FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"The Way You Love Me"
Part 20
by LivE
Disclaimer: I own nothing Roswell...
Summary: This is the third story in a trilogy that I didnít intend to write! It started with The Experiment and Finding Our Normal. For the most part, this story is about Max and Liz and how wonderful their relationship is!
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
Authors Note: It is advisable to read The Experiment and FON first, otherwise you're going to be a little lost. Also, if you like Tess, don't read this fic!
**ONE WEEK LATER***

Iím finally going home! Sitting on the plane next to Nick, Liz reflected on the past week. Monday had been utter hell of course. The story about her "hottie" boyfriend and her uninhibited behavior around him had done the rounds and she suddenly found herself the center of attraction in the class. The girls wanted to know everything about Max and those that had seen him gushed endlessly about how sexy he was. Liz wanted to knock their teeth out, he was hers and they shouldnít be talking about him like that! She even contemplated putting her ring back on to shut them up, but the idea of ruining the surprise for her friends and family stopped her.

The guysÖ well, they apparently just wanted HER now. ĎWe didnít know you were such a warm-blooded babe, Liz!í She ignored them for the most part, but she could see that Nick got annoyed with all the little comments and cautioned him not to do anything about it. He gave her a look that said Max would have a fit about this if he knew, but left it there.

Luckily the course had gotten more intense as the week progressed and everyone reverted to studying almost non-stop. The best candidate from the course would get a college scholarship for the first year and it was a sweet incentive indeed. Liz ended up just missing the prize but she was proud of herself anyway. Not as much as Nick though, who had immediately phoned Max to spill about her wonderful course grades. Liz looked at him indulgently. He was acting more like a big brother every day.

Nick grinned back at her. He had a lot to be happy about. He was delivering Liz back to Max safely, for which he was eternally grateful. Awful things always seemed to happen to one of them when Max and Liz were apart and he never wanted to be the person to tell Max Evans something was wrong with his Liz. But here they were going home, Liz was fine and he could just imagine Max pacing with anticipation in the arrivalís hall of the Albuquerque airport right now!

His smile vanished as he contemplated the whole mess with Nacedo and Tess. They havenít been able to find them yet, but it was difficult when they had to rely on members of the other races for information. He couldnít really risk sending out a lot of communications since that would only alert other aliens of his group here on earth. And earth was not ready to hear that an alien King and some of his people had been living among them for a while! Nick decided to only talk to Max or Liz after he had something concrete to report. They needed to live normally for as long as they could.

He would also not tell either Max or Liz about the guy he intercepted in front of Lizís room one night. One of her classmates who decided to come find out if Liz was as hot as everyone told him. Nick had been tempted to rough the guy up a little, Liz WAS the mate of his leader after all, but in the end, he settled for scaring the living daylights out of the guy. Afterwards, he couldnít help thinking that his raceís strategy of bonding a male and female sometime during puberty was maybe not such a bad idea. It cut out a lot of this macho fighting over one woman.

Max sat in the airport with his hands clasped between his knees, looking outwardly calm when he was anything but. Liz was coming home! He had left his four friends in the middle of decorating Michaelís apartment (much to Michaelís disgust) for a homecoming party that would take place later tonight. But first, he was taking Liz home to their apartment for a private homecoming celebration.

After he came back from Boston last Sunday night, he had moved back into the apartment. With Tess gone and knowing that there was only a week left before Liz returned, he felt like facing the empty apartment again. He had needed to feel Lizís presence around him and having her things all over the place, her scent permeating all the rooms, helped a little when missing her got too much to bear. It also helped when he started finding little notes she left him all over the place. Stuff like: Iím missing hearing your voice right now and Youíre the love of my life were scribbled on little pieces of paper in Lizís meticulous handwriting. He found them in his underwear and socks, in the coffee can, inside some of his notebooksÖ They made him smile and love her even more. Not all were so innocent and romantic though, and these made him ache to hold her again.

School had seemed empty without her. He missed meeting her at her locker or just hearing her voice. Not that he was allowed much time to himself. Maria and Michael were all over him and he couldnít remember seeing so many movies in one week in his life. Only after he pleaded that he needed time to study, did they allow him a night alone.

The plane touched down with a soft bump and Liz had to fight down the urge to jump and run through all the people to get to Max. Stay calm, she cautioned herself. She thought she was doing well until Nick handed her her carry-on luggage from the overhead compartment and she realized her hands were shaking. It seemed to take forever to walk off the plane. Liz felt close to hyperventilating and she had to remind herself to breathe normally as she followed the queue of disembarking passengers. However, all rational thought flew out of the window when she caught sight of Max, waiting just inside the arrival hall door for her, his hands in his pockets. Their eyes met first, sending each other messages over the space that still existed between them. The next moment she was in his arms, being held tightly against his chest. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed her face closer into his throat. Her heart was singing: Iím home! Iím home! Iím home! Home was in Max Evansí armsÖ wherever he was.

"Wow, I missed you!" His voice was rough in her ear and he still did not let her out of his arms. "Iím so proud of you." They werenít kissing, but just stood clasped in a tight embrace for endless minutes until Max finally noticed Nick standing off to the side. "Hey Nick. Welcome back."

Liz could hear the rumble of Maxís voice under her ear and nothing had ever sounded so sweet. She twisted around in Maxís arms and beamed a brilliant smile at Nick. "I donít know how to thank you. For looking out for me these two weeks."

"Me either," Max added. His eyes told Nick everything he didnít want to say in front of Liz. Thank you for keeping her safe. Thank you for bringing her back.

"Well, Iím off. My wife hasnít seen me in a week!" Nick picked up his bags. "Take care, you two," he said before disappearing to where he had left his car.

Max turned Liz back to face him and cupped her cheeks with his hands. His eyes traced her features for a long time, until Liz curled her fingers into his sweater and tugged him closer. "A kiss would be good now!"

He was grinning against her lips: "Minx!" The kiss was tender and full of love, their mouths fitting together perfectly. It lasted for long breathless minutes before Max lifted his head and said: "Letís go home."

He took her hand and grabbed her luggage before steering her outside to the Jeep. The ride home was lengthy and Liz twisted around in her seat so she could watch him drive. Being away from him for almost two weeks made her appreciate simple pleasures like this again. Max kept flashing smiles at her and touching her when driving allowed it. So finally, Liz gave up trying to stay away from him and maneuvered herself so she could lie with her head on his thigh. It was glorious to feel the heat of his skin through his khaki pants and she rubbed her hand over his leg, just enjoying being close to him again.

Max brushed her hair from her face tenderly until his fingers could skim over the soft skin of her face. She was just perfect to him. Tiny and beautiful and wonderful and perfect. His Liz.

~*~*~*~*~*~

It was late afternoon when they got home and Max took her up to say hi to her parents first. They were overjoyed to see her back in one piece, not to mention beaming with pride because she did so well during the course. Max hung back to allow them some time together and watched indulgently as she dug small gifts for her mom and dad from her bags. They promised to have lunch together the next day and Liz walked back into Maxís embrace before turning to say good-bye. Her mom had tears in her eyes again, but she just waved them off when they asked about it. "Iím fine. Go."

When Max and Liz had left the apartment, Nancy turned to her husband. "Sheís grown up, Jeff! She doesnít need me anymore." Jeff just held her and refrained to mention that Liz had apparently stopped needing them as soon as Max Evans had entered her life. He was used to Nancyís bouts of sadness because Liz was not her little girl anymore. He felt the same way. It was hard watching his little princess look at another man like he was the center of her universe. And he tried not to think too much about the fact that Max was all too intimate with Liz. He was just happy that they hadnít lost Liz completely during all the craziness that took place last summer.

Downstairs, Max picked Liz up to carry her into the apartment, making her laugh delightedly. A laugh that turned into a surprised gasp when she saw the bunches of flowers that adorned the small apartment. They were everywhere, in the kitchen, the bedroom and even in the bathroom. She swung around to Max who was clearly enjoying her reaction. He held open his arms and she flung herself into his chest. "I love you! You are the sweetest man alive!"

"Welcome home," he whispered against her hair, holding her tightly.

Finally moving away, he took her hand and led her into the bedroom. He reached out and took the ring from her neck, sliding it from its chain before slipping it onto her finger. Lifting her hand, he kissed the finger with the ring on. "I wish you could wear this already," he said wistfully.

"Me too." She leaned closer to him, silently asking him to kiss her.

He caught her face in his hands, resting his forehead against hers. "Liz, I-I want to take it slow right now. I want to feel every second of being with you, so donít make it impossible for me, okay?"

Smiling she stepped into his body and looked up at him through her eyelashes. "Are you saying that I could make it impossible for you?"

"Yes!" he groaned, grabbing her hips and moving her back a bit. "You know very well you can drive me completely insane if you want to, so pleaseÖ just let me do this."

Seeing that he was completely serious, Liz nodded her acquiescence. And she wasnít sorry. For Max undressed her slowly before running his hands and his mouth over every inch of her skin. He kept the pace of their lovemaking languid and tender in spite of her pleas and it all built to a wonderful explosion for both of them. Liz ended up lying boneless and completely satisfied in his arms, wondering again what she had done to deserve this.

~*~*~*~*~*~

The party with all of their friends later that night was fun, mostly because Michael kept grumbling about how the girls had turned his apartment into something from a freak-show carnival for which Maria smacked him every time. Liz had to tell stories of Boston and of her course mates and Maria regaled everyone on the latest embarrassing gossip going around school. Liz watched as they consumed all the pizza that was delivered and sighed. It was good to be home.

~*~*~*~*~*~

They were jerked awake by loud knocking on their door the next morning. "What the hell?" Max glared at the clock before stumbling out of bed and yanking on some pants. "Stay here, love, Iíll go see who it is." He gave Liz a quick kiss on her shoulder and left.

Liz, being Liz, didnít follow orders, but grabbed her robe and got up. When she arrived in the living room, she was just in time to hear Nick saying: "I have newsÖ"

Part 19 | Index | Part 21
Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours
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