capitulo deiciseis:

Liz waited until Taylor had driven off to get pizza for dinner that night then rapped softly on the wooden door of Graven's bedroom.

"Yeah?" Graven called from inside.

Liz opened the door slowly. "Hi Graven," she smiled. "Whatcha doin'?"

Graven looked up from her toenails which she'd been painting a bright bubblegum pink color and smiled. "Not a whole lot. How about you?"

"Waiting with bated breath 'till my love returns from his journey abroad" she answered dramatically. She thought she saw a cloud of pain wash over Graven's face but when she looked again it was gone and her friend was grinning up at her.

Graven decided to goof off. "True love," she sighed teasingly.

Liz turned serious. "I think so," she paused studying Graven's face. It revealed none of the emotions she was feeling. "I mean, I don't know for sure and I think that maybe it's too soon for me to love him but then again maybe I do and..." she blew out her breath in exasparation. "I think I do love him," she said quietly.

Sometimes I want to hug her for being so naive and sometimes I want to slap her. "I'm glad Lizzie,"

The elder Hansons had gone to meet some friends for dinner so that night Isaac, Graven, Taylor, Liz and Zac ate pizza in front of the TV. Watching movies together made them all think of the horrible night of the concert so after awhile The Joy Luck Club was turned off. Zac had been dozing off anyway because the movie was not his idea of a good time. It was Graven and Zac who ended up in a fierce fight that night but it was not over anything important. They were playing chess and neither liked to lose. Finally Taylor was forced to slam the board shut and end the game "Stop!"

Zac looked at Graven and she at him and they started to laugh. "Goo...ood. Gaaame!" Zac gasped as he reached over to shake her hand.

Graven shrieked with laughter. "Yeah, you must be so glad I didn't kill you!"

Liz started to laugh also but Isaac and Taylor didn't. They looked confused and later as they all said goodnight and trudged upstairs Isaac still frowned. I'm convinced Graven was overdoing it. It sounded fake. It wasn't that funny.

"You should be resting Grave," Taylor patted her shoulder reassuringly. "Those were the doctor's orders, remember?"

"Yeah, yeah. I'm going," Graven answered grumpily. "Hey where's Zac?"

"Downstairs I believe."

"Send him up will you Tay?" Graven swallowed her medication and took a drink of water. "There's something I want to ask him. In private."

"Sure," Taylor said. He turned away but then came back. "About what happened earlier? We're okay now aren't we?"

"I've already forgotten it," Graven said dismissing him with her hand.

"Goodnight Graven."


Zac climbed the stairs towards Graven's bedroom. Knocking softly first,he entered. He was met with a peacefully sleeping blonde girl lying beside an assortment of different pill bottles. Poor Gravie. Aloud he muttered goodnight and returned downstairs.

Taylor stared motionlessly at the clock in his room. The red numbers read 1:02. For some odd reason, he was mesmerized by the neon glow that they shot out onto the otherwise pitch black room. After he was mesmerized for a few minutes, he just became annoyed and threw a shirt over it that was previously on the floor.

What's up with Zac and Graven? he thought to himself, although he was so tired he wasn't really sure whether he had thought it at all. They've never been buddy-buddy before.

As his eyelids began to get heavier, he decided to shrug off the whole thing and try to remember the book that his mom used to read him when he was little. Good night, moon... he began to think to himself. Good night, stars... good night... um... lasagna wherever you are? After that last part of the poem, he decided to forget the whole thing.

It seemed to Taylor, that suddenly Graven was once again her old self to everyone but to him. Graven was laughing and talking with Mark, Zac, Liz. Everyone was seeing her but Taylor. He was beginning to think she was deliberately avoiding him. Fortunately Taylor had Liz and it seemed that she was everything he needed. He was crazy about her and whenever Graven's temper flared or Zac mysteriously disappeared with her when he'd promised Taylor to hang out, Liz always guaranteed a smile on his face at least for the time being. When Zac would walk in the door and Taylor had reprimanded him his brother would snap: "I worry about Graven. It's not her fault you don't care about her anymore" Taylor would shrink back, obviously hurt. Was Graven trying to turn Zac against him? he would complain to Liz and she'd kiss him and soothe his worries.

"Come here," Taylor said as he motioned Liz to the dining room. "I want to show you something," he said with a grin and walked to through the empty house. The rest of the Hanson family and Graven had gone out to dinner while Taylor stayed home with Liz who said she wasn't feeling well.

"What?" Liz questioned as she followed Taylor to the dim lit room. For the past hour and a half she had been watching t.v. by herself, following the instructions of "Don't come into the kitchen" that Taylor had given to her earlier that evening. She had no idea what he was up to, and she wasn't quite sure that she wanted to know either...

"You'll see when we get there," he said with a smile, grabbing Liz's hand and leading her like a puppy on a leash. "Now, cover your eyes and I will guide you."

"What? Taylor, what are you doing, I'm not in the mood for games..."

"Oh come on, you know you love surprises," Taylor said as he covered her eyes with his hands and gently pushed her forward.

"Oh, alright," Liz said, a little annoyed, but decided to play along. Taylor guided her along and then she paused in front of what she assumed to be the dining room. "Ok, now open them..." Taylor uncovered her eyes and revealed a small candlelit dinner for two placed on the table. The silverware was neatly placed side by side, and two plates of spaghetti and meatballs sat steaming hot and looking delicious. Liz was speechless; it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. She stared in amazement until she felt Taylor’s arm circle around her waist. “Do you like it?” he whispered in her, letting his warm breath heat her neck. Liz smiled and turned to him.

“Oh Taylor, it’s beautiful! No one has ever done something like this for me. Thank you!” she said as she hugged him tightly. "You know what I kinda feel like Belle in Beauty and the Beast... you know when they make that food for her and then... of course... BE.. OUR... GUEST, be our guest put our service to the test!" She briefly glanced over at Taylor who had decided not to join in on the festivities. "What?!"

He just looked at her and smiled. "Nothing... you could be Belle though. Did you know that word means beautiful?"

Liz shifted in his arms and bit her bottom lip. She wasn't used to people saying things like that to her... especially guys. "Thank you."

“You’re welcome," he said, smiling from ear to ear. He knew this would make her feel better. “Now, let’s eat!” he said eagerly as they sat down at the table and started eating.

“Oh, I am so full!” Liz exclaimed as she placed her napkin down and looked over at Taylor, who was finishing off his third plate.

“Are you sure? You only ate one plate, I have a ton left over.”

“Oh yes, Taylor, I’m positive... Remember, I’m not a walking talking garbage disposal like you...” Liz said teasingly.

"Ha. Ha." Taylor looked over at her and shot a fake smile to emphasize his sarcastic comment.

"Awww, I'm just kidding..." Liz smiled.

“Sure you are... Ok, I’m pretty full too. You wanna go into the living room and watch some TV?”

“Sure, sounds great” Liz said as she helped Taylor put the plates in the kitchen sink. They sat down side by side on the couch, leaving little room between them. Taylor wrapped his arm around Liz as she placed her head on his shoulder. They sat quietly for a moment until Taylor broke the silence.

“You know what, Liz?”

“What?” Liz asked, turning her head slightly to meet Taylor’s blue eyes. “I love you,” he said, looking deep into her face, letting to words slowly set in.

“I..I..I love you too...” Liz stuttered, blown away by what she had just heard. She had no idea that he felt so strongly about her.

“You do?” Taylor asked, a little amazed himself.

“Yes,” Liz smiled, “I do.”

Taylor smiled brightly and looked at Liz for a long time. “How much do you love me?” he asked playfully.

“What?” Liz questioned, turning away from the TV.

“How much do you love me?” Liz looked at him with a puzzled expression on her face. Taylor smiled and decided to try again. “Ok, let’s try this, do you love me enough to hug me?”

“Um, well of course Taylor,” Liz said, trying desperately to play along. She laughed a little bit at the question. Taylor smiled at her and brought her into a tight embrace. Liz, still confused, hugged him back.

“Great!” He then asked, “now, do you love me enough to kiss me? I mean... really kiss me?” Liz looked at Taylor strangely. “Um, yeah,” she said, smiling slightly. Taylor responded to this by gently pulling Liz closer and kissing her first on the lips, then slowly letting his tongue slide through to meet hers.

They kissed passionately for a minute, then Taylor slowly pulled away. They looked into each others eyes for a few seconds, mainly because neither had anything to say... “Ok, one more for tonight,” Taylor said, his eyes twinkling. “Liz,” he whispered, bringing her closer to him, letting his warm breath hit her neck, “and do you love me enough, to make love to me?” he whispered in her ear, letting the words come out slowly, making sure each one sounded perfect.

Liz stopped breathing for a moment, not sure of what to say. A million thoughts rushed through her head, confusing her to death. Yes, she loved him, she loved him more than life itself, but she didn’t know if she wanted to have sex with him... So many thoughts were racing through her head, although she couldn't think of one.

“Liz,” Taylor said passionately, letting his words tickle her ears, letting his breath hit the back of her neck as he gently touched his lips on her skin, letting them brush beside her neck to her face, to her lips, then back again.

Liz all of a sudden felt calm, almost numb, except for the gentle touches Taylor was giving to her. She felt like she was under some sort of spell; a trance almost, where her mind had no control over what her body was doing.

“Liz...” Taylor breathed, “please,” he said as he started to rub her back, then run his fingers through her hair.

Liz couldn’t take it anymore. She knew she wanted this. It was all too perfect to be ruined. “Yes, Taylor. Yes, I-" she stopped for a moment making sure that she was doing the right thing. But all of a sudden, she didn't care. She was sick of doing the right thing all the time, and analyzing things to death. She needed to act her age... like a teenager. She didn't want to be logical. "I want you to make love to me,” she sighed, still engulfed in the ecstasy she was feeling at the moment.

Taylor obviously was pleased by this response, he smiled at her and started to kiss her deeply on the lips, letting his tongue connect with hers. He then slowly moved down to her neck, laying a tiny trail of kisses from her mouth to her shirt collar then back. Liz moaned slightly in response, becoming more and more sure that this was what she wanted to do. Taylor stopped for a moment and took off his shirt, exposing his chest and stomach. He pressed down on Liz, now completely on top of her on the couch. Taylor’s hands began to explore her body, his fingers touching her everywhere. The two continued to shed clothing, touching, kissing, caressing each other, until they became intimate for the first time.

Neither really knew what to expect, all they knew was that whatever did happen wasn't what they expected. They lay there holding each other.

Liz was almost scared to let go. She didn't want it to end, and she didn't want to think that what had just happened was real. It was too prefect to be real... "Taylor... please... don't leave me..."

"What?" he asked softly a little confused by her statement.

"Will you stay here with me? Can we just lay like this..."

"I won't leave you, Liz. I never will." He softly kissed her forehead and squeezed her tighter.

“I love you,” Liz managed to whisper out. It seemed to take all the energy in the world to say it, but it had to be said.

“I love you, too,” he said and kissed her on the cheek.

“Oh man what time is it?” Taylor said, looking alarmed as he sat up immediately, forgetting that Liz was there. He then looked down at her and gently shook her by the shoulder. "Baby... Li- Liz, you have to get up..."

"Hmmm?" Although she heard what he said, she wanted to delay as long as possible.

"We have to get up, I don't know what time it is, they could be home any minute."

“Um, I dunno,” Liz said as if he had asked her for the time.

Taylor laughed. "C'mon..." he climbed over her after he had gotten dressed and then she followed. They both cleaned up the remnants from dinner, and whatnot, silently, reflecting on the night.

It wasn't until later, when everyone was sleeping, that Liz shot up in bed. She was almost asleep until a thought occured to her. We didn't use protection...

*capitulo dieciseite
*what do you think so far?