|posted on 11-Sep-2002 12:58:01 PM|
|Titel: Will you still love me?|
Rated: PG up to R
Category: M/L AU
So I said I wouldn't write another fanfiction but fact is - I'm still reading and I still have ideas for stories. When I stumbled over Lillie's challenge I just HAD to write the story. So the idea comes from Lillie - it's a challenge based on the book 'The secret child' by Jamie Ann Denton. I haven't read that book so this whole story is based on my imagination of how the story could develope if Max and Liz were the main characters.
Lillie - I hope that you'll be satisfied with this story.
Disclaimer: I own nothing if I did - JK would have never been allowed to do what he has done to our show and don't even let me get started on this whole Isabel-crap (sorry Isabel-fans but I never liked her); I’m just someone who has still too much time for writing stories; no infringement intended.
“Max – wait up!” was all Max had to hear to stop and turn around on his way out of school. It was Liz – his girlfriend – his cupcake, how he liked to call her. “Hey…” with a big smile on his face he wrapped his arms around her tiny waist and kissed her. “What are you doing here? I thought you’d need to stay longer today?” “Yeah well Mrs. Miller changed her plans so – I’m free…” Waggling his eyebrows he smirked at her “I like the sound of that…”.
His smile grew even wider if that was possible. Gosh he loved her. “So what were you planning to do – maybe I can join you?” Liz asked while they were walking down the steps of West Roswell High. “Ahh I don't think so – my dad wanted me to join him for his weekly round of playing golf.” Wrinkling her lovely nose she gave him a doubtful look. “And you really wanted to go?” “Nahhh…and now that you’re here I’m not planning on going anyway…so what do you wanna do?” “I don't know – I’d have to go home and check with grandma if she needs my help – I’m sure she has already made plans for dinner…you wouldn’t…” “…want to you join you? Cupcake you know how much I love your grandma and how much I love her cooking...and her granddaughter.”
Max drew Liz even closer to his body. Sometimes he couldn’t believe his luck that Liz Parker was his – well not in a legal way – yet BUT – graduation wasn’t far away and after that he planned to propose – though his father might disinherit him but – hey how big was the chance of meeting the love of your life – right? Slim – there you have it – so yes he planned on proposing to his cupcake. Sometimes he even already dared to dream about their children – a boy and a girl – they would both be beautiful and as smart as their mother. Yes he dared dreaming about this stuff – he knew that it was ridiculous and he also knew that he shouldn’t be thinking about stuff like that for at least another… well – at least until they had finished college. God but how much he couldn’t wait for that to happen.
Liz looked up at Max, to her he looked like an angel sent from above – really sometimes she thought she was dreaming – how could someone as beautiful, funny, loving, honest, devoted and yeah – sexy be her boyfriend. Boy – she would have never thought that it was possible. Yet here they were – walking towards his car together. Okay so his family hated her – well not exactly his family his mother accepted her, though sometimes Liz felt like Diane Evans was afraid of her – like she’d bite or something like that. But Max’s father hated her. For whatever reason. Several times Max had stood up for her when his father started being insulting towards her. Sure Liz felt bad about it, she couldn’t understand why his father was so against their relationship but at least he had stopped trying to intervene in this relationship – for now at least. In the beginning Max and her had had a lot of fights because she wanted to stop seeing him for his sake, so that he wouldn’t argue with his father and Max just refused to accept that – he fought for her and their love and now – she couldn’t imagine what a life without him would be like.
Liz and Max met five years ago the first time at a birthday party. Alex had invited the new boy in his neighborhood and from that day on Max had been a part of their group. For her it had been love at first sight despite her tender age – no not a crush – she loved him – those amber eyes just mesmerized her. Something she didn’t know was the fact that Max felt the same way. So for three years they both kept it a secret until Max finally asked her out on a date two years ago. It had taken him that long to find the courage to ask her out but in the end – it had all worked out just fine and ever since then they have been a couple.
Opening the door for Liz, Max gave her another kiss before she got in. Smiling at her he walked around his jeep, got in, started it and drove towards the small townhouses where grandma Claudia’s house was. “How about we stop and get a video to watch later?” “Sounds good…” Liz nodded and bobbed her head to the music on the radio. “So what is Isabel doing tonight?” “I have no idea – haven’t I told you? She met this associate of my dad – Jessie R-something…” Silence – looking at her she seemed kinda shocked. “What?” “He must be like? 25 then?” “Actually 26 but she’s crazy about him and for some reason my parents don’t mind – I mean Isabel is old enough to make her own decision…” Turning onto the parking lot of the video store they both got out, automatically reaching for each other’s hand.
“So what will it be? Fun? Action? Luuuuuuuuvvvvvvvvvveeeee? Science Fiction?” Max teased her, pulling her in front of him, placing his chin on her shoulder studying the newest releases. “Uhhh I don't know – what do you say?” Liz turned towards him – instantly feeling his lips nipping at her jaw towards her lips. Liz heart was beating a mile a minute – gosh she loved his kisses. How he always lightly pulled at her bottom lip, then slowly sliding his tongue along her lips – it always made her anticipating his next move…“Mhm let’s see what we have here…” he suddenly broke off the kiss as if it hadn’t turned him on just like her. Turning her head at once back to the videos she promised herself to pay that one back to him. “How about this one?” she pointed out a movie on the right. “What’s that? ‘A la folie... pas du tout’? That’s a French one – nawww – no chance I actually like watching my movies not reading them – what about that one? ” “Yeah right as if I would be watching ‘Lord of the rings’…” Liz shook her head – she couldn’t understand all the hype about those movies… suddenly she felt a hand – a very familiar and soft manly hand underneath her shirt. “Max we’re in a video store…” Liz whispered, feeling his hot breath at her ear. “I know - that makes it even more exciting don’t you think?” “Max please…” Liz whimpered, pressing her body against his front. Slowly Max let his fingers wander around her navel, then down into her trousers.
Liz couldn’t stand it anymore, she felt heat shooting through her body and jumped forward. “I think we should watch that one ‘Kate and Leopold’ – beautiful love story with a little Sci-Fi…”. Max had a hard time suppressing his laughter. “Cupcake I’m not that sure if time traveling really counts as Sci-Fi but if it makes you happy then take it…” He followed her to the counter and paid for the movie then they drove home to Liz. Before they could get out though Liz leaned over, surprising Max. “Liz what – “ “Don't you ever do that again without being prepared for payback Maxwell Evans…” Liz let her fingers glide along his thigh up to his privates, making him squirm. “…two can play that game…believe me sugar!” Nibbling at his earlobe she was suddenly gone. “Are you coming Max?” Dazed Max found himself – very turned on and staring at this sweet devil – yeah he knew why he loved her. “Okay calm down boy – down boy – you don’t want to give grandma a heart attack…” he mumbled to himself before exiting the car and following Liz.
“Grandma I’m home!” Liz shouted, waiting for a reply. “Do you mind me calling my mother to tell her I’ll eat here? The battery on my cell is low?” Max asked Liz who only handed him the phone and started searching for her grandmother.
“This is the Evans residence.” The Evans’s help answered the phone. “Hi Maureen this is Max, please tell my parents that I won’t join them for dinner.” “I will Sir – do you want me to tell them the reason?” “No – thank you and – oh tell them that I’ll stay after dinner as well – I don’t know when I’ll be back…” “Okay Sir” How he hated to be called Sir – it made him feel so old, as if somebody would be talking to his father. “Thank you Maureen – have a pleasant night.” “You too Sir.”
Disconnecting the call he went into the kitchen to get himself something to drink. After dating Liz for two years now he felt more at home here than at his actual home. “Liz? Grandma Claudia?” “On the porch!” he heard Claudia and walked through the back door onto the back porch. “Hello Claudia how are you?” “I’m fine Max – how are you? Why don't you join us?” Claudia was busy preparing beans for dinner. “Can I help?” “No you don’t – you’re our guest.” Claudia smiled at him. After contemplating for some seconds Max moved over to Liz, pulled her out of her chair, sat down and placed her on his lap. Claudia smiled at her granddaughter and her smitten boyfriend – they were soul mates – definitely. One look at them and you just knew that they were each other’s destiny. “So how was your day you two? Weren’t you supposed to be home later Honeybear?” “Yeah well there was a change of plans so I’m here. Is it okay if Max and I watch a video later?” “That’s fine – it’s nice that you’ll be joining us for dinner Max.” “You know how much I love you’re cooking grandma.” “Thank you…” the old woman smiled at him.
Dinner was nice and Max couldn’t get enough of the fresh beans, potatoes and the delicious meat. At home he always had those meals with funny names and most of the times they were inedible. “That was great – thank you grandma…” he smiled at Claudia, got up and helped cleaning the table. “Grandma why don't you lie down – you look tired, Max and I are going to finish up in the kitchen.” “Oh would you really? That would be nice…thank you…”
“Is everything alright with Claudia?” Max asked concerned accepting the next plate to dry it. “Yeah – why shouldn’t she be fine?” Liz looked at Max, handing him the next plate fresh out of the water. “I don't know she just looked…” “Max…” Liz interrupted him. “She’s fine really, she just didn’t get enough sleep last night that’s all.” “Oh okay…” They finished tiding up the kitchen, popped some corn and settled into the living room. Max had the bowl on his lap and Liz in his arms – what more did he need?
“I can’t believe that he is with this Parker girl again.” Phillip Evans got up from the table after hearing what his wife had told him. “Phillip – he loves her, why can’t you just accept that?” Diane was looking at her husband – she knew that he didn’t approve of Max’s relationship with somebody ‘beneath’ them – how he preferred to call it. She actually liked Liz although she never knew how to behave around her – she was so special, so loving and so true – something she hadn’t encountered in a very long time.
“Why can’t he date some daughter of our friends god knows there are some fine girls in Roswell who would be more suited for our son – Diane.”
Leaving her chair as well she walked over to him. “He loves her Phillip – he really does.” “What if he wants to marry her?” “I’m sure he wants to…” “I won’t allow it…” “He won't listen – do you really want to…I don't know – risk losing him?”
No – Phillip Evans wasn’t willing to lose his only son but maybe just maybe there was still a way to get Liz Parker out of his way. He had plans for Max, big plans and they didn’t include a poor girl from the other side of town. He was supposed go to Harvard, study law and become a lawyer - a successful one and only after that there was time for a wife and children. And his wife was supposed to be more sophisticated and just…more than Elisabeth Parker would ever be.
On the other end of town Max and Liz made their way up into her room after watching the movie. “Well I have to admit – that movie wasn’t so bad…” Max smiled and closed the door behind him. “Yeah…you just go and admit that…” Liz teased him. Pushing himself away from the door he walked up to her. “What?” “What what?” “What are you doing?” Liz smiled up at him – anticipating his next move. Leaning slowly forward he captured her lips with his, framing her face with his hands, angling her head for better access to her.
She loved his taste – so sweet and yet so male and oh so familiar. “God I love your taste…” Max murmured, pulling her closer. His hands moved underneath her shirt once more. “Mhmm Max…” Liz moaned while brushing her fingers through his hair. “Do you think we should do that with your grandma just sleeping down the corridor?” He asked, his breathing labored, his heartbeat erratic, his blood boiling.
“Max – since when do you care if she’s here or not?” Liz whispered while opening one button after the other of Max shirt. “Well – I just wanted to be sure…” Max smirked before pulling Liz’s shirt over her head.
[ edited 8 time(s), last at 6-Jan-2003 5:10:54 AM ]
|posted on 11-Sep-2002 1:00:47 PM|
After getting Liz naked and striping off his clothes as well, Max carried her to her bed and placed her on it, taking his place next to her. “You know – you’re the most beautiful creature I have ever seen…” he whispered while caressing one breast and the other, letting his finger trail down to her bellybutton and down below – making Liz squirm. God she needed to feel him, she wanted him so bad.
Before they had slept together the first time a few months ago Max and Liz had talked about it…they both wanted to be sure. After their first time they had both been sure that they had made the right decision to wait – but boy oh boy it had been perfect.
Kissing and caressing Liz over and over again Max mumbled seductively into her ear how much he loved her, how much he wanted her and how much she turned him on. Their lovemaking was always something special – they were in tune with each other. Liz knew what he enjoyed and vice versa.
Wrapping her legs around his waist, his movements increased. “Oh god Liz, Liz, Liz I love you…oh god I love you…”
They were both still catching theirs breaths when Max rolled over, taking Liz with him so that her head was resting on his naked chest. “You know – ever since you started taking the pill – I like the fact that we can be more spontaneous…” “Ha you would enjoy it no matter what…” “You don’t?”
Liz could hear the concern in his voice at once. “Max – I’m teasing you – you know that I love you and you know that I love making love to you…”
His amber eyes softened and brushing back her hair behind her ears he kissed her again.
“Yeah I know – I just – I guess I just sometimes have to make sure that you’re as comfortable as I am with all of this.”
Liz had the feeling as if she melted - how could he be so perfect? So thoughtful?
“I love you Max, don’t you ever forget that…” Liz murmured before placing her head back on his chest, letting her fingers wander from one nipple to the other and back.
Turning towards the clock Max sighed. “As much as I want to stay I think I should leave…” “What time is it?” “Shortly after eleven.” “I don’t want you to leave.” “Well I don't want to leave either but we both know how not amused your grandma will be if she finds me here tomorrow morning.”
Getting up he started dressing again under the watchful eyes of Liz. “Grrrrr…” she growled – yeah she like the view she had of his naked butt.
“Don't temp me cupcake…” Max had to smirk. “Me? Never!” “Yeah right…” he chuckled while closing the buttons on his shirt, he leaned down to Liz, kissing her again. “How about I get you in the morning, say 9 a.m. and we go have breakfast at the Crashdown.” “Sounds good…” “Good – I love you…sleep tight and dream of me.” “Always…” Liz slipped out of bed and into a short and one of his t-shirts she had kept here. “I like it when you wear my shirts.” “Well I like wearing them.”
As quietly as possible they walked down the stairs towards the door. After ten more minutes of kissing and saying good-bye over and over again Max got into his jeep and drove home.
He could see that the lights were still on in the living room. “Darn…” he mumbled before entering the house.
“Maxwell is that you?” “Yes father.” ‘Please not another lecture’ was his only thought. “So where were you? I thought you wanted to join me today to the golf course.” “Yeah I know something came up…”
He could see his father standing in front of the bookshelf with a glass whiskey in his hand. “Oh that’s too bad – isn’t it?” “Dad…” “Not this whining tone Maxwell…so you were at Liz’s again isn’t that right?” “Yes and? Where’s the point, you know that I love her…” “Love…” Phillip Evans snorted. “You have no idea what love is about, you’re too young to be in love…you shouldn’t even have to worry about something as trivial as that.” “I’m not having this discussion with you father – I’m tired, I’m going to bed…” “Why? Has she worn you out? Tell me Max can you trust this girl?”
Max stopped in his tracks and turned back to his father. “What do you mean?” “I'm talking about protection, can you trust her? Or do I have to fear to be a grandfather sooner than I want to and by a girl who only wants your money…” “HOW CAN YOU EVEN SAY THAT? I love Liz and – it’s none of your business what kind of protection we use and if by a slim chance Liz would get pregnant before we planned it then I’d love this baby. How did you come up with this ridiculous idea anyway?”
This wasn’t happening right? His father wasn’t accusing Liz of using him of maybe getting pregnant just to get money – gosh he must really hate her. “You really do hate her father don’t you? Why is that?”
Slowly Phillip finally turned towards his son “She isn’t the right one for you – believe me Max and something like an unwanted pregnancy happens faster than you think – I just want you to be careful – I want you to be able to realize your dream without any obstacles in your way and a clingy girlfriend and a baby would definitely hold you back.” “Dad – Liz – she’s not clingy and if she is than I’m just as clingy as she is – I…I don’t wanna talk about this ever again – good night.” With that he left his father standing at the bookshelf.
What he didn’t realize was that Phillip Evans was even more calculating than anybody would have ever guessed and that his father was going to change his life forever - in a very dramatic way.
It was one week later when Grandma Claudia came home from her appointment at the doctors.
“Hi Grandma – how was it?” Liz smiled at her – how was she supposed to tell her granddaughter – that – that – what? That her tiredness wasn’t normal or age related? What?
“Grandma?” Liz asked again this time with more concern in her voice. “Honeybear – I …could you heat up some water for some tea? I think it’s the perfect time for some tea and cookies on the back porch – what do you think? “Okay…”
Liz wasn’t sure what to think of all of that but she did as she was told.
Ten minutes later both women sat down and enjoyed the warm sunrays. Claudia took a sip of her tea still not sure of how to break the news to Liz. How could this be real? How and why did this have to happen? Liz had no one left and now it looked like, well it looked like she soon would be alone – only a miracle could help now.
“Grandma you’re scaring me – what did the doctor say…”
No sense in beating around the bush the sooner Liz knew the sooner – what? She could prepare herself for being alone? Well at least she had Max and Claudia was sure that Max would be there for Liz - always. Little consolation but at least something.
“It’s cancer Elisabeth – “ “What?” Claudia could hear the clinking of Liz’s cup before the girl could set it down on the table. “He said that – I only have a chance of survival if I undergo treatment right away and for that I would have to go to Albuquerque or some bigger town…but…it’s very expensive and I have no idea how I could pay for that.”
Liz was silent – she had no idea what to say – this couldn’t be happening – right? RIGHT? First she loses her parents in an accident and now she was supposed to lose Grandma Claudia as well? Now? No – she… “We’ll find a way grandma and if we have to leave Roswell then – we’ll do that…” “What about Max?” “Max will understand and it’s not like Albuquerque is that far away.” “Oh Honeybear I wish I could…I…I’m so sorry…” “Don't be, it’s not your fault! We…we’ll manage – I promise.”
Phillip Evans parked his car across from the Parkers little house – whatever his son saw in this…this situation…he couldn’t see it. Ringing the bell he waited for somebody to open the door. So it was late but he knew that Max was out of town with some friends and that Liz had stayed at home.
After ringing the bell again Liz Parker opened the door. “Mr. Evans? Did something happen to Max?” Her eyes were as big as saucers – so she was worried, for whatever reason. “No, Maxwell is fine Miss Parker – I came to talk to you.”
Liz didn’t know what to think of it, Grandma had just gone to bed, being tired and Liz had been sitting in the living room contemplating of what to do. “Then why don’t you come in?”
Mister Evans nodded and walked right past her into the living room, waiting for her to follow. “Can I get you an iced tea or something?” “No – this won’t take long.”
This was really creepy and Liz didn’t have a good feeling about this visit. “Does Max know you’re here?” “No he doesn't and he’ll never…I came to offer you money to leave Maxwell alone.”
Now she got it – this was all a nightmare – she was dreaming because in reality Max’s father would never visit her at 10.25 p.m. on a Friday night and offer her money to leave Max alone.
“Excuse me?” “I don’t approve of your relationship – Maxwell deserves so much better and as it seems - you put some kind of spell on him or whatever…so I was sick of waiting for him to realize that this isn’t going to work – so I decided that I have to turn to you.” Fishing out his checkbook and a pen he looked at her. “Name a price, take it, break up with Maxwell, leave town and never come back.”
Liz felt sick, this wasn’t happening – “I…I…excuse the question Mister Evans but are you nuts? I love your son and he loves me how can you be so heartless? I can’t do that.” Phillip nodded, scribbled a number down on the check, signed it and handed it to her. “Last chance Miss Parker – take it and leave…Maxwell will get over you believe me, he’ll be too busy to be heartbroken once you’re gone…”
“Is everything alright Honeybear?” Liz could hear her grandma. Clearing her throat she said “Everything’s fine grandma, go back to bed…” she wanted to cry, she literally wanted to break down and cry, cry for her parents she had already lost, cry for her grandma whom she’d might be losing soon and cry for Max – the love of her life – the one she would lose as well – because no matter how selfish she wanted to be and send Phillip Evans to hell - she needed the money, grandma Claudia needed the money for her treatments.
With shaking hands she took the check. Without saying another word Phillip Evans smiled and walked towards the door, but before opening it he looked back at her. “I expect you to break it up with Maxwell as soon as possible…”
By now tears were running down Liz’s cheeks – oh how much she wanted to tear that damn check apart, call Max and tell him what happened, but she couldn’t. Phillip Evans was a wealthy and powerful man and he’d not only destroy her and her grandma but also Max.
How could she have ever believed that they had a chance? That Mister Evans would ever accept her. “You know Mister Evans…” Liz hiccupped “…I have never hated anybody because in every human being there’s something good – I was wrong – within you – there’s nothing good and I hate you from the bottom of my heart and I hope that one day…” taking a deep breath “…that one day Max will see the evil within you as well…and then you’ll lose him no matter what…you may be able to manipulate him but you’re not able to change his heart. He’s the most caring and loving person I have every met, maybe that’ll change for some time but you won’t be able to change him forever” turning around, she headed up into her room, not caring if the personification of evil left or stayed and cried her eyes out into her pillows.
|posted on 11-Sep-2002 1:02:18 PM|
The next day it was a rainy Saturday afternoon when Liz heard the all-familiar sound of Max’s jeep.
She was sitting on the front porch – taking in the sight of the love of her life, the most beautiful boy she had ever seen and will ever see. His smile – oh god it tore her heart in two.
“Hey cupcake…” Max smiled at her, leaning down and giving her a kiss. She didn’t kiss him back – this wasn’t going like she had hoped – but what had she hoped for? “Is everything okay Liz? Is it grandma?”
For one week she had kept Claudia’s condition a secret – she hated lying to Max. And she despised herself more than anything for what she had to do – she had to tell him the biggest lie in the universe, she had to tell him that …”We have to talk Max.” Max nodded, took her hand and sat down next to her, worry in his eyes. ‘No don’t look into his eyes Liz.’ She had to remind herself of that over and over again.
Slowly she pulled her hand back “I…” clearing her throat again she stared into nothingness “…I have been thinking and…and…I think we…we should break up.”
“WHAT?” Max had jumped up from his seat.…looking at her. All Liz could see was confusion, bitterness and sadness in his eyes. “But why? I mean Liz – why? You’re kidding right? I mean I love you and…and…you’re kidding right? Just testing my reaction to it and everything – but this isn’t funny Liz – I love you…” “Max stop – I’m not kidding, I had some time to…to think last week and…and I think we should break up.”
Liz got up from her seat as well and turned away, wiping away her tears before Max could see them. “But Liz – I don’t understand – did something happen? Did I do or say something wrong? If yes then I’m sorry and…I'm also sorry for not realizing that I did something I…Liz. Liz please look at me…please?”
He was crying she could hear it in his voice and she knew that if she turned around now she’d crumble and tell him the truth.
“Max – please just leave…I have made my decision and you’re not going to change it.” “But – why? I don’t…I don’t understand Liz.” Oh god the agony in his voice was ripping out the rest of her heart.
Max felt like in a nightmare. There was no reason why Liz would break it up with him. She loved him and…he couldn’t imagine that there was someone else but… “Have you met someone?” He at least had to ask the question…maybe he could get through to her, maybe he could…maybe there was a slim chance that he could win her back – to whatever he had lost her within one week – he had to win her back. He couldn’t live without her.
“No…” she shook her head and turned around, facing him. “Oh god Liz then why?” Storming towards her, he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her near to his body, breathing in her unique and yet so calming and familiar scent. “Max please let me go – please…” she pushed away. He was trying in vain to look into her eyes because she was looking everywhere but him “Liz please don’t shut me out whatever I did I’m sorry and I want to make it up to you – please? Please Liz tell me what’s wrong – what did I do to…Liz? Please I love you, please Liz talk to me, tell me what I said, or did or what happened to make you push me away…”
He would do anything – he’d beg, he’d cry, he’d…just do anything if he could just… she was moving, no she was removing the necklace he had given her for their second anniversary. “Here – I don’t want it no more and now please leave Max…and don’t come back…” and then she was gone, had disappeared into the house.
Max was standing there, staring at his open palm – his hand was shaking and…he didn’t see anything at all because tears were making it impossible to see clear. What had just happened here? How did such a great day turn so down right awful and painful? Coming out of his thoughts he ran towards the door – pounding against it. “Liz? Liz please open up – Liz – please open the door…I’m sure we can talk it through, whatever happened we can talk it through – Liz please?” Nothing, the door wouldn’t open and no one would answer him.
On the other side of the door Liz was sitting on the steps of the stairs, hugging her knees to her body, crying as well. “I love you Max, god I love you don’t ever forget that, there’ll never be someone else – I promise – I love you…I'm so sorry, so sorry, so sorry…” Rocking back and forth and repeating her speech over and over again she tried to ignore Max’s crying, pounding at the door, shouting and wailing. What had she done? Her guess was that she wouldn’t know the exact consequences for a long time.
How Max got to the dessert – he had no idea. Parking the jeep somewhere he sat there – motionless, tears had been streaming down his cheeks ever since he had started the car. What had he done? What had he said? What had he missed – that Liz broke up with him. What?
He still had the necklace with the golden heart in his hand, staring down at it a new wave of tears was starting to emerge from his eyes. Getting out he stumbled, fell, breaking down completely – lying on the cold dessert ground he started wailing. “Why Liz? Whyyyyyyy?”
He couldn’t and wouldn’t understand what she had done – well maybe, maybe he should give her some time to think about it again and then, then he would…would call her and talk to her and – no he wouldn’t give up. He loved her, she was his future and how was one to live without a future – right? What about all his plans? His dreams? What were they worth if Liz wasn’t with him? How was he supposed to survive without her? She was his life, his soul mate. How the hell could she just break it up with him? For the life of him he had no idea of what to do or say.
He heard his cell phone ringing – LIZ! Was his first thought. Reaching into his pocket, sniveling he answered the phone without taking a look at its display – it had to be her.
“Liz?” “No – your mother – Max where are you? Is everything alright?” Darn. “ – uhm Mom I – I’m fine…” “Are you sure? You don’t sound so good – is everything alright Max?” Taking a deep breath he decided what to tell her “…Mom I have to go now…sorry…I’ll be home soon okay?” And before his mother could answer he hung up.
He needed time to think – and he had to plan how to win her back just in case talking wasn’t enough. Maybe he should call Maria – right – Liz would have told her what had happened while he had been gone with the guys – they were best friends.
20 minutes later Maria was trying hard to concentrate on what Max was telling her. IT was shortly after midnight and Maria really had thought about strangling him but one look into her best friend’s boyfriend – well now ex-boyfriend as it looked like now had been enough to rethink that.
“So she didn’t tell you the reason she just broke up?” “Maria have you been listing? I have told you what happened and I thought that you would know something – anything – Maria? What am I gonna do?” Maria got up and handed him the box with tissues, seeing that he started sniveling again. Never in her life had she seen a boy cry like that – though she could totally understand it. Max loved Liz, and Liz loved Max and that’s why this whole mess didn’t make any sense at all to her. “Well Max as much as I would like to help you here – I have no idea what happened – tell you what – why don't you head home and get some sleep…” before he could interrupt her she lifted her hand to silence him “…I know that you don’t know how but you can’t do anything tonight, so why don’t you go home, try to sleep at least and we meet up tomorrow morning and pay Liz a visit before she can go to church – how does that sound?” Shrugging his shoulders Max blew his nose and nodded. “Okay….I think you’re right…so I’ll see you later…” “Yes later…get me at 8a.m. okay?” “Okay – good night Maria and thank you…” “Good night Max, try to get some sleep…”
After he had left her Maria started at a picture of her best friend “Oh god Liz what have you done? What happened to make you do this?” Just like Max she couldn’t sleep this night, tossing and turning – her mind too occupied to calm down.
The next morning Max looked like death warmed over when he went into the kitchen. “Max? What happened? You look really tired…” “I didn’t sleep that good last night Mum – I…I have to go I’m meeting Maria now and then we go over to Liz…” “Has something happened?” “Muuum…if I want to talk to you I will – but now I have to go…”
Max really didn’t need his mother’s questions in the moment – it hurt too bad and he still had to figure out what exactly had happened. Of course he hadn’t slept last night, he hadn’t even tried – all the night through he had relived the last again – before he had left on that stupid trip – god why had he gone on that trip? Maybe if had stayed Liz would have never come to this stupid idea to break up. Something must have triggered her decision and by god he had no idea what. The last time he had seen her she was happy, smiling at him, kissing him good-bye, already anticipating his return two days later. Everything was fine…shaking his head over and over again, he opened the car and drove to Maria’s. She was already standing outside of her car and opening the door as soon as he had stopped.
“I’ve tried to call her but no one is picking up…” “You think something happened?” The concern in his voice was obvious. “I don’t know Max – just go…go, go, go…” And he did – he made the drive from Maria to Liz’s in record time. Both jumped out of the car and ran up the stairs to the Parker’s porch. Maria rang the bell – nothing – she rang it again – but instead of waiting for some kind of sound behind the door Max immediately started pounding against the door again. “Liz? Liz are you in there? Grandma Claudia? Hello?” Nothing.
Maria and Max looked at each other, before they walked around the house to the back door. Maria took one look through the window of the door. “Max – it’s…it’s empty.…they’re gone.” “What? What are you talking about Maria?” he pulled her away and took a look for himself – the kitchen and what you were able to see of the dining and living room was indeed empty. “This can't be Maria, this can't be…Liz!” This time Max started to turn the handle of the back door and – it opened. Storming into the house he dashed up the stairs into Liz’s bedroom and this as well just like any other room in the house was empty. He could smell her but – she was gone – she had not only broken up with him, she had left town – she had left him without a trace or a reason.
In silence he drove Maria back to her house and in silence he went back home. And during exactly that drive Max Evans knew that his life would never be the same again. Liz Parker had taken a part of him with her, his heart or at least that was how he felt – it was this revelation that made him decide to never fall in love again, to never feel again – never in his life he wanted to go through this pain again.
|posted on 11-Sep-2002 1:03:24 PM|
8 years later
“Mister Evans – Mister Whitman on line four!” Max heard his secretary through the intercom. Smiling he picked up the receiver – he hadn’t talked to Alex in ages “Thank you Susan, please put him through – Alex – how are you doing?” “Max – my man – finally – do you have any idea how hard it is to get a hold on you?” “Yeah I’m sorry - I’m just very busy…” “Yeah go figure I mean did you really think you wouldn’t be busy when you became a lawyer and moved to Los Angeles nevertheless – I mean this city must be full of lawsuits.” Alex chuckled. “You have no idea – so when are you gonna be here?” “Next week Tuesday – how about that? Think you can fit me into your busy schedule?” “Let me check…” Max opened his planer on his computer and searched for Tuesday. “How does 5 p.m. sound?” ”Perfect.” “Fine, then I’m going to meet you in the lobby of your hotel – just email me the information okay?” “Fine Maxwell – see you next week.” He hung up and concentrated again on his notes in front of him – it would be a busy day in court today.
There was a knock at his door “Come in…” “Are you ready to leave?” Courtney came in. “Yes – just give me another minute.” He got up from his desk and walked over to his built in bathroom – changing his tie and freshening up.
“Did you get your dress for tonight?” “Yes – your tux was delivered this morning by the way…” “Good…but how often do I have to tell you to leave early in the morning Courtney – this is only about sex and not a relationship.” “For heaven’s sake Maxwell – don’t you think I know that – you’re not the only one who is tired from time to time…” Courtney rolled her eyes and handed Max his briefcase when he came out of the bathroom. “Don't let it happen again – let’s go…”
On their way to the courthouse they talked about the trail today and the party they were supposed to make an appearance later this evening.
Parking the car Max and Courtney made their way into the Courthouse…”Geez what’s going on here?” Max hissed, when they entered the entrance hall – stumbling into a group of children.
“Excuse me – hey…could you please get out of our way?” Max struggled before the teacher finally said “Kids – please let the lady and gentleman through. I’m so sorry…” before she could say more Max looked at her condescending, interrupting her “This is a courthouse lady, get your kids under control for god’s sake, this isn’t a playground…” he left them standing there speechless.
“Max…” Courtney was also shocked by his outburst. “I’m so sorry for my colleague’s behavior…” “What a coldhearted man he is…” the teacher only shook her head disgusted and shocked before turning back to her kids, leaving Courtney standing there watching Max walking up the first step.
“Courtney damn it – get a move on it I’m not paying you for standing useless in the entrance hall chatting away with some kids…”
This was just not his day today…first Courtney didn’t go home after their night together – it meant nothing – it had never meant a thing – it was just like another business deal. And then when entering the courthouse he had to run into these stupid kids and now he was missing that damn file. “Where the hell is that file? Courtney do you have the Carter File?” “No – I thought you did…” “Damn – I must have left it in the car…” Getting up from his chair he got his keys “…I’ll be right back…”
Walking down the steps Max thought he heard something, shaking his head he took another step – there – there it was again…what was that disturbing sound? Turning left and right he didn’t see a thing. “What the hell…” – there, there it was again, like crying…he followed the sound…and then underneath the steps he saw a girl – not older than 8, with big brown eyes and brown hair, crying her heart out. “Hey you – what are you doing here?”
The accusing sound of his voice must have startled the girl because she started crying even more. “Don't do that…don’t cry…damn it…I…” looking around people were walking by not caring what a grown man did there by the steps and there was also nobody searching for her.
Gosh he had no idea of what to do with a child “Listen…why…why don’t you come out from under there…?”
With her big brown eyes the girl looked at him and shook his head. “No…mommy says I'm not supposed to go with strangers…” “Well I’m sure your mommy also told you to stay with your class…are you from that class that visits the courthouse today?”
Nodding…okay that was at least something.
“Okay…well…I’m Max and I work here and now you know me so…how about you tell me your name and come from outta there and we go and search for your class?”
Hiccupping and sniveling the girl kept staring at him, hugging her knees to her tiny body “My name is Bella…” “Bella – what a beautiful name for such a beautiful girl…hi Bella, I’m Max…” he held out his hand to her, hesitating first she took his big hand in the end.
Max had to smile – this girl was definitely going to be a beauty when she grew older. “Okay – let’s…let’s go and find a security guard – I’m sure that way we’ll find your class again okay?” “Okay…”
Holding her hand they walked towards one of the guards. “Hi…” “Mister Evans Sir…” “Hi…” taking a look at the nametag of the guard he nodded “…Peter…I have found this girl crying, sitting underneath the stairs and she belongs to the class that was here twenty minutes ago – “ turning to Bella Max looked at her “…what’s the name of your school?” “I dunno…” Bella shrugged. Sighing Max looked at the guard again. “Okay…Peter do you have any idea how we could find out where her class might be?” “Sure thing Mister Evans – please follow me.”
Bella and Max followed the guard into a room with a lot of TV-screens – monitoring the whole building.
“Wow – so many screens – how come you have so many?” Bella’s eyes turned big when they entered the room. “They need those to keep the building secure – look there is your class…” Max pointed to one of the screens.
“They’re on the third floor – do you want me to take the girl there Mister Evans?” “Yes, yes that would be great – thank you.” They all went out of the room again and Peter took Bella’s hand. “Well Bella in the future you better stay with your class…” “I will…bye Max…” “Bye…” waving again before she disappeared through another door Max couldn’t help but smile.
“Where the hell have you been Maxwell?” Courtney looked at him when he entered the courtroom twenty minutes later. “I…nothing…I found the file…”. What a strange, strange day.
In a small office on 5th Street in Santa Monica Liz Parker was nearly going nuts, her headset stuck to her head she shouted orders into the microphone. “How can the order be that screwed up? …And how am I supposed to get pastries like that for 100 people for tonight? You’re kidding me right?…okay…okay forget it I don’t have the time to keep talking to because thanks to YOU I have to find myself a more competent bakery – yeah you too…bye…” she tore the headset from her head “DAMN – DAMN DAMN DAMN!”
Jeffrey just shook his head – watching Liz nearly banging her head against the wall. “What happened luv? Everything alright?” “No nothing is alright that stupid bakery I contacted for those special pastries for tonight – they just called, telling me they wouldn’t make it. Isn’t that nice? I mean how am I supposed to find…” she took a deep breath because Liz had the feeling she’d soon start to cry or scream or do both at once. “Sh…take deep breaths okay Luv? In and out…” Jeffrey stood behind her massaging her shoulder. “Jeffrey…” “Not this whining tone with me, the only female I allow this is Bella so you can just forget about that now come on – breath with me – in and out – in …that’s good and out…you do that for another minute and while you do that hand over that order…” “Jeffrey…” “Ah what did I say about breathing?”
Jeffrey smiled at Liz and took the paper out of her hand. He walked into his office and started dialing – waiting for someone to answer the phone he kept an eye on Liz.
Ever since meeting her five years ago they had taken care of each other.
She still stood there – taking deep breaths. He thanked the heavens above that he had hired her. His catering service had been on the brink of bankruptcy when Liz Parker had walked in one day. She had helped him turning his business into a successful catering service and he had offered her a position right away. Since then they had hired two secretaries who worked in the office while Liz and him drove through the city managing the rest of it all. And it worked. They were friends and since last year they lived together in a house near the beach – it was way cheaper and a lot easier for all of them. Liz never had to worry about finding a babysitter for Bella because he loved taking care of Liz’s daughter. She was a firecracker and as close as he would ever get to having a child in his house. Usually it was either Liz or him who was out for the evening to take care of one event.
Liz was feeling better – way better. When she entered Jeffrey’s office he just hung up “It’s taken care off…” “What? Jeffrey how? Why? HOW?” Liz couldn’t believe her ears. “Let’s just say that someone still owed me a favor - so are you sure you’re fine was the McMillan’s party – you won’t need me? Now that everything is set…” Jeffrey walked around his desk looking at the woman in front of him. “Yeah – I should be fine, it’s just a party right?” “Yeah but it’s a big party so…if you need my help…” “Jeffrey – I’ll be fine – you just get Bella and tell her that I love her and…” “…and give her a hug and kiss – Liz…” They both shut up and smiled at each other. Ever since they had become friends it was the same ritual. “Okay then – I think I’m going to change into my evening clothes and head over to Beverly Hills – cee ya!” “Cee ya and if anything happens call…” “I will…”
Jeffrey finished his work and then headed over to Bella’s school. The bus was just returning from their field trip to the courthouse today. Waiting for the girl to step out of the bus he watched all those parents fetching their children. Bella was a happy child but unfortunately she had missed out on one important thing – a father. She had no idea what a father was like. Sometimes she’d ask him about stuff other children would tell her about their daddies and then she’d ask him if he could be her daddy and no matter how much he wanted to be exactly that – he always had to tell her no.
“Jeffrey…” Bella jumped down the steps and waved, making him smile. “Hi there sweet pie – how was your trip?” “It was sooooo cool – but then I lost the class and…and…I started to cry cuz I had no idea where they were an’ an’ and then a nice man helped me to find them and then everythin’ was okay again…” “Oh Bella, I think we better keep that story to ourselves and not tell Mommy okay?” “Why?” “Why? Because she’ll be worried if she hears that you were alone in that big building for some time…” “But there were many people…” “Yeah but you didn’t know them so…” Jeffrey knew Liz good enough to know that she’d freak if she knew about that one. “And besides losing your class… how was it?” He wanted to change the topic – Bella wouldn’t understand him anyway. “Very interestin’ I think I'm going to be a lawyer one day…” “A lawyer – “ he had to chuckle. Of course it didn’t mean a thing – children in this age were easy to impress one day she wanted to be a nurse, next a circus clown – nothing new – and today she wanted to become a lawyer.
|posted on 25-Sep-2002 5:07:48 PM|
“Can I watch TV?” Bella ran into the house after Jeffrey had opened the door. “Bella – not now – first we’re having dinner then, you take a shower and then you can watch TV – you know the rules little lady.”
Bella wrinkled her nose – just like her Mom always did and followed Jeffrey into the kitchen. “Where is Mommy today?” “Today we’re catering a party in Beverly Hills.” “In Beverly Hills? Cool…what are we having?” “How about BLTs? Sound okay?” “Yup…”
She bobbed her head in agreement and danced around the kitchen while Jeffrey was busy preparing the bacon and everything else. “What do you want to drink?” “May I have a soda?” “Nope sweet pie you also know that rule…what is it with you today?” “It his was such a excitin’ day Jeffrey – have you eva been in the courthouse?” “Yeah…once or twice…so you really liked it huh?” “It’s soooo big and there are so many people in there…Tommy’s daddy works in there and he sowed us around.” Jeffrey handed the first BLT to Bella. “So – you still have to tell me the story about you and how you ended up alone in that big house – you have to stay with your class sweet pie – it’s too dangerous for a small girl like you to be walking around in the courthouse of Los Angeles.” “I’m no little girl anymore.” “Oh yes little lady you are, now tell me the story…”
Bella stared at her plate, her hands captured between her knees, chewing on her bottom lip – something she had also picked up from her mother for sure. “I didn’t mean to…to lose them but my shoelace was open an’ …an’…an’ I had to tie it up again and so I sat down on the steps and when I was finished – they were gone…”
When she looked up again her eyes were shining with tears and her bottom lip was trembling.
“Hey…don't cry sweet pie…c’mere…” he held out his arms to her, immediately Bella jumped down from her chair and he lifted her up onto his lap, hugging her and letting his hand glide calmingly over her head. “It’s okay sweet pie, you’re safe, nothing happened, I just want to make sure that you understand how dangerous it can be out there okay?” “Okay…” she nodded. “Luckily a friendly man came up and helped you…but you can’t always count on that okay? In the future when something like that happens…go to the security staff…they always wear uniforms, they’ll help you…” “Max took me to one of them…” “Max?” “Yeah the nice man – he – I told him that Mommy doesn’t want me talking to strangers and then he said his name is Max and…and I told him my name and…and then he took me to one of those big men in uniform and he helped us.” Jeffrey listened to her story – it was really cute how fast she could turn from a frightened little girl into an excited bundle all over again. Sometimes he wished he could be a child again – gosh life was so easy back then.
“Okay how about you finish dinner now sweet pie…” He placed her on her chair again. When the phone rang Bella ran to get it “That’s Mommy – I’ll get it…Hellooo?” From the sound of it, it really was Liz. Bella talked to her, telling her about her day and Jeffrey could only hope that she wouldn’t slip and tell her mom about that little incident at the courthouse. Liz had enough to worry, she shouldn’t be worrying about the safety of her child as well.
Five minutes later Bella hung up again “Mommy said I could watch TV now…” “Sure she does, after your shower, now get going little lady…” she with folded arms and shook her head “Nuhuuu – Mommy said that I can watch now…” “I don't care, your Mommy isn’t here now so get going – or you won’t watch any TV tonight…” Shaking her head vehemently Bella didn’t move “You’re not my Daddy so I won't listen…” “Well I am the closest to a Daddy so you better move or I’m going to tell Mommy what happened today…”
Instead of saying anything Bella finally disappeared up the stairs and into the bathroom, leaving Jeffrey standing in the kitchen smiling – gosh she was a handful but he wouldn’t change it – he loved that girl too much. Sometimes it made him wonder what her father was like – Liz didn’t talk about him – Jeffrey didn’t even know the guys name – the only thing he knew was that Liz still loved him. And she always made sure to point out that she was the one to blame that they broke up and that the guy had no idea that he had a daughter. It was strange but Jeffrey was sure that Liz would tell him – one day – she would eventually tell him.
“You have three messages…message one 3.41 p.m. …” Max’s answering machine said, then he heard his sister’s voice, telling him that he was invited for Thanksgiving “…Mom and Dad will be there as well…Max you can’t ignore them forever…” ‘Guess again sister dearest’ Max mumbled while loosening his tie and slipping it off his neck. “Mom said, that you haven’t called since Christmas and…hell Max…they are our parents you can’t treat them like that…okay maybe Dad was wrong when trying to dictate your life…but…he just wanted you to reconsider your decision of moving to LA instead of taking over his law firm…” Why the hell was it so important to him anyway – he had Jessie – he didn’t need Max to keep the law firm in the family – sure he had worked there for some time but it hadn’t taken Max long to figure out that family law was just too boring for him and especially in Roswell – he was made for bigger things – more important things.
“Message two 5.01 p.m. …Hi Max this is Maria – who else right? Well anyway – I was calling to tell you that Michael’s gonna have a new exhibition in New York – opening date is December fourth so you may want to book a flight and everything because you’re not getting off the hook this time buddy…anyway…call me when you’re home…”
Max stared at the phone…Maria…she was his best friend next to Michael and unfortunately he had never realized how close they were until she had followed Michael to Italy…and he had been left – stuck…and that was when he had made the decision to move to LA two years ago – sure studying law at Harvard had been cool and far away from Roswell but it was okay, because Alex was at the MIT and Michael and Maria in New York so you could easily meet up with them and then after finishing their studies Alex had ended up in Tokyo – Michael and Maria moved to Italy – and he was…yeah well…stuck in good ol’ Roswell – and he hated it – he hated every minute of it. Yet in the beginning he had stayed for whatever reason – he felt obligated towards his father but it didn’t take him too long to figure out that he wouldn’t be happy there – so he moved to Los Angeles…
Another reason for his departure had been Tess Harding – a daughter of one of his father’s friends – his father wanted him to marry her – but he had said no – and from then on – they hadn’t talked again. What was it about this man? Trying to organize his private life?
“Message three 6.26 p.m. – Hi Max it’s Tess…” Shit – before he could even listen more to the message Max pushed the erase button – no he wouldn’t see her. She was so desperate…sure she was a nice girl but…not his type…not at all his type…
“Story of my life…” Max mumbled when he stepped into the shower. The day hadn’t been easy, the trail was really tiring… but that’s what you got for being successful – yet he enjoyed it – it was his life.
Getting out of the shower he wrapped a towel around his waist and walked into his bedroom…
”Courtney…” “Hi darling…” “What are you doing here? I said I would get you.” “I know I just couldn’t wait for you – I…C’mon Maxwell – don’t look so pissed – I mean…last night you were a lot friendlier.” “Yeah well last night was last night and now is now…” Courtney sat up, slowly moving the straps of her dress away from her body, getting up from the bed the dress slid to her feet – she was naked. “Courtney…” Max shook his head though he liked the idea that she was pursuing him again – last night had been really satisfying but that was all that counted for him – having a good time, sexual satisfaction and ‘scratching the itch’. In Courtney he had found a beautiful woman who was on the same level so – why not indulge in it?
He slowly walked towards her “How much time will you need to get ready for later?” “30 Minutes – I promise to really hurry up…” he could see how aroused she was. “Okay then…I’ll hurry up as well…” the smirk was all Courtney had to see before pulling away the towel and touching him where he really needed her touch the most. “Awww Court you’re too good to me…” “Likewise Maxwell, likewise…” he heard her moan when he captured a nipple between his teeth.
When she felt him going down on her she wanted to scream – god she wanted Max, she wanted him so bad but he was like a big castle surrounded by one wall after the other – and no matter how hard she had tried ever since meeting him she couldn’t get through to him. So she took what he offered and if that meant – only sex then so be it – until she could maybe get through to him one day. And by the way the sex was great – he was a master – that was for sure.
“Max…oh gosh…yes…oh that feels good…Maxwell…” he took her fast and hard – she couldn’t remember that it had ever been more than sex. Placing her hand against his cheek she stared into his amber eyes – so beautiful eyes with so much hurt and pain hidden in them. “Don't… look… at… me …like that… Court…” he mumbled in between his thrusts.
Max knew that Courtney wanted to be more for him but – he just couldn’t – and he never would allow anybody to get so close again – so close like…he couldn’t even say her name anymore…
”Max…Max you’re hurting me…Max…“ Courtney was writhing beneath him – shocked. “Shit – I’m sorry Court…I…I…” struggling for words he withdrew from her, rolling over and staring at the ceiling. What had just happened here?
Courtney could see the agony in his face “Max…are you okay?” She carefully touched him, making sure that he wouldn’t pull away – but he didn’t instead he kept on staring at the ceiling.
They stayed like that for some minutes, then without another word he got up and disappeared into the bathroom again.
Knowing that the moment and the mood was lost, Courtney got up as well and walked down the corridor into the guest bathroom – taking another shower as well and getting ready for the party.
Last month they had won a very important case – a very influential businessman had been accused of murder and it was very hard to get any evidence and then – on the last day Max had finally received what they had needed to win the case. Now the guy was throwing a party – with them being the guests of honor.
Max was already waiting in the living room, nursing a whiskey when she came downstairs. At least he smirked at her “You look very stunning tonight Courtney…” “Thank you, you don't look so bad yourself…”
He finished off his drink and then they left in the limousine the guy had sent them. Of course they’d be there earlier now that they wouldn’t have to stop at her apartment.
“So do you wanna talk about it?” Courtney finally found the courage to ask Max. “About what?” “What happened in your bedroom?” “No…” “Okay…” They were both staring out of the car now – in silence. Courtney hated this – why couldn’t he trust her. For heaven’s sake he should know by now that she wasn’t some kind of dumb bimbo – and it was literally breaking her heart to see him like that.
Max was in his own world again – he liked Courtney – he really did, she was fun to hang out and a real asset to the company – but there could never be more – even if there was a slight chance that he could feel something for her – he wouldn’t allow himself to feel something. It wasn’t worth it. Not now, not ever!
|posted on 25-Sep-2002 5:09:11 PM|
Liz was walking around the garden one last time before the first guests would arrive. Mrs. McMillan was next to her – gushing about how perfect everything looked and that she was so happy that Liz had been able to handle the pastry-crisis.
“So the first guests should be here soon – you’ll find me in the kitchen Mrs. McMillan – I want to make sure that everything is fine in there…” “Oh that’s fine dear – thank you again.” “No problem Mrs. McMillan – that’s my job.”
Liz nodded and disappeared into the house again, making her way through the hired waiters and waitresses into the kitchen.
The night would be extremely tiring – she knew that, she just hoped that it would also help to get the name of the catering service out – preferably out into the high society. Sure they were doing fine and after all she wasn’t the owner – but Jeffrey was her friend and she liked working for him and he had promised her a possible partnership – so that was something to look forward to and work hard for.
Everything was set.
Five minutes later the first guests arrived, Liz made her tour through the growing crowd making sure that everything was perfect – the champagne was flowing and the waiters were very watchful. As soon as one glass was empty they offered to take it – good that’s good.
Her cell phone rang “Parker…” “It’s me I only wanted to check if everything is alright?” “Yeah everything is fine – how’s Bella doing?” “Fine – she’s asleep now – finally – although I think that the day wore her out – she wants to be a lawyer now – did she tell you?” “Yeah she did…Jeffrey I’d really like to chat with you but I better leave now – I’ll tell you everything in the morning…” “Okay…cee ya.”
She hung up and concentrated back on her task again. Everything seemed to go very smoothly.
The garden was filling up with guests fast and Liz’s only concern was that hopefully everybody would be satisfied.
“Miss Parker…” Mrs. McMillan stood behind her suddenly. “Mrs. McMillan? Is everything alright?” “Yeah everything is fine I just wanted to check if everything is settled for when the guests of honor arrive?” “Sure the cake is decorated with sparklers and the champagne chilled…anything else?” “No I just wanted to check - this is so important for my husband and myself.” “I understand, just tell me when they’re here and we’re going to get everything set…” “Thank you Miss Parker.”
Liz nodded again. Inconspicuously she walked around in the garden, asking every single one of the waiters if everything was all right. Yes the job was stressful but she loved it nevertheless – okay so it wasn’t Microbiology but it was a job, a job she enjoyed a lot. And she was able to ensure a good life for her daughter.
Bella meant everything to her – sometimes she watched her and was surprised of how much she looked like Max. She was his daughter all right. She had his soulful eyes - deep, brown eyes with flecks of amber. She hated the fact that Max would never know about his beautiful daughter.
She had tried telling him – first she had called – shortly after finding out that she was pregnant – but when Phillip Evans had answered the phone she had hung up and never tried again – well that wasn’t true, she did try…but…anyway. And she had sent a letter – but it was sent back – unopened. Max must have really hated her back then. And she couldn’t blame him – she had hated herself.
Grandma Claudia had asked her over and over again to call Max and tell him – but she just couldn’t and…then she had other stuff to worry about.
The treatments for Claudia hadn’t helped and when Bella was two months old – Claudia had died. And ever since Liz had been alone with her daughter until she had met Jeffrey.
No, life hadn’t been easy but it was definitely improving, she was finally feeling secure again and a lot more confident.
“Max – we’re there!” Courtney smiled at Max. He knew that she was excited about that all – which woman wouldn’t be excited about being the guest of honor somewhere – right?
A valet opened the door of the limousine for them. It seemed like Mr. McMillan wanted to impress them or whatever. Sure Max was happy that they had gotten him out but this – this was way too much. “Okay let’s go…” He exited the car first and held his hand out for Courtney, she took it and then they went into the house.
“Max, Courtney…I’m so happy that you both are here…” Mister McMillan walked towards them. “Adam…how are you?” Max shook the hand of his host. “Courtney – my dear – you look stunning…” “Why thank you Adam…where is your wife?” Adam McMillan turned and searched for his wife.
He couldn’t find her so he asked one of the waiters to find her. “I’m sure she’s here somewhere…so how are you two? I hope still as successful as with my case?” “Well Adam every case is different so…” “Courtney, Max – look at you, you look wonderful…” Susan McMillan smiled at the guests of honor. The next moment the lights went out and a big cake with sparkles on was pushed into the room.
“Oh wow…” Courtney whispered, pressing herself closer to Max who had his arm around her waist. “You can say that again…” Max chuckled and waited.
He noticed that everybody had gathered into the spacious living room.
“Everybody I want you to meet my saviors – please meet the two lawyers who saved me - Courtney Stevens and Maxwell Evans.” Everybody cheered and clapped. “I know you guys might think that this is all too much but Courtney and Max – I’ll forever be in dept to you…and that’s why I want to thank you – you saved my life, my business and my believe in justice so thank you…” again cheering and clapping.
Courtney watched Max, he felt humbled she knew that but – while she was totally excited about that all he seemed to be cool. Was there anything that could move him? Was there anything that could make him laugh from the bottom of his heart? A girl who handed her a knife brought her out of her thoughts. “Thank you…” Turning back to Max “Do you wanna help me cutting the cake?” “This isn’t a wedding cake Court – you go ahead and do it…” he nodded. While Court was cutting the cake, champagne was handed out.
The kitchen was buzzing – Liz was making sure that everything went as smoothly as supposed now that the guests of honor were there. She hadn’t seen them and she didn’t intend to – she had a job to do.
“Oh my gosh give some ice cubes – the guy is hot…” one of the waitresses came back into the kitchen to get a new tray with full champagne flutes – fanning herself. “What are you talking about Tina?” “The guest of honor – well the male one – he’s a total hottie – how come I never meet guys like that? I mean – that’s just not fair or is it?”
Liz had to smirk but there was no time for small talk – unfortunately. “Well how about you get this tray out there so you can take a look at him again?” “Yeah…Liz you really have to see him…” “I will…”
The next moment she heard a crash from the walk-in fridge. “Oh my god what just happened?” Walking in the cook was leaning over a broken plate with pieces cheese scattered all over the floor. “Oh my god – how could that have happened? I mean who put the plate in here like that – damn…” “Luke there’s no time to blame someone – do we still have cheese?” “Yes…” “Okay, then – start preparing a new plate and Lilly – you tidy up the mess in here and – hand me over your apron – they’ll want the cheese plates soon…” Liz took over and directed everybody while starting to help Luke slicing, forming and decorating another plate of deliciously looking cheese. “Thank you Miss Parker…” “That’s what I’m here for.”
Mrs. McMillan came into the kitchen “Where is the cheese? We need – oh my god what happened Miss Parker?” “Everything is under control Mrs. McMillan – just give us five for minutes and the cheese will be out…how did the honor guests like the cake?” “Oh –they loved it – well at least I think Courtney loved it you never can be sure about Max…”
Max? The name still sent a jolt through Liz’s body – which was ridiculous because there wasn’t only one Max on this planet. “Why is that?” “I don’t know – he’s a capable man believe me, but he isn’t married and I think he never was, but he’s very attractive – maybe he’s gay…I don’t know, fact is he never shows any kind of emotion…but Courtney is an absolute dear – she asked me to ask you where you got the cake from.”
Finishing the cheese plate and handing it to Lilly, who was already waiting Liz turned towards the sink to wash her hands. “Oh certainly Mrs. McMillan – I’ll give you the address of the bakery.” “Thank you dear…”
Max was standing in the garden observing the action or not action around him. Every few minutes somebody came up to him, congratulating him on the case and telling him the story of how they had met Adam. Of course there were also a lot of women, throwing themselves at him – but he wasn’t interested. He may be an ass but he was a faithful ass and as long as Courtney satisfied him he wouldn’t pick another mistress.
Gosh how much he wanted to have a beer. The next time a waiter passed him he handed him his empty glass and asked, “Excuse me – is there any chance that I could have a beer?” “Certainly Sir – if you want to wait here – Ill get one for you – anything else?” “Do you have some…oh forget it I’ll go to the kitchen myself…” He hated depending on other people – even if it was only for a darn beer.
Walking towards the kitchen he opened the door and walked in.
“Okay guys I’ll be back right away I’ll just head out to the van…” Liz informed the staff and disappeared through the backdoor – they’d be fine for some minutes – wouldn’t they?
“Excuse me? Do you need something Sir?” Tina asked Max. “Yeah I was hoping you’d have a beer and some crackers to go with it?” “Oh I’m sure we have something here – one minute.” Nodding – Max leaning against the wall and observed the cook and his help in the kitchen. On one of the boxes he could read the name of the catering service ‘Jeffrey’s’ He had never heard of that one before and he knew nearly all of those who catered for the high society.
The waitress came back handing him a bowl of pretzels and a cold beer. “Thanks…” and with that he left the kitchen.
She had found what she was looking for and brought the card of the bakery with her when Liz entered the kitchen again through the back door. “Awww you just missed him…” Tina giggled excited. “Missed who?” “The sex hunk – the guest of honor – he was just here – asking for a beer and crackers – can you believe that?” “No…” Liz shook her head sarcastically – how could you get so excited about a man?
|posted on 25-Sep-2002 5:11:04 PM|
Courtney hadn’t seen Max for quite some time now and she was worrying where he was. “Excuse me have you seen Mr. Evans?” She asked Adam. “No I haven’t seen him – the last time I saw him he was coming out of the kitchen. Is everything alright?” “Yeah – he’s just…oh I think I see him…”
Max was sitting in the back of the garden, alone at a small table, nursing his beer and crackers. “Max there you are – I was looking for you…” “Why?” He looked – well – he looked bored. “I just – don't you want to celebrate?” “What for? I don’t see the excitement in it just like you do Court – we did our job – it is our job to defend our clients…” “Can't you just be – happy about it? Or – I don't know could you at least try to enjoy it?”
Rolling his eyes he got up and shook his head. “Courtney – you sound like my mother or my sister – don’t try telling me what I’m supposed to do okay? It won’t work.”
He left her standing there alone and disappeared through the doors back into the house. “This is so not worth it…” Courtney let herself sink onto the chair that had recently been occupied by Max.
“Is everything alright?” A petite brown haired woman suddenly stood next to her. “Yeah – I guess I just – have you ever met a man so cold that you thought that nothing could get through to him?”
The woman smiled at her “May I?” she pointed at the other chair and after Courtney nodded she sat down. “To answer your question yeah I knew a man like that…” “Was he your boyfriend?” “No – no he was actually the father of my boyfriend and I have never figured out what made him tick – if you want to put it like that. He had everything, a lovely wife, two clever children, success, money – everything you could ask for – yet I’m still convinced that he had no heart – at all…” “It's the same with my colleague – I mean – sometimes I watch him and I can see the longing in his eyes and I can also see that – there must be a reason for his behavior but – I can’t get through to him. But then – most of the time he’s this coldhearted man, not enjoying life, not laughing, not caring – he’s like this – I dunno – big castle with a lot of walls and an even bigger moat – and…and…he just… I don’t know…he’s driving me nuts sometimes.” “Do you love him?”
Courtney looked at the woman in front of her – she appeared to be a very understanding woman – god sometimes she missed talking to another woman. “I…I guess – I do…yeah…but he – he just wants the sex and…” “Listen…” “Courtney…my name is Courtney…” “Courtney…” the woman nodded. “Listen Courtney…if you love him but you know that he’ll never love you back maybe it would be better to…forget about him…to let him go…” before Courtney could interrupt her she held her hand up to stop her “…I know that this sounds impossible – but you seem like a very intelligent woman to me and I don’t know your partner – but as somebody who has experienced true love believe me it’s worth it and it’s worth waiting for.” “What is true love like…?”
Courtney was thinking – did she know the young woman’s name? “Oh my god here I am pouring my heart out and I don’t even know your name…” “It’s Liz…well true love – you know it when you meet your true love. I met mine back in High School – well actually I met him in Junior High but it took us both three years to finally go out on a date. I just knew that he was IT for me – you know.” “And? Are you married now?”
Liz grew quiet – oh how much she longed for that dream – the dream that would never be reality. “No – no we aren’t – something happened and – I…I had no other choice…I had to break it up.” “What happened?” “Well his heartless father didn’t like me and…let’s just say it was pretty ugly.”
It was obvious to Courtney that Liz wouldn’t tell her more about it. “Thank you anyway – I guess I really have to think about this whole situation again huh?” “Yeah.”
Slowly Liz got up and left her sitting there, contemplating of what to do about Max.
Liz walked back into the house – checking on everything – it was way back midnight already and they had already started to clean everything up that wasn’t needed anymore. Walking towards the van she saw a figure standing at the door – it was a man and his back looked oddly familiar – though she couldn’t pin point it.
“Liz do we still need these plates?” Lilly asked her, taking her concentration off the man. It couldn’t be him right? This was Los Angeles – what would Max Evans do here?
‘Liz?’ Max had heard the question – why was it that whenever he heard the name – after all this time – he reacted? His heart started beating and sometimes he would even start trembling and sweating. Damn she had broken his heart, she had just broken up with him and left. Never turning back, never contacting him – he hated her. Turning around he was met with nothing. “Figures – when will you stop with this shit Maxwell…” he mumbled. Taking a look at his watch he decided to go back to get Courtney – he wanted to leave, he was tired and extremely bored.
He started walking back to the living room when the door of the kitchen opened and a petite woman came towards him – nooooo this couldn’t be – no way – this was California –why would Liz Parker be here? Oh god this couldn’t be.
“Liz…” had he said that? His voice had sounded so – lifeless, so strange – so totally not like him.
No – no this couldn’t be – no “Max?” Liz’s heart was beating and she started trembling, this couldn’t be happening.
They were both staring at each other not sure of what to do or say. Both feeling like they were in a nightmare – how could it still hurt so badly? Why? Liz didn’t dare saying anything – from the look in his eyes Max also didn’t want to hear anything.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he hissed.
“I…I…I’m catering the p-party…I…Max…” “Leave it – I think you said everything eight years ago – didn’t you Elisabeth?”
Without waiting for an answer he walked past here – for Liz it felt like a déjà vue – remembering how it had felt when his father had walked right past her on this fateful day eight years ago. Never had she seen so much hatred in his eyes before.
“Liz? Liz! LIZ!!!” Lillie shook her. “Wha – what?” “I just wanted to ask if everything is okay, you look like you’ve just seen a ghost?” Staring at her help, Liz had to shake her head, to get the picture of Max out of her head.
Oh my god – he had changed so much. There was nothing left of the teenager she had fallen in love with. Sure he was still as handsome as ever but he looked tired, exhausted.
“I – Lilly do you think you can manage the rest without me?” “Sure – is everything alright Liz?” “No – I have to get home – tell the McMillan’s that I’m sorry and that I had to go…” Without leaving any more room for another question, Liz fetched her purse and keys and left.
Getting into her car, she was fighting with herself not to start crying. “Get a grip Liz.…” she scolded herself. As fast as possible she drove home and until she arrived safely at the house she was able to hold back her tears but after that – she totally broke down. The tears wouldn’t stop – they just wouldn’t stop “Oh god what have I done? “
This couldn’t be happening – no way – this was impossible. OH god – oh god…Liz looked at the small stick in her hand – blue – it had really turned blue – for the third time. “I can’t be pregnant - I was on the pill damn it…” Liz wiped away her tears. What was she supposed to tell grandma Claudia? What was she supposed to do?
“Liz Honeybear are you in there?” swallowing Liz answered “I’m fine grandma go back to bed you’re not supposed to get up…” “Liz I can hear that you’re crying, please come out – what are you doing?”
Getting up from her place on the floor, Liz washed her face with cold water “I’ll be out soon grandma – give me another minute.” She was staring at her face, a face of a young woman who had broken the heart of the love of her life, who lied to him, left him and now was pregnant with his baby. “Oh god…” She could feel a new wave of tears. Taking a few more breaths Liz finally opened the door and came face to face with her grandma. She looked terrible – her skin was pale and she had lost a lot of weight and she was also losing her hair.
“Honeybear what is it?” Liz had no idea of what to say but she couldn’t lie to her, she had a right to know. “I’m…I’m pregnant…”
No matter how hard she fought against it she started sobbing, her hands pressed to her face. “Oh Honeybear…” Grandma Claudia embraced her granddaughter.
Liz hadn’t told her everything she only knew that Liz missed Max terribly. Claudia had no idea what had happened and when she had tried calling Max – she had only talked to his father – what a cold man he was – telling her to never call again, that Max had moved on and no – he wouldn’t tell her Max’s college.
“Are you going to tell Max?” “He hates me grandma – how…” “…but it’s his baby as well…he has a right to know Honeybear…”
She led her towards her bed…they were living in a small apartment in Albuquerque. Liz was still crying – making her wonder again why Liz and Max had broken up. She knew that he wouldn’t run from his responsibility, if he just knew about the pregnancy. “Didn’t you use any protection?” “Of course we did – in the beginning we used condoms and then I started taking the pill…I…oh god grandma what am I going to do?”
She had never reached him no matter how hard she had tried, she called again and again always only getting that stupid answering machine and then one day his father had picked up – she hadn’t answered. And then – his phone number had changed. Private number – no chance of getting it through the phone book or whatever.
Her last hope had been the letter – the letter that had been sent back to her and was resting in between some pages of her dairy to this day. The diary she had started after finding out that she was pregnant. Ever since then she had written down everything – there were at least 20 diaries now – about Bella’s life.
Drying the tears Liz finally found the strength to get out of the car. As silently as possible she opened the door. There was no light on so Jeffrey was in bed as well.
On the way to her room she stopped at Bella’s, opening the door carefully – she slept. What would she do if Max somehow thought about finding her – and if it only was to get revenge? What? Closing the door again she went in to her room, switched on the light and walked over to the big wooden box she used as a small table. Opening the lid she took out the book with a ‘#1’ sticker on it.
Softly she let her fingers glide over the first page, turning it and taking out the letter that was hidden there…
|posted on 25-Sep-2002 5:13:44 PM|
I have no idea how to begin this. First of all I hope that you’ll be reading this letter, please don’t throw it away because it’s very important. I know that I don’t have the right to ask you anything after what I have done but would you please just read it? Thank you!
I don't know how to begin, so many things have happened and I never gave you an explanation – I’m truly sorry and though you might not believe me I still love you and I’ll love you forever.
The reason I left Roswell was because Grandma is ill – very ill and she need treatments and for that we had to leave Roswell. So now you’re wondering why I broke up with you – huh? I – I’m sorry but I can't tell you – not yet, it’s too fresh and there are so many things you don’t know about but I want to make sure that you know - you’re not the reason. You asked me what you did wrong and you didn’t do anything wrong Max. It was I – I did something and I will never ever be able to forgive myself. I didn’t cheat on you or even met another guy – you’re the only one Max, you have to believe me. There is so much I want and need to tell you but I can’t.
The reason I’m writing you this letter is because I can't reach you on the phone. I don’t know what happened but it seems like you have changed your phone number.
Max – what I’m going to tell you is going to be a shock for you because it was one for me certainly. I wish I could tell you this myself, not using a letter because it’s so personal.
Max I’m pregnant. I know that we used protection but it seems like the pill didn’t help the last time. I’m two months pregnant with our baby. A baby Max and I love it already, because I know that it was conceived in love. It’s a piece of you and me, Max!
I honestly don’t know what more to tell you, there’s so much I want to tell you, so please call me. My number is on the backside of the letter. Please Max, I really need to talk to you!
In love, always
One week after sending the letter she had gotten it back, unopened, unread. Breaking her heart all over again and letting her dreams bust like a bubble.
“Courtney – I’m leaving…” Max stormed towards Courtney, he had to get away from here, he had to be alone. This couldn’t be happening – not after all these years.
“Are you alright Max?” “I need to leave…I’ll take a cab so you can take the limousine – I’ll see you on Monday…” Before she could even respond to that Max walked over to Mrs. and Mr. McMillan to bid his good-bye.
The cab he had called before searching for Courtney was already there, getting in her gave the driver his address and leaned back in the seat.
His heart was beating, cold sweat covered his skin and for the first time in…well in many years he felt as helpless as back on that day. The day that had changed his life, that had changed him.
Arriving at home he slipped out of his shoes, lost the jacket and tie and walked up into his bedroom. Standing there, staring into the dark – taking deep breathes.
He moved over to his stereo and put in a CD – he hadn’t listened to the Counting Crows for a very long time.
Opening his wardrobe he grabbed the box that was standing at the bottom. With trembling hands he opened the lit, which was covered in a fine film of dust.
Inside he found his past, pictures, a shirt, CDs, all the little presents Liz had ever given him and…her necklace…the necklace he had given her to their second anniversary…the night they had made love the first time.
“Max thank you again for inviting me to dinner – that was perfect…” “Anything for you cupcake.” Max Evans smiled at his girlfriend, was it really possible that they already were going steady for two years? It was perfect – he had invited her to her favorite Italian restaurant and now they were on their way back home. Liz’s Grandma wasn’t in town – visiting an old friend in Phoenix.
“Do you wanna come in?” Liz asked him when he parked the car in front of the small house. “I’d love to…” Max nodded, taking Liz’s hand as soon as they both had rounded the car. “You think Grandma would approve of that?” “I don’t care she isn’t here and besides that she trusts us so…”
Opening the door they stumbled into the living room, because while Liz had been searching for the keys Max had made it his mission to driver her crazy by nibbling at her earlobe and gently biting into her neck “Mmmmax…” “Hmmmmmmm…” he kicked the door shut with his foot and concentrated on Liz again. By now his hands had found their way underneath her dress. “Wha-wha-what are you-uhhhhh doin’” “Well if you haven’t figured that out by now I’m not doing it well enough…” he whispered and slid his finger into her panties. “Oh goooooood…”
He could feel Liz moving against him and when he touched her most feminine parts he also knew that she wanted him as much as he wanted her.
They had talked about it and it wasn’t like they hadn’t done anything yet – they had – oh boy yes they had and besides consummating their relationship in the most primal ways possible – they had gotten to know each others body well – very well in fact – he knew exactly what drove her crazy.
Turning her towards him he started kissing her, pressing himself against her even more, making her gasp. She tasted like honey, strawberries and vanilla at once – it was heaven – she was his heaven – that was for sure. Slightly he pulled away, their foreheads still touching - both catching theirs breath.
“Max?” Her voice was full of passion, lust but also wonder and uncertainty. “Liz…I want to make love to you…”
Looking into her eyes he waited for some kind of reaction. Those beautiful, big, brown eyes that could look right into his soul. “And I want you to make love to me…” he heard her saying. It was enough for him to gently lift her up and carry her up into her room…
It had been perfect – Max knew that even to this day he had never loved like this and also had never felt this loved ever before. That night they had promised to always stay together and weather any storm. They had plight their love to each other, cementing it by making love three times that night.
Now here he was – staring at the ceiling of his lonely house in Los Angeles, he was alone, so alone…in his hands he held the necklace. Lifting it to study it more closely he sighed. So many memories…and now she was here – she was here in LA – what was she doing? Did he even want to know? Would he try to find her? Should he try to find her? Would it help him to maybe finally learn about her reasons to break up with him? Where was she now? Was she as confused as he was? Did she even still care? Maybe she was married, maybe she had children. Maybe she was already packing her stuff to run from him once more? What was he supposed to do?
Taking a look at his watch her decided to call Maria – it may be in the middle of the night here but in Italy it was already noon soon. He got more comfortable on his bed and punched in Maria’s and Michael’s number. “Yes?” “Maria it’s me Max…” “Maxi-poo – how are you doing?” he heard her shriek and he had to chuckle, leave it to Maria to make him laugh. “Could you please not call me Maxi-poo?” “Oh sorry – why are you calling at this hour? Isn’t it in the middle…” before Maria could even finish the sentence he said “I saw Liz today…” Silence, he had really managed to leave Maria DeLuca speechless – thank you, thank you ladies and gentlemen thank you! “You’re kidding right? I mean this is impossible – oh my god Max what did you do?” “I – I kinda – I was speechless Maria – I mean I thought I was seeing a ghost or something like that – she…we…we didn’t talk so…” “Where did you see her?” “At a party…I…Maria what am I gonna do?” “What do you wanna do?” Sighing he cradled the cell phone against his ear while unbuttoning his shirt. “I don’t know…I have no idea…but…I still need answers.” “Then find her, ask her and kiss her ass goodbye afterwards.”
Max knew that Maria was still hurt – somehow they were all still hurt, or disappointed or something.
For a long time after Liz had left they had checked the obituaries – just to make sure that Liz wasn’t deadly ill and had just wanted to spare them the pain of seeing her dying – go figure – but you think about stuff like that if there’s no explanation. Not that this would have been okay, but it would have been more Liz-like than just to run and disappear.
“Listen to me Max – I don’t know if it’s okay or not but if I were you I’d search for her and ask her – then you finally have some kind of closure and you might be able to move on.” “But what if I can’t move on? Or what if she…I don’t know…what if…” “What if…what if…Max – you have to stop this…what if she was abducted by aliens…you’ll never know what the truth is until you ask her – maybe this will be your only chance ever…but then…” Maria paused and sighed. “I don’t want to see you hurt again Max…yeah maybe you should stay away…this is so confusing…I don’t know…”
Shrugging out of his shirt Max kept on listening to Maria – telling him the pros and cons about finding Liz and talking to her. “…anyway…you’ll have to decide what you wanna do.” “I will, thanks Maria…” “No problem Max…so what about New York?” “Ah – I'll have to book my flight on Monday – but I’ll be there…” “Good – Alex will be there too and he’s going to bring his fiancé…” “I’ll be meeting him on Tuesday – he’s here for business.” “Oh he is? That’s cool – tell him I said hi.” “I will – talk to you soon ‘ria…” “Yeah…” “And…” “…I'll tell Michael that you said hi…” “Good…”
They both hung up. Sometimes he just needed to talk to some of his old friends. It was strange he hadn’t made a lot of new friends after finishing college but if you asked him who were real friends and who not – the college friends – well they were buddies – guys he liked to meet when ever their paths crossed but his best friends were the ones he made in High School – god knew what would have happened to him if they hadn’t been there after Liz had left.
He got rid of the rest of his clothes and went to bed – the sounds of the Counting Crows following him into his dreams.
|posted on 25-Sep-2002 5:14:54 PM|
When Liz woke up the next day – Jeffrey and Bella were already sitting at the breakfast table. “Mornin’ Mommy – “ “Mornin’ princess – how are you today?” “Good – Jeffrey promised me that I could go swimming today.” “Is that so? – Morning Jeffrey…” “Morning…” Jeffrey only had to take a look at Liz and knew that something was totally wrong. Her eyes were red and puffy and she didn’t look rested. “Coffee?” He held up the fresh brewed pot of coffee. “Hm – sounds good – Bella could you hand me a slice of toast?” Bella handed her mother the toast and resumed chewing on her bite. “Mo – ommy – are we goin’? Swimmin’?”
Liz watched her daughter – oh yes she was Max’s daughter – after seeing him last night she was even more sure of that. “First of all – you stop talking and chewing at the same time princess and then – I’ll have to think about it – have you already done your homework?” “Nope…” Bella bounced on her chair – way too excited about the possibility that she might go swimming in the ocean today.
Clearing his throat Jeffrey stood up and helped Bella off her chair. “Listen sweet pie why don’t you head up and brush your teeth and everything and then start on your homework – your Mom and I have to talk…” “But…” the girl wanted to object, yet Jeffrey did leave no room for objections – “No…buts Arabella – I’m serious…”
Liz watched her daughter nodding and heading up the stairs. Glancing at Jeffrey she could already feel the tears misting up her eyes again. “Okay now what happened?” He asked, sitting down next to Liz, taking her hands in his. “I…I…” her voice was trembling and she had no idea how to tell Jeffrey. “I saw Bella’s father yesterday…” “What?”
Jeffrey was speechless, shocked. “But I thought you told me that neither of your were from LA.” “Yes and it is like that – I was as shocked as you are, believe me – I – gosh he hates me so much Jeffrey, I…the look in his eyes, his eyes – I have never seen eyes as cold as his before Jeffrey. What am I gonna do? What if…what if he starts looking for me – and if it’s only for revenge…what if he finds out about Bella? I can't lose her…” Reaching over Jeffrey pulled Liz onto his lap hugging her. “I won’t allow him to take Bella away from you – but maybe you should finally tell him that he has a daughter Liz – it’s his right to know.” “I know but…Jeffrey I don’t know…”
It was a difficult situation that was for sure – Liz had been lying awake – contemplating of what to do the whole night. She had to talk to Bella that was for sure. And then she had to think about the future and of what to do. How would Max react? Would he try to take Bella away from her? She was after all her only family left, without her she’d go crazy, without her she’d lose her mind, her sanity and the willpower to live.
Jeffrey was stroking her again and again over her head – soothingly. “Oh god Jeffrey what am I gonna tell Bella?” Now she started crying hysterically.
“Liz – first of all you have to calm down okay? It’ll be okay, I promise, everything will be fine – nothing will happen to Bella. She loves you, you know that and …” “b-but what if…” “…stop that ‘what if’- thing Liz, you don’t know what he’ll do – why don't we – I don’t know – why don’t we just wait and see, either he contacts your or not and if not it’s up to you…hm?” Reaching across the table he handed her the box of Kleenex, still rocking slightly from side to side. After blowing her nose Liz took a deep breath “Okay, okay I think I’m going to talk to Bella now.” “Now that’s my girl…” “Okay…”
When Liz had disappeared up the stairs the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it – must be Samuel…” “Hi there…” “Hey come on in…” hugging shortly, Samuel followed Jeffrey into the kitchen. “So how about the beach, when are we going?” “We have a crisis – come on I’ll tell you everything over a cup of coffee.
Bella was sitting on her bed, brushing her long hair when her mother entered her room. “Let me do that…” Liz smiled at her daughter, sat down behind her, took the brush from her and started brushing her daughter’s beautiful dark hair. “Is everythin’ alright mommy?” “Well – do you remember what I’ve told you about your Daddy?” Slightly nodding her head Bella stared at her fingers.
“You told me that my Daddy is far, far away an’ that he loves me though he don’t know I’m here and that you love him and that I’m a special present from Daddy to you because he love you too …”
Liz eyes were misting up while listening to Bella. “That’s right and don’t you forget about that princess okay?” She kissed her on top of her head. “How can Daddy love me? If he don’t know I’m here?” “Because you two have a special bond princess, because no matter if he knows that you’re here or not he loves you deep down in his heart. You’re a part of him just like you’re a part of me.”
Bella sight theatrical and turned around. “Mommy – will I meet my daddy one day?” Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear daughter’s ear Liz smiled “That’s what I wanted to talk about with you – I met your Daddy yesterday…”
Bella’s eyes were as big as saucers “You did? Can I meet him too? Mommy I want to meet him too? Please? I’ll be the bestest girl – purty please.” “Bella – I…I didn’t really talk to him, I was so shocked to see him but…I’ll try to find him – I just – I just want to…” “Mommy can we please look for Daddy? Please?!”
Seeing her daughter’s excitement nearly tore Liz’s heart apart – what if Bella would resent her afterwards, what if Max would do so too? What if Bella wanted to stay with her Dad?
“We will princess – on Monday I’ll try to find out where he is okay?” “Okay…so can we go to the beach today?”
It had been a restless night for Max Evans. After tossing and turning for at least 20 minutes Max decided to get up – slipping into a pair of shorts he walked down into his kitchen, starting a new pot of coffee. While waiting for it to finish he walked onto his porch, looking out at the ocean. The wind was slightly blowing but he wasn’t cold. Liz was here – his Liz – no not his Liz – his Liz would have never left him, his Liz would have never broken his heart and yet – for a short moment while staring into her eyes yesterday he had felt like everything was alright, like he could take her into his arms again and never let her go.
His phone rang, picking up the receiver he walked back into the kitchen, getting himself a cup of coffee. “Yes?” “Max it’s me…” “Isabel what do you want?” “Well you haven’t called back so…” “If this is about Thanksgiving I’m sorry but I can't – I’m planning on flying to New York at the beginning of December and it’s either that trip or Thanksgiving…” “And why pray tell is that darn trip more important than Thanksgiving with your family?” “Because I’ll meet people I actually want to meet and who accept me just the way I am…” Only huffing at the other end of the receiver. He knew that he had hurt his sister’s feelings. “Listen Izzy I’m sorry you know how I meant that…” “Gosh I’m so sick of this – do you know what it’s like to listen to Moms whining and complaining every few days that she misses you and…Dad is sorry Max:” “No he’s not and you know that, he’s never sorry – he doesn’t even realize what he has done.” “Aren’t you a little sensible M…” “SENSIBLE? Don't give me that shit – you had it easy Izzy – Dad had never tried to dictate your life and I…” Taking a sip of his coffee, Max tried to calm down. “Listen Isabel – I won't come I’m sorry but I might stop on my way back home…” “Don't bother.” Isabel interrupted him and ended the call. Glaring at the receiver in his hand Max only shook his head and put it down eventually. This was so not worth it and he had enough other stuff to worry about. What was he supposed to do?
Maria was right – he had to decide what he wanted. Maybe it would really help him to move on but what if he didn’t like what she had to tell him or what if she wouldn’t talk to him at all. Sitting down on his porch he kept on sipping his coffee, contemplating of what to do.
By Monday Max was sure that he wanted to talk to Liz – he would at least try. “Good morning Courtney…” Max said when he entered the office, seeing Courtney checking her mail. “Good morning – how are you feeling?” “Better – sorry again about Friday. I just…” “It’s fine Max, don’t worry about it – I'll be in court for the rest of the day so cee ya…” Taking her briefcase she left the office, strange – usually she was so talkative and trying to get close to him and today – nothing. “Oh well!” “Susan – good morning…” “Good morning Mr. Evans – the mail is on your desk and you also had some calls…” “Okay thanks – oh uhm could you please get me the phone number of Mrs. McMillan from the McMillan case – I need to talk to her…” “Certainly Mr. Evans – anything I can help with?” “Uh no thanks I’m going to do that on my own…”
Disappearing behind his door Max slipped into his chair and started taking a look at his notes and mail – nothing pressing – good – he wouldn’t be able to concentrate on it anyway. After another sleepless night he had gotten up at 5 a.m. – jogging along the beach for an hour – hoping to get at least some of the restlessness out of his system but of course it hadn’t helped. Checking his emails he also had one from Alex. Noting down the address of his hotel Max started to work.
Some minutes later he could hear Susan’s voice on the intercom. “Mr. Evans – I found her number, want me to call her and put you through?” “Please do so, thanks…” His hands felt sweaty – it was still time to change his mind and just thank Mrs. McMillan. “Yes?” Lifting the receiver Max cleared his throat. “Mrs. McMillan this is Max Evans…” “Oh Max – how are you doing?” “I’m fine how are you?” “Fine…” “Listen I wanted to thank you and your husband for the wonderful evening on Friday and I’m really sorry that I had to leave so abruptly.” “Oh that’s okay – as long as you had a good time…” “Yes I did – uhm…Mrs. McMillan – I wanted to ask you something…” “Sure…” “I was wondering of you could give me the address and phone number of the catering service you used. We’re having a party coming up and still looking for a good catering service…” “Oh certainly Max – I can really recommend Jeffrey’s – they are very friendly and can get you anything you need or want for less money than a lot of other services I had tried before – Liz is an absolute dear – you met her haven’t you?” Max was only hearing one thing Liz, Liz, Liz, Liz “Max? Mister Evans?” “Huh – I’m sorry – well I’ll call there and find out for myself…” “You do that…” he could hear Mrs. McMillan chuckling, then she gave him the address and phone number. After that they exchanged more pleasantries and hung up.
Staring at the paper in front of him Max wasn’t sure of what to do “Chicken” he scolded himself and started to dial “Here it goes…”
|posted on 25-Sep-2002 5:17:46 PM|
“This is Jeffrey of Jeffrey’s catering service how can I help you?” Max had no idea what to say – what was he thinking by calling anyways? Considering for another few seconds if it were better to just hang up he was suddenly interrupted by the voice on the other end “Hello?” “I – uhm – hi I was calling because a friend of mine recommended your catering service – a…actually I went to a party recently that was catered by your service and I was wondering if I…if you could send me a brochure of your services with prices?” “Certainly sir – what kind of catering service will you need?” Think Max, think - “A…party…uh…a party at a lawyers office for Thanksgiving…nothing big just…” “I get it – no problem sir, if you just give me your address I'll be sending out the material right away.” “Oh that’s fast thanks…” Again he said nothing.
“Uhm Sir?” “Ah yes I was just…uh...do you know an Elisabeth Parker by any chance, I met her at this party I was talking about earlier and…?” “Yes she works here, but she has her free day today – do you want me to tell her to call you?” the guy interrupted him. Who was he? Only her boos? A friend? A boyfriend? Her husband? No – no her name was still Parker – but what if she just kept her name – gosh Max get a grip! “NO – “ …clearing his throat, Max closed his eyes and shook his head, shocked by his idiotic behavior “…I mean no – thank you, I was just wondering, I met her at a party and wasn’t sure if it was this catering service she works for…thank you…” he hung up – without leaving his address. “Idiot…”
Jeffrey looked at the receiver in his hands and shook his head. “Well if he really wants our service he’ll call again…”
So at least he knew now that she lived here, she was actually living in Los Angeles, great now what should he do next? Thank god the phone rang and Max’s attention was needed otherwise. Good – no time to think about one Liz Parker – why was she still wreaking havoc with him after all those years? And why did he still care – that was the big question. “Maxwell Evans…”
Getting out of the Bella looked at her mother who was holding the door open. “An’ you’re promisin’ to look for Daddy?” “I promise but don’t be disappointed if I can’t find him right away princess okay? I won’t give up, I can promise you that…”
Bella was contemplating her mother’s words, scratching her ear, just like Max always did when he was thinking about something. “Okay…but…” “I said I promised Bella – didn’t I? Now have a nice day and I’ll get you later okay?”
Liz kneeled in front of her daughter, straightening out the jacket she wore and hugged her. “See you later precious…” “Bye mommy – and if you see daddy…” “Arabella…” Bella shut up at once, she knew too well that when her mother used her full name she better not say another word. “Bye Mommy – luv ya…” “Love you too…”
Watching her daughter disappear into the school, Liz stood there – what if she couldn’t find Max? But then would if she could? Where should she start looking for him?
An hour later Liz was standing in front of a big, modern building, it hadn’t been that difficult to figure out where to find Max – well actually she had still hoped to not being able to find him – at once – she had preferred to have more time but seeing the excitement in her daughters eyes made her realize that this wasn’t just about her anymore – it hadn’t been for nearly eight years. Bella had a right to know her father and if Liz could finally reach him so she would have to do it.
Entering the building, walking up to the desk the security guard smiled at her. “Can I help you Miss?” “Yeah I’d like to get to the law firm of Maxwell Evans?” “Sure – you take that elevator on the right to the 15th floor.” “Thank you…”
She was trembling, sweating – why was she here again? She still had a chance to just run and never come back, but then she wouldn’t be running for the rest of her life and Bella would never forgive her.
Taking some deep breaths Liz pushed the button for the elevator doors to open. Stepping inside a man followed her “What floor?” “Uhm…” clearing her throat, she answered “15th” with a trembling voice. Tucking at her skirt she wanted to make sure that it wasn’t too short – why did she wear that skirt again? ARGH this was so aggravating. Smoothing her hair for at least the hundredth time ever since parking the car. Maybe he wasn’t even there or maybe he was busy – there was still a slight chance that she wouldn’t even be talking to Max today and then – she could – what? Run – not an option – gosh.
The elevator stopped and the doors slid open. “Okay, clam down Liz you can do that – just …” stepping out of it she turned left, then right. On the left side she saw big doors made of glass with ‘Maxwell Evans – law firm’ written over it in black – plain, simple, yet powerful. A guy in business attire came running out of it “Hold that elevator…”
Slowly she walked towards the entrance of Max’s offices, taking in her surroundings. So he had really become a lawyer, like his father said. The strange thing about it though - she had thought that Phillip Evans would do anything to keep his son in Roswell – Liz was starting to wonder what could have happened to bring Max to Los Angeles.
“Can I help you Miss?” the desk clerk asked her. “I…uhm…I was…is Mr. Evans here by any chance?” “Sure – do you have an appointment?” “No but I could come…” Right then the door to her left opened and the man walking out was none other than Max Evans. This was a very bad idea – she felt like running. He was looking through a file or something like that in his hand, talking…
“Susan…I would nee…” looking up – he stopped. His expression blank “Liz…” it wasn’t a question, merely a statement.
Susan was watching her boss’s features change – what was going on here? Who was this woman who could actually get a reaction like that out of her boss. A man who never showed any kind of emotions and yet she thought she could see so many things in his expression. Of course she was also contemplating to call security – god knew who this woman was but before she could ask, Max started to talk.
“What are you doing here?” Max took one slight step and came to a halt, taking in the sight in front of him. Like an angel from above there she was – Liz Parker – as beautiful as he remembered. “I…I need to talk to you…” Sighing Max nodded, turning around he walked back into his office. “Hold all calls Susan I don't want any interruption…”
Liz watched Max disappearing into his office again – waiting for an invitation would be fruitless so she followed him, closing the door behind her, watching him. He had his back turned towards her, staring out of the windows. She found herself in a spacious office, dark furniture, cold furniture, lifeless and loveless. Comparing it with hers, which was bright and scattered with pictures of her family, friends and pictures drawn by Bella, she received a good look into what Max’s life was like now.
“Damn Liz you have some nerve, coming here…what were you thinking – what ARE you thinking?” Max suddenly hissed without turning around.
“I…Max…I’m…I’m sorry if I came unexpected but I really have to talk to you.” She took a careful step towards him, but seeing him tensing up she didn’t take another! How close would he let her get to him – physically and emotionally?
Finally he turned around, his eyes sparkling with so much emotion that Liz couldn’t make out a single one. “What makes you think that I want to listen? What makes you think that I’d care? Maybe I don’t want to hear anything you have to say, maybe I’m even contemplating to call security to get you thrown out.”
She deserved that, she knew it, yet it hurt – it hurt so badly. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t important.” Why was she trying to reason with him? Knowing Max he wouldn’t listen, he had always had stubborn streak and she was sure that this hadn’t changed – god she knew that Bella had inherited that streak as well, sometimes she could be a real pain in the a$$.
“Well, to me it seems that our relationship hadn’t been very important to you then huh? So what could there possibly be?” Max walked over to one closet and opened it, pouring himself a drink.
“I know that I made a huge mistake, I actually made a lot of mistakes when I just disappeared but I had my reasons and…I…but it was never you…it was me…I…I had to leave…”
After emptying the glass Max glared at her once more. “Do you have any idea what I went through? Gosh I thought that you might be dead, that something had happened to you…” “I’m sorry – I know that saying I’m sorry isn’t enough but…will you listen to me? Please?”
Max had no idea of what to do – never in his life had he felt so confused. He wanted to hug her, to kiss her and tell her that no matter what – everything would be all right and at the same time he felt like screaming at her and making her suffer as much as she had made him. “Okay – explain yourself and then get out of here…” Liz nodded, opening her purse she got something out – it looked like a photograph or something like that – what the f*ck?
“I can’t tell you the reasons why I left at least not yet – I want to, some day actually I need to – it won’t excuse what I did and it won’t give us back the years but perhaps it’ll make you understand…” Liz interrupted herself, how was she supposed to tell Max what she had to tell him? Would he even believe her? Taking another deep breath she continued “…fact is that when I left you and Rowell and my whole life behind I took something with me, something of you – but I didn’t know it existed back then…and…and when I knew about it I tried to call you, but I couldn’t get through and then your number had changed…after that I sent a letter but it was returned to me unopened…so I figured that you…you…” Max interrupted her “What are you talking about? I never received a call or a letter?”
Nodding and swallowing hard Liz looked at him, chewing on her bottom lip, her eyes misting up. “I feared that…is your father still alive?” Nodding from Max. “Then go and ask him…but what I wanted to say is…I left and took a part of you with me…”
Max got impatient, what was she talking about? She took something? Well he didn’t miss anything – besides her but that had changed after some time, right? Yeah it had.
“You’re talking in riddles Liz what is it, just spit it out?” “This…” she turned the picture around the girl on the picture looked familiar – he had seen her before …the courthouse on Friday, right; the little girl crying underneath the steps; who was she? Was Liz her mother and she wanted to thank him for making sure her daughter was safe? . “…is Arabella Claudia Diane Parker, she’s your daughter.”
|posted on 25-Sep-2002 5:18:51 PM|
“MY WHAT?” Max shouted, his eyes wide – he must have misunderstood her because he could swear Liz had just told him that he had a daughter he didn’t know about – AT ALL and that was impossible – right?
“She…she is our daughter, she’s your…” before she could say another word Max reached for the picture and took it out of her hand, staring at it. Oh god – yeah he knew that girl – it was really her, he knew her – he had seen her before and why he could remember her – he had no idea – was this a sick game or something like that? What was happening here?
“I know that girl, I helped her Friday when she was lost in the courthouse – you have some nerve, coming here, telling me I'm a father – well think again Liz I’m not believing you…I’m …I’m not going to pay or…or something like that…you may think you can come here now and collect some money – because you may think ‘hey here he is Max Evans – he surely will pay and’…and…well you’re wrong Liz. I’m not falling for you again or for this.”
Liz was hurt by his words, but that was exactly what he was aiming for – he wanted to hurt her and she had to at least get out what she wanted to tell him, what she needed to tell him.
“Max I don’t want your money, never wanted it that’s not what I’m here for…I…she is your daughter and if you don’t believe me then we’ll get some blood work done – I don’t care, Bella – she wants to get to know her Daddy and when I told her that I met you on Friday she…she talked about nothing else the whole weekend…I…she knows that you are here – I never made a mystery out of the fact that you’re out there somewhere.” “Shut up – just shut up and leave now Liz before I do or say something I might regret even more later…”
Turning away from her, Max had no idea of what to do or say next, listening to her moving he heard the door first opening and then closing, he was alone again.
A father – yeah right – as if…how stupid did she think he was? Wouldn’t be the first time that a woman had become pregnant and turned to a rich man afterwards, blaming him. Maybe she had left because of the pregnancy…it was a possibility he had to consider. What if Liz had slept with another guy, got pregnant and before telling him the truth she had ran away…and then the guy refused to pay for the child and…how convenient that they met again, now she could claim that the child was his.
Tearing at his hair and brushing through it for good measure he decided to forget about this all – at least until the day was over and he could concentrate on this madness. Sitting down at his desk, the girl on the picture smiled back at him – Liz had left the picture behind. “What the …”
Carefully, like he could burn himself by touching it he lifted it up, examining it closely. She was definitely Liz’s daughter – her hair was as shiny and straight as her mothers. It even was the same hair color. And she had her mother’s lips gosh those lips he would recognize them everywhere. Her eyes – no her eyes were different – could – could he, would Liz? Would she lie about something as important as that? ‘She wants to get to know her Daddy’ – was he her daddy? Was this girl on the picture as much a part of him as of Liz? Was it possible?
He took an even closer look – seconds ticked by, the office was silent – nothing got through to him. Not the humming of the computer next to him, not the phone ringing outside, not the traffic noises from the streets below – nothing. And then, then suddenly it hit him like a lightening strike.
“Oh my god…”
Jumping out of his seat he grabbed his jacket, knocking over the container with pens and etc. and ran out of the office…
“Susan – did the young woman who was just here, with the brown hair in the short brown skirt and white top - leave an address or something – a phone number? A card? Anything?” “N-No sorry …” Susan shook her head, shocked again by her boss’s reaction. What was going on here? She wasn’t used to this – at all? Mister Evans was always levelheaded, even cold sometimes but looking at him now…something must have disturbed him, moved him to some degree.
“Damn okay than please go, find the address of “Jeffrey’s” catering service, I’m on my way to the car – I need that address and I need it now– oh and I won’t be back today and...only call if it’s really necessary…and call as soon as you have the address…”
Running out of the office he was only stopped by the elevator doors not opening as fast as he would have liked them to.
Arabella – Bella was his daughter – how did he know, how could he be sure?
Well first of all, her smile was his smile, the color of her eyes, were his eyes. Her ears were sticking out slightly but they definitely looked the same – just like his. She also had a tiny mole on her upper lip and then…Liz would never lie to him – never – there was no way denying it.
Although he was angry and frustrated Liz had never lied to him. Getting out of the elevator in the garage and walking over to his car his cell phone rang. It was Susan, giving him the needed address. That was all he needed before disconnecting the call. As fast as possible he found his way through all the other cars to his Mercedes, jumped in, started it and drove off, towards the coast of Santa Monica, towards Liz – whatever may come out of this whole crazy day.
Jeffrey was just ready to leave the office when the phone rang again – damn, yet he thought he’d let the answering machine get it, it couldn’t be that important now could it? Everybody who knew him was familiar with their opening times and everybody else would have to wait until tomorrow. On Mondays the office was only open until noon, after that he’d head over either to another party they had to cater or home. But when he heard the voice of his sister he answered, “What’s up Kelly?” “Jeffrey you have to come home, Dad had a heart attack and we don’t know if he’ll make it…” “Shit…I’ll be there as soon as possible...what happened?” “I don’t know, Mum just called and I’m on my way to the hospital now, I have no idea what happened, Mom was too hysterical to question her – Jeffrey you have to come…” “I will – I’ll call for a flight right away, tell Mom I love her…” “I will, until later Jeffrey…” Hanging up, he ran out of the office, locking it up and running down the steps – nearly colliding with a businessman who was heading up the steps. “Geez I’m sorry…” they both said at the same time before each of them resumed running in their wanted direction.
Jeffrey jumped into his car and drove home, where he found Liz crying. Damn, double damn this wasn’t good - “Liz? Is everything alright?” But he didn’t have enough time to listen, he had to get to Sacramento and he needed to get there as soon as possible. On his way over, he had already reserved a flight, which was leaving in one hour, so he really had to hurry up. After that call he had called Samuel, he’d go with him and they’d meet at the airport in front of the terminal.
“No – but…” sniffling “…what are you doing here? It’s way too early? ” “My Dad had a heart attack and they don’t know if he’ll make it…” “Oh Jeffrey I’m so sorry…” “…I need to get home and my flight is leaving in one hour, Samuel is coming with me…” “Do you want me to drive you there?” “Would you? You sure you’re up to it?” “Yeah of course…Jeffrey, this is important and I’m your friend right?” “Some friend I am…you sure you’ll be fine? I mean Amanda is still on her honeymoon and now I’m leaving too…” “Quiet, I don’t want to hear another word you hear? I’ll be fine…Bella and I will be thinking of you guys – promise and Amanda will be back by the end of the week, so…you go up now and pack, we have to hurry up.”
Jeffrey hugged Liz shortly “I’m so sorry that I can’t be here for you now that you seem to be in a crisis…” “I said stop it right there…you getting to Sacramento is far more important okay? My crisis will be here for a long time…”
Finally he ran up the stairs and into his room, starting to pack his bag, ten minutes later they were ready to leave for the airport.
“FUCK” Max hissed when encountering the office doors of “Jeffrey’s” closed. So how was he supposed to find her now? This wasn’t his day…he couldn’t explain it but after realizing that Bella was indeed his daughter – HIS DAUGHTER – his family, he was driven by a force he couldn’t explain. He just knew that he had to find her – NOW. Again he ran down the stairs and to his car, opening it and getting in he dialed his office’s number. “You’ve reached the law firm of Maxwell Evans – this is Susan how may I help you?” “Susan could you please try to find out how many Liz Parkers there are in Los Angeles and surrounding counties?” Silence “Susan?” “Uh certainly Sir…but…” “…don’t question me please, just do it.” “Sure Mr. Evans…”
He knew that it could take some time…so he decided to head to the Courthouse, maybe they could tell him which elementary school had visited the house last Friday…maybe this way he could find out the district Liz and Bella lived in. Arabella Claudia Diane Parker. She had given their daughter his mother’s name. His mother, his whole family – damn how was he supposed to tell them that he had a child? Why was he worrying about this shit right now? There were other matters to consider in the moment, like – why the hell there wasn’t a parking space when you needed one.
While searching for one he thought about his daughter's name some more “Bella…” it really was a beautiful name for a beautiful girl, his beautiful girl. Never in his life had he found himself on such an emotional roller coaster – one minute he felt like laughing and crying out of joy and telling everybody that he was a father and the next he wanted to scream out of anger and frustration that he missed everything, that he hadn’t know until today that he was a father – thanks to Liz. Well not exactly – she had mentioned that she tried to contact him – nonsense he had never gotten any letter or message that there had been a call or…he would have to ask her again.
After finally finding a parking space he jumped out of his car and ran into the building. Unfortunately no one could help him – no one knew the name of the school and the secretary who had scheduled it was on vacation. Wonderful!
At the same time Liz was pulling away from the curb after saying goodbye to Jeffrey and wishing him good luck, hoping that his father would be fine eventually. On their way to the airport she had told him about her meeting with Max and his reaction and that he knew that Bella was his daughter.
“Do you really think you’ll be fine? I mean – you’re not afraid that he’ll do something stupid right?” “Jeffrey I may have not seen Max for some years now but he never was someone to do something stupid – believe me, I’ll be fine…you go now and worry about your father and only call if you have the time okay? I don’t want you to be worrying about the business here – promise?” “Okay and you’ll also be fine with managing the…” “Jeffrey – it wouldn’t be the first time for me to manage everything – okay? Now go – Samuel is waiting for you.”
On the radio they played a song by some kind of European band and she didn’t like it – it was too fitting for her mood.
Traffic was all right – normal for Los Angeles standards, while waiting for the light to change to green she thought about her plans for the rest of the day. She had to contact Max again, that was for sure but she wasn’t in the mood to do it today, later she’d go into the office, now that Jeffrey was gone she had to be up to date and leave a note for the others.
Changing lanes she never saw the truck running over a red light only when it was too late, her last thought after the impact and before losing consciousness was that Bella would wait at school – being scared – then everything around her went dark.
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:03:51 AM|
Max’s phone rang when he wanted to get out of the car to get himself some coffee. “What?” “Mister Evans this is Susan, I received a call from the hospital – they say they have a Liz Parker who’s asking for you and who told them to call here…” “Shit…what happened?” “I don't know but I can give you the address of the hospital if you want to check.” “Yeah…”
Starting the car again after finishing the call Max drove to the hospital.
Hurrying into the ER he was stopped by a nurse “Excuse me where do you think you’re going?” “I…a Liz Parker was brought here earlier and she let you guys call me…” “Are you two related?” Damn, damn – double damn. “I’m her fiancé… “ he hated not telling the truth, he was a lawyer after all, though bending the truth was okay. “Well then please follow me though I can't promise that she’ll still be there…” “What happened?” “A truck ran over a red light smashing into her, she lost consciousness right away from what we know she only woke up recently and told us to call…”
Max was following the nurse through the busy ER until they reached a bed, in it he saw Liz – her face was covered in scratches and blood, the clothes covered in blood were still sticking to her body though they were torn apart and doctor and another nurse were hovering over her while she was fighting to keep her eyes open. “Liz – oh my god…”
Hearing his voice Liz tried to turn her head “Max…Bella…she…” she was swallowing, it hurt too much to talk but was never more relieved to see him. Instinctively Max touched her hand carefully “What do you want me to do Liz? Shall I get Bella from school?” “Yes – no one’s here – only you…please Max…” Her voice failed and tears were streaming down her face. “Okay, I’ll get her and bring her here okay?” “No…home…take her home…” “Excuse me sir we really have to get her into the operating room now…” the nurse pushed him away. “One minute – please?” “No I’m sorry sir…you can visit her later, actually we would need you to fill out some forms.” The first nurse told him pulling him away while he was watching the stretcher Liz was lying on disappearing. “I…gosh…can I do this later?” “I’m sorry sir but…” “Please nurse…” he took a look at her nametag “…Monica but I have to get our daughter first…”
The woman watched him, seeing how desperate the young man in front of her seemed. “Okay but you promise to be back.” “I promise…” Max nodded. “Well here you have your fiancées personal items. You need to sign here that you received them.” Doing whatever the woman wanted from him, he grabbed Liz’s bag. What a mess.
He had no idea when Bella finished school, he had no idea what school she went to and he also had no idea of what to do with her and of what to tell her. Darn. Sitting on a bench in front of the hospital he searched Liz’s purse for anything that could give him a clue of where to go and what to do. Finding an address book he opened it “Aha there you go…” he found Bella’s school and it wasn’t even that far away from here.
Bella was sitting on a bench of the playground that belonged to her elementary school – waiting. Her mommy had promised to get her and then they’d go eating ice cream, like they always did on a Monday afternoon when her mommy had her free day. Usually she would always already be there but today – she wasn’t. Silent tears were streaming down her red cheeks when Mrs. Sinclair came out of the school. “Bella – I just received a call your mommy won’t be able to get you but somebody else is going to pick you up.” “Why isn’t she coming?”
Mrs. Sinclair had be shocked by the call of a young man telling her that Liz Parker had been involved in an accident and that he’d come and pick her up. He just wanted to make sure that Bella wouldn’t be wandering around alone. So she decided to sit down with Bella but not telling her the truth.
They both heard the screeching of tires and then saw a silver Mercedes stopping in front of the steps that led to the school. Bella’s eyes followed the man, he looked awfully familiar, then she remembered the nice man “That is Max Mrs. Sinclair…” but before she could even start on her explanation Max was standing in front of them
Max could feel his heart beating through his whole body as he took his first glance at his daughter – knowing that she actually was his daughter. How could he have not seen it before – she looked so much like him and Liz. There she stood – as beautiful as an angel sent from above, as beautiful as her mother when he had first seen her.
“Hi are you Mrs. Sinclair? I’m Maxwell Evans – I called you.” “Yeah you did.” He smiled down at the Bella before bending down and offering his hand “Hi Bella, your Mom sent me to get you.” “Really? Cool…” She took his hand at once, which actually worried Max a little bit he would have to have a talk with his daughter and Liz when this was over about her being way to trusting. “Okay then let’s go…” “Ah Mister Evans it’s okay if Bella won’t be here tomorrow…” Mrs. Sinclair smiled understandingly at Max “Thank you.” He nodded and then he walked with Bella towards his car.
It felt strange to hold her tiny hand in his big hand. “Where is Mommy?” “Actually Bella – I have to tell you something, why don’t we…uh…” “How did you find me Max? I didn’t tell Mommy about you…Jeffrey said it would be better.” Max stared at Bella – she was so lively and so talkative how was he supposed to tell her that he mother was injured and that…well that what? What had Liz planned? That he’d take care of Bella? He had no idea of how to take care of a child.
“Bella listen to me, your mommy and I – we know each other from when we were in High School and…I’ll take you to the hospital now because your mommy was injured in an accident but she’ll be fine…I…”
From one second to the other Bella’s mood had changed and now she was looking at him with sad and teary eyes. “I want my mommy.” He kneeled down in front of her, brushing away the first tears with the pads of his thumbs, his heart nearly breaking by seeing his daughter crying like that “I know you do Bella and I’ll take you to the hospital now but it might take some time until we can actually go and see your mommy okay?” By now her chin was trembling as well, her lips quivering, tears running steadily over her soft cheeks.
It was like an impulse when Max took her into his arms and then stood up again carrying her to his car “It’ll be fine Bella, everything will be okay.”
Well of course it wasn’t that easy, the whole drive through she kept on crying and whining that she wanted her mommy. What had he expected right? She didn’t know him and until she didn’t know that he was her daddy it would be difficult.
As soon as they arrived at the hospital she released her security belt – good thing Max had remembered to lock the doors so she couldn’t jump out. “Wait Bella…” opening the door for her, he helped her out of the car and took her by her hand again. In silence they walked back into the building. Nurse Monica smiled at them “There you are – your fiancée is already out of the operation room – she’s fine…” “Thanks.” Max was just praying that Bella hadn’t listen. “And you must be…” before the nurse said or did something that would blow his cover in the end because of Bella’s reaction he interrupted her “This is Bella…” “Aren’t you a pretty girl – your mommy will be again…” “Really?” Bella looked up at the nurse, her eyes red and puffy from crying all the way from the school to the hospital. “Really, only a broken leg that needed to be fixed…why don’t you two head up to the fourth floor, here I need this forms filled out you can hand them to a nurse upstairs as well.” “Thanks!”
On the fourth floor they were told to wait for Liz to wake up in the waiting room. Apparently she had a light concussion, broken rips and a broken leg that had to be operated. She wouldn’t have any scars left in the face and besides that her condition wasn’t too serious. At least that was good news.
He had bought Bella something to eat and something to drink, she was calm finally. Now she sat next to him staring at him – he knew that she was contemplating something. Max had shed his jacket and had opened up the first two buttons on his shirt – this wasn’t how he had planned all this. Okay so he had never really had a plan but this…this was “Are you my Daddy?” he suddenly heard the timid voice of his daughter.
Turning his head towards her he sighed, “What if I were your Daddy?” Bella chewed on her bottom lip but resumed the staring. “I think I liked that…Mommy told me that she’d find my Daddy, mommy always told me that he loves me though he doesn’t know I’m here and she also said that I’m the bestest present he eva gave to her…”
Taking a deep breath Max really had to fight so he wouldn’t get sentimental himself. “I think you are my Daddy…” Bella finally stated and climbed into his lap, staring into his eyes. Max only sighed it wasn’t his position to tell her that he was indeed her father, no he had to wait for Liz. This wasn’t only about him, a child was involved. “C’mere…” he took her into his arms without saying another word.
Now he really felt like crying, placing his arms around the small body of his daughter he took in everything about her. How it felt to hold her, how she smelled, how her warm breath felt against his neck – it was perfect.
Two hours later Bella was lying on the couch, her head rested against his thigh – she was sleeping. He was actually glad that she was sleeping because he had no idea what more to tell her. She was worried about her mommy, every time a nurse or doctor had walked by she’d jump up and ask them – of course no one knew Liz, so Max always had to get her back.
A nurse was walking up to him “Mister Evans? Your fiancée is waking up – if you want to you two can go in now…” Max nodded “Thanks…” The woman kept smiling at the girl at his side “She can be handful right?” “Yeah…but she’s worried about her mother so…” “I understand, she’s a really beautiful girl and she looks so much like her Daddy…”
He felt embarrassed and instead of answering he concentrated on Bella again “Bella – hey…mommy is waking up…” The girl blinked and moved slightly, turned her head and looked at her “Mommy?” “Yeah…mommy is waking up, let’s go…”
Slowly he got up and lifted Bella into his arms – she was so tired, after crying and worrying and all the excitement the day was finally catching up on her. Max carried her to the door, the nurse had opened for them and walked in. “I’ll give you a few minutes she’s still tired and needs her rest…” “Okay, thank you…”
Liz heard some voices and struggled with opening her eyes. Carefully she turned her head and felt like crying when she saw Bella – for the first time united with her father. Max was really here though he had no reason to be here. “Hey…” “Mommy?” Bella got restless and wanted to be put down “Put me down, put me down…” Her daughter walked up to the bed and smiled “Hi mommy…”
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:05:32 AM|
Liz cleared her throat concentrating only on her daughter because the sight of Bella together with her father made her nervous. What she was about to do was pretty – well it was a big step. “How are you doing princess?” “Fine – are you okay mommy? Are you coming home now?” “No honey – I need to stay here…” From his position Max could see that Bella’s bottom lip starting quivering once again “…but I want chu to come home mommy…”
The girl started struggling, she wanted to climb onto the bed, which was way too high. Max pulled a chair close, lifted her up and placed her onto it. “Bella-honey I have to stay here for a few days…” finally finding the courage she looked at Max.
“How are you?” he then stepped closer and asked her as well. “I’m fine – Max…does she…?”
He knew right away what she wanted to ask so he shook his head ‘no’ – slightly. “Okay…” Liz whispered, her eyes getting heavy once more. “Max I have to…” “Shshsh Liz don’t talk you’re way too tired – how about I take Bella home with me and we’ll visit you tomorrow okay? Or we could stay at your home, if that suits you more?”
How come that he could still read her like an open book? That was exactly what she wanted to tell him. “Do you have my purse?” “Yes the nurse gave it to me – I’ll drive by my house first and get some stuff and I promise we’ll come back tomorrow okay?” “Okay…” Liz nodded slightly – she trusted him – though he had every reason to harm her she trusted him. “Max?” “Liz we’ll talk when you’re better okay? Rest now – see you tomorrow…c’mon Bella…” “I wanna stay with mommy…”
Liz looked at Bella “You can't Bella, you go home and be good to Max okay? And tomorrow you two can visit me again – how about that?” Bella only shook her head “I wanna stay here…” “Bella – your mommy needs her rest…” Max tried reasoning with her, but the child only shook her head. “I wanna stay…” “I know you do but – if we leave your mommy now so that she can rest, she’ll be able to come home sooner.” “Really?” Bella looked at her mother. “Yes – Max is right princess – you go home with him okay?” “Okay – I luv ya mommy…” “I love you too princess…”
Liz glanced again at Max “Max you take care of her – before she goes to bed she takes a shower…and…” “I’m sure we’ll manage isn’t that right Bella?” “Dat’s right…” Bella nodded while Max lifted her up off the bed and into his arms. “Okay we’ll see you tomorrow – bye…”
“Where are we driving?” Bella asked excited as soon as they turned into the driveway of Max’s house. “To my home first I need to get some stuff for myself…” “Cool – is that your house?” “Yes that’s my house.” “Wow…”
As soon as Max had parked the car he got out and helped Bella out of the car again. “Dat’s a big house – issit all yours? Are you living alone? Do you have a pet?”
All the excitement and worry about her mother seemed to be of secondary importance as she glanced around the property.
Max had to chuckle, she was so much like Liz – always asking questions – it was cute. Finally in the house nothing could hold Bella back from running around and looking and touching everything. He watched her – was it really this morning that he learned about the fact that he was a father? And that his very daughter was in his house this moment? It felt – strange…spending the last hours with her…he felt like…well he felt like he might even have a chance to get to know his daughter. Yet there were so many questions he needed answers for.
The light on his answering machine blinked again. Some messages from the office and Alex – darn – he had to call Alex but he couldn’t cancel on him – finally he had made it to Los Angeles and…”Bella – I have to ask you something?” “What? Do you have somethin’ to drink?” “Uh – yeah one moment – what do you think if we would go out tomorrow after visiting your Mommy? A friend of mine is here from Tokyo and I’d really like to meet him, he’s a funny guy you’ll like him…” “Okay…” Bella nodded, not really listening. “Max – I’m thirsty…” “Oh yes sure – how about some juice?” “Don’t you have some soda?”
Okay so Max had no idea about how to be a father but he was pretty sure that giving Bella a soda at this time of hour would keep her up until late at night. “I think you better stick with juice…you wait here okay, I’ll be back any minute…” He said after handing her a glass of juice “Oh and please try not to touch everything…”
Upstairs in his bedroom he got a bag out of his closet and started throwing clothes into it – a daughter – geez – with Liz – after all the excitement he finally had time again to think about this all. This was crazy, this wasn’t what he had expected to happen when meeting Liz again. So okay he never had expected to meet Liz again, especially not here in Los Angeles of all places.
“You don’t have any pix here…” Bella startled him, standing in the doorway of his bedroom. “Didn’t I tell you to stay downstairs?” That – was a little harsh and immediately he could see her brown eyes misting up again “I’m sorry – I…I didn’t mean that – sorry…” Desperately he looked around to keep the girl busy while he was packing his bag. This house wasn’t meant to be a house for a family – it was a typical bachelor’s house for god’s sake. Turning around Bella had disappeared – but where too?
“Bella? Bella – where are you?” Looking around he couldn’t find her until he saw something moving at the window. Bella was dancing to a music only she could hear, tangling herself up in the long white curtains and then moving back again. Max was watching her fascinated – he had helped creating this beautiful child.
An hour later they entered the dark house in which Liz and Bella lived. “Jeffrey usually is here but I don’t know where he is.” “Jeffrey? He lives here with you?” Max turned on the light and found himself in a cozy living room, decorated with a lot of pictures, a lot of colors and a lot of toys lying around. It was a home – it was definitely a home – he felt misplaced, he felt like he was disturbing something.
Hearing the thump, thump of Bella’s steps he realized that he was responsible for the girl until Liz was home. “Bella – listen your Mom said you usually take a shower before going to bed? Why don’t you do that now…” “Do I have to? I wanna watch TV.” After taking a look at his watch Max shook his head “No cupc…ah Bella…no chance you go up and take your shower now…”
Cupcake? Cupcake?! He hadn’t used that name for a long time now he had nearly used it calling his daughter cupcake – great. “Do you need any help with your shower?” “Nope…” “Okay…” Hearing a door closing upstairs he assumed that Bella got into the shower. So he decided to figure out where to sleep – the couch was too short – no way would he sleep on there. So walking up the stairs he opened the first door to his right – it was…well definitely not Bella’s room and also not Liz’s – he would recognize Liz’s – so that only left Jeffrey. Who was this Jeffrey guy? He was definitely more than only her boss that was for sure and probably gay – definitely gay there was a picture of two guys kissing.
Closing the door again he opened the door next to that one – that one was definitely Liz’s room. It had a lot of books and pictures – pictures of oh god…the first picture that he saw was one of them…from Junior High – Geez – next to it there was one of Liz and Grandma Claudia – he wondered what had happened to her. Then there was one…one that made his heat melt and ache at the same time it was one of Liz holding a newborn Bella.
“Oh my god…” carefully he took the picture frame off the wall, tracing first Liz’s face with his finger and then the one of his baby daughter – and he had missed it – he had missed it all. Placing it back he kept looking around. On the desk next to the bed there lay Liz’s diary – there was a time when she gave it to him – she had trusted him that much back then.
“I’m fiii—iiiiniished…” he heard Bella calling coming out if the bathroom in her pjs. “Good then how about you go to bed now – it’s way past your bedtime I guess…” Yawning before answering Bella shook her head, crossing her arms in front of her chest “…but I’m no tired Max…” another yawn followed her statement. “I can see that – now come on – how about you show me your room before you go to bed.”
After getting Bella into bed – she fell asleep right away - Max also called it a day – he was tired and the day had been really exhausting. Of course being surrounded by Liz’s scent, lying in her bed didn’t make the thing very easy. The problem wasn’t that he didn’t like it, the problem was that he liked it way too much, that it was familiar, that he had the urge to reach out like she was there right next to him. How was it possible that after all he went through, after all the pain and agony after she was gone he still felt like this? He should hate her but there was no way, just no way.
Maybe it was because of Bella – he wanted to play a part in her life from now on and he was really hoping that they’d be able to tell Bella tomorrow that he was her father.
The next day Liz was wide awake at dawn – a nurse had come by giving her some pain relievers which didn’t really help but oh well – she was way too busy to worry about something else. What had she done? How far gone had she been to making the hospital call Max and then – get him to take care of Bella – sure she was his daughter but Liz took a guess that Max had no idea how to take care of a seven year old – her seven year old. Had he told Bella that he was her father? She could hardly remember what they had talked about…damn.
Shortly after her breakfast was delivered there was a knock at the door. “Come in…” The door opened slowly and then she saw Bella running towards her “Mommy…” “Morning princess how are you doing?” “Fine…Max took me to a Hotel for breakfast…” while she was talking she was climbing on a chair again, so that she ended up sitting next to her mother in the bed. “…and they had lots, lots of food…and I ate three plates…an’…an’…” “Breath princess…you can tell me everything later, first I wanna talk to Max…”
Finally Liz found the courage to look at him Max. He was standing behind the chair wearing gray slacks and a white shirt – no tie. He looked awfully yummy – gosh those pain relievers were really doing some crazy things to her mind. “How are you today Liz?” “I feel like I was run over by a truck…” Nodding from his side. “Max I wanna thank you I know that I had no right to…” before she could end the sentence Max interrupted her “It’s fine – you had no one else to turn to I guess…”
“Max told me that you know each other from school…” Bella suddenly needed to tell Liz. “Yeah that’s true princess…”
Max watched the two – he could see how much Bella adored her mother and how much Liz loved her daughter. “So when are you able to go home?” Max finally asked after clearing his throat. “The doctor said I have to stay at least two more days – Max I really appreciated that you took care of Bella until now but…you must be busy so…” “You’re not getting rid of me so fast Liz, not this time, not ever again…I called the office and told them that I wouldn’t be back for at least a week or for however long it takes until your up to taking care of Bella again.”
While he had been talking he could feel Liz’s eyes on him – like he had always felt them on him. He didn’t even have to see Liz, his heartbeat had always accelerated, his body heat had risen and he had been able to sense her – and it still was like that.
“I really think we need to talk Liz and we have to tell Bella…” “Tell me what?” Bella looked at him first and then turned towards her mother.
He didn’t want to pressure Liz but he couldn’t take care of Bella for one more day if she didn’t know that he was her father – she had a right to know. It was his chance, while Liz was here he could bond with Bella in some kind of way and he was also still hoping for the chance to talk to Liz. From the looks of it Liz would need his help at least until she would be allowed to walk around and even then he had made it his duty to take care of them.
“Bella – I…” “Where is Jeffrey mommy?” The girl suddenly changed the topic, making Max groan a little. “His father had a heart attack yesterday princess and he needed to go to Sacramento I guess he didn’t call?” The question was directed at Max. “Well the light on your answering machine was blinking but I…I didn’t want to intrude in some kind of way – I…” “It’s okay could you check it and let me know?” “Sure but can we get back to what we wanted to talk about?”
He was nervous – how would Bella react? Would she be happy? Liz had told him she wanted to get to know her Daddy…but…
“Max is right Bella – we have to talk to you…”
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:08:12 AM|
Liz was nervous, stroking Bella over her head over and over again. “Bella – the thing is Max and I really do know from school and…well…we were friends, we were very good friends in fact and…actually we were in love…” “Urgh mommy did you guys kiss – that’s so yucky…” Both adults had to chuckle. Bella was just too cute and adorable – she was wrinkling her nose. “Well – you think like that now but when you’re older you’ll like it…” ‘much older’ – Max thought to himself – now he finally understand why his father had disliked the idea of Isabel dating when she was a teenager. It was actually funny if you thought about it – here he was – a father – for seven years and he had just learned about that yesterday and he was already developing a very protective behavior towards his daughter – no one would hurt his little girl, no one.
“Arabella this is serious okay? So please listen to Mommy…” taking a deep breath Liz continued. “The fact is Bella – Max and I were in love and…and…Max is your Daddy…it’s him I met again last Friday…” It was out now what? How would she react to it?
Bella struggled herself free from Liz’s arm that was draped over her shoulder and climbed down from the bed so that she stood in front of Max who had taken a seat on the chair. “You don’t look like the daddy on my pictures…”
Max was startled by that statement “What do you mean by that Bella?” “I gave her some pictures of us from our trip to Phoenix the summer before our senior year…”
When he turned back to look at his daughter she lifted her hands, touching his skin “You have more wrinkles…” It made him smile “Well I’m a little older now…you also look a lot different from the first pictures that was taken of you – I saw it yesterday…” “But…but I’m still growing…” Bella tried to explain but Max had certainly confused her.
Then she chuckled, her one hand lifted to her mouth and with the other one she pointed to his mole “I have one like that too – look…” she pointed at hers. “Oh really – I have to see that closer…” Max teased her, he sensed that Bella was having and battle inside – it seemed like she had no idea of what to do and how to behave towards him.
He held out his hand for her – would she take it? Slowly she lifted her hand and placed it in his bigger one.
Watching the two interacting made Liz feel all fuzzy inside – yes so he had changed, yes he was a businessman now but still – she was sure of it that somewhere deep inside was still her old Max left. He was lifting Bella up carefully and placed her on his lap. “Oh look at that – you really have a mole like me…” Max said smiling.
Bella was chewing on her bottom lip once again, not daring to look Max in the eyes. “Bella? Would you please look at me?” She only shook her head. “Why not? Come on I don’t bite if I did I would have bitten you already…” he teased her and he could actually see one corner of her mouth moving – like she was trying hard not to smile. “You don't bite me…” she whispered, staring at her hands. “Are you sure of that? Because I swear you smell like strawberries and I love strawberries…and what’s that?” He moved a little closer and took a deep breath “…isn’t that also vanilla that I’m smelling? You smell good enough to take one bite…”
Liz had to wipe away the tears that were running down her cheeks silently, they were so cute together. “You’re silly…” Bella chuckled again.
Unfortunately the door of her roomed opened and the doctor came in “Good morning Miss Parker – how are you today oh and your family is here as well…hi I’m doctor Summers…” the man greeted Max. He stood up, holding Bella securely to his body. “Hi I’m Max Evans…” “Max Evans? Didn’t I meet you at that party on Friday – the McMillan’s?” “Yes that’s possible…well I think we better leave now – say good-bye to mommy Bella…” He leaned down so that Bella could give her mother a kiss. “We’ll be back later…” he told Liz and left the room together with Bella.
“A really cute daughter you guys have so much a mixture of you and him…” the doctor smiled at Liz. “Yeah – I know – so when do you think can I go home?!” “Well – from the looks of it you’ll be bale to go home with your family tomorrow but only if you promise to lay low and that your fiancé takes care of you – I want you to stay in bed for at least another week – no walking around, nothing like that…and I want to have a doctor check on you everyday…but I’ll give those instruction to Max again so that he can make sure that you abide them…okay?”
Liz swallowed – how could she possibly find somebody to take care of Bella and her. Jeffrey wasn’t here and Amanda wouldn’t be here for another few days. So he couldn’t ask Max – after all he was a busy lawyer and he had other stuff to worry about but then – he was her father – no – no she had no right.
“So where are we goin’?” Bella asked from the back of the car, she hadn’t lost another word about the Daddy-thing. “I have to go to my office – just for a few minutes I just wanna check that everything is alright.” “I’m thirsty…” “Will you be able to wait another ten minutes?” “No…I’m thirsty now…” Max sighed and shook his head there was so much he had to learn – like how to handle a stubborn seven year old. “Okay what do you want?” “Coke…” “No…not a chance, not in my car – it’s unhealthy and sticky if you get it onto the seat…” Through the mirror he could see her taking in her usual stubborn posture – arms crossed and lips pushed forward. Strange – he already knew that she’d do it. “No sulking in the back there you lady, you’ll get something to drink but no Coke or whatsoever…” “…but…” “No Bella…” “Hmpf…” Max really had to chuckle, she was too cute. Pulling over he stopped in front of a Seven11.
Max got out and opened the door for Bella again, she got out but she refused to re-cross her arms. “Don't push it too far Bella…now please take my hand.” She looked up wrinkling her nose once again, sighed theatrically and took his hand. “That’s better now come on…”
Courtney was working on a case when she heard the deep voice of Max – she tried not to be too excited after all – she had really thought about what this Liz had told her. She had to move on – what was that? Was that a child? Slowly she got up, straightening her blouse, walked to the door and opened it. “Hi there…” Max smiled at her. He WHAT? He smiled? How come? “Max?” “Courtney – I want you to meet Arabella Claudia Diane Parker – my daughter…”
She could have sworn she’d heard him saying ‘his daughter’ – something that was absolutely impossible. “Your WHAT?” “Bella this is Courtney she works for me…” but Bella hid behind her father’s leg while holding onto his hand. “Max?” Courtney asked hesitantly.
He nodded “Uhm Bella do you want to see our fish we have her? I need to talk to Courtney…” “But I wanna stay with you…” she looked up at him with her big brown eyes – this office was definitely intimidating her. “Yeah but…okay…wanna see my office?” Bella nodded.
Max signaled Courtney to follow him, the office was big enough to keep Bella busy while they could talk. “Wow…” the girl let his hand go and ran towards the big windows that enabled her to have a magnificent view over the city. “It’s so high here…” “It sure is…” He closed the door and grabbed Courtney’s arm pulling her over to the couches. Taking another look at his daughter he was sure that she was busy staring out the window and looking at and touching everything in reaching distance.
“Max what’s going on? Your daughter? I never knew you had a daughter?!” brushing through his hair he glanced at Courtney “I know – I didn’t know about her until yesterday – I…I met her mother on Friday at that party and…I didn’t know that, when she had left that she had been pregnant and…well she came to me yesterday to tell me about Bella…” “Max…hello…you’re a lawyer…how can you fall for this so easily?” “Because I only have to take a look at her and I see me Courtney, this girl is as much a part of me as of her mother…” They both turned to look at Bella who was currently walking around his desk.
And Courtney had to admit that when Bella really had a resemblance to Max. “Okay assuming I believe this story why now? Why did her mother approach you now?” “Apparently she couldn’t find me when she found out that she was pregnant I don’t know the whole story – she was injured in an accident yesterday and now I’m taking care of Bella until she’ll be able to do that again.” “Why you? Doesn't she have any other friends?” “As much as I know her best friends are both out of town…I don’t know exactly what’s going on Courtney I just need you to replace me for as long as I won't be able to be here full time. Tomorrow I’ll send Bella back to school so I’ll be here from 9a.m. to 3p.m. …” “Oh god Max…so what about her mother?” “I don't know yet I means she …she broke my heart when she disappeared but…I don’t know yet…” They were interrupted by Susan who knocked and informed Courteny that he next client was here. “Okay thanks so Susan…” Courtney stood up. “We really have to talk tomorrow Maxwell…” “I know.” He nodded and stood up as well. “Bye Bella…” Courtney nevertheless called out to the girl. “Bye!” Bella waved from her place underneath Max’s desk.
After Courtney had left he walked over to said desk and sat down next to her “So what are you doing down there?” “I’m playing…” “What are we playing?” Bella refused to answer, instead she looked at him “Is she your girlfriend?” Max was startled by that question. “Courtney? No – why?” “I dunno…” shrugging with her shoulders Bella resumed drawing circles with her finger into the soft carpet. He decided to let it be for now, they were still in the ‘getting to know each other stage’ – so he didn’t want to push it.
“Okay so here’s what we’re gonna do – I have to make some calls and after that we’ll get something to eat and then head over to the hospital again – okay? And we could get your Mommy some flowers – how does that sound?” “Sound good.” Bella smiled at him. Nodding he stood up and made his calls. One was for Alex – “Hi Alex it’s Max I just wanna confirm our date for tonight though there is a light change – I’ll bring someone and I won't be able to stay long but I really need to talk to you – you won’t believe this – so see you later.” He hung up and finished his stuff, he also picked up a file to take home with and work though he had the slightest suspicion that he wouldn’t be doing a lot of reading in that file.
Jeffrey was tired, he had tried calling Liz to tell her about his father’s condition and he also needed to know how she was but…nothing. “And?” Samuel stood behind him, massaging his shoulders. “Nothing – damn Sam what if something happened? What if…I have to try again…” “Jeff calling every five minutes won’t help – and your Dad asked for you…” “Okay just one more time okay?” “Okay…I’ll see you inside…” Jeffrey dialed one more time the phone rang, rang and then…the receiver was lifted up “Hello?” “Hello?” Who the f*%k was that? “Who are you?” “No who are you?” “Are you Jeffrey?” The guy on the other end asked. “Yes and who are you?” “I’m Max Evans – listen Jeffrey Liz told me to give you her number – “ “Where is Liz?” A sigh on the other end. “Liz had an accident yesterday but she’s fine and don’t worry I’m taking care of Bella…” “What happened?” “A truck ran over a red light and jammed right into her on the way back from the airport…” “Oh shit and you…you’re Bella’s father aren’t you?” “Yes I am…” “So are you going to take Bella away from her?” “Huh?” He could hear that Max was startled by the question. “No I won't take her away – I know that Bella needs her mother all I wanna do is be a father to her…” Jeffrey nodded his head, that sounded reasonable “Just don't hurt them…” “I won’t…so here is the number and call her – she’s waiting for your call…” “Okay thanks…” Of course he wasn’t feeling very good about the whole thing but he could do nothing but talk to Liz. His family needed him, his father was okay for now but his conditions was still serious.
Liz had just talked to Jeffrey and had told him the whole story and that he shouldn’t worry about her, that she would be fine – when Bella and Max walked in. “Hello Mommy – look what we brought you – this is for you…” She held up bunch of white roses – he remembered, behind her she found Max holding a bag with “Mhm…what’s that?” “Thai I hope you like but out of experience I know how awful the food in hospitals can be.” “You do?” “Yeah when I was – let me think…20 I broke my ankle during a basketball game – the needed to screw it together.” “Outch…” “Yeah it heard like h…” thinking about the fact that a kid was present he stopped himself “…well it really hurt…” “I can imagine…so what is this all? Did you guys already eat?” “No I wanted to eat withchu…” Bell jumped up and down.
Max carefully carried a table next to the bed and helped Bella onto a chair again, then he started to hand out plated with a variety of stuff on it. “Mhm that definitely beats hospital food…” Liz smiled as much as she could, because it still hurt like hell. Max only nodded.
”So I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to take Bella later to meet Alex…” “Alex? Like in Alex Whitman? He’s here too?” Lit asked surprised. “No only for business he loves in Tokyo now.” “Tokyo? Wow – that – I never though he’d move that far away…” “Yeah well a lot of things happened unexpected…” She knew very well that he was talking about her. “So where did you sleep last night?” “In your room – I hope you don’t mind.” “Ah no – that’s fine…” “Do you want me to bring you your diary? I noticed you still keep one…” “Uh no that’s fine – I can’t write anyway…but…there’s actually I want you to read – if you’re interested and if you have time…”
He had just wanted to take a bite but stopped midway “What is it?” “On the shelf on the left side of my bed there are other diaries I want you to read them Max.” “Liz I don’t think…” “Please Max…I kept them for you…” He nodded his okay.
“Help?” Bella sighed, sensing it was now or never to interrupted the adults because she had problems eating the rice with the fork. “Oh wait…” Max handed her a spoon. “There you go –“
In silence they all finished their lunch. Though both Max and Liz had a lot to think about. “S-so what happened to Alex? How is he?” Liz finally dared asking. “Oh he’s fine – well after finishing High School we all headed east. I attended Harvard, Alex ended up at the MIT, Michael and Maria went to New York and are living in Italy now.” “What about your sister?” “Isabel? She still living in Roswell with Jesse – do you remember him?” “Uh I think yes – so they got married?” “Yes…” “Wha-what about your parents?” “What about them?” “Are they still in Roswell?” “Yes…Liz you said something about my father yesterday and…I…it just doesn’t add up to me why you’d be asking about my father…unless something happened that I don’t know about…”
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:10:04 AM|
Unfortunately Max didn’t have the time to take a look at the diaries when they got home – they had to get ready for the meeting with Alex. In the moment Max found himself standing in front of Bella’s wardrobe contemplating of what the girl could wear. “So how about that dress?” He held one up which would be okay to wear in a hotel. “No…it’s itchy…” “Itchy? Oh okay, then how about that one?” “That’s my Christmas dress…” Bell shrieked. “Oh okay Christmas dress then – how about that one? I like that one – it looks very nice…” He was holding up a dress that was covered with flowers in pastel colors. Taking another look he found a woolen jacket that went with it. “Okay…I like that…Amanda bought me the dress for a birthday party…” she kept on babbling and telling him the whole story about Amanda and the birthday dress. “So who is Amanda? Is she a friend of Mommy’s?” He asked while helping Bella dress. “Yeah…I think they are…” “So where is Amanda?” “She is married and she is on a moon now…” “On a moon now? You mean she’s on her honeymoon?” “Yeah where is that moon?” “Well actually – she isn’t on a moon…you just say that when people get married, they take a vacation afterwards to celebrate on their own a little bit and that’s called a honeymoon…” “Have you ever been a honeymoon?” “No – I have never been married so…no…” “You could marry Mommy and then we all could go on a honeymoon…” Bella stated – shocking Max.
He didn’t answer instead he headed to the door “Bella we have to leave now if we want to get there on time…”
Alex Whitman sat in the lobby of his hotel – he hadn’t seen Max in over a year and it felt good to be back in the States again, though he missed Kim – his fiancée. He glanced out of the window, watching the cars driving by, people walking and talking outside. Then he saw a silver Mercedes driving up – and if that wasn’t Maxwell Evans himself and…a child? WHAT? What was he doing with a small girl? A girl that reminded him of someone – a girl that looked a lot like…Liz Parker when she was that age. And was Max really smiling? Undoubtedly – he was smiling…okay who had replaced the real Maxwell Evans with this – this – human?
He watched Max getting out of the car and handing the keys to the valet, then he helped the girl out of the car, took her hand and they both walked towards the entrance of the hotel. What was going on here?
He watched them walking in, Max holding the girl’s hand and smiling down at her. When Max finally looked up he waved to make himself visible to them. Max nodded, waved back and pointed at him. Alex could see the girl lifting her head high so that she could see him – they really had to talk.
“Hi there Maxwell…” Alex smiled at him. “Hi how was your flight?” “Fine, I’m rested now and who are we having here?” “Alex I want you to meet Arabella – she’s my daughter…” “Yeah…hi nic…what?” Alex looked startled. “Long story I’ll tell you later, say hi to Alex Bella…” “Hi…” Bella whispered shyly, trying to hide behind her father’s leg once again.
Alex watched the girl – Max’s daughter? She was – what like six? Seven? If so that only left Liz as the mother, which was actually pretty obvious looking at her closely.
“So how about we order something to drink? Or do you want to head to a restaurant right away?” “Well Bella is hungry and…we can't stay that long today because she has to go to school again tomorrow…” “Sure no problem, so why don’t we just go to the Hotel restaurant? And then you can tell me everything…and I mean everything Maxwell.”
When they finally had a table in the restaurant and had ordered everything Alex couldn’t hold back this questions anymore “Okay so…how come you have a daughter Maxwell?” “Well…to cut a long story short – I ran into Liz last week, she lives here as well and…well Bella is our daughter.” Now how do you react to that? “Wow…so do you like your daddy?” Alex turned to Bella. She bobbed her head ‘yes’ “He’s funny…” “So he is…” Alex mumbled – what was going on here? “So where is Liz? I mean I haven’t talked to her in eight years – what happened?” “She had an accident yesterday that’s why I’m taking care of Bella, but nothing serious she’ll be out soon again and she told me to tell you she said hi…” “Hm…I’m surprised that you’re so…I don’t know…” “Can we please not discuss this Alex?” Max sent Alex a stern and warning glance. He hadn’t talked about it with Liz yet and so he had no intentions of doing so with Alex now.
“So – I talked to Maria recently and she told me you’re bringing Kim with you in December…” “Yeah – Kim is really looking forward to it…she wants to get to know you all.” “What is a fiancée?” Bell asked after nibbling on a breadstick and listening to the two adults. The restaurant had given her a small coloring book and crayons. “That means that I asked her to marry me. We’re engaged now that’s why she’s my fiancée and I’m her fiancé.” Alex explained. “So you’ll be going on a honeymoon too?” Bella kept on asking. Alex looked at here a little confused – where did that come from?
“I explained to her what a honeymoon is today…” Max chuckled. “Yeah we’ll be going on a honeymoon but we haven’t set a date yet…” “I told daddy that he could marry mommy and then they could go on a honeymoon too…” Bella kept on going.
Luckily for everybody their food was served and Max didn’t have to say a thing though Alex was surely thinking about it. What would happen now? He knew that Max hadn’t been in a steady relationship ever since Liz – but then he had no idea about Liz. “So…where are you living Bella?” “Mommy, Jeffrey and I are living at the beach.” “Who’s Jeffrey?” “He’s my friend, mommy and him work together an’ he’s mommy’s friend…” “So – is he like your daddy?” Bella chuckled “No silly, daddy is my daddy, Jeffrey is my friend…” she explained but kept on eating. Max and Alex were only exchanging meaningful glances.
“So where is grandma Claudia?” was the next question. Max wasn’t sure if he liked the questioning but he also needed to know more and until now he had enough other stuff to worry about.
“She’s an angel – that’s what mommy always tells me – she’s watching over us…” Darn – she was dead – both Alex and Max stopped and swallowed – what had happened. “And when did she become an angel Bella?” Shrugging Bella kept on eating “Daddy help!”
Max looked at the plate that Bella had pushed towards him, she couldn’t cut the meat, so he helped her. “So do you like school Bella?” Alex asked his next question, this was Liz’s daughter after all and he wanted to know everything. “Yeah it’s funny…I want to be a lawyer…” “You don't say…” he smiled first at the girl and then at Max. “So maybe you’ll be able to help your Daddy when you’re a lawyer…” “Mhm…I could do that though mommy will want me to help her as well – she’s making parties…” Making parties? “She’s working for a catering service…” Max clarified.
“So what do you like about school?” “Mrs. Sinclair is pretty cool, but I love it when she talks about science…” Yep a definitely a child of Max and Liz – there was no doubt.
An hour later Max and Bella wanted to say goodbye to Alex. “So you’ll visit Liz?” “Maybe I don't know yet – Max – she…Maria, Liz and I we used to be best friends and then eight years ago…I don’t know I have to think about it. What are you going to tell your family?” “Honestly? I have no idea…I…I kinda want to talk with Liz first and at least know what happened and why she left before I talk to them. I mean my father and Isabel never really liked her, my Mom did but she would have never sided with me against my father. It’s…a really difficult situation, and then I don't talk to my parents and I’m hardly in contact with Isabel.” “Daddy look all those fish…” Bella laughed.
“She’s perfect Max you know?” Max sighed before answering “Yeah she is, isn’t she? I…I only know her for two days but…she’s already so important Alex…I mean…I’m a father…can you believe that? All those years I never thought that I’d experience that, I mean before Liz left…she…we were making plans to get married and have children and then she left…and she took all my dreams with her…and now…I kinda feel like I have got a part of my dreams back…I don’t know what will happen with Liz but…I…I don’t know…” Alex could clearly see the happiness but also agony in his friends eyes. When Liz left it had had hurt him the most. “I understand Max…I really do…” he patted Max on the shoulder and smiled.
“Bella come on, we better go now…” She ran over and took Max’s hand right away. “Say goodbye to Alex…” “Goodbye Alex…will you visit again?” “I sure will…and you promise to write okay?” “I will…daddy promised to help.”
When Max had put Bella to bed he got himself something to drink and settled in the living room, he couldn’t bring himself to read the diaries not yet – he just – it just didn’t feel right, so he decided to look at the photo albums he had found in Liz’s room as well.
The first one included pictures of Bella as a newborn again. She must have been the cutest baby ever been born – in Albuquerque? Albuquerque?! He had been to Albuquerque so often – after High School Michael, Alex and him had made trips there every weekend until they had left for the east coast. What if he had run into her – pregnant? What if…no he couldn’t think like that – it wouldn’t make things easier. What about if Liz had met his family? Would they have told him? And he still hadn’t figured out why Liz had asked about his father – so okay they didn’t get along – in fact his father had hated her, for whatever reason but…would he…no…no he would do a lot of things but not threaten her away right?
The pictures showed Grandma Claudia and Bella – oh god she must have been seriously ill – she looked awful. When Bella was one month old there was another one of Claudia but it was in a hospital – she was dying…darn…Liz had been alone with Bella ever since.
All the albums were full of pictures with Bella – it was like Liz had photographed every single important thing in her life – like she wanted to be able to show them to some one – show him what he had missed. Yet the question stayed why hadn’t she contacted him or better why hadn’t she reached him. True his father had given him a new cell phone shortly after graduation…but…it was really strange.
After the third album he had seen the pictures of Bella since she was born up to Christmas when she was three. She was the cutest child he had ever seen and – if he may say so – she also had the prettiest mother. It was amazing how much Liz still looked like she was a teenager.
Opening a smaller album it was like a punch into his gut – it wasn’t an album about Bella it was filled with pictures of Liz…though the first pictures were of him…he didn’t know the pictures – it showed him, lying in the grass of the football field of their High School – he wore a white shirt, dark blue jeans and he was laughing…now he remembered…it had been two weeks before – she had disappeared, Liz had taken those pictures with her new camera…turning the page he saw the pictures she had taken with delayed action shutter release – they were perfect.
One picture showed them lying on the ground, facing each other – forehead to forehead. They were glancing into each other’s eyes – it was perfect, on the next one they had their eyes closed. The next one showed them in a different position…Liz had been lying on the back and he had leaned over her from the other direction. It was…no they had been perfect – perfection in its true definition. How could that have gone wrong so much?
“Daddy?” startled by Bella’s voice and by the fact that she actually called him Daddy he turned towards the stairs. He still wasn’t used to being called Daddy but he loved hearing it nevertheless. “What is it baby? Couldn’t sleep? Had a nightmare?” “I couldn’t sleep…” she rubbed her eye and walked over to him, climbing onto the couch “Whatcha doin’?” “I’m looking at pictures…” “What pictures?” He opened the last album again showing him the pictures of Liz and him. “Is that mommy and you?” “Yeah – we were eighteen, well I was eighteen your mommy was seventeen…your mommy had just gotten herself a new camera – I can still remember how excited she was…” “Mommy likes takin’ pix…” “Does she? Doesn't surprise me…” “Yucky Daddy you guys were kissin’…” Bella giggled.
Max placed one arm around her and pulled her closer to his body “Yeah well – you do that when you’re in love…” “Do you still love mommy?” She turned her face to be able to look at her father. Max thought about the question – he didn’t know the answer so he gave her the best answer possible in the moment “You know what? I’ll always love her for taking care of you while I hadn’t been there…and I’ll always love her for giving me a daughter…” They both grew quiet. Max because he was thinking about his feelings and he realized that he couldn’t figure that one out in one night – it would take some time. And Bella grew quiet because – sleep was finally overwhelming her. When Max looked back at his daughter he smiled, brushing away a strand of hair before getting up and lifting her up carefully to carry her back to bed.
In her room he placed her in her bed and tucked her in “Good night my sweet little angel – dream well – daddy loves you…” and before leaving her he kissed her onto her forehead.
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:13:16 AM|
In the morning Max got up at six and walked into the kitchen after checking on Bella - she still had half an hour of sleep left so he started to prepare breakfast. “Now let’s see – what has this kitchen to offer…toast – okay that’s something…” Opening the pantry door he saw that they were stocked up with a lot of things to offer a young girl for breakfast. Then he turned to the fridge “Toaster Strudels – mhm…also a possibility…”
As soon the coffee was ready he filled up a mug and walked up into the bathroom. There he stripped off his shirt and started shaving. His lower face was covered in shave cream when he looked up into the mirror again he found a sleepy Bella standing behind him. “Morning angel – did you sleep well?” “Mhm…” she took a few steps and leaned against his right leg, her eyes still glued to her father’s reflection. “Are you hungry?” Max asked her before he kept on shaving. “Mhm…” “You’re not really a morning person are you angel?” “Mhm-mhm…” Max chuckled. “Why do you have hair on your chest?“ “Because I’m a man…” “Mommy doesn't have any…” “That’s because she is a woman…” “Jeffrey doesn't have any either…” Bella contemplated and looked at her daddy more confused. “Well…either he shaves his chest or he just doesn’t have any – you know that’s different from man to man…my father for example has a lot more hair on his whole body than I do.” “Where is your daddy?”
Max cleaned the razor and placed it back in his bag. “He’s in Roswell.” “So he’s my grandpa?” “Technically he is…yeah…could we postpone that angel? You need to get ready for school…what do you want for breakfast?” “Toaster Strudels and milk…” “Okay – what the lady wants, the lady gets – come on.”
After dropping Bella off at school and promising her to pick her up at exactly 3 pm to visit Liz he drove to the office. He had to check on some legal stuff, he didn’t doubt that Liz would allow him to spend time with Bella but he wanted to make the whole thing legal – he had no idea if Liz had stated him as Bella’s father on her birth certificate and…well there was just some stuff he wanted to figure out. Later he’d visit Liz after lunch – they needed to talk without the interruption of an inquiry girl.
“Oh Mister Evans – I didn’t expect you’d come here today? How is your daughter?” Susan smiled at her boss. “She’s fine Susan – did anything important happen?” “No Courtney is handling everything – so…what are you doing here?” “Oh I just want to do some work – I mean I have time now – Bella is in school now so I have some hours for myself…” “So if calls come in you’re…?” Susan asked. “I’m here…yes…and if Courtney comes in let her know that I’m in.”
Alex was pacing the floor in front of the hospital – he wasn’t sure of what to do – his flight wouldn’t be leaving for another six hours so he had some time left. Turning around he considered hailing a cab and driving away but then – this was Liz Parker – one of his former best friends and he needed an answer – he needed to know what had happened eight years ago.
Turning once again he walked into the hospital up to the information desk. “Hello may I help you?” “Yeah I need the room number of Elisabeth Parker.” “One moment – she’s on the second floor room 32 14…” “Thank you…”
When he found the room he stood there once again – thinking – was this really what he wanted? Was this a good idea? Turning again he walked to where he came from, he even had opened the door to exit the hospital when it hit him. In this room down the corridor lay the answers to all his questions – and he really needed to know what had happened to her and he also needed to know why she had run away. There had to be a reason – and he needed to know it!
Turning back for the last time he walked back to the room Liz was supposed to be in and knocked.
“Come in…” he heard the all too familiar voice of ‘Lizzie’. Slowly he opened the door and walked in. Though he knew that she’d be there it was still like a shock itself to see her sitting there – she was really there. Okay she had some scratches and bruises, one arm in a sling, one leg in a cast – but she still looked like when she was 17.
“Alex?” the surprise was written all over her face when she saw him. “Hi there Lizzie…”
Seeing that she tried moving but winced right away he walked up to her bed. “I…I didn’t know if it was okay to come by…but…how…wow I can’t believe that it’s really you…how have you been?” “Good Alex it’s good to see you…”
The next minute was followed by awkward silence before Liz cleared her throat - “Why don't you sit down – we have so much to talk about. How are you? Max told me that you’re living in Tokyo now?”
Alex shrugged out of his jacket and got comfortable. “Yeah I am – after finishing MIT I was offered a job in Tokyo which I couldn’t decline – it’s perfect and I love living there…I mean sometimes I’m missing the States but Kim helps me through it.” “Kim is your fiancée?” “Yeah – yeah she’s perfect – I met your daughter yesterday. She’s cute.” “Yeah she is isn’t she?”
They were silent again.
“So – was she the reason you left? I…Liz honestly I had my doubts about coming here and…I was…I’m really confused about what happened eight years ago – we all are because nobody could understand what happened and why you left and…and…I came here to get my answers. Liz we used to be best friends and then suddenly you disappear and Grandma Claudia as well…and we were afraid and…god we thought you were dead and then I meet Max and he…he tells me that you two have a daughter and that he’s taking care of her though… though…I…Liz I’m confused and I need my answers and I need them now.”
Liz had listened to Alex’s rambling – she had no right to interrupt him, she had missed him, she had needed him and god only knew how often she had thought about calling Maria or Alex just to tell them that she was okay, that she was fine. And then when she had learned about her pregnancy or when Bella was born or grandma had died and all those occasion when you needed a friend or when you wanted to tell a friend – she wanted to call. “I can understand that you’re confused Alex but I had my reasons and…”
Alex stood up and started pacing “Liz I…I don’t have time to ask a lot of questions – my flight is leaving in a few hours and either until then you’ve told me what I want to know or I’m outta here and…we all can just forget about being in contact ever again – and honestly Liz – I missed you - I missed my friend but it can’t go on like that. So please tell me…”
Taking a deep breath Liz stared out the window and nodded. “Okay, but promise not to tell Max – I still didn’t have the chance to talk to him and…I …I need to get this out and talk with him, because…I…I never wanted to hurt him or you or Maria or any of you guys – you were my best friends and…I missed you so much…” Now tears were streaming down her cheeks. Alex sat down again and listened while Liz told him the whole story.
Max’s morning at the office hadn’t been that exciting there wasn’t a lot that really needed his attention. So after getting something to eat for him and Liz he walked into the hospital again.
“Ah Mister Evans how is your fiancée doing?” Monica, the nurse who he had met the day Liz was brought here, asked him. “Fine…thank you for asking…” “Where is your cute little daughter?” “Oh she’s at school – I’ll get her later she wants to visit her mother as well…” “She’s really adorable…” “Thank you…” Max smiled at her, yes he was pretty proud of his daughter, she was a clever little girl and you just had to fall in love with her.
When he opened the door he saw…”Alex?” Alex wiped away some tears and turned towards him “Oh hey Max – I…I just wanted to leave…” “No – no it’s fine Alex…hey Liz…” “Hey Max…how’s Bella?” “She’s fine – we managed and I got her to school on time and I’ll get her later…and I’ve brought you some lunch…”
Alex was standing there – Max and Liz were once again in their own little world – it was like those last eight years had never happened – it was just like always – as soon as they were together they tended to forget about everyone else around them. They were still in tune and he knew of no one who could say that – not even some of his married friends were like that.
“Anyway – guys – I’m leaving now – Liz you think about what I said and don’t give up okay? And get well soon…” he stepped forward and kissed her on her cheek, then turned to Max “…and you my friend take good care of her and Bella and I’ll see you in New York in December.” “Sure – and I’ll call you…” “I hope you do.” He waved once more and the left the two of them alone. The story he had just heard had been heartbreaking. So he couldn’t really understand why she hadn’t told everyone about what Phillip Evans had done but then Liz had always thought of the others first. He had to make a decision – was he going to tell Maria about it all? So he hadn’t forgiven Liz entirely but he finally understood her behavior at least a little bit.
Max handed Liz her plate and helped her arranging everything so that she could eat without any problems. “So did you read in the diaries?” She hardly dared to look at him – which made Max uncomfortable. “No I – honestly I was too tired yesterday but I’ll do that today – instead I looked at the pictures…” They shared a silent and knowing smile “She was a cute baby wasn’t she?” Liz smiled at Max.
“Yeah she was…really pretty…how…I mean…how did it feel? I mean the pregnancy and…when you were having her? How…how was it?” Max stammered, he had so many more questions but that was what came to his mind first in the moment.
Liz smiled “Well the pregnancy wasn’t easy – I was so sick the first three months and after that I just started eating, I ate like everything besides cheese, cheese made me soooo sick…and well the birth – do you know anything about it?” Max shook his head ‘no’ and added “Besides the fact that it hurts – no…”. “Well they usually tell you that if you give birth the first time it’ll take long because your body has to adjust to it – well not with me – four hours after the first contraction I held her in my arms – it was really fast and not even that painful – it was an easy birth – I think – not that I’m a specialist in it…” Max nodded and finished his plate.
“Liz we need to talk and we need to do it now while Bella can’t interrupt us – I have a lot of questions I need answers for…” “I understand…” Liz sighed and waited for the questioning to start.
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:15:14 AM|
Max had no idea where to look or what to do – this was more difficult than he had thought. “Okay I wanna know – “…brushing through his hair he got up and started walking, he crossed his arms over his chest and turned back to her.
“…I wanna know why you left and I want to the truth Liz and I wanna know how long you were planning to keep Bella a secret and…and…I wanna know what the hell you were thinking?” He knew that he sounded pissed off and in some way he was – oh yeah he was – he had spent two days with this lovely girl that was his daughter and…hadn’t he ran into Liz last week and hadn’t there been this accident he was pretty sure he would have never gotten to know her – and he loved her – already! She was his daughter for god’s sake – it was his job to care for her…and Liz had…darn…
“I…I don’t know where to start Max…I honestly…” “Stop stalling Liz the start is as good as it gets – so why don't you just tell me – what got you to leave me and Roswell and…and our future behind? Liz we – I was in love with you and I wanted to get married and – have children – have children that I know about…and…and you leave and…take all my dreams with you…”
He was watching Liz – she didn’t dare looking at him, instead she fixed her gaze on her hands. “Don't you think that I hurt as well? Do you honestly think that I wanted to leave all my dreams behind as well? The day I left Max – my life ended and it only started again when Bella was born – but it has never been the same. I know that…that it was I who left – and I know now that it had been the wrong decision and that I was weak but I was so afraid and…and I needed to help Grandma Claudia – I couldn’t pay for her treatments and…she was the last family I had and – I couldn’t let her die Max.” “What are you talking about?” He hissed – he didn’t want to sound so hard and…untouchable in some way but – talking to her now – without anybody around all those harsh feelings came back – and she made no sense at all. He kinda felt like when she broke up with him – back then he had been confused as well – and her words had made no sense to him – it was just the same again. “Max – I – promise not to interrupt me until I’m finished okay? I don’t know if I’ll get everything out if you do…”
He nodded but resumed standing, he had the feeling that he wouldn’t be sitting very long anyway.
“I…everything was fine – remember the trip you made with the guys? Before I broke up with you? I was already making plans for a nice evening…just the two of us – because I needed to talk to you so desperately – something had happened and I…I had to talk to you…the whole week I had been very quiet and…I know that you were worried and all but I always told you that I was fine just not – not in a good mood…I…well…the doctor had diagnosed Grandma with cancer…” she could hear Max gasping, looking at her with big eyes – shock and sadness filled them.
“…I didn’t know what to do – she needed treatments and – we didn’t have the money – but I couldn’t let her die Max…and…I wanted to tell you that we were moving up to Albuquerque but that this wouldn’t change a thing for me…I wanted to stay together because I loved you and…and…I needed you there with me…I needed your strength and…but…” Liz sobbed and wiped away the first tears that were spilling over. “I…one evening your father paid me a visit…” “My father why…” Holding up a hand she stopped his question and continued “He…I don’t know if you ever realized how much he hated me Max…he hated me and I didn’t know why. I asked him if you knew that he’d come here and he said something like no and that you didn’t know it and that you would never do so….and then…then…” by now she was hiccupping “ and then he said ‘I came to offer you money to leave Maxwell alone’ – I thought I was dreaming…”
“Excuse me?” Max shouted, “You don't honestly think that I’ll believe this Liz…my father would do a lot but that…” “Go and ask him Max…ask him…this is the truth I wouldn’t dare lying to you – not now, not ever again…he told me that he didn’t approve of our relationship and that you deserved so much better and that I must have put a spell on you…for the last eight years I heard him telling me over and over again that I only had to name a price so that I’d disappear…he…he wrote a number on the check and handed it to me telling me to take it and leave and that you’ll get over me…and that once you went to College you were too busy to be heartbroken. I didn’t believe him Max – I never did but…but what could I do? Grandma was dying and I was honestly thinking that…that it would be better for you this way…I didn’t want to stand between you and your family…I had to choose – between you and Grandma and…how could I make the right decision when no matter what it also meant to make the wrong decision? Because no matter what - I’d lose… and in the end I lost you and Grandma – but then – I also earned a lot – I have this beautiful daughter that reminds me everyday how happy I used to be and how much you loved me. I know that this is all very hard to believe but Max…this is the truth…”
Liz was crying now, her hands shaking – actually her whole body was shaking. Max didn’t know what to do? Could he believe this story? Was this true? Could this be true? Could his father be that heartless? And though he wanted to answer that question himself – he knew that there…well that there was a possibility that it was in deed true. What was he going to do?
He stood at the window now – but he didn’t really see a thing, instead he saw Liz – eight years ago and he heard her “…I have been thinking and…and…I think we…we should break up…” it had been a nightmare.
“Max?” her voice got through his daze. “What?” abruptly he turned around and looked at her. There she was – in a hospital, injured yet alive, her eyes red, her nose red, her lips trembling, her beautiful eyes big. “I…don't know what to say Liz – I honestly don't…you tell me this…this story and I…why didn’t you contact me when you found out about the pregnancy? Why?” “I tried and if you’d read the first diary – there…there’s a letter, a letter I wrote to you – please read it…please Max…I know I hurt you…but I hurt as well…and…” “You could have talked to me Liz. Hadn’t we promised to be always honest with each other? Hadn’t we – through good times and bad time Liz – okay so we weren’t married but I thought of it like a formality – in my heart Liz, in my heart you were my wife and yet…yet you made this decision without me…you…you just ran away and…took away my life…after you left Liz everything was senseless…I…I mean look at me I turned into a machine – I know that...but you wanna know why I don’t wanna change it? A machine doesn’t feel, a machine can’t be hurt…” “And yet you’re caring about Bella…Max…I…there’s still so much I need to tell you but please…think about everything I told you…please?”
Max looked at his watch and then back up at Liz “I have to get Bella – this isn’t finished Liz…” “I know…”
On his way to fetch Bella Max thought about everything that Liz had told him. What now? He had to talk to his father that was for sure but – how and when? He couldn’t leave to go to Roswell – because he had to take care of Bella and he had no intention of taking her with him – the poor child – no – he couldn’t do that. Yet he had to…well it seemed like he had to call him, there was no other option.
He was ten minutes too early so he waited, staring at his cell phone. Getting out of the car he smiled at the other parents who were waiting for their kids – mostly mothers of course.
Sighing he dialed the number of his father’s office – there was no way he’d wait longer than necessary for this talk to happen.
“Evans and Ramirez Law firm, this is Evelyn…” “Evelyn this is Maxwell Evans, is my father in?” “Oh what a surprise Max – I haven’t talked to you for a long time how are you doing?” The secretary said. “I’m fine – I’d really like to chat to you but I’m busy so is my father in?” “No he’s in court today and after that he wanted to go home right away, do you want me to take a message?” “No thanks I’ll just call my mother – thank you anyway…” he hung up but before he could call his mother a woman walked over to him.
“Hi – I’m Melissa Stuart…I have never seen you here before are you fetching somebody?” Oh come on please no – not that, not now – was she really hitting on him? He didn’t need that now. “Uh I’m fetching my daughter…” “Oh really? That is so cute, who’s your daughter?” “Arabella Parker.” “Yeah right – we all know Liz Parker…she’s a single mom…and she wouldn’t…” “What? She wouldn’t do what?” “Well I can’t imagine you and her together…” He chuckled and shook his head, was this woman for real? “Well you don’t need to…” Fortunately the doors of the school opened and kids came running out Bella being one of the first ones.
“Daddy!” she shouted and ran straight towards him. His whole posture changed from tensed too relaxed, opening his arms he caught her and lifted her up “Hi angel how was your day?” “Fine – we talked about dinosaurs today…” “Really? Wow – well I visited Mom early – she’s a little shaken up today so…I have to ask you to be a good girl okay?” “Okay…how is Mommy?” “Fine – I’m sure she’ll be home soon again.”
Putting her down again he bid his goodbye to this obnoxious woman and helped Bella in the car.
As soon as they were in the hospital he left Liz and Bella alone – first of all he was sure that they needed some time alone and second of all he wanted to call his mother.
Dialing the all too familiar number of his parents he waited for somebody to pick up the phone. “Hello?” it was his mother – he hadn’t talked to her since Christmas…”Hi Mom it’s Max…” “Max – oh my god…oh how are you doing honey? Has something happened?” “Well actually yeah something happened but…I can’t talk to you about that – I need to talk to my father first…” “Max? What happened?” “Mom I would really like to talk to you but I need to speak to Phillip first…” “You’re frightening me Max…” Max sighed and shook his head, he should have known better.
“Mom it isn’t my intention to scare you but…when will he be home?” “He called like ten minutes ago that he’d be home in two hours – Max what’s going on?” “Let’s just say that something of out of my past came up and I have some questions I need answers for and he’s the only one who has them.” “I see, don’t you want to come Rowell to get your answers?”
He could hear the hope in her voice, she was probably thinking that there was actually a chance that his father and he would reconcile but if Liz had told him the truth – there was no way in hell that this would happen. “I can’t Mom I’m needed here…so…I’ll try later again. How are you doing Mom?” “Now that I’m talking to you better…Tess asked for you again.” “Mom…don’t okay – Tess is a really nice woman but she’s not my type and I don’t need a relationship in the moment.” “But Max you can’t go on like that – when do you want to get into a serious relationship? Get married and have children? You’re not getting any younger Max…” “I know that Mom and trust me you’ll get that grandchild probably sooner than you hoped for…” “What are you talking about Max you didn’t impregnate some girl, did you?” “I have to go now Mom…” he hung up before his mother could answer – two hours – that left two hours to think about of what to say to his father and do that without Bella hearing him – because it wouldn’t be nice!
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:17:30 AM|
When he entered the room again Bella was telling Liz about her day – they hadn’t heard him coming in so instead of drawing attention he carefully closed the door and watched them interact.
“Davy says that he’ll get a puppy for his birthday – mommy can I have a puppy too?” “No way princess, I don’t want a dog in my house at least not unless you’re much older…” “But mommy…” “No stop it – so how did you like yesterday evening?” “It was so cool – we went to this big hotel mommy and they had real fish and they gave me something to draw…” “No way – so I take it you liked it?” “Yeah – do you know Alex?” Liz sighed and stroked over Bella hair while watching her – she was occupying herself with a piece of paper. “Yeah I know him he used to be my best friend?”
Bella stopped and glanced at Liz – Max had to suppress a chuckle – she looked so much like Liz when she thought about something and when she intended to ask a question. Maybe he just knew Liz too well and the fact that Bella had the same expressions but he had always known when something – like a question was bothering her. “But I thought daddy was your best friend?” Now that should be interesting. “He was princess – it’s just – I have known Alex since kindergarten, he was the brother I never had and Max – well I met him when he moved to Roswell when we were all in Junior High so – you don’t know that now but one day you’ll know the difference between a friend and a boyfriend and both can be best friends in their special ways.
Max had to take a deep breath while watching them he thought once more about the whole story Liz had told him – it was unbelievable. Yet why would she lie?
“Max? We didn’t hear you coming in…” Liz said – her voice trembling. Was she afraid of him? Yeah it really seemed like it.
What was he supposed to do? To say now? When he finally opened his mouth he was interrupted by a knock and the door opening – it was the doctor – once again.
“Hello there, Max, Bella, Liz – how are you today?” He concentrated on Liz looking at the chart.
“I’m fine – the head still hurts and my thorax – but besides that I’m good…” “Good – well – then what do you think if I send you home tomorrow – under one condition though – no walking around, you stay in bed…”
He turned towards Max “I count on you making sure that she stays in bed and that you take care of her…” Max was a little startled – but well – if that was how it was going to be at least until Jeffrey got home then so be it. “Yeah sure – anything else?” “Yeah I want her checked by a doctor every day for another week – just to be on the sure side…” “Okay…”
“Does that mean you come home again mommy?” Bella asked. “Yeah that means exactly that but you have to be a very good girl – because your mommy has some serious injuries that’ll take a while to heal okay?” The doctor explained to Bella – who nodded enthusiastically.
“Great then – why don’t you fetch her tomorrow around nine Max would that be okay?” “Yeah sure that’d be fine…” Max nodded – what was he getting into here? Taking care of Liz? And his daughter? Jesus!!!!
The doctor made sure that Liz got her medication before he left again, leaving the new family alone.
“So…uhm…what are you guys going to do tonight?” “Well Bella still has to do her homework and…I…I have to make a call…I want to call my father…” he explained after seeing Liz’s concerned look – of course that even got worse instead of better. “Max…I…” “I have to Liz – if I want…I need answers to understand all this mess – I mean – he tried to dictated my life for like forever – and that was also a reason why I left Roswell – he had everything planned out – my job, my future wife, probably my children’s names – I…I have to do this…”
Liz could see the agony Max was in – she wanted to take him into her arms like she used to do and tell him that everything would be okay. He stood next to her bed now, gazing down at her – tentatively she took his hand – it felt like a lightening strike – his hand was warm and she could feel that he wasn’t as unimpressed as she had assumed – he was trembling slightly as well. “Max? I know that you have to talk to him – just – I…never intended to come between you and…” “Liz I know that and I’m sorry that I didn’t realize back then what he put you through…I really I am but I have to ask him – I know that I’ll never be able to forgive him…” “Will you ever be able to forgive me?”
They started into each other’s eyes – in the end he tore his hand out of hers. “I don't know – it’s too early…please understand that…”
She only nodded because the lump in her throat made it impossible to say another word.
“Bella come on angel we better get going…” “But I wanna stay with mommy…” Bella stated with pleading eyes at her father. “Why don’t you leave her here for another hour or so, Max? She could start her homework – I could help her and…well…I’m sure you have some stuff to do don't you?”
Taking a look at his watch – well yes – technically his days had been everything but ordinary since Monday – he hadn’t been working out, and he needed to check his mail at home and the answering machine. “Well okay – if that’s really okay with you…” “Sure…” “Okay then I’ll get her in two hours? Is that okay with you? Do you need anything before I leave?” “No – no I think we’re set…” “Fine – then cee ya later…bye Bella!” “Bye Daddy…” she waved at him from her place next to her mother but concentrated on her piece of paper right away again.
His first stop was at his house – there were a lot of bills but nothing very important – he threw onto his kitchen counter and checked his calls – there were 8 calls, the first two were from college buddies, the next one was Tess Harding once again, the next two were from his sister, a wrong number and two of his mother. Both times she sounded concerned asking where he was because she couldn’t reach him on his cell phone – sure she couldn’t - he had shut it off as soon as he entered the hospital once again. Why couldn’t she wait? He had said that he’d call again.
Walking up into his bedroom he changed into t-shirt, sweatpants and sneakers – he needed to think and while he went jogging along the beach he had a lot of time to think. After stretching for some minutes he started to move – he had so many questions – and he was so – so - angry wouldn’t cut it neither did furious or any other word known to man which described his mood.
Everything his father had ever told him – like that he cared had been a lie – everything - because if he really had he would have never been against Liz in the first place and he would never had her given money to leave him – sure she had taken it…yet she had always cared about him…it would take some time to get over this – to forgive her – though he wasn’t sure he’d ever manage that completely – for god’s sake he had missed the birth of his daughter, her first words, her first steps – everything and it seemed like he had to thank his father for that – insert sarcasm here.
Maybe before calling his father he should read in those diaries first – he couldn’t get all the answers out of Liz.
Turning around after 30 minutes he jogged back to his house, took a quick shower and drove back to the hospital.
After fetching Bella they headed home. “So did you finish all your homework?” “Yes Mommy helped me – “ “That’s good – so you have the evening to yourself huh?” Bella nodded. “Daddy can I stay at home tomorrow and come with you to get mommy?” “Ah no – no angel – I want you to go to school tomorrow – you’ll only be in school until noon anyway – so…” “Pleeeeeeeaaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeeeeee daddy…” He glanced at her and shook his head, his daughter would definitely be able to get a boy to do what ever she wanted him to do one day “No sorry Bella. I want your mommy to settle in…”
There was also the problem about the sleeping arrangements – what was he supposed to do now that Liz was coming home tomorrow – so many questions and no answers.
“Daddy? Are you listenin’ to me?” “Uh sorry angel I spaced out on you – what did you say?” “What are we haven’ for dinner?” “Hmm…how does …I don't know what do you guys usually cook?” “Mommy always makes a lot of noodles an’ Jeffrey likes to cook vegetable – yucky…” “Okay then – how about rice with chicken? How does that sound?” “Sound good – daddy are we goin’ to the grocery store?” “Yeah we’re – why?” “Can I get some candy?” “I don't know yet – we’ll see okay?”
Max thought that this was it – but he soon realized that with an inquisitive child like his daughter was one there were a lot of questions to ask and for him a lot of them to answer.
“So what didcha do?” “Well I went to my house and checked my mail and answering machine and after that I went jogging…and that’s it…what did you guys do?” “Mommy helped me with my homework and then I talked to Jeffrey he said his daddy is doin’ better and he’ll come home on Saturday…do you know Jeffrey?” “No I talked to him twice but I don’t know him…here we are…let’s get some groceries…”
An hour later Max had experienced how difficult it could be to go shopping with a seven year old – usually it took him not more than twenty minutes to get all his groceries together – Bella had proven him it could take longer because every now and then she’d ask “Daddy can I have that…Daddy I want that…we have to get this – we have to get that…” It had been tiring and not exactly helping his mood. It was difficult to stay calm and to reason with her that she couldn’t have everything she wanted.
“Are you always like that? Does mommy buy you everything you want?” She didn’t answer.
“Are we sulking again Bella?” One glance in the mirror confirmed his suspicion. Only shaking his head he chose to concentrate in the traffic again and drive home in silence instead – he really wasn’t in talking mood – no way.
One hour later they had finished their dinner and Max had promised Bella that she was allowed to watch some TV after her shower. As soon as she was settled in the living room he went up into Liz room – he had thought about it and he needed to talk to his father – screw the diaries – he could read them later.
Dialing his parents’ number once again, waiting for someone to pick up. “Hello?” it was Phillip Evans who answered the phone. “It’s me Max…” “Max – Mom already told me that you called – what’s up? She sounded worried – has something happened? We have been waiting for your call.” “I have to ask you something and I need an honest answer - and don’t you dare lying to me…” “Excuse me? How dare you talking to your father like that?” Phillip’s voice got harsh. “Well maybe because to me you’re not my father anymore – because a father would have never done what you did…you ruined my life and…and…I thought…” Max was interrupted by his father “What are you talking about Max?” “I'm talking about Liz Parker.” “Oh no here we go again – didn’t you learn a thing back then? She left you Max! Why can't you just forget about her?” “Why did you pay her to leave me?” Silence – nothing – only breathing.
Max was sure that if his father were standing in front of him now he’d strangle him. “What? Don't have an answer for that? Cat got your tongue?” “How…I mean how?” “How do I know about that? Well guess what I met Liz again and she told me…” “And you believe her? How can you…?” Max interrupted him once more. “Why? Because Liz never lied to me…do you have any idea what you did to me?” By now Max was screaming into the receiver. “Max…calm down…I…” “Just shut up, just shut up father – I want you to tell me now why you did it and I also want you to know that after that we’re not going to talk ever again – you have no idea what you did…”
|posted on 13-Oct-2002 10:19:54 AM|
“Don't you think that you’re a little overreacting here?” “Overreacting? Excuse me?!…” Max wanted to scream at him but before he did that he needed answers “Tell me – I wanna know…” Nothing. “NOW!” He could hear his father gasping, taking a deep breath “She was and always will be some one to hold you back – don't you think I knew that you wanted to marry her and have children? And ruin your life in the end? She was from a poor family with no reputation at all – she was holding you back and I couldn’t let that happen. She took the money and left – that’s all she ever wanted – your money – and I had to do something to make you see how wrong she was and IS for your Max…” “Do you have any idea what you’re saying? You’re not even realizing that you did exactly what you thought you could prevent. I was happy, I loved her – it might have been wrong of her to take the money but after hearing the whole story I know that she had to make a choice – and lose in the end no matter what. Did you know that her grandmother was dying?” Silence once again and by god Max wasn’t in the mood to wait for the answers “Did you know it?”
Phillip Evans cleared his throat “I might have…” “You mi…you…bastard…” Max couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Brushing his hand through his hair he walked back and forth between the door and the window – he felt like crying – tears were stinging his eyes – he wanted to cry out of rage.
“Maxwell…you stop this – RIGHT NOW – I won’t be listening to you – insulting me…I’m your father…” “No you are NOT my father – you are a heatless, bitter man who tries to manipulate everybody around him – “ “I’ll hang up now I don’t have to listen to that…” “Yeah go ahead hang up – coward – take the easy way out…” Max waited for the ‘click’ of his father hanging up – but there was nothing.
Max heard the television and Bella laughing – what a mess. “What do you want Max?” Phillip asked once again resigned. “I…want to understand you – I…I …she was pregnant father – I have a seven year old beautiful daughter and Liz tried contacting me and from the looks of it you made it impossible…you didn’t buy me that super high-tech phone after I graduated because you were proud of me you bought it that Liz couldn’t reach me and the story about obscene calls that caused you to change the phone number and make it private – bullshit - …” “Maxwell…how can you be sure about this girl being your daughter? She could…” “Don't even say it - I only have to take a look at her and I know that she’s a part of me and thanks to you…” Max started to hiss “…thanks to you I missed the pregnancy, the birth, her first words, her first steps – everything…” “Max you can’t be serious – how can you trust her after taking the money, after leaving you behind…” “After YOU didn’t leave her another option…” “SHE TOOK THE MONEY…” “SHE HAD NO OTHER CHOICE…” darn he didn’t want to shout. Hopefully Bella wouldn’t come up.
“How can you still defend her?” Phillip growled at him.
Because I still love her, because she’s the mother of my child, because she’s the only one I want to spend my life with – all those answers were whirling around Max’s head. “Because she never said a thing against you, because no matter how often you insulted her she was friendly, because she never wanted to be the reason I argue with my family – because she’s everything I ever wanted and you – took it away from me…”
In the background Max could hear his mother asking his father over and over again what was going on and why they were screaming. And then the door opened and Bella stood there – with big frightened eyes. “Daddy?” He could hear the insecurity in his daughter’s voice and he hated the fact that he put it there. “One minute angel – go back down – everything is fine…” “Then why are you shoutin’” “Angel I’m on the phone okay? Please go back downstairs.”
Bella watched him doubtfully but disappeared again.
Taking a deep breath Max concentrated back on the phone “I’ll hang up now – I’ll call Mom tomorrow…” Without waiting for a response he hung up. Throwing the phone on the bed he breathed in, breathed out - while searching for something – just something that could help him getting through this crazy day he saw the diaries or journals again. With a shaking hand he picked up the one with number one on it and took it downstairs into the living room.
Bella still looked frightened when he stepped into the room, he knew that he had to talk to her – she was afraid – and he wanted to make sure that she knew she wasn’t the reason. Sitting down next to her on the couch he glanced down at her “Bella I’m sorry that I got loud up there – it wasn’t my intention to scare you…” “Did I do something wrong?” Pulling her close to his body he kissed her onto her head before giving her an answer. “No – you didn’t do anything – I talked to my father and he really, really did a bad thing and I lost my nerve…” “Mommy don’t allows me to shout at her…” “I know angel and you really shouldn’t do that but maybe one day you’ll understand why I had to shout at him – he really hurt me – he did something very, very bad.”
Bella started at her father – not really understanding what he meant with that. “Why don’t you keep on watching television and I’ll stay here okay? And read…” “Okay…” She nodded and turned back to the television. Max kept on staring at her. She was really beautiful and she was his daughter. And his father had messed everything up – gosh he could be married by now and have another child with Liz – he could be happy and not this – this – well this man he was today. Sometimes he couldn’t even stand himself but there had never been a reason to change. Yet now – he couldn’t keep on like he that.
Sighing he opened the first journal – a letter fell out of it – “What the…” clearing his throat before Bella heard another bad word. He took the paper out of the envelope – it smelled so familiar – so unlike anything he had eve smelled before since he had met Liz and after that – it was how he could identify her. Getting more comfortable he read the letter.
She had tried telling her, the envelope had a postmark on it “Return to sender” – great and his address was crossed out. Why? What the hell? Another thing he had to remember. He turned the first page if the journal.
It’s May 15th and five days ago I died – well not literally but I felt like my heart was ripped out and somebody performed a Riverdance on it.
I’m sounding sarcastic but I’m not. Within a few days Grandma and I had to move away from Roswell – my home and I had to leave my love behind and with him my heart and by doing that I know that I ripped his heart out at the same time. It was the most terrible and awful day in my whole life – hearing Max pounding at the door asking me over and over again why I broke up with him and…I just couldn’t lie to him. I never told him that I didn’t love him anymore…but that’s just not the truth – I love him with all my being. And I’m asking myself why life is like it is – it’s so unfair – I never wanted to break up with him – I wanted to marry him and have children – how come that I’m alone here? In a strange room, in an even stranger town – where I know nobody. I feel alienated – I feel like I don’t belong here and I just know that no matter where I’ll be in one month, one year or ten years that I’ll never belong again. I’ll never belong again until I find myself back in my true love’s arms – in Max’s arms. But he will never hold me again because what I did can’t be forgiven! How could I be so stupid? Considering my past, considering what I have already been through you’d think that I’d be wiser.
I never thought that I’d be capable of this kind of love – before Max stepped into my life I had promised myself to never love anybody. I had loved my parents and I lost them – it hurt – it hurt more than anything else in the world – until now. I love Max with all my heart and I miss him and Grandma Claudia is dying. I know I shouldn’t be talking like that but the fact is that she’ll die eventually. Maybe not now – maybe not for another two or three or even ten years but eventually I’ll be alone.
After meeting Max I was sure that I’d never be forced to be alone again – he was such an important part of my life and his father destroyed everything.
I don’t know what I did, I don’t know where all his hate comes from – I used to think of myself as a person who could deal with anybody and anything but with Philip Evans…I reach my limits. He’s a heartless and manipulating man and yet I can’t tell Max what happened. How can I be the reason for him to get into trouble with his father? I know that he tried to be on no ones side – that’s my Max – he’s a family person through and through so how could I come between them? I couldn’t and that’s why I had to walk away!
I know that I made the wrong decision – I should never have taken the money – I know that but – what if I can safe my grandmother? I’m so confused right now – my thoughts are a mess.
Max put the book down and swallowed hard – she hadn’t stopped loving him and – though he still felt like in a nightmare he knew that everything he had heard today and everything that he just had read was true.
He looked at his daughter who was yawning nonstop.
“Bella angel how about you get ready for bed – it’s time…” “I’m not tired…” “I can see that – c’mon munchkin…”
Laying the book on the table next to the couch Max got up and lifted Bella easily up and carried her up the stairs. Her head rested against his shoulder and he could smell the oh so familiar smell of Parker-hair. It was amazing how Bella smelled just like her mother – but he loved it. “Daddy are you tellin’ me a story?” She mumbled when he placed her on her bed and tucked her in. “A story – what kind of story?” “Dunno – jus’ a story…”
Max smirked, his heart swelling over with primitive male pride – because he knew that he had helped to create this wonderful half-sleeping beauty. Sitting down he stroked her gently over her head.
“Okay well – once upon a time there was…” but he didn’t get further because he could her the softly snoring of Bella. Kissing her on top of her head he switched off the light “Sweet dreams angel…” and left the room, the door slightly ajar.
Downstairs he got himself something to drink, switched off the television and continued to read.
It’s July 9th and I think I might be sick any minute. I have been sick for some weeks now and finally I know the reason – I’m pregnant with Max’s baby. It’s Max’s and my baby – actually a dream come true but not now – what am I going to do? Grandma knows – she heard me in the bathroom and I couldn’t really hide my fear – oh god I’m so afraid – I wish Max was here with me. He’d tell me that I would be all right and that we would get through this together – well I guess not after I left him. I miss him, I miss Roswell and I miss my friends, Maria, Michael and Alex – oh god they must hate me now. Grandma told me to contact Max – she still doesn’t know the whole truth, she has no idea where the money comes from for her treatments and she doesn’t know why Max never visits me again – well okay that’s not true I told her that we broke up but I never told her the reason. She’s right about one thing – I have to tell him – it’s his child as well and I know how much Max loved children and I could never keep him away from his own child. After he knows it’ll be his decision. Though I know one thing for sure – I won’t take any money from him – never! I think I’ll actually try to call him tomorrow – he should still be in Roswell. Oh god what am I gonna do? What am I gonna say?
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:18:40 AM|
From then on the entries changed, they were like she was talking to him, like she was writing a letter to him or something like that…they all started with Dear Max… He wanted to keep on reading but he was way too tired…it was shortly after midnight when he went upstairs. Before going to bed himself though he checked on Bella once more – she was sleeping.
Yet when lying in bed he wouldn’t fall asleep right away – he was still very confused. What was he supposed to do about his father? His parents in general? Did his mother know? Did she support his father? She had liked Liz – he knew as much as that but yet she never was on his side? Why? Was she just afraid? So many questions he had no answers for – and then – what would happen when Jeffrey was back? Would he take care of Liz? It would definitely be the logical thing – and besides that Max needed to go back to work. Courtney was great but this couldn’t go on any longer – he had a responsibility – it wouldn’t help his law firm if he was away much longer. What a mess!
The next morning Liz was already dressed and waiting for Max when he finally came into the room. “Morning…” he grumbled – uhoh. “Morning.” He nodded again and walked over to her bag. “Do you have everything?” “Yeah the nurse helped me packing – how is Bella?” “Sulking – she tried to persuade me to let her come today instead of going to school.” “She can be very convincing…” “Yeah well she’s still a little girl whom needs to go to school and besides that she’ll only be at school until noon so – she won’t miss a lot and we…Liz…we have to talk…”
Liz swallowed she knew that tone – it meant business. “I know Max…did you…call your father?” He looked up from zipping the bag – silently only with their eyes they were having a conversation. “Okay.” Liz mumbled and nodded slightly. He had called his father and he wasn’t really happy about what he had heard and learned about the past.
Helping Liz into the wheelchair there was a knock at the door and nurse Monica came in. “Good morning Max…so Liz you’re finally going home to your family?” “Yes – can’t wait…” “Just remember to stay in bed okay? You’re not up to moving…but I’m sure your fiancé here will take good care of you.” “My fia…?” before Liz could give away the lie Max had used on Monday he cleared his throat. “Thank you again for everything Monica…I think we better leave now – if we want you to get settled in before Bella is home Liz…”
Ten minutes later they were on the road. “Sooooo? Fiancé huh?” Liz smirked and stared at Max with inquisitive eyes. Max turned to her and did he really smile? At least a little? Yeah that was a smile – or smirk what ever you want to call it. “Well I needed to know what happened they never would have told be otherwise …and…sorry!” Liz smiled again and shook her head “Max no harm done but don’t you think it’s just a little strange that you’d call me your fiancé?”
Max refused to answer. “Listen do you want something from Starbucks? I need a coffee and maybe a muffin or something like that?” “Sounds good…you have no idea how awful that coffee tasted…” “Oh I can – like I said I also spent some time in a hospital…” “Right I forgot…”
Parking the car he turned towards her “So? Tall café latte?” “You know me…” Liz nodded and smiled. Max returned the smile and disappeared into the building.
It gave Liz time to take in the extremely elegant car she was sitting in, in the moment. This car – this Mercedes held nothing to the jeep he used to drive. It seemed to be a fairly new car. Leather seats – modern in everyway. She was curious what he’d have in his glove compartment. Turning towards Starbucks she could see him still standing in line. Hmmm – curiosity won over her and she opened it. Road maps, flash light, tissues, condoms, dental floss…condoms? She closed the compartment right away – beet red. It had been so long for her since…well…ya know…since a man had used one of these around her that it was a little embarrassing.
Of course it also made Liz wonder if he had somebody – she had never really asked him these last days. Liz knew that she would never be able to repay Max for what he did – he took care of their daughter though he hadn’t known about her and he hardly worked – well okay the business was his yet he couldn’t just take off like that. Yes – she also had a lot of questions.
Max walked over to his car with the two coffees in his hands. “Here you go – be careful it’s very hot.” “Thanks…” Her hand shook when she took it from him. “Everything okay?” “Yeah everything is fine…” but Max wouldn’t be fooled he knew her too well. “Okay out with it – you have a question – I can see it…” “No really Max…I…” turning towards him she so the unbelieving glance he gave her, one eyebrows pulled up. “Okay…well…I was wondering…do you have a girlfriend? I mean is there anybody? I know I don’t have the right to ask but…”
Max watched the people walking by his car. “You’ve met Courtney haven’t you?” “Courtney? I don't…oh wait the blond women from the party? The one that…” “The one that what?” “Nothing…” “Liz…tell me?” “Well we had a conversation about man and…yeah that’s it…so…she was talking about you…” Oh god. He was this cold man …what else had Courtney said? I can see the longing in his eyes and I can also see that – there must be a reason for his behavior but – I can’t get through to him. But then – most of the time he’s this coldhearted man, not enjoying life, not laughing, not caring – he’s like this – big castle with a lot of walls and an even bigger moat
Max was still watching her. “Well – I had a small talk with her – nothing big she just mentioned a man and I now know that you’re the one she was talking about. So are you two dating?” “No…” Max shook his head, placed the cup in the cup holder and started the car. “So…she works for you right?” “Yeah she does…I met her at Harvard and after I decided going to Los Angeles I contacted her again and we teamed up. She’s a brilliant lawyer…” “I see…so you two are friends?” “Yeah I’d say so…listen Liz do we really have to talk about this?” “No not really…” Liz took another sip – this wasn’t over as well – he had some questions, so did she – sure his were more important in the moment but still she wanted to know!
“May I ask you something?” Max then asked after they drove for some minutes in silence. “Sure what is it?” “I was wondering why you gave Bella my mothers name as well? I mean – my family only hurt you and…well I try to understand this all and take it in one bit at a time.” “I understand – well your mother had always been nice to me – you might not know it but we actually talked a lot.” “You did?” “Yeah when you would be on the phone or can you remember those days when you weren’t sure at what time you’d be home after basketball? I didn’t feel very comfortable around your house but your mother always had made it easier.” “Still I can’t understand it I mean she didn’t help you – she was on my father’s side…” “She had no other choice Max, your father is a manipulative man and she loved him – so what was she supposed to do? She also loved you very much – there was just nothing…I…I just considered it fitting that Bella would have her name as well – she’s the most important woman in your life – and I’m sure that this hasn’t changed right?” “Right…” Max nodded. “Well not entirely right, before I talked to her yesterday I hadn’t talked to her since Christmas.” “Special reason?” Liz glanced at him before taking another sip of this delicious coffee – this was coffee not that crap she had to drink at the hospital.
Max wasn’t sure if he wanted to share this personal stuff with Liz – sure he used to but that time was over. “Well – I…we…I…I flew home for Christmas last year and well…let’s say that it wasn’t really a merry Christmas – I got into a fight with my father. Isabel was also on his side and Mom – kept quiet! My father tried blackmailing me into coming back to Roswell and to get married to Tess Harding – do you remember her?” “Yeah I think so – why Tess Harding?” “Because her father and mine or buddies – if you want to put it like that. Tess – is a nice girl – really but she’s not at all what a want in a wife – apart from the fact that I don’t want a wife…”
Liz was shocked by this statement. “Are you sure about that, I mean? You always wanted to get married…” Max glanced at her before he shook his head slightly and chuckled sarcastic “Well honestly Liz you don’t look so married to me either…” It shut her up – at least for now.
Max knew that he had sounded harsh but damn she was right – he had always wanted to marry – marry her and have children with her – at least that he did though
it wasn’t like he had hoped for. “I’m sorry Liz – it’s just that – I’m still confused about everything you told me and after talking to my father I’d prefer not to think about him too much. He’s an idiot – he’s heartless and he can’t understand that I’m my own person – he wants me to come back to Roswell – but I don’t feel at home there anymore – everybody left – my friends are spread around the world, you left it’s just natural for me to move on but he doesn’t see it.” “You said he tried blackmailing you – with what?” “He said he’d disinherit me as if I needed his money – heck I earn more money than he does.”
Liz didn’t say another word – she tried to understand what Max had been trough all those years. Ten minutes later they were finally at home. “Ahhh home sweet home…” Liz sighed – finally – she had missed her house – she had missed the fresh air. “Wait I'll help you.” Max ordered her to stay put and got out of the car. After opening the door he help her out of the car and handed Liz her one crutch. “You think this will work until you’re in the house?” “It has to…” Liz winced – she hadn’t walked a lot the last days but she’d be fine. “Okay…” Max nodded and got the bag and followed her slowly towards the house making sure that she wouldn’t fall or just in case…well she could stumble or get weak in the knees or something like that. Anyway at the door he unlocked it and helped her in.
Liz was curious – she had worried about her house – hopefully it wasn’t a mess. She knew how untidy Bella was – she picked one thing up – played with it, lost interest and dropped it – walking over to the next thing. Oh of course Liz had tried to get her to tidy up but – it was fruitless at least in the moment.
So she was pretty impressed and surprised when she found the living room tidy and smelling very good. “Did you do that?” “What clean up all the mess our daughter seems to leave behind her?” “So you noticed…” she chuckled, which made Max smirk who put the bag down and helped her onto the couch. “How could I not – geez she’s unbelievable – how can she find anything in her room?” “Well I make her tidy it up every weekend so – I have no idea how she does it…”
“So I thought you could stay down here during they day – I mean – the couch isn’t that uncomfortable and you fit right in and during the night you go up into your bed.” “And where will you stay?” “I’ll take the couch for the night and besides that – it’ll only be for tonight right? Jeffrey will be home tomorrow so at night he could take care of you…”
Max didn’t like the idea – he didn’t like it at all but – he wasn’t the one calling the shots – at least not in this house.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:21:19 AM|
During dinner Max had the first chance to get a good idea what life in this house was like when mother and daughter were together. Liz had insisted on eating with them at the table though Max wasn’t really happy about it! Now Bella was chatting away nonstop – telling her mother all the things she had forgotten to tell her the last days and everything new that had happened this day- It didn’t matter that she had already told them during lunch – Max suspected that somehow – and he had no idea how that could have happened – Bella had that one Maria-gene and that was why she was talking and talking and-…. well you get the picture.
“Bella – don’t forget to breath…” Max teased her. That earned him a stern look from Liz and a confused one from his daughter. “But I am breathin’ daddy – you silly I’d be dead now if I didn’t.” “Forget it that I said something.” Max chuckled and resumed eating.
When Bella disappeared into the living room Max wanted to help Liz getting back there as well. “No I wanna stay here – with you…” “Liz – I already wasn’t okay with the fact that you wanted to eat here – I’d feel a lot more comfortable if you’d go back to your couch or go to bed. “Okay – just one more minute okay? I wanted to ask you something…” “Shoot…” Max smiled and took the plates to the dishwasher. “First I want to know – did you find out anything about my car?” “Besides that fact that you’ll never drive in it again? Well – I know where it is – and I’ll go there first thing tomorrow morning and get your stuff out of it – I’m sorry to say Liz but you’ll need a new car.” “Great – and how am I going to pay for that?!” “Well there are some options you know?” Max turned back to the table to wipe it clean.
“Yeah? Which ones?” “Well – you could sue the guy – which I would definitely do because it was his mistake – the money you get out of it will be enough for a new car. Then I could buy you a new one – I didn’t provide for Bella the last years and she’s my daughter – so I want her to be safe when on the road – and…” “No Max forget it - I never wanted your money.”
Max glanced at Liz – nodding again he took a deep breath. “I know that Liz but you forget something. She’s my daughter too and from now on you’ll be getting something from me – these last days I learned about what it means to be a parent, especially a single parent. You say it now that you don’t want my help and I can understand that. Because you obviously are doing a fantastic job raising her but – from now on I’m going to play a big part in her life as well.” Liz wanted to interrupt him so he lifted his hand and stopped her. “If you don’t want me to give you any money directly I have an offer for you – how about instead of giving you money for clothes and food and everything – because you don’t want me too though I’d definitely do it and will do it if need be – I’ll start a – let’s call it the Bella-College-saving-fund, just to give the child a name if you want to put it that way. This way when Bella is old enough she’ll have enough money to choose any College she wants to – she’s a smart girl and I’m sure we both want her to be happy. If she decides she doesn’t want to go to College also fine…so could you live with that?”
Liz didn’t have to think about it – Max was right in one thing – she wanted Bella to have all the choices she never had. “That’s fine, I think that’s a good idea.” “Good – now I want you out of this kitchen.”
When Max and Liz were through the kitchen door the doorbell rang. “Are you expecting somebody?” Liz asked. “Nope…” “I gitit…” Bella shouted and ran towards the door. “Bell wait don’t…” too late the door was already opening.
Liz could hear the voice of Amanda…”Oh Max put me down – it’s Amanda…” “Looky mommy aunty Ammy is here…” Bella shrieked excitedly and dragged the poor woman behind her towards Liz and Max. “Hello Liz – wha…oh my god what happened to you? And who is this? Where is Jeffrey?”
Both Max and Liz were staring at the woman standing in the middle of the living room. Bella let go of her hand and ran over to her father, holding up her arms, indicating that she wanted to be picked up. “This is my Daddy Aunty Ammy…”
Amanda’s eyes were nearly popping out of her head when she heard those news “Your Daddy? I…how? Why? NOW? LIZ?” Amanda wasn’t sure about what to do and what to believe.
As serious as the situation was – after all this was Liz’s best friend from what he knew – Max chuckled, before walking over to this Amanda person. “I think we haven’t been introduced properly – I’m Max Evans – and I am Bella’s father.” Amanda shook his hand but soon got her wits back. “Well Duh Einstein – I mean…you don’t believe that those two would allow anyone in here right? And…I only have to take a look at you to know it’s the truth – Liz…” she turned back to Liz…” What’s going on here? Why is he here? Where is Jeffrey? Why are you injured – gosh – I only leave you for one week to go on my honeymoon and pigs start to fly or what?”
“Don’t be silly Ammy – pigs don’t fly…” Bella mumbled – her head placed against her father’s shoulder, who was slightly stroking her back. Max smiled and cleared his throat. “I guess you two have a lot to talk about – so Bella and I’ll take a walk – please Liz don’t get up – I take it Amanda knows her way around here – you stay put and don’t overdo it and take your pills…” “Yes Sir…” Liz saluted and smiled.
Amanda was watching the whole scene it was like she wasn’t there. She had so many questions – and she had promised her hubby to be back soon – who would have guessed that …well…that…well that what? Before she sat down she ran into the kitchen getting something to drink. “Okay hon – I wanna know everything – first of all – your time of being secretive and everything about Bella’s Dad is over – gosh what a MAN – hubba hubba…” “Amanda – stop talking like that about Max…”
An hour later Liz had told her the whole story about how she had met Max and their love story. “Oh man – and you really took the money and left him behind?” “Yeah – don’t – tell me how wrong it was – I knew it and I know it now but – you know after all we ran into each other again and you should hear Bella – she adores him and although he has no idea of how to deal with children he’s so good with her – it’s amazing.” “I think it’s amazing that you two met again – in Los Angeles no less – I mean – hello…” “Yeah I know what you mean.”
Max and Bella were walking along the beach – Bella was always a few steps in front of him. “Bella please be careful…” Max told her for the fifth time when she nearly bumped into somebody. He got his cell phone out of his pocket and switched it on. He knew that there would be some calls – his mother, for sure – probably Isabel – maybe his father.
It only took one minute before the phone started ringing. He answered the phone “Yes Isabel – what is it? And if I don’t like what you have to say I’ll hang up and start ignoring you…” Nothing only huffing at the other end. “Maxwell please tell me it isn’t true – please tell me that Mom has a mental breakdown and that you did not call Daddy and…and…told him that he’s a bastard and that you have a child…” “Guilty as charged – Bella – please climb off the wall I don’t want you to fall down – Liz is going to kill me if anything happens to you…” he turned towards his daughter before listening to his sister’s rambling again. “How could you let this happen? Are you sure that this girl is your daughter?” “Yes Isabel I am – face it – you’re an aunt.” “But this isn’t how I planed it…” “Excuse me?” “I was supposed to be the one with the first grandchild. I was the one who got married first and so I was the one to have the first grandchild and now you…” “Excuse me for interrupting but are you out of your mind Isabel? What the hell are you talking about?”
Max had stopped walking, instead he was standing there, watching Bella playing in the sand. “I always was the good kid, I never had friends Daddy disliked, I got the job he wanted me to have, I am married to a man he approves of – I WAS the one to have children…” Isabel was pretty much hysterical by now. “You’re kidding right? Are you really telling me that – there has been a secret battle between you and me about who’s more appreciated by our father? Isabel – he’s NOT a father – he’s an asshole. Why would you care if he loved you?” “Because it’s all I have Max…” “Only in your imagination…you have Mom, you have Jessie, your friends – you have me Isabel – you don’t need a person like him in your life – whose only interest it is to manipulate you. He even got you thinking that we’re in some kind of battle. Don’t you see what he did? Isabel we’re siblings – we should care for each other and love each other – instead we haven’t really talked in years…and finally I know why. I always thought that you just didn’t like me now I realize that it wasn’t me – it was him…”
Isabel was quiet at the other end – besides sniffling he didn’t hear anything else. “Isabel? Are you there?” “Max I think I will have to call you back – just tell me – is she beautiful? Your daughter? What’s her name?” “Her name is Arabella Claudia Diane Parker – she’s called Bella and she really is beautiful Isabel – she’s the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.” “I…I’m glad – I’ll call you…”
Before he could tell her goodbye she hung up. He gave her a lot to think about. Max finally also realized that Bella was watching him.
“What is it angel?” “Whom did you talk to?” “My sister…” “Yous got a sister?” “Yeah I have a sister…why?” “I want one too – or a little brother would be okay as well but Mom says ‘no’…” “Well…uh…that’s understandable I guess…” Max swallowed, hoping that he wouldn’t get into a situation he wasn't prepared for – like say for example explain to Bella where the little sisters and brothers come from.
“Will I meet your sister?” “Ahh…Bella I hope so I really do – the thing is that’s a little difficult because she doesn’t live here – she lives in Roswell and…well…we really haven’t been on speaking terms the last years so…we’ll see okay?” “Okay…Daddy I’m tired…”
Great – they were still at least ten minutes away from Liz’s house. “Okay how about we walk a little slower and enjoy the sunset huh?” Instead of replying Bella stopped walking and shook her head. “No – my feet are achin’ Daddy…” “Geez – what does your Mom do when something like that happens?”
Max glared at his daughter who only shrugged her small shoulders and started at him with pleading eyes. Sighing he put his phone back into his pocket. “Okay, okay…come over here…” he took her by the hand and led her to the small wall at the side and lifted her onto it. “Ohhh are you going to give me a piggyback?” “Yeah how else was I supposed to get you home?”
But Bell didn’t listen anymore – her world was perfect. Her Daddy was giving her a piggyback. From up above here the world looked so much more perfect and beautiful.
When they arrived at the house again Amanda was still there. “Well I think I better leave again …” she got up. “Oh please you don’t have to leave now because of me…” “I know that Max and you can be sure that one of those days you and me are going to sit down and talk but my hubby is waiting for me…” “I can understand that…” Max smiled. He escorted her to the door, when he came back Bella and Liz were talking again.
Liz looked up at him after she had sent Bella up to take her shower. “Are you okay?” “Yeah – I’m glad that I’m home again and – I wanted to thank you again…” “No need – really – how about we get you settled into bed while Bella is taking her shower? You look tired.” “Is it that obvious?” “If you ask like that – then yes…” They shared a silent smile before Max moved towards her. “Wait I can carry you…” “No Max I’m too heavy…” “Yeah right…” Without a lot or trouble Max lifted Liz up and carried her up the stairs into her room.
“Oh wow – I thought I’d find my room in a mess…” “Well…no…sorry to disappoint you…” Liz had her good arm around Max’s neck – she couldn’t deny what being so close to Max did to her. He still smelled – well he smelled like Max and he definitely still felt like always. Was he has nervous as she was? This situation wasn’t normal after all. “Okay…well…” Max lowered her to the bed and helped her getting comfortable. “Do you want me to bring you something to drink? Or I don’t know – do you want to listen to some CDs? Or read a book?” “No – no thanks I’m really beat suddenly – but thank you.” Liz smiled at him with tired eyes. Max nodded and headed towards the door. “I’ll be in the living room – if you need anything just holler okay?” “Okay.” She closed her eyes and drifted off right away.
Something she didn’t know was that Max was still watching her. Carrying her up to her room, being so close to her had him pretty much confused. How come that when he was near her – he still felt like nothing had ever happened? He was still thinking about all those confusing emotions when Bella tore the door open of the bathroom and came running out of it “Mommyyyy…” “Shshshs…” Max silenced her. “Mommy is already in her room asleep…what is it?” “I wanted her to do my hair…” Bella explained, looking slightly disappointed. Taking a deep breath and bending down to her Max started explaining. “Mommy is still pretty much hurt Bella and she needs her rest…I’m sure she’ll help you with your hair tomorrow okay?” “Okay – will you read me a story…” “Sure I will…” Following her into her room Max sat down on her bed and waited for Bella to get settled in.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:23:49 AM|
When Max got up the next morning the house was still silent. Before walking up the steps he started the coffee. Carefully he then headed up the steps and opened the door of Bella’s room – she wasn’t there. “What the…” he turned around and knocked at the bathroom door “Bella?” Nothing – “Damn – where is she?” Max got a little worried – would she leave the house? No – maybe she was…opening the door to Liz’s room he stopped in his tracks. There in the bed lay the two most important women in his world - strange but true. Liz and Bella were still sound asleep. Taking a deep breath he closed the door again and disappeared into the bathroom. There he stared into the mirror – what was going on here? He was looking into the face of a man he didn’t recognize anymore. One week ago his world had been turned upside down – nothing was like it used to be. It was just like when Liz had left him…
He was lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling – Liz had been gone for one month and Max was still missing the strength to go on – nothing seemed right anymore. The Counting Crows CD was playing whenever he was in his room – which was a lot lately, he hardly got out anymore. He had lost his soul mate god damn it – why couldn’t the others just accept that.
There was a knock at his door “Max can I come in?” His mother – geez – he knew that she was worried – at least someone in his family was worried about him but he wasn’t in the mood to talk to her so he kept quiet. Again knocking then she tried opening the door “Max you can’t stay in there forever – please open the door honey…” “Go away” he mumbled. “Max honey please open the door – I’m worried about you…” “I’m fine Mom please leave me alone…” He waited and a few seconds later he could hear her walking away again.
Max turn onto his stomach – now he was staring at his bookshelf – the shelf that had housed at least ten pictures of him and Liz – there also used to be books both of them enjoyed – Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Grisham - he couldn’t look at them anymore so he had thrown them away. Closing his eyes he couldn’t stop the tears that were once more running down his cheeks.
He felt like his heart was ripped out all over again. The worst thing about it was – it was how he felt 24/7 - ever since – ever since she had said the words, ever since she had closed the door into his face and had disappeared.
What was he supposed to do now? Graduation wasn’t that far away – he was accepted to Harvard – before Liz had left him they had promised each other to attend College together – now there was no …there…knocking again “Max open the damn door – Jessie, Daddy and I are here now – dinner is ready…” Isabel banged against his door some more.
Great just great his ‘loving’ sister was home again. His mother had made it a tradition to have the whole family home on Wednesdays – ever since Isabel and Jessie had moved together. “I’m not hungry – go away…” “Yeah right – you come out of here now – or I’ll get Daddy…” Just what he needed. His father was of course happy about the latest development. And that was another reason why Max didn’t want to go downstairs – he just couldn’t look at his father with the knowledge that he was actually happy about the fact that Liz had broken his heart…
Splashing cold water over his face Max stared one last time into his own eyes through the mirror and headed downstairs again. He didn’t want to think about the past now especially not about his father – yeah right father.
The coffee was ready so he poured himself a cup and sat down at the table.
After a few sips he decided to read a little more in the diaries.
It January 15th and I wish you could be here right now, I really wish you could see what a beautiful baby girl we created. Yes our daughter is finally here – she was born this morning at 5.24 a.m. – believe me it was a very tiring night. But when I look at her now – the pain and all the discomfort I felt is forgotten. She’s perfect.
Underneath this paragraph he found a picture of Liz holding their newborn baby. She was right – Bella was the most beautiful baby he had ever seen. God how he wished he could have been there. Thinking again about how much he had already missed of his daughter’s life made it hard for him to breath. Carefully he let the tips of his fingers glide over the photograph – like this one gesture could make him a part of all of this.
Brushing away the tears he resumed reading.
I hope you don’t mind I named her Arabella Claudia Diane Parker. Arabella because I once heard of a fairytale from Russia or Poland – I’m not exactly sure - it was about a princess and her name was Arabella – and I just think that the name fits. Our daughter is going to be my princess and she’s beautiful, well Claudia and Diane should be obvious right?
She’s napping now – she looks so peaceful Max – god I wish you could see her, be a part of our life. Ever since finding out about my pregnancy I’m asking myself if you’ll ever get to know your child – I hope so Max – I really do.
Taking another sip he wanted to keep on reading but was suddenly aware of voices upstairs. Getting up he poured Liz a cup of coffee and took the cream with him upstairs.
Knocking at the door before entering he was greeted with two smiling faces. “Good morning…” “Morning…” “Mornin’ Daddy…” Bella started jumping up and down on the bed, making Liz wince in the progress. “Angel please stop that you’re hurting your mother…here I brought you a coffee – what do you want for breakfast? How are you feeling?”
Liz couldn’t deny what it did to her libido to see Max in the morning after all this time. It had always amazed him how perfect he looked no matter how …ahem eventful the night – and yet even after only getting up he looked – well perfect. Of course now there were a little more stubble and he looked older but still “Liz are listening to me?” “Uh what? Ah thank you for the coffee and I feel – peachy…” “Did you already take your pills?” “No not yet – could you bring me a glass of water…?” “Sure – what do you want for breakfast?” Liz took a sip before answering. “How about some toast – I don’t know but my tummy feels kind of funny…” “Sure – how about you angel? Wanna have breakfast with mommy in bed?” “Will you join us?”
That wasn’t what he had meant but now Liz and Bella were watching him with questioning eyes. “I don’t think…” “C’mon Daddy – purty pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeez…” Bella attached herself to his neck as she was standing on the bed now. Glancing forth and back between mother and child Max sighed, “How can I say no after being asked so nicely…”
Bella helped him preparing the tray with food, juice, more coffee, and milk for herself. Max handed her the plates and knives. “Be careful, walk slowly – I don’t want you to drip and hurt yourself okay?” “Okay Daddy…” He watched her as she walked up the steps carefully before he followed her. Liz was just coming out of the bathroom. “What are you doing up? I thought we established that you wouldn’t get up without my help?” “Max I’m no baby anymore – I can take care of myself…” Liz rolled her eyes and limped back into the room. “I can see that. “Max mumbled and shook his head. Women!
Bella was again using the bed as a trampoline “Look at me Mommy! Daddy! Look how high I can jump…” “Princess I have told you several times not to do it…” Liz’s voice was stern and her daughter stopped right away and jumped off the bed.
Max helped Liz back into bed and handed her a plate and toast. Then he did the same for Bella who had taken her place next to her mother. Max only had his cup with him. “Don’t you eat anything?” “No not really – I’m not really into breakfast anymore – I usually eat something at the office…” Max walked over to the window and opened it.
“I take it Jeffrey will be back today?” Max leaned against the windowsill and watched Liz and Bella.
“Yes I guess so why are you asking?” “The thing is – we have to figure out where we’ll go from here…I mean – he’ll be here and I’m sure he’ll be taking care of you and Bella after all he lives here as well – and…I have to get back to work next week – I can’t be away much longer – they need me.” “Why don’t you move in?” Bella asked munching away on her toast. The adults exchanged meaningful glances before Liz answered. “It isn’t that easy princess…Max…he lived here this week because I was in the hospital and because Jeffrey wasn’t here – but he has to work and…well Jeffrey will be back…so he’ll take you to school and everything…” “But I want Daddy to bring me to school…”
Max sighed – he knew that this would be difficult. Bella was ecstatic about the fact that she finally had a father and he had no intention at all to hurt her but…the dream world for a happy little family was over and reality was knocking on their door again. “Listen angel – your Mom is right – the last week was an exception but I need to get back to work – but how about we three figure something out so that I can see you a lot – and you’ll get a room at my house so that you can stay over night – how does that sound?”
Bella had gotten very quiet, staring at her hands – when she looked up she had tears in her big, brown and now sad eyes, shaking her head. “But I wantchu to live here with us, I don’t wanna have a room at your house.”
“Princess – look your Daddy is right – he can’t live with us, he has his own life. I know that you want him to be here for you and he’ll be, just – not living here with us.” Liz tried to reason with her seven years old but she knew that it was fruitless. When she wanted to put her good arm around her daughter Bella jumped up “Let me…” and ran from the room, slamming the door behind her, leaving Max and Liz worried and a little heartbroken.
“I’m sorry – I didn’t want to bring that topic up so soon but – “ Max tried to apologize but was stopped by Liz. “No it’s okay – you were right. Jeffrey will be back today and we have to get on with our lives – and she had to hear the truth sooner or later – I just wish it wouldn’t hurt her so much.” Max nodded his head and sat down next to Liz – after realizing what he did he found himself holding her hands in his – it was a wonderful feeling.
“I’m sure she’ll get over it – I just – Liz we really have to figure out what we want from each other from now on concerning Bella – just one thing is for sure – I’ll not give her up…” and I won’t give you up either – was Max’s last thought before they were interrupted by Jeffrey’s “Liz where are you?”
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:26:00 AM|
Max was staring at the screen of his laptop – he couldn’t really concentrate, his new client was going on and on about how wonderful his girlfriend was and why he needed to get his evil wife out of the company’s contract of ownership. Later he would finally be able to talk to Courtney – she had been in Chicago attending a congress for both of them there and the week before Max had been busy getting back into a new routine – meaning – getting a room for Bella furnished in his house and having her on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
It wasn’t easy because whenever he’d get Bella she’d sulk. She just wouldn’t understand why he could not move in with them but try telling a seven year old that who was just as stubborn as her parents could be from time to time.
He had a picture of her now – it was standing next to his phone.
“Okay, okay I see your problem Adam, the problem is – your wife was the one with the idea for the company and she was the one helping you to build it – either you pay what she asks for or you might lose the company.” “Sofia says…” “Sofia is your secretary and your wife – soon to be ex-wife doesn’t care what Sofia thinks…” gosh how stupid could one be?
Glancing at his watch he realized that he probably wouldn’t make it to fetch Bella at three – “Excuse me Adam – I just need to…” he stopped his rambling and picked up the receiver. When Mrs. Sinclair answered the phone Max said, “Mrs. Sinclair – hey this is Max Evans – could you please tell Bella that I won’t be there at exactly three? I just want to make sure that she’s taken care of…” “Oh surely – no problem Mr. Evans – she’ll be with me in my office – she can start on her homework again.” “That would be perfect – thank you.” Finishing the call he turned back to Adam Stevens. “Listen Adam – I know that you want this thing to go the way you thought it would but unfortunately you seem to forget that your wife has a right to ask for the half of the company or the payment…” Adam Stevens wanted to interrupt him so Max kept on talking and explaining that he probably couldn’t help him.
Adam Stevens walked by Courtney with a pissed off expression on his face, followed by Max who seemed to be in a hurry. “Is everything okay Max?” “Yeah I just need to get to Bella now…” “Oh okay – but you still don’t mind me coming by later?” “No I really need to have a look at that case – “ “Okay – do you want me to bring something to eat?” “Hmm – sounds good – how about some pizza?” “Okay – what does Bella like?” “A lot of cheese…” Max smiled and headed towards the door. “See ya later!”
Courtney watched him disappearing down the corridor. No matter how much she had tried to get over him – she just couldn’t – and that’s why she had to make a decision. Although Max would never admit it she knew that he was still deeply in love with Bella’s mother – so she would leave. She needed to move on, find her own true love and…yeah.
Max stormed trough the door of the school and towards the door of Mrs. Sinclair’s office, he knocked before entering the room.
Bella turned towards him and smiled “Hey Daddy…” “Hi
angel – how are you doing?” “Fine…” the girl nodded.
What had happened to the lively girl he had met the first time three weeks ago? She wasn’t the same anymore – he knew that this situation wasn’t perfect but – in the moment it was all he could do. Liz was working at the office again – she couldn’t walk much but she could delegate and it was Jeffrey who did all the parties in the moment. Max smiled at Mrs. Sinclair. “Arabella why don’t you get that picture you did in class and show it to your father?”
Why did Max have the feeling that this was just an excuse to keep Bella busy because as soon as Bella had disappeared into the classroom the woman turned towards him? “Mister Evans I need to talk to you.” “It’s about Bella and how she has changed right? I know that…that this isn’t a situation a child should grow up in but…in the moment…” “I understand that Mister Evans…it’s just…have you thought about maybe leaving Arabella with her mother during the week?” That was exactly what he did not need to hear – because it actually was what he had thought about as well the last days – maybe it would really be better for Bella to stay with Liz and he’d just come by to visit. God what an impossible situation. He had never thought that his child would find itself in a situation like that.
“Daddy look – “ Bella came running back into the room and held up the picture she had drawn in class. Max kneeled down and took it from her. “Wow – another little artist, this is beautiful angel…” “Mrs. Sinclair said that she’d put it on display on parents day.” “Wow what an honor – how about we go now?” “’Kay…will we visit Mommy?” “Yeah sure…” he took her bag in one hand and held her hand with the other.
Jeffrey was watching Liz who was reading something. Things were really strange ever since he had come back from Sacramento. During the last two weeks he got to know a side of Liz he had never known before – she was so – different when Max was around. So okay at first he didn’t like the idea of Max being back in Liz’s life – but he had fairly soon realized how much that guy cared for Bella and Liz – and after all he now knew the whole story.
It hadn’t been Max who had left Liz pregnant and alone – no it had been Liz. He would have never thought that Liz could and would do something like that.
Anyway now he was watching her – sitting at her desk – answering the phone… It was good to have her back – well she couldn’t do any parties yet of course but at least she was back organizing the whole office. They had agreed that she’d work at least a little. Her arm and leg were still in a cast but she could answer the phones and organize the cooks and everybody else.
Liz could feel Jeffrey’s eyes on her “What?” she snapped at him. “Are you okay”? “Why wouldn’t I be?” “Uh I don’t know – you tell me – you seem tensed.” “I’m not, Jeffrey – I’m just extremely busy.” Liz snapped at him again and started putting away files – which after thinking for a few seconds she took again and put them somewhere else. Jeffrey walked into the small kitchen and poured himself and Liz a cup of coffee – came back and sat down across from Liz giving her her mug.
“You wanna talk?” “About what?” she looked at him, knowing that he wouldn’t give up. Sighing and stopping shuffling the files around she took the mug “Thank you.” “You’re welcome now talk to me Liz – it’s me – good ole Jeffrey.”
She smiled at him before started taking a deep breath. “I don’t know what to do Jeffrey – this is such a mess, I’m so confused – I have no idea what to feel.” Jeffrey nodded “I know and I wish I could help you but…okay let’s take this approach for this whole mess as you like to call it – try to describe what you feel – what is it that comes first to your mind when you think about Max?”
“I want him back.” Liz honestly said and shocked Jeffrey – but only a little bit. “So what are you going to do about it?” Liz sighed once more “I – it isn’t that easy – there’s a child to think about…” “I don’t know Liz – I mean she wants him to be with you two anyway so…” “But what if it doesn’t work out? We’d hurt each other and Bella as well.” “Have you talked to Max about that?” Jeffrey finally got to the point. He had the feeling that Max and Liz weren’t really honest with each other.” “No – I can hardly keep up a normal conversation with him because I don’t know what he thinks about this whole thing.”
Jeffrey listened to her and nodded his head understandingly. “You have to talk to him Liz – how can the two of you ever get over the past if you don’t try working it out? You want a future with Max? Then you’ll have to talk about your past first. You both love Bella and to me it seems as if neither of you has stopped loving the other one…if you want my input.” “How do you know?” Liz asked shocked. “Oh please – hello – we live in the same house and the look in yours eyes tells me everything I need to know…”
Unfortunately they couldn’t continue their conversation because the door opened and Bella came running in. “Mommy…” “Hey princess – how was your day…” Liz kissed and hugged her daughter and looked up at Max who was coming in as well. “Hi…” “Hi – hello Jeffrey…” “Max…” Jeffrey nodded and got up. “I think I better get changed and head to the party…uh cee ya Max – Liz, Bella…” After that he disappeared. “Mommy are you ready to go?” “Give me five more minutes princess okay?” Bella nodded and started babbling – telling her mother about the day and everything else that was on her mind.
What Bella didn’t notice was Max and Liz – her parents were sneaking glances at each other – Liz was nervous because she knew that her and Max desperately needed to talk and Max felt a little strange because something was definitely going on with Liz and he was curious to find out what.
“So what are you guys up to tonight?” Liz asked while limping into the kitchen, cleaning her mug. “Well Courtney will be coming over and bringing some pizza – we have a very important contract to look through for a big company and they time is running out.” “Oh…” Liz nodded – Courtney. “When is she coming over?” was Liz’s next question. “In one hour so…could we…you know get a move on?” “Sure…Bella come on…”
Max drove Liz to her house and during the drive Bella kept on talking - entertaining her parents with stories from her school day.
He waited in the kitchen while Liz helped Bella packing her bag – he already felt so at home here though he couldn’t really tell if it was just being around Liz and Bella or if it was this house. But Max suspected that – as long as Liz and Bella were with him home could be everywhere - and that thought frightened him a lot. This was all so confusing – they really needed to talk – and fast – unfortunately not today – but soon!
He had also talked to his mother a lot the last days and she was also encouraging him to talk to Liz. It was strange – his mother had always seemed so – so – well she would have never dared to give him an advice against his father’s will – but from what he knew – this had changed – ever since dropping the bomb of him being a father Diane was eager to get in touch with her son some more and she wanted to get to know Bella as soon as possible.
“Okay – here we go…here’s her bag…” Liz handed Max Bella’s bag. “Thank you – listen Liz is there a chance that we could – talk soon – maybe at the weekend?” Max nearly stumbled over this question especially after watching Liz’s reaction. “Okay – yeah, yeah I think that sounds good…” “Fine – cee you tomorrow. Say goodbye to your mother Bella.” Max didn’t have to tell his daughter again – she gave her mother a hug “Bye Mommy – love you…” “I love you too princess, be a good girl and sleep tight.” “Okay…” Taking her father’s hand once more Max and Bella left.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:27:55 AM|
Max and Bella were sitting on the porch both and changed into more comfortable clothes when Courtney appeared on the steps. “Hey you two – anybody hungry for pizza?” Max got up and smiled at her. “Hey – there you are…” he took the boxes from her and placed them on the table. “Angel are you hungry?” Max turned back to Bella. She got up and looked at him “What are we havin’?” “Well I brought some pizza and your Dad told me that you love it with a lot of cheese is that right?” “Yeah I love that…” the girl nodded and took a seat waiting for her Dad to hand her a slice. “Be careful angel it’s hot.”
While they ate Courtney mostly talked to Bella – the girl was really cute and she could see the resemblance between father and daughter. After they had all finished Max disappeared together with Bella. “I’ll be right back I just want Bella to take her shower and put her to bed…” “Take your time…” Courtney nodded and carried the plates and boxes into the kitchen to tidy up. The house had changed a little bit since Bella stayed here on several nights. Toys and books could be found everywhere – here and there was a stuffed animal or a doll – and the kitchen offered a lot of more food then before. Max was usually one of those healthy eaters – a lot of salad and vegetables but now there was different stuff. He had changed definitely – she had gotten to know a side of Max that she had never even suspected that it existed.
“Okay she’s in bed now…” Max came down half an hour later and poured himself a glass of wine. “So let’s take a look at that contract…” “Actually Max – I… the contract isn’t that uhm…what I wanted to say is…I…” Courtney got up from her chair and started walking around, fighting for the right words. While she had been practicing that speech it had been easy but now…standing here…in front of Max…it was a lot more difficult than she had ever expected.
“Courtney? What is going on here?” Max asked then. Courtney after all was stuttering and he had never heard her doing that. Something was awfully wrong. She turned back to him “I – I came here today to tell you that I got a job offer while I was in Chicago and I’ll take it.” “What?” Max shouted – hoping that Bella was asleep already. “Courtney you’re kidding right? I mean we both – we’re a good team aren’t we?” “Yes Max – we’re perfect but…I…you know how I feel about you – you have always known…” Max wanted to interrupt her but she stopped him. “Don’t deny it Maxwell – you know that from the first moment on I have been in love with you…and soon after that I realized that you’ll never love me back because – something had happened to you. You never talked about it and over the years I accepted that – when we started sleeping together I thought – that maybe it would just take you some more time and after all it was better than nothing right?” She was fighting hard to not start crying but it was difficult – “I love you Max but you obviously still love Liz and Bella – Bella she’s adorable and I would actually doubt your ability to feel if you wouldn’t have fallen in love with your little girl – it’s just – I…” her voice quivered “I want something like that too and I won’t get it if I stay here – seeing you – I just can't live with it anymore – I tried – I really did but it hurts just too much.”
Max stood there – watching her pacing the floor and the agony in her face. Yes it was true he had known that for Courtney it had always been more than sex and…though he would have never admitted it out loud at one point he had thought that maybe one day he’d fall in love with her – it just had never happened. “Courtney – I don’t know what to say…” “Just say that you’ll always be my friend Max – I’m sure that one day I’ll be able to be your friend without loving you like a woman should love a man.” Max finally walked up to her and took her into his arms. “I’m so sorry for being such a jerk the last years – I guess I just took you for granted and didn’t realize that you have feelings as well – I’m sorry Court.”
When she looked up he brushed the tears away, which were running down her cheeks. “Well at least you were a good-looking jerk…” Courtney tried to joke and Max at least smiled. “Why thank you – you don’t look so bad yourself.” They stayed like that a little longer before Max led her over to the couch and they sat down.
“So I guess there’s nothing I can do to keep you from leaving huh?” “No – I need this really Max I do.” Nodding on his side.
She took his hand “You know – Liz is a really lucky woman – “ “But we’re not together…” “Yeah but you’ll be eventually – promise me to invite me to your wedding?” “Courtney – I don’t even know if we’ll ever be back together don’t you think that…” but he couldn’t finish the sentence because the phone started to ring. “I…excuse me…” He got up and answered the phone “Hello?” “Max? Max you have to come to Roswell Dad had a stroke!” he heard the hysterical voice of his sister. “What? When? How?“ “I dunno Mom and him had an argument and then it just happened – Max please you have to come…”
It had taken him 12 hours to cancel all his meetings get a ticket on the next flight to Roswell and get Bella back to Liz. He didn’t feel good about the fact to leave Bella with Liz – Liz was still tired and needed her rest and out of experience he knew that Bella could be a hand full BUT – the way his sister had sounded hadn’t left another choice for him. His father could die – and although he still hadn’t made up his mind about what to think and to feel about this whole mess he knew he had to be there. He didn’t want to regret it one day.
Parking his rented car and he walked into the hospital – Isabel had already told him where he had to go when he had called from the airport.
Waiting for the elevator he was wondering again what he was supposed to do – what he was supposed to feel? This wasn’t all like he had planned it – damn it- it seemed like he had stumbled into Liz his whole life had changed and everybody and everything around him as well.
Exiting the elevator on the fifth floor he could already see his mother, sister and Jessie sitting in the waiting area.
“Max!” Isabel came running towards him when she saw him. Ever since his latest call she had stared towards that darn elevator waiting for him to arrive. “Hey Izzy…!” Max whispered and hugged her. As soon as she found herself in his arms she started to sob again. “Anything new?” “No – they doctor says he could stay that way for a long time.” Max nodded again and let go of Izzy – his mother was looking at him, her eyes red and puffy, yet she was pale and looked shocked.
“Mom?” “Oh Max…” she whined before he took her into his arms and tried to comfort her in some way. Before he could say something she started to tell him what exactly had happened “I…we were arguing…I…I said he made a mistake and he…he said he never makes mistakes and he went on and on about……and…then he…just held his head…and said my name and sank to the floor – oh my god Max I’m so scared…I’m so scared…” He still hugged her, what was he supposed to say? That everything would be fine? He didn’t know that – he wasn’t a doctor. So he settled for an “I know Mom…” instead and kept silent afterwards.
His mother was still clinging to him when the doctor came “Mrs. Evans – your husband is waking up.” Diane got up and followed him – Max, Isabel and Jessie stayed behind. After glancing at Isabel and Jessie Max shrugged out of his jacket and sat back down again, glaring at his watch – Bella was in school by now. She hadn’t really understood why he had called Liz yesterday evening to tell her that he’d bring Bella over again. Gosh she had been crying thinking that he suddenly didn’t want her anymore and that did something bad.
So before getting into the car and after Courtney had left he had sat down with her to talk to her.
“But Daddy why do I have to go back to Mommy? This is my night with you…” tears were already streamlining down his daughters face after he had told her that she would be going home. “I’m sorry angel – but I have to leave Los Angeles early in the morning…” “Don’t you love me anymore? Did I do something wrong?” She was sobbing by now and it broke his heart to see his daughter like that. Hadn’t he already proven to her that he meant everything to him? That he loved her?
Sighing he picked Bella up, sat down on the couch, placing her on his lap and took her into his arms. “Listen angel – I don’t want you to think that I don’t want you in my life or that I don’t love you ever again okay? I love you very much and you’re the most important thing in my world. We might not know each other so well yet but I’m your father and you’re my daughter and…nothing could keep me away from you okay?” Looking at her seriously he made sure that he understood him. Then he dabbed at her cheek with the back of one thumb, in a comforting and reassuring gesture before continuing “It’s just that I have to go to Roswell – my father is very ill and my family needs me.” Bella seemed to contemplate what he had said before she answered. “But I thought that we’re your family?” “That you are but my mother and sister need me now more than you – just like when your mom had the accident – back then you two needed me more than my family in Roswell.” “Why can’t we join you?” “Because I won’t have a lot of time angel and you have to go to school.”
“Will you be back?” Max had the feeling that his heart broke all over again when he heard the silent question Bella was asking him. “Of course Bella – I’ll be back…and you’ll take good care of Mommy okay? I promise to call every day.” “Really? You promise?” “I really, really promise.”
“Max? hey…” He suddenly heard Jessie asking him a question. “What?” “Do you also want a cup of coffee?” “Sounds good yeah.” Isabel’s husband nodded and disappeared – leaving brother and sister alone. He could feel Isabel’s eyes on him – he still hadn’t figures out their relationship especially after finding out that she had always considered their relationship more like a challenge.
“So how is Liz?” Isabel finally asked. “Fine – she’s fine – she hopes that Dad will be feeling better soon – I don’t know how she does it – no matter what he has done to her she still cares…”
Isabel watched her brother – and taking only one look confirmed what she had suspected all along – Liz parker just had to come back into his life and he’d fall for her all over again. “Are you back together again?”
The questions startled Max so he turned to her with questioning eyes “No – why are you asking?” “You have a daughter – don’t you want to – I don’t know get married so that the poor girl has a father?” Isabel answered pertly. “She has a father Isabel – sure it isn’t like I had always thought it would be but getting married just for Bella’s sake wouldn’t be fair…” “It doesn’t seem to me like Liz fair when she kept her pregnancy a secret…”
Fortunately Max was saved to respond to that insult because their mother came back.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:29:36 AM|
Liz was trying hard to concentrate on her work – it had taken her a while yesterday to calm Bella down because she had asked her every other minute if her daddy would be back and if he had already called. One question though had really startled her, she had just tucked her daughter in when Bella had looked at her with those big eyes and hesitating at first she had asked “What if Daddy needs us? He’ll be all alone…” and the sad thing was she was right. Liz knew that Max’s relationship with his family wasn’t the best and that his life was really upside-down – and there was no one there who could be there for him. All his friends had left Roswell years ago, just like he had done.
And now she was staring at that darn phone – hoping that he’d call that he…that he what Liz? Liz scolded herself in her thoughts. That he'd call and tell her to pack Bella and her things and follow him to Roswell? And then what? Get into a fight with his family? Be the fifth wheel? Wake up Liz – he doesn’t need you anymore…
“Liz? Hey Liz the phone is ringing!“ Jeffrey shouted suddenly and Liz realized that she had totally spaced out. “Hello?” “Liz?” “Max? Oh my god Max – how are you? How is your Dad doing? Where are you?” She could hear him chuckle “I think I finally know where Bella has this babbling thing from – I’m at home – my Dad...he’s still in a coma – the docs are going to keep him like that for at least another day, my mother is worrying herself crazy, blaming herself because he had the stroke when they were arguing and Isabel is still her usual self.” “And how are you?” Liz asked him seriously and concerned – she knew that he was confused and scared.
Max didn’t answer right away which was another sign for his condition. “I don’t know Liz – I don’t know how I am. How is Bella?” “She’s at school and well – she asked about you every five minutes yesterday after you had left and this morning – she…really wants to be there for you.” “Tell her I love her that I’ll call later again okay? And also tell her that I miss her…” “Okay…”
They both went silent – neither Liz nor Max saying a word – Liz actually thought that he had already hung up. “Liz?” she suddenly heard him again “Yes Max?” Liz asked. “I…uhm…nothing – I’ll talk to you later…bye.” And before she could react he had hung up.
“Coward…” Max mumbled, lying on his former bed in his room, staring at the ceiling while putting the phone away. He had decided that he needed some more sleep and his mother would call him if something happened. He also had needed to get away because Isabel’s mood hadn’t really improved. How could he have even thought that something would change? They have been living in this siblings feud for years – it was hopeless.
Sighing once more he decided to do something – he had to think about something else – he couldn’t dwell on his father – because although he was extremely worried he hadn’t forgiven him and he knew that it would take him to forgive him – if he ever did. And he didn’t want to think about Liz because – well because it just made him realize how hopeless the situation seemed. He didn’t know what he wanted from her – well okay that was a lie – if he had his way everything would be back to what it used be just with the slight difference that they had a child.
But that was stupid and naïve to think that it could ever be like this again – no they had to start all over again and for that they needed to talk, they needed some time alone but – it just seemed like fate had something against this concept.
And – as much as he loved his daughter – he didn’t want to think about Bella – because that reminded him of the fact that he wasn’t the father he had always wanted to be. He wasn’t a father who had always been there for his child and although he hadn’t known he hated himself for it.
He could have hired a PI to find Liz – no he had given up too easily.
But of course he also didn’t want to think about the past so – the best option was to work.
So okay he had to think about Courtney when thinking about work. It still seemed like a nightmare that she was really leaving him and moving up to Chicago but he could understand her.
She needed her own life and he was holding her back. The big question now was what was he going to do about it? Oh god his life was an even bigger mess than he had thought it was.
Max was brought out of thoughts when he heard the doorbell rang – who the hell could that be? Max got up and headed for the door – opening it. He was faced with “Kyle Valenti?” “Maxwell Evans – it’s really you…” Kyle smiled at him before the two gave each other a manly hug. “Come on in – how are you doing? How did you know I’m here?” “I bumped into Isabel at the grocery store and she told me that you’re here – I’m sorry to hear about your Dad.” “Thanks – come on in.” “Thank you.”
Max closed the door behind Kyle and followed him into the living room. “Can I offer you something to drink?” “No I’m good thank you.” They watched each other. “Man Kyle Valenti I haven’t seen you in years how are you doing? What are you doing today?”
Max and Kyle had never been the best friends – because they had been in a constant fight over Liz until she had made her decision. After that – everything changed…
Max was just walking up the driveway of his parent’s house – it was nearly midnight and he had just had the best evening of his life – his first date with Liz Parker. Gosh he could already honestly say that he loved this girl. She was funny, smart, lovely, gentle, beautiful and all in all perfect. He knew that it was too early to think about this but he was really wondering where this relationship could lead them. He really planed to make this work.
Max was fishing for his keys in his pocket when he heard something behind him. “EEEEEEvaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaansssssssssssssss.” Max turned around and was facing a staggering Kyle Valenti. “Valenti what do you want?”
Kyle came closer – reeking of alcohol and smoke. “Puhh Valenti what did you do?” Max took a step back – he didn’t know what to think about Kyle. For some months now they had both been trying to get Liz to go out with one of them – they were rivals – and he had won.
Kyle staggered again and took another step, then he threw his arm around Max’s shoulder who was wrinkling his nose. “Howwasssssssyourdate?” He then slurred. “It was good – why are you asking?” “You know Evans – you have so-some nerve – you come here to lil town Roswell an’ and – did you know th-that I know Lizzie for years?” “Yes you told me Kyle – “ What the hell did he want?
Kyle nodded his head, closed his eyes and leaned against Max who still wasn’t really sure about this visit. “Hey Kyle – don’t fall asleep – what is it? Did you come here for a reason?” “Hmm?” Kyle opened his one eyes again and nodded once more.
Max had to smirk – he started to think that this was really funny. Obviously Kyle had gotten drunk after Max and Liz had gone out – well he could understand him in some way after all he had no idea what he’d do if the roles were the other way around.
“Evans you have to promise me sumthin’…” Kyle grabbed Max’s arm and started to shake him. “Okay okay, stop that Kyle – what is it?” “You haveta promisssssse me that’ll luuuuuuv Lizzie an’ that you’ll treat her like the mos’ important girl in the world…if…if…if I eva an’ I honesssssssstly mean that – EVA hear that you treat her bad you’ll answa tome! Got it?”
Max was startled by Kyle’s speech – with all the convincing going in that he was the one for Liz he had totally ignored the fact how much Kyle actually cared for Liz – and he was glad in some way because he knew that she’d always have a friend in him… “Gotcha Kyle and I promise – c’mon I’ll get you home.”
“Well most of the time I’ve spent traveling through India…” “No way – so you’re still into Buddhism? That’s great!” “Yeah it is – I like it and it really helped me and I also met my wife there…” “You don’t say…” Max smiled at him. “Do you have pictures?” “Yes – sure – wait…” Kyle started to get the pictures out. Max took them from him – the first one showed Kyle and a woman with dark hair, almond shaped eyes…”Is she from India?” “Yes – her father is from Calcutta and her mother is actually from London.” “Wow – what’s her name?” “Shirin…”
Max could clearly see how happy Kyle was. “Okay – wow…Kyle…you have three children?” Max smirked when he took a look at the next picture. It was again Shirin – next to her stood a small boy – maybe four years old, on the other side was another boy – he looked two - and Shirin held a baby safely cradled against her chest.
“The older one is Harshal James Valenti – he’s four years old, the other one is Samir Yash Valenti – he’ll turn two in one week and the baby is my daughter Jayanti Christine Valenti she’s six months old.” “You have a really cute family Kyle and what are you doing now?" "I’m a teacher – we just moved here – because as much as we all love Calcutta - they pay much better here and the education is also a lot better. So how about you? The last thing I’ve heard is that you are a lawyer in Los Angeles?” “Yeah that’s true…”
“So how about you? I mean…I…” Max sensed that Kyle wanted to ask him about his love life but that he hesitated – “I…well I have a daughter.” “No way – Max Evans is a father – let me see…” Kyle smiled at him with new enthusiasm. Max handed him a picture of Bella. Kyle took it and looked at it and he could swear that he looked at a mini version of Max and Liz – “Max that girl is what? Seven years old?” “Yes…that’s true – the situation is a little strange but she’s just wonderful – her name is Bella – well actually Arabella and ever since I’ve learned about her existence I fell in love with her.” “Who – Max- is- is Liz the mother?”
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:31:02 AM|
“It is that obvious – isn’t it?” “Hell yeah – “ Kyle nodded vehemently and stared at the picture once more. “Gosh Max what happened? I mean the situation back then it was like – “ “Confusing? Hell yes and it’s even more now – I would have never thought that I’d run into Liz at a party in Los Angeles and then two days later she appears at my office and announces that I’m a father – this situation is more than just confusing.” Max got up and started pacing the floor although he had no intention of sharing all his thoughts with Kyle.
Kyle was watching the very mature Max – he still looked the same – only well more mature and more like a man and he could also see how tired he seemed – emotionally exhausted. “If you want to talk about it Max – I’m here – I’m a good listener…”
Max stopped and looked at him. “I…that’s really nice of you Kyle thank you but …I have to figure this out on my own – I think…” Kyle nodded again before answering “Okay – I think I can understand that – I mean after all we never were these very good friends but I know you Max – we went to school together and we loved the same girl for a long time and – well she picked you – now don’t get me wrong Max because I really love my wife and everything but whatever happened when she left – fate has decided to give you another chance – it has given you a beautiful daughter and that means something – now I don’t know the whole story but I’m sure about one thing – you two were perfect – you were so much in love and everybody envied you, you two were the definition of soul mates for everyone at school – and I really believe that a love like this can’t die.”
Max stared at him like he had grown a second and third head. “Is that what your religion says or is that what you say?” “I’m not going to take this as an insult – Max – you and Liz belong together and if you don’t see that well then I can only hope that you’ll maybe see it in your next life.” With that Kyle got up and left – but before he closed the door behind him he left a card on the table text to the door. “If you want to talk or just…whatever call…”
Max was still in the living room when the door opened again and his mother, sister and Jesse came in. When he wanted to say something Isabel stopped him and led their mother towards the steps up to his parents’ bedroom “I’m going to get Mom to bed…” she just said and then they disappeared. Max glared at Jesse, who seemed a little lost.
“I need a drink – do you want something?” Max then asked after some more seconds of silence. “Yeah sounds good to me…” Jesse sighed and got out of his jacket. Max poured for them two glasses of whiskey and handed one to Jesse. “So – how is work going?” Jesse asked – he had never really talked a lot to Max – he thought that Max was a decent guy but he also was a little biased because of his wife. Isabel wasn’t really talking nicely about Max – she was always complaining about the fact that he had left the family behind and all that stuff.
“Good – unfortunately Courtney – my partner has decided to move to Chicago so I’ll have to figure out what I’m going to do about it.” Jesse nodded – he knew that Phillip was still hoping that Max would come back to Roswell one day. “So – I guess that doesn’t make it really easy in the moment with all this stuff happening huh?” “You can say that again…” Max smirked and took a long swig emptying the glass.
“So how is Isabel holding up?” “Well you know her – she wouldn’t admit it openly but she’s frightened and she tries to be strong for Diane as well.” He lifted his head and glared at Max. “Max you know that she didn’t mean what she told you on the phone the last time you really talked…I mean – I only know her point of view but…” Max interrupted him. “You don’t have to say that Jesse, you don’t have to defend her – it’s – I – I guess after that talk I figured out for the first time what she thinks about me – and it’s too long – and it’s a thing we have to talk about and…I don’t know Jesse I’m just too tired to talk about this right now…”
Later he was sitting on the back porch when he called Liz once more. After the third ring someone picked up. “Hello?” “Jeffrey it’s Max – are Liz and Bella in?” “Yeah Bella is already waiting for your call – one second…” Max could hear Bella telling Jeffrey to hand over the phone “Daddy?” “Hi angle – how was school today? How are you?” Max couldn’t deny how much his heart warmed when he heard the voice of his daughter. She of course started right away to tell him all the things that happened today.
What Max didn’t know was the fact that Diane was watching him from her place at the window of the bedroom and that Isabel was watching him as well. Both women were thinking about different stuff while watching Max. He was smiling and it was so obvious that he was happy to be talking to his daughter. The way he talked had also changed – from cold to soft – as well had his features – from tired and kind of impersonal to a little bit happy and warm. But while Diane was happy for her son and looking forward to meeting her granddaughter soon maybe – Isabel was envious of everything that Max had accomplished in his life without even trying too hard. Life was so unfair. And now he was back – it was just not fair.
“Okay angel – I’ll call again tomorrow…” “Do you promise?” “I promise…” “Okay…” “Okay sleep tight and dream well Bella…” He hung up and stared into the dark sky – gosh Roswell brought back all those unpleasant memories.
When he went back into the house he saw Isabel standing in the dark.
“So – I guess that was her huh?” “Yep…” Max wanted to say more but he stopped himself he was too tired to argue with her and it wasn’t the right time anyway. “So I guess she misses you huh?” Isabel then continued. “Are you really interested in it Isabel or are you just playing nice?!”
She huffed and Max could see that she was fighting hard to keep control – he knew her too well. “I don’t know why you are like that Maxwell – I didn’t do anything?” “Yeah right – you know Isabel – this is really ridiculous- I mean I have no idea of what to think about all this…are you trying to be the sister I never had or are you just trying to be nice as long as I am here and as soon as I have left you’re going to hate my guts again openly?”
Isabel took a few steps towards him until she was illuminated by the light of the kitchen “I never said that Max…” “Well no but you said other things that I had never suspected…gosh Isabel…how could honestly ever start to think that…that I was your rival? I mean…did I ever make you feel like I was – I don’t know fighting over something?”
“Isabel I think it’s better if we leave now!” Jesse suddenly appeared at the entrance of the living room and switched on the light. “Or do you want to stay here?”
“I am here – I’ll call you if Mom wants me too or if we hear something.” Max said and nodded before he headed towards the kitchen – he needed to get away from Isabel and was grateful that Jesse had obviously been listening and interfered at the right moment.
Diane was lying in the darkness of the room on her bed – thinking and crying. She was brought out of her thoughts by a soft knock at the door.
“Come in…” she said and wiped away some tears. It was Max holding two cups.
“Hey there – how are you? I don’t know if you want to but I brought you a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows…”
Diane had to smile – here he was – her son – a grown man and he was bringing her hot chocolate with marshmallows no less – something she had always done when he had been sad as a small boy. “Sounds great…” She sat up and took the cup from him, then she patted the place next to her. “Come on sit down, we haven’t talked in a long time.”
Max slipped out of his shoes and sat down next to his mother, taking a sip from his cup as well. He could feel her eyes on him – he was actually glad about the fact that it was only them in the moment.
“So I guess you talked to your daughter when you were in the garden.” “How do you know?” “I saw and heard you – I’m sorry I didn’t want to eavesdrop – I was just standing up there and…” – she stopped and didn’t continue. Max watched her – his mother seemed older than ever before and tired so tired. “I’m sorry that – that you two had to argue.” He mumbled into his cup. “I know that I was the reason and…”
But Diane wouldn’t have any of it and took his hand “No Max – what Philip did is unforgivable – I had never suspected that he could do something like that – I mean – I knew that he could be a heartless man but I had never thought that he couldn’t distinguish his kids from criminals. He had always treated me with respect and – I always had thought that he was treating you two with respect also. I’m sorry Max – I am so sorry for being so ignorant all those years…” “Mom – I didn’t come here to – I don’t know…I…we all were a little ignorant through the years huh? You know that’s what I always loved about Liz and her grandma – they were only two people but they loved each other – and they always knew what the other one was thinking, they were honest and they – I don’t know it was just something I have always missed here – Dad never really cared and Isabel – well was this big sister who was never home always busy with her stuck up friends…” “I’m sorry that you hated your childhood so much…” “Until I met Liz I never knew that something like this existed Mom – so it’s really okay – really I just…” he shrugged his shoulders and was silent.
Diane nodded again “So tell me a little bit about her…when will I be able to meet her – that is if it is okay with Liz…” “I don’t think that Liz would have anything against it.” Max took a deep breath and Diane could really see the changes in him when he thought about his daughter – his features changed and he smiled. “She’s like this…this…I don’t even know how to describe it – she’s all my hope and dreams that I thought I had lost packed into one perfect little girl – know what I mean? When Liz had left I thought that I could never fall in love again, that I would never be a father – and there she is – the perfect mixture of Liz and me. She can be pretty stubborn sometimes and I know that the situation now isn’t perfect but I hope that Liz and I will find a way to deal with it.” “Do you still love Liz?”
Why was everybody asking him that? Geez – if everybody kept on asking he didn’t know if he would ever find an answer to that question. “That’s what I’m trying to find out – Liz and I we had actually planned to have a talk the following weekend but – it seems like I won’t be there – and…” Max turned towards his mother again whom had her eyes closed. Max smiled, took the cup out of her hand before it would fall out of her hand and spill the rest of the chocolate. He knew how exhausted she was, so he lifted her up and laid her properly on the bed, tucked her in and left her bedroom.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:32:50 AM|
Two days later Philip Evans finally woke up – Diane, Max and Isabel were in his room. Diane was crying out of happiness because her husband hadn’t died, Isabel was crying because the docs had just told them that there was a possibility that Philip wouldn’t be able to talk and walk ever again – something that was unacceptable and Max – well Max was still so confused that he couldn’t make out one emotion at all – on the one side he was glad that his father hadn’t died but on the other – he still hated the man.
Isabel and Max then left their parents alone, sensing that their mother needed some time alone with their Dad. After closing the door Isabel went left and Max went right – towards the steps that would lead him out of the hospital.
He needed fresh air – the walls in there had been closing down on him ever since he had arrived here and the feeling got worse. Outside he took some steps until he reached one of the banks in the park where he sat down and got his cell phone out. He pushed the speed dial button for Liz’ phone and waited for her to pick up. Max had called her every day – and usually after talking to Bella first he would talk to Liz. It was amazing because she was always asking about his family although she had no reason to do so. And after talking to her and Bella Max generally had the urge to kick himself for ever believing that he could be over Liz. They had lost so many years – they should and could have been a family a long time ago – geez. And after feeling this urge he always wanted to call Liz again and tell her that – but – well he was a coward – and Max hated himself for this one as well.
Liz was limping over to the phone when it rang for the third time “Hello?” After picking up the receiver she saw and heard Bella running out of the kitchen towards her – it had been like that ever since Max had left.
Every time the phone rang Bella would be there – waiting – hoping that it would be her Daddy. Bella really adored Max – and Liz was praying that he wouldn’t decide one day that he didn’t want a daughter anymore – it was fun for some time but…that was sooooo ridiculous – Max would never do that Liz!
“It’s me…” She heard Max’ kind of dejected voice “Hey…how are you?” “Is it Daddy? I wanna talk to Daddy…“ Bella started to jump up and down, holding down her hand to take over the receiver but before Liz could do so she heard Max’ quivering voice “He’s awake Liz – but there might be a slight chance that he’ll never walk or talk again.” Liz took a deep breath and signaled Bella to stop “Oh Max I’m sorry…” “Are you Liz? Because then I’d admire you – I don’t know what to think…I honestly don’t know.”
And that was exactly the moment for Liz to make a decision. Max needed her – now more than ever and there was no way that she’d be waiting much longer for a sign directly from him – this had to be enough.
So while Max talked to Bella she already plans to pack her things and Bella and fly out to Roswell – sure the darn cast around her leg could cause a problem but her arm was fine again and besides that she was feeling okay and – there really was no time to doubt anything – Max needed her.
So on Friday after school was over Bella and her took a cab to the airport and flew to Roswell. For Bella the whole trip was so much excitement – she was once again babbling non stop. “An’ then we’ll drive to Daddy right away right? Right Mommy? An’ then you’ll show me where you grew up an’ and’ then…” “Arabella – please stop it okay? You’ve been babbling ever since we left Los Angeles – I – please Bella – just stop it okay?”
After finally arriving in Roswell they checked into a motel. “I don’t understand why we can’t stay with Daddy…” Bella started sulking – she wanted to stay with her Dad – she missed him and there was no way that she’d stay at this motel if her Daddy wasn’t that far away. Liz sighed, shook her head without saying another word and called the Evan’s residence. It was then that she started to wonder if Maureen would still be working for the Evans’s – but nobody answered the phone – hm. Okay so that answered that question.
“Okay princess get ready we’re going to the hospital – I guess Max will be there.” “We’re going to see Daddy?” “Yes we are – come on oh and Bella…” Liz grabbed Bella before she could head out the door. “I want you to be on your best behavior okay? Daddy is really sad in the moment and his family will be there and I have told you that they didn’t really like me – so please be a good girl, no screaming, no babbling okay?” “Okay…” Bella nodded and then they headed out of the motel.
Of course during their drive to the hospital Bella started to babble nonstop once again “…an’ then I want to see the UFO museum – the one daddy used to work at and I wanna see the Crashdown…and I wanna…I wanna…oh looky Mommy we’re here…” Bella got restless – really restless. “Stay princess I have to pay the driver first.”
After paying there was nothing that could keep Bella in the car “C’mon Mommy – c’mon…” Of course Liz had a hard time following her daughter – after all she still had a cast! “Slow down Bella – Arabella – I can’t run that fast…” Liz told her. “But Daddy is in there Mommy – hurry up C’mon.”
Max was sitting in the waiting area once again – his mother was with his father and Isabel and Jesse had just left. He actually had no idea why he came back here everyday – he should be on his way back to Los Angeles – there was nothing here that could keep him.
So he had visited his father – alone but it had been pretty awkward – Philip could talk – but only a little and it was pretty tiring…so Max had done all the talking.
He had been honest – telling his father that he hadn’t forgiven him…but then he had also started to tell him about Bella. He had just felt the need to tell him how wonderful his daughter was. And then watching his father lying there – not being able to move or talk – it had hurt, it had hurt a lot and it had made him realize that he could really lose a parent…and he had also realized that he wasn’t ready for that. No matter how bad his father had treated him…it was really confusing.
“Daddy! Daddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!“ Max heard the voice of a child and he could have sworn that it was Bella. Yet that was really ridiculous because Bella couldn’t be here. “Daddy!“ He heard again, getting up he looked up the corridor and there he saw her – Bella – his little angel starting to run towards him and behind her there was Liz – limping but she was there – they both were really here!
“Oh my god – what are you doing here?” He asked while holding his arms open for Bella to fall right into them. He hugged her tightly to his body and lifted her up. Kissing her on her cheek – Max smiled at Bella who was gleaming at him “Hi Daddy…” “Hi angel – how are you doing?” “Good – I missed you…” “Oh I missed you two…”
Liz watched the two of them, Max looked exhausted – you could really see how difficult the situation was. When he finally looked at her, he tried to smile – but she knew him too well. “Hi…” “Hi…I hope it’s okay that we’re here I just…I…” The door of a room a few steps away opened and Diane stepped out of it, interrupting any explanation that Liz wanted to give Max.
Diane didn’t look up at first but when she finally did she didn’t move again. Liz wanted to die – gosh she had known that she would meet Max’s family once again eventually but she wasn’t prepared for it yet. “Uhm – hi Mrs. Evans – I’m so sorry about what happened to your husband.” “Liz?” Diane only asked in a faltering voice and took a few tentative steps. Max had turned towards his mother, still holding Bella.
Diane was shocked, really shocked – sure Max had sent her some pictures of Bella already but now seeing her here – together with Max – well it just showed her that you would have to be blind to ignore the resemblance – they had to be father and daughter – it was so obvious.
“Ah – Mom I want you to meet Arabella Parker – Bella this is my Mom – your grandmother…” Max smiled a little bit. Bella was hiding her face pressing it against Max’ shoulder and neck. “Princess – hey is that anyway to say hello to somebody?” Liz brushed away the hair that was hiding Bella’s face.
The girl lifted its head, smiled shyly whispered “Hi” and hid her face again. The grown ups were all smiling. Max kissed his daughter onto her head before whispering, “It’s okay angel – my Mom won’t bite.” “That’s actually true – hi Bella I’m your grammy…it’s so nice to finally meet you, Max has already told me a lot about you – only good things of course.” Diane smiled at the small girl – forgetting for a moment that they were in a hospital, that her husband was laying here.
“Like what?” Bella looked at her with questioning eyes. “Well for starters he said that you’re really beautiful – and I have to say he wasn’t lying and then he told me that you like peanut butter cups – what do you say? Do you wanna get some up there is a vending machine? That is if it’s okay with your Mommy.” Diane looked at Liz. This was really happening – she was meeting her granddaughter and Liz was here as well. Diane would really have to talk to Liz and apologize for everything.
“May I Mommy?” Bella turned towards Liz with pleading eyes. “Sure why not I’m sure that your grandmother would like to get to know you a little bit more…Daddy and I will wait here for you okay?” “Okay…” Bella nodded while Max put her down. Both watched Diane and Bella walking towards one of the vending machines that were standing at the end of the corridor.
Max finally concentrated on Liz – he couldn’t believe it – she was really here. He wanted to hug and kiss her and thank her and tell her that he wanted to call her so many times to tell her to come here and…he was getting carried away. Get a grip Maxwell! So he asked the first thing that came to his mind.
“Where are you staying?” – He had so many questions and he wanted to tell her so many things but in the moment he couldn’t ask all this – this was neither the place nor the time for it.
“Oh we’re staying in this motel on Citrus.” “Nonsense – our house is big enough – why don’t you stay with us? This way I’ll be able to be near Bella…” …and you…Max added in his thoughts but he wouldn’t say that one out loud. Not now anyway.
“I don’t know Max – are you sure I mean – what about your mother? What about your sister?” “Well Isabel and I aren’t on speaking terms – we had some confrontations and it seems like she still considers me her enemy – and Mom – she’s here most of the time – she only comes home to sleep, change, shower and leave again – please Liz? Please? I really want you two near me…”
They looked into each other’s eyes before Max dared to take a small step towards her and enveloped her in his arms “I’m so glad that you are here – Thank you.”
Liz was startled by Max’ forwardness – well considering the fact that he had hardly touched her ever since they had met again this hug meant a lot to her. Sure when they had been younger Max would hug and kiss and touch her when ever he wanted to but now the situation was different. “I’m glad that I’m here as well Max…” she mumbled into his shoulder before they separated again.
They could hear Bella and Diane approaching them – laughing a little. Max felt relieved to see his mother like that – she hadn’t really smiled at all ever since he had arrived here – maybe Bella was just what she needed now. A granddaughter to get to know and take her thoughts off the subject. Yeah maybe Bella was exactly what his family needed to actually BE a family again – strange he had never thought about this before.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:34:28 AM|
It had definitely been an interesting and exhausting day when Max stepped into the house, carrying a sleeping Bella. The small girl had her arms around her daddy’s neck, the head resting against his shoulder, while he held her pressed to his body. Liz was following him still not sure that this was a really good idea to stay here.
Diane was right behind them as well carrying the bag for Liz. “Are you really sure that it is okay?” “Liz – honey now you’re here, of course it’s fine – Max was right – the house is big enough – and that way Bella and I can get to know each other – that is if you let me.”
Liz nodded after some seconds of contemplating and followed Max up the stairs. “Why don’t you put her into Isabel’s room?” Diane whispered towards Max, who only nodded and opened the door to said room.
“Mommy? Daddy?” Bella mumbled when Max put her on the bed and took of her shoes. “Shsh we’re both here princess – we’re just putting you to bed okay?” Bella opened her eyes for one second and nodded. “Okay…” The girl was too tired, the day had been way too exhausting.
For Diane it was like a dream come true – because she stood at the door watching the small family – although they might not know it but Max and Liz were perfectly in tune – changing their daughter out of her clothes into her jammys and tucking her in.
“Good night angel – dream well…” Max kissed his baby girl onto her forehead. Liz did the same, stroking her over her head once more before she left the room together with Max. They didn’t close the door entirely – instead they left it open and the light on.
“Well I guess I’ll go to bed as well – I’m pretty tired…” Diane said. “Good night you two…” “Night Mom…” Max hugged her before she headed towards the master bedroom. “Good night Mrs. Evans.” Liz smiled at the woman who had at least not given her a hard time in this family.
Max watched his mother and Liz watched Max – she had the feeling that something was going to happen but she had no idea if it was good or bad.
She couldn’t deny it – it really felt strange to be here again so she mumbled when they arrived back in the living room “The house hasn’t changed a lot…it definitely feels strange to be here again.” Yet she didn’t dare turning towards Max at first because she felt his eyes on her.
Max walked by her into the kitchen, anticipating obviously that she’d follow him “Do you want something to drink?” “No – thanks’ I’m good.” He only nodded and walked up to the fridge. She kept on watching him – he opened the door, took out a bottle of water, closed the door and…nothing…he stopped.
Nothing happened – Liz waited and then when she thought that Max was maybe waiting for her to do or say something she saw the slight movement of his shoulders – he was crying – Max was actually crying. The one person who was stronger than anybody else she knew.
There was nothing left for her to do besides moving forwards as fast as possible, turning him towards her and taking him into her arms – to let him cry, to let it all out and to be somebody he could lean on.
“Let it all out, let it all out,…” she whispered over and over again.
Max was clinging to her, sobbing, holding her closer – like she was the one thing that could stop him from breaking down entirely.
“Oh god what if he dies Liz? What if he won’t make it?” “Don’t even think like that Max – please you have to believe that everything will be fine – he’s awake right? And the doctors said that his chances are good right?” Liz tried to calm him down.
“He can’t die Liz, he just – I still have so many questions that I need an answer for – he can’t die – he’s still my father…” Max continued to sob and cry while Liz held him – the whole time.
Eventually he clamed down and started to move away a little. His eyes were puffy and swollen, his nose red. “I’m sorry for crying – that’s just not like me.”
Gently she brushed some hair out of his face and smiled “It’s okay – you needed that – and sometimes we need it – are you okay?”
He cupped her face and stared into her eyes. Liz could feel her heart rate speeding up – what was he doing? He wouldn’t – right – no – or would he?
“I will be – now that you’re here – Liz this whole thing made me realize one thing – something I had forgotten or repressed the last years – family is the most important thing in the world – family and love and I realized that ever since you left – I turned my back on both…”
She let him talk, she knew that whatever he had to say was very important for him…and besides that – she wasn’t able to form her a coherent sentence in the moment – even if her life depended on it.
“…I know that this situation now isn’t perfect but I want it t be perfect one day – I love our little girl - Bella is just perfect, just like her mother – Liz I think I still love you…actually I never stopped loving you – I want us to try again and I’m sure that it’ll work out – that is if you still want me.”
Liz was utterly and completely speechless, taking a deep breath she couldn’t prevent the tears from gliding down her cheeks “Oh Max…” she lifted her hand to his cheek “I love you too – all those years I was asking myself the same question over and over again – that if we’d meet again would Max still love me? Will you still love me? Despite all the things that happened…”
Max moved closer “Of course I will – why wouldn’t I – you’re all I ever wanted, all I ever needed.” Max whispered before pressing a gentle kiss onto her lips, before taking her into his arms again and promising himself that he would never let her get away ever again.
The kiss was short and sweet – both of them knew that they still had a lot to talk about but at least now they knew where they were standing – they had been honest with each other.
For the first time ever since they had met again they had been completely honest about their feelings.
“We still have a lot to talk about…” Max started and had to smirk a little bit when he saw Liz trying to hide a yawn “…but I guess that can wait until tomorrow – how about we go to bed?”
Liz stared up at him – did he? Did he mean what she was thinking? “Max …I…” she stuttered. “Shsh I’m not talking about taking you to MY bed – like I said we still have a lot to talk about before that happens – I just think that we both need some rest.” “Okay…”
One arm wrapped around her waist he led Liz back to the bedrooms “I guess you want to stay with Bella right?” “Yeah I guess – I don’t want her to wake up in the middle of the night and not knowing where she is with me not being there…” “I understand…” Max nodded – then he smiled at her “Goodnight Liz.” “Goodnight Max.” They leaned towards each other once more and kissed again, after that they separated slowly both smiling and looking at each other until they disappeared in their rooms.
Max went into his room and after closing the door he just stood there – okay so he still was pretty confused but he didn’t feel as helpless anymore – did this make any kind of sense?
Switching on the lights he started to undress on his way into the bathroom. So they had been honest with each other – finally.
Staring at his reflection Max had to admit that he hardly recognized the man who was looking back at him. Splashing some more cold water onto his face he got ready for bed. But when he finally switched off the light and crawled into bed the only thing that occupied his mind was the still existing tingling he felt on his lips from their first kiss after so many years. Liz – she was still on his mind – like a tattoo stamped into his brain – making sure that he’d never forget her. Turning to one side Max tried to listen for any sound but the house was quiet.
Of course he had stayed with Bella and Liz in the same house before – shortly after the accident when Liz was still too injured – yet this was different. She had really come her to be here for him. The gesture itself showed so much more than words could ever express.
He turned back onto his back, staring at the ceiling – where he found some flecks of light – coming in from the moon.
The question was – what they we’re going to do now? Obviously Bella and Liz couldn’t stay here for long – after all Bella had to go back to school – but then – Thanksgiving was coming up so she’d be free – they hadn’t really talked about what they were going to do on Thanksgiving – given the case that they would do something together.
Now it was pretty obvious that he couldn’t leave, his mother needed him here and yet he’d feel better if Liz and Bella would be here as well. Max turned onto the other side – so much to talk about and so little time – at least in the moment.
Liz was feeling the same confusion as Max did. After getting into her and Bella’s room she had secured the blanked around Bella once more before getting ready for bed as well.
Now she was wide-awake – staring at her daughter – who was illuminated by the moonlight. What was she supposed to tell her – she’d pick up on the change between her and Max – Liz had no desire to hide her new found feelings for Max – well what a joke – new found – she had never stopped loving him so – but they had both admitted that they still loved each other and that had to mean something right? But what would happen now? They really needed to talk – yeah.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:36:21 AM|
When Liz got up the next morning she was surprised that Bella wasn’t in bed next to her. She wasn’t afraid that something had happened – yet she didn’t like the idea of Bella walking around in the big house – a house she didn’t know and with the possibility that she could destroy something because of her childish clumsiness. So Liz got up and slipped into her robe before she walked downstairs – where she could hear Bella laughing. “And this is your Daddy when he was just as old as you are now…” she heard Diane telling someone – possibly Bella.
“Hey princess good morning…” Liz smiled at her daughter as soon as she had stepped into the living room. Bella jumped off the couch and ran towards her mother “Good morning’ Mommy – grammy is showing me pictures of Daddy – do you know them?” Before Liz even had the chance to say something Bella took her by the hand pulling her behind her towards the couch where Diane was watching the interaction.
“Good morning Mrs. Evans.” Liz said but didn’t dare sitting down. “Good morning Liz – how did you sleep?” “Great – thank you – I guess I was more exhausted than I had anticipated.” “I made some breakfast Bella and I already had some – I hope you don’t mind.” “No that’s fine thank you – I guess I’ll just head into the kitchen and…get me some coffee.” Liz said. “No Mommy you have to look at the pictures.” “Princess I already know them…” “Oh…” Bella contemplated the information and took her place next to Diane again – concentrating on what she was telling her.
Liz had to smile at her daughter – it seemed like she had really accepted Diane pretty fast – just like she had accepted Max very fast as her father but it all scared her nevertheless. What if the Evans’s decided that she hadn’t been a good mother? What if they’d doubt everything? What if…*WHAM*? She ran straight into a warm, solid chest – which smelled pretty good and…well…felt awfully familiar. “Oh good morning…” Max smiled at her – steadying her – he looked so cute – his hair tousled, his smell in the morning still so familiar and yet so unique. He was wearing a t-shirt and running shorts. “Good morning…” Liz breathed looking up into his beautiful eyes.
They both could feel their heartbeat speeding up, their skin was on fire where they were touching and they could really feel the effect their closeness had on each other. Before Liz had the chance to slip away Max moved closer “Do you mind?” “Mind what?” Liz asked – merely audible staring at his lips. “If I did this…” he moved in and kissed her.
First the touch of his lips was hesitant but when Liz didn’t move away he pressed a little harder, he started to move his hands towards her arms, pulling her closer, kissing her more urgently.
“Liz is everything alright?” They heard Diane and separated before Diane and Bella appeared at the door to the kitchen.
“Daddyyyyyyy!” Bella smiled and jumped up into his arms. “Good morning – how did you sleep?” “Good…” “That’s good then – because you slept in my sisters bed, did you know that?” “No – will I meet her?”
Max and Diane exchanged some glances before Diane answered, “We’ll see if Isabel and her husband will come by…” “So what are you two doing?” the question was directed at his mother “I’m showing her some pictures of you…I just wanted to make sure that Liz is finding everything she needs – I didn’t hear anything…”
It was then that Diane saw that Liz looked a little flushed – she glanced at Max and – were his lips swollen and red? Mhm… “Why don’t we go back into the living room Bella and leave your parents to enjoy their breakfast alone?”
The girl only nodded and followed her back into the living room. “She knows – oh god she knows…” Liz hid her face behind her hands. Max had to smirk when he took her hands into his hands “And do you mind that? I mean she’ll find out eventually.” “I know but…I guess I thought we could have talked about everything before anybody would find out.” “I think I can understand that – coffee?” He held up the pot and waited for Liz' reaction.
After filling a mug for her and himself Liz and Max took a seat at the table in the kitchen, for Max this was really strange. He hadn’t shown any kind of affection for so long towards a woman that he didn’t know what to do. Well he knew – he wanted to take her hands in his – like he had always done but he didn’t know if she wanted it.
“What?” “What what?” Liz smiled before she answered. “You’re looking at me like you want to do or say something.” Surprised by how much she could still read him, he slowly started moving his hand towards the one that she had placed on the table.
Their fingers touched first and before he dared moving further he glanced at her, to make sure that she was okay with it. Instead of saying something or nodding – Liz spread her fingers a little wider. Max could feel them shaking but it didn’t matter to him because his fingers were shaking as well. Slowly he slid his fingers further until their fingers were entwined and he could caress the back of her hand with his thumb.
“This feels really strange,…” he then admitted while watching with amazement how perfectly they still fit together – but why should that have changed right? “Yeah it does, doesn’t it?” They smiled at each other and enjoyed the silence.
“Max – what are we going to do now?” Liz finally then found the courage to ask, hoping that nothing would stop them from clearing up at least some things.
“Well I think that we should take it slow and step by step – I mean…we changed a lot over the years and…I…I guess I’m still afraid that something can come in between us…” Max sighed but continued right away “…but then I know that I’ll do anything in my power to prevent that. I guess – what we should do from now on is – to be honest with each other and get to know each other again – know what I mean?” “Yes…” Liz nodded and swallowed. “Will you ever be able to forgive me for what I did?”
He didn’t answer right away, instead he kept staring into her eyes. “I…I’ll never be able to forget it but I think I’ll be able to forgive you – I mean…I…this is actually quite difficult for me Liz I mean…I guess I…I don’t know how to explain it but don’t worry about it okay? I mean after all I have the feeling that I should be apologizing too – I mean I had known that father was, well against you and yet I didn’t suspect anything. I should have searched for you – I should have…” but Liz stopped his rambling. “Max stop it okay – I…it was my decision to leave and I feel really bad about the fact that I took the money and…I really should have talked to you instead of running away…I guess we both made our fair share of mistakes – although I really do still believe that mine are bigger than yours…anyway…” she took a deep breath and squeezed her fingers in a loving gesture “I love you Max Evans – I really do…and if you give me a chance to prove you once more that I’m the right one for you I swear that you’ll always be the first from now on I’ll talk to if I have a problem okay? And I don’t blame you Max and…” before she could finish though Max had pulled her over to him and she recently found herself placed on his lap being thoroughly kissed. How had he managed that with her cast?
“Mother I’m…what the hell is going on here?” they were interrupted by Isabel bursting into the kitchen through the backdoor. Liz automatically hid her face into Max’s chest while Max glared at his sister “Good morning to you too Isabel.” “What is going on here?” Isabel folded her arms with an icy glare. “This isn’t an examination in court Isabel so why don’t you just leave it alone.” “What is she doing here and why is she sitting on your lap?”
Liz was trying to get up but Max wouldn’t have any of it. “Liz came here because she knew that I needed her and before you start it – Liz and I are going to be back together again so just – save it okay? Don’t say anything if it isn’t nice…”
They all could hear Diane and Bella approaching so Max and Liz got up eventually. “Isabel I heard you – what’s going on here?!” But before Isabel could answer Bella ran over to her parents – looking up at the strange woman with the icy glare, while she was hiding behind her father’s legs once more. “Who’s dat?” She whispered. Max could feel how uncomfortable Isabel was making Bella so he bend down and brushed through his daughter’s hair. “That’s my sister Isabel, she’s your aunt…” Bella looked forth and back between Max and Isabel before she whispered again. “She doesn’t look too nice…she scares me…” and then she threw her arms around Max.
Of course all the adults had heard the small girl and everyone had gasped. Diane because it broke her heart to see her granddaughter afraid and because Isabel – her own daughter wasn’t able to be friendly - even when dealing with her brother’s daughter. Max because Bella’s honesty had surprised him and because he just hated his sister for behaving like a bitch. Liz’s reason was only slightly different – she had never thought that Bella would say something like that out loud – but then – Bella always said what she was thinking so…and Isabel couldn’t believe that this brat would dare talking like that about her.
“Excuse me? I scare you? Why would I do that?” Isabel kept on glaring at the small girl that looked so much like her brother and reminded her of everything she hadn’t achieved. It wasn't Liz’s and her daughter’s place to comfort her mother and her brother – SHE was supposed to be the one. She had stayed in Roswell to be the good daughter that she was – being a perfect wife and…well and everything. And now here they were Max, his bitch and his brat – just great.
“Why don’t Bella and I get ready for the day – come on princess…” Liz took Bella’s hand and limped out of he kitchen – leaving the family to themselves.
Diane glared at Isabel “I can’t believe how you behave Isabel – you’re a grown woman for god’s sake and we need our family to be together now – more than ever.” “She is NOT family BOTH of them don’t belong to this family…” Isabel erupted like a volcano and pointed into the direction Liz had disappeared.
“Oh yes they are – they are MY family Isabel – and they are more family to me than you’ll ever be…” Max then finally lost his temper. “Without saying a word Liz knew that I needed some one and she didn’t hesitate instead she came here – “ “How can you forgive her that easily? How can you?” “Because I love her Isabel – this might be a new concept to you but love is unconditional but that’s something that you never understood right? I don’t know how Jesse can stay with you or what he sees in you…but…” “Maxwell – stop that!” Diane finally interrupted him – knowing that this would escalate even further if she didn’t stop her children now. “Why mother? Because nobody in this family ever dared to tell her or Dad the truth – the world doesn’t revolve around them and there’s more to life than reputation, money and appearance. Did you know that ever since I was born Isabel felt like I was her enemy? Do you honestly think I would have left Roswell if I felt like this was home? It isn’t and it will never be …family is where Liz and Bella are…” he turned back to Isabel who was still fuming. “And just for your information – it might not be soon but one day I’ll marry Liz – like I always wanted to and you better accept it that she’ll be a part of the family or leave me alone.” With that he also left the kitchen – he needed to get out to maybe take Bella on a tour through Roswell and just forget about this whole incident. His daughter after all was able to make him forget about his misery and laugh from time to time.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:38:42 AM|
Diane couldn’t believe what had just happened in her kitchen “What did he mean by that Isabel? What did Max mean when he said that you consider him your enemy.” Isabel refused to answer – instead she sulked – arms still folded, her lips a slim line. “Isabel I want an answer what is going on here?” “That’s exactly what I want to know – why is she here? Why is the kid here? And how dare she talking about me like that?” “She’s a child Isabel – and you scared her – why did you do that?” “I don’t have to answer that mother…” Isabel took a deep breath, brushed an invisible strand of her back and turned back to her “I came here to get you to go to the hospital – but I guess I could have just driven to the hospital right away – I guess you’re…” “Don’t even say it Isabel – don’t make this a big scene – Max is here and so is his family that doesn’t mean that I just forget about my husband and you – although you’re trying to blame me for everything. Let me get something straight here. I love my husband, I love you and Jesse, I love Max AND I love Bella and I like Liz a lot – you are all my family and I won’t decide between you – Philip has made mistakes that I’ll never make – so grow up Isabel – I don’t mean that in a bad way but if you don’t change your behavior towards Liz and Bella – we’re going to have a problem. Because I have every intention to get to know my granddaughter – to have her visiting me or I’ll visit them if Liz doesn’t want Bella to be around Philip…so accept it…now – I really would like to accompany to the hospital.”
Two hours later Max, Liz and Bella found themselves standing in front of the doors leading into the UFO Center. Bella crinkled her nose, looking from her mother to her father – she was in the middle of them, holding one hand of Max and one of Liz “You really worked here Daddy?” “I sure did.” Max nodded – staring up at the neon green sign himself – hardly believing himself that he had really earned his first own money here – though his father had hated the idea after telling him that this way Max would later appreciate it more – Philip Evans had finally given up to get his son to stop working there.
Liz stood there as well – nothing had changed here – nothing. It was strange to be here again – back to where everything began. On the other side of the street there still was the Crashdown Café – where she used to work at. Nothing had changed.
“Okay why don’t we go in and take a tour – maybe Brody is still working here and then we can have lunch at the Crashdown – how does that sound?” she suggested – looking first at Max and then at Bella who only nodded, then she let go of her parent’s hands and headed into the center. Max and Liz started at each other before they both had to smile. “You know this is really strange – we’re behaving like teenagers on their first date…” Max murmured stepping closer. Liz glanced up at him still smiling “Yeah but instead of the dad of the girl acting as a chaperone we have our daughter – so what does that say?” Max slowly placed his arms around Liz’s waist pulling her closer, then I wiggled his eyebrows before answering “That means that somewhere along the way we must have gotten really personal…” he kissed her – only shortly before pulling away again “…and that I’d like to get there one day again.” He finished his sentence before moving in again – kissing Liz breathless until they heard Bella “Mommy, Daddy are you coming?”
Max moved away again, yet he took Liz’s hand and while they were walking into the building he asked “Are you sure she isn’t Maria’s daughter?” Which made Liz burst out laughing and his heart beating triple time – gosh he had missed her laugh.
In the museum itself – Liz made sure that Bella never left her side – this could be a pretty frightening thing for a small girl. A teenager was rearranging something on a table, which looked like an alien doll. “Hi there…” Max approached him. “Hi welcome to the UFO center – can I help you?” “Yeah I was wondering if Brody Davis was still the boss here?” “Yeah he is – why? You wanna talk to him? He’s in his office…” “Great – thanks I know where that is…” Max turned back to Liz and Bella “You wanna meet my former boss angel?” Bella only nodded and they all walked over to the ‘Only Employees’ door – where he knocked “One moment!” they could hear a man shouting and some seconds later the door opened “Yes?” “Brody? Hey it’s Max Evans…” Max smiled at the men he used to work for – his hair was slightly gray.
“Oh my goodness Maxwell Evans – how are you doing?” Brody asked in his British accent. “I’m good how are you doing?” “I’m great – “ Brody nodded and shook Max’s hand. “You remember Liz right?” “Oh sure Liz Parker – how are you doing? What happened to your leg?” Brody pointed at the cast. “Oh that’s nothing – I had a car accident – the cast will be off probably in two weeks.”
Brody listen and nodded, then he kneeled down in front of Bella “And who is this young lady?”
Bella tried hiding behind her mother’s legs once more “C’mon Bella don’t be shy…” Max moved down as well and took his daughters hand, pulling her towards him and wrapping his arms around her from the back “This is Brody Davis – he’s my former boss and he also has a beautiful daughter. This is our daughter Brody – Bella…” “Aren’t you a beauty – hi – welcome to the UFO center – is that your first trip to Roswell?”
Bella only nodded. “You are really talking funny…” she then stated, wrinkling her nose. “That’s because I’m from England – have you ever been to England?” “Nope…” “Do you know where England is?” “No – where is it?” “Well it’s far, far away you have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to get there…” “Wow that’s far…”
Max, Liz and Brody talked about the last years a little bit until Bella got restless because she was hungry. So Max, Liz and Bella headed over to the Crashdown. “I feel like entering a twilight zone…” Liz murmured after they had taken a seat at their old table. “Yeah it feels really strange doesn’t it?” A waitress came over “Hi my name is Vicky and I’ll be your waitress today…” she wanted to continue but was interrupted by Liz “Vicky DeLaney?” “OH my god Liz Parker – and…and Max Evans?” Confusion was written all over her face – everybody had known the story about them – the whole school back then had seen those two falling in love, being a couple and then….well then suddenly one day there had only been one heartbroken and bitter Max Evans who had left town as soon as possible. “Hi Vicky…” Max smiled at her. “Oh my god you guys I can’t believe that you’re here and together and…..” her rambling was interrupted by the girl who obviously was their daughter “Daddy I’m hungry…” “And you’ll get something as soon as possible okay?”
“Oh my god you two have daughter – how cute is that?” Vicky kept on smiling “Okay now do you already know what you want?” “Do you still have the Venus-lunch-special for two?” “Yes we do…” “Okay then please bring us that and a one of the kids menus – what do you want Bella? A Hamburger? And fries?“ “Yes…” “What do you guys want to drink?” “Cherry coke…” was the answer he received from Liz and Bella. “Okay three cherry cokes to drink then – thank you Vicky.” “No problem Max.”
When they were alone Liz and max were again staring at each other with goofy smiles on their faces. “Why do they have aliens everywhere here?” Bella asked – munching on a breadstick. “Well that’s actually a long story – back in the 1947 there was an unexplained incident here – people believed that alien had crashed in Roswell – and that’s why they have these aliens themes everywhere…” “SO did Aliens really crash here?” Bella kept on asking with eyes as big as saucers. “No Bella – there aren’t any aliens here…”
Vicky brought them their drinks and food shortly after and the small family enjoyed their lunch. “I can’t believe that it still tastes just like it did those years before…” Max smiled – enjoying a very greasy but very delicious burger – it was wonderful. And it just made him feel like a teenager who was eagerly waiting for his girlfriend who was a waitress here until she was finished and he could take her home or somewhere else to make out or…or…he was brought out of his trip to the past by Bella who was trying to reach the ketchup. “Here let me help you…” he took the bottle and put some of the red liquid onto his daughter’s Saturn rings.
“So, what I was wondering – Thanksgiving is coming up and…well…” Max started to stutter. Liz though it was soooo cute to see him like that. He reminded her so much of the young boy she had falling in love with although he now was a man – one that she still loved. “Do you want to celebrate together or are you planning to stay here?” “Well I thought – I mean I don’t know – I don’t want to intrude…” “May…” Liz took his hand into hers and squeezed it lovingly “…I think it would be a very good idea if you’d join us for Thanksgiving…”
Bella watched with interested the interaction between her parents – something was different between them. Max and Liz seemed to feel the questioning look their daughter was giving them and cleared their throats. “Bella – angel I think your Mom and I have to tell you something…” “Are you two getting married?” The girl asked with the sparkling eyes.
Max looked at Liz before he answered “Not yet but…your Mom and I – well we talked and …we want to try again to be a couple…and yeah if it works out eventually we’ll get married but I want you to understand Angel that – if it won’t work out that doesn’t mean that we don’t love you – Mommy and I love you both very much okay?”
Bella seemed to contemplate the news and nodded after awhile. “Are you going to move in?” she turned again towards her father. “I…I…no that would be too early but…I’ll try to come by more often okay and…how about instead of you sleeping at home and then at my house you stay at home with Mommy and I spend as much time with you there as possible – I mean if Mommy and I want to make this relationship work I’ll be seeing you two a lot anyway…” “But why can’t you move in then?” “Because – “ Max looked at Liz hoping that she’d help him … but Liz was enjoying this too much and although she knew that he was right but deep down inside there was a little part – hoping that he’d move in with them right away. “…because Angel I can’t – you Mommy and I – we have to get to know each other again, a lot has happened the last years and…” another pleading glance at Liz. She sighed and nodded “Daddy is right princess…it would be too early but….we’re working towards it okay?” “Okay…”
After finishing their lunch the small family took a walk in the park and had a lot of fun until Max’s cell phone rang and his mother called, telling him that Phillip wanted to see Max – he was doing better. So Max drove Liz and Bella home before heading to the hospital. “I’m sorry – I…I…” he stuttered but Liz lifted her hand to his cheek before kissing him gently onto his lips “It’ll be fine – go – Bella and I will be okay really…” “Okay…” he nodded, kissed her back and left.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:39:51 AM|
When Max entered he hospital room of his father he had no idea what to except. His mother had sounded pretty normal – considering what she had been through the last days. His father was awake and his mother was sitting next to his bed when Max came in.
“Uhm…hi…” “Max…that was fast – how was your day so far?” Diane stood up and hugged her son. “Ah great it was great we ah…went to the UFO center and had lunch at the Crashdown and after that took a walk in the park – so…what’s going on?”
Diane returned to Phillip and took his hand. Max didn’t know where to look – he eventually looked into his father old and tired eyes. “Mmmax…” he stammered. This word alone had been difficult for him to say, Max knew that so…he took a few steps until he stood in front of the bed as well. What was he supposed to do? He had no idea what his father wanted from him.
He could see that his father was trying to move his arm “What Dad? Do you need something?” Phillip shook his head slightly, still trying to lift his arm – he needed to do this – he…looking helplessly at his wife he hoped that she’s understand what he wanted.
Diane was watching the scene and it was hart for her not to start crying. The doctor had just told them that Phillip would be fine again eventually but that it would take a lot of therapy. Nothing would be the same again. “I think he wants to take your hand.” She then guessed and waited for a confirmation from her husband. Phillip blinked his eyes thankfully – hoping that Max wouldn’t be too disgusted by him to take his hand.
But his son amazed him once more – Max slowly and carefully took his hand “What is it Dad?” Phillip took a deep breath, he had to get this out and he had to get this out now – he just had to make his body do what he needed it to do – and that wasn’t that easy anymore. Turning his head towards Max he blinked again “S..s…sowy…” that didn’t exactly came out like it was supposed to, so Phillip blinked again, fighting down the tears, he took another deep breath but felt another hand on his shoulder. It was Max.
Max had seen the struggle it had taken his father to get this one word out ‘Sorry – he was sorry…’ sure that didn’t make it right or didn’t make the pain and confusion go away but never in his whole life had he heard his father saying sorry. So it meant something. “It’s okay Dad I understand you…” he smiled weakly at his father, then brushed the tears away with the pad of his thumb. “I…there’s a lot we need to talk about but…that can wait okay? You get better first okay?” Max then continued.
Phillip blinked again and looked at his wife and back at his son. He was blessed surely blessed – he had messed up everybody’s life and yet they were still here. And he had a granddaughter to get know once he was better – and only if her mother would allow it. What he had done to Liz – it was unforgivable and to Max as well.
Later that night Max, Liz, Bella and Diane enjoyed dinner together. “So what are you plans now?!” Diane asked. “Well Bella and I are flying back home to tomorrow – after all she has to go to school again.” “I’m coming with you…” Max then added. He figured that his father would be okay and he needed to get back to work and he wanted to be close to Liz and Bella. “What are you plans for Thanksgiving?” “We’re going to celebrate in Los Angeles…” Max admitted, hoping that his mother would be fine with it “…but we could come here for Christmas – that is if it’s okay with Liz…” turning towards her he took her hand and brushed his thumb over the back of her hand in a lovingly gesture. One that couldn’t go unnoticed by Diane. “Sure that sounds perfect.” Liz then smiled and felt her cheeks heating up and turning rosy. “Wonderful – I hope you’ll be staying after New Years Eve then – I think Bella and I have a lot of catching up to do…don’t you think sweetheart?” “Yessss…” Bella smiled and nodded her head at her grandmother.
“So are you still flying to New York Max?” his mother continued. “Oh darn – I forgot about that – Michael’s exhibition – Maria is going to kill me if I don’t go there.” “What exhibition?” Liz then asked. “Well – didn’t I tell you? Michael has an exhibition coming up in New York at the beginning of December and I promised to go there – I mean I hardly see them anymore now that they live in Italy.” He went silent for a few seconds “Why don’t you two join me?” “Max I don’t know – Bella had to go to school and…” “I know…but that would be the perfect chance to meet everybody again – they’ll all be there and – if we leave on Thursday evening and return on Sunday – Bella will only have missed one day of school…” “Yeah Pleeeeeeeeeeez Mommy – I wanna go to New York…pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez…”
Great now two sets of amber eyes were looking at here pleading with her to say yes – just great Liz thought and smiled. “Okay, okay – I think that should be okay…but are you sure that it’ll be okay with the others?” “It better be – I’m going to call Michael tomorrow right away to tell him that I’ll bring someone with me.” “Okay…” “I think that this is a fantastic idea…” Diane then nodded and started cleaning the table.
It was two days before Thanksgiving when the cast was removed from Liz’s led, Max had driven her to the doctor and was now waiting patiently for her to come back. Bella was still in school so Max wanted to take the opportunity to spend some alone time with Liz. Ever since returning from Roswell two weeks ago they had gotten closer and every time he came home at night after having dinner with Liz and Bella and sometimes even Jeffrey he felt so alone – his house wasn’t a home to him anymore.
“Max…” Liz suddenly stood in front of him again. “Hey – how does it feel?” “Strange – but it doesn’t hurt so – I think that’s a good sign huh?” “Yeah…” He stood up, took her hand and together they exited the building.
“So…” “So…” Max pulled her closer to his body – wrapping his arms around her waist, smiling down at her. “What do you wanna do?” He breathed while nibbling at her neck lightly. “I…I…I…uh…we should get to the ah…oh…” Max had just found one of her most sensitive spots again. “Max you have to stop that…we’re in public you know…” “Yeah I know…” pulling slightly away he glanced deep into her brown, chocolate eyes. “It’s just getting harder and harder for me to resist you…”
Liz smiled at him before taking a deep breath “I think we should probably go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving – Bella isn’t with us so we should get it done pretty fast. “Won’t she be disappointed if we go without her?” “Probably but it’ll be a lot cheaper for us…I mean…it’ll be cheaper now anyway…” “Still sad that Jeffrey decided to spend Thanksgiving with Sam and his family?” “Well…I…I don’t know I mean…I…yeah a little bit – it was always so much fun but I can understand him and…besides that…it gives us a good chance to…uhm celebrate alone right?” It was now Liz who started to nibble at his jaw. “I think I like the way you’re thinking…” Max moaned and pulled away the next moment before he would do something really stupid…like for example tearing her clothes of, placing her on the hood of his car and have his way with her – no that wouldn’t do.
While doing the grocery shopping Max soon realized that not a lot had changed during the years, Liz still had the same routine of doing it like nine years ago and they still liked the same stuff so…. “I have a question…” Max suddenly asked, his forearms resting on the handle of the cart, while watching Liz sorting through loaves of bread “What is it?” Liz got up again and put two packages into the cart. “I always love the stuffing your grandma made – do you have the recipe for it?” “Yeah I do – she made sure that she wrote everything down she had ever made before she passed away…” “I’m so sorry that you had been alone back then…” Max admitted and moved over to Liz. “It’s okay Max…really…sure I still miss her but it’s getting easier with every year that goes by…”
The continued walking through the aisles and Liz couldn’t stop noticing how much it all felt like nothing had happened through the years. Of course they also bought some of Bella’s favorite candy and other goodies for them to enjoy during the holidays.
“So are you going to stay with us over Thanksgiving or are planning on driving home every evening?” the question had been nagging her ever since Jeffrey had told her about his plans. Sure she was said that he wouldn’t be there but – it also meant that she could spend some precious time with her daughter and Max alone. “I…do you want me to?” “I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t want it…” she smiled at him cheekily and pushed the cart towards the exit after packing the last bag, hoping that she appeared to be cool – but on the inside she was insecure and nervous. Had she really asked that? For heaven’s sake – Liz get a grip.
Max stood there dumbfounded – had she really just asked him if he wanted to spend like four nights with her – did she also mean…well…that they’d be sleeping in one bed? Because if that happened he couldn’t promise anything. It was amazing how much he still desired her, but then it wasn’t really surprising now was it? After all years had gone by and Liz was a woman now – her body had changed – not much but she was well – let’s just say that she was a little rounder and he liked that – oh boy yes he liked that.
At the car Max finally caught up with Liz “So – where would I sleep if I decided to stay…” “Well there would be the couch…” Liz started to murmur – not wanting to admit that she actually wanted him to stay in her bed with her. Gosh she was behaving like a teenager once again. “Nah – to short and not very comfy…” Max put the bags into the car, smirking. “Well then…uh how about Jeff – ah no – no you wouldn’t want to sleep in Jeff’s bed right?” “Nope…” “Uh then – why…ah…”
Max watched her biting her bottom lip and playing with her hair, he moved in from behind, pulling her close to his already heated body and whispered into her ear “I think your bed is actually pretty comfy and…I also think that we both would fit in there perfectly – what do you think?” Before letting her go once more he bit into her earlobe slightly. Liz contemplated to answer but no matter what she would say it all would sound really hilarious so she opted for saying nothing and instead pinched Max into his behind – and what a sexy behind it was.
After putting everything away Max and Liz settled onto the couch in the living room – Bella wouldn’t be home for another two hours because she’d go home with a friend first and Max would get her then. Liz lay in his arms, her head resting on his shoulder “So – what else do you usually do on Thanksgiving?” “Well, we prepare the food for the evening, while waiting for it we play games or take a walk along the beach…nothing big. What do you usually do?”
Max got silent, only stroking her back “Nothing – I usually….well I get myself a turkey sandwich for Thanksgiving’s sake and work at the office. It’s a great time to catch up with stuff I don’t have time for…” “You’re kidding right?” Liz moves her head and stares at him. “No why would I?” “Don’t you have any friends? Anybody who’d invite you?” “Liz I’m not a charity case, my best friends are those from Roswell and they aren’t here so…I…” he stopped his sentence when he felt Liz fingers dancing across his skin. She had started at his neck and was moving up to his chin, his lips. He couldn’t resist kissing her fingertips.
The air around them seemed to sizzle with sexual electricity. Liz could see Max’s eyes turning dark with desire and she could feel her heartbeat speeding up. This was how it always had felt like shortly before…before…Max moved closer, his lips mere millimeter away from her lips “Oh god Liz…” he whispered before kissing her with an urgency she hadn’t felt for years.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:41:47 AM|
Max couldn’t believe that this was really happening, he was kissing – no he was devouring her. He just couldn’t get enough of her taste – he had missed it way too long. He couldn’t believe all the feelings Liz was once again evoking within him. Pulling her closer he let his hands slip underneath her top. To Max it felt like touching an angel, touching heaven – well at least he thought that it would surly feel like that.
Their tongues were dancing together, each other enjoying the oh so familiar taste of the other one.
Liz started to unbutton his shirt, kissing each inch pf skin she freed from the confinements of Max’s shirt. “Mhm – you taste so good…” Max moaned and shrugged out of his shirt with her help, then – before they had the chance to settle back down again he helped her out her top, enjoying the view tremendously. He couldn’t help but take a deep breath – her breasts were just too tempting. They were bigger, rounder now – Liz was no girl anymore – she was a woman, a mother and the changes were obvious – he loved them. “Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?”
He moved his hands from her rips up to her perfect globes, cupping them lovingly. Sitting up he started to take one pointed nipple into his mouth, although it was still covered by her white, lacy bra. “Oh god Max…” Liz threw her head back while she let him suckle her very sensitive tip. She even pressed him closer to her body, brushing her hands through his dark, thick, brown hair.
Max couldn’t stand it any longer and pushed her breasts out of the bra and kissed each one of them before biting gently into the nipple he had neglected before. “Maaaaaaaax…”
Liz felt she was on fire, it was amazing how this man’s touch still affected her. She was now straddling him, feeling his obvious state of excitement pressing against her thigh. Slowly she moved her body up and down making Max moan once more.
“Do you think this is a good idea?” she could hear him mumble although his hands were already busy with sliding open the zipper of her jeans. “Don’t think Max…” she whispered before sucking at his neck “…feel…”.
His breath turned into a deeper moan when he felt her hand moving down into his jeans and shorts, touching him in his most intimate way possible.
Her hand started to move up and down, caressing him, marveling at how this could feel so new and exciting but also familiar and assuring. “You’re wearing too many clothes…” Max mumbled against her ribcage, letting his tongue wander over every single rip making her giggle and gasp at the same time, while he was removing her bra finally, throwing it away – not caring where it landed.
“I like your breasts and how they have changed…” this comment made her blush. Max was again holding them like he was weighing or comparing them, yet he didn’t spend too much time with them, instead he helped her wiggling out of her jeans, leaving her panties on. “This couch is way to small…” he murmured before moving into another kiss.
While they were kissing Max rolled them both onto the soft, thick, carpeted floor, making sure that Liz would land on him and not hurt herself. “Oh Max…that was feels so good…”
List sat slowly up straddling his hips. Max was still the most erotic and gorgeous man she had ever seen. His brown nipples were erect and screaming for her touch. Slowly she started to let her fingertips glide down his torso starting at his shoulders, down over the rippling muscles of his chest, over his nipples, circling them with the pads of her forefingers. She marveled at the fine dust of hair on his chest. Yeah – he was definitely a grown man now.
She could see and feel him tensing up, could see hear his breathing quicken up and yet her hands moved lower – over his abdominal muscles – which were now even more defined than they were when he was a teenager – and even back then his body had been perfect.
“I see you did a lot of working out Mr. Evans.” She smiled down at him. Brushing her thumbs towards the middle she heard him taking a very deep breath “Oh goooood Liz – what you do to me…”
By now she was dipping a finger into his navel, making him thrust his hips up a little bit unintentionally.
They had both totally forgotten about the time and where they were, time and place weren’t existing to them, they were in their own world.
Liz was just scooting down on Max’s lap, when the phone rang “Ignore it…” they both moaned – making them both giggle – but the darn phone just kept ringing, nearly killing the mood until the answering machine got it “Hello Miss Parker this is Julia’s mother – I just wanted to call to tell you that Bella, Julia and I are going to be a little late, so take your time…later…” “Oh we will take our time…” Max grumbled sitting up suddenly and rolling them around while attacking her already well-kissed lips again and again.
Max was above Liz – afraid he would crush the angel lying underneath him. It all seemed so surreal – him lying here with her. It felt so different – it felt familiar and not – well Max couldn’t help thinking about how it had felt with all the other women. Had it felt like something anyway? Or had he…”Max?” Liz stroked along his arm “Uh sorry I…” Liz silenced him by placing her finger against his lips. Max couldn’t help it he just had to kiss them before sucking them into his mouth slowly. They were watching each other.
Liz was fascinated with the sight above her. Max was loving her finger with his mouth and tongue, making it nearly impossible for her to think. She lifted up and little bit and put her arms around his neck, pulling him closer, kissing him with a passion she hadn’t felt in years.
Max started to move down her body, kissing her everywhere, when he reached her panties he looked up at her, asking for her permission. Liz only nodded and with that Max pulled them down, getting his first whiff of Liz in years, making him light headed. He pulled her panties completely off her throwing it over his shoulder and lying down in between her thighs hardly able to withhold this urge to attack her right away. Max had always loved and also craved to satisfy Liz like that and he knew that she had enjoyed and loved receiving it just like he had enjoyed giving it.
Liz felt like she was flying or on fire or both at once at the same time at the first touch of his hands pushing her thighs even wide and when she felt his hot breath against her already heated skin – it wouldn’t be that long anymore. Max had been her first and her last lover, the only boy…well man she had ever made love to and he would always be the only one.
“Maaaaaaaaaaax…” Liz sigh turned into a moan at the first touch of his tongue to her. He was driving her crazy, evoking feelings in her which frightened her at first and then made her forget about everything happening around her besides this one feeling, this one need to reach for completion, to reach the pinnacle of all those feelings. “Oh yes Max…that feels so good…yeeeees…”
Max was watching her catching her breath, she was so beautiful – here she was – Liz Parker, the mother of his child, his first and only true love, naked and just coming down from the heights of her orgasm. Her hair was tousled, her cheeks were rosy and her body was covered in a light sheen of sweet sweat. It was impossible for him not to touch her, he moved up her body once more. Liz’s eyes were still closed only when she felt him watching her she opened them. They were deep pools of brown fire and desire, looking into amber once reflecting the same.
Liz could feel how excited Max still was but when she wanted to reach for him he stopped her “Better not – I still have to get Bella soon, I better get ready now…” “Max…I can’t you leave like that…” “Oh believe me you’ll get more than one chance the following day to pay up…” Max smiled down at her, kissing her nose before rolling down from her and lying on the floor next to her, watching her. “You want me to come with you?” Liz snuggled up to him – it was strange – usually she was a very inhibited woman but with Max – there was nothing he didn’t already know. “Sure if you want to – but then you better hurry up cuz I’m leaving in ten minutes.”
They kissed one last time before they both started to get up – Liz collected her clothes – well the ones that she found and headed up into the bathroom while Max was still trying to catch his breath and not trying to think about the fact that just this second Liz was in the shower – naked and alone. He could still taste her essence – he was addicted all over again. “This is crazy man…” he shook his head and slipped into his shirt and shoes again before he went into the kitchen and drank a cold glass of water although he’d need this cold water somewhere entirely else.
While Liz was still getting finished Max made a mental list of stuff he had to get from his house. He couldn’t believe that Liz and him were actually going to share a bed. Wasn’t this all going too fast? Was Liz comfortable with the speed they were going at? Where were they heading anyway? Sure Max knew where he wanted to go – he wanted to be a family – as strange as it sounded. Before he had met Liz again a family had been the last thing on his mind but now that Bella and Liz were in his life – they were the most important thing in the world. Hmm – that’s something to think about.
A phone rang again but this time it was his cell phone “Hello?” “Hey Maxwell…” “Michael…how is it going?” “Wonderful Maria and I arrived in New York today and…I have a message here from you asking for two more tickets – who are you bringing?” “Curious – aren’t we…why don’t you just wait and see…” Max could hear Maria in the background “Michael gimme that…Max?” “Yes Maria?” “Max…I’m so sorry about your daddy – Alex told me and I totally forgot to call you and…” “That’s okay Maria…really…” “Really? How are you doing? How is he doing?” “Well…he’s okay I guess – my mother calls me every day to keep me up to date.” “That’s so nice that you two finally talk again…Max…I’m sorry but Michael wants to talk to you again – see you next week.” “Okay…See you and Happy Thanksgiving Maria.” “Happy Thanksgiving to you too…”
Max chatted some more with Michael until Liz came down and he had to hang up. “Ready?” “Ready – who was that?” “Michael and Maria…they’re in New York now…” Liz stopped in her tracks and looked up at Max “Do you still think this is a good idea?”
He could hear the uncertainty in her voice, so he cupped her face, making her look into his eyes “I’m sure that it is fine – really – come on – we don’t want to let Bella wait too long.”
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:43:00 AM|
Ten minutes later they were on their way to fetch Bella. “You know I really need to get a new car soon…” Liz told Max while they were waiting for the traffic light to turn green. “Do you have an idea what you want?” “Something cheap…” Max turned towards her “Uhm no – forget it you’re not getting a cheap car – I want you and Bella to be safe when you’re out there somewhere driving around. “Well that uh…” “I’m gonna buy you a car…” Liz was dumbfounded, where had that come from. “Excuse me?” “I said…” “I heard you Max but you can’t be serious?” “I am…I mean…Liz I know that you don’t want me to support you that much – something that I still don’t really understand but I will accept it – but like I said I just want you to be safe when you’re driving around and I’ll even let you pay me back…if that’s what you want – I…” Max stopped his explanation when he heard Liz giggle. “What?” “Nothing it’s just so…I don’t know – typical? But let’s not get into this right now…” “So is that a yes?” “I don’t know yet, let me think about it okay?” “Okay…”
They drove in companionable silence, listening to the radio. Of course Liz still didn’t like the idea of Max paying for her car BUT she was feeling why to – well happy and satisfied in the moment to get into an argument now.
When they arrived at the house of Bella’s friend the girls were outside, playing in the garden with a dog. Max and Liz got out, linking their hands right away when they walked up to the house. “Mommy! Daddy!” Bella exclaimed when she saw her parents and ran towards them. “Hey princess…how was your day?” Liz smiled, hugging her daughter, who then switched over to her father who knelt down to be the same height as she was and gave her a kiss and a hug “Hi there angel…” “Daddy I wanna show you somethin’…” she took his hand and dragged him over to the other small girl and the dog.
Meanwhile Julia’s mother came out of the house “Hello Liz…I hope you got my call…I’m so sorry that it took a little longer.” “Oh that’s fine I got it…I hope Bella did behave herself?” “Oh she was the perfect angel like always…” they both turned towards Julia, Bella and Max. “So that’s him? Bella has been talking nonstop about her Daddy…” “Oh yeah?” “Yes…she’s really happy that he’s back again…she also told me that you’re going to get married – is that true?” “Uh well…I…I…it’s a little too early to talk about getting married I think…”
Max came back with a sulking Bella – he had a smirk on his face. “Okay what’s going on now?” “She wants a dog and I told her that we’re not getting a dog…” he shrugged and held out his hand to Julia’s mother “Hi I’m Max Evans…” “A pleasure to meet you.”
On the drive to Max’s house Bella was very quiet, she had thought that maybe her Daddy would buy her a dog – she knew that her mother wouldn’t. “Bella please stop this okay? Max is right – you’re not getting a dog, we had this discussion over and over again and established that you’re not getting a pet until you’re older.” “But I am older now…I asked you the last time on Christmas…” “Oh yeah? Well I mean a lot older…” Liz tried to reason with her daughter but nothing worked. She kept this up until they finally got home two hours later after fetching some stuff for Max at his house and making another stop at the grocery store to get some stuff that Bella wanted.
Now there were at home – Liz had promised herself that she wouldn’t do a lot for the rest of the day – tomorrow and then Thanksgiving day itself would be stressful enough. “So – I – uh…” Max held his bag at his side not sure about what to do. “Don’t you want to bring it up to the room? Get comfortable?” Liz teased him – so he might have been the brave one earlier but now – she could clearly see the red tips of his cute ears. “Uhhh – sure…” Max nodded and headed up the stairs.
Bella was in her room, but when she heard the door opening of her mother’s bedroom she got up and opened her door as well – maybe there was still a slight chance that she’d get a pet “Mommyyyyyyyy…what are you doin’ Daddy?” Why was her Daddy walking into her mother’s bedroom with his bag? Wouldn’t he be sleeping on the couch again?” “I – uh – I’ll be sleeping here…” “So where is Mommy gonna sleep?”
Max felt really embarrassed and he had no idea why – after all Liz and him were grownups – they had a daughter for god’s sake and…Bella wasn’t thinking about what could happen behind closed doors – right? She was too young – right?” “Ah Mommy and I are going to share the bed.” “Oh – do you wanna share my bed too?” That made Max smile – gosh she was just too cute. “I think you’re bed is a little too short for me angel…” “Mhm…”
He turned around and walked into Liz’s bedroom, placing his bag on a chair, opening the zipper and starting to unpack. Bella appeared next to him “Daddyyyyy?” “Hm?” “Why don’t I get a pet?” Max smirked and sat down on the bed, taking Bella with him and sitting her onto his lap “Because a pet means a lot of responsibility and you’re too young for a pet – you see Bella – a pet also needs a lot of time – you have to take care of it, feed it, maybe go for a walk if it’s a dog several times a day…and you’re Mommy and you are hardly home – that wouldn’t be fair or would it? It would be alone most of the time and then you can’t just go away if you lose interest…I know that you think now that you’re old enough but believe me – when Mommy and I tell you that you’re not we’re not trying to hurt you, we just know that you’re too young – maybe when you’re older you’ll get a pet…okay?” He lifted her chin so that he was able to look into her eyes – he wanted to make sure that he had made his point. “Okay…” Bella sighed dejected so this hadn’t worked.
Max’s heart was beating triple time – it was times like this when he realized how much she was Liz’s and his child – she looked just like Liz in the moment. Her brown her a beautiful curtain, framing her pretty face. “I love you angel…” He wrapped his arms around her tiny body and kissed her onto her head. “I luv ya too Daddy…” She smiled at him before hopping down from his lap and heading down the stairs.
Max had to take a deep breath – okay so – he was used to a lot of stuff by now – he was getting the hang of being a father and all that – and having Liz back in his life, to have a heart and feelings again yet it was just really difficult for him to not start bawling when this small girl smiled at him and told her that she loved him – and he hadn’t really done anything spectacular – she just loved and accepted him. It was amazing.
Later after dinner the small family decided to watch a movie “Ice Age” – because Bella had wanted it. Max was surrounded by Liz and Bella. Bella was lying on the couch, her head against his thigh, while Liz was on the other side, her head against his shoulder and his arms around her, stroking her arm. Sometimes they were exchanging loving glances.
Liz couldn’t believe her luck – could life be anymore perfect? Well yeah Grandma could be still alive but Liz was pretty sure that she was up there somewhere, watching over them and she was surely happy about Max taking care of her and Bella.
When the movie was over Bella was already deep asleep “She’s out like a light…” Max chuckled moving very slowly and carefully, making sure that he wouldn’t wake her. He lifted her up and carried her up into her room. Liz had followed them and together they put their daughter to bed. Afterwards they tidied up the living room and headed upstairs as well. It was strange because they already a routine about anything although they had never lived together – and when they finally got into bed there was no discussion about who would sleep on what side.
They were lying in bed, facing each other, moonlight was illuminating the room. No one said a word, instead they watched each other. “This is surreal.” Liz then whispered. Max’s only answer was “Yeah…are you uncomfortable with me being here? I mean I could go downst…” Liz who was placing tiny kisses onto his lips stopped him. “No I’m not feeling uncomfortable – on the contrary – it feels right, it feels perfect…and…I…” she stopped ashamed about her thoughts and what she had nearly told Max. “What?” a cheeky grin was dancing over his lips when he moved closer. “I…well…I’m actually excited about the fact that you’re here…this reminds me so much of the nights we spend in each other’s arms…” “…and I hope that there are a lot more to come.” Max breathed before he couldn’t resist the temptation of kissing her.
They necked, touched, kissed, moaned, groped and explored but they didn’t go any farther. Instead Liz snuggled closer to him, breathing in his scent. “May I ask you something?” “Yeah sure…” “How was it? After Claudia had died – I mean I can imagine that it was pretty difficult at first – suddenly alone and a young mother with a new born…” Liz was silent for a moment and Max already wanted to tell her to forget it, that he was sorry for asking such an inconsiderate question. “It wasn’t easy…I mean…I had lost nearly everything – sure I had also earned a lot but there were days when I thought I wouldn’t make it…” and so she started to tell him…
“There was this one day – shortly after Grandma had died – I mean I had been living on my own ever since she had to stay at the hospital but…I dunno that day – it just all became to overwhelming, just too much – Bella was screaming and crying non stop and I couldn’t make her stop and I had no idea what was going on, I had to move out of the apartment because I couldn’t afford it anymore and…well it was just a shitty day…” Max pulled her closer, entwining their fingers, brushing a soft kiss onto her shoulder. “….I…suddenly I just started to cry as well – Bella in my arms I sat on the floor, bawling like a baby as well – I was so lost…I had no hope…and…I doubted myself – I doubted everything. I started to think that I’m a bad mother, totally incompetent because I couldn’t get my baby to stop crying, I thought I was a bad granddaughter because I had let her die and I thought that I deserved everything because I had left you behind – I…” her voice broke and she brushed away some tears that were streaming down her cheeks.
Max’s heart broke, he pulled her even closer, kissing her head over and over again “I’m sorry Liz, I’m so sorry that everything got so messed up…I wish I could have been there for you and Bella – I wish…” he stopped and looked into her teary eyes, cupping her face with one hand “…I promise that from now I’ll be there okay? And that I’m not going to leave again…I really want to be there for you and Bella and I hope that you really believe me that this isn’t just a phase – have faith in me okay?” “Okay?” she hiccupped and even smiled a little bit.
They got more comfortable with Liz in front of Max, her back pressing to his front, his arm securely around her body and feel asleep.
In the middle of the night the door opened and a small girl sneaked in, carrying her favorite teddy bear and climbed onto the bed. Her Daddy was lying on his back, holding her mommy in his arms, sleeping – so Bella slipped under the blanket as well and into Max’s other arm. She liked her Daddy’s scent – he smelled good not like a lot of other Daddies she had met - they sometimes smelled like smoke, alcohol or sweat but her Daddy smelled just fine. And she felt secure and that was also a reason why Bella fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow again.
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:44:27 AM|
Something was odd, something was poking him, something …what the…? Max opened his eyes and reached for that ‘thing’ seriously threatening his family jewels. What he saw made him warm and fuzzy inside. Bella was lying next to him her one foot – well he carefully took it and moved it away. She looked like an angel, just like her mother – he turned his head and saw Liz lying on his other side – they looked so much the same it was amazing. As carefully as possible, he climbed over Bella, tucked her in once more and enjoyed the view of mother and daughter before he moved out of the room. He had to take a deep breath as soon as the door was closed – it really overwhelmed him still from time to time.
He went downstairs and started a pot of coffee before he made his daily call to his mother. She answered the phone after two rings “Hello?” “Mom hi it’s Max…” “Oh hey…how are you doing? How are Bella and Liz?” “They’re still sleeping, they’re fine…how is Dad?” “He’s doing better everyday – yesterday he even was able to sit up a little bit…” “That’s great…anyway I just wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving because I have no idea if I’ll be able to call tomorrow…” “That’s fine Max…are you guys still planning to come to Roswell for Christmas?” “Yes…well we haven’t really talked about it again but I’m sure we will.” They ended the call and Max got his laptop out, sure his life had changed but that didn’t mean that he could neglect work forever. Pouring himself a cup of coffee he sat down at the kitchen table and started reading files and entering data into his laptop. Yet he was also always trying to hear if Liz or Bella woke up.
Liz sighed – deeply the last night had been one of the most wonderful ever. Opening her eyes she was turning to where Max was supposed to sleep – instead she found her daughter, snuggled into the blanket and holding teddy tight. Had she sneaked into the room at night – good lord – thank god they had been decent. Liz’s first thought was – next was more in the line of – why had she come? Did she have a nightmare? Or did she just want to be in here with her Mom and Dad? Liz lifted her hand and carefully stroked over her daughter’s head, making sure not to wake her. This was all so amazing and although Liz had never dared to think about it all this years but she of course dreamed about. Always dreaming about what would happen if Max ever got back into her life – their life? Would they ever be a family? The last weeks proved to her that they actually could – sure this situation wasn’t usual but…she had to believe that it would be some day.
Bella stirred and opened her eyes as well. “Morning princess…” “Mhmmm…where’s Daddy?” “He must have gotten up…when did you sneak into my bed?” “Last night…” Bella mumbled, her eyes closing once more. Liz let her sleep and got up, leaving her in the bed – Bella wasn’t really a morning person.
Walking downstairs Liz stopped in her tracks when she saw Max sitting at the kitchen table wearing only a shirt and sweatpants, his laptop running, files decorating the table and him wearing glasses and fully concentrated on something he was reading. A cup of steaming coffee next to him. Is that what it was like to have a husband? Liz couldn’t help it she felt all mushy inside – husband – that sounded – really nice.
“Good morning…” Max brought her out of her thoughts and smilingly she walked up to him. He held his hand out to her, pulling her onto his lap “Hey…” “Hey…why are you working?” “Because I need to…don’t worry about it I swear that I won’t be working too much the next days – I just need to catch up on some stuff…” he gave her a short kiss onto her lips. “You want coffee?” “Sounds perfect…have you already eaten something?” “Nope – I wanted to wait for you guys.” Liz got up and poured herself another coffee and sat down at the table as well…eyeing his work. “When did Bella come into our bed?” Max smirked and looked up from his file “I have no idea actually – I was very surprised to find her in bed this morning – I was just glad that I was wearing something…” “Yeah me too…” Staring into each other’s eyes they chuckled.
Three hours later Liz was busy with baking Pumpkin pie and preparing all the stuff for their meal tomorrow while she had ordered Max and Bella to go into the cellar and look for the Christmas decoration she wanted to put up after Thanksgiving.
“Bella be careful I don’t want you to hurt yourself.” Max admonished her. Where the hell could all this stuff be? He came across another box and opened it to make sure that the stuff he was searching for wasn’t in there. Instead he found “Oh my gosh…” he opened the box and took one romper suit for a new born out. “What’s dat?” Bella came over at once. “That’s one of yours…” Max held it up with shaking fingers – that’s how tiny his daughter had been shortly after she was born – and he hadn’t been there. He put it away again – promising himself that if they’d ever had another child he’d be there all the way. “C’mon Bella we have to find that stuff…”
Liz heard giggling and the voices of Bella and Max coming nearer when she put the pie into the oven. The next second the two appeared at the entrance to the kitchen, both having a chain of lights around their necks, Bella carrying the angel that would be sitting on the third step of their stairs and Max carrying the big box with the rest. “Hey you two what took you so long?” “Well we redecorated the cellar a little bit…” Max joked and put the box down. “What do you mean you redecorated the cellar? MAX! There’s a system down there…” Liz asked startled, her eyes as big as saucers. “Really? I wouldn’t have noticed…” Max kept on joking.
He was really having fun – seeing Liz washing her hands hectically, drying them and heading for the stairs that led downstairs. A minute later she appeared back in the kitchen, seeing the smug smile Max was wearing, leaning against the doorframe – still the lights around his neck. “You…I can’t believe you, you…” “Did I forget to mention that I was pulling your leg?” Max chuckled and enveloped her into her arms, although she wanted to push him away. “Although I have to admit that you should really consider a new system down there…or you need a bigger cellar – something like that…”
They spent the rest of the day playing with Bella, going for a walk along the beach and just enjoying each other’s company. “Oh by the way I called my Mom this morning and she was asking if we’re still planning on coming to Roswell for Christmas.” “Sure – I mean if you want to – if you’d rather stay here that’ll be fine with me…” Max stopped walking and pulled Liz into his arms – Bella was ahead of them, still in sight. “Actually as long as I get some time alone with you I don’t care where we are…” he mumbled before giving her a breath taking kiss – Liz knew without a doubt that she’d never get used to those kisses in a positive way – they’d always turn her knees into jelly and make her heart beat triple time or even faster. “Well, well Mr. Evans are you hitting on me?” “I had actually hope that I wouldn’t need to do that anymore…”
“Mommy Daddy! Looky!” Bella suddenly screamed looking at the ground. Max moaned “You know her timing really sucks…” he grumbled before taking Liz’s hand again and they both walked up to Bella.
For dinner they ordered in and while Liz was busy in the kitchen with some laundry, Max sat at the kitchen table working again, while Bella was in the living room playing. “So…I was wondering – I mean…how was Harvard…” Liz suddenly asked – a little ashamed of her curiosity. Harvard had always been her dream and sometimes she still wished she could go to College and make at least some dreams come true she had had as a teenager.
Max looked up from his stuff and watched her, taking off his glasses “I…it was okay I guess…I mean…it helped that Alex wasn’t far away – have I told you that we even shared an apartment?” “No you didn’t really? Oh my god Max…for the whole time?” Liz smiled now – Alex and Max sharing an apartment. “No actually only the last year – before that I stayed on Campus – it was fun and I got to know a lot of funny guys but none comes close to Alex – he’s an original – I mean it was good that he was there with me in Boston I think if not – I’d…I don’t know…I think I would have gone crazy.” Liz stopped the ironing and watched Max. Before she could say something he continued “I mean – it had always been your dream to go to Harvard and…we had always thought that we’d go together and then…you weren’t there and everywhere I went the first months I thought ‘Liz would have liked that’ – although it was really ridiculous – sure over the time it got easier but – it felt kind of – odd…I don’t know. Have you ever been to Boston?” “No – I never made it – actually I haven’t made it to East coast yet, the trip to New York will be the first time.” “Really? I’m sure you’ll like it - it’s awesome.”
Bella went to bed early because the day had been pretty exciting and also very tiring. “You’re wearing her out…” Liz chuckled when Max came back downstairs after putting Bella to bed. “Well – it all adds up to the master plan.” “What are you talking about?” Liz looked at him, sitting on the couch, her feet tucked underneath a blanket. “You’ll see…” Max smiled at her and headed over to the stereo – putting in a CD. “May I have this dance?”
Liz felt anything but worthy to dance – she needed a shower, she was wearing a dirty top and sweatpants. “I…I…” but before she could mention her objections Max had already pulled her of the couch and held her close to his body. Liz could hear Joe Cocker’s “You are so beautiful”.
They were moving slowly, Max had one arm around her waist, his hand pressed against her lower back, the other was holding Liz’s hand securely between their bodies. Staring into each other’s eyes they didn’t need to say a word of how they were feeling. “So…Mister Evans…what is the master plan?”
Max smirked at her before his next move, lowering his head to her neck he started to suckle and nibble at her warm and tasty skin “Well…do you really want me to tell you or rather show you?” Biting into her earlobe he elicited a deep moan from her, making her move closer. “I’d say you can do uhm…both.” Liz mumbled before throwing her head back even more – giving Max more access to her skin. “The master plan is…” he moved his other hand to her back as well, letting it slip straight underneath her top. “…to dance with you and then to seduce you, love you, caress you, worship you, make up for lost time, revel in memories of us and making new ones…” Max had made his way up over her chin to her lips and was now hovering over her soft lips, that were calling for him ”…how does that sound?” He finally asked before kissing her. He teased her with his tongue, only touching it slightly to her lips once, twice until Liz had enough and touched her tongue to his, opening her mouth wider, granting him more entrance, sucking at his tongue.
Max didn’t waste too much time this time, instead he lifted Liz up and carried her up the stairs into the bedroom. And this time he had no doubt if it was too early, the last days had been another confirmation for him that he belonged with Liz and Bella, that he loved them…and he wanted to show this love to them in anyway possible…and in the moment he wanted to show and prove it to Liz, more than anything. It was shocking at first because all through the years it hadn’t been about love, it had been about satisfaction but he didn’t care for that anymore…
|posted on 26-Dec-2002 8:45:40 AM|
Max kicked the door shut behind him, letting go of Liz for a second to lock the door “Wouldn’t want Bella to walk in on us – I’ll unlock it later again…” the last part had been mumbled because he was already nibbling at her bottom lip again. Liz had thrown her arms around his neck again, pulling him closer, craving his touch, his taste. While they were kissing they were stumbling towards the bed, when they arrived there – Max had already lost his shirt and Liz her top as well.
He planted sweet and soft kisses on every part of skin he revealed. “Max…” Liz sighed when he freed her breasts, paying homage to first the left then the right one. She was so tempting, had always been like that – nothing could have ever stopped him from touching her, loving her and this hadn’t changed at all.
Liz pushed Max down onto the bed and straddled his lap, her hands gliding over his marvelous chest, pinching his nipples slightly making him moan. His hands weren’t idle either, starting at her thighs moving them up and then towards her middle, squeezing her. She bent down again, kissing him, their tongues tangled, drinking from each other. Max wrapped his arms around her and rolled them over, now lying in between her thighs, feeling her heat that was radiating from her.
He concentrated once more on her nipples making her writhe underneath him. Max could feel Liz wrapping her legs around his waist, rubbing herself along his manhood – making it more and more impossible for him to think. “Oh god Liz…you have to stop that or I’ll lose control completely…” “Well that’s my master plan Mister Evans…” Liz sighed in between kisses and let her hands wander into his pants and shorts, grabbing his butt, pressing him closer.
“You know, you really need to get out of these clothes…” Max said, before turning his attention to her sweatpants, loosening the string and pulling them down, together with Liz’s panties. Gosh he was hoping she was okay with all of this and that he wasn’t moving too fast. Yet when he felt her reaching for his pants he knew that this was just fine with her.
As soon as they were both naked Max just hovered above Liz, enjoying the view, to mesmerized by the woman who owned his heart. Her skin was glowing – he was sure of it. “Max please kiss me.” Liz whispered and Max didn’t need any more encouragement. Their lips were mating, their tongues dancing a primal dance. Liz arched up when she felt Max’s tongue trailing over her sensitive skin. Her body was so aware of Max, it felt like it was reaching out for him, begging for his attention, begging for his touch.
Max didn’t want to crush Liz, so he held himself up, staring into her eyes “Are you sure that this is what you want?” he had to ask her, it just…this was special. “Yes – I want this – just be careful – I – well I…” she stuttered, concerning Max “What? You can tell me anything Liz…” He cupped her face with one hand, trying to encourage her to be honest with him. “…I just haven’t done this in a long time…a really long time.” She didn’t dare looking into his eyes after that.
Max felt like his heart was bursting after that confession, so he lifted and turned her head with his forefinger placed under her chin towards him. “Thank you…thank you for being honest with me…" His one hand moved down her body, over her breast, her flat stomach, to her most feminine part, probing her, eliciting a gasp which turned into a moan after some seconds. "Ohhh…" was all he heard, looking up into her face, he saw that Liz had her eyes closed and her mouth slightly opened, excitement written all over her face, making it more and more difficult to not just plunge in. No, not this time and definitely not with Liz.
"Max please…" he could hear her whisper and felt her hands moving up and down his body as well, one hand sliding in between their heated bodies, touching him. "Lizzzzzzzzzzzz…." He hissed, closing his eyes for some seconds as well, marveling at the feelings and the passion she was evoking in him. This was a dream come true.
They got lost in a fog of desire, lust and passion and it wasn't long until they were joined, back together as one, back where they belonged, back home.
At first Max didn't dare to move instead he and Liz just drank from each other's eyes, waiting for one to make the first move. Liz thought she was dreaming, could this be real? After all this time - and nothing had changed, Max was still the only one for her, the only one who had ever gotten this close and he'd always be the only one.
Their lovemaking was slow, honest and genuine, without a hurry. Giving and taking, enjoying and loving the other. There were no lies between them anymore.
Afterwards they just lay there reveling in having the other near. Max had his arms securely around Liz, kissing her naked shoulder once in a while, while Liz stroked his hand lightly. No words were exchanged there wasn't a need to.
After some time Liz turned in Max' arms and glanced at him. "What?" "Nothing, I…I guess I just wanted to make sure that this isn't a dream, that when I'm turning around you'll really be there."
Smiling at her, he brushed a strand of sweaty hair out of her face "No this is real, although I definitely know the feeling believe me…every day I can spend with you two seems like a fantasy to me…"
Exchanging knowing smiles they grew silent again. "Liz?" "Yeah?" "What did you mean when…I mean…you don't have to tell me but….I…." Liz moved closer, a little concerned "What is it Max?" "Well I was just wondering, when you said that you haven't done this in a long time what did you mean by that?"
Although the room was dark and the moon was the only light source Max could clearly see that Liz was blushing "I…well…the last time…it was…with you…"
Max didn't know what to say after that - what the hell was he supposed to say, he had slept with so many women over the years and Liz had been faithful.
"Don't Max. Don't do this to you, don't think about what you did while you didn't know what had really happened…it's okay…" Liz cupped his face right away, like she was sensing what he was thinking about. Then he asked tentatively "It's just I…has there ever been…you know…some one?" "No not really, I had to deal with so much when Bella had been born, the death of Grandma, my move, building a new life and….actually sure there had been guys who had been interested but I wouldn't let myself get to close to them…I don't know…I guess I wanted Bella to be older before I started to concentrate on my life again." She grew silent "That sounds really stupid, doesn't it? It sounds like I have put my life on hold while Bella is growing up, but I wasn't missing a thing…believe me I was really happy and satisfied the last years - I didn't miss dating…I have my friends…"
He had listened to her, gently massaging the knuckles of her left hand. "And now? What has changed?" "Well now you are back in my life and I'd just lie if I told you that I wouldn't miss what we share if you left again…" "I'm not going to…" "I hope so…" They got caught up in another earth shattering kiss and soon Liz was straddling Max, him deeply embedded in her, driving her to another crescendo of fire and passion.
Max watched her reaching for the stars and only then, when he felt her clenching him he let go as well. It took Liz some while coming down and so he rolled her over, tucking her in, kissing her forehead. Liz sighed but it was obvious that she was falling asleep already. So Max got up, unlocking the door and slipping on his shorts - just in case that Bella decided to come crawling into bed again. He climbed back into bed as well and drew Liz nearer, watching her. There was something begging him to get out…something…that needed to be said although she wouldn't hear it "I love you, cupcake, always…" he finally murmured, also falling asleep.
The next morning Max wasn't too surprised that Bella was indeed lying next to him again, Liz was still asleep as well. He could really get used to it, how was he supposed to have a goodnight's sleep back at his house, alone. It sure didn't feel like home there anymore. Instead of getting up, Max stayed in bed, enjoying the closeness of his two girls and besides that - he had to make sure that Bella wouldn't see her mother naked - god only knew how many questions his inquisitive daughter would ask them if that happened.
Thanksgiving had been a really nice experience -. The small family had prepared the food together, later some friends of Liz's had come by and Max was introduced to them, even Courtney had paid them a visit and had stayed a little bit. It had been a lot of fun. The following day the three had gone out, welcoming the Christmas season - Bella had dragged them in every possible toy store telling them what she wanted, on their way back Max had bought them a real Christmas tree and he rest of the day was spent with decorating it.
The following days had also flown by - with Bella getting more and more excited about the trip to New York and now they were on their way from JFK to their hotel in a limousine.
"Max you're crazy - a limousine?" Liz still shook her head, she had been shocked when they had boarded the plane realizing that they were actually traveling First Class - FIRST CLASS for god's sake and now there had been a limousine waiting for them and god only knew in which hotel they were residing in. "What? You said you'd leave the planning of the trip up to me - now hush and enjoy the view - Bella please don't push every single button in here…" Max warned Bella - he understood her curiosity but….well she was still a child and he didn't want her to get hurt - even he didn't know all the buttons in a car like that.
"Okay just out of curiosity - how much does this trip cost you?" Max took Liz's hand, entwining their fingers "I'm not going to tell you Liz, don't even try…I don't want you to think about money the next days okay? Enjoy this trip…please?" How could she be angry with a man whose puppy eyes were pleading with her like that. She sighed theatrically and kissed him.
Bella had climbed onto his lap and yawned - they had left Los Angeles at 4 p.m. and that meant that it was way behind her bedtime. He held her close, trying not disturb her - she needed all her power for the following days - that was for sure.
When they arrived at the hotel Liz gasped again "The Waldorf Towers? Max are you nuts?" "Hush - do you want to wake Bella?"
They got out of the limousine, a bellboy already taking care of their luggage and headed into the hotel. Max checked them in, with Bella still in his arms. He could easily hold her up with one arm, as she was sitting on it and her arms around his neck. Their suite was on the 40th floor and Liz just couldn't stop gasping, the view was marvelous, the suite huge - it had a master bedroom, a living room, another bedroom and two bathrooms.
Max put Bella into bed before he returned to Liz who was standing at the window - glancing out into the night. Wrapping his arms around her from behind, he didn't say a word, instead he just enjoyed the view as well and the fact that Liz was here with him.
|posted on 28-Dec-2002 7:41:28 AM|
The next day Max had planned to have breakfast in their room but when he saw mother and daughter hopping from one window to the other he decided against it and instead took them to a Starbucks. They just couldn't get over how amazing New York City was. "So do you believe me now? It's beautiful isn't it?" Max asked Liz, wrapping his arm around her waist while she was holding to one of Bella's hands to make sure that they didn't lose her. "Max it's wonderful - I mean Los Angeles is big but this…look at how high those buildings are…" I know - one of my former College buddies he lives in one of those houses and sometimes the fog is so thick that he can't even see the ground, it's funny but he told me that he has to call the reception to ask how the weather is downstairs - it's amazing - I mean people don't even need to get out to go grocery shopping - they have everything in those skyscrapers."
"Daddy can we go up there?!" Bella pointed towards the Empire State building. "Sure - do you have your camera ready Liz? Because you're in for the most fantastic view over the big apple.
20 minutes later Max was busy with following his two girls - because they had to take pictures of everything they saw. "Max you think somebody would take a picture of us? We don't have one of us together?" "I'm sure - excuse me?" Max turned towards a couple in their twenties "Would you mind taking a picture of us?" "Sure -" the girl smiled at him, took the camera and waited. Max had scooped Bella up in his arms, while Liz stood next to them, holding onto Bella as well "Okay ready? Smile!" The girl took the picture "Would you mind taking another one?" Liz asked and so they took another. "Thank you again so much…" Liz thanked the girl again and took the camera again - Max had turned away from her, Bella still in his arms and he was pointing somewhere, explaining something. The moment was just too perfect to let it pass by - so she took some more pictures of father and daughter.
"Okay how about we go to Macy's now and get you girls something nice to wear for tonight?" "But…" Liz wanted to object. "Liz I have seen what you packed - you might have packed your warmest clothes but I promise you that it won't be enough for New York in December - believe me…" Liz relented and they headed to Macy's. "But I'll repay you…" Liz mumbled when they entered the store. "Sure you will…" Max only chuckled not intending to take any money from here not now and not in the future.
First they went to the children's section. "So what do you want angel?" Bella looked around, shrugged her shoulders and sighed "I dunno…" So this wasn't going to be easy - shopping with two women - geez what had he been thinking? Yet surprisingly - an hour later they had found a beautiful royal blue dress, shoes, a coat, matching scarf, gloves and cap and some other warmer clothes.
"Do you like your new clothes?" Max smiled at his daughter while they were sitting in the woman's department on some chairs, waiting for Liz to come out of the changing room. "Yeah I like them - thank you Daddy…" "My pleasure…"
"I think you look absolutely marvelous…" they heard the sales woman who had disappeared together with Liz and was coming out now again. Then Liz came into view and Max couldn't swallow or talk. She was wearing a dark brown, suede skirt that stopped shortly above her knees. Her top had the same color and had a deep V-neck, showing off a little bit of her perfect breasts. Amazingly the had also found stiletto-boots to complete the whole outfit.
"You look beautiful Mommy…" Bella ran towards her mother, smiling. "I - uh don't know…" Liz was a little insecure, staring into the mirror - she didn't know the woman starring back. Because this woman - well she was beautiful, wearing clothes worth more than a month's pay- cheque. She wasn't a single mother, she was more like a woman who knew what she wanted and she usually got it.
Max had gotten up by now as well and was standing behind Liz, his hands massaging her shoulders gently "You look really enchanting Liz…this suits you…do you like it?" Liz turned around and glanced at Max "I…have you taken a look at the price tag?" "That's for me to know and for you not to worry about okay? Now do you like it?" "This is so different from what I usually wear…" "I know but you still haven't answered my question…" he then chuckled and turned her around, towards the mirror once more. "Look at you - you're the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my whole life and you can take my word for it when I tell you that I have seen a lot…" the last part had been whispered against her ear before her gave her a kiss - hardly noticeable.
Liz relented and they bought the outfit and a matching coat and several other warm clothes. She didn't really like the fact that Max paid for everything, they would really need to talk about this - but not today, the day was just too amazing. After having lunch at one of Max's favorite restaurants in New York they headed back to the hotel, to get ready for Michael's exhibition.
While Liz and Bella were in the one bathroom, Max had retreated to the other, enjoying a bath himself and calling Alex. "What's up man…" "Hey Alex - how are you doing?" "Fine - how is the family? Are they really here?" "Yeah they are." "Wow Maxwell I'm so proud of you…so…and they're really coming?" "Sure…and you didn't tell Maria or Michael right? I mean…I…I know I should have probably told Maria but you know how she is…once you call her you're the one listening and she's the one talking and before you can tell her anything she goes 'Oh I gotta run honey talk to ya later - ciao'…" He heard Alex laughing at the other end. "Yeah that's Maria…I know but no I haven't told her a thing…so where are you guys staying?" "The Waldorf Towers…" "Man - Maxwell - you'd think I could afford a hotel like that - business is really going well for a lawyer in La-la-land huh?" "I can't complain so where are you two staying?" "Sheraton…" Max just right out laughed and nearly drowned in his bathtub "Alex my man I hope you know that there's only a 4 bucks difference for each night…so anyway - I was wondering do you have any idea if Maria made plans for dinner after the exhibition or something like that?" "Yeah I think she has, depending on how the night will end I guess…I mean you know Maria - do you really think that she'll just accept the fact that Liz is back?" "I don't know I hope so…I…I mean…forget it - I see you later okay?" "Okay cee ya…"
Just when Max got out of the bathtub the door burst open and Bella came running in, only wearing her underwear and her hair still wet "Daddy….I'm hungry…" Max reached as fast as possible for a towel and wrapped in around his waist - geez. "Well I…I…I guess we could order something for you." The next second he could hear Liz "Bella - what…?" she stopped at the door - also only a towel wrapped around her body - saying Max like this, wet and only a towel around his narrow and sexy waist did wonders to hear libido. "Uh - sorry Max…" "No problem, so what do you want Bella? I just want you to know that we'll get something to eat later so maybe just something small and light…what do you say Liz?" Liz wasn't really reacting, Max had actually to chuckle when he saw what was occupying Liz's mind in the moment. He could swear it was this one drop of water that had started at his chin, running over his chest down over the muscles of his abdomen and was recently disappearing into the towel. "Liz…honey?" "Hmmmmmm?" Could she sound any dreamier? Couldn't Bella be sleeping right now? He'd had Liz naked and buried himself in her with in five seconds - flat.
"Ah what?" Liz could feel her cheeks burning up - how could she just stand here and start fanaticizing in the middle of the day with her daughter standing next to her about having her wicked way with Max in the bathtub - gosh she needed a cold shower - or some alone time with Max…hmmmm… "What did you say?" "I asked you if you think the same that Bella should only have something small and light to eat now because we'll probably get something later." "Oh yeah definitely." She nodded and turned away at once - one more second and she'd just attack him - gosh - when had she turned into a sex-starved-monster? This was ridiculous!
Max watched Liz taking Bella with her and smirked - obviously he wasn't the only one thinking about the nights they had spent together since Thanksgiving. He closed the door again and started to dry himself and slipped into his shorts and slacks, then he shaved and got ready. Wearing black slacks, black shoes, and dark olive green shirt (remember the one from Viva Las Vegas?) and black tie, his hear was still a little wet and he had just put on some after shave. Bella was sitting on the couch in front of the television and was munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. "So is it good angel?" "Mhm - wanna try?" holding it up for her Daddy to take a bite Max smiled "Ah no thanks. Where's Liz?" "Dunno - she always takes so long when we go out…" He had to chuckle again - add some more years and Bella would be the same. He walked into the master bedroom and saw Liz sitting at the vanity, putting on some makeup, only wearing a dressing gown.
Liz started at Max, her hands were shaking a little bit "Do you really think that this is a good idea?" "I'm sure - Liz don't worry sure Maria will be - well Maria - you know it but after some time she'll come around, she never was able to be angry at anyone for long - she's too curious - I'm sure she'll drive you up the wall with her questions." He leaned over and kissed her "And now get ready…I'll help Bella dress."
One hour later they left the hotel, once more driving in a limousine. "So Michael - is this his first exhibition?" Liz asked, fidgeting a bit until Max took her hand reassuringly. "No it's actually his third - he's pretty famous in Europe - but he also had a lot of people in the States who like his art - it's actually quite difficult to get an invitation to his parties and all - thank god we went to school together. "
The drive lasted 20 minutes and when they arrived there a lot of photographers were actually waiting in front of the building. "What? Going on here? Daddy why are all those people here?" "Well Michael, a lot of celebrities are buying his stuff so…they all want to take pictures of them…are we ready?" He looked at his daughter and then at Liz. She only shook her head "No…I'm not but I guess you won't allow me to go back to the hotel again…" "No I don't…now come on...I'm here okay? And if it gets too much you let me know and we leave okay?" "Okay…"
The door was opened and Max exited the car first, holding his hand out for Bella and then for Liz…the girl in their middle they walked towards the entrance.
Five minutes later they were in. "Max, Liz, Bella - over here!" they could hear Alex at the bar, handing a beautiful woman a glass to drink. "Alex - how are you doing?" Liz smiled at him. "I'm fine Lizzy-bear and you look a lot better now that the cast is gone and without the bruises and cuts…" "Thank you…" they hugged each other. "This is Kim - my fiancée…Kim this is my buddy Maxwell, Liz and their daughter Bella - hi munchkin how are you?" "I'm fine…"
The girl smiled shyly up at Alex, hiding behind her mother and father a little bit.
"So where is the star of the evening?" max asked when he handed Liz a glass of champagne and a glass of orange juice to Bella. "Well you know how they are - they're fashionably late…" Alex laughed, in hand his glass, the other holding Kim's hand. They were perfect for each other that was for sure.
Liz was so nervous she'd thought she'd surly be sick any minute, it had been a pretty dumb idea to come here - why had she let Max talk her into this? Like he was reading her mind he suddenly stood behind her, wrapping on arm around her middle, whispering words of confidence and love into her ear "You'll be fine…I'm here…"
They could all hear voices and see the flashlights going off outside of the building "Ah I guess his majesty has arrived…" Alex again, making everybody smile who had heard him.
"Guys this is crazy, first my hairdresser messed up my hair, then my nail polish didn't go along with my outfit and then…when you need cedar oil it's nowhere to be found…" they all could hear Maria coming their way, her head bent over her purse, searching for aforementioned oil. "HA! I got it…there you go…." Maria lifted her head, staring at "LIZ PARKER!!"
|posted on 30-Dec-2002 5:44:00 PM|
Maria was staring and gaping at Liz "Wha-wha-what - ho-ho-how…is this some kind of joke? What is she doing here?" She pointed at Liz. Liz felt awful, turning towards Max with pleading eyes "I knew this was a stupid idea…I better…" "What's going on here?" they all heard Michael. "Maria? What's all this sniffing about?" Then he saw her - "Liz? What are you doing here? Did anybody know about that?"
The questions sounded pretty accusing and were directed at Max "Yeah I brought her here - listen Maria, Michael - I know this might be a shock I just - it was a coincident. Liz and I ran into each other and well…" "She has no right to be here, she left us, left you, how can you forgive her like that?" Maria interrupted him with furious eyes shooting daggers at Liz. "Listen I'm here - don't talk about me like I'm not here, if you have to say something to me Maria then do so - I know that…" "…you don't know a thing Liz Parker - you have no idea what we and especially Max went through after you left him…" Max rolled his eyes. "Maria stop it okay - we also had no idea what had happened to Liz - we talked about it and well...there's more to the story…" "What could there possibl…" the next moment Bella appeared out of nowhere. "May I have another orange juice?" she held the glass towards her mother, but Liz wouldn't react so Bella turned towards Max "Daddy?"
Nodding his head slightly he smiled down at his daughter and took the glass from her "Sure - but first I want you to meet aunt Maria and uncle Michael - he's the one who invited all of us, he painted all those pictures. Maria, Michael this is Bella short for Arabella - Liz's and my daughter…" The glance he gave Michael and Maria was obvious. It signaled that they better behave and be nice towards her or he'd be out of here.
"Hi…" Bella smiled at them. Michael and Maria glanced at each other. Michael was the first one to say something "Hello Bella - it's nice meeting you…" Maria didn't say a word, instead she turned and walked into the other direction. Max looked at the other's and followed her, finding her at the bar ordering something to drink "Maria…" "You shut up Maxwell Evans - you have the guts to come here and bring her and YOUR daughter - your daughter Max - a daughter you have never mentioned to me - here and expect me to just accept it? Forget it?" "Maria…" Max held her back from moving away "Maria - I don't expect you to just accept it but - listen it is a long story but Bella is my daughter and Liz - her life was a mess, my father had paid her to go away and she needed the money because Grandma Claudia was sick, very sick - she died shortly after Bella was born - so she had no money, no friends and she had lost her grandmother and was a teenage mother - I…I love her Maria - I always have and I always will and ever since she's back in my life and brought Bella with her I've changed - I'm human again. You always accused me that I wasn't human anymore - only working not feeling - well this has changed - I…all I ask of you is to - maybe talk to Liz - she feels awful as it is…please Maria? Please?"
Maria had watched Max during his whole speech and she couldn't deny that he was right - he hadn't shown so much emotion in years "It's just - she was my best friend Max and best friends don't leave without telling where they go - hell something could have happened to her - I'm sorry that her life was so…so…well you know l…" Maria drowned her glass and ordered another one "…but…I don't know if I can forgive her…"
"You don't need to forgive me…" they suddenly heard Liz next to them "…I'm not asking for it Maria - I understand that you're angry with me, maybe hate me but I…I guess I'd like to at least say how sorry I am for leaving you behind and how grateful I am that you were there for Max when he needed his friends the most - I can't turn back time but I hope that I can change the here and now…please Maria?"
Max left the two women alone and went over to Alex and Kim "Where are Michael and Bella?" "He took her with him - showing her his favorite paintings - so how is it going?" "Don't ask…" Max sighed and took another sip of his drink "Give her time - we all know Maria, eventually everything will be alright." "I hope you're right." Kim excused her self to walk around, leaving Alex and Max standing there. Both were keeping an eye on Maria and Liz talking as well as on Michael and Bella.
The girl was giggling, so that was a good sign and Maria hadn't left so - well that was another good sign.
"So what are your plans?" Alex asked Max -he had wanted to ask him that question ever since seeing them again - something had changed. "I…I guess I…I don't know…" "Are you sleeping with her?" "Yes - no - I mean…we - it's different Alex, when I'm with Liz she's all I can think about and she's all I want to think about, I want to forget about the fact that I'm a lawyer and all that - that all doesn't count with her - I....I love her…" "Yeah Max that's nothing new but what are your plans?" Max watched him taking another sip nonchalantly "Oh please Max it's so obvious that you still love her I was just wondering if you're planing to marry her or something like that?" Max gasped slightly but smiled and concentrated on Liz again - Maria was telling her something throwing her hands in every possible direction, making Liz smile. They were all smiling, finally they were all happy again "Yeah I guess I do want to…" "That's my man…" Alex patted him on the shoulder "…and now excuse me Maxwell - I better search for Kim now. Cee ya later…"
Liz had explained to Maria the last years in a short version within ten minutes and surprisingly Maria hadn't interrupted her once. "Oh Lizzy I'm so sorry that Grandma Claudia died…" she finally took her into her arms. "…but I still don't understand why you didn't call? I mean - you should have known that you could contact me…" "I…I was so ashamed Maria and then - I was pregnant what was I supposed to say?" Maria turned to where she knew Michael was standing with Bella. "She's really cute you know - she looks like a perfect version of you and Max…you really have to tell me everything - how you two met again and everything - how about we meet up tomorrow? You know and really talk?" "I'd like that…" Liz nodded with tears streaming down her cheeks - Maria had misty eyes as well. "Promise me one thing Liz - never ever do that again okay chica? Don't leave ever again!" They were hugging while Maria had said that and Liz could only gasp "I swear Maria - I'll never leave again." "Good - now let's get over to the guys and get this party started."
Like they hadn't been separated for yours Maria and Liz walked up to Max who had just taken Bella from Michael. "So are you two okay?!" "Yes we're…Michael isn't it time for your speech?" Maria smiled at her friends.
Later they all went to an Italian restaurant and it gave everybody the chance to catch up with Liz, get to know Bella, talk about other stuff.
Max was just listening to Michael telling him about his plans to move back to States when Bella walked up to them "Daddy?" "What?" "I'm tired…" "Awww - come here angel…" he lifted her up onto his lap and wrapped his arms around her. "Is that okay? For me to hold you until we leave? You can try to sleep a little bit…" but the girl's eyes were already closing. "Max?" Liz looked at him with questioning eyes "It's fine she's just tired…" "Oh okay - you wanna go to the hotel?" "Not yet - she's sleeping anyway."
An hour later the friends separated but they'd meet again for breakfast the next morning and....from what the woman had planned Maria, Liz and Kim would head out and go shopping while the men could do whatever they wanted to do - Bella could choose tomorrow who she wanted to accompany.
This evening it was just like always when Bella fell asleep before she lay in bed - Max and Liz working together to get her undressed and redressed and putting her to bed.
"So? Happy?" Max asked Liz as soon as she had closed the door and slipped out of her shoes. "Yeah - thank you for taking us here - I guess - I haven't really realized how much I had missed them." Max was nuzzling her neck "I'm glad…" Liz turned in his arms - placing hers around his neck, glancing up into his eyes "Wanna go to bed Max?" "Are you tired?" "I didn't say that…" After that they smiled knowingly at each other and the two lovers disappeared behind the doors to their bedroom.
The next day the friends met like they had planned. After having a nice breakfast together they split up with Bella joining the women. As soon as they were gone Max turned towards Alex and Michael "Guys - I need your help…" "You need more than that Maxwell - you better start telling me everything and I mean everything that happened between Liz leaving Roswell and you behind…and you two getting together again…" "Okay…I understand that but could we do that while we're driving somewhere? I need to get something and now is my only chance to do so without Liz knowing it…" Alex was already waiting at a cab and got in when the other two men joined him.
Meanwhile Maria was dragging Liz, Bella and Kim in every possible designer store. "…so what happened then? You let them call his office and…oh that would look fabulous on you Kim - go try it…" Maria pushed a dress into Kim's hand and continued walking and asking…not even giving Liz a chance to answer. Bella was walking by her mother's side, holding Liz's hand and giggled whenever Liz wanted to say something but Maria just kept on babbling. "…I see…so he took care of Bella and one thing led to another and…" she sighed "…that's so romantic…here Liz try this…" and with that she thrust a skirt and top into Liz's hand. Making her gasp when she looked at the price tag. "Maria have you seen how much…" "Hush - I don't wanna hear a thing chica - go try it."
Four hours later and packed with bags they all met again for lunch. Max jumped out of his chair when he saw Liz and Bella carrying several bags "Geez what the hell did you do? Buy whole Manhattan?" "Very funny Maxwell - I just wanted to buy something for them…how could I know that we'd be so successful and that Liz still has this petite figure - making it possible for her to wear everything…" Maria sighed and plopped down in a chair next to Michael's after thrusting her bags into his hands.
"Daddy looky what aunt Maria got me!" Bella ran towards her father showing off her new necklace. "Wow that's really beautiful…did you say Thank you?" Bella nodded her head several times before she climbed onto the chair next to Liz's.
While they had lunch together Maria suddenly asked "So what are you guys doing on Christmas - I mean all of you?"
Alex chewed his last bite and swallowed before he answered "Well we're going to Roswell - last year my parents came over so this year it's my turn - and I want the others to meet Kim." He took his fiancées hand and smiled at her.
"Really? Cool - maybe we'll meet again because we're going to spend Christmas in Roswell as well - Mom wants to get to know Bella a lot better and with Dad…well - we're going to be there anyway…" Max smiled.
"Great because Spaceboy and I are going to spend the Holidays in Roswell as well." They all laughed and it was decided that they'd meet again in Roswell.
Max was sitting there - watching his friends, his daughter and his …his…the love of his life…laughing and talking - so much had happened and yet here they were - back again with some additions - some where missing but it was alright.
"Daddy? Can we go now?" Bella suddenly tucked at his pullover. "What are you going to do?" Michael inquired. "I promised them that we'd go ice-skating at the Rockefeller Center. "Ewww - that's nothing for me - you guys have fun and Liz you call me okay? If not there'll be hell to pay when we meet again in Roswell…" Maria hugged Liz. "I promise Maria…" Liz chuckled and the family left again - oblivious to their friends watching them with happy smiles on their faces.
"You don't have to be afraid angel, Mommy and I will hold on tight to you…I promise…" Max smiled at Bella - the whole time she'd been babbling nonstop but now with the skates on she - well she was afraid - she had never skated before.
Liz was still busy tying hers and Max was already standing on the ice - holding out his hands for his daughter to take them.
Bella was biting her bottom lip, looking at her father and then at her mother, took a deep breath and set one foot onto the ice - before she could even move Max had reached for her, making sure that she'd get used to the feeling first. "Are you okay angel?" "Mhm…" Max had positioned her in front of him, taking her arms and placing his own skates on the outsides of hers.
Liz watched father and daughter - it seemed like Bella was getting used to the ice and Max had started to push off the two of them which in process had made Bella laugh "Mommy look - look I'm ice-skating…" "I can see that princess…" Liz smiled and kept on watching until Max and Bella came back, then she joined them and after some more minutes of Max pushing Bella like that they took her into the middle, both grabbing a hand and so they slowly started to circle the ice rink. Making the whole day even more memorable when they let go of Bella's hands and her skating on her own - although she lost her balance after a few meters but instead of crying she laughed, got up and smiled. Yes, this trip had been perfect in every way.
|posted on 4-Jan-2003 11:26:06 AM|
The whole flight to Albuquerque and now the drive from there to Roswell Liz had been pretty quiet and Bella had been asking every five or ten minutes when they'd be there "Bella for the hundredth time - we'll be there around three p.m. you have a watch don't you? So please use it." He was really concerned about Liz - and Bella going on his nerves with this questioning wasn't helping to lighten up his mood.
He had a suspicion why Liz was so silent and gloomy but he couldn't tell her that - well not now anyway. So he just kept on driving - leaving her to herself. After all he knew her - he knew her very well - and there where times - times like that when it was better to just leave her alone.
When they finally arrived in Roswell - there was nothing that could hold Bella back from jumping out of the car when she saw Diane standing at the door. "Grandmaaaaaa!" Max watched her running towards his mother and how Diane hugged her and smiled at her - she looked definitely better from the last time that he had seen her. Instead of getting out of the car he looked at Liz "Do you wanna talk about?" Liz turned her head towards Max.
How was she supposed to tell him that? "I…not now - later okay? I - …" He took her hand in his and squeezed it reassuringly "Liz what ever it is - you know you can tell me okay? I…I just can't see you like this - so depressed and…I want to help you if…" "…I'm okay Max…" she finally smiled leaning towards him and giving him a peck in the cheek.
Diane watched Max and Liz who were talking about something still sitting in car, yet she could see that they had grown much closer again from the last time she had seen them. "So how was your flight Bella?" "Long and the drive was even longa…" the girl rolled her eyes.
Finally Max and Liz got out of the car as well "Hey Mom…" "Hi I'm so glad that you're finally here - hi Liz…" she hugged both of them before Max returned to the trunk of the car to get the suitcases.
He wasn't surprised when he saw that his mother had redecorated Isabel's former room into one that was definitely to be a little girl's room again - he left the suitcase with Bella's clothes and toys in there and opened the door to his room - not surprised again that it was prepared for two people. Yet it felt awfully strange - hey this was after all the room he grew up in - turned into a teenager and all.
"I'm sorry that I'm worrying you…" Liz suddenly stood behind him, she had come in and closed the door. "Where is Bella?" "Downstairs with your Mom…" at least she smiled a little bit when she told him that. He walked over to her and took her into his arms - inhaling her familiar scent. "Whatever it is Liz - tell me…this is supposed to be a happy time here now…"
He could feel her grabbing his back like she was desperately seeking for something to hold on to. "I…talked to Jeffrey - well he talked to me and he's thinking of leaving Los Angeles - he wants to move to Sacramento - to be near his father again and…what am I supposed to do now Max? I can't…I…mean…I…"
Her body started to shake, Max could hear Liz starting to sob "It'll be okay baby…really it'll be okay…we'll find a way…" stroking her back, he kissed her onto her hair and let her cry.
Actually Max had talked to Jeffrey as well and he had known about this plan - well he had plans of his own and he could just hope that Liz would be okay with it. He needed her to be that was for sure.
Minutes went by and after some time her sobs disappeared and she finally dared looking up at Max. Her eyes were puffy and red and Max couldn't resist leaning in to kiss away the last one of her tears "It will all be okay…I want you to have a good time while we're here okay? Don't worry about it - this is our first Christmas together in years and it's my first Christmas with our daughter and I want it to be a happy one okay? Whatever will happen when we'll get back home - we'll get through it together okay?" "Okay…thank you Max…I…" 'I love you' - she thought but stopped herself before saying it. Instead she glanced at his handsome face and sighed "What?" "Nothing - how about we start with this happy time now and go downstairs…I don't want Bella to babble too much…" Max took her hand and laughed "Well then let's do the heroic thing and go save my mother…"
The evening was spent with Max and Liz telling Diane everything about the trip to New York and everything that had happened in between - Bella was pretty much out like a light by eight. "I think I'll get her to bed and stay upstairs I'm pretty tired myself…" Liz got up. "Do you want me to help you?" Max wanted to get up as well. "No - that's fine she might not be a baby anymore but I'll be able to manage…Thanks - good night Diane." "Good night Liz…"
Diane watched Liz disappearing with Bella and then glanced back at Max who was watching them as well. "So…you said you wanted to talk to me when you called yesterday…what is it?" Max took a sip of his wine and watched the rest of the liquid in the glass. "How is Dad?" "Well he's fine, he asked when you'll be back…and…well he wanted to meet Bella - I showed him the pictures and I tell him everything about her but that's not my decision to make. "I…I honestly don't know what to do Mom - I mean does he expect things to be forgiven and forgotten? I can't - I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to…I…I mean his stroke made me realize that besides everything he's my father and I…thinking of losing him - it was like a wake up call yet he can't expect me to just return to normal." "Maybe you should tell him that…tell you what - I wanted to visit him tomorrow anyway how about you go there alone and if you feel like it would be okay for him to meet Bella - then I'd bring Liz and Bella…I can see that they're a very important part of your family and…Max I so desperately need this family to actually be a family again…I…" Diane stopped, her lips quivering, her eyes tearing up. "I know that I messed up as well but like you said his stroke was like a wake up call - I had a lot of talks with Isabel and - only the fact that you call me again, that we talk again makes me believe that we still have chance as a family…"
Max watched his mother, emptied the glass, got up and gave her a peck on the cheek "I love you Mom - I always have…see you tomorrow - good night…"
The next day Max left to visit his father alone - Liz said she was okay with Phillip meeting Bella if it was fine with Max - but she wouldn't go in there - not yet - she wasn't ready for that and she wasn't sure that she ever would be. "I understand…" He had said, hugging her before leaving. Now he found himself in front of a closed door, lifting his hand he knocked.
"Come in…" he heard his father - okay Max you can do that - you have to do that - do it for Bella, do it for yourself…taking a deep breath he opened the door and walked in.
Phillip was lying in his bed, the television running. He was so thin - he wasn't the strong, tall and intimidating man anymore Max remembered - instead there lay a man - thin, his hair nearly white instead of gray, instead of wearing a suit he was wearing sweatpants, sweatshirt and sneakers. Max had to take another deep breath "Max…" Phillip smiled at him. His eyes like the eyes of a child, his voice wavering. "Hi…uh…Dad…" Phillip wanted to sit up and Max could clearly see how much he was struggling. "Wait I help you…" he moved fast, moving the pillows so that his father could easily rest against them and helped him moving into a sitting position. Then he turned and got himself a chair and sat down. His father was staring at his legs "What is it Dad?" Max could have sworn that Phillip was ashamed of something. "Dad?" "Look at me…like…like…a …veg…veg…" Philip closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and pronounced the word "v-e-g-e-t-a-b-l-e" very slowly.
"But Dad - look at you - you're doing so much better then one month ago - isn't that something to be proud of?" Phillip finally dared looking at his son "I don't have a lot to be pr…proud of…" silence - Max clearly saw how strenuous talking was for his father so he didn't push him "…but I'm proud of you Max…you were right all along and…and…it took this…" he gestured around with his hand as much as he could "…to make me realize it…will you ever be able to forgive me?"
Max gasped before saying anything more "I honestly don't know Dad…I'd like to…I don't know maybe make a new start from here but don't expect me or Liz to just forgive and forget…" Phillip nodded his head "How is Liz doing? How is Bella? Di-Diane tells me about her and…and…shows me…pic…pic…p-I-c-t-u-r-e-s…she's really beautiful…" "Yeah she is, she's perfect Dad…I…Liz - I still love her Dad…and…I intend to marry her…" "That's good news Max…have you proposed yet?"
Max was really startled by this - who was this man? "I…uh…no…not yet…but I…plan to…" "When?" "Well I bought the ring…in New York…" what the hell was going on here? "But Max that's like three weeks ago…" "Yeah I know - I just - well I'm still waiting for the right moment…" "Max if you're sure every moment is the right moment…I proposed to your mother while she was helping grandma in the garden, she looked sweaty and…and…d…d…dirty but it was that moment that I knew that I could…n…never live with…witho…-ut her."
"Really? You never told me that story before Dad…" "Yeah I know…" Phillip smiled at Max…then padded his son's hand proudly "Ask her Max…" "I will…"
Later Diane called to ask what Max had decided and 30 minutes later - Bella came walking in with her "Daddy!" the girl ran towards her father - like she always did - expecting him lift her up. "Hey angel - how was your day so far?" "Good - grandma took us to the mall…" "Wow - that must have been fun huh?" "Mhmm…"
Max turned around with Bella in his arms towards his father - and like always when meeting new people Bella went quiet at first. "Bella this is my Dad - your grandpa…say hi to him…" "Hi…" Bella whispered and hid her face by pressing it into her father's neck. "Come on don't be so shy…" Max smiled at her and sat down, lifting her up and placing her onto his lap so that she was facing his father.
Bella was watching Phillip while Diane greeted him, kissing him, talking to him "Why is he lying in bed?" she asked Max - thinking that she was quiet enough but of course everybody had heard her. "Because I'm ill Bella…" Phillip explained. "Are you goin' to be fine again - mommy always tells me stories when I'm ill - do you want me to tell you a story to make you feel betta?" "That…that would be very nice…" Phillip smiles at her.
Diane and Max could clearly see how touched Phillip was by this small girl. Bella slipped off her father's lap and climbed onto the bed and sat down next to Phillip. "Are you ready?" Phillip nodded "Okay - once upon a time there was a buuuuuuuuutiful princess…"
Max got up from his chair and walked over to his mother who was watching her husband and her granddaughter with teary eyes. "They'll be fine Mom…it'll all be fine sooner or later." "I hope so Max I certainly hope so…" she nodded and moved into the welcoming arms of her son.
|posted on 5-Jan-2003 8:22:07 AM|
The next day they got a call from Maria who had already called Alex and just wanted to confirm a date for the evening at a new restaurant out of town.
"But I wanna go too - I wanna see aunt Maria an'…and uncle Michael again…" Bella whined - watching her parents getting ready for an evening out - this was the first time that they'd be going out without her - and she didn't really like that. "Bella honey - look you'll see them all tomorrow at the Christmas mass - promise…" Bella folded her arms in front of her body, pushed her bottom lip forward and stared sulky at the floor before turning around and disappearing into her room. Max sighed and got up again, slipping into his shoes - watching Liz getting ready "Do you have any idea how enchanting you look tonight?" He stood behind her and she could clearly see him through the mirror "Well you look extremely handsome as well…" she got up and put her hands on his chest…and he in deed looked very yummy - clad in dark gray slacks and a matching, lighter gray shirt - his hair was cut short again and he smelled really delicious.
Max couldn't resist the temptation Liz presented so he moved in and kissed her - slightly "You taste so good…" he murmured against her lips before kissing her again. "Max - we have to leave…we'll be late…" Liz moaned when she felt his tongue caressing her earlobe. "They can wait - " was his answer. "No - Max please you have to stop -" she pushed him away slightly but smirked at him "We'll continue this later okay?" Max waggled his eyebrows before they left their room and knocked at their daughter's door. "NO!" was the only answer but of course Liz opened the door nevertheless "Bella - princess - why are you sulking?" The girl sat on her bed and stared at the blanket, she refused to answer "Arabella - I want you stop this behavior - you'll all see them tomorrow again - see Daddy and I want to go out and we'll go to places where children are not allowed - please stop this…and be a good girl for grandma." When Liz wanted to give her a peck on the cheek Bella turned her head away. Max sighed, shook his head "Good night angel - be good…" he took Liz's hand and dragged her behind him "Good night princess…" Liz whispered thinking of maybe staying at home. As soon as they had closed the door she turned to Max "Don't even say it Liz - we go - let her sulk. She'll get over it - Mom has our cell phone numbers - she can call us if anything happens and Bella has to learn that not everybody does what she wants them to do…" "But…" "Shshsh…it'll be fine - she'll be okay…"
Diane was in the kitchen when she saw Max and Liz coming down "My don't you two look nice - have fun…" "We will Mom - listen Bella is sulking in her room because we don't take her with us but she'll be fine…just don't…" "Hey don't worry - remember Isabel is your sister, sulking was her hobby…" "That's true - goodnight Mom…" "Have nice evening and don't worry about us - come home when you want to okay?"
Twenty minutes later they arrived at the restaurant - Alex and Kim where there already. "Hello you two - have you been waiting long?" "No we just arrived here as well…" Kim smiled at them. "So how is your family Max?" Alex inquired. "Oh fine - Mom is babysitting Bella, Bella is sulking because we went here alone and my father is recovering - slowly but he's as good as expected…" "What happened to him?" Kim asked. "He had a stroke in November…and they didn't know if he'd wake up again but he's fine." "Oh - I really hope that he'll be fine again…"
"Sorry guys - sorry we're a little late…" Maria rushed to the table, plopped down into a chair and smiled at everybody "I can't believe that we're all really here - too bad Kyle isn't here…" "Yeah - well he's not into Christmas anymore ever since he converted…" Michael sighed and sat down as well.
After they ordered Alex cleared his throat "Well as we're all here now - Kim and I have an announcement to make…" he looked at his fiancée before continuing "…we finally set a date for our wedding…". "That is so great…congratulations you two - Kim you're so lucky…" Maria sighed "I know…Thank you…"
After everybody congratulated them Max asked "Do you already know where you want to get married - and when is it by the way?" They all laughed. "I actually want to get married here - my family will come here from Hong Kong and we want to get married on April 9th…still a little time…" "Oh don't say that Kim honey do you have any idea how difficult it can be to find the perfect dress - I'd say in between Christmas and New Years Eve we should go and at least take a look at what they have…" "Maria why don't you leave that up to Kim?" "No it's okay Michael I would really like that…" Kim smiled at Alex's friends - although she had only met them in New York three weeks ago - she could definitely understand why they were Alex's friends - they were funny and nice and - they just fitted together.
"So…how is Bella doing?" Maria asked Liz while they were eating "Oh she's fine but she so wanted to come with us and see you all again - we promised her that she'd meet all of you tomorrow again." "She's such a sweetheart."
After dinner they decided to head out to a club "I haven't been to a club for fun in years…" Liz whispered when they entered the building. "I usually cater parties at clubs, that's something new…" "Well then we should really make sure that you have the time of your life…" Max smiled at her, his arm wrapped around her shoulder leading her towards the bar.
They found a table to sit down and at first everybody was pretty much only talking and drinking but when they started to play older songs Maria suddenly shrieked "Oh my god Liz - c'mon that's our song!!!!" Liz had no time to object because she was already dragged out onto the dance floor by Maria and now they were dancing to the sound of "Save Yourself" from Sense Field.
Michael and Max were both lounging in their chairs watching their woman singing and swaying their bodies "You know Maxwell - I honestly can say - Maria is my soulmate…" Max took a sip of his beer turned to Michael, glanced back at Liz who had her eyes closed, singing her heart out and he just knew what Michael said "Yeah I know what you mean…"
Kim had joined the women and with Maria in the middle they had the night of their lives.
When they heard the first notes of "Everything" Liz turned to Max - holding her hand out to him - it had always been their song. So he got up and took her in his arms, she lay her head against his shoulder and slowly they started to move
Find me here - Speak to me
I want to feel You - I need to hear You
You are the Light - That's leading me
To the place where - I find peace again
Max could feel Liz moving her lips against his chest, she had always sang along with this song and until now he still had to find another song which expressed his exact feelings for her so much.
You are the Strength - That keeps me walking
You are the Hope - That keeps me trusting
You are the Life - To my soul
You are my Purpose, You're Everything
They were dancing slowly - their bodies pressed together and Liz's heart felt like bursting into a million little pieces - being here in his arms - that was where she belonged. She needed and she loved him.
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would You tell me how could it be
Any better than this
Carefully Max rested his head against hers and took a deep breath - it was the first time in years that he truly felt home. Yet Max was fairly sure that this had nothing to do with the fact that he was back in Roswell for Christmas - no it was the fact that he was holding Liz in his arms.
You calm the storms - You give me rest
You hold me in Your Hands - You won't let me fall
You still my heart - And You take my breath away
Would You take me in, Would You take me deeper now
Liz lifted her head to look into Max's eyes - they didn't need to say anything - talking wasn't necessary to know what the other was thinking. Max stared into her eyes before she felt his glance move lower - to her lips - her heart was beating erratically.
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would You tell me how could it be
Any better than this
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would you tell me how could it be
Any better than this
Finally their lips touched and it felt like an explosion all over again. They had stopped dancing and instead Liz's hands were brushing through Max's hair, her tongue dancing intimately with his. Tasting him, taking him and giving herself back. Max's hands were roaming over her back, pressing her closer to his body - needing to feel her.
'Cause You're all I want - You're all I need
You're Everything - Everything
You're all I want - You're all I need
You're Everything - Everything
You're all I want - You're all I need
You're Everything - Everything
You're all I want - You're all I need
You're Everything - Everything
They totally forgot where they were or what they were doing - all that counted was they. Maria, Michael, Alex and Kim watched them "Yeah that's Max and Liz alright - guys I think there'll be another wedding soon…" Maria smiled, moving closer to Michael.
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would You tell me how could it be
Any better than this
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would you tell me how could it be
Any better any better than this
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would you tell me how could it be
Any better any better than this
Gasping for air they stopped kissing - yet kept their foreheads touching, staring into each other's eyes and Max just knew - this was it - this was what his father had described as the perfect moment "God I love you cupcake - I always have and I always will and you'll never get rid of me again…" he took her left hand and slipped a ring onto her ring finger "Please say you will marry me Liz Parker…" Liz gasped but there was nothing more to doubt or think about "Oh Max…" she lifted her hand looking at the beautiful, heart shaped diamond ring "…Yes…I'll marry you…"
For a second there Max had feared that she'd say 'no' - it was soon and they still had a lot talk about but he wasn't intending to lose anymore time. "What do you say we get out of here?" Max said. Liz turned towards their friends and seeing that Maria was bawling like a baby - crying happy tears, Michael clapping, Kim also drying her tears and Alex giving them the thumbs up she turned towards Max and nodded "Let's get out of here - we can tell them everything tomorrow when we see them…" "That's my girl…" Max smiled, slipped an arm around her once more and led her towards the door - into a new life - together - as a family.
Would You tell me how could it be
Any better than this
Copyright by Lifehouse
|posted on 6-Jan-2003 5:07:19 AM|
"Mommy - Daddy! Wake up - it's Christmas - come on - you have to wake up!" a bundle of energy was jumping on their beds, pulling at the blanket. Max groaned and put his pillow over his head to drown out the noise - it had been a very long night last night and lately he was grateful for every extra minute he could spend in bed. He could hear Liz sighing and feel her snuggling more into him. "Mommy, Daddy you gotta wake up it's Christmas!" Bella kept on shouting. "Bella you're going to wake the whole house…" Max yawned and turned around. There she stood - like an angel - well like an angel that just got up - her hair was in a tangle and she didn't look that awake as well. Suddenly before she could react he grabbed her - placing her between Liz - who was awake now as well and him and started to tickle her "Daddy stop - stoooooooooooooooooooooop!" Bella screamed between fits of laughter "Promise you'll be a good girl and give Mommy and Daddy some time to wake up properly…we'll be down soon…"
His daughter was beaming at him "But it's Christmas…" and with that she had escaped him, running down the steps - waking up the rest of the house. God help him - but then again she probably won't be getting up in some years when she was a teenager.
Max and Liz smiled at each other before they moved towards each other "Morning cupcake…" "Morning…merry Christmas…" Liz smiled against his lips "Merry Christmas to you too…"
"Mommy, Daddy! Are you coming?" Bella shouted once again but this time from downstairs making sure that this time everybody had heard her.
Rolling his eyes Max got up "Okay how about I get the munchkin and you head on downstairs? Before she tears everything open?" Liz slipped into her bathrobe and nodded "Sounds like plan - I'll see you downstairs."
Max had put on a T-shirt before heading to the next room - slowly opening the door to the nursery he could see that his son was wide awake already "Well I guess your sister woke you up as well huh?" Walking over to the cradle he lifted his son of two months out of it "Hey there munchkin - good morning…" Cradling the infant against his chest he move over to the changing table "Did you sleep well? After that stunt last night?" The baby glanced at his father with big still blue eyes and made gurgling noises, kicking its legs slightly. "How about we get you changed and head downstairs to the others. Your sister is so excited because it's Christmas." Max changed the diaper expertly - after all he had some practice now. "You know what Julian? I think Santa also brought you something - how does that sound?" He kept on talking about Santa and Christmas while he redressed the baby.
When Liz had come downstairs Diane and Phillip were already downstairs. "Did she wake you?" "No - we were actually awake already." Diane smiled and handed her daughter-in-law a cup of coffee "Mhm…that's smells so good thank you…I need that now…" "Yeah we heard Julian scream in the night…" "Fortunately it was Max who got up…" The grownups chuckled before they heard somebody else entering the kitchen.
"Anybody talking about us?" Max appeared at the entrance to the kitchen with the baby cradled against his chest. "There he is - hello Julian - good morning…" Diane smiled "…oh can I please hold him?" "Be careful Max you know how it is - if you hand him over now you won't be holding him any time soon again…" his father joked but had also gotten up and was now looking at his grandson.
Before Max could say anything Bella appeared next to him again, taking his hand and pulling him towards the living room "Are you guys coming or what? Morning Julian…" She let go of Max's hand and walked over to Diane, kissed her baby brother on the head and then went back to her task at hand - meaning getting the grownups into the living room.
Liz took another cup of coffee with her and handed it to Max after he had turned on the lights on the Christmas tree and some music as well and was now sitting next to her, one arm around her shoulder.
And while he sat there he took in the people around him.
His mother - holding this precious gift in her arms that had been given to them in one deep October night this year - sure Julian hadn't been planned but that didn't mean that they didn't love him. For Max Liz's pregnancy had been a chance to experience everything he had missed with Bella. He had been there with her all the way - to every appointment at the doctors, helping her through her mood swings, going to Lamaze classes, going to the store in the middle of the night when she had her strange cravings and from the first Braxton-Hicks contraction through the real ones to when they were placing the screaming baby on his wife's chest. He had been there - and when Julian had opened his eyes and looked at his mother and father Max had been the one bawling like a baby. He was still amazed that this little guy with his tiny head which was dusted with dark, fine hair and his already expressive eyes which would surly be brown one day - was here.
His mother and father had come a long way - they were closer again and although no one had really forgiven Phillip - no one brought it up anymore. It had been difficult for Liz to finally find the courage and talk to Phillip - she had went there after new years alone - and they had talked the whole afternoon.
His father still needed crutches to walk but he was able to work again - although he had given most of his cases to Jesse at least he was back at home again.
Isabel and Jesse were back in Roswell - Isabel had finally gotten pregnant and she was too afraid to fly - something that Max could totally understand in her condition. They weren't the loving brother and sister couple - something they'd never be but at least they were talking again - calling each other now and then.
Then his glance landed on Bella - who was busy with tearing the presents open, smiling and shrieking happily when she found something in the package she had wanted to have. His daughter had brought so much happiness into his life the last year. She reminded him so much of her mother - everyday she resembled Liz more and more. Celebrating her 8th birthday with her had been pretty sentimental, was it possible that she'd turn 9 in a few weeks already? Geez time flew by.
And then he settled his gaze on his beautiful wife. Liz who had made his life complete. That evening one year ago when she had said 'yes' to his proposal had really been the beginning of something new all over again. They had been married on Valentine's day in Roswell. Liz had also told him that night that she was pregnant - it had been perfect all over. Jeffrey had left the business to Liz and with Max's help she had managed to keep the catering service, hire a new help and be her own boss. Even now with Julian being born she was able to work from home and delegate the parties and everything.
Max had also hired a new lawyer after Courtney had left town. On old buddy from College wanted o move west and they were now working together - successfully.
6 months ago Max had sold his house, he hadn't lived there anymore anyway and the family had moved into a new and bigger house a little out of the town with a big garden and pool.
"What are you thinking about?" Liz turned to her husband, sensing that he was deep in thought. "Just how perfect everything is and how happy I am…" "Yeah it is - isn't it?" "Yap - so why don't start opening your presents as well…" Liz smiled at Max, kissed him and nodded. They both joined the other unpacking their presents - celebrating Christmas with many more to come!