|"Strong, Dangerous & Undeniable"|
Disclaimer: The characters belong to M. Metz, J. Katims, and The WB. I'm only gently leading them where I'd like them to go.|
Summary: This story begins with the scene in MITC when Liz does her astral projection thing. It follows along with everything in the show up to that point, and goes on to explore Liz's powers, and to resolve the obstacles in the path of her being together with Max.
|"What do you mean," Liz asked, her brows furrowed with confusion. "If we were together, don't you think they'd notice? I
mean, we'd have to tell them something."|
Max thought he had hit upon the perfect solution, if she would only agree to it. Well, it wasn't perfect, he amended, but it would allow them to be together, and now that the possibility was within his reach, he wouldn't give it up easily. He couldn't.
"We just won't tell them the whole truth. We can say that I've forgiven you for what you did with Kyle," she grimaced, and he winced in apology, "and we've decided to take things slow. Kind of like Isabel and Alex's relationship used to be. Not be all intense, like a 'soulmates back together' kind of thing, but like friends- close friends," he grinned, "with the possibility of something more serious. That way we could kind of feel Tess out, see how she'd react to us being back together."
He looked closely at Liz to gauge her reaction.
She looked into his eyes with a half-smile, intrigued by the idea. She could see its possibilities. They could be together. And they wouldn't have to worry about how it would affect anyone else if no one knew about it. It would mean continuing to keep the secret, but at least Max knew the truth now. That was the most important thing. It might even be kind of fun to sneak around with Max.
"It would mean lying to everyone, though, Max. And I'm really sick of lying."
"Yeah, I know, but it'll only be temporary, until we can figure out what might happen when everyone knows we're back together. If we think Tess is going to be okay with it, then we can talk to her first, before telling everyone else. It probably won't be for long."
Liz asked hesitantly, "But what if she isn't okay with it?"
Max took a deep breath. "Well...we'll just- we'll have to deal with that when it comes. But, I really think it's going to be okay, Liz. I honestly don't think she's going to mind."
Liz let that go without comment. "A-and what about the destiny thing? What if your future self was right about you and Tess needing to be a couple?"
Max shook his head. "He couldn't know that, Liz. I mean, how could he? It didn't happen that way, and there's no way for him to know what it would have changed unless it had happened that way. It was just speculation on his part."
Liz just couldn't seem to let it go. "But what if he learned something, about your past, or your home, and that's how he knew it had to be?"
Max wanted to soothe all her fears, and if she needed to list them one by one, he was willing to be her sounding board.
"Did he tell you that?" he asked.
"No. But he said he couldn't tell me too much, only what I needed to know."
"Well, don't you think that would be something you would need to know?"
"I would think that. But who knows what a leather-clad warrior out to save the world would consider essential information," she grumbled.
Max arched a brow and she smiled sheepishly as she realized what she'd just said. "Um, would you consider it essential information?"
"If I were out to save the world?" he asked with amusement. "I would think it might be pertinent, yeah."
She smiled wryly and cut her eyes to the side, before bursting into quiet laughter. Max chuckled in response.
It felt so good to laugh with him again! It created a warm glow within her, and she felt hope stirring to life in her heart. After everything they'd been through, if they could still manage to come to the point where they could actually laugh about what had happened, then surely they could overcome anything.
His deep, soulful eyes were alight with laughter, and she loved seeing them that way. The sadness they had contained since she'd lied to him had haunted her. But there were no shadows there now. The dancing lights within them made his eyes look more green than gold, and she was riveted by their beauty. Until the happy curve of his lips claimed her attention.
Max's laughter was arrested as he noticed the way her velvet eyes had focused intently on his mouth. His heart began to thud heavily, as warmth coursed throughout his body. He'd missed seeing this look on Liz Parker's face. This look that said she was absolutely fascinated by him and was held in awe by the feelings he evoked. It made him feel at once ten feet tall and utterly humbled, to think that she could feel this way about him. It had torn him apart to think that Kyle might have received even one of these looks from her dark eyes. These looks belonged to him and him alone, Max thought possessively.
He held his breath as Liz lifted a finger in seemingly slow-motion, to graze his lips. The simple touch electrified him and his breath escaped in a rush.
"Liz!" he whispered longingly.
How long had it been since he'd felt her lips on his, he wondered desperately. It seemed like another lifetime ago. He wanted to just scoop her up against him the same way he had that time in the back room of the Crashdown, the night of the strawberry kiss. He'd been driven to the Crashdown that night by an urgent need unlike anything he'd ever felt before. Once he'd gotten there, he'd tried to keep himself under control, but Liz had brushed teasingly against him again and again, slowly driving him insane. He'd finally just grabbed her for one of the most breathtaking kisses he'd ever experienced.
The feelings surging through his body now rivaled anything he'd felt that night. He wanted to kiss her more than he wanted his next breath, but he clenched his fists and forced himself to remain still underneath Liz's caressing fingertip. He would let her set the pace. He was aware that she hadn't actually agreed to his plan for them to be together, and he didn't want to push her. He would let her call the shots. Even if it killed him.
Liz traced the outline of his lips lightly, and when they parted for her, she dipped her finger slightly inside his open mouth to test the texture of his soft inner lip. She gently stroked the fullness of his bottom lip, leaving behind a trail of dampness that felt white-hot. Her eyes were heavy-lidded as they latched covetously on the perfection of his mouth. Memories of every pleasure that mouth had ever given her flooded her mind, and heat rushed through her, awakening an exacting hunger that caused her insides to quiver with yearning.
Max had remained passive as long as he could. The urge to touch her became a living thing that he could no longer suppress, and he eased his hand up to cup the underside of her jaw, while looking deeply into her eyes. His thumb brushed across her lips in a feathery caress, and they responded by parting on a long, shuddering intake of air. Her eyes clung to his as she whispered his name.
Her hand had dropped to rest on his chest, and she could feel the pounding of his heart through the thin material of his shirt. All her thought processes ceased to function as her world narrowed down until it consisted of nothing more than their racing hearts and the feel of the soft pad of his thumb as it stroked across her lips again and again. The repetitive movements felt hypnotizing, and her lips began to feel tingly and hypersensitive. Her eyes dropped to his lips again as the craving to feel them against her own became the single driving force of her life.
The dark heat in her eyes as they focused hungrily on his mouth once more made his breath come quicker. The strain of holding himself in check actually had him trembling. Her hand slid up his chest to slip behind his neck and urge his head down to hers, while her lips lifted temptingly towards his. Max needed no further prompting. His lips closed over hers hungrily and she eagerly welcomed them with a breathy moan.
His hands gently cradled the sides of her face, and the warm familiarity of the gesture brought tears to her eyes. She granted his tongue immediate entrance into her mouth the moment it came searching for hers, and upon discovery, they tangled hotly together, as his lips greedily ate at hers in gentle, consuming bites. She cupped his jaw in the palm of her hand, and met each hungry pass of his mouth with one of her own. As his lips tore away from hers to glide across her cheek to the curve of her neck, she threw her head back with a gasp, and reveled in the feelings he brought to life in her. She'd been so afraid that she'd never know the exhilaration of his kisses again. Only Max could make her feel like this. No one else but Max.
Their lips came together again, as if unable to remain apart for long, now that they had rediscovered their counterparts. With a blinding flash of light that exploded behind their eyelids, the connection between them came to life. Images and emotions came pouring through, and drowned both of them in the heady feeling of being filled and utterly surrounded by the one they loved. They gasped for breath as they were completely overcome with the physical and mental sensations. Each of them ran the gamut of emotions as they experienced what the other had been through since they'd been apart.
The feel of Max's pain left Liz clutching at him in an effort to take it all away, and she whimpered softly. Pulling her tightly against him in response, Max gentled their kiss to soothe and comfort the hurt he felt in her. He speared his hand through the dark silk of her hair to cup the side of her head, and tuck it closer to his. He poured feelings of hope, love, apology, and forgiveness into the kiss, as his lips softly closed over hers again and again. The tender kisses he rained across her cheek, her eyelids, and up to her forehead were a healing balm, and she gloried in them. She offered gentle consolation of her own in the delicate kisses she pressed on the strong column of his throat. His hand fisted in the hem of her sweater.
"I love you, Liz," he whispered fiercely.
"I love you, too," she returned, and burrowed herself in his arms. He gladly gave her shelter, wrapping her more securely within his embrace, his head bent over hers protectively.
Bound tightly in one another's loving arms, they breathed in peace by the starving lungful, and released all the pain and heartache, until they felt whole again.
|Part 8 | Index | Part 10|
|Max/Liz | Michael/Maria | Alex/Isabel | UC Couples | Valenti | Other | Poetry | Crossovers | AfterHours|