Secrets (AU,CC,MATURE) (Complete)

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SAFIRESKYE26
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Secrets (AU,CC,MATURE) (Complete)

Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Wed May 26, 2004 12:42 pm

Winner Round 7

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Thank you Hybrid Angel for my banner!
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Author: SAFIRESKYE26

Coupling: M/L

Rating: MATURE

Disclaimer: I WISH I owned Roswell, but I don’t

Summary: Amazing Challenge from Babylisou! Liz is 17 yrs old and has been dating the Sheriff’s son and All-State Quarterback, Kyle Valenti, for 2 years. While she does care for Kyle she is not in love with him and is shocked when she finds out she is pregnant. After Kyle’s less than flattering reaction to her news and a betrayal Liz leaves Roswell, New Mexico. Liz has always dreamed of the ocean so she heads towards California. Once there she finds more than her heart ever bargained for.


PROLOGUE


“Kyle, slow down!” Liz gripped the handle above her seat just to keep herself steady. She hated it when he drove this fast and considering her current condition this was no time to be taking chances. “Please.” She continued to plead with him. “Kyle, please slow down.” Liz was almost in tears by this point. Her life already felt like it was spiraling out of control and a high-speed joyride was the last thing she needed.

“What’s wrong, Lizzie? You’re usually up for a good time.” Kyle continued to race down the old highway without a care in the world and as fast as his Mustang would go.

“Stop the car, Kyle.” Liz waited for a moment but he didn’t seem to be decreasing their speed at all. “Stop the damn car!” Liz knew Kyle would never hurt her intentionally but at the moment he was being far too careless.

Kyle began to slow his speed but didn’t stop at her request. “Lizzie…what’s the matter with you? You’ve been acting like a bitch all night.”

The words stung more than she cared to admit. She was frightened enough about what she had to tell Kyle and his insensitivity wasn’t helping. “Kyle, we need to talk…maybe we should pull over?” She’s been dreading this moment for two weeks but it couldn’t be put off any longer. She knew she should’ve told him sooner but it never seemed like the right time. She was far from being in love with Kyle, but after dating for two years she owed him the truth. He deserved to know and truth be told Liz needed someone to go through this with her.

“Look, Lizzie…you’re being king of a drag…is it that time of the month?” Kyle asked, slightly disappointed that he wouldn’t be getting laid for a few days.

Liz knew why Kyle sounded disappointed and the thought made her blood boil. She had been living in hell for two weeks now and Kyle’s only worry seemed to be his overactive libido. “Fine. You want to know what’s going on?” It was purely a rhetorical question but Kyle always had to say something.

“Well, yeah. You’re acting kind of strange. You know you can tell me anything, Lizzie…you’re my girl.” He winked at her. Sure that it was probably nothing.

Liz was starting to lose her nerve. It was now or never. “I’m pregnant, Kyle and before you even think of asking, yes it’s yours.” For a moment Liz wasn’t completely sure that Kyle had heard a word she’d said, but then the color immediately started draining from his face and his eyes were blinking faster than normal. He was in complete shock. Liz realized this too late as his Mustang flew off the side of the road and down an embankment. Luckily Liz was still conscious when the car finally came to a halt. Unfortunately, Kyle was not and the gaping wound on his forehead was pouring blood all over the steering wheel. Liz quickly dialed 911 but once she knew help was on its way the personal attack on her conscience began. She brushed one hand gently across his pale cheeks and whispered. “What have I done?”


Liz sat on a gurney in the Emergency Room, having already been checked out herself, waiting for any news of Kyle’s condition. As she sat there she held her stomach. The doctor had said the baby was fine but was that really good news? She pushed the thought out of her mind instantly. Regardless of Kyle’s reaction she wanted this baby. Liz was lost in her own thoughts when the sheriff finally approached her.

Jim Valenti had been there for over an hour but had waited to speak to Liz Parker until he had something to tell. His head was hung low and he appeared very pale. How could he tell her this? He’d never been sure of exactly how serious Kyle and Liz’s relationship had been but he’d heard Kyle mention on more than one occasion that he was going to marry Liz Parker someday. Thinking of that now made his heart ache. “Liz…” he didn’t know how to say this…there was no easy way. “Kyle’s out of the first surgery but the surgeon working on him believes they’ll have to go back in immediately.” He choked on the words as he spoke. This was his son.

“Sheriff? What is it? Please tell me the truth.” Liz felt like she had been holding her breath since the moment Sheriff Valenti had stepped into the trauma room.

Jim began to cry openly, not wanting to be the bearer of this awful news, but he had no choice…he owed this to Kyle and Liz would need to be prepared. “Liz, the head trauma was severe…he lost a lot of blood but he has regained consciousness thank God.”

Liz could tell he was holding something back. “Sheriff, please? What is it you’re not telling me?”

Jim took in a deep breath. “He doesn’t remember anything, Liz. He doesn’t even remember me…he has amnesia.” Jim collapsed on the floor. The hard sobs rocking his body. Kyle was all he had.

Liz’s heart sank. She couldn’t help but feel like she was to blame. She knew the news of her pregnancy would hit him hard…she should’ve waited until they had stopped. She held the sheriff’s head for a few more minutes as he continued to cry but then a doctor came out to speak with him. He composed himself quickly and retreated back through the double doors once again. Liz just stood there frozen in time. Not wanting to believe what the sheriff had said, but knowing all the while it was the truth. When she finally turned to go outside so she could call her parents she ran into Tess Harding. She had obviously been crying. “Tess? What are you doing here? Is everything ok?”

Tess didn’t speak right away. Considering the circumstances she wasn’t quite sure what she should say. “I came because…well I came to see Kyle.” There was no point playing games with Liz any longer. The truth was going to come out.

“Kyle? But why would you…” Liz didn’t even need to finish her question. The guilt on Tess Harding’s face was enough to finally make her see. Kyle had been distant for months and now she knew she was standing face to face with the reason. “Oh my God…you’re…” Liz felt like she was going to be sick. “Fine, Tess. You’ve wanted him…he’s all yours!” Liz ran out of the Emergency Department feeling like she needed air before she would suffocate. She was carrying Kyle’s child and he’d been sleeping with Tess Harding. She’d seen it on Tess’s face…she no longer needed proof. “I have to get out of here.” Right now all Liz wanted was to get the hell out of Roswell, New Mexico.



TBC
Last edited by SAFIRESKYE26 on Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:31 pm, edited 89 times in total.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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SAFIRESKYE26
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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:02 am

Sorry everyone for taking so long to write this chapter but daily life was out to get me :wink: The music from this chapter is by Bryan White, Air Supply, & Natalie Imbruglia. I hope you enjoy!


CHAPTER 1


“Maria! Maria, wake up!” Amy Deluca pulled at her daughter’s feet trying her best to get Maria out of bed.

Maria grunted and rolled away from her mother’s grasp. “I only hit snooze once, Mom, so I have at least twenty more minutes.” She mumbled from beneath her comforter.

“Maria, you have to get up now. Mr. Parker is on the phone…he says Liz never came home last night and some of her clothes are missing. Do you know where she is?” Amy was worried. She’d heard the tone in Jeff’s voice, he was panicked. She’d known Liz since she was in grade school and this wasn’t like her.

“Missing?” Maria sat up yawning and rubbed her eyes to see more clearly. “Liz Parker, missing? Mom, come on…this is Liz, the most sensible person on the face of the planet. Did he check her room?” Maria questioned as she yawned again. It was too early for this.

“Maria! Young lady, did you hear anything I just said to you? Her clothes are missing. Her car is gone. Her bed hasn’t been slept in. Now you’d better go talk to Mr. Parker and tell him anything you might know. Now!”

Maria suddenly realized she was serious and darted from her room heading straight for the kitchen. She almost dropped the phone but managed to grab the cord. As she stood there waiting for the five foot long cord to unravel she could hear Mr. Parker. “I’m coming! Hold on!” Finally the cord quit spinning and she was able to grab the receiver. “Mr. Parker?”

“Maria, where’s Liz? I know she tells you everything and after what happened yesterday I want to know where my daughter is.” Jeff’s voice was shaky, but insistent. He’d waited hours for Liz to return home yesterday after receiving the call from the Sheriff.

“Wait, slow down, Mr. P. What happened yesterday? I haven’t seen Liz since we left school.” Maria asked, confused

Jeff took in a deep breath. Maria had been his best chance of finding Liz. If she didn’t know where Liz was, no one would. “There was an accident. The Sheriff…”

“Whoa! An accident? Is Liz ok? Who was driving? Oh my God! Is she dead?” Maria grabbed the bottle of Cedar Oil from her mother as she entered the kitchen, and began to inhale rapidly.

“Maria, she wasn’t hurt…but Kyle was. It’s serious and his injuries are extensive. But right now I just really need to find Lizzie.” Sheriff Valenti had told him Liz was fine but distraught when she left the hospital yesterday afternoon. He needed to see for himself that she was all right.

“Oh my God! Mr. P, I haven’t seen her! She would’ve called me! Have you called Sheriff Valenti? Have they put out an APB for her yet?” Maria was still inhaling but unfortunately the oil was doing nothing to calm her nerves.

“No, Maria. It hasn’t even been twenty four hours and I had hoped she would be with you.” Jeff sat down at his kitchen table and listened as Maria continued to rant on the other end of the line. He didn’t have time for this and was only half listening to her…but he didn’t know what else to do.

~~~~~~~

Jim sat in the waiting room just outside of the operating room. His son was in there. His only son. It had just been the two of them since Kyle was six and now the thought of losing him petrified Jim. Please God…he’s all I have. Jim turned when he saw someone coming out of the corner of his eye. He thought it would be a nurse or a doctor, but instead he was staring at Tess Harding. “What are you doing here?” He snapped immediately. “You don’t belong here.”

“I came for Kyle. He might need me.” Tess had been there all night. She’d stayed in the waiting room down the hall for as long as she’d been able to stand it, but now she needed to be closer to Kyle.

“Need you? He doesn’t even remember you. Look, I saw you talking to Liz Parker yesterday afternoon and I saw the way she left. What did you say to her?” Jim had a few ideas about what had been going on the last few months and he knew Tess was trouble. She was the last person he wanted anywhere near Kyle right now.

Tess was insulted. Hadn’t Kyle told his father about her? “I told her…” she trailed off feeling ashamed of being the other woman and knowing that was a fact about to come out. “I just told her I was worried about Kyle.” It was partially the truth.

“I’ll bet. I’m betting that you did a lot more than that. Didn’t you? I saw the way she ran out of here and I’m far from stupid, Tess. Did you know she’s missing now? Yep, just got the call. She never went home last night and I had better find out that you had nothing to do with that.” Jim eyed her suspiciously. Tess Harding had been nothing but trouble since the day she’d come to Roswell. She had a reputation for going after anything that didn’t belong to her and Jim was fairly certain Kyle had been her latest conquest.

“But, Sheriff…I would never…”

“Sure you would. As I said…not stupid and not blind.” Jim turned away from her and back towards the double doors waiting for someone, anyone to tell him that Kyle was going to be ok. “Leave.” He demanded. “You’re not welcome here and I don’t want you anywhere near my son again.”

“But sir…”

“Never, Tess! Never.” Jim didn’t care if he sounded cold. If Kyle pulled through this it would be for a better life…one that would never include Tess Harding.

~~~~~~~

“Maria, what’s going on?” Alex was used to Maria’s hysterical ways but today she seemed even more insane than usual. “If you want my help with something then you’re going to have to calm down.”

“Alex! She’s gone! Liz would never leave without telling me! What if she’s been kidnapped?”

“Ok, Maria…think. Would the kidnappers stop to pick up her clothes? No. Obviously we can rule that out. What did Liz say to you the last time you saw her?” Alex was holding Maria by the shoulders trying his best to calm her down. Almost everyone in the lunch yard was now staring at them.

“Well…I can’t remember. I was driving her home and she was talking but there was this really hot guy standing in front of the Crashdown. He was so beautiful and I was watching him…”

“Maria! Focus! What was Liz saying?”

“All I remember was her saying things were going to be really different and she had screwed up or something. Then she started talking about California again, so I accidentally tuned her out.” Maria replied feeling extremely guilty. Her friend was missing and she had no clue where she could be. If only she’d been listening.

“You tuned her out. That’s great, Maria.” Alex let go of her shoulders and sat down at the table closest to them. “Now what? Kyle is probably the last person that saw her and he can’t remember anything.”

“Alex! That’s kind of cold don’t ya think? I mean he’s hurt…you could give him a break.” Maria was well aware of how much Alex detested Kyle Valenti but under the circumstances she felt the need to defend him. Maria sat down next to him and propped her chin up on her hands. This was so not like Liz.

“Hey guys.” Tess said quietly.

Maria popped her head up and shot Tess an evil glare. “Well, well…if it isn’t the wicked bitch of the west!”

“Maria!” Sometimes Maria’s tendency to speak her mind caught him off guard.

“What? Did I say something wrong?” She asked batting her eyelashes at Alex. “I have enough to worry about without dealing with West Roswell’s biggest tramp!”

Tess was fuming inside. How dare Maria Deluca speak to her like that? “Go to hell, Maria! I hope that stupid bitch Liz Parker never comes back!”

Suddenly Maria remembered something about her conversation with Liz. She’d told Maria she’d really screwed up and that she knew Kyle was fooling around. “You slut! You’re the reason Liz left, aren’t you?” Maria lunged at Tess but was caught mid air by Alex.

“Most likely. She’ll never stand in my way again.” Tess smiled a wicked grin. She was glad to know Liz was in fact gone. Unfortunately, her gloating didn’t last long. Maria wiggled free of Alex and had Tess on the ground punching her before she had time to defend herself. “Help!” Tess squealed as Maria’s fists kept flying.

Alex was almost sorry to break up the fight, but he had to be mature about this. As much fun as it was to watch Maria beat Tess down, it wasn’t helping them find Liz. “Ok, Rocky.” Alex said pulling a very pissed off Maria away from Tess. “This isn’t helping.”

“That depends, I feel better.” Maria said trying to catch her breath.

“You’re crazy! You just wait until Kyle…”

“Until Kyle what? News flash for ya honey…he doesn’t even know who you are.” Maria was sorry that Kyle was hurt but seeing the look on Tess’s face at the realization that Maria was right, was priceless. “You’re through. Whatever plans you had with Kyle are over. You may think you’ve won, but Liz will be back and Kyle will choose her over trash any day. So, why don’t you scamper off to whatever hole you just crawled out of.”

Tess, on the verge of tears, ran off towards the girls’ locker room leaving Maria smiling behind her.

“Kind of harsh, Maria.” Alex felt a moment of pity for Tess as he watched her run off. He knew she’d earned the reputation she was famous for, but he also knew she’d lost Kyle. Her last chance out of Roswell. “Come on, Maria…we have to find Liz. God only knows what Tess told her.”

“How are we going to find her, Alex? What could’ve happened that would make Liz run off? I’d give anything to know what happened between her and Kyle.” Maria began to cry. Liz would never have run off unless it was something major, and the one person who had heard the truth couldn’t even remember his own name.

~~~~~~~

Liz had been driving for over two days and was completely exhausted, but she knew she had to make what little money she had last until she got to California, so stopping wasn’t an option. She wasn’t really sure what she was going to do now, but she knew her days in Roswell were over. She already missed Maria and Alex but she couldn’t stay there. Liz put a gentle hand across her abdomen, still in shock that there was a life growing inside of her. She knew the responsible decision would’ve been to not have the baby, but for her that wasn’t a possibility. She didn’t know why, but she wanted this baby. Life was going to get a lot more difficult before it got any easier, but one way or another she would make it work. Liz leaned forward to flip on the radio…she needed some driving tunes to keep her awake and to keep her from panicking over the current situation.

I guess I must be wishin’ on someone else’s star
Seems like someone else keeps gettin’ what I’m wishin’ for


“Crap.” Liz said quickly switching the station.

I’m all out of love
I’m so lost without you


“More crap.” Liz said switching the channel yet again.

Well you couldn’t be that man I adored
You don’t seem to know
Seem to care what your heart is for
But I don’t know him anymore
There’s nothing where he used to lie
My conversation has run dry
That’s what’s going on
Nothing’s fine I’m torn


“Better I guess.” Liz mumbled to herself. Is someone trying to tell me something? Liz cranked it up and began to sing along.

So I guess the fortune teller’s right
Should have seen what was there
And not some holy light


The engine started to sputter and choke pulling Liz out of her daze. She looked down to see that the check engine light had come on. “Come on, baby! You gotta keep going!” Liz knew it sounded ridiculous to talk to her car but it was something she did quite frequently. She glanced up to see a Rest Area sign and started to plead with her car to keep going. “Please? You can’t quit on me now.” Liz smiled when the check engine light went off. Happy again, she went back to singing. This seemed to be her theme song.

I’m all out of faith
This is how I feel
I’m cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I’m wide awake
And I can see
The perfect sky is torn
You’re a little late
I’m already torn


Suddenly the car began to sputter again and then the engine just went dead. Lucky for Liz there weren’t any other cars in her way as she coasted off the highway. “No!” She screamed at her car. The rest area was still at least two miles up the road and she knew she was in the middle of nowhere. She removed the keys from the ignition and climbed out cursing obscenities under her breath the whole time. “This can’t be happening!” She screamed again as she popped the hood open. What do I know about cars? She thought to herself and dropped the hood back down. Just when she thought things couldn’t get worse the sky let loose and it began to pour. “Dammit! Not now! Why is this happening?” Liz began to kick the tires of her old Plymouth Sundance. She was stuck and hadn’t seen another car for a while. It would be getting dark soon and here she was, cold, wet, and stranded! “Hello!” She screamed towards the sky. “This just says come murder me now!” Liz was almost on the verge of tears when she noticed a truck pull off the highway and behind her car. Liz had seen enough horror movies to be completely terrified. She watched as the stranger climbed out of his truck and headed towards her.

“Car trouble?” Max yelled from a few feet behind the parked car.

“No, I just love standing in the rain.” She threw back sarcastically.

Max couldn’t help but laugh at the scene in front of him. She was young but he wasn’t sure how young. She was soaking wet and her sundress was clinging to the natural curves of her body. Max held his breath as he saw her fling her wet hair back away from her face. She was beautiful. Realizing that he was staring he began to walk forward to check out the car. “Here…let me take a look…it might be something simple.” He moved around her and immediately smelled the sweet scent coming from her body. My God, she even smells great.

Liz didn’t feel comfortable with the man staring at her so intensely. She started to back away but almost tripped over a mile marker sign. “Look, I’m fine. I can handle this.” Liz was frightened. He was staring a hole right through her but she knew if she asked him to leave she might be stuck here for hours.

Max chuckled. “Yeah. I saw you kicking it. You almost had it kicked into submission.” He quit staring at her and started playing with the wires covering the engine.

“Ha ha ha…a funny guy I see. Can my day get any worse?” She asked herself.

Max continued to mess around under the hood for a few more minutes as the young woman paced back and forth talking aloud to herself. Finally, he shut the hood again and wiped his hands on his work jeans. “I’m sorry, Miss. It’s nothing obvious…probably something deeper in the engine. I could give you a…”

“Oh no! I’m not going anywhere with you! I watch the news. You’re probably one of those crazy psychopaths that pick up women in distress and kill them! Nope! Not going anywhere with you!” Liz stated firmly folding her arms across her chest.

Max tried to hold it in but couldn’t. He let out a laugh and could barely contain himself. “You’re kidding me, right?”

“No, I am not.” She said sticking her nose in the air.

“Well, honey…if I leave you here only God knows how long you’ll be stranded. Now as I started to say, I could give you a lift to town and you can use a phone to call for help…your choice?” Max could see she was conflicted. She knew she was stranded but she still didn’t want to go with a stranger. Max was about to speak again when his cell phone rang. “Just a second, ok?” He said to Liz. “Hello?”

“Maxwell? Where the hell are you? I’ve been waiting for almost an hour. Are we goin’ out tonight or what?” Michael questioned while crunching chips in his ear.

“Not sure. I’m still a few minutes from town and there’s a woman stranded here with her car.” Max glanced at Liz who was trying to pretend she wasn’t listening to his conversation.

“So, what’s your point?”

“Well, I don’t want to just leave her here, but she thinks I’m a psychopathic killer.” Max said trying to hold back his laughter again.

“What a good Samaritan you are. Now would you just quit fooling around and get over here.”

“Michael, I can’t just leave her here even if she is being a pain in the ass.”

“Excuse me? What did you just call me?” Liz huffed. Who does he think he is?

Max smiled and held up a finger. “One second, important conversation here.”

“Fine, sure, no problem.” Liz gave a thumbs up and turned around to kick her car again.

“Michael, I really gotta go. I’ll see you tomorrow, ok?”

“Whatever. You’re so weak sometimes, Maxwell. Later.” Michael hung up, obviously pissed.

“Ok, now where were we? Oh right…psychopathic killer.” He grinned.

“Quit making fun of me. This isn’t exactly a great situation.” Liz kicked the mud that she was now standing in. The rain was starting to come down harder and she was beginning to shiver.

Max noticed that she was shaking and decided he needed to get her out of the rain before she got sick. “My name’s Max. I live in Opal Cliff with my Dad…he owns a motel there and I run it. I know you don’t want to trust me but I can’t just leave you here. Give me a chance… I promise, no funny business. Scout’s honor.” He held out a hand to her and waited to see if she would take it.

Liz just stared for a moment. She knew that it wasn’t safe to take a ride from a stranger but he seemed…different. Reluctantly and against her better judgment, Liz took his hand. “What about my stuff?”

“I’ve got room in my truck if you need to bring your things. You’re not going to get someone out here tonight, so I could give you a room at the motel. It’s hardly peak season so there’s plenty of room.” Max smiled shyly but didn’t release her hand. The moment he’d touched her he’d felt a connection, like heat running through his body. Michael would’ve blamed it on hormones but he knew in his gut this was something else. Something different.

Liz knew she would have to let go for him to help her with her bags but something compelled her to hold on tighter. They both just stood there for several moments with their hands locked together, staring into each other’s eyes. Liz finally let go and turned away. “I’ll get what I need.”

Max jumped quickly to her side. “Here, let me carry those.” He took her small bags and headed for his truck. What just happened? He opened the driver side door and threw her stuff over the seat as gently as he could. As she climbed into the truck he noticed he was holding his breath again. Her dress was almost transparent now and water was running down her chest between her breasts. Max silently prayed to himself that he’d be able to keep his truck on the road. He climbed in slowly and put on his seatbelt. He didn’t know what it was about her. She was beautiful, but it was more. Max had always shied away from girls in the past but for some reason all he wanted right now was to hold her. He could tell she was in trouble and running, but from what?

~~~~~~~

Maria edged herself carefully around the living room window of Alex’s house. She knew if the Whitman’s found her here so late they would make her go home, but she couldn’t let that happen. When she finally reached Alex’s bedroom window she peaked in, not caring for a moment if he was decent or not. He was sitting on his bed, playing his guitar. As usual Maria thought. She needed Alex’s help but she was fully aware of exactly how hard this road trip was going to be to sell to him. He has to say yes. I can’t go without him. She couldn’t put this off any longer. She tapped on the glass gently but Alex jumped anyway. He was so easy to scare.

The moment Alex looked up and saw that it was Maria at his window he knew there would be trouble involved. It was Maria’s middle name! He opened the window slowly and only high enough to talk to her without letting her in. “Maria? What are you doing here?” He already knew too well that he would end up regretting the question.

Maria stared at the half open window for a minute before forcing it the rest of the way up and knocking Alex backwards. “Alex…you gotta help me! It’s an emergency and you can’t say no.” Maria stuck out her lip slightly hoping her pout would help to win him over.

“What is it now, Maria?” Alex slumped back down on his bed and immediately grabbed his guitar. The longer he could put her off, the less likely he’d do something he’d regret later. “Make it quick cause if my parents catch you in here you know they’ll call your mom. They’re suddenly freaking out about this whole teen sex crisis thing they saw on the news and they’re convinced I’m gonna get some nice girl pregnant. Me? Highly unlikely.”

“Alex, focus! Hello! On me…Maria, you know standing right in front of you?”

Alex knew if he didn’t let her just get out whatever it is she came to say he’d never get to sleep tonight. “Fine, Maria. I’m listening. What’s wrong?”

“Over two days, Alex! Two days and nothing but the voicemail message she left me after the accident.” Maria started pacing and biting her thumbnail. “I’ve thought about this and I’ve come to a conclusion.”

“What’s that, Maria?”

“We have to go after her! Pack your bags, Alex cause we’re heading to California.” Maria smiled, so pleased with the plan she had concocted.

Alex laughed, but it didn’t take long to see that Maria was serious. “You can’t be serious! Have you completely lost your mind?”

“Nope and you’re coming with me.”

“No way. Not even a chance of that happening.”

“Alex? Who’s gonna help me and protect me if you don’t go?” Maria stuck out her lip again but Alex wouldn’t even look at her. He just kept shaking his head NO.

“Maria, I love Liz just as much as you do but I refuse to go off on another one of your crazy schemes. No, no, no!”

Fifteen minutes later Alex was following Maria out his bedroom window with his small duffle thrown over his shoulder. “This is crazy.” He whispered to Maria as they passed the front window of his house. “I’m gonna be grounded until I’m eighty. Do you even care?”

“Alex, you’re serving the greater good…think of it that way.” Maria cursed when she fell into the bushes just beyond the window, but she was back on her feet in an instant with an almost hysterical Alex following behind her.

“Very graceful…I give it a ten.” He couldn’t help but giggle. Unfortunately for him that urge left him quickly once they rounded the house to the alley. “Maria? Would you mind telling me what Isabel is doing here?” He asked, pointing at the blue SUV parked behind his house.

Maria smiled and threw an arm over his shoulder. “Well, you see…I had a minor transportation problem and I corrected it.” She responded cheerfully.

“And exactly how did you correct this problem?”

Maria started to nibble on her bottom lip but caught herself. This was going to be harder to explain than the road trip. “I kinda told Isabel that we were taking this trip and she really wanted to go.”

“I get that, Maria, but what did you tell her that made her really want to go?” He knew Maria and she was definitely up to something. “I’m not moving until you tell me the truth.” Alex planted his feet in the dirt and held his ground.

She was trapped. Knowing Alex he would go all moralistic on her and tell Isabel the truth. Oh well…she didn’t have a choice. “Ok, but you can’t get mad. I, well I kinda…you see it really was brilliant.”

“You’re stalling, Maria. Spit it out.”

“Fine.” Maria said defeated. “I told her my rich aunt knew a Hollywood producer and that I was going for an audition. Happy dear?”

“You didn’t.” He looked at Maria’s guilty expression. “Oh God you did!” Alex threw both hands in the air and sat down.

“I had to, Alex. It’s for Liz…I have to find her.”

Alex could tell Maria was on the verge of crying and that he couldn’t stand. He understood that her heart was in the right place, he just wished it would occasionally consult her brain. “All right, all right…we go. But the moment we leave New Mexico you’re telling her the truth.”

“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you.” She said kissing him repeatedly on the cheek. “You won’t regret this.”

Alex shook his head. “I already do.” He knew it was wrong but the thought of being trapped in a car with Isabel Collins wasn’t exactly torture. He climbed into the front seat at Maria’s urging and smiled at an absolutely stunning Isabel. “Hi…Isabel…glad you decided to come.” Alex said nervously. Isabel never spoke to him.

“Well, I had nothing better to do and it would be great to get my modeling career going early.” Even though she smiled as she spoke, she sounded just as snotty as ever.

“Yeah.” Alex eyed Maria viciously. “Your modeling career.” What has Maria gotten me into this time? Alex felt a knot in his stomach when they passed the Now Leaving Roswell sign. They had a long road ahead of them.

~~~~~~~

They had been driving for a few minutes in total silence when Max finally spoke up. “So, what’s your name?”

“Liz. Liz Parker.” Dammit! I shouldn’t have given him my real name! “What’s yours?”

“I’m Max Evans.” He smiled his million-dollar smile. “Nice to meet you, Liz.” Liz. She looked like a Liz. “What brings you to California?” He watched her response closely and knew immediately that she was running away from something or someone.

Liz wasn’t ready to tell him the truth…no matter how handsome and charming he appeared to be. “I don’t have any family and I’ve always wanted to see California, so I just set out for the beach one day and never looked back.” She had to admit…she almost sounded convincing.

Max didn’t buy her story for a minute, but he realized she would have to come around on her own. Sooner or later he would find out the truth about Liz Parker. Whether she meant to tell him or not. There was a connection there that couldn’t be denied and he wasn’t about to let her slip away.


TBC
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Tue Jun 08, 2004 9:48 pm

:lol: Hello everyone! First, before I post this update I want to say thank you to all of you for the amazing feedback you've been leaving me on this fic. I know I'm not updating very often but I'm in the process of moving back to Florida 8) It's amazing, but writing on this board these past few months has brought me and my sister closer together so I'm ready to go back home. Lucky for me my husband is understanding enough to know that :wink: Just a quick warning about this chapter...it's short! It's all I had time to write today and I didn't want to leave town without updating. I'll be back soon and I'll make it up to you on Chapter 3! Enjoy!

CHAPTER 2


“So…are you going to tell me where you’re from?” Max questioned Liz, hoping she might open up a little.

“Does it matter? Cause I’m never going back.” Liz continued to stare out the window. She didn’t want to look at Max. There was something about him that made her want to tell him everything. Everything she’d been through, why she’d left, and most importantly why she could never go back home.

Max could feel her restraint. Obviously she’d been through something, which is why he felt she could probably use a friend. “You know…I don’t bite. I’m just trying to make conversation.” He smiled genuinely at her. She was so beautiful. As much as he wanted to know what had happened to make her run away from her home, he wasn’t going to push. She would tell him in her own time…he truly believed that and pushing her now might push her away.

Liz felt guilty. He’d been nothing but nice to her and had in fact saved her from the rain…but she wasn’t ready…not yet. No matter how gallant Max Evans appeared to be he was still a stranger. “Look, Max…I don’t mean to be rude…but it’s been a really long couple of days and I’m just not ready to talk about it.” Liz saw the sympathetic expression in his eyes, making her want to tell him, but she just wasn’t ready. “You seem really sweet…I just…I can’t.” She turned away from him again and watched as the scenery passed quickly by.

So…she was going to be a little more difficult than he imagined? That didn’t mean he couldn’t get her to talk sooner or later. “Were you headed to any place in particular or just headed for the ocean in general?”

Liz had always dreamed of the ocean. She’d had dreams about it her whole life and wondered what it would feel like to run against the waves. Her Grandma Claudia had been a dreamer too and had told Liz about her many adventures. Liz knew she was hurting right now, but she was sure she would’ve stayed in Roswell until graduation and then left anyway. She was just getting a head start on her future plans. Unfortunately, she was doing it with little money and no high school diploma. She frowned, wondering what she would do once she did find someone to fix her car. She barely had enough money to eat…how was she going to pay for the car? Liz looked back at Max, forgetting what his question had been in the first place. “I have an idea…why don’t you tell me all about yourself?” She smiled, hoping he would take the bait and she would be off the hook.

Max knew what she was doing but he played along anyway. “What do you want to know? I’m an open book.”

“Well, I know your name and where you’re from…tell me about your family. Didn’t you say you work for your dad?”

At the mention of his father Max swerved slightly, caught off guard by her question. He never talked about his father to anyone except Michael. Even then, it hadn’t been by choice. Michael had seen the bruises too many times and knew Max wasn’t that clumsy. He’d pretty much figured it out when they were kids but Max had filled in the blanks. His father had been a good man before his mother had died but since then…he felt the hairs stand at attention on his arms. No one knew what a cruel bastard Phillip Evans had turned out to be. His dad put on wonderful face for the rest of the world to see, but Max saw the truth behind closed doors at night.

“Max? Max, are you ok?” Liz had noticed the beads of sweat start to pool on his forehead and he had turned pale. “Max, did I say something wrong?”

It took Max a minute to realize Liz was talking to him, “I’m sorry…what did you say?”

“Max, what’s wrong?”

“I just didn’t hear your question. What did you say?” Max asked, shifting in his seat.

“Yes you did, Max. I know you heard me…what’s wrong?” Liz was still worried by his pale complexion. The moment she’d mentioned his father she’d watched the color completely drain from his face. Apparently she wasn’t the only one with secrets.

“Look…I didn’t hear you, ok?” Max didn’t mean to sound so hateful, but suddenly he wasn’t in the mood to talk. “Why don’t we just listen to the radio? We’ll be there soon.” He flipped the radio on without waiting for a reply.

Liz loved a challenge and Max Evans was exactly that…a challenge. Maybe she would have to stay in Opal Cliff for a little while. It’s not like she had anywhere else to go. Liz looked out the window again…Opal Cliff…here I come.

~~~~~~~

“Gee, Maria…we’re almost to the state line.” Alex said while nudging Maria in the side. He’d spent the last hour listening to Isabel and Maria gossip about everything from the right make up to hair care products. If Maria didn’t tell Isabel the truth soon he was afraid he’d kill them both.

“Yeah, yeah…right, Alex.” Maria ignored him and continued to talk about the latest cover of Cosmopolitan with Isabel. “Could you believe what she was wearing? Hello! I didn’t realize they were going clothing optional on their covers.” Maria winked at Alex. Her plan was working brilliantly.

He’d had enough! “Hey, don’t we need to stop for gas?” Luckily for him the tank was starting to run low.

Isabel looked down and saw that Alex was right. “Fine…we’ll stop.”

Alex was starting to get a little pissed off at Isabel’s attitude towards him. What had he done to make her so mad? “I don’t know what your problem is, your royal highness, but I could handle a little less attitude from you.” Did I just say that to Isabel Collins? Alex knew for sure that he was under way too much pressure. Isabel was teen royalty and he was lucky to be breathing the same air. “I mean I…”

“Sorry…I didn’t mean to be rude.” Isabel couldn’t believe he’d actually spoken to her that way. No one ever spoke to her like that! “Let’s just stop and get this over with.” Isabel didn’t understand why Alex Whitman, of all people, was getting to her. Her feelings were actually hurt. Her feelings were never hurt.

Maria could see that Isabel was obviously upset. “Way to go, Alex. Could you try to remember she’s our only ride?” She whispered after Isabel had climbed out of her car. “Now go apologize.”

“Me? What did I do? She was the one being rude.”

“Great, Alex…what’s next? She started it! C’mon…you’re better than that.” Maria could see Alex’s inner struggle. Sometimes he’s so transparent. “Ok, so she could be a little nicer but hey you’re the one who’s been mooning all over her for years. At least I got you into the same car.”

“Under false pretenses!” Did Maria actually not see what she’d done wrong?

“I did it for Liz, Alex…you know we have to find her.” Maria stuck her lip out in a pout.

“Don’t even try it! That’s what got me into this mess in the first place! I was not a willing participant in this little scandal of yours and I think it’s about time you told her the truth about where it is we’re going!”

“But Alex…”

“No, Maria. She deserves to know what you’ve gotten her into.” He looked at Maria and watched her continue to pout. “It’s not gonna work, Maria.” She whimpered like a puppy in his ear. “No!” Alex got out of the car still wondering how the hell Maria always did this. He knew what she was doing and yet he fell for it every time. As he approached Isabel she turned her back to him. Great! Two cranky females! Am I nuts? “Would you like me to do that for you?” He questioned, pointing at the gas pump. He was sure she wasn’t used to doing this herself.

Isabel was trying to stay mad and pout, but she really did hate pumping gas. She’d almost broken a nail pulling the nozzle free from the holder. “Sure…I mean if you want to.”

Isabel did her best not to seem over eager but Alex was well aware of how spoiled she really was. “Yeah, I got this. Why don’t you and Maria go buy some snacks?” He reached into his pocket and pulled out his emergency credit card. Only for Isabel would he do something this foolish. He handed over the card reluctantly. “It’s on me.” Three of the most painful words for a man to say.

Isabel took the card gladly, without a moment’s hesitation. “Thank you.” She said sweetly to Alex. “Maria! Shopping!” She waived the card in the air as if it were gold.

What have I done? “Hey…go easy…ok?”

Isabel turned back to him, batting her long eyelashes. “Why of course, Alex dear.”

“Now I’m Alex dear? Nice.” He finished pumping the gas and trotted into the station where Maria and Isabel were proceeding to buy out most of the store. “Hey! I said go easy not buy everything in sight!” He looked through their baskets only to find a lot of chick stuff they didn’t need. “Food. Do you remember what food is?” He asked sarcastically.

Isabel saw Maria wink at her and realized she was on. “Now, Alex…there are certain essentials a girl just can’t live without.” Isabel stood there, smiling innocently and batting her lashes again knowing it would work. It always did.

Alex surveyed the contents Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Us Weekly, People, mascara, and HoHo’s…yep the essentials! Why do I even try? “Go ahead but hurry up…we still have a long way to go.” He should’ve known better…women always win.

Maria and Isabel both blew him a kiss and headed for the register. Alex walked back out to the car and just waited. Women!

~~~~~~~

Max had been silent for the remainder of the trip and Liz was starting to feel guilty. Obviously Max had issues of his own but she had triggered them. They pulled into the parking lot of his father’s motel a few minutes later, but didn’t say a word as he unloaded her things. Liz silently wished he’d say something, but he seemed to be in his own little world. She couldn’t take it anymore…she had to break the silence. “So, this is home?” Bad choice of words she knew immediately. His father owned it and his father was a sore spot.

Max didn’t notice her guilty expression. He looked up at his prison and just nodded. “I guess you could call it that.” He carried her bags into the registration office and began to fill out a room request form.

Liz walked into the small office. It was tiny, but quaint. She looked around and saw the beautiful pictures displayed all over the walls. Some of the pictures looked decades old. Liz came upon a picture of a small boy sitting on a woman’s shoulders and smiled. This must be him. When Liz turned around to ask Max about the picture she found him already watching her. Immediately uneasy, she put the picture back in it’s place and stood there, awkwardly biting her lip. “Sorry.” Liz spoke quietly.

Max hadn’t meant to make her feel bad. She had no way of knowing what kind of life he’d had and he sensed that she would’ve understood if she did. Liz Parker seemed to be a nice girl, which made Max feel even more that he should just stay away. She had her own problems…she sure as hell didn’t need his. He was about to apologize when she suddenly stepped forward and placed a finger across his lips.

“Shh,” she said as if she’d known what he was about to say. “It’s been a rough night. Why don’t we start over tomorrow when we’re both feeling better?”

Her smile was intoxicating. Max’s instincts told him to stay away, but explaining that to his heart was a different story. It was too late…he was completely hooked!

~~~~~~~

“Deputy Hanson? Is the Parker girl still missing?” Jim already had enough to worry about with Kyle, but he was really upset that Liz was still missing. He’d known her since she was just a child. That damn Tess Harding!

“Yes, Sheriff. So far there’s been no word whatsoever.” Hanson started to walk away but stopped. “Sheriff?”

“What is it?” Jim snapped back unintentionally.

“Well, I was just wondering…”

“Spit is out, Hanson. I don’t have time for this.”

“Well, should I start contacting local hospitals in New Mexico?”

Jim thought about it for a moment. It was normal procedure when a minor went missing but he was sure Liz had left on her own. For now it would just be a waste of time. “Not yet…I’m almost positive she’s run away…check the highway patrol again for any sign of her vehicle and get back to me.”

“Yes, sir.” Hanson nodded and finally left.

Jim had been sitting outside the ICU doors for almost two days now. He’d been in to see Kyle, but after the second surgery he’d never regained consciousness. Jim hadn’t been home to change clothes since the accident and could hardly remember what a good meal was. He wasn’t going to leave this hospital without his son. A nurse startled him when she tapped him on the shoulder a few minutes later. He jumped up, hoping for any word on Kyle, but he could tell by her expression this had nothing to do with his son.

“Sheriff?” The petite woman looked a little nervous about speaking to him at all.

“Yes, ma’am?” Jim didn’t understand the look on this woman’s face. She looked almost intimidated or afraid to speak. “Is there something wrong?”

The nurse shifted restlessly from side to side. She’d seen him arguing with the young blonde a few days ago, which made this even harder. “Well, Sheriff, we’re having problems with a young woman in the hospital…she’s been asked to leave but refuses. I know this isn’t a very appropriate time for you, but she’s starting to cause a lot of trouble for the nursing staff.”

Jim sighed. This was the last thing he needed right now. He slowly rose to his feet. At least it would be a distraction from his current frame of mind. “Where is she?”

The nurse pointed down the corridor to another waiting room. “She’s in there, Sheriff. Like I said…I’m really sorry to have to bother you at a time like this.” She laid a comforting hand on his shoulder again, then walked away.

Jim walked down the small corridor to the visitors’ waiting room. He could already hear screaming before he even went through the door. Doesn’t this woman know this is a hospital? Now agitated by the insensitivity of this woman he opened the door. His blood began to boil at the site before him.

“No! I will not calm the hell down and I’m not leaving! I have a right to be here and you can’t stop me!” Tess screamed, jerking away from an orderly.

“No…but I can. I told you to leave. Now, I’ll give you one more chance to go quietly or I’ll arrest you and don’t think I won’t.” Jim glared at her praying she would take his warning seriously. Unfortunately, before he had the chance to physically remove her from the property a nurse came running into the waiting room.

“Sheriff! He’s awake!”


TBC
Last edited by SAFIRESKYE26 on Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:29 pm

Yes, I'm finally back! Sorry it's taken me so long but planning the move has taken more time than I thought. I hope you enjoy this chapter and please excuse any grammatical errors I might've made :roll: I think I caught most of them. The music in this chapter is by none other than the fabulous duo known as the Warren Brothers! I'll be back soon :wink:


***EDITED due to major grammatical errors!!!


CHAPTER 3


“Dad?” Kyle whispered quietly. His throat was sore and his vision was blurry. Where am I? “Dad?”

Jim knelt down beside his son’s bed. He was awake! “I’m right here, Kyle.”

“Where am I? What’s going on?” His throat was so dry it hurt to speak.

“Try not to talk too much, son. There was an accident, and you’re in the hospital.” Jim brushed a stray piece of hair away from Kyle’s face. He’d never been more relieved in his life. Kyle was awake and he was going to be fine.

“An accident? When? My car?” Kyle started to get upset, immediately prompting the nurse to sedate him again. As he drifted back off to sleep he whispered again. “Liz.”

Jim left the room to speak with the doctor. In case it was bad news he didn’t want Kyle to hear anything if he should wake up again. “So, tell me…how is he?”

“Very lucky I’d say. He doesn’t seem to recall the accident, but that’s fairly common. The fact that he asked for you now leads me to believe the second surgery saved his life. He had massive bleeding in the brain and if we hadn’t been able to stop it and relieve some of the pressure…I don’t think he would’ve survived. Trust me, Sheriff…he’s extremely lucky.” Dr. Silverman patted him on the shoulder as he excused himself to answer a page.

“Thank you, God.” Jim prayed aloud once he thought he was alone. Unfortunately for him…he wasn’t.

Tess knew she was on dangerous ground here and didn’t think the sheriff was bluffing, but she wouldn’t just leave Kyle…at least not if he was going to be all right. “Is he ok?”

Jim recognized the voice without even turning. “Dammit, Miss Harding…I thought I’d made myself crystal clear.” He called out as he whirled around.

“I just want to…”

“What? See if your one way ticket out of this town was gonna live?” He could see instantly he’d caught her off guard and her expression told him he wasn’t far off the mark. “That’s what I thought. I’m not stupid, Miss Harding and you are hardly the first girl to try this. You’re the most persistent…I’ll give you that much, but it stops here. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention before, but let me assure you…that’s not a mistake I intend to make again. Now leave before I have you removed.”

She was running out of options. Tess could see hospital security heading directly towards her, but she wasn’t leaving. She yelled out the first thing that came to mind. “I’m pregnant!” The moment the words escaped her mouth she knew it was a mistake by the fire she saw in the sheriff’s eyes, but for now it would buy her more time. Time to see if Kyle would be all right.

~~~~~~~

Alex could see the sun rising over the horizon. It was a brand new day and he was starting it with Isabel Collins. Granted she was passed out in the back seat snoring softly and she’d barely said a word to him last night, but he believed the situation still showed signs of promise. That’s it, Whitman…you have totally lost it! He leaned over and nudged Maria. He had to wake her up. They had no plans and it was time to tell Isabel the truth. “Maria?” He nudged her again, “Maria?”

Maria yawned as she forced open her eyes. She was exhausted and wanted nothing more than a few more hours of sleep. “Leave me alone, Alex. I’m trying to sleep.”

“Maria!” He scolded her in frustration, causing Isabel to stir in the back seat but fortunately she didn’t wake up.

Maria jumped up in her seat. “What?” She asked irritably.

Hello, it’s morning.”

“And?”

“And we’ve left New Mexico.”

“And?”

“Maria! You promised! You said you would tell her everything once we left New Mexico, but instead the two of you went to sleep leaving me to do all of the driving and our lovely passenger still has no clue what you’re up to!” He felt better. Like an idiot, but better.

“Alex, first of all you just need to chill out.” Maria reached into her purse for her Cypress Oil and handed it to Alex. “Here, sniff some of this.” Alex was far too high strung for this early in the morning.

No!” Alex replied, pushing the small bottle away from his nose. “I don’t want to sniff anything! Maria…don’t you get it? We’ve run away from home, our parents have no clue where we are, and will probably be notifying the sheriff any minute. We’ve hijacked a car, and we have no clue where it is we’re going! Is any of this sinking in?”

Maria shook her head. “You’re too tense for someone so young.” She looked at him sadly.

“Maria!” Alex knew he was not far from hyperventilating. How did he always manage to end up in situations like this? He was a sensible young guy, but whenever Maria was around trouble was never far behind. “Why? Why did I even agree to do this? I knew it was wrong. I knew you were crazy, but did I listen to those instincts…no of course not!”

“Alex, is something bothering you?”

Oh my God! You’re insane! Completely, certifiably insane!”

“Alex, relax. Everything’s gonna be fine. Trust me.” Maria smiled innocently, obviously not fooling Alex for a second. “What do you mean we hijacked a car?” She said confused.

Why? Why? Why? I know she’s trouble and yet I fall for it every time. “Yes, you hijacked this car! Maria? How exactly is everything going to be fine? Were you listening at all?” He watched her for signs of remorse but there were none. “Don’t you feel the slightest bit guilty about what you’ve done?”

“And what have I done, Alex?” She stuck her lip out in a pout again. “I’m trying to find our best friend…so sue me. And for the record…I did not hijack this car…I merely borrowed it, with the owner's permission I might add.”

Alex slammed his hands against the steering wheel in frustration. “Under false pretenses! It’s not so much what you’ve done…it’s how you went about it, Maria. This is wrong.”

“Wrong? Wrong that I would do anything to find Liz? How is that such a bad thing?” Maria threw both hands in the air. Why couldn’t Alex understand?

“It’s not, Maria,” he saw her tension start to fade, “unless you use other people in the process.” He finished, not letting her off the hook so easily.

“I still say I did what I had to do. Besides, all teenage girls want to go to Hollywood, so it’s not like I’m hurting Isabel.”

“Can you even hear yourself? We’re not going to Hollywood, Maria…that was a lie!”

“What was a lie?” Isabel questioned in a sleepy tone from the back seat.

Shit! “Oh nothing.” Alex replied smiling. “Nothing at all.” Alex shot Maria a vicious glare.

Isabel saw the unusual looks flying back and forth between Maria and Alex and knew something wasn’t right. “What’s going on?” Neither of them said a word but continued driving as if they hadn’t heard her. “Maria? Alex? What’s going on?”

Finally Maria realized now was as good a time as any. “Well…you know that audition we’re supposedly heading to?”

“Yeah.” Isabel responded nervously. “What about it?”

“It ain’t gonna happen, sister. I made it up.” Maria glanced over the seat, “sorry.”

You what!” Isabel asked in a low, deadly voice, while she wrapped her hands around Maria’s throat. “Where are you taking me?” She screamed even louder.

“Let go.” Maria choked out, trying desperately to free herself from Isabel’s grip.

“Isabel! Isabel, stop!” Alex held one hand on the wheel, while he tried to use the other to grab Isabel. “Ladies! Please!”

Isabel finally released Maria. “Alex Whitman, turn this car around now! We’re going home!”

As much as Alex wanted to do what she requested, he couldn’t. They’d already come this far and while he believed Maria to be a total lunatic, he wanted to find Liz. “I can’t do that, Isabel.”

“What? Are you saying you won’t take me home?” Isabel asked, shocked.

“I’m not saying we won’t…just not yet.” He could feel the storm brewing and any minute Hurricane Isabel was going to strike.

“I can’t believe this!” Isabel was astounded.

“Now, Isabel…” Alex decided to appeal to her rationally.

“You’re abducting me!” She screamed.

So much for being rational. This was definitely going to be a long trip. He shot another glance at Maria who was now ducked down in the seat. Liz, I hope we find you soon.

~~~~~~~

Liz had slept like a rock the night before but only because she’d been completely exhausted. It had been three days now…three long days. Now lying here she couldn’t help but let her mind wander to Kyle. I wonder if he’s awake. Does he even remember me? Liz immediately tried to brush away the thoughts. Kyle was the last thing she wanted to think about. He’d betrayed her and that was enough. Feeling restless still lying in bed, Liz stood up and turned on the clock radio in her room. She needed music. It always made her feel better and at the moment it could help her forget about her problems. Liz kept trying to find a decent station but it seemed the only reception she was able to get was a country station. “Just what I need,” she huffed, “some cry me a river music. Oh well,” she continued to talk to herself, “I might as well unpack since I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere for a while.” Before diving into the task at hand she knew she had to open all the windows. After all, she was here…she could see the ocean. She opened the sliding glass door that went out to her balcony and looked out upon the most beautiful sight in the world. She watched the waves crashing against the shoreline and couldn’t help but think that’s how she felt. She decided to open the front door to her room also. It had a screen and she was sure it was perfectly safe. She needed to breathe the ocean air.

Max hadn’t slept a wink. He’d tossed and turned and thought of nothing other than Liz Parker. He wanted to go to her even though it was inappropriate, but he couldn't understand the strength of these emotions. He wanted her. There was no denying it, but he was still a stranger to her. So, he’d stayed in his own room and watched bad reruns most of the night, constantly checking the clock to see if it was morning yet. When the sun rose he climbed out of bed. He paced back and forth thinking of the alluring brunette he’d picked up the night before. Shortly after eight, he decided to take the chance that she might be awake and to his delight she was. He stood there, outside the door just watching her. He knew it was wrong and he should make his presence known, but for the moment he was content watching her. She’s even more stunning in the daylight! He watched her unpacking, happy to know she must be staying at least for now. She passed by the doorway causing him to step back and bang his head into the light fixture just outside of her room. He swore silently before stepping forward again. My God she’s amazing. He wanted to speak but words escaped him.

Liz was doing her best to take her mind off of her troubles, but every song just seemed to hit home for her right now. “That’s what I get for listening to a country station.” She said smiling. Then she heard a familiar song and her heart began to break. She just stood there clutching a t-shirt, unable to move.

It’s thirty years later
And my little girl she’s not quite grown
In tears she calls me up one night
Says I’m gonna have a child of my own
And the boy that I love
Daddy he’s gone away
And of the million things that ran
Through my mind
Only one I can say

Tell me where does it hurt
Where is the pain
You know if I could I’d make it go away
It’s not the end of the world
Not heaven on earth
Can I make it better
Where does it hurt


“Oh, Daddy.” Liz whispers through tears before collapsing on the bed.

Max’s heart was breaking for her. He knew it had been wrong to watch the personal moment she’d just experienced, but he couldn’t tear himself away. She is pregnant. I knew it! Max tried to walk away, but it was impossible. She was hurting and he didn’t want to leave her there alone. Reluctantly he knocked on the doorframe. He’d invaded her privacy long enough. “Liz?”

Max! She didn’t want him to see her like this, but it was her own fault for leaving the door open. She wanted to pretend to be sleeping, but he was obviously aware that she was awake. Quickly she wiped her tears on the shirt she was still clutching and stood up. “Max?”

“Can I come in?” Max wanted so badly to take her in his arms and let her know everything was going to be all right, but he couldn’t. I’m a stranger to her. He kept repeating over and over in his mind.

Part of Liz wanted to be alone, to wallow in her own self pity, but she couldn’t turn Max Evans away. She wanted to be near him. “Sure.” On shaky knees she crossed over to the screen door to unlock it. “Come in.” After he enters she notices there are clothes scattered everywhere, so she immediately starts grabbing things to throw into the drawer she’s left open. Her mortification truly sets in when she realizes Max is staring at a pair of crimson panties hanging on the end of the bed. Trying desperately to keep her composure she snatches them up and stuffs everything into the drawer. “Sorry.” She mutters, horrified.

Max’s thoughts are anything but pure and he knows he’s probably turning his own shade of red, so he walks to the open door at the balcony and looks out. Anything to keep from facing her at the moment. “So…how do you like your view?”

Liz was relieved when he finally spoke. It’s something simple, so hopefully he didn’t witness her minor meltdown. “I love it!” She declares, walking over to the balcony. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s breathtaking.” Liz whispers, lost in the waves again.

Max smiled at her amazement. He’d lived by the ocean his whole life, so he didn’t see the wonder and amazement she sees when she looks at it. He did once…a long time ago. His mother had loved the ocean and she’d taught him at a young age to appreciate its beauty. Unfortunately, when she died she’d taken all of the beauty in this world with her. Until now he thought. “Well, what do you say we take a closer look then? I know you didn’t come this far just to stand here.” He said teasingly.

“But don’t you have to work?”

“Nope, I’m off today. Which I think works out perfectly.”

His smile is so captivating. Looking into his eyes Liz felt like she could stay lost there for days. “Yes,” she answerd shyly, “it is.” Liz is embarrassed when her stomach growls loud enough for Max to hear. She couldn’t remember the last real meal she’d had.

Sensing her embarrassment, Max didn’t hesitate. “I’m starving. What would you say to me making us both some breakfast before we set out on our little journey?”

Liz saw what he was doing and was grateful. “I’d really like that.”

“Great! Why don’t you grab a suit and meet me downstairs in about five minutes. My room is right behind the registration office and I’m an excellent cook.” He smiled proudly.

“Sounds like a plan.” She started to turn away but looked up at Max instead. “Thank you…for everything.”

“You’re welcome, Liz.” He grinned at her one last time and then headed out the door.

Wow! Maria, if only you could see this man. Liz is positive her best friend would definitely approve of Max Evans! She put on her bathing suit quickly, not wanting to keep Max waiting. She threw on a pair of jean shorts and a yellow tank top and heads out the door. She wasn't at all surprised by her own eagerness to spend more time with Max Evans. Maybe life is going to get better after all!

~~~~~~~

Michael let himself in as he always did. The concept of knocking was beyond him. “Hey, Maxwell.” He said, plopping down on to Max’s pathetic excuse of a couch. “So…what are we doing today?”

His timing couldn’t have been worse. Max knew Liz was still very fragile and on her way to his room any second. “Michael…could we maybe hook up later?”

“Why? I’m here now.” Michael responds as he flips on the TV.

Max shifted uncomfortably. He knew Michael would give him a hard time about Liz and he was less than elegant when talking to women. There was no way he could get Michael out of here before Liz arrived and he knew Michael would rub Liz the wrong way. He rubs everyone the wrong way. “Well, I kind of made other plans and…” He was interrupted by the knock on the door.

“That can’t be your old man…he pounds on the door. You expecting someone?”

“Yeah, kind of. Michael, I don’t ask you for much, do I?”

“No, not really. Why?”

“I’m asking you now, no begging you, please be nice for the next few minutes before you leave.” Max said, pleading with him.

“Why am I leaving?” Michael sounded confused.

“Trust me, you are. Now sit up and try not to act like an ape.” This has disaster written all over it! He answers the door smiling, but trying to hide Michael at the same time. “Hi, Liz.”

Liz could see that he was acting odd from the moment he opened the door. “Everything ok, Max? Can I come in?”

“Can you come in?” He repeated trying to think of a way to avoid the confrontation between Liz and Michael. Michael was somewhat…abrasive and he didn’t want Liz to get a bad impression of him. It was hopeless and he was stuck. Might as well get this over with. “Of course you can come in.” He stepped aside to let her through and put his hands in the air to pray. Please let Michael behave!

“Hi.” Liz noticed the stranger immediately since he was eyeing her like a hawk. “I’m Liz…a friend of Max’s.”

“A friend, huh?” He looked past her to where Max was currently beating his head into the wall. He decided to give Max a break for once. “Nice to meet you. I’m Michael…also a friend of Max’s.”

Michael? Then it hit her. “Sure…Michael. The one that wanted Max to leave me stranded in the rain alone last night.” She retorted.

“Shit! That was you?” Michael continued to eye her up and down. “No wonder Maxwell wouldn’t leave you behind. Just doing your patriotic duty, huh Max?”

Max wanted to keep beating his head into the wall, but now Liz was watching him. “Michael.” He muttered under his breath.

Irritated, Liz threw her small bag back over her shoulder. “Maybe I should come back later?” She said, heading back out the door.

“No, Liz. Please stay?”

“I think you’re a little busy right now, Maxwell.” Liz said sarcastically.

“Liz, Michael was just leaving, weren’t you?” Max said glaring at Michael.

Offended, Michael stood up. “You mean you’re tossing me out for a chick that thought you were a psychopath?” Michael folded both arms across his chest and held his stance.

“Michael! That’s enough!” He turned to face Liz who was obviously irritated. “Liz, I’m sorry…please don’t go?”

“Maxwell?”

“Michael, could you shut up for a minute please?” He yelled over his shoulder. “Please, Liz…I really want to spend the day with you.”

For anyone else Liz knew she would’ve already been out of there, but that million dollar smile of his kept her holding on. “Fine,” she said, dropping her bag back down, “but exactly what are the plans now?” Liz looked at Michael…she didn’t want to spend the day with him.

“Why don’t I fix all of us some breakfast and then you and I will head out, ok?”

“Ok.” As if she had the willpower to say no.

Max walked back into his humble kitchen as Liz sat down next to Michael. “It’ll be ready in just a minute.”

“So…you didn’t by any chance bring any more chicks that look like you with ya?” Michael had to admit, Maxwell had great taste.

“No, I didn’t bring any more chicks with me. Sorry.” This was not the way she’d expected this day to go.

“Too bad…you’re not too hard on the eyes.” Michael licked his lips as he spoke.

My God! You are such a pig!” How Max Evans could be friends with a Neanderthal like this was a mystery.

“I just call it like I see it, sweetheart.” Michael thought he was being charming. “That was supposed to be a compliment, you know.”

“A compliment? Really? So, you think staring at me like I’m on a menu is a compliment?”

“Man…you sure are uptight.”

Max could hear the scene unfolding from the kitchen. All he’d wanted was a peaceful day. One day! “Hey! That’s it! Michael…Liz is a guest and I promised to show her around. Now it’s obvious to me that won’t be possible with you here. So, can we please hook up later? We’ll do anything you want…later.”

Liz stood up and grabbed her bag again. “Don’t bother, Max. This guest will find her own way around!” Liz stormed out of the room without looking back. Men!

~~~~~~~

Oh my God, Alex! It’s Liz!” Maria flipped her cell phone open. “Liz? Liz, is that really you?”

“I don’t know, Maria…who else would come up as Liz on your phone?”

“Girlfriend, I have been worried sick about you! Where are you?”

“I can’t tell you, Maria.” Liz wiped the tears currently flowing from her eyes. “I just wanted you to know I was ok.”

“Liz? Please tell me where you are. Alex is here with me and we’re looking for you.”

“Don’t, Maria! I don’t want to be found.” Liz wasn’t ready to deal with her life in Roswell and Maria was part of that life. “I just need some time. Please tell my parents I’m ok and I love you! I’ll call again soon.” Liz hung up before Maria could have time to convince her to come home. She wasn’t ready, but Maria never took no for an answer. She lay back down on her bed and let the tears flow.

~~~~~~~

“Liz? Liz? She hung up on me!” Maria was shocked.

“You can’t possibly be surprised.” Isabel shot back.

“Can it, Princess! Alex we have to find her!” She was practically hysterical.

“Maria, we don’t even know where she is.” Alex was always the voice of reason even if Maria never listened.

“I don’t care, Alex! We have to find her! We have to! The ocean! I could hear the ocean, I know it! She’s in California!”

“Maria…do you even know how big California is?” Alex asked, knowing she didn’t really care.

“It doesn’t matter…we’ll find her.”

Maria was biting her thumbnail, which Alex knew wasn’t a good sign. “Maria! Don’t you have any clue where she might have gone?”

“I know it would have to be someplace small, but pretty.”

“Great, Maria…that’s like the entire west coast.” Isabel pointed out. She didn’t want to be here, but then again she didn’t want to be in Roswell either. For some reason the idea of California intrigued her. She felt drawn there, like something was guiding her. “Give me the map.” She took it from Alex and started concentrating on the coastal cities, but it didn’t take her long. “Here,” she pointed at a location on the map, “Opal Cliff.”

Alex looked at Isabel, astonished. “How’d you do that?”

“It’s coastal, it’s pretty, and even the name is beautiful. It’s where I’d go.”

“You’d go somewhere just because the name was pretty?” Alex eyed her oddly.

“Yeah. Do you have a better idea?”

Alex shook his head. “Nope. I guess we’re heading for Opal Cliff, California.”

Isabel didn’t tell them she felt drawn there. Hopefully it was some sixth sense regarding Liz, but Isabel believed it to be something more. Maria and Alex would’ve thought she was crazy if she’d told them the truth…at the moment she’d rather be an airhead. So now the three of them were heading west to California. Opal Cliff? She knew it meant something.


TBC




Last edited by SAFIRESKYE26 on Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:49 am

Hello everyone. Sorry to say this will probably be the last update for 2 weeks...I'm going out of town with my sister this weekend and moving as soon as I get back. I'll try to write during the move (9 hrs in a truck, what else is there to do) and post as soon as my computer is back up. I hope you enjoy this chapter :lol:


CHAPTER 4

Max waited for Michael to leave an hour later before going to find Liz. Inside he hoped she would’ve cooled down by now, but on the other hand the hour could’ve given her more time to be angry. Either way he had to find her. He knocked on her door and waited, but there was no answer. After a few minutes he realized she might have gone down to the beach alone. Max grabbed the small picnic basket he had packed and headed for the beach, hoping he would find Liz Parker. Max didn’t have to search long…Liz was sitting on a large rock in the sand staring out into the ocean. He approached her slowly, not sure if he was still welcome, but once he was within four feet of her he could tell she’d been crying. “Liz?” He whispered gently.

Liz had expected Max to eventually find her but she’d hoped it would’ve been later. She was a mess and didn’t want him to see her this way. She jumped off the rock she’d been sitting on and walked closer to the water. She didn’t know what to say to him right now, so avoidance seemed like her best option.

Max set the small basket down and followed her to the edge of the water. It was obvious she wanted to be alone, but he couldn’t just leave her there. He’d seen the tears. “Liz?” He whispered again, but she didn’t respond. “I know things didn’t go as planned today and I’m sorry. Michael can be…”

“I don’t care about Michael.” Liz interjected. “I know I probably overreacted, but I’ve been a little emotional these last few weeks.” She glanced over at Max. “I’m sorry for running out.” Liz looked back at the waves crashing in front of her. She wanted desperately to just run out into the waves and never come back. It wasn’t that she wanted to die…it was more a case of she didn’t know how to live anymore.

“You had every right to leave…I knew you were upset this morning, which is why I planned a quiet picnic for us. I figured you could use a good meal and I thought we could start over. You know, a brand new day.” Max shuffled his feet in the sand nervously. Liz Parker was the first bright spot in a rather meek existence for quite some time. He wanted to get to know her better and he knew she could use a friend right now considering the situation she was in.

Liz saw the small basket and smiled despite herself. “Is that for us?” She gestured casually towards the beautiful basket.

“Well, yeah…if you’re hungry?” Was she giving him another chance?

Liz chuckled slightly. “To tell you the truth I’m starving.” She turned and walked to where Max was standing. “Let’s just start over…from the beginning.” She held her hand out before her, “I’m Liz Parker, damsel in distress…it’s nice to meet you.” She giggled.

Relieved, Max took her hand in his, “Max Evans…local white knight.”

They both laughed and began to lay out the blanket and food Max had prepared for them. They looked at each other as they unpacked the small basket, but each blushed every time their eyes met. Liz was amazed at the spread he had fixed for the two of them since he barely knew her. “Max…thank you…you didn’t have to do this.”

“I wanted to. I know we got off to a rocky start, but I really wanted to correct that.”

“It’s working.” Liz responded grinning widely. “I needed this.”

Max wasn’t sure what to say to Liz. He knew about her situation or at least he had some idea, but he knew she wasn’t ready to talk about it just yet. So, he opted for small talk instead. “So, what do you think of the ocean? It’s your first time here, isn’t it?”

Liz shook her head as she popped a strawberry into her mouth. She’d dreamed of this day for so long. The day she would finally be standing on the sand at the edge of the ocean, as it lapping at her feet. Of course she’d pictured the day much differently. She never thought she’d be seventeen, pregnant, and on the run when her dream finally came true. “It’s breathtaking.” She finally responded to his question. “My grandmother used to tell me stories about all of her adventures and she insisted that someday I visit the ocean. She said it was a place for dreamers.” Liz wished her grandmother were still alive to share this moment, but then again she wouldn’t have been able to bear the look of disappointment in her eyes over what Liz had become. She couldn’t help but feel ashamed.

“Liz? I know it’s none of my business, but you seem a million miles away. Is there anything I can do?” Max wanted her to open up, but he was already expecting her to pull away. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

“Max…it’s not that I don’t want to tell you…it’s just that I’m still trying to come to terms with everything myself. Please understand…it’s not you.” She couldn’t tell him because she wasn’t ready to see disappointment in his eyes either. She liked the way he looked at her…it had been a long time since anyone had looked at her that way. She wanted it to last as long as possible.

“It’s ok, Liz…you look like you could use a friend. I want to help.”

Liz smiled at him again. “You are helping.” She broke the glance between them, sure that she was blushing again. “Why don’t you tell me about yourself? Who is max Evans?”

If only she knew how loaded that question was. Max had been dreading this moment. Like Liz, he had things to hide. “What do you want to know? My life is pretty boring.”

“What do you want to be? Where do you want to go? How’d you end up here when you should be in college?” Liz regretted the last question the instant it left her mouth. She already knew that there was something wrong between him and his father and for all she knew he could be going to college locally. “I’m sorry, Max. I’m curious by nature and sometimes a bit nosy.”

“It’s ok, Liz. Those were all good questions…I’m just not sure I have the answers. I don’t know what I want to be, but I know I want to go to college to figure it out. Unfortunately, my father has kept me here to run the motel for him. I’m all he has.” Max couldn’t meet her eyes right now. He knew there were more questions there and he wasn’t sure he could answer them. Max stood up and walked back towards the water with Liz right behind him. “My mom died when I was ten. She had cancer and by the time they found it, it was too late. She could’ve fought it but she kept saying she wanted to leave this world on her own terms…not sick from medicine and in a hospital.” Max looked at Liz again, who was hanging closely on his every word. “You remind me of her…spunky and strong.”

“I’m not that strong.” Now it was Liz’s turn to look away. “Tell me about your dad, Max.” She was aware that he probably wouldn’t answer, but she tried anyway.

“There’s not much to tell.” Max bent down and picked up a rock and chucked it into the ocean. “Everyone thinks he’s a saint…only I know the truth. He was a great man when my mother was still alive. I think she gave him balance, but when she died every ounce of goodness in him died too. He’s an alcoholic now…violent and always angry.”

Liz could hear the hurt in his voice. He’d obviously been through a lot. “Then why do you stay?”

“Why do most people stay? Deep inside you hope they’ll change one day…that you’ll finally be paid back for your patience and receive the love you’ve always wanted.” Max could see she was on the verge of tears again, but this time he knew it was for him. “I’ve thought about leaving…Michael’s asked me to leave a hundred times, but my hope keeps me here. I guess I’m not ready to give up on him yet.”

“So…he hurts you?” Liz questioned while holding her breath.

“Yeah…sometimes.” Max threw another rock into the ocean. “He gets drunk and he gets mean, but I still stay. Pathetic, huh?”

“Brave.” Liz whispered. “So, Michael knows and that’s why he’s so protective of you?”

“Yeah, he knows…but he really is an asshole sometimes.” Max laughed remembering their turbulent morning. “He means well, but he’s difficult. Always has been.”

“You two grew up here together?” Liz bent down to pick up a rock and toss it into the ocean like Max was doing.

“Yep, but this wasn’t where we were born. We’re both adopted. My parents found us on the side of the road when we were about two. No one knew where we came from and no one ever claimed us. The police tried to find our parents but when no one came forward we were adopted. Phillip and Dianne Evans adopted me and Frank Guerin, a friend of my Dad’s, adopted Michael. He was a real bastard too, but he died a few years ago.”

“What happened to Michael when he died?”

“The state tried to put him in foster care but he kept running away, so they emancipated him when he was sixteen and he’s been on his own ever since. It’s kind of why he’s so abrasive.”

“That and he probably doesn’t want to share you…his only friend.” It all made sense to her now, Michael’s possessiveness and Max’s reaction to his father’s name. Max Evans had been through hell too. It made her want to tell him everything, but she didn’t know how. “I’m getting kind of tired…do you mind if we go back to the motel?” She was starting to feel dizzy and the last thing she wanted was to pass out in front of Max.

“Sure.” Max gathered the basket and all its contents quickly. As they headed back for the motel Max noticed Liz looked a little pale. “Are you ok? You don’t look so hot.”

“Is that your polite way of telling me I look like shit?” Liz inquired teasingly.

“Oh no, I didn’t mean…”

“Relax, Max…I was kidding.” She giggled at his panicked expression. She couldn’t help but find it amusing.

“Right.” It didn’t take them long to get back and Max wasn’t ready to say good bye but he could see she wanted to be alone. “Well…I had a great time. Thanks for understanding about Michael…he’s a good guy once you get to know him.”

“I’m sure he is.” Liz stood on her tiptoes and kissed Max’s cheek. “Thank you…I really needed today.”

“You’re welcome, Liz.” Max wanted to kiss her but he held back. She was carrying someone else’s child, he was sure of it, and regardless of whether or not she had run away…she might still love him. “I guess I’ll see you tonight? I could make you dinner.”

Liz didn’t understand his eagerness to help her. He didn’t even know her. “Are you sure it wouldn’t be too much trouble?”

“Not at all.” He responded immediately.

“Then I’d like that. I’ll see you tonight, Max.”

“Alright, seven ok for you?”

“Perfect.” Liz saw him blush and watched as he walked away. There was something so special about Max Evans…She didn’t know what it was yet, but she knew he wasn’t the typical nineteen year old. Once she could no longer see him, she shut the door. She was exhausted and figured a nap wouldn’t hurt. She wanted so badly to call Maria and tell her about the amazing afternoon she’d spent with Max, but she knew she couldn’t. That was a life she had to leave behind. After lying down, Liz dozed off instantly.

~~~~~~~

Kyle was sitting up in bed when Tess walked in that afternoon. He wasn’t surprised to see her but he sure as hell wasn’t happy either. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you, baby.” Tess purred as she tried to climb into bed with him.

“Whoa! What do you think you’re doing?” He asked with a sickened expression on his face.

“Baby, what’s wrong? I was just trying to make you feel better.”

“Then why don’t you leave.” Kyle stated coldly.

Tess stood there for a moment in shock. Kyle had never spoken to her that way. “Kyle, I…”

“You what? I heard what you told my father.” He watched as she began to squirm. “Yeah, and he told me Liz is missing and he’s sure you had something to do with it. So spill it, Tess…what did you say to her?” Kyle had felt guilty for months for screwing around behind Liz’s back but he’d continued to do it. Now all he wanted was to make it right.

“Sweetheart…I didn’t say anything.” Tess responded in her most seductive voice. “Why are we even talking about that little mouse? Frankly, I’m glad she’s gone.”

“You don’t get it, do you? Tess, Liz is my girlfriend…you’re just the whore I’ve been messing around with. There was never anything serious between us and I know I told you that more than once.”

“But, Kyle…I thought we…”

“You thought wrong. Maybe I’m feeling sentimental because I got a second chance at life or maybe I just realized you’ve been using me…I’m not really sure which, but I intend to make it up to Liz the moment she comes back. I don’t care what you thought we had…it’s over.”

Tess was fuming. She knew graduation was coming up and Kyle was her last chance out of this piece of shit town. She’d be damned if she’d blow it now. “Well, that bitch is never coming back and what I told your father was true…I am pregnant and you have to start taking some responsibility for it.” It didn’t matter to her that it was a lie…the only thing that mattered was Kyle’s golden football career ahead of him. She was going to get a piece of him one way or another.

~~~~~~~

Alex had been listening to chick music for almost fourteen hours and it was starting to drive him mad. “Hey…maybe we could change the station for a little while…you know to something a little less…girly?” Just because they’re women doesn’t mean they can’t be reasonable.

“Nope.” Maria replied quickly.

“Absolutely not.” Isabel added.

“C’mon! My brain is frying and every song sounds exactly the same.” Alex argued.

“Fine, Alex…we’ll vote. Majority rules.” Isabel said sweetly.

Alex knew it was a waste of time but agreed reluctantly. “Fine.”

Both girls’ arms shot up just as he’d suspected they would. “We win.” Isabel said winking at Maria. She went back to filing her nails while Maria was reading one of the many magazines they’d purchased the night before. Isabel hated to admit it, but she was actually enjoying herself. All of her friends were extremely stuck up and image was everything. None of them would’ve ever driven halfway across the country to find her…that much she knew. Maria Deluca seemed a bit quirky to Isabel, but fun none the less, and then there was Alex Whitman. Isabel knew he had been secretly worshiping her for years but she’d never given him the time of day. He seemed…sweet she thought. “So…why exactly did Liz run away?” She hadn’t expected her question to stun them both into total silence, but it had. “Hello?”

Alex didn’t really know why Liz had left, but he had a few ideas. He hadn’t told Maria about the night last week when he’d found her throwing up in her bathroom. She’d told him it was nothing and at the time he’d believed her, but since her disappearance the thought kept running through his mind. He suspected that she might be pregnant and he knew Kyle had been fooling around…it was just the kind of thing to send a girl running. Inside he hoped it wasn’t true but all signs pointed to yes. He’d thought about telling Maria, but she was panicked enough. She didn’t need anything else to worry about. “We don’t know.” Alex stated simply.

“After her accident with Kyle she just…left.” Maria said quietly. “No one knows what happened that would make Liz run, but we all know this isn’t like her.” Maria added defensively.

“No…Liz seems like the sensible type. I always wondered what she was doing with a moron like Kyle Valenti.” Isabel declared.

Thank you! See, Maria, I’m not the only one who thinks Liz is too good for that poor excuse of a human being.”

Maria shook her head. “Don’t worry…he’s got issues.” She gestured towards Alex. “Kyle stuffed him in a locker last year, so…”

“He’s an overgrown ape…a waste of perfectly good oxygen!”

“He’s not that bad, Alex, and he cares a lot about Liz.” Maria defended.

“I kind of agree with Alex…he’s a jerk, Maria. I’ve seen him around at parties and well…” she didn’t have the heart to finish. Just last week she’d seen him at Pam Troy’s birthday extravaganza with Tess Harding. The two didn’t look or act like strangers. “Maybe Liz found out about his extracurricular activities.”

“No,” Maria jumped in, “Kyle wouldn’t do that to Liz and besides if he did she’d never have run…she’d have told me so we could kill him.” Suddenly Maria’s mind was going crazy. What if Isabel’s right?

“Unless there’s more to it than that.” Isabel could think of only one reason a teenage girl would leave home and from the look Alex was giving her, he’d apparently thought of it also. “Hey, I’m hungry…why don’t we stop for lunch?” Isabel knew she needed to change the conversation. Obviously Maria was oblivious to the idea of Liz being pregnant, and Alex hadn’t said a word to her about it.

“Ok.” Maria said, but her mind was wandering elsewhere. She and Liz had never kept secrets from each other…why would Liz not tell her what was going on? “I’m gonna try her cell again…maybe she’s cut it back on. Maria dialed the number to Liz’s phone and waited. It rang several times, but she didn’t pick up. “No answer. It’s back on…it didn’t go to voicemail, but she didn’t answer.” Maria was getting more worried by the second. What if Liz is hurt? What if she’s unconscious? Maria’s feverish brain started going into overload. She needed to find Liz now!

~~~~~~~

Max looked through the door at her sleeping figure all balled up and smiled. She looked so delicate and fragile lying there, but he had a feeling Liz Parker was stronger than she gave herself credit for. Max felt guilty…he was spying on her for the second time in one day but he couldn’t help himself. He was so drawn to her, but he didn’t know why. He was about to knock when he heard a phone ringing. He watched as Liz started to sit up but she didn’t rush to answer the phone. Instead he watched her nibble her bottom lip as she waited for it to stop. Once the ringing had stopped he knocked on the door unintentionally startling her. “Hey, Liz…I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Max.” She walked over to unlock the door. “You didn’t scare me…I just wasn’t expecting you.” She fiddled with the lock for a moment before she was able to open the door. “Sorry…come in.” She moved aside for him to enter.

“I know our date wasn’t until tonight, but I…”

“Date?” Liz questioned horrified. She wasn’t ready for a date. As much as she liked Max Evans it wouldn’t be fair to him and she knew it. “Max…I didn’t think it was a date.” Once again the shame washed over her.

“Date? I didn’t really mean date…it was just a figure of speech.” They both stood there awkwardly for what seemed like an eternity before Max remembered his reason for going up there in the first place. “Your car…I had it towed into town and checked out…I just wanted to let you know I was taking care of it.” Max wanted to crawl away and hide in a hole. He already had feelings for Liz despite his better judgment but obviously those feelings were not returned. Max started to walk out the door embarrassed but Liz stopped him.

“Max, wait…please don’t go.” She reached out to take his arm exposing his hand in the process. He was holding a bouquet of flowers. Beautiful wildflowers. “Max.” She whispered, touched by the gesture. “For me?”

Max smiled and shook his head. “Nope…they’re for some babe I’m romancing in room 203.”

Liz laughed. “Oh…well then I guess I’d better let you get to her.” She answered teasingly. Being with Max seemed so easy, but she knew it wasn’t fair. He’d been through hell the last several years…he didn’t need her problems too.

“Well…I guess I can pick her some more later…after all you need something to brighten up this room.” He still wanted so badly to kiss her, but maintained his distance.

Liz took the beautiful flowers from his outstretched hand. “I love wildflowers.” She said burying her nose in them. “They smell wonderful. Where’d they come from?”

“They grow wild over on the bluff about a mile from here…I saw them and thought of you.” Max said shyly. He knew he was wearing his heart on his sleeve but he didn’t care. He’d dated here and there but had never been serious about anyone before. He’d never told anyone about his father besides Michael and yet he’d been compelled to tell her. He didn’t understand the intensity of his emotions so early on, but they felt right. Like he’d been waiting his whole life for Liz Parker to walk into it and make things better. To him she was like an angel. Sanity no longer existed.

“What were you doing at the bluff?” Liz could feel the intensity of the moment and needed to take the focus off of herself.

“I go there sometimes…to think.” He walked over to look out the patio door. “Sometimes I just need to get away from here even if it isn’t far. Especially on the days when I’m off, I don’t like to hang around for my dad…”

He didn’t need to finish the sentence, Liz knew where it was going. “I’m sorry, Max.”

“Don’t be…you’re the first bright spot in a long time.” He faced her again and brushed her hair away from her face with his hand. “You’re so beautiful.” He hadn’t meant to say it aloud but it was the truth.

“Max, I’m not…”

He reached out and touched her soft lips with his finger. “It’s ok…it’s too fast.” He couldn’t tell her he understood the reasons behind her resistance, but he knew she felt something too. “Why don’t you put those in some water before they die?” He could feel her uneasiness, which was the last thing he wanted.

“Ok…thank you, Max. They’re beautiful…really.” Liz walked over to the small kitchenette in her room to try to find something to put the flowers in. All she could find was a large drinking glass but for now it would do. She arranged the small bouquet quickly and turned to go back to Max. Suddenly she felt dizzy and before she could stop and sit down everything went black.

Max saw her hit the floor and was immediately at her side. “Liz? Liz, can you hear me?” She was still breathing but there was no response. “Liz?” He tried again. After a minute of no response he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. He moved his hand to her abdomen, sure that was where the problem might be. He placed his hand on her stomach and the flashes were instant. He could see the baby. Nothing appeared to be wrong and the baby wasn’t in distress. It’s a girl he realized once he stopped looking for problems. Everything seemed to be fine. Liz started to stir causing him to move back slightly. He didn’t want her to wake up frightened. “Liz?”

Liz tried to open her eyelids but they felt so heavy. She could hear Max’s voice calling out to her softly, but it took a minute for her to come around. She opened her eyes and saw Max Evans grinning at her. “What happened?”

“You fainted.” He replied placing an arm under her so she could sit up. “I think you’re ok…but maybe we should have you checked out.” He already knew she would refuse, but he couldn’t tell her how he knew she was all right.

“No, no…I’ll be fine. I think I’m just a little too stressed and completely exhausted.” She could see the concern in his eyes and it touched her soul. “I’m fine…I promise.” She reassured him again.

Max sighed knowing the truth about her current condition, but aware that it wasn’t the right time to confront her with it. “As long as you’re sure you’re ok.”

Liz smiled reassuringly. She knew why she’d fainted, so right now all she wanted was to be alone. She didn’t want to hurt Max’s feelings but right now Kyle’s child was trying to make its presence known and she didn’t want anyone there with her right now. “Max…if you don’t mind I think I need to get some rest. The past week is catching up with me.”

“Of course…you rest and tonight I’ll bring dinner to you.”

“But Max…”

“Shh, no buts…you get some rest.” He bent forward and kissed her cheek before leaving. “I’ll see you later.” He blew her another kiss as he stepped out. He closed the door behind him but stood there for several minutes unable to move. She’s having a girl was all he could think about. He wasn’t sure what had happened to Liz Parker but one thing he did know…he’d never let anyone or anything hurt her ever again.


TBC
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:40 pm

YEAH, YEAH, AN UPDATE!!! Sorry it took so long but the everyday madness of life got in the way :roll: Now that I'm settled in my new home hopefully the updates will come more often :) I've finished LFLS so I have all of my time to devote to this fic now! Well, I hope you enjoy :wink: And a big thank you to my sister krystalstorm24 for getting me through my writer's block! I love ya, honey!


CHAPTER 5


Max had been walking along the beach for more than an hour trying to clear his mind, but nothing worked. His thoughts remained on Liz Parker and the child she was carrying. He couldn’t understand his immediate urge to protect her at all cost, but did he really have the right to confuse an already difficult situation? Max had been hiding in plain sight his entire life and had vowed never to tell a soul his most precious secret, but for some reason he wanted to tell Liz. Not only because of what he had seen, but because he felt a connection to her he’d never felt before. Sure he was connected with Michael, but it was different. Max looked out over the ocean one last time before heading back to the motel. It was getting late and he had plans for the evening. He was having dinner with Liz Parker and tonight he would invite her into his world and pray she wouldn’t run away screaming. As Max put the key in the doorknob he realized it was already unlocked. Michael. He knew even before entering. Michael was the only one with a key and the ability to unlock the door regardless. Just as he thought, Michael was sitting on the couch watching TV. “Michael, have you ever thought about calling before you come over?”

“What’s the point, Maxwell? I’m always here.” Michael replied, still watching TV and generally ignoring Max.

“Yes, I know.” Max walked over and sat down next to Michael. He knew Michael wasn’t the most sensitive person, but he was all he had. “Michael?”

“Yeah what?” Michael didn’t even look at Max, but continued to laugh obnoxiously at his favorite show.

“Have you ever…” Max didn’t know what he really wanted to ask. A million thoughts were running around in his mind. At least ninety-five percent of which Michael would disapprove of. “Has there ever…” He trailed off again. Michael would never understand and he didn’t need the headache Michael would most likely give him. “Never mind.” Max stood up and headed for his room.

Irritated, Michael finally shut off the television. Max obviously wanted to talk about something and he’d seen this episode anyway. He stood up and proceeded to brush the crumbs off his clothing onto the floor. Max was always so neat he was sure he’d clean it up. When he entered Max’s bedroom he found him lying on the bed staring at the ceiling. “So, what’s up, Maxwell? Is this your normal brooding period of the day or do you actually have a problem?”

“I’m not brooding.” Max retorted.

Michael shook his head and fought off the urge to laugh aloud. “Of course not. You never brood. So, what’s wrong then? I know something’s on your mind.”

Max sat up slowly, debating whether or not to even bring Michael into this. “You’re not gonna like it, so maybe we should just forget about it.”

“Maxwell, I never like what you do, but I’m still here, right? Lay it on me…I can handle it.”

Max took in a deep breath, already knowing he was making a mistake. “It’s about Liz.”

“That chick? Why are you still thinking about her? She has to be the most uptight chick I’ve ever met. I mean…she didn’t even like me. I’m a likeable guy.”

“You? Likeable? Are we actually talking about you?” Max couldn’t help but laugh. Michael was many things, but likeable wasn’t usually one of them.

“What’s so funny? I’m a good guy…she was just too uptight to see it.”

“Maybe if you hadn’t called her a chick she would’ve liked you.” Max had tried for years to get Michael to be less abrasive…it hadn’t worked.

Michael looked at Max, confused. “She is a chick, ain’t she?”

“Isn’t.” Max flopped back down on the bed. Why do I try?

“Sorry,” Michael said angrily, “not all of us are such fine scholars like yourself.” Michael walked back into the living room, his feelings slightly hurt. He’d always looked up to Max and he hated feeling so ignorant when he was around him.

Max cursed himself silently. Michael could be somewhat of an ogre, but Max knew he was more sensitive than most people were able to see. He followed Michael into the living room to apologize. “I’m sorry, Michael. Force of habit.” Michael shot him a dirty look. “A bad habit. I just have a lot on my mind and I don’t know what to do.” He slumped down on the couch again.

“Me too. I can tell you like this chick, girl…I could’ve been a little more understanding. What’s the problem? She’s a hottie and she seems to like you…I don’t see anything wrong.”

Max needed to talk to someone…Michael would have to do. “I saw something today, Michael.”

“Like what? Her and another guy?” He’d gone back to munching on his chips he’d left sitting on the couch.

“Not exactly.” Here it goes. “I mean I saw something…inside of her.”

“What do you mean inside of her? Maxwell, you didn’t…” Michael’s worst fears were running through his mind.

“I didn’t do anything…that she saw anyway.” He looked at Michael and could tell he needed to explain quickly before Michael jumped to the wrong conclusions. “She fainted…and I was there.”

“Go on.” Michael urged.

“I had a few suspicions about why she came here. You know, like maybe she was running from something.” Max looked at Michael again. He was staring intently at Max waiting for a full explanation, so Max continued. “Or maybe she was hiding something.” Max still couldn’t see any sign of recognition from Michael forcing him to just blurt it out. “I thought she might be pregnant!”

Now the surprise on Michael’s face was evident. “No shit! Really? Sorry, tough break, man.”

“That’s not the whole story, Michael. I don’t care that she’s pregnant. I saw her faint and I thought there might be something wrong with the baby, so I…connected with her.” Max held his stance waiting for the fury he knew was coming.

“With Liz? You connected with her? She knows?” Michael stood and paced back and forth in the living room. “Maxwell, we made a pact never to tell or show anyone!”

“I didn’t tell her or show her.”

“Ok…now I’m lost. You just said…”

Max cut Michael off before he could finish. “I said I connected with her…I meant the baby.”

In complete shock, Michael sat back down. “You connected with…with the baby?” Part of Michael wanted to be upset, but he could imagine how awesome it must have been so his curiosity took over. “What was it like?”

Max remembered the moment he’d seen her. He’d never felt anything like it before. “It was amazing. I could see her…she was so tiny and beautiful.” Max fought off the urge to cry at the memory of the fetus he’d seen growing inside of Liz.

Reality kicked back in bringing Michael to his senses. “But Liz didn’t see, right? She was unconscious?”

“Well, yeah…but…”

“No buts, Maxwell. I can see where this is going and you can’t tell her. You don’t even know this girl.”

“But, Michael…”

“No! I love you, Max, but you tend to fall with your heart a little too easily…think with your head. You know what could happen to both of us if someone ever found out. I know you like her, but leave it at that. You can’t tell her.”

Max knew Michael was right…but it didn’t mean he had to listen.

~~~~~~~

“Alex? What are you doing?” Maria questioned as Alex pulled into the parking lot of a motel.

“I’m stopping, Maria. I’m tired and I’m gonna get some sleep. We’ll get back on the road in the morning.” Alex didn’t give her time to argue. He slid out of the car and stood stretching outside.

Maria got out of the car quickly, bumping her head in the process. “Dammit!” She mumbled to herself. “Alex…we can’t stop! We can’t! We have to find Liz!”

“Being just a little overdramatic aren’t we, Maria?” Alex normally had a lot of patience to deal with Maria, but he was tired, he was hungry, and he couldn’t take anymore female bonding. He’d had more than enough for one day.

“Alex! This is our Liz we’re talking about! What if she’s in trouble?”

Alex was pretty sure she was in trouble, just not in the way Maria was thinking. “Maria…Liz is smart and pretty level headed…I’ll bet she’s fine.” Alex walked over and embraced a nearly hysterical Maria. He was used to this. It was the life he’d chosen.

Maria jerked away from him instantly. “I’m not a dog you can just pat on the head when you want me to behave! I’m upset, Alex and you’re completely ignoring me!”

“I’m not ignoring you and I don’t think of you as a dog. Although, a dog would be much easier to train.”

“Alex!”

“Lighten up, Maria. I promise you as soon as we get a room we’ll try to call Liz on her cell again. Ok?”

“Fine, but when we do find her I’m gonna tell her I never wanted to stop.” Maria huffed.

“You do that.” Alex said, patting Maria on the head without realizing it. He heard Isabel’s giggling from behind him and realized what he was doing. Feeling embarrassed, he decided it was time to retreat. “I’ll just go get us a room.” He released Maria and walked towards the registration office.

“He’s so adorable.” Isabel said without thinking first. She’d been watching Alex Whitman for hours and he was so different from the guys she usually dated…but in a good way.

“Oh sure…now you think so. Now when I need your support you think he’s adorable.” Maria hissed.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Isabel questioned defensively.

“It means, Ice Princess, that you’ve never given Alex the time of day…until now. I know you’re aware of how much he’s always adored you, but did you ever give him a chance? No! Until now of course. I know we should be looking for Liz and I could’ve used a little support to back me up, but does anybody ever listen to me? No!”

“First of all, I don’t appreciate being called an Ice Princess, and second if I’d known Alex liked me I would’ve talked to him.”

“Yeah. Save it for your masses, sweetie…cause I ain’t buyin’.” Maria stormed off leaving Isabel standing at the SUV alone and crying.

Alex had seen the interaction between Isabel and Maria, but hadn’t heard a word. He watched as Maria walked off, but didn’t expect to see Isabel the way he found her. She was crying, and her mascara was beginning to run down her cheeks. “Isabel?” He whispered gently.

“Leave me alone.” Isabel mumbled through her tears.

“Isabel…I don’t know what Maria said to you, but I can assure you she’s being a little melodramatic right now and you shouldn’t take it personally.”

Isabel looked up to meet his gaze. “What if it’s true?” Isabel was ashamed. Ashamed because deep down she knew Maria was right. Granted she’d been ranting hysterically, but what she’d said about Isabel had been right on the mark.

“I seriously doubt that. You just have to put everything through a Maria filter and then it makes more sense.” He hated seeing her tears. He’d never seen Isabel look so vulnerable…or so sad.

“Thank you, Alex.” Before she had time to second-guess herself, Isabel wrapped both arms around Alex’s neck.

Completely in heaven and in shock, Alex could barely speak. “You’re welcome.”

~~~~~~~

Liz had been watching Max down on the beach for what seemed like an eternity. She could tell something was bothering him by the way he just walked back and forth repeatedly, never glancing at the water. She had tried to walk away from her balcony, but she couldn’t. She was drawn to Max Evans. There was something about him…something almost magical. Max was so young and yet he appeared to have the weight of the world resting on his shoulders. Liz thought back to the story he’d told her about his father and suddenly the hair on her arms was standing up. Just the thought of someone ever hurting him was unbearable. “Liz, you don’t even know him.” She said to herself, but it didn’t matter. She already cared about him, whether it made sense or not. Determined to take her mind off Max Evans, Liz decided to call Maria. She wasn’t ready to tell anyone where she was, but she was positive Maria was probably close to a nervous breakdown by now. Liz dialed the number and wasn’t surprised when Maria picked up on the first ring.

“Liz? Liz, where the hell are you?” Maria shouted into the phone.

“Nice to talk to you too, Maria. Miss me?” Liz asked sarcastically.

“Miss you? Do I miss you? No, I’m used to you running off for no reason. Christ almighty, Liz! What are you trying to do to me?”

“I’m fine, Maria…really.” Liz didn’t usually lie to Maria, but this was one time she couldn’t tell her the truth. Not until she knew what she was going to do. “I didn’t mean to scare you…things just happened so quickly.” She started to explain, but stopped fearing she would say too much. “How’s Alex?”

“Worried as hell! What happened, Liz? Was it because of Tess? Cause if you tell me this is all her fault I swear I’ll beat her down!” Maria knew Tess was part of this, but Tess alone wouldn’t have forced Liz to run.

Just the sound of her name was a dagger to the heart right now. Kyle had betrayed her with Tess Harding of all people. “Maria…how’s Kyle?” She wasn’t sure if she wanted to know the answer, but she asked anyway.

Maria hadn’t called home since they’d left, but she’d heard he was showing signs of improvement. “I think he’s ok…I don’t really know, Liz. What happened between the two of you?”

The tears came before she could stop them. She didn’t love Kyle. That much she knew, but unfortunately it didn’t make the pain go away. “It’s complicated, Maria.”

“Chica…this is me. You can tell me anything. Did he…hurt you?”

“Not in the way you’re thinking, but yes…he did.” Liz placed a hand gently on her abdomen, thinking of the innocent life that would eventually be shattered by circumstances. If only I could go back and do things all over again.

“I don’t get it, Liz…this isn’t like you. You’re the responsible one…the one who never screws up anything. This is more like something I would do and you would yell at me…not the other way around. Talk to me.” Maria pleaded with her.

Liz had to end the phone call before she caved. The last thing she wanted right now was for the entire town of Roswell talking about her and Kyle and their lovechild. Her parents would never live something like that down. “I have to go, Maria. I just wanted you to know I was all right. I’m safe and I’ll be careful.”

“Liz, wait…”

“No, Maria. I have to go. Kiss Alex for me and tell my parents…tell them I love them.” Liz began to sob uncontrollably as she cut off her phone. She needed Maria, but for once she couldn’t have that. She had to stand on her own two feet. She had decisions to make for herself and she needed to do it with a clear head. Liz glanced over at the clock beside her bed. It was almost seven…she needed to pull herself together for her date with Max. Through her tears she smiled. I have a date with Max Evans.

~~~~~~~

“Liz? Liz? Hello? Dammit!” Maria slapped the phone shut. Liz always talked to her…what was different now? Nothing was adding up.

“Maria!” Alex strode over to her with an extremely angry glare plastered across his face. “I want to talk to you.”

“What?” Maria asked innocently.

“What did you do to Isabel? I found her crying, Maria. Crying.”

“And of course it’s my fault?” Maria knew it was, but Alex was supposed to be her friend…not Isabel’s. Why was he so mad at her? This couldn’t be his mere infatuation with Isabel talking.

“Yes! I know it’s your fault, Maria. I saw you arguing and she’s crying…not you. In case you didn’t know this allow me to enlighten you. You can be a little abrasive sometimes.” Alex folded his arms across his chest and eyed Maria intensely.

Me? I’m abrasive? You’re comparing me to the Ice Princess and calling me abrasive…that’s a laugh!”

“Yes…you! I know you’re worried about Liz, but it doesn’t give you the right to treat other people like they’re nothing! Now I can see why Liz didn’t want you to know anything…you’re nuts!” Even as the words came out Alex was praying he hadn’t really said them.

“You know something, don’t you? You know why Liz ran away! Spill it, Whitman or I swear I’ll kill you!” Maria screamed as she grabbed him by the shirt.

“Maria, calm down. I don’t know anything.” He was busted! Maria could tell when he was lying.

Maria looked him up and down carefully. “If you don’t know anything, why is your left eye twitching?”

“I…”

“I knew it! You do know! Talk!”

“I can’t…I promised.” Liz was going to kill him. Once Maria knew the truth nothing would stop her.

“Fine…I’ll just ask you a few questions and you can answer them. Got it?” Maria shook him once and he nodded in response. “Ok…I know Kyle was cheating on her with that tramp, but that didn’t make her leave. She said Kyle didn’t hurt her physically and we both know Liz is too smart to get knocked up.” Maria heard Alex wince at her comment and suddenly everything was clear. “Oh my God! No! Liz is pregnant?” Maria stared into Alex’s eyes as she waited for the answer, but no response was necessary. “Liz is really pregnant?”

Alex nodded and waited for the hysteria, but that wasn’t what he got. He caught her just before she hit the ground. “Maria? No, Maria…don’t do this to me!”

Isabel came running at Alex’s high-pitched tone. “Alex? What happened? What’d you do?”

“Well…let’s just say Maria figured out why Liz ran off and she didn’t take it too well.” Alex laid Maria down gently on the grass and sat down beside her. “Liz is gonna kill me.”

“Why? What’s wrong with her?” Isabel asked quietly.

Alex just had to look at her and she knew. “Oh my God! Liz is pregnant!”

“If you faint on me too, I’m outta here.”

“So…what now?”

“We find Liz before she does something stupid.” Alex stated flatly.

~~~~~~~

Max heard the front door open and called out from his bedroom. “Michael? I thought I told you to go home.” Max smiled as he walked into the living room, but his smile faded instantly. “Dad.”

“You know, son…if I didn’t know better I’d think you weren’t very happy to see me.”

Max could smell the liquor on him from six feet away. He reeked of it. Not tonight. Not again. He prayed silently. Max remained silent for a couple of minutes trying to gauge his father’s current state of mind, and as usual he could sense the anger radiating off him. “What’s up, Dad?” He asked casually hoping to avoid the confrontation they usually had when his dad had been drinking.

“I’ve been watching you…you don’t think I see you, but I do.” Phillip stumbled as he crossed the room to face his son. “I saw that little whore you’ve been chasing around and I’m here to tell you it’s gonna stop.”

“Dad, she’s not a whore. Don’t bring her into this.” Max recited calmly. He knew he shouldn’t have said anything, but he couldn’t stand to hear such horrible lies about Liz Parker.

“Don’t talk back to me you ungrateful son of a bitch!” His father slurred. “I don’t need you knocking up some whore and having your little bastards running around here.”

Max’s temper was raging inside. How dare he call Liz a whore? “You don’t know what you’re talking about…you’re drunk…let me take you home.” Petrified, Max reached out to help his father walk back to his own room, but Phillip Evans had other plans. Before Max could defend himself, his father was already throwing the first of many punches to come. Max attempted to block his face, but it was no use. His father’s backhand came swiftly across Max’s face. He could feel the blood begin to drip from his nose. His father was powerful and out weighed him significantly. Max knew that he couldn’t fight back. It was always over quicker if he didn’t fight back. He knew he could use his powers, but he also knew how great the consequences could be. In the end there was little he could do. The blows kept coming one after another across his face and torso until Max fell to the floor holding his abdomen. The crumpled form on the floor did not sway Phillip from his beating. He ordered Max to get up but Max did not move. He gave one swift kick to his son’s back causing Max to scream out in agony. His father kicked again, once to his back and finally one to his head. It was then that Max finally blacked out. The last thing Max remembered was hearing his own screams and then there was darkness.


TBC
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Sun Jul 18, 2004 6:59 pm

I'd like to thank Starlight for my Nominee Banner from the Crossover Board! It really made my day, so thanks a lot :wink: I hope you all enjoy the new chapter!

CHAPTER 6

Liz briefly glanced in the mirror one more time before heading out the door. She was wearing her favorite red sundress that clung to her figure just right. She couldn’t help but let her thoughts and her hands roam down to her rather flat abdomen. Before long her body would start showing signs of her condition and nothing would fit her anymore. What am I doing? I have no business dating Max Evans while I’m pregnant with Kyle’s baby. Liz had just started to undress when she was sure she heard screams. Quickly she zipped her dress back up and headed out the door. Everything inside of her told her something was terribly wrong and immediately she ran towards Max’s room. She wasn’t sure why, but she knew he needed her. She reached the door to his room in under a minute, but was terrified to knock. Just as she raised her hand, she saw that the door was already open. A soft light was glowing from behind the door and peeked out the sides. Reluctantly, sensing something was wrong she pushed the door gently open and nearly fainted at the sight before her. Rushing forward without thinking she ran to Max’s side. “Max?” She whispered. “Max, oh my God, Max.” Liz turned to find the phone but just as she began to dial for an ambulance someone stopped her.

“You can’t do that.”

~~~~~~~

Jim smiled as he came through the door. Kyle was sitting up in bed and the color was returning to his face. The doctor had informed Jim that Kyle had been upgraded to stable condition, and if he continued to improve he could go home in a few days. “Boy it’s good to see you, son.” He walked to his son’s bedside and pulled up the closest chair. “You scared me.”

“I know, Dad…I’m sorry…I wish I could tell you what happened but…everything’s kind of …” Kyle had been trying to remember the accident all day, but kept drawing a blank. It didn’t help that his mind was clouded with the accusations Tess had made. He wanted to believe she was lying, but he couldn’t be sure. “Dad?”

“Yeah, son?” It was obvious to Jim that something was bothering him, but he assumed it was normal after what he’d been through.

“Where’s Liz, Dad? I heard she’s gone, but where? Why?” Kyle didn’t understand why Liz hadn’t been at his bedside. Out of everyone she should’ve been there. His thoughts were so foggy…nothing made sense. After talking to Tess he was pretty sure she had told Liz everything, but instead of showing up at the hospital furious…she was missing.

Jim had been dreading this question since the night the call had come in from Jeff Parker that Liz had disappeared. “I’m not really sure, Kyle…no one knows where she is and no one has heard from her. Did you two have a fight?” He wanted to give Kyle a chance to tell him about Tess himself, so he didn’t mention the conversation he’d had with the infamous Ms. Harding.

“That’s just it, Dad…I don’t know.” Looking back now at how he had betrayed Liz, Kyle was ashamed. He didn’t want to tell his father what he’d done, but he was sure it was going to come out eventually. At least it was better if he heard it from Kyle. “I screwed up, Dad.” He paused, trying to find the courage to explain. “You see…I’ve been kind of…seeing someone…someone else.”

Jim had already known as much, but he was sure there was probably more to come. “Go on.”

“You know I love Liz, but sometimes…well there was this girl…she was always just…there. I knew it was wrong, but it was so tempting…after a while…I gave in.”

“I see…”

“Dad, I never meant to do anything…it just happened and then…”

“It continued to happen.” Jim finished for him.

“Yeah.” Kyle wasn’t sure how much he should tell his father, but then again he was in a hospital if he tried to kill him. “Unfortunately, there’s more.”

“There usually is.” Jim stated flatly. He liked Liz Parker. She was a nice girl and exactly the kind of girl a parent wanted for their child. “Go ahead.”

“Well, now this…girl…is saying she’s pregnant and I think she may have told Liz.”

It was worse than he thought. “Jesus Christ, Kyle!” Jim stood up and turned to look out the window. “What were you thinking? Oh, I’m sorry,” he turned back to Kyle, “you weren’t! I raised you better than this! After what your mother…” Jim stopped himself before saying the wrong thing. He sat back down and tried to collect himself. “So, do you believe this girl is telling the truth? Is she pregnant?” It was the question no father wanted to ask his teenage son.

“Honestly…I don’t think so. I know that probably sounds like wishful thinking, but I having a feeling in my gut she’s trying to trap me.” Kyle thought back to his and Tess’s many conversations about his scholarship offers. She wanted out of this town and he didn’t think she was above using him to get out.

Knowing what he did about Tess Harding, Jim believed his son. Kyle had been irresponsible, but Tess Harding had an agenda…one he was sure involved his son. “Let me look into this.” Jim started to leave, but Kyle called out to him.

“Dad…you don’t even know who she is.”

“That’s where you’re wrong Kyle…I do.” He smiled and nodded to his son as he stepped out of the room. He was going to find Tess Harding and finish this…once and for all.

~~~~~~~

“Can I come in?” Maria had been knocking on Isabel’s door for twenty minutes, but obviously Isabel was still upset. “I said I was sorry!” She bellowed through the door again. With her feet killing her, Maria slid slowly down the door. “You’re gonna have to come out eventually!”

“Be quiet!” Someone yelled from the balcony on the second floor.

“Shut up, buddy! I’m talking here!” Maria started beating her head against the doorframe. When she screwed up she really screwed up. “Isabel, come on!”

“Why don’t you and your girlfriend take it somewhere else!” the voice from above called out again.

“If you don’t shut up, I’m gonna bring my lesbian ass up there and make you!” Finally the door opened and Maria landed on the floor at Isabel’s feet.

“Impressive, Dear, but don’t get into a fight on my account.” Isabel was fighting the urge to laugh at Maria lying at her feet. She had really hurt Isabel’s feelings, but Maria Deluca was a hard person to stay mad at. That and she didn’t want the cops to come and arrest her lesbian lover. Isabel stepped aside while Maria stood up. “Come on in before you get us all thrown out.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Maria grabbed Isabel and hugged her tightly. “I’m so sorry…I know I was a real jerk, but sometimes my mouth starts running before my brain has time to dispute.”

“You know…if I got that apology from anyone else I wouldn’t believe it, but somehow with you…I believe it.” Isabel walked back to the bed and plopped down.

Hopefully, Maria glided towards her with a grin plastered across her face. “Does this mean you forgive me?”

Isabel wasn’t really mad anymore, anyway. She was still a little hurt, but only because the words rung so true in her ears. “Yes…I forgive you. Maria, I…”

Maria jumped in, “no, Isabel, wait…I really was a jerk and I didn’t mean what I said. I’m going crazy with worry over Liz, but it’s not right to take it out on you. I’m in real shock right now and I could use someone to talk to.”

“Alex told me…I can’t believe Liz Parker is pregnant. That’s something I’d expect from someone like you…but Liz.”

“Hey!” Maria was offended.

Immediately realizing what she said, Isabel began to explain. “I didn’t mean you’re a tramp or something…it’s just…”

“Ok, Blondie…just who the hell do you think you are?”

“I meant…” Isabel stood up instantly, suddenly feeling like a jerk herself.

“I think I know what you meant.” Maria was standing toe to toe with Isabel, who seemed to have a few inches on her. “Look, you don’t know me and I don’t know you, so why…”

“Maria.” Isabel sat back down and patted the bed beside her. “Please? I’m sorry.” She waited for Maria to take a seat before trying to talk to her. “I don’t think you’re a tramp. You’re just more impulsive than most of the people I know, but I was wrong to say that the way I did…I guess you could say my mouth and my brain don’t always communicate either.” She shrugged her shoulders, feeling even more ashamed.

“I guess we might have something in common after all.” Maria smiled.

The two girls sat and chatted for almost an hour before Alex finally interrupted them. “Is it safe to enter?” Alex asked.

“Yes, Alex,” Maria rolled her eyes, “it’s safe to enter.”

“So, ladies…what have we been talking about?” Alex was just thankful there had been no bloodshed since he’d left them alone longer than he planned.

“Oh you know…girl things.” Isabel winked at Maria.

“Yeah you know, periods, boys, make-up…the usual.”

“Ok, on that note I think I’ve heard enough.” Alex stated sarcastically. “Aren’t you gonna ask me where I’ve been?”

“No.” The two girls answered in unison.

“One of these days you’re gonna realize what a great catch I am and then you’ll be stalking me to find out what I’ve been up to. Just remember, you had your chance.” For once Alex wanted to be the kind of guy girls dreamed about, but instead the girls came to him to discuss their dream guys. It was disgusting.

Isabel smiled at the tall, gangly boy standing in front of her. She knew why she had never paid any attention to him before…she was popular and with that popularity came the rules. Suddenly, Isabel didn’t care anymore. The way Alex had comforted her after her fight with Maria had warmed her heart. Even being the most popular girl in school, no guy had ever been so sweet to her. “Where have you been, Alex? We were starting to get worried.” Actually, Isabel had started to miss him in his absence.

“Well, I decided to do some investigating. I know you both thought Liz was in Opal Cliff, but I didn’t want to get all the way there and discover we’d been on a wild goose chase.”

“Your point would be?” Maria asked with little enthusiasm.

Isabel knew immediately what Alex had done. “You found her?”

“Yep. I gotta hand it to you, ladies…she was exactly where you thought she’d be.”

“Oh my God, Alex! You found her!” Maria jumped up and wrapped both arms around his neck and began kissing his cheeks repeatedly.

“Oh, so now you’re interested, Maria?”

Maria pulled back and shot him a venomous glare. “Of course I’m interested!”

“So, how’d you find her?” Isabel piped in, slightly jealous at the closeness of the friends before her.

“It was a pain in the ass, that’s for sure. I just started calling every small motel in Opal Cliff until I found her.” Alex stated proudly.

“You mean she actually used her real name? Huh. I figured she’d use some alias, being a minor on the run and all.”

“Well, she did use an alias. Lucky for me I know her well enough to know what it would be. She’s at the Evans Motel under the name Shirley Temple.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Isabel didn’t get it. She didn’t really know anything about Liz Parker.

“Nope. It was kind of a pet name we gave her when we were little. I figured it was worth a shot.”

Maria grabbed her duffle bag and started throwing everything she’d pulled out back in. “So, we’re outta here, right? I mean we know where she is, so there’s no point in waiting.”

“Maria! I haven’t slept in over thirty-six hours…I need a break.” Sometimes Alex wanted to strangle her.

“Fine, you can sleep in the car. I’ll drive.”

“Not a chance! I’d like to get there alive, and despite the fact that I voluntarily took off with you on this little joyride…I don’t have a death wish!” Alex shoved the keys further down in his pocket knowing Maria would try and take them. “Now, we’ll all get one good nights sleep and we’ll be out of here at first light.” He saw the mischievous grin on Maria’s face. “Got it, Maria?”

Pouting, because she’d lost, Maria threw her bags back down. “Got it.”

“Thank you. Now if you don’t need anything else I’m going to bed.” Alex was halfway to the door when Isabel stopped him.

“Well, there is one thing.” Isabel said quietly.

“What?” All Alex wanted was a bed with a pillow and no interruptions, but before Isabel could respond his own stomach started growling. “Food?”

“Food.” The girls replied.

Convinced he was being punished for something, Alex gestured towards the door. “Fine, but can we make it quick?”

Both girls were out the door faster than he was used to seeing them move. Why he had agreed to come on a road trip with two females was beyond his comprehension.

~~~~~~~

“Michael?” Liz jumped back, wondering if it had been Michael that had done this to Max. “Did you…” She trailed off, afraid to even ask.

“No! I would never!” Michael answered, visibly offended.

Liz didn’t know Michael very well or at all, but she should’ve known he would never hurt Max. “I’m sorry, Michael. I found him like this and…” Michael didn’t appear to be shocked, bringing Liz’s uneasy feeling back. ‘What are you doing here? How did you know?”

“I watch him.” Michael bent down to check out Max’s injuries. “He doesn’t know it, but I spend a lot of time watching him. You have to understand…he’s like my brother. I knew his father was beating him, so I started watching more often to make sure he was ok.”

“But he’s not ok, Michael! We have to call an ambulance!” Liz could see Michael’s obvious concern for Max, but she didn’t understand his hesitation.

“We can’t do that. We’ll get him out of here, but no ambulances and no cops.” Michael was already lifting Max’s crumpled form.

“Why not? His dad shouldn’t get away with this and he needs medical attention.”

“I can take care of him.” Michael responded as he headed out the door with Liz following close behind.

“Really? I’m sorry, but where was it that you got your medical degree?”

“Liz, I know you’re worried, but I can handle this. I’ve done it before.” He loaded Max into the front seat of Max’s Chevelle and jumped into the driver’s seat.

“Where are you going? I don’t understand. Why would you protect his father?”

“I’m not protecting that bastard! He would’ve been dead a long time ago if I’d gotten my wishes.” Michael started to shut the door, but Liz held it open. “Get out of my way.”

“No. If you’re taking Max then I’m coming with you.” Liz insisted.

“Not a chance. Now move.” He attempted to shut the door again, but again Liz held it open.

“Michael, he needs help. We have to call an ambulance.”

“Fine. We’ll call from my place, but we can’t stay here. What if his old man comes back?” He didn’t want Liz to go, but unfortunately she wasn’t backing down. ‘If you’re coming get in.” He ordered.

Liz didn’t stop to think about what she was doing. She ran around to get in the front seat with Max. “So, we’ll call an ambulance as soon as we get to your place?”

“Yeah, whatever.” Michael barely waited for her to get in the car before he was racing out of the parking lot.

~~~~~~~

Jim saw Tess at the nurses’ station and immediately approached her. “A word with you Miss Harding?”

“Well, I…”

“Good. Let’s talk in private, shall we?” He dragged her small body into the nearest office he came across.

Once the door shut Tess began screaming at him. “Ouch! That really hurt! Who the hell…”

“Who am I? Is that what you were about to ask? I’ll tell you who I am! I’m not only Kyle’s father, but I’m also the Sheriff in this town. Now, I don’t know what games you think you’re playing, but it stops here! I would’ve thought you’d listen to my first warning.” Jim wasn’t about to let this little piece of trash destroy his son’s bright future.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Tess replied innocently.

“Really? Well, I’ll refresh your memory. Did you tell Kyle you’re pregnant?” Tess shuffled nervously from side to side, but didn’t respond. “Answer me!”

Finally outraged Tess responded. “Yes, I did!” She knew she was trapped and already regretted the lie she’d told Kyle, but she wasn’t about to let her meal ticket leave town without her.

“Then you’re the mother of my grandchild?” Jim questioned.

Feeling hopeful that she was getting away with her plan, Tess smiled. “Yes…I am.”

“Well, forgive me. In your delicate condition I shouldn’t have been so hard on you.”

“It’s ok…I can see why you would be concerned, but I…” Tess tried to leave before getting in over her head.

“No. Really, Miss Harding…I wouldn’t want anything to happen to my grandchild and Lord knows with the accident you’ve probably been under a tremendous amount of stress.” Jim reached out to take her by the arm again. “I think we should have a doctor take a look and make sure the baby’s all right.”

Finally seeing where he was going with this conversation, Tess tried to jerk free. “I’m sure the baby is just fine.” She tried to wiggle free once again.

“We can’t be too cautious, now can we? We are in a hospital after all, so it’s the perfect opportunity to have everything checked out.” Jim could see her caving. She knew she was trapped…it was just a matter of how far she was willing to take this.

“Sheriff, I appreciate your concern, but I should really get back to Kyle now. He needs me.”

“Oh, Tess. I can call you Tess can’t I? I mean if we’re going to be family there’s no point in being so formal.”

“Sure.” He was up to something, but she hadn’t figured out what just yet.

“Come this way.” Jim opened the door and continued to pull her along with him. He stopped at an office down the hall and knocked.

“Come in.” A voice called from inside.

Jim opened the door and pulled Tess inside. “Hello, Dr. McHenry. This is the young lady I was telling you about.” He turned to Tess, “Tess, this is Dr. McHenry. He’s agreed to give you a full exam so we can make sure everything is as it should be.”

Tess wanted nothing more than to bolt out of the room, but Sheriff Valenti was blocking the door. She knew she could refuse the exam, but either way she was caught. What now?

~~~~~~~

Liz followed Michael slowly into his apartment. It looked more like a dungeon than a dwelling. “You live here?” Liz asked.

Michael looked around and then back towards Liz. Normally, he might have been embarrassed by his surroundings, but he didn’t have time for that now. “Yep, I live here. I know it’s not a palace, but it’s home.” Gently, he laid Max down on the sofa in his meager living room.

“Where’s your phone? We need to call an ambulance now. He’s lost a lot of blood and there could be internal bleeding as well…we can’t wait.”

“I can’t let you do that.” Michael stated.

“But, you said…”

“I know what I said. I had to shut you up one way or another.”

“Michael, don’t you realize…he could die.” She stared at Michael. He didn’t move. “Fine, I’ll call. I have my cell phone and I’m gonna get…” Before she could finish, Michael grabbed the phone out of her hands.

“I said no.”

“Michael, give me my phone back.” Liz was beginning to panic, but she didn’t want Michael to see that.

“I can’t.” Michael knew he shouldn’t have brought her here, but he was trapped. She wasn’t bending and he had to come up with an explanation to get her to back off. Unfortunately, he knew the truth was his only option, which he wasn’t about to tell her.

“I mean it, Michael. Give me my phone so I can call an ambulance.” Liz insisted again.

“No. If you care about Max you’ll drop this.”

“I do care about Max. That’s why I want to call for help.”

“If you call the police or call for an ambulance you’ll put Max in even more danger.” Why wasn’t she backing down?

Liz shook her head. “You’re not making any sense. How can getting someone to help him put him in danger? What aren’t you telling me?”

Michael had to get rid of her, but if he let her go she’d most certainly go for help. “Liz, trust me. I know you don’t know me, but Max trusts me…maybe you could try?”

“No, Michael. Either you explain what’s going on or I’m leaving and I will find someone to help him.” Liz folded her arms across her chest. She wasn’t backing down.

“Tell her, Michael.” Max mumbled from his position on the couch. His eyes were still closed and he appeared to be in pain, but he’d heard their arguing.

Liz rushed to Max’s side. “Oh my God, Max! You’re awake! Don’t worry, we’re going to get you some help.

“Can’t” Max whispered.

“Max, you don’t know what you’re saying. Please? Let me take you to the hospital!” Liz pleaded with him.

“Tell her, Michael.” He mumbled again through his pain.

“Maxwell, shut up! You’re delirious. You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“I was gonna…tell…her anyway…Michael…you have to.” Max choked out the words.

“What’s going on? Tell me what?” Liz demanded, facing Michael.

This was the last thing he wanted her to know, but if he didn’t tell her Max would. Michael shifted around restlessly. He’d never told anyone before. He didn’t know how. “Max isn’t…” He tried to find the words, but he couldn’t. “He’s not…”

“Dammit, Michael! Tell me!”

Realizing he was trapped, Michael finally gave in. “We’re not human, Liz.”



TBC
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:33 am

Hey everyone! I'm finally back with another chapter! One line from this chapter was taken from the episode Blind Date! I own nothing of Roswell! This line was taken from the series by Jason Katims! I hope you enjoy!

CHAPTER 7


“You must think I’m really stupid, don’t you?” Liz glared at Michael with hatred in her eyes. “I know what you’re doing, and it won’t work. You’re protecting that bastard when he doesn’t even deserve to live.” Liz knelt down beside the couch where Max was lying. “Max…how many times does he have to do this? Ten? Twenty? Does he have to kill you before it ends?” Liz didn’t even realize she was crying, “I just found you, Max…I’m not ready to lose you.” Angry once again Liz turned back to Michael. “Call an ambulance or I will.”

“I can’t let you do that.” Michael knew this situation was going to get worse. Max’s dad would find him here anytime now. He had to think of something.

Liz stood up and reached her hand out for her phone, which Michael had taken away. “Give me my phone. You want to play hero good for you, but I’m not going to let you risk Max’s life in the process.”

“I said no! Dammit, woman! Don’t you ever give up?” Michael found himself actually wishing she believed the alien story.

“What are you so afraid of? Max is an adult…it’s not like they’re gonna haul him off to foster care. He needs help, Michael.” Liz placed a hand on Michael’s arm. “Do the right thing.” She asked again.

“He is, Liz.” Max mumbled again as he tried to sit up. “No cops. No ambulances.”

“Why are you protecting him?” Liz was getting more frustrated with each passing moment. None of this made sense to her. She could understand Max’s reluctance to turn in his own father, but Michael? He was supposed to be Max’s best friend. Where was his loyalty?

Max winced with pain as he finally managed to sit up. “I’m not protecting him…I’m protecting us.” Max gestured towards Michael.

“Put him away, Max. Tell the police what he’s done to you and he can never hurt you again.”

“He can’t…but others would.” Michael whispered.

“Neither one of you is making any sense. Max, please? You need to go to the hospital.”

Max gently placed one hand on Liz’s cheek. “You are so beautiful, Liz.” Michael grunted from a few feet away. He knew Michael didn’t approve, but for once he was going on his own faith. “Michael wasn’t lying. We’re not human, Liz.” He waited a moment to see if her expression changed, but it didn’t. “Liz…we’re not human.”

“Right, Max. It’s not like you’re an alien or something.” Even hearing the words coming from her own mouth sounded ridiculous.

“I know it sounds crazy, but it’s the truth.” Max looked at Michael again. “Yes, we are.”

“Why are you doing this?” All Liz wanted was to help, but it was obvious Max didn’t want her help. “Just tell me to walk away and I’ll walk away, but don’t lie to me.”

Suddenly, Max thought of the baby. Her baby. “What if I can prove it? Then would you hear me out?”

“Fine, Max. Prove it then!”

“The baby you’re carrying…it’s a girl. I saw her, Liz.” Max saw the change in her eyes. For a moment he wasn’t sure if it was because she believed him or because he knew she was pregnant.

Liz didn’t know what to think at that moment. How could he know about the baby? He said he saw her. The word saw finally registered in her mind. “What do you mean you saw her?” Liz knew there was a bigger question to be asked, but right now she needed to know what he meant.

It was finally penetrating. At least Max hoped so. “When you fainted I was there. Remember?”

“Yeah.” Liz responded confused.

“I had a feeling you might be pregnant…so when you fell…” Max didn’t know how to describe it. He didn’t want her to get the wrong idea and think he harmed her baby. “I held my hand to your stomach…” He slowly moved his hand to her abdomen once again, “and I could see her. I thought something was wrong, but she was perfect.” A single tear slid down Max’s cheek with the memory.

Liz just sat there for a moment taking everything in. She wasn’t sure if he was making a lucky guess or if he was psychotic. Either way…she didn’t believe he was an alien. “I don’t know what you’re trying to do, but that is something very personal to me. I don’t know how you were able to figure it out, but to use it against me is cruel.” With angry tears, Liz stood up and backed away from him. “I guess you’re not the person I thought you were.”

Max watched as Liz turned her back to him to leave, but he couldn’t let her go. He didn’t want to. He’d barely known her a few days, but his heart began to hurt at the thought of losing her. “Wait.” She stopped, so he continued. “I don’t have the strength right now, but Michael does. He can prove it to you.”

“Save it, Max. I’m not a fool.” She had turned back to him, to see his face one last time. She’d been through enough already…she didn’t need Max Evans to break her heart too.

Max nodded quickly to Michael. Michael understood what he was asking, and reluctantly he did it. Michael reached out in front of her and changed the color on the wall. It was the only thing he could think of short of blowing something up. “I hope you like blue.” He stated simply.

Liz stared at the wall before her. She didn’t want to believe what they’d been telling her, but she’d seen it. The wall that had once been white was now blue. Her mind was racing and she felt dizzy. It can’t be true. It can’t. But she knew right then that it was. She looked up to see Max smiling, and it was the last thing she remembered.

~~~~~~~

“Are you still awake?” Isabel whispered through the darkness.

“Yeah…I can’t sleep either. I’m too worried about Liz. What’s your excuse?” Maria lifted herself up on her elbow.

“Just thinking, I guess.” Isabel’s mind had been running nonstop for hours. She’d thought about Alex and the real reason why she’d ignored him for so many years. Then she’d thought about Maria and how far she was willing to go to help Liz. Isabel had been the most popular girl in school for years, but she’d never had friends like these. In truth, no one knew who she really was. Finally, she’d thought of Opal Cliff, California and why she felt so drawn to it.

“Isabel?”

“What?”

“I just asked what you were thinking about.” Maria’s mind had been going insane too. She understood now…why Liz would’ve run away from Roswell in such a hurry. What she didn’t know was what she was going to say to Liz when they finally found her.

“You and Alex and Liz mostly.” Isabel replied.

Isabel’s answer brought Maria out of her thoughts. “Us? Why?”

“I guess because no one would’ve ever done something like this for me.” She said sadly.

“I seriously doubt that.” Maria said sarcastically. Isabel had more friends than anyone she knew. People would’ve jumped at the chance to help the precious Isabel Collins.

“The truth is, Maria…I don’t have a real friend in this world. Sure I have plenty of acquaintances, people who want to be seen with me, but no one has ever even tried to get to know me. Except Alex, of course. Even you only wanted me for my car.”

“Yeah, about that, Isabel…I’m really sorry. I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway. I just wanted to find Liz and you seemed like a means to an end. I’m embarrassed to admit that.”

Now Isabel propped herself up on both of her elbows. “Why me, Maria? There are hundreds of people in Roswell you could’ve asked…why me?”

“Honestly…I don’t know. I’d never liked you, Isabel. I thought you were stuck up and that no one could ever love you as much as you loved yourself. But...”

“But what?” Isabel knew she should’ve been offended by Maria’s admission, but she wasn’t. It was obvious neither one of them had ever given the other a chance.

“Well, Alex. I’ve always known how he felt about you and I was sure if you just got to know him…you’d adore him too.”

“Thank you, Maria.”

“For what? Kidnapping you?”

“For showing me that there really are people that care about others. For being brutally honest and not lying to my face because I’m Isabel Collins. But mostly…thank you for making me see Alex Whitman for the first time.” Isabel was thankful that the room was completely dark because she was sure she was blushing.

Maria could’ve jumped up and down screaming I told you so, I told you so, but she realized she no longer felt the urge to make Isabel suffer for who she was. Suddenly she realized…Isabel was probably the loneliest person she’d ever known.

~~~~~~~

“Well, Miss Harding? Why don’t we check on that baby of yours? The Sheriff is extremely concerned considering the stressful events of the last few days.” Dr. McHenry moved to her side and smiled his most genuine smile for her. She was obviously nervous, but he’d promised the Sheriff he would perform the exam and check on his grandchild, if Miss Harding was up to it.

“Well, I…” Tess knew she was trapped. If she refused her plan was finished. “I just really don’t feel up to this right now…maybe I could come back later.” Tess started towards the door, but Jim Valenti was blocking her path. “Excuse me, Sheriff.” There was nothing sweet about her tone. She knew exactly what he was up to. He didn’t give her nearly enough credit.

“Now, Tess…I know the enormous amount of stress you’ve been under these past few days…you wouldn’t want your child to suffer for it, would you?” Jim knew he couldn’t force her, but if she declined his suspicions were confirmed.

“Of course not, but it’s just not the right time.” Again she tried to leave, but Jim Valenti was insistent.

“Please, Tess? Just think…it will give Kyle something to get better for.” And a reason to get rid of you for good.

“Fine,” Tess hadn’t had her period in months…maybe, just maybe she would get lucky this time. “After all…it will make Kyle feel better.”

Jim stood there, momentarily paralyzed in shock. If she was consenting…maybe there was some truth to her story. This can’t be happening.

Tess could see the fear in his eyes, which pleased her to no end. “Sheriff, could you please excuse us? I am a little nervous…and shy.” She smiled sweetly at the doctor.

“Jim, it would be better if you waited outside.” Dr. McHenry replied.

“Ok,” Jim’s hands were shaking. He’d never thought she would go through with it. Standing outside in the hall, all of Jim’s worst fears came back to the surface.

~~~~~~~

“Liz?” Max brushed a stray piece of hair away from her face. At least this time she’d fainted with a good reason. “Liz?” He whispered again.

“Maxwell, what are you doing? Did you see her face? She’s gonna freak out!” Michael stared at the limp form lying across Max’s lap. This could be it. It could all be over.

“Michael…I trust her.”

“How can you? It’s not like she’s standing here asking questions. No, she’s passed out in your lap! Don’t you see? Our lives, our future…it’s all in her hands!”

“You’re overreacting.” Max looked at Liz’s angelic face with no regrets.

“See…this is what women do to you! They make you weak and careless!”

“I’d guess I’d rather be weak with her, than strong without her.” Max knew how he sounded, but he didn’t care. Everything inside of him told him Liz could be the one.

“Max?” Liz blinked her eyes several times until Max’s face finally came into focus. “What happened?” She didn’t move. She felt so safe, so warm in his arms. Something she hadn’t felt for a while.

“You fainted…again.” Max smiled down at her.

It all came rushing back to her. Max was an alien. Michael was an alien. The wall…it changed colors. She felt like she was going to be sick. “Oh my God.” Liz scrambled to her feet as quickly as she was able. “You…you’re…you’re an…” If I don’t say it, maybe it’s not true.

“An alien.” Max finished for her causing Michael to storm out of the apartment. He could see she was on the verge of a full panic attack and he knew her body didn’t need the stress right now. “I won’t hurt you, Liz. I would never…” He had come to his feet to meet her stare. A little unsure of how she would react Max took a chance. He reached a hand up to her face and gently brushed it against her cheek. “I’m still me.”

Liz didn’t know what to think. Her head was screaming run, while her heart told her to listen. “Max, I…”

“You can ask me anything. I won’t hide from you.”

She believed him. God help me…I believe him. “Where? Who? Is Michael?” The questions seemed to pour out of her mind. “I’m feeling a little dizzy.” Liz could feel her body start to sway again.

“Here…sit down.” Max gestured towards the sofa. “I know this is a lot to throw at you at once, but I had planned on telling you.”

“Me? Why?” Liz didn’t understand. He barely knew her.

“I’m not really sure. From the moment I laid eyes on you I felt…drawn to you.” Max couldn’t look her in the eyes while he explained, so instead he walked around the small room. “I’ve been hiding who I really am for so long…then I met you…and I didn’t want to hide anymore.”

“Hiding from what?” She asked curiously.

“From everything. From everyone. Don’t you realize what could happen if the wrong people found out?”

“That’s why you wouldn’t turn in your father. Max, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.”

“I know. It’s nice to know you care.” Max finally sat back down.

“I do.” As she said the words she knew they were true.

“Liz, I…” He had so much to say, but when Michael came rushing through the door he knew it would have to wait. “Michael, what is it?”

“Your dad, Maxwell! He just pulled up outside. You gotta get out of here!” Michael looked to Liz now…hoping she could be trusted. “Liz, we need your help.”

“Anything.” She responded without thinking.

Michael approached her slowly. “Can we trust you?”

It was a loaded question. She knew he was asking her if he could trust her with their lives. “Michael, I know you don’t want to, but you can trust me.”

“All right. I need you to get Max out of here. It’s not safe for him. He’s already hurt. I don’t know what his old man will do if he finds him.”

“What about you? We can’t leave you here.” Max stated in a worried tone.

“I’ll be fine. He doesn’t know anything about me and he doesn’t know I’ve seen you. Now go! I’ll find you later.” Michael hugged the man he considered to be his brother.

“I love you, Michael.”

“Me too, Maxwell. Go!” Michael watched as Max and Liz escaped out the back door. Once he knew they were out of sight he answered the beating on the door. “What do you want, Mr. Evans?”

“Where’s my son?” Phillip slurred, obviously still drunk.

“I haven’t seen him.”

“Liar! His car is out front. I’ll ask again. Where is he?” Phillip roared.

“Hopefully someplace you’ll never find him again, you bastard!” Michael shoved at Phillip Evans. Sending him flying backwards several feet. “Come on! Why don’t you try fighting someone that will stand up to you?” Michael hovered over his body, waiting for the slightest indication that he would fight. Let him throw one punch…then I’ll finish him.

~~~~~~~

Liz and Max huddled together outside the rear door to Michael’s apartment until they were sure Phillip Evans had gone inside. Max was still in pain, but his wounds were healing quickly. Liz watched him in wonder. It was all still sinking in for her that Max was different. She continued to stare at him in amazement, while he peeked around the corner to see if the coast was clear. “You ready?” He whispered. “We’re gonna have to make a run for it. He’s inside for now, but there’s no telling how long Michael can distract him.”

Liz nodded her head and waited for Max’s signal. She saw him gesture forward and took off running, hand in hand with Max Evans. She didn’t speak for several minutes after they left Michael’s apartment. First, because she didn’t know what to say, but then her mind kept running through the options they had. She couldn’t let Max go back to his father. She wouldn’t. That only left one option for them. “Max?”

He was startled by the sudden sound of her voice. He’d known she was physically with him, but her thoughts had been elsewhere. “Yes, Liz?” He replied gently, thankful that she hadn’t run away from him screaming in terror.

“Run away with me.” She blurted out before she had second thoughts.

“What?” Max was sure he hadn’t heard her right.

“Run away with me! It’s perfect! I’m not going home, and you shouldn’t either.” She put a finger to his lips when he started to object. “You don’t belong there…you belong with me.” For the first time in her life, the words were coming from her heart. They felt right. “I know you can come up with a hundred arguments as to why we shouldn’t go, but I can feel it…it’s right.”

Max smiled adoringly at her, but he knew he couldn’t live in a fantasy world. “Liz, the fact that you would even consider doing that for me…well, it means more than you’ll ever know, but this can never be normal, Liz. You deserve so much more.”

Liz smiled back at him and ignored his reasoning. “What’s so great about normal?”

“I don’t think it’s hit you yet…what I am. Trust me, you’re better off without me.”

“I appreciate your attempt to be noble, Max, but I think with you is exactly where I want to be.” She could see him giving in. He wanted to escape as much as she did. “You want more than this life, Max. So do I. Maybe we can find what it is we’re looking for…together.”

“But you barely know me.”

“I know enough to know this is what I want. So…come with me, Max. Be with me.”

“Are you sure?” Max’s heart was racing. Not only at the prospect of leaving his life in Opal Cliff behind, but because he’d known. He’d known from the first moment he’d laid eyes on her…Liz Parker was his destiny.

“I’ve never been more certain.” Liz felt like a dream was coming true. She knew life would never be easy, but being with Max made it right anyway.

~~~~~~~

Jim paced back and forth outside of Dr. McHenry’s office. He checked his watch again. Twenty-five minutes. What the hell is going on in there? As if on cue, his question was answered. Tess and Dr. McHenry finally emerged from the office smiling and whispering to one another.

“So, how is everything?” Jim asked nervously. He’d been so sure Tess was lying, but after twenty-five minutes of pacing a hallway, he knew something wasn’t right.

Dr. McHenry smiled. “I think I’ll let Tess answer that question for you.”

Jim looked to Tess, waiting for the truth to finally come out. “Well?”

“Congratulations, Sheriff Valenti. You’re going to be a grandfather.” Tess smiled triumphantly. She finally had exactly what she wanted.



TBC
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:20 am

Glad to see us back up and running, but I have to say I've had a blast this week at Land of Dreams! Linds, you're the best! It was so great to get to know everyone!

CHAPTER 8


Liz glanced quickly around the room one last time. She had everything, so it was time to leave. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this! The rational side of Liz Parker had almost caused her to flee the idea of running away with Max Evans, but for once she was listening to her heart. Her heart told her this was meant to be. She’d met Max Evans for a reason and she was sure she was doing the right thing. She had no home to go back to no matter how much she missed her family and friends. Her life in Roswell was over. As she stepped out the door she caught sight of Max leaning against his car. He was obviously as nervous as she was, but looking down at him all she saw was the man of her dreams. He’s an alien! An alien you’ve known less than a week! Liz pushed the thoughts out of her mind. Nothing was stopping her now. She ran down the stairs like a little kid. Her future was waiting and for the first time in weeks it was looking bright. “Ready to go?” Liz asked Max as she tossed her bags into the backseat.

Max wanted nothing more than to run away from his life here in Opal Cliff, but could he really take Liz with him? Am I being too selfish? She has her own life. “Liz…I’ve been thinking…”

“Nope. Bad idea. I know what you’re doing, Max, and forget it. I made my choice and it’s what I want.” Liz walked over to him and placed a hand gently on his cheek. “Tell me this doesn’t feel right, Max. Tell me that you don’t want to run away with me and we’ll stop right here.” She could see his hesitation. “See, Max…you want this too. We’re not doing anything wrong.”

“But Liz…”

Liz stood on her tiptoes and kissed him gently. She’d wanted to do that since the night she’d first met him. He responded immediately, wrapping his arms around her and practically picking her up off the ground. Liz felt like the whole world was spinning around her as Max deepened the kiss. Images kept flashing through her mind faster than she was able to comprehend them. She knew they were from her own imagination, but she felt like they were real. Finally, she pulled away. “Wow.” Liz whispered, slightly embarrassed and sure she was blushing.

“Yeah…wow.” Max was speechless. Liz was right…he wanted this. From the moment her lips touched his he knew he couldn’t deny how much he wanted her. It might be selfish and it might even be wrong, but Max wasn’t going to let anything stop them now. He’d suffered for years under his father’s brutal hands and now he had a chance at happiness. A chance he wasn’t letting go. He opened the door and smiled at Liz. “Your chariot awaits.”

Liz hopped in, thankful that he hadn’t changed his mind. “I’m ready.”

Max walked around the back of the car, changing the license plate as he walked by. He’d thought of changing the color of the car, but realized he had a lot to explain to Liz before he could do so. Hopefully she wouldn’t regret her decision once she learned what she’d really gotten herself into. He climbed into the driver’s seat and took one last look at his home. Good-bye he thought to himself, but didn’t say it aloud. This hadn’t truly been his home since his mother had died. He had a new life now…one he was sure she would’ve wanted for him. “Where to?”

Liz thought to herself for a moment and then giggled. “There is one place I’ve always wanted to go.”

Max loved the sound of her laugh. “Anywhere you want to go.”

“Astoria. It’s in Oregon. I’ve seen so many pictures and it’s so beautiful. I’ve just always wanted to go there.”

Anywhere but here seemed like a good idea. “I guess we’re heading for Oregon.” Max put the car in gear and drove out of the parking lot, this time not looking back. His future was elsewhere and for the first time…he felt free.

~~~~~~~

“Go ahead! I dare you. Throw one punch.” Michael stood over Phillip Evans just waiting. He’d waited for this day for so long and it was finally here. “C’mon! Suddenly you’re a coward? What? Can’t you fight someone that’s willing to fight back?” Michael dared him again.

Phillip looked Michael up and down. He’d never thought much of Michael Guerin, but the kid looked to be in excellent shape. Despite what Michael might think, Phillip was not a stupid man. He knew when to pick his battles and when to walk away. For now he would walk away, but Michael Guerin had not seen the last of him. “It’s your lucky night, kid. I’m outta here. Tell my son he can’t hide forever…I always find him.” Phillip spit at Michael’s feet as he stumbled out the front door. As he climbed into the cab of his truck he called back to Michael now that he was a safe distance away. “Next time…I won’t be so nice.”

Michael’s temper was raging as he watched Phillip Evans pull away. Dammit! One punch and it would’ve been self-defense. “Maxwell,” he said to himself, “for your sake…I pray you got the hell outta here.” Michael stomped back inside. He knew Phillip Evans meant what he said. He’d find Max and that was one thing Michael wouldn’t let happen. Grabbing his keys he headed out the door. Max was smart enough to leave for now, but if he came back…Michael would be there by his side.

~~~~~~~

Tess stood just outside the door to Kyle’s room. Her plan had to work. Her whole life depended on it and for once she would get what she wanted. Kyle would marry her and take her out of this hellhole. That, she was betting on. She took one last deep breath before entering the room. “Hi, baby.”

Kyle didn’t bother to look up from the magazine he’d been reading. “What are you doing here, Tess? I thought I told you to leave.” He continued to flip through the pages like she wasn’t even there.

“Baby, I know you didn’t mean…”

Kyle. My name is Kyle and yes I did mean everything I said. I want you to leave and I don’t want you to come back.” Kyle looked up at her now. He couldn’t understand what he’d ever seen in her. She was as manipulative as they came, and just as trashy. She had already denied having anything to do with Liz’s disappearance, but like his father he didn’t believe her. “What are you waiting for? Go!” Kyle gestured towards the door, but she didn’t move. “Dammit, Tess! Can’t you tell when you’re not wanted?”

Tess stood there paralyzed. She’d never seen Kyle react this way towards her. True, he’d needed some persuading in the beginning, but then he’d come more than willing. “You might want to watch what you say to me. I shouldn’t be upset in my delicate condition.” She would make this work. The more he fought her, the more she was determined to nail him.

“And what delicate condition would that be?” Kyle asked sarcastically. Tess was famous for playing games with people.

“Oh, your father didn’t tell you?” She was going to have some fun with this one.

“Tell me what?” Kyle knew how his father felt about Tess Harding. Why the hell would he be talking to her at all?

Tess strolled over to the bed and sat down beside Kyle. She wanted to be close just to see his reaction. “That I’m pregnant, of course.”

“You already tried that one, Tess. Neither one of us believes you. Why don’t you come back when you can think of something original?” Kyle leaned back again and picked up his magazine.

“I’m hurt, Kyle. Really.” Tess pretended to shed a tear.

“You’re breaking my heart. Now get the hell out of here before I find someone to throw you out.” Kyle smiled at the thought of security forcefully removing her.

“Fine. Obviously you need some rest, but we’re gonna have to talk about the baby sometime. This can’t wait forever.”

“Tess, how stupid do you think I am?”

“I don’t think you’re stupid, but my doctor said…”

The word doctor got his attention. “What doctor?”

“The one your father found for me, silly. It was so nice of him to be so concerned. He even waited for me while I was examined. I don’t think he’d approve of how horribly you’re treating me right now.” This is more fun that I thought.

Kyle didn’t understand. He’d talked to his father this afternoon. He knew Tess wasn’t pregnant. He’d even told Kyle he would prove it. “I don’t believe you!”

“Well, if you don’t believe me, just ask your father. I’m pregnant, Kyle. We’re finally going to be a family.” Tess had to bite her own lip to keep from laughing. She had Kyle exactly where she wanted him and had his own father to confirm her story. “You look like you need some rest. We’ll talk tomorrow. I love you, baby.” Tess kissed him on the forehead and left him with the news. She looked through the small window of his door and could swear she saw him crying. Happy at last, she strolled down the hallway humming quietly to herself.

~~~~~~~

When Maria finally opened her eyes she saw the sun pouring in through the window. She could hear someone in the bathroom, but slowly looked around and didn’t see anyone else. “Alex?” She called out.

The door opened and Isabel came sauntering into the bedroom. “Good morning.” Isabel greeted her cheerfully. “I was wondering if you were planning on getting up anytime soon.”

“What time is it? Where’s Alex?” Maria questioned still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

“It’s a little after ten, and Alex walked outside with his cell phone so he wouldn’t wake you.”

“His cell phone? Who’s he talking to? Liz?” Maria jumped up quickly.

Isabel shook her head. “No, he finally decided to call his parents and let them know you were both safe. Apparently, they put out a missing persons report on you both and when Alex saw it he panicked.” As funny as she found the situation and had enjoyed the look of terror on Alex’s face this morning…it also made her want to cry. No one was looking for her. Her parents were out of town on yet another ski trip and her friends didn’t care enough to even attempt to track her down.

Oh my God! You’re kidding, right?” Maria could already hear her mother’s voice ringing in her ears.

“Sorry…wish I was.” Isabel watched in fascination as Maria bounced out of bed and began to inhale rapidly whatever was in the small bottle she’d been carrying. “Are you ok?”

“Ca-can’t…br-breathe.” Maria was definitely hyperventilating.

Isabel grabbed a washcloth and wet it. She wiped it across Maria’s forehead, but it didn’t seem to be soothing her at all. “Maria, you have to calm down.” Isabel pried the small vial out of Maria’s hands and continued to try and calm her down. “It’s going to be all right. Alex can handle this. He can handle anything.”

“I know you probably think this is a riot but you don’t know my mother. We’re talking fifty lashes with a leather whip!” What was I thinking? Why didn’t I tell my mother? Because she wouldn’t have let me go! Oh my God!

“Maria…don’t you think you’re being a little melodramatic?”

“Oh my God! You’re even starting to sound like him!” Maria stood up and paced back and forth. “I’m dead. She’s gonna kill me! Forget about any kind of a life…she’s gonna kill me!”

The door opened to their room and Alex came in looking like he’d just gone ten rounds with a heavyweight boxer. “Well…for now at least they know we’re alive. Whether or not they’re gonna let us live once we get home is debatable though.” Alex slumped down in a chair by the window. Amy Deluca’s threats were still pounding in his ears.

“Did…did you…well you know…talk to my mom?”

“Oh yeah! Yeah, Maria…I had the wonderful pleasure of explaining where we were and exactly why we’d left in the first place. Thanks a lot, by the way.” Alex started rubbing his temples with the palms of his hands. Amy Deluca had given him more than an earful.

“Well…what did she…they say?” Maria inquired reluctantly.

“What do you think they said? They said come home now!” All Alex wanted right now was a bottle of aspirin and a pillow.

“So, we’re…going back?” Maria could feel the urge to cry coming on. She had to find Liz. The last thing she wanted was to turn back now.

Isabel felt disappointed. She didn’t want to go home and she really didn’t want this trip to end. She waited to hear Alex’s response, but he said nothing. “Alex? Are we going home? What about Liz?”

Alex wasn’t altogether sure of the decisions he’d been making recently and he hated to agree with Maria…but she was right. “No…we’re not going home. Liz needs us and we’ve come too far.” He saw Maria’s face come to life, but immediately squashed her enthusiasm. “Hold on a second, Maria. I said we weren’t going home…I meant yet. We’re too close to Opal Cliff now, so we’re going to get there as fast as we can…safely. Then, we’re back on the road home. Got it?”

“Got it!” Both girls piped up in unison.

“I don’t know why I let you talk me into crazy things like this. I mean I’m a normal, rational guy until you come around and then all of my better judgment disappears. You’re like a magnet for trouble, so why do I do this?”

Maria plopped down on his lap and planted a big, wet kiss on his cheek. “Because you love me and Liz and you would do anything for us. That and deep inside there’s an animal just dying to get out!” Alex dumped her on the floor before she could catch herself. “Ouch! What’d you do that for?” She asked rubbing her tender behind.

“I guess you could say my inner animal was trying to get out.” He winked at Isabel when he heard her snicker. “Now c’mon. We need to be on the road in ten minutes so no primping…get dressed and I mean quickly.”

Maria jumped up from the floor and kissed his cheek again. “Thank you, Alex. I love you.”

“Yeah, but only because you got your way. I’m going to check us out.” Alex smiled at Isabel and walked out.

Isabel felt her heart skip a beat. Every moment she spent with Alex Whitman she liked him even more. Quietly, smiling to herself, Isabel put all of her things back in her bag.

“Opal Cliff…here we come.” Maria announced the moment they were back on the road.

~~~~~~~

Liz glanced quickly over at Max’s sleeping form in the passenger seat. She’d been listening to his soft, rhythmic snoring for the last two hours. It seemed…soothing. He looked so peaceful and she couldn’t help but notice he was smiling in his sleep. She wondered if he did that often or if it had anything to do with her. I hope he’s thinking about me.Her whole life had always been so carefully mapped out until now. Now she was on the run with an alien of all people and she’d never felt more alive. It made her question everything she’d ever known to be true about herself. This wasn’t like her, so why did she feel so…happy?

Max blinked his eyes slowly, trying to come out of the fog of sleep. She was the first thing he saw. He saw her smiling, but didn’t know what had brought it on. The radio was off, so the car was silent except for the noise of the road. She looked happy, which made his heart melt instantly. “Good morning.” He said as he shifted in his seat.

Just hearing his voice made Liz’s heart race. “Hi. How are you feeling? You look better.”

“I feel better. Thanks for driving last night…well this morning.” He smiled shyly. “You know what I mean. I needed some time to recuperate.”

Looking at him briefly, but not wanting to take her eyes off the road, Liz saw that his bruises were gone and he looked almost…perfect. “So…do you always…you know…heal so fast?” She felt uncomfortable asking, but she was curious. She knew next to nothing about him.

“Yeah…I do. Does that freak you out a little?”

“No. I was just wondering how you were able to hide who you are for so long. It’s just…well if you heal so quickly, how didn’t your father ever notice?”

Max understood where she was coming from. Her curiosity pleased him. It was much better than fear. “I usually took off for a few days…that way it looked like I’d run off for time to heal. He never really cared enough to ask.” The admission didn’t hurt Max as much as he had expected it to.

“I’m sorry, Max. It must’ve been hell for you. Why didn’t you ever leave? Or like Michael said…why didn’t you ever fight back?” Liz hoped she wasn’t crossing the line, but she wanted to understand.

“I couldn’t.” He saw the confusion flash in her eyes. “I mean I could’ve, but I wouldn’t. I tried to remember what he was like before my mom died, and I always hoped things would get better. They didn’t.”

“What was he like, before?”

“He was great. We were the perfect family. My parents were madly in love and they seemed to adore me. Everything was amazing until she died. After that he just closed himself off. He started drinking and it wasn’t long before the beatings started.” Max noticed Liz flinch at the news. “It’s not as bad as you think. At least I do heal quickly. He just loved my mom so much…once she was gone it was nearly impossible for him to go on living without her.”

“Max, you shouldn’t make any excuses for what he did. He was wrong to hurt his own son.”

“I know…but he’s my dad.”

“How is that? I know you’re an…” She trailed off not knowing if it was right to say it.

“An alien, Liz. It’s ok. Not out in public, but this is just us.” He reached his hand over and took her hand in his. He could feel her pulse quicken, but it was obvious it wasn’t out of fear.

“Ok…you’re an alien, so how is he? How did you? Were they? You can shut me up anytime before I make a complete fool out of myself.”

Max smiled. “It’s ok. I don’t mind your questions. Actually it feels good to talk about it. I’m adopted. Michael and I both are. Our parents were best friends and when we were found they…”

Liz interrupted him before he could finish. “What do you mean found?”

This was going to be the hard part. “Well, you see…our ship crashed and we weren’t born yet. We came out of some kind of pods. Unfortunately, we don’t remember much. The social workers figured our ages to be about two. We were just too young to remember very much.”

“Wait a minute. You’re talking about an alien ship crash like it happens every day. How come people didn’t know? Were you…well green?” Liz felt like an idiot for asking and Max’s burst of hysterical laughter didn’t help. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know how these things work.”

Max calmed his laughter quickly sensing her embarrassment, but he’d never thought about the possibility of being green. “No, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have laughed. It’s just we looked like normal kids. We’re aliens, Liz, but we’re part human too.”

“Ok, but what about the crash?” Liz questioned feeling extremely confused.

“I’m sure you’ve probably heard about it…you just didn’t know it was me.”

“What do you mean I’ve probably heard about it?”

“Have you ever heard of Roswell, New Mexico?”

Liz didn’t mean to, but she swerved the car off onto the shoulder of the road. Max Evans had just admitted to her that he was in the crash of ’47. Nothing could get weirder than this.


TBC
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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SAFIRESKYE26
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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:13 am

Sorry it took me so long to get back everyone, but with the craziness of the board being down AND a hurricane...life has been craziness! I hope you all enjoy :wink:

CHAPTER 9


Liz hadn’t meant to lose control of the car, but the moment she’d heard what Max had said she’d nearly fainted again. The car finally came to a screeching halt, stirring up dirt all around them. “Oh my God!” Liz jumped out of the driver’s seat without even considering possible injuries. “Max!” She called out loud without facing the car. She couldn’t. What if he’s hurt? I can’t look. I can’t. What’ve I done?

It took a minute for Max to realize what had just happened. He wasn’t wearing his seat belt so he’d been jostled around slightly. He looked at the driver’s seat and panicked when he didn’t see Liz. “Liz!” He heard his name called a moment later to his relief. He climbed out slowly, but immediately looked around for Liz. She was sitting on the rear bumper with her head in her hands. As he approached her he saw a small gash on her leg. “Liz? Are you all right? What happened?”

“I just…oh my god, Max…I’m so sorry. I don’t…” she couldn’t seem to form a complete sentence.

Max went to her side and wrapped his arms around her reassuringly. “Are you hurt?” The baby! Max didn’t hesitate again. He didn’t want to panic Liz, but he had to know the baby was safe. He moved quickly, kneeling down before her and placing his hand across her abdomen as he’d done the first time. The flashes came instantly. He could see her and feel her heartbeat. It was steady. Max didn’t hold back from Liz…he let her see everything he saw for himself. Once he was finally convinced the baby was fine he looked up and saw the tears flowing from Liz’s eyes. For once, he knew what had put them there. “Liz?” He whispered softly.

“Wow.” Liz whispered back. She didn’t know what to say. Part of her was amazed by Max’s gifts, part of her was curious, but mostly she was thankful.

“Yeah…wow.” He stood up slowly and brushed the tears away from her cheeks. He wrapped his arms around her, sensing she could use the comfort.

Liz laid her head against Max’s firm torso and continued to sob quietly. For weeks she’d been worried about what this pregnancy would do to her life and now the confusion was gone. She wanted this baby more than anything. Seeing her and feeling her heartbeat had washed away every ounce of uncertainty. Max had done that for her. “Thank you.” She whispered through her tears.

He knew what she was feeling. He understood. There was nothing he needed to say. “You’re welcome.” He said gently into her hair. They stood there for a long time holding onto each other.

~~~~~~~

“Dad! This isn’t happening! Tell me this isn’t happening!” Kyle had been a mess since Tess had walked out earlier. He’d been able to think of nothing else. For the first hour he’d convinced himself that it was a lie. It wasn’t happening. Then, he’d realized God was punishing him for what he’d done. “Dad? Say something.”

Jim stood a few feet away at the window. He couldn’t face his son right now. Not only because of the disappointment he felt over Kyle’s actions, but also because he couldn’t bear the look he was sure was present in Kyle’s eyes. This was every father’s worst nightmare and he knew Kyle didn’t love Tess. There was nothing he could say.

“Are you just going to stand there?” Kyle asked again. “Dad, help me.”

Still not facing him, Jim spoke up. “Kyle…I don’t know what to say. I can’t help you. You did this to yourself, son. You’re going to have to live up to your responsibility here.” Jim had wanted so much more for Kyle. He’d not only wanted him to be successful, but he’d wanted him to find true love someday. The kind of love he’d always wanted for himself, but had never had.

“But, Dad…I don’t love her. I don’t even like her. I have my whole future ahead of me…my scholarships.” Kyle felt his world crashing down around him and his father was doing nothing to help him. “Dad!”

“I’m sorry, Kyle…you did this, now you have to make it right. This is a small town…there’ll be talk. You have to do the right thing.” Jim knew Kyle was hurting right now, but he’d discussed this exact scenario with his son more than once. He’d told him the risks. He’d told him about young girls and their desperation to find any way out of small towns like Roswell. Kyle had known the risks, but had ignored them. He had to face the consequences. He didn’t want to, but he turned to his son. “We’ll arrange something private and quiet once you’re released.” Jim could feel the tears coming, but refused to break down in front of his son. “She’ll start showing soon…we can’t let this be any more of a scandal then it already will be.”

“Dad…think about what you’re saying.” Kyle pleaded with him.

Jim stood up straight and looked at Kyle one last time before excusing himself. “I have. I’m going to speak with Ed Harding…I don’t want this getting out of control. I’ll see you later, Kyle.” Jim was almost out the door when he heard Kyle’s pleas again.

“Dad, please? I can’t do this.”

Not looking back, he answered him. “But you will.” With that he was gone.

Kyle had never been an emotional person. He was a jock. Something he’d always been proud of no matter how chauvinistic he appeared to be, but now he cried. Uncontrollably. He cried for his own stupidity. He cried for the look in his father’s eyes. But finally…he cried for Liz. Liz, where are you?

~~~~~~~

“Are we there yet?” Maria whined from the backseat.

“No.” Alex and Isabel responded together. Maria had been whining all day. From the moment they’d left the motel that morning, she had been aggravating them both.

“Sorry.” Maria hissed at their tones. I can’t help it if I’m anxious…well impatient.

“Maria, don’t you have something to read? Maybe a nap would do you some good.” Alex suggested hopefully.

“I slept until ten, Alex…I’m good. I just want to be there already.” She whined again.

“We know.” Alex and Isabel stated together again. This time they smiled at each other. They both knew something was happening between them, but Alex was afraid to get his hopes up, and so was Isabel.

Trying to take his mind off his proximity to Isabel, Alex started checking the map again. “Looks like we should be there within the hour. It’s not much further.” Just as he spoke he saw a sign for Opal Cliff at last. “See, Opal Cliff…36 miles.”

“Yes! We’ll be there soon, Liz.” Maria said while making a praying gesture.

“Maria…promise me something?”

“What, Alex?”

“Promise me you won’t bombard Liz with questions right away. She ran away for a reason…we don’t want to give her another reason to run. She’s gonna have enough explaining to do with her parents. She needs our support right now…got it?”

Maria was insulted. “How insensitive do you think I am? I mean…whose idea was this trip? Who was determined not to give up? Me! I know my Lizzie…and I know she needs me.”

Still doubtful that Maria would handle this tactfully, he gave up. “Whatever you say, Maria. Just be careful.”

“Noted.” Was her simple reply.

“What about me?” Isabel asked self-consciously.

“What about you?” Alex questioned.

“Well…Liz doesn’t really know me. Are you sure it’s gonna be ok that I’m there?”

Alex was touched at the genuine concern in her voice. He was finally seeing the Isabel he’d always known existed, but others had never bothered to look for. Gathering every ounce of courage he had, Alex reached for her hand and held it tightly. “She’ll be lucky to have you there.” He smiled back at her. She was blushing, which made his heart melt.

Oh my God! I’m in hell! Maria slumped back down in the seat. They couldn’t get there fast enough for her.

~~~~~~~

Max and Liz had been back in the car for over an hour, but he hadn’t asked her a single question. She knew he had to be curious about what had happened, but he was more concerned with her mental state than an explanation. It was sweet, but it was time she told him the truth. “Max?”

“Yeah?”

“Why aren’t you asking me what happened?”

“I figured you’d tell me when you were ready. We’re fine. The car’s fine. So, there’s no harm done.” He smiled easily at her.

“It’s just…what you said…about the crash.” She didn’t know how to tell him. She wanted there to be an easy way, but there wasn’t. What are you afraid of? He told you he was an alien. Liz’s inner battle with herself had to end. Max had opened up to her…she owed him the truth.

“The crash is what freaked you out? You knew I was an alien, Liz. How’d you think we got here?” He wasn’t trying to be patronizing, but he could tell by her sudden change in posture that she was taken aback by his questions.

“It’s not exactly the crash…well it is the crash, but it’s not…”

“Liz? You’re not making any sense.”

“Ok…I know I should’ve told you more about myself…I just thought we had more time, and I didn’t want to rush things.” Liz bit her bottom lip like she always did when she was nervous. It was time to tell him about Kyle, and Roswell, and the Crashdown, which was humiliating considering the circumstances.

Max laughed. “We’ve already run away together…I think we’re past the point of rushing things.” He winked at her causing her to laugh too.

“Yeah, I guess we have. There’s just so much you don’t know about me…and obviously there’s a lot I don’t know about you.” She wanted to know everything. Max Evans was the most extraordinary person she’d ever met and he was an alien. This seriously increased the interest factor.

“We have time…I’m not going anywhere…without you I mean.” Why am I so drawn to her?

“Well, you know about the baby…”

“I don’t care, Liz. We can always…raise it together. I know you don’t know me yet, but this feels right. I don’t care what happened in the past.” He needed to make her see. He wanted her and the baby.

“But Max…”

“Liz, do you care about me? I know it’s soon but I have all these feelings…and the baby…well it’s not a problem for me.” Max was aware of how badly he was fumbling what he wanted to say. “I know you have a past…but you’re still you.”

“Max, please? You’re making this harder. Just let me tell you.” Max nodded his head so she continued. “I wasn’t really worried about the baby because you already knew, but there’s more. The reason I ran your car off the road and the reason why I didn’t totally panic when you told me you were an alien is because I’ve grown up around the whole aliens are among us idea. I’m from Roswell, Max. I’ve heard about the crash…well weather balloon incident, my whole life.”

“Wow. Small world.”

“That’s it? Small world? You don’t seem too surprised.”

“I knew you came from somewhere, Liz, and it’s just a coincidence that it happens to be where…well I was…”

“Hatched?” Liz smiled. Although still in partial shock, she found this somewhat amusing.

“Very funny!” He shot her his most wicked smile.

“Technically, from what you’ve told me, you were hatched.” She couldn’t hold back her laughter any longer. The irony of the situation was just too much. She’d run away from Roswell straight into the arms of an alien, and now they had run away together. Who would’ve thought? Me, Liz Parker, actually being reckless.

“You think you’re so clever, don’t you?” It was so easy. He was talking to her about his most guarded secret like it was the weather.

“Actually…yes I am.” I’ve never been a flirt my entire life and yet I can’t get enough of this man.

“So…anything else? I want to know everything about you, Liz.”

“I thought you said it didn’t matter?”

“Well, I need to know some things. Like your parents…who are they? What do they do?”

Oy! “You see…it’s funny that you should ask. They own a restaurant.” I can’t believe I have to tell him this. “An alien themed restaurant.” Liz was waiting for his anger, but instead he burst out laughing.

“We really are quite the pair, aren’t we?” Max had never been in love before and even though it was too soon for love…the fact that the girl of his dreams was from Roswell was priceless.

~~~~~~~

Maria climbed out of the car first. “So…this is the place?” She had to admit it was quaint.

“It’s beautiful.” Isabel remarked as she stood up and looked out over the water. She’d never seen anything like it. Her heart was racing and something inside of her felt like she was where she needed to be.

“Not bad.” Alex replied. “Liz has been living the high life, while I’ve been stuck with you, Maria.” Maria slugged him in the arm for his comment. “Ouch!”

Isabel was only half paying attention to the two bickering. Something was here. She couldn’t understand it herself, but something almost primal had awakened inside of her. This place was more than beautiful…something here was drawing her in. A wave of uneasiness swept over her at the realization, sending her running into Alex’s arms.

“Isabel?” Alex looked at Maria who only shrugged her shoulders. “Isabel, what’s wrong?”

“This place…I just feel…I don’t know. We should probably find Liz.” She pulled back away from Alex and straightened her sweater. “I’m fine.”

“Ok…well who’s going in?” Maria asked nervously. The place was beautiful, but for some reason the movie Psycho was playing over and over in her mind. “I think Alex should go.”

“Me? Wait a second…whose idea was this little road trip? I think Maria should go.” He said directly to Isabel hoping she would back him up, but she seemed to be off in her own little world. “One of us has to go in.” Alex said after a few minutes passed.

Maria noticed the man standing off to the side of the building. He looked to be about their age. “Maybe we should ask him if he’s seen Liz.” Maria gestured towards the figure by the office.

“Be my guest.” Alex smiled and leaned back against the car.

“Fine.” Maria huffed as she headed towards the man. However, the closer she got to him the more nervous she felt. She finally reached him, but he didn’t even look up to see who had approached him. “Hey.” Bad opening Deluca. She took in a deep breath, but before he could say anything else he spoke up.

“The name’s not hey and I don’t work here, lady.” Michael had been working on his truck most of the day, so he was greasy, sweaty, and cranky. Definitely not in the mood to deal with some chick that thought he was here to service her. “Front office is that way.”

“Actually, I’m looking for a friend of mine and I was just…”

“Not a PI either.” He stood up and noticed the blonde for the first time. She was beautiful. Women are trouble he thought to himself.

“Look, buddy…I was just hoping you might be able to help me find a friend of mine, but if it’s too much to ask for you to answer a question then I’ll leave.”

“Name’s not buddy either…and you do that.” Michael watched the feisty blonde walk off and found himself regretting his attitude. He threw down the wrench he had been holding and followed in her general direction. “Hey.”

Maria was already agitated and she didn’t need some low life punk’s attitude. “The name’s not hey.” She retorted as she spun around. He was standing in the open sunlight now, which acted as a spotlight over his body. Maria could see how well built he was. Wearing only a worn pair of jeans she let her imagination wander to what was still hidden. Yummy she thought and then mentally kicked herself. I’m here to find Liz, not a date!

Michael liked her. He hated women falling all over him and this one had spunk. “Look, I didn’t mean to be a…”

“Jackass.” Maria smiled as she finished his sentence.

Oh yeah…she was a spitfire. “I was gonna say a jerk, but whatever works for you.” He smiled despite himself. “What can I help you with? I might not have the answer you’re looking for, but I know pretty much everything that goes on around here.”

“Whatever.” Maria could feel her temperature rising as his eyes stayed fixated on her. “I’m looking for a friend of mine…she’s staying here.”

“A friend probably would’ve told you what room she was staying in.”

“I’ve been in a car for going on three days…I sooo don’t have the patience to deal with an arrogant asshole, so forget I asked.” Maria turned to walk away, but was stopped by the strong hand holding her arm. “Excuse me…wanna let go?”

Michael hadn’t realized he’d grabbed her arm. Embarrassed, he dropped it like it was on fire. “Sorry.” He muttered under hid breath. “What’s your friend’s name?”

“Depends…you really gonna help me out?”

“Look, Blondie…if you don’t want my help I’ve got better things to do.” She’s a real piece of work.

Fine. I need to find Liz and this Neanderthal is my best chance right now. “Liz. Her name is Liz.”

Shit! “Um…Liz…I seem to recall…there might’ve been…you see…”

“Talk much?” Maria asked sarcastically.

Alex had been watching the exchange long enough. He didn’t have time for this. He wanted to get Liz and be back on his way to Roswell before nightfall. “Maria, what are you doing? We don’t have time to screw around and you can easily find a man to torture back home.”

“Alex.” Maria hissed under her breath.

“So…you’re both looking for Liz?” Michael asked. The last thing he needed were more strangers hanging around.

“Actually…” Isabel walked up slowly, “the three of us are looking for Liz.” It was him. She could feel it. He was the reason she was so drawn to this place.

There was something about her. He could feel it. The uneasiness he’d felt for so long…the sense that there were more of them out there…she was one of them. That much he knew for sure. “Do I…have we met?”

“I don’t think so…I’m Isabel.” Isabel held her hand out to meet his. The moment their hands touched it was like a spark had been ignited. They both jerked back at the same time.

Alex knew he didn’t have the right to be jealous…after all, Isabel wasn’t his, but he didn’t like what was going on. “Well, now that we’ve all met could we maybe focus on what we’re doing here?”

“I’m all for that.” Maria stepped forward, pushing Isabel away from this stranger. “I’m Maria and this is Alex.”

“Nice to meet you.” Michael said never taking his eyes off of Isabel. “So, what was it you needed?”

“Hello? Liz? I thought we’d established that.” Maria had watched guys fawn over Isabel often enough to see the signs. “Can you help us or not?” I saw him first.

“Liz, huh? Yeah, I’ve seen her, but…”

“Where is she? I need to find her like now.” Maria was already halfway to the stairs when Michael called out to her.

“She’s not here.” He didn’t want to explain to them why she was gone, but he couldn’t take the chance that they’d go to Phillip. “She left.”

“She just left?” Maria couldn’t believe what she was hearing. After everything Liz had been through Maria couldn’t understand why she would’ve just left. Finally, Maria saw something in the parking lot that had her blood boiling. “Ok, genius…if she’s gone why is her car here?” Maria pointed to Liz’s car not twenty feet away.

Dammit! Michael had completely forgotten that Mark from the local body shop had dropped Liz’s car off this morning. “Well, you see…she left without it.”

“She left without it? That’s the story you’re sticking to?” Maria walked straight to him until they were standing face to face. “Listen to me you Neanderthal, I don’t know what you’ve done to my best friend, but if you’ve hurt so much as one hair on her head I’m gonna shove my…”

Alex grabbed Maria by the shoulders and pulled her back before she started beating on the man before them. “We know Liz wouldn’t have left without her car, so you can either tell us where she is or we’ll find your manager.”

Michael couldn’t let them go anywhere near Phillip Evans. “No! Please…I’ll tell you everything, but not here. There’s a diner a mile up the road…go there.”

“And you’ll tell us where to find Liz?” Alex questioned. He didn’t trust this guy.

“Ten minutes…I promise.” Michael had to get them out of here before someone saw them.

“Fine…we’ll meet you there.” Isabel took hold of Alex’s arm and dragged him towards the car. If this man was who she thought he was…she understood why he wouldn’t want trouble. “C’mon you two. Let’s go.”

“Ok, but he’d better show or I’m coming back to kick some ass.” Maria blurted out as Isabel shoved her into the back seat.

The three of them did as Michael had suggested and went to the diner. He didn’t keep them waiting long. Michael walked into the diner without a clue of what he was going to tell them, but he didn’t have a choice. He wouldn’t put Max in any danger and this Isabel was one of them…hopefully she could be trusted. “I know you don’t believe me, but Liz is gone. She took off late last night.”

“She just took off? Without her car? Alone?” Maria could see the tension building within him. “Ok, spill it…now.”

The blonde sure as hell wasn’t going to make this easy on him. “She wasn’t…alone. Liz left here with my best friend Max.” Michael waited for a minute to see if they showed any reaction. “They ran away together.” Michael had barely finished his sentence before the blonde hit the floor. “Maria?”

Alex just shook his head and looked at Isabel. “This is going to be a longer trip than I thought.”


TBC
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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