posted on 25-Jan-2002 6:12:09 PM by Pegleg
Beneath the Surface

Author: Michelle (Pegleg)

Disclaimer: I’m just a poor college student who reads and writes fanfic to escape the joys of studying. I don’t own Roswell or any of it’s characters…I just borrow them for fun. Hehehehe.

Rating: PG-13 for now…possibly R in the future. Depends on where I take this story.

Category: AU…do I write anything else. Not usually. Umm…as for characters it’s a little bit of everybody, all the conventional couples.

Summary: Valenti is the head of a special police task force that takes a special interest in the aliens. That’s all I’m gonna say cause I don’t want to ruin all the surprises.

Author’s Note: This is in response to a challenge given by Ella1022 ages ago on a different board. I’ve been working on this story for like 6 months and I’ve been having a lot of trouble for like the last 3. I’m kinda stuck with a little writer’s block so I was hoping that maybe by posting it I can get some motivating feedback. So, I have like a lot more of this story written, but I’m busting my ass trying to get past this block…so I want to make sure that people are at least interested in this fic. So anyway, please tell me what you think and whether you want me to continue.

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Prologue

“We’ve found another one Sir.”

“Are you sure?”

“It has the tell-tale silver handprint that all the others had.”

“Alright, I’ll be right there.”

Jim Valenti hung up the phone and began to message his temples. There was yet another dead body. This was the third one in the last two weeks. And these weren’t any ordinary bodies either. They were murder victims. Victims killed by aliens.

Valenti let out a heavy sigh and got up from behind his desk. He’d been able to keep the bodies a secret for the time being, but he couldn’t keep them hidden forever. Eventually someone would find something. Someone would get suspicious. Someone could start
asking questions.

Valenti reached for his keys and made his way out to his cruiser to go meet his partners. Sure, he was the head of the team, but he considered them all his equals. They may all be barely older then kids, but they were the best officers that he’d ever worked with, chosen especially for their young age and youthful appearance. Valenti was the head of a team of special officers, specializing in undercover work. They were basically given their own budget and free reign, Valenti made sure of that.

‘It is the best way to get the job done,’ he had argued. ‘We have to be independent of the rest of the Albuquerque department.’ And of course he got what he wanted. They wanted him to do the job, and they knew the only way that he would agree was if he did it his way.

Right now, however, the team wasn’t working on a case for the department. This was something that Valenti had a personal stake in.

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[ edited 10time(s), last at 17-Jun-2002 3:32:03 AM ]
posted on 25-Jan-2002 6:15:48 PM by Pegleg
AN: Hey guys. Sorry that it took me so long to get this next part out. First the board went down and then I was trying to get the new part of CC up *shamless plug*. Anyway, I hope that people are still interested in this story. I have started to get over my writers block and am starting to write this story more easily. Anyway, without any furthur ado, here is the next part.

~Michelle

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Part 1

“What is it Alex?” Valenti asked as he arrived at the crime scene.

“We’ve got a male, approximately 30 years of age, 6’2’’, 230 pounds, dark hair and eyes. Silver handprint was found on the chest indicating alien interference. No ID located. Found at 11:10pm on the side of the road by a trucker stopping to check a tire. Don’t worry about him sir, Maria took care of it.”

Alex Whitman, at 21 years old, was the oldest member on the team, aside from Valenti of course. He was the technical specialist on the team. That meant that we was the hacker that could get into anything that they needed and could work and fix all equipment that they ever used. Basically, he got to play with all the cool toys.

“Thanks Alex, has Liz gotten a chance to look at it?”

“She’s on her way over right now, then she’ll take it to the lab for the autopsy.” Just as this was said, Liz pulled up in the coronary van, coming out with medical bag in hand.

“I don’t think that you’ll need that Liz, he’s already dead,” Alex joked.

“Ha ha. Very funny,” she replied. “You know very well that I may need to take some samples before we move the victim.”

Liz Parker was the youngest member of the team, fresh out of the academy and only 19. She was a medical genius, a child prodigy almost. She took care of all medical and scientific aspects of their work. This included the unfortunate job of performing the autopsies.

“Where are Kyle and Maria?” Valenti asked.

“Kyle wasn’t home. I paged him so he should call me back shortly. He wasn’t answering his cell phone.”

“And Maria?”

“She’s following the truck driver to his next stops to make sure he isn’t gonna say anything.”

Those were the last two members of the team. Maria Deluca and Kyle Valenti. Maria was 19, and in about the same place as Liz, only her specialty was the human mind and the manipulation of it. She was a human psychology specialist, and was very good at what she did. No matter what you know you saw, Maria could convince you that it never happened. You could swear that what you were holding was a napkin, but when she was done you were convinced it was the Statue of Liberty. She was that good. She could tell what you were thinking with a simple look. She could get into your mind in a minute flat. She was a very valuable member of the team.

Kyle Valenti, the only son of one Jim Valenti, was 20 years old, and the master of all things fraudulent. He could manufacture everything from ID’s to passports, medical histories, birth certificates, social security, anything. He was also the one who wrote the most convincing reports, especially when they decided to leave out very pertinent information.

“Finish up here and then meet me back at the office,” Valenti said. Then turning to Alex, he added, “Call Maria and tell her to forget it and head straight back to the office. When Kyle calls tell him to meet me there also. I think that it’s about time that we had a little chat together.” With that, Valenti turned and headed back towards his cruiser. When he got in, he turned the car around and headed back towards the office, a million thoughts running through his brain.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The four youths sat around the table waiting for Valenti to break the silence. He had been pacing the front of the room for the past five minutes, since the last of them had arrived.

“Alright, Liz what have you found so far?”

“Well, I still have to do the autopsy, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s the same as the others. The body slowly heated from the inside out until the blood boils, the heart stops and the internal organs begin to cook, so to speak.”

“Alright, this is what we’re gonna do,” Valenti said. “We’re going in. I know that they don’t need any more attention drawn to them right now, but we’re running out of options. We can’t keep this a secret forever. Eventually the wrong people may run across this evidence. I don’t think that these kids are responsible for what is going on, but they may be connected in some way. If this is some other alien’s doing, then they could be in danger. And if they are the ones responsible, we need to find out why.

“So here’s the deal. The four of you will enroll in West Roswell High School as four normal teens. You will get to know the four. Become their friends. Earn their trust. Keep on the look out for anything unusual. Make sure that nobody is on their trail. Here are their files, I know that I’ve already told you a lot about them already, but this is everything: Isabel and Max Evans, Michael Guerin and Tess Harding. They are seniors at West Roswell High, as you will be.

“Liz, Kyle. You will go in first; you start Monday. You are brother and sister, you just moved here with your father, yours truly, who will be working with the Roswell Sheriff’s department. I will have myself transferred to Roswell to oversee this operation. Alex, you will follow, coming in a week later. You come from a military family and your
father was just transferred to Los Peublos military base. It’s just you and your father, but dear old dad isn’t around much because of work. Maria, you will be last, coming in a few days after Alex. You are an exchange student from Venezuela. You understand and speak perfect English and you’ll be living in a small apartment while you attend the school for the rest of the semester.

“Alright guys, I’ll take care of all of the living arrangements and Kyle, I want you to start working on the paperwork right away. Liz, Kyle and I will be leaving this coming Sunday, while Alex and Maria tie things up here. Then they will follow the next week. We will have meetings at my place every night to discuss what we’ve found. Of course this is adjustable. I know that this is a little out of the ordinary guys, but I need you to do this…for me.”

They all nodded and started making the preparations for their latest assignment.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Maria, Alex, Liz and Kyle sat around the table in the conference room preparing to look over the files of the teens that they would be watching for the following weeks. The stack of files sat in front of Maria, as it was silently decided that she would open each one first.

“Isabel Evans,” Maria said opening the first file. She glanced at it for a minute and then passed to Alex who was sitting to her left. “Isabel Evans,” she repeated. “Roswell Highs own miss popular. Adopted daughter of Diane and Philip Evans. Surrounded by superficiality all day long, she uses her popularity as a guise. A way to be seen without ever really being seen. It allows her to move around in society, without ever having to show people her true self. It’s a defense mechanism. She never lets anyone get too close; she might be a tough one. She figures that the popularity allows her to have friends who don’t really care who she is, just as long as she fits in. And that’s what she wants more then anything. To fit in; to be quote on quote “normal.” She carries deep seeded fears of rejection, probably stemming from her true origin. Also deemed the ‘Ice Princess’ she projects a cold, unfeeling demeanor, making all those around her cower, insuring that no one is able to get too close.”

It was amazing how much information that Maria could pull out from the simple file. She was psychoanalyzing these people before she even met them. She was that good.

“Max Evans,” Maria said picking up the next file. No one said anything as they continued to pass Isabel’s file around the table. They knew this was Maria’s thing. She could give them all a mental breakdown of each character before they even got there, giving them an enormous advantage. So they just stayed silent and allowed her to continue.

“Also adopted by Diane and Philip Evans, Max is the classic shy, smart guy. Straight A student, but purposely attempts to not be noticed. He, like Isabel, is afraid of rejection, but his way of dealing is by hiding in the shadows. He thinks by not making himself known, and blending in with the rest of the population he can hide who he is from the rest of the world, and possibly from himself. He’s the leader type, always taking responsibility for everyone else and putting everything on his own shoulders. More then anything, he just wants to be normal. He uses his powers as little as possible in his attempt to keep up the ‘normal’ illusion.

“Tess Harding. Emancipated minor, currently sharing residence with one Michael Guerin. She is probably the best at keeping up the ‘normal’ facade. She tries to look and seem normal like many of the others, but she seems to be much more accepting of her alien heritage. She’s much more comfortable with who she is and her earthly existence doesn’t seem to be as important to her as it is to the others. Oddly enough, since she is so much more comfortable with herself and her situation, she has the easiest time by far fitting it. Her acceptance causes an aloofness that works to her advantage. On the other hand, it seems that she wishes that she cared more for her human life. It’s like she’s looking for some reason to care, but she just hasn’t found one yet. She’s constantly looking for something to hold onto.

“And last but not least, Michael Guerin…Ouch! This one is by far the most complex. He’s the loner, the rebel without a cause. Although he lets off that he likes it that way, he experiences intense feelings of loneliness and of not belonging, no matter how hard the others try to make him welcome. He has the least control over his powers, and is by far the most emotional of the bunch. With a short temper, he tends to get into a lot of trouble, acting before he thinks things through. His emotional state points to a ruff childhood, with possible signs of abuse. He tries to hide his feelings from the others, and probably does a pretty good job of it. He’s never open with his feelings, always building up a perpetual stonewall to hide them from the world. He has a mean streak and will indefinitely try to get under your skin. No matter what you say, he will never believe that anyone could truly understand him or where he’s coming from. There’s a lot of hurt and pain here guys. This one will definitely be the hardest to get close to. He’s not likely to let people in too easily.”

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posted on 15-Feb-2002 10:13:22 PM by Pegleg
Author's Note: I am so sorry guys. I know that I have been really bad about updating this story, but it's not near as easy for me to write as my other stories for some reason. Anyway, I'm really really really going to try to be better about posting from now on. At least...that's what I say. So anyway, here is part 3...that is if anyone still remembers or is still interested in this story. Let me know what you think.

~Michelle

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Part 2

“So Max, are you ready for that history test?”

Max Evans stood outside his locker standing with his sister, Isabel Evans, and his two best friends Michael Guerin and Tess Harding.

“What are you talking about Michael?” Tess Harding asked. “You know Max. I bet you that he stayed up half the night studying, re-reading the textbook or something. He’s a regular book worm.”

“Ha ha. I’m not that bad you guys. I do stuff other then just studying.”

“Yeah, like what Max? I’m your sister and I know that your social life consists of the three of us and that’s it. And for your information you guys, Max was up till 2am studying last night.”

“Thanks Isabel, your such a comfort.”

“Oh come on Maxwell, you know that we’re only teasing you.”

“Yeah, yeah. You just remember that they next time that you need…” Max trailed off as something, or rather someone, caught his eye. The most beautiful creature he’d ever seen had just walked through the front doors of West Roswell High, with long raven hair and a blue sundress that accentuated her features perfectly. An angel, she had to be an angel.

“Maxwell? Maxwell. Hey Max!!!”

Breaking his eyes away from the vision in front of him he turned to the person who was calling his name. “What?”

“Where did you go? You just dropped off in the middle of a sentence. What were you staring at?” Michael asked as he turned to look behind them. Before Michael could make any further comments, Max turned to Isabel.

“Hey Iz, who is that? That girl there in the blue?”

“I don’t know. Never seen her before. She must be new. Why?”

“Oh…no reason.”

“Right…and that would be why you couldn’t tear your eyes away from her, huh Maxwell?”

“Shut up Michael,” Max said just as the bell rang, “and get to class.”

Michael just gave a knowing smirk and left with Tess and Isabel, leaving Max to stare at the spot where the raven beauty had disappeared.

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Elizabeth and Kyle Whitman stepped out of the front office and began to search for their lockers. It was in between classes, so the halls were empty.

“That was relatively painless,” Liz commented after they exited the office.

“Did you see them when we came in?” Kyle asked.

“Yeah, I did. So what are your classes like. It looks like I have three with Max, one with Michael and Tess, and then two with Isabel.” Alex had made sure that their classes coincided with the alien four.

“I’ve got two with Tess, two with Isabel, and then one with each Michael and Max. Speaking of which, Mr. Evans was staring at you when we came in. You might want to work on him.”

“Can do.” Liz responded as they approached their locker assignments. After placing all their books into their lockers Liz turned to Kyle, “Ready to go back to high school?”

“Oh yeah!” he said with mock enthusiasm as the parted ways to go to their first classes.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max was sitting in his second period biology class when she walked in. Her name was Liz, or so he heard from Tess, who had Liz in her first class. She’d said that Liz was really nice and that she’d just moved into town with her father and brother. God, he couldn’t get over how beautiful she was. He was interrupted from his thoughts by the teacher calling his name.

“Yes Ms. Hardy,” he said as he reached her front desk.

“This is Elizabeth. She’s going to be your new lab partner. Elizabeth this is Max Evans. He is my best student, so he’ll be able to help catch you up if you need it.”

Liz laughed silently to herself. Her needing help in biology! That was a laugh. Compared to gross anatomy, this class would be a piece of cake. But Liz would play along of course.

“Thanks, Ms. Hardy. Shall we,” she said turning to Max. He hadn’t spoken this whole time. Simply nodding his head, they returned to the lab bench. Finally as they sat down, Max was able to speak. “So Elizabeth…”

“Call me Liz,” she said, interrupting him.

“Liz…where did you move here from?” he asked out of pure interest. He wanted to learn everything that he could about the beauty sitting next to him.

“Well, my family and I moved here from Albuquerque.”

“Wow. Must be different coming to a little town like Roswell then, huh?”

“Yeah, but I don’t know. I kinda like the small town atmosphere. What about you?”

“I guess after living here all your life you start to get tired of the small town life.”

“Maybe.”

Just as Ms. Hardy was beginning to start the lecture, Max turned to Liz one last time. “Hey, if you ever need help, I’d be more then willing to tutor you. Biology is kinda my subject.”

“I’d like that Max. That’s really sweet of you. Thank you,” she said as she turned to listen as Ms. Hardy began the lecture. ‘Progress,’ she thought. ‘This is definite progress. And only on the first meeting too. Oh, daddy would be so proud.’

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Hey bro,” Liz said as she approached Kyle. “How was your morning?”

“Oh, pretty good. And I think that I’m even making friends.”

“Good for you.” Liz said. Now that there were people around they couldn’t be as open as to what they were truly here for.

“How bout you sis?”

Liz gave out a sharp laugh at how ironic their conversation was. At one time they had actually dated, but they both agreed that they only felt for each other as friends. To think that you were at one time kissing the person you were now calling brother was quite funny.

“Oh, I think that I’m making pretty good progress. Tess invited me to eat lunch with her, would you like to join me.”

“Why not? Shall we,” he said as he held out his arm so as to escort her outside.

“We shall.” Liz said as she laughed again and they made their way out to the courtyard.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Liz saw Tess waving to her and walked over to where her and the others were sitting. Looks like even Isabel was sitting with them today.

Tess stood up when she saw Liz and waved her over. Tess greeted Liz and the gorgeous guy that was with her, once they reached the group; “Hey Liz, glad you could come.” Turning around to face the group she promptly began to introduce her to the rest of the group. “Alright guys, this is Liz. I invited her to eat lunch with us today, seeing as she’s new and all and oh so incredibly sweet. Anyway, this is Michael, who you know from English, Isabel, and Max, who I believe you have already met.”

“Hi guys. And this is my brother Kyle. He’s a cornball, but he grows on ya.”

Max gave out a visible sigh at hearing that Kyle was Liz’s brother. A panic had run through him when he’d seen Liz’s arm through Kyle’s. Not that it should matter. It’s not like she’d ever be interested in him, and it’s not like he’d do anything about it even if she was. But, Isabel and Tess dated all the time, why couldn’t he? Calm down, Max. You just met her today. Don’t scare her off already.

As Max broke out of his little interior monologue he noticed that Liz and Kyle had settled themselves down on the grass and were beginning to settle into eating their lunches. Max got his sandwich out of his lunch bag and set it on the ground in front of him. After a few minutes Tess began rifling through his bag searching for something. Finally, she came up with what she was looking for, a small ziplock bag full of Hershey’s kisses. With a contented smile on her face she looked up to see the confused faces of Kyle and Liz.

“What?!?! Max’s mom always packs him Hershey’s kisses,” Tess stated as if that explained everything. “Open up,” she said pulling a strawberry out of her bag and turning to Max. He turned back to her, unthinkingly, as Tess popped a strawberry into his mouth.

Kyle and Liz watched this exchange with curious fascination. “Uh,” Kyle started pointing between Max and Tess, “you two aren’t…are you?”

Tess catching onto his meaning was quick to rebuff his statement. “Ewww. God no! Me and Max! He is like my best friend! That is just gross! It’s…it’s…it’s just wrong!”

“Huh. Good to know. I’ll remember that,” Kyle continued with a slight smirk.

“You do that,” Tess smiled back, as they all continued to eat their lunch.

“Well ya know Tess, you two would look awfully cute together,” Isabel stated while pinching Tess’s cheek.

“Not uh, Isabel. Never gonna happen.”

Liz watched the exchange between the aliens with interest. They were such a close-knit group. She was amazed at how close they were, and let alone that they had let her and Kyle join in. She didn’t think that they would be accepted so fast. Oddly enough, she was already becoming extremely fond of these people; beginning to consider them as friends. It was an odd sensation. Liz never got attached to her work. She was supposed to be able to keep a safe distance, not get in too deep. ‘Alright,’ Liz thought, ‘I’m just overreacting. This isn’t any different then any other case I’ve worked on.’

Looking back, Liz would realize just how wrong she was.

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[ edited 1 time(s), last at 15-Feb-2002 11:21:44 PM ]
posted on 4-Mar-2002 12:28:08 AM by Pegleg
Author's Note: Hey guys...remember me. Yeah...I'm the one who keeps promising that she's going to post more often and then never does. Well, I'm really sorry, but for some reason this story just doesn't want to be written. It's going painstakingly slowly...I'm talking like a sentence at a time. But, I am still trying to struggle through it and I promise not to give up. It doesn't help that I always consider Complicated Circumstances, the other story that I am writing with dancepixie (shamless plug), my first priority, and when it is my turn to write the part...I will always turn to writing that story before this one.

Anyway, enough of my excuses. I really do hope that this story starts coming to me easier from now on. I'm going to try and post more often, but as I said before...I can't promise anything. The ideas just aren't coming to me anymore. This part is a little bit longer to hopefully make up for the lack of posting. Hope you like. Happy Reading!

~Michelle

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Part 3

Lunch went by quickly with everyone joking and getting to know each other. Liz and Kyle were a hit. They seemed to fit in with the group so well. Actually, they kinda reminded everyone of Max and Isabel’s relationship, the bickering brother and sister, but who still really loved each other in the end. Once lunch was over, everyone began gathering their stuff and seperating to head towards their next class. Kyle and Tess found that they had the their next class together, as did Max and Liz. Kyle and Tess headed off towards statistics saying good-bye to the others in the group.

“So Kyle, how are you and your sister finding Roswell?” Tess asked.

“To tell you the truth, we only got here like yesterday. We barely had enough time to unpack, let alone get around and explore the town. We haven’t gotten to see much yet, but I will tell ya one thing, it’s a hell of a lot smaller the Albuquerque.”

“Well, that’s a given. But there are advantages of living in a small town.”

“Oh yeah, like what.”

“Well, for example, the locals are simply charming,” Tess said with a hint of flirtation in her voice.

“Really?” Kyle asked, understanding where she was trying to hint at with her comment. “Is that so?”

“Sure is,” Tess stated simply.

“Well,” Kyle replied, looking her up and down appraisingly. “I guess I’ll just have to see what this town has to offer.”

“Why Kyle Whitman, are you coming on to me?”

“Maybe, depends. Are you interested?”

“Maybe,” Tess said with a sly smirk as she slipped into their classroom.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Later, as Mr. Lenfer droned on about probability and density curves Tess turned to Kyle.

“Hey, what are you doing today after school?”

“Why? You asking me out?” Kyle asked smirking.

“Hardly! Get over yourself Whitman. I was just wondering if you wanted to come to the Crashdown. It’s pretty much the local hangout. Max, Michael, Isabel and I go there just about everyday. Of course, all of us except Max work there. But, you’re welcome to come and hang out if you want. None of us are working today. So, you interested?”

“Well, I was going to dive into the exciting world of statistics homework, but I think that I can make the time.”

“Whatever. Feel free to bring your sister too. She’s great.”

“Yeah, she is. Isn’t she?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Kyle walked with Tess after the last class of the day.

“So, are you going to stop by the Crash?”

“Yeah, let me just talk to my sis and see if she wants to go. I’ll see you later, k?”

“Yeah sure. Bye Kyle.”

“See ya.”

Seeing Liz at her locker watching them with amusement Kyle made his way over to her.

“Hey Liz,” then a little quieter. “Guess what! We’re in.”

“Kyle, you are amazing.”

“I know, I know. We have just been invited to the local hangout by one Tess Harding. And guess who else will be there.”

“Hmmm…let me think…Max, Michael and Isabel no doubt.”

“Bingo.”

“Speaking of Tess, it looks like she kinda has her eyes on you, oh dear brother.”

“Well, who could resist a body like this?”

“Pleeease! But I have to hand it to ya. We’re definitely off to a good start.”

“I’ll say. And you have definitely caught the eye of a certain Mr. Evans. He couldn’t stop staring at you all through lunch. The look on his face when he saw us coming up with your arm in mine was priceless. I swear, he looked like you’d taken his heart out and ripped it in two. And then the relief I saw when you told him we are quote ‘brother and sister,’ I almost died laughing.”

“I don’t think that he’ll be all to hard to get close to, if you know what I mean,” Liz hinted to Kyle.

Kyle’s voice suddenly takes on a serious tone. “Hey, just don’t get in too deep, ok?”

Liz lets out an exhausted sigh. “Don’t worry Kyle. I’m not going to make that mistake again.”

“Just watch yourself ok.”

“I will. Now how bout we go to the famous Crashdown that you’ve been talking about.”

“After you, sis. Ladies first”

Liz laughed at his attempt at chivalry as she walked ahead of him as they made their way out to the parking lot.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max heard the bell above the door of the Crashdown ring and looked up from the conversation to see his angel walk in the door. Liz. He had come to think of her as his angel. He knew he was being ridiculous, she’d just moved here and she didn’t know anyone else. What makes him think that she would ever be interested in someone like him? But he could still dream, couldn’t he?

Tess turned around to see what had taken Max’s attention away from the conversation. Seeing that Liz and Kyle had just walked into the Crashdown, she quickly waved them over. Upon seeing her, they began to make their way over to the table.

“Oh, I hope you guys don’t mind, but I invited Liz and Kyle to come hang with us.”

“Tess,” Michael replied curtly. “Don’t you think that this is a little fast. I mean they just got here. We don’t know anything about them. We can’t start letting new people in.”

“Oh Michael, shut up. They’re harmless. They’re nice people and they’ve become my friends. Now if you can’t handle that, you can just leave. Gees Michael, you act like everyone is out to get us.”

Michael scowled in reply, but made no attempt to leave.

“Hey,” Liz said as she reached the group. “I hope you guys don’t mind, but Kyle said it would be alright if I came to.”

“Of course not. It’s fine. Besides, the only reason that I told Kyle to come here was so that you’d come with him,” Tess mock whispered to Liz in reply.

“Hey, I heard that!” Kyle complained.

“Heard what?” Tess asked innocently.

“Your little comment. I’m hurt,” Kyle said while sniffling.

“Oh…poor baby!” came Tess’s reply.

Through this whole exchange Max simply kept his eyes focused on Liz. He hadn’t let his eyes off her since she’d walked in the door. God, how was it possible for someone to be so beautiful. He was broken out of his silent reverie by his angel’s beautiful voice.

“Max, could I sit down?”

Somehow, Max was able to find his voice. “Uh…yeah, sure,” he said as he moved over so she could sit down beside him. Kyle grabbed a chair from a nearby empty table and placed at the end of the booth for him to sit. Michael continued to scowl from his place in the corner of the booth.

“So, where’s Isabel?” Liz asked after they’d all gotten settled into their seats.

“Oh, she’s out shopping with some of her cronies. They all just go along so they can copy her style. It’s kind of sad really. Not a one of them is their own person. But, I guess that’s what comes with being popular.”

“I wouldn’t know,” Liz said. “I was never one to be overly popular.”

As Tess and Liz continued to talk, with Kyle getting into the conversation from time to time, Max just continued to watch Liz. The way her features animated when she talked. The way she flung her hands around as if they helped in the conversation. The way that dress fit every one of her curves. Ok Max, best not go there. They way her hair fell over her shoulder and how she would reach up from time to time to push it behind her ear. What he wouldn’t give to be able to run his fingers through that hair. It looked so soft and silky. He couldn’t get over how close she was to him. He could smell her perfume, a mix of vanilla almond and strawberry. It was entrancing. As Max fell deeper and deeper into all that was Liz, he was suddenly aware of his angel turning to speak to him.

“I don’t know, what do you think Max?”

When Liz turned to him she came face to face with the most beautiful, dark, soulful eyes she had ever seen. This was the first time that she had really looked at them. The first time that she looked him in the eye. She seemed to be drowning in his eyes. In the emotions she saw there. Shyness, fear, pain, sadness, loneliness, and could that…could that be affection? Love? Now she knew what they meant when they said the eyes are the windows to the soul.

“Huh…what? Excuse me?” Max replied after a moment.

“I asked what you think about small towns versus big cities. I personally think that you get tired of living in all the hustle and bustle of a large city. It’s nice to be somewhere quiet for once.”

“Oh, I don’t really know,” Max replied. “I’ve never really known anything else.”

“Oh, alright. Well, let me ask you guys this. What do you like most about Roswell?”

“Absolutely nothing!” Michael replied, speaking for the first time since Liz and Kyle had arrived.

“He does speak,” Kyle said mockingly.

“Only when the conversation seems worthwhile, which it hasn’t as of yet.”

“Alright Michael, how bout you pick the topic of discussion,” Liz replied.

“Fine, why are you here?”

“Cause Tess invited us. Are we not welcome? I mean, we could leave if that’s how you feel,” Liz said starting to get up.

“No Liz,” Max grabbed onto her arm and bringing her back down. “Michael, that was rude.”

“That’s not what I meant. I mean why are you here in Roswell? Why would you want to move here when Albuquerque is a lot nicer then a place like Roswell? I mean, why would you want to come to the alien-themed capital of the world?”

“Our father was transferred here from Albuquerque,” Kyle provided.

“Oh, and what does your dad do?” Tess asked, genuinely curious.

“He’s a consultant for the sheriff’s department. He basically works on communications between different branches. He’s like the go between for different stations. Making sure that disagreements and problems don’t occur between them in transportation of records, prisoners, etcetera. Stuff like that.”

“So anyway,” Liz continued, “back to my previous question. What do you guys like best about Roswell?”

‘YOU!’ That was the first thing that came to Max’s mind; although, he didn’t think that that would be the best thing to say out loud. ‘You’re trying not to scare her off here, remember?’ he berated himself. Instead he went with the next best thing.

“I guess it’s just all I’ve ever known. My family’s here, Isabel and my parents, who are just the best. And of course you’ve got these two,” he said pointing to Michael and Tess, “who are just as close as family. It’s where I’ve always felt at home.”

“Wow, that’s so sweet Max,” Liz replied.

Max blushed and looked down, suddenly finding the table very interesting.

“That’s so sweet Max,” Kyle mocked in a sing-song voice. “Liz, could you be any more obvious. Stop flirting with Max now, it’s time for us to go home and finish unpacking,” he said with a smirk.

“Kyle!!!” she warned as she smacked his arm. “You’re such a jerk.”

Max was only concentrating on one thing. Did her brother just openly admit that Liz had been flirting with him? Nah, what would he know anyway? But he is her brother after all. Could Liz actually like him? ‘No,’ Max thought. ‘I’m just overreacting. He was just teasing her like all brothers do to their sisters.’ Although, Max could hold on to that little ray of hope that Kyle had just thrown his way.

“Alright guys, I guess we better go,” Liz said getting up from beside Max. He felt the loss instantly. “Talk to you guys later.”

“Same here,” Kyle replied.

“Bye guys, see you guys at school tomorrow. Come by at lunch.” Tess said, really enjoying seeing them. She couldn’t help it. For some reason, she couldn’t get that Kyle guy out of her head.

“Bye Kyle. Bye Liz.” Max said finally turning to look at her. Michael remained silent in the corner.

“Bye Max,” Liz replied one last time as her and Kyle left the Crashdown.

Once outside Liz turned to Kyle. “You think he bought it?”

“Oh yeah. Hook, line, and sinker.” They both laughed as they walked back to the house they were sharing with Jim Valenti. It was time to tell dear old dad what his children had been up to today.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“You know, you couldn’t be more obvious if you tried,” Tess commented, pointedly speaking to Max once Kyle and Liz had left.

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, come on Max. The dazed eyes, the far off looks, the daydreaming, the long stares. You have the hots for Liz Whitman.”

“Yeah, so what if I do?”

“I think you should go for it Max. I think that it’s pretty obvious she likes you too, and Isabel and I have always been saying that you need to get out more. I think you two would look cute together. So what are you waiting for?”

“I don’t like it,” Michael interrupted.

“Oh look, we have an objection from social decrepit number two. Look, we’re trying to appear normal, right? Well, dating is perfectly normal. Having more than three friends…also perfectly normal.”

“Hey guys,” Isabel said as she sat down in the empty seat next to Max.

“Isabel, tell you brother that he should date Liz.”

“You should date Liz.”

“Why thank you Isabel. It’s nice to know that I have your approval,” Max replies, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“Your welcome. No seriously Max, I think she’s really sweet. And it’s obvious that you’ve been mooning over since the moment that she got to school this morning.”

“Aren’t you all forgetting something,” Michael began. “Her father is a cop.”

“So what,” Tess replied.

“So what!?! We do sorta have something that we’re trying to hide from the authorities.”

“Seriously Michael, lighten up,” this from Isabel. “You think that everyone is out to get us.”

“Enough. You guys, it’s nice to know that you’re concerned. But I think that I can handle my own love life, thank you very much. If and when anything happens between me and Liz, or anyone else for that matter, it will be between us.”

“Fine, fine. But I still think that you two would look really cute together.”

“Tess. You can stop drilling it into the ground. Ok, so you want me to ask Liz out. I got the hint. You know, I don’t know how I stand you. You annoy the hell out of me sometimes.”

“Oh, you know you love me,” Tess says as she reaches across the table ruffling his hair before turning to Isabel as they began to converse about Isabel’s latest shopping trip.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Jim Whitman walked into his new home after a long, boring day working with the Roswell Sheriff Department.

“Hey kids, I’m home,” he called, doubting that Kyle and Liz had ‘friends’ over already, but it was best to be safe.

“Hey dad,” Kyle answered coming in from the kitchen.

“Hi daddy,” Liz said with a giggle before continuing on with the ‘family’ conversation. “How was work?”

“Boring. So how was school?”

“Great,” Kyle answered. “We’re making friends already.”

“That’s wonderful to hear. Seriously now,” Jim said getting down to business. “How is the operation really going?”

“We’re definitely making progress, that’s for sure,” Liz began. “I have classes with each of the aliens. During my first class I became fast friends with Tess. She ended up inviting me to lunch with everyone, and I of course brought my dear old brother along. Max Evans is currently my biology lab partner, which I must say has worked to our advantage. He has even offered to tutor me if I need help, and I definitely think that I’ll have to take him up on that offer.”

“Then, after lunch, I had two classes with Tess and we seemed to hit it off,” Kyle continued. “She invited Liz and I to hang out with her and the others after school. When we arrived Tess, Max, and Michael were there. Michael still seems pretty distant, but we did just meet them today. Isabel, actually hasn’t been around all that much, she seems kind of indifferent. We both have classes with all of them so we’ll be working on trying to get closer to them as time goes on. I’m sure the others will be a help as soon as they arrive.”

“Kyle, dear brother. You are forgetting the best part. There was some major flirting going on between Tess and my dear brother here. I definitely think that there is something there.”

“Kyle, what do you think?” Jim asked, intrigued by the conversation.

“Yeah, I think that she kinda likes me. I’m definitely gonna work on that one. Oh, and I think that my own sweet sister is forgetting something as well. Max Evans certainly has his eye on her. He’s been staring at her all day, and then we played it up even more with me dropping a hint that Liz ‘has a little crush’ on Max while we were hanging at the Crashdown this afternoon. I think that they’ll really hit it off.”

“Great. Wonderful to hear. Just be careful Liz, don’t get too involved.”

“Don’t worry. I can take care of myself. I’m not one for making the same mistake twice.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

posted on 4-Mar-2002 12:29:38 AM by Pegleg
Edited cause my computer is dumb!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Mar-2002 12:39:58 AM ]
posted on 4-Mar-2002 12:32:29 AM by Pegleg
Edited cause my computer is still dumb! I hate Compaq!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 4-Mar-2002 12:45:08 AM ]
posted on 22-Mar-2002 9:48:03 PM by Pegleg
Author's Note: Hey guys. I know that it's been forever, but I've had finals and everything so I haven't had time to write. But now it's spring break, so hopefully I will be able to write more of this story. The writers block is slowly fading away, but it's not completely gone. Anyway, here's the new part, for those poeple who are still reading this story. Hope you like. Happy Reading!

~Michelle

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Part 4

Max sat patiently in biology waiting for his lab partner to show up. He’d been mulling over what Isabel and Tess had said yesterday. Maybe it was time for him to take risks. He was tired of being alone. Tired of always worrying about what others would think about him.

But in the back of his mind Max knew why he had distanced himself for so long. He was scared, plain and simple. He didn’t know what he would do if anyone ever rejected him for who he was. How would he stand it? He wasn’t like Tess and Isabel. He wasn’t the kind of person that could just have a casual relationship with someone, go on a few dates, then call it off. Max knew he would get attached. It’s just he kind of person that he was.

But there was something that was pulling him to Liz. For some reason he just couldn’t get her out of his mind. And it’s not like he hadn’t been attracted to girls before, he had. But there was just something about Liz Whitman that made his heart beat a hundred times faster and his mind hum and when they were together the only thing that he could think about was her. The softness of her skin, her silky hair, the way she would always tuck her hair behind her ear, her lips. God, her lips. How much he wanted to touch them, caress them with his own. Feeling a familiar stirring down below he attempted to push his thoughts aside. ‘Get off it Maxwell. You only just met her yesterday. You hardly even know her yet,’ he barraged himself. ‘She probably doesn’t even like you, at least not like that.’

Just then, SHE walked in. She looked amazing, her beautiful long hair tied back in a loose half ponytail. She wore dark jeans and a little red tank top, exposing just the smallest bit of skin when she lifted her backpack off her shoulders and moved to sit beside him. A cute little black sweater completed the ensemble, making her the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen. Hell, she always looked gorgeous. He’d probably think she looked great in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Her angelic voice suddenly broke him from his thoughts.

“Hi.”

“Hey,” was all he could say. He was still entranced by her beauty. Finally, after finding his tongue he was able to go on. “How are your classes going so far?”

“I guess they’re going alright. I’ve only been here for a day.”

“Oh yeah, right,” Max mumbled. Had she really only been here for a day? He felt liked he’d known her forever. How could she have captured his heart after simply one day? Although, deep down Max knew that it had been faster then that. She’d held his heart from the first moment he’d laid eyes on her, from the second she stepped into West Roswell High.

Right before Ms. Hardy was about to begin the days lesson, Max turned to face Liz.

“So, are you gonna be eating lunch with us again today?” he asked and then was quick to add, “I’m just curious. I mean I understand if you don’t want to. I’m sure that you’ve made other friends, and if you’d much rather eat with them…”

Max’s ramble was stopped by Liz’s finger pressed against his lips. “Shhh. I’d love to. As long as I’m still welcome?”

“Of course you are,” Max said, then adding in a whisper so soft that she barely heard, “Always.”

Liz turned to the front as the teacher began to speak, a satisfied smile on her face.

Max just sat quietly staring at her not able to help the goofy grin that had taken over his features. He swore he could still feel the touch of her finger as she gently pressed it against his lips. It was the simplest of gestures yet he would never forget the softness of her skin, nor could he deny how he longed for more of her touch.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Tess sat at lunch quietly observing the people around her. They were all sitting on a little patch of grass, under a tree in the quad…where they always sat. However, Tess couldn’t help but notice the changes that had occurred in their group over the last two days. Max and Liz sat next to each other under the tree. Tess noticed how Liz would scoot closer to Max every so often as they talked. Max would look at her as she talked to the group, then shy away as she turned to face him. He’d look at the ground as it was now Liz’s turn to look at him longingly. Sometime during this they broke off from the group conversation. Whispering quietly to each other. Their eyes would lock and they would just stare at each other for a while, then realizing what they were both doing, would look away again, shy smiles on their faces. It was really adorable. Tess couldn’t wait for them to get together. And they would, she knew they would. It was only a matter of time.

Tess then turned to see Michael, who was taking a stand-offish, defensive stance. He was always so guarded. And today he almost seemed…angry. Like he was somehow getting the short end in the situation. She really wished that he would open up once and a while. It was for his own good. He seemed to attempt to stay out of all conversations, only occasionally speaking to Isabel from time to time.

Isabel. She didn’t really seem to care one way or another. She was just there to have lunch. Sure she took part in the idol chitchat with the rest of the group, but she never really opened up. Still keeping her head above everybody else. Like she was somehow better. Like the people in front of her were just like her other superficial friends instead of her family, well some of them were anyway. She didn’t really know why Isabel ate lunch with them anyway. She would just sit there and pretend that she was having the worst time of her life or that she was bored out of her mind…like she’d much rather be somewhere else. Yet she had plenty of other places that she could go, and lately it seemed more often than not chose to eat lunch with the rest of them. I guess she did have to get away from the posse every once in a while…even if she didn’t want to admit it.

Looking to the person sitting right next to her, she was met with the stunning blue eyes of Kyle Whitman. Had he really been staring at her that whole time? No. She couldn’t be that lucky. She had to admit it…she really did like Kyle. He was sweet, nice, fun, and could always make her laugh. He was a joy to be around. Not to mention the boy was just plain HOT! But there is no way that he could be thinking about her the same way…could there? No Tess. Stop kidding yourself. He sees you as a friend and nothing else. What could he possibly want with someone like you when he could clearly have anyone that he wanted?

She turned back to the group to avoid Kyle’s gaze, while still glancing at him from the corner of her eye. He was still looking at her, his gaze never wavering. She turned to him again and saw the slight smile on his face. “What are you thinking about?” he asked quietly so only she would here.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” she teased back.

“Actually, yes. I would.”

“I was just looking at your sister and Max and thinking about how cute they look together.” It wasn’t a complete lie.

“Oh,” he said. Was that a defeated tone she heard in his voice? No Tess, you’re hopeful imagination is just running away with you. With that she went back to watching the group in silence, amazed at how easily these two humans had entered into their circle.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Liz walked into the Crashdown and walked over to the booth that she saw Max sitting in by himself. He was looking at some textbook and hadn’t seen her come in.

“Hi Max,” Liz said as she sat down across from him.

“Oh hey, Liz. What are you doing here?”

“Actually I came to look for my idiot brother, have you seen him?”

Max was a little disappointed at her reply, but wasn’t surprised. There was no way that she would come to see him. “Oh. Yeah, I think that he’s over at the counter bugging Tess.” Max couldn’t help the smirk that took over his face. He could tell that his best friend had an eye for Liz’s brother. And it made him happy to know that he seemed to return those feelings.

“Oh…well, I’d really hate to interrupt them. They’re so adorable when they flirt. So what are you doing?”

“Oh, I was just catching up on some history reading. Nothing that I can’t do later.”

“Great, then since my brother seems to be…disposed at the moment. Maybe you can help me?”

“Sure. No problem. What do you need?”

“A friend. Come on.”

Max grabbed his book, quickly stuffing it in his backpack, as Liz lead him out of the Crashdown.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Tess!” Kyle said in mock surprise as he sat down at the counter. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“Wow…what a coincidence. I’m only here like what, 20 hours a week. Yeah, it’s highly unlikely for us to run into each other here, of all places.”

“My thoughts exactly,” Kyle said with a smirk.

Tess just let out an exasperated sigh and went on with her work. She was actually extremely happy to see him here, especially when he seemed to have come here specifically to see her. ‘Relax Tess, he’s probably just here for the food.’ But Tess couldn’t help the smile that spread across her face.

“Hey Tess,” Kyle called after her.

“Yeah?”

“What time does your shift get over?”

“About 7, why?”

“Well, do you want to hang out, after you get off that is?”

Nope, definitely not here for the food. “Maybe.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

“Kyle Whitman, have you always been this sure of yourself?”

“Uh huh.”

“Well, it looks like we might have to do a little something to bruise that ego of yours.”

“You will not succeed where many others have failed.”

“Oh, we’ll see about that. We’ll see.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max and Liz found themselves walking through the park.

“So Liz, what’s this all about?” Max asked after they had been walking for a while.

‘What was this about?’ Liz asked herself. She hadn’t planned on turning to him with this, that’s why she had been looking for Kyle. But after seeing Kyle working so hard to further his relationship with Tess, something that would help the mission move along very nicely, as Tess was obviously the most open of the four, she just couldn’t bring herself to disturb them…no matter how much she needed someone. Besides, maybe this could help further her friendship with Max. It couldn’t hurt…and all she really needed was someone to listen.

“What? Are you not liking my company?”

“No, it’s nothing like that. It just seemed like you have something on your mind. What is it? You said you needed a friend…well, here I am.”

“Alright, well the reason why I was looking for Kyle was, well, I guess that I just needed someone to talk to; an ear to listen. Five years ago today my mom…uh…our mom…Kyle’s and mine…she died.”

It was weird calling her Kyle’s mother too. She had been an only child and she wasn’t used to sharing her mother with anyone. It had always been just her and her mom. Two of a kind. Her father had been gone for years, leaving when Liz was only 2 years old and she never saw him again. She’d never forget the night her mother died, that’s what caused her to go into law enforcement in the first place. She had been raped and killed one night in some random alleyway on the way home from the grocery store. She was coming home from the grocery store…of all places. You weren’t even safe coming home from the store.

Needless to say, Liz hadn’t been back to LA since then. After her mother’s death she moved to Albuquerque to live with her Grandma Claudia. She forgot all her past inhibitions of becoming a molecular biologist and turned to law enforcement. She told herself it was because she didn’t want others to go through what she had, and that was true to some extent, but somewhere deep down she knew that this was more for revenge then for anything. When she was offered a job working with Jim Valenti in his new team she had jumped at the chance. This allowed her to do what she loved, science, while still continuing her self-imposed goal of law enforcement.

“Oh Liz, I’m so sorry,” Max’s voice broke her from her memory, and it wasn’t until then that she realized she was crying. He reached for her and she turned into his arms thankfully. He let her cry there on his shoulder, holding her tightly, softly trying to reassure her that things would be ok. Once she had calmed down, she pulled away from him slowly, trying to wipe away her tears. ‘Come on Liz, get a grip! You’re a grown woman and you’re sobbing like a little girl.’

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to break down like that. I just wanted to talk and get a little comfort, and now look what I did. Look, I got your shirt all wet.”

“Ahh…don’t worry about it. Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I think so…at least I will be. Will you just hold me for a little while?”

“Of course,” Max replied as he again wrapped her in his arms. He knew it was wrong, but he was almost glad that she was upset. If it weren’t for that, he wouldn’t be sitting here with the most beautiful girl in the world wrapped in his arms. Everything felt right when he held her. Like this all was just meant to be. He knew none of it was real. They were just friends and she just needed comfort, but while he was sitting here, with her pressed so close to him, he could pretend, if only for a moment that she was his. And he never wanted to let her go.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Nine o’clock found Max and Liz still at the park. Liz was sitting on a swing and Max was lightly pushing her. After Liz had calmed down some they had talked. She’d told him everything about her mother, well everything she could without jeopardizing their cover story.

After that Max had opened up some and talked about his feelings about his birth parents. Were they out there? What would he do if he ever found them? Would they even want him? Sure he loved his adopted parents, they were the only family he’d ever known. But he still wondered. He shared with Liz his feelings of fear and rejection, at least what he could without revealing his secret. He’d never been so open with anyone in his life, but somehow with Liz, it just seemed natural.

“Oh my god! Max, look at the time. Ohhh…my dad and brother are gonna kill me. I didn’t tell either of them where I was going. I need to go home…quick.” After looking around, she suddenly didn’t feel so comfortable being by herself right now. This was Roswell, not LA. She was a trained police officer, nothing was gonna happen to her. Still…“Max, would you mind walking me home?”

“No. Of course not. I wouldn’t let you walk home all by yourself anyway.”

“Thank you.”

They walked in silence for a while, neither knowing what to say and not wanting the moment to end either. They had made a huge leap in their relationship tonight, whatever that may be. Before long, they had made it to Liz’s house, still having said nothing since they left the park. When they reached the front door, Liz turned to Max.

“Thank you Max. You were really there for me today. It means a lot to me. Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it. And I want you to know that you can always come to me Liz, with anything.”

And Liz wondered for a brief moment if she would ever be able to come to him with ‘everything.’ But she quickly pushed that thought aside, as the door opened revealing a very frazzled and upset looking Kyle.

“There you are. Do you know how worried dad and I were about you? Why didn’t you call, or leave a note or something? You had us worried sick.”

“I’m sorry,” Liz said looking at the ground, still not meeting his eyes.

“Hey Lizzie, are you ok? Come here,” Kyle said holding his arms out to her.

She moved into Kyle’s embrace and he hugged her tightly. Max, who had remained silent through the entire exchange, couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy as she turned to Kyle. It made sense. He was her brother after all. He could comfort her much better then Max ever could.

“Hey Kyle, I’m sorry.” Max said, as he turned to leave.

Kyle, a little confused at the whole situation said, “Uh…thanks.”

Liz turned from her brother to look at Max one last time. “Thanks again Max, I owe you one.”

“No problem,” Max said as he made his way down the driveway.

After closing the door, Kyle turned to Liz. “What was that all about?”

“Boy, do I have a lot to tell you,” Liz started as she made her way into the kitchen where Jim was most likely waiting.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 22-Mar-2002 10:58:33 PM ]
posted on 19-Apr-2002 7:57:02 PM by Pegleg
Author's Note: Look...it hasn't even been a full month yet *big*. This story is coming slowly as always, but I'll still try and get more parts out to ya. Hope you guys enjoy the story. And please let me know if there are people still reading this story...cause if there isn't I just won't bother. Happy Reading!

~Michelle


Part 5

“Hey Liz, are we still on for the mall tonight after my shift?” Tess asked, leaning forward to Liz who had just sat down in front of her.

“Yeah, of course.”

“Hey,” Michael interrupted, “Tess I thought that we had plans tonight. You know you were gonna help me with that thing…” Michael trailed off. Wednesday nights were when Tess usually helped Michael with his powers.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Did you guys already have plans? Tess, we can just do it another time if you were already busy.”

“No. Michael we can do that anytime. Don’t worry about it Liz.”

“NO!” Michael started. “What gives you the right to just walk into our lives and screw everything up?” Michael was looking pointedly at Liz. “Why don’t you go find your own friends and leave us to ourselves.”

“Michael, stop it. He didn’t mean it Liz. He’s just a bit cranky this early in the morning.”

“Like hell I didn’t mean it. I meant every word I said. Everything was fine until SHE came along.”

“I’m sorry,” Liz said, tears seemingly forming in her eyes. “I didn’t mean to be a burden to anyone. I was just looking to make some friends, and I thought I’d found them. Don’t worry Michael, I won’t get in your way anymore.” Liz began to think that maybe they were trying to move things a little fast. Her and Kyle just seemed to be so easily accepted into the group, that they didn’t think to consider that not all members would be thrilled by their intrusion.

Just then, their teacher, Mrs. Call began to start the day’s lesson, all the while Tess sending menacing glances Michael’s way. Boy, was he gonna get it later.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

That day at lunch Liz was sitting by herself at a table on the other side of the quad from the rest of the group. She thought that it would be better to give Michael his space for now. She had no intentions of giving up on her mission, yet Michael’s little outburst this morning told her that she was moving in a little too fast; that she had misjudged how accepting the group was of others. It seemed that not everyone felt the same way about letting new people in.

She’d just have to come up with some way of getting close to him. Maria was right when she said that Michael would be the hardest to get close too. He was definitely not the most open person. And if Liz wasn’t mistaken, there were some deep seeded emotions behind his words today. He had things that he was hiding from everyone, even Max, Isabel and Tess.

Liz was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she didn’t feel Tess approach her.

“Hey, do you mind if I sit down?”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“Why are you sitting all the way over here?” Tess asked as she sat across from Liz.

“I thought that it might be best if I gave Michael some space for now. He obviously thinks that I’ve been a little intrusive.”

“Don’t worry about him. Michael…well he’s…he’s just complicated. He’s not very trusting of people. He’s a hard person to get to know. It takes a lot of work. So, he’s not all that keen on meeting new people. He’s perfectly happy with our little group at the current time. But he’ll come around, he just needs to get to know you…something that he hasn’t taken the time to do just yet.”

“Yeah…you think so?”

“I know so. He just needs to really get to know you, that’s all. Then he’ll see how great you really are, just like the rest of us have.”

* * * * * *

Meanwhile…

“Hey Michael. Where’re Tess and Liz?”

“How the hell should I know?”

“I don’t know,” Max answered. “I just thought that they’d be here already. They usually are,” Max continued as he sat down.

“Maybe they’re off doing some girly thing.”

“Michael, are you alright?”

“Yeah…why wouldn’t I be?”

“I don’t know. You just seem…well…angry.”

“So what if I am?”

“Whatever.” They sat in silence for a while until Kyle came up to the group. “Hey guys, where’re Tess and Liz.”

“God…I’m outta here,” Michael scoffed as he got up and headed back towards the interior of the school.

“What’s gotten into him?” Kyle asked.

“Oh…he’s just in one of his moods…”

* * * * * *

“So, since it’s just us girls…gossip time!”

Liz laughed at Tess’s enthusiasm. She’d forgotten how much fun high school could be. “Alright, what did you want to ‘gossip’ about.”

“Well, I was gonna wait and ask you this while we were out this afternoon…but now is as good a time as any. So…what’s going on between you and Max.”

“What do you mean, what’s going on between me and Max?”

“I mean exactly that. I mean the guy is obviously head over heels for ya.”

“Really…ya think so?”

“Oh yeah. Let me tell you, babe. I’ve known Max most of my life…and we’ve been best friends for like ever…and I’ve never seen him look at a girl the way he looks at you.”

“Really!”

“Uh huh. So my question to you is, with this new found information, how do you feel about him?”

“Truthfully…I like him. I really do. He’s sweet and kind and funny and oh so hot.”

Tess laughed at Liz’s admission. Personally, she never thought about him that way, but it was a common known fact that the female student body found Max Evans body something to be desired. He just never seemed to show interest in any of them.

“So…what are you two waiting for? If you both like each other I don’t see what the problem is. Well, I know what Max’s problem is...he’s like incredibly shy. But what about you?”

“I don’t know…I guess that I just didn’t think that he felt the same way about me.”

“And you missed that how?”

* * * * * *

“Hey Kyle, was Liz okay last night?”

“Yeah. Thanks for taking care of her by the way…she’d been fine all day, I thought she was gonna be ok. I’m just glad she found someone to talk to. You’re a great friend Max.”

“Yeah, well I just wanted to be there for her. Ya know…I’ll always be there for her. I’m sure that anyone else would have done the same. I just wanted to make sure that she was ok.”

“Yeah, she’s fine, thanks to you. I think that she’s glad it was you though.”

“What do you mean?”

“Have you not noticed that my sister has like a major crush on you?”

“She does?” Max asked in a hopeful voice.

“Oh yeah. When she’s at home and telling dad about school and our new friends…it’s Max this and Max that. She couldn’t be anymore obvious.”

“Wow…I mean…you’re not just pulling my leg?”

“No man, I swear. Why? Or should I ask, what pray-tell are your feelings toward my sister?”

‘I’m in love with her.’ That’s what he wanted to say, but somehow saying that to her brother just didn’t seem like the most appropriate response. Especially when he’d only met her three days ago.

After Max was quiet for awhile, Kyle couldn’t help but push. He couldn’t just let this opportunity go…

“Well…”

“What do you want me to say?”

“How about the truth.”

“The truth…I like her. I mean, I really like her. She’s the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen. And it’s not just that either, she’s funny and kind and intelligent and…god…I don’t even know how to describe it. She draws me in man…she’s more then I could ever hope for.”

Kyle was blown away by what Max had just confessed. He’d of never thought that Max cared for Liz so deeply. Hmm…Kyle didn’t quite know how to feel about this. On one hand, this allowed Liz to get extremely close to Max, and hopefully earn their trust. On the other hand, this could end up getting Liz into trouble. But hey, she was a big girl. She could take care of herself, she’d said as much.

Max was beginning to get nervous. Why had he just said that to Kyle? What had possessed him to confess to Kyle his deep seeded feelings for Liz? Max was almost afraid of Kyle’s reaction. How would he feel about what he’d just been told? What Kyle said next surprised the hell out of him.

“Just…don’t hurt her, ok?”

“I can promise you Kyle, I would never intentionally hurt her.”

Kyle nodded and the two continued their lunch in silence.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Table five is waiting for their food.”

“I’m working on it, ok. Keep you shirt on.”

“Patience is a virtue that I don’t have!”

“Well may be you should work on that.”

“Well, I’ll work on that when you learn some manners and common courtesy.”

“Whatever.”

“God, why do you have to be such an asshole?”

“Why do you have to be such a bitch?”

“What’s wrong with them?” Max asked his sister after seeing the exchange between Michael and Tess.

“I have no clue, but they’ve been at it ever since they started this afternoon. I’d hate to be their neighbors right now.”

“Yeah, tell me about it.”

“God your such an insensitive prick!”

“Your not exactly a picnic yourself!”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I’m tired of putting up with your fucking mood swings alright?”

“Hey, cool it you two,” Isabel interrupted. She pulled Tess into the back and then grabbed Michael out of the kitchen. “Ok, what the hell is going on with you two?”

“Why don’t you ask her? She’s the one who started it!”

“Me!!! This all started with what you said to Liz this morning. How could you be so cruel?”

“I don’t have to listen to this,” Michael said as he stalked back into the kitchen.

“Tess, what happened?” Isabel asked after Michael had returned to the kitchen.

“He said some really mean things to Liz this morning at school, basically making her feel like she was unwanted and just getting in the way. I mean I understand that he’s not used to letting new people in, making himself vulnerable, but he had no right to say those awful things to her. She’s sweet and kind and had been nothing but friendly towards us. She’s new, and is just looking for some friends. I like her, she’s an amazing person, but I’m afraid that Michael has ruined just a little bit of the friendship that we were creating.” With that Tess returned to serving the masses leaving Isabel to her thoughts.

Isabel didn’t know Liz all that well, but from everything she had seen she was a perfectly nice person. Tess obviously seemed to like her a lot. And Max, lets not even get started on him. She wasn’t blind. She’d seen the longing looks that her brother had been giving the new girl. He’d never looked at a girl like that before, ever.

She could understand where Michael was coming from. She too had pushed people away, always trying to keep from getting too close. Michael felt that Liz and Kyle were getting too close, and she could respect his feelings. But maybe she was getting tired of always pushing people away. Maybe she wanted to have close friends for once. People she could actually talk to and share her true feelings with. And these people seemed harmless; they seemed to truly care.

Maybe it was about time that they started letting people in. Maybe this was a sign that they were supposed to start living their lives instead of just going through the motions. And this was the perfect opportunity. It’s about time that she had a talk with her dear almost-brother.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Isabel walked up behind Michael as he stared up at the stars. When she didn’t find him in the apartment, she knew that he’d be here. Michael always came up to the roof when he was upset. Just sitting there and starting at the stars. It almost seemed like he was looking for answers, looking to their origin.

“Hey.”

He said nothing.

“I thought you might be up here.”

Still nothing. She continued to walk till she was standing directly behind him.

“They’re beautiful aren’t they?”

“Yeah.”

“So, you do speak,” Isabel stated in a mock tone.

“Save it Iz.”

Silence.

“Hey, I heard what happened this morning…with Liz.” After he didn’t respond for a while she continued, “I understand how you feel.”

“How could you possibly understand?” All the while Michael had not turned to look at her.

“You’re scared. You’re afraid that if we get to close we’re gonna end up putting ourselves in danger. You’re afraid of hurting others because of who we are. You’re afraid of being found out. You’re afraid of people realizing who you really are. You’re afraid of rejection. But most of all, you’re afraid of feeling, of becoming too human.”

“How…”

“Because I feel the same way.”

Silence.

“But I’m tired of it Michael. I’m tired of pushing people away before they can get too close. I’m tired of not having any real friends. I’m tired of not having people to share things with. I’m tired of being surrounded by people who care nothing about who I really am. I’m tired of running. I’m tired of hiding.”

“But we’re different Isabel. We can’t do anything to change that.”

“No. We can’t. But Michael, we don’t know if we’ll be able to ever go home. If there even is a home to go back to. We don’t know. I’m tired of not living, of just going through the motions. I want to have a real life. I think that they are a beginning.”

“Iz, they’re not like us. They couldn’t possibly understand how we feel.”

“They may not understand, but they’ll be there to listen none the less…and that is something that I’ve never had.”

“I don’t know Iz.”

“Then don’t do this for yourself. Don’t even do it for me. But do it for Max. He loves her Michael…can’t you see it. It’s so much more then just attraction; it’s deeper then that. Please, let them have a chance. I want my brother to be happy. Both my brothers.”

“Alright Iz, I’ll think about it,” he said as he walked toward the stairway.

“I knew you’d see things my way. Hey, and maybe she has a friend for you.”

“Don’t push it Iz!” and with that, he was gone, leaving Isabel with a satisfied smile on his face.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

posted on 28-Apr-2002 8:06:03 PM by Pegleg
Author's Note: Look look look look. I posted another part and it's only been a little over a week. I'm so proud of myself. Anyway, I think ya'll will like this part, at least I hope so. And I'm going to try not to leave you all waiting too long...but I just started writing two more stories which are trying to take up more of my time, sigh. And it's my turn to write the next part of CC...so we'll see how everything goes. Anyway, enough babbling...hope you like the part. Be sure to let me know! Happy Reading!

~Michelle


Part 6

“Hey Michael. What are you doing here?” Kyle asked as he opened the door.

“Um…is Liz here?”

“Uh…yeah sure…just a sec.” Kyle pulled away from the door and moved towards the stairs. “Liz!” he yelled.

“Yeah Kyle?” she asked as she came down the stairs.

“You have a visitor,” Kyle said with a shrug.

Liz went to the door and saw Michael standing there. “Oh…hi Michael,” Liz said confused. He was the last person that she expected to see. “You want to come in?”

“Actually, I was thinking that we could maybe take a walk.”

“Oh, alright. Let me just go get my coat.”

She grabbed her coat from the closet and walked out the door closing it behind her. Her and Michael walked in silence for a while before he broke the awkward moment.

“Listen, I just wanted to apologize for what I said earlier. I was wrong. You’re a great friend to Tess and everyone. I guess that I was just feeling a little left out. I’m not used to new people coming around, but that’s no excuse for what I said. I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”

“The truth is what you said really hurt, but I think that I can forgive you. And I think I know of a way to fix the fact that you’ve been feeling left out.”

“Oh yeah…and what’s that?”

“Ice cream!”

“Huh?”

“Just come on.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Tess watched as Michael and Liz sat talking and eating ice cream. She had been surprised as hell to see Liz come running into the Crashdown dragging Michael behind her. And the biggest surprise of all, Michael had been laughing. Michael didn’t laugh. Smirked? Yes. Grinned? Yes. Even the occasional smile or chuckle…but full on laughter? She’d never seen it.

Again she looked over and Michael and Liz. Liz had been talking, swinging her hands wildly as if they enhanced the conversation. Michael laughed again at something that she’d said and Tess couldn’t help the smile that spread across her face. She’d done it. Liz had done it. She’d gotten to stonewall Guerin. No one had been able to. No one till now.

Michael looked across the table at Liz with a smile on his face. He couldn’t help it. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t stop. She was so energetic. So full of life. She had this inner fire that came to the surface when she was talking about something that she was really passionate about. Right now she was talking about life at her old school and how hard it had been coming to a new school, how she was so happy that she’d found such great friends. Michael couldn’t help but cringe at that comment. He’d been anything but a great friend to her. He’d been mean and suspicious and just plain rude. Well, from now on he was gonna change that. He was going to become friends with the great girl that was sitting across from him. He was through hiding, and Liz Whitman seemed like the best place to start.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Max walked into the school Friday morning with a smile on his face. He loved coming to school, it meant getting to see Liz. He knew it was stupid, she probably wouldn’t go for a guy like him anyway, but there was nothing wrong with basking in the eternal glow that was Liz. Something about her just radiated…and he wasn’t the only one feeling the effects. Tess had been mesmerized right away, immediately becoming good friends with who Max regarded as his angel. Then, oddly enough, Michael seems to have been enchanted by her spell. Yesterday the two talked as if they had known each other forever.

Max couldn’t help the tad bit of jealousy that he felt at Michael and Liz’s closeness. He knew he shouldn’t be. Michael didn’t have any feelings towards her but friendly, he had told Max himself, but there was always that little voice inside him that said it was him she should be getting close to.

Max saw Liz and Michael standing by her locker, laughing. She was a vision. He swore, no matter what she wore, she always looked great. She could wear a potato sack and he’d still love her! ‘Wow. Wait a minute. Did I just say love? Get a hold of yourself Evans or your gonna scare her off before you even get a chance with her. You can’t love her already, you just met a week ago.’ Max couldn’t help how right it felt though. Just the thought of him and Liz together made his pulse beat a little bit faster.

He walked up to Michael and Liz. Liz laughed again at something that Michael said and lightly touched his arm. Max felt the jealousy rise up in him again. Then again, how could Michael not like Liz? She was simply amazing. Max bit back his thoughts and forced a smile onto his face that soon became genuine as he turned his eyes back on Liz. He could never be mad at her, no matter what.

“Hey guys, what’s up?” Max asked as he finally reached the two.

“Oh nothing,” Liz answered. “Michael was just telling me a little story about…” but she didn’t get to finish her sentence as Michael placed his had over her mouth to stop her.

“About….gummy bears. Yes…I was telling her a story about gummy bears,” Michael finished.

“Um…ok,” Max said. He couldn’t get over the fact the Michael had his hands over Liz’s mouth. He was touching Liz’s sweet lips!

Liz quickly shoved off Michael and moved so she was behind Max, where Michael couldn’t reach her. “Nuh uh. He was telling me a story about you Max, about how you had superman pajamas and used to run around the house with a towel tied around your neck as a cape.”

At this point Michael had stopped trying to dodge around Max to reach Liz, and looked up into his brother’s eyes. “Sorry man…I just couldn’t help myself.”

Max felt his cheeks turn red as he realized what they had been talking about. Oh, Michael was so gonna get it later! He couldn’t help but smile though. Liz had been laughing because of him, in some indirect way he felt like he was responsible for the smile that was plastered on her face and that was worth any embarrassment.

“Just remember Michael, payback’s a bitch.” Max smirked, he had some very interesting stories himself.

As Liz turned to her locker to finish getting her books for class once she had called down from their little escapade, Max turned to Michael. “So Michael, what are you doing tonight?”

“Actually Liz and I are going to the movies. She’s dragging me to some chick flick.”

“Oh,” Max said lightly, somewhat dejected. Obviously Michael and Liz were getting closer then he thought.

Liz turned to Max and saw the somewhat rejected look on his face. He was so cute when he pouted! “You can come with us too if you want.” Liz said while nodding her head, talking to him like he was a small child.

“No, I wouldn’t want to get in the way of anything.”

“What are you talking about? What… Oh…you thought. Ha…that’s a laugh! Me and Michael. It ain’t ever gonna happen. Hate to break it to you, but he just doesn’t do it for me. I’ve got my eyes on someone else.”

Max felt another pang of hurt at her statement. He knew it. Of course she liked someone else. It was only a matter of time before she had a boyfriend, someone who wasn’t him. Besides, who wouldn’t want her?

“So are you coming?” Liz continued. “Please please please please please! You know you want to. Besides, two shoulders to cry on are always better than one.”

Max couldn’t help the grin that took over his face. She did it again. Made him forget everything with just a smile. “Alright…I guess I’ll come,” he said with mock tiredness.

“Thank you thank you thank you thank you,” Liz said as she jumped up to hug him. Max, surprised at her sudden action took a while to respond. Then he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her to him. She smelled of strawberries and cinnamon. He would never forget that scent.

Liz pulled away and grabbed her backpack from her locker. “I’ve got to get to class, you coming Michael?”

“Yeah, see you later Max.”

“Yeah, later Michael. Bye Liz.”

“Bye,” she responded.

Michael had watched the whole exchange with a smirk on his face. He had noticed the pained look on Max’s face when Liz had said she had her eyes on another guy. Max could just be so dense some times. Well, he wasn’t gonna be the one to clue Max in. The guy would figure it out for himself sooner or later.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“So what movie are we seeing again?” Michael asked as they approached the ticket window.

“Oh, Pearl Harbor,” Liz said with a sparkle in her eye and a huge grin on her face. “Everyone says that it’s really good. And hey, it’s a war movie so it can’t be all that bad.”

“Yeah yeah…Whatever Whitman. Can we just get this over with?” Michael asked with a dull expression on his face. He didn’t mind all that much, so it was a little bit of a chick flick, but it wasn’t supposed to be all that bad. He was just trying to bug the hell out of Liz. Hey, what could he say? It was fun.

“Hey, it’s not like I forced you to come. Max and I would have been fine coming by ourselves.”

“I’m sure that you would,” Michael responded as he reached the beginning of the line and started to pay for his ticket.

Liz blushed slightly at his comment, understanding the hidden implication in his voice. Was she being that blatantly obvious? Oh, well. Did it really matter? I mean she was supposed to get close to them after all, and what better way to do that then to develop “feelings” for one of them. It seemed the perfect explanation for her actions. Didn’t it?

After Michael had bought his ticket, Max came up to the ticket window. “Two for Pearl Harbor please.”

“Oh Max, you don’t have to do that. I can pay for myself.”

“Are you kidding me? Tess would kill me if she found out that one of us didn’t pay for you,” Max responded as he nodded his thank you to the woman selling the tickets. “Besides, I wanted to.”

Liz felt the blush creep over her face once again. “Well, I guess that I’ll just have to thank Tess later then, won’t I?”

They both laughed as the followed Michael into the theater.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Kyle entered the Crashdown and upon seeing Tess headed straight for the counter where she was stationed.

“Hey Tess,” he said to her turned back.

“Hey Kyle, what can I get you?”

“Actually, I didn’t come her for the food,” Kyle said with a secretive smile on his face.

“Oh, really. Pray tell then, to what do we owe the honor of this visit?”

Ignoring her question, “What time do you get off tonight?”

“About nine, why?”

“Well, I was wondering if you wanted to come see a movie with me or something.”

“Kyle Whitman, are you asking me out?”

“Well, that depends on your answer.”

“Are you or aren’t you?”

“Ok, so maybe I am,” Kyle responded a little quieter this time, almost sheepishly.

“Well in that case, I’d love to go out with you Kyle.”

“You would?”

Tess laughed a little at the look of shock on his face. “Yes Kyle, I would.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Max couldn’t resist the urge to look over at Liz during the movie. She was so beautiful. He just couldn’t get passed it. The way that the light played across her features as she intently watched the movie screen. The way her face just seemed to become so animated by the different emotions that the film evoked. She was an angel. As if he hadn’t said that so many times before. His angel. Just as he was about to turn back to watch the movie her angelic voice broke through his concentration.

“NO!” she mock yelled. “But your supposed to be in love with him…ugh!” she said quietly throwing her arms up in defeat. He couldn’t resist the temptation.

“Liz, they can’t hear you.”

She glared at him with a look of contempt almost, but he knew she was only joking. “You jerk,” she said, before returning to her movie.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

As they exited the theater, both Max and Michael were attempting to comfort a crying Liz. They heaved a sigh of relief when her tears began to subside. They didn’t really know what to do. Tess and Isabel were never like this, and even if they did cry during a movie, it was never this bad. Liz had been crying for the last 20 minutes, and this was the first sign of it ever letting up.

Just as they thought she had gotten herself under control, she broke out into another fit of sobs and once again they were by her side, rubbing her back and telling her that it was going to be all right.

Her sobs began to let up again and soon began a mix of tears and giggles as she laughed at how stupid she was being. Suddenly she burst out, “God, I am such a girl!”

Michael, now assuming that she was indeed ok, decided it was time to get back to teasing her and getting her back into the right spirits. “Well, ya know, that is kinda what we like about you,” he said suggestively while looking her up and down.

“You pig,” she replied, while moving over towards Max. Liz grabbed onto Max’s arm, hugging it to her body, using him as her shield against Michael’s bullying.

“Alright, how bout we go get some ice cream? Will that make it up to you?”
Michael asked.

“Gee, you’re going to spoil me. Ice cream twice in one week. But I suppose it is the least you can do,” Liz said.

With that Michael turned to head towards the Crashdown, with Liz and Max following. Still attached to Max’s arm, Liz settled into the embrace, lightly placing her head on his shoulder and hugging his arm tighter to her body. Of course, Max took notice of this, but he wasn’t complaining. It actually felt natural to have her by his side.

“Hey Michael, remind me why we went to a chick flick?” Max asked laughing. Tonight had certainly been interesting.

“I don’t know Maxwell, it does seem to have it’s benefits,” Michael said looking over his shoulder at the cozy couple.

“You jerk!” Liz yelled as she ran up and smacked him on the back of the shoulder. She then proceeded to move back over to Max, this time simply snuggling into his side and placing her head back on his shoulder. Max’s arm immediately came up, his hand resting on her hip. It just seemed natural, and it was a few minutes before Max had even realized he had done it. It was like this was right where she was meant to be, finally. Liz Whitman was meant to be in his arms, she belonged there; at least if he had any say in it she did.

“Hey Michael,” Max called. “You’re paying this time.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The three walked into the Crashdown and, upon seeing Kyle sitting at a booth by himself, went over to join him.

“Hey Kyle,” Michael greeted as he sat down next to Kyle, while Max and Liz sat next to each other on the other side of the booth. “Whatcha up too?”

But before Kyle could answer, Tess came out from the backroom, having changed out of her uniform and approached the table. “Hey guys. So, Kyle you ready to go?” she asked him after greeting her friends at the table.

“Yeah,” was Kyle’s short response.

“Hey, where are you guys going?” Liz asked out of curiosity. He was her “brother” after all.

“Out,” Kyle replied curtly, trying to avoid the questioning eyes that came from the rest of the group.

Tess just laughed as Kyle kept attempting to pull her out of the restaurant and elaborated on his short comments. “We’re going to the movies.”

By this time Kyle had given up trying to get Tess out of there without confronting the others. He threw his arms up in defeat and sat back down at the booth.

“Oooooh!!” Liz said, a knowing look on her face. “You guys are going on a date, aren’t you?”

“Yes Liz, we’re going on a date. Now will you please attempt to keep your nose out of my business?”

“Geez Kyle, I was just curious.”

“Kyle, be nice,” Tess protested. “We’ll see you guys later, ok?”

“Hey wait,” Michael interceded. “When are you gonna have her home?”

“Well, I don’t know. When…wait. Why does it matter to you?” Kyle challenged.

“Hey, she’s like a sister to me. And we do live together after all, so I need to take care of her, protect her from punks like you.”

“Look who’s talking! What the hell are you two doing with my sister?”

“Alright, that’s enough you two. Michael, I’ll see you later on tonight. Bye guys,” Tess said as she pushed Kyle out the door.

“It’s about time he asked her out,” Liz stated.

“About time? You guys just got here a week ago,” Max replied.

“Yeah, but he’s been trying to work up the nerve since he first met her.”

‘That makes two of us,’ Max thought, but decided to keep that comment to himself.

The three decided to get a large ice cream sundae and split it. Once the ice cream came, Liz immediately grabbed a spoon and dug in.

Max, however, took a little longer to respond. He was mesmerized by Liz’s mouth. Watching as her lips parted to allow the creamy confection into her mouth, then closing over it. She pulled the spoon slowly, painfully slowly, out from between her lips, savoring the flavor. Once the spoon was finally clear of her mouth, she would run her tongue over her lips, licking off any residue that the spoon could have left behind. The process then started all over again.

Max found all this incredibly erotic. But upon realizing that he had been staring far too long, Max pulled himself out of his reverie, chastising himself for thinking such thoughts, and began to eat the cool treat.

All this, however, did not go unnoticed by Michael. He saw Max’s initial faltering. He also noticed the continued looks that Max would throw at Liz, doubting that he noticed the secret glances she gave back. Michael suddenly felt like he was interrupting something. Desperately searching around the Crashdown for an excuse, he eyes finally landed on a leaky faucet behind the counter. That’s it!

“Oh hey guys, I just remembered. I promised Tess that I would fix our shower, something about the water pressure…or something like that. I’ve got to go.”

“But, you’ve barely eaten anything. And you’re the one who paid for it,” Liz protested.

“Ah, that’s alright. Max can owe me,” Michael said winking at Max. “Make sure she gets home ok.”

“Of course.”

“See you guys later,” and with that, Michael had left the Crashdown.

Michael was right; Max would owe him. Max had a distinct feeling that there was no problem with the shower in Michael’s apartment. And when was the last time Michael fixed anything anyway? Yeah, Max owed Michael big time.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

posted on 24-May-2002 3:56:10 AM by Pegleg
Hey guys,
I'm sorry. I hadn't realized that it had been this long since I'd posted a part. Ooopps. I'm gonna try and post another part tomorrow...well later today...sometime in the afternoon. So if you guys are still reading I'm still trying to write.

~Michelle
posted on 24-May-2002 6:18:20 PM by Pegleg
Author's Note: Sorry again. It seems like I can't say that enough lately. Um, here's the next part...it kinda picks up right where the last one left off. Hope you like. And please let me know guys if you like this story and whether I should bother continuing, cause I know the parts are few and far between so I'm not sure how many people are actually interested anymore. Anyway, for those who are still reading...here's the next part.

~Michelle


Part 7

Kyle looked over at Tess as she watched the movie. She really was beautiful. Who knew that an assignment could be so much fun? He was having a genuinely good time hanging out with her. He had been hesitant at asking her out at first, thinking that maybe he was moving too fast, but apparently he didn’t have to worry. She seemed to like him enough.

Watching Tess he couldn’t help the grin that spread across his face. She was amazing. If they had met under different circumstances, he would most definitely consider seeing her. ‘Whoa Valenti, hang on a minute. You shouldn’t be thinking like this. You need to keep your distance. This is work, and nothing else.’

Heaving a sigh, Kyle wasn’t even thinking when he stretched his arms up over his head and then let his right arm come to rest around Tess’ shoulders.

Tess looked at him strangely for a moment, not believing that this could be real. ‘Did he really just do what I think he did? That’s the kind of corny thing that I thought only happened in the movies.’

Seeing Tess’ look, and misinterpreting his action as an unwelcome gesture, Kyle drew his arm back quickly placing it awkwardly at his side. Tess let out a giggle at the wounded look on his face. She quickly moved the armrest up and out of the way and snuggled into Kyle’s side while grabbing his arm and placing it back in it’s previous position around her shoulders.

Kyle just sighed as she snuggled into him. Yeah, he could definitely get used to this.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“You know Max, you didn’t have to walk me home. I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself. It’s only two blocks.” Max and Liz were walking down the streets of Roswell heading towards the house that she shared with her “father” and “brother.”

“I’m sure that you can take care of yourself, but I can’t help but worry. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to you. Besides it’s no trouble.”

“Oh, that so sweet!” Liz said in an almost mocking voice. Max just turned to her giving her a wounded look, like a little lost puppy. Now how could she resist a face like that? “Hey, I’m sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I really don’t mind that you’re walking me home. It’s comforting.”

Max couldn’t help but smile at her admission. How could he not be happy at being able to do anything, even if it was only providing comfort, to this angel in front of him? He was so caught up in his giddiness, that he almost missed the shiver that overtook her body. Almost.

“Are you cold?” he asked, looking at her worriedly.

“Yeah, just a little,” she admitted, noticing the look on his face. How could he care so much for her after only knowing her for a couple days? What was she going to do when she would eventually have to break his heart?

“Here, take this,” Max said, shrugging his jacket off his shoulders and draping it over hers.

“No Max! Don’t do that! I’ll be okay. We’re almost there.”

“No. It’s okay. I insist.”

“But…”

“There’s no way you’re getting out of this Liz.”

And with that she was silent. What was she supposed to say to that? “Thank you. But won’t you get cold.”

“Na, I’ll be ok.”

“Why can’t there be more guys in the world like you Max Evans?”

Silence ensued. Neither of them talked the rest of the way to Liz’s house. Max had been pondering what she’d really meant by that comment. ‘Ahhh! Stop harboring on it Evans. She was just commenting cause you gave her your coat. I didn’t mean anything. Or did it… Could she… No, stop fooling yourself. She could never feel the same way about you. Besides, we’re not supposed to get involved. Well, why the hell not. Tess sure as hell seems to be getting involved and no one is on her case. What are you talking about, you don’t even know if she likes you. You are so pathetic!’

It took Liz’s voice to break him out of his self-mockery. “Thanks for walking me home Max. Ummm…here’s your jacket back.”

“Uh…thanks.”

There was an awkward silence, but it was short lived.

“I had a really great time tonight Max. Thank you.” And with that Liz reached up and brought Max into a friendly hug. Max reveled in the feel of having his angel in his arms. It just felt so good. So right. They fit together perfectly.

It was Liz who finally pulled away, dropping a peck on Max’s cheek as she turned to leave. “Night Max.”

“Goodnight Liz.” Max turned away as Liz closed the door, a perpetual smile on her face.

‘Ok, so maybe the hug lasted a little longer than necessary, but that doesn’t mean anything. We’re just becoming really good friends, that’s all,’ Liz’s berated herself. ‘And that kiss, what was that all about! I don’t even know where that came from. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t! It was just a friendly kiss. And even if it wasn’t, I’m trying to convince him that I like him, right? Right?’ It wasn’t till then that Liz realized that she was still faced towards the door and had not made a single move since she’d closed the door on Max’s retreating form.

Liz slowly, finally, turned away from the door and headed towards her room upstairs. Perhaps it was nothing. Perhaps she was just trying to do her job. At least, that’s what she kept trying to convince herself. But deep down, somewhere, she knew different.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“So, how did you like the movie?” Kyle asked, genuinely curious about her opinion.

“I don’t know. It was ok I guess, for a chick flick. Actually, I tend to prefer action movies myself.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Is there something wrong with that?” Tess eyed him curiously. For the life of her she could not figure out what was going through Kyle Whitman’s mind. What did he want from her? Just a friendship or something more? Secretly, Tess was hoping for the latter, but for the first time in her life…she couldn’t read this guy. One moment he was flirting with her and looking at her with a desire that she was sure was mirrored in her own eyes. But then the next moment, he would close off again, seeming to play it off as if she was one of his best buds.

“No, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just want to know where you’ve been all my life,” Kyle pronounced before completely thinking the statement through. At the complete look of shock on her face, Kyle was quick to amend his comment. “I mean it’s not everyday that you find a girl that enjoys the bloody, gory action movies that you do.”

“Right.” Tess was still a little stunned at his statement. Sure, the mere thought of it brought butterflies to her stomach and a quiver to her knees, and the way it was said so sincerely practically left her speechless. But was it just a slip of tongue? Did he really mean what he said or was that just the way it came out?

Before Tess could examine him any further, they were at her apartment door. ‘Funny,’ Tess thought. ‘I don’t even remember entering the building.’ “Well, this is me,” Tess stated.

“Yeah,” Kyle replied, not really knowing what to say.

“Kyle, I just want you to know that I had a really great time tonight. You’re a great guy, and I really hope that we can do this again sometime.”

“Yeah, I’d like that,” Kyle said with that sexy smirk that Tess had come to know and love.

They stood awkwardly in silence for a while, neither one knowing what to say, but not wanting the night to end either.

“Well, I guess I better go.” Tess finally broke the silence.

“Yeah…” Kyle let himself trail off as Tess moved to open the door to the apartment she shared with Michael. “Tess I…”

“Yes,” Tess said, turning around, waiting with baited breath to hear what Kyle had to say.

“Uh…would you like to go out with me again…say tomorrow night?”

“Sure Kyle, I’d love to.”

“Great,” Kyle breathed, letting out a physical sigh of relief. “Uh…I’ll call you.”

“Great.”

The silent awkwardness returned. Just as Tess was once again about the turn to the door of her apartment, Kyle bridged the gap between them, crashing his lips to hers.

The kiss was heated and passionate, like finally fulfilling a need that had been consuming them both throughout the course of the night, perhaps longer. Kyle’s arms suddenly found their way around her waist, pulling her tightly to his body. Tess let out a gasp at the feel of his hard body pressed so firmly against hers. Kyle took full advantage of this opportunity to let his tongue sweep into her mouth, fervently seeking out hers.

They finally broke apart as the need to air finally overcame the passion fueling their hunger. Kyle gently smoothed down her hair with one hand before giving her a soft kiss on the forehead, something completely contradicting the eagerness expressed previously.

“Goodnight Tess,” Kyle said as he forced himself to step back from the goddess in front of him. “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“Goodnight Kyle,” Tess said finally turning and walking into the apartment.

As soon as the door closed Kyle let out a sigh, running a hand through his hair as he turned to make his way out of the building. “Shit! This is not good,” Kyle muttered under his breath as he made his way out into the cold night air and turned down the empty street before him.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Kyle walked around for a while, not quite sure of where he was going, but not really caring either. He wasn’t sure what to think anymore. He didn’t know what came over him back there. He hadn’t meant to kiss her. He really hadn’t. It just kinda happened. One of those spur of the moment urges that he just couldn’t control.

‘What am I doing?’ Kyle thought to himself. ‘I’m getting too involved. I’m caring too much. I’m not supposed to feel this way.’

But no matter how much Kyle tried to deny it, he couldn’t forget the tingle that went through him at the feel of Tess’s lips upon his. Or how great it felt to have her body flush against his. The sensations that he just couldn’t ignore. And the fact that these feelings, that he had kept hidden for the past week, were only getting stronger.

Kyle’s travels brought him to the park. Funny. When he was a teenager in high school he would always come to the park to work through his thoughts…his problems, usually about girls. Funny how things don’t seem to change that much even when you get older. No, they don’t change, just get much more complicated.

Skimming across the park, Kyle’s eyes came to rest on a figure in the distance huddled on one of the many benches that littered the scenery. It wasn’t until he came closer that he recognized the figure whose body seemed to be racking with sobs.

“Isabel?”

Isabel’s head shot up, startled by the voice that interrupted her melancholy. She immediately wiped the tears from her eyes, trying to get back some look of composure.

“Oh Kyle! You started me. I didn’t hear you coming,” she provided nonchalantly.

Not buying the act for a second, Kyle ignored her comment. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

“Like hell it’s nothing. You’re sitting out here, in the middle of the night, crying on a park bench. Want to talk about it?”

“No!” she bit out sharply. She hadn’t meant to sound so cold, but it was her defense mechanism. She was once again living up to her reputation as the Ice Princess.

“You sure.”

“Yes, I’m sure,” she said almost indignantly. “Everything’s fine.”

“Then what are you doing out here in the middle of the night?”

“I could ask you the same question.”

“I was just working out some stuff. Trying to muddle through my thoughts. Your turn?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

Isabel’s instincts were screaming at her, ‘Don’t let anyone get to close.’ ‘Don’t let him know how you’re really feeling.’ ‘You can’t get attached.’

But then there was this other part of her that kept repeating her own words over and over.

‘I’m tired of running. I’m tired of hiding.’

‘I’m tired of not living, of just going through the motions. I want to have a real life. I think that they are a beginning.’

‘They may not understand, but they’ll be there to listen none the less…and that is something that I’ve never had.’

‘Well, maybe it was time that I started taking my own advice,’ Isabel thought before starting in on spilling her entire being to this one person she had met less than a week ago.

“Have you ever felt like nobody ever saw you for who you really are?”

Her eyes had not moved from where they were fixed on the ground in front of her, and her voice was so soft that Kyle was unsure she had even spoken. But he wasn’t left wondering for long.

“I mean, sometimes I just feel like there’s this huge weight on me, and it’s suffocating me. It’s just this being looming over me, forcing me to be some person that I’m not. And so I do it. I do it to keep myself from feeling like I’m sinking beneath my own weight.”

“Do what Isabel?”

“Put up this front. This whole image of the ‘Isabel’ that everyone knows and loves. Only it’s not the real me. It’s the me that I pretend to be. It’s the me that I think everyone wants to see. I’m the cold-hearted bitch that doesn’t have any real feelings. Lives with her groupies, who know that she’s untouchable. Nothing gets to Isabel. You’re either with her, or she blows you off without a care.”

“So, where’s the real Isabel? Who is she?”

“She’s the sad, scared little girl that you see in front of you right now,” Isabel said with tears in her eyes. Upon seeing her unshed tears, Kyle didn’t hesitate to bring her into a hug. Isabel was stiff at first, not sure what to think of the gesture. The only people she ever hugged were her family, including Michael and Tess. But soon, she relaxed into the embrace, thankful for the comfort of a friend’s arms.

Friend. That was a word that Isabel would never think she would truly associate with any one person. She had never considered anyone a true friend before. She just sat there for a while, in his arms, letting the tears fall.

After a while, Kyle broke the silence. “Isabel, what happened tonight?”

“I was on a date, with this guy. And he wanted more then I would give him…”

“He didn’t…” Kyle let himself trail off, fearing the worst.

“No, no. You don’t have to worry about me. I can take care of myself. Trust me. It was just what he said that hurt the worst. That I was a tease and a whore and he asked if I enjoyed making men grovel at my feet. If that got a rise out of me. And he asked what made me all high and mighty that no one was good enough for me.

“The more I thought about it, the madder I got. He didn’t know a thing about me. He just assumed, based on my rep or whatever, who I was and what kind of person I am. I then I realized that it was me who was putting those feelings out there. That I was the one making everyone see me that way.”

“So why don’t you just stop?”

“It’s not that easy Kyle. Trust me. I wish it were.”

“Sure it is. Why the hell not? I mean, at my last high school I was your typical jock. Everyone thought they knew me, just because I was the football captain. Eventually, I just got sick of it. I quite playing to their vision of me and started being my own person. And trust me, I had a lot more fun after that. That’s when you begin to make your true friends…the friendships that last a lifetime.”

“You know what…I think that I’ve already got a head start on that,” she said, smiling up at him.

“Yeah, I think you’re right. What do you say I walk you home, it’s getting kinda late?”

“That’d be great Kyle.”

And with that the two got up and started heading towards the Evan’s home.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

posted on 8-Jun-2002 3:44:27 PM by Pegleg
Hey guys. Sorry for the lack of updates. My roomie's computer broke and so we've been sharing mine trying to get out parts of the story we're writing together, Complicated Circumstances (shamless plug *big*). Anyway, as for this story...I'll try and get a part out sometime this week. Thanks for the bumps. They really make me feel alot better about this story. For a while there I wasn't sure many people were still reading it. Thanks for the feedback everyone...it's great.

~Michelle
posted on 17-Jun-2002 3:12:07 AM by Pegleg
Author's Note: As promised, a new part. A little later than I had expected, but oh well. I'm afriad I have some bad news though. As those of you who read my other story Complicated Circumstances (cowritten with dancepixie) should already know, I'm working as a camp counselor all summer long which basically means I have no time to write. I do though intend to continue and attempt to write and finish this story. Hopefull when I come back in september I'll have some great new ideas. I promise a nice long part when I get back. Anyway, hope you like this part as it is probably the last till september. Sorry again. Hope you enjoy!

~Michelle


Part 8

“Liz…Kyle…I’m home.”

“Hey Dad,” Liz said running down the stairs. Sure there wasn’t anyone else here, but it was always better to be safe and get into practice. “How was your trip?”

“Good. Good. Where’s you brother?” Jim asked curiously.

Liz looked up at Jim, a smirk on her face. “He’s out on a date with Tess Harding. You’ve missed a lot since you left yesterday morning.”

“Wow, already. Yeah, I guess so. The boy sure does move fast, don’t he?”

“What can I say, he gets his charm from his father.”

Jim let out a boisterous laugh. “If you’re looking for a raise, you’re not getting one,” he replied with a teasing glint in his eye.

“Oh, but daddy,” she whined. “Just a little bit more allowance. I mean, how am I supposed to buy my clothes and cd’s and all that cool stuff?”

“Hmmm…I don’t know. Maybe you should get a job.”

Liz thought about that seriously for a moment. “Hey, that might not be a bad idea. It could help.”

Jim nodded his head thoughtfully, getting the hidden meaning in her words. “Alright Lizzie, I have some work to do. Just make sure to let me know when Kyle gets home. We need to have a family meeting.”

“Sure dad, no problem.”

Liz found herself smiling as she watched Jim ascend the stairs, heading for his office. She was incredibly grateful for the close relationship that the group had. Even though he was her boss, Jim was definitely the main father figure in her life. Yeah, this whole ‘dad’ thing was starting to grow on her.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Hey Kyle. How was your date?” Liz asked, wiggling her eyebrows at him.

Catching the suggestiveness in her question Kyle let out a laugh. “Parker, you crack me up.”

“I try,” she shrugged. “Dads home, and I’m sure he’ll want to know all about it. Let’s go, he’s up in the office.”

Kyle knocked lightly on his father’s door. “Dad? I’m home. Lizzie said you wanted to talk.”

“Yeah, come on in you guys.”

“So Kyle, how was your date?” Jim asked, raising an eyebrow at his son. He couldn’t keep the teasing glint out of his eyes.

“Why am I like the butt of everyone’s jokes suddenly? What’s so funny about the fact that I’m dating Tess?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe the fact that you’ve known her for less than a week,” Liz shot at him. It was always fun to tease Kyle, no matter what the circumstances.

“Ha ha,” was Kyle’s sarcastic reply.

“No, really Kyle. I’m proud of you. Keep up the good work. And how about you Lizzie? Do we see a boyfriend in your future?” Jim asked, the mirth evident in his voice.

“Maybe…I don’t know…I mean…Max and I are getting closer…but he’s still guarded sometimes.”

“Oh, come on Liz. You have him dangling on the end of a string and you know it. It’s only a matter of time before those two get together,” Kyle relinquished, winking at Liz.

“Great, glad to hear it, but now on to business,” Jim continued. “As you know I went back to Albuquerque these last couple days to check up on everything there and make sure that everything was set for Alex and Maria’s arrival next week.

“Everything is set for Alex to arrive this Monday, where he will start school at West Roswell immediately. I don’t think that I have to remind you that you are not to associate with Alex, at least not at first, until instigated by the others. You seem to be pretty tight into the group already, so it will be fine once Alex is able to bring his way into the group.

“Same thing goes for when Maria arrives on Thursday. She’ll arrive in town on Wednesday night and we’ll have a meeting to discuss the situation so far and get the team together for the first time. This will also give Maria a chance to analyze the situation before going in herself.

“Other than that just keep up the good work. I’m really proud of what accomplished and how well you’ve been able to adapt yourselves into their group so quickly. Not much else to say on that topic. Liz, I brought back some files and forensic reports that Alex was able to pull out of some FBI archives for you to look at. These are on some of the old cases dating back to the late 1940s and early 50s. I think they dismissed the files when there were no cases for 30 years, all the others are much more recent. Anyway, there is some stuff for you to work on. Tell me what you see, any similarities or especially differences.”

“No problem Jim.”

“Anything for me dad?”

“Nope Kyle. You just pay attention to your little girlfriend, alright?” Jim said as both he and Liz burst out laughing.

“Fine. Fine. Laugh at me all you want. But just wait till it’s your turn Lizzie. Then we’ll see who’s laughing at who.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Alexander Parker let out a heavy sigh as he prepared to walk into his first period English class. Why was this so hard? All he had to do was walk in there, sit down, and act like just any normal teenager. It was as simple as that. So why were his palms all sweaty and his pulse racing?

He inwardly chastised himself. Here he was, twenty-one years old, an undercover officer, and he was nervous about going back to high school. He had to laugh at himself at that.

Walking into the classroom he saw an empty seat next to a young man with dark hair. ‘Perfect,’ he thought, recognizing Max from his file. ‘Couldn’t have planned it better myself.’

Suddenly Alex’s apprehension disappeared as soon as he saw Max. This was his job, and once he set his mind to work, that’s all that mattered.

“Hey, is anyone sitting here?” Alex asked, a smile on his face.

“No, no. Help yourself,” Max replied, looking up at the new student.

“Hi, I’m Alex.” He extended his hand.

“Max,” he replied, taking a hold of Alex’s proffered hand.

“So how is this teacher? Good, bad, psychotic…”

Max couldn’t help but laugh at Alex’s comment. “A little of all of the above. I guess it kinda depends on the day,” he said with a chuckle.

“Ah, so the guy has a sense of humor. Great! You’d be surprised at how hard that is to find anymore.”

“So, Alex. What brings you to Roswell?” Max wasn’t usually this open with people, but there was just something about this Alex guy. He seemed so open, really easy to talk to.

“My dad. He just got transferred to Los Pueblos. I’m a military brat, what can I say? I never really get to stay in one place too long.”

“Well, then I guess…Welcome to Roswell. I’m sure it will be relatively dull compared to all the other places you’ve lived. I mean, just to warn you…but the teacher is automatically going to know that you’re a new student. We don’t get them that often around here. So you’ll tend to be noticed by everyone.”

“Ah, that’s all right. I’ve run across that before. Besides, sometimes the small towns are some of the most fun. You never know what might happen.”

Soon after the teacher came into the class, and low and behold, picked out Alex immediately as a new student. The two didn’t talk much for the rest of the period, but Alex couldn’t help but think how easy this was going to be.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“Alright class. The exam on chapters 11 through 15 is next Monday, that means a week from today folks. And I suggest that you all start studying now, as your last test results indicated you needed more study time. This will include all the material that I’ll cover in class up until…”

Liz let her mind drift as Ms. Hardy drowned on about the upcoming exam. She wasn’t at all worried. She could do this kind of stuff in her sleep, but she remained attentive, at least in appearance, while she was really trying to come up with her next course of action.

Looking over towards her lab partner who seemed to be listening rather intently, Liz got an idea. ‘Hmm…maybe it was time to take Max up on his offer to help her catch up in bio, with their test coming up and all. It couldn’t hurt now, could it?’ With newfound interest, Liz tuned back into the teacher as she continued talking on meiosis. Maybe this class wasn’t such a waste of time after all.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

“So Max,” Liz started as they were walking out of their biology class and towards his locker. “I was wondering if maybe I could take you up on your offer to help me catch up, since the test is on Monday?”

“Sure Liz, I’d love to help. Just name the time and place.” Max smiled inwardly; she was coming to him for help. Not like any of the others had their biology class, but it still felt good to know that he could help his angel. He would do anything for her.

Before Liz could answer she saw Alex walking up to them. ‘Well, looks like maybe Alex had gotten himself in already,’ she thought to herself.

“Hey Max,” Alex said as he came up to the two. He saw Liz and Max together and just couldn’t help himself. He just had to butt his way in there. Jim had kept him up to date on what was going on between those two and he couldn’t wait to see his friend in action. This was going to be classic. Like blackmail material classic…

“Hey Alex. Oh, Alex this is Liz. Liz this is Alex. He just started today,” Max said, introducing the long-time friends.

“Well, looks like we’re in the same boat. I just started here myself about a week ago,” Liz said as she extended her hand in greeting. Inside she was laughing though, being introduced to Alex was just weird.

“Really,” Alex said, his eyebrow raised. “You guys look pretty close for only knowing each other for a week.”

“What can I say, I move fast,” Liz said with a smirk. Then turning back to Max, “Well I got to get to class. But what do you say to bio, your house, Friday night at 6?”

“Sure.”

“Alright, it’s a date then. It was nice meeting you Alex. Bye Max,” and with that Liz turned and walked away, thinking to herself…‘hook, line, and sinker.’

“Man, does she ever have it bad for you?”

“What?” Max asked in shocked surprise. Did he hear Alex correctly?

“I said she likes you man. And if I’m not mistaking the affections are returned?” Alex asked with a knowing grin. He just loved the look on Max’s face at his little comment. That was priceless.

“God, am I that obvious?”

Alex laughed out loud; this was too good. “So…what are you waiting for? Ask her out already,” Alex said before leaving Max to his thoughts and heading towards his next class.

Max just stood watching as Alex walked away. No, it couldn’t be true. Why would Liz want someone like him when she could have any guy she wanted? Alex must be wrong. He’d only just met Liz, how could he know how she was feeling? ‘Although, he sure did peg me,’ Max thought to himself. Finally giving up and heading for his next class, Max tried to put the thought out of mind, so as not to be disappointed when it turned out not to be true. Although, there was still that little part of him that held on to the hope that Alex was right, and that someday Liz would be his.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Max waved Alex over as he walked into the class. “Hey, I didn’t know you were in this class.”

“Yeah, well. It’s kind of like a to expand my horizons type thing. Unfortunately, I can’t just take endless computer classes like I’d like. So I thought…creative writing…what the hell.”

Just as Max was about to respond the blond sitting next to him cleared her throat loudly. “Oh Tess, I’m sorry. Tess this is Alex. Alex, Tess.”

“It’s a pleasure,” Tess said, offering her hand to Alex.

“Likewise.”

“So, you actually made friends with Max. That’s quite an accomplishment. He’s not exactly the most socially adept.”

“Tess!” Max protested. He wasn’t that bad. Was he?

“Oh Max, you know it’s true,” she said, pinching his cheek lightly.

“I’m guessing that you would be the best friend,” Alex said with a grin.

“The one and only,” Tess replied. “Well, except for Micheal. He’s there for all the guy stuff.”

Alex couldn’t help but laugh. Tess certainly was someone else. He had a feeling that they were gonna get along just fine.

“So who all have you met here?” Tess asked.

“Uhhh… Max…” he said with a wide grin.

“Hmm…alright. Well, a word of advice. Those girls over there,” she said pointing to a group on the other side of the room. “Evil bitches of Satan. Trust me, you don’t even want to go there. Especially the tall brunette with the fake boobs, yeah, that’s Pam Troy. Bad news.”

Alex laughed again. “Thanks for the warning. I don’t think I have to worry about that anyway. I’m more into brains myself. Bubbling airheads don’t usually interest me.”

“I like him,” Tess said, pointing her comment at Max. “Where did you find him again?”

Max just laughed. Ignoring Tess’s comment, “So Alex. I was wondering if you wanted to come by and have lunch with me and my friends. I mean, if you don’t have other plans.”

“Yeah, we’re a pretty tight group, but we’ve been looking to expand,” Tess said smiling.

“I think I might just do that,” Alex said, as he took a seat on in front of Max, just before the teacher began to speak.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*