couple.

Things are gonna start to play out soon.

Lol, maybe this one will get to you before ya go to bed. ;)

keepsmiling7: Liz is right to be concerned. It’s a big change in their relationship. You’re right about Max, he’ll be understanding and patient with her.

Earth2Mother: Yes, it is! Well, we’re gonna find out soon enough. 

Natalie36: It’s gonna be rough, but she’ll survive it.

begonia9508: It is Maria’s life but sometimes parents are blind to the fact that at some point they have to let their children go and make their own choices.

You’re right, it’s a really important decision. And Liz is doing good, talking to Maria and not letting her concerns build up without dealing with them head on.

sarammlover: Well, they could’ve but it was really important that Mark (and Courtney) be the first to know. Awkward is a good word for it, lol. Would not want to be in Maria’s shoes right now!

kismet: It’ll be dealt with soon. Well, if we could convince Mork to take a one-way trip up that mountain… but, he’s just not been easy to convince.

Lol, we’re pretty sure you’d have a fight on your hands if you try to take Max from her. ;)



Part 42

Maria walked into the cabin she and her friends had shared before the climb had started, conscious of Mark following her inside. They hadn’t said a word since they had told their parents they would pack up her things and come to the private cabin.

Maria couldn’t help but have the feeling that Mark was mad at her. Did he know something? But how would he know anything? It was probably just the fact that she had stayed up on the mountain instead of coming back down with him. Ungh, she would be glad when the truth was finally out, it was driving her insane.

She stopped at the coffee table, frowning at the pornographic magazine lying there. She shook her irritation off as she turned to look at her boyfriend... soon to be ex-boyfriend. “There’s somethin’ we need to talk about, Mark.”

Mark folded his arms over his chest and leaned one shoulder against the doorframe. “Do we? What should we talk about?”

The weird feeling in her stomach grew at his cold tone. “About us.”

“Us,” he mused as he walked into the room to lean back against the dresser. “Alright, what would you like to talk about in regard to us?”

God, she wanted to slap him right now, he was being so... overbearing. “Um... do you remember when I told you a while back about a boyfriend I had in back home in Roswell?”

“Um-hmm... this would be the guy who took off and left you, correct? The one who didn’t even bother to give you a reason, an explanation, or so much as a goodbye?”

She swallowed. “Yeah.”

“Please, continue. I’m interested to know what that has to do with us.”

She wiped her sweaty hands over her jeans. “The thing is that our guide... Michael, he’s my ex from Roswell.”

“Well, it’s a small world, isn’t it?” he sneered. “Do you think I’m stupid?”

“What? No!? Why would I think that?”

“Did you fuck him while you were up there?” he asked, not bothering to answer her question.

“No, I did NOT fuck him, Mark,” she told him angrily.

He studied her calmly as he finally got a rise out of her. “Why didn’t you tell me that first day? When I asked you what had you so rattled, why didn’t you just tell me who he was right then? Why pretend you didn’t know him?”

She sighed and sat down on the couch. “I don’t know, Mark. I was so shocked to see him and I didn’t know what to do about him. I just saw him and WHAM!!! My old feelings and the hurt I felt when he left came back again. I didn’t wanna fuck the whole trip up.” She dared to look at him. “I know it happened anyway, there was just no way around it.”

“So, you still have feelings for him. Did the others all know who he was?” he asked, suddenly realizing just how much of a fool she had played him for.

“Not at the time when you left, no.”

“I see... but they all know who he is now, right?”

She nodded dumbly.

He snorted and his hands clenched around the edge of the cabinet he was leaning against. “Well, no wonder the lot of ‘em seems to get along so well with him. So, now that you’ve run into the old boyfriend what’s that mean for us?”

Her heart was hammering in her chest wildly and she had to take several deep breaths to not pass out. “It means that we can’t be together, Mark. I... I still have feelings for him.”

“Um-hmm. Your parents won’t approve of this.”

She laughed sarcastically. “Believe me, I know that. They never cared about Michael and I think my father would be perfectly happy if he never see him again.”

“Maybe you should think about why that is.” He sighed. “Is he plannin’ to move to California? Or are you thinkin’ about relocating here to be with him?” He shook his head in exasperation. “What the hell makes you think that asshole isn’t gonna turn around and leave you again?”

“He’s grown up. I know why he left now. I can’t do anything about my feelings, Mark. I’m thinkin’ of moving here,” she admitted, silently telling herself that more lies would just make everything worse. She just hoped he wouldn’t run to her parents with this news before she had the chance to prepare for the upcoming storm.

He laughed incredulously. “The guy walked out on you, Maria! For such an intelligent woman you have some downright stupid moments. He’ll do it again. Things will get tough and he’ll turn an’ run.”

“You don’t know him,” she said quietly.

Mark shook his head at her naïve response. “Maria, you can’t trust this guy to stick around. I may not be the most perfect guy out there, but I’m stable and I’m goin’ somewhere in life... why would you trash what we’ve got just to get back with that loser?”

She shook her head and stood up. “Would you really want me anymore knowin’ that I have feelings for someone else?”

“I think you’re confused right now and after you’ve had some time to really think about this you’re gonna realize he’s not worth the risk.”

“No matter what happens with him and me, Mark, I can’t betray my heart any longer.”

“So, what you’re tellin’ me is that we’re over.”

She looked at him directly. “I’m sorry,” she said and she meant it. She had never wanted to hurt him.

Mark knew her well enough to know that her apology was sincere. “Maria, I’m not gonna stand here and act like I’m happy about this but I’m also not gonna beg you to change your mind. I think this’s a mistake and I think you’re just gonna get hurt again. You know how your parents feel about him and you have to know you’re jeopardizing your future by takin’ up with him.”

She wrapped her arms around herself and shrugged sadly as she felt the tears in her eyes. “Ya might wanna go to bed right after dinner tonight ‘cause I’m planning to tell them the truth then. Knowing my father... it’s gonna get ugly.”

Mark felt his anger slip away when he saw her expression. He could see that she was determined to follow through with this insanity. He knew he was self-centered and rarely bothered to concern himself with anyone else’s problems but he did care about her. “This’s what you really want?” he asked finally.

Maria nodded. “It’s what I want,” she whispered.

He shook his head. “Alright. I’m not gonna stand in your way then.” He shrugged. “Hell, who knows, your friends get along with him, maybe that’ll make a difference. God knows there’s never been any love lost between me and them.”

She almost had to laugh at that. “That’s true.”

He shrugged and grinned crookedly. “Hell, even Parker gets along with him... might wanna think about what that means,” he said with a smirk. “Is he gonna be there when you talk to your parents?” he asked, turning serious again.

“We decided that I’d talk to them alone first and then we’ll face them together.”

Mark scratched his chin as he regarded her. “You want me to get my parents out of the cabin? Take ‘em out to dinner or somethin’ so you don’t have to deal with them too?”

She was surprised at his sudden helpful gesture. “I think that’d be too much to ask for, Mark. It’s their cabin...”

He shrugged at her expression. “I know I can be a dick, Maria, and I probably could’ve tried harder with your friends, but...” He rubbed a hand over his face. “I’ll admit, at first I wanted to make you miserable over this, but it doesn’t look like you need my help for that. No matter how much of a jerk I am at times, I don’t really wanna see you hurt. This’s probably one of the few times I’ll ever do somethin’ without tryin’ to find a way for it to benefit me, so if I were you, I’d take the offer.”

She smiled at him. “Thanks.” She walked over and hugged him.

“Ah, Maria,” he muttered as he hugged her back. “You know what you’re givin’ up for him, don’t you? I could give you a life of comfort where you’ll never have a single financial worry... he’s never gonna be able to give you that.”

“He can give me more than that, Mark,” she said softly.

He smiled as he released her, certain she was making a mistake but knowing he wasn’t going to change her mind. “I hope you’re right.” He reached out and cupped her cheek for a moment. “I hope he’s worth the risk you’re about to take for him.”

“You’ve never really been in love with me,” she said matter-of-factly. “We both know this. But one day you will be and maybe you can understand why I have to do this.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “I don’t know, Maria. Love seems to make people do things that go against basic common sense. I don’t know that I’m wired that way.” He leaned in closer to her and whispered, “I think I may be too selfish to ever let myself get that involved.”

She shook her head. “Promise me you’ll try, Mark. Being successful and having a lot of money won’t make you happy if you have no one to share it with.”

“If the opportunity ever presents itself I guess I’ll see what happens.” He winked at her as he leaned back and shoved his hands in his pockets. “But if it didn’t happen with someone like you who managed to look beyond the fact that I’m a dick I don’t know who else it might happen with.”

“C’mon,” she bumped his shoulder. “You’re not that bad.”

He snorted. “Check with your friends and take a vote.”

“They don’t know you the way I know you.” She grinned. “But that’s your own fault.”

“Some people are just bound to never get along... I was never gonna be friends with Parker and Evans.”

“You’re probably too different,” she said and glanced around the room. “I should probably pack my stuff, huh?”

“Yeah, if we’re gonna get ya over to the cabin in time for dinner.”

“Ungh...”

“Yeah, well... I’ve still got time to call my parents and invite them out to dinner.”

“Do ya think they’d agree?” she asked doubtfully, but at the same time fearing being alone with her own parents.

“Why wouldn’t they? I’m their baby boy and you know my parents will do anything to make me happy.” He grinned unrepentantly. “Let’s get your stuff together and you think about it, okay?”

“Okay. Don’t leave me alone with them for too long.”

“Hey, I’m great at runnin’ interference with the parents.”

“Uh-huh, ya don’t know my father when he gets really mad.”

“Your father loves me, Maria. All I’ve gotta do is turn the conversation to somethin’ he enjoys... like hunting.” He held his hands up when she shot a glare at him. “Okay, so maybe hunting isn’t the way to go considering the bomb you’re about to drop on him.”

“God,” she ran her hands through her hair, “how am I gonna tell them?”

“From a distance,” he recommended with a teasing grin.

She snorted. “Funny boy.”

“C’mon, your dad’ll get over it.” He rolled his eyes. “Eventually. I mean, you are turnin’ down the opportunity to one day marry me for a guy who plays in the snow for a livin’, but your dad’ll get over it someday.”

“Uh-huh, see! That’s just what my Dad will say.”

“Tell your dad I’m a dick who’s never gonna really understand you the way snow-boy does. I know your dad comes across as a major jerk sometimes, but all he really wants is for you to be happy.”

“Yeah, except he thinks he knows what makes me happy better than I do.”

“He’s not gonna have much choice in the matter, Maria. In time he’s gonna have to acknowledge the fact that this guy makes you happy.”

“I really hope you’re right.”

He snorted. “I am right.”

“I’ll go get my stuff,” she said, wishing she was as convinced as he seemed to be.

He nodded. “I’ll just wait for you out here.”

*****

Michael stood outside of the apartment building where Courtney lived and he stared up at the window on the second floor. He had gone to his own place to clean up before stopping by to see her. He was tired and he had considered waiting until the next day but he wanted this done and over with as soon as possible. Especially if Maria called and needed him tonight, he thought.

He drew in a deep breath and walked up the steps to the entrance to the foyer, pulling the heavy door open and walking inside. He took the steps to the second floor and walked down the hall to her apartment, pausing at her door and waiting several more minutes before he knocked.

He didn’t have long to wait before the door opened and he felt a momentary stab of guilt when he saw the expression of happiness on her face. He had never led her on or pretended that what they had was more than what it really was, but he knew she had hoped that he would one day be able to move past that.

“Michael, I didn’t expect to see you tonight.”

“Oh, well,” he reached up to scratch his eyebrow, “I kinda needed to see you as soon as possible.”

She stood back and motioned for him to enter. “Would you like something to drink?” she asked as she closed the door behind him.

She would probably regret that offer before long. “Uh, yeah, if you’ve got a beer that’d be great.”

“Sure,” she walked into the kitchen and got two beers out of the refrigerator before going back to join him in the living room. “I thought you’d already be in bed by now. You just came down today, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, got back a couple hours ago.” He took a long drink as he prowled around her living room. “Had some things on my mind that I need to deal with before I’m gonna be able to sleep.”

“Wanna share?” She feared she already know what was coming.

Did he wanna share? Not really. “We’ve kinda had a... thing... for the past few months. Nothin’ serious, an' I know you’ve kinda been hopin’ that’d change, but I need to make sure we clear things up tonight.”

“I know about your ex,” she blurted out.

“You know... what?”

“That’s what this’s about, isn't it?” she asked, wrapping her arms around herself as she stood near the window.

He cleared his throat. “Yeah.”

She nodded dumbly. “So, are you here to tell me that you and her are back together?”

“Yeah, we’re back together. Look, Courtney, I don’t wanna hurt you... I never wanted that, but, I never lied to you about what was goin’ on between us.”

“Well, it hurts anyway,” she admitted quietly.

“You don’t love me, Courtney. To be honest, we don’t know each other well enough for that. I know you wanted more and I’ve tried to be up-front with you ‘cause I knew I could never have that with you.” He took a couple of steps towards her. “Hey, you’re gonna find a guy who can give you what you need... that guy’s just not me.”

She smiled sadly. “She’s gonna be a lucky girl.”

“Courtney...” Damn, he didn’t know what to say to her.

“It’s okay, Michael. I mean... You don’t have feelings for me and I can’t change that.”

“Well, no, not feelings like you’re talkin’ about, but I do, y’know, care if you’re hurt. You probably don’t wanna know this, but, I’ve got a second chance with the woman I love... the only woman I’ve ever loved, and I can’t let that get away from me.”

She wiped a tear away and nodded. Her throat felt tight as hell right now. “Okay.”

Damn, he had hoped to get out of this without hurting her. “Is there anything I can... I don’t know... do or say?” How lame, Guerin! Of course there’s nothing you can do or say to help her.

“Get rid of your feelings for her and start to develop some for me,” she tried to joke and lighten the mood, but it came out sounding sad instead.

“Courtney, you’re a great girl,” he said as he reached out and took her hand, feeling completely awkward. “Some guy’s gonna realize that one of these days.”

But he won’t be you, she thought, but nodded. “You’re probably right. I am great.”

“You are.” He grinned slowly. “You wouldn’t have been happy with me, Court. I’m moody and irritable on a good day.”

“Thank God I won’t have to deal with you then,” she told him with an eye roll.

“See? You’re already seein’ the silver linin’. You deserve a guy who’s gonna see how great you are and who’ll be able to appreciate that.”

“Will you move?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“So she’s comin’ up here,” she figured.

“If everything works out right, yeah.” He winced. “I know that’s not gonna be easy for you.”

She shook her head. “Maybe we’ll be able to be friends some day.”

“That’d be cool.” He wasn’t sure how possible that really was. It wasn’t likely that Maria would be interested in being friends with one of his old lovers. But, it wasn’t impossible, he thought.

She looked at him, knowing it would be probably the last time that he was in her apartment and it hurt badly. “Okay.”

“I guess I’d better go,” he said after a few moments.

“Yeah,” she admitted, knowing her walls would break as soon as he left.

“I really am sorry, Court,” he apologized once more.

“It’s not your fault.”

He nodded. “I’ll go now.” He set the bottle on the coffee table on his way to the front door.

“I hope you’ll be happy with her,” she said finally.

He paused near the door and turned to smile at her. “Thanks. I will be.”

“Goodbye then,” she said as he opened the door.

“Goodbye, Courtney.” He let out a relieved sigh as he stood out in the hall. That hadn’t been easy, but it had gone a lot better than it could’ve gone.

Courtney let herself fall on the couch as soon as he left. She bit her lip, waiting for him to be out of earshot before the first sob escaped her throat.

Michael walked down the hallway and took the stairs two at a time as he hurried out of the building. He wanted to get home in case Maria called and needed him.

*****

Mark carried Maria’s bags inside the cabin and waited for her to shut the door behind them before he nodded at the stairs to their right. “Parents have the bedrooms on the first floor; we’ve got the second floor to ourselves.”

“Two bedrooms, right?”

He rolled his eyes. “I’m smart enough to know that if we’re not together we’re not gonna be sharin’ a bed, Maria. My higher brain does actually function, ya know.”

She chuckled at his words, easily hearing his sense of humor in them. “Alright, lead the way then.”

“Maria, you’ve finally arrived!”

She winced when her father’s voice came from behind them. “Looks like I’m not getting away that easily.”

“Nope.” Mark grinned and nudged her shoulder. “Look, I’ll run this stuff upstairs and be right back down.” He lowered his voice. “I promised I wouldn’t leave ya alone with ‘em for long and I won’t.”

She nodded in relief. “Thanks,” she whispered. She turned to face her father and she forced a smile. “Hi, Dad.”

Carson studied her features for a moment before motioning for her to join him. “Your Mom and Janine are just about finished with dinner; they’re just putting everything in serving dishes and we’ll be ready to eat.”

“It’ll be nice to sit down to a real dinner after a week of dehydrated meals,” she said with a smile.

“I can imagine. So, how was your trip? Did you have a good time?” he asked as they entered the dining room and looked down at the table that had already been set.

“Yeah, it was amazing. The view from the summit, it’s indescribable, Dad.”

“It must’ve felt like being on top of the world.”

“It was a total rush,” she said as she walked around the table to decide where to sit.

He nodded. “I can see that you enjoyed it.” He smiled tightly and took a drink of his Scotch. “So, how did Michael come to be your guide on this trip?”

She inwardly rolled her eyes. Of course he would just come straight to the point that annoyed him. “I didn’t know he was here, didn’t even know he was our guide until he showed up the morning when we started the trip.”

“Um-hmm. Well, things seemed to be quite... congenial between the two of you.”

“Carson,” Amy said, shaking her head. “Can’t you at least wait until after dinner to discuss this?”

He bit back his response when he saw the warning look in her eyes. “Very well. I suppose there’s no reason to discuss this unpleasantness over dinner.”

Unpleasantness, Maria thought bitterly. Yeah they’d better wait for that, otherwise dinner might get stuck in his throat.

“Maria, we’re glad you could join us,” Amy said as she placed a kiss on her daughter’s head.

“Yeah, me too,” she said. It wasn’t a complete lie. Normally she liked to hang out with her parents for a limited time if they hadn’t seen each other for a while and her dad had been very nice the last few visits... when she had taken Mark with her. She had a feeling that would change as soon as she let the cat outta bag though.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


New profile is up for TIC TAC: Isabel Guerin - as usually you can find it at our Author's page here! ;)

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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Part 43

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:38 am

Eva: There had to be a reason that Maria was with him, right? Not getting along with her friends and being stuck in the group like that just made things difficult and we didn’t get to see his better qualities. Hopefully one day he’ll find someone and be able to take Maria’s advice.

Yup, they’re all gonna get through this.

Be prepared, lol, ‘cause it’s comin’!

kismet: Shocked, huh? Yeah, we were expecting that, lol.

S’okay, we won’t try to make ya like Mork. Thing is… he had to have some good qualities somewhere, right? Maria was with him for a while and even though we never saw anything good between him and her friends, there had to be something good there. ;)

Earth2Mother: Yup, it’ll be memorable. Carson and Mork do have some things in common.

Lol, yup, but there had to be something good about him, right?

Courtney handled things as well as she could. She’s smart enough to know that trying to hold on would’ve just dragged out the inevitable.

mary mary: Nope, the man we’ve come to know throughout the story so far has been the man that Maria’s friends know – it’s the only side to him they’ve ever seen.

Alien_Friend: Mark has his good side, it just doesn’t come out around Maria’s friends.

No, there’s no real way to compete in that situation.

Oh, you can expect to see much more of our Candy couple soon.

Natalie36: Mark had to have some decent qualities for Maria to have stayed with him, right?

Lover of Metallica: Oh, we’ll see the parents’ reactions in this next part. Courtney is a decent girl, she’s just in a bad situation. She’ll deal.

Michael will definitely be there for her.

One DeLuca showdown coming up!

begonia9508: Maria is definitely determined here. She doesn’t intend to lost Michael a second time.

sarammlover: That’s only because up until now we’ve only seen what Maria’s friends see where Mark’s concerned. No, he’s far from perfect, but he does have his good qualities. We’ll find out soon enough what happens with Mark and the parents.



Part 43

Mark ambled into the room and looked around at the others, seeing the tension in their faces. “So, Carson, do you an’ Dad have any plans while you’re here?” he asked as he sat down beside Maria.

“Oh, yeah, son,” Marcus said when he took the seat right next to him. “We’re planning to go hunting tomorrow, early in the morning.”

“Hunting,” Mark said, hiding a wince. “So, big game hunting? Somethin’ smaller?”

“We’re aiming for bear,” Carson said.

“Ungh, Dad,” Maria complained, thankful for the distraction. “Those poor bears.”

“Nonsense,” he denied. “Besides, I’ve heard that bear steaks are very good.”

“I’m not eating bear.”

“Honey, bears are not the cute, cuddly creatures they show on movies.” He sighed and shook his head. “Not that it’s necessary for you to try the steaks,” he added when he caught his wife’s look as she brought a serving dish in and placed it in the center of the table.

“Let’s eat,” Janine said as she placed food on the table as well.

“Yeah, I’m starving,” Maria said.

“Me too,” Mark said, reaching for one of the dishes.

They sat there for a while in silence as they ate. Maria didn’t feel very hungry, considering what she knew was coming sooner or later. How was she gonna say it? At least she had Mark on her side. It would be even worse if he was against her as well.

Carson and Marcus carried on a conversation about their hunting excursion the next morning while their wives talked about some art exhibit they were going to see and Mark glanced at Maria and rolled his eyes. “Okay, if this was our future, it’s better we ended things now,” he whispered.

Maria snorted. “Ya think?”

He grinned. “Yeah... not what I want for my future.”

“Yeah, ditto.”

“Mark, it just occurred to me that you didn’t introduce us to the guide that rescued you up on the mountain,” Janine said, oblivious to the can of worms she was opening up.

“Oh, right,” he said. Of course his mother had to come up with that just at the ‘right’ time. “He’s the one we were just talking about. The guy Maria knows from Roswell.”

“I don’t understand,” she said. “How do you know a mountain guide from Roswell?”

“He lived in Roswell when we went to high school,” Maria said before her father could make a rude comment.

“Oh, so he was an old friend. Well, that must’ve been nice for you.” She glanced at her son. “Mark, why didn’t you mention that he was an old friend of Maria’s?”

He shrugged. “Just forget to mention it.”

“Easy to forget when you don't know,” Marcus muttered under his breath.

“What was that, Marcus?” Janine asked.

“Nothing, darling,” he said calmly and smiled at his wife.

She smiled back at him. “Alright then.”

Amy could see that Maria was just waiting for everything to come out and she knew that anticipation was putting her daughter on edge.

“At least he did something good for once when he saved Mark’s life,” Cason said, squeezing the younger man’s shoulder. “I’ll give him that much.”

Maria’s fork clattered noisily against her plate when she dropped it. Her nerves already felt like they had been stretched to the breaking point and she wasn’t going to listen to her father make derogatory remarks about Michael. “What is your problem with Michael, Dad? Why has he never been good enough for you?”

“Maria, we don’t need to discuss this,” her father said calmly. “We left this in the past a long time ago.”

“We left nothing about this in the past!” she snapped angrily. “Do you even know why he left?”

“He left because he’s the little bastard we told you he was,” he answered, putting his fork aside.

Janine glanced around the table helplessly. “What’s this about?” she asked her son.

Mark cleared his throat and pressed his leg against Maria’s under the table in a silent show of support. “The guide that saved my life... he’s not just an old friend of Maria’s, he’s her ex-boyfriend.” He looked at Maria and smiled. “Sometimes a guy’s gotta know when to bow out... and when the girl you’re with has such strong feelings for another guy, well, that’s the time.”

Janine’s eyes widened in shock. “Are you telling me that you’re no longer together?”

Mark shook his head. “No, we’re not. But it’s okay, Mom... I’m okay with this and I support Maria’s decision.”

Amy looked at her husband, seeing the tension is his body. She reached over the table to squeeze his hand. “Try to take some deep breaths and let it sink in first.”

“Let it sink in?” Carson asked, his voice rising. “That worthless little bastard is going to ruin her! She’s gonna throw her life away on him!”

“Just because she and Mark are no longer together doesn’t mean she’ll be back with Michael,” Amy said.

Maria cleared her throat and sat up straighter. “Well... actually...”

Her mother’s expression fell when she heard her daughter speaking up and she prepared for the upcoming storm. She knew her husband would never just lean back and accept this.

Carson stood up so fast that his chair tipped back on two legs and wobbled uncertainly for several seconds before it finally settled once more. “No! I forbid it!”

“You forbid it?” Maria stood up just as fast. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re in college, Maria. I shouldn’t have to define a word as simple as ‘forbid’ for you. You will not see him, do you understand me?”

“What the hell is your problem with him, Dad?”

“He’ll never do anything with his life, Maria! That boy will never be able to take care of you the way you should be taken care of and he’ll never be able to give you the life you deserve. I’ve worked my whole life to make sure you would never want for anything and I will not have my decisions so casually dismissed!”

“This is not your decision, Dad!” She pointed her finger at him. “I’m old enough to know what I want. Money is not what I’m looking for in my life. Michael works hard, he’s never had a real family, and yet he’s still able to get on with his life and make something out of it, so don’t tell me how isn’t able to take care of me. Why is it so hard for you to see that he’s a good guy?”

He smacked his hand down against the table. “I told you before that if you chose to follow this path you will no longer receive a dime of financial support from us. I wasn’t kidding then and I’m not kidding now. I will not have my money supporting that boy!”

“He doesn’t need your money,” she growled. “I don’t know what Michael did to make ya think of him the way you do.”

“You stand here and defend him... where is he? Why isn’t he here defending himself?”

“Because we just got down from the mountain and he has a job to do.” And I know he doesn’t have a chance in your eyes anyway, she added silently.

He shook his head and sighed loudly. “He’s never had the backbone to stand up and face me like a man.”

“You never gave him a chance,” Maria said, throwing her napkin on the table.

“Why should I give him a chance? That boy came from nothing and he’s going nowhere in life. You’ve got a solid future with this young man right here – he has a bright, promising future and you’re gonna throw it away for that trailer trash!”

Maria shook her head sadly at her father’s stubbornness. “Mark and I are no longer together.” She looked at him directly. “And ya know what? You can’t do anything about it.”

Carson bit his tongue to stop himself from saying what he was about to say. “We’re finished with this conversation. I have an early morning scheduled and I don’t intend to spend my entire evening arguing with you about this.”

“Whatever,” she told him and started to leave the room.

“Where do you think you’re going?” her father demanded.

“You don’t wanna discuss this? Then fine, I don’t wanna have dinner with you.” She stormed out of the room and up the stairs to her room, slamming the door shut behind her.

“Carson, I doubt this’s gonna be a shock, but your daughter’s got a stubborn streak a mile wide,” Mark said.

“Hmm, wonder who she got that from,” Amy mused quietly, hiding a smile behind her glass of wine when her husband turned to glare at her.

“And you know about this?” Janine asked her son, puzzled.

“We talked earlier, Mom. She wouldn’t have ended things with me unless this guy still means somethin’ to her. I think enough of myself that I’d rather let her go than stay with her and know I’m never gonna be the one she loves.”

Carson groaned at that. “I was so sure we had gotten rid of that boy.”

Marcus reached over and patted his friend on the shoulder. “Let it go for now, Carson. Give her some time to cool off and get her head on straight before you talk to her again.”

Knowing her husband and Maria there would be no cooling off, Amy thought.

Carson snorted. “You don’t know that girl of mine if you think she’s gonna cool off overnight.” He shook his head. “Not about this.”

“Let’s finish dinner,” Janine suggested.

Amy nodded. “I think that’s a very good idea.”

Mark placed his napkin on the table next to his plate as he stood up. “I’m just gonna go check on Maria.”

“Would you try to talk some sense into her?” Carson growled.

“I think you know your daughter better than that, sir.” Mark grinned as he waved on his way out of the dining room.

*****

Maria glanced up from where she was lying on her bed when someone opened the door to her room. “Hey,” she mumbled into her pillow when she saw Mark.

“So, your dad really doesn’t like snow-boy, does he?”

She snorted. “Ya think?”

He chuckled as he sat down on the trunk at the foot of the bed. “I think the two of you are gonna have your work cut out for you with your old man.”

“God, he’s sooo...” Maria sat up and brushed some tears away. “He never gave Michael a chance.”

“Okay, and don’t take this the wrong way,” he said, holding his hands up, “but, did he ever give your dad any reason to give him a chance?”

“We were in high school, Mark. Michael was a good boy. The only reason my father’s against him is because he’s not from some big, wealthy family.”

“I know that... I come from a family of snobs too, ya know.” He grinned and shrugged. “I also know how hard it is for someone on the outside to be good enough for us in our parents’ eyes.”

“Michael tried so often to make a good impression on my Dad... but he just never had a chance.”

“Guess it’s up to the two of you to change it this time around.” He rested his left forearm on the footboard and propped his chin on his arm as he reached out with his free hand to squeeze her leg. “Look, the guy’s got a respectable job now, he’s earning a decent living, and most importantly he loves you. I know you, Maria, and if this’s what you want you’ll make it work.”

“I know,” she sighed. “My dad can keep his stupid money.”

He winced. Ungh, no money? No. “I’m guessin’ the two of you are plannin’ to face your parents directly?”

“Yeah. I just have to make sure his hunting gear is outta sight first.”

Mark laughed quietly. “You’re not stayin’ here tonight, are you?”

“I don’t know,” she said. “I don’t have a car and Michael’s on call for rescues until tomorrow mornin’.”

“No car? That’s your lame-ass excuse?” He shook his head and shot a teasing grin at her. “Don’t try to lie to me.”

“Well, I guess I could steal yours,” she teased.

“Just say the word and it’s yours.”

“Please?”

He leaned back and reached into his front pocket to pull his keys out. “Be happy, Maria,” he said as he tossed them to her.

She smiled and crawled over the bed to hug him. “Thanks.”

“Most guys in this situation would be pissed off,” he muttered against her shoulder. He chuckled and shook his head. “As much as I care about you, I’ve gotta admit I’m a bit relieved... I don’t think I’m ready to settle down anytime soon.” He patted her back as he released her.

“Ya know, I think we just work better as friends than lovers.”

“Do me a favor, will ya? Don’t start spreadin’ that around! I think you’re probably right, but there’s no reason to totally kill my rep.”

She snorted. “Okay, Mr. Bad Ass.”

He grinned and nodded. “Yeah, I like the sound of that.”

*****

Maria stretched out on her bed after he had left the room with the promise to hide the fact she was leaving from their parents. She was pretty sure she wouldn’t make it out of the cabin without them noticing, but they didn’t need to know it just right now. She was pretty sure her mother would try to talk her into staying while her father would just yell at her some more.

She rolled over and picked her cell up from the nightstand. It was already after 8pm so she should probably call Michael before he started to worry about her. She rummaged around in her bag, searching for the flyer he had written his number on.

Damn, his handwriting was just as bad as it had been in high school, she thought as she tried to figure out what number he had meant.

She lifted the cell to her ear when she had hopefully dialed the right number. “Hello?” a woman’s voice answered.

“Um, hi,” she said, puzzled. “Sorry, I thought I was calling Michael. Michael Guerin?”

“Um, sorry, but I think ya got the wrong number.”

“Yeah, probably, sorry about that.” Great, she thought, so that was probably a 7 instead of a 1. She dialed again and listened.

Michael shifted to pull his cell phone out of his pocket as he pulled up into the parking lot at the lodge. He flipped it open and held it up to his ear as he stepped out and handed his keys to the valet. It was a service that the lodge provided free to the employees of the lodge as well as the guides. “Hello?”

“Hey,” she greeted him, her heart already pounding quicker just from his voice.

His hand dropped from the door he had been reaching for and he took a couple of steps back to let a group behind him enter the lodge. “Maria, hi,” he said, hoping he didn’t sound as breathless as he suddenly felt.

“You sound like ya didn’t expect my call,” she said, amused.

“No, it’s not that... I guess I was just expectin’ it to be later. Like after your parents had gone to bed and the place was all quiet.”

“Couldn’t wait that long,” she admitted.

“You sound like you’re upset,” he said, feeling his protective instincts kick into overdrive. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just still pissed at my Dad.”

“You told ‘em,” he guessed.

She sighed. “Yeah.”

“Didn’t go over so well, huh?” Yeah, like that was a big shocker, he thought morosely.

“Pretty much like I expected,” she admitted.

“Sorry to hear that. So... you wanna come out an’ play for a while?”

“Play?”

“Your friends talked me into hangin’ out at the lodge for a while... interested?”

She groaned. “Ya need to ask?”

“I found out from one of the girls at the lodge where your folks are stayin’... I can be there in about 20 minutes.”

“But you’re still on call, aren’t you?”

He snorted. “Yeah, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go out.”

“Yeah, but it’s probably not good for you to go too far away in case there’s an emergency.”

He frowned. “Why not?”

Her expression mirrored his without knowing it. “Doesn’t an emergency ask for a quick reaction time?”

“Yeah...” He wasn’t sure where she was going with this.

“So if ya would drive here to get me... you’d be farther away if they called...”

“Not that far away...” Maybe she didn’t feel like hanging out tonight.

“Anyway, it’s probably better if my father doesn’t see ya tonight, baby.”

“Well, it’s too far for you to walk, Maria.”

“True,” she smiled into the cell, “but I might have a car.”

“I thought you came up here with,” he gritted his teeth, “Mark.”

“Yeah, I did. He gave me his keys.”

He gave her his keys?! “Did you talk to him?” Why would the guy hand his keys over if she broke up with him?

“Yeah, when we were down at the other cabin getting my things together.”

“And he just loaned you his car like that?”

“Yeah, actually he was pretty cool with all this.”

Mark had showed himself to be many things, but cool had not been one of them, he thought. “Really?”

“Yeah, um...” she glanced up when she heard a noise and saw her mother walking in. “Hey, we’ll talk later, okay?”

“Okay,” he said uncertainly. “Think you’ll head down here after a while?”

“Yeah, not sure how soon though.”

“Alright, I’ll keep an eye out for you. And, Maria?”

“Huh?”

“The weather’s good, but there’s a lot of wildlife around here and the roads are really dark at night... drive careful, okay?”

“I will.”

“Alright, see ya soon.”

“Yeah, later,” she said softly and closed her cell before she glanced at her mother again.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


New profile for TIC TAC at our Author's page: Kyle Valenti

Trailer: KYLE
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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

Part 44

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:10 am

Alien_Friend: Not liking Carson at all, huh? You will be seeing that.

Yup, they do make good friends. He’s completely different around Maria.

The talk with Amy will happen in this next part.

Let the good times roll! Keep your fingers crossed ‘bout any emergency calls.

mary mary: Finding that happy medium… not easy and most of us never find it, lol. That is frustrating… we totally agree with you!

Earth2Mother: Yup, Carson’s a piece of work.

Lol, no, not at all. Why? Well, all we can say is we’ll find out eventually. Maria will be getting said butt outta the cabin soon.

Oh, we’re gonna find out in this next part.

nitpick23: Hi! Welcome to our little world! Think Mark’s got a plan?

Natalie36: We’ll see if Mark’s really giving up. We’ll find out about Maria’s drive in this next part.

sarammlover: :) You called that one perfectly. Both of them actually, about Mark and Carson, lol. We’ll see, in time, whether or not Carson will get his head out of his ass.

kismet: You could be right about Amy.

We’ll see how Maria’s drive goes soon. Mork does drive an SUV.

Jennifer24: Welcome back!

Yep, it was past time for that nonsense to be over and done with, lol. We’ve only really seen Mark through the eyes of Maria’s friends so far. This’s the first time we’re really seeing the guy Maria sees.

Lol, we’re glad to be the ones that made ya feel bad for Courtney. Now that’d be interesting, wouldn’t it?

Carson is going to take some work. What you said about Michael totally made sense – he’s Michael and he tends to see things in a very right/wrong, black/white way. We’re going to see that conversation with this next update. You just never know what could come about from this little mother/daughter talk.

angiebrenna: Hi! Welcome to our little world!

We’re glad that you’re enjoying the fic – and the writing. :) We’ve got plenty more to come.



Part 44

“So? Are you here to tell me that I should apologize to Dad?”

“Honey, your dad has always wanted what’s best for you.”

“Yeah, he’s just forgetting something important here.”

Amy nodded. She knew what Maria was talking about. “So, it must’ve been a surprise to run into Michael up here.”

“I didn’t know he was working here,” she admitted.

“Well, of course not. You wouldn’t have knowingly put Mark in that position.”

Maria sighed. “Yeah, I sure as hell wouldn’t have.”

“Michael seems a little more self-assured now.”

“He’s not the boy from high school anymore, Mom.”

“No, he’s a grown man now... and from the looks of it you’re still in love with him.” She tipped her head to one side as she sat down on the bed.

“My heart’s always belonged to him,” Maria whispered.

“I know, honey. Give your dad some time, okay?”

The younger woman snorted. “Ya think he’ll ever come around?”

“He has his reasons for being so hard on you and Michael and I know you think he hates that boy, but he doesn’t.”

“He has his reasons?” she snapped. “What reasons can there be?”

“Reasons that he himself has yet to face,” Amy said. “You’ll know when the time is right.”

“Yeah, if it’s not too late then.”

“Maria,” she reached out to cup her daughter’s face in her hands. “I knew when you were in high school that Michael Guerin held your heart and that no other man would ever have that privilege. Let me handle your dad, alright?”

“Good luck with that,” Maria said sadly as a tear escaped at the corner of her eyes and ran down her cheek until it was stopped by her mother’s thumb.

“Trust me, honey. You deal with your man and let me deal with mine, okay? It probably wouldn’t hurt if Michael were to talk to him though. I know it may sound like the worst possible idea, but if you’re going to be involved with him then it’s only right that he speak with your dad.”

“He will,” Maria assured her. “He wanted to tell you when we got down and saw you, but I thought it’d be better to talk with Mark first.”

Amy nodded. “Your dad’s always in a good mood after a day of hunting.” She wrinkled her nose, still not understanding how that could put anyone in a good mood. “Why don’t you invite Michael over for dinner tomorrow night? I’m sure Janine and Marcus can be persuaded to have dinner out so we wouldn’t have an audience.”

She nodded. “God, dinner was really embarrassing.”

She waved her daughter’s words off. “Don’t worry about it. I have to admit that Mark seems to be very at-ease about the sudden change in your relationship.”

“It’s because we never really had any serious feelings for each other, Mom. He’s probably glad to be back on the market again.”

Amy chuckled. “Well, if you’re gonna break up it’s always better if both sides can accept it.”

“I think Mark and I do much better as friends.”

“Well, I’m guessing you have plans for this evening so I should probably go occupy your dad.” It was time to have that talk with Carson, she thought. As she had suspected, Maria was very serious about making things work with Michael this time around.

The younger woman nodded. “I’m driving over to see Michael.”

Amy smiled. “Can we expect you back in time for breakfast?”

“Well, probably not that early, Mom.”

Amy nodded. “Well, the good thing is your dad and Marcus will leave well before the crack of dawn to go and play in the woods.” She rolled her eyes. “I’ll never understand it, but it makes him happy.” She made a face. “Although, like you, I have no intention of trying bear steaks.”

“I really hope that’s not on the menu tomorrow... well, I probably won’t be hungry at all. Just the thought of Dad and Michael in one room makes me nervous.”

“No matter what happens, honey, it’s important for them to face each other and put all their cards out on the table.”

Maria leaned forward to hug her mother tightly. “I hope you can find a way to convince him, Mom. I love Dad as much as you, but I’m all talked out and,” she bit her lip, “this might sound harsh but... if he makes me choose between him and Michael... I will choose Michael.”

Amy nodded and smiled. She sincerely hoped she could make Carson see reason, but sometimes the man was so damned thick-headed he couldn’t see what was right in front of him. “You have to follow your heart, Maria.”

“And I will.”

“"Then you should start tonight,” she whispered with a smile. “Don’t keep Michael waiting.”

Maria grabbed the car keys from the night stand. “On my way. You’ll distract Dad?”

“"I’ll handle your dad.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

Amy nodded and watched her daughter slip out of the room. She had been Maria’s age and so in love with Carson that she would’ve done anything to be with him. It was time to remind that stubborn man of hers of a few things, she thought as she stood and left the room.

*****

The interior of the lodge was comfortable and Maria walked through to the bar area, hearing her friends before she actually stepped through the open double doors. She leaned one shoulder against the doorframe and watched the group as they held up their shot glasses, made a toast, and then slammed the shots back.

Michael and Nick had joined them but they weren’t participating in the drinking, presumably because they were on-call until the next morning. She smiled when Nick started screwing around and knocked a glass of water over, making Michael jump up out of his chair before the liquid ran over the edge of the table and soaked him.

Her eyes slid over him, enjoying seeing him in something besides multiple layers of bulky clothes. He wore a tight black tee shirt that showed off every well-defined muscle in his chest and arms and a pair of well-worn blue jeans that were faded and soft from wear. She smiled as he and Nick engaged in a playful argument that ended with Michael using the edge of his hand to sweep the water off of the table and into Nick’s lap.

Michael was just about to sit back down when he felt that weird tingling sensation at the back of his neck that only occurred when Maria was somewhere close, watching him. He turned around slowly, scanning the room until his eyes landed on her and his heart started beating triple-time.

“Holy hell,” he muttered under his breath. His eyes followed every move as she straightened away from the doorframe to walk towards him and his mouth went dry as his gaze moved from the sway of her hips to the purposeful look in her eyes. A week on the mountain, buried beneath all that heavy outer gear, and he had been so sure he remembered what she looked like dressed casually. His damn memory must be going though because she was so much hotter than he remembered!

The tight black jeans fit her like a second skin and the dark green turtleneck outlined her assets to perfection. She might never be completely happy with what she felt was an inadequate cup size, but as far as he was concerned she couldn’t be any closer to perfect. Her green eyes were sparkling as she finally reached him and he knew she was about to start teasing him because he was just barely managing to keep his tongue from hanging out.

“Breathe, big boy,” she told him, her tone amused as she stopped right in front of him.

He snorted. “Ya want me to breathe you shouldn’t have come in here dressed like that,” he growled.

“Somethin’ wrong with the way I’m dressed?” she asked teasingly. It felt good to finally be able to move around without at least four layers of clothes.

“No, there’s not a damn thing wrong with it.” He grinned at her and leaned in to take her pouty lips in a heated kiss.

“Thought so.” She stepped closer to wrap her arms around his neck, pulling him against her fully.

Michael slowly pulled back when the cheering behind them became too loud to ignore. “I think your friends might be just a bit crazy,” he murmured for her ears only.

“Probably not just a bit, but that’s why I love them so much,” she let go of him to walk past him and hugged Liz tightly since she had already gotten out of her chair. “Hey.”

“Hey,” the other girls said and hugged her back. “You’ve been crying,” she stated matter-of-factly.

“Just a bit.”

“Your parents?”

“What else?”

“How’d things with asshole go?” Max asked as he nodded when the waitress arrived with a basket of spicy chicken wings and asked if he wanted the dipping sauce.

“Do you mean Mark or my father?”

Max paused to look at her. “You get into it with your dad too?” he asked.

Kyle took advantage of Max’s lack of attention and he reached over to steal a handful of the wings.

“Ya know what,” Maria took a seat next to Liz. “I don’t really wanna talk about it now.”

“How ‘bout a drink then? We were doin’ shots... whatcha think? Little Sex on the Beach? Buttery Nipples?”

“Shots sound like fun,” she admitted.

“Pick your poison, DeLuca,” Kyle hollered from the other end of the table. “I’ve got this round.”

“Tequila for me!”

“Excellent choice! That good with everybody?”

“Bring it on,” Liz called.

“Let’s go then!” Kyle waved one of the waitresses over and ordered another round of shots. “Oh, and a couple waters for the boys down there.” He grinned at Michael and Nick.

“Me an’ you, we’re totally gonna have a drinkin’ contest as soon as I’m not on-call,” Nick challenged.

“Can’t wait,” Kyle said and sneaked another wing from the basket while Max was busy kissing Liz like he did most of the day here lately.

Tess snorted. “You have no idea what you’re messin’ with, Nick. This guy can drink more than you’d believe possible.”

Maria’s stomach grumbled loudly. Damn, she had totally forgotten how hungry she was since dinner had gone... not so great. She should probably eat something or a few shots would be the end of the night.

Michael grinned when he heard the familiar rumble. “Dinner didn’t go over so well, huh?” he asked, leaning in close to her.

“No, didn’t get much food out of it.”

“Whatcha in the mood for? They’ve got a full menu here.”

“Do they have pizza? With tons of cheese?”

He chuckled. “Yeah, they make that here too.”

“That’s what I want then.”

“Cool, you can share with me then ‘cause I haven’t eaten yet.”

“Share? I don’t know,” she teased and got up again to sit in his lap.

“Ya gotta share,” he said as he nipped her neck.

“I will,” she mumbled as she buried her face in the warm spot between his neck and shoulder, inhaling his scent.

“Did I hear someone else over here ready to place an order?” their waitress asked as she stopped next to Michael.

“Yeah,” he answered. “Tell Chaz we need one of his special pizzas... deep dish... and seriously pile on the cheese.”

“What other toppings?”

He shook his head. “Just pack that pizza with cheese.”

“Thanks,” Maria mumbled as he had placed the order.

“No problem.” He kissed her temple. “You’re tired,” he said quietly.

“No, just glad to be back here with you.”

“Okay, that’s even better.” He reached up to cup her neck and stroke her cheek with his thumb. “So, things really go okay with Mark?”

“Yeah, he was... hell, he was pretty cool about it and he even supported me in front of my parents.”

He nodded, unable to picture the scene she was describing, but knowing she wouldn’t lie about it. “I talked to Courtney. That’s all taken care of too.”

She nodded. “Very good. How’d she react?”

“Little bit sad...” he grimaced. “I think she was really hopin’ somethin’ more would develop between us but she accepted that it was over for good.”

She looked at him with a soft smile. “I guess I can understand. I’d be pretty sad too if I was her.”

He shook his head. “I’m gonna do my best to make sure you’re never sad again.”

It felt good now that the truth was out for everyone and they didn’t have to hide anything anymore. “I doubt that’s possible, but thank you.”

“Maybe not, but I can try.” He smiled and kissed her softly. “I love you, Maria.”

She took his hand in hers and intertwined their fingers. “I love you, too.”

“Aww, Maria, look what you’ve gone and done to him,” Nick complained.

She grinned and rubbed her hand over Michael’s hair. “I didn’t do anything.”

“Ah, here they are,” Kyle announced as the tequilas arrived at their table. He waited until everyone picked their shot glasses up before speaking again. “To the new couples who came outta this trip.”

“To Max Evans finally puttin’ a move on Liz,” Tess added, grinning.

“Oh, yeah, cheers to that,” Maria said, giggling.

“Hey, how do you know I didn’t put the moves on him?” Liz demanded.

“Ah, shut up,” Maria told her friend with a wink.

Max grinned and kissed the frown off of his girlfriend’s face. “You can put the moves on me tonight,” he promised.

“Uh-huh.” She had been wondering all day if tonight was going to be THE night.

“Only if you’re ready,” he assured her. “There’s no rush.” He shot a teasing grin at her as he whispered, “Just ignore what my body says ‘cause it’s been ready to rush for a while now.”

“I don’t think I can hold back much longer either,” she whispered in his ear teasingly.

He growled low in his throat. “I’m not gonna say no.”

Maria shook her head at them. It was totally obvious what they were talking was about. She leaned further into Michael. “I wouldn’t say no either tonight, ya know…”

He turned his head to meet her heated gaze and he smiled. “As I recall the word ‘no’ rarely came up between us. And when it did... it was never about sex.”

She wiggled her eyebrows and then finally lifted her shot to her lips to drink it.

He smiled fondly. “Better hope that pizza gets here quick ‘cause you’re gonna get goofy drinkin’ on an empty stomach.”

“I should probably have some shots before dinner tomorrow then.”

“Why?”

“Because tomorrow night will be the moment of truth.”

He cleared his throat. “Guess that means I’m gonna be there?”

She nodded. “You, me, my mom and my dad.”

“Let the games begin,” he muttered. “I think I may have a couple of shots first too.”

“You don’t have anything to fear,” she assured him.

“Uh-huh.”

“Just be prepared for some yelling. At least we have my mom on our side. Just keep tellin’ yourself that no matter what my father comes up with, in the end we’ll still be together, ‘cause I am not leaving.”

“Your mom’s on our side, huh?” He nodded, unable to hide his surprise. The woman had never shown disapproval the way her husband had, but she had never done anything to defend them either. “Just for the record, I’ve never been worried that you’d leave.”

“I had a good talk with my mom before I left and she understands why I have to do this. She told me to follow my heart.” Her hand came up to caress his cheek. “She’s not against us.”

“Well, that’s one parent down... be nice if it’d been the one who wasn’t armed with an arsenal of weapons.” He smiled and shook his head. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take any support we can get.”

“Pizza’s ready,” the waitress said as she placed the food in front of them.

“God, this looks good,” Maria groaned.

Michael laughed at the sounds she was making as she inhaled the aroma of the pizza. “Wait’ll you taste it.” He shifted around, one arm around her waist to make sure he didn’t upset her position and he grabbed the spatula, lifting the first slice out and sliding it onto her waiting plate. The thick crust was a buttery golden color and the cheese was so hot it was still bubbling on the surface.

She took the plate in her hand and held it close to her face while she shoved the slice of pizza near the edge with her free hand. Blowing some air onto it a few times, she leaned forward to take a bite from the pizza that was hanging over the edge of her plate.

Michael watched her, knowing she was going to love it. Chaz was an amazing chef and his pizza was the best he’d ever had. The crust was the perfect blend, soft on the inside and lightly crunchy on the outside. “It’s good, huh?”

“It’s better than that,” she told him and stood up. “Here, go ahead and eat, big boy.”

“You don’t have to go anywhere,” he grumbled. “I can eat with you in my lap.”

“I’ll be back after I eat,” she promised, taking a seat next to Liz again.

“Yeah, big boy,” Nick teased as he leaned over to snag a slice of the pizza, “she’ll be back.”

“Hey, don’t eat our pizza,” Maria warned.

He rolled his eyes. “Once it hits the table it’s every man for himself.”

Maria rolled her eyes and pulled the rest of the pizza further towards her and away from Nick.

“Hey,” he protested.

“Nicky, Nicky, Nicky,” Tony chastised from behind them. “See, Vanessa, this’s the problem with kids... you can dress ‘em up, but you just can’t take ‘em out. His manners are atrocious.”

Maria laughed when Nick couldn’t say anything since his mouth was full of hot pizza. “Hey, you two, I thought you were out on a date?”

“We are... called in an order for dessert and we’re just stoppin’ by to pick it up,” Tony answered.

“Yeah, dessert,” Nick said as he finally swallowed his food. “What is it? Chocolate sauce?”

Tony smacked the back of his young friend’s head. “No, smartass, it’s not chocolate sauce.”

Vanessa shook her head at the guys’ antics. “Not on a first date anyway, Nicky,” she said, just so she could laugh at his shocked expression.

Michael, Tony and Nick froze when they heard an all too familiar sound all of a sudden.

“Oh, hell, not tonight,” Vanessa growled. “Why aren’t you out of the rotation? You just came back down off of the mountain.”

“We traded with one of the other teams to extend our time off by a couple more days,” Tony answered.

Michael got up, pulling the little pager all of the guides were wearing out and silenced it. “I’ll go call base camp to see what’s up. Be right back.”

Maria wondered if whatever the emergency was would put an end to their evening together.

“Hopefully it’s nothin’,” Tony said, looking at Vanessa apologetically.

She reached over to rub his arm and shook her head. “I have the same job, remember? No need to apologize.”

“We should think of something different,” he told her with a wink.

“We’re both adrenaline junkies, Tony... neither of us would be happy with boring jobs.” She laughed quietly. “Besides, most of the time our schedules don’t conflict.”

It didn’t take long until Michael came back from outside. Maria watched him closely and she could already tell that the news wasn’t good.

“Okay, that’s not a happy face,” Nick said when he caught his friend’s expression.

“No,” Michael sighed. “We’ve got two people trapped in a crevasse; they’re out there on their own, no guide. Storm’s comin’ in soon so we’re gonna have to hurry. The chopper’ll be ready go in about 5 minutes.”

“Great,” Nick grumbled as he stood up. He leaned over the table to snag another piece of pizza, grinning at Maria as he stepped back. “Gotta have my energy.”

She nodded and motioned for Michael to take another one as well. “Be careful, okay?”

“I’ll be careful,” he promised as he leaned down over her chair to kiss her. “Will it bother you if I ask Vanessa to show ya where I live?”

She shook her head. “No, it’s okay.” She grabbed his collar to pull him close for another kiss. “Don’t come back too late.”

He smiled against her lips. “Kinda depends on the rescue, baby.” He chuckled when he felt her fingers clench in his collar in warning. “I’ll do my best,” he promised.

“I don’t wanna let ya go again,” she admitted as she released him.

Nick rolled his eyes. “Good grief, either I’m gonna have to find some new friends who aren’t getting all mushy with their girls or I’m gonna have to find myself a girl.”

“Shut up.” Michael slapped the back of his head before he turned to Vanessa. “Would ya mind showin’ her where my apartment is?” he asked as he handed Maria his keys.

“No, of course not,” Vanessa said with a smile.

“Alright”, he glanced at his watch. “We’d better hurry.”

“Yeah, it’d ruin our record if we missed a rescue ‘cause the two of you were suckin’ face an’ cryin’ over leavin’ your girlfriends,” Nick muttered as he shot a grin at the girls.

Maria flipped him off happily before turning to talk to Liz.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


The last character of TIC TAC is posted. Maria DeLuca is waiting for ya at our Author's page.

Trailer: MARIA

POSTING STARTS 12/12/10!
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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

Part 45

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:54 am

Earth2Mother: We’ll find out about Carson in upcoming parts. Yeah, he’s not yet making a favourable impression on anyone, lol.

Hmm… horizontally, vertically… who knows, you might just get lucky and get both. :)

The Amy/Carson scene will be coming soon.

Eva: Yes, she did. That is important and hopefully she’ll be able to sway Carson’s opinion on the matter.

Next chapter’s here… let’s see what’s up with our gang.

Natalie36: They’ll try their best to be safe.

mary mary: Well, maybe just a bit. It is us, after all, lol.

keepsmiling7: Lookin’ forward to that, are ya?

Jennifer24: Thanks! Lol, that probably wouldn’t be too impressive. We’ll try to keep him from doing that.

Well, hopefully we’ll avoid seeing that.

Group scenes are a lot of fun to write!

Alien_Friend: We love our group scenes, having them all together and just kickin’ back.

Interesting is a good word for the upcoming dinner.

True, this is not all that unusual for these guys.

sarammlover: Jeez, just Michael and Nick? What about Tony? Lol. Amy’s support will be important to our Candy couple. Glad you enjoyed the group scene… we do love to write them!



Part 45

Vanessa sat down in the chair that Michael had vacated and she rolled her eyes. “Interruptions suck.”

“Yeah, especially on a first date, huh?”

“Ungh... and I’ve been waitin’ for a very long time for it to be the right time to say yes to that man.”

“How’s that? Tony seems like a nice guy.”

“Tony’s a very nice guy.” She made a face. “I’ve just been waitin’ for him to grow up enough to understand that he doesn’t have to be ‘nice’ to every girl that crosses his path.”

Maria snorted. “Nick obviously still has to learn that.”

Vanessa smiled fondly. “Nicky still has a long way to go.”

Maria stopped one of the waitresses as she started to pass by. “Hey, can ya bring another round of tequila?”

“Sure, I’ll be back in a couple of minutes.”

Maria leaned back. “Well, if our men aren’t here, then at least we have shots.”

“Yeah, just don’t overdo it,” Max said as he smacked Kyle’s hand away from his basket of chicken wings. “Do you mind?”

“No, I don’t mind at all, hand ‘em over.”

Liz ignored the guys as they fought over a pile of chicken. “Yeah, if you’re plannin’ to get laid tonight, you don’t wanna be drunk for it.”

“Talkin’ about my plans or yours, Parker?” Maria teased.

“Hey, I might need a shot or two of courage,” Liz whispered.

“Already on its way,” Maria assured her and glanced at the open double doors where she saw Michael and the other guys coming out of a room in a hurry, wearing their outer gear again. They immediately disappeared in the direction of the exit and the doors slammed shut behind them.

“Think so?”

“Yeah, I just ordered.”

“Oh, okay.” She glanced at Max before looking at Maria again. “Liquid courage may not be necessary, but it couldn’t hurt to get a head start.”

“C’mon, Liz, you two will do just fine.”

“Completely new territory for me, remember?”

“Well, yeah, but you’ve had plenty of sex.”

“Well, yeah, but not with my best friend. God, what if we start getting into it and one of us just starts laughin’?”

“Why would you laugh?”

“I don’t know... it’s just somethin’ he said a while back and now it’s stuck in my head.”

“Well, if it happens, then just laugh and go on.”

“Laugh and go on...” she rolled her eyes. “Okay.”

Maria glanced up when the waitress brought their order. She waited until everyone had taken his or her glass. “Alright, we’re gonna drink for my sake, ya hear me?” She lifted her glass. “To tomorrow night’s dinner and that we come out of it alive.”

“I’ll drink to that,” Max said. Her father wasn’t exactly the kinda guy that was easy to get along with.

She glanced at her other friends questioningly.

“Me too!” Kyle said.

Tess giggled at his exuberant response. He was well on his way to being a happy drunk. “Yup, me too.”

Liz grinned at her friends and then turned to look at Maria. “You guys will be fine, but I’ll drink to that too.”

“Yeah, I hope so,” she turned to look at Vanessa. “So, ya gonna help me out too?”

Vanessa reached for the last shot glass and raised it up in the air. “I predict that the two of you will face the parental fire and come out stronger for it.” She tapped her glass against Maria’s. “He’s not goin’ anywhere.”

“Yeah, just on his way up the mountain again,” Maria said with a grin. “What have I gotten myself into?”

The others laughed before tossing their shots back. “A lifetime of crazy, happy love,” Tess crowed as she placed her glass on the table.

Liz rolled her eyes. “I think all those wedding plans have started to affect your brain.”

“I don’t know... crazy, happy love sounds good to me,” Max growled into her ear.

“Of course it does,” she laughed as she turned to kiss him. “You also want the house with the white picket fence, kids, and a dog.” She stared into his eyes. “You, my friend, want insanity in your life.”

“For now I just want one thing…” he teased.

She chuckled. “I know all about your evil plan, Evans. Sex is just the first step.” She nipped his bottom lip. “At least I know about that stage of the plan,” she whispered with a wink.

“Yeah?” His gaze swept over her lips. “I’m gonna pretend to hit the bathroom. Maybe ya wanna gimme a little preview of what’s comin’ tonight?” He stood up and disappeared before she had the chance to say anything.

Liz watched him walk away and let her eyes slide over him. He had such a sexy, confident walk and now that she was so aware of him it made her crazy. “I’ve gotta run to the bathroom,” she muttered before getting to her feet and following him.

“Way to be subtle, Liz,” Kyle yelled after her.

Tess slapped her hand over his mouth, but immediately melted when he grinned unrepentantly at her.

“Hey, don’t complain now that the two of them are finally gonna get it on,” Maria said.

“I’m not complainin’,” Kyle said. “Oh, look, Evans left his wings. Guess I’d better give him a hand an’ finish ‘em off so they don’t get cold.”

*****

Liz wandered along the hallway that led to the restrooms. Where the hell did he go?

Max reached out and grabbed her hand as she walked past the room he had ducked into. He had no idea what it was for because it was empty, but he also didn’t really care.

“Whoa!” she yelped in surprise when she was suddenly pulled into a semi-dark room. “Max, what...” she didn’t have the chance to say anything else when his lips crashed to hers.

Max pinned her to the wall, his left hand at her waist and his right hand curled around her neck. “Took you long enough,” he growled between kisses.

“Well, ya ran off so quickly that it was hard to figure out...” she breathed heavily, “... where you’d gone.”

“Never far from where you are.” He leaned back just enough to look into her eyes. “It’s been like that our whole lives, Liz, haven’t you figured that out yet?”

“I figured out something else,” she told him instead of answering.

His right eyebrow lifted in question even as he was lowering his mouth to hers again. “What’d you figure out?” he asked, holding off for her answer.

A small cheeky grin played around her lips. “That you talk too much.”

He rolled his eyes and shook his head at her. “The only reason I’m still talkin’ is because I thought you had somethin’ important to say.”

“I always have important things to say.”

“Then how...” He grinned at her and shook his head. “Huh-uh, I think you’re just tryin’ to distract me to prove your... point.” He frowned. “That I talk too much.” His hands slid down over her hips to grasp her thighs and lift her up. “I can talk without words,” he said with a teasing smile.

“Yeah, someone is definitely speaking for himself...” she said, brushing her lower body against the body part she was addressing.

He growled and took her mouth in a rough kiss. She knew how to tease and he loved it when that playful side came out and she let go of the pressures she associated with their new relationship. He would teach her differently, it was just going to take time.

Her arms came around his neck automatically, resting on his broad shoulders as he gentled the kiss. This stuff was still new to her, but she liked the way her stomach tickled when he touched her. She still wondered if the dizziness was normal though.

Max loved the way she felt in his arms and pressed against his body. They fit so perfectly together that it felt like they had been made for each other. It was cliché but he didn’t care. Kissing her made his head spin and he had waited forever for this feeling. “I love you,” he whispered as he broke the kiss and lowered his head to nuzzle her neck.

She knew he was still waiting for her to say it back, but she still felt weird and not ready to say it. Hopefully he understood, she thought.

Max felt her hesitation and he lifted his head to meet her eyes. “There’s no pressure for you to say it back,” he whispered and then smiled. “I already know you love me. When you’re ready, the words will come naturally.”

“Thanks,” she brushed her hands over his now messy hair. “I might not be able to get them out, but I can tell you that you’re sexy and hot and...”

“Oh,” someone said as they opened the door and switched on the light, sounding shocked to see someone in the room. “How’d you get in here?” the blonde girl asked. “The door should’ve been locked.”

“I’m an alien with secret powers,” Max dead-panned.

Courtney rolled her eyes at them. “Well, if you don’t mind, I need to chance into my uniform.” She pointed to the door. Not that it was enough that Michael had kind of broken up with her tonight, no. She just had to be called in because some unannounced group of climbers had arrived at the lodge and they needed more staff to handle them.

He looked at Liz. “She’s not impressed.”

“Isn’t she the one... ya know...”

Max glanced back at the girl still glaring at him and his eyes suddenly widened in shock. “Oh.” He carefully lowered Liz back down to the floor and took her hand as he led the way out the door. “Sorry ‘bout that... we’re outta here.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Courtney sighed and closed the door behind them.

Max and Liz leaned against each other, laughing as they walked down the hallway. “God, what’re the chances we’d run into her tonight?” he asked as they neared the doorway that would lead them back into the dining area.

“She works here, Max. So chances weren’t that bad. Maria will be happy to see her.”

“Well, yeah, but the night we get back down?”

“What’s the night we get back?” Maria asked as she overheard part of Liz and Max’ talk.

The couple exchanged a look and Max shrugged, deciding to let Liz handle this one. “Hey, where’d my wings go?”

Liz grimaced and wondered how to punish Max for leaving it to her. “We sort of ran into what’s-her-name... Michael’s ex or whatever.”

Vanessa winced. “Courtney?” Damn, she wasn’t supposed to be on the schedule tonight.

Liz snapped her fingers. “Yeah, right. She was getting ready for work.” She looked at Maria, apologizing with a mouthed ‘sorry’.

Maria shook her head. She was bound to run into the other girl at some point anyway. The very night that Michael broke up with her wasn’t exactly the one she would’ve chosen. She didn’t have any bad feelings towards the other girl and she knew what it was like to lose Michael so she didn’t want to rub it in Courtney’s face that she had the guy Courtney couldn’t have. “Maybe I should go ahead and call it a night.”

“Aww, c’mon, Maria,” Liz complained. “Don’t let this ruin the night. It’s still early and who knows how many more chances we’ll have to hang out in the future.”

“I just don’t wanna make her uncomfortable, ya know?”

“It’s full in here,” Liz gestured around. “Ya probably won’t even see her.”

“Yeah, Maria,” Tess spoke up. “We’ve had the same waitress all evening and I’m sure Courtney will be working another section.”

Vanessa stood up. “I’m gonna go and check on her, okay?”

“Oh, you know her?” Maria asked.

“Yeah, we’re actually good friends.”

She nodded, glad that no one had said anything really bad about the other girl.

Vanessa walked through the now crowded dining area. She was pretty sure Courtney had to work the bar tonight, since it wasn’t a scheduled shift and when they called someone in it was usually because they needed help at the bar.

She couldn’t see her though and decided to check the break room. Maybe she was still getting ready. She knocked on the last door on the left in the hallway and entered the room when no one replied. Courtney’s back was to her as she stood at her open locker. “Hey,” Vanessa greeted her.

Courtney glanced over her shoulder and nodded to acknowledge her friend.

The other girl closed the door behind her and walked further into the room. “Did they call you in?”

“Yeah, said they’re short-staffed and needed some help with the bar.” She cleared her throat and reached up to wipe her eyes. “I wasn’t doing much of anything tonight anyway.”

Vanessa placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder and squeezed it. “Hey,” she said softly.

“You were right,” Courtney said thickly.

“Yeah... I know. Sorry.”

“You know what the worst thing was?”

“What?”

“He came to see me earlier today to tell me that things were over between us and he was so fuckin’ nice about the whole thing.” She inhaled raggedly. “God, at least if he’d been a dick about it I could hate him right now.”

“He didn’t want to hurt you, Court.”

“Wish that made a difference to my heart,” she muttered.

Vanessa pulled her friend into a hug. “I’m sorry, girl. I know it’s what everyone says, but it won’t hurt that much anymore when times passes.”

“I hope not. I really did like him,” she whispered against her friend’s shoulder. “I think I always knew deep inside that we wouldn’t work out because there was a part of him that was completely absent, but... didn’t stop me from hoping.” She sighed raggedly. “I could see the difference in him today though... he’s happy and there’s a peace in him.” She chuckled humorlessly. “I even told him maybe I could be friends with her. Like that could ever really happen.”

“He is happy. And I didn’t wanna let ya run out there cluelessly. She’s out there.”

“Of course she is, because that’s the kinda luck I have here lately. Is he with her?”

“No, the guys got called in for an emergency on the mountain a while ago.”

“Oh,” she said, relieved, “there is a God.” She moved to the small mirror on the wall to fix her makeup. “Then please tell me she’s not hanging out at the bar.”

“No, the group’s sitting on the other side, at the tables in the dining area.”

“Well, at least I don’t have to worry about dealing with her all night.”

“I don’t think ya have to worry about her. When she heard you were here she started to go home.”

“She’s nice, right?” She shook her head.

Vanessa made a face. “I wish I could tell you she’s a bitch, but...”

“Great... he’s a nice guy, she’s a nice girl... makes it hard to hate ‘em.”

“Yeah...” Vanessa winkled her nose. “I’m really feeling a bit awkward, ya know? I don’t wanna hurt your feelings because you’re my best friend, but Michael’s my friend too, and I guess that’ll make it hard to avoid her.”

Courtney finished repairing her makeup and inhaled deeply. “No, don’t worry about that, Vanessa. He told me she’s most likely gonna move up here to be with him, so it’s not like I’m gonna be able to avoid them. And you are his friend too, so I wouldn’t ask you to do anything that would cause problems between you two.” She sighed. “Who knows? Maybe one day we can be friends... stranger things have happened, right?”

The other girl chuckled. “Definitely.”

“Well, there’s really no point in putting it off. I’ve got a shift to work. What’re you doin’ since Tony got called in?”

“Well... actually Michael asked me to show his girlfriend where he lives. But hey, I can hang out at the bar until they want to leave?”

They weren’t wasting any time, were they? “Nah, considering the panic the manager was in when he called me it’s gonna be a crazy busy shift and I doubt I’d have much time to spend with you.”

“Okay, I’ll call ya tomorrow, okay? I still have a few days off, we can hang out.”

Courtney snorted. “If you can drag yourself out of bed with Tony.”

“I doubt that I’ll see him again tonight.”

“This’ll probably be the fastest rescue in the history of the mountain. He’s been tryin’ for over a year to get you to say yes to a date with him.”

“Yeah, I know, but ya know about those rescues, even if they manage to find the people quickly... they have to do the paperwork afterwards and all. And it’s already getting late. I doubt they’ll get back until the middle of the night.”

“Well, that much is true. How was your date goin’ before he got called in?”

“It was great. He really is a gentleman if he wants to be.”

“Tony?”

Vanessa laughed. “Yeah.”

“Who would’ve guessed? I mean, yeah, he’s a good guy and I’ve seen him be really sweet on occasion, but... a gentleman? No, wouldn’t have guessed that one.”

“Men are full of surprises.”

“Ain’t that the truth?”

“Alright,” Vanessa said as they walked to the door. “Chin up, okay? Call me if ya need anything.”

Courtney nodded and gave her friend a genuine smile. “Thanks, Vanessa.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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

Part 46

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:19 am

Eva: Lol, yeah, you just never know, huh?

How will the sex be? HOT!

kismet: One got past ya, huh? Blame it on the holidays. ;)

And they really can’t wait.

Oh, no, the dinner will actually be a few parts away… well, unless you wanted to skip Max and Liz finally getting naked… guess we could skip over that and just go directly to the dinner… ya think?

begonia9508: Thanks! Oh, don’t worry, that little interruption won’t ruin their night!

Earth2Mother: Lol, it does, doesn’t it?

Ah, but they will… soon enough.

Right? Kyle’s just playing with fire now.

We’re pretty sure these guys will do everything they can to get back safe and sound… they know what’s waiting for them at the base of that mountain. ;)

mary mary: Hmm… so many things to choose from… whatever will we do? Guess we’ll find out here pretty soon.

Natalie36: Courtney actually is a nice girl. She just fell for the one guy she could never really have.

Alien_Friend: Yup, and she will.

Lol, look forward to more… they’re gonna really enjoy settling into their new relationship.

keepsmiling7: We’re thinking they’re not gonna need it at all, lol!

sarammlover: Lol, we’ll let him know he’s been added to the list. :) A guy for Courtney, huh? It’s been suggested that perhaps Nick could be convinced… whatcha think? Watch out for those two ‘cause they’re plannin’ to get super frisky here pretty soon!


Author’s Note: Hey folks, just a quick note to let ya know we’ll be taking a short break over the Christmas weekend but we’ll be back on New Year’s Day… possibly with a slightly longer update to make up for missing an update. ;) MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!


Part 46

Amy carried two glasses of white wine into the living room of the luxurious cabin they were renting. Janine and Marcus had decided to call it a night a while ago, so this would be her chance to talk to her husband about their daughter. She knew she had to be sensitive and careful here because Carson tended to react emotionally to everything that included Maria.

“Here,” she handed him a glass of wine and took the seat next to him on the comfortable couch in front of the fireplace. She could see his brain working by the way his face looked, so she reached up to rub his temple to help him relax a bit. “This’s such a nice place to be, don’t ya think?” She started the talk with a light subject.

Carson sighed and leaned back, letting her touch soothe him. “It’s quite different from back home but it’s nice here. Relaxing for the most part.”

“Well, if things develop a certain way then we might be in the area more often in the future,” she said carefully.

His hand momentarily tightened around the wine glass before he forced it to relax. “She’s throwing away her future, Amy.”

“She loves him,” she countered gently.

He reached up to rub his forehead with his free hand. “That won’t pay the bills,” he muttered. “It won’t put her through school and it won’t keep their kids clothed and fed.”

“He obviously has a job, Carson. We should at least let them explain themselves.” Her hand came up to take his. “We can’t force her to be with someone more like Mark because that’s not what she wants.”

He snorted. “I’m well aware of that, Amy. In spite of my wishes she’s stuck with this geology nonsense.” In spite of his words the pride in his voice was evident. “I’ve spoken with her advisors and she’s at the top of her class; they say she has a promising future. But... this thing with that boy... how well can his job really pay? What makes him think he’s ready to take care of her?”

“Who says he has to take care of her yet, darling? We support her in California, we can support her here. Maria will be able to pay her own bills. She’s not that kind of woman who wants to stay at home while the man’s out working.”

He turned his head to look at her and he rolled his eyes at her. “She got that independent streak from you, ya know,” he said, his tone softly accusing.

“Uh-huh, and I’m very proud of that,” she said with a smile and took a sip of her wine.

“Of course you are.” He was silent for a few minutes as he thought about the earlier argument with Maria. “She asked me why I hate him so much,” he said after a while.

She shook her head. “She asked why it’s so hard for you to see he’s a good guy, but go on.”

He waved his hand dismissively. “Whatever,” he said, unconsciously using one of their daughter’s favorite words. “She was born to privilege, just like we were; our families are old money and we’ve maintained certain standards. I don’t hate him, contrary to what she thinks. Hell, the entire town knew his story... wrong side of the tracks, abusive foster father... but he rose above all of that. We all watched him fight and claw to get out of that situation and part of me respects that. It took a lot of work for him to get past that. But, the other part of me, the part that is painfully aware of the statistics, only sees the possibility of his past becoming her future.” He shoved himself to his feet and paced back and forth in front of the fireplace. “Amy, do you know how many people with his background become abusers themselves?”

So that was it, what he feared, she thought, surprised and admittedly a little shocked. “But maybe those statistics refer to the ones who are just too weak to fight their past. I know he loves her as well, darling, and don’t you think he deserves a chance to be happy too?”

“Why can’t he be happy with someone else’s daughter? Maria is MY daughter and she deserves better.”

She stood up and stopped his pacing. “You know you can’t choose who you love,” she reminded him gently. “Remember your daughter her last summer in Roswell? After Michael left?”

“What’s your point?” he asked warily.

“Her behavior was totally out of character. She was moody and she’d start to cry at every little situation,” Amy continued, ignoring his question.

“She got over it,” he insisted.

“She got better when she met her friends in California,” she admitted, “but there was still a difference. Even with Mark, she seemed to be... I don’t know how to describe it.”

“Lonely,” he muttered under his breath. He wasn’t blind, he had seen the sadness in his little girl’s eyes but he had been certain that with time and the appropriate suitor she would be fine.

“Yeah. And when I saw her yesterday… I knew that only Michael could be the reason. Carson, hear me out, we made a mistake back then. We thought it was just a high school fling and it would pass. But it didn’t and we can’t force her to let a chance to be happy pass her by.”

“And what if he’s just using this as an opportunity to get his hands on her trust fund? In a couple of years she’ll have access to more money than he could dream of earning in his lifetime.” He sighed and took a drink of his wine when he caught her disapproving look. “You can’t deny it’s a possibility.”

Amy chuckled. “How would he know about her trust fund, darling?”

“Common sense, woman! She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Even if he didn’t know he would suspect that she had money coming to her at some point.”

“You forget that she found him here not the other way around.”

He was having a difficult time arguing against every point she was bringing up. “You really believe his intentions are decent?”

Amy nodded. “I believe that he’s a good guy and seriously in love with our daughter.”

He sighed and took another drink of his wine. “You remember when she was born? The first time I held her?”

“How could I forget that?”

“God, she was so tiny I could just about hold her in one hand. I knew at that moment that I’d do everything in my power to make sure she never wanted for anything and that no one would ever hurt her.”

“Then keep that promise and don’t be the one who hurts her now, Carson.”

“You’re that sure about that boy?”

“I’m sure about our daughter and that she’s old enough to make her own decisions.”

“I still think he should have enough backbone to speak with me face to face if he intends to have a relationship with Maria.”

“He will,” she assured him.

He studied her for several minutes before he shook his head and pointed at her. “You’ve already set something up, haven’t you?”

Amy smiled. “What would you say to having dinner with them tomorrow night?”

“I’d say I don’t think I have much choice in the matter because you’ve already arranged everything.”

“Don’t be mad,” she said.

He was quiet for a while as he stared into the fireplace. “She did look happy when we met her earlier.”

“She looked shocked to see us,” Amy teased. “I talked to her in her room earlier and there was this glistening in her eyes, just at the mention of his name.”

“Aww, Amy, don’t start with the romantic notions,” he complained. “I’ll talk to him tomorrow night, but he’d better be convincing.”

“Okay,” Amy nodded happily.

“Maybe I should go upstairs and tell her that I’ll speak with him tomorrow evening.”

“Um... she’s probably already sleeping,” she tried, hoping to sidetrack him.

“This early? Maria hasn’t gone to sleep this early in her life,” he laughed. “She’s probably tired, but...” His eyes narrowed as he looked at the stairs and then back at his wife. “She’s not up there, is she?”

Amy bit her lip, trying to hide her smile. “No.”

Carson fought to hold his temper back as he reminded himself that Maria was a grown woman. Amy was so certain that their daughter knew what she was doing and he was having a hard time arguing with that. Amy had never been as outspoken against the boy as he had been and he could see that she had made a decision to support Maria and Michael and he knew better than to think he was going to change her mind. “She’s with him,” he said.

“Yeah, she took off a while ago.”

“I feel the need to break out my rifle and go hunting,” he grumbled.

She shook her head in amusement and walked towards him. “Think maybe you could focus your temper into... different territory?”

“I don’t know.” He kept his expression neutral. “You got somethin’ in mind?”

She ran her hands over his collar before opening the first button on his shirt. “Everyone else is already in bed...”

“Well, it’s always open season on the crazy, wild woman I married,” he said as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer.

*****

Maria stepped out of Mark’s SUV and looked around at the neighborhood Michael lived in. It was closer to the outskirts of the city in an area that was older but well cared for. She followed Vanessa into his building and they took the stairs to the second floor where they stopped at the last door at the end of the hall. Vanessa pulled his keys out of her pocket and unlocked the door, pushing it open and standing aside so Maria could enter first.

She turned the light switch on and she watched Maria as she looked around the sparsely furnished living room. There wasn’t much in the room besides the comfortable couch, a coffee table, and a television. “He’s not much on interior decorating,” she joked as she closed the door and locked it.

Maria shook her head. “That’s not a surprise.”

Vanessa motioned to a doorway to the right. “The bedroom’s through there and the bathroom’s off the bedroom. Kitchen’s through that door,” she pointed to a door on the opposite side of the room. “And that’s pretty much it. There’s a balcony off of the bedroom, awesome view of the mountains at sunset…” she winced. “Sorry, that’s probably too much information.”

“Yeah, um, just a little bit,” Maria said. She hadn’t known exactly how involved Vanessa and Michael had been in the past. Obviously that answer was pretty clear now.

Vanessa cleared her throat uncomfortably. “Sorry ‘bout that, it just slipped out. I used to sit out there in the evenings and watch the sunset.” She grinned. “Michael was never Mr. Romantic with me, so please don’t think I meant anything by that.”

“Can I ask you how much the two of you were involved?” Maria shrugged out of her jacket and threw it on the couch.

“We dated for a while last year but it was pretty apparent that it wasn’t goin’ anywhere. He’s a great guy and he’s a wonderful friend, but other than us spending a short amount of time together, there’s nothin’ between us but friendship.”

Maria nodded and walked around the room. “Sorry about the jealousy. I’m just not familiar with anything here and you are. Just feels kinda weird.”

“I can imagine,” Vanessa said sympathetically. “And no apology necessary. It’s a difficult situation and I think you’re handling it rather well.”

“The apartment seriously needs a woman’s touch,” Maria stated.

Vanessa smirked. “It could definitely use some help. The whole place is decorated – and I use that word in its loosest possible form – in the same manner.”

“Wait until my stuff’s in here,” the blonde joked.

“Yeah, wanna bet that he’ll probably be cranky until he gets used to maneuvering around all of your stuff? Right now there’s practically nothin’ here.”

“Oh, he love me, he’ll get over it.”

“Yeah,” Vanessa chuckled, “I’ve got a feelin’ he will. I can see the change in him after just a week. I look forward to seeing more of it.”

Maria smiled. “I hope this isn’t a problem for you. I mean, you’re Michael’s friend and obviously you’re also his ex’s friend...”

“Nah. And you don’t have to worry about Courtney. She’ll move on in time and get over this.” She shrugged one shoulder. “She hoped for more, but I think deep down she always knew he couldn’t commit his heart.”

“I know what it means to lose him so I think I know how she feels right now.”

“I’m glad you’re bein’ so cool about things, Maria.”

She dropped down on the couch. “I’m just glad to have him back.”

“I’d say that feeling’s mutual. I haven’t seen him smile so much since I’ve known him.”

“Do you think we’re moving too fast?” Maria asked. She wondered about it. Her heart said it was the right thing, the only thing, she could do, but hearing it from someone outside of the situation would be better.

“Movin’ too fast? Well, I think that’s something only you can really answer, but...” she shook her head. “If you want my opinion, I’d say no. You’re both obviously happy and really, isn’t that the most important thing?”

“Yeah.” Maria smiled and got up again to walk around the room and have a quick look in his bedroom. “At least the bed’s big enough.”

Vanessa snorted. “His one luxury. He finally bought it a few months ago after the old one gave him one backache too many. I remember ‘cause Tony was out of town and Nick got roped into helping him carry it up here.”

“Do ya live around here too?” She gestured out of the window at the apartment complex.

“No, I live closer to town. I don’t mind the tourists wandering around, stoppin’ you to take pictures... you know Michael,” she laughed. “That’d make him crazy.”

“Oh, yeah, he’s not really the social type. He’s much better now than he was back in high school though.”

“He’s good with the people he’s comfortable around and he handles the climbing groups really well, but a bunch of random people around all the time?” She snorted. “Huh-uh, just makes him all grumpy and when Mr. Grumpy comes out to play no one has any fun.”

“I’m glad he found some friends here who see who he really is.”

“I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that he’s not easy to get to know.” She shrugged with a smile. “I don’t know, that might’ve been different with you.”

“Oh, it wasn’t easy for me either, I can tell you.”

Vanessa chuckled and nodded. “Easy and Michael? Two things that’ll probably never sound right in the same sentence.”

“Yeah... but it’s okay though. There’s something special about him this way.”

“Well, I hope you guys will be very happy together. I know he deserves it.”

Maria nodded. “Thanks. How long ya think it’ll be before they get back?”

“It could be late. A lot will depend on the condition of the climbers, where exactly they’re trapped, and how fast that storm moves in.”

“Ungh. Has anything ever happened to him up there?”

“During a rescue?”

“Up there in general. A rescue or a normal climb.”

“Well, I’m sure Nick told you all about the rescue where he practically jumped off of the mountain to save a climber who didn’t listen and went outside the boundaries.”

“Yeah, and that really scares me.”

“We’ve all had minor scrapes and brushes with danger up there... Mother Nature can be a formidable enemy and she demands respect. Most of the danger comes from the climbers themselves. We had one... You know, you probably don’t need to fill your head with the things that’ve gone wrong up there though.” Yeah, she’d rather not tell the story behind the scar on his left thigh. Let him explain that one.

“Okay,” Maria sighed. “It’s just... I just got him back and I’m not willing to lose him again.”

“I won’t lie, there’re times when it’s very dangerous, but it’s not somethin’ we face on a daily basis.” She bit her lip as she considered her next words. “I know what the guys are facing because I do the same job, so I’ve never been in your shoes. All I can tell you is we do the job because we love it and when we’re up there our minds have to be completely focused on what we’re doin’. That focus can be the difference between life and death... you know what I’m sayin’?”

“I think I’ll try not to think about it too much or it’ll drive me insane.”

Vanessa nodded. “I haven’t been in your position, Maria, because I’m one of the adrenaline junkies who climb that mountain every chance I get, but I do know that if you’re up there, worryin’ about someone down here ‘cause you know they’re worried about you... it can disturb your focus.”

“I won’t tell him about it.”

She smiled. “He’ll know, Maria. It’s just... I’m not explaining myself real well. I don’t see you as the clingy type and I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t let him know you’re concerned for his safety, which I’m pretty sure he’s gonna know. But if it gets to a point where you can’t handle him goin’ up there... that’s when it’s gonna cause a problem.”

“I’m not that clingy, don’t worry. I know he loves what he does and I’d never ask him to quit. And hey, I’m gonna be a geologist, so who knows where that’ll get me.”

She nodded. “Geologist, huh? No wonder the two of you get along so well,” she laughed.

“Yeah, there have to be some similarities, huh?”

“I’ve got a feelin’ you two are gonna make it interesting around here.”

Maria snorted. “Probably.” She stretched where she stood and yawned. “I think I’m gonna go to bed now. It’ll be nice to sleep in a normal bed again.”

Vanessa nodded and grinned. “Definitely somethin’ I always look forward to every time I come back down. Sleepin’ bag will never replace the comfort of an actual bed.” She handed Maria the apartment keys and walked over to the door, pulling it open. “I’ll see ya ‘round, Maria.”

“Yeah,” she walked at the door as well, “I think you will.”

“Oh, if you need to run out for anything, there’s a small grocery store at the end of the block. They’re just a neighborhood store so they usually close up around 10pm but they’re open by 7am every mornin’.”

“Cool, thanks,” Maria waved when the other girl stood in the hallway. “G’night.” She closed the door after the other girl had started to walk to the exit and glanced around the room. Oh, yeah, the apartment definitely needed some help as far as decorating was concerned.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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

Part 47

Post by Double Trouble » Sat Jan 01, 2011 8:50 am

Eva: Lol, well in spite of those two missing things we’re glad you enjoyed that last chapter. However, why don’t we welcome the New Year with some M&L and some M&M.

Amy and Carson’s conversation was definitely a good step in the right direction. You’re so right about that! That support is so important.

Cardinal: That’s it exactly! Sometimes parents just have trouble letting go of the reins.

Earth2Mother: Lol, the apartment’s not that bad, just… well, just decorated (or not) by Michael. Yup, you’re right about that.

Michael… living like a monk… yeah, probably didn’t happen. However, he wasn’t being the local slut either.

Carson hasn’t quite changed his opinion just yet. We’ll see whether or not he actually gives Michael – and his relationship with Maria – a chance when dinner comes around.

mary mary: Vanessa knows what she’s talking about. And Amy, well, she knew it was past time to tell Carson a few things.

Natalie36: Thanks for reading!

Alien_Friend: A longer update shall be posted. :)

Carson does only want what’s best for Maria but unfortunately he’s gone about it the wrong way. After seeing her daughter reunited with Michael Amy knew she was going to have to be the one to get her stubborn husband to listen to reason. Carson hasn’t realized yet that he and Michael have one very important thing in common: their love for Maria.

Michael has chosen his friends wisely.

kismet: Happy belated birthday!

Yep, Carson loves his daughter and wants the best for her… he’s just gotta realize that he’s got to let her go because following her heart is what she needs to do to be happy.

Wait no more. :)

begonia9508: It’s true… what would they do?

Carson didn’t have much of a leg to stand on when faced with Amy’s arguments, did he?

sarammlover: No, not totally. :) Amy, what’s not to love?


Part 47

The cabin was quiet as Liz entered ahead of Max later that night. Kyle and Tess had decided to drive over to the nearby lake and take a romantic walk in the moonlight, giving them some time alone. She and Max had flirted all evening, making out when they could sneak away from the others and kissing at every possible opportunity. Now that they were alone she could feel her nerves rearing up again and she startled when his hand brushed against her shoulder.

“Jeez, Liz, relax,” he said with a teasing smile. “You’d think you were a nervous virgin just waitin’ for her overanxious boyfriend to make a move.”

“Sorry,” she muttered as he helped her out of her coat and hung it up for her. She knew what he was doing but she went with it, feeling herself relax at his undemanding presence. He had made no secret of the fact that he wanted her and she knew that one word from her was all it would take to make him back off. That was just Max though and he would never put what he wanted ahead of her comfort.

Max wandered into the kitchen after locking the front door, giving her time to decide what she wanted to do while he debated whether or not to make a pot of coffee. The small light over the stove was on so he didn’t bother to turn the overhead light on. Desire was thrumming through his veins and he couldn’t even concentrate on such a small decision. He opened the refrigerator door and stared sightlessly at the contents until his hand was pushed aside and the door pushed shut again.

Liz leaned back against the refrigerator and looked up into his heated gaze as her hands settled on his chest. She played with his buttons for a few moments before slipping them free and separating the panels of his shirt to trace her fingertips over his muscled chest and abdomen. She could feel the tension in him, the uncertainty that she was ready for this next change in their relationship.

Max’ eyes darkened when she looked up at him through her lashes and he saw the flirtatious sparkle in her eyes. His hands came up and his palms rested flat on the refrigerator on either side of her head, watching her to see what her next move would be. He chuckled roughly when her hands inched down to tug on his belt. “Goin’ right for the main course, huh?” he whispered, brushing her hands aside as he leaned in to kiss her slowly.

She growled and latched onto his belt, unbuckling it and then attacking the snap and zipper on his jeans. “Foreplay’s fine but I’ve had enough of it.”

He shook his head and let her have her way, intending to change her mind. It was his turn to growl as her hand wrapped around him and he smiled when he heard the little whimper she couldn’t hold back. She mumbled something against his lips and it took a moment for her words to register in his lust-addled brain. As soon as they did he forced his hand lower to unfasten her jeans, sliding inside and pausing when he realized she was bare beneath.

Liz chuckled when she felt him harden even more. “Surprise,” she whispered, amused by his reaction. She trailed kisses along his jaw, down along the strong column of his throat, and over his chest to give one of his nipples an experimental lick. “Told you, we don’t need any more foreplay… I’m hot, wet, and I was ready hours ago.”

It took everything he had not to come at the needy, demanding words spoken in her low, husky voice. “Shirt,” he mumbled. He quickly stripped the jeans from her, uncaring when the cuff refused to let go of her left ankle. He was jerking his own shirt off when he felt her pulling his wallet from his back pocket.

“Not there,” he huffed.

“You’re outta condoms?” she asked, disbelief coloring her tone.

“Huh-uh, front left pocket.”

“I’ve never known a guy to carry them anywhere but their wallet.” She tossed his wallet on the counter and dug around in his pocket to pull one of the foil-covered packets out.

“Damages ‘em.”

She stared at it for a moment before looking up at Max. “Have you ever…?”

“Without a condom? Nope.” His dad had scared the hell out of him with that talk and it had stuck with him. “You?”

She shook her head. “No way.” Her mom hadn’t really been present when she had reached that age but his mom had stepped in and that was one talk she would never forget. That talk had scared her to the point that she had never made the mistake of having sex without protection and she still got tested faithfully every single year.

“Then we’d better not let this be the first time for that,” he said, taking the packet from her and ripping it open. “It’s tempting, but we’ll wait for that pleasure.”

She nodded and let her hand wrap around him again, trying not to wonder what it would feel like to have him inside her without even that much between them. She shivered at that thought and took the condom from him, rolling it over his hard length to distract her.

“No foreplay, huh?”

“Huh-uh, but if you don’t go to sleep right after there’s always post-play.”

He snorted and shook his head at her when she put her hands on his shoulders and he caught the backs of her thighs when she jumped up. He leaned forward to press her back against the refrigerator door and kissed her as he entered her slowly. He had imagined their first time many times over, right down to the last detail, but the reality left no room for his fantasies and he knew they would have to wait for another time.

Liz threw her head back when he angled his hips slightly so that he was hitting her G-spot with near perfect accuracy. Her fingers threaded through his short hair, holding him close and guiding his lips as he kissed his way down her throat. She bit her bottom lip hard when his hips started to move faster and he started to suck on her neck.

Max felt her hands move down to his shoulders, fingernails biting into his flesh as moaned loudly. His hands gripped her thighs tighter and he lifted his head, capturing her mouth for a heated kiss as his hips slammed into her. He was only seconds behind her when he came and he dropped his head against her shoulder as he fought to catch his breath.

“Worth the wait.”

He chuckled, his breath gusting against her breast. “That a question?”

“Statement of fact,” she said, grateful for the support of the refrigerator at her back.

“I love you,” he whispered. “So much.”

“Max?”

He kissed her shoulder as he leaned back to meet her gaze. “Hmm?” He let her down and took care of things before gathering their clothes up.

“How long?” Her right hand slid up over his chest when he came back to her. “How long have you known that you had feelings for me?”

He chuckled roughly. “Don’t ever tell me I talk too much again.” He shoved their clothes in her arms before picking her up. “Let’s take this to bed.”

She kicked her left leg up, catching her jeans when they jerked up and tugging the cuff over her foot. “It would totally kill the mood if you tripped and we ended up on the floor.”

“That could’ve killed the mood about five minutes ago.” Max carried her into his room and kicked the door shut, hitting the light switch with his elbow and turning on the lamp beside the bed. “You wanna know how long I’ve been in love with you? Or when I realized that what I felt for you wasn’t just friendship?”

“Yes.”

He sat her on the foot of the bed and crouched down in front of her, taking the clothes from her and tossing them aside. “Two years ago,” he said as he rested his hands on her thighs. “You were hookin’ up with Brad Malone at the time. It was one of the rare occasions you ever let a guy stay over.”

“Yeah, he was a total waste of time.” She was staring at his hands as they started to rub against her thighs.

That guy had been a major waste of her time, he agreed silently. “You came into the kitchen after he left an’ you were wearin’ one of my dress shirts…”

“Okay, that’s nothin’ new. I’ve been stealin’ your shirts for years.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “Girl, you walked in the kitchen and leaned up against the doorframe and I damn near stopped breathin’. Your hair was all messed up an’ sexy and your legs were bare… God, I got hard so fast I’m surprised I didn’t sprain my dick.”

“And when did you know you were in love with me?”

“June 21st, last year.”

Her eyes widened in surprise. “You know the exact day?” She frowned when his expression sobered and she reached up to take his face in her hands. There was something significant about the date, she realized. June 21st, June 21st, why did the date sound familiar? “Oh, Max,” she whispered when realization suddenly dawned.

His father had been rushed to the hospital on Father’s Day the year before after having what they had quickly learned was a massive heart attack. After surgery he had spent the next three days in the intensive care unit, his condition critical. Max had been a rock for his mother and he hadn’t once left the hospital until the doctors had declared his father stable enough to be moved to a private room.

She had stayed there with them, unable to do much more than be there for them if they needed anything and she had taken him home at his mother’s request once they had been assured that his father was going to be alright. He had been physically exhausted but emotionally he had been on overload and she had known it wouldn’t be much longer before the strength he had been relying on to hold him together dissipated.

It had been early in the morning when they had gotten home and she taken care of him, making sure he ate, getting him into the shower, and then into bed. She hadn’t left his side, helping him through the emotional aftermath of his father’s heart attack, and later watching over him as he slept. It would never have occurred to her to leave him alone at that time; he was her best friend and he had needed her. She’d had no idea that her actions that day had made so much of an impact on him though.

“That’s when I knew,” he said with a smile.

Liz wrapped her legs around him and pulled him close as her fingers traced over his lips. “You amaze me, Max.” She covered his mouth when he opened his mouth. “Do not make a crack about how good you are when it comes to sex. That goes without saying,” she said, moving her hand and kissing him.

“It’s not just sex,” he countered. “It’s makin’ love and I’m gonna teach you the difference.” The words were a promise as he lowered her to the mattress and followed her down.

*****

It was already past 3am when Michael quietly opened the front door of his apartment. He switched the light on and blinked a few times before his eyes became accustomed to the light that was much brighter than the streetlamps outdoors. His shoulders hurt as he shrugged his jacket off and let it drop to the ground carelessly. It had felt like hours that he had been hanging headfirst in that damn tight crevasse the two climbers had been trapped in. His arms had been stretched out to hold one of the guys with a tight grip, keeping him from falling in deeper, while Tony and Nick had been busy trying to get the injured climber out first.

He frowned when he saw an unexpected object sitting on the mantle above the chimney. He walked towards it, his eyes still hurting from the light. His heart clenched when he recognized it.
A picture of Maria and him back in Roswell. It had been a fixture on her nightstand during their time together, framed in an old wooden picture frame. Maria must’ve been investigating, he thought. He had taken it before he left and he had kept it buried in one of his drawers. He let his fingers brush against it before glancing at the slightly open bedroom door. A smile lifted his lips and he felt new energy inside. Maria was here waiting for him and there was nothing that could feel more right at the time.

He kicked his shoes off and walked into his bedroom quietly, intending to check on her before he took the much-needed and well-deserved hot shower. She was stretched out in every possible direction on his bed, hardly making it possible for him to find a place to sit. Her hair was spread out on the pillow, a few strands hanging in her face and he used his left hand to brush it back gently.

Maria stirred in her sleep when she felt a slight touch, not ready to wake up. The mattress under her was moving slightly and she slowly began to realize where she was. “Michael?” she mumbled, her eyes still closed.

“Hey, baby,” he whispered as he brushed a kiss against her cheek. “I’m gonna grab a shower, but I wanted to let you know I’m home.”

She grabbed his collar, still half-dazed, but wanting to keep him from leaving. “What time is it?”

“Late... after three.”

She groaned slightly. “’nother kiss.”

He smiled at her sleepy demand and leaned down to give her a proper kiss this time.

She let go of his collar when it became too exhausting to keep her arm up. “Thanks,” she mumbled stupidly.

Quiet laughter rumbled in his chest as he shook his head at her. “Go back to sleep,” he whispered. “I’ll be back after my shower.”

She felt him leaving again, but her mind was still too dazed from sleep to complain about it. She turned over to hug the pillow, planning to go back to sleep when she heard the shower being turned on. Involuntarily, a picture of a naked Michael entered her mind and allowed her eyes to open fully.

Michael wandered into the bathroom, stripping his clothes off and leaving them in a pile on the floor. He paused in front of the mirror and checked his reflection. His eyes were slightly bloodshot from lack of sleep and he was in need of a shave. Should he shave? he wondered as he ran his right hand over his face. He’d think about it after his shower. He turned the water on as hot as he could stand it and stepped into the tub, groaning quietly when the pounding water hit the sore muscles all over his body. God, he loved his shower! It was one of the best things about the apartment.

Maria wasn’t able to resist the temptation as she forced her body to sit up straight. The room was dark but she could see a small line of light at the bottom of the bathroom door. She ran her hands over her face and through her hair, forcing herself to wake up fully before she climbed out of bed.

She hissed when her bare feet touched the cold floor. Ungh, a fluffy carpet had to be added to the growing list of things they needed to buy for the apartment.

Her left hand reached out to find the doorknob for the bathroom door, fumbling in the dark. She opened it and leaned into the doorframe, watching the outline of Michael’s body through the shower curtain.

Michael let his hands rest flat against the wall as he leaned forward and let the water pound on the back of his neck and shoulders. He was exhausted physically, but inside he felt more alive than he had in so long. Coming home to Maria, sleeping in his bed, was something he had never thought he would experience and he smiled tiredly as he wondered what she’d think if he went out there and woke her up after his shower.

He chuckled to himself. Nah, no need to wonder. He knew she might grumble for a few minutes just to put on a show, but before long she’d pull him down on the bed with her.

Maria straightened up from where she was leaning against the doorframe and walked further into the bathroom. His back was to her behind the semi-transparent shower curtain, so he hadn’t realized she was there yet. She glanced down at herself. She was just wearing one of his tee shirts and her panties. Should she strip down? Or leave that to him?

The second, she decided as she reached out to pull the curtain back slowly, making very little sound. The muscles in his body were aching; she could see it from the way he leaned against the wall with his hands.

Michael glanced back over his shoulder when he heard the curtain move and he couldn’t stop the smile when he saw Maria standing there. He turned around as he straightened up, wiping the water from his eyes and holding his other hand out to her. “Lookin’ a little lonely out there.”

She placed her small hand in his and let him gently pull her under the shower. “Did everything go okay up there?” she asked, recognizing the signs of exhaustion in his features.

“Yeah, just took time with their location and the wind from the storm that’s buildin’ up there.”
He tugged her up against his body and wrapped his arms around her as he stared down into her eyes.

Her hands roamed over his back, adding a little pressure now and then. “I’m gonna help ya with your aching muscles in the morning,” she promised.

“I’m not really feelin’ ‘em that much right now. Wouldn’t turn down a mornin’ massage though,” he said with a teasing grin.

The tee shirt she was wearing was soaked and clinging tightly to her body. She stood on her tiptoes to brush a kiss against his lips. “How long are ya still on call?”

He shook his head. “Technically until 6am but they won’t send us out again after that one. They’ll call up a reserve team if it’s needed.” His hands brushed over the soaked material as he edged further down to the hem so he could get a grip on it. “That’s gotta be getting heavy... wanna get rid of it?”

She nodded and pulled her arms up so he could help her.

Michael fought with the stubborn material for a couple of minutes before he was finally able to peel it off of her. He leaned out and threw it towards the sink where it landed with a wet splat. “I would’ve just thrown it in the tub but I’m not riskin’ one of us trippin’ on it... really don’t wanna end tonight in the hospital,” he muttered as his fingers hooked in the waistband of her panties. “Sorry, but they’ve gotta go too.”

“No problem with that,” she whispered.

He chuckled roughly as he knelt down in front of her to work the wet material down over her legs. He tossed them away as he leaned back to look up at her. “Perfection,” he whispered, loving the way the water slid over her skin, leaving it glistening and sleek.

She blushed slightly at his comment. She wasn’t used to being watched like this anymore. No other man had managed to look at her like this in the last two years.

His hands moved over her body, re-familiarizing himself with it. “No one ever has or ever will make me feel the way you do,” he admitted as he met her gaze.

A smile tugged at the corner of her lips. “Ditto.” She tried to get rid of the huge lump in her throat.

Michael couldn’t believe how nervous he felt. He had made love with this woman more times than he could count, but being with her again was so unbelievable it was making his head swim. He cleared his throat and smiled. “I thought that night in the tent would get me over feelin’ nervous, but damn, it’s still there.” He laughed quietly as his hands settled on her hips and his forehead rested against her stomach.

Maria ran her hand through his wet hair, taking in several deep breaths to get her heartbeat under control. “I’ve missed you so much, Michael.”

Her touch and her words calmed him, settled his nerves, and he pressed a kiss to her belly as he stood up and cradled her face in his big hands. “I love you, Maria,” he whispered against her lips. His mouth settled over hers, kissing her deeply as he pressed her back against the wall.

She groaned slightly when her skin came into contact with the cold wall, but it was just a matter of seconds until she got used of it. Her hands held onto his shoulders to help steady her since her knees seem to get weaker with every passing second. She broke the kiss, panting, as she stared into his heated eyes. “I love you, too.” Chuckling a little, she shook her head. “It’s crazy how much I love you.”

“Not crazy,” he muttered in between hungry kisses. “Right... the rightest thing in my life.” He could feel the slight trembling in her legs and he grasped her thighs to lift her up so she could wrap her legs around him.

She moaned when his movement brought their bodies, and especially their lower bodies, into contact. God, how long had it been since she’d had sex without pretending the man in front of her was him?

Michael groaned when she shifted her lower body against him and he slipped one hand between them to tease her. She was hot and so wet. “Not in a hurry are you?” he asked, laughing raggedly.

“It’s been so long, Michael,” she breathed against his lips.

“Too long,” he agreed. He could feel how taut her body was as he touched her, keeping her on the edge. “I don’t have any protection in the shower,” he said gruffly.

“I’m on the pill,” she told him.

He groaned. “Are you sure?”

“I’ve never slept with anyone without a condom. Well, that’s no one but you, I guess. What about you?”

He shook his head. “No, I’d never take that risk with anyone else.”

She smiled lazily. “Then I’m sure.”

He smiled and shifted, lining his erection up and checking her eyes for his next move. She gave him just the slightest nod and his hips shot forward, filling her with one hard thrust. He stilled, resting against her and kissing her slowly as she adjusted to him.

Maria gasped. She had totally forgotten just how good he felt inside her. Sex with Michael had always been satisfying whether they had done it slow or wild... he was always able to make her crazy with his touch and his movements, which were hungry and gentle at the same time.

Michael felt the subtle indicators that she was ready and he was amazed at how easily they had fallen in sync with each other again. His hips kept up a steady pace, giving her pleasure and slowly letting the pressure build as his hands traced over her breasts and sides. He lowered his head to nip at her pulse point before soothing it with his tongue.

“I’m close,” she told him hoarsely. Normally sex between them had been a lot of teasing and preventing each other from coming too soon, but she couldn’t do that today. She wasn’t able to hold back for what she had waited for since the first time she had seen him again.

He smiled at her admission. He loved being with her like this. It didn’t matter if they were playing around and teasing each other to the brink of madness or if they were so desperately in need of each other that they couldn’t wait another second... he just loved being with her. “Then it’s time for that ultimate adrenaline rush,” he whispered, kissing her deeply as his hips picked up speed and he pushed her over the edge.

He was right behind her and his eyes nearly rolled back in his head. He had never felt such a rush or such a feeling of absolute peace with anyone but her. She could blow his mind with a single kiss or soothe him with the gentlest of touches and he knew he’d never love anyone else.

Maria wrapped her arms tightly around him, as if her embrace could prevent him from ever leaving her again. She knew he’d had his reasons back in Roswell and yes, she was still mad that he hadn’t told her the truth back then, but she also believed they wouldn’t be here yet with their feelings if the past had happened differently.

It had hurt to lose him, but maybe it was a necessary chapter of their relationship, something they needed to happen to realize that no one else could ever be a part of their hearts. The last two years had felt like waiting for something good in life, and now finally it had happened again.

She was scared of losing him and she was pretty sure she wouldn’t shake that fear completely, but that was probably normal.

Michael stared into her eyes as their hearts began to slow back into a normal rhythm and even through the haze of sated passion he could see the tiniest bit of fear. “I’m never leavin’ you again, Maria.” He kissed her gently. “Never,” he promised fiercely.

She nodded, exhausted. “Okay.”

He smiled and kissed her once more. “Whatcha say we get outta here and go climb in that big bed?”

“Best idea ya ever had,” she admitted with a smirk, still holding onto his shoulder with one hand when he released her a little more. “We should clean up first though, huh?” she asked, taking the shower gel from the small shelf in the corner of the shower.

He chuckled and shook his head. “I think you’re playin’ with fire, but you know how much I love to play in the shower so I’m not gonna argue with you.”

She snorted and gestured from him to turn around when she poured some gel in her hands, rubbing it on his back and adding pressure to loosen his muscles up.

He bit his bottom lip and groaned when she immediately found the knotted muscles. “Some days you gotta wonder what people are thinkin’,” he muttered, shaking his head as he leaned forward to brace his hands on the wall.

“Ya talkin’ about the people ya rescued?” she asked while letting her hands wander to his lower back.

“Um-hmm... shouldn’t have been up there without a guide. Neither one of ‘em was prepared to be at that altitude.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose tiredly. “I would’ve liked to kick their asses for bein’ so damn stupid.”

She smiled and pressed a kiss to his shoulder. “Ya know, the fact that you save lives and all... it’s really kinda sexy.”

He glanced over his shoulder, right eyebrow lifted in interest. “Sexy, huh?”

“Uh-huh.” She winked at him. “Turn around,” she ordered gently.

He did as she said, watching her intently.

She grabbed the bottle again and poured more gel in her hands before starting to rub it over his strong chest. “Not that ya need any job to be sexy,” she continued. “I love the way you look.”

“You know it’s not gonna take much to start things all over again, right? It’s been a long two years,” he growled as he grabbed the bottle of gel. In spite of his teasing words they were both exhausted and while he’d be happy to engage in another round with her he’d like to be horizontal next time.

She let the water wash away the bubbles from his chest before leaning in and placing a kiss against it. “Just want you to know that ya really turn me on like no one else could, Michael Guerin.”

Her words made him smile and he nodded, absently running his soapy hands over her body as he stared into her eyes. “The past couple of years... it hasn’t been easy and I’m not insinuating that I think it should’ve been, not for me anyway.” He shook his head when she started to speak. “You already know I haven’t stayed celibate while we’ve been apart but... no one else has ever touched me the way you do.” He took her hand and pressed it against his chest right over his heart. “My heart’s never belonged to anyone else... and it never will. I’ve been with a couple other women and I wish now I could take that back, but it was always... it was never right and I always felt empty afterwards. Hell, I may be a guy but I’m not stupid, I know what was missin’.”

“Maybe being with others was necessary to find out how important we are to each other, Michael. We don’t have to wonder one day if there could’ve been something else with a different person because we’ve both experienced it and we know it just... sucked.”

He grinned. Being with Mork the Dork sucked, he thought triumphantly. “Never wanna be with anyone else,” he promised as he pressed her back against the wall to kiss her, his mouth hot and hard against hers.

She groaned. “Who’s playing with fire now?”

He chuckled. “Are we clean enough yet?”

“Think so.”

“Good, ‘cause I’m about dead on my feet.”

“Let’s get out then.” She reached past him to turn the water off.

Michael got out and grabbed an old beach towel off of the hook behind the door, quickly drying off and then giving Maria a hand. He rolled his eyes when he saw the face she made when he rubbed the towel over her skin. He had a feeling she had just mentally added towels to the list of things they needed to buy.

“Ya know I’m gonna change some things up here, right? I mean, we haven’t really figured out the living situation yet, but...” She shrugged.

He snorted. “I’m sure our first shoppin’ trip’s gonna take a while.”

She nodded. “You can count on that. Hell, I don’t even wanna think about how we’re getting all my stuff down here.”

“That’ll be easy enough to do. Um, my couch? It stays... I love that couch. It’s comfortable and it’s long enough for me to actually lay down on it.”

“I think you can keep your couch. I like it.”

“Okay... anything else you can change. Just, maybe we can keep colors like pink to a bare minimum, okay?”

“Think we could get a bigger apartment for us? I mean, not immediately, but maybe in the near future?”

“Yeah. This place isn’t that big and like I said there’s the cabin I’ve been workin’ on... And if you don’t really care for it, that’s cool, we’ll find a place in town. I was lookin’ at makin’ a move early next spring, so... think ya can hold out that long?”

She nodded. “Think so. Guess I’ll be here alone a lot of the time anyway.”

He reached up to scratch his eyebrow. “Only until we get things up and runnin’ with the outfit... I won’t be makin’ the climbs as frequently then.”

“Running an outfit will take a lot of your time too, especially at first, Michael.” She reached up to take his chin in her hand when he glanced at the ground guiltily. “Hey, but that’s okay. I know what I’m getting myself into with it and I want you to do what ya love.”

“I love you,” he whispered as he lifted his eyes to hers. “And don’t think I missed that you didn’t agree about decorating without too much pink,” he teased with a smile.

She chuckled. “You love me, you won’t say anything about it.”

“No, ‘cause any time I start to you’ll find a way to distract me.”

She took the towel from him and threw it on the floor. “Takin’ me to bed now?”

“See? Distractin’ me,” he said as he scooped her up in his arms and carried her into the bedroom.

“Is it workin’?”

“Was there ever a time it didn’t work?” he growled as he lowered her to the bed and followed her down.

“Probably not,” she teased, “but I like it that way.”

“You always did.”

“C’mere,” she reached out for him with both of her arms.

He smiled and settled into her arms, staring down at her. “Got somethin’ in mind?”

She chuckled and run her hand over his tired features. “What about just sleepin’ now, huh?”

“Sleep’s good,” he admitted tiredly.

“Yeah. And tomorrow we’ll hang out lazily before we need to go and face the devil.”

“I guess if we’ve got to face him.” He smiled and shook his head. “I’m ready to face them, Maria.”

“Ya better be, buddy.”

He nodded. “I’m ready to put this behind us so we can get on with our lives.”

“Ditto.”

Michael rolled onto his back, tugging her with him so she could settle against his chest.

Maria sighed. “We just have to survive tomorrow and then we’ll figure out about the move an’ all.”

“We’ve survived two years apart,” he said, yawning widely. “I think we can survive one dinner with your parents."

“Yeah,” she said determinedly, ignoring her worries for a moment.

“Don’t worry about it,” he mumbled and pressed a sleepy kiss to her forehead. “Nothin’ can keep us apart now.”

*****

Maria woke up and glanced around, blinking against the light that was streaming in through the window behind the bed. It only took a look at the man sleeping soundly beside her to remember the night before and she smiled. Things were finally starting to feel right again, she mused as she reached out to trace her fingertips over his strong features. She giggled when his face scrunched up at the disturbance and a moment later he rolled over and buried his face in the pillow. She had never understood how he could sleep like that without suffocating himself.

She glanced at the alarm clock on his side of the bed, surprised to see that it was nearly 10am. She rarely slept that late, but she supposed she had a good reason. She ran her fingers through his hair and down over his shoulders. Her poor baby was tired. He’d had such a long night after a long week. She smiled. At least she had put him to bed with a smile on his face, she thought smugly. She rubbed his back for a few minutes before deciding that it would probably be good for him to have something to eat when he got up.

She leaned over him to kiss his cheek before rolling out of bed and getting dressed. She was glad now that she’d had the foresight to bring an overnight bag. As soon as she was presentable she wandered out to the kitchen and made a pot of coffee, starting it and then opening the refrigerator.

“Should’ve known,” she muttered disparagingly as she stared at the sad, sad contents. “Beer and an old block of cheese... some things never change. Looks like shopping isn’t gonna wait.”

She glanced longingly at the coffee pot that was brewing so slow that it was torture. She could probably make it to the corner store and back before the damn thing had finished brewing. She grabbed Michael’s keys and headed for the door before a thought hit her and she hurried back to his room to leave a note on her pillow so he wouldn’t wake and think she had just left.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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

Part 48

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:38 am

kismet: Happy New Year to you too!

Thanks!

Lol, that had to be one helluva talk, right?

Yup, things are rolling smoothly for Max and Liz. His parents will definitely be happy for them.

Nope, Michael wouldn’t deny her even if she wanted to decorate the entire place in pink right now. Hopefully she won’t do that to the poor man though.

Glad that part made ya happy. :)

Earth2Mother: Thanks, glad ya enjoyed! ;)

That realization will come in time. Max’s realization… yeah.

Dinner, well, we can’t say, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Natalie36: Happy New Year to you too! Glad ya liked the way we kicked the New Year off, lol!

keepsmiling7: Glad that made your year, lol.

At that point it was important for Liz to make that first move. It really let Max know she was ready to change things between them.

begonia9508: Well, as long as there’re no complaints about us being in a naughty mood… then we might just be in that kinda mood again. :)

Alien_Friend: Awesome! Max has waited forever for Liz and he knew he couldn’t rush her. He’s just glad they’re finally on the same page.

Happy New Year to you too!

mary mary: Gotta get the New Year rolling with a bang. :)

It is a good thing to suffer from and far too many people are not ‘suffering’ enough.

No blipping for MSH. ;)

killjoy: Hey, WE never said that, lol.

Hmm, sounds like a science experiment gone outta control. ;)

Eva: Like the way we decided to ring it in, huh? :) Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

sarammlover: Lol, we’re glad ya enjoyed this update. These couples certainly pulled out all the stops for this New Year, lol.



Part 48

The corner store was a decent-sized store and it had a good variety of items available to shoppers. She wandered through the store as she debated what Michael would like for breakfast. Omelets. Pancakes maybe?

She was browsing through the fresh vegetables when she heard someone call her name and she turned to see Vanessa walking towards her. “Hi,” she said with a smile. “I thought you didn’t live over here?”

“Oh, I don’t,” Vanessa answered, hooking a thumb over her shoulder. “Court does and we were just hangin’ out. Not that grocery shoppin’ is what we normally do to hang out... we’re not that lame,” she whispered.

Maria smiled. “I’d hope not.”

“Hey, Vanessa, do we wanna eat pasta for lunch or...” Courtney froze, when she saw who her best friend was talking to.

Maria forced a smile. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Courtney replied. Great! She knew she had to face her sooner or later, but given the choice she really would’ve preferred later.

“So... you live around here?” Maria asked. Yeah, way to be obvious, DeLuca!

“Just around the corner, yeah.”

Excellent! How great was it to have Michaels’ ex just around the corner? She silenced her sarcastic inner voice and nodded. Jeez, what was she supposed to say now? “So, the guys got back pretty late,” she said, turning the conversation back to Vanessa.

“Yeah, Tony sent me a text. It was after 3am.”

Courtney resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Maria hadn’t actually taken Michael from her; she’d known he wasn’t likely to ever commit to a relationship. Of course, now she had proof of that and it still stung. “So, um... I guess we’ll be seeing you around from now on.”

Maria nodded. “Yeah... guess it’s gonna be pretty busy for a while though. My stuff’s all in California so we’ll have to get it here.”

“I’m sure you guys will figure it out,” Vanessa said with a smile. She had a feeling Michael would be making sure that was all taken care of very soon.

It just figured that she’d be nice. “Well, maybe you can do something about his lack of decorating style,” Courtney said with a smile. “God knows, he doesn’t have any.”

“Yeah, there really is a lack of... everything in his apartment.” Maria felt bad, she didn’t want to talk about Michael and her in front of his ex, but not talking at all would be rude too.

“Well, I’m sure you’ll fix that for him.” She forced another smile before glancing at Vanessa. “I’ve got a couple other things to pick up at the other end of the store, so why don’t I catch up with you in a few minutes?”

“Okay, sounds good.”

Maria waited until Courtney was gone before speaking up again. “Sorry, I don’t wanna make her uncomfortable or anything.”

Vanessa smiled reassuringly. “She’ll be fine, Maria. It’s just gonna take some time. It’s actually better that she deal with this now.”

“Okay, just don’t wanna... ya know, rub it in her face that I’m with Michael and she isn’t.”

“Court wanted somethin’ with Michael that was never gonna happen. Deep down she knew it, but you can’t really stop yourself from hopin’ for more when you’ve got your heart set on somethin’.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s right,” Maria admitted. “I think I’m gonna checkout and then run outta here again.”

Vanessa nodded with a smile. “Cool, I’ll see ya ‘round, Maria.”

“Pretty sure of it,” Maria replied happily. Okay, technically, Vanessa was one of Michael’s exes too, but she could imagine getting to know the girl better. “Bye for now.”

“Later, gator.” She grinned and waved as she walked off.

Maria walked to the little counter and paid for the items she had picked out for breakfast. She left the shop and crossed the small street that would take her back to Michael’s. Thinking that checking in with her mom about dinner would be a good idea she fumbled her cell out of the pocket of her jacket and called her mom’s cell. Hopefully it’s not Dad who picks up, she thought horrified at that possibility.

Amy glanced at the counter when her cell phone rang and she smiled when a glance at the caller ID showed Maria’s name. “Hi, honey!”

“Hey, mom... so, you’re still… I don’t know, alive.”

Amy snorted. “I can handle your father, Maria.”

“Uh-huh, you’re the only one in the whole world.”

“Well, you should know how that feels then, huh?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “What’d he say? Bet he was super excited,” she muttered.

“He wasn’t exactly getting ready to throw a party or anything, but he was calmer than he has been in the past.”

“Really?” Maria asked, surprised. “What’d ya do, drug him?”

Amy snickered. “There may have been a little wine involved. But seriously, Maria, just give your dad a chance.”

“Give him a chance? Mom, he gave us no chance at all in the past.” She took a deep breath. “So he agreed to tonight dinner?”

“He’s agreed to dinner and once he’s finished playing out in the woods, tracking down some poor defenseless creature, he’ll be in a good mood.”

“Yeah, I’d appreciate it if he’s already satisfied his hunting interests before tonight.”

Amy chuckled. “Maria DeLuca, your father would not go after Michael like that!”

“Uh-huh, maybe not as long as ya got him on a leash...”

“I think we’ve reached a point where your dad’s beginning to realize that you are a grown woman and you’re gonna make your own decisions regardless of what anyone else thinks.”

“I hope so. Alright mom, I’ve gotta go make breakfast now. Will 7pm be okay for tonight?”

“That’ll be fine. And don’t worry... we’ll get this worked out.”

“Wanna have your confidence, Mom,” Maria said. “Bye for now.”

She waited until her mother had said her goodbye as well and closed her cell, feeling much better about the upcoming night. Yeah, maybe things would work out without her father hating her.

Maria opened the front door quietly and stopped to listen inside the apartment. Everything seemed to be quiet, so Michael was probably still asleep. She shut the door and walked over to place the few things she had bought on the kitchen counter.

“Oh, good,” she mumbled as she poured a cup of coffee and took it in both hands to warm them up. It was hot, but drinkable. It was almost 11am and she wondered if she should wake him up or not. Nah, she decided, I’ll get breakfast ready first.

Michael rolled over and wrapped his arms around the pillow, ready to ease right back into sleep when he caught Maria’s scent on the pillow. His eyes opened and blinked a few times to bring the piece of paper into focus. A smile graced his features as he read it and recalled the night before. Maria was back in his life and things were definitely looking up. He was stretching when the scent of cooking food registered and he sat upright, running his hands over his face to wake up. He got up and grabbed a pair of jeans on his way to the bathroom.

When he emerged, wide awake, dressed, and freshly shaved he followed his nose through the apartment and into the kitchen. He smiled to himself when he saw Maria standing at the stove, talking to the omelet that obviously wasn’t cooperating. If her skills with omelets hadn’t improved he knew it’d end up being scrambled eggs with all the trimmings.

“I hate cooking,” Maria muttered.

He chuckled quietly and walked up behind her, making just enough noise to announce his presence so he didn’t startle her. His arms came around her from behind and he nuzzled her neck. “G’mornin’.”

“Mornin’,” she leaned back against him. “How’d ya sleep?”

“Better than I have in... hmm... two years.” He kissed her neck as his hand trailed down her arm to take the spatula. “Still can’t quite get the omelet to stay together, can you?” he teased.

“Wanna do it?” she teased back

He pressed his hips against her and growled in her ear, “Always.”

She groaned slightly. “I meant the omelet, ya know?”

He snickered at her response and reached for the cheese on the counter, sprinkling it down the middle of the omelet and then letting it melt for a moment before taking the sides and folding them so that they overlapped in the middle. He held the spatula against it, letting the melted cheese seal the omelet closed and he smiled when she muttered under her breath.

“Just decided you’re gonna do breakfast from now on,” she told him.

He laughed and moved the pan from the burner, sliding the omelet on the plate waiting on the counter. “S’okay, I’ll handle breakfast if you handle dinner.”

“No problem, I’m good at dinner.”

“And even better at dessert,” he said with a grin. “Wanna split this one or you want me to make another one?”

“Me?” she asked innocently and took the plate. “We just decided you’re makin’ breakfast, so make yourself another one.” Maria winked at him with a cheeky grin.

“Somehow I knew that was comin’,” he said, shaking his head at her. He broke off a piece of bacon and popped it in his mouth, chewing slowly as he got things ready to make another omelet. “So, whatcha wanna do today?”

“I don’t know. Got any suggestions? You know the area better than I do.”

“Well...” he cleared his throat. “I could take you out to the cabin.”

“Oh, yeah, I wanna do that,” she agreed, excited. The more she thought about it, the more she came up with ideas about how it might look.

“Yeah? Cool.” He smiled and poured the egg mixture into the pan. “I’ve done a lot of work on it; I’ve got some pics around here somewhere that I took when I first started. I’ll have to dig them up later so you can see the difference.”

Maria sat down on one of the barstools at the small kitchen counter. “I’m sure it looks great. Ya have no sense of decoration, but ya always had a good imagination when it came to planning rooms and stuff.”

He snorted as he turned and motioned to their surroundings. “You think this lacks a sense of decorating style?”

“Definitely.”

He made a face. “Yeah, well, you were always better at that stuff.” He shrugged with a grin. “I’m a guy... good electronics are more important than color schemes and whatever else you’re gonna be changin’.”

“Together we’re a good team, I think,” she mumbled while chewing her omelet and sipping on her coffee.

“No doubt about that,” he agreed as he finished his omelet and eased it onto his plate. He snatched a couple pieces of bacon and added them to his plate before carrying it and a cup of coffee over to the counter to sit down next to her.

She glanced next to her when he was busy eating and shook her head in amusement when she realized that he was still eating his omelet like he used to back in Roswell. Fast. And his mouth totally full. “You’re still a pig, Michael,” she teased.

“You’re still mostly responsible for my monster appetite,” he mumbled, grinning at her.

“I guess I’ll let that count, ‘cause I like that answer. Try to behave tonight though.”

“Only until dinner’s over and we’re back here.” He paused, his fork halfway between his plate and his mouth. “You are comin’ back here with me tonight, aren’t you?”

She nodded. “Yeah.”

“Okay.” He dug back into his breakfast. “Should we drop Mork’s truck off on our way to see the cabin?”

“Yeah, good idea. I’ll give him a call after breakfast. And his name is Mark.”

“If you say so.” He shrugged when she just looked at him. “Okay, fine, his name is Mark. I’ll give him that much since he wasn’t a dick about you breakin’ up with him.”

“Yeah, he took it much better than your ex.”

“How’d you know that?”

“Just ran into BOTH of your exes in the store.”

“Both...” He winced. “Court and Vanessa?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Ran into ‘em at the store, huh? I guess that makes sense, they’re friends and Court does live in the same area. Few blocks over, but it’s the closest store.”

“Yeah, she told me about living not too far from here.”

He nodded and chewed his food thoughtfully for a few moments. “Was it too uncomfortable for you?”

“Probably worse for her than for me.”

“Yeah... she’ll be okay though. I’m more concerned about whether or not you’re okay.”

She glanced up at him and smiled slightly. “I’m okay.”

“Good.” He turned his attention back to his breakfast, quickly finishing it off.

Maria frowned when her cell started to buzz and she stood up slightly to get it out of her jeans.

“It’s Mark,” she muttered to Michael.

“Speak of the devil.” He leaned across the counter to grab a loaf of bread, digging out a slice and wrapping a piece of bacon in it. “You gonna answer it?” he asked when she just stared at the phone.

“Yeah,” she flipped it open quickly. “Hello?”

“Hey, Maria, it’s Mark.” He rolled his eyes. She’s got caller ID and she knows your voice, moron!

“Uh... yeah. How’s it goin’?”

“Good. I was wonderin’ if I could meet you somewhere and pick my truck up? Your mom’s sendin’ your dad into town for somethin’ since he got back early so I was gonna catch a ride with him. I wanted to get out for a while and check things out.”

“Ungh, my Dad’s comin’ into town?”

That had Michael’s attention. He forgot all about his food as he turned to look at her. “What’s he want?” he whispered loudly.

Maria placed a hand over Michael’s mouth so she could hear what Mark was saying.

“He’s just goin’ to the store, he’s not lookin’ for you,” Mark continued. “So, if there’s someplace we can meet that’d be cool. He doesn’t have to know anything about it. I didn’t tell him why I wanted to catch a ride with him.”

“We could meet at the lodge? Michael and I wanted to go out anyway.” She glanced at her boyfriend questioningly. “Just Mark, not my father. He needs his car,” she explained to him quietly.

Michael nodded. “Alright.” He was ready to face her father, but he’d already prepared himself to deal with the man that night. He didn’t want a surprise meeting.

“Yeah, okay. Think ya can be there in about 45 minutes?”

“45 minutes?” she asked Michael.

He nodded again. “That’s good.”

“Okay, we’ll be there then.”

“I know things ended okay with the two of you, but we don’t have to hang out with the guy or anything, right?” Michael asked after she had ended the call.

“No, we’ll just give him his car. He wants to drive around to check out the area.”

“Okay, good. I mean... I’m glad you didn’t have to deal with a messy break up, but I don’t see bein’ friends with the guy.”

Maria snorted. Michael and Mark, friends? “Me neither. Hell, no.”

Satisfied with her answer he went back to his breakfast. “You gotta do anything to get ready to go? ‘Cause if you do I can clean up in here.”

“Well, I was hoping for mornin’ sex, but I guess we don’t have time for that now.”

He snickered. “Depends on what kinda mornin’ sex you had in mind,” he said, his voice turning husky.

“The kind we used to have before school.”

He snorted. “We’ve got 45 minutes, right?” He reached out and wrapped his arm around her waist when she dropped down to stand on the floor next to him. “If I remember correctly, there were plenty of times we had less time than that.” Okay, they had been late for school most of the time, but that was beside the point. Mark could wait a few minutes.

She chuckled. “Yeah, but you’re older now, think ya still that quick and good?”

“Older?” he echoed, right eyebrow lifting at the challenge in her tone. His gaze slid over her and he grinned lazily. “Yeah, I’ll show you older. Lose the clothes.”

“All of them?” she asked innocently.

He shook his head at her. “You stopped bein’ innocent a long time ago, baby.” He pointed at the clock and waved his hand over her body. “Time’s tickin’.”

Her hands moved over the hem of the pullover she was wearing, as she locked her eyes with him and pulled it up over her head.

“Don’t stop now,” he muttered gruffly.

Her hands moved down to her jeans and she pulled the few buttons open before turning around to slide them down her legs while facing him with her backside.

“Oh, hell,” he growled under his breath. She was taking her time to tease him and he could already feel the pressure building behind his zipper. Everything about her turned him on and the sight of her skin being revealed one torturous inch at a time drove him crazy.

She turned around again and grinned when she saw his strangled expression. “Time for you to lose some of your clothes too, Michael Guerin.”

“Huh-uh, only need to lose the bare minimum,” he mumbled as he pulled his shirt over his head and reached for the snap on his jeans. “We’re about to christen the kitchen.” He used his arm to shove their plates out of the way, mindless of the noise they made as they clattered into a pile in the sink at the opposite end. He got to his feet and picked her up, sitting her on the counter and grinning at her.

She hissed at the countertop that was cold on her bare legs. “That wasn’t nice, ya know?”

He chuckled. “Well, when you can pick me up we’ll see how much I like my bare ass on the cold counter.” He winked. “Besides, won’t take but a minute and it’ll be hot.”

She took the edge of his open jeans and pulled him closer. “No doubt.”

He felt her tugging on his zipper as he kissed her, taking his time in spite of the time constraint. It would be over soon enough but he was only willing to rush so much.

It was incredible how easily they worked with each other, how natural it all came and how right it felt. Her heart still beat fast in his presence, but she felt such a safe feeling of familiarity and trust with him.

He began to kiss a trail along her throat as he made his way to her breasts and he smiled when she leaned back to give him better access. He let his fingers play over her flesh as he took one taut nipple into his mouth. Her deeply indrawn breath at his touch made him smile. She was always so responsive to his touch no matter how simple it was.

The insides of her legs squeezed his thighs, bringing him closer against her. She reached into his open jeans to caress his hard length through the fabric of his boxers.

Michael growled and brushed her hand away. “No teasin’,” he muttered.

“No teasing? So no touching?”

He lifted his head to look at her. He had never been able to say no to her when she wanted something. And it wasn’t that he didn’t want her to touch him, but damn, he was already getting close to the point of no return.

She winked at him and squeezed her legs again.

“Are you tryin’ to kill me?”

“I doubt this’ll kill ya.”

“Easy for you to say.” He tugged her closer to the edge of the counter and met her teasing gaze. “But, hell, if it kills me, I can’t think of a better way to go.”

She made a face. “I’d like it if ya stay for a while, though.”

He chuckled and shook his head. “I just got you back. I’m not goin’ anywhere.” He shifted to free himself from his jeans and he kissed her as he joined their bodies.

“I trust you,” she whispered against his lips.

He swallowed hard and swore to himself that he’d never do anything to make her lose that trust again. “God, Maria, I’m never lettin’ you go again,” he said raggedly. He started to move, quickly pushing them both towards the edge.

“Michael,” she breathed as her arms came around him in a tight grip, refusing to let anything come between them as she came.

Her inner muscles contracted around him and his eyes squeezed shut as his hips slammed into her hard and fast. He came so hard he nearly blacked out but he managed to hold on.

Maria held him against her, caressing his hair and back until he calmed down as well.

Michael laughed quietly as he lifted his head and looked at her. “I have never in my life known anyone who could drive me crazy the way you do,” he said as he kissed her gently.

“I’ve known no one I like to drive crazy more,” she countered.

He grinned. “Guess we’d better get cleaned up, huh?” That would most likely lead to them being late but that was fine with him.

“Yeah, we should to that,” she said as she hopped down from the counter and took his hand. “Come on.”

“Anywhere you go,” he promised.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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

Part 49

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:24 am

Alien_Friend: They are a perfect fit.

Maria knows that she can either deal with it like an adult or allow it to become a problem… and she’s not interested in adding complications.

The cabin and dinner are both coming soon.

mary mary: Maria has a great relationship with her mom and Amy does know how to handle Carson… which is a good thing, lol. Mark, yep, he’s actually not a bad guy… outside of the M&M equation.

begonia9508: Carson just wants what’s best for his little girl and he’s not convinced that Michael is the best thing for her. Hopefully they’ll change his mind.

Earth2Mother: Nice to see that once in a while, lol.

Lol, well, they are Michael and Maria… and there’s plenty of lost time to make up for.

Dinner is coming… soon.

Natalie36: We’ll find out if things go smoothly in this next update. Think so? Could be.

Cardinal: Lol, yeah, you’re right about that.

That hurdle might just take some work to get past.

Creamer, huh? LOL.

Eva: It does make for a great start to the day, lol.

sarammlover: Gotta wait just a little bit longer for dinner. :)



Part 49

Watching Max could easily become an addiction, Liz realized the next morning. Weak sunlight filtered in through the half-closed blinds, bathing the room in a soft, hazy light that wasn’t bright enough to disturb his sleep. It was after 10am but she didn’t care. She and Max were both late sleepers and took advantage of that at every opportunity.

She rolled her eyes when the floorboard in the hall creaked again. One of the early birds was on the prowl and she knew which one it was. Kyle and Tess had already been up for hours even though they were on vacation and Tess was staking out their door so she could pounce as soon as one of them emerged. It would serve her right if they just stayed in their room all day.

She rested her chin in her hand as she studied Max’s sleeping features. He was completely relaxed, doing that odd snort, snort, sigh thing he always did. His mouth was hanging open, which wasn’t exactly attractive… but okay, it was kinda cute. An observation he wouldn’t appreciate, she thought with a grin. His hair was standing up but that was probably mostly her fault. She smirked as she thought back over the night before. Oh, yeah, it was definitely her fault.

Her stomach growled, making her aware of her hunger and she reluctantly crawled out of bed. After a quick shower she pulled on a pair of jeans and then dug through Max’s things to steal another shirt. She glanced at the bed and smiled. He had rolled over and now he was hugging her pillow. He was so cute like that. He didn’t move a muscle when she leaned down to kiss him before going in search of coffee and something to eat.

“Well, look who’s finally emerged,” Tess said, her tone nonchalant as she flipped through a magazine.

“Yeah, that’s not obvious or anything, Tess,” Liz muttered.

“What? I’m just sittin’ here readin’ a magazine.” Her tone was innocent, her eyes scanning over… whatever.

Kyle snorted at that and quickly brought his humor under control when Tess glared at him. “I think I’ll just go back to our room and see if there’s anything on TV. Parker, there’s a fresh pot of coffee and I picked up donuts this mornin’. Plenty of chocolate or cream-filled, but I personally recommend the cream cheese croissants.”

“You don’t have to leave, Kyle,” she said with a roll of her eyes.

“I’m cool with it,” he grinned. “I don’t need to know anything about sex when it comes to my best friends.”

“I wasn’t gonna tell you anyway,” she shot back.

“Oh, yeah, whatever.” He shook his head at her as he pointed at his fiancé. “We both know she’s about to grill you for details and if I’m ever gonna be able to look Evans in the eye again I can’t know them.”

“I think you’re weird, Kyle, but since you did brave the wilds of Washington state to bring donuts and croissants, and made coffee… you may go.”

“Ah, the royal dismissal.” He winked at her. “You girls have fun. Tess, come an’ get me when you’re finished interrogating her.”

Liz went into the kitchen to fill a mug with coffee and before she had even finished that task, Tess had hopped up to sit on the counter beside her.

“So… tell me everything,” she insisted.

Liz lifted the lid on the box of donuts and studied her options. Hmm, the croissants did look really good. She bit back a grin when Tess started drumming her fingers on the counter impatiently.

“Elizabeth Parker, you know you’re dyin’ to tell me. You can’t possibly look this satisfied and not want to share! There have been plenty of girls in and out of his bed so…” he eyes widened at the look on her friends’ face. “Liz Parker, you’re jealous!” she crowed happily.

“I’m not jealous,” she denied.

“You sooo are.” She reached over and grabbed one of the French crullers, pulling a piece off and popping it in her mouth. “Kyle has some sort of sixth sense where good food’s concerned. You can put him in the middle of any city and he’ll find the best food.” She shook her head and chewed thoughtfully for a few seconds. “He’s good isn’t he?” she asked with a wicked grin.

“Yes, that’s a good ability,” Liz agreed, deliberately misunderstanding.

Tess narrowed her eyes before throwing a piece of her cruller at Liz. “You know very well I was talkin’ about Max.” Her eyes twinkled mischievously. “I’m assuming he’s the one who put that well-fucked look on your face. Either that or you’ve discovered a vibrator the rest of us are unaware of.”

Liz stuck her tongue out at Tess and brushed her hair back with her right hand. “Putting Max and the word good in the same sentence in reference to sex is like saying the Grand Canyon’s… I don’t know, neat. It’s inadequate to say the least.” She bit her lip as she wrapped both hands around her coffee mug. “What if I fuck this up, Tess?” she asked quietly.

“You won’t.”

“I don’t know anything about having a relationship!”

Tess wrapped her arm around Liz’s shoulders. “Do not over-think this and freak yourself out. Go back to your happy place,” she insisted. “Think about naked, sweaty Max doing deliciously naughty things to you.” She grinned. “Now that you’ve avoided the freak-out, think about it. You’ve been in a relationship with him your whole life. This’s just the next step.” She rubbed Liz’s arm. “Look, do not put pressure on yourself to be somethin’ you think he wants. He’s already in love with you… who you are. He knows you – very well after last night I’d imagine,” she teased with a wink. “He knows what drives you, he knows what you’re scared of, he knows what makes you happy, and he pretty much knows everything else about you too.”

“So I’m neurotic but he loves me anyway.”

Tess just grinned like a loon. “Ain’t love grand?” she asked happily. “See, that’s the beauty of it, Parker. He already knows and he’s not goin’ anywhere. You think another guy would’ve waited around as long as he has for you to open your eyes and really see him? Max Evans isn’t going anywhere.”

“Max Evans is a till-death-do-us-part kinda guy.”

“And he’s all yours, you lucky girl.”

Liz smiled as she thought about that. “He is all mine, huh?” She nodded to herself as she filled another mug with coffee and turned to leave the room. “Thanks for the advice, girl. Catch up with you later.”

Tess just grinned to herself and hopped down from the counter to go find her own guy. Yep, she rocked at giving advice. More people should ask her opinion about things, she thought as she headed for the hallway.

*****

Carson left Mark at the lodge and drove out of the parking lot, turning to the right and heading for the large supermarket located at the center of town. He was tapping his forefinger against the steering wheel in time with the music on the radio when a sign next to the road caught his attention. He glanced back over his shoulder for a moment before following the directions on the sign and ignoring the turn that would take him to the store.

A few minutes later he turned onto a gravel road that led up to the building that housed the mountain climbing outfit that Michael worked for. He parked close to the building and stepped out of the car, walking up the steps and pulling the door open.

“Afternoon,” the man behind the counter greeted as he glanced up from a stack of paperwork. “Interested in a climb?”

Carson thought about it for a moment then nodded. “Yeah.”

“Really?” Okay, he wouldn’t have pegged the man for the excursion type. “You interested in a week-long trip or maybe somethin’ a little shorter?”

“I’d like to talk to the manager, if that’s possible,” Carson told the younger man.

He nodded and pointed at an open door on the opposite wall. “His office is right behind ya.”

“Thanks.” Carson moved across the room, knocking on the door of the office.

Devin McConlin looked up from a phone call and waved the man inside, motioning to a chair in front of his desk. He watched his visitor as he finished booking a trip for a client and after he hung up he stood and leaned over to hold his hand out. “Devin McConlin,” he introduced himself.

“Carson Miller.” He took the man’s hand, throwing a wrong last name at him so he couldn’t be connected to Maria.

He sat back down. “Lookin’ for an excursion, Mr. Miller?”

“Yeah, I’m actually here for two reasons.”

“Tell me what I can help you with then.”

“Well, first I need some advices for a trip on the mountain with my family, second I’ve got a son,” he sighed heavily and shook his head. “He’s the adventurous type, ya know? I’d like to see him in college but the boy’s got his mind set on becoming a guide on the mountain and he’s very stubborn.”

“I’ve got several brochure packets I can give you for the trips. They come with DVD’s to give you an idea of what you’re getting into.” He smiled. “As for your son... guides make a decent salary. The job can be dangerous, but it’s very rewarding for the right people.”

“What kinda money are you talkin’ about when you say ‘decent’?” Carson asked, interested.

Devin shrugged one shoulder. “Guides make an average of $50,000 per year.”

Okay, that was a lot more than Carson had been thinking. He had to admit that much. “I see. What kinda qualification ya need to become a guide?”

“Anyone wanting to pursue a career as a mountain guide needs to be physically and mentally fit, they need to be focused, dedicated to the job, and they’ve got to be willing to put their life on the line if it comes to that. There are some very good training schools in the area that I could recommend if your boy’s serious.”

“Where’d your current guides go to school?”

“Well, I’ve got a couple dozen guides, Mr. Miller. My guides have been trained at schools in different areas and some of them have been trained out of state.”

“Any certain guide you’d recommend for my family trip?”

“Well, if you’re lookin’ for somethin’ a little later in the year I could send you up with one of my best teams. If you’re interested in makin’ the trip with your family you’d need several guides. The guys get along well with their groups, I’ve never had anything less than a good report about their conduct on climbs, and they were all at the top of their classes.”

“Well I want the best of the best, Mr. McConlin.”

“Then that’s the team you’d want.” He turned around and grabbed a photo album off of a shelf. He placed it on the desk and flipped it open, turning a few pages before sliding it across the desk. “These guys here, they’re the team I’d send up with you based on what you want.”

Carson leaned forward to take a look at the picture, trying to hide his surprise when he recognized Michael easily. “They,” he cleared his throat, “they seem to be very young.”

“They are. Tony and Michael are 21 and Nick’s the youngest at 19. It isn’t so much their age as it is their training and how they handle themselves on the mountain. I can assure you, these guys are well trained and they can handle any situation that comes up on the mountain.” He looked up at the other man. “You hear anything about the rescue last night?”

Cason frowned. “Rescue?”

“Um-hmm... these guys just got back from a week-long climb and they handled the rescue last night. Had a couple of people trapped up there with a storm comin’ in. They brought ‘em down safely.”

If Michael had been on that mountain, where had Marie been? Carson wondered. “Well, I don’t know if we’ll be able to come around later in the year, but maybe next.”

Devin nodded with a smile. “Well, you might miss your chance with this team. They may not be here next season.”

That got Carson’s attention. Why wouldn’t the boy still be here? “Why?” he asked, but they were interrupted when someone entered the room.

“Hey, boss, just lettin’ ya know paperwork’s done and we’re out for few days now.”

Devin grinned and nodded at Carson. “Nick, c’mon in.” He accepted the paperwork the younger man handed to him and he thumbed through it, glancing over it to be sure everything was filled out. “You boys enjoy the time off. You deserve it.”

Carson studied the young man and indentified him as another one from the photo.

“Oh, we will, it’s been a while.”

Devin signed off on the bottom of the last form in the packet before turning to file it in the in basket on the file cabinet behind him. He would need to make copies and fax them over to the rescue office before it could be filed. “Just try not to get in any trouble while you’re off.”

“Us?” Nick asked grinning.

“Yeah, I know how rowdy the three of you can be when you’re free of responsibility for a while.” He motioned to the man sitting across from him. “Nick, this’s Carson Miller. He might be lookin’ for guides for a climb. Carson, this’s Nick, one of my best guides. He’s part of the team I was tellin’ you about.”

Cason nodded, hoping the boy wouldn’t identify him. They had met briefly the other day, when the group had gotten back down.

Nick shook the man’s hand. “Hello, Mr. Miller.” His face seemed familiar, but he shrugged it off. Probably just someone I saw at the lodge, he thought.

“Your boss speaks highly of your skills,” Carson said as he studied the young man.

Nick glanced at Devin with a grin. “Really? Normally he’s happy ignoring me with Michael and Tony around.”

“That’s because you’re usually doin’ somethin’ to try my patience,” Devin said with a small smile.

Nick turned to Carson. “I’m the youngest on the team, so they kinda tend to treat me like that.”

Carson nodded. “Does that mean your teammates are more mature?”

Nick snorted. “Michael’s Mr. Responsible up on the mountain and Tony’s like the right hand man, but when they’re down and off work... no different than me.”

“No?” Hmm, how to get this kid to talk, he wondered. “So, when you guys aren’t at work you like to live it up. Party... spend time with the ladies... have a good time.”

“Some of us more than others,” Nick said with a grin.

Uh-huh, just as he had suspected. “Well, you’re young guys. It makes sense that you’d wanna enjoy things.”

“You’re only young once,” Nick agreed.

“No arguing with that logic.” Carson glanced at the photo album once more. “So, are you the party animal in the group? Get the most girls? Have the most fun out there?”

Devin frowned at his customer’s question. Why was the guy so interested in his guys and what they did off the clock? “I have an appointment with another group, so I’m sorry, but I’ll need you to leave the office with me, Mr. Miller.”

Carson nodded and stood up, following the man to the door where he shook his hand again. “Thanks for the information, Mr. McConlin. I’ll let you know if the family decides they’d like to do this.”

He nodded. “Don’t wait too long. We’re always booked up months in advance.”

“That’s the truth,” Nick agreed with a grin. “He likes to keep us busy.”

Devin shook his head. “Most of the time I have to force them to take time off.”

“Well, not this week, boss. We’re outta here for a while... gonna be out getting drunk an’ getting lucky.” He slapped Devin on the back as he turned and headed for the door. “Catch ya on the flipside, boss.”

Devin rolled his eyes and looked at Carson. “Kids. They’re responsible up there, you can take that to the bank.”

He nodded. “I would hope so, Mr. McConlin.”

*****

Mark leaned back against the wall of the lodge and glanced at his watch again. They were already 15 minutes late. Where the hell were they? Probably fuckin’ like bunnies, he thought and couldn't deny the slight bit of jealously. No, he hadn’t really been in love with Maria, though she was a hot woman and sex had always been one of the good things in their relationship. He blew some air on his cold hands and straightened up when he saw his SUV coming down the road, followed by a black pickup truck that he guessed would be Michael’s.

They stopped just a few feet from him and Maria was the first to get out, throwing the keys to him. “Hey.”

Mark nodded at her as he caught his keys. “Need a new watch?” he asked.

“Yeah, sorry, we were just starting breakfast when ya called and it took longer than expected.”

“Uh-huh, I’m sure it did.” He grinned as he walked over to his SUV. “All I had was biscuits and gravy... somehow I think you enjoyed yours more.”

Michael walked around the cars to join Maria, his expression serious. “Hey.”

Mark nodded and took a step back. “How’s it goin’?”

Michael relaxed a bit when he realized Mark wasn’t trying to make any trouble. “Good. How about you, over at the other cabin?”

“It’s okay... hangin’ with the parents, ya know?”

Michael shrugged. “Wouldn’t know anything about that.”

Mark snorted. “You’re not missin’ much, man.”

“How’s the mood at the cabin?” Maria asked carefully. “Your parents hate me now, right? Maybe we should go somewhere else for dinner tonight.”

“My parents don’t hate you, Maria.” He smiled and shook his head. “How could they? Besides, your mom’s been workin’ on tonight’s menu for the past couple of hours.”

“Ungh, I hope she’s not making her homemade rolled roast that she expects everyone to like, even though she’s the only one.”

He chuckled. “Whatever she’s makin’ it smells good. I heard her talkin’ to Mom this mornin’ and if I heard right she was makin’ some kinda chocolate cake for dessert.”

“Chocolate cake is the only dessert she’s able to make,” Maria said, amused, “but it’s good.”

Michael cleared his throat, hoping to move the little love fest along.

“Alright,” Mark said, “I guess I’d better get goin’. Watch out. Carson’s not too far away if ya don’t wanna run into him.”

Michael wrapped his arms around Maria from behind as Mark got into his truck and drove away. He sighed happily when she leaned back into him and her hands came up to rest on his forearms. “Think your mom’s makin’ that chocolate cake with the fudge in the center?”

“Pretty sure.”

“We should make sure we take some home with us.” He nipped her neck with his teeth and then kissed the spot. “Got an idea how to make that cake a lot better.”

She snorted. “Oh, yeah, and my Mom wouldn’t be totally suspicious about us taking cake with us.”

“Whatever... your parents are not that adventurous. Your mom won’t suspect anything.”

She turned around to meet his eyes. “I think cake’s the last thing we should be worried about, huh?”

“I’m not worried about tonight,” he lied.

“Uh-huh, ya can’t lie to me, Michael.”

“We’ll get through this okay.” He smiled and leaned down to kiss her. “But I’m still gonna try to get outta there with cake.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “Why don’t we go see this cabin you wanna show me and we’ll worry about the cake later.”

He grinned and released her. “C’mon then, let’s go.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Part 50

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:23 am

begonia9508: Oh, Carson probably hasn’t surprised you for the last time.

Well, we’ll get them to the dinner this update. :)

mary mary: Yep, and even though he didn’t really say much, Carson will interpret it however he sees fit.

We’re pretty sure Liz and Max both enjoyed breakfast. ;)

Eva: Carson is blind where his daughter is concerned and absolutely only hears what he wants to hear. He just wants proof that as he’s always suspected, Michael isn’t worthy of his little girl. We’ll be getting them to the dinner this update.

Natalie36: Mr. Nosy Pants, huh? We like that, lol.

Earth2Mother: We’ll finally get M&M to the dinner today…

kismet: Liz is a lucky girl who totally agrees with you about that happy place.

We’re pretty sure Liz has realized it.

Nick’s just running off at the mouth… something that can be dangerous around the wrong person. And Carson is definitely the wrong person.

keepsmiling7: Tess was VERY proud of herself, lol.

Alien_Friend: Oh, we’re pretty sure Carson’s satisfied for now.

Liz is smart to listen to her. And she’s definitely a lucky girl. ;)

sarammlover: Well, unfortunately, Carson hears what Carson wants to hear… and right now he doesn’t want to hear that Michael’s a good guy with the best intentions for Maria.


A/N: Thanks for the nominations in Part A of the voting, guys!!!


Part 50

Maria looked around in interest, taking everything in as they pulled off of the State Highway and turned onto a rutted dirt road. The truck bounced and she laughed for no reason as she glanced at Michael. He turned his head to look at her, his expression questioning and she shook her head. “No reason,” she admitted. “I’m just happy.”

“Okay,” he said with a smile that showed his confusion. He pointed at the road ahead of them. “I’d like to eventually have gravel brought in to cover this. It’s a bitch when it rains.”

“That would make sense.” She looked at the tall trees surrounding them and the mountains that rose up before them. As the truck climbed the small rise she could see the large clearing and moments later the cabin came into view. It wasn’t huge by any standards and the exterior had a very rustic appearance, but it also had a sort of charm that appealed to her.

She could tell that the windows had recently been replaced and there was a pile of lumber stacked on the covered front porch. Several pallets of supplies had been placed under a portable carport. “What’s that?”

Michael turned his head to follow her pointing finger. “Oh, leftover roofing supplies and other supplies I needed to repair the interior.” He glanced up at the sky when thunder rumbled overhead, studying the clouds for a few moments.

“Is it getting ready to rain?”

“It might… might pass right over us with just a few sprinkles. Guess we’ll see.” They got out of the truck and he took her hand as they walked up to the cabin. “Okay, remember, I’m still workin’ on it.”

“I will,” she promised, but couldn’t hide her excitement as they neared the cabin.

“Okay.” He pulled the cabin keys out of his pocket and unlocked the door, pushing it open and reaching inside to turn the lights on. He took a deep breath and waited for her to enter ahead of him. “Just watch where you’re goin’ ‘cause I’ve got tools and stuff scattered around.”

“Sure.” She took a few steps inside and glanced around. The room was large, windows on three of the four walls, which let in plenty of sunlight. There was a large fireplace in one corner of the room and she could already see them in front of it during a cold winter night. “It’s beautiful.”

He chuckled. “You’re thinkin’ about long nights makin’ love in front of a roaring fireplace while the snow falls outside,” he teased.

She put her hands on her head and turned to look at him. “Oh, my God, are ya reading my mind? Stop that!”

He shook his head at her. “All I’ve gotta do is watch your face... your expression gives your thoughts away. C’mon, lemme show you the kitchen.”

“The one, where you’ll prepare breakfast for me every day?” she teased.

“The one where you’ll make dinner for me every night,” he countered.

“The one where we’ll have hot sex on the counter,” she continued.

“And I thought I had sex on the brain a lot.” He led the way into the large kitchen with windows on two of the walls. He walked her over to the double sink and pointed out the window, showing her the river that flowed several hundred yards from the cabin. “Check that out.”

“Wow,” she said, amazed. “Is that where we wash out clothes?” she giggled.

He snorted. “You can if you want to. The guys gave me a hand knocking out a wall over there,” he motioned to the right, “and we built it out and ran the pipes and lines for water and electricity. Now we’ve got a laundry room.”

She took both of his hands in hers and leaned against him. “Why don’t ya show me the bedroom?”

“Master bedroom?” He pressed a kiss to her head. “Kids bedroom?”

“We have a kids bedroom already?”

“It’s got two bedrooms... When it was just me I thought I’d make it an office, but now, just kinda figured that second one would be perfect for a kids room.”

She chuckled. “Well, maybe an office for now and a kids room in a few years, huh?”

“Getting ahead of myself again, huh? Okay, office for now... and I can always have the guys help me knock out a wall and we can add on another room for our kid. Tony worked construction for his uncle for a couple of years, so he’s pretty good with stuff like that.” He paused for a moment. “Okay, so... master bedroom.” He led the way out of the kitchen and down the hallway that led to the bedrooms. He paused when they reached an open doorway and he waited for her to enter ahead of him.

“Wow,” she breathed out when she saw the huge window on the left.

“Like that view?”

“It’s... WOW.”

He grinned. The snowcapped mountains rose up before them and the sun was blindingly bright as it reflected off of the snow. “It is pretty amazing.”

She walked to the window and glanced outside at the small porch in front of it. “I can already see me sitting there, rocker, warm blanket, hot chocolate and a good book.”

“Um... where am I?”

“Inside, making breakfast. Or...” she pointed up the mountain, “...there.”

He nodded. “Alright, acceptable answer.” He walked over to the double doors that led out onto the small deck, unlocking them and pushing the open. “I had toyed with the idea of puttin’ in a hot tub back here. There’s plenty of room and you sure couldn’t buy a better view.”

Maria groaned at the thought. “Amazing. But isn’t that... expensive?”

“Well, it’d be expensive, but the biggest expense would be the hot tub itself.” He shrugged. “I talked to the manager over at the hardware store and I can get a major discount on it if I do some work for him. He saw the work I did out here an’ since he’s got an older cabin, well, I can work on it and get the hot tub for practically nothin’.”

She winkled her nose. “Ya know... I’ll abandon the hot tub if it means more time that we’d be separated.”

“Then we’ll just save up for it. We can do it, it’ll just take a little more time.”

“Okay. Sounds good to me.”

“Oh, but in the meantime... I think you’ll like the bathroom. Sunken tub, whirlpool jets... big enough for two people.”

“Uh-huh, what were ya plannin’, Mr. Guerin?”

“Me? Nothin’.” He grinned. “Just thinkin’ how much fun we’re gonna have here.”

“And who did ya thing you’d be havin’ fun with when ya put it in since... ya know, I wasn’t around?” she challenged.

“Hell, before now I didn’t really think about it. There wasn’t anyone I’d bring out here. I’d sit out here sometimes, lookin’ up at the stars or out at the mountains... an’ I’d let my mind go. Think about what could’ve been... never considered bringin’ anyone else here though.”

Her heart broke at his confession. She could imagine him sitting here all alone at night, lost in thought about how wrong his life had gone and probably telling himself that this was just what he could expect from life. “It’s not what could’ve been anymore,” she told him gently. “It’s a what WILL be.”

He slowly lifted his head to look at her. “So, you like the place?”

“Love it.”

“If I keep workin’ on it like I’ve been doin’ we’d be ready to move when spring comes.” He grinned. “And you’re welcome to come out here with me; I’ll be happy to put you to work.”

“Hey, I’ll do what I can, even if you’re up on the mountain. I could come here and ya know... help.”

“By yourself?” He scratched his jaw as he looked around. If he handled this wrong, boy, he’d piss her off! “I mean, that’d be cool an’ all, but uh, I’d kinda worry about you bein’ on the road when it got late.”

“I don’t have to stay here until it gets too late.”

“Yeah... well, just promise me you’ll be careful.” It was only fair, he rationalized. He knew she would worry when he was up on the mountain and all she had was his promise that he’d be careful.

“Ya know the only thing that sucks about your job is that ya don’t even have a cell up there.” She wrapped her arms around him.

He grinned and held her snugly against his body. “No, but we’ve got radios.”

“How romantic,” she said with a sarcastic smile.

“What? And cell phones are?”

“Well, at least not everybody around ya can listen to it.”

He chuckled. “Well, I guess you’ve got me there. Just think of all the time we’ll spend makin’ up for the time we’re apart,” he rasped against her ear.

“We’ve still got a lot to make up for the last couple years before ya go back on the mountain again.”

“Um-hmm, and we’re gonna make up for every minute of them,” he said with a smile. “I wasn’t kiddin’ when I said I was takin’ some time off.”

“Did ya already talk to ya boys about it?”

“Briefly.”

“How long will ya be with me, do ya already know?”

“Well, we’ve gotta deal with the parents, then there’s headin’ back to California to pack your stuff up and haul it up here, and then I figure we’re gonna need some time to kinda get settled in... I told ‘em I needed about a month off.” He grinned. “Nick said you’d be kickin’ my ass back up the mountain before a month was up.”

She snorted. “I doubt it.” Her eyes met his intensely. “Can you afford a whole month off?”

He nodded. “I live well below my means, Maria. I’ve put the majority of my money aside for the business but I keep a sufficient amount for myself. I just don’t use much of it.” He snorted. “You’ve seen my apartment... not spendin’ much there.”

“That is totally true,” she rolled her eyes and let go of him again to walk back further into the house. “Where’s the kids bedroom?”

“There’s a small room next to the master... no idea what it was used for ‘cause it’s not really big enough for much of anything. The other bedroom is on the other side of that room.”

“I’ll tell ya what this is Michael,” she said as she glanced into the smaller room, “MY walk-in closet.”

“YOUR walk-in closet?” he echoed. He stepped into the room and turned around, thinking. “Well, we could put a door on this wall so that it’d open into the bedroom and block the hallway door off. That wouldn’t take too much work and God knows you’ve probably got enough to fill it up. Not to mention you’re gonna need a winter wardrobe as well.” He shook his head. “This might not be big enough,” he teased.

“Hey,” she pinched his side, “that’s not true. I don’t have THAT many clothes and besides that, one t-shirt of yours takes the same space of like three of mine.”

“You’re still gonna have like five times what I’ve got where clothes are concerned.”

“And they’re all coming with me.”

“Yeah... hey, you wouldn’t happen to have a really badass TV and stereo, would you?”

“A badass TV?”

“Yeah, mine’s not that great. So, if ya got one that’s, I don’t know... newer... flat screen, maybe? Plasma?”

“Not plasma, but LCD and yes, it is bigger than yours.”

“Yes!”

“It was a birthday present from my parents this summer. I hope they won’t want it back now.”

“They’re not allowed to take a birthday present back.” He led the way down to the smaller bedroom and pushed the door open. “So, what kinda furniture do you have?”

“Most of it’s in beige, brown and a little violet.”

Michael cringed inwardly. Violet? “What kinda pieces you got? Just wonderin’ what size truck we’re gonna need.”

“Well, a couch, a bed, some shelves, a closet... not sure where we’ll put all of it though?”

“Most of the smaller pieces would probably fit in my apartment... the rest of it we could store here at the cabin.”

“I guess that works, yeah.” They started to walk back to the main room. “We might need a bigger couch for this room though. Ours will look a little small in here, don’t ya think?”

Michael smiled at how easily they had slipped into ‘ours’ and ‘we’ instead of ‘mine’ and ‘I’. “Maybe somethin’ like a sectional?”

“Yeah, or one of those large couches with lots of pillows and all.”

He chuckled. “I’m flexible on the living room furniture as long as the couch is big enough I can stretch out.”

“WE can stretch out,” she corrected him.

He grinned and nodded. “So WE can stretch out,” he agreed. “But see, you’re short... you won’t have a problem findin’ a couch you can stretch out on. I’m taller so it takes more work to find one that I like, that I fit on, and that’s comfortable.”

“So we need something long and broad.”

“Yeah... we’ll need sufficient room to play. I don’t enjoy endin’ up on my ass on the floor.”

“On the floor, which will be covered with a fluffy, warm carpet.”

“Yeah, I hadn’t decided on what kinda carpet to put down in the living room. Thick, of course, because nobody likes cold feet, but I think I’ll leave the color to you. I’m a guy... I’ll find whatever’s cheapest and I already know that won’t meet your standards,” he said with a wink.

“A beige, or warm white would work with all the wood in here.”

Neutral colors... he could live with that. “And thick and fluffy, right?”

“Totally fluffy.”

He chuckled. “I can live with that.”

Maria winced when a loud clap of thunder sounded overhead. “I still hate thunderstorms.”

“Thunderstorms aren’t that bad, but it won’t be long before they go on vacation and it’ll be snowstorms.”

“Hopefully we won’t get snowed in here.”

“Oh, I don’t know... might not be that bad to get snowed in.” He wrapped his left arm around her and lifted his other hand to cradle her cheek. “So long as we’ve got food in the fridge, plenty of firewood, and each other... might not be all that bad,” he whispered as his thumb brushed over her lips.

Her eyes shimmered with tears at his tenderness. “Still can’t believe my luck findin’ you here.”

“God, that mornin’ when I walked in the lodge lookin’ for one of my climbers and I found you... girl, you turned my world upside down all over again.”

She smiled slightly. “You did look kinda pale.”

“I couldn’t believe it. And then when I found out you were there with Mork...” he shook his head. “I wanted to seriously hurt him.”

She shook her head. “The moment I saw you I knew the whole relationship with Mark was just a lie.”

“I can’t really say I’m sorry ‘bout that.”

Maria rested her cheek against his chest. God, she was sooo in love with him again. She would just do anything for him right now. Moving down here, giving up her former life... marry him. Yeah, everything!

Michael smiled contentedly and held her tighter. Things were finally looking up. Now they just had to get through dinner with her parents so they could really move forward.

“What’re we gonna do now?”

“Now?” He checked his watch. “Dinner with your parents is at what, 7pm?”

“Yeah.”

He drew in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Okay, well... we’ve got plenty of time to get back and get ready to head over there.” He’d rather do anything else, but he knew they had to do this.

“Can’t wait for it to be over.”

“Me too. We probably shouldn’t be late... I remember how touchy your dad always was about people bein’ late.”

“My father is touchy about everything,” Maria muttered.

“I don't wanna be like that with our kids. I mean, I’ll want the best for ‘em, but I don’t wanna try to control what they wanna do with their lives or who they love.”

“We agree on that then.”

He nodded. “Guess we should get goin’, huh?” He wasn’t looking forward to dinner with her parents, but it was just a couple of hours and it’d all be over.

“Yeah, let’s go.” She glanced around the cabin again and smiled slightly. This would be her life. She just hoped her parents were going to share it with her.

*****

Maria glanced at Michael when he shifted in the drivers’ seat once more, tugging at the collar of his button-down shirt and fidgeting nervously. He had been silent on the drive to the cabin where her parents were staying and she knew he was mentally preparing himself for what could be a very trying evening. She reached over to rest her hand on his thigh, rubbing his denim-encased leg and trying to get him to relax.

“I keep tryin’ to relax, but the closer we get the more tense I’m getting,” he admitted after a few minutes.

“It’s just a couple of hours and it’ll be over.”

Michael pulled into the circular driveway in front of the impressive structure that the owners affectionately called a cabin. People with money came up to the area and threw their money around, building massive vacation homes, and then spending a couple of weeks each year in them. Then they rented them out to vacationers or loaned them to friends who needed a place to stay for their getaways. It made no sense to him.

“Hey, just be yourself tonight, Michael,” she said as she reached up to take his chin in her hand and turn his head so they were facing each other. “My dad has his own opinions and we may never be able to change his mind about us. I don’t care about that. Yeah, I’d like to have his blessing, but if he won’t give it then that won’t stop us from bein’ together. All that matters is that we love each other and we’re not gonna let anything come between us ever again.”

He smiled at the fierceness in her tone. “No, we’re not,” he agreed. He turned his head to place a kiss in the palm of her hand before looking up at the cabin once more. “We’ll be fine. Hell, all he can do is disapprove of us bein’ together… it’s up to us how we handle that.”

She smiled at him and nodded. “And we’ll handle it together.”

He took a deep breath and reached for the door handle. “Guess we’d better go in if we’re ever gonna get this over with.”

Maria glanced at the massive front door. “Yeah.”

Michael walked around the front of the truck to open Maria’s door for her. He wasn’t a complete moron when it came to manners; he just hoped he didn’t forget them during dinner.

“Thanks, Mr. Guerin,” Maria said, smiling.

He smiled and nodded as he took her hand. “Couple hours and this’ll all be over,” he muttered under his breath.

“Yeah, and we’ll be back in your apartment in front of the fireplace.”

“Can’t wait for that.” He took in a deep breath as they mounted the steps and walked across the porch to the door. He was reaching for the brass knocker when the door was suddenly pulled open and Mark stepped outside.

“Hey, I thought I heard someone pull in. You guys are a little bit early.”

Maria frowned. “How’s the mood?”

“Not really sure. Your dad’s been kinda quiet since he came back from the store.”

“Ungh, quiet’s not good.” When her father was quiet, he was thinking... not a good sign.

Mark glanced at Michael, wondering how he’d hold up under Carson’s interrogation. It wasn’t hard to see that Maria’s dad wasn’t that happy about her getting back together with her ex. “So, you guys all ready for the grand inquisition?”

“As ready as we can be,” Michael muttered.

Maria squeezed his hand. “Hey, it’ll be over soon and it doesn’t matter what they say.”

“Good luck,” Mark said sympathetically.

“Are you and your parents staying for dinner?” Maria asked.

“No, my parents already left to visit some friends around here.”

“Oh... where’re you off to?”

“Goin’ to visit a friend here as well. They’ve got a son and we used to hang out.”

Michael had to admit he was slightly relieved. He could live without extra people around for this meeting.

“Have fun then,” Maria said.

“I can pretty much guarantee I’ll be havin’ more fun than you guys are. Good luck tonight.” He waved as he walked down the driveway and climbed into his SUV.

Maria glanced at Michael and winced. “Ready?”

“Not gonna get any readier,” he said, knowing she’d roll her eyes at his choice of words.

“Maria, why don’t you two come in?” Amy asked as she stood in the open door.

Michael cleared his throat and nodded, waiting for Maria to enter before him.

“Hey, Mom,” she greeted and gave her a hug.

He shifted uncomfortably before realizing he was revealing his nerves and he forced himself to be still. He shook hands with the woman and forced a smile. “Evenin’, Mrs. DeLuca.”

“Come in, Michael,” Amy said softly, recognizing the nervousness in the boy.

“Thanks.” He stepped inside so she could shut the door. He glanced around at the interior of the ‘cabin’. “This’s nice.”

“It is,” Amy admitted. “Little bit too pompous for my taste though.”

Michael nodded and laughed, relieved. “Yeah, it is a bit... over the top for a cabin.”

“Ya think so?” Carson walked out of the living room.

He swallowed hard and straightened up. “Yes, sir, I do. It’s nice and if this’s what you like then that’s cool. It’s just a bit much for my tastes.”

“Hey, Dad,” Maria walked over and kissed his cheek as a peace offering.

Carson’s expression was neutral as he offered his hand to the younger man. “Michael.”

“Mr. DeLuca. How’re you enjoyin’ Washington?”

“Haven’t seen much yet.”

He nodded. The man wasn’t gonna make conversation easy.

“Let’s go into the living room,” Amy suggested.

Maria took Michael’s hand, pulling him along with her as they followed her parents into the living room and sat down.

“You guys want something to drink?”

Michael wondered if he’d be on the receiving end of a lecture if he asked for a beer.

“We’ll both take a beer,” Maria said, before her boyfriend could.

Amy patted Carson’s hand as she stood up. “I already know what you want.” She lowered her voice as she passed him. “Behave yourself,” she warned.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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