anyway part 2 follows the jump. catch up with part 1 here.
It was always about Kyle with Liz. Michael didn’t know why he even bothered to get irritated by it. He’d known Liz for eight years, and in that time she’d never bothered to look his way.
He hadn’t meant to surprise her like that. He wanted Liz alive and well. Preferably by his side, in his bed. He didn’t understand what it was about her. The chocolate silk of her hair. Or the way she always smelled of vanilla, good enough to eat. Her deep coffee brown eyes that looked at everything around her so intensely. Or maybe it was her smile and the way it lit up her entire being from the inside. Her wrists, so small and delicate, he loved watching her handle things, and the quiet strength in the set of her shoulders, the fire that smoldered within her. She was beautiful.
He had numerous sketchbooks filled with her likeness. So many he’d had to move their hiding place from beneath his bed to the top shelf of his closet. He was always terrified that someone would sneak a peek, thinking to see the latest designs for his upcoming project only discovering millions of sketches of Liz instead of his newest building.
He was terrified over what Liz would do if she ever caught him. So he would double the size of his sketchbook collection, the hidden half of Liz and the rest of all the ideas going through his head. It had turned out to be a good thing, because he now had enough material to work from for every single one of his clients. Good news for an up and coming architect.
But as much as he loved his profession what he really wanted was Liz. He was sick of being overlooked. So he had a plan.
He’d offer to help Liz get her man. Only the only man she’d be getting was him.
So maybe it wasn’t foolproof. He wasn’t a lawyer like Kyle so he’d really have to work on convincing her it was a good idea. But he was sure the scientist in Liz would think it a good plan. Especially since she wouldn’t think it involved messy emotions.
But it would. It had to.
Michael lay on the floor to do his routine of eighty crunches. He hated to admit that the only reason he did them was so that if Liz should ever catch him without a shirt she’d realize that Kyle wasn’t the only one in the universe who was built. Ever since she’d moved in with them his stress level had gone to extremes.
So far he’d been able to hide the fact that he was completely idiotically utterly infatuated with her. Everyone thought he merely tolerated her presence. No one suspected that when she was around him he felt exhilarated. He knew he was being ridiculous. As ridiculous, although less obvious, as she was about Kyle.
So now was the moment to make his move. He was pretty sure Kyle would be a little jealous in a “hey you’re dating my best friend” sort of way. At least that’s what he was counting on.
This was either the stupidest idea ever to occur to anyone or the best. He was hoping for the best when he left his room to go proposition his dream girl.
Liz was still sitting on a stool in the kitchen. She’d again switched food, drinking some orange juice with toast. He waited until she swallowed before speaking.
“Liz.” He said quietly, taking care not to startle her.
“Oh hey Michael. I’m sorry I yelled at you before, I was just a little shaken. It was the second time I nearly choked to death today.”
Liz was genuinely sorry for yelling at him, he had saved her life and she hadn’t even bothered to thank him.
“No. I’m sorry. Listen, I wanted to ask you something. Or well, I wanted to make a peace offering.”
“Peace offering? Are you okay Michael?”
Liz was confused. While she and Michael had never interacted all that often, she hadn’t realized there was an all out war between them.
“Um. I know you like Kyle.”
Liz was stunned. Michael made the announcement like a dentist telling a patient they had cavities. It was true enough, but she hadn’t thought that everyone else knew about it.
“I know you like Kyle and I want to help you.”
“Why? What’s in it for you?”
Now she was suspicious. Why would Michael want to help her get together with Kyle? And how was it that he thought he could get them together?
“For one thing I won’t ever have to see you mooning over him at all hours.”
“I do not moon over him.”
“Whatever Liz, I just think it’s amazing he doesn’t see it.”
“Michael get to the point if there is one.”
Liz was beyond irritated. She didn’t need to rehash how silly she was over Kyle. It was enough knowing she’d been in love with him for twelve years.
“Well, right. So I thought maybe we should pretend to date to make him jealous.”
“What? Are you crazy? You don’t like me remember.”
“I never said I didn’t like you.”
“Yeah, well, why do you want to do this? Really Michael what’s in it for you?”
You. Michael thought to himself silently. But instead he said out loud,
“What? You’re in love with the ice princess?” Liz wondered if that had been the reason behind all the door slamming. Although he had been cavalier when she had made mention of it. But then again it was always hard to read what Michael was thinking he kept his cards very close.
“Yeah, well. You know Kyle, adding another notch to his belt. I really like this girl and I thought, Kyle would be jealous if you and I start dating and having this special relationship where he’ll feel excluded. And you can sort of work your magic until he confronts you and then you fall into each other’s arms. And then Isabel will need me to comfort her, so I’ll be there.”
“Michael I don’t know if this is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard or the most brilliant.”
“So you’re in.”
Michael was thrilled. Not that he expressed his glee in any way. Now it was up to him to convince Liz Parker that the only man she needed in her life was him.
“What do I have to lose?” She replied.
They shook hands on it before parting ways. Michael went out to organize a surprise romantic dinner, while Liz went to the research lab in the epidemiology unit at the university hospital. Neither one of them really aware of what they had gotten themselves into.