Time and space is what Max gave Beth in the days to come as he returned to work the following day and had to put a lot of time and effort in getting up to speed on his cases after his father had taken the bulk of the cases while he was off dealing with one crisis after another and now he was forced to look at the overwhelming paperwork associated with the cases, and with Grace still in the hospital… he found himself to be busy.
Beth meanwhile took the time while Max was at work to take the girls on sigh seeing tours in neighboring towns to allow them the chance explore and get an education on the road, and it allowed her to get away from the pressure of Roswell.
Jake was released from the hospital on Tuesday, and once he was gone Grace found being in the hospital boring and she grew restless especially since Jake couldn’t freely come to visit and so she missed seeing him. With her family and friends concentrating on work and school; she didn’t have as many visitors and so she worked on her rehabilitation to be able to get out of the hospital. Her Friday release was still on schedule and now it was Friday and Max was taking the day off to be able to bring Grace home.
He was working from the house when he saw Beth walk in from a lunch date with Maria. “Hello, where are the girls?”
“Spending some time with your sister and Elizabeth at the boutique. I guess Elizabeth doesn’t have any classes this afternoon due to teacher conference, and so she was picking up some shifts. The girls were interested in knowing more about your sister and I have dragged them around enough”
“I am glad to see you,” Max smiled.
“When is Grace getting released?” Beth asked as she looked around and wondered how it would work once the older teenager did come home.
“I am heading over there in an hour or so, did you want to come with me?” Max asked.
“No, it’s probably more appropriate for it to be you. I will be here for when she comes home,” Beth said as she sat down at the table. “Max, I do appreciate that you have been giving me space.”
“How has it been…” Max asked.
“It’s been nice getting to know New Mexico, and Roswell. I just wish I had more memories to go along with it” Beth sighed as she hated she wasn’t having more memories, and the flashes she was getting were all very intense and hard to comprehend and she just wish it could make sense.
“Maybe it will come with time. It’s obvious that the more time you spend here that the more memories have been coming back for you…” Max said as the phone rang as he reached for it, “Good, it’s not the hospital. The last thing Grace needs is another delay.”
Beth nodded as he answered. “Yes, this is Max” he asked as he concentrated on the call as Beth felt flustered by the mere present of Max as her sleep all week had been restless because of the dreams she was having of Max, and not all of them had been so innocent and yet she wanted space from the man. Sighing to herself she heard Max speak of her. “Yes, she’s here” he answered as he paused. “Beth, it’s Serena, do you want to talk to her?”
Beth nodded at the needed diversion as she took the phone. “Hey Serena. It’s nice to speak to you…” she murmured as she stood up and walked out of the kitchen as Max just stared as she walked as the overwhelming desire came on full force. He missed her and hoped to go that he had a chance before this was over to get back what he lost.
And to start something new because he knew the past was gone, and the future will be all new.
Murmuring and muttering to himself as he looked over legal papers as he waited to head to the hospital.
“This place is amazing,” Carrie asked as she looked around Isabel’s boutique. “Amazing clothes,” she as she and Alexandra surveyed the store’s layout. With the high school off classes for the afternoon, Elizabeth was finishing her first week of work at Isabel’s boutique. She wasn’t on the schedule the following day but was helping stocking and doing other work for Isabel on her afternoon off. So, far she has enjoyed the job and it kept her from playing hooky from school and from doing any mischief making.
“Thank you, as it’s been becoming more of a hit with each passing year. Are you into fashion back home?”
“Not as much because we go to a private school and uniforms and all that,” Alexandra admitted as she thought of how different their life was in Madison than what they were finding here in Roswell and she wondered which life their futures were going to be in…
“That is a different life than we had,” Isabel commented.
“Where did you go to school…”
“For High school we went to West Roswell High” Isabel commented. “It’s were Jake, Grace and Elizabeth go…”
“Did you like it?” Carrie asked as she checked out a cool shirt, she wished she owned.
“Loved it. Your father and Michael were more ambivalent about it, but I always enjoyed it, and all the activities one can get into at school and so did your mother and Maria. Liz was always in one club or another…”
“Cool,” Carrie said as she continued to look at the shirt and Isabel noticed. “Did you want to try it on?”
“I shouldn’t because I don’t have any money…”
“What does it hurt to try it on,” Isabel smiled at the fashion sense that Carrie had as Alexandra went looking at some earrings when the door opened as she saw her godson walk himself into the store on crutches. “Wow Jake you’re getting a hand of those, aren’t you?”
At the sound of his name Elizabeth looked up from what she was doing as she saw her brother come into the store. Since he had returned from the hospital, he had stayed close to home and so it was a surprise to see him out of the house. Although he was due to go back to school on Monday. He was also antsy about not being able to see Grace but hoped it would be different now that Grace was getting released.
“Hi Aunt Isabel,” Jake smiled as he whipped around with the crutches, “These are easy to use once I got a hold of them. Hey, Elizabeth I didn’t know you were coming here today?”
“No school this afternoon. Teachers’ conference,” Elizabeth said as she came into the conversation. “I didn’t think you were getting out of the house.”
“I was seeing some friends for lunch as Mom was meeting Grace’s mom for lunch. Dad was at the office” Jake said. “I was feeling cooped up at the house as you can only do so much studying and homework.”
“Which is understandable as you were always on the move before everything happened,” Isabel said as she smirked at how studious Jake appeared when that hadn’t been his profile up to this point. “So, what did you want today?”
“I was hoping to find something for Grace, you know a welcome home gift.” Jake asked his aunt.
“You were, were you…” Isabel said with a deep smile as Alexandra and Carrie looked at Jake with interest.
“Take this into the change room and try on,” Isabel told Carrie handing her the shirt. “If it fits, call it a belated birthday or Christmas gift,” she laughed. “I have missed way too many of them apparently.”
“Wow, thanks Isabel” Carrie said as she took the shirt and headed for the change room while Isabel concentrated on her godson as Alexandra and Elizabeth looked on with amusement.
“So, Jake what do you think Grace would like?” Isabel asked Jake.
“I don’t know…” Jake asked uncertain because this had been a spur of a moment decision of Jake’s and he didn’t know where to take this, to the great amusement and laugher from his sister. “Stop it Elizabeth.”
“Boy, you are whipped” Elizabeth sang.
“Enough Elizabeth,” Jake murmured. “I just want something nice, something special. She’s gone through a lot these last few weeks and I just want to make her happy.”
“I think she would be happy with anything,” Isabel smiled at her godson and was swept away at the romantic gesture. “So, where do we start…”
“Welcome home Grace,” Max said a few hours later as he drove into the driveway of their house as it had taken a little while to get her officially discharged from the hospital, but she was finally out. “I bet it feels great to be out…”
“Finally,” Grace said as she looked up at her childhood house. She hadn’t realized how much she missed it as they were driving home, but she had and was thrilled to finally be somewhere safe and place that was truly her home.
“It’s been a long week…” Max asked as he got out of the car and came over and opened the door for his daughter.
“Yeah, a long week…” Grace muttered as she looked up at her home as the front door opened and she saw her mother come out, followed by the twins as they were all smiling as Max got out the wheelchair from the trunk of the car. While Grace had more mobility, she still needed the chair and hopefully she could move to a cane or crutches soon. Beth, Alexandra and Carrie stood and watched as Grace was helped into the wheelchair and Max start to push the chair towards the front door.
“They wanted to be here…” Max said softly.
“It’s fine, it’s good to see them” Grace said as much as it was awkward to see her mother as both knew they had a way to go in developing a relationship. “Since when do we have a ramp?”
“Since we needed one,” Max said with a laugh. “Your uncle Kyle came by and helped me put it together when we knew you were coming home.”
“Thanks, I guess,” Grace said. “Hopefully we won’t need it for long…”
“You’ll be walking in no time,” Max said with confidence as he wheeled her towards the ramp. Grace only nodded as she hoped she shared the same confidence as her father, but at least she was home. She just would have a different existence as she got well because she couldn’t start walking when she was still under supervision of her doctors.
“Welcome home Grace,” Alexandra smiled as she saw her sister wheeled up.
“Thanks,” Grace said as he looked at Beth.
“Let’s go in,” Beth said as she didn’t know what to say and neither did Grace and they all knew it was acknowledge. “There is someone who wanted to see you when you got home.”
“Elizabeth?” Grace asked. “She mentioned she might stop by after work.”
“No, someone else” Beth said as they walked or was rolled into the front hallway, and she saw him in the living room.
“Jake…” Grace asked as she saw Jake smiling at her.
“Welcome home Grace” Jake said as he grabbed his crutches and helped himself up as Max further rolled in Grace into the house as the house suddenly got a whole lot warmer. Beth couldn’t help but see how Grace reacted to Jake. Max did to, even if he would rather ignore the implications.
“How’s the leg?” Grace asked.
“Much better…” Jake smiled.
“How’s the back?” Jake countered back, and she smiled as Max and Beth stood and watched.
“Stronger,” Grace murmured as she looked around the downstairs. “It’s hard to believe it’s only been a week since I last was home.”
“Let’s hope you’re not going make anymore trips to our friendly hospital” Jake said.
“Same could be said about you,” Grace said as Max and Beth knew they shouldn’t intrude and so they stepped away as the twins had gone upstairs, as Grace wheeled the chair into the living room.
In the kitchen Max and Beth walked in and looked at each other with a smile. Max was just grateful Grace was now at home, but it was a reminder of how life had changed in the last week or in the last few weeks and he didn’t know how life would be the same or could it. Not wanting to talk about them, Beth broke the silence that existed in the kitchen. “Grace and Jake seem like they have gotten closer…”
“I know,” Max said solemnly.
“Are you ready for whatever the future holds for them?” Beth asked as she didn’t know if she was ready for the reminder that she was the mother of a sixteen-year-old as she had been so used to life with two growing young girls’ and the knowledge, they still had a way to go before they reached the heartbreak age that Grace was experiencing now. She didn’t know if she cared for the sudden entrance.
Max had been there for awhile and had gotten used to it as much as he could. She hadn’t, and it was brand new.
“I hope I am, and it’s better than the alternative, I guess. I know Jake and I know he wouldn’t hurt our daughter so I don’t have the same fear that if was someone else I didn’t know and given she’s been burned and deeply hurt, and because she has been, well, Jake has been protective of her but it’s going to be completely different once things turn official for them because until now they had their friendship. Once things go romantic, it all changes…”
“So, I hope they take their time. Because to rush is not the answer because sometimes it brings only pain” Max said. “Afterall, it did for us.”
“It did…” Beth asked.
“Hell yeah,” Max nodded as he thought back at the frustration and pain they dealt with after they gave each other a chance. “But we managed to make it, until we didn’t.”