Category: Dreamer and some Supporting Candy - AU w/out Aliens
Summary: Sometimes you find love, but it’s at the wrong time and the wrong place. Some betrayals can never be forgiven. And sometimes you can’t help the one you love, no matter how they came to be.
Disclaimer: The titles to each chapter as well as the lyrics on the banner, and below each chapter title, were taken from Bon Jovi’s Lost Highway album. While they inspired this story, I do not claim them to be mine. The story however, is all mine.
A/N - Based on my notes, I started this story July of 2007, and I only had the very first page of this written. About a week and a half ago, I lost inspiration and opened this story up, what came from it is what you will read. I hope you indulge me, and in case you needed to ask, this is 100% Dreamer (as if I really needed to state it *lol*) Oh and it will be posted weekly on Saturday. I hope you enjoy.
Don’t know where I’m going, but I know where I’ve been. But I’m afraid of going back again.
Saturday September 20th
THE ONLY THING THAT COULD BE HEARD in the quite suburban neighborhood that night was the sound of tires screeching out of a driveway. Her black, four door sedan, pulled from the drive of a moderately sized home in haste. Light beige brick, white shutters and a matching white picket fence blurred before her eyes. A textbook home reflected in her rear view mirror. Mocking her in so many ways, maybe it always did.
She brushed the tears from her eyes. It was time. Tonight was the final push she needed to leave him. She had suffered long enough, endured more than any woman should have, but still a part of her felt guilty.
She was his wife. She was obligated to stay and make things work. But hadn’t she done that for years? Hadn’t she been doing that since the day they met? Why should she be the only one trying to do what was right? Why was she the only one that cared their marriage was over? That their marriage never was?
It was engrained in her from birth. Divorce was not an option. Divorce meant failure, that’s what her mother had said. Then again, now, at thirty Liz wasn’t too sure her mother knew what she was talking about. Hadn’t her parents been married for thirty-one years and hadn’t they argued for most of them?
It was time she made her own decisions, based on what she wanted, not what others thought was right for her.
It was her life, and she was tired of sitting back and watching it pass by.
Determined to make the most of her time, she set her sights on Roswell, New Mexico. The small town she grew up in, the one she had the best friends and the best time of her life. The very same place she left to see the world, instead all she ended up with was a husband who enjoyed making her feel smaller than anyone else ever had.
Living in California afforded her the possibility of driving there in a few hours. The only problem was she knew by morning all she would have was the few clothes she managed to pack and the money in her purse. Thinking quickly, she turned off and headed for the nearest ATM. She could pull out some cash before he even realized she was gone. Of course she was only allotted a small amount of the income he brought in. He was the provider, she wanted for nothing, yet needed more than he could ever give.
Tonight’s argument was no different than any other, except for the fact that Tom decided that Liz hadn’t been earning her keep. And by that he meant to make her understand that she was his wife, and she was obligated to keep him satisfied in every way. It disgusted her; she never knew how cruel one man could be. Thankfully, he’d left the house to run out for some cigarettes, giving her the chance to get away.
She knew she wasn’t the most eager woman in the bedroom, but that was because she spent most of her time trying to figure out what would please him. What he liked and disliked. Tom never really cared about what she liked, never asked her, just assumed that he was a master and was never to be questioned.
Pulling the car to a stop, she pulled down her visor and took a deep, long look at herself. “What were you thinking?” she asked herself with disgust etched in every feature. When they first met, she actually liked how protective he was over her. What a damn fool, she thought.
She knew better now. She was tired of being someone she wasn’t. Tired of trying to figure out how the hell to be happy with him.
It was time for her to find herself. Find out who in the hell Liz Parker was, and where she could find her again.
It was time to go back to where life began for her.
Hazel-brown eyes peered out from beneath midnight black sunglasses, his eyes traveled down a slender back, thin waist and locked onto the most perfectly shaped bottom he’d seen in years, which, luckily for him, was currently on display. Max Evans had just pulled up to the diner, he’d just driven into town and as he stepped out of his black Mercedes, he noticed the brunette across the street, arguing or maybe it was convincing herself to do something.
His lips curled, this was pretty amusing. Who was she? That was the better question; one he knew by tonight he’d have the answer to. With any luck, he’d find out exactly what she was made of and more importantly, what exactly awaited him underneath that prim and proper navy skirt and white silk blouse.
Oh, this would be interesting, he thought, pushing off the car. He jogged breezily across the street, stuffing his shades into his front shirt pocket, and came up beside her. It appeared she had a flat tire, and was…yelling at it.
“Need some help?” He must have startled her, because she let out a squeak and spun on her matching navy heels to face him.
Her hand to her chest, eyes wide, her eyes met his.
“Liz Parker?” he asked, trying to hide his own shock. Despite the stuffy outfit, and pearls, it still looked like her.
He couldn’t forget her.
Max Evans, her mind registered, but good god did he always look that handsome? Her mind raced. He looked the same, his hair just as dark as she remembered, his skin flawless, his lips shaped perfectly, completely kissable and those eyes…the ones she’d see even in her dreams.
When she noticed his amused look, she straightened her shoulders and said, “Max Evans. How are you?” and stuck her hand out. Liz didn’t bother to correct him about her name, she liked that he used her maiden name. It made her feel important, not just someone’s wife, but also a person all her own, with her own name.
He looked down and smiled, before clasping it in his own. He was laughing at her, she knew it but wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. Where on earth did the shy, elusive, Max Evans go?
“I’m doing good, how about you? What brings you to town? I haven’t seen you since, well graduation.” He asked, smoothly, his control slowly sliding back in order.
She couldn’t possibly still affect him. He was just surprised to see her, that’s all.
Max watched as she pushed her hair away from her face, it was shorter than he remembered; to her shoulders and she looked older; more mature, but still the same fresh angel face he remembered. Those big brown eyes, a small perfectly shaped nose, flawless creamy complexion, lips that he’d kill to kiss, even just once and a perfect little body. Perfect for him to loose himself in. God, she was beautiful.
“I’m actually just visiting. It’s been a long time coming and Maria said anytime I was in town I should stop by.” Max nodded his head and noticed how quickly she rushed out her explanation. Another thing he noticed were the dark circles under her eyes, and the sadness that was so clear to read in them. He’d seen it in the past. Then, he had wanted to soothe her pain, find out what made her happy. That was then. Now, he just wanted her.
That was enough for him. All he wanted, in fact.
“Funny you should say that, I’m on my way to see her too. We’ve got a camping trip this coming weekend, and I figured I’d head over here a little sooner. Do you need help changing this tire?”
Liz shook her head, “No, because I don’t have a spare.” Max nodded and before he had a chance to speak she asked, “You don’t live here?” The question stumbled off her lips before she had a chance to think. She shouldn’t care, but she did.
Liz drank in the sight of him, all of him. What a picture he made, so different, yet so much the same as she remembered him all those years ago.
Max laughed a little and shook his head. “No. I live in LA, now. Your home territory, or so Michael tells me.” How much had Michael told him, she wondered worriedly.
“Yes, I moved out there but I’ve never seen you,” she made a point to say that to make herself feel better. The truth was, she was only allowed to leave the house with Tom. If she needed something from the store, she could call in the order and they would deliver it to her doorstep. Knowing that Max was so close to her home and she’d never had a chance to see him, made something in her chest sink.
“I’m pretty busy.”
“What do you do now?” she asked and wanted to kick herself. Why it seemed important for her to know everything about him while standing on the sidewalk of her childhood neighborhood, she didn’t know. But, it felt oddly comforting.
“I own a couple of dealerships throughout California. It’s taken me some time, but it was worth it. How about you? What have you been up to?” he asked the question she was dreading. What answer could she possibly give without looking like a fool?
Max watched her intently; she seemed nervous and timid. He didn’t remember her being timid, and why she would be nervous around him, he couldn’t understand. Then he realized the question he’d asked was what was making her nervous. Maybe the sadness he saw had something to do with it, maybe he shouldn’t pry, no matter how much he wanted to know.
Taking a quick glance at his watch, he interrupted what she would have said, “Damn, if I don’t want Maria on my ass about being late, I’d better run. Want to come with? I can call and have someone tow your car and get a new tire put on. Is that okay with you?” He asked, watching the relief flood her as she nodded.
Not for the first time today did he think, whatever happened to make her into the person he was staring at now?
“Thank you, Max,” was all she could squeeze past the tightness in her throat.
“No problem,” he said and smiled, before turning to cross the street once again.
Pausing for a moment, she reached down and pulled off her wedding ring, stuffing it into her purse, she followed Max Evans across the street.
“Liz!” came Maria’s scream the moment Liz passed the threshold behind Max.
“Thanks, Maria. Really, I’m so happy to see you too,” came Max’s grumbling words as he embraced his best friend’s wife.
Maria’s blonde shoulder length hair, swayed in its ponytail and her bright hazel-green eyes flashed a look of boredom then she let out a bubbly laugh and slapped Max on the chest.
“You wound me woman,” Max said as he turned, giving Liz center stage. She looked like a deer caught in the headlights. It didn’t matter though, because a moment later Maria wrapped her arms around her once best friend and smiled.
Liz’s body relaxed at Maria’s warm embrace. How long had it been since she’d had a hug, a show of any affection? Even her husband didn’t touch her, except to have sex. She was supposed to be a proper woman; she must always dress appropriately, and never, ever show any skin above the knees.
She smiled warmly, and hugged her friend back. “Hi Maria. I hope it’s okay that I came by.”
Maria reared back, placing her hands on Liz’s shoulders, and smiled brightly. “Are you kidding? This is perfect timing. We’re going camping in a few days, and it would be great if you could come along. We can catch up. I’ve missed you, Liz.” Maria told her candidly.
Liz felt the tears burn the back of her eyes, once again she wondered when she became so weak, and since when did kind words from people she hadn’t seen in years, bring her to tears?
“Me too, Maria,” was all she said. Liz was more than a little aware of Max’s eyes on her the entire time. Could he notice how close she was to tears again? It was crazy to think he even noticed her all that much. He was just surprised to see her that was all.
Maria watched Max and Liz for a moment, before an idea popped in her head. She had already promised Michael she wouldn’t play matchmaker for Max again. But, was there anything wrong with simply giving them some time to reacquaint themselves after all these years?
She didn’t think so and she’d be damned if her husband was going to talk her out of it. In fact, what Michael didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, she thought with a satisfied smile on her face.
“I’ll go get Michael, he’s in the back,” she said, thinking she’d start by giving them some time alone, but Max’s words interrupted that idea.
“Don’t bother, I’ll find him. Liz needs a new tire, so we’ll go take care of that while you guys catch up.”
“Max?” Liz called out, as Max started for the backroom. Max paused, looking over his shoulder at her, and she felt her heartbeat speed up, that’s odd.
“I have my bags in the back, should I take them out?”
And then, if she’d thought her heart was doing anything out of the ordinary, suddenly her knees became weak, because Max Evans had smiled at her the same way he’d done so many years ago. But never was she at the receiving end of it, and then to top it all off, he winked at her before pushing through the back door.
Years ago she had been infatuated with him and would have died if he’d smiled at her like that. Then it was hard to get a smile out of Max, but when he did…it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. She felt like a teenager again, for just that single moment and damn but it felt great.
But she was older now, wiser and she knew damn well Max had better things to do then to…well whatever it was she thought he was doing, because surely he wasn’t flirting.
Maria watched fascinated, Liz Parker, or rather Liz Axlerod, was still affected by Max Evans. While Maria believed in the sanctity of marriage, and the vows taken, Tom Axlerod was a bastard. She’d heard the stories from Michael, and while she knew that Tom never hit Liz, verbal abuse was sometimes worse than physical. In what she’d witnessed with her once outgoing best friend, was a shell of a girl who used to love life and who wanted nothing more than to be happy and have a family. Maria had once tried, pleaded with Liz to leave Tom but she wouldn’t, she wasn’t ready.
Suddenly, Maria wondered how Max would feel if he really knew of Liz’s situation. He’d long ago sworn that he was over Liz, and from the trail of broken hearts, she knew he was giving it the old college try.
Maria had of course insisted that Michael tell Max, and then they could finally be together. Michael however, had refuted and said that Max wasn’t ready for something serious. And in all fairness, Liz probably wasn’t either, she needed time to be herself and if the fact that she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, and that she was here in Roswell meant anything, then Maria knew it wouldn’t be long before Max Evans was under Liz’s spell once again.
Things this summer were looking up.
Now, if only she could get herself knocked up, all would be right in her world.