posted on 3-Nov-2001 12:35:21 AM by sugarplum17
This was previously Untitled. A big thank you goes to Eccentric One for coming up with this title for me. *happy*

Title: In the Light of Darkness
Author: It’s me! It’s me! Sugarplum17!
Disclaimer: Um the characters aren’t mine, they belong to someone else.
Summary: When Phillip Evans, the head of a notorious crime family gets gunned down, his oldest son must take the reigns and run the family business.
Rating: R for language.
Author’s Note: I’ve never written a mob fic before, or even thought about it. But this idea popped into my head and I tried to pass it off to DMartinez but she said no. :( Anyway, I thought I’d just write it myself. I have no idea what’s going to happen or where this plot is gonna take us so I guess I’m just gonna be taking the turns as they come, just like you guys.
- - -
It was a beautiful spring day in New York. The air was warm and the sun was shining. All around Central Park, flowers were blooming and people were out walking their dogs or just walking themselves through the park. Max smiled to himself as he walked along side his father. He was still very angry at his dad but on a day like this, he just couldn’t help but smile. It was refreshing, the slight breeze blew away everything that was bad and replaced it with a warm feeling.

“So how is school coming?” His father asked from beside him.
Max momentarily turned his attention to his father before turning away again and losing the smile, “It’s fine. Law school is law school.”
“Yes it is. My son the lawyer.” Phil said proudly as he happily placed his arm around Max’s shoulder. “I’m so proud of you Max.”
“Yeah.” Max said quietly shrugging off his dad’s arm.
“What you’re not proud of yourself?”
“I am...I just kind of always thought that you’d want me to take the reigns and follow in your footsteps after you’re gone.” Max answered meekly staring down at the sidewalk.
“Ah.” Phil said in understanding, also looking down at the sidewalk. His gaze fell on his son’s shoes. “No Max. Look at your shoes.”
Max’s gaze shifted from the concrete to the brown leather Doc Martins that encased his feet, “What about them?”
“They’re bigger than mine." Phil said as if that explained everything, "You weren’t meant to follow in my foot prints son. You were meant to make some of your own.”

His father’s comment brought a smile to Max’s face. A real genuine smile, and it stayed with him when he turned his head to look at his dad.
“Wow...first time that’s happened in 12 years.” Phil said in mock astonishment. He’d always known that his son didn’t hate him.

The two walked along silently each thinking about the events that brought them to the place they were at in their relationship. Max had gone back to taking in his surroundings and Phil had done the same. They both loved New York in the spring. It was one of the few things that they had in common. They felt that it was a magical time and that anything could and would happen in the spring. So long as you were in New York that is. Max’s head whipped around when he heard the strange noise that his father made and he moved quickly to catch him before he fell.
“Dad?” Max asked, gently laying his father on the ground. “Dad what’s wrong?” He didn’t even notice the blood that had been on his hands until he tried to smack his dad’s face.
“Oh shit...”

“Max...” Phil gasped, his eyes fluttering open.
“I know what I said Max...but...you have to take the reigns.” He whispered to his son. “You have to keep the family safe son but make your own footprints.”
He knew that his father was dying right before his very eyes and he could do absolutely nothing to stop it. The ambulance wouldn’t be there in time to save him and if Max had to guess, he’d say that they couldn’t anyways. Blood was pumping out of the wound. “I will pop. I promise.”

Phil managed a smile before raising his hand to cup his son’s cheek. “I love you.” He whispered.
“I love you too dad.” Max admitted to his father. As much as he hated his dad for all the wrongs that he’d done and for what happened to his mother, he still loved him. And Max was not about to let his father go out without knowing about it.

Despite his condition, Phil managed to smile one of the brightest smiles that Max had ever seen before he stopped fighting it and closed his eyes to succumb to death. The death that Max had wished on him 12 years ago.

TBC? You guys notice how now days everything I write has the parents in it? Crazy huh?

[ edited 15time(s), last at 19-Feb-2003 11:03:44 AM ]
posted on 5-Dec-2001 11:34:43 PM by sugarplum17
Author's Note: I still have no idea where I'm going with this. Just to let you know.
- - -
2 years later...

Max stood in his study leaning against the window frame as he gazed out of the window. With his arms crossed against his chest he watched the snow falling down. Winter was also a magical time, much more so now that his dad had been murdered in the spring. Spring in New York didn’t seem as magical as it once had for Max.

“Max, you shouldn’t be standing by the window man.” Michael said coming into the room and plopping down on the leather couch. “It’s dangerous.” He warned.
Moving away from the window Max loosened his tie and removed his jacket. He tossed it in the corner of the room where it landed on a statue of Caesar’s head. Sitting down across from Michael in the leather chair by the fireplace he rested his elbow on the armrest and his chin in his hand. “Is he off?”

Michael nodded to Max’s question; “He’s got community service. That lawyer is really good.”
“Yeah.” Max said looking towards the fire, “She is.”
“Well, Zan’s upstairs if you want to talk to him.” Michael offered, changing the subject quickly. He knew how Max felt about the lawyer and how the lawyer felt about Max.
“No. I don’t even want to see him right now.” Max said running his hands over his face and finally into his hair. “I might snap his neck or something.”

“Yeah...” Michael said standing up from the couch. “Well I’ll tell him you’re on the warpath and to stay clear. But knowing Zan he’ll probably come down here just to see what you’ll do.”
Max sighed and flicked his wrist towards the door to indicate that he wanted to be alone. Michael hesitated for a moment before turning around and leaving, knowing that if Max wanted to be alone then Max was to be left alone.
After shutting the door behind him he turned to his identical twin brother, “Nobody gets in.”
“You got it.” Rath said saluting his brother with a cockeyed smile.
- - -
“Nobody gets in.” Max heard Rath say from the other side of the door.
“I need to see him. Let me in.” Max’s ears perked up at the sound of her voice, and she was coming to see him.
“The man said nobody gets in, so ya know what that means.”
“What?” She sounded annoyed now.
“Means nobody gets in.”
Before she had a chance to leave Max threw open the door to his office. “It’s ok Rath. Let her in.”

He watched as she floated into his office and came to a stop by the window. “What do I owe the pleasure of this visit?” Max asked, nervously rubbing his sweaty palms on his hands. He felt stupid, having sweaty palms. He was the head of a whole entire crime family, a grown man and he was still getting nervous enough to sweat around girls that he liked.
“I’m quitting.” She said coldly. “I can’t take this anymore.”
Silently, he walked over to stand beside the chair to his desk. “Did Zan say...or do something that got you upset?”

“No.” She said curtly. “I just can’t take knowing that I’m defending people who break the law. I mean it’s one thing if they’re innocent, or I at least believe that they’re innocent but how can I keep getting guilty people off?”
“Liz...”
“Let me go. Please.” She said turning from the window to look at him.
“...Ok. Just keep your mouth shut about the family business...or you know what’s going to happen.” He said reluctantly. He didn’t like saying those things to Liz, but he had to. She had to know that she couldn’t discuss family business because if she did, he’d have to have her killed.
The disgust in her eyes made him flinch. “You’re scum you know that?” She asked before walking to the door and throwing it open.
- - -
Max flopped down in the chair behind his desk and sighed. Pinching the bridge of his nose he mentally counted the minutes. In about 4 minutes Maria was going to come busting through the doors, Rath be damned, to find out what had happened. Four minutes later on the dot, Maria was busting through the door and shutting it behind her. Before the door closed Max had been able to catch a glimpse of Rath sinking to the floor holding his family jewels and groaning. He could hear Rath call her a bitch after the door had shut in his face.

They were silent waiting for Rath to regain his strength and when he did he threw open the door looking like an angry bull ready to charge. “Come on Blondie. Sorry boss, she’s kind of a slippery one, ain’t cha?” He said reaching for her. He dropped his hands to his side when Max held up his hand.
“It’s fine Rath.” Max said gesturing the door. “Leave us. Nobody else gets in.”
He nodded mutely before openly glaring at his sister-in-law and then walking out of the room.

“So? What’d she say?” Maria asked coming around to sit on Max’s desk.
Max rested his arm across her legs and his head on his arm before replying “She quit.”
“No! You actually let her?” Maria gasped, combing her hands through his thick hair.
“Had to. I can’t keep her working for me against her will...I hated having to threaten her but I had to.” He said with a sigh.
“Oh, heavy is the head that wears the crown.” Maria said quietly kissing the top of her best friend’s head. “She’ll come around Max.”
“She hates me.” He said lifting his head to look up at Maria. “I can’t really blame her either. I break the law she’s sworn to uphold.”

“She doesn’t even know you. She has no idea that you can be the sweet charmer that you are.” Maria explained pinching his cheek before cupping his face between her hands. “See looks at you and sees the mob guy.”
“Which is exactly my point. She hates the mob guy.” He said with a dejected sigh. Standing up he walked over to the window and looked out sadly.
“I’d give it all up you know. In a heartbeat if I thought...” Shaking his head he pushed those thoughts to the back of his head.

“Would you really?” Maria asked eyeing his back skeptically. “You would just give it all up, the power, the money, the perks. Just like that? For her?” She saw him barely nod his head yes and wondered for the millionth time what it was that made Liz Parker so special. She’d asked him several times but he could never find the words to explain it. He would say, “There’s just something there...something special.” What that something was, Maria wasn’t sure. But she knew that he’d felt it from the very first moment that he laid eyes on Liz just two years ago. And she thought it a pity that Liz didn’t feel that same something about Max that he felt about her.

With another sad sigh Max turned away from the window and back to his friend still sitting on his desk. “But it’s not like we’ll ever have to worry about that.”

Two weeks later...

Maria shifted through the racks, carefully eyeing the clothes. When she found the perfect jacket, she pushed all the others away from it and took it off the rack carefully inspecting it to see if it really was perfect. When she was satisfied that it was indeed perfect and she hadn’t been mistaken she whirled around and started walking back to the dressing booths when someone caught her eye.

There standing at the perfume counter was none other than the former Evans Family lawyer. Putting on her best smile she quickly, but gracefully changed directions making a b-line for the lawyer. “Liz? What a pleasant surprise!”
When the brunette turned to Maria, she was enveloped in a quick hug and given an air kiss that the rich sometimes gave. She smiled remember Maria from the Evans house. The only one of its occupants that she could actually stand. “Hi Maria!”

“Well, goodness I haven’t seen you in forever. What have you been doing with yourself?” Maria asked cheerily.
“Just working. And you?” Liz asked, hoping that she wouldn’t bring up Max Evans.
“Oh you know this and that.” Maria said evasively. It wasn’t that Maria was actually involved with the family business, but she really didn’t do a whole lot of anything but shop. “So what brings you to Bloomingdale’s?”
“It’s my mother’s birthday next week.” Liz said looking back to the perfume counter, “So I’m just trying to figure out what scent she’d like best. What about you?” She asked turning back to Maria and noticing the men’s suit jacket in her hand.

“Oh, I’m just helping Max find a suit for a charity event tomorrow night.” Maria said holding up the jacket. “He’s fashionably retarded.”
“Really?” Liz said her tone growing cold at the mention of Max. “Was this a request or an order?”
“It was neither.” Maria said trying to keep the cold tone out of her voice. “Friends help friends out, you know.”

Turning her attention to the perfume counter Maria scanned the bottles that were sitting out infront of Liz. When her eyes landed on one of them, they lit up and she pointed to it. “My mom loves that one. Yours might like it too.”
“Thanks.” Liz said smiling at Maria as she brought it up to her nose to smell it. “I think she would too.”

Maria smiled politely telling Liz that she really had to get back to Max, that he was probably waiting in the dressing room ready to send out a search party for her. They said their goodbyes and as Maria walked away from Liz she mumbled, “Yeah Max, she’s real special.”
- - -
The next night Max stood infront of his mirror and straightened his tie. He really wasn’t looking forward to showing up at this charity event but he’d promised Maria that he would go and give generously. Michael had told him that it could cause controversy and that the hospital might not take his money, saying that it was dirty but Maria had said, “Well at least the public would know that he tried to do good.”

Coming out of his room he was face to face with Michael and Maria, who immediately started to re-straighten and position his tie. Stepping back she looked him over, as if he were her little boy and then smiled approvingly. “You look fabulous Max.”

Michael nodded as he put his arm around his wife. “We should go. Traffic is gonna be crazy. Eddie’s outside waiting with the car.”
“Can’t we just leave Tess at home?” Maria said as she put her seatbelt on. “She gives me a migraine.”
“He can’t show up alone. She’s just for show.” Michael said as he fastened his belt.
- - -
As Maria emerged from the car she rolled her eyes and then stepped aside to wait for her husband. Michael surveyed the crowd after getting out of the car and when he was sure that it was safe he stepped aside to let Tess get out of the car, helping her when she held her hand out to him and then becoming alert when Max stepped out of the car.

It had been decided long ago that when attending social functions such as charity parties and what not, Rath would be left at home and Michael would take his place as bodyguard. Rath never used proper English and he was rude. Uncivilized in the day and age that they were living in and Michael did not want Max to be seen in the same light.

With Tess Harding on his arm, Max confidently walked into the hall where the charity dinner was being held. Three hours later, he’d already spent $25,000 and was well on his way to spending more. Tess was enjoying herself, as were Michael and Maria but he actually wasn’t. About an hour ago he’d noticed Liz Parker enter the room, on the arm of some guy he didn’t know. From the way that the man carried himself Max surmised that he was a lawyer. He was tall, good-looking, blonde hair and blue eyes, exactly the type of man that Max Evans was not.

She’d noticed him from the very first second that she entered the room, and she’d noticed him notice her as well as her date. Looking around his table she saw Maria, her husband Michael and a blonde woman, seated next to Max. Liz had no idea why she cared about the fact that the blonde woman had her hand resting on his thigh as she whispered something into his ear but she did. Turning away from the sight she linked arms with David, her date and let herself be led to their table.

Throughout the night she shifted uncomfortably in her seat. She could feel his gaze on her and she hated it. She wished that he would stop looking at her and focus on his blonde bimbo. Liz had looked the girl over once, seeing as how their table was so close to Max’s table, and the woman was exactly the type of woman that she would have expected Max to be with. Bleach blonde hair, what were most likely fake breasts, big blue eyes and pouty red lips. Although she was much shorter than Liz expected.

“I’ll be right back David.” She whispered into his ear. “I have to use the ladies room.”
As she got up from her seat she risked glancing over at Max and her heart almost broke. He looked as if he was about to cry, and she wondered how this man could be a mob boss.

As she was washing her hands Max’s date came into the bathroom and walked up to the mirror, checking her makeup. Liz watched her until Tess turned her head and caught Liz’s gaze.
“I couldn’t help but notice that you’ve been staring at me all night.” Tess said looking at Liz with a blank expression. “I’m flattered but I don’t swing that way.”

posted on 6-Dec-2001 7:19:20 PM by sugarplum17
Still haven't got a title. Anyone have any suggestions? Oh and thanks for the fb everyone! *big*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Dec-2001 7:24:47 PM ]
posted on 22-Jan-2002 5:59:53 PM by sugarplum17
OOh no!

The board ate all my other posts and I didn't save those parts! Holy crap! Nobody, by some small chance happened to save those parts did they? I think it was like 2-4 or possibly even 5.

We're screwed if nobody saved them because I know I sure didn't. *sad*
posted on 23-Jan-2002 11:00:08 PM by sugarplum17
Good news. I was able to locate parts 2&3, apparently I did save those. It's just part 4 that I can't find, I must not have saved that one. Did anyone by any chance happen to save that part?
posted on 24-Jan-2002 10:58:54 PM by sugarplum17
AN: I’m not too happy with this part. But I just wanted to let you know that it alludes to abuse, and the next part will probably deal with it even more. I have an idea of where I’m going with all of the M&L stuff, but the rest is just coming out of my ass as I write.

Part 2

Liz wanted to laugh at this woman’s conceited attitude. Was it really possible for one person to be so vain? She didn’t know this woman personally, she’d only just met her, but already she was finding the woman to be vapid and shallow. And while there was no denying that the blonde was pretty, smart was probably not a word much associated with her.

“That’s ok.” Liz smiled warmly at the blonde as she dried her hands. “I don’t either.”

It took only seconds to realize what that meant, and when she did, she nonchalantly lifted her hand to her mouth, stifling a yawn. She made a show of dropping her hand infront of her and inspecting it before finally dropping it to her side. “So then it’s Max you’re after?” She asked calmly, smiling at Liz. “I’m sure my fiancé would be flattered by your interest, but to the best of my knowledge he’s happy with what he’s already got.”

And with that Tess moved past Liz, bumping her with her bare shoulder, and exited the bathroom.

Liz scoffed at her reflection as she tossed the paper towel into the garbage. She’d never been terribly good with comebacks, especially to people like Max’s date. She would no doubt lay in bed, thinking about it, and then come up with several come backs that could have been used at the time. Turning on her heel she pulled open the heavy wooden door and left the bathroom.

- - -

The moment that Tess had seen Liz enter the room, she looped her arm through Max’s and leaned in to whisper sweet nothings in his ear. Or at least that was what she hoped the brunette would think she was whispering.

“Thank you for inviting me Max.” She whispered, a slight smile playing on her lips. “I’m having a really great time.”

He turned his head toward her and smiled. “Me too.”

“Would you like to dance?” She asked softly, gazing at him as if he were the only man or person for that matter, in the room. “Please? You can’t come to a charity event and not dance.”

He returned her teasing smile and pushed his chair back. “Sure, why not.”

When she told that woman in the restroom that Max was her fiancé she’d been talking right out of her ass. He thought of her as nothing more than a friend, and although she liked him as just a bit more than a friend, she knew her feelings for him didn’t matter to him. All she was, was a pretty blonde to hold his arm and escort him into social functions. She was just a pretty face. And while normally it wouldn’t bother her to give that up, because she was his pretty blonde, she was provided with clothes and jewelry for the social events. All of which she got to keep and the gold digger in her didn’t want to let this one go. So she had taken to wearing her mother’s old engagement ring that her father had given her and passed Max off as her fiancé to keep other women at bay. Women like the one she had encountered in the bathroom.

She held him close and rested her head on his shoulder as one of his arms encircled her waist while her hand was being held gingerly in his. To on lookers, they would look like lovers enjoying a slow song. But she knew that he was probably just going through the motions. Something was wrong with him tonight. He was acting weird. At any other social function he would at least pretend to care if she had a good time, but tonight he hadn’t asked her once. His mind seemed occupied with something.

“Are you ok Max?” She asked as she tipped her head back to look up at him.

Her question seemed to startle him out of his daze. He shook his head and focused his eyes on her. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Ok...because I was just checking. You seem spacey tonight.” She told him with a hint of concern showing through in her tone.

“I’m fine Tess.” He smiled down at her, to reassure her that everything was fine. But really it wasn’t. Liz was dancing with her date, ignoring his presence all together. They looked fairly cozy as they danced, and the only thing Max wanted to do was stalk over there and punch the man that had his hand resting on the small of Liz’s back.

- - -

He’d spent the night mooning over her from his table, unable to do anything about it because her date was always with her. But now that the other man had gone Max saw his opportunity to approach her. And he did so, tentative and cautious. Her back was to him and just as he was about to reach out and tap her gently on the shoulder his cell phone rang.

Reaching into the inside pocket in his jacket where his phone was, he turned around and pulled it out, walking away from her quickly.

“This better be good.” He barked into the phone after answering the call. He heard erratic, shallow breathing on the other end. A muffled sob.

“Hello?” He asked, lowering his voice. “Is someone there?”

“Max...” The voice on the other end of the line wavered. It sounded scared and what scared him was that it sounded like Isabel. “Max, you have to help me.”

He covered his other ear and turned away from the party to face a wall, speaking to her in a hushed, worried voice. “Isabel what’s wrong? Where are you?”

“I’m in trouble Max.” She cried into the phone. “Oh god I’m in some real trouble.”

“Where are you?” He tried asking, raising his voice slightly. “Tell me where you are.”

“It wasn’t my fault. He was hitting me, like he’s been lately. Being real rough. You have to believe me Max.” She cried. “Oh god, you have to believe me. It wasn’t my fault.”

“Are you at home?” He asked hurriedly, turning around and catching Michael’s eye. When he received her answer, he motioned for Michael to join him. “We’re on our way. Stay there. Don’t call anyone, don’t open the door for anyone. Give me 20 minutes to get there.”

Ending the call, he strode over to his table, in quick fast steps, and pulled out his wallet. “We have to go. Isabel needs me.”

“Oh, I’d love to see your sister again.” Tess said, standing up.

“No. Here’s some money. You take a cab home. Maria you go with her.”

“No.” Maria said pushing herself out of her seat. “I’m going too.”

Having no time to argue with her, he shrugged his shoulders and pushed the money into Tess’ open hand. Without saying goodbye to her, he hurried in the direction of the coat room, to retrieve his coat.

TBC
posted on 24-Jan-2002 11:01:19 PM by sugarplum17
AN: Again, I’m not entirely happy with this, it didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to. But I don’t think it’s gonna get any better. Anyway, just a little warning this part deals with death and abuse. No characters that you know are dead but I guess I really did go Sopranos on you.

Part 3

They made it across town in record time. Eddie drove the limo like they were trying to get away from an angry, blood hungry mob. Max had been nervously bouncing his knee up and down ever since they settled into their seats. Maria had been clutching Michael’s hand in a death grip, and watching Max closely. Michael had been confused and worried, also studying his friend’s behavior.

Finally, Maria couldn’t take the silence anymore. “What happened? What did she say?” Whatever he was going to say, she dreaded the answer. She had a feeling that she knew what was waiting for them at the end of the street they’d just turned on.

He shrugged and ran a hand through his hair. “Not much, only that it’s not her fault.” He turned his head to look at Maria. There was something in her eyes. Knowledge of something, perhaps? “Did you know?”

Michael turned his head in the direction of his wife, a confused expression on his face. “Know what?”

Try as she might, Maria couldn’t keep the guilty expression off of her face. She’d known for quite a while now. But the word of Maria Guerin was as good as gold, and she had given it when she told Isabel she wouldn’t tell Max.

“God Maria!” He yelled making everyone in the car jump. “How could you keep something like that from me?!”

“She asked me not to.” Maria quietly answered, bowing her head. “She said he was going to get help. She said-”

“I don’t give a flying fuck what she said!” Max yelled leaning forward, his voice so loud that it caused Michael to wince. “She’s my god damn sister Maria! I deserved to know about it! I could’ve protected her!”

“Don’t play your boss card with me Max!” Maria gripped Michael’s hand even harder and leaned in, raising her own voice to the volume that Max’s was at. “Isabel is my friend, she asked me not to say anything and my word is as good as bond! You know that! I didn’t say anything because she loved him, and because she truly believed that he could change!”

Michael sat back, wincing slightly with the pain her grip was causing but watching the argument between his wife and his friend. All it took was a little reading between the lines to find out what had been going on. Chris was beating Isabel. How had he not noticed it?

Max was about to respond when the limo came to an abrupt stop. Instead he fixed her with a glare and got out of the car, running up Isabel’s driveway, across the grass and finally to the door. “Izzy, it’s me!” He called as he pounded on the door. “Open up!”

The door slowly opened to reveal a badly beaten and bruised Isabel. Her blonde hair was stained red at the side by her ear, where the blood trickled out and ran down her neck. Her right eye had been swelled shut, her hand was being held close to her chest, she had a huge welt across her cheek, and her lip was swollen and cut. He was sure there was more that there were other bruises on her body that she was hiding from view. Her tear tracks were very evident and her eyes landed on Max, and the way that he was looking at her, fresh tears traveled down those tracks.

“Oh god Isabel...” He whispered. He wanted to hug her, he wanted to crush his little sister to him and never let her go, but he was afraid he would break her. “Where is he?” His tone was cold.

She backed away from the door to let Max fully enter the house, and then motioned for Michael and Maria to come in as well. Silently, she led them up the stairs, down the narrow hall, through her bedroom and into the cramped bathroom. Before Maria could fully enter the room, Michael pushed her back, warning her with his facial expression and his eyes to stay out of the room. Both Max and Michael had expected to find Chris passed out in the bathroom, they didn’t expect to find him dead and laying in a pool of his own blood.

“The cleaners will be here in an hour.” Michael said walking into the room, and putting his cell phone back in the inside pocket of his suit jacket. “Look. It’s really not necessary for them to be here when they come.” He told Max nodding to his wife and Max’s sister.

“You’re right.” Max said looking at both of them. “You and I will stay and we’ll have Eddie take them back home.”

- - -

Maria and Isabel sat in the back of the limo, side by side as Isabel laid her head on Maria’s shoulder and cried.

“I’m so sorry Isabel.” Maria told the weeping blonde. “I should’ve said something to Max. I blame myself for this.”

Maria’s words just made Isabel cry harder. She cried the whole way to Max’s estate, and Maria let a tear or two slip before hurriedly wiping them away. She could cry later, but at the current moment, she had to be strong for her friend.

An hour later after Isabel had showered and dressed in some of Maria’s pajamas they settled into the bed Maria and Michael shared. Maria’s hand was gently stroking Isabel’s long blonde hair as she lay on her side, her head on a pillow in Maria’s lap, staring blankly at the wall.

“We were in the kitchen when it started.” Isabel said suddenly, breaking the long silence between them.

“You don’t have to talk about it.” Maria said, her hand stilling momentarily. “Not unless you want to.”

And so she didn’t. It worried Maria that the tears had stopped. She’d become worried that Isabel hadn’t shown an ounce of emotion since getting out of the shower. There was no remorse visible in her friend’s face. It worried Maria how Isabel wore a blank expression and stared at the wall, only blinking every once in a while. She seemed as if she was in shock.

“Isabel?” Maria asked hesitantly.

“Hmm?”

“How long?” Maria asked. When she didn’t get an answer, she tried again. “How long after I found out did it start up again?”

“It never stopped.” She answered gripping the corner of the pillow. “I lied. He wasn’t getting better, and he wasn’t getting help.”

“Why? Why’d you lie to me?”

“I love him. I didn’t want you to tell Max.”

She wanted to ask why Isabel had stayed, but she already knew how Isabel would answer. And she remained seated on her bed, gently stroking Isabel’s hair for another three hours.


TBC - I realize this part is a little...depressing. I’m sorry.
posted on 7-Feb-2002 2:12:04 PM by sugarplum17
Well, I'm taking a break from writing because I'm blocked and life is giving me problems. I'm having some health issues right now so until those clear up I probably won't be writing much of anything except for feedback. *sad* Sorry guys. I'll try to get back to this after everything settles down.
posted on 9-Feb-2002 9:45:43 PM by sugarplum17
Thanks Eraser Room. *happy*

AN: Here’s the part that was lost when the board went down. I didn’t save that part so I kind of had to rewrite it. The other one was better.

Part four

Gently pushing Isabel off of her lap Maria climbed out of the bed and stood beside it, looking down at her friend. She watched on sadly as Isabel moved to lay on her back, a painful grimace on her battered face, her wrist wrapped up in an ace bandage and resting on her stomach.

What a mess. Maria thought to herself as she backed away from the bed to the overstuffed chair beside the bathroom door. Wrapping herself in the blanket that sat folded up on the top of it, she sat down and watched as Isabel’s body twitched every now and then. Maria was sure that she was never gonna get the sound of her sleeping friend’s frightened whimpers out of her head. They were most likely going to be with her for the rest of her years, just like the sounds that Chris had made would forever be with Isabel.

A lot of therapy was going to be needed to heal the wounds that Isabel would be nursing, and even that probably wouldn’t be enough, Maria thought as she laid her head down onto the arm rest and looked at Isabel. How could she have done it? How could she have kept Isabel’s secret? She should’ve told Max when she saw the marks on Isabel’s back last summer.

- - -

Michael eased the door open and peaked into his bedroom. Isabel was laying on her back in the middle of his bed and as he craned his neck to look around the door he caught sight of his wife asleep in the chair. As he fully stepped into the room and shut the door behind him, he noticed how uncomfortable Maria looked. It looked as though she’d been crying too.

He walked over to the bed where his sleeping friend was twitching and looked down at her face. Her eye was still swollen, Maria had wrapped her wrist in an ace bandage, and the blood had stopped flowing but she still looked just as bad as when he saw her earlier at her house.

Michael’s eyes drifted from Isabel to his sleeping wife and in moments he found himself standing infront of her, reaching out to caress her cheek. He needed to touch her, and he needed it to be the gentlest touch he’d ever given.

She flinched when his hand made contact with her cheek and jerked her head back. Her eyes flew open and she had the most heart breaking look on her face. She was afraid, but as her eyes focused and she visibly relaxed, he realized she wasn’t afraid of him.

“God Michael, you scared the hell out of me!” She hissed as she brought her hand up to her chest.

“Sorry.” He said picking her up with ease and sitting in her spot. He adjusted her on his lap and began stroking her back with his large hand. “How is she?”

Maria looked at Isabel for a long moment before answering. “Gee Michael. She killed her boyfriend earlier tonight. How do you think she is?”

He rolled his eyes and for a few moments they were silent as they watched Isabel jerk and twitch in her troubled sleep. “Wh-what did you do with him?”

“We buried him on a hill over looking a field of wild flowers Maria.” He sarcastically told her. “Don’t worry about it.”

“How was Max? Was he ok?” She asked worriedly.

“Max was...very...hands on.” Michael told her. He had effectively answered his wife’s question without going into too much detail. He’d never seen Max so upset. Usually Max liked to keep his hands clean. He wasn’t by nature a violent guy. But he had dirtied his hands tonight, and he was so very violent.

“God Michael, why didn’t I say anything?” Maria asked as she turned her small body to the side and laid her head on his strong shoulder.

“You thought you were doing her a favor, you thought he was getting help.” He told her. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Telling you is as good as telling Max.”

They fell into a silence as they listened to Isabel’s whimpers coming from their bed. Michael was gently stroking her hair as he watched Isabel sleep. He should’ve seen it. Once upon a time he and Isabel had been close, it had all changed when she started seeing Chris. Sometimes when she called the house, she was whispering. He should’ve seen it and he felt responsible because he hadn’t.

“She’s never going to forgive me.” Maria said, finally breaking the silence.

He bent his head down to kiss her forehead. “Yes she will. I’m sure Isabel will understand.”

“Max won’t. He’ll never understand and he’ll never forgive me.” Maria told him as she buried her face into his shoulder. “But that’s ok because I don’t think I could ever forgive myself.”

He didn’t really now how to respond to that, so he just kept rubbing her back and responded with the first thing that came to his mind. “I love you.”





TBC! Well that wasn't a very long break was it? I guess I'm back in action.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 9-Feb-2002 9:51:43 PM ]
posted on 16-Feb-2002 8:23:31 AM by sugarplum17
AN: I’m tentatively exploring some of the Dupes with this part. Believe it or not, this is actually my very first time writing them, and I feel more comfortable writing Rath for some reason. I’ll try for Zan in the near future, but for right now I think I’m just gonna stick to Lonnie and Rath. Good news is I’ve figured out how to incorporate all of our main characters from the show. *tongue*

Part 5

Max sat at his desk the next morning, staring off into space. He couldn’t tear his mind away from the events of the previous night. In the foreground of his mind he replayed every single second he’d spent with Isabel since she her relationship with Chris had started and wondered why he didn’t suspect anything.

He could remember times in which she hadn’t been herself. Times when she had nearly whispered to him on the phone, telling him that Chris was sleeping and she didn’t want to wake him. There were times during the summer that she had been wearing long sleeves and pants, telling him that what she had on was considered fashionable. He felt like he should’ve suspected something, but he hadn’t and it made him angry.

And his anger wasn’t just limited to himself. He was angry at Maria for not saying anything to him about it. He was angry at Isabel for keeping everything that had been going on with her secret from him, but most of all he was angry at Chris. He vaguely remembered leaning down and looking into Chris’s cold pale face as he lay on the floor of an abandoned warehouse, telling him out loud that he deserved what he got.

He’d insured that the body of Christopher Mulvaney would never be found. He had personally put his stiffening body into the incinerator, and he had done it with glee. He hadn’t been able to protect Isabel from that son of a bitch, but he made sure he’d be able to protect her from getting into trouble over it.

He’d already worked out all the details. When Isabel was feeling up to it, he would take her back to her home and have her box up all of their things before putting the house up for sale. She would send all of Chris’s things back to his sister in Oregon, attaching a note saying that Chris had left her and she hadn’t seen him since.

There would probably be a man hunt for him, seeing as how his sister loved him in an almost perverse way, and Isabel would be asked questions. But he could worry about all of that later. At the current moment, all he was worried about was helping Isabel get better.

From outside his door he heard Rath’s thick New York accent. Usually loud and obnoxious, he was speaking in low tones.

“The man said nobody gets in.” He heard Rath say. “Yo Blondie, don’t try punchin’ me in the balls this time aight? After what I been hearin’ from Mikey he ain’t gonna hold up his hand and give the ok this time. You ain’t so high on his list of peeps to kick it with.”

“He’s that pissed at me huh?” He heard Maria say on the other side of the door. Her voice sounded so small and hurt. Almost like she was on the verge of crying.

“Yeah.” Rath almost sounded happy with that admission. It was no secret that he didn’t like Maria. He made it known every single chance he got.

He sighed heavily as he listened to the soft foot steps fade away from the door and reached for the phone. Lonnie would kill him, personally, if she found out she hadn’t been immediately informed. She and Isabel were very different. Lonnie was all street. She was a punk and he wondered how it was possible that she and Zan had turned out that way while he and Isabel had turned out to be so...he would say preppy.

- - -

“Yo! Stop it!” Lonnie yelled before collapsing onto her bed in a fit of rowdy giggles. She couldn’t believe that she was being so cornball. Valenti was seriously workin’ a number on her. Truth be told she felt like a fuckin’ fool. She stopped giggling way back when...nope, she wasn’t gonna let her mind go there again. It went there too damn often.

“Damn baby, stop.” She said seriously, her good mood suddenly ruined as she pushed his hands away from her flat stomach and got up from the bed.

“What’s wrong Lonnie?” He asked as he watched her naked body stalk toward the ceiling to floor windows of her apartment.

She didn’t bother to look back at him and the tone in which her response was voiced contradicted her words. “Nothin’.”

“Damn Vilandra.” He said angrily as he pushed himself up from the bed and walked over to his clothes. She tried to ignore the feelings that rose up inside of her at the sound of that name on his lips. She hadn’t been called that in a very long time. “It’s always the same bullshit with you isn’t it? You always run so fuckin’ hot one minute and the next you’re colder than ice.”

She shrugged her shoulders, watching his reflection in the glass of the window. Her eyes roamed over his nakedness as she watched him bend down to pick up his clothes. “It ain’t about you Kyle.”

“Well maybe if we’re having a relationship, it should be?” He asked angrily as he pulled up his pants.

“We ain’t got no relationship.” She told him as she turned and leaned her bare back against the glass. “You pokin’ me with your little tally-whacker every now and again ain’t no relationship.”

She watched him pull on his preppy looking shirt before stalking over to his preppy looking shoes. He was like her big brother Max, she thought for the hundredth time. Kyle Valenti was cornball. He dressed in preppy clothes, he spoke proper English, he had a decent job runnin’ a restaurant in downtown Manhattan with his pops. He was legit, just like Max had once been and she’d never imagined herself with someone like that, ever.

A junkie like her brother Zan maybe. A tough guy like Rath. Someone in a position of power like Max. Even someone soft with hard edges like her brother’s right hand man. But never someone like Kyle. He was all soft. Not his body of course, that was bangin’. Hard muscles in all the right places. He was soft in the way he expressed his feelings and was open. He whispered into her ear when they were in the heat of the moment, telling her he loved her. He was only rough in bed when she wanted him to be. He was a fuckin’ Buddhist.

“Oh we ain’t go no relationship huh?” He asked, angrily mimicking her improper English as he pulled on his shoes. “Yeah okay. Whatever.”

There was a finality in his tone. And while she knew she wasn’t gonna marry him or nothin’, she wasn’t through playing with him quite yet.

They’d been ignoring her phone throughout their little spat, at least until her answering machine picked up.

“I ain’t answerin’ the phone. Leave a message.”

“Lonnie, are you home?” Her brother’s voice asked through the speaker. “Stop screening the call and pick up. It’s important.”

“Wait Kyle.” She said as she picked up her silk kimono and wrapped it around her body. “We ain’t done talkin’. I gotta take this call and we’ll get back to what we was discussin’.”

TBC - Let me know what you think. I don't know how much I like this part.
posted on 16-Feb-2002 9:12:47 AM by sugarplum17
Thanks for the fb Anya and Lillie. *happy* To be honest, I never really thought of Kyle and Lonnie either. That just kind of happend. I thought, "Well, if he can't be with Isabel (due to my plot line) he's gotta be with someone." Then of course Lonnie just naturally popped up. She's the next best thing you know. *wink*

And speaking of Lonnie, when I wrote up the character profiles for this so long ago, she was supposed to be some spiteful cold hearted, power hungry bitch. But like it was with Michael's character, who was supposed to be a womanizing married man with the Madonna/Whore complex, that's probably due to change.

A lot of things that are happening and that are going to happen in this, are coming straight out of my ass like not even fifteen minutes before I post a new part. I have a basic idea of what's going to happen here and there, but to be honest, I have no clue what's going to happen at the end. I'm just now starting to formulate a plan for how I'm going to bring Liz back into the picture when previously I was stumped on how to do that.

And Kara, I'm sorry I never said anything about the title. It's a good suggestion and I really like it. I've been thinking about it and I haven't been able to come up with anything so I think that I'm going to use it. Thanks so much for the suggestion! *big*

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 16-Feb-2002 9:36:59 AM ]
posted on 26-Feb-2002 9:36:42 AM by sugarplum17
Wow Mon, you must like this fic a lot to bump it twice! Thanks so much. *happy*

I'll try to have something out this week definitely before the weekend, I promise! I haven't felt much like writing in the last couple of days because my part of Michigan has been having some pretty nice weather. I was outside pretty much all day for the last two days. But it's snowing as of right now, so I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of writing thanks to the crazy Michigan weather. *tongue*

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 26-Feb-2002 9:53:54 AM ]
posted on 26-Feb-2002 11:01:35 AM by sugarplum17
AN: This part is dedicated to Lucky Star!

Part 6

He watched from his seat on the couch as Lonnie angrily slammed down the phone and stalked over to her closet, letting the kimono she was wearing hang open on her shoulders. He figured he’d better not say anything just yet. He would wait until she calmed down enough before talking to her. Whatever it was her brother had to say must’ve been really bad.

“I gotta go.” She said as she threw her suit case down onto her bed and then went back over to her closet.

He sighed and rolled his head onto the back of the couch, looking up at the ceiling. “Where?”

“My brother’s house.” She answered curtly. “My sister needs me.”

“I didn’t know you had a sister.” He told her quietly. “Infact, I didn’t even know you had a brother.”

“You tryin’ to tell me somethin’ Kyle?” She asked harshly.

“I guess not.” He answered, in the same quiet tone. He sounded defeated. Exhausted.

He watched in silence as she threw her clothes into her suitcase and then pulled on some baggy khaki pants that had tons of pockets. She pulled on her shirt and then stood beside her bed looking at him, one leg supporting most of her weight. “You got clothes that you left here.”

Was she telling him to gather them up and get the hell out of her apartment? “I know.”

“Why don’t you, uh, gather ‘em up and put ‘em in my suitcase?” She suggested, looking around at her apartment. At everything but him.

“You mean maybe I should come with you?” He asked, trying to keep the hopefulness out of his voice.

“You know...if you wanted to...I guess it’d be ok.” She shrugged and then went over to get some socks. “It ain’t no skin off my back either way cowboy.”

She watched him smile a smug smile before pushing himself up and gathering his clothes. From her spot on the floor where she was lacing up her boots, she watched him neatly fold his clothes before laying them on top of hers. She would never admit it to him, or to anyone for that matter, but she needed him to be with her. She was going to need his support, his strong arms wrapping around her if she wanted to go back to that place and deal with what had to be dealt with.

- - -

“Wow. This is your house?” He asked as the cab they rode in, drove up the driveway. It was the biggest house he’d ever seen, made out of a dark gray stone. It almost looked like a castle.

“Yup.”

“It almost looks like a castle.” He told her as he reached for her hand, surprised that she not only didn’t pull away but held on tighter.

“Yeah. My dad built it for my mom.” Lonnie explained, trying to force the lump in her throat away. “She lived in apartments all her life, so when she met my dad she told him how she used to pretend the apartment building was a castle and that she was trapped in the tower. So he told her when they got engaged, ‘Honey, stick with me and I’ll make you my Queen. I’ll build you a castle of your own someday.’ And he did.”

Pulling his hand free from hers he placed his arm around her and brought her closer to his side. He had no clue what prompted that explanation but he wasn’t about to question it. It was the most she’d ever shared with him about her past. “Will they be here too?”

When he was greeted with silence, he looked in her direction and immediately regretted asking the question. Her face had become blank and she started to pull away from him. “No.”



TBC
posted on 14-Mar-2002 11:47:37 AM by sugarplum17
AN: I'll try to bring in Liz again soon.

Part 7

At first Kyle had felt like a complete heel for asking about her parents, but then as he thought about it, he got angry. How was he supposed to know? She had never told him anything about her past, about her family. Until her brother Max had called, he didn’t even know she had siblings. There weren’t any pictures of them in her apartment. She never talked about them. And now she had some sort of problem with her parents that he didn’t know about. How was he supposed to keep himself from saying the wrong things when he had no idea what the wrong things to say were?

“Is that your brother?” He asked her, pointing to a man with a mohawk, standing infront of the entrance to the house. He looked mean and intimidating with his arms crossed over his broad chest. A little scary with all the piercings and the hair.

She turned her head to the person he was pointing at, and smiled. Her smile soon turned into a chuckle. “That ugly fuck? Are you kiddin’ me cowboy? That definitely ain’t Max.”

He looked from the man back to Lonnie. They had the same tattoo on their upper arm. Four circles with little dots in them, connected by an X. He wondered what the significance of that was. He wondered if Lonnie had dated this guy with the mohawk. He knew nothing about this man, or Lonnie’s relationship with him, and it made Kyle’s jealousy completely irrational.

He and Lonnie stepped out of the car and he watched from his side as the man who, was not Lonnie’s brother, came up and pulled her into a huge hug, lifting her completely off the ground. He was somewhat satisfied when Lonnie dodged his kiss.

“Yo Rath, cut it out. Can’t you see I have a...friend with me?” Lonnie said, nodding her head in Kyle’s direction, who stood there looking very pissed. She pried herself out of Rath’s grasp and stood in between Kyle and Rath. “Kyle Valenti, Rath Guerin.”

The two men eyed each other before tipping their heads back in a form of greeting. Rath had sized this little pip squeak up and decided that if need be, he could take him down. He was also wondering why Lonnie brought him home with her. They always got together when she came home for visits, it didn’t matter if they were kickin’ it with other people, when she was home, they were together, period. But it was clear that this time it would be different. And he was thinkin’ this jerk in the cowboy shirt was a cop or a Fed.

It didn’t bother him much that Lonnie didn’t want to get down and dirty with him anymore, but he was pissed that she would bring this stranger into her brother’s home. He was definitely going to have to talk to her later on. Oh yeah, they were definitely gonna do some talkin’.

“So what’s the deal Rath? You gonna stand there like an idiot or are you gonna go get my bags?” She asked as she started toward the house. “And where is my brother hidin’?”

Rath eyed Kyle once again, looking him up and down. “Have your little cowboy here get your bags Lonnie. I ain’t your bitch. The man is in his study.”

And with that, Rath sauntered past them and into the house.

- - -

After everything had been put away, Lonnie told Kyle to stay in the room and read a book or somethin’ while she went to see her brother. He of course wanted to come, but she told him it was family business.

Rath stood infront of Max’s door looking as intimidating as ever. “What’s up?”

“You know what’s up.” She answered, shifting her weight. “I wanna see Max.”

“Yeah, yeah, in a second.” He said, leaning on the doorframe. “Why’d you bring that clown home with you?”

“Kyle?” She asked casually, looking down at her nails. “He ain’t a clown.”

“Oh so it’s serious then?” He asked mockingly. “I’ll have to get me a date for the weddin’.”

She rolled her eyes at him, shifting her weight once again. “It ain’t like that Rath.”

“Then why’d you bring him here? One, you know we always kick it when you come home, as rare as that event is. Two, he could be a cop or even worse, a Fed. Usin’ you to get to Max.” He said, holding up fingers as he went along.

“One, maybe I’m tired of your shit? Two, he ain’t a cop or a Fed. He works with his pop downtown. Since you gotta be all nosey ‘n’ shit, they own a restaurant, Valenti’s.” She answered smacking his fingers out of her face.

“Tired of my shit?” He asked her incredulously, bringing his hand to his chest. “Baby, I ain’t never had no complaints before.”

“Hmm, I wonder why Rath? Could it be because I’m the only female you ever double dipped?” She put her finger to her chin and looked up at the ceiling with a thoughtful expression on her face. “I think that’s probably why you ain’t never had no complaints lover.”

“You know I don’t ever do the same bitch twice.” He told her, reaching out to stroke her face. “You was always special.”

She let him softly caress her cheek before guiltily pushing his hand away from her face. “I know I was.”

She turned toward her brother’s door and opened it, walking in quickly. She had to get away from Rath, those old feelings were starting to flare up again, and she didn’t want ‘em to. She was really feelin’ Kyle, even if she wouldn’t admit it to herself, she wanted to keep him around for as long as possible and she wasn’t about to mess up what they had, which granted wasn’t much, with a punk like Rath.




TBC
posted on 15-Apr-2002 12:26:41 PM by sugarplum17
Thanks for all the bumps guys! I just wanted to assure you that I haven't forgotten about this. I know it's been a while since I've updated it, but I've been a little busy. Anyway, just hang in there. I'll try to have a part out soon! *happy*
posted on 6-May-2002 8:28:38 PM by sugarplum17
I just wanted to let you guys know that after I update Welcome to Mystic, this is the next one on the list.
posted on 22-May-2002 1:25:26 AM by sugarplum17
Part 8


Sauntering into Max’s office as confidently as she could, Lonnie tossed herself down into the chair that rested infront of his desk. As casually as she could, she leaned back in her chair and rested her feet, encased in big black combat boots, upon it. She had a feeling that this was gonna be bad, and she wasn’t feelin that it had something to do with Isabel. It was supposed to be about Isabel, and Lonnie was sure that whatever went down with her was some seriously fucked up shit, but what she was feelin’ had more to do with her and Max.

Once upon a time, when things were good, they were tight. It was like a regular brother/sister relationship, yo. But now that things wasn’t so good, it was more like they was fightin’ a war and on different sides to boot.

“So what happened big brother?” She asked lightly. The situation was serious, she knew it, but she wanted to keep it about Isabel and she wanted to keep the exchange light.

She watched him as he ran the palms of his hands roughly over his face and finally up into his hair, where he gave a little tug at the strands that his hands grasped. “Isabel got into some trouble.”

“She ok?” Lonnie asked light-heartedly, knowin’ full well that she wasn’t. If she was ok, Max wouldn’t have called her. And she knew this because Max never called her, infact he avoided it if he could manage it.

“She’s gonna be. With a couple of years of therapy.” He said moodily. Leaning forward in his chair, he placed his arms on his desk and propped his elbows up. “Her boyfriend, Chris, he was beating her.”

Lonnie bit down on her tongue, hard, trying to keep herself from blowing up at Max and blaming him. It probably wasn’t his fault, he probably never knew about it until something beyond Isabel’s control happened and forced her to call Max. But someone in the fuckin’ house knew about it that was for damn sure, and Lonnie was gonna find out who.

“To make a long story short, she killed him.” He said point blank. There was never any need to beat around the bush with Lonnie, or to cushion the harsh blow of shock. She was a girl who had been around, a punk, she knew the grim reality that sometimes happened. Hell, she was his sister, she should know it better than anyone. “In self defense of course.”

He studied her reaction to his news, and immediately knew but the clench of her jaw that she wasn’t happy. She was calm though, and that was bad. The calmness meant something, and if Max had to guess it was that she was going to find someone to place the blame on. Which was why he had put the word out. Nobody was to tell her of Maria’s knowledge. He was mad as hell at her, yeah, but she was still his friend and he had to protect her.

“She in her room?” Lonnie asked, as she put her feet back on the floor and pushed herself up from the chair. “I wanna see her.”

“She’s resting Lonnie. You can wait.” He told her calmly as he leaned back in his seat and rested his elbows on the arms, lacing his own fingers together loosely.

“The fuck I can!” Lonnie shouted at her brother, turning and heading toward the door. “I’ll find her my goddamn self Max. This place ain’t no fuckin’ museum I ain’t never been to.”

“You’re so impatient Vilandra.” He told her calmly. There was no mistaking that tone of voice. When he was quiet and calm, he was deadly. Get ready boys ‘n’ girls. WWIII is about to start. “That’s always been your problem, you know that don’t you? It’s always about you. You want what you want when you want it, and if you don’t get it everyone be damned. You want to do this, you want that, you want to go to the beach . . . ”

She could feel her blood boiling. She was about to explode. She was already pissed off to begin with, over what happened to her sister, but now she had to deal with this shit? Oh hell no! It wasn’t her fuckin’ fault and now that they was both grown he should know it!

“Oh fuck you Mr. High and Mighty!” She yelled angrily, whirling around to face him. “You know what your motha-fuckin’ problem is Max? You walk around this fuckin’ house like your shit don’t stink! Just cause you the fuckin boss ‘n’ shit! Just cause you think you the man!” She stopped for a moment to draw in a breath before continuing. “AND you act like it’s such a fuckin burden for you to be here, but what you don’t realize is that there’s the fuckin’ door, bitch!” She yelled thrusting her black polished nail on her index finger at the heavy oak door to her right.

“You know you can leave anytime you damn well please Max. There ain’t nothin keep you here. I don’t see no chains holdin you down! So tell me why you stay yo?” She shifted most of her weight to her right and crossed her arms underneath her breasts, looking at her brother expectantly, but cutting him off when he opened his mouth to reply. “If you gonna feed me some bullshit line about how pop wanted you to take his place, you betta stop right there! Because that’s a bunch of fuckin’ shit and everyone knows it! So maybe those was his dyin’ words to his precious little Maxie-boy, but that don’t mean you gotta stay!”

Angrily he pushed himself up from his chair and looked at her. The look he tossed her way could have made an FBI agent wet himself, it was that intimidating, but it wasn’t fazin’ Lonnie in the least.

“Who would run this business Vilandra?” He asked her in that same calm, quiet, deadly tone. “Who if not for me, would take on this responsibility? This burden? Who would live this life? Not Zan. He can’t keep the needle out of his arm long enough to buy a pack of gum at a gas station. You think you could do it? You’re nothin but a punk Vilandra. What family would respect you as they respect me?”

“What you got to say about your right-hand man?” She asked him stonily, ignoring what he said about both herself and her brother Zander. It wasn’t his fault he was a junkie. “Huh Max? You gonna tell me he ain’t smart enough to wheel and deal like you do? You gonna say he ain’t maaan enough ‘cause you the only one around here who is?”

They stared at each other for a few more minutes, unblinking and angry with one another, as the tension in the room became thicker and thicker. Finally after what seemed like hours, he responded to her. “You’ll stay for a couple of days, visit with Isabel, and then you’ll leave. And once you do Vilandra, you will never step foot in this house again. You contact her by phone, through letters and email, and if she wants to meet your sorry ass for lunch once in a while, that’s her business. But you won’t come here again.”

“Fuck you! You can’t tell me I can’t come back to the house I grew up in!” She yelled angrily, pushing her shiny black nail into her chest. “I fuckin’ lived here too, Max! They were my fuckin’ parents too!”

Calmly, he raised his hand and waved it toward the door. He was done with her, and that was all he was gonna say about that. When she stood her ground, her hands on her hips and her weight shifted to one side, looking like an angry bull ready to charge him, he almost wanted to smile. “I will have you removed, Vilandra, if you don’t feel you can do it yourself.”

- - -

Slamming the door shut behind her, she let out a frustrated growl. Of course Rath was still out there, guarding her brother like an obedient watch dog. And of course he was lookin’ at her like her world just ended.

“Yo, he banned you again?” He asked some what sympathetically. Shit, he’d been her friend for years, since they was kids. She cried and wiped her runny nose and make up on his shoulder so many times that his shirts were stained. He knew it fuckin’ tore her up like nothin else that she and Max couldn’t talk to each other like they used to, that they weren’t tight anymore, and that every time she came home they fought big nasty fights. That she hated hearing that she was banned, even though she was expected to return for Holidays and birthdays. Max was pissed if she didn’t show. It was a truly fucked up situation.

“Don’t he always?” She asked him sarcastically, sauntering past him and down the hall. She wasn’t in the mood for Rath right now, there was only one person she wanted to see at the moment.

- - -

Creeping into Isabel’s room as quietly as she could, Lonnie was horrified at the sight that lay before her. Her precious baby sister, younger by three minutes, was curled up in the fetal position on her bed. She was broken and bruised, whimpering and doin’ some mad ass twitchin’.

Slowly she made her way over to the bed and laid down in the spot next to her sister. Turning on her side she lightly trailed her index finger down the bridge of Isabel’s nose, stopping at the tip and tapping on it as they had done to each other when they were younger. “Wake up sleepy head.” She whispered as soothingly as she could.

When Isabel’s eyes opened a moment later, frightened and confused, Lonnie forced a smile onto her face. It was a little easier to smile once recognition dawned on Isabel, but became harder again when her face crumpled and she began to cry.

Lonnie felt like her heart was breaking, and she was sure that Isabel’s already had, so she wrapped her arm around her little sister and softly stroked her back. It was all she could think to do. It was all she knew to do. It was how Isabel had always comforted her, and it was how Lonnie had always comforted Isabel. No words, no judgement. Just a loving hug and a soothing hand.






Just like Welcome to Mystic, I'll give this another part before I move on. Seeing as how it's been neglected for so long. And don't be too hard on Max or Lonnie...there's a back story that you guys have yet to learn about.

posted on 23-May-2002 11:30:24 AM by sugarplum17
Everyone was askin for her, so here she is...

Part 9


Four months later . . .

Rath stood at the front door staring at the uniformed men on the other side menacingly. With his sleeveless arms folded across his chest and his stance rigid, you could see every single muscle in his large limbs. If those fools thought they was gonna be invited in for tea and cookies, they was wrong. He didn’t care what his brother Michael said. Five-0 wasn’t steppin’ foot in the Evans Estate, unless they did it over Rath’s dead body.

- - -

In her apartment on the Upper East side, Liz Parker pinned her chocolate locks into a messy bun and removed her pink robe before stepping into the porcelain tub. She had such a rough week that she didn’t even want to think about anything other than soaking her tired muscles.

She was trying her hardest to make partner in her firm, but something was holding her back. And she had a feeling that that something was Max Evans. Or her involvement with him and his family at least. Who wanted a partner that had mafia ties? In a way she understood it, but not very much seeing as how her boss had assigned her to the case. In the last two weeks she had convinced herself that it was a conspiracy against her. That the partners in her firm, who were all men, didn’t want a woman on board with them. That she had been given the tainted client so that she wouldn’t move up.

Then again, maybe she was just imagining it. Trying to make herself feel better perhaps?

Sighing as the warm water started relaxing her tense muscle, she closed her eyes. She had been thinking a lot about Max Evans these past four months. Thinking about that night at the charity ball, and his fiancé. At one point during that night, a shrill ringing of a cell phone made her turn around. He was briskly walking away from her and she was sure she had felt a warmth hovering over her shoulder just moments before the ring.

She found herself wondering, what would he have said to her? What would she have said to him? She wasn’t blind. She saw the way he looked at her when they were in the same room, and she knew the way he felt. But she couldn’t put aside the fact that he was a criminal, who he broke the law on a daily basis. He was involved with organized crime, the head of a mafia family for Christ’s sake! It didn’t matter how handsome she thought he was, he was still a criminal.

As she forced all thoughts of Max Evans out of her head, the ringing of her own telephone made her groan. It never failed. Get in the tub, try to relax and bam! The phone rings. Deciding to let it ring rather than getting out to pick it up, she strained her ears to listen to the message that was being recorded on her answering machine.

“Hi . . . it’s me, Max. Evans. Uh, look, I know that you said you were out, and that’s fine with me . . . but . . . my lawyer is out of town for two weeks. His mother is dying. And well the point is, I’ve been asked to head down to the station, for questioning. I wouldn’t have called if you weren’t my last resort . . . so I really need you to meet me there. Thanks, bye.”

Sighing a frustrated sigh, Liz pushed herself up out of the tub and toweled off. It seemed like she was never going to be out. Her ties to him would never be cut. He was always going to find some way to pull her back in.

She didn’t even realize, until she was infront of her apartment hailing herself a cab that she hadn’t hesitated. She hadn’t given a second thought to getting out of her tub and going down to the station.

- - -

“You know what I think Evans?” The portly detective asked, folding his arms over his fat stomach. “I think you know what happened to Chris Mulvaney. Your sister was living with him wasn’t she?”

Max leaned back in his chair and laced his fingers together head, cradling it in his palms. “Maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t.”

They’d been repeating the same dialogue for a little over an hour, and the detective’s patience was wearing thin. And it showed as he slammed his hand down on the table, in an effort to make Max flinch or startle him. He pushed himself off the table and ran his hands through his hair as he realized it wouldn’t work.

It was then that his savior came breezing into the room. She most likely had not been happy to receive the call, and she certainly didn’t look happy to Max as she carelessly tossed her briefcase onto the table. “Hello boys. I trust you’ve been playing nice with my client?”

“Ms. Parker, lovely to see you again.” Detective Johnson said politely from the corner of the room where he had been playing ‘good cop’.

He’d always had a bit of a crush on her. Something that definitely didn’t go unnoticed by Max, who was suddenly filled with a great amount of hatred for the man.

“So what were we talking about?” She asked as she stood next to Max, one hand perched on the table and the other resting on her hip.

“Chris Mulvaney.” Detective Morse told her, sliding a manilla folder across the table in her direction. “His foot was found yesterday in the incinerator of an abandoned warehouse. No witnesses, but we think that Evans here, knows what happened to him.”

“And tell me, Detective, why you would think a thing like that?” She asked snottily. She had never liked either man in the room. Johnson was a married man and had made several passes at her. She disliked Morse on the other hand, because he was a chauvinist jerk. The kind of guy who thought women should be seen and not heard, or barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. It was rumored that he smacked his wife around and that it was common knowledge that he had a problem with alcohol.

“Well you see, sweetheart, I have myself a theory.” He told her as he started pacing back and forth infront of the mirror. “Chris was seein’ your sister. That part we all know. Maybe he cheated on her, treated her wrong and you didn’t like it. So you paid him a little visit, you had words and the next thing you know you’re giving the order to have him wacked.”

“How could a simple business man, like myself, give an order to have someone wacked? I think you’ve overestimated my power of persuasion, detective.” Max told him as he held up his hands in self defense.

“Cut the crap Evans!” Morse boomed, slamming his hands down onto the table and leaning on them. “Everyone knows you’re dirty, boy! Just like you good for nothin’ dad was.”

Before the situation could get out of hand, Liz put her hand on Max’s shoulder. She had quickly leafed through the file that Morse had given her and tossed it back onto the desk. The last time he had been seen was by his boss, four months ago. His sister had reported him missing. Julia had talked on the phone with him the morning before he disappeared and reported that nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Other than Julia, nobody really cared where he was, a fact that Liz found strange when recalling the first time she’d ever been introduced to him. He and Isabel had seemed so close.

“All right, enough of this.” Liz barked out, removing her hand from Max’s shoulder. She had only wanted to stop him from getting up and assaulting that fat fuck on the other side of the table. Even she knew it was a low blow, insulting his dead father like that. “If you two have no productive questions to ask, my client and I will be on our way.”

Without a word to the officers, Max stood up and sauntered toward the door. He was definitely angry, but he didn’t want Johnson and Morse to see it. His father had always said, “Never show the enemy your weakness, son. It gives them the upper hand.” It was a piece of advice Max had remembered all his life, even in the times when he hated Philip with a passion.

It was already implied that Max would be giving Liz a ride home in the limo, and already implied that Michael would sit up front with Eddie. For the first fifteen minutes, the air inside the limo was incredibly silent. The only things you could hear were the wheels riding the pavement and the sounds of the city outside when they came to a stop.

“So you gonna tell me what happened?” Liz asked quietly, not bothering to look at him. She was too busy watching the scenery.

“I didn’t do it.” He told her, not bothering to turn his head away from his window and the scenery outside of it either.

“But you know who did, and you’re involved in it somehow, aren’t you?” Liz asked finally turning toward him, to stare at him.

He remained silent, debating with himself whether he should tell her or not. “This whole thing, its might get messy Liz. I might need a lawyer . . . a really good one.”

She knew exactly what he was asking, even though he didn’t really speak the words. He wanted her to stay and help him on this one case. To keep whoever did it out of trouble. “Tell me what I want to know and I’ll think about it.”

Pressing the button, he rolled down the privacy window. “Eddie, change of plans. Ms. Parker will be accompanying me home.”

“I want to show you something.” He told her, finally looking at her for the first time since they left the station.





Time for Heatwave.



posted on 9-Sep-2002 12:38:03 AM by sugarplum17
Hey guys! It's been a while huh? Well, have no fear, I still have plans to continue this fic! No plans in the near future to abandon it permanently. However, the only thing that's slipping through this massive block that I've had since like May, is ideas and parts for two other fics that I'm working on. BREAKAWAY and INVINCIBLE.

So I can't say when I'm going to get around to updating this. I'm really trying to concentrate on those two right now. Gotta stay with what works while it's workin.*wink* I can't make any promises, but I will at least try to get something typed up for you guys.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 9-Sep-2002 12:40:26 AM ]
posted on 28-Nov-2002 2:55:13 AM by sugarplum17
Wow, thanks everyone for the bumps! I feel horrible for making everyone wait . . . I don't have a new part right now, but I'll try for sometime before the new year, I promise!

-SP-

posted on 28-Nov-2002 10:41:42 PM by sugarplum17
Wow, I'm a little overwhelmed! Thanks Erin, and thank you too Stardustdreamer!

Elena, I'm blown away by your feedback sweetie! Thank you so much! I'm kind of speechless as to what to say in response, but here's the link to my site, Aliens Ate My Life. Just look in the My Fics section for all of my stuff. Which, I have to say most of it sucks because I wrote most of it when I was first starting out.

I'm a modest kinda chick so when you say stuff about me being talented I'm kind of like, "She's crazy!" But thank you so much for saying it! *happy*


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Nov-2002 10:43:01 PM ]
posted on 3-Dec-2002 11:56:41 PM by sugarplum17
I want to thank EVERYONE who consistantly bumped and begged me for more of this! This part is dedicated to everyone who loves the fic. *big*
***
Part 10



She wondered why she hadn't protested. He hadn't even asked her, it had been more of a command than a request. He had decreed that she would go home with him and that had been the end of it. Case closed. She had no say in the matter. Annoyed, she crossed her arms over her chest and pushed herself further into the seat behind her. It's just like him to be so invasive! She thought as she bit the inside of her cheek. It bothered her that she hadn't said no. Hell, it bothered her that she was sitting there being bothered enough to bite her cheek and she wasn't saying anything about it. If she just opened her mouth and said the word, he would tell Eddie to turn around. So why wasn't she opening her mouth?

***


Pulling up to the impressively large stone building, Liz opened her door and quickly scrambled out of the car. She had been holding herself rigid for damn near an hour and all she wanted to do was stretch her stiff limbs. That and she wanted to put some distance between them. She was still bothered.

"Yo Boss!" The gruff voice made her eyes snap toward the entrance of the house.

His large figure, back lit from the light inside the foyer, was intimidating and it made her blink in surprise. She knew from the mohawk who it was. Reidar Guerin - or Rath as he was known to most. She had always been intimidated by him, although, now as he came bounding down the steps toward Max, Liz couldn't for the life of her remember why. It could have been because of his tattoos, or his piercings. It could have been because of his hair and his menacing facial expressions. But watching him bound down the stairs at first sight of his master, he reminded her of a loyal puppy dog.

"They let you out?" Rath asked as he came up to Max and gave him a manly hug.

"Had to." Michael answered, a slight smile on his face. "No evidence."

"That and my lawyer is as tough as nails." Max retorted light-heartedly as he tossed a look in Liz's direction.

She blinked her confusion. In the year or two she had been working for him, she'd never seen him be light-hearted like that, he'd always seemed so serious and sullen. But then again, she'd only seen him when it was work related and so naturally the mood was serious and sullen. But wasn't it still business now?

Shaking off her confusion, she followed close behind Max as he allowed Rath to lead him into the house. Michael trailed behind them all, making sure to close the doors and lock them once they had all entered the foyer. Infront of her, Rath was babbling about how it was good to have the man back.

***


When Rath had finally settled down, Michael retired to his room, handing over body guard duties to his brother while Max led Liz upstairs to his study. He had told her in the limo that there was something he wanted to show her, and she couldn't help but wonder what it was. He was going to tell her what really happened, she knew that he was. He couldn't afford to not tell her. He wanted her services and she wanted the truth, so he would be forced to give it to her. But, he would do it in his own way and in his own time. If she had learned anything from her previous experience with working for him, it was that.

Gracefully, she walked over to the window and leaned against its frame, waiting patiently for him to speak as she looked out of the window. When a few moments passed, and when she could feel his gaze on her and see his reflection in the window, she spoke. "You had something you wanted to show me?"

She watched him shake his head in the window's reflection and then heard him moving. A drawer was being pulled out and she could see in the reflection that he had set something on his desk. A folder. Pushing herself straight, she walked over to the desk, and opened it. He motioned for her to sit in his chair behind the desk, and she did without hesitation. "You brought me here to show me these?" She asked, almost angrily.

Inside the folder, there were pages upon pages of sheet music. There were lyrics scrawled on the sheet music as well. "Read them." He told her, hovering over her shoulder and breathing in her scent.

She allowed herself to scan through a couple of them, and a wave of pain and grief assaulted her. The lyrics were about pain and suffering, heart break and misery, regret, sorrow and despair. She didn't know what to make of them. "Did you write these?" She asked him quietly, her fingertip gently brushing over a spot where a tear had obviously fallen and smeared the ink.

"No." He told her, moving away from her. "Isabel did."


"She's been taking guitar lessons for three months now. Maria says it's supposed to help her that it's therapeutic." He informed her, after a considerable amount of silence. "From some guy that Maria knows. Tom Collins, I think his name is."

"Why-" Her voice cracked and she had to clear her throat. "These are very . . . beautiful, is the only word I can think of for the lyrics that she's written, but what do they have to do with you being taken down for questioning?"

"They're not beautiful." Max told her sharply as he walked across the room and rested his palms on the mantel of the fireplace, leaning against them as he looked down at the expensive Persian rug underneath his feet. "They're incredibly personal lyrics, Liz. They're experiences. They're her feelings."

"What happened to Chris, Max?" She asked him quietly, watching him intently from her spot behind his desk.

"She killed him."

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 4-Dec-2002 12:01:52 AM ]
posted on 14-Dec-2002 12:12:52 AM by sugarplum17
Just to let ya know, I'm pretending that Isabel wrote Fiona Apple's song Criminal. Thank you for the fb everyone! I know, I'm just as amazed as the rest of you. I came out with another part and relatively quick given my track record with all of my older fics! You're shocked, I'm shocked, we're all shocked!

Thank you to the following: LiLEvEe, roswellluver, LizHalliwell, Nicoletta, StardustDreamer, Lolita Behrbuns, believer_evans, JBehrsGurl, LixMix5, carolina_moon, gizmo, and Alien614! I'm so sorry if I've missed anyone.

Lolita Behrbuns: No, she doesn't have any idea how he is privately.

carolina_moon: Aww, it was worth the wait? Thanks! *blush*


***
Part 11



Okay. So Isabel killed him. Isabel had been sucked into the bottomless abyss that she had known for two years as the Evans Crime Family. She had to process this information. She bit back the urge to call him a liar, because the Isabel that she had known, wouldn't have it in her to kill a fly. Max was her brother, and he had never lied to her before. She focused on one of the pages infront of her, and skimmed through the lyrics. The one she was currently looking at was titled Criminal. The first two verses of the song left little of Isabel's state of mind when she had penned the song, to Liz's imagination.

Propping both of her elbows up on the desk, she brought her fingers to her temples and gently began to massage them. She wasn't quite sure as to how she should proceed from that point. But she supposed she already knew the next logical question. "Why?"

"I don't know why Liz." He sighed, running a hand through his thick short hair. "She was bored and wanted to have a little fun. Why do women usually kill their boyfriends?"

"Okay, you know what?" She said, rising up from the cushy leather seat she had been sitting on. "You're the one who wants my help. So don't get sarcastic and start talking down to me."

After a short silence, he sighed heavily and moved away from the fireplace and seated himself in the brown leather chair adjacent to it. "You're right. I'm sorry."

He looked so exhausted and tired. She was seeing lines in his normally handsome face that he shouldn't have at his age. She was halfway across the room before she realized she was actually going to him. She stopped herself momentarily before rerouting her path to the couch that sat across from the chair he was sitting in. She sat down and patiently waited.

He rubbed his forehead tiredly. "He was beating her. It was self defense."

"That's all I need to know." She held up her hand, stopping him from further comment. "I'll defend her if she needs me."

"No." The volume of his voice visibly startled her. "You'll defend me. I'm going to take the fall on this one. I'll do time if it'll keep her safe."

"Max, I can't-"

"I know." He interrupted. "You can't go into this knowing what you know. It's unethical. But I'm going to keep her safe Liz. I have to protect my sister."

Looking away from him, she bit her lip. Her arms were starting to ache, and in an attempt to ease their pain, she wrapped her arms around herself. As a woman, she was just reacting to the raw emotion she saw in his eyes and heard in his voice. She was sure that it was why a place inside of her was screaming at her to hold him. It was incredibly noble of him; to want to protect his sister. She got the feeling that he wanted to protect Isabel from the law the way that he had failed to protect her from Chris.

She'd never seen him that way before. When she had to help Zander out of his numerous scrapes, Max had always been frustrated and annoyed with his brother. He had always been short and sarcastic in his replies to Zan. The two had always been at each other's throats. But with Isabel . . . he was so gentle and so concerned. It was beginning to unnerve her.

"I'll do it." She told him as she released her lower lip and looked at him. "It's getting late . . . so I should be going."

Max's face was considerably . . . brighter. The lines had vanished, as if they had never appeared in the first place. "Right, of course."

He walked briskly toward the door, wrenching it open and sticking his head out to call for Rath. Moments later, he was beside the couch, holding out his hand. She looked at it, confused.
"I'll walk you out." He told her, his eyes looking into hers.

Liz nodded her head as she stood up, unassisted by him, and walked toward the door. She had to get out of there. He was disproving everything she had ever thought about him. She had to get home and read her newspaper clippings again. Refresh her memory on Roberto Scapelli, who had been found floating in the river, missing certain extremities and who the police believed had died as a result of an order given by top mob boss Maxwell Evans. She had to go home and reread all the clippings that painted him as a mean spirited, law breaking, blood hungry monster. Because he was starting to resemble that less and less in her eyes.



I've been a bad bad girl,
I've been careless with a delicate man.
And it's a sad sad world,
When a girl can break a boy
just because she can.

Don't you tell me to deny it,
I've done wrong and I want to
Suffer for my sins.
I've come to you 'cause I need
Guidance to be true
And I just don't know where I can begin.

What I need is a good defense
'Cause I'm feelin' like a criminal.
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I sinned against
because he was all I ever knew of love.

Heaven help me for the way I am.
Save me from these evil deeds.
Before I get them done.
I know tomorrow brings the consequence
at hand.
But I keep livin' this day like
the next will never come.

Oh, help me, but don't tell me
to deny it.
I've got to cleanse myself.
of all these lies till I'm good
enough for him.
I've got a lot to lose and I'm
bettin' high
So I'm beggin' you before it ends
Just tell me where to begin.
What I need is a good defense
'Cause I'm feelin' like a criminal.
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I sinned against
because he was all I ever knew of love.

Let me know the way
Before there's hell to pay.
Give me room to lay the law and let me go.

I've got to make a play
to make my lover stay
So, what would an angel say?
'Cause the devil wants to know.

What I need is a good defense
'Cause I'm feelin' like a criminal.
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I sinned against
because he was all I ever knew of love.

What I need is a good defense
'Cause I'm feelin' like a criminal.
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I sinned against
because he was all I ever knew of love.

posted on 19-Feb-2003 11:01:54 AM by sugarplum17
AUTHOR'S NOTE!


Because of recent events I have decided to step down from my mod position and because of the way I was treated when doing so by a certain administrator, I have decided that Fanatics is no longer a place I wish to visit.

So, I will no longer be posting this or any other story here for the time being. However, as it was so kindly pointed out to me at the time of my resignation, there are other boards. I have decided to make Outer Haven, a board created by Talena, my new home.

I have reposted this story there and from now on, all future parts will be posted there as well. Link to reposted parts on Outer Haven.

If I see some of you there, great! If I don't, thank you for reading this. *happy*