Wings of an Angel (AU,ML,Adult) (Complete)

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Wings of an Angel (AU,ML,Adult) (Complete)

Post by Behrsgirl77 » Thu May 19, 2005 6:39 pm

Winner Round 12

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Winner - Round 11

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Winner - Round 9

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Winner - Round 8

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Alexis Rae Parker


Title: Wings of an Angel

Author: Tanya

Category: M/L AU

Rating: Mature/ Adult - Mature for the most part. Since some sections seem to lean towards Adult, I have amended the rating of the fic, but will still post warnings before those specific parts that I think might be a bit much for Mature.

Disclaimer#1: I do not own rights to Roswell or it’s characters. I will use them, abuse them and put them back happy.

Disclaimer# 2: The idea for this story is not mine...it's based on a challenge by Raychelxluscious

Disclaimer #3: (this is far too many Disclaimers for one fic lol) I just want to put this out there for everyone; I am the second person to accept this challenge and therefore just wanted to let you know that I am aware another story exists and will just let you know this story will be different :wink:

Link to Challenge - Here Read if you want to be spoiled :wink:
<center>
*If you don't want to be spoiled...here's my summary*

Max Evans, football star...athlete of the year and every girls dream and living the good life.
Liz Parker, single mother struggling to survive in a world that is cruel and heartless at times.
Alexis Rae Parker, five years old...apple of her mother's eye, and diagnosed with a life threatening disease.

When tragedy strikes the lives of these three people, what will come of it?

Do you believe in miracles? I do...see if you believe.</center>



<center>Image -
Banner by max and liz believer; thanks so much Jo!</center>


Prologue


1 Year Ago


“And when I get bigger I’m a swim with the dolphins under the water, right mommy?” Big brown eyes blinked up at Liz Parker and she couldn’t help the smile that formed on her lips.

“That’s right sweetheart. When you grow up you can be whatever you want to be.” Liz reached out her hands and pushed back her daughter’s hair away from her face.

“Stop it mommy, I’m a big girl. I can do it all by myself.” Alexis Rae Parker was very independent just like her mother.

“Oh no, look who woke up to play with you now sweetie?” Liz stood up and crossed the room to open her daughter’s bedroom door.

“Riley!” Alexis’ entire face lit up when she saw her puppy run into the room. Riley immediately jumped on Alexis’ lap and began to lick her.

“Yuck!” Liz couldn’t help but laugh at her daughter’s expression. They were identical when it came to their facial mannerisms. Another thing Liz Parker was grateful for.

“Oh, he’s just showing you how much he loves you.”

“I don’t like it mommy... I don’t like his spit!” Alexis placed Riley on the lavender plush rug and began to wipe her face off with the back of her hand.

Liz couldn’t help but stand in the doorway watching her daughter interact with her new puppy. Just two short weeks ago, Alexis had asked her mother for a puppy and Liz had been against her daughter having any type of pet. Mainly because Liz knew she would be the one that would have to take care of it. However, when they were in the mall last week they passed by a pet store and there was Riley wagging his tail and he caught Alexis’ eyes immediately. Needless to say, Liz Parker could deny her daughter nothing and so a short hour later, they left the pet store with puppy in tow.

“Mommy, I’m hungry.” Alexis walked over to her mother and wrapped her tiny arms around her mother’s waist as best as possible. She then tilted her head upwards and batted her long brown eyelashes.

“Okay, what do you want to eat?”

“A hot dog!” Liz shook her head. She wondered if there would ever be a time when she asked her daughter that question and the answer wouldn’t be, hot dog.

“Alright, stay here and I’ll be back in a few minutes to get you.”

“Okay mommy. I’m a play with my dolly now.” Liz smiled and placed a kiss on her daughter’s head before stepping out of the room.

Alexis turned to Riley who was wagging his tail ready to play, but she wasn’t having that right now. She wanted to play with her dolls.

In the corner of her room sat a large pink and white dollhouse. She loved that dollhouse. She had gotten it on her birthday last year and her mommy played with her every night before bed. She crossed the room to stand in front off the dollhouse before turning to a small box sitting next to it on the floor. She pulled out her favorite doll, Sally. Sally had long brown hair and she was beautiful. Alexis thought Sally looked just like her mommy.

“Okay Sally, now you have to go in the kitchen and cook.” Alexis walked behind the dollhouse and kneeled in front of it before placing Sally inside the kitchen area of the house.

“Now I’m a go get your boyfriend, John.” Alexis stood up and bounced back over to the box that held all her dolls but when she turned around she eyed Riley sticking his little nose in the window of the living room on the house.

“Riley stop it or I’m a tell my mommy on you!” She yelled out and Riley turned and ran out the door.

Alexis stopped for a moment in front of the dollhouse to watch Riley leave the room and then quickly turned back to look at her house to make sure Riley didn’t break it.

“Now I can finish playing.” She smiled to herself and walked around the house when suddenly she felt dizzy.


<center>*~~~~~~~~~~~~~*</center>


Liz Parker was just about finished with her daughter’s lunch and was cutting up some watermelon, her daughter’s other favorite food, when she heard Riley making his way down the hall in a hurry. She had to laugh to herself, knowing that her daughter was the reason why Riley was running like the devil was after him.

She turned her attention back to the watermelon and that’s when she heard her daughter’s cry.

“Mommy!” Liz dropped the knife and ran down the long hall to her daughter’s room. When she reached it, her heart stopped and things began to move in slow motion.

Lying in the corner of the room was her only child and underneath her was the dollhouse she loved so much, which appeared to have broken her fall.

“Alexis!” Liz ran over and quickly lifted her daughter and placed her on her bed.

“Baby, wake up, honey…it’s mommy. Wake up. Oh God! No!” Liz jumped off the bed and ran back into the kitchen to call for help.

“911 what’s your emergency?” The operator asked mechanically.

“It’s my daughter…she’s fell down…and she won’t wake up.” Liz’s entire body shook and tears streamed down her face. She ran back into her daughter’s room and saw Alexis lying there motionless and unconscious, she cried harder.

“Okay miss, just calm down, we’re sending someone right now.”

“Hurry…you have to hurry…she’s all I have. Lexi…baby wake up…its mommy…please…” The next few minutes seemed like a lifetime for Liz Parker, her worst nightmare was coming true and she was defenseless to stop it.


<center> ~***************~</center>


Present


“Hey Evans good game!” Someone shouted down to him as he walked through the throng of people crowding his massive living room.

“Yeah isn’t it always? Don’t be jealous cause you can’t be as great as me!” Max Evans, star quarterback of the Saints, shouted back to one of his teammates. Every guy wanted to be like him and every girl wanted to be with him.

“Hey Maxwell, I see you're blowing smoke up your own ass again.” Michael Guerin, Max’s best friend came to stand next to him holding out a beer.

“Thanks, I was just making my way into the kitchen for another.” Max grabbed the beer and chugged down half of it.

“And for your information, when I’m stating actual fact, it can’t be called blowing smoke up my ass.” Max smirked at his best friend before a tall blonde caught his attention.

“I’ll be back, I’ve got some business to handle.” Michael turned to see what new piece of business Max was referring to. “Right, so when you gonna give up all this shit?” Max turned and looked at him confused.

“What?”

“The girls Max, when you gonna settle down?”

“Settle down? Michael those words are not, nor will they ever be a part of my vocabulary. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Cynthia requires my assistance in my bedroom right about now.” Max winked and made his way upstairs towards his room.


<center> ~***************~</center>


“Awesome party man!”

“Don’t I know it.” Max turned to his teammate Ricky and gave him a hi-five before grabbing his helmet and making his way out of the locker room and onto the field.

A few minutes later the game was in full swing and Max was calling out the next play before breaking up the huddle.

He took his position and once the ball was in his hands he looked out on the field for his teammate. Once he found him, he lifted the ball into position ready to be released, but soon realized the play was no good. He would have to run the ball half way down the field.

He pivoted and began to run, but before he knew it he was being tossed in the air and was falling back to earth, hard.

“Maxwell…you okay? Maxwell can you hear me?” Michael leaned over and tried to wake him up. Max opened his eyes and soon realized something was wrong, very wrong.

“I can’t move my legs. Michael...I can’t…move my legs!” Max was terrified. This could not be happening.

“It’s going to be okay Max…it’s going to be okay.”


TBC…
Last edited by Behrsgirl77 on Sun Dec 31, 2006 1:56 pm, edited 86 times in total.

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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon May 23, 2005 8:27 pm

A/N - I'm so glad to see some of my lurkers come out and post...that makes me happy :wink: I'm glad you like it so far and because of that I decided I'll just make Monday my posting day for this story.

Oh and for those of you wondering when I sleep, I sleep ALOT, it's my favorite thing to do besides drool at pictures of Jason :twisted: I just write ahead :wink: One last thing...I don't have any kids and haven't been around them in a while...so I'm totally winging this :roll:

Thank you all so much for the feedback...hope you like this part
:wink:


Chapter 1


The sound of two small slipper clad feet shuffled down the long pale white corridor. It was about ten o’clock at night. Which meant it was quite and she liked it that way. Every now and again the sound of four old squeaky wheels could also be heard. She hated dragging it with her everyday, but it was becoming second nature to her. After all she had walked down the same linoleum floors for the past year. She said hello to the same doctors and nurses on a daily basis for fifty-two weeks.

“Good morning Little Miss. How are you today?” Alexis stopped for a moment and turned her head to see Mr. Tyler mopping the floor in one of the unoccupied rooms.

“Hi Mr. Tyler. I’m good today.”

“And how is your mom doing?” Alexis sighed softly. She missed her mother. But she knew that if her mother could, she would be there with her all the time.

“She’s good. I’m a see her today…later.” She smiled. She couldn’t wait.

“Good. See you later.”

“K.” She continued with her usual evening rounds. She liked to see what new patients were admitted, in addition to the fact that she enjoyed being around people. Hospitals were very lonely. And when her mommy would come late at night she would read to her. And then they would fall asleep together, but in the morning her mommy would leave again.

“Alexis Parker, don’t you look pretty today?” Maria DeLuca, resident nurse, beamed brightly at the young girl. She was glad to see her up and out of bed today, this past week was one of the worst she had seen the tiny girl endure. But she pulled through which was something everyone in the hospital was praying for.

“Thank you, Miss Maria. My mommy brought it for me to wear. She said that little girls should have pretty things to wear and that just cause I’m in the hospital,” Alexis paused for a moment trying to remember her mother’s exact words. “Doesn’t mean I can’t look cute.” She placed a hand on her hip for emphasis, something her mommy always did.

“Well, I think your mother is a genius.” Maria smiled brightly bending down in front of the young girl. “I adore your slippers.” Alexis looked down at her pink slippers which matched her hospital gown perfectly and wiggled her toes, “Me too. I have to go now.” Alexis continued on her journey.

She stopped now and again to say hello to some of the nurses and doctors but when she reached the room half way down the hall, she came to a screeching halt. She didn’t want to be seen so she peaked her head into the doorway to see what was going on.

“So you’re telling me that even after you do everything, this could be permanent?!” The man lying in the bed looked really angry. Alexis wasn’t sure if she had ever seen anyone that angry before, except maybe on television. But her mommy told her that wasn’t real, but this looked really real to her. She stood still and continued to eavesdrop.

“We need to do surgery Mr. Evans. Without it we can’t guarantee the problem is going to correct itself.”

“But you’re telling me I have a 50/50 shot at walking again and playing again! How am I supposed to be okay with that?” She saw the man clenching his fists tightly and she could tell he was scared. It was easy for her to see, it was in his eyes.

“I’m sorry but that’s the best we can offer at this point.”

“Fine! Just get out!” Alexis was completely startled by the mans raised voice that she bumped into her own intravenous poll, causing the wheels to squeak. She closed her eyes hoping that the man didn’t hear it. She didn’t want him to be angry with her.

Max’s head snapped up in the direction of the door when he heard a sound. He watched the doctor walk out of the room, but he caught sight of a little pink slipper. So he sat silently just waiting to see if the little person would reveal themselves. A few minutes later Max was rewarded. In his doorway he saw a curly pigtail and brown eye peak into his door.

“Hello?” He said softly and waited for her reaction.

Alexis wasn’t sure if the man was mad, but he wasn’t yelling so she stepped away from the door and revealed herself.

“Hi.” Max couldn’t help but smile at the little girl. She was very pretty. “I’m Max. What’s your name?” Alexis bit her bottom lip softly before answering him.

“Alexis Rae Parker.” She said quickly and then when her eyes locked with Max’s she allowed a big smile to grace her face, which he returned.

“It’s nice to meet you.” He watched as she watched him with curious eyes. Max decided that it was getting a little uncomfortable for him. “What are you doing up so late? Aren’t you tired?” Max asked softly. He saw her slowly creep her way fully into his room and wander over to the couch.

“I woke up late today. So I’m not tired.” Alexis looked around Max’s room and said the first thing that came to her mind, “This room is much bigger than mine.” She plopped down on the couch and watched as her feet hovered above the floor.

Max chuckled to himself. She had to be the most adorable child he had ever seen. Immediately, he wondered what was wrong with her. Was she in the hospital for something serious, or was it just for something minor? Her soft voice broke him from his thoughts.

“How come your room is bigger than mines?” She stared at him, watching his features closely. He was big. He was probably taller than her mommy. And he had big arms, those were definitely bigger than her mommy’s. He had really dark hair, almost black and his eyes were all different colors. They looked green, yellow and gold. She thought they were very pretty.

“Well, it’s called a suite. So it’s bigger than other rooms in the hospital. That’s why I have a couch and a small table over there with chairs.” Max pointed to the other side of his room.

“Oh.”

“Max?”

“Yes?”

“Does it cost lots of money for a bigger room?” Alexis asked and the wheels in her head were spinning. If she had a bigger room then her mommy wouldn’t have to share the bed with her. It wasn’t that she didn’t like her mommy sleeping with her, but her mommy snored sometimes, and that would wake her up.

At her question, Max’s heart sank. He had money. A lot of it and so money was no object for him. Funny how five minutes with this little girl made him reevaluate his life, just a little. Her parents probably couldn’t afford a room like this, but he answered her question nevertheless.

“Yes it does, Alexis.”

“I like that.”

“Like what?” Max asked curious. He then watched as she slipped off the couch and approached his beside.

“The way you say my name. It sounds pretty. Only mommy or the doctors and nurses say my name. You say it different.” Max studied the girl. Her hair looked so soft and her skin had a slight olive tone to it. Her big brown eyes just drew him in and he couldn’t help but smile at her.

“I do?”

“Yup!” Max was ready to ask her what she meant, but a nurse had peeked her head into his room.

“Alexis, honey. You have to get back to your room and get ready for your mother.” Alexis turned and looked at the nurse and nodded her head. She then drew her attention back to Max.

“It was very nice meeting you, Max. I’m going to tell my mommy about you tonight.” Alexis smiled brightly at Max before reaching out to grab her IV pole and drag it with her.

“You too, Alexis. It was very nice meeting you. I hope to see you soon.” Max said as she reached the threshold of his door.

Alexis stopped and turned, giving Max another sweet smile. “Oh, don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be back tomorrow.” And with that Max Evans was left alone in his room. Funny, how he already missed her and he only just met her, he thought.

****

Liz Parker was dead on her feet when she reached the hospital at midnight. She was so tired of the routine, she wished for something more…something better. It never came and after a long year, she decided that this was as good as it got.

Although everyday was a struggle trying to balance two jobs and find time to spend with her daughter, it was all worth it. Alexis was doing much better, the last few weeks had been the worst by far, but they were over. At least that’s what Liz prayed for every night before bed.

Liz got out of her car and grabbed a few things for the morning before making her way inside through security. She reached her daughter’s room after greeting the nurses. Her heart always leapt out of her chest when she saw her daughter, and tears would spring to her eyes. She loved her more than life and so many times she almost lost her. Liz took a deep breath and put on her brave front.

“Mommy!” Alexis was slowly falling asleep but knew that her mommy was coming so she forced herself to stay awake.

“Hi sweetheart. How are you feeling?” Liz had called her at least a dozen times throughout the day just checking up and she was relieved each time her daughter told her she was great.

“I’m doing good mommy. How are you?” Liz smiled and her heart warmed at her daughter’s question. Alexis always asked her mother how she was doing. Liz found it quite endearing.

“I’m good baby, just tired. But I want to hear all about your day.” Liz removed her shoes and jacket. She then pulled the blanket further up on her daughter and laid down beside her.
“It was so good mommy! Well, I slept a lot. And when I woke up nurse Maria gave me rice pudding. My favorite.” Alexis’ eyes lit up and Liz laughed at her daughter as she removed a curl from her eyes. She then leaned in and kissed her daughters cheek and forehead before resting her head against her pillow.

“I know it is baby. So what else?”

“I met Max.”

“Who’s Max?” Alexis turned on her side to face her mother.

“He’s stays here too, mommy. He’s hurt and he was so angry. But then I made him smile.” Liz watched as her daughter’s eyes lit up talking about this ‘Max’ person.

“Aren’t you sweet? You made him smile.”

“Yup! And she said my name, it was so pretty mommy.” Pretty? What the hell was her daughter talking about?

“What do you mean by that, sweetheart?” Alexis squinted her eyes and nibbled on her bottom lip gently. Liz knew she was thinking about what she wanted to say. Her baby was so smart, she thought.

“It was like, deep but soft mommy. And it made me smile inside.”

“Inside?” Alexis nodded but knew that her mommy still didn’t understand.

“Yes. In here mommy,” Alexis held out her tiny palm and placed in on the spot where her mother’s heart lies, “Like the way you make me smile.” Alexis kissed her mother and rested her head against her chest. She was so tired.

“I love you, mommy.”

“I love you too sweetheart. Sweet dreams.” Liz kissed the top of her daughter’s head and wrapped her arms delicately around her holding her tightly. Liz was then left alone with her thoughts. And instead of them being filled with her daughter, they were filled with this, ‘Max’ person that obviously touched her daughter in the short time she knew him.

Liz wondered if Alexis was drawn to him because she never had a male figure in her life. Doctors and male nurses didn’t count. They had a job, and while they were friendly, they didn’t form any type of bond with her. Sleep was finally taking over and her last thought was she needed to meet this Max that made her daughter ‘smile inside.’

****

The next morning Liz got up and dressed for work at six and was headed out of the hospital twenty minutes later. She kissed her daughter goodbye and tried to prepare herself for the hell of a day she was about to face.

****

Alexis finished her breakfast and had the nurse help her take a shower. She brushed her hair, just like her mommy taught her. She then went into her little pink book bag that sat on the chair in her room. She was lucky she didn’t have a roommate, but her mommy told her that it wouldn’t last. Alexis was looking forward to someone else to talk to, it got lonely sometimes. Then she thought, now Max is here, I won’t be lonely. She smiled and continued to rummage through her bag until she found what she was looking for.

“I found it! YAY!” She crossed the room and looked in her suitcase. She pulled out her light blue slippers. She wanted to make sure she matched her gown. Plus she wanted to look pretty for Max.

She gathered her things and made her way outside her room. She waited in the doorway just like nurse Isabel told her to. “Well, don’t we just look so pretty today?” Isabel Whitman, noticed the little girl she had grow to care so much for over the past year, standing patiently waiting.

“Thank you. Can you take me now?” Alexis asked anxiously. She wanted to spend as much time she could today with him.

“Of course. I’m not sure if he’s in his room though. So if he’s not, then I’ll bring you back and we can try again later.” Isabel watched as Alexis nibbled her bottom lip and nodded her head in agreement.

“Come on.” Isabel reached out her hand and Alexis grabbed it, but then stopped suddenly.

“Wait. Don’t I have to bring my IV?” Alexis blinked up in confusion when Isabel shook her head.

“Not today. But I’ll send someone by later to check on you, and bring you back for lunch. Okay? And if you start to not feel good, you know what to do?” Alexis nodded as they continued down the long hall.

As they walked, Isabel had to wonder what about Max fascinated Alexis so much? Isabel had asked around, since she found it odd that his room was on the children’s Oncology floor. That’s when she found out they were all out of suites, and so being the famous football star that he is, they granted his wish. That suite for the most part remained empty, mainly because they always had enough room for the patients. Some parents, when the time came that they knew there was nothing that could be done, would leave the hospital taking their children with them. It broke Isabel’s heart to see children so full of life die. Nevertheless she loved her job, because in the time she gets to know them, they manage to touch her life and leave a piece of them with her.

“We’re here.” Isabel announced and watched as Alexis stopped and straightened out her hospital gown and push back a few stray curls behind her ears.

“I’m ready now.” Alexis watched as Isabel knocked on Max’s door, but there was no answer. Isabel then turned and walked to the nurse’s station and asked where he was. One of the other nurses informed her that he was just wheeled back from surgery about an hour and a half ago, so he was resting.

Isabel saw the disappointment in Alexis’ face, but there was nothing she could do. “He’s sleeping sweetie. We can try again later, okay?” Isabel asked softly kneeling in front of the young girl.

“Can…can I wait inside for him to wake up? I promise I’ll be real quite.” Alexis really wanted to see him when he woke up, so he wouldn’t be alone. Isabel saw the sadness and was toast and she knew it. How could she say no?

“Wait right here. I’ll be right back.” Alexis nodded and leaned against the wall patiently. Isabel then walked back to the nurse’s station and decided to talk to one of the nurses to find out what she could do.

After serious persuasion on Isabel’s part, the nurse agreed to let Alexis in the room so long as she promised to be very quiet.

“I promise!” Alexis could hardly contain her excitement.

Isabel led Alexis into Max’s room and watched as she quietly climbed on top of the couch, and placed her notebook and crayons in her lap. Isabel walked over and asked her if she was cold.

“A little.” Isabel left the room and came back shortly with a blanket and placed it beside Alexis.

“Thank you.” Alexis whispered and watched as Isabel left the room.

She decided since Max would be sleeping, she could make him something. So that when he woke up he could be surprised. After a few minutes she settled herself a little more comfortably against the arm of the couch and crossed her legs at her ankles. She thought about what she could draw him, and then a smile lit up her face. She reached for her crayons and pulled out one bright yellow one and began to draw.

TBC…

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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon May 30, 2005 11:39 am

A/N - I'm back with an update! Thank you so much for the feedback, I'm happy to hear you guys are enjoying this. Oh one last thing...I asked two combat medics about some of this to help me be accurate, but they didn't know... sorry :roll: I blame Sarah! lol!

Chapter 2

Max slowly felt himself waking up. He still felt tired, but the sudden thirst he had outweighed everything else. He tried to move but suddenly found it difficult. He was wrapped tightly and lying flat on his back. Not the most comfortable position for him. He couldn’t move the lower half of his body, which left him wondering if the surgery even worked.

Max reached out blindly to press the button to call the nurse to his room. When he couldn’t find it he opened his eyes and couldn’t help the smile that formed on his lips. There across the room sitting on the couch by the window, was Alexis. She appeared to be in deep thought with her black crayon in hand. He waited to press the button. He wanted to watch her for a minute. The first thing he took in was her appearance. She had on a baby blue hospital gown and her hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail. Little loose curls fell across her forehead, and he watched as she raised one of her small hands to push them out of her way.

“Hi.” He whispered out as to not startle her.

“Hi Max! I was waiting for you to wake up.” Alexis smiled brightly and watched as Max reached for something. Once she recognized it, she removed her notebook from her lap and jumped off the couch.

“I can do that for you.” Alexis pressed the button to call for the nurse and then just stood there watching Max. He looked tired, she thought.

“So what are you doing here?” Max asked wondering how long she was in his room for.

“I wanted to see you today.” Tears began to brim her brown eyes as she thought he wasn’t happy to see her. Max noticed the sudden change of expression on her face and was quick to reassure her he was very happy to see her.

“I’m glad.”

“You are?” Alexis’ ears perked up.

“Of course. I’m very happy to see you. I’m glad you were the first person I saw when I opened my eyes.” Alexis blushed and dipped her head down.

“Mr. Evans, so good to see you awake. I hope that she didn’t disturb you?”

“No. She didn’t,” Max didn’t like the nurse’s tone and was quick to let her know where he stood when it came to the little girl. “In fact, anytime she wants to come to my room she can. Whether I’m awake or asleep.” He stated firmly.

“Okay.” The nurse began checking monitors and made sure that he was as comfortable as possible. “Is there anything else you need?” The nurse asked.

“Actually, I’m thirsty as hell. I could use some water.” The nurse nodded and excused herself to get him something to drink.

When the nurse stepped away, Max got a view of Alexis’ face. “What’s wrong?” he asked in confusion.

“You said the ‘H’ word.” She said in a staged whisper. Max tried to laugh, but found it difficult. “I’m sorry.”

“S’okay. I won’t tell my mommy.” She smiled at him before turning and walking over to the couch. She pulled out the picture she drew for Max from her notebook and then waited until the nurse gave him his drink and left.

“What do you have there?” Max nodded his head at the piece of paper she held in her hands.

“I made you a present. I wanted to surprise you. So when you woke up you could see it.” She then turned the picture over so that Max could have a look.

“That’s beautiful. I’ve never had anyone draw me a picture before.” Max said somewhat awed. There was nothing about his childhood that made him smile; he didn’t draw pictures of families because he never had one. The only good thing he took away from his childhood was Michael. He decided not to let his mind wander. Instead he focused his full attention on the picture. It really was really beautiful. It was a blue sky with white puffy clouds and a big bright sun. There was a big tree in one corner and a field of grass with different colored flowers, but that’s not what made Max’s heart beat speed up.

“Really?”

“Yeah.” He said still not looking at her. Instead Max’s eyes were drawn to the picture of three people she had added into the picture. It was a little girl with curly brown hair, whom he assumed was Alexis. Another girl, who was taller and had long straight brown hair, whom he assumed was her mother, because they were holding hands. And then next to Alexis was a picture of a man, with short black hair, just like his.

“It’s you, me and my mommy! Do you like it Max?” Alexis asked when he just lied there staring at her picture.

“I love it. Just like I said, beautiful. Thank you so much.” Max smiled and saw how excited Alexis was when she squealed her excitement.

“YAY! I’m so happy! I’m a tell my mommy I drew you a picture!”

“I’m glad. So have you been here long?” What was he asking her for, he thought. She didn’t appear to be old enough to determine how much time had passed.

“I don’t know.” She shrugged and told him that should would put his picture on the table and proceeded to walk across the room and place it carefully on top of the table.

“Did you eat?”

“I ate breakfast.” Max hit the button to call the nurse once again. And a minute later she entered the room. Max said a silent prayer that it was a different nurse.

“Hello.” Alexis eyed the nurse trying to figure out if she remembered her, but she didn’t.

“Hi, I was wondering if you could call one of her nurses to see if they could get her something to eat and bring it to my room?” Max asked, finally able to move himself into a better position. He could really use his pillow to be moved. The nurse noticed this and quickly readjusted them for him.

“Is that better?”

“Yes, thank you…” He didn’t recognize her. She was very pretty and had short curly blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. No. Max would have remembered her.

“Tess.”

“Right.”

“Okay, Mr. Evans I will call down to find out about her lunch.” Tess turned and kneeled down in front of the little girl. “What’s your name sweetheart? And what room are you in?”

“My name is Alexis Rae Parker and I’m in room 232.” Max chuckled to himself. He loved the fact that whenever someone asked Alexis her name, she gave her full name. It was very endearing.

“Well then, Miss Alexis Rae Parker, let me see about your lunch. And Mr. Evans, the doctor will be here shortly to speak to you about the surgery.” With that she spun on her heels and exited the room.

A few minutes later nurse Maria came to take Alexis back to her room for her lunch. Alexis tried to get Maria to let her stay, but they decided it was best that she left. Alexis gathered all her things and told Max not worry and that she would be back.

****

“So Maxwell, how are you feeling?” Michael showed up at the hospital no more than ten minutes after Alexis left the room.

“I’m doing okay, just waiting for the doctor to get his ass in here and tell me what the hell is going on.” Max grumbled out miserably.

“Has anyone else come by to see you?” Michael asked already suspecting that the answer to that question, was no.

“No. Assholes! Seriously, I mean what kind of friends are they?” Michael pulled up a seat next to his best friend.

“They aren’t, Max. You know how it is? They use you for your money. And when the going gets rough…they get going.” Max and Michael shared a little laugh. It was true. He knew that all the guys on the team worked with him because he was a damn great quarterback, and threw great parties. But that’s where it ended.

“They’re just jealous, Max. They wish they could be as good-looking as us. We can’t help it.” Michael joked trying to get Max in a better mood.

“Yeah. I guess.” Max knew that Michael was trying to make him feel better, and it was working.

“So you seen any good looking nurses up in here?” Max rolled his eyes. And Michael called him bad?

“Yeah, there are a few.” Michael leaned back in his chair, “Good to know.”

They talked about a few things before Max’s doctor entered the room.

“Mr. Evans. How are you feeling? Any pain?”

“No. I feel fine, except I still can’t feel my legs.” The doctor nodded and came to stand beside Max. Michael pushed away and took a seat on the windowsill. He was just as worried as Max was.

Michael looked up to Max. Ever since they met when they were six years old. Max was his hero, so to speak. He finished high school, won a football scholarship and took him along for the ride. Michael didn’t know where he would be today without Max in his life. Because of Max, Michael decided to go to college and had become the great architect he is today. Without Max’s support and encouragement throughout the years, Michael knew he would have given up.

“First of all I want to reassure you that this is completely normal. The surgery was a success; we were able to repair the damage. Now all we can do is wait to see if the paralysis will be permanent.”

“That’s it?!”

“It’s all we can do. You should start to feel tingling sensations within the week.”

“And if I don’t?” Max asked trying to hide the fear that was clearly evident in his voice.

The doctor didn’t want to string his hopes along, but he felt very confident that Max would get his ability to walk back. But he couldn’t lie to him either. “Mr. Evans, the only thing I can tell you for sure is that, the longer the paralysis continues the worse your chances are. So if you feel any sensation at all, that is a very good thing.” The doctor tried to sound as hopeful as possible.

“Right. Whatever. Thanks.” Max mumbled out and wanted to yell at the top of his lungs. However, he knew it would be pointless. It was out of his hands, as well as the doctors.

“This is good news. Right? We have a week. One week. I know it’s going to come back Max.” Michael tried to encourage his friend not to give up. He could see the doubt and fear cloud his expression.

“Yeah, Mike. I hope so.” Max finished flatly. If he couldn’t ever walk again, it would mean the end of his career. He wasn’t worried about money, because he had enough to last both him and Michael a lifetime. It would mean the end of his playboy ways that was for sure. He didn’t know too much about being paralyzed from the waist down, but he knew enough to know that certain things would no longer function they way they used to.

Max tried not to focus on all the negative things. And there were definitely a lot of them. Instead he decided to take it one day at a time and pray for a miracle.

****

“Parker! You’re late. Again!” Liz cringed when she entered the diner later that same day. She had finished typing up a proposal for her boss earlier that day. She placed it on his desk and finished the rest of her work. But then just as she was leaving he stopped her and asked where it was. After she explained that she placed it on his desk, he said that he needed her to stay and wait until he proofed it. Liz knew she would be late for her second job and that her boss would not be happy.

She was late so many times and she knew that James took pity on her. Everyone knew her situation but Liz still walked with her head held high. “I know, I’m sorry. It will never…”

“Happen again. Save it Parker. Get to work.” Liz rolled her eyes and tied her apron around her waist and prepared herself to put on a fake smile for the next five and a half hours.

****

It was almost dinnertime and Alexis wanted to see Max. So she waited until nurse Maria arrived with her tray.

“Okay. Here you go! We have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple juice and rice pudding.” Maria entered the room and placed the tray across Alexis’ lap.

“Maria?” Alexis looked up and batted her eyelashes.

“Yes, pumpkin.”

“I wondered if maybe I could go see Max. Maybe he’s alone and I could keep him company.” Maria smiled brightly at the little girl. Boy, she had a way with those desperate looks. She was going to be a real heartbreaker when she grew up, Maria thought to herself.

“Let’s see. How about you eat first and then I take you over there?”

“Okay!” Alexis picked up her sandwich and checked it first to make sure that it was strawberry jelly and not grape jelly. She didn’t like grape jelly. Once she was sure it was to her liking she took a big bite.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes.” Maria turned and walked out of the room but not before she turned on the television.

“Ooh Scooby Doo!” Alexis smiled and took a sip of her juice. She wanted to hurry but she guessed it would be okay to take a little longer so she could watch her favorite cartoon.

****

“Michael you don’t have to baby sit me, you know?” Max was tired and very irritable. He just wanted to go to sleep. More than that he wondered why Alexis had not returned. He hoped nothing happened to her. He really missed her. She gave him not only a distraction but kept his spirits up.

“I know. Don’t get your gown in a twist. I’m leaving in a few minutes.” Michael walked back over to the couch and laid down closing his eyes. Max started to nod off but then he heard voices outside of his room. Then there was a knock. He looked at Michael who was already on his feet.

“Hi. I’m sorry to disturb you but she wanted to see him.” Max’s ears perked up. It was her. A feeling of happiness washed over him. Max was never that happy to see anyone, except maybe Michael. So why her?

“Hi. Who are you?” Alexis looked up at Michael quizzically. She had never seen this tall man before.

“I’m Michael and you are?” Michael crossed his arms over his chest. He was still confused as to why this little girl that came just about to the middle of his thigh was looking for Max.

“Alexis Rae Parker.” Max chuckled at her sweet voice. He didn’t think he would ever get tired of hearing it. It evoked something inside of him, something he had yet to be able to describe.

Michael quirked his eyebrow with great interest and stepped to the side. He turned and watched her as she all but ran to his best friends bedside. Then he turned his attention to the cute blonde nurse standing in front of him.

“Hi.” Maria blinked. Max was a very good looking man. Even better in person but who was this dirty blond man standing before her? And why had she not seen him before today? Better yet, where had he been all her life?

“You have a name blonde?”

“That’s nurse Maria. Don’t you know anything?” Alexis asked exasperatedly. And then turned her attention back to Max. She was currently telling him about the episode of Scooby Doo she’d just finished watching.

Both Maria and Michael shared a laugh before things went quiet and awkward between them. “I guess I’ll be going. Alexis, honey I’ll be back in an hour to get you. You have to get some sleep, you didn’t take a nap today.”

“Okay Maria. I’ll see you later.”

Maria then turned to Michael, “Bye.” Michael watched her full lips and sparkling green eyes and wondered just where the hell she was all his life.

“Bye.” He watched as she slipped through the door.

****

“So then Scooby and Shaggy figured it all out!” Alexis finished explaining the entire episode. Michael and Max both laughed at how animated she was about it too.

She then looked down at her slippers and swung her feet in the air, watching the shadow they made across the floor.

“So Mike,” Max had told her to call him that. “Are you Max’s brother?” She turned in her seat to face Michael.

“Uhm, no. Not really. I mean yeah, we’re like brothers.” Michael was getting all tongue-tied. What the hell was wrong with him? It was like once he looked at her innocent face and curious brown eyes he just got lost. He hadn’t been around children since he was a child. So he wasn’t sure how to act around her.

“Oh. You don’t look like brothers. But you look almost the same.” Both Max and Michael exchanged a curious glace. Alexis noticed and continued on.

“You are both bigger than me. And you have big arms, ‘cept Max’s arms are bigger.” Alexis finished not realizing how much testosterone she was surround by in the room.

“Ha! Told you Mikey!” Max announced triumphantly.

“Whatever. She’s like seven years old. She doesn’t know.” Michael grumbled out and Alexis turned and crossed her arms over her chest.

“I’m five. Not seven. Seven is much bigger than five.” Max enjoyed the banter between the two. It was quite amusing to watch.

“Oh. My bad. So where is your mom?”

“Working.”

“But it’s like ten.”

“So.”

“She works this late?”

“Yup! Everyday.” Everyday? Max wondered just what the hell her mother did that kept her gone all day. And he noticed that Alexis hadn’t mentioned a father in all the time she had been around him. He had so many questions but it wasn’t like he could interrogate a five year old. Obviously, Michael had no problem doing so though.

“Mike, you wanna stop with the questions?” Max quipped lightly. Michael looked at him and realized what he was doing.

“Right.”

The room went silent and Alexis decided that she had the floor once again. She took that opportunity to share with the both of them a story about her and her mother going to the zoo last year.

Both men sat back for the next hour and watched enthusiastically as she retold a story about the Polar bears she saw.

****

Liz couldn’t wait to get off work. She hated not getting to see her daughter. She talked to her a few times today but she ached to see her, to hold her and listen to her sweet voice.

Liz wasn’t sure how long she could last the way she was going. She slept maybe four or five hours a night, if she was lucky. Then got up and did it all over again, everyday.

When was it her turn for a miracle, she thought.

“Miss! Could I get a menu?” Liz rolled her eyes and pulled a menu out and walked it over to the very impatient gentleman in the booth. This day couldn’t be over quick enough.

****

“Okay sweetie. Time to say goodbye.” Alexis pouted, but knew there was no point in arguing. She never won. She hopped off the chair to leave. But at the last minute she went back to Max’s side and stood on her tiptoes. She reached out her tiny palm and placed it on Max’s cheek, cupping it softly, just like her mommy did to her.

“Sweet dreams, Max.” Alexis smiled and turned to leave.

“Later Mikey!” Alexis called out. Michael stood there with his mouth gaping open.

“Obviously she watches way too much television. Someone should inform her mother.” Max laughed at Michael.

“Yeah but she’s adorable. I just love that she comes to visit me.” Michael nodded. He had to agree, there was just something about her.

“So you ever meet her mother?”

“No. I bet she’s really great though. I mean how can she not be? Look at her daughter.”

“Yeah.” Michael reached for his jacket.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, man.”

“Yeah.” Max answered sleepily. But at the last moment opened his eyes. “Mike?”

“Hmm?”

“So you got the hots for the nurse?”

“No I don’t!”

“Yeah, whatever you say Mike…whatever you say.” Those were the last words Michael heard his best friend say before falling asleep.

Just as Michael closed the door behind him, he said a silent prayer for everything to work out.

TBC…

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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Sun Jun 05, 2005 7:32 pm

A/N - I'm back a little early because I won't be home tomorrow and didn't want to miss updating :wink: Now just some thank you's to all of you reading. I know I don't do this often anymore but I wanted to let you guys know how happy I am to know you are enjoying this story...Thank you sooo much!

RoswellScripter
frenchkiss70
FSUMSW94
Erina258
Earth2Mama
Ellie
taressa05
Behrsgirl1230
force
vampyrax

g7silvers - Don't worry about Tess, don't even give it a second thought.
Evans3
Jason's Lover - Better late than never is right Crystal...thanks! *hugs*
Emz80m
googi
Itzstacie

BehrObsession - Glad to see you over here. I'm glad you are enjoying it.
Timelord31
RoswellDreamer_bb10
begonia9508
Bixie
Alien614
flyawayraven
cherie

ps_dreamer - Hi! Glad to see you like it so far.
Lessie - Don't let the tears fall yet. I always like to keep my readers guessing :wink:
Hopeless Romantic - Alex, lots of questions, some of which are answered in this part. Oh and that's a great theory about Alexis' father...but it's not right :wink: Thanks for *everything*
kay_b - No gasp Kay...read above *hugs*
Raychelxluscious - Raych girl, you make me :oops: . I'm so happy you like the way I've begun to write your challenge. Like I told you I'm having fun with this one and it's an amazing challenge so you did most of the work, I'm just filling in the rest :wink: *muahs*
hazz
behrstars
rigel

mareli - Ha! I see you found the time! Thanks girlie!! *hugs*


Chapter 3

“And then I drew him a picture mommy!” Liz was dead on her feet. She wished that she had as much energy as her daughter. It was well into the early morning by the time she got off work.

“Did you? And did he love it?” Liz cuddled up closer to her daughter for warmth. She hoped she wasn’t getting sick, she could not afford to take off of work.

“Yes! It made him smile again.” Alexis was quiet for a moment. Liz reached out her arm and pulled her daughter against her chest. “What’s wrong?” Liz ran her hands through her daughter’s soft curls and breathed in her sweet scent.

“Nothing mommy. I just, mommy do I have a daddy?” Liz took in a deep breath. She had been waiting for this question since the day Alexis was born. And she wasn’t ready to answer it.

“Yes, you do.” Alexis noticed how sad her mommy was and decided that she wouldn’t talk about that anymore. She didn’t want to hurt her mommy, so she changed the subject.

“I met Mike too.”

“Mike?” Just who in the hell were all these men that her daughter was meeting throughout the day, she wondered.

“Yeah, he’s Max’s friend. They are big mommy, real big.” Liz laughed at her daughter’s expression. Alexis’ eyes were wide and she had the biggest smile on her face.

“You like them a lot don’t you?” Liz asked softly, the day was beginning to catch up with her.

“Yes! You should meet Max mommy. I know he would like you.”

“Why do you say that?” Liz wondered just what was running through her daughter’s head.

“Cause, I just now he will.”

“I’ll meet him one day, sweetheart. How about we get some rest? Mommy is really tired today.” Liz kissed her daughter’s cheek and cuddled under the blankets with her. “Okay, mommy. I’m sleepy anyway. I love you mommy.”

“I love you too, baby. So much. You know that right?” Liz asked swallowing back the tears suddenly caught in her throat.

“Yup! I know you love me with all your heart.” Alexis cupped her mommy’s cheek and kissed her goodnight.

Liz lied in bed awake a few minutes longer. Her mind kept wandering back to the conversation she had with one of the nurses this morning when she called Alexis. They had told her that Alexis was making great progress and since she had long since reached the maximum policy limit on for her insurance, they couldn’t keep her there much longer. Liz let out a loud breath. She knew the hospital was simply doing their job, that didn’t mean she had to like it. When Alexis caught phenomena last month the hospital did everything to make sure she was taken care of, but now Alexis was doing so much better. So what did that mean? Technically, Liz was still making payments but it was hardly enough to keep her daughter in hospital care much longer. Last week they had thought she was getting sick all over again, but she cleared all her tests with flying colors.

Dread. That’s what Liz Parker felt. Because she knew that her time was running out. What would she do when it did?


*****

Max had woken up four hours after passing out. A nurse had come to his room to make sure he was comfortable and to check his IV. When she finally left Max let out a long shuddering breath. He was alone and he didn’t like it. If he weren’t stuck in this hospital bed he would’ve been out partying it up with some girl he didn’t know. Most importantly he wouldn’t be alone.

Max hated being alone. He figured that was probably the reason he always threw parties. Granted it wasn’t a way to interact with people, but it kept his mind occupied. Ever since he ended up on the doorstep of an orphanage at the age of 6, Max Evans never liked to be alone. The good thing about it was Michael, he met him the first night there.

Since the first day they met, they had been inseparable. They didn’t have money or a real place to call home. But it was okay because they always had each other. Max knew that Michael would never let him down. Just like Max knew he would never let Michael down.

That’s why when they finally reached high school and were both tormented over their clothes and home. They made a pact, a pact that would stay true until this very day. They said that no matter what they would always stick together. And that when they had no one they would have each other.

Thankfully, they were tormented for only a short time during their freshman year. After that they both got jobs and spent all their money on clothes. They couldn’t change where they came from, but they would change where they were going. Jobs were the first step, finding a way get out of the orphanage was another. That’s where football played the biggest part.

Since the first day Max Evans held a football in his hand, he knew that was the answer to everything. Not only did he love the sport, it opened up a world of opportunities. Opportunities that would benefit no only himself, but Michael as well.

After he joined the team, all torments ended and suddenly he and Michael found themselves amongst the best of the best at school. Because again, where Max went Michael was not far behind.

Max was drafted his senior year of high school because the scouts had seen how great of a quarterback he was. Max had the choice of schools to attend. It was he and Michael’s ticket away from the orphanage, from that life all together. The first year Max lucked out on a single dorm room; which he and Michael were able to share. In the meantime, Michael worked full time so they could save up money for the coming year for an apartment.

After that, things just continued on an upward slope. Max was making millions and Michael decided to go back to school. He had the opportunity and he went for it. He managed to open his own business with the help of Max. Max knew that Michael hated taking money from him, but Max told him that he knew if the roles were reversed, Michael wouldn’t hesitate to do the same.

Max wished he could roll onto his side, because sleeping on his back was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. He decided he needed to get a little more sleep. Closing his eyes they first thing he saw was Alexis. And then his mind began to wander to that precious child.

He wondered if there was any way for him to figure out what was wrong with her. She was in the Oncology ward, so that must mean she had or has some type of cancer. Max swallowed thickly, was it serious? Was she still here because they couldn’t help her? Or was she getting better? The questions that plagued his mind were endless. The only person that could answer them were Alexis herself or her mother. Speaking of mothers. Max wondered just when he would get to meet this amazing woman.

Sleep was creeping up on him and suddenly he found his battle to stay awake was a losing won.


****

“Morning Max!” Alexis bounced into Max’s room early the next morning. Max turned his head and saw her beautiful smile. If she only knew what that smile did to me, he thought.

“Morning princess.” Max returned her smile.

“Princess?” Alexis tilted her head to the side thoughtfully. Did he think she was a princess?

“Yes, you look as beautiful as a princess so that’s what I’m going to call you. If that’s okay with you?” Max asked hesitantly.

“Yes!” Alexis walked further into his room and pushed one of the chairs across the room so she could sit next to his bed.

“So how are you feeling?” Max asked her. He was trying to ease into the conversation with her.

“Good. Does your back still hurt?” she asked worriedly. She knew he was scared so she wanted him to know that she cared about him too.

“A little, but I feel better. So…”

“Mr. Evans?” The doctor entered the room at that very moment.

“Yes?”

“I just wanted to check up on you before my other rounds.” Alexis watched the doctor closely. She was used to doctors by now, but they still worried her. She sat as still as possible as to not draw attention to herself.

“Sure. I don’t feel any different than yesterday if that’s what you want to know.” Max finished somewhat sarcastically. He was still so angry that this was happening to him and there was nothing anyone could do for him.

“Well it’s only been a couple of days and…”

“Will I be able to play? I mean…if I end up being able to walk again.” Max asked hating that he was letting his emotions get the best of him.

“I’m not going to lie to you. If you are able to walk again, which we have every right to believe, I’m not sure. After you endure major physical therapy you may be able to play again, but not like you used to. There is a possibility that you will be able to go back to play at the level you were, but those odds are not the best.” The doctor finished flatly. He knew this was this young man’s career was at stake. Hell, he himself was a big fan but that didn’t mean he had supernatural powers that would help.

“Right. So what you’re saying is that even if I do walk again, I won’t play anymore.” Max finished glumly. His career was over he knew it was.

“Mr. Evans, I— ” The doctor looked up and realized nothing he said was going to make a difference. “Honestly, we feel that even after physical therapy if you are able to play, you will be risking further damage. And we would seriously advise against it.” Max didn’t want to hear anymore. He turned his head, hoping the doctor would take the hint.

As the doctor turned to leave he looked at Alexis who he had almost forgotten was sitting right beside Mr. Evans, and smiled softly. Alexis returned the smile but not as brightly as she would have normally. This doctor hurt Max’s feelings and now she had to make him feel better.

“Max?” Alexis’ voice was just above a whisper but loud enough for Max to hear.

“Hey. Sorry about that.” He tried to apologize but Alexis didn’t even notice. She had a question on her mind and he could tell. It was easy now that he knew some of her mannerisms; she was nibbling on her bottom lip. That’s how he knew.

“You got a question for me, princess?”

“Yes, but…I don’t want to make you sad.”

“You won’t.”

“You sure?”

“Positive. In fact why don’t you come sit next to me? That chair probably isn’t too comfortable.” Max scooted slowly to the left side of his bed. Then watched as she slowly stood on the chair, while holding onto the side of his bed, and crawled in next to him.

“Better?

“Much. Thanks.” She smelled so sweet. And with her this close he could see the tiny beauty mark just above her eyebrow, as well as the one in the center of her hand.

“So what was your question?” When she turned to face him, Max drew in a deep breath. She was just so beautiful and her features were just so striking. Her eyes big and round, a perfect button nose, flawless olive skin and strawberry kissed lips. Amazing that such a tiny thing could be that beautiful, he thought.

“What do you play?”

“Play?”

“Yeah, you said to the doctor, you won’t be able to play.”

“Oh right! Football.” Max watched with amusement as she scrunched up her tiny nose.

“What? You don’t like football?” She shook her head and he watched as her soft curls bounced from side to side against her cheeks.

“No, my mommy says it’s for mindless og…ogres or something like that.” Max couldn’t contain his laughter at that. When he finally gained some composure he asked her, “Do you think I’m an ogre?”

Alexis shrugged. “I don’t know, cause I don’t know what an og…ogre is.” Max smiled at her innocence, ah to be young again.

“It’s a mean and scary person.”

“Oh! No! You’re not scary and mean.”

“Why thank you.”

“Welcome.” They shared a smile. And Max decided it was now or never.

“Alexis?”

“Hmm?”

“What…why are you here?”

“To see you.” She answered honestly. Max knew that the subtle approach was not going to work with a five year old.

“I mean, in the hospital. Why are you here?”

“I have the cancer.” ‘The cancer,’ what the hell did that mean? She had cancer, but what kind? How bad was it? Was she dying? No, she can’t be, he thought. She looks well and she runs around like a normal child. Maybe it wasn’t that bad, maybe…they got rid of it and they wanted to make sure they got all of it. That was assuming that it was a tumor of some sort. God! How could it be, she was so full of life, she couldn’t possibly be that sick, right?

“Max?”

“You’re gonna walk again.” It was a bold statement, something Max had longed to hear for days since his accident. But why was she saying it?

“Really? And how do you know, princess?” She blushed every time he called her that and his heart swelled with pride.

“Cause you have to. So you can give me a piggyback ride.” She answered simply. If only it were that simple, he thought.

“A piggy back ride? You like them?”

“Yes! I love them. But mommy isn’t tall like you and Mike, so it’s not as much fun. But with you I know it would be cause I would be so high in the air.” Max watched as she flailed her arms in the air expressing just how high she wanted to go.

“Well, thank you. But I don’t think your mom would appreciate you calling her short. So you know what?”

“What?!” Was he going to give her a piggyback ride when he got better? She hoped so.

“I’m going to try really hard just for you.”

“Yeah?!” Max nodded. Suddenly there was a light tapping on his door and nurse Maria peaked her head in.

“I’m sorry but it’s almost time for your nap, Alexis.”

“Okay, but can I come back?”

“Of course,” Both Max and Maria answered at the same time.

“Yay! Okay, Max I’ll be back soon.” Alexis leaned over and kissed his cheek softly and waited until Maria helped her off the bed.

As she made her way out, she stopped and turned. “Max?”

“Yeah?”

“Do it for you and for me.” He just nodded and she smiled turning to take Maria’s hand again, but stopped short and turned back.

“Promise.”

“I promise, princess. See you later.”

She gave him a little wave as she slipped out the door.

Max threw his head back, what was he going to do? She was quickly wrapping him around her finger. He closed his eyes and the answer appeared out of nowhere. He was going to do everything in his power to make sure she always stays happy. More importantly he was going to find out what was wrong with her so that he could help in anyway possible.

The only way to do that of course was to get a hold of her mother, which seemed like an impossible feat. Good thing, Max Evans was always up for a challenge.

TBC…

P.S. I know you all are dying for Max and Liz to meet, I think I've given you a little something to hold onto until next week with the last sentence :wink:
Last edited by Behrsgirl77 on Fri Sep 23, 2005 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:05 pm

A/N Sorry it's so late but I made it! It's still Monday where I am for several more hours LOL!! Anyway, I just want to say that I felt TREMENDOUS pressure writing this part. I am however happy with the way it came out...now the rest is up to you :wink:

Thanks a bunch for your feedback! Love it!! I appreciate it so much!

Now onto the next part...



Chapter 4

The next morning Max Evans was up before the sun rose. He had so many things going through his head the night before and it seemed as though his mind tired long after his body. He was hoping to see Alexis first thing this morning. He wanted to see if he could figure out just how in the hell he was going to catch up with her mother.

He turned his head to the side and watched as the minutes ticked by slowly, too slowly. He didn’t normally wish his life away but this morning he needed to get something done, seeing as how his body had a mind of it’s own. Max reached out and buzzed the nurse, he was hungry and he needed to have his sheets changed. He knew they would be around to do it, but he didn’t want to wait. If he had to be stuck in a bed, he would at least have clean sheets when he wanted.

A few minutes later, nurse Tess entered the room. “So how are we feeling this morning?” Tess crossed the room and stood at the foot of his bed. “Fine, but I’d feel better if I got a kiss right here,” he pointed to his cheek but Tess stood with her hands on her hips giving him a ‘yeah right’ look.

“I don’t think my husband would appreciate me kissing a perfect stranger.”

“Oh, I’m hurt. You’ve known me for three days.” Max placed a hand over his heart dramatically.

“How can I help you Mr. Evans?” Max saw that she wasn’t falling for his charm, so he decided to ask for his sheets to be changed.

“Sure, but you are going to have to give me a minute to get you a wheelchair.” Tess turned and left the room only to return a moment later with wheelchair in tow.

After settling Max in the wheelchair, he watched her for a few minutes and decided that he couldn’t go the rest of his life unable to walk, or have sex for that matter. He decided to wheel himself into the hallway for a few minutes; he couldn’t watch her move around the room any longer. His mind was wandering too much to control.

Just as he reached the hall he overheard a conversation going on at the nurses station just a few feet from him…

“There is nothing left for us to do. She’s better and her cancer seems to be in remission. We have done everything we can for her. We can’t keep her here if you can’t afford to pay for it.”

“But I’m making payments! Doesn’t that count for anything?” Max watched as a petite brunette ran a frustrated hand through her hair. He didn’t want to eavesdrop on the conversation but how could he not? They were standing just a few feet from him.

“Yes it does. But it costs several thousands of dollars a day to keep her here. Your payments are a fraction of that cost. I’m so—“

“So you want me to take her home and what? Watch her die!” Max winced at the sound of the woman’s voice. He could feel the hurt emanating in her voice. How terrible was that? She couldn’t afford to keep her child here and so the hospital was basically kicking her out. That just seemed so wrong to him.

“No. You are overreacting…”

“I’m overreacting. In case you missed it my daughter has cancer! That to me is very serious.”

“Yes, but she has been cleared, it appears to be in remission.”

“Appears? So I guess because it ‘appears’ to be in remission I should just celebrate, while my daughter has this thing inside of her that could decide to grow back or bigger than before. And it might be too late, is that what you’re saying?”

“Look. I understand…”

“You understand. No! I’m telling you my daughter is NOT leaving this hospital until I feel she is ready. She is all I have.”

“You don’t have a choice, Liz. You know how I feel about her and you, but there is nothing I can do. You have to take her home.”

“Look, I’m sorry about yelling. But can’t you keep her here a little longer? I need time.” Max heard the desperation in the young woman’s voice. He felt for her, he knew what it was like to not have enough money for simple things in life, so he could only imagine what it felt like to not have it for the really important things.

“It’s out of my hands. It’s hospital policy. I’m so sorry, Liz, she has to be out in two days.” The nurse turned and walked passed Max and he watched as the brunette stood to his left side. She looked so tired and run down, but beneath that Max saw how beautiful she was. There was something about her that was familiar, like he knew her from somewhere. But he knew he’d never met her before, so he just watched as she stopped and looked down the now empty all. Not even noticing him she whispered out in despair, “I don’t have anywhere to take her. So what am I supposed to do?” He watched as she turned on her heels and headed back down the hall.

After she was gone, Max continued to think about her. His mind kept wandering back to her last words, ‘I have nowhere to take her’. Max knew what that was like as well, and he found himself wondering just who the hell she was.


****

“Morning Max!” Alexis entered Max’s room about two hours later and he was watching ESPN. He figured he needed to keep up with the football even if he couldn’t play.

“Hi Princess. How are you this morning?” He asked as he watched her cross the room, just as she did every morning and took a seat on the chair next to his bed.

“I’m good. I feel really good today, but…” She trailed off catching a glimpse of Max on television.

“Hey! That’s you!” She pointed and Max looked up at the television and sure enough it was him.

“Yes, that’s me.”

“Wow! You look even bigger on TV.” Her eyes were bright and big and Max couldn’t help but laugh at her innocence. He would never grow tired of her comments and questions.

“Thanks, I think. So what were you saying?”

“Oh, just that I miss Riley.” Riley? He had never heard her mention that name before, he wondered if maybe that was her father.

“Who’s Riley?”

“He’s my puppy!” She smiled and bounced off the chair. He watched as she pushed it closer to his bed and climbed up on top to sit next to him.

“Better?” He asked with an amused smile on his face.

“Yup! Much! I like it up here with you.” She smiled at him once again and he felt his heart constrict. He was falling in love with this little girl. He was defenseless to stop it. In fact, he didn’t want to stop it. He wanted to get to know her even more.

“I like you up here with me too.” Alexis dropped her head and he could see the pink blush tint her cheeks.

“So, he’s your puppy?”

“Yes! Mommy bought him for me for my birthday, but I had to leave him.” Max could see the sadness in her eyes when she spoke.

“When you came here?” She just nodded.

“Oh well, tell me about him.” Max reached out and ran his index finger along her soft downy cheek, trying to offer her some comfort.

“He was little, mommy said he wouldn’t get much bigger. He was a ter…a terr…” She nibbled on her bottom lip trying to remember what he was.

“A Terrier?”

“Yes! But he was something else too. I think it was a York.” She turned to Max for confirmation and he just watched as she pushed her curly brown locks away from her face. Today her hair was out and he could just see how soft it really was, he wanted to touch it but decided that she might not welcome it. He didn’t want to scare her off either.

“Hmm, was it a Yorkshire Terrier?”

“Yes! That’s it Max! Wow! You are so smart, just like my mommy!” She smiled and clapped her hands together. Max was really something, she thought. He was big and strong, he called her princess and he was smart, but most importantly he was going to give her a piggyback ride.

A few minutes later they were still talking about Riley, when Max’s room phone rang. He reached out to grab it and groaned out loud at the person on the other end.

“Is that how you greet a concerned friend?”

“Friend? I’m sorry you must have me mistaken for someone else. Because if I was your friend you would have come to see me, but it’s been days and nothing.” Max tried to keep his voice even. He didn’t want to startle Alexis.

“I’ve been busy.” Max rolled his eyes.

“Whatever Kyle, what do you want?”

“I was calling to see how you were doing?”

“What do you care?! I wasn’t asking for a lot but you could have come to see me, or…” Max trailed off when he noticed Alexis stiffen at the tone of his voice. She was doing a really good job of pretending that she wasn’t listening but Max knew better.

“Look, Kyle. I’m tired and I have some tests that need to be run today. So just cut the BS and get to it.”

“Like I said, Max just calling to see how you were.”

“I’m fine. In fact I’m perfect. I don’t need you or your phone call. I don’t need anyone.” Max trailed off noticing that Alexis was now staring at him with wide eyes. She reached out her hand to his and wrapped her tiny hands around his fingers.

“You’re right, Max. You never need anyone. Except maybe Michael, your endless string of girls and your fortune.” It was true. Max didn’t have a comeback for that. Those were the important things in his life leading up to the accident, but now he wasn’t so sure that still held true. Yes, Michael was still and would always be important but the girls? Hell he couldn’t even remember their names, and his fortune; that he still cared about, because if he couldn’t play at least he knew he could survive without struggling to get by.

Shortly there after, Max hung up the phone and rested his head against his pillows. He was well aware that Alexis was still watching him. He opened his eyes and saw that she had a question. It was so easy to read her. She was so uncomplicated and Max needed that more than he wanted to admit.

“What’s wrong princess?”

“You said that…that you didn’t need no one?” Max nodded wondering where she was going with her questioning.

“But that’s not true. Everybody needs somebody they just don’t know it.” She smiled and leaned over and kissed Max’s cheek.

“You’re probably right. Boy, your mom must be a genius.”

“What’s a genius?” Alexis tilted her head in thought and waited for his answer.

“It’s someone that is so smart, they know just about everything.”

“Oh yeah! That’s my mommy. She’s real smart.” Alexis smiled and then watched as Max’s features froze.

Could it be? Dare he hope?

“Max?”

“Alexis, can you press the button for the nurse for me?” Alexis smiled and reached for the nurses call button. A second later a nurse was peaking her head in the room.

“Yes?”

“I think I need a doctor.” Max said hesitantly.

“What’s wrong?” The nurse entered the room fully coming to stand beside him.

“I think…No, I know I can feel my legs.”

“Max, are they tingly?” Alexis asked excitedly and Max just nodded his head.

“Yay! I told you Max! I told you, you would walk again!” The nurse helped her off the bed and Alexis jumped up and down on the floor clapping her hands.

Max just smiled at her and then closed his eyes hoping that this was what he’d been waiting for. Because if it were, he would lift Alexis in his arms and kiss her soft cheeks until she begged him to stop.

****

“Okay honey, I’ll be there in about an hour. We can have dinner together. Would you like that?” Liz asked her daughter as she packed her things for the day. She would have to skip working at the diner tonight. She was so stressed out that she couldn’t concentrate.

“Yes, Mommy! I can’t wait to see you.” Alexis smiled into the phone.

“I love you, baby.”

“Love you too, Mommy! Bye.”

“Bye.” Liz hung up the phone and made her way out of the building. She threw her briefcase into the front seat of her car before making her way to the driver’s side. She took a look in her rear view mirror and sighed at the sight that she saw. Deciding not to dwell on the negative, she put the key in the ignition and headed towards the hospital.

****

A few hours later, Liz and Alexis had shared their dinner and Liz was now taking a shower. Alexis flipped through the television stations and stopped when she saw a familiar face. It was Max again. She thought he must be really famous cause he was always on TV.

Nurse Tess popped her head in the room to check up on Alexis. “Hi, Tess.” Alexis smiled brightly.

“Hi there. You like football?” Alexis shrugged. She never watched it before, so she didn’t know. But Max played, and she liked him so maybe she did like football after all.

“Yeah, I do.”

“Who’s your favorite team?”

“I don’t know. Whatever team Max plays on.”

“Oh, well he plays for the Saints.”

“Then that’s my favorite!” Tess just laughed at her innocence.

“You like Max a lot don’t you?”

“Yes! And he likes me too. He calls me his princess.”

“He does?”

“Yup!” Alexis smiled brightly. She was happy that she had dinner with her mommy, but she missed Max. She hadn’t seen him since this morning.

“Wow, you must be special then.” Was she special? Did Max think she was?

“Tess?”

“Yes?”

“Do you think my mommy will like Max?”

“She’s never met him?” Surely all the time she spent with Max, at one point Tess figured they would have met up with each other. Lord knows if she wasn’t married then she would have definitely enjoyed spending some quality time with him.

“No, not yet.”

“Well then, I’m sure she will.” Tess assured her. He seemed nice enough and he treated Alexis like she’s the most precious thing on the planet. How could anyone not like Max, she thought.

“But she doesn’t like football players.”

“In that case I’m sure she’ll make an exception.” Tess turned to fluff Alexis’ pillows.

“What’s an exception?”

“It’s like maybe just this one time she can like him.”

“Oh! Like he can be my daddy?” Alexis’ ears perked up. This was really good.

“No, honey but he can be a friend to you and your mommy.”

“Oh.” She said sounding very disappointed.

“Hi baby, you ready for bed?” Liz stepped out of the bathroom. She felt revived and most of the tension she felt this morning had worn off. She still didn’t know what she was going to do, but whatever it was she needed to think of it quickly. Time was running out.

“Mommy! You said I could have rice pudding.” Alexis pouted and crossed her arms over her chest.

“I did, didn’t I?” Liz teased her daughter while placing her things in her overnight bag. She crossed the room and took a seat next to her daughter on the bed to brush her hair.

“Did you brush your hair today?”

“Yes. But I left it out mommy. I wanted to look pretty for Max.” Alexis decided that she could talk to her mommy about Max and then maybe she would like him more.

“Oh, really?”

“Yes! I’m his princess mommy. I have to look pretty.” Wow! Is all Liz could think at her daughter’s words. This Max was something else; he managed in just a few days to win over her daughter’s heart. She definitely needed to meet him.

“Baby, you are beautiful. I’m sure Max knows that already.”

“Mommy?” Liz leaned up and pulled her daughter into her lap.

“Yes?”

“You don’t like football right?” Where was this question coming from, Liz thought.

“No I don’t. Why?”

“Cause…never mind. Can I have my rice pudding now?” Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to have her mommy and Max meet.

“Yes. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Stay right here.”

“Okay mommy.” Alexis waved to her mommy as she walked out the door. She wondered how she would get her mommy to like Max.

****

“It’s just incredible. One minute I couldn’t feel them the next, bam!” Max said enthusiastically to his best friend. Michael had come straight to the hospital upon hearing of Max’s progress.

“That’s great Maxwell. I told you everything would turn out great.” Michael was trying his best to contain the excitement, he was happy beyond words for Max today.

“I swear, if I didn’t know any better I’d say Alexis was my guardian angel.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Cause, it was like she just knew I would walk again. She had all this confidence and hell maybe it’s because she has yet to taste the cruelty this world has but still…” Max trailed off thinking that only good things had happened to him since Alexis entered his life.

“Where’s the squirt at anyway?” Michael asked reaching for his jacket. He needed to head home for the night. He left work early, which meant that he needed to get in early tomorrow to finish up a project he was working on.

“Shit! I haven’t seen her all day, not since this morning.” Max finished sadly. He hoped she wasn’t sleeping yet.

“Damn, you are seriously attached to her aren’t you?” Michael smirked knowingly at his best friend. He never got attached to anyone. So it was pretty amazing that this little girl weaseled her way into his heart.

“I am. I’m hopeless.” Max smiled listlessly and decided he needed to go see her tonight and thank her.

“Help me out of here.” Max motioned for Michael to help him into the wheelchair.

“Thanks man.”

“No problem. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Max watched as Michael entered the elevators at the end of the hall before turning and wheeling himself down the hall to his destination.

****

“Wow! You swallowed that so quickly. Does your tummy hurt?” Liz asked cleaning off the tray and dumping the empty container of rice pudding into the trash.

“Nope! My tummy feels happy. Thank you, mommy!” Alexis stood up on the bed and wrapped her arms around her mother’s neck and kissed her cheek.

“Welcome. Now go get washed up for bed. And just so you know, we are not making this a habit.”

“What?” Alexis asked as Liz placed her on her feet.

“Eating before bed. But today I made an exception.” Oh! Exception, Alexis now knew what that word meant. Maybe her mommy would make an exception for Max, like Tess said. She hoped so. She skipped to the bathroom and closed the door behind her.

Liz just shook her head. Who was she kidding? If her daughter asked her every night for rice pudding before bed, she would give it to her. One day she’d grow a backbone, one day, she thought.

“Just not today.” She chided herself as she crossed the room to take out a book to read to Alexis before bed.

She heard the toilet flush and waited to make sure she heard the sink go on before sifting through the book to find a story. Something drew her attention to the door. There were noises outside of the room. She wondered just who the hell it was at this hour.

She stood to open the door but before she had a chance the door was swinging open. The only thing she could see was an arm. That’s odd, she thought. She reached out and opened the door wider and stopped when her eyes connected with the most beautiful amber eyes she’d ever seen in her life.

Max froze. He checked the number on the door quickly before snapping his eyes back to the familiar brunette that stood before him. It couldn’t be. Could it? God, she was breathtaking up close. She had perfect pink lips, long dark chocolate brown hair that looked like a curtain of silk and skin that looked as soft as porcelain. He could honestly say that he had never met a woman that beautiful in his life.

Liz opened her mouth to speak, but the sound of the bathroom door opening interrupted her.

“Max!” Max? This was Max? Liz wasn’t sure if she was still breathing. This man was beyond handsome. He had dark raven hair, amazing eyes and perfect lips. She had never met a man that looked that sexy before. She suddenly realized how horrible she looked. What was she thinking? This was a hospital not a bar and she was not looking to get involved with anyone, but she was interested that much she couldn’t deny.

Max looked from Liz to Alexis and he made the connection he wasn’t able to this morning, when he saw her fighting with the nurse. This was Alexis’ amazing mother. How lucky could he get, he thought. She was not only smart and raised an amazing daughter, but she was beautiful.

“Mommy, this is Max!” Alexis stood between the two adults wondering just what the hell they were doing. They were staring at each other. She found that quite odd.

“Max, this is my Mommy!” Liz finally snapped out of her stupor and reached out her hand to greet him.

“Nice to finally meet you, Max. I’m Liz.” Max looked at her hand and thought it looked exactly like Alexis’ hand, only bigger. He reached out his much larger hand and clasped it around hers.

“You too, Liz. It’s really nice to finally meet you.” They both smiled at each other and Alexis couldn’t help the grin that plastered itself across her face. Nor could she help the thought that was already forming in her mind.

Maybe Max will want to be my daddy.

Now she just needed to figure out how to get her mommy to fall in love with Max.

Tomorrow she thought. She would start with her plan tomorrow.


TBC…
Last edited by Behrsgirl77 on Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:11 am

A/N - Thank you Carol for the bump :wink: Well I can't say that I'm not happy that you guys enjoyed Liz and Max's meeting, I was a little worried but hey...it's over now lol! So onto the new part! Oh and if there are any mistakes...I have no one to blame but myself as I have no beta, forgive me!

Since I am literally running out of the house for work, I don't have time to thank each one of you individually :( So a big thank you to everyone reading, lurking or otherwise!! Hope you enjoy!!


Chapter 5

“Max?” Alexis placed a hand on his arm. She wanted to know how he was feeling. Besides that her mommy and Max were still staring at each other and she was getting worried.

“Yes princess,” Max tore his eyes from Liz’s to look at Alexis. Liz couldn’t help but stare at Max and her baby interact. It was so foreign to her. She had never seen Alexis get close to a man before. It pulled on her heartstrings. She wished that Alexis had a father that cared, that could share things with her but that was just a dream. A dream Liz wished for every night for her daughter. It would've been easier if she didn’t have to bare her daughter’s health issues alone, but that’s the hand that was dealt to her. That wasn’t the reason why Liz wanted Alexis to have a father though. No, it was because as Alexis got older and went to school, Liz knew the questions would start and how was Liz supposed to explain? It would break her daughter’s heart to find out her real father never wanted or accepted her. That he’d disowned her one-month after she was born.

“Are you feeling your legs still?” Alexis placed a tiny palm against his knee and Max just smiled brightly at her.

“Yes, I am and it’s because of you.” Alexis was surprised by his words, as was Liz who had now turned her full attention to their conversation.

“Me? How come?” Max leaned in closer and whispered to Alexis, although it was loud enough for Liz to hear.

“Because you believed in me. You told me I would walk again and because of you I believed I would. So thank you princess.” Alexis clapped her hands and somehow managed to jump onto Max’s lap in excitement. Max was surprised to say the least but was even more so when she wrapped her tiny arms around his neck and hugged him. He felt so warm and big to her, she felt safe with him and she didn’t know why.

Max froze for just a moment before wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close against him. “Yay! Max I’m so happy! Now you can give me piggy back rides right?” Alexis leaned back and Liz was practically in tears. Alexis was showing Max the kind of affection she only showed her. She wasn’t jealous, just the opposite. She was happy to know that despite her upbringing and circumstances that her daughter was able to love unconditionally.

Max looked up at Liz and saw the emotions swimming across her face, he couldn’t quite figure out what was going on in her head. He just hoped that she wasn't upset that Alexis had hugged him or anything. He couldn’t focus on that for very long because he had to answer Alexis’ question.

“Of course princess. As soon as I’m all better, it will be piggy back ride time.” Alexis smiled brightly at Max and he couldn’t help the big cheesy smile that formed on his lips.

“Mommy! Did you hear that?!” Alexis jumped off of Max’s lap and stood in front of her mommy.

“Yes sweetheart! But does that mean you don’t like my piggy back rides?” Liz asked pretending to be upset.

Alexis shook her head, “No, mommy. I love your piggy back rides, but…Max is bigger and…maybe Max can give you a piggy back ride too!” Alexis thought she had come up with the best solution. Surely after her mommy got a piggyback ride from Max she would understand what she meant. Max was a big man didn’t her mommy see that?

“Well that’s nice sweetheart but I don’t think Max would want to give me a piggy back ride,” she blushed when she realized what she’d said out loud.

“Why not? Max is big mommy he can carry you. Right Max?” Max couldn’t contain his laughter, “Of course. I’d love to give your mommy a piggy back ride.” Max caught the slight blush tint her flawless cheeks and his heart soared. He wondered what she was thinking about him? When would he stop being such a guy, he thought.

“See mommy! I told you! Max is great!” It was Max’s turn to blush at Alexis’ words. God, they were perfect together. He looked from mother to daughter and he couldn’t help but think how precious they both were. He also couldn’t help his mind from wandering back to the conversation he had overheard between Liz and the nurse. He knew he needed to talk to Liz, but he needed to do that without offending her. He already figured out a few alternatives, but Liz didn’t seem like the type to just give up without a fight.

“I’m sure he is sweetie. I think it’s past your bedtime.” Liz reached down and lifted her daughter into her arms. Alexis rested her head in her mother’s neck but at the last minute turned and looked down at Max.

“Goodnight, Max. I’ll see you tomorrow. Maybe we could have breakfast together,” Alexis turned her hopeful eyes to her mommy. Liz couldn’t say no. It was too hard.

“I think that’s a great idea. What do you say Max?”

“Yeah, I would love to. Goodnight princess. Liz, I’ll see you tomorrow. Goodnight.” Max looked up at Liz who hadn’t taken her eyes off of him.

“Night, Max.” Max turned and exited the room, leaving mother and daughter behind. He needed to figure out how to approach her because at this rate it would never happen.

****

He was climbing the walls. She was running out of time and he needed to talk to her about her alternatives. He knew that no matter how much money he might have, if someone else needed Alexis’ bed, the hospital would not be able to let her stay. So what were his other options? She could stay with him, if Liz didn’t feel comfortable with having Alexis leave the hospital, at least until he was ready to be released. Would she agree to that? Probably not, he thought.

He was completely frustrated and he was tired as hell on top of everything else. It was almost midnight and he didn’t see sleep coming anytime soon.

Max figured if he knew Liz Parker a little better it would be easier to determine what her reaction to his offer would be, but he didn’t. And there was a slim chance in hell that he would by tomorrow night. So what should he do?

Be honest. That was the clear-cut answer. Skip all the bullshit and give her the options, let her chose. Max knew that Liz had to feel comfortable with her choice. He knew this because just by watching her determination in speaking with the nurse the previous day, that Liz would not let anyone tell her what to do. Period.

Finally, after an hour he felt like he’d come up with the best viable options and he would present them to her tomorrow. But he still couldn’t sleep.

He needed out of the damn bed, it was trying his nerves to stay idle for so long. Max was not used to that, he was never in one spot for too long. That went for his personal and professional life. He played football, which allowed him to travel and it allowed him to meet many people, mainly women that is. For as long as he could remember he was always a ladies man, he never had the same girl more than twice in his early days. Now though, the older he got he found himself growing tired of the lifestyle. He was only passing time and having fun. Max had never in his entire twenty-seven years of life been involved in a serious relationship. Max wasn’t sure if he was capable of loving one woman for the rest of his life, of being with her and sharing everything with only her.

Max realized that he needed to clear his mind and lying in the bed surround by four walls was not going to help him. He managed slowly to lower his bed and then ease his way into his wheelchair. Moments later he was opening his room door and wheeling himself down the hall. He passed the nurses station, they of course told him he should be resting but he just waived them off. Max knew they were doing their job, but they just didn’t understand that him lying around doing nothing was eating away at him. They didn’t understand that it made Max think of all the things he’d done in his life up until that moment when it all went to hell.

Or maybe not, he thought. Had the accident not happened then he would have never met Alexis or Liz for that matter. No, Max wouldn’t have passed up that opportunity for anything. Everything seemed to be working out for him and so now he felt it was his job to make sure everything worked out for Alexis and her mother.

He wasn’t paying much attention to his surroundings but before he knew it Max was fast approaching Alexis’ door but something made him stop abruptly. He watched as Liz slowly crept out of the room and closed the door behind her. He then watched as she sank down to the floor with her head resting on her knees. In that instant Max’s heart broke. To watch her so distraught, it killed him and so he set out down the hall towards her with a newfound determination.

****

What the hell was she going to do? She tried to fight the tears that were falling steadily down her cheeks, but she couldn’t. How was she supposed to explain to her baby that she didn’t have anywhere to take her when they left the hospital?

This was so much worse than she’d imagined it would have been and she didn’t have a solution. She had no money, despite the fact that she worked every single day of her life. She had even thought that she could just rent a motel room but how could she do that with no one to watch Alexis while she was at work? There was no solution and tomorrow night she would have to explain to Alexis that they didn’t have a home to go back to.

Liz had tried to keep up the rent payments for the first couple of months, but as soon as the insurance cut back payments, she needed to keep her daughter in the hospital. That’s when she decided to get rid of the apartment they had and save up all the money she could. That way when the insurance ran out she could make payments and be somewhat ahead. What she had not foreseen was how many thousands of dollars it actually cost to keep her daughter the hospital for just one day. It was an absorbent amount and Liz would never be able to keep up. Now it had all caught up to her. She had failed her daughter.

“Liz?” Max whispered out softly once he finally approached her. Liz stiffened and tried to wipe the tears from her eyes before looking up. She was surprised to see him. “Hi Max,” she swallowed past her pain. How was she going to keep up her façade with him at this point in her life?

“Are you okay?” he asked her softly, already knowing that she wasn’t. Maybe it was fate that told him to leave his room a little while ago, he thought. Then he snorted to himself, since when did Max Evans belief in fate? He found himself questioning so many things in his life since the accident.

“I’m fine. What are you doing here?” she asked finally getting herself together enough to stand. “I just…I saw you out here and I needed to talk to you.” He looked away for a moment, and then back again to meet her questioning glare.

“Me? About what?” she asked quizzically. Maybe it had something to do with Alexis, she wondered.

“Can we go somewhere else and talk?” He asked and then saw her worry. “Just down the hall, for a couple of minutes.” Liz nodded hesitantly and then followed him to the small waiting room a few doors down from her daughter’s room.
“So Max, what did you want to talk to me about?” Liz turned and took a seat in one of the chairs in the empty waiting room. She watched Max maneuver around the room and stop beside her.

“I know, Liz. I mean I know about you having to leave the hospital,” he began softly. He didn’t want to upset her but he quickly saw that was impossible. Liz stiffened at his words; she had not been expecting that from him.

“How do you know?” she questioned angrily. It wasn’t so much that she was upset that he was asking it was more that she was embarrassed that he knew.

“I overheard your conversation with the nurse…I didn’t mean to. I was just sitting outside my room and then…” he trailed off wondering if this was such a good idea.

“It was you? I remember now, I stood next to you and you heard me?” Her voice was not accusing. Max had noticed how it had softened, so he just nodded.

“I’m sorry. But I think that I have a solution, at least for now.” Max swallowed thickly. He was very nervous around her, and he was never nervous around women. Never.

“A solution? Thank you, Max, really. But I’ve got it covered.” Liz stood her shoulders squared and her pride slowly faltering.

He slumped his shoulders, thinking she was a stubborn as they came. He would have to be a bit more aggressive with his approach. “I know you don’t have anywhere to live, so what are you going to do? Live out of your car?” Liz froze in place. She closed her eyes and fought back the tears that threatened to spill forth. Then she became enraged.

“How dare you?! You don’t know anything about me!” she hissed out angrily. His words hurt because they were the truth. It was the truth she didn’t want to hear.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it like that, Liz. I didn’t.” he started remorsefully, “I’m just asking you to look at the big picture. I have my own motives for not wanting you to leave.” She looked at him with the question written all over her face. And Max thanked the powers that be at that moment. He could read her questions as easily as he could read Alexis’.

“I’ve spent the last couple of days with your daughter. And she is by far the most amazing and smart little girl I’ve ever met. She makes me laugh and she’s made this depressing time in my life bearable. I’m not ready to say goodbye to her, so let me help you.” Max was now in front of her wishing that he wasn’t stuck in the wheelchair. He willed her to understand that just as much as she needed her daughter…he needed her daughter.

“How are you going to help me?” She slumped her shoulders in defeat. She really didn’t have any other offers at the moment, so what would it hurt to hear him out, she thought. She took a seat and waited for Max to begin.

He chose his words carefully, knowing that honesty was going to be the only way she would even consider his proposition. “My parents died in a car accident when I was four years old and then I went to live with a foster family. When I turned five I came home from school one afternoon, and they were gone. They left me, like I was nothing. I went to live in an orphanage, which was probably one of the best things that happened to me. I met my best friend there, and I found the determination to make something of myself,” Liz heart constricted at his words. She had no idea, but she could completely sympathize. She had to wonder though, where he was going with this. Liz was about to ask, but Max had begun to speak again so she just listened.

“I’m telling you this not to feel sorry for me, but to understand that I know what it’s like to not have anything but the clothes on your back. I know that and I remember it. Alexis deserves more than that. I won’t presume to know or understand what you’ve gone through this past year with her, but I know I can help you.” Max pleaded her to let him help, he saw the wavering looking on her face, but it wasn’t going to be enough.

“Max, I…I don’t know what to do. You’re offer seems really great, but you don’t know me. How am I supposed to repay you? I can’t, I’ll never be able to pay you back. I can’t do that to you.” Liz finished biting back the tears that were evident in her voice.

“I can afford it, Liz. If that’s what you’re worried about,” Max began and then realized his mistake. She didn’t know who he was or what he did for a living for that matter.

“What are you like some millionaire or something?” Liz asked exasperatedly. Never expecting to hear the answer she was about to.

“Yes. I am. I am…or rather was the quarterback for the Saints.” He finished meekly. He didn’t want to think about not playing again. Right now he had to convince Liz to let him do this for her and Alexis.

“You…” she swallowed thickly. And then closed her eyes at the irony that was her life. “You play football?” she asked already knowing the answer.

“Yeah. I guess maybe we’re not all ogres after all huh?” Max asked with a twinkling in his eyes.

Liz gasped softly and then covered her mouth with her hand. She was completely mortified. “I’m sorry…I said that because…God, I didn’t mean that all of them were. I should learn to watch my mouth with an impressionable five year hold huh?” Liz looked to Max with a crooked smile on her face.

“I’d say so.” Their eyes locked and they both began to laugh. Their laugh was infectious and they couldn’t stop for a good ten minutes.

“So Max, what’s your plan?” Liz questioned after they sobered up.

“I’m asking you to let me take care of Alexis’ medical bills,” he saw her begin to protest so he pressed on.

“And I’m asking you to let me pay for her stay here. I know the doctors said that she was doing better, is that true?” He asked gently. Knowing how sensitive of a topic it was. Liz just nodded.

“Okay, so I’ll be leaving the hospital shortly. Probably in another two weeks. I will then hire a nurse to help me out at home until I’m fully recovered. If I ever…” he trailed off realizing he was getting off topic.

“Max…”

“Wait! Just let me finish. I don’t know if they are going to let her stay, Liz. If someone else comes and they need her bed, no amount of money in the world is going to get them to keep her here. So, I’ll pay for her stay and if it should come down to them needing the room, I’m asking you to let her stay with me.”

“What do you mean? Like in your room?” Liz asked somewhat dazed. Had she walked into the twilight zone? Here she was having a conversation with a man she just met, who was offering to pay thousands of dollars so that her daughter could stay in the hospital. In addition to that, he was a football player, someone Liz said she would never again associate herself with.

“It’s very big room, she can attest to that. I just want to give you the option; you don’t have to take it. In fact, if you don’t like that idea. I can get you and her a hotel room and then maybe we can work something else out,” he trailed off wondering if this would work. Would she accept or decline his offer?

Liz sat silently, she wasn’t sure if she was comfortable with Alexis leaving the hospital, not yet. She wasn’t ready for something else to happen and her not being prepared. But was she willing to swallow her pride and accept an offer from a stranger?

Was he still considered a stranger, when her daughter knew and trusted him so much? She thought no, but her pride would be shattered.

To hell with my pride, she chided herself. It terrified her and she would do anything make sure her daughter was taken care of properly. Even if it meant accepting Max’s offer.

Max watched the emotions flash across her face. He could tell she was torn. She was a strong woman to have shouldered all of this alone, but he wanted to help. Not out of pity but because if he was honest with himself, he wanted to get to know Alexis Rae Parker and her mother better.

“I don’t want her to leave here yet, Max.” Liz spoke up, her voice cracking softly. She closed her eyes and felt like such a failure as a mother.

“Okay,” he whispered out softly.

“I…if she has to leave her room. She can stay with you in yours but I want to be there, I’ve never slept without her.” The tears began to well in her eyes and Max wanted so badly to hold her but he figured she wouldn’t welcome it.

“Okay. Liz, it’s okay you know,” she looked up at him surprisingly. How did he know what she was feeling? Did he? She just nodded and the tears slipped down the side of her face one by one. Faster and faster and finally the uncontrollable sobs escaped past her lips and her body shook from the force of them.

“Liz,” he reached out to her and shockingly she moved from her chair and into his lap. He held her as she cried. He had a feeling that she had been holding it all in for so long, that she hadn’t allowed herself a moment to just breathe and let it all out.

“I…f-feel like…I failed and…” she cried into his neck and reveled in the feel of his warm arms around her. It had been a long time since someone held her, friend or otherwise.

“Shh, you didn’t fail. Liz you are so strong, probably one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. Your daughter, I can only imagine what it was like for her going through treatment, but it didn’t affect her spirit. She loves life, she’s so happy and God, the way she loves you is just beautiful. You did that Liz,” he whispered softly to her as her tears began to subside.

“Did what?” Liz queried, her interest piqued. How did this man that she hardly knew, have such wisdom about her life? She’d supposed that he had suffered a lot in his life to recognize the signs.

“You kept her spirit, her hopes and her faith alive. She looks up to you so much, to me that says a lot about a person’s character. I could only imagine what it would be like to have a child love me unconditionally because I was their whole world and everything in it.” Liz smiled against Max’s neck and pulled away to look at him. He reached up and swiped the tears from her eyes and willed her to understand that she wasn’t a failure for accepting his offer.

“Thank you for saying that,” she started and realized for the first time where she was. She slowly slid off his lap and stood.

“It’s the truth, Liz.” Max wasn’t sure what to do. He had never had that emotional of a talk with a woman before, this was all so new to him. He hoped that his words brought her some comfort.

“Thank you, Max. But I want you to know that I’m going to pay you back. It may take me forever but I will,” Liz finished determinately. Boy she was seriously stubborn, Max thought.

“Okay, how about this,” Max pretended to ponder her words and then continued. “When you’re let’s say…hmm let’s go with a nice round number, a hundred. You can start to pay me back.” Max finished with a knowing smirk on his lips and Liz shook her head and smiled before slapping his arm.

“Ow! That hurt!” Max feigned pain.

“Right. Oh so big football player hurt by a girl? I don’t think so, what would all your adoring fans say?” Liz placed her palm face up dramatically against her forehead.

“Wise ass. I’ll make you pay for that comment.”

“Oh bring it on! I love making football jokes, it’s like my pastime.” Liz turned and exited the room with Max trailing behind her. God, she was beautiful, he thought. Everything about her was perfect to Max.

“Ha ha! We’ll see about that. Just remember Liz you have a five year old that loves to talk. In fact, did you hear the one about the mother who took her daughter to the park and then fell in the duck pond?” Max called out behind her and Liz and whipped around to face Max.

“She told you about that?!” Liz hissed out in embarrassment.

“Yup, oh I’ve got a ton.” Liz was fuming; she couldn’t believe her daughter sold her out. She turned back and looked down at Max.

“This means war.” She smiled mischievously at him.

“Bring it on!” he said repeating her words from just moments ago. They both laughed softly before continuing down the hall.

They stopped in front of Alexis’ door but Liz had wanted to ask him a question all-day and decided now was a perfect time.

“Max?”

“Yeah?”

“What happened?” She motioned her head towards his wheelchair.

“Ogre accident,” he joked then laughed. Liz shook her head and joined in his mirth. She realized that Max really did have a good sense of humor. She hadn’t remembered laughing or crying so much in one day, and she had him to thank for it.

“I guess I’ll see you in a few hours for breakfast.” Liz smiled down at him. She still couldn’t believe how handsome he was without trying.

“Yes. I’ll be here. In fact, maybe it’ll be easier if you guys come to my room.” Max realized with three of them in Alexis’ small room it could be a little tight.

“Oh sure, that’s a great idea, what room?”

“I think a certain someone knows how to find me,” Max smirked before bidding Liz goodnight.

“Thank you, Max. For everything.” Liz leaned down and whispered into his ear before kissing his cheek. “Goodnight.” Liz smiled one last time over her shoulder at him before slipping into her daughter’s room.

Max sat there for a few moments taking in everything that had happened tonight. He was overwhelmed by the love that Liz had for her daughter. He always knew that, that’s how parents were supposed to be with their children. He wished he had that in his life sometimes, but now because he didn’t he was going to be able to give Alexis’ and Liz everything they deserved.

This turned out to be a fantastic day, he thought. He was getting to know Liz Parker. He was beginning to understand that she wasn’t just another beautiful face, and that she had had a hard life, just like he had. That alone, if nothing else, would make Max work twice as hard when it came time for him to leave the hospital, to convince Liz to leave with him.

TBC…
Last edited by Behrsgirl77 on Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:09 pm

A/N - Talk about waiting until the last minute. Okay guys I literally just finished this part a few minutes ago. Thanks to La'Shon for looking it over so quickly *muah*

Some quick thank you's to:

Emz80m
vampyrax
Michelle17
Spacegal17
Dreamer 4 Ever
kay_b
Mariael311
RoswellScripter
Ellie
linliz68
Earth2Mama
FSUMSW94
frenchkiss70
cherie
CandyXDreamer
Jason's Lover
Behrsgirl1230
BehrObsession
taressa05
Dreamer06

Timelord31 - Thank you...for everything...I hope you know what that means (lol) :wink:
g7silvers
hazz
Bixie
begonia9508
Alien614
rigel
RoninBehr
Raychelxluscious
Sweet Liz
out of this world

CrashandBurn8321 - uhm yeah Monday's lol!
Lurkers

I hope I didn't miss anyone...If I did...sorry!!

Hope you enjoy and thank you guys so much!


Chapter 6

“Hey Maxwell, what’s going on? It’s kind of early for a wake up call for me,” Michael said rolled out of bed the next morning to the sound of his best friend’s voice on the phone.

“Yeah, I know sorry about that. But do you think you could swing buy Rosie’s and pick up some stuff for me? Alexis and Liz are going to…”

“Who’s Liz?”

“That’s Alexis’ mother, didn’t I tell you?” Max asked because so much had already happened in one day, that he honestly couldn’t remember.

“Ah, okay. So, you want me to bring breakfast? Do you have a date already?” Michael teased already grabbing a pair of boxers from his top drawer to take a quick shower.

“No asshole, it’s not even like that.”

“Right. Max you and women don’t exactly have intellectual conversations in case you forgot,” Michael commented not to be mean, but simply speaking the truth.

“Shit! I know that, but it really is different with Liz. She’s just…different.” Max ran a frustrated hand through his hair. He didn’t know what the hell was wrong with him. How could one woman affect him so much in such a short period of time? Then he realized he’d asked himself a similar question after his first meeting with Alexis.

“I understand. So what do you want me to bring?” After a few minutes of listening to Max rattle off some breakfast items, Michael readied himself with a quick shower. Max had explained that he wanted to talk to him before Liz and Alexis arrived. That however wasn’t what had Michael’s mind reeling though, what did was the fact that Max asked for his checkbook.

After his shower, Michael ran over to Max’s house and grabbed his checkbook, which was kept in a locked safe. Mainly because Max barely ever used it. He didn’t have to; he had an account with just about every restaurant, clothing and dealership for that matter. Every quarter he would just pay them all off. Max didn’t have an accountant for that matter. He didn’t trust anyone with his money, only Michael. But that was it.

Michael arrived at the hospital about forty minutes later. He made his way down the hall and was stopped by a familiar voice. He subconsciously fixed his shirt and hoped to hell he remembered to brush his hair before he left the house.

“Hi Michael, right?” He turned and was struck once again with the enchanting green-eyed beauty.

“That’s right, Maria.” He remembered her name! She was practically doing back flips.
“So, you’ve got some food there I see,” she smiled at him knowingly.

“Oh, I’m sorry am I not allowed to?”

“No, actually you’re not, but if you hurry up and get your butt in Max’s room, I won’t tell anyone.” She smiled brightly before turning her attention back to her paperwork and Michael was left speechless. He should ask her out. Where the hell did that come from, he thought.

Maria chanced a glace back up at him and found him staring at her. He looked like he wanted to say something, but what?

Oh well, she thought as he turned on his heels and entered Max’s room. Maria’s shoulders sank and she went about busying herself. She should have just asked him out.

****

”Mommy, do you like Max?” Alexis asked watching her mother getting dressed.

”Yes, I do. And I already know you do.” Liz turned and smiled at her daughter, who simply blushed. Liz skimmed through her bag for a brush and made her way over to her daughter. She needed to hurry if they were going to have breakfast in enough time for her to not be late for work.

“I do mommy. He’s so nice and funny and he likes my stories. And I like his friend Mike too.” Alexis said beaming brightly. Liz just smiled combing her daughter’s hair. Then went about fixing herself up, doing her hair nicely and putting two clips on the side to hold it away from her face. She dressed wearing a black skirt and light blue blouse and finished it off with a pair of black high heels.

“Mommy, you look beautiful!” Alexis stood on the bed watching her mother fixing her hair in the bathroom.

Liz peaked her head out of the bathroom to regard her daughter, “Thank you sweetheart.” Liz was looking for her purse when heard daughter begin to ramble.

“Mommy, Max plays football but he’s not an ogre mommy, he’s not.” Alexis tried to defend Max to her mother. She thought maybe her mommy didn’t know that he played football and when she found out she wouldn’t like him.

“I know he’s not,” Liz began with a heavy sigh. “Sweetheart, when I said that I shouldn’t have, because I didn’t mean to generalize everyone.” Liz lifted her daughter off the bed and onto the floor.

“Mommy, what’s generalize?” Liz had to smile at how smart her daughter was. Ever since she was in the hospital, Alexis wasn’t able to attend school. So Liz made it a point to teach her daughter all that she could, and Liz prided herself on the fact that her daughter could read better than most five year olds.

“That means that I said that all football players are ogres, but only some of them are.” Liz didn’t know why but she always found it difficult to explain things that she did or said to her daughter. Sometimes it was hard for her to get Alexis to understand exactly what she means. Liz knew it would change as she got older, but times like these, Liz wished she’d never said it aloud.

“Oh,” Alexis began, but she really didn’t understand what her mommy was saying.

“And before you call someone a name, you should be sure that you really know the person,” Liz started as they made their way towards the door. “Actually, scratch that. You should never call people names, it’s not nice.” Liz finished with a tilt of her chin down at her daughter.

“Oh, okay mommy. Mommy, can I go home soon? I miss Riley.” Liz wondered just how many thoughts ran through her daughter’s mind at once. She jumped from one topic to another once she was satisfied with an answer she received.

“You do? I thought you didn’t like him messing with your dolls?” Liz joked leaning down and fixing her daughter’s pajama bottoms. Alexis didn’t want to wear a gown today; she wanted to wear her pink ‘Hello Kitty’ pajamas.

“I don’t but I still miss him.” Alexis finished softly. As much as she liked the people in the hospital, she wanted to go home. She wanted to play with her dolls and she wanted Riley to lick her face, even though she pretended that she didn’t like it.

Liz didn’t have the heart to tell her what happened to Riley. It would come up eventually, but right now she wasn’t ready for the waterworks her daughter was sure to spill once she told her.

“Honey, I have to talk to you about that later tonight, but right now we have to go to Max’s room for breakfast.” Liz rushed out hoping it would gear her daughter’s attention elsewhere.

“Oh! That’s right! Mommy, do I look pretty?” Alexis asked brushing back her ruthless curls away from her face.

“You look beautiful,” Liz smiled and kneeled down in front of her daughter. She kissed the tip of her nose and then her cheeks.

“Thank you,” Alexis smiled brightly and hugged her mother.

“Welcome, baby.” Liz began to stand but was stopped by her daughter’s question.

“Do you think Max will like my pajamas?” Liz found it odd that her daughter cared so much about what Max thought of her.

“Of course he will,” Liz assured her but found that she needed to find out something for herself. “Honey can I ask you a question?”

“Yup!”

“Why did you pick Max?”

“What do you mean mommy?” Alexis looked at her mother confusingly.

“I mean there are a lot of sick people in the hospital why did you pick him to talk to and be around?” Alexis became serious and said, “He was the saddest one mommy. He was all alone and he needed me.” Alexis reached out and hugged her mother and kissed her cheek softly. And then in true child fashion she ran outside the door.

They make their way down the hall and Liz is fixing herself. She couldn’t figure out why she was nervous all of a sudden. It’s not like her and Max didn’t have a very serious conversation yesterday. She chided herself, she was an adult she could handle this attraction she had towards him.

Attraction?

No, that’s not what it was. Was it? It was a simple crush. No. Not a crush. It was, oh hell Liz didn’t know what it was. She hadn’t felt this way in a long time.

Alexis stopped and watched her mother outside of Max’s door. She looked, nervous. Alexis knew that look; her mommy had it all the time when the doctor’s would come to her room. She figured she would cheer her mommy up.

“Don't worry mommy, Max already likes you.”

“Oh yeah? And how do you know that?” Liz smiled down at her daughter’s innocent face and waited for the response.

“Cause mommy, you’re beautiful.” Alexis finished as if it were the most logical answer in the world.

****

Just where the hell was Michael? Max was beginning to worry. He needed to talk to Michael before Liz and Alexis arrived at his room. He wasn’t even sure what time they would get there. He figured it was going to be around the same time Alexis came to his room daily.

“Hey Maxwell,” Michael peeked his head inside his best friends room.

“You made it,” Max sat up and was already dressed in his pajama bottoms and top. The hospital refused to let him wear regular clothing, so he had to take what he could get.

“Did you have any doubt?” Michael entered the room and placed the bags on the table then shrugged off his jacket and took a seat on the couch across the room.

“No, it’s just I needed to talk to you about something,” Max began vaguely.

“Max would just spit it out, you’re making me all nervous,” Michael was seriously starting to wonder just what the hell was going on with his best friend.

“It’s Alexis…Liz, both of them. They’re homeless Michael,” Max looked up and saw the understanding cross Michael’s face.

“Wow, that’s just…so what’s up?” Michael leaned over and rested his elbows on his knees to regard his friend.

“Liz can’t afford to keep Alexis here, she’s better but Liz doesn’t have anywhere to take her, so I offered to pay and…”

“That’s unbelievable,” Michael stood and ran a hand through his unruly sandy brown hair. Max mistook Michael’s word and automatically went on the defense.

“I can’t just let them go out on the street, you know how that is Michael. I don’t need to tell you, but…” Michael whipped his head around, obviously his friend had been on too much medication, he thought amusingly.

“Maxwell, you know me better than that. I think it’s great. So what happens afterwards, when you leave?” Max took a deep breath before speaking.

“I’m going to ask Liz to live with me,” he waited for Michael’s reaction, but never received one. Instead he was met with a loud knock that seemed to reverberate throughout the room.

“Max!” Max couldn’t help but smile at the sound of her small voice. “Lexi, don’t yell! Just wait until he answers,” Liz began and Max couldn’t help but laugh at Liz trying to reprimand her daughter. Michael watched his friend’s features closely and as soon as he yelled for Alexis and Liz to enter the room, his entire demeanor changed.

He was calm, the worry etched across his face only moments ago seemed to disappear and he was…happy.

“Max!” Alexis ran to him and he was already sitting up ready to receive the hug she so graciously wanted to shower him with.

“Morning princess,” Max wrapped his arms around her and let her back down on her feet, then turned towards the door.

“Morning, Liz.” Liz just smiled shyly at him. “Morning.” She wasn’t sure just what to do with herself so she began to wring her hands together. Max noticed right away, “Liz, I’d like you to meet my best friend Michael. Michael this is, Liz. Alexis’ mother.”

“Nice to finally meet you, lord knows I know a lot about you already,” Michael smirked and Liz just laughed softly. Her laugh was definitely addictive, Max thought. He had felt the same last night and was pleasantly surprised that he still felt the same about it this morning.

“Nice to meet you too,” Liz wasn’t sure just how much Michael knew about her and she was feeling just a little bit ashamed that she needed Max’s help.

“Max, I’m hungry,” Alexis’ voice broke through the awkwardness in the air surrounding them. Liz silently thanked her daughter for the reprieve.

***

Breakfast was uneventful, other than Alexis talking to Max about what foods she liked and didn’t like the room was quiet.

Liz found it humorous that both Alexis and Max ate alike. If they didn’t like something they’d pick at it and then move along to the next thing. She also had to groan inwardly when she found out Max’s favorite food was hot dogs and watermelon. How is it possible for two complete strangers to love the same food, she thought to herself.

Max couldn’t help but watch Liz intently throughout breakfast. She looked amazing today and he wondered if the effect she had on him would dissipate, as it did with all of the other girls in his life.

Michael, however was trying to figure out how in the hell he was going to ask Maria out. Would she even say yes? He needed to find out and by the looks of it, Max needed to be alone with Liz and Alexis. Michael smiled to himself, looks like his best friend was turning over a new leaf. He just wondered if when Max was finally out of the hospital if he would still look at the world the same way he did before the accident.

“Hey, Maxwell. I’m gonna get going now. I have a few things to do before work,” Max barely acknowledged him and simply nodded his head.

“Okay honey, mommy needs to head off to work. So why don’t we get you to your room so you can watch cartoons?” Liz leaned down and wiped of her daughter’s hands.

“Okay, but can I come back later?” Alexis looked over her mother’s shoulder at Max.

“Of course. We have to have lunch together,” Max winked and waited for Liz to finish up.

“Thanks for breakfast, Max. I’ll talk to you later.” Liz turned and reached for the door but Max’s voice stopped her.

“Liz, do you think you could just stop by on your way out?” Max asked hopefully. There was something he needed to talk to her about.

“Sure, I’ll be right back.” She smiled and slipped out the door with Alexis who was extremely reluctant to leave.

A few minutes later, Liz returned and entered Max’s room. He was sitting in his wheelchair by the window.

“You wanted to talk to me?”

“Yes, I just, I wondered if you were still going to be working late tonight.” Max felt like he was invading her privacy but things needed to be said.

“No, I’m thinking of quitting my second job. For now anyway, at least until I figure out what happens when we leave here,” Liz finished softly. God, she couldn’t stand looking at him. His eyes bore into her and she felt her entire body hum to life. This was not normal for her. No man ever had that kind of effect on her.

“Liz, I wanted to talk to you about that…” he began only to be cut off.

“No, Max it’s okay. You’ve helped more than enough.”

“But Liz,”

“No. Max she’s my daughter and I just…I can’t talk about this right now.” Liz rushed out and reached for the door.

“Later then?” He whispered out. And she just squeezed her eyes shut and let out a heavy sigh. She wasn’t angry with him, she already figured out pretty much what he wanted to talk about. But she wasn’t sure if she was ready. Liz knew that Max was going to ask her and Alexis to move in with him, but could she? She really didn’t know him and…then she stopped and thought once again if she was looking for an excuse to not accept the offer she just knew Max was going to present her.

Thinking that she didn’t know him was wrong. Max opened up to her daughter and treated her, fittingly enough, like a princess. So, why shouldn’t she accept the offer?

Because she was once again failing, she thought. For the first time in her life, Liz Parker couldn’t take care of her own child. She had never had to ask for help in her life. Then again didn’t have a choice. She had no one.

“Yes. I promise later.” Max nodded and watched her slip out the door. He truly hoped she did not fight him too bad on this.


****

A few hours passed and Max was able to settle up Alexis’ bill and then decided to call Michael and see how things were going. He and Alexis had spent their lunch together before she took off for her nap. It was now later in the day and Max was just waiting for Liz to arrive back at the hospital.

“Excellent,” was Michael’s response and right away Max knew something was up.

“So, why are you so happy?”

“No reason, except maybe for the fact that I have a date tonight!” Michael smiled into the phone.

“Maria?” Max asked but already figured that was the answer.

“Yes, man she is just…something. How’s everything going there?”

“Good. I just wanted to know how you felt about me asking Liz and Alexis to move in with me?” Max wasn’t sure what Michael’s reaction would be. Did he think he’d finally lost his mind?”

“Maxwell, I think it’s a great idea. I do,” Michael began hesitantly.

“But…” Max questioned.

“Max you don’t exactly lead the…the…”

“I know. You don’t have to say it. I’m a player.” Max finished self depreciatingly.

“Max, you just need to change your lifestyle if you’re going to be living with a five year old.”

“Right. I can do that,” Max was trying to convince himself as he spoke. Of course he could! He was a grown man after all.

“Okay, sounds good. Look I gotta go get ready. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Bye.” Max hung up the phone and was trying to decide how exactly to approach the subject with Liz. He didn’t want her on the defense and he didn’t want to insult her either.

A few minutes later he was still trying to figure it out when he heard a knock on his door. He yelled for whomever it was to enter.

“Hey Liz, I wasn’t expecting you so soon.” If he was honest, he was damn glad to see her. She still looked as good as she did this morning to him. Her hair was out of place and her cheeks were flushed, probably from her walk from the parking lot to his room. Breathtaking was the only word he could use to describe her at this point.

“Yeah, sorry. I just wanted to stop by before I went to Alexis’ room,” she started softly as she made her way to his bedside.

“I won’t keep you long. I just…I wondered if you would possibly,” he began but Liz’s shuddering breath and her whispered words stopped him.

“We’ll come with you, Max.” This was a jagged pill Liz would have to swallow for her daughter’s sake.

“What?” Max asked in disbelief. He must have heard her wrong.

“I said, Alexis and I will come with you when you are ready to leave the hospital.” Liz ducked her head and waited for his response.

“Liz, thank you.” Her head snapped up and she looked at him in confusion.

“I think I should be the one thanking you,” she finished sadly.

“No, Liz. Thank you for letting me be a part of Alexis’ life,” and yours he wanted to say but didn’t.

Liz smiled at him softly before bidding him goodnight.

“Night, Liz.”

His mind was reeling. He couldn't believe that she didn't fight him, but then in the back of his mind he knew that Liz was paying a price for accepting. She felt like she wasn't good enough but he would just have to make sure that she understood what this meant to him.

Finally, all the money he worked so hard for was going to be able to help someone that meant a lot to him.

TBC…

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Behrsgirl77
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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:36 pm

A/N – First of all HAPPY 4TH OF JULY! Secondly, I do have a new part I finished not long ago. Thirdly, I just feel the need to point this out to some of you, please keep in mind this story is based on a challenge, which means that, yes if people wanted they could take a peek at what it says, but some people don’t and haven’t so before you post something in your feedback and gives something away, don’t (lol) If you really need to know, or if you think something PM me…I’d be more than happy to answer your questions. I just wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone else. Thanks!!

Thank you all so much for your great feedback!!! I appreciate it so much. Glad to you know you all like it.


FSUMSW94 – My lifesaver. Seriously I wish I could get you these parts sooner rather than later like I do with the rest. It’s all my muse’s fault lol!
Dreamer 4 Ever – Sparks will fly, what happens to them is another question ;)
googi - I totally agree, he is hot LOL But yeah, she feels like that now but I think she’s stronger than the situation so we’ll just see how Liz does ;)
Behrsgirl1230 – hahaha!! I love it! The hookup!
Earth2Mama – Oh now why do I know you wouldn’t be bothered if the relationship was more than friendship? Hmm…lol!
g7silvers – I agree she shouldn’t feel like a failure, but don’t worry Max isn’t going to let her get away with that kind of thinking J
taressa05 – ITA with you! The next part will actually delve into that and hopefully Liz will see what everyone else sees…at least a little.
RoswellScripter – Actually I’ll tell you his lifestyle won’t come back to haunt him, that doesn’t mean it’s all gone either ;)
linliz68 – LOL Glad you enjoyed a little M&M action, I’m going to try and incorporate a little more of it. It’s been a while since I’ve written them.
Michelle17 – Thanks
Mariael311 – Hell I hope it works too…shit I need to seriously write for this lol
FamersAmers – Hey glad you made it back
Surfgirl02 – Hmm, the mystery dad shall remain exactly that until I’m ready for you guys to know. Then again this story seems to have a mind of it’s own when I sit down to write it so who knows if he’ll even be in it lol!
OmegaRam1 – Thank you! So happy you are enjoying it! Means I’m doing something right.
confusedfool – Nope no fighting…yet J
Dreamer06 – Yeah a little candy action here and there…I’m trying lol
CandyXDreamer – Ahh…the chemistry…nuff said.
hazz – Oh God! Just wait until they get to Max’s house LOL!!
su-lyn - Couldn’t have said it better, it’s not charity to Max at all.
true blue – Hey Lisa…I post on Mondays. Unfortunately I usually write far ahead on my fics, but this one won’t let me…lol!
Kay_b – Thanks! And I need to talk to you on chat…soon! LOL
begonia9508 – LOL. No Liz is still going to work and save up her money…for now;)
Sweet Liz – Thanks
Emz80m – Thanks
BehrObsession – Your feedback makes me smile. And you are exactly right, the more time Max spends with them…the more he changes. Thanks!
frenchkiss70 – Yes Max is misguided…poor thing. Luckily Alexis and Liz are there so set him straight ;)
Ellie – Your mind is always in the gutter, no? LOL! J/k You know what I mean. Angst…yes…sexiness…yes
uw51 – Hi! Thank you for stopping in and letting me know how much you are enjoying the story! LOL Yeah I wish I could post this more often, but for some reason I can only get parts for this story out of my head about an hour before I’m gonna post…weird. I’ll work on it though.
Raychelxluscious – *Muah!* You know you saved my ass a few hours ago, of course it’s your challenge so I expect it LOL!! Hahaha! All I have to say is some people GRR Love you!
cherie – Didn’t get to comment on this on another story, but I’m so very happy to hear you are working on a new story. I know you told me the name of one or two of them, but I just can’t wait. *Muah*
Bixie – Oh Alexis will have a big part in Max and Liz’s lives coming together…just not yet
GottaFeedTheMonkey1257 – Hi! Love the name by the way! You wanted M/L interaction…you got it! Thanks!
rigel – Thank you!!
Micheala141 – Hi! Hmm, we’ll have to see about Alexis won’t we? Thanks!
catjh2001 – Hi! Glad you are enjoying it so far. Well I can say this, Riley is not dead, that would be too cruel of me ;) Thanks!
out of this world – Hey Carol! You know because I you I never have to hunt this fic down to post a new part? Thank girlie! Hugs
Lurkers and Anyone I may have missed - Sorry and Thank you!

Chapter 7

“So what’s the verdict doc?” Max asked from his hospital bed the next afternoon. He’d been gone all morning with the doctors, running tests on top of tests.

“Mr. Evans, I’d say that the results are better than we originally anticipated.” Max straightened a little. What did that mean? Would he be able to play again? Max turned a curious gaze towards the doctor who had yet to elaborate further on the findings of the tests.

“Just for your information, doc. You might not want to give a patient that information and then just leave them blowing in the wind. Catch my drift?”

“Oh yes. I understand. I am very happy to report that you will make a full recovery, with extensive therapy and…”

“I’ll be able to play again?!” Max asked enthusiastically. It was just getting better and…

“Mr. Evans, I can’t tell you what to do with your life, but I will give you my professional opinion.”

“Which is?” Max retorted with a wave of his hand.

“If you were to suffer such an injury later on, you will not be as lucky. Risking further damage to that area should just not be done. You will be able to walk again. You were lucky. I wouldn’t want you taking that risk and maybe not being so lucky in the future.”

Max wasn’t sure how to respond, so he didn’t. He waited for the doctor to give him a few more instructions before leaving the room.

What should he do? He needed someone to talk to. He leaned over and dialed Michael’s cell phone.

“Hello?”

“Hey Michael, you busy?”

“Hey Maxwell, actually I just got a call from a customer. And I need to fly out tonight to Pittsburgh. What’s up?”

“Nothing. It’s nothing really. Give me a call when you get there.” Max finished quickly before hanging up.

Now he was left in a quiet room with only his thoughts to keep him company. He decided maybe watching television would help.

It didn’t. What was the first thing that came on the screen? A football game. Just his luck, he thought.

After about twenty minutes of drowning in his sorrow’s Max flicked off the television but as soon as he did, he heard a light rasp against his door.

“Come in!” he shouted to the visitor.

As soon as he saw the pink slippers a smile lit up his face. Then he saw her brown curls from around the door and her big brown eye peek out from behind it.

“Hello princess,” Max smiled and waved her in.

“Hi, are you better?” Alexis asked hesitantly. She had come by in the morning to see Max but the nurse said he was getting tests. She didn’t like tests.

“I’m doing great! How about you?” He watched her shuffle into the room. She looked like she had a lot on her mind, he wondered what?

“I’m good.” There was something wrong. He hoped to God there was nothing physically wrong with her.

“Alexis, are you sure you’re okay?” Max asked sitting up a little straighter. He was still in a little pain and had a lot of discomfort, but he was used to it.

“Yes,” she mumbled out softly.

“But?”

“The nurse told me you had tests. Were they bad tests?” Alexis turned to him searching his face to see if she could tell. He didn’t look sad, so maybe they were good tests.

“No, they weren’t. In fact, the doctors told me I’d be better in no time. So, I’m okay. Is that what you were worried about?” Max asked and he felt his stomach flutter, how odd he thought?

“Yay! I’m so happy for you! I was just afraid that it was the bad tests,” Alexis finished in a staged whisper.

“Come here,” Max waved her on to join him on the bed. He scooted over giving her plenty of room.

“What?” Alexis turned and faced Max.

“You don’t have to worry about me. I’m a big guy I can handle it,” Max began and couldn’t help but push back one of the ruthless curls away from her face.

“Now, what time does your mommy work until?”

“I dunno. She comes back when it’s dark.” Alexis began innocently and Max couldn’t help but laugh. She looked exactly like Liz. Everything about her exuded Liz; it didn’t look like there was any father involved in creating her. Which, he wondered if it were a good thing or not.

“Do you have your mommy’s number at work?” Alexis turned and smiled brightly.

“Yes! I know my mommy’s number, she told me to call her whenever I need her,” Alexis smiled and watched as Max placed the phone in his lap and asked her the number.

****

Liz was having for the first time in years, a very good day at work. It was fairly quiet and therefore she was able to get a lot of work done that she’d been behind on. She had stopped by the diner she worked at this afternoon and quit. She realized that she couldn’t work two jobs anymore. Once she and Alexis moved in with Max, Alexis would need to go to school. Which meant that someone would need to be home when Alexis got home.

It was close to quitting time when her phone rang. She placed her pen down and answered it.

“Marcus and Associates, Liz speaking. How may I help you?” Max listened with Alexis really close to his ear trying to eavesdrop. Max had asked that Alexis stay quiet until he was done talking to her mother. She just giggled and said okay.

“Yes, I was wondering if maybe you could help me out?” Max finished in his best professional voice.

“I’ll try, Sir. I’d be more than happy to assist you, just let me know what you need,” Liz rolled her eyes and wanted to gag. She hated being so sugary sweet to some clients. But it was a job and it paid well so she went along with it.

“Of course,” Max started and tried not to laugh out loud. It was odd to him how he could just picture her rolling her eyes wishing that whomever was on the other end of the phone would just speed up the torture process. It was the tone of her voice. Although Max did not know Liz well enough, he did know her voice. He could already tell when she was genuinely happy about something, when she was upset and even when she was holding back. That revelation came to him last night after Liz left his room, it left him very confused about what he was feeling.

He didn’t have time right now to think about it again because he needed to get the phone call over with.

“I need four hotdogs with mustard and relish, half a watermelon and a bottle of cherry coke to wash it all down with,” Max joked and Alexis stifled her laugh with her tiny hand.

Liz removed the phone from her ear and looked at it. What was she expecting? She wasn’t sure but she had to wonder just who the hell was calling her with her daughter’s favorite…wait!

“Max?”

“That’s me!” Max smiled into the phone.

“You jerk! I was about to say, who the hell is this?” Liz laughed.

“Sorry, I thought it would be funny,” he said shyly.

Shyly? Since when the hell was Max Evans shy? Never, that’s when. What was going on with him, he thought.

“Is Alexis alright?” Liz asked, knowing full well that if something were wrong Max wouldn’t be joking with her.

“She’s fine. She’s right here trying to listen in. I actually wanted to call you and find out what time you got off work.”

“Actually, I’m off in about forty-five minutes.”

“Good, so how about you seriously swing by and get us some real food. And we’ll eat dinner together?” Max asked hopeful. She had to eat too, right?

“Actually, that sounds like a great idea. Let me talk to Alexis real quick.”

“Sure, thanks Liz.”

“Your welcome. I can’t let the two of you starve, or God forbid have you eat hospital food. It’s so below your standards,” Liz joked.

“Very true. I can’t wait to get out of here and have real food.” Max quipped lightly.

“Yeah I have to say I can’t wait for a home cooked meal myself.” Liz smiled into the phone. She didn’t know why, but it was just so easy to talk to Max about anything. Serious or otherwise. She wasn’t sure yet if that was a good or bad.

“I’ll add that to my to do list, but I should warn you Liz, I can’t cook.”

“It figures,” Liz mumbled out. Max smiled and decided that he needed to let her go. He turned and gave the phone to Alexis.

“Hi mommy!” Alexis beamed brightly into the phone.

“Hey baby. How are you doing?”

“I’m good! Max is gonna be all better too, mommy!” Alexis smiled at Max who was watching her closely. She wondered what he thought about.

“I’m glad. I’m going to come and bring you and Max dinner in a few minutes,”

“Yeah! We are gonna eat all together mommy?” Alexis asked and Liz could just hear the excitement in her daughter’s voice.

“Yes sweetheart we are.”

“Yay! Okay mommy I’ll see you in a little bit, okay?” Liz smiled at her daughter’s sweet voice.

“Yes. Love you.”

“Love you too, mommy. Bye.” Alexis handed the phone back to Max after her mommy hung up.

“Max, did my mommy tell you we are gonna have dinner here with you, together?”

“Yes she did. So how about we watch some television until she gets here?”

“Okay, but can it be cartoons?” Max shook his head when she pouted her lips. She would definitely have him eating out of the palm of her hand in no time.

“Of course.”

Alexis smiled and reached for the remote out of Max’s hands.

In no time at all, he thought.

****

After dinner, Liz took Alexis to her room and put her to bed. Max had told her if she wanted and she wasn’t tired, she could return to his room.

Liz was seriously second guessing herself as she stood outside of Max’s hospital room. She wasn’t sure of herself around him, she was always telling him things about herself. Things she never told anyone, like her fears. Liz never voiced them to anyone, except for Max.

Taking a deep breath she opened his door and found him staring up at the television.

“Anything good?” she asked breaking his staring contest with the screen.

“Oh, nah. Just a game.” Max quickly flicked off the television. He watched as Liz took a seat on the couch. She looked so beautiful tonight, he thought. Fragile and beautiful. He tried not to stare, but it was almost impossible for him. No one had ever grabbed his attention for longer than one night. Yet she had without even trying.

“So, you miss it huh?” Liz asked softly.

“Yeah. It was my life. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do,” Max started and wasn’t sure if he wanted to venture down this road with her. She apparently hated football players and he needed someone to talk to about football. She was not the best candidate.

“What did they say? You know, about you playing again?” Liz asked and could see the disappointment written across his face. She wasn’t sure if she should even be asking him, but decided why not? She already shared her hardship with him and he listened; she could at least do the same for him.

Max looked at her confusingly but got himself together quickly before answering her question.

“Actually the doctor told me today that I will make a full recovery,” he started and watched as Liz’s face lit up in happiness. He felt a flutter again, but brushed it off.

“That’s great news! So that means you’ll be able to play again and…” she began but watched as Max shook his head.

“Yeah. I could. But he told me that if I injure myself like this again, I won’t recover and it will most likely be permanent.” Max finished sadly and Liz immediately stood and was by his bedside in an instant.

“I’m sorry, Max. That’s…that must be really hard,” she reached out her hands to him and cupped his larger hand in hers.

“It is. And I don’t know what to do.” He felt the coldness when she ripped her hands away from him.

“What do you mean? You don’t know what to do?” she asked incredulously.

“I meant that I don’t know if I should play or not,” he tried to explain but saw that she was angry?

“How do you not know? Max, you’ve been given a second chance; to walk again, to run, to not be confined to a hospital bed or wheelchair, and you don’t know what you should do?” she crossed her arms over her chest and began pacing the room. Max was confused, why was she so upset with him?

“Liz, it’s what I know and without it I don’t know who I am, or who I’m supposed to be,” Max finished flatly.

“Max, I know I don’t know you that well but if I could just say something here,” she looked at him for approval, which he gave.

“I know that you are great with my daughter. I know that she smiles around you and that you’ve made a huge impact on her. She worries about you, hell I think she worries about you more than me. Which is fine, but don’t you see? You are so much more than a sport you play. You might be good; hell you might even be great. But what happens when you can’t walk anymore? Who will you be then?” Liz asked wanting him to answer the question in his heart and mind first.

“I…”

“It’s not really my place or anything. I just think that life throws us obstacles we aren’t prepared for, but that’s not the test. The test is how we get over them and live our lives. I don’t know you as a football player. I know you as Max Evans the man who is going to help my daughter, even though he doesn’t even know us that well. I know you as Max Evans, who treats my daughter as if she were his own. I know you as a man who has a very big heart, but just doesn’t see it.” Liz finished her speech with tears in swimming in her eyes.

Max was blown away by her words, and they touched a part of him he didn’t know existed until that very moment. He’d never had any woman affect him…affect his heart and suddenly Max Evans found himself falling in love with a woman he barely even knew.


TBC…
Last edited by Behrsgirl77 on Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Behrsgirl77
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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:51 pm

A/N - Hey guys I'm back with a new part. Yes I'd like to get these out sooner but my muse just won't let me :roll:

Since I'm tired as hell...just some quick thank you's! And hello to some new readers and some lurkers :wink: I appreciate all of you taking the time to let me know how much you are enjoying the story so far. Just knowing that you guys are looking forward to new parts is what makes me write quicker and stay on top of it :wink:


FSUMSW94 - 8)
Raychelxluscious - You know I'm nervous that you read this...what if I totally f' up your idea?! :? lol!
vampyrax
RoninBehr
Dreamer06
RoswellScripter
Ellie
taressa05
linliz68
trueblue
flyawayraven
cherie
brighteyes
FamersAmers
frenchkiss70
begonia9508
kay_b

Mariael311 - Di, thanks for the bump :wink:
Bixie
BehrObsession
googi
g7silvers
Behrsgirl1230
Sweet Liz
littlewind
Timelord31
GottaFeedTheMonkey1257
DreamerAZ04

Smac - :oops: You are just too kind to me. Trust me when I say I know next to nothing about children. I'm completely faking this LOL Talk about a challenged!
rigel
Jason's Lover
Earth2Mama
monkeycgm
VeronicB

Lurkers


Chapter 8

They sat together in the quiet room. Max was still moved by her words and Liz was speechless. Had she just said all of that to him? She had and she wouldn’t take it back either.

After a few minutes Max’s gaze drifted to the television. It was still off but he wondered how the game was going. He was broken from his revere at the sound of Liz’s voice.

“How long have you been playing?” she asked softly.

“Since I was in high school. I got drafted first pick out of college to the NFL,” Max answered, their gazes locked.

“How old are you?” Liz shifted on the couch tucking her feet underneath her. She rested her head against the armrest to regard Max.

“Twenty seven. How about you? What’s your story?” Max answered as he leaned back a little further and tilted his head towards her direction.

“Well, I’m twenty three,” she started and she could see Max doing the calculations.

“Yeah, I was eighteen when I had her.” She watched Max’s reaction closely. Was she looking for disgust? Honestly, she had no idea. She didn’t know too many people and the one’s she did, didn’t even know anything about her.

“I was in my first year of college. I didn’t have a lot of money growing up so I knew I’d have to get a scholarship, and I worked my butt off for it. But then I met this guy, who I thought I was so in love with, and I got pregnant. Now I’m an administrative assistant and I was working at a local diner for my second job.” Liz finished quickly. That was more about her than anyone knew. She still hadn’t figured out why it was so easy to talk to him. Maybe because he never seemed to judge her, and he’d only comforted her every time she needed it since she’d known him.

“What about your family? Or friends or…” Max began. To be honest, his mind was reeling. She was eighteen and alone with a baby. To Max she was one remarkable woman.

Liz shrugged at his question, “I don’t have any. My mother died in a car accident with my younger brother when I was eight. My father never got over it. I still think he loved my brother more than he ever did me. He wanted a son and when Chris died…so did my father. Eventually he just decided that he didn’t want me anymore and he left me on the doorstep of the police department before skipping town. I was adopted and basically I just stayed inside,” she tried to hide the emotion in her voice. Max wished that he could get off the bed and hold her, but he couldn’t so he tried to convey through eye contact how sorry he was that she’d gone through that.

“I didn’t do too much but study. My foster parents ignored me most of the time anyway. So when I finally graduated I had all these plans for my future. Then I find out I’m pregnant and those plans changed.” Liz finished swallowing thickly. She saw a look in Max’s eyes. Again it wasn’t pity. It was more like…sympathy. It warmed her heart that he cared enough to listen to her without any pity.

“That must have been something,” Max began and then he asked the question he’d wanted to ask since he’d met Alexis.

“What about her father?” Max whispered out. He saw her flinch but she gathered herself together and sat up. He watched her cross the room and take a seat next to him. He could tell this was hard, but maybe she needed someone to talk to. And if she did, Max vowed he’d be there for her no matter what. Funny how he never even took the time to find out the last names of the girls he slept with, and here he was wanting to know every single detail about this woman he didn’t even have a chance of sleeping with. That was a definite shock to Max’s system.

“Jimmy was a football player at the college I went to. I’d never been in love, hell I never even dated before him and so it was all new and exciting. We didn’t date for long at all then one night I decided I loved him enough. I look back now and realize that loving someone enough is not a really good reason for sleeping with them. It sure as hell isn’t enough for giving them your virginity.” Liz blushed. Had she said that out loud? She sneaked a peek up at Max. She wondered what was going on in his mind. Did he think she was pathetic? No, she had a feeling Max would never feel that way. He’d told her enough, showed her enough these past few days.

“Anyway, when I told him I was pregnant, he didn’t want to hear it. He said that I was trying to ruin his career and that I did it on purpose.” Max was fuming. How could someone think she would do that, he thought angrily.

“So he just left you?” Max gritted out, his fists tight at his side. Liz didn’t notice since her head was tilted to the side.

“Yeah basically he said that he didn’t believe me and that it wasn’t his and all this crazy stuff. So I left college and started working and saving up my money. I was terrified.” Liz started to remember and it was like a ton of bricks falling down around her. “I had to go through labor alone and everything. I was eighteen and I don’t know how I survived.” Liz finished wiping the tears she hadn’t realized had fallen from her eyes.

“Amazing.” Max whispered out in awe. Liz snapped her head in his direction. She was confused.

“You are just about the most amazing person I’ve ever met.” Max finished sincerely giving her a reassuring smile.

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.”

“So where is he?” Max asked. He wanted to know what kind of asshole would leave an eighteen year old alone with a baby.

“Who knows,” Liz shrugged. “After I left and had Alexis, I went back to the college. I was able to get an attorney to draw up some paperwork for me. Jimmy signed all of his rights away. Hell he’s not even listed on her birth certificate. I didn’t think he earned the right to be listed as her father. She might be biologically related but he could never be her father. She deserves more than that.” Liz finished passionately.

“I think she deserves more than that too. For what it’s worth, I think you’ve done one hell of a job with her. She’s just perfect.” Max smiled just thinking about Alexis.

“Yeah, she is. And thank you, Max. For everything.” Liz smiled proudly. Max nodded and saw that she really did look exhausted.

“Okay, well then I’ll see you tomorrow? Maybe we could have dinner again,” Max looked up at her hopeful.

“I’d love that and I know Alexis would too. Goodnight, Max.” Liz smiled and turned towards the door.

“Liz?” he called out softly to her.

“Yes?”

“I’m trying to get released early. I’m going to have a nurse at the house twenty-four hours a day and well I just wanted to let you know. So you could be ready.”

“Thanks. That sounds great. I’d love a change of scenery.” Liz smiled softly before slipping out the door.

“Night, Liz.” He said as the door closed.


****

“Didn’t you just say this to me yesterday? Or am I imagining things?” Max asked as he crossed his arms in frustration.

“Mr. Evans, I did say that but that doesn’t mean I think you should leave the hospital right away.” The doctor tried to reason but he knew it was futile.

“But it’s okay if I do it, right?” Max retorted.

“Yes so long as—”

“I have a nurse twenty four hours. I know.” Max finished with a smirk on his face. This was excellent news. He couldn’t wait to tell Liz and Alexis.

“I knew I couldn’t talk you out of it. I will ask that you run through one last battery of tests and then I’ll sign your discharge papers.”

“Great! Thanks doc!” Max finished not even looking at the doctor. Instead he was reaching for the phone to call Michael.

****

“Are you crazy! Seriously, you know I’ll back you anyway I can but that is crazy thinking Maxwell.” Michael paced his best friends hospital room in frustration.

“I know. Look, you won’t even let me finish here.” Max tried to reason. He wasn’t sure if telling Michael about his thoughts from the other night were a good idea.

“Finish. But if you say you’re going to play again, I’m leaving.” Michael finished taking a seat on the chair next to Max.

“I thought about it. I was really considering it, but after I talked to Liz I realized that I would be a complete idiot to do it. She said that I was more than football. I never had anyone tell me that. No one besides you and I don’t know it made me think. Really think. She barely knows me yet she sees something in me and I can’t ignore that.” Max tried to explain and Michael sat back in awe of Liz Parker.

“I don’t believe it. You’re falling for her aren’t you?” Michael asked and watched as Max adverted his eyes. Just as he’d suspected, it was true.

“I have to say. You did a good job. She’s smart and gorgeous, but are you ready for that? You’ve never had a serious relationship your entire life and,” Michael trailed off. He didn’t want to get into another long winded conversation about Max’s extra curricular activities but Liz was not like any girl Max had ever been with or met for that matter.

“I know! Don’t you think I know that? I have all these feelings that I’ve never felt before in my entire life. It’s even different from what I feel for Alexis. Liz has this hold over me and it’s like she expects better of me. I don’t know why. I mean she completely flipped out when I told her I was considering playing again. She was so angry with me, but I loved it. She challenged me. No girl ever challenges me. They let me do whatever I want. And it drives me crazy! It’s like I can’t even think for myself because I’m always worried about what she’s going to think. It’s crazy. It’s completely crazy and…I….” Max ran off not knowing what the hell he was going to do about his newfound feelings.

“You’re falling in love, Max. It’s okay. It happens, man.” Michael smirked and realized that his friend was having a mid life crisis. Then he chuckled to himself.

“What the hell is so funny?” Max bit out angrily.

“Nothing. It’s just that most guys have a mid life crisis about their job or family life. But here you are having one over a woman. I just think it’s funny as hell.” Michael continued to laugh to himself.

“Nice. Thanks for the support.” Max finished flatly.

“Listen Maxwell. I know you and you are all of those things Liz said you are. You just need to believe it. I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight, but just the fact that you make conscious decisions and take other people’s feelings into account, is a big step. Just don’t fall too fast.” Michael warned him.

“I know. I can control this. Besides she hates football players and now I know why, so I don’t see that I have any type of chance in hell with her. In fact, maybe it’s for the better. Yeah, we can just be friends and it takes all the pressure off.” Max finished somewhat relieved. He and Liz were friends, nothing more.

Michael watched his friend convince himself that he could just be friends with Liz. He couldn’t wait for that scenario to play out.

“So did you find out why she hates them?” Michael asked somewhat curious to the mystery.

“Apparently the sperm donor that helped create Alexis was a football player at the college Liz went to. He got her pregnant, accused her of ruining his career and then signed over all legal rights to Alexis.” Max was getting angry all over again thinking about the asshole that did that to Liz.

“Wow, that’s just crazy. What an asshole. How could he do that? I couldn’t imagine. Even if I didn’t love the girl, if I got her pregnant I would take responsibility for it.” Michael now got a better understanding of just how much shit Liz had gone through her entire life.

“I know you would, cause you’re a man. Can you believe she was eighteen when she had Alexis?” Max asked still awed that Liz had gone through so much in her life. But she didn’t seem bitter or angry, she was thankful for what she had. And that was an amazing daughter that was getting better everyday.

“Eighteen?! Damn Maxwell. That’s inconceivable. I’m glad Alexis found you.” Michael deduced quickly. Max however didn’t understand what he meant by that comment.

“What?”

“Alexis. She found you Max and because she did, you are going to give her and Liz the life they should have had. And whether you realize it now or later, you need them more than they need you.” Max leaned back and it hit him. It was true. Liz and Alexis were his sense of normalcy. Everyone he’d met up until the accident only knew him as Max the football player, the guy who never slept with the same girl more than twice. Liz and Alexis didn’t know him like that. Maybe this was his second chance in more ways than one. Maybe he could lead a life that made it possible for him to look in the mirror at himself and not be disgusted.

****

Liz was at work and getting ready to leave when she received a phone call from the hospital. They had explained that they would be receiving in a few days some patient transfers from another hospital, which meant that they needed Alexis’ room.

This was it. She was waiting to talk to Alexis and now it seemed like she ran out of time. She rushed out of the office; she needed to talk to Max and then to her daughter.

****

Max had just finished dinner; he couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the hospital already. He heard a light knock on his door and called out for the person to enter.

“Liz! Hi. I wasn’t expecting you.” God, she looked beautiful. He didn’t know what it was but he never got tired of looking at her.

“Hi, sorry. I just needed to talk to you real quick. I got a call from the hospital this afternoon. Apparently they are transferring over six children from another hospital and they will need Alexis’ room,” she rushed out.

“Good.” Max responded with a smile on his face.

“Good? Max did you not hear me? Alexis has to be out of her room by Wednesday of next week.” Liz did not understand his nonchalant attitude.

“I got clearance to leave,” he begins.

“What? But you’re not better yet. They aren’t making you are they? Cause…” he cuts her off with a laugh. He felt that flutter again in his chest at the thought that she was worried about him.

“No, I’m deciding to leave. I have all feeling back in my legs and I’ll continue to be monitored and come in for tests on a weekly basis. Besides I’ll have a nurse at the house twenty four hours a day.” He went onto explain, when a thought popped into his head.

“Have you talked to her about it yet?” he questioned wondering what the answer would be.

“No. I was going to today. I don’t know how she will react and to be honest, if she tells me she doesn’t I’m still not going to have much of a choice, however I have a feeling she’s going to want to,” Liz began to ramble on nervously. This was happening quicker than she had planned.

“Me too,” he agreed softly. They both smiled at each other. Liz sighed in relieve. He just made this so much easier for her and for that she was thankful. Liz realized that she’d been staring at him, but it was hard not too. He really was the most beautiful man she’d ever seen.

“Okay. I better go. I have to talk to her tonight. When do we leave?” Liz asked as she unconsciously straightened out her blouse.

“Tomorrow night.” Max watched as her eyes grew wide. She was nervous, but maybe he could help.

“And you know what?” he asked waiting for her to snap out of her state of shock.

“W-what?” Tomorrow? Was she ready? Did she have a choice was a better question, she laughed to herself.

“We are going to have a delicious home cooked meal. I know you can’t wait.” He winked and Liz felt her knees go weak. What the hell? That never happened, ever. She shook her head of the thoughts coursing through her mind and smiled.

“That sounds perfect.” They bid their goodnights to each other and Max fell asleep shortly thereafter. More tired than he originally thought. Besides he needed to rest up tomorrow as a big day.

****

“Mommy!” Alexis raised herself out of bed.

“Hi honey. How are you doing today?” Liz asked taking a seat beside her daughter, pulling her into a tight embrace.

“I’m good mommy.” Alexis tried to cover her yawn but she knew her mommy saw it.

“You’re tired,” Liz watched her daughter shake her head. “No, mommy. I was just yawning but I’m not that tired.” Alexis blinked her eyes rapidly and pouted her lips. She was watching Tom and Jerry, her mommy’s favorite cartoon. Liz smiled and kissed the top of her daughter’s head.

“Okay, how about this. We turn off the television for a few minutes, then after we finish talking you can stay up and finish watching Tom and Jerry?” Liz reasoned with her daughter, of course she knew that Alexis would fall asleep in about fifteen minutes.

“Alright, mommy. But don’t let me fall asleep.” Liz nodded and turned off the television.

“Alexis, I got a call from the hospital today. And they said that they are going to need your room,” Liz started off slowly. She watched her daughter’s face for any reaction, but she got nothing. She figured she’d better cut to the chase.

“Anyway, we have to leave the hospital.” Alexis sat up quickly, the covers falling from her chest and her eyes opened wide.

“We get to go home mommy? I get to see Riley? And play with my dolls?” Alexis was so happy. She just wanted to go home. But why did her mommy look sad?

“I’m sorry honey. We’re not going home,” Liz began gently pulling her daughter back down to the bed to lie down.

“We’re not?” Alexis asked blinking back her tears. Liz fought hard to not let her own tears fall and continued.

“No, but baby, how would you feel about living with Max?” For the second time tonight Alexis sat up, eyes wide and a bright smile on her face.

“We’re gonna live with Max, mommy?! Really?!” She was so happy. Now she would get to be with Max all the time. And they could have breakfast, lunch and dinner together all the time. And he could give her piggyback rides whenever she wanted.

“Yes really. But only if you want to,” Liz didn’t get to finish her sentence because her daughter launched herself at her. Liz wrapped her arms around her daughter tightly and let out a sigh of relief she hadn’t known she was holding in. Deep down she knew Alexis would love the idea but she had to be sure.

“I want to! I want to really, mommy! Oh! I have to go tell Max!” Alexis began to squirm out of her mother’s embrace.

“No, honey it’s late. Besides, Max is the one that asked for me and you to live with him,” Liz explained.

“Really? See, mommy I told you!” Alexis placed her hands on her hips.

“You told me, what?” Liz laughed at her daughter. She was just adorable and so precious.

“I told you that Max liked you mommy, cause you are beautiful and I’m his princess.” Alexis said with a nod of her head. Like she knew it all along.
“You’re right sweetheart,” Liz pulled her daughter back down and rubbed her soft curls gently, slowly lulling her daughter to sleep.

Once Liz was sure her daughter was asleep. She sat up just thinking back to her daughter’s words, was it true? Did Max think she was beautiful? No one other than Alexis had ever told her that. Liz just shook her head but couldn’t deny the feeling of warmth that spread through her entire being at the thought.

Tomorrow was the first step towards their new life. And while it saddened her knowing that they wouldn’t be going to their home, it left her feeling somewhat excited to see what life with Max would be like. To the outside world they would appear to be a family and surprisingly enough the thought of that didn’t jolt her nerves like she thought it would.


TBC…

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Behrsgirl77
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Post by Behrsgirl77 » Mon Jul 18, 2005 10:05 pm

A/N - In my defense it is still Monday where I live lol! Sorry guys, I've had such a bad week at work and this week isn't looking any better. Now I just want to tell you this is sort of a transitional part *sigh* but the next one will delve deeper in the world of living with Max :wink:

Now I wish I had more energy to thank each of you personally for your very kind words. Seriously, guys if you only knew what your feedback did for me to write. I am bone tired but I wanted to get this part to you guys before I seriously passed out lol! I hope you enjoy it and thank you!



Chapter 9

“Mommy, when are we leaving?” Alexis jumped off the bed and ran into the bathroom, where her mother was fixing her hair.

“In about an hour, honey. You need to eat something and make sure you have all of your stuff packed. I have to go and talk to Max for a few minutes and I want you to stay here.” Liz kneeled down in front of her daughter. She could clearly tell she was excited to not only be leaving the hospital but also to be moving in with Max. Liz needed to just make sure one last time how it was all going to work, as well as set some ground rules. Liz wasn’t naïve in realizing that although Max appeared to be single, that it meant he didn’t have several female friends that he would eventually be entertaining at his home. She just wanted to make sure that things didn’t get awkward when situations arose in the future.

“Okay, mommy I’ll check to make sure I have everything,” Alexis smiled and skipped off in the direction of the nightstand beside her hospital bed, in search of anything she may have left behind. She honestly didn’t care if she did. She was going to be leaving the hospital and that meant that she wouldn’t have any more needles or doctors asking her questions. Plus, she was going to get to live with Max and even better her mommy liked Max, she could tell by the way she looked at him. A smile formed on Alexis’ lips. If her mommy liked Max then maybe she would like him enough for him to be her daddy soon, she thought happily.

“Alright, I’ll be back in a little bit. If you need me you know where I am.” Liz turned and looked at her daughter one last time. She saw her on her knees beside the bed stuffing a few crayons into her backpack. Alexis lifted her head to the side and smiled at her mother, “Bye mommy!” Liz couldn’t help but smile. Maybe she was just biased but her daughter was beautiful.

****

“Max are you sure this is a good idea? Did the doctor’s even say this was…” Max had been listening to Michael give him the mother treatment, as he liked to call it. Max knew that he should stay at the hospital longer, but truth was he was sick of it. He couldn’t do anything for himself and he sure as hell needed to eat a decent meal before the colored products they tried to pass off as food, actually killed him.

In fact, the doctor had already given him the entire speech about not doing anything for the next two weeks. Then Max would need to come in and they would make sure he was still healing properly before they sent him to get physical therapy. Max had even agreed to allow the hospital to choose the nurse. At that point, anything to make them happy and get him out of there was his priority.

“Yes, they approved it. They may not like it, but I’m telling you with the nurse, the maid and the cook at the house, trust me when I say I won’t be moving unless it’s necessary,” Max explained quickly. He knew that Michael was only looking out for his best interests.

Michael on the other hand knew, from talking to Max’s doctors that he was recovering rather quickly, but he was still a little worried. He didn’t want Max rushing out of the hospital only to re-injure himself.

“Do you want me to come stay with you?” Michael offered. He didn’t live that far from Max to begin with, so it wouldn’t be a problem.

“Nah, you have a life. And I’m sure you and Maria would want some alone time,” Max winked suggestively and Michael just flipped him the finger.

“So are you still going to argue with me on this or just trust me to know what’s good for me?” Max asked crossing is arms over his chest in challenge.

“I trust you. Just don’t fuck around with this, Maxwell. Just wait the two weeks. I can show Liz and Alexis around so they can get familiarized with the house. And then you can give them the official tour of, Casa Evans.” Michael joked.

“Sounds good. Now I have to make a few phone calls and I need to talk to Liz. She has her car, so I’m not sure if she wants to just follow me home or if I should arrange for someone to drive her car,” Max was tossing around a few ideas in his head when Michael spoke up with the solution.

“How about this? I’ll drive home, and then have the limo pick me up there. Then we’ll swing back here to pick you, Alexis and Liz up and I’ll drive Liz’s car to your place. If she doesn’t mind,” Max thought it over for a brief second before nodding his head in affirmation.

“Okay. I’ll be back in a few.” Michael said as he exited Max’s room.

Max grabbed his phone and starting dialing, he had a lot to do in a little bit of time.


****

Liz was on her way down the hall to Max’s room, she saw Michael leave just a second ago. She was preparing her speech when a soft, familiar voice broke her out of her thoughts.

“Liz?” Maria called out as Liz passed the nurses station.

“Maria. Hi, how are you? I didn’t know you were on duty today?” Liz and Maria had become more than acquaintances for the past year, unfortunately they weren’t able to form a friendship that consisted of more than a few long sentences here and there.

“I had to see my best patient off today, didn’t I?” Maria smiled brightly. She admired the woman standing in front of her. Maria had been around when Alexis first came to the hospital and saw the bad shape the young girl was in, but through it all, Liz was by her side. She put up such a brave front for her daughter’s sake but Maria knew when Liz’s daughter slept, Liz would cry to herself. Maria had tried to comfort her, but Liz never accepted it. Maria suspected it had a lot to do with Liz’s pride, she didn’t want to appear weak and she wanted to handle everything herself. That’s why Maria was especially surprised to hear that Liz would be moving in with Max Evans.

“I guess not,” Liz started and decided that she wanted to say a few things to Maria before she left.

“You know, I never got to thank you for all those times you helped me. I felt like I couldn’t go on when Alexis would go for treatment and you were always talking to me or smiling. You brought me food and made me eat it, even when I yelled and screamed at you to leave me alone. I appreciate that more than I could ever explain to you. I wish we had a chance to get to know one another better,” Liz began getting choked up. These past few months seemed to tick by slowly. The days felt like months and the months felt like years.

“Me too, Liz. But maybe we will this time around,” Maria hinted vaguely, not really sure if Liz knew about her dating Max’s friend.

Liz eyed Maria questioningly, “This time around?”

“Oh sorry. I thought you knew. Michael and I are seeing each other,” Maria smiled reflecting back on their date last night. It was one of the best dates Maria had ever had and she wasn’t about to let Michael go either. They made plans for tonight as well, and she couldn’t wait.

“That’s really great Maria. He seems like a great guy, and if he’s friends with Max then I know he must be something special,” Liz smiled and tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear. She was getting edgy. She really needed to talk to Max and soon.

“He is. I’m going to let you go, but I did just want to pass along a message from Max’s doctor,” Maria started and knew Liz would be confused as to why she would be saying anything about Max to her.

“Does everyone know I’m leaving with Max?” Liz placed her hands on her hips, amazed at how gossip flew through the hospital.

“Are you kidding? Max Evans is like the biggest football star, everyone knows him and his business, for the most part. So of course we know, hell the media knows too.”

“Media?! Are you serious?! That’s crazy! What do they care? I’m a nobody,” Liz was starting to feel sick to her stomach. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, she thought.

“They care because Max Evans is a hottie. He’s single, rich and great looking. Girls beat down his door daily for a date with him. Come on Liz, you can’t tell me you don’t look at him that way?” Maria edged on in a staged whisper.

“Of course not! He’s been nothing but kind to Lexi and I. I would never use him or…think….” He was beautiful and sexy, and had a smile that practically melted her heart? Her mind screamed out. No! Liz chided herself. She was not in a position to get involved. Involved? What was she thinking? A guy like Max would never be interested in a plain Jane as herself. He was probably used to dating models and actresses, not some homeless twenty three year old girl with a five year old. Then again, Liz wasn’t interested in getting involved with anyone anytime soon.

“Whatever you say, Liz. Look I know you have to get going, but I needed to just tell you that the doctors only agreed to let Max leave under a few conditions. I’m sure you know about the nurse, but since I know he can be stubborn I’m telling you this because maybe you can help him out. He should not leave the bed unless he has to. It’s only two weeks, but he’s a guy and he’ll fight ‘til the end to get what he wants. So I just ask that you keep an eye on him.”

“Keep an eye on him?” Liz raised her brow at that.

“Yes, pretend you have another five year old running around. Only this one shouldn’t move.”

“And how do you suppose I keep him in bed?” Liz’s face blushed when the words left her mouth.

“I’m sure you can figure that out, you’re a smart girl. Use your charm,” Maria winked and pulled Liz into a quick hug.

“I wish you the best of luck and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around soon.” Maria gave Liz a quick hug and went back to her paperwork.

“You too Maria, and thank you again.” Liz smiled and continued down the hall until she was in front of Max’s door.

She took a deep breath and knocked.

“Come in!” Max called out. He was in his chair and waiting for the last of his paperwork to be brought to him.

“Hi Max, how are you feeling today?” Liz asked as she entered fully into the room.

“I’m great! I’m getting the hell out of here, so I can’t complain. How are you and Alexis?” Max asked watching as she wrung her hands together and crossed the room. He watched the emotions cross her face, and he just knew she had something serious on her mind.

“She’s excited. Practically bouncing off the walls. Max I…” Liz started to turn to face him and realized she couldn’t. Her mind kept wandering back to Maria’s words. Max did make her feel things she’d never felt before; she was just now realizing it. That however, didn’t mean she could give in to those feelings. She knew in the end, she would be the one that would be hurt by it.

“Liz, are you okay? I mean you’re not having second thoughts or anything?” Max’s heart plummeted. What if she changed her mind? Deep down Max knew that Liz didn’t have another option but she could still say no.

“No, it’s not that Max. I just…I need to talk to you about a few things,” Liz began softly. She shifted uncomfortably on the windowsill, still not able to face Max.

“Okay. Whatever it is just tell me,” Max coaxed her gently.

“We need ground rules Max,” she started and finally turned to face him.

“Ground rules? For what?”

“I want you to know I respect that it is your house but I need you to respect that I have a daughter and there are things I’m not ready for her to ask questions about,” Max watched as Liz’s nostrils flared and she began to pace the room. He thought she looked so beautiful. She was passionate; he’d give her that one. He wondered what it would be like to kiss her soft, pink lips or to feel her warm breath against his skin. Heaven that was the only word that came to mind at the thought. In fact, he was so lost in his thoughts that he’d missed half of what she was saying already.

“…so, I just think we should have some kind of rule. If you want to have a girl over, fine. I’ll take Alexis out of the house and then when you’re done you can call me and we’ll come back. Or we can…”

“Liz, I respect that you are taking my social life into consideration, but I don’t plan on entertaining guests, at least not in the capacity you are referring to, anytime soon.” Max did feel a slight pinch of hurt at the thought that Liz might actually believe he was some kind of male whore.

But wasn’t he? Max couldn’t deny that he couldn’t remember the name of half the women he’d been with in the past. He wasn’t proud of it, but it never really mattered, at least not until this very moment. A moment, where Liz Parker thought he slept around…a lot.

His emotions must have been written clearly on his face because Liz was quick to defend her words.

“Max, I didn’t mean to make it sound like you…that you’re…that…” she couldn’t even look him in the eye.

“I’m a man whore?” Liz almost choked at his words. That was not what she meant at all. She tried to explain but the damage was done.

“Liz, it’s okay. I know you didn’t mean it that way. But I can’t lie about it or hide it, so let’s just move on from there,” Max looked at her hopeful.

“Yes. Okay, so how about we talk about this at a later date?” Liz smiled and came to kneel in front of him. Max couldn’t resist he placed his hands on her shoulders and squeezed gently. He knew she was nervous, how could she not be? It was all new and different, but Max vowed silently that he would make it memorable.

“Mommy!?” Alexis yelled from behind Max’s closed door. Max and Liz looked at each other and laughed.

“Come in sweetie!” Liz answered back making her way to the door. As soon as Liz swung open the door Alexis barreled passed her and made a beeline straight for Max.

“Hello princess,” Max smiled brightly and Alexis threw her arms around his neck and kissed his cheek with a big smacking kiss.

“Hello! I’m so excited Max. We’re going to live with you in your house,” Alexis smiled brightly. Today she was wearing a denim skirt and white t-shirt that said ‘cutie’ on the front in big purple letters.

“Yes, you are princess. You and your mommy will have your own rooms and everything.” Max couldn’t wait to get them to his house; it felt like a new beginning not only for them, but for himself as well.

“Max, do you think we could take Riley to your house too? He’s really little, smaller than me and he’s quiet. He doesn’t bark or anything,” Alexis blinked rapidly, stuck out her bottom lip and pouted. She was good, Max thought. If she kept up with those kinds of pouts he would buy her, her own Toys R Us, if she asked.

“Lexi, mommy has to talk to you about Riley. So how about we wait until we get to Max’s house?” Liz wasn’t sure how to explain what happened to Riley.

Max on the other hand didn’t want to wait until later, he would have to pull Liz to the side and find out.

“Hey Maxwell,” Michael chose that particular moment, much to Liz’s relief, to walk into the room.

“Hey Michael, you made it back quick,” Max stated as he made his way over to his friend.

“I know but I figured you wanted to blow this popsicle stand soon,” Michael joked back and then they all turned towards Alexis.

“Alexis, what’s wrong?” Liz kneeled down and placed her hands on her daughter’s shoulders. She looked surprised, or was it shock?

“Mommy, they have a popsicle stand here?” Alexis pouted and crossed her arms, “How come I didn’t know that? I was here for a whole year and I never saw it, mommy,” Alexis blinked back her tears and Liz couldn’t help but laugh.

“It’s not funny! I want a popsicle, mommy,” Alexis pleaded softly and then turned her tearful gaze towards Max. His heart stopped beating for a moment, and Liz honestly tried to regain her composure but the things that came out of her daughter’s mouth sometimes made her laugh beyond distraction.

“Max, can I have a popsicle? Will you share it with me?” Max’s heart broke for her, he reached out his arms as best as he could.

“Of course, as soon as we get to my house you will get your popsicle, any flavor you want,”

“Yeah?” she sniffled. Liz looked at her daughter with Max and thought they looked beautiful together. Finally she regained her composure and came to stand in front of them.

“Honey, I’m sorry for laughing but that was funny sweetie. That was just an expression that Michael used,” Liz tried to explain and when Alexis finally realized what her mommy meant, she turned towards Michael and crossed her tiny arms over her chest.

“That wasn’t very nice, Mike.” Alexis turned on her heels and Michael just feigned innocence when Max gave him the ‘nice going asshole’ look.

“Okay! Let’s get out of here. Liz, did you want to come with me? Or did you want to drive yourself?”

“I can drive myself,” Liz watched both Max and Michael’s reactions and then questioned them.

“It’s nothing,” Max answered quickly.

“Nothing at all,” Michael piped in right after. Liz looked between both men and placed her arms on her hips.

“What are you not telling me?”

“There are about I don’t know, maybe a hundred reporters outside,” Michael started.

“And they will probably follow us, and if not then we are guaranteed to be greeted by at least that many at my front gate,” Max finished trying to sound as casual as possible. Then again how do you explain the paparazzi to someone whose only seen it on television?

“That’s crazy! Don’t they have a life?” Liz asked.

“Yeah, it’s taking pictures of other people,” Max finished with a smirk on his face. Liz just rolled her eyes.

“So what do I do about my car then?”

“Mike can drive it mommy! He’s big and those people will be scared,” Alexis jumped in with her random thoughts about how to fix the problem.

“Actually princess, that is a great idea! Michael would you mind?” Max looked up at Michael who had a questioning glare in his eyes, but quickly caught on to Max’s plan.

“No problem. Liz you want to tell me where your car is, and what it looks like for that matter?” Michael asked reaching his hands out for her keys, but Liz hesitated.

“Ah, Michael would you mind taking Lexi to our room and grabbing our things? There isn’t much but I just need to talk to Max for one minute,” Liz let out a nervous laugh and Michael decided not to ask questions.

“Come on squirt, show me to your room,” Michael opened the door and waited for Alexis’ come back.

“I’m not a squirt! I’m just petite for my age,” she stuck out her tongue and brushed passed him.

“Where did she learn that from?” Max asked in awe. Alexis always had a comeback for everything.

“Me. I taught her she should speak her mind, but I don’t know, Michael is the only one she just gravitates to and has that smart comeback to. I have to talk to her about that, but anyway Max you know that we were homeless,” she looked at him slowly and saw him nod.

“So that means that all my stuff and all of Lexi’s stuff is in there, well as much as I could fit so…”

“It’s okay Liz. Michael is just going to drive the car, and then he’ll unload it into any room you guys want in the house. Trust me,” Max gave her a reassuring smile and Liz let out a breath of relief.

It wasn’t going to be as bad as she thought.

****

Liz was now in the midst of camera flashes and people yelling and screaming Max’s name, not anything at all like she had expected. It was so much worse. They had went to the back of the hospital but there were people waiting there, there were people waiting everywhere for a glimpse of Max. Liz had to wonder when they were safely inside the limo, how Max did it everyday and she asked him as much.

“I don’t know. At first it was all too overwhelming but then I just got used to it. I know most of them by their first names,” Max looked at Liz’s worried eyes and her hand clasped in Alexis’ smaller one. A sense of overpowering need to protect the two of them washed over Max.

“I’ll never let anything happen to either of you,” Max tried to assure Liz and Alexis with his words.

“Max, I know you won’t let anyone hurt me or mommy.” Alexis didn’t say anything else the entire car ride, in fact that was the first time she'd spoken since they left the hospital. Liz wasn’t sure if she should be worried or relieved.

****

About twenty-five minutes later the limo pulled up to a huge black iron gate, and as predicted there were at least a hundred reporters standing in front of it.

Max watched as Alexis looked out the window with worried eyes. How he longed to just hold her and reassure her that everything would be okay. As soon as the limo came to a stop, Max rolled down his window and the cameras started flashing and people started yelling. Max watched from the corner of his eyes as Alexis jumped into Liz’s lap. Max turned to Liz and made a motion for her to cover Alexis’ ears. Liz did so quickly.

“Guys! Seriously, I have a little girl in here who is terrified, so if you ever hope to get another interview from me, you will back the fuck away from the limo.” Max ground out through clenched teeth.

Most of them stepped away but some still stayed, which only further upset Max. “You get one last chance, back away or I will personally go up that driveway and run your ass over. I’m not kidding either, you know I’m not.” Max tried to be as vague as possible. After all it wasn’t like he made it a habit of running people over, but he has gently brushed against a body or two on his way out of a club in his car. Not his fault they wouldn’t move.

Soon, they all backed away quietly and Max thanked them. Then they started up the long driveway. Liz and Alexis watched with wide eyes as the three-story mansion came into view.

They were speechless and Max was somewhat embarrassed. Here he was with a home big enough to fix twenty people comfortably and here sat Liz and Alexis who didn’t have much more than a car filled with their belongings.

“It’s okay, Max. You worked hard for this,” Liz turned and reached out her hand to him. Funny how she could just read his expressions, she thought. Max gave her a grateful smile.

“Wow! Max you live in this big house? It’s bigger than me and my mommies whole entire apartment! Wow! Do you have a pool Max?” Alexis turned and Liz tried to get her to hold her tongue.

“Yes, I do. I have one inside and one outside,” Max chuckled when he saw Alexis’ eyes widen in excitement.

“Do you have dolphins Max?”

“Lexi! Max doesn’t have dolphins,” then again, she thought. “Do you Max?”

“No. I don’t.”

“Oh, it’s okay I still love you.” Alexis smiled and jumped out of the limo as soon as it stopped.

Max however was left speechless, as well as Liz. Had Alexis said what he thought she said?

“It’s okay, Max. You can breathe,” Liz smiled at him.

“But…do you think she means it?” Max searched for the right words. The right question.

“Of course. She doesn’t lie. Especially not about her feelings,” she explained gently. It seemed as though Alexis’s words really threw him for a loop.

“Now, Mr. Fancy Pants, you ready to show me around your mansion or what? I don’t like to be kept waiting Max,” Liz winked and hoped out of the limo behind her daughter.

Max was left speechless. He’d love to hop out of the limo, but instead he had to wait until the driver brought him his chair and helped him into it.

****

Once they reached the garage, which was where the elevator was located. Alexis stood and waited then turned to Max.

“You have an elevator in your house?” she turned curious eyes to Max.

“Yes I do.”

“Why?”

“Because sometimes it’s easier to use than the stairs,” Max replied but Alexis’ gaze didn’t waiver.

Oh no, Liz thought.

“But why?”

“Cause I like it.”

“Why?”

“Sometimes I’m so tired after playing a game that I don’t feel like climbing all those steps to my room on the top floor,” Max figured that would suffice the young girl.

“How come?”

“How come?” Max asked looking up to Liz for help. But she was not offering any.

“Because, I just…I…feel like it.” Alexis nodded her head and stepped into the now open elevator doors.

Max turned to Liz who simply shrugged her shoulders. She helped wheel Max into the elevator and waited until he pressed the button for the first floor. She then leaned down and whispered in his ear.

“She just wanted to see what you felt about it. Strange I know, but usually she waits for your most honest answer and then she’ll move along.” Max barely heard a word Liz said. Her breath on his neck felt just as he suspected it would, like heaven.

Things were already looking up. He couldn’t wait to see how the rest of the day turned out.


TBC…
Last edited by Behrsgirl77 on Thu Jul 21, 2005 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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