Yes. I can tell you from experience that people like Hank really do exist... and yes, it leaves me feeling just as helpless and saddened as youAre there really people like Hank out there in the world? That is so sad and leaves you with a feeling of helplessness.
Isabel will always protect her sister from what she can, but we'll learn next chapter that Isabel can't protect Liz from learning everything about their parents... and Max' giving away his paradise box, his only friend, is something amazing that he would doThat is amazing how Isabel is protecting her younger sister. Love Max's paradise box......what a wonderful idea.
Thanks! I actively went out of my way to mix together characters that we didn't get to see interact much in the show, or in Max and Maria's case, characters that bonds or relationships could have been explored and developed way more than they were.I like this dynamic between Michael, Alex, and Tess. It's so unusual to see the three of them depicted as having any sort of relationship in a fic, so that's very cool and makes your story unique.
Yeah, Alex's life could be so much better... but when you're twelve-years-old and you're experiencing something this hard and traumatic... you get use to believing that this is your only reality.... and that there's nothing more out there for you.That last line makes me feel like Alex has just gotten so used to this kind of life, like he's forcing himself to settle for this. Yeah, maybe things could always be worse, but his life is pretty damn bad already.
Kids tend to live in the moment, and at the moment, Alex's life is pretty shitty... and sadly, that's all he knows
And they will... after going through so many trails and tribulationsI can't wait to see him and the rest of these people rise up from the ashes and find something better out there.
Somebody will... but not for awhile, and by then, they'll be grown up and the damage will be already doneThe life Michael, Alex and Tess live is so sad. Someone really needs to help them!
You're right! It shouldn't be... but sadly, people doIt shouldn't be permit, from some people to take care of children...
A/N: Sorry, it took so long guys. But my beta kind of determines when I get to post these chapters. I finished this chapter like a week after I posed chapter five, but she only now sent me the revisions... nearly three months later.
But sadly, I can't give her up. She's not only become too good of a friend of mine, but i really do need a beta. So, i have to deal Anyway, here's chapter six. Oh, and by the way, you all will be finally meeting Kyle Valenti in the next chapter... and getting a moment in the head of Liz Parker as well, if any of you care
The song of the week is: Come As You Are by Civil Twilight play when you see
“Max,” Maria sighed audibly when Max, once again, tossed onto his other side and tried to get comfortable enough to go to sleep for the fifth time in eight minutes. “Go. To. Sleep,” she said through clenched teeth. The tossing and turning in her bed was getting on her ever last freaking nerve, especially since she knew why he was doing it. He was still worried about her. She had to temper the urge to excessively roll her eyes.
She wanted to scream at him for being such a nosy worrier. She was fine. She didn't need his concern. It had only been a bad dream. It was done and over with… she was going to live. She had dreamed about her mother before tonight; she had dreamed about the incident ever since it had happened. It wasn't the first time she had dreamed about it in the past few weeks since her mother had died, nor would it be the last time she dreamed about what had happened, she supposed… but it was fine. She didn't need him worrying about her! She didn't want his pity!
She wanted to berate him for treating her like a weakling, a scared and damaged baby chick that needed his constant attention and concern. It wasn't warranted or wanted! But she couldn't tell him that. She couldn't truly be mad enough to tell him what was on her mind… Not to Max… because she wasn'tfine… and they both knew it. But just because it was the truth didn't mean she had to like it.
She was also extremely tired. Her nightmares always took a lot out of her emotionally. Max’s tossing and turning was preventing her from getting her much needed sleep, and if he did it for much longer, she was going to murder Max Evans and not feel an ounce of guilt for it. At least died, if he was dead, she could finally get some freaking sleep!
“Sorry,” he apologized softly, turning over again to face her. He tucked one of his hands’ underneath her pillow and threw the other arm over her middle as he flashed her a small and apologetic smile that was so sincere and heartwarming that Maria couldn't help but smile back just as genuinely. “I just keep—never mind,” he started, paused, and then sighed loudly before he said, “I’m really sorry for keeping you up… Get some sleep, huh…” he sighed, closing his eyes again as he tried to fall asleep.
She could tell that something was still troubling him though. No matter how hard he was trying to brush it off, his forehead was still scrunched in vague worry and consternation. His brows were furrowed in mild confusion, like he couldn't figure something out in his own head. She wasn't sure whether it was about her or not, but whatever it was, it really bothered him… and deeply.
“Thanks,” she said without thinking. She had started thinking about the scared expression on his face when he had crashed into her room and began to try and comfort her. Suddenly she realized that she hadn't thanked him for being there for her and that she probably should.
“Huh?” He opened his eyes, and peered at her, confused. She shrugged her shoulder at his intense scrutiny.
“Thanks,” she repeated louder, more confidently. “For… well, you know what for…” she finished.
He raised his eyebrow, still staring at her intently. “Yeah,” he said. “No problem… Anytime… I’ll be there anytime.” He whispered with so much emotion that she felt like tearing up and had to violently tell herself to suck it up. She wasn't a baby.
“Go to sleep, Maria…” he said sternly a few moments later, the deep swell of emotions still dripping from his tone. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
She stared back at him for a few more minutes before she nodded and turned onto her left side, snuggling as close as she could get to his chest, his warmth. Finally she was able to take his advice and get some sleep.
Maria paused in front of the full-length mirror in her room, her jaw dropping in surprised awe. Sunlight was streaming softly through the blinds of her bedroom, illumining the object of her fascination in soft streaks of pale yellow and baby blue. Max was sleeping soundly in the bed she had just vacated, his right arm still slightly curved underneath her pillow from when he had been holding her through her night terrors before she had awakened.
He had a dopey, strange look on his face instead of the troubled one he had worn earlier. There was a good amount of drool leaking from his mouth and sliding down his chin into his neck crevices, and it made Maria smile warmly at him. Looking around, she had found the brand new dress that had been hanging from the mahogany frame of her new mirror—a soft blue and yellow flowered pattern swirling perfectly across the silk material with gold sparkles aligning the hems of the dress. A bright pink sticky note was attached to the shoulder.
She plucked the note off gently, fearing that she might ruin the sensitive material if she yanked too hard. The note was written with precision and care… and she guessed that Hinckley must have taken the time to write it. The words flowed in quick strokes across the page, but it wasn't sloppy to the point that her nine-year-old brain couldn't understand the words that had been written. Her second guess that pointed toward Hinckley being the possible author of the hand-written note was that it was also polite and impersonal.
Courtesy of Master Phillip Evans, Miss Maria. The note began, and she swore that she could almost hear the butler’s smooth British voice vibrate and flow toward her, as if he were in the room with her, telling her this message personally. He asks that you wear this dress for your welcoming party tonight. Important family friends and relatives will be coming and he wants you to look your very best! Maria giggled a little when she saw the little smiley face that Hinckley had placed next to the sentence. He’s also requested your presence in his study after you get back from our drive around town for the day. - Hinckley
Well, she was right to suspect that it was, in fact, Hinckley, she frowned briefly before she nodded her head, crumbling the note with her fingertips and throwing the ball into the garbage pile next to her new dresser. She didn't like the fact that her uncle was already going out of his way to buy her new and expensive, beautiful things… It made her feel like he already had very high expectations of what the dress had reflected to her upon her first viewing of it hanging from her mirror—Dazzling and classy, as well as professional… and Maria simply wasn't any of those things.
It just wasn't who Maria was. She liked to get down and dirty. She was tough, and could roll with the punches of rude kids who thought it was their privilege in life to always pick on her for being the poor girl in school—the girl who was sometimes caught wearing the same dirty outfit two weeks in a row because her mother was too depressed to get out of bed and wash her clothes. She could also dish out the same treatment they collared her with, a sly smile on her youthful face and a snide retort on her lips to those very same kids… and to the few adults who thought they had a right to open their mouths about something they neither know nor understood.
Maria was street smart and rough around the edges, not because that was in her personality or core, but because she had to be to make it in such a judgmental and jaded world. It was an essential part of her survival… and she was a survivor and proud of it. She didn't want to wash those hard learned life lessons away from her soul because they were too inappropriate for her uncle’s upper crust sensibilities.
She didn't want to fit into that world, not if that was what she had to do… she couldn't and wouldn't sand those hard edges away from her being. She didn't have the kind of adaptability it took to change who she was and she didn't want to learn what it took to do it either… She also didn't want to disappoint her uncle.
He had been so nice to her when he didn't have to be. He had gone out of his way to take her in after her mother’s death, even though they had been estranged since their teen years, and had done his best to make her feel comfortable in his huge house.
She was also beginning to think that Max being the first one to greet her upon her arrival into a life so far out of her comfort zone hadn't been a coincidence. Max was high spirited, sweet, and welcoming where her uncle—and the new world she’d been unwilling thrust into—might not be. It was as though her uncle was sending her a subtle, but loud, wake-up call now though. It all began with this stylish, flamboyant new dress.
The dress symbolized that the time for comfort and consideration was long over, and it was time for her to become the young lady that she was expected to be around his high society lifestyle. She wasn'tto be like her mother, she felt the dress screamed, the message calling out to her. She was not to be outspoken… or free. Simply put, the dress said that she was not to be herself.
Max woke as she went back to staring at the dress before her, still listening to its phantom message that only she seemed to hear. He stood up slowly, following her line of sight as his brown eyes locked onto the dress with the same amount of awe that she guessed she had on her face earlier… before she had grasped what it meant. A moment later, he shot her a hard, grim look of sadness that rivaled that deep well of emotion that had been in his voice late last night. The look was intermixed with a strong sense of understanding that made Maria’s heart break a little more. He knew as well as she did what message the dress was supposed to send to her.
Maybe he understood because the expensive, tailored suit that was probably laid out at the foot of his bed when he got back to his room would say the same thing. Maybe he was trying to convey this to her with that look, or maybe he was trying to say that this was her life now. No amount of running, defying, or hiding from it was going to stop the world from spinning long enough to hear her pleas and listen to her… It wasn't going to change the fact that she was trapped, playing the role that her uncle wanted her to play…
She couldn't change a thing. Not if she didn't want to end up like her mother.