posted on 23-Aug-2002 11:35:41 PM by Lillie
Title: Love The Second Time Around

Author: Lillie/Amber

Category: AU, M/L, A/I. NO Aliens.

Sequel to For The First Time. You might be lost if you didn't read the first story. *happy*

1-4-2




*Special thanks to talena for making both of the banners for me. *happy* *

Disclaimer: Roswell character’s don’t belong to me, even though I wish. They belong to someone getting rich off of the characters that they screwed over. Liz/Isabel’s family life was inspired from the Final Friends trilogy by Christopher Pike. Nothing belongs to me.


Chapter One



“No champagne for me.” Liz Markham said, shaking her head at her older sister, who tried to refill her glass. The two of them were celebrating their acquisition of a contract for a 150 room hotel in downtown Monterey. Sure, it wouldn’t be the biggest hotel, but it was in the heart of the city, and it would make their company, Chancellor Constructions more money.

“Yes of course. Someone has to drive home after all.” Isabel Markham Ramirez said with a bright, fake smile; that she knew wasn’t fooling Liz for a single moment. “Oh, I hate to be a downer, but Jesse called the other night. He says that he wants to talk about Pretenses.”

“What the hell would that bastard need to talk about Pretenses for? That’s ours. He doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with it. I’ll have Brody get on it, right away.” Liz growled as she thought about Isabel’s ex husband. That asshole was trying to get his hands on everything that was Isabel’s even after the divorce. He obviously hadn’t been satisfied with that ten million that he had gotten.

“He’s just trying to make things difficult, Liz. He knows that he doesn’t have any legal claim to Pretenses or Chancellor’s. He’s just wanting to make me wonder and worry about it all.” Isabel said softly, as she downed her sixth glass of champagne, regretting that she had brought it all up. But she knew that Liz needed to know. Isabel had been so sure that Jesse Ramirez was the love of her life, that they would grow old together, but that had been before she’d realized the truth about Jesse. He wasn’t the person that she thought he was. She had the scars to show it.

“I know, sweetie. But that son of a bitch is still trying to take us to the cleaners. Stupid man. He should realize by now, that I’ll never let him hurt you again. That I’ll never let him get Chancellor’s, Pretenses or the house.” Liz said, gripping her water glass. God, how she hated Jesse Ramirez. He had made her sister’s life a living hell. It wasn’t enough that they had given him ten million in his divorce from Isabel, he’d also taken all of the money from Isabel and his bank accounts. Liz thanked God that she had put most of Isabel’s money in a Swiss bank account Jesse hadn’t known about.

“You know, Liz. I think that this is exactly what he had planned. If Patrick was alive, I know that Jesse would have tried to take him away from me.” Isabel whispered, tears forming in her eyes at the thought of her son. But Patrick wasn’t alive. Her little boy was gone. Jesse had never forgiven her for Patrick’s death. And he’d been so angry at her because she hadn’t wanted to have another child. He hadn’t understood what it was like to have a child grow inside you for nine months and than to have that child die. He hadn’t understood what it had felt like for her. And he didn’t care either. He hadn’t cared at all.

Liz reached over and squeezed her sister’s hand. Liz knew that Isabel was still so heartbroken over Patrick, not that Liz couldn’t blame her. Liz didn’t know what she would have done if she was in her sister’s position. Natalie was everything to her, and Liz knew that she’d be completely lost without her baby girl. “Oh, Izzy.”

Isabel gave Liz a weak smile. “I’m just feeling sorry for myself. Why don’t we go home already? Natalie’s probably missing her Mom.” she said, wanting to get out of here. She felt like she was going to start bawling at the thought of her little boy. Patrick had been so beautiful, and so tiny. But her son was gone and there wasn’t a single thing that she could do to get him back.

Liz looked at her sister for a moment, wanting to do the right thing. Finally, she nodded her head. “Alright, I’m gonna go to the ladies room. Need to go?” she asked with a small smile, already knowing what Isabel’s answer.

“You know, I don’t use public restrooms. Who knows what’s in there?” Isabel replied with a shudder, wanting Liz to hurry up. She just wanted to go home and pull the covers over her head and not have to awake up at all. But she knew that she had to. She had to wake up tomorrow, with that big meeting with Milton Dupree and the architects.

“Pay the bill, would you?” Liz said, taking her Platinum card out of her wallet and handing it over to Isabel. Liz stood up and began walking to the ladies room, her mind still on that jerk Jesse. Liz had thought that he was going to be good for her sister, but Liz had watched him very carefully. She’d watched him and she had begun to wonder about him. It had seemed to her that he was trying to insinuate himself into the business, and Liz hadn’t liked that one bit. And she had told Isabel what she thought, but her sister had blown off her words. It had caused something of a strain between them for a little while, especially when Liz made sure that Jesse would have nothing to do with Chancellor’s.

Five minutes later, Liz was standing in front of the mirror in the ladies room, reapplying her lipstick. Both she and Isabel had changed so much over the years. They both had grown up so much in the past six years. They had fallen in love and gotten their hearts broken the process. Liz knew that if she hadn’t had Natalie, than she might have been lost. That she might have gone on a destructive path, but her daughter had saved her.

Her beautiful little girl had changed her life so much. Having Natalie had completely filled the void that had been left in her life. Especially after Aunt Martha had died a week after she and Isabel had graduated high school— their graduation that they hadn’t even bothered to attend— they’d gone to Vegas instead so Isabel could marry Jesse. Liz had been all by herself in the house after Aunt Martha had died, and Isabel had married Jesse. Liz had filled her time by getting everything ready for Natalie.

Liz jolted out of her thoughts when she saw a pretty and very pregnant blonde come into the bathroom, making her way to the sink next to Liz. She smiled appreciatively at the blonde’s pretty blue halter dress. The dress looked like something that should be hanging in Pretenses. “That’s a beautiful dress. Can I ask where you got it from?”

“Oh, I got it at Nell’s in San Francisco. They had this fantastic line for pregnant mothers. When I went in there, I got a little happy and spent a lot of money on my clothes.” Maria Guerin said with a smile to the pretty brunette in a suit. Maria couldn’t help but think that the girl looked too young to be in a suit. But than again, maybe not. Monterey didn’t seem as different as San Francisco, it was only smaller.

“It’s gorgeous. I just adore the material. Pregnancy lines weren’t all that common when I was pregnant. But now, I see so many things that I wish that I had when I was pregnant. My sister and I— we own a store on Cannery Row, it’s a discount store of all the expensive clothes. Like Dior, Chanel, Ralph Lauren. We try to keep some pregnancy things in stock. Oh, shit. I’m being rude. My name’s Liz.” Liz said with a smile, as she remembered her manners.

“Maria. Maria Guerin. Your store sounds real interesting. I think that I’ll go check it out. My husband Michael and I just moved here to Monterey. Wanting to get closer to his family. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you look too young to have a child. But than again, teenagers are getting younger and younger having children.” Maria replied. The irony had never failed to amuse her when she’d see a sixteen year old pregnant, while she hadn’t been able to get pregnant for such a long time.

“I know what you mean. Teens are getting pregnant at a younger and younger age. I was one of them. I was eighteen when I got pregnant. My daughter’s five years old. I have a few pictures with me. Would you like to see them?” Liz said with a smile, as she began leafing through her wallet. Liz couldn’t help but feel some sort of weird connection to this woman. It was weird, because she had never felt vaguely connected to some other girl, well, other than Isabel, that was. She’d never had any girlfriends after her parents had died. She’d only had Isabel, but that had been enough for her.

“Oh! I’m sorry, I hope I didn’t offend you with my comment. I do have to say that your daughter is beautiful. She’s so beautiful.” Maria squealed as she looked at the picture of Liz’s daughter. She’d never seen a more beautiful baby.

“Oh, don’t worry about it. Really. This is a pretty old picture. I change my pictures so often. I think that I was in a nostalgic mood that day. Natalie’s my little angel. Well, as much as a five year old can be. She does like to climb trees a lot even though I tell her not to.” Liz said, unable to keep the pride out of her voice. She guessed that Natalie had gotten the tree climbing genes from Max, because she and Isabel had never been slightly interested in climbing trees. They had tea parties instead.

“She’s gorgeous, really. Gosh, I know that Michael— my husband wants us to have a boy. But I really want a girl. I mean, of course, it doesn’t matter either way, as long as the babies healthy. But I would adore a little girl.” Maria said with a sigh. She knew that she and Michael should have changed their minds about not finding about the sex of their baby. They’d thought that a surprise would be better, but now it was only driving Maria insane. Wondering about what it would be.

“Have you had a sonogram to tell you what your going to have? Or did you decide not to know about the babies sex?” Liz asked softly. She really liked Maria and she’d just meet her. It was a surprise to her. First, she’d never been friendly with strangers and she’d never been friendly with other women.

“Well, we decided that it would be better for us if we waited until the baby was born. I have to admit that I’m starting to regret my decision. I really want to know what I’m going to have. But I have to admit that I am having a ball buying all the clothes. Michael tries to pretend that he’s all upset with me, because I’m buying both girls and boys clothes, but when I show him the stuff, he practically melts. He pretends to be a hard ass, you know the way that all lawyers are. But he’s really a marshmallow inside. Sorry for talking so much, Michael says that once I start, I never stop. What about you? What did your husband or boyfriend think?” Maria rambled on, finally taking a rest from talking. Maria was really enjoying meeting Liz. It felt nice to talk to someone that wasn’t family.

“I wasn’t with Natalie’s father. He’s never been involved in her life other than helping to conceive her. My sister was my rock through my pregnancy.” Liz told Maria, not feeling an ounce of shame. There were hundreds of single parent homes out there. She just happened to be one of them. But the way she saw it, it was better that Natalie didn’t have a father than one who might not be able to love her because of who her mother was.

“I’m sorry. It’s none of my business. Sometimes I just put my foot in my mouth.” Maria said, blushing at her words. She realized that not everyone was married like her when they got pregnant.

Liz brushed off Maria’s words with a wave of her hand. “Oh, really. It doesn’t matter. I’m not ashamed or anything. I cared about him deeply, but it wasn’t reciprocated. Though I did get the best thing out of it all. I got Natalie, and she’s all that I need.”

For a moment Maria didn’t know what to say. She honestly didn’t know what she would have done if she had to raise a child on her own. But than again, she and Michael had been together for so long. They had been together since they were fifteen years old. But she knew plenty about growing up without her father in her life. “Men like that should burn in hell. My own father was the same. He left when I was three years old. My mother got remarried to a great wonderful man who treated me like his own. Papa John was the best.”

Liz couldn’t help but return Maria’s smile. Here she was in the woman’s bathroom talking about children and Max, well, without saying his name, with a virtual stranger. “You know this is really weird. I mean, you’re a virtual stranger and here I am talking about all of this. I’ve never had many girlfriends in my life. Only my sister.” she said with a smile, unable to help herself.

Maria nodded, a wide smile on her face. She knew exactly what Liz meant. Maria, herself had never really had many friends throughout the years. Laurie, her closest friend, and who would have been her sister in law had died and that had left Maria shattered as well as Michael. With Laurie’s death, Maria had turned away from her friends and just kept to herself and Michael. But Liz was the first one that she had actually talked to in a long time. “I know what you mean. My best friend died six years ago and I never wanted to have another girlfriend in my life. But being pregnant has made me see things so differently. It’s sort of like an awakening to me for a lot of things. Which is why Michael and I moved here. To be closer to his family. You know, your probably the first person that I have talked to in years.”

“You know, I would love it if we would get together later on. My sister is probably wondering what the hell has happened to me. Here’s my card.” Liz said with a smile, as she handed it to Maria. She would love getting to know Maria better. She knew that she had been so lonely during her pregnancy. Besides, having Isabel, she had been all alone. No one to enjoy her pregnancy with. Max hadn’t been there, but that had been a good thing. It was better that Max hadn’t been involved with Natalie, because he would probably have broken Natalie’s heart, just like he broke hers.

Maria took Liz’s card with a smile. She wanted to know this girl so much better. Maria felt a connection to her, like she hadn’t felt for a long time since Laurie had died. “I’d like that. And I’m definitely going to go check out Pretenses. It sounds like a wonderful place, and I do enjoy spending Michael’s money. I’ve better get going too. Michael and I are waiting for his wayward brother, who is always late. Jeez, I think that this baby is stepping on my bladder again. I’d better go in there, before I embarrass myself. It was wonderful meeting you, Liz, and I’ll come by Pretenses this week.” she said before making her way into one of the bathroom stalls.

Liz couldn’t help but smile as she watched Maria bolt to the stall. “I’ll tell my sister to keep an eye out for you. Give you a deal if you go into Pretenses. Bye, Maria. Oh, and Natalie used to do the same thing to me. She’d love to play kick ball with my bladder, among things.” she said with a smile, as she left the bathroom.

Maria let out a laugh at Liz’s words. She really liked meeting her. She was a sweet person. Maria felt sad for the girl that Liz had been. To have a child on her own, without the father in the picture. Men like that probably had a special place in hell. For abandoning their own child. Maria was sure that her own father had himself a place. Maria shook her head at her thoughts, and hurried herself up. She knew that Michael was probably wondering where she was. Not that it mattered, because Maria was willing to bet when she went back to the table, Max wouldn’t be there. Max was always late.


TBC. . . . . . . . . . .



[ edited 9 time(s), last at 7-Jan-2003 9:16:29 PM ]
posted on 27-Aug-2002 12:44:46 PM by Lillie
NOTE: Really really bad news guys. Something is wrong with my computer. Something about the hard drive. I shouldn’t even be on right now, but I am telling you what’s going on. We’re going to take the computer into the store most likely tomorrow night. I don’t know how long I’m going to be away from the computer, it could be a few days or maybe two weeks. I’m really not sure. I plan on working on my stories during this time. I’m so sorry about this, but there’s really nothing that I can do about this. I’ll update the stories that I can.

~~Amber

posted on 27-Aug-2002 2:49:36 PM by Lillie
BUMP!!!


posted on 27-Aug-2002 3:41:20 PM by Lillie
Dedicated to: ⊕ngel, mandyhanford (FIVE TIMES) *happy* *happy* *happy* *happy* , roswellluver, talena (TWICE) *happy* , LittleBit (FIVE TIMES) *happy* *happy* *happy* *happy* , ISLANDGIRL5, mermaidgirl (THREE TIMES) *happy* *happy* , Jbehrbabe, Lauralyn Behr, A Rose Is True Blue, cyberchic121 (TWICE) *happy* , katmcken (TWICE) *happy* , Spicy trini1, narly21, Eccentric One, mitra, boobear1514, frenckiss70 (TWICE) *happy* , Sternbetrachter, AvengingAngelIQ, clueless (FOUR TIMES) *happy* *happy* *happy* , marteloise, PhoenixFlamez (TWICE) *happy* , JaneLane, jeremiah (SEVEN TIMES) *happy* *happy* *happy* *happy* *happy* *happy* , salonica, Wench On A Leash, Anya, MickeyRos, mpls muse, ILYMEFOREVER, Lana Lane, Twilighteyes1974, classyroswellchick, Angel eyes (TWICE) *happy* , chinablueeyes (TWICE) *happy* , BelevnDreamsToo, Alien614, StarCandy.

Eccentric One, When Max first came to school, it was in January, but it wasn’t until March that Max and Liz slept together. And they graduated from school in June. Liz was about three months along when school ended.

NOTE: I'm sorry about the wait in this chapter. I was and still am very nervous about it all. Since you will find out what's going on in the head of Max. I hope that it doesn't suck or anything. Oh, and don't forget to read that other note in bold.

~~Amber

Chapter Two



“Before you say anything, I’m so sorry that I’m late, Maria. It really wasn’t my fault. There was some really bad traffic. Right, Alex?” Max Evans said, knowing that he had to appease his pregnant sister in law. He had seen her temper first hand and frankly, he was scared of her sometimes.

“Yup, there was some bad traffic, Maria. But take your anger out on him. It’s all Max’s fault. He was the one driving.” Alex Whitman stated with a smile, as he sat down on a chair. “How the hell have you two been? It’s been what three weeks since I last saw the two of you?”

“We’re fine. Really, we are. Though you know I don’t like people who are late, Max. I was just telling Michael about the most wonderful person that I had meet in the woman’s restroom. She owns this store on Cannery Row, that I just have to go check out.” Maria said with a smile, as she looked at the two men. Max, her dark haired, golden eyed brother in law didn’t look a thing like Michael, his own brother. Max had the tendency to be a little cold sometimes, but Maria knew that it was only because he tried to guard his heart from people who could break it. Alex Whitman, tall, lanky, dark hair and green eyed, was one of Max’s closest friends, they hadn’t been friendly when they both attended the same school in Monterey. But had become close when they meet in college in San Francisco. Alex had a great sense of humor that could have Maria in hysterics for hours. They were both so different from each other, but they were close friends, too.

“You gonna spend some more of Michael’s money?” Max asked with a grin, as he took a seat next to his brother. They had never been really close growing up, with their age difference in all, but after their sister, Laurie had died, they’d become closer.

“You bet your ass she is. For the last twenty minutes, all she’s been talking about is Liz this, Liz that.” Michael Guerin said gruffly to his brother, but smiled warmly when he looked at his wife. He would give Maria anything and everything that she ever wanted. She was all that mattered to him. Well, her and their baby. Their son. Or daughter.

Liz! Max’s heart stilled at the mention of her name. Of course, he knew that it couldn’t have been his Liz. But she wasn’t his Liz and she never had been. He had made certain about that. Over the years, Max wished that he could go back in time and change everything that he had done, but he knew that he couldn’t. He’d screwed up majorly where she was concerned. He’d been so cruel to her.

“Uh oh. You said the magic words.” Alex said, recognizing the look on Max’s face. Over the years, he had heard his fair share of things about Liz Markham from Max. Mostly when Max was drunk. And Alex could understand it. He sometimes thought about Isabel Markham. He had really cared about her, but she’d turned him away. Hadn’t wanted much to do with him, and than she had gotten married to that jerk lawyer on the day that they were supposed to graduate from high school. A graduation that both Liz and Isabel hadn’t attended.

“What magic words?” Maria asked curiously, forgetting all about Max’s comment about spending Michael’s money. The look on Max’s face was one of regret, shame, pain, among other things. She wanted to know exactly what Alex was talking about, and why that it made Max feel this way. She looked over at Michael silently questioning him, but he only shrugged his shoulders.

“Liz. That’s the magic word. What he never told you about him and Liz? Now, that’s a story.” Alex said, nodding his head as he thought about it. He had felt really badly for Liz Markham after things had happened. She hadn’t seemed like the same person that she had been before, which had been the point, but she had always seemed to have a devastated look in her eyes.

“No, I never heard about this. What’s this with you and Liz? I thought that you said that you hadn’t been involved with anyone when you were here in Monterey? Or was it someone in San Francisco? Spill, little brother!” Michael said, wanting to know about this. He wanted to know what kind of a girl had brought such a look to his brother’s face.

“Oh, I know that I have mentioned Isabel Markham in my alcohol induced stupor. The girl who stole my virginity? Well, Isabel had a younger sister, Liz. Guys at school had a nickname for them, Man Eater Markham’s. And well, when good old Max came to school, Liz’s interest was piqued, especially since he blew her off on several occasions. Well, you gonna tell them the story or not, Max?” Alex asked, cocking a look at his friend, who was gripping his water glass like his life depended on it. Maybe Max didn’t want to talk about it, Alex realized. “Or you don’t have to.”

“No, I’ll tell you what happened. I have to admit that it wasn’t my finest moments in life. The guy who showed me around the school was Troy. Troy something or other, I can’t remember. Anyway, I watched as he tried to flirt with Liz, who he’d had a thing with a few days before, and she blew him off. And Troy got pissed. I mean, pissed. He started saying things like Liz needed to be taught a lesson, yada yada yada. And I couldn’t help but think back to Stacey, you remember Stacey, Maria. She had been the same way. I had been fourteen years old when Stacey and I had that thing. I mean, I thought it had meant something to Stacey, but it hadn’t. I had been another notch on her belt.” Max told them, thinking back to that time so long ago. Stacey Neal had done a job on him. A real bad one and he had hated seeing girls who were so much like her. It had been like a stab in the heart all over again when he’d seen Liz.

“Stacey Neal was a bitch. She’s on her fourth husband already and she’s only what twenty seven years old. So come on, tell us the rest of what happened.” Maria stated, interested in what else had happened between Max and Liz. Her Liz couldn’t be connected to Max. They just couldn’t.

“Well, Troy talked me into doing the same thing to Liz. Well, I can’t say that he really talked me into it. I mean, I thought that it wasn’t right of Liz doing what she was doing. I was sure that Troy had cared about Liz, and she hadn’t cared. Or so I thought at the time. I had Liz interested in me because she couldn’t catch me. I played hard to get for her, ignored her, was an ass to her. All of the things, to get her really interested. And she was. One night when I went to the grocery store, I ran into Liz. And she told me that she was in love with me. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t really think that she was in love with me. You can’t be in love with someone that you don’t know. And she didn’t know me. She couldn’t have honestly known me. I thought that maybe she was just like Stacey. Just saying that she loved me in order to get me to sleep with her.” Max said quietly, feeling ashamed of his behavior back than. He had been an ass. No, he’d been worse. But still after six years, he was sure that Liz hadn’t been in love with him. Liz hadn’t known him, how could she have been in love with him? There hadn’t been any way that she was.

“Poor Max. A girl tells you that she’s in love with you and your scared. What did you end up doing?” Michael asked, knowing that something more must have happened if it had his brother acting this way. That damn Stacey bitch had ended up doing major damage to his brother. She was the whole reason that Max never got emotionally involved with any of the girls that he had dated over the years. A fear of getting hurt. Well, that wasn’t the only reason. Laurie’s death had also had some help in shattering them all.

“Oh, Max. What did you do?” Maria couldn’t help but ask. She knew that something more had happened. And she felt that whatever it had been had done some damage to Max. That’s what it looked like.

“We went back to her house in order to talk. But when we got there, I. . . talking isn’t what we did. I left in the morning, before she woke up.” Max said quietly, not wanting to tell them about when he had woken up, how Liz had looked so peaceful. How she had looked so beautiful and it had taken all of his might not to wake her up and make love— no, have sex with her again. She’d looked so beautiful with her dark hair against the pillow, her arm had been draped over his stomach, and what appeared to be a smile had been on her face. It was an image that haunted his nights. He would see her in his head over and over. And he couldn’t help but wish that he hadn’t done what he’d done.

Alex nodded his head as Max continued with his story. He hadn’t been friends with Max when this thing with Liz had happened, but he’d heard about it later on in college. He’d hear his friend call out Liz’s name at night, and knew that Max had to have had strong feelings for her, if she still affected him the way that she had. Of course, he hadn’t said anything to his friend. Max only seemed to talk about Liz when he was drunk. And quite frankly, he was surprised that Max was telling Michael and Maria about this.

“Oh, you asshole. You screwed her and than you left?” Maria said, shaking her head at him. She couldn’t believe that he had done that. It was just so horrible. No matter if the girl had been something of a playgirl, it wasn’t cool that she had been used this way. It was alright for guys to be players, but not girls. Damn double standards!

“Like, I said. It’s not something that I’m proud of. When she called in the morning, I told Mom to tell her that I was busy. I was trying get my crap together so I could meet the two of you at Yosemite. And she came over. She came to the house and asked me if she did something wrong. And I was a bastard to her. No, I was worse. I was cruel to her on purpose. It’s something that I hate. I told her that I didn’t care about her, never did. That I gave her what she gave the other guys.” Max confessed, hating his own words. The way that Liz had looked at him, haunted him also. Liz had looked so devastated, the tears in her eyes, she had been drenched by the rain.

“Jesus fucking Christ, Max. You were such a bastard. I swear, you shame me! I can’t believe that you would have done that. It’s alright for guys to be players, but if it’s a girl, you have to be a jerk to her. You have to get her back for what she’s done. That’s such bullshit. Bullshit, Max.” Maria screeched, not caring that other people were looking at her. Screw them all. She was pissed. She couldn’t believe that Max would have done something so cold blooded. That he would hurt someone on purpose.

“Damn, Maxwell. I’ve got to admit that was pretty damn cold of you.” Michael said, shaking his head at the thought of his brother doing that. Max could be a jerk at times, but to sleep with someone and just leave wasn’t right. Not right at all.

“I have one question, Max. Did you really have any feelings for her or not?” Alex asked softly, wondering about it all. Max had never said that he had any feelings for Liz, but Alex wanted to know. He wanted to hear it from his friend’s mouth.

“I. . . . that’s not an easy question to answer. I have to admit that I was sort of flattered when Liz said that she was in love with me. Come on, she was— is a beautiful person. And it wasn’t any hardship sleeping with her. I wanted her. But having feelings for her. I. . . don’t know.” Max said quietly. Truthfully, he didn’t know if he had feelings for her or not. His uncertainty had scared him. He had wondered if he really had feelings for Liz. If he was just scared about it because of her reputation. It had all been so confusing to him, and he would never be able to figure it out. He was fairly certain that Liz Markham would never want a single thing to do with him. Not that he blamed her.

“Well, that was very interesting.” Michael said, not knowing what else he was supposed to say. He was shocked by what his brother had done, but that had happened a long time ago. Max wasn’t in high school anymore.

“Can we talk about something else, besides me being a total bastard to Liz. Nothing is going to change what happened.” Max said quietly. Regardless of wishing that things were different, nothing would change what happened. Simple as that. He could wish forever, but it wouldn’t changed anything.

“Yeah, man. So tomorrow we’re going to get together with Milton Dupree, and the company that’s in charge of building the hotel. Can you believe it, E&W is getting off the ground.” Alex said with a smile, at the thought of his and Max’s architecture company was finally getting ready to go public. Their deal with Milton Dupree was a good one. And it would make them well known in Monterey and California. They had worked so hard to get where they were at, and their dreams were becoming a reality.

“You know that we’re so happy for you guys. You deserve it so much.” Maria said with a smile, trying to get in a better mood. She was still slightly pissed about the whole Max-Liz thing; the whole double standard to it all. But she didn’t think that her Liz was the same as Max’s. What had Liz said about the father of her child? I cared about him deeply, but it wasn’t reciprocated. But could that have been the same Liz that she had talked to? Really, what were the chances that they were the same Liz. Elizabeth was a common name. Elizabeth was number four on the most popular baby names, she knew that from looking over that baby name book. It just had to be a coincidence.

“Yes, I must agree with that.” Alex said, cocking a smile at the pretty blonde. Looking between Michael and Maria, you’d never guess that they fit together so well. Most of the time Michael had a scowl on his face, while Maria was almost always like a ray of sunshine. At least before her pregnancy mood swings. But they fit together so well with each other. Alex couldn’t help but envy them. He wanted what they had. He wanted to be happily married, and he wanted to have a kid. Alex knew that he had plenty of time. He was only twenty four years old. He had plenty of time to find everything that he wanted. He was just a little impatient about getting it all.

Max was lost in his own little world. What he wouldn’t give to go back to that day that he told Liz all that stuff. He hated himself for what he had said and done to her. It had been so wrong of him. So wrong. No matter of what he had learnt from that bitch Stacey, that didn’t mean that Liz was the same way. There had been so many times after it had happened that he had seen Liz at school, and he had wanted to go up to her and tell her that he was sorry. But he never had. He had never known what he could say to her. And it had seemed like she had gone on with her life. She had been dating Kyle Valenti after all.

At least, that’s what Max had thought. The only two people that he’d seen Liz with during the rest of the school year had been Isabel and Kyle. Liz had seemed so withdrawn from everything after what had happened. But he had seen that last month at school, she’d had a glow to her, and Max had always assumed that it had been because of Kyle Valenti, and that burned him. His feelings for Liz were so confusing. He didn’t know how he felt about her. Maybe he would see her again, if she had been serious when she’d told him that she would always come back to Monterey. Maybe he would be given a chance to tell her that he was sorry for everything.

“Maxwell, are you with us? Maria’s trying to tell you what baby names that she has picked out.” Michael injected, watching his brother very curiously. He couldn’t help but wonder if Max actually did have feelings for that Liz chick that he had told them about. Maybe Max was just afraid to admit it to himself. After what had happened with Stacey and than with Laurie’s death; Max hadn’t wanted to have a single thing to do with love. Sometimes Michael thought that maybe Max was afraid of love because of what he’d seen himself.

“Sorry. So what names have you got in mind, Maria?” Max asked with a smile. He didn’t want to analyze his feelings for Liz. There was just so much that there was to analyze if he did. And he just didn’t want to get into it with himself.

“Well, here’s the list that I have so far: Chase, Rachel, Alissa, Katy, Julia, Mika, Nicholas, Noah, Rhiannon, Alexandra—“ Maria began with a wide smile. She was having a ball picking out potential names. Especially for girls, there was just so many to chose from.

“Alexandra? After me? Oh, Maria, you to sweet.” Alex said with a grin.

“There’s no way that we’re naming our kid Alexandra. Sorry Alex.” Michael quipped, unable to help himself.

“Like I was saying, Gabrielle, Hayley, Madison, Taylor, Cameron, Ashley.” Maria continued.

Max couldn’t help but smile at Maria’s words. It was obvious that she was hoping to have a girl, since the majority of the names she was telling them were girl names. Max sometimes got jealous of what his brother had. Michael had been with Maria since they were fifteen, gotten married at twenty five and now at thirty was going to have a child. Max wanted to find what Michael had. He wanted to find someone that he could spend his life with and have children with. But part of him was afraid that he never would. That he would be destined to spend his life alone. Maybe that was his penance for what he had done to Liz.


TBC. . . . . . . . . . . .


posted on 28-Aug-2002 12:10:38 AM by Lillie
quote:
mpls muse originally wrote:
I'm hoping your Maria is as much of a buttinsky as the one on the show!!!

Actually, Maria won't be the one that will bring Max and Liz together. It's actually something else. And it's something that's already been said twice in fact in the story. I don't think that anyone picked up on it quite yet. Still waiting. . . . . . . *tongue*


posted on 29-Sep-2002 1:31:31 PM by Lillie
Don't worry guys. I'll get to this story as soon as I can. Homework's been kicking my ass just a little bit.

~~Amber


posted on 30-Sep-2002 9:18:36 PM by Lillie
I finished the chapter, but I'm not too happy with it. I want to see if I can make it better before I post the chapter. Sorry about the wait, but I'm not happy with it.

~~Amber

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 30-Sep-2002 10:18:00 PM ]
posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:38:32 PM by Lillie
Never mind.



[ edited 3 time(s), last at 30-Sep-2002 10:39:35 PM ]
posted on 30-Sep-2002 10:44:29 PM by Lillie


*giggle*

Okay, here's the beautiful banner that was made for me by talena. A thousand thanks to her for making it. Isn't it beautiful??



posted on 2-Oct-2002 10:18:03 PM by Lillie
I'm going to try to post the next chapter within the next hour or so. I just need to make some changes before I do. Sorry about the wait.

~~Amber


posted on 2-Oct-2002 11:22:34 PM by Lillie
Dedicated to:
LittleBit (EIGHT TIMES) blobflower pangel1 prunning
Wench On A Leash,
MickeyRos (THREE TIMES) ,
clueless (TEN TIMES) pangel2 pangel4 pangel5 pchocolate
Spicy trini1,
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Choc79,
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ISLANDGIRL5,
mermaidgirl (EIGHT TIMES) pdrinking pduckie1 peating
salonica,
AvengingAngelIQ,
cyberchic121 (THREE TIMES) ,
roswellluver,
Jbehrbabe (THREE TIMES) ,
mpls muse (THREE TIMES) ,
talena (SEVEN TIMES) pfairy pflower pflowerhat1
BelevnDreamsToo (FIVE TIMES) pflowerhat2 pflying
jeremiah (EIGHTEEN TIMES) , pgreen phappy2 picecream pkiss1 plaugh2
Eccentric One (THREE TIMES) ,
mandyhanford (TWENTY ONE TIMES) plove1 plove2 pmikkogirl-suika pmikkogirl-wink pmoonsleep pmusic1 pmusic2
katmcken,
frenckiss70 (SIXTEEN TIMES),pnkyhiyoko pnkyita pnkykaeru pnkypanda
StarCandy (FOUR TIMES)
Strawbehrry Shortcake (THREE TIMES)
Clari,
Alien614,
Lana Lane (THREE TIMES) ,
Nana,
PhoenixFlamez (TWICE) ,
the better twin,
LDM421,
angelbehr,
givenpoint,
RoswellLady (TWICE) ,
ILYMEFOREVER,
Gagnes Girl,
Jull_ana,
Brook,
Isis7777,
sarahdreamer,
JaneLane,
honeybear (TWICE) ,
mlaixz,
Dreamers4ever,




Some people asked about the card that Liz gave to Maria. I’m such an airhead and completely forgot that. Yes, it does have her last name on it; otherwise it’d be kind of stupid if it didn’t have her last name on it, right? I can be airheady at times, so forgive me. *happy* And I'm sorry if this chapter sucks or anything. I'm still not 100% happy with it. Oh, and the characters of Genie, Justin & Justin are based on actual people, so no one go stealing. *wink*

~Amber

Chapter 3



“How do I look?” Liz stated as she entered the large kitchen, smiling at the picture of her dark haired, golden eyed daughter perched upon one of the stools.

“You look very nice, Liz.” Isabel commented as she placed a stack of pancakes on Natalie’s plate. Part of her was dreading to go to Milton’s office today. She didn’t much care about the business aspects of Chancellor’s. She preferred to spend her time at Pretenses. She loved surrounding herself with the clothes and dealing with the customers.

“Mommy, you look beautiful.” Natalie started, pouting her lips at her aunt’s words. Natalie knew that her mother was the prettiest woman around. Aunt Izzy was a close second.

“Thank you, angel bear.” Liz said, smoothing the pant leg of her beige slacks. She decided to go with a cool suit. With the temperature soaring, she wanted to stay cool. So she’d chosen a beige raw silk pantsuit with a double breasted jacket over a cream colored T-shirt. Her platform sandals were the same shade of cream as her shirt. Liz sat down on a stool next to Natalie and gave one of her pig tails a tug. “Who did your hair? You know that’s supposed to be my job.”

Natalie gave her mother a grave smile and pointed at Isabel. “Aunt Izzy did. You were in the bathroom singing again.”

Liz gave an exasperated look to her golden eyed daughter. “Izzy, that’s my job. But I guess that it’s okay since Aunt Izzy did it. She’s the exception, right, sunshine.”

Natalie nodded her pig tailed dark hair at her mother’s words. “Yup, Mommy. I like yours better though.” she said, whispering the last part.

“Do you think that I look okay, Liz?” Isabel asked worriedly, pointing down to her cashmere skirt and silk white blouse. She hated these business meetings, she’d always get so bored. The only reason that she went was because they needed her signature on things. But at least, she would be back at Pretenses by noon. At least she was hoping to.

“You look wonderful, Isabel. I don’t expect for this meeting to be very long. Milton just wants to play meet and greet. Maybe only two hours at the most, probably less. I have a meeting with Kyle at noon. Hey, Is, what are you doing at noon? We can make it a lunch meeting.” Liz said, smiling at her sister. She was so worried about her sister. It didn’t escape her attention that Isabel wasn’t really eating much. Isabel was losing weight that she couldn’t afford to lose. Liz knew that it had to do with the divorce. It had taken a lot out of Isabel, and Liz was afraid that Isabel would never be able to recover from it. Liz didn’t regret that she’d given Jesse ten million dollars to get out of Isabel’s life. It had been worth every single penny.

“Naw, I want to get back to Pretenses as soon as I can. Genie’s going to open shop for me. I’m thinking about making Genie part time manager. What do you think?” Isabel asked. She didn’t feel like eating a single thing, though a part of her wanted a glass of champagne already.

“Well, she’s only twenty one years old, but she has shown that she’s a fantastic employee. I think that if you want to, than do it.” Liz said with a smile. She knew how much Pretenses meant to Isabel, and Liz tried to stay out of the business, allowing Isabel free rein over it all. After Patrick’s death, Isabel had thrown herself into starting Pretenses.

“I like Genie, Mommy. And Justin. He always gives me free ice cream. ‘Cept they never have Rocky Road.” Natalie put in, as she chewed on her pancakes.

“Justin is nice, isn’t he, sweetheart? I still get a kick out of old man Justin practically interrogating Genie about her relationship with his son. I told her, it wasn’t smart to date a seventeen year old.” Liz said, laughing as she recalled that day only a few months ago.

“But she loves him, Liz. It’s rather sweet to see them together.” Isabel said with a slight sigh. Truth of the matter, Isabel was a little jealous by their relationship. They had what she wanted to have in her life. And they were younger than her and they were blissfully in love. Isabel had thought that she had the true love, but it hadn’t been. It hadn’t been anywhere near love.

Liz recognized the longing in her sister’s voice. It was one that she understood. Liz was a little jealous of Justin and Genie’s relationship. She wanted to have a relationship like that. Over the past six years, she’d dated occasionally, but the men weren’t anything to date about. They also didn’t like the idea of a ready made family. If they couldn’t accept Natalie, than Liz didn’t see them again.

“Mommy, is Uncle Kyle going to come over today? I want to show him the bug that I caught.” Natalie asked, wanting to see her only uncle. He shared her love for bugs. She wanted to show him the bug that she and Allie had caught.

Liz repressed the urge to wrinkle her nose at the word bug. She had no idea where her daughter had gotten her love for bugs. It hadn’t come from her or Isabel. They had usually played with their dolls, had tea parties, played dress up; they hadn’t liked bugs in the least bit. And even though Liz still had a natural aversion to them, she didn’t do anything to stop her daughter’s fascination with them. “Well, I’m not sure about that. But I can tell Uncle Kyle that his favorite girl wants to see him.”

“Okay, Mommy. I have a Daddy, right?” Natalie asked, changing the subject before anyone knew what hit them.

For a moment Liz was stunned and didn’t know what to say. She didn’t like to think about Max Evans. She doubted that she would ever see him again. He had stated that once high school was over that he was going to leave and never come back. The whole subject of Max was just too confusing. She had been in love with him, but she had barely known him and he had thrown her love back at her; he hadn’t wanted her love. Who knew if he would be able to love their daughter? “Of course, you have a Daddy. Everyone does. Some just don’t live with theirs. Or like my father, he’s in heaven with Grandma.”

“Oh! We just live with us, huh? Us and Auntie Izzy.” Natalie realized.

“Yup. Just the three of us. Why— are you curious about your father?” Liz asked softly. She could hear the blood rushing through her ears. Part of her hoped that Natalie didn’t want to know because she knew that she would never be able to lie to her daughter. But Liz didn’t honestly know what she would tell her daughter about Max. She had barely known Max, and she couldn’t be able to tell Natalie what his favorite color was, or even when his birthday was. She didn’t know anything about him.

Natalie shook her head. “No, not really. Allie doesn’t have a Daddy either. We were just talking.”

“Who’s Allie?” Isabel asked, wanting to change the subject for Liz, who was obviously in discomfort. The subject of Max was one that Liz rarely talked about to anyone. It seemed to Isabel that once Liz made the decision not to tell Max about being pregnant, that her sister had tried to put him behind her. Liz hadn’t talked about him, at least not to Isabel. Isabel had never had the courage to broach the subject to her sister; her mind would always go wandering back to that night so long ago, when Liz had come home sobbing. Sobbing at the pain that Max Evans had caused for her. And Isabel didn’t want to put her sister in any more pain.

“Allie’s my new friend at day camp. She doesn’t have a Daddy either. One that lives with her. She says that it’s just her mommy and grandpa.” Natalie clarified, giving her aunt a smile.

“You need to go get your backpack, sugarplum. We have to leave soon.” Liz said, changing the subject. She couldn’t think about Max right now. It was a complicated thing, and it was only a subject that she felt comfortable with thinking when she was by herself late at nights.

“Okay, Mommy. I’ll be back.” Natalie said, jumping off of the stool, running out of the room.

Isabel waited until she was sure that Natalie was out of the room before she turned to her sister. She took in a deep breath trying to figure out what was the right thing for her to say to Liz. “If she asks about him, will you tell her the truth?”

“Yeah, of course. I mean, I’ll tell her what I can and what I think that she’ll be able to understand. She’s only five years old and if I tell her that her father never cared for her mother, she’ll be confused about things. And I don’t want her to be confused about things, I just want to make things easy for her. She’s just a little girl, and I don’t want to dump my personal shit on her. It wouldn’t be fair for her. Come on, Izzy. We got to get going.” Liz told her sister. She would never be able to lie to Natalie and she would never try to turn Natalie against Max. Liz knew that it wouldn’t be right of her; no matter what, Max was Natalie’s father and nothing could be changed about that. Liz just hoped that when the time came to tell Natalie the truth, that she was ready.

**********


“You know girls, we should get together more often.” Milton Dupree suggested, smiling at the two young women that were seated at the large conference table. They were so alike, yet so different.

“That’s a nice idea, Milton. But we’re awfully busy; there’s always so much to do in our lives. Some days, I swear, I’m like a chicken without its head.” Liz said with a smile, as she picked up her glass of orange juice.

“A lot of my days feel like that. Some days, customers are just so annoying that I want to kick them out of the store. But I can’t. That would be bad for business.” Isabel said with a smile as she began to enjoy herself. Milton Dupree was an old friend of her parents. She’d always liked him, and his daughter, Ava had once been her and Liz’s playmate. At least before her parents had died.

Milton let out a laugh at Isabel’s words. It was nice to see her smile. Over the last few years, he couldn’t help but worry about her. She’d always had a deep sadness in her eyes. “I’m sure that you get those evil pain in the ass people. As I recall, your shop is right next to Justin’s Ice Cream. How is old Justin doing?”

“I don’t think that he would appreciate you calling him old. He’s only what, ten years older than you? He’s still riding that motorcycle of his.” Liz commented with a laugh. Justin’s Ice Cream had been a popular spot since it had first opened up back in the seventies. It had been the place where her parents had gone when they were in high school, and it was where she and Isabel had gone themselves.

“Oh, I can take him on. I mean, really. I can take on a man who has an ice cream tattooed on his arm.” Milton said with a grin. “It’s been so long since I’ve gone to Cannery Row. I should go some time. See your shop and bug old Justin like I used to do in high school. Your father and I always had the best time razzing on Justin.”

“Oh, I hate to burst your bubble, Milton. But Justin’s out of the country for another two months. Something about China and ice cream.” Isabel informed him, reaching over for her glass of water. She needed something stronger than water, but she wasn’t about to say anything. She already knew that Liz was worried about how much she drank, but to Isabel it was her way of coping with things. When she drank, she felt better about things, and that was all that mattered.

Liz opened her mouth to say something when Milton’s phone rang. She smiled over at Isabel as Milton went to answer the phone. She knew that Isabel hated these meetings, but her sister had to make an occasional appearance at them. Liz was usually able to limit her sister’s appearances, but this was one that Milton declared was very important. Liz didn’t see the need in Isabel having to be here; all that was going to happen was that they were going to meet the others, and talk about business, nothing that demanded Isabel’s appearance.

“They’re here, girls.” Milton declared, breaking the silence in the room.

“I know I’m going to sound like an idiot, Milton. But I didn’t get their names. My secretary had somewhat of an accident with them.” Liz told him, rolling her eyes at it. She knew that it had been an accident. Laurie was a bit of a klutz.

“Evans and Whitman. Um. . . Alex Whitman and Max Evans to be exact.” Milton informed her, frowning when he saw Liz’s jaw noticeably tightened.

Isabel reached for the water glass in front of her again. Alex Whitman! It had been years since she’d thought about him. She hadn’t ended things with him well. But hell, he had known what he had been getting himself into. He had known that it was just a one night stand, but they way that he had reacted and the things that he had said had hurt her. She had tried to forget about the things that he had said, but she never could. Still to this day, Isabel remembered what he’d said.

Liz swallowed hard, trying to force herself to relax. But this was just so unexpected. She was being hit with her past. First with Natalie earlier, and now this. Liz realized that Milton’s eyes were on her, so she gave him a slightly strained smile, but that was all that she could manage at the moment. In a matter of moments, she would be forced to come face to face with Max Evans, with Natalie’s father. The person that she had thought that she was in love with, the person that had shattered her heart so long ago. No! No! She wasn’t ready for this. She wasn’t ready to face Max.

A knock at the door brought both Liz and Isabel out of their thoughts. Isabel reached over and squeezed Liz’s hand. She knew that this was going to be a trying moment for Liz. Liz was about to come face to face with Natalie’s father for the first time in six years.

Liz smiled at her sister’s comforting hand. Leave it to Isabel to be the one to calm her down. It had always been that way. Well, except for that one time; Liz had sobbed for hours after knowing Max’s true motives for sleeping with her. Isabel hadn’t been able to help her than. No one had.

The office door opened and Alex Whitman and Max Evans walked in.


TBC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Once again, sorry if the chapter sucked.

And I'm going to do some advertising of two stories of mine that don't get very much feedback.

Memoirs Of A Star (Isabel Centered. AU. With loads of Isabel UC.) viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=196644

Endings And Beginnings. And it's sequel Fight Or Fall. (Post CYN. EAB is Liz centered for the most part.)
viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=29500

Please go check out these two stories. *happy*

~Amber

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 2-Oct-2002 11:47:25 PM ]
posted on 14-Oct-2002 7:26:33 PM by Lillie
NOTE: Sorry about the wait everyone. I've been a little bit busy with things. Major changes are happening at work, so that's keeping me busy. Plus school, and family stuff. My aunt's getting married early next month, which by some unearthly coincidence is also the day I have to take this stupid state test.

I've got six stories that I am actively posting, and four which are on the back burner, so I'm sad to say that right now, this fic is suffering, cause I haven't felt inspired for the next chapter. I'm actually working on it right now, but I'm not sure when I'll finish it and be able to post. Sorry about the wait, but I just thought that everyone should know about what's going on, instead of thinking that I might have given up on this story. Which I have NO intention of doing. Thank you so much for waiting, it means alot to me.

~~Amber

P.S. Some free advertising for two of my stories that aren't as popular as this one.

Endings And Beginnings. And it's sequel, Fight Or Fall. AU, Post-CYN.
viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=29500

Memoirs Of A Star. AU, Isabel centric.
viewthread?forum=dreamer-fanfiction&id=196644

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 14-Oct-2002 7:40:57 PM ]
posted on 3-Nov-2002 11:49:11 PM by Lillie
NOTE: Once again, sorry about the wait. I've been having major trouble writing the next chapter, it's about half way done, but my brain has stalled in its tracks. My muse is being an evil bitch to me at the moment. All I can promise is that I'll post as soon as I finish the chapter.

~~Amber

posted on 17-Nov-2002 4:02:48 PM by Lillie
NOTE: I know that it's been awhile since I've updated. Sorry, but real life is really really kicking my ass. I have two papers that I have to do, one's due Friday, the other on Monday. I haven't started them. Plus work, and there's this guy that I'm obsessing over. The chapter is halfway done, but I'm not working on anything until I finish my papers.

Sorry for the wait.

~Amber

posted on 17-Nov-2002 4:12:47 PM by Lillie
BUMP!!!


posted on 24-Dec-2002 11:55:12 AM by Lillie
*clears throat nervously*

I am around, but I haven't been working on this story. It doesn't mean that I'm going to stop working on it, it's on backlog. I do think that I have the next chapter 3/4 done. But since the restaurant that I work at is open everyday, including holidays, I work today, and don't have a day off until Sunday, because of this huge college game called the Alamo Bowl. I'm hoping to have the chapter done by New Year's, but who knows with my work schedule. It might take awhile for me to post, but I will be back. I will.

Merry Christmas everyone.

~Amber

posted on 7-Jan-2003 9:15:48 PM by Lillie
Note: I'm really sorry about the wait in the chapter. It wasn't my intention, but for the few weeks I've been working six days a week. Very unfun but I got overtime which means instead of my regular $7 an hour, I get $10.50. I've also been dealing with some problems that I've put off for a very long time. It's taken up my time, but it's going to be better for me to start dealing with all of it now. And it’s actually taking up my time, dealing with my problems, which means little or no time to use for writing when it all adds up. I’m trying to just write two stories, Fight Or Fall and Wolf Lake, but who knows when a chapter might be out for these other stories. I’m really sorry about the wait, but taking care of myself is what matters the most right now.

Trude, I just wanted to say that you're the best. You keep bumping up this story and Wolf Lake. The next part in both stories are going to be dedicated to you, for all the bumps that you do.

~Amber