Disclaimer: Nope...I don't own them.
Summary: Inspired by Laure's "Peppermint Illusions" and Shimi's "Hard Candy"...another Liz POV of the situation with Nasedo.
Category: After Hours
| Sometimes I wish that Max would figure it out. That he would look over
at me at the CrashDown--like he sometimes does--and instead of flashing
regret, his gorgeous, soulful eyes would flash horror and heartbreak and
betrayal. Horror. Heartbreak. Betrayal.
Every emotion I felt when he kissed Tess in the rain, multiplied by a thousand. Everything I felt when I ran out of the cave, multiplied by a million.
I don't know when I became so bloodthirsty, so secretly angry. Okay, I *do*. I do know. And I know who to thank...even if I will never say the words out loud.
Sometimes I wish Max would make the connection. See the mad glitter of contentment in my eyes...the way I straddle a chair now so it rubs me in inventive ways. See how I don't flinch when he walks by...how I sometimes lick my lips like a well-satiated whore.
But I've learned one important fact this summer: Max is clueless. He's self-involved. He's all teen angst and melted chocolate eyes and personal drama. When he steals those looks at me as he clutches Tess's hand, he doesn't see *me*. He sees what used to be. He sees a sweet, worshipful, girl in love with a mysterious hero. He doesn't see me naked, my hair plastered to my skin, as I call out words I once said for him. "I...can't...stop." Now I say them for someone who sometimes wears his face. Someone who breathes cold mint against my thighs.
I wonder if Max would swallow his conscience long enough to kill Nasedo? Can he get that jealous? Can he pull up that amount of emotion for something that he isn't actively involved in? I doubt it. He doesn't have the nerve. He doesn't have the drive.
It's almost funny how bitter I've become. Or maybe just realistic? Where did the shining optimist in me go? What happened to the romantic? Has she been fucked out of me? Have I become that addicted to frantic nights with a man of a thousand faces and no soul? To washing my sheets early in the morning and scrubbing his salt off my skin when I want to wear it like triumphant perfume? Tommy Girl has nothing on Eau de Nasedo. It has seeped into the very core of me. Hot, tight peppermint after midnight. It has made me needier than I have ever been...and stronger.
Just like the pulsing ease with which he shifts from Max to Pierce as he strains above me. Lately, he's been the blue-eyed agent for longer periods. The devious, evil man who did unspeakable things to someone I loved now does unspeakable things to me. Maybe Nasedo is as sick of playing a selfish saint as I am of pretending to fuck one. I don't know. Aside from the profanity uttered amidst darkness and creaking bedsprings, we don't talk. We don't kiss. We don't look at each other in daylight. We admit nothing, no connection.
But with every look we don't share...every touch we don't complete...every stretch of denying silence between us, there *is* an admission.
People are just too blind to see it, too deaf to hear it.
Or maybe they all know?
Maybe they can sense him on me, no matter how hard I scrub, and they are too horrified to believe it? Maybe that's why Maria goes dancing with Tess and Isabel now instead of me? So she can close her eyes and sway away the image of me with the creature who helped take Michael away from her? Maybe that's why Max takes Tess out to the rocks and offers her the same empty chocolate promises that he made me? So they can fool themselves into thinking they're not as fucked up as poor, duped, human, me?
Would they all be shocked if I told them I *like* being fucked up? Up...down...sideways. That I *like* it when this alien being slides up my window, shoves me into the mattress, and takes me without tenderness or commitment?
Of course they'd be shocked.
Because they have only one concept of Liz Parker. One idea of me. Sweet. Melted. Like Max's eyes and his so-called love.
They don't know that mint tastes better. Sharp. Faintly acidic. And icy. That I can twine my hands in thick, dark hair, and look into a killer's eyes, and see myself reflected in them.
The person I lost when Max Evans put his hands on me a year ago is returning inch by inch under a new touch. A truer touch. A never-ending silver handprint that goes beyond promises.
I'm Liz Parker and, two months ago, I came back to life. I'm *Liz Parker*. The rest of the world can just go melt.
And fuck off.
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