posted on 11-Feb-2002 2:49:33 AM by Allie1031
Title: What's So Great About Normal?
Author: Allie Beth (a.k.a. Allie1031)
Email: allie1031⊕yahoo.com
Distribution: Ask me and I'll be so stunned you want it that of course you can have it. I'd still like to know though.
Category: AU with M/L and maybe some of the others too
Rating: PG-13 moving to NC-17 eventually (will depend on the chapter)
Disclaimer: I'm sure you all know the drill by now. I don't own anything, etc....
Summary: It's got Max and Liz and the rest of the gang and it's set in an alternate universe...Hell if I know how to explain. Just read it and see for yourself.
Author's Note: This is my first fic so feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading all of you that do!!!


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This wonderful banner is the work of Elena - Thank you!!!!


Prologue

I have never lead a normal life. Never. I've always been the oddball out, the exception to the rule, the one that slips through the cracks. Normal, ha. I laugh in the face of normal. Normal schmormal. What's so great about normal anyways? It probably has it's advantages, though if it does I've never a single one of them.

First of all, I was born late. Not just a couple days or a couple weeks, but a whole stinking month. And I think that's what began my mom's whole "more trouble than you are worth" brigade. Thanks Mom. Feeling the love. I don't think a day went by that she didn't utter those words to me. Did wonders for my self-esteem. You can imagine.

Anyways, I'd like to say that was the first and last time in my entire life I was late. Key words there being I'd like to. Hell, I'm never on time. My dad thinks he's funny and always says that I'm going to be late to my own funeral. Key words there being thinks he's funny. Hilarious Dad. Fucking hilarious. So I'm occasionally what I like to call fashionably late. Big flipping deal. The party never really starts until I arrive anyways.

So how many people do you know that are born a month late? I thought so. Not many. Lucky me. I earn the scorn of my mother and her endless taunts about my supposedly disproportionately oversized head as a reward. I think it's safe to say that my mother is one of those women that really just shouldn't have children. Of course, let me assure you that she has told me many times that she never intended to.

How my dad managed to stay married to my mother for the three years that he did is phenomenal to me. He's really too nice of guy if you ask me. In fact I bet he would have stayed with her until his death, if she hadn't had an affair and run off and married someone else. Very typical of my mother. Never satisfied with the good things she has going right in front of her.

This is the parts that really gets me though. My mother didn't want me, but she certainly didn't want my father to have me. She's just malicious and sadistic like that I guess. She fought pretty hard for custody of me in their divorce. When I say she fought, I mean she overpaid some cutthroat lawyer to. And I'll be damned if I didn't get the only judge in the courthouse smoking crack that day. Dumbass. Anyone could see that my mother was unfit to raise a child.

So I lived with my mom and my asshole step-father. I can honestly say that they deserved each other. He hated me more than my mother though. He always told me how ugly and horrible I was. And he was an intense alcoholic. Enough said. The bastard never ever hit me but there were so many times when I wished that he would so I could have reason to go to the police and beg to be placed with my dad, hell, even in foster care.

Except the problem with that was that I could never have left behind all my stuff. What can I say. I'm greedy. Crazy John, a.k.a. my step-father, made more in one year doing hell if I know what than most people make in a life time. I had mountains of stuff, and stuff for my stuff for my stuff. I was a stuffaholic. Lucky for me nobody gave a flying fuck about me so I got away with anything I wanted. Hmmmm, yeah, real lucky.

My dad on the other hand moved to Roswell, New Mexico, and became a guidance counselor. Let me tell you how cool it is to have a parent that is a guidance counselor. He's a cornball and a dork and cheesy as hell but you know something? He does a damn good job at guidance counseling if you ask me. I mean he's not all bad. He really cares about the kids, and he's got some really good material that just cracks you up. When I was a kid he was really funny, and I still think he's fun. I just don't know how much fun he will still be when I am actually living with him.

Yep, you heard correct. I'm going to be living with him. From now on. Permanently. Residing in Roswell, New Mexico. This is where I usually insert my fake smile and pipe up in my most disgustingly cheerful voice, "Oh sure, of course I'm excited to be moving in with Daddy. I missed him all the time because I never got to see enough of him before. It's just fabulous. I know he'll be able to take good care of me after a tragedy like this. I'm really lucky to still have him." I'd like to thank the Academy for this wonderful award; I couldn't have done it without all those years of practice b.s.ing my way through life, that, and, of course, the influence of my mother. Thank you. Thank you all. Okay, no really, that speech is worth a million bucks. It sells like a lemonade on an 110 degree day.

So why am I moving to Roswell, you are wondering, after I said I could never leave my stuff? Well, the old man finally did her in. Crazy John drank a little to much for the last time and put his $75,000 car into the side of a semi when he and Mother were on their way back from one of their "parties." Man did that really put a crimp in my weekend plans.

The funeral was really extravagant. Not at all to my surprise, Mother had already planned and paid for it down to the most minute detail. Morbid, I know. I don't think she ever expected to go so soon, she just didn't trust my incompetence to handle things as important as which lipstick her corpse was to be wearing. Everyone kept saying how sorry they were for my loss. Sorry that the heartless bitch was no longer around to make my life hell. I'll have to admit I was sorry too after I found out how much Crazy John was really in debt. But at the funeral, I can honestly say I felt nothing. I wasn't glad but I certainly wasn't sad either. I was just empty.

The money in my trust, the money for college, hell any money, was all taken. None of it was technically mine yet because I wasn't 18 anyways. They never really mentioned me in the will at all. It wasn't much of a will at all, really. Mainly just funeral preparations and a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo that I didn't understand. All I needed to understand was that I didn't get any money. I don't think they wanted to leave the money to me but they didn't have any other heirs so I was pretty much the only option. Given that , the just kind left the whole thing open. I figure that's how I lost it all.

I didn't really want the money anyways, not really. It would always remind me of them and my life before. One thing was for sure. This whole dilemma meant a new life for me. Even if I had to leave everything I'd ever known and move across the country. I could reinvent myself any way I so chose. For the first time in my entire life I felt free.








Part One

I open my eyes to catch my first glimpse of Roswell at dawn. I have been riding on this damn Greyhound bus for the past 18 hours from my home in Iowa. Dad and I thought riding the bus would be an easy way to save money. Ha. Next time I'll just go all out on plane tickets.

Let me tell you that Hollywood totally plays up the glamour of riding on a bus. You always see the main character looking out the window to a beautiful landscape pensively. Well, I guess the landfill on my left does look pretty stunning in the early morning light. What they fail to show you is the greasy glass plastered with hand prints, the dead flies perched on the windowsill, the stained by God knows what seats, the sticky, littered floor, the screaming whining children running up and down the aisle all night, and the funky smell that you can't quite put your finger on. For a long time I just thought the bus driver had some really bad B.O., but I'm not entirely sure one person can make that much stench.

Thank you Lord, I sigh as we pull into the Roswell depot. I stand up to stretch and grab my bag from the overhead. Finally. I never thought I'd be so glad to be somewhere in my entire life.

"Have a good day little lady," the driver says to me as I exit the bus. I glance at his partner snoring loudly on my right, drool rolling down his chin and forming a puddle on his uniform.

"Hey, yeah, uhhh, you too... Ed," I reply reading at his name tag. Eh, at least he's a nice guy. It must suck to drive a stinky bus for a living with Dribbles. Note to self: go to college.

I scan my surroundings till I spot my dad. It isn't too hard. Apparently the Roswell bus depot is not a very happening place to be at 6 a.m.

"Lizzie!" my dad says standing up from the bench he had been resting on. He looks older than I remember with a few stray gray hairs along with the brown up top. His eyes still twinkle like the used to, even though the laughter lines around them have grown deeper.

"Hey Dad," I say walking over to him.

"How was your trip?" he asks as he enveloped me in a hug. He's put on a little weight too I notice.

"Something special," I answer.

Dad chuckles.

"These it?" he asks gesturing to the bags Ed pulled out from under the bus.

"Yep," I say. Most of my stuff was already shipped ahead of me and what was left was sent to arrive in the next couple days.

"Alright. Let's go then. Do you want to get some breakfast before I drop you off at home? It's Wednesday, I have to work today, but Nancy will be home," Dad says.

"Sure," I reply.

Nancy is my step-mom. Nice lady, really. Dad married her five years ago or so. I came to Roswell for the wedding. Back then they were living in a dinky apartment on the crappy side of town. Something about saving money? Things have since changed I guess. They sent me pictures of their new home when they moved in. My dad and I never saw each other very often, occasionally on holidays. Usually we'd meet half way at my grandma's in Oklahoma and have our visits there. Dad always called me once a week on Sunday nights though to see how I was. I loved it as a kid but the older I got the more of a hassle the calls seemed.

I don't know Nancy very well yet, but what I do know of her I like. Most of all, I like how happy she makes my dad. They dated and lived together for a long time before they actually married so I had a long time to adjust to the idea. Dad wanted to make certain that I was okay with it before he got married again, quite unlike Mother I might add.

Dad leads me to his car and we drive for about 5 minutes before we stop in front of a place called the Crashdown. I glance across the street to see some place called the UFO Center. Wow. Talk about alien obsession in this town.

"Nancy owns this place," Dad says proudly, opening the door for me. "We bought it last year. She really loves it, but she's not working today so she can help you get acquainted with Roswell. We thought you would probably want to get some sleep first, but she's going to bring you to the school later so you can register. I was hoping maybe you would want to start school tomorrow. You know, get into the routine of things as soon as possible."

"Oh sure, Dad. You know how much I love school. Can't wait." I know, he's trying. I shouldn't be cranky, but I don't particularly like school.

"Lizzie," he says in that voice that means he's disappointed. We sit down in a booth in the back.

"I don't care, Dad. I suppose I have to go to school sometime. Why not tomorrow? It's as good of day as any." I say earnestly.

"Lizzie, I know your mother was never very supportive of you. But things are different now. You are a really smart girl. You're only 17. There is still time to get into a good college if you work hard. I don't want to see you throw away your life like so many of the kids I see every day. You have so much potential." Dad says.

And the guidance counselor in him had kicked in.

"I know," I say, wishing I had just said great in a very non-sarcastic tone to going back to school.

"I don't think you do," says Dad.

"Whatever," I say looking away.

I notice a very good looking dark-haired guy about my age walk in. He looks over at me and we make eye contact. He smiles and I melt right into a huge puddle on the floor. I quickly look away and blush. What am I, 13? I never blush. I try to concentrate on what Dad is saying about the house, but I can't keep myself from glancing back up at him. The worst part is he is staring right back at me.

Luckily a waitress comes over to take our order. She's pretty and looks about my age, with long golden hair and blue eyes. She's wearing this awful, tacky uniform though; this turquoise button-up dress and a silver alien head apron, complete with an antenna headband on her head. The decorating inside the place is pretty cool, but Nanacy totally went overboard on the waitress attire.

"Good morning. What can I get ya Mr. P.?" She smiles.

"Good morning Maria," my dad says. "I'll take the usual."

Maria scribbles something down and turns to me. She looks unusually perky for 6:30 in the morning.

"I'll have, ummm......Dad? I hope you didn't come up with these names." I say scanning the menu and reading items like Blast Off Burger and Intergalactic Omelet.

"I thought they were pretty clever," Dad chuckles.

"Oh, believe me, they are," I reply. "Uhhh...can I just get some scrambled eggs, toast, and some O.J., please?"

"Sure thing," says Maria while scribbling some more. She bounds happily off to the kitchen to place our order. She must drink a lot of coffee, though, I know full well that no amount of coffee in the world would make me that chipper. Prozac, then, maybe.

I glance over at my mystery man to see that he has taken some books out of his bag and is proceeding to do what looks like homework. Shock. Gasp. And it's over before it even started. Tsssk, Tsssk. Too bad. This guy is hot. Really hot. Maybe I could make an allowance for this behavior, as long as he promises not to do it again. Get a grip Parker! You're smitten and you don't even know his name.

I chalk up my instant obsession to the long bus ride and turn my attention back to my dad, but not before making eye contact, again, and blushing furiously, again. Luckily Dad hasn't noticed my lapse in focus and is still merrily chatting along.

Before long Maria comes back with our food.

"I'm sorry I spaced it off earlier Maria. I'd like you meet my daughter, Elizabeth," Dad says.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Maria. Your dad has told me all about you," she smiles.

"Liz," I say smiling back. She seems nice enough, a little too perky, but nice. No need to make enemies in Roswell right away.

"Thanks for coming in and opening for Nancy this morning until the more of the day help gets here Maria. I know Nancy really appreciates it. You're a life saver." Dad says.

"Hey, it's no prob. I love getting up early and putting in a good couple hours of work before school." She and Dad laugh.

What she gets to be sarcastic and I don't?

"Really though," Maria goes on. "I don't mind Mr. P. I like working here a lot."

Can you say suck up? I bet you can.

"I'm glad to hear you say that, Maria. Lizzie will probably be getting a job here herself. She has the luck of having good connections with the boss," says Dad.

Choke. Cough. Me? Work? Ha, I've never worked a day in my life. That and the outfit associated with this place really wouldn't compliment my petite figure.

"Lizzie's going to be starting school at West Roswell tomorrow," Dad continues. "She could use someone to show her around."

Great, now my dad is making my friends for me. At least I was fortunate enough not to go to school with him though. He is the guidance counselor at East Roswell High and praise the Lord, we live in the West Roswell High district. I suppose I'd rather have Maria shuffle me around than my dad. At least, I know I would feel a heck of a lot cooler.

"I'd love to Mr. P. You want me to pick you up for school tomorrow, Liz?" asks Maria.

"Sure that'd be great," I say flashing my pearly whites in a bogus smile. Damn, my cheeks are going to hurt if I have to keep this up.

"Okay, school starts at 8 so I'll drop by around 7:30," says Maria.

Maria leaves to take a bill over to my mystery man for his coffee. He gathers his stuff and puts some money down. He glances back at me one last time, smiles, and then walks out. After my distraction has left I am forced to divert my attention back to my dad.

"I put in a call to Patricia Johnson, she's the guidance counselor over at West Roswell," Dad starts.

I raise an eyebrow. This doesn't sound like it can go anywhere too promising.

"She is just thrilled to be meeting you," Dad goes on.

Boy, is she in for a surprise.

"We got your schedule mostly worked out based on what you told me you wanted to take. It was a real stretch getting you into A.P. Biology this late in the school year but I pulled a couple strings," Dad says proudly.

"Great," I smile. Holy shit, I hope my cheeks don't get stuck like this.

The rest of breakfast pretty much goes like that. Dad saying something, me flashing a fake smile along with a one word response. After breakfast Dad takes me home, and he and Nancy usher me around their new house for a while. Eventually Dad looks at his watch and realizes he has to get going to school. When he leaves, I excuse myself from Nancy's company and go up to my new room.

It's about the size of my bathroom at my old house, but it's not to bad, really. It's actually kind of cozy. But something will have to be done about the pink floral bedspread and curtains. The best part is the great bay window. It opens up onto the roof next to which there is a perfect climbing tree. Should come in very handy.

I sigh and flop back onto the bed. Shortly after my head hits the pillow I'm fast asleep.

********************


[ edited 40time(s), last at 19-Jan-2003 3:29:05 AM ]
posted on 11-Feb-2002 2:09:02 PM by Allie1031
Part Two


I wake up again close to noon. Something smells great, so I wander down stairs to check it out.

Nancy is in the kitchen humming to herself. She's made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch and it smells delicious. No wonder the woman owns a restaurant.

"Hello sleepyhead," she says when she realizes I've joined her.

"Smells great Nance," I say.

Nancy is a lot prettier than I remember her being at the wedding. Of course she looked pretty in her wedding dress, but now I can tell that she has a natural beauty about her, a kind of glow. Her shoulder-length, curly red hair, baby blue eyes, and pale, freckled complexion are far from my own long dark hair, chocolate brown eyes, and olive skin. I look like my mother, I realize, only not as pretty. Certainly not beautiful like Nancy.

"Thanks," Nancy responds. "I was hoping after lunch you could get ready and we could go get you registered and then go shopping or something."

Shopping. I am really, really starting to like Nancy.

"Sure thing, Nance," I say as she places my lunch in front of me and sits down across from.

The food is delicious just as I suspected. It's no wonder dad has gained a few extra pounds. She chats a little as we eat about the Crashdown and the new house, telling me about what she has fixed up. She?s a regular Martha Stewart. She tells me that I can fix my room any way I?d like, paint the walls and all. That?s what I like to hear. When we are done eating I help her clear the table and head up stairs to take a shower.

It doesn't take me long to get ready. I throw on an old, worn, green T-shirt from my little league softball days and my favorite deep purple corduroy pants. I've never cared a heck of a lot about matching. It's extremely overrated. I pull my hair up into a lose bun and slip on my pink flip flops. I don't even bother with make up. Who am I going to impress with Nancy next to me anyways? I'm just very plain. A lot of boys tell me I'm cute and some even go so far as to say pretty or beautiful, but I credit that to them trying to get in my pants.

Nancy and I hop in the car and head to my new school which ends up being only 10 blocks or so away. It's a fairly new building and I check out the track as we walk by. Nice. I'll have to come back up here and run. I like to run. I don't have a whole heck of a lot of hand-eye coordination so it?s one of the few athletics I can enjoy. I've never run for a team though. None of my old friends would ever have gone for that.

We walk in the front door and follow the signs to the office, which Nancy swears led us in a complete circle before taking us to our destination. I'm too busy looking around to take much notice. One of the halls has this really great student art motif thing going along the walls and I can't help but stare. Nancy called ahead so the ladies in the office have everything ready ahead of time. Smart thinking Nancy. Way to be on top of things.

Next we go to the guidance office and I meet this Patricia Johnson. The first thing I notice is she's wearing little smiley face earrings and a T-shirt that says I heart me. I wonder where they sell those because I have an old friend that would really dig one. She has a lot of those goofy posters that supposedly raise your self-esteem and say things like "I going to be the best me that I can be." She's a fruit. I swear a really live walking, talking banana. But she gives me my schedule which has all the classes I want so I'm happy.

Ms. Johnson gives us a VERY LONG, detailed tour of the school, pointing out every crack in the floor, and shows us where my locker is. She makes me practice opening it with the combination three times before Nancy tells her that she thinks I?ve got it down, and that we have to get going.

"So soon?" says Ms. Johnson. "Elizabeth hasn't even met her bridge-builder yet."

I look at my watch. We've been at the school for almost two and a half hours.

"My what?" I say at the risk of her answering.

"Bridge-builder," repeats Ms. Johnson. "They're students guides that help new students get the hang of things here at West Roswell, home of the Comets."

I swear to God this women is on dope. She has told me at least ten times since I've meet her that I've entered the home of the comets, I'm a comet now, go comets, etc. Fuck the comets.

"Oh well, actually," says Nancy, "we already have found someone to show Liz around her first couple days."

"Really, who?" says Ms. Johnson.

"Maria DeLuca. She works for me," replies Nancy.

"Maria DeLuca, but she's not a bridge-builder!" says Ms. Johnson like it's the most scandalous thing she has ever heard. "I have Isabel Evans, the best bridge-builder we've got, all lined up, but if that's what you'd prefer..."

"We would prefer," Nancy says.

Go Nancy.

"Elizabeth are you okay with this?" Ms. Johnson worriedly asks me, still astonished at Nancy.

"One-hundred percent," I reply.

There's a reason this women isn't married. I can't imagine who she has picked out to lead me around. People like her give guidance counselors like my dad a bad name.

"Now if you'll excuse us, Ms. Johnson," Nancy pipes in before Ms. Johnson can say anything else, "we have some more errands to run but thank you for the wonderful tour. I'm sure it will put Liz's mind at ease tomorrow now that she knows where each every janitor's closet is."

"Not to mention that fabulous eraser room," I chime in.

"Your help has been indispensable, but I'm afraid we really must be going," Nancy finishes. She turns around and walks off quickly before Ms. Johnson can get in another word and I fall in close behind.

"See you tomorrow Liz," Ms. Johnson cries after me. "Let me know if you need anything."

I look back and give her my fake smile complete with pearly whites along with a nod and a thumbs up. She waves back, smiles, and heads off around the corner in the direction of her office. I turn around just in time to see that I'm about to run into something. I hit hard but strong arms reach out and steady me before I can fall on my ass.

"Careful," says a warm voice. I look up into very amused auburn eyes. I recognize the face instantly. It's my mystery man from this morning.

"Sorry," I stutter quickly. I kick myself. Liz you klutz!

"It's okay, I know how Ms. Johnson is. Your mom was way funny," he smirked.

"Uhhh...Mom? Oh yeah, Nancy, she?s a wild one like that. Ummm...I have to...ahhh...go," I murmur as I stumble away. I practically run down the hall to Nancy who is waiting at the door watching me.

Super, Liz. Way to go out there and make a good first impression. My god, he was watching the whole time? He must think I'm a real nerd. I turn back to see him watching me walk away. He smiles and waves when he sees I'm looking back. I snap my head forward again and blush. Enough with the blushing already. Cripes.

"Make a new friend?" asks Nancy when I catch up.

"Shut up," I reply hotly.

"Hey, just asking," says Nancy.

"You look like you made friends with Ms. Johnson," I say as we climb in the car.

"Oh yeah," says Nancy, "I'm going to invite her to my next Tupperware party."

********************



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 11-Feb-2002 2:20:54 PM ]
posted on 12-Feb-2002 12:13:23 AM by Allie1031
Hey guys! Thanks for reading. These first few parts are coming fast because I've already had them written for a while, I just have to do minor editing when I post. The next part will be a while though, because I've only just started. Anyways, thank you to those who have left feedback!


Part Three

Maria stops by at 7:30 on the dot. Very Punctual. Of course, I'm not ready. I let her in, and she sits down on the couch and watches T.V. for a while. Ten minutes later I'm ready to roll.

"Sorry I'm slow," I tell her. "I hope I don't make us late."

"It's okay," she says. "Your dad has told me dozens of stories about how you are always late. I figured today wouldn?t be an exception, and I told you I'd come by ten minutes earlier than I really needed to."

Smart. Damn near genius. I'm starting to like Maria. I need people like her around to cover for me.

"I like your tank top," she says as we pile into her car.

I do too. It's one of my favorite. It's white mesh-like material with multi-colored daisies all over it. I bought it on a trip to Italy. I wore a spaghetti strap tank top under it because it's quite see through.

"Thanks," I smile genuinely.

"You're really very pretty. Someone is going to be jealous," she says.

"Someone?" I question.

"Oh, I'm sure you'll see. She doesn't like to have the limelight taken off her even for an instant. You should watch out," she continues.

I would if I knew what the hell you were talking about!

"Huh?" I say.

"I think I've said to much already," Maria finishes.

"Mmmkay, well if you see that I'm in danger from this 'someone', I want you to give me a secret signal since I have no idea who 'she' even is. Rub you nose or something," I say.

"Alright," Maria laughs.

Maria's taking too much Prozac. I'm not pretty. If anything, she's pretty. I proceed to tell her this.

"Yeah, right. The Ice Queen would never even acknowledge me," she laughs.

Maria parks the car and we walk into the school together. I have to admit, it's nice. It makes me feel a lot less nervous to have her there. As soon as we walk in the door a tall, lanky, dark-haired guy shows up at Maria's side.

"Hey Maria, who's this?" he says.

"Liz, I would like you to meet Alex. Liz, Alex. Alex, Liz," Maria says.

"Hi," we both say simultaneously.

Alex isn't bad looking. He's actually kinda cute in a nerdy sort of way. His blue eyes are really sweet and sincere looking.

"Uh-oh, look out," Alex says, pulling me to the side just in time.

A short, curly, blonde-haired girl in a cheerleading uniform rushes past me.

"Maxie," she squeals as she runs up to some lucky guy and gives him a big hug and, from what I can tell, a pretty sloppy kiss.

"I think she does that every morning at about this time," says Maria disgusted at the PDA going on down the hall.

"Eh, at least she gives a warning cry," jokes Alex.

"Very true," laughs Maria.

I look closer to try to see who this lucky guy is.

"You know," Alex says, "I don't think Max likes her half as much as she likes him. I mean it's obvious that she's head over heels but I get the feeling he just tolerates her."

"I know what you mean," Maria agrees. "He always looks so bored with her. But they have been together for three years. I mean, that's a long time to stick around if you're bored."

Finally the blonde finishes her good morning kiss and I get a good look at her partner. And I feel sick to my stomach. This Max character is none other than my mystery man from yesterday. Duh, Liz. What were you thinking? Of course a guy like that is going to have a girlfriend. How very stupid of me.

I feel someone shove me hard from behind.

"Watch where you are going," a voice behind me barks.

I turn to face a tall, busty blonde towering over me. Alright, I admit seeing my dream guy with another girl in his arms didn't exactly make my day. Maybe I felt a little cranky because of that or maybe I just don't like being pushed around.

"Ummm, excuse me," I say. She brushes me off without a second glance and starts to walk away.

"YOU ran into ME," I finish. Elizabeth Parker: does not play well with others.

She turns back and looks me up and down before glaring coldly. She narrows her eyes and scrunches up her nose and curls her upper lip. Attractive. Very becoming. Where is Polaroid when you really need them?

Maria is rubbing at her nose furiously.

"I was just standing here. I couldn't have run into you," I say sweetly.

By now the other people in the hall have started to take notice of the situation at hand.

"You're new here, right?" She says.

"Yep," I say, evenly meeting her glare.

"Well then I'm willing to overlook something like this just this once. A word of advice, though, stay out of my way," She says and turns to leave.

"I wasn't in your way. You ran into me." I call after her.

She turns back around slowly.

Maria is about to claw her nose off her face.

"A word of advice for you," I say, "stay out of MY way."

She walks up to me, getting as close as she can, and looks down at me.

"I'll let you in on something you haven't seemed to figure out yet. To everyone here who does matter, you don't, and so long as I'm around you won't," she whispers in low tone, right in my face. I can tell she's really pissed because her nostrils are flaring.

She's threatening my reputation? I couldn't give less of a rip. I'll ruin it myself if she doesn't.

"Well then," I pipe up really loudly, making sure everyone in the crowd that has gathered around us can hear me. "I'll let you in on something you haven't seemed to figure out yet."

"And what might that be?" she retorts snottily.

Hell, this is too much. She sets herself up.

"Tic-Tac?s are your friend," I say grabbing my pack out of my pocket and tossing it to her.

She reflexively reaches out to catch it, and I brush past her as she does.

I know better than to look back. I can feel her eyes burning into the back of my head, and hear the crowd snickering. I would say I definitely just made an enemy, a very important one by the looks of it, and school hasn't actually even started yet. I'm sure I'll have a reputation by the end of the day. The people who weren't there will be surely hear the story from the ones who were. Super. I'm off to such a good start.

The five minute warning bell rings just as Alex and Maria catch up with me.

"Liz, can I have your autograph?" Alex asks. "You're my hero."

"Are you insane? She could have killed you! What do you think this means?" Maria screeches rubbing her nose like she had been just a few minutes ago.

"Oooohhhh, that's what that means? I thought you just really needed a hanky or something. Thanks for the warning though," I respond nonchalantly.

"Cripes, girl, do you know who that was?" Maria asks.

"Isabel Evans, a.k.a. the Ice Queen," Alex chimes in.

The name slightly rings a bell.

"So what," I say. "She's a bully, and I'm not about to let her push me around. I don't care who she is."

I realize where I've heard the name before and burst out laughing hysterically. Isabel Evans, a.k.a. the best damn bridge-builder the Comets have ever seen.

"Listen guys, I have to get to class," I say. "I'll catch you later at lunch though, okay?"

I prance off still laughing at the irony of the situation. God, I love irony.

"She's mad," I hear Maria say behind me.

"I know," Alex replies. "Ain't it great?"


********************


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 12-Feb-2002 12:46:03 AM ]
posted on 12-Feb-2002 12:49:03 AM by Allie1031
Is there a reason why whenever I first post something all my quote turn to question marks or is it just me that the system is trying to annoy? Just wondering.*big*
posted on 14-Feb-2002 12:51:24 AM by Allie1031
Hey All! Thank you so much for the great feedback. I figured I wouldn't get a chance to post again tfor a while since tomorrow is Valentine's Day and I have to spend it with my boyfriend, and I tend to get wrapped up on the weekends. Although, times when I should be doing homework I too often hang out here. The next post might not be until early next week, but maybe I can get some written up over the weekend. Who knows? I'll at least try to answer some of the questions that have been posted if I can. Anyways, everyone have a good Valentine's Day, don't feel bad if you don't have a signifigant other either because this is my first year with one. In fact I really pretty much hate the whole idea of it. What can I say, I'm not very warm and fuzzy. My friends and I call it National Singles Awareness day and I made them some snazzy buttons for the occassion. So Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers out there, and Happy National Single's Awareness Day if that's more your style.



Part Four

I hurry to my first hour and never catch Maria's reply. I have A.P. Bio with a Mr. Slater. Cool beans. I walk into the class and everyone stops talking. So much for by the end of the day. I take seat in the very back and everyone starts to chat again, but not quite as loudly as before.

I scan the room. Holy smokes! My mystery man is in a seat over by the window. Typical. I sigh. He looks back curiously and smiles at me. I frown and glare back at him. He turns around.

The bell rings, and the teacher glides in. He's in his fifties, casually wearing jeans and a polo shirt with tennis shoes. He's pretty skinny, and not very tall, but definitely wearing some fairly large glasses.

"Good morning class," he chirps exitedly.

Most of the kids grumble back something unintelligible that could probably be stretched to good morning.

"We have a new student today," he says enthusiastically.

It's then that I realize that the rest of the day is going to go like this, me being the center of attention. Not that I'm really very opposed to that or anything.

"Elizabeth Parker? You go by Liz or Elizabeth? Why don?t you come up front and tell us a little bit about yourself?" he says taking a seat on his desk.

"Liz. Ummm...do I have a choice?" I ask. I'm not very big on standing up directly in front of people. It creeps me out. Sure, I like attention, but on my own turf. Not in formal situations when everyone is just sitting there. Watching me. With their beady little eyes. Judging me.

"Nope," he chuckles.

Fanfuckingtastic. What I only need is to embarrass myself more today. I don't care too much about my rep but it can only take so many beatings in one day. And it's still very early.

I take a deep breath and stagger up to the front of the class. You can do this Liz. Form complete sentences, don't stutter, and by all means DO NOT drool on youreself! The last one shouldn't be a problem as long as I keep my eyes off mysterious Max by the window.

"What do you want to know?" I ask after I get up there avoid all eye contact with anything other than my purple polished toes.

"Relax Liz," Mr. Slater says. "This isn't an interrogation. Have a seat and get comfortable. For starters you can tell us where you moved from."

I plop my butt up on the desk next to him where he had been gesturing.

"Well," I start, "I'm from a very small town in Iowa called Dike."

The class snickers. I?d expected as much. It?s a pretty typical reaction to the name of my hometown. A grungy guy in the very back raises his hand.

"Uh, Yeah?" I say.

"Dude, did you just say you were a dyke?" He asks.

The attractive blonde guy sitting next to him smacks him upside the back of his head.

"Are you dense Charlie?" He scolds. "She just said she was FROM Dike, not a dyke, numb nuts."

"Sorry to disappoint you Charles," I say, "but I prefer guys. Not that there is anything at all wrong with homosexuality. Heterosexuality is just my personal preference."

"Listen babe that's more than fine by me," Charlie answers. ?So you wanna go out sometime? Maybe get some grub after school??

He winks at me and tries to look suave. The class laughs.

"Not today Charles," I say. "I've already got plans. I have to...errr...wash my, uhh...hair."

The class laughs harder.

"It's cool. I'll catch you later, though," he promises.

"Yeah, much later," I retort. "Don't hold your breath."

"Well unless anyone else would like to ask Ms. Parker out, I'm going to ask her to continue about her the TOWN of Dike," Mr. Slater says trying not to look amused, and not very well I might add.

"Dike itself is pretty small," I say, "but it's only ten minutes a way from a metropolitan area of 120,000 people or so. My graduating class was supposed to be about 100. Dike is just one of those towns where everyone knows everyone and is in everyone else's business. I didn't name the town so don't blame me for what it implies. I just lived there, and not really by choice. It's pretty dull. Just another town in the middle of a cornfield. Most of the locals are farmers, and worse yet, half the town is related. My mother was from Oklahoma, but my step-dad was in big business at a John Deere tractor plant in the metropolitan area, so we just kinda lived there. Our house was on a golf course, part of this new housing development right outside of town. Don't ask me, I don't know whose idea that was to build it like that. I just know that on any given day, if you are out on the lawn you have to be careful you don't get knocked out by a golf ball.?

Charlie raises his hand smiling. I nod hesitantly.

"Ever been cow tipping?" he asks.

"No, can?t say that I have, Charles. I wasn?t at that 4-H slumber party," I respond.

A girl up front raises her hand. I point to her.

"You golf?" she asks.

I snort.

"Heck no," I say. "I haven't the patience. Besides that, hand-eye coordination is not my specialty. I'm one of those people who never quite fully developed their motor skills. I like to run though."

The curly blonde associated with Max raises her hand from a seat along the wall. I didn't even notice she is in this class. Figures, since she is sitting with a clan of blonde cheerleader clones. I look around to see if anyone else has raised their hand. I will someone else to raise their hand. Unfortunately my skills at telepathy are not what the used to be. She starts to squirm and wiggle her arm to get my attention. I sigh.

"Yes?" I say, acknowledging her.

"Hi, I'm Tess," she says very bubbly.

"That?s great. I'm glad for you," I reply.

Sadly, she doesn?t notice the bland, uninterested look on my face and continues.

"I was wondering why you moved here to Roswell," she says.

I don't really like where this is headed.

"Well don't let it keep you up at night," I respond, hoping she will shut up.

She looks at me for a while like she still expects me to answer. Just as she opens her mouth to say something else Mr. Slater pipes in.

"I think Liz has had enough for today. You can have a seat," He says to me.

I walk back to my original spot in the very back as Mr. Slater starts to address the class.

"Alright Everyone. Now that we have the basic fundamentals of biology down, we can get into the fun stuff. Tomorrow we are going to be doing our first lab. Liz, you're a lucky girl because we haven't assigned lab partners yet. Better yet, now that you are here we have an even number of students. I read the letter of recommendation from your last biology teacher, and I must say you sound quite impressive. I'm sure you'll fit right in and catch on quick," smiles Mr. Slater.

I smile back. Mr. Slater seems to be a pretty okay guy. Very relaxed.

"Now," continues Mr. Slater, "I chose the partners based on who I think you will work well with and learn from not who I think your friends are."

The whole class groans loudly. Charlie boos.

"Settle down," Mr. Slater says. "I'm sure by the end of the year you will be thanking me."

"Only if I?m with Liz," grumbles Charlie.

I wince at the possibility.

"Okay, listen up," asserts Mr. Slater. "I don't want to have to go through this list twice. First off we have Kate Myers and Jill Poe, Tess Harding and Charlie Harrison, Tommy Newman and Blake Stevens, Liz Parker and Max Evans, Tami Lee and ......?

Max's head jerks up.

Max Evans! Fuck. I'm with MAX?! Of all the...wait, wait, wait. Mystery man's last name is EVANS??!! Evans the same as in ISABEL EVANS???!!! Double Fuck. HELL NO. NO, NO, NO. There must be a mistake. I swear haven't done any THAT horrible. I have got to be Irish or something. Cripes. Breathe Liz, breathe. It is OKAY. Mr. Slater seems reasonable. I'm sure if you just explain to him...what, exactly? That you had the hots for this guy, but he already has a girl, and you nearly got your ass kicked by his sister this morning? Good luck. Hey, where's your optimism. C'mon, Liz. Optimism. Maybe he's an okay guy. And maybe he hasn't even heard about the fight yet. Maybe Isabel isn't even his sister at all. It could be a coincidence. Really. It could. Yeah, and I said optimism, not denial.

Mr. Slater finishes his list.

"Can I have everyone shift so that they are sitting next to their partner?" says Mr. Slater. "Then I'll hand out the lab sheet and the two of you can look it over together."

I look over at Max. He looks back at me. So I have to be his partner, but that doesn?t mean I have to like it. Or be nice either. I avert my eyes and stare at the pencil on my desk. Max realizes that I'm not going to move and comes over and takes the desk next to mine. Tess and Charlie take the two desks in front of us. Well, aren't we one happy little family? Mr. Slater comes by with the lab sheet.

"Max-ie," Tess whines. "I wanted to be with yooooou."

Excuse me while I go barf.

"Hey Tess," Max says, "do you ummm...think you could go somewhere else? We really do need to get some work done. Please?"

Tess scowls. Charlie doesn't look all that happy either.

"I mean if you were here I know you would just be a big distraction. I'd never get anything done. I'd be too busy looking at your pretty face and listening to your beautiful voice Tessy-bear. I'd hardly acknowledge poor Liz over here which just wouldn't be fair to her."

Seriously the chunks are rising. Oh my god, which way is the nearest restroom? By the way Max, would you like some crackers to go with that cheese?

"Awww, Maxie!" Tess beams.

"Dude, not me. Liz is hot," Charlie pipes in.

Tess frowns. Max frowns.

"Thanks, Charles," I say, meaning it. "It?s not like I?m an old maid."

I glare at Max. His eyes plead with me. Oh, what the hell, I'm a softy. That, and I don't want Tess over here anymore than he apparently does, or Charlie for that matter.

"Hey, Tess," I say. "I don't mean to monopolize your boyfriend. There is just so much that I don't know and need him to explain. But I'd love to have you come over and chat with us after I get all caught up."

I flash her my biggest, bestest, not to mention fakest, smile to seal the deal.

"I guess you are right Liz. Max is really smart and you definitely could use his help. C'mon Charlie," she says.

Definitely, my ass! I'll probably be carrying Max myself within two weeks. I give her a thumbs up.

Charlie hesitates. He looks back and forth between me and Max suspiciously. It's my turn to plead with my eyes. Finally he stands up and he and Tess move over by one of her cheerleader friends.

"Sorry about that," Max says after they leave. "Thanks, though."

"I don?t know what you are talking about," I say refusing to acknowledge my aid to the bastard.

"Tess means well most of the time, but sometimes I just need air," Max continues.

"Trouble in paradise?" I raise an eyebrow.

"Oh god, yes," replies Max. "Tess is a hand full. She's a nice person though, and I am committed to her."

Why is he telling me this? Does he think I give a flying fuck? Tess is nice alright. Nice and annoying. And why does he say that like he's obligated to her or something?

"I never got to properly introduce myself. I'm Max," he says extending his hand.

I stare at it.

"I had a dog named Max once. He was really dumb. He got hit by a car, and I had to take him out in the cornfield shoot him. I?m Elizabeth, by the way," I say.

"Well, I had a rat named Elizabeth once. She was really stupid. She escaped her cage and crawled in between the wall and died. We didn't find her till she started to reek," Max responds.

What do you know? The boy has balls after all.

"So you any relation a one Isabel Evans?" I ask cautiously.

"Yeah," He smirks. "She's my sister."

Well I'll be a horse's ass. Why didn't I just shoot myself in the foot this morning? I wonder if he's heard about Isabel's and my run in. Naw, he couldn't have. Otherwise, he wouldn?t be trying so hard to be friendly. Would he?

The bell rings and we gather our stuff. Max heads towards the door, but before he exits he looks back.

"By the way," he says, "the Tic-Tac line? THAT was priceless. I've never seen Isabel so speechless before in my life.?

He dodges out the door and I'm left standing there shocked.

Mr. Slater walks by and pats me on the back.

"Yeah," he says, "that was classic."

Mr. Slater exits the room. I stand there alone for a while, soaking up my utter astonishment. Before I know what has gotten into me, I run out the door chasing after Max Evans.


********************

posted on 14-Feb-2002 10:27:04 PM by Allie1031
Author's Note

I had some free time so I thought I would respond to some of the comments.


quote:
alienchica originally wrote:
So are Max, Isabel and Tess aliens?


Yes, well, I think so. I mean I was planning on it. But I like to be spontaneous and surprise myself so I never really know anything for sure. If they are alien this will probably turn NC-17 and if not then it's more towards maybe. I dunno. I make decisions as I go and pretty much wing it. We'll see. The ending may be a surprise for us all.

quote:
FehrBehr originally wrote:
What's up with Max saying him and Tess were commited??


Yes. Commited. Many people seem disturbed by the whole "three years" bit. I'm sorry I alarmed you. I don't want to say too much, but let's just put it this way, it's an M/L fic. Tess is gonna get her arse kicked.

quote:
katmcken originally wrote:
Now all we need in the pic is Micheal and Kyle and we have the Roswell group.


A couple people mentioned Micheal. He's coming up, don't worry. And there will be something going on between him and Maria too, I think. Kyle will also be appearing. So will Liz's good buddy Sean, very soon in fact.

quote:
Roswell Butterfly originally wrote:
But hopefully Isabel/Ice Princess turns nice and all


For those of you who are Isabel fans, you will be happy to know that her personality will be making a come back. Eventually. After I've had enough fun. I'm sorry to say though, that I am pretty sure she will not be in a couple with Alex. I had other plans for her with another popular roswell character that is a little less traditional, a hint of Season 3. I've never read her written with him before but I know the idea must be out there. I mostly read M/L fics so I guess I'm probably biased.

quote:
AuroraAngel101 originally wrote:
god I love you! (and in the heterosexual-I-love-your writing-way) I love your characters, the last scene rocked.


I love you too. (and in the heterosexual-you-read-and-love-my-writing-way) Thanks for the enthusiasm. It's nice to feel loved, even if you might just be humoring me.

quote:
roswellluver originally wrote:
I hope Maria's nose didn't get scratched off


I am confident that Maria will appear in the rest of the fic with, indeed, a nose.


Thanks you all so much for your support and feedback. It really means a lot to me. As long as at least one person can convince me they actually like my story and everyone keeps asking for more, I'll keep writing and try to pump the parts out as fast as I can.
posted on 16-Feb-2002 3:21:09 PM by Allie1031
Guys I'm not sure if I should continue this. It doesn't really seen like ther is that much interest, or at least like anyone is really reading it. I don't know. I'll probably still write on because I like to write but it won't be very high on my priority list if thats the case and updates will be few and far between. I'm just not sure there is a whole lot of interest. TBC?
posted on 20-Feb-2002 7:19:31 PM by Allie1031
Alright. I'll keep writing. Lucky for you guys I just like to write. Normally I write long ass emails back and forth with my friends in my spare computer time, especially the boys I am seeing, but as of lately I have decided that guys are peices of shit so I've been doing one-liners if anything at all. Eh, who knows? This part is longer I think because I was gonna write a lot for the hell of it but I figure I should just post what I have now. Thanks for the feedback everyone! I hadn't even looked at the thread in a few days. I'll try to be prompt in updates if I can.


Part Five

Unfortunately Max is long gone. But lucky for me Charlie waited around. Real lucky. Mmmno.

"So Liz, when we going out?" Charlie asks.

"Never," I growl, irritated.

"Hey, I can dig a challenge," he laughs.

The boy just doesn't get the picture. I am about to put my knee into his groin to show him, when his friend from earlier who hit him in the head steps up.

"Charlie, man, the lady said no. Cut her some slack," he says smiling at me.

I smile back. I hadn't noticed earlier how cute the guy is. Tall, Blonde hair, blue eyes, very cute indeed.

"Hi, I'm Sean. I'm sorry about my friend here. Unfortunately, he has no manners," Sean says elbowing Charlie in the gut.

He extends a hand. I shake.

"It?s nice to meet you. I'm Liz," I respond.

He still hasn't let go of my hand.

"I know," he says grinning.

He releases my hand.

"Welcome to Roswell," he continues. "If there is anything you need, or anything at all I can do for you, you just let me know."

"Okay," I nod.

He smiles again.

"Well, I guess I'll be seeing you around," he says.

"I hope so," I reply before I can be embarrassed by my obvious attraction.

"Me too," he says with amusement in his eyes.

He certainly doesn't seem embarrassed. He grabs Charlie who is looking on, some what dumbfounded that his friend Sean so easily found his way to my good side. Sean drags Charlie down the hall by the scruff of his collar, the whole time lecturing him about manners in the presence of a lady, or at least for as long as they are within my earshot.

I sigh, and turn around to wander my way to my next class. Lucky for me it's a beginning drawing class that Alex is in. I sit next to him, and the hour flies by full of his witty remarks and my sarcastic retorts.

Next I move on to gym class and lucky for me, Maria has it the same hour. Very lucky, because so does Isabel. We kept our distance occasionally exchanging murdering glares. Other than that the hour goes by pretty uneventful, thank god.

Fourth hour, Alex, Maria, and I all have a literature class called great books together, which is fantastic because it means we all eat the same lunch shift.

Lunck is about as swell as any school lunch can be. Maria, Alex, and I sit together with some other kids they know. It's really is a blast. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. Maria and Alex have already made me feel at home.

Fifth hour I have French with Isabel. Same treatment as in gym. Lucky for me though, Sean is in the class and we sit in the back goofing off most of the hour, making funny faces at Isabel. The teacher does not seem to appreciate us. Somehow though, while making monkey faces with Sean, Isabel looks nowhere near as threatening.

Sixth hour I have a very boring study hall in the cafeteria with Tessy-bear and my good friend Charlie. A barrel of fun and then some. They both try to sit next to me, but Maria walks in just as the ball is ringing and I move into a seat next to her.

I finally see Max again seventh hour in my math class. He and Tess both have Calculus with me, which I find surprising. I didn't know Tess?s small mind could incorporate such complicated usage of numbers. Eh, go figure. I'm wrong about many things.

The entire rest of the day passes rather uneventfully and I feel relieved when the final bell rings. As I walk down the hall to my locker at the end of the day I notice Max step up beside me.

"Hey," he says.

"Hey," I say, glancing around for Tessy-bear who is usually attached to his hip.

"How was your first day?" He wonders.

"Okay," I grumble refusing to let him know I am care that he cares.

"Just okay?" he asks.

"Well, I didn't cause anymore disturbances. I stayed away from your sister, you'll be glad to hear," I respond.

He laughs.

"Isabel is very self-righteous," he says.

"You must mean self-centered," I counter.

"Okay, that too," he chuckles.

He just brushes off every insult I throw at him. Why the hell is he so damn agreeable?

"Why the hell are you so damn agreeable?" I practically shout.

He looks at me, shocked by my outburst.

"I mean I try to offend you but you just ignore it. Why are you nice to me? I am a complete bitch to you and your sister. Are you dense or something?" I elaborate.

"I?m sorry," he say quietly, obviously a little hurt.

I sigh.

"Why on earth were you nice to me after I got in that fight with your sister?" I say.

"Isabel can be really stuck up. It was nice to see her ego deflated a bit. She can be really high and mighty sometimes. She needs someone to knock her back down to earth every once and a while. As for your bitchiness though, I just figured you were like that," he says.

I look him in the eye to make sure he's serious. He is. In that case, point taken. I suppose I can sometimes be unnecessarily unpleasant. Occasionally.

"Sorry," I mumble looking down.

I decide now is a good time to end this conversation and I walk away.

"Liz, wait," Max calls after me.

I walk faster. Stupid, I know. I can't outrun him and even if I could, I certainly couldn't evade him forever. I spot a drinking fountain on my right, shove past a person about to bend over, and stick my mouth in the stream.

"Bitch," I hear the girl swear a me.

Alright so it wasn?t polite to push, I'll admit, but there is no need for name calling. I turn around about to pounce. Then I realize who exactly I have shoved and I freeze. Shit.

"Who the hell do you think you are?" Isabel Evans screeches at me.

I about crap my pants. She looks really pissed and really scary. Damnit, I already pressed my luck earlier and some how I don't see myself coming out of this little incident so fortunate.

"Uhhh...sorry," I stammer. "I was really parched."

Not really a lie. My throat certainly is dry now. Very, very dry.

She squints her eyes and make that perfect Polaroid face again.

I wince.

"Well, I'm just going to get a uhhh...drink, and I'll be on my merry way. Ummm...very sorry," I manage to say.

She smirks at me. I turn around and bend over again to get a drink when I notice Isabel place her hand on the side of the fountain. I feel a little prickle in my fingers that are touching the fountain, kind of like a very small electrical shock.

"Liz! Don't!" Max says rushing in on the scene.

I'd completely forgotten about him. He knocks me out of the way just as I push the little knob to turn on the water fountain. A huge spray gushes out and I quickly release the valve. Okay, uhh, WHAT the FUCK?

"Liz, you have to be careful," says Max calmly through clenched teeth, glaring at Isabel. "This fountain's broken. It can be really screwy sometimes."

He stands between me and Isabel and places a hand on my shoulder.

"Wow. I sure as hell guess so. Thanks for the heads up," I say still stunned.

I stare at the surrounding wall and floor dripping with water that could have been all over me.

"No problem," Max says, leading me away by my arm and still glaring at Isabel who is frowning right back.

We walk a little ways before Max stops and turns to me.

"You okay?" he asks, looking me over.

"I think so. It was just water anyways. That was really weird," I say. "It was working fine the first time I got a drink."

"My advice," Max says, "is to stay out of Isabel's way from now on. You don't want to press your luck. She can be very...irrational sometimes."

"I'm not afraid of her," I insist, looking him in the eye.

"I know," he replies, ''and I think that's what irks her the most. Just watch your back."

"Alright," I sigh. "Listen, I'll see you tomorrow, okay? I was supposed to meet Maria at my locker a while ago."

"Okay," Max says hesitantly, as if he doesn't want to part ways.

Yeah, AS IF. He's probably got Tessy-bear waiting around the corner and is only talking to me because he feels sorry for me. You know, trying to be nice to the new kid and all.

I smile at him before I walk away for good measure. Eh, I figure it is the least I can do, afterall the boy did save me a change of clothes. I hurry to my locker to find Maria and Alex waiting.

"Where have you been, girl?" Maria says when she spots me.

"Eh, I had a run in with Isabel," I shrug.

Maria turns pale.

"Well, I see that you are still in one piece, that reassuring, but if you want to stay that way you are just going to have to wise up. You can only tease death so many times before it gets the best of you," Maria states worriedly.

"Don?t be so melodramatic, Maria. She's not going to DIE. Isabel won't kill her. Maim? Maybe. Paralyze? Probably. But I don't think Isabel would ever actually go so far as to kill someone. Granted, her enemies have a tendency to disappear..." Alex says.

Well now I'm shaking in my boots. Assuming I was wearing boots. Whatever. Bad cliche.

"Remember that one kid? Nicholas, or something? One minute he and Isabel have a big fight in front of the whole school about complexions or something, and the next day the kid is just gone. Vanished. For good. Crazy, crazy, strange shit," Alex continues.

Heh. Heh, heh. Insert nervous laugh here.

"Isabel Evans is definitely a weird one. Disappearing for days at a time. Always nervous and suspicious. Honestly sometimes I think she might seriously be insane," says Maria.

"A couple cards missing from the full deck," states Alex.

"Yeah," agrees Maria.

"One crayon short of a whole box," Alex says.

"Uh huh," responds Maria.

"A few bulbs gone off that string of Christmas lights," Alex continues.

"Right," says Maria.

"One egg less than a dozen," Alex goes on.

"Yup," Maria nods.

"Several peas rolled out of her pod," Alex rattles off.

"Totally," Maria smiles.

"Minus a penny or two from that dollar," Alex grins.

"No kidding," Maria laughs.

"A burger short of-"

"Enough," I break in. "I get the picture. Sheesh."

"Just be careful," Maria says. "Isabel Evans is unpredictable."

"Okay, okay. I'll try." I promise.

"In the infamous words of Yoda, there is no try. Do or do not," Alex quotes with a perfect Yoda accent.

"Geez, guys. I'm touched that you are worried about me, but I?m a big girl and can take care of myself," I assure them.

"I sure hope so," sighs Maria.

"Just out of curiosity, Alex, what is she a burger short of?" I ask.

"A happy meal, of course," Alex grins.

"Oh, Liz, I forgot to tell you," Maria squeals excitedly.

"Oh, no," Alex says rolling his eyes.

"We were invited to Pam Troy's birthday party tomorrow night! All my life I have wanted to be invited to one of her parties. She throws the best parties in all of Roswell. Oh we have to go, we just have to!" She jumps up and down.

"Well don't wet your pants," Alex says dryly. "How do you know her parties are so great anyways? You?ve never gone."

"EVERYONE knows her parties are awesome, Alex," Maria says impatiently crossing her arms.

"Oh, how silly of me. I forgot. Why would you want to go anyways? Pam's only inviting us so we will bring Liz. She didn't invite us until after you told her you were friends with Liz, and she made you promise to bring her," He sneers.

"So what?" Maria argues. "We got invited didn't we? Why can't you ever be gracious? It could be a lot of fun."

"I'll be gracious when there is something to be gracious about. You can count me out for this one," Alex states full of pride.

Maria sighs.

"Fine. Be that way. Liz and I will go and have a wonderful time and tell you all about it. Won't we Liz?" Maria asserts.

They both look at me.

"Uhhh...okay. I mean, I guess so?" I respond.

Hey, I'm not about to turn down a party. I live to party. Sorry Alex.

"Good," says Maria with renewed excitement. "You can come over to my house, and we can do our hair and makeup together! Ooooo, I just had a great idea, you can spend the night at my house!"

"Uhhh...sure," I say. "I have to ask my dad, but I think so."

"See Alex, it will be lots of fun. You?ll be sorry you missed out," Maria flaunts.

"Well I guess so," Alex states.

"You sure you don't want to go Alex?" I ask. "I sounds like it might be fun?"

"Oh, I'm sure. Don't worry about it, Liz. You go and have a good time with Maria," he assures me.

"Okay," I say.

"Yea," smiles Maria. "I can't wait!"

"Just out of curiosity, this Pam chic wouldn't be good friends with Isabel inviting me to try to erect revenge on me now, would she?" I ask casually.

"Not in the least," says Maria.

"If anything she invited you to conspire with you. Isabel's number one rival is Pam Troy, well, that is after you of course," smiles Alex.

"Hey, wow, good to know. I think I like this Pam chic already," I decide.

The three of us race out of the school. I'm definitely not opposed to Roswell anymore. It's already starting to feel like home.

********************













posted on 20-Feb-2002 7:19:34 PM by Allie1031
Sorry, double post. This crazy peice of crap computer!

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 16-Jan-2003 11:41:36 PM ]
posted on 22-Feb-2002 3:14:31 AM by Allie1031
I cam home today and checked the thread and the post about being a favorite three fic by luvjb inspired me to finish the next part. Part six goes out to luvjb of whom I am currently a big fan of.

Part Six

The next day of school goes by like a blur. Me avoiding Isabel. Me avoiding Max. Me avoiding Charlie. Me avoiding Tess. Shit, it's day two and I already have a fat ass list of people to avoid. Huh, I just must not be the sociable type. Damn. Oh well,I know I'm over it.

Max tries to have an actual conversation with me in bio, and I keep dragging the attention back to the lab. When his hand brushes mine, my skin prickles and I get goosebumps. I keep my hands far from his for the rest of the hour.

In gym class the teacher tries to make everyone climb this high-ass rope for a grade. She grades you on your method of climbing. You have to shimmy yourself up there some way to even get a grade. Everyone utterly sucks at it, everyone but me and Isabel. Oddly enough we are the only two girls in the class that make it up the A way which is hands only. Whatever, I just went up to the top. The gym-teacher Mrs. McGraine says we are two of the only three girls which have been able to do it so far. Surprise of all surprises, the other girl happens to be Tess Harding. Tess never really struck me as the strong type before. I must really just be way off on her. Then again Isabel surprised me too. I thought she would have been afraid she might break a nail or get a callous or something. Eh. I do massive amounts of push-ups and sit-ups and weight-lifting so it seemed a piece of cake to me but I'm guessing the rest of Roswell doesn't share my enthusiasm for fitness. I have such a petite body that I figure I better make up for what I lack in size with strength.

I meet this Pam Troy chic at lunch. She seems nice enough if you ask me. A little involved with herself, but nice in a fake, artificial, blonde highlights, baked to a golden brown, zapped a few too many brain cells with her cell phone kind of way. Well, nobody's perfect. She want to make sure I will be attending her big birthday bash and I confirm that I am. Dad was thrilled that I am making friends so fast. Note to self: do not let Dad and Isabel come with in 50 feet of each other.

Sean and I sit together in French again and flirt for most of the hour. He asks my plans for the weekend and I tell him about Pam and he laughs and tells me that he'll be at the party too. Apparently he and Pam go way back, whatever the hell that means.

Tess and her cheerleading friends swam around me and Maria in study hall. First, they start by asking me all sorts of doofy questions like what kind of shampoo do I use to make my hair smell like strawberries and what kind of music do we listen to in Dike. Then they go on to tell us about how cute the outfits they bought for Pam's big party are, listing their entire ensemble down to their every accessories. Maria and I have to listen with glazed eyes, but every once in a while I pop in a good sarcastic remark or two totally goes over their heads. Finally they move into the latest gossip about this couple or that or who's cheating on who or what people are pissed at each other. It would have been a hell of a lot more meaningful if I couldn't count the people I know in Roswell on my fingers. Maria seemed really interested though. I tell you, if I ever need dirt on anyone, I know where I'm going. For the most part though, the conversation centers around the one big underlining theme of Pam Troy?s birthday blow out. This is like the social event of the year at West Roswell High, home of the comets. After all the hype this puppy gets it better be the best damn party I've ever been to, or at least one kick-ass all out blast.

At the end of the day Max tries to walk me to my locker with his friendly, Brady-bunch quality chit chat, but Tess intercedes. Oh, well. Max waves goodbye, and Tess blows me a kiss like we are best friends or something. Or something. That girl is just lucky I haven't had a chance or reason to cream her annoying, sorry ass yet. I'll humor her as long as it is to my advantage or I have nothing better to do and not a second longer. It's not like I don't try to insult her as it is. She just doesn't understand the careful sarcasm in my responses. At least Max understands, he's just naive enough to believe it's my personality. Go figure.

Maria takes me home to grab some of my stuff to spend the night, and then we head over to her house. I wish I was lucky enough to have two-day weeks every week. Maria and I make our way to the Kitchen as soon as we get to her house and rustle around for some grub. I settle on some Oreos and some milk and Maria grabs a bag of Gardettos.

"In our kitchen," she says, "we only have one rule. You can eat whatever you can find."

"Good rule," I tell her with a mouth full of cookies. I swallow. "You don?t need a lot of rules if the ones you have are good."

"Very true," Maria states. "Although, the house wide rule of you make the mess, you clean it up seems to have less popularity around here."

I take a big gulp of milk. Sean walks by the doorway and waves.

"Hey Liz," he says as he heads upstairs.

I spit milk out all over myself.

"What the hell is he doing here?" I question Maria.

"He lives here," Maria laughs as milk dribbles down my chin.

"Cripes, Sean is your brother?" I ask.

"Oh thank god, no. He's my cousin, but he lives here with me and my mom. It's a complicated family situation," Maria explains.

You know, I don?t remember ever hearing Sean's name attached to a last name. Note to self: be more observant.

"So it's just the three of you living here?" I wonder.

"Yup," Maria says through a mouth full of Gardettos.

"Huh. You think Sean would have told me. I mean I KNOW I've mentioned you before," I say.

"Sean lives in his own world," Maria replies. "If it makes you feel any better he gave me the third degree about you last night so I just assumed you knew."

"You know something Maria? This is one very small world," I respond.

"No kidding," she says. "You know, you have milk all over yourself. Want to go change?"

"Good idea," I say.

We head upstairs. We walk past Sean's room and the door is wide open. He's got posters of his favorite bands and super models covering the walls. Metallica is blaring from his stereo.

"What the hell happened to you?" he says when he sees me.

"I had an accident," I say angrily. "When exactly were you planning on telling me that you were related to my good friend Maria here whom I have been telling you all about?"

"Eh. It didn't really come up. I figured you would find out eventually," he shrugs.

"Didn't come up?! I talk about Maria all the time. You asked me who I liked so far and I said Maria DeLuca and Alex Wittman!" I spew back.

"Maybe I didn't want Maria telling you bad things about me," he says quietly, looking down.

Maria rolls her eyes.

"Whatever. If you wouldn?t do bad things then maybe I wouldn't have to tell Liz about them," adds Maria matter-of-factly.

"I'm sorry Liz," Sean pleads. "I knew you would find out sooner or later, I just hoped it would be later after you had a chance to form a good opinion of me first."

"It's okay Sean," I sigh. "It's really no big deal. I don't really care, but in the future I expect you to tell me things like this."

"No prob," He says smiling at me like we never had this conversation.

I smile back and Maria drags me out of the room. We go into her and she locks the door behind her.

"You know he is just going to try to play you, right?" She asks.

"Maybe I like to be played," I say cautiously.

"I know you like to play with fire Liz, but this time I promise you will get burned," Maria replies.

How 'bout a little fire, Scarecrow? Bring it on.

"Geez, Liz. You even have milk in your hair! Gross. You better take a shower," Maria says changing the subject.

I smell my hair. Yup. Definite scent of cow juice.

"You're right, or tonight I will reek like rotten dairy. I don't want to develop the reputation of being the stinky kid at school. That's ALL I need," I respond.

"Don't worry," Maria smirks. "Smelly Ken has already claimed that award for the last 13 years and I think he?s in danger of being dethroned."

I chuckle.

"I don't think I've met this fellow called smelly Ken yet," I say.

"Oh believe me, if you had, you would know," Maria laughs. "He looks like an average guy, he just doesn't shower very often. It's not even like he can't afford to or has a glandular problem or anything. He's just really lazy, the laziest person on the face of the earth."

I chuckle some more. Maria leads me to the bathroom and I take a quick shower. The best thing about Maria's house is it already feels like my second home. Maria takes a quick shower after me and we lay on her bed for a while watching Beverly Hills, 90210 reruns. Her room is really great. She has a big canopy double bed with a deep purple bedspread and drapes and such. All different colors of purple accent her room and the pillows on her bed are unique in shade. She has a lot off really antique looking furniture, including Victorian style lamps and an old maple wood desk. Maria definitely has taste in her decorating and I can tell she went to a ton of work to get her room just right.

"Maria where did you get all this great stuff? Your room looks awesome," I tell her.

"Eh, my mom and I visit a lot of flea markets and garage sales. Oh, and auctions are good too," She says.

"You have to help me redecorate my room," I plead.

"Sure, sounds like fun," she says.

At five or so Maria and I run down stairs and stick a frozen pizza in the oven. At 5:30 we remember to turn on the oven. At six we put another pizza in because we discover Sean and some of his friends have eaten ours.

Around seven or so Maria and I get dressed. She puts on a shimmering baby blue spaghetti strap tank top that brings out the color of her eyes perfectly. I pull on my bright green velvet camisole tank. Maria crimps my hair and pulls half back in a messy but very stylish fashion. I make little twists in Maria's hair to pull it all back into a disheveled bun on top of her head. Maria and I, damn, do we have style. She thinks exactly like me, and we have such similar taste it astonishes me. I don't trust myself to do Maria?s make up, it's never been my specialty. Instead I watch in awe as she magically conceals any minor flaws she may have had and subtly highlights her face in all the right place to make herself look astonishingly beautiful. Heh. And I have to show up with her. Heh, heh.

"Damn, Maria. You look fantastic. You're like a professional make-up wiz or something. I never look that good," I say. Maria is just naturally pretty to begin with and with a little make up she looks like a goddess.

"Thanks," she says grinning. "Want me to do you now?"

"PLEASE," I beg taking a seat in front of her.

"Okay," she says, "but you have to completely trust me and can't look until I'm done."

I agree. The last time I let someone else do my make up was my freshman year. My best friend Lindsay begged me to let her and she ended up putting on way too much, making me look like a clown. I haven't trusted anyone to do my makeup since. I tell Maria this. She giggles.

"Don't worry, Liz, I know what I'm doing. The trick is not in how much you put on but how you put very little on," Maria tells me.

She sounds knowlegdable so I just let her loose. She uses a lot of shades that I assure her look bad on me and she tells me to just wait and see.

"There, finished," she says admiring her work smiling.

She puts down the mascara she has in her right hand and picks up a hand-held mirror. I try to turn around to get a glimpse of my self in her big mirror behind me but she stops me.

"Not yet , Liz! You do look spectacular if I say so myself. Granted, though, I might be biased because you are my work of art. Wait just a sec. SEAN!" She hollers.

I hear Sean slowly tromp up the stairs to Maria's room.

"What do you want now?" he grumbles as he enters the room.

He stops dead when he sees me and his eyes go wide.

"Wow, Liz. You look gorgeous," He says staring.

"Maria, let me see!" I say snatching the mirror from Maria's hand.

I gasp when I see myself. Maria has made me look much older and much, much prettier. I turn around and look in the big mirror to see the full effect.

"Shit, Maria. You are awesome," I tell her.

"No you are," she says laughing.

"You girls leaving soon?" Sean asks. "If you are you can ride with me and the boys."

"No, I will not be your designated driver Sean," Maria huffs.

"Naw, we already drew straws. It's Charlie's turn," Sean responds grinning.

"Well, in that case, as touched as I am that you want to be seen with me in public Sean Deluca, I'm still going to have to decline your offer on the basis that we are not quite ready and that your friends might try to grope us on the way home. You of course would be a perfect gentleman and never try any moves on Liz," Maria says.

"Naturally," Sean states.

Maria snorts.

"Well, we're gonna go then," he says as he backs out of the room still staring at me, "but I guess we will see you there."

He leaves and Maria turn to me smiling.

"We are going to have so much fun tonight!" She proclaims. "Just promise me that you will try to stay out of trouble Liz."

"Trouble? Ha. Innocent is my middle name. Elizabeth Innocent Parker. Has a certain ring, wouldn't you say?" I grin.

Maria laughs.

"Right," she says.

Maria and I finish getting ready, and when I look down at my watch I see it is nine already. Man, time flies when you are having fun, dancing around Maria's room in your underwear to 80's tunes by greats such as Tiffany. It's amazing that Maria knows all the words to "I Think We?re Alone Now" and fricking hilarious when she sings it to you in her underwear. Great set of pipes on that girl too. Ah, good times, good times. Maria and I finally go pile into her car.

"What time did this party start?" I ask Maria.

"Eh, Pam said six, which means seven and most people don't come until later anyways," Maria replies. "Pam's parents went out of town around five so six was the very earliest people were supposed to come. The thing about Pam's parties is that they tend to last all night; most people don't go home until around six a.m. and people come and go all night."

"So how old is Pam turning today?" I wonder.

Maria snorts.

"Actually, she's 18 but I'm pretty sure her birthday was around three month ago," Maria grins. "She just waits to have her birthday party when her parents go out of town. That, and she has about three birthdays a year from my count."

"She must really want a lot of presents," I chuckle.

"The problem is," Maria laughs, "that everyone forgets when her birthday really is because she has so many so-called 'birthday' parties."

"Damn, and I thought she had found a good way to cheat the system," I smile.

Maria drives us a little ways out of town and turns off onto a private drive. Before long we run into rows of cars parked along both sides of the drive, and Maria parks. We get out and walk to Pam's house which is lit up against the night sky off about 100 meters in the distance. As we get closer I can see that Pam's home is a ritzy, southwestern-style, ranch house. Cars are disorderly parked in a field on her vast lawn to my right. I can hear music blaring from her house and voices laughing and shouting the closer we get. Maria and I approach the front door and look to each other

"You want to do the honors or should I?" I ask Maria.

"Oh, after you," Maria says smiling.

I reach out and grab the door knob but before I can turn the door is yanked open.

"Liz is here," some guy I have never seen before in my entire life shouts at the top of his lungs.

A cheer raises from the party-goers and I see Pam make her way through a crowded room on my left towards us.

"Lizzie, you came," Pam squeals like we are best friends. "I'm so glad you're here. There are soooo many people that you just HAVE to meet."

She forcefully takes my arm and drags me away.

"Uhh...I'll catch up with you later," I call back to Maria who looks a little disappointed.

Pam parades me around and introduces me to fifty billion people, none of who?s names I remember. Finally I sneak away she turns for an instant to stop some guy from pissing in one of he potted plants. I definitely need a break, having been on display for the last hour. I steal away for some piece and quiet on her back lawn which apparently isn?t as novel of a concept as I had thought. Mostly there are just couples making out in dark corners, but a group of individuals is gathered by the pool so that's where I head.

"Liz Parker," calls an all too familiar voice.

"Charles," I respond dryly.

The scent of alcohol is heavy in the air.

"We were just about to start a good old-fashioned game of truth or dare and we are looking for players," Charlie slurs.

So much for designated driver. I wonder if Sean knows. Note to self: FIND OUT. I should really take Charlie's keys from him but I don't feel like it at the moment. I'll come back later. He doesn't look like he will be going anywhere anytime soon.

"Enticing offer but I told Maria I'd be right back," I say backing away before Charlie can get too close. "You have fun though."

"No. Come back," he stammers as I dodge back into the house.

Once inside I set off in search of Maria. After a solid ten minutes go by before I find her sitting on a couch with some guy that I don't recognize.

"Sorry," I say squeezing onto the couch next to Maria. "Pam is one crazy ho that thinks I'm like her new pet or something. It was boring as hell and I kept trying to break away, but she dug her nails into my arm."

I show her the marks to prove it.

"It's okay," Maria says. "I don't blame you. It's nice to have attention."

"Yeah," I reply. "But I hope you didn?t miss me too much."

"You know I was lost without you," she smiles.

"Who is this?" I ask gesturing to the guy sitting next to her. He's actually pretty cute with shaggy light brown hair in his brown eyes. He carries a distinct don't piss me off aura that I instantly appreciate.

"Oh, him?" Maria says giving a nod in the general direction of the guy. "That's just Michael Guerin. No one special."

"Thanks for the great introduction Maria," Michael responds bitterly. "You're nothing special yourself, you know."

"I'm Liz Parker," I say reaching a hand around Maria to shake Michaels.

"Charmed," says Michael glancing at me past a stubbornly frowning Maria. "I've heard of you."

"Really? What have you heard?" I question.

"Eh, someone told me you were a short, arrogant, ugly, monkey-faced bitch," Michael says casually.

********************

posted on 23-Feb-2002 7:48:39 PM by Allie1031
For the record, I try to get a part out for every every ten replies, at least. Thank you all for the great feedback thus far. I'm sorry all of you dreamers who are anxious about the presence of Sean, please be patient.


-Previously-

"I'm Liz Parker," I say reaching a hand around Maria to shake Michael's.

"Charmed," says Michael glancing at me past a stubbornly frowning Maria. "I've heard of you."

"Really? What have you heard?" I question.

"Eh, someone told me you were a short, arrogant, ugly, monkey-faced bitch," Michael says casually.

********************

Part Seven

"That's awful," Maria bursts. "Liz isn't like that."

"I KNOW," Michael says. "Liz isn't ugly and her face doesn't really resemble a monkeys. She's not really THAT short either. Just average. I don't know about arrogant or bitch though. I just met her."

"Where did you hear this?" I ask frowning.

"From his good friend Isabel, that's who," steams Maria.

"It's okay, Liz," Michael assures me. "Max had only good things to say about you so I would say you are pretty well balanced out for the time being in my eyes."

"Because the world revolves around what YOU think Michael," retorts Maria.

"What did Max say?" I question Michael.

"The usual. He said you were really funny, hilarious even. He loves your personality. He said the you were beautiful, but didn't think you were, and sweet, even through you tried to hide it with a rough exterior. Oh, and he also said 'the whole world stops when you walk into a room,' whatever the hell that means," Michael tells me.

"The boy is delusional," I respond. "The last thing I am is sweet, especially to him."

"Well that's just what he thinks," proclaims Michael. "I don't know. Maxwell can be an odd one sometimes."

"I didn't even know you KNEW Max Evans," Maria says to me. "It's so strange that he and his sister have such conflicting opinions of you."

"Not really," replies Michael. "They are close, but they disagree on a lot of things. Most people really don't know anything about us at all."

I notice how he groups himself with Max and Isabel.

"I need something to drink," I say glancing at the bar.

"Check the fridge in the kitchen if you want pop," Michael says. "The bar over there only has alcohol."

Alcohol. Reminder: find Sean, get Charlie's keys.

"Thanks for the tip. You two want anything?" I ask.

They decline and I get up in search of a pop. When I come back Max is sitting with them.

"Hey, Liz," Max smiles.

"Hey," I say.

The four of us chat for a while as I sip my pop. Max actually has some impressive opinions on things, especially current events. Go figure. I'm at a PARTY discussing politics with Max Evans and enjoying it. Topics always start with the four of us conversing but Max and I end up dominating, leaving Maria and Michael to drop out and whisper about Max and I. Both Maria and Michael seem to loosen up, and they end up giggling and snickering a lot between the two of them. For the most part Max and I ignore them and go on with our debate.

In the room next door, who ever is DJing puts in an old Salt ?n Pepper CD and ?Let?s Talk About Sex? blares out of the speakers.

"I love this song," I say. "I remember in like fifth grade or so when it was way scandalous. I used to sing it with my friends before I really knew what it was about. I just knew I was bad for singing it."

Max laughs.

"Liz, you are just such a rebel," Max jokes. "Come on, let's go dance."

"Why don't you go dance with Tess," I say lamely.

"Because I asked you," He replies. "That, and Tess is really involved in poker at the moment."

I glance into the dining room where Tess and several other kids are all sitting around a huge maplewood table. Tess is clearly winning; her pile of chips is at least twice that of every one else.

"Alright," I say.

Max stands up and grabs my hand to pull me up. Maria elbows Michael.

"Hey, you wanna go dance too?" she asks.

"Dancing is not really my thing," Michael responds.

"Oh, come on," Maria pleads giving him the best puppy dog-eyed, poutty face I have ever seen.

"Alright," Michael folds, "but only for a little while."

Maria jumps up pulling Michael along with her. Max leads me to the living room, still holding my hand. I get butterflies at the physical contact with Max but quickly swallow them. Pam's gigantic living room has been converted to a dance club type atmosphere. The furniture has all been pushed aside and all the regular light bulbs have been replaced with black lights. Somewhere Pam has gotten a hold of a strobe lamp and a couple guys are crowded around her extensive, kick-ass stereo serving as DJ's and taking requests. Max and I push our way into the sea of sweaty, dancing bodies. We quickly lose sight of Maria and Michael but I'm already grooving away to my heart's content and could care less. A Nelly CD comes up next and we dance through several of the most popular songs. We start a couple feet apart, but the longer Max and I dance together, the closer we get to each other. About six songs later we are heavily grinding on each other. Too my absolute pleasure I discover that Max is a great partner, complementing me in size perfectly. Being close to Max, I realize he smells good, really good. I can't quite describe it, but it makes my stomach do flip flops.

"Having fun?" Max shouts into my ear over the loud music.

"Definitely," I shout back smiling.

I rub my ass against him and he runs his hands over my hips and around my waist. Max and I look completely timid compared to some of the couples nearby who are openly fondling each other and are very much in need of their own rooms. I spot Sean in the crowd and I wave. He dances his way over. I pull him close, and as we dance I tell him about Charlie by the pool out back.

"Shit," he swears in my ear after I tell him.

"Don't worry," I reassure him. "I'll get his keys from him later. I can drive home and Maria can follow behind us."

"Thanks Liz," He smiles and pulls me closer.

I can tell Max doesn't like this and pushes closer to me from behind. Before long I am sandwiched between the two of them, neither willing to give me up. Tess, finally remembering her boyfriend, shows up to claim Max. He quickly backs off me at her appearance. Sean uses this chance to whisk me away to the opposite side of the room. I find myself in a much darker corner where everyone is going at it very heavy duty with their partners. With my arms around his neck, Sean's hands roughly grab my ass and he pulls my hips in as close as he can. I feel IT rubbing against me. Sean smells good too, not at all like Max though, spicier, more daring. Sean catches my bottom lip between his. He nibbles on it for a while and then runs his tongue around the outside of my mouth. It searches for entry and I open up, taking him in. Sean tastes fruity, like the wine cooler he had been drinking earlier. His tongue explores my mouth, and his hands my behind, finding their way into the back of my pants.

"Let's go upstairs," Sean audibly whispers into my ear, kissing it.

"I can't," I say. "I promised Maria I would stay out of trouble."

"Do I look like trouble to you?" He asks.

"Yes," I respond grinning. "Very much so."

"Good," he replies smiling.

He kisses me again, his tongue wrestling mine with renewed passion, but I pull away.

"Not tonight," I say and I back off before I can get carried away.

Sean's disappointed, but he says nothing. I leave him and search for Maria. Instead I run into Pam Troy. She pulls me aside.

"You won't BELIEVE who just arrived," She says smiling slyly. "Isabel Evans."

"That's nice," I respond almost caring.

"Aren't you going to do something?" She asks perplexed.

"Ummm...No?" I answer at the risk of being boring.

"Well why the hell not?" Pam says. "I invited her so you could let her have it again. Imagine the nerve of her, showing up at a party that everyone knows you will be at. Why would she do that?"

"Because you invited her?" I respond.

"That's no reason. Hell, she knows I hate her," Pam says.

"Then why'd you invite her?" I ask confused.

"Because I thought you would give it to her! And I invite her to all my parties, duh," Pam replies frustrated.

I fail to see any logic in anything coming out of Pam's mouth.

"Why do you invite her to your parties if you hate her?" I wonder.

"Because I invite everybody who is anybody. I have a certain standard to maintain with my parties. And they are the kind that get talked about for months afterwards," Pam tries to explain.

I'm visibly confused.

"Look you want bring Isabel down right? I mean, she is your enemy?" Pam asks.

"Uhh... I guess so," I respond.

"Great," Pam says smiling again. "I know just the weakness you can use to get at her."

Alright, Pam is one conniving bitch if you ask me.

"Which is..." I ask growing impatient with what Pam is trying to say.

"Kyle Valenti," Pam states proudly of her planning. "Her boyfriend. He's been known to have a wandering eye, and he flirts with all of the girls. He's the star of the football team. Girls swoon around him."

Pam points Kyle out across the room, his arm around Isabel's waist. He's an all-american, blue-eyed, sandy-haired, boy-next-door cute. He says something and he, Isabel, and the group around them laugh. Isabel gazes up at him lovingly.

"You want me to seduce her boyfriend?" I reply shocked.

"Yes," Pam says. "You're very pretty, and really smart. Exactly his type. I know he'll fall for you easily. The only reason he hasn't cheated on Isabel yet is because all the other girls are too scared of Isabel to get involved."

"You want me to seduce her boyfriend?" I repeat. "That seems awfully shady."

"Come on," Pam says rolling her eyes. "The girl hates you. You should hear the shit she talks behind your back."

"Yeah, but all that?s between me and Isabel. It has nothing to do with this Kyle guy. I'm sorry Pam, I just don't think I could do that," I say.

I try to walk away, but she grabs my arm, digging her nails in.

"Liz Parker, don't ever cross me," Pam states icily. "I'm one enemy that you do not want. I make Isabel look like a kitten."

"I'm not your puppet, Pam," I reply coldly, breaking my arm free.

The look she gives me at my response sends daggers my way. Pam is not an enemy I need right now I decide.

"I'll think about it," I finally say, trying to appease her.

"Good," she says smiling again. "I know you will come to the right conclusion."

It's funny how her right conclusion is exactly the opposite of mine. Pam is scary. Like mental scary. The girl help. I get away before she tries to make me do anymore dirty work and renew my search for Maria. I spot her dancing with Michael, laughing, and I leave her be. I walk past the patio door and I see Charlie still out by the pool goofing off with his friends. Now is as good of time as any, I decide, and I slip through the door.

"Charles," I call out.

His head snaps my direction immediately. A big smile crosses his face when he recognizes me.

"Hey baby," He smirks slyly stepping closer to me.

His group of friends stand looking on silently and grinning slightly. I notice that they all quite plastered, and one girl looks like she is about to pass out if whe doesn't puke first. The group is mostly boys, though, I discover, with the exception of two girls.

"Charles, I have been looking for you," I say, not a complete lie, as I slowly approach him.

"Really," He responds with a huge grin. "What for?"

"I have something I want to show you," I tell him seductively.

"What's that?" He licks his lips.

Smiling, I walk provocatively to where he is standing next to the pool . I place my hands on his chest and close the distance between us.

"This," I whisper, my mouth next to his ear.

I run my hands slowly down his chest and across his stomach. He watches fascinated. I drift my hands into his front pockets and he looks at me like a little kid at Christmas. I finally feel his keys, among other things, in his front right pocket. I grasp them tightly and yank my hands out with incredible speed. Before he knows what has hit him, I smoothly give him a good shove backwards into the pool. I flinch at the big splash he makes. He surfaces quickly; it's only five feet where he feel in. His friends burst into hysterics.

"Hey," He shouts angrily, making his way to the ladder.

"Keep dreaming, Charles," I say standing over him trying not to laugh myself at his drowned rat appearance.

I turn and walk back to the house chuckling to myself. I put a sway in my hips, knowing that he, and probably his guy friends for that matter, will be watching my ass as I walk away. I look up to see Max standing in the doorway of the patio door watching and listening intently with a scowl on his face.

"You shouldn't be such a tease, Liz," Max says sternly when I am within normal voice range.

"What's it to you?" I respond frowning.

Max sighs.

"You don't want to develop a reputation as that kind of girl, do you?" he states carefully.

"No," I reply quietly. "But once again, what's it to you?"

"Nothing," Max says trying to control his anger.

"Simmer down, Max," I tell him absently. "I was just getting Charlie's keys. He's toasted, and he's supposed to be the designated driver."

"How thoughtful of you. And Sean? You were searching for his keys too I suppose?" Max shoots back.

"I didn't touch Sean's keys,? I growl at Max defensively. "And even if I had, that's none of your business. I can play with any keys I want"

"Well it sure looked like Sean's keys were getting attention," He bellows.

"What are you, spying on me?" I yell.

"I don't have to," Max shouts. "You slut around in plain sight!"

I slap him across the face. Hard. I shove through him into the house. I run face first into Isabel and Kyle holding hands. I bounce off and then push past her. I can hear her shouting things at me and then Max at her. I'm suffocating. I run upstairs, hot tears streaming down my face. Max is in pursuit. I can her him pleading with me to wait and clamoring up the stairs behind me. Shithead. GO AWAY. I crash into a room, trying to get away, and am confronted with a couple having sex.

"Sorry," I mutter closing the door quickly.

Thankfully the next door I open is to a bathroom. I jump inside quickly and slam the door. Max sticks his foot between the door before it gets closed. I wince at pain he must feel. I push on the door trying to get it closed. Max pushes back from the other side and easily overpowers me. He forces his way in and locks the door behind him. He slowly turns and faces me.


**********************



posted on 24-Feb-2002 1:47:22 PM by Allie1031
Hey guys, I don't think the next part is going to be up until Wednesday, maybe Tuesday, but it could be later still. There are alot of events I want to include in it and so it might be longer and thus take me longer to write. I'll try to get it up as soon as I can though. *happy*
posted on 26-Feb-2002 1:14:21 AM by Allie1031
Alright guys, I had to catcg up on some reading that I have been neglecting and study for a psychology test but I am 90% sure, which is as sure as I ever get, that I will get the new part up tomorrow instead of Wednesday. Hell it might even be later tonight but I doubt it.
posted on 26-Feb-2002 8:31:19 PM by Allie1031
Well, here it is. I had to leave some stuff out but I'll put it in at upcoming sequences. I'd appreciate any feedback you guys have. Thanks.

-Previously-

Thankfully the next door I open is to a bathroom. I jump inside quickly and slam the door. Max sticks his foot between the door before it gets closed. I wince at pain associated with that. I push on the door trying to get it closed. Max pushes back from the other side and easily overpowers me. He forces his way in and locks the door behind him. He turns and faces me.

Part Eight

"Liz-" Max starts.

"Don't. Just leave me alone," I say, salty tears still trickling down my cheeks.

I sit down on the edge of the tub. I rest my head in my hands and my elbows on my knees.

"I'm sorry, Liz. I didn't mean it. I wasn't thinking. I swear, I don't think that about you at all," Max pleads.

"I'm not crying because of you, Max. I don't care about what you think," I tell him haughtily.

"Then why are you crying, Liz?" Max asks concerned.

"I don't want...to...talk...about it. Just ...GO... AWAY," I bawl.

He sits down next to me on the tub and rubs my back. I stiffen.

"It's okay, Liz," he says softly. "You can trust me."

"Get out, Max," I cry, pushing him away.

"Liz, you need to talk about this. Whatever it is, it's eating you up inside," he tells me quietly.

I know he's right, but I refuse to admit it.

"I don't need anything or anyone, Max. I can take care of myself. Mind your own business and please just leave me alone," I sniffle.

"Liz-" Max begins.

"GET OUT," I shout shoving him off the tub toward the door.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" Max asks with irritation.

"Maxwell, is that you? It's Michael," Michael says through the door.

"AND Maria. Liz are you in there?!" Maria wails.

"We're in here," Max sighs.

"Is everything okay?" Maria frets.

"No," I say.

"YES," Max says clamping a hand over my mouth.

"Liz?" Maria questions.

I struggle to get free of Max's grasp. He wrestles me to the ground and sits on me.

"She says she's fine Maria. Michael?" Max dictates.

"Yeah?" Michael responds.

I bite Max's hand but it has no effect. I bite harder, and he winces but doesn't let go.

"We'll be down in a little bit. Liz and I are talking. Tell Isabel that I will check up on that ISSUE for her," Max says.

"Okay," Michael replies. "I'm supposed to tell you that Isabel wants to have a little meeting about that certain ISSUE as soon as you get a chance.?

"Alright," Max agrees. "I'll come find you guys as soon as I am done here."

"Sounds good. You kids have fun and I'll talk to you later," Michael says.

"Bye, Liz. We'll have to talk sometime later," Maria calls.

"See you guys," Max replies.

I let out a muffled cry for them to come back but they are already too far away. I hear their footsteps tromping down the stairs. Once again, I am left alone with Max.

"Look Liz, the way I see it, you have two choices. One, you can tell me what's wrong and we can get on with life and go downstairs and have a good time. Two, we can sit here in the bathroom until you tell me what's wrong. It's up to you," Max says.

He takes his hand off my mouth and rubs the bite marks.

"GET OF ME," I shout.

"Not until you decide to tell me," Max says. "I can sit here all night."

"No you can't. You have to go talk to Isabel about her issues. It's reassuring to know she is seeking help," I retort.

"LIZ," Max barks impatiently. "Isabel will have to wait I'm only concerned with you right now and I am prepared to sit here all night."

Well I'm not.

"You're crushing my lungs," I whine.

"Too bad," Max replies unaffected.

I sigh. I know when I'm beat.

"Alright, I'll tell you," I resign.

"Promise?" Max asks.

Damn.

"I promise," I swear.

Unfortunately for me, I pride myself in being true to my word, whatever it may be.

"Okay," Max states, standing up. "Spill."

As soon as I get up I knee Max in the groin. He falls to his knees.

"Owwwww," he moans. "What the hell was that for?"

"Sitting on me asshole, and trying to control me. I don't like being forced into anything," I tell his cowering body.

"You gave me your word Liz. You promised you'd talk to me," Max reminds, still hunched over cupping himself.

"I know, and I will tell you, even though it is so clearly none of your business and in the future I hope that you will observe my boundaries. I took karate for seven years Max. If you ever want to have children, you better watch out because I know how handle myself," I tell him.

"So I have found," Max grunts, finally coming to his feet again.

I sit back down on the tub and he sits next to me. I scoot as far away as I possibly can and he allows me the distance. I don't think he wants to chance another blow with the pain of the last still so fresh in his mind.

"Well, go ahead, Liz. You can tell me," he says looking to me, trying to catch my eye.

We sit there for a while. I look down at my feet.

"My mother just died," I blurt out before I can stop myself. "That's why I moved here, to live with my dad."

"Oh, Liz, I'm so sorry," Max responds, moving closer to try to comfort me.

"NO," I reply, "don?t be. I don't want your pity. She was a horrible person anyways. She used to tell me how ugly I was and how my nose was too fat. She and my step-father hated me. She said I was more trouble than I was worth. She only kept custody of me because she wanted to hurt my dad. She couldn't stand for anyone to love me or even like me. She tried to drive people away. She did everything she could to make my life miserable. She called me a slut all the time and told me the only reason any boy would ever want to be with me would be for sex. That's why I got upset. I was remembering the things she said that I tried so hard to forget."

I'm crying openly now. Max scoots the rest of the way down to my end and puts his arms around me.

"The worst part is," I continue, "that I was glad when she and my step-dad died. I hated them. I was glad that he got drunk and drove their car into the side of a semi."

Max hugs me close and runs one hand through my hair. He traces circles on the bare skin on my upper back with the other.

"God, Max," I whimper. "Why was she so mean to me? All I ever wanted was for her to love me. Sometimes she would forget she was supposed to be cold and actually show she cared. I lived for those brief moments. No matter how cruel she was to me, and how spiteful I was back, I still loved her. She was my mom."

I'm weeping unashamed on the shoulder of some guy that I just met, but I don't care. Somehow, it just feels right. More so, I feel like a huge part of the burden has finally been lifted, just because I told someone. Max just holds me and lets me cry. For a long time neither of us speaks. I cry for my mom, I cry for myself. I cry all the tears I held back over the years, I cry all the tears that would not come at the funeral. I cry.

"Liz, I really am so sorry," Max finally breaks the silence. "Everyone deserves to feel loved."

He presses me closer. I'm all too aware that he is very much within my bubble space.

"Your moom was wrong. You are beautiful, Liz, and a wonderful person. Any guy would be completely lucky to have you," Max goes on.

"Max, you don't have to say that. It's okay," I say pulling away.

"I entirely mean it Liz," he says. "You really are beautiful and wonderful. I can't take my eyes off of you and you make me laugh so much."

I stare down at my lap. I wonder how beautiful I look with mascara streaks. Some girls look good crying. I, unfortunately, am not one of them. My face gets all puffy and blotchy, and it is really just not pretty.

"Max," I reply quietly, "you barely know me."

THAT and you have Tess my mind screams.

"I know that, but I can't get enough of you. I'd like to get to know you so much better," I hear him say.

I don't look up. I try to rub the mascara from under my eyes, hoping Maria used extra water-resistant and that my makeup has run too much.

"Max-" I start.

I can't think of the words to finish.

"I should go find Maria," I conclude lamely.

"Yeah," Max responds. "You don't want her to worry."

"You need to talk to Isabel," I remind him.

"Yes," he replies.

I finally make the mistake of looking up at him. His amber eyes overflow with concern and search mine for something I am unwilling to let him see. I look away and he stands up.

"If you ever want to talk, Liz, let me know. I'm here," Max says.

"Okay," I respond. "I'll keep that in mind."

"Do you want me to send Maria up?" he asks.

"No, I'll be right down, as soon as I collect myself," I smile weakly up at him.

The door clicks shut behind him and I am left alone. I sit for a while, with myself, thinking about what has just happened. I can't believe I just told Max all that I did. Finally I get up and look in the mirror. I don't look half as bad as I thought. The splotchiness has faded and puffiness mostly subsided. Maria's make up job remains intact except for a small amount of mascara under my eye which I quickly wash off with a cold, wet Kleenex. Minus the stinging in my eyes, I'd never know I'd been crying. I gradually make my way downstairs.

When I get downstairs I discover that even more people have arrived. My watch says it's 1:36. Don't these people have parents? Not everyone can have a mom like Maria who works 3rd shift occasionally. I set out to find Maria. I scan the dancers in the living room and discover Pam Troy and her nasty-ass self getting down and dirty with Sean. Go way back, huh? I bet. I'm over the small twinge of jealousy I feel in a flash. I never suspected Sean was the monogamous type, and even if I had, I can't say that I have ever really been all that monogamous myself, so whatever works. Plus, Pam Troy is just gross so he can't be too interested.

I head into the next room and spot Kyle Valenti sitting alone at the bar. I decide to make an introduction.

"Hello," I smile and taking a seat on the stool next to him.

"Hello," he responds returning the smile.

Kyle Valenti is definitely a cutie.

"I'm Liz Parker," I say extending a hand.

"Kyle Valenti. Nice to meet you," he replies shaking.

I glance around the room for signs of Isabel. The coast is clear for the time being.

"I believe I knocked into you earlier. I'm sorry, I was in a hurry. I was being pursued by a less than desirable member of the opposite sex for the most trivial reasons and needed to make a quick escape. Still, that's no excuse for me to disregard my manners and so rudely bump into you," I explain.

"Hmmm?" He says looking up from my cleavage.

I smile. Pam's right. This boy would be too easy.

"In the hall, outside the kitchen?" I prep.

"Oh. Oh, yeah. It's no problem at all," Kyle states. "No harm done."

He finishes his drink and grabs another beer. I don't think he's drunk though.

"What's your poison?" he asks.

"Me? I'm not drinking tonight," I tell him.

"Good for you. You're new here, right?" Kyle questions.

"Yep. Just started yesterday," I respond.

"Awesome," he says. "I have to confess, I have heard a little about you."

I chuckle.

"Isabel?" I ask.

"Yep. And Max. I see you?ve heard about me too," He smiles.

"Pam Troy courteously pointed you out to me," I laugh.

He grimaces.

"Whatever you do, don't listen to Pam and for goodness sake, don't trust her. She's half mad," he warns.

"So I am learning. Don't worry, I trust her about as far as I can throw her crazy ass, if that. What's she got against Isabel anyways? From the impression I got, she was less than tolerable of her," I state.

"Just between the two of us, Pam's hated Isabel ever since I choose Isabel over her during sophomore year. Both of them hate being second best at anything, but Pam is by far the sorest loser I have ever met. She's been trying to get back at me and Isabel ever since," Kyle responds.

Interesting. Very interesting.

"It's funny how she invites you two to her parties," I declare.

"No kidding," Kyle laughs. "She is so two-faced and hypocritical like that. She doesn't like us, yet she maintains an appearance of liking us for popularity purposes. I suppose we could be some pretty strong enemies to have."

"Oh yeah?" I ask grinning.

Kyle chuckles.

"Sorry, Liz. I forgot about you and Isabel for a second. Max provided a far more accurate description of you. You seem nice enough to me. I'm sure Isabel will come around. She isn't usually this irrational. She's really a good person, you know. Very caring about others. Sometimes she just gets paranoid. Even this is out of character for her though. Mostly, I know that she is just worried. In her eyes, you may pose a threat to her existence," Kyle says solemnly.

"So you and Isabel have been together for the last two years? You must be pretty close?" I wonder.

"Yes, I know her very well and I love her," Kyle professes. "She has many secrets, but I've gotten her to open up to me a lot in the past year. She's very different from anyone I have ever meet in my entire life, or that I will probably ever meet for that matter. She's special."

I'll be a monkey's uncle. Pam is way far off. It's obvious that Kyle is very much in love and quite faithful to Isabel. I don't think I could have pulled them apart had I wanted to. Kyle is just a guy, but has no intentions of ever acting. He describes Isabel with such compassion and devotion that I don't doubt his words at all. I'm sure that her relations with him, and for the most part, the rest of the world, are far more considerate and affectionate than with me. Lucky dog, he gets the good side while I get the butt end. Damn Isabel and her selective kindness. Damn Kyle making me not want to hate her.

"You're a great boyfriend," I sigh wistfully. "I'm jealous."

"Thanks, I try," Kyle smiles.

Max walks in the room and sees me and Kyle sitting together and begins to look apprehensive. He comes over to us. I eat all the damn butterflies. Mmmm, tasty.

"How's it going?" Max asks casually.

"We're doing awesome. Liz and I were just having a nice chat. How'd the meeting go? Did you resolve the ISSUE?" Kyle wonders.

Okay at this point I am beginning to notice that the word "issue" comes up a hell of a lot in regular conversation around here. In reference to what, I have no clue. I am noticing these Roswellians can be really bizarre.

"The ISSUE has been settled for the time being. Isabel is still isn't convinced and wants further investigation. Tess seems to agree so we'll see," Max tells him.

For heaven's sake. Tessy-bear knows what the hell the "issue" is and I don't. I am so getting in on whatever the hell this is. Let me just tell you at this point I do not handle curiosity well. At all. It drives me insane, and I do stupid idiotic things just to figure out the most insignificant of riddles. If I was a cat, I'd be dead.

"So what's this 'issue' everyone is talking about?" Subtle, I know.

Then both turn to stare at me, faces draining of color.

Kyle coughs.

"What issue?" Max asks.

Do I look blonde? Last I checked my hair was dark brown.

"Yeah, I get it. None of my business. Unlike some people standing right next to me named Max Evans, I know how to take a hint," I reply.

Max and Kyle look relieved and exchange a glance. Not on your life will you get off that easy Max Evans. I know how to be patient and wait for opportunities to present themselves, unlike you who's strategy seems to be take what you want by whatever lung-crushing force is necessary.

I realize this "issue" is probably going to turn out to be something really dumb like Isabel finding a split end or something, but the not-knowing plagues my mind and I can't give it up. What secret could Max Evans possibly have? He's about as tame of do-gooder as they come. Still, I wonder....

All of the sudden, something very unexpected happens next. The Roswell Police Department decides to show up uninvited. Yep. It just figures that I would be at the one and only Pam Troy party in the history of the world that has ever been busted. Lucky me. Whoo-hoo.

First Charlie runs through the room frantically yelling and waving his arms like a maniac.

"The cops are coming, the cops are coming," he hollers trying to get everyone's attention.

We all laugh at him, thinking he's drunk or doped up and someone has played a joke on him or something.

"Ummm, isn't it the British?" I question.

He doesn't answer. Instead he throws open the patio door and takes off across Pam's backyard, diving into the tree line at the end of it. We all laugh harder. Wasted people do the funniest things.

Then we hear the front door erupt open. Noisy stomping and a lot of shouting follows. A real live cop in full uniform bursts in the room waving his nightstick. We all stop laughing and stare, jaws dropped.

"Freeze," he commands.

********************


posted on 27-Feb-2002 8:46:41 PM by Allie1031
Thanks for the feedback guys! It help because then I know what I need to clarify more, etc. In response to the comet made by rattlebox disliking the knee to the groin episode I only have one thing to say. Guys are shit. Sorry, I know they have some uses, like sex for instance, but after I broke up with my boyfriend last night I though a good knee to someones balls was in order. I'm sorry that it was Max who had to take one for the team, so to speak. I'd kinda been giving Max characteristics of my boyfriend but I doubt that's going to be happening anymore. Eh, ya'll wouldn't have liked Max as my ex anyways. He was a little wussy, not very daring at all, mostly boring. He wasn't masculine enough either. Wow, look how pathetic I have become, bitching about my ex on an eboard. Hey, interesting enough, the real-life person I based Sean on is my friend Matt and let me just tell you that anything Sean I have Sean do that is obscenely sexual and hardly believable Matt probably did. He followed me around last Sunday telling me he had his first threesome going with two girls, one of whom he just met that night. Crazy horny bastard. Matt's an interesting friend though. He's literally a girl magnet. I don't know how he does it. Granted the boy is insanely cute but not THAT cute. He picks up random chics all the time. I try to tell him to settle down but does he listen? No. In fact, I'm ashamed to admit I have fallen victim to his charm on more than one occasion. Crazy horny talented bastard. Friends with benefits does make for an interesting relationship though. Anyways the most qualifying characteristic to set Matt as the character of Sean has to be that he is one of my best friends' (who Maria is partially based on) brother which makes him the perfect candidate. Anyone else base their characters on real people or am I just weird? By the way, everyone who said Liz lacked social graces and manners? Believe me, I do. Alot of events in some of the upcoming scenes have actually happened to me so if you think that they are funny or bizarre or whatever, try living them. Well thanks everyone, for reading my writing. I'm not sure when the next part will come out. I have some stuff to take care of. I should have more free time with out a significant other to tie me down but I like to think that I will have a nice rebound going. Riiiiight. *big*



posted on 28-Feb-2002 5:47:12 PM by Allie1031
Thanks Tim, I'm touched you care. I'm hurting yes but I understand why it has to be like this. I mean we both still love each other a lot but sometime that's just not enough. He used to be my best friend and hopefully with time he will be again. Now as for Matt, eh, it's Matt, on very few occasions does he actually engage in sex as one would have to to get AIDS. But you are correct that I should be careful, more from a moral degradation stand point though. I don't think I am particularly keen on the idea of casual sex. Anyways, back to issues relating to the story, I could have a new part up tomorrow if I don't go out, if I do, then Saturday I will try. Depends on how much I get done tonight.
posted on 6-Mar-2002 1:23:24 AM by Allie1031
Well, this is Part Nine, kinda long, I didn't want to post it till I had part ten done as well which is also long. I almost finished Part Ten tonight, however it was lost when I stupidly quit without saving. I'm not sure if I even feel like rewriting it. Some crazy stuff went on, but it's not really THAT relevant to the story so we'll see. Also, I had previously taken on some other projects, I have a video to produce, a collage to make, and some fairy tales to write, so I'll be busy. I'll try to make updates longer since they will be less frequent. Hope everyone's have a good week. By the way, for the record, the town of Dike does exist, and my friend Matt is from there. I look forward to any feedback you guys might have, even if it happens to be critism. Believe you me, I can handle it.




-Previously-

First Charlie runs through the room frantically yelling and waving his arms like a maniac.

"The cops are coming, the cops are coming," he hollers trying to get everyone's attention.

We all laugh at him, thinking he's drunk or doped up and someone has played a joke on him or something.

"Ummm, isn't it the British?" I question.

He doesn't answer. Instead he throws open the patio door and takes off across Pam's backyard, diving into the tree line at the end of it. We all laugh harder. Wasted people do the funniest things.

Then we hear the front door erupt open. Noisy stomping and a lot of shouting follows. A real live cop in full uniform burst in the room waving his nightstick. We all stop laughing.

"Freeze," he commands.

********************

Part Nine

Another cop flies past the doorway and into the next room. We hear him shout the same instructions. Someone over there causes a whole heck of a lot of ruckus. Our cop rushes to investigate.

"Nobody move," he calls over his shoulder as he swiftly exits the room.

Of course, no one listens, and everybody moves. Typical cop mistake. I mean like, duh, of course we are going to run. We're teenagers; it's a given. We all stampede out the patio door and follow Charlie's example. The backyard is a mess of people fleeing. I lose Max and Kyle as soon as I'm outside. Some idiot kids swimming in the pool keep asking what's going on. Nobody stops to explain to them; everyone just heads for the trees.

"Maria," I scream, trying to locate her in the chaos.

I stop running and turn around to look for her. I can see the lights of the police cars bouncing off read white and blue along the shadows in the corners of Pam's yard. No way to tell from here how many are out front. All across the darkness, faceless figures scatter like ants from underneath a rock that has been lifted. I have no clue how I'm going to find Maria. I start to sneak back towards the house to see if she is caught inside when someone snatches me up from behind.

"Cripes, Michael," I say when I recognize my captor. "You scared the bejezzus out of me."

"Sorry. You seen Max?" He asks.

"Well, we ran out of the house together, but I lost him in all the commotion once we got outside," I tell him. "You seen Maria?"

"Yeah, we took off for her car when we saw the cops drive up. She's waiting safely in it. We moved her car to on a dirt road at the edge of that field over there," Michael states pointing. "There's an outlet onto the highway from there. I guess this used to be a real ranch because there are some dilapidated old stables out there. I told Maria to wait for 20 minutes and if no one comes back by then she has specific instructions to drive straight home."

"How long ago was this?" I question.

He looks at his watch.

"Exactly 3 minutes and 45 seconds," Michael replies. "Go through the trees until you get to the open field next to the north lawn. Stay in the shadows of the tree for as long as you can and don't stop until you get to the car. When you see the stables you are almost there."

"What are you going to be doing?" I hesitate.

"I have to find Max and Isabel and Tess and make sure they get away," Michael responds. "Cops are not good for us."

"In that case two people will be better than one. I'll help you," I tell him.

"No. I don't need your help. You go," Michael asserts. "Now!"

"I'm not going without you," I state stubbornly. "You aren't going to be able to cover enough ground alone to find all of them in the next 10 minutes without me."

Michael sighs. He knows I'm right.

"Alright," He relents. "You search on the northwest side of the lawn, and I will take the southeast. If you don't find anyone in the next five minutes you get your ass out of here. I don't think your Dad would be too happy bailing you out of jail your very first week in Roswell."

I grimace at the thought of the talk Dad would give me. I can actually hear his voice in my head giving me a lecture on the evils of peer pressure. I know people were drinking and I'm guessing there were exchanges of other substances going on in the back rooms, and I don't just mean bodily fluids. Dad would not be happy, to say the least, regardless of whether I was directly involved or not.

I salute Michael, and we both head off our separate directions into to woods. Like I know which side of the yard is the northwest. I figure if I just search the opposite direction of where Michael does I will be okay. The pandemonium in the yard from earlier has died out and silence hangs heavy in the night air. An owl hoots above me and chills run down my spine. I see several police officers come around the side of the house with flashlights from the safety of the trees. They stand over a couple of people passed out in the yard for a moment. Then one cop slowly shines his flashlight like a search beacon into the shadows of the trees. I duck. We definitely need to get out of here now. Experience tells me it won't be too long before they come back here to check things out. I set off on my quest again.

Wait a minute! What the hell am I going to do if I actually run into Isabel?! Hey, I know we're enemies, but if you come with I will lead you to safely away to where your friends are waiting. Yeah. Riiiight. That's going to happen. As for Tess, she can rot in jail for all I care. Max, though.... Max I have to find. My heart races at the thought of him in trouble. Max! Where are you?! I call out his name softly every ten feet or so as I quietly creep along.

"Liz?" I hear someone whisper on my left.

I peer into the darkness around me.

"Max?" I whisper back. "Is that you?"

"No it's me, Tess. And Isabel's here too," Tess says. "You're looking for Max?"

Fanfuckingtastic. Tess. And Isabel. Wow. What luck.

"Yeah," I tell her as I crouch down next to her and Isabel. "Michael is looking for you and Max and Isabel. You are supposed to come with me back to Maria's car so we can get out of here."

"No," Isabel speaks up.

NO?! What does she mean no? I went through all the trouble of locating them.... Okay. Fine by me. They can stay here. Hell, it's their choice. If they like to lie around in the bushes together in the pitch black far be it for me to deny them such pleasure....

"The jeep is here. We'll get it and meet them back in town," Isabel continues. "Michael and Max will know how we'll be in contact."

"Okay," I respond a little too quickly.

I'm relieved I don't have to ride with the Ice Queen. Her highness would probably have to have shotgun. Worse yet, I have no idea how Michael expected to fit everyone into Maria's little Jetta. And who died and made Michael boss anyways. He sure does know how to keep a cool head, though. Has he had practice, or what? I'm jealous because I freak out and panic in high-stress situations.

"Hey, you haven't seen Kyle Valenti have you? Do you know who he is?" Isabel asks concerned.

I repeat the same thing I told Michael about Max.

"Oh," she says disappointedly. "Well, thanks Liz, and if you see Kyle, tell him not worry because I got away, okay?"

"I will," I promise.

Wow. Isabel being civil. Will wonders never cease. I hope this doesn't mean I have to be pals with her. I was kind of enjoying the popularity being her enemy brought. Hey, welcome to my shallow world.

"Tell Maxie I'm okay too and give him my love," Tess adds.

What am I, a messenger service? I do hope Kyle and Max are okay, though. At least I know they got out. I move on in search of Max and Kyle while they head the opposite direction, presumably to where ever they have parked their jeep. I run into small clusters of people hiding but none of them have seen Max or Kyle. The woods thin out a bit and I don't see anyone else. If you have never walked in the woods alone at night without a flashlight let me just tell you now, there's some freaky shit going down. I can barely see my hand if I hold it directly in front of my face let alone all the damn things I keep tripping on. Something scurries across my path in front, and I don't even want to know. I trip over something moving to bring myself crashing to the ground in panic. Oh, my god. It's a SNAKE. A scream wells up in my throat but I fight it back down.

"Ouch," a voice curses.

WHOA. False alarm. No snake. Just people. Person. People?

"Hello?" I ask. "Who's there?"

I scramble on my hands and knees to locate who the voice is coming from.

"Sean DeLuca. Who's this?" Sean questions.

"It's Liz. You have no idea how happy I am it's you. For a second there I thought you were a snake and about wet myself," I tell him.

"You know, Liz," Sean snickers, "you're only cool if you pee your pants."

"Right, well I'm no Miles Davis," I snicker.

"Eh. I think you are pretty cool," Sean responds earnestly.

Yeah, and Pam Troy too.

"Hey, we have to get out of here," I say seriously after a glance at my watch hoping Michael has found Max. "Maria is in her car waiting on some dirt road and if we don't get there in the next six minutes she could leave with out us. That would not be cool."

"Well, then, by all means, to the Batmobile," Sean muses.

"Maria's little red car is hardly Batmobile quality," I smirk.

"Yes, well, I like to pretend. It makes things fun and I feel cooler. Otherwise I'm just a loser riding around in an old, beat-up Jetta," Sean chuckles.

"It's not THAT bad," I giggle. "I will never understand boys and their obsession with cars."

"Well in any case, lead the way Boy Wonder," Sean laughs coming to his feet and helping me up.

"Hey! How come I have to be the sidekick?" I wonder.

"Because Robin's short and girly like you. And I'm tall and masculine like The Man is," Sean reasons.

"Robin's not short, he's stocky. He's not girly either, he's just in touch with his feminine side. You're the one who makes us wear spandex and tights," I argue as I guide Sean through the shadows, hopefully in the right direction.

"To show off my masculine physique," Sean explains, flexing. "Besides Parker, you'd make one sorry-ass, sissy Batman."

I glare back at him.

"But a damn good Robin," He adds quickly and pats me on the head.

We're almost across the field, walking in the shadows of the woods. I can't see Pam's house anymore because of the way the tree line curves to hide it from view. I see a structure in coming up and hope it is the stables. Sean's gotten more bold now that we are a safer distance away and is pulling on branches and swinging sticks and taking flying Batman leaps. I can tell he's as impatient and anxious as I am to get the hell out of here. Sean makes a running jump into the darkness and slams into something big and hard to knock the wind out of himself. I double up as he falls on his ass.

"Holy rusted metal Batman!" I giggle. "I think you've found the car."

"Jumping Jahousafras, it seems I have Boy Wonder. Good work, leading us right to it," Sean laughs when he regains his breath.

Maria gets out of the car and looks pretty pissed.

"Sean, you big dumb oaf, what the hell are you doing? You about gave me a heart attack!" Maria hisses.

Sean and I burst into hysterics as Maria herds us into the backseat.

"Geez, I'm sorry, MOM," Sean laughs when Maria nearly slams the door on his foot.

We both eventually calm down.

"Where's Michael?" Maria asks as she get back in the car.

"He must still be looking for Max," I tell her. "I found Isabel and Tess for him and they said they would meet them back in town."

"Well I hope Michael gets back soon," Maria worries. "I don't want to have to leave him here."

"Ha! I knew you had a thing for that Michael guy! See, I told you so!" Sean teases.

"Shut up, Sean," Maria and I say at the same time.

"I so do not have a thing for him," Maria defends. "We're just friends, and I don't even like him that much. He's really rude, and completely annoying, and self-centered, and arrogant, and horribley bossy, and..."

I don't believe her on that one and apparently neither does Sean.

"Uh huh, sure, whatever," Sean replies. "I guess you wouldn't mind then, if I told him how annoying he was, because here he comes."

Maria and I look out the window to see Michael, Kyle, and Max approaching. I'm relieved at once that both Max and Kyle are with him.

"You wouldn't dare," Maria glares.

Sean gets a devilish grin. I elbow him in the stomach.

"Don't be an ass," I scold, wiping the grin off his face.

"Only kidding, Liz. Really," Sean insists.

The boys approach the car and I get out to talk to them.

"You didn't find Isabel and Tess?" Michael asks alarmed.

"I did, but they took some jeep back into town and told me that they will meet you there. They said you would know how to get into contact with them," I report.

"Huh? Get in contact?" Michael wonders.

"It's covered," Max tells him with a pat on the back. "Isabel's cell."

"Oh, and Kyle, Isabel wants you to know that she is okay so you shouldn't worry. And Tess sends her love to Max," I finish in a grumble.

"Awwww, that's sweet boys. Now get in the car. Maria, move over. I'm driving," Michael states unamused as he opens Maria's door.

"Hey, you can't just order me around," Maria objects with a frown.

"You want to get out of here with out getting caught or not?" Michael asks.

"Well, yeah," Maria answers thoughtfully.

"Then move your ass over. I've seen your driving," Michael replies.

"Fine, but you don't have to be such a jerk," Maria complies, handing him the keys. "Just be careful, okay?"

"Yeah, yeah," Michael mutters climbing into the car as Maria scoots into the passenger seat.

Max and Kyle and I cram into the back seat with Sean. Max is squished up against me on one side and Sean on the other. Kyle scrunches in next to Max.

"Did I mention I'm claustrophobic?" Sean says once we all get situated.

"If you even think about puking in here," Maria threatens turning around.

"Is there a reason why one of the smallest people gets to sit up front by herself?" Kyle wonders.

"It's my car," Maria glowers at Kyle.

"Okay, just checking," Kyle replies quickly.

"Maria, Kyle does have a point," I say cautiously.

Maria sighs.

"Alright, Sean switch me seats," Maria submits.

"No way, I like being all cozy back here will Liz," Sean counters, stretching his arm across the back of the seat behind me.

Max leans back and smashes Sean's arm and Sean withdraws. They glare at each other.

"I'll switch," Kyle volunteers.

"Well then do it quickly," Michael growls.

Maria and Kyle hop out and switch seats, and Michael starts the car. The whooping three inches more room we gained from the whole fuss was hardly worth the effort for anyone but Kyle. Michael puts the car in gear and we slowly start to roll forward.

"Uh, Michael, don't you want to turn on the headlights?" Maria asks when he starts driving without them.

"With cops out there, are you crazy?" Michael asks.

"Well, apparently so, since I don't want you to accidently run my car into a tree branch or some other impediment," Maria retorts.

"Don't worry so much, woman. I got good eyes, twenty-twenty vision," Michael responds.

"Woman?! I'm not you woman," Maria screeches.

"Whatever," Michael mutters.

"Max, you're his friend, can't you talk some sense into him?" Maria pleads looking to Max.

"Hey, Michael, you sure you know what you are doing here? If we hit a tree, this is the only car we have," Max says.

"Actually," I mumble, reaching in my pocket, "I kinda accidentally still have Charlie's keys."

"See," Michael grins, adjusting the rearview mirror. "We're covered."

"That is NOT an option, Michael," Maria asserts.

Michael reluctantly turns on the headlights and Maria relaxes. Sean chuckles and takes the keys from me.

"Don't worry," Sean tells me. "I'll slip the keys under the seat the next time I catch a ride with Charlie. He'll never know the difference since he loses them all the time."

"Yeah, but what if he gets caught? I'll feel bad," I reply.

"Eh, don't feel bad. I went out back to talk to him, and his plans for the evening included getting these two chicks drunk so he and his friends could take advantage of them. Plus, he has a spare key hidden under the bumper," Sean adds.

"You?re right. I don't feel bad. Now I hope he does get caught and has to do community service at an old folk's home, mopping up drool," I say.

Sean laughs. Michael pulls us off the dirt path and onto the highway back into town. I have to admit, the guy knows what he's doing. I'm impressed.

"Ewwww," Maria responds. "Liz, that's so gross."

"Had some experience with that, Liz?" Kyle teases.

Max gives me a weird, unreadable look.

"Of course not, Kyle. I'm a perfect angel," I smile sweetly.

Max snorts.

"I am," I protest. "I'm a good little girl. Besides, I wouldn't be dumb enough to get caught anyways. It happened to one of my friends."

"Parker, you're no good girl. You like it hot; I can tell," Sean grins devilishly.

Maria rolls her eyes, Max goes tense next to me, and Kyle turns around to catch my reaction. Michael glances back at me through the rearview mirror but keeps his attention on driving.

"What exactly do you mean?" I question, giving Sean a raised eyebrow and a sideways glance.

"You know what I mean, Parker. You're a bad girl to the core. You like it hot and rough, and you dish it out tough. You're wild and passionate. You have an eat shit attitude, but you're sexy enough to pull it off. You, Parker, don't have a good girl bone in your body. I've known you were trouble since the moment I first saw you,? Sean states boldly.

Everyone is looking at me to see how I'm going take this. I think I'd probably kick Sean's ass if he wasn't so dead right.

"So Sean is that your dick or your brain talking?" I wonder.

Maria stifles a giggle, Kyle and Michael smirk, but Max frowns.

"Hey Parker, I just call it like I see it. You want it bad, doesn't she Evans?" Sean questions

Everyone stares at Max, including me. Hell if I know what he's going to say to that.

"I suppose you think that she needs you to give IT to her then?" Max meets Sean's gaze in a cold glare.

"Yeah, suppose I do. You got a problem with that, Evans?" Sean replies icily.

Holy hell, the testosterone level in the car just went up several notches.

"Maybe I do, Sean. What if Liz doesn't want you to give IT to her?" Max sneers.

"Well, who else is she gonna get IT from? You, Evans?" Sean laughs.

Well I've had about enough macho, male chauvinistic talk. I hear Max's teeth grinding, and answer before he can.

"Sean, don't be such a prick. I'm sitting right here, you know. It's not like I don't have a mind of my own or anything, you know." I pipe up.

Sean glances at me and his face softens.

"Sorry, Liz," He says. "Just messing with Evans. I didn't mean any of it."

Yeah. I bet.

"Sorry," Max apologizes quietly, not meeting my eyes.

"You boys better play nice from now on, or else," I threaten.

"Awww, Parker, what are you gonna do?" Sean taunts playfully.

"You should watch out, Sean. She's stronger than she looks. She gave me a good blow that brought me down earlier," Max confesses.

"Taking down a wuss like you wouldn't be hard, Evans," Sean laughs.

I punch Sean as hard as I can in the shoulder and he tries to keep his face from contorting in pain.

"A wuss like me, huh?" Max smirks.

Kyle and Maria snicker.

"Sean, I'm all rough and tough, remember?" I smile.

"Yeah. I guess so. What, do you work out or something? 'Cause Maria is definitely not that strong," Sean says rubbing his shoulder.

"Hey!" Maria chimes.

"Something like that," I shrug.

We're almost into town when Max freezes up next to me. I glance over at him and he's completely spacing off. Suddenly he snaps awake.

"Turn off on the next road you can, Michael," Max orders.

"What?! Maxwell, I thought we were going back into town?" Michael questions.

"Just turn off," Max responds.

At the crest of the next hill, I look off in the distance, and I can see why. Immediately inside Roswell, the cops have set up a roadblock. I wouldn't have seen the block, though, if I hadn't been looking.

"Shit," Kyle swears. "My dad told me they do this. Sometimes when they know they are going to be making a big party bust, they?ll set up a routine traffic check like this. It's not enough to block off the driveway at a bust because some kids hide their cars elsewhere and walk a ways. They bust East Roswell parties like that all the time and catch tons of people who have fled for drunk driving. They usually just check licenses, registration, and proof of insurance for adults but are more thorough with teenagers. If we lie about where we have been, they'll generally let us through, though, as long as none of us have been drinking, except I have."

"Sean has too," I tell them.

"Hey, I would have 'fessed up, Parker," Sean says.

"We'll go around town come in from the other side just to be safe. Isabel and Tess through?" Michael asks as he turns off the highway.

"Yeah," Max replies confidently.

I wonder how he can be so certain. No one else seems to though.

"Anyone have a cell phone?" Max questions.

"In the dash," Maria answers.

Kyle pulls out her cute, little, sparkly-purple cell phone and hands it over to Max.

"Oh, wait, it's dead, and I forgot to charge it," Maria adds. "Sorry."

"Smooth," Sean says.

"That's okay. I can fix it," Max assures her.

Max plays with the battery, and the cell phone magically turns on.

"Evans I didn't know you were a techie geek," Sean states.

"There's a lot you don't know about me," Max responds seriously.

Max calls Isabel's cell phone and they converse for a while, trying to figure out where to meet up. Finally, everyone agrees upon Maria's house, since no one is home.

"How much further? It's soooo hot in here," I complain.

"Sorry, the air's broke," Maria tells me. "And the windows don't roll down anymore because they're those child safety ones."

"Well that's just great. I'm burning up," I nag.

"Liz, quit whining," Michael scolds. "I don't want to hear another word. We're all hot. Take off your shirt if you can't stand it."

What is Michael my dad now? I try to think up a smart-ass response when I get a better idea. I take off my shirt. I wad it up and throw it at Michael. Maria laughs, Sean stares at me in awe, and I don't even dare glance at Max.

"Holy shit," Kyle chuckles as my top bounces off Michael's arm and lands in his lap. "I'm afraid to look back there."

He does anyways, and so does Michael. I sit up defiantly in my turquoise blue bra. I'm not hugely endowed with melons or anything, so given the fact that there's not a whole heck of a lot there to show off just makes me all the less modest.

"LIZ, what the hell are you doing?!" Michael roars.

"What are you talking about? You TOLD me to take off my shirt," I retort.

"Had I known that's all it took, I would have told you to a long time ago," Sean jokes.

"Girl, I can't believe you just did that," Maria giggles.

"Like the belly button ring, by the way. I knew you were a bad girl," Sean smiles. "Got any more hidden piercings you wanna show us?"

"Maybe," I respond.

Michael swerves to keep the car on the road. Max coughs.

"Liz, you're distracting the driver," Kyle teases.

"Well, then by all means, hand me my shirt, and I'll put it back on," I say, believing that my point has more than been made.

"Hand her that shirt, Valenti, and you are a dead man," Sean states.

?Kyle, give Liz her shirt," Maria orders, not amused by their little game of keep away.

"Maria, you look like you're getting a little hot too," Kyle chuckles.

"It's sweltering. We are all aware of how hot it is in New Mexico, even in the late fall. That doesn't mean I'm going to take off my shirt. Nice try though," Maria responds with a fake smile.

"Come on, Maria. Don't be such a wimp. Liz did it," Kyle taunts.

"Liz is still adjusting to the climate," Maria retorts.

"Dude, she's my cousin, Valenti. I don't wanna see that," Sean grimaces.

"Then don't look," Kyle replies.

"You know, Maria, it is pretty hot in here," Michael pipes in for the first time.

We all turn to stare at him.

"What? It is," Michael defends.

As if to his fuel his argument, a heat wave pulsates through the car. I notice it suddenly feels like ten degrees hotter. Maybe it's just my imagination or all the talk about the damn heat that is making me so blistering hot.

"Well, if it's so scorching hot, how come you are all still wearing shirts?" Maria asks, fanning herself.

Kyle has his shirt off in like .2 seconds and Michael is close behind. They look back at Max and Sean.

"Aww, come on guys. Take one for the team," Kyle pleads.

Max and Sean glance at each other. Max, who still hasn't said a word yet, pulls his shirt over his head slowly, and Sean finally does.

"Dude, she's my cousin," Sean mutters.

Max is gorgeous. Seriously I know that I'm staring, but I can't help it. I have the carnal urge to rake my nails across his chest and try deeply to suppress it. Not that any of the other bodies in the car aren't just as fine. I don't remember the boys Dike looking this good. I am oh so glad that I moved here.

Maria looks flustered, and she throws her arms up in frustration before crossing them and turning to face the window.

"You know Maria, it's nothing that a bathing suit doesn't cover," I tell her carefully.

She lets out a loud sigh.

"Fine. I give up," Maria says and peals her tank top off.



********************
posted on 9-Mar-2002 2:30:10 AM by Allie1031
I tried to post this like twenty flippining times and if it isn't up now then I'm done. By the way thanks for all the awesome feedback. Also I should warn you there is same sex kissing in this part. You don't like it, you can bite.

-Previously-

Maria looks flustered, and she throws her arms up in frustration before crossing them and turning to face the window.

"You know Maria, it's nothing that a bathing suit doesn't cover," I tell her carefully.

She lets out a loud sigh.

"Fine. I give up," Maria says and peals her tank top off.

********************

Part Ten

Well, now that the six of us are sitting there in Maria's steamy Jetta shirtless, I'd like to say that we'd had our fun, cooled off a bit, and we put our shirts back on several minutes later. I'd like to being the key phrase in that sentence. I can't really explain what happened next, but it seems to me that when you cram six horny teenagers with adrenaline pumping into a tiny car in the wee hours of the night something racy is just bound to happen. Whenever I think of that night, no matter where I am, who I am with, or what the situation is, I can?t help but chuckle aloud in spite of myself.

All the boys are staring at Maria, drinking in her newly revealed skin. Except Sean. He reaches out to try to play with my belly ring only to have me slap his hand away.

"This is a look but don?t touch display," I inform him.

Max gives Sean a dirty look.

"So, Liz," Max says, speaking for the first time since I deviously removed my shirt. "Do you REALLY have any other piercings?"

"Naw. I just said that for the benefit of Mr. Gullible over here," I gesture towards Sean. "I didn't really even want to get it pierced that much in the first place, but one of my friends got hers done to prove she was bolder than me and you can guess how well that sat with me. I kinda liked it at first but now, I don't know. It seems a little too white trashy."

I make the mistake of looking up at Max. His face is unreadable but his eyes reach out and lock with mine. I'm instantly mesmerized.

"Well I think it's pretty sexy," Max says huskily.

"Oh," I respond quietly, my mouth holding the shape of the word too long.

Must. Look. Away. My lips are incredibly vulnerable, and I can't seem to break my gaze with Max. Until Sean crashes in on the moment, of course.

"Yeah. It's quite sexy," Sean repeats flatly.

I turn but just miss the look Sean shots Max over my head.

"Evans, you should ask Tess to have hers pierced," Sean adds dryly.

"I'll keep that in mind," Max replies evenly, averting his eyes from me.

"You do that," Sean menaces.

"Hey, is it me or is it hot in here?" Michael jumps in a little too loudly.

"No kidding," Maria quickly agrees.

"Why don't you take off your bra?" Michael suggests straight faced.

"Maybe in your dreams," Maria retorts.

"How about you Liz?" Kyle grins deviously.

"Sure, you bet," I respond nonchalantly.

Michael slams on the brakes and the car screeches to a halt. He pulls over on to the side of the road and turns around to give the backseat his full attention.

"Seriously?" Kyle asks with wide eyes.

"Yeah, I promise," I smile slyly. "On one condition. You boys all have to kiss."

"In that case, count me in too," Maria chuckles.

The car falls silent as the boys consider our proposal. I figure if I offer something so totally outrageous that they will never do, they might shut up about it being hot. Sheesh. I'm sorry I ever got this started. I check out Max again with a quick glance. Mmmmm, luscious abs. Maybe, I'm not so much sorry after all.

"I'll do it," Sean speaks up first. "I'm secure in my sexuality."

"Me too," Kyle states simply. "I can take one for the team."

"What?!" Maria screeches. "You can't agree to that. How can you even consider that? It's sick. I couldn't even watch. Don't you guys see enough racks on Skinamax? I find it hard to believe that none of you get Playboy."

"I'm game," Michael chimes in. "It's not at all the same as the real thing, Maria."

"You ALL have to agree," I say in disbelief at their approval, trying to catch them on a mere technicality.

"Max?" Sean questions. "Not gonna chicken out on us are you?"

"I'm in," Max responds, not meeting my shocked look.

"I can't believe you guys agree to kiss each other just to see some boobs," I roll my eyes. "That's disgusting, on so many levels. You'll never go through with it."

"What are you talking about," Kyle says. "You girls are the ones getting the shaft. You have to show us your tits if we just touch lips. Totally worth it."

"I'd have to agree with him," Michael states.

"What kind of kiss does this have to be anyways?" Max wonders, giving his input for the first time.

"CLOSED mouth," Sean interjects.

"You have to hold it for twenty seconds," I command.

"No way," Kyle protests. "Five."

"Ten," I counter.

"FIVE," Sean insists. "You wanna watch us kiss for longer? That turn you on, Parker?"

"Fine, Five," I consent. "But we get to pick who kisses who."

"Deal," Kyle agrees.

No one objects.

"Kyle you kiss Michael, and Sean kisses Max," I grin.

Sean hates Max. Hehe.

"Evans, if you slip me the tongue..." Sean threatens.

"NOT even an issue," Max retorts insulted.

"Alright then, let's get this over with so I can see Liz's bobo's," Sean says rubbing his hands together.

"Bobo's?" I wonder

"Who's first?" Kyle asks.

"You are," Sean orders. "I don't want you two getting cold feet after I lock lips with Evans."

"Hey, I want to see the bobo's just as bad as you," Kyle replies resentfully. "But I'm okay with going first."

"Let's do this then if we are going to," Michael states.

"Alright," Kyle responds.

They look at each other for a while as if trying to figure out the best way to go about it. Finally, they both just awkwardly lean into each other and press their lips together. It some how reminds me of how two dead fish might look if forced to kiss. I count to five, laughing at how goofy they look. They pull apart quickly and wipe their lips, spiting every which way.

"That was disgusting, but classic," Maria grins.

"Next" I say smiling.

Max and Sean look extremely hesitant. Gradually they lean into each over me and I watch as their lips connect. I start counting to five very slowly before Max pinches my thigh and Sean squeezes my wrist. I speed up and they pull apart as appalled as Michael and Kyle. I'm pretty grossed out myself. I just watched the guy I kissed a few short hours ago kiss the guy I've been in denial that I have been dying to kiss all night. I mean I suppose it wouldn't be as bad if I knew they were gay, but this just seems so wrong. But really, really, really funny. Maria and I are laughing our asses off at the looks on the guys faces and their reactions.

"That was hilarious," I say. "Totally worth flashing you guys."

"Haha, yeah. Take off your bras," Michael orders.

"You know, I never did actually promise I would take mine off," Maria insists, taking one last stab at preserving her modesty. "Just Liz did."

"I'm okay with that," Sean concedes. "I definitely do NOT wanna see her bobo's."

"Well I'm NOT okay with that," Michael intercedes. "Two kisses for two sets of boobs. That was the deal."

"Alright, but since you guys insisted on five seconds, we only have to show you for five seconds," Maria replies.

"What?! Since when do you girls get to make up all these rules?" Kyle wonders.

"It's only fair," I smirk, proud of Maria for coming up with that.

"Whatever," Michael responds. "Less talk, more skin."

"Right on, Mike," Sean roots.

"Maria first," Michael states, taking charge.

"Yeah, well, this is the last time you are ever gonna see these babies so you better take a damn good look," Maria replies.

She starts to unhook her bra and starts to count as soon as it falls off. I turn away and look at Sean who is grinning at me devilishly. I can only imagine the nasty thoughts in his head. Maria finishes counting and I assume has pulled her bra back on.

"Wow," Michael states in awe.

"Liz, take it at away," Kyle says all giddy.

"This is all of you boys' birthday presents for the next three years, just for the record," I tell them.

Four sets of hungry eyes stare at me. I focus in on Max, and he meets my gaze. His face is expressionless but he has a glimmer in his eyes. He?s amused, I realize. He hasn't said much, but he is definitely not complaining.

"Liz, before I'm eighty," Michael asserts.

"And can't get it up anymore," Kyle jests.

"Come on Liz, don't get all shy on us now," Sean smiles.

I reach back for the clasp of my bra and squint my eyes shut. When will I learn not to be such a big talker? I feel my bra slide down my arms and I begin to count. At five I open my eyes, not meeting any one else's and restore my turquoise bra.

"Those are nice," Kyle compliments.

"Yeah, well, you know, I grew 'em myself," I tell him.

"Maybe I can get a private showing sometime?" Sean asks, eyes twinkling.

"We'll see," I reply. "I'm not sure Max will want to kiss your limp lips for free."

"Sorry, Sean," Max smiles ruefully. "No deal."

Sean frowns. Suddenly Maria?s cell phone rings. She picks it up.

"Hello," Maria answers, and listens for a bit. "Hold on. Max it's Tess."

Max takes the phone blushing wildly. Michael starts up the car and steers us back onto the road.

"Hi," Max says, and pauses. "Yeah, we're coming. We just ended up taking the long way around to be safe. We shouldn't be to much longer, though. How long you been waiting?"

"Tell them the back door is unlocked so they can just go on in. No one?s home," Maria interrupts.

"Maria says to go on in, the back door is unlocked," Max tells her.

He listens for a while before telling her he has to go. After he hangs up, he pulls his shirt back on and everyone else follows. We ride the rest of the way to Maria's in silence, each thinking our individual thoughts, reflecting on the night.

Sometimes I just cannot believe my crazy life. Talk about not normal. Not that I don't like the weirdness; it tends to make things pretty exciting more often than not. A million things have happened tonight and I have so much to think about that my head is going to ache by the end of the weekend. I can't wait for Maria and I to be alone so we can have a good talk. I yawn and look down at my watch. Jeepers, it's almost four a.m. No wonder I am so tired.

We arrive at Maria's before I know it and all clamber out of the car. I see a black Jeep parked across the street. We all follow Maria around the house to the back door. She opens it and turns on the light. In the living room, Tess and Isabel have fallen asleep next to each other on the couch. Kyle smiles. He goes over and kisses Isabel on the forehead to wake her up.

"Hey sleepy-head," Kyle grins brushing a stray lock of hair off of Isabel's face.

"Mmmmmm," Isabel smiles opening her eyes and stretching. "Let's go."

"Okay," Kyle agrees, helping her to her feet.

Max leans over a sleeping Tess and picks her up in his arms. She strokes his chest with one hand and purrs. Suddenly, I have an awful sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. My entire body aches. A sharp pain pulses through me. I can't breathe.

"Liz, you okay?" Maria asks worried. "You look pale."

"Fine," I respond. "Just tired."

Maria unlocks the front door and Max carries Tess out. Isabel and Kyle follow side by side, with arms linked around each other. Michael turns towards Maria and hesitates.

"We'll be staying at my place if you need anything," Michael states. "I gave you the number, right?"

"Yup," Maria responds.

"Yeah, well, I'll try and call you tomorrow, well later today I guess, and maybe, well... I was thinking maybe we could do something tonight, that is if you are free and all..." Michael mumbles.

"I'd love to," Maria smiles.

They exchange one of those long romantic looks. I can tell they wish Sean and I weren't just standing there watching the show.

"Okay. Well, bye," Michael says at last and leaves, closing the door behind him.

We hear them pull away in the Jeep. Maria and trudge upstairs to her room, deserting Sean who is in the kitchen rustling through the fridge. We plop ourselves onto her big bed, exchange a glance and start to giggle.

"That was one crazy-ass night," I say.

"No kidding. You ARE crazy Liz. You make things so fun and exciting," Maria tells me. "I'm so glad that you moved here, girl, because my life is far too boring and normal."

"Hey, normal's not necessarily bad," I respond with a faint smile. "Sometimes I wish my life was more normal, that I was more normal."

"Oh, no, Liz you are wonderful," Maria disagrees. "You are just yourself and you don't care what other people think. It's awesome, and people here already love you for it."

If Maria only knew how insecure I really am. How scared I am. How much I just want to be loved.

"People just like me because I'm something different and I shake things up a bit from the normal, boring routine. Just wait, in a month they'll already have forgotten me," I reply.

"Not me," Maria promises with a grin. "I plan on having many more zany adventures."

"Hey, yeah. Well in that case you better become more at ease with your bare body because I tend to end up undressed on more occasions than I care to remember," I laugh. "I don't know how I get myself into these situations either. I certainly don't go looking for trouble, but I think it must come searching for me. Sorry if I got you in over our heads tonight."

"It's no problem, chica," Maria chuckles. "I won't ever do anything that I really don't want to do. I'm sure that all those boys have seen boobs before anyways. Not that I fancy being so exposed, but a good portion of that was an act because I don't want to seem too ostentatious."

"Are you calling me a ho, Maria?" I joke.

"Not in the least. I just can't pull wild and crazy things off like you can with out seeming slutty or brazen. You have a style of your own kid. And a kind of delicate grace within you tactless ways. I don't know how you do it but you do. You just get away with so many things I never could," says Maria seriously.

"Thanks. I think," I respond.

"Oh it's definitely a compliment," Maria assures me.

We change into our pajamas and wash our faces before crawling under the covers of her bead.

"So," I say as I situate into a comfortable position. "What's with you and Michael?"

"I just knew you were gonna ask," Maria groans. "I'm not sure. Sometimes I hate him and other times he just seems like the sweetest guy in the world."

"Oh, I get it. It's one of those love/hate relationships. That's cool," I smile.

"Yeah, I dunno. Once last year we were at the same party and we were getting along great. We ended up making out, but then he avoided me for like months after that," Maria confides. "I'm just not sure about this. I mean I do like him, but is he really interested in me?"

"Maybe he's scared," I tell her.

"Why? I'm not that scary, am I?? Maria answers.

"Of course not, you're not scary at all," I assure her. "It's just that sometimes people have a hard time letting themselves enter into relationships with people they really care about when they've had a difficult past or a hard life."

"I guess so," Maria replies. "He did live in foster homes for most of his life. I heard a rumor that his parents abandoned him and social services found him out in the desert when he was young or something. Last year he became an emancipated youth and now he has his own apartment. I think I really just need to get to know him better, you know? So he trusts me and everything."

"Definitely," I agree.

"So what about you? You really like Sean? 'Cause maybe it's my imagination but it seems like there is something going on between you and Max. I mean I know he's with Tess and all but I've never felt like he was actually all that interested in her," Maria says.

"Ummm, Sean's nice," I tell her, ignoring all that she said about Max.

"Alright, fine. Go ahead and make a big mistake. Deny your attraction. Suppress your hidden desires. It's not like I can stop you. But when you end up unemployed, popping out ten or twelve babies, and living with Sean in an RV all before you are even twenty-five don?t come crying to me,? Maria sighs.

"Eh," I grunt. "So Kyle and Isabel, huh? He's so fun and nice, but she's so not."

"Yeah, heck if I know. I was so surprised when I first heard they were together. Kyle is an everybody's best friend kind of guy and Isabel, even though she is popular, sticks more to herself and her small group of friends. I guess they got to known each other better doing some charity project together at Christmas a couple years ago, or so I heard. Isabel does a lot of volunteer work which is very surprising given her nature," Maria responds.

"Maybe it's all an act," I suggest. "Maybe she just pretends to be cold so people leave her alone and don't ask too many questions. I think she?s hiding something. All her friends keep referring to some 'issue' of hers."

"I told you she acts suspicious sometimes," Maria agrees. "They all do for that matter. Some days they'll come to school looking terrified, like the world is ending, and other days they look like they haven't slept in days. I don't know. Most people just ignore their strange behavior because they are used to it by now."

"Hmmmm. Well I'm too tired to think about all that right now. I'm going to sleep," I decide.

"Me too," Maria yawns.

"Thanks, Maria," I say rolling over.

"For what?" she wonders.

"Making me feel welcome, being my friend, showing me a good time," I answer.

"No prob, chica. It's been my pleasure," Maria replies. "Now get some sleep. We've had a long day."

Gradually, her breathing slows and I know she has fallen asleep. Thoughts swirl through my mind but I am too exhausted to hang onto any one. I, too, drift into a world of dreams.

********************

posted on 9-Mar-2002 1:32:53 PM by Allie1031
A clarification that I can make with out giving anything away, is that Liz being born late doesn't have much of anything to do with anything except to establish the fact that she is always tardy. Back in the good old 80's when Lizzie was born they didn't do so much of that induced labor crap as often. Medicine has come a long ways. Did you know that babies born in the early 80's who recieved blood transfusions at birth had to be tested years later for HIV because that was before they were on top of that and they were afraid that is somehow might have slipped through? It was just started to show up and blood doners hadn't been tested for it. Crazy stuff. Glad I didn't get a blood transfusion. Anyways, thanks for the feedback ya'll.
posted on 20-Mar-2002 4:59:49 PM by Allie1031
So here's the deal. Part eleven was going to be really long, like the next three parts. Except my computer gets pissy about long posts. Sooooooooooooo, now I have the next three parts done. Sorry I have updated in a while. I had this idea for another story that really grabbed me. I just had to write it. I'll probably have to abandon it though because there's not a lot of interest. The good news of that being that all my creative genius will once agian be going into Normal. Enjoy everyone and look forward to a quick update! Thanks for all the feedback and bumps. Makes me very happy.


-Previously-

"Thanks, Maria," I say rolling over.

"For what?" she wonders.

"Making me feel welcome, being my friend, showing me a good time," I answer.

"No prob, chica. It's been my pleasure," Maria replies. "Now get some sleep. We've had a long day."

Gradually, her breathing slows and I know she has fallen asleep. Thoughts swirl through my mind but I am too exhausted to hang onto any one. I, too, drift into a world of dreams.

********************

Part Eleven



"Max, Max!" I call out panicked.

I'm running. I don't know where I am except that I'm in the woods somewhere. It's night, but the stars shine impossibly bright above, illuminating the earth.

"Max!" I cry.

I'm so tired but I must keep running. Tears stream down my face. Suddenly I stumble through the woods out onto a busy highway. Cars screech and swerve to avoid me. I look up and see a sign. This is the highway my mother died on.

The familiar scene starts to play out before me . My step-father's car. My mom and my step-father up front laughing stupidly. I'm sitting in the back seat rolling my eyes. A deer runs across the highway. My step-father swerves to avoid it but he's drunk and he can't control the car. We spin out and the car smashes into an oncoming semi in the other lane full force.

Stars come crashing down, sparks shatter everywhere, tremors rack the earth. I'm running again. Running for Max. Someone is following me. Someone is watching.

"Max!" I shout hoarsely, between sobs.

I push through the woods and into the desert. I run faster now. He's close; I can feel it. I run towards a humongous rock protruding against the night sky. I start to climb up into into rocks.

"Max!" I wail scrambling upwards.

I push my self onwards. My hands and knees are scraped and bleeding. I come up onto a ledge. Instinctively I place my hand on the side of the rock and a cave opens. I see Max standing on the inside of the cave. I throw myself weeping unashamedly at his feet. He instantly envelopes me into a strong embrace.

"The crash, Max," I murmur, sniveling. "The crash."

"I know," Liz he reassures me, planting kisses in my hair. "I know."

He pulls back to look into my face. He runs his hands across my scrapes and cuts, smoothing them away. He cups my cheeks in his hands and wipes the tears from my eyes with his thumbs. He kisses me, gently reserved but passionately, carefully but recklessly. Pure power flows into me and courses through my body. The entire world spins. The night sky erupts into an explosion of a thousand lights.

"Liz," He smiles, my name lovingly rolling off his tongue. "I will always save you, my queen. You don't have to be afraid anymore. I'll take care of you. You're safe now."

I smile back and lay my head on his chest, listening to his heart beat. Suddenly I stiffen, realizing for the first time that we are not alone.

"Isabel," I swallow cautiously.

She steps out of the shadows.

"What are you doing here, Liz? How do you know about this place?" She asks solemnly.

"What are you talking about?" I wonder, raising my head.

"Who are you? Where do you come from? How do you know about us?" She questions frantically.

"I don't know what you are talking about," I tell her, confused.

I stand and start towards her.

"Stay back," Isabel states, anxiously terrified.

"Isabel," My voice pleads, "what are you talking about?"

"Max, get away from her," She screeches when Max stands and supportively lays a hand on my shoulder.

"Isabel, she's not what you think," Max tells her uneasily.

"I don't know who you are or what you are doing here, Liz, but I do know that whatever your plans are, you will not succeed. We'll stop you," She screams.

"Calm down, Isabel. I swear I have no idea what you are talking about," I try to assure her.

"We'll stop you," She whispers coldly, her eyes narrowed and full of hate.

She vanishes out of the cave.



I sit up startled. Well that was one disturbing-ass dream. I've dreamed the crash dozens of times before but the Max and Isabel stuff? Strange shit. I yawn. Maria's already up and about somewhere. I glance at the clock and it shows 12:04 in bold red letters.

I wander downstairs to find Maria watching T.V. Sean's no where to be found, and I can't really say that I care where he is so I don't go looking. Maria makes me some breakfast, eggs and toast. I pack up my stuff and ask her to drive me home, promising I'll call her later. She tells me she has to go to work but that I should come visit her and I tell her I?ll try.

I get home and see Dad has left me a note that he and Nancy are at the Crashdown. I go upstairs and take a long, hot shower, steaming up the bathroom. I take my time getting dressed. I pick out something nice, no occasion really except that I feel like it. I pull out my jean skirt, a pink short sleeve top, and a matching jean jacket. I throw some stuff into my pastel plaid back pack purse. I slip on my pink flip flops and start walking towards the Crashdown. A long the way I pull my hair up into a pony tail.

I've decided that I?m going exploring. I get to Main Street, but I keep walking past the Crashdown to check out some of the nearby shops. The first few are dopey alien-themed gift shops. Then I come to a place called Mohair Pear. I glance through the window and see a lot of vintage clothes strewn hanging about. I smile and go in.

The lady behind the counter greets me. The shop isn't very big and has a cozy, friendly appeal. I start to look around. I immediately bump into a familiar face.

"Alex," I grin. "You missed on hell of a party. Crazy shit. Cops swarming everywhere."

"Yeah, so I heard," Alex chuckles. "About five million times form about five million people. Sorry I missed it. Almost."

"Eh, Pam Troy is something else. She in herself is so amusing to be reason enough to go. I bet the look on her face when the cops hauled her away was priceless," I laugh.

"I heard it was," Alex smiles. "So what are you doing tonight?"

"Well I think I've already been ditched by Maria. She has a date with Michael I believe. So other than clipping and repolishing my toenails I don't have much along the lines of plans. Why, you want to cause so trouble with me?" I ask mischeiviously.

"Definitely," Alex grins. "Well, actually I was gonna ask you if you wanted to come watch my band play. But after that trouble sounds good."

"You're in a band? Cool beans. I'd love to come watch you play," I smile.

"We're playing at this club called Reverb. It costs eight bucks to get in but if you come early with me and the band I can get you in free. That's what Maria always does," He tells me.

"I definitely like the cheaper plan," I say.

"You have to be 17 to get in get in but you are, aren't you?" Alex questions.

"Yeppers. This sounds like so much fun. I'm really excited," I giggle giddily.

"I'm glad you are so enthusiastic," Alex laughs. "It's a nice change from the drab attitudes around here. We play at nine but we have to set up and unload some junk and all that good stuff so I'll stop by to pick you up around seven or so?"

"Sounds great. I'll be ready," I reply.

Alex leaves and I continue looking around. I find some sweet jeans and a cute coat awesomely priced. I'll have to come back later with more money. I walk up to the counter and I see the case is full of body jewelry. I pick out a new glow in the dark belly ring for tonight and purchase it. I haven't been to a club in a long time. Since summer, way before Mom died.

I notice a help wanted sign in the window, as I but my new accessory in my backpack.

"Hey, you have job openings?" I ask the long haired chick behind the counter with her nose pierced.

"Yeah, you wanna apply?" She responds hopefully.

"Actually, I do," I answer, remembering Dad's threat to make me work at the Crashdown if I didn't find another job.

I take ten minutes to fill out a simple application form, and give it to the lady.

"We'll give you a call if you get a job, but I'm pretty sure you will. You are by far the most responsible looking person we've had apply," She tells me.

That's me. Responsible. Looking.

"Hey, thanks," I smile as I exit.

I cross the street. Nothing too exciting. Old lady stores, a paint store, hardware store, the post office. I satr back towards the Crashdown. The UFO Center catches my eye. I see a couple postcards in the window that my friend?s in Iowa would die laughing over so I decide to head on in.

I run smack dab into someone at the door and fall back on my ass. I look up to see Max's concerned face. Sheesh. Why does this always happen to me, especially around him? When did I get so clumsy? He grabs my hand and pulls me up.

"Sorry, Liz. Didn't see you coming," He apologizes.

"It's alright," I reassure him. "My fat ass broke the fall."

"I'm sure," He smiles. "More likely that the fall broke your cute little ass."

Did he just hit on me? He looks embarrassed for a second after he realizes what he just said. It?s good to know that I'm not the only one that says things before running them through their head.

"Anyways," I say.

Max wets his lips. Suddenly I remember the kiss from the dream. That perfect kiss. I blush and look down. I notice Max is wearing a dopey yellow vest with a UFO Center logo on it.

"You work here?" I ask.

"Unfortunately so," He responds. "At least the pay is good. I'm an assistant manager."

"Oh," I respond dumbly. "Well I saw some postcards in the window I thought I should send to some of my friends in Iowa. They?d get a kick out of them."

"Yeah," He smiles knowing which ones I am talking about. "Well, uh, I'm gonna go meet some people, but I'll umm...see you."

"Definitely," I smile back, still not looking him in the eye.

Talk about awkward. I walk into the UFO Center. There's all these posters for alien exhibits and such. Some of it looks kinda fun. Kinda. I go directly to the gift shop and pick out my postcards. My personal favorite is the one of the little alien in a space ship with a bumper sticker that reads "Smile if you want to be probed." The lamest one I picked up is probably of a couple old me in their boxers, undershirts, and tall black socks smoking cigars and playing frisbee with a small plate. The caption says, "Watch out for flying saucers in Roswell, New Mexico." Now I get the pun about the saucer and all, but why are the old men in their underwear? What the hell is that supposed to be about? I dunno. I also grabbed a "Roswell at Night" postcard. You know, one of those generic ones that they have for most big cities across the U.S. that some moron designed thinking he was a genius for basically just creating a plain black postcard with lettering, except this one has a tiny little UFO in the black space. Heh. Clever. Whatever. I purchase all my postcards and head over to the Crashdown.

I step inside the door and Nancy waves at me from behind the counter. It's not too busy, but busy enough. I see Maria is already at work. She taking an order for the farthest back, most secluded booth. I look closer to see who the patrons are and groan. Max, Isabel, Michael, and Tess. Isabel whips her head up and glares at me menacingly. It sends shivers up and down my spine. Max looks up at me. Damn, he's gorgeous. He frowns when he sees Isabel's look and elbows her. She ignores him and keeps her icy stare even. Max shoots me a sympathetic look. I stick my tongue out at Isabel. Childish I know, but what else can I do? I wave to Maria and head through the swinging doors that I just saw Nancy disappear through.

"Hey, Nancy," I say when I spot her in the kitchen. "You seen Dad?"

"Hey, kid," She smiles. "He's in the storage room taking inventory."

"Thanks," I tell her, opening the door they showed me was to the storage room.

"Hey Dad," I call to him.

I find him sitting on the floor counting cans in the next isle.

"Hey, Lizzie," Dad grins. "What's up? Did you have fun at Maria's?"

"It was a blast Dad. I hope you don't mind but this guy, my friend Alex, he asked me to come watch his band play at some place called Reverb. I told him I'd go, that is if you don't mind...," I respond.

"No, no. Go, have a good time. I'm happy you are making friends so fast. So he's your BOY friend, huh?" He winks.

"Not that kind of boyfriend Dad. Just a nice guy," I laugh.

"He better be a nice guy. My Lizzie doesn't have to settle for just anyone," Dad goes on.

"FRIEND, Dad. FRIEND," I remind rolling my eyes.

"Yeah, yeah. I hear you. Just be careful. I was an adolescent boy once too. A wild one at that, a real ladies man. I know how their minds work," Dad tells me, arranging ketchup.

"I'm sure," I grin.

"So you want to give me a hand here, or what? Just look at this list and count how many containers of each item are on the shelf. Have you given any more thought to working here?" He hands me a list.

I wince, and take the list from him.

"Actually I applied for a job at Mohair Pear down the block and the lady behind the counter was sure I would get it, but even if I do I suppose I could lend a hand around here every once in a while," I reply.

I can see how much he wants me to work here and I figure I better just suck it up every once and a while if it will make him happy.

"You applied for another job too? That's great Lizzie. I'm impressed you are being so responsible. You are just settling in so well. It makes me very happy," Dad grins.

That's me. Responsible is my middle name. Elizabeth Responsible Parker. Elizabeth Responsible Innocent Parker. Definitely has a certain ring to it.

"Hey, Dad, I think I can handle things from here. There's many items left. You can go out and see if Nancy needs anything," I tell Dad.

"Thanks Lizzie," Dad smiles. "My legs were getting sore from crouching down here all day."

"No problem," I smile back, watching him go.

I hear him close the storage room door behind him. I hum to myself as I count condiments. Forty-three jars of pickles. That is a lot of dill right there. I hear the storage room door open and close again.

"Dad?" I wonder. "Did you forget something?"

No answer. The hairs on the back of my neck prickle.

"Dad?" I call out again, my voice cracking.

Okay, I should mention now that I am the kind of person who doesn't need to be scared. I can scare myself just fine if you just leave me all alone. I stand up slowly. I look down the next isle at the door. No one. I check all the other isles. No one there, either. I go out the door and find Dad in the kitchen talking to Nancy.

"Need something Lizzie?" He asks when he sees me.

"Silly question, but did either of you just open and close the storage room door?" I ask them.

"Nope," Dad answers, "But it could have been the cook, Carlos."

"Right, right. Sometimes my imagination gets away from me and give myself a fright," I laugh.

"That's the Lizzie I know and love," Dad smiles. "She used to be terrified of the basement steps, Nancy. Not the basement itself but just the steps."

"I was always afraid someone was going to reach through them and grab my feet," I try to explain to them. "Anyways, I'll go finish to inventory now."

I head back into the storage room chuckling to myself at my foolishness. I stop laughing when I see the second isle. I freeze, goosebumps racking my body. Fear overcomes me and I begin to shake.

*********************


posted on 21-Mar-2002 7:41:42 PM by Allie1031
Hi Everyone! I've started posting on the Boardello now after a suggestion by hipntrendy, who thought my other fic might receive better response over there. Thanks for the great tip. Now here comes some shameless plugging that I had really wanted to avoid. My other fic is called 'What Dreams May Come', and NO it is not a spin off of the movie as some people have thought. That'll teach me to allude to Shakespeare lines that are already under a modernized allusion. Grumble, grumble. This fic is under a different user name (ShEErAmbIVaLeNCe) because I had been hoping to change over and eliminate Allie1031 but it seems that user name already has recognition however minute it may be so I figure I might as well stick with it. You'll also notice if you check out my fic, hehe, that I've had to bump myself into continuing. Pathetic, yes, but hell if I care. I'm not asking you all to like me anyways, just me fics. I had actually hoped people might like my fic before I told them it was mine but no such luck. Oh well. SOOOOOOOO, here's the deal. I'm going to update one more part of it and if no one still likes it, I'm only going to continue to update it on the Boardello. Thanks eveyone for reading and thank you for your continuing support!

-Allie Beth

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 21-Mar-2002 7:44:31 PM ]
posted on 21-Mar-2002 10:29:17 PM by Allie1031
Just to clarify for everyone who read my last post and started to fret, I'll continue to post What's So Great About Normal? here even if I'm not posting 'What Dreams May Come' here so you need not worry. I'm just wondering if I need to go through the trouble of posting 'What Dreams May Come' here or not. Thanks. *happy*

-Alli Beth
posted on 22-Mar-2002 12:49:52 PM by Allie1031
Hey Everyone! New part 12! No previously for it cause I'm too lazy to dig it up. Part 12 has been up for the past day on the boardello, I thought it might be easier to post there and that I might not have to change all the quotes but nope, I still do. Crazy. Anyways, enjoy everyone and check out my note above if you haven't. By the way, we are going to be getting heavy into track season soon and I just thought I should warn ya'll that I will be SUPER SUPER busy so there might be some lag between parts. Who knows. I can usually get parts done if I'm in the mood to. Well everyone have a GREAT day, and a good weekend too!


- Alli Beth

P.S. I don't mind lurkers, you are all cool with me, I was just wondering if there were any for Dreams or not.



Part Twelve

Suddenly I regain movement and quickly run to check all the other isles for the perpetrator. I'm angry now. Angry that someone would do this.

I run out of the storage room, through the kitchen and into the restaurant. I practically tackle Maria. I need to show you something, I whisper in her ear.

"I just need to borrow her for one second," I tell the elderly couple she was in the process of waiting on with a polite smile.

I drag Maria back to the storage room, shouting the most evil glare I can muster at Isabel and her table along the way. When we get in the storage room I show what I'm so worked up about in the second isle to Maria.

"Look," I shriek hysterically pointing at the message. "Look what some what did. I heard them come in and I searched the isle but I didn?t see anyone so I went out, and I asked Dad if he opened the door, and he said no but it might have been the cook, and then I came back in an it was here. Someone?s trying to scare me and they are doing a damn good job."

My hands are shaking.

"Calm down, Liz. You have to breathe, chica. Did you see anyone in the Kitchen besides your Dad? Did you see anyone come out when you came to find me?" She ask trying to stay calm herself.

"N-n-no," I stutter.

"So they could still be in here?" She yelps.

We hear the storage room door slam shut. We both jump and cling to each other.

"EEK!" Maria cries.

I rush over to the door and burst through it. I don?t see anyone in the kitchen. The cook walks through the back door with an empty trash can.

"Did you see anyone in here?" I demand, practically on top of him at once.

"Fries?" He says confused.

"Carlos doesn't speak much English," Maria explains.

She ask him something in Spanish.

"No, no, just Papa" He says shaking his head.

Dad come through the swinging doors.

"Dad did you see anyone come out of the storage room?" I ask impatiently.

"No, but I just closed the door a second ago," He chuckles. "I'm sorry. Did I startle you?"

"Yeah...yeah. I accidentally knocked over some Tabasco sauce. Do we have a mop?" I ask.

"In the closet in the back room. Maria can show you were. Sorry, Lizzie. I should have remembered you were a little jumpy today," Dad tells me.

"It's no problem," I manage to smile. "No real harm done."

Maria and I go get a mop.

"Why didn't you tell your dad?" She wonders when we are back in the storage room alone.

"No sense in him worrying. This would flip him out," I gesture towards the mess. "It's just someone's idea of a very poor joke and I think I know who."

"Who?" Maria questions.

"Who else? Isabel," I respond.

"I told you not to mess with her. Wait, it couldn't be Isabel. She was sitting out there in the crashdown the whole time. I swear, she hasn't left her seat since she sat down. And I've been out there since they got here so I would have seen her get up if she had," Maria tells me.

"Well who else would have done this?" I ask. "Did you see anyone get up?"

"Tess did," Maria replies thoughtfully. "She went to the bathroom but I saw her both go in and come out. I was waiting on the counter at the time so I would have seen her if she tried to go into the kitchen, and so would your dad. And A delivery guy came through with some cases of napkins but that's about it."

"I don't know who did this but they are seriously messed up and if I ever find out..." I say angrily grabbing the mop.

"NO KIDDING," Maria agrees. "We'll lay the smack down on them."

Maria and I bend over and pick up the broken glass of the bottle of Tabasco sauce. I take a look at the intimidating message one last time before I run the mop over it smearing the carefully written letters.

As far as I can guess someone came in when I heard them, hid until I left, shattering the bottle and then used their fingers to write the message beside the puddle while I was out talking to Dad. They could have still been in here when I came back and saw it and escaped later. Like when I was talking to Maria. Hell, they had multiple chances to escape but someone should have seen them. Actually, someone should have seen them come in.

Who would do this? Who's good enough to pull this off? It scares me more that someone could pull this off than what they actually did. Writing "Will stop you Liz. Hurt you. Leave, or be sorry!" isn't exactly all that impressive. I did like the "I promise" next to a smiley face at the end, though. That was a nice touch. Nice and creepy.

It seems like it should have taken longer to write that than what it did. I wasn't actually gone for very long before I found it. Less than a minute. They had to have had it all planned out to have moved so quickly. And why Tabasco sauce? It's way up on the top shelf out of reach in the last isle. Either they were really, really tall or had to stand on something. That's even more time, getting a step stool and putting it away. And they would have to know exactly where the Tabasco sauce was. Why didn't they just use ketchup, or mustard, or something close by?

I hand Maria the mop and grab the inventory list off the floor.

"Could you finish this up for me?" I ask her. "I want to check something."

"Sure thing," Maria replies happy to help out.

I grab the step stool from nest to the door and take it to the last isle. I stand up on it and count the Tabasco sauces. Twenty-six, just like the sheet says there should be. I climb down and return the stool. Maria has finished mopping.

"Listen, I'll take the mop back and you go out and see if any of the tables are missing Tabasco sauce. Whoever did this brought it in with them from out there," I tell her.

"Alright, I'll be right back and meet you in the kitchen," Maria answers, eager to oblige.

I return the mop and wait for her to come back in.

"No luck," Maria says, disappointed, as she comes back through the door. "I better get back to work before Nancy hassles me."

"Yeah," I agree.

"Hey, thanks for visiting me. I'll call you later after my shift and we'll talk about this," Maria tells me. "Try not to be too freaked. I'm sure it's just some weirdo being a moron."

"Yeah. You have a date with Michael tonight, right? Please tell me he called you?" I ask.

"Yes," She grins. "He's taking me out to dinner and then we are going to try to catch Alex's band's set. I'm such a groupie that I can't stand to miss a single show. Mostly because sometimes he lets me get on stage and sing with him, but still, I'm a dedicated fan."

"That's cool. I ran into Alex earlier and he's going to get me in free with the band," I report to her.

"Ahhh, yes. That's the best," She smiles.

"Don't worry about me, Maria. You have a good time with Michael and we can talk about this and your date tomorrow. You can come over and get a good look at all the work we are going to have to do to fix up my poor pathetic room," I say.

"Alright," She laughs. "I'm going to hold you to that."

She walks out of the kitchen to go wait tables and I go back into the storage room and quickly finish the inventory incident free. Afterwards I go to the bathroom to wash my hands. I take my favorite ring that I always wear off and set it on the edge of the sink. It slips out of my hand when I try to put it back on and I have to get on the floor and crawl around to find it. I spot it next to a vent.

"Look, all I'm saying it let's not get too carried away with this," I hear a voice say.

"We don't even know anything for sure," another voice adds.

I look through the vent and I can vaguely see the Crashdown on the other side. Holy shit, I'm eavesdropping on Max's table. It's right on the other side of the bathroom wall. I recognize the first voice as being Michael and the second as Max's.

"Max, how much more proof do you need?" I hear Isabel respond angrily. "I told you what I saw. How could she possibly know all that?"

Who they talking about?

"Isabel does have a point," Michael agrees. "I mean it is strange that she knew exactly where the granolith is, not to mention about the crash."

What the hell is a granolith and what crash are they talking about? There was a crash?

"In gym class, Max, she pulled her bony ass up that rope in a snap. I'm telling you, she has superpower strength for a human girl," Isabel continues.

Are they talking about ME?

"Didn't you tell me she easily took you out when you cornered her in the bathroom? And she knocked the wind out of Sean with a single punch to his arm. I saw him earlier today and he has a bruise the size of a baseball on his shoulder. He's telling people she's his new super sexy bodyguard and that people better watch out 'cause she's like that chick from Alias," Michael carries on.

They ARE talking about me. I think?

"She's a threat. She shows up out of nowhere just when we think things have finally died down and that all our enemies have been defeated. Who knows what she's doing here and what she's up too. Look at all the evidence against her. Max, we have to take her out,? Isabel persists.

Take me out? TAKE ME OUT? Bitch. I'll take you out.

"NO. Not until we are sure. I still think she's human,? Max objects.

Human? As opposed to what?

"Oh wake up Max, and stop thinking with your dick. We can all tell you want her by the way you lust after her. Maybe she's creating all those feelings in your mind, you ever think of that? She has you wrapped around her pinky and you can't even see it," Tess pipes up angrily.

Max doesn't lust after me!

"I don't lust after her! I'm doing my job, okay, that's all. Nothing more. I'm trying to figure out who she is, and who sent her the old-fashioned, more subtle way of getting close her, maybe gaining her trust, instead of just recklessly traipsing about her dreams, which, by the way, could mean any number of things. Why don't we just tell her who we are if we are going to be so careless?! Attach targets to our backs! And how do we know she doesn't really have a black belt in karate and isn't just abnormally strong for a girl? I told you her mother just died in a car crash, Isabel; that's why she moved here, to live with her dad. That could be the crash she was talking about," Max insists.

That Bastard. He shouldn't be telling people about my mom. I told him in confidence. Fuck him. Doing his job? Getting CLOSE to me? GAINING MY TRUST? Double-crossing bastard. I should have seen through his Mr. Nice Guy routine right away. What's wrong with me?

"Listen to yourself, Max. She could have easily made all that up, and none of that explains how she knew the location of the granolith," Tess growls.

WHAT is this granolith thing all about?

"Max is right, though, about one thing. We still don't know for sure if she knows who we are, that we are who she is looking for. And even if she isn't human, do we know that she is an enemy?" Michael wonders.

"In her dream Max was by the granolith. I think that is a pretty big indicator, Michael, that she associates Max with the granolith," Isabel points out.

How the HELL does she know about that dream? I realize these are not some normal teenagers I'm dealing with here. I wonder is Isabel is telepathic? Crraaappppppp. Is Max telepathic?

"Well you also said he was kissing her. What if it's just some fantasy of hers?" Michael defends.

I do NOT fantasize about Max! I DON'T! Not on purpose anyways.

"He called her his queen. And he healed cuts on her. Plus even if it is a fantasy how'd she know about the granolith?" Isabel replies.

I'm beginning to sense that the granolith has something to do with that cave. And that it is pretty darn important to them.

"How DID she know where the granolith was?" Michael repeats.

That's a good question. Beat's me. I try to think back to where I first saw that cave. For some reason I know where it is but I don?t have any idea what's inside it. I don't even have a picture in my mind of what the inside looks like.

"Did you actually see the granolith?" Max asks.

"No, but she was in the cave," Isabel answers.

"Did it look like the inside of the cave?" Max questions.

Isabel hesitates.

"Not really, but it was the granolith cave. I saw her approach it and open it with her hand," Isabel states. "How could she open it if she was human?"

"It's a dream; she could fly if she wanted to," Max states dryly.

"Well how did she know HOW to open it, Mr. Smarty pants?" Tess bickers.

That's another good question. How DID I know that? I'm still picking my brain to remember when and where I had seen the cave from my dream before. Abruptly, it comes to me all at once. I had had a strange flash, a vision, of approaching that cave and opening it the very first time I ran into Max, with Nancy when I registered for school. I had brushed it off because it meant nothing to me at the time. In the vision Max had opened the cave and stepped in but I never saw the inside.

I make out a pair of skinny white legs approaching the table.

"Can I get anyone anything, else?" I hear Maria ask.

"NO," They all say at once.

"Geez. I'll get the check then," Maria responds.

"But thanks for asking," Michael adds politely as Maria walks away.

"There are just too many questions," Max concludes. "I say we continue to investigate until we know something for sure. The ISSUE stands for further consideration."

Wait, wait, wait. I'M the ISSUE? Damn. That's actually kind of disappointing. Makes it seem like they have no life to be obsessing over me so much.

"Good call," Michael agrees. "I second that."

"Whatever you say, almighty, fearless leader," Isabel responds. "She's up to no good. You'll see."

"I just hope it's not too late," Tess adds solemnly.

"LIZ! Did you fall in in there, or what?" I hear Maria call to me.

I sit up and bump my head on the sink. She pushes the door open. I curse myself for not closing it all the way and locking it.

"Quiet," I hiss at her. I close the door behind her and pull her to the floor.

I listen. The table has gone quiet.

"What are we doing?" Maria whispers.

"So how 'bout them Lakers?" Michael asks.

"Some season," Max adds.

Dumbasses. The season hasn't started yet.

"I FOUND IT," I say loudly, standing up. "I WAS JUST LOOKING FOR MY RING, WHICH I DROPPED. THANK YOU, MARIA, FOR HELPING ME FIND IT."

"Hey, it's no problem chica," Maria responds sincerely, as I help her up.

I shake my head at her ignorance.

"Go give them their check and I'll fill you in," I instruct her in a low voice.

"I BETTER GO GET BACK TO INVENTORY," I yell.

"Why are you shouting? And I thought you finished inventory?" Maria wonders.

"I did. Just go give them the check and meet me in the back before you blow my cover even more," I tell her through clenched teeth.

"Oh. Ooooooh. YES. I'LL COME HELP YOU IN A SECOND. JUST LET ME GIVE MICHAEL HIS CHECK," Maria hollers, winking at me.

I slap my hand to my face. Note to self: Maria is POOR actress.

We leave the bathroom and I head though the kitchen into the back room. Begin to pace. Think. I gotta think. Who are these people? They're like some kind of mafia. A mind reading mafia. How the heck did I get mixed up with them? Maria joins me shortly. I tell her mainly what I over heard, leaving out intricate details from the dream such a the kiss with Max and Mom's crash. I tell her about the cave. And their crazy accusations towards me.

"And Michael's in on this?" She asks.

"YES," I reply.

"Figures. I always knew he was involved in something strange. Ah, well. What can you do? No guy is perfect," Maria sighs.

I frown. Isabel wants to "take me out" and she's obsessing about Michael taking her out.

"Oh, by the way, I was coming to tell you, when you were in the bathroom, that I remembered that I took their table an extra Tabasco sauce bottle from under the counter. Isabel asked for it," Maria tells me smugly.

AH HA! I knew it! Isabel is after me. Crazy bitch!

"You can't tell ANYONE any of this, especially NOT Michael," I reply.

"My lips are sealed," Maria promises doing the actions to go with her words. "You know I told you there was something weird going on with the lot of them, didn't I tell you? And you were just all like whatever, I'm Liz, Superwoman."

"Actually, I'm Robin," I mumble.

"What?" Maria asks confused.

"Never mind. I still can't believe Isabel was so sly to slip past us and leave that dopey message. Crazy, crazy shit. And why are they so threatened by me, anyways? I'm as harmless as a fly. Sometimes annoying and irritating, yes, but harmless nonetheless. I'm going to get to the bottom of this and figure out what they are all up to once and for all, resolve any 'issues' there are," I tell Maria.

This is just one fucked up town. And I thought people in Iowa were quirky!

"How are you planning to do that?" Maria wonders.

"I'm going to that cave, of course, and I'm going to see what's inside, of course," I respond matter-of-factly.

"You sure that's a good idea?" Maria asks.

"How should I know? I'm making things up as I go. But how else are we going to find out what they are up to?" I reply.

"Yeah, I guess you're right. I don't have to stop dating Michael because of this, do I?" Maria questions.

"Heaven's no. They don't know we're in cahoots. You can be my inside informant and tell me if you notice anything strange," I answer.

"So now I'm your spy? Alright. Fine. But I hope this insider business involves my tongue exploring the inside of Michael's mouth, Sergeant," Maria respond.

"That's your business, Private, not mine. Michael seems like a nice guy. Weird, but in a normal way. I don't know how he got messed up with those buffoons. Maybe when this is all over when can go on a double date or something," I tell her.

"And who exactly are you going to be taking on this double date? Sean?" Maria giggles.

"Hey, I can get higher caliber guys than Sean," I retort resentfully.

"Oh, I know so. I just don't see why you don't," Maria says.

I scowl. What does Maria know anyways?

"Well, hey, I'm going to head home now, I have some postcards to write. Tell Dad I thought of something I had to do at home, will you?" I smirk to myself at the fun notes I'm going to write.

"Okay. I have to get back to work anyways. I'll see you tonight at Reverb?" She replies

"Definitely," I tell her, grabbing my bag, and sneaking out the back door to the alley.

I turn quickly and run smack dab into a large, hard body, once again sprawling across the concrete on my rear end.

***********************

posted on 24-Apr-2002 12:48:55 AM by Allie1031
Okay, okay. Technically I'm lagging here, I know. I thought I had the next part done a long time agao but then I decided I wanted to write some more to it and then I got swamped.... So no I did not forget about this, and yes I will continue for anyone who cares. I've been doing updating on my other fic , I dunno why other than that it seemed like I should and in the process have neglected Normal. Hopefully this weekend I'll throw something up. Smiles, everyone!
posted on 3-May-2002 8:49:59 PM by Allie1031
Ok, I'll admit it. This part sucks. I'm ashamed I am even posting it. But at the same time I've to lazy to go back and rewrite it more exciting. I kept thinking that if I made it longer it would get better but it doesn't. However, does serve a purpose in setting up some of the action to come. Hopefully, this part and maybe a little in to the next will be enough to get the action rolling. Sorry I took so long to post but when you read it I think you will see why. I was also busy, so that might be why my head's just not in it. Thanks for the great bumpage though.



-Previously-

"Hey, I can get higher caliber guys than Sean," I say resentfully.

"Oh, I know so. I just don’t see why you don’t," Maria retorts.

I scowl. What does Maria know anyways?

"Well, hey, I'm going to head home now, I have some postcards to write. Tell Dad I thought of something I had to do at home, will you?" I smirk to myself at the fun notes I'm going to write.

"Okay. I have to get back to work anyways. I'll see you tonight at Reverb?" She replies

"Definitely," I tell her, grabbing my bag, and sneaking out the back door to the alley.

I turn around and run smack dab into a large, hard body, once again sprawling across the concrete on my rear end.

***********************

Part Thirteen

"Cripes, Michael. You shouldn't loom in such inconvenient places. What are you doing back here anyways?" I ask casually, trying not to let my body shake as he helps me up.

"You heard us," Michael states quietly.

"I don't know what you are talking about," I say turning away as I brush myself off.

"Don't lie Liz. I heard what you and Maria were talking about just now," Michael responds.

Heh, heh. Guess I'm not the only one who knows how to eavesdrop. Neat. No.

"Yeah well, the LAKERS Michael? You doof. The season hasn't even started yet," I force myself to smile.

He shrugs.

"Eh, never been a big basketball fan," He smiles genuinely.

"Guess not. So what are you doing here?" I question.

"I don't think you are what Isabel and Tess think you are. Max doesn't either, but we need proof," He tells me.

"Hey, well you know, I'd be happy to help. Anything I can do to get the MAFIA off my back?" I retort.

He inspect a scrape on my elbow that I got when I fell.

"You have a Kleenex or something?" He asks.

"Why? Your nose runny? I prefer the dried blood look. Keeps up my whole rough, tough, bodyguard/Alias chick image," I smirk.

He snorts. I pull out Kleenex and a band-aid. I have everything in my purse except the Kitchen sink. I think I founded the boy scouts in a past life. I wipe off the clotting blood and put a band-aid over it. Definitely going to have to clean that better when I get home. Who knows what kind of weird scum it came into contact with in this grubby alley. I could lose an arm if it gets infected! I go to throw the Kleenex away in a dumpster.

"Wait," Michael stops me. "I need that. It'll prove once and for all you are who Tess and Isabel think you are."

"You want my BLOOD? Gross," I respond. "What exactly do Tessy-bear and Isabel think I am?"

Michael grins at the Tessy-bear.

"It's complicated," he coughs. "You wouldn't understand."

"I bet. Try me anyways," I reply.

"I can't," He says sincerely.

"Why not?" I frown. "I just gave you a blood sample. I think that deserves some explanation."

"I'm sorry, Liz but I can't. I can't even tell them that I approached you and you gave this to me. They'd think me careless and skin me alive. I'll have to tell them I saw you fall and I found this in the trash or something," He answers.

"Hmmmm. Well maybe you could also mention to them that you overheard me say that I don't appreciate the threatening messages while you're at it," I scowl.

"What threatening messages?" Michael wonders.

I tell him about the incident earlier in the storage room.

"That's strange," Michael says when I finish. "Isabel didn't do that and she wouldn't either. None of us would. I don't know who would write that, Liz. You better watch out. It sounds like someone might be after you. That or someone likes to play really bad jokes and you are the unwilling victim."

"Wait, someone else might be after me? Somebody besides your mafia? Don't say that. It's scary to think," I respond.

"Eh, it's probably a practical joke. Don't get too anxious, but keep your guard up at the same time. I'll try to watch your back for you when I can," Michael assures me.

"Thanks. You're a really cool guy, you know that?" I tell him.

"I try," He grins.

"How did you know I'm not whatever they think I am in the first place? I mean it's pretty risky for you to come to me like this. From what I gather, I'm supposed to be a pretty frightening character," I question.

"Liz, you hardly evoke fear in heart of, well, anyone," Michael smiles. "I just didn't get the impression that you were a threat. I didn't get any of these so-called bad vibes from you at all. You seem like a nice girl. Weird maybe, but in a normal way. Plus, Max is convinced that you check out fine, and I trust his judgment. And after I heard you and Maria talk I was positive for myself."

"Max is a dick," I retort scornfully.

"Liz, don't hold anything you may have overheard in that conversation to be completely true. There's a lot of things you don't know and can't understand. Things aren't always as they seem," Michael tells me. "After this I hope you just let things be. I promise we won’t be bothering you anymore."

"Alright, Michael. I’ll take your word for it," I say. "Now if you’ll excuse me I probably should go home and clean this scrape out before it gets gangrenous."

"Yeah, you gotta watch out for gangrene," He smiles. "See you later, and don't mention our meeting to anyone, especially not Maria. I expect you to drop all this and tell her you were just paranoid delusional or something. Just forget anything that has ever happen."

"Oh, I will," I say, giving him the patented smile/wave as I turn the corner.

Yeah right. Not in this lifetime. Now I'm more curious than ever what's in that stupid cave. I obviously can't go tonight. I have plans and my blatant disregard would be too obvious. But maybe next weekend. First real chance I get.

Max Evans, I'm going to find out all your juicy secrets. What you and your friends are hiding. Who YOU are. Why the hell you're all so obsessively paranoid.

One of them had to have left me that message. And it totally, totally, totally looks like the work of Isabel. I mean it had to be her because of all that stuff she said to me in my dream, like about stopping me and all. The message is almost exactly what she said to me. Maybe Michael doesn't know her as well as he thinks.

In any case, there's mutiny among their ranks. People going behind other's backs. Michael just proved a perfect example. That could be their undoing. Not to mention their totally conspicuous nature.

I walk home with two things on my mind. What's in that cave, and who left me that message.

*****************

Alex pulls into my driveway in a red Astro van a quarter till seven and you can be sure I'm not ready. I haven't a damned thing to wear.

I hear the doorbell ring and Dad chatting it up downstairs with Alex. I save myself the embarrassment and Alex the fifth degree, I throw on a sweatshirt and rush downstairs to the rescue.

"Thanks for getting the door Dad, I can take things from here," I say practically yanking Alex's arm off I he stumbles up the stairs behind me.

I shove Alex in my room and quickly close the door.

"Thank goodness you are here! I don't have anything to wear! You have to help me decide," I tell him rummaging through piles of clothes, tossing shirts this way and that.

"Okay, show me what you've got" Alex chuckles as he takes a seat on my bed. "But I'm not much of a fashion expert. Don't take too long to decide though. We haven't THAT much time to spare."

"I know, I know. I'm sorry. Where's the rest of your band? Not waiting, I hope," I respond from my closet, out of Alex’s view from the bed.

"They're supposed to be at the club at seven or so but they're kind of like you, hopelessly doomed to never be on time," Alex responds.

I smile. I peel off the sweat shit and shimmy into a red halter top with beaded fringe along the bottom.

"What do you think of this?" I ask reappearing from within the closet.

"Fantastic," Alex offers, wide-eyed and grinning.

"But what about the purple?" I wonder holding up a violet tube top with silver, sparkle pin strips.

"Or the purple could be good too...," Alex trails of thoughtfully.

I jump back into the closet, switch tops, and leap back out.

"Eh? You like?" I question.

"Nice, nice," Alex gives me a thumbs up. "So who are we trying to impress this fine evening?"

"No one," I reply a little too quickly still, fumbling through my room.

"Oh okay. I see. Well in that case I guess you don't care that I overhead Max say he is going to be there...," Alex trails off.

"Nope, not one bit," I tell him nonchalantly as my pulse quickens. "I know Maria said skanky, but just how skanky is this club?"

"Very. I'm surprised some girls even bother with the illusion of clothes at all. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's Sean who is the lucky guy...,"Alex continues.

"He wishes," I snort.

"Oooohhhh, so it's me then," Alex grins. "Am I THAT lucky?"

"Don't you know it?" I joke back.

"No, but seriously Liz. Max and Tess, I don't know why they are even together. They are so awful and awkward with each other. And it's so obvious that he has a thing for you," Alex says.

"You're wrong," I reply hastily, still searching my room. "Max Evans is a fake. He's being nice to me because he has to. And anyways, I could care less what Max thinks."

"How is he fake? He's the most genuinely nice guy I know. Liz, I'm positive that he really does care about you," Alex tries to convince me.

"Well maybe you don't know him as well as you think," I respond, trying to think.

"Maybe YOU don't know him as well as you think," He retorts.

"I KNOW!" I shout, hurdling onto the bed excitedly.

Alex looks alarmed.

"Wait right here," I instruct him bouncing off the bed, opening the door and running into the office down the hall where my packed boxes are being stored until I can get around to unpacking them.

I dig through a box marked "Liz - Dark Clothes" (I like to organize by color) until I find what I am looking for. I quickly swap my shirts and hurry back to show Alex. The tight, low cut, mid-drift bearing shirt is a racy black lace over a starch, solid black except for the see through sleeves that just cap my shoulders. It laces up the front, corset like, to push my boobs into view and cuts off just above my belly button. I leave tie it loosely up the front to give an extra hint of cleavage.

"Check this one out," I flaunt.

"Damn," Alex tries to swallow. "Definitely go with that one. Max won't know what hit him."

"Yea!" I clap my hands. "Now just let me change my pants."

I run into the closet waving a pair of tight, red leather pants. Alex groans and flops back onto the bed.

From inside the closet I frown, "And I told you, I don't like Max. Don"t you listen?"

"I hear the words you are saying but you body language and behavior speaks otherwise," Alex tells me.

I return moments later my ensemble complete.

"Oh now those will really get a rise out of Max. A real RISE, if you know what I mean," Alex winks playfully.

I shoot him a glare as I slip into my strappy black sandals, trying to ignore his comment.

"Wow, Liz. I must say, you look quite hot," Alex tells me appreciatively.

"Thanks," I say. "You don't think this might be a little much?"

"Heck no. You look like a girl scout compared to most of the chicks there," He scoffs. "Now let's go."

I button up my jean jacket over my top, thinking it might not be so great if Dad sees me in this shirt and Alex and I sneak downstairs.

"Bye Dad!" I call out as I close the front door and Alex and I run to his van giggling.

"So what's the name of this band of yours?" I ask as he starts the van.

"The Whits," Alex replies, eyes on the road.

"You nerd," I smile. "It does make for a decent name, but I don't know how you could get your buddies to agree to that.”

"Rock, paper, scissors," Alex responds chuckling. "Never fails to solve every dispute."

"I'll keep that in mind," I laugh.

The Reverb is just a few blocks down the street from the Crashdown and I can hardly believe I didn't notice it before. We pull around into the back alley and some guys come to help Alex unload all the stuff. Alex claims that everything is too heavy for me, but finally agrees to let me help at my insistence. He's surprised and impressed by how strong I am, when I easily help haul in an amp onto the stage.

There are already a lot of people there. Music is playing loud through the speakers and people are dancing on a packed dance floor.

"They only have live music every Saturday night at nine," Alex tells me over the music as I help haul stuff on to the stage. "And sometimes on Fridays."

"Cool," I reply. "Do this many people always come?"

"No, not usually," Alex smiles. "But we tend to draw a big crowd. More high school kids show up if they've heard of the band that is playing. We've developed quite a reputation and even some groupies. Some Saturday nights it can be pretty dull though."

I pause to look out into the club from the stage. It’s not a particularly big club but that kind of gives it a cozy feel. There is a neon blue lit bar in the very back and some guy through a glass window in back is running the sound. Lasers and flashing light break up the dark mass of people dancing to something Moby I think.

Some guy comes and puts a purple X on my hand because I'm underage.

"This is Liz," Alex says, finally introducing me to the guys that helped haul stuff backstage. "Liz, this is my band. That's Jimmy, Derek and Tom. ”

The guys nod not uninterested.

"Our band," A cute, dark curly-haired boy corrects. "Hi Liz, I'm Jimmy. You must be new in town because I definitely know I would have noticed you before. How'd someone as gorgeous as you end up with a dork like Alex?"

"We aren't together," Alex speaks up before I can flare my tongue. "Just friends. Liz recently moved here from Iowa. Maria has kind of taken her under her wing. She goes to West Roswell with us."

"Sweet," Jimmy grins licking his lips. "So, she's not spoken for then. And where is that fox Maria tonight?"

"She has a date," Alex shrugs.

"Too bad," Jimmy shakes his head disappointed.

I'm not real big on Jimmy and I don't like they way he looks a me.

"I'm going to go mingle and check things out," I tell them, tired of standing around backstage.

"Yeah, we should finish setting up. I'll come find you later after we play. Will you be okay by yourself?" Alex ask.

"I'll be fine," I wave absently. "I'll see you later then. You have a good set and I'll be down there grooving."

I climb down the backstage stairs and walk down a hall past some bathrooms to fuse with the crowd. I make a couple rounds to survey the grounds, recognizing a few familiar faces from school. I also notice that Alex was completely valid in his assertion that most females are barely clothed, bare being the operative word. I finally end up situating myself at the bar.

"What can I get ya, hon?" An attractive, blonde, female bartender asks.

"Shirley Temple, and don't be stingy with the cherry," I order coming off a lot ruder than I meant to.

She goes off to fulfill my request as someone sits down next to me. I look over briefly and then stare right back down at the tray of peanuts sitting in front of me.

"So Liz," Max starts, looking me over appreciatively.

I turn my back to him. I smile at the guy a few stools down and he nods back at me.

"Don't ignore me, damnit," Max says forcibly, surprising me.

I glance over at him, my curiosity aroused by his outburst.

"I always do my best to be as nice to you as I possibly can. I'm polite even when you are complete bitch to me. I go out of my way to help you and try to make you feel welcome. I try as hard as I can to be a good friend to you. Why the hell are you so mean to me Liz? Sometimes it seems like we are getting along great an you’ll just snap at me out of nowhere," Max complains.

"Well that was quite the Brady Bunch speech you had worked out there. For a second I thought this was going be interesting for a change," I narrow my eyes at him. "I'm not a fucking charity case Max. I didn't ask you to go out of your way at all. If I'm so mean to you then why the hell are you still hanging around?"

"Because you are the most intriguing, amazing person I have ever met in my entire life," Max states solemnly.

"Oh, that is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard in my entire life. How is it that you are so full of it? I’m not stupid Max. Not as stupid as you'd like to hope anyways. I know what you are up to so cut it out and fuck off. We both know I'm not the threat Tess and Isabel think I am. Your business here is done so please just leave me alone," I retort.

Max turns ghostly white.

"And all of you stay the fuck out my head. I don't know how Isabel does it but you can be sure that if anyone does that again, I will make it my business to become a threat," I spit back.

Okay so I went a little overboard, but that tends to happen when I get a little ticked. And anyways, I just want Max to leave me alone and quit trying to use me by being so fake. I hate him playing off my attraction to him. Arrogant rat bastard. I hate it more than anything, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it continue. So there.

"Liz-" Max starts.

"Save it," I snarl.

The bartender shows up with my drink and I slam down some cash. She glance at Max inquisitively and when he glances back she gives him a seductive grin. Max blushes and looks back at me who has just caught the whole exchange.

"Can I help you?" she asks sweetly, leaning over the counter towards Max, giving him full view of her abundant cleavage, almost spilling out of her low cut shirt.

Max gulps.

Disgusting. Completely disgusting.

"Well...uhhh....," Max starts and stops as she begins lean in even closer.

"Anything I can bring you? Anything at all?" She asks draping herself over the bar.

"Max here is a little too distracted by the view to think straight. Perhaps if you'd straighten up the blood could get to his brain instead of going straight to his dick," I tell her.

She glares at me and Max gives me a resentful look that turns weird.

"Would you like anything?" She repeats again, standing up but otherwise ignoring me.

Max is still looking at me strangely.

"Max'll have a Shirley and for future reference he's not in the market, hon," I respond. "I'm sure he thanks you for the offer though, he's a real polite boy like that."

"I'm sorry. I didn't know you two were together," She apologizes like she knew all along that he was sitting here talking to me but thinks he can do better with her.

"Don't worry," I reply. "He's not."

I motion her in really close.

"He's gay," I whisper in her ear.

She scowls, annoyed with me, but leaves to fill the order.

Max's eyes are still studying me. His face is unreadable, but then I notice the corners of his eyes. He's amused. Why is he amused? Why is he looking at me? His face breaks into a grin and his eyes dance.

"I'm sorry Max. Am I cramping you style? I know you have a thing for blondes, but I assumed your appetite was full with Tess. Perhaps you would like a nice side dish after all?" I offer, still mildly alarmed by his unusual behavior.

"No. I stick to just one course. And actually, I'm more of a brunette type of guy. Blondes are sweet, but brunettes have all the spice," Max replies trying to suppress his grin.

"That the flavor of the week?" I ask bitterly.

I pick out the cherry and suck on it, twirling it with my tongue succulently. I love cherries. I take a careful nibble, not noticing Max's hungry stare.

"No," Max tells me seriously, looking into my eyes. "You'll never be anyone's flavor of the week. Just the first taste is enough to become addicted."

"Don't press your luck, Max. I still want to you to fuck off. I've been told that I am quite strong so you better watch it," I retort.

Max shakes his head as I get up, taking my drink with me over to an open table overlooking the dance floor. As soon as I sit down I am bombarded by Maria and Michael.

"Hey! You won't believe the great dinner Michael bought me. We went to Chez Pierre...," Maria goes on but I'm not really listening anymore.

Instead I am intent on meeting Michael's gaze. They sit down across from me clasping hands. As soon as she gets situated, Maria pops back up again and says she needs to go to the bathroom. She looks at me expectantly.

"You're a big girl. I'm sure you can find your way there on your own," Michael teases.

"It's a girls thing, Michael," Maria huffs, rolling her eyes. "You wouldn't understand."

"Actually I just sat down," I cringe.

I know she has something she wants to tell me but I need to talk to Michael. That and I'll never understand why girls really need pissing buddies myself. I can't go for an audience and someone has to turn on the faucet for me usually.

"You go and we’ll wait right here," Michael tells her amiably.

"Oh alright. Liz can rest her lazy bum," Maria sighs, heading off.

"Having a good time?" I ask Michael when she is out of ear shot.

"Definitely," Michael replies. "You?"

"Eh," I respond. "Kind of. So this test? I passed right?"

"With flying colors," Michael smiles. "How did I know you were going to ask that?"

"I'm predictable like that," I smile back.

"Yeah right," Michael laughs. "Not in this lifetime."

"Eh, I like to keep people on their feet. So that's the end of it right? No more people in my dreams, no more stalking by Max, or hounding by Tess?" I ask.

"Looks like it. I mean Izzy and Tess were a little skeptical at first but I'm pretty positive they are convinced, Isabel for sure," Michael tells me.

"That's good," I say not know what else to.

"Yeah," Michael replies.

Maria comes back shortly and I excuse myself from their company to give them some quality time alone. Suddenly I'm really just not in the mood at all. I'm still tired from the night before, and cranky, and.... Whatever. I spot Kyle sitting alone on a couch in the lounge area and make my way over to sit with him, after I determine that the area is Isabel free.

"Where's Isabel?" I wonder.

"Her and Tess went shopping around for some stuff," Kyle smiles at me as I sit down.

Shopping around? What the hell does that mean? Shopping for what exactly? Hmmmmm.

"So Liz, I've told you stuff about myself but you've told me hardly anything about you," Kyle says to me.

"Well what would you like to know?" I respond, surprised at his genuine interest unlike some people I know who will remain nameless (Max).

"Well, I dunno, you're from Iowa right? Tell me about that. Did you live there your entire life?" Kyle questions.

"Not my entire life. My mom and dad and I used to live in Oklahoma. When my Mom got remarried I was three or so and we moved to Iowa with my step-dad. So I guess you could say I lived in Iowa from that point on, if you don't count when I was at boarding school," I tell him.

"You went to a boarding school?" Kyle asks.

"Well, it was a military boarding school run by the government actually. I got into some trouble early in my first year of middle school. Some of my idiot friends decided smoking was cool and then accidentally burnt down the school gymnasium out of carelessness when I happened to be with them. Sixth graders are not too great at making sure that butt gets put out. The worst part is, I wasn't even smoking. I think it's gross, I was just there. And really, who smokes right outside a school building anyways? Dumbasses. Anyways, so I got in trouble along with everyone else even though I didn't even DO anything. The only thing I was guilty of was picking poor people as friends. There was all this publicity in the papers about the awful tragedy of it, three million dollar building, horrible parents, etc," I reply.

"Wow. So that's when your Mom decided you need to go to military school? So you would straighten out?" Kyle wonders.

"Kind of. Except it was more like the military school came looking for me. It was all very strange actually. The sent her a letter and brochures and stuff about how they could keep me in line for a minimal tuition of 50,000 dollars a year. It was called Darkwood Academy, supposedly an elite private military school under the government's influence. They only take tops pupils in intelligence and physical fitness. You don't find them, they find you. Most non-delinquents get scholarships, and the delinquents probably would as well except that they can charge parents who want to dump their kid that much. I don't think there even is a set tuition, like they make it up based on how much they think they can squeeze out of parents. The whole thing is just sketchy. It's impossible to get in unless they recruit you because their standards are so high. Not only that, but they are incredibly low-key and anti-publicity. The school itself is out in the middle of nowhere near the Canadian border in North Dakota," I inform him.

"I thought you went to high school in Iowa though?" Kyle inquires.

"I did. See the funny thing about Darkwood is that they took their money milking just a little too far and really pissed off my mom, who is irrational to begin with. Apparently 50,000 dollars wasn't enough, and they thought they could get more so they doubled tuition and started taking twice as much out of her bank account with out telling her. So, she gets really pissed and thinks it's me who has been stealing from her and personally brings her ass out to Darkwood to see what the hell I've been spending all this money on, right. When she gets there she immediately starts yelling at the General, no one knew his name, he was in charge and we all just called him the General. She wants to know why I'm not being kept in line and why they have been giving me access to a bank, which is dumb to begin with because I could have been using computers to hack bank codes or just banking online. Anyways, so the General is like, oh, didn't we tell you we raised tuition. Now my Mom may have had mountains of money, but she was stingy as hell. She flips out on him at which point I arrive in the office after being summoned. So I, hearing just enough of my mother's screeching to have a vague idea what is going down, jump into the whole thing by telling her how they have been telling me that it is her fault and her bad parenting that have made me bad and how great they are and deserve all that money for showing me the truth and teaching me how to get past all the mistakes she has made with me," I continue telling Kyle my story.

"But, I was under the impression that you didn't think to highly of this school," Kyle responds completely engrossed in my bizarre past.

"Yeah, I hated it. It was like the beginning of some 1984/Brave New World nightmare with a human super race training center. The kids there are brilliant, geniuses even. They always told us how the future of the world rests in our hands, that someday our world would collide with others and we had to be prepared, that we are not alone and they walk among us even now, all those awful paranoia's from sci-fi movies. How they got Government funding and endorsement for that place has to be scandalous. They push you to your limits, making you strive to be better than the very best, physically and intellectually. Many of the kids like it there, because it makes them feel important, because they try to inflate your egos and tell you that you are superior. I, on the other hand, don't do well with authority figures and that place had more than it's share. Also I was there against my will. I took to a group of rebels such as myself and we would periodically try to escape, sometimes getting out of the actual facilities, but only to be hunted down. funny thing was, they never punished us for trying to escape, but for failing in trying to do so and the mistakes that we made in our attempt. I never had ever heard of anyone leaving before me; although there was the tendency for people to disappear, I doubt they went home. They either gave parents free tuition when they tried to withdraw or even offered money. They supervised, and falsified if need be, letters to parents to make them seem like children enjoyed it there even when they didn't, although that usually wasn't the case. Anyways, so I told my mother that because I knew it would piss her off, especially since when I first got there they assured her that the opposite was true and that she had done all she could with someone like me. She pulled me out so fast, threatening to sue, not even giving the figure they offered her a second glance. That was in the summer after my freshman year so I spent almost three years there," I report.

"Liz, that's crazy! I can't believe the government has some place like that up and running!" Kyle exclaims. "Well actually, after some of the things I've seen I can, but still. It's kind of creepy to know some where like that exists."

"Tell me about it. I was in there. Those kids are going to grow up to be secret government intelligence agents or something. I don't know how the graduation process even works. I was in a group ahead of most kids my age, but there were still two groups older than me. I was in yellow group, orange was next, red after that, with green and the next corresponding colors below us. You had to meet certain physical and intellectual standards to pass to the next group and there is a hell of a lot of pressure. Imagine, as we speak, somewhere out in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota, there is a military elitist school with kids just like you and me solving the world's most impossible equations and breaking Olympic records," I shake my head in disbelief.

"Have you told anyone about this place Liz?" Kyle asks me cautiously.

"I tried to tell some of my friends in Iowa after I got back but they suspected I was either schizophrenic or heavy in to drugs, the later of which they were guilty of. No one seemed to care so I didn't either," I tell him.

"You should tell Max this story. I think that he might be very interested," Kyle suggests. "I mean he likes that kind of far out conspiracy shit and I'm SURE he will have some questions for you."

"Hahaha. Right. I'm sure he probably would have some questions, that is if it falls into his line of business. But I can't say I'm too fond of Max," I respond. "He doesn't really seem to be a very good person, dishonest and behind the back. He also strikes me as sort of a player."

"Who, Max? A player? Heck no. Max is the most faithful guy I know. He's completely loyal to Tess. I've hardly seen him even glance at other girls," Kyle says surprised.

"What do you call last night?" I inquire skeptically.

"I dunno," Kyle shrugs. "He's got hormones just like every other guy. And you were there. That makes it different. You tend to shake things up. Max seems to appreciate your spontaneous, outrageous nature. I dunno. He doesn't usually loosen up like that. Most of the time he is all business."

"Tell me about it," I roll my eyes.

"He's a good guy though. If he seems dishonest and behind the back it's not because he wants to be. He's doing it for a good reason and has just cause," Kyle informs me.

"Whatever. I don't care. I don't like fake people. And anyways, I shouldn't be expected to trust people who won't ever trust me," I reply.

"Well, that's a good point. So don't trust him then. No one will force you to. But I do think that you have the wrong impression about a few things," Kyle goes on. "I just know that I would trust Max Evans with my life and a lot of people do."

Thankfully, I don't have to make a response to that. Alex's band finally comes on stage and starts playing. Kyle and I get up and drift through the crowd up to near the front of the stage. The music is mellow and I instantly fall in love with it. I can't believe it's Alex up there playing this; its so good. I see Maria and Michael off to the side, but Max is with them so I stay away. Eventually Kyle makes his way over there, after I assure him multiple times that I'm fine right where I am.

Out of the corner of my eye I know Max is watching me. He hasn't even glanced up at the stage. He's just staring at me. It makes me feel self-conscious dancing.

Suddenly, he's there right behind me.

"You won't join them because I'm over there," Max says into my ear."Stop being so stubborn Liz. I'm not going to bite you, not unless you want me to."

That definitely had sexual connotation. I swear.

I freeze up and say nothing.

"If you want to be with your friends, go Liz. I don't want to stop you from having a good time. I promise, I'll stay away," Max tells me, his hot breath on my neck.

I resume dancing, ignoring him. He follows suit and jumps in line right behind me.

"You can't avoid me and ignore me forever Liz. I see it in your eyes. You feel the same thing I do and sooner or later you're going to have to give in and admit it to yourself. Sooner or later you'll have to stop pretending," Max continues.

I turn around and look him straight in the eye.

"Pretending what Max? You are the one pretending. I'm pretending that you are just a guy I know who lies to me, tries to use my ignorance to find out what he wants to know, and has a girlfriend who everyone seems to think he is completely devoted to when actually it looks to me like he's coming on to someone else. But that's just what I'm pretending, I don't know about you. You seem to be pretending that I am putty enough for you to be able to manipulate me and I'm afraid it just isn't so," I retort.

I push past him. I tell Maria to tell Alex I'm not feeling well and decided to walk home. Maria tries to insist that if I'm not feeling well the last thing I should do is walk home alone. I tell her it's not far and that I just have a headache and the noise is pounding my mind but I should be okay to make it home. It's not even a lie. She insists that she and Michael will drive me home, and then Kyle volunteers his services. I assert that I am quite capable of walking myself home and I promise to call Maria on her cell phone as soon as I arrive safely home. I leave before any of them can get another word in.

As soon as I reach the sidewalk the cool air soothes me.

What the hell is Max thinking? Does he think I'm that stupid? Why does it seem like he's always coming on to me if everyone swears he is such a great guy? Why is it that everyone makes excuses for him? Why is everything so contradicting about him? And why do I feel butterflies in my stomach every time he is near?

As I thoughtfully trudge home, my pace brisk, I don't notice the various figures in the shadows, watching, waiting.

*******************



Hey, if you like this fic, check out my other one entitled What Dreams May Come.
posted on 3-May-2002 8:55:03 PM by Allie1031
I forgot to add that I am doing an audience survey of my fics so if you reply give me a little info about you if you would such as age, gender, occupation, etc., in case I have to do something retarded because I am lazy like try to bum credit off my fics by calling them and independent writing project. I am just not getting into my video editing work all that much and the semester is almost gone. I think I might just be screwed, except that I always manage to slide by on half an ass.
posted on 4-May-2002 2:25:23 AM by Allie1031
I think I'm gonna do a new part for dreams before I get back to this, but I promise that I will try to hurry back in less time. It certainly won't be over a month like this ever again. Two weeks? Hopefully.
posted on 4-May-2002 8:56:21 PM by Allie1031
Abby, dear, try to be patient. It's coming up really soon. Good news everyone! I got out the new part of Dreams amazingly quickly this afternoon so you might be seeing a new part as early as tomorrow or Monday, almost for sure early next week. I feel bad staying away for so long. I'm kinda getting back into this story again too, so the parts should come faster.
posted on 8-May-2002 10:43:12 PM by Allie1031
I was just checking in and I saw that wonderful feedback from voula and it made me decide to post the next part that I was going to hold on to for a while. It's really long and I have a good portion of the next part done as well bu I'm going to have to update What Dreams May Come first. That fic can still be found on this board as well as the Boardello. But feedback definitely helps put the new parts up, especially now that I have time and I'm goingto be trying to get ahead.


-Previously-

As soon as I reach the sidewalk the cool air soothes me.

What the hell is Max thinking? Does he think I'm that stupid? Why does it seem like he's always coming on to me if everyone swears he is such a great guy? Why is it that everyone makes excuses for him? Why is everything so contradicting about him? And why do I feel butterflies in my stomach every time he is near?

As I thoughtfully trudge home, my pace brisk, I don't notice the various figures in the shadows, watching, waiting.

***************************

Part Fourteen

Sunday morning I sleep late past noon, and when I wake up, the most wonderful surprise is awaiting me. My car! Truckers don't always get Sundays off. Thankfully, my mother's lawyer had made foolproof arrangements in the will for the car to be transported to my father's home in the event that I am a minor at their time of death. He reasoned that it would be a good idea to save me from driving across the country after seeing one too many of our insurance claims after only a few minor accidents none of which were technically my fault. Now if only he'd managed to lock in the money for me instead of creditors....

Naw, but he tried to do what he thought was in my best interest. It sounds plausible, withholding the money from me until I turn 18. Except that in that time it still is in my parents names and it gets eaten away by their enormous debt. Heh.

But my car. That is mine. My baby. A fully-loaded 2002 Tropic Green Ford Mustang Coupe with charcoal leather interior. I get giddy just looking at it, let alone driving it's sheer power.

Of course I feel incredibly guilty seeing it parked in the driveway next to my dad's old Tempo. But I'm sure I'll let him take my car out for a spin every once in a while. Besides, it was my birthday present so I can't really help it.

I feel better having my car here. It used to be my sanctuary when I just needed to get away. I'd go for a drive to cool off. And it's the only significantly valuable thing that I actually own. I love it because it is mine. Yes, I am spoiled.

I had originally thought about selling it but I just can't make myself part with it. It's foolish, I know, but I wouldn't get THAT much for it, probably not what it should be worth, and then I'd probably have to buy another car anyways. So in the end, I figured it could probably be considered practical to hang on to such an impractical car a while longer. Maybe.

At least, Dad wasn't going to make me sell it. He said it was up to me, my decision. I don't think he had huge feelings on it either way. Dad's like that a lot of the time.

All of Sunday I spend trying to finish unpacking and organizing all my stuff. In my closet there is a wooden ladder that leads up to an attic room and Dad tells me if I clean it out I can turn it into whatever I want. The room has a nice wood panel floor and isn't all that messy except for a little dust and cobwebs so I think I'll take him up on his offer.

Alex calls in the afternoon to see how I am and make sure I'm feeling better. I'm touched. It's nice to know someone cares. I tell him that I am fine and will see him in school tomorrow.

Maria calls that night to tell me all about her date with Michael, he's so great, etc. I tell her about my car arriving I say that I'll pick her up for a change and we ride to school the next day in my car. Maria is clearly impressed, especially by the CD player. She's also glad she doesn't have to borrow her mother's car so often.

We park and head into school ignore the ogling onlookers. I part with Maria to make a quick run to my locker before first period since I surprisingly have a little over ten minutes to spare. As I'm heading to first period classroom, I round a corner to run almost smack dab into Max and Michael at Max's locker. I jump back around the corner before either of them see me. Max is the last thing I want to start my week off with.

As I wait for them to leave for class so I can walk past, I begin to pick up on their conversation.

"So she got home alright?" Michael asks.

"Yeah. She made it there just fine," Max replies.

"Who was he, do you think?" Michael wonders.

"I don't know. Did Kyle tell you what she told him?" Max questions.

"Yep. That's not so cool. It would be nice if she would tell us more about that," Michael says.

"It would, but why would she do that? She doesn't trust us. She has no reason to. We don't trust her," Max responds flatly.

"We can't tell her, Maxwell. You know that as well as I do. She knows a dangerous amount about us already. And we hardly know much her. What is it with you and her anyways? And don't feed me any of that crap you give Tess. I know you, Maxwell, and I've seen the way you look at her," Michael asserts.

"Truthfully, she makes me feel things I can't explain, things I've never felt before. I don't know. I just met her but I want to know everything about her. She's unlike anyone else in the entire universe. She makes me impulsive, doing and saying crazy, irrational things. I just can't control myself around her. She's an obsession; I can't get her out of my head. The worst part is I don't even want to. I feel so guilty because I've never felt any of that for Tess. I mean I care about Tess, but I'm not in love with her at all. Tess is, well, Tess," Max confides.

At this point I feel mildly uncomfortable about listening in on their heart to heart. Especially since I know they might be talking about me even if I won't admit it.

"I knew someday someone would come along. It was only a matter of time. You and Tess may have been great together before but not now. You were bored with her before you even got started. She's not right for you, Maxwell," Michael tells him.

"Don't say that Michael. I belong with her," Max insists. "She was made for me."

"Well I was made for Isabel and I think we both agree that nothing is going on there," Michael points out.

"That's different," Max claims.

"How is that different?" Michael inquires.

"It just is. I have a lot more responsibility than you do. I can't just do that. I have to think about what's best, not what I want," Max answers.

"That's bogus, Maxwell. We aren't the same as we were before. A lot of things have changed. You don't have a duty to Tess like that anymore," Michael responds.

"But I do. It's my duty to make sure she is looked after, that all of you are looked after. And I'm the leader. I have to set an example," Max says.

"You don't have to marry her to look after her. In fact, most of us are pretty capable of taking care of ourselves these days. Well, okay, some of us do need a little looking after every once in a while," Michael restates thoughtfully. "BUT, you look after Isabel and I just fine with out being married to us now don't you? I can't remember exactly where I was going with this except that I am trying to say that you are not bound to Tess. If she doesn't make you happy, you shouldn't be in a relationship with her. You deserve to be happy."

"Tess doesn't make me unhappy," Max replies.

"Well she doesn't make you happy either, Maxwell. You are missing out on a lot if you are going to limit yourself by the past. I've thought for a long time that this was something that needs to happen," Micheal states.

"Nothing has happen yet, Michael, okay? This isn't something that I can just easily do without thinking about it. I need some more time. It just seems silly that I just met her and I am already ready to scrap everything I have with Tess just to see if there is even something between us," Max tells him.

"Maybe if you want to scrap everything you have with Tess so easily, there isn't much there to begin with," Michael says.

"Tess would be so upset. I don't know how she'd deal. It'd destroy her. Hell, I can't believe I'm even considering this. Tess is supposed to be my destiny," Max recites.

"Destiny be damned, Maxwell! When has our destiny ever done anything but create problems for us? And it's not even our destiny unless we make it so. We have free will Maxwell, and we don't have to embrace all of what was set before us. We can accept what we chose and we have the power to change what we don't. This best for both of you because Tess should be with someone who really loves her. She deserves to know how you feel and you deserve to be with someone you love," Michael declares. "You're scared Maxwell. For all your talking of taking charge, you are too terrified to take control of your own life. There is more out there for you Max, more than Tess can give you, more than you are getting right now. But you can't be afraid to go out there and find it or else it will get away. Even if you leave Tess, try things with her, and it just doesn't work out, at least then you will know that. But you otherwise might spend the rest of your life wondering what might have been. There are too many girls out there, Maxwell, too many possibilities, to spend your life with someone who you just don't love. It would be good for you to date other people for a change."

"Shit, I'm just so confused," Max admits.

HE'S CONFUSED? Fuck me, I'm confused. And I only understand bits and pieces. They kept making references to all these things I don't know about. And Michael must be tight with Dear Abby or something. He's fricking full of fabulous advice. I'm impressed. Hmmmmm. So this mystery girl of Max's is.... I smell a gossipy scandal coming on.

"Aren't we all a bit confused?" Michael jests. "I'm sure you will know the right thing to do when the time comes. You always do."

"I think I made you my top advisor for a very good reason," Max replies.

"Yeah. So what are we going to do about the guy following Liz?" Michael wonders.

What the fuck? GUY FOLLOWING LIZ? There's a GUY following LIZ? I'M LIZ!

"No matter what, we have to make sure she is protected. We don't know who he is and what he wants but if he is stalking her like that it can't be good," Max states worried.

"No shit. I noticed him watching her so closely in the club and I'm glad we had you and Kyle tail her home. He didn't do anything but follow her though, right?" Michael asks.

"Yeah. She walked pretty fast and in the streets where it is well lit instead of on the sidewalks. He didn't really even have a chance to grab her or do anything. It helped that she doesn't live very far away at all. He just followed her home. Then he walked back to the club and got in a white van and drove away. He didn't notice us spying on him. We were going to follow the van to see where it went, but it was out of sight before we could get to the Jeep," Max reports. "I couldn't get a very good look, but he didn't actually look that big. Slender, about average height, and he was wearing a baseball cap."

"Maria accidentally mentioned something about Liz being disturbed about getting a threatening message or something, but then she told me she wasn't supposed to talk about it," Micheal tells him.

MARIA!! EHHHHH!! That girl is impossible. What a big mouth.

"Try to ask Liz about that, will you? I don't want to upset her. She told me to fuck off so I think I'm going to lay low for a few days and let her cool down a bit. Somehow I really got off on the wrong foot with her," Max says scornfully.

"She heard you tell Tess that you were only being nice to her because it was your job. And she told you stuff about her Mom in confidence that you told the whole group. And you hit on her while you still are with Tess. If you are serious, in a girl's mind that implies you think she is a slut, if you aren't serious, it's a cruel insult that you don't find her worthy of the praise," Michael explains.

"Thank you for pointing out all I have been doing wrong. And since when do you know so much about girls?" Max wonders.

"I'm observant, Maxwell," Michael assures him. "That and I listen to Isabel a lot; she tells me way more of that trivial girly stuff than I'd ever care to hear. Oh and also, I almost forgot this one, you have a secret that you won't tell her. Girls HATE that. BUT that doesn't mean you can tell anyone. Instead you just can't let girls know you have secrets or make them think that you don't. Otherwise they will get all mad and shit because they are opening up to you and you just aren't even trying."

"That's my biggest problem, Michael. I don't want to be in a relationship where I have to be so closed off. At least with Tess I can be pretty open and not have to be so deceiving. Still, even with Tess I have to pretend sometimes. I always feel so alone. Will there ever be anyone that I can just be me with?" Max asks.

"I don't know Maxwell. I'm always going to be your friend, but I know that's not enough. Sometimes I ask myself the same question. Maybe someday, at least that's what I like to think," Michael answers.

The warning bell rings interrupting them and they final head off to class leaving me dumbstruck. I'm amazed that not all guys think completely with their dick all the time.

I'm also alarmed that some psycho followed me home Saturday night. Creepy. He was probably just some random jerk looking to harass a poor girl. In which case I can pretty much take care of myself with all the combat training I've had. If he messes with me he's going to get what's coming to him. It's still kind of disturbing that he knows where I live.

I doubt that he had anything to do with that message though. That was most likely the work of some other fiend. If he "knows who I am" and wanted me to leave, why exactly would he feel the need to follow me? The message I got seemed more like a warning that I was getting to close to something so I would step back and get away.

It's kind of sweet that Max and Kyle followed me home to make sure I was safe. Or would be if it hadn't been Max. It's sweet of Kyle.

Except that IF they were talking about me, and I'm not saying they were because that is a big if, then Kyle is a snitch. Not that I really didn't think he would tell Max and unconsciously that could have been why I told him in the first place.... NO. It couldn't. I don't want Max to know anything about me. I don't want to confide in him, or tell him all my dark secrets weighing me down, or share my pain so he can make it better, or run to him to fix my problems, or open up to him.... Nope. Don't want any of that garbage. Maybe I wanted to shake their suspicions off me. That's it. I wanted them to know why I had such unusually outstanding abilities.

Anyways, I trudge to class and spend the rest of the day avoiding Max, and Michael too, for that matter. Sean is all over me, asking about the rest of my weekend, etc., and I happily hide behind him. It turns out Kyle is in several of my classes but we only exchange a few words before the bell rings. Isabel doesn't even acknowledge me, and Tess pretty much stays to herself as well. Maria, Alex, and I have an enjoyable lunch together laughing at each other's stupid jokes.

After school Kyle and Michael are waiting at my car.

"We heard about this and had to come check it out your pony for ourselves," Kyle explains.

"Nice wheels," Michael says stroking the hood appreciatively.

"Yeah, well, you know, they came with the car," I recite the cheesy line he totally set me up for.

Maria giggles.

"I figured as much," Michael grins.

"Mind if I pop the hood and take a look at the engine?" Kyle asks.

"Go right ahead," I say using the keyless entry to unlock the door for Kyle to pop the hood.

"He's a mechanic and he's got this thing for cars. He always has to look at everyone's engine," Michael explains as Kyle lifts the hood. "Why green?"

"Why not? It's a fun color and I'm a fun person," I respond watching Kyle inspect my vehicle.

"Don't horny people like the color green?" Maria jumps in the conversation with a random thought.

Michael, Kyle, and I turn to look at her.

"What? I swear I heard that. Something about green and Thursdays and being horny. Hell, I don't know!" She throws up her arms.

"Yeah I think I've heard that before but I could never remember the specifics. Anyways, I don't know. I can't say that I was particularly horny at the time when I picked out the color for the car; it just seemed like a nice color. Different," I tell them.

"Yeah, different. I've never seen a car this color before, that's for sure," Michael says.

"I think it's pretty," Maria adds.

"It is. It's one pretty machine," Kyle says closing the hood.

"If you're really nice I'll let you take it for a spin sometime," I smile.

"Don't tease me like that," Kyle laughs.

I toss him the keys and climb in the passenger side and Maria and Michael crawl in back. Kyle looks like a kid in a candy store behind the wheel.

"It makes me giddy like that too. Just don't crash the damned thing because this is the only one of these I've got," I remind him.

"Oh, I'll be careful," Kyle promises.

Could be his famous last words.

Kyle pulls out of the parking lot and heads out of town to cruise the desert when he can get the car up to faster speeds without getting in trouble. When he's had his share of fun he takes us back into town.

"So Liz," Michael broaches casually, "I hear some one left you a threatening message the other day?"

I see Maria punch him in the gut in the rearview mirror.

"It's okay Maria," I say. "Yeah, but it was nothing. Don't worry about it Michael."

"I can't help you, Liz, if you don't tell me anything," Michael responds.

"I know. It's okay. I can take care of it," I insist.

Michael says nothing and looks out the window still concerned.

Maria breaks the ice asking Kyle to drop her off at her house and Michael gets out there with her while Kyle and I switch drivers. I doubt that they'll be doing to homework they are claiming they will.

"Liz, you can trust Michael," Kyle tries to convince me as I pull away from he curb. "You should tell him stuff. He'll be able to help you."

"I'm fine, Kyle, I swear," I assure him. "But if something comes up I can't handle, I promise I will come to you guys right away. Really. It's nice that you are watching out for me though."

"We're fond of you already, kid," Kyle grins. "We'd hate to see something happen to you."

"Yeah, yeah," I shrug keeping my eyes on the road.

I ask Kyle if needs to go back to the school to get his car and he tells me he road to school with the Evans today. It's nice how everyone in this town carpools like that. Kyle asks me to drop him off at the Evans residence and I do after he directs me there. I might have been surprised to find Max doesn't live all that far away from me, except that I already know how small a world it is.

I spend the rest of the week avoiding, Max, Michael, and Kyle, not even having to avoid Isabel or Tess who seem to avoid me. Max and I have to sit together in biology but we politely say as little to each other as possible. By the end of the week, I've pretty much forgotten everything and life seems almost normal. Sean walks me to almost all my classes, and even though I'm not really interested in him, I humor him because he's fun to be around. Alex, Maria, and I are almost inseparable. Sean starts to call us the three musketeers and I have to lecture him on his lame-o tendencies.

Friday morning we have another biology lab. I guess there are always labs on Fridays. I'm already having a bad day because a few of my notebooks are missing so I've lost most of my homework. The lab starts to go really badly and I blame Max and then we start to bicker until the entire class is ready to chuck their experiments at us.

"Why is the fungus brown?!" I demand. "It's supposed to be yellow! Didn't you pour the chemicals on it?"

"I poured the chemicals on it!" Max protests. "I think I can manage to do at least that right, Liz."

"Well then you must have poured too much on it because now they are dying," I snap. "Can't you do anything right?"

"Hey, I don't see you doing any better Ms. Perfect," Max jeers. "Maybe you have the heat lamp on too high of setting."

"I know what I'm doing, Max," I say pretentiously.

"Oh, obviously. That's why the fungus is dying," Max retorts.

"Hey! Hey! Hey! People, let's show some cooperation over here," Mr. Slater breaks in.

"Max is impossible," I complain childishly.

"She started it," Max blames.

"I don't care what happened. Learning to work together is an important social skill to acquire in high school that you will use for the rest of your life. Frankly, I'm surprised with the two of you. I would have thought both of you were more mature than this. I mean I might expect this kind of behavior in my freshman biology classes, but not from the two brightest students in my senior AP class," Mr. Slater scolds.

"Sorry, Mr. Slater," Max and I respond guiltily with our eyes lowered.

After he walks away Max turns to me.

"Liz, this stupid. I'm sorry I got so irritated," Max apologizes sincerely. "I just wanted this to go smoothly so we could get a good grade. I wanted ours to be the best in the class, but I guess I got too carried away."

"Me too. Sorry I was snippy. I'm not having that great of day and I wanted ours to be good as well. I'm a snot and I like to show other people up. I'm just used to working by myself and being in charge. I get really serious about my experiments and when they don't go well I get grumpy," I admit.

"Listen, let's just finish this and try not to fight anymore so we can get things done, okay?" Max asks.

"Okay," I agree.

We manage to barely finish the lab before the end of the hour and it's quite poorly completed. Definitely the worst lab I've ever turned in.

I decide to lay low this weekend after such a crappy day. Friday night Maria and I rent Bridget Jones's Diary and make Alex watch it with us, not that he minds at all. It's one of his favorite films. Halfway through Sean joins to spout snide comments about Bridget's weight only to have Maria and I throw popcorn at him. He leaves shortly after.

Saturday morning Maria and I go buy light blue paint to paint to walls of my room. We start painting at about one and by three-thirty we barely have half a wall done. What can I say? We suck. So we call Alex and ask him to come over and help and he promises he will as soon as he gets done with his band practice around five. I tell him to hurry or else we'll be painting till Christmas at the rate Maria and I are managing.

It's not that we actually suck so much at the painting part as that we suck at staying on task. A great song will come on the radio and we'll have to dance around, or Maria will remember some juicy tidbit of gossip that requires full attention, or, my favorite, someone idiot we know will walk by and Maria will have to yell out the window at them.

"Michael!" Maria shouts out the open window. "Come make yourself useful and get up here and grab a paint brush."

"I'm already in the middle of something," Michael claims.

"Yeah. Painting. Now get your ass up here. The front doors unlocked," Maria orders.

Michael looks around for somewhere to escape to but Maria persists and he finally relents. Michael has been milling around my house all day. He must have known Maria was here. That, or he just likes to walk around this specific block repeatedly. He's was being real weird about it tough, checking out cars, looking in bushes. I caught him shimmying up a tree in my back yard earlier.

"I was, ummmmm... looking for different species of bugs for the collection I have to make for extra credit in biology," He explains when I ask him about it.

"Michael you don't do your regular homework so why the hell would you being doing extra credit?" Maria asks skeptically.

"That's WHY I have to do the extra credit," He retorts.

I shrug and tell him I'll help him out and loan him a few bugs from my collection that could be found around this area. Michael doesn't seem like the type who could even catch an insect, let alone mount and identify it. Not that it requires a whole heck of a lot of skill, more that Michael doesn't have the patience for that kind of tedious work.

As soon as we start painting again Michael insist that Maria and I are doing it all wrong and precedes to show us the right way to paint as if there is such a thing. I'm not thrilled about Michael working with us because I don't want to deal with his interrogations. However, we need all the help we can get and so far he hasn't mentioned anything out of the ordinary. After a bit Michael asks to use a phone if he is going to stick around and I usher him into the office at the end of the hall so he can make his call in private.

A little while later, after Michael comes back, Sean rolls by on his skateboard and Maria hollers out the window at him to try to recruit him as well. Of course he refuses and even goes so far as to laugh in her face. She gets ticked and is a bout to chuck a paint brush at him when I stop her. I stick my head out the window and tell him I will make it worth his while at which point he heartily agrees to help.

With four of us working it goes much faster. We finish a whole wall and a half in less than an hour. It helps that the boys know how to use paint rollers. They just tell Maria and I to take the brushes to do the trim.

Alex arrives, with his friend Jimmy in tow, and then things really start moving. While we are painting Jimmy continuously hits on Maria and she just giggles while Michael glares. When he tries to moves in on me I make witty, sardonic comebacks, the true meaning of which miraculously slide past him, and get snorts from Sean's direction. How is it that guys in Roswell are so forward? They must train them young to be ambitious. I suppose I'm just not used to it yet.

We finally finish painting around seven and Dad brings up plates, glasses, napkins, a few pizzas and a couple two-liter bottle of pop, along with a plate full of still warm chocolate chip cookies baked fresh by Nancy.

"You kids have been working so hard, I thought you might need a little reward, my treat," Dad tells us. "Oh, and the cookies are Nancy's special recipe."

Everyone joins in a chorus of thanks for my Dad. The boys totally dig in wolfing down several pieces of pizza in seconds and Maria and I aren't far behind. The cookies are gone in a flash.

"Thanks, you guys, for helping me," I say with my mouth full.

"No prob, kiddo," Sean responds. "So when am I getting laid, I mean paid?"

I punch him in the arm. At least with Sean I know he's not serious. I hope.

"Ow! Hey! The bruise I had there from last weekend just went away!" Sean whines. "You said you would make it worth my while!"

"Is my company for the past several hours not worthwhile enough?" I question.

"NooooYES! Yes. Yes, it is," Sean quickly corrects himself.

I shake my head.

"But I was hoping maybe we could, ummmm, well I dunno, go out sometime as well?" Sean adds hopefully.

"Sure, why not?" I respond casually.

He really didn't have to help paint. He's a nice guy. Cute. Fun to be around. We don't need to pick out curtains, but one date won't hurt.

"YES! I mean, that's great," Sean states.

Maria looks at me like I've gone mad. Michael doesn't say anything but looks down at his food. Alex, Alex just goes on being Alex.

"So Maria does that look on your face mean you want to go out with me and join them for a double date?" Jimmy wonders.

Maria giggles stupidly.

"No way dude," Sean says frowning. "Maria is never coming along on any date I go on. She cramps my style."

"Liz, I thought you told me your dad doesn't let you date anyways," Jimmy reminds me of my previous excuse to him.

"I just talked to him a minute ago and he has changed his mind," I lie picking mushrooms off my pizza.

"So then maybe you and me...?" Jimmy ponders.

Geez. Some guys can't take a hint.

"Can't. I'm busy," I retort. "Booked up till January. But maybe after the New Year."

"Great," Jimmy smiles. "Can I have your number then?"

I can't tell if he's playing in to see how far I will take this or he's really that dense.

"Only if you promise not to call," I grumble back unsure.

"What?" Jimmy ask.

"I said I shouldn't be so busy after fall," I reply.

"Oh, ok. Whatever. Look, I'm just saying, Liz, you are missing out. It would be a lot of fun. We would be really good together," Jimmy flashes me a grin that I think he assumes is going to make me melt.

I don't know why he thinks he's God's gift to women. I mean he is really attractive, but he's so sure of himself that it's disgusting. Maria finds him entertaining though. I suppose you could say that I find him entertaining too, but in an entirely different way.

Maria told me that he recently moved here a couple months ago from Texas, right after the beginning of the school year, maybe a little before my mother died. He joined Alex's band, but other than that I guess he tends to be kind of a loner even though ALL the girls at school reportedly have a crush on him. He dates around, never taking any one girl out any more than the others. Maria knows her gossip well.

"I'll try to keep that in mind," I say hoping I'll forget.

We finish eating and throw all our garbage into a big trash bag.

"So what are we going to do now?" Alex asks, bored.

"We all smell like paint," Maria wrinkles her nose. "I'm going to go home, shower, and change out of these gross, grubby paint clothes. But after that we could meet and do something."

Maria and I are wearing short cut off shorts, and snug, old T-shirts. And we're both covered in paint. The boys are in their regular clothes and hardly have a spec on them.

"We can all go hang out at my place," Michael suggests.

"Okay. Sounds good. I want to shower too, though," I decide. "But first help me take all this paint stuff outside and rinse it off."

Everyone helps out in carrying stuff down. We lay it all out on the driveway and I turn on the hose to spray it all off.

Now you have to know before I even start doing this that someone is about to get wet. That's just the reality of a group of teenagers messing around with a hose.

We're all standing around my driveway laughing and goofing off and talking as I'm cleansing brushes and buckets and sponges and rollers and trays... Michael is sort of helping me, holding things up. Jimmy is actually being handy for once, scrubbing out the brushes. Nobody is really in any hurry to be anywhere.

I see Max coming down the street towards us. He notices us too, and hesitates. I can tell he's trying to decide whether he should turn back or not. Then he sees that I have seen him and finally sucks it up and keeps walking towards us, uncomfortable. What a nerd.

He gets closer and I give him a little wave. Max nods back. Michael turns around to see who's coming and then give him a shrug.

Max is wearing jeans and a tight yellow T-shirt that reads Crusher's Baseball Team and really does justice to his toned upper body, hugging him just right to show the contours of his chest and bulge of his biceps then hanging looser at his firm middle.

My mouth goes dry. I have to raise the hose up to my mouth and take a drink as Max approaches.

"You know, Liz," Max starts. "I think there is a city ordinance or something about washing toxic wastes like paint down the sewer. I'm not sure you can do that."

Michael just shakes his head and continues peeling paint off a roller.

"Oh really? 'Cause it looks like I'm doing it to me," I respond.

Normally I'm very eco-friendly.

"Listen, I am just saying-" Max goes on but I don't let him finish.

I move my target from the brushes to Max, letting lose a raining shower of cold water on him.

Nobody moves. Everyone remains vigilantly focused on Max to catch his reaction. Max looks completely shocked and so does everyone else. He's soaked. He can't believe I just did that. I can't believe I just did that.

The hose continues to spatter water on the driveway from my hand.

Is Max pissed? He just stands there dripping, his face absolutely unreadable. Until once again I notice that it is his eyes give him away.

The world stands still as I meet his unwavering gaze.

"Oh, lighten up, Max," I say finally breaking the silence.

"Liz Parker, you have to know that now you are dead meat," Max smirks.

I put my thumb over the end of the hose to create a mean jet and aim at Max as he charges me. Cold water sprays everywhere as we wrestle for control of the hose. Maria gets a huge splash and starts to whimper. Sean laughs at her, and she picks up a sponge and hurls it at him. Once again Sean dodges it, except this time Michael is standing right behind him and gets hit directly in the face. Michael takes a big bucket of water and throws it over her head, spattering Alex and Jimmy who are standing next to her as well. This pretty much ignites an all out war.

Max and I continue to scramble for power over the hose. He tackles me and we roll around on top of each other across the lawn while sponges and buckets and trays fly all around us.

"HEY!" My dad bellows, suddenly appearing on the scene in the open front door.

We all freeze.

"What you guys up to?" Dad asks cheerfully.

"Ummm...watering the lawn?" I respond, not sure how to answer.

"Oh, okay. Carry on then," He replies thoughtfully. "You know, Maria, there is another hose out back."

She and Michael, who were fighting over the last bucket of water, both drop everything to race to the back with Alex, Jimmy, and Sean not far behind.

"There's also a couple of Liz's old super-soakers in the garage!" Dad shouts after them.

Alex, Jimmy, and Sean head for the garage.

"Next to my work bench!" Dad calls towards the open garage.

He looks back at me and Max still frozen in mid-fight with the hose running numbing water all over us.

"Liz," Dad nods sticking his hands in his pockets and rocking up on his toes.

"Dad," I sort of nod back, still gripping the hose.

"Who's your friend?" He gestures to Max who is lying beneath me as he comes down off the front porch.

"This is, uhhhh...," I'm struck dumb.

I look down at Max. He looks up at me with a puzzled shrug of his eyebrows.

"Max Evans, sir," He untangles an arm and extends it to my father who shakes it.

"Let me guess, just another friend?" Dad jokes to me.

"Something like that," I tell him pulling myself off Max.

"Not really," Max pipes in, propping himself up on his elbows. "She claims to hate my guts, Mr. Parker,"

I pinch Max's leg and he winces.

"I never said I hated him, Dad. He's just REALLY annoying," I remark.

Dad chuckles.

"I get it. It's one of those love/hate things. See it all the time. Well, you kids have fun," Dad tells us climbing back up onto the porch.

He's about to close the front door behind him when he sticks his head back out.

"Say, Max," Dad wonders, "do you perchance like baseball?"

"Yeah. I play for the high school during our season and I coach little league in the fall," Max looks down at his shirt.

"Good," Dad replies. "Very good. You should come back some time. I have some neat stuff to show you."

"Sure thing, Mr. Parker," Max smiles waving.

"Please, call me Jeff," Dad grins and shuts the door.

Max looks at me.

"He's obsessed with baseball. He probably wants to show you some of his prized memorabilia. He has hoards and hoards of cards and other knick-knacks. He's like one really big kid," I explain. "I think he likes you though. Especially since you like baseball."

"He's pretty cool," Max tells me looking into my eyes.

"Yeah," I agree.

"So are you," Max adds.

I pick up the hose again and splash him, and he reaches for me. The hose flops between us and we grunt and try to pull each other's grip lose. I bite his hand, not too hard but hard enough, and he curses.

"Not fair. No biting!" Max says letting go of the hose.

I squirt him and he pins me to the ground. Max begins to tickle me and I squirm underneath him.

"Give," He orders, tugging at the hose.

"Never," I proclaim through a fit of giggles.

He tickles me more vigorously until finally I release the hose. He picks it up and spatters my face briefly in icy water as I sputter and gasp.

"Hey!" I scowl.

"You bit me. We're even," Max replies as I struggle to get out from underneath him. "Promise that you'll stop being mean and start being civil, which means you won't ignore me or avoid me or bicker, so we can finally start to be friends despite some of our earlier misunderstandings, or I'll have to let you have it again."

"No," I retort and pinch him.

Freezing water flows into my face and I shut my eyes. He pulls the hose away and I open my eyes.

"Promise," Max demands raising the hose again threateningly.

"Okay! Okay! I promise!" I cave.

"Promise what?" Max interrogates.

"I promise I won't be mean," I mutter.

"What was that?" Max questions leaning closer. "I can't hear you."

"I said I promise I won't be mean," I tell him loudly.

"And?" He inquires.

"And I 'm going to start acting civil," I sigh. "Okay. Geez. I hope you don't do this to everyone is mean to you because I can't imagine that it's very effective."

"You'll be nice," Max states surely.

"Will I?" I wonder.

"Yes, you will," He says confidently.

"Hmmmmm. How do you know?" I look into his eyes.

"I don't. But I trust you," Max replies, his voice getting a little husky.

I suddenly become aware of how close we are. Both of us are completely drenched, our wet clothes plastered to our bodies. Beads of water shimmer in Max's now spiky hair with the setting sun. A fall breeze blows in the warm air, chilling me. My breasts brush up against his chest, my nipples hard from the cold, or maybe something else. I shiver; from the cold I tell myself. Drops of water collect on the end of Max's chin and drip down onto my vulnerable lips.

"I see," I murmur, gazing into his endless eyes.

"Yeah," Max whispers, his face slowly inching closer to mine.

**********************




If you like this fic, check out my other one called What Dreams May Come.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-May-2002 12:40:04 AM ]
posted on 9-May-2002 9:06:02 PM by Allie1031
Thanks for the great feedback everyone. I'm totally getting back into this story because there is sooo much I have planned for it just around the corner. I'm completely torn as to whether I should udate this or Dreams next. I owe dreams and update but I'm really engrossed in this, I dunno. We'll see.

Hey I just was posting at the other board and noticed some words and junk I left out. I haven't been editing so well lately since I've figured out why all my quotes turn to question marks when I copy over from word processor. Anyways if you saw any question marks in the text a while back that looked wrong they were supposed to be quotes and if you have seen any errors in which things didn't really make sense that's just cause I'm lazy.

You all think you know me all so well. In that case, I promise that the next part will contain a kiss that involves the lips of our dear Liz. Whom else, you may be wondering? I can't give that kind of info out but wouldn't it be cruel if she kissed her dad on the cheek goodnight?

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 10-May-2002 12:49:40 AM ]
posted on 13-May-2002 10:23:23 PM by Allie1031
Alright all you Normalists, here you go. It's an extra long part with that certain kiss I promised. I'm going mad writing this story trying to take it to all the places I want it to go but it always seems to side track as you will soon see. The next part won't be for a while and at the end of this part most of you will be able to guess just how it's going to go. I'm only going to drag my heels one more part after this and then I need to catapault into some of the real action. This story just drive me nuts how it moves. I need a cattle prod to get it going because of its tendency for distraction. Cripes. Anyways, I HAVE to update for the Dreamists next, so savor your LONG part. I hope it leaves a good aftertaste.

-Previously-

"You'll be nice," Max states surely.

"Will I?" I wonder.

"Yes, you will," He says confidently.

"Hmmmmm. How do you know?" I look into his eyes.

"I don't. But I trust you," Max replies, his voice getting a little husky.

I suddenly become aware of how close we are. Both of us are completely drenched, our wet clothes plastered to our bodies. Beads of water shimmer in Max's now spiky hair with the setting sun. A fall breeze blows in the warm air, chilling me. My breasts brush up against his chest, my nipples hard from the cold, or maybe something else. I shiver; from the cold I tell myself. Drops of water collect on the end of Max's chin and drip down onto my vulnerable lips.

"I see," I murmur, gazing into his endless eyes.

"Yeah," Max whispers, his face slowly inching closer to mine.

***********************

Part Fifteen

Suddenly Max is hit by a stinging stream of water to his face, causing his head to jerk up startled..

"Evans," Sean orders. "Step away from the girl."

"You did not just do that Sean," I roll my eyes.

Wow does he know how to ruin a moment. Not that I'm not grateful that he did because I think things were just about to get a little too interesting for one day. I have to force myself to remember Tess.

"Just a knight in shining armor offering some protection to a damsel in distress," Sean grins. "That and he is getting a little too close for comfort, don't you agree?"

"DeLuca, your ass is grass," Max pledges and jumps up with the hose and laying into Sean.

"Boys," I sigh rolling my eyes and I force myself up off the ground. "You two can stay out here and duke it out to see who's more macho but I'm going to go shower and change clothes."

"Can I come?" Sean asks only to get a blast of water from Max.

"You look fine," Max tells me. "What do you need a shower for?"

"We other than the fact that I am now covered in mud as well as paint and have grass in my hair.." I respond.

"You hair looks kinda sexy like that, now come back and play," Max pleads.

"You don't need to change clothes either. Your ass," Sean gives me a thumbs up. "Tres bien in those tight, wet shorts, not to mention what the sopping t-shirt does for your-"

"Have a great shower," Max pushes me towards the house. "Go get some nice, loose, dry clothes on and Sean and I will clean all this up, won't we Sean. Because we're just good friends like that Liz."

"Yeah, just friends," Sean grumbles picking up a few paint brushes and throwing them in a bucket.

"Wait a minute. Where did everyone else go to?" I look around just remembering the rest of the group exists.

We soggily mosey around to the back of the house only to find it empty and suspiciously hushed.

"Ambush," I mouth soundlessly to Max and Sean.

Sean pumps his super soaker. Max and I are left totally unarmed and can only hope to disarm someone else. They went to some trouble planning this because hose has even been disconnected. I can see it lying on top of the big, green electrical box at the very edge of our property line but I'm pretty sure we wouldn't make it that far since it's past the tree line.

I motion for Max and Sean to halt and stand still taking it all in, listening with my eyes closed. Maria's behind the bushes immediately to my left. Alex is up overhead in a tree to my right. Michael is...there he is. Michael is straight on, behind the trunk of the big willow in the center of the yard. Maria has a super soaker, she can't resist pumping it. She'll be my best bet to disarm. Alex...Alex has a bucket full of sponges that, judging by the undulating water splashing out, he is about to drop if he isn't careful. Michael is quiet but most likely has another squirt gun. My only question is where's Jimmy?

I pull Max and Sean into a tight huddle. I give them the locations I know and we formulate a plan. Max is going make a run for the hose while Sean covers him and I disarm Maria. On the count of three we break into action.

Before Maria can barely blink let alone get out a half a spurt I have her gun and she has a face full of water.

Sean and Michael duel it out as Max picks up the hose and Alex tries to throw a sponge but the rest of his bucket topples to the ground. I come to Sean's rescue as Max hurries over to the house to reattach the hose. Both Sean and Michael who pretty much doused each other throw down their guns as they've run out of water and start picking up sponges to throw. Alex jumps down from the tree and joins in and Maria just kind of stands on the sidelines watching the action. I toss my super soaker to Sean who catches it and starts to hammer on Alex and Michael who run out of sponges with in reach.

I start over to help Max reattach the house when out of nowhere a soaked sponge flies fast at my face. I reflexively bat it away and as Jimmy attacks I deliver a stunning jump kick to knock a super soaker out of his hands and the two of us lunge for it. Jimmy strikes and I dodge. I punch and Jimmy blocks. I evade his advances and he thwarts my blows. I barely side-step a roundhouse kick. I foolishly make a grab for the gun leaving my blind side open and Jimmy entraps my outstretched arm to flip me over and give himself time to recapture the squirt gun. I am faced with the end of a super soaker resting ever so lightly on the tip of my nose.

In my compromised state I notice for the first time that everyone else is just standing and staring in awe at the scuffle that has just taken place between me and Jimmy.

Max, who abandoned his hose efforts long ago, exchanges a weary glance with Michael.

"So you two, uhhhhh, know a little bit of the martial arts, huh?" Alex laughs nervously.

"13 years worth," Jimmy states, his unwavering gaze measuring me down the barrel of his squirt gun.

"3 years worth," I respond fiercely not taking my eyes off Jimmy.

"Impressive, Liz. You must learn quick," Jimmy smiles, he gives my nose a gentle tap and tosses the gun aside.

"Anyone does when they have to," I reply taking the hand he extends to help me up.

"I don't think I was connecting those kind of hits until around my seventh year or so. Then again I was quite a bit younger than you and not quite as physically strong as you are now," Jimmy informs me.

"Oh?" I raise an eyebrow.

"Yes, well, strength and control of it is such a key element and I hadn't even been through puberty yet," He smirks. "Of course I had already mastered the technique so once I did start to get some muscle I really started to explode."

"I bet," I say appreciatively. "We should get together sometime and have another go at it. I'd really like to see some of those moves again."

"Perhaps," Jimmy answers simply.

Jimmy has just become a little bit cooler in my book. Anyone who fights like that deserves at least a minimum level of respect. I totally would not have expected it of him at all, but then I don't know him very well either.

"Damn girl. You kick ass," Maria tells me. "You're like the embodiment of the word girl power."

"No shit," Sean adds. "I'd hate to see what the guy who presses his luck with you ends up looking like. Roadkill or something."

I blush.

The adrenaline is still pumping through my veins. I notice Max and Michael are whispering back and forth to each other.

"What's the buzz?" I ask them.

"I was just asking Max what his plans were and he said he's free and so I invited him to come hang out with us at my apartment, that is if you don't mind," Michael explains.

"Hey, it's your home, not mine," I reply.

"Excellent," Michael beams.

Everyone goes home to get some dry clothes on , and I finally get to take my shower. Most of us plan to meet back up at Michael's in a half hour. Alex forces Jimmy to come check out some band playing at the Reverb even though we can all pretty much tell that Jimmy does not want to go at all. Alex gives him that "c'mon you already said you would last week" speech and Jimmy has no choice but to go.

I jump in the shower and throw on a simple pink tank top and some comfy gray drawstring shorts. I'm too exhausted from painting all day to give a flying fuck what I look like. I tell Dad that where I'm going and that Maria has invited me to spend the night; he tells me to have a good time, muuters something about his baby growing up, and gives me a hug and a kiss on the top of my head goodbye. Yuck. Parental Unit is getting gushy.

I jump in my car and go over to pick up Maria and Sean. When she gets in the car alone I ask where Sean is. I turns out she actually paid him twenty bucks to stay away. She says she's had enough of him for one day.

I'm mildly anxious when we first get to Michael's because it's just me, Maria, Michael and Max. But within fifteen minutes I'm totally relaxed. We joke back and forth and sit around drinking Snapple for quite a while before any has a clue what we should do.

"We could play cards," Max suggests.

"Yeah! Let's do that. I love cards. Spades is my all time favorite game," I reply.

"Not uh. Spades is my favorite game too!" Max exclaims.

"I don't know how to play spades," Maria whines.

"It's complicated. You really kind of have to watch it a lot to get it. And no one is going to want to be your partner if you suck because you are just learning. I suppose we could just play poker instead," Max responds.

"I know how to play poker," Maria announces. "I go for that. We get to play with real money right?"

"I don't have any money," I complain.

They all look at me with raised eyebrows.

"What? Not anymore I don't. I'm dirt poor," I state seriously.

"I don't have any money either," Michael adds.

"Well if that's the case then we could always play strip poker," Max shuffles some cards he has pulled out of a drawer nonchalantly.

"Oh, hell yeah," Michael agrees.

"Eh, I'm in," I smirk.

I might be an arrogant bastard just like the two of them but I am one kick ass lucky poker player as well.

"I suppose I'll play too then," Maria sighs. "But I'll have to warn you in advance that I'm really not very good at poker."

"That is not a problem," Michael assures her. "Definitely not."

Max starts to deal the cards as we all sit down around Michael's kitchen table.

"Wait, wait, wait. We need to establish a few ground rules here before we jump into this," I mention.

"This is going to be draw poker and everyone is going to have to play each round until the are out. You only have to bid or fold after the draw and you have seen all your cards. We'll play flat out too, one article per a hand and no raising. Once you lose something it's gone, and you can't win it back," Max decides.

"Yeah," Michael concurs. "And folding. We can't just keep folding over and over or we will be here all night. Everyone should each just gets three folds. Sound alright?"

No one disagrees.

"Also, everyone count their articles of clothing. Jewelry other than piercings count. Anything you can take off. Whatever the lowest number of things that one person has it what everyone is allowed to have on them at the beginning. It's only fair," I dictate glancing at an extremely accessorized Maria.

Everyone counts their clothing. Michael has eight, I have nine, Max has nine, and Maria has fourteen. I lose a necklace as Maria sheds much of her jewelry and Max takes off his watch and puts it in his pocket. I have Maria put my necklace in her purse so it doesn't get lost.

"Alright, now let's get this show on the road," Michael says rubbing his hands together in anticipation.

Max deals the first hand and wins it. Michael, Maria, and I lose an article of clothing. The game plays out for a while, greatly in Max's favor, Michael and I about even, and Maria seriously lagging.

"Max is cheating!" Maria accuses. "Someone else deal!"

"We'll take turns," I propose. "Although I can't imagine it will help you much. I really don't think this is your game."

"Don't blame Max because you are losing," Michael adds. "It's not his fault you can't lie."

"Yeah Maria," Max smiles. "We can all tell you are bluffing because your eye twitches."

"It does not!" She denies and proceeds to play the next hand with the telltale twitch.

Maria is the first forced to lose her shirt. Her pants soon follow. She's wearing a matching cotton lavender bikini brief and bra set, like she was thinking ahead or something. Maria finally wins one and I lose my pink tank top to reveal my favorite pink bra underneath. Max and Michael have lost shoes and socks but still have a lot of clothes on. Michael has used all but one of his folds, I have all of mine, Maria's are gone, and Max hasn't touched his. I take the next hand, probably because the guys are too preoccupied staring and poor Maria loses her bra.

"This is just not cool," Maria protests, trying to cover herself and hold her cards at the same time.

She ends up slouching down to kneel on the floor to play with her boobs below the table so she can regain the use of both arms. It's humorous to see her there with just her head and arms in view.

"You know, Maria, you are taking losing pretty well. I don't think I would have gotten this far. I hate to lose. And although I don't get really embarrassed about being naked because I don't really have anything special to look at with my lacking figure, at the same time, I'm self-conscious in the sense that I really am not keen having people judgingly gawking at my unsightly body," I admit.

"Believe me Liz, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Your body is fantastic," Michael compliments me and after getting a glance from Maria adds, "as is Maria's. You gals are top-notch. Grade A. Premium quality."

"We're not meat, Michael," Maria rolls her eyes but you can tell she is pleased.

"I don't even have any boobs," I point out. "At least you have boobs Maria."

"Trust me Liz, it hardly makes a difference," Michael reassures me. "A handful is just enough. Your tits are nice and perky. Guys like that. You have a great physique. You are Maria both."

"Maria, I'm jealous of your long legs," I tell her. "I'm too short and small."

"That makes it all the more awesome that you are so strong and tough," Maria responds.

"You aren't really that small, anyways," Max pipes in. "I mean you are short, but not really. I think you are just the perfect size. Perfect everything. Girls with a lot of boobs just look top-heavy. You look really good just as you are and I wouldn't want you to ever change a thing."

I look him in the eye briefly across the table before grabbing the cards to continue dealing. I have crappy cards and use one of my folds, Max wins, Michael loses, and Maria is out.

"You guys aren't actually going to make her take off her underwear are you?" I glance at the unfortunate Maria sitting next to me pouting.

"Fuck yes," Michael replies. "It's the rules and that's part of her punishment for being such an awful player. She has to sit there naked while the rest of us continue to play."

It sounds more like I reward for him. I the feeling that this game is really going to slow down. If I lose everything too I can imagine that it's just going to crawl.

"Can't you at least give her something to cover up with?" I try to bargain as Maria frowns while hesitantly pulling off her underwear beneath the table.

Michael graciously hands Maria a pizza box to shelter herself with. Maria censors herself with one arm to readily take it and unfold it open. She tucks it under her arms and sets it across her lap so she can sit up and watch the end of the game. I'm actually surprised at her sportsmanship. In the car she was way more modest and timid. I get the distinct impression that perhaps Michael has already had an eyeful. That and she is in an unusually compromising mood. And that maybe my wild tendencies have started to rub off on her.

"Great, now I'm going to reek like cheese," Maria remarks bitterly.

"I kinda like the smell of cheese," Michael quips to catch a sharp glance from Maria.

I look at the piles of everyone's clothes that we have been making over on the kitchen floor with Maria's purple underwear just tossed on top. I decide that is not going to happen to me right then an there and begin to make my comeback. I smarten up and I win the next hand with a pair of aces to Max's pair of queens. Max gives up his shirt, and Michael loses his belt. I'm extremely amused, among other things.

I try unsuccessfully not to stare at Max's bare chest. He catches me gaping and smiles. I try to redeem my dignity.

"Your necklace," I say peer at the flat black stone with a swirling silver symbol . "It's very odd. The symbol looks very strange. Nothing I've ever seen before."

He looks down at it.

"Yes," Max responds. "It's old. I got it from a Native American at the reservation a few miles out of town."

"It doesn't look Native American," I gaze at the design more intently trying to memorize it. "Nothing Native American I've ever seen. I used to want to be an archaeologist and was really interested in that type of stuff. Of course I mainly studied the Midwestern tribes in my backyard closely and not so much the Southwestern tribes. What tribe is this from?"

"I 'm not sure," Max replies uncomfortable.

Michael seems uneasy as well. I decide to back off.

"Oh well. I probably wouldn't recall any of their familiar symbols from memory anyways so it's no matter," I tell them while making a mental note to research this sign and it's meaning. "In Iowa it's very ironic that the Native American's now own an extremely popular casino and rake in millions of dollars a year while still living on a reservation. I went there on a girl scout trip in third grade."

"To the casino?" Maria wonders.

"No, the reservation," I clarify.

"They don't take girl scouts to a casino," Michael chastises. "Don't be such a blonde."

Maria really shoots him a warning look this time.

"Were you planning on getting some any time soon because you seem to be pressing your luck," Maria says to him and shuts him up.

The game plays on and Max puts his necklace in his pants pocket while Michael becomes completely shirtless as well. I have to hand it to these boys. They work out. I force myself not to sneak looks and to continue in deliberate concentration. Michael uses his last fold and I lose the next round to Max to shed my shorts.

"This blows," I frown.

"Welcome to my world," Maria sighs.

I hate I am losing and I hate sitting there in my underwear, especially since I happen to be wearing a black thong which Michael quickly points out to Max.

"Michael, quit checking out her bare ass!" Maria orders and makes Max and Michael trade places which is fine with Michael because now he can check out her bare ass.

Max grins at me and I sneer at him. I'm a very sore loser.

Max has three folds and two articles of clothing left. Michael has no folds and two clothes left. I have two folds and two clothes left. This is where it really is going to get interesting.

I fold the next round because I have crappy cards and Max loses to Michael. He's left in just his navy blue silk boxers.

"You loser, why the hell don't you use a fold!" I scold Max. "You have three folds left and you only had a pair of twos and he has a straight!"

"I thought I could win," Max replies indignantly. "He could have been bluffing. He has no choice but to bid because he's out of folds."

Max takes the cards from Michael to deal the next hand. I save a pair of threes and scrap the rest of my awful cards. Max takes my discarded cards and puts three new ones in front of me. Michael shows and ace to get four new cards. Max takes only one new card. He looks extremely pleased with what he has picked up. Michael cringes. I finally pick up my cards and take a look at what I have to work with.

HOLY SHIT! Damn. Max is going down. I can't help but smile.

"I'm in," I report happily.

"I'm in," Max smirks.

"I have to be in," Michael scowls.

Max and I grin at each other. He's toast. The arrogant prick is toast.

"I have an ace and that's it," Michael tells us laying down his hand of mismatched cards and kicking off his pants knowing he has already lost.

"Liz? You want to reveal first or should I?" Max questions.

"Go ahead before you wet your pants- wait you don't have any pants!" I jest.

"Cute. Really cute," Max replies and shows his cards. "Almost as cute as this. Full house, three kings and two jacks."

Max conceitedly smiles at me with satisfaction. Michael whistles. Maria peeks at my cards and starts to giggle.

"That's quite the hand you've got there Tex," I remark. "It's too bad that sharp shooting doesn't knock down four threes."

I slap down my hand.

"NO WAY," Max stammers. "You HAD to have cheated."

"You were the one dealing cowboy," I remind him. "Saddle up and lose the boxers."

Max grumbles.

"Hey, you had three folds left. Don't blame me," I chuckle.

"I thought I couldn't LOSE! The odds of you getting a hand like that are like winning the lottery or something," Max protests.

"So I got lucky. Now drop your drawers. You lost," I tell him.

He grudgingly takes his boxers off and throws them over with the rest of his clothes. Michael smirks and hands him a Styrofoam cup to cover up with. I glance under the table.

"Oh, that's not gonna holster his big gun," I giggle at the sight of small coffee cup.

Michael shrugs and hands Max a bucket.

"You just keep that bucket, okay buddy?" Michael tells him. "Take it home with you. I don't want to see it again."

Max gives Michael a sour, resentful look and broods as Michael and I play out the rest of the game. I deal the next hand and end up with two pair after the draw.

"You in?" Michael asks.

"Yep," I answer.

"Damn," He says. "I got nothing."

He shows me his empty hand.

"Two pair," I inform him laying down my cards and he is forced to take off the plaid boxers he is wearing as well.

I make Michael throw them in his pile. He grabs a towel. They all shoot me loathing looks.

"I still can't believe you won," Max gripes.

I laugh at them all and walk over to their respective piles of clothes. I take Maria hers and she give me a grateful smile as she quickly begins to redress. I step into my shorts, slip into my flip flops, and pull my tank top over my head as I pick up Max and Michaels piles.

"You know, boys," I tease. "I must really suck getting beat by a girl."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Max responds. "How much longer are you going to rub it in? I want a rematch sometime. But for now, just bring me my clothes."

"Mmmmmm, no, I don't think so," I grin mischievously.

Maria throws on what she can and gathers the rest of her stuff up quickly and opens the front door, knowing what I am up to. I pick up my keys off the counter.

"That's not funny, Liz," Max says sternly. "Not at all. Give us our clothes."

Max stands up holding the bucket in place as I back towards Maria and the open door. I throw Max one of his socks.

"All of clothes," Max dictates advancing.

Michael tries to adjust his dish towel to stay on as he stands at attention beside Max.

"Maria, make her give us our clothes," Michael orders.

"I don't think I could make Liz do anything," Maria laughs at him.

"Sorry boys," I tell them. "I won these clothes fair and square. C'mon Maria."

"Shit," Max curses.

We make a run for it, slamming the door behind us, laughing hysterically, leaving a trail of shoes and socks. I push the keyless entry to pop the trunk of my car and Maria opens it for me whileI thrust the clothes into it and slam it shut as fast as I can.

"Hey Liz," Tess pops up next to me scaring the living crap out of me.

I see her car parked across the street next to Max's Jeep.

"Umm, hey, uhh, Tess," I say trying to sound inconspicuous.

"Is Max still in there?" Tess asks me. "I've been looking for him."

"Yeah, he's there still there, hon," I tell her cheerfully. "But you might want to knock first. He and Michael are a little busy."

"Thanks Liz," Tess responds merrily, bounding towards Micheal's apartment.

Two windows open up and Michael and Max's heads and naked torsos stick out.

"Maria, you better get your ass back here," Michael barks. "You're going to pay for this!"

"Liz, I swear you are going to get it big time if you drive away," Max hollers. "I'm warning you!"

Maria blows Michael a kiss and I stick my tongue out at Max.

"Liz! Liz, you promised you were going to be nice!" Max yells.

"I am being nice. I played a nice, friendly, respectable game with you which I won fair and square. Now I'm simply collecting my rightful earnings and going home," I respond. "You know you act like you are angry but really deep down I bet you think this is pretty funny."

"Do I LOOK like I'm laughing Liz? We'll get you back so bad," Max promises.

"OOOooooo! I'm shaking in my boots!" I shake my arms mockingly. "Dream on, cowboy!"

"DAMNIT, Liz! Those are my favorite boxers!" Max declares.

"HAHAHA. Now they're mine! But I'll keep that in mind!" I laugh.

I glance over at Tess who has been watching and listening in the shadows. Her backs to me so I can't see her expression.

"By the way," I mention. "You boys better get some clothes on quick because you have a visitor."

I nod towards Tess. She steps out of the shadows.

"Shit," Max swears.

I chuckle. He's got quite a bit of explaining to do.

"Tess? Tessy-bear?" Max tries weakly.

"Max you bastard!" Tess shouts and storms to her car.

"No, Tess-" Max pleads. "Tess wait! It's not what you think!"

Tess just stomps away ignoring him.

"I hope you're happy, Liz," Tess says to me, shaking, as she walks by.

"You have a good night, Tess," I call after her. "And, it really is not what you think."

"Shove it, bitch," Tess retorts and gets in her car and drives away.

Max disappears from the window.

"Michael, we're going to spend the night at my house. I'll call you tomorrow, okay?" Maria tells him.

Michael nods and disappears from the window.

Maria and I get in the car and drive away laughing our asses off.

"That was so fricking funny," I snicker.

"No kidding. I can't believe how hilarious that was and then Tess showed up and it only got better!" Maria howls. "The look on her face, priceless! And she called you a bitch!"

"I actually feel kind of bad for Tess, though," I admit when we have finished laughing. "I mean her only fault is really that she loves Max."

"I guess," Maria responds, wrinkling her nose. "She seems kind of sneaky though. I don't know. I've never been very big fan of her. She's either really fake of scarily inhuman."

"Yeah, but still.... Max is playing her," I remark.

"Max isn't playing her. Max isn't like that. He's just confused," Maria replies.

That is a really popular opinion these days. We drive the rest of the way to Maria's in silence. When we get there we crack open the trunk to inspect our loot.

"Hahaha. I still can't believe we stole their clothes," I laugh. "What are we going to do with them?"

"I think we should really piss them off and hide it all somewhere or even wear their shirts to school or somewhere to spite them or even give it all to Goodwill," Maria giggles picking up their shirts and glancing at the boxers. "After we wash everything of course. I'm not taking any chances with those."

We gather up the boys clothes and take them inside. Maria's mom is at work and Sean's watching television. I look at the clock; it's only ten thirty.

"What's with the clothes?" Sean asks as we walk in the door.

"I beat Max and Michael in strip poker and then we stole their clothes," I report.

"Awww! You played strip poker with out me?" Sean whines disappointed. "I knew I shouldn't have taken your money Maria!"

"Don't worry you didn't miss anything. Liz was on a roll so if you had come you wouldn't have seen anything special and we would have ended up running off with your clothes as well," Maria tells him.

"Eh," Sean grunts.

"Don't you have somewhere to be?" Maria asks him.

"Actually, I was just going to head over to spend the night at Charlie's. Heavy stuff going down there tonight. And I was getting pretty bored with the poor television programming," Sean responds. "But I won't be so bored now that you girls are here..."

"Go!" Maria orders handing him another twenty bucks.

"And I want a good-bye kiss from Liz," Sean states.

I shrug and comply. He tries to get me to kiss him on the lips but I avert my head and give him a peck on the cheek.

Sean skips out the door.

"You know Maria, you can't keep paying him off like that," I remark. "Eventually you are just going to run out of money."

"It's the same twenty bucks I gave him earlier," She smirks. "I lifted it off the coffee table when we came in."

"Nice," I smile at her cleverness.

We pick up Max and Michael's clothes again and take them into her laundry room. We empty the pockets. and throw everything in the washing machine with some detergent. Maria claims that with her crappy washer it really doesn't matter which colors you wash with which. I pick up Max's strange necklace that was in his front pants pocket and examine it before I put it around my neck. We sit up on the washer and explore the contents of their pockets. I pick up Max's silver Fossil watch and put it on as well. It's a little clunky on me but it works.

"Oh, they're going to be back for their wallets," I laugh sifting through Max's wallet. "Did you lock all the doors?"

"Yeah," Maria responds checking out Michael's wallet.

A credit card. School ID. Boring. Boring. I look at the pictures. Isabel. Tess. Max and Isabel as kids. An unposed picture of Michael, Max, and Isabel as kids. A family shot of Max and Isabel with Mama and Papa Evans. Isabel and Kyle at a dance. Max and Tess at a dance. Boring. Boring. Twenty-seven dollars.
Sixty-two cents. A cell phone number. A condom. A CONDOM!

"Do Max and Tess have sex?" I ask curiously.

"I don't think so. I mean I used to think so but I asked Michael and he said no," Maria answers. "And then you know the more I got to thinking about it the more unlikely it seemed because Max never seems all that excited or passionate about her."

"Really. Well, he's got a condom in his wallet," I inform her.

"Every guy has a condom in his wallet. Michael has a condom in his wallet. I know Sean has several in his," Maria tells me.

"This I did not know," I chuckle. "I suppose it's one of those just in case I might actually get laid precautionary measures guy's have to take. Like they lose sleep at night worrying that a chance to get some will come up and they won't have any protection and won't be able to go through with it. Ahhhh, a guy's worst nightmare."

Maria and I laugh it up.

"Hey did you know the keys to Max's jeep were in his pants pocket?" I chuckle. "Oh they'll definitely be coming for our heads. After Max chases down Tess, which is going to be real hard without his Jeep. Too funny!"

"You don't think they are going to get us back that bad do you?" Maria giggles. "I mean you'll be able to stop them from doing some thing too awful?"

"I hate to break it to you Maria but I'm just and ordinary human girl. If they want to get us back, I'm sure they'll get us back," I reply seriously. "Although, I'm sure we'll easily be able to minimize the damage and even throw back a few surprises of our own."

Maria and I go into the kitchen and make some Rice Krispy treats and eat them with milk. We throw the clothes in the dryer. And situate ourselves in front of the television to watch "I love Lucy" reruns.

"Liz you are so the Lucy to my Ethel," Maria tells me putting her head on my shoulder.

"Thanks kid, you're the Ethel to my Lucy," I respond putting an arm around her and giving her a kiss on her forehead.

We start to doze off with the buzzer to the dryer sounds. I look at the clock and it's half past midnight.

"I don't think Michael and Max are going to be coming after their stuff tonight," I yawn as we fold their clothes. "I actually really like this shirt of Max's."

Maria looks over at the worn baby blue Buck's Truck's T-shirt I am holding. It's got a cool retro looking design of an old truck in white ink. I like weird T-shirts a lot for some reason.

"Kyle works there," She tells me. "He must have given it to Max."

"Max and Kyle seem pretty close," I remark.

"Yeah, they are," Maria says, "but they didn't used to be. Kyle used to be a real snob and hang out with all the stuck up jerks of Roswell when he was younger. Then one day he just changed in high school and he started being a lot cooler and more real and hanging out with Max and Michael. He also started dating Isabel, but I'm not sure what to make of that."

"I'm not sure if Isabel is really so bad as everyone says she is or not. She just seems kind of distant," I state.

"Yeah. Distant. So what are we going to do with the guy's stuff?" Maria wonders. "I mean when we found their wallets and the keys I was pretty sure they'd come for this stuff."

"I don't know. Michael live a ways away. It might have taken a while to walk over here. But since they are a no show, I'm awarding you half my prize. You are now the proud owner of one complete Michael outfit," I grin.

"Hey, wow, thanks. I don't know what to say," Maria reacts with feigned shock.

"Here try on a belt," I hand her Michael's belt.

She puts it on and it hang off her hips stylishly.

"That actually doesn't look half-bad. It's really a cool belt to begin with," I pull her over to take a better look at the belt. "It's got some neat vintage designs in it. Maybe I want that belt back."

"No way. It's mine chica, you gave it to me," Maria backs away from me.

"Okay, okay. Keep it. And here's the matching flannel plaid boxers to go with it," I toss Michaels underwear at her laughing.

She hold them up and pulls on the elastic.

"For some reason I am very glad that it's you that won and us that stole their clothes and not the other way around. Them with my underwear is just not cool," Maria smiles.

"Yeah, well Max doesn't find it so cool that we stole his favorite boxers," I grin holding up the silky, navy blue underwear and look at the tag. "They are actually satin not silk. I wish I had satin underwear because it would definitely be my favorite too. I say we put everything they need and we can't use in a box and give it back to them and keep everything else. I can wear these as pajama's and I really do like that shirt. I'm not quite sure about this watch. It's a little big, but it's starting to work for me and I can always have some links removed."

"Alright," Maria laughs. "This shirt might actually be cute if I roll it."

She picks up the vintage button up pale green shirt Michael was wearing. Michael's a good dresser. I really like his original style. She take off her shirt puts it on and rolls up the sleeves and ties it in front to reveal her mid drift.

"Ta-da" Maria shows me.

"You're right that does look cute. Of course you have the boobs to do something like that," I respond. "I'd look like a totally geek."

"No you wouldn't; you just need to learn how to roll it. It's all in how you wear it. Either you wear the clothes or the clothes wear you," Maria replies.

Maria and I mess around for a while playfully with the boy's clothes. Lucky for me Max likes his T-shirts tight because then Buck Truck's fits me pretty well. Not too baggy at all, just about right, could be a little smaller. I just can't get over how pretty the color is. Somehow Maria and I end up changing into Max and Michael's boxers as well as their shirts. I roll the top of Max's boxers so that they fit me perfect. We run around impersonating Max and Michael for a while which is fantastically entertaining, especially the voices we adapt. I yawn. Maria yawns.

It's starting to get late. I'm starting to get tired. When I get tired I get weird, weirder than usual. Crazy weird. Exhaustion is almost like being intoxicated. You can't think straight and your mind starts to play funny tricks on you. Your consciousness starts to float away and your train of thought shifts to it's own track.

Maria and I camp out on the living room on the floor watching T.V. and gnawing on licorice. SOOOO much junk food in one day. I'm definitely going to have to work out next week.

"Hey Maria," I say drowsily.

"Hmmmm?" Maria hums back distantly.

"So, what would you say IF I told you I kind of have this tiny thing for Max?" I ponder, half asleep.

"IF you told me you had a thing for Max I'd say well, DUH," Maria mutters turning over.

"That's it?" I tiredly grab a nearby pillow and stuff it under my head.

"I'd be happy for you," Maria murmurs. "You too will be happy together."

"You think Max has a thing for me?" I wonder weakly.

"DUH. It's SOOOoooo obvious. Where have you been?" Maria's muffled voice retorts.

"I don't know," I answer. "I really don't know. Max is still with Tess."

"Give him time," Maria advises sleepily. "He'll come around."

Give him time? To come around? That doesn't sound right. Sooo tired. Yawn. Give Max time? Hmmmmm. Time. Tiiiiiiiiiimmmmmmmeeeeee. T-I-m-e. Ti-me. Time. Noooooo, I don't think so. Why should I wait around for Max? Max. Maaaxxxxx. Max is hot. Mmmmmm. SOOO HOT.

"Max is hot," I sigh aloud. "I really wanted to kiss him tonight, when we were in my front yard alone together. What am I going to do?"

Maria doesn't answer. I squint at her still form next to me. I click off the T.V. with the remote and the room goes dark except for the neon green numbers of the clock on the VCR reading 1:42. My eyes begin to adjust to the dark and I watch the rhythmically rise and fall of Maria's silhouette for a time as sleep chases me.

"Max is really hot," I mumble closing my eyes and rolling onto my back groggily.

Hot breath hits my cheek.

"So are you," An unmistakable voice whispers in my right ear.

I freeze.

"I wanted to kiss you so badly, too," Max admits.

Warm, moist lips lightly brush against mine. A quick flash of brilliant white light. My insides melt. I arch up into the body above me, trying to call back the lips. My hands search out Max. He restrains my wandering hands with his above my head. His watch slides off my wrist.

"Lizzzzzzz," Max hisses, nuzzling my neck.

He tugs at his T-shirt that I am wearing and pulls it off over my head. I reach out to touch him, my hands grazing his solid chest, but he shakes his head no and pins my arms back down beside me. I get the idea. He slowly runs a finger up from my belly button along the middle ridge of my exposed stomach, across my bra, between my breasts, up to his necklace. His hand clasps it tightly as he gentle slips it off.

"Max," I croak. "You can't-"

"Shhhhh," Max places a quieting finger on my lips. "You had to know I would come, Liz. But believe me, after this I'm calling us even. We were going to scare you guys half to death when you finally went to bed but when we saw you were wearing our stuff, simply stripping you somehow seemed so much more appealing."

I take his index finger on my lips into my mouth playfully and sensually swirl my tongue around it deliberately. Max shudders.

"Fuck, Liz," Max curses softly.

I tenderly rake my teeth along his finger in protest when he forces himself to pull it out.

"I thought you went chasing after Tess," I grumble, frustrated. "Not spying on us."

"I thought it might be best if I let Tess cool off a bit before I talked to her," Max sighs.

"Why? She's already frigid," I mutter before I can stop myself.

Max chuckles lightly.

"Sorry, Liz. She blames you for something that's not your fault. Please try to be nice to her though even if she was rude to you tonight," Max says seriously. "I'll try to get things straightened out with her tomorrow."

"Alright," I reply wondering exactly what 'straightened out' means.

Max dips under the waistline of his favorite boxers which I happen to be wearing and hooks it with his thumbs. He pulls them down carefully, caressing my bare buttocks, my trembling thighs, the length of my legs, with the back of his hand as he slips the boxers off me.

Sharp aching throbs in me. Max is still situated between my legs. His wet lips rest on one of my folded, erect knees. Slowly, skillfully, hesitantly, I feel Max start to trace his soft lips up the inside of my thigh. My entire self is drowning in lust. I clench my hands into fists at my side.

"Max," I whisper hoarsely, calling out his name.

"L-l-liz," Max stammers back. "Shit, I want you so much Liz. Do you know that?"

"Mmmmm," I moan in response.

"I heard you tell Maria you have a thing for me," Max admits, his face coming up next to mine.

"Yes," I answer. "But that was just a HYPOTHETICAL statement."

"Liar," Max growls, kissing my throat.

From somewhere in the dark Max finds a blanket and wraps it around me. He guides my arms to around his neck and lifts me up, his hands cupping my uncovered ass under the blanket. I hug him close and rest my head on his shoulder. He carries me up to Maria's room. Maria is already asleep in her bed. I had hardly noticed her being picked up and taken away earlier. Michael, his arms crossed and clothes in hand, is leaning against a wall studying the world on the other side of the window. Moonlight casts into the room, illuminating it from the bright orb above outside, yet the sky is dark and brooding. A shadowing cloud passes in front of the moon. A strong wind shifts in the trees. A storm is brewing.

Max lays me down on the bed next to Maria and covers me up. He kneels next to my face, propping his elbows up on the bed next to me, resting his hands on his fists thoughtfully gazing at me.

"Liz, we're good friends now, right?" Max asks me.

"Yeah," I respond sleepily.

"Good," Max grins. "Goodnight Liz."

Max kisses my lips softly, quickly, timidly, chastely. An impression of the infamous cave lingers in my mind but quickly dissipates. Max stands up; he and Michael exit the room closing the door behind them. I don't hear them creak down the stairs because I am already fast asleep, a subtle smile still on my face.

********************


If you like this fic, Check out my other one entitled What Dreams May Come, which is not a parody of the movie, thank you very much. Liz gets kidnaps by Khivar and Max never saves her so she goes sort of crazy, and she ends up joining forcing with Khivar and then Max shows up again, and well you just have to read it. A lot of things aren't what they seem and I TRY to give it mystery and suspense. It isn't as funny, well not laugh out loud, but it has some good irony I think and I like irony. Have I sold it to you yet? Just try it on for size and see what you think.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-May-2002 5:14:16 PM ]
posted on 14-May-2002 1:04:25 AM by Allie1031
Hey guys! Many of you may of noticed the blurb in the subect heading tealling about the story. Pretty dopey, I know. I can't write blurbs to save my life. I just think they are kind of cheesy all together, but I've noticed that quite a few people have them and they also have quite a few more readers than me. and I thought a blurb might especially be good for What Dreams May Come since way too many peopel initially have the idea that it's a rewrite of the movie. Soooooo, since I'm not a blurb girl, if any of you have any ideas for a blurb on either of my fics, keep in mind it has to be short and give an quick summary, your help would be greatly appreciated. And if no one can think of anything it'll just stay craptactularily as is.
posted on 28-May-2002 4:02:39 AM by Allie1031
No, I'm not dead yet, but sure as hell might as well be. Dear Lord has the shit hit the fan. I am just still in shock at the unfortunate turn of events fate has thrown at me which I am now facing. So that translates into I'm working on the next part for Dreams, but not frequently and not with any dedication, and I haven't touched this. Have you ever had those days, the ones that you know you will never forget, when your life changes completely with in a matter of hours and you know that you will never be the same and you can never go back to what you were before and you can never regain what you have lost? Ever felt like everything is all crashing down at once on top of you and the more you try to stop it the faster it falls until your life is nothing but a pile of rubble that people trample on as they walk forward in their more important lives? A day that you have felt the momentum and pressure build towards, a day that has been coming a long time but you still thought would never come? Yesterday was such a day as mine, second worst only to one day in my life, and ironically enough the day of my graduation which is why I hadn't posted before that because I was so busy in preparation for that. Well fuck, as soon as I recover I'll throw at a new part at y'all. Perhaps some angst. Sorry. It was coming anyways. But things will get better.
posted on 30-May-2002 1:46:39 PM by Allie1031
I am GOING to get the Dreams update out today and hopefully I can write the next part for this and have it up before the end of the weekend

posted on 2-Jun-2002 1:36:51 PM by Allie1031
New part will be up by the end of today. I'm also going to try to get another part of Dreams up tonight as well.
posted on 2-Jun-2002 11:53:40 PM by Allie1031
WARNING: The next part(s) will contain some of the less flattering aspects of some of the more prominent characters. I have dreamer insurance cards for this fic too, if you all will make a nice, neat orderly line.... No but it gets WAY better, I promise. It's alllllllll coming soon. PLEASE, hang with me and I will make it worth while as best as I can.



-Previously-

"Max," I whisper hoarsely, calling out his name.

"L-l-liz," Max stammers back. "Shit, I want you so much Liz. Do you know that?"

"Mmmmm," I moan in response.

"I heard you tell Maria you have a thing for me," Max admits, his face coming up next to mine.

"Yes," I answer. "But that was just a HYPOTHETICAL statement."

"Liar," Max growls, kissing my throat.

From somewhere in the dark Max finds a blanket and wraps it around me. He guides my arms to around his neck and lifts me up, his hands cupping my uncovered ass under the blanket. I hug him close and rest my head on his shoulder. He carries me up to Maria's room. Maria is already asleep in her bed. I had hardly noticed her being picked up and taken away earlier. Michael, his arms crossed and clothes in hand, is leaning against a wall studying the world on the other side of the window. Moonlight casts into the room, illuminating it from the bright orb above outside, yet the sky is dark and brooding. A shadowing cloud passes in front of the moon. A strong wind shifts in the trees. A storm is brewing.

Max lays me down on the bed next to Maria and covers me up. He kneels next to my face, propping his elbows up on the bed next to me, resting his hands on his fists thoughtfully gazing at me.

"Liz, we're good friends now, right?" Max asks me.

"Yeah," I respond sleepily.

"Good," Max grins. "Goodnight Liz."

Max kisses my lips softly, quickly, timidly, chastely. An impression of the infamous cave lingers in my mind but quickly dissipates. Max stands up; he and Michael exit the room closing the door behind them. I don't hear them creak down the stairs because I am already fast asleep, a subtle smile still on my face.

****************************

Part Sixteen

The next day I'm glowing, or so Maria says. She begs me to spill the beans on what happened with Max, but I just smile at her wistfully.

Maria and I sponge puffy whit clouds on my walls. I love it! Love it! All the while she goes on and on about Michael, and I smile and nod. It doesn't really take very long to paint the clouds at all.

Next we clean out my attic ourselves. It's a lot of work, and at the end of the day we are absolutely exhausted. But we're also quite giddy with our new hideout. We haven't quite figured out how we are going to get furniture up there yet. We might just have to go with inflatable. Eh. Whatever works. I'm just so happy to be alive.

The manager of Mohair Pear finally calls and says I got the job and I can start on Monday. Yea! Work!

Then Monday comes. I get up to a bright, beautiful morning. Birds are chirping. The sun is shining. The sky is blue. Sigh. What a wonderful world.

I get to school and I'm floating. Alex comes up to me while I'm at my locker. I'm nodding my head but not really listening. Mostly my head is in the clouds. I'm lost in a daydream.

"Liz! Liz, are you listening?" Alex pops my bubble. "I'd like you to meet my friend Julia."

"Huh? Oh. Hey. Hi. Hi, Julia," I smile warmly extending a hand. "It's nice to meet you. I'm Liz."

"I know," She smiles back shaking my hand. "I have Calculus with you but I sit in the far corner and I don't say much."

"Oh," I respond. "Sorry I didn't recognize you. I can't say that I pay too much attention in that class to anything. You know, with it being the last class of the day and it being MATH for heavens sakes."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," Julia laughs melodiously.

I like this kid. She's a nice gal. Tall and really skinny. Long red hair and freckles. Gorgeous green eyes. Very pretty. The perfect match for Alex.

"Hmmmm,"I have to ask. "So you two kids...."

I can't think of how to word this. Luckily Julia saves me.

"Kind of,"She grins. "I mean Alex and I haven't known each other for too long but we hang out when we can."

"I see, I see. Alex how come I haven't heard about her?" I wonder.

Alex shrugs. Guys. What is it with them. They never tell you the important stuff. We chat for a while and then Julia heads off to first hour.

"I dunno, I'd feel stupid saying something if it turned out to be nothing," Alex tells me later.

"Well I suppose I understand then," I smile as we walk to our respective first hours.

I stop outside of my biology classroom to compose myself and slip in just as the final bell rings.

"Miss Parker, so good of you to join us," Mr. Slater jests. "Glad you could make it to class."

"Why Mr. Slater, how could I ever miss your class?" My eyes shine. "You know it's my favorite class of the day. I don't know what I'd do with out my daily dose of biology! Weekends are simply torture."

"Sit down Parker and kindly remove your lips from my behind. Geez," Mr. Slater grins.

I smile and glide to my seat next to Max. Max looks at me in awe. So do a couple other people around me.

"I thought for sure he would give you detention. He's a strict enforcer of the be in the seat by the bell rule," Max whispers when Mr. Slater turns hid back to diagram on the board.

I shrug. I get away with a lot of things I shouldn't.

"Maybe he got some this weekend," I mouth back.

Max chuckles. I gaze at Mr. Slater lecturing in front of the class. He is unusually spunky. Definitely got laid. We get together with our partners for the last few minutes to look over our graded labs. Max and I got a B minus and there is a nice little note scolding us on the last page that makes me feel horribly guilty for being a jerk.

I glance out the nearby window. Dark clouds have come in quickly with out warning. Little drops of water begin to appear on the windowsill.

"So how was the rest of your weekend?" Max asks.

"Good. Maria and I cleaned out my attic and finished painting my room. Did I mention what a GREAT friend she is for helping me like this? Yeah, I owe her big time. But what about you? How was the rest of your weekend? Did you get things worked out with Tess?" I wonder.

"Tess was pissed, but she's cooled off. I explained that we were just playing a stupid game. Nothing serious. Nothing to get worked up about. Just a stupid game that didn't mean anything. And I reminded her how many times she's done stupid things playing truth or dare at parties," Max tells me. "We're cool now though. She understands. Or at least she says she does."

"Oh," I respond not looking at him.

"Yeah, don't be worried. I don't think she is mad at you anymore at all," Max replies.

"Ok," I shift uncomfortably in my chair.

Thankfully the bell rings.

"I have to go find Alex," I dart off, not looking Max in the eye.

"See you later," Max calls after me.

I turn back to tell him the same, but Tess has already laced her arm through his and they are walking the opposite direction. I snap back around.

Breathe. Breathe.

STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! Duh, Liz. Why would he like you? Come on, I mean did you really think someone like him could actually want you? You're so ugly and he's so...NOT. Of course he wouldn't break up with Tess. They've been together for years. He says they were meant to be together. Why on earth would he want you? You're just a common whore. Good for one thing. Guy's fuck around with you but you're not the kind of girl they take home to dinner.

Stupid! Stupid! You always fall for the wrong guys. Always. When are you going to learn? When are you going to realize? He's way out of your league. WAY out of your league. I can't believe you actually thought you had a chance. Fool. Smarten up and learn your place.

The rest of the day sucks. A lot. I don't say much and when I do I'm incredibly snippy. Study hall with Tess especially sucks. She's so bubbly and I'm so not. She comes over and tries to apologize for Saturday night.
"I'm sorry, Liz, it was a rough day, but that is no excuse for me taking it out on you," Tess purrs.

Gag me.

"Don't worry about it. It didn't," I retort trying to look busy reading over notes so she will go away.

"It's just that I get so jealous and possessive of Max. I'm sorry I overreacted when I really shouldn't have," Tess goes on when I really wish she wouldn't. "I mean, it not like I even have something to worry about or anything. Max loves me. He'll always love me. We are destined to be together."

Why don't you rub some fucking salt in my wound? I shuffle the papers on my desk.

"That's nice, Tess. Really it is, but I have a lot of work to do here, so if you wouldn't mind-" I start.

"Yes," Tess interrupts. "I understand. You're busy. You are a busy girl. Getting around a lot like you do," Tess smirks.

I stare into her cold blue eyes, my amber ones smoldering.

"What I mean, dear, is that you are always on the go. You just seem to be everywhere, making so many important friends already," Tess states innocently.

"Yes," I reply evenly. "Friends are important, invaluable to have."

"Oh, I agree," Tess continues. "But you should be careful which friends you get too close to. It can be rather dangerous to have some people as friends."

"I'll keep that in mind," I glare.

"You are a smart girl. I'm sure you'll chose wisely," Tess smiles. "I'm just trying to give you a heads up. You know, look out for you."

"Well, I appreciate your concern, but I really should-" I begin.

"I know, I know, you have to get back to work," Tess nods. "I'll leave you alone then. I don't mean to intrude. I just though it would be nice to have a nice chat with you after I stuck my foot in my mouth on Saturday and was so horrible rude."

"Well, all's forgiven," I assure her. "And thanks for thinking of me."

Go away, go away, GO AWAY!

"Oh, no prob," Tess smiles again, that flakey fake smile.

UGHHHHHH! Gross. Did she just kiss my ass because I sure as hell kissed hers. NASTY.

I'm so glad when school is finally over. But then I have to go to Mohair Pear. The same chick who was working when I applied is there. Her name is Kim. She's nice and she shows me the ropes. Not too hard. Money goes in cash box. Receipts have to be written out by hand. Tax calculated with a calculator. It's a small-time operation. Mohair Pear closes at seven and then we have to straighten things up. I won't get many hours on the weekdays because I have to go to school but it is nice for the people who work during the day so they can go home early.

The job actually looks like it will be fun, but I'm miserable, and the whole time I have to keep it inside.
After it's finally over I go home and write in my diary and cry.

I cry because no guy will ever want me. Cry because I'm ugly and I can't do anything about it. Then I get made at myself for crying. Like I didn't already know all that. Like I didn't know how ugly and unattractive I am. Like I expected someone to actually be interested in me for real, like someone would want to be with me.

I'm ugly. And I'm mean. And I'm rude. I'm hypocritical. I'm indecisive. I'm whiny. I'm spoiled. I'm stuck up. I'm bitchy. I'm disrespectful. I'm judgmental. I'm horrible. I'm awful. Mother was right. My head is too big and my face too round and my nose too fat. I'm fat. I'm getting fat. I need to run. I'll go for a run.

It's dark out now. I've been up here a long time. I told Dad when he came by I already ate supper and need to study. I couldn't go to dinner all tear streaked. It's okay I missed dinner. I need to stop eating so much anyways.

I look at the clock. I can't believe it is nine thirty already. I should really go run before it gets too late, especially since I want to go on a long run. I stick my arm out the window. Still hot as hell and it's nearly the end of October. In Iowa right now I'd be wearing sweaters and hoping it doesn't snow. At least it isn't humid. In Iowa it always seems like the surface of the sun in summer because it is so damn humid. No, this is actually quite nice. I throw on a sport's bra and some shorts and lace up my running shoes.

It's great weather for a run, upper sixties. I stretch a little and start off slow. I haven't been out for a run since I got here. I've been so preoccupied. This feels so good.

My mind begins to wander back to Max. EHHHH! I'm just so stupid. I can't believe I told him about my mom. Like he'd give a fuck or something. I'm a totally retard. He probably thinks I am like the biggest loser in the entire universe. He knows I'm fucked up. He thinks I'm crazy.

Why would he want anything to do with me? He just wants a free piece of ass. Tess probably doesn't put out so he wants to take out his sexual frustration on me.

I pick up my pace. The streets are dark and deserted. I run hard. My breathing becomes labored. I don't notice anything around me, I'm just lost in my own thoughts. I don't notice the white van tailing me over a block back. I don't notice the red pickup truck pull up beside me.

"Liz," Kyle says sticking his head out the rolled down window of his truck.

"Fuck!" I jump alarmed. "Kyle you scared the shit out of me. What the hell are you trying to do? Geez. You outta let a girl know before pull a stunt like that!"

"I didn't mean to. I tried to ease up on me so you'd see me coming, but you were in your own world," Kyle states. "What are you doing out here all alone at this hour?"

"Running," I respond.

"Well yes, I can see that, but why?" Kyle asks driving along as I run.

"Because I'm fat," I reply remorsefully.

"Shyeah. Hardly," Kyle scoffs. "You are like a twig. You are a twig."

"Well I feel fat," I frown.

"Believe me, Liz. You are not fat. Now how about you get in the truck and let me take you home. It's crazy for you to be out all alone at this time of night," Kyle remarks.

"I'm NOT crazy!" I shriek.

Kyle looks at me funny.

"I never said you were. I know you're not crazy. Please, Liz, just get in the truck. It isn't safe for you to be out here," Kyle nervously glances around.

"I hate to break it to you Kyle, but the crime rate here in Roswell isn't exactly what I'd call intimidating," I point out. "Don't worry so much. I'm just out for a harmless, night run. I'm sure when Mr. Rogers glances out the window as I run through his neighborhood he'll hardly have the inclination to chase after me and hack me to bits with his kitchen knife. And can we hurry this along? You're messing up my pace with all this talking."

"Liz get in the fucking truck," Kyle orders.

"No," I snap. "I'm not done with my run yet."

"Liz," Kyle hisses pissed off. "There's a fucking white van fucking following you two fucking blocks back now fucking get in the fucking truck."

I keep running. I look at my watch. Fifteen minutes left until I reach my hour goal. I glance in Kyle's side mirror and spot the van he's talking about. I look at my watch again. Wow, will you look at the time? I've been running forty-five minutes already and it's definitely time to stop. Don't want to over extend myself.

"On second thought, I sure could use a ride home," I say running around to gratefully hop in the passenger side.

"No shit," Kyle curses.

"Damn. You have such a potty mouth," I scold.

"Well look who's talking," Kyle responds.

"True. But you just put me to shame," I chastise.

"I'm just a little stressed," Kyle comments.

"Aren't we all?" I rebuke.

"You were being difficult," Kyle growls. "I'm trying to help you out here."

"I don't need a babysitter, Kyle. I CAN take care of myself. Really. I'm a big girl," I assert.

"You aren't fat, Liz. You are starving child in Africa thin," Kyle changes the subject.

"Oh, so now I'm TOO skinny?" I retort.

"NO. Cripes, Liz. What is with you tonight? You look great. Better than great. You look fabulous," Kyle promises.

"Yeah, it's funny though, because that's all guys ever care about! My body! They use me for my body but they couldn't give less of a fuck about who I am! Bastards!" I bark.

"Liz, what the hell are you talking about?" Kyle wonders.

"Nothing," I reply quickly, calming myself. "Just forget about it."

"Alright," Kyle agrees hesitantly, not wanting to push me too far. "But if you ever need to talk, I'm here. And you can't be going for any more late night runs you hear?"

"It's good exercise to run," I insist. "It keeps me in shape. And it's too hot to run during the day. Besides, I like to run at night. It's soothing. I'll wear a dopey reflective vest if it will make you feel better."

"Oh well, now that's good. Just make yourself all the more easier to follow," Kyle muses.

"How can you even be so sure they were even following me?" I ask. "Maybe you are just paranoid."

"Well I've been following you being followed by them for the last forty-five minutes or so, and I thought that if they were going to make a move it would be soon, at the end of your run when you are exhausted," Kyle informs me. "So I decided it might be a good idea to pick you up about now, you know, just as a precaution."

"Wow. Thanks," I say stunned.

"Don't mention it. Do you have any idea who would be following you? I mean does anyone in paticular come to mind who would be after you?" Kyle wants to know.

"You mean besides any local psychopaths? I haven't the slightest," I tell him truthfully.

"What about those people? You know, the people from that school? Darkwood or something?" Kyle wonders.

"No, I don't think so. I mean what would they want with me? If they were going to come after me, they would have right away. What purpose does it serve for them to have waited this long to take me back? It's not at all their style. Suddenly their interest is sparked and they want me back? I don't think so. I haven't done anything very spectacular to grab their attention. I've tried to do everything average if not a little below. I've tried to be normal," I enlighten Kyle.

"Well then who the hell is following you?" Kyle inquires.

"I honestly don't know. Who the hell ever follows anyone? Why were you following me?" I question.

"I was following you, I was following you because....because I was worried," Kyle reports.

"And because Max told you to. What the hell is it with him? Geez. What are you all so worried about?" I demand.

"We just don't want you to get hurt," Kyle insist. "The crime rate in Roswell may be relatively low but there are a lot of strange things that go on around here that never get reported."

"Well I just think it's strange that first I'm the ruthless enemy and now I'm the helpless victim that has to be protected at all costs. I mean what do you all care if something happens to me?" I remark.

"LIZ, of course we care what happens to you. Don't you get it? We're your friends. We're looking out for you. Why is it so hard for you to believe that someone actually cares about you?" Kyle counters.

"You wouldn't understand, and it's really none of your business anyways," I respond.

"I don't understand because you won't tell me. You won't tell anyone. Don't you think this is serious Liz? Someone is following you. Someone is watching you. Max and Michael and I, we've all seen them. And we are worried for you. We care about you and we want to protect you. How come you didn't tell us about that message you got?" Kyle wonders.

"It's nothing really. Nothing to get worked up about. Just some stupid prank," I say lamely as we pull up in front of my house.

"Liz promise me you will be more careful and give some serious thought to this. Please. We only want to help. You can trust us," Kyle pleads.

I try not to snort. Trust? Max? Eh. So the guy likes to take good care of his whores and keep an eye out for him. I hear it's hard to find good whores these days, and the really good ones are invaluable and hard to replace. I can be REALLY good. Really. It's one thing I'm not content to just be average about. Normally only the best. Satisfaction every fucking time.

"Look, Kyle, it's been real. You tell Max he needs to simmer down though. I'm not his girlfriend. He can't spy on me. He can't tell me what to do. If he wants to boss someone around, tell him to take it up with Tess," I retort getting out of the truck. "Thank you for the ride. I appreciate what you are trying to do, but really, it's not necessary."

"Liz. Be careful," Kyle tells me as I close the door.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Careful. Whatever. Sigh. I slip in the front door quietly and head upstairs to take a shower before going to bed.

I don't want to like Max. I really, really don't. But I really, really do. I'm hopeless. Doomed to be a loser like that forever. It's always, always the wrong boys I fall for. Ones who are already taken, or emotionally unavailable, or have lots of "issues". Well what do you know, Max is a winner on all three accounts. I'm hopeless. Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless.

I WILL NOT like Max. I WILL NOT let this get to me. I will not let him know how I feel about him. I'll just shrug it off. Like everything that happened on Saturday meant nothing to me as well. I will not give him the satisfaction of playing me. I can do this. I can be cool, nonchalant. He wants to be friends? I'll give him friends. I doesn't matter to me; he means nothing. I'm not going to let him see this got to me at all.

Max Evans you have met your match. Every game you play, I'm better at. Every move you make, I'm one step ahead. And your secret? I'm going to find out what it is. I'm going to find out what the hell you are so scared of. I'm going to find out why you were so scared of me. I'm going to find out why you really think it is somehow your duty to protect me now. I'm going find out what the hell it is you are hiding. I'm going to find you. So you just better beware. It's not nice to keep secrets. Not nice at all.

The next morning I'm grumpy. The weather calls for it to be rainy for the entire rest of the week. It's the fucking desert. Why the hell is it raining so much? I remember that I don't want Max to think he has upset me so I try to put my attitude in check before I get to school.

I read once, in a Psychology Today magazine at my doctor's office, that if you smile it will make you happy. Usually if you are happy you smile, but if you smile long enough you should become happy as well. I smile and smile and smile and smile. But do you know what? By first hour biology I'm not one fucking bit happier. If anything I'm more unhappy because my cheeks fucking hurt.

But I keep smiling anyways. I smile at Max as I take my seat next to him. I smile as Mr. Slater announces a pop quiz and I smile after that when he assign a big research project for our next unit on genetics which we will have to present to the class in less than two weeks. I have to work with, who else, Max. Sigh. Smile.

The bell rings and Max follows me out of class.

"Hey," Max says.

"Hey," I smile.

"Are you going to the Halloween dance this Saturday?" Max wants to know.

What? What the hell kind of question is that? It's not like he can even ask me since he is still with Tess and has to be going with her.

"I haven't really given it much thought," I respond honestly. "I mean no one has even asked me yet."

"Oh," Max replies kind of disappointed. "Well, I was just going to say that you and your date could double with me and Tess if you wanted to. Isabel and Kyle want to do something special alone and they usually go to dances with us."

No way in hell I'd ever double date with Max and Tess. EVER. For any obscene amount of money.

"I see. Well why don't you and Tess do something special alone," I almost choke on the words as I try to get them out with a smile.

"Actually, well, I kind of like to go out in groups better. I mean it's more fun," Max tells me.

"Well if Michael ever gets around to asking Maria, I'm sure you could drag them along. They can be fun," I muse. "When they aren't bickering. But really they are fun."

"I suppose so," Max sighs. "I just thought you would want to go. I mean you're fun too."

We are NOT having this conversation.

"I haven't even been asked. I'm not going to be your third wheel. I'm sure you can find someone else," I try to keep smiling as he presses my patience. "I might not even go. I don't want to go alone if Maria is going with Michael."

I can't BELIEVE we are having this conversation.

"I'm sure you someone is going to ask you, Liz. And even if they don't you can go with me and Tess. But I know someone will ask you, I mean A LOT of guys would drop anything to," Max assures me.

"One, no one has dropped ANYTHING for me. I haven't been asked yet have I? Two, quit fucking trying to rope me in to going with you and Tess because you don't want to be alone with her. She's you're fucking girlfriend so suck it up. Three, I hate, loathe, despise school dances for these trivial reasons. EHHH. Yuck. Now I really don't want to go," I storm off, my teeth clenched, but still smiling.

That was disgusting. I still can't decide if he wants to baby-sit me or wants me to baby-sit him. Sigh. Jimmy picks this time to stroll up.

"Hi," Jimmy says.

"Go away," I snarl.

"Just saw your big scene with Evans back there," He continues, not listening.

"Really. That's nice," I retort not caring.

"It's way fucked up that he wants you to go with him and Tess. I mean, what? Does he think he gets the best of both worlds? If he wants you, which he so clearly does, he shouldn't insult you by trying to get with you while he is still with Tess," Jimmy tells me.

Now he has my attention. Did I mention he's growing on me? Kinda like fungas. That grows on you too. He's a rare case of Athlete's foot.

"And?" I turn to him. "What's your point?"

"Well I think it's just awful that Evans would do that. I mean you are such a nice, sweet girl," Jimmy goes on.

I snort.

"You and I both know that I am neither nice nor sweet so let's cut to the chase. What exactly do you want?" I demand.

"Go to the Halloween dance with me?" Jimmy asks hopefully.

"Okay," I answer without hesitation.

"Really?" Jimmy looks genuinely surprised.

"Yeah, I mean, what the fuck, why not? But we are NOT doubling with Max and Tess," I inform him.

"Hey, no complaints from me. Whatever you want is fine. I mean I'm just thankful you even said yes," Jimmy looks pleased with himself.

Like he's accomplished something. I'd say he got lucky and just happened to come along at the right time with the right words.

"Yeah, well, you know, I'm in such a good mood," I smile.

"I can tell," Jimmy grins.

"Sorry. It's just Max being, well, Max. God, I can't believe he asked me to go with him and Tess, even if I didn't have a date. I mean talk about uncomfortable as hell. What was he thinking?" I shake my head.

"I don't know. He has a thing for you though. Everyone is talking about it. Well, everyone is talking about everyone having a thing for you," Jimmy responds.

"As if," I scoff. "And you never struck me as the gossiping type."

"That's cause I'm not. Hey, I was thinking," Jimmy changes the subject. "Are you sure you only had three years of martial arts? I mean, you are awfully good for a third year student."

"Well, when I was a little girl my mother made me take gymnastics because all the other little girls were. So that's three years on top of seven years of gymnastics," I admit.

"Ahhhh. Now I understand," Jimmy smiles. "You don't have the greatest technique but you fight with energy, and you are strong. You have wonderful coordination and control, but there are little slips in the technique."

"Yeah, my instructors were always on me for technique. I just fight. I fight how it is comfortable, however I can," I reply. "I know how to do the moves and can do them and that's all that matters to me."

"Yes, and that works well for a while, but sooner or later you will make a mistake that way. You have to know which move when. It might feel uncomfortable to hold back or to do a move that seems silly, but after a while it will become like a reflex. It is technique, and the perfection of the skills, that will ultimately win the match," Jimmy asserts.

"I almost had you several times," I remind him.

"Almost. Only because your style is unpredictable and unexpected. Almost. But almost doesn't count. Almost means nothing. No one gets an award for almost doing anything," Jimmy tells me.

"True," I respond.

He's walked me to my next class.

"Thank you, Jimmy for asking-" I start.

"LIZ!" Sean comes running down the hall, pushing through people, hurdling someone bent down to tie their shoe.

He rushes up to me out of breath.

"Oh, my, gosh, I'm, so, glad, I, caught, you," Sean pants. "I just heard, I heard, you need, a date, to, to the dance."

"I'm really sorry, but you're too late," I have to tell him. "Jimmy just asked me."

"WHAT?! NOOOOO!!! I ran all the way here to find you! Jimmy how could you!" Sean grabs Jimmy by the collar dramatically. "You know how I feel about Liz."

"Dude, Sean, have you ever even been to a school dance?" Jimmy laughs.

"No," Sean pouts letting Jimmy go. "But I would have gone with Liz to this one. I even would have done the stupid costume thing. I wanted to go as Frankenstein, with Liz as my bride. Geez. This was going to be my first dance ever. I've tried to go before but you know I just get so wasted before I even get there that I never make it. Eventually I just started to plan on getting wasted instead."

"Well how about you pretend you are going with Liz but just do what you normally do and get wasted," Jimmy suggests.

"No way," Sean protests. "I'm going. And I'm going to make sure you don't try any funny business on Liz. I've got my eye on you Jimbo, so you better be on your best behavior."

Sean backs away pointing back and forth from his eye to Jimmy.

"Really, he means well," I giggle.

"Yeah. He's a nice guy. Fun. Gets along with just about everyone," Jimmy agrees grinning. "Maybe a little overdramatic at times...."

"Oh, but that's part of his appeal," I smile. "Anyways, you should get to class because the bell is going to ring in like twenty-five seconds, but I will talk to you later more about the dance."

"Alright," Jimmy nods and heads off to class.

I shake my head. I can't believe I'm going to a dance, let alone with Jimmy. Eh. Whatever.

I move to take my seat in second hour drawing. I nod at Michael as I walk past, and wave to Alex. A piece of paper falls out of my binder and I bend over to pick it up. Some guy whistles. I give him the bird.

I glance at the page in front of me and freeze. It's nicely typed, completely centered on the blank, white page. "Miss Parker - It is clear who you are. You cannot run. You cannot hide. Please make this easier on everyone. Give yourself up now before it is too late. It'd be a tragedy for something bad to happen." My hand begins to shake. It's all just too much. I run out of the classroom just as the bell rings and Michael runs after me. I hear the teacher shouting something but I don't care.

Michael calls back something, and the teacher doesn't say anything more. I look for somewhere to hide, somewhere to calm down, somewhere to regroup. I'm shaking so hard I can hardly move, but somehow I keep running. I spot the eraser room and before I know it I'm darting inside. Much to my regret, Michael darts inside after me.

I slump to the floor, my knuckles white, still clenching the note. Michael takes it from me, reads it over once, grabs the gum from his mouth and puts it over the fire sprinkler in the ceiling. He pulls out a lighter from his pocket and torches the thing. He throws the burning warning into an empty trash can trash and lets it burn to ashes. I sit there watching the flames flicker and die and the smoke dissipate into a thinly snaking trail.

I almost expect the fire alarms to go off, or the sprinklers to come on, or something, anything to happen. But nothing does and Michael and I just sit, in silence, looking at each other. Tears quietly stream down my face. The room is dimly lit by a single bulb hanging above, flickering as it swings back and forth.

"Rough day, huh?" Michael finally breaks the silence.

"Rough life," I mutter.

"I can imagine," Michael says.

"Who's doing this to me? Why would anyone threaten me like this?" I demand.

"I don't know," Michael answers quietly. "Life's not always so simple."

"Tell me about it. I mean, I have psychos hunting me, a fat lot of busy-bodies following them following me, no offense, and I mean I know Max told you about my Mom. I try to forget, with all my heart I try to forget, but it keeps popping up in all the unexpected places. It's like she haunting me. Reminding me what a failure I am. I try to block her out, I try to block everything out, but it's so hard," I sob.

Michael pulls me into a hug. He seems uncomfortable at first, but then he relaxes.

"Liz, it's okay. You've proven you are tough," Michael tells me when I finally pull back. "But you don't have to be tough all the time. There are people who care about you, who want to help you. It's okay to let them in. It's okay to let them help. 'No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.'"

"John Donne," I look at him in awe.

"John Donne," Michael repeats. "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

"Michael, I'm surprised. you never struck me as the intellectual type," I remark.

"You'd be surprised all the things you don't know about me," He smiles.

"Thank you," I say. "Seriously. Thank you."

"Hey, it's nothing," He replies sheepishly.

"I hope you don't get in trouble for chasing after me," I apologize.

"Oh, don't worry about it. I told Mr. Monds that you had to be sick and that I was going to make sure you were okay and help you to the nurses office," Michael assures me.

"Smart. Very quick thinking. I'm impressed," I grin giving Michael's shoulder a playful punch. "Way to go stud."

"Well, that's me, studly-" Michael begins, as he pick an annoying stray strand of hair out of my face.

Suddenly there is laughter outside. Eraser Room door is yanked open and bright light floods in on us. The laughter stops.

"Michael," Max looks shocked.

Michael retracts his hand from moving my hair.

"Liz?" Maria looks at me questioningly.

"Wow, this must look bad," I mumble.

"Just a little," Max admits, his face completely blank. "What are you, uhhh, you two up to?"

"It sure doesn't look like they were cleaning erasers," Maria states unamused.

I look at my disheveled clothes from being slumped on the ground. Oh, no, well, now this definitely doesn't look good.

Max sniff the air.

"It smells like smoke," Max says.

"Have you been smoking pot and having sex?" Maria blurts out.

Michael and I roar with laughter. Max and Maria soon join in. Finally the laughter subsides.

"No seriously," Max says.

"Liz wanted to show me something," Michael tells him.

Max and Maria look at him wide-eyed.

"No I mean, you see," Michael starts.

This one better be good. I'm all out of get out of jail free cards.

"Liz wasn't feeling well, so she went to the nurse to get some aspirin, and she didn't know where the nurse's office was so I volunteered to show her where it was," Michael goes on.

"How chivalrous of you," Maria retorts dryly. "Then why are you two in here."

"Someone told Liz about the human head, you know the one formaldehyde one that the school has and doesn't know where it came from. When we were walking back Liz asked about it and I told her it was in the eraser room. Liz wanted to see it so we popped in here to take a look," He points to a jar on the top of the nearby shelf. "But we don't know why it smells like smoke. It was like that when we came in here."

UGHHH. Yuck. He's not making it up at all. There really is a human head.

"It's soo gross," I twist my mouth in horror at the shriveled floating head.

"Eh," Michael shrugs.

"Is that even legal?" I wonder.

"So what are you two doing coming in here?" Michael wants to know.

"We cam for paper towels. Maria ACCIDENTALLY knocked over Scuttle's fish tank. You should have seen it. Mrs. Paulsen went beserk. It was soo funny," Max laughs.

"Hey, it was an accident. And anyways, she shouldn't keep her dead fish still floating around in the front of the classroom. It was starting to smell. She should have just accepted it was dead and flushed it like a normal person would," Maria wrinkles her nose.

What is it with these people and their floating dead things? What kind of school is this?

"Maria, she loves Scuttle. She still talks to him. And you killed him," Max chuckles.

"Scuttle died of natural causes. He's been belly up for weeks. His food was molding at the bottom of the tank," Maria retorts. "Ehhhh! for the rest of the day I'm going to smell like dead fish!"

Max grabs a roll of paper towels and we all head back to our respective classes. Michael and I walk really slow so we get there just as the bell rings and we barely have time to gather our stuff. Mr. Monds, the teacher, tells me he hopes I feel better. I nod and hurry to my next class.


****************

Thank you all for all the bumps and the feedback! You are all so wonderful and you make me very happy and I will try to have a new part out fast so you don't have to hang onto this junk for any longer than you have to. I updated Dreams this weekend and will have a new update of that shortly as well as this. PLEASE, check out my other fic if you like this one. Once again, it is not a spin off of the movie. It's called What Dreams May Come and it's about Liz being kidnapped by Khivar, etc. Thanks.

posted on 3-Jun-2002 5:18:53 PM by Allie1031
Lillie, thanks for the AWESOME feedback! Loved the line about Max being a special kind of stupid. Hehe.
posted on 4-Jun-2002 4:31:30 PM by Allie1031
TIM! I've missed you a lot! I thought you got bored with me or something. Thanks for leaving me the great feedback!

Anyways, about that human head....yeah, I just put that in there because I thought it was kinda quirky and for some awful reason the science department of the high school I went to is the proud owner of one such human head. I always thought it was just some stupid urban legend, you know, hahaha, human head, but my high school actually has one, it's pretty gross and morbid looking, and they haven't done anything with it because they don't know where it came from or who it belongs to. I guess they've had it for years but it's definitely creepy as hell.

Also, about the note...Well we'll assume that aliens have very good memory so the guy can remember what it says which is really the important thing. I figured it wasn't really all that necessary as evidence since there is obviously nothing legal about anything much going on. Michael and Max and Kyle have kind of taken this into their own hands and left the law out of it, because although this fic is AU, and I know I haven't really brought enough attention to the fact yet, they have had trouble with the law before and don't really have a huge amount of respect for it. Now as for the burning, well, I thought he would do something like that more as like a symbolic action so to speak, to make Liz feel better. Liz is upset, Micheal is upset Liz is upset, so they burn the paper as kind of an act of defiance to show that's what they think of the stalker and that Liz won't let it get to her. Michael burns it for Liz, knowing kind of what she needs right here, and it's maybe kind of hard to pick up on right now but he and Liz really click and really seem to understand each other well.

posted on 8-Jun-2002 5:56:23 PM by Allie1031
I thought I could get a part out before I went on Vacation but then I got sick and my computer crashed so I don't think so. I write an extra long part for both stories when I get back, I promise. Sorry guys.
posted on 25-Jun-2002 7:48:16 PM by Allie1031
Hey folks! I have a website headquarters for my stories now. I had to reread Normal to write the next part because we are starting to get close to that final straightaway where everything is going to fall into place. I look forward to reading guesses about who's in on what with who, etc. I like those a lot. A lot of you have so good ideas but I have a feeling some things are going to surprise you still. So check out my new site, I'm not sure how to link it, but the address is:

http://www.geocities.com/allie1031/fiction

I hope to finish the new part tonight and have it up later tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I hope. It'll be up on the webpage first and then I'll come post it here. I had a nice vacation. I think I might be falling for this great guy I met, so maybe you'll get some of that happy sappy stuff creeping into the fic. Thank you all for the feedback and bumps. I love how you have all kept my stories alive in my absense, especially Nina. Thank you!

I love you all!

Alli Beth

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 25-Jun-2002 10:31:23 PM ]
posted on 25-Jun-2002 10:30:47 PM by Allie1031
thanks ericka. I get so busy I forget things like I's somtimes. if you didn't see ericka's post the address for my site is:

http://www.geocities.com/allie1031/fiction

I'll fix the link above as well.
posted on 11-Jul-2002 7:22:43 PM by Allie1031
I have really been having some problems with this new part. I wrote half of it before I went on vacation and I having been trying to finish it, but it's just not what I want, so I'm just going to start over and hopefully we'll see something new up soon. It can't be any worse than it is now.
posted on 12-Jul-2002 9:22:25 PM by Allie1031
It's 8:00 or so central time, and as of right now my plans for the night are for me to work on packing my stuff for the next hour while Sex and the City is on HBO until 9:00 at which point I plan to come and sit down in front of my computer and write until I get the next damn part finished. This is IF I don't get any of my retarded friends begging me to see them or dragging me off to some second rate party I don't really want to be at. Hopefully I can fight them off, although that usually involves the use of and industrial sized baseball bat. Oh and get this, I just have to bitch about this one, I'm sorry, okay so I dated this guy on and off for the last 2-3 years right, and his sister is getting married next week and I'm not frickin invited. My friend who he never talks to and doesn't even like is even frickin invited. Next time I see that bastard, I think he's avoiding me, I'm going to give him a good piece of my mind. We are supposed to still be friends but that's shit because he never calls me back and barely managed to return an email I sent. This just really pisses me off because even though we aren't together doesn't mean he can be an ass. I mean I was invited to the wedding 9 months ago and 2 months ago I was supposed to be his date to the rehearsal dinner. And do you know what he said about that? That fucker, at first he was so excited to take me but then he changed his mind when he remembered that I'm not exactly Susie Fuckin Sunshine all the time and have poor manners. Now I'll admit I can be quite tactless and rough around the edges, but I'm not an idiot. I KNOW how to act polite and when to act polite, I just sometimes choose not to on a day to day basis because I'm pissed off at the world and like to piss on it in return. Okay, I'm just a little upset about it, really it hits on one of those weak spots I have and smarts like something else. But seriously, I'll get over it, I'm getting along fine, you know I really don't think I should have told him I'm dating someone else because I bet it makes it much easier for him to piss on me when I'm not hopelessly in love with him anymore! I knew that was the point of no return though, so I really had to do it. But just cause I'm not interested like that doesn't mean I don't still care and want to be friends. Guys suck. Crap I've bored you all silly, but that's my rant for the day. Hehehehe. I'm a nerd, sorry I'm trying to keep you all entertained with my poor excuse of a life, I'll get right on my story, which actually, come to think of it, remarkabley resembles my poor excuse of a life in too many ways. Suckers! Oh and I just want to say, if you read either of my fics, and you are finding some of the characters really disturbing right now, you are supposed to, okay? I don't want you to like a lot of them right now. That's not an accident, but I really promise things will get better and that I can produce writing that is sweet to soothe your dreamer hearts so just hang in there and try to tough it out. Trust me, I know what I'm doing. I think.
posted on 12-Jul-2002 9:23:53 PM by Allie1031
Oh and if you are really bored and haven't done so already, YOU CAN CHECK OUT MY OTHER FIC!!!!!

What Dreams May Come



posted on 12-Jul-2002 10:27:00 PM by Allie1031
Alright, I am sitting down right now and writing the new part. I have to put in in html and post it on my website first and then I'll post it over here but I'm not sure I will get it up tonight and if it is tonight it will be very late.

I am a lazy bastard and I graduated 34th out of 350 or some shit, but my GPA was over 3.8, so don't feel bad. I like to promote slacking in highschool, as long as you know how to slack the smart way, because highschool sucks ass. My friends and I always joke about dropping out but now that I pay for my education it's too damn late. Fuck it. In three years I'll have graduated again and then it will really be too damn late to drop out. What am I going to do with myself? I don't know. I'm sure I'll think of something clever to be. Any one with a degree in psychology? I like psychology so I am leaning that way. But yes, look at me get to work on that new part.
posted on 14-Jul-2002 2:56:15 AM by Allie1031
Here's the link to my half-assed website again for those of you who are interested:

http://www.geocities.com/allie1031/fiction

It's nothing special but it serves it's purpose. In case you haven't noticed, I don't have the new part up yet because I'm a procrasinator (when I say it like that it sounds kind of cool actually, like the terminator, only the procrastinator, and I'm pretty sure it's not actually spelled like that but it looks neater that way). Also some prick decided to fuck with my head again last night to interupt the production of the next part. I think I'll post what I have so far as a teaser on my website to get you to all check it out because I feel so bad about not javing it done. But get this, my good friend, we'll call her L,has a boyfriend, and I'm good friends with him too, we'll call him J. Ok so way back in March, J comes to me and is like yeah I have a thing for you and I was wondering if I could cheat on my girlfriend with you. And he's like I'd never ever even think about cheating on her with anyone except you and I'm pretty sure if I wasn't with her I'd want to be with you. Well fuck, I said no for a kabillion reasons even though yes, I was attracted to him. Aw shit, this is a fucking long ass soap opera quality story. I'll tell you what, if you want to read it, let me know, otherwise I'll get on that part but you better think twice before you say yes because it's fuckin poor quality drama and I know you'll want to kick the ass of all the characters involved. But anyways, last night J came up with the same offer kinda, only it would be a one time deal because he is moving to Ohio and going to a different college but we have been hanging out a lot this summer. J wanted to kiss me before he left, just to see what it would be like and I said I'd think about it. But then tonight the fucker asked to see my boobs. Just out of the blue. What an idiot. I think I'm gonna go cruise around town in my car, and all these dumbasses I know better stay off the sidewalks. Right after I finish that new part of course, pending any other shitheads feeling the need to interrupt. Check my website soonish. I'll try to post a little bit of the next part up.
posted on 14-Jul-2002 3:19:40 AM by Allie1031
Alright I just posted the first half of the next part on my website. The second half of this part that I have yet to write with the costumes makes me chuckle and I haven't even written it yet. Well I just think I'm clever, and laugh at my own jokes louder than anyone else so you know....
posted on 17-Jul-2002 8:16:42 PM by Allie1031
Well, I'm going to see if I can't finish the new part tonight and get it out. Sorry I've been such a slacker lately.
posted on 18-Jul-2002 2:23:36 PM by Allie1031
Thanks luvjb. I seriously feel bad though cause you guys are really awesome with your support, like Lillie and Nina, you guys rock my world. Like you make me want to write because you are so interested and everyone else with all their bumps, you guys are so cool. I have an idea for a short story in my head that won't leave me alone but I have so much with just these two fics and I am so behind already. I wanted to get them finished this summer before school starts but I am so behind. I'm going to try to pick it up though and trudge forward.
posted on 19-Jul-2002 4:37:27 PM by Allie1031
A lot of my friends are going on vacation soon so I should have more time. Thanks guys, seriously you are so awesome. If it wasn't for you guys Iwould have abandoned this a long time ago. Just bumping is great too because then I know people haven't forgotten me.
posted on 30-Jul-2002 4:03:17 PM by Allie1031
Yeah, I'm alive. I'm working on it. I've been packing and sorting my stuff to move and tranferring files to my new computer and well, yes, enjoying the night life. But I have to move twice in the next month, or rather half my stuff one place and the other half to another so its kinda crazy. But I'm pretty well organized and hopefully by friday I can have a completed part up and get dreams up too.
posted on 3-Aug-2002 1:23:17 AM by Allie1031
Okay, I don't have the new part ready to put out tonight but I have seriously been working on it. Not as much as I should be, but still, I have been writing. I hope to get it out this weekend.
posted on 4-Aug-2002 1:27:21 AM by Allie1031
Guess what I did tonight folks? I took my younger brother shopping for pants and underwear and then I cam home and wrote fan fic. Why? Because I feel for yet another moron. But let's not get into that. The fic is coming along nicely me thinks. Still got a bit to add and change. You know me, I like to make my parts long. Any guesses as to the total number of pages I'm up to now? Size 12 font, not double spaced. Well it's an embarrassingly high number. Me thinks me need to be thinking about bringing this fic towards it's culmination.

Oh and by the way, everyone who gave me five stars, you all get five stars yourselves.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 4-Aug-2002 1:31:48 AM ]
posted on 5-Aug-2002 1:46:38 AM by Allie1031
Hey Hey Hey! I got some tonight. Hehehe. So thats why the part isn't done but it's getting really really close. I'm gonna try to finish it tonight.
posted on 7-Aug-2002 10:58:53 PM by Allie1031
UPDATE COMING TONIGHT. I PROMISE!!!!
posted on 8-Aug-2002 1:22:11 AM by Allie1031
Part Seventeen

So apparently, this Halloween dance is a pretty big thing at West Roswell High. Like it's got more hype than prom big. It's customary to, first of all, find a date, and then, come up with clever costuming for yourself and your date to wear so as you can enter this, by all accounts, exciting costume contest. You and your date are supposed to have a "theme" in you costume apparel. And I guess people get really touchy about keeping their costumes a secret because they don't want to give their idea away before the contest. There is judging of entrants in the contest by a panel of highly respected school faculty. And now I KNOW I really don't want to go to this dance.

Maria's pretty excited though, because Michael finally sucked it up and asked her to go. I'm happy for her. And Alex asked Julia, who was only happy to oblige. So we decided to get a group of the six of us going, sans Max Evans who can just asphyxiate himself in Tessy-bears affection.

Wednesday is a really good day, great parking, and A on my French test, so I invite the gang over right after school to hang out for a while. Jimmy, Maria, Alex, Julia, Sean, Kyle, Michael, and Max swing by.

I rummage through the cupboards and find a few bags of chips that Michael and Maria eagerly grab for, some granola bars, and lots of homemade cookies. I grab a nice apple out of the fridge and hand one to Julia.

It's come to my attentions that Julia rarely says much. Maybe she's really shy. I don't know.

"Jimmy, we need finalize our costumes for Saturday so don't leave until we chat, okay?" I say.

"Alright," Jimmy agrees.

"OOOooooo, wait till you see me and Michael are going as," Maria squeals. "WE are so adorable."

"It's awful!" Michael protests. "I lost rock, paper, scissors, seven times in a row!"

"Go Maria! See Liz, I told you that game solves everything," Alex pipes in.

"It does if you win," Michael grumbles. "In return, though, Maria is going to be watching my movies of choice for months. None of those 'chick flicks' after I do this getup."

"I can't wait to see you guys," I laugh.

"Oh believe me," Max assures me chuckling. "You can."

"Michael did you tell him?" Maria scolds.

"I wanted him to get some of the laughs out before hand or we'd never hear the end of it at the damn dance," Michael states grumpily. "My costume is so degrading."

"Oh it is not. You look way hot," Maria says playfully.

"Oh, Michael, you look waaaaaaaaay hot," Max says in a falsetto voice. "I just love men in ti-"

"Shut up!" Both Michael and Maria snap throwing chips at Max.

"I got my costume," Sean pipes up.

"Really?" Maria questions. "I don't think if you go as a juvenile delinquent in your usual scuzzy clothes anyone is going to be all that impressed."

"NO, I got a real costume," Sean protests. "And a date too."

"Let me guess? Pam Troy?" Kyle asks.

"Hey, how'd you know?" Sean wonders in amazement.

"She ends up asking you to every dance. And every dance you don't show up and every dance she stomps around angry and disappointed. It's quite funny actually, because now we have her specific reactions to being blown off down to an intricate timing," Kyle informs him.

"Hahaha. Good old Pam. Naw, but we're friends. Just friends, Liz, you hear? And anyways she always gets over it in time for the next dance. Besides who else is she going to ask?" Sean laughs.

"Tommy, Paulie, Phil, Blake, hell, even Charlie might show up at least once," Kyle responds.

"Eh," Sean shrugs. "It's not my fault she keeps asking me."

"True," Kyle answers. "I mean you'd think she'd learn. Sometimes I think she's just using you as an excuse to stomp around and be the center of attention and collect sympathy. And also, if she asks you she can maintain the privilege of being able to say she has a date without actually having to go through the bother of having a date, thus leaving her free to skank around and steal others dates as she so pleases. I bet she'd actually be disappointed if you did show. Still, why she continues to ask you..."

"What can I say. Pam and I are friends, and I'm just a likeable kind of guy, right Liz?" Sean smiles.

"Oh, help, I just can't stay away," I say in a dry monotone.

Max grins.

"What are you grinning at Evans?" Sean wants to know. "She ain't jumping all over you either. In fact, by my count, she rolls her eyes more at you than she does me. The way I see it, the only one of us idiots chasing after her that is even remotely getting close is Jimmy over there, and he's already getting more loving on a weekly basis than you and me combined in our entire lives. How DO you do it Jimbo? What IS your secret?"

Sean holds an imaginary microphone up to Jimmy. Everyone stares at him. Max is beet red. I can't believe Sean and his big mouth; it's worse than Maria. No one else can really believe he just said what he said either. I mean, not that they weren't probably already thinking it. Everyone waits to see what Jimmy is going to say. Damn good thing Tess isn't here.

"Well," Jimmy starts thoughtfully chewing on a granola bar.

Oooooooooooohhhhh. I just remembered. It's Jimmy. He's just as big of prick as Max and Sean, if not bigger. How DID he manage to worm his way in?

"If I told you my secret," He continues completely seriously. "Then I'd have to kill you."

We all break into laughter, some more forced than others.

Julia's eyes dart registering everyone's reaction as she laughs nervously. Max's face is tight and his body tense as he laughs his normal chuckle. Michael chokes on his chips and hacks a few times before he can imitate everyone else. Kyle's eyes grow wide and his laugh high-pitched. Maria giggles unaffected, and Alex hoots shaking his head.

"I dare say, Jimmy," I laugh whole-heartedly. "You do have the lines down at least. Jimmy seems to know what to say and when to say it. That's my only explanation."

"See Max and I," Sean goes on and I wince. "Max and I, we both have this problem where we keep sticking our foot in our mouth. Max and I don't have a lot in common. Hell, we have pretty much nothing in common. But there is one thing we do have in common, one thing, and that is Liz Parker. We both want her. But neither of us have her. So kudos to you Jimbo. Kudos to you."

Sean salutes Jimmy and Jimmy nods in turn. Talk about your good day turning rotten.

Poor Max! What am I saying? Poor Max my ass. Why doesn't he stand up for himself?

"Well, Liz, I've got to be going now that I've worn out my welcome. Places to go, people to see. But you keep in mind that Jimmy isn't in the least bit special. He's more like me and Max over there than he'd care to admit and I'm betting sooner or later you are gonna wise up, no offense Jimbo," Sean states.

"None taken," Jimmy smiles.

Why the fuck is Jimmy amused? Max isn't. Max is pissed. I can tell by the trademark flaring of the nostrils that runs in the Evans family. Max hasn't even said anything. But I guess what could he say? Every word of what Sean said was true, well, for the most part. Still, why didn't Max jump in an assert that he was with Tess? Max obviously wants to be with Tess. I was just a side dish. Max should have told Sean that he is a fool and that he loves Tess. Shouldn't he have?

I walk Sean to the door and see relief in more than a few people's faces to have him gone.

"What an ass," Maria says.

"Was he trashed?" Alex wants to know.

"Not even the least bit," Jimmy states smugly.

"I have to go," Michael states, standing, looking at Max expectantly.

"Me too," Max responds. "See you tomorrow, Liz. Thank you for the snacks."

Max and Michael leave and slowly everyone else files after leaving me and Jimmy alone.

"Did you get your costume figured out?" Jimmy wonders.

"Yeah, did you get our swords?" I ask.

"Yep," He pulls the swords from his duffle bag and tosses one to me.

I unsheathe it.

"Oh these are awesome! I thought you were going to get us cheesy plastic ones!" I say excitedly.

"Naw, my father let me borrow these. They aren't the real ones though. These are replicas of the ones in his real collection. The blades are just really cheap tin, I think. They aren't at all sharp. The handle is pewter maybe and of course the jewel inlays are very fake," Jimmy swivels to sword around in the air.

I'm giddy at holding such a great prop.

"What did you say your dad does?" I wonder, taking swings into the air with my sword.

"My dad is in the military," Jimmy responds. "He works at the base."

"Oh yeah? That's cool," I reply taking stabs at imaginary foes with my sword.

Geez, this is a great sword. I sheathe it again.

"You think this is going to look clunky on my belt?" I wonder holding the sword at my hip.

"Not in the least," Jimmy laughs. "Did you get the rest of your costume figured out? I think I've got mine all put together."

"Yeah, I just need to dig out knee high boots. This was really a great idea. I'm glad our costumes are so fun," I tell him.

"No kidding," Jimmy grins. "When I heard we had to wear costumes to the dance I wasn't exactly thrilled, but these costumes will be fun."

He puts his sword back into the his duffle bag and I set mine on the kitchen counter as I walk Jimmy to the door. Jimmy turns back to me.

I smile. Jimmy smiles.

"I'll see you tomorrow," I say still smiling.

"Yep," Jimmy responds. "See you tomorrow."

Jimmy opens the door to leave. Max is standing on the other side.

"I came back because I forget my backpack," Max says as he breezes past Jimmy back into the house, not looking either of us in the face.

Jimmy winks at me and mouths good luck. I grin and shut the door as Jimmy walks to his car. I find Max in my living room picking up his bag.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to intrude," Max apologizes.

"It's okay. Something on your mind?" I wonder.

"A LOT of things. Can we talk?" Max asks.

"Sure, but let's go upstairs to my room. So no one will interrupt," I respond.

"Good idea," Max agrees.

I lead Max up to my room. We enter and Max gazes around in awe.

"Wow," Max says looking at the clouds. "This isn't at all what I would have expected. Your room seems so...cheerful."

"I can be cheerful," I reply resentfully.

Max raises an eyebrow at me. He picks up one of my picture frames from off my desk. It's a picture of me and my dad and Nancy at their wedding. He sets it down again gently and picks up a picture of me and my friends at prom last year.

"You look so beautiful," Max states at he puts the picture down again, his face a mask of quiet resolve.

"Thank you," I answer curiously. "What was it that you wanted to speak with me about?"

Max walks over and takes a seat on the ledge of my great bay window. He gazes out at the world briefly and then back at me.

"I don't think that it is such a good idea for you to be hanging out with Jimmy," Max declares carefully. "I don't think you should go to the Halloween dance with him."

"Oh really? Well, that's too bad," I reply.

"Here me out, Liz. How much do you know about Jimmy, I mean really? I'm worried about you. Seriously, my only concern here is your safety. What if he's the one who has been stalking you?" Max says to me.

"Jimmy?" I laugh. "Yeah right. He's, well, self-absorbed, arrogant, and cocky as all hell, but he's not psycho. He's completely harmless. I'll be fine. Don't worry. I can take care of myself."

"With Jimmy I'm not so sure you can," Max sighs.

"Max, he's not the creep who is hassling me, okay. And I swear if he tries anything that I'm not cool with I won't hesitate to show him the good old knee to the groin act. Seriously, I'll be fine," I assure Max. "Stop worrying. It's really none of your business, anyways."

"Why isn't it my business, Liz? Why won't you tell me anything? I just want to help you. I told you, care about you," Max states. "A LOT."

I snort.

"Grow up, Max. How stupid do you think I am? Not that stupid, that's for sure. If you really cared about me you wouldn't say or do the things you do. If you really wanted to help me you'd leave me alone and stop trying to mess with my head," I assert. "I have things to do, so unless you have anything actually important to say, I'd appreciate it if you would just leave."

Max looks very upset. He doesn't say anything, though. I walk him to the door and watch as he drives away through the window.

He has some nerve, the prick. I wish he would just go away. I don't want to like him at all. I try so hard not to but somehow I can't stop myself from falling for him. It's absolutely ridiculous. I sigh.

The rest of the week goes by in a flash. I work at Mohair Pear Thursday and Friday nights. Before I know it, it's Saturday, the day of the dance.

I invite Maria and Julia to come over to my house to get ready beforehand and the two simultaneously arrive around five at my doorstep. Maria is laughing and chatting with an attentive Julia about all the "adorable" habits that Michael has. I just smile and shake my head as I close the door behind them because I have heard them all a thousand times.

I lead them up to my room and we all start to kind of lay out our costumes. Maria pulls her hair up into to heat rollers quickly as Julia and I watch on.

Then we move to makeup. Maria does mine for me, very subtle and natural looking, but drawing out my best features.

Julia watches fascinated. Maria offers to do hers as well and Julia happily agrees. Julia tells Maria that she wants it to look all exotic to go with her costume and Maria jumps right in. Maria makes Julia's eyelids a bright shiny gold with thick black lashes and charcoal lined eyes. Maria extends the liner shortly at the outside corners of Julia's eyes.

Then Maria swipes under Julia's cheekbones with a dark blush and uses a subtle bronzer and then golden face dust. Maria paints her lips a deep red. Julia is completely transformed to fit her costume. It's astonishing.

Maria then does her makeup. She paints her eyes emerald with lots of green sparkles. She uses light pastel pink blush and pink tinted lipstick. Then Maria covers her face lightly with sparkling powder.

Maria randomly puts a few tiny braids in my hair so it doesn't look so boring and pulls it half back. We help Julia into her costume. It's a white tube top with an extremely large, gold necklace with hundreds of fake jewels that covers her entire chest. It's the gaudiest piece of costume jewelry I have ever seen. Julia puts on a long, loose flowing, white skirt and an exotic gold belt with all sorts of jewel inlays. Then Julia slides on a very appropriate snake arm bracelet. Maria and I help her rub golden shimmer all over herself. Glancing at her wig lying on my dresser I can pretty much tell you exactly who Julia is.

Maria puts on a bright green velvet leotard/swimsuit thing. It's very low cut and pretty much lacks a back.

"Maria, this costume is scandalous!" I exclaim smiling deviously.

"I know, now help me get on my skirt," Maria grins.

Her short, flimsy, green skirt made out of all different colored green scarves is really very cool.

Now the girls help me into my costume. I found it at goodwill. I had no idea what it was supposed to be at first because it looked like some creepy weird BDSM lingerie or some shit but when I asked the clerk and she told me how it was a costume I got really excited and knew it was perfect for me. Of course I thoroughly washed the outfit first not wanting to know who the first owner was and what kind of role-playing they had done with it.

First I put on the pleated leather skirt. I'm wearing my boy-cut shorts style black swimsuit bottom underneath. The top is a leather corset like deal with metallic decorative accents and fake metal boob cups that are actually just a tad bit too snug. The previous owner was extremely tiny and I have to suck it in a bit to make my costume fit. It takes me a while to get into my costume and much help from my buddies. I just hope a boob doesn't pop out. Luckily, the costume gets more comfortable after I have it on for a while.

"Liz, honey, you think my costume is scandalous…" Maria smiles stepping back to look at me.

I ignore her and adjust my belt and the sword at my side. Maria helps me into my boots laces them up for me. I stand up and look at myself in the mirror. Maria's right. I do look like a ho. But then, all three of us do. They should change the name of this holiday from Hall-o-ween to Ho-o-ween or better yet just national excuse-for-normal-people-dress-as-skanky-as-they-possibly-can day.

The doorbell rings.

I answer it.

"Come on in Caesar. Cleopatra's upstairs adjusting her wig," I swing the door open.

Alex raises his eyebrows at me.

"Wow, Liz. That's quite the costume you got going there," Alex swallows. "I brought my frisbee ring for you."

"Thanks," I reply gratefully taking the bright yellow ring from him and attaching it at my belt. "It doesn't quite match so perfectly with the rest of my outfit but who cares. Nice toga, by the way. I love the nest you got going there on your head too. What? Did you steal your mother's wreath off the front door?"

"Maybe," Alex frowns. "It works, okay. Cut me some slack. I had to safety pin my bed sheets to me and I now have multiple stab wounds. But check out this belt!"

"That is a nice extension cord you've got there," I smirk. "What happens when I plug you in?"

"Shut up. I couldn't find any rope," Alex grins.

The doorbell rings and I give a princess, Darth Vader, and Snoopy a few candy bars.

"I think we have some rope in the garage," I tell Alex. "I'll do you a favor and go get you some."

"Oh, you don't have to do that," Alex shrugs.

"No, no. I insist. You want the rope," I assure him.

I make a quick run to the garage, and when I come back the girls and Alex are all chatting in the living room. The doorbell rings again and I let Jimmy in.

"Very nice," Jimmy smiles appreciatively, checking me out.

"You too," I grin, taking in his tight leather pants and hard, muscular chest reveled by his suede vest.

Jimmy's sward is safely attached to his side with a very fashionable brown leather belt. Jimmy's kind of a pretty boy I have noticed. He takes a great deal of care in his appearance for a guy.

"You look stunning as well, Maria," Jimmy states, brushing past me to her side. "That's a great costume. Who are you?"

Maria smiles, "wait until Michael gets here. You'll see."

The doorbell rings again. I throw some candy in trick-or-treaters' bags. I'm a bout to close the door when Michael walks up. I burst into hysterical laughter as he pushes past me into the house, closing the door behind himself.

"Oh goody, Peter's here!" I hear Maria exclaim from the living room.

I'm on the floor rolling around.

"Ha, ha, ha, you think this is funny Liz? You find my costume that amusing, huh?" Michael towers over me.

"Yes!" I wipe tears from my eyes.

Michael playfully pretends to kick me in the stomach. I think it is quite likely that I am maybe the only one he is going to make an allowance for when it come to teasing about his costume.

"At least I get a sword," Michael pulls out his wooden sword from his side trying to maintain his manly dignity.

"That's nothing. Check this out," I tell him pulling my sword out.

We engage in mock combat.

"Michael!" Maria calls. "Get in here and show off your costume!"

"We'll be right in, Tinkerbell," I chuckle. "Don't get your pixie dust all in a tizzy."

Michael rolls his eyes and sighs loudly. He starts down the hall to the living room. I pinch his ass and he jumps.

"Hey, now! Liz you are dangerous ground. Just cause I look like a sissy does not mean that I am one. You best watch your ass," Michael informs me.

I laugh and follow behind him closely so I can catch everyone else's initial reaction to Michael's Peter Pan costume. Alex just doubles up immediately. Julia politely tries not to laugh unsuccessfully. Jimmy takes one look at him and shakes his head.

"Man, you are whipped," Jimmy states.

"No way," Michael says defensively.

"A grown guy in lime green tights carrying a little wooden sword is whipped, my friend," Jimmy argues.

"At least he has the legs for it," I smirk.

"Oh, yeah!" Maria gives me a high five. "And the fantastic ass."

We giggle at Michael in his lime tights and the short green shorts of his Peter Pan outfit, not to mention his pointed hat with a little red feather. He's also wearing his brown loafer slippers which in themselves succeed in cracking a smile.

"Hey!" Michael exclaims. "I am not a piece of meat here!"

"Now you know how we feel getting hit on all the time!" Maria points out.

"Oh you girls love the attention and you know it," Michael grumbles.

"Too true," I shamelessly agree.

"So Liz, who exactly are you and Jimmy supposed to be?" Michael asks.

I clear my throat.

"I am Xena, warrior princess," I stand very dignified, "and Jimmy is my Hercules."

"Oh really," Michael smirks, "because for a minute I just thought you were a really kinky hooker and Jimmy was your pimp daddy."

I narrow my eyes at him.

"This happens to be the working attire of warrior princesses these days, okay. If your sorry, storybook, Disney ass can't dig it, it's not my problem. Besides, I could pretty much say the same about you and Maria. How do I know what that wand of hers is for? Anyways, it would be an uneventful night if one of us didn't accidentally have a boob pop out at least once," I retort.

"Amen," Jimmy smiles.

Michael shrugs, defeated, and retreats to Maria's side. I know it would be hard for him to ever admit, but he's definitely in love with her. I mean, he's in tights for heaven's sake. It's plain to see that he cares about her a whole heck of a lot and would do just about anything for her. He's a lot sweeter deep down than he'll let people think. They are so completely adorable together, despite there occasional bickering.

Suddenly, I'm hit with an awful pang of jealousy. Not because I want to be with Michael per say, but because I want to be with someone. I want someone there. Someone to hold me and hug me. Someone who will take care of me. I, in all my independence, wish for someone to depend on.

I want someone who won't put up with my bullshit, won't let me get away with my selfish bitch routine, and will call me on my hypocrisy. I want someone who can see my faults but love me just the same anyways. Love me for who I am. Unconditionally. Period.

I want someone I can have fun with. Someone who will laugh with me when I do something stupid. Someone who will appreciate my jokes and my strange sense of humor.

And when I'm sad, I want someone who will comfort me. Someone who will wipe away my tears. Someone who will kiss me and tell me everything's going to be okay.

I want someone there for me. Someone I can share my life with.

So there it is. I'm human after all. Underneath all my masks and behind all the walls, I'm just like everyone else; I'm just a girl looking for that special someone, that person who I can be me with will love me as me.

Amazing. I am so incredibly strong and yet still so very weak.

The problem though, is that my someone doesn't even seem to exist. The guys, the one who are attracted to me, they're morons. The guys, the ones I am attracted to, they're moron. And the real party is when the moron who is attracted to me is the same moron I am attracted to.

Such is the case with one Max Evans. I hate that I am falling for him. I hate it. He's a moron. And I, Elizabeth Parker, am falling for him, even though I know he's a moron, even though I can clearly see his moronic tendencies.

And what's wrong with me? I'm human. On a search for that one someone. My heart takes me places my head does not think it is wise to go. And even though my head can hang on and hold off my heart for quite a while, I know that ultimately I will have to fall and follow my heart.

I'm human. I'm normal. I'm like everyone else. And I can't help it. I want to fall in love and be loved in return. And there is nothing wrong with me. I'm only human. I'm only normal.

The six of us leave to go out to dinner. I get Nancy to take some pictures of us before we leave with my camera before she takes over my slacking doorbell duty. We made reservations for Little Italy, a nice Italian restaurant, because the boys said they didn't mind springing for it. Our waiter hits on Michael repeatedly, much to everyone's amusement.

We have so much fun at dinner. The food is delicious. I share an order of spaghetti with Maria.

Many other kids from school are eating there as well and stop by to say hi. A lot of them know Jimmy, especially the girls. When he introduces me as his date the guys all grin giving him an obvious wink while the girls just offer me a tight-lipped polite smile. I smile back the same fake smile to them all, flipping off the ruder intruders under the table.

The rest of Alex's band, Derek and Tom, along with their dates pull up a table and join us halfway through dinner. Apparently Derek does this trick where he puts spaghetti up his nose and pulls it out his mouth. We all cheer him on with hoots and laughter until the restaurant manager asks us to quiet down or leave at which point I notice Jimmy stealthily slip him a fifty and he leaves. No one else notices except Julia who looks away when I catch her eye.

Julia is really shy. She doesn't say much in big groups but when we were getting ready and it was just me and Maria all she opened up more.

Eventually, after much loitering, we head to the dance. Michael and Maria ride with Alex and Julia in Alex's van. Jimmy and I follow closely behind in his black Cougar.

"That was so much fun!" I exclaim as we get in Jimmy's car to head to the dance.

I never really noticed Jimmy came from so much money before tonight.

"Yeah," Jimmy agrees. "The guys from the band are really funny."

"And that waiter and Michael…classic! Don't tell, but Maria and I slipped him Michael's number on our way back from the bathroom," I admit.

"Hahaha. You and Maria are quite a pair. You are both so gorgeous," Jimmy compliments, glancing over to look me in the eye.

I blush.

"I think Julia looked very pretty, too," I tangent the attention. "She's so tall and elegant and graceful. She even eats daintily. She makes me and Maria feel like a slobs because we just stuff our faces with whatever's in front of us."

"Naw, it's good to see girls with a healthy appetite who actually eat. Julia picks at her food and that is annoying," Jimmy tells me.

"Maybe Julia is nervous," I suggest, "and that is why she picks at her food."

"What do you mean? Why would she be nervous?!" Jimmy demands.

"I don't know. Because she is uncomfortable in groups, maybe? I just thought because she is so shy, but I mean I don't really know that she is nervous or whatever," I respond somewhat alarmed.

"Oh. Oh yeah. Yeah. She is shy. I don't really know her, though. She's not really my type. Too quiet," Jimmy asserts.

"You know lots of other people though. All those girls that came by at dinner gave me sour looks when you introduced me as your date," I complain.

"They're jealous," Jimmy shrugs. "What can I say, I'm a hot commodity."

"You're a man-whore," I accuse only half-jokingly.
"That too," Jimmy chuckles.

We arrive at the dance and meet up with Alex, Julia, Maria, and Michael again. The gymnasium of the school is pathetically decorated with a few stray black and orange streamers. But the music is blasting and lots of people are dancing so Maria and I jump right in full force, pulling Julia and the boys along.

Michael gets a few snickers but his would-be bullies back off with a single threatening glance. I heard a rumor from a girl in my French class that Michael Guerin supposedly once skinned a cat alive and then ate it. I suspect Michael himself made up such a morbid tall tale to keep people away. It's amazing the lengths that some people feel they have to go to maintain what they feel they need as personal bubble space.

Some other guy is dressed as Tarzan in just a loin cloth, a group of guys are in some really old basketball uniforms from the seventies that have hideously short shorts, a kid in his white briefs as that favorite Tom Cruise role in Risky business, and one guy is even all in spandex with a pillow stuffed in his belly pretending to be Richard Simmons so Michael doesn't even seem out of place. You really gotta love how these Roswellians aren't afraid to go all out.

Hercules and I dance for a while. We get lots of compliments on our costumes. Suck ups. After a while I go dance with Maria and we pull Julia over with us and three of us girls dance together and it’s a whole lot of fun. Julia is an awesome dancer.

"Julia, you're like a fricking professional dancer or something," I say.

"Girl, you got moves," Maria agrees.

"Thanks," Julia blushes. "You gals are great dancers as well."

"Shyeah, we only look good because we got you next to us. Come on, let's go dance by Alex. He needs all the help he can get," Maria nods.

We glance over at Alex doing the robot and giggle.

That's when I see Max. And my giggle erupts into a full belly howl. It's all I can do to give him a thumbs up as he struts over to me.

"Nice," I grin checking him out.

"Thank you, thank you, very much," Max replies in a very authentic Elvis voice as he takes off his oversized sunglasses.

Michael comes over to join us and check Max out as well. He looks at Max quite pensively.

"Well," Michael starts and just continues to look at Max for a while. "Are you going to explain this get up of yours?"

"I'm the King," Max states simply in his best Elvis voice, pretending to slick the sideburns of his awful, cobweb-like, black wig.

I reach out impulsively to poke it and Max steps back.

"Whoa there, little lady. The King's hair is not to be touched," Max informs me protectively still using the voice.

Michael snorts in amusement.

"I'm not sure how much longer this thing is gonna stay on," Max whispers to me in all seriousness as he attempts to secure his wig.

I giggle and inspect the rest of his costume. Max's retro Elvis jump suit comes to a wide, deep V across the chest giving me a sneak view of his fine anatomy that causes me to salivate. I want to reach out and touch him so bad.

I tear my mind from such thoughts quickly. I would say the highlight of Max's costume would not be his studded belt, but his long gold cape. Next Halloween I'm making sure I get a cape.

"So who is Tess?" I wonder.

"Marilyn Monroe. We went with a whole fifties era type theme," Max reports.

"I see," I nod.

I notice Tess across the Gym in dressed in that infamous white dress, her hair all curled, and her lipstick an obnoxious shade of bright red.

Kyle walks up in a black pants, snow boots, a white dress shirt and this horrendous, furry vest .

"Kyle, who the heck are you supposed to be?" I ask confused. "An Eskimo with poor sense of style?"

"Wait for it…" Kyle pauses.

Kyle strikes an action pose, imaginary gun in his hands. Isabel stalks by behind him in a gold bikini, a thin red skirt slit all the way up the sides barely covering her, all decked out in gold accessories with her hair pulled up to high ponytail twisted into a single braid down her back.

"Ahh. I get it. Han Solo," I nod. "I can't believe they let Isabel in like that."

"I can't believe they let you in like that," Max points out.

"Good point," I concede.

"Security at school dances is at the very lowest. I don't think I've seen a single chaperone yet," Kyle states. "None of the parents or teachers really want to be here so no one cares."

"So who exactly are you supposed to be Liz?" Max questions. "I've been trying to figure it out for a while and I have no idea."

"Duh, Max, come on," Kyle shakes his head. "Liz is Xena. Look at her. She could be Lucy Lawless in the flesh. Don't you ever watch USA? I mean it doesn't get much more obvious."

"Thank you, Kyle," I smile.

And arm snakes around my middle from behind. Jimmy pulls me into him as I spin around.

"C'mon, quit talking and let's go dance. That's what we are here for," Jimmy smiles at me.

"Yeah, okay," I smile back.

As Jimmy leads me into the middle of the dancing crowd, I glance back to see Max and Kyle exchanging a look. Jimmy and I the sea of dancers parts to make us a space.

Jimmy and I lock eyes. We begin to dance. I sway my hips to the beat. The rhythm resounds through out my body. My body moves on its own, feeling the music. I run my hand up the length of my body. I lick my lips.

I dance my arms above my head and Jimmy's fingertips come to rest lightly on my hips. Slowly, slowly, we ease together, all the while meeting each others gazes. It's more than a dance. It's a seduction. It's about sex. It's about power.

I rest my hands softly on Jimmy's chest. Gently I slid them under his vest to feel is hard, washboard abs. Jimmy lowers his hands to caress my ass. I glide one of my hands up to run it though Jimmy's hair. Jimmy grinds me closer. Our breathing becomes more labored.

Still my eyes are on his. Still his eyes are on mine. I'm hypnotized, entranced. The dark, predatory pools of his eyes search mine as I search his. What am I looking for? What am I drawn to?

It's all a game. Cat and mouse. I can see it. In his eyes. He is hunting me. Pursuing me. Stalking me. I am his prey. Caught in a flirtation with danger.

I am the moth to the flame.

Jimmy's eyes glisten as he grins at me slyly. He draws me into him. His cheek brushes up against mine.

I glance over his shoulder to where Max was standing before with Kyle. Michael has joined them now as the three of them watch me carefully. I meet Max's steady gaze.

He's seen it in Jimmy's eyes too. He's seen the way Jimmy watches me. He's seen the danger, he's seen the power, and felt it like I feel it now. He knows.

I pull away from Jimmy.

"I'm-I'm thirsty," I mumble. "I'm gonna go get some punch."

Jimmy nods.

I eagerly push my way through the crowd. Max starts towards me and I hurry away towards the bathroom, barely beating him to it. As the door swings closed behind me, I can see Max standing outside.

I make my way to the sink and turn on the faucet. I spritz some water on my face.

What am I doing? What the hell is going on? What the fuck is happening to me?

A giggling pair of girls sweep past me towards the door. They exit. I check under all the stalls. I am alone.

I look at myself in the mirror. I force myself to look me in the eye. My mind is whirring. My eyes blur. I grab the sides of the sink to steady myself. I stare at the running water whirling down the drain.

There is a knocking at the bathroom door.

"Liz?" Max calls out his voice concerned.

I don't answer.

"Liz? I'm coming in, okay?" Max states.

I don't answer.

I hear the door swing open and then shut. I hear the click of lock turning. I hear his footsteps come up me. His arm reaches around me to turn off the sink and then pulls back. I swallow.

We stand there for a while like that. Silent.

Then I feel him reach out and touch my back. He runs a hand through my long hair gently. He gathers it all up together and I feel cool hair hit the back of my neck. He moves my hair to one side and places his hands on my shoulders. Slowly he begins to rub my shoulders, working out the tension.

I relax back into him. My head falls back onto his chest. His hot breath hits my cheek.

I look in the mirror, at us standing together. We look silly in our stupid costumes. I look into Max's eyes. His eyes meet mine.

"Hi," I whisper.

"Hi," His voice echos right next to my ear.

******************************
CHECK OUT MY OTHER FIC CALLED WHAT DREAMS MAY COME!!!!

Also, I already got the next part done so expect it up soon. And I'm having problems accessing the web page on my new computer so the new parts aren't up there yet. Thanks you guys for all the bumps and everything. Seriously it's way awesome. And thanks to those of who nominated me in the Fan Fic Nomination Forum. And you kids that gave me five stars, awesome.
posted on 8-Aug-2002 1:55:30 AM by Allie1031
Oh and thanks for the pics guys!!! Very nice!! And thanks for all the email and bmail regarding my fic.
posted on 8-Aug-2002 10:14:13 PM by Allie1031
Yes, costuming. There are some hidden meanings in them sort of. But it can be tricky to sort out what means something and what does not. And within the pairs, the relationship to the other partner's character can be somewhat interesting to look at in some cases, in other cases it's just a Halloween costume. I suppose you will just have to wait and see.
posted on 8-Aug-2002 10:16:40 PM by Allie1031
Oh, and seriously guys, I do have the next part and a little of the one after that finished so keep the feedback coming and I'll post again real soon. Thanks guys!
posted on 8-Aug-2002 10:49:46 PM by Allie1031
Yeah, who they are and who their character is has a bit of signifigance, but also you can look at some of the pairs and pick things out like for instance that Tess is Marilyn and Max is Elvis but Marilyn and Elvis weren't really a big couple together themselves and you can kinda see if pairs end up together. But really you can't read a whole heck too much into it though. I mean I can say Maria and Michael stay together because Tinkerbell and Peter are infinately together, and it seems Kyle and Isabel are gonna be together because their characters are lovers. But Elvis and Marilyn? Come now. And before you ask, they don't die just cause their characters do. It's not really that great of foreshadowing, the costumes cause it's hard to tell what is significant and what is not, and the character doesn't EXACTLY fit the person but carries some of their characteristics.

Also,someone, I'm not sure who it was, pointed out suspiscion they had for someone who most people were overlooking that definitely gets some brownie points. I've got a lot of this story figured out and I'm gonna try to finish it in the next few months, before my birthday, I'll set that deadline, so Nina I'm gonna be working overtime on this fic, but then I promise I'll put full attention and effort into Dreams. I'll see if I can give it a few updates along the way though.
posted on 9-Aug-2002 6:49:32 PM by Allie1031
I'm gonna be busy all weekend so I don't think I'll put the update up till early next week but you never know. If you are bored waiting for the update and want something else to read you should check out my other fic What Dreams May Come. I'm not gonna stop hounding you guys to go read it until it's audience widens like Normal's has, so sorry if you are sick of hearing about it. You guys are really awesome with all you feedback and I love that I have a few real die-hard fans. You kids rock. So yeah. Thanks for reading guys.
posted on 13-Aug-2002 7:27:28 PM by Allie1031
In case you were wondering where the new part is, I'm trying to fix the webpage and get it up to date before I put it out.
posted on 15-Aug-2002 11:09:26 AM by Allie1031
I've gotta be honest with you kids. Although I have been having trouble with the website which I seem to have fixed for the time being, I have been hesitant about posting the next part because I wanted something on reserve in case I had another dry spell where I could barely make myself write, but last night I never went to bed and jus got totally wrapped up in writing all night so I can post today like I'd planned! The new part will be up shortly.
posted on 15-Aug-2002 11:45:59 AM by Allie1031
-Previously-

I eagerly push my way through the crowd. Max starts towards me and I hurry away towards the bathroom, barely beating him to it. As the door swings closed behind me, I can see Max standing outside.

I make my way to the sink and turn on the faucet. I spritz some water on my face.

What am I doing? What the hell is going on? What the fuck is happening to me?

A giggling pair of girls sweep past me towards the door. They exit. I check under all the stalls. I am alone.

I look at myself in the mirror. I force myself to look me in the eye. My mind is whirring. My eyes blur. I grab the sides of the sink to steady myself. I stare at the running water whirling down the drain.

There is a knocking at the bathroom door.

"Liz?" Max calls out his voice concerned.

I don't answer.

"Liz? I'm coming in, okay?" Max states.

I don't answer.

I hear the door swing open and then shut. I hear the click of lock turning. I hear his footsteps come up me. His arm reaches around me to turn off the sink and then pulls back. I swallow.

We stand there for a while like that. Silent.

Then I feel him reach out and touch my back. He runs a hand through my long hair gently. He gathers it all up together and I feel cool hair hit the back of my neck. He moves my hair to one side and places his hands on my shoulders. Slowly he begins to rub my shoulders, working out the tension.

I relax back into him. My head falls back onto his chest. His hot breath hits my cheek.

I look in the mirror, at us standing together. We look silly in our stupid costumes. I look into Max's eyes. His eyes meet mine.

"Hi," I whisper.

"Hi," His voice echos in my ear.

**************

Part Eighteen

"Max," I say.

"Liz," He responds.

His hand grazes over my cheeks, wiping away any stray tears.

"You are beautiful, Liz," Max tells me looking in the eyes. "Inside and out. You are beautiful. Anyone who ever said anything else was either blind or incredibly stupid."

"Thank you," I reply my voice barely above a whisper.

Our eyes lock and I can read the truth there in his eyes. For one brief moment time seems to standstill. Then Max looks away and steps back from me.

I search the mirror, trying to find the image I just saw in it captured somewhere within.

"Now come on, let's get out of this bathroom. We are missing a perfectly good dance," Max says to me.

I nod and peel my eyes off the mirror. He unlocks the door and we waltz out past the interested looks.

Max takes my hand and leads me to the dance floor near Alex and Julia who are dancing all goofy together. We start dancing and Michael joins us.

"Everything okay?" Michael wonders.

"Yes," Max replies.

Michael looks me. I nod in agreement.

"Great," He gives us a brief smile.

"Where's Maria?" I wonder. "I haven't seen her for a while."

"Well, right now she's getting raped up the ass by Jimmy," Michael informs us tossing his thumb over his shoulder to indicate where Jimmy and Maria are dancing together, Jimmy grinding fervently into her ass.

"Hahaha," I laugh before I can stop myself. "I'm sorry. It isn't really funny, but yeah. Just the way you said it. Anyways... It's okay you can dance with us. We're fun."

"Naw, I'm trying to work up the nerve to go cut in," Michael states.

"Oh well, goodluck," I smile. "Just go do it."

He nods and disappears. Max and I continue to dance. It's nice. There is plenty of space between us. It's platonic. Friendly. It's fun.

Suddenly I hear a loud ruckus and look over to see Sean knocking over a box fan on the sidelines. He recognizes us and saunters over. He's dressed as Batman, tights, cape, boots, pointy ears, and all. And Pam as a skin tight Catwoman is in tow behind him.

"Liz! There you are!" Sean exclaims.

"Sean, buddy, I think you have had a little to much to drink," Alex states, stepping between me and Sean.

"Go home and sleep it off," Max adds standing between me and Sean as well.

"I ain't drunk. I ain't drunk at all. Am I pussycat?" Sean slurs.

"No, he ain't drunk," Pam purrs. "We just partied a little in the back seat of my car but he ain't drunk. High, maybe. But he ain't drunk, not yet."

"Who drove here?" Alex wants to know.

"Your mom!" Sean answers and he and Pam break into hysterical laughter like morons.

"I'm not his mom, silly!" Pam giggles.

"Alright, well Pam, give me your keys. We'll drive you home. Julia?" Alex wonders.

"Yeah, I'll come with you," she responds concerned.

"I'm not giving you my keys!" Pam asserts.

"Please?" Alex asks.

"Okay," Pam decides and hands them over. "Only cause you said the magic word."

Julia and Alex herd Pam and Sean towards the exit.

"We'll be right back," Alex tells Max and me.

We nod. Sean takes one longing look back at me.

"Wait, I can't leave without Robin!" Sean cries but Alex pushes him out the door.

"He really should take better care of himself," I state thoughtfully.

"Yeah," Max agrees.

"It's nice that Alex is going take them home. I guess he really has this thing where he really hates drunk drivers and shit," I explain.

"Yeah, it's cool because they were definitely trashed," Max agrees.

"Come on, let's dance," I say.

Max and I get back to dancing. I'm having so much fun just dancing and enjoying myself with Max.

Then a slow song comes on. Tony Bennett, "The Way You Look Tonight." Max meets my eyes. He holds out a hand.

"Miss Elizabeth Parker-err, I mean Xena, warrior princess, may I have this dance?" Max asks me.

"Certainly, Elvis," I happily respond.

He pulls me into him as we laugh. I wrap my arms around his neck and his hands come to rest on my lower back. But still, there is space left between us.

And that's when something comes over me. I don't know, but I close the gap. I let myself fall into Max. And then we are dancing cheek to cheek. I close my eyes and just enjoy the sensation. And hear the music.

"With each word
your tenderness grows,
tearing my fear apart.
And that laugh,
that wrinkles your nose
touches my foolish heart."


It feels so...right. Being here in Max's arms. It just feels right.

A brief image of three kids playing, Max, Michael, and Isabel, some how I know they are Max, Michael, and Isabel, flashes before me in my mind. Strange.

I open my eyes again. I spot Tess, not to far away, scanning and searching through the crowded gym.

And that's when I know I have fallen in over my head, because the next thing I whisper to Max is "Let's get out of here. Go get some air. So we can talk."

And Max nods his head in agreement.

And we slip out one of the open gym side doors into the cool air of the night.

"The king has left the building," Max states as he steps outside and I laugh at his dorkiness.

"You are a nerd," I tell him.

"Thank you," He replies.

We wander for a while not saying a whole lot. We end up over by the track, underneath the bleachers of the stadium. I take a seat on the ground and Max sits next to me.

"So what did you want to talk about?" Max wonders.

"Jimmy. I think, I think you are right," I admit. "Something with him is not right. He feels, well just not good. I don't know. I mean he is a nice guy and I like him and all, but still something about him just doesn't feel right. I don't have any reason to suspect anything bad about him but still, I do. It's just this gut feeling I have."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," Max agrees. "I just have this gut feeling too that he's bad. He makes me nervous. But I don't have any reason at al to suspect him. Michael and Kyle and I have been watching him carefully, but he's completely clean. The truth is, we followed you home from Reverb because you were being tailed, but your stalker, it couldn't have been Jimmy because he was back at the club on stage. And the time you were out running late, I was still out at the Crashdown and Jimmy was enjoying a burger a few booths over. So I don't know. I'm probably just paranoid. I didn't mean to scare you when I told you to watch out. I just wanted you to be careful. I mean he might not the one who is after you but that still doesn't mean he has pure intentions. I see the way he looks at girls, at you. I've heard the rumors."

"Yeah. Lots of rumors. He really gets around," I scoff.

"So you do like him?" Max wonders, hesitantly.

"Well, yeah I mean kinda, I kinda did, do. I mean he's a not as awfully annoying once you get to know him I guess. He has his moments. Still, he'll horribly arrogant. But I guess there is some level of attraction. It's like I'm drawn to him. More so because I have this somewhat uneasy feeling that he's about to pounce on me or something. It's the thrill of it I guess," I decide thoughtfully.

"I see," Max answers quietly.

"Yeah, but I don't know. I'm not really all that interested in Jimmy, though. I mean, he's too self-centered and self-involved. I seriously doubt anything would ever happen between us. I like to think I have higher standards than that, heh, I hope I have higher standards than that, some one just looking to get a piece," I half-laugh.

"Definitely," Max returns as he skips a rock across the pavement.

"Yeah," I reply not sure of what to say next.

"Ummm...Liz?" Max starts.

"Max?" I wonder.

"You know that time, at Maria's house, after-after we played poker?" Max continues.

"It's okay, Max," I assure him. "You don't have to explain. Really. It's okay."

"No, no, I want to," Max insists. "It was really nice, Liz."

"But-" I insert.

"No but. It was nice, period," Max states. "Except-"

"Except is the same thing as but, Max," I point out.

"Well, It's just-" Max goes on.

"It's just is the same thing, too," I interrupt.

"Liz, will you let me talk!" Max exclaims.

"Sorry," I apologize.

"It's just Tess and everything is so complicated. You have no idea," Max says.

"It's okay, Max. I get it. Really, it is fine," I respond.

"It's not fine, though," Max replies. "I mean Liz, what I feel for you...when I'm with you...it is soooo...much more, and, and, and I-"

I don't wait for him to finish. And really, I can't afford to hear what else he has to say. Because I'm already in over my head and what he's said already is more than enough. So I silence him, the best way I know how.

My lips unexpectedly meet his before I even know what I am doing. At first he is stunned, but then his lips gently part and his tongue cautiously searches out mine. My tongue eagerly welcomes him. Passionately we kiss, our tongues intertwined, dancing.

I see stars. Millions of billions of stars. The entire universe is contained with in our one kiss.

Slowly, slowly, I force myself to pull away, my lips lingering on his, his bottom lip captured in between them. Finally I pull back to look him in the eye. His eyes search mine.

"Liz," Max starts. "I can't-"

I don't want to hear it. So I kiss him again. I see the cave again. He responds enthusiastically at first, but quickly remembers what he was saying and pulls away.

"Liz, I can't do this," Max tells me. "I can't-"

I nod and stand up. I still don't want to hear it. I don't know what came over me. I can't believe I kissed him. And that it felt so good. So right.

I walk away leaving Max still sitting on the ground where we were just kissing.

"Liz! Wait!" Max calls after me but I keep walking.

He gets up quickly to follow after me.

"Liz, can we talk about this?" Max asks.

I shake my head and keep walking towards the school and the open gym door. I leave Max standing, confused more than ever. Silently he pulls himself together and then follows me through the open gym door.

I come face to face with Tess and stop dead in my tracks. Her deadly stare bores holes in me. She can see right through me. Max bumps into me from behind.

"Tess," Max starts stepping around in front of me to come between us.

He reaches for her hand, and she jerks it away, but he catches her wrist in mid-air. Tess freezes. Then a devious grin comes over her face as she twists her wrist away.

"And who are you supposed to be Liz? A boyfriend stealing ho?" Tess wonders.

"Close, but I'm Xena, you know, as in warrior princess," I say trying to keep cool.

"Oh, so you are just every nerd's fucked up fantasy. I get it," Tess smiles.

"Who are you? A president's ho? Is that so much better? Being the Monica of the early sixties? Poor Jackie," I retort.

This is so sad. We are insulting each other's costumes. Pathetic.

"Bitch. You are just a secondhand whore. I mean look at the guys interested in you. Sean DeLuca. Jimmy. They go for the fuck 'em and leave 'em type. And that's what you are. Good for a fuck. That's it."

"Shut the hell up, Tess," Max orders.

"Why? Don't you think she should know the truth? I mean come on, Max. You owe her that much. I mean I can't get too upset if you stray a little every once and a while when some cunt throws herself at you, because I know that ultimately, at the end of the day, you'll be right back here at my side," Tess states smugly.

"TESS!" Max bellows.

By now there are quite a few people that have taken notice of what is going on.

"CAN IT, MAX! This needs to be said and you know it," Tess retorts and directs her attention back to me. "Liz, Liz, Liz. You didn't really think he liked you did you? I mean come on, Liz. Look at yourself. And then look at me. Why would he ever want you when he could have me? You were just a distraction. A good time. Something for Max to explore and take out his frustrations from our relationship with. But he loves me, Liz. Not you, you fucking whore! He loves ME!"

Tears sting my eyes.

"I swear, Tess, if you open your mouth one more time," Max states in a low voice trying to control his anger.

"You'll what Max? What? Leave me? No fucking way. You had to start this so now I'm gonna finish it. So shut up and take it," Tess commands and turns to me. "You, Liz, are worthless. No guy would ever want you."

Max remains frozen in place. His eyes are sad but the rest of him shows no emotion.

"Look at me when I am talking to you, bitch," Tess snaps. "He can't help you now. He doesn't have anything to say for you. So here's the deal. From now on you keep your grubby hands off him and stay the fuck away from my boyfriend."

"He-he-he-" I stutter.

"No, he didn't!" Tess exclaims.

"Fuck you, Tess," I manage to respond coldly. "If he's so happy with you, why the hell would he even want to stray to me in the first place?"

I see Tess raise a hand to slap me across the face, and I'm frozen in place. Michael catches her hand mid air.

"You do NOT want to do that," Michael informs her.

Max didn't stop her. My heart stops and I feel sick.

"Get your hands off me," Tess growls.

"Michael," Max warns.

"Max," Michael pleads.

"Tess wouldn't dare touch her, she would dare," Max turns his cold smoldering eyes on Tess.

Tess meets his deadly glare. His eyes soften and plead with her but she shows no mercy. Tess yanks her arm from Michael's grip.

"Listen bitch, here it is. If Max wanted you instead me, don't you think he'd speak up? Now would be the time. But, nooooooooo. Look at him. He cowers in the corner praying that I'll get this over quick. And that is the absolute truth of the matter. So get your ugly, skanky ass out of my sight. You disgust me!" Tess finishes.

For a brief instant my feet are stuck to the wooden gymnasium floor. And then the impact of it all hits me and I run. I turn and run. Pushing through the crowd to the open side door I just came through with Max. And I run.

"Don't you dare go after her, Max," I hear Tess say.

"Tess, what the hell is wrong with you? Don't you have a fucking heart?" I hear a female voice clearly scold.

"You bitch," I hear Maria's voice jump in. "You fucking bitch, I'm gonna…"

But I don't hear the end of that. Because I'm out the door and running. Running. I run past the track and stadium. I run through the parking lot. I run into the streets. And that's when I break down and just let it all flow out.

I stumble along sniffling.

After a while, I hear a car engine and a black Cougar pulls up beside.

"Liz," Jimmy calls. "Come on. Get in and I'll give you a ride."

"No, no, that's okay. I'd rather walk," I tell him.

"Liz, Max is a bastard. I can't believe he let her say that stuff to you. Hell, she's such a bitch. And fuck, I mean it's not even your fault if he lust after you so she shouldn't even be mad at you she should be mad at him. Come on, Liz, get in," Jimmy pleads.

"Thank you, but seriously, I feel like walking," I insist.

"Don't be silly," Jimmy scoffs. "Get in. It's not safe for a pretty girl like you to be out walking at night."

"Liz!" I hear a voice all out of the darkness behind me.

I whirl around to see Michael jogging towards me.

"It's alright Jimmy, you can go. I'll make sure she gets home okay. I need to talk with her a bit," Michael tells Jimmy.

Jimmy frowns but nods his head.

"Call me if you need anything," Jimmy say to me before he drives away.

Michael puts his arm around me and I lean into him. We walk in silence for almost a block.

"Why didn't her stop her, Michael? Why did he just stand there? Why did he let her say those things?" I question my eyes clouded with tears.

"I don't know. I'm not sure he does. But I almost think that he just let her go on like that because he wanted to hate her. It's almost easier for him if he hates her," Michael states. "And she can be pretty intimidating when she wants to be, when she tries to put him in his place. He's not afraid of her so much as he is afraid going against the system, the way things have always been, the way he thinks they are supposed to be."

"That's bullshit, Michael. He should have stood up for me," I assert.

"Yeah," Michael agrees. "He should have."

"Why is life so hard?" I cry. "Why is it all so confusing? Why is all this happening to me? What did I do to deserve any of this?"

"You didn't do anything, Liz. Sometimes life is just hard. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes things just aren't as we think they should be or want them to be. But you have to keep going, Liz. You have to stay strong and overcome," Michael tells me. "It won't always be this bad, this hard. But it's almost always a struggle of some sort. Yet, I think it is our struggles that define us, who we are. And I don't think life ever throws at us more than we can handle even though it can be really overwhelming sometimes. And there are moments Liz, when you know everything you have been though and everything you have worked for, when you just know it has all been worth it, when it has all been for a reason. Like life has been leading you up to this one point, preparing you for it. And you just know exactly what you are there for and what you are supposed to be doing. Everything just makes sense. But it never lasts for very much more than a moment, because life is always on the move, always changing, and you have no choice but to just go with it."

We walk along silently and I think. I think about everything that has happened to me, tonight, today, this week, this month, this year, this lifetime. I stop suddenly to gaze up at the heavens above.

"Do you think there is other life out there somewhere, Michael? Like on other planets? Or do you think we here on Earth are it?" I question, looking up into the night sky, at all the stars above me.

"No, I don't think that Earth is alone. I'm sure that there is other life out there, as sure as I am standing here next to you breathing," Michael states.

"Really? Huh. I never thought you were the type of guy that would feel so strongly about something like that. But yeah, I think so too. I mean how can there not be life elsewhere somewhere out there. The universe is an infinite amount of space and time. How could we here be all there is? I'd be so disappointed. It would almost seem like such a waste of so much space," I respond.

"Liz you are a really cool person," Michael compliments me out of nowhere.

"Thanks," I reply. "I wish more people felt that way."

"Lots of people do," Michael answers.

We walk closer to my house and I see Alex's van parked out front. Maria throws open the van door and hops out. Alex and Julia follow behind.

"Oh my gosh, Liz, that bitch! I can't believe I was in the bathroom when she attacked you and missed the beginning! I would have been on her sooo fast! I only heard the end. What else did she say to you?" Maria interrogates.

Michael grabs a hold her shoulders to still her. He brushes the hair off of her cheek. There is a big purple bruise.

"What the hell happened here?" Michael roars.

"Well you ran after Liz when she ran off, and then I kinda decided to give Tess a piece of my mind and then she really didn't agree so much with what I had to say. So then Tess slapped me across the face and I really couldn't let her get away with that so I hit her back and then she punched me so I pulled her hair and well-" Maria tells us.

"She and Tess got kicked out of the dance for fighting," Alex states "They were rolling around on the floor kicking and biting and pulling each other's hair. It would have been quite entertaining if it didn't look so painful."

"Where the fuck was Max when this was all happening?" Michael demands.

"Well I guess he just kinda disappeared after Tess told him not to run after Liz," Maria responds thoughtfully. "Oh Liz, you won't believe who was on your side bitching Tess out right along side me! Isabel Evans! It was so great. She was like shut up you are so mean only it sounded way better."

"So Isabel was in the fight too?" Michael groans.

"No, Kyle held her back," Maria informs him. "He tried to break up me and Tess too but he couldn't hold Isabel back at the same time."

"Why didn't you stop them?" Michael glares at Alex.

"Hey, I only got there to see the end or I would have! By that time the teachers were finally starting to get involved so I didn't have to," Alex replies defensively.

"Chill out, Michael," Maria says. "It's not a big deal. That bitch had it coming."

"It is a huge deal, Maria. You could have seriously gotten hurt. Tess is a dangerous person to piss off. This is so bad. Really bad. All this fighting and disagreement between everyone. Fuck. This is so bad," Michael shakes his head.

Maria puts a comforting hand on his chest. He reaches out and touches he bruised face lightly. She winces.

"So no one knows what happened to Max?" Michael wonders.

"No, no one has seen him. Kyle and Isabel went looking for him. Tess went home to sulk and lick her wounds. She has a pretty gross bruise on her right temple a few scrape marks on her left cheek. She shouted something at Isabel about her sending Max over to fix her face and then Isabel told her she'll just have to deal. Something about everyone noticing and that Tess should have to look at the bruises for a while to remind her not to be so cruel," Alex reports.

"Damn," Maria curses. "We got kicked out before they announced the winners of the costume contest and you have to be present to win. I really tried this year too!"

"Hey, yeah, gosh darn it! I wanted to win so bad too, so I could get that lifetime supply of number two pencils," I respond.

Maria laughs. I laugh. Michael laughs. Alex laughs. Julia nervously joins in confused.

"We're laughing to keep from crying because this night was so awful, right?" I check.

"Yes," Michael nods.

After a while we laugh it all out and Michael goes off in search of Max. Alex takes Julia home. Maria and I compose ourselves and head inside to get some sleep and hopefully wake up to a better day because frankly, today sucked, or the end of it did at least.

We climb the stair up to my room. I click the light switch but the over head light doesn't come on. I stumble across the room reaching around in the darkness for the cord to turn on the overhead light on my ceiling fan.

Suddenly I bump into something hard and tall. The overhead light comes on and Max is standing before me. He releases the dangling cord.

"You bastard!" I shove him away. "Get out. Now."

"I'm gonna go get a snack," Maria says. "And so ice for my face. I'll be downstairs."

"No don't leave. He's leaving. Max, get out!" I demand.

"Maria, let me look at your face real quick before you go," Max states.

She walks over to him and he touches her face lightly. He covers her bruise with his hand. He kind of massages it sort of.

"That tickles," Maria laughs.

"It'll make it feel better, I promise," Max assures her.

Max pulls his hand away.

"That better?" He asks.

"Yes. Much. Thanks," Maria responds, looking in the mirror to see that her face is significantly faded.

"Don't bother calling Michael," Max tells her. "I'm not going to be here too long."

She nods and exits the room.

"How'd you do that?" I wonder.

"Old family trick to calm the bruising," Max responds. "Works wonders."

"What are you doing here?" I ask.

"I came to see you," He states.

"Why?" I question.

"Because I wanted to apologize. I'm sorry, Liz," Max tells me.

"Save it," I turn my back on him.

*********************

I'm still looking for more takers on my other fic, What Dreams May Come. Come on people, work with me here, read a little of it. My shameless plugging is starting to get gruesomely pathetic. I plan to update it soon, I promise so go read it and get caught up on what's there so you can be ready for that brand spanking new chapter that I'm gonna put out. OOOOOOOoooooooo. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Neato. See, check it out.

Also, if you linked directly to the text of my story on my website or bookmarked it, the address changed so you might want to update. I might try to pull one over on you Normal only readers and put What Dreams May Come at that address. Well, maybe I'll get lucky and pull that one over on one(a) single reader, but still, that's one more reader than I got now and if they are like Nina or Amber, well hell, I'm set.

Now I know it might not be as funny as Normal, but I still maintain that Dreams is one damn good fan fic. Damn good. And I'll be damned if it doesn't deserve just as much attention as Normal. It needs love too. So it can grow and flourish and be one hell of a really fantastic fan fic.

And on that note, I'd like to point out if you didn't see above notice that I would indeed be posting today, I didn't sleep at all last night, my head did not touch a pillow. I was simply overcome with the drive to write, so I did. Unfortunately Nina, I got carried away with Normal and didn't touch Dreams, but I'm looking in to it I swear. It'll be up on the website ASAP and when you see it up there then you know a new part is coming soon.

Oh, I'd also like to acknowledge the fact that I seemingly have gotten somewhat more abstract, explaining less and less, and expecting you to pull more out than what I put directly in front of you. And some of the behavior of some of my characters you might not find understandable. And then I feel like I should explain so people get it and don't think I'm so weird, but I've decided that they are my characters so I can make them do whatever I choose and that's that.

Although approval is nice. And feedback is awesome. It's very important that you let me know how you feel about the characters because I AM TRYING TO PLAY WITH YOUR EMOTIONS on some level, making you like or dislike certain people at certain times. So that you experience the entire "What's So Great About Normal? effect," it is vital that you feedback to me, now more than ever. And although I might not be able to do a whole lot for you in some cases, it's nice to know whether you get it or not.

Oh and I know there is a lot of frustration out there on the Tess/Max issue, but we are getting close kids, real close. It's coming up soon. It's not the next part, nor do I think the actual break up will fall into the part after that. But we're close. So hang in there.

posted on 15-Aug-2002 11:49:16 AM by Allie1031
Oh and also, the words to "The Way You Look Tonight," I didn't write them. I don't know who did, but it wasn't me.
posted on 15-Aug-2002 3:42:44 PM by Allie1031
quote:
SciFiNut111 originally wrote:
Great part although Michael's speech was so.... UnMichael.


Yes. Michael was an ass on the show sometimes. But since Max is being an ass in my fic, I decided to make Michael an okay guy to balance things out. I thought it would be cool if he identify's with Liz because she has a pretty messed up past too. I also made Michael more shall we say scholarly, not so much in school but in going after his interests and thinking. I always thought he could be the type that might take the extra time to think and reflect on life if he wanted to because his was so shitty for quite a while.
posted on 15-Aug-2002 3:55:20 PM by Allie1031
Hey Amber I just want to say you are the queen of feedback. You rock my world. seriously. Like I want to put out the next part so you can read it and tell me what you think.
posted on 16-Aug-2002 12:02:05 AM by Allie1031
Hey in case you haven't caught it yet, the website address for my fanfics is:

www.geocities.com/allie1031/fiction
posted on 18-Aug-2002 6:50:45 PM by Allie1031
quote:
begonia9508 originally wrote:

PS Did you notice that part 12 or 13 is missing in your
site - the part who Liz heard the group talking about
her being an "Issue" ?


Thanks for pointing that out. I'll try to get on that soonish.
posted on 19-Aug-2002 2:49:54 AM by Allie1031
Wow, Melissa, rock on! You totally get where I'm going. Makes me feel happy. Thanks for the feedback. Rest assured, Liz will get her day.
posted on 21-Aug-2002 4:59:16 AM by Allie1031
quote:
SciFiNut111 originally wrote:

But, come on, a Stonewall making a speech like that????


I like to think that Michael on the show never really had anyone with a sucky past like him that he could identify with like that, but in this universe he sees a lot more of his experience being unloved in Liz so he kind of opens up to her in a unique relationship. I know it's a strectch for ya, but stay with me. Michael and Liz's relationship is probably my favorite right now. I'll try to explain it better in later parts I hope.

quote:
SciFiNut111 originally wrote:

I would say that Max is one passive scene away from being un-redeemable in my book. All of Liz's present problems can be traced back to him. He keeps sending her mixed signals, has Tess hating her, and then stands and watches as Liz is humiliated in front of the student body.


This is true. Max sucks. All of you, every single one of you is probably going to be disgusted by and hate me for the next part. I guess I like to explore the weakness of the characters as well as strengths. No, they don't make out, but it's almost as pathetic. I know Max is doing really, really bad in the popularity polls. He's struggling right now like he's never struggled before and fighting to define his character and right now he's not doing so hot. I like to think that sometimes that happens to the best of us, that we struggle and fall really hard and really far down sometimes before we realize how to get back up and what exactly we are doing wrong. This is is one of my favs, it's called Autobiography in Five Short Chapters from There's a Hole in My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson.

I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

V
I walk down another street.

Now, Liz has developed somewhat of a weakness for Max as he has to her. But I guarentee that in the next part she's gonna stregthen her mindset back to where it should be and stick to it, weakness or no weakness, a girl just can't allow herself to be played like that.

SciFiNut111 I very much enjoy your feedback. I hope you contibue to read and let me know what you think.
posted on 30-Aug-2002 3:16:28 PM by Allie1031
quote:
luvjb originally wrote:
So Allie...is this new love taking up all your posting time *wink*


Don't I fucking wish. He has issues. I have issues. But that's life. I would say that I've been preoccupied since I moved to a new college and shit. Before I was only doing college part time while I finished high school. I didn't want to graduate early because I wanted to continue my athletic career and hang out with my friends still. Now that I'm doing the whole full time college student thing I have more to do. But I'll try to keep writing. I want to write a new part for dreams this weekend. I already have a rough draft of the next part for this done but it still needs a little work.
posted on 4-Sep-2002 4:02:11 PM by Allie1031
Guys, I feel bad that there isn't an update yet, especially since Nina is desperately hanging on with her last breath, or so she claims so I'm going to try to throw out the update of this since I already have it pretty much done within the next week and then I'll look at dreams again. I really need to sit down and reread the fic to see exactl where I left off and capture all the things that were running through my head again. I kind of need to make notes for both my fic so I don't lose my ideas when I get swept off by the real world.
posted on 7-Sep-2002 8:01:37 PM by Allie1031
-Previously-

"What are you doing here?" I ask.

"I came to see you," He states.

"Why?" I question.

"Because I wanted to apologize. I'm sorry, Liz," Max tells me.

"Save it," I turn my back on him.

*************

Part Nineteen

It’s been a rough night. I've already cried twice. Twice. In my whole life before I moved to Roswell I maybe cried that many times total. What is it about this place? Maybe it's the dry air that makes my eyes water.

Shit, I am so pathetic. Poor little Liz Parker. Boohooohooo. I run away crying. I run away. I, Liz Parker, run away. I run from my problems. When the going gets tough, I run.

But no matter how fast or how far I run, some how it always catches up with me. The world catches up from me. Life catches up with me.

And shit, Tess? I can't believe I let her talk to me like that. Who does she think she is?

The things she said though, the things she said. It's like she knew my every insecurity, my weakest spots, and pounded on them as hard as she could. I can't handle that kind of confrontation.

I can't stand to look at myself in the mirror. I can't stand to see myself. I can't stand to face my fears, my insecurities, my flaws.

So I run. I run from myself.

And from others. I don't let them get close. I don't let them see me. I'm terrified that they won't like what they see, that they'll just see ugly me. I pull away from people, from my friends, from my family.

Since I've been here I've hardly spent any time with Dad or Nancy at all. And they have been so kind and understanding. I haven't even thanked them. I'm always going somewhere or doing something. I haven't even just sat down with either of them and simply relaxed and talked. I've never asked how their day was. I've taken them so for granted.

Then there's Maria. We just giggle and laugh. I've never had a very serious conversation with her about anything. We always talk about stupid stuff that doesn't really matter like boys or clothes or gossip. I've never asked Maria what she wants to be when she grows up. Or about her family. I've hardly taken any interest in who she really is.

Michael, too. I've hardly bothered to show any interest in him and he;s done so much for me and really looked out for me.

Even Kyle has stuck his neck out for me and I barely show any appreciation at all.

Alex is so sweet and cheerful and amazingly easy going. He always brightens my day.

Sean too, has been outgoing and friendly towards me.

I shut them out. I shut them all out

And Max. I don’t even know about Max. He's…Max. I can't let him in. Besides, I couldn't even if I wanted to. He has a girlfriend. He's off limits.

I spot my quilt folded up over and sitting on my dresser. Dad must have brought it up from the basement for me. I haven't seen it in years. My Grandma Claudia made it for me right before she died.

It's hard. Opening up to people. Hard and Painful. Because when you open door to let the good in, the bad always seems to find a way to sneak in as well. Grandma Claudia always used to say that.

"When you open up to people you let the bad in with the good," She'd tell me.

But I was always too young to have any idea what in the world she was saying until now.

"But it's worth it, Lizzie," Grandma Claudia would say. "It's worth it. It's all too rotten to live your life alone, lonely. People are meant to love and be loved in return. And you have way too many wonderful gifts that need to be shared with the world. Don't let them go to waste."

I would look at my Grandma Claudia like she was crazy. Old. Delusional. But Grandma Claudia knew. She knew exactly what she was talking about.

I turn back around to face Max.

He's sitting on my bed, slouched over his head almost between his knees. I don't have to beat him up; it's obvious that he's beating himself up inside.

My heart sinks, and my anger fades.

This thing, whatever it is between us, it's shaking his whole messed up world upside down as well. It isn't easy for either of us. Neither of us planned this, whatever it is that I am feeling inside.

The electricity. The chemistry. I can't help the intense attraction and neither can he.

I don't want to steal anyone's boyfriend. I didn't come to Roswell to do that. Max doesn't want to cheat on his girlfriend. He didn't sign up for that. But here we are. Two people that just can't seem to stay away from each other despite their better judgment. Two people who don't know exactly where they are supposed to go from here. Two people who are incredibly confused. Two people who want something that they aren't supposed to, that they can't have.

Why can't he leave Tess? If he has feelings for me why the hell doesn't he just dump her?
I think he's scared. Because that's the way it's always been. Tess. She's safe. She's comfortable. She's what he knows. All he knows. And she's the way it's supposed to be. Or at least the way he has always thought it was supposed to be.

And then I came along. And he wasn't expecting me. And he wasn't looking for me. But I came along all the same. And I make him doubt the world he knows and what it's supposed to be. I change the way things have always been and that scares him. I can't blame him for being scared because it scares me.

It scares me to wonder if there is more to it than just the attraction. It scares to wonder what would happen if he did leave Tess and come after me. It scares the shit out of me. As much as I long for that, ache for it, for Max to leave Tess, fear, fear of the unknown, of what would come, paralyzes me.

I tell myself that it's just attraction. That we are just two horny teenagers. That he's gonna wake up some morning and have had enough of me and once again be content with Tess. That I'm gonna wake up some morning and have forgotten all about him and have moved on to some other guy.

He loves Tess. He does. Tell me how much you love Tess, Max. Tell me.

But Max just sits there. His elbows on his knees, his palms to his temples, his fingers ruffling his hair. He lost his wig somewhere along the way over here.
For some reason an image in my mind of him running, ripping it off, and chucking it sticks out in my mind.

He doesn't have to say anything to me. He doesn't have to apologize. Because I know. Looking at him now I can see his misery. How it eats him up inside. How it scares him, too.

No, I can't blame him for being scared. I'm scared. I can't blame him for being confused. I'm confused.

People aren't perfect. We make mistakes. We're scared and confused. We do stupid things we don't necessarily mean to do and don't always do the things we should. We aren't always as strong as we pretend to be. This I know. Above all, this I know.

I step over in front of Max who is still sitting silently on the bed. I can't see his face. But I can read his body language. I graze my hand through his hair gently.

He lifts his head and glistening eyes plead with mine.

"I can't stand hurting you, Liz," Max's voice cracks. "I hate it. I hate that I hurt you. I hate myself for hurting you, for being so stupid. I never meant to hurt you, Liz. I don't want to hurt to again."

"Shhhhhh. It's okay, Max. I know," I whisper.

How do I know? How do I know that he's not playing me? That he's being genuine? That he's scared? That he's confused? How do I know?

His hands reach out to take hold onto either side of my waist. He pulls me to him and his head comes to rest on my belly. I stroke my nails through his hair.

How can I trust him?

How can I not?

Grandma Claudia. Here I am in my room with at boy that I am definitely attracted to at 12:37 in the morning from what my bedside clock says and I keep thinking of good old Grandma Claudia and her advice to me years ago.

She always told me that people contain both good and bad. But you can't go through life expecting and suspecting the bad. You have to have faith. Faith that the good will overcome the bad. Or else you will never take big chances, and if you never take big chances, you can never really win big either.

Grandma Claudia liked to gamble. Not just at casinos or in bingo halls or with lottery tickets. Those were all just trivial games she played for fun she said. Grandma Claudia liked to gamble with people.

She always believed in my mother, that there was good in her, even as she watched her destroy her only son.

She always believed in me.

Don't ask my why the things she said to me years ago before she got so sick are suddenly sticking out in my mind now, why I suddenly understand what she tried to say, why it just now sunk in, where it even came from.

If there was anyone I have ever known that I wish I could be more like it is my Grandma Claudia. She always forgave everything. She always understood. And at the same time she wasn't afraid to show her feelings or say what she thought.

I can't let Max walk on me, but I can't rip him to pieces either. I couldn't even if I wanted to.

Gazing at him now, here, before me, broken, battered, broken and battered myself, I know just how big of a soft spot I have for him and how far I have fallen.

Max looks up at me, his eyes catching mine. They are sad, his eyes are. Sadness spiked lightly with pain in an intricate blend.

I trace my index finger across his hairline and down the side of cheek until my hand comes to rest cupping his chin.

His eyes, they take me in. And a long look of longing comes across his face. And then something else. What I saw in the mirror in the bathroom tonight. It's there, all spelled out across his face.

"Liz, I'm so sorry-" Max starts hoarsely.

"Shhhhh. Don’t say anything. You don't have to and you can't afford to anyways. Just feel," I tell him.

I place my hands on his shoulders and take a deep breath, closing my eyes. Feeling. Just feeling all that I feel for Max. It's overwhelming. I don't even know where all that came from, where it's coming from. I just feel. So. Much.

I feel Max's wet lips graze across my exposed mid-drift. And it ignites something inside of me. Something stronger than me and stronger than Max and stronger even than Tess, stronger than all of us combined. And it threatens to overcome us all.

I see blue fire, and purple oceans, and red trees, and bright shining stars streaking across the sky.

I step back. I step away.

His eyes, they hunger for me. He hungers for me. And I hunger for him.

"Max, we can't do this anymore. You can't look at me the way that you do," I inform him.

"How am I supposed to look at you, Liz?" Max wonders.

"I don't know but you can't look at me like that. And you can't touch me like you have, like, like, like you just did," I assert my voice faltering. "You just can't."

"You touched me first, Liz," Max reminds me.

"I know and I shouldn't have. We can't touch like that anymore. We can't do this anymore. Because we are just supposed to be friends, Max. We can't tempt ourselves like this-why are you looking at me like that?" I ask quizzically in response to Max's goofily amused grin.

"Because you are so cute, and so caring, and so-" Max tries to explain but I cut in.

"DON'T finish that sentence," I order. "You can't talk like that either. It's too hard. If it's supposed to be just friends it has to stay…JUST…FRIENDS."

"I knew you liked me too, Liz. I knew it. I just knew. I could just tell. Even when you said you didn't and kept pushing me away I knew you felt it too, the same things I did; that you liked me just as much as I like you," Max laughs flopping back onto the bed.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I 'like' you. You 'like' me. We're a bit past that, Max. We're at the part where we both agree that even though we feel what we feel, we can't explore what we feel because we're JUST FRIENDS. And friends don't look at each other or touch each other or say to each other things that we have. Those things have to stop. Because we are just friends. That's what you want, right?" I question.

"I don't know what I want anymore," Max sighs, not looking at me. "I can't leave Tess. I just can't. I'm not ready. Not yet."

"I know. And it's okay. But you have to understand that I can't accept this, the things that I have been," I tell him. "Because I want more than you can give me. And I deserve more. I won't be anyone's side dish, Max, least of all yours, no matter how I feel about you. I have too much respect for myself."

As I say it I realize that I do want more. And that I really do deserve more. And that my standards are higher than this. And that I won't allow any slips again because I still cling to a semblance of self-respect.

"You are right, Liz. You are completely right," Max nods glancing over at me. "Almost too right. Shit, Liz. You have to know I have so much respect for you. I didn't mean to, I don't mean to-"

"I know, Max. It's okay. We just can't put ourselves in these kinds of positions anymore, where we just want to give in. It's too hard. We are human after all," I sigh airily.

"Yeah. Human," Max muses to the ceiling.

"And I have too much respect for you, Max," I look him directly in the eye so he knows I'm not messing around. "I can't let you do this any more. This isn't what you really want. You aren't the type of guy who cheats on his girlfriend. It's not really part of your character. You have this whole noble, good guy thing going for you. I'm not sure how you got mixed up in this."

"It was you," Max states simply, sitting up.

"What?" I scowl.

"It was you," Max repeats. "You. You're so…different from anyone I've ever met in my entire…existence. It was you. Only you."

"Wonderful," I roll my eyes. "This is exactly what we have to work on. Responses like that which tend to hint that you have more than friends feelings for me."

"I do have more than friends feelings for you," Max reminds me.

"Well you also have a girlfriend. And I think we just concluded that you can't have both," I cross my arms.

"YOU just concluded that I can't have both. But I do. I have both. I have a girlfriend. I have more than friends feelings for you," Max smirks.

"Quit being so difficult. I just forgave you a whole stinking shit load so try to work with me here and cut me some slack," I plead. "Suppress your feelings. Stop wanting things you can't have."

"Oh and that works so well for you," Max quips.

"What's that supposed to mean?" I frown.

"Nothing. Look, I don't want to fight. I just think that you are underestimating the strength of my feelings/overestimating my ability to deal with them," Max says genuinely. "I like you a whole stinking shit load, Liz, and if I'm not mistaken that how much you like me."

"Ffffrrrriiiieeeeennnnddddssss, Max. F-R-I-E-N-D-S. That's all. Don't make me explain it again; I might not be so polite about it," I threaten.

"Iiiiiiii wwwwwaaaaaannnntttttt yyyooooouuuuu, Liz. I W-A-N-T Y-O-U. That's all. Don't make me explain it again; I might not be so polite about it," Max responds.

"Are you purposely trying my patience?" I throw my arms up.

"Listen, Liz," Max replies. "I'll do what you say, okay, suppress what I feel or whatever. But I want you to know that just because I am hiding what I'm feeling doesn't mean that those feelings disappear."

"Can I ask you a question?" I wonder.

"Shoot," Max folds his arms back behind his head.

"When you kiss me, do you think of Tess?" I wince.

"Heck no," Max snorts.

"Well then, when you kiss Tess, do you think of me?" I interrogate.

"Honestly," Max replies. "Sometimes."

"Ewwwwww," I gag. "That's messed up."

Max narrows his eyes and throws a pillow from my bed at me.

"Hey, I can't help wishing she was you sometimes," Max says defensively.

"Then how come you are still with her and not with me?" I ask before I can stop myself.

It just pops out. Just like that. And hangs their in the air. That one question I'm not supposed to ask.

"I don't know," Max tells me solemnly. "Sometimes I really don't know."

Suddenly his cell phone rings.

"You have a cell phone?" I question frowning.

"Yeah, I just got it. It's so handy! Me and Michael got this great deal sharing minutes-Hello?" Max answers.

Silence.

It acutely occurs to me that his owning a cellular device might partially have something to do with the fact that he and Michael have taken the liberty of so graciously offering surveillance of my every outing.

"It's Michael," Max mouths.

"You had your phone on this whole time and Michael just now called you?" I roll my eyes.

"He called before you came upstairs but I didn't feel like answering," Max informs me covering the mouthpeice.

"Where are you?" Max asks standing up, a worried look coming across his face.

"What? What happened?" I want to know.

"Keep running, don't stop," Max instructs. "Head for your house. I'll try to intercept you. I'm at Liz's right now so you are coming my way- yeah, I know…big surprise. Listen, DON'T do anything stupid unless you absolutely, positively have to. We can't risk it. Not now."

Pause.

"Yeah, yeah, of course I want you to save your own ass. I'm just saying-" Max replies. "Okay, okay, you're right. Go. I'll be right there."

Max hangs up.

"What happened? Where are you going?" I demand.

"Michael, he was out wandering around looking for me. Now he's got someone chasing him. They are on foot moving east down Maple Street and he just ran across the intersection at Eighteenth Street. He can't shake them," Max finally responds as he quickly climbs out my window and into the nearby tree.

"So THAT'S how you got in. For a second I thought you had these superpowers where you could walk through walls or something," I shake my head as I climb out after him.

"Yeah. Uh huh. I have been meaning to talk to you about closing your window when you leave because it's all too easy to-LIZ! What are you doing?! Get back up there!" Max says when he reaches the ground to see I'm right behind him.

"I'm coming with you," I tell him. "Trust me, you can use my help."

"Liz, I don't have time to argue with you. I have to be four blocks over before Michael run fourteen. It doesn't sound hard but I've already wasted so much time. Now get your ass back into your room and lock the damn window," Max orders.

"Don't tell me what to do," I shoot back over my shoulder as I take off towards Maple Street.

"Liz, I am very angry with you right now," Max states as he catches up to me.

"Yeah, yeah. Believe me, you'll thank me later," I shrug.

"I'm sure. Right after you thank me for saving your ass," Max grumbles.

"But before I say I told you so," I insert.

"What about Maria? What's she gonna think?" Max wonders.

"That we ran off together? Something dramatic. We finally admitted our mutual attraction and ran off somewhere together," I decide.

"I have news for you. We just did admit our mutual attraction, I think, and now we are running off… to somewhere… the two of us," Max reminds.

"True. I guess when I pictured us running off together it was so much more romantic than this. And it didn't involve us having to save Micheal's ass," I remark.

"Wait, you've pictured us running off together?" Max wonders.

"Shhhhh. We're getting close to Maple Street and it would be nice to have the element of surprise going for us," I say in a hushed voice.

"You've pictured us running off together?" Max whispers. "I mean I have too, but you-"

"Max," I hiss. "We'll talk about it later."

"Okay," He mouths.

"I don't see him. You said he was moving east, right?" I check.

"Yeah," Max confirms. "And his pursuer was about a block or so back. Michael got the jump on him and was able to get a good head start, but his attacker is keeping up."

"Hmmmm. Well I just don't see them," I respond crouching in the bushes.

"Just wait," Max tells me.

I close my eyes and listen. Then I hear them. Feet pounding. Quiet at first but getting louder. Coming closer. They are running on the sidewalk. Really fast, too. I get ready.

"Here they come. Plan of attack?" I wonder.

"We'll make it up as we go. It's a little late now," Max points out.

Michael hurdles over our bush, scaring the crap out of me and Max, as he cuts out into the open. His follower has closed in on him and isn't far behind, but I don't miss a beat. I kick my foot out to trip him. He rolls across the ground. Max takes off after him.

Unfortunately, and to my great displeasure, a second pursuer appears and is on me in a flash. I kick him off. But not before he gets in a good first blow.

"Awww, hell," I curse as three more brush past me out of the shadows still in pursuit.

I can't believe I didn't hear that they weren't so much moving fast as that there was more than just one guy following Michael. The close proximity to Max must be disturbing to my concentration. Get with it Parker!

I'm on my feet and ready to rock and roll just as number one is back at the attack. Punch. Drop kick. Block. Until I remember the sword at my side and bring that sucker into play. One hard jab and the assailant falls to the ground, bleeding.

"Fuck," I whack the sword into a nearby tree as hard as I can to cut a nice wedge.

"Liz you okay?" Max grunts out of the darkness from somewhere.

"Yeah. This damn sword of Jimmy's it isn't tin, it's fucking steel or some shit. It's the real deal," I say.

I head towards Max's voice. I find spot him wrestling on the ground with one of Michael pursuers. He's kinda getting his ass kicked.

"Need some help?" I ask looking on.

"Naw, I can handle it," Max manages to grunt.

"Don't be a moron," I roll my eyes and head over. "You don't have to do the whole macho thing for me. I already like you, remember, and I could kick your ass if I wanted to-"

"Okay, come help," Max struggles against the aggressor who is trying to strangle him.

"I think I just severely injured a guy," I report to Max as I throw the attacker off Max and give a quick boot to the head to knock him out cold. "But the good news on that is that I'm pretty sure he wasn't human cause he's bleeding green glowing goo into the gutter over there."

I slice my sword lightly across the forehead of the passed out foe before me.

"And this guy belongs to the same gene pool," I remark as the same green blood beads over my incision

I wipe the sweat from my brow.

Max has a disturbed look on his face as he peers down at the body.

"We'll figure this out later. First we better help Michael," My eyes search the darkness.

All the street lights are out on Maple Street. That's why it's so dark. I didn't even notice that earlier. Crazy. At least the full moon is out to give us some light.

Suddenly vice-like hands clamp over my temples and blindness overcomes me. It's like hundreds of nails are being driven into my brain. A screeching noise resonates in my ears. And then I am vaguely aware that I myself am making that horrible noise. But I myself am completely paralyzed.

I don't know what happens next but somehow Max manages to knock him off me. It takes me quite a while to recover once I fall free to the ground. I stumble compose myself, my mind ringing. I try desperately to shake off my dazed state of mind.

I slowly come to and become aware of Max heatedly fighting off my attacker. As if in slow motion, I join the fight, my limbs still like Jello. But the motions are automatic, inborn to me. I don't even think. I don't have to think. I just fight.

Together Max and I fight off the assailant. Max slams him hard into a tree, his head knocking back into it and unhealthy thud, and I jab him lightly with my sword. The enemy slumps to the ground.

"Thanks," Max says.

"No, thank you for saving my ass," I reply.

Our earlier words play back in my head.

"Hey, see, I told you so," I remind him.

"No I told you so," Max half smirks.

"Eh, whatever," I shrug and then I look back at the incapacitated figure before me. "Wow. I can't believe this. What the hell was that guy doing to me? It felt like he was eating away at my brain with his fingertips."

I shudder as I survey the scene.

"We have to find Michael," Max worriedly pulls me along.

"Yes," I agree, snapping back into combat mode.

"Just for the record, I could have taken those guys, but I was worried about you," Max informs me as he falls into step next to me. "And no joke, I can kick your ass if I want to, Liz."

I snort. I stumble over a body of one of the attackers, half his face burnt off. The skin is peeling a bubbling green.

"Oh gross," I cringe. "Michael sure let this one have it."

"Yeah," Max agrees dryly.

"Michael?" I call out.

"Michael?" Max sounds alarmed.

We push across someone's backyard and through some trampled shrubbery. I spot a torn piece of Michael's pants stuck on a six foot fence and scale over it effortlessly. Max, follows just as easily but nowhere near as gracefully.

The atmosphere is eerie. I squint into the darkness. Michael's passed out across the yard. The attacker is kneeling over Michael, his hands on Michael's head, his mouth contorted and spouting a strange language.

Max rushes over and without hesitancy spins the head of the stranger sideways at a sharp unnatural angle as hard as he can. I hear the crack, and watch as the man slumps over, his neck broken.

I look at Max in shock. It was a completely unexpected act of violence. And so damn well executed.

Max puts his hand on Michael's forehead. Michael begins to regain consciousness. Michael tries to sit up but has to lie back down. I hear him groan. He and Max talk in low tones. Finally Max is able to help Michael up. Max turns to me.

"Liz, let me see your sword," Max calls.

I throw it as hard as I can into the tree inches from Max's head.

"You just fucking really killed a guy, Max," I state. "Who the hell are you?"

"He wasn't human, Liz. And he was hurting Michael," Max says somewhat apprehensive at my recent dart toss with the sword.

Michael manages to pry my sword from the tree. He stabs the guy lying on the lawn in the chest quite forcefully. There is a noise, like a balloon when you slide a pin in at the right angle so that it deflates slowly, and the body slowly shrivels and green goop goes all over. Michael reaches into the chest of the slain enemy and pulls a glowing stone out from inside its body.

"Well, that was gross," Michael wrinkles his nose.

"No kidding," I glare at him. "What's that?"

I'm mesmerized by the glowing, pulsing stone.

"Energy. This is its energy source. You have to take it out so it won't come back alive. It's not really a person, Liz, so try not to think of it like that. It's more like a robot, except it's biologically engineered and made of living tissue instead of metal and microchips," Michael tells me.

I stare at him blankly.

"We're going to have to take her to see Tess, aren't we?" Michael frowns at Max.

"Yeah," Max nods frowning. "That's gonna suck"

"No kidding," Michael scowls further. "She's really going to chew us out. I can just hear her bitching an moaning right now."

"No, I don't think so," Max shakes his head. "I think she's going to be happy to oblige because it will give her the chance to change a few other things around as well."

"Good point," Michael agrees. "But maybe that would be for the best, Maxwell."

I have no idea what they are talking about or what any of this has to do with Tess.

"So the other ones are gonna come back to life?" I question interrupting them.

"There is a good chance they won't be laying there when we go back," Max informs me, trying not to catch my eye.

"Wow. Okay. I heard about things like this. At the academy. Living robots. And artificial intelligence. But I thought those were all top secret government projects, locked down in hidden laboratories, not wandering the streets of Roswell in the early morning hours," I kick my foot at the carcass.

The whole sopping mess has begun to crackle and pop and sizzle. It slowly decomposes, the entire mess evaporating away as I watch intrigued.

"That, right there, boys, is a fucking work of art. An ingeniously, engineered fighting machine. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. All the evidence just disappears," I shake my head astonished. "So now what I have to be wondering right now is why this amazing innovation was chasing after Michael of all people."

"I don't know why it was after me," Michael answers. "It just came out of nowhere all of the sudden."

"I think," I start. "That I know what is going on here. We all know that for a long time I've been ignoring the facts. Well I just can't look the other way any longer. It's time to face the truth."

To be continued....

*********

This part goes out to everyone who nominated and voted for me!!! I can't believe I'm a finalist. You guys rock my world. So I decided to post everything I have in reserve. The next part you see from me will be on WDMC. I don't have another part for this done yet but I will try as hard as I can to hurry along with it. Thanks SO MUCH you guys!!! And thanks for all the bumps!
posted on 9-Sep-2002 8:41:22 PM by Allie1031
Thanks for all the great feedback guys!!!!!
posted on 11-Sep-2002 12:41:39 AM by Allie1031
quote:
JBehrsGurl originally wrote:
BUMP! I LOVE This story! Andf I just voted last night and guess which story I voted for? *cough*THISONE!*cough* *clears throat* Um... Okay... Well continue on... lol

BUMPERS!!! and BUMPIES!!! and BUMPDIGITY!

~Elena *wink*


Thanks. I really appreciate it. I also think it's pretty fucking awesome that you quoted me in your signature just for the record too.
posted on 11-Sep-2002 12:46:31 AM by Allie1031
Amber you know I love to hear from ya! I'm not trying to tortue anyone. Seriously that's where I happened to stop because of time issues when I first started writed the new part and I didn't feel like writing more when I went through and edited. My heart aches for them too actually. I love that you said that about them wanting to be together but everything around them sucks and all. Sigh. Happens that way sometimes. Okay now a lot of you guys think Max is an ass, and he is being one but I promise that he will redeem himself before the end of my fic ok? Ok.
posted on 14-Sep-2002 12:47:34 PM by Allie1031
It's really depressing at first Tracy, but it starts moving along after a pick and picks up a little I think. Eh. I'm having a very crazy weekend. I'm not sure if I can get the part done but I will try.
posted on 21-Sep-2002 3:36:51 AM by Allie1031
Wow. sorry I don't have an update yet guys. The real world has been kicking my ass lately. UGHHHHH!!! I'll try to get something done this weekend though okay?

posted on 1-Oct-2002 1:53:46 PM by Allie1031
OKAY I'm like horribley swamped right now but I will try to get a new part out ASAP.
posted on 1-Oct-2002 5:49:11 PM by Allie1031
actually, it's almost my birthday. I was born on halloween. It's kind of a quirky day to be born, but then, I suppose I am quirky.
posted on 15-Oct-2002 1:59:36 PM by Allie1031
Look for an update to What dreams May come later this week. After taht you can expect a new update too this as soon as I can get it out.
posted on 21-Oct-2002 4:12:56 AM by Allie1031
Thanks you guys for all the bumps!! Please be patient with me because I've become horrible about putting out regular updates and I know it is just going to get worse before it gets better right now. But if I can get ahead on all my stuff for the rest of the semester then I can start to pump out those new parts.
posted on 30-Oct-2002 11:38:31 PM by Allie1031
There will be another update to dreams before I get to this again kids.
posted on 31-Oct-2002 2:17:09 AM by Allie1031
You always have to get the last word, don't you Nina? Sheesh. Alright well, I don't actually have anything to say here but Nina replied so then for some very strange unknown reason I thought I had to. I'm in a pretty goofy mood and that might attribute to it. And kids, stay safe on halloween. Don't eat to much candy. Me? I'll be out partying and celebrating my 19th birthday. Oh BTW, Nina, I know how you do love Dreams, but come now, you have to admit the humor in this one really draws you in. I don't know about Dreams, it's not so funny, but it has a different edge to it that I was going for. We'll see. This one got me a few runner-up awards, thanks to you kids and your awesome support. I would like to see that kind of support for Dreams with the amount of thought I put into it, but you can't always get what you want. Anyways I have to go to class tomorrow but yeah. Happy Halloween.
posted on 9-Nov-2002 4:59:20 PM by Allie1031
Well I am mere sentences away from finishing this update and an update for dreams is also coming along, however before I post this I'm going to wait for the fanart which is being done by Jbehrgurl. If I can finish dreams I will post that because she's already finished the fanart for that which by the way looks amazing. So I guess I'm just saying that yes, I have been writing and yes, updates are indeed coming soon.
posted on 9-Nov-2002 7:22:03 PM by Allie1031
I'll keep that in mind, however I'd really like to update dreams before this anyways because I really haven't given it the attention I have given this in the past.
posted on 12-Nov-2002 9:41:42 PM by Allie1031
There will be an update on Friday. Period.
posted on 13-Nov-2002 3:12:20 PM by Allie1031
Most of you saw that there was a new part to dreams earlier this week. This will be updated Friday. Hopefully I will have a new part on Monday for Dreams. I've been on a writing kick lately and hopefully updates will start coming more regularly.
posted on 14-Nov-2002 8:44:20 PM by Allie1031
It's a little earlier than I said but I doubt I'll hear any complaints.

-Previously-

I stare at him blankly.

"We're going to have to take her to see Tess, aren't we?" Michael frowns at Max.

"Yeah," Max nods frowning. "That's gonna suck"

"No kidding," Michael scowls further. "She's really going to chew us out. I can just hear her bitching and moaning right now."

"No, I don't think so," Max shakes his head. "I think she's going to be happy to oblige because it will give her the chance to change a few other things around as well."

"Good point," Michael agrees. "But maybe that would be for the best, Maxwell."

I have no idea what they are talking about or what any of this has to do with Tess.

"So the other ones are gonna come back to life?" I question interrupting them.

"There is a good chance they won't be laying there when we go back," Max informs me, trying not to catch my eye.

"Wow. Okay. I heard about things like this. At the academy. Living robots. And artificial intelligence. But I thought those were all top secret government projects, locked down in hidden laboratories, not wandering the streets of Roswell in the early morning hours," I kick my foot at the carcass.

The whole sopping mess has begun to crackle and pop and sizzle. It slowly decomposes, the entire mess evaporating away as I watch intrigued.

"That, right there, boys, is a fucking work of art. An ingeniously, engineered fighting machine. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. All the evidence just disappears," I shake my head astonished. "So now what I have to be wondering right now is why this amazing innovation was chasing after Michael of all people."

"I don't know why it was after me," Michael answers. "It just came out of nowhere all of the sudden."

"I think," I start. "That I know what is going on here. We all know that for a long time I've been ignoring the facts. Well I just can't look the other way any longer. It's time to face the truth."

Part Twenty

"Hey Tess!" I smile widely falling into step next to her Monday morning at school. "How was your weekend?"

"Wonderful," Tess smiles back at me. "And yours?"

"Super," I grin. "My weekend was super. I had a lot of fun."

"I'm glad you are fitting in so well here in Roswell, Liz," Tess responds.

"Me too. You've been such an awesome friend Tess. I don't know how to thank you," I reply genuinely.

"Oh, it's no trouble, Liz," Tess smirks. "No trouble at all."

Max approaches us warily.

"Hey Max," Tess greets him by places a hand on his chest. "Liz was just talking about how much fun she had this weekend."

"It was super," I repeat.

Max furrows his brow, breaking Tess's initial contact.

"Thanks, you two, for showing me such a great time at the dance on Saturday," I add smiling.

"Oh the pleasure was mine, Liz," Tess drawls. "The pleasure was mine."

She links her arm with Max's. Max stands by silently as Isabel approaches.

"Oh, hey Iz," Tess welcomes her. "What's up?"

"Not much. Just waiting for another boring week of my life to start so I can waste my times learning senseless information that will never be of any use to me whatsoever," Isabel answers.

Tess nods.

"How are you, Liz?" Isabel asks.

"I'm feeling super," I respond with a smile. "Thanks for asking."

Isabel and Max exchange a long look. Max shrugs his arm away from Tess's.

"Oh Tess, by the way, I just love your sweater," I complement Tess. "It looks so good on you and it really brings out your eyes. I'm way jealous. I wish I was a pretty as you."

Max stiffens. Isabel rolls her eyes. Tess beams.

"Why thank you, Liz," Tess responds gleefully.

Max grips Tess's arm tightly. He leans over to whisper in her ear, his teeth clenched. I can't hear what he says but I can tell Tess doesn't find it very appealing. Tess jerks her arms away and looks at him indignantly.

"Don't you dare be cross with me," Tess narrows her eyes at Max. "I did what I had to do to clean up your mess."

Max's body is disturbingly tense as he meets Tess's glare. He storms off, not looking back.

That's strange. I wonder what Max is so upset about. Perhaps he has been a little bit too messy lately. Tess does like to keep things neat and orderly I have noticed. Maybe I will speak to him about picking up after himself. After all, it's only a very small sacrifice to make if it really bothers Tess that much.

"Be careful, Tess," Isabel warns. "Now is not a good time to push his buttons. This whole thing has really upset him deeply."

Sigh. High school relationships are so trivial because everyone is so damn stubborn.

"I'll keep that in mind," Tess states dryly. "C'mon, Liz, we better get to class."

I nod, following Tess as she sulks off down the hall.

"I'll see you later, Isabel," I smile, waving goodbye.

"Yeah, Liz, you should eat lunch with me and Max today," Isabel tells me casting smoldering look at Tess.

"Gee, I'd like that," I smile, "but I already promised Tess that I'd go out to lunch with her."

"But she doesn't eat in our lunch shift," Isabel reminds me.

"I know. We're going to skip our fourth hour class," I whisper, giggling.

"Oh, okay," Isabel nods. "Maybe tomorrow then."

"Yes, definitely," I respond excited. "I'm looking forward to it!"

"Liz! C'mon!" Tess orders from halfway down the hall.

I scramble to catch up with her. I glance back at Isabel who is studying me carefully. I smile at her and she smiles weakly back.

"Did you finish our homework for biology?" Tess wonders.

"I sure did. Here you go," I hand her back her copy of the worksheet that is due this morning.

"Thanks, Liz, you're a peach," Tess grins.

"No problem, Tess," I smile.

We walk into the classroom just as the bell rings and I quickly take my seat next to Max. He gazes over at me his face full of sadness. I smile at him, squeezing his arm, and Max smiles back at me, his eyes still sad.

It's just too bad he and Tess are having problems. They make such a perfect couple.

"It'll be okay," I whisper confidently. "I'm sure you and Tess will work things out."

Max nods, looking away distantly.

Mr. Slater begins class and I focus my attention on him. I take very neat, detailed notes just as Tess instructed me so that I can photocopy them and give them to her later.

I glance over at Max and he hasn't bothered to scribble down anything Mr. Slater is saying. He is just staring at his blank sheet of notebook paper.

Poor guy. He's so torn up over this fight with Tess. He must really lover her a lot. That's sooo sweet.

I give his back a reassuring rub. He looks as if he is about to cry when he gazes over at me. Awwww.

I jot him a note telling him to hang in there and that I will let him have my notes later and pass it to him.

He smiles softly and writes a note back to me.

It reads: THANKS, can I come over to copy them around 8?

I respond: I can just photocopy them for you if you want.

Max replies: I'd rather just stop by and copy them by hand if that's okay with you. Then we can talk about our project that is due next Monday too.

I write back: Okay, that sounds good then. 8 is great for me.

Max nods and mouths thanks to me.

The bell rings and Tess hurriedly sweeps me away. People cast us strange glances in the halls. Tess doesn't seem to notice so I don't either.

We skip our fourth hour and eat lunch at Wendy's. A greasy, rat-faced, middle-aged man is behind the counter. The way he looks at us makes me uneasy. He licks his lips when we step up to order.

He tells us our total is $8.57. I reach into my purse to dig out the money to pay but Tess grabs my hand to stop me.

Tess leans over the counter deeply exposing her milky cleavage to the cashier. He stares greedily down her low cut shirt. She motions him closer to her.

"This is a little embarrassing," Tess states softly. "But we don't have the money to pay for our order."

"I'm sure we could work something out," The cashier grins excitedly.

"Oh? What did you have in mind?" Tess asks with false innocence.

He whispers something into her ear and looks at me smirking.

"I'm sure that can be arranged," Tess smiles.

Luckily there is no one in line behind us and hardly anyone in the restaurant to witness Tess's crude behavior.

Tess happily takes our food and the cashier clears the register.
"What'd he say?" I ask when we are out of earshot.

"He wants us to flash the drive up window when we leave," Tess laughs.

"Are we going to?" I wonder shocked.

"Sure, why not give him something to get his rocks off too. Then we'll be getting free food forever," Tess grins.

We eat our meal at a table by the window. Tess gossips on and on about this person and that person, telling me what she thinks about him or her. I smile and listen intently.

"Max looked really sad today in biology," I mention when Tess finally stops to take a bite.

"What do you mean?" Tess looks at me intently.

"I think he's really upset about his fight with you," I tell her. "I don't know I was think that maybe you shouldn't be too harsh on him even though he is a guy because it seems like he really cares about."

"Yeah," Tess responds shortly. "Nothing personal Liz, but can we not talk about this?"

"Okay," I nod. "I understand."

We throw away our trash and leave.

"Listen, Liz," Tess starts. "The cashier only said one of us had to flash him and I was wondering if maybe, since I will be driving, you could do it?"

"I don't know," I reply hesitantly.

"Oh, don't be a pussy," Tess scolds. "It's no big deal. I'd do it but someone has to drive."

"Okay, I respond. "I'll do it."

"Good," Tess smiles brightly. "Take off your bra now so all you have to do is lift up your shirt."

I sigh and comply.

Tess pulls around to swing by the drive up window. Of course the disgusting cashier is there waiting.

"Okay, Liz, show him the goods," Tess orders smirking.

I squeeze my eyes shut and pull up my shirt quickly. I try to pull it right back down but Tess grabs my hand and stops me. I finally manage to squirm out of Tess's grasp. She howls with laughter as the car accelerates forward.

"I don't want to do that ever again," I frown.

"Oh, Liz, don't be such a baby. If I had known you were going to pout so much about it I would have just done it myself," Tess rolls her eyes at me.

I don't say anything. I search the floor for my bra to put it back on.

"I can't find my bra," I state.

"Yeah, I know, I threw it out the window at the drive up guy when you closed your eyes," Tess breaks into a fit of laughter.

"You didn't!" My eyes get wide.

"I did," Tess barely manages to say because she is laughing so hard.

"Well then we have to stop by my house so I can grab another one. This shirt is really thin and it's light pink. You can totally see right through it!" I exclaim.

"It's too late, Liz. I can't be late for fifth hour. Fourth is one thing, but fifth, no way," Tess informs me.

"Don't you have a sweatshirt or something I can borrow then?" I plead.

"Sorry, Liz," Tess apologizes. "You know it's really not that noticeable if you ask me. And lots of girls don't wear bras anyways."

I frown. I don't say anything. I have to go through my last three classes without a bra. I should have known better than to agree to flash that guy.

"Don't be angry Liz," Tess says. "I'm sorry. I thought you would think it was funny."

"It's okay," I respond immediately. "The whole thing just made me a little uncomfortable is all."

"I promise I won't put you in that spot again then," Tess assures me.

"Okay," I smile.

"Look at it this way, you'll be able to get free food from Wendy's for quite a while," Tess chuckles.

I nod, but I know that I will never be able to show my face in that Wendy's again.

I spend the rest of the day slumping or with my arms crossed over my chest. Still, I get more attention than usual from the male population of the school.

"Liz, looking good," Jimmy tells me, stopping by my locker after school.

"Thanks," I smile softly.

"How are you doing?" Jimmy wonders.

"Great," I reply. "You?"

"Pretty good. I'm glad you are doing better. Listen, I know Saturday night really sucked, but I'd like to take you out again sometime and show you a better time," Jimmy says.

"Saturday didn't suck," I respond. "I had a great time."

"Okay," Jimmy looks at me skeptically. "Well, whatever. I'd like to take you out again anyways."

"Alright," I smile. "I'd like that."

"NOT SO FAST," Sean bursts onto the scene. "You still owe me a date remember?"

"Oh yeah," I nod. "That's true."

"By the way, Liz, you're looking hot today," Sean informs me.

I blush.

"Pink is sooooo…your color," Sean looks me up and down.

"Yeah…" I trail off.

I sigh. Guys and their damn hormones.

"So you'll go out with me this weekend?" Sean asks hopefully.

"I suppose," I smile.

"Is Saturday okay?" Sean wonders.

"It's perfect, I'm wide open," I say.

"So wide open that you would consider going out with me on Friday?" Jimmy inquires.

"That could be arranged as well," I answer.

Sean gives Jimmy a rotten look.

"Wonderful," Jimmy responds happily. "I have to get going to band practice, but I'll talk to you more about it tomorrow."

"Alright," I nod as Jimmy makes his exit.
"Me too," Sean adds. "We'll talk about our date tomorrow, because I have to go smoke a bowl with Charlie. It's that time of day again."

"Right. Well you enjoy that," I tell Sean.

"Oh, I will," Sean smiles.

I head home.

Tess calls as soon as I get home and asks me to come over. I hang out at her house for a while. She tells me her dad is away on business. Tess orders a pizza for us and we eat it in front of the television. At 7:30 I tell her I need to go home to do homework and she releases me.

For some odd reason I don't tell her Max is coming over. Very strange since I know I tell Tess everything. After all, she's my best friend.

Almost as soon as I get home the doorbell rings and I welcome in Max.

"Hey Max!" I smile warmly.

"Hi Liz," Max smiles back at me.

I take his coat and hang it up on the coat rack for him. I lead Max up to my bedroom. He sits down on the bed and looks up at me. I sit down next to him.

"How are you doing, Max?" I ask him.

"I'm okay," he replies. "I'm more concerned with how you are doing."

"Oh, I'm fantastic," I smile. "I'm just worried about you and Tess. I don't like when you fight. I hate to see you so unhappy."

"It's okay, Liz," Max assures me.

"Alright," I nod, taking out my biology notes.

I hand Max a photocopy of them.

"I know you said you wanted to copy them over yourself, but I figured I'd save you some time and just make you a copy when I made Tess her copy," I tell Max.

"You gave Tess a copy of your notes?" Max questions.

"Yeah, Tess doesn't like to take notes. It hurts her hand because she gets writing cramps very easily. And the lead from her pencil always gets her hand all messy. And Tess is afraid she is going to chip her nails," I inform Max.

"I can imagine," Max rolls his eyes. "You shouldn't let Tess push you around Liz."

"I don't let Tess push me around," I scowl. "I like doing things for her. She is my best friend."

"I see," Max answers. "Does Tess ever do anything for you?"

"She took me out to lunch today," I inform Max.

"Did she make you pay?" Max questions.

"Nope. We got our food for free," I respond proudly.

"How?" Max wants to know.

I shift uncomfortably.

"Well…" I trail off.

"Well?" Max wonders.

"Tess told the cashier that I would flash him if he gave us our food for free," I wince.

"Did you?" Max wants to know.

"Yeah, I did. I didn't like doing that. And I didn't like how Tess gave the cashier my bra," I confess. "I had to go around the rest of the day with out one."

"I did kind of notice that," Max admits. "Seriously Liz, listen to me. You can't let Tess tell you what to do. She is not your friend. I think you should stay away from her."

"She said you would say that. Tess said you would tell me to stay away from her because you are mad at her and you want to turn me against her too to get back at her. I'm sorry Max, but I will not get in the middle of your lover's quarrel," I retort.

Max gazes at me with pain in his eyes.

"Okay," Max replies and leaves it at that.

"Okay," I echo.

I open my biology notebook again and pull out some more notes.

"Here's some of the research I have done for our project on sickle cell anemia," I show Max.

Max sifts through the papers I put in front of them not really looking at them. I notice how tense Max is. Poor guy.

"Max, you should relax more," I tell him.

"I have had a lot of things to be stressed over lately," Max responds.

"Oh," I say. "I can tell. You look really tense."

"Yeah," Max agrees, grabbing his shoulder with one hand. "I've been extremely tense lately."

"Do you want me to rub your shoulders for you while you read the notes?" I offer.

"I'm not sure if that's a very good idea Liz," Max replies hesitantly.

"Why not?" I ask. "It would feel a lot better. I bet you have all kinds of knots."

"I just don't want to trouble you is all," Max tells me.

"Oh it's no trouble. In fact I insist. You're not going to be able to concentrate until you relax," I state positioning myself behind Max.

Max mutters something I can't make out about concentration. He stiffens when my hands make contact with his shoulders.

"RELAX," I order him.

Max manages to ease his shoulders slightly at my command. I begin to rub his shoulders and Max relaxes further.

Max groans.

"Does this feel okay," I wonder.

"Awesome," Max states.

I begin to knead Max's back and he drops the papers all together and closes his eyes.

"I'll look at them later," He assures me. "When I can concentrate."

Max winces as I find a knot. With a little pressure I make it disappear. I squeeze all the tension out of Max.

"Feel better?" I ask Max pulling away.

Max quickly picks up his binder off the floor and places it over his lap.

"Uhhh… much," Max responds. "I'm definitely VERY relaxed now. Thanks so much Liz."

"I'm only happy to help," I smile. "So about our project, do you think maybe we could get together again after we both do some more research and put our presentation together?"

Max sighs audibley.

"How does Friday evening sound?" Max wants to know. "I have some things I have to do after school but I'm free at night."

"Super. Oh, shoot, I told Jimmy I'd go out with him," I remember. "Well, school always comes first. I'm sure Jimmy will understand."

"Great," Max replies. "My house or yours? Would you like to come to my house?"

"That's fine with me," I tell him.

"Alright then," Max smiles at me.

We look over my notes and assign different areas for Max and I to research about sickle cell anemia. Max and I talk some more for a while before he finally heads home.

The next day in school, Maria corner's me after second hour.

"Oh my god, where they hell have you been?" Maria wonders assaulting me with a hug. "I barely see you in class because you dart in and out before anyone can talk to you."

"I've been around," I shrug.

"Why haven't you returned my calls?" She asks concerned.

"I didn't know you called," I lie.

"You won't believe the strange things I've been hearing about you, like that you and Tess are all buddy-buddy, best friends now. Isn't that ridiculous?" Maria laughs.

"I am best friends with Tess," I tell her.

"What?!" Maria scoffs. "You're kidding? Don't you remember what she did to you? She's a manipulative bitch!"

"I have to go now Maria. Tess said you would say bad things about her, but they aren't true. You're just saying bad things because you are jealous because I'm better friends now with her than I am with you," I state.

"Liz, what the hell has gotten into you?" Maria demands.

"Goodbye Maria," I frown and walk away.

"Liz, wait," Maria starts after me, grabbing my arm.

"Don't touch me, spaz," I yank my arm out of her grasp. "It's not my fault you aren't as pretty or popular as me and Tess."

I shove her away hard and she slams into the lockers with a loud resounding clatter.

The students around us grow attentive, hoping for a fight but I just walk away leaving Maria to slump against the lockers.

Michael gives me a very strange look when I walk past him as he goes to help Maria up.

I don't know what her problem is. Sheesh. I can't help it if Maria is just some freak.

Isabel, Max and I eat lunch together. It's very pleasant. Isabel is kind to me. She tells me that I will have to come over and hang out with her sometime. I smile. I will gladly accept her invitation.

I tell Jimmy that I will have to postpone our date because I have a project I have to finish with Max and he doesn't look very happy but he says he understands anyways. I promise him that we will hang out the next weekend.

Sean wants me to go to a party with him on Saturday. I tell him that will be fine. It's supposed to be a very big party. Pam's grandmother has gone on vacation to Florida so Pam is throwing a party at in her house.

The next day I see Alex in the hall and he shoots me a death glare.

"What's your problem geek?" I call after him.

"Why are you being a bitch, Liz?" Alex demands.

"Fuck off, Alex," I reply giving him the bird.

He shakes his head and walks away. I shrug and bounce off to find Tess.

Tess visits me at work that night and I let her take home a coat without paying. She says she'll bring the money in the next time I work. She doesn't have right now because her dad is out of town still. He's out of town a lot. I think it is hard on Tess.

On Thursday Kyle and Michael are waiting for me at my locker after school. They want me to come over and watch a kung fu marathon with them but I tell them that I already have plans to go shopping with Tess. They exchange a wary glance. I tell them that maybe some other time I will be able to meet up with them.

That night at supper, Dad tells me I have been exceptionally peppy this week. I explain to him that it is because of the fine fall desert weather. He says he is impressed at how well I have adapted to Roswell.

Friday comes before I know it. After school Max stops by my locker to see if we are still working on our project that night. I assure him that I will be over promptly at seven as planned.

I do arrive promptly and Isabel opens the door for me.

"Come on in, Liz," Isabel smiles. "Our parents went out for dinner, otherwise I would introduce you. Max is upstairs with Michael. Don't worry Michael won't bother you two for long. He's going to come down and watch a movie with me and Kyle."

"It's a stupid chick flick," Kyle groans. "She's going to make us sit through dirty dancing because we lost to her in monopoly last week. This really stinks!"

I laugh.

"Dirty dancing is a great movie," I tell Kyle.

"That's what I said," Isabel shrugs.

"It's torture!" Kyle complains. "How come Max doesn't have to watch it?"

"He has to do homework. Would you rather do homework?" Isabel asks.

"Yes!" Kyle cries exasperated.

"I'm sure," Isabel rolls her eyes. "Well next time, don't lose at monopoly and we can watch whatever you want."

Kyle frowns.

"C'mon Liz, I'll show you to Max's room," Isabel gestures for me to follow her.

I follow her upstairs and to the end of a fairly long hallway. Isabel knocks on the last door.

"Max! Liz is here!" Isabel shouts through the closed door.

"Okay," I hear Max holler.

After a slight pause of silence the door opens. I walk in and set my backpack down on the bed. It's a typical guy room. Nothing fancy. Michael is sitting at Max's desk. He quickly shoves a strange looking rock in the top drawer and slams it closed.

"Hey Liz," Max smiles.

"Hey Max. Sorry to interrupt," I apologize.

"Oh, you're not interrupting. Michael and I were just talking but we're finished now," Max states looking Michael in the eye.

"Hey Liz," Michael says.

"Hi Michael," I smile. "I haven't seen you all week."

"I've been very busy," Michael tells me. "I wasn't feeling well so I missed a few days of school as well."

"Oh, that's too bad," I respond concerned. "I've heard there was an awful bug going around. Thankfully I didn't catch it."

"Yeah. Thankfully," Micheal replies flatly.

"Michael was just leaving," Max inserts. "He has to go watch a movie with Isabel and Kyle."

"I get to go be a third wheel," Michael stands and walks to the door. "You kids have fun with that homework."

Michael closes the door behind him on the way out, leaving Max and I all alone.

I pull out my homework for Max to look at. I hand him a disk with a disk and he brings up an outline on his monitor that I put together for our presentation. He looks it over and says he likes it. Max pulls out his notes on sickle cell anemia so we can compare. We spread our homework out over his bed and lie down on our stomachs, propping ourselves up on our elbows.

"Okay, so basically we need to talk about what sickle cell anemia is, what causes it, how common it is, what the signs and symptoms are, how it is detected, how it is treated, and what possible future treatment advances might be. It looks like we have pretty much everything in our notes. We just need to put it all together in the right spot on the outline for our presentation," I inform Max.

"Liz you look really pretty tonight," Max tells me, looking into my eyes.

"Thanks," I smile.

"That green sweater looks really good on you," Max adds.

I blush.

"Geez, stop buttering me up," I laugh. "You're embarrassing me."

"Sorry," Max apologizing. "I can't help it. You just look so beautiful."

"It's so nice of you to say that to me Max. Not many people have ever said that to me," I admit.

"That's ridiculous. You should be told how beautiful you are every single day, Liz. Someone should be there for you to tell you how beautiful you are," Max asserts.

"That's such a sweet thought, Max," I reply wistfully. "I wish it was like that. Unfortunately, I'm very plain and there isn't anyone out there like that who wants to tell a plain girl like me everyday that they find her beautiful."

"But there is Liz, there is," Max assures me. "There is someone out there for you."

"Yeah," I scoff. "And in like a million years they might happen to give me a second glance. It's okay Max. I know I'm not that pretty. I know I don't get a lot of high quality guys, or any guys for that matter. I'm okay with it."

"Why do you think you are not pretty?" Max questions. "Did Tess tell you that?"

"No, I mean, she just told me I was plain and that guys don't really like me or find me attractive so I should just take what I can get and get on as many as possible," I tell him. "It's okay Max. I've just accepted who I am."

"NO, Liz. No. Listen to me. You are so gorgeous and fun and nice and you could get any guy out there. Any guy would be lucky to be with you. You don't have to settle for anything less than the best," Max insists. "Tess doesn't know what she's talking about. I'm a guy. I know."

I glance at him skeptically. His eyes are glowing golden with passion.

"Are you sure you aren't just crazy?" I ask playfully.

"Maybe I am," Max mumbles. "Maybe I am."

What a goon.

I look back at our homework.

"So I think if I put together a poster diagramming the shape of the cells that would be a good visual aid," I tell Max.

"Liz," Max states.

"Hmmmmmm?" I wonder not looking up.

"Liz, look at me," Max tells me.

I do. And I read the strangest emotions on his face. At first he looks a bit confused and suddenly I see resolve cross his face. His eyes are very dark and very intense. They search mine. I don't know what they are looking for. I don't even know what I am looking at in his. I just smile at him caringly. That seems to register with him.

Max takes a deep breath.

The next thing I know his lips are on mine. I pull back immediately, completely surprised at Max's action and even more surprised at how much I liked it.

"Max! What are you doing?" I demand. "What will Tess think?"

Max doesn't say anything. He just reaches out to stroke a hand through my hair. His eyes star intensely into mine. And I see passion there like I have never seen in anyone before. His hand cups my cheek.

I'm shaking.

Slowly, Max eases his lips back onto mine. Softly they meld with mine, gently urging my mouth open.

At first I resist, but gradually I feel myself melt. A greater force inside me succumbs.

His tongue lightly slides across my lips, pleading them to part. And slowly my tongue creeps out to caress his and welcome him in.

And I kiss Max with more passion than I have ever kissed anyone with in my entire life. He pulls me into him and our legs intertwine.

My head tells me it's wrong, it's wrong and I shouldn't betray Tess. But in my heart it feels more right than anything I have ever done in my entire life.

Our homework scatters everywhere.

Passion flows from Max to me to Max and back again and again. I kiss him so greedily with ardor I had no idea I possessed. Max kisses me back with an electric force that knocks the wind out of me.

And then it happens.

It all hits me at once.

The entire world collides inside my head and everything rushes back to me.

EVERYTHING.




TBC...



Look for a new part Monday of either this or Dreams.

posted on 14-Nov-2002 8:55:55 PM by Allie1031
This part goes out to all of you who continue to support me even though I am not always very productive and tend to take long ass breaks and to all of you who voted for me and continue to vote for me in the fanfic awards. And especially this part is dedicated to Elena, AKA Jbehrsgurl who made the banner for dreams and is in the process of making a banner for this. Thanks you guys!!!


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 14-Nov-2002 9:01:34 PM ]
posted on 14-Nov-2002 11:13:52 PM by Allie1031
Thanks nina. actually I think I might have another update for this over the weekend because I've been really getting into the new part for this and dreams too but I'm closer to my next post on this and people seem to want some sort of closure after reading a part where liz was brain dead. This part is actually a kind of transition period for a big turning point in the story and things start to move faster from here. I'm really excited to write my next parts in both my stories because they both have some interesting scenes coming up.
posted on 15-Nov-2002 1:16:04 AM by Allie1031
Elena,

Glad you had fun at the concert. It sound like it was really fun. I'd like to see No Doubt someday myself. Take your time on the banner. I'm sure it will look awesome.
posted on 15-Nov-2002 4:12:05 PM by Allie1031
Alright. Since I feel like there is the most demand for a new part on this, I'll post for normal on Monday.
posted on 17-Nov-2002 12:49:45 AM by Allie1031
okay I almost finished the next part so it will be up for sure monday.
posted on 18-Nov-2002 3:17:27 AM by Allie1031
Update coming today as soon as I figure out how to put the banner up.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Nov-2002 3:29:59 AM ]
posted on 18-Nov-2002 3:02:24 PM by Allie1031
orig


This part is dedicated to JBehrsgurl for her wonderful job on my banners. I'd also like to thank all of you again who show so much support for my writing with bumps and votes and nominations. I don't have time right now to recognize you all individually but I am so very thankful for all of your dedication to my fics.

-Previously-

"Liz," Max states.

"Hmmmmmm?" I wonder not looking up.

"Liz, look at me," Max tells me.

I do. And I read the strangest emotions on his face. At first he looks a bit confused and suddenly I see resolve cross his face. His eyes are very dark and very intense. They search mine. I don't know what they are looking for. I don't even know what I am looking at in his. I just smile at him caringly. That seems to register with him.

Max takes a deep breath.

The next thing I know his lips are on mine. I pull back immediately, completely surprised at Max's action and even more surprised at how much I liked it.

"Max! What are you doing?" I demand. "What will Tess think?"

Max doesn't say anything. He just reaches out to stroke a hand through my hair. His eyes star intensely into mine. And I see passion there like I have never seen in anyone before. His hand cups my cheek.

I'm shaking.

Slowly, Max eases his lips back onto mine. Softly they meld with mine, gently urging my mouth open.

At first I resist, but gradually I feel myself melt. A greater force inside me succumbs.

His tongue lightly slides across my lips, pleading them to part. And slowly my tongue creeps out to caress his and welcome him in.

And I kiss Max with more passion than I have ever kissed anyone with in my entire life. He pulls me into him and our legs intertwine.

My head tells me it's wrong, it's wrong and I shouldn't betray Tess. But in my heart it feels more right than anything I have ever done in my entire life.

Our homework scatters everywhere.

Passion flows from Max to me to Max and back again and again. I kiss him so greedily with ardor I had no idea I possessed. Max kisses me back with an electric force that knocks the wind out of me.

And then it happens.

It all hits me at once.

The entire world collides inside my head and everything rushes back to me.

EVERYTHING.

*********************

Part 21

I pull back from Max gasping.

My entire body is shaking again but this time for entirely different reasons.

Max leans in to kiss me again and I shove him off me.

"I-I-I-I have to go," I stutter, flushed.

I scramble around trying to pick up my notes, shoving them in my bag.

"Liz," Max states. "I think we should talk about this."

"No-no. No, it's okay," I say not meeting his eye.

Does he know? Does he know I know? I can't let him know I know.

Stop shaking you fool! Stop shaking, I order myself.

"Obviously it's not okay, Liz," Max replies evaluating me worriedly.

"I don't want to talk about it now," I respond, closing my backpack, not looking him in the eye.

I have to get out of here. I have to get out before he finds out I know.

I can't get my back to close. I jerk at it hard but the zipper is stuck.

"Liz," Max reaches out a hand and brushes over my trembling one to steady it.

A spark flies and I catch another glimpse of Max standing over the dead body of one of those creatures before I can recoil from his touch.

Max looks up into my eyes.

Does he know? Fuck, does he know? Does he know I know?

Max looks down and pulls my backpack closed. He hands it to me.

I take it and bolt out of his room. I don't say goodbye. I just run.

Kyle calls something after me as I rush past but I don't hear him. My entire focus is on getting to the door. I just have to get out.

I struggle to turn the handle of the front door a few times before I get a good grip and finally can get out.

I breathe a sigh of relief as I meet the cold outdoor air. I walk quickly down the Evans' driveway. Once I hit the street, I run.

I brace myself behind a tree once I am down the block to catch my breath.

Calm down, Liz. Calm the fuck down.

A breathe a sigh of relief as my hyperventilation subsides.

And then it hits me.

Shit. I forgot my disk. I can't believe I forgot my disk. Damnit.

My stomach sinks.

I NEED that disk. It's what I like to call my municipal disk. It has all kinds of homework for other classes on it too, not to mention some old saved copies of my journal hidden on it. Fuck.

I'll just have to go get it. I can sneak in. The desk is right next to the window. I'll be in and out in no time flat.

I cautiously make my way back to the house.

A deadening amount of uneasiness flushes over me.

I hide in the bushes outside the open living room window downstairs. I peer inside. Isabel and Kyle are snuggling on the couch.

I hear Isabel giggle softly through the open window.

"I've been meaning to tell you
I've got this feelin' that won't subside
I look at you and I fantasize
Be mine tonight
Now I've got you in my sights"


The hungry eyes song is blaring from the television. Damn. This is my favorite scene.

Where the hell did Michael go?

I duck into the shadows as he and Max come into the room.

"So what happened?" Isabel wants to know.

She pauses the movie.

"He kissed her," Michael says.

"I kissed her," Max admits.

He sure did.

"You kissed her?" Isabel questions.

"You KISSED her?" Kyle asks alarmed.

"He kissed her," Michael repeats.

"I kissed her," Max confirms.

He definitely kissed me.

"Why on earth did you kiss her after everything that has happened?" Kyle demands.

"He couldn't help himself," Michael states.

"I couldn't help myself," Max shrugs.

What kind of excuse is that?

"How are you going to explain this one to Tessy-bear?" Kyle wonders.

Good question. Please enlighten us, oh, almighty Max.

"Yeah, I don't think Tess is going to take this so well," Isabel adds.

"He doesn't care," Michael informs them.

"I don't care," Max sighs.

What does he mean he doesn't care?

"What do you mean you don't care?" Kyle asks shocked.

"I just don't care anymore," Max says exasperated.

"He's not happy with Tess," Michael shakes his head.

"I'm not happy with Tess," Max insists.

"You're not happy with Tess," Isabel agrees.

Well, duh, anyone can see he's so obviously not happy with Tess.

"So you're not happy with Tess. But what happens now?" Kyle wants to know.

"I think I'm in love with Liz," Max says quietly.

I freeze. He THINKS he's WHAT??!!!!

"I think he's in love with Liz," Michael nods.

My stomach drops. My mouth goes dry.

"You're in love with Liz," Isabel smiles. "You deserve to be happy Max. I will support you in whatever you do."

"Tess is a bitch," Kyle states.

Fuck yeah. Ya think.

There is a silent pause from everyone in the house.

"I'm sorry but she is. She's treating Liz like shit and has made her into her personal toy and slave. That's not cool," Kyle shakes his head.

EH. Kyle is so right. That bitch is going to pay. When I get my hands on her…

"So you're breaking up with Tess?" Isabel questions.

"I guess so," Max answers. "I never really saw myself with anyone besides Tess until Liz came along because that's just the way I always thought it was supposed to be, had to be. But things have changed from what they were before. Tess and I are not the same people we used to be and I don't think she's the one for me. Don't get me wrong, all these years I was with Tess were great, she was really good to me, but there was always something missing. And Liz, Liz is amazing. She makes me feel things, things that complete what was missing before, and she takes me to places I never knew existed. It's like I didn't even know what feeling was before Liz came into my life."

"Yep, he's in love," Kyle agrees shaking his head. "Happens to the best of us."

"That's why I think that it is time I end things with Tess. Things just can't go on like this any longer," Max states.

"Tess deserves to be with someone who is really in love with her anyways. I think it's for the best," Isabel responds.

"Me too," Michael adds. "You've been unhappy for too long."

"Well, shit, I don't know what to say. I can hardly believe this day came. Good for you buddy," Kyle declares.

Kyle slaps Max on the back.

"Way to finally grow some balls," Kyle compliments him.

"Gee, thanks Kyle," Max replies dryly.

"So why did Liz run out of here so fast like she had seen a ghost?" Isabel asks.

"Well," Max sighs. "At first I thought I just spooked her when I kissed her but now, ummmmm, I'm beginning to suspect that we might have a slight security problem."

"He thinks Liz got a flash of, well, you know," Michael grimaces.

What the hell is a flash?

"So what? Do you think she just got a flash or do you think that she remembers things?" Isabel questions.

"I'm not sure, I'm not even sure she got a flash," Max says.

I don't think I got a flash. I mean I would know if I did right? But then if I didn't get a flash, how did I remember everything. What the hell is a flash again?

"Did you get a flash from her?" Kyle wonders.

"Yeah," Max answers.

Wait, he got a flash from me? I don't remember flashing him.

"Then she got a flash from you," Kyle states. "Believe me, we know how it works."

Isabel nods her head.

"So what do we do now?" Isabel asks.

"I mean it's not like we are going to just brainwash her again," Kyle chuckles.

No one else laughs.

I don't find that comment very funny either.

"Right?" Kyle asks concerned.

All I can say is the answer to that better be…

"No, we aren't going to mindwarp her again," Max asserts. "But someone should definitely talk to her, find out what she knows and explain things."

"I nominate Michael," Isabel states. "Sorry Max, but I don't think you should be the one who talks to her right now. Kyle, hun, you're just a little too insensitive sometimes, and well, she hardly knows me. You're too emotionally involved."

"It's okay, Iz, I was thinking the same thing," Max replies.

Groovy. I am such an excellent eavesdropper. However I better go get that damn disk while they are still talking even though I’d just love to stay and listen.

"Okay, but it's not my fault if Max did too much damage for me to fix," Michael kids.

Heh. No shit. Please Max, please, could you fuck with my head some more?

I flip him off even though I know he can't see me. I sure as hell hope he can't see me.

I quietly make my way around the house and shimmy up the tree below Max's window. Luckily the window is unlocked. With a nail file I had in my backpack I manage to disengage the window screen. I carefully lift the window up.

Once inside I try to awaken Max's computer. Unfortunately it is programmed to lock when the screensaver comes on and I don't have time to figure out his damn password.

I search for a paper clip to emergency eject out of the disk drive. I open the top drawer to his desk.

Holy shit. It's that weird silver rock that I saw Michael hide away earlier. It has some sort of strange symbol on it, like the symbol on Max's necklace that I could never identify.

I quickly scribble the symbol down on a post-it note and stuff it in my pocket.

I spot a paper clip behind the rock and unbend it. I jab it in the whole next to the disk drive but the fucking stubborn bastard of a computer doesn't fucking budge.

"Stupid, stupid computer!" I curse.

Okay. Now I need to think of his password fast. I type in TESS which obviously is not his password. Well this sucks. I don't even know where to start.

And then a strange three letter word come to my mind. What the hell, it's worth a try. I type in Z and then A and then N. The computer springs to life. Fucking A. I am a genius. I drag my disk to the trash and grab it as it pops out.

I kiss it thankfully.

And that's when I hear voices and footsteps coming up the stairs.

I quickly jump into the closet, burying myself in Max's mountain of laundry.

The smell of Max is overwhelming. In more ways than one.

"Yeah, Michael, your jacket is right here beside the bed," Max calls out.

"Thanks," Michael answers entering the room. "So where do you think Liz went?"

Can't breathe. Need air.

"How should I know?" Max replies. "Liz isn't exactly the kind of person who follows any resemblance of pattern of order or remotely exhibits typical human behavior."

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

"Well if you were Liz, and you had just been kissed by you, where would you go?" Michael asks.

"Does what you just said make any sense at all? Ehhhhh. If I were Liz and I had just been kissed by me, I'd still be here, a devoted love slave granting his glorious highness Max Evans' every fantasy," Max states.

HA. I'm sure.

"Cute," Michael muses. "But seriously, where would you go?"

"Maria's," answers Max. "No doubt about it. She's going to Maria. Well, that is if she regained any of her memory at all. She'll realize how mean she's been to her and feel like she has to apologize immediately."

"Maria's at work but she should be getting off within the hour. What if Liz hasn't regained her memory?" Michael wonders.

"Then she'll be at Tess's. No question. She's probably been programmed to report to Tess everything that happens. Even if she hasn't, she'll feel guilty right now and feel like she has to confess," Max says. "I'm willing to bet anything that she is either one of those two places or on her way there. Go to Tess's first. That's the worst possible scenario. If Liz is headed there, maybe we can get to her first and stop her. Tess has been treating her horrible and I don't even want to think of the mind warp she will put on Liz if she goes there."

I swear, I'm going to kick the shit out of that bitch, once I figure out a way to get near or with out my mind turning to mush. How the fuck does she brainwash people like that? Is it some sort of hypnotism? Who knows?

These people are definitely not normal.

That's pretty much a given at this point.

Max and Michael exit the room and I crawl out of my hiding place gasping for breath. I quickly exit out the window with my disk. I grab my backpack out of the bushes and quickly make my way away from the Evan's house.

Damn Max. How does he know me so well?

He's absolutely right. More than anything right now I want to go apologize to Maria. I was such a bitch to her.

Tess is going to fucking pay. That's all I can say.

So where do I go? I don't know. I just need to hide out somewhere for a few hours until Michael gets tired of looking for me.

So who is the last person they would expect to find me with?

Jimmy.

Unfortunately I didn't bring my cell phone with me. I realize I forgot it in my car which is back at my house. It was such a nice night I couldn't help but walk.

Peppy Liz couldn't help but walk. I would have brought the fucking car. Who the hell knows what's lurking out on these streets at night.

I move faster realizing that the only thing that could top the craptacular evening of fun I'm having would be to run into one of those fucking biological robot killing machines. That would just really not make my day.

I remember us driving by some ritzy condos once and Maria pointing out which one Jimmy lived in. They aren't far from here at all. So that's where I decide to head.

When I get to the front of the building I have a hard time remembering which one Maria said Jimmy was living in. I rack my brain. Was it the middle one closer to the left or the middle on closer to the right? I haven't a clue.

I'll take the left one. It's a fifty-fifty chance.

When in doubt, I always go left.

I approach the door. The curtains are drawn shut but the lights are on. I can vaguely hear a television on somewhere inside.

I knock.

No one answers.

I knock again.

I hear footsteps approach the door.

I hear a silent pause when whoever is on the other side of the door presumably is looking through the peep hole.

I hear the click of several locks.

The door opens.

"Liz?" Jimmy wonders surprised. "What are you doing here?"

He's shirtless in just his gym shorts, his boxers peeking out at the waistline. I try not to stare at him. He has a great body. Totally ripped. Washboard stomach, rock hard pecks, beefy shoulders, the works. For as lean as he is, he sure looks fantastic.

I swallow.

"Uhhhh, I'm not having a very good night and I needed somewhere to chill for a while and I didn't really have anywhere else to go..." I try to explain lamely. "But I mean I can go, if you're busy and all. I'll just go. I don't want to bother you."

"No, no, don't go Liz, Come in. Please, come in," Jimmy says.

"Are you sure?" I ask skeptically.

"Yes, I insist," Jimmy responds, pulling the door open wider and moving out of the way so I can enter.

"Okay," I reply walking in past him as he closes the door behind me. "I'm sorry. I would have called but I didn't have my cell phone with me. I really didn't mean to intrude on you."

"It's perfectly fine. You aren't intruding. I was just doing so sit-ups and watching the news," Jimmy explains as he ushers us into a living room where the television is on.

"Oh," I answer.

"Please, come sit down on the couch," Jimmy gestures towards the furniture and I sit. "Can I get you something to drink?"

"No thanks," I reply as he walks into the kitchen and grabs a water bottle out of the fridge.

I survey the surroundings. It's a nice place. Lots of state of the art electronic equipment. A huge television and stereo and such. What really draws my attention thought id the computer he has in the corner and its array of accessories.

The walls are pretty much bare expect for a few stray paintings and a mirror above the fireplace. A few boxes are piled in the corner. The leather sofa looks brand new as does the rest of the furniture.

"My dad is away on business. He's gone a lot so we haven't really had time to unpack yet since we moved here at the beginning of the year. It's really sad that I'm too lazy to do it myself," Jimmy smiles sitting down next to me on the couch. "It's just me and my dad living here. My parents are divorced. My mom lives in Utah."

"Really? My parents were divorced too," I respond interested. "Do you see your mom very often?"

"Not really. Just holidays," Jimmy tells me. "How about you? How often do you visit your mom?"

"My mother died," I answer quietly. "That's why I moved here. To live with my dad."

"Oh, geez, Liz, I'm sorry," Jimmy replies sincerely. "I didn’t mean to bring it up."

"No, it's okay, you didn't know," I say uncomfortably. "So your Dad is in the army?"

I don't really want to talk about my mom with Jimmy.

"Yeah," Jimmy answers simply.

I guess he doesn't really want to talk about that.

"So what brings you out here?" Jimmy wonders. "I thought you had some project you had to finish with Max."

"Unfortunately, Max is an asshole," I reply nonchalantly.

Jimmy cracks a smile despite some effort not to.

"I see," Jimmy shrugs. "He does seem to have some issues about figuring out what he wants."

"Shyeah," I scoff. "Tell me about it. He can't make up his mind, and he's too much of a pussy to go after what he wants anyways."

"Tess has that boy whipped in the worst way," Jimmy shakes his head.

"Tess is a manipulative, vindictive bitch," I spit. "Max is a pushover, and extremely indecisive, but deep down I think he always tries to do the right thing in his mind even though I'm not exactly sure how he reasons to figure most of the time. Tess though, Tess is positively evil."

"I was under the impression that the two of you had worked out your differences and were now good friends," Jimmy says surprised.

"Are you kidding? I hate that bitch. I don't know what was wrong with me sucking up to her this whole week. Ehhhhhh," I respond disgusted.

"Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer," Jimmy states.

"Yes, I suppose it is something like that," I nod. "Make no mistake though. I'm not Max. Tess will not walk over me. Someday very soon she will get what is coming to her."

"I'm sensing there is going to be a recursion of that infamous cat fight in the gym," Jimmy smirks.

"Yeah, and this time Tess is gonna get her ass beat," I retort resentfully.

Jimmy's pager on the end table goes off. He picks it up, looks at it, and frowns.

"Well in that case, I can't wait," Jimmy chuckles. "Would you excuse me for a second? I have to make a phone call, but when I get back we can watch a movie or something. Does that sound okay?"

"That sounds great," I smile.

"Good," Jimmy answers. "Make yourself at home. You can change the T.V. channel if you want. I'll be back shortly."

I nod.

Jimmy goes into another room to make a phone call and I pick up the remote control to the television.

I look into the mirror above the fireplace. I notice to my horror that I am wearing bright blue eye shadow.

DAMN TESS. For shit's sake, this kind of white trash makeup should be illegal in all fifty states. I grab a kleenex and get up to try to rub some of it off.

It starts to come off but then I accidentally rub my contact the wrong way and it pops out.

Well fuck. Why doesn't my hair just all fall out while I'm at it? I'm sure it would concern Tess very little to put Nair in my shampoo. Thank goodnesss she never thought of that.

I feel around the floor for my, contact trying to spot it with my good eye.

I feel like a fucking pirate with one eye squinted shut.

I really really hope Jimmy doesn't come back to find me crawling around on the floor like a moron.

I reach into a corner over by a vent and I realize I can hear Jimmy still talking.

Thank heavens. I still have some time.

My hands roam the floor desperately.

"Yeah," I hear Jimmy say. "That's what I said. She just showed up here. Yeah, I know. Who the fuck's job was that supposed to be, huh?"

Whoa, Jimmy sounds pissed. And he's talking about me.

"You don't fucking get nights off. This isn't that kind of job. I don't care who else working. You know those amateurs never do as good of job as the two of us. I don't care what's worked in the past. I'm telling you right now that it sure as hell didn't work tonight," Jimmy goes on.

What the hell?

"You get your ass out there and do your job. I'm sick and tired of all the bullshit excuses. And you tell the other team that they better get there ass together before they compromise the whole operation. We can't have any more slip ups like this or any more unannounced visits. Those goons could be our asses and I'm just not okay with that," Jimmy adds.

Ummmmmmm. Okay.....

"I don't care. And I don't care how long they've been doing this or how long they have been in the field. This is probably why they have been in the field so long. They fucking suck. No I don't think I'm being irrational. Look how sloppy they have been. Honestly, I don't know how either of them still has their job. Alright. Okay. That sounds good. Okay. You do that. Alright. I'll talk to you later then. Bye," Jimmy hangs up.

I sit up, forgetting about my stupid contact. I hurdle over an end table to take my original position back on the couch. I pick up the remote and start surfing just as Jimmy walk in the room.

"Find anything good on?" Jimmy asks smiling at me.

"Nope, not really. There's never anything good on Friday nights. Most people who have real lives are out doing something," I respond smiling naturally.

"Ouch," Jimmy grimaces.

"Did your phone call go well?" I inquire. "I hope it wasn't an emergency."

"No, not a real emergency. They are short-handed at work and they wanted me to come in, but I said I had company," Jimmy responds.

"Oh really? I didn't know you had a job. Where do you work?" I ask.

"Oh I work a Wolverton's. It's a graphic art designing firm that just opened up last year on main street right by the Crashdown. That's why I need all that computer equipment. It's a good job. Pays very well," Jimmy replies. "Except right now we have a huge project that is due Monday and the team that was supposed to do it is so far behind that my team was assigned to it as well and it's just a big mess. My partner just called. She was supposed to be there tonight to supervise the operation since I supervised every night this week, but she didn't go and now they are having even more trouble getting it done and it's just an awful mess."

"I can imagine," I nod. "Do you have to go in tomorrow?"

"Yeah, but I refuse to worry about it tonight. I don't want the job to stress me out too much. It's only meant to keep me busy after school but lately it has become like a real full time job and that's not what I signed on for," Jimmy states.

"That's too bad," I respond. "That your job isn't working out so well for you. It sucks that it is so stressful."

"It's okay. I'll get over it. Once we finish this project and the incompetent staff members responsible for all the mishaps are fired things should be fine," Jimmy shrugs. "So what movie do you want to watch?"

"Actually," I tell him. "I'm kind of tired. I think I'm just going to go home. It's been a long, frustrating week and I think I just want to sleep it off."

"That's understandable," Jimmy nods. "Let me grab my keys and I'll drive you."

"No, that's okay. I'd rather walk. It's good exercise for me and gives me some thinking time. Besides, it's such a beautiful night. You can see like a million stars," I say standing up.

"Are you sure you want to walk home alone? I don't really think it's all that safe," Jimmy replies looking out the window into the dark at something.

"Don't worry. I'll be fine. I'm a big girl and I can take care of myself in case you have forgotten. Besides, this is Roswell. Nothing ever happens here. The crime rate is basically composed of under-aged drinkers who are stupid enough to get caught," I remind him. "But thanks for the offer though. You've been so nice to me. Listening to me when I whine and all."

"No, no, if anything, you listened to me whine," Jimmy points out opening the door for me. "Thanks for coming over Liz. Don't be a stranger. You're always welcome to stop by."

"Alright," I wave as I walk down his front steps. "I'll see you later."

"Goodnight," Jimmy waves back.

I stroll down the driveway, whistling to myself.

I mosey my way along for a few blocks before I stop to tie my shoe.

I notice: one white van is in tail a few blocks back.

Just as I suspected.

I continue to walk down the well-lit street acting naturally while I formulate a plan.



TBC....

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Nov-2002 3:03:43 PM ]
posted on 19-Nov-2002 2:42:02 AM by Allie1031
1. I will try to update dreams Friday.

2. Some people have developed "hunches" on who the bad guy(s) is/are in this fic. I am going to address this right now with a few hints/things to keep in mind:

A - There is more than one bad guy.

B - I use the term guy loosely to incorporate both sexes.

C - The bad people in this story aren't necessarily trying to obtain the same means. Each person/group of bad people has their own agenda/motive.

D - Collaboration will become evident in the end when the between bad persons whose goals overlap.

E - I don't think you need any hints to figure out where Tess will fall.

F - There are some things to pick up in this last part.


posted on 21-Nov-2002 2:40:07 AM by Allie1031
quote:
JBehrsGurl originally wrote:
Bump! *wink*

So how are ya? Good I hope!

~Elena


Hmmmm. I'm okay. I'm having guy problems again. I shake my fist at the opposite sex. I have been playing with some ideas in my head for some future fics except I still have a ways to go on these but I'm really getting tempted to start another one. Really tempted. I just realized today that I didn't even start the update to dreams yet but I wrote a bit. Hopefully tomorrow night I can find some time.
posted on 21-Nov-2002 9:48:58 PM by Allie1031
quote:
Roswelladdict originally wrote:

I have a question, Allie. Does Kyle know the Czechs secret identity? How did he become aware of it? How about Maria? Is she in on the litle secret as well? When the heck are they going to clue poor Liz in and stop fooling with her mind?

More soon. I love this one almost as much as Dreams *wink*


Kyle knows. Maria does not. Max healed Kyle. I think there is a reference early in the story somewhere.
posted on 24-Nov-2002 2:09:20 AM by Allie1031
Sorry there has been no update. Real life kicked my ass bad this week.
posted on 24-Nov-2002 2:32:30 AM by Allie1031
From chapter 15, I think, well the one with the strip poker:

"Max and Kyle seem pretty close," I remark.

"Yeah, they are," Maria says, "but they didn't used to be. Kyle used to be a real snob and hang out with all the stuck up jerks of Roswell when he was younger. Then one day he just changed in high school and he started being a lot cooler and more real and hanging out with Max and Michael. He also started dating Isabel, but I'm not sure what to make of that."


I'm still getting to the whole Max healing Kyle thing because Liz doesn't know they are aliens yet exactly. But it's kind of implied that something happened somewhere to change Kyle.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Nov-2002 2:34:29 AM ]
posted on 25-Nov-2002 1:00:00 AM by Allie1031
Sorry I didn't finish the new part yet. I did write and a part for an audition in this players club fanfiction or what not which was brought to my attention. So if you are in dire need of some Allie writing check it out at this link:

viewthread?forum=roswell-players-club&id=23064

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 25-Nov-2002 1:00:25 AM ]
posted on 5-Dec-2002 2:51:33 AM by Allie1031
I started a new fic. It's called burn. You should all check it out.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Dec-2002 3:30:44 AM ]
posted on 5-Dec-2002 2:25:38 PM by Allie1031
New part this weekend or early next week.

posted on 10-Dec-2002 3:09:16 AM by Allie1031
I have some really great parts coming up I just haven't had time to write them. Hopefully soon I will.

posted on 11-Dec-2002 10:57:50 PM by Allie1031
I'm trying to hurry kids but I started writing and there is still a lot I want to include in the next part so the next part might end up being longer than usual.
posted on 12-Dec-2002 1:29:42 PM by Allie1031
fd0833a6

-Previously-

"Are you sure you want to walk home alone? I don't really think it's all that safe," Jimmy replies looking out the window into the dark at something.

"Don't worry. I'll be fine. I'm a big girl and I can take care of myself in case you have forgotten. Besides, this is Roswell. Nothing ever happens here. The crime rate is basically composed of under-aged drinkers who are stupid enough to get caught," I remind him. "But thanks for the offer though. You've been so nice to me. Listening to me when I whine and all."

"No, no, if anything, you listened to me whine," Jimmy points out opening the door for me. "Thanks for coming over Liz. Don't be a stranger. You're always welcome to stop by."

"Alright," I wave as I walk down his front steps. "I'll see you later."

"Goodnight," Jimmy waves back.

I stroll down the driveway, whistling to myself.

I mosey my way along for a few blocks before I stop to tie my shoe.

I notice: one white van is in tail a few blocks back.

Just as I suspected.

I continue to walk down the well-lit street acting naturally while I formulate a plan.


Part 22

Let me tell you why Jimmy is a liar. He was at the same movie Tess and I were at on Wednesday night, sitting in the back, with some girl. He tried to avoid being seen by us but I thought that was because he didn't want me to know he was seeing other girls besides me so I didn't approach him.

Michael or no Michael. Maria's house is only a few blocks away and I really don't feel too cool out and about with that van on my ass.

That and I can't see a damned thing out of one eye and it's giving me a headache.

I walk a brisk pace, not too fast like I have seen the van, but like I have somewhere that I intend to go.

Unfortunately I walk directly into a tree branch jutting out on my right, almost knocking myself down.

Owwwwwwwww. Now my head really hurts.

Damnit. I can't see a damn thing on my right side. Everything is all blurry and distorted.

I compose myself and walk again. Fast now because I know that any out of the ordinary behavior will have alerted the van.

I'm almost to Maria's so I decide to fuck acting natural and just run up and bang on her door.

"Maria, open up! It's me Liz!" I shout pounding louding.

Maria opens the door slowly, glaring menacingly at me.

"Well look who it is," She states flatly. "Gee, Liz, nice of you to remember I exist."

I push past her completely justified cold attitude and into the house. I shove the door shut and lock it.

"Maria, I'm sooo sorry," I apologize. "I didn't mean those things at all."

"Yeah right," Maria scoffs.

"You have to believe me. That wasn't me talking. Tess…Tess did something to me. She brainwashed me or hypnotized me or something," I try to explain.

"I'm sure," Maria rolls her eyes.

"Maria, please. Do you honestly believe I could be friends with Tess? Come on. You know I hate her. She's like the biggest bitch ever. And after she humiliated me on Saturday and got into a fight with you! I hate her! I can't believe she brainwashed me I can't believe Max let her!" I cry.

Tears start to roll down my cheeks.

Maria's face softens but she maintains her distance, studying me carefully.

"Come on, Maria. You know something is up with them. You have to have noticed. They aren't normal. None of them. Michael's not normal," I say, begging, praying that she will forgive me. "I don't know who they are, but they aren't normal."

"I know," Maria sighs, finally pulling me into an embrace. "Michael and I have a don't ask don't tell policy."

"Isn't that the kind of agreement you make if you are cheating on each other?" I sniffle.

"Usually. But in this case, I know he's strange and so I don't ask where he's been when he has to leave right away or has disappeared for a while. He'll tell me when the time is right," Maria assures me. "I have to trust him or our relationship is worth nothing. I know he cares about me. I can feel it. When he kisses me I feel how he feels about me."

"But how can you not want to know who he really is, Maria? For all you know he could be a murderer," I point out.

"Michael isn't the type who just goes around killing people for fun despite all his weirdness. He'll tell me when he's ready Liz," Maria insists. "Okay, so say I believe that Tess somehow brainwashed you or whatever. How come you aren't still brainwashed then?"

"Because," I say meekly, swallowing hard. "Max kissed me. He kissed me and I saw a glimpse of how torn up he was over Saturday night and then suddenly I remembered everything, everything that happened Saturday night, everything Tess made me forget, all the flirtation that went on between me and Max, Everything came back to me in one big rush when Max kissed me. I can't explain it. I know it sounds crazy, but that's what happened."

"Awwwwwww! That's soooo romantic. It's like he was prince charming and he broke the spell that the evil witch put over you with one kiss," Maria states wistfully.

"I hardly find it romantic since HE'S the one who took me to TESS to be BRAINWASHED in the FIRST PLACE!" I point out.

"Everyone makes mistakes," Maria shrugs. "Tess had a lot of sway over him. He kissed you and that means he's finally ready to break free of her!!!"

"I cannot believe you sympathize with that bastard. He's kissed me before you know and he certainly didn't break free with any of those kisses did he?" I ask.

"First of all, if I wasn't so sympathetic I wouldn't so easily forgive you for all that nasty stuff you said to me in front of the entire school so you should just be thankful I am so sympathetic, chica. And second of all, he kissed you and you never told me?!! Well I mean I kinda figured that night when they came over to take their clothes back...but spill, Liz! I want details!" Maria exclaims.

I try to think back to the first time Max really kissed me.

"The night they came to get their clothes he kinda kissed me but not really, not like tonight," I confess. "I mean sure he kissed me. A LOT. Well, yeah, I'm not gonna go into that, but on lips it was only a peck really."

I think further ahead. The night of the dance we kissed, really kissed, but I was the one that initiated that kiss. I was the one that kissed him.

Suddenly I realize that Max never had really kissed me before tonight. Despite all his teasing, and talk, and innuendos, Max Evans had never really KISSED ME kissed me before tonight. Not the way he did tonight, not with his entire being in it, not giving in completely to me.

I had kissed him before, but he had never kissed me. He had brushed his lips over mine, but tonight he brushed me with his soul and I saw things I never thought possible.

I saw distant universes, distant times, distant places. I saw the notorious cave again, more clearly than ever before.

I also saw that night, the night of the Halloween Dance. I saw how much he admired my strength and courage. And I saw how much he wished things had been different. How much he wished he had handled it different.

Unfortunately things didn't happen differently and he did take me to Tess. I know that he never thought she would be how she was and do what she did, but nonetheless he took me to Tess. He took me to her and she tried to steal my life.

He was scared that I would find out his secret. And fear is a powerful motivator. And from what I saw he has great reason to fear.

He and Michael, they aren't normal. Tess isn't either. And neither is Isabel by my guess. Kyle? Who knows.

They can do stuff. Stuff that normal human beings can't. Not stuff like I can do or Jimmy can do, not stuff that requires intensive training, committed study, a finely tuned body, and a quick mind. They can do stuff that is just seemingly not humanly possible.

And I very much suspect that they might not be entirely all so human. I just have this feeling. And I'm not sure what I think about that thought.

At first it seemed silly. Not human. HA. But the thought reoccurringly creeps over me and the more I tell myself it is silly the less silly it seems.

"I don't know Maria," I finally say. "I don't want to talk about Max Evans anymore. That boy has caused me nothing but trouble."

"You want him and you know it!" Maria accuses.

"Maybe. But I'm not stupid or naïve enough to pursue him," I declare quickly.

"He wants you too, Liz," Maria tries to convince me. "And you can't help how you feel about him. You can't control how you feel. You can't control who you fall in love with."

"Watch me," I frown, turning away tears still glistening in my eyes.

Maria shakes her head.

"I have to go to the bathroom. I need to take my contact out. I lost one. Can you help me? Do you have any solution?" I change the subject.

"Yeah, sure," Maria leads me to the bathroom

She finds some contact solution for me.

"Liz, I'm so glad we are friends again," Maria turns around hugs me tight. "I hated that fight with you and I missed you so much!"

I hug her back, tears once again threatening to fall from my eyes.

"Oh Maria!" I cry. "I'm so sorry! I was so awful! I never want to fight with you again. I hate Tess and what she did!"

"If she ever tries to do that again, Liz, I'll find some way to help you!" Maria promises. "I won't believe it if she turns your brain to mush!"

"Thanks, Maria," I say weakly. "You are such an awesome friend! I don't deserve you at all."

"Of course you do, Liz," Maria replies. "Everyone deserves a good friend, regardless. Well except maybe Tess because she is a super bitch and horriby cruel…"

I pull out of our hug, a thin smile on my lips.

"I'll take my contact out," I tell Maria, "and then we can talk some more, okay?"

Maria nods and leaves me to take my contact out. It's only a disposable and I have a new package for the next month at home so I just throw it away. I also wash the horrible make up off my face.

I wander back to the kitchen. It's disturbingly quiet.

"Maria," I call out.

"I'm in here," She calls from the dark living room.

"Hey, why is it so dark in here?" I ask, turning on the light as I walk in.

And then I see why.

"Michael," I sigh.

"Liz, we need to talk," Michael states diplomatically.
I nod my head.

"I tried to tell him you weren't here, I swear," Maria says. "But he didn't believe me. I told him you need some space right now and that he needs to respect that but he insists that he must talk to you."

"It's ok," I say. "I'd rather just get this over with. Here?"

"Let's go to my place," Michael states.

I only nod and pick up my backpack.

"I'll call you later, Maria," I promise as I follow Michael over to the door.

"You better," She smiles, hugging me.

"Michael, you be nice," She orders. "And I swear if you take her anywhere near Tess…"

Michael rolls his eyes.

"I'll call you later, Maria," Michael kisses her forehead. "Don't worry. I'll take good care of Liz."

Maria scowls, unconvinced. She sighs and closes the door behind us.

Michael has borrowed Max's Jeep so we don’t have to walk. Which is nice with that crazy white van and the happenings of last Saturday night now fresh in my mind.

It's slightly odd riding in Max's vehicle without Max in it. We ride the whole way in uncomfortable silence. Luckily, it's not too long of a ride. But long enough that I get time to think a few things over.

Michael ushers me inside his apartment. The lights and the television are left on. Michael takes off his jacket and pick up the television remote to shut it off. I take a seat on the couch and he sits down next to me.

Silence falls over the apartment.

"Liz," Michael starts.

"Don't explain Michael," I interrupt him. "Because to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I want to know. And it's quite obvious that you have gone to great lengths to keep your secret a secret. So I know it must be pretty important that it remains that way. I don't think it is safe for you to tell me, not because I can't keep a secret, but because if there are others out there like you, like Tess, they could use what I know against you and I wouldn't be okay with that."

"So you don't even want to know?" Michael asks confused.

"Of course I want to know. I'm curious as hell. I have all these crazy theories flying around in my head right now. But I don't NEED to know," I tell him. "And I'm not sure you can afford to tell me. It doesn't seem to be a very good idea to me when I look at it from your perspective. I would never betray any of you or anything. But you are involved deeply in something I'm not sure it is smart I get involved in right now. Especially since there are people following me."

Michael nods his head.

"Let's just keep things on a need to know basis, then, okay?" I propose. "If you need to tell me your big secret someday, then you go right ahead. But you don't have to right now, just because of that night. I mean, it was a strange night, granted, but not so strange that you have to tell me. I've had a lot of strange nights in my lifetime. I do have one question thought that you have to answer."

"Alright, shoot," Michael responds.

"You are the good guys, right?" I wonder. "I mean, what you do, it doesn't hurt people unnecessarily, does it? You aren't trying to take over the world are you?!!!"

"No we aren't trying to take over the world," Michael chuckles, and mutters something under his breath that oddly sounded like "not this one at least."

Could be my imagination.

"Don't worry Liz, we are the good guys," Michael assures me.

"Okay, because sometimes the lines between good and bad can get kind of fuzzy when you are working for a greater cause. I mean, because Tess, what she did to me, that was not good, Michael," I look him straight in the eye.

"I know," Michael responds, meeting my gaze. "I suspect our leader had some issues he was dealing with."

Max. I never really thought about it before, but now it seems so obvious who is in charge, or rather, supposed to be.

"I suspect your leader had his head up his ass," I comment. "But that's no excuse. Leaders can't afford to have issues like that. Great leaders don't. I don't want you to misunderstand what I am saying. I understand that you did what you had to do to protect yourselves. I don't fault you for the actions you took in that case. What concerns me is that your 'leader' has problems maintaining his rank above a certain twisted female whose malicious behavior was allowed to continue. If he truly is your leader, she should know her place and he should not tolerate such childish incompetence in his ranks."

"It's not that simple," Michael tries to argue.

"It is," I insist. "It is exactly that simple. Your leader just doesn't recognize that it is."

"He's young, Liz, and confused," Michael tries to tell me.

"He's going to get you killed if he isn't more careful. Don't think I'm blind. Those robots? At first I thought they were after me. But they weren't. They were after you. And that's how you knew how to kill them. Because you've fought them before. And that's why you took me to Tess. Because then I would wonder why someone would be after you. And then I'd want to know your secret. If you had taken me to Tess and she had done her job instead of messing around, we wouldn't be having this conversation. If Max had done his job and kept his distance, we wouldn't be having this conversation. You all let your emotions rule you as if it is the first time you have ever experienced them," I complain.

"They aren't very experienced, Liz, in dealing with emotions. Tess is used to getting what she wants. Max, he's never been with anyone with Tess. And he's always been told he's supposed to be with her. He always tries to fulfill his duties Liz," Michael tries to explain.

"Well welcome Tess to the real world for me, will ya? And your leader should either fulfill his 'duties' or not fulfill his duties. He just fucked around in the middle for way too long," I retort. "And he tolerated too many mutinous acts. I understand that what a leader wants may not always be what he feels he is in the best interest of his organization. In which case a leader must decide if what it is he wants is so important that he would risk the possible damage it might cause or if the leader can deal with not getting what he wants in the interest of preserving his organization. You leader tried to take one action and ended up executing another. A leader must be more careful than that. He has to know he can fulfill the action he intends to or his authority is undermined. If a leader cannot control him self, how can he control his organization?"

"I understand where you are coming from, Liz, but he's been through-" Michael starts only to be interrupted.

"No, I understand Michael. You have to be loyal to him and defend him. It’s your job. But I'm telling you that I can tell that he is an important person. And that it is important that he knows what he is doing. I know he comes to you for advice, that's why I'm telling you this," I explain. "With the kind of power you all possess, you have to be sure that if you are the good guys, what you are doing is good. It is imperative. It is your duty."

I gaze at Michael's closed bedroom door.

"It is your duty," I repeat loudly. "You can't become so focused on your cause that you forget to watch that you don't step on anyone's toes. The means you use to achieve a goal matter. Don't forget that just because you have enough power to. I have enormous respect for your leader, primarily for the amount of power he welds, not really his ambition at this point, and don't get me wrong, I know it's not easy to lead. Of course he is expected to make mistakes. I just hope he learns from his mistakes and lives up to his potential."

Michael nods thoughtfully.

"Now, if you'll excuse me," I tell him, getting up. "I have a date with a pint of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream waiting for me in my freezer at home."

"Liz, let me drive you. It's not safe," Michael says.

"It's never safe. But I can take care of myself," I assure him. "Well, unless, you put me up against Tess. In that case it is appallingly clear I am horribly under equipped to handle the situation. But other than that, I'm fine."

"Liz, really, let me take you," Michael insists.

"I'm thinking about stopping by Maria's. In which case I would just be walking home anyways. It's okay, Michael. I'll be fine," I keep telling him.

In reality, I want to look in on Jimmy and see what that bastard is up to. But if I tell Michael this, it's not gonna go over well and he's going to insist on helping if not calling in reinforcements.
And truthfully, I'm not sure it's a good idea that they draw the attention of whoever is after me to them. Whoever they are and whatever they are up to, I'm sure it might very likely spark the interest of whoever is so interested in me.

"I'll drive you to Maria's and Maria can drive you home. You shouldn't be out alone at night, Liz," Michael states.

"Look, Michael, it's sweet that you care about me but I'd like to enjoy the night air," I smile tightly.

I refuse to put on a show. I refuse to let Michael take me home so I can sneak out again. I'm stubborn. I know it.

"Well then I'll walk with you," Michael offers.

"Michael!" I sigh exasperatedly. "Just let me go!"

This is utterly ridiculous.

"I can't. It's an order," Michael smirks.

"MAX!!!" I shout. "Get your ass out here!!!"

Reluctantly, the door to Michael's bedroom opens.

Duh. I've heard Michael bitch about his utility bill. I know he would never just leave his lights and T.V. on. He always scolds Maria if she accidentally leaves them on. Plus, did you really think Max would be able to sit this one out?

"Max, you tell Michael to stop harassing me and let me go," I glare at him.

Max just shakes his head at me.

"If it's such a big deal I know that you have to be up to something," Max points out. "So no I will not comply with your wishes. And even if I told him he didn't have to go with you he still would because he cares about you Liz. Why do you continue to shut us out? We can help you, you know."

I sigh. They are just impossible! And I've been so understanding!

"Jimmy's a bad guy," I say simply. "I went to his house tonight, to throw Michael off. And I overheard Jimmy on the phone and he made up this really good elaborate story but it only takes on lie to destroy and entire cover and he blew his."

"Wait, how did you know Michael was looking for you?" Max crosses his arms.

I sigh again.

"You know you guys suck at preventing infiltration. If I were after you, I would have had you all long ago," I state with a little too much hubris.

Michael just crosses his arms and Max sighs.

"Okay, so I forgot my disk in Max's computer because I ran out of there so fast because the bonehead had the nerve to kiss me," I throw an intense glare at Max. "And when I came back to get my disk after I about had a heart attack from recovering my memories so suddenly. I couldn't help but discover that I had become the topic of choice."

"You came in through the window," Michael states. "You were in the room when we were. It was open when it was shut earlier. I thought Max opened it but it was you."

"No shit. You boys need to be more careful. The window downstairs was open and so easy to listen through," I report. "Get a security system. Use air conditioning. Anything. You make yourselves too vulnerable."

"She's very critical today, isn't she?" Michael notes to Max.

"Abhorrently," Max agrees.

"So you think Jimmy is after you?" Michael questions.

"Yes," I confirm. "He's always been kind of shady and made me uneasy and after he lied to me about what he was doing last week, I don't know. It just seems clear that he is up to something. When I left, he looked out the window first, liking he was checking for something and the first thing I noticed when I got outside was the white van. He practically let me walk out of there to be captured. He knows all that martial arts. Seriously, if he can kick my ass, he's a very elite fighter. His fighting style is even disturbingly familiar. And his dad is in the military?!!! And those sword that were supposed to be reproductions but were really, really real. He's too good, too smooth, too composed."

"It makes sense," Max agrees. "He's always following you around and watching you during school."

"Here's the kicker though, he's so obviously not working alone. His partner must have followed me that night when Jimmy's band was playing. There is at least his partner that he was talking to on the phone and I think there may even be more people. Well there is the van crew. Which I guess could be his partner. But I really got the impression that it was more than just the two of them. I don't know if he is the only one undercover or what," I confide. "I just know he's not working alone."

"Do we know for sure it's even Jimmy?" Michael asks.

"No," I shrug. "But that's what I intended on finding out."

"So can you tell us why you think Jimmy is after you?" Max wants to know. "What does he want? What does he think he can accomplish? Who is he working for?"

"I think he might be from the Academy. You don't have to play stupid. Obviously Kyle told you. In fact, when I told him I pretty much assumed he would. I think that Jimmy is from the Academy," I tell them. "Now why the Academy waited so long to send someone out to recover me is beyond me. I'm reasonably sure that no one was following me before I moved here. They did send a few letters to my mother though, before she died. I used to be the first one home so I would always pick up the mail. I never read them though because my mother would send them through the shredder them without even opening them most of the time. But it's beyond me why they suddenly perked up their interest in me again. Granted, it is strange for them to let a student out of their grasp, but not completely as entirely unheard of as I told Kyle. I embellished because I had him so enthralled. Anyways, I don't know why I became so valuable again suddenly overnight. But I intend to find out."

"So you are sure it is the Academy who is after you then?" Michael questions.

"Michael, I'm never sure of anything. But it is the most likely answer. And this looks like their style. Except for the messages. The second note I got adhered to their style, but the first one was so obscure. I just don't know," I shake my head.

"We'll look into it," Michael promises.

"See, that's the thing. I think you guys should stay out of this. I think it would be the very best idea to draw attention to your selves from what I've seen. The academy would undoubtedly be interested in whatever your big secret is. In fact the only reason I know that you aren’t from the academy yourselves at this point is your poor leadership, inefficient organization. And Tess's strange abilities! I mean there are hypnotists at the academy, but not ones like that. I know the academy operates on the idea that the end justifies the means, but good heavens. To erase people's memories, feelings, thoughts, experiences, in the snap of a finger, to change their personality entirely, I don't even know if the academy could do that if they wanted to. It's involves a huge amount of mental reconstruction. Not to mention that it is somewhat unethical," I explain. "Well, at least it is unethical to do it as Tess did with the whole slave thing she turned it into."

Max cringes at the word 'slave.'

"You know you boys should really look into kicking her out of your club," I advise.

"If only if were that easy," Michael mutters.

Max elbows him.

"Liz, we want to help you," Max states. "I don't think you can handle this alone, if the Academy is as you say it is. You are in way over your head and you are too stubborn to admit it. It's okay to ask for help, Liz. You don't have to be so entirely independent all the time."

I frown at Max.

"You need our help Liz," Max continues. "And you know it. You can't do this alone. Be logical about it. There is no way you are going to be able to take down whoever this is without some outside help."

I can't afford to be foolish about this.

"Alright," I consent. "I might need your help a little. But seriously, you guys can't get so involved. Really, it's not safe and really, I can take care of myself. But if I'm going to go out and look for clues or something, I promise I'll take someone with me."

"Good, so you'll let us come with you to Jimmy's then?" Michael confirms.

"Well, I'm hardly in the mood now," I respond truthfully. "But sure, sometime I call you guys up and you can knock yourselves out."

"You do know that we are going to make sure you actually stay home once we take you there, right?" Max confirms.

"Unfortunately so," I nod.

This truly is ridiculous. I'm a big girl! I wear big girl underpants! I swear!

"Yeah, grab your keys Max, and let's go home," I wave my hand dismissively.

"You want me to take you home?" Max looks flattered.

"Not really. But it's ridiculous for Michael to take me and then come all the way back here when I'm on your way home. Unless you are going to come back here so you boys can have some sort of little conference? I just figured you both wanted to go to bed since it's almost one. You look tired anyways," I shrug.

"No, I'm ready to go home," Max states picking up his keys happily. "Come on, I'll take you."

What an idiot. I hope he doesn’t think things are anywhere near good between us just because I know how to be sensible.

I follow Max out the door, but I poke my head back in at Michael, grabbing my backpack in the process.

"Oh by the way, just for the record, you weren't really going to tell me your secret were you?" I ask curiously.

Michael snorts.

"Well, Liz, I guess you'll never know now," Michael shrugs playfully.

"No seriously," I demand. "Because I just gave you an awesome out and you know it. It took quite a bit of thought to come up with that too. The whole silent ride over here."

Michael smiles and shakes his head to answer.

"But that's just between you and me," Michael whispers. "Now get out of here!"

I nod and hurry to Max's jeep.

I wonder what kind of bullshit Max would have made Michael feed me. It’s almost a pity I missed out on that. It could have been potentially rather amusing. Oh, well.

Max has already started the Jeep and I hop in quickly, throwing my backpack on the floor at my feet.

"What was that about?" Max asks.

"Oh, nothing. I just about forgot bag is all," I respond.

Max nods.

"So, Liz," Max starts.

I roll my eyes because I know what’s coming.

"I like you a lot," Max states carefully.

"That's nice," I tell him.

"And I'm breaking up with Tess," Max elaborates.

What? Does he want a medal for that or something?

"So I heard," I retort. "But I'll have to see it to believe it."

"Listen, Liz, I know we got off to a really rocky start, but I really do like you a lot," Max confesses.

"Max, I know what you are getting at here, but you have to understand something. I don't feel particularly inclined to give you the time of day right now. You treated me like shit. Period. The fact that you have feelings for me doesn't change that one bit," I tell him. "You showed absolutely no respect for me on more than one occasion and I'm sorry but I just have to demand more than that. I have to be able to trust you and know you aren't going to walk all over me again. And I have to know that you respect yourself enough to never let me walk over you like Tess did, that is if you really are serious about pursuing any feelings you have for me. I'm sorry Max, but right now…. Right now, more than anything I just need so space."

Max and I sit in silence for a while.

"Okay," Max finally answers simply as he pulls into my driveway.

"Okay," I repeat picking up my bag.

I climb out of the Jeep.

"Thanks for the ride," I say through the open window.

Max nods.

I start to walk towards my house but Max stops me.

"Hey Liz," Max calls out, stepping out of his Jeep quickly to catch me.

I turn around. Our eyes meet. And they speak volumes.

"I'm not giving up on you. I want you to know that. But you're right. You need to be able to trust me and know how much I respect you. I know I haven't treated you very well in the past, and that kills me. I promise, though, I promise that somehow I will make it up to you and show you how I feel about you and how much I care. And I want you to know, that if you need me, I'm here for you, no questions asked," Max tells me.

I gaze at him in silence.

"Okay," I state, smiling weakly.

"Okay," Max responds.

I nod and continue to my house. Max gets back in his Jeep and pulls out of the driveway.

I pull the ice cream out of the freezer after all and head up to my room. I flip on my CD player and hit a few buttons.

"And I wanna believe you,
When you tell me that it'll be ok,
Yeah, I try to believe you,
But I don't."


And I'm crying and I hate that I'm crying over Max Evans again. What the hell is wrong with me?

"When you say that it's gonna be,
It always turns out to be a different way,
I try to believe you,
Not today, today, today, today, today..."


I'm so stupid! Why do I let him get to me so much!

"I don't know how I'll feel,
tomorrow, tomorrow,
I don't know what to say,
tomorrow, tomorrow
Is a different day."


I hate it! I hate not being in control of my feelings so much! I hate how he make me feel! I hate it!

"It's always been up to you,
It's turning around,
It's up to me,
I'm gonna do what I have to do,
Just don't."


And the worst part was that he was so understanding when I said I needed space! Ughhhhhh! Well I won't let him play me, not again.

"Gimme a little time,
Leave me alone a little while,
Maybe it's not too late,
not today, today, today, today, today..."


I eat my ice cream. It only mildly appeases the aching feeling I have inside.

"I don't know how I'll feel,
tomorrow, tomorrow,
I don't know what to say,
tomorrow, tomorrow
Is a different day"


Tomorrow I and going to go out with Sean and forget Max Evans and his puppy dog eyes and his great smile and his sensual lips. Max Evans be damned. He can kiss my ass.

That's right, I tell myself. I don't care about Max Evans. I don't care about his lies. I don't, I don't, I don't….

But I never finish that sentence. I only cry harder.

"And I wanna believe you,
When you tell me that it'll be ok,
Yeah I try to believe you,
Not today, today, today, today, today..."


I think back to what Maria said. About not being able to help how I feel, about not being able to control who you fall in love with.

"Tomorrow it may change…"

And deep down I know no matter how much I refuse to admit it, that this is not the end of Max Evan's reign over my heart.

No, this is only the beginning.

TBC.......


That's some quality Avril Lavigne there to finish out that part. I hope everyone's holiday season is progressing well for them. I'm going to come back with another update for this really quick so look for that. I couldn't fit everything I wanted to into this part.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Dec-2002 6:35:50 PM ]
posted on 12-Dec-2002 1:36:58 PM by Allie1031
Elena, check out what happened with the banner. Don't worry about it right now if you are too busy. Heh heh. Whatever. It was really pretty while it lasted.
posted on 12-Dec-2002 1:42:22 PM by Allie1031
Oh and if anyone knows anything about FanFic awards, I guess I was messing around in the nomination forum the other day and I guess I saw that I won in the Best story your not reading category or something like that. So that's pretty cool I think. I'm not sure why/how I didn't know about it though. I get pretty oblivious sometimes. I heard mention of a prize/banner or something but I never paid much attention. If anyone knows anything about that you should probably let me know. Anyways, thanks, guys for liking my stories enough to vote for them.
posted on 12-Dec-2002 3:57:40 PM by Allie1031
Of course I wouldn't hate you Elena, post as much as you want. Like I care. Thanks for fixing that kid! It looks great.
posted on 13-Dec-2002 12:42:43 PM by Allie1031
quote:
Insanity originally wrote:


You said in one of your posts that you were gonna have the next part soon? Is there a chance you could update on Monday? Pleaaaaaaase? Or are you gonna make us suffer till like next month? (Sorry if that sounded a bit bitchy...it's just frustrating to go through 15 pages of Feedback to get to another part of a kick-ass story at freaking 2am in the morning.)


*bounce*


Well, I'm going to try to udate later today or tomorrow actually. I'm almost finished with the new part I think.
posted on 13-Dec-2002 6:45:55 PM by Allie1031
fd0833a6

Warning: This part contains nonconsentual sexual acts

-Previously-

Tomorrow I'm going to go out with Sean and forget Max Evans and his puppy dog eyes and his great smile and his sensual lips. Max Evans be damned. He can kiss my ass.

That's right, I tell myself. I don't care about Max Evans. I don't care about his lies. I don't, I don't, I don't….

But I never finish that sentence. I only cry harder.

"And I wanna believe you,
When you tell me that it'll be ok,
Yeah I try to believe you,
Not today, today, today, today, today..."

I think back to what Maria said. About not being able to help how I feel, about not being able to control who you fall in love with.

"Tomorrow it may change…"

And deep down I know no matter how much I refuse to admit it, that this is not the end of Max Evan's reign over my heart.

No, this is only the beginning.

Part 23

The next day when Sean calls me and remind me of our date I heartily confirm our plans. The party at Pam's grandmother's house is on.

Sean tells me not to let the word grandmother scare me because apparently the place is very hip.

I shrug and tell Sean I couldn't care less. I used to go to parties in barns.

I work at Mohair Pear most of the day. Maria comes to visit me over her lunch break. My shift ends at five and I head home to get ready for my date.

I never hear Sean ring the doorbell when he comes to pick me up at nine.

Instead I find him downstairs entertaining my dad and Nancy.

"Mr. Parker, this is some collection, you have," I hear Sean say.

Oh geez! My dad must have shown him some of his baseball paraphernalia.

I sigh.

"And Mrs. Parker, these cookies are delicious! Way better than Betty!" Sean exclaims.

I can't help but smile. Sean can be really sweet when he tries.

"Well, thank you Sean," I hear Nancy reply.

I walk into the living room where Nancy, my dad, and Sean are gathered.

"Liz! There you are! We were just chatting with your date here," my Dad tells me.

"So I see," I grin.

"Are you ready to go?" Sean asks.

"Yes, I am," I respond.

I'm wearing a turquoise halter top with a pink cardigan sweater over it for the time being. I crimped my hair like Maria showed me and the waves are actually very flatering.

"I'll see you, later Dad, okay?" I smile at my Dad and hug him goodbye.

"Okay, Lizzie. Have fun and be careful," My dad replies.

"Don't worry, Mr. Parker, I will take good care of her. Is there a certain time I should have Liz home by?" Sean asks.

I elbow him. Hard. He sucks in a breath.

"No, no. I don't give Lizzie a curfew because I trust she is old enough and responsible enough to make her own decisions," My dad laughs at my reaction. "But thank you for asking. Say, Sean, would you like to join us for dinner tomorrow night?"

Sean looks at me questioningly.

I shrug.

"That would be wonderful, Mr. Parker," Sean accepts. "I'm sure Mrs. Parker will prepare something absolutely delicious!"

"Tell your aunt she's welcome to come as well," My dad adds. "And Maria."

"Will do, Mr. Parker," Sean replies. "I'm sure they would love to join your family for dinner."

"We have to go, Dad," I yank on Sean's arm. "I think I might just sleep in Maria's bed again tonight because I am supposed to meet up with her later, okay? So you don't have to leave the front door unlocked."

"Alright, Lizzie," My dad waves as I haul Sean away. "You kids have a good time!"

"Bye Mr. and Mrs. Parker," Sean calls out as I shove him out the front door.

Sheesh. My parents adore Sean. Who would have thought? I guess he is a really likeable guy though.

"You don't have to come to dinner if you don't want to," I tell Sean as we climb into his car.

"No, I think it will be fun," Sean smiles. "I'd love to. I mean that is if you want me to come."

"I think it'd be cool. I can’t believe how much my parents adore you though. It's almost disgusting, really," I smirk.

Sean laughs.

"What can I say? Parents like me," Sean replies.

We arrive at Pam's grandmother's house which looks nothing like any grandmother's house I've ever seen and is in fact a ritzy lakeside cabin right outside of town.

Sean tells me Pam's grandmother only lives in New Mexico in the winter. She lives in Montana during the summer and migrates here sometime around thanksgiving.

Whatever.

Pam just has too easy of access to great party locations if you ask me. No wonder she is so well known for them.

Sean and I mingle for a while. There are a lot of people here that I recognize but have no Idea who they are. Many of them say hi to me and I smile politely back.

"So I hear you and Maria made up," Sean says.

"Yeah, I don't know what was with me last week. I was like super PMSing or something," I shake my head.

Sean shrugs.

"You want me to get you something to drink?" He asks.

"Sure," I respond.

"Let me rephrase that so you know what I mean. Do you want me to get you something alcoholic to drink?" Sean restates. "I'm going to go grab a beer, as long as that is okay with you."

I just NEED to have fun tonight.

"Is there anything else besides beer?" I wonder.

"Well I hear there is some wicked Jungle Juice in the basement," Sean responds. "But I can steal you a Skyy or Smirnoff or maybe some Mike's out of Pam's personal stash if you promise not to tell anyone where you got it."

"I'll have a hard lemonade if it's not too much trouble and if you promise not to tell Maria that I was drinking," I smile.

"Anything for you Liz," Sean grins.

Pam rushes over to my side as soon as Sean is gone.

"Liz!" Pam smiles broadly enveloping me into a big hug.

Why is she touching me? Did I tell her she could touch me?

"How have you been, sweetie? I've hardly seen you lately!" Pam exclaims.

YACK! Did she just call me sweetie? EH! Excuse my while I go mop the vomit off myself.

"I been okay Pam," I respond hesitantly.

"Oh you poor thing!" Pam cries throwing her arms around me again dramatically. "We all heard everything about what happened!"

"What happened?" I wonder.

"You know!" Pam jabs me playfully. "Isabel told us all about it!"

"She did?" I question, still highly confused.

"Oh about last week, the whole thing with Tess and all. Sheesh, Tess is such a bitch," Pam shakes her head.

"Yup," I agree.

No argument there. At least we're together on that.

"Isabel told us all how her brother has been trying to break up with Tess for such a long time but she won't let him. I heard Isabel even went so far as to say Tess is seriously crazy. I mean Isabel would know, of course. Her and Tess used to be best friends. But then Isabel said when you moved here Tess started to flip because she was so insanely jealous and all! Because of your friendship with Max, you know," Pam elaborates. "But you were always so nice to Tess and went out of your way to help her Isabel said. Everyone knows you wouldn't have even dreamed of stealing her boyfriend or anything. But Tess was still jealous and started to invent things and get all these crazy ideas and she exploded at you at the Halloween Dance! How horrible! But the worst part was you still tried to be her friend and were so nice to her and she just treated you like dirt! We all saw how bad it was this last week! Oh you poor thing!"

FINALLY! Some well-deserved sympathy for my situation.

And Isabel Evans is spreading positive rumors about me? What the hell? She knows as well as I do that I was never friends with Tess.

Pam's mouth continues to run a mile a minute.

"Of course, we all know you weren't very good of friends with Isabel to begin with. I mean she used to hate your guts. But she said when she saw how nice of a girl you were and how mean and nasty Tess was to you, she knew you couldn't be all THAT bad," Pam continues. "I mean anyone who can tolerate Tess when she is in one of her 'moods.' And Sarah and Brittany even overheard you trying help Tess and Max stay together and work things out. Honestly I don't know what Max Evans saw in her. I mean sure I suppose she could be considered pretty if you squint but she's such a bitch!"

Wow. It's really open season on Tess I guess. Her social status seems to have plummeted and mine strangely, has risen as a result.

I hope Pam's lips aren't permanently glued to my ass.

"We all new it was only a matter of days before Max finally cut her lose. The disgusted looks he gave her this week were just priceless. Of course, I put my money on Thursday. I was sure I would win, too. When Max stopped talking to her for pretty much the entire day on Wednesday I thought for sure that it's be over before school was out Thursday. I was hoping for a scene around the lunch hour. But alas, you know Max, he does that whole good guy thing. I should have known better than to think he would want to publicly humiliate her," Pam shakes her head. "Kelly Bernard ended up taking the pot. When she said Saturday we all thought she was foolish to think it would last as long as it did."

What the hell is she talking about?

"What the hell are you talking about?" I ask, mildly disturbed.

"Oh my goodness! You haven't heard, have you?!" Pam looks at me astonished. "Max just broke up with Tess this afternoon. Brittany called Isabel to make sure she was coming to the party and Isabel told her all about it and how she had to stay home to make sure Max was okay."

Where the hell is Sean with that fucking drink?

"Really," I swallow hard.

"Oh yes," Pam nods. "I'm surprised no one told you."

I'm not. Well, maybe I am a little surprised that Max did call looking for congratulations.

"So you think you'll get together with Max now?" Pam whispers.

First of all, since when is Pam friends with Isabel? Doesn't she hate her?

Pam, herself, as a person, is so very wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start.

So I chose my next words carefully.

"Fuck No," I answer.

"Really?" Pam looks shocked. "I mean because I know you would never STEAL Max from Tess but it's always kinda seemed like there was something between the two of you, and now that he's single…"

I spot Sean weaving through the crowd party-goers. I snatch my Mike's hard lemonade out of his hand eagerly.

"Sorry, I couldn't care less," I shrug. "I mean of course I feel bad for Max and Tess. It must have been a hard break up since they had so much history."

"Max and Tess broke up?" Sean scratches his head.

"Apparently," I tell him.

"Really? That surprises me," Sean shakes his head.

"Why?" I wonder.

"I don't know, I guess I always thought they'd end up getting married right out of high school and Max would spend the rest of his life miserable," Sean responds nonchalantly.

"No shit," I agree.

Sean sits down in an open chair and I make myself a seat on his knee. Pam continues to babble on, studying Sean and I all the while. I drink my hard lemonade fast, hoping it will go to my brain quickly and make Pam more interesting. Eventually she gets really boring and then rushes off to bother someone else.

"You might want to slow down there, Liz," Sean cautions me.

"I'm fine," I assure him. "I can handle my alcohol. I used to drink pretty often before I moved here."

"You, Parker?" Sean jests. "I never would have thought. You maintain such an innocent, wholesome image!"

"Hey guys," Charlie greets us.

"What up?" Sean nods.

"Charles!" I smile seductively, already feeling slightly lightheaded. "Be a dear snag me some jungle juice will you? And Sean needs a refill on his beer. Thanks."

Charlie reluctantly sighs and takes Sean's cup from my hand.

"Alright, but only because I am going that way," Charlie responds.

"Thanks, bro," Sean tells Charlie as he goes to get our drinks.

I lean my head back against Sean's chest, straddling my legs around his knee. Sean wraps an arm around my waist, pulling me back closer to him.

I feel a little fuzzy inside.

The music is really loud and there are so many people! Where did they all come from?

It's gotten kind of hot in the room so I take off my sweater and set in on the floor next to Sean's chair.

Charlie returns quickly. Sean and I both thank him profusely for the drinks.

"So how long have you two been here?" Charlie wonders.

"About an hour or so," Sean answers. "How about you?"

I take a sip of my drink while the boys chat. HOLY SHIT! Whoa. That's very strong. And quite tart.

Eh.

"Me? I just got here," Charlie shrugs. "Dude, there are so many people here and it's not even eleven yet.

"No kidding," Sean agrees.

"Oh, hey, I almost forgot. I got an ounce of that premium weed like we talked about," Charlie says excitedly.

"Awesome," Sean grins. "You and me bro. Later we'll take that shit for a spin."

Ahhhhhh. The popular past time of smoking pot that reigns more prevalently over the youth of America than anyone is willing to admit.

Eh.

"So Liz," Charlie smiles at me, licking his lips. "You're looking hot tonight."

I almost choke on my jungle juice. And not just because it is so outstandingly strong.

"I'm here with Sean," I frown at him.

His forwardness is disturbing.

"Aight, aight, whatever you say," Charlie winks at me.

"Dude, she's here with me," Sean repeats, laughing at Charlie's idiocy. "You don't stand a chance!"

Charlie frowns at Sean's last remark.

"Yeah, yeah," Charlie nods carefully. "I gotta go meet up with Pam, real quick. I got some of that shit for her too. But I'll catch you later."

Some Brittany chick comes over and starts talk to us. One of Pam's cronies. She has awful bleach blond hair and dark roots.

I try to drown her out and enjoy my drink. By now it all tastes the same and is flowing down a lot easier.

"Hey Brittany," I say boldly. "Did you know that in ancient Rome they used to make prostitutes dye their hair yellow?"

Brittany laughs. I don't think she caught that I was insulting her.

"Liz, you want me to get you a refill?" Brittany offers when I tip the cup back to finish it out.

"Sure, Britt, that'd be great," I smile that patent fake smile I take out on occasions like this.

"Okay, I'll be right back," She bounds off.

"Liz?" Sean wonders after Brittany leaves.

"Hmmmm?" I question.

"How ya doing?" Sean asks.

He kisses my bare shoulder.

"Oh, I'm fine," I dismiss him with a flick of my wrist. "I'm not even feeling it yet."

Not really.

"Oh okay," Sean laughs like he doesn't believe me. "You just make sure you don't drink yourself sick, okay?"

I nod.

Sean's fingers playfully runs through my hair.

Brittany comes back with my drink shortly joined by some guy named Pat.

Pat is hilarious. HILARIOUS! Pat tells us all about this time, in ninth grade, when he had to go to the nurse because he got a pen stuck up his nose on accident because he happened to glance up when Miss Johnson bent over and her fat ass scared the bejesus out of him. It's funny as hell the way he tells it even though I suspect I'd think he was an asshole if I was a little less intoxicated.

And then I realize that more than anything else in the entire world I need to find a bathroom before I pee my pants. Brittany offers to take me.

We stumble along giggling at our inability to walk very straight. We finally get to the bathroom but the line is enormous. Brittany pulls me upstairs to another bathroom that no one knows about and we take turns peeing.

"So, Liz, are you gonna fuck Sean?" Brittany laughs. "Because if you don't I will. He is looking so fucking fine tonight! YUM!"

"I know," I nod agreeing heartily.

"Of course, if I had my choice between Sean and Max Evans…. Oh Liz, you are such a lucky girl!" Brittany exclaims. "And you already had Jimmy!"

"I don't like Max Evans," I exclaim defensively.

"Good. That means he's mine then!" Brittany laughs.

I think about this. I don't want Brittany to have Max. But I DON'T like Max.

"Okay. I'll loan him to you for a while. But be gentle. I think Tess already broke him," I warn her.

Brittany better not break Max. I'll kick her ass. But I DO NOT like Max. Evans.

"Hahaha, okay," Brittany laughs as we come down the stairs.

"Oh," I whisper giggling again when the thought comes to me. "You're in luck, because I happen to know he is very well endowed…"

"Really?" Brittany's eyes go wide with lust.

I nod.

"Damn," Brittany laughs. "You are one lucky girl. First you get Jimmy's full attention and then Max and now Sean."

I shrug.

"Lucky is as lucky does," I say intellectually.

I have no idea what that means.

These stairs go down a lot farther than they came up. I think. Maybe. And I don't think they were moving like this when we went up either.

We rejoin Sean and Pat who were joined by Charlie and some guy named Jordan while we were gone. I snuggle back into Sean's lap, drinking occasionally from his cup of beer.

"How did Pam get a keg?" I wonder out loud. "Where did all this alcohol come from?"

"She blew the guy behind the counter at the liquor store!" Brittany snickers.

We all laugh.

"Actually, I think her older brother might have actually bought it for her this time," Sean corrects. "But if he didn't, she blew the guy at the liquor store."

We laugh some more.

Sean is so FUN. I'm having FUN. This is FUN. FUN, FUN, FUN.

Sean's hand moves from where it had been situated on my knee to stroke my inner thigh.

Charlie gets up to refill his cup and I hand him mine as well.

I see Jimmy walk over to Charlie who is waiting in line for my jungle juice and start talking to him.

JIMMY! What's he doing here?

Charlie smiles and hands Jimmy my cup and heads over to the line behind the Keg.

Sean kisses my neck. And then my cheek. And I turn my head and meet his mouth with mine.

Our tongues search each other out and I rotate my body so that I am now facing Sean. I grind as close as I can into Sean, to try to lose myself in him.

I put everything I've got into that kiss. But it's still not the same. Sean's just not Max.

Charlie clears his throat.

I pull back and Sean and I both gasp for breath.

"I, uhhh, have your drink for you Liz," Charlie states unhappily.

"Thanks, Charlie," I smile at him.

I take the cup from him. I heartily gulp down a few swallows.

I turn back around and situate myself on Sean's lap as I was before. Brittany's making out with Jordan kid on the couch and I don't know what happened to Pat.

"You wanna go smoke now?" Sean asks Charlie, sensing the slight hostility from Charlie.

"Yeah," Charlie nods.

Brittany perks up at the word 'smoke.'

"I wanna come!" Brittany exclaims.

Sean looks at Charlie and Charlie shrugs.

"How about you, Liz?" Charlie asks. "Are you in?"

"No," I shake my head.

I'm enjoying the buzz from the alcohol just fine as it is. I take another big sip of my jungle juice. The cup is almost half gone already.

I yawn. I'm kinda sleepy.

"I'm kinda sleepy," I tell them.

I can barely keep my eyes open.

Sean laughs.

"I'll take you to Pam's room, Liz," Brittany tells me. "You can pass out on her bed. No one will bother you there because everyone knows that if they have sex in Pam's bed she will hunt them down and disgrace their sorry ass."

"Okay," I agree, stumbling to my feet.

Sean steadies me.

"I'll come and check on you in a bit," Sean whispers in my ear, kissing it.

I nod. I down the rest of my cup and follow Brittany to Pam's room. Brittany has to hold me up the entire way.

It's like I'm disconnected from my body or something. The entire world is in a different dimension. And everything is hazy and slow. I reach out to try to make the surface of the walls stop moving.

Brittany takes me down a dark hallway to a small room. I'm too drunk to think it is disturbing that Pam's grandmother is rich enough that her grandchildren each have their own rooms. I let my cup drop out of my hand and I here the clinking of it rolling across the floor. Brittany helps me onto the bed and leaves me to go find Sean and Charlie again.

I lay in the dark for a while, trying to find the world again. Trying to catch my bearings. That last drink sent me over the edge.

I gaze out the window into at the trees. Their movement seems strange, foreign. Like a dream.

I hear the door open and close. I hear the unmistakable click of a lock. I roll over to see who has come in.

"Hello?" I call out, my own voice sounding far off.

"Shhhhhh," A voice hisses.

"Sean?" I wonder.

"Nope, sorry. He's still out back smoking," The voice in the dark answers.

"Charlie?" I recognize the voice.

"Quiet, Liz," The voice orders.

Charlie steps into the moonlight and I can see his face more clearly. Or at least as clearly as I can in my disoriented state.

"What are you doing?" I ask, irritated.

"Getting what I want for once," Charlie answers, sitting down next to me on the bed.

I don't like the way he is looking at me. I try to sit up. I can hardly move. I finally manage to get myself started up but Charlie shoves my shoulders back down, hard.

"Hey!" I cry out, still not fully understanding the seriousness of the situation.

Charlie crawls on top of me, the weight of his body almost suffocating me.

And then I feel it. I feel him. Him poking into me. And I finally understand what he wants, what he's here for. And it scares me.

I try to shove Charlie off my but I can hardly get my jello arms to move.

"Get off me!" I assert trying to squirm away.

I've never felt this weak before in my entire life. I would be kicking the shit out of Charlie right now if I hadn't had so much to drink.

I didn't even think I drank that much! Well not enough to make me this drunk. I've never felt like this in my entire life. I've never been this drunk ever before, and I swear I've had more to drink than I did tonight before, at least once or twice.

Charlie easily manages to pin my arms above my head. His gross, wet lips crash down on mine. I struggle to kick Charlie off me but are entangled in mine, holding them down.

"Get off me!!!" I try to scream but even to me my own voice sounds weak.

Charlie laughs and kisses me again, stabbing his tongue into my mouth. I bite his tongue. Charlie pulls back quickly, angrily.

His fist connects with my jaw bone. And I feel the pain. It comes rushing at me from some far off place making my nightmare real.

"Don't do that again, bitch," Charlie frowns.

His mouth attacks mine once again and I taste the blood mixed in with his saliva. I gag. Charlie pulls back, but only to claw at my halter top. He tears it down violently, breaking the strings that tie it up behind my neck.

He pushes my shirt down, groping at my now exposed breasts. He squeezes them. HARD. Painfully hard.

I begin to cry, despite my best efforts not to.

Charlie licks the tears off my cheek. I shudder.

His foul mouth moves to my breasts and he sucks at one hungrily. I feel the pinch of his teeth and I cry out. I try to pull at his hair but he knocks my hands away easily.

Charlie pins my arms up again with one hand, leaving his other still free to explore. He rips at the top of my jeans, forcing them open.

"Help! Someone help me!" I try to yell.

"Shut up, Liz," Charlie commands. "Don't make me gag you, bitch."

I shut up, saving my voice for the chance that it might be heard. But I know the chance is slim. Even in this room, the music from the party is blaring outstandingly loud.

I feel Charlie's hand wriggle its way into my underwear. He shoves his fingers into my most intimate spot.

I look out the window to try to pretend I'm not here, that this isn't me.

Creepily, I notice a seemingly familiar face pressed against the glass, peering in. I focus my eyes through the blurring tears and distant world. Jimmy.

"Help me!!!" I holler trying to get his attention.

Jimmy looks directly at me.

Charlie pummels my face again and goes back to molesting me, yanking down my jeans and underwear. I renew my weak efforts to struggle away.

Jimmy just watches silently.

I wait for him to come, to rescue me. But he doesn't.

Charlie continues to shove his fingers in me. It hurts like hell. It is hell. Tears burn my cheeks.

"You like that don't you Liz?" Charlie whispers, focusing my attention back on him.

"Go to hell," I spit on his face.

He frowns and wipes the spit off his face. I think he is going to hit me again but he doesn't. Instead he fiddles with his belt buckle, beginning to take his pants off.

"You are going to pay for this bastard," I swear.

The hate is boiling in my veins now. I manage to punch him in the stomach, not very hard, but hard enough that his balance is thrown off. I use that time to roll off the bed.

I try to stand up but my knees are too weak. All my muscles unnervingly ache. I try to scramble towards the door at least but Charlie is after me in no time. He wrestles me to the ground.

"Relax, Liz. You're going to enjoy this," Charlie promises.

"You're sick, you bastard," I retort, still struggling.

Charlie punches me in the stomach, knocking the wind out of me. He wriggles with his pants again. I hear the zipper of his fly go down.

"Are you going to scream, Liz?" Charlie's hot breathe hits my ear. "Do I need to gag you or are you going to be a good girl?"

I say nothing, closing my eyes, turning my head away, still trying to save my voice, hoping it'll become of use.

"That's a good girl," Charlie grins, petting my hair.

I can't even begin to imagine how fucked up my face must be right now. It already feels tight and swollen.

"Open your eyes and look at me, Liz," Charlie orders.

I oblige. I stare into is cold eyes knowing mine are just as cold. I'm going to make you wish you never set eyes on me, I promise silently. You are going to pay so much for this.

Suddenly my thoughts are interrupted by someone banging on the door.

I'd all but forgotten about Jimmy. I look at the window. Jimmy's floating face quickly disappears.

Someone desperately jiggles with the door handle.

"Liz?" A familiar voice calls out.

MAX!

"HELP!" I make myself shout at the top of my lungs.

"Shut up!" Charlie hisses, hitting me.

"LIZ!" Max calls out again panicked.

He hears me!

"Max," I try to shout again but I can't make my mouth work.

"Sorry, Liz, he can't help you. Do you think I'm stupid enough not to lock the door?" Charlie laughs in my ear.

He moves to position himself above me.

Suddenly the door slams open and Max barrels into the room, throwing Charlie off me. He punches him in the face hard, once, giving him a bloody nose, and rushes over to me. Michael soon appears in the room and starts to kick the shit out of Charlie.

I manage to get my pants and underwear pretty much pulled up before Max scoops me up in his arms. I hug him, crying.

"Liz, are you okay?" Max pulls back to look me over.

I sniffle as I try to rebutton my pants. My hands struggle to complete the movement and Max helps me. I pull my halter top up as best as I can. Max brushes my hair of my face. I wince. Max examines my face, horrified.

"I'm fine now," I tell him weakly. "Thank you for saving me."

Max nods. The world is still distant, spinning. Max pulls my halter top up, fixing it, reattaching the strings somehow. He takes off his jacket and wraps it around me.

"Close your eyes," Max orders.

I obey. With my eye's shut I feel so sleepy, so drowsy.

"Max," Michael's voice warns.

"Just close the door," Max orders.

I feel a slight tingling sensation on my face before I am suddenly hit with intense parade of images. I see me the first time Max saw me, at the Crashdown on the first day I moved here. And I feel what he felt. How beautiful he thinks I am. The image changes and I see Michael and Isabel and Tess with Max. All four of them. Together. And it's comforting to Max. He feels less alone. Still, he feels like something is missing. The image changes again and I see the cave once more. Max places a hand on a special plate and it open and Max steps inside and… The image fades.

"Liz," I hear Max's distant voice calling me. "Liz, open your eyes."

I try but my eyelids are so heavy.

"I can't," I mumble. "I'm too sleepy."

"I know she's drunk, but I think she's been drugged as well," I hear Max state.

Michael says something but his words all run together and I can't make them out.

I feel myself being lifted up into the air. I snuggle in close to Max's warm body. The last thing I feel is Max's gentle lips brushing across my forehead before I finally succumb to the impending darkness.


TBC......


Yeah. New part on a one day turn around. You should all be impressed. Anyways, guys, I was reading the first few parts of this the other day and since I started my writing has changed kinda. I don't know how you guys feel about it or if you like it or what but it seems like I have gotten a lot more serious with this story. And in general I have been having doubts about my writing lately. So what I'm leading up to right now is that I'm kinda looking for someone who is wants to honsetly critique my stuff for me maybe. Nice feedback is wonderful, but I think I need constructive critism more. So let me know if you'd be interested in going through my stuff for me. I know I have a lot of typos, and I know I could use help on that, but that's not really what I'm talking about.

Well, in any case, good luck to those of you that have finals coming up like me, and I hope everyone's holiday season is going well.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 13-Dec-2002 6:56:41 PM ]
posted on 14-Dec-2002 2:04:21 AM by Allie1031
I think I might put up a part 24 within the weekend or early next week. I'm reallly on a roll with this. Unless you guys really really really want to see a new part on Burn or Dreams.
posted on 14-Dec-2002 2:10:15 AM by Allie1031
Oh and thanks you guys whgave input in how you thought the story developed. I originally intended this to get serious later on and have a lot of different themes/ideas flow throw it but I am just afraid that I'm not very funny anymore or that it's become too serious.
posted on 15-Dec-2002 2:31:57 AM by Allie1031
fd0833a6
-Previously-

I feel a slight tingling sensation on my face before I am suddenly hit with intense parade of images. I see me the first time Max saw me, at the Crashdown on the first day I moved here. And I feel what he felt. How beautiful he thinks I am. The image changes and I see Michael and Isabel and Tess with Max. All four of them. Together. And it's comforting to Max. He feels less alone. Still, he feels like something is missing. The image changes again and I see the cave once more. Max places a hand on a special plate and it open and Max steps inside and… The image fades.

"Liz," I hear Max's distant voice calling me. "Liz, open your eyes."

I try but my eyelids are so heavy.

"I can't," I mumble. "I'm too sleepy."

"I know she's drunk, but I think she's been drugged as well," I hear Max state.

Michael says something but his words all run together and I can't make them out.

I feel myself being lifted up into the air. I snuggle in close to Max's warm body. The last thing I feel is Max's gentle lips brushing across my forehead before I finally succumb to the impending darkness.




Part 24




"Liz? Liz? Can you hear me, Liz?" I hear a voice talking to me.

I try to open my eyes. I blink. It's dark. I strain to focus my eyes.

Max is looking back at me. I'm sprawled across the backseat of his jeep. How did I get in his Jeep?

"Liz, we're going to be to Michael's apartment soon. When we get inside we are going to give you some water and we need you to drink it okay," Max tells me.

I nod my head.

My body is exhausted and I'm not sure exactly what is going on.

When we get to Michael's apartment Max lifts me out of the back of the Jeep effortlessly. He tries to carry me to the house but I insist that he put me down, that I can walk. Michael gives Max and exasperated look. Max holds my elbow tight and I lean on him as he slowly helps me to Michael's apartment.

I remember that I had been drinking, drink a lot. And I remember that I went to go lay down. And then I remember Charlie came and I remember what he tried to do to me.

I reach out and touch my face where it hit me. It doesn't feel sore or even swollen.

Isabel opens the door to Michael's apartment before we get to it.

"How is she doing? Is she going to be okay?" Isabel inquires, her voice filled with worry.

"I think she's going to be okay," Max tells her. "She's still really out of it. Can you get me a tall glass of water?"

"Right away," Isabel zips off.

She hurries back and thrusts an enormous glass of water in front of me. I just look at it.

"We need you to drink this, okay Liz?" Max states softly.

I nod, taking the glass of water from Isabel. I start to sip at it and slowly I manage to drink a good portion of it.

I don't feel so good.

"She doesn't look too good," Michael examines me from across the room, scratching his chin.

Max throws him a dirty look and Isabel rolls her eyes.

I really don't feel so good.

"How the hell is she supposed to look?" Isabel frowns. "She just got fucking jumped by Charlie."

Whoa. Did Isabel Evans just use the f-word?

I really really don't feel so good.

"No, I'm just saying that-" Michael starts.

But I interrupt him when I shove past Max and Isabel to puke in the sink. I feel like I'm dying. I just keep puking and puking and puking. I think my stomach has to be somewhere in my mess of puke. I glance down at it. And I puke some more.

Isabel holds my hair back for me. She turns on the water to wash the mess down the sink, flicking the switch of the garbage disposal for good measure. She rubs my back reassuringly.

When I'm done she hands me a glass of water. I rinse and spit. And then I try to drink the rest of the glass, knowing that I already puked up any water I just drank and that I really do need to get water in my system to help dilute all the toxins.

"Feel better?" Isabel asks, taking the empty glass from me.

I nod.

"Well," Michael says. "Right now I'm really glad I opted for an apartment with a garbage disposal."

"Michael, bring me my backpack," Isabel orders, frowning at him.

I do feel a little better, but not really that much. I still kinda feel like I'm dying mostly because my throat is now completely raw. And I wish the world would stop spinning. It's already kicked my ass. What more does it want? Why does it insist on continuing to kick my ass?

"Iz, can I help?" Max wonders worried.

"Find some bread or some crackers," Isabel tells him.

Max nods and starts to look through the cupboards. Michael helps after he sets Isabel backpack down on the counter.

"I way spend too much time taking care of Kyle's ass when he drinks too much," Isabel tells me as she rummages through her bag. "But that's good for you because it means I come prepared with useful tools such as spare toothbrushes."

She pulls out a new toothbrush and takes off the plastic wrapping. She hands me a tube of toothpaste. I eagerly brush my teeth, killing the bad taste.

Max hands Isabel a box of fat-free saltine crackers.

"Watching your weight Michael?" Isabel wonders, opening the box for me.

"Maria left them here," Michael shrugs.

I nibble on the crackers. Max studies me, his face contorted with concern.

"Hey, Liz, was that your cup in that room?" Michael asks.

He's holding up a plastic cup identical to the one I was drinking from earlier. I try to think back. The clinking noise my cup made when I dropped it sounds in my mind. I nod.

"How much did you have to drink?" Michael questions me.

I try to remember.

"I-I-I can't remember," I frown.

Then something I had all but entirely forgotten comes to mind.

"Jimmy," I say. "Jimmy was there. And, and he watched, he was just watching Charlie-"

I start to cry. The world blurs. And it spins on.

"Geez, Michael can't this wait till later," Max asks, coming over to comfort me.

Max wraps his strong arms around me and I feel safe. I lean into him, pressing my forehead against his chest, steadying my world.

"She might forget by later if she was drugged," Michael reminds him. "I don't have a lot of questions, just a few that we need to make sure we get straight."

"It's okay," I tell Max.

"Are you sure, Liz? You don't have to answer if you don't want to or you don't feel comfortable," Max tries to reassure me.

"I need to tell you now though, because like Michael said, I might forget," I insist.

I turn around and face Michael. Max's arms still hold me tight from behind, giving me courage and strength to speak.

"Jimmy was there," I recall. "And he watched me and Charlie. And, and, and, I saw him before that somewhere too. He was standing in line with Charlie. To refill my drink. He was standing in line, and then Charlie, Charlie gave him my cup, and went and got in another line, the line for the keg. I remember. But Charlie he brought me my drink."

"Did you see Jimmy fill your drink? Did it look like he put anything in your cup?" Michael asks.

"No. No I didn't see. I was…busy," I respond, pressing back against Max.

I was making out with Sean. I am such an idiot! I cry harder.

"Shhhhhh, Liz, it's okay, it's okay," Max turns me around.

Max holds me close and I just cry.

I cry because I feel stupid and humiliated and embarrassed and dirty and ugly. And the room is still floating. And I feel sick to my stomach, not just because of whatever I ingested but because I am so stupid.

"No more questions tonight, Michael," I hear Max say.

I bury my head in his chest, sniffling.

"Liz," Isabel states gently, placing a hand on my shoulder. "Let me help you get some pajamas on okay? And then you can go to bed."

I pull away from Max. Isabel puts an arm around me and help me to the bathroom. She helps me get my clothes off and into a gym shorts and T-shirt that I can only assume are hers.

She folds my jeans and halter top up for me. I don't know why she bothers. I plan on burning them as soon as I get home.

I realize that Isabel is very much like a mom. And I don't know why she is always such a bitch in school when it is obvious that she knows a great deal about what it is to care for people.

"Oh, hey Liz?" Isabel says.

"Yeah?" I wonder.

"Don't think this is gross, but I brought some underwear for you too. I mean I just thought if it had happened to me… They're new. I actually just bought them the other day. I washed them once, but I've never worn them," Isabel tells me. "If you want them you are more than welcome to be their new proud owner."

"Actually, that would be so great," I reply, thankful of her thoughtfulness.

Isabel smiles and takes a pair of plain, pink, trademark Victoria's Secret underwear out of her bag.

"They just got a new line in," Isabel tells me as she hands them over to me. "I'm horrible addicted to the five for twenty dollars deal."

Isabel turns her back as I switch underwear. I shove my old ones into the pocket of my jeans. Those I will not only burn but I will then take the ashes and bury in a very deep hole far out on a deserted highway.

"Thanks a lot, Isabel," I hug her.

She looks at me surprised. I'm surprised myself. I never ever would have pictured myself hugging Isabel Evans willingly.

Isabel puts my clothes in an old Abercrombie shopping bag for me and helps me out of the bathroom. Max and Michael have changed into clothes to sleep in as well.

"How are you doing?" Max asks me as soon as we come out.

He rubs his hands across my upper arms.

"Okay," I smile weakly.

Max kisses my forehead.

"C'mon," Max says. "Let's get you to sleep. Michael has graciously agreed to give up his bed."

I look at Michael.

He nods.

"No, you don't have to," I protest, leaning on Max for support.

I still feel the ground moving beneath me. I want to order it to stop but I resit the urge.

"No way, Liz. You get the bed," Michael insists. "Now get in there and get to sleep."

Max ushers me into Michael's room. Isabel goes back into the bathroom to quickly change her into her pajamas.

"Max?" I wonder sleepily as he helps me into Michael's bed.

"Yes?" Max answers.

"How did you know I was in trouble?" I question, shutting my eyes.

"Michael and I were at the gas station and Jordan Bremer came in to buy some vodka with what I can only assume was a fake I.D. He was telling the guy working behind the counter, Matt Thompson, about Pam's party, and we were in line behind his so we heard the whole thing. He started talking about you and how you were so drunk, and Jordan was told Matt how Charlie said he was going to get a piece from you when Sean wasn't looking. Jordan said he just laughed at Charlie and told him to keep dreaming. Charlie apparently told him that he was going to have his turn with Liz Parker and no one was going to stop him. Matt and Jordan just laughed at Charlie. Jordan told Matt that it was so obvious that Charlie didn't have a chance in the world and should move on to Brittany Conrad because she puts out for everyone. Jordan told Matt that he had to get back to the party but that Matt should stop by after he got off work. He told us to come too and so we followed him there. I really didn't want to interfere, Liz, but I was really worried about you," Max explains. "We were just going pop in, make sure you were okay, and pop out, but then we couldn't find you anywhere. We saw Sean on the back porch with Brittany hanging all over him and I started to get really worried because you weren't with him. I asked him where you were and Brittany said that you were passed out in Pam's Bedroom. So Michael and I went upstairs and checked all the bedrooms and you weren't in any of them. And then Brittany told us Pam's bedroom was on the main floor so we searched all those bedrooms and that's when we finally found you. Thank God we got there when we did, but I'm sorry we weren't there sooner, that I couldn't stop him from hearting you. I feel awful that I wasn't there to help you when you needed me."

Max's voice cracks on the last sentence and I realize that he has tears in his eyes.

I sit up and hug Max tight.

"Don't blame yourself, Max. How could you have known I was acting so stupid? You saved me from what I probably deserved," I whimper.

"Oh, Liz, No! It's not your fault, really. Charlie is crazy. And you were drugged," Max lovingly rubs my back.

"I know but I should have been smarter. I should have known better. Drinking at that party was probably the dumbest thing I could do. I'm so messed up right now," I confess, clinging to Max.

I feel horrible. Nauseous and guilty and dizzy and ashamed. I feel like hell.

"It's okay Liz," Max reassures me. "It's going to be okay Liz. The important thing is that you are safe now. Everyone makes mistakes."

Max doesn't lecture me. He doesn't rub it in that I really should have known better. He doesn't remind me how I can't afford to mess up with creeps like Jimmy and Charlie lurking around. He doesn't tell me that I have to be perfect.

And I almost wish he had. I demand nothing less from perfection from myself and others. I'm used to it being tough. I'm used to being chastised for every single minute mistake. I'm used to the expectation of perfection.

Max lays me back down and pulls the covers up around me. He lightly brushes his lips across my cheek.

"Get some sleep, Liz," Max says softly. "You'll feel better in the morning. I'll be out here if you need me and Isabel, when she goes to bed will be on the floor next to you if you have any trouble."

"Thank you," I whisper as Max shuts the door almost all the way, leaving it open only a crack.

I here Max and Michael and Isabel talking in low voices.

I strain to listen.

"So do you think Charlie was the one who drugged her?" I hear Max ask Michael.

"I don't know. I asked him what he put in her drink and he looked genuinely confused. I told him to cut the crap and tell us what the fuck was in her. He looked really scared of me. He just said Liz had too much to drink and that was all. He didn't really have a reason to lie at that point. I think he would have told us if he had something to tell. But I just don't know Max," Michael responds.

"What about Jimmy? Do you think Jimmy did it? Liz said she saw Charlie give Jimmy her cup. Could Jimmy have given Charlie the drugs?" Isabel wonders.

"I think it was definitely Jimmy who put the drugs in the cup, but I'm still unsure about why. How does it benefit Jimmy to help Charlie take advantage of Liz? Jimmy doesn't strike me as the type who does anything that doesn't have a direct, calculated gain for him. And Charlie didn't seem to know anything about Liz being drugged. Jimmy's part in this whole ordeal is very sketchy," I hear Michael tell them.

"Is it possible that Charlie interfered with Jimmy's plan then? It seems extremely odd that he would drug Liz and then just be standing around watching her get raped. How could he know Charlie would go after her like that? I think Jimmy used Charlie to get the drug in Liz's drink, but I don't think he planned on Charlie going after her like he did," Isabel theorizes.

"So you think that Jimmy drugged Liz so he could take advantage of her?" Michael asks.

"I think Jimmy drugged Liz so that he could take her period. What if Liz is right about him? And what if he thinks she is on to him? If she's so important to him that he would go through all the trouble that Liz's stalker has gone through already, he can't afford to just abandon his plans because Liz is suspicious. No, I think he'd need to go in and make the grab on her right now before she is better prepared to fight him off," Isabel states. "And if he was going to take her, he'd ideally want her to be drugged so she wouldn't be able to fight back. And what better place to take her from than a party where she would least expect it is with so many people around. It's very efficient too because most people at Pam's parties are trashed and so there wouldn't be any good eyewitnesses at all, not to mention that and evidence of who or how Liz disappeared would be pretty much contaminated or circumstantial if existent.

"But if Jimmy was planning to take Liz tonight, why didn't he just kidnap her earlier. He's had ample opportunities when you think about it. And the Halloween dance would have been the perfect chance," Max points out. "SO would last night when she was alone at his house."

"True. Maybe he didn't think Liz suspected him until last night," Isabel suggests.

"Yeah but how would he know Liz suspects him?" Max asks.

"I don't know. We don't even know who else is working with him. I highly doubt Charlie is partner. Not just because Charlie's dumb as a post and he's lived in Roswell all his life, but because the logic of going through the trouble that Liz's stalkers did so that Charlie could rape Liz and Jimmy could be a voyeur to the event doesn't make sense. This whole situation just doesn't sit right. There are too many questions and too many things we don't know and the stakes have just gotten more serious than ever before," Isabel declares.

"Yes," Max agrees. "We need too keep the group in working order. The last thing right now that we need is Tess bailing on us. She seemed eerily calm at the meeting tonight, but I know that she was just pretending. I don't know if this was the right time to end it with her. It seems so selfish of me. We really need her behind us."

"Tess is strong Max. She'll pull through. She just has her own way of dealing with things. Don't ever be sorry for following your heart. What you did was for the best," Isabel consoles him.

"The stuff you told Brittany on the phone Isabel, to cover us, she totally embellished. The rumors I heard tonight hideously transformed to really slam on Tess. They make her out to be a monster. It's going to be really hard for her at school on Monday," Max says sorrowfully. "The way she treated Liz really didn't go over well with anyone. Liz is very popular with everyone because she is so genuine. Most of the time she does what she wants and says what she thinks not caring what the repercussions might be. She comes across as very real and people seem to like that. Tess is almost the opposite. Her inherent deceptiveness, just from being who she is, sometimes makes her appear unavoidably fake. Like you, Isabel, people never get to see what she's really like or who she really is."

"It is the burden that we bare," Isabel sighs. "To never be known for who were truly are. But it's a burden that all mankind bares too, as designated by his nature. Life is not dispensed equally or fairly by any means. We all must do what we have to do. I am lucky. I have Kyle and I can be more open with him than I can with any other outsider. But what you will face now, Max, should things develop between you and Liz is a challenge I fear you have greatly underestimated. It's hard to love some one with your whole self and not share your whole self with them. Michael can attest to that better than anyone right now."

"Yes," Michael agrees. "It's very hard Maxwell. But I think I have it easier than you would. Liz is not like Maria. I know Maria can be a little flaky and petty and childish on the surface sometimes, but she understands that our relationship, any relationship, especially between the two of us, is entirely dependent on unlimited faith and mutual trust in each other. She believes in me in ways no one else ever has before and that's what saves or relationship and makes it different and makes it work. Maria is stubborn but there is this space full of grace in our relationship where Maria always relents, is almost afraid to touch because the stakes there are too great. Liz doesn't have that fear and Liz is too stubborn to relent. Liz will have to know. If you think that she's cutting you slack Maxwell, it's only because she has a better plan of attack in mind."

They continue to talk but I can't make my mind focus enough to catch the words that they say any longer no matter how hard I try. Most of their words barely register with me anyways. I lose them somewhere, forgetting them as soon as they say them.

Sleep comes to me easily and I let it take me away, take me away from the events of the night to a different place where life isn't so hard, where there is no gray, only black and white, the good and the evil and everything is fair, second chances come easy, first chances are always fulfilled fully.

I don't hear Isabel come into the room sometime later and lie down on the floor next to the bed. I don't hear her restlessly tossing and turning, trying to find the utopia of sleep her self.

I just sleep on, dreaming of the world as I wish it were, momentarily leaving pain, fear, and suffering behind.


TBC....

**************

Another quick turn around. I'm going to try to update Burn next and may come back to this but I know I need to get a part out on Dreams in the near future too.

I just feel a huge push to write right now and as soon as I come up for air, I'll see more to finding a critic. I really like how this is starting to come together and I want to continue and push some of the clues that are coming up. It's going to continue to be a little on the intense side as more things start to fall into place. This part is serious and hardly has a spec of humor. But I promise that the upcoming parts will have some lighter tones and more funny to accompany the drama.

Thanks you guys who continue to support my writing and leave me feedback.

[ edited 2 time(s), last at 16-Dec-2002 3:46:29 PM ]
posted on 15-Dec-2002 4:43:06 PM by Allie1031
Thanks guys for your support. I'm wondering right now if I should continue running with this since I've been on this huge roll lately or if you kids would like to see me update on something else. Let me know what you think if you read this.
posted on 8-Jan-2003 3:11:57 AM by Allie1031
FYI: I tired to write a new part for this but it strongly disagreed with me. So I'm writing on my Burn fic for a while because that seems not to take so much effort. Soooooooooo, thanks to those of you who have and continue to bump with out reward of an update. If you get bored waiting around here you can check out my other fic, but if it disagrees with you, feel free to wait around on this but I cannot promise anything soon. I only write where I can, where the feeling is. At on the other fic I have something remote to tap in to.
posted on 14-Jan-2003 4:40:10 PM by Allie1031
FYI: I guess I kinda almost have a new part finished but I might keep it for a while because it's kinda boring as is and make it an extra long part. Also, I have gone to work on a new part for dreams.
posted on 16-Jan-2003 5:27:13 PM by Allie1031
Friends, I have been working, well not hard, but working nonetheless, and I think that I will be posting maybe even within the hour, probably sometime tonight. Thanks for your continued interest in this story.
posted on 16-Jan-2003 11:21:23 PM by Allie1031
fd0833a6


-Previously-

"It is the burden that we bear," Isabel sighs. "To never be known for who were truly are. But it's a burden that all mankind bares too, as designated by his nature. Life is not dispensed equally or fairly by any means. We all must do what we have to do. I am lucky. I have Kyle and I can be more open with him than I can with any other outsider. But what you will face now, Max, should things develop between you and Liz, is a challenge I fear you have greatly underestimated. It's hard to love some one with your whole self and not share your whole self with them. Michael can attest to that better than anyone right now."

"Yes," Michael agrees. "It's very hard Maxwell. But I think I have it easier than you would. Liz is not like Maria. I know Maria can be a little flaky and petty and childish on the surface sometimes, but she understands that our relationship, any relationship, especially between the two of us, is entirely dependent on unlimited faith and mutual trust in each other. She believes in me in ways no one else ever has before, and that's what saves or relationship and makes it different and makes it work. Maria is stubborn but there is this cushioned space in our relationship where Maria always relents, is almost afraid to touch because the stakes there are too great. Liz doesn't have that fear, and Liz is too stubborn to relent. Liz will have to know. If you think that she's cutting you slack Maxwell, it's only because she has a better plan of attack in mind."

They continue to talk but I can't make my mind focus enough to catch the words that they say any longer, no matter how hard I try. Most of their words barely register with me anyways. I lose them somewhere, forgetting them as soon as they say them.

Sleep comes to me easily, and I let it take me away, take me away from the events of the night to a different place where life isn't so hard, where there is no gray, only black and white, the good and the evil and everything is fair, second chances come easy, first chances are always fulfilled fully.

I don't hear Isabel come into the room, sometime later, and lie down on the floor next to the bed. I don't hear her restlessly tossing and turning, trying to find the utopia of sleep her self.

I just sleep on, dreaming of the world as I wish it were, momentarily leaving pain, fear, and suffering behind.


Part 25

The next morning, to be quite honest, I wake up feeling like shit. And to make matters worse, it takes me a long time to figure out where the hell I even am and why one Isabel Evans is sleeping on the floor next to me.

But fret not, because the events of the horrific night before eventually begin to surface slowly in my memory.

Then I feel even shittier, if at that point it is even possible.

My head aches, like it's been in a vice all night, and nausea overtakes me when I try to sit up, but somehow, I manage. Carefully, with great control, I make myself move though the rotating atmosphere, stepping lightly over Isabel.

The first step alone is enough to make me want to curl up into the fetal position and cry for my mother. Except that my mother is dead, having never taken very good care of me anyways, and I feel intensifying anxiety to get out of here before everyone wakes up. So, I suck it up.

Do I feel bad jetting like this after they went through all the trouble of taking care of me?

Yes, I do.

But, my embarrassment and humility at the current moment outweigh the guilt and give me the strength to bolt.

I find my clothes all packed up in an Abercrombie bag. I'll find a way to return the clothes Isabel lent me later. I scrawl a quick thank you note explaining where I went and leave it on the bed. Shopping bag in hand, I ease open the window to be greeted by the bright, ever-penetrating rays of the evil known as the sun, and I prepare to climb out.

"Liz," I hear I voice behind me say.

"Damn," I curse under my breath.

I turn around.

Isabel is sitting up, rubbing her eyes.

Well shit. This is not good.

"I was just, I, uhhhhh-," I can't for the life of me come up with something clever. "I was checking out these great curtains! Michael has such great taste, wherever did he purchase these?"

The curtains are a light brown color with pink flowers and are cover with dust and dirt and whatever else. They are quite possibly the ugliest, nastiest pair of curtains I have ever set eyes on. I realize that I'm touching them and nimbly withdraw my hand disgusted quickness, wiping it off my clothes. Until I realize that these are not my clothes, and then I just resort to innocently twiddling my thumbs.

So…I guess she knows I'm lying.

"They, ummm, came with the place," Isabel states, raising an eyebrow. "It's okay Liz. I know you were going to sneak out."

"Yeah…about that," I start.

"I'll make a deal with you, okay? You let me drive you home and we can slip out quietly past Max and Michael," Isabel proposes.

I run this idea through my head. My house is a pretty long walk. I'm pretty fucked up still. Sunlight is bright. Damned, cursed suns rays!

"Okay," I agree.

Isabel digs through her purse and pulls out a spare set of keys to the jeep. She climbs out the window and then helps me out. I'm still terribly disoriented and I have to force my self to walk normally to the jeep.

"You don't look so good," Isabel frowns.

"Oh don't say that! The last time someone did I ended up puking," I remind exasperated.

"Do you feel like you are going to puke?" Isabel looks alarmed.

"I feel nauseous," I admit. "But I'll be fine."

"You sure?" Isabel questions.

"Oh yeah. I'm spiffy," I state, climbing into the jeep.

Isabel follows suit. She drives me home. She doesn't say much, but she keeps glancing over at me worried.

When we get to my house, Isabel walks me up to my door and helps me inside. I can smell Nancy cooking a delicious breakfast in the kitchen and it makes me want to vomit.

"Lizzie," My dad smiles at me from his perch on the couch in the living room where he is reading the paper. "How was your date last night?"

"Awesome," I lie.

Like going to hell. That's awesome too. If you hate yourself and enjoy torment.

"Great! Glad to hear it! Who's your friend?" My dad inquires.

His cheerfulness is borderline annoying.

"This is Isabel," I introduce her. "She slept over with me and Maria last night. It was a nice little slumber party."

I don't really like lying to my Dad, since he has been so generous with his trust. But on the other hand, what he doesn't know can't hurt him.

"Wonderful to meet you," my Dad smiles at Isabel.

"And you too, Mr. Parker," Isabel smiles back.

"You remember that boy Max, Dad? This is his sister," I tell him.

"I remember Max, coaches little league, nice boy," My dad nods.

"Liz, would you and your friend like some breakfast?" Nancy asks, coming in to the room.

I look at Isabel questioningly.

"I should probably get back to my house," She says but I can tell she's hungry.

"Naw, stay, eat," I insist.

"You sure?" Isabel wonders.

"Yes," I shove her into the kitchen, ignoring the dizziness.

Isabel and I sit down at the table. I introduce Isabel to Nancy. Nancy shoves two plates of hot pancakes and a bottle of syrup in front of us.

I nibble at my plain pancakes. No butter. No syrup. Nothing. They seem to go down alright.

Isabel hungrily chows down, adding lots of syrup. When she asks for Tabasco sauce, I actually think I feel chunks starting to rise. I mean, I've heard of ketchup, but Tabasco sauce? NASTY!

"These are delicious!" Isabel compliments Nancy.

At least some one can enjoy the home cooking.


"Why thank you, Isabel," Nancy smiles. "Are you busy tonight? You should join us for dinner dear."

I just hope I'm still alive to see dinner with the way I'm feeling now.
"Yes, please do," My dad grins, coming into the kitchen. "And bring your brother too. Nancy and I are trying to getting to know Lizzie's friends better. We hardly get a chance to meet them. Our Lizzie is always on the go."

If I wasn't so sick already I'm sure I would feel queasy at my father actually trying to be a parent. I like to maintain my independence and control over my own life. I have serious problems with authority figures. Serious, serious problems.

"I'll have to check with my parents," Isabel responds.

"Tell them they are welcome to come too, if they'd like," Nancy smiles.

I feel sick. It's this constant feeling that I have been having today that doesn't allow me to concentrate on much else for any period of substantial time.

Isabel finishes her breakfast.

"Liz, I have to get going, but weren't you going to show me that skirt you said I could borrow?" Isabel asks.

I said she could borrow a skirt?

"What skirt?" I wonder confused.

"You said you were going to show me a skirt. In your room," Isabel's eyebrows are doing some funky wiggling as if in an attempt to communicate.

Oh. Ooooooooooohhhhhhhhh. She wants to have a chat I guess. Heh, heh. No, I'm not slow today.

"Uh, yeah, it's up in my room. C'mon, I'll show you," I say leading the way upstairs.

I grip the handrails tightly, trying to maintain my balance. I manage to make my way up the stairs. Isabel helps me, her hand on my arm to guide me. We get to my room, and I collapse on my bed with a huge sigh.

"How are you holding up?" Isabel asks me.

"Okay," I tell her. "Actually, I have to be honest. I feel like shit. But I'll survive. Thank you so much for taking care of me. You don't have to come to dinner tonight if you don't want to."

"No, I'd love to come. But if you don't want me to it's fine. I understand with you being sick and all," Isabel replies.

"Actually Sean and Maria and Maria's mom are already coming to dinner, I think, so if you can come and want to come please do," I say, genuinely hoping she will come.

"Alright," Isabel smiles. "I'll talk to my parents. I really should get back now, though, before Max and Michael wake up and panic, if they haven't already. But I'll call you this afternoon and let you know if I am coming later or not. Are you sure you are going to be okay?"

She looks at my sprawled out form with concern.

"I'll manage," I respond with a flick of my wrist. "I'm sure after I take a nap and wear out some of the stuff in my system I'll feel better."

"Alright then, I'll talk you later," Isabel nods. "I hope you feel better."

I start to get up to show her out but she stops me.

"Don't get up," Isabel says. "You just stay here and rest. I know where the door is. I can show myself out."

I smile weakly and lay gratefully back down.

"Bye, Liz," Isabel waves.

"Goodbye and thank you so much," I tell her.

She nods and exits my room. I hear her thank Nancy and Dad for breakfast one last time before she leaves. I fall asleep as soon as I hear the front door close.

I am awakened some time later by knocking at my bedroom door. Dad tells me I have a phone call. I yawn and sit up carefully, still feeling a little dizzy. I answer the phone.

"Hello?" I mumble.

"Hey, Liz, sorry to disturb you. This is Isabel. I'm just calling to confirm that I will be coming to dinner tonight and so will my parents. Max wants to come too, but he thinks you don't want him to," Isabel informs me. "I told him to stop being a baby because you don't care, but he doesn't believe me. You do want him to come don't you?"

I sigh.

"Can you put Max on the phone?" I ask.

"Sure," Isabel replies.

I hear some muffled talking. I assume Isabel must be talking to Max with her hand over the receiver.

"Hey," I hear Max's voice say.

"Hi," I respond.

"How are you feeling?" Max wonders.

"Better, a little bit better," I answer.

"So…" Max tries to fill the gapping silence.

It's like the Grand Canyon of silence. Luckily, today my alter ego happens to be Evel Knievel, among others. Vrooooooommmm!!!

"Max, just come to dinner," I state, not beating around the bush.

"Are you sure?" Max questions. "I mean I know we talked about space and you needing space and I really, really don't want to crowd you."

"Max, that's sweet, but come to dinner," I order. "You saved me from the clutches of an attempted rapist. You've earned the right to eat dinner with me."

"Seriously, Liz, if you are uncomfortable, it's okay. I understand. Really. Don't feel like you have to invite me," Max insists.

If only he could see me rolling my eyes.

"Max, I want you to come to dinner," I tell him.

This is ridiculous.

"But are you sure? I mean you did sneak out this morning, Liz. Are you sure I won't make you uncomfortable?" Max wonders.

He has a point. Hell, I don't know. His presence could very well make me very uncomfortable. I mean, I was too embarrassed to face him this morning. But for heaven's sake, I'm not ungrateful for what he did. I certainly can suck up dinner. Besides, I'll have to see him sooner or later I suppose, even if I feel like an idiot.

I sigh.

"Max, if I don't fucking see you at dinner, I'm going to be fucking insulted as hell. Get your ass here and stop being so fucking insecure. It isn't becoming. I'll let you know if you crowd me. We eat at six so you can come around five or five thirty or whenever the hell you want to show up just so long as you are here before we eat," I assert. "Oh, and I got up early yesterday morning before I had to go to work and finished our project. You can thank me later, when we look it over tonight after dinner. Right now I have to call Maria. Bye."

I hang up not waiting for Max to reply. I'm in one of my no-nonsense moods. I dial Maria's number.

"Hello?" I hear Maria's voice answer the phone.

"Hey, Maria. It's Liz. Did Sean tell you about coming to dinner?" I ask.

"Oh my God! Liz! How the hell are you? I've been sooooooo worried! I wanted to call you but Michael said you were sleeping and I didn't want to wake you. But then it was later, and I didn't know if I should call or not call, so I sat around all afternoon wanting to call, and oh, my God! I heard what happened to you chica! That fucking bastard! Urgh! I'm going to kick his fucking ass. That bastard," Maria states with disgust.

"Michael told you what happened?" I wonder.

"No, Sean did when he stumbled home early this morning. He woke me up because he wanted to know if I had heard from you, if you were alright. I was going to call your house, but Sean said you told your parents you were staying here so I thought that wasn't a good idea, but he said that Michael and Max took you away or something and so I went to Michael's looking for you but he said that Isabel took you home and that you were sleeping. He said that she said that you were still pretty out of it when you woke up this morning. Oh my God, Liz, are you okay?!!!" Maria questions.

"I'm okay, well as okay as I can be. Listen, the parental units have this whole dinner thing planned to go down tonight. The Evan's family is coming. Do you think you can come over and bring Sean and your mom too? It really means a lot to my dad," I tell her.

I really don't want to talk about the whole Charlie thing at all right now. In fact, for the time being, I'd rather forget how much I am going to fucking mess up that shithead the next time I see him.

"Yeah, I come to dinner and bring the fam. Oh, my, God, Liz! Do you think it was Charlie who left you that crazy message that day at the Crashdown? Do you think he's been the one who has been stalking you???" Maria wonders.

"How do you know someone has been stalking me?" I frown, not recalling that I'd told her about it.

"Well, Michael always asks me all theses question about whether or not I see someone following you when I'm with you. Eventually, he admitted that he and Max and Kyle knew someone has been stalking you, and that you knew it too, but he said you don't like to talk about it, so I never asked you about it. I just tell Michael if I see that scary white van like he told me to," Maria says.

"Yeah, about that…I don't want to talk about it," I state, frowning slightly.

Maria chuckles.

"Okay," Maria relents, backing off. "But if you ever do want to talk about any of that stuff, or anything else at all, I'm here for you, chica. You can trust me, Liz. And if you tell me something and tell me not to tell Michael, I won't. You can tell me anything Liz, anything, you can trust me, and I'll be there for you, chica. I'd be happy to listen.I know I talk a lot, but I can be a good listener too."

"Thanks, Maria," I reply. "Someday I will tell you everything, I promise. Right now, I just…"

"It's okay," Maria responds. "I understand."

She doesn't. Not really. She can't possibly. But she does get that I need to do my own thing, and that I need a little space, and that she can't force me to confide in her. And that's what makes her such an awesome friend to me.

I glance at the clock. It reads 4:27. Shit. I slept the ENTIRE afternoon?

"Listen, Maria, I have to go shower and get ready for dinner, but you can come over any time after five. Just make sure you are here by six," I instruct.

"Alright, Liz. I'll see you soon," Maria says.

"Yeah, see ya," I hang up.

I hop in the shower quick, shedding Isabel's clothes that I still happen to be wearing. I throw on a pair of jeans and a decent shirt. I don't want to look like a complete slob, but I don't really care enough at this point to make myself look all that great either. I pull my hair up into a bun. I feel even better after showering, hardly as nauseous as this morning.

Maria shows up promptly at five, herding Sean and her mother Amy into the house, as well as Michael.

"I told him he was invited to because I thought it would do him good to eat something besides a T.V. dinner for once. I didn't think you'd mind," Maria whispers, nodding towards Michael.

"Of course not," I whisper back. "The more the merrier."

I've only met Amy a few times because she always has to work so much. Dad and Nancy hurry from the kitchen to greet the guests. Apparently, Nancy and Amy are old chums. Amy tells me that they went to high school together.

I formally introduce Michael to my dad and Nancy. Michael seems slightly apprehensive at the social setting but tries not to show it. Isabel and Max show up shortly after with their parents, and Michael seems to relax quite a bit.

"Hi, you must be Liz," Max's Dad smiles at me, extending a hand when I answer the door.

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Evans," I smile back at him, shaking his hand. "And Mrs. Evans."

"Please, call me Diane," Max's mom tells me, clasping my hand, smiling. "It's so nice of you to invite us to dinner."

I introduce Max's parents to mine. It feels odd but in a good way. I guess it turns out that my dad knows Mr. Evans from a charity benefit my dad worked on with Mr. Evans' law firm.

This is very typically of my dad and Nancy. They are just two of those people that somehow seem to know everybody. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon? Six degrees of my dad. It's eerie sometimes who he just happens to know.

Everyone gathers in the living room chatting while we wait for dinner to be ready. Dad excitedly chats it up with the other parents, dropping corny jokes which the grown-ups find hilarious but cause me to shake my head. Nancy serves everyone drinks, smiling happily, happy to be entertaining guests.

Sean makes his way over to me.

"Hey Liz," Sean says, his puppy dog eyes out.

Uh oh.

"Are you okay?" Sean asks, his voice low and full of concern.

Sean pulls me into the hallway, around the corner, and into the laundry room so we can talk in privacy.

"Yeah, I'm okay," I tell him.

"Listen, Liz, I'm sorry, I was so messed up and I can't believe that happened to you. I should have been there to stop Charlie. I never should have left you alone, and I shouldn't have let you drink so much. I'm so sorry," Sean cringes with genuine regret.

"It's okay, Sean," I assure him. "It wasn't your fault."

I have to admit I am a little sore that he didn't keep a better eye on me, but I would never blame him for what happened.

Sean leans in close to me like he's going to kiss me, but I pull back.

"We better get back before they miss us," I assert, stepping back towards the living room.

"Yeah," Sean agrees, trying not to show his disappointment.

Things have changed drastically between us. And even Sean isn't moronic enough not to have noticed the difference.

We come back into the room and the adults are all enveloped in their own world, talking and laughing. Maria and Michael and Isabel are chatting. Maria raises an eyebrow at me when I come back into the room with Sean in tow. I shrug and roll my eyes. Sean goes over to join their little group. Maria says something and Isabel chuckles.

I realize that Michael must have prepped Maria with how the whole situation between me and Isabel has made a complete turnaround. It's very strange how an unspoken bond has suddenly developed between me and Isabel.

Max is sitting on the couch. He looks exhausted. My stomach twinges with a pang of some weird feeling I can't identify.

I make my way to the couch and sit down next to Max.

"Hi," I say quietly, smiling at Max.

"Hi," Max smiles back at me.

"You look tired," I tell him.

"I haven't been able to sleep very lately," Max responds.

"Are you not feeling well?" I ask him, concerned.

"Naw," Max shrugs. "I never get sick. I've just had a lot of things on mind."

I nod and give him a reassuring pat on the thigh. Max looks up at me with those gorgeous eyes of his and I melt. He smiles faintly, but it doesn't disguise the concern I can see plainly written all over his face. He looks away.

"Thank you," I whisper quietly in his ear.

Unable to stop myself, I give him a quick peck on the check.

I survey the room to make sure no one has noticed. Michael smirks, but Maria and Isabel are completely involved in conversation, and Sean's back is to us at the moment. The parents are in their own world, or so I think, until I notice Diane Evans' surprised but not displeased eyes. I blush.

I wonder how much his mom knows, and I seriously hope she knows he broke up with Tess.

Max grasps my hand with his and gives it a gentle squeeze. I smile at Max, and he smiles back at me.

Sean clears his throat, and I glance up to find him studying the two of us. He takes a seat on the couch next to me, frowning. Maria, being, well, Maria, rushes giggling excitedly over to couch as well and crams in between Sean and I, quite smoothly I might add, so as to maintain an oblivious innocence in her intentions. I squish closer to Max to make room for Maria who starts talking to me about some new store in the mall. Isabel and Michael sit down on the nearby loveseat.

Finally, it is time for dinner. Nancy serves lasagna, salads, and breadsticks for an Italian experience. Dinner goes by slowly, or rather I space off into my own world so often that time is irrelevant, and Maria has to keep kicking me under the table to keep me awake.

After dinner Nancy suggests that the kids go watch a movie in the den and I'm all for it. The adults sit upstairs around the table and talk, mostly about us. Eh.

Michael and Sean dig through our video collection. Nobody really cares what we watch. I dig out some blankets for us to share and stake out a position on the couch. It's one of those really long couches that curves at a right angle in the middle. We all squish on, Max on one side of me with Isabel next to him, Michael on the other side of me with his arm around Maria.

Sean puts Men in Black II in the VCR. I'm not even sure why my dad owns this movie. It's not very good.

Sean is forced to sit on the other side of Maria. He frowns, but quite respectably doesn't complain. I imagine he still feels pretty bad about the party last night and doesn't want to push his luck with me.

The movie starts and we all yawn. None of us really wanted to watch a movie, we just didn't want to listen to the adults tell embarrassing stories about us anymore.

Not even five minutes in, I look over at Max, and he's already dozed off. Poor guy. He should really try to get more sleep. A few minutes later I feel Max's head slowly drift onto my shoulder. I sigh wistfully and put my head on Michael's shoulder.

I feel him gaze down at me surprised but I just watch the movie. Some time later, I'm about to drift into sleep myself, when I feel Max shifting in his sleep. He cuddles in closer to me, repositioning him self somewhat behind me, unconsciously throwing an arm around my middle.

I snuggle closer to Michael, hugging his arm. I glance over at Maria who has fallen asleep with her head on his chest. I look over to see that Isabel is leaning onto Max's body and using him as a pillow.

Sean just looks disgusted at our big pig pile. I think he's the only one of us who is actually still trying to watch the movie. Even Michael is nodding off.

This movie sucks. But no one cares. We are all too exhausted from this weekend and the past week.

Here, right now, I feel safer in Max's arms than I have in as long as I can remember. Slowly I let myself drift into a dream world.

I am awakened to Max gently rubbing my arm.

"Liz, wake up," Max urges me back to consciousness. "The movie's over."

I rub my eyes.

"Huh? Oh," I sit up. "The movie's over."

"Sean left," Maria tells me. "During our big group nap. But he left you a note, chica. Probably a love letter. You want me to burn it?"

"Uh, I'll pass on that for the time being. I should at least read it first," I point out.

Maria shrugs.

"Come on kids, let's go gather up our parents and go home. Liz needs to get to bed," Max directs the group and takes my hands to help me up.

"Thanks, MOM," I smile up at Max as he pulls me up off the couch.

"No, prob," Max grins, still holding my hands.

Damn. He is so gorgeous when he smiles. It's too bad he doesn't do it more often.

"Oh shoot!" I remember, pulling hands from Max's. "We have to go over our presentation for tomorrow morning!"

"Hmmmm. Yeah," Max frowns. "I completely forgot. It's almost nine o'clock now."

"I'm not that tired, if you aren't," I say shyly.

SHY?!!! I'm SHY now? What is that? Oh, no! OH, NO. NO, no, no, no. No. Sigh. I'm smitten.

"No, I'm not all that tired. Let's go over it a few times," Max shrugs.

"Well I'm tired," Maria yawns. "As much as I'd love to be an audience…I think I'm gonna head home. Try to remember to pick me up for school this week. See ya tomorrow, chica."

Maria hugs me.

"Me too," Michael grunts.

He gives me a hug as well.

Michael takes Maria's hand and they leave the den.

"Max, do you want me to wait for you or go home with Mom and Dad?" Isabel asks.

"You don't have to wait around, Iz. Go home, get some sleep. We might end up working for a while," Max shrugs.

"Alright, if you are sure. You’re going to walk home then?" Isabel wonders.

What she is really asking him is if he is sure that it is safe.

"I'll be fine," Max assures her.

"I can drive him home," I offer.

They look at me like I'm crazy.

"Absolutely not. Then you will have to walk back from your car to your house alone," Max says.

I roll my eyes.

"It's not even ten yards from my driveway to my front door. Fine. My dad will drive Max home," I throw my arms up in frustration wondering how long they are going to be super over protective like this for.

"Okay," Isabel nods. "I guess I'll head home then. You kids have fun working on biology."

Isabel hugs Max. She hesitates, but only for an instant, before she hugs me as well. Isabel leaves Max and me alone to get to work.

"My stuff is upstairs…in my room," I tell Max.

"Okay," Max replies.

Neither of us move. We both just kinda stand where we are.

"So…you wanna sit down and talk for a little bit before we get to work?" I ask.

"Yes," Max looks relieved.

He takes my hand and leads me to the couch.

"Max," I start.

"Liz?" Max questions.

"Yeah, now that we have each others names straight…" I say. "I just want to thank you again. For saving me. From something that I know would have haunted me for the rest of my life. Not that it isn’t disturbing now, but if you hadn't come along…it could have been a lot worse. I don't know what would become of me. I don't think I could have handled that. I have enough problems as it is."

Max takes both my hands in his, his thumbs reassuringly rubbing my palms and sending shivers down my spine.

"Liz, I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't gotten there when I did. It kills me that he hurt you like he did. Fuck, Liz, do you know how much you mean to me? I'm crazy about you," Max tells me, point blank, staring into my eyes.

"About that. Listen Max, I-I have feelings for you, too. It's just - don't push me, okay? This, me and you, it's kind of intense," I respond, lowering my eyes only to focus on my hands in his.

"I know what you mean, Liz, about it being intense. I don't want to scare you away. I just can't be without you. At least tell me you can be friends with me," Max pleads.

I look up at him. His amber eyes focus in on mine, searching, always searching. Oh, good heavens, I think my heart just skipped!

"Max, of course I want to be friends with you," I tell him as if he was crazy to think otherwise.

Max looks relieved and overjoyed.

"And-and more that friends?" Max wonders, afraid to ask.

"I don't really know right now. I do like you. If things work out… Let's just take it slow for now," I smile.

"Okay," Max smiles back at me.

"I don't want you to worry about crowding me so much, though. I'll let you know if I'm crowded okay. Just go with whatever you feel, and I'll go with what I feel, and we'll see where that leads us," I decide.

"That sounds good to me," Max grins.

Fuck. I'm so gone. He's just so adorable.

I hug Max and he holds me tight, his hands comfortingly stroking my back.

"About this morning," I start, still embracing Max. "I'm sorry I ran out like that. I just felt really stupid."

"It's okay, Liz," Max assures me. "And you don't have to feel stupid. It wasn't your fault."

"I shouldn't have been drinking. I shouldn't have put myself in that situation," I point out.

"You couldn't have know that would happen," Max's breath brushes past my ear as he squeezes me tighter.

"But I knew someone was after me, and I know how crazy high school parties get. I should have been smarter," I assert, my eyes starting to water.

"God, Liz, don't blame yourself," Max's voice cracks. "Please, don't beat yourself up over this. Everyone makes mistakes. You can't expect so much from yourself."

Max holds me close, his fingers fanning through my hair, and I am absolutely, positively sure that I feel safer right now in his arms than I ever have in my entire life. Sniffling, I bury my face in his strong shoulder. I breathe in his scent, his unique Max scent that is an aphrodisiac to my senses. I feel…I feel…I feel…

One of Max's hands comes to rest on the back of my neck. His thumb flitters back and forth, softly stroking the skin behind my ear. His other hand falls to my lower back, his fingertips lightly running in circles. My insides are melting, and all my resolve is fading away.

"Max," I say his name hoarsely into his collar. "I think we’d better go upstairs and work on our project."

I have to maintain my self-control.

Max nods in agreement, he detangles his hand from my hairline, running his caressing fingers down my spine one last time.

"How are you feeling?" Max asks as we climb the stairs.

Everyone else has cleared out while we were talking, and Nancy and Dad are finishing cleaning up the kitchen.

"A lot better," I report smiling, as I nearly miss a step and momentarily lose my balance.

I feel Max's hand on the small of my back, steadying me.

"Careful," Max urges, his voice close to my ear, full of distress.

"I guess I'm still a little dizzy from last night," I say.

That, and his close presence is making me light-headed

We run through the presentation on sickle cell anemia a few times, before I ask Dad to drive Max home.

After Max goes, I read Sean's note. Basically he just apologizes over and over for the events of last night and hopes that we can still be friend. I can tell he feels just awful about what happened, not just because he specifically tells me he does.

That night, I lay awake in bed longer than would be expected given my fatigued state.

Max lingers on my mind.

I can't help my feelings for him.

But I also can't ignore his secret other life that he refuse to tell me anything about. I can't ignore the fact that he wanted to keep his secret so badly that he let Tess brainwash me. I just can't ignore the questions haunting my head. But I can't very well ignore how he makes me feel like I am actually alive inside and how he makes me smile.

I feel so much for Max, and yet, there is so much about him that I don't know. Still, the good I see in him, the things I like about him, and most importantly, the way he makes me feel, would never change regardless of whatever he could tell me. I wish he would just trust me and let me in.

And after he has pried so deep into my life, it's so completely hypocritical of him not to.

Fuck, Max is such a weakness for me. He's hurt me, but I have forgiven him without hesitation. There is so much more between us than the mistakes that we make. I don't want to be hurt anymore though. I can't afford to.

And anyways, I have bigger things to worry about than Max. Like Jimmy, and why the fuck he is after me. That has to be my number one concern right now. I have to figure out what he wants with me. Why the fuck would the academy be after me after all this time? I'm about as sure as I get that that's who he is working for. And hell, what about his partner? The academy never sends out agents on lone missions.

In the interest of preserving my ass and my freedom, I know that I will have to be clever and quick to find some answers.


*************

Sorry it's kinda boring. The next parts should have more action.

Also, everyone, while I hopefully still have your attention, I would like to seriously thank you all for your interest in and devotion to my fics. Seriously, I don't really take the time to thank you all for you feedback or your concern for me. But the feedback really, really, really does mean a lot to me. When other people get excited and pumped about my fics, I get excited and pumped to write. It is so motivating to read feedback from people who like the stories. I know I owe some of you a response or two and I want you to know I'm going to try to get on that ASAP. Hopefully. Thanks for the feedback you guys!!!!

[ edited 3 time(s), last at 17-Jan-2003 1:06:41 AM ]
posted on 17-Jan-2003 1:08:49 AM by Allie1031
quote:
voula originally wrote:
p.s. you should still be flattered b/c you are still one of the only authors I leave fb for


Thanks!! I love hearing what you think. It's good to have you pop in now and again.*big*
posted on 17-Jan-2003 1:12:19 AM by Allie1031
quote:
OChanteuse originally wrote:
You are a fantastic writer. The way you breathe life into the characters is amazing. I just spent the last five hours reading all the chapters. The story is so addictive I just couldn't stop. You humor literally had me laughing aloud. I loved Liz and Sean's batman comments, and the part where Max confesses to Kyle, Izzy and Michael that he's in love with Liz. I also enjoyed how you manipulated your style. Switching from Liz's more frank observations to her detached perspective made the mindwarping section all the more disturbing. Your story is truly incredible I can't begin to express all the parts that I've enjoyed. I'm trying to write a fanfic right now and you just put me to shame. PLease update soon.


Thanks, for the flattering feedback, although I am not sure I am entirely worthy of it. Anyways, your pep talk really picked me up and made me get my ass on getting the new part out.

Oh, and goodluck in your fanfic ventures!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Jan-2003 1:13:31 AM ]
posted on 17-Jan-2003 3:49:19 PM by Allie1031
I'm really excited to write the next part and I'm almost half done already. I always get excited about my fics right after I post and update and get feedback. It's so dorky, really. Sooooooo.....if I can find the time.....there might be another update later tonight or tomorrow, hopefully this weekend!
posted on 18-Jan-2003 2:14:41 PM by Allie1031
quote:
begonia9508 originally wrote:
I forget to ask you something: are you going soon to
update your site? I wanted yesterday to read the last
parts to remember the story but its stopped at
part 18. I could read it here but with all the FB it tooks
hours..... Thanks !!!! - Eve
______________________________________________


Heh, heh, heh. Yeah.....Sorry. Here's the new plan on that because I'm tooo lazy to go mess with the site. Since it has come to my attention that my story has become hard to read and has gotten lost in all the posts, I'm going to do my best to get the story up on the repost board ASAP so that it can be read straight through without having to wade through the feedback. It might take me just a little bit though because I'm going to try to edit the story as I go and get rid of all the inconsistancies.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Jan-2003 4:59:24 PM ]
posted on 18-Jan-2003 5:38:46 PM by Allie1031
I'm leaning towards later tonight on the new part. I've pretty much almost got it finished, and then I have to run through and edit it.
posted on 19-Jan-2003 3:20:53 AM by Allie1031
First, if you didn't read PART 25 which was posted on Jan. 16, you might want to go back and do that.

Second, I'd like to offically welcome you to the LONGEST part ever, at least it seemed that way with all the time I spent trying to get it right. And it is pretty damn long. I don't have the slightest clue when the next update will come, but it might be a while. I hope you all enjoy!!!


fd0833a6

-Previously-

I feel so much for Max, and yet, there is so much about him that I don't know. Still, the good I see in him, the things I like about him, and most importantly, the way he makes me feel, would never change regardless of whatever he could tell me. I wish he would just trust me and let me in.

And after he has pried so deep into my life, it's so completely hypocritical of him not to.

Fuck, Max is such a weakness for me. He's hurt me, but I have forgiven him without hesitation. There is so much more between us than the mistakes that we make. I don't want to be hurt anymore though. I can't afford to.

And anyways, I have bigger things to worry about than Max. Like Jimmy, and why the fuck he is after me. That has to be my number one concern right now. I have to figure out what he wants with me. Why the fuck would the academy be after me after all this time? I'm about as sure as I get that that's who he is working for. And hell, what about his partner? The academy never sends out agents on lone missions.

In the interest of preserving my ass and my freedom, I know that I will have to be clever and quick to find some answers.



Part 26

I wake up the next morning surprisingly well rested and ready to rumble. My headaches and dizzy spells are gone, and my strength and health have returned. This makes me very happy.

There are three people currently on my list of asses to kick: Tess, Charlie, and Jimmy, not necessarily in that order.

So my wardrobe strategy is going to be cute but comfortable. I want to look good because I know everyone is going to be talking about me, but I also want to be able to kick any fucker who happens to cross my path's ass. I go with a low cut, black, racer back tank top and stretchy, tight-ass black pants, with my favorite lace-up, black boots that I used to have to wear at the Academy, in fact, all of it is from my wardrobe of training gear provided by the Academy. I hope Jimmy recognizes my careful selection.

So in the end, I go with what I have come to coin as my 'don't even think about fucking with me' ensemble. What can I say? I'm slightly PISSED OFF.

In reality, I look like I'm going to go rob a bank maybe, but the black conveys my mood so well. Besides, I know my ass looks good in these pants.

I pick up Maria from school on time for the first time all year. She's visibly impressed. And then she gets in the car and sees my outfit.

"You're going to kick someone's ass today, aren't you?" Maria smirks.

"Yup," I respond simply.

What can I say? It's just a given at this point.

We get to school, and as expected, people seem to hush when I walk by. I don't care. Why should I?

Maria and I are about halfway to my locker when Tess approaches me.

Well, I guess they are only easier to knock down when they come to me. Looks like I'm gonna get a good ass-whooping in before school even starts.

"Liz!" Tess cries. "You poor dear! I heard what happened to you! What an awful experience! Did you finish my homework?"

I'm about to put my fist into her face when I realize that she has absolutely no clue that I am no longer her brainwashed slave.

Heh. No one told her. Heh. Heh.

Soooooooo…I decide to play along…

"Oh, Tess, you poor dear!" I throw my arms around her pulling her into an embrace while I mouth "go with it" to Maria who is looking shocked and ready to knock sense back into me.

I pull away from hugging Tess, trying not to let it show how badly my skin is crawling.

"Tess, dear, nevermind me and my problems, I was just SO distraught all weekend at the thought of you and Max no longer together. It's simply heart-breaking! It was just SO depressing that I let myself have a little too much to drink at that party…but don't blame your self for what happened to me. Oh! Tess! You poor dear! How are you holding up?" I wonder dramatically.

"Fine," Tess retorts tight-lipped. "Did you finish my homework?"

"Homework? Homework? Who could do homework at a time like this? All I did all weekend was try to think of ways to get you and Max back together. Oh the tragedy! The world is in such disarray!" I declare, lifting my wrist to my forehead.

Maria tries not to giggle at my horrible overacting. Luckily, Tess is so damn arrogant that she actually believes I am upset for her.

"I'm wearing black because I am in mourning of the most perfect couple ever put on this Earth for each other," I add gesturing to my outfit.

"So you didn't do my homework?" Tess sighs, annoyed.

"Oh, no, but I'll go to the library right now and do it before school starts, just for yoooooouuuuu, your gracefulness," I spout.

Your gracefulness? What the hell is that? Eh.

"Good. Do that," Tess orders.

"I'll get right on it," I salute her.

"Hey, I thought you weren't friends with her anymore," Tess frowns, nodding at Maria.

"Oh, well, Maria and I had a talk yesterday, and she admitted that I was SO totally right and that she really has just been jealous of you this whole time. And she wants to be friends with you too now, because you are so cool and all," I lie like a pig in mud.

"Oh Tess! I'm so sorry! I was so wrong about you! I was jealous, but Liz has corrected the error of my ways!" Maria exclaims, jumping in. "She's told me how wonderful you are, despite all those nasty, nasty rumors, and how you are so misunderstood! I was so wrong about you, and so wrong to be so…so…so mean! And now I really want to make it up to you!"

"Okay. Whatever. Just go do my homework, you two," Tess saunters off looking irritated. "Slip it in my locker when you are done."

What a bitch. She's too full of herself to even notice how much we are kidding.

Maria and I break into hysterics as soon as Tess is out of hearing range.

"How long are you going to keep this up?" Maria wonders.

"Eh. Until I get bored, I imagine, or she pulls her head out of her ass," I shrug. "Whichever comes first. Can I borrow your pen?"

Maria hands me a pen and I get to work on Tess's Calculus worksheet.

"You aren't actually doing her homework are you?" Maria asks, raising an eyebrow.

"No way. I'm just filling in the blanks with random wrong answers," I inform her.

"Nice," Maria chuckles. "Damn, she's such a bitch. She didn't even care how you were; she just wanted her homework."

"How rude," I agree, finishing filling out the worksheet.

We go to Tess's locker. Just as I slip the homework in, I feel a pair of strong hands on my shoulders.

Maria's eyes go wide.

"Gotta go, Liz, see you later," Maria darts off quickly.

What?!! She's abandoning me?

My entire body is tingling. I know who it is. I don't have to turn around.

I sigh and turn around anyways.

"Before you say anything, I'm going to tell you that it is just her homework I was shoving in her locker, which she asked me to do for her. I didn't have the heart to tell her that you cut the strings to her precious puppet, nor did I think it was my job," I look pointedly at Max.

Max studies me. I feel like a fool defending myself for pranking Tess, when I so obviously am, even though she deserves it.

"It's just her homework!" I swear. "Nothing bad!"

Well, if you don't count the really BAD answers that I wrote down.

"I know," Max states.

"You know?" I wonder.

"Yes, Michael and I enjoyed your little dramatic performance from down the hall," Max muses.

"I'm sure," I furrow my brow. "Just when were you planning on telling Tess that I have regained my brain power?"

"It never came up," Max shrugs.

"Well, if you ever plan on getting anywhere with me, you better tell her something," I poke him in the chest. "I don't want to wake up some morning with no hair because she's gone crazy with rage."

"But I love your hair," Max pouts, reaching out to stoke my chocolate locks.

"Me too," I agree.

"Okay, I'll do it," Max agrees. "But only because I love your hair so much. Just let me find the right time."

It is somewhat disturbing to me that he doesn't entirely put an action like that past Tess.

"Alright," I sigh. "But it better be before she gets her homework back because the 'F' written on the top of her paper might be a pretty big clue when there is an 'A' on mine."

"I'll keep that in mind," Max nods.

"So I guess you and Tess are still going to be friends, huh?" I ask casually, as we start to stroll down the hall towards our first hour class.

Duh, he's going to be friends with her. She's in his little secret society of people who can do crazy things.

Don’t think I haven't noticed that my body is completely free of bruises. I know that Charlie hit me pretty hard. There should at least be something to show for that. Don't think that I'm ungrateful Max and his crew somehow managed to stop me from having hideously painful marks all over me; I'm just curious as to how he works his magic. I think there's more to the 'old family remedy' than he lets on.

People are looking at us and whispering. Whatever. I'm just here for the food – err – education – err – ass-whooping.

"Yeah, of course I'm going to be friends with Tess. I still care about her a lot. Tess is pretty much always going to be in my life," Max responds.

Okay…and two sentences I really didn't need to me included in that answer are…

"Do you think you guys might possibly get back together?" I wonder, trying not to give the impression that I care so much.

Max stops and pulls me into a close huddle.

"Not a chance in the world," Max assures me, looking into my eyes. "Tess and I are just friends, and that is all."

"Gee, I wonder what you used to say to Tess about me and you," I retort dryly.

Ouch, low blow.

"That's not the same at all, for a number of reasons. I choose to be with you," Max protests, his voice low so greedy eavesdroppers that have congregated around us can't listen in.

Don't these people have their own lives?

"Didn't you choose to be with Tess, too?" I hiss.

"Liz, are you jealous?" Max smirks.

"NO!" I exclaim defensively. "I was just curious. Can't a girl ask you some questions?"

"You are so cute when you are jealous," Max smiles.

I grunt in frustration and Max chuckles.

"Let's just go to class," I start walking again and Max follows, grinning at me the whole way.

I walk into the classroom and stop dead cold in my tracks when I see Charlie sitting alone at his desk. Charlie looks up, sees me and Max, and glances down quickly.

I hate him. I hate him so much. Hate burns in my eyes as I glare at him. I project all my hate at him, my teeth grinding. He will pay for what he did.

Charlie fidgets uncomfortably under my menacing stare. And then he actually has the nerve to frown at me.

I stiffen and emit a growl from low in my throat.

I feel Max's hands from behind me slide over my upper arms, and I know it's to calm me down and prevent me from pouncing. Max brushes by me, taking my hand and leading me to our desk.

We sit down and Max keeps my hand in his under the desk, his thumb massaging my palm, urging me to relax.

The bell rings and the rest of the class files in. Some of the other students send Charlie nasty looks when they see him. A cheerleader walks by and calls him an 'asshole' under her breath. Another girl sees him looking her direction and flips him off. Sean comes in the classroom and doesn't acknowledge Charlie's existence whatsoever; he doesn't even look at him. One of the basketball players walks by and spits his wad of gum out into Charlie's lap.

I squeeze Max's hand in mine.

I hate him. He's scum. And I'm glad everyone knows it.

I used to think that Charlie was just a regular, okay guy, a little creepy, maybe, and unable to fully grasp the meaning of the word no. Now I think he's a lot of creepy and I know how little the word no really means to him. I never thought he would be the rapist type, but I guess that there are a lot of things you just don't know about people.

Tess walks into the classroom reading a magazine and sits down next to Charlie unaffected by the gossip, not really giving a damn. She has to sit by him because he is her partner, but she doesn't seem to even be alarmed by his attempted rapist status. Somehow, it wouldn't surprise me if it simply slipped her mind entirely. Tess doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would be afraid of him anyways.

Tess just continues to read her magazine, pretty much oblivious to the rest of the world.

Mr. Slater walks in and hands me a yellow slip. It's a note that says I'm supposed to go visit my guidance counselor, Ms. Johnson. I've been avoiding her for the past two weeks now, ripping up all the slips I receive and throwing them away, which is exactly what I do to this one.

Class starts and I remain tense through out the whole first half of the period, until Charlie raises his hand and asks to be excused to go get a drink of water. He never comes back.

Max and I give a smooth presentation. Tess ends up just presenting her and Charlie's project alone like she never expected that he would be coming back.

Tess weirds me out. Right now more than ever. I don't know why I never noticed how creepy she is before.

Class ends, and the rest of the morning goes pretty much uneventfully.

At lunch time, I head off in search off Max. I'm just about to turn the corner right next to Max's locker, when I hear him and Michael talking.

"Tonight," Max says to Michael, his voice low. "We didn’t get time to go out there this weekend, but we can't wait any longer. We have to go out there tonight to get rid of the energy crystals and make sure the granolith is okay. And we really need to have a meeting, the four of us, to address some current issues-"

"Hey guys!" I hear Maria greet them. "You want to walk me to lunch?"

"With pleasure," Michael answers.

I pop around the corner.

"There you guys are! I've been looking all over for you fools!" I say. "I'm starving. Let's go eat."

"Oh, damn," Max curses. "I forgot that Tess said I have to pick up a note in the office from my mom."

"Can't it wait until after lunch?" I ask, my hand resting lightly on his upper arm.

"Tess told me that she thought it was urgent and I might forget if I wait until later," Max replies. "It'll just take me a second to go get it, you guys go on ahead and I'll catch up with you."

"Wait, I'll go with you," Michael says, running after Max. "I promise I will be right there Maria. Save me a seat next to you."

Maria and I shrug and head to lunch, picking up Alex along the way, who seems uneasy at my presence after my escapades last week. I don't blame him. I try to joke with him in the lunch line but he's only mildly responsive and seems very apprehensive.

And when Maria and I walk over and sit down with Isabel Evans, Alex looks at us like we've both completely lost it. However, he shrugs it off and follows us anyways. I motion Julia over to join us as well. I search the lunch room for Max and Michael, who aren't back from the office yet.

Somehow, I'm going to have to make it up to Alex, I decide. And show him that I'm not as bipolar as I might currently appear.

I realize I have forgotten to grab a spoon for my yogurt and get up to retrieve one.

I come to stand in front of the utensil counter, and out of the corner of my eye, I see Charlie nervously making his way over to me. I ignore him and grab for a spoon as he approaches me.

"Liz," Charlie says my name, and it's the most recoiling sound in the entire world.

That fucking bastard had better get the hell away from me right now, if he knows what is good for him. I don't really care that I am at school, or that this is the lunch room. I'll kick his ass any time, any place.

I ignore him and walk away, trying to maintain some control over the rage that is building.

"Liz," Charlie repeats my name, blocking the route back to my table so that I can't ignore him. "I need to talk to you."

"Get the hell away from me, you sick fucker," I demand with revulsion.

I attempt push past Charlie, but he grabs my arm from behind. I'm about to turn around and break every bone in his body, when I feel cold metal pressing against my back.

Awwwwwwww, geez! For heaven's sake! Why is Charlie so much stupidier than he looks?

"That better not be what I think it is," I grumble.

"You have to tell them the truth. Tell them that I didn't try to rape you. Tell them how you were teasing me all night," Charlie commands, his breath hot in my ear, grossing me out.

"Like hell I will, you stupid bastard," I retort, shuddering at Charlie's closeness.

He jabs the gun hard into my back.

Fuck, Charlie is a moron. And Shit, does this situation suck. I survey the lunchroom, looking for a way out. I have to get him away from all these people so no one gets hurt. That's my primary objective right now.

No one at my lunch table has noticed the situation that has developed yet, which is for the best. I don't want to put my friends in danger because they think they need to help me. I can handle this. I just need to get him away from so many innocent by-standers so I can kick his sorry ass.

"You are going to tell them," Charlie orders, his gun digging a hole into my back.

"I think we should go for a walk and talk about this," I suggest, trying to get Charlie out of the lunchroom before I am forced to make my move.

Charlie thinks for a moment.

"You are going to tell them," Charlie states. "We can talk about this, but there is no negotiating, Liz. You know you wanted it. You were begging for it. So I don't know why you lie."

Ughhh, I am sooooooooo going to kick his sorry, scum-ridden ass.

Kyle enters the lunch room and spots us.

"Hey, Liz, is Charlie harassing you?" Kyle asks, approaching us.

"Get lost, Valenti," Charlie spits.

"Take your hands off, Liz, jerk," Kyle frowns.

I glance at my table across the lunch room. I see them looking over and pointing worriedly. Isabel stands and says something to them. I imagine she tells them to stay put while she sees what's up, because the next thing I know, Isabel is walking towards us. Everyone else sits with their eyes glued on me.

"Liz, are you okay?" Isabel asks, concerned, studying Charlie apprehensively.

I feel Charlie tense behind me. The other people are making him anxious. He's feeling closed in. And I'm afraid he might to snap and do something even crazier.

"Charlie and I were just going to have a talk," I tell her and Kyle carefully

My eyes meet Isabel's.

"Okay," Isabel says hesitantly, not knowing what else to say.

I see Maria get up, and I know I have to get Charlie out of here now.

"I'll be right back," I reassure Isabel and Kyle.

I slowly start moving towards the door, and thankfully, Charlie moves with me. We are just about to the door when Maria catches up with us.

"Liz, where are you going?" Maria asks.

"She'll be back soon. We are going to go have a talk," Charlie answers for me before I can.

"Like hell you are," Maria responds, grabbing my arm and yanking me out of Charlie's grasp.

Oh shit.

I push Maria to the ground and move to disarm Charlie, but in the time it took me to get Maria out of the way, he has recovered from his initial surprise, and instinctively taken a few steps back

Fuck, why do Mondays always have to suck so much?

It comes to the attention of the student body dining in the lunchroom that Charlie Harrison currently has a gun pointed at Liz Parker. The reaction is as follows:

First, a blonde-haired girl sitting nearby notices us and flips.

"Oh my god! He has a gun!" She screeches, abandoning her lunch and running right past us out the open lunch room doors.

This alerts everyone else to the situation at hand. And pretty much mass chaos develops.

Some people make a run for it out the emergency exits. Which trips the fire alarm that begins to make the loudest, most annoying sound on earth.

Other students duck under their tables, afraid to run across the open.

The lunch ladies run and hide in the kitchen, along with quite a few stray students.

The faculty supervising the lunch period look scared shitless. I guess this wasn't in their job description.

No one else is bold, or rather stupid, enough to run past us out the open lunch room doors in the fashion of the first blonde girl.

Maria remains frozen on the floor, her body shaking slightly with fear.

Alex and Julia are hiding under our lunch table.

Jimmy, unfazed by the whole thing, continues to sit and eat a sandwich across the lunchroom, watching to see what will unfold.

Isabel and Kyle, who have hunched over so as not to draw attention to themselves, begin to slowly creep towards under the tables.

The faculty members in the lunch room huddle up, and select Mr. Slater to send over to deal with us.

I focus my attention on Charlie. He's extremely nervous, as well he should be at this point. I look in to his I eyes. What I see is panic, and strangely, confusion. I can tell that Charlie has been smoking recently by his red eyes.

"Charlie, what the hell possessed you to bring a gun to school?" I question, genuinely curious how the fuck he is going to answer.

"I-I-I don't know," Charlie stutters. "I needed to get you attention, make you listen to me."

"Yeah, well I'm sure aaaaallllllllllllll these people are going to believe that you didn't try to rape me when you force me to tell them that at gun point," I remark.

"Just shut the fuck up, Liz!" Charlie shakes the gun at me.

I back down a bit.

"I need to think," Charlie tells me.

Well, no shit!

"Charlie," Mr. Slater states, approaching slowly. "Put the gun down, son."

His voice is soothingly pleasant and relaxed.

"Get back, Mr. Slater," Charlie orders. "I don't want to have to shoot you."

Even with a gun, Charlie doesn't see all that threatening.

"Charlie," Mr. Slater repeats his name calmly, holding his ground. "Just put the gun down. I know you don't want anyone here to get hurt. You need to just put the gun down. You got nowhere you can run, son. The fire department and the police are on the way."

"No!" Charlie protests. "I am not going to jail! I didn't even do anything wrong!"

I use this time to inch closer to Charlie while he is distracted by Mr. Slater.

Isabel and Kyle have slowly crept up closer.

Maria has crawled under a nearby table and is watching fearfully.

Jimmy, having finished his lunch, gets up, empties his lunch tray in the trash can, and is now strolling towards us.

"Jimmy, would you please tell Charlie how many federal laws he has violated?" I say as Jimmy eases close to us.

"Charlie, sorry man, but you're fucked," Jimmy shakes his head.

"Charlie, just put the gun down," Mr. Slater pleads. "You'll be in a lot more trouble if that gun goes off."

"This is all your fault, Liz!" Charlie blames me.

"Oh, I'm sure," I roll my eyes.

"I didn't do anything wrong," Charlie insists. "This is all Liz's fault. She screws with my mind. I didn't try to rape you! Tell them, Liz, tell them!"

Charlie thrusts his gun in my face.

"Whoa, just calm down there Charlie," Jimmy asserts. "Calm down, man. If you shoot Liz, you could go to jail for the rest of your life. So let's just be smart about this and not do anything stupid, okay?"

Yeah, I mean, because, like, bringing a gun to school in the first place isn't already stupid.

"Charlie, just put the gun down before anybody gets hurt," Mr. Slater tries to reason with him again.

I'm getting sick and tired of this whole situation.

"Charlie, if you put the gun down, we can all calmly discuss this, okay? I know you're a good kid, and you don't want anybody to get hurt. I'm sure this is all just a big misunderstanding," Mr. Slater continues.

"Liz is telling everybody I tried to rape her! Now everyone hates me and treats me like shit. My friends won't even talk to me, and it's all Liz's fault!" Charlie accuses.

"Well, if you put the gun down, I'm sure we can get this whole thing straightened out," Mr. Slater assures him.

As Mr. Slater has been talking, I have prepared myself to make my move. While Charlie's attention is still on Mr. Slater, I've backed up slightly to give myself more room to work. I inhale and exhale deeply, mustering my courage. Here goes nothing.

I kick the gun easily from Charlie's unsuspecting hand and it clatters to the ground. Charlie tries to scramble after it but it somehow slides an incredibly far distance.

Charlie stares at me surprised for an instant before he lunges at me. I punch him hard in the face, giving him a broken, bloody nose, before he can even get close to me. Charlie cries out in pain, fondling beaten his face. He tries to charge at me again but Jimmy clotheslines him, sending him down for the count.

Mr. Slater shakes his head and hauls Charlie up off the floor, pinning him bent over a table, clasping his hands forcefully behind his back. Blood is still gushing from Charlie's nose and flowing all over the place. I guess I hit him a lot harder than I thought. Oh well.

A police S.W.A.T. team bursts in on the scene, taking control of the situation.

Kids start to crawl out from underneath the lunch tables. Isabel and Kyle pop over and rush over to make sure I'm okay. I help Maria up from under a table, and she hugs me like there is no tomorrow.

The police handcuff Charlie and haul him away. They start to gather up the students and faculty and lunch ladies to take statements. One officer locates the gun and bags it as evidence.

Damn, when my dad hears about this…I grimace at the inevitable counseling that I will have to endure.

The police interview me extensively, and I retell my story as accurately as possible. They ask me if I want to pursue charges for attempted rape. I consider it, but figure Charlie is going to be locked up for a long as it is, and I don't particularly want the publicity attached to my testifying to that.

The sheriff, who also happens to be Kyle's dad, congratulates me for handling the situation so calmly and disarming Charlie. We chat for a little while and he gives me his number in case I have any questions or remember something else or change my mind about pressing attempted rape charges. Sheriff Valenti assures me that he will try to keep that detail of the chain of events away from the media.

The police have almost finished up most of their questioning and have started to clear out when I move to stand next to Jimmy.

"I saw you," I say to Jimmy, not looking at him and keeping my voice low. "I saw you in the window, and I remember. I know who you are. You better stop fucking with me."

Jimmy's entire demeanor changes instantly. He pulls me into a corner.

"Give yourself up, Liz," He hisses. "Don't be foolish. If you know who I am, then you know you can't hide from us."

"What the hell do you want with me?" I question. "It's been so long."

"Come into our custody, and you can find out. We aren't going to hurt you, Liz. We just need you back," Jimmy states diplomatically.

"I don't want to come back," I shake my head. "I don't want anything to do with them, you tell them that. Tell them to leave me alone."

"Liz," Jimmy frowns, his voice stern.

"You were going to fucking watch me get raped. Do you actually think I am going to go anywhere with you, you sick bastard? You are just as bad as Charlie," I accuse. "You're the one who drugged my drink."

"You know that we aren't supposed to interfere when it disrupts our objective. If I had burst in, I would have had to walk away empty-handed for sure. I can't be linked in any way to your disappearance. If Charlie remembered me being there, I'd be in big trouble. You know the rules. I felt awful, but I had specific orders from the highest links in the chain of command to wait and see if I could get you alone later," Jimmy responds. "I never would have let him seriously hurt you."

"Letting him rape me would have seriously hurt me. Why would I turn myself in to anyone who was just going to stand by and let me be raped?" I narrow my eyes at him.

"Because the pressure is on for your capture, Liz. It's not fun and games anymore. The reasons we let go roam free before are going be ripped out from underneath you, and then you will have nothing to do but run, and there will be no one to protect you," Jimmy informs me. "Things are going to get ugly if you don't turn yourself in Liz. Your friends and family could get hurt."

"Is that a threat?" I ask.

"No, it's a promise. We aren't going to stop until we have you. You are very important to us. I knew that our operation had been compromised and that you figured out who I was when I found your contact next to my register. I tried to make things easy for you by abducting you at the party, but the plans were foiled. You've been lucky, we've let you wander around, full of yourself, doing whatever you please. But we've had our reasons, and very soon they will fail to exist. Right now it's more important that we make sure you are retrieved. Be smart, Liz. Turn yourself in," Jimmy urges.

"Never," I swear.

"Is everything okay here?" The sheriff wonders, coming over because of my disturbed body language.

"Everything is fine," I tell him. "Just fine. Could I possibly use a bathroom?"

I take Maria with me to the bathroom and splash some cold water on my face.

Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck. Jimmy's been using me to gain information on Max. I know I need to know Max's secret and I need to know it ASAP. These people are my friends. I need to know who they are if I can have any hope of protecting them.

And so I preposition Maria with a plan…

When we return to the lunchroom, we find that school has been cancelled for the remainder of the day, and that all the students have been released.

Maria and I locate Kyle, Isabel, Alex and Julia and get the hell out of that damn lunch room. We all decide to go out to lunch because none of us got to finish ours. I'm just glad everyone is okay, and Charlie is going to jail, where he belongs.

Maria and I make a quick run to our lockers to grab our books. We are walking down the hall, when suddenly, out of nowhere, I find myself being mauled by Max. Michael grabs Maria and holds her close as well.

"Liz! Are you okay?" Max exclaims wrapping his arms around me so tightly that I can barely breathe.

"I'm okay," I assure him. "Where were you guys?"

"The office was busy, so we had to wait a while. We were just heading to the lunchroom, when the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the school," Max informs me. "Some of the kids outside had come from the lunchroom and were talking about how Charlie had a gun and was threatening you. We tried to get back inside to help you, but the fire department showed up right away and wouldn't let us go back in. I was so worried about you! I'm so glad you are okay."

Max pulls me tight against his chest.

"I about had a heart attack imagining what could be happening to in there," Michael adds.

"We found Isabel and she told us everything that happened, and how you saved the day," Max smiles at me.

"Eh, It's all in a day's work. I wouldn't really call it saving the day, anyways, I just kicked Charlie's ass is all," I shrug. "Who would have thought he was so crazy?"

"No kidding," Maria scowls. "I've never been so scared in my entire life."

"Me neither," Michael agrees, hugging her tight, and kissing her forehead.

"I wasn't actually all that scared until I had to make my move. Then I was a little bit afraid, but I knew I couldn't afford to hesitate," I recall.

"You should have seen her. She was awesome," Maria tells Michael and Max.

I shrug.

"I did enjoy punching Charlie," I admit. "C'mon. Let's get out of here. Everyone's waiting for us to go out to eat, and I'm starving. I hardly got to touch my lunch."

"Alright," Max agrees, putting an arm around me as we walk. "What sounds good?"

"Anything but Wendy's," I say.

Max grins.

**********


Oh yeah, I'm going to try to go through and edit this story and get it up on the repost board so you can all look forward to that.


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 19-Jan-2003 3:27:47 AM ]
posted on 19-Jan-2003 9:10:05 PM by Allie1031
quote:
JBehrsGurl originally wrote:
*gasp* What's wrong with Wendy's??? Those 99 cent chicken nuggets are to DIE for! *drools* lol I'm so serious! I just had A&W so you guys can go there... They're top notch. *big*


Nothing is wrong with Wendy's. In fact, it's the only fast food place I will eat at(I'm a health food fanatic), however, Liz would not like to eat there because the last time she went there was with Tess when she was brainwashed and Tess tricked her into flashing that gross worker....remember....? Work with me, here, I know I'm slow about getting parts out and I've written a way long story....sigh....
posted on 19-Jan-2003 11:15:32 PM by Allie1031
quote:
JBehrsGurl originally wrote:
I'm sorry! *cowers* I completely forgot about that. *sigh* You still rock, don't forget your award now: ALLIE


Hahahahaha. Thanks for the award. I love it. It's very cute!!!
posted on 29-Jan-2003 12:53:59 AM by Allie1031
quote:
voula originally wrote:
Allie,


Just wanted to bump this, and beg for a new part to cheer me up. I ran into an ex today, throwing my emotions into an upheavel and making a big mess of my feeling. I'm all messed up now b/c I was happy walking around thinking he was the biggest JERK in the whole world and I was content with this, and felt I was justified with my feelings. But no, do you think he could be a jerk when I ran into him today? NO!!!! He had to be so damn cute and wonderful, and making falter in my feelings for hating him.

But anway, thanks for letting me rant and my most sincere apologies if this doens't make an ounce of scence or no one gives a shit, just getting this out has helped. But anway, just wanted to Bump this to the first page, where in my humble opinion it should always be.

Thanks for writing,
Voula



Hey Voula,

I totally, totally know how you feel more than you could ever believe. It's like that with me so often. I think we almost have to convince ourselves that our exs are these horrible people because on some level we still love them, but we know how wrong they are for us and how much they hurt us and we don't want to let ourselves want to be with them when we know we just can't...okay, maybe that's just me...but I am definitely an emotional blob when it comes to guys...Hang in there! And feel free to vent anytime. I like to actually know that there are real people out there in cyberspace, who have problems just like me.

Allie
posted on 2-Feb-2003 7:16:08 PM by Allie1031
quote:
StardustDreamer originally wrote:
Hey there Allie. I just wanted to stop by and give you a friendly bump. No pressure...just...friendly nudges. LOL. I know how busy you are *cough and smile*. Talk to you later girl.
Much love,
Jess


Grumble, grumble, busy ruining my life, grumble. Heh. I'll try to get on a new part as soon as I get caught back up with my homework. I'm going to try to lay low for a while. I've done more damage in the two weeks since I have been back at school than I can rememebr doing in a long time. It's been one of those times where just when you think things can't get any worse, they do, repeatedly. Eh. At least I can laugh about it.