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One More Time: Part 7

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Sent to the Roswell Slash Archive March 31, 2003

        Max looked around at the bright lights. People were laughing and having a good time with their friends and lovers. Not Max. He could no longer enjoy carnivals. One, because of the incident last spring with Agent Pierce. Two, he was sitting on a bench between the only two women in the world that he had ever kissed, who were also the only two women in the world capable of driving him absolutely insane.

        Liz sighed and picked at her caramel apple. She and Tess had sacrificed their fun to stay with Max. They were able to get him to the carnival but he wouldn't do anything. Liz knew how he was feeling. Cotton candy made her nauseous. The carousel made her dizzy and the house of mirrors scared her to death.

        "Can we leave?" Max hissed. He pleaded with both girls.

        "Only way to get rid of your fears is to face them." Tess interjected. "Maybe next year we'll get you to walk up to the house of mirrors."

        "It's okay, really." Liz wrapped an arm around his shoulders and offered him some of her apple. "It's really good. The apple is green and really sour and the caramel is almost too sweet."

        "Ooh! Can I have some?" Tess leaned over Max and took a bite. He leaned back as much as Liz would let him and watched as they tried not to make a mess. The caramel came off the apple in strings, disappearing into Tess's mouth. Her tongue whipped out and caught most of them.

        He shifted rather uncomfortably between them. Then a cold drop fell on his arm. He glanced down at it. Juice from the apple had just made a sticky mess on his arm. Liz giggled. "Sorry. Tess needs a bib."

        "Dow Now." Tess tried to talk around her mouthful. She pushed the apple towards Max. "Twai sowm."

        "Ew." Liz made a face at her friend before they dissolved into giggles.

        Max rolled his eyes and gripped Liz's hand so he could take a bite. Their eyes met as his teeth sank in. Quickly he sucked the mass of apple and caramel into his mouth, licking away the strings that threatened to make a mess of them. He watched her swallow and her eyes darken.

        Liz cleared her throat. She had forgotten how dangerous it was to look into his eyes. "See, Tess. Max knows how to eat. What were you? Raised in a barn?"

        Tess giggled. "No but I didn't have the benefit of being raised by humans."

        "Excuse me. Do they not have manners among the stars?" Liz stuck her nose in the air.

        "Apparently not." Tess snorted. They all stopped, frozen. Tess had a hand over her mouth.

        "Did you just..." Max swallowed his apple. "Snort?"

        "I think she did." Liz bit her lip. Then they all burst out laughing. Then they couldn't stop laughing. For a minute they forgot any and all tension between them. "Okay. Now my stomach hurts."

        "I'm gonna get some chicharrones. Anyone want anything?" Max pulled himself from between them and got to his feet.

        "Cotton candy." Tess's eyes lit up. He watched Liz's face go pale at that request.

        "Liz?" His concerned amber eyes searched her face.

        "I'm good. I'm not actually hungry anymore." She shrugged and held up what was left of her apple.

        "Okay. I'll be right back." He started to walk away. Tess then slapped her forehead.

        "Max, scratch that. Funnel cake." She told him. She had forgotten about Liz's aversion to the fluffy sugar treat. Max nodded and made his way to the concession stand.

        "You didn't have to do that." Liz shook her head and turned to her friend.

        "Are you kidding?" Tess sat up and pretended not to know what Liz was talking about. "When I dip the cotton candy into Max's chicharrones, it'll melt. The funnel cake will hold up better against the hot sauce."

        Grinning, Liz hugged Tess. It made her feel better that her friends understood. While they waited for Max to return, they started talking about their English project and what they were going to do. Liz was explaining how she was going to use her grandmother's book when suddenly, Tess's hand touched her face.

        Liz stopped talking and met Tess's eyes in question. Tess leaned in and pressed her lips against Liz's. Liz noted how Tess's lips were soft and pushed insistently at her own and then the kiss deepened by some mutual agreement. Tess's tongue felt like silk in her mouth. Liz found herself reciprocating the kiss and then it was over.

        Tess pulled away from Liz. She was half afraid that what she had done would scare her and the other half afraid that she wasn't. Liz turned to sit facing the crowd. She licked her lips, barely tasting the cherry lip gloss that Tess was wearing, still tasting the caramel that had been in both their mouths. She opened her mouth to speak, still not even sure what she was going to say when her eyes found Max. He was heading for them, arms full of junk food.

        "You're gonna be proud of me. I had to stand in line outside the house of mirrors for the concession stand." Max's smile faded a little when he noticed how subdued the girls seem to be. Liz shook her head and smiled up at him.

        "That's good. Next time, I'll go. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll actually be able to go in again." She shrugged her shoulders and took a soda from his load.

        Tess scooted back on the other side of the bench and let Max have his seat back. He could feel the tension but decided against asking. Liz's smile seemed too bright and she kept touching his arm, his leg, his hair. She even fed him a couple of hot sauce soaked chicharrones. If he didn't know better, he'd swear she was flirting with him.

        They actually had a lot of fun. They'd swat away Tess's attempts to dip her funnel cake into his bag of hot sauce and fried pig-product. Then Liz rested her head on his shoulder and sighed deeply. Tess winced slightly and got to her feet. "You guys look tired. I'm gonna go find the others and tell them we headed back. Meet you guys at the jeep."

        "Thanks." Max nodded and watched her go. Then he turned to the head resting on his shoulder. "What's up with you and Tess?"

        "Nothing." Came the soft reply.

        "Things seemed a little tense." They both stood but didn't lose their close proximity as they made their way to the jeep. "Did something happen?"

        "Max, shut up." Liz sighed again, leaning on him just a little more. The lights and sounds of the crowds faded behind them the closer they got to the Jeep. He helped her up into the seat. He fought to make out her face in the dark.

        It was while he was staring intently at the outline of her features that she reached out and touched his face. That touch held his full attention until she kissed him. Slow and tortuous was the way their mouths meshed and tasted each other. Max ran his hands up her arms, just needing to touch her. Her fingers tangled in his hair, not allowing him to pull away.

        The sound of footsteps on gravel made them break apart. Max made his way around to the driver's seat. A few minutes later, Tess and Kyle showed up and hopped into the Jeep. Without a word to anyone or from anyone, Max started the engine and began the trip back to Roswell.

        Tess watched Liz stare out into the desert the whole way. Kyle and Max made light conversation regarding sports and whatever song was on the radio. When they dropped off Liz, Tess called after her. Liz just shook her head and went inside without even looking at Tess. Once they pulled back out into the street, Max turned to Tess. "What happened?"

        "Nothing." She shook her head but Kyle caught the sad flash in her eyes.

        "Spill." Kyle pressed. "You were supposed to spend the night at Liz's. I was supposed to get a bed tonight. Why am I not getting a bed tonight?"

        "Fine. I kissed... someone." She stared straight ahead. "I think Liz got upset about it."

        "Ok... is it someone that she knows?"

        "Yeah, it is. I don't even know why I kissed... this someone. I just did. I would never do something like that but I did. I liked it a little more than I should have and this someone might not even... never mind." She shut her mouth to keep from rambling any more. "I don't know what's going to happen now."

        "Liz will get over it." Kyle reassured her as they pulled into the Valenti driveway. He hopped out and waited for Tess but she motioned that she'd be there in a minute.

        "Max?" Tess asked softly.


        "She's upset. Go talk to her. She didn't want me to spend the night, which I understand but she'll be alone. Her parents are at some convention. Don't tell her that you know I kissed someone." She whispered.

        "Who did you kiss that would make her this upset?" Max stared at her hard.

        "Just... it's better if you didn't know. Ok? I'll see you later." Tess climbed out of the Jeep and went inside. He put the Jeep in drive and never really knew when he ended up behind the Crashdown. He debated with himself for five minutes before hopping out and climbing up to the balcony outside her room.

        "You didn't tell them, did you?" Liz's voice startled him. She was sitting on her lounge chair.

        "Tell them what?" He paused a foot away from her.

        "That we kissed." She looked up and met his eyes.

        "I don't kiss and tell, Liz."

        "Good. Can you... hold me?" Her whisper propelled him to her chair and pulled her into his arms. No sooner than he was situated did she begin kissing on his neck.

        "Liz?" he half asked/half groaned. It had been so long since she had been willing to touch him, much less kiss him that it immediately drove him wild. Kisses were exchanged in depth and length, touches met familiar parts of the other's anatomy. Their mild, at least by their normal standards, make-out session was ended when Max's watched beeped.

        "You have to go?" She gasped against his mouth.

        "Yeah, curfew." He just didn't want to leave her mouth or her body. He wanted to stay right where he was until they completely melted into one person. Finally, he ripped himself away. "I gotta go."

        Liz watched him cross to the ladder and send her a parting glance before his head disappeared over the edge. "Max?"

        "What?" His head popped back up.

        "I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone that we were... together tonight." She watched his head slowly bob up and down in agreement before he disappeared out of sight again. Max climbed into the Jeep and silently cursed to himself. He shouldn't have taken advantage of her being upset.

        Liz groaned. She shouldn't have done it. The only reason she had initiated closeness with Max was to take her mind off Tess's kiss... and the fact that she liked it a little too much.

Continue to part 8

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