Deliver Me -[AU M/L] ~{COMPLETE}~

Finished stories that feature the characters from the show, but there are no aliens. All fics completed on the main AU without Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Hopeless Romantic
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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:32 am

A/N: I'll send out the PMs tomorrow. If you realize you aren't getting one, it's probably because you're replying before I send them. If that's not the case let me know so I can fix it!! Enjoy:

Part Ten - Max POV

The whole way home from Liz’s house I had been praying that I was doing the right thing. I wanted Liz to see what I really thought of her, and see that I wasn’t a bad person for what I had done to Todd. I was so worried about her opinion of me, because it felt like things between us were so close to becoming good, and I hadn’t wanted them ruined by something like a wrong opinion of me. I knew I was also making my feelings for her clear, which was probably the boldest thing I’ve ever done - next to saving her.

I tossed and turned that whole night. I wondered what she was reading at different times, wondered what she was thinking. I had to fall asleep, though. I couldn't spend hours up the night before a game because then I would play horrible the next day. We weren’t playing the east side, which was a good thing, but we still needed to win every game we could after our first defeat.

Eventually, I had gone to sleep with the thought of Liz still on my mind, but I had calmed down enough; had stopped wondering about what she was thinking to get some rest. When I woke up, I spent the rest of the day avoiding Isabel, and getting as much rest as possible. Around five I had to be at the fields. I threw my junk in the backseat of my car, and drove off.

Even though my family lives on the west side, the only good thing is that we actually do have money. My dad was a very successful lawyer before we moved, and he’s actually thinking of getting back into it when the restaurant was settled. So, for my sixteenth birthday I got something most kids on the west side didn’t get: my first car, a black Ford Escape. It’s definitely good for carting my friends around. Sometimes I wondered if that’s why I got popular. I’m sure it helped. Having money usually does help with things.

I drove to the field, found a place to park, and headed towards the stadium. I had to go through the circle of trees where the fight had been a few nights ago. Once I stepped through the trees I got my first good look at it since that night. The area was circled off with yellow police tape right around where Liz, Todd, and I had been. I walked over to the area and looked at where Liz had been laying when I had saved her. Her face flashed through my mind; how scared and helpless she had looked while still trying to be brave.

I was so caught up in my thoughts that I didn’t even hear when someone came up behind me. “What are you doing here, son?”

I turned around and came face to face with probably the last person I wanted to be standing with. “Sheriff Valenti,” I swallowed past the lump that had formed in my throat. “I was just heading to the game.”

There was something about the Sheriff'; there was something in his eyes that made me want to trust him. I guess that’s why he made such a good sheriff. He had to get people to trust him so they would tell him the truth, and then he’d take them in. I had a feeling something like that had been about to happen to me, but there was something else in his eyes - something I couldn’t quite distinguish - that told me I didn’t have to worry about him.

“I need to ask you a question, Max,” He began. As he walked towards me, his boots clicked against the gravel beneath us; the same gravel that had scratched up my hand, and the back of Liz’s arms and legs. “I need you to tell me the truth.”

“I will, Sheriff.”

“Were you here, at this circle, the night of the East and West game?”


“Did you start that fight?”


“Were you involved in it?” He asked. I didn’t really know how to answer this. Yes, I had been involved, but no, I hadn’t been fighting or anything like that. I was saving Liz’s life. I figured that would be the best thing to tell him.

“The only thing I did during that fight, was punch Todd Malamud to get him away from Liz Parker when he was about to stab her,” I told him. “Are you going to arrest me for saving her life Sheriff?”

That emotion that I had seen in his eyes flared momentarily, and I knew I had said the right thing. The protectiveness in his eyes was obviously strong when it came to the girl that I had a strong urge to protect as well. The fact that I had been the one to save her life, when she had been so close to being taken from both of us, was going to keep me out of a jail cell.

“Thank you, Max,” the Sheriff said finally. He reached out his hand to shake mine, and I returned the gesture. “You have no idea how much that little girl means to me.”

“Yes, I do,” I said quietly. “She’s means that much to me, too.”

The Sheriff nodded and started to walk away. I watched him leave and wondered if that had really just happened. The Sheriff and I had actually had a moment or something. I had to shake myself from the spot I figured I was permanently rooted in. I was safe. Todd was going to go to jail and there was nothing he could do to turn me in.

I went to the game; relief flowed through me the entire time. My day had continued to get better and better, especially since Todd wasn’t at the game. I figured that the Sheriff had been there to bring him in, and he had just seen me on the way back. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face. During the game, I kept sneaking my glances at Liz, only those times she had been looking back. I had seen her arguing with Serena, but when they had stopped talking, she had been staring at me almost as openly as I had stared at her.

When the last play of the game came, I threw a perfect spiral to Lucas, who was open in the end zone. The ball flew right into his hands for a touchdown, and our team went crazy. I looked at Liz, who was smiling, even though she couldn’t really cheer. I noticed Sean stood next to her with a frown.

As the team celebrated, shook hands with the other team, and went to the locker rooms, I couldn’t keep my mind off Liz and Sean. It didn’t really have to do with Sean, because I had a feeling that he wasn’t really a threat, but there was something I realized that I had been trying to avoid for a while. Liz and I could never be together. All of the stuff that we had been doing, the staring and the secret meetings, that’s as far as our relationship would ever get.

If Liz and I were to be together, it would only end up bad. People would not react kindly to the fact that I would be with Liz. I finished changing, and looked at Michael. He was still only half-dressed, so I told him I would meet him at the cars. I left the locker room and started walking to the parking lot. As I walked past the stands, I felt myself being pulled. I was yanked behind the bleachers, and I had no idea who I was standing there with.

“Hi,” I heard from behind me. I recognized the soft voice immediately. I turned and found myself face to face with Liz, her brown eyes stared into mine. There was something new behind her eyes, something that was there because of what she had seen in my journal.

“Hey,” I said quietly.

She looked beautiful; somehow she was even more beautiful than she had ever looked, and it was because of the way she was looking at me. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She wore pants, and I knew it was to hide the scratches on her legs. Her hair was different though, it was wet looking and stringy, like it was gelled and twisted into strands. I noticed two strands that were twisted together and moved forward. My fingers worked through the knot and stilled only for a second as she leaned her cheek into my hand.

“You had a, uh...” I trailed off, lost in the feeling of being so close to her.

“Hair thing,” She finished for me, “Right. Thanks.”

“Sure,” I said. She looked down at the ground, and then moved her gaze back to get lost in my own. I knew what she wanted, probably because it was the one thing I was dying to do. But I knew that it was impossible, and when I told her she would agree.

“Liz, it's not safe. I mean, for you and, and me to...” I couldn’t even finish my sentence. If I was to say it out loud I would forget everything I was reasoning at that moment, and just do what I wanted, but I knew one thing she probably knew but didn’t want to realize. “It's not safe,” I said finally.

“I don’t care,” She said, like she had already known what was to come out of my mouth and had thought about it too.

I smiled, wishing that this could happen, wishing that we could just be together. I wanted that more than anything, but I didn’t know how it would happen. “Liz I really, really wish that this could be something, you know, more,” I stressed. I didn’t want her to think that I didn’t want to be with her. I wanted her to know exactly how much she meant to me. I wanted her to know how much I wanted to just give everything up to be with her. “But it can't,” I told her. We both had to face reality, and the reality was, “We're just...”

“Different,” she finished. She was nodding her head like she realized it, but didn’t really want to accept it. I knew exactly how she was feeling. It was the last thing I wanted to do.

“Yeah,” I said quietly. I started to move away from her, to walk out from under the bleachers. “I’ll see you around, Liz.” I started to walk away. My back was to her and I was leaving even though I didn’t want to.

“Max?” She called. I turned to look at her, aware that it was going to be even harder to turn away a second time. “I never got to thank you,” she said, “for saving my life.”

I couldn’t help but smile this time. She didn’t understand. When it came down to it, I hadn’t saved her life. She had saved mine, and I was the one that needed to say it: “Thank you.” And I walked away, able to do it as long as she knew that I was grateful to her, for the way she had made me feel, and for the seeing the real me and loving me just the same.



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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Thu Apr 15, 2004 8:54 am

A/N: PMs will be out tomorrow. Also, towards the end you need to remember that Liz doesnt know about Valenti and Max's conversation. No one does except the two of them. Just keep that in mind!!!

So, things with Max hadn’t exactly worked out like I had hoped. A huge part of me was dying to be with him, but what he had said was partly true. We were different. Whether we accepted it or not we came from different places, different lives. Maybe we just weren’t meant to be together.

I wanted to sit and think about him all day, go over in my head the possible ways for us to get together, but I couldn’t. As much as I felt my entire being focused on him, I actually had bigger problems. My best friend, for one, was still mad at me. She was convinced I was lying to her, and I was proud to call her my best friend for being able to tell. At the same time, I wanted her to forget what she thought and believe the bullshit I was feeding her.

I rolled out of bed at around eight o’ clock in the morning, because I wanted to get up and go to the band’s practice. Alex had started a band a while ago, when we were still in middle school, and they’ve been trying to “hit it big” or “strike it rich” or whatever weird saying Alex insists on using.

I do have to admit that the band is pretty good, but that’s because Serena is the lead singer. Well, I’m kind of biased about my best friend. Alex and the other boys are actually pretty good too. They’ve been playing at clubs and parties, and most people seem to like them.

I love going to the practices because it’s so funny to watch them. Serena’s always trying to get everyone organized and focused, while Alex and Kyle are goofing off with the drumsticks they steal from Johnny, the drummer. What is it with boys and sticks?

When I was dressed, I got into my car and drove down the street to Alex’s house. He lives in the same neighborhood that I’ve always lived in. When we became best friends it was actually pretty cool living on the same street. Alex and Kyle live right next door to each other. One time they tried to make one of those phone lines with the paper cups connected by string, so that they could talk to each other. It was during our “Man-Hunt” stage when all we used to do was run around the neighborhood and play that game. They used to take it so seriously. I remember Kyle got some of his dad’s police stuff and Alex begged his father for a camouflage outfit.

I smiled as I pulled into Alex’s driveway. I noticed the band was already practicing and wondered for the millionth time how it was so easy for them to get out of bed this early. As I had predicted, Kyle and Alex were using the drumsticks as light sabers, and running around the garage poking each other while Serena yelled at them. Johnny was sleeping on top of his drums and Kenny, the base player, sat on the couch. As I watched my best friends, I realized how much I loved them, and how much I hated lying to them. It was weird because we have always told each other everything.

I couldn’t believe that I had gone so long without saying anything to them. Usually, I tell them everything. Any problem I have ever had was usually solved with their help. There was a time in 7th grade when we were at a party and Jimmy Baker told Serena that he wanted to kiss me - I thought he was cute and all, but I had never kissed a boy before so I was nervous. Serena talked to me and told me what to do, even Alex and Kyle gave me some pointers. But I was so nervous that I got sick to my stomach and threw up in the bathroom, and I don’t think Jimmy wanted to kiss me anytime after that. We were still friends though, and every time he would see me in the halls he would make a barfing noise to make me smile. I ended up kissing him really fast on the lips at Serena’s birthday party a month later.

“Hey Liz,” I heard as I got out of the car.

“Hey,” I replied. “How’s practice going?”

Serena ran a hand through her red hair. “It’s not going. How are we supposed to get anything done with these two?”

I looked at Alex and Kyle who were currently fighting with their light sabers, they even made the buzzing noises to have it appear more realistic.

“Luke, I am your father. Bow to me,” Kyle said, trying his best to impersonate Darth Vader.

“No, I’ll never succumb to your evil powers. You won’t win!” Alex replied in mock desperation. He dropped to his knees in true dramatic fashion and tried to fight off Kyle’s swings from the floor.

I turned to Serena. “I see what you mean.”

She nodded and turned her head. I could tell that things between us were still different. I wanted to do something. I wanted to tell her anything that would make her trust me, but there was nothing I could say that would give her the truth and keep Max and I a secret. I felt really bad, so I decided to get the attention off of me. I walked over to Kyle and Alex, grabbed the drumsticks, and handed them back to Johnny, after hitting him over the head with them to wake him up.

I turned back to Kyle and Alex. “You,” I said as I pointed to Kyle, “Get on that couch so they can practice. And you,” I turned to Alex, “Pick up your guitar and focus.”

He sulked over to his guitar and picked it up. I could hear him grumbling under his breath as he did it. I smiled at Serena and watched as she took her spot in front of the group. I kicked Kenny off of the couch, and he got his bass and got ready. As Serena started leading the group, I plopped down next to Kyle.

“Thanks a lot. You ruin all the fun,” He said.

“Oh, shut up, Kyle. They needed to practice,” I settled in my seat and watched them, listening as they played together.

“Darth,” Kyle mumbled under his breath, but I heard him all the same.

I hit his arm and turned back to watch the band practice. Serena directed people around and then they would practice. Eventually I started to dose off on Kyle’s shoulder. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before, because I had been up thinking about Max and writing in my journal, and then when I had woken up at eight in the morning I felt even more tired. I guess I actually fell asleep for a little while, because when I woke up things were going crazy again.

Kyle and Alex were fighting with the drumsticks again, Johnny was once again asleep, and Kenny was sitting next to me on the couch. When I realized how close he was I jumped up and moved over, pretending to be scared, but really just wanting to move a little farther away from him. He was really weird and constantly tried hitting on me.

“Hey Lizzie,” He drawled.

I hated when people called me Lizzie. My dad used to call me that when I was really young, and every time I heard it I was reminded of him.

“Her name’s Liz,” I heard from behind him. I looked up and saw Serena. She smiled at me and kicked Kenny off the couch so she could sit next to me. I returned the smile, glad she knew what that nickname did to me. She was such a great friend, and once again I felt like a jerk for keeping a secret from her.

She stared at me, and had obviously given up the hope that they would practice today. I felt really small under her scrutiny, like I was being put under a microscope.

“Liz, when are you going to tell me what’s going on?” She asked.

“Hey, I’m leaving!” Kenny shouted from the front of the garage. I was grateful because it gave me a couple of seconds to collect myself and figure out what I was going to say to her.

“Bye,” She replied quickly. “Be here tomorrow at the same time!” She called after him. We both watched as Johnny practically peeled himself off of the drums and left as well.

When they were gone, she turned back to me. “So?”

“Nothing’s going on, Serena.”

“You’re lying,” She said. “Stop lying!”

She was getting mad and I could tell. I couldn’t blame her though. I would be really pissed if the situation was switched and I was being lied to.

“I’m sorry,” I said finally. “I just, I can’t tell you.”

She stared at me in shock for a couple of seconds before she turned her head away from me. She nodded, and I could tell that she was done talking to me. I couldn’t believe I was capable of this. I had never lied to her in my life and now I was doing it so easily.

I got up from the couch and moved to walk out of the garage. I walked down the black driveway until I reached the sidewalk. I was just going to go home to be alone. I would sit there and wonder when this had all become my life. I heard footsteps behind me and turned around, and when I turned around, came face to face with my tear-stricken best friend.

“I want to know everything. And if you don't tell me the truth right now I'm going to go to Valenti myself and tell him everything I know,” She declared angrily.

She was desperate to know the truth and I could tell. She was worried that I was involved in something I would need her help with. I wanted to tell her, but I had to be safe.

“What do you know?” I asked. I was pretty sure that all she knew was that the Sheriff was looking for proof that Max was there. She knew that he had found Todd’s fingerprints, but that was it. I just didn’t know if she would do something like tell Valenti that Max had started the fight when he hadn’t. I didn’t even know if Valenti would believe her. I hadn’t talked to him since the day of the fight, and Max and I hadn’t talked about it since he gave me his journals. I didn’t really know what was going on.

“I’ll tell him that Max started the fight. I’ll tell him that he’s lying and covering it up so he doesn’t get in trouble. I know they’re after him and just need proof that he was there and I’ll give it to them,” she crossed her arms in front of her chest and stared at me. “Oh, yeah, I also know that the one person in the world that I thought I could completely trust is lying to me.”

And I knew I had to tell her. Not for Max, or for myself, but just because she was right. She was my best friend and I was lying to her. “You have to promise me you won’t flip out, and you won’t tell ANYONE,” I said finally.

She looked at me with her hands on her hips. “Flip out? Hey, it's me.” That’s what I was worried about.

TBC..... The next post will be a little late because I'm going to be away this weekend. SorrY!


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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:58 pm

A/N: Ok, so I wasnt sure in the beginning if I was making this TOO similar to the actual Roswell show. I'm trying to capture what it might've been like if there were no aliens, but I dont want to be full out COPYING the show. Things are different for sure, but there are things that happened in the show that I wanted to happen here. I'd like to know what everyone thinks about this.... I'm adding something in to correspond with something I loved on the show. You'll recognize it, I hope.... Let me know what you think!!

Secondly: Serena isn't Maria, and I dont want her to come off like that, I just want the certain things to happen. I'm trying to portray a Maria-like person with certain qualities she has while changing the things about Maria that I didnt like. You'll see that in the next part: We all know how Maria FREAKS out, and you'll see the difference in Serena's thoughts.

This is LP, which means after this part the next 2 will be in Max's POV. I'm trying to keep things parallel. That's all I got for now! I hope you guys are liking it!! Lemme know! Also, this isn't beta-d because it's late! I was on vacation so I couldnt post Saturday. You're getting one today and Weds, and I'll put the corrected part instead of this as soon as I get it back from Rae.

Part Twelve- Liz POV

”I just can’t believe it!”

“You’ve said that like a thousand times…” I replied. I was blushing and I knew it, but how could I help? I had just told Serena the entire story and she sat at the foot of my bed staring at me in amazement, like I had just grown a second head in the past two minutes.

“I know I have, but I think I’ve earned the right to be shocked,” I had to agree with her there. Next thing I knew she was squealing playfully, a huge smile on her face. She leaned over and started nudging me with her elbow. I couldn’t help but smile back at her. “Lizzie, you’re in love!”

I didn’t say anything, just smiled. Was I in love? I've come to care for Max greatly in such a short amount of time. There was something about him that just made me think there would never be anyone in my life like him. I had seen into his soul and how could I not love someone as wonderful and kind as Max? He had put everything he had ever known in jeopardy to save my life. Somehow, and I had no idea that it had happened, but it had: Max Evans had put a force on me.

“Shut up!” I said finally to Serena, having snapped out of the dazed. I contemplated the scary thought that I might be in love.

“Mrs. Elizabeth Evans!” She chanted, doing her best to tease me as much as possible. I couldn’t say anything though, because it sounded just too good together. “I just can’t believe this!” She said again, and I rolled my eyes. “You guys are like something out of a story book. A real life Romeo and Juliet!”

I thought about that. Romeo and Juliet had been young and in love too, and had also been driven away by circumstances beyond their control. In a way, Max and I were like Romeo and Juliet; only I hoped we would have a better outcome. I looked at Serena, glad that I had told her the truth about what was going on. She was being her normal self again and that was great. I had missed her, even though we had only been acting weird with each other for a few days.

I actually couldn’t believe how short of a time it had been since my life had been drastically changed. The fight was on a Wednesday, and today was already Saturday. It had been only a matter of days, but it had seemed to me like a lifetime. Things were so different now and I didn’t know if they would ever be the same. I didn’t know if I wanted them to go back to the way they had been.

Serena had finally given up chanting and had decided to sit on my bed and stare at me with this ridiculous smile on her face. I threw my pillow at her, and she retaliated. Pretty soon the two of us were in an all out war we when my door swung open. We heard someone’s voice clear from behind us and we fell onto the bed. I pushed my tangled hair from my face, glanced at Serena as she sheepishly did the same, and looked at the door.

“Oh my God! I can’t believe you’re here!” I heard Serena yell from beside me. She was off the bed in an instant, scrambling to her feet in an attempt to get to the door as quickly as her feet would carry. I felt like lead had sifted its way through my body and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t even breathe. I just couldn’t believe that she actually stood right in front of us.

Serena was up. She had hugged her like a thousand times before I had even managed to get off my bed. Both of them were looking at me strangely. We hadn’t seen Ava in almost three years while she had been off in California living with her dad. She had been taken away from us right before we had started high school and with the exception of a few letters here and there, the most contact we had had with Ava happened at that moment.

It was strange, seeing someone you had almost forgotten, but had never really gotten out of your mind. I felt the tears coming fast before they hit. I was reunited with my other best friend, the only other person, besides Serena, that I called my sister, and I couldn’t help but cry. She came to me, wrapped her small arms around me, and held me while I told her over and over how happy I was to finally see her again.

“I just wanted to come see everyone before…” She trailed off quickly, not wanting to cause more tears I would realize later, but Serena and I wanted to know what she meant.

“Before what?” Serena asked.

“The doctor’s aren’t giving me much time to live,” she whispered. “We’ve been fighting so hard for the past five years and he said there’s nothing else for us to do.”

More tears, but they were different this time. This time they were tears not for the fact that she was with me again, but for the fact that she was going to be taken away again. It wasn’t like we didn’t know it was going to happen eventually. We had known about Ava’s cancer since the day she had been diagnosed, but it didn’t make it any easier to realize that one of your best friends was being taken away from you.

“It’s not fair…” Serena whispered almost an hour later. We are sitting on my bed, wrapped up in a blanket, and are retelling the past years of our lives. Ava told us about the treatment she had been receiving and what it had been like, while we told her about our high school lives. Serena’s story was almost the same as mine, with the exception of Max. I hadn’t gotten to that part though.

“So, any lucky boys in your life, Liz? There has to be some that are head over heals in love with you!”

“Well, I’m dating Sean…he’s nice. He’s not the guy I’m going to marry or anything.” Ava was looking at me waiting for something more. There wasn’t anything else I could say about Sean though.

“Well, not every relationship has to be the be-all and end-all. Everyone wants to find their soul mate, but there’s time for that. It’s good you have someone…nice,” She replied with a shrug.

“What if there was someone else?” I asked sheepishly. She stared at me, exchanged looks with Serena, and smiled.

“Now this is why I came down here!”

“I don’t know,” I relented. “Things with Max are just too complicated.” I realized that even though I possibly did “love” Max, what he had said the night before was true. We were different. We came from different lives, different friends.

“Well, if it isn’t complicated, then he probably isn’t a soul mate,” She stated matter-of-factly. If there was one thing I remembered about Ava, it was that she always said the right thing. She always knew what I needed to hear, and somehow hearing it from her made it all possible.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” I wrapped her in another hug as Serena jumped off the bed. She said something about Neapolitan ice cream and then ran from the room. It was felt as if it were yesterday that we had been sitting on my floor, talking about high school and how much fun it was going to be. I could still picture us eating the ice cream together.

We liked the icecream so much, because it resembled each of us. Serena was the red head, so she was the strawberry ice cream, with my dark hair I was the chocolate, and Ava’s blond locks, now lost to the lethal cancer had once completed the amazing combination of three flavors. In a way, we were the ice cream; three different girls bonded together to make a fantastic combination.

Serena returned minutes later, hands filled with a box of ice cream and three large spoons. She took her place on the bed again, and smiled at us as she opened the box and dug into the chocolate. I attacked the vanilla and Ava just picked at the strawberry. We looked at her questioningly but didn’t say anything.

It was hard to get used to this. Before, Ava’s strawberry section was done before Serena and I were even half way through our own, but then again a lot of things were different. It was just hard, seeing my best friend like that. We were all pretty silent for a while, but then Ava decided to get us talking again. I could tell that she had wanted to ask this for a while but had never gotten around to it.

“So, um, how’s Alex?” She mumbled nonchalantly.

Ava and Alex had been the “it” couple through out middle school, whatever the hell that means. They started “going out” in sixth grade after being friends since fourth. They had the kind of relationship that people just envied. He was the boy that pulled her pigtails in the fourth grade and she was the one who kicked his butt at stickball during recess. The first time they held hands it was a pretty big thing for us, in sixth grade most boys were convinced that girls still had cooties.

We had all been sure that they were going to be together forever, but when Ava had been diagnosed with cancer, being with Alex had been too hard. She had wanted him to move on from her, so she had broken his heart, and left without saying goodbye hoping that he would live his life and forget about her. He hadn’t, but for some reason it was way too hard to tell her that everything she had gone through to make his life what she thought would be “better” hadn’t actually happened.

So, we spent the next half hour telling her about him, about the band, and everything we could think of. I could tell that she still had feelings for him, feelings that over a time had probably changed from a school girl crush complete with the “I like you, I like you too” thing, into full blown love. I knew that when Ava looked back on her life she would always consider him the only guy she had ever loved. I didn’t have to doubt that he would feel the same, or that when she was gone it would be the hardest thing he would ever have to go through.

“Are you going to see him while you’re down here?” I asked curiously.

She thought about it for a minute, and then nodded. “I’d like that,” she said finally before quickly changing the subject. “So, what are we doing tonight?”

TBC.... What'd you think?? I know the Ava and Alex thing is a little different, but don't think of Ava like the girl on the show. She grew up like Liz and Serena did so basically she's kind of like them. She's not like Tess or like Ava. I was going to use a different name but I decided against it because I want to use the people from the show and I've always loved Ava. So, think of it that way!
Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:50 pm

A/N: Once again this is the Un-edited Version. It will be changed tomorrow!! Enjoy!

Part Thirteen - Max POV

“Hi, Max, um, it’s Liz. I’m sorry I’m calling so late, but I-I’m at the hospital. My friend Ava isn’t doing so well—she came down to see Serena and I, I don’t know if you even remember her, but she had to go to the hospital. I’m not sure if you knew this but she—she has cancer, Max. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen. I’m sorry for calling…I guess I just wanted to hear your voice, but now I just feel kind of stupid… Don’t come, everyone’s here. I guess I’ll just see you around…I’m sorry for the weird call.”

I listened to Liz’s message and could practically hear the tears in her eyes. I remembered Ava from when she had been here all through middle school. I remembered when she left and how quiet Liz had been for like a week after that. But I had never known why she had moved, and the realization that she had cancer was a lot to deal with. I couldn’t begin to imagine what Liz was feeling right now.

I knew it was wrong, but I wanted to see her. I wanted to be there for her. I didn’t know who was going to be at the hospital. For all I knew, Sean was going to be sitting right there next to her, and I was supposed to just walk in and act normal? Somehow that didn’t seem like it would work out too well.

The thing was, I didn’t really care about all of that. Liz had called me because she needed me and I wanted to be there for her. I know we had agreed that this thing between us probably wouldn’t work out, but that didn’t mean my feelings for her had stopped. I was in love with her for years before this, and I wasn’t going to stop loving her now that I knew she cared about me too. Wouldn’t that be stupid?

I figured the only thing for me to do would be to go and think of a cover story if other people were there. Obviously Serena would be with her, and I assumed their parents would be too. I decided to go, even though it could end badly, Liz needed me and that was what mattered.

So I got in my car and went to her. The hospital was so white, that’s the one thing I remember from walking in there. I couldn’t help but think it was ironic—that such a pure color was surrounding people minutes or days for death. I guessed the people in the hospital feel a little more lively surrounded by a bright color. When I thought of it that way and pictured all the people feeling better or inspired just because of the color of the walls, it seemed like a smart idea to me. I’ve realized I have the tendency to let my mind wander, which was why I passed the receptionist and had to double back to ask where Ava’s room was.

When I found out, I walked through the halls and made my way to Liz. I could see the double doors that led to the waiting room and I paused for a second. I didn’t know if I should go in or not, but when I looked through the small windows, I couldn’t see Sean anywhere and I figured there wouldn’t be any problems. I pushed through the doors and watched happily as Liz’s eyes lit up while everyone’s around us got suspicious.

“Max!” she exclaimed almost breathlessly. Her voice came out in something like an excited gasp. I could tell that she hadn’t expected to see me. Her expression changed to one of horror when she realized the repercussions that outburst might have for us. Her and I were supposed to be from different worlds, not friends.

“Max! What are you doing here?” I turned to find Serena and stared at her curiously. Her stare told me to play along so I did. I figured Liz had clued her in on what had happened. It was nice to see that her best friend was willing to help us.

“My cousin was in a car accident,” I told them. Liz looked at me curiously but realized what we were doing and played along as well.

“I hope he’s ok,” she replied convincingly as she joined Serena on her feet.

“I don’t think it’s serious,” I said, my voice dropping to a whisper as I looked at Liz. I could vaguely hear Serena explaining how the three of us had science class together in eighth grade before I moved to the other side of town to Kyle, Alex, and two people who I could only assume were Serena’s parents by their matching green eyes and red hair. I recognized her father, because he was the mayor of the town. There were two other people in the room that I didn’t know, but they didn’t seem too concerned with what was going on.

My main concern was Liz, though. All of the people in the waiting room had tears in their eyes. Alex had hardly moved since I had gotten there and his hands were gripping the seat so hard his knuckles were white. Kyle looked sad as well, which wasn’t something I was used to considering I had seen the kid tackle players half his size during football matches. Serena and Liz looked like they had both been crying for hours, but there was something behind the expression of sadness in Liz’s eyes. The guilt and regret in those usually brightened depths made my heart constrict as my feelings went out to her. “How are you doing, Liz?” I asked softly.

She looked up at me and her eyes filled rapidly with fresh tears. I watched her bite her bottom lip and shake her head as she practically forced the words from her mouth. “I’m not so good.”

I wanted to reach out to her but I couldn’t, not in front of everyone in the room. I leaned in closer to her and whispered so only she could hear, “Meet me by the bathroom, ok?” She nodded and I turned back to everyone else. “I’m going to go see how my cousin is,” I said. “I hope Ava is ok.” I didn’t realize the look I was getting the whole time from Kyle. I just looked back at Liz before I walked away.

I waited at the bathrooms for only a few minutes before I saw Liz. I hurried toward her when I noticed the way she ran to me. She was in my arms before I knew it, her body racked with sobs as she buried her head in the crook of my shoulder. I knew it wasn't the time, but I couldn’t help but notice the way she felt in my arms. She was perfect, fitted against me like we had been made for each other. I couldn’t keep my hands off her. They roamed through her hair, rubbed her back, anything that I thought would soothe her tears and anything to keep the contact between us.

Eventually she pulled away, dried her eyes and looked up at me. The emotion in her eyes was still there and I didn’t know what to make of it. I wanted to know what she was thinking. “I wish I could read your mind,” I told her as I brushed the hair from her tear-stricken cheeks. “What happened?”

She moved to sit down on one of the benches, waited for me to join her and then told me everything. “Ava came down to surprise us because she’s been living in California for the past four years getting treatment for cancer… she’s got this acute lymphocytic leukemia or something like that. It’s really common in children and she got it a long time before she moved to California. They tried doing treatments here but California has better doctors or something like that.”

“So, what happened here?” I asked.

“She came down because…because the doctors up there didn’t give her much time to live. The cancer just keeps coming back.” Her voice broke and I thought another round of tears was coming, but she stayed strong and finished. “We were supposed to spend the day together, but I had made plans with Sean to watch movies or something stupid like that. I wanted to get out of it, but he got mad and I decided to go only if we could watch the movies with everyone…So I left!” she exclaimed, her voice rising. I kept my hands around her own and tried to calm her down, but the guilt and regret I had seen in her eyes was coming back full force.

“I left her! I left to go get stupid movies with a boy that I don’t even really like and now she’s in the hospital and she’s dying! My best friend is dying and I wasted the last minutes of her life in a video store!” she ranted angrily. I could see the fury in her eyes that she had for her self. I couldn’t bear it. I came to kneel in front of her, forced her to look me and tried to reason with her.

“Liz, it’s okay. Instead of thinking about the time you didn’t spend with her, think about all the times you did have with her. I know that it’s hard to say goodbye to people, and I know that you’re going to miss Ava for the rest of your life, but you can’t be angry at yourself. I know Ava isn’t lying on that hospital bed thinking about the fact that you left her, I’m positive she’s there remembering every single moment she was with you.”

Tears came quickly as I told her this, but when she was done she looked up at me and smiled just slightly. “Thank you, Max,” she breathed quietly, and I was suddenly aware of how close her face was to my own. If I just leaned up a little bit I would be able to get what I had been waiting for during the past nine years of my life.

I felt us moving closer to each other, but something in my mind pulled me back. Did we really want our first kiss to be here? I wanted the moment to be special. I wanted her to look back on it and smile, not be reminded of where we were and start to cry. I stopped moving forward and leaned my forehead against her own. “You better get back in there, Liz.” I told her hastily. I wanted her to leave before I lost all of my will power.

She nodded, got up from the seat, and walked towards the double doors. She was gone with one last smile. I got up from the floor and turned to walk out of the hospital, but I heard the swinging doors again and turned back to see if it was Liz. Instead, I was now face to face with Kyle, and I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be good.

“What’s going on with you and Liz?” he asked.

“Nothing,” I replied almost instantly.

“I know your lying,” he said matter-of-factly as he took a few more steps towards me. “You knew that Ava was in the hospital before anyone in that room even said it,” he reminded me and I cursed inside my head. “And unless you read minds,” he continued, “then I know something is going on.”

I looked at him, not really sure what to say. I didn’t know if he was like Serena, if he would keep our secret. I didn’t know if he could be trusted. I didn’t know if I could take the chance that he would find out and run and tell everybody, but he was Liz’s friend and I trusted her judgment.

“Max, what’s going on with you and my best friend?” Well, this was the moment of truth.



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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:00 am

A/N: Thanks for those of you who replied to the PMs... Enjoy!

Part Fourteen - Max POV

“Where have you been, Max?”

That was the first thing I heard as I tiptoed into my house. So much for being discreet. I looked up to find Isabel on the steps in typical Isabel fashion: hands on her hips and a don’t-mess-with-me-because-I’m-not-stupid look on her face. I had to try anyway though.

“I was out walking,” I lied easily. I knew she wouldn't believe me. I was just prolonging the inevitable, but it was fun to watch her get all worked up.

“Yeah right, Max. Since when do you walk?”

“I’m watching my figure,” I replied inwardly enjoying the look of annoyance that crossed my sister’s face. Isabel and I played this game everytime she wanted to know something that I didn’t want to tell. Normally she won, because what I didn’t want to tell her was something that wasn’t too important, but this time I was guarding something I couldn’t afford to have revealed. She probably thought I would eventually crack, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen, so taunting her was just too much fun.

“Honestly, Isabel! Everyone you see on MTV, VH1, and the WB are just so skinny! I have finally given in to them and I’m now extremely body-conscious. Watch what you say or I could force myself into a bout of anorexia or something like that.” I said with a sarcastic smirk.

I walked past her and up to my room. I pushed the door shut, pictured the look that was probably on her face, and couldn’t help but grin. Things had worked out with Kyle and I had the upper hand on my sister. I laid on my bed and replayed the conversation I had with Kyle just a little while before. He had approached me and demanded to know what was going on between Liz and I. For some reason, I had told him. I had seen what Serena had done to help us and I was almost positive that Liz had good friends we could trust; after all they had been friends for years.

He looked at me like I was crazy for a minute, like we both were crazy, and then stuck out his hand for me to shake. It was weird because Kyle was never someone that I had seen myself getting along with. We were rivals on the football field. We were just from opposite sides of the track, but then things had worked out this far with Liz and we were in the same situation.

The surprising thing had been that he had thanked me too. That was something that I had never expected to happen. It was weird, but a small part of me started to feel like I belonged with them; like maybe I was never supposed to have moveed, because they were supposed to be my friends. There was something about my current friends that just didn’t fit, and I hadn’t realized it until I had been pulled into this other group where everything just made sense. The truth was I really liked it. I liked having people that I could depend on, that I could trust. I had that in Michael; I knew that for sure, but everyone else was just so…fickle.

I closed my eyes and waited for sleep to come, but when it didn’t I had no idea why. I guess I had a lot on my mind. The whole Isabel thing was actually making me think. She had noticed something, an obvious change in my behavior, and that was bad. I definitely could not afford to have my sister find out about Liz and I. It's not that I thought of my sister as a bad person. In fact, I think of her as a really kind-hearted girl when she wants to be, but there was something about her that made me wary. She wanted to be popular and elusive. She wanted people to fall for her, and she would do anything to stay in the position that she had created for herself.

Maybe I was wrong, but the Isabel I knew was the “Ice Princess”. I finally fell asleep and woke the next morning ready for a day at school. It was Monday, the worst day of the week, but I was also excited because it was Homecoming week. Friday night would be our second match-up against the East Side, and this whole week was basically about slacking off and having fun so it was something to be excited about.

I got dressed, put on some spirited stuff and left as soon as Isabel made her way to the car. I made sure the radio was on loud enough so she would get the point that I didn’t want to talk. The drive was in silence except for the sounds of the radio, and we got to school exactly fifteen minutes before the first bell. In Isabel’s words that was not too early and not too late; I didn’t really care when I got to school either way.

“Hey Max,” Michael said enthusiastically as he slapped me on the back. I still had no idea how a brooding guy like him could be so animated in the morning. Maria stood next to him and spoke with some girl I didn’t even recognize, so I said my hello to her and turned back to Michael.

“I love Homecoming Week,” I said truthfully. People were showing up with color in their hair and paint on their faces. Everyone looked ridiculous. It was great.

“We’ve got Spirit!” Michael chanted. He stepped into one of Maria’s famous cheerleader stances and put a big cheesy smile on his face.

“Yes we do!” I cheered back enthusiastically.

“We’ve got Spirit! How bout you?” We finished together. Okay, so whatever drugs I was taking at the moment I’m not on anymore, but what can I say? Michael and I have fun together and we piss Maria off at the same time, so it’s a good deal.

As predicted, Maria stared at us with her hands crossed in front of her chest. “Max,” she cried indignantly. “You’d think you could be a little more mature, especially since I’m trying to introduce you to someone.” She ranted.

“What are you talking about, Maria?” I asked, halting mid-cheer as Michael and I had begun dancing and shaking around each other. I looked at her questioningly, with accusing eyes. She knew that I hated to be set up, but she constantly tried.

“Maxwell,” She would say, “People are going to start questioning your sexuality if you don’t go on at least one date while you’re in high school.”

“Well, we wouldn’t want them to figure out my secret!” I would reply in my best overly dramatic gay voice that I could muster. I loved her reaction to that one. Honestly, you would think I’m this little five-year-old that she has to baby-sit and gets tired of really easily. Well, Michael and I do tend to act like five-year-olds when we’re around each other. Maria’s just too worried about our reputation.

“I’m talking about Tess!” Maria announced, as she broke me out of my thoughts. She pulled a blonde girl out from behind her and put her in front of me like I was supposed to inspect her and stamp a little sticker on her forehead, like they do for the fruit of the loom underwear before it’s shipped out.

I studied her. She had blonde curly hair, bright blue eyes, and laughed at Maria as if this whole thing was as crazy as I thought it was. She seemed nice, but I definitely wasn’t interested in her that way. “Hi Max,” She said between giggles. “I’m sorry about Maria. She seems to think that just because I moved here last week and I haven’t met many people, that it means I want to be thrown at everyone. I appreciate the effort but it’s not my style.”

“That’s Maria,” I replied. “It’s nice to meet you though.”

“It’s nice to meet you, too,” She smiled and pulled off her jean jacket in an attempt to attract attention to her low cut shirt. I knew right away that there was something about this girl.

She seemed extremely fake, like she was used to using people and always got what she wanted. I hoped that she didn’t set her eyes on me because it wasn't going to happen. She hung the jacket over her arm and turned to Maria. “I’ll see you in study hall,” She said with a wink. I frowned and watched as she walked away, then turned on my friend.

“What have I told you, Maria?”

“I know, Max! But as leader of the West Side it is mandatory for you to have a girlfriend. The girls are in desperate need of leadership and Tess is perfect. She’s ambitious, bitchy, manipulative, and she’s beautiful. Seeing as how I can’t be the leader because I’m with Michael, I need to have the next best thing in my place. You need to go out with her, Max,” She ordered forcefully. “It’s your job as leader of this group.”

“Maria, I’m not interested.”

“What is wrong with you?” Her cry a shrill shriek. “Is there someone else we should know about? Because that’s the only reason I could think of for you not wanting to go out with someone like Tess. She’s pretty, she’s got a great body, and she’s willing to do what it takes to get you to go out with her, if you know what I mean.” Maria implied.

“Maria, just because he doesn’t want to date Tess doesn’t mean anything. He’s just not interested. How could he pick someone to date when I got the best girl in the school? There’s nothing left for the poor guy.”

Maria visibly melted at Michael’s words and gave him a kiss before she turned back to me. “Max, I’m sorry. I love you like a brother, and you know that. But either you date Tess or we’re all going to have to wonder just what is up and that could mean something for your status here.”

“Is that a threat, Maria?”

“Just a friendly warning,” She replied seriously. “Honestly, Max. There’s a party on Saturday at the old Soap Factory. Just take her there and if it doesn’t work out we’ll see what happens. But you need to try. People are starting to get suspicious, Max. That’s all I’m saying.” With that she walked into the school, leaving Michael and I behind.

“What the hell am I supposed to do, Michael?”

There was a long pause as he considered the options. “At this point, I’d do anything to avoid the wrath of Hurricane De Luca or risk the possibility of people finding out something you can't afford to be revealed.” The worst part was, I knew he was right.

TBC... Hopefully Monday!!!


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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:01 pm

AmeliaML4 - Hey! Yeah, Maria is very different in this fic. I actually wanted that type of reaction, but realize deep down she thinks she's helping him!

Thanks for all the feedback! I really appreciate your support on this fic.
Part Fifteen - Liz POV

Ava passed away on Tuesday. She left quietly, her hands in Alex’s and my own. Serena and Kyle held each other as tears fell down both their cheeks. I could feel myself start to cry when I watched Alex lean forward and kiss Ava on the forehead. It was hard, but I think we had been so prepared for this, that it made it a little easier to say goodbye.

Alex and Ava had finally gotten to talk after all their years of being apart. Alex finally found out the truth about why she left and had hurt him the way that she did. He didn’t leave her side for a minute after that talk, and they were together till the end of it all. I was worried that Alex would have a hard time getting over it, but he seemed content to have spent the last few days that Ava had left by her side.

Serena’s parents were really supportive, and Valenti even worked with them and the Canters to organize a wake and service for her. On Thursday, I watched as my best friend was laid to rest for good, but it was okay just because I knew she was going to a better place. I had done what Max had suggested. I had sat with her and relived all the good times we had had together. And I knew I would be able to let her go.

Probably the hardest part of all this, was going back to school and pretending that everything was perfect. The last thing I wanted to do was see Sean, especially after he’d been so quick to just leave me when I found out Ava was going to the hospital. I didn’t want to walk around and pretend like we were some happy couple. Then Friday came and so did the thing I had been dreading the most - the Homecoming game. Most girls looked forward to Friday because the Homecoming Queen would be announced. I hated to say it, but I was on the Homecoming Court. I definitely was anything but excited. The night of the game I sat in the stands and waited for half-time to come, waited for this whole thing to be over.

I watched Max the whole time during the game, but tried to be as discreet as possible. I didn’t even notice a certain blonde’s eyes as they followed my gaze across the field. When I did notice, I immediately searched for Sean. She didn’t stop staring at me though, so I turned to her. Her hazel eyes met mine in an icy glare, but I refused to back down and held her gaze.

Pam Troy has hated me since the moment I started going out with Sean. Pam was the type of girl who was used to getting what she wanted, and last year she wanted Sean. She had dated him for a short time before he decided he wanted to go out with me, which wasn’t good where Pam was concerned. Instead of being pissed at Sean for dumping her, she decided that she would blame me. She had been convinced that I did something to pull him away from her.

I hadn’t, of course. Sean was just an ass, who took what he wanted and got rid of it when he was done. The reason I haven’t been dumped is because Sean still hasn’t gotten what he wanted, and the funny thing is he thinks he’s going to get it. The last thing I would do is sleep with Sean, which is why I felt like telling Pam that have take him back, but I had an appearance to uphold. First of all, I had to pretend as if I liked Sean, because if I didn’t then things could get difficult for me, and I knew Pam would do anything she could to make my life a living hell. Remember what I said about being with Sean gave me protection? Well, I also meant protection from Pam. The girl can’t do anything to me and it pisses her off.

The second thing was that I knew I would have to act completely normal if I wanted to keep attention off me. If people started asking questions about why I broke up with Sean it could lead to trouble.

“What do you want, Pam?”

She stopped staring for a minute and looked at the field before she returned her gaze back at me. “Enjoying the game, Liz?”

“I was, until you decided to start talking to me.” I replied icily.

Usually I’m a really nice person; ask anyone and they’ll tell you that. For some reason though, when it came to Pam I couldn’t help it. She was the first girl I ever got in a fight with, the first girl who ever insulted me for no reason, and I just hated her. Especially since she was fighting with me over Sean…That just proved how low she was.

“That was clever, Parker. I was only wondering, because it looked like you were enjoying watching the other team a little too much.” She implied haughtily.

“I’m surprised you noticed, considering you’ve been staring at my boyfriend almost the whole game. Is it fun for you to watch something you’re never going to get?” I had my best fake smile on and I loved every minute of watching her get extremely pissed off. Everything I was saying was complete BS. She could have Sean for all I cared, but I knew that bad mouthing my boyfriend to a girl who would run and tell him in an instant, probably wasn't the best idea.

She glared at me even harder and I was afraid she might spontaneously combust. I looked up at the clock. There was about five minutes left until half time and all the girls on Homecoming Court had to head down so they could be escorted onto the field. I stood up and looked down at her. Her eyes darkened as she rose from the bench.

“And I’m about to get one more thing that you've been dying for,” I remarked slowly. I wanted to make sure she heard every word and felt it. I didn’t know if I was going to win, and it probably would suck if I didn’t, but I couldn’t leave the conversation the way it had been. Hopefully I would get lucky and win just to put Pam in her place. It was weird because I didn’t even want to be homecoming queen.

We walked down the steps of the bleachers in a line. Each of us wore a nice dress, like the one that would be worn to the formal dance the next day. When I thought of the dance tomorrow I could also feel a frown form on my face. Hopefully Sean would get bored and we would leave. There was supposed to be a party at the old Soap Factory and I knew Max would be there. Even though we wouldn’t be able to be together, I would at least get to see him. Maybe the two of us would manage to sneak off together. A girl could only hope.

The buzzer for half time rang out and a loud voice boomed across the loudspeaker. “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce this year’s Homecoming Court!” Everyone started cheering, and one by one we were escorted onto the field. Sean made his way over to me, and I looped my arm through his own and watched in satisfaction as Pam shot me a glare.

The five girls in front of me were introduced, their names and accomplishments shouted over the loudspeaker as they walked down the field, and smiled for the crowd. When it was my turn, I had to force the smile on my face.

I straightened the straps on my black dress and walked across the field with Sean by my side. I looked out among the crowd and wondered if all of East Roswell had actually managed to show up. For some reason, we always made a big deal out of Homecoming and had to have this huge show. The girls had to wear nice dresses and do their hair almost as if we were going to the dance tonight. West Roswell announced their “Queen” at the actual dance but we had to parade around in front of everybody.

I was hardly paying attention and didn’t notice when they started talking about all the things I had done. I knew I was the only person on the Court that actually had a high G.P.A, and I knew everyone was wondering where my Science achievements had come from. I smiled, proud of the things I had done and how I had managed to keep who I was even though I was doing things like cheerleading and being “popular”. I said that it’s like a job because it really is. Deep down this was the last place I wanted to be.

I looked at the crown as Sean and I turned slowly. I could see Serena, Alex, and Kyle cheering like crazy, and I couldn’t help but smile at them. I gave Serena a look and she winked back understandingly. She knew I didn’t want to be here anymore than she did. She had quickly declined her nomination to be queen.

We kept turning and I found myself facing the West side’s stands. I looked for Max, even though it was probably hopeless. The team had already made their way from the locker room and was standing near the bleachers as they talked to the people in the stands. I searched the numbers on the backs of their jerseys, so I could hopefully find him before Sean and I completely turned around.

Finally I saw him, his brown hair tousled, and a smile on his face as he stood talking to Michael and two other girls. One of them I recognized from that day at the Crashdown, when Max had beat up Todd, but I had never seen the other girl before. I immediately didn’t like her. She was standing way too close to Max, in my opinion, and from what I could see her hand rested on his shoulder.

My eyes met Max’s for a moment before I was turned away, because Sean and I had to face our own crowd. A part of me was glad we had turned because the last thing I wanted was to see Max and some other girl flirting with him. I knew it was bound to happen because Max was available, he was the leader, and he was an amazing guy. Any girl would want him, and it wasn’t like Max and I were together. He had decided that it wasn’t safe - why wouldn’t he want to be with someone where it could be?

I pushed the thoughts from my mind as they got ready to announce the winner. Sean squeezed my arm and I looked over at Pam smugly. “And this year’s Homecoming Queen is…” He paused to leave everyone in suspense. The next thing I knew, people all around me were cheering. The stands looked like they had erupted as people jumped to their feet to cheer. Sean kissed my cheek as the man shouted my name for everyone to hear.

The school’s principal placed a satin sash around me, along with a small tiara on my head, while Sean handed me a huge bouquet of red roses. Everyone congratulated me and hugged me. I smiled through out it all, even though the only happiness I received was the fact that I beat Pam, and the look of pure hatred and anger on her face.

One of the girls pulled me into a hug. “Congratulations, Liz! This is every girl’s dream!” Tammy whispered excitedly into my ear.

I pulled away from her and smiled as Sean led me down the field. Everyone waved and a part of me felt like this was a nice moment, but as I looked back at Max, I couldn’t help but feel differently. He wasn’t even looking at me, but was too wrapped up in the blonde girl as he made her laugh. I frowned as I thought of what Tammy had said. This was supposed to be every girl’s dream, but I couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t.

Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Fri Apr 30, 2004 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Wed Apr 28, 2004 5:22 pm

A/N: Just a Note... Max and Tess aren't going out. Maria is trying to Set them Up. Max hasn't done anything about it yet.

Behrsgirl77- Remember that Sean has already cheated on Liz before. She just can't really do anything about it. Don't think of her as a doormat for this until you read on...

Part Sixteen - Max POV

“Of course the East Side has to make a huge show like this,” Maria remarked bitterly. For the first time during the whole night she had stopped glaring at me long enough to shoot daggers at the East Side’s Homecoming Court.

“You’re just mad that you don’t get to parade around in front of everybody in a dress like they do. You want to show off,” I shot back playfully.

“Oh, yeah, Max,” she replied looking annoyed, “the last thing that I want to be is a dancing monkey in heels like those girls.”

Tess laughed. “The only girls on Homecoming Court are just the biggest sluts in the school. What do you think? They’re on there because of their personalities? Yeah, right,” she said as she rolled her eyes.

I frowned at the comment. Liz was up there and I didn’t want anyone calling her a slut. “You don’t know that, Tess. You don’t know anything about those girls,” I defended quickly. Everyone turned and stared at me like I had just come out of the closet or something. I immediately realized what I said and cleared my throat in an attempt to cover it up. “Besides, my guess is that the one who wins is the biggest slut of them all.” Tess laughed again, Maria’s stare dropped, and Michael almost visibly relaxed.

I was in the clear this time, but I couldn’t afford to make any more slip-ups like that. I needed to watch out because I couldn’t let people find out about Liz and I just because I wanted to defend her honor. Maria already seemed suspicious enough without me practically spelling it out for her.

“So, about that party tomorrow night…” Maria brought up pointedly as she stared at me. She was desperately trying to get me to ask Tess to be my date. She had been pressuring me all morning, reminding me it would be good for my image and that people were starting to wonder.

The only time she stopped was when Tess was around, which surprisingly I was actually thankful for. It wasn't that I didn’t like Tess as a person; she seemed nice enough. It was just that talking to her with Maria’s intentions in the back of my mind made me feel like I was betraying Liz and I hated that. I knew what I had to do, but it didn’t mean that I had to like it.

“Oh, I’m so excited!” Tess chimed in. “It’ll be nice to meet some more people. I’ve only been here two weeks so I don’t know that many.”

I found that strange considering that in those two weeks Tess had already joined and practically taken over the cheerleading squad. On top of that, her name was circulating the halls and spreading like wildfire because Maria was telling people that she was going to be “my girl”. This was news to me of course, seeing as how my only intention was to ask her to the party and then be done with it. However considering that trivial matters like my love life were so important to most of the people in the school I wasn’t surprised that Maria’s plan had gained Tess instant popularity.

What Maria didn’t know was that even with all the pressuring she was doing I had the intentions to ask Tess to the party. I did this for a reason because it was fun to watch her get so worked up over it. Michael and I had talked and figured it was the best thing for me to do. It would prove to people that I actually was interested in girls and might get Maria off my back, which would make her less suspicious.

“Tess and I are going to my house after the dance to change for the party. We’re all meeting there right?” Maria asked.

“Sure,” I replied quickly. I didn’t want her to ask if Mike and I could pick them up.

“We could pick you guys up, babe,” Michael suggested.

“Aw, that’d be so sweet of you,” Maria cooed sweetly as she gave Michael a quick kiss. Then Maria went back to staring at me. “So, Tess are you going to the dance with anyone?” she asked innocently.

She was setting me up and we all knew it, even Tess I'm sure. She was waiting for me to ask her and had already turned down a few offers. “No, nobody has asked me yet.” Lie, I thought. ‘You’re lying!’ my mind screamed in a singsong voice. I immediately shut it up and decided to quit denying the inevitable.

“Would you want to go with me, Tess?” I asked finally.

Tess smiled. “I’d love to,” she said with a short laugh as she brushed her blonde curls off her shoulder. I smiled back, trying not to look like I was forcing it. Inside I felt like I was betraying Liz and it almost made me sick.

Thinking of Liz made me look back at her. I had been trying to watch her during the beginning of half time when they were announcing all the girls on Court, but it hadn’t been a good idea to openly stare at her even if she looked gorgeous. “Something interesting over there, Max?” she had asked. I had immediately stopped staring and focused on Tess, just to ward off Maria’s suspicions.

I watched as Liz’s name was announced over the loudspeaker and the East Side’s bleachers erupted into cheers. People all around her swarmed to hug her and she smiled throughout it all. I was kind of far away so I couldn’t see her that way, but I would think she would be happy about this. Sometimes I got the feeling that she didn’t really like the position she was in so I wouldn’t have been surprised if all those smiles were forced. I wanted to talk to her again. It felt like it had been forever since we last talked, and there was still so much I wanted to know about her, wanted to ask. I would see her Saturday for sure.

My heart sunk at the thought of seeing her on Saturday. I knew she would be at the party because the East and West sides were able to put their differences aside long enough to get drunk together. It was actually really weird, but it was something that was kind of accepted amongst everyone. It made me wonder if they could get along during parties, whether or not they could get along other ways as well. I just didn’t want her to see me with Tess, even if nothing was going on.

‘She’ll be busy with Sean, though,’ I thought. They were walking together now down the field, looking like the perfect couple. Maybe that was what Liz really wanted. Why would she waster her time on someone she couldn’t even be with? Especially when I had told her that we couldn’t be together.

I looked at her again, and couldn’t help but wonder if her and I were just holding on to something that was never going to be. Were we just wasting our time? I didn’t think so, because I had been in love with her since I was young, but I didn’t know what she was thinking. It would be hard, being together, but I had hoped that we would be able to find a way to do it. I didn’t want to let go of that.


Tess’s voice pulled me from my thoughts and I looked at her. She had her hand on my shoulder and was looking up at me curiously.


“Maria and Michael are going to get something to eat after the game, and they wanted to know if we wanted to come.”

“Um, sure,” I replied. “We have to get back on the field though, Mike.” He nodded and the two of us said goodbye to the girls before jogging out to the bench to meet up with the team.

“Don’t worry, man. This is for the best.”

I looked at my best friend, thankful that he was so supportive of what I was going through, and then I looked at Liz who was walking back to her seat in the stands. Her eyes met mine for a split second and I smiled at her. Her face lit up in a smile that made my own wider. God, there was something about her. She was contagious, and I could feel myself feeding off her happiness. I wanted to do everything I could to make her smile, to make her happy because it made me happy.

“Thanks,” I replied half-heartedly. Michael was supportive, but that didn’t mean that he understood. There was no way that he could. Sure, he loved Maria, but he was with her. He was allowed to make her smile, to keep her safe and happy. I couldn’t really do that for Liz and it killed me inside. “I just want to be with her, Michael. Sometimes I don’t care about what everyone would think. Sometimes I want to throw it all away just to be with her like you’re with Maria, just to see her smile everyday.”

“It’ll work out, Max. If you care about someone that much it has to. It’s not fair if it doesn’t.”

I thought about that as my coach tried to explain our plan for the second half. We were down by only one touchdown, and the whole team was pumped up and ready to come back and win. I was somewhere else. I was off with Liz in a place where we could be together without anyone trying to keep us apart. I didn’t know what she wanted; in fact, there was a lot that I didn’t know, but I could hope. I had done it for the past nine years of my life and I wasn’t going to stop now.


The team clapped and separated, and the starters made their way onto the field. Lining up in front of the other team. “Coach wants a Hail Mary, Max. I’ll be open. You just throw it,” he told me quickly. “This is going to be one heck of a ride,” he said, referring to the game as he took his place on the field.

I looked up at Liz one last time and knew that it definitely was going to be one heck of a ride. I just hoped we would be ready for it.



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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Sat May 01, 2004 10:26 am

Part Seventeen - Liz POV

The dance was almost as bad as I expected it to be. Sean got drunk and spent the whole night basically groping me, which was pretty gross. I had to put up with it for most of the night until I decided to sit down and Sean found other girls to grind on, one of them being Pam who was doing her best to back her ass into him, while looking at me like she’d won some prize.

Serena and I danced with Kyle and Alex for a while, which was probably the only fun part of the whole night. We moved crazily to the music, having a great time.

“Are we going to that party after this?” Serena yelled over the music.

“I want to!” I shouted back. “But I have to leave with Sean!” I told her unhappily.

She stuck her tongue out at me and made a face. “When are you going to dump him, Liz?”

“I want to!” I told her. “Wanna go sit down?” She nodded and we left the dance floor after quickly telling the boys. They left too but went to get drinks. We sat down, breathing heavy from all the dancing and watched as people around us ran to the dance floor as a new song came on.

“You’re in love with Max, Liz,” Serena said suddenly.

“I know that, but we can’t even be together. What’s the point?” I sighed dejectedly. Serena looked at me closely, but I turned away. She thought it was so easy, but it really wasn’t. I wanted to be with Max more than anything and I couldn’t.

“Liz, I know it’s hard,” she said finally, “but anything’s possible. You just have to want it bad enough and have the strength to go after it, no matter what the outcome might be. If not you’re going to spend the rest of your life wishing that you had taken a chance.”

Her words stuck with me for the rest of the night. When Kyle came and pulled her to the dance floor I just sat there thinking about it. There were so many things in the way. First of all, there was the fact that he was from the West side. Things could get really bad if the wrong people found out about us—if anyone found out about us—things would be really bad. Then there was that girl that Max had been with during the game. I didn’t know if anything was going on between them or not. I hoped there wasn’t, but then at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised.

I was just really confused and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to talk to Max but I didn’t know when we would have a chance or what good it would do. I just hoped that things would work out.

I thought about what Serena said the most when I was with Sean later on that night. First of all I was mad because he had pulled me from the dance almost an hour earlier than it ended and I wanted to stay and dance with my friends. Then, instead of taking me somewhere nice or the two of us doing something sweet together for the dance, he brought me to this abandoned parking lot, like that was somewhere I would want to go or something.

When he pulled in and shut off the engine I was reluctant to talk to him. He was so presumptuous, and I hated that about him. The thing is that when he first started asking me out I had said no, but when he continued to pursue it I agreed after making sure he knew a few things. I told him that on no occasion were the two of us sleeping together, and that I wasn’t like the other girls he had gone out with before. I wasn’t willing to trade sexual favors for the reputation he seemed to think he was offering to me by asking me out. I told him that if he wanted to go out with me knowing and respecting these things than I would be happy to, but if not he could find another girl.

True to my word, the farthest Sean and I have ever been is second base. He was lucky to get that back when I still kind of liked him. Now the only thing I’m willing to give him is a swift kick south if his hands even think of wandering. I had held my ground about my values and I wasn’t going to change them for anyone, especially him. That’s why I wasn’t sure why he would bring me to a deserted place.

“Liz…” he drawled slowly. I could smell the alcohol on his breath and it made me sick. “Come here, baby.”

“Sean, what are we doing here?” I asked angrily.

He smirked and unbuckled his seatbelt, coming toward me with a weird look on his face. “I thought you might want us to have some time alone before the party.”

“Why would you think that, Sean?” His hands were reaching out for me and I pushed them away. He shot me an angered look before sitting back in his seat and shutting off the car.

“What the fuck is your problem, Liz?” he spat drunkenly. “I’ve been patient for the last two months, but I’m tired of this now.” I heard the locks on the car click shut, and even though I tried to pull my door open it wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t even unlock it with my hands.

“Sean, I want to go back to the dance.”

He paused for a second and put his hand to his chin like he was considering it. “Nah, I don’t think so.”

So, this was probably the first time I was ever really scared of him in my life. He had always been a little forward, but I never thought that he would do something like force me to stay in his car and do I don’t even know what kind of things. I wanted to get out. I wanted him to get away from me but I couldn’t. “Sean, let me out of the car, now.”

He came toward me, practically getting out of his seat and coming to mine. I tried to think of something. “Wait, Sean,” I said. “Here, sit down.” He moved back to his seat. “You’re right, you have been patient with me. So, now I’m finally going to give you what you deserve.” I told him sweetly, praying that he would fall for it. I reached down, forcing my self to hold back from throwing up on him as my hands lingered just above the hem of his pants. I leaned forward, watching as he reclined in his chair and waited.

When his eyes drifted shut, I knew I had to do this quickly. Reaching forward, I found the button to unlock the car door. When my hand was on it, I pushed down, grateful for the sound of the doors to my freedom being opened. Sean’s eyes flew open and I wasted no time in jabbing my elbow downward. Sean cringed in pain and I scattered from the car opening my door and slamming it so fast he hardly realized what was going on.

“We’re over, Sean.” I screamed at him as he rolled the window down. “Don’t come near me ever again!”

“You’re making the biggest mistake of your life, Liz!” he shouted threateningly.

I swallowed past the lump in my throat and tried to control my shaking hands. “No, I made that when I agreed to go out with you.” And then I turned and walked away from his car. I heard as he drove away and wondered what the hell I was going to do. I was stranded in the middle of nowhere. I didn’t even know what side we were on. I reached for my cell phone. I wanted to call Serena and have her come get me but then Max came to my mind. I dialed the familiar numbers and waited as it rang a couple times. Relief poured through me when I heard his voice on the line.

He said he’d be there in a few minutes when I told him what happened and where I was. There were tears falling down my cheeks and I hadn’t even realized it. He told me to stay in a lighted area and to just hold on. We hung up and I felt alone, but Max was there soon enough and he got out of the car quickly and ran around to meet me. I threw myself in his arms and he held me while I cried.

“Let’s get out of here, Liz,” he whispered softly. I nodded against his shirt and he walked me over to the side of his car. He pulled the door open for me and waited until I was in the seat before going to his side.

When he started the car I finally managed to look at him. “Thank you, Max.” He just smiled and reached for my hand so he could give it a quick squeeze before going back to driving. We were at my house in seconds, and I wished that the drive had taken longer. I didn’t want to leave him, there was still so much that I wanted to talk to him about. I wanted to tell him that Sean and I had broken up, because I had left that out when we were on the phone.

We sat in silence, each of us wanting to say something but we didn’t know how. Finally, Max broke the silence. “I’m taking this girl Tess to the party tonight,” he blurted out, and I felt my heart break. There was something going on between the two of them. What I had seen at the game hadn’t been just friendly conversation. It was more. “I just thought I should tell you that,” he finished. I thought for a second that he didn’t sound too happy about it, but I figured it was just my imagination.

I decided not to say anything about the fact that I had officially broken up with Sean. I didn’t want him to feel obligated or anything to dump this girl he might like because of things he had said to me before. I felt heartbroken inside, and I just wanted to leave his car.

“Oh,” I replied finally, “ok.” I didn’t really know what else to say. I wanted to tell him to leave her and come with me but I couldn’t. I wanted to lean forward and finally kiss him like I had wanted to for the past week, but I couldn’t. Life was unfair. The second I had finally had a reason to hope for us, something else gets in the way.

“Liz, are you ok?” he asked quietly. He was close to me now. His hand was running through my hair and pushing it behind my ear and I didn’t know what to do. He was just inches from me, his beautiful eyes searching my own to make sure I was ok.

“I’m fine, Max,” I replied breathlessly, the close proximity to him making it difficult to breathe. All I had to do was lean forward… “I’ll see you at the party, Max.” With that I reluctantly got out of the car. I didn’t want to leave him, but I realized that I couldn’t stay either.



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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Mon May 03, 2004 3:14 pm

Part Dedication: To Rae!! I'm praying for you!!
Thanks for all the Terrific Feedback!!

Part Eighteen - Max POV

“Do you want to go somewhere, Max?” Tess asked provocatively as she turned around in my arms as we danced to whisper in my ear.

We had gotten to the party a little late. Once I dropped Liz off I rushed to Maria’s but I still didn’t make it on time. Sitting in Liz’s driveway for five minutes after she walked inside hadn’t help, but what was I supposed to do. I didn’t understand what was going on between us at all and I just wanted to sit there and get my thoughts together before I went to pick up Tess.

Liz hadn’t been herself in the car at all. I had only told her that I was going with Tess to the part because I didn’t want her to think there was more going on between me and her. After I told her, though, she got really quiet and didn’t say too much. It wasn’t like I wanted to go with Tess to the party. It was the last thing I wanted to do and I definitely wasn’t happy about it.

The one thing I was worried about was if Liz thought I liked Tess or not. I didn’t really know why she would think a thing like that. There was no way I liked Tess because I loved Liz herself. But I didn’t know if she liked me at all anymore. Maybe she had moved on after I told her that the two of us couldn’t be together because it wasn’t safe. Maybe she had figured it was stupid to hold on to something that I had basically told her could never be possible. If she did like me, wouldn’t the two of us kissed in my car when I dropped her off. We were so close; both leaned towards the goal just inches from the prize when she had pulled away. I had a feeling that she didn’t like Sean anymore or feel any sort of loyalty for him, because of what he had done, so the only thing holding us back had to be her feelings for me.

To be completely honest, I didn’t really know anything except that Liz and I needed to talk and soon. I hadn’t seen her at the party yet, and I had been looking, trust me. I was constantly looking over my shoulder at the entrance to see if she would walk in, but I had yet to find her. So, I continued dancing with Tess and looking for Liz.

God, Tess was a completely different story. This whole night she had turned out a lot different than I thought she was going to be. I had figured she was a nice girl before that I could possibly be friends with, but the way she had been acting all night made me feel a little awkward. First of all, she was dressed so provocatively that it probably would’ve been better for her if she had just come naked. She would’ve saved the money that she used to buy her “scrap of fabric” that she was wearing as a shirt. And then, she had spent the entire time hanging all over me. She had insisted that we start dancing the second we walked through the door and had then proceeded to grind on me in a way that she assumed was sexy, even though I was just waiting for the music to stop.

“What?” I asked over the music as I remembered that she had asked me a question.

“Do you want to go somewhere a little more private?” she repeated into my ear. I shot her a look and she just shrugged. “I only want to talk…get to know you a little better,” she replied innocently.
I nodded in my assent and she took my hand to lead me from the dance floor. We weaved in and out of people as they continued to move with the music. I had no idea where we were going but waited patiently as she walked ahead of me, that is, until we got outside.

“Where are we going, Tess?”

She looked back at me and smiled. “You see.”

We walked a little more before we reached the parking lot, but we still didn’t stop. There weren’t that many people around, which I found weird. Usually when we went to these things people were making out in the backseats and in the beds of the trucks, but it was kind of quiet. I guessed that most people either hadn’t arrived yet or they were inside. Tess and I kept walking until we were in the field. There was no one around at that point and since it was a distance away from the factory it was kind of dark. We were at my car when I felt Tess’s hand slide into the front pocket of my jeans.

“Just getting your keys,” she told me as she pulled them from my pocket. I heard a click when the doors unlocked and watched as Tess pulled open the trunk after handing the keys back to me. My parents had let me bring their SUV out and I already knew why Tess had decided to come here. We were virtually alone; because I was the only one smart enough to park there. I did it because it was impossible for the cops to block you in. The second reason Tess had obviously chosen my car was because the trunk was big enough for the two of us to sit or lay in it comfortably.

Tess climbed in first and held her hand out to me. “Aren’t you going to join me?” Reluctantly, I climbed in after her. I figured that if we were just going to talk that she was going to leave the trunk open so I left my legs dangling over the side. That wasn’t what she had in mind. “You have to scoot all the way in, Max. Come on, I don’t bite. I promise.”

I pulled my legs in and she shut the trunk. As I slid backwards so I could rest my back against the seats, I watched as she began fumbling with something on the side of her shirt. “So, Tess, what’d you want to talk about?” I asked almost nervously. I really didn’t want to be this close to her and alone. The way she had been acting all night made me worried that she would try something. I looked down at my shoes, suddenly very interested in them.


I looked up at the sound of her voice, and then immediately wished that I hadn’t. In the time it had taken me to look down and back up, Tess had removed her top and all I could do was stare at her in shock before coming to my senses and diverting my eyes. “What the hell are you doing, Tess?” I demanded incredulously.

She moved a little closer to me crawling on her hands and knees until she was kneeling right in front of me. “I may be new here, Max, but I know how things work,” she began breathily in my ear. She started to trail her fingers up and down my shirt, playing with each of the buttons as I continued to look away. “I want to be popular,” she continued, “but most of all I want you.” Her hands dropped to my pants and played with the hemline. I felt her tiny hand dip in before pulling back out. “I'm willing to do Anything to get what I want, Max,” she finished simply.

Her hand dipped inside my pants at the word “anything” and I immediately shrunk back. I didn’t want this. I wanted to get away from her and find Liz. I didn’t know if Liz liked me or wanted to be with me, but none of that mattered to the point where I was going to move on to Tess because of it. I felt myself moving away from Tess as she stared at me like I was crazy. She must’ve thought she was offering me the world and couldn’t understand how I could turn it down. I felt the thin fabric of her shirt underneath my hand as I backed away and I handed it to her.

“I think you’ve got the wrong idea, Tess.” I had to climb over the back seat before I could get out of the car and open the trunk for her. “This isn’t what I want…I’m sorry.” I didn’t know what else to do. She looked as if I had just slapped her across the face or something and I felt bad that I had embarrassed her, but I wasn’t going to let her do something like that to me, not even for my reputation. So, without another word I headed back to the party, now needing to find Liz more than ever.

I heard Tess call my name as I walked away but I didn’t stop moving. I walked through all the cars and reached the entrance of the factory when I saw Michael and Maria standing outside.

“Max, what happened?” Maria called as I walked inside, but I didn’t stop to tell her anything. I looked back only to see Tess telling them what happened. I saw her look at me and then say something to Maria and Michael before she continued to come after me. I turned back around and walked into the party, hoping to find Liz and lose Tess in the confusion. Finally, I saw Liz. She was leaning against the wall and looked annoyed as some guy came up to her and started talking to her. I moved to walk towards her, but a hand on my arm stopped me.

“Max, you can’t seriously be turning me down. I’m offering you anything you want. All you have to do is ask.” She pulled her body flush up against mine and leaned in to whisper in my ear. “I’m game for anything you can think of Max…I’ll make even your wildest fantasy come true.” I could feel her body pressed up against me, and I put my hands on her upper arms, moving her away from me.

“The only thing I want from you right now, is for you to back off.” Ok, so that was a little harsh, but she didn’t get the message in my car and I had to be clear. She stormed off in a huff, probably to find Maria, but I could care less. Now that she was gone I was solely focused on Liz. The guy was still next to her and she was looking even more pissed off. I walked over to the two of them, coming up behind the guy and listened to their conversation.

“No, thank you,” Liz said.

“Aw, come on,” the guy pressured. I decided to step in, and moved in between the two of them.

“She said she wasn’t interested,” I told him. The guy moved away mumbling something about not knowing she was taken and I turned to Liz. She still looked pissed though and I didn’t know why. “Liz, are you okay?”

She looked up at me and backed away a little bit. “What are you doing over here, Max?” she asked angrily.

“What do you mean?”

“You just looked so comfortable with Tess the whole night.” I couldn’t believe what she was saying. She couldn’t honestly believe that I wanted to be with Tess. I had no idea where this was coming from especially since I had just left Tess to come find her. “I gotta go, Max. See you around.”

She began to walk away from me when blue and red lights filled the room. Shit, I thought. The cops were here to break up the party and I had to get Liz out of there. I ran up to her, grabbed her arm and pulled her to follow me. “Come on, I’m getting you out of here,” I told her as we moved through the chaos of people. She resisted at first but then ran with me, and together we made our way to my car, and for the first time, left everything else behind us.

TBC................ Just out of Curiousity...because I dont know how it all works... I know that when I nominate people it doesnt send anything to them or anything, but do they somehow find out that you nominated them. Or when your fic gets nominated does someone tell you? Not that I think I have been...Im just wondering.
Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Mon May 03, 2004 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by Hopeless Romantic » Wed May 05, 2004 3:15 pm

A/N: Thanks for all the Feedback. :D

Part Nineteen - Liz POV

On the drive to my house, I tried my hardest not to say anything to Max. I really didn’t want to say anything to him at all, not after what I had seen. Serena had pointed them out when we had gotten there but they had been walking outside. Max and that girl, who I learned was Tess, all up close and personal only confirmed what I had been thinking. Max wanted to be with Tess. I wasn’t going to lie. It did hurt, but the worst part was sitting next to him as he drove us farther away from everything because I just became more and more confused.

“Why did you pull me to your car, Max?” I asked finally and broke the awkward silence we’d been sitting in. “Why’d you worry about me? I could’ve gotten out of there on my own, you didn’t need to go out of your way for me.” I know I said I wasn’t going to talk to him, but I couldn’t help it.

He looked over at me strangely. “What do you mean, Liz? Why wouldn’t I get you out of there?”

“I just thought you’d be more concerned with Tess,” I remarked honestly practically hearing the bitterness laced in my voice.

He didn’t say anything for a minute after that so I looked out the window, giving up on the conversation. We were almost at my house by that point so I unbuckled my seatbelt and grabbed my purse from the floor. I looked back at Max and noticed he kept glancing back and forth between the road and me.

“Why would I be concerned with Tess?”

I shrugged. “You just looked really comfortable with her tonight,” I replied nonchalantly. We pulled up to my house and I breathed a sigh of relief. I definitely didn’t want to actually hear him confirm that he had feelings for her. My hand was on the doorknob, but Max spoke up and I froze.

“Liz, look at me…”

I turned to face him. His face was serious and dark, but that was most likely because my house was behind him and there wasn’t a single light on. I couldn’t help but think that it reflected his mood, and that he wanted me to take what he was about to say seriously. His eyes were staring into my own, completely open to me and I had to believe him. He explained everything—what I had seen, what Tess had done in the car, and what he had been thinking as far as I was concerned.

At that moment there wasn’t a doubt in my mind about what was going on between us anymore. All the little insecurities and doubts that he been lingering in the back of my mind were gone and I knew I felt exactly the same way. We still didn’t know what was going to happen when other people found out and that scared me, because I didn’t want to lose him, but at least I knew how he felt.

It was then that the mood changed. Max’s eyes got darker, and he was looking at me in a way I had never seen before. I licked my lips and noticed when his eyes dropped to watch. It was kind of like Déjà vu with us. We had been in this position before—leaning towards each other and so close to what we desperately wanted. Only there was nothing stopping us anymore.

We leaned in, and his hand came up to cup my cheek. My eyes started drifting shut and Max’s closed too. I waited one extra second to close my eyes only because I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. It was then that his face lit up. I pulled back and cursed silently as a shadow passed across the window that had just turned on in my house.

“I better go, Max,” Isaid hastily as I grabbed my stuff and climbed out of the car. I wanted to get in the house before my mom came outside. “Bye, Max,” I sighed regretfully, putting my hand up to his window. There was confusion in his eyes as he put his hand up to match mine against the glass. I turned around to walk away and heard Max drive away from behind me. Just as his car disappeared from view I heard the front door of my house open to reveal a very pissed off woman.

“Where the hell have you been?” she demanded angrily.

“The Homecoming dance,” I told her truthfully as I walked up the steps and past her into the house. Her hand reached out and gripped my upper arm tightly. Turning around, I looked at the spot where her palm was squeezing me and pulled my arm from her grip. “Stop it.”

“You were off with that boy again, weren’t you?” she accused fiercely, grabbing my arm again and forcing me to face her.

“Mom, just stop it,” I pleaded quietly. I could smell the alcohol on her breath and I knew that she wasn’t going to let me go. She only drank when she thought about dad and Anna, and since she blamed me for their deaths, she was going to make sure I knew just how much she hated me for what had happened.

“You go off like a little slut with that boy Sean, wasting your life, while your sister isn’t around anymore. She died so that you could be here like a little tramp!” Her voice was rising and her grip was getting tighter. I winced as I felt her ring dig into my skin.

“Mom, I wasn’t even with Sean. I’m not even going out with him anymore!” I told her desperately, hoping she would let go of my arm.

“If it’s not Sean it’s probably just some other guy who’ll do you in the back of his van. I can’t believe they died and I’m left with someone like you!”

I didn’t want to listen to her anymore. I blamed myself for what happened enough and I didn’t need her reminding me of the horrible thing I had done. If it hadn’t been for me they would be alive, but what she was saying wasn’t true and all it did was hurt in a different kind of way. I pulled my arm from her grip, feeling pain as her ring dragged along my skin and tore.

“I’m going upstairs, mom.”

I turned and walked away from her, ignoring it as she shouted after me. I finally made it to my room and shut the door, making sure to lock it. My radio came on and Deliver me filled the air, and I was reminded of Max.

Max, I thought. I wanted to see him; I wanted to be with him. My mom hated me; my father and sister were dead. I didn’t have anything other than my best friends and him, but I had bothered my friends with this one to many times. Even though I knew they didn’t mind, I needed to see Max. I got up from my bed, and went to my window. There was a small balcony, with a ladder that Anna and I had put in a couple of months before the accident. It was almost like she knew that I was going to need it.

“This is for when you’re in high school and need to go out to meet all your boyfriends,” she had explained happily. I used it now to get away. I climbed down fast, enjoying the feel of the ground at my feet. I felt free, just like she had said that I would. I began running down the familiar streets until I crossed into unfamiliar territory. I had only been on the West Side a couple of times, but I knew where Max’s house was from the last time I had been there.

I went around to the back, not one hundred percent sure which room was his, but when I saw the fire escape ladder leading up to a balcony something about it just felt right. Maybe because I had one too, so I took a chance and started climbing up the ladder.

“Max?” I called softly, wanting to get permission to come onto the balcony before I actually did. I heard some movement before Max’s grinning face appeared above me.

“Liz, what are you doing here?” he asked excitedly, but when he noticed the tears on my cheeks his tone changed and he helped me over the ledge before pulling me into his arms. “Are you okay?”

I shook my head, but I didn’t want to cry again so I wiped my eyes and looked up at him. “I just don’t really want to be at my house right now. Can I stay here?” He nodded, walking me over to the window and helping me into his room. I looked around, and I would’ve definitely been able to tell that it was his even if he hadn’t been inside of it. It just felt like him. It was weird, but that was the only way I could describe it. He looked at me, his face filled with worry, but I just shook my head. “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

He nodded in understanding and moved to his dresser. He handed me some boxers and a big T-shirt, so that I would sleep more comfortably and then gestured to the bathroom. I changed and washed my face before coming back out. “You can take the bed,” he told me, already putting blankets out for himself on the floor, but I moved to stop him.
I didn’t have to say anything, but he understood and stopped what he was doing. I didn’t want to be alone and he could feel it, but I smiled at the fact that he would’ve taken the floor to make me comfortable. “Ok, but we better go to sleep then,” he said nervously.

“Why?” I asked innocently. He seemed anxious or nervous for some reason, and it was really cute, but I wanted to stay up with him. I wanted to talk, to really get to know him. I didn’t want to sleep.

He tried to explain, moving closer to me. “Because if we don’t go to sleep than things are going to change,” he told me.

I looked at him questioningly. “Change how?” I asked, not understanding.

He continued. “I’m going to have to touch your hair,” he began as he pulled a strand of my dark hair between his fingers and I smiled, “because it’s so soft…and I'd have to tell you matter what we go through, it's all worthwhile for me because we're together.” Any worry that I had about the two of us was gone again. I knew that no matter what other people said or did that we would work through it and be together.

“And then?” I asked, wanting more. We were so close again, his hands tangled in my hair, our faces just centimeters from each other.

“And then...I'd have to do this...” he leaned in, placing a light kiss on my lips before pulling away, but it wasn’t enough. My arms wrapped around his neck, his hands rested at the nape of my neck and my back, and we came together again, finally getting what we had been waiting for.