|"One True Thing"
Disclaimer: I own nothing having anything to do with Roswell, but thanks for
Summary: Max opens a connection with Maria with disastrous results; from Maria's POV
Category: Unconventional Couples
Authors Note: Feedback is always appreciated. Thanks!
|Max's bedroom. That night.
Max flips on his bathroom light so that his room isn't so dark. I stand against the door, my heart pounding in my chest. He smiles reassuringly and comes to stand before me. One of his hands comes up to play with my hair, then he touches my face with the back of his hand. My heart starts to thump a little harder - he's trying to arouse me so that the connection can begin. I don't know how to tell him that nothing he can do can override my mounting fear. His actions are only making me more nervous. I put a hand on his chest and push him gently aside. He looks confused, but I motion to the bed.
We lie down, facing each other. He puts his hand on my hip and kisses my neck. My body starts to quiver. I don't want the connection to start, I want to resist all of his temptations. He moves to my earlobe and bites it softly. I can't let this happen.
He pulls away and looks into my face. His free hand touches my hair again, then the hand on my hip moves to my chest, over my heart. I can see from his eyes that he knows it is pounding not out of excitement but out of sheer terror.
"I won't let anything happen to you," he says softly. "I won't let you die." He pushes my shirt over my shoulder and kisses the skin over my rapidly beating heart. Against my ear he whispers, "I love you, Maria. Do you love me?"
It's starting. I feel that odd sensation in my stomach, that nervous energy like a glowing ball waiting to burst forward. I fight it, him. But he feels it too, and he's talking into my ear again. "Trust me, Maria."
I can't stop it, I can't control it. I feel like I am swirling down the biggest drain in the world. I flail for control, but I'm lost to the tide. I am suddenly in the desert again. I can't breathe, I can't hear anything. Max is there again, reaching out his hand for me. His lips are moving, but I can't understand him. I look toward the sky - the clouds are rolling in. Max stops smiling, but this time his hand doesn't drop to his side. This time he motions with his fingers, beckoning me. Then I can read his lips. Maria. Trust. Me.
This is it. This is what this has been about. I can't trust Max. I haven't really trusted Max from the beginning. It's not about him and what he is, it's about me and what I am. My inability to trust anyone has put my life in danger. I look up to the sky again. The clouds are black, angry. Max is waiting. I reach out my hand and touch his.
I am back in Max's bedroom. I am flat on my back and he is breathing into my mouth - he was giving me mouth-to-mouth, trying to save my life. I gasp in a large gulp of air and he pulls back, his eyes frightened. I can feel the connection coursing through my body, and it is on a much different level this time. Not only can I feel his heart, his breath in my body, I can actually feel his blood rushing through my veins, feel his emotions as he experiences them. He feels it too - one of his hands goes to his chest and he gasps. I am reeling from the sensation, from the knowledge that we are now one.
Max reaches down and puts a hand behind my neck. "Maria," he gasps. "Are you okay?"
I throw my arms around him and kiss him harder than I ever have. He chokes back his surprise at first, but when my hand goes to his zipper and unceremoniously drops it, he can't hold back his reaction. "Make love to me, Max" I plead with him.
His mind is reeling. Just two minutes ago he thought I was dying, now I am asking him to make love to me. I feel him erase the doubts from his mind and his mouth descends on mine. I feel his hands, our hands, push up my skirt and discard my underwear. His lips, my lips, our lips are on my breasts. Then I am riding the tide with him, joined, completing our connection. I can't help it - I cry out so loud my throat stings.
The connection wanes as Max collapses on top of me. His skin is damp with sweat, his breathing labored. I am gasping for air as well and I bring my hand up to touch his hair. His chest expands against mine as he pants, I hear him swallow hard, and his heart pounds steadily beside mine. I feel the rhythm slow as his body returns to normal.
My toes and fingertips are absolutely tingling. Once I have caught my breath, I allow myself a smile and revel in the pleasure of the sensations coursing through my body. Our union has made me incredibly tired.
Finally Max raises his head. I try not to laugh - the poor guy looks exhausted! But he smiles and touches my face lovingly. He kisses me, gently, slowly, then eases his weight off of me. I frown at the cold air that assaults my body. I'm surprised that Max gets up from the bed and doesn't try to cuddle in with me. I watch him walk to the bathroom and soon I hear the water running in the tub. This puzzles me because Max is not a post-coitus clean freak - he doesn't usually run for the shower after we've made love.
He returns to the bedroom and stops before the bed. Reaching down, he takes my hand and pulls me to a sitting position. My muscles feel like spaghetti. He carefully pulls my shirt over my head, then unzips my skirt and pulls that off also. He effortlessly scoops me into his arms and walks to the bath. He kisses me tenderly, then places me in the tub. Neither of us has spoken; I just watch him move around the small room. He squirts some bubble bath into the tub - Max Evans has bubble bath in his bathroom? Who would've thought it? I smile at that. Then he rummages under the sink and produces a couple of candles. He doesn't need matches - he snaps his fingers and the candles jump to life. He turns out the light and proceeds to remove the remainder of his clothing.
In the flickering candlelight, I watch in wonder as he stoops to pull his jeans from his body. He is perfectly sculpted and his muscles shift beneath his skin with every movement. Once undressed, he steps into the tub, sliding behind me and straddling me. He uses his toes to turn off the water, then he pulls me back against him, cradling me against his chest. Picking up a bath sponge, he silently washes me. When he is finished, he lays his hand on my head and turns it so that my ear is against his chest.
"Sleep," he says softly, his voice reverberating under my ear.
And I can't fight the exhaustion in my body so I do just that.
The quarry. Noonish.
He's in the water again, swimming out to that little island in the middle of the quarry. I have to wonder if his home planet is devoid of water, because he sure seems to enjoy it on this world, in this life. I watch his arms rising and falling above the water, then stopping. For a moment my heart jerks in my chest because he has disappeared, but then I see his feet rise above the water as he dives beneath the surface. A few moments later, I see his arms again, then his whole body as he pulls himself onto the shore of the island.
It's been a week since we connected in his bedroom. My life, my outlook has changed. All of this time, I thought that I had been giving my all in my relationships, that I couldn't possibly offer Michael or Max anything more than what I had. But the one thing I could not offer - myself - was the Achilles heel of both of those relationships. I've covered all of my insecurities by making jokes, by trying to not be serious about anything.
Luckily, I realized that before I lost Max, before I pushed him away. I have to wonder if I would've been more trusting with Michael, would I have been able to maintain our relationship. Maybe that's what he needed from me, but I couldn't give it to him. It doesn't matter now. I've given that trust to Max, and we've never been closer.
I see Max drop to his butt on the shore of the island, picking at something in the sand between his feet. Even though I am too far away, I can just imagine the look on his face - his brows knitted together in curiosity, his bottom lip half in his mouth as he bites it. I smile at that. I wonder about his curious nature. Maybe he's just inquisitive, but then again maybe some deep part of him remembers his old world and he is trying to make comparisons. I don't know for sure, but I love him for it.
Max stands and slips back into the water. I watch him swim the distance of the quarry and pull himself ashore near me. He walks over to the blanket and lies down on his back. I look over at his stomach and start to descend on it.
He moves quicker than I do, though and suddenly I am on my back, struggling for control as he places his mouth on my abdomen and blows. I can't believe he just belly-farted me! I feel his body shake as he laughs at my squeal, then he stretches out on his side beside me on the blanket. He retrieves his baseball cap and covers the side of his face with it to shield his eyes from the sun and buries his head in my shoulder. In a matter of minutes, he is asleep against me, his breath coming in a slow steady rhythm.
I turn my head so that I can watch him sleep. His eyelids flutter, his dark lashes brushing his cheeks, and I know he is dreaming. His lips are parted slightly, just giving a glimpse of his white teeth. I look up into the sky, at the sun, and it strikes me that we are like two lizards baking on a rock. I want to stay here forever, with him.
I reach over and touch his face. He stirs in his sleep, mumbles something incoherent, and wraps an arm across my waist. I smile - that's exactly what I wanted him to do. I snuggle into him and close my eyes. Lying in the sun, listening to Max's steady breathing, I am suddenly sleepy. And I feel at ease enough, safe enough to let myself drift off. It feels good to trust.
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