Wasted Time (AU/,M/L,TEEN-MATURE) Complete 7 Feb 07

Finished stories that feature the characters from the show, but there are no aliens. All fics completed on the main AU without Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Wasted Time (AU/,M/L,TEEN-MATURE) Complete 7 Feb 07

Post by Rowedog » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:27 am

Title: Wasted Time
Author: Alison, but you may call me Rowedog if you wish
Category: M/L /AU it may appear UC at the beginning but believe me there’s no love there. Well there is but not from Liz’s side anyway… And don’t worry, Max will never EVER be with Tess!
Summary: Liz is a dork, Max is hot and she is irrevocably in love with him until she is forced to move where she discovers herself and returns a VERY different girl. All the gang will be there (except for Jesse) but it’s very Liz-centred but it hopefully will become Max-centred too, eventually.
Disclaimer: Completely not mine at all.
Rating: Teen, I think...
A/N:[/] Please take into account that I was seventeen/eighteen when I wrote this. I do not recommend reading it, but I'll leave it here anyway so that you can compare it to later works. Everyone has a starting point, right?

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Just dropping off this wonderful banner made for me courtesy of the talented Drogyn.

WASTED TIME PART ONE

Liz sighed. Tess was flirting with Max… again. No wonder Max never paid any attention to her when that big breasted, blonde bimbo was constantly pushing herself onto him. Not that he’d shown any interest yet, but it was only a matter of time. Tess always got who and what she wanted.

At fourteen she was well developed with a slim but curvy figure, straight teeth, sapphire blue eyes and those large breasts. God, she was almost perfect! Liz sank her head onto the library table and tried to blink back stubborn tears.

How could she ever stand a chance next to Tess, when she was plain, with a head full of dull, brown, frizzy hair and practically no breasts to speak of? Not to mention the fact that she has to wear those god awful spectacles and braces until the summer when she would get her contact lenses and her braces removed.

It wasn’t like she would hate any girl who tried to crack onto Max, she would be happy to accept the fact that Tess and Max were together… if Tess wasn’t such a narcissistic bitch.

Liz looked away from the sickening spectacle and bent her head down to concentrate on her work.

‘At least I can beat Tess in this capacity’ she thought with grim satisfaction.

It was a well known fact throughout Roswell junior high that Tess was not the brightest apple in the bushel, but what she lacked in brains she made up for in beauty and sexual promiscuity.

It was already rumoured that Tess had slept with many a sophomore from West Roswell High and at an age when many girls were just experiencing their first kiss. Liz bit her lip and wondered if she’d ever experience her first kiss.

Being smarter than Tess and most likely to become valedictorian may be satisfying in an intellectually snobby kind of way, but it certainly didn’t attract boys like Tess’ obvious attributes did.

Hell, it didn’t attract boys at all, and certainly not the one she wanted, the one who seemed to be enjoying Tess’ conversation a little too much.

As she stared at Tess and Max a shadow fell over Liz’s page and a voice said, ‘Disgusting, isn’t it? I’ve got half a mind to go over there and tell Tess to go back to her kennel as she’s obviously in heat and to tell my dimwitted, totally unaware brother not to encourage her vomit-worthy behaviour’

Liz smiled as she turned her head ‘Hi Izzy,’ she grimaced as she looked back to see Tess blatantly stroking Max’s arm whilst blatantly puffing out her chest ‘yeah, I’m feeling the urge to vomit alright.’

She blushed as she realised what she might have unwittingly revealed in that simple statement and Izzy shot her a look of pity and understanding.
‘Don’t worry about it Liz. Max would never date someone like Tess. And if he did, I’d have Mom and Dad disown him.’

Liz’s blush deepened with that knowing statement and to put an ease to Liz’s embarrassment Izzy flung back her hair and strode over to where Max and Tess were sitting.

As Liz watched Izzy walking confidently over to their table with her hips swaying slightly, Liz wished she had her poise and confidence and beauty. God, sometimes she even wished she was Isabel Evans, but then that thought freaked her out because that would mean she would be related to Max.

Both Isabel and Tess were considered the most beautiful girls in school as both were blonde, busty and gorgeous. However that was where the similarities stopped.

Izzy had a reputation for being an ice queen when she shunned those that she deemed not worthy of her attention, such as horny, egotistical jocks and bitches such as Tess and it was quite obvious from the understated grace with which she did everything that she had class.

Tess was quite different from Izzy, not only from her lack of class and taste but Tess also enjoyed giving everyone her time, even when it definitely was not wanted. Tess often went out of her way to make Liz and others like her feel small, and it had only gotten worse for her this year as her brother and protector Alex had graduated last year to attend Roswell High. Now she could only rely on her friends Izzy, Michael and Maria to shield her from the worst of Tess’ attacks.

However, it was very hard for Liz’s friends to protect her all the time and it was often when Tess would corner Liz alone somewhere and verbally attack her and intimidate her until she burst into tears.

Maria, Liz’s oldest friend, would then become infuriated with Liz for not sticking up for herself or for not telling a teacher and then Michael would anger her more by replying that it would only make things worse for Liz if she told on her because Tess was a total suck up to the teachers so they wouldn’t believe her and she couldn’t do the other suggestion because she’s far too intimidated by Tess to tell her to back off like Maria would.

While Maria was totally unimpressed with Michael’s responses and spent a lengthy amount of time telling him about her opinion of his input into the conversation, Liz was very thankful that he did defend her from her overzealous best friend and her good intentions because it deferred attention off of her and onto Michael.

If there was one thing she didn’t like, it was attention. It only highlighted her flaws to others, she was much happier to melt into the background than stand centre stage like Maria.

While Maria and Liz had been best friends since kindergarten and friends with Michael since the third grade when he defended her from Pam Troy’s teasing, Izzy had originally only become Liz’s friend when she had started flunking math some time the year before and needed tutoring.

It was then that Izzy had gotten to know Liz after she had broken through Liz’s shy exterior, it was also the time when Izzy and Alex had started to notice one another and it seemed from their intense flirting that their getting together was now imminent.

Liz reflected on Michael and Maria’s relationship which hadn’t been platonic for two years now. She, along with the rest of the school, could see what they could not, that they had huge crushes on each other which is why they constantly fight.

It seemed to Liz that everyone around her was getting together and she was stuck. As Liz watched Izzy put her bag down on the table to confront Tess, the bell rang and everyone filed out of the library.

Torn by her desire to see the conflict and her need to get to class, Liz hesitated on her way out but it then occurred to her that if she stayed Tess would see her and she didn’t need the possible trouble that could cause so she fled to Biology.

*****************

At closer range Izzy could see (through the wisdom of knowing Max’s body language) that Max was extremely uncomfortable. He was sitting stiffly, with his butt half off of his chair in an attempt to put some space between himself and Tess and was attempting to turn the conversation back to the assignment they’d been paired together to do. As Izzy got closer she slowed til she could hear their conversation.

‘- so I said to her ‘Puh-Lease! You are so not hot, Tiffany!.’ And she was all like ‘Uh!’ like it was a surprise to her and I’m like ‘why don’t you go and stick a paper bag over your head, you dog?’ I mean, who does she think she is talking to me that way, she’s not even pretty- You think I’m pretty don’t you Max?’

Tess turned and looked at Max expectantly, after he got over the initial shock of her question, Max stuttered looked away and grew red around the tips of his ears (like he always did when he was about to lie) and answered haltingly, ‘Uh… Yeah, s-sure Tess.’

And then as Tess moved in closer rubbing her thigh against him he hurriedly added ‘Maybe we should concentrate on our History assignment’

Tess’ eyebrows drew together in momentary confusion, ‘Assignment? Oh right that thing… how about we get together at my house tonight and … “work”… on it there? My parents are going to be away…’ Tess breathed suggestively putting large emphasis on the word ‘work’.

Izzy gagged in revulsion, ‘That girl has no tact or morals whatsoever! That’s it. I’m ending this now for Max’s sake.’ She thought as she walked purposefully over to the table where Max and Tess were supposedly working just as the bell rang and thumped her bag on the table as she sat down across from them.

‘Hi guys!’ Izzy exclaimed brightly, noting the look of obvious relief in her twin brother’s eyes as she sat down.

Tess eyed her angrily, ‘Uh, excuse you! We were talking here!’

Izzy cast her a freezing look of disgust ‘No, actually I believe that you were the only one talking in this particular conversation. Rather loudly too, I might add.’

At Tess’ embarrassed look Izzy, with false enthusiasm, asked ‘Say, how about we all come over to you house and… “work”… on our English assignments together?’

Tess inwardly groaned with frustration at Max’s annoyingly popular sister, there was no way she could openly disrespect her and not lose some social status, she may be dumb but Tess understood this at least.

‘Sorry Izzy, but I think we’re meant to work in pairs not threesomes.’ Said Tess in smug voice while shifting closer to Max, who was now half an inch away from falling off of his seat.

Izzy smiled lazily in return and replied archly, ‘Oh, I’m sorry! And here I thought you loved a good threesome. At least that’s what the school rumours say.’ At Tess’ outraged hiss Isobel’s smile grew wider, ‘And no Tess, my brother can’t go over to your house to “work”. Ever. His good taste forbids it.’

Izzy smiled as five seconds later Tess’ eyes widened with comprehension and rage over what she’d said. Izzy rose and walked towards the door. After she had taken five steps she stopped and with out looking back at the now empty library said ‘The bells gone. You coming to Biology, Max?'

Max leapt from his seat and hurriedly muttered good bye to Tess as she sat there literally shaking with rage. How dare that stupid cow come in and ruin everything for her? She was so close! Max was three seconds away from accepting her proposal, she was sure of it.

And then big girl on campus, Miss “Perfect” Isabel Evans had to embarrass her in front of Max and drag him away from her. She’d show her. Tess vowed to herself that she’d show Isobel, one day Max would be hers.

*****************

‘You do realise that you owe me big time now, brother dear?’ asked Izzy as she and Max walked towards biology from their lockers.

‘You do realise that you are not only my favourite sister, but now my hero as well?’ asked Max in return.

‘I must warn you Max that I am very susceptible to flattery.’ She smiled at him and then added ‘I’m your only sister, you tool. Oh, and if you ever go out with her or do anything with her that is not classed as platonic, I WILL kill you, flattery or not. I can’t stand her and neither can any of our friends. I mean she goes out of her way to make Liz cry, what kind of evil, sadistic bitch likes to make and then watch the most harmless, nicest, shyest person in the world cry?’

Max stopped in the middle of the hallway ‘She makes Liz cry? How come I don’t know about this?’

Izzy shrugged, ‘Liz doesn’t want too many people knowing or pitying her, but pretty much every one knows. At least all the girls do. She corners her alone usually and just abuses her till she cries. I’ve caught her a couple of times and smacked her back down into her place but I can’t be there all the time. It’s the reason my dislike of her went from barely concealed to completely open. It’s been going on since last year about a month after she arrived. Where have you been? How do you not know about this?’

Max’s eyebrows furrowed as he thought of Liz crying, he didn’t like that his biology partner was being bullied by the same girl who had so blatantly come onto him moments before. He hoped she hadn’t seen it, ‘Wait a sec, does Alex know about this?’

‘Yeah, of course he does, but there’s not much he can do about it. She doesn’t want to do anything about it and until she does, we’re all kinda… stuck.’

Max opened the door for Izzy and they entered the room just seconds before their teacher arrived.

‘That completely sucks, Iz. Listen, I’ll talk to her tomorrow about it, maybe after school or something’ He whispered as he made his way to his desk.

‘Thanks Max. She’d probably listen to you.’ Iz whispered back as Max sat down wondering why she thought Liz would listen to him when she didn’t listen to anyone else.

They weren’t close friends, they were friends of course, but Max found it hard to talk to her sometimes because of her overwhelming shyness.

Recently he thought he’d made a little headway but it seemed from her silence today that he’d lost whatever ground he’d made. She usually nodded her head at him or whispered ‘hello’ to him but today she didn’t even acknowledge his presence. He sighed. Girls are just too complicated.

****************

Liz dumped her bag on the floor of her room. God she was glad to be home. She’d managed to avoid Tess all day today which actually wasn’t too hard because she was too wrapped up in Max. God, she was so disgusting in her attempts to flirt with Max in the Library.

Liz prayed that Max didn’t like her. She could stand anyone but her. Liz had just come from Maria’s place where she’d been testing Maria on her French verbs. But testing was a very loose interpretation of that word, it was more like ‘teaching’ her the words she had neglected to learn.

Liz snorted, she was so predictable, leaving everything till the last minute and then relying on her good buddy Liz to step in and save the day.

As she shrugged off her jacket she heard her brother’s raised voice coming from the kitchen, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t bother to tell me or Liz about this! What, did it just slip your mind?’

Liz couldn’t hear her father’s reply so she entered the kitchen and stood there watching her brother pace across the kitchen floor before asking what was going on.

Alex turned to her and sarcastically replied ‘Oh, nothing life changing! We’re just moving to Chicago. Our parents apparently didn’t think it was important enough to worry us with! My god that’s like the opposite end of the country!’

‘Alex…’ Nancy gently admonished, ‘don’t be overdramatic. We didn’t tell you because we weren’t certain we were going to have to, but you Grandfather is very sick and needs to be taken care of and Grandma Claudia can’t do it alone, she’s too old. We can’t just remove him from the place he has lived in his entire life. And we may just come back if Grandpa gets better… if his cancer goes away.’

‘When?’ asked Liz softly, her mind trying to understand everything.

‘We’re moving at the end of your school year. In a month.’

At that statement Liz turned on her heel and went into her room locking the door behind her ignoring her parents pleas to come back and discuss the move with them.

Her head was spinning. She was leaving everything she had ever known. She was leaving her friends, Maria, Michael, Izzy… Max. Oh, God. How was she going to survive without seeing Max?

She had contented herself with being able to look and not touch. What was she going to do now that she couldn’t look anymore? How was she going to spend her high school years without him? Oh crap! She was going to be alone and friendless in a strange high school. How the hell was she going to make friends there when she could barely make friends here?

‘I’ll have Alex, it’ll be ok, just breathe…’ she muttered to herself as a multitude of emotions swept over her. Her breathing became laboured as she fought the urge to cry, she ultimately lost as she flung herself on her bed and cried for everything she was losing.

As her tears dried, she drew in a shuddering breath and calmed herself. She reminded herself just how selfish she was being. Her grandfather may be dying of cancer and here she was crying because of the inconvenience to herself.

She had cried and it was time to accept it and to move on. As she walked out of her room her parents tried to talk to her about and she just brushed them off telling them that she was fine with the move and began making her dinner.

***********

The next day Alex stayed home while she and the rest of her family went to work or school. Liz walked around school as if in a daze and even forgot to avoid Tess. Which led to her cornering Liz in the school yard after school, with two of her cronies backing her up, when Liz was sitting under a tree thinking.

‘Hey freak, why are you staring off into space? Hoping the mother ship will come back for you?’

Liz looked up and blinked as the three girls laughed hysterically at Tess’ particularly lame-ass joke.

‘What’s the matter freak? No answer, no brainiac reply? But then again you never do, do you? Everyone thinks you’re so smart but you’re constantly beaten by me in a battle of wits’ said Tess smugly.

‘Oh my God!’ thought Liz, ‘if she wants a battle of wits then I’ve already won by default because she has nothing that even remotely resembles a brain.’

‘Perhaps we interrupted her whilst she was thinking about Max, girls.’ Liz looked up at Tess as she said this and then blushed furiously.

‘Ooh, we did!’ cried Tess maliciously, ‘were you thinking of just how gorgeous he is and how absolutely destroying it must be for you to know that I’m with him?’ asked Tess with a malevolent grin breaking across her face.

Liz schooled her face to show no emotion but inside her insides were imploding on themselves. She couldn’t be telling the truth could she? No, she was a compulsive liar. But the again, Max didn’t make a move from his position though and wouldn’t he have if he wasn’t interested? Oh God what if she was telling the truth?

Liz turned and picked up her bag and went to walk away when she was shoved from behind by Tess, ‘Answer me, you ugly shit! You were, weren’t you?’

Liz again made no reply and Tess pushed up against the tree, ‘Stay away from him, you troll. He doesn’t need freaks like you following him around and bothering him, he only talks to you because he feels sorry for you. He told me.’

Liz felt near to breaking point as Tess shoved her fears into her face. With everything going on in her life it would be easy to cry and it made her leave quicker when she gave in and broke down.

Liz’s silence only furthered Tess’ anger and she was just about to slap her when a shout from behind her made her pause.

It was Max. Oh, no. Not Max. Anyone but Max. ‘She’ll flaunt their relationship in my face,’ thought Liz, ‘I can’t handle that. I need to get away. Oh crap!’

Tess shot her a victorious glance as Max strode over to her. She put on her most engaging smile as Max came to a halt before her. ‘Max darling, what a coincidence! We were just talking abou-‘

‘What the hell do you think you’re doing Tess?’

Tess came to an abrupt halt as she heard the intense fury underlying Max’s words.

‘N-nothing Max,’ she stuttered, ‘Liz and I were just talking. That’s all.’

‘Do you always attempt to slap everyone you “just talk” to?’

‘No…’

‘So you weren’t just talking then?’

Max looked at Liz who had shrunk back against the tree and was now staring determinedly at the ground.

Tess seemed confused by his anger.

‘Why do you care, anyway baby? She’s not one of us Max. She’s not popular or gorgeous. I mean- she’s barely human!’ exclaimed Tess with half a laugh, attempting to lighten Max’s dark mood.

‘The only non-humans I see here Tess is you and your dog friends. If I ever catch you or hear of you trying to “just talk” to Liz again I’ll make sure you live to regret it. Come on Liz, lets leave these bimbo, dumb-shits to their vapid and pointless existences.’

Liz walked past them staring straight at the ground as she followed Max out her heart beating heavily with relief and fear. She worried that Tess would take revenge on her for this and come for her even heavier than usual and she was relieved that Tess had been lying about her and Max being together, the way he had spoke to her left little doubt about that.

Her heart soared when she thought of how he had come to her rescue but it then plummeted when she realised that he would have done it for anyone and it didn’t mean anything. He didn’t like her. He couldn’t like her. He was perfection and she was far from attractive.

Max waited till they were outside of the school grounds before he turned to Liz to ask if she was ok.

‘Liz… are you alright? I knew Tess was a dumb skank but I didn’t know she was attacking you. Why didn’t you tell me? I’d have helped to put a stop to it.’

Liz blushed and turned away from him and then mumbled ‘I didn’t want to bother you.’

Maz sighed in exasperation, ‘Liz, I’m your friend! The only thing that bothers me about this is that you didn’t tell me. Come on, I’ll walk you home and we’ll have some ice cream at the Crashdown while you tell me all about.’

Liz’s blush grew brighter as he turned away from her. He was walking her home! Her joy dimmed as she realised that he might want to know what she’d been saying before he got there, she’d have to lie about that, that was for sure.

Liz slumped in the booth across from Max as she picked at the vanilla ice cream that Maria had served her to her with a wink ten minutes beforehand.

She had successfully evaded all the questions about what Tess had said to her by repeating the previous confrontation she’d had with Tess instead. Now the worst part of all Tess conversations was coming, she could feel it. He was going to ask her why she doesn’t stand up for herself and she hated that question.

‘Liz, why don’t you stand up for yourself?’

She knew it. There it was. The question with the inexpressible answer.

How on earth was she going to make Max understand what it felt like to be her when all he had ever known was popularity and success? How could she make him feel or understand the cripplingly low self-esteem or her debilitating shyness which prevented her from even talking in Tess’ presence, let alone defending herself from Tess’ vicious attacks.

She sighed and answered whilst staring at the table top, ‘You wouldn’t understand.’

‘Try me.’

Liz looked up to see him staring at her intently. Her heart went into overdrive and she felt sick from all the butterflies in her stomach so she turned her head away and remained silent.

Max drew in an annoyed breath, ‘Liz, you can’t just ignore this and hope that it will go away. What, are you going to put up with it all throughout high school?’

Liz looked at him and shook her head, ‘Actually, no. I won’t be putting up with it for much longer.’

Max stared at her in confused hope ‘So… you are going to stand up for yourself?’

Liz held her emotions in tight reign and answered dully ‘No. We’re moving. To Chicago. In a month’s time.’ She stood up while Max stared at her in shock.

‘Thanks for the ice cream, Max.’ And with that she turned and walked into the back room and up the stairs into their apartment and sank onto her bed biting back the tears she could feel coming.

After she had regained her composure she pulled out her homework and got started on her English homework.

She had only been working for roughly three minutes when her brother barged into her room and threw himself one her bed.

‘Apparently we’re going to a private school off of Grandma and Grandpa’s money. It has uniforms, Liz. Uniforms. As if I wasn’t enough of a dork already!’

Liz smiled at him, ‘Excuse you! I inherited all the dorky genes from this family. You’re the cool one if you would be so good to remember. I’m the one with the most to fear from this move, here. You can make friends wherever you go whereas I, brother dear, can hardly string two sentences together in the presence of a stranger. I’ve always coped because Maria’s been there. What am I supposed to do now?’

Alex grabbed her by the hand.

‘You’ll have me, sis. You’ll always have me.’

To overcome the overt sentimentality that that statement offered Alex threw himself back on the bed and began overdramatically bemoaning the misfortune that his Grandfather’s cancer afforded him.

‘It’s friggin’ inconsiderate, if you ask me Liz.’

‘Then it’s a good thing no one asked you’

Alex let out a snort, ‘Funny. Really. No I’m serious, this whole cancer business has really messed up my life. Couldn’t Grumpy Joe and Gramma Claudia just donate some of their disgusting wealth to a cure for cancer and fix this mess?’

Alex and Liz’s grandparents were the owners of a multi-million dollar café franchise of which the Crashdown was the starter of their wealth. They had used the income from the Crashdown to open up another café in Albuquerque which they dubbed ‘Claudia’s Café’ and had branched out from there with now more than two hundred ‘Claudia’s Café’s across the country.

When Alex had been born the elder Parkers put Jeff in charge of their beloved Crashdown to give him a quiet suburban life away from New York where he had been running the most popular café of their branch.

‘You know Alex, if I didn’t know that you sincerely loved Grumpy Joe I would be very worried right now.’

‘Humour is how I cope Liz. That and sarcasm. They’re my defence mechanisms.’ Replied Alex with a fond smile towards his sister.

‘So did you know we’re going to live in Grandpa’s house… I mean mansion, while Grandma stays with Grandpa in a private hospital house out the back? That place is huge! If I don’t pull any chicks while I’m living in that bitching pad, I’ll be really cut.’

Liz laughed, ‘See! There you go! I knew you’d find something you’d like about moving. Just don’t tell Izzy about the whole chicks thing.’

Alex’s smile faded and he grew pale, ‘Oh god! Izzy! I haven’t told her yet! Oh fuck! She’s gonna be pissed.’

Liz patted his hand comfortingly, ‘Don’t worry Alex, I haven’t told Maria yet either. I want to wait until I’m certain I can handle her hysterics-’

A loud crash from the living room door and Maria’s loud yell of ‘Where is she?’ told Liz that she might not have a choice in the matter. ‘Max must have told her’, she reasoned. Liz took a deep breath in and called out ‘I’m in here Maria.’

Maria stormed through the door into Liz’s bedroom, closely followed by Max, Michael and Izzy, who shot daggers at Alex.

‘You’re moving?’ yelled Maria and Izzy simultaneously. Liz and Alex looked at each other guiltily.

‘Yeah…’ answered Alex reluctantly, ‘To Chicago.’

‘Chicago! That’s like the opposite side of the fucking country, Liz!’ exclaimed Maria angrily.

Liz’s normally placid blood boiled, ‘I don’t like it any more than you do Maria! God! Do you think I woke up yesterday and asked my parents to move or for my grandpa to have cancer? You think you’re upset? Try being me Maria! I am absolutely terrified and have been trying to cope with it all today for my grandparent’s sake. So don’t come up here and get all in my face like I chose this!’ Liz’s anger swiftly dissipated as she saw Maria’s shocked tear filled eyes.

‘I’m sorry Liz… I just don’t want to lose my best friend’ whispered Maria as her tears began to fall. Liz felt her emotional wall crumbling and pulled her in for a hug.

‘Don’t worry Maria, I’ll still be there for you.’
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:38 am, edited 25 times in total.

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WASTED TIME PART 2

Post by Rowedog » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:06 pm

(By the way, I have no idea what private schools are like in America (or if that's even what you call them). Everything written about her school is based on my experience as a boarder and a uniform wearer (although most schools in the land of Oz have uniforms) except for a few minor differences - my school didn't have such a crappy name, i was desperate for a name and that one seemed adequate and senior school for me lasted from year seven to year twelve and there is no junior high only primary and secondary schooling in Australia. So if you spot anything that screams incorrect, try to ignore it.)

PART TWO
Liz sighed as her grandmother drove her to her orthodontic appointment. It had been an emotional goodbye from Maria and Izzy at Albuquerque as they had entered the airport two months ago.

Even Max and Michael had been there to see them off and Michael had even pulled Liz in for brief but emotionally charged hug. Michael had been like family for Liz and Alex, even camping on their floor when Hank had gotten too rough from his drinking and she would really miss him.

She felt immense regret over leaving Max and not telling him how she really felt, but it wouldn’t have changed anything. He wouldn’t have felt the same way and she would have just left things awkward between them. She’d rather leave him thinking that she was his friend than the nerdy mouse who had unreciprocated feelings for him.

She wished Maria could be here for this, it wasn’t the same without Maria nervously pacing waiting for her “transformation” as she put it. While Liz was excited about her braces coming off, she realized that it wouldn’t make much of a difference.

She’d still be plain, with waist long scarily frizzy hair, at least this time she’d be minus the spectacles as she was heading for the optometrist right after her braces were removed.

Liz looked at her perfectly straight, dazzlingly white bleached teeth. They still felt extremely weird to touch after having bumpy metal in her mouth for two years but after all that she could honestly say that it was worth it.

They looked… great.

Her grandmother couldn’t stop gushing about how wonderful they were after she had left the orthodontist.

‘And now we’ll get to see those gorgeous eyes of yours from behind those god-awful glasses! Oh! I’m sorry honey I didn’ mean to-’

‘No, it’s ok Grandma. I hate them too. They are butt ugly. Now if I could only fix my hair, I’d be all set.’

Grandma Claudia fidgeted nervously behind the steering wheel, ‘You know honey, I didn’t want to tell you this till after you got your contacts, but I made an appointment for you to have your hair chemically straitened.’

‘What? Grandma! Who knows what damage that could do to it! I could end up bald!’

Claudia snorted and dryly replied, ‘I’ll buy you a wig. Honey, don’t be so melodramatic! The hairdresser said that she does it all the time and nobody has ever walked away unsatisfied with the result. It’ll just smooth out the frizz, that’s all. Liz, I just want the whole world to see how beautiful you are. Tell you what. We’ll make a deal. If it doesn’t look good or work, I’ll get you a private teacher and you can be home schooled, like you want.’

The hope in Liz’s eyes was dashed when her Grandmother added the catch, ‘But if it works, you have to let me spend the next week buying you a new wardrobe and making you over. Deal?’

Liz groaned, ‘A makeover? You sound like Maria! Even she hasn’t got me into a mall to go clothes shopping with her. And what’s wrong with my wardrobe?’ Liz pulled at her loose, brown, knit sweater and looked at her baggy cotton pants as she spoke.

This time it was Grandma Claudia who groaned, ‘What’s wrong with it? God Liz, what’s right with it? Your mother has let you shop alone for too long! You dress like you’re… my age, for heaven’s sake! Honey you’ve been hiding yourself for too long! It’s time to let go. You don’t want to feel unattractive your whole life do you?’

Liz looked at the car floor and shuffled her feet.

‘I thought so.’ Said Claudia understandingly, ‘Honey, if you won’t do this for yourself will you at least do this for me? I need something… anything to keep my mind off your grandpa. Why do you think I wanted-no, needed- you all down here? I could take care of Joe by myself, but it would kill me too. I need distractions, I need to feel young again and I need to see my gorgeous granddaughter be everything she can be.’

Liz fell silent for a few moments after Claudia’s speech and then quietly muttered, ‘Deal.’ as they pulled into the optometrist.

**************

‘Oh my word! I knew you’d be gorgeous Liz beneath that frizz and those glasses but I never expected- Oh my!’

Liz didn’t take in half of Claudia’s speech as she was too busy staring gobsmacked at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was long, glossy and fell in shining masses all the way down to her the small of her back and it perfectly framed her heart shaped face which held two startlingly deep brown eyes, which were before obscured by coke bottle glasses, and a perfect smile.

She did look pretty.

She was amazed at how different she looked. How different she felt. She even thought she might even be as pretty as Tess. She wished Max could see this. She wished Maria could see this. She’d be blown away!

She looked down at her clothes then looked up to meet her grandmother’s eyes, ‘You mentioned a shopping spree before?’
Claudia beamed at her as she lead her towards the car.

‘I don’t know Grandma, maybe it’s a little tight?’ questioned Liz as opened the door to reveal a revealing summer dress which Claudia had forced her to try on, she had claimed it was ridiculous to be wearing pants and a sweater when it wasn't winter.

‘Or maybe it’s perfect! Look Liz, look at yourself!’

Liz turned and gasped as she caught her reflection in the mirror. She looked like a model, she looked like all those girls in junior high that she wished she could be. Suddenly she couldn’t wait for school to start. Maybe she’d have less trouble making friends if she looked like this.

‘Oh… wow.’

‘Oh, wow is right, honeybear! You’re going to have so many admirers when you start school you won’t know what hit you!’

Liz and Claudia spent the next three hours buying out a large section of the mall before returning home with a whole car load full of bags filled with bras, panties, shorts, tops, dresses, skirts, makeup, shoes and every girl’s favourite, accessories.

As Liz dumped the last of her bags in her room, her mother called her from the kitchen, ‘Lizzy, honey? Could you come down here for a second? I want you to taste test my new recipe. And I want to see how you look without braces and glasses!’

Liz smiled as she threw on her new sundress and matching red flats, ‘Sure thing Mom!’

She was going to give her the shock of her life, Liz had never felt so beautiful before in her life and it showed in her glowing face and inexhaustible smile.

Liz flew downstairs and halted just before the kitchen to calm herself and then glided gracefully in, ‘you wanted me Mom?’ Nancy turned staring at the spoon she was holding to offer her a taste test of her new bolognaise sauce when she looked up.

‘Oh my God!’ Nancy dropped the spoon loudly on the floor as her hands flew to her face, Liz! You look so… so…’

‘Gorgeous?’ volunteered Claudia calmly, who had just walked in from the backyard where she had been visiting Joe in his mini-hospital.

‘I don’t think gorgeous covers it! You look… transformed! I can’t recognize you.’

Liz smiled as she twirled in her dress, ‘So, I take it that means you like it?’

'Oh honey! I love it! How did Claudia talk you into it? You were always so against it whenever I brought up clothing and hairstyles.’

‘Good old-fashioned guilt Nancy’ quipped Claudia as she leant against the kitchen bench and dipped a spoon into Nancy’s pasta sauce and brought it to her mouth, ‘Mmm, this is really good. Hey Liz, come over here and try some of this sauce.’

‘Oh, be careful of your new dress sweety, I wouldn’t want it to get stained right after you just bought it.’ cried Nancy with a worried glance to Liz’s pretty white and red dress.

Claudia scoffed, ‘Even if she did, it wouldn’t make much difference. We bought so many different outfits today that one less won’t matter. And we’re going back out tomorrow to buy some more. You’ll have a completely new wardrobe all set to go in a month’s time.’

‘Claudia that’s so generous of you, but it’s really not necessary. We can buy Liz whatever she needs-‘

‘Oh, hush Nancy’, said Claudia flinging her hand up sharply, ‘this isn’t a charity case. Liz is doing me a favour, I need distraction from Joe and Liz needs to be spoiled by her filthy rich grandma. It works out well for both of us.’

Nancy hesitated, chewing on her bottom lip, ‘Well, ok then… if you’re su-’
Nancy was then interrupted by the entrance of Jeff and Alex who were laughing uproariously and chatting about the White Sox game they’d just witnessed.

‘Holy shit!’ yelled Alex as he spotted Liz who stood there smiling shyly at him.

Jeff whacked him on the head as he came up behind him in the hallway and chastised him for swearing. He then looked around for what had caused Alex to swear and spotted Liz. It took all of his control not to drop the S-bomb just as Alex had three seconds before hand.

‘Alex, I want you to do me a favour.’ Said Liz as she sat on Alex’s four poster bed an hour later after dealing with her dad’s and her brother’s shock over her looks and then visiting her grandpa out in the back yard.

‘What’s that?’ asked Alex still slightly stunned by Liz’s change.

‘I want you to promise me that you won’t tell anyone back in Roswell about…’ she gestured to herself with a wave of her hand, ‘how I look, ok?’

Alex grew even more dazed as he pondered her request.

‘But…why?’ he asked weakly.

‘I want to wait until I go home again and dazzle them like I did today with you guys. It was so much fun!’ exclaimed Liz as she practically bounced up and down in anticipation.

Alex suddenly looked stricken as he thought of all the boys back home who would appreciate Liz’s change and then grew even more distressed as he realised that she would face the same enthusiasm at their new school. He groaned and buried his head in his hands.

‘What?’ asked Liz with concern.

‘I just realised all the men I’m going to have to beat off with a stick at our new school! Oh god! I’m forever going to be fighting for your honour!’ as Alex groaned again Liz laughed, patted his back and assured him that she would be fighting for her honour too.

******************

‘Oh god! Can I do this?’ said Liz as she walked side by side with Alex into Crandell’s, their new school for the next four years. They were both wearing the summer uniform which consisted of a light cotton dress of blue and white checks for Liz and a blue cotton shirt, tie and navy shorts for Alex.

They both had to wear knee-high socks and Alex had almost popped a hernia when he had found out he had earnestly cried out and suggested they attend public school. But Joe had insisted that they attend Crandell’s school for excellence as it was the most prestigious in the state.

They were soon separated as Alex had to go to the front office while she was herded into the group of freshmen outside the school. As she stood there nervously looking around, she found herself staring into the eyes of another freshman.

She quickly lowered her eyes and looked away. He was good looking with sandy blonde hair and a cute smile. But he was cute in a jock kind of way and she had learnt to be wary of his type.

Kyle had been the ringleader of a group of jocks who had made her life miserable at the start of eighth grade until Alex had heard about it and stopped him. A shadow fell across her as someone stood in front of her and she looked up.

Oh no.

It was Mr Jock-Guy.

He had seen her looking at him and had come to smack her down back into her place. Who was she fooling with her hair and make-up. You can’t hide freak.

‘Hi, I’m Sean. Sean Ascombe. Are you new around here?’

Liz looked up at him with vague wonder in her eyes, he was talking to her and nicely too!

‘Yeah, I just moved here three months ago from Roswell, New Mexico’

Sean smiled warmly, ‘Cool. Ever see any aliens? Related to any? Dated any?’

Liz laughed gently, ‘No. There’s no aliens in the family to my knowledge and I’ve never dated anybody.’ She inwardly cringed at revealing her innocence to this strange boy who was now looking at her oddly.

‘Now that I find hard to believe. Are you sure you’ve never been on one date before? The guys from Roswell must be blind or dumb.’

Liz blushed at his rather obvious compliment and mumbled ‘No, not one date.’

Sean smiled at her and began to ask, ‘Would you like to go on one with me?’ when he was interrupted by an exuberant dark haired boy who slapped him on the back and told him to ‘stop hogging all the babes, Ascombe! Let a poor man of inferior charms have his chance before you move in.’ with this speech having been said he turned to Liz and jovially extended his hand to shake, ‘Eric. Eric Mornatt and before you ask, yes. I am from the Mornatt Biscuit Family. And you are?’

Liz giggled at his exhaustively fast and friendly way of speaking and shook his hand while unbeknownst to her Sean scowled at Eric from behind her, ‘Hi. I’m Liz. Liz Parker.’

‘Liz!’ cried Eric looking wounded, ‘that name is far too boring for an interesting woman like yourself. I’ll have to give you a nickname to suit you. Liz is short for Elizabeth right?’ at her nod he continued, ‘Um… Elly, no. Lee, nope you are definitely not a Lee. Liza, ugh no! Brings back horrible memories about Liza Minelli. Beth, God no, that’s even worse. E-li-zab-eth. That’s it! Zab! You’re new nickname is Zab! And when I’m feeling affectionate, you know, reflecting on all the good times we’ve had together I’ll call you Zabbers. What do you think?’ asked Eric turning to a very bemused Liz.

‘I like it, it’s very… short.’ Said Liz glibly, causing Eric to burst into loud laughter.

‘Don’t worry, you’ll grow to love it. And at least you’ll have a nickname that’s non-offensive. There’s a girl in my brother’s year that doesn’t wear a bra and her nickname is Sag Bags, that’s Sags for short. By introducing one I’m saving you from the embarrassment of getting one you don’t like later on in life.’

At the end of this speech Liz turned to Sean emboldened by her success in making friends so far and asked him, ‘Is he always like this?’

Sean, who looked relieved to be included in the conversation again replied smoothly, ‘Unfortunately yes, he’s tried all sorts of medications but nothing works.’

Eric rolled his eyes and leaned in confidentially to whisper to Liz, ‘Don’t listen to him Zab, he’s a pathological liar with an oedipal complex’

Sean gave an outraged cry at this, ‘Hey! I do not have an oedipal complex!’

Eric looked at Liz with a long suffering look on his face, ‘See there he goes again. Just can’t stop lying. It’s a real problem.’

Liz who had been trying to control her laughter at this point couldn’t help herself and burst into hysterics. Eric looked pleased and said to her warmly as Sean glared at him with mock anger, ‘I can tell you and I are going to get on very well Zab!’

**************

Liz spent the next hour being taken on a tour with the rest of the freshman all the while chatting with the irrepressible Eric and uncomfortably accepting Sean’s constant flattery.

It wasn’t that she wasn’t flattered to have an obviously already popular, rich, hot boy paying her attention, it was just that she wasn’t used to it and he was very obvious in his attentions.

Eric, noting her distress, surreptitiously told Sean to cool his jets when Liz was separated from them into the girl’s group to visit the bathrooms and the change rooms.

‘Dude, seriously, you’re embarrassing the crap out of her!’

Sean looked surprised, ‘Why on earth would a hot girl not like compliments?’

Eric shrugged his shoulders and replied, ‘It’s got me beat, dude. But if you seriously like her, then I suggest you play it cool for a bit. She’s a hot girl, but for some reason she’s got some serious confidence issues. Just chill out and get to know her first, man. Then move in for the kill. And don’t mess with her Sean, Zab’s my girl and I won’t have you screwing her over!’

Sean looked at him dead in the eye, ‘I have no intention of “screwing her over”, Eric. I’m really interested in her, and besides when have I ever- Wait a minute! “Zab’s” your “girl”? You only met her this morning and you’ve already become the older brother she never wanted?’

Eric raised his eyebrow and gave him a look, ‘Oh sure Mr Hypocrite! You can be in love with her after an hour but I can’t be good friends with her? She’s a nice girl, different from all the usual girls here. She’s modest and… really naïve in a sweet way.’ Eric glanced sideways at him, ‘so keep your intentions honourable, ok?’

Sean rolled his eyes, ‘Sure thing, Dad!’

**************

Liz stood self-consciously by herself as the senior showing them around gave one of the most boring tours known to mankind. Oh wonderful! Now she was giving them in-depth instructions on how to turn use the showers. How hard is it to use the showers? Turn the tap right, water comes out, turn the tap left, the water magically stops flowing!

‘She must think we’re braindead’ Liz mumbled to herself.

‘Either that or she’s truly fascinated by the process of plumbing.’

Liz whirled to find two stunningly pretty girls standing behind her.

‘Hi, I’m Sophie Bett and this is my best friend from the cradle, Abby Triton,’ the blonde girl who had spoken before gestured to herself and then to the red head beside her, ‘we thought we’d come say hi as you looked like the only other person who was as bored and as nervous as us. We’re new here. And by the looks of it you are too.’

Liz nodded, ‘I’m Liz Parker. I’m from Roswell, New Mexico. My family moved here to help my grandmother look after my grandfather who’s sick. How come you two are here?’

Sophie and Abby looked at each other sheepishly, ‘Well, we’re a bit too much for our parents to handle.’ Said Abby evasively.

‘Yeah, our parents are best friends and when we crashed Abby’s family limousine over the summer, they did what they’d been threatening to do for years. Send us to boarding school. Luckily they didn’t have either the sense or the heart to split us up, so here we are! Ready to board and cause havoc!’

Abby stared at her friend incredulously, ‘What do you mean “we” crashed the car? You were driving as I recall, not me!’

‘Yeah, but you were the one who came up with the idea and egged me on!’

Abby snorted and rolled her eyes at Sophie’s protests.

‘Oh please! ‘Egged you on”? Like you need any encouragement!’

Liz who had been watching the exchange silently started shaking with suppressed laughter as the two continued to bicker like siblings for the rest of the dim-witted senior’s explanation of how the showers and lockers worked.

‘Look we’ll settle this the old fashioned way,’ suggested Sophie.

“What, pistols at dawn? That’s a little dramatic, even for you.’ Said Abby dryly.

‘No!’ cried Sophie exasperatedly and then turning to face Liz as they finally exited the change rooms, ‘we’ll ask Liz.’

Liz turned and looked at them expectantly.

‘Liz, who do you think was at fault for crashing the limo?’ asked Sophie as both she and Abby stared at her waiting for her answer.

Liz looked at them both and feeling bold by their flippant and light-hearted fight, answered, ‘I think you’re both as bad as each other.’

Both girls looked at Liz then turned and looked at each other and burst out laughing.

Sophie hooked her arm through Liz’s arm as Abby took the other one and said, ‘Sam, I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship…’

***********

Liz spent the rest of her morning with Abby and Sophie as they all had similar classes. She soon learnt that despite their constant arguments, both girls couldn’t bear to be separated and had chosen both the same classes.

Liz found herself liking both girls more and more as the day went on.

Sophie reminded her a lot of Maria with her dramatics but was different from Maria in many subtle ways which Liz found refreshing.

Abby was a very quick-witted, sardonic girl whose placid ways balanced Sophie’s exuberance perfectly.

By the time all three girls were let out for lunch they were chatting and laughing like they had been friends for years. As they reached the end of the cafeteria line, Liz heard Eric’s loud voice call out her new name, ‘Zab! Hey Zab, over here! Bring your new friends!’

Liz turned and looked back at the two girls who shrugged and then followed her over to the table where Eric and Sean were sitting. As they reached the table the three girls sat down together across from the boys and Liz introduced them.

She couldn’t believe how good her first day had been so far! She had made four friends already and two of them were male! Maria would be so proud… Liz snapped back to reality as Sean asked her how she was enjoying her first day at Crandell’s.

Liz smiled and replied, ‘Much better than expected actually. People have been so nice to me so far, it’s a real relief!’

Eric grinned at her, ‘So glad we exceed your meagre expectations, Zab!’

Sophie looked at Liz and Eric and asked curiously, ‘So where does this Zab name come from? You didn’t mention you had a nickname.’

Eric looked at Liz admonishingly, ‘How could you Zab? After all I’ve done for you! Do those years we’ve spent as best friends mean nothing to you? And I put so much effort into that nickname too!’

Abby looked at Eric and burst out laughing as he sank his head in his hands in mock despair. She then turned to Liz and asked, ‘Years? I thought you said you didn’t know anyone here?’

Liz shook her head and sarcastically replied, ‘Oh. No, Eric and I go way back. We’ve been tight for, I don’t know…’ Liz looked at her watch, ‘how long has it been since the start of school? Anyway at least three hours now.’

As her friends laughed Liz heard Alex call her name from the other side of the cafeteria. She smiled and waved back in response and in doing so she missed Sean’s frown as he watched her immediately brighten towards this guy he didn’t know.

Alex reached their table and dropped a fond kiss on the top of her head before sinking down on the bench next to her.

‘Hey Lizzy, I see you had little reason to worry. You’ve made friends pretty easily as far as I can tell.’ He smiled brightly at the two girls beside Liz and glowered slightly at the two guys opposite them.

Liz elbowed him gently as a warning for him to knock it off and introduced him to her new friends.

‘Guys, this is my brother, Alex.’

At this announcement Sean's faint scowl disappeared and was replaced by a welcoming smile which wasn’t returned. As the group exchanged pleasantries and Eric’s disappointment was made clear over Liz’s lack of need for a brother figure, Alex’s demeanour towards him grew far more polite and jovial.

However his attitude towards Sean did not change and Liz grew more and more upset with him as time went on. After five minutes Alex excused himself to rejoin his table at the other end of the cafeteria where the sophomores usually sat.

As Sophie, Abby and Sean went into their last class of the day, biology, Liz was swamped with homesickness. She would be given a new biology partner.

One who wasn’t Max.

God she missed him, she wondered what he was doing right now and whether he had thought of her at all today. She shook her head. Of course he hadn’t. she was hardly a blip on his radar.

She sighed and pulled her emotions back in.

Sophie nudged her as she walked past the station where she and Sean were seated and whispered, ‘Are you ok? You look a little down.’ Liz’s reply was cut short as their teacher entered the room and ordered them to stand up.

‘As I call out your names, say present and I’ll partner you up into your permanent lab partners, ok?’

A class grumble issued forth which the teacher wisely ignored and then continued on with his pairing.

‘S. Ascombe?’

‘Present,’ replied Sean who was hoping like hell that he would be partnered with Liz.

‘You’re with A. Triton.’

As Abby said, ‘Present.’ and walked towards Sean, he repressed his urge to groan, he was so unlucky! But at least he was partnered with someone who looked like she was close to becoming one of Liz’s best friends, he brightened at the thought.

The teacher rattled through the rest of the pairings and Liz hoped that she would be paired with Sophie or at least someone nice.

‘E. Parker?’

‘Present.’ Replied Liz, praying for S. Betts to be the next name.

‘You’re with… S. Betts’ Liz let out a sigh of relief as Sophie grinned at her and to Mr Hobbs their biology teacher.

As Sophie and Liz sat down together at their station to begin work on their work sheet, Sophie turned to her and said, ‘I hope you’re good at biology, Zab, because I know for a fact that I blow and it was only Abby who kept me afloat last year.’

Liz smiled at her and replied, ‘Fret not my dear. I rule at biology. It’s my favourite subject. I want to be a molecular biologist when I grow up. It’s my dream job.’

Sophie looked at her like she had three heads, ‘My dream job is being a taste tester for Haagen Daas and Lindt chocolate. And I hope never to “grow up”, way too much stress. Oh well, we need all types to make the world go round I guess.’

Liz laughed and began writing down the fairly easy answers.

Sophie looked around to check that no one was watching and then bent down to whisper in her ear, ‘So what’s the go with you and Seany over there, huh? He looks just about ready to propose and the look in your eyes sometimes, says to me like your two seconds away from fleeing.’

Liz shuffled uncomfortably whilst rolling the pen between her fingers.
‘I don’t know… it’s just, I don’t have much experience with guys. I’ve never really had anyone show any interest before.’

Sophie once again looked at her like she was the three headed monster, ‘Are you serious? A hotty like you? Are the guys retarded from where you’re from? That can’t be true! What aren’t you telling me Zab?’

Liz looked at her and then looked around at the crowded classroom.

‘Not here, ok? Look can you get out of the boarding house and come over to my place tomorrow after school? I’ll tell you and Abby then.’

Sophie nodded, ‘Yeah, we have to “sign out” or something lame-ass like that. I wasn’t really listening but I’ll bet Abby was. We’ll see you tomorrow, girlfriend!’

As Liz walked out of the school building with Sophie, Abby, Eric and Sean, her phone began to ring in her bag. She pulled it out and smiled as she saw who was calling.

‘Maria.’ She said as she answered.

‘Lizzy! Ohmygod! I’ve been so worried. How awful was your first day? Tell me quickly, don’t leave me in suspense! Oh God, no one flushed your head in a toilet bowl did they? I knew it! They did! Oh, if only I was there to protect you! This is horrible, I knew something like this would happen!’

As Maria spoke all four of Liz’s friends looked over at Liz to ask her who the hell the crazy woman was on the other end of the line that they could hear screeching. Liz held her fingers to her lips to silence them and pushed the phone away from her ear as Maria got louder.

‘I told you Michael, didn’t I that Liz wouldn’t make it on her own! And now she’s going to be a loner for the rest of her high school life! Or even worse! A nerd who likes to read the encyclopaedia for fun! Her social skills will disappear and all my hard work will be for nothing and it’ll end up with her-’

At this point Michael’s voice cut in very clearly, Maria must have the phone on speaker, Liz surmised.

‘You haven’t even let Liz get a word in Maria. You don’t know, her day could even have gone well.’

Liz heard the doubt in Michael’s voice as he spoke that last sentence and it pissed her off, more than Maria’s dramatics had done.

‘Actually Michael and Maria and whoever else is listening,’ she paused at this point and she could hear Izzy and Max say hello and her butterflies sprang to life in her stomach.

Max was there! Listening to her! Maybe he did care… at least a little bit right? Or maybe he was just around when Maria called.

‘I had a great day, got to know my way around the campus, made it to every class on time, didn’t forget my combination to my locker and even, GASP, made some friends!’ after Liz had acidly bit this out, Maria’s shocked cry of ‘WHAT?’ came loudly through the phone.

Sophie, Abby, Eric and Sean looked at her in bemused confusion as Maria’s piercing cries came through the phone, they were too far away from Liz to hear what she was actually saying but they couldn’t understand what Liz had said to make her yell like that.

‘Are you serious Liz? You do know it’s a sin to lie? I wouldn’t think any less of you if you didn’t make friends, I mean you don’t have to try and impress me. Really it’s-’

‘Maria, don’t insult Liz’s intelligence. She wouldn’t lie to us, she knows Alex would just tell us the truth.’

Liz smiled and her knees felt weak.

‘Thanks Max. Here. I’ll get them to say hi’ she turned to her friends and asked them to say hi to Maria.

‘Hi, Maria!’ yelled Liz’s friends into her cell phone and before she could say anything Eric snatched the cell from her hand and said, ‘Maria, I don’t know you but I seriously believe you should stay away from whatever drugs you’re on and if you’re not talking drugs then you should be. Seriously! Chillax woman!’ and he then handed the phone back to Liz who could hear Maria yelling about rude people and Michael laughing.

‘Who was that guy Liz?’ asked Izzy with evident interest.

‘That was Eric. Listen I’ll talk to you all later, ok? But right now I’ve gotta go. My friends and I are all going down the street to the mall. So I’ll catch you. I love you all.’

‘Seeya Liz.’ replied Max and with that Liz hung up finally free from the embarrassing spectacle which was talking to Maria.

‘What on earth was that?’ asked Sean with a stunned look still on his face.

‘That,’ said Liz, stuffing her phone back into her bag, ‘was hurricane Deluca.’

**************

‘Ok, so what’s the deal? What’s your big secret?’ asked Sophie as she and Abby reclined on her large four poster bed the next day after school.

‘Ok… promise you won’t hate me?’ asked Liz nervously as she paced in front of them.

Abby grabbed her by the hands and pulled her onto the bed, ‘Zab! Stop pacing! You’ll wear a path into your very expensive carpet. And we could never hate you. Unless you did something evil and let’s face it, that’s not very likely. So would you just tell us already? I hate suspense.’

Liz sucked in a breath and stood up and strode over to her desk and pulled a photo out of a desk drawer.

‘You see… the thing is… I haven’t always looked like this. Up until a month ago I looked… very different… I looked like this.’

Liz hastily shot out the last sentence while shoving the photo into their hands and abruptly turning from them. As she stood the silence from her two new friends was deafening and so she turned around to face the firing squad. As she turned she saw her two friends looking at her with interest.

Abby was the first to speak, ‘So I’m guessing you had your braces removed, contacts put in, hair… chemically straitened? And a new wardrobe bought for you?’

As Liz stood there under their scrutiny she blushed and nodded, ‘It’s ok if you hate me, I understand.’ She mumbled as she tried to hide her misery.

Sophie’s laugh shocked her out of her sad state as Sophie gasped out, ‘Oh… you… spaz! As if we’d hate you for that! There’s nothing wrong with not being pretty! We’d still be your friend even if you were still like that!’

Liz smiled tremulously, ‘Really?’

Abby smiled at her incredulity, ‘Test us out. Revert back to your old style.’

Liz grimaced, ‘No thanks! Things are slightly easier this way. I’m a lot more confident and no one attacks me over the way I look anymore.’

Sophie gaped at her, ‘People attacked you?’

Liz then recounted to her the story of Tess which ultimately led back to the explanation of her entire life which involved much about Max and all that he was to her. Abby and Sophie looked at her with new understanding in their eyes.

‘So that’s why you aren’t comfortable with compliments! Or Sean for that matter… look Zab, you can’t wait around for Max to come back into your life. You have to start living now. Start with Sean, he’s available and very interested. And who knows if you’re ever going to see him again? You said it yourself, you don’t think your going back anytime soon and it didn’t really sound as if he noticed you as anything other than a friend. Even if you decide you don’t like Sean, at least you’ve given it a shot and you can say that you’ve tried it. Don’t wait around for Mr Right, you’ll just waste valuable time. You need this time for experimenting and stuff. You know… carpe diem and shit!’ stated Sophie sagely.

Abby grimaced at her use of profanity with a wise Latin saying. ‘Usually I wouldn’t agree with any advice that Sophie would give but in this case, she’s right. Seize the day, Zab, you’ve finally got what you’ve always wanted. Beauty and effortless class, don’t waste it on some guy who didn’t even notice you beforehand. Use it.’

As Liz listened to them she formulated a plan in her head, she would do as they suggested, she would become everything she’d wanted to be and then come back and knock Max’s socks off.

She was going to take back every last bit of control, confidence and self esteem that the bullies in her old school had taken from her. And she knew where to start.

Sean.

TBC (and hopefully concluded once i get around to writing the ending but there should be more posts in between)
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Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:51 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Rowedog » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:33 pm

PART THREE

Despite Liz’s plans to get things moving with Sean, nothing happened for the first few months. He seemed intent on taking it slow which was very comforting for her as she was very new to all of it.

As Sean and Eric were extremely popular and Sophie and Abby made friends effortlessly wherever they went she found that she was now one of the most popular girls in her year level.

It seemed that everyone knew her name and everyone wanted to either fawn over her or avoid her like the plague. She even had one girl go so far as to follow her at the mall and buy the same perfume as her just so she could try and be more like her.

This enormous change for Liz was very disconcerting at first but eventually she got used to it.

The biggest shock for Liz was when she was accepted into the cheerleading squad.

She had been roped into tryouts by Abby and Sophie who were now nicknamed “Tabby Cat” or “Cat” for short and in a cruel use of irony, “Philosopher Sophocles” or “Phil” for short, as she was constantly making dumb comments and not understanding why people laughed at her.

Liz’s natural flexibility and ability had both surprised her and held her in good stead for the tryouts as they were down many places because of last year’s squad’s large amount of seniors.

Sophie, Abby and Liz had all been given places on the squad, much to the envy of many of the other freshmen who didn’t get a place. Sean was on the football team while Eric was a player in the basketball team and they would often meet up after games and go for a bite to eat down the road at a local “Claudia’s Café”.

Sophie would often ignore Eric’s desperate attempts to talk to her as he was the one who had given Sophie her nickname which left Abby, Sean and Liz to talk amongst themselves.

It was around Mid Term when one day Abby was sick in the boarding house with a cold and Sophie was walking up ahead pretending to ignore Eric when Sean grabbed Liz’s hand and stopped her.

‘Zab… you know how I feel. I want to give us a try. I want to be with you. Would you please be my girlfriend?’

Liz’s thrill at his words was quickly dampened as an image of Max flashed into her mind. She quickly shoved it aside and plastered on a smile.

‘Yes Sean, I’ll be your girlfriend.’

Sean grinned and moved in for a kiss, Liz stiffened and then let it happen.

As he pressed his lips to hers she waited for some emotion to happen. It was nice… but she didn’t feel anything. As he pulled back she watched him shake his head as if to clear it.

‘Wow, I never thought a kiss could be like that! Do you want to get something to eat?’

Liz nodded and resisted the urge to shrug him off as he slung an arm around her waist. As she looked at his grinning face she pushed back her own feelings.

She would learn to like him and he would certainly get over her quickly enough.

She was sure of it.

*************

(Two years later)

‘Liz your boyfriend’s on the phone!’

Liz groaned and got up from her desk to speak to Sean. They had recently been intimate and Liz knew it had been a mistake even before she’d gone through with it but she’d kept him waiting for too long and she felt that she couldn’t break up with him in cold blood.

He’d been a perfect gentleman to her all through out their dating history.

Even when she’d yelled at him for no reason other than she was looking for a fight, he hadn’t yelled back. She often wished that he’d cheat on her or do something equally awful so that she would have a reason to break up with him.

Both Cat and Phil had repeatedly told her that she needed to end it before Sean got any deeper. It was common knowledge to the entire school that Sean was desperately in love with Liz but how she felt no one could tell and Cat and Phil weren’t going to spill the beans.

He’d told her that he loved her on numerous occasions and she’d said it back. It was true… in some respects.

She did love him.

Just not quite the way he wanted her to.

She loved him as a friend and now spent every moment when she was with him or reminded of him, wishing that she had just said no that day two years ago.

She picked up the receiver and mentally girded herself to say no to whatever plans he had for them tonight. She would love to say no but every time she went to say she was attacked by guilt over not loving him like he deserved to be.

So more often than not she said yes. It was great comfort to her when she found out that not only did Alex not like him, but her father and grandfather also thought he was wrong for her.

She wondered if they would be this way her entire life or it was just Sean and other inappropriate males looking for her love.

After denying Sean the pleasure of her company like she had the three nights beforehand as well, she joined her mother, father, grandmother, brother and grandfather in the kitchen.

They had all been called there for a family meeting. Liz had silently cheered when Alex had interrupted her phone call to tell her that she was needed for a family meeting.

It had given her a legitimate excuse to not see Sean.

As she saw the look on her grandfather’s face, who was now fully in remission, she began to get worried. Was the cancer back? Why was he looking so grim and sad?

‘We’ve called you all here because we’re moving again.’ Liz looked at her father in shock.

‘Where?’ she asked hoping it wouldn’t be somewhere out of the country or two far away from her school.

‘Back to Roswell, Lizzy. Once Alex has finished his senior year we’ll be leaving. We’ve enjoyed staying here and imposing on your grandma’s and grandpa’s hospitality for long enough. Grumpy’s back to full health and it’s time we got out of their hair and let them get on with their lives while we get on with ours.’

Grumpy Joe looked offended, ‘Nonsense you were nothing but a delight to have and a godsend. But I guess you must be wanting to get back to your old life.’

Liz took in the full implications of what they were saying and then jumped to her feet, ‘But, what about me? I know this is selfish, but I’m a very good candidate for valedictorian and I’m in with a good chance for head cheerleader next year. I can’t just start all over again with people who don’t even know me anymore. I’ve changed! I’m not even sure I’d fit in there anymore!’

Jeff paused as he took in her protests. He hadn’t expected this. He was beaten to a response by Claudia who said, ‘Don’t worry honeybear, I’m sure your father will let you stay here with is for next year at least if that’s what you really want.’

Liz looked at her father with pleading eyes and he caved in, ‘alright Lizzy, if it’s completely fine with your grandparents, we’ll move back and you can join us there next summer before you start college.’

Liz leapt into her father’s arms and thanked him profusely and then began to look forward to the summer after her senior year.

*******************

Alex unloaded the last box into his old room. He was so glad to be home. Living with Grumpy and Grandma had been fun and his room had been enormous but nothing could replace the fondness he had for his old house.

There was so much stuff that he had left behind that he would miss but all their stuff couldn’t fit in their old house so much of it was placed in storage to be brought out one box at a time when they could find room.

His mother’s framed pictures took up three boxes and was going to be one of the last boxes to be unpacked as they were deemed unessential.

He didn’t want to admit to himself how much he was looking forward to seeing Izzy Evans again. Both he and Liz had stayed in touch with their friends vis group e-mails that they sent back and forth about once a week with the occasional phone call in between.

Apparently Maria and Michael were dating on and off as they fought and Tess was still chasing Max with little success. God he hoped Izzy didn’t have a boyfriend or a potential.

He had dated briefly and with little success throughout high school. His longest relationship was four months but she had broken it off with him because his heart really wasn’t in it.

Sure the sex was great but he didn’t like her that much.

He sat on his bed and looked forward to the next year. He was going to work for his father and get first hand experience running a business and then head off to college in Chicago. It was going to be great to see the old gang again. It really was.

‘You heard the news?’ asked Maria towards Michael as sat on his couch in his apartment watching the game with Max while Izzy stood in the kitchen fetching snacks.

‘Nope.’ Replied Michael as he tried to look around Maria to see the TV.

‘The new managers of the Crashdown have moved in. Jose saw the moving vans. I suppose we’ll meet them tonight at our shift.’

‘Yeah, maybe.’ Said Michael testily. ‘Now can you move please? The point of having the game on is so that we can watch it.’

‘Fine.’ Said Maria as she stormed into the kitchen to help Izzy. A knock sounded at the door.

‘I’ll get it’ muttered Maria with a glare that she directed over to the couch where Max and Michael sat immobile on the couch, fixated on the game.
As she opened the door Tess sprang inside and cried delightedly, ‘Max! I thought I might find you here!’

Maria groaned and yelled at Max who looked stricken and frustrated.

‘Put a bell and collar around your frickin’ dog Max so we can hear when she’s coming and have ample time to either flee or lock all the doors and board up all the windows.’

Tess glared at Maria as she attempted to sit on Max’s knee only to be pushed off onto the couch.

‘Now, now Max sweety, why do you fight the attraction you feel towards me? It can’t be good for your mental health. I bet I could help you with some of your “frustration” baby.’ Murmured Tess into Max’s ear as seductively as she could.

Michael let out a grunt and said, ‘No, Tess I think I’ll help Max with his frustration.’ And with that he pulled a protesting Tess to her feet and shoved her out the door.

‘Stay out of my apartment.’

‘It’s a free country.’ Replied Tess with a smirk

Michael smiled smugly in return and retorted, ‘and I’m sure the police will feel free to arrest you if you come around here again. It’s only a free country if you’re not in jail Tess.’ And on that parting shot he slammed the door in her face.

Later that day Michael drove Maria into work and Izzy and Max promised they’d swing through on their break so that they could all have dinner together.

They arrived five minutes early for the weekly meeting in which they theorised that they would meet the new managers.

They were so engrossed in wondering what the new managers would be like that they didn’t hear Alex walk down the stairs behind them from the apartment above.

‘I wonder if they’ll be nice.’ Mused Maria as shut her locker door.

‘I hear tell they’re exceptionally nice.’ Replied Alex quietly as he waited for Maria’s reaction.

Maria gasped and spun around and then gasped again. ‘Alex!’ she yelled as she launched herself at him. He caught her in a hug and spun her round before dropping her on her feet before him.

‘What are you doing here, man?!’ asked Michael in bewilderment.

‘Well, I live here. That might have something to do with the reason I’m here.’ Said Alex smugly as he grasped Michael in a manly hug and thumped his back with his fist.

‘Wait! Your parents are the new managers?’ asked Maria in excited hope.

Alex nodded, ‘They surely are, little Maria.’ Seeing the look of excitement in Maria’s eyes he cut her off before she asked or assumed too much and got too excited. ‘Unfortunately my dopey sister won’t be joining us till next summer, Mrs Oh-But-I’m-So-Close-To-Becoming-Valedictorian has decided to stay in Chicago for the rest of the school year and come back just before college.’

Maria’s smile faded a little as he said this but then grew brighter as she grasped Alex in a hug around the middle and said, ‘At least you’re here and I’ll get to see her for certain next summer.’

Alex smiled and then sat down on the couch and was joined by Maria and Michael either side of him. He slapped them both on the knee and looked at them questioningly.

‘So… what’s all the goss then?’

Izzy and Max entered the Crashdown to see Michael and Maria sitting across from someone who was positioned so that his back was towards them.

Both Michael and Maria were laughing hysterically as the person recounted their story gesturing wildly with their flailing arms.

As the person stopped Maria and Michael’s laughter slowly faded and Maria spotted them standing in the doorway she whispered to the man who quickly got up from the bench and turned around.

It was Izzy who first recognized him.

‘Alex!’ and with that exclamation she ran forward and threw herself onto him. He held her there close to his heart for a while before setting her back down again. He smiled gently at her and quipped, ‘I seem to be having the same effect on women in this town. Can’t keep their hands off me.’

‘Al-Alex… what are you doing here?’ stuttered Isabel, her normal ice queen composure, unusually shattered.

As Alex recounted his tale Max looked around in hope, eager to catch a glimpse of Liz. He was disappointed when Alex told him of her plans to stay in Chicago but was heartened to hear that she’d be back home in the next summer.

As Alex filled them in he kept looking at Izzy, he’d heard from Maria that she was single and now that he’d seen her he knew he’d have to do something personally to fix that.

God, she was perfect. He knew when he had seen her that she was the something missing from every girl he’d tried to date. They weren’t Izzy and that was why they’d all failed miserably in keeping his interest. He was really looking forward to the nest year.

His focus was snapped back to attention as Tess joined their group and snidely asked, ‘So, how’s your sister doing Alex? Little Miss Brain doing well at school?’

Tess laughed at her own joke which caused Alex to raise his eyebrows at those around him and coolly reply, ‘Yes, actually but then again, we’re from the school of thought which believes that being dumb is not cool. But you wouldn’t understand that would you Tess? You completely lack the capacity.’

‘Speaking of Liz… how’s she doing? Still dating that guy? Sam?’ asked Maria in an attempt to block Tess out of the conversation.

‘Sean, actually. But that doesn’t matter, his name’s not really worth remembering.’

Maria looked at him in sympathy, ‘That bad, huh?’

Alex looked distressed as realised what he’d said, ‘Uh uh, I’m not sticking my nose into her relationship again. The last time I tried Liz yelled at me and I barely made it out alive.’

Tess snorted, ‘Yeah, I’m sure the mighty mouse is terrifying when she raises her voice above a whisper.’

Alex stifled a smile as he thought of how confident and forthright his sister was now and how she would make absolute dog food of this bitch. He couldn’t wait for the next summer when she would shock the hell out of not only Tess, but the rest of Roswell.

******************

(A year later)
‘Woop woop! Graduation day Zab! No more high school!’ yelled Eric exuberantly in her ear as he slung her up over his shoulder and charged through the crowd towards Cat and Phil.

Liz had just spent the last ten minutes being bored to death by Sean’s parents and had been absolutely thrilled to have the excuse of being called away by Eric.

It had been a busy year for her as captain of the cheerleading squad and valedictorian and fending off Sean’s constant amorous affections as well as the new guy Paulie’s.

She was emotionally and physically exhausted and was looking forward to the summer very badly. As they reached the girls, Phil pulled out a polo shirt from behind her back and presented it to her. Liz grabbed it and looked at it.

‘What is it?’ she asked.

Abby smiled and shook her head, ‘And she’s our valedictorian. It’s a shirt which holds the names of all the girls who were on the squad this year and your nickname at the top. See, turn it over. Next year’s captain organised it all for us seniors.’

Liz turned it over to find ‘Cap’n Zabbers’ inscribed on the top with her real name at the start of the long list next to the word ‘Captain’.

As Liz gazed at the pale pink top, she felt her eyes brimming over with tears. This was so unbelievably sweet and she was very sad about leaving the school which had accepted her and come to be a second home to her and all this emotion had just become too much for her.

Plus she was certain she’d have to break up with Sean before she left with the two girls on a road trip back to New Mexico. It was not something she was looking forward to.

He was not going to be happy. But her trip back to Roswell promised to be fun with her two best gal pals and her best friend in the whole world to return to.

Not to mention she’d get to see how Max was… but that was secondary now.

What she’d felt for him four years ago had to be some misplaced obsession over something she felt she could never have. That was the only reason her love for Max was so strong. Because he was unattainable and represented everything she couldn’t have.

That was it.

Regardless of Sean and Max she was going to have a great time with Abby and Sophie over the summer. Both their parents lived in Las Vegas and ran major Casinos which is how they could afford such a prestigious school as Crandell’s.

However both parents would be away over the summer on business trips and Liz had volunteered her house as a place for both girls to stay. She couldn’t wait, now if she could only get tonight over with and then find a suitable time to break up with Sean…

Later that night Sean was sitting on Liz’s bed as she packed up her room in preparation for her trip. He took in a deep breath and tried to find the right words to say.

‘Zab…’

‘Yeah?’ replied Liz distracted by the mess in her cupboard.

‘I know we haven’t talked about the future, but I think it’s time we did.’ Liz looked at him expectantly, maybe he was going to make this easy for her! Maybe he would break up with her and assuage her guilt!

‘Look, you know I love you right?’

Liz nodded, a wild hope flaring in her eyes. He looked uncomfortable, this was good. It meant he was struggling with something.

‘It’s ok Sean, look I think I know where you’re headed with this. And I want you to know it’s ok, just tell me what you want to tell me.’

Sean looked momentarily confused but then shrugged and said , ‘Zab, we’re going to different colleges next year and we’re going to be separate for a while…’

Liz grew more and more expectant by the minute, any moment now, he was going to do it!

‘But I want you to know that I will always love you no matter what happens between us…’

Come on! Come on! Almost there! You can do it!

‘I’ve thought this through and there only seems one solution to this…’

Atta boy! That’s the way! Wait…why is he dropping to one knee…?

‘Elizabeth Parker, will you marry me?’

****************
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:34 pm

PART FOUR

‘WHAT? No, Sean you can’t be serious!’

Sean moved towards her and she backed away, ‘Zab, I’ve never been more serious in my life… would you stop running away from me?’

Liz looked at him with distrust in her eyes, ‘I will once you start acting like a sane person! I’m eighteen for Christ’s sake, Sean! What on earth are you talking about marriage for? I thought you were breaking up with me!’

It’s was now Sean’s turn to look at her like she was the crazy person, ‘Why on earth would I break up with you Zab when you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me?’

Liz tugged at her hair in frustration, ‘because that’s what high school sweethearts do, Sean! Once they’ve had their fling they break it off! Like all normal people do!’

Sean looked at her in shock, ‘I hope you’re not referring to what we have as a fling… wait, are you mad at me because I didn’t break up with you?

‘YES! You were supposed to do it so that I didn’t have to! So I didn’t feel guilty over leading you on all this time into believing that we had something more than we had. Sean, I’ve been unhappy for a while now. I’m sorry but I just can’t marry you.’

Sean’s face turned white with shock and he stayed silent for a long while before croaking out, ‘You don’t mean that. You’re just in shock because I asked you to marry. In time you’ll come to accept my proposal.’

Liz groaned in frustration and bit back tears of anger at herself.

‘Who are you trying to convince, Sean, me or you? Sean, I know you don’t want it to be, but it’s over. It’s been over for me for a long time and I’m just beginning to realise how right everyone was when they said it would better for you if I called it off sooner rather than later. I’m sorry I was apparently such a good actress that my unhappiness was such a shock to you. I’ll have to ask you to leave now as I need to pack for tomorrow.’

As Sean walked towards the door he placed a velvet ring box from his trouser pocket on the table.

‘Just in case you come to your senses.’

And with that angry parting shot, he left.

**************

‘I can’t believe! It look at the size of that rock! Who knew Sean had such good taste.’

Liz turned back and stared at Sophie with accusing eyes who was innocently inspecting the ring, ‘I thought I told you to give that back to Sean.’

‘Do your own dirty work you smelly, pirate hooker. You wanna break the boy’s heart, Zab, you do it, I’m not gonna.’

Liz groaned and then smiled as considered the insult that Sophie had used. It was from Anchorman.

‘You know what Phil? I’m gonna punch you right in the ovaries, straight shot to the baby maker.’

At Sophie’s disturbed look Abby chimed in with, ‘I love lamp.’ and set both girl’s laughing so hard that Liz nearly crashed the van.

‘Hey! Eyes on the road, Zabbers! We don’t want you totalling the shaggin’ wagon now do we? This van is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m so bringing one of the Roswell hotties back in here. Maybe I’ll test Max out for you Zab…’ said Sophie with a wink to Liz who turned and poked her tongue out at her.

Abby looked up at the mention of Max and said with incredulity to Liz, ‘I can’t believe that your friends still think you’re the dorkiest dork out there when really you’ve been a hot tamale for four years now. That’s utter stealth, Zab.’

Liz nodded absently, ‘Yeah, Alex and I are pretty good at keeping a secret.’ Then completely off the subject at hand, added ‘I still can’t believe that retard proposed! That was not supposed to happen! Why couldn’t he just be in it for the sex like every other boy? Why couldn’t he have just dumped me?’

Abby sighed, ‘Yes, why did you have to find a sensitive, loving and affectionate man who not only, won’t dump you, but also wants a lifelong commitment? It’s just so rude.’

‘I’m blocking you out now! No more listening for Zab!’ said Liz as she turned up the radio and drowned out her friend and wondered what Max was like now.

************

‘Home, Sweet Home!’ cried Sophie as they entered Roswell’s outer limits.

‘Hey, that’s my line!’ yelled Liz in mock indignation as she stared at all the familiar yet somehow different sights that assaulted her eyes.

As they slowly drove through town Liz pointed out all the special places that she and Maria had played in as children until they finally reached Liz’s home. They pulled up and Liz grabbed both of them and pulled them down the side alley.

‘I knew this was some trip was just some dirty trick so that you could kill us and dump our bodies down an alley.’

‘Yep, that’s my plan, Abby. I even sharpened my meat cleaver for the occasion. See that ladder up there? It leads up to my old room and hopefully we can sneak in through the window, using the spare key which hopefully hasn’t been moved and take Alex and my parents by surprise!’

‘Oh… I’ve missed annoying Alex!’ said Sophie as she climbed up after Liz who had successfully found the key and opened the window by the time she and Abby had reached the top.

As they snuck in they heard Alex banging in the kitchen talking loudly to their parents. As he stood in the doorway Liz came up behind him and covered his eyes with her hands.

‘Guess who?’

Alex twisted away from her hands and grasped her in a bone crushing hug.

‘Oh My God! You’re home! How was graduation? As boring as mine was? Hey Cat, Phil! How are you girls doing?’

‘Liz! sweety you’re home!’ cried Liz as her parents moved in for a family hug.

Liz laughed and grabbed her brother by the middle and hugged him.

‘God it’s good to be home!’

************

‘Is he home today?’ Maria asked Michael as they looked at the closed sign on the Crashdown door.

‘I don’t know. Ask Izzy, she would know better than would. She’s his girlfriend. All I know is that Jose called me and told me that the Crashdown would be closed today.’

Izzy blushed and replied, ‘Alex hasn’t told me anything about it. Maybe we should knock?’

As they knocked a very harassed looking Alex burst through the kitchen door and broke into a grin as he spotted them. He unlocked the door and shook hands with Max and Michael as they walked in.

‘Thank god! Testosterone!’

All four of them turned and looked at each other at that odd statement. Alex caught their bemused glances and started to explain.

‘I’ve been overrun with oestrogen. Liz and her two friends have been destroying my manly peace of mind.’

At that precise moment Sophie chose to walk in wearing her pink cheerleading shirt and short khaki shorts which offset her creamy skin and blonde hair beautifully, ‘Oh, we have not Alex! You love us!’ and she demonstrated this by kissing him on the cheek.

As Sophie turned to face the surprised foursome, who had obviously never considered the possibility that Liz’s friends would be so gorgeous, she waved and said , ‘Hi! I’m Sophie but you can call me Phil! And who might you be?’

As Alex introduced them all she simply nodded and said, ‘Thrilled to meet you.’ But when Alex got to Max she nodded and went, ‘Ah hah! I see! Thrilled to meet you. Really!’

‘Who are you harassing now Sophie?’ asked Abby as she swayed through the doorway causing further shock as she was perfectly decked out in her pink cheerleading top and skin tight jeans which hugged her voluptuous curves.

She stopped as she surveyed the scene then moved forward with her hand extended to shake their hands. Alex introduced them all to Abby and was about to call for Liz to come down when Tess walked through the open door, immediately sidling up to Max and glaring at the two new girls who she viewed as potential threats in her quest for Max.

At Sophie and Abby’s inquiring glance, Alex introduced them.

‘Uh, this is Abby Triton and Sophie Bett. Liz’s friends from Chicago. Phil, Cat, this is Tess.’

At the mention of Tess’ name the two girls’ smiles faded and settled into a dark glare, they crossed their arms simultaneously and stared menacingly at her as Tess snorted and said with obvious scepticism, ‘You’re Liz’s friends? Yeah right, how much did she pay you?’

The two girl’s remained silent and continued staring darkly at Tess until the tension grew too unbearable for her and she looked away uncomfortably.

Max, eager to know where Liz was, cleared his throat, breaking the awkward silence, and asked, ‘So, where is Liz?’

‘Oh, she’s around somewhere…’ replied Sophie vaguely.

‘She’s probably upstairs beginning to study for college.’ Said Abby causing everyone to laugh.

‘Or colour co-ordinating and indexing her underwear drawer.’ Added Sophie with a good natured laugh.

‘What are we laughing at?’ said Liz’s recognisable voice as she pushed through the kitchen door to come to a standstill as she surveyed the scene.

In the split second that she stood still she took in everyone. Maria had really grown up and out of her tomboyish ways and into a gorgeous woman and Michael had really filled out.

Tess and Izzy had only gotten more beautiful but it seemed where Izzy had gained grace and class, Tess had lost whatever class she had left.

And Max… my god had he gotten… unbelievably sexy.! He was handsome before, but he hadn’t had so much undeniable sex appeal at fourteen.

Liz’s legs felt rubbery as she glanced at him.

As Liz’s friends (and one enemy) looked at her, their jaws dropped.

If Liz had looked beautiful that day in her grandmother’s kitchen four years ago, she had only improved. Her breasts had grown fuller and her boyish lines had all but disappeared, leaving her with slight, but womanly curves.

The combination of her glorious body, stunning face and shining, long, dark hair left all of Liz’s friends completely stunned and silent, wearing her pink cheerleading top, sandals and a pleated denim mini Liz looked completely gorgeous.

Liz was the first to recover. She shrieked ‘Maria!’ and ran to embrace her. Maria blinked and returned the hug after a couple of seconds then gently pushed her away as she stared at her completely altered friend.

‘Liz… what… when … how…?’

‘Why’ chimed in Sophie from the behind the counter where she and Abby were getting drinks.

Maria ignored her as she stared at Liz, ‘When did you get so…’

‘Unbelievably fucking hot?’ volunteered Michael from beside her who was staring at her openly with disbelief.

‘Yeah.’ Agreed Maria as she tried to connect the mental image she’d had of Liz for four years with this goddess before her.

Liz smiled at Michael, then Izzy and attempted to smile at Max before saying, ‘Oh, that! In between eighth and ninth, a month before I started school. It was this whole big thing… so what’s going on with you?’

Maria gaped at her, ‘No way! I am not letting this go that easily! How did you get so hot when you were so… dorky before.’ asked Maria adding
hastily at Liz’s raised eyebrow ‘N-no offense of course’

Sophie looked at Liz in mock horror, ‘You weren’t always hot? Eww! Get out of our group!’

Liz gave her a pointed look, ‘I may not have always been hot, Phil, but at least I can honestly say that I’ve never played the tuba.’

Abby hissed in a breath and shook her hand as if it had been burnt, ‘Ouch, Zab! That was harsh!’

Sophie looked at her with pained eyes, ‘I knew I should never have told you that…’

Maria looked confused, ‘Zab? What the hell is Zab? And will you please get on with the story about how you got hot before I die of suspense?’

Tess, who had by now recovered and was feeling threatened by the slack mouthed, dull eyed expression Max had on as he stared at Liz, snorted once again and said sarcastically, ‘Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be thrilling.’

Liz cocked her head to the side and peered at Tess as if trying to work out something.

‘Why are you here?’ asked Liz with a direct look at the stunned Tess. Liz had never been so forthright before! What the hell was going on?

‘What?’ asked Tess shakily with surprise.

‘Well, I don’t like you. And I know Alex doesn’t either. Which begs the question, why are you on my property?’ Liz watched Tess as she slid a side-long glance at Max who completely ignored her presence. Liz shook her head slowly with amusement, ‘Oh that is so sad. You’re still following Max around like a lost dog? Take a hint Tess!’

Tess opened her mouth and went to speak a couple of times but was struck speechless by Liz.

Tess was further shocked as Liz’s amusement faded and settled into one of the most intimidating stares she had ever been privy to( and she’d been privy to a few!).

‘Get out of my house before I throw you out. And believe me, you don’t want to fight me, Sean taught me to fight and I’ve heard tell that I’ve got a pretty nasty right hook.’ Whereas, you,’ stated Liz while delivering a withering glance up and down at Tess, ‘look like you’re a hair puller and a scratcher. So I’m giving you one warning. I’m still pretty pissed off about the way you treated in junior high and I’m just edging for some revenge. So do yourself a favour and leave quickly. Now!’

Tess took one last look at Max hoping in vain that he’d defend her, before fleeing out the front door. Liz clapped her hands together and grinned with jubilation.

‘I’ve had dreams of doing that ever since I met her. Before I didn’t have the confidence or courage to do it and when I finally did have the balls to, I didn’t have the opportunity.’

Sophie patted her on the back, ‘Life’s a bitch ain’t it? But at least you’ve done it now’

Alex grinned at her, ‘Max has been trying to do that for years now. Maybe you should give him some lessons.’

At Max’s name Liz turned to him and gave him a hug, ‘Sorry, I got distracted before. It’s really great to see you!’

She reluctantly pulled away from him and turned to Izzy and then Michael and hugged them too, all the while extremely glad no one could hear how fast her heart was beating after that brief contact with Max.

Across the other side of the room Max was trying to control the urge to storm across the room and pull Liz off of Michael and kiss her.

His heart was racing and his mind was numb and blank, no girl had ever affected him in this way before, not even the few girls he’d dated that weren’t scared off by Tess.

He was surprised by the Neanderthal like jealousy that raged in him when Michael hugged her. ‘Michael has a girlfriend for god’s sake!’ reasoned his rational side while he clenched his fists and attempted not to look relieved when their hug stopped.

‘Liz? Your story if you please?’ prompted Maria whilst tapping her foot impatiently.

‘Right… Um, I got my braces and my contacts at the same day and I was really pleased with how they looked and Grandma Claudia made a bet with me that if I had my hair straightened and didn’t like the result I could be home schooled like I wanted and she would pay for the best private tutor. If she won then I would let her give me a makeover and let her buy me a whole new wardrobe. My hair came out looking like this and the rest is history. Oh and to your previous question, Zab is my nickname. It’s the three middle letters of my name. Ingenious, huh?’ Liz shot out the whole story quickly and then took a sip out of Sophie’s cherry cola.

Izzy glanced at the Liz and her friends filled with curiosity.

‘What’s with the pink shirts? You guys don’t match your clothing before you go outside do you?’

Liz laughed, ‘No way! That would be way too lame, even for us! These are our cheerleading tops, all the seniors on the squad got one as a little going away present.’

Maria gaped at her, ‘You were on the cheerleading squad? Since when?’

‘Freshman year.’ Answered Liz nonchalantly, taking another sip from Sophie’s drink and receiving a whack across the head from Sophie for stealing.

‘These two goons dragged me into trying out. Never thought I’d get in, let alone be captain three years later.’

Maria looked disgusted and told her so.

‘You were the captain of the cheerleading squad? Oh, and let me guess? You dated the captain of the football team as well!’ at Liz’s sheepish glance and shrug, Maria’s disbelief grew.

‘Sean was the captain of the football team? Oh my god! This is just horrendous!’

Liz merely smiled in response and then replied, ‘He wasn’t the captain when I started dating him. Don’t overreact Maria! It wasn’t like I was another Tess! Izzy was captain of the cheerleading squad and you like her.’

Maria looked pained and had to agree with her, ‘Yeah, I like Izzy, but we all knew she would be captain. This, coming from you is completely unexpected. Why didn’t you tell me you were on the squad before coming back? It would have softened the blow.’

Liz snorted, ‘You accused me of lying to you on my first day when I told you that I had friends. Why would you believe me about this?’

Maria fell silent and Liz gave her a hug, ‘Don’t feel too bad, Maria. I was a nice popular girl.’

Abby smiled softly at her, ‘I hear they exist nowadays.’

Sophie grinned at the others who were trying to get over the fact that not only was Liz hot during high school but she was also popular and on the cheerleading squad, ‘Wanna see Liz do a backflip? It’s really cool!’

Liz scowled at her, ‘Why don’t you do a backflip, you smelly pirate hooker? You were on the squad too! I pander to no one’s curiosity! So… do you guy’s want to stay for dinner? Mom said if I saw you guys that you were all welcome to take part in the “Welcome Back Liz” Party that’s starting tonight, Mom’s made enough food to feed a small African nation. It’s guilt I think, for missing my graduation. I got it all on video, don’t know what she’s worried about. There wasn’t much to miss.’

As all of Liz’s old friends nodded and followed her to the back room, Liz smiled inwardly at the memory of her friend’s reactions to her new appearance. The wait was definitely worth it!
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:05 am

PART FIVE

Max rolled over in his bed. He couldn’t sleep, but not for lack of trying.

Every time he tried to shut his brain down, a vision of Liz would pop up appearing as she had the day before in his mind. She had set up camp in his mind and was not leaving anytime soon.

He kept picturing her long legs and her shiny dark hair and he kept replaying over and over in his mind every word, every look and every touch that they had shared while at Liz’s apartment.

Which, albeit, were few in number and if she had been anyone else they would have meant little to him, but this was Liz. God, he had to stop thinking about her that way… he was pretty sure she had a boyfriend.

Sean… even the sound of his name tore up his insides with jealousy. Why couldn’t she have stayed in Roswell away from that predator? Max was sure that Sean had very bad intentions when it came to Liz. He could feel it. Max shook himself from those homicidal thoughts and groaned.

He didn’t even know the guy and he already hated him for some imagined wrong! What was going on with him? He had never acted this possessively towards a girl before.

But then again, he’d never really had the chance to. Tess was always intimidating and scaring away all of his girlfriends, while she went out with and screwed as many guys as she could to make him jealous.

Max shook his head and laughed at her stupidity, as if he’d ever get jealous over Tess! God he hated her sometimes, but most of the time he pitied her.

She had obviously never received any love or affection growing up with her indifferent father. Love was a conquest for her, once the object of her desires was won over, all of her interest disappeared.

Max had once or twice considered going out with her for that reason only, and then shuddered as he realised what that would entail.

Max ran his hands through his hair and once again ran through everything Liz had said or done to him that night. Was he imagining her interest back because he so desperately needed there to be some?

No way, she couldn’t be interested, not in him. He was so ordinary and boring, not like those rich guys who drove fancy cars and lived in big houses at her high school in Chicago.

He hadn’t appreciated her when she was here and now he assumed he’d lost his chance. Max sighed, rolled onto his back and stared at his ceiling.

He wondered if she was sleeping right now and if she was thinking of him like he was of her. Preposterous, she would never think of him in that way, she was just too perfect with her perfect boyfriend and her perfect life.

Max mentally ordered his head to shut off, it was time he got some sleep.

There was time enough to think of Liz and even see her tomorrow. At the thought of seeing Liz, Max grinned. He was really looking forward to tomorrow.

*************

‘Ok, you have to tell us! Was it everything you’d hoped it would be and more?’ asked Sophie poking her in the shoulder repeatedly before Liz slapped her hand away.

‘I am not answering that question!’ replied Liz loftily, sticking her nose up into the air.

‘What question? What are you talking about?’ asked Izzy looking from Liz to Sophie. Both Izzy and Maria had opted to stay for a sleepover at Liz’s house after hitting it off extremely well with Abby and Sophie.

Maria had latched onto Sophie finding another partner in crime and Izzy and Abby had been very impressed with one another’s sense of style and attitude.

Sophie turned with a wicked grin towards Izzy, ‘Liz’s emotional reunion with her dream lover, Max. I have to say Liz, I approve, he’s very humpable.’

Izzy looked shocked and disturbed at that assessment of her brother, ‘Oh gross! I’m leaving if you’re going to use the word hump and my brother’s name in the same sentence.’

Maria laughed and cried out to Izzy who had entered the bathroom, ‘Come back Iz! Return the favour to Liz! Tell her how good Alex is in bed!’

As Liz gave a cry of disgust and horror, both Maria and Sophie collapsed on Liz’s bed holding their stomachs as they laughed hysterically.

Liz sighed, ‘I knew introducing you two to each other would be a terrible idea. You’re out of control!’

Sophie sat up still giggling and high-fived Maria, ‘Nice working with you compadre. Now Liz, tell us about the old crush. Still some flames going or are they totally quenched by time and distance?’

Liz looked at Izzy with doubt as she re-entered the room but Izzy was quick to reassure her.

‘Don’t worry Liz, I don’t tell my brother anything. I certainly wouldn’t tell him any secret of yours.’

Abby nodded and added, ‘From now on, this room is Vegas. What’s said in this room, stays in this room, capeche?’

All the girls nodded their agreement and Liz took a shaky breath in and answered evasively, ‘I guess you could say the old flames are still going.’

Sophie humphed in annoyance and questioned her further.

‘Is that an “Oh my god I want to jump his bones right now” crush or an “I guess he’s kinda cute from a certain angle” crush?

Liz smiled at her definitions and shook her head, ‘Let’s just say… comparatively speaking, I felt more from just hugging Max than I ever did from having sex with Sean.’

Abby, Maria and Sophie gasped, while Izzy looked like she was about to hyperventilate or vomit, or both.

‘What? Are you serious? I don’t know this Sean guy but I’m sure he’d be so pissed if he ever heard you say that! Was sex with him that bad?’ asked Maria with amazement over what Liz had revealed.

Liz shook her head and blushed, ‘No. Sex with Sean was ok, it’s just that I never emotionally connected. So for me, it was crap.’

Abby and Sophie looked at each other and Abby said to Liz with a low voice, ‘If Sean ever heard that it would DESTROY him, Zab!’

Liz gave her an easy, reassuring smile, ‘That’s probably why I’m not going to bring it up in conversation with him. Ever.’

Maria clapped her hands together and cried with enthusiasm, ‘This is so great! Liz is in love with Max and now Max is in love with Liz! They’re so gonna get together and have little babies!’

Liz looked at her like she’d gone mad, ‘Are you kidding? Max isn’t in love with me! He still thinks of me as the geeky fourteen year old with frizzy hair and braces. He barely said a word to me all night!’

Maria, Izzy, Sophie and Abby all looked at her with exasperation, ‘Liz, I know my brother. The only reason he didn’t say much to you is because he was too busy drooling over you and hyperventilating whenever you so much as looked his way. Falling in love can really bring out the shyness in some people.’ Said Izzy with a confident air.

She then smiled and squealed as she followed the line of thought, while Liz blushed.

‘Oh, this is great! I’m going to have such a cool sister-in-law! Once we get rid of Tess we’ll be home free… wait you have dumped this Sean guy, right?’

Liz nodded as Abby and Sophie sniggered.

Maria looked at the three of them suspiciously causing Liz to blush.

‘Ok, what aren’t I getting here? What, did you dump him halfway through some crap sex?’

Liz looked shocked, ‘Maria! No! That’s awful! It was just really hard that’s all because he saw our relationship heading another way…’

Sophie giggled, ‘Yeah completely opposite directions!’

Maria looked at Sophie and asked, ‘You know something I don’t, don’t you?’

Sophie looked back at her and replied, ‘I do.’ Causing both her and Abby to burst into hysterical laughter as Liz hung her head in her hands and groaned.

Izzy and Maria looked at each other, ‘Well we obviously missed the significance of that joke.’ Izzy said as she grabbed some jellybeans from the bedside table.

Liz shook her head and replied wearily ‘You don’t want to know.’

Maria turned to Sophie again, desperate for information, ‘Come on Soph, you know you want to tell me…’

Sophie looked at her apologetically, ‘I can’t tell you. I promised Zab I wouldn’t tell anyone without her consent, so I’ll just have to sit here and hum.’

As Sophie began to hum, Liz gasped as she recognized the tune.

That sneaky bitch was humming the Bridal Waltz!

Liz pushed Sophie off the bed and stood up, ‘Fine! You want to know? I’ll show you why we broke up so weirdly!’ Liz stormed over to her wardrobe and rummaged through the pile of clothing on the floor before pulling out a box.

Opening the box she retrieved something and piffed it at Maria.

‘There’s your answer!’

Maria caught it deftly with one hand, flicked open the lid of the velvet box and peered inside as Izzy peered over her shoulder.

‘Please tell me that’s a promise ring!’ cried Maria as she stared at the large diamond encased in a silver setting.

‘Nope, that would be here.’ Said Liz calmly as she placed the less valuable ring beside the velvet box on the bed.

‘Oh My God! He proposed? But you’re only eighteen... What on earth was he thinking?’ asked Maria as she gaped at the gorgeous ring.

Liz shrugged, ‘I don’t know. We hadn’t even talked about marriage and he went and sprang this on me. I nearly died right then and there Maria! I knew I should have broken up with him earlier and spared him this. I really wish I had never gone out with him in the first place. No, that’s not true. He really was a great boyfriend. He treated me really well, although he had a tendency to be a bit smothering… but besides all the good points, I knew that marriage to him would have been my worst nightmare!’

As the group fell into silence, Isabel gave a soft, ‘Ha!’

As they all turned to look at her she looked at them sheepishly, ‘Sorry, I know I ruined a really thoughtful moment, but I finally got that “I do” joke that Sophie said before, what with marriage and “I do”...’

Maria sat silent for a second then laughed too, ‘I get it now! Sophie, you devil!’

Liz rolled her eyes and grimaced as Sophie preened with pride.

‘Needless to say, I think I broke his heart in saving mine. Enough about Sean, honestly I don’t want to talk about him anymore. So Maria, Izzy… it’s your turn to share! Except, keep it G rated, I don’t want nightmares about my brother and Michael who I’ve always seen as a brother!’ said Liz with a grin and with that prompting, Maria rattled on about Michael and all of his bad points and then Izzy shyly talked about how she felt about Alex, making Liz‘s heart glow with happiness for her deserving brother.

After Izzy’s heart-warming speech Sophie ruined it all by burping loudly after a sip of soda, and then elbowing Liz, ‘Izzy’s your way in, Zab. One marriage into a family makes the second one a bit easier, so Alex better not screw it up for your sake.’

As Liz and all her friends laughed, she felt blessed to just have this moment free from worries and cares with some of her favourite people in the world.

She wasn’t going out with Sean, she had nearly all of her close friends nearby (minus Eric) and she could see Max everyday. Life sure was great.


Feedback... anyone?
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:16 am

PART SIX

It was Michael’s break and he and Liz were sitting down to lunch catching up on old times.

It had been a week since Liz had returned and she was beginning to feel that maybe the girls were right, maybe Max did like her a little bit.

He had certainly been visiting the Crashdown daily and spending a lot of time hanging out with her and her friends. Or maybe he was attracted to one of her friends.

God, what if he had the hots for Sophie or Abby? Could she handle that?

Rejection after she had changed so much? Liz shook her head, she would support Max in whatever choice he made regarding his love life. She just wanted him to be happy.

‘Ok, spill. What’s eating you? You look like your Mom just died or something.’

Liz looked up to see Michael staring at her over his plate of spaghetti and gave him a half smile, ‘It’s nothing. I’m fine.’

‘Is it about Max? Is he annoying you? I’ll beat the crap out of him for you, if you want. I told him not to be too forward. Knew you wouldn’t like it.’

Liz looked up in desperate hope, ‘Wait! You mean he IS coming here to see me?’

Michael looked at her like she was a moron then shook his head, ‘Chicks. I swear to god, your boobs must eat your brain cells or something. Who did you think he was coming here to see? Me? Liz, I may be the sexiest guy in Roswell, but I’m pretty sure I’m not Max’s type.’

Liz shrugged, sipped her cherry cola and then leaned back against her chair, ‘I thought maybe he might like Sophie or Abby. They’re attractive, single and sexy… stranger things have happened.’

Michael leaned forward and lowering his voice said, ‘Liz, no offence to your friends, but they can’t hold a candle to you when it comes to Max. Not that you should care anyway! You have a boyfriend, little cheater.’

Liz frowned at him in perplexity, ‘No I don’t. Who said I had a boyfriend?’

Michael rolled his eyes at her and sarcastically said, ‘Right. I completely made Sean up ‘cos I was bored with nothing better to do than to fantasize about your love life.’

This time it was Liz’s turn to roll her eyes, ‘I broke up with Sean right after graduation you great big melon head! I’ve been single and absolutely thrilled about it for a while now.’

Michael raised one eyebrow and smirked at her, ‘Melon head? Oh Liz you wound me. What an insult! I’m really glad you’ve told me that because now maybe Max will stop moping.’

Liz brightened, ‘You really think Max is jealous over Sean?’

Michael smiled teasingly as he got up from his seat to go up the stairs into Liz’s apartment to clean his dishes, ‘What do you care? You’re single and absolutely thrilled about it.’

Liz scowled and followed him up the stairs complaining loudly about people who take things the wrong way and then withhold vital information.

As she crossed the threshold her heart skipped a beat when she saw Max sitting on the couch, he waved and she smiled beatifically at him and then turned and dumped her dishes in the sink.

Before she began to speak Alex walked in holding the phone.

‘Here she is now. Liz it’s Sean.’ Liz waved her hands wildly in front of her body signalling ‘NO!’ to Alex and then realized it was too late and reached out her hand in defeat.

He knew she was there and if she got Alex to lie for her he would know that she didn’t want to speak to him and she already felt guilty enough about the way things ended. She felt that she owed him for all the time he had spent with her believing that she had felt the same way, and she had been avoiding his phone calls to her cell all week so she was about due for a guilt trip.

‘Sean.’

‘Zab, this is killing me and I know it must be killing you too. You couldn’t have meant it when you said you didn’t care for me. You wouldn’t have been with me for three and a half years if I meant nothing to you.’

‘Sean… I do care for you, just not-’ Liz looked at Max who was glaring at the phone willing the person on the other end of the line to explode.

‘Good, because I’ve been thinking over this whole situation and I want us to start over. A fresh start. No past baggage, no marriage proposal –not yet anyway- and no rushing things, just you and me.
I know I scared you with the marriage thing and that coupled with the uncertainty of where we were headed next year must have really thrown you and I can understand that you would be frightened enough to try and break up with me and push me away.
But I want you to know that I won’t harbour any hard feelings about the things you said to me when we get back together, you were just scared and I get that now. So don’t worry about all that stuff it’s in the past, I don’t need to be married to you to be happy, that can wait, all I want right now is to be with you.
I love you, Zab and I’ll do anything to get you back into my life. It’s like I said a fresh start. What do you say? Let’s forget the past and give our love a second chance’

Liz stared down the phone in astonishment. What the hell? There was no way he was sucking her back into their relationship, he could guilt and reason all he liked, but there was absolutely no way she was going back there when she had spent three years trying to get out.

Liz sucked in a huge breath and hardened herself. What she was about to do now was not going to be pretty but Sean needed to understand that what was between them was over.

In no uncertain terms.

‘Sean?’

‘Yeah, Zab?’

‘I’m sending you the ring back.’

There was a slight pause.

‘Ok, I’ll keep it until we need it.’

‘No. I want you to sell it. Or throw it away. Or wear it yourself if you’re into that sort of thing. I don’t care what you do with it, I just don’t want it. I’m also going to send back the promise ring and everything you ever gave me.’

‘Right. A fresh start. Gotcha.’

Liz’s eyes widened with rage, how dare he just assume she’d want to get back together with him! Was he listening to her at all?

‘No, Sean! We are not starting over! I’m sorry but I have spent three and a half years with you and while we shared some good times, I’m sorry but they are over. Finished. Gone.’

‘You can’t mean that-’

‘DON’T TELL ME WHAT I MEAN, SEAN!’ yelled Liz in complete fury, shocking both herself, Sean and everyone else in the room which now included all the girls who had come back from their shopping spree at the mall.

‘Calm down, Zab, look it’s ok to be scared about the future. But that doesn’t mean you should throw away the best thing in your life, I mean, come on! I know that underneath your scared demeanour that you do love me and I know that you’ll regret it if you just dismiss what we have.’

‘What we have? We don’t have anything anymore Sean! The only thing I could possibly regret is if I got back together with you, because I have spent three years of my life regretting my choice of boyfriend and when I finally get a chance to break free, you try to rope me back in, in such a self assured and arrogant way that makes me hate you! “How could Liz not want me? I’m fantastic!”, well you know what Sean if you’re so fantastic why don’t you date yourself? Because I don’t want to date you, I don’t want to marry you so you can keep your ring and I DEFINITELY do not want a fresh start!’

Liz’s inherent rage did not die down after she punched the end call button angrily.

How dare he keep her smothered for three and a half years and then like a vain jerk assume that she loved him and wanted to get back together with him? She was never, ever going into another relationship like that again.

She hated his possessiveness and she hated the way he constantly felt the need to touch her and she hated the fact that she was so angry she was about to cry.

Alex looked at her strangely while she tried to calm herself.

‘Marriage!!? And when did you break up with Sean?’

‘Right after he proposed actually, after graduation. Should have told him to go fuck himself, but NO I had to be nice didn’t I? He thinks he can just walk back into my life and I’ll just come running back, “Oh I’m such a fool Sean! How could I ever leave you?” well you know what? He can-’

At this point Sophie wisely interrupted, ‘Yeah, the rock on her ring is huge! Want to see it?’

Michael looked at her with vague curiosity. ‘You must be fuckin’ terrific in bed Liz, if the guy is willing to shackle himself to you.’

For a split second both Liz and Michael thought that she was going to jump on him and beat the absolute crap out of him. But instead she laughed. Liz laughed and laughed till tears ran down her face and she collapsed half sobbing on the couch next to Max who looked a little uncertain and worried

‘Yeah, sure Michael, I’m tremendous in the sack.’ Cried Liz, still laughing, clutching her stomach.

‘Actually, Sean verified that. He said, and I quote “ Making love with Liz is the most amazing experience I have ever had and will ever have.” Stated Abby, while watching Alex who stared at Liz in shock and horror and then started banging his head on the table while Isabel rubbed his back soothingly and told him not to think about.

Liz, who had calmed down slightly looked at Sophie and then said, ‘I wish I could return the compliment.’

This comment caused Sophie, Abby, Michael and Maria to laugh hysterically, Alex to thump his head on the table harder, Izzy to smother her amusement for Alex’s sake and Max to look slightly appeased by Sean’s inadequacy in bed.

Sophie sighed after she stopped laughing, ‘Poor old Sean, good buddy of mine, but he’s so pussy whipped it’s not funny,’ she paused then extended her hand to Liz who took it and stood up. ‘After that emotionally draining phone call I suggest ice cream and girly talk. C’mon women folk. Let’s band together around our friend in her time of need!’

And as the girls walked in to Liz’s room for some girly time Sophie paused by Alex, who had sufficiently recovered, and said, ‘From now on, Zab isn’t here when Sean calls. It’ll be easier for both of them this way.’

Alex nodded his heartfelt agreement as he was thrilled that Sean was no longer a part of Liz’s life and Sophie made her way to the kitchen for some ice cream and some spoons.

As the girls left the remaining men congregated downstairs in the back room. Alex heaved a breath of both relief and distress. ‘God I’m glad her relationship with Sean is over! I can’t believe he had sex with her! As if I didn’t have enough desire already to punch him out!’

Michael gave him a piercing look of disbelief, ‘They went out for three and a half years and you never suspected that they’d done the nasty? I know Liz is a good girl, but she’s not a nun for Christ’s sake!’

Max, taking Michael’s comment and reassuring himself that Liz and Sean were definitely over, asked Alex, ‘So, what was so bad about this guy, Sean? Was he a cheater? Did he treat her badly?’

Alex shook his head, ‘There is no way that he would ever have cheated. Liz would have been out in a second flat if she even so much as suspected foul play. Actually, he treated her really well. The reason I don’t like him is because he didn’t make her happy.’

Michael stopped him and there with a look of confusion. ‘What? That doesn’t make any sense! He treated her really well and was faithful and she wasn’t happy? What did she want from him? It obviously wasn’t for the sex after what we heard before…’

Alex groaned, ‘Don’t remind me of that please! No, it was a combination of little things that ticked me off. He was very selfish. He seemed to smother her. He knew she wasn’t comfortable with open displays of affection and yet he constantly was all over her.
Or maybe she just wasn’t comfortable being touched by him, I don’t know. And he was always using emotional blackmail, he’d make her feel bad for saying no to going out on a date with him when something important for her, like a test, was coming up.
She also constantly looked unhappy or bored in his presence and he was either too arrogant or too stupid to notice it. Maybe I’m suffering from Over Protective Older Brother Syndrome but she just wasn’t happy in that relationship, not that she’d tell me that.’

Max breathed out feeling his relief multiply at Alex’s words, she really, really wasn’t emotionally attached to Sean, not even in the beginning.

Now Max only had to find a way to make her emotionally attached to himself. He wondered how on earth he was ever going to do that.

*************

Alex, Michael and Max were sitting in Michael’s apartment the day after the phone call watching the football when there was a knock at the door.

Michael looked through the keyhole to make sure it wasn’t Tess and then opened the door to admit a very flustered looking Kyle.

Kyle, originally a self centred, mean jock, had become a devout Buddhist after a near fatal car accident towards the end of sophomore year and had thoroughly improved, so much so that Michael and Max had become friends with him and had taken to inviting him over to watch the football with them and generally just hanging out.

Even Alex had forgiven him for teasing Liz back in junior high, and teasing Liz was almost unforgivable in his book.

Kyle had been away from the gang for a while as he was helping his dad recover from his latest break up with another inconsequential woman.

As Kyle sat down an ad break came on and Kyle began spilling his woes, ‘Oh Buddha, give me patience to deal with Tess! You know what she said to me when I met her walking down the street?’ Kyle paused and preparing to put on a high girly voice, ‘She sauntered over to me and said “Hey Kyle, you know we haven’t had any fun together since Sophomore year and I’m dying to know if you’ve improved. What do you say we go to the public toilets across the street and test each other out?” My god, I was nearly physically sick on her shoes. I had to turn her down rather nastily because if you’re nice, she doesn’t understand that you’re rejecting her.’

Max smiled and stretched his arms above his head, ‘I’ve only been stalked by her twice this week, each time she was looking around with this worried look on her face. I think she’s scared that Liz’ll come through on her threat. Gotta thank her for that, what a favour she’s done for me. I don’t have to see Tess everyday! It’s great!’

Kyle looked confused, ‘Liz is back? Since when? And why is Tess scared of her? What did she threaten to do?’

Michael grinned and said, ‘She threatened to beat the crap out of Tess. It was the most magical moment in all of my life. Oh how I wish I had had a video camera… she came back a bit over a week ago now. If you stick around after the game you’ll see her. She’s really changed.’

Kyle looked impressed, ‘So I can tell! I’m glad she’s back, I’ve always wanted to apologise to her for my actions in junior high. I feel really bad about that.’

Alex grinned at him, ‘She’ll appreciate that.’

After the game finished Michael turned to Kyle and a slow, wicked smile spread across his face, ‘Now, Kyle, we,’ said Michael pointing to Alex, Max and himself, ‘want to know something about your time with Tess.’

Kyle sighed dramatically and rubbed his face with his hands, ‘What do you want to know?’ he asked despondently.

Max grimaced, ‘I really don’t want to know anything at all, I might be sick.’
Michael leaned forward, ignoring Max, to look at Kyle and asked eagerly, ‘Are the rumours true? Is having sex with Tess like having sex with a KFC bucket?’

Max and Alex were completely grossed out by Michael’s choice of words and pushed back the nausea that came whenever they thought of Tess in a sexual way.

They were even more disgusted when Kyle nodded his head and Michael laughed uproariously.

As Michael laughed and the others exclaimed in disgust, Liz pushed through Michael’s unlocked and slightly ajar door and asked, ‘Hey, what’s all the commotion?’

Max immediately stiffened as he heard her voice and turned to look at her. His throat closed and he immediately cursed himself for being so obviously besotted.

She was going to be completely freaked out by this obsession he had with her, but he couldn’t help that every time he looked at her his heart stopped and breathing was a difficult feat.

At Liz’s amused look aimed further along the couch he turned his head to see a completely stunned Kyle sitting with his mouth open staring at Liz.

‘Hey Kyle, good to see you again.’

Kyle shook himself out of his stupor and managed to reply, ‘Liz, it’s really great to see you, you know I wanted to apologize for the way I behaved in Junior High, it was-‘ Liz waved him silent with a good natured laugh. ‘Stress less Kyle! I’ve forgiven you for that. Besides it’s been a long time and you’ve changed and I’ve changed, water under the bridge.’

Liz shrugged casually and Alex looked at her with a wicked gleam in his eyes.

‘So, are you going to forgive Tess too?’

Liz looked at him with disdain, ‘The difference between Tess and Kyle are large and greatly affect my decisions, dear brother. Number one, Kyle has changed and grown and is therefore not the same person he was when he teased me, Number Two, Kyle feels repentant for his sins and wants to apologise. Tess does not fit into either necessary category for my forgiveness.’

Alex snorted, ‘Thanks for the scientific and systematic explanation Liz. I wonder why anyone would ever have accused you of being a nerd…’

‘Eat me. So, Kyle! What’s been happening in your world? College next year?’

Kyle nodded, ‘Yeah, right here in New Mexico. You?’

‘Harvard, baby! Cannot wait!’ Cheered Liz enthusiastically as Max looked at her in shock. She was going to Harvard! Just like he was! He couldn’t believe they’d never talked about college before today, but then again, normal and rational thought seemed to fly out of the window whenever Liz was around.

He grinned as the full implications of Liz and he going to College together sunk in. They would be unsupervised by the parental units and be living very close to one another. This was great!

Michael turned to Liz and clapped her on the back, ‘Harvard? Fantastic! You can make sure that Max doesn’t do anything stupid while he’s there.’

Liz turned to Max and asked in amazement, ‘You’re going to Harvard as well?’

Liz squealed and spontaneously threw her arms around Max’s neck after he nodded. After Liz realised what she had done she awkwardly drew back from Max’s embrace and stuttered, ‘T-that’s great. We can be college freshies together!’

Max, still reeling from Liz’s hug, could only grin in response.

Liz looked at her watch and her eyes widened, ‘Oh crap! I’m such a spiff! I’m supposed to be home in five minutes!’ Liz moaned hitting her head with the middle of her palm.

‘Not a worry. I can give you a lift back.’ Max turned grabbed his car keys from out of his pant’s pocket and motioned for Liz to follow him.

‘Hey, can I come too? I got a hankering for some of the Crashdown’s famous men-in-blackberry pie.’ Max turned his back and gritted his teeth at Kyle’s innocent request before grinding out a ‘sure’ in reply and violently twisting the door knob to release some of his anger.

How annoying!

Why did Kyle have to ruin an opportunity for him and Liz to be alone? Max reined in his anger and reassured himself that there would be other opportunities.

Like when they went to Harvard together after summer!

There wouldn’t be anyone to ruin his and Liz’s time together. Apart from other eager suitors… Oh, crap. He could just tell that Liz was going to be won over from under his nose by some smart, rich kid. Maybe he could beat up every guy that looked at her with interest.

Max turned his head and looked at Liz who was looking at his troubled face with concern. He smiled at her in an attempt to lift his foul mood and to reassure her that nothing was wrong.

As Max reached his car, he opened the passenger door to a surprised and grateful Liz before hopping around the other side and getting behind the wheel and driving off.

The three of them reached the Crashdown just as Sophie and Abby pulled up outside. As Liz introduced them to Kyle she could see from Kyle’s dazzled face that he was completely stunned by Abby.

Liz, Sophie and Max exchanged co-conspirators glances as they subtly walked off to give Kyle and Abby some space.

Sophie grinned evilly and turned to Liz once they were out of earshot, ‘Oh yeah! Abby is gonna get some! This is what we came here for. I’ve already scored a phone number from some random at the mall, now all we need is a cheap fling for you, my dear Zabbers!’ as Sophie uttered that last sentence she watched Max’s reaction and was very pleased with his tensed jaw and clenched fists.

Mentally she was egging him on to move in for the kill with Liz, but outwardly was chatting to Liz about the benefits of releasing sexual frustration with a stranger that you never have to see again, ‘Guys do it all the time and besides, you need all the practice you can get, you’ve only ever been with Sean.’

Liz laughed and shook her head, ‘What exactly would I need practice for?’

‘For College silly! Gosh! Sometimes you are impossibly dense!’ Sophie’s grin widened as she saw the effect her speech was having on Max. He was getting so jealous he was about to explode. Just a little more pushing from her and he should be so riled up and threatened, he’ll make a move on Liz.

‘While I admire and respect your decision to use and abuse males for your own sexual needs, as they have done to the female species for thousands of years. I, however, have no desire for one night stands, of any variety. I don’t know what I’m looking for yet. I’ve just come out of a long term relationship, so I’m very content to be by myself for a while.’

Sophie calm demeanour didn’t change, but inwardly she groaned. ‘Way to scare Max off, Zab! If he doesn’t think you’re ready for a relationship, then there’s no way he’ll make a move! Women!’ thought Sophie in frustration as she smiled and patted Liz on the back.

‘Well, don’t wait too long. The thing you’re looking for could get tired of waiting.’

Liz raised her eyebrow at Sophie’s comment but didn’t say anything in return.

Turning to Max, Liz asked, earnestly trying not to blush, ‘Do you want to do something tonight? I’m bored and it feels like ever since I got back, we haven’t really had any time to talk. I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but I’ve got to work a shift now and-’ Max who had been brooding over Liz’s reluctance to move into a new relationship immediately brightened at her words and cut her off, ‘Sure! Do you want to go out to eat or go to the movies or something?’

Liz smiled widely, ‘How about a picnic? I could make a basket and we could go to the park. That way we wouldn’t have to talk over the other restaurant goers or over the top of a movie.’

Max replied, ‘Sounds great. I’ll meet you here at 6:30?’

Liz nodded, ‘It’s a plan, Stan.’ Then winced at her choice of words. She was so uncool! What was he going to think of her now?

‘Well, got to get to work. My bosses are real hard asses.’ Liz threw him a smile over her shoulder as she walked towards the back room where she promptly jumped up and down and hugged a bewildered Maria once the door closed.

Max turned and walked calmly out of the Crashdown, jumped in his car and yelled ‘Yes!’ once he was on the road. Steering with his right hand he punched the air with his left hand.

He was going out on a picnic with Liz!

He wasn’t sure if it was a date or not but he wasn’t too worried about that, it was a date for him even if Liz didn’t consider it as one.

He looked down at his clothes and a frown wrinkled his brow. He needed to go home and change, he had been wearing these clothes all day and he was sure he had gotten some food on him from Michael’s violent remonstrations during the game.

And he’d missed the turn to his house in his excitement. Sighing at his stupidity and mentally willing himself to calm down, he did a u-turn and pulled into his driveway, practically skipping with excitement.

A picnic with just Liz and him!

Would it be very rude if I asked for feedback...?
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Rowedog » Fri Nov 24, 2006 3:18 pm

PART SEVEN

‘So, is this a date?’ asked Maria sitting on the edge of Liz’s bed watching Liz change her outfit for the fourth time.

Liz shrugged with a worried look on her face, ‘I don’t know! I know I’d love it to be, but we didn’t really classify it. Uh, I’m so stupid! Why didn’t I ask him?’

Maria raised her eyebrows as Liz discarded another outfit, ‘Because you were terrified that he wouldn’t see it as one?’

As Maria looked at the steadily growing pile of discarded items of clothing that had piled up on the floor, she asked, ‘Did you have this much trouble picking out date outfits when you were with Sean?’

‘No! I didn’t care what he thought of me. Oh god, that sounds really horrible, doesn’t it?’

Maria threw her head back and laughed, ‘You’re amongst friends. Don’t worry,’ Maria lowered her voice to a whisper, ‘I won’t tell Sean that you didn’t care at all for his opinion and that you were repulsed by his touch.’

Liz turned her head from inside her wardrobe and gave Maria an admonishing stare, ‘I wasn’t repulsed by his touch… I just didn’t like it much.’

‘So much so that it made you feel sick to your stomach.’

‘Maria! It did not make me feel sick… anyway we’re getting off the topic. Sean is in the past, Max is in my immediate future and I have nothing to wear!’ Liz cried and threw herself on the bed in despair.

Maria rolled her eyes and went to inspect her wardrobe and after a couple of minutes rifling through Liz’s clothes pulled out a pair of jeans, a black singlet top and a white wraparound shirt that tied at her back and enhanced her cleavage by cutting underneath her breasts and contrasting the difference in colour.

‘There. It’s dressy but not too dressy and it looks like you haven’t spent too much time on your wardrobe choices. Wear your black boots that you wear everyday over your jeans so that you don’t point out to him, by wearing completely different things from your normal everyday wear, that you consider this a date. It’ll leave him guessing. Wear your hair as you normally wear it and wear your usual jewellery. You are only going to the park, after all, not Chez Pierre.’

Liz gazed at her in awe, ‘You are officially my hero.’

Maria gave her the thumbs up and sat next to her on the bed, patting her on the knee, ‘I am a very gifted and talented person, never forget that. I’m practically a savant.’

‘Yeah, you’re a real rain man.’

Liz began getting ready for her “date” as Maria rifled through Liz’s belongings and came across a photo of Liz’s from her high school days.

She immediately recognised Liz, Sophie and Abby, even in their “awesome” school uniforms, but the two guys in the photo she couldn’t name.

‘Liz… who are the hotties? Especially the blonde hunk. Hoo wee! Now he is fine!’

Liz turned and looked at the photo whilst putting an ear ring in. ‘The black haired guy is Eric, one of the coolest guys you will ever meet. I’m a big fan of his. And the blonde “hunk”, as you put it, is Sean.’

Maria mouth hung open and she turned to stare at Liz and then back at the picture. ‘You turned down marriage to that piece of man meat?! Are you nuts?’

Liz rolled her eyes. ‘I didn’t love him, Maria. And besides, I thought you wanted me and Max to be together.’

Maria threw her hands up in the air in frustration. ‘That was before I found out that Sean was an Adonis! I always pictured him as a dorky dweeb and that mental image didn’t change even when I found out he was captain of the football team.
Are you telling me that this gorgeous man with a large trust fund, loved you, worshipped the ground you walked on, wasn’t afraid of commitment, and you couldn’t love him back? You retard!’

Liz laughed lightly, putting on an offended air, ‘Thanks a lot Maria! You’re doing wonders for my guilt. It didn’t matter how hot he was or how nice a person he was, in the end I just couldn’t love him. All the girls at my old school would be thrilled to know I’ve broken up with him. He was hotly pursued, even when I was dating him.’

Maria heaved a sigh, ‘Not only did he love you and want to commit, he was also completely faithful even when constantly tempted. I wonder about your mental capacity…’

Liz glared at her as she pulled on her boots, ‘Shut up Maria! As if you can talk! You chose Michael over Brody!’

Maria paused and considered Liz’s point before replying, ‘Touché. But Brody was heaps older than me. Like statutory rape, older. Even though he was a millionaire, I could never have said yes. Apart from loving Michael far more than he deserves, I couldn’t have had a relationship with Brody without the police arresting him sooner or later.’

Liz chuckled and then looked at her watch. She then gasped and grabbed the picnic basket, ‘It’s time! Wish me luck!’

Maria shook her head at her enthusiasm, ‘Good luck. You two crazy kids have fun. Use a condom!’

Maria laughed as Liz flipped her off and hurried down the stairs to where Max was waiting anxiously.

************

Liz grinned dopily as she recounted her evening in the park with Max later that night in as she lay in bed. It was perfect. He was perfect. Everything was just… perfect.

Liz winced at her lack of vocabulary, but she couldn’t find a word to better describe it. She had had the most amazing evening.

Max had been the perfect gentleman the whole night. It was nice to go out on a date and not have to constantly fend off amorous displays off affection, all the while trying not to offend your boyfriend and trying to convince yourself that you like him and don’t feel smothered by him at all.

If anything she was a little disappointed that Max hadn’t made a move, she wanted to know what it was like to willingly kiss another guy who wasn’t Sean.

Her mind flew back to that awful night in March when Paulie had cornered her at a party, drunk, and shoved his tongue down her throat.

She smiled as she recalled the black eye he had sported the next day.

She had told Abby, Sophie and Eric what had happened, but had prudently left Sean out of the loop. It was easier than explaining it to him and then having to calm him down so he didn’t kill Paulie.

Eric had been so proud of her fighting prowess that he had taken a photo of the black eye close up in the locker rooms when Paulie wasn’t looking and then framed the photo for her, engraving across the top in spidery writing, ‘And the winner is… Zab, by a black eye!’ and then gave it to her for her birthday.

It was the best present she received that year. Her mind wandered back to Max and her stomach felt like it was on fire from all the butterflies inside her.

How was she going to sleep tonight?

She rolled over and prepared herself for a sleepless night.

***********

A week after Liz and Max’s picnic they were each so busy with family problems, work and their friends that they barely got to see each other.

But each threw glances at the other when they thought no one was looking when the whole gang congregated.

There were secret bets going as to how long it would take them to get together, everyone was in except Alex who was completely oblivious to everything around him except Izzy.

Abby, Liz and Maria were sitting in the back room of the Crashdown watching TV at around lunchtime, watching Doctor Phil rip into a deluded couple when Sophie burst through the door and tried to pull both Abby and Liz to their feet.

Abby and Liz fought her as they were both totally exhausted from waitressing the morning rush. Abby had offered to fill an empty spot left by a sick waitress while Sophie had gone out shopping.

‘Come on! Get up, there’s something you need to see!’

Abby moaned and slapped her hands away, ‘I’m sure your bargain purchases can wait Phil. I’m exhausted and grumpy.’

Sophie pouted, ‘Fine, be that way. Totally miss out on my surprise then. Zab’ll come. Won’t you Zab?’

Liz groaned and heaved out of her comfy position on the couch emitting an loud groan and replying, ‘Fine, if it’ll make you shut up.’

Sophie rolled her eyes and tugged on her hand to hasten her, ‘Max is out there anyway. You want to see him don’t you?’

Liz immediately brightened. ‘I guess. So what’s this surprise?’

Sophie grinned and pushed her through the door, ‘it’s not really a what, but a who.’

Liz frowned in confusion and then looked towards the doorway where a smirking Eric stood.

Her heart leapt in her chest and she let out an unearthly shriek, ‘ERIC!’ before racing over to him, completely forgetting her lethargy, and jumped up, wrapping her legs around his waist and hugging him tightly around his neck.

‘What are you doing here?’ cried Liz still clinging to him.

‘I’m choking for air.’ Replied Eric coughing, causing Liz to loosen her hold around his neck and detach herself from him.

Across the room, a disbelieving Max watched the girl of his dreams literally leap into the arms of some strange guy and then chat animatedly with him. It was obvious that Liz had strong feelings for whoever this guy was.

He sighed and hit his head with his palm. How could he be so stupid as to believe he meant more to Liz than just a friend?

‘Sorry, I just accosted you. But what are you doing here?’ cried Liz clinging to his waist in a friendly hug.

‘I’m sick of hanging out with Sean while he dies of a broken heart over you, so I decided I’d come see where all the fun was at and visit my favourite girls.’

Eric looked wistfully over at Sophie who was gracefully toting bags of shopping out of her car and carrying them into the Crashdown.

Liz followed his eyes and felt immeasurably sorry for him, Sophie just didn’t notice Eric in the way he wanted at all.

Clearing her throat, she got Eric’s attention back and asked, ‘So did you tell Sean that you were coming here?’

‘God no! He’d want to come with me and the whole point of this exercise was to escape him. I told him I was going to visit my grandmother in Albuquerque and he actually believed me! Like I’d ever willingly visit that old biddy!’

Liz shook her head and laughed, ‘You’re horrible. You can stay in Alex’s room, I’ll get Mom to set up a bed for you.’

Eric grinned, ‘No need. I already talked to your Mom, turned on a bit of the Mornatt charm and, hey presto, Eric’s got a bed to sleep in already.’

Liz rolled her eyes, ‘Yeah, you’re a real charmer. Really sophisticated.’

Abby at this point emerged from the back room much to joy of Kyle who grinned as he saw her, but his smile soon faded as she clapped a hand to her mouth in shock and then ran to the guy that Liz was talking to and latched her arms around him.

Who the hell was this guy?

After much glaring from Max and Kyle, Liz took Eric’s hand and pulled him to where Max, Michael and Kyle were sitting and introduced them.

‘Guys, this is Eric.’

‘Our best friend extraordinaire.’ Added Abby, lightly punching Eric on the arm.

Eric fanned his face theatrically, ‘Please Cat! You’re making me blush! Overjoyed to meet you all. Any friend of Zab’s and Cat’s is a friend of mine.’

‘This is Michael, Kyle and Max’ Liz smiled as all three shook hands with Eric.

She sat next to Max on the booth seat as Abby and Eric slid opposite to them next to Michael.

Eric grinned at all the men present at the booth, ‘I actually am overjoyed to meet you, incidentally. Hanging out with a broken hearted shell of a man leaves a little to be desired in the masculinity side of things. I want to talk about football, or baseball and other manly things and Sean only wants to talk about Zab. Love you like a brother, Zab, but I don’t want to talk about you all the time. You’re not that great.’

Liz tried to look offended but failed miserably and cracked up. ‘Eric, you really know how to compliment a girl!’

Eric rolled his eyes theatrically, ‘I don’t think you need any more compliments. Having one dude pining and wasting away over you is enough to swell any girl’s head.’

Michael exhaled loudly, ‘Liz, your ex is an emo woman. How did you have sex with him when he obviously lacks a penis?’

Eric burst out laughing, ‘Usually I’d thrash anyone for dissing my best friend, but in this case you’re probably right. I’ve looked at all the facts and he’s quite obviously lacking necessary male genitalia.
What kinda guy has a shrine to his ex girlfriend on his wall? A stalker, that’s who! Wasn’t pretty dealing with him after your phone call last week, Zabinator. He was standing next to me when he dialled and, Jaysus! You really let rip, didn’t you?
I would have laughed if I hadn’t seen Sean’s reaction to it. I had a good chuckle to myself when I got home though, it was a proud moment for me. I especially loved it when you told him to date himself. The arrogant bastard didn’t see that one coming!
But, anyway, I’m sick of talking about your relationship! I had more than enough of that back in Chicago with Mr Woman himself.’ Eric paused and took a breath as all three men stared at him in amusement.

It was impossible not to like Eric, even though he had a tendency to let his tongue run away with him. Even Kyle and Max were rapidly warming to him by the brotherly way that he treated both Abby and Liz.

‘So, menfolk! Let’s talk manly things! I’m sure I’ll have to address the topic of Sean with Liz later, but please let’s talk about cars, guns, sports, any of the above! If it involves testosterone, then I’m there.’

Liz and Abby rose and left the guys to their masculine discussions and went to sit next to Izzy who had just come in and was waiting for Alex.

They quickly dragged her over and introduced her to Eric, who was very impressed to meet the girl who had stolen the heart of his hero, Alex.

Alex came through the door and let out a yell, he dashed over to Eric, grasped him in a manly hug and then got him in a good natured headlock and questioned him over what he was doing here.

Liz shook her head and smiled, ‘Why do men always feel the need to wrestle when they feel affection for one another?’

Eric wriggled his way out of the headlock and swiftly captured Liz in a headlock of her own, while yelling in her ear, ‘BECAUSE WE’RE TOO MANLY TO KISS!’

Liz’s dad came out at that point and told them to knock it off, they were scaring away customers. He did a double take when he saw Eric and grasped his hand in a firm handshake and welcomed him warmly.

After Liz’s dad had left they all fled onto Liz’s balcony to continue their discussion.

Maria joined them and after some initial disdain for Eric over his attitude towards her when he spoke to her on the phone on Liz’s first day as a freshman, she soon grew to like him through some skilful charm that he claimed always worked on his Mom when she was mad at him.

Alex turned to Eric and asked with a grimace, ‘So, is Sean wasting away over my sister?’

Eric groaned at this and whipped out an imaginary gun from his pocket in the shape of his hand and shot himself in the head collapsing on Liz’s floor while groaning, ‘Please don’t ask! I’m tired and severely damaged by all the wussy conversations we’ve had. My y chromosomes may never be the same again!’

Alex laughed, ‘The judges will take that as a yes. Don’t worry man, we’ll start talking about cars now, to repair your chromosomes.’

At this piece of news the girls groaned and headed off the crowded balcony into Liz’s room to talk about anything but cars.

*************

The whole gang were sitting in the Crashdown after closing hours later that night, just chatting aimlessly when Eric brought up his previous illness that he’d had over last summer just to “gross out the women.”

‘So there I was, throwing up like Zab on vodka, when my mom walks in-’
Michael threw up a hand to stop him and asked eagerly, ‘Wait! Liz drinks vodka?’

Eric nodded impatiently, ‘Not well. But you’re missing the best part of my story! So my mom walks in-’

This time Maria interrupted, ‘She drinks vodka to the point of vomiting? What’s Liz like drunk?’

Eric resigned himself to never finishing the end of the story while Liz braced herself for the accompanying story and the ensuing embarrassment.

Sophie winked salaciously at Liz and interjected, ‘I can show you what Liz is like drunk. But I really think it’s better in musical form…’

Liz’s eyes grew wide as she caught Sophie’s drift, ‘Oh god, Phil! Please, don’t! I don’t bring up your embarrassing party antics!’

Sophie narrowed her eyes at her, ‘No, but you brought up the fact that I once played the tuba. You must pay the price for mentioning the “t” word. And besides’ she added sweetly with a saccharine smile, ‘I don’t sing 80’s karaoke on top of a table when I partake in a little too much “glug glug” so there’s really nothing to tease ME about.’

Izzy’s eyes widened and looked at Abby for conformation, ‘No way! Liz sang on top of a table?’

Abby nodded in conformation and reached over and slapped Liz on the knee whose face was burning beneath her shielding hands. ‘She’s quite the little table dancing ho.’

Sophie leapt from her seat and held out her hand to Eric, ‘If I could have the assistance of Zab’s singing and dancing partner in crime, I’ll reveal to you a whole new side of Liz that you’ve obviously never witnessed before.’

Eric stood up as Sophie swayed to music that was playing in her head, she gestured to Eric who began singing in a very overly dramatic way, pointing his finger and moving it slowly in a circle around him.

Turn around…

Sophie winked at Liz and then began to toss her hips skankilly to the beat as she sang, ‘Every now and then I get a little bit lonely and you’re never coming round.'

Sophie sang the words in a theatrically drunk manner, wobbling slightly and clenching her fist and closing her eyes to emphasise the words ‘never coming round’

Turn around…

Eric stood stock still staring into the distance with imagined pain in his eyes as Sophie pressed herself against him and sang to him while clutching his shirt front, causing everyone to laugh and for Liz’s cheeks to burn even brighter.

Every now and then I get a little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears’

Liz’s embarrassment grew as they embellished what had been an already mortifying memory. She hadn’t been that dramatic! She was almost certain of it…

Turn around…

Sophie’s antics grew wilder as her confidence grew with every fresh burst of laughter she received, she ran her hands through her hair and fell to her knees before Eric while singing (caterwauling, actually) the next line.

‘Every now and then I get a little nervous that the best of all the years have gone by’

‘Turn around…’


Eric tried to contain his laughter as Sophie turned around in a circle as he sang his line and then pointed to her eyes and then his in mimicry of the song’s words as she sang her next line.

‘Every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes’

‘Turn around bright eyes…’


Sophie jumped on a nearby table, followed closely by Eric and melodramatically clenched both fists and stared at the ceiling as she pounded out her lines.

‘Every now and then I fall apart.’

‘Turn around bright eyes…’

‘EVERY NOW AND THEN I FALL APART!’
Not bothering to sing anymore, Sophie yelled loudly into Eric’s ear causing him to almost fall off the table and causing Liz to sink her head in her hands and slide further down into her seat with shame.

Both Eric and Sophie loudly began to wail the chorus together, singing into an imaginary microphone and exaggerating Liz’s drunken state.

‘And I need you now tonight!’

‘And I need you more than ever!’

‘And if you only hold me tight!’
at this point Sophie clutched Eric to her and brought one leg up wrapping it around Eric’s leg causing them both to ungracefully fall from the table.

The gang at this point were either weeping or gasping for air they were laughing that hard. Even Liz was laughing at this point.

Both “singers” were determined to deliver their performance even though they were both in pain and unable to contain their laughter anymore. Sophie grabbed Eric’s hand and they both took a deep breath in and began singing again.

‘We’ll be holding on forever!’

‘We’d only be making it right!’

‘ ‘Cos we’ll never be wrong!’

‘Together we can make it to the end of the line!’

‘Your love is like a shadow on me all the time!’
Sophie threw her head back and brought the back of her hand to her forehead in despair as she sang that line, still clutching Eric as tightly as she could with her free hand.

‘I don’t know what to do, I’m always in the dark!’

‘We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks!’

‘I really need you tonight, forever’s gonna start tonight!’
here Sophie and Eric’s dancing became less forceful and frantic and both sang their next lines in a mournful heartbroken tone

‘Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart…’

‘Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart…’
both singers trailed off and turned to take a bow to the audience, who applauded as loudly as they could whilst laughing.

Michael who was still clutching his side two minutes later, turned to Liz and asked with a grin, ‘So Liz, do you sing all eighties bands or just Bonnie Tyler? How about some Kajagoogoo? Or some Flock of Seagulls? Ooh, how about some Human League with Eric as your duet partner? You’ve worked well with him in the past.’

Liz rolled her eyes and replied sweetly, ‘Oh no. None of those bands. But I do a mean Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Phil, I can’t believe you dramatised that so much, I was only singing into an empty Smirnoff bottle with Eric, not dramatising every action!’

Abby interjected calmly at that comment, ‘No actually, I’ve seen Tom’s video taping of it. That was pretty much spot on. Except you and Eric never fell off the table.’

Abby started to chuckle while Sophie tried to convince everyone that she meant to fall off the table and Liz moaned about the existence of a tape.

‘Wasn’t I just fantastic Liz? I think I could even put you out of a job as the drunken, table-dancing, singing floozy!’ Asked Sophie as she slapped Liz on the shoulder.

Liz stared at her with incredulity and raised her eyebrow, ‘First of all, Phil, You couldn’t be better than me because you missed half of the first verse and finished after only one chorus, whereas I, like a true professional, sang the whole song through.’

‘Details, details…’ muttered Sophie sullenly, crossing her arms.

‘And secondly, you weren’t even drunk! I did it completely drunk and even managed to not fall off the table. AND, you were just copying me. Therefore you have no originality and will only ever be a second rate version of me.’ Concluded Liz smugly as Sophie hid her amusement and tried to look offended.

‘Burn… Phil got smacked back down into her place!’ cried Maria, ecstatic that there was drama and thrilled that Liz had completely thrown away her good girl image by getting drunk and making a fool of herself.

‘Yeah well… at least I didn’t throw up after singing on the table! I’ve never done anything stupid like that when I’m drunk!’

Abby raised an eyebrow and crossed her arms, ‘Oh, really?’

Liz similarly looked askance at Sophie and slowly stated, ‘I. Love. Doug.’

Sophie gasped and turned on her, ‘I can’t believe you brought that up!’

Abby laughed, ‘You imitated her for a good two to three minutes, completely embarrassing her and she can’t bring up Doug? That’s a little unfair, Phil.’

Alex looked from girl to girl, confused and asked, ‘Who is this Doug guy and what is this story?’

Sophie threw her hands in the air and stalked out the back door claiming that she was going to the bathroom.

Liz smirked at her back, ‘You know Doug Shellow? The quiet, but arrogant, guy from our year? He and Sophie had never really talked before and she didn’t really like him much. So, anyway, in sophomore year they made out at a party where she was really drunk and when I finally found her she was sitting between his legs on the ground, her head almost in his crotch telling everyone in sight that she “loved” Doug.
Of course I had to drag her away, much to the delight of Doug who was mortally embarrassed and to this day she has never lived it down. It was the funniest thing I had seen all night.
I even had to keep hold of her while we were dancing because she kept trying to wander back to him every time I let go of her.’

Alex laughed and clapped his hands together, ‘What a spaz! That’s great!’

Abby laughed softly from her seat next to Izzy and Kyle where she and Izzy were discussing the hatred they felt for clothing brands that didn’t cater for large busted women. ‘She really hated us when we made her those badges for her birthday that year that said ‘I (heart) Doug’ and ‘Mrs Shellow’.

Liz laughed louder and Sophie came back in through the door glaring at them and silently daring them to comment.

**********

‘Well, well isn’t this cosy?’

Tess sauntered through the open door of the Crashdown with her gang and stopped in front of Max who, much to the disgust of Tess, went and moved next to Liz.

‘Well, IT was.’ Said Liz rolling her eyes and checking out Tess’ gang who included the lovable Pam Troy (oh joy!) and a few that Liz couldn’t name or recognize. ‘Felt a bit threatened by me, did we Tess? Had to come back with a posse?’

Tess crossed her arms defensively, ‘No! I… just… shut up! I can do what I want! It’s a free country!’

Liz sighed, ‘That term is a little misleading Tess, while you may think that that entitles you to do whatever the hell you want, you actually must abide by the law otherwise the police get called. Such as now, for instance.
You could say that since the Crashdown is closed and you don’t actually have an invitation from me or any other owner, that you’re trespassing right now. Trespassing, as you should know, is against the law.
Are you with me so far? Am I going too fast for you to take this all in? Have you got a pen? I’ll write it down for you and then you can get someone to read it for you.’

Max cracked up next to her and Tess pouted at him, ‘Oh Max! Let’s ditch these losers and go somewhere private where we can… talk.’

Max gagged and coughed as he pushed down the urge to vomit, Liz rubbed his back in circular motions until his spasms stopped and he then quickly replied, ‘ Don’t make me physically ill Tess! You constantly insult my friends and my family and you expect me to want any type of relationship with you? Are you mentally unbalanced?’

Tess looked at him with confusion and anger ‘Well, you obviously don’t know what you’re missing out on!’

Michael sniggered and replied ‘Oh yes he does! But you, Tess, unlike the KFC bucket you’ve been linked to, are not finger lickin’ good’

Liz and the rest of the girls looked at each other in confusion as the males almost passed out on the floor from laughter.

Tess looked at them all with disdain and an attempt at dignity, ‘Well, I think it’s time we left girls, we’re far too cool for these… weirdos.’

‘Ooh, Weirdos! How cutting. She’s a real winner. You’re a lucky man, Max. That one’s a keeper!’ Kyle’s voice dripped with sarcasm and Tess sniffed and stalked out of the Crashdown as her posse followed dumbly behind shooting amazed glances at Liz’s new appearance as they left.

Liz turned to Max and Kyle after they had left and asked with a large amount of curiosity ‘A KFC bucket? What the…? Care to explain?’

Michael started to chuckle and replied with a mischievous grin, clearly relishing the opportunity to freak the girls out ‘Well, you see, apparently from every guy that’s been with Tess…’

As Tess walked down the block she paused as she heard Liz’s scream of ‘YUCK! THAT IS FOUL!’ along with Maria and Sophie’s hysterical laughter and the other girl’s cries of disgust.

She sniffed disdainfully.

Who needed those losers anyway? She’d show them, one day Max would be hers and they wouldn’t be laughing then. She was certain he was wearing down.
Really, who could reject her for so long? She was hot, and sexy and… she was certain she had other qualities, she just couldn’t think of them right now. And besides, thinking is for ugly people, she reasoned.

She grinned as she thought of Max’s muscled form and how it would feel against her. It was only a matter of time. She was sure of it.
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Rowedog
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Post by Rowedog » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:44 pm

PART EIGHT

Eric had been in Roswell for two weeks, putting off his return home as long as he could to avoid Sean, and to spend as much time dangling after Sophie and annoying Liz, as possible.

The gang were all sitting down to watch a movie that Eric had said he had seen “20 gazillion times” when in the midst of a very tense scene Eric yawned and grumbled, ‘I’m bored! Zab! Entertain me.’

Liz looked at him with exasperation and caustically replied, ‘Certainly Eric. I was only put on this earth for your entertainment. Go and do something if you’re bored. I’m watching the movie.’

Eric pouted and crossed his arms resentfully, ‘But you’re my host! I’m a guest in this house and you’re supposed to bend over backwards to entertain me.’

‘My days of bending over backwards ended with my cheerleading days. And you’re not a guest in my house, you’re more like a squatter or an annoying dog that followed me home.’

Eric smirked suggestively at her ‘If your days of “bending over backwards” have ended, then I wonder why you’re still on the pill. Surely you have no need for it now that no one’s going to “bend” you over backwards?’

Liz made an inarticulate noise and slapped him across the back of the head. Alex looked at Liz in horror and asked squeakily with horror, ‘You’re on the pill? Why?’

Abby grinned and winked suggestively at Alex, ‘It was so that she and Sean could make babies, without actually making babies.’

Liz snorted derisively, ‘Please! Like I really wanted another reason for it to be ok for Sean to touch me! For your information Alex, I had really irregular periods.’

As Alex clapped his hands to his ears in horror and the rest of the men in the room looked awkwardly at anything but Liz, Eric smiled dopily and said, ‘I once had irregular periods. Really heavy too. I had to wear adult diapers.’

Liz collapsed her head onto Eric’s shoulder and laughed hysterically as she struggled to speak between gasps, ‘You are the stupidest person I’ve ever met!’

As an afterthought she added glibly, ‘Why didn’t you just use tampons?’

‘Tampons hurt, man.’

Liz shook her head with suppressed mirth, trying to remain serious, ‘No they don’t! All you’ve got to do is breathe out, you silly billy!’

Eric hid the shock he felt at that comment and replied snootily, ‘No thank you! I’ll keep my massive red diapers! Besides I feed them to the bears once I’m done with them. You know they can smell when you’re menstruating? Menstruate starts with men, cos men do it and I’m a man so I must do it. Like my logic? I made that up myself, I’ve even copyrighted it if you don’t believe me.’

Liz smiled at him shaking her head, ‘Don’t worry I believe you. Nobody else could or would come up with something so idiotic.’

Michael grimaced, ‘Are you done discussing women’s health issues? Eric, man! You really need some non female friends besides Sean the womanator if you can talk so easily about periods without any embarrassment or disgust.’

Maria scowled at him ‘Periods aren’t disgusting Michael. What’s disgusting is taking a dump and then telling everyone to come look because you think it looks like Jesus.’

Kyle chuckled ‘That shit was amazing Michael! It actually looked like Jesus!

Eric leaned forward eagerly and asked, ‘Did you take a photo? Man I’d pay to see that’

Izzy grimaced and gagged slightly, ‘I wouldn’t pay to see it, but I’d pay to stop talking about it! Christ that’s foul Michael!’

Michael grinned at her ‘It’s better than talking about bears eating period blood out of a giant diaper.’

Michael paused for a moment and considered what he’d just said, ‘Out of all the things I thought I’d ever say, that was really, really low down on the list. That’s what I get for hanging with crazy ass chicks’

‘CRAZY ASS CHICKS! Michael Guerin you’d better take that back right now or I swear I’ll make you bleed out of your nether regions-’

‘Oh-Kay! Could we all just take a deep breath and chill out before we say anything else please. Let’s just watch the movie and then we’ll all go down to the park and blow off some steam’

Liz smiled gratefully at Max for halting Maria mid rant and settled back on to the couch to try and grasp what was happening now in the movie. After missing the most important and revealing part they all agreed that watching it now would be a waste of time and got up to go to the park to play football and generally muck around.

Max offered Liz shot gun in his jeep and she beamed a hundred watt smile at him as he opened the door and helped her up into the passenger seat. Eric, noticing the exchange and many others over his two weeks in Roswell, pulled Abby aside and whispered ‘What on earth is going on there?’ gesturing with a twist of his neck to Liz and Max.

Abby smirked as she noticed who he was referring to. ‘That guy right there, my dear Eric, is Liz’s childhood love. She was desperately in love with him when she left here those fateful four years ago and joined us in Chicago. And now that she’s back, the old flame is burning rather brightly.’

Eric narrowed his eyes with suspicion, ‘How bright are we talking here?’

‘Forest fire bright. The fire of a thousand suns bright. Bright enough that even you, my unperceptive Eric, can see it.’

Eric eyes widened and asked in a shocked whisper, ‘You don’t think that she’s in love with him do you?’

As Abby nodded Eric groaned, ‘Why me? I can’t lie to Sean about this! This will crush him!’

Abby’s forehead crinkled as she looked at him with disbelief, ‘So don’t tell him! You lied to him about coming here! Why should this be any different?’

Eric groaned again even louder as they both got into his car, ‘Because! He knows I keep in contact with her and he’s going to ask if she’s got a new boyfriend because she’s totally hot and I can’t say no and I can’t say yes… and… and… I’m going to die from a stroke if he asks me!’

Abby rolled her eyes as Eric began driving erratically only to pull over on the sidestrip to give Abby his full attention, ‘Well Mr Melodrama, at least that’ll stop you from having to answer the question. Just tell him that you don’t know, that she doesn’t talk about her love life with you. And if he asks you to check up on her say that you tried and she didn’t share anything with you… or that you won’t spy on your friends… or that her life is no longer any of his business. Take the moral high ground or something. You’ll be fine, just don’t fuck it up.’

Eric stared at her with wide eyes, ‘Oh, so no pressure then! That’s just great… why me?’

Abby rolled her eyes, ‘You’ll be fine… do it for Zab, please! I’m begging on behalf of your best friend to please help her with this. She’s been waiting all of her life for the guy that she loves to notice her and now that she’s finally got that chance you can’t help Sean ruin it for her! You just can’t!
Sean will get over it, he has to. Because she doesn’t feel the same way and they really weren’t that great together. But Liz and Max… when I look at them, I just know they could have one of those epic loves that you read about and never actually believe you’ll get. You’re going to have to make a choice between Liz and Sean, Eric.
I’m sorry that this is forced on you, but you can either help Sean claw his way back into Zab’s life and ruin it for her, or you can let sleeping dogs lie and tell Sean that you don’t know anything. Removing Liz from his life and helping her to get on with hers, it’s the only way either of them have a real shot at happiness.
I know Zab, she will never feel free to move on if she feels guilty over Sean. Don’t tell him anything about Zab and he should start to move on, but if he keeps hearing that she might be moving on, he’ll feel threatened and he might make a move back into Liz’s life completely screwing up what Phil and I have been working towards. Who do you choose Eric?’

Eric shook his head without any trace of drama and stated seriously to Abby whilst pulling back out into traffic, ‘Sean will never be happy with out Zab, Cat. How could I as his childhood best friend, keep him away from the thing he needs the most? It’s almost immoral and it’s really riding against my conscience here. I need more convincing.’

Abby took a deep breath in, ‘It’s over between them, Eric. Liz can’t be there for him the way that he so desperately wants. So you’ve got two possible scenarios.
Number One: You don’t tell Sean anything, Liz and Max get together free from hassle or guilt and you cry like a baby at their wedding, while Sean eventually gets on with is life once he realises that Liz obviously doesn’t want him.
Number Two: You tell Sean about her and Max, he moves to wherever she is and creates problem after problem for them in his desperate attempts to get her back and they eventually they both go their separate ways miserable and broken hearted while Sean follows her round until she gets a restraining order put out on him and he goes off to pine away and die.’

Eric raised an eyebrow, ‘And you call me Mr Melodrama. Dramatic and quite possibly untrue, but nevertheless, you’ve convinced me. I’ll protect Zab’s happiness and crush all of Sean’s with one steel capped boot. This is so shitty, I hate being stuck in the middle of this.’

Abby sighed and tweaked his ear affectionately as they pulled into the park, last to arrive. ‘I know. But you’re doing the right thing here. Watch Max and Liz together, you’ll see what I mean. Especially watch Zab, she never acted this way around Sean. It’s the real thing Eric.’

He muttered under his breath as they approached the group, ‘You’d better be right…’

Eric swept his gaze over the group and immediately sought out Sophie who was glaring at Abby beside him. He stiffened in surprise at the venomous look she gave her and then widened his eyes as she turned her glare onto him and then stormed off into the public bathroom.

Eric sighed and rubbed his hand over his face, ‘Oh god, what did I do now? Did I give her another nickname she didn’t want? Breathe in her direction? Someone want to give me a clue here?’

Abby who had never been subject to hatred from Phil before, regained her composure and hurried off after Sophie to find out what the hell was the matter with her.

Eric glanced around and noticed that Kyle was staring at him with complete hatred as well and looked around desperately at the group who looked as confused as Eric himself. Except for Liz.

Stepping forward she placed an arm around Eric’s shoulder and forced him to sit down next to her.

Taking Eric’s hands between hers, she took a deep breath and said ‘Let me give you a little insight into the female mind, Eric. Sophie who has always had your affection and has never had to question it, has suddenly been forced to consider the possibility that you might move on from her.’

Eric stared at her in confusion and asked, ‘How on earth did she get that notion from the Crashdown to here? And why is she glaring at Abby? That was like the twilight zone! I’ve never even seen them fight before…’

Liz nodded, ‘Well… you see, the trip from the Crashdown to here took you two much, much longer than it took the rest of us. Which led to wondering where you two were, which led to insinuation and which led to some of us remembering that you two were whispering privately before we left. The longer you two were away the more agitated Sophie became and that led to that little scene you just saw before.’

Eric’s mouth fell open in shock and after opening and closing his mouth, hoarsely got out, ‘Phil was jealous…? Over me and Abby…? That is just… the most… ridiculous and… wonderful thing I’ve ever heard!’

Liz looked at Eric in disbelief and asked with confusion, ‘Wonderful?’

Eric nodded his head absently, ‘Yes! Wonderful! If she’s jealous then it means that after all these years I might finally have a chance! But Abby…? Has she completely lost her mind? Cat’s like my sister, my wise aunt that I turn to for advice! We weren’t making out we were just talking about-’ Eric paused and threw a glance at Liz ‘I-It doesn’t matter what we were talking about, but it was nothing romantic. She was just helping me with a dilemma.’

Liz nodded as she glanced over to see Kyle breathing deeply, eyes closed with relief, ‘I know that you and Abby would never get together, but Sophie didn’t. Anyway, Eric! My man, you seem to have inadvertently got her! After all that trying, all you had to do was hit on her best friend!’

Eric smacked his forehead and sarcastically remarked ‘Why didn’t I think of that sooner?’

Liz shrugged ‘You’re an idiot. What can I say? Anyway, play it cool. Act like you don’t know anything. That you haven’t got the foggiest as to why she cracked them with you. Ok?’

Eric nodded, ‘Got ya! Ignorance. I can do that. I can do that really well. You could say I was born to do it.’

Liz laughed and held out her hand to Eric, who had stood up, and he helped her to her feet.

Abby and Sophie then re-entered the group, hand-in-hand. Sophie wore an unusual, embarrassed look while Abby was totally bemused.

Eric cleared his throat and asked Sophie good-naturedly, ‘So did Abby help you get that bug, that obviously crawled up your butt, out? Or are you going to glare at me some more for no reason? Because I really like a little warning before people try to kill me with their eyes.’

Sophie blushed, then shrugged and stated, ‘PMS’

From the back of the group Michael groaned and said, ‘No! Not more period talk!’ which completely broke the awkwardness as everyone laughed, they then split into two teams and attempted to play football.

The tackling from some of the guys was completely uncalled for as many times the girl in question did not have or was not even running for the ball.

Sometimes they were even on the same team.

As everyone cheated profusely and no one could agree where the touchdown line was and no one was really taking score, each team declared that they had won.

Which caused the two unofficial captains, Eric and Max to throw down a challenge.

Eric claimed that to truly determine which team had won, they needed a piggy back race. Each man carrying one of the girl’s from their team on their back from the oak to the ash tree and back.

Eric called Sophie and Max called Liz and both geared up, extravagantly stretching at the starting line which had been scratched in the dirt.

It was decided that since Abby and Izzy really didn’t care who won either way, that they would judge and watch for cheating in the race and from the sidelines.

The flag was dropped and it was neck and neck up until the turnaround at the ash tree where Max gained the upper hand taking the inside track and gaining a metre in front of Eric and Sophie. As Max crossed the finish line a great cheer erupted from Max’s team as laughter erupted from Eric’s team.

Eric had dropped heavily to his knees and was dramatically bemoaning his loss by clenching his fist, crying out ‘Why?!?’ and hitting his forehead on the ground.

Liz dropped from Max’s back and Max, still elated from perhaps the stupidest and most pointless victory of all time, grabbed her around the waist and heaved her into a massive hug.

Liz responded by wrapping her legs around Max’s waist and her arms around Max’s neck as they were congratulated and thumped on the back by their team mates.

Liz glanced over to see how Eric was doing and saw that Sophie was kneeling in front of him sympathetically hugging him. From the sidelines Maria crudely yelled out, ‘I know what will make him feel better, Phil! Give him a kiss!’

Sophie turned and glared at Maria and then turned back to comfort Eric who had looked up as Maria had said that and was now only one inch away from his face.

After a split second of staring in Eric’s face, she grabbed him by the shoulders and kissed him so forcefully that he fell over onto his back, taking her with him.

As they kissed on the grass they were oblivious to the whistling, catcalls and cheers that their kiss had prompted, for at least a minute. Liz looked at Max as Sophie and Eric finally got up from the grass, blushing and grinning like mad.

They both looked at Sophie and Eric who had their arms shyly slung around each other. Their first kiss together was spontaneous, wild and sweet. Everything a first kiss should be. Liz grimaced as she remembered her first kiss with Sean, it had been so bland and boring.

She DEFINITELY did not have a grin like Sophie was wearing right now.

She wondered if a kiss with Max would be as wonderful as she was told they should be.

Liz realised that Max had yet to let her go and that she was still suspended up in the air with her legs wrapped around his waist and his arms clamped about her waist holding her firmly in place. She decided that if he hadn’t noticed their awkward position yet, then she wouldn’t mention it.

Anything to be this close to Max. She’d even brave her brother’s disapproval and her friends’ constant teasing, just for this moment. Max grinned at her and whispered, ‘Go Eric!’

Liz smiled and pressed her forehead to his, overjoyed for her friends who had finally gotten it together.

Liz was startled out of her moment with Max by Abby’s loud squeal of ‘OH SHIT!’ Liz, who had never heard her calm and composed friend so put out, turned to stare at her quizzically.

Following Abby’s pointed stare, Liz turned and encountered the most unwelcome sight of her life.

Sean.

Striding towards her with the most grim set look in his face she had ever seen. She suddenly realised how this must look to him. Her legs wrapped around some strange guy and all of his friends standing around doing nothing but laughing and having a great time.

She quickly scrambled off Max, much to his surprise and righted herself, smoothing out her shirt and brushing the creases out of her jeans.

Max looked at her strangely and turned to study this new guy that was approaching quickly, he turned and looked at the rest of Liz’s friends from Chicago, Sophie looked shocked and slightly amused, Abby looked like she was about to hyperventilate and Eric looked… strangely guilty.

Maria who had been trying to work out where she knew this hot guy from suddenly screeched, ‘Holy Shit! That’s Sean!’

Max’s stomach dropped and he felt this overwhelming urge to beat the everlasting crap out of the guy.

Sean stopped before the group who were studying him with wide eyes (except for Abby and Eric, Abby kept her eyes firmly on the ground and Eric attempted to hide behind Sophie).

‘Hey, Eric.’ Ground out Sean harshly, ‘How’s your grandmother?’

Eric winced. ‘She was great. I was just coming back when I went through Roswell and thought I’d stop in for a chat-’

‘Spare me.’ Sean strode over to Liz and pulled her roughly away from Max by the arm.

‘Sean! What the hell are you doing?’

‘What the hell am I doing? What the hell are you doing as soon as my back is turned? I bet you just couldn’t wait to break up with me so you could straddle every guy you meet!’

Liz gasped and stared at Sean as if he’d slapped her. Max strode over to her and gently pulled her back into the safety of the group and then turned to face this asshole of a guy that had had the nerve to talk down to Liz.

‘Why don’t you back the fuck off before I beat ten tonnes of crap out of you? How dare you imply that Liz is a whore?’

Sean stared with vicious eyes at Max and spat out angrily, ‘Why don’t you stay the fuck out of stuff that doesn’t concern you? This is between me and my woman!’

Liz who had recovered from Sean’s uncharacteristic attack yelled ‘YOUR WOMAN? I am most definitely anything but your woman, Sean! I’d rather be a whore, than be “your woman”! What the hell are you doing here? Here to ruin my summer as well? What, you weren’t content with most of my high school years? I don’t know why I ever felt like I owed it to you to stay with you, I thought you were a nice guy and I didn’t want to hurt you. Obviously I was very, very wrong about you. Come on guys, let’s leave.’

Liz turned and started to storm away. As Liz had yelled at Sean, all the anger had drained out of Sean’s face and it was replaced by a deep weariness and sadness.

‘Zab! Zab, please! Wait! I’m sorry, I never should have said those things to you. They weren’t fair or true and I’m sorry. Will you just hear me out? Please, you owe me that much.’

Liz who had been determined up until then to keep going, faltered remembering all the time she had spent effectively lying to him. She could forgive him for the attack.

He was hurting and jealous and she had been unforgivable in leading him on. She sighed and turned back to him.

Maria and the rest of the Roswell gang stared at her in shock. How could she possibly lower herself to talk to that dick? The Chicago gang sighed and resigned themselves to waiting. They were all very aware of the strength of Liz’s guilt.

‘Zab please… I can’t function without you.’

‘Try harder.’ Inwardly Liz winced at the coldness her words carried. She needed to be firm, she couldn’t go back there. She just couldn’t.

‘Look, if it’s about that guy-’ Liz’s eyes widened at the implication Sean’s words held.

‘No Sean! It’s not about Max! Max is my friend. We had just won a piggyback race. We were celebrating. Me not wanting to be with you has absolutely nothing to do with him!’

Not entirely true, but Liz did want out of her relationship way before Max exploded back into her life.

It was true enough, she reasoned, no need to completely destroy him.

She had used him coldly to take back her confidence and hadn’t stopped to consider his feelings before it was too late. Now, it was time to pay the price.

Sean grabbed her gently by the arm, ‘Just one more chance, please! I’ll do anything.’

Liz turned away from the tears that were welling in his eyes. She hated this. She would give anything to make it stop. His pain. Her guilt. She just wanted to be away from it all. She wished she had never laid eyes on Sean. Not just for her benefit, but for his.

For the next ten minutes he pleaded, cajoled and emotionally wore Liz down. She felt like she was at breaking point.

She was going to snap and go completely berserk at Sean if he didn’t stop soon.

The only thing that saved him was his whispered question, ‘What did I do wrong?’

Liz pushed back the urge to cry her tears of anger and hatred at herself and replied, ‘Nothing Sean. You didn’t do anything wrong. Some people, just aren’t meant to be together.’

Sean’s head snapped up and he whispered angrily, ‘You’re wrong about that. And I’m going to prove it.’

‘No Sean. Go back to Chicago, forget all about me. Find yourself someone else. Someone better than me.’

Sean peered at her through watery eyes and tried to control his breaking voice as he answered, ‘There is no one better than you.’

Liz sighed, ‘Yes, there is Sean! I’m not perfect. I’m very flawed. Please just try and move on, for your sake… I gotta go. Everyone’s waiting for me. Goodbye Sean.’

Sean watched her go from beneath the trees. If she thought he was giving up then she was very, very mistaken. They were meant to be together, she just had to see that.

Alex paced back and forth as they talked under a tree ten metres away.
‘What the fuck is she doing? Surely she doesn’t feel that she actually owes that ass hole anything?’

Abby sighed and studied her nails, ‘You’d be amazed just how far Zab’s guilt will go. She won’t feel anywhere near free until Sean is happily married with a bunch of kids.’

Max tried to control his breathing as he watched Sean talk to Liz. His Liz. If he fucking touched her arm one more time, he was going to march over there and pound his pretty face into oblivion.

Liz finally freed herself from Sean’s desperation and trudged her way back to the group completely depressed.

‘Let’s go back guys. I’m not in the mood for anything else now.’

Everyone followed mutely and the rest of the trip back in Max’s car was completely silent. In the other cars the conversation was intense.

Izzy couldn’t believe that Sean was so sexy and such an asshole. She had always imagined him so differently.

The Chicago crew were trying to convince the Roswell gang, unsuccessfully, that Sean wasn’t always such an asshole.

When Liz reached the Crashdown, she muttered thankyou to Max for driving her home and hurried upstairs into her room and locked herself in.

She wasn’t ready for questions.

After a few minutes of feeling trapped and claustrophobic in her room she climbed onto the balcony and tried to release her tears and emotions.

They were stuck, she just couldn’t let them go.

She sat there for half an hour on her chair trying to release or calm down the whirling emotions inside her. Sitting in an almost catatonic state is how Michael found her.

He had scaled her ladder to make sure that she really was ok and had been frightened by the deathly pale face he saw.

‘Liz, I know you’re not ok, so I’m not going to ask. Just tell me if you need anything, ok? I’m just going to sit next to you on the deck chair… right here.’

Liz rose suddenly and began to pace.

‘He’s not usually like that.’ She said quietly.

Michael didn’t interrupt, he could sense that she needed to get whatever she had to say off of her chest or she would explode.

‘He was a really nice guy. Until I broke up with him. Until I ruined him. What kind of person does that make me? I’m such a selfish bitch I just had to go out with even though I knew that I didn’t feel anything for him. I ruined him. I broke him. I turned him into some kind of monster, cos I’m a selfish… stupid… horrible… unfeeling…cow!’

Liz gasped out those last words over the top of breaking tears and began to sob as she spat out that last word. Michael moved up from his seat and grabbed her, pulling her into his chest.

She clung to his back and sobbed. After five minutes and no sign of abatement form Liz’s emotions, Michael swept his arm down under her wobbly legs and carried her over to his deckchair and sat down, holding her in his lap and rocking her as she sobbed into his chest.

‘You’re not selfish, Liz. that’s why you couldn’t break up with him. Because you didn’t want to hurt him.’

At Michael’s statement Liz’s sobs, which stemmed from three years of guilt, broke out even harder and she clung to Michael’s neck.

She stayed there until an hour later when her tears had stopped and she then fell fast asleep.

Carefully carrying her through her window Michael went and unlocked the door to let Maria, Izzy, Sophie and Abby in. Leaving Liz on the bed, he hurried out of Liz’s room as they began to change her from her clothes into her pyjamas.

The girls looked at each other and then quietly agreed that they would all stay with Liz tonight.

After receiving pyjamas from their parents and changing, Izzy and Maria crept into Liz’s room and crammed into the already squished room which held Sophie and Abby.

When Liz woke in the morning and saw her three friends camped out on the floor and Maria next to her, sharing her double bed, she smiled and felt truly unworthy to have such caring friends.
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
Alison’s Fics

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Post by Rowedog » Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:28 pm

PART NINE

‘So… you and Eric, huh?’ Liz probed cautiously as they sat down for breakfast the next morning.

‘Shut up, Liz.’ replied Sophie with an uncharacteristic blush.

Eric and Alex still hadn’t gotten up so it was still safe to talk about it. ‘We’re meant to be discussing your problems with Sean! Not me and my new boyfriend.’

‘BOYFRIEND?’ squealed Maria, only to be hushed by the other four at the table, ‘Sorry, I just… that’s so great! Only two days ago you didn’t really notice him and now you’re together. It’s like a romance novel come to life!’

Izzy sighed and shook her head, ‘That’s the same thing you said about me and Alex when we skirted around and avoided the issue for months and then finally got together.’

Maria scowled, ‘Can I help it if you guys have exciting love lives? Mine was the boring classic. Fight a lot as friends to cover the sexual chemistry. Totally vanilla.’

Abby snorted into her cereal ungracefully, ‘There is nothing, boring, conventional or vanilla about your relationship with Michael.’

Maria brightened, ‘I guess it is pretty exciting in the bedroom. Let me tell you he has a HUGE di-’

‘Maria!’ cried Liz in disgust. ‘Not a conversation that I really want to have over the breakfast table, or dinner table, or at all! Sophie let’s get back to your love life, he asked you to be his girlfriend or did you just assume?’

Sophie blushed again and lowered her head in embarrassment, ‘I know I should have been worrying over Liz and I was, but… we were sitting downstairs and Max left to pace outside your door and we were the only two left in the room and he… he… told me some stuff and asked me out.’

Sophie rushed the last part of her sentence and began shovelling toast into her mouth to ward off questions.

‘What “stuff” did he tell you, Phil?’ asked Liz with curiosity tinging her voice.

Sophie swallowed her toast and looked away, ‘I… I can’t tell you… it’s private.’

Abby and Liz both nearly choked to death on their breakfast at Sophie’s declaration.

‘Private? Nothing is “private” with you Sophie! I have heard every single detail about your dates and sexual exploits since you grew breasts and you’re telling me you can’t tell me what Eric, one of my best friends, said to you?’

Liz stared at Sophie, who had turned crimson, with new understanding ‘You really like him, don’t you?’

Sophie replied, rather unconvincingly ‘Don’t be silly! I have never had mushy feelings over a man before. Why would I start now?’

‘Because you know him. You know him inside and out and you still like him. And it scares you to death. And it excites you and warms the cockles of your previously icy heart. Which is why you won’t tell us what Eric said. Because you don’t think you can express what he said and how he said it without turning it into something cheesy and you don’t want us to laugh at him. Because he’s special to you and what he said means something to you and you don’t want to cheapen it by discussing it with a group of girls who will pick it apart and ruin it for you.’

Abby stared at Sophie waiting for the usual sarcastic dismissal and was astounded when it didn’t come, ‘My god! You really do like him.’ She whispered in awe of this new found information.

‘Who likes who?’ asked Alex emerging from his bedroom rubbing his fist in his eye and stretching. As he reached the table he dropped a kiss on the top of Liz’s head and on the side of Izzy’s face. Izzy beamed at him and replied, ‘Me. I like you.’

Liz glowed for her brother, who grinned still half asleep and reached for some juice.

‘So Liz, feeling better? What did Sean say to you that got you so distressed?’

Liz looked briefly at her brother and replied, ‘Nothing. Just the usual. “I love you… we can work through this… give me one more chance… three years must have meant something to you… yada, yada, yada… blah, blah, blah. Just stuff that really made me feel guilty. And then three years worth of repressed guilt came out and… well, you know. I’m sorry if I worried anyone.’

Alex nodded his head and bit into his toast, ‘You might want to call Max and tell him that. He was really worried.’

Liz shook her head. ‘No, I couldn’t. What would I say that wouldn’t be totally awkward? I’ll just see him today when he comes over for lunch.’

‘Who are we seeing for lunch? Better not be Sean. I don’t think anybody else wants to pick up pieces of Liz when she’s just so pretty whole.’ Eric flashed Liz a sleepy smile before positively glowing at Sophie who blushed back at him.

Abby leaned in to Liz and muttered, ‘She’s getting really good at that whole blushing thing. I’ve never seen her uncomfortable in her life. It must be love!’

Sophie turned in her seat and glared at Abby delivering a well aimed kick under the table that connected with her shin.

Abby sucked in a breath but remained stoic, showing absolutely no pain.

She’d finished her cheerleading routine off with a high kick after pulling her hamstring five seconds before that. She could take a simple kick to the shin.

***********

Max paced around his bedroom floor. They’d have called if Liz wasn’t doing ok, right? He was so frustrated he was almost to the point of pulling his hair out.

Wait.

Izzy stayed over. Izzy has a cell phone. What reason should he give for calling?

Clothes! She may need clothes after sleeping over.

Great!

He dialled Izzy’s number and tapped his foot impatiently as it rang.

‘Hello Deidre!’

‘Deidre? Izzy, what on earth?’

‘I’m in a stupid mood. I saw your name come up and thought I’d freak you out. I assume you’re calling to see if Liz is ok?’

Max ummed and ahhed and muttered something about clothes which caused Izzy to laugh.

‘It’s ok bro. I know all about your little obsession and I wont say a word about this phone call. Unless she asks. But she’s fine. From what I can tell, she’s more embarrassed than anything else. It was apparently “three years of repressed guilt” that came clambering to the surface and caused her to break down. She feels really, really bad about the way she treated Sean. But anyway, you’ll see her later today and you can talk to her about then. I’ve got to go. I’m hiding in a bathroom right now so I could have a private conversation with my beloved “Deidre”. Later!’

‘Bye’ Max muttered as she ended the call. She was ok. This was good. Because according to Michael, she was anything but ok last night. Max wished that he’d thought of climbing up her ladder to her balcony.

He couldn’t bear the thought of Liz upset, it drove him insane that Liz’s ex had the power to make her feel so horrible. Fucking jerk.

Max jerked from his musings as his phone rang.

‘Hello?’

‘Max, my man. How you doing?’

Max paused and briefly wondered who was calling him. He soon realised who it was. Johnny Chadwick, a popular jock who talked to Max occasionally at school. What was he calling for?

‘Great Chad. Yourself?’

‘Yeah, I’m fantastic. Listen, there’s a party tonight at my joint. You wanna get your friends together and swing by? It’s gonna go off, man! I’m trying to get as many people there as possible from school. You in man?’

Max considered the proposition. He’d go if Liz went. ‘I dunno, I’ll check with the ‘rents and see if I can swing by. I’ll let Izzy, Michael and the rest know.’

‘Hope I see you there man.’

‘Yeah, seeya.’

Max hung up and grabbed his car keys. He had a reason to go to the Crashdown now.

*************

‘Hey Max! I thought you weren’t coming over till lunch?’

Max slid into a seat at the counter. ‘Yeah I was. Until I got invited to a party. Chadders is throwing one at his house. You guys interested?’

Liz looked at him trying to remember who Johnny Chadwick was. ‘Is that the guy who hung out with that other guy in Junior High?’

Izzy nodded. ‘Yeah, the one with the one with the hair thing.’

Michael groaned from behind the grill where he was working. ‘I’m so glad I couldn’t understand that. I don’t want to be able to speak vague teenage girl language.’

Liz ignored Michael and looked at Max. ‘I’m in.’

Max looked at her with a frown. ‘Are you sure, Liz? I wasn’t sure that parties would be your thing…’

Liz rolled her eyes. ‘Yeah cos I’m such a good girl! Let’s not forget my table dancing antics before we go making rash judgments. I haven’t been to a good party in ages…’

Eric grinned wickedly. ‘When was your last good one Liz? In March? I’ll bet that one rates highly!’

Liz scowled at him playfully. ‘You know damn well that it doesn’t, Eric! I happen to hate being accosted by drunken retards who can’t take no for an answer!’

Eric couldn’t contain his laughter then. ‘I still can’t believe you gave him a black eye! It was the best thing I’ve ever seen! Did Paulie ever crack onto you again after that?’

Liz sighed and nodded her head. ‘Yes, actually he did. But he was more careful in his “physical” advancements after that.’

Max and Alex both asked questions at the same time.

‘You gave someone a black eye?’

‘Paulie attacked you?’

Liz snorted. ‘He was drunk and kissed me without my permission. So I snotted him one. Hasn’t done it since. Eric thought it was really funny.’

‘And I still do! Liz should have the photo I took of it if you want to see it…’

‘Maybe later, Eric. Who else wants to come to this party? I don’t want to be alone.’

‘I’m in too.’ Stated Max quickly. One by one the others gave their agreement.

‘Is Kyle going?’ asked Abby hesitantly.

‘Am I going where?’ asked Kyle as he strode through the doors and sat next to Abby.

Abby blushed and hid her flaming face from him by turning away.

‘To Chad’s party.’ Answered Liz for her embarrassed friend.

Kyle tried to catch Abby’s eye as he answered. ‘Sure. Are you go… I mean are you all going?’

‘Yeah that seems to be the general consensus. Wonder what I’ll wear?’
‘How about that little yellow dress?’ suggested Sophie, watching Abby.

Abby who had remained silent and steadfastly refused to look at anything but the wall, turned her head at this and cried, ‘No way! That thing does nothing for your complexion! You have to wear the little green dress or the red one!’

Sophie grinned and agreed with Abby. ‘Yeah you’re right. Don’t know what I was thinking. Wear the red one. It shows off both your butt and your boobs!’

Liz grimaced. ‘In that case I’ll wear the green one. Do I really want a room full of horny teenage boys staring at my butt and boobs? I made that mistake once when I went out in my pink and white dress. I had to cling to Sean the whole night so that I didn’t get attacked. It was awful. It was the only time I was glad I was with Sean. He’s pretty intimidating when he wants to be.’

Sophie looked at her with incredulity. ‘But that’s the best part of being single! You get all these guys who blow their load as soon as you look their way and they spend the whole night doing things for you while you make out with some hotty on the dance floor.’

Liz and Abby looked at each other and shook their heads.

‘You are categorically evil. You know that?’

Sophie laughed and turned her head to see Eric looking at her with fear and doubt in his eyes. Eager to soothe him, she leaned over and patted his hand. ‘But seeing as I’m not single, I doubt I’ll ever be doing that again. Don’t really want to either. Gets a bit boring.’

Eric grinned at her, reassured by her consideration of his feelings and said whilst suggestively raising his eyebrows up and down, ‘Well I don’t know about you, but I still want to make out with a hotty on the dance floor. Do you know anyone who could fill that position?’

Sophie smirked at him. ‘I’m sure we could find someone for you.’

Abby groaned. ‘And you two both thought Sean’s open affection for Zab was gross. Stop flirting in public.’

Sophie spun to face her with a glare on her face.

‘Sean’s constant goopiness was gross. Even Liz thought so and she was on the receiving end. Ours is… cute.’

Liz shrugged. ‘It was very uncomfortable for me to listen to Sean. Once he even said something complimentary about my toe nails. It was very hard for me not to laugh. Their flirting is very tame in comparison to Sean’s.’

Eric clapped her on the back with a smile. ‘Thanks Liz. Knew you’d help out a brother in need. So what are you going to wear, my dear Sophie? I want something to fuel my fantasies.’

Sophie shook her head. ‘You’re hopeless.’

‘You love me that way.’

Sean sat in the airport waiting for his flight back to Chicago. He had decided to let her have the summer to work out her doubts over their relationship and then they would get back together.

Once she realised that he wasn’t going anywhere her doubts would fade and she’d be ready to get back together again. He was sure of it. He reached into his pocket and dialled Liz’s number on his phone.

Liz heard her phone ring and rushed out of the bathroom from where she had been doing her hair and grabbed her phone forgetting to look at who the caller was.

‘Hello?’

‘Liz, it’s Sean.’

Liz winced and then let out a sigh.

‘What do you want Sean?’

‘I just wanted to let you know that I’m prepared to let you have this summer to work out whatever doubts you might have about our relationship. Within reason of course. I don’t mean that you can go out and hook up with as many guys as you want, not that I’m saying that you would.
What I am saying is once you realise that I’m always going to be here, I’ll be waiting. I won’t contact you until the end of summer, that should be enough time for you to realise what you’re throwing away. Have a nice summer Liz.’

Liz stared into the phone in utter confusion and anger as he hung up. What the hell was his major mental deficiency? Liz angrily threw her phone on her bed and viciously finished fixing her hair. He was so deluded!

Liz put the finishing touches on her make up and stood back to survey herself. She had styled her hair into bouncy loose ringlets that spiralled down her back and was wearing her green dress with a v-neckline and a knee length skirt which fell in waves and ripples. She hoped that Max would like it.

Green was a great colour on her. She just hoped that she’d be able to forget Sean’s phone call and that she wouldn’t let it ruin her night.

************

Liz arrived at the party with Sophie, Eric and Abby and started scanning the room for Max. Abby spotted Kyle and cautiously made her way over to him, all the while trying not to look too eager.

Sophie pulled away from Eric nuzzling her ear to whisper loudly over the music to Liz, ‘Stop looking so eager. Let him find you.’ Before returning her full attention to Eric who was eagerly awaiting Sophie’s participation in a kiss.

Liz looked around and realised that she was virtually on her own. Eric and Sophie were completely preoccupied and Kyle and Abby were talking privately in a dark corner. Liz spied some movement out of the corner of her eye and spun to face a strange guy who had approached her from behind.

‘Hey babe. I’m Tommy, you wanna go someplace and talk?’

Liz raised her eyebrows haughtily as she stared him down. Tommy was another of the Roswell Junior High students who had teased her and he obviously didn’t recognise her.

‘No. I really don’t.’

‘Aw, come on babe. You know I’m a stud. I know how to give a girl a good time.’

Liz snorted ungracefully and bit back a laugh.

‘I’m sure there are hordes of skanks who have had the best ten seconds of their lives with you Tommy, but I’m not going to be one of them. You don’t even remember who I am, do you?’

Tommy who had at first looked insulted looked at her with dim, narrowed eyes.

‘Do I know you?’

‘Elizabeth Parker. I believe you used to call me a dork in Junior High?’

Tommy laughed and then snorted.

‘You are not Liz Parker. Liz Parker was not hot!’

Liz rolled her eyes and maintained her bored stance.

‘Fine. Whatever, I’m not Liz Parker. Whatever you say.’

Liz heard her name being called and sighed inwardly with relief as she turned brightly to Max who was storming his way through the crowd towards her.

‘Liz.’

‘Hey Max. You look great!’

‘Thanks. You look… gorgeous.’

Liz blushed as Max smiled at her.
Tommy watched the exchanged with incredulous eyes that soon narrowed as he saw Max Evans steal away a girl’s attention from him.

‘Excuse me, but we were talking here.’

Liz shook her head in exasperation and looped her arm into Max’s, who breathed in and released some of the tension in his shoulders. It was obvious from Liz’s body language that she didn’t want to be anywhere near Tommy.

He had almost died when he walked into the party and saw Liz talking with the most egotistical and rude guy he had ever had the displeasure of meeting.

‘No we weren’t. You asked if I wanted to talk and I said no and then you accused me of lying about who I was. Not to mention that I still hate you from what you did in Junior High. So if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go talk.’

Liz tugged on Max’s arm as she turned to walk away. Seeing the murderous glare that Tommy was sending him Max resisted the childish urge to gloat and give Tommy the thumbs up.

‘Just what I needed to make my night extraspecially crap. Paulie the second.’

‘Extraspecially? Is that even a word?’

Liz smiled despite her crappy mood.

‘It is now. I made it up and I’m a valedictorian. And besides, Shakespeare made up words. Obscene. That’s one of his.’

Max laughed.

‘You are just full of useless and interesting facts, Liz. Life with you around would never be boring.’

‘Thanks. Wanna dance?’

Max nodded, barely suppressing a grin as he looked over to Tommy as he and Liz started dancing closely. He didn’t look long at Tommy as Liz’s proximity to him soon erased all thought.

Moving her body to the beat and dancing closely to Max, Liz felt giddy and truly happy since Sean had re-entered her life. Max’s mouth went dry and his pulse hammered in his neck as he watched Liz move sensuously to the beat.

She was so incredibly sexy and from all the jealous looks he was receiving from all the other guys, he wasn’t the only one who thought so.
Liz and Max danced for close to twenty minutes before Tess approached and tried to cut in between the two of them.

Max’s anger boiled and he angrily ordered Tess to go away. She was ruining his moment with Liz.

‘I don’t want to dance with you, Tess. I don’t want anything to do with you, Tess. Leave. Me. Alone. Understand?’

‘Why would you want to dance with prudish Parker, when you can do whatever you want with me, Max?’

Tess sneered at Liz who haughtily stared back at her. Max unaware that people had stopped dancing and were staring at them as they made a scene on the dance floor replied, ‘Because I prefer my women interesting, beautiful and challenging. Not braindead and skanky.’

Before Liz or Tess could respond Alex and Iz walked over to them to break up the scene. Positioning themselves between Tess and Max they herded them off the dance floor towards the exit.

‘Thanks guys. I was about to pop her one in her face.’

Alex looked briefly at his watch and then turned to look back at Liz.

‘This late at night, Liz? I thought you reserved your violent tendencies for the mornings.’

Liz smiled sweetly at Alex before replying archly, ‘Only when a certain brother of mine tries to give me a wet willy.’

Isabel looked at Alex in disgust.

‘A wet willy? Men, they never grow up!’

Liz nodded sympathetically in Izzy’s direction.

‘Feeling your pain there Iz.’

Iz getting completely off the topic, turned to Liz excitedly.

‘Did you see Kyle and Abby getting together? They were really going for
it!’

Liz smiled, but it didn’t quite look sincere. Everywhere she turned people were getting together and she was stuck.

‘That’s so great for them! Everybody’s getting love but Liz…’

‘And Max…’ Izzy added suggestively causing Liz and Max to squirm uncomfortably in embarrassment.

‘Thanks Iz. You know it’s times like these when I wish that I was an only child.’

Liz sighed in contemplation. ‘Aah, to be an only child. Wouldn’t that be the life?’

‘Thanks Liz. I feel totally appreciated.’

‘Oh, you have your uses I guess. You can reach places that are high and hard to get to when you’re my size.’

‘I’m glad that I appear to have some use. It makes me feel all warm and tingly inside.’

‘That’s your tapeworm, Alex, that’s making you feel that way. Not my need to use you as a human ladder.’

Max, Izzy and Liz all laughed as Alex looked offended.

‘Let’s go scope out whether or not Tess has left yet. God I hope so.’

As they headed back into the house, Liz and Max bumped into each other. Both stiffened at the contact and turned to one another.

‘Sorry.’

‘No, it was my fault.’

Max trailed off as he looked at Liz. As he looked into her deep, chocolate eyes he unconsciously took a step forward. Liz gazed back up at him, her heart thumping in her chest. Was this it? Was he going to kiss her?

As Max leant down he was interrupted by an oblivious Alex who pounded him on the back.

‘Hey, Max! There’s a beer bong outside, you want to test it out?’

Max had never hated anyone as much as he hated Alex in that split second after he had interrupted them. He cursed the day that he was born silently under his breath and shook his head.

Unaware of anything, Alex shrugged and moved off. Turning back to Liz, Max realized that the moment had gone. He was sure that whatever chance he had had before was gone. The magic had been broken.

Who was he kidding? Liz Parker would never be with him now. That was his one chance and Alex had just blown it for him. As Max listened to the dying strains of the song that had been playing he almost laughed at the irony. James Blunt’s “You’re beautiful”.

But it’s time to face the truth. I will never be with you.

That’s just great. Max shook his head in disbelief as the universe not so subtly suggested to him what he already knew. He didn’t even like that song. Who would play it at a party? It was a slow song for crying out loud!

Liz looked at Max with puzzlement. He had gone from frustrated to amused in a matter of seconds. She had been certain that he was about to kiss her and now he was laughing? She didn’t see anything amusing about the situation. But then again, maybe she felt more than he did. She frowned.

Boys Suck.

Noticing her scowl, Max assumed that she was pissed off with him for trying to kiss her. God, he couldn’t do anything right. Sighing in defeat, Max turned to ask if she wanted to go find her friends. Liz closed her eyes momentarily, squashing back the hurt that she felt.

‘Fine. Let’s go.’

Angry with himself and hurt by the coldness in her voice, Max stiffened and turned leading Liz to where the others were talking. Everyone besides Alex could feel the tension and hurt radiating off them in waves.

Maria exchanged glances with the other girls. They were going to find out what the hell had happened. One way or another.

************

‘Liz, I’m certain that he was just as disappointed as you were.’

‘He laughed Maria. That doesn’t shout disappointment to me.’

Liz clutched her teddy bear to her stomach as she lay flat on her back on her bed staring at the ceiling.

‘Liz, I promise I’ll find out why he laughed and it’s probably not the reason you think.’

‘What other possible reason could there be? He doesn’t feel that way about me, Maria. He made that perfectly clear tonight.’

Maria shook her head.

‘I don’t believe that. Iz, can you please put your boyfriend on a leash or something. If he hadn’t ruined everything we’ve been working for by ruining the moment, we wouldn’t be having this problem.’

Isabel nodded sadly. ‘He is an idiot. I sincerely apologise for him.’

Liz sighed and rolled onto her front resting her head on her arms.

‘Don’t bother. I’m sure that Max would have found a way to stop it from happening anyway.’

‘Don’t talk that way, Liz. You don’t know that. And until you do know, just keep an open mind, ok?’

Liz nodded reluctantly. ‘Alright fine, Abby. I’ll wait. But I reserve the right to say I told you so once we know for sure.’

‘In that case so do we.’ Stated Sophie grabbing Liz’s teddy, which she had so cleverly named “brown ted” when she was two, and began hitting her with it.

***********

‘Told you so.’

Liz tried to wipe the grin of her face as Maria and Iz sat at a booth, repeating for the millionth time how wrong Liz was.

‘You know guys, I think you’ve said it enough. You’re getting really annoying.’

‘How could anyone come to the conclusion that you’re annoyed, when you can’t wipe the grin off of your face? Liz is in love!’

Liz whipped her head around quickly making sure that no one heard Maria’s declaration and told her to shut up. Hesitantly she added, ‘Are you sure that he really wanted to kiss me that night?’

‘YES! For the millionth time. He was so frustrated and annoyed at his lack of anything resembling luck, so he laughed at the irony of the situation. Stress less, girlfriend. Max wants you.’

Liz glanced down at the bench top, a queer feeling going through her at the thought of Max wanting her. A multitude of “sinful” thoughts ran through her head before she could shut them off and her breathing pattern altered.

Knowing that Max was at least interested gave her the confidence to trust that if she stuck around long enough, eventually something was bound to happen.

God she was glad that Max was going to Harvard with her. College should provide plenty of opportunity for her and Max to get together. Hopefully no one would move in on him when they got there. She had had more than enough of that from Tess in the past month and a bit.

Despite Liz’s fears about moving into a new relationship when her last one was so bad, she knew that she had to give this a try. Max was, after all, completely worth it.
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Alison’s Fics

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Post by Rowedog » Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:43 pm

PART TEN

The summer passed far too quickly for any of the group’s liking.

Fortunately none of the couples were too far away that breaking up was the only option.

Kyle and Abby were only half an hour away from each other, Sophie and Eric were one hour apart, Alex and Izzy were both heading to NYU and Maria and Michael were moving to New York. Maria was going to pursue her music career while Michael painted and went to art classes.

Fortunately for Max, Liz had heaps of room in her van and offered to take him to Harvard with her, so long as he shared the driving. Driving across the country with Liz was the most exhilarating and intensely joyful experience that Max had ever experienced.

He enjoyed spending time with her. And despite the intense attraction between them, he rarely ever felt uncomfortable in her presence. The trip flew and they were soon ensconced in Boston traffic.

Liz, who knew her way around from a family vacation one summer, took detours and missed a lot of the heavier traffic. After finding their rooms, which were right down the hall from each other, Max and Liz began to unpack.

Max, being ever the gentlemen, endeavoured to keep Liz away from the heavy items by carrying them all himself. Liz was upset by this at first but was quickly silenced when she noticed the way Max’s muscles bulged in his arm when he lifted and carried her heavier items. Who was she really to gainsay him when she couldn’t lift those boxes anyway?

Trying not to look at him too much in case he saw her perving on him, Liz turned and picked up one of the smaller boxes and followed Max into her room.

‘Where do you want this?’

Liz placed the box she was carrying on her bed and gestured to the foot of her bed.

‘Just there will do. I’ll unpack that one last. Thanks for helping me Max.’

‘My pleasure.’

Liz smiled at Max and the air suddenly stilled in their room. The tension had suddenly grown unbelievable as they stared at each other from across the room.

‘Hello? You must be Liz, I’m Serena McIntyre. Your roommate.’

Liz turned to view the unwelcome intruder. A tall, slim, raven-haired girl with an obvious Australian accent stood in the doorway smiling, completely unaware of what she had interrupted.

Liz took a deep breath in and turned forcing a smile. Why did this keep happening to her?

‘Hi Serena, nice to meet you. This is Max Evans.’

Serena’s eyes shone with an appreciative gleam. Liz really didn’t like her now.

‘Hi Max. nice to meet you.’

‘You too.’

Liz was pleased that Max’s voice sounded annoyed as well. At least she wasn’t the only one who was frustrated.

After a moment of uncomfortable silence, Max coughed and said, ‘I’m going to get more boxes.’

Serena turned on Liz after Max had left the room.

‘What a hotty! Is he your boyfriend?’

Feeling defensive and extremely possessive Liz answered somewhat grumpily, ‘No.’

Serena gave her a knowing look.

‘But you want him to be. Say no more. Serena McIntyre cuts no one’s lunch. Happened to me once. My best friend too. She had a boyfriend and she still saw fit to pash my boyfriend. And besides, after seeing the way he looks at you, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t stand a chance.’

Liz smiled sincerely after Serena reassured her and asked with curiosity, ‘So, where in Australia did you come from?’

‘Melbourne in Victoria. I wanted to be a doctor and I got my Enter back-’

‘Enter?’ Liz asked with some confusion.

‘It’s a score that you get back after you complete year twelve. Very complicated. I barely understand it my self. I got 99.85 out of a possible 99.95 so I knew I could get into medicine pretty much anywhere and I thought, screw it! Why be boring and go to Melbourne Uni like the rest of them? So I applied for a scholarship to Harvard and I was granted one.’

Liz’s brow knotted, ‘Why 99.95? Wouldn’t it just be easier to make it an even hundred?’

Serena rolled her eyes in agreement. ‘You’d think so, wouldn’t you? It used to be, but the Enter is a ranking system and if you get 100 then you’d be in the top zero percent of the state and you’d be theoretically beating yourself. I know, it’s confusing. But then again, that’s VCE.’

‘VCE?’

‘Victorian Certificate of Education. Enough about me and my spazzy schooling system. How did you and muscles meet?’

Liz was confused momentarily and then laughed as she realised who Serena meant.

‘Max? Childhood friends, well… sort of. We went to school together but we never really hung out. And then I moved to Chicago away from Roswell for high school and then I came back when my family moved back here. And we’ve got the same friends in Roswell so we spent heaps of time together over the summer.’

‘Coolness. Are you getting anywhere with him?’

Liz thought for a second then nodded imperceptibly, ‘We almost kissed once at a party. And when you came in we were kinda having a moment.’

‘Oh god! I’m so sorry! Put a sock or a tie on the door next time, isn’t that what they do in College in America when you’re “not alone”?

Liz laughed, her dislike of Serena already forgotten.

‘Next time Max and I have a moment, I’ll be sure to do that. I’d better help Max with the boxes.’ Serena nodded and as Liz reached the door she turned and nodded as an afterthought, ‘I’m glad that I got you as a roommate.’

Serena nodded and laughed.

‘I’m glad I got you too. I saw some poor soul down the hall looking devastated as their roommate lugged a trombone into their room and put up posters of Aaron Carter.’

*************

Liz collapsed on her bed exhausted. It seemed that there was too much to do and not enough time. Her first week of college life had been hectic.

She had barely gotten time to think, let alone spend time with Max. Not to mention that she had just had her humanities requirement lecture. As a scientist, it escaped Liz as to why on earth anyone would want to study Shakespeare.

Liz, Max and Serena all went to the same lecture because Max and Serena both wanted to become doctors and needed a humanities requirement. Liz glanced over at Serena from the bed where she was lying in a similar state.

‘Shakespeare sucks.’

Serena groaned in agreement.

‘Hearing you sister. Did you meet Max’s roommate?’

Rolling onto her side to face Serena, Liz replied, ‘Yeah. He seems like a nice enough guy. His names Tom. A little overbearing, but he seems ok.’

‘I hope he’s willing to find another place to stay when you and Max are doing the dirty, cos I’m not moving from this room.’

Liz laughed hysterically, ‘I’ll keep that in mind when the time comes. Hopefully it will come, and soon. Because I am getting so frustrated!’

Serena yawned. ‘Poor Liz, so young and so horny.’

‘Who’s horny?’

Liz sat bolt upright as she heard Max’s voice from the door of her room that she had left open. She had to be more careful next time she was talking to Serena about Max!

‘Me. I’m horny. I’m straight off the boat looking for some tasty American boys to play with. What’s your roommate like?’

As Max laughed, Liz thanked God that Serena was her roommate. She had just saved her ass big time!

‘He’s nice. Want to meet him?’

Serena shrugged. ‘Sure. Why not?’

‘Good. Because you really didn’t have a choice. He followed me here.’

A black haired medium height mildly attractive guy walked in at Max’s declaration. He waved at Liz and stuck out his hand as he approached Serena who had sat up on her bed and swung her legs over the edge.

‘Nice to meet you. I’m Tom. I’m assuming you’re Serena? I’ve already met Liz today and seeing as Max and Liz are already friends I thought we should be too.’

Liz winced at the eagerness in Tom’s words. It was obvious that he liked Serena. Serena looked bemused.

‘A hand shake. How novel. Howdy Tom, nice meeting you too.’

Serena exchanged glances with both Max and Liz who were struggling to hold in their laughter as Tom gave Serena his life story. Serena glared at them as they motioned to her that they were leaving.

Exiting the room both Max and Liz hurried down the corridor to Max’s room and burst into laughter as soon as Max shut the door and they were certain that they were out of earshot.

‘My, my. Your roommate certainly isn’t shy Max.’

Max shook his head in amazement.

‘He’s something all right. I’ll call you once I figure out what that something is.’

Liz rested her head on Max’s arm as she laughed. She stopped abruptly as she realised that one, Max was no longer laughing, two, he had stiffened and gone completely still and three, she was very, very close to him right now.

Looking up she saw Max’s gaze drop from her eyes to her lips with an intensity that she had seldom seen in him. Her breathing became shallow and she felt as if she were suffocating.

Max’s head bent lower to hers and Liz’s heart went demented in her chest as he raised his hand and brushed her hair from her face. Liz prayed that nothing would happen to interrupt them this time. If not she wouldn’t be able to stop herself from punching the snot out of the unsuspecting intruder.

Liz edged in closer to Max who hadn’t removed his hand from her cheek. Max’s breath came out in gasp as he watched her nervously bite her bottom lip and he slowly stroked his thumb across her cheek while slowly running her hair through his fingers as he moved his hand to cup the back of her head.

With agonizing slowness, Max lowered his head to hers and tilting her head slightly, he kissed her.

Liz’s heart exploded in her chest. Their lips met and moved together with sensual slowness and Liz’s arms slid up and around Max’s neck in an attempt to get closer to him. She felt that she couldn’t get close enough to him.

Still holding her head gently, Max wrapped his free arm around Liz’s waist and held her tightly to him. Liz almost gasped as Max’s tongue caressed hers.

She had never felt like this with Sean. She couldn’t imagine feeling like this with anyone else. She didn’t want to either.

It was then that Liz realised that she was wholly, utterly and completely in love with Max Evans. Mind, body and soul.

Her entire body was singing as Max’s hands grasped her close and he increased the speed and pressure of the kiss. Liz responded with an eagerness that was new to her, she had never been so completely satisfied and at the same time so hungry for more.

She wasn’t sure what she liked more, soft and gentle kissing that teased her or harder more demanding like they were sharing now. What she was certain of was that she never wanted it to stop.

Max’s head spun as he kissed the girl of his dreams. He couldn’t believe that she was kissing him back! He began slow and gentle allowing her to back off if she wanted to stop.

He was completely unprepared for her response, she seemed to be just as eager as he was. As her arms had slid around his neck and clutched him closer, he had been momentarily tempted to break off the kiss and do a happy dance.

But he realised that he would have to break off the kiss to do that and that was not an option for him. He would milk this for all it was worth. He couldn’t believe that Liz wanted him closer, it was so surreal for him.

Encouraged by Liz’s move he increased the pace of the kiss. He realised the error in that move when his desire for her increased ten fold. It seemed the more he had of Liz, the more he wanted, craved, needed.

He momentarily considered moving her over to the bed, but he realised in the fogginess of his brain that that might be considered a little too forward. That didn’t stop the multitude of thoughts that flashed through his mind that pointed out to him what they could do on that bed.

Drugged and dazed by Liz’s nearness, Max had to squash those inappropriate thoughts otherwise Liz would be VERY aware of her effect on him.

‘Knock, knock. Max, Liz are you in there?’

Max and Liz broke apart and if looks could kill, Tom would have died.

Opening the door, Tom strode in completely unaware of the glares he was being given.

‘Hey Liz, Serena sent me to get you. She said she was getting a migraine and that you had her medication for some reason.’

Liz inwardly cursed Serena and then considered that she and Max had left her alone with Tom. This was fair payback I guess.

‘Yeah.’ Liz’s voice was shaky and hoarse, she coughed and tried to regain her strength. Max had left her weak. ‘I took it so that I would have it on hand. She can’t move when she gets them, they’re really debilitating. I’ll go give them to her now. I’ll see you guys at dinner.’

Liz didn’t even look at Tom as she spoke to him. Her gaze was fixed firmly on Max who was staring at her with the same intensity. With one last glance at Max, Liz left. Tom looked at Max and finally registered that Max was glaring at him.

‘What? Why are you glaring at me?’

***********

Liz felt like beating the crap out of both Tom and Serena and at the same time she felt like skipping and hugging everyone in sight. She was so incredibly happy, and pissed off.

Tom, with the help of Serena had effectively stopped of the most wonderful and beautiful moments of her life. Upon entering her room Serena burst into a tirade and then stopped once she took in Liz’s appearance.

‘How could you leave me alone with that socially degenerate- OH MY GOD! Did you and Max Evans…?’

Despite her anger, Liz couldn’t contain her grin.

‘Yes. We kissed. For ages. I’ve never been so happy, Ser!’

Serena squealed and kicked her feet on the bed. Crossing the floor quickly Serena shut the door and then pulled Liz to her bed and forced her to sit.

‘Tell me absolutely everything! You can’t kiss a spunk like that and not give a girl details.’

‘Well, if you hadn’t sent Tom, we’d probably still be going right now.’

Serena grimaced. ‘Sorry. But you left me with no choice.’

Liz rolled her eyes. ‘Whatever.’ Liz took a deep breath and then began to explain, ‘We were laughing about Tom and then we stopped and he looked right at me, and it was like he was looking into my soul. And then he brushed some hair from my face and he cupped the back of my head and he kissed me. It was so soft and slow and sweet. And then it got faster and more passionate and I swear to god I thought I was going to have a heart attack.’

Serena sighed dreamily and her eyes glazed over. ‘Wow. That’s so romantic. Can I come to your wedding?’

‘That’s jumping the gun a bit, don’t you think?’

‘Oh, please. Like you two aren’t desperately in love. You can see it in his eyes whenever he looks at you.’

Liz smiled shyly. ‘You really think so?’

Serena was the one to roll her eyes this time, ‘I know so. And I was dux of my school so I’m always right.’

‘Well so was I and I’m not so sure.’

Serena lightly punched Liz on the shoulder. ‘You’re too involved. Let an objective stranger tell you what’s going on. Elizabeth Parker plus Max Evans equals Love, Sex, Marriage, Babies.’

Liz laughed and was about to reply when her phone rang. Neglecting to look at who was calling she flipped open her phone and pressed it to her ear.

‘Hi, this is Liz.’

‘Liz.’

Sean’s voice hit her like a punch to the stomach. She had been so wrapped up in Max that she hadn’t even thought of Sean for weeks. Guilt over what she had just been doing with Max flowed through her but she quickly squashed it. She was not going to let Sean or anybody else ruin or mar that perfect moment in her life.

‘Sean. Why are you calling me? We’re not together anymore and you need to move on.’

Liz prayed that this time he would listen to her and accept it. Serena waved at her to get her attention and silently asked what was going on. Liz signalled back that she’d explain afterwards.

‘Zab, don’t do this to yourself. You need me.’

‘Need you for what? Sean, I’ve been the happiest I’ve been in four years over the summer. Please, just leave me alone. Do yourself a favour and move on. This is getting ridiculous!’

Serena’s eyes widened as Liz spoke. This sounded dramatic. Liz Parker was very quickly turning into a very interesting roommate.

‘I don’t believe that. I’ve called to tell you that I’ve accepted a job in Chicago so that we can be together. You don’t have to worry about distance or anything.’

Liz felt sick and put her hand to her stomach. She felt winded.

‘Sean… why would you do that? You have a great scholarship to Northwestern. Why on earth would you do that?’

‘Because you’re worth it.’

Liz looked up and felt ill as she saw Sean standing in her doorway.

‘How did you…’

Liz trailed off as he moved into her room with complete confidence. It was as if he was certain that she wouldn’t turn him down. Liz’s shock soon turned to anger as he stood in complete arrogance as if he owned the place.

She looked to Serena and felt glad that at least if Sean tried something, Serena was here to get help. She was beginning to get very scared by how obsessed Sean was.

‘I asked at the front. Told them I was your boyfriend. Hi, you must be Liz’s roommate.’

Serena’s reply was cut off as Liz angrily told Sean to leave.

‘Sean, you need to leave. You don’t belong here and you’re starting to scare me with how obsessive you’re being. If you don’t leave me alone I’ll be forced to put a restraining order on you.’

Sean’s face froze in a mask of incredulity.

‘Liz, you can’t be serious. Why are you doing this?’

Taking a deep breath, Liz prepared herself to tell him the truth.

‘Because I don’t love you. I never did.’

Sean’s anger was expected but it still scared Liz when it came.

‘THAT’S NOT TRUE!’

Panting slightly with anger and pain, Sean backed Liz up until she was pinned between him and the wall. Serena looked around wildly not knowing what to do. Sean grabbed her by the arms and forced her to look at him.

‘Don’t lie to me, Liz. How can you stand there and lie to me like that?’

Liz motioned to Serena to get help just as Max walked into her room.

‘Liz, we need to talk-’

Max was cut off short as he viewed Sean in Liz’s room. Using Sean’s distraction as a moment to escape, Liz slid free from Sean’s now slack grip and rushed to Max. Halting beside him she repeated to Sean that he needed to leave.

‘Sean, get out now. Before I call the police. Don’t think that I won’t.’

Sean’s nostrils flared as he sized Max up.

‘Is this why you don’t want me anymore? Because of him?’

‘No Sean! Max is-’

Sean’s voice was deathly quiet as he uttered, ‘You slut. How could you do this to me?’

Max’s rage that he’d been holding back so strongly exploded out of his control.

‘Don’t you dare talk to Liz that way, you psychotic stalker!’

Sean sneered at him and got close up into his face and pushed him.

‘Was someone talking to you retard? This is between me and her. We’ve got history that you can’t begin to understand. She’ll always be mine!’

The thin cord of restraint that was stopping Max from hitting Sean snapped and he swung at him, connecting hard with Sean’s jaw. Liz screamed as Sean’s fist crashed into Max’s eye and she ran over to try and stop the fight. She pulled at Sean’s arm and pleaded with him to stop.

‘Sean! Stop it please! Max, don’t! Oh my god!’

Liz pulled on Sean’s arm again as the two continued swinging at each other, in a reflex motion Sean hit out and clipped Liz’s jaw with his fist.

Liz fell to the floor in shock clutching her jaw and effectively stopped the fight.

Max rushed over to her and Sean stared at his fist in horror. He had hit Liz. He went to move over to her but she flung out her hand and scuttled backwards on the floor.

‘Zab… I am so sorry, I never meant to hurt you.’

‘Get out Sean. If you come back again, you’ll get a restraining order put on you. And after what you just did, it should be pretty easy to get one.’

Sean’s face went white and he looked utterly devastated.

‘Liz, please! I love you, we can-’

‘GET OUT! I never want to see you or hear from you ever again!’

Liz’s roar was deafening in the confines of the room. Serena, Liz and Max watched as Sean, with tears in his eyes, moved slowly out of the room.

Turning to Liz, Max inspected her jaw to make sure that she hadn’t had it broken. Max was beyond furious that Sean in all his idiocy had bruised Liz’s perfect face. Liz turned to look at Max as he gingerly rubbed his fingers over her already swelling jaw.

‘Max! You’re bleeding!’

Liz reached up and stroked his face near his eyebrow that had been split when Sean had hit him.

‘Hate to ruin the moment guys, but, what the hell was that?!’

Liz shook her head slowly then turned to Serena who was staring at Liz with very wide eyes. ‘That was my ex, Sean. I broke up with him after graduation and he didn’t take it very well. We dated for three and half years and he was in love.’

‘But you weren’t?’

Liz pushed out a short laugh, took Max’s offered hand and stood up.

‘Obviously not. I was constantly waiting for him to do something wrong so I could break up with him. Wish he’d done that in the first year. Would have saved me a lot of grief.’

Liz turned to Max and looked with concern at his swelling eye.

‘I’ll go get some ice for that eye of yours. I am so sorry about him Max.’

Max brushed a lock of hair out of Liz’s face and smiled at the worried look on her face.

‘Don’t worry about me Liz, I’ll be fine. I’ll get the ice for your jaw. You’re more important.’

Serena shook her finger at them.

‘No. You two will sit here while I get ice for both of you.’ And with that Serena left the room.

Liz sat on her bed and put her head in her hands. Sensing her distress, Max ran his hands down her hair onto the base of her neck and gently massaged some of the tension in away. Liz relaxed and pushed into his hand, momentarily forgetting what had just happened through the magical touch of Max’s hands.

Sighing Liz turned to Max and her eyes welled with tears as she viewed the aftermath of Sean’s anger. She had put that anger there and by doing that she had put those bruises on Max’s face.

‘Liz, you didn’t cause this. This was completely Sean’s fault, and mine I guess. None of this was your fault.’

Liz smiled. Could Max read her mind? But her smile trembled as a drop of blood threatened to slip down Max’s face from his eyebrow. Liz stood and grabbed a hand towel from her bag and dipped it in a glass of water that she hadn’t drunk out of.

‘Liz you’ll ruin your towel.’

‘It’s a hand towel, Max. I’ve got millions. It’s not like they serve an important purpose.’

Liz gently pressed it to Max’s cut and almost cried again when Max’s breath hissed out in pain.

‘I’m so sorry Max.’

Max hand moved under Liz’s chin and gently lifted Liz’s face and forced her to meet his eyes.

‘Once again, this,’ Max gestured to his cut, ‘was not your fault. You didn’t ask Sean to love you so much that he wouldn’t give you up without a fight. It’s just natural that he wouldn’t want to lose you. I know that if I was with you and then lost you I’d-’

‘You’d what?’

Liz’s breath caught in her throat as Max gazed at her with his powerfully intense eyes.

‘I’d go a little crazy too.’

Liz’s hand rose up of it’s own volition and traced the line of Max’s mouth. Moving in, Max clasped Liz’s hand in his own and gently kissed the centre of her palm. Liz’s eyelids fluttered and then closed as he ran his hand down her arm to the crook of her neck.

Stroking her uninjured cheek, Max leant in and kissed the line of her jaw. Rising up once he reached her chin he hesitated momentarily and then kissed her softly on the lips.

Liz’s arms rose up and she wrapped one hand around the back of Max’s neck while the other buried itself in his hair. Max’s arms wound themselves around her waist and pulled her closer towards him on the bed.

Deepening the kiss, both forgot about their wounds until Liz moved her hand around from his hair to his face and unwittingly pressed against a bruise. She pulled away abruptly when he winced.

‘I’m sorry, I-I wasn’t thinking’

Max smiled at her. ‘If that was you not thinking then you should do it more often.’

Liz blushed and then paused. She wanted to ask him what this meant. She needed to know what they were to each other.

‘Max, what does this mea-’

‘Hey you two, I got two bags of frozen peas from the kitchen and I told the guy at the front desk that Sean is now banned from entering the premises. I told him I’d get a picture so that the other people who work at the front desk will know as well.’

Serena looked at the two of them and realised that she had, yet again, ruined another moment between Max and Liz.

Placing the peas on the bed she quickly retreated whilst hastily uttering, ‘Well, you two look like you can take care of yourselves. I’m going to uh, find that guy from my organic chemistry class that I like and then head to dinner. I’ll see you guys later.’

After Serena left, an awkward silence filled the room.

After a moment Liz grabbed the peas and applied them to Max’s eye. Max placed his hand over hers and she pulled her hand out quickly like she’d been burnt.

She turned and grabbed the bag of frozen peas and placed it on her own jaw. After what they’d been doing you’d think that Max’s hand on her hand wouldn’t excite her so much.

Liz mentally wondered at this power that Max had over her. She’d never been in love before and was uncertain about how to ask Max what they were to each other. She knew she loved him and she knew that Max was attracted to her from all the kissing they’d been doing, but she was unaware as to how much he liked her.

Was it just physical or was he emotionally attached? From his comment before they had shared their second kiss it seemed like he was more than just physically attracted. He said he’d go crazy if he lost her, right? What if he was just being kind, trying to help her justify her ex-boyfriend’s violence? No, he wouldn’t lie like that, would he? Liz groaned as she tried to wrap her head around Max and his actions.

Max heard her groan and asked quickly, ‘Liz, are you ok? Are the peas too cold? Maybe we should get you to a doctor, just to make sure your jaw’s not broken.’

Liz’s head snapped around to face Max. ‘Max, I’m fine. Seriously, he only clipped me. I’ll be fine. It’s you I’m worried about. You’ve got a massive cut on your eyebrow.’

Max rolled his eyes but his heart beat a little faster as she expressed concern for him. That meant that she cared at least a little for him, right?

‘It’s shallow and not very wide, Liz. It’ll be fine.’

Another awkward paused filled the room and Max searched for the right words to say. He took a deep breath and spoke just as Liz decided to say something.

‘Max-’

‘Liz-’

Both chuckled nervously and Liz gestured to him with her free hand, her jaw throbbing from the peas.

‘You go first.’

Max nodded and took another deep breath in. God, this was nerve-wracking.

‘Liz… would you like to go out sometime… with me? On a date?’

Liz smiled brightly, unable to contain her joy.

‘I’d like that. A lot.’

Max beamed back at her. What was he worrying for? Liz had said yes and all was right with the world.
Last edited by Rowedog on Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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