Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) [COMPLETE]

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 21 - 5/21/09

Post by Double Trouble » Wed May 20, 2009 10:25 pm

mary mary: And you would win that bet!

Alien_Friend: You can be sure that these two stubborn people are going to learn quite a lot about not only each other, but also about themselves, through this experience. They’re both so sure this is the way to avoid getting involved with each other… and completely clueless that they’re already well on their way to deep involvement.

Eva: Chances are good that the give and take will get quite a workout.

begonia9508: Thanks for reading!

kismet: Don’t worry… Michael hasn’t been forgotten, promise!

sarammlover: No, just a bit insecure, but Michael will be sure to rid her of that little issue! Oh, they’re going to have quite the back and forth game with control… just wait and see – they’ll both get their chance!

nibbles2: Relief is on the menu! LOL, yeah, we agree with you! Maria is 19 here (we’re going on the assumption that her ‘not acting much like an 18 year old’ refers to her insecurity? If not, correct us, please! If you are referring to her bout of insecurity, it’s just a momentary thing and it won’t last long).

tequathisy: Maria’s got a couple of ‘bad boy’ exes in her past, and the last one did a real number on her.

destinyc: Michael won’t have to wait long! Pairing off in a dark corner or something, huh? Ya just never know! We’re glad you enjoyed our trailer!


Part 21 – Change Begins With a Single Action

“We’re ready,” Caroline said, her tone pleased as she undid the wrapper from around Liz’s neck and then pulled it away with flourish. “What d’you think?” She bit her bottom lip, hoping the other girl thought it looked as good as she did. “Is it the way you had imagined it?”

Liz stared at herself in the mirror for a few seconds, turning her head left and right before finally smiling. “It’s even better than I had imagined it!” she exclaimed. “I wasn’t sure about it, but now I’m so glad I did it.”

Caroline nodded her approval. She had been surprised when her quiet lab partner had approached her and asked her to cut her hair; everyone in class knew she could cut and style hair, but she had never expected Liz to ask for her help. “Yeah, sometimes it’s really hard for people to cut their hair when they’re so used to one style, and a few of them even cry like a baby afterwards.”

“No chance of that happening, Caroline. So, what do I owe you?” Liz asked the tall dark-haired woman in front of her.

“Oh, nothing at all; it was fun to turn your…” She grimaced. “Sorry, but that style you had was boring, so it was fun to turn it into something like this.”

Liz smiled at her. “Thanks. I’m glad I took the risk now.”

They both glanced up when the light overhead started to flicker. “They said there’s a bad storm coming up. You’d better get home fast because your new haircut will be ruined in a matter of seconds if you get caught in the rain.”

“Okay, and thanks again, Caroline.” Liz grabbed her bag from the chair next to the door and left Caroline’s apartment in a hurry. A cool breeze blew across her exposed arms and she shivered the moment she shut the door behind her. She wrapped her arms around herself and started to walk home quickly.

She maintained her speed even when a vehicle pulled up alongside her and kept pace with her. She didn’t look up or pay any attention to it because she really needed to get home before it started to rain. After a few minutes though, she began to worry about more than just the rain because the car was still creeping along beside her. “Wanna ride?” a familiar voice asked, and she whirled around as her mind supplied a face to go with the voice.

“Max? What’re you doin’ here?” Liz’ heart started to pound as her eyes met his. He looked hot again… still? Five o’clock shadow, hair rumpled, lips turned up in a saucy smirk. Her knees grew weak just from his appearance alone.

“Y’know, I could ask you the same thing.”

She tried to act normal, but Liz could tell from his expression that he had seen and recognized the flush on her face. A sudden clap of thunder rolled across the dark sky, making her wince.

“Get in the car, beautiful. I’ll drive you home so your new haircut doesn’t get ruined.”

She stared at him in astonishment and she felt her face turn red again. “Okay.” She slowly walked around the front of the jeep and opened the passengers’ side door, sliding into the seat next to him. The scent of him made her even more nervous; it was a heady combination of cologne and something else that was unique and all him.

“I need to make a left at the corner, right?”

“Uh-huh.” She grimaced at the less than intelligent response.

“So, you cut your hair, huh?” His dark gaze was intense as he looked at her for a few seconds before turning his attention back to the road again.

“Yes. I… I just wanted something new, I guess.” She shifted in her seat in an attempt to get more comfortable. It didn’t work. She was so damn tense she felt like she was going to snap.

“You look different with it,” he stated, his gaze sliding back to her again.

“Different?” Was that a good thing or a bad thing?

“A little older… more mature… definitely sexier.” A smirk appeared on his lips when he heard Liz gasping for air.

“Well, thank you… I think,” she stuttered. They drove in silence for a while, Liz lost in her thoughts about Max. She wondered why this guy made her so nervous and unsure of herself. She didn’t know him, but she always felt so weird whenever he was around. “Turn right here!” Liz suddenly shouted, realizing that Max was going to miss the driveway to the girls’ apartment.

Max slowed the jeep down and with a jerk of the steering wheel he turned into the entrance to the complex. “Little late with the directions, huh?” he remarked, amusement coloring his voice.

“Yeah, sorry.” She avoided his gaze and stared straight ahead. “It’s the last building at the end of the street.” She immediately recognized one of the cars parked in front of her building. “Great,” she muttered when Max put the jeep in park and she saw Sean waiting for her at the railing on the second floor in front of her apartment.

“Sorry, I didn’t know he’d be waitin’ here for you,” Max said, making a face when the other guy hurried down the stairs.

“Yeah, I didn’t know either. Look, Max, thanks for driving me home, but I think I’d better go now.” She opened the door and got out of the jeep quickly, pulling in a deep breath as she turned around to meet Sean’s angry gaze.

“Where have you been?” he demanded the moment Max backed out of the parking space and pulled away. Liz opened her mouth but he continued before she had the opportunity to speak. “Why’re you hangin’ out with Max Evans?”

“I’m not hanging out with him!” Liz snapped back, pissed that he was making assumptions.

“So, what? I was just dreaming that last minute or so when I watched you get out of his car?”

“He just drove me home because of the storm.” She tried to find her keys in her bag as she climbed the stairs, ignoring Sean as he followed her and continued his rant.

“Where were you before that?”

“Where was I before that?” Liz repeated, stopping the search for her keys as she turned to look up at him angrily. “Are you kidding me? Isn’t that obvious?”

Sean seemed to be puzzled by the question and he shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“THIS!” She ran her fingers through her hair demonstratively. “I cut my hair!”

“Why?” Sean still looked puzzled.

“Why? Because I wanted to; I’ve had the same look for years now.”

“It looked okay to me.”

“Good for you. But, I wanted something new.”

“Okay, wait just a minute. Is that…” He motioned to her head, “…is this just about your hair?”

Liz looked at him, confused for several seconds. “What?”

“You said you wanted somethin’ new. Does that only include your hair, or maybe Evans, too?”

“Did you really just ask me that?” Liz stared at him in disbelief when he just shrugged his shoulders again. “Well, goodbye then, Sean.” She opened the door with the keys she had finally found in her bag and left her fiancé standing on the other side of the door. She tossed the keys on the table next to the door, turned the light on, and looked at herself in the mirror next to the coat rack. It was definitely a good thing to cut her hair. She looked so different… a little wilder, more interesting. She smiled as she recalled Max’ words in the jeep, “a little older… more mature… definitely sexier.” Just remembering his voice as he spoke caused a little shiver to travel down her spine and while she didn’t understand it, she liked it.

She was so sick of always being the naïve, boring, geek in the apartment. There was no way that she wanted to be like Tess. God, no! But, maybe a little bit more like Maria. Not too crazy, not too hyped-up and bitchy, just more confident, and definitely with more fun in her life. She was a freshman and there was no way she would let the time get away without enjoying this time in her life like the rest of the world did.

Suddenly the lights flickered and went off and a clap of thunder announced the impending rain. Oh, well, at least she had made it home without getting soaked, she thought as she felt her way along the wall until she reached the couch.

*****

“Why the fuck does Alex want us to come over to his place?” Michael asked as he climbed into the backseat to sit next to Maria.

“Over half the city’s got power outages and that includes our apartment and the girls’ apartment; he just suggested since we were all out together, that we should come by his place because it’d be safer than – “

“Since we’re all together?” Michael repeated as he glanced over at Maria. He frowned when he realized she was staring down at her hands where they were clasped together in her lap. He nudged her with his knee and raised an eyebrow in question when she raised her gaze to meet his in the dark interior of the car. “Why don’t you put some music on, Kyle? And turn it up, too.” As soon as his roommate complied he slouched down and leaned over so that he could speak to her without drawing anyone’s attention. “What’s up?”

“Nothin’… why?”

“You’re seriously gonna lie to me?” He shook his head. “We’re kinda beyond that now, aren’t we?”

“Why’re you really pissed?”

He chuckled when he realized that she was feeling a little insecure. “There are so many reasons why I could be pissed, but if I was really pissed off about them leavin’ us out there like that I would’ve knocked his lights out as soon as he was close enough to hit.” He lowered his voice to a gravelly rasp. “I didn’t think you wanted them to know that we were both naked under that blanket or that you had just been screamin’ loud enough to rattle the stars.”

Maria shivered as his breath brushed against her ear with every husky word and she squirmed in her seat when his right hand curled over her thigh.

“You’re still wet and so sensitive…” He dragged the nail of his thumb over the inseam of her jeans where it was pressed against her core. He repeated the move several times, adding pressure with each pass until he heard her breathing became ragged and shallow. “I could get you off before we get to my brother’s house…” He slowly eased off on the pressure he was creating between her legs as he leaned in to capture her lips in a rough kiss. “But I’m not gonna do that because it would mean sharin’ that beautiful scream…”

“And you don’t share,” she whispered against his lips. “You could just kiss me.” She trapped his retreating hand between her thighs in an attempt to encourage him to finish what he had started.

“Baby, this car is too small and your scream is just too loud. It’d be a different story if they were in a different room, but there’s just a couple of feet separatin’ us from them.” He chuckled when she sighed in frustration. “Don’t worry, you won’t go to bed until we’ve taken care of that ache.” He took her right hand and placed it over his crotch. “And it’d be great if we could take care of this one too, ‘cause Mike Jr.’s feelin’ kinda neglected.”

“And we’re gonna do all this at your brother’s house?” she asked, tracing her fingers over the prominent bulge in his jeans. It was his turn to shift restlessly when she increased the speed and pressure she was applying, and his breathing was uneven as he finally grabbed her wrist and forced her to stop. “Problem?” she asked, her eyes twinkling mischievously.

“Yeah, you’re gonna make me come in my pants if you keep that up.”

“So, you don’t wanna take the edge off?” She shifted until her lips were brushing against his ear. “I’ll bet you’ve got great recovery time, and it’ll just make the second round that much better.”

His eyes darkened until they were nearly black and as tempted as he was he shook his head. “I can’t walk into my brother’s house with a wet spot on the front of my jeans… it’d be way too obvious what we’ve been doin’.”

Maria chuckled and shook her head as she pulled her hand free of his and popped the snap on his jeans. “I saw you grab your boxers and shove them in your pocket.”

Michael glanced at the couple in the front; they were involved in some deep conversation about Buddhism and they weren’t paying any attention to what was going on in the backseat. He broke out in a sweat when he felt Maria’s fingers inching his zipper down and arranging his tee shirt so that it was covering their activities. He squinted to see the street signs, trying to see where they were so he knew how much time they had. It was too fuckin’ dark to see anything! Screw it, he thought, shifting so he could shove his hand in his pocket and pull his boxers out. He hurried to shake the sand out of them, happily spreading the fine grains all over Kyle’s interior, and draped the boxers across his right leg as he shifted to give her better access.

He stifled a groan when she pulled her hand away, hoping that she wasn’t just teasing because he was ready to blow. He was breathing heavily through his nose when she leaned in to whisper hotly in his ear.

“You’re not allergic to any kind of sunscreen lotion are you?”

“Huh-uh.”

“Good,” she whispered, tracing her tongue around his ear. “I didn’t wanna jack you off dry.”

His hips jerked uncontrollably when she slid her hand down his length, thankful that she’d had the foresight to warm the lotion in her hands first. He knew it wouldn’t take long because he was too close, and he almost lost it when she spoke again, unprepared for it when her hand paused at the base of his shaft and she turned his own words around on him.

“Spread ‘em, Guerin,” she ordered huskily.

He was helpless to do anything but comply with her wishes and he shifted his legs further apart, careful to keep from shoving his knees into the back of Tess’ seat as he slouched down. It’d be a dead giveaway if he launched her into the dashboard, he thought. He fought to keep still when Maria cradled his balls in her hand, massaging them with just the right amount of pressure, and he could feel sweat creeping down the center of his back as he forced his breathing to remain as close to normal as possible.

Maria’s fingers shifted back to his throbbing erection, slowly working her hand up and down. She glanced out through the window when the lights from a passing car momentarily lit up the street and she recognized the area they were in. They were less than five minutes from his brothers’ house and she had no intention of making him fight off another erection. Her hand tightened fractionally and she made a slight twisting motion as she swept the pad of her thumb over his moist tip before sliding back down again.

Her gaze shot to him when he groaned quietly, the sound so desperate and hot that she could feel her own body responding to it. His fisted hand was braced on the seat beside her and his entire arm was shaking as he struggled to avoid moving. She sped up the pace and she heard his breathing become more ragged as his heart rate increased and his hips jerked. She followed his signals, exerting more pressure and whipping her hand faster along his length until she felt his entire body tense up. She wasn’t expecting it when he suddenly wrapped his left hand around her neck and pulled her in, kissing her hard and groaning loudly into her mouth.

She was glad he had told Kyle to turn the stereo on because if it had been silent in the car, he would’ve just given them both away, she thought as he slumped back in his seat. She released him and took the boxers he had hurriedly grabbed and placed over himself to keep from shooting all over his clothes or the roof of Kyle’s car, and she carefully cleaned him up before gently tucking him back into his jeans and zipping him up.

“You can have these back,” she whispered, handing the wadded up boxers to him.

He shifted so he could shove them back in his pocket and he laughed quietly. “Y’know, it’s a good thing you thought of that.”

“I don’t think Kyle would’ve appreciated you coming on his interior,” she whispered back.

“No, but I was thinkin’ more along the lines of how much Tess would’ve hated it… I know, it’s sick, but I had this image of that scene in that movie, Something About Mary…” He nodded at the back of Tess’ blond head where it was visible above the headrest.

Maria collapsed against his shoulder in a fit of giggles. “You are sooo wrong for that,” she choked out.

The lights were on as they pulled up in the driveway next to Alex’s truck and as they climbed out of the car the man of the house opened the front door and waited for them.

“Hey, man, you got any of my clothes over here?” Michael asked as he and Maria stepped up on the front porch. “We were swimmin’ and if you’d let us use your shower – “

“There’s a few things in the back of my closet that you’ve never picked up and you guys are welcome to use the shower… separately though, because I’ve got a teenager in the house.”

Michael rolled his eyes and walked past his brother, reaching back and grabbing Maria’s hand to drag her along with him. “C’mon, I’ll even let you have the shower first since my brother’s gonna be like that.”

“I don’t have anything to wear, Michael,” she protested.

“You can have somethin’ of mine.” They turned into a hallway and he stopped suddenly and turned around, pulling her up against his body. “I’d love to just have you walk around naked, but we kinda can’t do that here, so, you’re gonna have to suffer with somethin’ that belongs to me…” His gaze was heated as it slid over her. “Although, I kinda like that too,” he growled and pinned her against the wall so he could kiss her.

“Isn’t it bad enough that I have to live with one horny Guerin boy?” Brooke complained, shoving Michael as she walked past them. “Why don’t you go clean up and get changed. We’re gonna watch a movie and Alex an’ Iz are makin’ snacks.”

“Apparently my brother has become quite domesticated with your friend,” Michael said as they walked to the end of the hall. He pushed the door open and flipped a light switch, illuminating the large bathroom. “Go ahead and grab a shower an’ I’ll go find somethin’ for you to wear. I’m sure big brother will have Isabel bring the clothes to you, so I’ll see you after you’re finished.”

*****

Maria felt much better after getting out of the shower and after drying her hair she reached for the clothes that Isabel had set on the vanity. She shook out the pair of shorts that thankfully had a drawstring and a hockey jersey, turning it around to look at Michael’s last name where it was stitched across the back.

She pulled the clothes on and glanced at herself in the mirror, shaking her head at the ridiculous image before opening the door. She shuffled backwards when Michael crowded her in the doorway, shaking her head at him when he closed the door and leaned back against it as he tossed another set of clothes on the vanity. “You’re gonna piss your brother off.”

“What Alex doesn’t know won’t hurt him.” His dark gaze slid over her and he growled low in his throat as his hands settled on her hips and he pulled her to him. “I like knowin’ that you’re wearin’ my clothes and nothin’ else.” His hands slid up under the jersey to gently fondle her breasts. “Knowin’ that you’re naked underneath and all I’ve gotta do is reach inside…”

Maria chuckled and leaned back just enough to pull his tee shirt up and over his head. She bit her lips when someone knocked on the door and a second later his brother spoke up, telling them that they had thirty seconds for one of them to make an exit. She unsnapped his jeans and glanced down before smiling back up at him. “Looks like Mike Jr. wants to come out to play,” she whispered, stretching up to kiss him as she ran her thumb across the tip of his erection. “I knew you’d have a quick recovery time.” She stepped back and winked at him as she licked her thumb before nudging him out of the way and slipping out of the room.

Michael slumped back against the door and let his head fall back to hit the wood as he struggled for control. Holy fuck! As soon as he was fairly confident that he could make it to the shower without his knees giving out on him he pushed away from the door. Maria was gonna give him a run for his money, he could feel it.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 22 - 5/28/09

Post by Double Trouble » Wed May 27, 2009 11:14 pm

Alien_Friend: Michael and Maria are definitely a match made in heaven! So, ya loved seeing Michael submit to Maria, huh? You can expect to see that more than once. No, Alex didn’t stand a chance of keeping them apart for very long, did he?

Liz is beginning the slow emergence from her shell. Max is much more observant than Sean is, especially where she’s concerned. Sean and Liz have grown comfortable with each other simply because that necessary spark is missing in their relationship. He’s clueless about something like a new haircut because he doesn’t ‘see’ her and Max Evans… well, the man definitely ‘sees’ her!

Thanks, we’re glad you liked our dreamer scene!

begonia9508: Yeah, that’s gotta be a guy thing! We don’t know a single woman that thinks seeing her guy in her underwear would be sexy… matter of fact, we’re pretty sure that could be psychologically damaging. (Authors covering ears and humming loudly to prevent image of Michael in Maria’s underwear… Whew! Okay, image prevented… moving on.)

LOL, regardless of the size of the car it’d take a seriously big set of brass ones to risk that move! Yeah… we’re definitely agreeing with you about that VW Polo!

destinyc: Nah, that dark corner’s coming soon, though! Liz does have a more interesting option waiting for her, and while she won’t be shaking Sean loose soon – despite our desire to catapult him into another dimension – Max isn’t going to make it easy to ignore him.

kismet: Max is very observant when it comes to Liz. However, he won’t be going back to check on her since as far as he knows she’s with her fiancé. Damn his noble hide! Don’t worry though, you can look forward to another Max and Liz scene in just a couple of parts.

mary mary: Michael and Maria may have both bitten off more than they can chew! But, they’re gonna fumble their way through to find even ground. Liz is going to slowly but surely begin to question her relationship with Sean and Max is going to be very instrumental in that.

sarammlover: LOL, Maria hasn’t exactly relinquished control yet. Yeah, they’re quite daring, aren’t they? Keep the fans on – the heat wave isn’t over yet!

Eva: Michael and Maria are completely made for each other! And they’re definitely heading for something as yet undefined… but it’s gonna be a wild ride.

nibbles2: We’re glad you love Max – we do, too! He’s definitely the better fish and that’s something that Liz is going to figure out eventually. Max is a gentleman and that’s going to cause him to question his desire to pursue a girl who’s not only in a relationship, but engaged to someone else. It goes against his personal code of honor so he’s going to have quite the internal battle to fight.

Maiqu: Hi and welcome to our little world! We’re glad you’re lovin’ our Max! We’re pretty fond of him, too. He’s a sweetheart! Oh, y’know he had to notice that new haircut. Michael and Maria are amazing, crazy, and just wonderful… they can also be very frustrating at times, lol!

chanks_girl: There you are! What will Michael and Maria be? Good question, and one that they’ll be discussing in this next part.

Michael’s history with Hank has left him emotionally scarred and you’re right on target with your assessment of his character – he doesn’t feel that he deserves to be loved and he doesn’t feel capable of loving someone… however, Maria will, over time, teach him that just the opposite is true.

We’re glad you like our Max – we think he’s pretty special, too. We appreciate your willingness to hold off on judging Sean as there is more to the story.

Liz is about to embark on a journey that she never expected to take, but it’ll be a good one!


Part 22 – Turnabout’s Fair Play

Maria was curled up in the corner of one of the couches in the living room an hour later, watching Michael as he interacted with his little sister. He was a different person around the teenager; he was more relaxed and less guarded than he was with everyone else. At the moment he was sitting on the floor across from Brooke, the black and tan Chihuahua sitting in his lap as he attempted to give the dog a mohawk.

“His hair’s too short, Michael,” the girl insisted.

Michael shook his head, denying her words as he picked the dog up in one hand and turned it around so that he was looking at it directly. “You’ll look good with a mohawk, Spike.” He grinned at his sister. “It sure as hell couldn’t hurt.”

“Don’t be mean to him,” Brooke warned, shoving his leg with her foot.

“Hey, I bought the little mutt a cool collar, didn’t I?” He reached up to adjust the leather collar studded with tiny silver spikes. He frowned and tipped his head to one side as he studied the little dog that was staring back at him. “I’m sorry, Brooke, but he looks like an oversized rat.”

She snatched the animal from her brother and cradled him to her chest. “He didn’t mean it, Spike,” she said, her tone reassuring.

“Oh, whatever,” he grumbled, flopping over to lie on his back. “Your dogs love me.”

“No, they don’t.”

He snorted. “Just wait for it.” His expression turned smug when Buffy, the little tan and white Chihuahua stood up from where she had been lying down beside Brooke and hopped up onto his chest, circling a few times before stretching out and resting her muzzle under his chin. “Told you.”

Maria laughed when they started to squabble over the dogs and before long it turned into a wrestling match. The dogs got into it too, running in circles around them and barking loudly as they tried to sink their teeth into Michael’s clothes. Physically, Brooke was no match for her brother, but he was careful with her and when he finally grew tired of the game he let her pin him down and declared her the winner.

She turned her head to the side when she heard Isabel laugh at something Tess said and they nodded in unison when Kyle mumbled a response.

“Hey, Alex, me an’ Michael were talkin’ earlier today and we were wonderin’ if you’d be up for a trip to the cabin in a few weeks.”

Tess looked up at him. “You have a cabin?”

“Well, my parents own a house on a lake a couple hours out of the city. It’s got great fishin’ an’ hikin’ right on the property; we wouldn’t even have to go anywhere.”

“We?” she intoned.

“Yeah, you wanna go?” He leaned down and growled in her ear, “It’s got a hot tub out on the deck, too.”

“So, we’re all gonna go?” Michael asked, glancing at Maria to see if she was interested.

Kyle shrugged. “Yeah, why not? We can even take Brooke and her rodents… of course, the local wildlife might think they’re on the menu.” He chuckled when the teenager gasped indignantly and rushed to soothe her pets. “So, what d’you guys say?”

Alex glanced down at Isabel, silently asking if she was interested. He grinned when she just lifted her eyebrows and mouthed the words hot tub. “We’re in.”

“What about you, Maria?” Tess asked. She looked between her best friend and her boyfriend’s roommate and rolled her eyes at the heated glances shooting back and forth.

“Sure, I probably don’t have anything else to do anyway,” Maria answered nonchalantly.

Michael just grinned. She had something to do… him! He looked around when the lights flickered a few times before deciding to stay on and he got to his feet. “Alex, I’m gonna go raid your fridge before the power goes out.”

“Go for it.”

He slowly walked out of the room and as soon as he had Maria’s attention he motioned for her to join him. He rummaged around in the refrigerator for several minutes under the pretense of looking for food before she finally joined him. “Good grief, woman, what took you so long? I thought I was actually gonna have to find somethin’ to eat.”

“You do know there was nothing subtle about that, right?”

“Fuck subtle.”

Maria pressed herself against his back and her hands moved around his body, sliding down to cup him in her palm. “What was it? Thinkin’ about the hot tub? Thinkin’ about goin’ down on each other in the hot tub?”

They jumped apart when the dogs ran into the room seconds ahead of Brooke and Michael quickly moved to sit on one of the barstools on the opposite side of the island before it became glaringly obvious that they hadn’t been searching for food.

“I know the two of you don’t think I’m that naïve,” she complained as she shook her head at both of them. “And I really don’t care if you’re in here to make out, but if you could avoid havin’ sex on the table that’d be great. Y’know, since I do eat breakfast and dinner there every day.” She grabbed her laptop off of the table and rolled her eyes as she went back into the living room.

“You still think this’s such a good idea?” Maria asked, laughing quietly.

His eyes lifted to stare at the ceiling when the lights flickered again and thunder rolled across the sky. “Oh, yeah. The power’s gonna go out any time now.”

“Uh-huh… might not stay out very long.”

He started to breathe harder as anticipation began to build within him. “I know.”

“Anybody could walk in at any time.”

“I know that, too.”

“You enjoy that risk,” she guessed.

Michael studied her for several long seconds. “So do you.”

She shrugged, but her eyes turned darker and she leaned on the counter across from him. “You do exactly what I say,” she said, her voice low. “I want you to lean back against the counter in front of the windows and your hands stay on the counter the whole time.”

Lightning flashed across the sky and the lights flickered again, but this time the lights slowly dimmed and then suddenly darkness fell over the house. The silence was deafening as the compressor on the refrigerator shut down but after a few minutes the sound of laughter and conversation could be heard from the other room.

Michael moved so quickly and so quietly that he startled Maria when he spoke up from behind her. “I’m ready,” he whispered gruffly as he started to slide his zipper down. He froze when her hand landed against his chest and pressed him back against the counter.

“Did I tell you to touch your zipper?”

“I’m just helpin’ – “

“Don’t,” she growled. “Turnabout’s fair play, Guerin, so, hands off.”

He chuckled when he heard her warning tone and he followed her orders, leaning back and curling his hands around the edge of the counter. He had no idea what to expect this time around, but he couldn’t wait to find out.

Maria slid her hands up over his chest, feeling for the buttons on his shirt in the darkness and making quick work of them so she could shove the panels apart and run her hands over his toned flesh. There was a light dusting of hair across his chest and she trailed her fingers over the muscles that were so well defined, tracing over each ridge as she made her way up to his tiny nipples. She teased them into taut peaks before leaning in running her tongue over them, nipping at them and feeling the groan that reverberated deep in his chest. She changed tactics, rasping her teeth over the little nubs and she quickly reached up to cover his mouth with her right hand when he groaned louder.

“You’re not gonna be able to keep quiet,” she hissed. “Have you got somethin’ to bite down on?”

“Can I move my hands?”

“No.”

He chuckled. “There’s a plastic case in my right front pocket; there’s a mouth guard in it.”

“The thing you use when you’re playin’ football?”

“Uh-huh.”

Okay, for some reason that was incredibly hot! She pushed her hand into his pocket and retrieved the small case, popping it open and shaking the mouth guard out into her hand. She reached up and nudged his chin with her knuckles, sliding the guard into place when he opened his mouth.

Maria turned her attention back to his body, learning him by touch since she couldn’t see him. Her left hand slid down to comb through the triangle of hair below his belly button and she felt his abdominal muscles clench in response. She ran the fingernails of her other hand up and down his erection, teasing him through the denim and smiling at his deep growl.

“I think we should move on to some skin on skin action… what d’you think?” She took his groan as agreement and she lowered his zipper, taking extra care when she realized he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. She knelt down in front of him as she pushed his jeans down just enough to free him and she blew over the head causing his knees to nearly buckle before he caught himself.

She stroked him as she stood back up and she leaned against him, using her free hand to pull the mouth guard out so she could kiss him. It started out gentle and changed to a rougher, harder kiss as he took control of it without even touching her. He couldn’t help it though; the way she was touching him, working him into a frenzy, was driving him wild.

He could feel his orgasm building and in a few seconds it was gonna be over. His hands tightened on the edge of the counter and his hips jerked into her fisted hand as he felt his blood starting to roar in his ears… and suddenly, it stopped. His entire body had been tensed, ready for the inevitable explosion, and his eyes snapped open when she tightened her hand around the base of his dick and slid two fingers back behind his balls to press up against his body, effectively putting a halt to the inevitable.

“What the fuck?!” he snarled, careful to keep his voice hushed.

Maria laughed and shoved the mouth guard back into place. “Sucks to be left right on the edge, doesn’t it?” she whispered and then slid down his body before he could respond.

Michael was so ready to come that he was getting ready to take over and finish himself off when he felt her tongue slide over his dick. She wasn’t rushed despite the fact that they had no idea how long they had and he was praying that the electricity would stay out because he really didn’t wanna rush this. She tongued his entire length and even took the time to pay special attention to his balls before pulling back and nibbling her way back up. His teeth bit into the guard and he fought to keep his hips still when her lips slid over the head and she moved her mouth up and down, slowly as if she were taking the time to learn every inch of him.

He groaned in warning when he felt the coiled spring low in his gut tightening, letting him know that he was about to blow. Fuck, he hadn’t remembered to grab something to catch it when he shot his load, he thought frantically. He reached up and jerked the mouth guard out so he could warn her when she suddenly squeezed his leg in warning. The mouth guard went back in and he threw his head back, his eyes rolling back in his head as his entire body tensed. His release was explosive and he came so hard he was surprised he didn’t black out from the force.

The lights flickered and he tightened his grip on the counter in an attempt to stay upright as his labored breathing echoed harshly in the quiet room. He was vaguely aware of Maria cleaning him up and gently handling his sensitive dick as she eased him back into the confines of his jeans and put his clothes back together.

She reached up to remove the mouth guard, pressing against him as she reached behind him to turn the faucet on and rinse it off before shaking it dry and placing it back in the case. She slid the case into his pocket and then wrapped her arms around him, pulling him closer and kissing him gently but with passion and heat.

“Wanna sit down?”

His answer was positive if inarticulate and she chuckled as she helped him slide down to sit on the floor, not commenting on the obvious weakness in his limbs. She leaned against his shoulder and listened to his breathing as it settled down, basking in the knowledge that she had done that too him.

“So, how’re we gonna do this?” he asked when he could speak again.

“What d’you mean?”

“We’re basically fuck buddies, right? Well, without the actual fuckin’ part.” He shrugged. “So, do we call each other when we’re in the mood, or do we handle it some other way?”

“Phone call works for me.”

“What makes you think this plan of yours is gonna work, Maria?” He turned his head to look down at her, just barely able to make out her profile in the dark.

“We’re not having sex… as long as we don’t take it that far that connection won’t exist.”

“Uh-huh.” His tone was doubtful. “And what happens if you cross that line?”

“I told you, as long as we don’t have sex – “

“You honestly think we can basically fuck each other stupid at every available opportunity and you’re not gonna get attached to me?”

“Not gonna happen, Guerin,” she stated emphatically. “We’re both goin’ into this with our eyes wide open; we know the game, we know the plays, and we know the score.”

“And you’re sure there’s no chance you’re gonna get attached to me or expect me to suddenly turn into the perfect boyfriend or anything like that?”

“I can’t imagine a possibility more unlikely than that.” She leaned in to kiss him, finding his mouth with unerring accuracy despite the darkness surrounding them. “You’re sexy, hotter than hell, and you certainly know what to do between a woman’s legs, but when the time comes we’ll go our separate ways without looking back.”

He nodded and slouched down as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Cool, I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page because I’d hate to have to deal with that. I’m not in the market for any kinda serious relationship.”

“Don’t worry, Michael; you’re not the kinda guy I’m interested in getting involved with. What we have is strictly physical.”

*****

Mondays always sucked, Maria thought as she rolled over and slapped her hand down on the alarm clock to make the morning deejay’s incessant chatter stop. It was some sort of universal constant… or was that conspiracy? She didn’t know and thinking about it was making her head hurt even worse than it already hurt.

She pulled her arm back under the covers and fuzzily realized that her entire body ached, and not in a good way. The next thing that registered was the temperature and she kicked the blankets off, sighing when cool air greeted her. She attempted to stretch and took a deep breath but that only aggravated the tickle in her throat – that she hadn’t noticed before – and ended in a coughing fit.

She glanced over at her alarm clock and squinted to bring the numbers into focus but that only made her head throb and caused her eyes to water. She finally gave up and decided she didn’t care what time it was anyway. The apartment was silent so she assumed Liz had already left for her morning class. She shook her head. They had to do something about their youngest roommate; the girl was letting life pass her by. Sean was great but the two of them just didn’t strike sparks off of each other. Max and Liz on the other hand… She groaned and rolled over. She was starting to sound like Tess!

She shivered as a chill raced over her body and she forced her limbs to cooperate as she reached for the blanket and pulled it up over her. She really wished she had something big and warm to snuggle up to and her mind helpfully supplied an image of Michael. She fell asleep while she was trying to decide whether or not she should be worried that the mere thought of him made her feel just a little bit better.

At some point during the day she managed to change into an old pair of sweats, a tank top, and a thick sweatshirt, and set up camp on the couch in the living room. She was coughing, congested, her eyes and nose wouldn’t stop running, she was alternating between running a fever and having chills, she kept sneezing, her head was pounding, and every single muscle was aching. When she slept, it was fitful; every little sound woke her up and only added to the agony that had taken possession of her body.

“Maria?” Tess leaned over the back of the couch and placed her palm against her friend’s forehead. “What’s wrong with you, girl?”

“You stole my clothes and left me on the beach in wet underwear… what d’you think’s wrong with me?” she rasped.

“I think you should be thankin’ me,” Tess said smugly. “I have my suspicions about what the two of you got up to while you were alone on the beach even if you won’t tell me. And I know you don’t think we were all oblivious to the fact that y’all were in the kitchen for the entire blackout.”

“I don’t really give a fuck what you think we were up to.”

Tess rolled her eyes. “You’re always so cranky when you’re sick,” she muttered as she went into the kitchen. “And I know you had sex with him.”

“Who had sex?” Isabel asked, walking in just in time to overhear Tess’ last comment.

“Maria and Michael,” Tess answered as she carried a glass of orange juice in and placed it on the coffee table where Maria could reach it. “She’s completely in denial. Or, maybe it’s the fever, making her delusional.”

“Who’s delusional?”

They looked up when Liz entered the apartment and tossed her backpack in a chair.

“Maria. She’s denying she had sex with Michael.”

Liz frowned and shrugged. “Why would she deny it?”

“Because she doesn’t wanna admit that I’m right.”

“I don’t know, Tess,” Isabel said, her expression thoughtful.

“What?!” Tess practically shouted.

“Well, I can’t speak about what happened between them when you left them at the beach, but at Alex’s house? There’s no way they had sex.” She laughed and crossed the room to pick through the bowl of fruit on the bar, selecting an apple and polishing it on her shirt. “When have you ever known Maria to be quiet during sex?”

Maria glared at them from her nest of blankets and pillows. “Just for the record, I have had sex plenty of times when you guys were not in the next room.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Tess said. “Isabel’s right though, you’re very vocal during sex, so I concede that you didn’t have sex in the kitchen.” She crossed her arms over her chest, the fingers of her right hand drumming against her left arm. She suddenly smiled and nodded to herself. “You went down on him.”

“In my kitchen?” Isabel demanded.

Your kitchen?” Tess asked, her right eyebrow arching in question.

“That’s right. You wanna make somethin’ of it?”

“Hey, why don’t you guys go talk about this somewhere else,” Liz suggested, smiling when Maria gave her a thumbs-up.

“Whatever. I’ve gotta go get some things together.”

“Me too. I’m staying with Alex tonight.”

“Do you two even live here anymore?” Maria asked and immediately regretted it when it triggered another painful round of coughing. She fell back against her pillows and pulled the blankets tighter around her as she looked up at Liz. “Wanna watch a movie?”

Liz bit her bottom lip and shook her head, her gaze apologetic. “I’ve got a big Bio exam coming up, so I’m stayin’ over at Sean and Brendan’s apartment tonight since they live closer to campus.”

“Fine, all of you go and stay with your boyfriends… be completely selfish and just leave me here to suffer alone. Actually, that’s just directed at the two of you,” she muttered, watery eyes glaring at Tess and Isabel. “Liz has a good reason for leaving me here alone… you two are just ditching me so you can get laid.”

Tess and Isabel glanced at each other, shaking their heads as they spoke in unison. “It’s the fever.”

“Maria, sweetie, I know you feel like crap right now, so you get a pass for that last comment,” Isabel said, chuckling as she crouched down beside the couch. “Alex feels that it’s very important for Brooke to have a routine and on Monday nights we all make dinner together and then watch some teen drama that she’s really into.”

“Fine,” Maria grumbled, “you have a good reason too.” She waved a hand dismissively. “You’re released from friend duty for the night.”

“Hey, my reasons are good too,” Tess argued when Isabel shot a grin at her as she flounced out of the room.

“Getting laid is not a suitable reason to leave your best friend alone when she’s suffering from an illness that is your fault in the first place!”

“You don’t even like company when you’re sick! You just want someone to listen to you bitch and moan about whatever comes into your fevered brain.” She rolled her eyes when Maria turned to face the back of the couch, muttering under her breath about deserters and traitors. “You still love me.”

“No, I don’t.” She rolled over to grab a handful of tissues when she sneezed several times in a row. “Well? Why’re you still here? Go on and leave me to suffer alone.”

Tess chuckled at her dramatics and left to go get her things together. She knew better than to take anything Maria said when she was sick personally because she was always irritable and cranky when she didn’t feel well. Once she was finished she dropped her bag beside the door and leaned over the back of the couch to place her palm against Maria’s forehead.

“Here, check her temperature.”

Tess glanced up and accepted the little strip Isabel had just opened, placing it against Maria’s forehead and waiting for the reading to register. “It’s a little under 101°,” she said as she peeled the strip off and ran a soothing hand over the frown lines that appeared on Maria’s brow.

“It’s just the flu, Tess,” Isabel said reassuringly when she saw the worried look on the other girl’s face. “She’s gonna be okay.” She picked up the cell phone lying on the coffee table and started scrolling through the numbers.

“She’s sick because – “

“You didn’t know it was gonna cool down like that.”

“Well, no, of course not. She and Michael just have so much chemistry and I thought if they got stuck together – “

“I’d say your plan worked.”

“What?”

Isabel held the phone up. “Check out who made it into the top-five on her speed-dial list.”

“No way! Let me see that!”

Somehow their hands collided and the phone slipped from Isabel’s loose grasp. They fumbled madly for it, but before either of them could recover it, the phone collided with Maria’s forehead and she shot up into a sitting position.

“What the fuck is wrong with you people?” she yelled hoarsely. She was rubbing her forehead and trying to control the wave of dizziness that accompanied her sudden upright position. “I’m sick, isn’t that enough for you?”

“We were just making sure your battery’s fully charged in case you needed to call one of us for something.”

“Somethin’ besides the flu and a potential concussion? Maybe you can come back later and strangle me in my sleep.”

“Well, of all the ungrateful – “

Maria glared at Tess and held the phone up. “You don’t have to go into the speed-dial list to check the charge on the fuckin’ phone.”

Tess rolled her eyes. “Okay, fine. When did you get his phone number?”

“Go away.”

“C’mon, you guys,” Liz said as she placed a new box of tissues on the coffee table. “Maria, I brought the cough syrup in even though I know you probably won’t take it.”

“Bless you.”

“And now we’re gonna go away and leave you in peace.”

Maria snuggled down under the blankets, crossing her arms over her chest as she unconsciously hugged the phone. She could still hear Tess fussing about wanting to know when she had gotten Michael’s phone number as Isabel and Liz ushered her out of the apartment. She closed her eyes and let her thoughts drift back to Saturday night as she slipped into a fitful sleep.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 23 - 5/4/09

Post by Double Trouble » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:30 pm

mary mary: We’ll bet you’re right!

Alien_Friend: It would be against their rules, but it would be nice. Michael and Brooke do have a special relationship and we agree – he’s completely irresistible when he’s interacting with her. How long will either of them (M&M) really be able to hold out? A dull moment? Nope, never! The two of them haven’t realized just how much they’re sharing between them, and you’re right again – they’ve already crossed that line!

kismet: Michael is totally lovable when he’s with Brooke. The next Max and Liz scene is coming up… Part 24!

tequathisy:
It's like going to the cake shop and only eating the cupcakes and leaving the triple layered chocolate fudge cake uneaten - what's the point?
That was funny! There will be plenty of private moments, too!

destinyc: Keep hoping!

begonia9508: Yeah, neither of them are listening to their hearts right now!

sarammlover: LOL, we’re glad you liked that! Attachments have already been formed on both sides – you’ll see more of that in the next part.

nibbles2:
Alex the sex nazi
Too funny! Don’t place any bets on that “no having sex by anyone” bit though! Sex will be had!

Maiqu: Denial’s the name of the game for these two! We’re glad you’re enjoying his relationship with Brooke. Isabel is definitely part of the family already – and there will be more evidence of this as the story progresses. Hmmm… she may not be as alone as she would seem to be…

Angel eyes: Welcome to our little world! We’re glad you like the girls’ friendship as well as the guys’. Check out our trailer – there are shots of Liz with shorter hair. We’ll hurry back… every Thursday!

chanks_girl: Okay, first, we’ve just gotta say that your comment...
buddies-who-give-each-other-a-hand-in-times-of-need


...was hilarious… and so literally true, lol!

The cabin part is down the road a bit, but it’s gonna be fun! Michael’s relationship with Brooke is an important part of the story and he is completely different when he’s with her. Your prediction is definitely headed in the right direction.

Even though Maria loves her friends she could’ve quite happily strangled them at that moment.

Isabel and Alex have a solid relationship and you’re right about her being a good influence for Brooke. Especially considering her home life before coming to live with her brother!


Author’s Note: Hey everyone, we’re posting a bit early since we’re doing an Author’s Chat over on Roswell Heaven – stop by and give us a shout out if you happen to be around… times are listed on our last post!

Link to our trailer – made by us: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfA0lcXqUAI


Part 23 – Diamond in the Rough

Maria sat up and looked around blearily, grabbing onto the back of the couch when the room moved and caused her stomach to roll sickeningly. She didn’t know what had woken her up but she wished she had stayed horizontal because everything in her line of vision appeared to be moving and it was only making her feel worse. Her eyes followed the television remote as it vibrated across the coffee table and her eyes widened as she realized that it wasn’t just her imagination.

Her heart leapt into her throat and her grip tightened on the couch as her foggy mind barely registered the fact that the movement had stopped. It was an earthquake! she realized as she tried to calm down. She quickly searched through the blankets to find her cell phone and she flipped it open, scanning through her contacts in the speed dial folder. She punched in the number for Tess and she rolled her eyes when the phone just rang and rang. Isabel was too far away so she tried Liz next, but didn’t get a response from her either. She glanced at the last two numbers on the speed dial list; her mother was really too far away to call and it would only worry her to find out that her only daughter was suffering from the flu and that she had just survived her first earthquake and she was scared to death.

That just left Michael, she thought, staring at his name. There was really no reason to call him. It was just an earthquake and he would just laugh at her anyway. She was getting ready to close the phone when she felt the couch move again and she punched the last number before she really had time to think about it. She listened to the sound of his ringtone, easily identifying it as one of Metallica’s songs and she put together a list of reasons why he owed it to her to be reassuring. She had let him go down on her and get her off, which he should be grateful for. And besides that, she had made him come twice the night before last and she had swallowed the second time, so he definitely owed her.

“Fingers or tongue?” he growled into the receiver.

For the first time that day Maria shivered from something other than chills but she quickly shoved the accompanying thoughts aside. “Neither,” she grumbled, feeling the grumpy mood settle over her again for no reason. “I’ve got the flu and I just need to know if I’m hallucinating or if we just had an earthquake.”

She could practically hear the smirk in his voice when he spoke. “Baby, that was nothin’; hell, that shit probably barely registered on the Richter scale. I know I made the earth move more than that for you the other night.”

“Is it gonna happen again?”

“There could be a few aftershocks, but nothin’ to worry about.” He paused for the space of a heartbeat. “Scared?” he taunted.

“Fuck off.” She disconnected the call and turned the ringer off before throwing it across the room in a fit of temper. She turned the television on and flipped through the stations before settling on an old movie and then burrowing down under the blankets again. “Asshole,” she muttered, feeling irritable, cranky, scared, and sick.

*****

“Was that Maria?” Tess asked, catching the very end of the conversation. She was spending the evening with Kyle and she had been helping him put some of the equipment away now that practice was over.

“Uh-huh.” Michael glanced at her when she moved to stand in front of him and propped her right hand on her hip. “What?”

“Well, is she okay?”

“She’s fine, she was just makin’ sure you were okay,” he lied. He didn’t know Maria that well, but he was certain that if he hadn’t pissed her off she would’ve asked about her best friend. “She said she’s sick; who’s home with her?”

“No one.” Tess shrugged and moved to sit on a nearby lawn chair. “She doesn’t appreciate company when she’s sick.” She dug around in her purse to find her phone and frowned when it didn’t show any missed calls. “Did she say why she didn’t call me?”

Michael chuckled. “A lot of times it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not you can get a call through during or after an earthquake. It was probably just dumb luck that she got through to me at all.” He shrugged and finished coiling up one of the cords lying on the ground. “You sound like you didn’t expect her to call you.”

“Well, she’s kinda pissed at me ‘cause she’s sick; it seems that it’s all my fault that she caught the flu.” She glared at him when he laughed. “It’s not funny.”

He snorted. “You’re the one who left us stranded on the beach, so I’d guess that she’s got a valid point.”

“Ah, leave ‘er alone, Guerin,” Kyle huffed as he shoved his drumsticks in his back pocket. “We both left your asses on the beach, so if you’re gonna give anybody shit, just send it my way.”

“I think your old lady can handle it.”

Tess bristled at that comment. “His old lady? I guess now we know why you’re terminally single.”

“I’m single because there’s too much of me to limit to just one woman.”

“How d’you put up with his conceited, arrogant attitude?” she asked, aiming the question at her boyfriend.

Kyle shrugged. “He has his philosophy on life and I’ve got mine.” He looked up and grinned at her. “We should go have a talk about my philosophy when we leave here.”

“Where’d Courtney go?” Michael asked, glancing around irritably.

“Man, you know she never sticks around when we’re finished with practice. When was the last time you remember her helpin’ to put everything away?”

Michael just shook his head. “I’m getting tired of her behavior,” he muttered. “I’ve got places to go and women to do after practice; I don’t have time to be dealin’ with her shit.”

“Hell, we’re pretty much done here,” Kyle said. “If you’ve got plans, go on an’ hit the road.”

*****

Maria cursed out loud as she struggled to her feet and weaved her way to the front door when someone rang the doorbell. She could feel the shock on her face when she jerked the door open and she saw Michael standing on the other side with a couple of sacks in his right hand.

“Geez, woman, you look like crap,” he growled, barreling past her and stepping inside.

He set the sacks on a kitchen counter and then moved back to shut the door, shaking his head at her gaping expression. He flipped the lock and scooped her up in his arms, carrying her back over to the couch and settling her back down into the cushions.

“Screw you,” she snarled as her tongue finally caught up with her brain.

“Nah, I’d rather screw you, but you’re not exactly lookin’ too good right now.” He rolled his eyes when he tried to pull her sweatshirt up and off of her and she held her arms stiffly at her sides.

“What the hell are you doin’?”

Michael snorted. “I really hope you’re not insinuating that I’m the slightest bit interested in getting my hands on your hot little body right now.” He wrestled the sweatshirt off of her and draped it over the back of the couch. “Sit still for a minute.”

She glared at his bossy tone as he moved back across the room to retrieve something from one of the sacks, but the look was completely ruined when she started sneezing. “Why are you here?”

“Because I’m a selfish prick,” he answered, sitting down beside her and unscrewing the lid off of a small jar. “I figure the sooner you get better the sooner we can get back to our arrangement.” He dipped a couple of fingers into the jar and scooped up some of the medicated gel, leaning in closer to her so he could smear it across her chest where it was exposed above her tank top. “This’ll help break up the congestion.”

Maria’s eyes watered as the sharp scent of the gel penetrated her stopped up nose and she reached up to rub her eyes. “You have any idea how bad that smells?” she choked out.

“Fuck, baby, you’re already pretty rank,” he said, but his laughter took the sting out of the words. “You’ve been goin’ back an’ forth between sweatin’ bullets and freezin’ your ass off, right?” He glanced at the bottle of cough medicine sitting unopened on the coffee table. “Why haven’t you taken anything to get rid of this mess?”

“I don’t need it,” she rasped, annoyed by his take-charge attitude.

“You do fuckin’ need it.” He used the edge of her tank top to wipe his fingers off and then pulled her back up into a sitting position so he could tug the sweatshirt back on. “When’s the last time you ate somethin’?”

“Last night… maybe yesterday afternoon… I don’t remember.”

“Well, I want you to sit up so you can eat; I stopped to grab somethin’ to eat after practice and they had chicken soup, so I got you some.” He ignored her negative response and went to the kitchen, digging through the cabinets until he found the bowls. He pulled one down and dumped the contents from their Styrofoam container into the bowl, digging around in the drawers for a spoon before carrying it in to Maria.

“I’m not hungry,” she said stubbornly.

“You don’t wanna take the cough medicine, you don’t wanna eat,” he nodded at the untouched glass on the coffee table, “and you apparently have an aversion to orange juice, so how do you intend to get better?”

“It’ll happen if people would just leave me alone.”

Michael set the bowl down and reached out to physically lift her up into a sitting position. “I want you to eat this goddamned soup, drink the fuckin’ orange juice, and take the damned cough medicine.”

“Fine, if it’ll get you out of here any sooner, I’ll do it.” She accepted the bowl when he handed it to her, irritated beyond belief when he hovered over her until she had eaten every bite, drank every last drop of the juice, and downed a dose of the cough syrup. She had no idea why he was there or why he was bullying her to do things that would make her better.

She was trying to lay down again when he suddenly appeared next to her again and prevented her from burrowing back under the covers. “What now?!” she snapped.

“Your upper body needs to be elevated so your sinuses can drain and that congestion can start to break up.” He grabbed the television remote and set it on the end table next to the beer he had gotten from the refrigerator before sitting down in the corner of the couch. He placed her pillow in his lap and tugged her back to lie against him, ignoring her struggling because he knew she was exhausted and she would wear out a lot faster than he would.

Maria’s struggles finally ceased and she fell back against him weakly, not even bothering to protest when his left arm settled across her chest, the weight comfortable and solid just like him. Her mind immediately tossed that thought away, but she was so exhausted and his presence was so unexpected and comforting that it wasn’t long before she found herself snuggling closer to him as sleep started to creep up on her.

Michael kicked his shoes off and slouched down so he could prop his feet up on the coffee table. He flipped through several dozen channels before he found a movie that was semi-interesting and he forced himself to follow the plotline in order to avoid thinking about how right it felt to be taking care of the woman sleeping against him. He was certain that it was just because he wanted her to get better so they could get back to playing their sexual games, but there was no need to spend time thinking about it.

He unconsciously stroked her shoulder when she shifted restlessly in her sleep and after a few minutes she calmed down and settled down again. He didn’t think about the fact that it bothered him that she was at home alone while she was sick, or that he rarely went out of his way for anyone besides his brothers, sister, and his closest friends. He wasn’t even aware that he was falling asleep until it was too late to keep his eyes open any longer.

*****

Tess wasn’t prepared for the sight that greeted her when she entered her apartment at almost five o’clock the next morning. She had expected to find Maria still huddled up under the blankets on the couch, but what she hadn’t expected to find was Mr. Badass himself, Michael Guerin, to be slouched down next to Maria, sound asleep.

She was so tempted to wake him up just to see his expression when he realized he had been caught being nice, but Maria was sleeping so peacefully that she didn’t have the heart to wake him up because it would disturb her friend. When she had expressed concern about Maria getting involved with his roommate, Kyle had assured her that Michael had more depth than he allowed people to see, but this was the first time she had actually witnessed anything of the sort.

She was pretty sure that despite Maria’s denial that she and Michael were having sex they were involved and she had a feeling that her friend really liked him. Something that could get complicated since Maria could be too stubborn for her own good at times and she had already decided that she wasn’t going to fall for another guy like Michael. Oh, well, she thought, looked like it was just gonna be up to her and their friends to give them the necessary nudges. She felt much more confident about her decision to push them together after witnessing this little scene.

She froze when she saw Michael shift and his right hand came up to rub his face. She hurried to duck out of the room before he realized that anyone had come home while he had been sleeping. This was the perfect opportunity to observe the couple who continued to deny any personal involvement without their knowledge.

*****

Michael awoke slowly, trying to remember where he was and why his neck hurt like hell. He shifted in an attempt to stretch but his movements were restricted by the weight against his left side. The television provided the only light in the darkened apartment but it was enough for him to see the woman sleeping beside him. She had rolled over some time during the night and she had taken his left hand hostage, holding it in both of hers as she clasped it tightly against her body.

He slowly lowered his feet and winced at the stiffness in his legs as he shifted and straightened up. He leaned over Maria and placed his free hand against her forehead, satisfied when he realized that she didn’t feel fevered. He carefully extricated himself from her and settled her back against the cushions.

“Hey, Maria?”

She mumbled a sleepy response and he crouched down beside her to call her name again. This time her mumbled words were a little louder and he was pretty sure he had heard a fuck you thrown in there.

He chuckled at that. “Point me in the direction of your bedroom, baby. I need to get goin’ but I don’t wanna leave you out here, and we need to get that medicated gel stuff off of your chest before I go.”

“’m fine,” she grumbled when he tugged on her hand, disturbing her sleep.

“Uh-huh, well, if we don’t get that stuff off of you and get you bundled up nice an’ warm it could have an adverse effect and actually make you sicker, so let’s go, woman.” He rolled his eyes and pulled the blankets out of her weak grasp before lifting her up in his arms and turning to face the hall on the left. “Which way to your room?”

“Other way,” she muttered, dropping her head down to rest against his shoulder.

“Should’ve known,” he said with a grin. “There’s no way you’d pick a bedroom with sunlight pourin’ in through the windows first thing in the mornin’.” He nudged the door for the first room he came too, flipping the light switch with his elbow, and glancing around. “Definitely not your room.” He didn’t look any further once his gaze landed on the mountain of stuffed animals piled on the bed. “Total virgin territory,” he snorted.

The apartment was set up very similarly to the one he shared with Kyle and Max so he knew the only other bedroom at this end would be on the other side of a connecting bathroom. He stepped back out into the hall and turned the light off before moving to the next door and pushing it open. He nodded in satisfaction as soon as he flipped the light switch and got his first look at the room; he knew it was hers without confirmation.

He chuckled at the unmade bed, the pile of architecture books stacked haphazardly on one corner of the desk in front of the window, and the articles of clothing hanging over the furniture. “You’re almost as big a slob as I am, baby.” He eased her down onto her bed and crossed over to her closet to look for something suitable for her to wear.

There were a ton of framed photographs all over the walls and a quick glance at them identified most of the people as friends from her hometown. A lot of them were of her roommates and a woman that he easily pinpointed as being her mother. There was also a collection of pictures that had been taken over the summer while she and Tess had been on their tour of Europe and as he moved along the wall he noticed a lot of autographed photos mixed in. He glanced over his shoulder, making sure Maria was still asleep as he leaned in closer to get a better look at the pictures and his eyebrows shot up when he recognized the bands in the pictures… pictures that were autographed.

He reached up to trace his fingers over the autographed picture of Metallica; it wasn’t a picture that had been ordered from a catalog or bought at some novelty store, it had been signed in person. He glanced over the other pictures and realized the same was true for all of them; they had been taken at the same place, probably over a span of several days. “Rock im Park,” he said, tapping a photograph of Maria and Tess standing at what must have been the entrance to the event. “That must’ve been some concert,” he muttered to himself.

He shook himself and opened the door to her closet, stepping inside and moving the clothes around until he found an oversized sweatshirt. He frowned as he held it out and looked at it, wondering if it had belonged to an old lover. Not that it matters to you, he reminded himself as he stepped back out and dropped it at the foot of her bed.

Crossing over to the bathroom, he stepped inside and searched the drawers and cabinets until he found a washcloth and a towel. He slung the towel over his shoulder and adjusted the water temperature before running the washcloth under the faucet, and then wringing the excess water out of it. Back in her bedroom he sat down beside Maria and eased her out of the sweatshirt and the tank top before wiping the greasy remnants of the medicated gel off of her skin and then using the towel to make sure her skin wasn’t damp.

He couldn’t resist tracing the tip of his finger over her bare breasts before grabbing the sweatshirt and tugging it over her head. He pulled it down over her, covering her up and then situating her so that he could tuck the covers around her. Even sick as a dog, she was beautiful, he mused, shaking his head at his own thoughts as he dropped the towel and washcloth in the sink. He checked her forehead once more before turning the light off and backing out of her room, glancing at his watch as he hurried back out to the living room to get his things so he could leave.

“What’s your hurry, Guerin?”

He froze as he was leaning over to find his shoes and he looked up when he heard Tess’ antagonizing voice. “I’m a busy man, Harding, and I don’t have time for any of your bullshit. So, if you’ve got somethin’ to say, just say it.”

“I thought you had… what was that charming little comment you made earlier? Places to go and women to do? That was it, wasn’t it?”

“What’s your point?”

“My point is that you’re standing in my apartment at almost five in the morning, leaving my best friend’s bedroom – a woman who is in absolutely no condition to be participating in any kind of sexual activity – and yet, here you are.”

“Whatever.”

“Uh-huh, an argument of epic proportions.” She tapped her chin thoughtfully. “Oh, my, how can I possibly argue with whatever?” She rolled her eyes and leaned on the counter, immensely enjoying the opportunity to watch him squirm. “You came over here to check on her because she called you after that little earthquake earlier tonight, and she was probably scared on top of being sick.” She slowly went down the list of things she had observed while he had been out of the room. “You brought her soup, and I know this because the restaurant that to-go carton came from doesn’t deliver, you got her to drink a glass of juice, you managed to get her to take the cough medicine – and you have no idea how sick she has to be before she’ll take medicine, and from the looks of things you even went the extra mile and rubbed her down with – “

“So, basically, what you’re sayin’ is that you have no point,” he interrupted. He focused his attention on tying his shoestrings and then stood up.

“Taking care of someone when there’s nothing in it for you…” She braced her elbows on the counter and rested her chin in her hands. “Who knew that Michael Guerin could be so thoughtful and sweet?”

“Fuck off, Harding.”

“What d’you think people would say if they knew that this side of your personality even existed?”

“Spread it around an’ see,” he muttered. “The first thing they’re gonna do is suspect you of illegal drug use. If that doesn’t keep ‘em occupied I’ll tell everybody that before movin’ here your address was the local nuthouse where you were kept sedated for safety reasons.”

Tess snorted. “No one would believe that I’ve ever spent a day in a mental hospital.”

“They would by the time I’m finished.” He glared at her, daring her to challenge him. “Brendan isn’t the only genius in the family and I’ve got a very devious mind to go along with my intelligence, so, please feel free to try an’ take me on. I think you’ll find that I’m a very worthy opponent.”

“I don’t know what Maria sees in you,” she stated after several minutes of them staring at each other. “Despite your bragging, I doubt she’s hanging out with you for your IQ points.”

“Well, somethin’ we can both agree on.”

“What’s that? That you’re not as intelligent as you claim?”

He tried to shove his response down, but he finally shook his head and just let it fly. “Chances are she’s hangin’ out with me for the size of my dick and what I can do with it. Intelligence has little, if anything, to do with it.”

Tess didn’t get a chance to say anything else because he turned and walked out of the apartment without another word. She felt a smile teasing the corners of her lips as she thought about their exchange; he was terrified of anyone discovering that underneath his rough exterior there was an honest-to-God nice guy hidden inside. Well, if anyone could bring it out of him, it would be Maria, she thought as she straightened up and got rid of the evidence that he had stopped by and spent the night taking care of Maria. There was no reason to blow his cover… yet.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 24 - 6/7/09

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:23 am

Alien_Friend: Nope, Michael’s the only one who was going to get through to Maria and bully her into getting well.

That’s exactly it! Michael doesn’t trust himself and he doesn’t believe that he’s amazing. He believes in his abilities and his worth in matters not associated with kindness or his heart. In matters such as those he hides, scared of anyone actually seeing the other side of his personality because it’s safer that way. He feels that letting people see that gives them power over him, makes him vulnerable, so he hides his kindness behind whatever convenient smokescreen is available… in this case, helping Maria get better so they could resume their pact.

mary mary: Thanks for reading!

nibbles2: That realization will happen… eventually.

No worries, it’s gonna take more than Tess to scare Michael off.

begonia9508: Well, they’re both stubborn and refuse to admit that their ‘relationship’ is anything more than a sexual pact… we’ll see how long they can pull that off. Michael is a big sweetheart even though he tries to hide it. However… looks like the secret’s out!

tequathisy: Well, just don’t ask Michael his opinion, because he’ll inform you that he’s definitely not involved on an emotional level, lol!

It’s all good! Maybe next time!

destinyc: It’s nice to be right, isn’t it? Well, not everyone has Maria’s… style.

LOL, maybe next time!

Dreamer moments… hmmm… could be, let us check… Yep, right in this next part!

sarammlover: That’s our Michael! He can deny it all he wants, but we all know he may act like a grizzly bear, but he’s really just a big ol’ teddy bear inside.

kismet: We’re glad you like our Tess – she’s crazy!

Think the mountain of stuffed animals gave it away?

Nah, it’s all good! We had a great time and maybe when we do it again we’ll be able to pick a better time.

The next Max and Liz part… with Sean? Nope, no Sean. Three’s a crowd after all, lol! Yes, the chemistry is undeniable.

Well, would ya look at that? It’s Sunday! And here’s an update, as promised!

Maiqu: Not buying Michael’s denial, huh? Neither are we, but he’s gonna stubbornly hold onto that denial for a while!

Eva: Michael has much more depth than even he realizes. But, he’s finally met someone who’s gonna make him start to believe in himself.

guelbebek: Don’t worry, Michael hasn’t been confused by Tess. Annoyed… pissed off… angry… irritated… the list could go on and on, but he’s not going anywhere.


Author’s Note: As agreed to during our Author’s Chat a few days ago, we will begin posting two times per week – Thursdays and Sundays. Enjoy!

Thanks to everyone who came out and ‘chatted’ with us. We had a lot of fun. For those of you who couldn’t make it, we missed you and hope to catch up with you the next time!

Now, on with the show…


Part 24 – Coffee, Confessions, and Questions

Kyle was up when Michael got home and he glanced up from the vegetables he was chopping to look at his roommate. “Whose bed did you just crawl out of?” he asked, chuckling at the other guys’ rumpled, irritable demeanor.

“Does it matter?” Michael snarled.

“No, but you’re usually much more pleasant after you’ve gotten laid.” He pulled out a frying pan and set it on one of the burners before digging through the cupboard for the olive oil. “I’m makin’ omelets, you want one?”

“Why’re you in such a good fuckin’ mood at this time of the mornin’?”

“Because unlike you, I got laid last night.”

“Did I say I didn’t get laid?”

“You didn’t have to.” Kyle smirked and set the vegetables in a smaller frying pan to sauté before turning to look at Michael once more. “So, why don’t you have a seat and tell Uncle Kyle all about your night, hmm?”

“Fuck you.”

“C’mon, Guerin, sit down, I’ll fix you somethin’ that’s guaranteed to put you in a better mood, and you can tell me all about your night.”

“There’s nothin’ to tell,” Michael denied, but he settled on one of the barstools and leaned over the counter to snatch up a piece of the diced ham piled in one of the dishes. “I got hot, I got sweaty, and then I left because she’s got a roommate that just pisses me off.”

Kyle’s eyebrows shot up at that admission and he glanced at the clock on the microwave. Tess had left less than an hour ago… was it possible that Michael had been over at her apartment with Maria? His girlfriend and his best friend had a weird, antagonistic relationship that he didn’t understand, but at the same time there wasn’t anything really… mean about it. He shook his head and decided it didn’t really matter as he reached for the eggs; as long as they got along well enough that they didn’t kill each other it was all good.

“Fine, there’s nothin’ to tell,” he said, letting the subject drop before Michael really got pissed off and ruined his good mood.

“Is it necessary for the two of you to talk so loud this early in the mornin’?” Max asked as he wandered into the kitchen and dug through the cabinets looking for his special blend of coffee. He shook his head and scratched his bare chest, his dog tags making a metallic clinking sound when they collided. He frowned when he didn’t find what he was looking for and he glanced at his roommates. “Who drank my coffee?”

“Don’t look at me.” Michael shrugged carelessly. “I don’t drink that imported crap you buy, Evans.”

Kyle cleared his throat. “Tess may have had some,” he said. “How ‘bout an omelet, huh?”

“That coffee is a special blend – “

“And here we go,” Michael muttered. “Y’know your relationship with your coffee borders on serious obsession.” He pointed at the man standing at the stove. “Just have some regular coffee and Valenti will make up one of his special omelets for you.” He shook his head. “Suck it up, Evans, and stop bein’ such a girl about your special blend. Besides, I’m sure Kyle’s old lady needed the fortification to stay awake – “

“I don’t need any reminders about the wild monkey sex goin’ on in this apartment last night,” Max grumbled. “And I can’t imagine that Tess needs any artificial stimulants.” He rolled his eyes and reached for the much more inferior brand of coffee that everyone else drank and set about making a pot. “Considering the noise comin’ from Kyle’s room all night long.”

“Hey, man, don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Kyle laughed and shook his head. “You’re just pissy ‘cause the only date you had last night was with your right hand.”

“Fuck off, Valenti.” Max shook his head and headed back towards his room. “I’m gonna go for a run; I’ll expect my omelet to be ready when I get back.”

Michael snickered and shook his head. “You’d better put a leash on your cat, Kyle; she keeps drinkin’ his coffee and he’s liable to commit murder.”

“Evans will calm down once he gets laid; we just need to hook him up.”

“Uh-huh.” Michael slouched down and shook his head. “Only one problem with that.”

“Right,” Kyle agreed. “He hasn’t even really looked at another woman since he set eyes on Sean’s fiancé the other night.”

“Yeah, what’s up with that? Since when does Max take an interest in women with zero sexual experience? He has to know after that excessively painful conversation the other night that he’s movin’ into virgin territory.” He shook his head. “If he pops that cherry he’ll never get rid of her.”

“Maybe he’s not lookin’ to get rid of her.”

“You honestly think Saint Evans would ever hit on her? She’s engaged and she’s a fuckin’ virgin, man!”

Kyle shrugged and flipped the omelet over. “I think only time will tell. You spent the whole night flirtin’ an’ fightin’ with Maria; you weren’t really payin’ any attention to the undercurrents around us.”

“Whatever.” Michael pulled his wallet out and rifled through the bills there before pulling out a hundred and throwing it on the counter. “Evans will never make a move on the country mouse.”

“You’re on.” Kyle checked his back pocket and shrugged. “I don’t have my wallet on me, but y’know I’m good for it.”

Michael shrugged, unconcerned. He was just glad that they had moved away from the topic of where he had spent the night. Besides, now he was looking at winning a hundred bucks and he wasn’t gonna have to do a damn thing for it.

*****

Maria rolled over and squinted against the light pouring in through her windows. The brightness of the light indicated that it was midmorning and she stretched, yawning widely before drawing in a deep breath and realizing that the action hadn’t caused her to go into a fit of coughing or sneezing. She sat up slowly, testing her joints for the tired, achy feeling that had been present the day before and was pleased when she realized that it was barely there.

The feeling of relief was short-lived though because fast on the realization that she felt so much better came the memory that Michael Guerin was responsible for her recovery. Just what she needed, she thought, groaning. As if he weren’t arrogant enough! His ego didn’t need to be stroked or built up anymore than it already was.

“Well, well, well, look who’s finally emerging from her cocoon,” Tess said from the doorway. “I wasn’t sure you were gonna wake up today.” She came into the room and pushed Maria’s feet out of the way so she could sit down. “How’re you feelin’?”

“Better.”

“Funny how things like cough medicine and juice really do help, huh?”

“What’re you going on about?” Maria asked, flopping back against her pillows and staring at her best friend.

“Just that it took Michael Guerin of all people to make you do the sensible thing. You wouldn’t listen to your friends, but you listen to him… what’s up with that, huh?”

“What’re you talking about?”

Tess snorted when Maria tried to dodge the questions. “Puh-leaze, Maria! I got home while the two of you were still snuggled up on the couch and I hid before he woke up and saw me.”

“Fine, so he came over and acted like a complete ass; bullying me into eating some crappy soup and taking medicine that I didn’t want – “

“That is your argument?” Tess leaned back against the footboard and shook her head. “Huh-uh, girl, not gonna work. I had a primo viewing spot and I saw him carry you to your bedroom and get the stuff together to get you all ready for bed – “

“You were hiding so you could spy on us?” Maria could feel the headache starting to come back with a vengeance.

“Um-hmm, but I promise I left when he started undressing you.” She grinned when Maria shot up into a sitting position and threw the blankets back to look down at herself. “He was actually very sweet about the whole thing; I have to admit he almost impressed me.”

“Well, that’s good,” Maria muttered sarcastically. “I know how important it is to Michael to make a good impression on you.”

“The only impression that dimwitted cretin could possibly make would be the one on the ground where his knuckles are dragging through the dirt.” She rolled her eyes. “I’ve gotta meet Kyle for lunch, but I wanted to check on you and see if you needed anything before I go?”

“No, I’m good.” Maria glanced at the alarm clock and mentally calculated the time. “I think I’ll take a shower and try to make my last class of the day. I’ll probably just get something to eat afterwards.”

“Okay, if you’re sure.” Tess bounced back up before Maria could change her mind. “I’ll see you this evening.”

“What? You’re actually gonna be home for once?”

“Well, I have a paper to write and Kyle is a bit of a distraction.” She grinned impishly and skipped out of the room.

Maria rolled her eyes and slowly stood up so she could start getting ready for her day. Maybe she’d get lucky and she’d be able to avoid Michael and his conceited I told you so that was sure to be thrown out there.

*****

Brendan was walking to his car after his last class of the day when he spotted Maria crossing the quad not far away. He changed direction and cut through the parking lot so he could reach her before she could get too far away. “Hey, Maria!” he called when he was close enough to get her attention. He smiled when she paused and looked around for several seconds before finally noticing him.

“Brendan, hi,” she greeted when he caught up with her.

He frowned at the rasp he could hear in her voice. “You got a cold?” he asked, deftly removing the stack of books from her arms.

“Getting over the flu actually.”

“Are you well enough to be outside like this?”

Maria smiled at the genuine concern in his voice. “Yeah, I’m fine. Hungry, actually; I was just thinking about what I wanted to eat.”

“What a coincidence,” he said with a grin. “I was just about to head down to the pier to find somethin’ to eat myself. Can I interest you in goin’ with me so I don’t have to eat alone?”

She laughed and patted his stomach. “When was the last time you worried about eating alone?”

Brendan glanced at his watch. “About two minutes ago. C’mon, come with me. You like pizza, right? You can’t go wrong with pizza!” he stated enthusiastically.

“Pizza sounds good, but the company sounds even better.”

“Great! There’s a place near Belmont Pier that makes the best pizza in the county.” He walked her back to his car and held the door open for her before walking around to the drivers’ side and sliding in behind the wheel. They talked about inconsequential things on the drive over to the pier and after stopping for a couple of large slices of pizza they walked down to lean against the railing of the pier and watched the waves crashing below them.

“So, tell me how things have been goin’.”

“Good.” She nodded. “Things have been going pretty good.”

“Uh-huh, and things with Michael? How have they been goin’?” He shook his head before she could speak. “Don’t tell me things have been goin’ good; find a new descriptive.” He took a bite of his pizza and waited for her answer.

“I don’t know. How’s that for a descriptive?”

“Well, last time we talked you said he was the kinda guy you’re attracted to, but also the kinda guy you’re tryin’ to avoid.” He glanced at her. “So, how’s that workin’ out for you?”

Maria studied his profile and her eyebrows lifted in surprise when she recognized Michael’s smirk on his face. “You’ve already talked to Brooke, right?” She nodded when he chuckled quietly. “You have.”

“She may have mentioned that you’ve been seein’ Michael.” He grinned when she shoved his shoulder playfully. “Yeah, she told me. How’re things goin’ with him?”

She picked the pepperoni off of her pizza, eating them one at a time until they were all gone. “I don’t really know, Brendan,” she admitted finally. “To be honest, he completely confuses me.”

“What happened?”

“Well, I told you I’m getting over the flu, right?” She nodded when he made a sound of agreement. “Michael came over last night and took care of me… he stayed with me all night.”

“Is it the first time he’s behaved like that since the two of you hooked up?” he asked curiously.

Maria shook her head. “I haven’t hooked up with your brother.”

“You’ve had no sexual relations with him at all?” He chuckled and nudged her with his shoulder before turning to lean back against the railing. “It’s okay, Maria, I’m not makin’ any judgments here, just observations.”

“I don’t want to get involved with him, Brendan, and he doesn’t want the involvement either; we’ve already talked about that, but against my will and every bit of good sense that I possess, I find myself drawn to him.”

“On more than just a primal level?”

Maria snorted. Well, there certainly was that! “I just… he’s arrogant and conceited and he really does believe that he’s all that, but there’s this whole other side that is also a part of who he is, and that side is so incredibly sweet and caring.” She huffed and rolled her eyes. “Of course that’s totally easy to ignore the moment he opens his big mouth and spits out the first obnoxious, rude, and completely inconsiderate thing that comes to mind.”

She wasn’t gonna admit that she was drawn to Michael on a deeper level. “You really do like him, don’t you?”

“He’s… I don’t know, Brendan, it’s so confusing.”

He chuckled and draped his right arm around her shoulders, pulling her against his side for a comforting one-armed hug. “It’s not somethin’ you’ve gotta resolve today, Maria.”

“That’s good because I can’t imagine anything related to your brother being resolved in a single day. He’s so damn complex,” she complained, leaning against his solid frame. “Why can’t he just be more like you?”

“If he was more like me we wouldn’t be havin’ this conversation because you wouldn’t be attracted to him.” They were silent for several long minutes, just enjoying each other’s company and watching the people around them. “I know Michael can be…” he snorted and shook his head, “difficult is putting it nicely, but the truth is that he’s only opened up to one person that I know of.”

“Brooke,” Maria guessed.

Brendan glanced at her in surprise. “So, you’ve seen them together?”

“Yeah, he’s like a different person when he’s with her.” She thought about that for a moment. “Do you have any idea why that is?”

“Nope. I don’t know that anyone outside of Michael and Brooke know how they became so close.” He shrugged. “Whatever it was, it was good for their relationship. Michael was always the one she gravitated towards, and he never pushed her away, but somethin’ shifted between them early last summer when he flew back home to see her. They’ve been really tight ever since then.” He sent a teasing grin in her direction. “If you wanna get some insight into his behavior, Brooke’s the one you wanna talk to.”

“Let’s talk about you for a while,” Maria said, redirecting the conversation as she tore her crust into tiny pieces and tossed it to the birds hopping around on the pier. “Have you thought anymore about contacting Karen?”

“Oh, I’ve thought about it,” he answered, accepting the change in topic. “Actually there hasn’t really been a day that’s gone by since we broke up that I haven’t thought about it, but what would I say to her?”

“You were ready to ask her to marry you, you’re still in love with her, and you know in your gut that she lied about her reason for ending things. You have every right to know why she really broke up with you, Brendan.”

He sighed as he stared at the sunlight playing across the water and he shook his head when he felt Maria look up at him.

He wasn’t ready to take that step yet, she realized. “You said there were similarities between me and Karen; what are they?”

Brendan reached up to scratch his neck and chuckled. “You an’ Karen are about the same size an’ you’ve got a very similar build, but that’s really where the physical similarities end; she had dark hair and the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. She wasn’t really outgoing like you, but she did take a stand if she believed in somethin’ and when she did she wouldn’t back down.” He chuckled humorlessly. “I guess that’s a big part of the reason why I’m so scared to contact her and ask for the truth.”

“Because she believed in the two of you and then without any kind of warning she ended things.”

“Yeah.” He looked down at his feet and shrugged. “She was always a fighter and if she could let what we had go without a fight… maybe I’m the one who was wrong and there really wasn’t anything worth fightin’ for.”

“You know what you felt when you were with her, Brendan.” She moved to face him directly. “Was it worth fighting for?”

The corners of his mouth tugged up into a smile as he thought about his past with Karen and he nodded. “Yeah, it was worth fightin’ for.”

“And now?”

“Now, I think I need more information before I try to talk to her again.” For the first time in what was fast approaching two years he felt hopeful that maybe there was an answer within his grasp.

*****

Max walked up to the desk at the front of the library to return some reference materials he had been using for a paper he had due by the end of the week. He really would’ve preferred to be out practicing for the upcoming weekend, but motocross was a hobby and not a career, so he really needed to focus on his studies. He asked the woman at the desk about a specific title and leaned back against the counter while he waited for her to look up the information. His eyes roved over the rows and rows of books that filled the shelves of the two-story building. The library was one of the most modern buildings on campus and it even housed an escalator at its center instead of using elevators like many did.

He was turning back to the librarian when she spoke, but his attention locked on a dark-haired woman walking along the railing on the second floor. His eyes traveled up over her calves and he frowned when his perusal was forced to stop at her knees. What woman wore a dress that came all the way down to her knees anymore? he wondered, annoyed. Hell, even his mother’s dresses weren’t that long! He ignored the floral print dress in favor of letting his eyes move the rest of the way up over her form, enjoying the way it moved against her body. She wasn’t the most well endowed woman he had ever seen but the entire package was one that he could definitely appreciate.

He could feel his heartbeat speed up when his gaze finally made it past the graceful column of her throat and he realized that he had been mentally undressing Liz Parker. The woman, through no fault of her own, had been burning up his dreams for the past few nights, and she was proving to be quite a distraction.

“Young man, you asked for this information,” the librarian reminded him with an unsubtle poke. “I do have other customers if you’d prefer to study that young woman rather than work on your studies. Back in my day you would’ve been taken out and horse-whipped for daring to ogle any woman in that manner.”

Max grinned at her and took the paper that she had written the information he had requested on. “Honey, back in your day women didn’t look like that.” He winked at her and grabbed his books as he sprinted across the library to take the escalator to the second floor. He loped around to the side where he had last seen her and finally tracked her down on an aisle containing books on marine biology.

She was completely absorbed in the oversized book she had pulled down and he set his own books down on one of the tables that were spaced several feet apart on the outer aisles. He was quiet as he crept up behind her and leaned back against the shelf, bracing his left forearm on the cool metal and extending it behind her. He glanced over her shoulder and read over the bold typeface on the page before he spoke up and gave his presence away.

“I can tell you all about the mating habits of the male of the species,” he growled, leaning in close enough that his breath ghosted over her ear. He chuckled when she squealed and only his quick thinking and steadying hand on the book kept her from throwing it at him.

Liz swallowed hard and tried to control her pounding heart when she suddenly found herself cornered by Max Evans. God, he smelled good! She forced her eyes to move from the silver dog tags resting in the center of his chest, over the well-defined muscles outlined by the tight, black tee shirt, up to his handsome face. No guy should ever look that good! As soon as the thought made itself known she felt guilty for thinking it.

“Wanna go out for coffee?” he asked, his voice pitched low.

Liz felt completely disloyal when she actually considered saying yes to his offer. Only in her mind, of course, because she would never cheat on Sean like that! “I should go,” she said, her voice shaking.

“For coffee?”

“What? No… no, I don’t… I can’t…” She was stuttering like a fool and there was nothing she could do to control the nervous reaction.

Max took a couple of steps back to give her some room to breathe. It hadn’t been his intention to scare the poor girl to death; he just wanted to convince her to talk to him for a few minutes. “You don’t like coffee? Or, you can’t go because you’re bein’ kept on a short leash?”

“I’m engaged… I have to go… now.”

He shifted to block her path and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Y’know, it’s just a cup of coffee, Liz; I’m not askin’ for anything else.” But, God help him, he wouldn’t have a problem if it led to something else.

She felt an odd sensation in the pit of her stomach when he said her name in a way that no one else had ever said it. “I should really go, Max.”

He stepped back and let his fingers trail over the bare skin where her neck and shoulder met. “Until the next time, Elizabeth Parker.” He leaned back and watched her as she hurried to the escalator and practically ran for the entrance. Damn! At this rate, he was never gonna get another decent nights’ sleep!
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Re: Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 24 - 6/7/09

Post by Double Trouble » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:49 pm

chanks_girl: Update, we did!

Ya know Michael had to take care of Maria. Michael in a nurses uniform wearing red stilettos… **Damaging image… damaging image… lalalala… must make image go away!** Tess came off in a negative light, but she meant nothing bad by what may have seemed to be an attack on Michael. She wasn’t trying to give him a hard time, she’s just Tess being Tess.

The guys do have a great relationship between them. Max definitely got bolder with Liz but as soon as he realized that he was making her nervous he backed off.

You will see more of Maria and Brendan’s friendship throughout the fic.

mary mary: Thanks! Hmm… you could be onto something. We’re glad you’re havin’ fun with our fic!

tequathisy: Michael’s comment wasn’t tossed out with that intent… he simply threw out the first thing that came to mind in order to turn the conversation away from him. He didn’t stop to think of the fact that he was implying anything in regards to Maria since no one (except Tess, of course) knows that he was with her.

Maria and Brendan are going to be very good friends. It will lead both of them to resolutions about their current situations.

Hmm… who’re you bettin’ on? Max is going to have a lot of self-examination to deal with because it goes against everything he believes in to even think about making a move on Liz.
He’s walking a very thin line.

Thanks!

begonia9508: Thanks for reading!

Eva: Glad you enjoyed the guys’ talk!

You may be right – Brooke could prove to be the key.

Alien_Friend: That’s right… you are one of those doing the convincing, weren’t you? LOL!

Dog tags = hot images of Max, huh? We love that! Don’t worry, even though it’s gonna take a while for them to get there… there’ll be plenty of Dreamer moments that lead up to the main event! Poor Max and Liz… they both have hurdles to cross and they’re both gonna have to deal with their issues, but they’re gonna make it.

We’re so happy that Brendan is so well liked! He and Maria are going to be instrumental in giving each other necessary nudges in the direction their hearts need to take. LOL… you can look forward to Brendan getting down and dirty at some point down the road.

The post-Michael taking care of Maria moment is upon us. If people were one dimensional it would make things easier… but imagine how boring life would be, especially with Michael and Maria! All those layers… ya gotta love Michael!

The guys have a great relationship and even thought there are times when their personalities will clash, you can’t break those bonds. So, we have a vote for Kyle’s part of the bet… hmm… we may have to start keeping score on this bet! Max is completely enthralled with Liz and that’s not gonna change!

Angel eyes: We’re glad you loved the Dreamer part! We agree – Sean should also be with someone who makes him feel that way… and who knows, maybe he’ll figure that out!

nibbles2: Sundays and Thursdays, as promised!

Brendan isn’t the kinda guy to be resentful or hold a grudge and despite his relationship with his twin, he can see that she and Michael are meant to be together. Maria will be talking to Brooke and at some point Brendan is going to have to pursue the mystery behind Karen’s sudden break up with him.

LOL, no, Liz can’t deny Max Evans. Look for more of their interaction in the next few updates.

Maiqu: We’re glad! Thanks for reading!

kismet: Uh-oh, that’s two for Kyle. Michael does come off as thinking badly of his friend, but he didn’t mean it that way – he just can’t imagine Max crossing that line. It’s gonna take time, so let’s hope that Max can hold onto his sanity! The poor guy definitely has the short end of the stick as far as ‘apartment action’!

sarammlover: Well, ya know… since we got corralled into updating twice a week on that author’s chat… Every Thursday and Sunday! Maria and Brendan are going to be very good friends. Yay! We’re glad you’re lovin’ Michael. Hmm… somethin’ to do with Hank… that’s definitely one possibility!

April: “OMG! DT2… Look! It’s April!” **collective gasp from both authors** “DT1, I thought she’d still be out cold after stayin’ up all night at that author’s chat!”

LOL, we’re glad you had fun at the chat – we had a blast! And, hey, about us keepin’ you up? Um… who was it that insisted on playing detective until all hours of the night? Uh-huh…

Oh, wow… a major Candy fan who can’t choose between Michael or Max… WOW! We take that as a huge compliment! We’re so glad you’re enjoying our fic!

destinyc: LOL, you must be a coffee hound!

Liz will have questions… and some of them might even come up in this next part!

Maria and Brendan are gonna be great friends!

jamminmaraca: Hi and welcome to our little world! We’re glad you’re enjoying our fic! We update every Thursday and Sunday.


Author’s Note: Song credit for “Pieces” goes to Sum 41 – lyrics obviously don’t belong to us! Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo0DT-QP1ZE


Part 25 – Michael, Maria, and Misunderstandings

As soon as she walked through the front door Maria went to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water from the refrigerator and then went to sit on the couch. The flu wasn’t totally gone yet and spending a couple of hours down at the pier with Brendan had been nice, but now she was just exhausted. She could still feel that slight ache in every muscle and she was more than willing to spend the rest of the day watching TV and sleeping. The apartment was silent and she was grateful that no one else was at home right now. Isabel was practically living at Alex’s place, Tess was probably with Kyle fucking her brains out again, and Liz… well, she had been acting weird the last couple of days.

Unexpectedly the front door swung open and Liz entered the apartment, turning to close and lock the door behind her. Sometimes it’s really weird how people just show up when you think about them, Maria mused, watching Liz as she moved around the room like the Energizer bunny on speed. She seemed to be in a complete state of shock as she tried to find something to do.

“Hey, Liz, are you okay? You look a little off and you’re acting a bit… odd.”

“Huh?” Liz glanced up and seemed to notice Maria’s presence for the first time.

“Is everything alright?”

“Yeah… I guess.” Her tone wasn’t convincing in any way.

“Sit down, girlfriend.” Maria patted the cushion next to herself and Liz followed her directions as if in a trance. She sighed as her body started to relax just a little. “Where’ve you been?”

“At the library.” Did that sound like a confession? Did she sound as guilty as she felt?

“What happened?” Maria was sure there was more to the answer than what Liz had offered so far.

Liz glanced at her hands where they rested in her lap, her gaze nervous. “I ran into Max… again,” she mumbled, but Maria understood her anyway.

“Again? What d’you mean, again? Have you seen him since that night at the karaoke bar?” Liz’s silence spoke volumes and gave Maria the answer to her question. “Okay, I guess that would be a yes. When and where?”

“The night of the storm,” Liz began slowly. “I was on my way home from Caroline’s place; she’s the girl who cut my hair on Saturday. Anyway, the wind was already picking up and I knew the rain was gonna start pretty soon, so I hurried to get home before it started. Well, Max passed by and offered to give me a ride home.”

“Okay, well, that was nice of him, right?” Maria was trying to understand her friend, but she couldn’t pinpoint Liz’s confusion. She had noticed it over the weekend, but she had been too sick to formulate the necessary questions.

“Yeah, it was nice of him. He was even nicer when we were in his car.” She smiled shyly. “He complimented my new haircut.”

“It does look great,” Maria agreed. “You really made a good choice by cutting it off and goin’ a little shorter.” She played with a strand of Liz’ shorter hair and noticed her softly shaking her head.

“Not everyone seems to like it.”

Maria sat up straighter and faced Liz. “What? Who? Because whoever it is obviously has no idea about fashion or style.”

“Sean.” Liz looked up to meet her friends’ eyes.

“Are you serious? Why wouldn’t he like it? Did he tell you he didn’t like it?”

“Not in so many words, no.” Liz slouched down and shrugged her shoulders as she lowered her gaze to stare at her hands again. “I don’t know. Maybe he was just too angry to say anything nice about it.”

“Why would he be angry?”

“He was waiting for me in front of our apartment when we got here. And when he saw that Max had brought me home he wasn’t too happy about it.”

“Oh,” Maria blurted. If it had been Tess or Isabel talking to her she would have just shrugged and said, C’mon, he just drove you home; tell your boyfriend to get over it. On the other hand, it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal to the other girls. But she knew it was a big deal for Sean and Liz; they had never really hung out with anyone outside of their mutual friends, and either of them hanging out with someone of the opposite gender? Not even just for friendship! “But, there’s nothing to feel bad about, Lizzie; you didn’t do anything with Max, right?”

The brunette shook her head wildly. “No, of course not! We just talked… well, actually, he did most of the talking, but we didn’t do anything.”

“See?! You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“But, I feel this pull every time I’m around him; I’m attracted to him,” Liz said suddenly, only realizing what she had said once the words were out. The girls looked at each other, wide-eyed with shock.

“Okay.” Maria was the first to recover her composure.

“It scares me.” Liz’s voice trembled as she admitted what was weighing so heavily on her mind. “I’ve never felt anything like this, Maria. And I don’t wanna hurt Sean, but right now I have the feeling that there’s nothing I can do to stop it.”

Maria grasped both of her friends’ hands and took a deep breath. “Has it ever occurred to you that maybe you guys have stayed together because it’s all you know? Hell, Liz, you guys have practically been engaged since the day you were born! We’re from a small town, your parents and Sean’s parents are each other’s best friends, and if there was anything like an arranged marriage in our country, you guys would be the poster children for it! Are you really in love with each other or is it maybe just a strong friendship? ‘cause, Liz, even if you don’t wanna hear this and even if you are annoyed or embarrassed by our roommates and their conversations about sex… physical attraction, kissing, making out, having sex… it’s all part of a good relationship, too. It’s okay if you wanna wait to have sex, but it’s not okay if you’re only waiting out of some loyalty to a guy you don’t have those kinds of feelings for. Because, girl, if you wait until you and Sean get married and you’re not in love with him… it’s gonna suck.”

Maria hated to see the hurt look on Liz’ face, but she was sure that her friend wasn’t mad at her. Someone had to finally open her eyes, to make her see that if Sean wasn’t the guy she was in love with then staying with him out of some kind of misguided loyalty or because it was what their parents expected, was a mistake.

The door suddenly swung open again and a cheerful Tess entered the apartment, bursting at the seams to share new information. “Girls, I know you don’t wanna hear it, but I just had the best sex of my life!”

Maria squeezed Liz’ hand, silently letting her know that they didn’t have to continue the conversation right then, and she turned to roll her eyes at Tess. “You’re right; we don’t wanna hear it.”

Tess rolled her eyes right back at Maria, unconcerned with her obvious lie or Liz’ virgin ears; she was in a great fucking mood and she was damn well gonna share it with everyone!

*****

Maria pulled the front door open and smiled at Brooke, waiting while she turned and waved to her oldest brother to let him know she was safe and he could go. She chuckled when the teenager rolled her expressive eyes and stepped inside the apartment at her urging.

“He’s driving me crazy!” she complained as she looked around. “D’you know that he actually wanted to walk me to your door just to make sure I was safe?”

“Yeah, he strikes me as the overprotective type.”

“Oh, it’s not just Alex! He’s just the one I have to deal with on a constant basis, but they’re all overprotective!” She paced around erratically. “I can’t sneeze without one of them thinkin’ they need to help me wipe my nose.”

Maria was sure that the girl was being just a bit overdramatic, but with three older brothers, she supposed she had every right to her dramatics. Her eyebrows lifted in amusement when Brooke continued her rant while pacing all over the place.

“He practically gave me the third degree on the drive over here ‘cause when he picked me up from the library I was talking to my study partner in English Lit and apparently without some sort of formal introduction on both sides of the family that isn’t allowed.”

“Your study partner’s a guy?” Maria guessed.

“Yeah. And, seriously, if he’s the best Alex thinks I can do…” She shuddered in revulsion. “The guy looks like he belongs in some kind of nerd freak show!” She finally came to a halt in the middle of the living room and turned to look at Maria. “What do I do?”

Maria laughed and shook her head. “I’m not sure what to tell you, Brooke; my friends and I are all only children, so no experience whatsoever with older brothers.”

“Well, be glad about that! They’re a serious pain in the ass.” She winced. “Sorry about the rant; my brothers are just unbelievable sometimes and I don’t have anyone to complain to about them. Don’t get me wrong, I bitch to them about their behavior, but they don’t pay any attention to me when I’m complaining about them.”

“Don’t worry about it; I’d bitch about that too.”

Brooke shrugged the shoulder straps off and caught the backpack as it slid down her arms. “So, I really appreciate the help with this language class.”

“No problem. You wanna grab a drink or a snack before we get started?”

“Please tell me you have somethin’ that doesn’t fall into the healthy category?”

Maria snorted and led the way into the kitchen. “Let me introduce you to an entirely new – and tasty and fun – world, Brooke.”

After a snack that was in no way related to anything healthy they spent the next hour working on Brooke’s homework. It didn’t take long for Maria to understand why the teenager was having such a hard time with the class; her attention span was ridiculously short when it came to anything that didn’t interest her and it took a major effort to keep the girl focused on the proper pronunciation of the words and phrases.

She decided to end the study session when Brooke began to wander around her room, studying the autographed photos on the wall. “I think that’s probably enough for today.”

“Did you actually meet all of these bands?”

“Um-hmm, it’s a huge three-day concert event that we went to while we were in Germany.” She nodded when the teenager turned to look at her. “Yeah, knowing how to speak the language made a big difference while we were there. There were a lot of cute guys, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like there to be any misunderstandings where guys are involved, so being able to talk to them without the language barrier there… very helpful.”

Brooke rolled her eyes. “Okay, I’ve got your point.” She turned back to the wall. “I can’t believe you got autographs from Metallica! That’s badass, Maria!”

“You like them?”

“Are you kidding?! I love them! Me an’ Michael have been to see them like five times!”

“So, you guys are both into music, huh?”

“Oh, yeah. Michael was in a band in high school, so I guess it made sense that when he got into college he’d find his way into another one.” She rolled her eyes. “Of course, back home he didn’t have skanky Courtney in the band. Kyle was in the band back home and he’s in the band now, and then there’s Jasper; he’s the bass guitarist.”

For some reason that Maria refused to consider she didn’t hear anything after Brooke’s mention of “skanky Courtney”. “Who’s this Courtney person?”

“Complete slut. If there was an award for queen of the trailer trash, she’d be the winner.” She shook her head in disgust. “She’ll sleep with any dick that crosses her path.”

Maria couldn’t help but laugh, but a sudden, sobering thought brought it under control. “Has she ever slept with Michael?”

Brooke was glad she was facing the wall as she cringed at the question. “Yeah. Not that it meant anything and I totally blame excessive alcohol and bad decision-making on my brother’s part for that indiscretion.”

“And they’re in the band together? Now?”

“Um-hmm.” Michael and Maria were so oblivious to what was right in front of them, she thought as she rolled her eyes. Neither of them was willing to see beyond the physical possibilities with each other and it was soooo obvious that it was so much more than that!

“So, which one is the songwriter in the group?” Maria asked, wanting to change the subject. “Or do they just do covers?”

“Oh, no they rarely do covers; almost everything they do is original. Michael writes all of their songs; he does the lyrics and then he and Kyle put the music together.” She smiled as an unexpected opportunity presented itself. “Y’know, if you wanna know anything about Michael, all you’ve gotta do is listen to his songs. He puts so much of himself into his lyrics; feelings, thoughts, emotions… it’s all right there if you listen.” She brought her expression under control and turned to face the other girl. “So, I’m supposed to meet up with Michael so he can give me a ride home… wanna go over and sit in on his practice with me? By the time we get there it’ll probably be pretty close to bein’ over anyway, but this way I can honestly tell Alex that I was under adult supervision the whole time.”

Maria nodded absently, still reeling over the realization that just the mention of some woman that Michael had slept with had left her feeling jealous. “Where’s his practice at?”

“Oh, not very far away at all; we can take the bus and it’s not far from the stop.”

*****

Michael picked up his guitar, lifting it up out of its case and eased the strap over his shoulders, settling it into place so he could tune it. He turned his head when he heard Kyle call out a greeting and he grinned when he saw the new arrivals; he had been expecting Brooke to show up, but he hadn’t had a clue that Maria would be with her. His dark gaze slowly slid over the blond and he felt his blood heat up as he recalled what was hidden beneath her clothes.

“Hey, Michael!”

His sister’s voice had the same effect as a gust of cold wind and he frowned at her when she ruined the fantasy he had been working on. “Aren’t you early?” he growled. “I thought you had homework with a tutor or somethin’?”

She just smirked at him. “This is why you should pay better attention when Alex talks,” she said as she sailed past him with an air of superiority. “Maria’s the one tutoring me in German.”

“Oh.” He rolled his eyes at his sister and looked at his… what was she, exactly? His lover… girlfriend… He mentally shrugged both of those words off because they both insinuated the type of relationship that had long-term and emotional attachment written all over them. Fuck buddy, he thought. Yeah, that pretty much summed it up; they were buddies and they got each other off when the opportunity presented itself. He nodded to himself and grinned at Maria when she slowly walked towards him.

Maria stopped with barely a breath between them and reached up to tangle her fingers in the chain hanging around his neck, using it to tug him closer. “So, I wanted to thank you for stayin’ with me the other night and taking care of me while I was sick.” She leaned in and kissed him slowly. “I know there was nothing like that in our… agreement.”

He growled low in his throat and wished the damn guitar wasn’t preventing him from feeling her body pressed up against him. “You’re feelin’ better now?”

“Much. Why?”

His eyes turned dark as he grinned down at her. “Well, I figure you’re better because of me, so that’s gotta entitle me to some form of payment of appreciation.” His breathing was ragged as he stared at her. “An’ baby, I’ve got a whole lot of really creative ideas about how you can show your appreciation for my generosity.”

Maria gave him a flirtatious grin. “Don’t tell me you’ve been neglecting Mike Jr. for a whole week.”

“No such thing,” he denied. “But, y’know, he’s discovered a certain fondness for your mouth and hands.”

“We may have to see what we can do about that then.” She released his chain and reached up to frame his face in her hands as she met his aroused gaze. “After practice maybe?”

“You go sit down before you get Mike Jr. too excited and I lose my concentration.” Michael kissed her roughly and then took a step back, watching her until she settled down next to his sister in the lawn chairs in the driveway. “Okay, guys, last song for today,” he said, shifting his attention to the others in the band as he turned back to the microphone. His fingers played over the strings, pulling out the first few beats of the song in the opening solo before the rest of the band joined him.

Maria watched him, remembering Brooke’s earlier words about his connection to his songs. She tried to ignore him, averting her gaze from his artistic fingers, as she tried to focus on the lyrics of the song. Maybe she would be able to finally learn something about the real Michael Guerin.

I tried to be perfect
But nothing was worth it,
I don’t believe it makes me real.
I thought it’d be easy
But no one believes me,
I meant all the things I said.

If you believe it’s in my soul,
Id say all the words that I know,
Just to see if it would show,
That I’m trying to let you know,
That I’m better off on my own.


As the words of the chorus filtered into her mind Maria sat up straighter. What was this song really about? What could’ve happened in his life that would’ve led him to write those words? She wished she could read his mind in that moment, wished that the lyrics weren’t only adding to her confusion.

Michael opened his eyes as the intro to the next set of lyrics came to an end and he looked up to find Maria staring at him. Without meaning to, his eyes locked onto hers and held for the remainder of the song.

This place is so empty,
My thoughts are so tempting,
I don’t know how it got so bad.
Sometimes it’s so crazy,
That nothing can save me,
But it’s the only thing that I have.

I tried to be perfect,
It just wasn’t worth it,
Nothing could ever be so wrong.
It’s hard to believe me,
It never gets easy,
I guess I knew that all along.


Maria had the strangest feeling that he was singing the song just for her. Not because she and Brooke were his only audience, but it just felt like the words were directed at her.

If you believe it’s in my soul,
I’d say all the words that I know,
Just to see if it would show,
That I’m trying to let you know,
That I’m better off on my own.


“That I’m better off on my own,” she whispered the last line as Michael sang it and she wished that Brooke had never bothered to tell her that she should listen to the words. She wished she could go back in time and just delete that five minute conversation. She knew his standpoint when it came to their relationship, but hearing those few words… God, it hurt worse than she would have imagined.

I’m better off on my own…

Not far away Brooke was watching her brother’s girlfriend – she refused to think of her as anything else – and there was no way she could miss Maria’s sad expression as the song came to an end. She could kick herself for opening her big mouth and telling Maria that all of his songs had a personal meaning. She was sure that her new friend had reached the wrong conclusion about the lyrics, and it was no wonder; she would have too, if she didn’t know the real meaning behind the words.

She bit her bottom lip as she glanced between her brother and Maria. It wasn’t her place to spill the story behind the words of the song and Michael would kill her if she ever dared to cross that line. Well, okay, she admitted silently, he wouldn’t actually kill her, but he’d make life unpleasant in a way that only Michael could. But, maybe Maria would finally realize that there was more between the two of them than just sexual attraction. Of course, her dumb brother could’ve picked a different song to help that along. But, no! No, he had to go and pick one of his darker, more brooding songs to sing at the end of practice. Dumbass! she silently railed.

“Okay, are we done here?” Courtney asked, grabbing her pullover and obviously intending to take off.

“No, it’s your turn to put the equipment away,” Michael insisted. “You disappeared the last few times and left everyone else to do it, so congratulations, you get to do it all by yourself today.”

“Oh, c’mon, Mikey G,” she said, placing a hand against his chest and giving him a saucy smile, “we can do it together and after that we can go somewhere else. What d’you say?”

“He says, ‘no, thank you’,” Brooke answered for her brother as she insinuated herself between them and glared up at the sleazy bottled blond.

Maria was grateful for that because she had decided that she couldn’t stand the skanky bitch either. Especially now that she was touching Michael like she had any right to put her hands on him. He’s better off on his own, Maria! Weren’t you listening? He practically told you right to your face. The voices rose in volume and drew her back to the present.

“I think he can speak for himself,” Courtney snapped back.

Brooke just rolled her eyes. Surely this skank didn’t think she was the least bit intimidating! “Let’s go, Michael, I don’t wanna hear another of Alex’s rants about me getting home late.”

“Okay, let’s go,” he muttered agreeably. There was no way he’d ever hook up with Courtney again anyway; the woman was just too boring. He turned to look at Maria and that familiar rush of sexual attraction made itself known and he grinned. Now, there was a woman who couldn’t be boring if she tried! And they had plans to get naked just as soon as he could get to his brother’s house and drop Brooke off. He adjusted himself discreetly as Mike Jr. made his interest in the evening’s plans known.

“Are you ready, Maria?” Brooke asked.

Michael paused for a moment when he heard his sister speak. He wasn’t supposed to feed the kid, was he? Alex hadn’t said anything about that, right? He was just supposed to get her home after her tutoring session… right? He nodded to himself; he was pretty sure that Alex hadn’t said anything about making sure she ate dinner.

“Let’s roll, you two,” he called as he closed his guitar case and carried it out to his car. He popped the trunk and placed the case inside before turning to walk around to the drivers’ side. He missed the eye roll Brooke shot in his direction when he didn’t bother to open the door on the other side for her and Maria.

Once they were settled in the car Michael glanced over his shoulder to look at his sister. “Am I supposed to take you to dinner?”

Brooke made it a point to glare at him. “Do you listen to anything Alex says when he talks to you?”

He shrugged. “I’ve got a lot on my mind.”

“No, Michael, you’re not supposed to feed me. But, thanks for making me feel so loved.”

“Whatever.” He rolled his eyes and shifted to face front again. “I’m bein’ considerate here,” he huffed in irritation. “I just wanted to know if you needed to be fed before I take you home.”

Maria chuckled, amused by their interaction despite her personal feelings towards the ass in the drivers’ seat at that moment. “Why don’t you just drop me off first,” she suggested.

Michael frowned and stomped on the brake as they reached the end of the driveway. “What?” He was doing his best to hold his temper in check, but she had just jumped from hot to cold and he didn’t understand it. “I thought we were…” He glanced at Brooke in the rearview mirror and then lowered his voice. “I thought we kinda had plans to hook up tonight.”

“Plans change, Michael, so get over it.” She stared out through the windshield. “Do you need directions from here or have you forgotten them since Monday?” she snapped when she noticed that they weren’t moving.

“Look, if this is about Courtney, I’m not fuckin’ her.”

“TMI, big brother,” Brooke interrupted.

“This isn’t about her,” Maria denied. “I’d just like to go home.”

“If it’s not about Courtney, then what’s it about?” He was genuinely confused; what had happened in the past half hour to cause this change? She had done a complete one-eighty and gone from getting him hot to freezing him out. What the fuck?!

“It’s about me wanting to go home,” Maria repeated. “Now.”

“Fine.” He pulled out onto the street and floored it, certain that he had left rubber on the pavement and not caring. He didn’t say another word as he drove the short distance to Maria’s apartment and he slammed on the brakes in front of her building, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel while he waited for her to get out.

“Well, you fucked that up,” Brooke muttered once Maria had gotten out of the car and hurried up to her apartment.

“Would you get in the front seat so we can go?” he snarled. His level of irritation was only escalating as she took her time climbing out of the back and settling into the front seat. He gunned the engine and peeled out of the parking lot, flipping off a man that he cut off as he shot across an intersection.

“You’d better calm down or I’ll tell Alex about this,” Brooke warned. She wasn’t nervous or worried by his seemingly careless actions because she knew that despite appearances he was in complete control of the car.

Michael slowed down to the legal speed limit and glanced at his sister. “What d’you mean I fucked that up?”

“I mean, you end your practice with that song and you really think it put Maria in the mood to make out with you?”

“What does my music have to do with anything?”

“You’re not this stupid, Michael.” She slouched down in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest as she focused her attention on the road ahead of them. She didn’t know why Michael had to be so stubborn or pigheaded… well, that wasn’t exactly true, she admitted to herself. She knew why he acted the way he did, maybe not the full story because she knew there were things that he hadn’t told her, but she knew the basics. She just felt like he used those things as a shield to hide behind, to protect him from getting hurt more than he had been in the past, but there were still plenty of times when she didn’t approve of his behavior.
Last edited by Double Trouble on Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 26 - 6/14/09

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:21 am

Alien_Friend: The advice may not have had the desired results, but it will… in time.

His music is the one place where Michael can safely let his emotions go – if it weren’t for music, he’d probably be getting into lots of fights.

Hmm… you could be onto something about his subconscious trying to make that connection with Maria.

You have the right picture of Brooke! She’s like a little bulldog, especially when it comes to her big brother. Not thinking is his only excuse – but, no, he’s definitely not going there again. Ewww!

Maria and Liz have a really good relationship and Liz really needed a nudge of some sort to start really thinking about why she and Sean are together. Liz wants more out of life, but she’s being held back by several different things; Sean is just part of it. Max is just full of potential! And, yes, there are more Dreamer moments to come… soon!

Michael has no clue why Maria’s mad at him… the poor man is lost on that front. You can expect more involvement from Brooke – she’s invested in seeing the guys happy.

begonia9508: Thanks for reading!

Eva: Well, he could’ve, but he’s Michael… and he hasn’t made the connection between the song and Maria’s mood. Because there was no intent there; he was just finishing up the set with the last song of the day.

You hit the nail on the head! The man has no clue.

It will be fixed… eventually.

mary mary: Brooke is very mature for her age and a lot of that has to do with spending little time with people her own age.

guelbebek: He hasn’t been cheated on… he’s never been with any girl long enough for anything like that to happen. The song was more a way of dealing with his past with his father.

MetallicaGeek: Well, that’s one way to bring a reader out of hiding! That is what happens when a thunderstorm and the threat of an Internet outage make you rush to post!

Regardless, we’re happy to know that we have our very own stalker, lol!

kismet: Liz will begin to consider what Maria said. The song Michael was singing was related to his father.

sarammlover: Look for more involvement from Brooke! Maria certainly has no problem staking a claim of ownership on Michael, does she?

tequathisy: Well… it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

destinyc: Michael does need a translator, doesn’t he? Poor man. Well, that probably would be too much to hope for. Especially since Michael has no idea what he did wrong, no matter how unintentional it was.

Zoi: Yes, they do make things complicated, don’t they? We’re glad you love Brooke, she’s been an enjoyable character to use in this story.

They’ll talk… eventually.

April: We’re glad to put this song back on your radar!

We have to agree with your description of Musician Michael!

chanks_girl: It is at the center of their relationship, and it will happen more than once as they fumble their way to solid ground with each other.

Brooke does react in the same manner, doesn’t she?

Mike Jr. has definitely been sent to the corner for a time-out because Mike Sr. has been a bad, bad boy… unintentionally.

Maria and Liz will help each other as far as their relationships… or, rather, their non-relationships are concerned.


Part 26 – Insults and Interruptions

Tess was engrossed in the reading material she had confiscated from Kyle’s bedroom a couple of nights before. Who knew that all of these positions existed? She tipped her head to one side and tried to make out the mechanics of the position being demonstrated on the pages. Good grief, was that even physically possible? She was pretty limber, but she had her doubts that her body was ever going to cooperate with that position.

She was pulled out of her musings when the front door was suddenly shoved open and slammed shut just as quickly. Uh-oh, looked like Hurricane DeLuca was blowing through. “Maria? I wasn’t expecting you to be home this early.”

“Why? Were you planning a fuck-fest with Kyle over here?” Maria snapped, and immediately felt guilty.

Tess raised one perfect eyebrow at her friend’s verbal attack. “Okay, is there a reason for your pissy mood, or is it just PMS? I got your note when I got home and I just assumed that since you were going to the guys’ practice that you’d be hooking up with Michael afterwards.”

“You ever heard that old saying about making assumptions?” She tossed her jacket at the coat rack and by some miracle it actually caught and held. “Makes an ass outta you and me.”

“Oh, well, excuse me for breathing in your presence,” Tess grumbled. “I thought you’d be hooking up, but forgive me for my obviously incorrect thoughts!”

“Piss off, Tess.” Maria pulled a pint of pistachio ice cream out of the freezer and dug around in one of the drawers for a spoon. “Plans changed because Michael’s a dick and it’s not the kinda dick I was in the mood for! I’m goin’ to my room,” she muttered and headed down the hallway, the last line of that damn song echoing in her head. Better off on my own… Fuckin’ asshole!

Tess shifted her position on the couch so she could watch Maria until she was out of sight. She knew that Maria’s temper was directly related to Michael; she would’ve known that without any confirmation on the other girl’s part. Maria only indulged in pistachio flavored ice cream when she was upset… the girl had a different flavor for every mood. And if she was eating pistachio then it was really bad. What’d you do, Guerin? She hated that her friend was shutting her out and that he was the reason for it.

She sighed. Maybe it was partly her fault though; she was the one who had pushed so hard to get the two of them together. She considered slapping Michael upside his head when she saw him, but decided to hold off on that until she had the opportunity to observe them for a while the next day.

*****

Alex checked the large pan of lasagna in the oven and glanced at the clock on the wall over the stove before leaving the kitchen and heading down the hallway to his bedroom. He looked over his shoulder when he heard his sister’s dogs running down the hall, their nails clicking against the hardwood floor and he picked up his pace. He took two steps past his open bedroom door and backtracked a second later, stepping into his room and humming to himself as he kicked the door shut behind him. He smiled when he heard the tiny nails scrabbling furiously to gain purchase on the polished floors and a few moments later he heard the familiar sound of two tiny four-legged bodies sliding into the wall.

His arms shot up in the air in a show of victory as he walked through to the in-suite bathroom, unbuttoning the top two buttons of his shirt and pulling it off over his head.

“Outrun the dogs again?” Isabel asked.

He tossed his shirt in the hamper on the opposite wall and turned to face his girlfriend with a big grin on his face. “Outrun them?” he scoffed. “I outsmarted the little demons.” He shook his head as he eyed the mountain of bubbles covering her up to her neck. She had her hair pulled up and piled on top of her head to keep it from getting wet. “That’s completely unnecessary; you’re hidin’ all the good stuff.”

“I don’t hear you complaining at any other time,” she teased, lifting her right leg up and smiling when his eyes automatically moved to follow the bubbles sliding down her elevated leg. “Besides, you seem to enjoy the benefits of all this soft, smooth skin wrapped around you.”

Alex chuckled and crouched down beside the bathtub, propping his right elbow on the wide rim and resting his chin in his hand. “You don’t play fair, Iz.”

“I never said I did.”

He shifted so that he was leaning over her with his right hand braced on the opposite side of the tub and moved in closer to kiss her. He slid his free hand up to remove the pins from her hair, freeing it so that it fell down around her shoulders.

“Now my hair’s wet,” she grumbled against his lips.

He shifted back and grinned at her. “Y’know it drives me crazy when it’s pinned up.”

“Um-hmm, and you know what this means…”

“What’s – “ Before he could formulate more than the first word Isabel had pulled him into the bathtub with her and only his quick reflexes kept him from crushing her beneath him. His knees landed on either side of her body and the addition of his body sent a wave of soapy water over the side of the bathtub to splash onto the floor. “Look at the mess you just made.” He hadn’t expected this playful side that had emerged the more time they spent together, but he loved it all the same.

“That’s nothing,” she whispered in a sultry tone as she ran her fingernail down the center of his chest. “Wait until you see the mess we’re about to make.”

Alex glanced down to follow her finger when it continued down past his belly button to hook into the waistband of his jeans. “You do know that wet denim is a bitch to get out of, don’t you?”

“Wet denim is no match for me,” she said as she popped the snap. “I don’t let anything stand between me and what I want.”

“Well, by all means, don’t let me stop you from getting what you want.” He frowned when he heard the sharp barking that suddenly seemed much closer than it should have been through the closed door and a moment later the dogs ran into the bathroom and jumped up against the side of the bathtub.

“What the – “

“Alex? Would you tell Michael that – “ The words locked up in Brooke’s throat when she paused in the bathroom doorway and a moment later she was pushed inside when Michael came up behind her.

“Did you find him?” Michael asked, the words getting out before he noticed his brother and Isabel. “Oh, um… Alex…” He actually felt the heat rising in his cheeks and one glance at Alex told him that his brother’s face was turning red for a whole other reason.

“Maybe you two could… go,” Isabel suggested, feeling the irritation in Alex’ body, “and Alex will be with you in a minute.”

Michael forgot all about being momentarily embarrassed and his irreverent sense of humor showed itself once again as he laughed out loud. “In a minute, huh?” He snickered. “Got a new nickname, Alex? The minuteman?”

Isabel rubbed her thumb over the muscled ridge of Alex’ abdomen, bringing his attention back to her and shaking her head when he looked at her. “Just let it go.”

Alex nodded and drew in a calming breath before looking at his brother and sister again. “Go wait for me somewhere besides my personal quarters. Living room, kitchen, back deck… I don’t care, but get the hell out of my room right now.” As soon as the bedroom door slammed after them he dropped his head forward to rest on Isabel’s shoulder. “I’m gonna kill them,” he growled.

“Now aren’t you glad that it’s a bubble bath and all the good stuff was hidden?” Isabel asked, her tone gently teasing.

“Thank God for small miracles.” He sighed and pushed himself up so that he was standing over her. “And let me just tell you how glad I am that you hadn’t made it any further than the snap on my jeans before they came barging in like the uncivilized little beasts that they are.”

Isabel laughed. “That’s very true… soap bubbles would not have hidden your… enthusiasm.” She patted his leg in a consoling gesture. “Don’t go out there and take their heads off; they’re obviously having a disagreement about something. We can pick this up later.” She waggled her eyebrows playfully. “Feel free to send Brooke to spend the night at Michael’s place since she’s going to that motocross event with him tomorrow.”

Alex looked down at her, amazed at her capacity to accept his family and all of their faults; he couldn’t count the interruptions they had dealt with on both hands because there had been too many already, but she always managed to turn it into a positive. “That’s a good idea. We’ll feed ‘em and send ‘em on their way and then we’ll have nearly 24 hours all to ourselves.” Sharp barking drew his attention and he frowned. “Well, maybe not all to ourselves.”

*****

Liz was in the kitchen making French toast on Sunday morning when Maria stumbled in half asleep and looking for coffee. She grabbed the mug that her friend favored and quickly filled it, handing it to her and nodding in response to the sound of mumbled gratitude she received. She motioned to the barstools set up on the other side of the breakfast bar and chuckled when Maria tried three times before successfully seating herself.

“Okay, you’re not usually this uncoordinated unless you came home after drinking way too much,” she commented as she pulled down a couple of plates from the cabinet to the right of the stove.

“Didn’t really get much sleep last night; had a lot on my mind.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

“It’s just Michael being an ass… something that isn’t likely to change no matter how much I talk about it.” Maria sighed and sniffed the air appreciatively.

Liz laughed at the lack of subtlety as she slid the French toast on the first plate and spooned fresh strawberries on top. She sprinkled powdered sugar over the entire thing and placed a fork on the side before setting it on the counter in front of Maria.

“God, if I was into girls I would so kiss you right now,” Maria said as she cut into the toast and took the first bite.

“Well, feel free to restrain yourself,” Liz laughed. “You’re not my type either.” It was so much easier to joke with Maria about stuff like this; Tess would’ve pushed it until she was completely uncomfortable.

“Speaking of types, why don’t you go with us today?”

Liz had to work hard to control the nervous flutter in her stomach; she knew they were planning to go to some racing event or something that Max competed in. “Oh, I really think I should just stick around here and study… maybe I’ll go to the library and try to get ahead on next week’s…” She glanced at Maria and winced. “Avoiding him isn’t gonna work, is it?”

“It’s doubtful.” Maria shrugged and took a drink of her coffee. “While avoidance and denial do have their place – and God knows, they’re very good friends of mine at times – they rarely work as well as we’d like them to.”

“Will you be avoiding Michael today? Or denying that you’re attracted to him?”

“Denying that I’m attracted to that moron would be a waste of time.” She shrugged. “As for avoiding him… I haven’t decided yet. Although if I’m honest, he’s not exactly the kinda guy you avoid.”

“What kinda guy is he?” Liz asked, flipping her toast over to cook the other side.

“The kind you strip naked and fuck stupid.” Maria shrugged and grinned when the other girl turned bright red. “You asked, Liz; you know better than to ask the question if you don’t want the answer.”

“So, will you be doing… that with him?”

“Girl, we’re gonna have to work on your vocabulary skills.” She snorted. “That.”

“What?” Liz slid her toast onto a plate and tried to hide her discomfort. “Y’know how my parents are, Maria… they’d have matching coronaries if they ever heard me say that word.”

“Liz, honey, your parents would likely fall over dead if they knew Max Evans got you hot.” She laughed when Liz’ eyes widened comically; she looked like she had just been caught doing something very bad. “Look, the guy’s attractive… I might even go so far as to say he’s pretty fuckin’ hot, and he likes you. And you recently admitted that you’re attracted to him, whether you wanna be or not.”

“I’m engaged to Sean, Maria.”

“Uh-huh, I know, and you know I love him, but if you’re not in love with him, you’re screwin’ yourself out of possibilities. I’m not suggesting that you should hook up with Max today; I’m just sayin’ that maybe you should take a break from studying, go watch Max do whatever it is he does at these events, hang out with all of us, and see what happens.” She glanced over her shoulder when her cell phone rang, sliding off of her stool and going to retrieve it. “Well, if it isn’t the king of asses,” she muttered after a glance at the caller ID. She flipped the phone open and put it up to her ear. “What d’you want?” She rolled her eyes at his response. “Uh-huh, you’re not getting that, so let’s move on to why you’re calling.”

Liz watched her as she turned her free hand over to study her nails, her expression one of boredom. She wondered what Michael had done to piss Maria off so badly.

“Um-hmm, and you called me because you think I give a damn whether or not you’re miserable at this very moment?” She paced around the room for a few minutes, listening to him rant, and not feeling the slightest bit of sympathy for him. She paused when a plan began to formulate in her devious little mind and a slow smile slid over her features. “Tell you what, Michael; I’ll take pity this time… not on you because I can’t stand you right now, but I do feel sorry for your sister since she’s obviously had to spend an agonizing night with you. So, just send her over here with Tess and she can ride to the event with us.” She rolled her eyes at his response. “Um-hmm, well, just because you’ve got a dick it doesn’t mean you’ve gotta be one!” She hung up on him and tossed her phone on the coffee table. “Better double that order, Parker,” she said, motioning at the frying pan. “Tess and Brooke are on their way over and they’re sure to be hungry. I’m gonna go start getting ready; if they get here and Tess gets outta hand, just holler and I’ll muzzle her for you.”

*****

Tess was on her second serving of French toast when Maria came back from getting ready and she glanced over her shoulder when the other girl nudged her. “What’s up?”

“Got a minute to talk?”

“Depends… I’m not really in the mood for another conversation like we had last night.”

Maria grimaced. “Just come outside and talk to me.” She nodded at the teenager sitting at the end of the breakfast bar. “How’s it goin’, Brooke?”

“Be better if Michael wasn’t in such a God-awful mood.” She rolled her eyes. “Thanks for the rescue, by the way.”

“No problem.”

Liz walked into the room just as the others stepped outside onto the balcony and Brooke looked up, smiling at the dark-haired girl. “This is really good, Liz.”

“Thanks.”

“So, are you gonna go with us to see Max compete?”

“Oh, well, I was thinking about it.” Liz shrugged and reached up to brush her hair back behind her ears as she sat down on the couch to put her shoes on. “Have you been to many of these competitions?”

“Just a couple; I’m not really that interested in the competition itself, but it is fun to watch Max compete. He’s totally hot, but put him on a motorcycle…” She growled and whistled under her breath. “Pushes his hotness to a completely new level.”

Liz was shocked. “Are you allowed to talk like that?”

Brooke stared at her as she tried to decide if the older girl was joking or not. She had to be, right? “Well, I am sixteen,” she said as if that held some sort of importance. “Besides, Kyle’s Michael’s best friend, and he’s been around since I was like… 11 or 12 years old, so while he’s attractive, I can’t really crush on him, y’know? That would just be too weird. But, Max? Well, he’s Michael’s friend, but he didn’t know me before I had breasts, so it’s perfectly acceptable to have a crush on him.”

“So, you like him?”

The teenager snorted. “Everyone likes Max. He’s a good ol’ boy from Texas; he’s hot, he has perfect manners, he’s polite, and he knows how to treat a woman.” She chuckled at the look on Liz’ face and shrugged. “He’s also noble and he only sees me as his friend’s little sister; which is probably good because if he had any interest in me, my brothers would kill him.” She wrinkled her nose. “The only bad thing about having a crush on him is no other guy has come close to being anywhere near as interesting.”

Liz watched the girl as she got up to carry her plate into the kitchen and rinse it off. She bit her bottom lip as she tried to stop herself from asking the question on her mind, but after a couple of minutes she couldn’t hold it in any longer. “Does he date a lot?”

“Not as much as my brother or Kyle, but he has his fair share of dates.” Brooke rolled her eyes as she leaned on the counter and looked at Liz. “You don’t have to worry about Max; I know he was flirtin’ with you last weekend, but he knows you’re engaged. He likes to flirt and he loves to tease, but he never chases after women who aren’t really interested.”

“Never?”

Brooke shook her head. “Oh, no, he wouldn’t try to force himself on anyone.”

Liz sighed and stared at her shoestrings. What if he could tell she was attracted to him? Was that why he had approached her at the library and asked her to have coffee with him? She was so confused about the conflicting feelings that had taken up residence inside of her since she had first set eyes on him.

*****

Tess slouched down on one of the loungers on the balcony and crossed her arms over her chest as she waited for Maria to speak. They had been outside for several minutes and the other girl had yet to say a single word. “I hate to rush you because hangin’ out with you like this really is a little slice of heaven, but I still have to get ready before we can leave.”

Maria leaned back against the railing and gritted her teeth together as she took a deep breath. “I just wanted to apologize for… y’know… actin’ like a bitch last night.”

Tess waved her right hand dismissively. “Oh, is that all? Don’t even worry about it, girl! After being around Kyle’s roommate last night I can totally understand why you were in such a bad mood when you got home. He was in the middle of an argument with Max when I got there and after that ended with Max telling him to go fuck himself… he really said that; personally, I was impressed, because it’s the first time I’ve heard him vocalize anything quite so graphically.”

“After that?”

“Oh, after that Max left and took Brooke to a movie so they could avoid anymore of Michael’s bad mood. But, apparently he hadn’t had enough of a fight because he started in on Kyle.” She shook her head. “I thought at one point that he and Kyle were gonna start throwing punches. I don’t know what the two of you were arguing about, but whatever it was put him in a bad mood.” She quirked her left eyebrow in question and waited several seconds before speaking again. “Wanna share?”

“Not really.”

“Well, he was still in a bad mood this morning. I’ve gotta admit, after seeing the mood you were both in last night and the one that he was still in when he got up I was surprised that he called you about Brooke.”

“She was probably fed up with him, too.”

“Just so you know, cussing him out on the phone didn’t improve his mood any.” Tess grinned. “He was so pissed off that he threw his phone across the apartment and broke it.”

Maria chuckled at that bit of information. “That’s what he gets for being a dick last night.” She glanced at her watch. “I guess we’d better finish getting ready. Oh, and Liz is gonna go, but she’s kinda dealing with some stuff right now, so don’t get on her case about anything today, okay?”

Tess shrugged. “Sure, as long as you tell me she’s going because of a certain Texan.”

“Just give her a break today, Tess.”

*****

The motocross event was being held outdoors at a course that had been built in San Fernando. It was mid-morning and the temperature was already climbing into the seventies as the girls climbed out of the Mustang and stretched. They walked around for a few minutes, following the directions Kyle was giving to Tess over the phone, until they reached the bleachers that lined one side of the course.

They finally found the guys down in the pit, surrounding Max as he did a last-minute check of his bike. He looked up when Brooke barreled between her brother and Kyle to launch herself at him just as he stood up.

“Hey, you guys made it just in time,” he said, hugging the exuberant teenager. “The first race starts in a few minutes.” He hid his surprise when he noticed that Liz had accompanied her friends and he wondered if he would get a chance to talk to her alone.

Michael straightened up when his eyes met Maria’s and as soon as he saw the pissed off look she was giving him he walked around the others and grabbed her arm. “Let’s go,” he insisted.

Maria jerked her arm out of his grasp, knowing that her defiance would infuriate him. “I believe we’re here to watch Max compete…” Her irritated gaze slid over him dismissively. “I can see you any day of the week.”

That was all it took to push him over the edge. He grabbed her hand and pulled her closer, hefting her up over his right shoulder and stalking away from the others. “Stop squirmin’ around, or I swear I’ll – “

“You’ll what?” Her taunting tone earned her a stinging slap against her left butt cheek and she howled in shock. “I am so gonna kick your ass for this!” She looked around at the people in the crowd he was walking through, his stride undeterred by the ones he had to step around to avoid. “Do any of you people see what is going on here?” she yelled. She rolled her eyes at the few unconcerned people who bothered to even look her way.

“I don’t know what the fuck your problem is, but you’ve been in bitch mode since last night and I’m about sick of it,” he snarled as he finally reached the edge of the parking lot. He looked around for a spot with some semblance of privacy and finally just headed to the far end where he had parked his car.

“My problem? Oh, no, buddy, this one’s all on you.” Maria pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and flipped it open, amusing herself by cataloging the contents. “You must think a lot of yourself,” she muttered, counting three… no, four, condoms in different sections of the wallet.

“I do think a lot of myself,” he agreed smugly. He finally reached his car and shifted to put her on her feet, snatching his wallet out of her hands at the same time. “That’s just to get me started; I can easily go through more than that in a night.”

“Whatever.”

Michael crowded her until she had no choice but to back up and as soon as her back hit the side of the car he pressed his body against hers. “I wanna know what the fuck your problem is and I wanna know right now. I’m not gonna spend all day getting this kinda treatment from you when I haven’t done a damn thing to deserve it.”

“You’re right, Michael.”

Her sudden capitulation should have alerted him that she was up to something, but when her hands latched onto his waist and slid up over his chest to settle on his shoulders he forgot his reason for bringing her out to the parking lot in the first place. He relaxed his position when she pushed against him, turning them so that he was pressed back against the car and she was plastered to his body.

Her hands moved from his shoulders and down his arms to lock on his wrists. “I missed these hands last night,” she whispered against his lips. “Feeling them on my body… feeling your fingers sliding inside of me and making me come so hard…” Men were sooo easy, Maria thought when he shook her hands off of his wrists and his fingers moved down over her hips in search of the bare skin below the hem of her shorts. As soon as his hands wrapped around her bare thighs he lifted her up and reversed their positions so she could lock her legs around his hips and he could press against her fully.

He kissed her roughly, the frustration from the night before preventing him from controlling it and keeping it gentle. He felt her fingers as they brushed against his chest, releasing the buttons on his shirt and pushing the panels apart, but he couldn’t be bothered to stop kissing her long enough to rid her of her tank top just yet. He was hard as a rock and she was so fucking hot where her center was pressed against him and her moans only drove his need higher as he rubbed against her.

“Michael… I need…”

He growled low in his throat and let her slide down his body, knowing it was just as torturous for her as it was for him. He felt her hand sliding over his denim-clad erection and he glanced around to make sure that no one was close enough to interrupt them.

Maria unfastened his jeans, fascinated by his expression when he turned back to look at her and braced his hands on the roof of the car on either side of her shoulders. He shuffled back a few inches to give her plenty of room to maneuver and his breathing became ragged when she slid her hand inside the tight confines of his jeans to cradle his painfully hard dick in her palm. “I’ve gotta admit, Michael… you are impressive.”

His laughter was strangled. “Well, it’s all for you, so…”

“All for me,” Maria mused. She slid her palm up and down a few times and his hips jerked despite his best efforts to stay still. “There’s only one problem with that, Michael.”

“No, there’s no problem, Maria. Fuck, would you get on with it already? Jerk me, blow me, or fuck me, but please do something!”

“Y’know what the problem is?” she asked, stilling her hand amid his frustrated curses.

“The only problem is that you stopped.”

“No.” She withdrew her hand and looked up at him. “The only problem is that you’re better off on your own, right?” She ducked out from under his right arm and turned to walk away. “That’s the way you want it, so why don’t you just take care of that yourself?”

Michael’s mouth was hanging open as she turned and walked away, and without a single thought his right hand curled into a fist and he brought it down hard against the roof of his car. “Fuck!” he shouted. Now he had a hard-on that wouldn’t quit and a dent in his car. He carefully put himself back together and slowly moved to lean back against the front fender.

What the fuck was going on? They weren’t in a relationship, he was basically letting her call all the shots, he had agreed to no sex, and now he couldn’t even get a fucking hand job. He braced his weight on his right hand and drummed his fingers in an irritated rhythm. What the fuck was she babbling about? And why was he jumping through hoops when they were nothing more than fuck buddies? His mind wouldn’t rest and it continued turning his thoughts back to her parting words. Why was she insisting that he was better off on his own? What did that have to… His eyes widened and suddenly her one-eighty the night before and his sister’s temper tantrum afterwards made sense. Oh.

“Well, if that ain’t some shit,” he muttered. Why did women have to be so fucking complicated? How was he gonna fix this so he could get back on her good side? He refused to even consider why that was important beyond the fact that he wanted… and needed… to get off. And he really wanted to get his hands on her sexy, hot little body again.
Last edited by Double Trouble on Sun Jun 14, 2009 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 27 - 6/18/09

Post by Double Trouble » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:52 pm

chanks_girl: It was a shame, wasn’t it? They didn’t appreciate that interruption either. Chances are good that what Alex had to say wasn’t pleasant.

A 3-way, huh?

Ouch! Well, this may have been less painful… although Michael may disagree. Not sure.

Liz will have more interaction with Max in the next few parts, so maybe that’ll help.

nibbles2: Nope, definitely no legal leg to stand on, lol! Well, Michael will quickly come up with a new plan.

destiny: That acceptance isn’t going to come right away. Don’t worry, Maria may have changed the rules of the game – not that she’s seeing that – but, Michael is about to start running plays from a brand new playbook.

mary mary: LOL, we’re glad you’re enjoying the fic!

Eva: No question about that! They’re only gonna get more explosive!

Alien_Friend: Well, Michael is definitely interested in redirecting all of that energy… and soon! They do deserve each other, and let’s be honest – who else could handle the two of them?

Liz has been very sheltered by her parents, but she’s gonna start to step out a little bit more fairly soon. We’ll have more Max and Liz coming up in the next few parts. This first step was a huge one for Liz, but it’ll be worth it!

LOL, you’re so right about Alex and Isabel!

Zoi: No, she has no right to be pissed off about the song, but she’s not reacting rationally – she’s also not ready to face that truth just yet. Liz will start making a bit more progress with her agreeing to go with the girls out to the competition.

lilah: LOL, we’re glad to hear that! We’re glad you’re enjoying Double Trouble!

Maiqu: Thanks for reading!

kismet: Michael has a plan… and he intends to execute it very soon! Why, yes, there will be some Max/Liz in the next part! Not a huge scene, but it’s a start and we can promise a bigger
Dreamer scene in an upcoming part… and very soon! Tess will behave herself.

begonia9508: Yes, apparently… silly man, thinking that a closed door means anything with Brooke and Michael running loose in the house!

Liz is naïve… it’s true. But, she’s gonna come around.

Michael and Maria… well, that’s gonna be an ongoing battle right there!

April: Tess does like to further her… education.

Michael and Maria go BOOM in this next part, LOL.

We sooo agree with you about Alex and Isabel!

sarammlover: We’re glad to hear they’re one of your favorite couples! We love them, too!

Don’t worry… Michael does not intend to suffer through another part without relief! Hmm… Brooke could do that… but, risking big brother’s wrath? Doubtful, lol!

Well, you could be right about Sean… we’ll have to wait and see.

More Michael and Maria coming up!


Part 27 – And the Upper Hand Belongs To…

Maria made her way up into the stands to sit down with her friends, carefully schooling her expression so that it wouldn’t give away the fact that her little plan hadn’t worked quite the way she had planned. Oh, she had gotten Michael worked up with little effort, but the only problem with that was the man had a clever mouth and big, rough hands that she desperately wanted to feel on her skin again.

“And where have you been?” Tess asked with a knowing grin.

“Dealing with the biggest pain in the ass I’ve ever known.” She rolled her eyes and sat down next to Liz. “And, no, we were not having sex.”

“Obviously… that is not the satisfied look you usually have after having sex.” Tess leaned against Kyle, her fingers reaching up to lace through his when his right arm came around her shoulders.

“Did you talk to Michael?” Liz asked when Tess turned her attention to her boyfriend.

“We talked.”

“And?”

“I think I got my point across.”

“Yeah, she got her point across,” Michael snarled as he sat down directly behind Maria and planted his booted feet on either side of her body. He leaned forward to growl in her ear, “You should get your facts straight before pullin’ shit like that. You wanna know why I didn’t get your mood last night or this mornin’? Because I didn’t know your psychotic, female brain had somehow twisted the lyrics of my song around so that they seemed to be about what we’ve got goin’ on. Just for the record, though, that song was written well before I ever met you.”

Maria winced when he suddenly leaned back, pulling away from her and leaving her with a major case of guilt.

“Where’s my sister?”

“Wondering where you’ve been,” Brooke answered as she leaned back to look at him from Kyle’s other side. She got up and moved to sit next to her brother. “You missed Max’s first race, Michael.”

He shrugged. “He’s got another one later this afternoon.” He propped his elbows on the bench behind him and slouched down. “Besides, the only reason I’m even here is because you wanted to come out here and get away from the old married couple.”

“I still can’t believe that we caught them in the bath together,” Brooke snickered. “Did you see big brother’s face?”

“You caught Isabel and your brother in the bathtub?” Tess asked, intrigued. “Were they getting busy?”

“They would’ve been if we hadn’t barged in on them.” Brooke glanced up at her brother, trying to gauge his mood by his expression. “Alex was pissed but Iz wouldn’t let him yell at us; she just suggested that I should go home with Michael so we could give him time to calm down.”

Michael shrugged. “Hell, we got dinner out of it.”

“Yeah, we’re lucky we got that with your attitude last night.” Brooke elbowed him in the ribs. “Hey, speaking of food, I’m kinda hungry.”

“Why’re you tellin’ me?”

“Do you really want me to call Alex?”

“Do you really think I’m worried about that threat?”

“Well, you could call…” She grinned at him and shook her head. “Oh, that’s right, you can’t call anybody because you threw a fit this mornin’ and broke your phone.”

Maria winced when she felt the tension emanating from his big body. The entire universe was outta whack this week, she thought with an internal sigh. How else had she ended up in a position where she was the one who owed him an apology? His bad mood was her fault and there was just no way around that… none at all. How was she gonna flip the switch on his mood? She rolled her eyes. There was really only one way to get back on his good side. Well, she mused, there was more than one way… but, as long as it led to sex of some kind he’d be happy. She couldn’t just jump right in though; he already had the upper hand, so she had to play this just right and work up to it slowly.

“You want anything, Maria?”

She turned her head when Tess spoke up beside her. “What?”

“We’re gonna go get a drink; you want anything?”

“No, thanks.”

“C’mon, kid, we’ll go with you to get somethin’ to eat,” Kyle said as he stood up with Tess.

Brooke braced her hand on Michael’s shoulder as she pushed herself to her feet. “You want me to bring somethin’ back for you?” She paused, searching for a way to make peace even though she had nothing to do with his bad mood.

Michael gritted his teeth when he glanced at his little sister and suddenly realized that he had been a complete asshole towards her and she hadn’t done anything to deserve it. He pulled some money out of his wallet and handed it to her. “Nah, but don’t load up on junk food. We’re gonna have lunch in an hour or so, okay?” He reached up to pat her hand. “On second thought, if they’ve got donuts, bring me back a couple of the chocolate ones.”

She grinned. “Okay.”

He watched her hop down off of the bleachers and run ahead of Kyle and Tess, and he mentally kicked himself for his inexcusable behavior. “Fuck,” he muttered. The kid was way too forgiving where he was concerned, and he knew it. His gaze lowered to the woman in front of him when she leaned back against the inside of his left leg. “What?” he snapped.

“I’m sorry.”

Michael’s gaze softened just a fraction as he met her gaze directly, but he wasn’t willing to let it go just yet; he wasn’t nearly as forgiving as his sister was. He was conscious of the fact that they were surrounded by people involved in the action on the course so he leaned forward and braced his forearms on his knees. “You do know that you already owed me for Monday night,” he murmured quietly. “And now, I’m thinkin’ a really big apology is in order for this crap because all it would’ve taken was a simple question and you would’ve known that song had nothin’ to do with us.”

“You’ve gotta know how easy it was to make that mistake, Michael.”

“Women are always bitchin’ because guys jump to conclusions about stuff, but we’re not the only ones who do that.” He shook his head. “We’re just the ones who get all the blame for it.”

“I’m not blaming you for anything.”

“And what was that shit in the parkin’ lot? It’s one thing for us to tease each other to the brink of insanity when we’re playin’ our little games, but what you did earlier was just cold. You got me all fuckin’ worked up, copped an attitude, and then just walked away.”

“Look, I said I was sorry, what else d’you want?” Maria hissed, glaring at him. She felt the change in him, the charge of electricity that had his body practically humming as he watched her. She knew what he wanted. “Wanna take a walk?”

Michael shot to his feet and motioned for her to join him as he moved to the end and made his way down to ground level. He walked to the end of the bleachers and waited impatiently as he watched the competition going on out on the course. He hadn’t been paying any attention to what was going on, so he had no idea who was worth watching and who was a waste of time.

Maria turned to Liz when Michael made his quick disappearance and she hid a smile at the other girl’s expression of embarrassment. “Sorry, Liz, I wasn’t intending to ditch you like this.”

“No, it’s okay.”

“You mind watchin’ our seats until we get back?”

“Nope, just don’t forget I’m here.”

“We won’t.”

Michael glanced over his shoulder and rolled his eyes when he realized that Maria was talking on the phone as she made her way towards him. He needed relief in a major way, and he needed it soon! He had to find somewhere with some relative privacy for what he had in mind; getting caught definitely added something to making out, but there were a lot of kids running around and that would just be wrong on too many levels to count.

“You look like a man with somethin’ serious on his mind,” Max said as he joined his roommate.

“Max.” His thoughts shifted back to the possible make-out areas on the grounds and he suddenly realized that he was standing beside the one person who had access to something suitable. “Max, you’ve got a storage area around here for the bikes that aren’t bein’ used, right?”

“Uh-huh, it’s one of the perks at this arena; we have the option of leasing the – “

“Yeah, whatever, I need to borrow it.”

“Excuse me?”

Michael glared at him. “Do I seriously need to explain it to you?”

Max turned his head to look at the little blond approaching them, talking a mile a minute to someone on the other end of her phone. “Enough said.” He pulled his keys out of his pocket and removed one of them from his ring. “The building’s on the west side of the parkin’ lot; you want unit 117,” he said, handing the single key to Michael. He pulled a pack of gum out of one of his pockets and unwrapped the silver paper before folding the stick of gum in half and popping it in his mouth. “Don’t break any of my gear, Guerin,” he called, turning to look back at his friend as he debated the best way to approach Liz.

*****

Liz pulled her Biology textbook out of her oversized purse and glanced around self-consciously before opening it up and laying it across her knees. She didn’t understand the rules of the competition and everyone who could’ve explained it to her was gone. Well, there was a very large, very loud, and heavily tattooed man sitting to her right who seemed to be familiar with the event, but she wasn’t interested in striking up a conversation with him.

She easily lost herself in clinical terminology as she studied for an exam that she knew was coming up the following week. She was hunched over the textbook, chewing on one end of her pen when someone sat down behind her, and she didn’t think much about it until a booted foot appeared on either side of her body.

“Um, excuse me, but I don’t…” The words trailed off as she turned to the rude person who was invading her personal space. Max Evans. Of course. There was just no avoiding the man! “Oh, Max… um…”

“Hey, Evans, great ride, man!”

“Yeah, but you should’ve put Markham in the dirt, Evans!”

Liz glanced around as different people in their section of the bleachers started talking to him like they actually knew him. She listened to him as he responded to all of them; he didn’t seem thrilled by the interruption, but he made it a point to talk to anyone who spoke to him and his easy smile never slipped out of place.

His forearms were braced on the bench behind him as he leaned back in a lazy sprawl and no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t stop her eyes from moving over him. He was wearing riding gear like all of the competitors, but his was black with an occasional splash of white creating random designs or identifying the names of his sponsors. His jersey was untucked and it just added to the casual, carefree air that surrounded him. There was something else though, something that she couldn’t define, but she could feel it when she was near him. He reminded her of a black panther; sleek, powerful, but with so much coiled strength hidden beneath the beautiful exterior.

Max felt her eyes on him and he ended his conversation with one of the motocross enthusiasts before slowly turning back to look at her. He smiled when she blushed and hurried to bury her nose back in her textbook; if she had been any other girl he would’ve moved completely into her personal space, but she was skittish around him and he didn’t want to scare her off. It had to be a good thing that she had come to watch him ride, right? And she had come alone… there was no bothersome fiancé who didn’t seem to have the slightest clue about how great she was.

“Whatcha studyin’?” he asked, leaning over her shoulder.

“Marine biology,” she mumbled, uncomfortably aware of the heat coming off of his body. He wasn’t touching her, but he was close enough that she could feel him.

“Yeah? That what you’re gonna major in?”

“I’m thinking about it.”

“Cool. I’m goin’ into veterinary medicine myself.” School was obviously the right topic, he thought to himself. The conversation started to flow with more ease as she relaxed and talked about her studies. It was obvious that she was smart and she knew her topic, but based on the way that she was condensing everything he could tell that she was used to giving an abbreviated version of her own interests in order to participate in conversations. “You’re not used to talkin’ to people who give a rat’s ass about marine biology, are you?”

Liz blushed and shook her head. “Well, most people aren’t really interested and I don’t have any friends who are studying anything close, so…”

Max grinned and held his hand out to her. “Let’s start over, huh?” He forced himself to keep the handshake short, reluctantly releasing her hand before she could become uncomfortable. “Max Evans, future veterinarian.”

The softest, most beautiful smile lit up her features as she shook his hand. “Liz Parker, future marine biologist.”

*****

“Where’re we going?” Maria asked, nearly running to keep up with Michael’s determined stride. He obviously knew where they were going, but he hadn’t bothered to clue her in.

“Someplace private.”

She rolled her eyes at his short response. He hadn’t spoken more than a dozen words since she had joined him and he had motioned for her to follow him like a wayward child. She snorted at that thought; there was nothing childlike involved in what they were about to do. Although, she had no idea what they were about to do because as he was likely to remind her soon enough – she owed him… big.

Her musings were interrupted when something small collided with her legs and she stopped to see what she had walked into. She stared down at the little boy standing there, crying as he turned in little circles, his terrified gaze searching the crowd. She glanced around, but no one was rushing to claim the little boy and no one seemed to be looking for him either. She knelt down in front of the child and reached out to take one of his hands as she tried to calm him down. He couldn’t have been more than three years old at most; how was it possible that someone wasn’t running around frantically searching the crowd for him?

“Maria? Where’d you… Oh.” Michael looked around, noting the lack of interest in the little boy crying loudly. He crouched down next to Maria and reached out to place a hand on the kid’s shoulder. “Hey, little guy, did ya lose your parents?”

Maria was shocked when the little boy’s sobs began to calm and the tears pouring from his blue eyes slowed to a trickle as he watched Michael with interest.

“Hmmm… bet you’re not supposed to talk to strangers either, huh?” He scratched his chin when the kid shook his head, his watery gaze curious and focused on him. He held his hand out, waiting patiently for the little boy to decide if he should take it or not. “My name’s Michael an’ this’s Maria; can you tell me your name?” he asked, shaking the tiny hand that slid into his much larger one. He tilted his head to one side when the kid spoke, his voice low, as if he were afraid he would get in trouble for speaking to the stranger. “Jared, huh? Can ya tell me your last name?”

“How’re you gonna find his parents if he won’t tell you his last name?” Maria asked when the little boy shook his head. She watched Michael as he glanced around again and a moment later he met her confused gaze.

“Easy. We take him to the announcer’s booth; how many people here are missin’ a kid named Jared? You got any tissue on you?”

“Yeah, sure.” Maria dug around in the tiny handbag and pulled out a couple of tissues that she handed to him. She watched him as he turned his attention back to the little boy, amazed by the unexpected display of genuine concern for a child that he didn’t even know. He was patient and caring as he dried Jared’s face and wiped his nose, tossing the used tissues into a nearby trash bin before ruffling the little boy’s short hair. They had been on their way to find someplace private so that they could get each other off; most guys probably wouldn’t have stopped in that situation.

“Tell ya what, why don’t we go see if we can find your parents, okay?” He waited until the kid nodded and then stood up once more.

Maria smiled when he held his hand out to the little boy and Jared latched onto his wrist with both hands. She watched Michael lift him up with ease, swinging him around and settling him on his broad shoulders.

*****

It only took a matter of minutes after they reached the announcer’s booth and Michael explained the situation for the staff to make an announcement. Within minutes a nervous, harried couple rushed to the booth, relieved to find their lost child safe and unharmed.

Maria quickly realized that Michael was uncomfortable with the attention as the couple thanked him profusely and the mother hugged him several times. She made an excuse as she pried him from the woman’s weepy, clinging grasp, and they took their leave.

“In a hurry to get your hands on me?” Michael growled as they made their escape.

She rolled her eyes; he wasn’t about to admit that he was relieved that she had rescued him, but all the same, she knew it was true. “Yeah, Michael, that’s it.” She had a feeling that he was just gonna ignore her or get defensive if she told him she was impressed with the way he had handled the situation.

“Good. Because you owe me and I can’t wait much longer.”

“Y’know, I don’t appreciate your attitude. I know that we’re totally doing casual here, but this is starting to sound like I’m a hooker, and I don’t like that.”

Michael paused, grimacing as he turned to look at her. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Look, I don’t mind the foreplay, I don’t mind pushing the limits, and I don’t mind you being a bossy prick, but your attitude when doing any of those things changes the tone. Last night when you said you had all these ideas about how I could show my appreciation, that didn’t bother me because you were flirting and teasing, but this… it’s crossing a line that I’m not sure I’m all that comfortable with.”

“And I told you I didn’t mean it like that,” he snapped, feeling defensive all of a sudden. “Look, if you think I’m capable of the kinda cruelty that would cross the line between hot sex and somethin’ altogether twisted, then tell me now and we’ll just end this immediately.”

Maria was shocked by his words and she had little choice but to follow him when he stalked off towards a long building that stretched out on one side of the parking lot. Could the two of them have anymore misunderstandings if they tried to? She rushed after him, catching up as he pulled a key out of his front pocket and inserted it into the lock on one of the doors.

Michael shook her hand off and shoved the door inward, stepping inside the cool interior and glancing around. He heard the door close and lock, which meant that she had chosen to stay with him, but he had no idea how to proceed with things now.

“I wasn’t insinuating that you were some sick, twisted, pervert, Michael. The point I was trying to get across is that I don’t appreciate being treated like some streetwalker you picked up to get your rocks off. We’re not involved in a relationship beyond the physical, but that’s no reason for us to treat each other like this is just a… a… a sexual transaction.”

“It is a sexual transaction, Maria,” he argued. “That’s the way we both wanted it, and that’s the way it is.” He turned to lean back against one of the worktables on the wall, his hands curled around the edge as he stared at her. “You don’t wanna get involved with me and I don’t wanna get involved with anyone; we hook up to screw each other. There’s nothin’ flowery or romantic about it, and if that’s what you want then you’d better start lookin’ for a guy who can give you those things.”

Maria moved across the… where the hell were they, anyway? She recognized Max’ jeep pulled up further into the bay with a trailer hitched up to the back. Tools were strewn around along with other equipment that looked like it belonged in a mechanic’s shop.

“It’s like a mini garage with individual bays that the competitor’s can rent for the day,” Michael said when he recognized the curiosity on her face.

She nodded and moved to stand in front of him. “What I did to you earlier, that was wrong and I am sorry for it; I shouldn’t have done that no matter how much of an ass you were being… or how much of an ass I thought you were being,” she reiterated when he started to protest. “And if you want payback for that, I can take it; I just want you to not be so closed-off and mean about it. If that’s too much to ask – “ She squeaked when Michael suddenly grabbed her and hauled her up against his body, kissing her deep and hard.

“I think that’s enough misunderstandings for one day,” he growled, pulling back just enough to tug her tank top up and off. The lacy bra and her shorts followed in short order and he tugged her back against him so that she was wedged tightly between his thighs. “That’s better.” He sighed contentedly as he looked down at her and considered his next move.

Maria started to squirm against him after several minutes passed without him moving a muscle and she reached up to unbutton his shirt. She frowned and her gaze shot up to meet his when his hands wrapped around her wrists and he shook his head. “What’re you doin’?”

Michael was just barely controlling his need as he brought her captured wrists to his mouth and pressed a kiss against them. “This one’s mine,” he whispered roughly. “Today is mine, and you don’t come until I give you permission.” He cupped her face in both of his hands and leaned in to breathe against her ear, “I’m gonna bring you right to the edge and then I’m gonna take every single opportunity keep you there throughout the entire fuckin’ day. I’m gonna touch you, lick you, suck you, and work you into a sexual frenzy…” He paused to grasp her hips and hold her still when he felt her rubbing against his erection. “Your beautiful, sexy little body belongs to me, and only me; that means no sneakin’ away to get yourself off while I’m not lookin’.” He leaned back to look into her lust-darkened eyes. “And you should remember that I know what you look like after you come.”

She whimpered at his words and she wanted nothing more than to come right then and there, but she stilled when he moved her back so he could let his heated gaze slide over her. She should’ve felt self-conscious, and with any other man in that situation, she would have. But, with Michael she just felt beautiful and worshipped, which was such a contradiction considering their arrangement that banned any emotional involvement. She couldn’t help squirming when his eyes settled on the tiny lace panties hiding her from his hungry gaze; if he kept his promise she was gonna be wet and horny all day.

His breathing hitched in his throat. “Tell me you’re shaved,” he grated out hoarsely.

She was so turned on just by his expression that she could barely get the words out. “This morning.” She started to hook her thumbs in the waistband so she could slide her soaked panties down and off, but he shook his head.

“Leave ‘em on.” Michael pushed away from the worktable and walked around her slowly several times, enjoying the way the muscles jumped beneath her skin every time his fingers or breath ghosted over her flesh. He finally moved, taking her hands and directing her to follow him over to the jeep. He placed her hands against the roll bar and instructed her to leave her hands where they were as he moved to the trailer to rummage in a tool box.

He moved to collect her tank top and then sat in the passengers’ seat to look at her, gauging her reaction to his orders. “You trust me to keep you safe?” he asked, his tone dead serious.
Maria nodded. She was incapable of speech; her throat was dry and his gaze was so intense that she didn’t think she could’ve forced a single word out if her life had depended on it. He reached up and used her tank top to cover her wrists before tucking the edges under her clenched fingers, and her eyes widened when he wrapped a blue strap over the tank top and secured it through a silver buckle.

He moved behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders, massaging them for several minutes before sweeping them over her back in broad strokes. His hands slid to her sides and he used just his fingertips to tease the skin over her ribs as he slowly let the pads of his fingers rub over her stomach. He chuckled against her neck when he felt her abdominal muscles contracting, heard her breath catch in her throat as his fingers eased lower to tease her skin at the edge of the tiny scrap of material that separated him from full skin-on-skin contact.

“I think you want me to touch you, hmm? Want me to ease my fingers under the edge of your soaked panties and slide down… slide through your slick little pussy so you can hump my hand and ride my fingers until you can’t think straight?” The entire time he was talking, teasing her with his sensual words, his hand was inching lower inside her panties, but just as he reached her mound he flattened his hand against her and just cupped her, reveling in her heat.

“NO!” she screamed when he pulled his hand back and removed it completely from her panties.

“No?” he teased, misunderstanding on purpose. He nudged the backs of her thighs until she spread her legs wide. “Maybe you want my mouth on you? Yeah, you probably want that, don’t you? Want me to pull your soaked panties away, spread you open, and tongue-fuck you… you want that?”

He changed positions too fast for her spinning head to keep up and the next thing she knew he was sitting on the ground between her legs, his big hands sliding up and down her inner thighs. She could almost come just from his voice alone; his voice and his words combined with his touch were driving her to the very edge of sanity. And he hadn’t even really touched her intimately yet!

“Yup, I’ll bet you do.” He wrapped his hands around her trembling thighs and pulled her closer, pressing his face right up against her. “Fuck, if you were an animal, every male in a ten-mile radius would be able to catch your scent and they’d kill each other just for an opportunity to mate with you once.”

His hot breath against her core was too much and she bucked against him, moaning and thrashing when he tightened his grip and forced her to remain still. “I told you,” he whispered as he hooked his thumbs in the ridiculously tiny panties and tugged them down over her hips, “you don’t get to come until I say so.” He leaned up to press a kiss against her shaved mound before sliding back between her legs and standing up behind her. “You are beautiful,” he muttered gruffly, “but I’m not givin’ in on this.”

Maria didn’t even try to censor her words as she cursed at him, frustrated in a way she had never experienced. When he pressed up against her again he had unbuttoned his shirt because she could feel the hair on his chest abrading her skin and she pushed back, seeking more contact with him.

“Put your legs together so I can slide your panties down,” he growled. He slid them down, but only partway down her thighs. “Now, spread your legs until – “

“If I – “

“Maria…”

A shiver slid down her spine at his warning tone and she did as he wanted, but she really didn’t understand how this was going to help the situation. The panties didn’t have much give in them and it barely allowed any room at all between her thighs.

“Y’know, it’s really too bad we’ve got that agreement about no full-on sex,” he rasped against her ear as he lowered his zipper and shoved his jeans down and out of the way. Fuck, it felt good to have all that pressure off of his dick! “But, if I remember correctly, you said you were up for anything as long as it didn’t include actual penetration, right?” He chuckled when she moaned what he had to assume was acceptance since she was pushing back against him.

Maria groaned deep in her throat when she felt his dick slide between her thighs to settle between her swollen folds. His left hand came up to play with her breasts while his right slid down over her taut abdomen to tease her clit as he started move his hips. His forehead dropped forward to rest against her bare shoulder as he concentrated on keeping his rhythm slow and steady.

“No,” he growled when she tried to move and urge him into a faster rhythm. He wanted it to last more than just a few brief moments, to draw the pleasure out as long as possible. If this was as close as he was gonna get to being inside of her then he didn’t want to rush it.

“What is your issue with me being still?” Maria demanded, cursing her rule about no penetration. She wanted nothing more at that moment than to shift just enough to take him inside and have him fuck her properly.

Michael chuckled but remained silent otherwise. Before long he was past the point of slow and easy and he had to set a faster rhythm. He kept up the teasing movements against her clit with his right hand and he shifted his left arm down to wrap around her waist to hold her tight against him as he thrust against her.

Their hearts were beating in a perfect, synchronized and stuttered rhythm, and their panting breaths were jagged and harsh as they climbed towards the peak and reached for the mind-blowing orgasms that were sure to follow the ultimate freefall.

As soon as Michael felt her beginning to come apart he eased his hand away despite the urge to finish her off and let her come. His hips pounded into her and he pulled back just as stars exploded behind his closed eyelids. He slumped against her back and took several deep breaths, trying to bring his heartbeat back under control as he reached up to free her hands.

“You’re right on the razor’s edge, aren’t you?” he asked, his heated breath teasing her neck. “A single touch from my hand or my tongue and you’d be screamin’ the roof down.” His arms came around her and his hands slid down to grasp the waistband of her panties, easing them up and over her hips.

“I hate you right now,” she whimpered when his hands moved up to cup her breasts, the rough pads of his thumbs rubbing against her distended, sensitive nipples.

“I know.” He turned her in his arms and pressed against her as he kissed her slowly, thoroughly, and with so much gentleness that it made her ache somewhere deep inside. “Trust me, before tonight’s over you’re gonna come harder than you’ve ever come in your life.”

“You can’t be serious about keeping me aroused like this all day.” Her fingers threaded through his hair, her nails raking against his scalp as she turned her pleading gaze up to him.

“I was dead serious about that, baby.”

“So, you plan to do this – “

“Huh-uh… we’re gonna do somethin’ different each time.” He nodded over his shoulder. “Let’s get cleaned up; there’s a sink and Max always keeps a stash of new shop towels… not exactly the softest things out there, but they’ll get the job done.” He cupped her chin in his hand and leaned down to meet her heated gaze as he kissed her softly. “If it helps… next time we spend the day together, you can call all the shots.”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 28 - 6/21/09

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:27 am

Alien_Friend: Yes, all is right in M&M land for now… only because they’ve managed to convince themselves that they’re only together for one reason. One HOT reason, but we all know they’re only fooling themselves. LOL, yeah, definitely not a dull moment for them!

Michael is a big softy and that makes him hard to resist. Maria gets a better understanding of learning how to read the Michael Guerin translation dictionary every time she gets these little glimpses of who he is underneath that gruff exterior.

The last thing Michael wants to do is mess up his relationship with his sister.

Max… ah, he’s a sweetheart, isn’t he?

Zoi: Michael is learning… he won’t make that mistake again. He honestly didn’t mean it that way and he didn’t realize how he was coming across until she mentioned it.

They are frustrating and it’s going to be a while before they reach a point where they begin to communicate… but it will happen!

Hey, we’re glad to hear that you liked the Max and Liz part!

Eva: It’s gonna take time before these two manage to get their communication on the right track.

Hmmm… we’re not tellin’!

mary mary: They are bad, but they’re sooo good at it!

destinyc: LOL, just remember… turnabout’s fair play.

Just another glimpse at that softer side of Mr. Guerin.

Look for another Max and Liz scene in this next part. Apparently if you’re Liz Parker, you can study marine biology anywhere.

kismet: We totally agree with you!

Max is learning – it’s a process for both him and Liz.

sarammlover: Yeah, Maria must be in agony right about now!

We’re glad you’re lovin’ Max! We think he’s awesome too! Keep reading… while it’s gonna take a while, that Dreamer relationship will find its way.

Maiqu: Look for more Max and Liz in this next part!

nibbles2: Don’t try too hard to figure it out… these two will only give you a headache!

Because she is in major denial – she has yet to see that Michael isn’t just another replica of the guys in her past. She has to look beyond that before she can begin to accept that what they have is different.

tequathisy: Oh, wow… um… wow! Thanks for the compliments! Especially since Max is not normally a character either of us really focuses on in our other fics. We’re glad he’s been accepted so well here! And while we love the bad boys, the good guys can be totally hot too, and we felt that Max deserved to be shown in that light. Thanks, we’re glad you think the guys are awesome in Double Trouble! As for the girls holding out… well, we’ll see!

begonia9508: Thanks for reading!


Part 28 – Picnics and Conversations

By the time they got back the others had staked out a spot for their picnic lunch and they were in the process of getting everything set up. Michael sauntered over to the cooler and moved his hand through the ice to find a bottle of beer. He claimed one side of the blanket and immediately got involved in a conversation about sports with Kyle and Max.

Maria was debating her next move when Tess suddenly appeared beside her and grabbed her arm. She glanced at her friend and frowned when she realized she was being studied. “What?” she grumbled irritably.

“Come with me to find the restrooms,” Tess insisted, dragging her away. She was demanding answers just as soon as they were out of earshot. “Okay, what’s going on?”

“I thought you wanted to go find the restrooms?”

“You know better than that.” Tess glanced around, her expression revealing disgust. “Like I have any intention of using one of these nasty public bathrooms; I couldn’t very well ask you what’s going on while we were standing right in front of the guys.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“You are such a fucking liar! You disappear with a man that just an hour ago you couldn’t stand and when you come back he’s lookin’ completely relaxed while you’re lookin’… not so relaxed. I thought you said you weren’t having sex with him?”

“I thought you didn’t believe me,” Maria countered.

“Well, I don’t, but considering his mood just now and yours… tell me what’s going on.”

Maria sighed. “We’re not having sex, Tess. Well, not technically, anyway.”

“How do you not technically have sex?”

“By doing everything else under the sun.”

Tess’ eyes widened. “So, the two of you are…”

“Doing everything but actual penetrative sex,” Maria huffed finally.

“Okay, why aren’t you doing the deed?” She shook her head and chuckled. “You know you want that man, so what is the point of doing everything but the one thing that you want?”

“Because if we don’t have actual sex I won’t fall for him; this way we can relieve mutual sexual frustration without havin’ to worry about emotions getting involved.”

“Maria, y’know I love you, but that is the stupidest fucking plan I’ve ever heard anyone come up with. You’re already involved – “

“No, I am not involved.”

“You’re in denial.”

“I’m not involved and I’m not in denial! Michael is just a convenient means to an end until I find someone who actually meets my requirements.”

“Uh-huh, if it’s so convenient why does he look like he’s completely relaxed and you look like you’re strung tight enough to snap?” She studied her friend for several minutes before her eyebrows suddenly shot up. “Huh-uh, he got off and you didn’t? Intentionally or did you get interrupted?”

“Look, can we not discuss this anymore?”

“This goes beyond simply getting each other off; you’re playing sexual games and letting him call the shots.” She waggled her eyebrows playfully. “Tell me he lets you do the same.”

“We’re on equal ground sexually.”

“You do realize that there’s a lot of trust required to play those games… you’ve never put that much trust in any guy you’ve been with, Maria.”

“Can we just leave this alone?” Maria asked, feeling defensive and not really understanding why. I haven’t called you on your relationship with Kyle.”

“Excuse me?”

“Look, let’s just drop the subject, okay? I’m not interested in examining my… arrangement with Michael, so let’s just leave it alone and we’ll all be happy.” She stalked off, heading back to the area where the others were just finishing setting the food out and she glanced around, looking for a place to sit.

“C’mere,” Michael said, taking her hand and pulling her down to sit between his legs. “You can sit here since we’ve got a space shortage.” He hid a grin when she squirmed restlessly and he leaned down to whisper in her ear, “It’s drivin’ you crazy, isn’t it?”

“Where’s Liz?” Maria asked, doing her best to ignore the big, male body surrounding her.

“She and Brooke went with Max to get cotton candy,” Kyle answered absently. “That kid’s gonna be on a crazy sugar-high by the time you take her home tonight, Guerin.” He looked up when Michael didn’t respond to his comment and he watched in fascination as the man rested his chin on Maria’s shoulder and watched her as she put their plates together. It was quite possibly the most intimate thing he’d ever seen his roommate do. He glanced up at Tess when she leaned against his back and slid her arms around his chest. “Hey, babe.”

“Kyle, how involved d’you think they are?” she asked, her voice pitched low so it wouldn’t carry to the other couple.

He snorted. “More than either of them even knows… or wants to know.” He motioned at the food spread out on the blanket. “You want me to fix you a plate?”

“Yeah, you get started with that and I’ll grab us a couple of beers.”

“Hey, pull one of those out for me,” Max called.

They all turned to look at him and Michael rolled his eyes when he saw the other man carrying Brooke piggyback. “You’re gonna throw your back out, carryin’ all that weight around,” he said, ducking when they passed him and Brooke kicked his shoulder with the side of her foot.

“I’m not heavy, am I, Max?”

“Nah, darlin’, not at all.” He winked at Liz before he made a show of staggering the last few feet and then stumbling to his knees. “Oh, God, my back!” He collapsed face-first on the ground as Brooke moved off of him and slapped his shoulder. He was laughing as he rolled over and looked up at her, grinning as he held his hand out to her. “Y’know I’m kiddin’, darlin’. You don’t weigh anything compared to your heavy-ass brother, and God knows I’ve carried his drunk ass home more than once.”

Brooke stuck her tongue out at her brother. “Ass.” She turned back to Max as she dropped down to sit beside him, reaching out to run her fingers over his stubbled jaw. “Are you gonna let this grow out?”

“I was thinkin’ about it,” he answered, stroking his chin. He shifted around so that he was lying on his side, his weight braced on his left forearm. “What d’you think?”

“I don’t know… not like a full beard, right?”

Max had no intention of looking like a bear, but he pretended to think about it. “Whatcha think?”

“I think full beards are just gross; who wants to kiss a guy with that much facial hair? Maybe if you just go with the goatee and a mustache, but trimmed close, y’know?” She glanced at Liz and nodded to get her attention. “Don’t you agree, Liz?”

“Um, what?”

“Max would look good with a goatee and a mustache, don’t you think?”

“I think it’d look good,” Maria interrupted when she saw the trapped look on Liz’ face. “But, definitely trimmed close; too much facial hair is a total turnoff.” She leaned forward and motioned for Max to move closer so she could run her hands over the hair that had already grown in on his face. “Wow, that’s soft; most guys with facial hair feel bristly and harsh.”

“No point growin’ it in if it’s gonna be a turnoff, right? My sister-in-law said the trick is to use shampoo and conditioner on it just like you do for your hair. I was thinkin’ about just shavin’ it off because it was so rough, but then she told me that usin’ bar soap like any guy would do, was the wrong approach, so I’ve been takin’ her advice.” He grinned at her. “So, it’s workin’, huh?”

Maria could feel the tension in Michael’s body and she knew he didn’t like her touching Max, and to be honest, that was exactly why she didn’t stop. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt facial hair that was so soft.” She smiled at him. “The girls must love you.”

He glanced at Liz, sighing when he realized that she was avoiding his gaze. “I certainly hope so,” he muttered. He turned his attention back to Maria, easily reading the intent behind her touches; she wasn’t interested in him, she was just messing with Michael... and he never turned down an offer to yank the other man’s chain. “Guess that means Guerin’s face must feel like steel wool.”

“Fuck off, Evans.” Michael was irritated by the ease with which she reached out to touch the other man despite the fact that he knew they weren’t interested in each other. Just seeing her skin touching Max was enough to piss him off and his right hand slid down to grip her thigh in warning.

Brooke’s gaze was bouncing back and forth between her brother and Max like an observer at a frenzied tennis match. Michael was sooo jealous and he didn’t even know it! He was acting territorial and jealous… her plan was working so much better than she had hoped!

Liz was watching the two guys as they traded barbed insults and it didn’t take a genius to figure out that Michael’s side of the exchange was beginning to get heated. Maria looked like she had gotten herself into a position she hadn’t expected and didn’t know how to get out of it, and the second she noticed Liz looking at her she made a help me gesture.

“Um, Max?” Liz was shocked when she had his attention with nothing more than quietly speaking his name. He tipped his head back and looked up at her and she had to resist the temptation to reach out and see if the hair on his shadowed jaw was as soft as the other girls had said it was. She wasn’t used to being the object of such focused attention and his dark gaze was unsettling.

“What’s up, beautiful?”

God, he had such a gorgeous smile! “I was just wondering about the rules for this sport; I didn’t really understand what was going on earlier.”

Max was more than happy to explain the rules of the sport if it meant carrying on a conversation with her. They had yet to talk about anything personal, but he wasn’t going to let that discourage him. He had seen the look Maria had sent in her direction, so he had no doubt that Liz had spoken up to help her, but he’d take what he could get.

Tess leaned against Kyle’s shoulder as she sat down beside him and she glanced around at their friends before turning her attention to him. “Hey, where’re we staying tonight?”

Kyle shrugged. “I’ve got all the info in the car.” He reached for the sandwich on his plate and took a big bite. “I just called the travel agent my parents use and told her what we wanted and she made all the arrangements; booked the hotel, made the reservations at the restaurant… I don’t remember the names, but you can be sure that they’re both five-star quality.”

“What kinda restaurant did you – “

Kyle grinned at her. “You don’t really think I forgot, do you?”

She tossed her hair over her shoulder and snatched a chip off of his plate. “Forgot what?”

He chuckled and leaned in to kiss her. “You told me you were bringin’ that little blue dress you wore a while back, so I brought a suit and told the agent to make reservations at the best French restaurant in town.”

Tess squealed and launched herself into his lap, nearly upsetting his plate. “You did remember!” She loved French cuisine, but most of the guys she had dated in the past had no interest in dressing up and taking her out for a night on the town. Most guys thought super-sizing her French fries at the local McDonald’s and then taking her to the matinee showing at the theater so they could save a few dollars was a good date.

“I hope you can speak French because I probably won’t even be able to read the menu,” he growled as he nipped at her neck. “Authentic restaurants have a tendency to have the menus printed in their own language, so I’m not gonna be much help; I took Spanish in high school.”

“You’ll be perfectly safe in my hands,” she promised.

Kyle grinned. “I’m countin’ on it, babe.”

*****

Later on that afternoon, Michael was engrossed in the competition as he sat on the edge of his seat, watching the riders as they made their way around the course. He had pulled Maria back so that she was leaning back against him, her forearms resting on his thighs. Even though his gaze was locked on the race he was acutely aware of the woman pressed against him and he smirked as he thought about the afternoon. He had kept his promise and she was so frustrated she could hardly sit still; it was getting more difficult with each make-out session to leave her on edge, but he fully intended to do it once more before they drove back to the city.

The last time he had held himself back and she had been shocked when he had stopped and left them both unsatisfied. She hadn’t really showed any gratitude, but he couldn’t blame her; he knew she was well past being ready to come. He gave her full credit for going along with his game and he was aware that when he finally let her go it wasn’t gonna take but a moment for her to lose it.

His attention was pulled away from his musings and from the race when he heard his sister call out to someone and a moment later some blond-haired kid made his way up into the stands. He scowled at the kid and nudged his sister with his elbow, nodding in the boy’s direction.

“Michael, this’s my friend Luke; he’s in my American History class.” She motioned for the guy to move closer. “Luke, this’s my brother, Michael.” She shoved her elbow in his ribs when he reached around Maria to shake hands, and it was obvious from the tension in Luke’s arm that her brother was attempting to squeeze the life out of his hand.

Maria pinched Michael’s leg to get his attention and his gaze shot back to her when the stinging sensation reached his brain. “Ow! What the fuck are you doin’?”

“Stop badgering them, Michael.”

“She’s my little sister,” he argued. “I’ve got every right to badger any little horn-dog that comes sniffin’ around her.”

“You, Kyle, and Max are all here,” she reasoned. “What do you think they’re gonna do? And besides that, don’t you have somethin’ better to be doing?”

His dark eyes gleamed purposefully. “Yeah, I do.”

Maria groaned internally. He was gonna kill her before the day was over! Her entire body was one giant throbbing, aching, bundle of nerves. “I meant the competition; you’re waitin’ to see Max ride.”

Michael leaned forward and pressed his lips against her ear. “I’d rather watch you ride,” he whispered huskily. “You ever been on a motorcycle? Felt all that power vibratin’ between your legs?”

She just barely clamped her lips on the moan that welled up in her throat and she shifted restlessly.

“We’re gonna go get a drink,” he said, standing up. “Anybody want anything?” He had no intention of bringing anything back with him, but he had to throw it out there. “No? Cool. Kyle, keep an eye on this pair of raging hormones; we’ll be back before Max hits the track.”

Maria followed him as he made his way out of the bleachers and through the crowd and he surprised her when he reached a grove of trees and he pulled her up against his body as he leaned back against one of them. “I know I told you I was willing to go along with you, but I can’t take much more, Michael.”

He shook his head and wrapped one hand around her neck, holding her still as he lowered his head to kiss her. His tongue swept across her lips, wetting them before he settled his mouth over hers. He relaxed his hold on her and let her take control of the kiss, feeling her desperation as her tongue wrapped around his and she ground herself against him.

It would be cruel to push her any further without letting her come so he kept his hands above her waist this time, sliding up under her shirt to stroke over her lace-covered breasts. “As soon as we drop my sister off,” he promised.

“Liz, too,” Maria muttered.

“Max is gonna give ‘er a ride… tried to pawn ‘em both off on him, but no deal.” He shifted his attention to her neck, growling when she dropped her head back to give him better access to her flesh. “Selfish bastard.”

Maria laughed at his irritable comment, surprised that she even had the strength to laugh after the roller coaster he’d had her on all day. She grabbed his ears to get his attention and he paused to look up at her. “How long before we drop your sister off?”

Michael shrugged and grinned wolfishly. “Couple hours… can’t leave before Max competes in his last race and then it’s an hour back to Long Beach.”

“And then what? Your apartment?”

“What? No.” He didn’t know why, but the idea of taking her back to his place felt too… real, too serious. He rarely took girls back to his apartment because they seemed to think that if he did that he was interested in more than screwing them, and nothing could be further from the truth. He hadn’t taken a girl home since Courtney and that had proved to be a major mistake on his part.

Maria wondered at his quick denial, but he started kissing her again and she quickly forgot all about it.

*****

The sun was already beginning its descent for the evening as the competition came to an end; Max had walked away with second place, but he seemed to be in a good mood as he pulled up close to the fence and reached up to remove his helmet. He motioned for Brooke to join him and after a short conversation she ran back up into the stands to talk to her brother.

“Hey, Michael, I’m gonna meet Max in the pit, okay? He borrowed extra gear from someone so he can take me around the course.”

“Alright, yeah, go on.” He glared at the kid sitting next to him when he stood to follow Brooke at her urging. “You goin’ somewhere?”

“Um… with Brooke?”

“Um… no.”

“Oh, well, I kinda wanted to say goodbye to her; I’m supposed to meet my family in about ten minutes so we can go home.”

“You’re leavin’? Hell, why didn’t you just say so? Go on, then, and you’d better not try stickin’ your tongue down my sister’s throat either, ‘cause I’ll do more than just kick your ass.”

Luke swallowed down the nervous feeling the guy brought to life in him and met the man’s gaze evenly. “Brooke’s waitin’ for me.”

Michael snickered when the kid hurried to follow Brooke and he looked down when Maria slapped his leg. “What?”

“You don’t have to threaten him, Michael; he’s very sweet and he seems to like your sister.”

“Yeah, I can see that he likes her, and I’m a guy, Maria, I know what that means.”

“Not every guy only has sex on his mind when he’s hanging around with a girl.”

He snorted at that idea. “The only guys who don’t have sex on their minds when they’re around the opposite sex are gay guys. And he didn’t strike me as the type who was interested in tryin’ on her shoes.”

Maria rolled her eyes. “I guess you’d better run down and make sure he leaves in ten minutes then.”

Michael shrugged and leaned back to rest his elbows on the bench behind him. “Max is with her; he won’t let that little dick do anything.” He glared at her when she dug her elbow into his thigh, unsubtly letting him know that she wanted him to go away for a few minutes.

Speaking of Max… Maria glanced over at Liz, not surprised to see that she was avidly watching the dark-haired man as he talked to some of the other riders. As soon as Michael had made himself scarce she moved to sit next to the other girl. “Hey, Liz.”

“What’s going on, Maria?”

Maria cleared her throat. “I need a favor.” She winced, not sure how to put it out there. “I kinda need you to catch a ride back with Max. He’s already agreed to let you ride with him and he’ll drop you off at home.”

Liz stared at her, shocked at the request. “You want me to what?”

“Well, Michael and I wanna hang out after dropping Brooke off, so I was hoping that you’d be willing to ride back with Max. I mean, if it makes you uncomfortable then I don’t want you to do it.”

“No, I guess it’s okay.” She paused to look back at Max. “You’re sure he doesn’t mind?”

Maria rolled her eyes. “No, Michael asked him earlier and he said he’d be happy to do it.”

“Oh, well, alright then.”

*****

Max was ratcheting the last tie-down to secure the bikes to the trailer bed while Liz watched him from her perch on the trailer’s metal frame. He couldn’t deny that he had been thrilled when Michael had asked him to give the little brunette a ride home; he had no illusions that his friend was trying to do anything more than further his own interests, but he was willing to take Liz anyway he could get her.

Once all of his gear was safely stowed away he grabbed his bag from the backseat of the jeep and turned to glance at Liz. “Give me just a few minutes to clean up and we’ll hit the road.”

She smiled and shrugged one shoulder. “No rush.” She watched him as he walked over to the sink and dropped his bag on the counter beside him. He unzipped it and pulled a few things out, setting them on the counter on the opposite side and turning the water on. While he was waiting for the water to reach the right temperature he stripped his jersey off and dropped it in his bag and Liz was certain she stopped breathing.

He leaned forward over the sink and his muscles shifted under his bronzed skin with every move he made as he washed away the dirt and grime from the afternoon’s exertions. She nearly fell off of the trailer when he finished toweling off and then stepped back to strip his pants off, leaving him dressed only in a pair of dark boxers and a knee brace.

“Did you hurt your knee?” she asked, unable to force her gaze away when he bent over to pull a pair of jeans on.

“Precautionary measure,” Max answered as he turned to face her, pleased to see that she wasn’t looking everywhere but at him. “Old baseball injury from high school.”

“You really enjoy sports, don’t you?”

He pulled a white tee shirt on and tucked it in before zipping and buttoning his jeans. “Yeah, I enjoy bein’ active.” He shrugged and pulled a long-sleeve shirt on, leaving it unbuttoned and rolling the sleeves up. “What about you?”

“Oh, I’ve never really gone out for sports… I’m not very athletic.”

Max smiled at her. “Have you ever gone out and tried?”

She shrugged self-consciously. “No.”

“You’re gonna have to let me introduce you to the wonderful world of athletics.” He tossed his bag back in the jeep and held a hand out to her to help her down. “You got a dog?”

“No, why?”

“Dogs are a great way to get out and have fun, especially if you’re not very outgoing.”

“I guess you don’t need a dog.”

Max grinned as he carefully backed out of the bay. “Not like I used to, anyway.” He shifted into park and jumped back out to lock up before dropping the key in the lockbox mounted on the front of the building.

“So, you had a dog?” Liz asked when he slid behind the wheel and they pulled out of the parking area.

“I still do, but she’s back home with my parents. She wouldn’t be happy bein’ confined to the apartment all day; she’s used to bein’ free to come an’ go as she pleases. There was a time that I was painfully shy though and havin’ a dog helped; we’d go to the park because we needed room to teach her tricks and…” His smile faltered for a moment. “Anyway, bein’ out in the park everyday, there were a lot of other people out with dogs too, and I’ve discovered that most people with dogs are very personable.”

Liz watched him in the fading light, wondering if she should ask who the other half of that we had been. He had sounded upset, but now he seemed to be okay again. Maybe she should just leave it alone, she thought. “How long have you had your dog?”

“Six years; she’s a black and white Border Collie. I think when I turned fifteen and still hadn’t shown any interest in girls my parents didn’t know what else to do.” He laughed at the memory. “And it wasn’t that I wasn’t interested; I was just completely awkward in social settings and all I had to do was be in the same room with a girl and I felt like I was gonna choke on my tongue because I was so nervous.”

“Yeah,” Liz said, laughing quietly, “I can relate to that feeling.”

“So…” Max’ hand tightened on the steering wheel as he asked his next question. “How’re things goin’ with your fiancé?” he asked. “He looked pretty um… upset, pissed off, worried… should I go on?”

Liz debated whether or not to be honest with him and then decided to just go for it. “Ah, well… he wasn’t that happy when he realized I had gotten a ride home with you.”

“He would’ve preferred you walk home in the rain? You never would’ve made it home before that storm started.” He couldn’t stop the annoyance from creeping into his tone and he didn’t bother trying to disguise it. “Not to mention that it was dark out.”

“Oh, well, I didn’t call him… he didn’t know that I was getting my hair cut.”

Let it go, Max! he thought. “Did he like it?”

“I’m not really sure… he was pretty mad about me getting a ride home with you.”

“Why? It was just a ride so you wouldn’t get soaked.” He frowned when she just shrugged and looked out through the windshield. “You guys must have talked it out though.”

“No, not really.”

“You guys haven’t talked about me bringin’ you home?”

Liz cleared her throat. “Actually, we haven’t talked at all.” She bit her bottom lip uncertainly, not sure if she should say what was really on her mind.

“You can tell me, y’know.”

She glanced at Max and the sincerity in his expression made the decision for her. “I think Sean feels like I’m starting to question our relationship.”

He cleared his throat. “Are you?”

Liz thought back over the conversation she’d had with Maria and she found herself admitting the truth to him. “I have been having some doubts lately.”

Max wanted to shout triumphantly, but he forced it down. “Y’know, I can’t speak for myself because I’ve never really been in a relationship that serious, but I’ve got an older sister and a sister-in-law who both swear by dealin’ with stuff head-on when you’re havin’ problems or doubts in a relationship.” He shrugged. “My sister, Taylor, she says the longer you let it go the worse it is when you do finally decide to deal with it.”

“She sounds very smart.”

He laughed and slouched down, relaxing a little. “She is, but don’t ever tell her that I admitted that to you.”

Liz found herself completely captivated by his easy manner and the miles flew by much faster than she had hoped they would at first. When they reached her apartment he pulled up in front of her building without having to be reminded of which one it was, and he shifted in his seat to face her after he parked. Her heart launched itself into her throat when he reached out and took her hand, wrapping his much larger one around it and threading his fingers through hers.

“I’ve gotta get somethin’ off of my chest before you go,” he said, his voice quiet but intense. “If you weren’t with Sean…” He nodded at the ring on the third finger of her left hand. “If you weren’t with him, I would’ve already kissed you.”

She stared at him and swallowed with difficulty. “I think I would’ve kissed you back.” Her fingers itched to reach up and stroke his jaw, to feel the strong planes and curves of his face, but she resisted the temptation. Her heart settled into a pounding rhythm when she saw his lips turn up in a sexy smile.

“I think you’d better go, Elizabeth Parker.” He chuckled huskily. “I do try to do the right thing, but in a minute I’m gonna say the hell with it and I’m gonna kiss you like you’ve never been kissed.” He winked at her when she blushed prettily and he leaned in to whisper, “And believe me, you’d kiss me back.”

“You’re right,” Liz whispered raggedly, “I should go.” She fumbled for the seatbelt and her fingers collided with his when he reached down to unsnap the buckle, freeing her.

“I’ll wait down here until you’re inside; just flip the light switch a couple of times to let me know you’re in safely, okay? If you don’t I’ll assume something’s wrong and charge to your rescue.”

“Thanks for giving me a ride home, Max.” Liz hurried away before she stayed just to see if he really would kiss her.

Max smiled as he watched her, nodding and waving when she stepped inside and a moment later the lights flickered on and off a couple of times. He laughed as he turned the key in the ignition and shifted the jeep into drive; he knew he shouldn’t be happy that her relationship with Sean was on the rocks, but at the same time he couldn’t help the feeling that it was only a matter of time before she was his. He couldn’t remember ever feeling like this about any other girl he had been with, but he wanted to explore it and find out where it would lead.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 29 - 6/25/09

Post by Double Trouble » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:29 pm

Eva: Right now, they don’t WANT to see it, so even if it were posted right in their face, in blinking neon lights, they would deny it at this point.

We’re glad you like our Max and Liz – we’ve enjoyed writing them.

nibbles2: Doesn’t she, though?

We love our Max, too! And, please, repeat as necessary!

chanks_girl: Thanks! We’re glad they’ve found a niche here.

Zoi: We’re glad you liked that last chapter! We’ll look forward to it!

destinyc: Thanks! We’re pretty fond of our Texan Max, too! Oh, they will, but… baby steps!

kismet: Well, c’mon now, it wouldn’t be any fun if they all cooperated, lol! And, don’t worry – the Max and Liz relationship will never move into the M&M frustration zone.

We’re glad you love our Max!

Maiqu: They are involved in a major case of denial! Thanks!

mary mary: LOL, the differences between the girls is what makes their friendships so great. Brooke definitely knows how to hold her own with this group! Kyle and Tess are the only ones spending the night because they happen to have their Monday mornings free… no bothersome classes!

Say, did ya leave that PM… or does the fact that neither of us received one mean that our secret identities are still secret?

Alien_Friend: Liz is making progress. Now she just has to find a way to move past the things that are keeping her from really letting go around Max.

Tess is the queen of stating the obvious! We’re glad you’re enjoying the frustrating duo!

No, Luke definitely has some work ahead of him with these boys around. Brendan may surprise you!

Kyle and Tess are absolutely the other stable couple in Double Trouble – and who would’ve expected that? They’ll be hanging out in the next part.

We enjoy the group scenes, too!

tequathisy: Sean is not going to be packing in a hurry… look for him to dig his heels in.

We agree – they are! Well, that would make for an interesting scene… it’d have to be an awfully big stick because these two are pretty dense!

sarammlover: The blind leading the blind, right? But, when they do see what’s right in front of them… look out! Max and Liz are taking their first steps… look for more from them.

begonia9508: Sean’s days are numbered, but he isn’t going to give in easily or gracefully.

It is a dangerous game, but neither of them has the sense to see it! Michael may have been a little bit overboard, but there is a reason why he’s so overprotective with Brooke… that’ll come into play in the story later on though.

twilight: We’re so glad you stopped by and that you’re lovin’ Double Trouble! The delusion will continue for quite a while. Kyle and Tess are definitely made for each other. Cool, we’re glad to hear that Max and Liz are your favorite couple here! LOL, and how long do you think Liz can possibly resist “dog tag wearing, motocross rider, Texan Max Evans”? We’ve got to admit, he’s pretty irresistible!

April: LOL, we totally agree with you here! This will be pointed out later on because, seriously, it must be brought to light.

They are frustrating and they aren’t gonna take the easy path… but, they’re Michael and Maria, and where would the fun be if they didn’t make life difficult? And besides, we seem to recall this little fic from a while back… what was that called? Hmmm… wait, it’s right on the tip of our tongues… oh, wait, got it! Passion?!

Thanks! That was one of our biggest worries, writing the Dreamer stuff, and we’re so happy to see that they’ve become pretty well-liked!


Part 29 – Quarterbacks and Carnivals

Brooke was tempted to kick the back of Michael’s seat, but knowing how he would react to any abuse directed at his precious car she restrained herself. She had spent nearly an hour trapped in the car with him and Maria, unable to focus on the movie she had been watching on the backseat TV because of all the flirting going on in the front seat.

She had never been more relieved to see her street through the windshield and she was reaching for the door handle before the car had rolled to a complete stop. She frowned when the door locked before she could complete the action and she glared at her brother’s reflection in the rearview mirror.

“You’re in an awful big hurry, brat.”

“I just spent the past hour with the two of you practically havin’ sex in the front seat – “

Michael shifted in his seat to look at her. “Could you exaggerate anymore?”

“Why don’t the two of you do everyone a big favor and just have sex?! I thought Alex and Iz were bad, but I’ll take them any day over you two! The two of you are so horny I suppose I’m lucky that you didn’t pull over somewhere and go at it.” She unlocked the door and pulled on the handle, shoving it open so she could climb out. As soon as she was free of the car she slammed the door and moved to the front, leaning in through Michael’s window so she could hug him. “I had a good time today, but you still need to have sex before you drive the rest of us crazy.” She winked at Maria and backed out of the car, waving to them before running up to the front door.

*****

Alex glanced up from the tomato he was slicing when the front door slammed and the dogs ran through the house, tiny voices yapping in their usual high-pitched version of barking. “And that puts an end to a perfectly peaceful weekend,” he said, smiling at Isabel.

She laughed and nodded as she wrote something in the notebook lying on the table in front of her. “That just means you have to behave yourself again,” she teased him.

“Me?”

“Me, what?” Brooke asked as she made a beeline for the refrigerator.

“Uh-uh,” Alex said when she grabbed a can of soda. “I don’t even need to ask how much caffeine and sugar you’ve loaded up on today.”

Brooke rolled her eyes and put the can back, making a face as she went to grab a glass from the cabinet and fill it with ice and water from the refrigerator. “Miss me?” She waggled her eyebrows at each of them in turn as she set her glass down and scooped her pets up to lavish attention on them.

“Did you enjoy your time with Michael?” Isabel asked.

“Well, once he finally got over his pissy mood the weekend was a lot of fun.” She rolled her eyes again. “I’m tellin’ you, he and Maria are seriously insane.” She shook her head. “Well, he did show his horns again when my friend Luke came by to – “

“Luke?” Alex interrupted. “Who’s Luke?” He moved to the list pinned to the corkboard on the wall next to the refrigerator. “There’s no one named Luke on this list.”

“He’s a friend.”

“Then why isn’t his name on this list?”

Isabel’s gaze bounced between the two of them and she shook her head at his reaction. “Brooke, why don’t you take the dogs for a walk while Alex finishes making the salad for dinner,” she suggested. She waited until the teenager had left the room, listening for the front door to close after her before she spoke. “You can’t put her on the defensive about boys, Alex.”

“I’m not – “

“You are. I know you’re trying to do what’s right and you don’t want her to get hurt, but you need to remember that she’s 16 years old.”

“Isabel, it’s my responsibility to make sure she doesn’t get herself in trouble…” He shook his head, mimicking her movements unconsciously. “What?”

“I understand that, but I’m telling you that if you insist on going at it from this direction you’re gonna push her away; she needs to know that she can come to you about things, but if you put her on the defensive like this, she won’t come to you when she has a problem.”

He sighed and reached up to scratch his ear. “I am so far out of my realm of understanding here.”

“You’re trying to balance being a brother and a guardian and you’re doing an amazing job, Alex, but if you start treating her like she’s out there getting herself in trouble it won’t be long before she really is.”

“But, she’s 16…”

“Exactly, she’s 16! She’s old enough to know what’s going on around her, Alex. I stay over nearly every night, Michael and Maria are about as subtle as a jackhammer on Sunday morning, and she’s spent enough time around Tess and Kyle that if she didn’t know anything about sex before, she certainly does now. And if she was a boy, you wouldn’t be worrying like this.” She stood and crossed the room to stand in front of him, studying him for several seconds before she chuckled. “I take that back. You’d worry about it. Maybe not to this extent, but you would worry about it.”

He shrugged. “That’s just who I am, Iz.”

“And I don’t want any apologies for that. So, when she comes back you just ask her to add Luke’s name and number to the list of her friends and leave it at that.” She gave him a quick kiss when she heard the front door open and close. “Now, just talk to her about her friend while we finish dinner because we’ve both got a lot of homework to do before bed tonight.”

“I don’t have any homework,” Brooke said when she joined them. “What’d you guys do all weekend?”

Alex and Isabel exchanged a look and he shook his head when she just grinned at him. “Well, it wasn’t homework,” he answered. “But, that’s neither here nor there. Why don’t you tell us more about…” He glanced at his girlfriend and lifted his eyebrows in question, nodding when she whispered the kid’s name. “Luke, right? You said he was at the competition?”

Brooke hid a smile when she realized that Alex was being coached by Isabel. He was trying, she thought as they talked over dinner. Even she knew that sometimes he had trouble seeing the line between brother and guardian, but he was doing his best and really, what more could she ask from him?

*****

Maria looked around when Michael pulled off of the old highway they had been navigating and turned onto a pitted dirt road. He had left the freeway almost 15 minutes earlier but he wouldn’t tell her where they were going; at this point she didn’t care as long as it led to the long-awaited orgasm he had been promising all day.

The darkness suddenly gave way to a lighter hue across the sky and she leaned forward to look out over the overlook when he shifted the car into park and set the brake. He was silent as he moved his seat back as far as it would go and then settled back into a comfortable sprawl. His fingers drummed against the gearshift for several long minutes before he turned his head to meet Maria’s gaze in the near-darkness.

His eyes had adjusted enough that he could see her chest moving rapidly to keep up with her ragged breathing and he met her needy gaze directly. He was hard as a rock behind his zipper and he really wanted to feel her skin against him again, but first he wanted to push the limits of her boundaries again.

“Take off your clothes.” He smiled when she moved to comply. “Not your underwear though; I want you to leave them on.”

Once her tank top and shorts had been tossed on the dashboard, Maria shifted in the leather seat and looked at him again. He was silent once more, his dark gaze sliding over her and making the need in her body thrum back to life again. What was he waiting for? she wondered, wishing he would hurry up.

“I wanna watch you touch yourself,” he said finally.

His gruff voice touched her like a physical caress and Maria shivered at his words. She didn’t know what she had been expecting, but it hadn’t been that! Her first instinct was to just say the hell with it so she could get off, but a second thought quickly followed on the heels of the first and she hesitated at the realization that it would put her in a completely vulnerable position. She wasn’t some blushing virgin and she wasn’t embarrassed about her sexuality, but touching herself wasn’t something she had ever done for any of her boyfriends. There was just too much trust required to be able to share something so intimate with another person, and she hadn’t had that degree of trust with any of the guys she’d been with. But, he wasn’t any of those guys, was he?

Michael could sense her discomfort at his request and after a rather lengthy hesitation from her he reached over and took her hand, giving it a gentle tug. “Hey, c’mere, baby.” He was glad when she allowed him to pull her over the console and she straddled his lap, knees comfortably braced against the soft leather of his seat. “Forget about it,” he whispered, running his hands over her back and sides as he urged her to settle against his chest so he could kiss her.

Maria wasn’t sure how she had expected him to respond, but there was nothing coercive about his kiss or his touch. He wasn’t trying to convince her to do something she wasn’t comfortable doing in front of him; he had simply waited, giving her time to decide for herself, and when he had identified her discomfort he had pulled her close to let her know it was alright. She brought her hands up to his chest and pushed him back, pinning him to the seat and staring into his eyes.

Frustration was evident in his tense body, but Michael knew that if he was frustrated, Maria had to be on the verge of agony. His expression turned curious when she suddenly pushed him back; not out of rejection, he soon realized, but because she was studying him, looking for something. He knew she had found whatever she was looking for when she shifted back and her hands scratched lightly over his chest before they shifted to settle over her breasts. Just that simple move alone threw Mike Jr. into overdrive and put so much pressure on his zipper that he was surprised that it didn’t burst.

His eyes were nearly black with lust as he followed her right hand, watching as her fingertips trailed over her flushed skin, creating random designs before moving down to play with the edge of the lacy panties. His breathing hitched in his throat when her fingers disappeared beneath the material, sliding lower before backing out and he groaned at the teasing move. His gaze shot back up to hers when he heard her chuckle throatily and he was fascinated by the look of total concentration on her face.

“Put your hands on me… please.”

He obeyed without question, settling his big hands on her thighs and rubbing them up and down over her smooth flesh in a firm, repetitive motion. She rewarded his actions by tugging on her nipples and sliding her right hand fully between her thighs. Her hips undulated as her touch became more insistent and her rhythm picked up speed.

Maria was only growing more frustrated as the minutes ticked by and her release stayed just out of her reach. At this rate she was gonna end up with a sprained wrist and an unsatisfied body. She had been brought to the edge and denied all day and her body wasn’t interested in anything but his touch; his big, rough hands that knew exactly how to touch, how to tease, and how to pull the most earth-shattering orgasms out of her body.

She slumped against his shoulder, hot breath panting against his neck, and on the verge of sobbing in frustration. “I can’t… I’m sorry.”

Michael wrapped his arms around her, holding her trembling body close as he reached up to tip her head back and kiss her. He alternated between deep, wet kisses and gentle nips for several minutes, taking the edge off of her disappointment and slowly arousing her all over again. “Tell me what you need,” he whispered, tracing his tongue around her ear. His big hands roved over her breasts, loving the contrast between soft, smooth skin and the rasp of the lacy material covering them.

“I think we played the game too long, Michael.”

“Sorry,” he apologized, his tone sincere. “That’s my fault; I’m new to stuff like this.”

Maria leaned back to look up at him. “Really?”

He nodded. “Yeah.” He shrugged one shoulder as his hands slid down to settle on her hips. “Hell, I just wanted to come up with some other stuff for us to do since we’re not actually havin’ sex; there’s different stuff you can do when you’re havin’ sex… positions an’ stuff, but without that I figured you’d get bored.”

She smiled at him, surprised by his answer, but knowing that he’d probably get defensive if she probed any deeper into his intent. “I think the reason I’m having a difficult time getting myself off is because you’ve kept me on edge all day and the only thing that’s gonna satisfy me right now, is you.” She could practically see his ego inflating right in front of her eyes.

“Yeah?” He grinned and dropped his head back to rest against the headrest. “Would you be willin’ to do this another time? Someplace where I can really watch you?” His fingers were slowly inching along the edge of her panties, easing past the material and then backing out again as he watched her eyes turn darker with arousal. “Spread out on your bed, maybe? Totally naked and open to me… maybe with some dim lighting to really set the mood?”

Maria squirmed in his lap, unbelievably turned on just by his words. “How d’you feel about satin sheets?”

Michael paused and glanced up at her. “That depends… are you on them? And are you naked?”

She smiled and ground down against his hand when he finally, thankfully, slid it between her legs. “I’m on them, I’m naked, and I’m touching myself while you watch.”

He groaned at the mental image that accompanied her words and he pulled her closer, kissing her roughly as he teased her opening with his finger. He gave in to her needy whimpers and began to ease two fingers inside when she suddenly growled and pushed down to take them in fully. She made a sound that was somewhere between a sigh and a moan and held herself still for a moment, just savoring his touch.

She was absolutely gorgeous. Michael let her decide when she was ready to move as he slid the side of his thumb over her clit, just barely grazing it and watching her eyes slide closed. Her hands settled on his shoulders, gripping them tightly, her head falling back and exposing the smooth column of her throat to his hungry gaze as she began to lift and lower her hips in a slow, hypnotizing rhythm.

“Oh, God, that’s good,” she groaned.

He slid his thumb between her slick folds, gathering more of her wetness so he could glide his thumb over her with ease. Every sound she made, every ragged breath she took, told him he was doing everything right. He took his cues from her, adding more pressure or easing off depending on the sounds she made, but letting her control the speed and rhythm she needed.

Maria opened her eyes when he shifted so that he could suck one of her nipples through her bra, the lace abrading the sensitive peak as he worked it with his teeth and tongue. She felt the pressure building inside of her and her hips started to pick up speed as he grazed that electrified bundle of nerves that just needed a single spark to ignite the explosion she was waiting for.

Her hands left their exploration of his chest and shoulders so that she could slide up to cradle his face, forcing his head up so that she could meet his gaze. “I’m ready,” she whispered raggedly, nodding. She didn’t understand it, didn’t know how it was even possible, but she knew he understood and he would give her what she needed.

Michael’s left hand curved around her neck and pulled her into a wet, desperate kiss, his tongue plundering the depths of her mouth. His thumb alternated between rubbing tight circles around her clit and then pressing against it while his fingers met her thrust for thrust. He broke the kiss just as her body stiffened, her hips pumping erratically, as she buried her face against his shoulder and screamed his name into the dark night.

She collapsed against him weakly, her breath gusting against his neck and shoulder, and her body shaking from the orgasm he had promised her.

*****

Tess smiled at Kyle as he held her hand across the small, intimate dinner table while they waited for the maitre’d to return with his credit card. The restaurant had a very romantic and elegant atmosphere with very little artificial overhead lighting; most of the light came from the candles at the center of each table and candlelight flickered off of the crystal chandeliers suspended from the ceiling in several places around the room. There was a quiet hum of conversation that was interspersed by the clinking of silverware and the sound of quality crystal wine classes tapping gently as couples made toasts and celebrated.

She had never expected a man like Kyle Valenti to be such a romantic, or that he would know how to dress for dinner in an upscale restaurant like the one they were sitting in. She had never really dated a football player because as a rule, jocks were about as thickheaded and dumb as a box of rocks. But, not Kyle; no, he was just about as far away from that stereotype as a guy could get.

As promised, he had sat back and handed the reins over to her when the time came to place their orders for dinner and she hadn’t disappointed him. Kyle was a typical meat-n-potatoes man so she had ordered the Black Angus beef tenderloin with deep fried mashed potatoes and a side of vegetables for him. The dinner also came with a side of Shiitake mushroom terrine and she had learned that he despised mushrooms, so she had quickly switched it with one of her sides. She had ordered the roasted pheasant breast stuffed with a pork mousse and truffle for herself and had been pleasantly surprised when she had asked him to try it and he had acquiesced to her request.

After dinner they drove back to the hotel, but after turning the car over to the valet parking attendant Kyle turned to look at her. “Wanna go for a walk in the park?”

Tess smiled and accepted his hand, crossing the street with him and entering the beautifully maintained city park. The paths were well lit with old-style lampposts and the grounds were meticulously manicured with benches that dotted the cobblestone path at regular intervals. At the center of the park there was a large fish pond and several ducks meandered along the edge of the water.

“You’ve been kinda quiet tonight,” he said after a while.

“I’ve just been thinking.” She turned to block his path and raised her hands to his shoulders. “I never expected this side of you.”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”

“No, it’s very good, just… surprising.” She smiled up at him. “I like it, Kyle, I do. I’m just not used to this kinda treatment from guys, y’know?”

Kyle grinned and pulled her up against his body so that he could kiss her. “You might as well get used to it because I plan to spoil you rotten,” he muttered against her lips. When he and Tess had hooked up he had only intended for it to be another fling, but the more time they spent together the more he realized that what they had wasn’t casual or a fling. He hadn’t told her how he felt yet, hadn’t really put it into words even in his own head, but he knew that what they had was different from anything he had shared with any other girl.

He felt her shiver and knew it was from the breeze so he shrugged out of his suit jacket and placed it around her shoulders, pulling the lapels closed to protect her. “We should probably get back to the hotel,” he whispered after one more kiss. “I don’t want you to catch a cold out here.”

As they rode the elevator up to the second floor Kyle leaned back against the mahogany wood, his left hand gripped around the brass rail that ran the perimeter of the car, and his right arm wrapped around his girlfriend’s waist.

“Have you ever done it in an elevator?” Tess asked curiously.

Kyle shifted and chuckled. He loved that he never knew what was gonna come out of her mouth next. “No, and before you ask, we’re not about to do it in this one either.” He kissed the pout off of her lips when she turned to face him and angled one eyebrow towards the corner. “Hotel’s got cameras on the elevators.” He shook his head and laughed outright when he noticed the playfully challenging gleam in her eyes. “Oh, no, we’re not doin’ a show for hotel security; what you’ve got hidden under that dress is for my eyes only.”

His possessive tone sent shivers down her spine and she was surprised at just how turned on she was by it. She had never allowed any guy to have that much control in a relationship and she was surprised at just how willing she was to turn it over to him on occasion. A few of the guys she had been with in the past had tried, but she had always balked and ended things before it had gone any further. She wasn’t a massive control freak or anything, she mused, she just preferred to be the one making all of the decisions. Letting someone else call the shots and direct the way things would go was something new to her, but Kyle didn’t do it in a way that made her feel like her feelings were insignificant or that it was all about him.

The elevator bell chimed, signaling their arrival on the second floor and as they stepped out Kyle pulled the key card out of his pocket. Halfway down the corridor they stopped and he swiped the card through the electronic slot, hearing the quiet snick that announced the release of the locking mechanism. He turned the knob and pushed the door open, reaching inside to turn the lights on before stepping back and motioning for Tess to enter ahead of him.

She had learned that Kyle rarely rushed when they were together and tonight was no exception; she watched him as he moved around the room, taking off his shoes and socks, unbuckling his belt and sliding it through the loops at his waist, and then unknotting his tie as he walked into the bathroom. She didn’t know if it was an ingrained part of his personality or if it was related to his beliefs in the Buddhist religion, but he liked to take his time and focus on whatever he was doing.

He walked out of the bathroom a few minutes later, shrugging his shirt off and shaking it out before draping it over a chair. He switched on the stereo mounted inside the entertainment stand and tuned it to an easy listening station, adjusting the volume before turning around. Tess watched him, enjoying the play of muscles under his skin as he moved; he was pure poetry in motion, graceful, powerful, and sexy. She smiled up at him when he stood in front of her and held his hand out, his hazel eyes smoldering with heat and intent as she slid her hand into his.

“Thought we’d do somethin’ new tonight,” he said, pulling her to rest against his chest. Without her high heels on she was several inches shorter than him and she stood at eye-level with his Adam’s apple. She had to tip her head back slightly to meet his gaze and she smiled in response to his expression.

“What’d you have in mind?” She had no qualms about doing anything that he came up with because his ideas always had mind-blowing results.

Instead of answering, Kyle walked backwards and led her towards the bathroom, turning off all but the lamp beside the bed on his way. Tess could see the light dancing on the walls as they neared the bathroom and she was getting more and more excited about the surprise the closer they got.

A dozen candles had been set up around the wide perimeter of the sunken tub filled with water and scented bubbles, and a crystal vase containing a full arrangement of a dozen red roses, greenery, and baby’s breath was placed in the corner. He reached for one of the long stem roses and turned back to her, letting the velvety soft petals touch her forehead before softly gliding down along the bridge of her nose, over her lips, past the column of her throat, until reaching his destination. He let the rose come to rest in the shadowed valley between her breasts, his gaze tracing over the barest hint of flesh that had been teasing him all evening. “Thank you for tonight,” he whispered as he leaned down to take her mouth in a long, deep kiss.

Tess sighed and settled into the kiss, her arms sliding up to circle his broad shoulders and hold him as close as she could get him. He was one surprise after another, always doing something unexpected and she loved that about him. He was under the misconception that he was the lucky one in their relationship; she was sure it was the other way around, but there was no need to ruin his perceptions.

*****

Michael stared up at the Ferris wheel in trepidation and swallowed hard. He was momentarily distracted when his reason for being there in the first place ran up to him and threw herself into his arms. Maria had spotted the cheerful lights of the carnival while they had been sitting on the lookout above the city. She had been excited as soon as she had identified it and she had insisted that they just had to locate it before going home.

“Isn’t it wonderful, Michael?” she enthused, kissing him before turning back to look at what he was sure was nothing more than a mechanical deathtrap.

He grimaced, but brought his expression under control before she looked at him again. “The line’s kinda long,” he hedged, hoping she’d change her mind.

“Nonsense,” she denied, taking his hand and dragging him to the front of the line. “See the two kids up at the front of the line?”

“Uh-huh.” He didn’t like where this was going.

“Well, they were kind enough to let me buy their tickets and hold our new place in line for a small profit. Wasn’t that nice of them?”

Michael choked back the queasy feeling that was turning his stomach upside down as he watched the Ferris wheel complete its circular pattern repeatedly. “How high is it?”

“Only 90 feet.” Her voice betrayed her excitement and she was practically bouncing on the balls of her feet as the operator emptied the first car and motioned for them to take the previous riders’ places.

Michael felt like his throat was swelling as Maria grabbed his hand and dragged him into the car. His entire body was tensed and his hands gripped the metal bars on the frame as the operator slammed the door shut and shifted the lever that moved the car up into the air. He squeezed his eyes shut when it suddenly came to a stop as the man exchanged another set of riders and then moved the wheel even higher up before stopping again.

Maria’s gaze was bouncing all over the place as she looked out over the city and she turned to him intending to mention some of the old buildings she could see in the distance, but one look at Michael had her forgetting all about them. “Um, Michael?” His entire body was taut, pushed as far back as the car would allow him to go, and his knuckles were white from the pressure he was exerting against the metal frame. What was wrong with him? When the car moved and stopped again and he braced his feet against the opposite side of the car she suddenly realized what was wrong with him. “You’re afraid of heights?”

His eyes shot open and he glared at her. “Do you mind if I face my impending death in a manner that is at least dignified in some small way?”

Maria chuckled and shook her head. “You’re studying to be an architect; how can you possibly be afraid of heights?”

“I had intended to design buildings, not stand on top of them. Not that it matters now since I’m gonna be dead soon.”

“Why did you get on the ride if you’ve got a problem with heights?” They were nearing the top of the rotation and with each new start and stop his tension was getting worse. “Okay, this isn’t gonna work.” She reached out to take his face in her hands, forcing him to look at her. “Hey, look at me; we’re perfectly safe up here. You need to breathe or you’re gonna pass out on me and if that happens I’m gonna have to drive your precious car.”

Michael shook his head in denial. “You’re not drivin’ my car,” he gritted out through his clenched teeth.

“I am if you pass out.” She chuckled and slid closer to him. “Have you always had a problem with heights?”

Michael’s gaze shot around when her movement caused the car to rock. “What’re you doin’? You’re gonna toss us outta here!”

She could hear the underlying panic in his voice even though he was trying so hard to hide it from her. “We’re not gonna fall out; kids get these things to rockin’ like crazy all the time and they’ve never dumped anyone out from rocking.”

“You sure about that?”

Maria smiled and wrapped her left arm around his shoulders, leaning in to kiss him as her right hand slid down to his thigh.

“Hope you’re not lookin’ for any activity down there,” Michael muttered, forcing himself to stay focused on her mouth on his.

“I think Mike Jr. can be convinced to come out and play.”

“Fear is a major turnoff.”

“Um-hmm, but the thought of my lips wrapped around your dick isn’t, is it?” She smiled when she felt him getting hard and she rubbed her palm over him in encouragement. “Didn’t think so.”

“No way,” he mumbled, staring at her. “Seriously? No, you’re not gonna blow me while we’re up here.” He glanced around and froze again when he realized they were stopped at the very top.

“Huh-uh, stop freaking out and keep those gorgeous eyes focused on me, baby,” she whispered, turning his face back to her as she unsnapped his jeans and eased his zipper down. “Looks like Mike Jr. needs to be convinced.” Her tone was teasing as she freed him from his boxers and stroked him slowly, taking her time as she worked him to full hardness. “Y’know, I’ve been thinkin’ about what you said earlier today,” she said as she pulled the collar of his shirt down to nip at his skin before soothing it with her tongue. “Remember what you said about the next day we spend together? Hmmm? D’you have any idea what I’m gonna do to you?”

Okay, that took care of any second thoughts Mike Jr. was having, Michael thought when her throaty growl went straight to his dick. His heart started to jackhammer when she leaned down and swept her tongue across the head before slipping down to lick and suck at his length. His fingers finally uncurled from the metal rail on the side of the car and threaded through her hair, trying to guide her mouth where he needed it most.

He growled when she refused his guidance, ignoring his sensitive head and choosing instead to focus on every other inch of heated skin on display before her. Her fingers teased his balls before moving up to stroke his shaft again and his head fell back against the metal rail when she finally lowered her head to envelop his swollen tip in her warm, deliciously wet mouth. He wanted so badly to thrust his hips, but he forced himself to hold still since choking her was the last thing he wanted to do.

Maria smiled at his restraint and eased off of him to look up and meet his hooded gaze as she wrapped her hand around the base of his dick, constantly stroking with just the right amount of pressure. They were nearing the top of the ride again and the constant start and stop indicated that the operator was switching riders again. She shifted so that she was on her knees between his legs and she felt his hot gaze burning into her. She lifted her eyebrows, eyes locked on his as she leaned down and ever so slowly slid her tongue over his tip before swirling it all around the head. “Let go for me,” she whispered before engulfing him in her mouth again.

She couldn’t mean… Oh, fuck, she did mean it! he realized when she slid down until her lips were brushing her hand where it was fisted around his dick. She wasn’t a stupid woman by any means; she knew exactly what she could take and how to make them both happy. He controlled his thrusts at first, still wary of hurting her or choking her, but then she shifted her hand down another fraction of an inch to take him deeper into her throat.

He let go then, trusting her to let him know if it became too much; his hips bucked up and his eyes rolled back in his head when she started humming every time she backed off to suck on his head. He just barely remembered to slap his hand over his mouth, her name a muffled roar as he came; she tightened his lips around him and gently squeezed his balls as he shot down her throat.

His legs felt weak and his eyes were heavy-lidded as he looked down at her, watching her as used her mouth and tongue to clean him up. He relaxed his fingers where they were gripping her head, changing to a soothing massage as his lazy gaze slid over her. He shifted around to put himself back together and helped her up so she could sit down beside him.

Michael wasn’t expecting it when she threaded her arms around his shoulders and leaned in to kiss him. He had never had any interest in kissing any woman who had just had her lips wrapped around his dick, especially if she had just swallowed, because that was just gross!

Maria frowned when he backed off. “What’s wrong now?”

“You just swallowed my come.”

“And?” She laughed at the disgusted look on his face. “So, let me get this straight, just for future reference; you like blowjobs, you like it if your partner swallows, but you don’t wanna kiss them afterwards?”

“Right.”

“Uh-huh. You do realize that we kissed after I went down on you in your brother’s kitchen, don’t you?” She shook her head at his shocked expression and leaned in to kiss him, knowing that he hadn’t even realized it until now. “How is it any different from me kissing you after you go down on me?” She kissed him long and deep, making sure he could taste himself.

Michael stared at her, reaching up to rub his thumb over her bottom lip as he tried to decipher what he was tasting. “I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world,” he muttered finally.

“Well, thankfully, you don’t eat a lot of salt but I’m guessing that you do eat a lot of fruit.”

“Yeah, pineapple,” he admitted, confused. “How’d you know that?”

“Because there’s just a hint of sweetness in your come; the taste is affected by what you eat.” She nodded when his eyebrows lifted and he glanced at her. “I eat a lot of fruit, too.”

“Enjoy the ride, folks?”

Michael jumped when the operator spoke beside him. He hadn’t even realized they were back at the beginning and he was surprised at just how annoyed he was by the interruption. He wasn’t interested in examining that thought any closer though so he stepped out of the car and followed Maria through the crowd.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Re: Double Trouble (CC, AU, Adult) - Part 29 - 6/25/09

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:25 am

Eva: Thanks!

True, the trust that they’ve already established is lacking in many relationships… however, they’re both too stubborn for their own good at times. Thank you!

mary mary: Excellent. And no worries, if you tag one of us in a PM we won’t lie… we’ll just ask that you keep the secret!
You too?!

begonia9508: Thanks for reading!

destinyc: Yep, they’re the old ‘married couple’ in the group. Move in, huh? Hmm… maybe.

Kyle does clean up nicely and Tess really did luck out with him!

Well, we’re glad you’re enjoying our Candy scenes! And, you’re right, they’ll definitely be the last two to realize it!

You can ask… and you will – eventually – receive. It’s gonna be a few parts before we get to the next Dreamer scene.

kismet: They’re both thick-headed and in denial.

Kyle is a sweetie, isn’t he?

Oh, hmm… a ‘hot scene with Max and Liz… soon’? Well… eventually.

sarammlover: Those moments are the defining ones, aren’t they?

nibbles2: Hmm… a bed, you say? Perhaps we’ll introduce a bed in this next part.

Alien_Friend: Michael definitely has his moments where he needs reassurance, too! The give and take that they have between them is something that they’re gonna grow to rely on.

Tess did luck out – Kyle’s a keeper!

Isabel knows how to influence her man and in this case, Brooke’s gonna need all the help she can get!

tequathisy: Nah, not so much controlling, we promise! Learning to balance the older sibling/guardian when charged with raising a sibling is a difficult tightrope to walk and it takes some getting used to. He just has to learn to balance both sides – and he will, especially with Isabel’s help!

They are frustrating, we admit that! The question is, when will they admit they’re in a relationship? Everyone else already knows it…

abbs007: Hey, thanks for de-lurking (is that a word?!) to let us know you’re enjoying Double Trouble! We’re glad you’re reading and that even though you don’t normally read Candy that you’re hooked! LOL, well, we have plenty more Max and Liz as the fic progresses. Their next scene is actually a few parts away, but it’ll be… worth the wait! We promise!

Zoi: Um… we’re sorry? LOL, we’re glad you’re enjoying Max and Liz even if they aren’t your normal preferred pairing!

chanks_girl: Kyle and Tess definitely aren’t just a fling.

Isabel is turning out to be the guiding hand for Alex as he deals with his often frustrating family. And you’re so right! Finding that balance is very important, and find it he will because he’s Alex!

Yes, they are frustrating, and Michael hasn’t yet realized that by facing one of his fears for Maria that he’s just admitted that this thing between them is more than just their agreed-upon plan!

*******


Part 30 – It’s All About Having A Plan

Brooke wandered into the living room when she came back inside from walking her dogs after dinner and she flopped down in the armchair as she waited to be noticed. Alex was sitting forward on the couch, wire-rimmed glasses perched on his nose as he read over something on the screen of his laptop and then scribbled some notes down on the notepad beside his computer. He pushed his glasses up, his left hand absently massaging his girlfriend’s feet where they were resting in his lap. Isabel was sitting in the corner of the couch, a textbook lying open on her lap and a reference book sitting on the end of the coffee table within easy reach.

“What’s up, Brooke?” Alex asked after a couple of minutes.

“What’re we doin’ for Thanksgiving?”

“I thought we’d make dinner here at home, eat too much, and watch some football.” He raised his head to look at her. “Why? Was there somethin’ you wanted to do?”

“No.” She shrugged as if it wasn’t of any importance and stood up. “Just wanted to make sure we weren’t gonna go out to eat or have dinner catered in or anything like that.”

Alex grinned at her and shook his head. “No, I thought we’d try an actual family gathering this year. I’ll talk to Michael and Brendan sometime this week to let them know about it, too. I got a list started; it’s on the fridge, so if you think of somethin’ you wanna have, put it on there.”

“Can I help you cook?”

“I’d appreciate it. You’ve seen how much the twins can put away, so I’m probably gonna need a lot of help.”

“D’you have a recipe for those sweet potatoes with the marshmallows?” She jumped up when he nodded. “I’m gonna go check that list and see if there’s anything I need to add.”

Alex chuckled when she ran out of the room with the dogs hot on her heels. He propped his elbow on his knee, rested his chin in his hand, and turned his head to look at Isabel. “I’d love it if you’d spend Thanksgiving with us.”

She smiled in response to his declaration. “I’d love to, Alex, but are you sure? This’ll be your first Thanksgiving with your sister and brothers, so I’d understand if you wanted to – “

“This holiday’s about putting my family back together and findin’ a way to mend bridges; our past is rocky and it’s time to start findin’ some common ground in the present if we’re gonna build a strong future.” He reached for her hand and threaded his fingers through hers. “I want that future to include you, Isabel, and I’d be honored if you’d agree to help me get my family together the way that it should be.”

“And we’re gonna start that with Thanksgiving, huh?”

“Well, food’s always a good place to start with the twins,” he said with a laugh. “If there’s one thing they both agree on, it’s good food.”

“I can call my mom and ask her to email me some of her Thanksgiving recipes,” she offered.

Alex paused. “Oh, wait, are you sure you don’t need to go home for the holidays?” He shrugged and smiled. “I forget sometimes that not everyone has parents like mine.”

“No, my parents will understand.” She moved closer and leaned in to kiss him. “They’re gonna love you, I just know it.”

*****

Michael followed Maria up the stairs to her apartment, leaning against the doorframe while she dug her keys out. Somehow they had gotten onto the topic of music after leaving the carnival and she had told him all about the concert she had attended while in Germany. She had offered to loan him a DVD of the concert that had only been available in Europe and he had accepted, eager to watch it.

Once inside they walked down the hall to her room and he wandered around while she looked for the DVD. He smiled when she bent over to search through a stack of movies on the shelf below her television, presenting her delectable backside to him.

Maria cursed when the light went out just as she found the case she was looking for and a moment later a pair of hands that she would recognize anywhere slid over her.

“You’ve got a great ass,” he growled, his chest pressing against her back when she stood up.

“So d’you, but I’m not molesting yours in the dark.”

Michael chuckled and enjoyed the brush of her body against his when she turned around to face him in the darkness. Moonlight filtered in through the windows, allowing him to see her as his big hands slid down to rest at her waist. He followed her willingly when she took his hand and led him to the bed, watching as she climbed up on it and faced him on her knees.

He stayed silent as she ran her hands over his chest and shoulders, unbuttoning his shirt and kissing each inch of skin she exposed before sliding it off of his shoulders. He widened his stance when she shifted her attention to his nipples, still shocked at just how turned on he got when she played with them.

He felt her hand settle at his waistband, sliding between his jeans and his skin to curl around the material and pull him onto the bed with her. He crawled over her as she lay back against the pillows, easing down over her and bracing his weight on his forearms as he lowered his head to kiss her. He felt her shift beneath him, felt her legs as they bent at the knee and he slid down to settle more fully between her legs. He groaned as Mike Jr. snugged right up against her center, enjoying the pleasant buzz of arousal that was humming lightly in the background instead of making itself known insistently.

They kissed, taking their time without the constant driving need to satiate the demanding arousal that was always ready to ignite between them. There was no rush to find release, no need that was demanding attention, just the slow, easy burn of their temporarily banked desire as their lips met in gentle, teasing greeting, their tongues explored wetly and languidly, and their hands roamed slowly, tracing over the planes and valleys of warm skin and slowly learning each other from a different perspective.

Maria loved it when he talked dirty, when his big hands moved over her body with impatience, when he pushed her to the very limits of endurance, and when he made demands on her that drove her out of her mind. But, this, his patience, was something new; his manner, his lips, and his hands were slow and gentle, and she had to admit that she loved it just as much. The gentleness wasn’t anything new because even when he was impatient and demanding it was tempered with a gentle strength.

Her hands slid over his sides, dragging her nails up over his back to settle on his shoulders. He fit quite comfortably against her, his big body pressed against her from hip to chest, his weight carefully balanced to keep from crushing her. She could feel his arousal where he was lying between her legs, but there was nothing insistent or demanding about it; he was relaxed and taking his time with every kiss and every touch.

She frowned when his mouth released hers and he moved back, growling in irritation. She giggled, realizing that she could feel the growl through his entire body, but she fell silent when he spoke.

“You’ve got company.”

“What?” He nodded over his shoulder when another knock sounded at the door and she missed him just as soon as he shifted to kneel on the bed, his knees on the mattress on either side of her thighs.

“It’s me, Maria.”

Michael rolled his eyes when he recognized the voice that called out through the closed door and he climbed off of the bed. “It’s a good thing Mike Jr. wasn’t really in the mood for anything serious right now,” he muttered. “Because, that right there? Her voice… it would’ve killed the mood.”

“She might need something important.”

He snorted. “She needs to get laid.”

Maria laughed and went to turn the light on, opening the door to see what Liz needed while he picked his shirt up to put it back on. “Hey, Liz, what’s up?” She ignored Michael when he started muttering about her choice of words and focused on her friend.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Liz apologized. “I didn’t know you had… company.”

Maria bit back a laugh when she noticed that Liz looked upset. She was reaching out to place her hand on Liz’ shoulder when the other girl’s mouth dropped open and her eyes widened in shock. Before she could formulate a question her roommate had turned and fled down the hall to her own room.

“Well, that was…” Maria shook her head when she turned back around in time to catch Michael pulling his jeans up over his bare ass. “Tell me you did not just moon her!”

Michael laughed and finished dressing. “You said you liked my ass.”

“I do, but that’s no reason to show it off to my roommate.” She fell back on the bed and groaned. “And especially not to Liz.” She sat up enough to brace her weight on her elbows and stared at him as a thought crossed her mind. “That is all you showed her, isn’t it?”

“She’s not passed out on the floor, is she?” He grinned as he cupped his crotch. “Trust me, if she’d seen all that I’ve got to offer she’d be out cold.”

“You do realize just how tacky that is, don’t you?”

He grinned unrepentantly. “Well, it does feel a lot better when you do it, but she looked like she needed to talk so it’d probably be better if you keep your hands off of Mike Jr.” He chuckled when she just stared at him. “Don’t look so surprised, Maria; I may not have any interest in your little virgin friend, but I’ve got eyes and it was pretty obvious that she’s upset about somethin’.” He crossed the room to grab the DVD off of the television set. “I’ll just go ahead and borrow this since you found it.” He paused as he reached the door and turned back to look at her. “Oh, I should have my new phone tomorrow… same number, so, call me.”

She waved him away, yelling after him to tell him to lock the door on his way out and he rolled his eyes at the reminder. He was secretly relieved that they had been interrupted, he thought as he stepped outside and made his way down to his car. That had been too close! They hadn’t been making out just to get to the big finale; he hadn’t even had a single thought about sex. He had just been enjoying the freedom to kiss her and touch her without rushing or having any expectations of hot sex. He shook his head and unlocked his car door, sliding in behind the wheel and starting the engine as he shoved all of those thoughts away.

*****

Maria knocked on the door between the bathroom and Liz’ bedroom, waiting until the other girl called out for her to enter before she turned the knob and pushed it open. Liz was sitting at her desk, staring at her open textbook without reading a single word. “First, let me apologize for Michael’s juvenile behavior. I didn’t know he was going to do that. I seriously doubt you’ll get an apology from him, but I told him that he’d better not do it again.”

“No, it’s okay…” Liz blushed. “He’s tan all over, isn’t he?”

Maria chuckled. “Yes, he is.” She hooked her thumb over her shoulder. “Can I grab a shower before we talk?”

“Sure.”

“Thanks, I’ll hurry.” Maria started the shower and ran back to her room to get a change of clothes before locking herself in the bathroom. She could’ve easily stayed under the hot, pounding spray for an hour, but she suddenly remembered that Liz had gotten a ride home with Max and that was most likely the reason for her needing to talk.

Liz looked up and closed her textbook when Maria joined her again, freshly showered and wearing an old pair of sweatpants and a tee shirt.

“Okay, chica, spill,” she ordered, throwing herself down on Liz’ bed and stretching out on her side. “What’s on your mind?”

“Um… well…”

“Max?” she guessed.

Liz blushed and nodded. “I don’t know what to do, Maria.”

“Did something happen?”

“Yes and no.” She fidgeted in her chair for several minutes. “He asked me about Sean.”

Maria was intrigued. “Really? What’d you tell him?”

“That Sean thinks I’m having doubts… and… and that I am.”

Maria nearly fell off of the bed. “You admitted that to Max?” Okay, she didn’t really know the guy, but he didn’t strike her as the type to sit back and wait for things to happen. It was obvious that he was interested in Liz, so if she had told him that she was having second thoughts about her relationship with her fiancé…

“I’ve thought a lot about what you said when we talked a few days ago, and the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to realize that you may be right.” She paused to take a deep breath. “I’m scared that you’re right and I don’t really know how to deal with that.”

“What do you want?”

Max. Guilt quickly followed on the heels of her silent admission. “To understand what’s going on with me,” she said instead.

“You’ve noticed that there are other men on the planet, chica!”

“Well, I don’t know about men… just Max.”

Maria snorted. “Please. Tell me – and do not lie, either – that you didn’t notice that Michael’s tanned ass isn’t perfectly sculpted just like the rest of his hot bod.”

Liz blushed. “Well, that would’ve been hard to miss, Maria; he did kinda… put it out there.”

“You’re lucky he didn’t give you the full frontal view.” She rolled her eyes. “Actually, he’s lucky he didn’t show it off.”

“Why? Is it… bad?”

“What?! No!” She smirked. “No, it’s very good, but it’s also mine and I don’t like to share.”

“Are they different?”

“You mean are guys different? Well, size is…” She frowned when Liz shook her head and she lifted an eyebrow in question. “Oh, well, if you’re asking if guys’ dicks are identical… no, definitely not. I mean the equipment is basically the same, but if you ever see any guy besides Sean…” She trailed off when the other girl started to chew on her thumbnail. “You have seen him naked, haven’t you?” She shook her head when she received a negative head-shake in response. “No? Seriously? But, you’ve touched him, right? I mean, you guys have gotten each other off… right?”

“I um…” Liz was blushing furiously. “I don’t know what you’re talking about… again.”

“Have you ever touched his dick?” She shook her head. “You haven’t, have you? Oh, boy, I had no idea that you guys really hadn’t done that. So, I’m guessing that means he’s never had his hand between your legs then?” Poor Liz! The girl looked like she was on the verge of hyperventilating. “Okay then… but, you’ve touched yourself, right?” Bingo! As red as Liz was the answer was obviously yes. “I’m not gonna embarrass you any further, Liz, and that wasn’t my intention anyway. But, just so you know, that major rush at the end… that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about getting off.”

“Is it different when a guy… y’know… touches you?”

“Oh, yeah, especially when they know what they’re doing. Take Michael, for example; the man knows what to do when he gets between a woman’s legs… well, to be honest, he knows what he’s doing with the entire female body. It doesn’t matter if he’s using his hands or his mouth – “

Liz’ mouth dropped open in shock. “He uses his mouth… down there?”

“Liz, honey, you have got to get out more. At the very least, we’ve gotta work on what you’re reading and watching.” She paused, carefully considering her next question. “You fantasize, right? Imagine what it would be like with a guy?”

The brunette cleared her throat. “Not until recently.” She sighed and threw her hands up in the air as she stood and started to pace. “Is it bad that I’ve never really even thought about Sean like that? I’m seriously asking, Maria, because I’ve seen you, Tess, and Isabel with guys, and I’ve heard you talk about your experiences with guys, and you’re always excited about what you’ve been doing.”

“You and Sean have made out, right?”

“Yeah.”

“So, you’ve been perfectly content to leave things as they are because you’re really not interested in taking it any further with Sean.” Maria winced as she realized just how confused and lost Liz really was. “When you guys make out you don’t feel like you’re gonna explode if he doesn’t take it any further,” she clarified when Liz glanced at her.

“No.”

“Oh, my God, you’re relieved when it’s time for him to go, aren’t you?”

“I always thought it was because I didn’t want things to go too far, Maria, but…” She shook her head. “What do I do?”

“You’ve gotta talk to Sean, girl. You guys have gotta sit down and figure this thing out before it goes any further.”

“Yeah.” She rubbed her hands over her face. “I’m not looking forward to that conversation.”

“Just remember, Liz; you deserve to be happy and if you’re not really happy with Sean, deal with it now no matter how much it hurts. Don’t make a mistake that you’re gonna spend a lifetime regretting.”

*****

After classes the next afternoon, Tess caught up with Maria and insisted that they go out together for dinner. They decided on a place down on the beach and after ordering hamburgers and fries they sat back to talk and catch up.

“So, where’d you and Michael go last night?”

Maria rolled her eyes and shot a grin across the table. “Don’t be polite on my account, Tess; you’re dyin’ to tell me about your night with Kyle, so go for it.”

“You’d never think that the quarterback on the football team would have the slightest idea about romance, right? Sooo wrong! We went to this French restaurant and we’re talking seriously classy and romantic, Maria; I don’t even know how he got reservations because the place was booked solid. Do you know he even let me order for him? Most guys won’t let a woman order dinner, but he was perfectly happy to sit back and let me pick it out and order it. Didn’t even question me one time.” She giggled. “I think he just wanted to listen to me speak French.”

“And after dinner?”

“We went back to the hotel, but we decided to go for a walk in this little park that was across the street.”

“You went for a walk?” Maria asked skeptically, knowing that Tess had always mocked things that were sentimental and romantic, claiming that they were trivial and unnecessary in a relationship. “After the romantic dinner?”

“I know what you’re thinking, Maria, and normally, I’d be the first to agree with you. Okay, I’m usually the one saying that this stuff is a big waste of time, but, it’s different with Kyle. I can’t really explain it, but I don’t mind doing this stuff with him, and it doesn’t even make me feel stupid. You know me, I’ve never gone in for all that romantic crap; I’m usually quite content with a good fuck and a guy who leaves fairly soon afterwards, but… I don’t know... when I’m with him, I don’t mind if he does stuff like hold the door for me, hold my hand in public, take me out to nice places for dinner, or give me flowers because he’s doing it because he wants to, not because he thinks it’ll get him further with me.”

Maria snorted. “How much further could he possibly go?”

Tess kicked her under the table, feeling vindicated when Maria winced and pulled her legs up on her bench seat to get them out of kicking range. “You know what I’m saying.”

They let the conversation drop when the waitress stopped by to drop their orders off and then focused on the food for a few minutes.

“Okay, so things are going great with Kyle,” Tess said as she dumped ketchup all over her French fries. “Obviously you don’t wanna talk about what you’ve got goin’ on with Michael, and Isabel is sooo in love with Alex that it’s not even funny, so, let’s talk about Liz.”

“What about her?”

“Maria, I may be totally into Kyle, but that doesn’t make me blind to the fact that little Lizzie Parker is in heat and Max Evans is the stud she’s got her eye on.”

“God, Tess,” Maria laughed, “that is beyond tacky!”

“I’m sorry, did I misread her expression while he was explaining the finer points of motocross as if it was actually something of interest? Or the way she was so focused on him when we came back from getting drinks and snacks… oh, that’s right, you and Michael had disappeared, hadn’t you? And what were you doing while you were gone, hmmm?”

Maria shrugged and flagged the waitress down to ask for a small bowl of Ranch dressing.

“So, tell me about Liz… what’s going on with her?” Tess raised her left eyebrow in question and drummed her fingers on the table. “Just tell me; what d’you think I’m gonna do? I know she’s not ready for any advice I could and would give her.”

“She’s just tryin’ to figure some things out.”

“Some things like whether or not Sean’s the right guy for her?”

Maria accepted the Ranch dressing from the waitress and thanked her before drizzling it over her French fries. “Tess…”

“Hey, I’m leavin’ the advising to you, I just want you to tell me I’m right.” She rolled her eyes. “Not that it matters because I know I’m right.” She growled when Maria didn’t offer anything to indicate that she was right. “She wants him and she’s completely confused by it.” Her patience was wearing thin as her friend continued to eat while remaining totally silent. “Okay, just throw me a bone, please?”

“Why don’t you just focus on Kyle and let everything else sort itself out,” Maria suggested. “If she does what I think she’s gonna do… you’ll have your answer pretty soon. Just continue behaving yourself and let her deal with it on her own.”

Tess grumbled at the warning but nodded in concession. “Fine.” She knew Maria was only protecting their young friend and she could respect that, but it was driving her crazy to not have any answers.

*****

This is so fuckin’ boring! was all Maria could think as the professor droned on and on endlessly and without a single inflection of enthusiasm for the subject. She had early classes on Tuesday mornings and she was bored shitless. Why the hell had she picked this one again? She shifted in her seat to get more comfortable, but it was a pointless motion; whoever had designed the damn things was obviously a sadist because there was just no way to get comfortable. Her restless gaze strayed to the windows where sunshine was streaming through the glass and she could see other students outside actually enjoying the beautiful morning. It was another gorgeous day and there were so many other, fun things she would prefer to be doing right now – swimming, sunbathing, sleeping, making out with Michael…

Her insides tingles pleasantly as her thoughts turned to Michael and all the many ways he could distract her from the boredom that was presently threatening to destroy her sanity. She thought about the way he had tortured her so deliciously at the motocross event; even if he had nearly driven her insane, the day had been just perfect. Well, until Liz had disturbed them.

Her mind drifted back to his words from earlier that afternoon… “Next time we spend the day together, you can call all the shots.” Her lips turned up in a smile as she thought about all of the possibilities. Yeah, she should probably wait a few more days before she bothered to contact him again, make him wonder why she wasn’t calling, and to show him that she could live just as well without him.

She blamed it on boredom, sighing and shifting restlessly; she was suddenly desperate to feel his big hands on her body again. She reached down into her bag where it was sitting next to her chair, fumbling around to find her phone. God, her bag was not that big, where was the stupid thing?! She sighed when her fingers finally closed around it, relaxing in her chair as much as possible and flipping it open so she could type a short message on the screen.

With a little grin she pressed the send button and watched the little envelope on the screen as it flew around for several seconds before it verified that the message had been sent. Oh, yeah, that would definitely get his attention!

*****

Michael was pulled out of a light doze when his phone vibrated insistently in his front pocket. He glanced around at his classmates, rolling his eyes at them as he shifted to pull his phone out. He hated morning classes, especially when he’d had a gig with his band the night before. The chicks were always crazy afterwards; fetching him drinks, making every effort to press their bodies up against him… didn’t even have to pay any attention to them.

A smirk appeared on his lips as soon as he saw the name of the sender who had sent the text message. There was only one woman who could get his undivided attention so easily, he thought as he pressed the button to open the message. His eyes widened as he read the message and he had to read it a second time just to be sure he had read it correctly.

You thinkin’ of me? Naked… on satin sheets… touching myself… while you watch?

“Damn,” he muttered, shifting. His jeans were suddenly tight.

“What’s up, Guerin?” asked the guy sitting next to him.

Michael rolled his eyes and shook his head. “None of your business,” he grunted, unwilling to share anything with him. He hated that people acted like they knew him and treated him nice just because he was on the football team and in a band. The chicks just hung around because they wanted to get laid and the guys hung around hoping to pick up his leftovers.

He looked back at the screen on his phone and his thumb punched the keys furiously. Tell me more about it, naughty girl. He hit the send button and sat back as he waited for confirmation.

*****

I knew it! Maria thought as he read his response; she had definitely aroused his interest. Now she just had to find a way to shift it into high gear. He was a guy and guys were notoriously easy when it came to arousing them. But, she didn’t want something mundane or ordinary. No, she wanted something hot for her man.

“I suppose you all have photographic capabilities on your mobile phones,” the professor said, catching her attention for the first time that morning. “If not, find one. Your homework assignment for today is to go around the city, take pictures of the architecture that’s made the biggest impression on you in your time here. In addition to the photographs, I’ll expect a written essay in…”

Camera phones, Maria thought, tuning out the rest of the professor’s monotone assignment. She glanced around the auditorium, taking in the other students’ levels of consciousness and their proximity to her location. She had quickly taken to sitting in the very back of the auditorium for this class so she wouldn’t be immediately spotted if she slept through it. There was only one other student sitting in the back row and he was at least 15 feet away, busily scratching down notes in a binder. Should she risk it? She smiled as she thought about Michael’s reaction. Oh, yeah, she was risking it!

She shifted so that she was facing away from the guy sitting to her right, sliding down in her chair and spreading her legs as wide as she dared. Her heart was pounding madly, its beat slamming against her chest in a crazy rhythm. She had never done anything this crazy in public! A quick glance around the room assured her that no one was paying attention to her; most of them were in various stages of sleep as the instructor wrote something on the dry-erase board, his back to the class. The timing wasn’t likely to get any better… it was now or never!

Luckily, she had shaved that morning and decided to wear a short skirt. Okay, the possibility of meeting up with Michael may have been in the back of her mind, she admitted silently. Hey, it was always best to be prepared, right? She slid her left hand up over her thighs, pushing her panties aside, and strategically placing her hand as if she were pleasuring herself. Bringing her right hand down, she adjusted the angle and quickly captured the image and saved it. She straightened her skirt out and sat up in the painfully uncomfortable chair, taking a quick look around to make sure no one had noticed her actions. Good, no one had noticed her.

She grinned as she typed in the text and attached the picture before sending the message to Michael.

*****

Pictures are so much better than words, don’t you think?

“Fuck!” Michael hissed as he stared at the picture Maria had just sent him.

“Mr. Guerin, is there something you’d like to share with the class?” the professor asked, annoyed by his student’s little outburst.

“No,” he answered, his voice low. As soon as everyone had turned their attention back to the front of the class he looked at the picture again. When had she taken it? He wasn’t positive, but it sure looked like she was sitting on a chair that was a lot like the one he was currently sitting on. He glanced at his watch, noting that she had a class that she should be sitting in right then.

No, she wouldn’t… would she?

The mental image of Maria snapping that shot while sitting in class, where anyone could have seen her, aroused him, but it also made him jealous. There had to be other guys in her class; he only hoped that no one had seen her taking the picture.

He shifted and cursed whatever cruel bastard had constructed the uncomfortable fucking chairs. His dick was painfully hard and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it at the moment. Well, he reasoned, he could find a restroom and jerk off, but it wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying as having her hand or mouth on his dick.

He quickly punched in a new message and sent it.

*****

Damn, Maria, I wanna see this in person! And I want you… need you to touch me!

Maria nearly laughed as she read Michael’s reply and she could just imagine how uncomfortable Mike Jr. was making his life right at that moment. Men were just so easy sometimes! Although, she admitted as she squirmed around, to be honest, she was wet from their little conversation, too.

Hmmm… what to do, what to do… She smiled as her thumb moved over the keypad quickly and with precision. Payback was a total bitch!

She had to clear a few letters and start a sentence over when the thought of his rough hands on her body distracted her and she lost her concentration. She rubbed her thighs together and shifted once again, craving his touch and feeling like she would go mad if she didn’t get it soon.

Focus, Maria! she ordered silently.

Sorry, baby, but that’s all you get today for that fantasy. First you’ve gotta make up for the torture you put me through on Sunday… meet me for lunch? She reviewed her message and then hit the send button.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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