By Chance (ML, Mature, AN 07/21 Pg. 18) [WIP]

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Beautiful86
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Post by Beautiful86 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:28 pm

Hey guys. Alast, I come with more.

Michelle in Yonkers-Wow, that's quite some feedback. Thank you so much for the time it took you to write that. And I totally understand where you are coming from, and don't let me fool you. Liz will suffer for her shortcomings as we all do.

Ok, so enough talking. I'm sure you are all just DYING for my update...lol haha

It's a little short, I will be back with more later.

*******

Chapter Nine – Too Much To Ask

Tess Harding hated mornings. She was usually at work by nine, but that meant getting up at six. Anton took forever and a day to get out of bed. Then she had to bathe, dress, and feed him. Sometimes she thought about giving him up for adoption. But the better part of her knew that she’d no longer have the leverage she does with him. Besides, since she’d had a child, her federal tax return sky rocketed.

So it wasn’t all bad.

She could fake her kid’s illness and leave for the day, early. Anton didn’t get picked up from day-care until around seven. So if she skipped out at lunch, she’d have the whole day to herself. She could go shopping, or treat herself to a nice dinner…before taking on her maternal duties. Anton’s dinner usually consisted of some Top Ramen noodles, a TV dinner, or a sandwich with some Cheetos.

As the alarm clock buzzed on and on, she grumbled inside. Why did she have a child? She could have aborted it throughout her pregnancy. Normally, you can’t after the first trimester, but Tess knew people. The entire time, she had convinced herself that someone would take them both in, give them a home, and she’d never have to lift a finger.

That’s not how it worked out.

She was twenty-seven, single, with a three-year-old, scrawny kid. She rose with a roll of her eyes when she heard Anton calling her.

And thus, the day began.

<center>*****</center>

Michael Parker walked slowly into the living room. He’d heard Liz come in late last night, but hadn’t had the heart to ask her why she was crying. His baby sister curled up next to her son told him she cried herself to sleep, clinging to his nephew.

The alarm clock on her phone began to ring and Liz stirred slightly. Inching towards the couch, Michael knew that Liz was already awake.

“Hey sis.”

“How long have you been there?”

“Just got here.”

Liz curled up next to her son and sighed. The early morning moments were the ones to be cherished. You know, those brief few seconds just as sleep escapes, when yesterday’s happenings and tomorrow’s worries are the farthest thing from your mind. Liz loved those moments. She could hold her beautiful baby and bask in the happiness he brought her. It wasn’t until reality came creeping back and exploded before your eyelids with a vengeance, did you actually have to face the day.

Max.

There was so much to sort through for them. Did she even want to? Should she try for the sake of the family she might save for her son? What about Anton? What if he was his son? Was it all too much? Did she even have the heart to try anymore?

That’s what it came down to, she realized. Not whether or not Max had changed, and not whether or not they were still in love. It was whether or not Liz was willing to try.

“Penny?”

Liz smiled at her older brother. “You’re back early.”

“Like I would miss your twenty-seventh birthday.”

Liz’s eyes widened just before she closed them. That’s right. Today was her birthday. The irony of her current situation just elevated itself.

“Iss your birt-day mommy?” Liz smiled down at her little boy. When she shook her head <i>yes</i>, he threw his arms around her.

“Happy birt-day mommy.” Liz kissed her son and curled back up behind him, not wanting to rise and face the day.

“Wake up, mommy.” Liz closed her eyes tighter, pretending to be asleep. Jamie tugged and pushed at her, but she kept her eyes closed. Finally, he turned to his uncle for help.

“Mommy’s sleeping?” Michael winked at his nephew and motioned for him to get down from the couch. He did as he was told and watched with a twinkle in his eye as his uncle peered down towards his mommy.

Michael slowly moved closer and closer to his baby sister until he was in just the right spot before launching his attack. Liz squealed loudly as her older brother’s fingers connected to her sides and began tickling her relentlessly. She squirmed and screamed for a few minutes before he let up.

Catching her breath, she slid down to the floor, still laughing. Jamie high-fived his uncle on his way to his mommy. Michael excused himself quickly, while Jamie sat down on his mommy’s leg.

“Can we see daddy today?”

There it was. The ultimate truth. Liz would never be able to cut Max out of her life, ever. She made the bold move of introducing the two and giving Jamie a dad. What kind of mother…nay…human being would she be, if she gave a child a father and then took him away? Whatever kind of person that took, Liz didn’t have it in her.

“Sure, baby. We can see daddy today.”

Michael walked back in the room and sat down on his recliner. “So Liz…are you still a Chevelle fan?”

“Only the biggest.”

Michael smiled. “Good, that’s what I thought. Here,” he said as he handed her a red-ribboned box. “Happy birthday, little sister.”

Liz opened the box slowly. Two slim pieces of firm paper fell onto her palms, and when she read it, she began squealing and screaming once more.

“Chevelle tickets? Thank you so much, Michael! Oh my God, look at these seats! How did you get these? They’re sold out! Oh, thank you!” Liz threw herself onto her brother, smothering him with a grateful hug.

“I thought that might take care of the frown on your face.”

Jamie sat down next to Liz and glanced up at her. “Mommy? What’s a Chabelle?”

Liz chuckled. “Sha-vell, sweetie. That’s how you say it. Try it again.”

Jamie drew in a deep breath. “What’s Chevelle?”

“Mommy’s most favorite rock band in the whole world.”

Jamie seemed to ponder that for a few minutes before giving up. He looked around briefly before landing his eyes on his target, the remote control. Flipping on the TV, he became lost in the world of X-Men.

Liz pretended to watch the cartoon with her son. Michael was staring at her, wondering why she wasn’t happy. She didn’t feel like talking about it. Would he leave it alone?

Do you have any older siblings? Do they <i>ever</i> just leave it alone?

“What’s wrong, Liz?”

Question answered.

“Life, big brother. Life is what’s wrong.”

Liz was pleasantly surprised when Michael seemed to accept that answer. He didn’t push her. For the first time in twenty-seven years, he actually didn’t push until he got all the information he wanted.

What was that about?

Jamie moved from his mommy to his uncle. Snuggling against Uncle Mikey, the two became lost in the world of mutants and extraordinary powers.

*****

“You know I’ve always loved you.” He couldn’t believe his ears. She was really here, in his arms, professing her undying love.

“Daddy, will you come play with me?” Max turned his head to meet his son’s eyes. Jamie was standing still, holding a catcher’s mitt and a baseball.

Max turned his body and reached for Liz’s hand. “You’re such a wonderful husband, Max. I couldn’t ask for more.”

As Max neared his son, the little boy launched himself at his dad. Max let out a deep throaty laugh as Liz tackled him from behind. Rolling on the ground with his wife and his son, Max had never felt so at peace.

<i>Ring Ring Ring</i>

He ignored the sound, not wanting to ever leave the serenity of this place. Liz’s deep laugh echoed in his ear while his son squirmed under him. Complete and happy, he never felt better.

<i>Ring Ring Ring</i>

Awake.

Max was awake now.

It had been a dream.

He closed his eyes and reached for the phone.

*****

TBC~~~
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AU/No Aliens-Max and Liz...with realistic complications...</center>

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Beautiful86
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Post by Beautiful86 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:32 pm

Hey guys. I'm back. Just so you know, I should be updating fairly frequently again.

My so called life sort of ended the other day. Hehe


*****

Chapter Ten- That Was Then


“Mr. Evans? Did I wake you?”

Groaning inwardly, <i>yes</i> was running through his mind. “Not at all, what’s up?”

“We need you to come into the office, pronto. Our newest sub has arrived. Mr. Valenti from New Orleans, remember? He’s specializing on the Texas vs. Marrie case. Anyways, he’s here now, and our meeting will start pretty soon. So if you don’t mind…”

Max rolled his eyes. “Sure, Norman. I’ll be right there.”

Norman was the executive assistant to the District Attorney in San Antonio. Standing about 5’5”, he was in his early fifties and plumping out quite nicely. A decent enough guy, if not a little too overbearing and meticulous. But, <i>whatever</i>. It was time to get out of bed.

Max still couldn’t shake the feeling he had from his dream. Unable to remember most of it now, he could just barely recall a feeling of euphoria. Like everything was right in his messed up little world again.

Putting the finishing touches on his suit, the phone rang again. Smiling to himself and rolling his eyes, Max reached for the phone. “Norman, I’m leaving right now. I’ll be there in fifteen, calm down…”

“Max?”

He was abruptly cut off by a high pitched voice that most definitely didn’t belong to Norman. “Yes?” came the tight reply.

“Anton was asking about you this morning. Maybe we could get together for a late lunch?” This girl didn’t give up, did she?

“Tess, I’m going to be really busy at the office today, I’m sorry.” Max hung up after his last words, unable to choke down anymore of the tart sweetness in her voice. She spoke to him like he was a child, she always had.

He grabbed his keys and headed out to his Tahoe. Intent on not thinking about Tess, Anton, or any other ailment trying to bring him down. He was in a good mood. He’d had a good dream, although he couldn’t remember it. And all be damned if he was going to let that <i>woman</i> ruin everything.

On the other side of town, Tess was already Google-ing the DA in San Antonio, to find the address. If Max didn’t want to see her, she would go see him.

Of course, she had no idea what would happen once she got there.

*****

Liz decided not to bring Jamie to school.

It was her birthday, after all.

She’d spent most of the morning with Michael and Maria, watching cartoons and alternating showers. Jamie continued to ask for his father, while Liz danced oh-so-carefully around the subject. She was going to bring him, really, she was. She just didn’t want to do it quite yet.

Liz had decided on a lunch date. She knew that Max was in the office today, and what a nice surprise it would be. Jamie was ecstatic at the news and Liz was sure she was doing a good thing.

Only now she stood in front of her closet, hands on hips, with absolutely nothing to wear. Sure, her clothes consisted of DKNY, The Limited, Kenneth Cole, and even some Chanel, but there was <i>nothing</i> she could find. She decided on calf-length capris, a white tank top, and sandals.

“I’m ready! I’m ready!” Jamie came tearing into her room, arms wide open, revealing his clothing. Liz laughed out loud when her son smiled his toothless grin with a backwards baseball cap, a shirt three times to small for him, and his favorite pair of pajama pants. No outfit would be complete without his one sneaker on the left foot and slip-on sandal on the other.

“What on earth are you wearing, child?”

“I look cool, Mommy.”

She laughed again. “You certainly do, little one. But maybe we should save that outfit for being cool around the house. You want all of daddy’s friends to like you, right?”

Jamie nodded.

“Ok, so let’s go see what else we have.” Jamie seemed to accept that answer and turned to leave. “Hey, kid.” He turned at his mother’s voice. “You’re crazy.”

“No, you’re crazy!” And with that, Jamie was gone. Back in his room to put together an outfit he knew his mother would disapprove of.

An hour later, mother and son left the apartment building and climbed into the Altima. Traffic was more than generous when merging onto IH Loop 410. The city had been under construction for what seemed like decades, fixing all kinds of roads.

Liz wondered whether or not to call Max. She figured if he was busy or needed them to come back, The Shops at La Cantera were right there and Liz had been dying to check that mall out. Supposedly it was an outdoor mall, with more shops that you could imagine.

Stopping at the red light just before Max’s office, Liz could have sworn she saw that little blonde bimbo drive by. She shook her head, thinking the city was much too big for something like that. Besides, what would she be doing here anyway?

Pulling into her parking spot, a head of bouncing blonde curls caught her eye again. She spotted them just before they disappeared into the building and Liz shook her head again. Opening the door for her son, Liz focused on Max.

He seemed sincere in his efforts. Was he a different man? Was he still what she loved? Six years is a long time. The saying “seasons change, people don’t” no longer applies. Six years is long enough for anyone to change. Only time would tell, and Max at least deserved a second chance. So if he wanted it, she would be waiting. Liz wasn’t about to throw herself at the man, but subtle hints would do the trick. If he caught on, so be it. If he didn’t, she’d come this far without him.

Smiling at the receptionist, the butterflies in her stomach grew. “Yes, ma’am. I’m here to see Max Evans.”

The graying woman eyeballed her. “Who are you?”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. My name is Liz Parker. This is Jamie Evans, his son. We’re here to see him for lunch.”

A slight chuckle escaped the woman and confusion set it. “I’m sorry, Ms. Parker, but I’m afraid that won’t work. Why don’t you tell me why you’re really here?”

Liz’s eyebrows furrowed together. “I don’t understand. Max Evans is here right?”

The woman shook her head yes.

“Great, because I’m here to see him.”

The woman shook her head no. “I’m sorry, but only one walk-in visitor is allowed and Mr. Evans has already received that. Now if you would like to wait…”

Liz was already walking towards the lobby, steam billowing from her ears. So she <i>had</i> seen that little home-wrecker come in here. She knew it couldn’t have been just her imagination. She pulled out her cell phone and dialed Max’s number. Even though she knew it was ridiculous, Liz was already thinking of ways to hurt Max if he didn’t answer.

“Hello?”

And the air rushed out of her lungs.

“Liz? Hello?”

And the air rushed back into her lungs.

“Max, hey!” Liz closed her eyes and shuddered. A little too chipper, there. “Um, Jamie and I are downstairs but your receptionist won’t let us up. We were going to surprise you for lunch. Think you can make it?”

“Lunch? Sure. Hey guys, I’ll be back in 60,” she heard him call out to his coworkers. “Hold on, ok?”

“Sure,” she replied.

“All right, man. I’ll be back in an hour ok? You’ll be all right?”

<i>Yeah, sure</i> came another man’s reply.

“Valenti, you’re all right, you know that? Ok, hello? Liz?”

“We’re still here.”

“I’ll be down in five minutes, sweetie.”

And the line went dead. She'd beaten the gerbil to Max. Hopefully, he left his office before he even saw her.

The butterflies enjoyed that pet name. Liz collected her son, who was busy playing airplane in the lobby, and sat him down next to her. “Daddy’s coming, so we have to behave ok?”

“Ok, mommy.”

*****

Max took the stairs, as the elevator would be entirely too slow. Liz was here, with his baby. They’d surprised him for lunch. She’d wanted to see him. They had so much to talk about, but she was here. That was all that mattered.

When he opened the door, he spotted them playing rock-paper-scissors on the bench. Liz looked radiant in a white tank top that hugged her curves in all the right places. She wore a set of capris pants that rounded her waist and bottom perfectly, topped off with elegant sandals which made her beautiful feet look even more beautiful.

Next to her was his little boy. Sometimes he couldn’t believe the likeness Jamie bore against him. His black as midnight hair was smothered beneath a San Antonio Spurs ball cap, while he wore blue jean shorts and a Spurs t-shirt. The Nike Shox he wore seemed to be relatively new as well.

Max walked up to them and opened his hand. Jamie was the first to reach it, and father bent down to kiss his son. Liz curled her arm around Max’s free arm, and they walked out of the building like that.

Gretchen, the receptionist, was completely confused.

*****

Tess exited the elevator doors and was hit with a rush of excitement. She would see Max again. Maybe she could convince him they belonged together this time. Anton was struggling to keep up with his mom as she simply walked out of the elevator, not reaching for his hand or even letting him know they were leaving.

Tess strode her way into the office, bee-lining for the secretary on this floor. “Max Evans, please ma’am.”

She looked up and smiled sweetly at the blonde. “I’m sorry; Mr. Evans has stepped out for lunch. I’m afraid he just left, so he’ll be back in an hour.”

Tess let out a deep sigh of disappointment. So now what? Now she was stuck with Anton for the day. What kind of fun was that?

“Tess?”

She froze at the voice. <i>It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real</i>.

“Tess Harding?”

She turned slowly and her nightmares collided with reality.

By the time her eyes reached his, his were transfixed on the boy by her side. The sandy brown hair, the pale skin, the overbearing forehead, the fixed jaw… He was the spitting image of the boy. Or rather, the boy was the spitting image of him.

“Tess? What’s going on?”

Tess rolled her eyes, not wanting to do this.

“Hello, Kyle. Long time, no see.”

*****

TBC~~~
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AU/No Aliens-Max and Liz...with realistic complications...</center>

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Beautiful86
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Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 9:34 pm
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Post by Beautiful86 » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:14 pm

Ok I'm back. This chapter isn't too long, but I feel like it got the job done. Enjoy!!!


*****

Chapter Eleven- This is Now


Max Evans had reached the pinnacle of happiness. Driving down IH10 towards downtown, the sun was shining and the traffic was light. Usually a bit heavier around noon, cars seemed to move out of the way for him. With the windows rolled down and the wind whipping through the Tahoe, Max knew this was where he wanted to be. Jamie was talking incessantly in the backseat and Liz seemed to be able to listen without actually listening, a skill he’d remember to ask about.

Liz sat next to him, speaking here and there between Jamie’s monologues. He was just talking for talking’s sake, he was sure. Afterall, why would you tell stories about the turtle you wanted when you were younger that mommy wouldn’t let you have because it stinks? Max didn’t care, though. He could talk forever if he wanted to. He loved listening to the sound of his little boy’s voice.

As per usual, Max had decided that Liz would have to be the authority while he would be the giant pushover. Partly because of the guilt ridden conscience he carried about missing so much of his young son’s life, but mostly because Max didn’t think he could ever get mad at something that looked back at him with his own eyes. Besides, one glare from Liz had the boy quieted and stilled, another skill Max would ask about. <i>A mother’s touch</i>, something she had probably struggled to obtain.

Lost in his own world, Liz placed her hand over his on the gear-shift. “Are you ok, Max?”

He realized he must have seemed distant and worried, so he smiled his most sincere smile and squeezed her hand in return. “I’ve never been better.”

Four simple words. It seemed so much like Max to sweep her away with four simple words. And the strange part was, Liz wasn’t fighting the sweeping. For the first time in years, she didn’t try to sqaush the butterflies or ignore the tingling in her hand.

A small hand over their’s brought them both out of thinking. “I’m the only one who can hold mommy’s hand, daddy.”

Max chuckled slightly but refused to let go. “But she’s so pretty.”

“I know that,” Jamie replied, rolling his eyes. “But you can’t hold her hand without asking me first.”

Liz was laughing now, too. “Sorry, Max. There’s only one man for me and you do need his permission.”

Grinning from ear to ear, “ok, Tiger, can I hold your mommy’s hand for a little while?”

Their son sat back in his seat and put his index finger to his chin, obviously deep in thought. A few moments later, he leaned forward. “Ok, but you have a big hand so make sure you don’t hurt her. I want to hold her hand later, ok, daddy?”

“Sounds like a deal, son.” Liz reached behind her to squeeze Jamie’s thigh and mouthed <i>I love you</i>. She returned to her original position and a deep feeling of happiness swept over her again. This was where she belonged.

And it was in that moment, Liz Parker fell back in love with Max Evans.

*****

<i>Think fast. Think fast. Think faster!</i>

“Tess? What’s going on?” he repeated. Why did she have a child with her that looked so much like him? The boy seemed to be about three-years-old, which would agree with the last time he saw Tess Harding.

She didn’t want to marry him. He’d gone out and bought her a diamond and everything. He had planned it all out, just to arrive home to find her gone. No clothes, no papers, no evidence there was ever a woman in his home. She was just…gone. And now, here she was.

Although her figure had changed some, from motherhood no doubt, she was still beautiful to him. Kyle Valenti was a complete fool for Tess Harding, no matter what kind of liar he knew she was. Throughout their entire six month relationship, he had a hunch that she was unfaithful. She’d never been caught, much to sly for that. And it wasn’t even a concrete suspicion, just a feeling that she was lying to his face.

When she disappeared, life resumed as usual. Although he always wondered what happened to her. Where did she go? Did she find love? Was she happy? Was she ok? Time passed, and those questions seemed less and less important.

Only now, here she was.

Before Tess had a moment to react, Anton was moving towards Kyle. Stopping just in front of him, Kyle kneeled down to be at eye-level with the boy. His small fingers moved to Kyle’s face, tracing a birth mark he carried just above his left eyebrow. From Kyle’s face, Anton moved his fingers to his own left eyebrow, where he knew he had the same mark.

“Wuss yer name?”

At the sound of his voice, Kyle found his own. “Kyle. What’s yours?”

“My name ess Anton.”

Kyle looked up from his eyes and met a set of cold blue ones. “What’s going on, Tess?”

“Nothing,” she replied innocently.

“Who is this?”

“He already told you, Anton.”

Kyle rolled his eyes, in no mood to play her mind games. “Tess, may I remind you that I am a Barred Attorney for the State of Texas? Now tell me what’s going on,” he said, rising. “Why does this boy look so much like me?”

“I don’t know.”

“Stop playing around, Harding!”

Samantha Wilson, the receptionist on the main floor, turned the corner to see what the commotion was about. “Mr. Valenti? Is everything ok?” Her eyes were drawn to the mini-me version of her newest boss and she smiled. “I didn’t know you had a son! Oh, he’s so cute. Oh and he looks just like you, too! Hi there, little one. How are you?” she asked, bending down to his level.

Anton didn’t know what to do. He moved towards Tess, obviously unnerved by the attention he was receiving. “Mommy? I wanna go hum.”

Tess reached for him, picking him up to her hip. “Ok, sweetie. We’ll go home.”

“You’re not going anywhere until I get some answers!” He couldn’t believe that she was just going to pick up and go home without so much as an offer for an explanation.

“I don’t owe you anything and you are upsetting my son.”

“Is that my son, Tess? He looks so much like me!”

Tess rolled her eyes. Who did he think he was? “No, Kyle. This is <i>my</i> son. No one else’s, just mine. He belongs to me.” Anton hid his head between her hair and shoulder, not wanting to be part of the confrontation.

“Do you know who I am? Do you know who I know?”

“Stop threatening me, Kyle. You don’t scare me. Now I’m taking my boy and we’re going home. It was nice to see you again, Kyle.” She turned on her heel, still carrying the small scared child.

“This isn’t over, Tess. You can take that to the bank. This is <i>not</i> over.” Let her disappear again. This time, he would find her. One look at that boy and he knew it in his bones. Hell, Sam knew it. That little boy had to be his son, he had the same birthmark for crying out loud. All he wanted was a test. If Anton was his, Kyle would do the right thing and take him away from the terrible mother he was positive Tess was. If Anton wasn’t his, he would still look into his homelife and determine whether Child Protective Services would be needed.

But either way, like he said, this was not over.

*****

TBC~~~

AN: I know it might seem weird how Kyle reacted but just think about it this way. Tess just up and left when he was going to propose to spend the rest of his life with her (why? dude, i dont even know what he saw in her and i created him!!!). then with the timelines appropriate, here comes this little boy who looks just like him. so much that his secretary comments on how cute his "son" is.

so naturally, kyle's freaking out here. don't worry though, alls well that ends well. hehe
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