The Yule Log (AU, M/L, MATURE) (Complete)

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Heavenli24
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The Yule Log (AU, M/L, MATURE) (Complete)

Post by Heavenli24 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:14 pm

Winner Round 12

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Title: The Yule Log
Author: Heavenli24
Pairings/Couples/Category: M/L
Rating: MATURE
Disclaimer: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Summary: What happens when an up-and-coming Hollywood star is invited to spend Christmas with his Mom’s best friend in Britain… and her twenty-something daughter?
Author’s Note: I’ve taken a little break from writing All’s Fair in Love and Tennis to work on a short Christmas story for the holiday season :). Hope you enjoy :).


***


Part One

Max Evans let out an almost inaudible sigh as he plastered a winning smile on his face and tried not to roll his eyes. The cameras flashed ferociously, their bright glares virtually blinding him, and the air was filled with excited shouts and eager questions. Max bobbed his dark head of hair in response to the calls of his name and he was careful not to let the frustration and boredom show on his face as he gently escorted the exquisite woman on his arm – his date for the evening – down the red carpet, perfectly illuminated by the soft LA sunshine, and towards the theatre.

Once inside and away from prying eyes… and camera lenses… he exhaled in relief and dropped his hand from his Anna’s back. She smiled up at him with an adoring gaze, before politely excusing herself to the bathroom. Max raised an eyebrow in appreciation as his eyes followed her silk-covered backside until she disappeared around the corner. He really was not a big fan of these premieres and big red carpet events, but having a gorgeous auburn-haired beauty by his side all night made the whole evening slightly more bearable.

Not that he didn’t like his chosen profession, no, in all honesty, he loved what he did for a living. As one of Hollywood’s most promising up-and-coming actors, what wasn’t to like? But one of the major downsides of the job was all this public eye stuff: the red carpet, the publicity stunts, the photo shoots and interviews; it was all just a bit too much for him and some days he wished he could just go to work in the morning, come home at the end of the day and live a relatively private, undisturbed life. But, hey, this was Hollywood; normal lives just didn’t exist here.

“Hey,” murmured a sultry voice from his side a few moments later. Anna had returned from the bathroom. “Shall we go in?”

“Sure,” he smiled down into her sparkling green eyes, as he slipped his arm back around her waist and escorted her into the movie screen to take their seats. The movie being premiered tonight wasn’t one of his own, but that of his close friend, Isabel Ramirez. It was the year’s big Christmas rom-com, being released just in time for the Christmas season, and although Max’s schedule was currently very busy, he had promised Isabel that he would attend the premiere of the film that she believed would finally put her on the map.

“We still on for dinner later?” whispered Anna suggestively, brushing his hand with hers, as the lights lowered and the credits began to roll.

“Of course,” Max returned softly, his lips curling up in a small grin, “And possibly ‘coffee’ at mine afterwards?”

“You know it,” she grinned, linking her fingers with his and squeezing lightly.

Max held her gaze for a moment, his eyes smiling down at her, before turning back to face the screen, as the opening scenes began.

***

“Bloody hell, it’s freezing out there!” exclaimed Liz Parker, as she slid into the seat opposite her best friend, Maria Deluca, in the small, cosy coffee shop next door to the central London office building she worked in.

“Tell me about it,” Maria made a face in agreement, “and it’s so depressing ’cause there’s not even a chance of snow, just rain, rain and more rain.”

“Don’t you just love this country?” smirked Liz, with a roll of her eyes, as she pulled out her purse and prepared to go buy a nice hot drink. “I’ll be right back.”

She made her way to the counter and ordered a coffee and two mince pies, making polite small talk with the good-looking bloke working there while she waited for the order to be filled.

“Here you go,” Liz smiled, as she placed one of the mince pies down in front of Maria and then took her seat once more.

“Ooh, mince pies!” exclaimed her best friend, before eagerly tucking in. “Thanks, hon.”

Liz just shook her head in amusement, as she took a sip of coffee.

“So, you off home for Christmas again this year?” wondered Maria a few seconds later, when she’d swallowed her mouthful.

“Yeah,” replied Liz. “Mum’s already enlisted me to make the Yule Log again and Dad’s been on at me to come and visit for weeks.”

Ever since Liz had moved to London from her family home in South Gloucestershire ten months ago to start a job as a writer for a science magazine after graduating from university with a degree in Biological Sciences, she’d barely had the time to go home and visit. At twenty-three, she was enjoying the big city life and freedom of being a single twenty-something so much that it had barely registered that she had hardly seen her parents in all that time. However, now that Christmas was just a few days away, it was definitely time to make a trip back home.

“What about you?” she asked Maria then. “Are you and Michael still planning on spending the holidays in Ibiza this year?”

“I bloody well hope so!” she exclaimed, rolling her eyes. “Michael keeps changing his mind about whether he wants to go, but there is no way I am spending my Christmas in this crappy weather when I could be relaxing on the beach on a Spanish island.”

Liz had met Maria DeLuca on her first day of work back in February. She’d got lost on the tube on her way to work and as a result had been fifteen minutes late for her induction meeting. She bumped into Maria, who had been exiting Angelo’s, the very coffee place they were sitting in now, as she rushed past. In her haste, she’d almost knocked over the small blonde, but despite the circumstances, they’d hit it off, had swapped mobile numbers right away and began meeting for lunch on a daily basis.

Maria was a twenty-four-year-old aspiring singer who moonlighted as a secretary for a law firm during daylight hours. She lived with her boyfriend, Michael Guerin, an American student who had moved to London two years ago to gain a degree in Fine Art from London’s University of the Arts, one of the top art schools in the country, in a small one-bedroom flat in Soho. He and Maria had met one night at the club she occasionally sang at on open mic night, and although their relationship had not got off to a great start (they were at each other’s throats within minutes after meeting).

“Mike’s being an arse again, huh?” asked Liz, sympathetically.

“That’s a mild word for it,” grumped Maria. “He’s being a total bastard! He thinks that just because he’s a bloke, he can order me around and make all my decisions for me. Well, I’ll show him; he’s going to Ibiza whether he likes it or not!”

Liz had to suppress a smirk at Maria’s determined expression. Of course Michael would eventually agree to go away with her; he might have a hard time admitting it, but Liz knew that ultimately, he would do anything to make Maria happy.

She sighed into her coffee as she felt a twinge of loneliness in her chest. Why couldn’t she find someone who loved her as much as Michael loved Maria?

***

Max was woken from his peaceful slumber by the blaring of his cell phone ring tone. At first, he was tempted to ignore it, but the unfortunate truth was that his mom was on the other end of the line and if he didn’t pick up right now, she would just keep calling until he did. Careful not to disturb Anna, who was sleeping serenely beside him, one arm draped across his stomach, he manoeuvred his upper body sideways and reached for the phone.

“Hey, Mom,” he muttered sleepily. “S’up?”

“Morning, honey,” chirped Diane Evans, “How was the premiere last night?”

“It was good,” he told her, glancing down at Anna’s naked form with a soft smile. “I think this movie could be Isabel’s big break.”

“That’s great, honey,” congratulated Diane, before clearing her throat and continuing with the purpose of her call. “Look, I know you don’t like me calling you so early, but I needed to talk to you about something.”

“Okay, um,” Max glanced down at the woman beside him, “hang on a sec.”

Trying his best not to wake he, he slid out of the bed, cradling the phone between his ear and shoulder as he pulled on a pair of sweats and then padded out of the room and into his study.

“Okay, mom, what’s up?” he asked, when he was settled on one of the couches.

“Do you remember my old friend Nancy Parker?” began Diane.

“Um,” Max racked his brains, “the British woman who used to live opposite us, right?”

What did a woman who moved away over 20 years ago have to do with why his mom was calling him at 9am on a Sunday morning?

“Yeah, that’s her,” clarified Diane, a smile in her voice. “Well, I don’t know if you know, but we’ve kept in contact all these years. Anyway, she called me yesterday and we got to talking.”

“Yeah?” he said, wondering where this was going.

“Max, what date do you start your new film in England?” she asked then, taking him aback with the sudden change in topic.

“Um, not ‘til January 4th,” replied Max, “but I need to head out there before Christmas for some meetings with my UK agent.”

“That’s what I thought,” stated Diane triumphantly. “So, you’ll be all on your own out there for Christmas?”

“Yeah, that’s the plan right now. I don’t have time to fly back here in between meetings and filming.”

“Oh, I know, honey – you and your busy life!” she exclaimed, pausing for a moment before continuing, “well, listen, I happened to mention your upcoming UK trip to Nancy yesterday and she came up with the perfect solution.”

Solution to what exactly, wondered Max.

“Oh?”

“She and Jeff have invited you to stay with them in South Gloucestershire over Christmas and New Year,” she finally told him.

“They have?” questioned Max. “But… I mean, it’s very kind of them and all, but I barely know them – I haven’t even seen them since I was four. It’s just a little bit out of the blue, don’t you think?”

“Not at all, honey. Nancy Parker is one of my oldest and dearest friends,. It’s not like you’d be staying with strangers.”

“But, Mom, are you sure? I mean, I can easily just stay in a hotel or something,” he protested. “It’s not a big deal.”

“I’m not having my only son spending Christmas on his own in a hotel room!” cried Diane indignantly. “And Nancy says she’d love to see you again.”

“Okay, okay, I get the point,” chuckled Max, raising his eyes as a sleep-mussed Anna appeared in the doorway clad only in the white button-down shirt he’d worn to the premiere last night. He smiled up at her as she crossed the room and came to a stop in front of the couch. “Alright, tell Nancy I’d love to stay with her. I’ll be free from the 23rd.”

Anna took a seat next to him on the sofa, tucking her legs beneath her and Max raised his arm to allow her to settle against him.

“Great, well that’s all sorted then,” Diane replied happily. “I’ll call Nancy this morning and give her the good news.”

“Okay, great. Thanks, Mo-om,” he faltered, as Anna began trailing her fingertips teasingly across his stomach, dangerously close to the waistband of his sweats.

“Well, I’d better not disturb your morning any longer. I’ll call you later, okay?”

“Alright, Mom. Talk to you soon,” he said goodbye and hung up, giving Anna a smile as he place the phone down on the arm of the couch.

“Morning.”

“Morning to you too,” she murmured softly.

“Sleep well?” asked Max, smoothing his hand gently up and down her arm.

“Like a log,” she smiled. “Although we didn’t exactly spend much of the night asleep, did we?”

“No, I guess not,” he smirked.

“So, that was your mom, huh?”

“Yeah,” Max rolled his eyes. “Mom and her great timing. She’s been talking to an old friend of hers in the UK who’s invited me to stay with them for Christmas.”

“Oh, that’s right, you’re leaving for London in a few days,” nodded Anna.

“Yeah, I am. Two weeks of meetings and then three months of filming.”

She pouted, “Aw, I’m gonna miss you.”

“Yeah, okay,” he chuckled. “We only see each other a couple of times a month. And don’t think I don’t know about all the other dates you go on the rest of the time. I don’t think things will be all that bad without me.”

He and Anna had been friends since Max had moved from his hometown of Roswell, New Mexico to LA six years ago in pursuit of an acting career. Anna Davies had been in the process of moving out of her apartment building on the same day that Max moved into his on the other side of the street. Seeing her struggling with a heavy box, he’d made his way over to her and had offered a helping hand. They’d both been attracted to each other at first, but after a few failed attempts at dating and a relationship, they’d decided to remain friends… albeit friends with a few extra benefits. Of course, it hadn’t always been that way. At first, they really were ‘just friends’ but one night they’d been commiserating over failed relationships and feeling lonely, one thing had led to another and they’d turned to each other for comfort. After that night, they’d still stayed friends only, but had a mutual agreement that they would get together every now and then.

“Ooh, harsh,” joked Anna. “You sound like you’re not even gonna miss me.”

“Of course I’ll miss you,” retorted Max, squeezing her shoulder lightly. “But you know, there isn’t much time left before I leave, so how ‘bout we make the most of it right now, huh?”

Anna shrugged, a mischievous smile creeping across her lips, as she stood up and held out a hand to him in invitation. “Sure, why not?”

TBC…
Last edited by Heavenli24 on Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:03 am, edited 11 times in total.

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:41 am

Post by Heavenli24 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:22 pm

Hey everyone, thank you for your feedback :) - I'm glad you're enjoying it so far :):

martine - Thanks :). Yes, it seems Max will meet Liz soon :). As to whether they knew each other when they were kids, that question will be answered soon.

Snooze824 - Thank you :).

Michelle in Yonkers - Thanks :). It wasn't mentioned in the part, but when I wrote it, the thought was that Diane was calling early because she needed to call Nancy back to let her know Max's decision... and since the UK is 8 hours ahead of California, she had to call Max early so she could get hold of Nancy in time.
I think Max should agree to go for the day. Sounds like the moms have been plotting much more than just figgy pudding for poor l'il Max -- hope Max is training for the role of an escape artist, 'cause have a feeling he's going to need it.
Perhaps Diane and Nancy are plotting something, but hopefully Max won't need to escape :).

Lairabehr4 - Thanks, hun :).

ShatteredDreamer - Thanks :). Liz isn't necessarily inexperienced in the world of dating, but she wonders if she'll ever find 'The One'.

Alien_Friend - Thank you :). The story isn't finished yet, but it will only be a few parts long as I want to get it finished and posted before New Year :).

begonia9508 - Thank you :). Max and Anna's relationship is a mutual one - they both decided they were happy with the 'friends with benefits' idea.

In terms of the meaning of the title, you can check out: Yule Log. In this case, the Yule Log in the title refers to the log-shaped, chocolate Christmas cake.

Tamashii - Thank you :).


***


Part Two

“Fucking hell, it’s cold!” exclaimed Liz as she stepped out of her office building and headed for the tube station at the end of the road, pulling her long, black coat tighter around her slim figure in an attempt to keep warm.

Despite the bitingly cold wind and grey skies above, she let out a sigh of relief that she’d actually managed to leave the office with enough time to catch the six-thirty-pm train to Bristol. It had taken a lot of effort, but she’d managed to persuade her boss to give her almost the entire Christmas holidays off work, which meant she had almost two weeks of relaxing and catching up with her friends from home… absolute bliss!

Liz let go of her coat and shifted her large overnight bag into the other hand, pulling her tube ticket out of her pocket as she entered the tube station. It was crowded and busy and for a moment, she wished she’d been able to leave work earlier. That way, she could have avoided the evening rush hour, but Harry, her boss, had insisted that she have her most recent edits for next month’s issue on his desk before she left. Unfortunately, they seemed nowhere to be found, so instead of leaving in the early afternoon and missing the rush hour, she was forced to spend the time frantically searching her entire office space for the disk containing her latest article.

Two line changes and three tube stops later, Liz arrived into Paddington station with a sigh of relief. There had been delays on the Central line and she’d been worried she wouldn’t make it, but as she crossed the platform and climbed aboard the train, taking a seat by the window, she let a smile drift across her face – she’d made it. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back against the headrest, glad to finally relax. The last couple of weeks at work had been extremely stressful, with last-minute meetings and deadlines in preparation for the New Year issue of their magazine, Modern Science.

Her moment of rest was short-lived, however, as her mobile, on vibrate mode, began buzzing frantically in her coat pocket. Without opening her eyes, she reached for the phone and flipped it open.

“Hello?”

“Hey, hon, it’s me,” came a cheerful female voice from the other end. Liz smiled; it was Serena Brady, her best and oldest friend from home. “You on your way back yet? We have a big night planned tonight and you can’t miss it.”

“Hey, Ser,” grinned Liz. “I’ve just got on the train in Paddington, so I’ll be home in a couple of hours. Why, what’s going on tonight?”

“You, me, Alex, Kyle and a large amount of booze, that’s what!” replied Serena enthusiastically. “We’re meeting at the White Hart at nine.”

“Sounds great. I can’t wait to see you guys again – it’s been ages!”

“Yeah, I know,” muttered Serena pointedly, “especially since someone rarely comes home to visit.”

“Hey, you know would have come back if I could, but life’s just been too hectic lately and I haven’t been able to take any time off,” justified Liz good-naturedly, looking out of the window for a moment as the train began to move. “And you guys could have come up to London for a visit any time you liked.”

“Yeah, yeah, I get your point, Miss Smarty Pants,” retorted Serena with a chuckle. “Look, I have to go now, but I’ll see you at the pub at nine, okay?”

“See you there,” Liz responded, before ending the call.

She pocketed the phone and leaned her head back against the seat once more, only this time a contented smile graced her lips. It was almost Christmas and she would get to spend some with her family and her best friends.

***

“Here we are, sir,” announced the friendly, middle-aged taxi driver, as he pulled into a quiet residential road and turned off the engine.

Surprised by the intrusion of sound after more than half an hour of travelling in almost complete silence, Max looked up from the script he was reading, “Excuse me?”

The driver simply looked over his shoulder at him, before nodding towards the house he’d pulled up in front of, “This is it, sir – Foxglove Crescent.”

“Oh, okay,” Max widened his eyes in understanding. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Not a problem, sir,” shrugged the driver. “I’ll help you with your bags, shall I?”

“Thank you,” replied Max, flashing a the driver a quick half-smile – the very same half-smile that frequently had teenage girls all across America falling at his feet – before climbing out of the large, black taxicab.

The driver opened the boot of the car and proceeded to pull out Max’s suitcase and large holdall, placing them on the pavement before turning to Max, “That’ll be thirty-two pounds, mate.”

“Sure,” Max smiled, reaching for his wallet and taking out two twenties. “Here you go. Keep the change.”

“Thanks, mate,” grinned the driver, as he pocketed the money and climbed back into the taxi. “Enjoy your trip.”

Max glanced at the taxi briefly as it drove off, before turning to face the house he would be staying in for the next few days – the Parker’s house. It looked to be a nice two-storey home in a nice neighbourhood, albeit much smaller than the homes he was used to seeing in LA, or even in Roswell, for that matter, but then everything was smaller in Britain, as he’d come to noticed in the few days he’d already been here.

There was a Christmas wreath fixed to the front door, and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree was visible through the large front window, making the house seem warm and inviting, as Max picked up his bags and made his way towards the door. As he reached out to ring the bell, he paused for a moment to steady himself. He had to admit that he was a little nervous – he was about to spend the holidays with a couple he barely knew and who he hadn’t even laid eyes on in almost twenty-four years.

However, he didn’t have to wait long to meet them again, as he heard movement from inside the house and then a moment later, the door opened to reveal a slender woman in her early fifties. She had a kind, smiling face, framed by soft auburn curls with only a hint of grey.

“Hi, you must be Max,” she greeted warmly, holding out her hand to him, “I’m Nancy. It’s wonderful to see you again.”

“Hi, Nancy,” smiled Max, his nervousness quickly evaporating as he shook her hand. “Thank you for inviting me to spend Christmas with you.”

“Oh, not at all,” she dismissed with a wave of her hand. “It’s our pleasure.”

“Thank you,” Max smiled, as he shifted slightly under the weight of the holdall on his shoulder.

Nancy noticed this and quickly waved him inside.

“Come in, come in,” she instructed, “we can’t have you standing outside in the cold all evening now, can we?”

Giving her a grateful smile, Max stepped through the front door into the warm, placing his luggage down on the floor as Nancy took his coat. He stood awkwardly in the hallway for a moment, unsure of what to do next, but Nancy saved him from embarrassment by calling out for her husband.

“Jeff, honey, Max is here! Come and say hello.”

“I’m coming, dear, I’m coming,” replied a somewhat hassled voice from another room. A moment later, a tall, dark-haired man holding a dishcloth appeared in the hallway. “Hi there, Max,” he smiled, “it’s great to have you here.”

“Mr, Parker,” Max nodded courteously, a little intimidated by the man who had once shouted at him for trampling his prized vegetable patch when he was little.

“Oh, please, call me Jeff,” grinned Mr. Parker. “I’d shake your hand, but I’m in the middle of cooking dinner and I wouldn’t want to get food all over you.”

“Are you hungry, Max?” asked Nancy. “We haven’t eaten dinner yet and you’re more than welcome to join us.”

“Thank you, that would be great… as long as it’s not too much trouble.”

“Don’t worry about it, I’ve cooking for three anyway,” Jeff told him. “Our daughter’s just informed me that she’s going out tonight and won’t be eating with us, so there’s a free plate going.”

Daughter? wondered Max. His mom had never mentioned that Nancy had a daughter, and apparently a teenage one, at that.

“Oh, well in that case, I’d love some dinner,” he smiled.

“Wonderful,” said Nancy with a smile. “Well, while Jeff’s putting the finishing touches on the meal, why don’t I show you to your room?”

She picked up Max’s holdall and beckoned for him to follow her up the stairs.

“Okay, so this first room on the left is mine and Jeff’s, then that’s Liz’s room next to ours. The bathroom is right in front of you at the end and then you’ll be in the spare room, here,” Nancy opened the last remaining door to reveal a clean, modest room, with simple pale yellow décor.

“Thank you,” he said politely as she gestured for him to enter.

In the centre of the room was a double bed, with small bedside tables located on either side; against the opposite wall stood a wardrobe and a chest of drawers and there was a small armchair placed in the far corner. Max placed his suitcase on the floor and then relieved Nancy of his heavy holdall, which he lifted onto the bed.

“I would leave you to unpack and get settled in, but I have a feeling that Jeff will have dinner on the table soon–”

“Nancy, Max, dinner’s ready!” called Jeff from downstairs.

“Speak of the devil,” chuckled Nancy, causing Max to smile too. “Come on, let’s go and get something to eat.”

Max followed Nancy back down the stairs and into the dining room, where Jeff was setting plates of steaming food down on the table.

“Dinner is served,” he announced. “Please, take a seat.”

Max obliged and slid into the chair that Jeff had gestured to. He had to admit that the food looked and smelled divine. He’d been living off hotel food for the last week and now the lovely home cooked roast dinner sitting in front of him seemed like heaven.

The meal began in relative silence as they all tucked in, but before long, Max found himself in conversation with his mother’s friend and her husband as they asked him all about what he’d been up to for the last twenty-odd years.

“So, you’re in the film business? Acting?” asked Jeff, as they were finishing off the first course. “That’s got to be interesting.”

“Yes, it is,” replied Max. “At least, it is for me anyway. I love what I do, you know? Acting, making films, working with so many different and talented people – I love the challenge. Although I know a lot of people who wouldn’t’ agree.”

“In what way?”

“You know, some people have these preconceived notions about actors and Hollywood – like how we’re all about the money and the fame. But that’s not me. I act because I love to act, not because I can get paid a lot of money to do it or I can recognised in the street.”

“I think it’s great you’ve found a career that you love,” spoke up Nancy. “It’s much better than doing something you hate just to fit in or make other people happy.”

“Thanks, Nancy. I really appreciate that.”

“And your mum is so proud of you,” she continued. “She couldn’t stop gushing over your recent success and the new movie you’ll be filming here when I talked to her the other day.”

Max rolled his eyes and ducked his head in embarrassment at the unexpected praise, “I, uh…”

But Nancy just chuckled and stood up to clear the plates from the table.

“Let me help you with that,” said Max, as he stood too and began to help her.

“Thank you, Max,” she replied with a smile.

Max picked up the plates, following her out of the dining room and into the kitchen. But, as soon as he’d placed the dishes in the sink, Nancy gestured for him to return to the dining room while she fetched the dessert. He opened the kitchen door and stepped out into the hallway just as someone in a long, black, fitted coat and stiletto heels flew down the stairs and out of the house just as quickly as they had appeared, leaving Max standing open-mouthed in the kitchen doorway, the image of the girl’s long, dark, luscious curls flowing down her slim back firmly lodged in his mind.

TBC…

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:41 am

Post by Heavenli24 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:44 pm

Hi everyone, thank you for your feedback :):

Natalie36 - Thanks :). Let's see, shall we... ?

Lairabehr4 - Thanks :).

tinie38 - Thank you :). I'm glad you're enjoying it :).

francesca - Thanks :).

Alien_Friend - Thank you :).

begonia9508 - :lol: - thanks :). Yeah, she didn't know he was there.

veronica - Thank you :).

ShatteredDreamer - Thanks :). Yeah he's sure to forget all about Anna :). He actually got neither - Liz ran past him in a hurry, so all he saw was her hair and the back of her head!

martine - Thanks :).

Michelle in Yonkers - Thank you :). You don't need to beg for updates - I'm planning on updating every other day :).

Ellie - Thanks :). Yeah, Max only really saw the back of her head and assumed she was a teenager, since she was going out with her friends rather than spending the evening at home welcoming her parents' guest.

behrluv32 - Thanks :).

RiceKrispy - Thank you :) - I'm glad you're enjoying it :).

Tamashii - They will meet very soon... I don't think Max will be a jerk though - he's a nice guy in this story :).



***


Part Three

“Hey, guys, sorry I’m late,” Liz apologised breathlessly as she joined her friends at the small table in the White Hart pub.

“Lizzie! You’re here!” exclaimed Kyle Valenti in surprise, standing up and leaning across the table to give her a hug. “Serena, can you believe it? Lizzie Parker is actually gracing us with her presence. To what to we owe this honour?”

“Oh, shove off, Kyle,” Liz rolled her eyes. “You know I would come and see you more often if I could.”

“Yeah, we know you would, Liz,” cut in Alex sincerely, as he too stood up to give her a quick hug. “And it really is good to see you again. How’s life in London treating you?”

“It’s pretty good,” smiled Liz, “but really busy. This real-world, real-job thing is hard!”

“Yeah, tell me about it,” added Serena, with a roll of her eyes and Liz sent her a sympathetic smile.

Serena had graduated from university at the same time as Liz with a degree in French, but since there weren’t many opportunities for people with language degrees, other than teaching or translation, she had opted for a job in recruitment services thirty miles away in Gloucester to start off with.

Alex Whitman was a real computer whiz and had gained his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Oxford last year. He was currently studying for his PhD, also in Computer Science, at Bristol University and so was still living at home with his parents to save money on rent.

Kyle Valenti on the other hand, had chosen not to go to university and instead had decided to go into the Police force. After two years of training, he’d become a police constable and was now in the process of working his way up the ranks.

The four of them had grown up together, attending the same primary and secondary schools, and were the best of friends, despite how different they all were. After they’d finished school, Liz and Alex had decided to take a year out to travel the world, Serena had left for university right away, since her degree included a year abroad in France and was a 4-year course and Kyle had started his new job. Now, five years later, here they were, all together again for the first time in months.

“Enough of the real world talk,” announced Kyle suddenly. “Let’s get started on the booze!”

He and Alex got up and headed for the bar to purchase the first round of drinks. While they were gone, Serena turned to Liz, conspiratorially.

“So, Lizzie, what’s the goss? Any handsome men on the horizon for you at the moment?”

Liz shrugged, “Not really. It’s not that I’m not interested in a relationship, but I just don’t have time for anything – work is literally taking over my life. But what about you? Anything going on with you?”

“Well, there’s been a couple of opportunities, but nothing serious,” Serena shook her head. “Although, we all know who I’m saving myself for…” Liz nodded, as she tried to keep a straight face; Serena was famous for her celebrity crushes, and this one was no exception. “…Who by the way, is about to start filming right here in the UK. Hey, I wonder what the chances of bumping into him would be? Maybe I should look into that,” she mused thoughtfully.

Liz chuckled, “Serena, I think the chances of you meeting Max Evans and of him falling in love with you are pretty much slim to none.”

“Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?” pouted Serena.

“Okay, here we go, ladies,” announced Kyle, as he and Alex returned to the table with a handful of drinks. “A dry white wine for you, Liz, Bacardi and Coke for Serena, and beers for the men. Let’s get this night started!”

Two hours and several drinks later, the four of them stumbled out of the pub arm-in-arm and drunkenly called a taxi to take them home. As Liz dragged herself into her parents’ house and up the stairs to her room, trying her best not to make any noise, she had a nagging feeling that she’d forgotten something important, but for the life of her, she couldn’t remember what that something was. It wasn’t until she slipped into bed that she remembered her mum informing her of a visitor who was coming to stay with them for Christmas – a son of an old friend… or something – but in her current drunken state, she couldn’t recall anything else about that conversation.

***

Max turned over in the bed in the spare room. It was two am and for some reason, he was unable to sleep. He wasn’t sure why exactly; it wasn’t like he was uncomfortable or nervous staying here with the Parkers’. In fact, they’d made him feel more than welcome here, treating him almost as one of the family, despite the fact that they barely knew each other. Before she’d retired to bed, Nancy had given him a tour of the house, showing him where everything was in the kitchen, telling him to make himself completely at home here, yet still something was making him feel uneasy.

Perhaps it was just the stress of spending the last week in meetings with his London agent and doing photo shoots and interviews for British magazines; or maybe it was that this was the first time he wasn’t going to be spending Christmas with his family. Here he was in a strange country, staying with a family he hardly knew, in an unfamiliar town. Not to mention the fact that today was Christmas Eve and despite their kindness and willingness to include him in their Christmas celebrations, he felt a little like an intruder in the Parkers’ home.

Morning seemed to take forever to arrive and although Max had managed to get a few hours of intermittent sleep, when he opened his eyes at eight am, it felt like he’d barely slept a wink. As he swung his legs over the side of the bed and sat up, covering his face with his hands and rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he wondered if maybe he should get dressed before he wandered downstairs. He felt a little awkward about appearing in the kitchen in just a T-shirt and boxers, but Nancy had told him he should treat their home as if it were his own, so he supposed he should do just that. He stood up and made his way towards the door, but stopped halfway… perhaps he ought to pull on a pair of sweats first. Yeah, that would be better than walking around in just his underwear in someone else’s house.

He grabbed some grey sweatpants from his suitcase and slid them on over his boxers before opening the bedroom door and heading for the bathroom to relieve himself. As he left the bathroom and padded across the hallway to the stairs, he thought he heard movement coming from the room Nancy had said was Liz’s. Her daughter. He frowned as he recalled the brief glimpse he’d caught of the girl last night… or rather, the brief glimpse he’d caught of her hair. As he walked down the stairs, he wondered again why his mother had never mentioned that her old friend had a teenage daughter, especially since Max was going to be staying with them for the holidays.

He was still deep in thought when he entered the kitchen, until the sound of Nancy’s voice startled him.

“Good morning, Max,” she smiled from where she was standing at the counter, wearing a dressing gown and pouring a cup of tea. “Sleep well?”

“Morning, Nancy. Yeah, not too bad,” he fibbed, not wanting to imply that he’d felt uncomfortable or uneasy in her home.

“Good, good,” she nodded. “I need to go and get Jeff up, but feel free to help yourself to some breakfast. Cereals and bowls are over there on the table, milk is in the fridge, there’s some bread here if you fancy toast, or if you can hang on a few minutes, I can make you something else.”

“Oh, no, that’s fine, Nancy,” Max shook his head. “You carry on with what you need to do. I can sort something out for myself.”

“Okay, then,” she replied, picking up the mug of tea and heading out of the kitchen. “I’ll leave you to it.”

When she was gone, Max browsed through the collection of cereal boxes lined up on the table, selecting one and reaching for a bowl and spoon, before pulling open the fridge door and grabbing a carton of milk. He prepared the cereal, placing the milk carton back in the fridge and then tucked into his Cornflakes, crossing one foot over the other as he leaned against the counter top.

Just as he’d taken his first mouthful, a movement and a groan from the doorway caught his attention. Max’s eyes widened as he took in the small, yet breathtaking, figure standing just inside the kitchen. The young woman was clad in a tiny tank top and short shorts, which clung to her body, accentuating her slim legs and womanly curves. Her long, uncombed dark hair fell half-covered her face, disguising her full beauty, and she was holding her hand to her head, sheltering her lidded eyes from the bright kitchen light.

“Urgh,” she mumbled, before stumbling to the table, taking a seat and letting her head fall onto her arms.

Max raised an eyebrow, but continued to eat his Cornflakes. So this must be Liz. Despite her bedraggled appearance, he could see how beautiful she was. He’d been wrong in his assumption about her age. This woman slumped before him was definitely not a teenager. He averted his eyes as a now-dressed Nancy breezed back into the kitchen… and stopped when she saw Liz.

“Morning, Lizzie.”

“Urgh, I feel like crap,” came a throaty murmur from beneath all that hair.

“Well, if you don’t want to suffer with hangovers, I would suggest not going out with your friends and drinking until the early hours of the morning,” sighed Nancy, with a shake of her head. “It’s the ultimate prevention strategy.”

She glanced at Max, who tried to conceal a smirk in his bowl of cereal, before turning to Liz once more.

“And I’m assuming the reason you went out last night is because you forgot we had a guest coming to stay.”

“Huh?” Liz lifted her head and peered at her mother through her unruly hair.

“You remember I told you about inviting my friend Diane’s son to spend Christmas with us don’t you?” asked Nancy, sending Max a conspiratorial grin. “Max, this is my daughter, Liz. Liz, meet Diane’s son Max–”

She was cut off by a gasp from Liz.

***

“Oh, holy shit!” exclaimed Liz, as she sat up fully in the chair and brushing her hair away from her face with her hand, her hangover momentarily forgotten.

What the hell?! She must be hallucinating… or still drunk. Because there was no way that Max Evans, Mr. Hollywood Star himself, was standing in her parents’ kitchen in a tight T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, helping himself to a bowl of cereal. No fucking way!!

“Hi, there,” he grinned, placing the spoon back into the bowl and reaching out a hand to her. “I’m–”

“Max Evans,” murmured Liz faintly, as she stood up on shaky legs. “I know.”

Her eyes locked with his as she reached out to shake his hand. She felt dizzy and light-headed and her heart was pounding in her chest… yet it had nothing to do with her hangover. The second their hands met, she felt a jolt of electricity; a tingle up her arm and the feeling left her breathless.

“Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too,” he replied, smiling the half-smile that had made her knee weak any time she saw him on screen. She’d never admitted it aloud, but Serena wasn’t the only one with a little celebrity crush.

“I, um, I’d better go… get… changed,” muttered Liz, self-consciously. “Into something more… um, appropriate.”

“Okay.”

“So, I’m gonna go…” she trailed off then, sliding her hand from his and shifting uncomfortably, before practically running from the room in embarrassment.

As she left, she missed Max’s gaze following her every move.

TBC…

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 587
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Post by Heavenli24 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:29 pm

Merry Christmas Everyone :D !!

I have up to part 5 written so far, which I will post either on Wednesday or Thursday (depending on how busy I am... 26th December is a public holiday here). I was hoping to work on more parts over the weekend so most of the story would be written before Christmas, but unfortunately I came down with the flu on Saturday and haven't been well enough to get anything more written (however much I've wanted to) :(.


Thank you for your feedback :):

elci - Thank you :).

tinie38 - Yeah... what will Serena think? :lol:

Michelle in Yonkers - :lol: - thanks :). Ahh, see Liz was only focused on getting to that table, and Max was in fact leaning against the side counter so she completely missed him, lol!

coley452 - Thank you :).

Aurorabee - :lol: - thanks :).

Lairabehr4 - Thanks, hun :).

Alien_Friend - Thanks :).

begonia9508 - Thanks :). No, I think Liz will want to keep Max to herself here :wink: .

martine - Thanks :). Keep on reading to see how things progress between them :)...

Tamashii - Thanks :). Yeah, I'm sure she will :lol: .

RiceKrispy - Thanks :).


***


Part Four

The moment Liz reached her bedroom she flung herself onto the bed with a groan. How embarrassing was that?! She’d just made a complete fool of herself in front of the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid her eyes on. How on Earth was she going to go back downstairs and face him again?

She sat up suddenly, her hand coming up to cradle her throbbing head, “Oh my God!”

That wasn’t just any gorgeous man lounging around in the kitchen. That was Max Evans. The very same film star she’d been secretly fantasising about for the last couple of years. And now he was somehow in her house and eating her food (okay, her parents’ food)… in his pyjamas!

Oh God!

She shook her head. She had to stop thinking about him… otherwise she’d never get anything done today. As quickly as she could without making her head hurt too much, she grabbed a towel and headed for the bathroom to take a shower.

Thirty minutes, one shower and two headache pills later, Liz felt much more refreshed dressed in fitted jeans and a floaty blue top. She blow-dried her hair straight and applied her usual minimal amount of make-up. As she left the room to head downstairs once more, she exhaled heavily in an attempt to calm her nerves.

She was surprised however, when she reached the bottom of the stairs and found her mum and Max standing in the hallway dressed to go out. Her eyes were immediately drawn to Max, who looked gorgeous in jeans that accentuated the muscles in his thighs and a winter jacket that perfectly complemented his dark hair and smouldering eyes.

“Oh, Liz,” said Nancy when she noticed Liz’s presence. “I need to pick up a few bits and pieces for the Christmas dinner tomorrow.” Nancy smiled up at Max, “And Max here has offered to accompany me to the shops. You’re welcome to join us if you’d like.”

Liz was tempted… going food shopping with a Hollywood celebrity wasn’t something that happened too often… but she had a few things to do today too and this morning would be the perfect opportunity to do that, especially since she’d agreed to make the chocolate Yule Log this afternoon too.

“No, you’re alright,” she shook her head. “I’m heading over to Kyle’s to exchange presents this morning anyway.”

“Okay then, dear,” nodded Nancy, “we’ll see you later then.”

Liz watched Max follow her mum out of the house, her eyes lingering on his denim-clad bum until he disappeared from view.

“Whoa,” she breathed, biting her lip.
Max Evans was one good-looking man.

***

As he got into the passenger side of Nancy’s car, Max couldn’t stop his gaze from lingering on the front door they’d just passed through. He was smitten. The moment Liz Parker had come into view dressed in those tight jeans and thin top, her long, straight, shiny hair flowing over her shoulders, his mouth had gone dry and words had deserted him. She truly was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, and that was saying something considering that he lived in LA and counted Isabel Ramirez, FHM’s 3rd Most Sexiest Woman 2007, as one of his closest friends. But Liz Parker had something else, something special and he had to find out more about her.

“So, um,” he started, as Nancy pulled the car out of the driveway, “my mom didn’t mention that you had a daughter…”

“Yeah, Liz is our pride and joy,” smiled Nancy, apparently unfazed by the fact that Diane hadn’t shared that piece of information with him. “The most wonderful and perfect daughter I could have ever asked for, albeit a little on the wild side on occasion.”

Max raised his eyebrow as he stared ahead through the windscreen, his mind suddenly filled with thoughts of a ‘wild’ Liz. He forced the thoughts to the back of his mind as Nancy glanced at him.

“I should apologise for the state she was in this morning, though,” she told him. “She doesn’t go out drinking that often, but when she does… well, she’s old enough to look after herself, I suppose.”

Max couldn’t resist asking, “How old is she?”

“She’s twenty-three … my little girl’s all grown up,” Nancy shook her head. “She lives in London now, so she’s just home for the holidays… which is most likely why she was out last night catching up with her old friends instead of here at home to welcome you.”

Max nodded as he took in this new information. So Liz was twenty-three, only five years younger than himself. After she’d left the kitchen so abruptly this morning, he’d had an awful thought that she could be much younger, despite her womanly figure. He didn’t think he could bare it if he’d discovered she was in fact only a teenager as he’d first assumed.

“Okay, here we are,” announced Nancy a few moments later as she pulled into a parking space outside the supermarket and turned off the engine.

Max climbed out of the small car and eyed the almost full car park. He suddenly had the dreading feeling that he was going to be recognised, judging by the number of people here, but as he entered the supermarket with Nancy, he began to relax a little. It seemed like most of the shoppers were either in too much of a hurry to pay any attention to him or too old to have been a fan anyway. In fact, more people noticed and said hello to Nancy Parker than to him and it was nice just to be able to walk round the store without trying to blend in and be anonymous. Of course, there were a couple of young teenagers who stopped and stared, nudging the person next to them as he walked by, but no one attempted to approach him or ask for an autograph.

Max followed Nancy around the supermarket, as she worked her way through the shopping list in her hand. It was really quite interesting to see how many familiar items were on the shelves – peanut butter, M&Ms, Dr. Pepper, Budweiser – but yet there was so much he had never heard of before. What on Earth were Marmite, Pot Noodles, Jaffa Cakes, HP Sauce and Hob Nobs? He hadn’t a clue.

As they walked up and down the aisles, Nancy would occasionally ask him if there was anything he particularly liked to eat and then pick up said food item for him. She also added a few things for Liz too, stating that her daughter deserved to be spoiled a little since this was the first time she’d come home to visit in ten months. Max was surprised at this, considering that her and Jeff seemed like wonderful people and great parents – who wouldn’t want to come home and visit them?

He was still mulling over the small amount of information he had gleaned about Liz Parker, when he and Nancy left the supermarket and loaded the bags of shopping into the car. Instead of heading straight home, however, Nancy suggested they get something to eat in a small café across the street, since it was getting close to lunchtime. By the time they returned to the house, it was after 1 pm. At first, there was no sign of Liz, but a few minutes after Max offered to help Nancy organise the shopping, the front door slammed and she appeared in the kitchen doorway, wearing the small long coat from the night before, a blue scarf wrapped around her neck.

As Nancy greeted her and asked if she’d had a good morning, Max remembered something Liz had said as they were leaving. She was going to Kyle’s to exchange gifts. A small pang went through his chest as his thoughts ran wild. Who was this Kyle? Was he her boyfriend? Please don’t let her have a boyfriend. Turning to put a bottle of Coke in the fridge, he rolled his eyes at himself. You’ve only just met the girl, he chided, you hardly know anything about her. Why are you getting so worked up like this?

The truth was, he had no idea.

***

After her mum had finished putting away the food in the kitchen and Max had excused himself to call his agent about a new script he was reading, Liz began preparing the ingredients she needed to bake the chocolate Christmas Log. It was kind of a tradition in her family that she would make it each year, since she couldn’t stand the taste of Christmas cake.

She was just in the process of greasing the baking tin and weighing out the ingredients when Max strolled into the kitchen with his hands in his pockets. Liz’s breath caught in her throat when she saw him out of the corner of her eye, but she just couldn’t bring herself to turn and face him… so she continued to occupy herself with her cooking instead.

“So,” began Max, casually leaning one shoulder against the refrigerator, which stood at the end of the counter Liz was working at. She startled slightly at the unexpected noise, but tried her best not to let her nervousness show. “Your mom tells me you live in London?”

“Ye–” the words caught in her throat. She cleared it and tried again, “Yeah, I do. I rent a flat just outside Central London.”

Max nodded, as Liz deposited some of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and began to stir, “So, what do you do in London?”

Liz glanced up briefly, wondering for a second if he was just trying to be polite, but he appeared to be genuinely interested.

“I write for a science magazine,” she replied. “Biology articles mostly – I have a degree in Biological Sciences.”

“Impressive,” he replied, and Liz could see him nodding his head.

“It pays the bills,” she shrugged self-consciously, before turning her head to look at him as a thought occurred to her. “So, um, not to sound rude or anything, but how come you’re here, staying with us instead of in a hotel or something?”

Max shrugged, moving away from the fridge and leaning on the counter next to Liz instead.

“Your mom invited me, and I didn’t feel like spending Christmas alone in a hotel room.”

“This is so strange,” Liz shook her head. “I mean, you’re a Hollywood celebrity, and you’re spending Christmas with a small family in South Gloucestershire.”

Max shrugged, ducking his head slightly as he flash her a half-smile that made her knees go weak.

“How did all this come about? Mum didn’t tell me much except ‘we’re having a guest for Christmas’.”

“Well, when your parents moved to Roswell, they lived opposite us,” he told her. “My mom was good friends with Nancy and they kept in touch even after your parents moved back here. A couple of weeks ago, after the premiere for the new Isabel Ramirez film, my mom called me to tell me that the Parker’s had invited me to stay with them for Christmas, since I would be over here anyway… and so here I am.”

***

Max watched Liz as she continued to stir the cake mix, all the while paying attention to what he was saying. He could sense that she was a little uncomfortable under his gaze, but he just couldn’t bring himself to look away. In fact, what he really wanted to do was move closer and take her into his arms. It was really quite strange, because he’d never reacted to a woman in this way before. Not to his first love, Rebecca Morris, and not even to Anna. He wasn’t the sort of guy who believed in things like love at first sight or who obsessed over girls. Being in the business, he was usually wary of intentions and careful not to invest too emotionally in relationships, as many of the women he came across were fake and shallow and one after one thing: either money or sex.

But something about Liz Parker had pulled him in, captured his attention, and he was powerless to stop it; she was simply intriguing. His eyes followed her flour-covered hand as it came up to brush away a strand of hair that had fallen across her forehead. The movement left a white smudge just above her eyebrow and somehow it made her look even more endearing… and sexy.

God, he thought to himself as he bit his lip, what is the matter with me? I’ve only known this girl for six hours and I’m already thinking about making her mine.

He made a conscious decision at that moment to stop thinking about her in that way… after all, she was his mom’s friend’s daughter. But then she moved closer to him and stretched up to reach for something in the cupboard next to his head and he was suddenly looking right now into her face, his eyes locking with hers. Her empty hand dropped down to the counter and Max inhaled sharply as he realised how close they were. All he had to do was lower his head slightly and his lips would touch hers…

“Max?” he averted his gaze and Liz quickly moved away as Nancy’s voice came floating in from the other room. “Would you mind helping me out with something?”

“Sure, Nancy, what do you need?” he called out, his voice a little shaky. “I’ll be right there.”

He took one last glance at Liz, who was busy pouring the cake mixture into a baking tray, before leaving the room.

TBC…

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:41 am

Post by Heavenli24 » Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:59 pm

Hi everyone :), I hope you've all had a great Christmas :). Since the title of this story is 'The Yule Log', I thought I'd share my tragic Yule Log story here. As Liz does in the fic, each year I make a chocolate log for everyone to eat at Christmas Dinner. Unfortunately, though, this year it didn't quite cook properly and so when turned it out to ice it with chocolate buttercream, it all got stuck to the tin and broke into pieces :( - so instead of a roll/log, all we got was a plate of broken cake bits held together with a bit of cream :lol: !!

Thank you for your feedback :):

Lairabehr4 - Thanks, hun :).

francesca - Thanks. They'll get there soon, :lol:

SpiritedPulcino - Me too, :lol: !

martine - Thanks :). Oh, it's definitely mutual between Max and Liz :wink: .

Aurorabee - Thanks :). I think the holidays definitely call for a fun story :).

Alien_Friend - Thanks :)... feeling a little better, but still have a terribly sore throat :( - I haven't been able to eat any chocolate or drink any alcohol since Saturday!
I think Nancy could be sensing something there :wink: .

RiceKrispy - Thanks :). I really needed to write something fun for my own benefit too... RL has been pretty crappy for me the last few months, but writing this story has cheered me up :).

tinie38 - Thank you :).

Natalie36 - Thanks :). I think Liz does like it, but she's just having trouble being around him and not jumping him right there, :lol: !

Blue*Soul (x2) - Yep, it's update day :).
Blue*Soul wrote:So this is my first Christmas story (even though Christmas is almost over). I've only read up until chapter two, but I got really excited because you mentioned Bristol (thats my home town) and London (where I'm living now). Ah, I feel a connection my English friend!
Really?! My home town is Bristol too :) !! Well, actually, I was born in Bristol and brought up in S. Glos (in case you hadn't guessed from the story, lol). I'm only going to be here for another couple of weeks though, cos I'm moving to New Mexico in 20 days (scary stuff)!!
Whereabouts in the area are you from?

Mariel311 - Thanks :).

Michelle In Yonkers - Thanks :). I've found RL rather depressing lately (with more to come... my masters thesis defense is in 12 days) and so I was able to cheer myself up with the story too :). Unfortunately, I also have the effects of the writers' strike to look forward to, as I'll be living in the US in 3 weeks' time :(.

elci - Thank you :).

Addicted2AmberEyes - Thanks :). WOn't be long now before feelings are revealed :).

begonia9508 - Thanks :).


***

Part Five

“So, how are you settling in then, Max?” asked Jeff Parker, as he spooned some peas onto his dinner plate and then handed the bowl to Liz. “I hear my wife dragged you around the shops today.”

“Jeff!” exclaimed Nancy playfully. “You make it sound like I handcuffed him to the shopping trolley or something!”

“I’m settling in great, thanks, Jeff,” replied Max, as he tried to conceal his grin. “You and Nancy have been so kind to let me stay with you.”

“It’s our pleasure, Max,” smiled Nancy, “I just can’t believe it’s been so long since we last saw you. You can’t have been older than four or five when we left Roswell.”

“I was four,” confirmed Max with a nod.

“And look where you are now,” she gushed. “You’ve come so far since then, it’s amazing.”

“Thanks,” Max ducked his head at the compliment, but when he looked up again, his eyes met Liz’s. She gave him a small smile, before Jeff spoke up and he averted his eyes.

“So, what are your plans for after Christmas, Max? I hear you’re making a new film over here?”

“Yeah, I am,” he replied. “Filming starts January 4th just outside London, but we’ll be shooting in various locations around the country as well.”

“What’s the film about?” enquired Liz, speaking up for the first time since the meal had begun.

“It’s an independent drama set in 1970’s Britain. The majority of the cast are British, but I’m play an American businessman living in London, who gets involved in the seedier side of things.”

“Sounds interesting,” Liz nodded. “How long will you be over here for?”

Max smiled, turning his full attention to her now, “The filming schedule is planned for two months, so I’ll be in the UK until early March.”

“Well, you’re always welcome to come and visit us again during your time here,” piped up Nancy.

“Thank you,” Max smiled and nodded, but his eyes remained on Liz, unable to tear them away from her beautiful face.

The meal continued in relative silence, until halfway through dessert, when Liz broke the quiet calm that had settled over the table.

“Hey, anyone up for going ice-skating tonight?” she asked between mouthfuls of apple crumble and custard.

At her words, Max perked up a little, his mind filling with images of Liz skating in graceful circles, her shiny hair flowing behind her, beautifully illuminated by strings of lights as snow fell all around her – not that there was any snow here in England right now, but it was nice to imagine it.

However, his mood dipped when she continued.

“Kyle was telling me this morning about the new outdoor ice rink that’s opened just outside of town. He suggested a Christmas Eve outing tonight.”

There it was: Kyle again. Who on Earth was this Kyle and why was Liz so enthusiastic about spending time with him?

“Sounds great, honey, but I’m afraid Dad and I have already arranged to pop round to the Brady’s this evening for pre-Christmas wine and mince pies so we won’t be able to come,” Nancy told her as she took a sip from her glass of water.

“Oh, okay,” nodded Liz, her tone slightly disappointed.

“But I’m sure Max wouldn’t mind accompanying you,” she added. “What do you think, Max?”

Max forced a smile onto his face, “Sure, I’d love to.”

He felt torn; on the one hand, he wanted to spend as much time with Liz as possible, and ice-skating on Christmas Eve might be the perfect opportunity to do so, but on the other hand, he wasn’t sure he could handle it if this ‘Kyle’ turned out to be her boyfriend.

“Great,” smiled Liz, clapping her hands together happily, causing Max to smile at her exuberance, his heart doing a flip in his chest at the gesture.

What was it about this woman that had him falling for her within only hours of meeting her?

***

The walk to the ice rink was more than a little awkward, as Liz suddenly became very aware of the fact that she was walking alone at night with a man she’d fantasised about being with on more than one occasion. And he wasn’t just any man either; he was a film star, a celebrity… unattainable by all accounts, yet here he was staying in her parents’ house and spending Christmas with her family.

Luckily, they reached the rink within fifteen minutes and Liz spotted Kyle right away – he was standing near the entrance, leaning against the side of the rink, as he watched the people skating on the ice. Liz smiled to herself as she realised he wasn’t just watching out of curiosity, but was keeping an eye on them – as if he couldn’t get away from being a policeman even on his night off.

“There’s Kyle,” she indicated to Max. “Come on, I’ll introduce you.”

She thought she saw a frown cross his face for a second, but it quickly became a small smile as he followed her to the rink entrance.

“Hey, Kyle.”

He turned to face her, a huge grin on his face, as he held out his arms for a hug.

“Lizzie! You made it! I thought no one was gonna turn up and I’d be here all on my lonesome,” he pouted as he released her and then noticed Max over her shoulder. “And you brought someone along too?” he raised an eyebrow, a mischievous expression lighting up his face.

It was well known in their small circle of friends that Liz wasn’t the type to invite random dates along to their get-togethers. She was rather picky when it came to relationships and didn’t bring along a friend or a date unless she was serious about wanting to get involved with them.

Liz turned to Max, giving him a quick smile, “Kyle, I’d like to you meet Max; he’s staying with us for Christmas.”

“Max, this is Kyle, one of my best friends,” she indicated to Kyle.

“Nice to meet you,” came Max’s soft, warm timbre, as he held out his hand to Kyle.

“You too,” Kyle shook his hand. “You’re American?”

“Yeah,” nodded Max, seemingly a little surprised that Kyle didn’t recognise him. “I live in California; but I’m over here for… work.”

Liz smiled to herself; Kyle wasn’t one to keep up with celebrity gossip. He likely had no idea that Max was an actor, let alone that he was one of today’s rising stars.

“How do you know the Parkers?” Kyle wondered curiously.

Max glanced at Liz for a moment before replying, “They used to live opposite my parents in Roswell, New Mexico when I was a kid. My mom and Liz’s mom are good friends.”

“You used to live in America, Liz? How did I not know that?” Kyle was surprised.

“No, my parents did,” Liz shook her head. “They moved back here a few months before I was born.”

Before Kyle had the chance to reply, a new voice cut in, “Hey, guys, what’s going on?”

“Hey, Alex,” smiled Liz warmly.

He grinned, rubbing his hands together, “So, are we all ready for some skating action tonight?”

“Almost, “ replied Kyle, “just waiting for Serena to arrive.”

“Cool,” nodded Alex, before suddenly noticing Max standing behind Liz. “Oh, hey, I don’t think we’ve met.” He held out his hand, “I’m Alex Whitman.”

Liz stepped to the side so Max could shake Alex’s hand.

“Max Evans,” smiled Max. “Nice to meet you.”

“So, you’re here with Liz?” asked Alex, frowning slightly, as if he was trying to place where he’d seen him before.

“Yeah,” Max glanced at Liz for a second. “I’m staying with the Parkers for the holidays.”

“You are?” wondered Alex, turning to Liz. “I don’t remember you mentioning a houseguest when we were in the pub last night.”

Liz bit her lip and gave him a sheepish look.

“Yeah, I uh, kinda forgot he was coming,” she glanced at Max apologetically. He just shrugged and sent her the little smile she’d fantasised about so many times in the past.

“Yeah, well, I can see how that might have happened considering how much you and Ser were drinking last night,” Alex rolled his eyes, turning back to Max, “Hey, don’t I know y–?”

“So sorry I’m late,” gasped a new voice from behind Alex. It was a flustered Serena, looking like she’d just run all the way here. “Younger siblings can be a bloody nightmare when you’re trying to get ready to go out!”

“Hey Ser,” grinned Kyle, a twinkle in his eye. “Nice to see you made it eventually.”

“Hi to you too, Kyle,” she rolled her eyes. “Hey, Liz; Alex.” She turned to the newcomer, “Hi, there, I’m – fucking hell!”

She turned to Liz, her eyes wide with shock, “Liz, that’s… that’s….”

Liz nodded, a smirk playing on her lips, “Yeah.”

“You’re Max Evans!” she exclaimed finally, as she stared up at Max. “Oh my God, Liz, this is Max Evans!”

“I know,” agreed Liz with a nod.

“Hi there,” smiled Max. Liz could see him trying to keep a straight face at Serena’s reaction to him. “It’s Serena, isn’t it?”

“I, um, I… yeah… I’m Serena,” she managed eventually. “Um, what… what are you doing here? I mean, not that you shouldn’t be here, or anything, but I mean, you, like, live in a big mansion in Beverley Hills and socialise with Paris Hilton and that girl off Heroes!”

This time, it was Liz’s turn to smirk as Max shot her a helpless look.

“Um, well, I don’t exactly live in Beverley Hills, and I’ve never met Paris or Hayden in my life, but–”

This is so weird!” Serena exclaimed, cutting him off. “I mean, what on Earth are you doing here in England?”

“He’s staying with us for Christmas,” announced Liz, saving Max from having to reply. “Our parents know each other.”

“Your family knows Max Evans and you never said anything?” wondered Serena, her eyes wide.

Liz glanced at Max. “Well, I didn’t actually realise it was him until we met this morning,” she admitted.

“That’s where I’ve seen you before!” exclaimed Alex suddenly. “You played Patrick Fox in Blue Murder – I loved that film!”

“Yeah,” shrugged Max. “That was me.”

“Wow, Liz, you have a real, live Hollywood film star staying in your house!” exclaimed Serena.

“Yeah,” chuckled Liz, raising an eyebrow at Max. Their eyes met and they shared a smile that sent tingles down her spine.

Before Serena could make a fool out of herself any more, Kyle grabbed her by the arm and declared that it was time to skate and the five of them headed into the skate hire booth.

***

Standing out on the ice thirty minutes later, Christmas songs blasting through the portable PA system, Liz found her eyes wandering to Max more than once as he skated hesitantly around the rink. She couldn’t help smiling to herself at the intense look of concentration marring his otherwise flawless, tanned features. Although she’d inwardly rolled her eyes at Serena’s awed reaction to meeting Max Evans in person, she couldn’t deny that his sparkling amber eyes and to-die-for smile had set her own heart a-fluttering in the kitchen this morning.

She reluctantly tore her eyes away from him as a loud giggle to her left caught her attention. In the corner of the rink, Kyle was struggling to stay upright on his skates as Serena tried to pull him across the ice. Liz chuckled as Kyle grabbed the back pocket of her jeans and she tumbled into him, knocking them both to the ground. Serena was giggling wildly as she tried to stand up, while Kyle tried his best to prevent her from doing so. As she playfully punched his arm, Liz couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps there was something going on between the two of them. Sure, they’d always been close friends, always teasing and annoying the hell out of each other, but today they seemed different… closer and more comfortable with each other than usual.

She didn’t have time to mull it over for long, however, as a sudden mutter of “Oh no!” sounded behind her. She turned just in time to see Max coming towards her, slightly unsteady on his skates, his hands held out in front of him as he tried to stop before he hit the railing she was leaning against. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful and Liz could only watch as he headed right for her, his hands grabbing hold of the railing either side of her body as he finally came to a stop, his body mere centimetres from hers.

She tentatively lifted her head to meet his eyes, her heart beating frantically in her chest as she realised how close he was, his jean-clad thighs brushing against hers, his arms effectively trapping her between his body and the railing and his hands so close to hers on the railing that their skin was almost touching. Her tongue snuck out to moisten her lips as her mouth suddenly went dry, the look in his intense eyes sent tingling down her arms.

“Sorry,” he murmured softly, his warm breath tickling her cheek. “I guess I’m not too good at this skating thing.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” she replied breathily. “You were looking pretty good to me.”

“Yeah?” the corner of his mouth lifted in a smirk, his gaze sweeping down over her face, causing her cheeks to grow hot under his scrutiny. “You too.”

“Thanks,” she mumbled distractedly, unable to concentrate on anything else but his close proximity to her.

“Hey, Liz! Check this out!”

The moment was broken when Kyle shouted for her attention. Liz averted her eyes from Max’s gaze as he released his grip on the railing and moved away from her a little.

“What’s up, Kyle?” she called, manoeuvring around Max so she could see her friend.

Kyle was grinning broadly as he skated – or rather glided – backwards. Liz chuckled as the pleased expression on his face. She glanced back at Max to see his reaction and found that he was smiling as well.

A moment later, Alex and Serena joined them and the five of them spent the next half an hour skating around the rink together.

***

The walk home from the ice rink was a little strange for Liz: the atmosphere between them was tension-filled, yet somehow warm and comforting. Unlike their earlier journey, this one wasn’t filled with awkward silences; instead, they made small talk, discussing Christmas traditions within their respective families and their favourite memories of the holiday season.

The house was dark when they arrived back home just after eleven pm, save for the Christmas tree lights twinkling in the front room window.

“Mum and Dad must have already gone to bed,” said Liz, as she slid her key in the front door and unlocked it, motioning for Max to follow her inside.

“Would you like anything to eat or drink?” she offered, as she headed into the living room with the intention of turning off the tree lights for the night. She noticed that soft instrumental Christmas carols were playing on the stereo and she wondered for a moment why her parents hadn’t bothered to switch them off when they went to bed. “Max?” she wondered, when there was no reply.

“Oh!” she turned around, only to bump right into him, as he’d apparently chosen to follow her into the room. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” he murmured, his gaze burning into hers.

Liz had to suppress a gasp as she looked up into his eyes; the coloured light from the tree illuminating his handsome features. He truly was the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on. His pictures really did not do him justice!

“Well, I’d better turn off the lights,” she said then. “Don’t want the house burning down.”

She took a step back, intending to move across the room, but Max’s hand reached out and caught her elbow, pulling her back round to face him again.

“In a minute,” he murmured throatily, his hand drifting up to curl around her upper arm and draw her closer.

“Max?” whispered Liz, as she found herself almost flush against his warm, hard body.

Before she could say another word, his other hand came up and buried itself in her long hair, cupping her neck, tilting her face upwards.

Liz couldn’t breathe as she watched his lips descend towards hers in slow motion. No man had ever made her feel like this before: her heart was pounding in her chest; her palms were suddenly sweaty; she felt strange tingles shooting up her spine and down her arms to the tips of her fingers and her knees felt weak. And that was all before he’d even kissed her.

The moment his mouth finally touched hers, his soft, warm lips caressing her own in a spine-tingling gesture, it was like the rest of the world ceased to exist. It was the perfect scene: festive music playing in the background and multi-coloured tree lights creating an entirely romantic atmosphere, and Liz never wanted it to end.

Electricity sizzled between them and the feel of Max’s lips moving softly, yet urgently against hers, made Liz’s head spin. She let out a muffled sigh as Max deepened the kiss, his fingers tightening in her hair, and she let her hands glide up his arms, revelling in the hidden muscles she felt there. She let one hand rest on his bicep as the other slid around his neck to hold him closer.

She never wanted this moment to end.

TBC…

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:41 am

Post by Heavenli24 » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:34 pm

Hey everyone, thanks for the feedback. Glad you're enjoying the story :):

Lairabehr4 - Hey, you shouldn't be complaining... as my beta, you get to read the parts before everyone else :P !

Blue*Soul -
Blue*Soul wrote:Yeah, I live in Siston Common now, although I was born in good old St Michaels Hospital. This is wierd, how come I didn't know you were from Bristol?? Hah. Small world.
I was born in the lovely Southmead Hospital, but I grew up in Thornbury. I do spend a fair amount of time in Bristol though - I did my MSc at Bristol Uni last year (my dept is right at the top of Park St) and I work in Cribbs Causeway (but only for another week) :) .

martine - Thanks :). I would have updated yesterday if I could have, but unfortunately I didn't finish writing part 6 until today.

keepsmiling7 - Thank you :).

RiceKrispy - Thank you :). I was spoiled on the RL front last year... I was working full time in retail, so I had loads of spare time to work on my stories... I could let my mind wander at work to plan them and then write when I got home. However, I've been doing research at grad school for the last year and the fics had to take a back seat... it's hard to sit down and concentrate when you've already spent 8 hours sitting in front of the computer doing data analysis and reading papers :lol: .

begonia9508 - Thanks, :lol: . I think I made the right decision with the ice skating, rather than the original scene I had planned for the story.

tinie38 - Thank you :).

AuroraBee - Thanks - Glad you're enjoying it :wink: .

Michelle In Yonkers - Yeah, unfortunately I needed to get the next couple of scenes written and didn't have a chance to concentrate more on Serena and the others during the ice skating. I need to keep the story short and fairly fast-paced as I only have a few days in which to finish it :roll: .

behrluv32 - Thank you :).

Becca1974 - I'm sorry :P (actually, no I'm not... I love keeping you all in suspense :wink: ).

ShatteredDreamer - Thanks - Something tells me that Liz is on the same wavelength as Max in this one :wink: .


***


Part Six

Liz awoke on Christmas morning with a contented smile on her face; she stretched lazily, letting out a small sigh as memories of the night before came rushing back to her. She had kissed Max Evans; Max Evans had kissed her… and it had been the single most romantic, most spine-tingling moment of her life. Could it be that she had actually found the love she’d been hoping for all her life? That one person who made her breathless with one look and who loved her with all his heart and who she could love with all of hers.

The smile still plastered on her face, she slid out of bed and padded to the door. She pulled it open intending to go to the bathroom, but instead stopped in her tracks as the door to the space room opposite opened to reveal Max, her mouth dropped open at the sight in front of her … he was wearing nothing but boxer shorts.

Her eyes widened as he stepped through the door, well-defined arm and stomach muscles rippling with every movement. His eyes were half closed as he rubbed the sleep from them and Liz took the opportunity to let her gaze roam his body. Her heart began to race and her cheeks grew warm at the sight of all that bare, tanned and perfectly muscled skin. Max Evans was built like a god. She had to admit yet again that photographs and movie stills had nothing on the real thing.

She was so caught up in her perusal of his perfect body that she didn’t notice that he’d opened his eyes fully and was watching her intently. She jumped in surprise when she raised her eyes to his face and found him staring at her with dark eyes.

“Oh!” she exclaimed, her hand jumping to cover her heart. “Um…Merry Christmas, Max.”

His lips turned up in a smile that made her insides melt, “Merry Christmas, Liz.”

Liz remained standing there in the hallway for several long seconds as she continued to stare, unable to get her mind to function properly. It wasn’t until Max shifted in the doorway, moving slightly out of her current line of sight, that she snapped out of it.

“I, uh, I was just gonna…” she trailed off as she pointed towards the bathroom.

“Oh, um… me too,” added Max, standing up straight now. “After you, though.”

Liz’s eyes widened once again.

“Oh, no, you go first,” she decided. “After all, you are the guest.”

Max shook his head, “It’s fine, honestly. Ladies first.”

“Are you sure? I mean, you can go ahead, I don’t mind.”

“For heaven’s sake, Lizzie, just go and use the bathroom,” Jeff’s voice interrupted them as he emerged from his and Nancy’s bedroom. “Your mother and I want to make it to church in the next hour and we’ll never get there on time with you standing there two umm-ing and ahh-ing all day.” He rolled his eyes, and then smiled, “Merry Christmas to the both of you, by the way.”

Embarrassed, Liz glanced first at her father and then at Max before scurrying into the bathroom, locking the door behind her and then letting her head fall forward against the door.

Oh God. How embarrassing was that?!

***

Inside the guest room, Max smirked to himself when he heard Liz finally emerge from the bathroom and then return to her bedroom and so he took the opportunity to quickly use the facilities himself, thereby freeing up the bathroom for Jeff and Nancy to use.

After getting dressed, he spent several minutes searching through his luggage for the assortment of presents he’d purchased for the Parkers and also the ones his mom had given him to bring on behalf of the family. With bags in hand, he made his way downstairs, depositing the gifts beneath the tree in the living room where all of the other presents were already waiting, before heading for the kitchen to grab some breakfast and a cup of coffee.

Entering the kitchen, he found Liz, Nancy and Jeff already seated around the breakfast table.

“Morning, Max. Merry Christmas,” smiled Nancy. “Please, take a seat.”

“Thanks,” he smiled as he sat down next to Liz. “Merry Christmas everyone.”

“Here you go, Max,” said Nancy, as she passed him a plate of scrambled eggs and bacon.

“Thanks, Nancy.”

He picked up a fork, sending Liz a quick smile before tucking in.

“So, what’s the plan for today?” asked Liz a moment later.

“Well, your mum and I are going to head to church in a few minutes,” replied Jeff. “You can come too if you want.”

Liz shook her head, “No, it’s okay. I don’t really go any other time of the year, so it seems a bit silly to go just ’cause it’s Christmas. And anyway, I still have to make the icing for the Yule Log and decorate it, so I might as well do that while you’re at church.”

“What about you, Max?” wondered Nancy. “You’re welcome to join us if you like.”

He glanced at Liz for a second; the memory of what had almost happened here in the kitchen yesterday when she’d been baking the cake and what had actually happened in the living room last night coming back to him.

“Um, you know, I’m not really a big church-goer either,” he admitted to Nancy. “I think I’ll just stay here… maybe give Liz a hand with her baking.”

He gave Liz a suggestive smirk, which she responded to by ducking her head and concentrating on the food in front of her.

“Okay, then” said Nancy, taking a sip of tea. “Jeff and I will go to church, and then we can open the presents before Christmas dinner. Which reminds me, Liz, since you’ll be here, I’ll give you a list of the things that can to go in the oven while we’re out. That way we can eat a bit earlier than I thought we’d be able to.”

“Okay, Mum. No problem.”

While Max finished his breakfast, Nancy and Jeff cleared away their dishes, gave Liz some cooking instructions and then put on their coats and headed out of the front door, leaving the two of them alone in the kitchen.

“So…” began Max as he put down his fork and inched a little closer to Liz, looking at her intently.

“So…?” she murmured softly, lifting her head to return the gaze.

Max just smiled, the words he’d be about to say flying out of his head, as he got caught in her eyes.

“Hi.”

“Hi,” she chuckled with a slight shake of her head as she stood up and gathered their plates, carrying them to the sink.

Max turned in his chair and observed her as she prepared the food to be cooked for dinner, as per Nancy’s request, and then began gathering the tools she needed to make the icing for the chocolate log she’d baked yesterday. He wanted to say something about the kiss they’d shared last night, but at the same time it almost seemed like he didn’t even need to do so. Liz appeared comfortable in his presence this morning and the atmosphere between them was currently warm and kind of… playful. It felt as if talking about it might somehow break the crackling tension in the air and bring them both back down to earth… and that would be a shame.

So instead, he just watched, very much intrigued by her as she worked. It was just crazy; how was it that this woman, whom he’d only just met twenty-four hours earlier, had such a hold on him. From the moment he’d laid eyes on her, he’d been sucked in, and it was like he couldn’t get enough. She was almost the complete opposite of the women he’d encountered in California; she was a smart, educated career woman, who from what he could tell, cared much more about her family and friends than her image or the amount of money available. Not to mention that she was also funny and witty, albeit a little sarcastic at times, and he couldn’t help but want to be in her presence.

When he’d grabbed her arm and kissed her last night, it had been because he simply couldn’t resist those inviting lips any longer. He’d very nearly given in and pressed his mouth to hers earlier at the ice rink, but luckily Kyle had interrupted them before he’d made drawn attention to them in public. After all, who knew how many people might have recognised him out there? It would have been a perfect photo opportunity for any lurking paparazzi and it wouldn’t have been fair to put Liz in that position.

Unable to sit still any longer, he slid out of his chair and sauntered over to Liz, who was placing icing sugar, cocoa and butter into the electric mixer. He watched as she lowered the beater down into the bowl and reached for the knob to turn it on.

“Can I do anything to help?” he asked from behind, lowering his head so that his mouth was close to her ear.

“Shit!” she jumped in surprise, her hand slipping and turning the machine on full. Max could only watch with wide eyes as the ingredients sprayed up out of the bowl, showering both Liz and himself with the white, powdery sugar.

“Oh, God,” chuckled Liz, as she quickly turned the knob back to the ‘off’ position. “I’m so sorry.”

She turned to face him with laughter in her eyes and Max found himself grinning at her appearance, although he supposed his own face looked much the same. However, the moment their eyes met, the playful expression left Liz’s face and was replaced by something else all together; something that made his pulse race and his body tighten.

He could take it no longer; she looked so tempting, her cheeks glistening with icing sugar, streaks of white in her hair where she’d run her hand through it when she’d switched off the mixer just now. He just had to…

He began to lower his mouth towards hers slowly, at exactly the same moment she chose to grab his neck with her sugar-covered hand and press her lips against his. He let out a muffled moan at the contact, the feel of her warm, inviting mouth making his head spin.

His hands came up to grasp her waist and he lifted her up onto the counter, as she moved her free hand to his shoulder, gripping the muscles there with her fingers. He stepped between her knees, pulling her small body closer as he deepened the kiss, urging her lips apart with the tip of his tongue, before tangling it with hers.

Liz shifted on the counter, bringing her lower body into contact with his hips, an involuntary moan escaping from her lips at the movement. Max slid his hands from her waist to her back, as he broke the kiss and instead lowered his head to her neck, trailing soft butterfly kisses across the soft skin he encountered there. A smile came to his lips when Liz gasped, arching her back and squirming a little as his fingers hit a sensitive spot on her lower back.

“Max,” she breathed, her fingers burying themselves in his dark locks, sending tingles through his body with their massaging action.

God, Liz Parker was the most amazing woman he’d ever met, he decided, as she brought his head up again and captured his lips between hers once more. The gesture sent shivers down his spine and tingles down his arms. How was it that in all his years of dating, no woman had ever made him feel like this before? What exactly was it about Liz that affected him this way?

***

Liz almost giggled when she and Max finally parted and she saw their surroundings; there was cocoa and icing sugar everywhere… on the counter, on her arms, and all over Max. He had white smudges all across his cheeks and forehead, stripes in his hair and stains all down his navy cotton T-shirt… although she was sure she didn’t look any better.

However, before the laughter even had a chance to reach her throat, the scorching look in Max’s eyes stopped her cold. She shivered under his intense gaze, as a curl of heat winding its way through her belly. Just like that, she made a snap decision.

Pushing Max away slightly, she slid off the counter with a smirk and slipped her hand in his.

“Come on,” she urged, tugging on his arm as she headed for the hallway.

As she’d hoped, Max followed willingly as she left the kitchen and began climbing the stairs. Her heart was racing; she almost couldn’t believe she was about to do this… she wasn’t the sort of girl who slept with men she’d only known for a day… but somehow this was different. For a start, the man in question wasn’t just any old bloke, he was Max Evans, and secondly, she’d never felt this way about anyone before.

Somehow, this just felt right.

TBC…

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:41 am

Post by Heavenli24 » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:50 pm

Hey everyone :). Sorry to leave you all hanging in the last part. The truth was that I had planned for the part to be much longer but I didn't have time to finish it before posting on Friday, so I split it into 2 parts instead.

Thank you for your feedback :):

pookie76 - Sorry :roll: :P

Addicted2AmberEyes - I'm back now... with a new part for you :).

guelbebek - Thanks :). I didn't mean to torture you... I didn't get a chance to write more before posting :roll: .

behrluv32 - Thanks :).

francesca - Thanks :).

Lairabehr4 - Thanks, :lol: .

tinie38 - Thanks :). She is being forward, isn't she? But then she's also showing that she wants Max as much as he wants her :wink: .

|RiceKrispy - Thanks :). I'm studying Geophysics... yeah I know what you mean. Usually I can handle the school work and the writing, but when you're sitting in front of that computer in your stuffy room at university 6 hours a day, 6 days a week (including Sundays) for 6 months to write a 100-page research dissertation... you just about lose the will to live!!

ShatteredDreamer - Thanks :). No coal in any stockings here though, I'm afraid :P .

Blue*Soul - Alright, so I did leave it there, but I'm back with a new part now :).

tijuana_lady - Thanks :). No, I'm not gonna stop right in the middle of it, although now that you've mentioned it, that might be a good cliffhanger trip for the future... :lol:

Becca1974 - Thanks :). Just to clarify, Max and Anna are not a couple... they hook up occasionally when they're both single and available, but that's as far as it goes.

begonia9508 - Thanks, :lol: !

Natalie36 - Thanks :). Here's more for you...

dreamsatnight - Thanks :). Don't worry, the food in the over was just the turkey... which takes at least 2-3 hours to cook :wink: .

Alien_Friend - Thanks :).
What a state they left the kitchen in. I can just picture Nancy an Jeff's reaction if they see it. I think Jeff is in on to those two too. It was so funny when he broke into their morning after nerves in the hall way.
I considered writing a scene with them walking in on the mess, but unfortunately it didn't fit in with the timeline of the part :(.
I hope are back to eating chocolate and drinking alcohol now. The holidays are especially no fun without those things.
I'm eating the chocolate, but not so much of the alcohol just yet... saving up for New Years instead :).

martine - Thanks :). That scene with Nancy and Jeff would be funny :lol: . Don't worry about 'the girlfriend', Max and Anna aren't a couple, just friends who spend extra time together on occasion.



***

Part Seven

Liz led Max into her bedroom, letting the door bang shut behind her as he swept her into his arms, pressing her against the dark wood and capturing her lips with his. Her heart pounded in her chest and the tips of her fingers tingled in response to his hot caresses. She shuddered as Max slid his warm hands up her sides, his thumbs just barely brushing her breasts through her thin blouse, before he reached her armpits, gently urging her arms upwards, his fingers trailing along her bare skin until his fingers entwined with hers above her head and he was effectively pinning her to the door.

“Oh God,” she sighed, as his tongue slid between her lips, deepening the kiss.

She shifted restlessly against him, knees growing weak with desire as her lower body came into contact with his and she felt the hard muscles of his thighs flex against her. She rocked her hips in response, causing Max to let out a strangled gasp, his hands releasing hers and dropping to her waist. His mouth still firmly attached to hers, he reached for her blouse, his fingers slipping beneath the light material to graze her lower back, before sliding his hands up over her warm skin taking the blouse with them.

He pulled the garment upwards, only breaking their kiss to lift it over her head and then let it fall to the floor. Liz used the opportunity to lower her arms, draping them around his neck so she could run her fingers through his soft, thick hair. She let out a breathy moan when she felt his large, warm hands on the bare skin of her stomach, fingers lightly trailing across her skin, journeying upwards towards her lace-covered breasts.

“Max…”

She could take it no longer, she needed more… untangling her fingers from his hair, she ran her hands down over his shoulders and back, tugging at his T-shirt. Max broke the kiss for a moment, giving her his famous half-smile as he reached for the shirt and pulled it over his head. His hands came down to rest on her hips and Liz shivered, not only because of the cool air on her bare skin, but also because the sight of Max Evans, half-naked and currently pinning her to her own bedroom door was sending curls of heat through her abdomen.

Her gaze locked with his and for a moment, time stood still. A silent understanding passed between them as they stood facing each other, breathing heavily. Taking a step back, Max offered her his hand and she took it, moving away from the door. Taking the initiative, she led him toward the bed, stopping just a foot away when Max reached for her. He slid his hand under her chin, gently lifting it so he could kiss her once more. Her arms wound around his neck while he enveloped her in his, holding her to him tightly as she lost herself in him.

They sank down onto the bed, Max hovering above Liz as they continued to kiss, one hand supporting her back, the other placed on the bed next to her head. She let her legs fall open so he could settle between them and they both inhaled sharply as denim met denim. Max pressed his lower body against hers, allowing her to feel the effect she had on him and her back arched, her head falling back against the pillow, her body tingling in response to his close proximity.

Max took this opportunity to explore her body more fully, his lips kissing a soft trail along her jaw line, down the gentle curves of her neck and over her collarbone. As he continued his ministrations lower towards her chest, Liz let her hands roam across his shoulders, feeling the tight muscles move beneath his flawless skin as his mouth reached her breasts and worked its magic. The hand supporting her back slid upwards and his fingers worked quickly to unhook her bra. Max shifted to the side so he could slide the lacy material down her arms and she let go of him so he could dispose of the item completely.

Their eyes met and he gave her a soft smile, as he lightly caressed her bare breast with his fingers, leaving a light trail of white powdery sugar on her skin. Liz gazed up at him, a smile tugging at her own lips as she took in his dishevelled appearance. His hair was sticking up in all directions, streaks of icing mix creating white highlights in his otherwise dark locks… he looked irresistible.

She reached for him, her arms winding around his neck once more as she kissed his lips, urging him on top of her. She let out a small moan as her bare skin came into intimate contact with his chest and her hips rocked urgently beneath his. Not breaking the kiss, Max reached between their bodies, quickly unzipping first her jeans then his own. Shifting so he could kneel, he slid his hands inside her waistband and Liz lifted her hips so he could manoeuvre the denim over them and down her legs. His jeans quickly followed and he moved to stretch his body over hers, their underwear the only remaining barrier between them.

Liz shuddered, feeling his muscular thighs pressing against hers and his arousal nestled intimately between her legs. Her heart was beating wildly and she could feel a knot of anticipation tightening in her stomach. However, all conscious thought flew from her mind as Max reached down, sliding his fingers beneath the elastic of her knickers, gently caressing the small bundle of nerves at her centre. She gasped for breath at his intimate strokes, as she clung to his shoulders. His mouth nipped and nuzzled her neck while his fingers continued to tease her, bringing her closer and closer toward ecstasy.

But just when she was on the brink of release, he stopped, removing his hand and lifting his head from her neck. Placing his hands on either side of her head and supporting himself on his elbows, he gazed down at her.

“Liz…”

She smiled softly, “Max…?”

“I…” he trailed off, seemingly unsure of what he wanted to say.

Liz slowly shook her head as if she instinctively knew what was on his mind, “Don’t say anything. Don’t think. Just feel.”

“Okay,” he whispered, with a slight smirk.

“I want you,” murmured Liz feverishly, as he lowered his head toward her mouth, “so much.”

Their lips met in a frenzied, passionate embrace, as they clung to each other, lower bodies rocking together intimately, seeking out a release from the overwhelming tension they felt. Within seconds, their underwear was gone and it was just hot skin against hot skin. Liz sighed and moaned as she felt Max’s arousal pressing against her damp centre, gently brushing her clit as they gently moved together, anticipating what was to come.

Max raised his mouth from where it was caressing her shoulder to her ear.

“Do you have…?”

“Yeah,” she murmured, in answer to his unspoken question, “in the drawer next to the bed.”

“Okay.”

He lifted his upper body off her so he could open the drawer and pull out a condom. Liz just watched in silence as he opened the small packet and quickly rolled it on, before positioning himself at her entrance.

Liz’s stomach muscles tightened involuntarily as he slowly entered her, a soft gasp escaping from her lips at the pleasurable sensation. Max too let out a small groan as he moved his hips, pushing deeper inside her.

The pressure began to build as Max’s strokes became more powerful and the pleasure started to drive Liz crazy. Her whole body was tingling and she was gasping for breath as she clung to him. Sex had never felt like this before, and as Max gazed down at her, his lower body thrusting into hers, she was hit with a moment of clarity. This was how it was supposed to be. This is what she’d been missing out on all this time.

***

Max lay on his back beneath the bedcovers, the sheets cradling his waist. With one hand draped across his forehead, he tried to catch his breath.

“Wow,” sighed Liz, from her position beside him.

“Yeah,” he murmured in agreement, “wow is about right.”

In fact, ‘wow’ didn’t even begin to describe the incredible sex he’d just had. He’d never experienced anything so intense… so right… before, and he’d been with his fair share of women in the past. He’d been so stupid, he realised then, to just settle for a few casual dates and the odd hook-up with Anna, when the right person had been there under his nose… well, under his mother’s nose… all this time. Granted, he’d only known Liz for a day or so, but he’d never felt this way about anyone before and looking back, it had been so unfair on both him and Anna to keep on spending ‘quality’ time together when they both knew that nothing would ever come of it.

“Max?” Liz’s gentle tone snapped him out of his thoughts.

“Yeah?” he let his arm drop and looked over at her; she had shifted onto her front, her elbows propping her up as she observed at him.

“I, um,” she started, suddenly lowering her gaze to her hands nervously. “What, um… I mean, is this…?”

Max ran his hand down her arm as he turned onto his side to face her more fully.

“You know what? I’m not really sure what this is,” he answered truthfully. “But what I do know is that you make me feel things I’ve never felt before.”

“I do?” she asked, somewhat uncertainly.

“You do,” he confirmed with a smile. “The moment I laid eyes on you in the kitchen yesterday, I felt this… connection to you.”

“Me too,” admitted Liz. “I felt it too.”

They shared a smile, as Max leaned in a little closer.

“There’s just something about you, Liz Parker,” he murmured, resting his forehead against hers. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

He gave her a gentle kiss and was about to deepen it when Liz pulled away abruptly, “What’s the time?”

She sat up enough to see the clock on the table behind Max, “Shit, it’s ten-fifteen! Mum and Dad will be back soon, the kitchen is a mess and I still have to finish the Log… and look at us, we’re all gross. Oh God, they’re gonna know!”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Max grabbed her arm before she could scramble out of the bed. “Just stay calm. Why don’t you go take a shower and I’ll go downstairs and clean up the kitchen. Then when you’re done, I’ll use the shower and you can finish the cake.”

“Okay,” sighed Liz, moving off the bed and reaching for the towel draped on the chair, “okay. Right. Shower.”

Max grinned as she wrapped it around her naked body and headed out of the room. He let his head drop back against the pillows, relaxing for a moment, before he had to get dressed and go downstairs.

***

“Right, I think we’re almost done,” announced Liz at eleven o’clock, as she spread the last few spoonfuls of chocolate buttercream onto the rolled-up cake. “Turkey is cooking, roast potatoes are in the oven and the Log is nearly finished.”

Max grinned and ran a hand through his hair, still slightly wet from the shower, “You’ve done well.”

He dipped his finger into the mixing bowl, scooping up a small amount of icing and bringing it to his mouth.

“Hey!” Liz swatted at his hand. “You’re not supposed to eat that now.”

“Aw, come on,” he teased. “You know you want some too.”

“I do not,” she protested. “I am perfectly capable of waiting until it’s finished and ready to eat after dinner.”

“Oh, I beg to differ,” countered Max with a wicked grin, as he smeared some of the cream on her lips.

“Max!” she laughed, lifting her hand to wipe it off.

“Wait,” he stopped her. “Let me.”

Slowly, he lowered his lips to hers, darting out his tongue to collect some of the icing, before kissing her heatedly. Liz made a strangled noise in her throat, dropping her spatula into the mixing bowl as she got lost in the kiss. However, just as quickly as he’d started, Max pulled away, causing her to sigh in annoyance.

“If I hadn’t stopped then, I wouldn’t have stopped at all,” he explained, “and we don’t have time to get carried away right now.”

“Yeah, okay,” Liz nodded reluctantly, grabbing the spatula again and getting back to the cake.

She worked in silence for a few moments, Max observing her as she put the finishing touches on the cake, but as she sprinkled some icing sugar over the top, simulating snow, and added a couple of decorations, she spoke up.

“I probably should have said something sooner, but, um… don’t you have a girlfriend back in LA? I mean, what about that gorgeous redhead you’ve been pictured with recently… and there’ve been reports about you and Isabel Ramirez in the past…”

“You read the tabloids?” teased Max, unfazed by her questions. There was very little truth to the most of the stories printed about him and he had learned not to let them affect him. “I’d never have guessed.”

“Max,” warned Liz, showing that she was serious.

“No, I don’t have a girlfriend, Liz,” he reassured her. “Isabel is a very good friend of mine… we grew up together in Roswell, but she’s more like a sister to me than anything else. Those reports were fabricated just to sell papers.”

“Okay,” Liz nodded. “And the other girl… Anna? You’re always seen with her at premieres and publicity events… Serena is convinced you two are secretly engaged or something.”

“Serena, huh?” he raised an eyebrow.

Liz rolled her eyes, “She’s a big fan of yours.”

“She is huh?” wondered Max, nodding in appreciation, resting his elbow against the counter.

“Hey!” Liz swatted his arm. “We’re getting off topic here.”

“Okay,” Max sighed. “Anna and I… we’re friends. We dated for a while a few years ago, but it didn’t work out… we just weren’t compatible as a couple,” he admitted. “But we remained close friends and she accompanies me to social events – I prefer to have her there as a friend rather than some random date.”

He chose not to reveal the specifics of their recent relationship, especially considering that it was moot now anyway. He and Anna had agreed that if either of them met someone special and entered into a serious relationship, their arrangement would cease. And now that he had met Liz, Anna was definitely the furthest thing from his mind.

Liz nodded, opening her mouth to reply, but she was interrupted by the sound of the front door opening.

“Liz, Max, we’re home! I hope you’re ready for presents!”

***

After all the presents had been distributed and opened, Max, Liz, Jeff and Nancy headed into the dining room for Christmas dinner. Jeff and Max made light conversation while Nancy and Liz prepared the food and brought it out to the table.

The atmosphere was relaxed and fun, with Nancy recalling the church service and the friends she and Jeff had bumped into there, and then reminiscing with stories of past Christmases when Liz was a child. Jeff spent several minutes telling some of the silly festive jokes he’d overheard at work, before Nancy eventually managed to stop him and direct the conversation towards Max and his family. After the main course, Jeff left the room to open a bottle of wine, while Nancy cleared away the plates and went to fetch the dessert, leaving Max and Liz alone at the table. They shared a secret smile as Liz trailed her foot up over his shin suggestively.

“Anyone for some Yule Log?” asked Nancy, reappearing in the doorway with a cake board in her hands. Jeff stood behind her with a now-opened bottle of bubbly.

She placed it on the table and began cutting slices for everyone. As Liz tucked into the rich cake, she caught Max’s eye, her breath catching in her throat as he smiled that gorgeous half-smile and raised an eyebrow at her.

Silently, she thanked her mum for having the brilliant idea of inviting Diane Evans’ son to stay with them for Christmas. It was the best present she could have received.

“So, Max, Liz,” said Nancy, as she finished her slice of chocolate log. “You two have fun together this morning?”

Oh crap, thought Liz, sharing a ‘deer caught in headlights’ look with Max across the table.

How the hell did she know?


The End



Author's Note: I know that there are still a few ends to tie up and other areas of the story to explore (i.e. what happens after Christmas, when Max is making his new movie etc.), but unfortunately I don't have the time to continue this on and make it a longer story right now, so I was considering 2 options:

1) I conclude this with an Epilogue to tie up all the loose end

2) I leave it as it is for now and hopefully write a sequel in the coming months, if I have some more time.

Which would you guys prefer? Please let me know your thoughts :).

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:41 am

Re: The Yule Log (AU, M/L, MATURE) Part 7, pg 10, 12/30

Post by Heavenli24 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:49 am

Hey everyone, thank you for your feedback :). I've taken into consideration all your suggestions and have decided to post an Epilogue to tie up a few of the loose ends, and then, providing I have the time, I'll write a sequel in a few weeks after I've moved and got settled in the US :).

francesca - I'll do my best :).

Becca1974 - Thank you :).

pookie76 (x2) - Thanks :) - I'll see what I can do about a sequel.

martine - Thank you :). Sorry for not giving a warning about the last part :oops: , but here's an Epilogue... and hopefully a sequel will follow soon :).

c_which - You got your wish... Epilogue coming up :).

dreamsatnight (x2) - Thanks :). Oh, I don't know... perhaps Nancy does know something - although maybe not the full details :lol: . Mmm... chocolate cake...

begonia9508 - Happy New Year to you as well :). Yeah, I did decide on both in the end, so you're in luck :).

RiceKrispy - Thanks :). Don't worry, angst should (hopefully) be at a minimum in the sequel :).

Blue*Soul - Thank you :). Luckily, my thesis is finished... it's just the oral exam next week I have to worry about now :roll: .

Alien_Friend - Thank you. I gave in and went for both in the end anyway :P . Happy New Year to you too :).

tinie38 - Happy New Year :). Epilogue coming up now, and hopefully a sequel soon.

Mariael311 - Thanks :).

Lairabehr4 - Thank you :).

flyawayraven - Thanks :) - I'll do my best for a sequel.

Tinkerbell_Luvs_Roswell - Happy New Year :).

Michelle_In_Yonkers - Thanks :). This was my problem... I have so many ideas for the story, but only 2 weeks of free time to write it in (which is unfortunately over now :()... hence the reason it was supposed to be a short, holiday fic. I definitely want to write a sequel, but RL over the next few weeks will dictate how much time I have to do it.

A/N: By the way, I finally managed to get my own Yule Log to work (and not end up at a pile of cake pieces barely held together with butter cream :roll: ). You can view the finished article here, if you'd like :).

***

Epilogue

Max gazed down at the sleeping beauty beside him with a tender smile. Supporting his head on his hand as he lay on his side in his bed in the guest room, his fingers reached out to gently caress her bare skin of her shoulder, currently peeking out from beneath the covers. Her long, dark tresses were splayed out onto the pillow, framing her head like a halo and his stomach did a flip as his gaze roamed her flawless features, from her gently fluttering eyelids, down her perfectly formed nose, to those soft, pink, oh-so-inviting lips.

He didn’t know what he was going to do when he had to leave the Parker’s tomorrow and head to London to prepare for his new film. The last week had been the best of his life. He and Liz had spent every moment together they could, from relaxing in front of the TV in the living room, to meeting her friends, Serena, Kyle and Alex, in the pub for a few drinks, to taking trips out to some of the local attractions. Together they had visited the grounds of the castle located just down the road, spent some time shopping (and getting caught in the sales crowds) at the large shopping mall a few miles out of town and taking in the historic sites and buildings of Bristol… the Clifton Suspension Bridge overlooking the Avon Gorge, the university’s impressive Will’s Memorial Tower, the SS Great Britain and, for his benefit, the Bristol Old Vic, Britain’s oldest working theatre.

And then last night, New Years Eve, Nancy and Jeff had thrown a party for all their friends and while he and Liz had stayed for a while, by ten-thirty they’d pretty much done all the mingling they could, so Liz suggested they go get some fresh air. They’d walked around the dark streets of her neighbourhood hand-in-hand, talking softly, laughing and watching the various firework displays that lit up the sky. It was during one of these displays that Max had turned to Liz, drinking in her beautiful face, illuminated by the bright colours and leaned down to place a gentle, tender kiss on her lips.

She had smiled up at him brightly when he’d pulled away, slipping her hands around his neck and urging him down for another kiss. It had quickly become heated and passionate and when they’d parted, Max reached for her hand and led her back to the house. When they arrived, they brushed past the other partygoers, acknowledging them with a simple nod and smile, before heading right upstairs to his guest room, where they celebrated the New Year in each other’s arms.

Max grinned as he remembered their celebrations just a few hours ago. The sex had been absolutely mind-blowing; first he’d spent long minutes running his hands over Liz’s body, slowly removing her clothing piece by piece, kissing and caressing every inch of bare skin he revealed; and then he’d buried his face between her legs, licking and nipping at her sensitive skin, driving her crazy with want and need as he brought her to orgasm again and again.

Then, just a few minutes before midnight, he’d finally given into her desperate pleas and entered her slowly, allowing them both to revel in the delicious friction his movements caused. Liz clung to him, her fingers digging into his shoulders, legs wrapped around his hips, as he thrust into her over and over again, each stroke bringing them closer and closer to the edge until, as the countdown ended and shouts of ‘Happy New Year’ rang out from downstairs, together they cried out in release. Afterwards, as the party downstairs began to slow down and the guest started to leave, he and Liz had fallen asleep in each other’s arms, exhausted and sated.

“Hey,” whispered Liz sleepily, as she shifted beneath the covers.

Max smiled, letting his fingers drift across her warm skin as she turned fully onto her side, her eyes fluttering open.

“Morning,” he murmured in reply, brushing her hair away from her face with his fingertips, before leaning forward, pressing a gentle kiss to her lips. “Sleep well.”

“Hmm,” she smiled, snuggling up closer to him. “Very well. You?”

“Like a log,” he nodded.

A small smirk appeared on her lips, the soft gaze in her sleepy eyes melting his heart.

“Real or chocolate?” she teased, running her index finger down the middle of his chest, before leaning in to murmur in his ear, “’cause I could definitely eat some chocolate log right now.”

“Yeah?” he raised an eyebrow suggestively.

“Yeah,” she confirmed with a mischievous nod, supporting herself on her elbows so she could kiss him properly.

Max groaned into her mouth as he slid his arms around her and shifted onto his back, so her upper body lay across his. He shivered at the feel of her pert breasts crushed against his chest, the soft skin of her stomach pressing against the hard muscle of his. As the kiss intensified, Liz rose up onto her knees, placing her hands either side of his head as she moved to straddle his waist.

“God,” muttered Max when he felt her wet heat come into contact with the skin of his lower stomach, her butt pressing back against his rapidly growing hardness.

His hands slid across her back, then round to cup her breasts, gently kneading them with his fingers and Liz let out a breathy sigh at the contact. She broke the kiss, lifting her head and giving him an impish grin, before lowering her lips to his neck, sucking and licking his skin, sending shivers down his spine.

“Liz…” he groaned, his hands leaving her breasts and planting themselves firmly on her waist.

She giggled against his skin, moving her head further down so she could press light kisses along his collarbone and over his chest. She took first one nipple, then the other into her mouth, causing Max to tighten his grip on her, his fingers digging into her soft skin, before kissing a trail down to his stomach. She shifted her whole body lower, briefly teasing his arousal as she moved, before eventually settling on his thighs, effectively trapping him between their bodies. Max gasped as she swirled her tongue around his bellybutton, his hands sliding up her sides to cup her head.

“Fuck!” he cried out when her mouth finally reached the place he was aching for her to touch.

Her tongue flicked out to taste him and he burying his fingers in her hair at the sensation it caused.

“God… Liz!”

He saw her grin at his reaction, before enclosing her mouth over him fully. His eyes closed and his head fell back against the pillows as she worked her magic on him until he was left teetering on the edge.

“God… I’m gonna…”

But just as quickly as she’d started, Liz pulled her mouth away and began crawling back up his body. Max opened his eyes in protest, but she just gave him a smug grin, got up on her hands and knees and reached over the edge of the bed for one of the small, square packets lying on the table there.

“Be patient,” she scolded, sitting up on his stomach so she could open the packet. Moving downwards again, she rolled the condom over him and then slid up to kiss his lips before positioning herself and lowering her body down onto him.

“Oh…” she sighed, placing her hands on his chest as she began to move above him.

He reached for her, splaying his hands across her bottom, as he guided her movements. This was heaven. She felt so good… making love to Liz was like coming home; this was where he belonged – right here in her arms. He didn’t know what he was going to do when he had to leave here tomorrow and head to work again. Sure, Liz would be travelling back to London again in a few days, but movie making involved long hours and different locations… who knew how often he’d get to see her after today?

Which was why he had to make the most of this time together, he decided, as he urged her on, rocking his hips in time with her movements. His breathing was laboured, as was hers, and he knew he was close. With one hand, he reached down between their bodies, gently caressing her clit with his fingers, stimulating the sensitive nerves he found there. Sure enough, she bucked against him, crying out in pleasure as she reached orgasm. Exhausted, she collapsed against his chest and Max used the opportunity to roll them over, trapping her beneath him as he plunged in and out of her body, gaining speed as he too approached his release. Burying his face against her neck, he came with a muffled cry, his hips still rocking gently with hers as he relaxed above her.

They lay together in silence for a few moments, until Liz let out a soft giggle against his shoulder.

“Oh, God. What if my parents just heard us?”

***

Liz bit her lip as she stood just outside the living room, peering in through the open glass door. Her dad and Max were sitting on the sofa, engaged in a heated debate over American football teams. Although, it wasn’t a well-known or particularly popular sport in Britain, her dad had become a fan back when he and Mum lived in Roswell and had tried to keep up with his favourite team as best he could over the years.

Watching the two men laughing and talking together tugged at her heart; Max got on so well with her parents, he’d just seemed to fit right in as soon as he arrived, something that from past experience she knew didn’t happen too often with new men in her life. Not to mention the fact that her parents seemed to accept their relationship right away, few questions asked, when they confessed to it over Christmas dinner, which made both her and Max slightly suspicious. In fact, her mum barely batted an eyelid at the news, which was unusual for her since she generally approached Liz’s boyfriends with caution at first, in case they were untrustworthy.

However, with Max, it was like she couldn’t get enough of the two of them together, which made Liz wonder what exactly was going on with her. Later that evening, when Max was on the phone to his family, wishing them a Merry Christmas, she had interrogated Nancy her reaction at lunch and her mum had grudgingly admitted to her that she and Diane had deliberately set them up with the hope that their children would finally find the happiness they deserved.

She had been angry at first, accusing Nancy of meddling in her life, but when Max entered the living room and took a seat beside Liz, sliding his arm around her shoulders, she conceded that perhaps the set up hadn’t been such a bad idea after all. The only problem was that Nancy and Diane didn’t seem to have thought the whole thing through. Max lived in California and she was in London. With the exception of the time he would be spending in England working on his new film, they would hardly get to see each other at all. Not to mention the fact that he was leaving tomorrow to meet with the director of his new film and get settled in his new accommodations. Who knew if they’d even have time to see each other when he was nearby?

This past week with Max had been incredible; she couldn’t seem to get enough of his company… not to mention his skills in the bedroom. He made her feel things she’d never felt before, things she’d only ever read about in romance novels; and now she’d finally found her perfect match, she was reluctant to let him go. She smiled as she recalled the conversation she’d had with Serena just after Christmas, when her best friend had cornered her in the pub about her surprise houseguest…


“Here you go, Max” announced Liz, as she placed a pint of Blackthorn cider on the table and then slid into the seat beside him in the booth.

“Thanks, Liz,” he smiled gratefully, holding her gaze for a moment.

She smiled back taking a sip of her rum and coke, placing it down on the table quickly when Serena suddenly stood up from her seat opposite, “Liz, I need the loo… you coming?”

Liz could only glance at the others helplessly, as Serena grabbed her arm and practically dragged her towards the ladies room.

“You have some explaining do to, missy,” she stated, after they turned into the corridor where the bathrooms were located. “What is going on here? Max Evans staying with you? And you making sappy eyes at him back there?”

“Ser –” began Liz slowly.

Serena narrowed her eyes.

“Liz, is there something going on between you and him?” she wondered suspiciously.

“I –” she started, unsure of what to tell her friend. This was all so new; she’d only known Max a couple of days, yet they’d ended up in bed together just twenty-four hours after their first meeting. They hadn’t discussed the state of their relationship in much detail so far and she wasn’t sure if she should be broadcasting it just yet. She fixed her gaze on the wall behind her.

“There is, isn’t there?” smirked Serena, clapping her hands together gleefully. “Come on, you lucky cow, give me all the details.”

“Ser, I don’t know if…” she trailed off, pausing for a moment. She exhaled, “Okay, look, yes, there is something between Max and I, but that’s all I’m going to say. I don’t want to betray his privacy, especially if there’s a chance the tabloids will get hold of the story.”

“Okay, fine,” sighed Serena with a roll of her eyes. She looked putout for a minute, but then her eyes widened in disbelief.

“Wow, this whole thing is just so… unbelievable! I mean, God, first it turns out your mum actually knows Max Evans, then she invites him to stay with you guys for Christmas and
then you’re lucky enough to get to know him up close and personal… It’s like something out of a movie!”

Liz felt a little indignant at first, but then the implications of Serena’s word sunk in and she broke out into a grin, grabbing her hand in excitement, “Yeah, it is, isn’t it?”

Serena peered around the corner to glance quickly at Max, who was laughing with Kyle and Alex at their table.

“God, if you hadn’t got there first, I would so have gone for him myself,” she murmured, shaking her head.

“You would?” Liz raised an eyebrow. “What about Kyle?”

“Kyle?” Serena’s head whipped round to face her, a startled look on her face. “What about him?”

Liz just smirked, “You’re telling me there’s nothing between you two? I saw you together at the ice rink the other day… you definitely looked like you were having fun.”

Serena glanced at the table, and Kyle, once more. “I don’t know,” she shrugged. “I mean we’ve always just been friends, you know? And now I’m feeling all these things for him, but I don’t know if it’s the same for him.”

“Why don’t you ask him?” suggested Liz.

Serena shifted uncomfortably, “I don’t know if I can. What if he doesn’t feel the same way?”

“Well, you’ll never know if you don’t try...”



“Hey, Lizzie, care to join us?”

Liz was brought back to the present by the sound of her dad’s voice. He and Max had noticed her standing in the doorway.

“Sure,” she smiled, entering the room and taking a seat between Max and Jeff. Max smiled and touched her arm, before letting his fingers rest on her upper thigh so they were hidden beneath her elbow and their position was not obvious to her father.

Either side of her, Max and Jeff continued their conversation, allowing Liz to just sit back and relax in Max’s presence. She felt more content and happy than she had in a long time. However, there was also that small niggling thought that she’d been pushing to the back of her mind for the last few days: even if she and Max did get to spend some time together while he was making his movie, he would only be here a couple of months. What would happen when he inevitably had to return home to L.A. and continue with his life?

***

“Well, I guess this is it, then,” murmured Liz sadly, staring at Max’s dark jacket as she tried not to cry.

She had offered to drive Max to the train station to save him getting a taxi, and also so she could say goodbye to him without her parents watching. They were standing in a small alcove, just outside the entrance, away from prying eyes.

“Yeah,” nodded Max. “For now, at least.”

Liz sniffed, then shook her head, “This is crazy; I know I’ve only known you a week, but I’m gonna miss you so much.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” he murmured comfortingly, wrapping his arms around her. “You’ll be back in London next week, and I’m still gonna be here in England for a while.”

“I know,” admitted Liz, resting her head on his chest and sliding her arms around his waist. “But I have to go to work, and you’re not gonna have much time off from filming… and I don’t know when I’ll be able to see you.”

“We’ll find a way, I promise,” he told her, kissing the top of her head softly. “I’ve only just found you… I’m not gonna let you slip away from me that easily.”

His words brought the tears to her eyes and she pulled back so she could look up at him. She wanted to say something, but no words would come. Max’s jaw clenched briefly as his intense gaze bore down into hers. He unwrapped one arm from around her and lifted his hand to her face, running his fingers along her forehead, down over her cheek, then lightly tracing her lips, before cupping her jaw and tilting her head up.

His lips met hers in a brief light brush and then Max pulled away, smiling down at her before lowering his head once more, capturing her mouth in an insistent kiss. Liz had no idea how long they stood together like that, kissing and caressing, making the most of every moment they had left, but when they finally parted, she found herself totally breathless, her head spinning.

“I’m sorry, I’ve really gotta go now,” murmured Max regrettably, gazing down at her sadly. “But I’ll see you soon, okay?”

“Okay?” Liz forced a nod.

“And you can call me anytime you want, you know that, right?” he added. “You have my cell phone number?”

“Yeah,” she nodded. “And you have mine?”

“It’s right here,” he smiled, patting the jacket pocket next to his heart.

Liz nodded again, “Well, I guess this is goodbye.”

“Yeah…” Max let his arms slide from her body so he could pick up his bags.

Just before he turned to head inside the station, he leaned in close, taking her chin in his hand and pressing one last warm kiss to her lips,

“Goodbye, Liz,” he whispered. “And thank you for the best Christmas of my life.”

She smiled, biting her lip to stop it from trembling as he began to walk away, “Goodbye, Max.”

Just before he disappeared up the stairs towards the platforms he turned, giving her that heart melting half-smile she loved so much. She gulped, swallowing her tears as she gave him a small wave and one last smile.

As she left the station and got in the car to drive home, she made a promise to herself that she wouldn’t dwell on his absence, but instead look forward to when she could see him again. After all, she’d just experienced the most wonderful Christmas and New Year with him… she couldn’t be sad about that, especially when she realised that because of Max Evans, she’d never be able to look at a chocolate Yule Log in the same way again.

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