Max smiled as he sat across the table from Liz. She was so beautiful, he couldn’t stop looking at her.
She wasn’t as formally dressed as last night, but she was wearing a deep red dress that clung to the curves of her body, ending in sort of wispy layers just below her knees.
Max waited until the waiter had taken their order and he was alone with Liz. Leaning in, he put his hand over hers. “You look incredible,” he rumbled.
Liz felt herself blushing. “Thank you,” she said softly. She opened her mouth to speak again, but Max cut her off with a wink.
“I know,” he said grinning, “it’s not a date.”
His words brought a smile to Liz’s lips, and he felt a rush of pleasure as he noticed that she didn’t pull her hand away from his.
“So,” Max started, “why don’t you tell me about yourself, about your family, where you grew up.”
She smiled again but looked down, wondering how to handle him. “I don’t think that’s appropriate,” she said.
Max shrugged. “Well, you know all about me, but all I really know about you is that you’re beautiful and smart and you can kick my ass.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I don’t mean to sound like a bitch.” She’d refused his request because she was having a hard time staying professional around him. “I…” she started again, but trailed off.
She noticed some sort of disturbance at the entrance to the restaurant, a humming of conversation, strange, jerky movements. She caught Larry’s eye at the next table and motioned with her head toward the door. Owen stood up too, having noticed the disturbance himself.
Suddenly a shout rang out across the restaurant.
“Max! I came for you!! I love you!!” a woman called out.
There was more scuffling near the entrance, and Owen and Larry were already up and half-way to the door. Even if Liz couldn’t see the blonde curls, it was obvious who the woman was.
Liz sprang out of her seat, going to Max and pushing him down. “Stay low,” she said, drawing her gun.
Murmurs and shouts echoed through the restaurant as the other customers reacted to the strange events. Some seemed to think it was funny and others ducked under their tables.
Tess shouted across the restaurant again. “I love you, Max! We were meant to be together forever!!”
Liz saw the blonde head whirl and run out into the street, and watched as Owen and Larry followed closely behind.
Immediately Liz pulled Max to his feet and hurried him to the front of the restaurant into the coat check area, getting him away from the windows. Other customers were now rushing to the exits as well and she didn’t want to get separated in all the confusion.
She pressed Max against a solid wall with her body, looking around for any signs of danger. Even with her two men going after Tess, she had to get Max out of there. Tess might escape and come back any minute.
“Ed,” Liz called her driver through the small, wireless mic at her wrist, “bring the car around now!”
“Roger,” came his reply through her earpiece.
But a moment later his voice came again.
“The parking lot exit is blocked by a car parked illegally,” he radioed back to her. “I can’t get through. I’ll have to go out the back and around the block.”
Liz nodded as she continued to scan the area. “You’re in the valet lot on the side of the building?”
“Roger,” Ed said.
“Okay,” Liz said, making a quick decision, “stay where you are. We’ll come to you.”
Liz turned to Max. “Stay right behind me,” she ordered.
The whole thing was completely surreal to Max. One moment they’d been having a perfect date, and the next he was running for his life.
He nodded and she led him back through the restaurant, into the kitchen, to the back door. It was dangerous going through the alley, Liz knew, it might even be a trap. But it was only a short way to the car, and Tess had run in the opposite direction. Liz calculated it would be okay.
She held her gun out before her and slowly pushed open the back door, signaling for Max to stay put. Carefully she stepped into the alley, scanning one way and then the other.
Everything was quiet and still, but a strange feeling settled over her. Something was wrong.
Suddenly she caught the blur of movement out of the corner of her eye, a glint of sliver. Automatically she moved, spinning out of the way and catching her attacker in the back, pushing hard away from Max.
A small voice squawked in her ear. “Liz, we were chasing a decoy. We don’t have the subject. Repeat. We don’t have Tess.”
But Liz already knew, because Tess was right in front of her. She didn’t have time to answer because the blonde whirled on her and charged again.
Liz had only seconds to decide what to do. It would be easy enough to shoot Tess, and she would be within her rights to do it.
The voice sounded in her ear again. “Liz, do you copy?!? Liz, what is your situation?!? Liz!!”
By that time Tess was on her again, waving the knife wildly.
Liz sidestepped her easily, using a hard chop of her hand to Tess’ wrist to disarm her, sending the knife skittering across the pavement.
Tess whirled, screaming in rage, and ran at her with hands extended like claws.
Waiting until Tess was near her again, Liz grabbed one of her wrists and used her weight to spin the blonde around, while with her gun hand she hit Tess in the nose.
Tess doubled over, roaring in fury and clutching at her bleeding nose, but Liz already had one arm pinned behind her, and easily forced her to the ground. She held the wriggling blonde to the pavement with a knee to her back, securing her other arm.
“You bitch!” Tess spat. “You fucking bitch! Max is mine and you’ll never have him. I’ll kill you!!”
The sound of hard running feet came around the corner and Liz automatically pointed her gun, waiting for the next attack, but her own men came into view and she lowered her weapon.
Tess was still yelling obscenities, and in the background Liz could hear the sound of sirens.
“Shit, Liz,” Larry said, jogging up to them, looking at the blonde woman on the ground, “you okay? When you didn’t answer…”
Liz cut him off with a smile. “I’m fine. I was just a little busy.”
Owen knelt down next to them and quickly handcuffed Tess. “We can see that,” he said with a wink.
Max came out of the doorway. “That was amazing,” he said to Liz. “The way you disarmed her.”
Larry looked at Liz. “She was armed?” he asked, sounding almost bored.
Liz nodded toward where the knife had gone. “Her knife is over there.”
She looked from Larry to Owen. “So she had a decoy? She’s never done that before.”
They both nodded.
“When we caught up with the girl,” Owen said, “we could see it was the wrong one. She told us it was just a joke, that some blonde woman had paid her a hundred dollars to act like a crazy fan and then run in that direction.”
At that moment cops arrived at either end of the alley with weapons drawn. “Freeze!”
They were in the police station a couple of hours, and Max thought he should feel exhausted, but he was exhilarated.
Energy rushed through him and he knew it wasn’t just because the threat of Tess was finally over. Seeing Liz take Tess down so easily had really turned him on. He wanted her more than ever.
He rode with Liz in the back of the limo to his house, and he was barely able to keep his hands off her. But he wanted some answers first.
When they arrived at his house she came inside with him, and he motioned toward his office. “We need to talk,” he said.
Liz went inside ahead of him, expecting thanks or even a bonus check. It wasn’t uncommon for the people she protected to offer her more money when she had finished the job.
But Max went to his desk, tossing his jacket on it, and picked up a file before turning back to her.
“I know who you are,” he said.
“What?” Liz asked confused.
He held out the file and smiled as he walked toward her. “I had Alex hire a private detective to investigate you,” he said. “And this is what he found.”
Liz felt her heart beating hard. He’d hired a private investigator to check her out?
Tossing the file on the nearby table, Max flipped it open to some photos, and pointed to the top one. Liz recognized it at once. It was a picture of her in college.
But that didn’t mean anything, she told herself. It’s not like she had really known Max in college.
“I knew you were familiar,” Max said, meeting her eyes, “but you denied it. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Liz shrugged nervously. “Tell you what?”
Max took a step closer to her. “So you’re still going to deny that we went to college together? That you don’t remember?” He reached up cupping her cheek. “Because I remember you.”
Liz’s heart leapt momentarily, but it couldn’t be true. How could a self-absorbed, basketball star remember her? She searched his eyes, looking for the truth. “No you don’t.”
He nodded, smiling. “Of course I do,” he assured her. “I noticed you the first day of freshman year; that long, dark hair, that beautiful face, and you were so smart.”
Liz wanted to believe him, but she didn’t. It would be like a dream come true that he had noticed her back then. “You’re lying,” she said softly.
“We even did a group project together when we were sophomores, in our writing class,” he said. “And I remember you hardly spoke to me. I thought you didn’t like me.”
Liz blushed. The truth was exactly the opposite. She’d liked him too much, and it made her shy around him. “That’s not true,” she said quickly. “It’s not that I didn’t like you…” she trailed off, looking down as he stroked her cheek.
“But you like me now,” he rumbled.
Swallowing hard she shook her head as her heart pounded in her chest. “It doesn’t matter what I think, I’m your employee,” she said breathlessly. “I keep you safe.”
“I am safe now,” he said softly. “Thanks to you. You’ve caught the psycho, and she’s locked up. So you’ve done your job.”
Leaning in, he stopped when their lips were inches apart. “And Liz,” he purred. “You’re fired.”
He pressed his lips firmly to hers, kissing her hungrily.
At first she seemed to be surprised and held herself stiffly, but then she melted into him, kissing him back. With a growl, he tightened his arms around her, holding her to him. She was his now.
Liz’s head was spinning with everything that had happened in the last few hours, but one thing was clear. Max wanted her, and she had never wanted him more.
The adrenaline from the attack was still rushing through her, and she was no longer Max’s employee. She had wanted him for years and she didn’t see any reason not to be with him.
Pulling the back of his shirt out of his pants, she smoothed her hands over his skin, finally touching him and fulfilling her years-long fantasy.
Every inch of him was hard and muscular and her knees felt weak just thinking about it.
The touch of her hands on him seemed to enflame Max. He left her lips, nipping at her neck, devouring her. He couldn’t wait any longer. “Bedroom,” he said, in between kisses. “Now.”
He kissed her quickly before wrapping his arm around her and leading her up the stairs. After the first few steps he turned to her, kissing her again, and they stumbled the rest of the way up, barely breaking the kiss.
When they reached his room he kicked the door closed behind them and cupped her face. “I want you so much.”
“I want you too,” she gasped.
Now that she’d decided to sleep with him she felt confident and aggressive. Reaching up she started on the buttons of his shirt.
Growling, Max leaned in to kiss her again. He slid his hand along her neck to her shoulder, pushing the strap of her dress down her arm. He smoothed all the way to her hand, sliding the strap off before he brought her palm to his lips. Then he repeated the action on the other side.
By that time Liz had his shirt unbuttoned, and pushed it off his shoulders, and Max let it fall to the floor. Immediately her hands went to his chest and she slid them over every inch of his skin, paying special attention to his nipples.
Max groaned into her mouth and wrapped his arms around her unzipping her dress and pushing it down her slender body to the floor. He drew back slightly so his eyes could take in every inch of her as she stood before him in her bra and matching panties.
“Damn, you’re beautiful,” he rumbled. “And I want to see the rest.”
Smiling, she reached for the fastening of his belt. “Exactly what I was thinking,” she said breathily.
As she discarded his belt and opened his slacks Max used a twist of his fingers to get rid of her strapless bra. For a moment he gazed at her naked breasts, and then he lowered his head, taking one perfect peak into his mouth.
Liz gasped with pleasure, arching into him, and he couldn’t wait any longer. Picking her up he walked them to the bed and placed her on it, laying her back. He hooked two fingers in the elastic of her panties, and kissed a line down her body as he stripped them off her.
She was completely naked before him except for her heels and he let his eyes rake over her for several long moments. Her hair was spread out around her head and her legs were slightly parted. She looked so sexy and wanton and he was sure he’d never been so turned on.
Leaning down, he took her feet in his hands, tossing one shoe and then the other aside, as he stepped between her legs. She reached for him and again he pressed his lips to hers. He wanted to be inside her but he also wanted to take his time.
Liz smoothed her hands over his back, holding him close. She’d never wanted anyone so badly. Reaching down she gripped the waist of his slacks along with his boxers and started working them off.
Max left her luscious lips and moved to her neck briefly before continuing down across her body. He kissed and licked her chest, stopping to take each breast into his mouth. He kissed and sucked each mound, slowly licking over her hard nipples before moving on.
Soft moans left her and she gripped his hair with both hands as her desire became overwhelming.
He continued across her stomach, nipping and licking her skin and Liz’s gasps grew louder as he reached the juncture of her thighs. He could smell the sweet scent of her arousal and knew she was wet and ready for his total possession.
His erection hardened almost painfully, but he wouldn’t let that make him rush. They had all night, and he wanted to make the most of every moment.
Stroking her thighs, he eased them apart, and continued kissing down through her dark curls and closed his mouth over her clit.
Liz moaned with pleasure as Max started to lick and suck her sensitive nub, writhing under him, gripping the bedspread.
Max left her clit and slowly parted her lower lips with his tongue, going deeper and deeper until he barely dipped inside her. She gasped, arching up into him and he grasped her hips, holding her tightly as he plunged his tongue inside.
It was more incredible than he’d imagined, having her scent surrounding him as her body moved to the rhythm of his tongue. Small whimpers of pleasure escaped her and her hands gripped him tightly.
He stroked his tongue into her again and again, going faster and harder. He moved his hands so he could reach her clit. With one thumb he pulled back her hood, exposing her tiny nub. Then he used the other thumb to brush over her with small circles.
Again she arched into him and he felt her body tightening. She was on the edge, and he sped up even more, stroking her clit harder. Her breath came in quick gasps and her inner muscles clamped down on his tongue as she climaxed around him.
She whimpered and her body jerked as the waves of pleasure rushed through her. Max withdrew his tongue and licked her clit, sending another shudder through her.
As she came down from the orgasm, he took the opportunity to smooth his hands over her beautiful body. His palms stroked up her flat stomach and across her breasts. He watched her move with his touch and marveled at how responsive she was to him.
Their sex was going to be fantastic.
He kissed her stomach as he reached down, pushing his slacks and boxers all the way off, and quickly divested himself of his shoes and socks. He didn’t want anything between them. He wanted them to be skin to skin, sliding against each other.
He noticed that her eyes followed his every movement and when he was fully naked she reached for him again.
The orgasm Max had given her was incredible, but Liz didn’t want to wait any longer for him. She ached for him to be inside.
Max climbed on the bed between her legs, kissing each breast before he reached her lips. Lowering himself he pressed their bodies together and they both moaned with the contact.
He felt like he would combust if he didn’t have her now, and moved down just enough to position himself at her core. Holding her eyes, he slowly pushed forward, sliding inside her one inch at a time.
A look of wonder passed over Liz’s face, and he knew he’d never forget it.
When he was completely inside her, he stopped. Gently he stroked her face. “You feel incredible,” he purred, “so wet for me, so tight.”
Liz smiled. “That’s because you’re so big,’ she teased.
Max returned her smile. “I’m big, huh?’ he teased back. “And do you like that?”
She wiggled her hips a little, making him slide inside her. “Oh yeah,” she gasped.
He kissed her, talking against her lips. “Then you’re really going to like this,” he rumbled.
Immediately he started moving, slowly withdrawing from her almost all the way before changing direction and sliding back inside.
“Oh,” Liz gasped, as her hands gripped at his back. She’d dreamt about having sex with him for years, but the reality was so much better than she had imagined, and they’d barely started.
Max continued his slow pace, watching her greedily. He saw every flex and movement of her body, every soft bounce of her breasts and every strain of her muscles to bring him back inside.
He couldn’t get enough of her; her moans, the way her body moved, the way she tasted and especially the way her hot, liquid core held him inside. She was so responsive, so uninhibited in showing the pleasure he was giving her. He’d never experienced anything like it.
Even though every instinct he had told him to speed up and end it for them both, he kept his pace slow. He wanted to watch Liz’s every reaction as he gradually brought her to climax.
He changed positions slightly, pressing even more fully into her and saw a ripple of electricity go through her whole body. Her hands clutched at him, her fingers digging into the muscles of his back.
Consciously he repeated his movement, concentrating on her sweet spot, and was rewarded again and again with Liz’s gasps of pleasure. Her body squirmed beneath him, trying to bring him inside faster, but he pressed his weight on her, holding her down. He was going to make her cum, but on his terms.
They moved together for long moments perfectly in sync and Liz was getting desperate to climax. Max was stroking into her so slowly she felt like she would go crazy. Reaching down she grasped the two perfect globes of his ass, attempting to speed him up.
Her inner muscles pulsed around his thick shaft and her breath came in high-pitched gasps. Her body jerked and arched uncontrollably and she was covered by a fine sheen of moisture. She was so close.
“Please,” she begged,
Max took her head between his hands and leaned down kissing her, but he didn’t increase his pace. She kissed him back hungrily, their lips sliding together as they attempted to breathe.
He could feel her whole body tightening like a bow and he knew despite her pleas for release, he was getting her there. He didn’t increase his rhythm, but started to thrust hard into her, and she whimpered in pleasure as her hands tightened on his ass.
Slowly he withdrew and then slammed inside her, making their skin slap with the impact. He watched as her eyes started to slide closed and her body arched back. She was cuming.
“Look at me, Liz,” he demanded. He wanted to see into her eyes as he pushed her over the edge. He wanted the connection, and he wanted her to acknowledge who was giving her so much pleasure.
Her eyes met and held his and he saw them fill with pleasure and softness the second before the climax took her, and at that moment he knew he was in love.
Instantly he stopped, pushing deep inside her. He wanted to say the words so badly, felt like he needed to say them, but he knew she wouldn’t believe them. They hardly knew each other, and men often declare false love when they are having sex. He’d done it himself more than once.
But he didn’t want her to doubt him, so he kept his words to himself.
Instead he bent his head down, his lips meeting hers, and he put all of his feelings into the kiss. But instead of satisfying him, it only made him hungrier for her.
He felt like he didn’t get nearly enough of her earlier, and took his time exploring her as she came down. His hands moved over her as he slowly placed open-mouthed kisses on her skin, starting at her chin, licking and sucking, he moved down to her breasts. Taking one soft peak into his mouth, he laved her hard nub with his tongue.
Max’s touches were driving Liz wild again and she knew he wasn’t finished with her yet. He was still hard inside her. She smoothed her hands across his muscled back, raking him with her short nails. She needed him to move again and started to writhe beneath him as the ache inside her grew. Automatically her legs wrapped around him, changing the angle of her hips and making his slide deeper inside.
They both moaned and Max started his rhythm again. It wasn’t as slow this time. Their lower bodies were pressed completely together and each time he pumped into her, he brushed directly over her clit.
As he continued inside her, his mouth never left her breasts. He teased them with his tongue, lips and teeth, bringing soft moans of pleasure from Liz.
Increasing his pace, he smiled as she arched into him, her legs tightening around him. She was close again and he intended to make her cum explosively.
Max sped up even more and Liz’s hips moved with him, straining to meet him. They moved quickly together, both working toward the same goal. He held her tightly and her breasts brushed over his chest as their skin slid together.
He felt her inner muscles fluttering around him and slammed into her even harder and faster. Each of his thrusts inside her brought a moan to her lips and he knew she was on the edge.
This time he didn’t have to ask, and her eyes met and held his as the end approached. He felt the reactions of her body all around him and saw the climax in her eyes the moment before it consumed her.
He pounded into her twice more, exploding, emptying his essence into her.
The whole time their eyes didn’t leave each other. He’d never felt so close, so connected to anyone, and he never wanted it to end. He’d been with so many women over the years that he’d lost count, but he’d never felt close to any of them. At best he had temporarily soothed his emptiness.
But as he held Liz’s eyes, all of his years of loneliness melted away, and his heart and soul filled with the beauty he could see inside her.
Reaching up he stroked her cheek, smoothing her damp hair off her face. To him she had never been so beautiful, and he kissed her gently.
He didn’t want to leave her body and lose the connection, but he was afraid that he was too heavy for her. He slowly rolled them over, careful to stay inside her, settling her on his chest.
His hand smoothed over her back as her breathing slowed, and he marveled at the softness of her skin. Even though he had just had her very thoroughly, he wanted to start all over again.
Usually at this point in a relationship he was already planning how to get out of it, but with Liz it was completely different. He knew he’d never get enough of her, and he wanted her in his life, permanently.
But it was too soon to tell her that. Too soon for words of love, even though he sincerely felt them. She’d never believe him.
So he kissed her head, wrapping his arms more tightly around her, and said the only thing he thought she would accept.
“Thank you,” he whispered into her hair, “for saving my life,” he said. But in his mind and heart he had just declared his love.
Saving Max Main
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