Something to Believe in – BY KAZZA
Part 20

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, You may need to copy and paste it into the address window of your web software though, as you may not be able to directly get there from inside the board.

[center] FROM PART 19[/center]

Placing a protective hand over her still flat stomach, Maria couldn’t help but think about the little life growing inside her. The baby had been a complete mistake, she was the first to admit that, but she wasn’t like Michael. No matter what she did, Maria couldn’t get up and walk away from this mistake. She had to see it through to the very end, even though her instinct was to curl up into a ball and forget all about it.

Yet, despite knowing how wrong and how the timing sucked, in her heart Maria knew she wouldn’t be able to get rid of the baby. It was part of her and Michael, part of the passionate love they’d shared. No matter how Michael rationed that the timing was wrong or they weren’t prepared, Maria knew she would keep the child. It was simple, she loved Michael and this baby was a big part of that love, she couldn’t just kill it.

It was the same thing her mother had done when faced with the same situation at 21. Amy had kept Maria and brought her up alone, but never once regretted it. Maria’s only fear was telling her mother history had repeated itself.

It had been the one thing Amy had drummed into Maria from an early age, not to fall into the same trap and end up a lone parent. Although Amy had no regrets, she dearly wanted something much better for her only daughter.

Just at the thought, the tears she was trying to abate fell faster. It was a mess, and she was most certainly alone, Michael had made that completely clear.

That night was a long, lonely one for Maria, her ‘talk’ with Michael spinning around her head, mixed with the words of warning from her mother. More than once she woke up, nightmares getting the better of her. Tears only stopped when she was in a dream state, but the pain of being alone continued without abating.

Yet in her heart, Maria knew it was her choice to go it alone and not take the easy way out like Michael had suggested. She was a strong woman; she could handle it, with or without his help.

[center] FROM PART 20[/center]

The following morning, in the cold light of day, Maria felt even worse than the night before. Lack of sleep, raging morning sickness and Michael’s harsh words all making it extremely difficult for Maria to drag her body from the depths of her bed.

Pulling a sicky would have been the easy way out, she knew it, but Maria also knew she couldn’t do that. She had to remain strong and that meant facing people and carrying on as if life hadn’t changed so dramatically. She was well aware the quicker she got over Michael the better off she and the baby would be. He was out of their lives and the sooner she accepted that the better.

From the moment she stepped in to the office, it was clear to Liz that her friend and colleague wasn’t fairing particularly well. Although Maria had done an admirable job of covering her pale face with blush, Liz could tell it was purely a front for people who knew nothing of her condition.

“How are you doing?” Liz queried as Maria brought in her messages.
“I’ve been better I guess.” Maria replied, handing her boss the post-it notes.
“Did you see Michael last night?” Liz asked, knowing it wasn’t really any of her business. It was down to Maria to choose to tell Michael, but Liz couldn’t help but believe it would be for the best if he knew.

”Yeah I saw him.” Maria responded quietly.
”And let’s just say he didn’t take the news of impending fatherhood as well as I’d hoped.” She replied casually, trying to sound like she didn’t care.
“What do you mean? What did he say?” Liz asked, encouraging Maria to sit in the vacant seat opposite her desk.

“Really Liz, I know you mean well but I really don’t think I have the strength to relive last night again.” Maria responded, blinking away tears in her eyes.

“Did he walk out on you?” Liz asked softly, seeing Maria visibly flinch at the words.
“Yeah.” Maria sobbed gently. “He’s gone.”
“Oh Maria, I’m so sorry.” Liz replied scouting around her desk and putting her arms gently around her secretary to comfort her.

“He said …….. he said I should get it …….. sorted.” She said through tears.
“That was out of order Maria, how could he be so heartless?”
”I …… I don’t know. I guess ……. I guess he really doesn’t care about me.”
“I don’t believe that Maria, I’ve seen him and how happy he makes you. That sort of happiness must be right. Maybe you just need to give him time to get used to the idea.” Liz suggested.
“It won’t do any good Liz, I’m alone and that’s just something I have to get used to.” Maria informed her, lifting her head and wiping away the tears in a determined fashion. “Besides, how about you? What about your happiness? When was the last time you saw Max?” She queried.

“Max and I and completely different, and we aren’t going to have a baby Maria. I think you need to talk to Michael again.” Liz pushed.
“What’s the point Liz? He made it perfectly clear last night that he doesn’t want to know me if I keep the baby. And I can’t kill it, no matter how unprepared I am.” Maria replied, before turning on her heal and heading straight out the door.

Sighing at the closed door, Liz wondered what she could do. She felt desperately sorry for Maria, and the situation she was in. Liz’s mind involuntarily drifted back to her own circumstance when she’d been in Maria’s position. It was a very frightening position, and one in which you didn’t have total control over. Michael’s running away from the situation outraged Liz though. No matter how unprepared for fatherhood he was, deserting Maria in her hour of need was not the way to go.

Picking up her pen and jotting down some notes, Liz allowed her mind to think about what she could do. She was sure there must be some way to help her friend and secretary, and make Michael see sense.

“Damn!” A voice yelled outside Max’s office. “For god’s sake!” He added.

Trying to see out of his open door from his seat, Max tried to gauge what was the problem. He recognised the voice, it was clearly Michael’s, and something was obviously up.

Finally pushing back his chair, Max rose to his feet to investigate the route of Michael’s cursing. Stepping into the open plan office, Max was surprised to see papers thrown haphazardly across the normally pristine office floor.

“You ok Michael?” He queried gently.
“Do I look like I’m ok Max?” Michael grumbled.
“No, I guess not, need some help?” Max offered, sinking to his knees and starting to gather up the papers.
“Look I’ve got it ok Max, I don’t need to your help. I can fix some things on my own!” Michael snapped, snatching the gathered papers from his friend’s hand.

“Ok, no problem ……… wanna talk about what’s bothering you?” Max asked simply, allowing his friend’s obvious bad mood roll over him with no affect.
“What? Why would anything be bothering me?”
”Well normally throwing papers around the floor wouldn’t make you swear and curse quite like this.”
”Well you’re wrong Max, nothing is wrong with me ok. My life is perfect so just leave me alone!” Michael responded gruffly, standing up and storming back into his office with a resounding bang of his door.

“Ok, if that’s the face of Michael with nothing on his mind, I’d like to see him with the weight of the world on his shoulders!” Max said to no one in particular before returning to his office.

Max’s meeting with Liz that afternoon was more strained than normal. All the good progress they had made seemed to fly out the boardroom door as they sat down to business. From the moment he started though, Max knew he had a fight on his hands. Liz’s square shoulder stance, narrow eyes and thin lined lips indicating she was annoyed at something. He was just trying to put the finishing touches on their takeover plan, but Liz just wouldn’t budge on some items Max felt were very important.

“No Max, I can see your point but I feel my view is a stronger, more productive one.”
“But Liz, I feel this is pivotal to the whole takeover plan, without it the takeover won’t run as smoothly as I would like.”
”Max, people’s jobs are important to me. I know in the takeover there will be some casualties, but I want to keep that to a minimum. Your idea may be stronger, but it will affect too many people. Now, as the project leader, I get the final say.” Liz said firmly, sticking to her guns.

“You get the final say huh? So if I go and ask James he’ll back you up will he?” Max pushed firmly.
“Just drop it Max!” Liz snapped. “What I say is final.”
“Fine! But I want it put on the record that I offered you a different plan and you flatly turned it down.” Max said angrily pointing towards Liz’s pad where notes were jotted down.
“Whatever Max.” Liz replied throwing her hands up in the air.

The discussions continued, Liz seemingly picking a fight at every opportunity, always turning over Max’s suggestions in favour of her own. One by one, each thing she picked at continued to wear him down. Professionalism was normally Liz’s strong point, but he was certain something was bubbling away under the surface and it was clearly affecting her business judgement.

“Ok Liz, we only have a few days before we put this plan in operation. Now I know things have been tough between us. I understand you want nothing to do with me and want to get this over with as quickly as possible, but, with all due respect, what the hell is up with you today?” He said clearly frustrated by her.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She queried.
“Everything! Everything I say or do is wrong today, god can’t you just accept maybe I do know what I’m doing? Maybe I can be good for your company if you let me!” He snapped angrily.

“No Max, you can’t be good for this company. Yes your plan for the takeover is rich and exciting, but you have brought only pain and misery with you since joining our company on this very temporary assignment.” Liz replied cryptically.
“And just what exactly is that supposed to mean? Since when have I brought misery to your company? In my eyes you’re the only one who’s inflicted pain, on me I might add.” Max yelled.
“Look just forget it!” Liz replied, knowing she’d said too much. Jumping to her feet, she headed towards the door.

Standing also and reading the situation quickly, he took three paces and beat her to the door with ease. Pressed his back against it, he turned to face Liz, blocking her only exit to freedom.

“No way Liz, you can’t say that and then run out on me once again. I deserve an explanation.” Max pressed, placing a hand firmly on her upper arm.
“Let go of me Max.” Liz said, her eyes blazing with anger. She wasn’t angry at Max now, it was more herself. She hadn’t meant to let slip about Maria, and although she hadn’t said the words, she’d implied something was up. To Max’s astute brain, she was sure he’d put two and two together before long. Keeping her secretary’s confidence was important to Liz, but something told her Max wasn’t about to let her out of the room until she spilled her obvious knowledge to him.

He was so close to her though; his face was almost touching hers, his hand branding her arm and his eyes piercing hers. A few centimetres closer and she would be able to capture those lips once more; feel the passion thrum through her body. Jus the thought of his feather light touch dancing over her naked skin, or his fingers running tantalisingly through her hair made her body react.

It took every ounce of self-control she possessed not to throw her arms around his neck and pull him close to her body in a lip-crushing kiss of passion. Her mind was running a mock right at the moment she needed to be on her toes and at her very best.

“Not until you explain.” Max insisted, breaking Liz from her self-induced daydream.

“Let go of me!” She responded again, finally finding her voice and much needed strength.

Slowly, reluctantly, he released his grip; safe in the knowledge that while he blocked the door she was going nowhere. Despite her obvious reluctance, he was determined to find out what secrets she was hiding from him. If he was meant to be the route of the Amber Inn’s problems he damm well deserved to know what he’d done wrong.

“Just tell me Liz! I’ve brought pain and misery to this company have I? Is this just another swipe at me for caring about you Liz? As far as I can see, the only person who has caused pain is you! All I’ve done is be nice to you, care for you, love you, and all you’ve done is throw it straight back into my face. What sort of gratitude is that? Or maybe that’s how you treat all possible love interests? I know you’ve had a rough deal in live Liz, but you’ll end up old and alone if you don’t let someone in soon.” Max replied, matching her icy stare and holding it firmly.

“I said you brought pain and misery, I didn’t say you caused it!” She snapped firmly, her eyes blazing as she looked into his.
“What? How did I bring it?” Max asked, getting more and more confused.
“Just forget it ………..” She brushed off.
“No Liz! Just tell me for god sake!” He shouted, making her flinch.

She’d never seen him so riled up or angry before. His eyes were big and wide, his face becoming redder and redder, Liz wondered for a fleeting moment if he might just explode. Yet no matter what he said or did, Liz knew she couldn’t give away Maria’s secret, it wasn’t her secret to tell.

“I can’t tell you Max, it’s not my place to tell you.”
“Liz you can’t accuse me of something and then not tell me what you mean, I deserve to know.”
“No Max, you don’t. Because it doesn’t concern you.”
”But you just said it was my fault, I brought in the pain and misery.” Max said, calming now slightly, he was just completely confused.

“Look, just talk to Michael ok, he can tell you what I mean. Just let me go Max.” Liz said firmly, needing and wanting to get away from his penetrating gaze.

Finally relinquishing his place in front of the door, Max stepped to one side and allowed Liz Parker to exit the room and out of his life once more. It took all the strength he possessed not to drag her back in and kiss her senseless, throw her on to the boardroom table and take her right there and then.

Despite all that she had done to him, how she’d captured his heart and then crushed it so easily, he still felt the same way towards her. The flames of passion not doused at all by the aching pain he still felt every day.

Each night when he closed his eyes he met her in his dreams. Working with Liz was becoming increasingly more difficult. Each time he saw her he though about her sparkling eyes, bright smile and passion for work that made him admire her so much. No matter what he did, he couldn’t make his heart fall out of love with Liz Parker.

Taking a deep breath, Max gathered up his belongings and exited the large building of the Amber Inn Group. The fresh air and hot sun of Los Angeles bathed him gratefully, but doing little to calm his racing heart and raging hormones.

Finally finding the sanctuary of her office, Liz fell invitingly into her large leather chair. The meeting had been very unproductive, and nothing short of a disaster. She hadn’t meant to question Max’s every suggestion; she just hadn’t been able to help herself. Yet the mess at the end had been even worse. Maria had confided in her, Liz had been sworn to secrecy, but she had practically blown it big time!

In one simple sentence she’d almost told Max all, but it wasn’t her place to say anything. She’d managed to cover her tracks somewhat, but something told Liz this mess wasn’t over. She was sure Max would interrogate Michael and then Maria would find out and Liz would be in big trouble!

Thinking back to Max, Liz couldn’t help but allow herself to dream for a moment about what it would be like to have Max back in her personal life.

She wondered what it would be like to have him there for her when she returned from work, available to soothe away knots of stress and frustration. What it would be like to cook a proper meal, instead of the normal microwave dinners for one she normally ate. What it would be like to once again share her heart, her bed ………. and her body.

Yet in her mind, Liz knew it was a hopeless child’s pipe dream, for she would never have such a lifestyle. For Liz knew giving up her heart again and the premise she could get hurt was something she wasn’t ready to do yet, and possibly never would be.

TBC ………………..?

Author: Kazza – 2nd December 2001
Feed back is always very welcome and appreciated
E-Mail: Kaznstu⊕
This story is archived on my website,

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 2-Dec-2001 3:40:12 PM ]