I’ll Be There (AU M/L MATURE) Sequel, Pt 25 - COMPLETE, 9/5

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

I’ll Be There (AU M/L MATURE) Sequel, Pt 25 - COMPLETE, 9/5

Post by Heavenli24 » Thu Mar 09, 2006 9:48 am

Image
Banner by Amara
Title: I’ll Be There
Author: Heavenli24
Pairings/Couples/Category: M/L
Rating: MATURE
Disclaimer: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Summary: It’s been two years since the end of You Can Always… and Max and Liz are now in their junior year of college. They are still together, although Max is at UNM and Liz is studying at Harvard. They’ve been surviving on phone calls, chats on the Internet and spending time together in the vacation periods. But when Max calls Liz at Harvard with some good news, will she feel the same way about it?
Author’s Note: This is the sequel to You Can Always Count On Me. Before we start, I just want to say that this story is not going to be as light-hearted and fun as You Can Always…. There will be angst – quite a bit actually – but don’t worry, this fic is Dreamer insured and there will be a happy ending.

***


Part One


Saturday December 18th 2004

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately. It’s like nothing’s going right in my life at the moment. My concentration has been slowly disintegrating recently, my grades are slipping and Max is all the way on the other side of the country. I wish I knew how to fix this, I wish I knew what to do to make this all go away; but I don’t. All I can do is just go through the motions and let everything just pass me by.

God, I just want my old life back...



“Knock, knock.”

Lethargically, I tear my gaze away from the TV and glance in the direction of the door, the remote dangling from my outstretched arm, which, until a second ago, was in the process of flipping through the channels. The door opens slightly and a face peers through the gap.

“You mind if I join you?” he asks, flashing me a cheeky grin. “I brought ice cream,” he says in an attempt to sway me.

I send him a grateful smile and pull myself up from my position lying on the couch to make some room for him. “Go on, then, if you must,” I sigh in mock annoyance, but he’s not affected by my apparent moodiness.

The door opens fully and he makes his way towards the couch, a spoon and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in each hand. Handing the contents of one hand to me, he settles down at the end of the sofa and gets comfortable.

“So, what are we watching?”

“Not much,” I sigh miserably. “There’s nothing on.”

“Hey, don’t be so negative,” he admonishes, placing his tub of ice cream on the floor and grabbing the remote from my hand. “I’m sure there’s something on.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” I mumble, not caring how it sounds. I pull the lid off the tub and hastily dig in to my favourite chocolate ice cream.

He just looks at me for a second, before placing the remote on the armrest next to him and shifting slightly in his seat. I look down at the tub in my hand, reluctant to listen to what I know he’s going to say.

“Liz…” he starts quietly and I close my eyes in preparation for what’s coming. But he just sighs and brushes my shoulder with his fingers. “Come here, you,” he says softly and urges me to move closer to him. I sigh gratefully and settle back against him, my head resting against his shoulder and my legs stretched out along the sofa. His arm rests between the back of the couch and my left arm.

“God, Jack…” I start, but don’t seem to be able to continue without my chin trembling and tears welling up in my eyes. Suddenly I’m glad that I’m facing away from him.

“I guess it’s probably not worth me asking how you’re feeling today?” he jokes in an obvious attempt to lighten the atmosphere, but all I can do is shake my head and will the tears to go away.

“Look, Liz,” he tries again. “I know this is hard for you and that you don’t want to hear this, but I really think you need to tell him.”

An ache starts up in my chest as he says those words and I find myself shaking my head again, vehemently this time.

“I can’t, Jack; I just can’t. I’m not strong enough.”

“But you can’t keep living like this, either. It’s not doing either of you any good,” he reasons and I know he’s right.

But I can’t tell Max.

God, what would he think of me?

I think Jack gets the message then, because suddenly he stops talking and we sit in silence for a while, the only sound coming from TV across the room. Jack still hasn’t touched his own ice cream and instead, his left hand strokes my arm comfortingly.

I can only take about five minutes of it, before I have to break the silence. “So, I guess Becca and Tim are out on the town tonight?” I ask, more out of something to say, than actual curiosity.

Becca and Tim, along with Jack, are my housemates. We’ve been friends since we all lived in the same dorm in freshman year here at Harvard. Becca was my roommate and Jack and Tim lived down the hall. At the end of that year, we all decided that we’d rather find somewhere off-campus to live than stay in the dorms for another year, so we came to a mutual agreement that we’d all live together. That was a year and a half ago and we’re still sharing the same house we moved into at the start of sophomore year.

“Yeah, they are,” Jack replies. “But not together, of course.”

I nod. Becca is something of a party animal; she’s always gong to some social event or another. I don’t think she’s had a Saturday night in all semester and since school let out on Friday and we’re all going back home for Christmas vacation in the next couple of days, she’s making the most of it. Tim, on the other hand is most likely out on a date with his girlfriend, Kelly. They met in English class, back at the beginning of sophomore year. They worked on a project together and ended up going on a date. They have been together ever since. I’m happy for them; they seem to have a really good, solid relationship. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they got married in a couple of years.

“So, then, what are you doing still here?” I ask Jack then.

“Why, keeping you company, of course.”

I smile. “That’s really sweet, Jack, but I’m fine. I promise.”

“Maybe, but I’m still staying here with you this evening, so don’t even try it,” he warns and I sigh.

I should have known that wouldn’t work.

“Fine,” I mumble, but leave it at that. I relax back against him again and occupy myself with shovelling spoonfuls of ice cream into my mouth, while Jack tries to find something worthwhile to watch on TV.

Half an hour later, we’re still on the couch, but tiredness has overtaken me and now I’m lying on my side on the couch, the ice cream abandoned and my head resting on Jack’s lap. He’s casually running his fingers through my hair; which, however nice it feels, is unfortunately sending me to sleep.

My eyes are just starting to drift closed when the phone on the coffee table in front of the sofa begins to ring and startles me out of my peaceful state of mind. Groggily, I lift my head and pull myself up into a sitting position as I reach for the phone.

“Hello?” My voice comes out all sleepy.

“Hey, sweetie,” comes the masculine, throaty voice.

I smile. It’s Max.

“Hey…” 'honey'…it’s on the tip of my tongue to say, but somehow I can’t get used to this idea of Max’s to use pet names for each other; it just seems so cheesy. We managed without them for over a year, but now he's got it into his head that we should use them. I agreed to go along with it for his sake, but saying it back just makes me uncomfortable and so I try to avoid doing it too much. “…You,” I settle with. “What’s up?”

“Okay, so I know I’m going to see you in a couple of days anyway, but I’ve got some great news and I couldn’t wait that long to share it with you.”

I smother a chuckle. “Ah, so that’s why you’re calling me at almost midnight, when you know how much I need my sleep,” I reply good-naturedly. There’s just something about Max that brings out the excessive teasing nature in me.

“Yeah, sorry about that. It’s only ten here. I didn’t disturb you, did I?” he apologises.

I glance over at Jack, who has finally decided that he’d better get on and eat his ice cream before it melts completely. “No, not at all; just hanging out in front of the TV with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s,” I tell him with a smile. “So, what’s the big news?”

“Well, I didn’t want to say anything until it was final, but since my grades have been really good this semester, one of my professors suggested this great opportunity for m – ”

“Really? That’s great, Max. What is it?” I ask excitedly, only to hear a ‘tut’ from Max.

Oops, I think I just cut him off in the middle of a sentence.

“Well, if you’d let me finish, I’ll get to that,” he jokes and I can just picture him rolling his eyes at me on the other end of the line.

“Sorry,” I apologise. “Carry on.”

“Well, I applied last month and just got an acceptance letter today...”

“And…?” I’m nearly dying here.

“Guess what? After Christmas, I’m going to be attending Harvard with you for a semester.”

“You what?” I practically squeal. “You’re coming here? Oh my God.” A grin spreads across my face, my earlier dilemma - the one that needed the ice cream - momentarily forgotten. “How?”

“Well, apparently, there are opportunities for good students to take part in school exchanges, not just international ones, but also between different schools here. I had to put in a lot of effort to show the school board that I was capable of handling the work at Harvard, but they accepted me and I start classes with you after Christmas vacation.”

Oh my God, is all I can think right now. My mind is overwhelmed by the fact that after more than two years of living 2000 miles apart, Max and I will have four straight months of being able to see each other every day.

“I can’t believe it, Max! Wow, this must be really exciting for you. Where are you going to live while you’re here? I’d offer to put you up here, but you know how tiny my room is and we don’t have any spare rooms.”

“Yeah, I know,” he replies, a little less enthusiastically than just now. “I didn’t think that would be a realistic possibility anyway; but don’t worry, the exchange programme committee are sorting out some accommodation for me. I’ll probably have to live in a student apartment, but I’ll still be pretty close to you.”

“Wow, this is really great, Max! Now we’ll have a reason to look forward to going back to school after New Year’s instead of moping around like usual.”

“Yeah, we will,” I can hear the smile reappear in his voice. “Look, I’d better let you go now. It’s pretty late there and I know you haven’t started your packing yet,” he teases and I’m about to tell him off, when I realise that he’s right. I’m nowhere near ready to leave for New Mexico yet.

“Okay, you’re right. I should go,” I tell him. “I’ll see you Monday, though.”

“Yep, Monday. I can’t wait to see you again. It’s been so long this time.” He’s right. We were both tied up with assignments over Fall break and Thanksgiving. We haven’t even been in the same room together since the summer. “I’ll be thinking of you until then,” he adds.

“Me, too,” I reply. A lump forms in the back of my throat and I immediately feel guilty because it’s not there for the reason it should be.

“I love you,” he tells me warmly.

I swallow. “Love you, too,” I manage, trying to make it sound upbeat, but it just comes out in a whisper.

“Bye.”

“Bye.” I click off the phone and place it back on the coffee table. I avoid glancing at Jack, who’s still tucking into his ice cream.

“So, Max is coming here?” he asks suddenly and I close my eyes for a moment, wishing that I didn’t have to get into this with him.

“Yeah, he managed to get a place on the UNM student exchange programme. He’ll be studying here at Harvard for a semester.” He takes this in and then nods slowly. Frustrated, I place my head in my hands. “God, what am I going to do? How do I fix this, Jack?”

“I don’t know yet, Liz; but we’ll figure it out, I promise,” he reassures me, taking my hands and pulling me into a warm hug. “It’ll be okay, you’ll see.”

TBC…
Last edited by Heavenli24 on Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:53 am, edited 34 times in total.

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

Post by Heavenli24 » Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:22 am

Thank you for all your lovely feedback :):

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I know everyone is curious about what's going on with Liz, but for the sake of not giving away the plot, I'm not going to say anything about it, you'll just have to keep reading to find out :wink:.

***


Part Two

It’s Monday evening and I have just spent almost eight hours travelling from Boston to Albuquerque. No matter how many times I make the journey, I still can’t believe it takes so long to get here. Hopefully, Max will be there to meet me when I arrive at the airport in a few minutes. We’re spending some time together tonight before driving back down to Roswell tomorrow. Max shares an apartment with a couple of guys from his soccer team, but he’s told me that they’ve already gone home for the holidays so we’ll have the apartment to ourselves.

I wait impatiently for the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign to go off so I can grab my bag and get off the plane. When it finally does, I am quick to get my things together and then I exit the aircraft as fast as possible (which actually is pretty slow considering that about two hundred people are all trying to do exactly the same thing at exactly the same time as me. Eventually though, I make it out into the spacious building that is the Albuquerque Sun-port and start walking toward the area where I know Max will waiting for me. As I go, I take in the Native American art and designs on the walls and I realise now how much I’ve missed home – the sunshine, the culture and the laidback attitude of everyone here.

My heart lurches in my chest as I round the final corner of the terminal and head towards the exit. As I walk, my eyes roam over the crowd as I try to pinpoint Max amongst them. For a moment, I worry that he’s not here, but then I spot his dark head and let out a sigh of relief when I see that he’s spotted me too. He’s wearing a dark jacket, which covers my favourite t-shirt of his and denim jeans that fit in all the right places. A huge grin breaks out on his face and I know that he’s trying his best not to start running towards me, therefore making a scene in front of all these people. I quicken my steps a little and in no time at all, we’re face-to-face for the first time in four months. We stand there, just staring at each other for a few seconds, before Max pulls me into a tight hug.

“Lizzie…” he whispers into my hair. “I’ve missed you so much.”

His words cause a strange, but not entirely unfamiliar feeling to start up in my chest, but before I can dwell on it further, his lips have captured mine in a heated, passionate kiss and I forget everything else but the feel of his warm, inviting mouth caressing mine. Several moments later, we pull apart breathing heavily and I suddenly become conscious of all the attention we seem to be getting. Max looks at me slightly puzzled before he too glances up and sees the other people.

“Come on.” He grabs my hand. “Let’s find your luggage and get out of here.” I let him lead me through the airport to the baggage claim. He grabs my bag from the conveyor belt and we walk out to the parking lot to find his jeep. We get in and just before he turns the key in the ignition, Max turns to me with such a look of heat and passion that my insides turn to jelly and I forget all about the problems I left behind in Boston.

I just want Max.

Max spends the fairly short journey to his apartment gently massaging my inner thigh with his fingers and in the process, sends shivers of delight through my body. By the time he pulls into the apartment complex, I’m practically gasping for breath and I’m filled with an intense need make love to him. Right here, right now.

Somehow (don’t ask me how), I manage to keep myself under control while Max grabs my things from the car and carries them into the apartment, dropping them just inside the door. I follow him in and I’m about to close the door behind me, when he grabs me and I’m pushed up against it, effectively slamming it shut with our weight.

“God, Lizzie…” he groans just before our lips meet in a frantic embrace and his arms wrap around me, holding my body flush against his. I can’t think. All I can do is feel. His hands make their way down to cup my bottom and as he squeezes lightly, I jump up and wrap my legs around his waist. I can feel his hardness pressing into me as his fingers massage my butt and all I want is for him to be inside me; for him to make love to me over and over again until I forget everything else in my life but him.

It seems that Max is too impatient to wait until we’re undressed and in bed, because he hurriedly pulls my top over my head and tugs down my bra so that the cups rest below my breasts. I slip my hands beneath his shirt and let my fingers roam across the lines of his back. As his lips cover my nipple, sucking and caressing it tenderly with his tongue, his fingers find the zipper on my pants and I lower my legs from around his waist so that he can pull them down over my hips. Whilst his mouth continues to feast on the bare skin of my chest, I toe off my shoes and kick my jeans to the floor, before jumping back up and resuming my previous position against him, with my legs wrapped around his waist.

He hisses with pleasure as my centre comes into contact with his pelvis once more and after hearing that sound, I can bear it no longer. I remove one hand from where it’s resting beneath his shirt and let it snake down between our bodies so that I can I undo the button on his jeans and slide the zipper down, thus releasing him from the denim confines. At his following sigh, I slip my hand into his boxers, running my thumb over his tip and he gasps as I pull the material out of the way. He thrusts into my hand and before I give in to his desires, I have to remind myself that we need to use protection. I went on the pill last year, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry. I move my other hand round to his back pocket, reaching in to pull out the small square packet that I know will be in there.

Just barely a minute later, the condom is out of its packet and is in place. Max pulls the material of my panties aside and enters me roughly. We both gasp with pleasure at the feeling of being one again. Max’s head drops to my shoulders as he exhales, “Liz…oh, Lizzie…I love you.”

I wrap my arms round his neck, clinging to him as he begins moving inside me, creating that ever-present, delicious friction between our bodies. “I love you, too, Max. God, so much,” I whisper close to his ear as our movements become frantic and we head towards that mind-blowing release that we’ve waited all these months for.

***

“Wow,” I pant two hours later, as Max collapses beside me on the bed.

Wow is just about right,” he smiles sleepily. “I can’t believe we’ve lasted this long without doing it!”

I give him an incredulous look and shove his shoulder playfully. “Max!”

He just shrugs and grins in reply.

“So,” he says a couple of minutes later, when his breathing has returned to normal. “We haven’t exactly had a chance to talk yet.”

I reach out and run my index finger down his chest until I reach his navel. “Now, why would we wanna do a thing like that?”

“Liz,” he groans. “Stop teasing. We’ve just done it three times; I don’t think I have any energy left.”

“Aw, come on,” I pout, but I’m not really serious. I actually think I might die if I experience any more of those incredible orgasms that he managed to give me tonight. “Fine. So talking, huh?”

“Well, yeah,” he says and even though it’s too dark to see him properly, I just know he’s rolling his eyes at me and thinking ‘duh’.

“Okay, so maybe we should get some talking done,” I agree eventually, not really looking forward to a lengthy in-depth discussion. “But can’t it wait until the morning? You’ve worn me out and now I’m exhausted. And anyway, don’t you guys always fall asleep right after sex? I’m surprised you’re still awake, actually.”

“Oh, ha ha,” he retorts dryly and then tries to stifle a yawn. Oh, yeah, Max. Not tired? My ass! “Okay, so maybe I’m a little tired,” he says in reply to my scoff.

“A little? You’re half asleep!”

“Okay, fine! I give up. We’re going to sleep now.”

I sigh in relief.

Max shuffles around in the bed for a moment, before reaching out his arms.

“Come here, you,” he murmurs, spooning my naked, sweaty and thoroughly ravished body against his own equally naked and sweaty body.

I feel him press a kiss to my shoulder and one to the base of my neck as he relaxes behind me. I try to relax too, but all I can think about is hearing Max repeat the same words just now that Jack said to me on Saturday night: ‘come here, you’.

My face falls as I come down from the high caused by making love to Max, and all my previous doubts and worries come flooding back.

TBC…

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Heavenli24
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Post by Heavenli24 » Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:54 am

Thanks to everyone who left feedback :) :

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Again, I'm not going to elaborate on what's going on with Liz just yet, because if I reply to any of your comments, I'll probably just end up giving the storyline away :roll: .

Anyway, here's part 3. Hope you enjoy...

***


Part Three

Well, we don’t get much talking done in the morning either. In fact, the only words to pass either of our lips for the first hour of the day consist of various gasped versions of ‘Yes’, ‘God’ and ‘Fuck’, as we make the most of our last few hours of being completely alone with no family or friends sticking their noses in where they weren’t wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and get on really well with Max’s too; and both sets of parents, mine included, are pretty lenient about one of us staying over at their house and both of us sleeping in the same bed when we do. I’m sure they know by now that Max and I are sleeping together, although we’ve never come straight out and admitted it. However gullible and naïve my parents act when talking about our relationship to either one (or both) of us, I’m sure they can’t be that clueless. I’ve mentioned as much to Max and he reckons that they’re just in denial and that talking as if our relationship is totally innocent allows them to believe that their little girl is not growing up and becoming a woman. You know, the more I think about his words, the more I’m sure he’s probably right; and sometimes I even wonder why the man is studying for a degree in English and not Psychology!

The trip down to Roswell is pretty uneventful and we discuss how great it is that Max will be living in Cambridge in just a few weeks. We talk about what we’re gonna do when we’re both there and how we’ll work out our schedules so we can spend time together. Every now and then, Max will point out something we saw or did on our big cross-country trip the summer after we graduated high school and suddenly I’m transported back to that time, the best summer of my life; the summer that Max and I finally admitted our feelings for each other and our relationship evolved from best friends into a couple in love.

My breath catches in my throat and I muffle a sob as I remember how simple and easy life was that summer, when all we had to worry about was what to tell our parents about our relationship when we returned home. Sometimes I just wish I could go back to that nice, easy life; in fact, some days I long for it so much that my chest aches.

“Hey, you okay?” I look up to find Max glancing at me in concern as he’s driving. I swallow the bitter taste in my mouth and force a small smile.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I tell him quickly. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

He frowns slightly and then shrugs. “I don’t know. You just seem quiet, that’s all.”

“Just enjoying the scenery,” I reply, gesturing to our surroundings with one hand. “I’ve missed it. It’s all cloudy and snowy in Boston right now. It’s nice to be back in the sunshine, even if the temperatures are below freezing.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean,” he nods, his worried expression disappearing. “You don’t seem to notice the cold so much when it’s bright and sunny and there’s not a single cloud in the sky.”

The rest of the journey passes in comfortable silence. We share the occasional smile and a few minutes after our brief conversation about the cold weather, Max reaches over and links our fingers.

“It’s good to have you home, Liz. Back in New Mexico, I mean,” he tells me warmly. “Everyone’s been missing you like crazy in Roswell since you haven’t been able to come back this semester.”

I squeeze his hand. “I missed everyone too. Four months is a long time to go without seeing all you guys.”

“Well, you’ve got a month here now, so I guess you should just sit back and enjoy it,” Max grins. “And maybe have some good times with me as well.”

I nod.

I’ll try, Max. I really will.

***

Christmas vacation practically flies by, the highlights being: catching up with Maria and the rest of the gang; the two wonderful parties thrown by my parents and Max’s parents on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve respectively; and waking up with a sleepy and very naked Max in my bed on Christmas morning and New Year’s Day.

I’ve had a great time at home this holiday. The whole atmosphere and being surrounded by my closest friends and family has really lifted my spirits. I just hope that it lasts, at least for a while, after we get back to Cambridge. We’re flying out tomorrow morning and right now, I’m trying to get my packing done and Max is sitting on my bed watching me (he has already finished his packing). Mr. Evans is driving us both up to Albuquerque this afternoon so that Max can pick up anything else that he needs for Harvard and then we’re going to stay at his apartment tonight.

“So, are you excited about attending Harvard soon?” I ask Max while I try to decide how best to fit my shoes in my suitcase. “Hey, you’ll be a Harvard man now!”

He chuckles, “Liz, sweetie, I don’t think I can technically be a Harvard man if I’m only there one semester and don’t actually graduate. But, to answer your question: yes, I am excited. Just think, we’ll get to meet up between classes and you can tell me first-hand how much you can’t stand your professors this year.”

“Yeah, we will,” I smile, although I’m not sure my heart is completely in it.

Great, it’s starting again.

I turn back to my suitcase and close my eyes briefly at the sudden flood of emotions that run through me.

God, I hate this.

***

“I love you.” The words are whispered so softly, that at first, I’m not sure whether I actually hear it or if it’s just in my imagination; but then Max’s hand flattens against my stomach and his arm pulls me closer to him and although I realise that he’s dozing, I know I didn’t imagine it.

My chest tightens as I think about the wonderful night we’ve just shared and how loved and cherished he made me feel. I’ve learned so much about Max in the two and a half years (almost) that we’ve been together. Not the ‘likes and dislikes’ sort of stuff, but the stuff you can only discover if you’ve known each other intimately - inside and out.

For example, the weekend that we first made love – it was Thanksgiving of Freshman year – I found out that I can drive Max completely and totally wild using only my tongue in all the right places; and just before our first year anniversary he confided in me that just the thought of seeing me in a nurse’s uniform was enough to make him come on the spot – needless to say, the night of our anniversary was extremely pleasurable for him. But most of all, I’ve learned that despite his initial reluctance to make love unless we were completely ready; he really is adventurous in bed. He has no qualms at all about trying out different and new positions, and has even persuaded me to get down and dirty in some of the most risqué places.

But now, lying here in the arms of the man who loves me, as he softly caressed my stomach with his gentle fingers, I can’t help but let my thoughts drift back to how I felt last year whenever I saw him again after weeks of being apart. I remember how my heart would start beating rapidly in my chest at that first glimpse of him and how the second his eyes met mine, a wave of heat would sweep over my body and the only way to divest myself of it would be to have intense physical contact with him.

So then, what happened over the last few months to dim that reaction in me? Why is it that I can’t seem to muster the same enthusiasm over being with Max that I could back then? Why has everything changed?

“Liz…” Max mumbles into my neck, his breath tickling my skin. He’s fully awake now and I can feel his arousal pressing into my butt. I have to bit my lip when I feel his left hand slide up between the mattress and my body and come to a stop over my left breast, his fingers squeezing it lightly. As he gently caresses my nipple, his other hand moves down from my waist and slips between my legs. I feel rather guilty at how he can still get me extremely aroused, yet, my heart seems to stay cold and shut off from real emotion.

It’s not that I don’t love him or want him. I want to love him, I want to want him, but for some reason, I just don’t seem to be able to anymore; at least not in the way I used to. And I feel bad, because it’s not Max’s fault, not at all. He’s still the same beautiful, loving, caring man he’s always been. No, it’s me. Something’s changed in me and I just don’t know how to change it back.

Thing is, right now, Max’s caresses are causing havoc on my senses and I can’t help my reaction to the feel of his strong, hard body against mine; I can’t do anything but lie here in anticipation of what’s coming, as his fingers delve into my wetness, stroking me painfully slowly, yet steadily bringing me closer and closer to the edge. I’m just about gasping for air when his hand leaves my body and he shifts, presumably to reach for protection. I can’t help the whimper that escapes my lips at the loss of his warm skin pressed against mine; but barely a few seconds later, his naked body is pressing against my back one more and he’s lifting my thigh, placing it over his as he prepares to enter me.

Our lovemaking is slow, languid and tender, and throughout the whole thing, I am incredibly glad that I’m turned away from Max and that my hair is obscuring my face from his view. I wouldn’t want to have to explain why tears are currently flowing down my cheeks or why the hitched intakes of breath that he thinks are passion-induced are actually gasping sobs, as I try to work through the unbelievable ache of longing in my chest.

TBC…

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

Post by Heavenli24 » Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:44 pm

Hey, guys, thank you for your feedback :) :

roswell3053
begonia9508

jbangelo
anonymousarfan
Erina
Alien614
HBGO
Strawberry88
AllieXie
youre my dreamgirl


Thanks so much for reading :).

***


Part Four

Sunday January 9th 2005

I managed to get over my mini breakdown yesterday morning before Max could see my face. Luckily, he went back to sleep soon after we made love and I had a chance to pull myself together.

We left Albuquerque a few hours later and arrived in Cambridge last night. We found the apartment Max will be living in pretty easily and after I helped him settle in, I kissed him goodbye, leaving him to get to know his roommates and returned to my own house to unpack my own things.

Anyway, he’s going to come round later this morning and I’ll show him around campus – although he has been here a few times, he hasn’t really spent much time getting to know the streets and buildings yet…



I stop writing in my journal and decide I’d better get out of bed and get some breakfast before I end up spending the entire morning lounging around in my room.

Becca and Jack are sitting at the kitchen table when I get downstairs.

“Liz, hey,” Becca calls enthusiastically as I enter the room. I’m not sure where she gets her energy from, especially as I know for a fact that she didn’t get home until gone 4 o’clock this morning. “So, where’s Max?” She peers over my shoulder, looking for him.

“Oh, um…he’s at his own apartment a couple of blocks away. I left him there last night to get settled in and meet his roommates.”

“Really? I’m surprised you let him out of your sight for a second,” teases Becca. “Don’t forget, I’ve seen how the two of you are when you’re together!”

I give her a half-smile and shift uncomfortably, not really wanting to get into the subject of Max and I, and our ‘perfect’ relationship

Jack looks up from his bowl of cereal and sends me a small sympathetic smile. “Tim and Kelly are up in his room. I doubt they’ll be down for a while,” he informs me, changing the subject quickly.

I nod. “I gathered as much. The noises coming from his room last night kind of clued me in,” I tell him with a roll of my eyes as I take a seat at the table.

A few moments after I’ve reached for a bowl and the box of Frosted Flakes sitting on the table, Becca gets up and starts collecting various bits of food on a tray.

“Well, it was nice chatting to you two, but if you’ll excuse me, I have a very handsome, very naked man in my bed who needs attending to,” she chirps and practically bounces out of the room.

Ah, so that’s why she’s so upbeat this morning!

I share an incredulous look with Jack, before turning back to my breakfast. We sit in silence for a while, until Jack seems to decide that he can’t take it anymore and opens his mouth to speak.

“So, good holiday?” he’s going for casual, but I can hear the underlying question: so, how did it go with Max this holiday?

“It was pretty great up until a couple of days ago. You know, we had fun. But, then when I was packing to come back here, everything just came flooding back and now I’m pretty much back where I started,” I answer the unspoken part. “How about you?” I ask, trying to steer the subject in a different direction.

“It was alright,” he says. “You know, just a normal Christmas with the family.”

Jack’s parents and his younger sister live in New York, but he told me that over Christmas and New Year’s the entire extended family congregate at his house for two weeks of mayhem

“Look, Liz. You know that I’ll help you as much as I can with all of this, but I can’t do everything. You realise that you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands and try to sort it out yourself, don’t you?”

Dread washes over me and I shake my head forcefully. “Jack…”

He ignores my obvious discomfort. “Liz, you have to tell Max. He deserves to know what’s going on. You can’t just carry on with your life like this, pretending that everything is fine and dandy. It doesn’t work that way. Especially now that Max is living here. You’re not going to be able to keep this from him forever.”

I let out a half-snort, half-scoff, “I can try though, can’t I?”

He just fixes me with a sympathetic gaze and I sigh in annoyance.

“I know I can’t, okay!” I cry. “I just…I don’t think I have the guts to bring it up,” I finish miserably. Jack opens his mouth to speak, but I point my finger at him sternly and effectively cut him off before he can, “And don’t even think going behind my back and telling Max about this, alright?”

He shrugs, holding his hands up in defeat. “Okay, you’re the boss. I won’t say anything.”

“Thank you.”

No longer hungry, I pick up my half-eaten bowl of Frosted Flakes and dump the contents in the trash, rinsing the bowl quickly and leaving it by the sink.

“I’m going to take a shower. If Max gets here before I’m done, can you tell him I’ll be ready to go soon?” I ask.

“Sure,” shrugs Jack, his mouth full of cereal.

“And no bringing up what we just talked about, okay?” I warn, before heading up the stairs to my room.


***

Although I don’t mean to, I end up taking my time in the shower, just letting the hot water slide over my body as it relaxes my tense muscles. I turn under the spray and tilt my head up, allowing the water to cover my face in an attempt to wash away all the crappiness in my life.

When I finally turn the water off, I take my time drying off and then wrap the towel around me and brush my teeth. A little more refreshed than I was half an hour earlier, I make my way back to my room and almost cry out in surprise when I find Max sat on my bed. Now, normally this wouldn’t be an unpleasant situation at all, but today it just irks me. It’s like, what gives Max the right to just come in here unannounced and wait for me to finish my shower? I know that I shouldn’t be thinking that way; God knows I never used to, after all, this is Max, my best friend and lover; but this morning, it practically makes my blood boil.

I force a smile and make my way over to the bed to kiss him good morning. I know I can’t kick him out, but at the same time, I’m feeling a little weird about him being here while I get dressed and do my hair and make-up, especially when he’s not in the same boat as me (i.e. dripping wet and dressed in only a towel); it’s almost like it’s an invasion of privacy or something.

As I open my closet to pull out some clothes, I shake my head. What am I thinking? This is the guy I spent six weeks living in the same hotel room with that summer. This is the guy I’ve known my whole life, the one I’ve known intimately for the last two years. So, why am I feeling uncomfortable now?

I have to stop this train of thought.

“So,” I poke my head round the closet door. “How was your night? Are your roommates nice?”

Max shifts to a more comfortable position on the bed, leaning back on one elbow. “Yeah, it was good. They’re really nice people,” he tells me as I dig around for my favourite sweater. “I wish you’d stayed, though. I wanted to introduce you to them.”

“I’m sorry, Max. I just thought you should have some time to get to know them on your own. I’ll meet them all later, I promise.”

I find my sweater and pull it on, along with my jeans. Then I make my way over to the dresser and brush my hair. When I’m certain I look presentable, I turn to Max.

“Okay, I’m ready now. Shall we get going?”

***

We walk through the campus, and I point out the various departments and landmarks to Max. At first, I can’t seem to help walking a step or two in front of him, and it’s only when he reaches out and takes my hand, that I relax and continue on alongside him. After a few minutes, Max’s arm makes its way around my shoulders and I lean into him, smiling gratefully to myself. I’ve been kind of cold with him so far this morning, I know that, and I really shouldn’t have been. This is his first day here in Cambridge with me; what he needs is for me to be happy and upbeat and instead, I end up letting my own frustrations get the better of me.

I’ve got to stop this. I can’t keep going around being miserable all the time.

That’s it: this is the end of my problems.

Letting a smile drift onto my lips, I slip my hand round to Max’s butt and squeeze it playfully, hiding a smirk when he stiffens.

“Liz…” he looks at me, his voice holding a warning tone.

“Yes, Max?” I question innocently, holding the smile for slightly longer than necessary as I turn and move my arms up to the back of his neck. His own arm falls from my shoulder and ends up resting on my lower back. Closing my eyes, I lean up and press my lips to his urgently. Max doesn’t respond for a moment, but I keep kissing him and eventually his lips move against mine and our embrace quickly heats up. I try to keep my concentration on the feelings that his body is invoking in me, but suddenly it becomes too much and I have to tear my lips away.

I bury my head in his chest and tighten my arms around his neck, holding him as close as I can.

“Liz…?” he questions breathlessly, but I shake my head against his jacket.

“Just hold me, Max,” I murmur. “Please…”

“Okay,” his reply is whispered and it holds a hint of confusion, but he doesn’t question my request.

His arms come around me fully and he squeezes me tightly, dropping his head to my shoulder. He always seems to know just what I need.

TBC…

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

Post by Heavenli24 » Sun Mar 19, 2006 3:37 pm

Hey guys, thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it hearing your thoughts and ideas :) :

RoninBehr - Thanks :) .
Erina - You have some good points - something's definitely going on. Is Jack involved somehow? We'll just have to wait and see. As for Max knowing something's wrong...Liz has been trying not to let it show, but things are starting to get on top of her :( .
jbangelo - I'm not going to confirm or deny anything at this point. All I can say is that your question will be answered in the end :wink: .
maya Ah, is there more to it? That's the big question at the moment :wink: .
anonymousarfan - True, she does need to tell him, but the question is, how long will it be until she does?
clueless - Thanks :) .
roswell3053 - Don't worry, the truth is going to come out sooner or later :) .
AllieXie - I feel a little mean about being so vague with what's going on, but to answer your questions would mean revealing more about the story than I want to just yet - sorry :( .
Emz80m - I agree, she does need to talk to him - but will she pluck up the courage any time soon?


Okay, this part is slightly shorter than some of the others, but it's not quite so angsty, so please enjoy...


***


Part Five

The first week of the spring semester starts off pretty much okay. On Monday morning, I help Max find his first class and we arrange to meet up at the student union for coffee after our morning classes. With a quick kiss, he sends me on my way and heads into his classroom. With a sigh, I watch his retreating back until the door closes behind him and then turn to walk to my Biology lab.

An hour later, I’m sitting with Max at a table in the union coffee bar. He’s telling me all about his new professors and how he’s slightly worried because they seem to expect so much from all their students. I comfort him by telling him how we’ve always find it really hard at the beginning of the semester and I explain that the professors just like to scare you into thinking that their class will be the hardest, most difficult class you’ll ever take, and then you find that it’s actually pretty easy. Max laughs when I tell him about how Becca got so scared by one of her freshman teachers that she sat up every night for a week, frantically reading as many books as she could and making as many notes as possible, and then when she got to class on Friday, it turned out that no one had started any of the reading and all they’d been expected to do was buy all the books, not read them!

After Max has gotten over his first day, the rest of the week is fairly uneventful, although it is very busy. My own professors don’t seem to know the meaning of the words ‘easing you back in’ in regards to starting new classes after four weeks of Christmas break and no academic work. I end up with several assignments to be completed by the end of the week and Max and I don’t get to spend as much time together as I know he would have liked. Me, on the other hand? Well, I already know what slave drivers the teachers here can be, having been here two and a half years already, and in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting to be able to spend much time with Max this week.

It turns out that we both have a free night on Wednesday, so in celebration of Max being here, we go out for dinner that night. Afterwards, we go back to my house and spend some time chatting with Becca, Tim and Jack before heading up to my room for the night.

***

It’s Saturday night and the end of a busy first week of classes. Operation: Be Happy is well underway and I think I’m doing a pretty good job of it, if I do say so myself. Right now, I’m curled up with Max on his bed. We’re watching a movie, a bowl of microwave popcorn resting between us. For the last week, I’ve avoided mentioning my strange behaviour when we were taking a tour of the campus last Sunday and Max hasn’t brought it up; although honestly, I think he’s had a pretty overwhelming week what with adjusting to life at Harvard and my afternoon of strange behaviour is probably the last thing on his mind. Not that I mind, of course. I’m actually quite relieved.

“You know, ” I almost jump when Max unexpectedly breaks the silence. “I really admire you.”

He does? “You do?” I turn my head to see his face.

“Yeah, I do,” he smiles down at me. “I never realised how tough Harvard really was. I admire how you manage to take it all in your stride and still get good grades.”

I don’t know what to say to that. The truth is, the work hasn’t been easy for me, especially this year. There have been some days when I’m this close to cracking under the pressure and it’s only with the help of encouraging words from Jack that I’ve actually been able to get through it all.

“Yeah, well…” I shrug bashfully; I’ve never been that good at taking compliments. So, I just focus my attention back on the movie, but I can still feel his gaze on me, his eyes burning holes in the top of my head.

“You’re amazing, you know that?” he whispers suddenly and I feel my cheeks burning with embarrassment. This isn’t the first time he’s said something like this to me, but it still catches me off guard when he does.

I don’t know what to say, so I keep my mouth shut and my eyes on the screen; but barely a moment later, he places the bowl of popcorn on the floor and his fingers come under my chin, tilting my head up towards him. Before I have a chance to even think, his lips are caressing mine softly and tenderly; it’s a gesture full of love and it sends tingles through my body. The effect is overwhelming and suddenly, I am no longer sitting up, my body cradled against his, I am stretched out on the bed and Max is leaning over me, his warm fingers dancing a light trail down my neck and across my collarbone as he continues to nip at my lips with his own.

“Max…” His name slips from my lips as his mouth lowers to my neck, following the path of his fingers. I’m not exactly sure what I mean to say; Max, don’t…[/I or maybe Max, we shouldn’t…or perhaps I actually mean Max, please, don’t stop

As his hands slide beneath my top and cup my breasts gently, I realise that despite all the problems in my life, I need him right now. I need to feel loved and wanted. So, I let my mind go and gasp as he touches me and undresses me slowly, and when at last his tongue delves into my wet, aching core, I involuntarily arch off the bed in ecstasy. He laps at me eagerly, as if he can’t get enough and in the process, he manages to brings me just to the edge over and over again, never quite allowing me to find that release that I so desperately need, until he can sense that I just can’t take it anymore and then sends me over with one last sweep of his tongue.

Afterwards, as I attempt to come down from the incredible high he’s created in my body, I simply lie there in his arms, my eyes closed and chest heaving. Ordinarily I might feel a little awkward that I am lying on top of the covers completely naked, while Max is still fully dressed, but tonight it doesn’t matter. Tonight I feel so content and relaxed that I don’t care.

When my breathing has return to normal, at least somewhat, I open my eyes to find him gazing down at my lovingly, a small smile gracing his gorgeous lips. I lift my hand to cup his cheek as I whisper, “Thank you,” and then “I love you.”

My other hand lowers to the font of his pants and I run my fingers lightly over the bulging material, letting him know that I’m more than happy to return the favour, but he just lets his lips curve up into a smile and reaches down to cover my hand with his, effectively stopping me from going any further.

He shakes his head. “I’m okay, don’t worry about me tonight,” he whispers, cutting off any protest I might have with his lips. He kisses me lightly and then leans over the bed to pick up one of his shirts. He pulls it over my head, feeds my hands through the armholes and tucks me into his bed. When he’s sure that I’m comfortable, he strips down to his boxers and joins me in the bed.

We snuggle up together, and I savour the feeling of being in his arms as we continue to watch the movie in comfortable silence. This is the first time in a while that I’ve felt like myself and as Max holds me in his arms, I an actually imagine that my life is somewhat back to how it used to be.

TBC...

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

Post by Heavenli24 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:10 pm

Thanks for all your comments :):

jbangelo - It was my intention not to give away what is going on with Liz right from the start. Even though it's in her POV, I didn't just want to blurt it out right at the beginning, but answers will come eventually :) .
clueless - Thanks :) .
Little One - Thanks for posting :) . It's interesting to read your thoughts, you make some good points. Just a few more parts and then you can see if your theories are true :wink:
anonymousarfan - :)
roswell3053 - I'm definitely planning a happy ending, so don't worry :) .
RoninBehr - :)
francesca - Hey, welcome to the site :) . Glad you like the story.
lazza - Sorry to hear you missed some parts :( , I just can't seem to help posting quickly - I'm sure I'll slow down when I begin posting faster than I'm writing :lol: ! PS. Have you been following the Gymnastics at the Commonwealth Games? We're really pleased that Imogen Cairns won Gold on Vault because she comes from my town and trained at the same gym as my brother - he's known her since she was about 5! Unfortunately though, he wasn't chosen for the Men's team - which he's now very annoyed about because his scores are higher than those of the boy they sent instead, and if he'd competed, he would have got almost 2 whole points more on 2 apparatus!
AllieXie - You have some interesting theories and good ideas, but I'm afraid I'm still not going to give anything away :wink: .
youre my dreamgirl - Good questions - don't worry, the truth will come out eventually :wink:

I'm enjoying reading all your theories and ideas about what's up with Liz - I've read some of them and thought 'Wow, maybe I should have gone in that direction!' :lol: (I'm not saying which ones, obviously).


Finally. just a quick reminder that I'm doing an Author's chat at Dreaming Among Stars tomorrow night (6PM EST) - I'd love to see you there :) .


***

Part Six

Sunday January 30th 2005

It’s been three weeks since school started back up again and Max came back to Cambridge with me after Winter break, and things are…well I wouldn’t say they are wonderful, but they’re going okay, at least they were until a few hours ago.

Max and I have been spending a good number of nights together, either sleeping in his room at his apartment or my bedroom. That is, when we don’t have a ton of work to do that keeps us up studying all night. Don’t get me wrong, it is great having my boyfriend living here for a while, really; but I just don’t feel as happy and excited about it as I’ve previously made out to Max, and it’s affecting our relationship. Actually, we ended up in this big fight about it this morning. Well, it wasn’t so much a big fight as it was a huge screaming, shouting match, which I’m still trying to recover from.

And the worst thing is, I still don’t quite know why it started in the first place. I mean, I know I was cranky when I woke up, but I really didn’t intend to cause everything to blow up between us…



“Morning, sleepyhead.”

The soft, half-whispered words filter through my fuzzy, sleep-filled brain and I let out a groan, reaching up to pull my hair from my face. My back aches and I shift slightly to find a more comfortable position, only to find that I am encased in Max’s arms and that my head is resting against his chest. I feel kind of off, although it might have something to do with the red wine I drank at dinner last night and then the two hours we spent having sex in the early hours of this morning.

“Ughh,” I manage. I try to pull myself into a sitting position, but Max seems reluctant to let me go just yet. “I need to go to the bathroom,” I inform him then and he flashes me an apologetic smile and releases his arms from my waist. “Thanks.”

I slip out of the bed and pull one of Max’s t-shirts over my head, before leaning down and placing a chaste kiss on his lips. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

I leave his room and make my way to the bathroom. After I’ve relieved myself, I spent a couple of minutes just staring at my reflection in the mirror above the sink. I look tired. My eyes are puffy and sore from lack of sleep and my hair is in disarray. I’m just a mess.

I sigh at the sight of the girl reflected back at me, but then tear my eyes away from the mirror to splash some water on my face. I don’t know if I have the energy to keep this up anymore; and I don’t just mean my relationship with Max, I’m talking about my whole life as it is at the moment. It’s just become so monotonous and tiring lately.

Max is still lying in bed when I return to the bedroom and its obvious from his body language and the expression in his eyes, that he’s waiting for me to join him again. I close my own eyes at the crestfallen expression that appears on his face when I start pulling on my clothes instead of climbing back into the bed, and guilt passes through me. I hate that I’m upsetting him, but how can I snuggle up next to him and pretend that everything’s fine, when my heart’s telling me the complete opposite?

“Liz…” he starts as I fasten my jeans and pull my tank top over my head. “What’s going on?”

I freeze for a moment, knowing exactly what he’s talking about; but I choose to ignore it. “What do you mean?”

“I mean you. What’s been going on with you lately?”

He’s struck a chord and I don’t like it. “Nothing’s going on with me, Max! Maybe it’s just you being paranoid,” I retort.

“Liz,” he sighs, sitting up and pulling his boxers on. “Something’s not been right with us recently and unless I’ve done something I don’t know about, I don’t understand what’s changed.”

I snort. “You wanna know what’s changed? Well, for a start, you’re currently living here and not in Albuquerque!” I snarl sarcastically.

“Liz, I know that’s not what I meant – ” he protests, but now it’s like this gate has opened up inside me with those words, and now everything’s just flowing right out.

I cut him off, “You know, I didn’t ask you to come here, you just called me up and informed me that you were coming. You didn’t even tell me about it beforehand. Because, you know, maybe I don’t even want you here!” I shout in frustration.

Max’s expression hardens. “Yeah, well, I hate to break it to you, Liz, but you can’t exactly tell me where I can or cannot study! I chose to come to Harvard; not just because of you, but because I wanted to come here, okay?” he spits out angrily.

He doesn’t say any more and we just stand there in the middle of the room, breathily heavily and glaring at each other. After a couple of minutes, Max’s shoulders slump slightly and his face loses some of its anger.

“You don’t want me here?” he sounds like a small little boy, and ordinarily I would back down and apologise, but not today. Today, I’m angry and frustrated and upset.

“You know, maybe I don’t,” I admit, swallowing to push down the lump in my throat.

He frowns. “Why not, Liz? After all this time being apart from each other, why aren’t you happy that we can be together now, at least for a while?”

“That’s just it, Max,” I sigh tiredly. “We’ve spent so long living different lives in different cities, only seeing each other on a full-time basis a couple of months a year, that I’ve gotten used to having my own life and my friends here. And it’s like, now you’re here, my Harvard life is not just mine anymore; you’re in it too and it’s smothering me,” I admit. It’s the truth; it’s how I’ve been feeling lately, but it’s not the whole truth; because this has been going on longer than a month; it’s been going on since long before Max called me to tell me he was coming to Harvard.

“What, so now I’m just an inconvenience?” he cries, his voice rising with every word. “You’d rather live your own little perfect life without me in it, only communicating a couple of times a week via phone calls and the Internet, is that it?” He’s shouting now and I have to cringe as the angry words reach my ears. It’s not the first time I’ve heard Max this angry, but it’s never been directed at me before.

“Max,” I whisper, not knowing what else to say. I can’t deny it; I have been feeling that way about our relationship for a while now.

“Don’t ‘Max’ me! It’s the truth, isn’t it?” He doesn’t wait for an answer, just lets out an incredulous snort and continues. “God, all this time I’ve been sitting around in New Mexico, practically pining for you, counting down the days when we can see each other again, and you…you don’t even care!”

“I do care, Max!” I burst out loudly, desperate for him to know that I do still love him.

He snorts again, “Yeah, well you have a funny way of showing it!”

That’s it. I can’t take this anymore. I have to get out of here before I do something stupid. Like break down completely.

“I’ve had enough of this!” I screech suddenly. “You can’t just – ” You can’t what? I don’t even know anymore. “I’m leaving.”

I grab the rest of my things and walk out, slamming the door behind me before he even gets a chance to say anything. It’s only when I’m halfway towards the front door that I hear his final words.

“Yeah, well good riddance! You go right on back to your perfect, Max Evans-free life. See if I care!”

I’m trembling as I reach for the doorknob. Perfect life? If only you knew, Max.

***

By the time I reach my house, I’ve calmed down a little, but my body’s still shaking all over. What does this mean for us now? Did we just break up, or was this just our first big fight? Something tells me that the things we said to each other just now are not going to be forgiven too easily or quickly.

God, what have I done?

All I want now is to lock myself in my room and cry my eyes out.

Which is exactly what I do.

The moment I enter my room, I sink to the floor, letting my back slide down the door. I curl up into a ball as gasping, gut-wrenching sobs take over my body. I cry for Max; for the state of our relationship, whatever that may be right now; I cry for myself; my life; just everything.

This is not the first time I’ve broken down like this over the last few months and it certainly won’t be the last. It’s been happening much more often recently and it seems that just about anything can set it off now; from watching a sad movie or a true life story on TV, to being intimate with Max, and I don’t know how to stop it; or how to feel normal again.

TBC…

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

Post by Heavenli24 » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:58 am

Hey guys, thanks for your feedback :) :

Alien614 - You could just be right about that.
youre my dreamgirl - You're right, this is bigger than Liz and Max, and yes, there is hope for them (despite what happens in this next part).
roswell3053 - What's happening to Liz is pretty much out of her control and and it's affecting how she reacts to the people around her.
anonymousarfan - I agree that she needs to talk to him, but when that happens is another matter :) .
clueless - Looks like things are starting to unravel between Max and Liz, so maybe this will be the impetus she needs to sort things out :).
jbangelo - Good suggestion. It won't be happening straight away, though.
AllieXie - You could be right, there, although it may not be quite as serious as that :)

I have a few more parts written already and I'll just say now that there will be more quite a bit more angst to come in those parts. Thing is, writing it is starting to make me depressed, so I'm gonna try for less angst and a bit more happiness after that :) .


***

Part Seven

“Liz?”

I’m woken up by a knock at my bedroom door. After I managed to stop the tears earlier, I made my way to my bed and pulled out my journal, writing in it in the hopes that it would help me work out what just happened. I must have fallen asleep. I sit up and run my hands through my hair. I probably look awful.

“Hey, Liz. You in there?” It’s Jack.

“Yeah, I’m here,” I call out, although my voice comes out kind of scratchy from crying.

“Hey, the guys and I are going to order pizza and watch a movie downstairs. You in?”

I tell out a breath. What the hell. I could do with some downtime with my housemates.

“Sure, just give me a minute to get sorted and I’ll be down.”

“Okay, Liz. See you in a sec,” he calls from the other side of the door.

I listen as his footsteps descend back down the stairs before I stand up and reach for my hairbrush and make-up. Once I’m satisfied that I actually look presentable, I slip out of my room and go down to join my friends. When I arrive in the living room, I find that the pizzas have already arrived (mmm… pepperoni, my favourite) and there are two six-packs of beer on the coffee table. I grab a slice of pizza and a beer and take a seat on the sofa between Tim and Becca.

I have fun tonight; honestly, I do. Becca and Tim decide to make up lewd jokes during the movie and I have to roll my eyes at Jack, who’s sat in the armchair in the corner, but when they start doing impressions of the most unlikely characters paired together in sex scenes, all four of us start cracking up. It really is the most fun and light-hearted evening I’ve had in months. With all the studying I’ve had to do for my classes, I’ve hardly had a chance to just kick back and have a fun night with my friends. That’s not to say that Max and I don’t usually joke around when we’re together (although not so much as of late), but it’s not quite the same as having a laugh with your crazy housemates.

About three-quarters of the way through the film, though, Becca seems to get tired of mucking around and unfortunately, makes me her interrogation target.

“So, Liz. You and Max…” she wiggles her eyebrows suggestively. “I bet it’s just heaven having him right here in Cambridge, there for the taking anytime you want?”

I keep my eyes fixed on the TV screen, but she’s looking right at me and I can’t avoid the question.

“Um…well, you know…” I shrug nonchalantly.

“Hey, now,” she tuts. “None of that umming and ahhing. I want details.”

“Look, Becca.” I turn to her. “Can we just drop it for now. Please?”

She frowns and shrugs, “Okay. It’s just, you usually love telling us about him – and making me hugely jealous of you in the process, I might add.”

“It just don’t feel like talking about it tonight.” She raises an eyebrow and I realise that I’m going to have to say something. “Max and I had this big fight this morning, okay? I think we may have broken up.” I chance a glance in Jack’s direction as I say it, to find his mouth open in surprise. I don’t think he was expecting that.

The smile leaves her face and she reaches out a comforting hand. “Oh, honey, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to push. Look, I’ve seen first hand how strong your relationship is; I’m sure it’s not as bad as you think. Just give it some time.”

I just nod, not knowing what to say in reply. I have a feeling that it is as bad as I think and the worst thing is, I don’t know if I even want it to go back to the way it was.

I’m saved from answering her by the sound of the doorbell.

“I’ll go,” says Tim, getting up from his seat. “It’s probably Kelly anyway.”

He leaves the room and Becca, Jack and I return our gazes to the film still playing out on the TV screen, yet at the same time, half listening out for the telltale noise of Tim and Kelly’s footsteps on the stairs. When no noises come, I frown, a little confused at who could be at the door if it’s not Kelly; but a second later, Tim peers round the door and nods at me.

“Liz, Max is here. He wants to talk to you.”

“O-okay,” I stutter helplessly, my heartbeat speeding up suddenly. I glance over at the other two in question, but they are quick to stand up and start leaving the room.

“Good luck,” whispers Becca as she walks past me.

“It’ll be okay, you’ll see,” add Jack with an encouraging smile and they both leave.

I hear them greet Max out in the hallway and then suddenly there he is, right here in the room with me. He pushes the door closed behind him with a soft click and then just sort of stands in front of it awkwardly with his hands shoved in his pockets.

I can’t look at him; I just can’t, because if I do I’ll see the wounded, vulnerable expression that I know is on his face right now. I just…oh, I can’t help it, my gaze rises of its own accord and suddenly our eyes are locked. But he doesn’t look wounded, or vulnerable, in fact he looks… apologetic.

“Liz…” he starts, clearing his throat nervously. “Lizzie…I’m sorry.”

Wait! What? No…no he can’t be apologising to me! He’s not the one in the wrong here.

“Max, stop,” I tell him firmly and he looks at me in confusion. “Just don’t say anything else, okay?”

I get up off the couch and start pacing the small room, trying to work out what I’m going to say to him.

“Max,” I stop and turn to face him. “I’m the one who’s sorry, okay? I shouldn’t have said those things. It wasn’t fair and I’m sure it wasn’t particularly nice for you to hear and…and I’m sorry. Here you are, living 2000 miles from home, in the same town as me and I’m acting like I don’t even want you here!”

I raise my eyes to his face again to find him watching me intently, a serious expression clouding his features.

“Do you?” It comes out as a whisper.

I frown. “What?”

“Do you really want me here, Liz? Please, be honest with me.”

For a moment, I can’t breathe. I want to be able to tell him that of course I want him here, that I love him and wouldn’t want to spend my life anywhere else but in his arms; but I can’t. My mouth is opening and closing, but nothing is coming out.

“Right,” he nods slowly, turning away from me. “Okay, I get it.”

I close my eyes. I’m hurting him. I don’t want to hurt him. He takes a few deep breaths before facing me once more. I muffle a gasp at the look in his eyes, the tears shining in them and I feel my heart breaking.

This is it. We’re over.

“Max…” I start, but my voice cracks and I can’t continue. I wrap my arms around myself in the hopes that it will keep me together.

He shakes his head, holding a hand up to stop me. “Don’t. Please, just don’t,” he says and I can hear the pain in his voice. “I think…I think maybe we should take a break for a while. Have some time apart so that you can get your feelings straight about what you really want.”

I just look at him, standing there in front of me, looking so broken and tears start pooling in my eyes, threatening to spill. I start shaking my head. No, Max, please don’t do this…please.

“I think I should go,” he says finally. “But can you tell me just one thing first? When did you stop loving me?”

The first tear falls from my eye, trailing a wet path down over my cheek. “I didn’t,” I tell him, praying that he believes me. “I do love you, Max. It’s just – ”

“You don’t want to be with me, I get it,” he states tonelessly and turns towards the door.

“Max, no…” I try, but he just keeps walking to the door. When he gets there, right before he twists the doorknob, he stops and looks back at me.

“I just want you to know that I understand. I can imagine that it would be strange for you to have me here, invading your ‘Harvard’ life like this. I just never thought it would be this difficult for you.” He sends me a sad look, filled with sorrow and then leaves the room.

I stand there, in the centre of my living room, in shock, unable to move until I hear the front door slam behind him and he’s gone. Only then do the events of the day come crashing down around me, and I collapse to the sofa, my arms clutching my stomach in an attempt to block out the pain as misery overtakes me once again.

TBC…

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

Post by Heavenli24 » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:15 am

Hey guys, thank you for all your comments, I love hearing what you think :) :

POM - To be honest, I don't think Max is actually suffocating her - he's just doing the same things he's always done, but it's Liz who's changing and she's interpreting that as suffocation, although you may be right about life at Harvard - maybe it was all just getting too much and Max being there too was the final straw.
youre my dreamgirl - I almost cried when I wrote it :lol: ! And yes, there is hope for them, but it won't necessarily be easy :( .
Emz80m - :(
Strawberry88 - Thanks. It will be fixed, don't worry :) .
roswell3053 - I think Liz already knows what she's doing to their relationship, but she can't control her emotions or her actions right now. She's hiding her feelings behind this indifference towards Max and really, it's only making things worse.
jbangelo - :) Thanks, and it's not just the break up contributing to her feelings. There's still a lot to sort out.
clueless - Thanks. It'll be a couple more parts, but the truth will come out soon, I promise :) .
francesca - Thanks :) .
anonymousarfan - She does need to open up about it, she knows that, but something's holding her back and she's just sitting there and letting everything wash over her. Why? Maybe if she just ignores the feelings and pretends nothing's wrong, it will all go away.
AllieXie - No, she's not crazy, but she just doesn't know what she wants anyone.
Alien614 - She will come clean - eventually. It's just not going to happen quite yet (not long though) :( .
Erina - Yes, things will get better soon - not long now :) .


***

Part Eight

Tuesday March 1st 2005

It’s been over a month since Max and I broke up and I’m still just as lost as I was back then. I don’t know what’s making me feel this way, but I don’t like it. I feel like I’ve become a totally different person than I used to be. I hardly go out anymore and it’s getting to the point that I don’t even want to go out. It’s like I’m scared to put myself out there or something. You know, it’s so much safer spending time at home where no one can hurt me and I can’t hurt anyone else, like I did Max.

But, isn’t it just typical that the one person you don’t want to see, the one person who doesn’t want to be around you, is the one person you always seem to bump into everywhere you go? It’s like that with Max. It seems that wherever I am, whether I’m on campus, or at the store, or wherever, Max is there too. We’ve had more awkward, ‘didn’t know you would be here’ moments in the last few weeks than I have experienced in my entire life and what I can’t stand is having to see that awful, wounded look in his eyes every time he looks up and realises that I’m there in the same place as him. The worst part was discovering that Max has got himself a part-time job in the very video store that Becca and I frequent often on our pizza, video, wine and chocolate veg-out sessions. I can’t even face going in there anymore.

I don’t know what I can do to get rid of that constant miserable look on Max’s face and make all this better…



“That’s it, Liz!” Becca’s voice startles me from my writing as she pushes my bedroom door open and marches in. I close the book quickly and watch her expectantly. “No more of this moping around, I won’t allow it.”

“Bex, please just leave me al– ”

“No!” she cries, cutting me off. “I’m not leaving you alone this time. You can’t keep doing this, Liz. You can’t keep hiding away in your room; which is why we’ve arranged a house night out tonight. Jack and Tim have already agreed and you’re coming with us.”

“But – ” I can’t go out tonight. I don’t think I could face it, and besides I just don’t think have the energy for a night of drinking and clubbing.

“No, buts, Liz. You’re coming out with us tonight, and that’s final,” she glares at me, her hands on her hips, until I nod yes. “Right then, now that’s sorted, let’s find you something to wear.”

Two hours later, I’m standing by the front door with Jack, waiting for Becca to finish getting ready herself and for Tim to get off the phone to Kelly.

“Hey, you okay?” he asks me in concern. “You know, you don’t have to come out with us tonight. I can tell Becca you’re not feeling well.”

Jack is the only person I’ve confided in about what’s really going on in my life. He’s the only one who knows that some nights the ache in my chest is so bad that I cry myself to sleep because of it. He’s the one who’s been helping me through all of this crap with Max and even though he’s told me from the beginning that I really ought to talk to Max about it, he’s still there to lend a shoulder to cry on when I’m upset.

I shake my head and force a smile. “No, it’s okay, I’ll come. After all, I am all ready and everything now.”

He smiles at me, but anything else that he was going to say is stopped by the arrival of Becca and Tim in the hallway.

“Okay, guys, let’s get out of here!” Becca exclaims as she claps her hands together, taking charge and we follow her out of the door.

***

It’s eleven pm and after visiting the third bar of the night, we’re now heading towards one of the hottest nightclubs in town. Tonight is student night, so we don’t have to worry about fending off pervy old men and can just enjoy ourselves and have a good time. I’m really feeling the buzz now; I’ve had a few drinks and now I’m actually in the mood for some energetic dancing – or more accurately – jumping around on the dance floor.

The first thing Becca does after we’ve paid the entrance and cloakroom fees is drag the three of us over to the bar and order us a round of toffee vodka shots, which she then makes us knock back simultaneously. With the warmth from the vodka humming through my body, I grab her arm and pull her over to the crowded floor. I just need to forget about everything right now and have some fun.

And I do. That is, until something catches my attention out of the corner of my eye and I can’t help glancing over at it. Now I wish I hadn’t, because over on the other side of the dance floor is Max, with a girl. A girl that’s not me. He’s dancing with her, and if you ask me, it’s getting pretty cosy over there. God, I can’t even look. I need another drink. I pull Becca towards the bar, where I can see Tim and Jack standing, seemingly engaged in an intense argument, although as we get nearer to them, I realise that they’re actually discussing the merits and weaknesses of the latest Playstation game – in a nightclub of all places!

We sit at one of the tables in the bar area and do another round of vodka shots, sour apple flavoured this time, and for a few minutes, it gives me a buzz again, but then, as my eyes flit around the room and I spot Max holding the girl he’s with close to him, my good mood disintegrates and I just feel depressed. Now I remember, this is why I’ve chosen to drink but not get drunk recently – it’s impossible for me to drown my sorrows in alcohol; for the simple reason that if I’m feeling happy before I start drinking, then I’m a happy drunk; but if I’m feeling depressed to start with, it’s all downhill from there. With my elbow leaning on the table, I rest my chin on my hand and stare dejectedly at all the people having fun around me. It’s only when my chin slips from its support, nearly hitting the table surface, and I look up to find three pairs of eyes looking at me in surprise, that I realise that I really am kind of drunk.

“Hey Liz, you okay there?” asks Becca as she tries to hide a smirk behind her hand.

“Yeah, I’m…I’m fine,” I manage, though I feel light-headed as I say it. “I think,” I add, as I feel myself sliding off the chair. “Oops.”

I’m prevented from hitting the floor, as someone’s hands grab me around the waist and haul me back up to standing. I look up into Jack’s blue eyes and flash him a grateful smile.

“I think maybe it’s time we were getting you home, don’t you?” he says lightly, as he brushes my hair off my face.

“Yeah, I think it is,” I nod tiredly, my body suddenly feeling like lead.

“Guys, I’m going to walk Liz home; I think she needs to get to bed,” he tells the others, his arms still supporting me.

“Hang on, we’ll come with you,” says Tim immediately, but a glance at both of them tells me that Becca is still having fun and Tim doesn’t look too happy to be leaving either.

“No, s’ok,” I mumble, a little slurred. “You guys stay here. Don’t wanna ruin your night.”

“Okay, if you’re sure,” Tim agrees finally and I nod.

“Don’t worry, Jack will take good care of me. Won’t you, Jack?” I look up at him pleadingly.

“’Course I will,” he smiles, adjusting his hold on me so that he’s still keeping me up, but now we can walk side-by-side. As we make our way to the exit, I completely miss Max’s eyes boring into the back of my head.

***

The journey home takes twice as long as it would normally would, mostly because I can’t walk in a straight line and keep trying to go the wrong way. Jack keeps one arm around my waist and the other on my arm, steering me in the right direction. We don’t speak much as we walk back. I’m not sure why Jack’s so quiet, but in my case, I know that if I open my mouth to say something, I’ll probably start crying and then I won’t be able to stop. Stupid alcohol!

When we finally arrive home, Jack guides me to the living room couch and I sink into the cushions.

“I’ll be right back,” he tells me quietly and leaves the room.

I let my head fall back and close my eyes in a feeble attempt to make the sick feeling in my stomach go away. Why did I have to drink so much tonight? I really should know better: depression and alcohol do not mix, at least not for me.

“Here you go,” Jack reappears with a glass of water and some painkillers. “Maybe these will help.”

“Thanks,” I say, opening my eyes and taking them from him as he takes a seat next to me. I swallow the painkillers quickly and then take a large gulp of the cold water. “Ughh, I feel like crap,” I groan, placing the now empty glass on the coffee table. “And it’s not just the booze.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I saw Max tonight, at the club,” I say bitterly.

“Oh.”

“He was with a girl. They were dancing,” I inform him.

“Oh,” he murmurs again, more softly this time and I feel his arm coming around my shoulders once again, holding me close to him.

Somewhere in the next few moments, we both shift on the couch and the next thing I know, we’re facing each other and Jack is hugging me properly. The feeling of his arms around me, stroking my back is comforting and I am thankful that I have a friend like him to help me through this.

“Are you okay?” he pulls back and watches my face carefully.

I nod, a slight movement. “I will be. Eventually. I think”

His lips curve up into a small smile and he reaches up to tuck a loose strand of hair behind my ear.

“If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, don’t hesitate to come and find me, Liz. You know I’ll always be happy to help.”

“Thank you, Jack. You really are a great friend,” I tell him. He really is. Not many guys would sit here and listen to all of their female housemate’s problems. He truly is one of a kind.

He just smiles and takes my hand. “Come on, let’s get you upstairs. You look like you could do with some sleep.”

I send him a grateful look and we make our way upstairs. Once Jack is satisfied that I’m alright on my own and that I’m not going to get lost on the way to the bathroom, he bids me goodnight and heads off to his own room. I get undressed slowly and wash my face, and eventually I’m lying on my back in bed, waiting for sleep to come, so I can forget about everything that happened tonight.

TBC…

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

Post by Heavenli24 » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:21 am

Thank you for all your comments on the last chapter :) :

POM - Sorry for the confusion :oops:. I actually used the word painkiller in the hopes that the word was universal (especially since not many people in the states will know what paracetamol is (it's acetaminophen, btw)). I didn't realise that the word was used differently in the states!

Emz80m - Yes, she treated him badly, but she's feeling sorry for herself at the moment and seeing Max with someone else just made her feel worse :( .

Erina - Oh no, I didn't mean to make things worse :roll: . I'll tell you now though, that the girl is not likely to make another appearance in the story.

kelly13 - I see where you're coming from. The story is completely one-sided on Liz's part and right now, she's too wrapped up in her own pain to realise what she's doing to everyone else.

anonymousarfan - You're right of course, about not meaning to hurt anybody, but it happening anyway. Liz is just too consumed with her depression to think clearly right now. You're also right about Jack needing to do something, but the question is, how will he go about it? (Hint: the answer is coming up in the next part).

Strawberry88 - I'm guessing she does need professional help. She's stuck in her misery right now, and nothing she can do herself is likely to make it better until she talks to someone.

roswell3053 - The good news is that the girl was pretty insignificant. As for the next morning - well that part's coming up in a minute :) .

youre my dreamgirl - You're right, Max was hurt by the way Liz was treating him, but he didn't do anything to hurt her. The girl was pretty much unimportant though :) .

jbangelo - It's interesting that you mention Jack's feelings towards Liz, because when I wrote the chapter, I was actually planning to have him try to kiss her at the end. But when I got to it, I decided to keep them as friends :) .

francesca - Thanks :) .

Alien614 - You would think she would get help, but the thing is, sometimes it's easier to just ignore it and hope it will go away, or even just to sit there and feel sorry for yourself, in the hope that someone else will notice and take charge.

lazza - I'm ashamed to admit that although I kept up with the artistic gymnastics results, I still haven't watched any of it. It was broadcast at 11am when I was at work so I recorded it and haven't had time to watch it yet :roll: !
As for the story: it's been a month and yes, Max is entitled to move on, but really, the girl was just that - some girl who doesn't really factor in here :).
POM wrote:I know...I totally forgot that you aren't from the states It finally clicked in my head after I logged off. That what you call painkillers we call Asprin. Pain killers over here are a drug, very addictive and very strong easily addictive and can cause depression if taken too much.

I had to change it, but it was already almost 2AM I couldn't but with this mistake on my mind it was hard to fall asleep

Sorry for the mistake. Most of the terms you use in your story, I wouldn't use in that context, but I know what you mean half of the time.
I just want to say sorry if I confused anyone else :? , but please feel free to let me know if I've used a word or phrase that you don't get. I try to write as 'American' as I can, but there are some things that I just can't bring myself to change :lol: .


A/N: We're supposed to (finally) be getting broadband installed tomorrow, but unfortunately won't be able to set up a network in the house for another week or two, so I won't have internet access from my computer for a while. My brother needs the internet for his university work over the Easter vacation, so I may not be able to update for a week or two, depending on whether we manage to get everything up and running before then or not. So I apologise in advance if there's no updates for a while :) .


***

Part Nine

I wake up with a terrible headache the next morning and for a moment, I wonder why. Then it all comes flooding back to me. Last night. The club. Flavoured vodka. Max. I try to sit up, but immediately fall back to the pillow again, clutching my stomach in an unsuccessful attempt to make the nauseous feeling go away. Well, at least it’s Saturday and I don’t have classes today. Oh, wait, crap! It’s not Saturday, it’s Wednesday; and I have a two-hour lab at eleven o’clock. Why did I let Becca talk me into going out last night when I knew I’d have to spend two hours doing experiments the next day? Oh, that’s right; I wasn’t really in the state of mind yesterday to be thinking that far ahead.

After several minutes of trying, I finally manage to move my head enough to see the clock on my bedside table. Shit, it’s ten o’clock already! I have so much to do before I can leave for class. I have to shower and get dressed and eat breakfast, not to mention finish off the assignment that’s due for one of my afternoon classes. Except…I don’t think I can move, let alone get ready to leave the house. Maybe if I just close my eyes for a minute and turn over…no wait, that’s not going to work, I think I’m going to be sick. In a shot, I’m out of the bed and crouched on the bathroom floor, emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet. At this particular moment, I’m extremely glad that every single one of my housemates is either in class or at work.

I don’t know how I manage it, but at eleven o’clock on the dot, I slide into my pre-assigned seat in the Biology lab and pull out my lab book, ready to start the class. My lab partner, Sarah, is already there and is busy organising the equipment we’ll need for the experiment. I send her quick smile and mouth a ‘hi’ as I move to help her and she grins back for a moment, before frowning in concern.

“Hey, Liz. You don’t look so good this morning,” she tells me. As if I didn’t know.

I roll my eyes in agreement. “Late night last night,” I say in explanation.

“Ahh,” she nods, an understanding expression appearing on her face.

I don’t offer anything else and although she knows that I also broke up with my long-term boyfriend recently, she doesn’t push the subject of either. We finish setting up our work and get started on the lab, discussing only the details of our experiment for the next two hours.

By one o’clock, I’m feeling somewhat better and definitely more awake than earlier, so after we finish up in the lab, I make my way to the student union. This morning, when I finally felt well enough to leave the bathroom and get ready for class, I found a note from Jack on the kitchen table saying that if I was up to it, he would meet me for lunch at the student union café after my lab and if for any reason I didn’t make it, I should give him a call on his cell phone to let him know. Well, since I’m feeling…well perhaps not well enough to eat anything, but just about good enough to have something to drink at least…I’m on my way to meet him now.

As I round the corner to the union building, I hear raised voices, as if someone’s trying to pick a fight. Curiosity getting the better of me, I quicken my steps, making my way towards the main entrance. I stop. The guy raising his voice is Max; and the guy he’s laying into is none other than…my current best friend and confidant, Jack. I frown; what the hell is Max shouting at Jack for? For that matter, why is he even talking to him in the first place? It’s not like the two of them have exactly been on speaking terms since we broke up. As far as I know, Jack hasn’t even been in the same room as Max in weeks. What is going on? My question is answered a few moments later, when Max’s voice rises considerably until he’s full on yelling at my closest friend in Cambridge.

“Are you fucking her? Is that it?” I frown. What is he talking about? I’ve never heard him speak that way to anyone or about anyone before; especially not in public like this. “It’s you, isn’t it? You’re the reason this is happening. You’re the reason she doesn’t want me. And God, it was right under my nose the entire time. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before, what with you two being so close and everything!”

He’s talking about me. He’s suggesting that Jack and I are…God, I can’t even think it, let alone say it. I can feel myself shaking as the anger builds up inside of me. How dare he insinuate that we…? How dare he? I’m on the verge of marching over there and giving Max a piece of my mind, when Jack steps in, countering Max’s unsubstantiated accusations.

“What the fuck is the matter with you, Max? Liz is my friend. How dare you accuse her of doing something like that, especially to you? Man, don’t you get it? The girl is fucking in love with you!” he bursts out, and I can’t keep the grateful smile off my face for his defence of me. But Max immediately sees red and I have to close my eyes at the force of his words.

“In love with me? What the fuck, Jack? Have you not been paying attention this last month? In case you forgot, we split up because she didn’t want me!” he shouts, obviously not caring that people are turning to watch.

“Love and want aren’t always the same thing, Max,” says Jack much more calmly than I would have expected. I feel the colour drain from my face, as I suddenly understand what he’s trying to say to Max. “If you knew Liz as well as you think you do, maybe you would have figured that out.”

Max frowns, his anger deflating a little, although mine is still running high. How could Max think that I’d ever cheat on him? I can feel my control slipping and my calm façade deteriorating rapidly. Oh, crap. Here come the tears.

“What the hell are you talking about? It’s not my fault that she doesn’t want me here with her!”

“Max, Liz is going through something right now, alright? Something that she can’t control, and she’s trying to deal with it the best she can. But she’s not going to be able to do that with you going around throwing accusations at her friends. So, just back off, okay?”

It is only after I hear his words that I finally find my voice.

“You heard him, Max. Just back off,” I shout through my tears as I approach the two of them. Both of their heads jerk up in surprise at my sudden appearance and both immediately look down guiltily, although for very different reasons, when they realise that they’ve been caught arguing. “Where do you get off accusing my friends of things they haven’t done?” I address Max angrily. “Jack has nothing to do with what happened to us, okay?”

I feel the uncontrollable sobs begin in my throat and I raise my hand to cover my mouth. I don’t wait for Max to reply; I just turn and run. I can vaguely hear Jack speaking harshly to Max and then his footsteps approaching as he starts after me. I don’t wait for him to catch up, I just keep running and I don’t stop until I’ve reached home. I unlock the door as quickly as I can and slam it shut behind me, only partly aware that Jack is hot on my heels and will most likely be arriving at the door in the next couple of minutes. I blindly climb the stairs to my room and when I’m finally inside, I don’t even have the energy to reach the bed. Instead, I collapse to the floor next to it, curling into a ball as the tears and sadness engulf my entire being.

I just want to forget everything.

I want it all to go away.

I want my heart to stop hurting.

I am so caught up in my own misery that I don’t even notice Jack as he enters my room. I don’t open my eyes as he drops to his knees, whispering my name so incredibly despondently that I want to comfort him as he scoops me up into his arms and rocks my limp form against his warm, comforting body. He simply holds me gently, stroking my hair and whispering words of comfort in my ears as I finally let go and break down completely.

Because that’s what’s happening to me, I’m having an emotional breakdown.

Gasping sobs are sweeping over my body and I am powerless to stop them. It’s getting to the point that I can’t breathe anymore, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t get myself under control. All the pressure I’ve been feeling lately has become too much and it’s caused me to snap; my entire existence, no matter how shaky and fragile it’s been lately, is coming crashing down around me and I can do nothing but sit here and take it.

“Oh God, Jack…” I wail, my voice distraught. “I need help. I can’t do this anymore. I just need this to go away. Please help me; I can’t live like this anymore. I just can’t cope…”

My desperate cries are suddenly interrupted by a sharp intake of breath and I feel Jack tense up, his hand stilling in my hair.

“Liz?” I know that voice, but I don’t what to acknowledge that he’s here, in my room, seeing me like this. “Oh God…Lizzie,” he breathes. I hear his footsteps crossing the room, coming closer and I instinctively lean further into Jack. “I had no idea…please Lizzie, let me help you,” he murmurs as his arms come around me, taking Jack’s place, who seems to disappear into nothingness.

As he sits there with me on my bedroom floor, holding me tightly in his arms, gently rocking me back and forth, comforting me in a similar way to Jack, it’s all I can do to keep myself from melting into him and letting him have complete control over me and my awful existence called life.

TBC…

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Heavenli24
Obsessed Roswellian
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Post by Heavenli24 » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:59 am

Sorry, for the wait, guys (and thanks to guelbebek and behrluv32 for the bumps - my first bumps ever!).

I finally have the next part for you :) . I would have posted sooner, but I've only been online for about 30 minutes a day this week, and I haven't have time to sit down and respond to all your feedback or post a part :( .

I'm hoping to update more often, but I may not have use of the internet much next week either (fingers crossed that I can get my computer connected soon). I had been hoping to use the time to get more parts of my stories written, but I've been feeling crappy this week and have spent most of the time lying in bed, watching CSI (Vegas, Miami, New York - you name it! :lol: ) - I only got 330 words written all week!

Anyway, thanks for your feedback and your patience :) :

AllieXie - :lol: I will say now though, that Liz isn't going to be prescribed anything to help her, her recovery is going to be drug-free.

youre my dreamgirl - It may not be easy, but now that Max knows, things are definitely gonna start looking up :) .

jbangelo - Don't worry, it will start to get better soon :) .

roswell3053 - I think it's only natural that Max would have some doubts about Liz's relationship with Jack, after all she was the one to pull away. But, he's going to find out the truth soon and things should start getting better :) .

POM - Yeah, Liz should have told him when it all started, but sometimes I guess you just don't want to face up to the fact that something's wrong and just keep it all bottled up inside instead.

anonymousarfan - Liz does want to get better and I think that now Max knows, she'll be able to face up to her problems :).

clueless - The truth will come out soon :) .

Alien614 - I guess it would be pretty easy to dismiss LIz's behaviour as hormones or stress or something. I suppose Jack should have done something to help her, but maybe he didn't know how to help or what to do.

Emz80m - Sorry about the wait :( . I was sat here, desperate to update, but I couldn't get to the computer :lol: !!

kelly13 - Yeah, if you don't understand what is going on, then how can you be expected to think anything else but what they tell you? It's true that Jack has been there for Liz lately and they've developed a close friendship. I guess it's a natural reaction for Max to assume the worst.

lazza - Well, the Swiss guy just left this morning. He was older than I thought he'd be (28 and losing his hair) and a little eccentric - all my brother told me was that a Swiss guy was coming to stay and nothing more!

confusedfool - Things are going to start looking up for Liz soon :) .

guelbebek - :)

behrluv32 - :)

***


Part Ten

“I’m sorry,” I manage through my tears, my face crumpling as I think about how messed up my life has become.

“Shh,” he murmurs softly, running his hands up and down my back in a soothing motion as I lean my head against his chest. “It’s okay.”

We’re still sitting on the floor beside my bed, but now Max’s back is resting against it, his legs outstretched in front of him and he’s gently cradling me in his arms. He held me earlier as I cried, great sobs that wracked my entire body. He didn’t ask any questions, just enfolded me in a warm hug and stroked his caring hands through my hair. I’ve lost track of what time it is. I know that I’ve missed my afternoon classes and that I’ll end up with a low mark on my assignment for turning it in late; but here, in Max’s arms, none of it seems to matter. There is a small part of my brain that’s telling me he shouldn’t be here, that we’re broken up and I’m no longer his concern; but the other part, the larger part, is grateful that he’s here, and that I can finally let go and take comfort in him.

“Talk to me, Lizzie,” he says gently. “What happened?”

I shake my head sadly. I’m not sure if he’s saying these things because he still cares; or if he feels he has to – out of obligation or something. After all, we’ve barely even seen each other in a month, let alone had a conversation. But Max seems to sense my discomfort (something he always seems to be able to do) and his arms tighten around me.

“Hey, you can tell me, it’s alright,” he murmurs close to my ear. “I know we’re not…together…right now, but I’d still like to be your friend. I promised you once that we would always be friends, and I still believe that’s true. So, please, let me help you, Lizzie. As a friend.”

As he speaks, I feel a flicker of something in my chest. Something I haven’t felt in a long time, and it’s just enough encouragement to give me the confidence to finally tell him everything.

I let out the breath I didn’t realise I was holding.

“It was about six months ago,” I start slowly, my voice catching in my throat as I try to force the words out. I’ve only ever talked about this with Jack and it’s a big step for me to let someone else in, especially someone who’s been so close to me for so many years. It’s harder than you’d think to admit to your closest friend that you’ve screwed up your life. I feel like I’ve let everyone down, let Max down, and I’m scared what he’s going to think of me once he’s heard everything I have to say.

I take a deep breath to get myself under control.

“I don’t know why it happened; all I know is that one morning, after a night out with Becca, I woke up and something had changed. It was like there was a black cloud hanging over my head, making me feel sad inside...and it…it just hasn’t gone away yet.” My voice cracks at the end and as I bury my face into Max’s shirt, I can feel fresh tears leaking from my eyes. He doesn’t say anything, he just holds me as I continue. “At first, I just thought I was having a bad couple of days.” I shrug, “Like PMS or something – but a whole week passed, then two and it kept getting worse. Suddenly I would burst into tears over nothing, or I’d watch a film and find myself wishing that I could be living the life on the screen instead of my own, and it made me sad. Before long, I was crying myself to sleep every night, wishing that I could be someone or somewhere else…” I trail off, lost in the memory of how I spent those first few weeks, before I resigned myself to the fact that I’m depressed. I have depression. And I have no idea how to get rid of it and start acting normal again.

“Liz…” Max’s voice cracks as he speaks for the first time since I started telling him my story. “Liz, why didn’t you tell me about this? Maybe I could have done something to help...?” He sounds timid and unsure, and I know what he’s thinking. He’s wondering if maybe it’s his fault that my life took a downhill turn. He’s speculating that if I was unhappy with my life as it was, maybe I was unhappy with him.

“I couldn’t, Max. I just…couldn’t,” I say, knowing that it’s not really what he wants to hear.

“Liz, I…”

I shake my head. “It wasn’t you, Max. When I felt like I wanted someone else’s life, it didn’t mean that I didn’t want you. It’s me that’s screwed up here; it’s me that hates who she is. God,” I cry, the words spilling out now. “I can’t even bring myself to feel anymore; I can no longer feel the love for you that I know is in my heart. It’s like my emotions have just shut off and I’m just a shell of the person I used to be; and I hate it. I hate feeling like this and not being able to make it go away. I just want it to go away.” I’m full on crying now, clutching Max’s shirt in my hand as I lean into him, his warm hands stroking my back comfortingly.

“Liz,” he murmurs above my head when I begin to calm down a little. “Have you spoken to anyone about this? Does anyone else know what you’re going through?”

“Only Jack,” I tell him, frowning as I feel him stiffen slightly. “He found me in the kitchen one afternoon. I was in tears trying to chop some vegetables,” I sniff. “He got me to tell him what was going on, but I made him promise not to tell anyone.”

“Why?”

“I didn’t want people thinking that I was fragile or unstable. So I just put on a brave face and pretended to be happy.”

I feel Max nod against the top of my head. “I saw you last night, at the club; you looked happy then,” he tells me, adding, “I thought you and Jack were…”

At his words, I shake my head quickly. “No, Max. We’ve never…I don’t have feelings for Jack. It’s only ever been you.”

Behind me, Max lets out a relieved sigh.

“And besides,” I add sadly, “with the state of mind I’ve been in recently, I doubt I could feel anything for anyone else anyway.”

“Oh, Lizzie…” If it’s possible, he hugs me even tighter. “Is this why you were so distant with me those first few weeks after I got here?”

Ashamed, I nod into his chest. “I didn’t know how else to deal with feeling like I couldn’t love properly anymore, so I lashed out at you,” I tell him. “I’m sorry.”

“No, I’m sorry,” he cuts in, “I shouldn’t have yelled at Jack today. I shouldn’t have suggested we take a break. I should have helped you get through this instead.”

“No, Max. You did what you thought was best. I couldn’t go on pretending to be happy with you, when really I wasn’t. It would have just made things worse. I’m just not in the right frame of mind to be in a relationship right now; I need to sort my own life out first. I want to get better, Max. I want to be normal again.”

“And I’m going to help you do that, Liz,” he tells me determinedly. “We’re going to get you better. Together.”

Fresh tears well up in my eyes as his soft words reach my ears. There’s that flicker of a feeling again, a slight lurch in my chest, and a small smile tugs at my lips.

“Thank you,” I whisper, closing my eyes as a couple of teardrops leak out and begin to slide down my cheeks; but this time, they’re tears of relief, after months of keeping everything bottled up inside.

We sit there on the floor in silence for a few minutes, just taking in everything that’s just transpired between us. There’s still a lot that hasn’t been said, but right now, it’s not necessary. I’m sure we cold have stayed like that all day, if it hadn’t been for the loud grumble of my stomach that almost seemed to echo around the otherwise silent room. I feel, rather than hear Max chuckle softly at the sound.

“Sorry,” I apologise weakly, glancing up at his face for the first time since he arrived her. “I haven’t eaten today.”

“No problem,” he smiles. “Let’s get you something to eat.”

He urges me to sit up and then pulls me to my feet. As I stand to my full height, I find myself face to face with him. He’s gazing down at me intently and I have to fight the urge to look away. I’m sure I must look awful at the moment – mascara streaks running down my cheeks, red nose, puffy, bloodshot eyes – but he doesn’t seem to care. The next thing I know, his arms are wrapped tightly around me and my face is buried in his neck. I allow my own arms to loop around his neck and we cling to each other. You have no idea how good it feels to be hugged by him again, now that he knows my secrets.

Eventually, I feel him press a comforting kiss to the top of my head and he lets go of me. Somehow knowing how tired and in need of relaxation I am, he pulls back my bedcovers and fluffs up my pillow against the headboard. Then he helps me into the bed, pulls the covers up to my chin and hands me Mr. Snuggles, my favourite childhood stuffed teddy bear. Mr. Snuggles has been with me through everything; he comforted me when my rabbit died twelve years ago, he was my confidant when I got my first crush, he helped me get over my initial homesickness when I first started at Harvard, and now he’s the most welcome sight in the world.

“Here you go,” says Max, with a small smile. “Mr. Snuggles will look after you while I find you something to eat.”

I send him a grateful smile and clutch Mr. Snuggles to my chest as I pull my legs up in front of me. “Don’t be long,” I tell him.

“I won’t,” he assures me. “So, what do you fancy for dinner?”

I shrug. “I don’t mind; whatever you can find. I’ll leave it up to you; after all, you know what I like.”

“Okay,” he says, making his way to the door. He stops just before he leaves the room and turns back to me. “I’ll be back up in a minute.”

I nod and he disappears from the room. I hear him walk down the stairs and then the murmur of male voices floating up from the kitchen. With a loud exhale of air, I lean my head back against the wall. I’ve finally confided my feelings to Max and it’s like a weight has been lifted off my chest. I know I have a long way to go until I’m better, but at least this is a start.

TBC…

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