Title: Making It Work
Disclaimer: The characters of "Roswell" belong to Jason Katims, Melinda Metz, WB, and UPN. They are not mine and no infringement is intended.
Summary: Sequel to The Yule Log. How will Max and Liz's relationship progress while Max is filming in England? And what will happen when Max has to return to his life in LA?
"Mmm," sighed Liz sleepily, as she felt his body shift beneath her, making a move to get up, "don't go."
"I have to," came his soft, whispered tone close to her ear. "I'm sorry."
"No," she mumbled with a pout, tightening her arm around his bare torso in an attempt to prevent him from leaving.
She opened her eyes to find him gazing down at her, his expression a mixture of both amusement and regret.
"Liz, I have to be on set in an hour," he reasoned, "and I can't be late."
"Yeah, you can," she insisted, shifting in the bed so that her body was flush against his, her bare breasts pressing against his chest, her legs tangling with his as she let her foot slide up and down his calf suggestively.
"No, I can't," he repeated, more firmly this time.
She just raised an eyebrow and smirked up at him evocatively.
"And stop that," he scolded, placing his hands on her waist and urging her away from him when she rolled her hips against his provocatively. "I mean it."
She tried to stare him down, but when it became obvious a few moments later that he was not going to back down, she let out a sigh and rolled onto her back.
"Fine," she exhaled in defeat. "Go."
Max rolled his eyes, raising himself up onto one elbow so he could look down at her, "You know I would stay if I could, but if I don't show up to work on time, I'll get fired and I'll have to go back to LA."
"I know, I know," agreed Liz, "but it doesn't mean I have to like the fact that we only get to see each other for a few hours at a time, a couple of days a week."
"It's not ideal, I know, but it's better than nothing, right?" asked Max, as he stroked her bare arm with his fingers, sending shivers down her spine.
"Yeah, I guess it is," she smiled up at him, her heart swelling with emotion as she remembered how lucky she was to have him in her life at all, even if it was only a few hours at a time, a couple of days a week.
A soft smile graced his lips and she watched with baited breath as he lowered his mouth toward hers. Their lips met in a kiss that began soft and gentle, but quickly escalated into fervent and passionate.
"Okay, I really have to go," breathed Max, when they parted for air.
"Okay," she conceded reluctantly, letting her fingers run through his thick, dark hair, before dropping down to the mattress as he sat up and climbed out of her bed.
Biting her lip, she watched as he stood up and reached for his clothes. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she took in the way his lean muscles rippled with every movement he made. Her gaze roamed his muscular back before lowering to the delicious curve of his tight butt and then dropping to his strong thighs.
God, she wished he didn't have to leave so early in the morning. He'd only made it to her flat just before one a.m. and now, barely six hours later, he had to leave again. It just wasn't fair. Was this how their relationship was going to be from now on…a couple of hours of sex in the middle of the night every now and then, whenever he had the time to see her? That wasn't a real relationship, or a particularly healthy one, for that matter. Of course, those occasional few hours together were better than no hours at all, but still, Liz felt like she was missing out on the real thing.
She mustered a smile as Max shot her a grin over his shoulder before heading into the bathroom, but inside she felt a tiny bit miserable. Perhaps this arrangement was all right for now, but eventually she would want more than she thought Max would be able to give with his hectic schedule and Hollywood lifestyle.
"Okay," announced Max a few moments later, as he reappeared in her bedroom and grabbed his wallet and cell phone, before sitting down on the edge of the bed and cupping her cheek in his hand. "I gotta go."
"Okay," Liz nodded.
He lowered his lips to hers once more for a brief, but meaningful kiss, pulling away before it had the chance to get out of control.
"I'll call you later, okay?"
"Sure," she nodded again. "Have a good day."
"You too," he returned with a smile, before sliding off the bed and reaching for his jacket which was draped over a chair against the wall. "And I'll be back as soon as I can, alright?"
"Yeah," she forced a smile.
He headed for the bedroom door and she made a move to get up so she could walk him out.
"No, don't," he held up a hand. "You stay there and get some more rest before work. I can see myself out."
"No, buts," he scolded. "If you try to walk me to the door in nothing but a sheet, I'll never leave."
Before she had time to reply, he'd walked out of the bedroom and to the front door of her flat. She shook her head and let her head flop back against the pillow, staring at the ceiling as she heard the door slam shut behind him. How was she going to survive the next few days without him?
As soon as he'd left her flat, Max came to a stop in front of her door, leaning against the dark wood as he let out a breath he hadn't realised he was holding. It had only been three weeks since they'd started meeting on the nights when he had a few hours of free time, yet on each occasion it was getting harder and harder for him to leave her in the morning.
It wasn't an ideal situation, only being able to see her a couple of nights per week, but with his hectic filming schedule and her nine-to-five job, it was the best they could do right now. Of course he wanted to be able to spend more time with her, at a decent hour of the day, but if a few stolen hours in the middle of the night was all they had, then he would definite make the most of it.
And of course, he wasn't going to think about what would happen in a couple of months' time, when filming on his movie was done and his work permit ran out, meaning he had to return to California – no, he wasn't going to think about the future yet, he was going to live in the moment, at least for now.
"You're in a good mood today," observed Maria, as Liz breezed into the warm coffee shop with a huge smile on her face. Maria narrowed her eyes in suspicion, "Did you get some last night?"
"Maria!" exclaimed Liz, her eyes widening at her friend's bluntness as she slid off her coat and placed it on the back of the chair next to Maria.
"Aww, come on, Liz. It's about time you spilled the beans on this new guy you met over Christmas. You haven't even told me his name yet, for God's sake."
Liz sighed, taking a seat and reaching for the small menu on the table in front of her. It wasn't that she didn't want to confide in Maria about her relationship with Max, but at the same time she kind of wanted to keep it to herself for now, especially considering Max's celebrity status.
"I know I haven't and I'm sorry," she began, "but it's new and I don't want to jinx anything, so for now, I'm keeping the details to myself, okay?"
Maria just watched her for a moment, before finally rolling her eyes, "Fine, you win. For now. But don't think I'm not gonna get it out of you eventually."
"How about a chocolate-chip muffin? My treat," Liz changed the subject quickly, so as to distract Maria from asking any further questions.
Luckily, her friend got the hint and they spent the next thirty minutes catching up on gossip and arranging to meet up with her and Michael on Saturday for a day of shopping and generally having fun. However, by the time Liz arrived back at work after lunch, her good mood from spending a wonderfully satisfying night with Max and from laughing with Maria was waning. Now that she had nothing to look forward to for the next four hours but a mountain of work, her enthusiasm was dipping. It was back to the grindstone again.
She managed to successfully complete two of her tasks for the afternoon, but not without a serious lack of concentration and efficiency, so when the phone rang at three-thirty, it was a welcome distraction.
"Hello, Liz Parker speaking," she greeted, putting on her best fake-enthusiastic voice.
"Hey gorgeous," came the smooth, warm tone.
A smile lit up her face; it was Max.
"Hey, han… you," she replied with a smile. She'd been about to say 'handsome', but quickly changed her mind when she glanced over at her colleagues, who were looking at her curiously. "What's going on?"
"Well, you know, I haven't been able to stop thinking about you since this morning, so I had to call the first chance I got," he replied. Liz's heart did a flip at his words. "And also, I wanted to let you know that I'm now free to come see you Friday night…"
"Really?" grinned Liz as she spoke into the receiver.
"That's not all," he continued. "There've been some problems with the props for the weekend and it turns out that they won't be available until Saturday afternoon… so as a result, I won't be needed on set until at least lunchtime, which means I don't have to leave at the crack of dawn like I did today."
Liz bit her lip in excitement, "That's great… no, wait, it's more than great, it's wonderful! I can't wait."
"Me neither," Max told her.
They continued to speak for a few more minutes, until Liz heard someone calling to Max on the other end of the line and he sighed.
"Look, I'm sorry, I have to go – I'm needed on set," he apologised a moment later. "But I'll see you tomorrow night, okay? I'll give you a call when I'm on my way."
"Yeah, tomorrow," she agreed with a smile, as they said their goodbyes and she hung up the phone with a dreamy sigh.
Maybe this relationship wasn't going to be all that hard to maintain after all.