roswell4life – Thank you so much! Things will get complicated for Max and Liz as the wedding gets closer.
RoswellFan68 – So many good questions! And now that Max is spending so much time in Roswell, we’ll start getting the answers to a lot of these questions.
Superman86 – Thank you! I hope you enjoy this new part.
L-J-L 76 – Yeah, Samantha’s going to be trying Max’s patience as the story continues.
Diana28 – Wow! Thank you so much! I really hope you like this new chapter.
Michelle17 – This is going to be a big question for Max going forward. He has very conflicting feelings for Liz right now.
begonia9508 – Thank you. I’m trying to get back in the swing of writing again. These stories have been nagging at me for a while. I really hope you like this chapter.
The school bell rang in Liz’s English class, signaling the end of class and the end of the school year. As she watched the eager faces of her students as they stood from their seats and started gathering their things, Liz couldn’t help feeling eager herself. Sure, she enjoyed her job and the kids that she taught, but the last couple of years, a sense of restlessness had been growing in her. This wasn’t the life she had envisioned for herself and seeing Max so happy with her job had reminded her of that. She quickly shoved those thoughts away as she continued to watch her students. She didn’t know why she was even wasting her time thinking about those things in the first place.
“Have a great summer, everybody.” An amused smirk appears on her face. “And please remember your reading list.”
As the students groaned in annoyance, Liz chuckled. “Yes, I know. It’s such a tragedy.”
After the last student left, Liz walked around her desk and started gathering books and papers and began placing them in a giant black book bag. With her back facing the door, she was unaware of it opening and Max walking into the classroom.
With a smile, Max strolled over to Liz and lightly tapped on her shoulder, making her jump in surprise. He laughed at the startled look on her face. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
With a blush, Liz laughed as well. “No, it’s fine.” As she finished putting papers in the bag and closing it, she glanced over at Max and noticed him eyeing her. Her face flushed again. Is he checking me out? No! That couldn’t be what he was doing. Shyly, she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “So, what are you doing here.”
Max stared at Liz for another moment before answering her. “I was going to call and ask if I could pick Lexie up from school. But when Maria told me that you were a teacher at her school, I figured I’d just ask in person.”
“Of course. I think Lexie would really like that.” Max nodded and smiled before his eyes started studying her again. Liz began to squirm under his scrutiny, feeling both confused and surprised by it. She let out an embarrassed chuckle. “What?”
Realizing that he’d been staring, Max’s cheeks reddened a little and he smiled. “Sorry. I just didn’t realize you were a teacher. You look so…” he gestured to the blue turtleneck sweater, the black flowing skirt that went just past her knees, and the black pumps. “Professional.”
Self-consciously, Liz looked down at her outfit before giving him a bashful grin. “Yeah, well, I have to dress this way. High school boys are perverts.”
“Hate to break it you, but it’s not just high school boys.”
“Very true.” She chuckled, brushing her hair over her ear again, unaware of how that little action made Max’s heart flutter.
It unnerved Max that she could still cause that reaction in him after all this time. It felt like he was fifteen again. Before he could analyze the moment further, the classroom door opened, and Lexie came waltzing in, followed by a tall, slightly lanky looking boy with light brown hair. The boy’s eyes practically popped out of his skull when he spotted Max standing there and his mouth dropped open. Max smiled. This must be Lexie’s friend Josh, Max figured, remembering that she said he was a fan.
“Hey, Max,” Lexie greeted, looking both surprised and happy to see him. “What’s going on?”
“I was coming by to see if you wanted go get something to eat with me.”
Lexie’s face brightened even more at the idea of hanging out with her dad. But then she remembered what day it was, and her face dimmed a little. “That sounds great, but what about Kyle? I’m supposed to meet him at the arcade in a little bit.”
“I’ll call Kyle,” Liz spoke up before anyone could respond gave Max and Liz a supportive smile. “I’m sure he’ll understand.”
Max returned her smile, grateful for her acceptance of him. As he turned back to Lexie, he noticed that Josh was still staring at Max, mouth agape and looking like he could pass out at any moment. “Is he going to be okay?” Max asked with an amused grin.
He finally snapped back to reality when he felt Lexie’s fingers pinching his arm. “Ouch!” He yelped, rubbing the now painful spot on his arm and glaring at Lexie.
“You might want to close your mouth before you catch bugs,” Lexie joked, finding her best friend incredibly adorable in that moment. “Max, this is my friend Josh. Josh, this my dad Max.”
“Nice to meet you Josh.” Max held out his hand to Josh.
Nervously, Josh shook his hand and finally managed to find his voice. “Nice to meet you too, sir.”
“Max,” he insisted kindly. “You can call me Max. And you’re welcome to join us if you’d like.”
Josh’s eyes then lit up with excitement. “Are you for real? Hell, yeah!” He blurted out, surprising everyone around him. His cheeks flushed in embarrassment and looked over at Liz, who was looking at him with a humorous smile. “Sorry, Ms. Parker.”
“I’ll let it slide,” she smirked. “Now you guys go and have fun. I’ll let Kyle know that the plans have changed.”
With a big grin, Lexie rushed over and gave her mother a quick peck on he cheek. Before the three of them leave, Max pauses and turns back to Liz.
“Why don’t you come?”
Liz looked at him, stunned and uncertain. “Are you sure?”
“I think it would be fun.” He shrugged, giving her a friendly smile. “We’re friends, remember?”
Liz considered his invitation for a moment. Her immediate instincts told her to decline, to keep that wall between her and Max. But how could she say no when he was smiling at her like that? Her lips quirked up and nodded her head. “I’d love to come.”
After deciding to eat at Senor Chow’s, Liz gave Kyle a call to cancel his plans with Lexie, then the four of them decided to take Max’s car to the restaurant. As Max pulled into a parking spot, he was once again brought back to the past as he remembered that this was the place where he and Liz had their first date. Everything about that night was suddenly very vivid in his mind. The way his stomach rumbled with nervous excitement as he made his way to her front door. How beautiful she looked in her knee-length black dress with her hair pulled up in a loose bun. How much fun they had when she taught him to play pool and they spent the night laughing and talking. It had been one of the most amazing nights of his life and when they kissed, it was like magic.
“You okay, Max?” Lexie asked, breaking Max out of his thoughts.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Max muttered, feeling annoyed with himself. He didn’t like that he kept thinking about his past with Liz, but it was hard not to, now that he was back in Roswell, surrounded by so many memories of them. He didn’t mean to, but his managed to make their way to Liz and his heart fluttered in his chest when he caught the expression on her face. He knew her mind was in the same place his was. It was only for a moment, though, before her darted away from him awkwardly, choosing to focus on the dashboard. He decided to let the moment pass as well as the four them got out of the car and headed inside.
Once they entered a red-headed woman greeted them and escorted them to a booth. After they ordered their food, Lexie and Josh decided to go play pool while they waited, leaving Max and Liz alone at the booth. While Liz awkwardly fiddled with the straw in her glass of water, Max looked around the restaurant, taking it all in.
“I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve been here.” Max smiled.
Liz grinned. “Yeah, and as you can see, it hasn’t changed much. Lexie and I come her all the time.”
They both glanced towards the backroom where the pool table was and watched Lexie and Josh playing, enjoying the sight of their daughter happy.
“She’s a great kid. You did a good job.” As soon as the words left his mouth, Liz’s eyes went back to him, looking both surprised and unsure of how to respond. He simply smiled. Despite whatever lingering resentment he may have, he wanted to her to know that he was sincere. “I mean it. I can’t imagine how tough it was raising her on your own.”
“Well, I wasn’t alone,” she said. “I had my family with me every step of the way.”
Max nodded. He wondered if how things would’ve turned out if their roles were reversed. Would his parents have been as supportive of him? As much as he’d like to believe they’d stand by him, the last few years made him doubtful. He and Liz just didn’t have the same kind of parents.
“So, how did you become a teacher?” He asked, wanting to think about something else. And honestly, he was curious about what her life had been like for the last fifteen years. “You always wanted to be a writer.”
The question caught Liz off guard, mostly because up until Max came back into her life, she hadn’t given it much thought. “I don’t know, really,” she answered honestly. “I moved to Florida to stay with my aunt after I got pregnant and I finished my school there. I never really intended to be a teacher full time, it just ended up happening that way.”
Max took a sip of his water as he listened to Liz. “Do you ever think you’ll go back to writing?” He asked.
She shrugged. “I think about it sometimes. But I don’t know.”
“Well, I always enjoyed your writing.” He wasn’t sure why he felt the need to say it, but he did. He also didn’t understand why the warm smile that spread across her face made his heart flutter.
“So, what about you?”
“What about me?” He asked after taking another sip of his water.
“Max, you’re a freaking celebrity,” she said with a laugh. “There’s got to be a story there. If I remember correctly, your parents had some lofty ambitions for you, and they didn’t include singing in a band.”
Max chuckled. “You’re right. I stuck to their plan for a while. I spent two years at Princeton before dropping out. The college thing was never for me, you know.”
Liz nodded in understanding. “Can’t imagine Mr. and Mrs. Evans were happy about that.”
Max’s face dimmed a little, remembering the last conversation he had with his parents. “They disowned me.”
The sympathetic look on Liz’s face made Max squirm uncomfortably in his seat. As much as he pretended to be okay with everything that happened between him and his parents, their distance was still painful for him. Just then, Liz reached forward and took his hand in hers, giving it a gentle squeeze.
“Max, I’m so sorry.”
After a moment, Max found himself squeezing her hand back, allowing himself to take comfort in her touch. The intimacy of the moment catches them both by surprise and Liz quickly moved her hand away, placing it in lap as she awkwardly averted her gaze.
Max didn’t want to admit, but the loss of her touch disappointed him. Not liking the direction his thoughts were taking, he decided to continue his story. “Don’t be sorry. As painful as it was, it also freed me. I moved to LA shortly after that, I met Brian at a band audition and the rest is pretty much history.”
“It’s your parents’ loss,” Liz said once she felt comfortable enough to look at him again. “You turned out great.”
Liz’s words comforted Max and he was about to respond when Kyle’s voice came up behind him, immediately dashing his good mood.
“Hey, guys,” Kyle greeted in an overly cheery voice as he took a seat next to Liz in the booth.
“Hey, Kyle,” Liz greeted, looking at Kyle with surprise and confusion. “What are you doing here?”
“I felt bad,” he said with a shrug, trying to seem casual and like he hadn’t been seething with jealousy at seeing Max and Liz together. “Fridays at the arcade has been a tradition for years. I figured dinner with you guys would be just as good.”
Max sat there, resisting the urge to tell this jackass to get lost. He hadn’t missed the pointed look Kyle shot his way when discussing his traditions with Lexie. Clearly Kyle felt Max’s presence was ruining things for him. It only served to annoy Max further. Lexie was his daughter. What right did Kyle have to try and stake claim on her? On both her and Liz? But he could see how awkward the situation was for Liz and he didn’t want to make it worse by fighting with Kyle. Besides, he was sure Kyle would love nothing more than to get a rise out of Max, and he refused to give the guy the satisfaction.
Leaning back in his seat, Max decided to take the high road and gave Kyle a friendly smile. “Well, we’re happy to have you here. We already ordered, but I’m sure the waitress would be happy to bring another menu over.”
Before turning to get the waitress’s attention, Max noticed the way Kyle’s happy façade dropped slightly and e looked almost annoyed. Inwardly, Max was laughing.
“Yes!” Lexie squealed in delight, enjoying the look of defeat on Josh’s face as she kicked his ass at pool. “Damn, you suck at this game.”
“Whatever,” he grumbled, setting his pool cue down on the table. “This is a stupid game anyway. Air hockey is better.” Just then, he glanced over Lexie’s shoulder and spotted Jason heading their way and his mood soured.
“What’s wrong?” Lexie asked in confusion when she noticed the frown forming on her friend’s face.
Josh didn’t respond, though. He simply he gave a quick nod of his head, gesturing to the person behind her. Her heart immediately started doing flip flops when she turned around and saw Jason standing there with his arms folded across his chest and giving her an incredibly sexy smirk.
“Hey, Parker,” he greeted smoothly.
“H-Hey, Jason,” she muttered nervously, feeling her hands, which were still holding the pool cue, starting to become damp from sweat. She set the pool cue down on the table and smiled at Jason. “How’s it going?”
“Not bad.” Jason finally looked behind Lexie and smirked when he noticed Josh standing there on the other side of the pool table, looking none to happy about his presence. Briefly, he wondered if the gangly kid had a thing for Lexie before deciding he didn’t care. He gave Josh a nod. “Hey, Jeff.”
“It’s Josh,” he corrected, biting back his annoyance at Jason pretending not to know his name.
“Oh, right.” Jason turned his attention back to Lexie, deciding that Josh wasn’t anything to worry about, and eyed the cute brunette up and down seductively. “So, how’s it going with you?”
Lexie shyly looked away, blushing at Jason’s slow perusal of her. Was the most popular boy in school really checking her out? Not wanting to seem like a complete nerd, she stood up straighter and tried to appear confidant and casual. “I’m good. I’m just eating with my family.”
Jason glance behind him to where Ms. Parker was sitting with officer Valenti and Max Evans. His eyes widened as he stared at Lexie’s father. “Wow! Is that really Max Evans over there?”
As silly as it was, she loved how impressed Jason was about her father. “Yep. That’s my dad.”
“That is just too cool.”
Feeling a bit more confident, Lexie stepped towards Jason. “Do you want to meet him?”
“Oh, that’s okay,” He said, shoving his hands in his pockets. “I wouldn’t want to intrude.” Though appeared uncertain, he had been hoping that she’d offer. Meeting Max was the whole reason he started paying attention to Lexie in the first place. Once everyone heard that her father was Max Evans, Jason knew he had to make that connection to get his band off the ground. Fortunately, it hadn’t been hard reeling Lexie in. Like most girls at Roswell High, she fell all over herself the moment he looked her way. And now he had a direct line to a major superstar. Still, Jason knew he needed to play it cool. As turned to walked away, Lexie grabbed his arm and smiled up at him. So easy, he thought to himself with satisfaction.
“You wouldn’t be intruding,” she assured him. “Come on, I’m sure he’s going to love to meet you.”
With that, he allowed Lexie to lead him over to the booth where her parents were sitting, both of them unaware of Josh trailing behind them, looking incredibly unhappy.