posted on 10-Jul-2002 4:45:04 AM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt, and a really cool pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandonded at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter their adulthood?

This is my very first attempt at a fanfic. I ask you, the reader, to give it a fair try. All feedback will be slavered over, worshipped and adored. Even one word (good, bad, ugly) would be deeply appreciated by me, the author. Thanks.


The little boy shivered.

Inside the tiny room, fear was a living, breathing thing.

His dark hair, soaked with sweat, stuck to his forehead. His legs, crouched as he was, underneath the bed, were painfully cramped. His heart raced inside his little chest, and his body was racked with an occasional shudder.

The muffled sounds of breaking furniture and dishware coming through the bedroom door had long stopped, but fear kept him where he was.

Tears swam in his eyes, but he sniffed them back in. He wanted so badly to cry, and bury his head in his Momma’s comforting lap, but there was no one. The whimpers coming from the small girl beside him, reminded him that he had to be strong.

Though he was the younger of the two by a scant year, the little girl had always looked upon her brother as her champion.

He turned his head toward his sister, and prodded her gently on the shoulder that lay nearest him. “Bell?” He whispered.

This soft prompt elicited only more whimpers.

“Bell, come on” he whispered more urgently.

“No.” The monosyllabic word started as a sob, and ended as a drawn out moan. “He’s out there. Please, don’t make me.”

“I won’t. ‘Sides, he’s not here. He left a li'l while ago.” The boy had heard the kitchen door slam shut a few minutes prior.

The girl’s breath hitched in her throat, and heaved out her chest at a rapid pace.

“’Kay, Bell," he soothed. "You stay, and I’ll—”

“No!” This word was said more determinedly than the last.

“I’ll come,” the girl said with a trembling voice. “I’ll come.”

“Y’ sure?” The boy questioned his sister.

She bit her lip, then nodded her head in response.


They crept cautiously out from under their hiding place, and stood there allowing their eyes to adjust to the dim moonlight coming through their bedroom window.

The boy’s eyes peripherally took in their familiar surroundings. The bed he and his sister shared. Mr. Snuggles, their soft blankie and Clara, his sister’s bedraggled, but much beloved doll.

Had the light shone brighter, he would have seen that he and his sister were covered from head to toe with dust bunnies, but as it was, he was concerned only with the wellfare of his mother.

He had to make sure that Momma was okay. That Papa hadn’t hurt her too bad this time.

With Bell clinging to his hand, the boy opened the door and they stepped slowly out into the dark hallway.

They walked toward the light that shone brightly from the end of the hallway and stepped into the small eating area. They skirted past cracked furniture and picked their way through broken crockery.

His heart beating faster with dread, he gave his sister a brave look, and stretched his hand toward the kitchen door. He pushed it open and pulled his reluctant sister behind him. The door swung back with a loud swish, breaking the heavy silence.

“Momma?” The question came as a whisper.

He felt his sister’s grip tighten.

“Momma?” He was afraid. Papa was big, and he got so mad sometimes.

Momma was so little.

He swallowed and took a steadying breath.

He stepped around the wall partition, and walked more fully into the kitchen. The only light came from the crack under the door, and his eyes took time to readjust to the dim light.

Despite his best intentions, his body started to tremble again. Tears pooled in the corner of his eyes. Whimpers came from between his sister’s tightly squeezed lips, and he had a desperately funny feeling in his stomach.

His mother lay there, on the kitchen floor, her neck bent at an odd angle.

“Mommymommymommymommy….” This came from his sister as she tore her hand from his grasp and flew across the small space to her mother.

He stood rooted to the spot.

His sister shook her mother almost violently. "Mommywakeup,mommywakeupmommywakeupmommywakeupmommywakeup.”

Over and over. She took this up as though it were a mantra. The words uttered softly under her breath took on a certain rhythm and cadence.

The boy stood there and believed. He echoed his sister silently, and hoped with all that was left of his childish heart, that his mother would wake up.

"Mommy. Momma." These words came on his sister's whispered breath before she dropped exhaustedly to the floor, and lay slumped over her mother's body.

The boy slowly crossed the floor and joined his sister. They linked hands, lay their heads on their mother's stomach, and kept vigil.

[ edited 26time(s), last at 15-Feb-2003 10:28:00 AM ]
posted on 22-Jul-2002 1:33:18 PM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt and a really cool of pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandoned at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter their adulthood?

This is my very first attempt at a fanfic. I ask you, the reader, to give it a fair try. All feedback will be slavered over, worshipped and adored. Even one word (good, bad, ugly) would be deeply appreciated by me, the author. Thanks.

Chapter One

Ten Years Later…

Isabel Evans sat on the stairs listening to what sounded like a full-scale battle coming from the direction of the living room.

The voices were slightly calmer than they had been an hour ago, but Isabel knew it to be a temporary respite. Her brother had the unfortunate tendency to fly off the handle when cornered, and right now Max Evans, pacing across her mother’s cherished oriental rug, had the look of a small, furry animal that knew it’s last hour on earth was up.

When she’d left the party earlier that night, she’d pleaded with her brother to come with her, but had left at his insistence that she go enjoy the rest of the evening with her new love interest, Kyle. His assurances, albeit slurred, had bolstered her decision and dampened any niggling doubts about her brother’s ability to make it home before curfew.

Obviously, she’d been wrong.

“Max I will not tolerate your complete disregard for myself, your mother, or the rules of this house!”


“No! You’ve said more than enough. I don’t want to hear another word out of you for the evening.”

“But, Dad, I can—”

“Let me guess,” Phillip interrupted, “you can explain.”

There was silence.

“Right?” His father queried with a sardonic tone.

His father, ever the lawyer, continued. “Well, Max, let me assure you, there is no way that even you could explain away walking in here drunk, and reeking of cigarette smoke, at three o’clock in the morning. Do you have any idea how worried your mother and I were?”

Max, with the mocking tone of one who had endured an hour of hard questioning, replied, “let me guess. A lot.”

“Max!” His mother gasped.

“No! Fuck this! I’ve had enough!” Max exclaimed. “I’m seventeen freaking years old and if I want to indulge in a few post-game beers with my friends, I will!

“Max.” His father bit out warningly.

“Dad.” Max replied, no less sarcastic than he had been a minute before.

Phillip Evans had the look of a man who desperately wanted to strangle his only son. He rubbed a hand over his face in a weary motion.

“Look,” he strove for a reasonable tone, “I’m tired, your mother’s tired, and we both have to work in the morning. We’ll work out the terms of your punishment tomorrow.”

“The terms? Oh what, so we’re negotiating now?”


Diane put a hand on her husband’s shoulder, and they both stared at their son’s retreating back with resigned expressions.

Max, passed his sister on the stairs, and snapped, “what the hell are you lookin’ at?”

Isabel had no reply.

Liz started out of a deep, dreamless sleep.

She looked around her darkened room wondering what had awakened her.

She heard the sound again, and looked toward the window. Her boyfriend was hunched over, grinning maniacally at her.

What the—bleep?

“Max!” She exclaimed softly as she lifted the glass to let him in. “What're you doing here?”

“What, I can’t come see my favorite girl?” Max asked teasingly.

A glance at her bedside clock radio assured her that it was, indeed, a quarter to five.

Liz raised her brow. “Of course, but even this girl needs her beauty sleep.”

“I—” Max cut himself off abruptly.

“You had a run in with your parents again, didn’t you?”

He sighed, and sat heavily on her bed. “That’s the understatement of the year,” he said tiredly.

Liz sat herself next to him. “Oh, baby,” she soothed, and rubbed his back consolingly.

They sat in companionable silence for a few minutes before Liz jumped to her feet, and gestured at him to do the same. “Come on. Up. We have school in a couple hours,” her voice brooked no argument.

“Yes, ma’m,” Max readily complied, and proceeded to divest himself of his outer garments.

With the practiced motions of people who had done this before, the two climbed underneath the covers, relaxed against each other, and slept.

[ edited 4 time(s), last at 7-Aug-2002 2:27:52 AM ]
posted on 7-Aug-2002 1:05:17 AM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt and a really cool of pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandoned at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter their adulthood?

This is my very first attempt at a fanfic. I ask you, the reader, to give it a fair try. All feedback will be slavered over, worshipped and adored. Even one word (good, bad, ugly) would be deeply appreciated by me, the author. Thanks.

Chapter Two

Liz awoke to the feeling of familiar warmth pressed against her back, and a heavy arm thrown across her stomach. Savoring the moment, she lay still, then carefully extricated herself from Max’s hold.

Over his shoulder, through the window, she could see that night had loosened its grip on the morning sky. The room was bathed in pinkish gold, tinged with the colors of first light.

She turned and contemplated her lover. His jaw, so handsome, was faintly shadowed with overnight stubble. His breathing was slow and steady; sensual lower lip slightly parted from the top. There was a faint furrow between his brows, as if the worries that plagued him in the daylight hours had invaded his dreams.

She breathed deeply and sighed. The faint smell of stale beer and cigarettes clung to his body, and she felt a fleeting bolt of hot anger pierce her heart.

Max. He was beautiful, inside and out; one of the truest and kindest persons she’d ever had the pleasure of knowing. Yet, there was no denying that he was a troubled person. Undoubtedly, some of his past transgressions stemmed from typical teenage crises resulting in minor creative mischief, but his deep abandonment issues sometimes propelled him to act in disturbingly reckless and self-destructive ways.

Max was famous for his iron control, but there were times when that wellspring of rage hidden beneath his calm exterior erupted, and spewed forth, leaving hurt feelings and damaged relationships in its wake.

She recalled the incident just last week, when in the middle of a play, Max had ripped his helmet off and went charging across the football field to tackle an opponent who had committed some minor offense.

Liz sighed again. She knew that she’d have to wake him soon. God forbid, one of her parents walked into her room and discovered Max in her bed. As it was, they were none too thrilled with her relationship with the town’s reputed bad boy, and her social activities would be restricted faster than you could say, “let freedom ring.”

She was startled out of her quiet reflections when she felt a warm hand slowly sliding her shirt up. She looked down, and smiled as Max, with his eyes still closed, nuzzled her bare stomach.

She ran her fingers through his thick, rumpled hair, and asked with good humor lilting the tone of her voice, “What are you doing?”

He responded by pressing a soft, open-mouthed kiss on her belly and pulled her in closer, his arm around her waist. Immediately, she felt a swift shaft of desire course through her body. Her fingers in his hair, stilled.

He shifted slightly, angling his head on the pillow to look in her face as he reached for her free hand. He gazed at her, a serious expression on his handsome face, and uttered with grave solemnity, “I smell.”

“I’ll say,” came the dry reply.

“Hey!” he cried with an affronted tone in his voice. He sulked for a moment, and then grinned. Waggling his eyebrows, he said, “But you love me anyway.”

“True, but I’d love you even more showered,” Liz replied.

Max laughed. “You wound me Liz. You really do.” He sat up, and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

“Oh, did I hurt my widdle Maxie’s feelings?” Liz taunted him in a singsong voice.

“Little?” Max retrieved his jeans from the pile at the side of the bed, and pulled them on. He sat back down, and turned to her before replying. “I wasn’t so little a couple nights ago.”

Liz had the grace to blush.

A sly grin quirked the corners of his lips, and he stared at her from under his ridiculously long eyelashes. “In fact…” he let his sentence dangle suggestively.

Liz arched a brow. “Not unless you want to get in even more trouble with your parents, and me never to see the see the light of day again.”

There was silence as Max turned again, and busied himself with putting on his socks.

Liz crawled across the bed, and reached for him. She knelt behind him, one hand on his shoulder for balance. She bent her head, and placed a soft kiss in the middle of his back.

“Max,” she began, “let’s talk about last night.”

“Let’s not.”

‘Max—” she persisted.

“Liz,” he interrupted “don’t start. Please.” He turned to face her, and she was startled to see a slightly desperate look in his expression. “I feel like shit, and I really don’t feel like discussing the joys of my fucked up existence, right now.”

She opened her mouth to argue, when he uttered another quiet, “Please.”

“Alright,” she relented. “For now.”

He nodded. With his face wiped clear of all expression, he turned and bent to retrieve his long sleeved T-shirt. He stood and pulled the shirt over his head, further mussing his sleep rumpled hair. That done, he turned to face her again. He sat on the bed and eased her into his arms.

Liz pressed her face into the curve of his shoulder, and felt, for the moment, completely at peace.

A few minutes passed before he pulled back. He cupped her face, leaned in, and placed a soft kiss on her lips. He looked in her eyes and murmured a soft, “Thanks.”

He got up, swiftly crossed the room, lifted a leg through the window and was gone.

“Liz!” The voice carried over the loud din of students busily making weekend plans in the few minutes left before first period.

Liz turned to see her best friend waving frantically in her direction. She sighed, knowing it would do her no good to try to escape.

Liz weaved her way through the traffic, and made her way to her locker.

“Liz!” Maria pounced on her best friend. For the first time Liz noticed Michael, leaning against a nearby locker with a sickly expression on his face.

“Liz, I heard about what happened last night!” Maria exclaimed breathlessly.

“What!” Liz’s heart thudded loudly in her ears. Perhaps there’d been more to the story than drunken teenage revelry.

“Nothing. Other than the fact that Jackasses One and Two, guised under the façade of ritualistic male bonding, decided to get absolutely shit faced last night.”

“Oh!” Liz pressed a hand over her heart. “I thought—”

“Oh, wait, wait,” Maria interrupted her friend. “That’s not all. In a move designed to show off their brilliant decision making abilities, they and couple of the guys decided to race Michael’s bike up and down that abandoned road. You know, the one off of highway 54. Well apparently it wasn’t as abandoned as they thought, ‘cause somebody called the sheriff.”

“What!” Liz was horrified.

“Yep. The sheriff and his boys rounded them up, and followed ‘em home.”

“But, I thought they were all just hanging out at Adam’s house. A little post game party.”

“Yeah, well when everybody else took off, the rest of them, Twiddles Dee and Dumb included, decided to prove to the rest of mankind that they are indeed, the missing link." She paused for a moment before continuing. “Ya think if we handed them over to the scientists, we’d get some kind of reward?”

In spite of herself, Liz felt a smile tug at her lips. Maria was in rare form this morning. While she was known for her sarcastic wit and off-the-wall humor, she was rarely this cutting in her remarks.

“Anyway, all things considered, they got off pretty easy. Especially since our boy Max is on the sheriff’s shit list.” Maria lifted her eyebrows, looking pointedly over Liz’s right shoulder.

Liz spun, and there stood Max with an amused look on his face.

“Hey, babe,” he greeted in a low voice.

“Hi.” Liz furrowed her brows. “Max. Is it true?”


“Max,” Liz said exasperatedly.

Max looked at his watch. “Look, I’ve got to talk to Coach Duncan before class. We’ll talk about this later. At lunch, maybe.”

Max bent his head and kissed her softly on the lips. He nodded at Maria, who gave him a frosty glare in return. He walked a few steps, and lightly slapped Michael on his back. Michael moaned miserably. “Michael, my sympathies.”

“Why you—” Maria was too furious to continue. She took a threatening step in his direction.

“Maria,” Liz held her friend by the arm. She aimed a stern look in her boyfriend’s direction. “Max, don’t you have somewhere to go?”

“Alright, alright. I know when I’m not wanted.” Before leaving, he bent low in a mocking bow. “Maria, a pleasure as always.”

Low growls emitted from the back of Maria’s throat. She threw heated glares at Max’s retreating back.

“Maria, I don’t know why you just don’t ignore him.”

“And I don’t know why you’re still going out with.”

“Maria,” Liz warned.

“Don’t ‘Maria’ me. Liz, you know I worry.”

“There’s no reason for you to.”

“That bruise on your arm says otherwise.” An angry flush added a rosy hue to Maria’s cheeks.

“Maria!” Liz said sharply. “I thought I explained—”

Maria cut Liz off. “Yeah, yeah. You walked into a door. Blah, blah, blah.”

“Argh! You know what, Maria?” Liz stared angrily at her friend.

“What?” Maria rose her brows challengingly.

Liz breathed heavily, then uttered a terse, “Never mind.” She turned to leave.


“Don’t. Just. Don’t.” Liz took a deep breath, and walked away.

Maria stared sadly at her friend’s retreating figure. She wondered, not for the first time, what kind of hold Max Evans had over her usually practical and logical friend. When they’d first gotten together, a little over a year ago, Maria had thought their relationship was doomed to failure. The bad ass and her virginal, straight laced best friend. The very image made her snort in disgust.

Maria shook her head as if to loosen disturbing thoughts from her head. She snagged her green-faced boyfriend by the arm and made her way down the now nearly empty hallway.

[ edited 6 time(s), last at 9-Aug-2002 10:44:04 AM ]
posted on 22-Aug-2002 7:48:34 PM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt and a really cool of pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandoned at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter their adulthood?

Thanks to my readers for all the wonderful feedback, and encouraging words. My apologies for the late delivery of this chapter.

Chapter Three

Max stepped out into the parking lot, freshly showered, skin damp, hair wet.

Weariness dug bone deep, as he seated himself on the low stone wall. He dropped his bag to the ground, and contemplated the cigarette that lay smoldering between his fingers.

Today’s practice had been brutal.

Coach had been hitting the team a lot harder, gearing them up for Friday’s big game against Albuquerque.

Added to which, two torturously slow weeks that had passed since his latest act of stupidity.

Max found himself chafing under the harsh rules of parental edict and the eagle eyes of Roswell’s finest. He had been grounded indefinitely, and his social activities had been restricted to school functions and football practice.

So far he’d borne the punishment with gritted teeth and grim determination.

Movement out of the corner of his eye pulled him from his quiet musings. There stood Liz in the doorway, talking animatedly with a fellow member of West Roswell’s one and only Science Club.

His eyes lit at the sight of his beautiful girlfriend, and a wry grin tugged at the corner of his lips in wondering disbelief, still, that this girl—one of the smartest, most together person he’d ever met—was his.

Both girls started down the steps, and walked over to where Max was sitting. He stood, dropping his cigarette and crushing it beneath his sneakered heel, in one smooth move.

“Hey, Max,” both girls greeted brightly.

“Hey, Mallory.”

He lowered his head, and placed a lingering kiss on Liz’s upturned lips. “Hi, beautiful,” he greeted softly.

“Later, guys,” Mallory said.

“Later,” Max and Liz echoed.

They turned back to face each other. Liz’s gaze grew heated.

“Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes,” she breathed as she leaned into him, and ran her hands under his t-shirt, and over his tightly packed abs.

Max lifted both brows in surprise. Liz was not usually so publicly demonstrative.

Her fingers hooked into the belt loops of his loose fitting jeans. “I’ve missed you,” she said as she pressed moist kisses to his lower jaw.

He smiled into her eyes. “I’m right here, baby.”

“I know. It’s just this—” she blew a frustrated breath.

“Curfew...thing,” he finished. “I know.”

She turned a sly smile on him. “Well, we’ll make the best of the few minutes we have together.” She laced her fingers through his, and tugged him in the direction of her car. He bent to retrieve his bag, and turned to follow her.

“Evans! Hey, Evans!”

They looked up to see Kyle Valenti and Max’s sister rounding the corner of the building.

“Hey, Is. Kyle. I thought you left already.”

Kyle grinned broadly, a happy light dancing in his blue eyes. “Nope. Cheerleading practice ran late, so…” he trailed off, glancing at Isabel.

“Ah,” Max said knowingly. Kyle and Isabel’s entwined fingers had not escaped his notice.

“Anyway, Max. Mom and Dad called me on my cell. They’re having a late meeting over in Covina, so they won’t be getting home ‘til late.”

“How…fortuitous.” Max tried not to look too gleeful.

Isabel looked at brother meaningfully. “They wanted me to pass on the message that you’re to go straight home, and not have any guests over.” At this, she flicked her gaze meaningfully in Liz’s direction.

Liz gave an exaggerated huff. “I take offense to that, Isabel.”

Kyle snorted. “Please. I have it on good authority that the both of you are bona fide horn dogs, and will use any and every opportunity to...uh, mate indiscriminately,” he finished delicately.

“Kyle!” Isabel was aghast. Max smothered his laugh with a well-timed cough.


“Whatever,” Liz sniffed. “I refuse to subject myself further to the ravings of a deranged lunatic," Liz sneered at Kyle. "Come along, Max."

“See you, guys,” Max grinned.

“Be safe, kids,” Kyle yelled at their retreating backs.

Max’s middle finger, thrown over his shoulder, was his only response.


The two figures lay tangled on the bed. Fast, hard. Long, slow kisses were exchanged. Heavy breathing, deep moans, sighs and wet, smacking sounds echoed throughout the room.

Max lay heavily on top of Liz, both in various stages of undress. He, naked from the waist up. She clad only in a pair of black, lacy underwear, which matched perfectly with the bra dangling from her left wrist.

Max’s lips were thoroughly involved in alternately suckling Liz’s perfectly shaped breasts and tracing a path between said breasts with his tongue.

Liz’s fingers were plunged deeply into the forest of Max’s thick hair. Her knees were bent on either side of Max’s body and her hips gyrated in tandem with his. Her eyes were shut tightly, her head flung back, and guttural moans emitted deeply from the back of her throat.

“Max,” she sighed.

Both were so involved in their ministrations that they failed to hear the rumble of the car as his parents pulled into the driveway, or the locks tumbling as they opened the front door. Neither heard his dad call out his and his sister’s names, nor the brief, tattoo of his mother’s heels tapping down the hallway.

They did hear the creak of Max’s bedroom door as it opened, and his mother’s sharp gasp as she took them in.

The pair sprang apart, and Max positioned himself in front of Liz in a futile effort to cover her nakedness.

Diane stared at her son and his girlfriend, her limbs seemingly unable to cooperate with her brain’s commands. Max and Liz’s face were flushed. Their eyes were glazed, and their breathing harsh and rapid.

The three of them stared at each other as though frozen, until Phillip stepped through the doorway.

Diane regained control of her vocal cords, and cried out, “Max! Liz!”

Max gallantly retrieved Liz’s shirt from the floor, which she accepted with trembling hand, and held over her naked breasts.

“Mom. Dad. You’re home early.”

A muscle twitched in Phillip’s tightly clenched jaw. “You two. Five minutes. Living room,” he ground out in a voice that was colder than death.

He steered his wife by her elbow, and slammed the door with a resounding thud.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 22-Aug-2002 10:03:55 PM ]
posted on 2-Sep-2002 2:34:20 AM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt and a really cool of pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandoned at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter their adulthood?

I'd like to thank my sister for all the invaluable help that was given me, and without which this chapter would not have been possible.

Further thanks go out to my readers for all the feedback and bumps. Much appreciated.

Chapter Four

“And then what happened?” Maria queried breathlessly.

Liz’s tears strangled her speech. “My dad dragged me from the house. Says I’m forbidden from seeing Max, ever again.”

"Well, Max still has a coupla weeks, maybe..." Maria reasoned.

"No. Not ever again," Liz repeated despondently.

“Oh, Liz,” Maria murmured sympathetically. She stretched a comforting hand out to her friend, and promptly got it knocked away.

“What do you care?” Liz demanded, her eyes flashing in sudden anger. “Admit it. You’ve never liked Max. Shouldn’t you be out, rejoicing in the streets?” Liz breathed contemptuously.

Maria gaped at her best friend. “Liz,” she whispered.

“Lizzie,” Alex admonished quietly, “you’re not being fair.”

“I know!” Liz sobbed. She covered her face with her hands. “I’m sorry.”

“Shh…It’s okay, sweetie.” Maria hugged her friend. Over Liz’s shoulder her eyes met Alex’s concerned gaze. In all their years together, neither had ever seen Liz so distraught.

Maria had been at home talking on the phone with Michael, when Liz had called her, crying hysterically. Maria had hung up, and immediately called Alex. They’d raced over to Liz’s and found her sitting on the floor sobbing inconsolably.

One box of tissues later, the three were still seated on the floor.

Liz eased out of Maria’s arms, and turned red, swollen eyes on her friends. “What am I gonna do? I love him so much,” she asked imploringly.

“Maybe once your dad gets a chance to calm down, he’ll reconsider,” Alex reasoned.

“No,” Liz shook her head. Two tears traced a path down her splotchy face.

“You weren’t there. It was horrible. I’ve never seen Max—my dad so mad.”

Liz let out another quiet sob as her thoughts flashed back to the evening’s earlier events.

After Max’s parents had left the room, she and Max had hastily gotten dressed.

Liz took hold of Max’s hands.

“Oh, my God. Max!” Liz softly exclaimed. “Your parents!”

“Have really shitty timing,” he deadpanned.

Liz angrily snatched her fingers from Max’s, and stormed over to the door. “How can you joke at a time like this?”

“Joke? Who’s joking? Consider love. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. They could have walked in ten minutes later.”

Liz spun around. Her chest heaved. “Max. I’m about two seconds away from knocking you into that wall,” she said between clenched teeth.

“Liz,” Max said contritely. “Baby.” He approached her cautiously and touched her tense shoulders. “I’m sorry.”

Liz, her eyes swimming with tears, leaned her forehead on his chest. She placed her lips over his heart. And exhaled on trembling breath.

Exasperating though he was, she understood. Max’s way of dealing with trouble was to be flip and blasé. That, or erupt in explosive anger. Both were equally maddening.

He gathered her into his arms and held her. “It’ll be okay. I promise. My parent’s aren’t unreasonable people.”

They stood that way for a few moments, before Liz stepped back, brushing her fingers under her eyes. “Yeah, okay,” she said, and smiled bravely at him.

“C’mon.” He took her hand in his, opened the door, and stepped into the hall.

Phillip and Diane, who’d been standing in huddled conference, looked up as Max and Liz entered the living room, hands linked.

“Liz, we thought it best to call your parents. They should be here any minute,” Diane said.

Liz’s eyes widened in horror.

Max pressed his lips into a thin line before uttering a terse expletive.

“Max,” his mother warned. “Anymore outbursts like that, and this discussion will continue without you. Understood?”

Liz squeezed his hand warningly, preempting the scathing remarks that were surely sitting on Max’s tongue, waiting to be loosed.

“Understood?” His mother’s tone brooked no argument.

Max jerked his head briefly to indicate that he did.

“Have a seat, kids,” Diane said just as the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get that.” Phillip moved past the recliner.

And for Liz, faint trepidation became dread, as her parents walked into the living room, both displaying a mixture of worry and anger on their faces.

Jeff and Nancy sat on the on love seat, while Diane and Phillip seated themselves on two hardback chairs arranged near the tastefully decorated writing table. A heavy silence hung over the room, as the four adults studied the two anxious teenagers across the reflective top of the matching French oak coffee table.

“Well, Elizabeth,” Jeff began. “Care to explain why my teenaged, virgin daughter was found,” Jeff broke off to mockingly stroke a thoughtful finger down the side of his chin. “How do you kids say it? —getting busy, with her equally teenaged boyfriend.” The distasteful way Jeff spoke left no doubts about his feelings on the subject of his daughter’s boyfriend.

“Dad. Jeff,” Liz and Nancy spoke at once.

Max snorted. And Jeff speared him with an evil glare.

Please. Can we get back to the discussion at hand?” Diane said. Apparently she’d been elected spokesperson.

Diane spoke into the grim silence. “Yes?”

“Okay,” she continued. “The four of us,” Diane nodded to indicate the assembled adults. “The four of have talked this over, and have concluded that the two of you are obviously ill equipped to handle the demands of a romantic relationship. You display an appalling lack of judgment and restraint.” She paused to draw breath. “Tonight’s events clearly demonstrate that and…”

“But…” Liz said.

Diane held up a hand to forestall any further comments. “We’ve all agreed that it would be in your best interest, if you took a break from one another. A trial period, if you will.”

Max leapt to his feet. “What! Bullshit!” he shouted.

“Max,” his father bit out. “Stop it.”

Max stared incredulously at his father, before his gaze turned to encompass the other occupants of the room. His short laugh was utterly devoid of warmth. “You people sit around like you’re on some fucking committee, making decisions—handing us a…a fucking verdict and we’re supposed to…to what? Max clenched his fists, anger impeding his speech.

“Sit down,” Phillip ground out.

“Or you’ll what.” Max stared at his father challengingly.

“Believe me,” his father said grimly. “You don’t want to find out.”

Max stood absolutely still, and then a cold smirk crossed his face, and suddenly that ball of trepidation that sitting in Liz’s stomach turned to fear.

Max cocked a brow. “Oh, yeah. Try me.”

Nancy gasped, her hand flying to her mouth.

The tension escalated a notch.

“Phillip—” Diane began, as Liz jumped to her feet. “Max, please,” she entreated.

Max spared Liz a glance before turning back to his father. “No, Liz. My father issued a challenge. Who am I to refuse?” No one missed the emphasis he placed on the words ‘father’ and ‘son.’

His father took an advancing step in his direction, when Diane made a timely entrance into the fray. She held a censuring hand up to her husband, before turning to face her son.

“Max. Shut up. Sit down. Now.”

Max opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by his mother. “Max, while I’m not prone to violence, you are sorely testing your limits, and I have had it up to here,” she said bringing her hand sharply up to her neck. “Now sit down, because you really don’t want to know how far you can push me. Got it?” Diane finished, her voice hard as nails.

There was a shocked pause on all fronts.

“Got it,” Max said, slightly subdued, and returned with Liz to the couch.

“Now,” Diane again took up the reigns of the conversation. “Max,” she and her husband turned to look at their son. “This,” she waved a hand to indicate the general situation. “This is not working out.” The controlled façade visibly slipped as regret crossed her face. “Max, you are out of control. You’ve had counselors. Therapists. Us. God.” She put a hand to her face.

Liz felt Max, become still, in anticipation, beside her.

Nancy made to rise, and spoke. “I think we should leave. This sounds like a family—”

“No, Nancy. Jeff. Stay, please. This concerns all of us, I think,” Phillip said with an arm placed consolingly around his wife.

“Max. Son.”

“How convenient of you to remember.” To Liz, Max’s voice sounded as though it were coming from a distance.

“Max. Your mother and I both love you very much, but—” Phillip paused to collect himself. “But you can’t go on like this. We can’t go on like this. We’ve both agreed that the duration of your high school career would be best served out in a different environment. One best suited to your needs.”

“No!” He broke off at Liz’s exclamation.


“But dad.”

“Liz, please,” Jeff said shooting her a warning glance.

Li glanced up at Max’s expressionless face. He was stone still, his gaze locked with his father’s. She pressed her face into the side of his tense arm and felt the slight tremors running through it.

“We haven’t worked out the details yet, but Grandpa and Grandma Evans have agreed—would be happy to board you. So…” For once, Phillip Evans was at a loss for words.

“Max…” His mother said apologetically.

“No.” Max broke in abruptly. Liz watched as a muscle worked reflexively in Max’s jaw. “I understand—”

“Well, I don’t!” Liz cried out.

Max looked down at his girlfriend. “Liz.” And for a moment, so fleeting Liz thought she imagined it, a look of indescribable sorrow cross his face.

“Max,” Liz said softly. Max squeezed her hand, his expressionless face matched incongruously with the depth of his eyes.

Max stood and turned to face his parents. “I’ll be out at your earliest convenience,” he said in cold tones.

“Max,” Diane began.

Max ignored her, bent over Liz. He cupped her face, and pressed a hard kiss on her lips, in clear defiance of their parents’ pronouncement. “Love you,” he said in a gritty voice, and straightened.

Tears welled in Liz’s eyes. And Isabel chose that exact moment to walk in. “Hey…um, guys. What’s going on?” She asked, taking in the scene before her.

“Ask Phillip and Diane,” Max said as he walked out of the living room. “I’m not their son anymore.”

Liz shook her head as the last images played out the back of her lids, and had to press her lips together to prevent more tears from escaping.

“Liz?” Maria asked. Liz had zoned out, again.

“I’m okay. Really,” she said to Maria’s skeptical look.

Maria touched Liz’s arm. “You know I never wanted this. Even for Max.”

“I know. I—” Liz broke off as her bedroom door opened. Her father poked his head through.

“Alex, Maria. Tomorrow’s a school day. I think it’s time you headed home,” Jeff said.

“Yeah. Okay, Mr. P,” Maria and Alex chorused.

They gathered their belongings and made their way to the door. “Liz, babe. Call me,” Maria said.

“I’m afraid, Maria, that Liz won’t be calling or receiving any calls for the foreseeable future. She’s been grounded indefinitely,” Jeff cautioned.

Maria gave her friend a sympathetic look, and mouthed “I love, you,” before leaving.

Liz and her father, still standing in the doorway, stared at each other. The sound of the front door closing reverberated throughout the apartment.

Jeff regarded his daughter, and spoke in a serious tone.
“I know you don’t understand, but you will, and you’ll forgive me someday.”

Liz climbed to her feet, and swiped the last few tears off her face. She contemplated her father before speaking. “No,” she said, utter conviction coloring her voice. "I won’t."

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 2-Sep-2002 2:42:20 AM ]
posted on 5-Sep-2002 10:30:58 PM by Solaris
Whew! It's been a long week, and think I've done permanent damage to my spine walking around Midtown and downtown Manhattan, all afternoon. I did manage to find a pair of fabulous shoes for only twelve dollars. My week has been salvaged, and the weekend is looking pretty bright.

Anyway, I thought now would be good time to thank everyone for all the great feedback, and words of encouragement. This is the first time that I've ever written anything outside of an academic setting, and I must admit that it's a bit intimidating. However, the response has been encouraging, and has given me the impetus needed to continue with this story.

Calinia, Moonlit Jade, Narly21, Eccentric One (and I do apologize if I've missed anyone) echo my thoughts, exactly. I won't say much on the subject, but my sympathies lie with Max. He's getting a raw deal, and I do hope that everything will work out for him in the end. It all depends on where my muse, fickle being that she is, takes me. Thanks!

posted on 11-Sep-2002 4:31:10 PM by Solaris
Hello Rosfans,

This is not an update to my story, but a tribute to the pain and rememberance, hope and sorrow, courage and fortitude, of the horrific events that took place exactly one year ago today. I was not personally affected, as such, by the nation's tragedy, as thankfully, through God's grace, I lost no loved ones. However, like countless others, I witnessed an event that will be indelibly etched in my mind, and lasting impression in my heart.

While I am from the New York City area, I was away at school, 200 miles away, when I turned my tv on, at minutes going onto nine, and witnessed my world forever changed . And while the impact was perhaps not as immediate, it was no less heartfelt.

My 16-year old sister goes to school in Manhattan, and as all communications were down, was not heard from until the very late hours of the afternoon. Needless to say, my mother and I were on constant phone relays, checking for hourly updates, as neither of us had heard from my dad, who also works in the city. My aunt, also in Manhattan, works far enough away, that phone lines in her office building were not affected. My cousin, strangely enough, worked at the World Trade Center on the 70-something floor, but because of a job promotion was not in that day, though he was slotted to work the next day. A very close personal friend, who attends NYU, had her dorm windows blackened and charred, from the falling debris, and was herself shaken out of bed, her dorm buildings only two blocks down from the WTC.

I could go forever with accounts of friends and family who were mere blocks away, when the towers were hit or felled, but the point is that I, like so many others, was touched by the stories of tragedy banding people together uniting for one common cause. And I'd like to think that our nation's darkest day, was also our brightest - a testament to our resilient spirit, unshakable bond, and boundless hope.

below is an excerpt from Kahlil Gibran, a master poet, and a man with unquestionable insight into the human heart. thanks for reading.


You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part.
If in the twilight we meet once more, we shall speak again together and shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream we shall build another tower in the sky...
posted on 30-Sep-2002 4:01:54 AM by Solaris
Yet again, there is no update. I've only been able to write, when I've had a chance to, bits and pieces of chapter five. And unfortunately, I'm not sure when I'll be able to sit down and type and bring the whole piece together. My parents just closed on a new house, and we're now in the process of moving. Our current house is in a state of utter and complete chaos. It's fairly impossible to get the creative juices flowing with all these half packed boxes and strewn items staring at me, accusingly, urging me to get off my butt and do something about them.

But I would like to thank all of you for your kind words, and continued bumps, and I assure you that I will continue with my story; I won't leave you hanging.
*happy* I want to know what happens to our dream couple.

Thanks so much

posted on 3-Nov-2002 11:10:25 PM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt and a really cool of pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandoned at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter adulthood?

My thanks to my readers for all their wonderful feedback, but most of all to my sister, without whom this chapter would not have been made possible.

Chapter Five

The boy made a startled movement.

He peered into the dark surroundings of his room in a vain attempt to see what had woken him out of a sound sleep.

He felt his heart begin to accelerate.

As his eyes adjusted, the meager lighting in the room allowed him to make out the dim outline of his sister’s bed on the opposite side of the room and her still form lying beneath the sheets.

A sudden movement caught the corner of his eye, and vague anxiety blossomed into fear. Moisture lined his forehead, and pooled underneath his arm and in the creases of his palm. Tears gathered in and stung the corner of his eyes, and his body began to shake.

There, leaning against the door’s frame, was his father. His form was swallowed by the shadows in the room, but the boy could clearly see the bright white of his eyes, and the glint of his belt buckle gleaming in the dark.

The man straightened and crept soundlessly, big as he was, towards the boy’s bed. As he approached, his father’s familiar features became clearer to the boy.

It was certain, to a discerning observer, that the man had once been beautiful to look upon. His face, heavily lined with scraggy hair and years of licentiousness, had caused many a girl to swoon in heartfelt manner, and gaze longingly in his direction, in his intemperate youth.

The eyes, the boy had inherited from his father. Beautiful liquid, gold eyes, lined with traces of red, and swollen stomach, a testament to the drink he consumed in excess.

The boy could smell the acrid combination of cigarettes, sweat, and beer, as his father leaned over his bed, and slurred in a whisper soft voice, “Maaax.”

The boy shrunk back as his father stretched out tobacco stained fingers and rubbed them over his small torso. A roaring sound entered his ears, as he watched the man unbuckle his belt and unbutton his fly.

He swallowed the bile that rose in his throat as the mattress sank under his father’s considerable weight. “Please, Dad,” he whispered. “Don’t.”

A hard edge crept into his father’s voice, as he bit his fingers into his son’s shoulders and shook him. “Shut up, boy! You don’t wanna wake up that bitch mother of yours, do ya’?” The boy frantically shook his head. “Thass all I need. Bitch ruinin’ my fun. ’S that wha’ you wan,’ Maxie? Hmmm?”

“N-no, sir,” the boy stuttered.

“Thass right, Maxie,” his fathered whispered in grotesquely sibilant tones. “We’re jus’ havin’ fun. ’Sn’t tha’ right, Maxie?”

The boy’s grip on the sheets tightened, as he stared at the peeling outline of the ceiling. He squeezed his eyes shut and tears spilled over and trailed a path into his thick hair.

“Jus’ you an’ me,” his father sang.


“There goes the dickless wonder,” Maria remarked in scathing tones.

“Ouch! That’s a little harsh, Maria, don’t you think?” Alex responded somewhat exasperatedly having heard this repeated times.

It was lunch time, and the two of them were seated on either side of a picnic bench situated under one of the school’s many dappled cherry blossom trees. Max Evans, the person currently under discussion, was seated on the opposite side of the quad with his lettermen jacketed friends, moving his arms about energetically, no doubt relaying some profane joke that only those belonging to the higher social order of things were privy to.

“Disgusting. Makes me sick,” Maria muttered under her breath.

“Who? Them,” Alex nodded to indicate the table full of jocks, “or Max Evans, specifically?”

“Both!” Maria exclaimed. “Look at them! The king and his royal subjects.”

Alex snorted. “Then Michael must be the head court jester,” he quipped as he raised an impertinent eyebrow. “Or did you forget that with soccer practice on in full swing Michael’s now one of them,” Alex said dramatically curving his fingers into quotation marks.

“’Sides, ’Ri,” he concluded, “don’t you think you’re being just a little hard on the guy. I mean, for all intents and purposes, he’s just been kicked out of the only home he’s ever known.”

“Whatever,” Maria said dismissively. “Sure, I feel for him, but it’s for the greater good.”

“Who’s greater good?”

“Liz’s! God, Alex. You saw the same things I did. It’s like he cast a spell over her, or something!” Maria said waving a carrot stick in the air. “I knew nothing good could ever come from Max Evans and those freakishly long eyelashes of his. I warned Liz!” Alex jumped as Maria pounded her fist into her open palm, for emphasis. “It’s like he stole all of Liz’s reasonable brain cells and replaced them with stupid, girly ones.”

“Uh…Maria, I hate to point this out to you, but…” Alex began.

“He made her into a simpering idiot!” Maria went on unaware that Alex had even spoken.

“’Ri, I don’t think…”

“I ask you, Alex. Where is the justice in that, huh?” Maria used her carrot stick to indicate the table full of laughing jocks. “Liz is in her room crying her eyes out and him…Him! Free to roam the halls with that smug grin of his as firmly in place as ever!”

“Maria!” Alex cried out. “Calm down. Take some deep cleansing breaths. Ah, there you go.”


Deep cleansing breaths. That’s it. Now, just listen to me for a sec.”

“Alex, I know what you’re gonna say, but…” Maria persisted.

“But nothing, ’Ri. I really don’t know what this vendetta against Max is about, but I’ve just about heard enough. Let’s concentrate on more pleasant topics, shall we?”

“Okay. Okay. I can take a hint.”

“Thank you,” Alex smiled.

“So. Are you still coming over for dinner, tonight?”


“Dad! Amy! I’m home!”

“Kyle is that…Oh, hi Isabel. Michael!” Maria exclaimed.

Various greetings were shot out as Michael leaned over to place a kiss on Maria’s upturned lips. As they parted, Maria said a little breathlessly, “You guys…” she broke off as she spotted Max lingering in the doorway.

“Max. I didn’t know you were gonna be here,” she continued in a less than enthused voice.

“Kyle invited me, so I’m here.” Max shrugged.

“Yeah, well. Listen, you guys make yourself comfortable. Jim and Alex are out back setting up the grill.” Maria turned to face her step-brother. “Kyle, a moment, please.”

“Now?” Kyle asked, with a slightly nervous look on his face.

“Yes, Kyle. Now,” Maria said in a pseudo-pleasant tone.

“Okay.” Kyle glanced at everyone. “Excuse us.”

“Sure. Not a problem.”

As each person disappeared down the hallway, and into the kitchen, Maria dragged Kyle into the den. “Kyle, what is he doing here?” Maria whispered furiously.

Kyle raised his hands in a placating gesture. “Maria, take it easy.”

“Take it easy? Take it easy! Kyle, you know how I feel…”

“Maria,” Kyle interrupted, “the entire town knows how you feel about Max, but the fact of the matter is that he’s my friend. And I’m not gonna uninvite my friend to our house just to soothe your frazzled nerves. Sorry.”



“Okay. Okay,” Maria gave in. “It doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

“I didn’t think it did.”


“This is good chicken, Mrs. V.”

“Why, thank you, Michael,” Amy smiled kindly. “You’re more than welcome to take any leftovers with you when you go.”

“Ahem,” Jim interjected.

“You too, uh…Sheriff. Without whom this uh…most delicious spread would not have been made possible,” Michael playfully batted his eyelashes across the table.

“Feeling a little gay, today, Michael?” Isabel queried.

Audible snickering echoed around the table.

“Why? Are you, Isabel?” Michael threw back.

Everyone was seated outside, underneath the canopy of a rich New Mexico sunset, taking advantage of the unseasonably mild weather. The sounds of good eating, loud laughter, and companionable chatter filled the air.

Max tried not to squirm, feeling somewhat discomforted under the Sheriff’s mild scrutiny. This was the unfortunate side effect of Kyle’s friendship.

“So, Isabel. You make any decisions, yet?” Amy asked.

As the oldest of the group, Kyle and Isabel, in their last year of high school, were in the process of narrowing down their final choices for college.

“Well, Stanford is my first — Michael, is there anything you would like to add to the conversation?” Isabel asked in a saccharine sweet voice.

Michael, caught pantomiming a sick person with his index finger down his throat, did his best to look innocent. “Uh…no.”

“That’s what I thought,” Isabel said with an arch look. “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, Stanford—”

Isabel was cut off as Maria uttered a shrill screech and suddenly jumped back from the table.

“You, bastard!” she cried, staring at Max, outrage stamped furiously across her face. “Look what you did!” She pointed indicating the widening stain on her skirt.

“Oops,” Max said.

“Oops! Is that all you can say for yourself? Oops!” She yelled.

“Ummm…pretty much.”

Michael leapt from his chair to hold Maria back just in time to save Max from her backhand.

“Maria!” Amy cried out. “Control yourself!”

“Me! He’s the one who poured salsa sauce all over my brand new skirt!”

Max stood abruptly. “Okay, Maria. First of all, I didn’t pour the sauce. It slipped.”

“It did not slip! You don’t think I can tell the difference between a pour and a slip. This skirt is the culmination of a month’s worth of tips, and you poured sauce all over it.”

“Maria, I know it boggles the mind that someone as great as myself could for one second display such...” Max paused as he groped for a word.

“Clumsiness?” Alex helpfully supplied.

“Clumsiness. But the sauce really did slip.”

“Listen, pal,” Maria poked her index finger dead center of Max’s chest.

“Maria,” Kyle cautioned.

Maria continued heedlessly. “I’ve never really liked you,” Maria’s ignored Max’s snort. “I’ve never really liked you, but I was willing to put up with you for Liz’s sake—who by the way isn’t here because of you—but I’m sick to death of you and your constant smugness!”

“’Ri, stop.” Maria brushed off Michael’s attempt to calm her down.

“Shut up, Michael. Let me say this.”

“Yeah, Michael. Let her speak,” Max encouraged. “Go ahead,” Max nodded to Maria. “Unburden yourself.”

Maria narrowed her eyes dangerously at Max. “You know, I could have put up with you and your obvious self-inflated opinion of yourself, but when you started putting bruises on my best friend, that’s when I knew you had to go. No wonder your parents are getting rid of you. Even they can’t stand to have you around anymore.” Maria paused as an indecipherable expression crossed Max’s face.

Silence rang throughout the backyard.

“You think I hurt Liz?” Max asked softly.

Maria deflated. Was that hurt she saw on Max’s face?

“I-I don’t…” Maria trailed off uncertainly.

“Listen, I’m still grounded, so I think I’ll be leaving now,” Max said.

“Max,” Kyle began.

“Mrs. Valenti. Sheriff Valenti. Thank you for dinner.” Max turned to leave.

Isabel gave Kyle a worried glance, then shot Maria a look of pure venom. “Max I’ll give you a ride,” she called running after him.

There was a silent pause, after the siblings’ hasty exit.

“Maria, that was just plain old uncalled for. I didn’t know you had it in you to be so cruel.”

Maria opened her mouth to speak, but Kyle threw his napkin on his plate and stormed off into the house.

And, for perhaps the first time in her life, Maria was speechless.

posted on 17-Nov-2002 3:27:02 AM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt and a really cool of pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandoned at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter adulthood?

Chapter Six

There is a crack in everything;

That’s how the light gets in.

—Leonard Cohen

Isabel could admit to herself, without the least bit of discomfort or envy, that her brother was an attractive sort.

Max had the kind of heart stopping good looks that sent hearts pounding, tongues salivating, and gossip mills running.

She had, on more than one occasion, to her deep and everlasting disgust, overheard, in locker room conversations, girls alleging to have done all manner of things to him; for those few, unfortunate souls who’d not had a taste of heaven in Max Evans sweet arms—Isabel shuddered just thinking of the unspeakable things they’d promised to do to her brother.

Nonetheless, Isabel couldn’t deny the truth. Max possessed a certain…je ne sais quois. A slight melancholy air; a soulfulness of the eyes; a keen sense of comfort in his own skin, things that went beyond the physical aspects of his being.

Standing, just out of Max’s line of sight, and staring at him as she was, Isabel could see in her brother what sent the girls’, and not a few a guys’, hearts aflutter.

Max was sitting in the nook of the towering willow oak tree in their backyard. His head was leaned back, with his eyes closed, against the rough bark of the tree’s trunk. Isabel watched as light and shadow danced across the planes of his face; leaves dancing softly in the gentle wind.

“Those things are gonna kill you, you know” she said, indicating, the cigarette that lay smoldering between his fingers, with a vague wave of her hand.

Max looked up, appearing unsurprised to see her, and smiled faintly. “Something’s got to, eventually.”

She walked hesitantly to where he was sitting, and dropped next to him, accepting his unspoken invitation as he shifted to make room for her.

“Somehow, this used to be a lot more comfortable when we were kids.”

Isabel huffed. “Perhaps if someone didn’t feel it necessary to help themselves to second and third servings at dinner…” she trailed off suggestively.

Max looked put out. “Are you trying to imply that I’m…fat?”

“Who’s implying?” Isabel laughed.

“You bitch!” Max laughed and playfully grabbed her ‘round the neck. They both fell to the ground in a laughing heap, as Max tickled Isabel mercilessly, and she tried, unsuccessfully, to get away from him.

“Okay! Okay! I give!” Isabel cried breathlessly. “Besides,” she said, nodding at his still glowing cigarette with an offended air, “you might burn me with that thing.”

“Nah,” Max said, as he eased back, “never happen.”

“No,” Isabel murmured, with an inscrutable expression on her face, “I don’t suppose it would.”

“Yes. I, Maximillion the Great, would never let harm befall the fair Lady Bell’s head,” Max said with a sweeping flourish, inasmuch as he could sitting, referring, of course, to the games they’d played as children.

“Max, you’re such an ass,” Isabel declared, though she had to work to keep a smile from forming on her face.

“You poison me with your wicked barbs, princess” Max sighed, falling back on the grass, one hand pressed against his chest, the other sprawled beside him. “Farewell, cruel world.”

“Oh, shut up and put that thing out before you set fire to the backyard,” Isabel said laughingly.

“Valenti know what a shrew you are?” Max asked he rose on his elbow to stub his cigarette against the tree’s bark.

Isabel shrieked as she launched at herself at him. “That’s it! Max Evans, prepare to die!”

Max laughed as he rolled away. “Ow! Okay! I’m sorry.” The rest of his muffled words were lost, as he shielded his head from the blows raining down on him.

“I’m sorry,” Isabel sang, “what was that? I’m afraid I didn’t quite catch that. Speak up.”

“I’m sorry, Isabel, my most excellent and righteous queen, purveyor of all things fashionable, knower of…Isabel this is really stupid,” Max grumbled.

“You should have thought of that before you opened your big mouth, then,” she retorted.

“I’ll remember that, next time,” he muttered under his breath.

“For your sake, I hope you do,” Isabel suggested primly.

“What are you kids up to?”

Diane regretted speaking even as the words left her mouth.

She’d observed, for the past half hour, Max and Isabel engaging in play and idle chit chat, and it’d so warmed her heart that she had felt compelled to come out and join them. But now she could see that that had been a mistake.

Max regarded her with a calm expression on his face, but her daughter glanced at her with a look filled with utter contempt.

“Enjoying a private moment. That much should be obvious, even to you,” Isabel said in icy tones as she raised her head off her brother’s shoulder and lifted herself into a seated position.

Diane had always enjoyed a close relationship with her daughter; one filled with laughter, and whispered conversations about boys, and sex, and makeup and what have you. She’d tried, Lord knows she’d tried, to do the same with her son, albeit in a slightly altered fashion from that of her daughter’s, but that endeavor had been a series of miserable failures. And to her dismay, ever since she and Phillip had announced their decision regarding Max’s future, her relationship with Isabel had taken a decidedly dark turn.

It’d been the wrong way to inform him about his imminent move to his grandparents’ in Colorado, especially since he’d had no say at all.

Diane would be the first to admit she and Phillip had blundered in their handling of that particular situation. Emotions had been running high that night, and thoughtlessly blurting everything out, the way she had, in front of the Parkers had been an act of unnecessary cruelty. That was her first regret.

The fight that had unfolded when Isabel had had been told, was the second. Any attempt at reconciliation, on her part, had been met with cold silences, curt words, and accusing glares.

“I—” Diane began, but was cut off as Isabel rose to her feet

“Frankly, mother, I’m not interested. Tell it to somebody who cares.” Isabel stalked across the length of the backyard, and into the house letting the door slam behind her.

Diane’s gaze returned to her son to see him standing, regarding her with a serious expression on his face.

Max sighed as he ran his hand through his hair. “Listen, Mom I—” He stopped abruptly, cutting off what he had been about to say. “I’ll talk to Is. See if I can…” Max shrugged lamely “get her to calm down some.”

“Max, honey…” Diane stepped forward with her arm raised, as if to touch him. She lowered it just as quickly when Max took a quick, involuntary step back. She ignored the swift jolt of hurt that sliced her body. “Max.”

Max slowly shook his head. “Mom, leave it alone. Please.” He sighed again looking as though he wanted to say something else, but instead, he simply turned around and walked away.

Diane’s sad gaze followed her son’s retreating back.

The entire house was shrouded in darkness, and everything around it was still, indicating that the occupants of the house were all asleep, as all good citizens, the hour striking twelve, should be.

Inside the room facing the house next door, lay a figure tossing back and forth in bed.

Outside, Liz Parker crept quietly across the front lawn, and snuck around the side of the house. She crouched underneath the bedroom window before cautiously rising to peer inside. There was Max, in the middle of his bed, sleeping fitfully entangled in his sheets and bedding. A desk lamp that had been left on illuminated him clearly.

She tapped the cool glass gently and a bit harder still when the first failed the rouse Max from his slumber.

Both attempts were unsuccessful.

Holding her breath, she slowly raised the window, and lifted her leg over the casement. Pushing and maneuvering herself, she landed into the room with a dull thump. She sat frozen, expecting Max’s parents to burst into the room at any moment. A few minutes passed before she realized no one was coming to check on the source of the disturbance. Liz breathed a sigh of relief, before picking herself off the floor, and making her way to Max’s bed. She paused to pick up a pillow that had been thrown to the ground, an apparent victim of Max’s restlessly moving arms and legs.

Her heart caught in her chest, and broke a little as she looked at him. He was tossing and turning, obviously held in the grip of some awful dream. The sheets were twisted around his naked torso, and a fine sheen of sweat lined his body and curled his hair, sticking it to the back of his neck and forehead. His lips moved as he mumbled incoherently, a frown marring his brow.

She sat on his bed, and leaning over him, shook his shoulder gently.

“Max,” she whispered.

No response.

“Max,” she persisted, shaking him harder, “wake up!”

She jumped back in a startled movement when he sat bolt right up with a smothered gasp. His eyes squinted against the glare of the light. He blinked a few times, before he brought Liz’s worried face into focus. “Liz?” His voice rasped, sounding confused.

“Yeah…um. Hi.” She smiled hesitantly.

Liz?” he said, obviously more alert. His tone betraying his obvious disbelief that his eyes were seeing correctly. In the entirety of their relationship, not once had Liz ever snuck into his room. It had all always been the other way around.

Max straightened and leaned forward. “Liz, what the hell are you doing here?” he asked urgently, touching her as though she were an apparition in imminent danger of vanishing into the night.

“Gee. I sneak out of my house, without detection from the warden, mind you, risking life, limb, and reputation to come see you and this is the reception I get?” She asked, somewhat theatrically.

Max raised his hand to her face, caressing her soft cheek, and smiled with an impish expression on his face. “Careful, you’re in serious danger of sounding like Maria, now.”

Liz pinned Max with a withering look. “Please, Max,” she said wrinkling her nose distastefully. “That’s a rather ghastly thing to say.”

Max dropped his hand. “My, we’re sounding awfully British, today,” he teased. “Since when do you go around saying words like ghastly?”

“Since…since always,” Liz said mulishly, indignantly lifting her chin.

Max raised his eyebrow.

“I—Alright! I confess! PBS had a marathon run of Masterpiece Theatre this afternoon.” Liz admitted. She looked him in the eye daring him to…

“Oh, that’s right, laugh it up,” she said, as Max had himself a hearty chuckle. “You know, I don’t know why I even bother associating with you. Obviously, you have no appreciation for quality entertainment,” she said folding her arms, glaring at him in mock indignation.
Still smiling, he leaned in to kiss her on the side of her neck, before pulling back to answer. “I’m sorry, baby,” he murmured. He slipped his arms around her waist, as hers dropped to her side, and allowed his hands to wander underneath her shirt and over the smooth expanse of her back. “Love you.”

Liz shuddered as she felt the deep rumble of Max’s voice resonating around her. She rested her hands against his chest. Leaning back to meet his eyes, she said, “think I’m that easy, do you?”

“Mmm. Aren’t you?” Max asked with a knowing look.

She returned his look with a mischievous one. “You’ve got me there.”

Max laughed softly, freeing one arm and gently pulling her head into his chest.

They sat there enjoying the texture and feel of being in each other’s arms before Max spoke, breaking the comfortable silence that had enveloped them. “Liz, baby?”


He eased out of her arms to meet her questioning look with a concerned one. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but honey, what’re you doing here? It’s almost one in the morning,” he said glancing at the bedside clock. “Granted, it’s not a school night, but still. I don’t want you getting in anymore trouble with your parents.”

Liz laughed humorlessly. “I’m already grounded for life. I don’t think I can get in anymore trouble with my parents.”

“Wanna bet?”

“You being the leading authority on juvenile delinquency, and all.”

“Ouch,” Max said, pulling away.

Liz watched as hurt darkened his eyes and moved quickly to catch his hands in her own. She closed her eyes, frustrated with herself then opened them, meeting his. “I’m sorry, Max,” her voice choked on a self-deprecating laugh. “God, listen to me! I’m being such a bitch. I didn’t come over for this.”

“Why did you, then?”

“Max…” Liz sighed. “I heard about what happened at the Valenti’s yesterday.”

“Oh.” Max said quietly.

“Oh?!” Liz said heatedly. “Max, I know Maria loves running off at the mouth and sticking her nose in where it doesn’t belong but she totally crossed the line.”

“No, Liz. It’s alright. Really.”

“No, it isn’t! Listen, Max I am so sorry,” Liz said agitatedly, tears welling in her eyes. “I never told her you hurt me! I would never—”

“Liz look at me,” Max said firmly. “I know you wouldn’t, and didn’t. You have absolutely nothing to apologize for.”

“What she said was unspeakably cruel. I’ll never forgive her for that,” Liz said, tears strangling her voice.

“Shh, baby. We’re okay. We’re okay.” Max rocked her in his arms, murmuring soothingly to her.

As she calmed down, he pulled her away to get a better look at her face. “Alright?” he said thumbing tears that’d trailed down her face.

She nodded, sniffing furiously as Max fumbled for the box of tissues sitting on his nightstand. “Thanks,” she said, accepting the proffered tissue.

“Don’t mention it,” Max said lightly.

“I must look horrible,” Liz said miserably, attempting to smoothen her hair.

“Mmm…” Max hummed noncommittally.

“Hey!” Liz said feeling slighted.

Max chuckled then stopped abruptly.

His eyes darkened to a molten gold, an emotion in them that Liz hadn’t seen in weeks. “Beautiful,” he whispered, leaning in to briefly nuzzle her throat. He pressed an open mouthed kiss to her racing pulse, and then dragged his warm lips up the side of her neck and face, stopping occasionally for a taste, until he reached her pink mouth, open in invitation.

He searched the warm, wet recesses of her mouth, and met her tongue with his. Her breath caught in her throat, as he pulled her flush against his body so that there was no space between them.

They pulled apart, both feeling lightheaded, drawing air into their starving lungs with shuddering breaths.

They knew. They both knew that giving into to their baser urges was inadvisable. His parents were sleeping just down the hall, and Isabel was right next door, but at that moment, Max beyond caring. Taking in Liz’s mussed hair, flushed hair, and eyes that were slightly swollen from crying, made it impossible for him to ignore the desire that was raging through his body.

Abandoning reason, he sank all ten fingers into her hair dragging her face up to his. Their mouths fused, their tongues slid across each other’s in wild rhythm.

It had been too long.

“Been too long,” he grated out, tasting salt as his tongue meandered its way down to the neckline of her shirt.

“Yes,” she breathed.

Max pulled back with a frustrated sound to allow Liz to pull her shirt over her head.

“Oh, God,” Max uttered blasphemously.

Liz leaned forward, placing her small hands on his chest, and deliberately licked his nipple, knowing that would drive him wild. Max shuddered in response. He met her eyes, hoping for understanding. “I need you. Now,” he ground out.

She nodded, and an instant later, she was lying on her back face up. Max lay over her, not quite touching. He reached down to unsnap her jeans, and dragged them and her panties down in one swift movement. His followed quickly.

Looking down at her he made an unintelligible sound. Reaching up she placed her hands on his shoulders, as he settled most of his weight on his elbows. One knee spread her legs wide.

Then in a single swift movement, he sheathed himself in her to the hilt. Her head tilted, mouth open wide, and she uttered a sharp cry.

“Shhh. Have to…quiet…parents” he panted.

He moved his weight more fully on her. He delved in, then pulled back before he began a more steady and rapid rhythm. Her hips flowed to meet with his. His pace quickened and a whimper escaped her lips. She drew her heels up and locked them around his waist.

Max buried his face in her neck drawing on her flesh with his teeth. Liz responded by biting his shoulder, just short of drawing blood. Her nails drew lines on his back. She breathed him in and smelled soap, and sweat, and tobacco, and Max

Their rhythm lost coherence, and Liz sobbed as she felt her flesh quickening around his invading penis.

She invoked Jesus’ and all of the saints’ names as she came violently.

Max rode her still, and three strokes more, he came, wringing himself dry, and calling her name out in a strangled cry.

He slumped heavily on her, resting his head on the pillow beside hers, as she tenderly stroked his back.

After a time, she murmured his name. “Max?”

“Hmm,” he answered feeling sated, and comforted, and at home as he hadn’t felt in almost three weeks.

Liz smiled drowsily against his shoulder. “I love you, too.”

posted on 17-Nov-2002 8:57:19 PM by Solaris
*Author's Note*
Welcome to all the new people on board, and thanks so much for all the amazing feedback. I know chapter 5 in particular was hard to read, but it had to be done. Even my sister, who's been my faithful beta, refused to read the rest of the scene when she realized what was happening.

Some good news is that I've started chapter 7. Bad news is that I have the LSATs coming up in December so I'm not going to have much time to devote to this story. My apologies.

On a final note. I seriously encourage all of you, if you can, and if you like that sort of thing, to go see Tuesdays with Morrie. It's an amazing play, that I saw in the Village last Thursday, and I loved it! It was a book that turned into a movie that turned into a play. Stunningly, breathtakingly beautiful...

Jan *happy*
posted on 20-Dec-2002 9:30:00 AM by Solaris
Hey guys! Thanks for all the bumps and feeback. I'm currently writing this through a haze of sleep deprivation. Forgive me if I'm incoherent. It is now 9 in the morning and I have yet to get a wink of sleep. I spent the entire night writing my sister's college essay. Can you believe that? Oh, well. That's first and last time I do that for anyone, sister or not.

As far as updates go, I do seriously apologize for making you wait. I'm turning out to be one those really annoying fanfic authors who spend five years on each part. But RL is being a real bitch these days. Believe it or not, I had all of chapter 7 written, but I didn't like where it fit so I decided to reserve it for a later chapter, guessed it. Back to drawing board for me. I'm hoping to have it out by Sunday, the latest. I promise.

Also, I finished my LSATs so hopefully I'll have more time to devote to this fic.

Thanks and Happy Holidays
Jan *happy*
posted on 4-Jan-2003 4:13:43 AM by Solaris
Author: Solaris
Category: M/L AU No aliens. None.
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I own nothing but an ever increasing college debt and a really cool of pair of red sneakers.

Summary: What if Max and Isabel really had been abandoned at the side of a deserted highway, left to deal with the consequences of a shattered childhood and the trauma of remembering as they enter adulthood?

I would like to dedicate this chapter to the NY Jets who defeated the Packers, capturing the AFC East Division title, and securing a spot for themselves in the playoffs in one of the greatest come from behind seasons in NFL history. It’s been a long time coming, guys. I would also like to offer my condolences to the New England Patriots without whom none of this would have been possible.

Chapter Seven

Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me. Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
—Shel Silverstein

The little boy shivered involuntarily despite the heat of the sun’s rays hitting his skin. He and his sister were sitting at the patio table outside the convenience store waiting for Diane to finish her errand. He’d been staring, lost in the rhythm of Isabel’s swinging legs, when a sudden shout distracted him from his musings.

He lifted his head to see two small girls and a boy running from behind the next door building. In front of them was a runaway ball speeding down the long alleyway towards the street. As it rolled past him, the boy unthinkingly shot out his foot to stop it.

The dark haired girl, the smallest of the three, screeched to a breathless halt in front of him, as he bent to retrieve the ball.

“Here,” he offered shyly.

“Hey! Thanks,” the girl said, as she accepted the proffered ball.

“Um…yeah,” he mumbled quietly.

“I’m Liz. And that’s Maria and Alex over there.” She pointed to where her friends stood a short distance away. Short greetings were exchanged, the children uncharacteristically subdued in the presence of strangers; an uncommon sight in such a small town.

The boy nervously looked at the others, carefully taking them in. The girl in front of him was dressed in jeans, worn t-shirt and tattered sneakers, her hair falling messily out of a loose ponytail. It was quite obvious that she’d been hard at play as had her two companions who were similarly attired.

A long silence passed before an emboldened Maria stepped forward. “Don’t you guys have names?” she asked looking first at him and then his sister, who sat frozen.

“And where’re you guys from, anyway,” she demanded boldly. “How come we haven’t seen you in school, before?”

“We just…um…moved,” the boy stuttered.

“Oh,” she paused, satisfied for the moment. “Well, me and Lizzie and Alex, we’re best friends. We have been since we were born. We—me and Lizzie—are girls,” she said needlessly, “and Alex he’s a boy, but that’s okay, ’cause Alex is sorta like a girl, anyways, and we’re gonna be in Ms. Mackenzie’s second grade class when school starts back and—what’s so funny?”

Alex and Liz were giggling at the glazed expression that had taken over the boy’s face.

“Nothing,” they both chorused. They didn’t want to hurt their friend’s feelings.

“How do you do that?” the boy wanted to know.

“Do what?” Maria asked.

“Talk…” the boy gestured to articulate himself better, “like that,” he finished lamely.

“It’s a gift,” Maria nodded matter-of-factly. “My mom said so.” Clearly, she’d been asked this question before.


“So…what’s your name, anyhow?” Alex asked.

“Max. My name’s Max,” he said sweeping his eyelashes downward. “And that’s my sister, Isabel,” he continued, gesturing behind himself.

“Doesn’t she talk?” Maria chimed in. All eyes swung to the little girl with the wispy blond hair. She stared back with huge brown eyes.

Max cleared his throat nervously. “Uh…no. I mean, yes. She…she’s really shy is all.” He didn’t want to explain that despite going to Caroline, the speech therapist, for weeks now, Isabel had yet to utter a single word.

“Oh, okay.” Maria’s expression stated that though this was not a concept she understood, she was willing to accept this for the moment.

“So, you guys wanna play?” Liz held the ball up invitingly.

Max hesitated, seeing indecision war on his sister’s face. Isabel didn’t react too well to strangers, never straying far from his or Diane’s or Phillip’s side, so he was most surprised when he saw her head bob in a tentative nod.

Can I get a fuck you?

Max was straddling the chair near the window in his bedroom watching the rain drip down the glass in rivulets. He’d been engaged in some light reading, but had soon tired of that as his mind had flitted from one subject to another leaving him unable to concentrate on the book spread out in front of him. Entranced by the flurry of rain water pouring heavily from the sky, he’d gotten up for a closer look and had remained there, since.

It was late December, Thanksgiving and Christmas having passed without much fanfare in the Evans household despite Isabel’s best efforts. There was a noticeable pall hanging over the family that made it fairly impossible to properly partake in holiday activities as they had in the past.

With the exception of a few minor flare ups, Max had avoided trouble of the magnitude nearing the incident that marked the beginning of the school year. His relationship with his parents, heated as it was before, had cooled significantly. He spoke to them in polite tones and did their bidding when he could, but spurned all attempts on their part to engage him in conversation.

Mirroring the movement of one particularly fat raindrop lazily snaking a path down the glass pane with his forefinger, he allowed himself to indulge in a moment of whimsical fancy, wishing that he too were a raindrop free of conscious thought and action.

With school out for the past week and a half, and little else to occupy his time, his thoughts had become increasingly consumed with memories of the past. Dark circles under his eyes and sallow skin were a physical testament to the trauma of his remembering in dreams in an almost nightly fashion. His parents and his sister had all made the attempt to question him, but he’d coolly shrugged off their concern.

A brisk knock at his bedroom door startled him abruptly out of his reverie. He called out, telling the person to come in.

The door eased open to reveal his father filling the doorway. For a moment, his heart contracted as a surge of some indefinable emotion filled his body.

“Hey, Max. What’re you up to?” his father’s voice rumbled, injected with false joviality.

Max shrugged, his movements deliberate and unhurried in an effort to appear nonchalant as he breathed to slow his heart.

“I see,” his father replied. “Well, I came up to let you know that the game was on, so…” he trailed off uncertainly.

Max was startled to see that while he’d been consumed in his doldrums, the sky had darkened considerably.

“Yeah. Okay,” he said around a yawn as he rose, stretching the stiffness out of his body. “I’ll be down in a minute.”

His father nodded and left, pulling the door halfway in behind him.

Inside, Max moved around, neatening his bed and work area. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs from his brain, he pulled open his door and followed the voices of Al Michaels and John Madden rising above the roar of the packed stadium lifted in pre-game excitement.

His parents comfortably seated on the worn in love seat, and Isabel comfortably sprawled on the floor, looked up when he entered the family room. “Max, honey, you’re just in time,” his mother said beamingly, just as the roar of the crowd pitched to ear splitting levels. The home team was now pouring onto the field.

He grunted as he dropped to the floor, next to Isabel. “Popcorn?” she asked, indicating the bowl sitting near her elbow.

It was now half time, and Max raised himself from his slouched position against the recliner, stretching to alleviate the crick in his neck.

His family looked startled when he rose to his feet, saying, “Yeah, so I’m gonna head out, now.”

“What? Max, I thought we were having a family weekend. Just the four of us,” his mother said, dismayed.

“Yeah, well. I made other plans, so guess I’ll see you guys later.” He hadn’t, really, but he was feeling increasingly…antsy. The dreariness of the day coupled with the fact that he hadn’t left the house in days left him with a decidedly claustrophobic feeling.

He shot his sister, who looked particularly let down, an apologetic look. He pivoted on his heel, when he heard his father’s voice, stopping him in his tracks.

“Uh…Max.” Philip had been enjoying the time spent with his son; even it’d only been to exchange obscure football facts and statistics. “At the risk of sounding like a parent, don’t you think you should have cleared this with your mother and me, first?”

Max turned slowly to face his father. “Well, dad. At the risk of sounding like an ass, no.”

Phillip took a deep breath, his nostrils flaring. “Your mother and sister planned this weekend, especially for you. The least you could do is sit down and pretend you’re enjoying our company.”

“Why should I?” Max asked belligerently. “I don’t see you doing me any favors.”

His father took a step forward. “Max—” he began, but Isabel interrupted, attempting to placate him.

“Dad, it’s okay. I don’t want to force Max to do anything he doesn’t want to.”

“She’s right, Phillip,” Diane said, trying not to reveal her disappointment. “Max, honey, it’s okay. Go ahead."

“Little wonder this family’s falling apart,” Phillip couldn’t resist saying, as his son turned to go.

“Little wonder,” Max mocked in barely audible tones.

“Don’t forget. You have an early day tomorrow. Be sure and get back at a reasonable hour,” Phillip called out to his son’s retreating back.

“Fuck you,” Max shot out over his shoulder.

“Phillip!” Diane exclaimed, moving to place a restraining hand on her husband’s arm.

“Did you hear what that little shit said to me?!”

“Phillip,” Diane said wearily. “Just let him go.”
Max shoved his feet into his sneakers, and grabbed a hooded sweatshirt off the back of his chair along with the keys sitting on his desk.

He stormed angrily out of the house, slamming the door behind him, the echo of his parting words reverberating loudly in his ears.

His dad was playing a jaunty game of mind fuck and he was gonna be damned if he was gonna sit there and take it, like a pussy.

“Family weekend, my ass,” he muttered under his breath, throwing himself into the driver’s seat of the battered Jeep he and his sister shared.

He shifted the gear stick, slamming the car into reverse, and shot out of the driveway into the street. Shifting the gears again, he sped down the street, muttering invectives against his father.

You have an early day tomorrow. His father’s voice rang in his ears.

He coasted to a stop, pulling over to calm his jittered nerves.

Was it so easy to get rid of him? He was leaving in two days, for chrissakes!

His parents had determined that it would be less disruptive to leave at the end of term rather than the beginning of the school year.

Less disruptive, indeed.

“Fuck!” he cried, slamming his hand against the steering wheel. “Fuck!” he uttered more quietly, tilting his head back against the head rest. He blinked rapidly, fighting against the sting of tears.

Max pressed the doorbell and waited. He heard uneven footsteps, nearing.

The door was slowly pulled open, to reveal Kyle balanced on two crutches.

Several weeks ago, West Roswell had been in contention for the state championship, but had faltered, and then stumbled without their quarterback and team captain, Kyle Valenti, who’d pulled his meniscus ligament, a severe knee injury, the week prior in the game against Ruidoso.

“Max,” Kyle greeted, smilingly, as he shut the door. “You’re just in time. The Saints are about to be shut down with three minutes left in the game.”

“Big surprise,” Max said, walking down the hall toward the TV room, Kyle thumping behind him. He stopped, turning abruptly almost causing Kyle to stumble into him.

“Is that…?” Max asked, as he grabbed Kyle, steadying him by his shoulder.

Michael, at that moment, was in the shower singing a bawdy tune involving the overuse of the word ‘fuck.’

Kyle chuckled. “Yeah. He came over straight from work, and the outcome of the game was pretty obvious so he figured he might as well get cleaned up before Maria gets home. He was thinking he might crash here for the night, or something.”

Max raised incredulous eyebrows. “And Amy’s okay with this?” Max queried, recalling last year’s famous newspaper incident.

Kyle shrugged unconcernedly. “It’s his life. Not mine.”

“I guess Michael enjoys living dangerously,” Max joked as they continued into the TV room.

“I guess,” Kyle laughed, as they settled themselves into the battered furniture. “Want one?” Kyle held up a beer of bottle.

“Thanks,” Max said, snatching the tossed bottle deftly out of the air.

Kyle leaned back, propping his leg up on the couch. “Speaking of Amy, we need to clear this stuff out before she gets home.”

“No problem.”

They looked up as Michael clattered down the stairs and strolled into the room clad in a wrinkled t-shirt and a worn pair of jeans. “Hey, Max.”

“Michael,” Max nodded.

“Michael, aren’t those my dad’s jeans?” Kyle asked.

“Are they?” Michael stopped to consider. “Ah well, they’re mine now,” he declared.

He paused in front of the mirror, fluffing his shoulder length Farrah Fawcett do. “After all this time and I still manage to impress myself.”

“Hey!” he shouted indignantly when a pillow connected with the back of his head. “Watch the hair!”
The clicking of the front door alerted the three boys that someone was home and snapped them out of their ritualistic male bonding session.

“Shit! Amy’s home early!” Kyle hissed.

Max and Michael scrambled to rid the room of the stinking evidence, almost falling over in their haste to stuff the Sheriff’s secret stash of now empty beer bottles under the couch.

“Mom! Kyle! I’m home!” Maria’s voice announced to the house.

All three boys wilted, heaving a sigh of relief.

“We’re back here!” Kyle called out.

They heard footsteps tapping down the hall, before Maria poked her head in. “Who’s we…Michael!” she exclaimed.

Michael crossed the room and dropped a kiss on her pouty lips. “Hey, baby.”

She drew back to address the other occupants of the room. “Hey guys, look who I brought with me.”

Liz, who’d been hidden by Michael’s tall frame, edged into the room. “Hey, guys,” she smiled, giving a small wave.

“Liz!” Max blurted out, jumping to his feet, while Michael and Kyle were left with amazed stupefaction stamped on their faces.

Michael swiftly recovered. “Parker,” he drawled, his arm draped across Maria’s shoulders. “Is that you?” he said squinting at her form. “I almost didn’t recognize you without your prison uniform.”

Maria slapped him on his shoulder. “Way to be tactful, Michael!”

“Oh, like you are?” Michael hastily withdrew his arm as Maria whipped around, twin daggers blazing out of her eyes.

“Michael?” Kyle interjected helpfully. “Run.”

Michael turned on his heel, and skidded out of the room, Maria in hot pursuit.

“Um…yeah,” Kyle stated, clearing his throat. “Yeah, so…I’m gonna go now. Um…yeah. Okay.”

Kyle thumped out of the room.

Max and Liz didn’t hear him.

They were entwined, lips interlocked, and tongues sliding frantically together. Max groaned, wild with the taste of her for the first time in almost two weeks. He felt her fingers locked behind the nape of his neck and her hips straining against him as though to erase every inch of space between them.

He felt her hand slide from around his neck and glide down his back and up again to rest on his bicep. She pulled her lips from his with a gasp and leaned back panting.

“Hi,” he breathed, lowering his forehead against hers.

“Hi,” she smiled. “Miss me?” her voice was hoarse.

“You know I did,” he said pressing a soft kiss against her bruised lips.

“Oh, Max,” she sighed, nuzzling her face into his chest.

“I hear you, baby,” he whispered, resting his chin on her shoulder. “I hear you.”

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 18-Jan-2003 3:20:42 AM ]
posted on 4-Jan-2003 6:57:12 PM by Solaris
Kara, your post amused me greatly, just for the simple fact that I didn't even think anyone would read my note, which was written more for entertainment purposes than anything else. *oh, the things that bring me pleasure* I can appreciate that you're a diehard Packers fan but, I've been a Jets fan since I was ten years old, effectively 12, almost 13 years of my life. And if you know anything about the Jets, you know it doesn't get anymore diehard than that.

As for an update...well. We'll see about that. *wink*

posted on 15-Feb-2003 10:26:40 AM by Solaris
Alright. I've just checked the board and seen all the wonderful bumping and feedbacks that people have been giving me, and I feel elated and awful all at once. No, I haven't abaonded this story. It means too much to me. RL life, unfortunately, has reared its ugly head. Not to mention that I've been sick, and I mean really sick twice last month. Let's just say that I never want to experience that, again.

I really tried to get a new part written this week, but alas, somehow I woke up and it's...Saturday? Anywho, I'm really gonna try to get a new part up by Monday or Tuesday.

In other news. In a moment of pure self-congratulatory selfishness, I'm announcing that tomorrow is my birthday. Yay! 23. My parents still in a state of disbelief.