Aficionado (AU M/L Adult) (Complete)

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nicola
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Aficionado (AU M/L Adult) (Complete)

Post by nicola » Tue May 18, 2004 10:53 pm

Winner Round 6


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Aficionado![/color]


Author! Nicola
Rating! Mild Adult
Disclaimer! Nothings mine! Well...the idea is, but that's it!
Summary! Liz is a well known lawyer and an author of erotic novels. One day she notices in the paper that her first boyfriend from high school has been murdered and then slowly, over a course of five weeks every one she has had since him dies as well. She goes to the police saying she must be connected to the murders and they try to stop it from happening again but are unsuccessful. Soon every one of her ex-boyfriends are dead in the order that she dated them. Now there's only one person left that they think the killer will come for--her current best friend and partner, Max Evans.



1.

“So what’s up with you and Max?”

Liz Parker fought the urge to groan. Apparently privacy was no longer a global right because if she counted the amount of times people asked her that then surely it would be in the hundreds by now. Through gritted teeth she answered, “Max and I are just friends.”

“Just friends who fuck occasionally.” Maria looked around the girls and nodded furiously while mouthing, ‘S L U T’.

“Oh my God!” Liz exclaimed, feeling her face redden in anger. “That is none of your damn business!”

Isabel’s eyebrows rose. “So it is true?”

Liz was in no way going to answer that. Just because she and Max lived and worked together and had been best friends since High School did not immediately imply that they were involved. With a huff, she shot to her feet and put her hands on her hips, “I think it’s time for everyone to go home. Goodbye now.”

“Liz, we’re just curious. You’ve very secretive you know?” Constance gathered the cups up off the coffee table and headed towards the kitchen. “Maybe if you weren’t so privy then we’d be inclined to leave you alone.”

“I’m not ‘privy’,” Liz retorted with pursed lips. “Well at least not about most things.” Just because Max was the only thing she wished not to discuss, they all jumped down her throat.

“Oh yes you are,” Maria shot back.

Tess went and grabbed their coats then proceeded handing them out. “Leave the girl alone would you? She’s allowed to be secretive.”

When they were finally gone Liz couldn’t have been happier. She went into the study and stretched out at her desk chair in front of her lap top. An urge to write had overcome her hours ago, itching at her fingers, and she’d been unable to do anything about it while she had guests.

For eight years constructing erotic novels had been a hobby of hers and in 1998 she had decided to start getting them published. She used a pen name of course because as a well respected lawyer keeping her reputation intact was something she took very seriously. Conjuring up evocative positions and circumstances just happened to be a talent of hers and why not share it with the world? Could she help it that she had a very, very vivid imagination?

The next two hours were spent typing away without breaks until the front door unlocked and clicked open. Max’s voice filtered in…along with a laughing female. Liz arched up off her chair, peaking indiscreetly out the study door to see how everything played out.

It would appear that her friends date had turned out well. Her brows curved, she watched with approval as he moved in, captured the girl’s mouth furiously and clutched her with those magnificent hands of his. Liz thought fleetingly that he was a great kisser and she could tell his date thought so too because she let out a pathetic moan.

“Be quiet,” he whispered tantalizingly. “My roommates probably sleeping.”

On their way to the bedroom Max noticed the office light on and glanced in her direction. She winked approvingly and he winked back with a grin.

You’d be surprised, but it was incredibly hard to write erotic novels when there were loud sex-noises ricocheting through the apartment. Liz eventually gave up trying to finish the chapter she was working on and switched off the lights before seeping into bed. With a yawn, her eyes fluttered and a sleepy smile crossed over her mouth before she was out.

~*~

“Jesus I’m tired.”

It was eight in the morning and when Liz looked up from her fruit loops cereal she found Max standing in the kitchen doorway scratching his bare chest. His hair was ruffled and messy and his only piece of clothing was a pair of black BOSS underwear.

“You don’t have to brag,” she said simply. “It sounded impressive enough.”

A smirk appeared on his handsome face and he walked over and kissed her softly on the mouth. “Good morning sweetheart.”

She grumbled immaturely and then said back, “Morning.”

“Love you.”

“Yeah, yeah,” she waved him off. “I’ve got that Jefferson case today and I apologize in advance for my grouchy-ness.”

“Jefferson…Jefferson…oh, the one that’s been accused of the inheritance fraud? Eh, I pity you.” As he walked towards the pantry he spoke in unison with a yawn, “Please tell me there’s some food left.”

“I just can’t stand her voice,” Liz moaned. In a bad attempt at imitating her client she said squeakily, “Oh Miss Parker you must help me, I’m ever so innocent!”

When Max sat down next to her he rubbed her back soothingly with one hand. “It’s a piece of cake; you’ll win against that bastard Connor no sweat.”

“Hmm and when I do you can shout me dinner at the County Hotel,” she grinned at him.

After he’d spooned some coloured loops into his mouth he asked teasingly, “What makes you think you’re worth that kind of money?”

“You know you’re good for it.”

When she got up from the table he leant forward and nipped her bottom with his teeth playfully. She yelped and slapped the top of his head. “I’m going to be late. Smith is the judge and I’m certain he scheduled it to start this early just because he knows I hate him.”

“I’m sure that’s why,” he agreed sarcastically. “See you later babe.”

“Bye.”

On her way out she nearly tripped over the newspaper but luckily got her balance back before she plummeted her death. With a growl, she swooped it up off the doorstep and took it with her down to the street where the doorman gladly waved her a cab. “Thanks Wayne,” she kissed his cheek.

“My pleasure Miss Parker.”

Traffic was terrible so she flicked through the paper to keep herself preoccupied. It didn’t interest her much; so much happened in New York that it was hard to keep tabs on it. Suddenly the cab driver whistled to her and she looked up at his reflection in the rear-view mirror. “Yea?”

He was an unattractive man in desperate need of a shave. “I was just wondering if you’d mind flicking to the death notices. A rich uncle of mine is in the hospital and it could be any day now.”

Liz clicked her tongue against her teeth and mumbled, “Charming.”

“His names William Kaur, I’d really appreciate it mam,” he said.

“Yeah, yeah.” She flicked to the deaths section and scanned the pages. A little ‘oh’ escaped her when she saw one of the names listed there.

“Fantastic, he’s in there?”

Liz shook her head. “No, sorry. Not today, just an old friend of mine actually.”

He slowed in front of her office. “Were they rich?”

She didn’t answer him, just paid and rolled her eyes.

Outside the courtroom it became clear that her client was late so she sat down on the steps and looked back through the paper. A moment passed as she stared blankly down at the printed letters, remembering the guy fondly. His name was Mark Herbert and he had been her first boyfriend and first kiss.

Died suddenly on January tenth (See article page seventeen). Twenty-seven years old, only son of Troy and Hannah Herbert…Service to be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Wednesday.

Liz flicked through to page seventeen and gasped when she saw the headline. MAN BRUTALLY ATTACKED WHILE OUT RUNNING. It turned out that he had been stabbed in the chest multiple times and was found the next day by a man walking his dog. The police had no leads on the attacker.

“Oh God,” she muttered and made a mental note to send a card to his parents.

Suddenly her train of thought was interrupted. “Liz! Liz! I’m here! So sorry!”

A scowl escaped her before she replaced it with a smile. “Mrs Kane, good morning, let’s go in shall we?”

~*~

“I’ll have the Pizaiola Steak and she’ll have the Green Garlic Tagliatelle,” Max ordered. “And we’ll also have your best wine, thank you.”

“Of course sir.”

When the waiter disappeared Max flicked his gaze back to Liz who seemed distracted. “Where’s my best friend this evening?”

She smiled softly and bit her lip. “Just thinking about Mark.”

He nodded and reached out to take her hand in his. “When was the last time you saw him?”

“Oh ages, I can’t even remember,” she shrugged. “It’s just that he’s our age and went so horribly. I wonder why him?”

“It’s New York Liz. I mean, I’m not making excuses for the guy who did it but our city has a reputation. Sometimes bad things just happen with or without motive.”

“I suppose.” Her lips tightened. “Okay, I’ll drop it—I want this to be a nice dinner. Not a depressing one. So, tell me, dame from last night—worth a second chance or no?”

He made a puke noise. “No.”

“You can be such a sleaze you know that?” she laughed. “What was wrong with this one?”

“Erk, who cares? The truth is I don’t know why I bother, you’re the best I’ve ever had,” he wiggled his eye brows at her. “The rest of them are just to entertain me.”

Liz groaned. “If that’s the case, why haven’t you asked me to marry you yet?”

“Give me the word,” Max said back, grinning like a maniac.

Liz’s heart jumped. She really wished she could just ‘give him the word’ but for some reason she couldn’t. They were always teasing and skirting around the issue but had never actually sat down and discussed it.

The truth was, when they were seventeen they lost their virginities to each other because they didn’t trust anyone else to witness their fumbling awkwardness. There was only one other time they’d had sex and that was one week and two days ago. Not that either of them were counting.

They were extremely close for best friends at any rate and no one understood why they weren’t together, not even them. Liz suspected that it was because once they were a couple officially that would be it for them and up until now they were in the prime of their life and didn’t want to be tied down. Typically when you were in your early twenties you wanted to experience everything that the world had to offer.

Liz knew that sex with random girls meant nothing to him. He would always come back to her.

When the wine arrived they both downed their glasses quickly, and then helped themselves to another. “I remember you once telling me that Mark was your first frenchy.”

“That’s right,” Liz smiled. “In his backyard and it was totally unexpected—snuck up on me when I was on the swing. But you’ve heard that story…”

“Yes, the dirty bastard,” he feigned anger. “Who knew a thirteen year old could be so perverted?”

Liz opened her mouth wide in mock horror. “You’re a fine one to talk!”

He gasped. “What are you implying?” When he saw her gaze flick to the right of him for the hundredth time he turned to see what she was looking at. “What is more interesting then me?”

She chuckled. “That couple over there. Since the second they came in they haven’t spoken a word to one another.”

He shrugged. “Maybe they’re in the middle of an argument?”

“Hmm, or maybe she’s just told him she’s pregnant and he was going to break up with her?” Liz nodded smugly.

“Ohhh, good one.” He glanced at them again. “Or maybe, they had sex before they came here and now they’re so randy all they can think of is getting back home?”

With a groan Liz said, “Max that’s just silly. Why would they have come to dinner in the first place?”

“You’ve got to have sustenance Liz …”

“No, no that doesn’t seem right. What about…hmm…?” she bit the side of her mouth while she scanned her imagination.

“What if they are just comfortable with each other and don’t feel the need to talk?” he asked.

“That’s just boring.” The waiter came and put their food down and then she added, “Anyway, they look far to peeved for that.”

“I suppose.”

After dessert they got a cab home and when Max was getting ready for bed Liz lay in front of the television watching late night shows. “Thank you for dinner,” she mumbled lazily. “It was delightful.”

“Any time, sugar.” As he was walking past the book shelf he plucked out one of her self-written novels. “I’ll just do some bedtime reading I think.”

“Guaranteed to cause you sweet dreams,” she winked.

“You could come and read it out loud for me. She purred as he stroked her swollen clit and pressed…

Liz crossed her legs and looked at him pointedly. “I would like to think my writing is a little more innovative than that…”

“I’m going to take that as a no?”

“Good idea.”

He kissed her cheek. “Good night.”

“Night Max.”
Last edited by nicola on Wed Jan 19, 2005 12:35 am, edited 34 times in total.

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Post by nicola » Fri May 21, 2004 12:28 am

:o hi everyone! I think maybe I need to clear a few things up. One: Max and Liz are just close best friends! Two: You'll find out what happened when they had sex recently later on.. Three: Yes they're a little odd! But what's so great about being conventional? :P

Besides that, thank you, thank you, thank you for your feedback. Love it!





2.

Max was woken up by the bed shifting beside him. He opened one eye and saw that his alarm clock read three AM and then he dropped his gaze to find Liz pulling the covers over her body.

“Hmm…” he grumbled. “What’s wrong?”

She snuggled into him and wrapped his arms around her. “I had a bad dream. I don’t want to sleep alone.”

“Yeah?”

Her face was against his neck and he could feel her raspy breaths. “Hmm…it was horrible, everyone around me was dying and I couldn’t do anything to stop it.”

He pressed his lips to her forehead. “Did I die?”

She nodded.

“It’s okay, go to sleep.”

His alarm clock went off four and half hours later when the suns rays were leaking across the carpet and the foot of the bed. Liz traced the squiggly, uneven patterns from where she was lying on her side until Max rolled onto his back and grumbled, “Eh, mom do I have to go to work today?”

She chuckled and leaned over to rest her head on his arm. “If you don’t have to, I don’t have to.”

He looked down into her face and smiled softly. She looked back for a long moment and then he asked, “What’s that in your eyes partner?”

“Repulsion, you have bad morning breath,” she nodded dramatically, “No wonder they all leave so early.”

He poked her roughly in the stomach. “Well at least my hair does not look like I’ve been in a lightening storm.”

Her eyes lifted and she mumbled, “Don’t be so sure,” then rolled out of bed.

A gasp escaped him when he saw what she was wearing. “What do you call that?! I can see your panties.”

“Men aren’t supposed to use the term ‘panties’ and I’m wearing a nightie, what’s your problem?” It was a transparent pink nightie, but it was still a nightie. She stopped in front of the mirror to check her hair and straighten it with her fingers.

Max put his arms behind his head. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her shapely form. When they’d been growing up she’d been like a pin with skinny child legs but now…she had somehow spread out with round hips and thighs. It probably had to do with the amount of food she ate—instead of affecting her badly it made her look damn good. In Max’s opinion.

“You’re may as well be naked,” he said.

She grinned at him and said, “You’d like that wouldn’t you?”

After showering and dressing in her work outfit—a tight pink blouse tucked into her grey business-suit pants and pointy high heals she joined him for a breakfast of eggs and bacon. Max looked equally delicious in his black designer suit with a crisp white button down shirt on underneath. They looked every bit the lawyers they were.

Liz sat down at the table and fixed her hair in a side part. She then tied it up fixed her silver earrings. “While you’re up…” she said, “get me some water would you?”

He opened the refrigerator and looked around, “Sorry to break this to you, but we’re all out of Evian.”

“What?” she was genuinely distressed. “But we can’t be! I won’t drink anything else!”

“I know this,” he grabbed the orange juice instead. “You realize that the cost of your water each year is probably more then the cost of this apartment. All because it has to be French.”

She retorted, “Huh! This coming from Mr. Dolce and Gabbana. The cost of your wardrobe is probably more than five of these apartments. So be quiet.”

“I like my clothing to be good quality,” he simply said and then sat down beside her. “Paper please.”

She handed it to him. “I’m afraid of looking at it after the other day. Poor Mark.”

Max went straight to the sports section. “When’s his funeral?”

“It was yesterday.”

They shared a cab to the office and then parted when Max got talking to Garry from downtown. “I’ve got things to do, see ya.”

“Bye Liz,” he replied.

She caught the elevator up to the fifth floor which was where her office resided. It was a stylish block run by a man who went by the name of Harry Carmichael. He had started the self-named firm from scratch ten years earlier and it had become one of the best and most well-renowned in the region. Harry was known for being very selective in who he employed—no one but the best was allowed on his pay role—so there were only four other defence attorneys’ under his command, as well as Max and Liz. One of them was Ryan Salmon who had graduated in the same class as the couple.

They both hated him.

Lately everyone had been more uneasy then usual because Harry was hoping to retire in December that year and he was going to pick someone to replace him.

There wasn’t a single person who didn’t want the job.

“How are you today? Can I get you a coffee?”

Constance was her friend and secretary. Liz had to share her with a colleague Penelope James, even though she didn’t want to.

“No I’m fine, thank you,” Liz replied. “But you can keep everyone away from my office for a couple of hours; I have some serious paperwork to do.”

“Will do.”

About half an hour later there was a commotion outside when Max tried to get past her. “She doesn’t want to be bothered!” Constance cried.

“I’m sure she won’t mind if I take two moments of her time,” he replied. “I’ll be really quick.”

Liz didn’t mind, just as he’d expected. Especially when she found out he had a gift for her—a big bottle of Evian water. “Oh you’re a darling,” she said while breaking off the lid. “I love you, what would I do without you?”

Constance stood in the door way grumbling that she’d been told not to let anyone by.

“You’re very dedicated to your job,” Liz smiled at her. “Thanks.”

She smiled sweetly back then scowled at Max and disappeared with the shut of a door. “I don’t think that woman likes me.”

“That would be a first for you,” Liz said.

“It certainly would,” he teased.

Max thought that Liz’s office was more impressive then his and that pissed him off. Hers over looked central park and his ‘overlooked the boring street’, as he constantly put it. He didn’t understand what made her so much better then him. She retorted that his had nicer colouring and got more sun.

“It’s your turn to make dinner tonight by the way,” Liz reminded him. “So you may as well go grocery shopping as well. Oh and I have a Pilates class at six so don’t start until seven.”

He shook his head. “Excuse me! Last night was my turn to cook and I took you out to dinner so technically it’s your turn.”

She bit her lip, trying to come up with a come back but the best she could think of was, “That doesn’t count.” And she was supposed to be a lawyer? Jeesh.

“Oh yeah right.” He backed towards the door. “Now, I have things to do, people to see, places to go…um, lunch?”

“No, I’m going out with Tess and Isabel.”

“Oh I’m a loner. Alright then,” he left.

~*~

“Did you know that Julian died?” Tess asked while eating her salad. “Isn’t it just horrible?”

“I knew,” Isabel said. “And I only saw him a couple of weeks ago.”

Liz put down her drink and looked at them. “Don’t you mean Mark?”

“No,” Isabel shook her head. “Julian was just the other day. His parents didn’t want it in the paper but the rumour is he was murdered.”

Liz gasped. “But how can that be?”

“I don’t know—it just can. His funeral’s on Monday.” Tess put down her fork and reached for a piece of bread. “Didn’t you date him once?”

“Way back when I was like, fifteen,” Liz answered. “Surely that can’t just be a strange coincidence that two guys from our high school were murdered?”

Isabel chewed loudly and the two girls looked at her and then away in mild annoyance. “Did they even know each other?”

“Well I don’t know,” Liz said. “But still.”

“We don’t even know if it’s certain that he was murdered,” Tess commented. “It might have just been made up. It was probably an accidental death.”

Isabel changed the conversation but Liz was unable to think of anything else. She couldn’t stop images and memories of Julian floating around in her mind.

“God Liz, you’re having a second piece of that cake? Don’t you ever worry about your figure?” Tess looked at her and then at her plate.

“No,” Liz said simply. “Does it look like I need to?”

“Yes,” she lied.

Liz looked at Tess with surprise and then continued eating. “Who cares? I’d rather eat the best food in the world and be fat then miss out.”

Isabel mouthed to Tess, ‘N.O W.I.L.L.P.O.W.E.R’ and Tess nodded.

~*~

When Liz got back to the office she tried to work but couldn’t concentrate so she went and sat in on Max’s case. At the back she couldn’t see him very well but she would hear his argument.

“According to this statement you claim to have never met Mr. Johansson before the twentieth of February last year.”

“That’s correct.”

Max walked over to his desk and picked up a few pieces of paper. “Miss Troy, may I remind you are under oath?”

She didn’t say anything.

He swallowed and then handed her the pieces of paper. “Would you be so kind as to read out the date on the bottom right corner of these car park surveillance photos—loudly so everyone can hear you.”

There was a pause. “December twentieth ’02.”

“And who, Miss Troy, are the two people talking in this photograph?”

“Me…” she lowered her voice. “And…Mr. Johansson.”

“I beg your pardon, Miss Troy?”

She shot him an angry look and answered loudly, “Mr. Johansson.”

Max smiled and looked at the judge. “No further questions, your honour.”

The Judge adjourned the trial and called for the closing statements to be presented tomorrow afternoon. Liz waited until many people had cleared away before approaching the front where Max was putting his things in his brief case and talking to his client.

“Congratulations,” she said.

He looked up and smiled. “Mr. Goodall, this is my colleague Liz Parker.”

They shook hands and said hello.

“I best be going, thank you Mr. Evans. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Goodbye.”

When he had left Liz sat down onto his chair and crossed her legs. “I think we should start celebrating your win now.”

“How long have you been here? I don’t think we should, Warren had some good arguments.”

“I must have missed them.”

He smiled to show his gratitude for her support. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”

She let him pull her to her feet and they left the courtroom. “I found out something horrible.”

“Yeah?” Max asked.

“Julian died, Tess told me.”

“Tess is a liar.”

Liz shook her head at him. “Well she’s not lying about this because I rang his parents.”

Max stopped at a hot dog stand and pulled out his wallet. “Do you want one?” he asked.

“No, I’m alright,” she answered.

He ordered one for himself and then turned to her. “Which Julian?”

“Julian Martin.”

“Seriously?”

The guy handed Max his hot dog and they continued on their way. “Max…he was murdered.”

“Just like Mark?” he asked, shocked.

Liz nodded, her eyes falling to the concrete.
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Post by nicola » Mon May 24, 2004 10:56 pm

3.

It was late in the evening and Liz was just planning to leave work when she noticed that there was a thin strip of light under Max’s office door. She smiled to herself and pulled on the handle—he’d probably been waiting for her so that they could leave together.

He was resting on his leather couch with his arms bent behind his head so she tiptoed towards him and knelt on the floor.

“Sleepy head?” she mumbled and put her hand on his flat stomach. A tingle shot through her and she couldn’t resist pressing down slightly to admire its rock-hard firmness.

He stirred slightly but didn’t open his eyes.

“Max…” she purred and walked her index and middle fingers up his chest. In this moment she could take her time looking him over and studying his face—she didn’t get to do that very often because he always caught her so she had to look away.

He was her whole world and it didn’t matter to her that they were just best friends. She loved him so much that if it made him happy to see other people then it made her happy, too.

It was nearly three weeks ago now, but when they’d slept together—for the second time in the whole time they’d known one another—it had been about pure pleasure. How they felt about each-other had been so completely irrelevant.

The Sunday morning had gone something like this:

“I don’t feel like going out, stopping pestering me.” Liz had been determined to stay in her pyjamas the whole day because she’d never done that in her whole life. It was raining outside and there were no jobs and no errands…just laziness and the warmth of the soothing fire.

Max had other plans though. He kept walking around begging her to go out with him somewhere—to the movies, to a restaurant, to the museum, anywhere! “I’m so bored,” he kept uttering.

“You go out every day,” she mumbled from the couch.

He sat down on top of her and ignored her yelp and moans of protest. “That’s to work, that doesn’t count. Come on, I’ll use my money! Ooh, how about we dress up as tourists and go around all the national monuments by bus! We can make up all this stuff about what country we come from.”

With a big shove she managed to get him off. “I don’t feel like that. I’m not in the mood. Anyway, I already have a big plan today. I told you.” She stood up and headed towards her office. “I think I’m going to write now.”

“Really?” he raised an eyebrow. “Feeling erotic then?”

“You’d be surprised but I’m rather detached from my writing. I don’t have to feel erotic to write it,” she grinned at him. “You can bring me lunch in an hour if you like.”

“Yeah right.”

It had been about forty-five minutes later that it happened. She was sitting at her desk typing away like any other day and he came in and started yapping and causing her to lose her concentration, just like any other day. Then suddenly when she’d been trying to block him out he’d come up behind her and leaned in close to her ear so he could read the screen.

Then—all of a sudden this warm feeling just seeped up inside of her. She wasn’t one hundred percent sure what had caused it but it could have been his chest right next to her back or his breath on her neck, warm and moist.

He’d swallowed and averted his eyes from the screen after he’d read a few paragraphs. “Can I ask you a question?”

She clicked ‘save’ and shut down the program. “What is it? If you’re going to insult my writing I don’t want to hear it. If a publisher thinks its good enough…”

“No, no, it’s good,” he swallowed again and licked his lips. “Very good. I was just wondering…whenever you’re using your imagination to conjure up these vivid circumstances…do you ever get hot?”

She rolled her eyes and was about to reply no, I already told you I don’t…when she noticed his darkened eyes and his obvious hunger.

He wanted to play.

It was almost as if this was a fantasy of his and something had suddenly made him want to act it out. He had the perfect reply to that question in his mind and she knew that it had to be something dumb and horny because when it came to sex he got his creativity from porno and all the females ever said in that were, ‘God yes, I’m so wet,’ or, ‘oohh I want your hard cock inside of me.’

You know, all those…typical phrases that make you roll your eyes in embarrassment whenever you hear them.

So because she felt like taking the mickey of his maleness she said quietly and in the huskiest voice she could manage, “All the time.”

He gulped and shot up straight—completely not expecting that. “Seriously?”

“Fuck yes,” she breathed out.

His face had become a flustered pink, like a teenage boy about to discover the pleasure of an orgasm for the first time. “Do you fantasize about doing some of this stuff?”

“Fantasize?” she purred. “What makes you think these aren’t from experience?”

He was no longer able to function properly after that and it was hard for her to continue teasing when he was suddenly dying for it. His hands touched her shoulders. “God, you’re making me horny. Stop it.”

“Why?” she licked her lips. “We’re both adults…”

He pulled his hands away like her skin had burnt him. “Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”

Liz got up from her chair and rested her rear end on the desk…with her legs wide open. “You started it. I won’t mind if you finish it.”

“You’re yanking my chain.”

“No I’m not yet, but if you come a little closer I will…” she grinned widely and fiddled with the tie on her pants. “I need to research for this chapter anyway, I don’t know if it’s humanly possible to be so flexible.”

“Fuck me.”

“Will do.”

Then they’d been all over each other like two wild monkeys. He’d taken her right there on the desk and afterwards she’d assured him that this didn’t have to be about anything and that it was already forgotten if that’s what he’d wanted.

He never really said anything, just nodded and pulled his pants back on. Maria made the whole thing even more awkward by turning up just afterwards and was now convinced that they were secretly together.

Now, here they were two weeks and six days later and still not discussing it properly. Liz got up from where she was kneeling on the floor and held his nose between her thumb and forefinger so he couldn’t breathe. Seconds later he woke with a start and pounced on her saying that there were kinder ways to get someone to wake up.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” she joked. “How come you’re still here? I thought you would have left hours ago.”

“Ever heard the saying, I don’t want to go home to an empty house?” he walked towards his coat rack and then pulled on his jacket. “What time is it anyway?”

“Nine-thirty,” she replied. “You want to go out? Sunday tomorrow—sleep in!” As soon as she’d mentioned Sunday she felt the air around them twitch.

He held open the door for her and they walked towards the elevator. “Nah, I just want to laze around on the couch. Maybe watch a few movies…”

“You’ll be on your own then, I feel like dancing my little heart out,” she shook her bum and hit her hip to emphasize her point. He rolled his eyes and called her the worst dancer in the world.

“I was actually hoping you’d hang around with me?” he put his arm around her shoulders loosely. “Or is the company of your dull friends more appealing?”

“The company of hot men wanting to buy me drinks and romp my brains out is more appealing, I’m sorry,” she elbowed him softly in the side. “How about we watch movies tomorrow all day instead?”

He didn’t seem very happy. “Eh, whatever.”

It was kind of pathetic really; he stood in the kitchen sulking in his grey track pants and making microwave macaroni cheese while she did herself up all sexy in her bedroom. When Maria arrived to take her out—already drunk—he was lying on the couch grumbling and watching Happy Gilmore.

When Maria saw Liz’s new low-riding red leather pants and black boob tube she was so jealous and kept howling at how she wasn’t going to get any looks now.

“Fucking hell,” was all Max said. “You are such a skank Liz.”

She hit him on the head with a magazine that she’d promptly picked up from the coffee table. “And you’re just as bad. Why don’t you get off my back grumpy?”

“Let’s get out of here, I feel a domestic coming on,” Maria kissed his cheek and ruffled his hair. “Have a good night Maxi-pad.”

“Night Max!” Liz cried and slammed the door after them.

~*~

The next morning there was a loud disagreement when Max was in the kitchen minding his own business and eating cereal when ‘that bastard Connor’ walked in and helped himself to some coffee. At first Max had thought he’d been imagining things and just rubbed his eyes in order to make his worst lawyer opposition go away.

Then when he realized this wasn’t a bad dream he said angrily, “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be out of your way in just a tick,” Connor replied and gulped down some drink.

“Liz?! Liz? LIZ!” Max exclaimed. “What the hell is going on here?”

“She’s still sleeping, keep your voice down.”

That did it then. Not only was the fucker in his apartment but he was looking out for Liz? That was Max’s job. He grabbed his shirt by the collar and dragged him to the front door—tossing him out without another thought.

Next he marched into Liz’s room that smelt disgustingly of sex and growled at her. “You slept with fucking Connor? What the hell is wrong with you?”

She woke up and rubbed her eyes. “Huh?”

“You are such a whore! You slept with that bastard, when you know I hate him. He came strolling into my kitchen like he was the king of the fricken place—”

She grumbled and covered her head with her pillow. “Oh get over it.”

He started screaming and cursing and jumping up and down so hysterically that she finally had no choice but to sit up and throw something at him. “I’ll sleep with whoever I want! You do! Remember Heather? I hated her and she hung around for the whole morning acting all high and mighty.”

“That doesn’t count, you hate everyone.” He gritted his teeth. “So you did this to fuck me off?”

She retorted, “The whole world does not revolve around you, asshole.”

He took several deep breaths.

“He’s not really that bad actually, quite the gentleman…”

“Oh you did not just…” he was seething. “FUCCCCK! I will not listen to this.”

Liz watched him storm from the room and felt bad a little bit. It was obvious he was just angry that she’d slept with someone else, it didn’t matter who. He was being a major hypocrite but still…he was a male and less able to take a sore ego. After showering she joined him in his bedroom where he was doing press ups.

“I’m sorry he upset you,” she sat down on the bed. “You know it doesn’t mean anything.”

“Bugger off,” he panted. “I don’t think I can look at you right now.”

She groaned. “I came in here to apologize and frankly I think that’s rather big of me considering I should be mad that you called me a whore. And I haven’t even done anything wrong.”

“Really? You haven’t?”

Suddenly the phone rang and she went to get it, leaving him to be grumpy. When he was being like this there was just no point in trying to talk.

“Hello?” she said into the phone.

“Hello, this is Constable Jansson and I’m sorry for ringing so early in the morning but I have some important issues to discuss with you.”

Liz swallowed. “Yes, sure. Fire away.”

“This is regarding the death of Alexander Lambert; I have been informed that he is a friend of yours?”

“What?” all the air whooshed out of her lungs and she sat down on the couch arm so as not to collapse. “Alexander has died?”

“Oh…I apologize, I assumed you knew. He passed away three days ago.”

Max came into the lounge and when he saw her face his anger was suddenly forgotten. He hurried to her side and asked what was wrong. “Alexander…” she mouthed, biting back a sob. “He’s dead.”

~*~



Hi and thanks everyone! So glad you are enjoying this so far!
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Post by nicola » Wed May 26, 2004 2:08 am

Four.

“Wait…what?”

Surely she wasn’t hearing right. After her phone call she’d gone to the police station to answer some questions regarding Alexander’s death when she’d noticed a wall with four photo’s, not three. They were entitled the Lincoln High School Murders.

She wasn’t supposed to have spotted it but when she’d been walking past an office she’d glimpsed inside unconsciously. She then asked when Francois had died and they had said two days before Alexander.

Prior to this morning the only connection the detectives had had between the murders was that they all attended the same high school…now Liz had given them one more.

“They all dated you?” Max asked, astounded. “But why would anyone want to kill all your ex’s?”

Liz shot him a look that said: how the hell should I know?

“You can understand how helpful this information is, the victims had all been murdered by different means, at a different time and in different places,” Constable Janssen told them. “This prevent another murder from taking place.”

“When did you date Francois?” Max asked.

“This isn’t the time,” Liz snapped at him and then turned back to Janssen. “You don’t have any ideas why they might be doing this?”

“It could be a number of things. You’re a well known lawyer…perhaps a client or a client’s acquaintance unhappy with the result of a trial? Can you think of any enemy’s you might have? Sometimes it’s the smallest things that trigger angry responses…something that might have meant nothing at the time could have meant a lot more to someone else.”

“What about a fan?” Max asked Liz.

“What? No, I use a pen name; no one knows about my stories apart from friends and family…anyway why would a fan want to kill my ex-boyfriends? That doesn’t make any sense,” she rubbed her eyes. “No it can’t be that.”

“We can’t dismiss the option,” Janssen offered. “There are ways for people to find out who the real author’s are. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible.”

“There’s just nobody I can think of…I generally have a good relationship with people,” Liz said. “But I can tell you who my next four boyfriends were.”

“It’s a start. They’ll have to be informed and guarded until we can find the killer.”

When they left the police station and were standing in the car park Max pulled Liz into his arms and hugged her tightly. She let out a quiet sob and clutched him weakly like a small child. His heart broke for her.

“Francois had two daughters. Both under five,” she whispered after catching her breath, “What are they going to do now?”

He kissed the top of her head and held her tighter. “No ones going to blame you sweetness.”

~*~

It was Tuesday afternoon and Liz was sitting in her office, staring out her windows and down on the park below. It was impossible to work when she had so much on her mind.

The rain didn’t offer its usual soothing drum beats but seemed to mangle her muscles even tighter in the back of her neck. The grey purple sky promised no end to the disorder that was inside of her.

Suddenly her intercom beeped and she spun her chair around to ask Constance what was up. “Ray Connor is here to see you,” she replied. “Can I send him in?”

Liz groaned loudly in the back of her throat. She didn’t know if she could do this right now. “Eh…”

“He said to tell you it will make his day.”

Oh, hell. “Send him in.”

Her hands gripped the sides of her leather chair when he shut the door behind him. “Liz, you look stunning. How are you?”

“I’m…not great, actually. I’ve been at a funeral this morning,” she clicked her tongue against her teeth. “What can I do for you?”

He placed both of his tanned hands on the shiny wood of her desk. “You can let me take you out to dinner tonight. I’ll make you feel better after your bad morning.”

She shook her head. “No…Ray, I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

He straightened up and brushed his hands down his grey suit. “Maybe another night? I understand if you want to go home.”

“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea if we ever go out,” she replied, looking him straight in the eyes. His blonde hair and blue eyes were such a contrast to Max’s that she found herself wondering how she’d ever thought him handsome. “It’s just not a good time…and actually, you wouldn’t be safe to tell you the truth.”

He laughed. “I’m a big boy Liz; I think I can handle whatever you throw my way.”

“It’s not what I throw your way, trust me,” she ran her fingers under her eyes to make sure there was no dry flecks of mascara dampening her appearance. “Besides, Max…”

“Oh no, you’re not telling me this is all Max’s doing? Just because he and I aren’t the best of friends doesn’t mean…”

Liz shook her head to silence him. “It does mean that nothing else is going to happen between us. I’m sorry but my feelings aren’t going to change.”

Ray pressed his hands together. “Look…I’m not the type to complain after having a one night stand but I was sure that something better might happen between us.”

“You were wrong,” she retorted harshly, then apologized for being mean. “I think you should leave, I have an important meeting in fifteen minutes.”

“Liz…you’re going to regret your decision…”

After standing up from her desk she walked towards the door and held it open for him. “I don’t think I will Ray. See you around.”

Max came to her office ten minutes later so that they could talk quickly before they had to leave. “How’re you holding up?” he asked.

She shrugged. “Alright, I suppose.”

“It’s going to be okay…” he touched her cheek tenderly and she couldn’t help but look up into his expressive eyes. “You know I’ve always got your back, right?”

“I know,” she smiled.

He leaned forward and pecked her lips—he sometimes did that but today Liz could have sworn he lingered there. “Do you think he’s going to announce the promotion today?”

“I don’t know but if you get it over me I’ll just die.”

“Well then I hope neither of us get it,” Max said. “We better go and get done with it so we can get out of here.”

After a nod from her, they were off down the hallway to the conference room where their colleagues and boss were waiting.

~*~

“As you all know, I’m retiring later this year,” Harry Carmichael stood from his chair and glanced around his employees with a warm smile. Liz looked at him and then at Penelope James who was chewing on the end of her pen nervously. She wanted the promotion so much.

Everyone did.

“It was a very hard assessment but I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally chosen,” he continued. “You know you are all incredible lawyers—if you weren’t you wouldn’t be here. I want to let you know that in hopes that there will be no hard feelings towards the person who I will allocate my job to.” He joked, “And anyway, what means to say they won’t turn down my offer and those left won’t have another chance?”

“I think I can safely say that no one here is going to turn down an almost fifty-percent pay rise and that’s not even mentioning how much power the job entitles,” Derek Florence remarked. Everyone chuckled nervously.

“I suppose you’re right,” Harry said.

They’d all been secretly talking about it in the coffee room but no one could pick who it was going to be. Liz was pretty sure that Derek and Ryan had even bet money on potential candidates. Penelope and Fay thought it was going to be Derek, whereas Ryan and Max thought it would be Penelope.

Liz was glad they were finally going to find out.

“Max Evans, you prove yourself time and time again and I believe that you offer something to this company that is hard to find. You possess a determination and care in your work and I know everyone will agree with me when I say that if there is evidence to be found you’re the one to find it—no matter how unthinkable it is.” Harry walked around to Max’s chair and put his hands on his shoulders. “I want you to have my position because I know you’ll put your heart into making it great, just like I did. You love and take care of things that are important to you and that’s important. Congratulations…”

Max was speechless; everyone could tell that he hadn’t even considered it an option that he would get it.

“Ah…I don’t know what to say,” he finally managed.

“You don’t have to say anything,” Harry said with a smile. Max stood up from his chair and they shook hands roughly.

“Congratulations Max,” Penelope agreed.

They may have all wanted the position and were all deeply envious of him, but they were all mature, sensible people so as they filed out they shook his hand and praised him. Liz lingered behind and when everyone had gone she threw her arms around him and gave him a big hug and kiss. “I hate you!” she cried, “You suck!”

He laughed. “You’re not allowed to speak to your boss that way.”

“I’m so glad you got it over Derek,” she said. “But I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to you being my boss. I’ll understand if you have to tell me off on occasion, I’ve seen movies where friendships are ruined by one of them getting more power and I think we’re stronger then that. I understand that you’ve just got a job to do and yell away if you need to.”

He rolled his eyes. “Right, great…whatever, trust you to bring up something like that this quickly.”

“Just being cautious,” she smiled and nodded. “How are we going to celebrate? All of your friends around for expensive liquor and poker?”

“Great idea. But your friends aren’t coming.”

They headed out of the office, arms linked at the elbow. “Don’t want them there anyway, but you’re going to have to stop making cracks…they aren’t bad people.”

“Whatever,” he mumbled.

“You realize that now you make so much more then me, I no longer have to pay half the rent,” she grinned.

~*~

“No females allowed tonight then?” Michael asked with a grunt. “Good, good. It’s been a while.”

Liz pinched his bottom as she came out of the kitchen. “And what do you think I am?”

“Oh come on,” Max laughed, “Liz, you’re more masculine then Kyle and Jeremy put together.”

Kyle looked up from his cards and said, “Fuck you.”

They were all huddled around a small poker table that was packed with snacks, beers and—for Liz—expensive French liquor. She was the only one drinking from a glass because, as she put it, she was ‘the only one with class’.

“I say we pay stripppppp poker,” Bryan chortled.

Liz rolled her eyes, “You’re the only one here who bats for both teams buddy—and I don’t much feel like being perved at by the rest of this bunch.”

“Oh come on, we could have a big orgy and you could right a book about it,” he retorted.

The other guys groaned in disgust.

Alexander hadn’t been one of their close, close friends but as she glanced around, Liz felt an even more obvious twinge of upset that here they were all laughing when he’d only just recently passed away.

“Did you go to Alexander’s funeral? I didn’t see you,” she asked Kyle. He’d been closest to him.

“Yeah,” he nodded. “I only stayed a little while though.”

“Oh…”

“What are the police doing to keep you safe?” Alex Whitman asked. “I mean, obviously they’re keeping an eye on the guys but how do they know this person isn’t going to come after you too?”

Liz shuddered and Max put his hand on her shoulder. “Way to go, keep talking like that—give her more to worry about.”

“He’s right though,” Jeremy commented.

“No offence, but I wish I’d never dated you,” Kyle laughed. “Hannah is freaking out. She doesn’t want me to leave the house.”

Liz bit her lip. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your fault,” Max said. “God, can we just drop it? We’re supposed to be celebrating my promotion. We need a break from all of this for one evening.”

Michael asked what he was going to do with his hefty pay rise. “You should invest,” he suggested. “Triple your intakes man, seriously.”

“We’ll see, I don’t want to think about any of that until Harry leaves,” Max sipped his beer and then ran his tongue over his top lip. “Liz, has anyone started planning his retirement party anyway?”

“Hmm, yeah Fay mentioned something,” she answered distantly. Her evening was ruined now. She decided to drink away her sorrows for a couple of hours.

~*~*

Wow! I was thinking about discontinuing this story but needless to say this morning when I logged on I was delightfully surprised! I'm shocked by the response I got to the last part, thank you so much everyone!

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Post by nicola » Thu May 27, 2004 10:54 pm

Five.

Liz woke up when she felt her bed shift beside her. “What’s wrong?” she mumbled without opening her eyes.

Max’s warm arms looped around her waist and his face buried itself in her hair. “What, you’re allowed to have nightmares but I’m not?”

A sleepy laugh escaped her. “Somehow I think you can handle shadows on your walls much better then I can.”

He inhaled deeply and mumbled back, “Obviously not.”

The room was quiet despite the sounds coming from down on the street and their soft breathing. Liz was about to demand the real reason for his appearance, when Max suddenly started to rub his hands up and down her stomach suggestively. She frowned and opened her mouth—only to moan because he pressed his left thigh in between hers and begun rubbing upwards so it was tight against her crotch.

She couldn’t imagine what had suddenly excited him but little sparks of desire ignited in her nub and crawled outwards so her whole lower abdomen was warm and tingly.

“Max…” she uttered. “What…?”

He didn’t say anything, just held her closer and rubbed his stiff groin into her backside. Seconds later he was kissing her lower neck where her shoulders begun and one of his hands were wriggling upwards, while the other headed in the opposite direction.

Things heated up to the level of no return then, especially when he begun fondling her breasts through her night gown and he discovered she wasn’t wearing any panties.

“Jesus…” was the only thing he managed to get out.

She was now urged onto her back with him sprawled half on top of her and he was attacking her mouth with long, sensual kisses that she knew reduced many girls to worthless piles of muck. It was having exactly the same affect on her.

“Max…”

It was only after he’d removed his underwear that she finally came up for air—only to let out a loud, erotic moan.

“I want you Liz,” he replied, urging her thighs apart. “I never stop wanting you.”

Her fingers wove through his wispy hair. “I can’t have no-strings attached sex again Max, I won’t survive.”

“What if I said that the last thing on my mind is ‘no-stings-attached’?” he was kissing her again then, his plush lips sucking on hers. “You and I…we’re permanent Liz, you know that…”

“Hmm…” was all she could manage.

He took her then, filling her insides to the brim and a little bit more. She was just wrapping her leg around his thighs when a voice filled her head that was loud and unwelcome.

“Liz? Liiiiiiiiiiizzzzzz? Heeeellllooo?”

She wanted to scream. That day dream had been so real…so good…in fact so much so that she’d convinced herself it really was happening. And to be snapped out of it at the most inopportune moment…

Oh, the disappointment.

“Are you with me or has everything I’ve just explained gone completely to waste?”

Liz rubbed her eyes and lifted her gaze from the floor. Ryan, Fay and Max were sitting around his desk looking at her. Max had two documents in his hands and whereas the other too looked at her with impatience, his eyes were nothing but soft and concerned. “Sorry,” she mumbled. “I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

“I can understand why,” Max smiled sympathetically. “No one deserves to have this much worry—and on top of an important court case.”

“What do you suggest I do?” she asked. “Hang around home, fretting and driving myself insane?”

He swallowed. “I just want to help you, that’s all.”

She reached out and touched his hand affectionately. “I know, but I think I’ve just discovered what would be best for me right now.” She couldn’t tell him what it really was so she just finished with, “Shopping.”

He laughed quietly.

“Can we get back to work now?” Ryan asked snottily.

Later, after she’d left his office and was on her way to her own, Constance caught up with her and said a big bouquet was on her desk. “It’s really lovely; you’ll have to tell me who they’re from.”

“You didn’t look at the card?” Liz asked, surprised.

“No, no, no,” she replied sternly. “I would never invade your privacy Liz. You can trust me completely.”

“That’s wonderful to know. And I’ll tell you…now that Max is going to be in charge I forced him to get Penelope her own secretary so she can stop hogging you when I need you around.”

Constance laughed. “And did he agree?”

“He’ll do anything I ask,” she smiled. “Just you wait and see.”

“I really believe that you should have gotten the promotion, you are a way better lawyer then all the others.”

“Thanks, but Max will do a good job—he deserves it, seriously.”

The bouquet turned out to be from Connor. She didn’t know what to think of it.

Please give me another chance, I have liked you for the longest time…love and kisses, Ray.

“You’re seeing Ray now?” Constance asked with horror. “I thought you were seeing Max!”

“I’m not seeing either of them,” Liz clarified. “Ray’s just being a pain.”

Constance rolled her eyes. “God, I know what that’s like. Guys are just so…dumb.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Maybe someone should just kill ‘em all,” she laughed.

Liz stopped smiling then and let out a nervous ‘heh’. The irony of the situation was too much to bear.

~*~

While trying on a fantastic pair of Italian shoes in one of her favourite stores Liz had gotten a dreadful phone call from Constable Janssen. “Another guys been murdered,” he said, “And he wasn’t on your list so we couldn’t have predicted it. I thought I’d check it out with you anyway; see if you knew him…”

“What was his name?” Liz asked painfully.

“Brian,” he answered. “Brian Damon.”

She considered the name closely for a long moment, trying to think if it was of any significance to her. “I don’t think I’ve ever dated a Brian,” she finally decided. “It doesn’t ring any bells.”

“It’s strange that your name was listed in his address book then,” Janssen said.

Liz frowned. “It’s news to me, sir. I’m not lying.”

“Yes, well,” he mumbled, “have a think about it and if you come up with any clue as to whether you did or did not know him let me know.”

“Okay.”

The saleslady was waiting patiently off to the side with one hand on her hip. “Miss, did you want the shoes? They are thirty percent off…”

Liz mumbled yes distractedly and rubbed her forehead while she went to ring it up on the till. “Brian…” she mumbled, “Brain…Brain…” Do I know a Brain?

That night during their pilates lesson Maria, Isabel and Tess expressed their ignorance on the matter. “I’ve never known a Brian,” they all said.

“Then how the heck did he get my phone number? You don’t suppose he’s an acquaintance of one of Max’s friends? Perhaps they suggested me for legal advice…”

“You don’t keep the phone number of a lawyer you’ve never talked to in your address book,” Tess said. “Especially men. Liz, doll, your number was in what many refer to as the ‘little black book’. Women only get in that book when they offer a good time.”

“I told you she was a slut,” Maria teased.

“Oh please,” Liz grumbled. “I may be a bit promiscuous on occasion but I have high standards—thank you very much. Not just any man is allowed in these panties, alright?”

“Yeah,” said Isabel. “I know you aren’t sleazy Liz. Not at all.”

“Thank you.”

“Maria, Tess,” Isabel continued, “You’re just saying that because you both know very well that you are waaay more slutty then she is.”

They grunted and shot her evil looks but didn’t deny it. Liz didn’t feel any better though, she still had another death to worry about and it was someone she couldn’t even remember!

“Perhaps he was a one night stand?” Tess offered eventually.

“I don’t think so; I usually catch their name sometime before…”

They all giggled femininely at that.

~*~

“Come here…come snuggle with me on the couch,” Max opened his arms out for her. “There’s plenty of room. What you need is some good’ol mind numbing television.”

It was late that evening and the lights were down low. This was that quiet time when everyone was tired and their bodies were preparing them for bed.

Liz snorted. She was never one to show weakness. “I have to write. I have a dead line for the book I’m working on.”

“Writing can wait, come and laze around with me.”

She gave in and eased comfortably in-between his legs, with her head on his chest. It turned out that his drawing of soothing patterns on her back and the gentle rise and fall of his chest was just what she needed to soften her thoughts. “What would I do without you, hmm?”

“You wouldn’t last,” he mumbled back with a soppy smile. “And that’s exactly why you’re going to forgive me after I do…this…”

“What…? Ooh EW! You did not just fart,” Liz reached up and pinched her nostrils shut. “You disgust me. You could have held it in you know, jeez…”

“It’s unnatural to hold it in,” he chuckled.

They were silent for a long time, just watching a repeat of the continually funny Friends. Liz found her eyes were wafting shut when the clock struck eleven and just before she drifted off she mumbled, “I love you Max.”

“Hmm,” he mumbled back, “I love you too.”

Around four-thirty she woke up again when he climbed into bed beside her. All the hairs on her body stuck up on end and, as if playing out her fantasy, she asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Had a nightmare,” he teased.

She chuckled nervously and couldn’t be anything but stiff when he wrapped one loose arm around her. It was as if it was some spooky déjà vu.

He sucked in a deep breath, swallowed and she waited—without breathing—for him to make a move…

It never came.

He fell asleep…like usual…and she was left staring wide-eyed at the dark ceiling with nothing but pain left in her chest.

~*~

“God you look fucking awful.”

Liz groaned and flashed her fist at him.

“Did you get any sleep whatsoever last night?” Max asked. “You have big black lines under your eyes.”

With her head resting on the kitchen table she mumbled that she got a little, yes.

He patted her head softly, “I thought that if I slept in your room, you’d feel a little less uneasy. What is it that’s bothering you? Do you feel unsafe? You know I won’t let anything happen to you.”

So that’s why he came into her bed? She groaned in annoyance but Max took it to mean that she was displeased with him.

“Or is it something I’ve done wrong? Are you mad that I got the promotion and not you?”

“No…” she said. “Nothings wrong, I just have a lot on my mind alright? Did you realize we don’t have any groceries?”

“Yes, yes I did. Don’t worry, I’ll shout you breakfast…if you can get up off the table.”

“I don’t think I can,” she cried.

He took both of her hands in his and then tugged her up. “Perhaps you should get Fay to cover the case and then stay home today?”

“No, I can’t.”

Max gave her a quick hug. “I hate seeing you like this Liz, what can I do? Tell me please.”

“There’s nothing you can do to make me feel better but you can help me with something else...you can ring Constable Janssen and tell him that I remembered who Brian is.”


~*~

I'm sorry guys! I thought I'd implyed with my note that I HAD decided to keep writing. How could I not when so many have shown an interest?! I'm sure I don't need to tell you how much inspiration you get from good feedback. Thank you so much absolutely everyone. I hope I can keep you all entertained! :o

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Post by nicola » Sat May 29, 2004 11:00 pm

SIX
Tonight was Harry Carmichael’s retirement party and both Max and Liz were getting ready in their separate rooms. It was going to be a good end to a hectic week.

They’d barely seen each other because Max had been working with Ray every day to learn and get up to date with how to run the company and also, Liz had had her big court case and all the reporters wanted to talk to her.

After Brian, no one else had been murdered, which was mostly because the police were keeping a very close eye on things. Liz knew that it was only a matter of time though—they wouldn’t be able to stop the most determined killer.

She’d taken so long to remember who Brain was because she had always known him as ‘Professor Damon’, even when they’d had a brief affair while she was in law school. Practically no one knew about it at the time so whoever the killer was, they had done their research…or they were someone she knew well.

“When did you become so gorgeous?” Max leaned against the door frame.

“When you weren’t looking,” Liz replied with a modest smile.

“I’ve got something for you,” he said. “Something to keep your mind off things. You’ve wanted one forever but you’ve never gotten it. Well I say…fuck the landlord, he won’t find out about it.”

“What…? You didn’t!”

Sure enough he reached behind him and picked up a large box with breathing holes indented in the sides. Liz rushed towards him and pulled open the flaps to find a beautiful black kitten asleep on an old blanket. “Oh my God!” she cried.

He asked, “You like?”

“He’s wonderful...he is a ‘he’ isn’t he?” she scooped him up out of the box and he stretched and clawed at her slinky dress. “Yes, looks like he is…Max, you realize if the landlord finds out about this…”

“Then we’ll move,” he chuckled.

Liz kissed his cheek many times. “Thank you, thank you…”

“You’re very welcome.” He paused, “You’re getting fur all over yourself—we can’t have that.”

She put the cat down on the carpet and he ran underneath her bed in a big hurry. “His name is going to be Bruno. I’ve always wanted a Bruno cat.”

“Heh. Sure, whatever you say…Are you ready to go?”

“Nearly,” she said distractedly and then got down onto her hands and knees so she could look under the bed. “Will he be alright under there? What if he poops?”

“There’s a kitty litter thing,” Max scrunched up his nose. “I’ll go get it, hopefully if it needs to go, it’ll use that.”

Fifteen minutes later they left the apartment and hopped a cab to the party. The driver thought they must already be drunk because they sang along loudly with the radio the whole way. “You know its yooou Babe, giving me the courage and strength I need…please believe its true! BABE I love yoou….”

In fact he was probably happy to see them leave.

There were a lot of people at the party because Harry Carmichael was a very well known man. As they were entering the building they ran into Ryan who stood looming in the darkness. They wouldn’t have spotted him if the bright red of his cigarette hadn’t given him away. He said a grim hello but Max and Liz didn’t stop to talk, just said a thin-lipped greeting and continued on in.

They hated him even more than usual now.

Earlier that week Harry had informed Max that ‘someone’ had complained about his relationship with Liz. They were worried that he would be unable to treat her professionally because they lived together. They also thought that she would get special treatment because Max wouldn’t be able to deal with her severely if the occasion came when it was necessary.

Harry had been nice about it. “It was a mild concern of mine at first but you two have proven to be nothing but professional in the past and I am confident it will stay that way.”

Now Max wanted to punch Ryan in the fucking head because he knew very well it had been him.

“You want a drink?” Liz asked. “I’ll go get one.”

Max teased, “Thanks cupcake.”

“Cupcake?”

“Chicken Pie?” he grinned.

“No.”

She laughed and left him alone to wander the room talking with people that he knew.

While she waited for their drinks at the bar she watched him. He looked so good in his blue pin striped collar shirt and grey pants. Of course…he always looked good because of his damn expensive taste but she never tired of looking.

Suddenly she felt as if someone was watching her and she looked around and spotted Connor approaching. “Shit,” she cursed. “Shit, shit, shit.”

“Hey Liz,” he said with a smile.

“Hi…Ray,” she replied.

His eyes roamed up and down her dress. “You look beautiful, that cherry colour really suits you.”

Nervously she thanked him. Then her drinks were ready and she picked them up—preparing to say goodbye.

“Did you get my flowers?” he asked.

“No,” she lied. “The delivery must have gotten screwed up. What a shame. Got to motor…excuse me.” She hurried away before he got a chance to say anything else.

Max was watching and though he wanted to ask what Connor had wanted, he didn’t. “What’s that?” he asked.

“A Martini,” she answered. “And I will be having many more, it’s an open bar.”

“Thank Fay for that.”

He skulled down his beer and then licked his lips with satisfaction.

“Oh my god you just reminded me of that time in high school when you, Kyle, Michael and Alex had that flavoured milk competition. Remember? You all skulled about one bottle and were throwing up lime, strawberry, chocolate and banana all over the place.”

He laughed. “I remember.”

“That was so disgusting,” she added. “When the teachers saw the crowd they came up and gave you detentions…”

They both sighed at the same time. “High school was the best,” Max commented. “I miss it.”

“Doesn’t everyone?”

Harry found them then and requested a dance with Liz. She happily took his hand and followed him out to the floor. “Are you enjoying yourself?” she asked.

“Of course, you never get used to having this much attention,” he chuckled. “What about you? You look wonderful as usual.”

A smile crossed her face. “I’ll tell your wife if you keep up that flattery, Mr.”

“Tell away,” he joked.

They swayed silently for a moment and then Liz commented, “It won’t be the same around work without you. It’s a real shame.”

“Don’t worry I’ll be visiting very often to make sure Max hasn’t destroyed everything I’ve made.” He paused, “You must be happy for him?”

“Oh of course!” Liz said. “I think he’s perfect for it. You definitely made the right choice.”

“We’ll keep this between you and me, but a few people have contradicted what you just said. I don’t think anybody expected me to choose him.”

“Who?” Liz asked angrily. How dare they?! “They’re just jealous.”

Harry smiled. “I see you really are a devoted follower.”

She became flustered. “Well he’s my best friend, I—”

He raised his eyebrows knowingly.

“He told me what Ryan said,” Liz said.

Harry frowned. “What was that?”

“That my relationship with Max may affect how he is with me as a boss,” she explained. “I just want to assure you that it won’t.”

“What makes you think it was Ryan who said something?” he asked, intrigued.

Liz bit her lip. “We’ve never really had the best friendship.”

“Oh…”

After the song had finished Liz wandered around by herself for a while, talking to people and catching up. Max was in the corner of the room talking with some woman that she didn’t know and didn’t care to. She was obviously a slut.

Eventually she made her way to the bar and ordered herself another martini. She had peace and happiness for a grand total of five minutes before Ryan slipped onto the stool beside her and ordered some whisky. “How’s it going?” he asked.

She shrugged. “You know…can’t complain.”

“Why aren’t you out there dancing?” he asked, trying to make conversation. “You should be.”

“Ah, the bars more appealing at the moment,” she half smiled. “What about you?”

“My dates gone off somewhere,” he rolled his eyes. “Knew I shouldn’t have brought her.”

“Bummer.”

The barman handed Ryan his whisky and he continued on trying to make conversation with her until finally she snapped at him, “Stop pretending you’re all friendly with me. I know what you said to Harry and it’s just…it’s not cool, alright?”

“Excuse me?” he asked, puzzled.

She stood up from her chair. “Just don’t butt in where you’re not needed, right?” she took her drink with her, not bothering to look back. What was it with bad company trying to talk to her tonight?

And where was Max when she needed him?

Oh…on the dance floor with a tramp. Fantastic.

Liz leaned up against the wall, watching them laughing and joking with each other, feeling unhappy. It was then that a something occurred to her that she really should have noticed before.

Ryan.

She’d known him since she was nineteen—he’d always been around somewhere. He’d been in the same college classes as her and now the same job…what if by some chance he’d seen her or found about her and Professor Damon?

A sense of horror and dread started to fill her as she thought about all the things he could have known about her past. But what reason would he have to kill her ex’s?

It couldn’t possibly be him…

It now seemed like a bad idea to be by herself in a room so crowded with him wandering around. She went into the bathrooms, which were empty, and used the toilet. After finishing up, when she was fixing her dress in place again she noticed two feet standing directly outside her stall door. Just standing, not moving, with their toes pointing towards her.

Her heart sped up and she asked nervously, “Ah…Hello?”

Their breathing became loud and erratic but they didn’t say anything.

She quickly tried to look through the crack of the door to see who it was but their back was facing her. They were walking away. The door opened and the music from the party flooded the bathroom then just as suddenly silenced when it swung shut again.

After waiting a few moments she exited the stall and dabbed her cheeks with cold water.

Max found her a little while after she’d re-entered the party. “Where’ve you been?” he asked.

“Around…did you see who came out of the toilets before me?”

He shook his head. “Why?”

“It was probably nothing. I just want to go home.”

He was confused. “What? It’s only early. Did something happen?”

“No, nothing happened,” she smiled as if to prove it. “I’m just tired. I’ll see you later…”

Max touched her cheek gently. “You shouldn’t be alone. I’ll come with you.”

She wasn’t going to argue. Truthfully she wanted him with her. That way he wouldn’t be with that other girl. “Thanks Max.”

The cab ride home was quiet but he put his arm around her and kissed her shoulder. “Everything’s going to be okay, you know?” he said.

“Hmm,” she mumbled.

~*~

“Bruno pooped in my closet!” Max exclaimed.

Liz looked up from where she was standing at the stove just in time to see Max enter the kitchen. “What?”

“There is a little pile of brown dung next to my shoes, now I know you didn’t do it so…” he groaned. “It smells really bad.”

She tried really hard not to laugh but in the end just couldn’t keep it in. She doubled over, tears filling her eyes to the brim while he just stood there, looking displeased.

Bruno happened to saunter out from under the table at that very moment and Max could have sworn he looked pleased. “I hate you!” he cried. “Already!”

“Oooh, come on…” Liz said. Her face was still flushed from her fit. “He didn’t mean anything by it.”

“Sure he didn’t.”

“Here, have some pancakes. They’ll make you feel better,” she told him. “The maple syrup is already on the table.”

He grumbled and groaned but Liz knew he enjoyed them. She sat at the table awhile he ate, watching him with a smile. “It’s your turn to make dinner tonight,” she finally said.

“Got a date, sorry,” was his reply.

She paused. “Really?”

“Hmm.”

“Oh…”

~*~

Hi!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the fb! I don't particularly like this part very much but here's hoping that you do. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

~nicola
:puppydogeyes:
Last edited by nicola on Sun May 30, 2004 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by nicola » Mon May 31, 2004 4:00 am

Seven.

After Max informed her he had a date, Liz was pretty grumpy for the rest of the day. She seemed to take her mood out on everyone but him. When Constance would pop her head into the office to ask if she wanted coffee, Liz would all but bite her head off and had to keep apologizing.

This was all because she’d had this feeling that she and Max were finally getting somewhere that was more then friends. The illusion had been built from mere hope and was completely idealistic but it is impossible to stop such optimism from brewing once it was born.

Lunch with Maria and Isabel was a nightmare. She had learnt years ago that you had to be in a particular mood to put up with the two of them at once and she was not in the right frame of mind. She was rude and argued with them, and she would be surprised if they ever talked to her again.

At two-thirty she ended up telling Constance that she was going home because she couldn’t take it anymore. She was just too stressed and everything would just have to wait until tomorrow.

“I’ve got an idea, go home for a few hours, rest, sleep, write, do whatever you want and then at six-thirty let’s go out for a drink at the pub, what do you say?” Constance smiled supportively. “You need to talk to someone and I’m all ears.”

Liz considered her proposal for a moment. It was either go out and have a little fun or mope around at home waiting for Max to turn up with his little slutty friend. Then, to top the evening off, listen to them romping all night long. “I’ll meet you at The Starving Artist at seven?”

“Sure,” she smiled brightly. “I’ll get a seat at the back.”

“Thanks,” Liz said. “I think I really need this.”

She considered saying goodbye to Max before leaving and she nearly didn’t but in the end, couldn’t help herself. He was in his new office talking on the telephone. He put whoever it was on hold and asked where she was going.

“Home,” she explained, “I’m not feeling all that great. See you later.”

“Wait!” he stood up. “What are you…I mean,” He cursed and mumbled to himself, “I can’t go…I’m worried about you Liz.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “There’s nothing to worry about. I’m going to be fine after a little sleep.”

“I don’t like you being alone.”

“You’re going out tonight anyway, I was going to be alone then and you didn’t seem to mind,” she rolled her eyes at herself for being so jealous.

“I was hoping you’d have a friend over or something,” he said.

“Don’t worry, I’m meeting Constance for drinks,” she grumbled. “Just…see you tomorrow. Bye.”

He didn’t stop her; he had to get back to his phone call. There was a lot of work to be done and his job had to come first, whether either of them liked it or not.

When she got home she snuggled up on the couch with Bruno and watched a movie. He kept purring loudly and climbing all over her face and hair which was cute and annoying at the same time.

Around five she went to a spa and had a massage and facial, which helped reduce her stress dramatically. Afterwards she felt so much lighter and happier that it was amazing.

On her cell phone she had three missed calls, all from Max wondering where and what she was doing and whether she was okay. She rung him during the cab ride back home and assured him that absolutely everything was fine and that he should go enjoy his date.

Constance had gotten a good table at The Starving Artist where they ordered many drinks and talked about any and everything for two hours. Liz told her about Max’s date that evening and how it made her feel and for once someone listened and offered their advice without turning the conversation around to them.

“You have no idea how good this is,” Liz said, “You know how Tess and Isabel can be…Maria listens sometimes but I feel like she’s not there in mind, just in body.”

“They are like that,” Constance nodded. “I don’t know how you put up with them…or Max, for that matter. By the sounds of it he’s completely oblivious and all over the place.”

“It’s not his fault he’s like that. He just…he always has a lot on his mind. You know his mother died last year and he’s been trying to cope with that and look\ after me and this whole ex-boyfriend ordeal at the same time.”

“Yeah,” she replied. “Maybe you should just talk to him about it.”

“You don’t know how many times I’ve gone to and just…lost the balls, so to speak,” Liz chuckled to herself. “Anyway, Max would have said something if he felt the same way. He’s just that type of person.”

“Are you sure?” Constance asked.

“Pretty sure.”

“Okay,” she smiled and sipped her beer. “But sometimes when he looks at you…it’s nothing but love girl, you have to know that.”

Liz shrugged. “Let’s not talk about this anymore. There’s something I actually something I wanted to ask you about. Ryan…you guys are friends aren’t you?”

“Hmm, I don’t know what you’d call us. We talk quite a lot, have lunch sometimes but we’re not close or anything. Why?”

“Has he ever said anything…about me?”

Constance thought about it for a moment. “No…I don’t recall. I mean, it’s not like you’re names never been mentioned, we talk about everyone at the office sometimes but never specifically about one person.”

“Oh okay,” Liz swallowed. “Never mind then.”

It was only nine when Constance said she had to go. Liz didn’t want to go home to the empty rooms but didn’t really have a choice; it wasn’t a good idea to be out and about alone. “Everything will be fine,” Constance said. “Don’t worry.”

“Everyone’s been saying that,” Liz replied. “But there’s no proof yet.”

“Be patient.”

She couldn’t help herself, on the cab ride home she rung the Constable and told him that keeping an eye on Ryan Salmon would be a good idea. He asked questions and she told him everything she thought. It was good to have it off her chest until the last second when he suddenly said, “We’ve got Max on our suspects list too.”

Her blood ran cold. “Excuse me?”

“All of your friends are, Miss Parker. You might have to deal with the fact that anyone you know could be the killer. The closest person to you, even. No one can be trusted.”

“Max didn’t kill anyone,” she said firmly. “I want you to completely forget about the possibility.”

“We can’t,” he replied. “While innocent people are being killed and no ones been caught and charged, we have to keep an open mind.”

She hung up angrily and rested her head in her hands. When had her life gone so completely off track?

It got worse when she got upstairs to the apartment. As soon as she walked in, she wished she hadn’t. There were candles and flowers everywhere which were obviously set out for Max’s little date and she was just about to walk out again when he came out of the kitchen and spotted her.

“I’m sorry; you should have told me you were bringing her here. I would have stayed out…”

He came and shut the door behind her. “No, Liz come in. I don’t have a date.”

“What?” she asked. He was dressed in white linen pants and a white t-shirt that looked oh so good. His feet were bare. “What is all this?”

Sensual music was playing quietly, it was an erotic beat with no lyrics and she recognised it as one of her C.D’s. She sometimes played it when she was writing to give her inspiration. It was very evocative.

He took her coat and bag from her and then led her over to the couch. “Come and sit down.”

“Okay…” she looked around. “Max, you told me you had a date tonight.”

“I lied, I never had a date,” he smiled.

She accidentally sat on Bruno who was sleeping peacefully and he yelped and went sprinting off.

“Oh shit! I better make sure he’s okay…”

“He’ll be fine, stay right where you are.”

When she sat down again she expected him to sit next to her but instead he knelt down on one knee directly in front of her. “Liz…”

Her heart started pounding furiously in her chest. “Max…”

It was when he pulled out a little grey box that she really couldn’t function properly. She thought this must be some kind of joke; he’d bought her earrings or something…

“Will you marry me?” he asked softly, his eyes looking directly into hers.

She opened her mouth but no noise came out.

“I’ve always loved you and it’s never been as a best friend,” he kissed her knuckles. “You know what we have between us isn’t just friendly.”

Tears filled her eyes. “I didn’t think you…”

“I’m not oblivious,” he whispered. “I’m just…slow. I should have done this a long time ago. Like I could live with, or love anyone else other then you Liz.”

She let out a loud breath; she didn’t know what to say. This was all such a shock.

“You think you could love me as a husband?” he opened the box and pulled out a beautiful little diamond ring. “Because no matter what you are to me, I’m going to love you and only you forever.”

While sniffling and trying so hard not to explode into a pile of weeping madness she muttered, “I could definitely love you as a husband.”

When he slid the ring onto her finger he leaned his stomach in-between her thighs and arched his head upwards to give her the softest, most precious kiss in the world. The whole moment just seemed so…tender.

His lips felt so perfect.

“How long have you been planning this?” she asked with her eyes closed.

“Since we were about fifteen.”

The brightest smile spread across her face. “Really?”

“Hmm,” he replied, also smiling.

“You aren’t…” suddenly her smile fell away and she bit her lip nervously. “You aren’t worried that it will be slightly strange?”

“Well…” he kissed her again softly, “I know we won’t have any trouble in the sex department…”

Her eyes darkened with that comment and she quickly wrapped her arms around his neck tightly. “I could call you very presumptuous, you know.”

“You could, but you wouldn’t want to ruin the moment.” He scooped her up and stood with her in his arms. “I have to have you now.”

“I have to have you now,” she replied, tightening her legs around his waist.

They went to his bedroom because it was covered in glittering candle light just like the lounge.

After he’d set her down on the end of the bed he said teasingly, while removing her pants, “Now, if you aren’t as creative and…willing as the females in your novels, the weddings off.”

“Oh shhh,” she laughed. “You’re terrible.”

Many people might think that they were both weird and insane for their unconventional way of getting together but it made sense to them. Some might even believe that Max was undeserving because he had been so free with other girls but Liz had been just the same. It happened to be that they both enjoyed sex and to be with one person for the rest of their lives hadn’t always been appealing.

“I want you to keep from coming for as long as humanly possible, alright?”

Max stopped pulling down his pants mid-thigh. “Really? Why?”

“Have you ever tried it?” she asked huskily, while pulling her shirt over her head. Now only her bra and panties remained. “It heightens the feeling like you’d never imagine.”

In another instant he was naked and looming in front of her. Lips parted and moist, she looked him over—the candlelight accentuated his brown, smooth skin.

When she reached out and took his penis in-between her palms her eyes were on his. They burned suggestively.

“Just trust me…” she said while licking her lips, “I’m good at this.”

~*~

I'm not used tp updating this quickly but I haven't got anything else to do but write lately lol. Hope you liked it, I tried to make it so that you would lol. Nc-17 in the next part :D :shock: Thanks everyone!

Nicola
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Post by nicola » Thu Jun 03, 2004 5:38 pm

Oh you all have such little faith!!!! :shock: Come on guys, you know I'm not THAT cruel! And as for everyone's varying opinions of Max and Liz's relationship, I think what Smac said makes Max look a little better (which I've been trying to do but have obviously been failing!) Anyway, hopefully it will clear some things up for you:
Smac said:
I am not going to be so quick to jump on Max because of his sexual antics with other women, because Liz admitted to being the same way he was. She never let him know how she felt and she acted like it was o.k. for him to be other women. We can't expect him to read her mind; he is a man after all.
And read this because, well, it's just damn funny that's all:
Cherie said:
Well, if it is a dream, I hope Liz gets some nookie before she wakes up. And if it's not a dream then I hope Liz gets some nookie before she goes to sleep. Ah, hell, I'm just dying for her and Max to get it on--awake or dreaming.
I think Liz deserves an explanation too, as well as you so hopefully this part will help with that :wink:
Kara said:
I can't wait to hear more of Max's feelings for Liz. I think Liz (not to mention us) deserves to hear them.
And thank you all so much for your feedback, sorry it took a little longer to get this part out--it always takes me longer to write NC-17 because I have to go over it a hundred times to mkae sure it isn't insanely stupid and embarrassing. lol, tell me what you think.

Eight

Her fingers spanned him, moving up and down pleasurably. His eyes half shut and his head tilted back. “I recall a time,” he managed to get out, “When you weren’t so experienced.”

Liz thought back to when they’d lost their virginities to each other. Then, before replying sexily, she pressed her mouth to his lower stomach just at the start of where his public hair was. “That was a long time ago.”

“I can tell.”

Her mouth moved lower and touched his pipe teasingly. He moaned out and his hands moved to her head where he grasped tightly…

She only touched him scarcely at first; teasing his flesh with her warm mouth. It was only after he was begging and pleading that she finally took him in and swivelled her tongue around him.

During her mouth’s movements, her hands dropped to his thighs where she stroked up and down before grasping his sacks with expertise.

Max’s eyes were fully closed now and his mouth was parted unable to remain closed.

“Are you going to come?” she asked seconds later and then licked her lips.

“Fuck yes,” he groused, “Don’t stop.”

She lay back on the bed and stretched out. “Not yet,” she reminded him, “Don’t you want to touch me?”

He gritted his teeth to keep from dying and then crawled up the bed so his knee’s rested on either sides of her legs. “You’re still wearing underwear…why?”

“Just waiting for you,” she replied breathlessly and propped herself up on her elbows. He discarded her bra quickly, then lifted her hips and tugged down her panties. She flicked them away with her toes so they landed far away, completely forgotten.

“God Liz,” he murmured, eyeing her bare skin in delight. The area between her legs was hairless and smooth. “I’m pleasantly surprised…”

She mumbled that she’d gotten waxed earlier when she was at the beauty clinic and she was glad he liked it. “Something I’ve always wanted to try, you know?”

His fingers crawled down her stomach and parted her folds sensually. She was so wet and warm that all he wanted to do was take her but he held back, knowing that was what she wanted.

Liz arched into his hand and threw her head back in absolute delight. The fact that she was here and doing this with him was enough on it’s own to make her shiver all over and tingle inside.

“You feel so good,” he whispered.

It was only then that she realized that he was watching her face intently, getting off to how much pleasure she was experiencing.

“Kiss me…” she practically begged.

He pressed his mouth to hers and rubbed her nub up and down, and around and around.

Her moan vibrated against his tongue…

“I love you,” he said, wanting to make sure she knew just how much. Just so she knew that he was for real and most importantly forever. “I want to be inside of you so much…”

“Not yet, not yet…”

He replaced his hand with his mouth, taking full pleasure in the utter bareness of her flesh. Until this moment he had never realized how erotic and completely arousing it was…suspected but not realized.

“Oh Max, I’ve wanted you so much. I need your dick…please…”

Max lay down on his back and tugged her on top of him so that his face was in her crotch and hers was in his. The only problem was that he didn’t know how much longer he could go without bursting.

He fought to stay in control but it was very difficult when she was pumping his shaft in and out of her mouth at same time he was licking her out.

Warm currents were flooding Liz’s lower belly and she could feel the burn of an orgasm coming on, so she rode on his mouth until she was at the peak and then pulled away before falling.

Max had been just as close, if not closer, and now had to take many deep breaths to control himself. He didn’t know if he’d ever last this long before.

While willing himself to last like she wanted, Liz repositioned herself so that their faces were together and they could kiss.

“Oh Max,” she murmured, looking into his eyes. “Tell me I’m not dreaming I’d just die if I was.”

“You’re not dreaming sweetness,” he ran one hand down her lower back to grasp her backside, while the other held her upper back. “You’re really here with me. Tell me you love me, I need to hear you.”

Liz wanted to cry. “I love you, of course I do.”

Their bodies were pressed tightly together and grinding sensually back and forth.

A smile was on Max’s face. “Can I make love to you now honey?”

“Please…”

First he took full advantage of her revealed breaths because they both realized he’d been neglecting them. One peak at a time he kissed, fondled and adored them, sucking on her nipples and, of course, nibbling and teasing.

After he’d had his fill Liz positioned herself on her side with her back to him. Both of her legs were bent giving Max full access to her aching—no throbbing—centre. He lay on his side behind her and with his face pressed into the back of her neck and his chest hard against her back he pushed his prick into her. It was a rush forward in a desperate attempt to be completely immersed in her depths.

They both felt the tidal wave of passion—most of it familiar to them except one new sensation…Fulfilment. It came only with being as close as possible physically to the one person you couldn’t be any closer to spiritually.

“Oh I’ve been so naïve,” Liz mumbled. “How could being with someone else even compare to this? Max do you feel that?”

“I feel it Liz.” He kissed her shoulder and started to move inside her, causing that indescribable internal smoulder. “Unfortunately I don’t think it will last long...”

“Just hold on, there…oh, again, just a couple more times…”

Max tried, his breathing growing loud and harsh. Both their eyes drifted shut and his hand that rested on her hip moved down to clutch her own hand.

When it was nearly time for that perfect release, Liz found herself leaning forward onto her stomach with him on her back. “There, one more…Max…”

“Jesus Liz…”

She had been right, typically, the clench of the climax seemed to stretch longer and suck more from them. It lasted for what seemed like at least ten seconds, ten blissful seconds of floating in that sizzling red place in-between the heavens and the outer corners of space.

The convulsion took over both their bodies to such an extreme that they were sure they saw vibrant, outer worldly colours.

“Holy…”

“Hwwwwwfff,” Liz uttered, falling down onto his duvet with a soft puff. It was several moments before they had both recovered and could look at each other again.

Liz managed to roll onto her side so she was facing him while he rested on his back with his hands lying comfortably on his lower stomach. “Well that was nice wasn’t it?” she said cheerfully and wiped the slight sweat she’d managed off the top of her forehead.

Max’s expression showed that he thought she was insane and then when she wasn’t expecting it, he leapt forward so that she was forced to be entangled in his warm arms. “Don’t move from here,” he mumbled simply.

In a French accent she replied, “But I am le hungry.”

“Oh that’s right,” he suddenly sat up. “I have dessert for you. Wait right there.”

When he hopped off the bed he stood on Bruno and Liz laughed and tottered concernedly at the same time, “That poor cat is going to be dead by the end of the week. We keep sitting and standing on it.”

“Shouldn’t have been lying there,” was all Max had to say on the matter.

When he returned from the kitchen she was laying on her stomach with her head on her arms and he had to catch his breath because of how good she looked. “I have chocolate mousse and ice cream.”

“Hmm…” she purred and propped herself up. “Bring that right on over here.”

They sat on the bed facing each other while eating with spoons and talking contently about many things. Liz had her leg stretched out so that her thigh was on top of his and the two bowls rested between them.

“What would you have done if Constance and I had decided to party until all hours of the morning?” she asked. “Burnt the apartment down, no doubt?”

“I’d asked Constance not to keep you too long before she left work,” Max explained. “Told her I had a surprise for you.”

“Oh…” she smiled. “She was acting rather funny! Now I know why, she knew what you were up to.”

“She’s the only one,” he said. “Liz…I don’t think we can tell anyone right away.”

She nodded in agreement. “No definitely not. We can’t risk your safety like that. Actually…this reminds me of something the Constable said earlier this evening when I spoke to him.”

“Yeah?” he licked his spoon and then plopped it into the mousse. “What was that?”

“That I can’t trust anyone,” she finished. “Not even you.”

He was shocked. “I’m a suspect?”

“I told him he was insane,” she assured him, “I know you’d never even think of doing something like that. What reason would you have for killing my ex’s?”

“Insane jealousy?” he offered teasingly.

She forced a smile. It was hard for her to joke about their murders at all just yet. She didn’t know if she could ever. “It has to be someone close to me, how else would they know about Professor Connor and even some of the others?”

“We really can’t trust anyone,” he said, looking at her with grave concern. “What if it’s one of the girls? Tess, Isabel…?”

“No,” Liz shook her head. “No, I just can’t believe it.”

“Liz…”

“No,” she said firmly.

He didn’t push it any further; it was obvious that she couldn’t deal with that possibility.

“I want to believe its Ryan.”

Max didn’t seem all that surprised—as if he’d previously had that thought before. She told him what happened at the party, including the women’s cubical incident.

“We can’t take any chances,” he decided. “You’re not to be home alone until this whole thing has been sorted out. You’re not to go anywhere by yourself…”

She didn’t disagree.

They were silent, stuck in their thoughts for a long moment and then Liz, unable to keep from asking more questions, said, “Why haven’t you ever tried to tell me in the past?” She felt as though she deserved an explanation.

“I don’t know,” he replied softly. “Why haven’t you?”

She didn’t know.

“Uncertainty, I suppose,” he offered. “Also…I think maybe I’ve been taking for granted that you’ll always be here. In the last few months I’ve come to realize that you might not and if I didn’t…you know, let you know how much I need you around, it wouldn’t be the same.”

Her expression was soft. “I’m not going anywhere; I’ve never planned to be anywhere but here.”

“It’s not that you as in flesh won’t be here…it’s, I don’t know, emotionally. I’m unsure whether you feel that we’ve always sort of had this extra level about us that’s more then friends but I have and lately I was starting to feel like that would go away if it wasn’t brought out into the open. That’s how I knew it was time to say something, to grasp onto it. You know what I mean?”

“I…of course, I mean I’ve constantly thought we were more then friends,” she replied. “I’ve always sort of known that in the end we’d be together.”

“Exactly,” he said. “But it’s like you were waiting for it just to happen on its own? That’s the same as me except I realized if we’re both waiting for it but neither of us are doing anything about it…how’s it supposed to come out in the open?”

Liz nodded slightly, staring into his eyes.

“You could take me being with other people so much better then I could,” he chuckled. “I don’t know how but I just get so wound up and angry…”

“I get like that too,” she smiled, “I can just hide it better then you.”

His eyes shone with emotion. “I love you, we’re both screwed up, but I love you.”

“Me too,” she replied tearfully.

They kissed as if it was nouveau, as if they hadn’t just been together fifteen minutes earlier. It was intense but not carnal and so full of personal attachment that both of them were reduced to miniscule pieces by the end of it.

They lay back on the bed, wanting to make slow, tender love but Liz accidentally knocked over the bowl of ice cream and cried, “Ah the dessert! The dessert!”

Max chuckled and quickly picked the bowls up and put them on the floor, out of the way. Then he rejoined her on the bed lying with his chest to hers. They didn’t say anything else, just felt.
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Post by nicola » Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:54 am

Nine.

“Fay, I want you to assist Ryan on the Leeming Case. And Derek, you’re with Liz on the Grantham.”

Max walked around the board meeting table with the grace of someone who was born to be in charge. No one could say that he wasn’t doing a good job as the new boss because he was fitted to the roll perfectly.

Liz kept to herself, reading the notes in front of her and not commenting too much on what was going on. She was watching her new fiancée too.

“Penelope do you have some feedback on your trial this morning?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she nodded and pulled off her reading glasses.

Liz was barely listening for the rest of the meeting. She was inside of herself, thinking about her life to death. She didn’t know how much more time she could spend worrying, fretting, feeling as if she was stuck behind glass watching the world go by and not being about to reach out and join it.

She hadn’t even realized everyone was leaving the room until Max asked if she was okay.

“I’m just…I have a lot on my mind,” she replied and started collecting up her things. “As you know.”

“I do know,” he said through tight-lips “But Liz, your works suffering. I don’t want to sound like a prick, but I have to think about the best interest of the company—you have to either try do better or I’ll make you take some time off until this whole thing is sorted out.”

She got up from her chair and levelled one long, cold glare at him. “Jee thanks for your understanding.”

Max called to her as she was leaving in a huff but she ignored him, “Liz, stop please. You know there’s nothing I can do. Don’t be mad.”

She went out shopping straight after work, not even telling him where she was going. It was only after she’d spent some major money that she begun to realize how unfair she was being. He was completely right to worry about the company, it was his responsibility now and their friendship—no relationship, she wasn’t used to calling it that yet—had to come second.

She was putting him in an awkward position and that was the last thing she wanted to do. On her cell phone, she let him know where she was and he came and got her. “I know you’re stressed,” he said. “But you can’t go running off—it isn’t safe. You want to give me a heart attack?”

“No, of course not.”

They sat down together in the department store and she put her head on his shoulder. “I didn’t tell you about the conversation I had with the Constable and Ryan this morning, which is why I’m so out of it today.”

“Oh God, what happened? Another guy?” he asked.

“Firstly I ran into Ryan and he said, with much contempt, ‘You know, I always thought you didn’t like me but to accuse me of murder—that’s completely screwed up.’ Janssen had taken him into the station for questioning, turns out that he’s completely clear. Got alibis and everything.”

“Oh, well that’s a good and bad thing,” Max replied. “Is that all Ryan said? Did he threaten you?”

“No,” Liz rubbed her eyes. “Its worse then that. He completely understood why I’d been suspicious. Said he knew that it couldn’t be easy for me to have this kind of strain and guilt weighing on me and that he had already forgiven me.”

“God, he’s a fucking saint now, then?”

“Max,” she shook her head. “Now I’m not only feeling guilty about all these deaths, but for trying to find the murderer and picking the wrong person!”

Max made her look at him. “You have nothing to feel guilty about, alright?”

“That’s easy for you to say, you don’t know what its like,” she swallowed and looked away. “The Constable said that forensics is having hell with this case, whoever the murderer is…they’ve done their homework. No finger prints, clothing fibres, shoe treads, murder weapons. Nothing has been found that links anyone to the murders. They’re just some kind of enigma.”

“Liz, they’ll find whoever it is eventually,” he said. “And look, no one else has been killed; maybe the guy’s stopped for good?”

Oh yeah right, Liz thought.

“You want to go somewhere?”

“Where’d you have in mind?” she asked intrigued.

“The bar?” he offered. “Everyone’s there.”

She rolled her eyes. “I thought you meant somewhere good.”

“Where’s somewhere good? God, how about we just go see a movie?” he said. “I feel like sitting in the back of a dark theatre with you, getting up to mischief…”

“Max,” she laughed. “That sort of thing belongs only in my novels, not in reality. You are exposed to too much smut.”

“We’ll pick a really unpopular movie,” he wiggled his eyebrows. “Come on, it’s a Monday night, how busy is it going to be?”

Liz allowed him to take her to a film. They picked the one that sounded the worst but there was still three other people in their cinema. The good thing was they were sitting near the front, while Max and Liz were in the back top corner.

Ten minutes after it had started he was kissing her neck and mumbling quietly about how much he loved having this freedom with her, being able to touch her whenever and however he wanted.

Liz wrapped her arm around his waist and drew him close to her. “Max…let’s just leave…someone will see us.”

“No they won’t,” he whispered, capturing her mouth in an excited kiss. “Haven’t you always wanted to do this?”

“No, but apparently you have,” she replied very quietly. Her hand dipped beneath the band of his suit pants and she stroked him roughly in the darkness. “You like that?”

“God yes,” he purred. “Can you keep quiet?”

“Yes,” she nodded.

His hand went up her thigh, dragging her skirt with it and he began touching her in much the same way she was touching him. They kept their mouths fused together to keep from moaning and alerting the other viewers.

Liz’s breathing got harsh as he poked his index finger inside her and rubbed her nub at the same time. The pleasure was explosive and only a few minutes later she climaxed just before him. Afterwards they both got the giggles and had to leave before bursting out laughing in the lobby. “We are so pathetically immature,” Liz cried, while wiping her eyes. “Jesus.”

“Yes, yes we are,” Max agreed and gave her a quick kiss. “Let’s go home so I can make love to you.”

In the cab he announced that he was going to buy a car while fondling her knee affectionately. “I’m bored of taxis.”

“We live in New York. Taxi’s are easier,” she replied.

“I don’t care, I now earn over half a mill a year and I should own a car—Harry did.”

“So, this is kind of like a power trip?” she asked. “Speaking of power…Max you’re so different at work, so professional. It feels like you don’t even notice me.”

“You said you weren’t going to have a problem with this,” he replied.

“No, I’m not complaining, I’m just curious as to how you can separate your private life from your professional life so easily. I couldn’t do it.”

“I just do what I have to,” he said simply.

When they got home they ended up just ordering Chinese and working on Liz’s case at the dinner table for a couple of hours. Then, when they finished dinner they drunk coffee and ate ice cream out of the tub, their heads deep in books.

Hours passed without them realizing and then the phone rung late in the evening, interrupting their cramming session. “Who would ring at this time?” Max asked and got up to go answer it.

“What time is it?” Liz asked, rubbing her eyes.

“Eleven-thirty,” he called back. “Hello, Max Evans speaking.”

“Hello, this is Constable Janssen here. Is Miss Parker there, please?”

Max’s heart sunk and when Liz called out, “Who is it?!” he didn’t reply. “Ah, Constable, has something happened?”

“I wish to talk to Miss Parker, Mr. Evans,” he said curtly.

“Look, it might be easier for her to take it if I tell her, would you just—”

Liz was suddenly standing at his side. “Is the Constable? Max, give me the phone.”

He did as he was told and remained standing when she sat down on the couch, her face now considerably pale then ordinary. “Are you sure? How can that be? How could you not have been watching?” There was a long pause. “But that’s insane!”

She hung up five minutes later and dropped her head into her hands. “Charles Hope
Peter Brando are both gone,” she said before he could ask.

That’s when he sat down; he couldn’t stand up another second. “Both of them?” he asked, astounded.

“Both poisoned, something was added to their drinks earlier tonight when they were out drinking,” she said simply. “In a crowded bar, nobody saw who did it, but everyone witnessed them collapsing. They were together—God a double hit, the murderer must have been delighted.” Her voice sounded absolutely disgusted.

When she got up Max asked what she was doing.

“Making a list,” she replied. “That’s seven down, Mark Herbert, Julian Martin, Alexander Lambert, Francois Elliot, Professor Brian Damon, Charles Hope and Peter Brando. You know who the last two are, don’t you?”

“Kyle,” he replied. “Kyle and Sean.”

“Yip,” she muttered and then turned her back to him so he wouldn’t see her cry. Her hand went over her mouth and she leant forward, moaning to herself. When he heard her sobs escape loudly despite her desire to hold them in, his heart broke in his chest.

“No, don’t,” she said when he tried to wrap his arms around her from behind. “I…just need to be alone for a moment.”

He let her go and she went and sat outside in the hallway with her knees drawn up to her chest and her forehead tucked down. There were no thoughts. How could she describe the feeling and absolute horror and sadness of nearly every single person who knew her intimately being taken from this planet?

She couldn’t bear the thought of their deaths being because of her. She couldn’t bear the thought that she knew this was going to happen and she hadn’t been able to stop it.

A few people coming home down the passage stopped to ask her if she was okay and she just nodded and replied yes listlessly.

Max was driving himself insane with worry and when she finally came back inside and started clearing the kitchen she finally allowed him to give her a tight hug from behind. With his forehead on her shoulder, he mumbled useless phrases of comfort.

~*~

“When you’re all curled into me like this, I…I just love it,” Max commented a couple mornings later when they woke up. “You feel so warm and soft like a water bottle covered in angora.”

She snorted. “A water bottle covered in angora? You’re weird.”

“Hmm, but you love me anyway,” he said breathlessly. “Maybe you’d be happier with the analogy, a little wee kitten?”

She purred and snuggled closer.

“How are you today?”

Rhetorically, she answered him with a question, “How am I supposed to be?”

He pressed a kiss to her forehead and closed his eyes. He wasn’t ready to start the day and go to work. “I wish I was better at this, I just don’t know how to make you feel better.”

“Nobody would be able to make it better,” she said quietly. “So don’t feel bad.”

He stroked her lower back where his hands were clasped and she pressed a kiss to his neck. “I love you.”

“I love you,” she whispered back. “And you realize that nothings changed since we got together—only the fact that we can and do have sex now.”

He let out a happy noise from deep in his throat. “Isn’t it fantastic?”

“Hmmm….yes,” she smiled.

They kissed each other’s lips intensely and Max said something like, “Speaking of sex…” before laying her on her back and covering her with his immense body. “It’s so much better with you.”

A girly chuckle escaped her and she lifted one of her legs to wrap around his waist. “Take me, handsome.”

She wasn’t wearing any panties but he had to slide her lace night dress up over her bottom so he could enter her comfortably. It felt so good, he felt so good, it was hard to imagine. “You really want to be with only me for the rest of your life?” she asked.

“Totally,” he replied and kissed her lips as he dove in and out, making love to her in the best position, the most intimate position…

“I’m always wet when I’m around you, how can that be?” she asked against his mouth. “God you drive me crazy.”

“You drive me crazy,” he replied.

“Take my nightie off Max,” she begged. “I want to feel your chest against mine; I want your lips on me…”

They tossed the blankets off of their bodies and then instantly pulled them back over their heads. “It’s freezing!” Liz cried.

“Hmmm, but body heat is the best way to keep warm. You’re right, this’ll have to go,” he pulled her only piece of clothing over her head and then kissed her lips and made his way down her neck. All while he was inside of her and moving gently back and forth.

She chuckled and moaned at the same time. “No, no, come back up here, it’s cold…”

“I thought you wanted me to…?”

“Not any more! Not any more!” she cried. “Oh God Max, that feels so good.”

He rolled his eyes and covered her petite chest with his large one. “Make up your mind.” The feel of her nipples against his skin was enough to make his head spin.

“Just stay right there,” she mumbled, kissing his mouth and wrapping her arms around his neck. “Where I can see you.”

“Hmmm, that was my original thought,” he mumbled back. Then it was all seriousness when he drew out of her and thrust in harshly causing them both to moan out. When they released together and lay entangled in a sweaty, hot mass of flesh Max confessed seriously, “Liz, you make me so happy.”

She smiled so he could see. “You make me happy too Max. Even though lately it’s been hard to tell with everything that’s going on. We haven’t had a very good…hmm, union have we? Everything would be so much worse if you weren’t here. So thank you.”

~*~

I don't know what to say to make it better! Don't be put off by Max and Liz's weird life, I can't change it now!! :cry: Please don't run away! :puppydogeyes: I know it's psycho and crazy but don't we all make mistakes in life? That's what I'm going for, their very humanness, so it's more realistic. YOu know how in life we do things that make sense at the time and then late you realize it's actually the difficult way, not the best way. Anyway, that's the end of my shameful attempt at explaining stuff and grovelling, Thanks for you comments and fb,

~nicola
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Post by nicola » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:34 pm

TEN

Tess called Liz the day she heard the news of Charles and Peter’s deaths. “What you need is a good blow. So, because you know I’m the only one who will provide you with just that—I suggest that you’re here by seven-thirty.”

Liz smiled. Tess could be a really good friend sometimes—when she wanted to be. It might not be the conventional way of making someone feel better but it showed that she’d taken two minutes to worry about her. “I’m tempted,” Liz replied, “but I’m not sure cocaine is the best way to solve my problems—and hey, I thought you’d grown out of your self-destructive phase?”

“I have,” Tess replied amusedly, “Stan and I just happen to enjoy a little help relaxing after work occasionally. And as for solving your problems, of course it won’t but it can help you forget them for a while.”

Liz rested her head on her hand and thought, why not?

“Can I bring anything?”

“Yay!” Tess clapped her hands twice in glee. “No, don’t bring a thing. Just be here on time.”

“Say hello to Stanny boy for me,” Liz chirped.

“Kay darling!”

Max was working late anyway so the whole thing worked out very well. When she got there Tess poured her a bottle of wine and they sat down on the floor in front of the couch, behind the coffee table. The fire was blaring and there were a few candles around, which provided all the light they needed.

“Stan’s going to be home soon,” Tess explained. “I explained that we needed a cheering up session but he didn’t care. He thought it would be nice to see you again and—of course—join in.” She rolled her eyes. “Now, you know how to do this.”

Liz looked hesitantly at the little pile of white powder on a mirror in front of her before glancing up at Tess. She hadn’t used drugs since college!

“Want me to go first? I can tell you’re uncertain,” Tess said. “Some people just aren’t comfortable with it, but I think it’s very natural.”

Liz chuckled. “Tess, I don’t think there’s any question as to how you feel about it. Gimme’ that dollar.”

“We don’t have to use it; we can just get sloshed if you want.” Tess said trying to ease Liz’s nervousness.

“No, thank you,” Liz rolled the dollar bill and then sniffled up some of the white powder. “Free blow, is not a bad thing.”

“I just want you to feel better,” Tess explained. “I’m not very good at cheering people up, but I thought I could help you in this way at least.”

“Hmm thanks.” Liz replied dazedly. She was already starting to feel the effects of the drug.

Stan arrived about half and hour later and gave Liz a hug. “Heard about what’s going on and I’m really sorry.”

After he’d gone to have a shower they discussed the murders, despite their attempts to avoid the subject. In her dazed state, Liz also revealed her and Max’s engagement, despite their decision to keep it underwraps.

“I can’t believe it!” Tess was so happy for her. “I mean, we all knew it would happen eventually but it’s taken so long!”

“You don’t have to tell me that,” Liz rolled her eyes. “We’re pathetic, we know. We’ve established that.”

Tess laughed loudly. “Yes you are. So, am I the only one who knows?”

Liz nodded.

“Oooh, I feel special.”

“So you should,” Liz grinned. The room had gotten a purple, wobbly glow.

“Oh it’s just so unfair though, you should be celebrating but you’re too busy worrying about this whole other thing. I swear girl, when we find out who it is they are gonna pay. All the girls will teach whoever it is a lesson they’ll never forget.”

“Yeah, but we have to find out who it is first,” Liz sighed.

“I just can’t believe they don’t have any leads.”

Liz replied with, “I want Max to go away, out of the state for a while until this is over. You know, I’ve been trying my hardest to keep from telling him how scared I am. He’s bound to be on that list but he’s stuck, he can’t go away right now—the company needs him.”

“Work or life?” Tess snorted. “Liz, shake some sense into him. If it was Stan, I’d have shipped him to New Zealand by now.”

Max picked Liz up around midnight after coming straight from the office. She kissed and hugged Tess, thanking her for the good time and they went home. Max noticed she was being all loopy and found it very amusing.

“I love Tessy-wessy,” Liz sighed. “She can be a real cowey-wowey when she feels like it but tonight she proved how goodey-woodey she can be too.”

Max could only laugh at her weirdness. “I’m glad you had a good evening, sweetness. You needed an evening of fun.”

“I have something to talk to you about,” she said. “But it’s going to have to wait until I’m sane.”

“I think you mean sober.”

She shook her head, her eyelids dropping so they were half shut and her head falling dramatically down onto his shoulder. Seconds later she was sound asleep and Max had to carry her up to the room.

~*~

Thankfully, the next day was Sunday so she lay in bed with a bit of a headache until around one-thirty. Max had things to do in the office so she could hear the radio on quietly and his fingers tapping the laptop keyboard. Bruno slept at her feet and she kept nudging him with her toes so that he’d stretch, look at her and then curl back into a black furry ball.

He kept bringing her things like fruit juice, toast and then chocolate. He thought she was hung over—which she was a little bit because of all the wine—but mostly she was just having a lazy day. Eventually she told him the truth but had she known that his reaction would be so severe she never would have!

“You did what?” he exclaimed. “Are you insane? I know you’re under a lot of pressure but that’s just dropping to Tess’s level! God why would she offer something like that to you? To make things worse? To drag you further along the line that is self-annihilation?”

“Max, calm down,” she replied. “It’s not that big a deal.”

“Oh really?” he asked angrily. “You’re upset right now and doing something like that to ‘help’ is going to do the exact opposite.”

Liz sighed and rubbed her sleepy eyes.

“Oh, wait until I get a hold of her!” Max left the room in a huff and she heard him yelling at her on the phone.

“Max! Leave her alone! Jesus, just stop it!” she yelled.

He came back about five minutes later and sat down on the bed. “Now, we don’t have to worry about that happening again.”

“What did you say to her?” she asked angrily. “She was just trying to help.”

“Tried and failed,” he said gruffly.

“You’re being silly.”

“Silly?” he said and then shook his head at himself.

She waited but apparently he wasn’t going to talk about this anymore.

“Max, it’s not like this is going to become a regular thing, it wasn’t because I’m on some ‘self-annihilation’ thing.”

“Really?” he asked. “How can you be sure?”

“Come here…” she lifted her arms. “Lay down with me. I’m okay, you see?”

He was grumpy but he lied down in her arms anyway and let her kiss him softly.

“It’s you we should be worrying about,” she finally said. “It’s you that’s in danger. It’s you who I should have shipped away by now.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You can’t honestly believe that you aren’t in danger,” she explained, looking into his eyes. “If you stay here you’re going to get hurt…this job promotion couldn’t have come at a worse time.”

“If you think I’m leaving, you’re wrong,” he simply said.

“Max…” her arms tightened around him. “Aren’t you afraid? Because I’m terrified.”

“I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”

“We’re not talking about me,” she replied seriously. “We’re talking about you. Perhaps you could go and stay with family for a while…?”

“Oh come on.” He sat up and ran a hand through his hair. “If someone wanted to kill me, staying with family wouldn’t stop them.”

“They wouldn’t know where to find you,” she said. “Why are you shrugging this off? I just want you to be safe until this is over. You’re looking at me like it’s the most absurd thing…do you think you’ll be able to protect yourself? I’m sure the other guys thought that too.”

“The other guys didn’t know it was coming.”

“Charles and Peter did!” Liz retorted, rubbing her temples. “I just don’t understand you.”

“I’m going to be fine!” he cried. “And say there was even the slightest possibility—what would you do? As if I would leave you alone with some crazy freak on the rampage.”

Liz rolled over and buried her head in her pillow. “Just go away, you’re being dense and obviously want to make this harder for me.”

“You’re kidding me. Liz, you’re completely forgetting what this is like for me. Of course I know there’s danger, but what about you? Do you think this person is just killing these guys for fun? What do you think they’re gonna do once we’re all gone? Go on their merry-way? They obviously have a bone to pick with you. You don’t want me around for when that happens?”

She found herself on the verge of tears. “I’m trying to do what I think is best. Why can’t you understand that? Why isn’t that good enough?” She felt as if she was going to have a nervous breakdown any moment, she just couldn’t take this pressure anymore.

“This argument isn’t going anywhere,” he pushed up onto his feet and headed towards the door. “We aren’t going to agree, so let’s just forget it.”

“Ha! Then you’ll be getting your own way!” Liz yelled.

He didn’t reply, just went back to the office to work, work, work. That’s all he did now. That and agonize.

~*~

Liz called Tess the next day to apologize for Max. She told her that he just didn’t understand—that he was just worried about her. Tess’ response was, “No—I’m sorry. He was right, it was wrong of me to think that that would help anything.”

“You only wanted to help, for that I’m thankful.”

She went out for lunch with Maria and Isabel. It was very pleasant and she went back to the office in a good mood until Constance handed her some news that sent her off track in a downward spiral.

She’d asked, “Where’s Max?”

“The police came in,” Constance replied. “They had a search warrant to go through his office. I don’t think they found anything but they took him down to the station for questioning anyway.”

What?” Liz cried. “Why didn’t you call me?”

“He told me not to,” she dismayed. “He said that it would only worry you. He thought he might be back before you.”

“I’m going down there.” She was already pulling her coat back on. “Postpone my appointment with Mrs Cooper, will you?”

“Of course.”

~*~

ooh, hey everyone! Sorry about the little wait. Schools hectic sometimes :? Anyway, hope you liked it and thank you for the feedback.

Oh and, just because it's my thread and I can use it to parade whatever I like:
Image
for best Au writer, most underpraised writer, most improved writer and best period piece (behind the glamour)
So anyway--yay me!

Thanks Cristine for beta reading this part for me, I hope you have some knowledge on american law procedures for the next one :?

~nicola
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