FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Congratulations"
Part 5
by NolaDarling
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, I'm just borrowing them for this story, I promise to return them
Summary: Alternate Universe (no aliens, no powers) based on the movie The Best Man, with a twist. Max and Isabel are still brother and sister so are Tess and Michael. They all grew up together. Max, Michael, Kyle and Alex were all best friends in college. Maria and Michael are getting married. Tess and Maria became best friends in college and she is Mariaís maid of honor. Max is with Liz but she doesn't know the others. I donít want to give it away to much, just a little background for the readers who have not seen the movie.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: There is a smidge of UC. I'm not a UC fan so there's not much. Thank you to Meagan for beta reading this for me. And to my Candy sisters JO, Ramona, Mary, Christina, Arielle, Ianthe you chicas rock!!!
Michael left with Max and Tess to bring Tess home. They were meeting Alex and Kyle at Kyle's place to play poker and catch up on old times. When they arrived at Tess's house Max got out and walked her to her door.

"So, we'll let the station buy us lunch tomorrow while we discuss this Larry King Live proposal. Say I'll pick you up around...11?"

"Splendid Ms. Sullivan," Max said in a 'whatever you say' tone, "that fits very well into my schedule. I'll have my secretary call to confirm" he said mocking her.

"Oh, so what...a professional woman can't act professional when it comes to taking care of business?"

"Here we go...I see some thing's never change," Max laughed. Max was joking but it seemed like she was taking offense to his comments.

"Change is soo overrated Max."

"Tess you know...all you had to do was ask me for a copy of my book," Max said seriously changing the subject.

"What for? You wouldn't have given it to me."

"Yea....well at least I would have known you were interested" he said, not really referring to the book.

"Don't flatter yourself Max. I want exclusivity...you can save the sloppy seconds for Jerry Springer," Tess said turning to go into her house not believing how cocky Max was being.

"Well if that's the case, why can't you look me in my face?" Max asked noticing she was avoiding direct eye contact with him.

Tess turned all the way around and faced Max staring him dead in the eye, "Max......why exactly did you leave your girlfriend home this weekend?"

"Because I....ah...you know....wanted to hang out with the guys....cut up a little...you know, before she came....it's been a long time and we have a lot to catch up on...and I didn't want her to feel left out...you know....being...."

Michael sat in the car observing the whole scene shaking his head with a smirk on his face. Max was his best friend and Tess was his sister and he couldn't understand why they didn't just go for it. He knew they were attracted to each other but they each had major issues and he thought they should just fess up and admit they wanted each other.

"Cut up a little...mmm I see....." Tess said not believing a word Max was babbling about, "goodnight Maxwell," she said and turned and went into her house leaving him standing there with egg on his face and his foot in his mouth.

"Damn she called me Maxwell," Max said out loud but to himself.

"BEEP BEEP BEEEEEPP," Michael blew the horn, "come on man let's go."

~*~*~*~*

Max, Michael, Kyle, and Alex were at Kyle's apartment sitting around playing poker and talking. They were talking about how Kyle and his ways women. They were all laughing and agreeing until Kyle pointed out the fact that Max had little room to talk.

"Well, well....if it isn't the pot calling the kettle black," Kyle said.

"Kyle does have a point Maxwell, you do have serious issues with commitment. And face it...you do hold the record for having some of the shortest relationships in history," Michael added.

"Man you have these girlfriends....excuse me.....wack ass public relationships....talking about this is my 'queen' and shit and the first minute she steps outside your little boundary, you drop her," Kyle said philosophizing.

"Out with the quickness," Michael agreed.

Max just sighed, "here we go again".

"Well you know that's because none of them ever measured up to....Tess," Alex said smiling slapping hands with Michael and Kyle.

"Aww....come on.....please let it go guys," Max tried to play if off.

"You know it's true Max. Tess is the best girlfriend you never really had. Oh.....and did you guys know that they almost had sex in undergrad?" Alex said excitedly like he was the only one that knew.

"Oh yea I remember he told me about that," Michael said like it was no big deal. Max looked at Alex under hooded eyes hoping he wasn't hurt.

"You knew about that?" Alex asked surprisingly feeling left out.

"Hell yea we knew about that," Kyle answered.

"Max?...."

"Man you know you can't keep no secret," they all laughed.

"You guys are so wrong," Alex smiled knowing it was true.

"Man is that what this is, you still waiting for Tess to slow down from that career and pull over to the Maxwell Stewart rest stop."

"Come on guys come off it," Max said, annoyed by their insinuations.

"I still can't believe you never hit that," Kyle said shaking his head reaching for a card, "no offense Michael."

"Look.... I'm in a very fulfilling relationship, virtually drama free for two years," Max said pointing his finger on the table trying to make a point.

"Oh...that's right.....she directs music video's...right?"

"No no no...she's a flugel binder manufacturer."

"I thought she was a History teacher." They were all teasing him and laughing.

"She's a caterer, damn it," Max stressed laughing at the ridiculous occupations they came up with. "It took her a while to find her creative nitch but she found it and she's a caterer." They continued to make fun of Max.

"Yea but she still doesn't sound like Tess," Kyle said.

"That's because she's not Tess...she's.....Liz," he said having to think about her name for a second.

"Tess is my sister....and I love her....but she obviously doesn't want a man. She to damn sassy and independent anyway."

"Well isn't that ironic," Alex added, "men are always talking about how materialistic women are but you can't deal with a woman with education and that makes her own living?"

"Nope," Michael said and Kyle agreed with him.

"Alex we know you don't care either way...Isabel's gonna run you regardless." They laughed and Alex just shook his head saying whatever.

"All I'm saying is, the only way a relationship really works is if the man provides the bacon.....and the woman fries it.....simple as that," Michael said.

"Man you sound like Fred Flintstone, you a damn caveman," Max said.

"When Maria and I get married her only duty is being my wife and raising our kids."

"And you think she's gonna be content with that?" Max asked.

"Are you kidding man.....Maria grew up in a Leave It To Beaver ass home. She can't wait to drop this fool's kids and be a housewife, it's all she know's," Kyle agreed with Michael.

"Just out of curiosity Michael.....what made you finally decide to settle down?" Max asked. "I mean no offense, but you been creeping out on Maria for a while now."

"My oats are sown....I have nothing else to prove. Besides, it's that time....and I had to sooner or later, because I was in danger of losing her and I couldn't deal with that...so I chose sooner."

"Yea well I could never be tied down to just one woman. God did not mean for every man to have one woman.....if he did they would not out number us the way they do. And besides you can't trust these women these days anyway they just as scandalous as us men," Kyle went on.

"Not all women, man....not all women," Michael said shaking his head sounding very sure of himself.

Kyle stared at Michael in silence, Max looked at Kyle and knew exactly where this was going. Kyle had read Max's book and knew the truth.

There was dead silence before Kyle spoke again. "So you're saying you don't think that Maria's ever had other men?"

"I'm the First......the Last......and the Only."

"Really?"

"Really."

"So....ah.....how do you know this for sure?" Kyle asked as Max and Alex glanced at each other with an 'oh fuck' expression on their faces.

"How do I know?" Michael stared Kyle in the face and said....."cuz the pussy curves to my dick.....that's how I know," he said not really liking his choice of words, "besdies, I know my little Angel," but he knew how Kyle was. Always instigating, pretending as if he knew something nobody else knew, like he was the only one that got the joke.

Kyle scooted up in his chair pretending like he was trying to understand exactly what Michael was saying but really trying to put something on his mind. "So you mean to tell me.....that out of all the sticking and moving you've done.....you don't think Maria's tiptoed out on you once?"

Kyle kept pushing the issue and this was making Max extremely nervous. And him being so quiet and letting him go on and not interrupting it wasn't making him look to good.

Alex at that point was whistling and looking around like he had no clue as to what was going on.

"No," Michael said barely loud enough for him to hear just staring at Kyle with smoke coming from his nose.

"Kyle," Max finally interrupted. But Kyle continued.

"Well if she did....you know.....creep," Kyle leaned forward and smirked....."don't you think she would be well within her rights?"

Max knew that did it and before he could say anything, Michael had jumped up and knocked over the table and went straight for Kyle's throat. He grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and held him for a second, then threw him back down on the chair.

Kyle just gave him a sly smirk and started to light a cigarette. Max and Alex just sat there with stunned terrified looks. They knew Michael wouldn't hit him, but Kyle had sure given him reason enough to choke him. They all knew how Michael was when it came to Maria. She was his angel, his ever lasting love, and he loved her dearly. And hearing those insinuations from Kyle had pushed him way over the edge.

Michael knew he had hurt Maria in ways that she never knew. And some she did know about. They had broken up several times over the years when she had learned of his encounters with other women. But when he cried and showered her with enough gifts, she had always taken him back.

Michael was a changed man and he owed that to his faith in God. He was very spiritual and truly believed that all his blessings were from God. People that didn't know him personally would never think that being that he had a reputation of being a player at one time. But all his friends knew and he knew how blessed he was to be famous at doing what he so loved to do and have a love like Maria's. He often criticized Max because he wasn't a believer. But he always told him that he prayed for him. He knew Max was ignorant about God and knew someday he would come around to respecting and believing his word.

He never entertained the idea of Maria having been with other men. The first time they made love he knew she was a virgin and since they had been together from that point on, regardless of the short periods of time they were apart when she found out he had cheated, he figured he had been her only lover......so he thought.....

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