|posted on 4-Nov-2001 3:35:56 AM by Kazza|
|Something to Believe in – BY KAZZA|
Disclaimer: In the alternate universe that all Roswell Fanfic writers visit, I own Roswell. Sadly, in the real world, I own nothing, so please don’t sue me! I promise to return the characters good as new. I do, however, own the idea to this story.
Summary: Alternate Universe. Not set in Roswell and there are no aliens in sight! Just your regular love story!
Category: A bit of everyone, but swaying towards Max and Liz.
Rating: PG-13 (For now!!)
Dedication: This story is dedicated to Jo, my amazing Roswell e-buddy, whom I’ve had the privileged pleasure to meet. A wonderful person who truly has a pure heart of gold.
Authors Notes: This is my own story, generated from my own imagination. I apologise if any of my ‘American’ terms are incorrect, please forgive me since I don’t live there!
For info, all previously posted parts of this story can be found on my website, www.angelfire.com/tv2/kazzaskorner. You will need to copy and paste it into the address window of your web software though, as you can not directly get there from inside the board.
As the taxi swung into the driveway, Liz couldn’t help but feel hit by a wave of nostalgia that caught her unexpectedly each time she made this trip. The large house that stood proud at the end of the driveway was one she knew very well and had previously spent many hours inside. The house, although grand, was very welcoming to all who entered it.
The white marble steps outside were a fancy feature, but everything else was simple. Soft red brick, white gloss painted windows and a large white double door, signalled it was a family home, rather than a status symbol of a director of a multi million dollar empire.
Or at least it had been a family home years previously. Even during their time at University, Kyle and Liz had been regular visitors to the vast Valenti Estate. They both had a dorm each at the University, but at weekends they were permanent fixtures at their parents houses. Back then it had been the perfect haven for young lovers, vast open space, freedom to roam and little prying eyes since Jim was often occupied with business. It had been those times Jim had enjoyed the most. Kyle no longer a child requiring constant attention, but instead a young man able to hold down adult conversation, a man growing into the heir of the empire Jim had struggled so hard to build.
Memories flooded back a little too quickly for Liz, as she stared out the window taking in her surroundings. Images of Kyle and the happy times they shared filled her mind, causing tears to mist her eyes. A wave of sadness hit her as she remembered Kyle wouldn’t be there to greet her. She, of course, knew that, but for a brief moment she still clung tightly to the dream he was still alive.
The house and memories were also a forceful, unwelcoming reminder of her own family situation or lack there of.
By her own admission, it was Liz’s fault she didn’t see her parents and younger sister Calistia. They had been so close, especially Liz and her father, but after the trauma with Kyle, Liz had closed up. She’d cut ties with her family; rarely saw them except for very special occasions and hardly talked to them. Really her only communication was by e-mail. It was a cold, clinical way to communicate with loved ones, but to Liz it suited her purpose.
Rightly, loosing Kyle had hit her hard, and when she recovered she had sought to remove any possibility of that kind of pain returning. For Liz the only way was to distance herself from anyone who loved her, including her parents and sister. Not seeing them or barely talking to them meant, in Liz’s mind, that they weren’t close to her any more, as if they no longer loved her. It was a rather twisted way of thinking, but there was little conventional about the new Liz Parker. And despite all attempts by her parents to pull her back once in a while, the punishing work schedule she put herself through day in day out was an instant excuse to avoid going back to her childhood home.
It was why she had never loved, or even got close to anyone since Kyle’s death. That was until the fateful day she had walked into James Valenti’s office and found Max Evans grinning back at her. He’d literally knocked her off her feet and turned her world upside down. All the calming influences and solid walls she had inflicted on her heart and body had caught the first gust out the window into oblivion. Her very foundations had been literally spun out of control with his suave sophistication and warming effect on her normally cold heart.
For a very short time, she’d even allowed herself to perhaps believe she could learn to love again. That night, after the fiasco in the lift, she’d recounted his kiss many times in her mind, his soft lips on hers, the delicate touch of his fingers entwined in her hair. And then the magical dinner and smouldering kiss they’d shared it the restaurant. It had been an amazing dream, but that was all it had been to Liz, looking back on it. A few days of heaven and then slammed forcefully back to reality
That kind of perfect dreaming was short-lived, and the attack only served to lend proof to her theory. She’d almost allowed herself to fall in love with Max, and then he could so easily have been ripped away from her. It had served to shake her body back to reality, reminding her why she had constructed the stonewalls around her heart.
And that was the reason why she had agreed to Jim’s request that she attend a dinner party at his house. Her first instinct had been to polity decline, the idea of attending one of Jim’s parties not exactly filling her with joy. Entertaining really wasn’t something she wanted to subject herself to in her present downward mood. But, upon thought, Liz had stumbled upon an idea that she believed was more than ingenious.
Jim had knocked her back once, throwing out her idea of removing Evans Consulting from the take-over, but she was never one to be defeatist so quickly. In the calming influence of his grand house, and the relaxed effect of some of his fine Chardonnay, Liz was sure she’d be able to sway the steely James Valenti and bring him round to her way of thinking.
She was, after all, a shrewd business woman who was prepared to use any and all means necessary to get what she wanted. And if that meant using somewhat underhand tactics then so be it. In business it was survival of the fittest, and Liz was determined to be the ‘last man standing’ ad the end of the night. With Max Evans now out of the way, a return of the fiery Liz Parker was needed. It was a role she was most comfortable playing and was more than eager to take on and slip into. It was, after all her most well rehearsed and most believable facade.
Pulling up outside the entrance to the house, Liz paid the taxi driver before quickly exiting into the cool evening air. Smoothing down her dress, Liz paused for a moment, hoping her attire wasn’t too formal. Jim’s dinner parties were normally swish affairs, and so she’d dressed accordingly, but for a moment she panicked that maybe this time it was going to be less formal.
A long, straight, midnight blue velvet thin strapped dress covered her tiny frame, stopping just above her ankles and hugging all her curves in the right places. The front dipped just enough to incite interest, but not enough to show anything off, and a high slit at the back to make walking easier and showed just a little leg. It was a sexy dress, but one that also oozed class and sophistication, normally just right for Jim’s parties.
Her hair was scooped up, piled in a relaxed, perhaps somewhat unruly way. Strands lazily fell across her face and down her back, giving a softness to what could have been a sever hairstyle. The slightest hint of blush, eye shadow and a slick of shimmery brown lip-gloss completed her outfit with the easiest simplicity.
In truth, unbeknown to Liz, she looked an absolute dream as she lifted the edge of her dress and slowly climbed up the steps to the looming white front door. The raven haired, sparkly-eyed stunner about to enter the party would blow any man with rational thoughts away. Ringing the doorbell, Liz paused as she waited to be given permission to enter. Taking a deep breath, she tried vainly to regain her composure and professional front before crossing the threshold of the house she knew like her own.
“Liz, I’m so pleased you came.” Jim greeted her, ushering the young lady out of the hallway and into the Drawing Room where other guests were congregating.
A drawing room wasn’t quite the right word to call the vast open space of the room. It held three large, inviting settees, a beautiful sculpted glass coffee table, books, pictures, and a large assortment of ornate knickknacks. From the outside the house looked looming and perhaps somewhat uninviting, but from the inside it was a completely different matter.
There was warmth; a kindness and loving that enveloped you the moment you stepped inside. Each room was inviting and tastefully decorated, but little showing the vast wealth James Valenti owned. He’d made the house as comfortable as possible the moment his ex-wife Michelle had left. Jim had wanted Kyle to grow up in a normal environment, wanting his son not to be spoilt, but to appreciate the value of money. And it had worked perfectly; Kyle had been a wonderfully caring man.
Seeing a large picture of her boyfriend decorating the wall above the 32-inch surround sound TV, Liz felt a lump form in her throat. He looked so handsome, the picture taken a little after his 19th birthday. He still had youthful looks, but also a maturity about him that Liz hadn’t really noticed at the time.
“I’m sorry Liz, I should have taken that down, it was insensitive of me not to.” Jim said, standing next to Liz and seeing the obvious pain on his colleague’s face.
“No James, don’t hide it just because of me. I miss him as much as you do.” Liz replied, forcing a smile across her face to calm Jim’s immediate fears.
“I know you miss him Liz, but I think you miss him more than I do now. I’ve let him go, I’ve accepted he’s never coming back ……….. I’m not sure you have.” James said, the last part more of a whisper as he drifted away.
As James disappeared into the small swell of people, his words slowly sank into Liz’s brain. She wasn’t sure what to make of it, whether to feel hurt, indignant or maybe to just listen to the wiser, older man. Having people poking their nose into her affairs was something that often got her back up, but Jim had a way with Liz. He always knew how to phrase things, subtly make Liz start to wonder, perhaps question who or what she was. This was one point, though, that James wasn’t going to win from her. No matter what, Liz was determined that Kyle would be her one and only boyfriend, no matter how much her heart yearned to be loved and wanted again.
Taking a glass of chilled wine from the waiter, Liz mingled with some of the other guests, noting a couple of familiar faces, a few business associates she’d met many times before at similar rendezvous’. There were about eleven people in the room, including the host, and Liz wondered if that was all who were attending.
“So Liz, what takeovers are you and Jim scheming at the moment?” Chad Simpson, a business venture associate of the Amber Inn Group asked.
”What makes you think we’ve got any takeovers in the pipeline?” Liz queried cagily.
“Because you too are always cooking up something.” He replied grinning.
“Then you’ll know I’m not at liberty to discuss any of them then, since I wouldn’t want you to steal any of my ideas.” Liz replied, smiling sweetly.
“Ahhh the infamous Liz Parker charm, that hides a heart of steal underneath.” He chuckled.
“Don’t you forget it!” She reminded him.
“So …… when do I get to use my charm on you?”
“Oh don’t worry Chad, I’m saving myself for you!” Liz joked, secretly needing any excuse to get away from the slimy banker.
A ringing of the doorbell gave Liz the perfect excuse to remove herself from the group she had occupied, and, deciding to make herself useful, Liz headed to greet the new guest.
“Alex!” Liz cried, seeing a familiar face stare back at her.
“Hey Liz, you look stunning as always.” He greeted her, kissing his friend’s cheek.
“And here was me thinking I was going to be stuck talking business all night! Nice to have a friend for support.” Liz said softly, as Alex slipped his hand in hers.
Having Alex with her instantly cheered Liz up. Her colleague and friend always knew how to liven up a dulling party, never wanting to see a sad face. His recounted stories and countless jokes always caused Liz to end up giggling, his infectious happiness spreading over those around him.
It was nice to laugh too, Liz thought, and Alex being just a friend was comforting since she knew he would never be anything more. He was her best friend, like her brother, not lover, and Liz could only see him as a good friend.
Just then, James returned to the drawing room and started ushering his guests into the large dining room. Turning in the direction of the others, Liz took two paces before the doorbell ringing again halted her movement. Twisting round, Liz started towards it, wanting to help Jim out once more.
“Leave it Liz, I’ll get it. Go and sit down.” Jim told her, beating her to the door.
“Ok, if you’re sure.” Liz replied, turning back to Alex, taking his arm and heading into the dining room with the other guests.
Sitting down in the chair pulled out by Alex, Liz noted three empty seats. One was next to hers, at the head of the table, whose she assumed was Jim’s. The other two chairs were opposite Liz and Alex, and she couldn’t help but wonder who was missing.
Probably some new business associate Jim wanted her to meet, or perhaps another eligible bachelor Jim was going to try and set her up with. Nothing would surprise Liz with Jim, his attempts at matchmaking had been plentiful, but most, in fact all, fell woefully short of what Liz was looking for, since she wasn’t actually looking for anyone to complicate her life even further.
Instead, Liz was after a mystery man, someone who wasn’t just about money. She wanted the magically soulful eyes that drew you in, the cheeky but handsome smile, the soft brown mop of hair that made him look young but mature all at the same time.
She was describing just one person though …………….. Max!
Her mind screamed out, as Liz quickly placed a hand over her open mouth to stifle the scream she had emitted.
The two remaining guests they had been waiting for had arrived, and were quickly taking their seats opposite Liz and Alex.
A stunningly beautiful blond haired woman took the seat opposite Alex. Had Liz of been watching her friend, she would have found Alex’s gaping facial feature hilarious. His bulging eyes and open mouth making it clear to any onlooker that Alex was blown away by the woman he was now sitting opposite.
Liz though, had her own much big problems to content with. For pulling back the seat and placing himself directly opposite Liz, right in her eye line without room for movement, was, of course, Max Evans.
“Good evening Liz.” He said professionally and somewhat sharply, nodding his head in her direction in a curt way, but not wavering in the eye contact he held intently with her.
“Max.” She replied, suddenly struggling to remember how to breathe. Her heart was pounding; her head hurt like hell, her mind was doing overtime desperate for a way out of where she was at that moment.
“Oh god!”, a voice screamed out in her mind, “now what the hell do I do?”. No matter what ideas ran through her mind at top speed, one was plainly obvious.
There was no way she could avoid Max Evans now!
Author: Kazza – 3rd November 2001
Feed back is very welcome and appreciated
This story is archived on my website, www.angelfire.com/tv2/kazzaskorner