by Christina D
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
Summary: the gang is reunited after a summer away at a pool party! (Summer after sophomore year, only)
Category: After Hours
|It started to rain on the way home. Liz anxiously sat in the front seat
of the jeep, holding her hand over her
head as rain pelted down.
Isabel and Alex were sitting together in the back seat. "Can't we stop and put the top on, Max?" Isabel complained.
"No Isabel, we need to get Liz home A.S.A.P. I don't want her to get grounded," Max said, shaking his head.
"Whatever," she grumbled. She looked at Alex and spoke to him loud enough so Max and Liz could hear. "Maybe you should have taken that ride with Maria and Michael. At least then you could guarantee that you wouldn't get pneumonia."
"You're being a little dramatic, aren't you Iz?" Max jumped in.
Alex held his hands up. "Stop you guys, I'm fine. Besides, I don't want Liz to get grounded either, so go! We'll put the top up when we get there."
Neither of them answered and Liz turned around and mouthed thank you to him. A few seconds later, they pulled up in front of the Crashdown. Max bent over and kissed her. "Half hour?" he asked.
"Yep, half hour." Liz smiled and bit down on her lip. "I love you." She knew it was no big deal, but she liked that idea that she could tell him that she loved him before they said goodbye. It made her feel like all the girls she had been jealous of for so long. The ones she had seen say I love you to their boyfriends everytime they were separated.
Max smiled and pulled her in close. "I love you, Liz," he answered and initiated a soft kiss.
From the backseat they heard Isabel sigh loudly. "Yeah, and I love peas!" she said sarcastically. "Can we go now, Max?"
Max and Liz pulled apart. "I thought you wanted to put the top up, Iz?" he said, annoyed.
"I changed my mind. Let's go. Bye Liz!" She stared pointedly at the dark haired girl and rolled her eyes.
"Quit being so damn mean to her, Isabel!" Max yelled and Isabel's eyes went wide. He had never yelled at her before and she was surprised.
"Sorry Liz," she said sincerely.
"Hey, no problem. Bye guys, I'll see you later. Bye Max." Liz said and then she ran up to the ladder outside of her balcony. She climbed up and then ran to her window and crawled through. She quickly changed into some p.j.'s and then put a towel over her head to create the illusion that she had just gotten out of the shower. They would never know because you couldn't hear her shower from their room. She went down to her parent's room to say goodnight.
Her father cleared his throat. "Liz, it's twelve-fifteen, you're late."
Liz cleared her throat and put on the charm. She shook her head and laughed like he was crazy, tossing her head. "I'm not late daddy, I've been home for like, twenty minutes. I just forgot to tell you I was home. It was cold and rainy outside so I decided to go take a shower and when I was in the shower, I remembered that I promised to check in. I'm sorry."
Her dad's smile said that he didn't believe her one bit and she held her breath. "Okay, Liz. If you say so. Good night." She leaned in and kissed her dad on the cheek and then walked around to her mother's side of the bed and did the same.
"Goodnight!" she said and walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. She leaned against the wall outside of the room and exhaled in relief, her heart beat finally slowing. The last time she had been late, she had gotten grounded for two weeks. She wondered why her dad let her get away with it when he obviously knew she was lying?
She shook her head and returned to her room. Max would be there soon!
"God, I am so hungry," Maria said absently as her and Michael drove towards his apartment. She glanced over to the passenger side and smirked. "We were kind of busy when they everyone else ate."
"Sorry," Michael said and then smiled and blinked several times. "I was more hungry for you than for hamburgers at the time."
Maria lauged and nodded. "Yeah, me too."
He reached over and grabbed her hand and squeezed it. "But I'll make you a deal."
"If you're a good girl, and if you stop at the store so I can get the stuff, I'll make you my all-time famous three-cheese omlette."
She grimaced slightly. "Sorry, but no thanks. I don't like eggs."
Michael placed his hand over his hear and leaned his head back dramatically. "Shot down! Oh, the pain! The horror!" He looked over at her and grinned. "Well Miss. Pickey. How about some pancakes with boisenberry syrup and whipcream?"
She nodded enthusiastically. "Now you're talkin'."
Max climbed up Liz's ladder and pulled himself over and onto her balcony. He walked to the window and slipped inside, and shook the rain out of his hair. He looked around and smiled. Liz had turned off the lights and replaced them with several candles. He frowned however because she didn't seem to be in the room.
"Liz?" he called out quietly.
He got no answer and he shrugged. He took off his jacket and draped it over the top of the chair at her desk. Then he went and stood by the window and watched the rain fall. He didn't hear the door open behind him over the sound of the splattering rain.
Liz walked in ballancing two cans of cherry-cola, a bottle of tabasco, and two glasses filled with ice. She noticed Max standing by the window and smiled. He was wearing a tight pair of dark blue jeans and they gave her a great view of his ass, which made her smile widen and her eyebrows wiggle. *Very nice,* she though.
"Max," she whispered as she put down her handful on the desk.
He turned around and looked at her for a second and then he smiled. "Hey you," he whispered back and walked towards her.
"Oh my God, Michael! These are so good!" Maria said after she took her first bite of pancakes. "Where did you learn to cook?" she asked as she reached for her glass of milk and and took a drink.
Michael looked down at his own plate of steaming pancakes, poured quite a bit of Tabasco over them, and took his own bite. "Not bad," he said and then swallowed and looked her in the eye. "Well you see, Hank didn't exactly cook, so if I wanted a hot meal, I either had to go get it somewhere or make it myself. So I learned how to cook pretty early. Otherwise, I would go all day without eating." He laughed bitterly and said "There were a couple of times that I actually went three or four days without eating and I was too stubborn to take any of the food that Max and Isabel would offer, so I starved."
Maria frowned and her stomach did flip-flops.
Michael frowned himself at her reaction and asked her if she was okay.
She looked up and nodded, a weak smile on her lips. "That's just so horrible. The thought just made me feel kind of ill. But I don't want you to think I'm pittying you. I'm not. Just the thought of that makes me ill as it always does when I think of people starving or not having a place to live. I've always been like that and I think I always will."
Michael nodded, almost to himself and then spoke positively. "Just think. It gave me a reason to learn how to cook, and now that I have my own place, it sure comes in handy, right."
She nodded and grinned as she used her fork to cut into her pancakes. "And if you didn't learn how to cook, I would not be here at this moment enjoying the best pancakes in the entire world."
Max took notice of Liz's lack of dress as he walked over to her. She wore a satin robe and it didn't appear that there was anything underneath. He took her into his arms and kissed her lightly.
When he pulled back he gazed into her eyes and shook his head. "Liz, I was only away from you for twenty- five minutes and it was agony. I don't know how I'm going to be able to survive entire nights away from you."
Liz smiled in delight and then averted her eyes and spoke quietly. "Well, Max. We can take care of that problem for tonight at least. I was hoping that you would stay here with me tonight. You'd have to be gone or well hidden before my parents woke-up, but I want you here all night."
He smiled and nodded. Too himself he groaned. He knew it was going to be a long night with her wearing that thin, skimpy robe and he didn't know how long his control would last if she tried to talk him into making love again.
She smiled. "So what do you want to do?"
|Part 10 | Index | Part 12
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