|posted on 16-Dec-2001 3:21:06 PM 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 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.
Turning into the large courtyard, Alex wondered for the umpteenth time what he was doing there.
It was a bright, sunny Sunday morning, and he had just pulled into the beautiful Casa Dulce Ranch. The horse riding stables were very large and spacious. A magnificent country ranch house stood at the end of the courtyard and vast open fields and trees stretched out as far as the eye could see.
Parking his car in what he hoped resembled a parking bay, Alex slowly climbed out and headed towards the house. Knocking once, he surveyed the outside as he waited for someone to invite him in. The grey cobblestone brickwork signified it was an old cottage, the wooden shutters and heavy oak door also dating the place in time. It looked quaint and inviting from the outside, something Alex was grateful for as he was still having reservations whether agreeing to the rendezvous had been a good idea or not.
Ever since he had met the blond beauty at James’ Valenti’s dinner party a while ago, Alex hadn’t been able to get the vision of the stunning Isabelle Evans out of his head. She’d done her utmost to seduce him that night, but like a perfect gentleman he had rebuffed her advances politely. His mind had continued to remember her though, dreaming about her; despite the fact their paths invariably would never cross after the party. For Alex, he was content with just fantasising about what it would have been like to have a relationship with her.
So when, out of the blue, she had called him, he had most certainly been knocked off his feet for a few moments. Her voice sounded even more enticing, somewhat sexy as she spoke to him on the telephone. He’d been reeled in, hook, line and sinker, and before he’d known what had hit him, Alex had agreed to meet her that Sunday afternoon.
Many times since that call, he had thought how much of a bad idea this was. He was attracted to her, without a doubt, but he didn’t want just some fun. He was after commitment, love and a family, all the things that had been missing from his life for almost as long as he could remember. And, for Alex, he was sure Isabelle was far too young to commit at that moment in her life, their age gap of five years was just too great according to him.
So here he was, standing on the grey slate step by the front door, waiting to be greeted. His heart was jumping around inside, his pulse racing at lightening speed. Taking a few deep breaths he tried to install calm and regain his composure before he saw her again.
As the old door swung open slowly with a creak, all of Alex’s efforts to calm his nerves few away on the slight gust of wind. His eyes settled pleasingly upon the goddess in front of him, and he was powerless to stop the smile creeping across his face. It seemed like an eternity since he had last seen her, but, unbeknown to Isabelle, she had visited his dreams almost every night since their brief but very profound meeting.
She was dressed a lot differently from the first time he had met her. Back then, at the party, she had been dressed up formally, her hair and make up flawless. Standing in front of him now though she wore faded blue jeans, and a fitted chequered red and cream shirt and her hair was tied loosely in a plait at the back of her neck. Only the merest hint of make up decorated her already stunning face, making her look even younger than her 22 years.
“Hi.” She said softly, blushing slightly under his intense stare.
“Hi Isabelle.” He replied, finally finding his voice, throwing a comforting smile her way.
“So, are you ready for some fun?” She queried, trying to sound confident as they headed back out to the courtyard.
He looked in somewhat of a daze, Isabelle thought to herself; perhaps her idea of going ‘back to basics’ and winning him over by using her innocent charm was good!
He looked just as handsome as he had in his smart suit at the dinner party, she thought. His black jeans were well fitted, a white t-shirt just showed underneath a light blue chequered shirt that hung loosely over his waistband. His jet-black hair was swept back with gel and the dark glasses that shielded his eyes from the hot California sunshine made him look even more mysterious.
“Erm yeah ………. what sort of fun are you talking about? You didn’t really give much away on the phone the other day.” Alex said as they passed his car.
“Well, I thought since it’s a lovely day, we could go riding and have a picnic. What do you think?” She queried. “You can ride can’t you?” She added quickly, panicking somewhat for a moment. She’d assumed he could ride a horse, and for a moment she wished she’d asked him on the phone rather than guessing.
“Well, I haven’t ridden in a while, but I’m sure I’ll manage.” Alex grinned warmly, seeing the relief rush over Isabelle’s face.
“Great! Let’s get going then.” She said enthusiastically, leading them into one of the large stables.
Picking out a horse for Alex was more difficult than Isabelle had thought. There were a few magnificent black stallions, but she was somewhat afraid they would be too spirited if Alex hadn’t rode in a while. In the end, she settled on a dark brown horse by the name of Duffy. The young thoroughbred was a little over five years old, and trained enough not to take advantage if Alex showed wariness.
Isabelle on the other hand knew exactly which horse she was having for their afternoon of fun. She’d been up to the stables ever since she was a young child, and she had nurtured her horse from a baby foal. Tawny was a beautiful snowy white horse, with a quiet, calming temperament.
Once they had saddled up the horses and found riding hats, Isabelle collected her rucksack that contained their picnic and slipped it on to her back. Mounting her horse, she led them out of the paddock and onto the open green hills that stretched for miles and miles.
Sitting in a quiet coffee shop, Liz attempted to take charge of her life. She’d gone out to do some shopping, or more get away from the quietness at home and get her mind off from a certain dark haired Adonis. She’d tried to kid herself that he didn’t matter, that she was over him now he was out of her life, but it was no good.
Every time she closed her eyes she saw him staring back, every time she thought about work his thick, silky voice would jump into her mind. He was everywhere and nowhere all at the same time, and it was driving her crazy.
And so, here she was, sipping a hot cappuccino trying to think of anything that didn’t remotely resemble Max Evans. Shopping had been a monumental disaster; she was the first to admit it. She’d been hell bent on blowing some hard earned money and revamping her wardrobe. But all she’d managed to pick up was a pair of tailored navy trousers and a black cashmere sweater, not exactly mind-blowing fashion!
Oh she wasn’t complaining she’d let him go, well not exactly, but in kind. Her mind was happier, felt safer and much more in control. Yet her heart still yearned for his tender touch and gentle kisses, no matter how she tried to forget.
She’d even gone as far the previous evening to call her parents for a brief chat, and rest bite from the pain of shunning Max. It had been a big milestone for Liz. She’d barely spoken to her parents in well over a month, normally snatching a few words in between crises at work, and she certainly hadn’t seen them in over six months. Busy at work was an acceptable excuse each time Nancy or Jeff suggested she come visit.
It wasn’t that Liz didn’t want to see her family, it was just they reminded her so much of the past. Shutting them out was so much easier than running the risk that one of them could get hurt or leave her, that pain to Liz would be too great. She didn’t quantify the fact that in shutting them out she was acting as if they didn’t exist and therefore it wouldn’t matter what happened to them.
The fifteen-minute conversation with her mother had been rather difficult and somewhat strained. Nancy had asked all the right questions, how work was going, was her daughter looking after herself and such, but it was clear she longed to ask just one question. From the moment the words had uttered past her lips, Nancy had wished she could retract them. All she wanted was for Liz to come and see them, so they could make sure she was ok. But the words had got Liz’s guard up and put her on the defensive, the conversation had ended very quickly after that.
No matter how many steps forward Liz took, she couldn’t turn around and run back home. Fear was the only thing stopping her, fuelling her desire not to head back to her parents and sister. For she was afraid she would slip back into the young, innocent Lizzie Parker she’d been before Kyle had been ripped away from her arms. Her parents, especially her father Jeff, still saw her as a little girl, no matter her achievements in her career. And she couldn’t go back to that, even for a single day.
And so, here she was, watching the world go by as she assessed her own dwindling life. Her career was great, James loved everything she did, to him she was the girl with the Midas touch, but was it enough? Would she, like Jim had warned, wake up thirty years from now and regret the decisions she had made in life. Would she ever be able to let someone into her life again, let her own heart experience love once more? Or was she destined to be alone for the rest of eternity, alone to count the money of her success, but no one to share it with.
Despite everything, all the choices she had made in pushing Max away, she felt alone. No matter how she was sure it was the right decision, she couldn’t shake the niggling feeling that she missed him and felt undeniably lonely.
They’d rode for a little over an hour although to Alex it felt like hardly any time at all. They’d chatted, admired the scenery and generally enjoyed each other’s company. It had been a long time since Alex had mounted a house, but with Isabelle as his teacher he soon remembered all the fundamental actions required to stay upright and keep the horse under control.
Dismounting her horse nearby a quietly bubbling creak, Isabelle tied her horse to a tree before removing the rucksack from her back. Pulling a red blanket from the bag, she shook it out and laid it on to the lush green grass.
Following her suit and tying his horse to another tree, Alex watched in somewhat amazement as Isabelle placed the food out onto the blanket. It was clear to him that she had put a great deal of thought into the selection that greeted him.
A box crammed full of different kinds of sandwiches, salad, potato chips, cakes and various other goodies. He found his mouth watering just at the sight, and his stomach began to rumble in quiet anticipation.
“You can sit down, I won’t bite I promise.” Isabelle bantered, watching Alex standing, staring down at the food.
“What? Oh sorry I was just looking at the wonderful spread. I feel rather guilty I didn’t contribute to it.” He said shamefully as he sunk to his knees beside her.
“Nonsense, you’re my guest, I invited you for the company not because I wanted you to bring anything. Wine?” She said, handing him a plastic glass filed with bubbly white liquid.
“Thanks.” He replied, taking a sip of the sweet drink.
Eagerly tucking into the mass of food, the conversation subsided somewhat. The peacefulness of the surrounding field, coupled with the gentle rushing noise of the creak added to the serenity of the moment.
The soft sun hitting her already glistening hair made Isabelle look even more beautiful to Alex, if that was possible. Her eyes flickered happily as she watched him enjoy her food, and he was somewhat pleased he’d brought his dark glasses along, for they hid his eyes and his true feelings for her.
“So Alex, what’s with your colleague Liz and my big brother?” She asked somewhat jokingly.
“Who knows Isabelle, who knows!” He replied laughing. “I’m sure whatever it is things will work out for the best.” He added, not wanting to give too much away.
“Yeah? I hope you’re right. Max has been walking around like a bear with a sore head for most of this week!” She laughed.
Watching her full of joy and happiness tugged at Alex’s heart. It was clear Isabelle Evans was not just a pretty face, she was also an amazing woman all rolled into one.
It made his decision to not pursue a relationship with her even harder. Oh he could justify his actions, but he couldn’t control the pang of pain in his heart at the though of never tasting a little fun with the beautiful girl.
Staring back at his beautiful eyes, she wondered what he was thinking about. It was clear he was lost in his own world for a few moments, a dreamy, faraway look spread over his face. She wondered also, if perhaps her dream self was somewhere with him in that faraway place.
He was everything Isabelle was looking for in a man, and more. He had cute, appealing looks, but it was his ability to be goofy and serious all at the same time that she loved. He had so many faces, so many sides like a kaleidoscope caught in a beam of sun; she longed to investigate every single part of him. He was fun and full of life, something that seemed infectious to everyone around him. It was this particular side of Alex that Isabelle loved so much. She craved a happy, fun loving person who could make her laugh and treat her like a lady, not a self-confessed workaholic like her brother clearly was.
In a split second, Isabelle deliberated her next plan of attack. She wanted to do something bold, something that would make Alex sit up and take notice of her once and for all. Something that would make Alex see her not as Max Evans’ little sister, but see her as whom she was, Isabelle Evans, 22 year old beauty.
Twisting her body around, she swung her legs away from Alex, so her body was much more closer to him. Her eyes sparkling and a vixen like smile caught on her lips, she slowly, carefully lent in towards Alex.
Had he of had a little more wine, perhaps Alex would have been caught off guard, but he wasn’t fooled. He wasn’t some silly schoolboy, he knew a potential come on when he saw one. It was clear to him what Isabelle was about to do, and his heart jumped for a moment.
His mind raced, he thought quickly on what to do. He had two options, stop her and gloss over the moment, or take the easy way out and lay back and enjoy the feeling already coursing through his charged body.
Perhaps a more insensitive guy would have taken the second option and lapped up Isabelle’s advances, but not Alex. He didn’t want to hurt her by rebuffing her advances, but he also didn’t want to give her false hope. This was just two friends enjoying a Sunday afternoon out, nothing more. Certainly nothing romantic was going to happen if Alex could help it.
The thought of the moment when their lips touched drove Isabelle on further. Hands planted firmly on the ground to keep her balance, she lent in further, until she was inches away from her goal.
Their eyes locked for a moment, and time stood still. Both tried to gauge the other’s feelings, trying to decide what move to make next. It was now or never, they both thought.
Just as she started to cover the few inches between them, Alex gently but firmly caught hold of her arm, restricting Isabelle’s advances towards him and making sure she remained a safe distance from his body.
For a moment she was startled, surprised at his reaction to her attempt to kiss him. She’d been sure he was feeling the same way about her; sure he really did want her to kiss him. So why then had he stopped her so close to his lips?
“Alex?” She queried softly, not moving from where she was.
“I’m sorry Isabelle, I can’t do this.” He said, turning away from her slightly to put a little distance between their heat charged bodies.
“Can’t do what? It’s just a kiss?” She complained slightly.
“It starts with a kiss, but then rapidly spirals out of control …….. and I can’t do that Isabelle.” He said, looking down at the ground.
“Don’t ………… don’t you like me?” She asked, her voice full of pain and rejection.
“Oh Isabelle!” He cried softly, finally turning to look at her and seeing the pain he had just caused her painted over her face. “It’s not you …… it’s me.” He said, using a line that so many people had used before him.
“What’s you? I don’t understand Alex. I though ……. I thought you wanted me to kiss you?”
“I think you’re an amazing girl Isabelle, but we can never be more than friends. I’m sorry but that’s just the way it’s got to be.” He said, trying to mask his own feelings to the words he was saying.
The words scalded his mouth like he was eating a hot pepper covered in Tabasco sauce. They were words he knew he had to say, but in uttering them he knew he was killing off any chance he had with Isabelle. The pain and rejection she was feeling was something she wouldn’t forgive him for, he was sure of that, and it cut him to the core to know he was pushing her away. Oh how he wished he could choose to fall out of love with Isabelle, rather than hurt her so brutally.
“Why can’t we be more than friends Alex? I really like you; you’re like no other man I’ve met. You’re funny, you make me laugh, please don’t push me away.” She told him, bearing her heart on her sleeve.
“I’m sorry Isabelle, but we’re just too different. We want different things; we live very different lives. I’m 26 years old, but feel like I’m going on 50 sometimes. My life is hard work, strained and rarely fun I can assure you. You’re young, bubbly and full of life; I can’t and won’t bring you into my life and dash everything that you are.” He said sincerely.
It was true what he told her, his life was painfully difficult at times. His parents were hard work, and still after the few years that had passed he missed Dahlia so very much. And Alex wasn’t enough for them, he knew that clearly. They still longed for their lost daughter, and a son who’d been a mistake when he was born didn’t fill that void. In his life all he really had was his job, and although he loved working for The Amber Inn Group, he still desired someone to love him and a new family of his own. Bringing Isabelle into his complicated life wouldn’t be fair on her, he knew that.
“But …….” She started.
“Please Isabelle, this is really hard for me. I’m sorry I’m hurting you, but I just can’t do this. I can’t take this further and then hurt you even more down the line. You’re a great girl, go out and have some fun with your life. There are plenty of better guys than me out there.” Alex said, hoping and praying she’d just accept his words.
“We should get heading back.” She suddenly announced, jumping to her feet and quickly packing away the things.
“Sure.” He replied somewhat sadly.
His words had clearly done the trick; she’d obviously got his message loud and clear. The ride back to the ranch was deafeningly quiet, slow and sedate; it was obvious she was hurting badly.
And, as he pulled out of the courtyard, he was certain he wouldn’t be seeing Isabelle Evans away from work again. He’d done what he had set out to do, got her out of his life, made her see he didn’t want to get involved romantically.
So why did his heart ache with pain for her? Why did he feel like he’d just left part of him in her hands and a part of her indelibly printed on his heart?
Author: Kazza – 1st October 2001
Feed back is very welcome and appreciated
This story is archived on my website, www.angelfire.com/tv2/kazzaskorner
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 16-Dec-2001 3:25:53 PM ]