Then the story unfolded and Max and Michael stood shocked at the knowledge that the twins shared different fathers, and that while Richard tested as Bree’s biological father, Mia had a mystery father and now they all knew that Michael’s suspicions were true, and he and Maria did share a daughter together. Neither knew how it was possible, because neither remembered their advance science classes and to Michael, he probably slept through it if he indeed learned about it. But both knew Maria wouldn’t lie, especially not about something in relation to her children’s health
“You have a right to curse me,” Maria muttered as she couldn’t read Michael’s reaction as Max came to her and hugged her as soon as she finished with the story, she had to tell the guys and she felt the relief in the hug. “Max, thank you. I needed that,” Maria sighed as she took in the hug and saw the blankness of Michael’s face as she was unable to read him and that scared her, so she tried to talk herself into a reaction. “I know I don’t deserve it given the deception I kept from you guys, and you Michael…”
“There was no deception Maria. We all have our secrets, and it’s just a matter of when they come out” Max said simply as he wasn’t one to judge given his own mistakes in the past or more recently. “All you have to know if that we’re here for you, both of us. We promise,” Max smiled as he also stared at the blankness in his friend and roommate’s face and knew Maria needed encouragement and not silence. “How can we help?”
“We think she might need a blood transfusion, or at least to start” Maria murmured as she prayed this would save her daughter. “Bree’s blood is too different from Mia’s despite being twins, and we know why that is, and her blood and DNA is even rarer than simply having two different fathers.”
“How sick is she?” Max asked as Michael appreciated that Max became instant responsible in all this because while he might have suspected, well, it was very different to hear the words come out of Maria’s mouth and deal with the knowledge that he was suddenly a father, and that his daughter was sick and would need him if she was to survive.
“She’s barely hanging on,” Maria cried. “It was very sudden as she was doing great. She was healthy as can be and was giving me no worries and then we were at a ballgame last night, watching Kyle and she suddenly complained she wasn’t feeling well. I thought it was too much junk food she had consumed at the game. But then shortly after we arrived back at Mom and Jim’s place, well, she passed out. We immediately rushed her to the hospital, and now Max, she’s hooked up to the machines and they are telling me her system is starting to shut down. She’s only three and doesn’t have the defenses we do, and so she’s wearing down. “Michael, if I lose her…” she murmured as she focused on her ex who now was on alert and approaching the love of his life. Because there was only Maria for him, and he knew he needed to help her, or there would be saving himself from the demons that plagued his life.
“Max is right. Of course, we will help her,” Michael insisted as he took her hands. “You won’t lose her.”
“I don’t know what we’re facing Max,” Maria said with fear on her face. “But by being Michael’s and we know she has some gifts than I might need you, to try some creative healing…” she asked. “Look, I know what I am asking of you guys given for so long you have tried to keep under the wraps, and I know I am potentially causing red flags to come up with you guys…”
“That doesn’t matter Maria,” Max murmured as he knew he would do anything to help Mia, and he wasn’t going to think of the negative if the little girl survived. “If I am needed, then of course I’ll help in anyway I can,” Max assured his friend. “Michael is totally correct. You won’t lose her, I promise… so take any thoughts of what it might cost us out of your mind because there is no chance, we will let you lose your daughter.”
“I can’t lose her Max,” Maria cried as she faced Michael. “She’s the best thing in my life Michael. Mia and her sister gave my life something I didn’t know possible when I became their mother and to know she’s sick and if only I had made different choices, and if I done things differently.”
“Let’s go” Michael said as he picked up his eyes and wallet from the table. “Max…” he murmured as he turned around to face his friend.
“Go,” Max nodded as he assured his friends. “I’ll call Isabel, and we will be there as soon as possible and if I need to then I will bring Zane to the hospital with me…”
“Thank you, Max…” Maria sighed and as reality started to settle and she began to hope she could save her daughter but knew she needed to warn Max. “Max, Liz is at the hospital… She came back early, and she’s keeping an eye on Bree…”
name made him take an extra breath. But knew it would be natural for Liz to come back and support her friend. Smiling and trying to feel confident in his stronger core “I am glad she’s here for you,” Max said quietly as she watched Michael take Maria’s hand and lead her out of the apartment and once the door was closed, he let out a string of curses because it wasn’t that he was going to see Liz again because that was easy compared to the feeling of pain and knowing that his friends were facing the unimaginable and therefore he prayed Michael could help. Otherwise he would be doing whatever he could do to save Mia because they wouldn’t be losing her, as the bedroom door open and out and Zane approached his father.
“Daddy,” Zane asked.
“Yes, son” Max asked.
“You will help Mia, won’t you?” Zane asked of his dream. “I had a dream that you did…”
“Definitely,” Max nodded as he didn’t even want to begin to deal with that Tess lied and their son was indeed special and was gifted and knew that would be for another day. “Son grab your coat, because we’re going to the hospital” as moments later he was locking the door to the apartment and headed over for the hospital while calling Isabel from the car to notify her of what was going on, leaving out the paternity news.
“I didn’t know,” Maria muttered as she drove Michael to the hospital. “I would have told you if I had known back then…” she insisted. “I admit there were several men, not just you and Richard in a short period of time. Remember when I came back to town to pack up, after we broke up.”
“Yeah,” Michael nodded as his brain flashed with memories.
“We had a moment,” Maria asked of the breakup sex they had…
“We had more than a few moments,” Michael admitted as he remembered back to that time in his life. “You were already with Richard, but didn’t tell me?”
“I didn’t know how serious it was, and we weren’t exclusive yet and you and me, we did our thing that we always did but I knew I couldn’t stay, because obviously you weren’t ready so I went back and started a new life… Once I went back, then it became serious with Richard, but before it was, there was you, and there were others. So, I wouldn’t have thought it was you but the timing…”
“Right,” Michael nodded.
“When I found out I was pregnant, and I assumed it was Richard’s because you and I did practice safe sex, and I didn’t always use protection with the others and in the early days with Richard. I know how it makes me look but I was 18 and wanting to have fun, especially given how complicated my past was, and finally I felt like I could explore and then I found myself pregnant, but I was sure it was Richard because of the timing, and so we got married.
“Mia never gave me any reason to think she was different than her sister. With Richard and me, we were doing our thing and I thought we were happy, but I was naïve. I thought he wanted me, and it wasn’t about trying to craft me into a trophy wife and to stall my career which I started to have suspicions he was trying to do as he tried to take control of things, which I gave to much leeway to in the beginning, but then I started to resist and things started to get tough with him. Then I found out he was cheating on me, and had since even before I married him, and he started to accuse me of cheating to take the heat of himself, and there was no basis to accuse me once we got married. Because I was fighting back, he wanted to win so he forced a DNA test on me, and I thought why not, because it would prove to him that I was faithful once we exchanged rings or at least that the twins were his, only for it turn into a split…”
“Bree is Richard’s…” Michael asked.
“Yes, Mia is yours” Maria nodded. “So, Richard started to get mean, as if he hadn’t already been a bastard, here we are…”
“I am not judging you” Michael admitted as it he couldn’t judge because of his own behavior back in the day as he didn’t know what would have happened if she had come to him from day one, and he had known…given his baggage from life with Hank. “I know how I was back then, and I know you would have told me if I had been the only one, or if you had known.”
“I appreciate that,” Maria asked they parked at the hospital and rode up the elevator to ICU, and they walked down the door and Liz saw them through the window and she came out and nodded when she saw Michael. “She’s hanging on.”
“Liz,” Michael nodded.
“Michael,” Liz acknowledged as Bree came running into her mother’s arms as Michael saw the little girl and then his glance went to the small child in the hospital bed and his heart stopped.
She looked so small, and so sick.
“Ms. Deluca,” the doctor asked as she was monitoring the vitals of the child. “I am glad you’re back.”
“Dr. Sampson,” Maria nodded as she patted her daughter in her arms as Bree dug into her mother’s embrace as she took comfort in having her daughter in her arms. “How is Mia doing?”
“She is hanging on, but we will have to get her stable soon” Dr. Sampson voiced, and Maria nodded.
“I might have someone who can donate to Mia,” Maria declared as the doctor looked surprised.
“We tested you Ms. Deluca, and you’re not a match.”
“I know, but this is Michael… and he might be what Mia needs” Maria said softly. “He has a rare blood type, and it might be of some help to my daughter.”
“It can’t be any blood type?” the doctor acknowledged. “Especially when we’re talking about rare blood types.”
“How would you know he would match your daughter when no one else can,” Dr. Sampson asked. “We have tested your whole family…”
“I am Mia’s biological father,” Michael declared as they hadn’t seen that they had visitors in Isabel as she rushed down the hallway and stopped in paralyzed fashion at the news. “I need to be tested.”
“That we can do…” Dr. Sampson nodded. “Come with me.”
Michael nodded and started to walk. “Thank you, Michael,” Maria whispered as she watched Michael walk off and knew what he could be exposing if they weren’t careful as she turned to see Isabel. “You heard…”
“Michael is Mia’s father?” Isabel asked as Kyle joined them moments later.
“Yes,” was all Maria said as she went to sit down next to her daughter and take her tiny hand in hers. “Michael will save you…”
Michael matched and as a result Mia slowly got better. It wasn’t instantaneously but the blood allowed the little girls’ system to stop attacking itself and from shutting down, and slowly her vitals got better and she was removed from that machines and instantly gave Maria hope as she was moved into her own room, and out of ICU.
Michael officially being told he was Mia’s father changed things for him and Maria, and in him and it gave him a newer sense of purpose for his life and Max and Isabel could see the change in their friend as he spent all his time with the little girl and her sister Bree fell in love with him because despite his gruff exterior, he did find something to give the girls and anyone with eyes could see that Maria was falling for her ex again, and they were spending a lot of time together, and the future was clearly evident in how Michael and Maria was approaching each other after failure.
Maria spent the evenings at the apartment while Bree stayed with her grandparents because she couldn’t be at the hospital all the time and Maria wasn’t leaving the hospital, and the hospital was nearby. It wasn’t sex, it was companionship that Michael and Maria sought from each other, as they grew stronger as a couple.
Liz could see it as she stood in Mia’s hospital room and watched the girl’s face light up when Michael came into the room. It was evident the girls missed having a father figure in their life, and Michael was filling it for both girls. “He’s actually good with the girls?” she asked Maria as she stood beside her.
“He’s great with Zane,” came a voice and she whipped around as she saw Max. “Hello Liz” he asked in a soft tone.
“Max,” Liz sighed as she knew since Mia first got sick they both had taken great pains to stay away from each other as she tried to stay away from Max and he has similarity tried to stay when she was around, and this was a very rare meeting. Maria made sure to get out of the way, as she didn’t answer her friend and allowed Max and Liz to talk because she knew how much they were trying to hide from each other.
Which told Maria all she needed to know but didn’t say it because she still had her own situation to deal with.
“I haven’t seen you much…” Max murmured as he tried to keep in control and be professional as he saw Michael showing Mia and Bree a magic trick, while Maria kept watch, with an eye over at Max and Liz.
“I haven’t wanted to be a bother,” Liz murmured as she knew she had to concentrate on her marriage despite knowing it would never be as passionate as she had experienced in those illicit actions before her wedding day so she tried to stay away from Max for the memories that would be provoked.
“Maria has told me how much of a help you and Michael have been with Mia,” Liz asked as they walked outside of the room and knew they could be watched from within the room since the walls were all mostly glass.
“I haven’t had to do much because Michael did most of it” Max allowed. “There was no way we were going to allow Maria to lose her little girl if we could help it.”
“Thank you,” Liz smiled as she felt touched.
“No problem,” Max nodded.
“Michael doesn’t blame her…” Liz commented as they saw how Michael was reacting to Mia in the hospital bed. “You know about keeping it a secret.”
“He’s the one who ended them, so why should he judge? Maria was right to choose a life that could give something to her, and he knows he doesn’t know how he would have reacted if she had come to him, and given his baggage, I don’t even know what he would have done. He loves her, but he was in no state to be able to give her what she wanted back then…”
“Yeah,” Liz sighed as she thought of herself and Max. “But, how about now?”
“We’re both older, he’s older” Max allowed and continued “We’re all wiser, mostly” he sighed as he saw the wariness in Liz’s eyes and knew what she was thinking. “We still are capable of mistakes, but Michael is a different guy today than he was at 18.”
“I hope you do believe that I am happy for you Liz. You have a chance at a life I couldn’t give you. You deserve the world, and not the pain that comes with our past, and trying to make something with me when we both know it was never going to possible, or even easy. You were wise to end us, to snap us back to reality” Max acknowledged. “I love you, but I know we’re better off like this…”
“You have a chance, and I don’t want to wreck it for you. You deserve to grab what you want, and not to settle for old emotions and that is all I want for you,” Max said softly. “I would never forgive myself if I caused you hurt in preventing you from having the life you wanted.”
“You have your chance,” Max said very softly. “That is why I saved your life all those years ago,” he said taking her hand and she felt like she was going to go crazy at the touch which was so soft and intoxicating. “This was never was about me, but about you. I never imagined you would give me the time of day, and I know our time together was a dream and was never going to last, and you lived so you could make something of your life. You are special in more ways than you know,” he sighed. “So, I am stepping away, and allowing you to fly…”
And with those words, he turned and headed for the elevators as she turned and saw Zane watching her, and wordlessly left the room and went to his aunt who was glaring at her, and knew Zane had seen something in her given it wasn’t a well kept secret in the group that Zane now had some kind of observation gift.
Liz shook it off as she saw him get on the elevator and the heated desire came flashing at her despite the distance, and she wanted to pull Max into the broom closet and rip his clothes as they kissed, and felt his touch on his arms and his kisses down her shoulder and more as he entered her
as flashes of the moments they shared together, and what she had wanted to do to him.
“Snap out of it,” came a soft voice and she came back to reality. “You’re flushed Liz, you need to control those inner fantasies and be more guarded” she smirked as she knew the signs of how Liz was reacting Max’s words, and knew her friend was in for a world of misery if she kept allowing Max to get to her…
“You need to pull yourself together, because you have company” Maria warned as they saw Brian approach them with a huge smile as he hugged his wife, and he gave her a huge kiss and she responded as she looked back at Maria, who only shook her head and went back to Michael and their daughter.
Liz knew she should feel shame for being turned on by another guy that she was giving her husband a false impression of how into him she was, “So, you’re happy to see me?”
“Yes,” Liz lied.
“I am glad I stopped in. How’s Mia?” Brian asked.
“Doing a lot better,” Liz said as shame filled her, as she hugged her husband again and yet memories of Max still in brain, and she needed to be the bigger person “I was just thinking of heading home, so, how about we go home?”
“To do what?” Brian asked smirking.
“You know what…” Liz said softly, as they quickly left and Maria only shook her head as almost knew what Liz was going to do because she had down the same thing before, and it solved nothing…
When you go home and attack your husband, and have spark-less sex with him when you are thinking of being with in another man’s arms, and feeling someone’s touch on you as you’re with someone else, and allowing that someone else to enter you…
Which is what Liz did, and she knew she felt guilty about it hours later as she looked over at her husband in bed, and knew she had to stop this, and needed a way to stay away from Max, and save her marriage because Brian was genuinely a nice guy, and should be what she was dreaming about.
But he wasn’t, and it was wrong, so she knew what she had to do…
“What?” Brian asked as he turned and faced her in bed.
“You should take the job in Las Vegas,” Liz said softly. “I’ll go with you if you take it” she said of the job she knew her husband had been offered, a year contract to manage a prominent casino hotel in Las Vegas.
“What about medical school?” Brian asked.
“I can defer it for a year, and it will give us a chance to experience something different” Liz said softly. And it will keep me away from Max and seeing him
. “I feel like seeing something different…”
“You want to be a doctor?” Brian asked.
“I do,” Liz admitted. “But I know how much it will be and with you working, in another state a lot of the time, I want to be with you and have our marriage work out…” she sighed as she sat up in bed. “I want to be able to see you…”
“I want to see you, but don’t give up medical school…”
“I am not, as it will be there in a year, and if it’s not at Las Cruces than we can go to another state and try it out” she murmured.
“You wanted to be close to your parents?” Brian asked.
“I can visit,” Liz murmured. “This is our chance Brian to try new things and be together” she sighed as Brian looked at her a bit wary as if she wasn’t telling him something, and she wasn’t, but she needed out of Roswell. Out of New Mexico, and away from Max before she did something to wreck them all.
She needed her marriage to work.
“I’ll accept the job,” Brian said, and Liz smiled and climbed on top of her husband and allowed themselves to celebrate, as she tried in vein for the memories of Max to leave her brain as she sought to replace those memories with ones with her own husband, as she tried to forget that she was in love with another man.
But Max never left her heart, or mind…
AUTHOR's NOTE[/i]: So, Michael and Maria seem to be a firmer ground. And Liz has made a drastic decision. Can she stay away? Time will tell but we now the past continues to haunt as her decision has consequences... Thank you for appreciating this story. As things will get very twisty, and things changed dramatically as consequences are felt with every decision, for good and bad.