Nice To Meet You Anyway(AU,M/L,Mature) (Complete)

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willowbv
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Nice To Meet You Anyway(AU,M/L,Mature) (Complete)

Post by willowbv » Thu Jul 29, 2004 1:28 pm

Winner - Round 7

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http://www.freewebs.com/inspired_1946/ntmu.jpg


Title: Nice to meet you anyway

Author: willowbv

Category: M/L, AU

Rating: Mature

Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell, I'm just a fan.

Summary: Liz Parker is a young talented scriptwriter for a popular television show. Max Evans is a famous young Hollywood actor in the perfect relationship and used to getting what he wants and what he wants is Liz Parker...

AN: This fic is going to be pretty short, I'm thinking five parts max. but i'll keep you updated on that. I'm hoping it won't get too angsty cuz I wanted to write something light and fun.

EDITED BECAUSE THIS FIC IS NOW GOING TO BE LESS THAN 40 PARTS, lol.

I've just this idea running in my head for so long, I had write it, so while I wait for my beta to get back to me about The Promise, I thought I'd start this one.

I got the idea from Gavin DeGraw's "Nice to meet you anyway" – hence the title of the fic. The fic is based around the song, so if you're looking for hints about the tone of this fic, here are the lyrics to the song:

I don't want to get too close
I don't want to get too close
You see this isn't where my head is
If you knew me I'm not like this
But I just found someone special
And that's really something special
If you knew me
Nice to meet you anyway

I belive you're very fine
Still I haven't got the time
'Cause I just found someone special
And that's really something special
If you knew me
Nice to meet you anyway

And the sky opened up
With the soil of the sun
Dreaming of my true love
I don't mean to be so strange
But my life just took a change
'Cause I just found someone special
And that's really something special
If you knew me
Nice to meet you anyway
And the sky opened up
With the soil of the sun
Dreaming of my true love

So before this goes too far
Let me tell you what you are
You're amazing, I'm attracted
But I'm terribly distracted

And I'm trying to be verbal
And I'm back into this circle
Because I just found someone special
And that's really something special
If you knew me
Nice to meet you
Nice to meet you
Nice to meet you anyway
Nice to meet you anyway

And even if you want me to stay here
I'm telling you right now
I should leave
Before I get to changing my mind, dear
I hope you understand what I mean

btw, his album is amazing!!! I highly recommend it.

Feedback would be great and much appreciated. Enjoy...


****

Nice to meet you anyway – Part 1

So it's Saturday night and I once again allowed my girlfriends to convince me to come out clubbing with them. I don't mind clubbing once in a while because I love to dance and it's very freeing, but going out every Saturday night? Not my thing.

Yet we've been doing it every Saturday for two months. Exploring the L.A. nightlife is pretty interesting and excellent inspiration for the show. I guess that's another reason I let them drag me out.

I'm a writer, a script writer to be precise. At 23, I may be young, but writing for one of the top shows on television and collaborating with film writers doesn't exactly come easy; I've worked hard to get where I am and I'm damn good at what I do.
I enjoy going to clubs on a minor scale, my leisure time favourites are more the, stay in with friends, go out to quiet bars, bowling, cinema, dinner - the less public and more intimate. I have enough of public when I attend the networking parties.

Tonight, we're at Fruit Cupboard. The music is good and I have to admit, I do love the perks of hanging out with famous friends especially the not waiting in line bit. Right now I've taken a break with Maria from dancing. She's at the bar getting us drinks and I'm moving to the music and people watching. I'm so captivated with watching some argument a group a few tables down are having that I don't notice Maria's arrival.

"Courtesy of Michael and Max," she shouts above the music as she hands me my delicious non-alcoholic strawberry shortcake cocktail.

Hmm, a duo this time. Last week it was Steven.

I raise my glass to toast the two strangers who had bought us our drinks. "Thank you Michael and Max." We click our glasses in ending the toast.

You gotta love the boys.

"You've got a chance to thank them in person because they're coming over," she tells me.

"Nooo," I groan.

Why must she do this to me?

"Be nice," she warns.

I shoot her a withering look, "I'll be as sweet as pie."

They're standing in front of our table now. I can see them from the corner of my eye but I refuse to acknowledge their presence.

Maria turns to face them. "Hey guys, take a seat, meet my friend Liz."

Oh the torture begins.

I paste on my polite face and flash them a fake smile. "Hi. Thanks for the drinks".

Just as I thought, they're cute. Okay, they're more than cute, they're gorgeous. One of them has really long grungy hair, he has an edgy look to him, he'd look great on camera and he's Maria's type. The other one has a rough and rugged thing going for him.

Edgy boy merely nods at me, slides his chair closer to Maria and they launch into a conversation. I take it they've met before.

I'm happy for her, I am, but that leaves me with rough and rugged guy who just stares at me and smiles. "It was a pleasure," he says.

Whatever.

I smile and look away.

Why oh why did I not stay on the floor with the rest of the girls?

****

It's fifteen painful minutes later and Maria and her guy are getting on like a house on fire.
I want to kill her.

I'm just about to make my excuses to leave when she grabs Edgy boy's hand and turns to me. "We're gonna dance." She leans into talk into my ear. "Will you be okay?"

"I will after I kill you," I reply sweetly.

"Liz, he's a nice guy. Just have fun with him."
She doesn't give me a chance to retort because she's already dragging Edgy guy towards the dance floor.

And I'm left with Mr. Rough and Rugged.

****

"I'm Max," he introduces himself.

Well answers that. Mr. Rough and Rugged is Max and Mr. Edgy is Michael.

"Liz," I respond.

"Liz," he practices it and I nod.

I like the way he says my name. I hate that I like it.

"You wanna dance Liz?" he asks.

Oh yeah, go onto the dance floor with you, so you can try to grab me, pull me closer to you and inevitably try to grind up against me? The fun.

"No," I reply.

"Why not?" he asked.

I can tell that he's surprised by my answer. It must be a first for him. That makes me feel like I've somehow accomplished something tonight.

"Because I don't dance with boys I don't know and no offence, but I don't know you," I reply.

He leans in closer so I can hear him above the music. "Well how about we go up there where it's more quiet and you can get to know me?".

He needs to back off.

"I don't think so," I reply stiffly. Why does he not get a clue?!

"Why not?" he asks.

I briefly consider conversing with him for a long period of time; it might be good or I might have to bear awkward silences and smiles, fake laughter and pointless conversation.

Of course I lean over and try to tell him these things but he keeps pretending that he can't hear me. I say he's pretending because a smirk keeps pulling at the corners of his mouth. He's become quite irritating but at the same time, I'm trying not to smile.
I fail at that attempt. He smiles back victorious.

I think he needs to be knocked down a peg or two.

I get up from my chair. "Come with me."

****

He follows me to the more quiet area of the club, he follows me pretty closely too because when I turn around to look for him, he's right there. I nearly bump into him but his strong arms keep me steady and keep us apart.

"You okay?" he asks.

I shrug him off. "I'm fine. Look, I'm not going to dance with you, " I tell him. "You have like no chance, so why don't you just go and find someone else?. I'm sure there are plenty of stunning girls who would be willing to dance with you."

"I don't doubt that..."

I clench my jaw. He's so cocky, can I slap him?

"But I want to know why you won't," he finishes.

"Because I don't want to," I reply.

"I can accept that," he nods.

"Good." Finally he gets it!...yet he's still standing in front of me.

"Why are you still here?" I ask.

"Because now that we're somewhere more quiet, I would still like to get to know you better."

"I don't," I reply. It's a bit harsh but his ego can handle it. "Look, you seem like a nice guy, a little on the cocky side but," I shrug, "whatever, but I'm not interested in conversation or anything you have to offer."

"I'll have you know that I'm an excellent conversationalist."
He continues as if what I said is irrelevant. What is wrong with him?!

"Good for you." I turn to go but he grasps my wrist, holding me back.

He lets go, his features soften and he looks at me pleadingly. "I promise I won't be boring and if I am then feel free to just leave."

"I can just get up and leave even if you're in the middle of a sentence?" I ask.
Okay, I know the whole puppy dog look is all part of his repertoire but, this could be fun.

"If I'm genuinely boring," he adds.

"Fine," I agree.

He leads me to a table and to my surprise, he pulls out a chair for me. Very gentlemanly. I should be flattered or impressed or whatever, I raise an eyebrow and give him credit, he's well versed in the right moves to impress a woman.

He opens his mouth to talk and I get up to leave.

"Hey!" he protests, "I didn't even say anything!."

Sitting back down, I smile. "Just had to try it out. It feels good to do that to someone, I hope I get the chance to do it again, genuinely".

"You won't."

"You're pretty sure of yourself aren't you?" I ask.

"Yes I am."

His full name is Max Evans, his name sounds familiar but I'm not sure why. Anyway, it turns out that I can have a pretty decent conversation with him.

****

I wasn't in the mood to go out tonight but Michael and the guys came round and wouldn't take no for an answer.
I have a girlfriend, but we have an open relationship; we can stray but at the end of the day, in front of the press, we're together. That works fine with me, I'm young, rich and famous. What fun would that be if I couldn't have whichever beautiful woman caught my attention?

We were at the bar when Maria slipped in-between Michael and I to get to the bar. Of course Michael and I recognise her. I'm a fan of Orange Sky, the show she's in plus, her and Michael did a movie together last year, so they knew each other quite well. We exchanged causal hellos. She just smiled and said "I'll have a tequila sunrise and a non-alcoholic strawberry shortcake for my friend Lizzie over there."
She pointed in a general direction filled out with a lot of pretty women. You gotta love L.A.

Maria's stunning. That's all that needs to be said. We bought the drinks and she told us to come over to her table in five minutes. The moment she left, Michael staked her as his. I had no problem with that, she seemed his type.

Liz.
My first impression of her, was that she was pretty, nothing too special that is until she opened her mouth and proceeded to deflect my efforts at trying to get her to dance with me. She wasn't fazed by me, infact, she pretty much ignored me for most of the time we sat at the table with Michael and Maria. I'm not used to getting ignored, so I'll admit that I took her on as a challenge to win over.

Now, she sits across from me, her features animated as she cynically tells me why clubs are not the location to find a steady boyfriend. One night stand options though were a certainty.
It strikes me then, she's not just pretty, or beautiful, she's breathtaking.
I blame the alcohol because I then tell her so.
From the expression on her face, I think what I just said somehow proves her point. She breaks off from talking and rolls her eyes.

"I'm refreshed enough. I'm gonna go back and hit the floor," she tells me as she gets up to leave.

I panic. I'm actually panicking because she's about to leave.

"Am I still not eligible for a dance?" I ask.

I have never before been so desperate to dance with someone.

"Nope," she answers.

"Can I at least have your number?".

****

Can he at least have my number?
Ummm, no.

Max is an actor; he's like a major Hollywood star and I have no idea why I did not know this. His occupation is a problem because I'm against romantic involvement with actors. Even though that's not what's going on between us. It's just a general thought my mind decides to remind me of. Actors platonically are excellent, romantically? it's always short term and has too much drama.

"No," I answer.

"Why not?" he asks.

Yep, he's back to irritating again.

"Because I'm going to think of this night as one of those really good one off encounters with a boy who I had a really good conversation with," I reply.

"I'll just get your number from Michael, who'll get it from Maria and then I'll call you."

"I won't hold my breath."

I say the words but I hope he rings.
Dammit, dammit, dammit! I think I like him.
It's definitely time to go.

I hold out my hand for him to shake. "Nice meeting you Max."

He takes my hand and kisses it instead.

I roll my eyes and frown. Does he never stop?

"Talk to you soon Liz."

I don't bother arguing. I just leave the table and go out in search of Maria and the girls. After a night like this, I just want to go home and write. The dialogue running around in my head is begging to be typed out.

I should send Max a card saying, thanks for the inspiration.

****
Last edited by willowbv on Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:11 pm, edited 53 times in total.

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Post by willowbv » Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:11 pm

AN:: Hey guys, here's a repost of part 2 and of the new part.


Previously

****

Can he at least have my number?
Ummm, no.

Max is an actor; he's like a major Hollywood star and I have no idea why I did not know this. His occupation is a problem because I'm against romantic involvement with actors. Even though that's not what's going on between us. It's just a general thought my mind decides to remind me of. Actors platonically are excellent, romantically? it's always short term and has too much drama.

"No," I answer.

"Why not?" he asks.

Yep, he's back to irritating again.

"Because I'm going to think of this night as one of those really good one off encounters with a boy who I had a really good conversation with," I reply.

"I'll just get your number from Michael, who'll get it from Maria and then I'll call you."

"I won't hold my breath."

I say the words but I hope he rings.
Dammit, dammit, dammit! I think I like him.
It's definitely time to go.

I hold out my hand for him to shake. "Nice meeting you Max."

He takes my hand and kisses it instead.

I roll my eyes and frown. Does he never stop?

"Talk to you soon Liz."

I don't bother arguing. I just leave the table and go out in search of Maria and the girls. After a night like this, I just want to go home and write. The dialogue running around in my head is begging to be typed out.

I should send Max a card saying, thanks for the inspiration.

****

Nice To Meet You Anyway - Part 2

Liz's POV

We leave the club at about 3am. I'm dropping everyone else home because I'm the non-drinker. We all live in close proximity to each other, so it's not too tasking. I take the drive as an opportunity to question a very merry Maria about a certain Max Evans. I've got as far as saying that I had a nice time with him, when she happily tells me that she gave Michael my number to give to Max.

"You did what?!" I explode.

Why, why, why?!!

"Max told Michael to ask me for your number and I gave it to him," she replies calmly.

"Without my permission."

"You said you had a good time with him," she says defensively. "What's the harm?".

What's the harm? What's the harm?!. I feel like exploding. The harm is that now, he might actually call me, thus ruining my one great encounter with a boy I barely know!. Why does no-one seem to understand that?!

I don't say this to her of course, because she's in that state where she's immune to my logic. Instead, I ask about Michael. She tells me how she met him last year on the set of an indie film she did with him. They had a love, hate thing going on at first until finally they became friends. My guess from the dreamy look on her face as she talks about him, is that now they're getting a little less platonic and more romantic.

"Max," she says his name pointedly, "is one of Michael's closest friends."

And that makes him worthy all of a sudden?

"That's good for him," an image of Max's cocky smirk flashes in my mind. Poor Michael.
"Good for him to an extent," I add.

I jump a little when Courtney, from the backseat directly behind me, slams her hand against my headrest. "Liz, can you for one second be excited and flustered? You spent the evening with Max Evans!" she shrieks.

"And Max Evans is what, a god?" I ask. "Is he really that big of a deal? I mean I haven't really heard of him."

"You would have if you weren't so wrapped up in working on scripts and ignoring my weekly commentary on Hollywood Weekly," chides Maria.

Okay, I admit it. I'm weary of Hollywood. I'm not jaded to the extreme, I do get starstruck and I keep up with the actors I like but, I know the system and the politics. It's not pretty, so excuse me if I don't leaf through every gossip mag or religiously watch E!.

"Have I seen any of his work?" I ask.

"Remember that indie flick, The Cafe?" asks Maria.

I nod. I watched it a while back, but it was really good.

"Max was the guy, Duke. With the spiky hair, tattoos-"

"and tongue piercing?" I supply.

"Yeah."

"Oh my gosh. He looks different now," I say amazed.

"The Cafe was like three years ago," Maria tells me.

"Oh okay. So he's good." I'll give him that, he is talented, his acting was amazing.

"He's not just a pretty face, he's got the talent to back him up," quips Isabel.

Great, I'm driving around with members of the Max Evans Fanclub.

Max Evans.
I'm starting to remember bits and pieces from Maria's ramblings and flicking through t.v.

"Doesn't he have a girlfriend?" I ask.

"Yeah. Tess Harding," replies Isabel.

"Blonde, blue eyes, stunning?" I ask.

Me not in the same league, I add silently.

"Don't let the All American look fool you," advises Courtney, "she's not sugar and spice and all things nice."

"So you gave my number to a boy who has a girlfriend?" I ask Maria in disbelief.

"They have an open relationship," she shrugs innocently.

"What?" I ask.

"It's a public secret, everyone knows about it," she explains. "There are no scandals to print because they're not cheating on each other without the other knowing."

I drive in silence for a few seconds, to give her a chance to re-evaluate her actions but she seems unrepentant and doesn't see anything wrong with her actions.

"Again," I say calmly and slowly so that maybe she'll understand. "You gave a boy like that my phone number?!".

Okay, so the calm ship has sailed.

"He doesn't love Tess," she replies. "That's why he sleeps around. You and him would make a better and actual couple."

"Not that I could be, but if I could, I wouldn't be a homewrecker Maria, even to a dysfunctional relationship like theirs," I tell her.

"You like him right?" she asks.

"Not so much now. And even if I did, I'm not gonna do anything about it because he's in a relationship and he sleeps around and he's an actor. You know I won't even consider actors."

"Good, then you can just be friends," she concludes.

I'm seriously considering trying to find new, saner friends.

****

I get home, get changed, work on the script for, the Awakening episode of Orange Sky and sigh thankfully when my head finally hit the pillow.

My enjoyable restorative sleep is disturbed by the incessant ringing of my cell phone. I, to put it mildly, am greatly irritated.

Who could be ringing me? What is wrong with people? don't they sleep?!

I keep my phone on my bedside table, so it doesn't take much effort to retrieve it. For that part, I keep my eyes closed but I have to open them slightly to locate the answer button.

"Hello?". My eyes are closed again, no way am I opening them even a little bit again.

"I told you I'd call." A very happy, slurred male voice responds.

"Max?". He's disturbing my sleep. I feel like wringing his neck. "I don't know what time it is, but I'm pretty sure it's too early for a phone call", I mutter through gritted teeth.

"I didn't want to keep you holding your breath waiting for my call," he says sweetly.

I'm not amused.

"First off, I said I wouldn't hold my breath and secondly, if I had, I would be dead by now."

My harsh tone leaves him unfazed. The power of alcohol, or is it ego?

"You're so witty and pretty," he says almost dreamily.

If the slurring wasn't a big clue, the sing-song voice is the giveaway.

"Are you drunk?" I ask.

"Just a little bit," he replies.

Fabulous. Drunken Max calling me in the early hours of the morning. And Maria wondered why I didn't want him to have my number.

"I like you Liz. I would love to make love to you," he says.

Never gonna happen, buddy.

"You have a girlfriend, that doesn't quite work for me," I tell him.

"You've been asking about me huh?".

I shake my head. Even when he's drunk, he's cocky.

"Guilty," I admit.

"She wouldn't mind. We have an open relationship."

"So I've heard," I say with a tone of disapproval.

"I'm really good in bed you know."

And the arrogance never stops, ladies and gentlemen.

"And yet I'm still not interested," I tell him.

"You know what I'd like to do with you Parker?" he asks.

Like I care.

"I'm gonna hang up," I warn him.

"I'd like to bring you back to my house-"

"Max-"

"Wine and dine you-"

"I'm really going to hang up-"

"Then take you to my bedroom and-"

"Goodnight Max." I hang up on him, switch off my cell and go back to sleep.

****

Max's POV

I wake up to find two half naked women on either side of me. I got back to sleep.
The next time I wake up, they're no longer there. I vaguely remember kissing each of them goodbye.
I grab my cell phone and make my way down stairs to the kitchen and grab the hang-over shake the guys left for me. We have a system for nights where we get drunk and bring back girls. The girls are usually gone by the time I'm fully awake though.
I head to the living room where Michael, Kyle and Jesse are sat watching t.v. and eating Chinese. Michael surprised me last night, he didn't bring a girl back. I think he's taking himself off the market for Maria. I have to say, it is a first.

"Who did you call this time?" Kyle asks.

It's a pattern with me, everytime I get drunk, I end up randomly calling people on my phone and saying things I'd normally never say out loud. Thankfully, they're always friends, people I can easily explain it to or who are used to it by now.
I look through my phone as I sit down. I nearly choke on my drink when I see the details of the person I called at 5:30am this morning.

"What?" asks Michael, after making sure I'm okay.

"Liz," I answer. "I called Liz."

I shut my eyes and cringe as I begin to remember our conversation.

"That bad huh?" asks Jesse.

"Yeah," I nod. "Guess I better get it over and done with." I put my drink down and head back upstairs to my room. Sitting on my bed, I dial her number.

I hope she doesn't hang up on me.

"Hello?" she answers.

"Hi, it's Max, " I say.

"You're sober," she notes.

"Sober and apologetic. Listen, I'm sorry for calling and for everything I said to you last night."

She's silent for a moment. She's making me squirm, I wonder if it's on purpose.

"Oh, so you really don't want to sleep with me?" she asks, her tone hurt and fragile.

Insult the woman's attractiveness, way to go.

"No! I-I-do," I stutter.

"Max, I'm just kidding," she laughs. "You'll sleep with anyone relatively pretty, so the fact that you would want to sleep with me does nothing much except minorly flatter me."

"Oh." My brain is catching up to what she said but I think in summary, she insulted me again.

"Apology accepted. Now do you see why I wanted our encounter to be a one off thing?" she asks.

"So I wouldn't call to proposition you?" I ask.

"Well, I wasn't expecting that, but it taints the effect of our one meeting because I know have a memory of you drunk and, well you get the picture."

The implications of her musings are quite clear to me. "I take it you never want to hear from me again?" I ask.

"Pretty much," she answers.

That stings. She's rejecting me. This is a no-holds barred rejection. I should accept that and leave her be, but I don't want to.

"I can't guarantee that," I reply honestly.

"I can. It's quite easy. Wanna know how?" she asks.

I bite. "How?".

The dial tone is her reply.
My jaw drops. She just hung up on me. I should be offended, outraged, I should at least be scowling, but instead I'm smiling.

****

Liz's POV

"Who was that?"

Noah's voice makes me jump. I whirl around to find him standing in the doorway with two glasses of water.

"No one worth talking about, " I reply. "Where you eavesdropping?".

He grins as he hands me my glass. "It doesn't take long to pour water. Plus it sounded interesting."

I hit him playfully across his shoulder as he settles on the lawn chair next to me.

"Trust me, " I tell him, "it wasn't."

We're sat in my backyard, enjoying the gloriously beautiful late afternoon sun.

Noah was my first love in high school. He was a senior, I was a junior. We lost ourselves in our love. We were all that existed. It was great at first but that kind of all is all consuming with no room left for friends or family, no life outside each other. We finally got it balanced but broke up anyway. He's now one of my best friends. He's got a long-term girlfriend now, her name is Linda and I am positive that they're going to get married. They met the way I thought I'd meet my soul mate, at university. I didn't find the love of my life or future husband there, after that, I kind of put off finding love as a main priority. If it comes, it comes, if not, then I'll deal with it.

I spend the rest of the day with Noah, I love having normal friends with normal lives. It keep me grounded and is always a breath of fresh air. Noah's a teacher, the kind who kids love and get inspired by. He's a great guy and a great friend...who constantly tries to set me up.

I think it's because he feels some sort of obligation to me because we were each others' first love. His found love, so he wants me to find it too. It's sweet in theory but in practice, it's annoying.

If him and Maria ever got together, all hell would break loose. So far, I've managed to keep them from meeting but I know I can't do it forever. Noah's at the point where he would cheer me on to get laid. That's why I decide not to tell him about Max. Max Evans is definitely not worth thinking about. I did an internet search on him and Maria was right. He is talented and he's got a decent side; he takes part in charity campaigns and donates money. He at least admits to sleeping around. His girlfriend Tess, is beautiful, they're the perfect Hollywood couple.

Someone pass me a bin to vomit into.

I like him a lot less now and since I'm not seeing him again anytime soon, my dislike of him won't present itself to be any sort of a problem.

****

Max's POV

Tess comes over later at night.
We've been together for four years now. She's gorgeous, smart, talented and great in bed. I met her at a party and we hit it off from there. I love our relationship because we understand the pressures of the lives we lead, we share the burdens, enjoy each other's company and just have fun together.
We don't live together, it keeps our extra-curricular activities away from our relationship, but when we get together, it's just me and her - no one else is involved.

On Thursday, we fly out. She's doing some promotional work in Japan and I'm going on press junkets to promote my new film. The days before our departures will be busy so this is the one night we'll have together completely to ourselves.
We make it extremely worth while.

****

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Post by willowbv » Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:14 pm

Previously

Max's POV

Tess comes over later at night.
We've been together for four years now. She's gorgeous, smart, talented and great in bed. I met her at a party and we hit it off from there. I love our relationship because we understand the pressures of the lives we lead, we share the burdens, enjoy each other's company and just have fun together.
We don't live together, it keeps our extra-curricular activities away from our relationship, but when we get together, it's just me and her - no one else is involved.

On Thursday, we fly out. She's doing some promotional work in Japan and I'm going on press junkets to promote my new film. The days before our departures will be busy so this is the one night we'll have together completely to ourselves.
We make it extremely worth while.

****

Nice to meet you anyway – Part 3

Max's POV

I haven't called Liz in two days. Being busy preparing for the press junkets and the MTV Diary of... I'm doing has helped but it still feels longer since I called her. I think it's because thoughts keep drifting in her direction, then I think I'm lulling her into a false sense of security. Michael then calls to confirm this by asking me to come with him to surprise Maria with a Chinese meal at her house. Apparently, she's just driving home from work and is too tired to cook. I tell him that she could order in herself and I can feel his glare even through the phone.
I'm shocked that he wants to do this. This is Michael Guerin we're talking about. Michael doesn't get attached or involved enough to do considerate things like this, but apparently, he does to Maria. Ladies and gentlemen, I think hell just froze over.

I'm taking that as a sign. If Michael and Maria are going to be a couple or something, then Liz and I are going to be seeing a lot more of each other – therefore, I can't leave her alone.

I agree to be his thirdwheel for a while, so I drive him down to Maria's, she of course is delighted by his thoughtfulness, like she would be anything else. She gives us the grand tour of her house and by the end of it, the situation becomes way to awkward for me. I tell them of my plans to leave when heading out, Maria asks me to drop off a couple of c.d.s at Liz's house.

"She needs them for inspiration. I was supposed to drop them off but now that Michael brought food..."

Rigghhhht. I suppress a knowing grin while I take the c.d.s.

Maria gives me her address and tells me that Liz is having a bath, so she tells me where she hides the spare key.

A visit to Liz Parker's house? How can I say no?

****

Liz's POV

After a fabulously relaxing bath, I head over to the fridge to grab a drink when I hear movement in the living room. I figure that it's Maria with my c.d.s.

"Hey Maria-Max! What are you doing here?!".

I think I startled him because he jumps a little. I don't really care because Max Evans is standing in my living room and I didn't invite him. In fact I never planned on seeing or talking to him again.
But then here he stands, while I'm...in my towel.

I fold my arms over my chest suddenly self-conscious.

"Well hello to you too, Liz," he half smiles.

I'm freaking while he smiles. I can tell he's enjoying this.
I glare at him. "Again, what are you doing here?".

"Maria got a little...busy with Michael. So she sent me to drop off the c.d.s". He points to the CDs on my table.

"Oh." Maybe I did over-react but Maria could have called. "Thanks."

"You're welcome."

I stare at him expectantly. He just stares back. He's obviously not familiar with situations like this so I help him out.

"C.ds are here, I'd say that's a job done. You can go now," I tell him.

"See," he begins sheepishly.

Already, I don't like where this is going.

"There's a bit of a problem I thought you could help me out with."

I fix him with a blank stare. "I'm listening," I say in monotone.

"I've got the car me and Michael came in, so Michael has no wheels. I need to keep myself busy until I can pick him up."

No way is he staying longer than he has to. "He can call a cab," I tell him.

"Sorry, no can do. Besides, one less car on the road. It's better for the environment, saves on pollution."

I stare at him open mouth and exasperated.

Why me? Why me?!

"So go entertain yourself somewhere else!".

He seems to be unaffected by my anger because he merely shrugs. "You live closer. I'm not asking for much, just a place to hang out for a few hours."

I cannot. be. bothered. to argue. with him.

"Fine," I reluctantly agree. I head over to the kitchen and grab a drink from the fridge. "You can stay here. But I'm not going to be good company because I'll be working in my room."

"That's fine." He flashes me a brilliant smile as I walk up to him.

I flash him an unamused stare in response before picking up the c.d.'s off the table.
"Dvd collection is over there," I point to a set of shelves by the television, "there's some food in the fridge. Knock yourself out."

"Liz."

I start to head back to my room but his call stops me. "Huh?".

"You look sexy in that towel," he smirks.

****

Nina Gordon's "Tonight and the rest of my life" plays in the background as the heartbreaking break up between Chloe and David plays in mind.
They're one of my favorite couples and writing their break up scene is both fun and painful.

I make a note to suggest this song as the soundtrack for this scene to Steve, the music director, when a shadow in the doorway catches my eye.

Max is leaning against the door frame watching me. I suddenly feel very very naked.
Naked and angry.

"How long have you been standing there?", I demand.

"Through two songs, so about six minutes."

"I don't appreciate being watched like that," I tell him. "It's creepy."

"Sorry."

"No you're not", I retort.

He shrugs. "You're right, I'm not. "

He just stands there in the doorway and stares at me. It's annoying. "What do you want Max?".

"You've been holed up in here for like four hours. I've ordered Chinese, take a break." He doesn't even wait for my reply, he walks back down the hall. I consider staying in my room for a while longer, but he's right. I've done enough for tonight. I follow him down the hall to the livingroom.

****

Max's POV

"I hope you didn't make any long distance phone calls while you were at it," she calls behind me.

I choose not to respond to that. I'm sensing that she's a little mad at me for spying on her. It wasn't exactly spying, but I was bored and wanted to see what she was doing. Could I help it if I was enchanted by the way various emotions creased her features?
She's an interesting girl to watch.

I don't say anything until we're sat down on the sofas. "Nice dvd collection by the way. You're an all-rounder."

She shrugs. "A genre for my every mood." She picks up the dvds on the table, The Bourne Identity and Charlies Angels – Full Throttle. "I see you were feeling a little action and... " she grins mischievously, "sexually frustration (Charlie's Angels)?"

Pretty much and you're not helping much in those pajamas, I reply silently.
She's wearing a pair of drawstring shorts and vest. It makes her look cute in that teasing way.

"Did you get much work done?" I ask instead. I need to focus on something else apart from how attractive she looks.

"Yeah," she replies with a smile. She has this dreamy, satisfied look on her face that I can't help but stare at.
And of course, she catches me.

"What?", she asks.

"Nothing," I tell her. "It's just you get this look in your eyes when you talk about your work. You really love it don't you?".

"I do," she nods earnestly. "I mean it feels great to turn on the screen and hear and see people act out what I wrote....What?".

Oh dammit, I'm staring again.

"Nothing, I just like looking at you," I tell her honestly.

She blushes shyly. I can't help but smile, it's endearing.

"Does it never end with you?" she asks, recovering from her blight of shyness.

"I was just being honest!", I protest.

"Whatever."

There's a tone in her voice I don't like. It's a tone that someone uses when you confirm their negative expectation of you. I don't want Liz to think badly of me unless it's actually based on truth.

"What is your problem with me?" I ask her.

****

Liz's POV

"Excuse me?" I ask shocked that he asked me bluntly.

"On the phone, on Sunday, that's when it started. I mean it was there before that was just normal but since then, you have this intense dislike of me. What's up with that?" he asks.

Gosh, he looks almost hurt and I feel bad.

"I'm sorry," I apologize. "It's just when I met you, you were just this boy. This cocky, good-looking boy, who wouldn't take the hint-"

"You think I'm good-looking?".

That cocky grin is back and I don't feel bad anymore.

"And then I find out that you're Max Evans, playboy, male slut in an open relationship," I tell him without holding back.

"And?" he asks as if it's nothing out of the ordinary.

"That kind of tarnished my image of you," I tell him.

"Why?".

"Because-I mean, how can you be in a relationship and claim to love that person while each of you just make love to other people and you both know about it, it's crazy!," I erupt.

"I don't make love to them. I have sex, it's different," he explains.

I throw him an incredulous look. Yeah, sure it is.

"I make love to Tess, because I love her and I have sex with other people because...it's a good time."

"So you only use the term make love to people you love?" I ask.

"Yeah," he replies.

I seem to recall him in his drunken stupor telling me that "he'd love to make love to me", that would mean that he was in love with me, which of course he's not. I choose not to point out this as the conversation is ridiculous enough.

"How can Tess be fine with this? Sharing you with who knows how many other women?" I ask.

"She's fine with it because she has other guys too. We sleep with other people for a good time, it's meaningless fun. I mean we're young and don't want to be that committed yet. No one gets hurt, everyone knows exactly what's what."

"Why can't you just be single and sleep around?" I ask. "That makes more sense than this. You can't say you love someone and then sleep with other people."

"Why not?".

I feel like the only sane person in the room as I struggle to restrain another outburst.

"I guess because I think that if you love someone. You love them only, you sleep with them only, because they're all you need," I tell him.

"That's...sweet," he smiles. "You're a romantic aren't you?".

"I value the sacredness of love and am a firm believer in monogamy," I answer.

"You're missing out on a lot of fun," he grins suggestively.

I glare at him unimpressed. "I somehow doubt it."

The doorbell rings. I'm not expecting anyone so...

"That's the Chinese, you're paying," I tell him.

"I'm the guest," he argues.

"The uninvited guest. Plus, you're male, and an actor. Play the chivalrous male role and pay the bill."

He mock frowns at me as he gets up and heads for the door. "Does this mean we're on a date?" he asks.

"Do you go on dates with the girls you sleep with or do you just get right into it?" I ask over my shoulder.

****

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Post by willowbv » Sat Aug 07, 2004 8:17 pm

****

Max's POV


The phone rings just as Liz heads off to the bathroom. "Hey, will you get that?!" she calls as she disappears down the hallways.

"Sure!" I reply and pick up the phone. "Hello?".

"Hi, who's this?" asks a male voice.

"Max," the protective guarded tone I reply with surprises me. "Who's this?". I can't keep the jealous boyfriend tone out of my voice. It's strange.

"Noah," he replies.

That means nothing to me.

"Her..." I help him along.

"Boyfriend," he finishes.

"Oh," I manage in a small voice.

Liz has a boyfriend. She never told me.

"Just kidding," laughs Noah. "I'm a friend. Are you interested in her?".

"Ummm....that's a little forward don't you think?" I ask.

"Your hesitation was answer enough- hey are you the same guy who called on Sunday?".

"I should hope so," I reply.

"So you're interested in Liz?" he asks.

I look around, Liz isn't nearby and the guy sounds harmless enough.

"I could be why?" I ask.

"You a good guy?".

"I like to think so."

He chuckles. "Well since she let you into her house, I'd agree with you there".

Just when it might get interesting, Liz decides to come and ruin the fun.

"Who's on the phone?" she asks.

I cover the mouthpiece. "Noah," I reply.

Her eyes light up and she makes her way to the couch. "Oh. Give me the phone."

I raise my hand up to stop her. "Hold on."

"Then go for it," Noah tells me. "I mean, even if you're not looking for anything serious, you could at least give her a good lay. I love Liz, I do but she's 23 and still the big V, you know something has to be done."

To say that I'm surprised by this information is an understatement. I glance in awe and the increasingly impatient woman before me.
She's still a virgin.
I don't question why I feel relieved and happy about that, I don't have time because now she's on the couch next to me trying to grab the phone away from me.

"Give me the phone," she demands as I avoid her grasp.

I put my hand over the mouthpiece. "I've got Noah's permission to give you a good lay. He thinks that you're sexually frustrated", I tell her with a straight face. I only last a few seconds because, her eyes flare and she gets all riled up, a wide teasing grin sweeps across my mouth.

"I'll kill him." She lunges at me and ends up lying ontop of me.

Thank you Noah.

She manages to wrangle the phone away from me and immediately digs into Noah.

Poor guy.

****

Liz's POV

"What are you like my pimp now?!" I shout.

I cannot believe that he said that to Max of all people!

"Lizzie, you know I have your best interests at heart."

I can hear the laughter in his voice and it's not helping his case. I let it go. We've been around the "get Liz laid" tree wayyy too many times, it's just this time, why did he have to involve Max?

"What are you calling me for?" I ask.

"A little get together at my house at the weekend? " .

"Sure, I'll be there. What time?".

"At two. Bring Maria and your other friends too. I've heard of them but haven't me them" .

This is exactly what I was afraid of. Noah and Maria meeting. "I don't know if they can make it, with their schedules and all", I begin apologetically.

"Liz, I'm beginning to think that you're ashamed of us, normal people," he jokes but I can hear the hurt in his tone.

I sigh in defeat. "I'll ask them."

"Good. Oh and bring Max".

What? Woah, no. Baby steps here. Baby steps.

"Uh no," I reply.

"That'll do for now. See you Saturday."

"Bye."

I hang up the phone and glance at Max to see him staring at me again.

"What?" I ask.

"Nothing," he replies innocently.

He is act needs work because I can see that smile tugging on either side of his mouth. That could only mean one thing.

"He told you didn't he?".

"Told me what?". He feigns innocence but I know he knows, so I might as well get it over and done with.

"Yeah, I'm 23, I'm a virgin and I'm proud and you can just wipe that look off your face Mister," I tell him.

"What look?".

"The look that all guys have when they find out a girl's a virgin. They're soo excited to try and break her in, taste the cherry. Well you can forget buddy."

To my surprise, he doesn't say anything in response. He just looks at me for a moment with an expression I can't read, smiles and picks up his Chinese food. "Let's eat."

****

Max's POV

We eat and talk. I stay away from any cherry related topics although everytime I think about it, I feel lightheaded and happy. I ask her about her work, she refuses to give away anything happening in upcoming episodes of Orange Sky.

"I didn't know you were a fan" she comments.

"And I didn't know that you wrote for the show. Why didn't you tell me?" I ask.

She paused and her face contorted into an expression intense inner struggle. "The time never seemed right," she replies melodramatically. She rolls her eyes and with light laughter asks, "What does it matter?".

"It doesn't," I reply.

It was just something I didn't know about her and feel like I should have known.
She asks about what I'm doing and I tell her all about the junkets and the MTV Diary of...

"So at some point you might get filmed do you mind?" I ask.

"Am I going to see you again after this?" she retorts.

I'm hurt by that but I don't let her see it.

"Well, if Michael and Maria get together then you'll be seeing a lot of me," I tell her.

I watch as she considers it for a moment. "Fine," she agrees with a reluctant smile.

****

We watch a movie and somehow both end up dozing off. I wake up to the credits and to find Liz nestled comfortably against me. I slowly move her, so that I can get out and ring Michael for news.
He's spending the night.
Big surprise there.

It's really late and I'm too tired to drive home.

****

Liz's POV

My hand reaches over and turns off the alarm clock. I roll back and rest against the warm comfy pillow.
The warm comfy pillow that's breathing.
My hand touches the pillow and I'm surprised to feel warm flesh.
I reluctantly open my eyes. I'm resting against someone. My eyes travel upwards. I'm in my bed.
My eyes grow wide as I recognize the person sleeping in my bed with me.
I'm in my bed with Max Evans. I'm laying on Max Evans' naked chest!

What is he doing in my bed?!

****
Max's POV

Last night, I was tired and didn't want to drive. She was sleeping on the couch, so I went to get a blanket from her room, not wanting to disturb her. I admit, I did snoop around her room. Her bed felt comfortable and I decided to get some sleep.
How was I to know that she'd get up during the middle of the night and slip back into her bed?

That's what I explain to her as she shouts at me.

"Um I don't know because I live here maybe?!", she replies. "And how dare you make yourself comfortable in my bed!".
"I had to sleep somewhere!", I protest.

"You should have tried the floor.," she retorts. "Look, I can't deal with you right now. I gotta go get ready."

Grabbing a towel, she leaves me standing speechless in my boxers, in her bedroom.

Everything had been great until that blasted alarm. I admit, I did wake up early and watched her sleep and she did feel good in my arms but I don't think at this moment in time, she'd appreciate that news.

****

Liz's POV

I walk into the kitchen, showered and clothed to find Max cooking.

"I'm making make up breakfast," he smiles shyly.

He's made me eggs, bacon, the full works.

"You're forgiven," I smile.

The shower gave me time to think and all in all, it hadn't been a bad night. Max was good company and the bed fiasco was just that, a fiasco, that wasn't worth getting upset about.
I forgave him while I was dressing up, but I don't let him know that.

Max waits until I sit down before he pulls out a chair for himself and joins me for breakfast.

He waits and watches almost nervously as I put the first portion in my mouth.

"This is actually good. I didn't know you could cook," I tell him impressed.

"My mamma taught me to handle myself in the kitchen," he says in a southern accent.

"She taught you well," I approve. "So I'm guessing Michael slept over at Maria's?".

He nods.

I smile. I'm guessing somebody got some last night and it definitely wasn't me.

"What are you up to today?" I ask him.

"Pick up Michael. Grab a shower at home, got a few meetings to do, all with the MTV crew taping."

"Sounds like fun."

"Liz?".

"Hmm?".

"Maria and Michael are going to be together, probably, so do you think maybe we could get along?" he asks.

I feel guilty. We didn't really reach a resolution last night.

"I guess I don't dislike you Max, I just disapprove. Two completely different things" I tell him.

"I'm taking that as a yes?".

"Yeah," I nod.

We eat the rest of breakfast in companionable silence. We get everything we need for the day and head to our cars. We wave goodbye as we head off to our busy days.

It's funny, as I watch him drive off, I have this random thought that I could get used to this kind of routine.

****

Max's POV

Michael decides to visit Maria on set and asks if I want to come along and visit Liz. Whenever I think of her, I smile. There is no way I would pass up an opportunity to visit her, so with MTV Diary in tow, I head over to the Orange Sky set.

Maria of course is overjoyed to see Michael. Liz pulls me aside and asks me through gritted teeth, what I'm doing here.

"Michael came to see Maria, I came to see you," I tell her.

"Why?".

"I like spending time with you. I like our banter," I tell her honestly.

"I guess I do keep your ego in check," she reluctantly agrees.

"Exactly. So, wanna head out to have some lunch somewhere?".

She looks over at the camera crew dubiously. "With the camera's in tow?".

"Do you mind?".

"Why not?," she shrugs. "We've got two hours tops."

"I'll take what I can get."

****

Liz's POV

We go to a restaurant nearby and of course, during our meal, people come up to Max for autographs and he graciously signs. I do have to give him credit, he fulfills his movie star duties and he's nice to the fans, genuinely nice. I like watching him interact with them. There's this light that shines from his eyes, his whole face lights up.
After a couple of times, he catches me.

"What?" he asks.

"Nothing...it's just, you have a nice smile," I tell him.

"Was that a compliment?" he asks with dancing eyes.

"Don't let it go to your head."

I'm used to the ever-present camera crew. They're nice people, we joke around a bit until it's time to go.

I don't really know what these random Max encounters are about, but I have to admit, I'm starting to like them...still, the idea of friendship with Max Evans leaves me a little uneasy, I feel like I'm going into unknown, uncharted territory.

***

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Post by willowbv » Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:12 pm

AN: Hey all, thanks for the bumps and feedback. Here are some more random encounters, enjoy :wink:

....

Previously

****

Liz's POV

We go to a restaurant nearby and of course, during our meal, people come up to Max for autographs and he graciously signs. I do have to give him credit, he fulfills his movie star duties and he's nice to the fans, genuinely nice. I like watching him interact with them. There's this light that shines from his eyes, his whole face lights up.
After a couple of times, he catches me.

"What?" he asks.

"Nothing...it's just, you have a nice smile," I tell him.

"Was that a compliment?" he asks with dancing eyes.

"Don't let it go to your head."

I'm used to the ever-present camera crew. They're nice people, we joke around a bit until it's time to go.

I don't really know what these random Max encounters are about, but I have to admit, I'm starting to like them...still, the idea of friendship with Max Evans leaves me a little uneasy, I feel like I'm going into unknown, uncharted territory.

***

Nice To Meet You Anyway - Part 4

Liz's POV

When my home phone rings late in the evening, I'm so deeply engrossed in watching re-runs of Alias season three - what can I say, I'm a fan - that I contemplate just letting the machine get it, but then again, it might Noah calling about the weekend or someone who will understand when I tell them I'll brusquely tell them to call later. I know I could easily just pause the dvd and come back to it later, but hey, I'm in the moment.

I answer the phone, planning to make the interaction quick. "Hello?"

"Hey, guess who?".

I don't withhold the groan. It's none other than Max Evans.
Okay, so after him staying over and us sort of spending time together, I'm getting used to him being in my life but I'm not quiet at that stage when I'm glad he called.

"How did you get my home number?" I ask him, "I'm unlisted".

"Maria" he replies.

I shake my head, try to frown but end up with a begrudged smile.
It's like everything I say to her goes in one ear and out the other.

"Is this a life or death call?" I ask him.

"No."

"Good 'cause, I'm in the middle of something. You have my number, call me in half an hour."

I hang up, not even waiting to hear his reply and get back to watching Alias.

I've taken to hanging up on Max everytime he calls, I don't do it to everyone else, it just seems fitting for him. I guess he's just special.

He doesn't call back in half an hour and I'm surprised to find that I'm a little disappointed because I don't doubt our conversation would have been entertaining...but no way am I going to call him.
He calls back three hours later and apologizes in a hushed voice and I accept it. He then proceeds to ask me about my day.

Forgive me for being momentarily stunned but it's not everyday that someone calls and asks me about my day. I'm even more stunned because the person calling me is Max Evans who by the way is in New York promoting his new film.

"Are you sober?" I ask suspicious.

"Of course," he replies defensively. "Why do you ask?".

I adjust my seating position on the sofa, so that I'm more comfortable because clearly this is going to take a while.

"You're calling me out of the blue, late, asking me about my day and talking in a really quite voice," I reply. "Where are you anyway?".

"In my hotel room".

Something about his tone makes me think that there's more to it than that, so of course I push it. "And would you be nearly whispering in your hotel room because..."

"Because after a lot of interviews and appearances through the day, I went to a party and came back to the hotel with a little company," he replies.

Company...it takes me at least five seconds to realize what he means by that and considering it's Max, that's an extra four seconds too long.

"Of course you would -wait a sec, how long ago did you sleep with her?", I ask.

It's a ridiculous thought to voice aloud but I might as well get it answered. His momentary hesitation however, tells me that it may not have been so ridiculous.

Is it a her or a them - wait I don't wanna know.

"She's just drifted off to sleep," he replies.
My jaw drops. "So, not so soon after you just had sex with someone, you sneaked out of bed into the..."

"more or less the living room," he supplies.

"You sneak into the living," I continued, "and called me?".

"Yep."

He is unbelievable.

"Did you even cuddle?" I ask.

"She's not the cuddling type which is what I needed tonight," he replies.

I open my mouth to say something, but nothing comes out. I try again. "It really is just sex to you isn't it?" I ask. I don't know why but I'm a little hurt and disappointed.

I can almost see him nodding whole-heartedly. "And to her too."

Oh goody at least they're on the same level sex priority wise.

"Talking to you just after you've had sex with someone really weirds me out, I feel like I need to take a shower," I tell him.

"A cold one?" he asks in a low sexy voice.

I roll my eyes. I'm used to his sexual innuendoes by now.

"Not over you," I quip.

"If not me, then who?" he asks his voice suddenly taking on a serious edge.

I bite back a smile. This is one girl you're never going to have Mr. Evans.

"No-one at the moment," I reply coyly.

I'm expecting a comeback but instead he totally changes the subject. I don't bother to question why.

"So are you going to tell me about your day?" he asks.

I shudder and shake off the image of him just having had sex with someone, rolling off the bed and calling me.
Eww.

"Not this time," I reply. "Next time, don't call me right after you've just had sex with someone and maybe I'll tell you about my day," I tell him sweetly before hanging up the phone with a satisfied grin.

****
Max's POV

I call Tess every other day, I call Liz everyday. I realize that it probably should be the other way around but it's as if I can't help it. Late at night, after everything is done and not after I've just slept with someone, calling Liz is automatic. Dialing her number has become second nature to me.

The problem with calling someone everyday as Liz pointed out to me on the third day I called her, was that you run out of stuff to talk about, which leads to awkward silences which she hates and that's why she prefers to say what she has to say and just hang up the phone.

She was right about the awkward silences, so we decided that if it was awkward beyond tolerance then we'd just call each other to just say goodnight and for her to get over the not too unbearable silences, I broached an idea to her.

"They don't have to be awkward," I told her. "They can be comfortable silences where we listen to each other breathing."

"Do you mind if I use that line?," she asked, 'cause it's a swooner".

The things that Liz comes out with always either make me smile, surprise or challenge me. In the three weeks I've known her, she had rapidly become one of the people in my life who keeps me grounded. Which is why after finding out that Tess had to stay in London promoting her movie for a few more days, that all of my co-stars had dates and my top three back-ups were busy and finally after Michael suggested that I take Liz - I concluded that she should have been the first person I should have called after Tess broke the news.

Liz would be the perfect date for the premiere of my new film, Dementia. It's one of the projects I'm really proud of because first of all it's a great script and secondly I got to work with a lot of talented actors, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Denis Hopper, Kirstin Dunst, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman - amazing people who taught me a lot.

****

The next day, I call Liz. The premiere is on Thursday and today is Tuesday. I know it's short notice but I have no doubt that she'll say yes, an opinion I don't withhold from the Diary of... camera crew.

****
Liz's POV

I'm at Isabel's when Max rings my cell. I've grown accustomed to his calls and to anyone who asks, I've even gone further than that and actually call he and I friends, so because he's my friend, I pick up.

"Hi."

"Hey, I need a favour," he tells me.

"If it's a sexual one, I'll think about it."
I can tell that my response stops his train of thought.

"Really?" he asks hopeful.

"I've just watched Troy, Brad Pitt - beautiful man," I explain.

"I do believe he's taken," he drawls amused.

"A girl can dream," I tell him. "So what's the favour?".

I know exactly what the favour is. Maria and Noah, The Duo, as I like to call them, ambushed me and told me that Max needed a date, was going to ask me and in no way was I to refuse.

I obviously needed to know the full reasons that led to his predicament, so I called Michael and asked him to tell me...in detail.

"I was wondering, I know it's short notice, but could you be my date for the premiere on Thursday?" he asks.

"Tess can't make it?" I ask, the picture of innocence.

"She's in London."

"Are any of your co-stars solo?".

"All have dates," he answers.

I play along for a little while longer.

"So after Tess and your co-stars, I was the next one down to ask?".

"Of course," he replies.

Liar, Liar.

"Funny, according to Michael, I'm the...seventh person down the list," I tell him pleasantly.

"Oh."

Yeah buddy boy, I know.

I drop the sweetness act. "Yeah oh," I retort. "So after finding out that I'm the sixth person you've called on your list of standbys, after Tess of course, just how willing do you think I am to do you this favour?" I ask through gritted teeth.

"Not very?" he supplies sheepishly.

"You got it."

I hang up. He rings back.

"What".

"I'm sorry."

A quick apology, that makes it okay right?
Heck no.

"For making me feel like a reject, not even second best but seventh? Is that what you're sorry for?" I ask.

"Yes," he answers emphatically.

"Awww," I gush, "It's good to know you're sorry but my answer is still no. Try number eight down your list."

I hang up again. He calls me back.

"Liz, please."

I pause as if seriously considering accepting his apology. Nah, he's gotta do better than that.

"The premiere is on Thursday as I understand it, you have a day and a bit to convince me to come as your date. Good luck with that," I tell him. "By the way, if you call again, I won't pick up," I add.

I hang up and he doesn't call back.

Isabel raises an inquisitive eyebrow at me.

"Don't even ask" I tell her.

She doesn't ask and I can't help but tell her.

It feels really good when someone agrees with a decision you make. It feels even better when someone is trying to get into your good books. Case-in-point, the next day, I arrive at work the next day, to find twenty five bouquets of gorgeous white roses.

I stand there looking around the office in shock. I've never had so many flowers at one time and they're beautiful!. To top it off, there's a card.
Encouraging shouts from my co-workers force me to pick it up and read it.

You are beautiful, funny, smart and keep me in my place.
I could go with someone else but we wouldn't have the kind of fun that you and I would.
You are the perfect date for this and no-one else.
Call me with a yes.

- Max


"What's it say?" asks Marissa, "more importantly, who are they from?".

I try to keep an unaffected expression going as I slip the card into my bag but I fail miserably.
I can't help but smile, it's a sweet gesture and he's forgiven. But he's also someone who doesn't have to beg with girls, the ones he sleeps with or any other. They just swoon and say yes...I kinda want to make him beg.

"They're from someone who needs to try harder," I tell her.

****

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Post by willowbv » Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:14 pm

****

At 4pm, I get a delivery of seven boxes of luxury Guylian Praline chocolates - my favourites, which leads me to believe that he's getting help from either Maria or The Duo.

I can understand Noah's persistence, he's happy that he's got someone and wants me to have someone too, short of that, he just wants me to at least get laid this year and after consultation with Maria, he figures that Max would make it a great experience for me. I'm somehow touched by his concern.

Maria on the other hand is just crazy, she thinks Max and I would make a good couple, only he's already in a relationship with someone he loves as I've gathered from our conversations about Tess - Maria can't seem to accept that he's taken.

As I did with the roses, I keep two boxes of the chocolates and give out the rest. Ten minutes after they've been delivered, Max calls.

"So, am I forgiven? Will you be my date?" he asks.

He sounds desperate but then again, he's an actor and I'm having way to much fun with this.

"The chocolates are tasty and the flowers were beautiful," I tell him.

"Is that a yes?".

"It's a try harder," I answer before hanging up.

****

Max's groveling activity is non-existent the rest of the day and I think that maybe he's given up until I talk to Maria.

"Are you seriously not gonna be his date?" she asks.

"Of course I will," I reply as if it's the most obvious thing in the world. "I just want to make him sweat it out a bit, that is if he still really wants to take me," I tell her voicing my doubts. "I mean for all I know, he's found someone else."

"Oh no, he definitely wants you and no-one else, which is why he's a little stressed right now."

"Good."

"It's a big night for him Liz," she tells me, "He's really proud of this film."

"I know and I'll go with him, but don't tell him that yet okay?".

"Hey, I love seeing guys grovel, so I won't ruin your party," she replies.

We make plans about the time and venue for hair and makeup and my outfit. Maria as Michael's date, has already got hers sorted but since I'm the last minute girl, Maria's letting me borrow her stylist for the day.

I've done the red carpet before with Maria and it's always a blast especially since the media attention isn't on me but on someone else, I was just the friend to her and I'll be the same for Max, I just get to bask in the glamour of it all.
I have to admit, I'm excited not only by the caliber of actors who are going to be there but because I'm going with Max, somehow I don't think that it'll be a boring night.

****

The day of the premiere, I'm working from home. My door bell rings and a package is delivered. When I open the slender case, I find a delicate, incredibly expensive looking, diamond necklace, complete with diamond stud earrings along with a card.

You'll look breathtaking in these

Max


I have to sit down and stare at them, they are beautiful, diamonds are really a girl's best friend. I will have to give them back to him though, they're too much to give.

****

Half an hour later, Max rings to find out my answer and even I don't believe myself when I tell him to try harder and hang up.

I spend the next two hours wondering what the heck is wrong with me and if I was too harsh on him, when my door bell rings. I open the door and there stands a very desperate looking Max Evans.

****

Max's POV

"Max!" she says surprised.

She's surprised.
She's surprised?! what else was I supposed to do?!

"Liz, I've done everything I can think of to get you to say yes. Flowers, chocolates, jewelry- I can't think of anything else. I am truly sorry for making you feel like a reject."

"Seventh best," she amends.

"Seventh best. I like our banter, I like our friendship and it would be my true honor if you would be my date for this evening," I plead.

If she says no, I'll just go by myself because there is really no-one else I want to go with right now. It's Liz or no-one.

She has me on edge when she opens her mouth to respond.

"Max, I forgave you a little after talking with Michael and then I forgave you completely after the roses," she tells me.

I was on edge, preparing to fall down the abyss and then she comes out with something like that?!.

I stare at her dumbstruck.
All this effort, all this stress and she forgave me after the roses?!

"Then why the ' try harder replies? ' ", I ask.

She shrugs.
She's shrugging as if it isn't a big deal!

"It's been a while since you've had to work to get a girl to say yes to you hasn't it?" she asks.

"What does that have to do with playing games with me?!," I shout.

She calmly folds her arms across her chest and stares at me hard. "Focus on the question Evans. Girls. Hard work. Yes or no?".

She infuriates me, I realize then, she actually infuriates me yet I'm still standing on her doorstep. I just might be crazy.

I look heaven-wards before looking back at her with a reply. "Yes, it's been a while," I answer.

"Thus the point of my 'game' ," she smiles, "As well as being very valid to me, it was to remind you how it feels to have to work hard for that magic answer."

I don't know what to say. I want to hit something as she stands there as if it's no big deal. I want to shout at her and ask if she has any idea what she put me through but my overriding desire is to kiss her, which of course I can't, but I have to do something.

My body's screaming to touch her somehow and that's why I end up pulling her into my arms and hugging her with an intensity that surprises me and probably her too. "Parker," I say against her ear, "you are so lucky you're worth it," I tell her.

I'm surprised when she returns my hug with as much intensity. I love having her in my arms. We fit perfectly. I don't know how long our embrace lasts, but I know I'm disappointed when she ends it by pulling away.

"Hey Evans," she tucks wayward strands of hair behind her ear and flashes me a half-smile, "don't put me on a pedestal or I'll get performance anxiety," she jokes.

She's blushing, it makes me smile.

"Just be you and we'll have a great time," I tell her.

We arrange what time I'm picking her up and I know I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised that she's already sorted with her hair, make-up and dress arrangements.

On my way home, I realize that there's suddenly an added level of excitement and nerves that I didn't have before. Of course I'm nervous and excited about tonight in general, it's just that, with the idea and soon to be reality, of Liz on my arm makes me feel the kind of anxiety you feel on a first date and I haven't felt that in a very long time.

****

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Post by willowbv » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:24 am

AN:

Hey everyone, here's the next update, but before that, thanks to:


DreamerHeart
foreverdreamer15
Jason's Lover
Lisa1783
anonymousarfan
Lolita Behrbuns
Gigo
Smac
Smac wrote:Let's just remember here that Liz is a girl that has very strong feelings about sex, and that's why she is still a virgin. You don't just give that away to a guy like Max. I don't care how sweet and charming a friend he is becoming to you. It would still just be meaningless sex to him, and then after he was through with her he would still have Tess to run back too.
- You summed it up pretty well. That's the fun bit I'm having with this fic, how I'm going to get two people with different principles on love and sex together.

purpleant
nitpick23
nitpick23 wrote:I'm surprised at Noah. He seems to know Liz and love her as a friend but doesn't seem to accept her stand on sex. It just seems strange since he appears to be like Liz in the committed relationship thing..
- I better speak up for poor Noah here, lol. He does love Liz and cares a lot about her. He respects her stand on sex, but when it gets down to it, he's a guy (that's all that needs to be said, lol) and an interfering best friend, if she's not in a relationship, he at least wants her to get laid. It's the best explanation I can give for his behaviour :wink:

frenchkiss70
rainbow_watcher
Jadeling
dreamer19
roswellluver
OmegaRam1
begonia9508
Hopeless Romantic
tazno
Earth2Mama
BehrObsession
BehrObsession wrote:I decided to give this a try today and I'm so glad I did. I think it's great.
- I'm glad you decided to give this story a try too.

extingman
CherryFlavoredChica
Coley452
cheekyfraggle


It's a long list, I know, but I just wanted to thank everyone for your feedback. It's been fun to read and I've even borrowed words I liked the sound of, so credit for use of:
impervious goes to BehrObsession
notch on bedpost goes to extingman
Thanks for the inspiration guys. :wink:
extingman wrote: But I gotta ask, will we be seeing a part from "The Promise" soon? I'm getting antsy. Please say yes!
I just worked it out the other day and I'm working on five fics and want to update all of them, so I'm going through them one at a time. The list goes like so:
Nice to meet you anyway - just updated so that's ticked off the list
- Changes
- It Only Hurts When I Breathe
- The Promise
- The Good One
xx willow

****

Previously

****

Max's POV

"It's been a while since you've had to work to get a girl to say yes to you hasn't it?" she asks.

"What does that have to do with playing games with me?!," I shout.

She calmly folds her arms across her chest and stares at me hard. "Focus on the question Evans. Girls. Hard work. Yes or no?".

She infuriates me, I realize then, she actually infuriates me yet I'm still standing on her doorstep. I just might be crazy.

I look heaven-wards before looking back at her with a reply. "Yes, it's been a while," I answer.

"Thus the point of my 'game' ," she smiles, "As well as being very valid to me, it was to remind you how it feels to have to work hard for that magic answer."

I don't know what to say. I want to hit something as she stands there as if it's no big deal. I want to shout at her and ask if she has any idea what she put me through but my overriding desire is to kiss her, which of course I can't, but I have to do something.

My body's screaming to touch her somehow and that's why I end up pulling her into my arms and hugging her with an intensity that surprises me and probably her too. "Parker," I say against her ear, "you are so lucky you're worth it," I tell her.

I'm surprised when she returns my hug with as much intensity. I love having her in my arms. We fit perfectly. I don't know how long our embrace lasts, but I know I'm disappointed when she ends it by pulling away.

"Hey Evans," she tucks wayward strands of hair behind her ear and flashes me a half-smile, "don't put me on a pedestal or I'll get performance anxiety," she jokes.

She's blushing, it makes me smile.

"Just be you and we'll have a great time," I tell her.

We arrange what time I'm picking her up and I know I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised that she's already sorted with her hair, make-up and dress arrangements.

On my way home, I realize that there's suddenly an added level of excitement and nerves that I didn't have before. Of course I'm nervous and excited about tonight in general, it's just that, with the idea and soon to be reality, of Liz on my arm makes me feel the kind of anxiety you feel on a first date and I haven't felt that in a very long time.

****

Nice To Meet You Anyway - Part 5

Liz's POV

I don't get ready at home. Instead, Maria picks me up and we head over to Miera, her stylist's showroom, for Maria to pick up her dress and for me to choose mine. For a girl, it's total fashion heaven, clothing at your disposal with a seamstress there to amend anything. After trying on an array of exquisitely made outfits, I settle on a soft pink Valentino number; a silk strapped top and long draping skirt. The outfit will go perfectly with the diamond earrings and necklace Max gave me, glamorous but understated, I like it. The whole outfit sings silkily against my skin for the retail cost of $10, 000 but for me, it's free. I'm constantly amazed at the perks of being famous or having famous friends.

I don't know whether it's a perk or not, but the MTV crew decide to spend some time on the last day of filming, following me around as I get ready. I have to admit, it's pretty flattering, I don't mind them following me around and asking questions. Some are about me, to establish a background I'm guessing, but most are about Max. I'm not one to hold back, I tell them exactly what I think of him.

****

I feel like Cinderella ready for the ball, by the time Max comes to pick me up. I slowly cross the floor to answer the door and to be honest, I'm nervous to the point where I think I'm going to throw up. With my hand grasping the door knob, I give myself a quick reality check. It's just Max and a premiere at which I have no vested interest. Excitement and nervousness are a good thing but I won't associate being on Max's arm with any of those emotions.
My mental coaching obviously does the trick because, my breathing goes back to normal, I'm back in control...and once I open the door, I quickly lose it again. My pulse rate shoots through the roof, one sharp intake of breath and I feel weak, my eyes grow wide and take their time in assessing the utterly delectable man before me.

Max Evans is gorgeous.

I've know it since the night we met and he definitely knows it, but looking at him dressed in a jaw droopingly expensive black suit, white shirt sans tie, it's now that I really know that he's gorgeous.

He probably smells good too.

I recover from the shock of his beauty just in time to catch the smirk and all knowing look in his eye.

"Like what you see?" he asks in a suggestive tone.

An insulting retort is at the tip of my tongue but I bite it back. I'll be honest, I'm a red-blooded female and he looks hot, he knows it, I know it, so why play games?

"I do," I reply with an approving smile.

His eyebrows lift up in surprise. I grin triumphant, he wasn't expecting that and I'm not expecting the deep intense expression which suddenly sweeps across his face. I gulp as he keeps me rooted to the spot with his eyes.

I know it's a warm evening, but I'm starting to burn up.

He sets me free to move again, with a half smile. "So do I," he says finally.

I don't know what to say to that, so I change the subject. Looking behind him I ask, "What no cameras?".

"They've gone to set up at the premiere."

"Speaking of which, we better get going". I step outside, lock my door and turn back to find him staring at me with an intensity that makes me blush.

The feeling of butterflies in my stomach activates my warning signals. Everything in me is shouting "danger, danger!". I wasn't planning any of this, of reacting to him this way - blushing at Max is not something I do often anymore. He's not different, he hasn't had a change of principle, I should be impervious to his charms and looks as usual, but tonight, there's a different energy around us.
As he offers his arm and leads me to the limo, I can't help but feel that tonight will change our relationship in a big way.

****

"You nervous?" I ask. After a few minutes of checking out the limo and casual chit chat, we lapse into a long silence. It lasts too long and I decide to call him on it.

"Nervous and excited," he answers.

"I can see that. All those people, cameras, questions".

"Believe it or not, though I'm nervous, I enjoy every bit of the red carpet especially meeting the fans," he tells me.

"While I stand by and keep a permanent smile etched on my face gazing at you adoringly?" I tease.

"More or less," he shrugs helplessly.

"Less," I tell him.

"That's why you're the perfect person for tonight. You'll keep me grounded."

I can't help but smile at his earnest expression. He gives me too much credit, in my opinion; I haven't known him long enough to keep him grounded. I'm just this girl he spends time with; I don't have that much pull in his life.

"You don't need me for that," I tell him.

"It's good to have you with me anyway."

I nod and look away. It's my turn to initiate the lapse into silence and he doesn't attempt to break it. I can feel him staring at me and I feel myself burning up again.

Okay, time to talk.

"So I'm a little nervous," I tell him casually.

Wearing what I'm wearing and going where I'm going, I imagine the actors I'll see there and the press and - it's a really big night and I'm now feeling some of the anxiety.

"Don't worry about it," he tells me in a soft gentle tone. "I'm not planning on letting you go far. I want you by my side for most of the evening."

His possessive tone causes me to raise an eyebrow.

"If that's okay," he quickly adds.

"Max, let's be clear," I tell him, "I'm going as your friend showing support, not some trophy to parade around with."

"That's not what I meant!", he protests, "I just - I meant that," he stops to take a breath it would be an honour to have you by my side."

It would be an honour to have you by my side?
What is that?! I'm already going to be his date for the night, there's no more need for flattery.

"What is it with this whole 'it will be an honour thing' Max, it's just me, you don't need to use words like that," I tell him.

"I do when they're true," he responds seriously.

I'm left speechless.

Damn, this boy has a way with words.

****

As we pull up to the red carpet, the slightly muffled sounds of screams and shouts gets louder and louder, clearer and clearer until the adrenaline rush they cause if flowing furiously thorough me as if this was my event. If I'm feeling this way, then Max must be itching to get out of the car and work it off.

We come to a halt, the door opens and I cringe a little as the piercing screams and calls rush in.

What have I gotten myself into?

As if sensing my hesitation, Max flashes me one of his confident smiles and I instantly feel better.
He steps out of the limo and leans in, holding his hand out for me.
What the hell, I take it.

****

I step out of the car and feel like a modern day Cinderella at the ball in 2004. Curious eyes stare and camera flashes are blinding. I'm slightly disorientated but Max's firm arm around my waist clears the haze, balances me again and I remember why I'm here. I wrap my arm around his waist and gently squeeze him in thanks.
He leans in to my ear so that I can hear him above the noise. "Let's have fun with this Parker."

Our eyes meet and we share a conspiratorial smile. "You got it Evans."

We're met by Diane, our contact on the red carpet. If we need anything or if something comes up, she'll be there she tells us before she leaves us to pose for the press - that's stage one.
I'm used to the shouts of "over here!...left!...closer!...smile!", but because of the number of high calibre actors and celebrities here, their intensity is to the nth degree here. My smiles alternate from teeth ones to non-teeth ones. I squeeze Max and he looks down at me and leans in close.

"I have a feeling that tomorrow, my face will hurt from all this smiling," I tell him.

"You don't have to smile all the time, just pose with a piercingly intense gaze," he advises with a twinkle in his eye.

My eyes narrow as I fix him with a withering glare. "Choice, oh goody." My glare lasts for all of five seconds because I find myself reluctantly smiling at him.

Why does he have to be so charming tonight?

****

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Post by willowbv » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:26 am

****

By the end of stage one, Max and I are arm in arm and have perfected my call for his attention. I just discreetly squeeze some part of his body and he leans in to listen or say something. We pass by so many famous people that my head spins because we not only pass by them, but we stop to chat. Julianne Moore, admires my outfit. I'll admit, I'm star struck, she looks gorgeous and she's complimenting me?! That one event along makes tonight incredible.

Stage two, is a mixture of photos, interviews and autograph signing. It's absolute madness and incredible fun for an observer like me. Max and I pose for more pictures and for some of them, I leave him to pose solo - after all, it's his thing not ours. In my last drift away episode, I run into Maria and Michael. She looks amazing and from the way Michael is staring at her, I can tell he thinks so too. We talk for a few minutes before I excuse myself and go back in search of Max.

I find him just in time to hear a reporter ask if, " his escort for the evening was or would be another notch on his bed post?".

My eyes grow wide with indignant surprise. I know I shouldn't be outraged knowing what I know about Max, but he's referring to me. I am no-one's notch.

Max opens his mouth to answer, but sliding up next to him, I decide to answer the question myself.
"He wishes," I reply with a sweet smile.

I look up at Max daring him to contradict me. He pulls me closer to him and wraps his arms around my waist as he turns to the reporter with a smile.

"Only in my wildest dreams," he confirms good naturedly.

He fields a couple more questions about the film and his co-stars while I stand by him and look pretty. I actually don't mind being a silent partner because I get the chance to watch Max in action so to speak. I observe how he's responding to it all. He loves it, I can tell from the sparkle in his eyes. He's so handsome and intelligent and-

My observations are disturbed when I hear one of the reporters call my name and ask me a question.

"Excuse me?" I ask confused.

How do they know who I am?

"Are you proud of him?" she asks.

I look up at Max ready to make some joke about him when I find him already looking at me expectantly, as if he isn't sure of what my answer will be.

Is my opinion really that important to him?

"Of course," I reply. "He put a lot of work into this, everyone did and I can't wait to see how it turned out."

That seems to satisfy not only the journalist but Max too because I feel him relax.

"How did he know my name?" I ask as we make our way down the carpet over to the fans.

"Oh, I was asked who you were and I told them, it's kind of spread like wildfire."

Okay, so I'm no longer girl-with-Max Evans, I now have a name. I know it was bound to happen, it's just I feel as though things, I'm not sure what, are moving too fast and I'll be caught up in something I don't want to be involved in.

"Oh."

"Sorry," he apologises.

"Don't be," I tell him.

I'm probably being paranoid anyway.

"It's fine," I continue, "It's not like I'm ashamed to be seen with you. You're kinda of good-looking, an okay actor and you clean up nice" I tell him in a mock serious tone.

"You're a bundle of laughs Parker," he smiles wryly as we stop and he starts signing autographs. I step back and let him do his thing.

I love watching fans, the whole energy they give out and I love the fact that actors like those I can see around me take the time to sign cards, notebooks, pictures, shake hands and say hi to them. The fans love Max, they're crazy about him, screaming his name, some are even crying and he just takes it in his stride. I roll my eyes and purse my lips in a smile, typical.

Everything is going according to the conventional red carpet script I have in my head until I hear people further down the line shouting my name. Curious of course, I decide to investigate.

"Hey, I'm just going to head down there, I'll find you," I tell him.

I turn to go but I only make it a few steps because he holds me back by grasping my wrist. I turned back and give him a questioning look. I'm expecting him to say something or give a reason why he wants my attention but I get none of that. He opens his mouth as if to say something, but nothing comes up, he just stares at me as if looking at a piece of beautiful art. I don't know what to do, so I stare back and somehow get caught up in him. I'm confused and he's giving nothing away. I don't know how long our staring match lasts, it's only when his fingers brush along my hand as he pulls away, that a shiver running down my spine reminds me of where I am.

I'm about to step in and ask what that was all about, when he winks at me and smiles.

Oohh, okay then.

I smile, wink back and make my way down the carpet, mystified and definitely not willing to try and make sense of that bizarre interaction.

I find that the main culprits of my name calling are three twenty-something girls. It turns out that my name has reached the general public and some actually know who I am.

"How do you know who I am?" I ask the blonde-haired girl.

"We're fans of Orange Sky and of your work. You have a website about you," she tells me.

"Really?!" I ask incredulous. "Someone's made a website about me?"

They nod.

"I didn't think I was that interesting," I tell them honestly.

The girls introduce themselves as Katie, Helen and Claire. I sign autographs and pretty soon find myself signing a whole load - word does indeed spread like wildfire. I field questions like, "so are you and Max Evans together?".

My reply, however different in style is essentially the same. "We're just friends, he's got a girlfriend."

Why can't people seem to understand that?

I eventually make my way back to Katie, Helen and Claire, they seem like fun girls and I'm a little intrigued that I have fans. We talk for a little while and then Helen asks me for a favour.

"Depends what it is," I say carefully.

"My friend Lily is a massive fan but...she's in hospital, she's got leukaemia. It would mean a lot if you could say hi."

"Sure."

Her request doesn't seem too hard, although I don't know if I could say anything of any use to someone suffering from leukaemia.

She rings up her friend and after telling her where she is, hands me the phone.

"Hello?" comes a tentative small voice.

"Hi, is this Lilly?" I ask.

"Yes," she answers.

"Hi, it's Liz Parker, your friend Helen, told me you're a fan?"

"Oh my God, are you serious?!"

I prepare myself for the guaranteed shriek or loud outburst. I've spent enough time with Maria and with Max to know when it's coming.

"Yeah," I reply.

There's a slight pause and then it begins.

"Oh my God. Oh my God. Wow, it's great to talk to you."

I shrug helplessly with a smile on my face, as if she can see me.

"You too- Lily?"

Oh no, I think she's hyperventilating.

"Lily?".

I have visions of her having a panic attack, of crash carts and heart monitors. It's melodramatic I know, but I can't help it.

"I...okay breathe."

"That's right," I tell her, "breathe."

I hear her take a few deep breaths and I find myself breathing with her.

"I'm fine, it's just...it's amazing."

It takes me a few attempts to string a sentence together. "So how are you holding up?" I ask.

After assuring me that she's fine, Lily tells me about her treatment, what she's doing outside hospital. I tell her the general about myself, I find out that she's a fan of Max, so wanting to do something nice for her, I take the phone to him. He's busy signing autographs when I tug his arm.

"Hey."

"Hey," I say pulling him aside. "I want you to talk to someone".

"Who?".

"Lily Carmichael. She's got leukaemia, in recovery. She's a fan, say hi," I say giving him the phone.

He takes it without question, which is pretty surprising since I just did this out of the blue, but as usual, he just takes it in his stride.

"Okay, thanks Liz."

He's thanking me?! He's the reason I'm here tonight, that I was able to brighten up someone's day.

"Thank you Max."

"For what?".

He's completely clueless.

"I'll answer that later, right now," I point to the phone in his hand," Lily".

****

Max's POV

There are many things about Liz that I love, as I hand her back the cell phone, I realise that they're out in full force tonight. I usually walk the red carpet aware of everything I say and do, I'm just fulfilling a role, but tonight, I'm having a kind of fun that can only be found when hanging out with Liz. The cameras are in the background and it's just me and her having fun.

Things like talking to a girl with leukaemia and being able to make her life brighter by just being who I am and doing what I love - makes me feel unbelievably blessed and content. Doing that added so much to this night and as Liz leads me over to Lily's friends, I know that there's more Liz-fun to come. The girls, Katie, Helen and Claire are nice, I talk to them for a little while and sign a few autographs and take some pictures. I love talking to fans and being able to show them my appreciation for their support. Liz decides to take this one step further by randomly chat with the fans, taking some of their digital cameras and has us pose for photos, normal ones, goofy ones and hands them back, I've never had so much on the red-carpet before.

****

Diane leads us over to the last photos and reporters before we enter. By now, news of who Liz is has reached everyone and the press are calling out her name and asking her questions. I know that it's not what she had in mind as her role for the night, but she seems to be coping with is pretty well, answers their questions tactfully and poses with me for photos. When we get to the dominant fashion press section, they ask who she's wearing and want solo pictures of her. I feel her stiffen next to me. "Have fun with it," I tell her.

"You owe me Evans and I will collect," she threatens.

"Yeah, yeah," I tell her as I shoo her off to have her picture taken. I watch as she shyly poses for the press, small smiles turn into large wide ones as she gets more comfortable.
Her eyes meet mine and she winks. A surprised laugh escapes me and I wink back. As she does a little twirl, I go over to join her. I do a few more press ops and then we go in.

****

I'm nervous when watching the screening, not because of what everyone watching it thinks of it, but because Liz is sat next to me, watching me on screen. I wonder what she thinks about it, about my performance, never once does she lean over to say anything to me, I don't dare ask. It's only when the credits roll that she looks at me.

"Well?" I ask on baited breath.

"Not bad," she replies.

Not bad?!
Not bad is not good enough.

"Elaborate," I tell her.

"You were good Max. It's just weird knowing you and seeing you be someone else on screen. The movie was excellent, thoroughly enjoyable, captivating. Your sex scene was um...pretty hot," she adds.

I'm surprised to feel my cheeks heat up. I'm blushing, I'm actually blushing at her comment - that would not be my typical reaction to any comment she makes about me regarding sex.

What is going on tonight? I wonder.

"It looked hot surrounded by the camera crews, imagine what it would be like in private," I tell her in a suggestive tone.

That's good; I'm back to normal now.

"I think I'll leave that to you," she retorts.

****

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Post by willowbv » Wed Oct 06, 2004 8:29 am

****

We go to the after-screening party. Liz is the perfect date, beautiful and charming, in all the glitz and glamour, her remarks every now and then remind me of the world outside.
Usually when I'm with Tess, we dance with other people to look for bed time fun, but tonight with Liz I haven't wanted to, I dance with her for the whole night. When we take a break, I leave her talking to actor/director Quinn Carlton while I get us some drinks. On my way back, I bump into Chrissy Lane - beautiful, big breasted goddess. We talk and make arrangements to meet up in the hotel next door. She has a room there. How can I pass up Chrissy Lane?

I go over to Liz and explain the situation. I'm not going to leave her stranded though I tell her, I'll arrange transport to take her home.

"Don't bother, Quinn has offered to drop me home," she says.

"Oh."

My jaw automatically clenches as I force a smile in his direction.

All he wants is to give her a ride home...yeah right.

Liz excuses us from Quinn and leads me aside.

"Max don't feel bad," she tells me, "you don't think that I actually thought we'd leave together tonight did you?".

Um actually, I don't know what possessed me but I did.

"I know you", she finishes.

She knows me. She knows that I'd leave with someone else when I came with her and she's fine with it, I'm disappointed.

"I don't mean to ditch you," I tell her lamely.

"I don't feel ditched. Quinn and I are having a good time, so go get laid and I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"Call me when you get home?", I ask.

"Um, you might be a bit busy with your lady of the night, so I'll just text you," she replies.

I don't know what compels me then, but I lean in and kiss her cheek. My lips linger and desperately want to drift to her lips but I fight the urge when I feel her stiffen. I pull away.

"Goodnight Liz."

"Goodnight Max."

I walk way feeling a huge burden of guilt, but the further I get away from her, the lighter the burden becomes until it completely disappears and Chrissy and I leave the venue laughing and talking.

****

Liz's POV

I slip into bed with a sigh. The premiere was amazing, the after-party, a good time. I met Quinn, a nice guy who wants me to help out on a project he's working on. We talked a lot and he drove me home.

Cinderella is no longer a princess. Past 5am, she's back to normal and I'm glad for it because for a few moments tonight, I got pulled into the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and celebritydom. When Max kissed my cheek, it me by surprise, especially the very strong urge I felt to kiss him. At the end of the night when he went off with Chrissy, I felt hurt - as if he was mine, like I had a claim to him, which I don't. Thankfully, when he left me for Chrissy, he broke the spell and I came back to my senses. The Max/Chrissy episode reminded me why, if I actually ventured to imagine it, Max and I would never work. We come from two different when it comes to relationships; I would be completely faithful and in love with him, he would sleep with other people and I would end up getting hurt. Thankfully we're not together and all the random thoughts I had about him and how he made me feel, were a product of the Hollywood haze.

I somehow drift off to sleep because the next thing I know, my phone is ringing and it's 11am. Thank goodness I've got a day off work. I pick up the phone, it's Maria.

"Liz, have you seen the showbiz section of the paper today?".

"No, you just woke me up, why?" I ask.

"Okay, um, go onto your computer and check out E Online's site."

I'm not in the mood for gossip.

"Maria."

"Just do it," she orders me.

"Okay." I stumble over to my computer and find the site with her help.

Sleep escapes me as my eyes widen in shock and my jaw drops at one of the feature stories. There are pictures of Max and me, holding hands, him leaning over to talk into my ear, the both of us talking with fans. The pictures would be innocent enough if not for the headline.

"Oh my..." I whisper.

"I know."

The title reads: "Evans' New Girl?".

It goes on to talk about me and Max at the premiere, how close and friendly we were, our apparently intimate body language.

"Sources say the pair have been spending a lot of time together with Evans even visiting the set of Orange Sky - oh my gosh, Maria what the F? They're making it seem as if Max and I are getting together."

"I know."

I run my fingers through my hair in frustration. "He has a girlfriend!."

"Who won't be too happy right about now."

I shake my head in disbelief. This is unbelievable.

"Further insight of the pair's relationship may be seen in MTV's Diary of Max Evans showing next Wednesday," I read aloud. "This is crazy."

"Is it?".

I lift my eyes heaven-wards.
Not her too.

"Maria, for the last time, Max and I are just friends. This is just...hassle now."

"If there's nothing there then it should be easy enough to clear up right?".

"Definitely", I agree. "I'll just call Max and make sure that Tess doesn't think anything of it."

"Okay. On the plus side, check out the style section. We're both in it, all good reviews; I knew that outfit you wore was a stunner."

I need more sleep.

"Maria, I'll talk to you later. Say hi to Michael for me," I tell her.

"How did you know he's here?".

"He isn't?"

"That's not the point."

"He loves you, you love him of course you're together right now. I'll talk to you later."

After hanging up on Maria, I crawl back into bed in need of more sleep. The idea of Max and I being romantically involved is ludicrous, so it won't be that hard for Max to explain it to Tess, there's no real need for me to get involved. He'll tell her that we're just friends and that'll be that.

****


AN
P.S. I know I said at the beginning that this fic was going to be a five parter, but I'm now developing it into a ten parter tops. I hope what I want to cover can fit int ten parts but if not, I'll just have to increase the number of parts again.

xx willow

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Post by willowbv » Mon Nov 01, 2004 10:57 am

AN: Hey all. The feedback for this fic has been truly amazing. I've gotta dash to a meeting now but I just wanted to quickly post the next part and to say a big thank you to you all and especially to Smac for your supportive feedback.
x willow

****

Previously

I shake my head in disbelief. This is unbelievable.

"Further insight of the pair's relationship may be seen in MTV's Diary of Max Evans showing next Wednesday," I read aloud. "This is crazy."

"Is it?".

I lift my eyes heaven-wards.
Not her too.

"Maria, for the last time, Max and I are just friends. This is just...hassle now."

"If there's nothing there then it should be easy enough to clear up right?".

"Definitely", I agree. "I'll just call Max and make sure that Tess doesn't think anything of it."

"Okay. On the plus side, check out the style section. We're both in it, all good reviews; I knew that outfit you wore was a stunner."

I need more sleep.

"Maria, I'll talk to you later. Say hi to Michael for me," I tell her.

"How did you know he's here?".

"He isn't?"

"That's not the point."

"He loves you, you love him of course you're together right now. I'll talk to you later."

After hanging up on Maria, I crawl back into bed in need of more sleep. The idea of Max and I being romantically involved is ludicrous, so it won't be that hard for Max to explain it to Tess, there's no real need for me to get involved. He'll tell her that we're just friends and that'll be that.

****

Nice to meet you anyway - part 6

Max’s POV

I get Tess’ call after my publicist‘s, manager’s and P.A’s; so I’m more than prepared to deal with her.
“Hey babe”, I say.

“Hey,” her casual tone carries with it a tense undertone. “So saw you on Entertainment News and in some gossip mags and showbiz section of the papers.”

Riggghhht…she’s not too happy but it is to be expected.

“You did?”, I say in a small voice.

“Yeah.” Her tone takes on a cold edge and I sigh in resignation.

Why do I have to defend my relationship with Liz to her?

“Are you unhappy in our relationship?” she asks.

She goes in straight for the kill. Tess has always been a bottom line kind of girl.

No!,“ I protest. Tess and I have been together for a long time, I don’t want to lose her, especially over something that isn’t true.
“I’m very happy,” I tell her. “It’s just the usual murmurs Tess. I haven’t been out in full force for a while, they just wanna take all they can get.”

“Have you slept with her?” she asks.

I wish.

No,” I reply emphatically.

“You’re lying!”, she retorts. “How can you not have?”.

I don’t know why but I am slightly outraged by her question.

Because!,” I shout, taking myself by surprise. “Liz and I are just friends,” I tell her in a more softened tone.
“She knows I’m in a relationship and respects that. Plus I offered and she turned me down.”

“Is she a lesbian?”.

“No,” I reply with a chuckle. “She just isn’t interested in me like that or if she was, she wouldn’t do anything while we’re together. I love you. Me and Liz, friends. Got it?”.

I can almost see her considering my words and the reluctant smile that eventually forms on her lips.
“Got it,” she replies. “I just got a little jealous. I miss you.”

“Me too. When do you get in?”.

“Around 12 tomorrow afternoon, I’ll email you the details. Come meet me?” she asks sweetly.

I picture her pretty blue eyes and dazzling smile. “Sure.”

We talk for a while, engage in some phone sex, as we often do when we’re away from each other, before we hang up.

****

After a few minutes of nervously pacing the house, I pick up the phone and call Liz. I brace myself for her inevitable tongue lashing. She had only agreed to be my escort, not to have her name and face plastered around along with rumours of being involved with me.

She picks up on the fifth ring.
“Hey Max.”

Despite my anxiety, I suddenly feel myself stir and harden at the sound of her voice. This sudden reaction takes me by surprise and I lose all track of thought.
Images of how beautiful she looked last night flood my mind, the way she felt in my arms when we danced, the sparkle in her eyes as she laughed at something I said.

“Max, you there?” she asks. Her voice cuts through the images and brings me back to reality.

“Umm yeah” I manage to reply.

Images of kissing her, of a naked Liz, of making love to a naked Liz, makes me feel like I’m going to explode.

“So you sorted everything out with Tess?” she asks.

My sudden reaction to her makes no sense. Maybe it’s left over from my phone sex with Tess, maybe that just wasn’t enough for me and my call to Liz just happened to merge with my sexual cravings.

“Yeah um, Liz, I’ll call you back in a few minutes okay?”.
I hang up not waiting for her to respond as my hand quickly reaches down to relieve the straining hardness in my pants.
I jerk off to images of a naked, smiling, laughing Liz, a Liz groaning in ecstasy writhing under me.
I feel guilty afterwards, as if I’ve somehow tainted her even though it was all in my hand and my imagination, but that only lasts a few minutes because I remind myself that, she should be flattered that of all people in the world, I would choose her to jerk off to. Feeling satisfied and relaxed, I wash my hands and call her back.

“Hey, you okay to talk now?” she asks.

“Yeah, sorry about that, I had to…quickly take care of something.”

“Okay. So um, you and me maybe getting together, when do you think we should make it official?”. I can hear the smile in her voice.

“You’re taking the news well,” I comment surprised.

“I’ve had time to get over the shock and since the notion of you and me is completely ridiculous anyway, I’m great.”

“Oh.” Her reaction is somewhat of an anticlimax. I’m a little disappointed. “That’s…good.”

“Awww,” she gushes, “is your ego slightly deflated?” she asks with mock concern.

“No,“ I reply. “It’s your loss.”

“Keep telling yourself that,” she quips. “How’s your girlfriend handling it?”.

“Tess? Um, she was a bit upset.”

“Understandable. Did you tell her that I wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot barge pole?”.

“Hey!”.

I can usually take what Liz dishes but, her comment is a bit of low blow.

“A bit hyperbolic I’ll admit,” she somewhat apologises, “but it’s true. Not that I’d want to anyway but I know you’re off limits.”

“That’s what I told her and for your information, when I told her that we hadn’t slept together, she asked if you swung the other way, if you know what I mean.”

“Right because God forbid that not every girl wants to go to bed with you,” she retorts with heavy sarcasm.


“Exactly.”

I can practically see her rolling her eyes at my comment.

“So you explained the situation and she eventually calmed down and got over it?” she asks.

“Pretty much,” I tell her.

“Well that’s good.”

Silence elapses and in that time, I get the uncontrollable urge to apologise for leaving her last night.

“It’s who you are Max,” she replies.

I’m tempted to argue that it still doesn’t make it okay, but I stop myself because she’s right. It’s who I am, it’s what I do and up until I got involved with her, I didn‘t see anything wrong with it.

“Was she worth it?” she asks.

“The sex was good but after that, I kinda wished I was back at the party spending time with you,” I tell her honestly.

“Am I supposed to be flattered by that?”.

“Yes,“ I reply. “I could get the best of both worlds if you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I know what you. So let me remind you again. We’re friends. Platonic. That’s it Evans.”

“I had to try,” I chuckle.

“Of course you did,” she responds wryly. “Listen I have to go.”

Something inside me along the lines of panic fires up and I can’t let her go.

“Wait!,” I tell her. “What are you doing now?”.

“I was planning on going out for a walk, hopefully there aren’t any paparazzi stalking me, but I’ll take my chances either way.”

“You up for some company?” I ask.

I know it’s not the best of ideas but I need to see her, need to spend time with her.

“That’ll just add fuel to the fire,” she tells me.

“So what? The rumours aren’t true,” I argue. “Tess understands that and we’re friends. Platonic remember? And friends go on walks together.”

“I don’t know why I’m saying yes, but okay.”

Victory.

“I’ll see you soon,” I tell her.

I end our call with a huge smile on my face. A walk is nothing special in and of itself, but it’s always different when I do it with Liz.

****

Liz’s POV

The walk with Max went exactly as I thought it would. We goofed around and got hassled by a few photographers. Max is used to it, but I’m a newbie. It was strange because I’ve been out with Maria at events where press photographers would be there, but I’ve never dealt with them invading an ordinary moment in my life - but that’s the price of fame.
As with everything Max and I do together, we had fun with it, ignoring them and just spent time together; sometimes talking, sometimes just enjoying comfortable silences.

The pictures ended up in the weekend paper. Max got another call from Tess and I just thought that the whole thing is getting blown out of proportion because the bottom line is: Max and I are just friends.

At work, I get bombarded with questions from my colleagues and a phone call from Noah, but I handle it fine because I’m not taking the whole thing seriously.

Maria, of course, is taking the issue very seriously. So seriously in fact, that she invites herself over to my house on Wednesday night to watch Max’s MTV’s Diary of…, so that she can give me an in-person final verdict on the whole situation.

“There is no situation,” I tell her. I settle on the sofa next to her with some popcorn.

She holds up her hand to silence me. “There is a situation.”

I don’t get a chance to argue back because the show starts. I’ll admit I am curious to see how it turned out, which bits they chose to keep and like I would any of my friends, it’ll be good to see Max on tv.

****

Max’s POV

Tess is snuggled next to me, as we watch MTV‘s Diary of Max Evans.
I feel slightly self absorbed watching it but I’m not really watching it to see me; I’m curious to see the parts where they filmed with Liz.
Liz alone with a camera crew talking about me? She’s my friend but her blunt honesty leaves me slightly apprehensive.

Tess came over earlier tonight, so that we could spend some time together before I start my next project in a few weeks. We’ve spent a lot of time catching up since she came back which means I see Liz less.
Although we talk to each other on the phone, it’s not the same and I find myself missing her intensely. Which is also why I want to watch the show; to see her in any way brings a smile to my face.

Tess wants to watch it because, she wants to see what I “get up to”, but I also think it’s to gather whatever information she can about Liz and I.
I’ve explained our friendship to her numerous times but somehow, I don’t think she completely believes me.
I don’t know what to do to convince her completely, so I hope the show will.

****

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