posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:28:24 PM
Summary: AU. Liz moves to Roswell from New York.

Catergory: M/L

Rating: PG-13, depending on how far the story goes, maybe higher...

Title: Princess Roswell

Author's Note: Yes, I know, being that this is an AU, why would I choose such a title? Well, I'll explain in the story, if you still don't understand how I got it, I'll tell ya. Anyway, like one of my first stories, A New Beginning, Liz also moved to Roswell from NY, then too. And if you haven't noticed by now, hehe, I like punk-ass Liz the best. She's spunky and won't take any crap from anyone. I'm still working on "The Truth Lies Within" so don't fret, I have no intention on ditching it any time soon. And as for the fb on that one, I still have stuff I can hold over your heads to get more... ; )

Part 1

Liz Parker walked down the halls of West Roswell High. Her red sandals flopping at her feet with each step. She wore a red halter top and a pair of white caprees. Liz glanced down at her schedule groaned. First Period, gym.

"Guys had better be hot." she muttered to herself as she pulled open the gym doors.


"Damnit Michael!" Max Evans yelled at his friend, Michael Gurien. "Don't you know how to rebound?"

Michael didn't say anything, but stared at the doors. Max rolled his eyes and turned his gaze to where he was drooling over himself, and then he was staring into the eyes of a goddess. Max dropped the ball he had picked up as he watched every move she made.

Liz glanced over at a tall dark man with almost raven black hair, a smile playing on her lips.

"Nice.." she said to herself. Liz walked up to the coach and handed him her schedule.

The coach looked at Liz before looking down at her schedule. "Alright, Miss Parker. I expect you to participate in everything we do. Each time you don't dress, you get a zero. You can get by with one zero and still have an A. If you plan on having a excuse out of class, I want a note from your Doctor, not your mommy. Now, before you think I am a total asshole, most of the time I don't count zeros, and I let you get by with out participating. If you insist on playing but in your street close, you only get a C. Clear?"

Liz nodded. "Crystal." she said as she sat down on the bleachers next to a blonde chick.

"He's okay once you get to know him." the girl said as she leant out her hand. "Maria DeLuca."

Liz grinned. "Liz Parker." she said as she gave Maria a firm handshake. "Man, this is supposed to be basketball that their playing?" she asked as she watched the game continue.

"Sucks doesn't it?" Maria asked with a laugh.

"Blows." Just then a tall thin guy with dark hair walked up to Maria and sat next to her.

"What I miss?" the kid ask.

Maria shook her head. "If we are doing this bad against our own team, I don't want to see how bad we blow at the real game." she said. "And, this is Liz Parker, Liz, this is my best friend Alex Whitman."

Alex stuck out his hand and gave Liz a firm shake. "Hey." he said.

"Hey." Liz replied as she returned her attention to the game. "Who's that? Number 15?"

Maria looked at the game. "Oh, that's Kyle Valenti, he's the Sheriff's son. Brat if you ask me." Maria answered. "Number 19 is Doug Shellow, number 25 is Michael Gurien, who is SO fine, might I had. And the guy who was drooling over you when you entered, number 7, who is currently single... He's Max Evans."

"Now that's the definition of fine." Liz muttered.

"I'd watch yourself Parker." Alex said. "Tess Harding. The blonde bitch down on there with the pom-poms, screaming her head off, has a thing for Max. And she'll do anything to get him."

Liz shrugged. "I can take her." she muttered.

"Oh C'mon!" Liz stood up and yelled. "Can't you make a jump shot?!"

Coach Harris swiftly turned and looked at Liz. "And do you think you can do any better?" he asked her.

Liz nodded. "Hell yeah! Your team totally blows, number 25 can't rebound, 22 can't dribble worth shit, and don't EVEN get me started on number 10!"

Harris looked at the girl before blowing his whistle. "Johnson, you're out!" he said as he watched number 10 kick the ball. "Keep your attitude off the court. Parker, you think you can do better. Take Johnson's place."

Liz grinned at Maria and Alex, who were staring at her in shock, before taking off her sandals and hoping down the bleachers and onto the court.

Liz stood in front of the Max Evans boy as he checked the ball to her. She winked at him and bounced it back. Max ran with the ball down the court as he dodged everyone trying to block him. He was about to do a lay-up when Liz ran out in front of him and grabbed the ball, and ran down the opposite end of the court, making a lay-up of her own.

Coach Harris stared after Liz after she made another 3 pointer. She wasn't lieing when she said she could do better. He looked at his watch before blowing his whistle. "DRESS!" he yelled.

Liz tossed Max the ball and approached him. "Nice game." she commented to him.

"You weren't too bad yourself." he said with a smile.

Liz grinned and watched as he stuck out his hand. "Max Evans."

"Liz Parker." she said as she shook his hand.

Max smiled at her before he noticed her only had 3 mintues until the bell ring and he still had to change. "I'll see you later Liz." he said.


Liz walked up to Maria and Alex.

"Oh my gosh Liz!" Maria exclaimed. "You rocked!"

Liz smiled. "Oh stop. I already know that." she said.

Alex laughed. "She's right, you rocked!" he stopped laughing when he saw who was approaching them.

Liz glanced over her shoulder to see the 'blonde bitch', as Alex had said, approaching them.

"Tess, right?" Liz said a smile on her face. She knew this chick was going to be trouble.

A crowd started to form around Liz and Tess as Tess crossed her arms. "Okay." she said. "Who are you, where are you from, and WHAT THE HELL, do you think you're doing putting the moves on Max?"

Liz grinned and looked at Maria and Alex again. "I'm from New York City, born and raised. On the play ground is where I spent most of my days, chillin out, maxin, relaxin, all cool. While shootin some b-ball outside of school." Liz said as she vaguely heard Alex chuckle behind her. "When a couple of girls, they were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood. I got in one little fight and my mom got scared. She said, You're moving in with your uncle and auntie in Roswell."

Tess rolled her eyes and crossed her arms as Liz finished. "I whistled for a cab and when it came near the license siad princess and had a dice on the mirror. If anything I could say, this cab was rare, but I thought, No forget, Yo home to Roswell. I pulled up to a house about seven or eight and I yelled to the cabby, Yo home, smell ya later, I looked at my kingdom, I was finally there, to sit on my throne as the Princess of Roswell." she finally finished with a grin.

Alex was the first one to start clapping and whistling, bringing in everyone else. Soon the whole crowd was cheering and clapping, as Tess looked around shocked.

"Okay, listen, Princess. You stay away from Max. Do you understand me? He's mine." Tess said, venom in her voice.

"Last time I checked, he was single." Liz said crossing her own arms.

"Yeah?" Tess asked. "Where'd you get that bull?"

"Maria." Liz said, and watched as Maria slowly started to back away from the group.

"Stay away from him." Tess said again, before storming off.

Liz rolled her eyes and the crowd dispersed. "Man, whatta bitch."

Alex laughed and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You have alot to learn Parker. And you're skating on thin ice." he added and laughed again. "Nice song."

Liz smiled as Maria joined them. "I watch Fresh Prince."

Part 2

Isabel Evans grabbed her tray and rushed over to her brother's table. "Oh my gosh, guys! Did you here about that new girl? Liz Parker?" she asked excitedly as she sat down next to Kyle. Kyle's arm went around her shoulder. "Ugh! Get off of me!" she said as she pushed him away.

"Yeah." Michael said through a mouth-full of food. "What about her?"

"Seems she has Tess's top totally blown." Isabel said. She never liked Tess, she had to go through hell pretending to like her when she used to date her brother, Max. But once he got a brain, he ditched the bitch and she has been worse ever since. "So, even though I didn't make it to practice today, ya know, I had to make up the stupid test for Mr. Brimley." she said as she rolled her eyes. "Is it true that she played basketball with you guys?"

Max nodded. "Yeah, she ditched us too. Well, not me." he said with a grin.

"I can to rebound." Michael muttered as he stuffed another fork full of school-food-clop.

Max rolled his eyes. "Please. She's right, you totally suck at rebounding." Max looked up just in time to see Liz walk in with Maria DeLuca and Alex Whitman on either side.

"Does she have to hang out with such lamers?" Kyle asked as she watched the group enter the cafeteria.

Michael shrugged. "I dunno, I think Maria is kinda hot..."


"And so, after Max dumped the bitch. She has been on a rampage, afer any girl who even thinks about carrying a conversation with him." Maria said. "She is SUCH a bitch."

Alex nodded in agreement as he put his tray down on the lunch table. "I don't get how they can put up with her." he commented as he stared at the table Isabel Evans occuppied with her friends.

Maria rolled her eyes. "Alex, pick your tongue up off the floor, aite? You don't have a chance. Look at them, and look at us."

"What's wrong with you guys?" Liz asked as she opened a brown paper bag and pulled out a bag of chips.

"Okay, hun, you have ALOT to learn." Maria said. "So, those people right over their, Max, Isabel, his sister by the way, Kyle, and unfortenutly Tess, are the most popular people in the school. They don't even know we exist."

"You shouldn't put yourselves down like that. Have you guys even tried to talk to them?" Liz asked. She found no difference between the groups, and she hated the fact of discrimination, just because someone wasn't 'popuplar'.

Alex and Maria shook their head and Liz rolled her eyes. "Ugh, what panzies." she said as she wiped her hands on her napkin. "How do you guys know that they really do know you exist, that that Spike boy, you like, might actually like you as well." she said to Maria. "See you guys don't know this shit cause you are to scared to even confront them."

"More like, too scared to be the laughing stock of school." Alex muttered. "No thanks, I'll pass. I am perfectly content with admiring Isabel Evans from afar."

Liz shook her head. "You wusses."

"Change of topic." Maria declared. "Tell us about you."

Liz sighed and pushed her bag of chips aside. "Everything in my little rap, this morning was true. I was attacked by these bitches, broke their noses, STRICTLY self-defense. My mother got scared and she sent me here to live with my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Jeff."

"Jeff Parker?" Alex asked.

Liz nodded. "That's my Dad's brother." she said.

"They like own the Crashdown Cafe. As in one of the most popular diner's in Roswell. Everyone hangs out there, well, the only reason I'm there, is because I work there." Maria said.

"What about you?" Liz asked Alex.

"Nuh uh, I'd be thrown out by the jocks." he said.

"Damn! You're going to be one of them just by living there!" Maria said in awe, with a hint of jealousy in her voice.

"Please." Liz scoffed. "I'd be caught in that before ever becoming one of them." she said as a chick in all leather, dog chain around her neck, her nose pierced with a chain leading to an earring, and her lip piereced.

Alex laughed. "That's Pam Troy. She used to be one of them."

"Phew, what happened?" Liz couldn't help but ask.

"She put the moves on Max Evans." Maria answered.

Liz stared at the two. "Damn, this chick really is a bitch, huh?"

They both nodded.


Max Evans continued to walk down the hall away from his last period class. She hadn't left his mind all day, and it was driving him nuts! All he could think about is Liz Parker, Liz Parker. Ever since she walked into the gym, he had been entranced by her beauty, and when she had the guts to diss the team, he was in shock at her courage, and when she did a little rap infront of Tess Harding, he could have rolled onto the floor laughing at Tess's face. It was priceless.

"Finally I can go home." he muttered.

"Damn it, Damn it, Damn it!" Max heard someone say and then heard a crashing of a locker.

Liz Parker throw her backpack up against her locker. She had been standing there for 10 mintues trying to get the damn thing to open but to no avail. "Why me?" she mumbled.

"I bet Tess did something to it." she heard someone say from behind her. Liz turned around and looked at Max Evans. "Here, let me see. What's your combo?"

Liz was silent for a mintue before giving herself a mental shake. "Uh, 2, 15, 32." she answered.

Max put in the numbers and shook his head when it wouldn't open. "She must have switched locks." he said as he went down to the next locker and putting in the same combo. "Ha!" he exclaimed when he got it open. "This, is your lock."

Max approached Liz swinging the lock around his finger, but then he stopped. "Now, if only we can get that one off." he said in confusion.

Liz grinned and pulled a hair pin from her hair and knelt down in front of her locker. She lifted up the lock and inserted the pin into the key slot on the back. After twisting it around a few times the lock popped open.

"How'd you do that?" Max asked in shock as Liz stood and opened her locker.

"Well," she started as she pulled out her assignments. "You have to be able to get into the car, before you can hot wire it."

Max shook his head and chuckled. "Do you need a ride?" he asked Liz as he walked along side her.

Liz pretended to think a moment. "I guess it beats walking." she answered as they headed out into the parking lot.


"That Bitch!" Tess Harding yelled as she watched Liz Parker get into Max Evans' jeep. "I told her to stay away from him!!!"

Stacy Scheinin backed away from her friend as she watched Tess' hands clench at her sides. When Tess was pissed, it was not a pretty sight. "Maybe, he's just being nice." Stacy said.

Tess whirled around and glared at her. "Max being nice does not REQUIRE him putting his hand on her back!" she screamed and stormed off.

Stacy squeezed her eyes shut. Parker, you're in it deep...


Max pulled the jeep to a stop infront of the Crashdown. "You're staying here?" he asked.

Liz nodded and looked up at the apartment above the diner. "Yup. Not exactly luxary, but it'll do." she said as she opened the jeep door and got out. "Thanks for the ride Max."

Max nodded. "Any time. I'll see you around?" it was more of a question, than a statement.

"Maybe." Liz said with a smile, before turning around and walking inside.

Max shook his head and smiled. This could be an interesting year.

Part 3

Liz walked into the Crashdown Cafe, totally oblivious to the stares everyone sent her way. Ever since her little interlude with Tess earlier that morning, there had been whispers and rumors going around about how she wanted to get Max. Liz had rolled her eyes at the thought. She, Liz Parker, a man-chaser? Highly unlikely. Men were dogs.

"Did Max just drop you off?" Maria asked as she came around the counter in a ridiculous green waitress suit with a alien shaped apron, it was topped off with a set of antennas.

Liz had to stifle a laugh, but she nodded.

"Damn, girl. You're here a day, and you're already getting one on one time with Max Evans." she said while shaking her head. "I don't believe this."

Liz placed a hand on Maria's shoulder. "You need to chill out, alright? I'm sure this will all blow over by tomorrow morning." she said as she headed into the back room.

"Hey, Squirt. How was the first day of school?" Mr. Parker asked, not lifting his head from the newspaper he was reading.

"School bites, Unlce J." Liz said as she flopped down onto the break room couch. Liz flipped off her sandals and smiled. "Even though, I got to show up all the guys. Girls really are the best."

Jeff Parker's head peered over the top of the newspaper, his eyebrow raised. "And what exactly did you do?"

Liz shrugged. "I played basketball with the guys team and totally blew them away. I think Coach Harris almost had heart failure." she said with a giggle.

"Aw, Coach Harris." Jeff said as he turned his attention back to his newspaper. "You're mother, father, and I, went to school with Harris. He didn't think your mother could play basketball either, but she showed him." Jeff chuckled a moment. "Your mother and Harris were always competitive of eachother."

"So did Coach Harris have a thing for my mom?" Liz asked.

Jeff chuckled again. "Oh did he ever! But your mother and father were very much in love, so he didn't interfer." he said. "Love is a very powerful thing."

Liz scoffed. "Love bites. Okay? There is no such thing as love." she said as she got up.

"Well, look at your parents.." he started.

"That's what I'm looking at Uncle J. My father left my mother for another woman, that's not love. No one is staying together these days." Liz said as she climbed the stairs. "I have homework to do."

Jeff shook his head before returning to his newspaper.


After 3 hours of staying up in her room, Liz slowly climbed the stairs and entered the diner.

"Maria, what are you still doing here?" Liz asked shocked as she watched a very busy Maria run around the cafe.

"Amanda, went into labor about 2 hours ago and I have to cover her shift." Maria said quickly as she hurried and gave a customer their order. SHe then walked up to Liz and placed her hands on her shoulder. "Liz, please, for all the puppies in the world! Help me!!"

"Maria, I don't.."

"PLease!" Maria begged.

Liz sighed. "Okay, but ony for the puppies." she said.

"Thank you, thank you!" Maria said as she hurried to get another order of food when the food bell rang.

"But I am NOT wearing that!!" Liz called.

Maria ran back over the Liz. "Oh I totally agree with you, these outfits blow, but it's a must for me..." she rambled as she handed Liz a brown paper bag. "Okay, across the street is the UFO Center. The owners name is Brody, aite? He orders this everyday, and he expects it ON time everyday. So.." she glanced down at her clock. "You have one minute to get it over there in time, or he'll be pissed."

Liz scoffed and headed towards the door. "What is he gonna do?"


Liz rolled her eyes and resisted the urge to smack this Brody guy across the head.

"When I want something, I expect it to be on time!" he bellowed.

"Yeah, yeah." Liz said as she started to head out of the room.

"What?!" he yelled as he looked down at his sandwhich. "No pepperjack?!"

Liz turned around and glared at the man. "It's just cheese, it's a very small thing."

"Yes! It is, so therefore, anyone who can't even get the cheese right does not deserve to live!" he said glaring at Liz.

"Aw, well too bad. But you're welcome to attend Maria's funeral.....After I get done with her." she muttered the last part under her breath.

Liz walked out of the room and started heading towards the exit when someone called her name.

"Liz?" she turned around and looked at Max, a smile spreading on his face. "What are you doing here?" he asked.

Liz grinned. "I just came to deliver Brody's lunch. The man it nuts." she commented.

Max nodded. "Yeah, that's Brody. He's crazy about pepperjack."

"Crazy is right." Liz muttered. After a moment of silence Liz started off again. "I'll see ya around, Max."

Max jogged after her. "Wait up. I just finished up my shift. Do you want to go and do something?" he asked, as he stuffed his hands in his pockets.

"Actually, I'm kinda busy helping Maria out at the Crashdown, but you're welcome to come over." she said. For someone reason she couldn't toss him her cockiness, and it was driving her crazy. "But then again...If you don't think they meet your social requirements, you can always go home."

Max held up his hands. "I didn't say a thing. I have no problem with Maria or Alex for that matter. Ya know, you try to talk to them and they just stumble over themselves and run off." he said.

Liz shook her head. People from Roswell are totally pansies. "So where are you from anyway." Max asked as she started to cross the street.

"Brooklyn." Liz answered. She then turned to him. "Do you want me to do my little rap too?"

Max laughed. "Naw, that's okay, I caught it when you did for Tess."

"What's up with that chick anyway?" Liz asked as she pulled the door open.

"She doesn't like anyone who could be competition." he answered.

Liz looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "And I'm competition?" she asked, waiting for his answer.

Max shrugged and stuffed his hands further into his pockets. "Apparently she thinks so." he mumbled.

Liz smiled a bit and turned to look for Maria. "DeLuca!" she yelled and watched as her head peered out of the break room. "You didn't tell me that, that Brody guy was a total nut case."

"You were late weren't you..." Maria said.

"And!" Liz started. "you forgot the pepperjack."

Maria pounded her palm against her forehead. "Shit! I knew I forgot something!" she mumbled. "Liz I am soo sorry, it'll never happen again."

Liz shrugged. "Eh, no biggie." she said. "So Maria do you still nee.." she trailed off when she noticed Maria wasn't paying any attention to her. Liz waved her hand in front of her face.

Maria snapped out of her trance and grabbed Liz's arm, pulling her into a corner. "You CAME in with Max Evans?" she asked shocked.

Liz groaned and threw her hands into the air. "What is the big deal?!" she practically yelled.

"The big deal is.." she said as her voice got lower. "Max Evans never offers anyone a ride, or walks them to the Crashdown unless he's interested."

Liz rolled her eyes. "Please." she said. "He's not in the least interested in me." as she glanced over her shoulder at Max who was looking at her, along with everyone else.

Maria crossed her arms. "It wll all blow over, huh?"

Part 4

Okay, so maybe she was wrong. Maybe it wouldn't all blow over. Liz walked down the halls of West Roswell High trying to appear oblivious to all the stares she was being given. She walked up to her locker and put in the combonation.

"I say again." Maria said as she approached her. "It'll all blow over?"

Liz threw her arms up in defeat. "Okay, so I was wrong. Big deal. It really doesn't bother me." she said as she pulled out her books. "It just proves that these people have no lives. They'd rather dwell on something that happened yesterday, that wasn't that big of a deal, mind you, than get on with their lives and focus on other things. More important things."

"Hun." Maria said as they started to head towards the gym. "You're in the smallest of small town towns. We have no lives."

"So I've noticed."

They walked into the gym to see something in the middle of the floor. It looked like an arcade game, the one wihere you play basketball. There were two hoops, and four minuture balls.

"Okay everyone." Coach Harris said as he blew his whistle. "Today is Double Shot Thursday. Round one, will consist of boys against boys, and girls against girls. Round two will be boys against girls. So far, the highest male score is 69, while the highest female score is 58. I want everyone to participate. It's not that big of a deal, you get the ball in the hoop, you make points, you win. Remember, if you get 30 or more points before the 30 second buzzer goes off, you get an extra 15 seconds to score more."

Coach Harris blew is whistle again. "Boys! Let's go. Who's challenging who?"

Max and Michael walked up the game and grabbed a ball in their hands, while they waited for Harris to tell them when to go.

"GO!" he yelled.

Max and Michael started to toss the balls towards the basket, as soon as Max's went in, the timer started to count down from 30. It was 15 seconds left and the score was 35 to 25, in Max's favor. Max kept launching balls, making them eachtime. He only missed a couple before the buzzer rang. Michael cursed and went back to the bleachers as Max stayed and waited for the 15 second timer to start. When it began he quickly grabbed the balls two at a time and started tossing them towards the hoop. After the 15 seconds was up he had a score of 72.

"Alright. The highest score is 72." Harris called. "Girls are next."

Tess got up and walked towards Liz. "Okay, Princess. Lets see what you got." she said, her arms crossed.

Maria leaned over towards LIz. "She is really good at basketball. Good luck."

"I won't need it." she said out loud, making sure Tess heard her.

Liz walked towards the other side and grabbed a ball of her own and waited until Harris called go. Once he did, she started banking shots left and right. She grabbed ball after ball swishing each one. With only 10 seconds used up she had a score of 20, while Tess still had 12. Liz heard Tess curse when she missed the 5th shot. She smirked as she continued to make baskets. After the 30 seconds was up Liz had 39, while Tess had 25. Liz stayed and waited for the 15 second timer to start, and once it did, she continued to swish the basket.

Max stared at Liz in disbelief. She was doing better than he was! He couldn't help the grin that spread across his face when he saw the look of shock on Tess' face. Tess was supposed to be the best female basketball player in West Roswell, but with Liz Parker here now....He didn't think so. After her extra 15 seconds were up, she had the highest score of 75. He watched as she turned around and met his eyes. She gave him a wink before returning to the bleachers next to Maria.

"Damn." Maria said in shock. "Where'd you learn to play like that."

"Older brother." Liz answered.

Alex sat on the other side of Liz. "Is he like in the NBA or something?" he asked.

"Not quite." she said as she pulled out the scrunchie from her hair, only the pull her hair back again and tie the scrunchie around it. She then turned to Alex. "You wanna come to the Crashdown tonight?" she asked him. "Karoke night. Maria tells me you like to make a fool of yourself."

Alex would have been offended if he weren't dwelling on the thought of him actually setting foot in the Crashdown. "Me, in the Crashdown?"

Liz's eyes widened as she laughed. "What is it with the Crashdown?" she asked. "I mean, c'mon. It's just a diner."

"Just a diner?" Alex asked. "It's where EVERYONE goes. Isabel Evans goes there! I can't be seen there. It's bad enough she has to see me at school, I don't think she wants to see me out of school."

Liz rolled her eyes. "Man, what is it with you two? You guys are so caught up in the social ranks that you're not even considering the possiblity that they might actually like you! I mean, get over yourselves already! Grab a spoon!"

"Grab a spoon?" Maria asked confused.

"Oh. Sorry, I watched FRIENDS last night, something about Ross grabbing a spoon and icecream or something. A metaphor trying to get back into a relationship. Don't worry about it." she said quickly.


"What are you talking about, I can't go over there!" Michael said as he stared at his friend in shock. "And neither can you."

"Why not?" Max asked as he continued to stare at Liz Parker.

"Because, I don't want to make a fool of myself in front of Maria, and YOU can't go over there because I don't think you want to face the Wrath of the Blonde Bitch." Michael said.

"Well, let the Blonde Bitch get mad. I want Liz Parker, and damnit I'm going to get her." Max said as he stood up.

"I thought you weren't looking for a relationship." Michael said as he followed him.

Max shrugged. "I never said I was."

"Oh so you're just looking for a rumble in the sack?" he asked. "I'm sorry man, but I just picture Liz Parker the one giving in so easy. She's a rebel."

"You should talk." Max said. "Hey Liz. Maria, Alex."

Liz rolled her eyes as Maria and Alex stared at the two people before them in disbelief. "Hey Max. Spike." she said nodding to Michael.

"It's Michael." he said angrily. Liz merely shrugged.

"That was a good game you played against Tess." Max commented as he sat on the bleacher below her.

Liz shrugged. "No contest." she said. Liz glanced at Maria and Alex who were still staring at Max and Michael, she quickly elbowed both of them in their sides.

Maria snapped out of her trance. "Oh, uh. Liz has an older brother." she said.

"Yeah, he's in the NBA." Alex said.

"Is not." Liz correct quickly.

"Oh, right." Alex said with a blush. "My bad."

"You'll have to excuse my friends. When people of high social ranks even so much as look at them, they get sucked into a trance. Unfortunately, scientists haven't found a cure for such a disease. But we're praying." she said as she grabbed Maria's and Alex's hands dramatically.

Maria and Alex both blushed.


Liz found Maria and Alex sitting at the same table as they were yesterday. "Do you guys sit here everyday?" she asked as she placed her lunch onto the table.

"Everyday." Maria and Alex said together.

Liz groaned. "Hanging out with me is SO going to change you guys for the better."

"Change is bad." Alex said as he shook his head.

"No, change is good." Liz corrected. "You guys need a major attitude adjustment. You guys are always putting yourself down. You're not doing anything to the best of your ability because you're afraid of what other people may think, and you're afraid that others may be able to do it better. Just get over it and don't care what others think."

"Easy for you, you're from New York." Maria mumbled.

"Maria." Liz said as she put down her fork. "It has nothing to do with me being from New York. It has everything to do with that I just don't CARE. If Tess thinks I'm a bitch. Let her. I could care less, cause all that matters is what I think of myself. I mean, c'mon. Wouldn't it feel so good, to prove those guys up?" she asked pointing to the table the 'populars' were occupying.

Maria and Alex looked over their shoulders. "I've always wanted to get Michael to notice me." Maria said.

"What about me?" Alex asked. "I learn French just to be her tutor, but she asks Mark Welsch for help."

"So how about it?" Liz asked. "You guys going to quit acting like the world revolves around them? Of ALL people?"

Maria and Alex looked at eachother and nodded. "We're in."

Liz smiled. "Excellent." she said as she popped a cheeto into her mouth.

Let the games begin...

Part 5

"Alright, I don't normallly do this. Ya know, try to make you better at something when you don't need to be. But being that you guys are too into the social status, I guess I can make an exception." Liz said as she walked down the sidewalk away from the school and towards her the Crashdown. "Now, don't get me wrong, I am into the 'anything you can do I can do better' slogan, cause, well, that's my motto." she said with a vain smile on her lips.

"I just don't think it's important to show your full potential, unless it's absolutely necessary. And this...This is extremely necessary." Liz continued. She glanced over at Maria and then to Alex who giving her their full attention. "You guys aren't going to take notes are you? Because, I just think that would be too weird."

They shook their heads.

"And see!" Liz said before they could say anything. "You guys take things WAY to seriously. You need to relax, don't let anyone put you down, especially since you do it enough for the both of ya."

"Well, we don't..Not really, once our bully leaves we start bad talking them." Alex said with a grin.

"Don't be afraid to say it to their face.."

"Okay, Liz. Our bullies, are like 6 foot 1, 210 pounds of varsity football meat! What would you do?" Alex said before she could finish.

"I'd say, 'stuff it screwball.' Chances are, they are too chicken to inflict any pain on someone, so they just like doing a little emtional damage." she said.

"Stuff it screwball." Maria repeated sounding very mesmerized with the 3 words. She then laughed. "That's good."

"Okay, but what if he IS the kind of guy that likes to inflict pain?" Alex asked, trying to ignore Maria's weird state with the words.

"Then you run..." Liz said, getting a wide eyed Alex. "Dude, relax. I'm sure you can run fast, you can probably dodge punches long enough for me to get over their and kick their ass."

"But..But..." Alex started. "Aren't you going to teach us how to defend ourselves?" Alex asked. "I mean, I really like my face..Hell, I like my whole package...Especially.."

"Alex." Liz said. "Let's not start talking about your caliber, alright? Some things are better left unsaid... But I'll see what I can do about the self defense thing...I don't know alot, just enough to save my skin long enough for me to drag in the big guns...."

"That's all I need." Alex said. "The big guns?" he then asked.

"My brother, but being that he's in New York, that isn't going to do any good. But we can improvise." Liz said with a pat on his shoulders. "Do you have any other friends? Big friends?"

Alex shook his head. "Older brothers?"

He shook his head again. "Younger brothers who are bigger than you?"

Again, Alex shook his head. "Really big, over protective cousins?"

"Their all girls." Alex answered.

"Sometimes that can help..." Liz said, trying to think. "But other than that, you're screwed."

"Stuff it screwball." Maria said again with a giggle.

Alex stared at Liz. "See what you did?" he asked her.

"Obvious mistake." she mumbled as she pulled open the Crashdown doors. "Lesson one...Actually setting foot inside the Crashdown..."


After literally having to push Alex through the doors, they finally made it inside the Crashdown. And Liz knew why Alex was afraid. Immediately two jocks came up to them. Doug Shellow and Kyle Valenti.

"What are you doing here twerp?" Kyle asked.

Doug crossed his arms. "You can either leave, and take your friends with you, or we can escort you out." he finished for Kyle.

Liz looked over at Alex who was frozen stiff, and she elbowed him in the side. "I...I..Well.."

Maria watched and when Alex didn't take action she took it. "Stuff it screwball!!" she said and pushed the guys out of the way before grabbing Alex's forearm and dragging him through the restaraunt.

Liz looked over her shoulder at the two shocked jocks. "Now she has stamina.." she said to Alex, who only nodded.


Max continued to watch Liz, he noticed how she drapped her arms over both Alex's and Maria's shoulder, clearly impressed with the two....Er, just Maria.

"Man, she told you." He heard Kyle tell Doug.

"Shut up Valenti." Shellow whined as he sat down in the booth muttering. "Stupid bitch."

"Aw, are we angry that someone has the guts to quit with your bullying?" Isabel asked. "Finallly we have some back bone in this town. All because of Liz Parker."

"Shut up Isabel. No one asked you." Doug said giving her a death glare in which Isabel returned.

"Make me." she countered.

Doug stood up. "I will." but he sat down when Max stood up, hovering over him. "Maybe later.."

Isabel smirked. "Ah." she sighed. "Always good to bring along your older brother. So useful."

Max rolled his eyes at Isabel and returned to his seat and watched as Liz came through the break room doors.


"Maria..I am impressed." Liz said. "You learn fast.."

Maria smiled. "I know.."


Doug stood up from the booth once again. "I'm going to show her.." he said venom in his voice.

"Doug!" Max called, but he got nothing from him.


"Damnit! Where is the darned whip cream? We can't have icecream with out whip cream!" Liz said exasperated.

"Hello, ladies." Doug said as he leaned onto the counter top. "Anything else you want to say to my face? Or should I just go ahead and lay down with the beating?"

Liz looked at Maria and rolled her eyes, but she noticed that Maria was now very scared...She had no comeback.

"Lesson two." Liz said when the guy suddenly grabbed onto Maria's wrist. "When you can not, bring your knee in contact with the guys nuts...You take a different approach."

Liz reached under the counter finally finding the whip cream can and shook it. "It's not mase, but it's really sticky." she said as she sprayed it all over the guys face. "And then, you run.." she said last as she pushed Maria away from the counter and through the break room doors.

"Hey guys, I'm just going to grab a can of soda..." Alex said as he started heading towards the door.

Maria and Liz immediately latched onto his arms. "Nuh uh..You do not want to go out there.." Liz said.


Max bit onto his fist when Doug finally returned to the table, whip cream dripping from his face. "She knows better now.." he said as he sat down.

Isabel was openly laughing, clutching onto her sides. "Man, that, that was golden.." she said between laughs. "I'd pay big bucks to see it again."

Doug pulled napkins from the dispenser and started wiping his face as Max continued to struggle to contain his laughter, but he finally gave in and laughed histerically. "I'm sorry man...It's just..." he didn't finish the sentence because he was laughing so hard.

"What's so funny?" Tess asked when she approached the group. "And what happened to you?"

"Liz Parker is what happened to him." Isabel said as continued to laugh. "Sprayed him right in the face."

Tess groaned. "I hate the bitch." she muttered. "Hi Maxie!"

It was Max's turn to groan as he dropped his head into his arms. Will she ever leave him alone?


"Dare we go out and actually get the whip cream?" Maria asked as she looked through the circular window.

"Uh yea.." Alex said. "If you want a death wish."

"Please." Liz said. "Their harmless. Let's go."

Liz pulled Maria towards the door and towards the kitchen counter again, immediatley filling Maria's arms with the contents needed for the perfect pig out session.

Tess smirked when she saw Liz. "Oh Lizzie, dear, that was a bad move." she said as she started to walk towards her. "Watch and see how it's done." she called over her shoulder towards Doug.

"Uh..Liz." Maria said as the started towards the door. "We have trouble."

Liz glanced over her shoulder to see Tess. "That hardly qualifies as trouble" she said.

"Hi Princess." Tess said as she walked in step with them. "Steal any boyfriends lately?"

"Bonus Lesson." Liz said, looking at Maria. "Some pesky bitch gets in you do this."

Liz continued to look at Maria as she used her left arm and pushed Tess away, and watched as she tripped over her heal and fell onto the floor. "Not enough to do any damage, but it sure as hell pisses them off, resulting in them bugging you even more. Which just gives you more of a reason to kick their ass later." Liz said as she walked through the break room door.

"Damnnn.." Maria said as she stared at Tess trying to get up from the floor.


"Is that how it's done?" Isabel asked when Tess approached.

Max had his face in his hands snickering, she could see the redness on his neck and the sides of his face from laughing so hard.

"That bitch doesn't know who she's dealing with." Tess muttered as she started to walk out of the diner. "She'll get what she deserves.

Part 6

"Okay, now. Onto 'anything you can do I can do better'. So, Alex, buddy, you good with sports?" Liz asked him.

"Dodgeball!" he said and gave her two thumbs up.

"Okay...I guess." she muttered. "Anything else? Baseball, basketball?"

Alex shook his head. "No, but I'm a fast learner!" he said hopefully.

"Okay, hun. After your little pee-in-da-pants, out in the cafe, I think your processing is slower than you think." Liz said. "Maria had to do all the talking for you. Do you realize how bad that is?"

"They can't hurts girls!" Alex whined. "They can snap me like a twig!"

"He's got a point." Maria said.

Liz sighed and sat back. "Alright. You guys have a baseball team right?" she asked. "Please tell me you have a baseball team."

"Yeah we do." Alex answered. "We suck. But there's a team."

"Well. You my man, are going to be the best person on the team. It's March now, so sometime at the end of this month they are going to start try-outs, correct?" she asked him.

Alex nodded. "The 29th to be exact."

"Good, good. So that gives us...A good, hmmm 4 weeks to get you into training." she said, mentally booking a schedule.

"So, you play baseball too?" Maria asked.

Liz nodded. "Baseball, basketball, soccer, and touch football. I didn't join the team, because one, I'm not into pain, and two...The idea of a sweat 350 pound fat guy tackling me, just doesn't sound too appealing." she said iwth a shudder.

"Point taken." Maria said. "So, what about me?"

"I think you'd be a basketball player. But being that there is already a team, you can't try out...Damn." Liz muttered. "Ruins everything. Do you guys play basketball in gym?"

"Yeah, all the time, we play knock out too." Maria said. "I'm pretty good. Normally I'm on the of last people up, but then Tess always beats me."

"All the more reason for me to help. Let's show the Blond Bitch up." Liz said.

"Man, Michael will really notice me then." Maria said with a giggle.

"Remember this isn't all about getting Michael to notice you. It's about getting you to feel better about yourself. I'm sorry guys, I've known you a few days and all, but I'm already getting tired you puttin yourselves down." she told them. "And I'm also getting tired of the way the jocks and the populars...Heaven forbid.." she muttered the last part underbreath. "Are treating you. It just proves how utterly immature they are."

"So, when do I start my training coach?" Alex asked rubbing his hands together.

"Do you have the sport equiment?" Liz asked him.

Alex thought a moment. "Nope." he said.

"No prob." Liz told him as she got up from the floor and ran to her bedroom, and returning with bat bag. "I have everything you need. Here's my brother baseball glove. Don't lose it, he'll kill me."

"Dude!" Alex said. "Is it really signed by Ken Griffey Jr.?" he asked in shock.

"If it were, do you think I'd be letting you use it?" Liz asked. "Better yet, do you think my brother would let me use it? Get real Alex."

"Okay, what about me?" Maria asked.

"As for you. I have a basketball net in the alley outside the Crashdown. We can shoot some hoops, see how good you really are." Liz said. "I mean, Tess totally sucks, so if she's better than you, we have ALOT of work to do."

"Well, she's not THAT better at than me." Maria said, feeling a little self conscience.

Liz patted her shoulder. "Don't fret. You're a fast learner. You'll have everything down pat in no time." she told her. "And this is only phase one.."


Max stared out the museum window at Liz, Maria, and Alex. She was carrying a basket ball and they entered the alley outside the Crashdown. He wondered what she was up too.

"So, I thought you wanted Liz Parker. And by God I thought you were gonna get her." Michael said as he approached his friend.

Max shrugged. "She seems a little busy right now." he muttered.

"Max, please." he scoffed. "She's from New York. She knows your kind. She probably dated someone like you, lost her virginity to them, they broke her heart, hence the reason she's a pain in the ass."

"She's not a pain in the ass Michael." Max said immediatley taking he defense. "And it has nothing to do with her being from New York."

"Then what does it have to do with?" Michael asked as he crossed his arms.

"Don't you just watch her?" he asked.

Michael scratched his eyebrow. "Actually no, I kinda keep my eyes on the blonde one with her. But what's your point?"

"She doesn't care. She doesn't care what people think of her and she doesn't take shit from anyone." Max said. "And that's why she's hanging around with those two. Cause she knows that they are so caught up in social status that we don't know what their really like."

"You know man. Sometimes I just don't get you." Michael said. "One minute, you're saying how you can get any chick in Roswell High into the sack the next you're talking about some profound shit about social ranks."

"What about you?" Max countered. "One minute you're drooling over Maria DeLuca, saying how you're going to ask her out. The next you don't want to be caught dead with her, because she's not popular."

Michael shook his head. He didn't want to get into one of their heated arguements at the moment. "I can't do this right now. Later Maxwell."

Max glanced over his shoulder as Michael left before returning his gaze towards the alley that the three people disappeared into. He then saw Isabel walking down it as well...


Liz placed Maria's hands on the ball. "See this part?" she asked her. "This is what I call the sweet spot. Alright? With the right flick of your wrist, you can swish it easily."

Maria nodded and stood at the duck taped foul line. "Now see how many times you can swish it." Liz said as she stood under the basket. "I'll rebound the ball and toss it back to you and you continue to shoot until I say, alright?"

Maria nodded before getting in position. "Remember. Keep your eyes on the ball, not the net." Liz instructed.

Maria nodded once more before sending the ball flying towards the net. It rolled around the rim once before making it through the net, into Liz's hands.

"Pretty good. You can definetly get the ball in the net, but if you want to impress someone, you gotta swish it each time. Or atleast most of the time." Liz said as she tossed her the ball.

"Hey." a voice said from behind. Everyone looked to see Isabel Evans standing out the end of the alley. "Hi guys. What's up?"

Liz noticed from the corner of her eye that Alex went completely rigid. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes and launch the ball in his direction, knocking some sense into him. "Hey. You're Isabel right?" Liz asked, still abit unsure of names.

Isabel nodded and started to approach her. "And you're the famous Liz Parker. The school is buzzing with talk about you." she said excitedly. "You really brought some interest into Roswell."

"Yeah well, a street rat like me, coming into a cozy town like this...It really is a change huh?" she asked and watched as Isabel's facial expression changed. "I'm kinding. I'm not a street rat."

Isabel nodded and laughed nervously, before acknowledging the other two. "Maria." she nodded to her, before smiling at Alex. "Alex."

Alex grinned goofily and gave her a small wave. "So you helping these two show up Tess Harding?" Isabel couldn't help but ask.

"In more ways than one." Liz answered as she tossed Maria the ball.

"Well, it's about time someone has the guts too." she told them with a smile.

Liz nodded. Unsure of why she was there in the first place. She had found out from Alex, that Isabel was one of the most 'popular' girls in school. So why was she here?

"Ya know. I know some of Tess' weaknesses. I can help you out...If you want." Isabel offered.

"That would be great!" Alex immediately said.

"That's not necessary." Liz said at the same time Alex excepted. She looked over at him and rolled her eyes. "But what the hell, right?"

Isabel smiled slightly. "She's not as good as she seems and she can't make three pointers. But she's stupid enough to take a challenge that she knows she's not going to win." she started. "So, if you challenge her to a three pointer knock out game. You can beat the shit outa her."

Maria looked towards Liz. "I'm good with three pointers." she said. "I think I'll be able to do this."

"Of coure you can." Liz said confidently. "It's Tess, for Pete's sake."

Liz then returned her attention to the tall blonde still standing in the middle of the alley. "I tell you what. I still need to work with Al, over here. So do you mind working with Maria, while I help him?" she asked her, already picking up her bag.

"Sure no problem." Isabel said, glad she could help.

Liz nodded. "Alright. Let's go Alex." she said grabbing his arm and leading him down the alleyway. She glanced over her shoulder to notice he was staring at Isabel longingly...Like a lost puppy. She shook her head. "Men."


Max was getting closer to the alley his sister had went into, when Liz came out pulling Alex along.

"Damnit Alex." she muttered. "Pay attention. Do you want her to notice you or not?"

"Of-of course I do.." Alex said. "But she knows who I am! That's good enough for me!" he added trying to pull away from her tight grip. "You know, you are freakishly strong..."

Liz turned around and faced Alex, placing both her hands on his shoulders. "Alex. I'm in Roswell, okay? I need something to do. I need a project to work on!" she said desperately. "Just let me help you beat the living shit out of the jocks, alright? Show them your full potential. C'mon Man! For...For...All the puppies in the world!"

"You got that from Maria, didn't you?" he said with a shake of his head. Alex then looked over his shoulder to see Isabel helping Maria. "Mannnn. Alright, alright. Let's go."

Max watched as a smile broke across Liz's face. That smile... He gave himself a mental shake before following them across the street and to the park.


"No, Alex." Liz said as Alex through the baseball back to her. "The ball was already dead before you got there. If the grounder is going slow, then you run up onto it, and make sure your mitt is on the ground. Otherwise it'll go right past you."

Alex nodded. "Right..Right." he said as he pounded his fist into his glove. "Let's go Whitman."

"Alex...Don't talk to yourself, okay? It's just too freaky." Liz said with a shudder.

"Right, sorry." he called. "C'mon, give me another grounder, I can do it this time!"

"I hope so." she muttered as she threw the ball towards the ground. It bounced and rolled quickly towards Alex as he ran up to it, her quickly placed his glove onto the ground and watched as the ball rolled into his glove. He stood up straight, grabbed the ball, and held it into the air triumphantly.

"I did it!" he called. He then threw the ball towards the ground and did a happy dance.

Liz shook her head and laughed. She then cupped her mouth with her hands. "Nice going Al. Shall we enter the world of pop-ups?" she called.

"Maybe you should take things slower.." a voice from behind her said. She turned around and stared into the face of Max Evans. "He look pretty satisfied with doing grounders right now." he added as he watched the happy Alex dance around the park.

"I only have 4 weeks to teach him the basics. And after the little incident in the Crashdown today. He seems to be a slow learner." Liz said.

Max shrugged and picked up a baseball. "Want some help?" he asked her.

Liz raised her eyebrow. "What is it with the Evans? You guys seem awfully helpful. I already have Isabel helping Maria." she told him. "If I let you help, I"ll have nothing to do. And I will return to the world of insanity. I think I'm quite capable of teaching him myself."

At that moment Liz heard a cry from Alex and she looked over to see Doug holding Alex in a head lock. "Damn it.." she muttered as she grabbed the ball from Max's hand.

Liz took a few steps towards Doug and Alex before launching the ball, hitting Doug in the back of the head. She then ran towards them, and helped Alex up.

"All I said was stuff it screwball." Alex said as he rubbed his neck. "I did what you told me to do."

Liz shook her head. "You forgot to run." she said as she watched Doug stand up, both of his hands holding the back of his head.

Doug stormed up to Liz, hovering over her. "You bit.."

"I'd watch it, Doug." Max said as he approached the group. He stared at Liz who didn't seem the least bit frightened by the man hovering over her. Infact, she stood her ground, throwing Doug death glares.

"No, don't listen to him." Liz said. "Finish that sentence...I dare you."

"Just walk away Doug." Max said placing himself between Liz and Doug. He had a feeling if Doug did finish that sentence, he'd be missing a large portion of his body... "Walk away man.."

Doug stared at Max before walking backwards. "You can't hide behind these girls forever, Whitman." he said. "And you'll be getting what you deserve." he added towards Liz's direction.

"I gotta start hanging out with guys.." Alex muttered as he picked up the glove Liz let him borrow. "I've had enough headlocks for one day...I think I'm gonna head home."

Maria and Isabel ran up to the group. "Woah, what happened?" Isabel asked concerned. She walked up to Alex and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

"I stuck up for myself...And then I got put into a headlock." he muttered. "But I'm okay. A girl who weighs 50 pounds less than me came and saved my ass. Doesn't do much good for my rep.."

"What rep?" Maria asked, getting a glare from Alex.

Liz stared putting her baseball gear back into the bag. "You sure you're okay Alex?" she asked him.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine..Just dandy." he muttered.

"Hey, I'm sorry for what Doug did. He can be a real jerk sometimes." Max apologized.

Alex gave him an A Okay sign before heading across the street, muttering incoherent words. Maria and Isabel followed him, leaving just Max and Liz. She stood up straight her bat bag slung over her shoulder.

"I'll see ya around Max." she said as she started to walk away.

Max jogged after her. "Can I walk you home?" he asked her, his hands stuffed deep into his pockets.

"Don't you think that will make the Weasel mad?" she asked him.

Max looked at her confused. "The Weasel?"

Liz grinned. "My nick name for Tess." she said. "I kinda like it."

Max laughed and shook his head. "We call her the gerbil.." he corrected.

It was Liz's turn to shake her head. "It doesn't work for me." she said. "You see, Gerbils, their cute, and cuddily. Weasels on the other hand.." she trailed off with a shudder. "Fits her perfectly."

Max laughed again. "I agree."


posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:33:01 PM
Part 7

Liz threw her bat bag into the corner of her room and collasped onto her bed. It's been 2 weeks and she and Alex had to work extra hard to get even a small improvement. Yes, his processing is definetly slower than anyone else's she's come across with. She was exhausted. Maria was improving, she beat Tess at a knock out game, in which Liz was extremely proud. She had watched with amusement on her face when Maria started to gloat infront of Tess.

Liz groaned and rolled over towards her nightstand when the phone rang. "Hello?" she mumbled her eyes closed.

"Hey, Liz." Max said on the other end.

Liz's eyes shot open and she bolted up in bed. "Max?" she asked as she regained her composure. Why was he calling?

"Yeah, it's me." he said. "I just want.."

"How'd you get this number?" Liz asked before he could finish.

Max was silent a moment, shocked with her outburst. "Uh, I got it from Maria."

"Why, why would you want to call me?" she immediatly asked.

Max's brows furrowed. "Um, because I wanted to know if you wanted to go to the movies." he finally blurted out.

It was Liz's turn to be silent and shocked. She swallowed hard before answering. "Uh, Max, I'm not sure if I.."

"C'mon Liz. It'll be fun, and with everything that you have been going through with helping Alex and Maria. You deserve some fun. Please come." he pleaded.

"I have fun with them." Liz said defensively. She wasn't lieing either, she was starting to enjoy Maria's sarcasim and Alex's jokes.

"I mean real fun." Max said. "C'mon, please, we can have a great time."

Liz held the phone with her elbow will slouching back against the head board and crossed her arms. "Gee, my idea of fun isn't making out in a movie theater with some jock and then getting raped in the back of his car." she said a smirk on her face. She knew this would get him.

Max laughed. "I assure you, I am nothing like that. I won't lay a finger.."

"Paw." Liz immediately corrected.

He laughed again. "OKay, I won't lay a PAW on you." he promised. "We can just hang out.'

"And we can't hang out at the Crashdown?" Liz asked. "We have to hang out in a dark theater?" she didn't like the fact that he hadn't hung up on with what she had told him.

"Well, we can hang out at the Crashdown, if that's what you want." Max said. "I just thought it would be cool if we saw that new movie out. Sweet November?"

"That's a chick flick man." Liz said shocked.

"You don't like chick flicks?" he asked her.

"Well, I mean, yeah, I do. But I'm a chick." Liz said. "You're a guy...Right?"

Max grinned at the phone. "Uh, yea..." he said. "Atleast the last time I checked."

It was Liz's turn to laugh. It was the first time Max had ever heard her laugh, and he liked it. "So, what will it be? The movies or we can hang out at the Crashdown? We can even bring Alex and Maria, and Isabel and Michael." he suggested.

Liz didn't like the way he seperated the four people, total sign of discrimination of social ranks. "Sure, I'll call Maria and Al and we can just hang out together." she told him. She didn't know Max well enough to trust being alone with him in a darkened theater.

"Sounds cool. Meet at the Crashdown in..Half an hour?" he asked.

Liz nodded even though he couldn't see her. "Sure. Half and Hour." she confirmed. "Good bye Max."

"Bye Liz." he said with a grin before hanging up.

Liz shook her head before hanging up the phone, only to pick it up agian to call Maria. She couldn't believe how much her life had changed in the 3 weeks she'd been in Roswell. Maybe the move wasn't such a bad idea, considering everything was a mess at home..

"Hello?" a perky Maria asked over the phone.

"Maria. It's Liz." she said. "Call Alex and meet me at the Crashdown in an half an hour..No questions." she said as she hung up, vaguely hearing Maria start asking questions.

Liz then got up from the bed and grabbed a bunch of her Cds and headed out of her room.

"Uncle J. A couple of my friends are coming to the Crashdown to hang out." she told him.

He only nodded as he continued to stare at the tv. Liz shook her head and headed down stairs


"The Fun has Arriiiiiveda." Alex said as he entered the Crashdown his arms flung into the air. "What's up Yo?"

Maria rolled her eyes at him as she walked up to Liz. "What's up?" she asked as she sat on the stool. "Oh, awesome collection of Cds." she added as she picked up Meredith Brooks. "I love her."

"Ditto." Liz said as she plugged in her Uncle's boombox. "Max's coming over..He's bring Michael."

Maria dropped the cd back onto the counter and stared at Liz. "You're kidding me right?" she asked as she heard Alex laughing at the look on Maria's face.

"Isabel's coming too." Liz added, while watching Alex freeze into place.

Alex stalked up to Liz. "Why?" he asked. "Why, why, why, why???"

"Yeah! What happened to showing them up?!" Maria asked.

Liz walked around the counter and put cans of soda on the counter. "This will be another Lesson. See how well you can act in front of them. You guys have got to play it cool. Be mellow." she told them.

"Yeah, easy for you to say." Maria mumbled. "You're use to doing this."

"No, it just comes naturally to me. I'm not so caught up in the social stats to.."

"To care what other people think." Maria and Alex said in unison, before she could finish.

"Yeah, yeah." Alex said while rolling his eyes. "We know."

"Yeah, and we can do this. Right Al?" Maria said, while nuding him with her elbow.


"Ya think?" Liz asked, and watched as they both nodded triumphantly. "Well, time to prove yourselves, cause they're here..."


So far the night had gone pretty well. Maria and Alex showed that they could be in the presence of 'populars' and not have a emotional breakdown. But Liz wasn't just impressed by Maria and Alex, she was also impressed with Michael, Max, and Isabel. They showed her that not all populars were snobs.

Liz sat on the counter top and spooned icecream. She watched as Alex and Max sat arguing over which band was better: Bare Naked Ladies or Foo Fighters.

"Liz!" Alex yelled. "Who's better?" Max looked over at Liz before rolling his eyes at Alex.

"You wuss."

"I prefer Bare Naked Ladies." Liz said with a laugh.

Alex hopped up from the table and did the cabbage patch. "Ha! Bare Naked Ladies ROCK!" he declared.

"Alex." Liz said as she stuffed a spoonful of icecream into her mouth. "The cabbage patch doesn't work for you."

Alex immediatly stopped and sat back down at the table and glared at Max as he laughed.

Max and Alex turned their attention the sound of a bowl being placed roughly onto the countertop and watched as Liz ran to the boom box. "I love this song!" she declared as she turned it up as far as it could go.

I hate the world today
You're so good to me
I know but I can't change

Liz walked back to her bowl of icecream singing the lyrics. She picked up her icecream and started swaying to the music and singing.

Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe
I'm an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet
Yesterday I cried
Must have been relieved
to see the softer side
I can understand
how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you
I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one

I'm a bitch...

Maria grinned at Liz as she banged her head when she said 'bitch'. Maria could see why Liz really like the song. She didn't envy anyone, she wouldn't change for anyone...And when it came down to it. She'd be a bitch...

I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

Alex laughed as Liz continued to spin around the cafe, her bowl in one hand as she sucked the icecream from the spoon in the other. She'd continued to sing the lyrics after every mouthful of icecream. He shook his head at his new found friend. She was definetly something...

So take me as I am
This may mean
You'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that
When I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won't mean a thing...

Max continued to smile at Liz. Were last lyrics directed to him? Could he be a stronger man? Hell Yea! He has never been this interested in a girl before. But Liz somehow had gotten to him, and she didn't even know it. She was so much different than other girls...And that's what he loved about her...Woah...Loved?

Don't you think you're jumping the gun a little, Evans?

Max looked at Liz again....No even a smidgen..

I"m a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm you hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

Just when you think, you got me
figured out
The season's already changing
I think it's cool, you do what you do
And don't try to save me

I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a cihld, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm you hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way

I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I'm your angel undercover
I've been numb, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know I wouldn't want it any other way...

Alex once again started clapping and cheering, bring Liz out of her little world. She looked at everyone in the room and started laughing.

Liz shrugged. "I'm a bitch."

Part 8

Max watched as Liz jumped up from the bleachers and started cheering on for Alex. "Run Alex Run!" she yelled as she clapped her hands. "No! Run home! Run home! Screw the coach!!!! Run home!!"

Liz was suddenly pulled down by Maria. "Girl, I think you need to relax." she muttered and glanced at Max who was grinning like an idiot.

Liz quickly stood up again. "What are you talking about he's out!? Are you blind or something!! Alex was on third 10 years before the freakazoid even got half way to him!" she yelled at the ref. "Aw c'mon!!! What kinda idiot are you?!"

The referee turned his attention to Liz and glared at her. "What?! What?! It's not my fault you don't know how to ref baseball worth shit!" she yelled.

It was Max who pulled Liz down next. "You are going to get kicked off the field." he told her as he looked around at all the staring faces. "I think you need to relax."

"Alex wasn't out!" she declared in a harsh voice.

"Liz, babe." Maria said as she put a hand on her shoulder. "Alex is a big boy, I think he can handle it, aite?"

Liz grinned and pretended to wipe away tears. "It's just that...You two are growing up soo fast." she said with a fake sniffle. "I'm afraid you won't need me any more.."

Maria rolled her eyes and gave Liz a playfull shove. Max laughed as he drapped his arm around Liz's shoulder. "Don't worry about it, those two will always need someone around when the going gets tough." he said and hoped that Liz didn't shrug him off of her.

Liz thought about moving away, but with the 8 weeks she had been in Roswell, she slowly started to become more comfortable with Max, along with Isabel and Michael. They soon became a close knit group of friends, and nothing came between them...

Liz looked down at the ground to see Tess Harding glaring up at her. She rolled her eyes, and then smiled mischeviously. Liz knew this would really get Tess pissed...She leaned closer to Max and rested her head against his shoulder and smiled at Tess.

Tess stared up at Liz shocked. She couldn't believe she had the nerve to do that! Tess glared at her as she continued down the walk way. "You'll get what you deserve Parker." she said to herself.


"Alex, you were great!" Liz yelled as they entered the deserted Crashdown. It was eight thirty and the Crashdown closes early on a Saturday. "I'm proud to say, that you are FINALLY catching on."

Alex grinned and wrapped a friendly arm over her shoulder. "Well, I learn from the best."

"You're damn skippy!" Liz said. "Alright guys, party time." she called to the small group as she flipped on the boom box.

Max shook his head and couldn't help the smile that spread over his lips as he watched Liz and Maria dance around the Crashdown. Today had gone great. He had felt Liz lay her head on his shoulder and his heart lifted from his chest, but when he saw Tess down below the bleachers, he knew that she was only trying to make Tess made. Yet, long after Tess and passed by, Liz still hadn't lifted her head. Only when Alex had hit a high one way out into center field did Liz, not only lift her head, but her whole body and rooted for Alex. She seemed to have realized that she had rested against him, for quite some time, for she had smiled shyly at him before continuing to watch the game.

Max grinned as he watched Liz sing the lyrics to "Pinch Me" by the Bare Naked Ladies. He vaguely noticed Michael climb into the seat infront of him.

Michael shook his head, not hiding his own grin. "You're whipped man." he said with a chuckle as he watched his friend drool over Liz Parker.

Max smiled widely at Michael, not even trying to deny it. Yes, he had fallen hard for Liz Parker. He had fallen into the never ending pit of 'love', and it didn't seem like he was getting out any time soon.


"Liz!" Maria called as she laughed at her. Liz continued to dance around the diner singing her favorite song. "Liz!" she held the phone out her hand covering the receiver. "It's for you!"

Liz turned down the music and walked over to Maria, mouthing the words, 'who is it?' to her. Maria shrugged and handed her the phone. "Hello?" Liz said. When she heard the voice on the other end her facial expression immediatley changed.


Max noticed the difference and he sat up straighter in the booth and watched as Liz turned around, facing the other direction as she spoke. He couldn't hear what was being said, but he knew that it was serious. He'd never seen the look on her before.

Liz hung up the phone and face the group. "I need a ride to the airport." she said, and watched as Max immediatley stood up. She smiled gratefully at him before heading towards the door. "We'll be back later, guys." she called over her shoulder.

Alex looked at Maria. "What was that about?" he asked. Maria shrugged and continued to stare out the doors.

Part 9

Max glanced over at Liz again and watched as she nibbled nervously onto her thumb nail while she stared out the window. She hadn't said a word since they left, maybe it was because he hadn't tried to talk to her. She seemed deep into thought and Max didn't want to disturb her, he'd find out what was bothering her soon enough....


"Just wait her Max." Liz said as she climbed out of the jeep. She then knelt down towards the window. "Thanks for the ride, I"ll be back in a few." she smiled at him before she ran madly into the airport.

Liz didn't stop running until she saw the figure sitting on the bench, a black hood wrapped tightly around her head and her back pack slung over her shoulder. She slowed her pace to a fast walk, getting closer and closer to her. What was she doing here? Did anyone else know she was here?

Liz stepped infront of her and watched as she raised her head and she stared into her hazel eyes. "Chasity." Liz said as she picked up her suit case.

She stood up, only coming up to her shoulder and stared gratefully at her sister. "Hey Liz." she said smiling. "How are you doing?"

Liz rolled her eyes. "Let's cut the chase Chas." Liz said as she started walking towards the exit. "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to see my sister." she said, giving her an innocent smile.


Max watched as Liz came through the doors, with a another girl. She looked just like Liz, except younger. She couldn't be more than 15. Liz opened the door roughly and pulled up the seat so she could climb through.

"Bull shit Chasity." Liz practically yelled. "What are you doing here?"

Max remained silent as he watched Liz climb in and shut the door.

"So I got tired of Dad's girlfriend." Chasity muttered. "I hate her."

"You hate all of Dad's girlfriends, what's new?" she said while pulling on her seatbelt as Max started the car.

Chasity blew a bubble with her bubble gum. "Yeah, well, I really hate her. I mean, she's a slut, literally. And she doesn't like me much either. She's wearing MY clothes..."

"So? You wore mine all the time." Liz said.

"But these clothes are like 5 times too small for her! I'm getting tired of seeing her cleavage." Chasity said as she stared out the window, not even taking notice of Max.

"Then don't look." Liz said.

Chasity rolled her eyes and watched as Liz turned in her seat to look at her. "Where'd you get the money to get here anyway?"

Ohhh, busted. Chasity looked around widly. "Well,.."

"You didn't!" Liz yelled as she stared at her. "I can't believe you! You needed that money for college!"

"Like you didn't need yours!" Chasity shouted back.

Liz rolled her eyes. "I can get a scholarship! You can't, you're grades aren't good enough!"

"Push the knife in alittle deeper." Chasity muttered.

"Does Jakob know you're here?" Liz asked her.

Chasity nodded. "He knows you're here too." she said with a grin. "You're lucky he isn't going to tell dad. Or you'd be back in New York in 5 minutes flat."

Liz turned back around in her seat and stared at the road in front of her, her arms crossed. Chasity leaned forward between the seats. "What are you ticked about?" she asked her.

"I'm pissed because you're here! You're not supposed to be here!" Liz shouted.

"Neither are you!" Chasity yelled back. "I'm just as tired as you are with all of Dad's whores, and I miss mom too! But that doesn't mean you can run away and I can't! Why didn't you take me with you?"

Liz turned back around and stared at her sister. "Now you listen to me! You tell Uncle Jeff and Aunt Nancy that I ran away, and I'll hurt you! They think that dad knows I'm here! I don't care what you do after April 30th, but until then, you keep that cake hole of yours shut!" Liz said pointing her finger right at Chasity's face. "Do you read me?"

"Like a book." Chasity said with a smirk and sat back.


Max continued to stare out into the road, his eyes wide, and his hands on the steering wheel. He'd heard of family fueds but that had to be the worst he'd ever heard of...

Liz ran away?

Who's Jakob?

What happened to her mom?

Liz ran away?!

So many damn questions and not one of them have answers. He watched as Liz turned back around in her seat.

"You wanna earn your keep?" Liz asked.

Chasity rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. "What keep?"

"You're privilage to stay with us." Liz said. "And don't think I won't send your sorry ass back to New York because I will!"

"You can't." Chasity scoffed, not believing her.

"Try me." Liz stated. When Chasity didn't say anything she continued. "You WILL attend West Roswell High as the Brain-Dead Freshman you are, and you WILL bring your grades up. Because after the most stupid, irresponsible, stunt, you have just pulled, you have now way of getting to college. You will get a job. You will work at the Crashdown as a waitress and wear their goofy little uniforms. And all of your earnings will go to ME, so that I can atleast have some money for you if you don't get a scholarship for college. And if you refuse ANY of these conditions, your ass is back in the pot hole, with all of dad's whores, and all of his liquor. And trust me hon, you will wish you had done everything I have just asked."

"More like commanded." Chasity muttered.

Liz groaned and clenched her fists out infront of her. "You're pushing my buttons!" she yelled.

Chasity grinned and continued to stare out the window.

Max glanced over at Liz just in time to see her swing back into her seat to face Chasity again....

This is going to be a long drive home.

Part 10

Liz pushed Chasity through the doors and into the Crashdown. "Watch it." she yelled over her shoulder.

"Stuff it!" Liz yelled back. "Now, go up stairs, and YOU are NOT, sleeping in my room!" she called after her as she watched her sister climb the stairs.

Max looked around the empty Crashdown, the others must have left already. Liz turned to him and smiled. "Thanks for the ride Max." she said. "I'll see you tomorrow."

Max grabbed her arm before she could go any farther. He pulled her to a booth and sat her down as he placed himself across from her. "A runaway huh?" he asked her.

Liz stared down at her hands. She couldn't look at him. Almost everything that had come from her mouth has been a lie. What did he think of her now? "Liz?" he said as he placed his hand on hers.

Liz sighed and pulled back. "What do you want from me?"

"I want to know why you didn't tell us that you were a runaway before. If not to me, then to Alex and Maria." Max said as he continued to stare at her. "What made you runaway?" he asked after a moment of silence.

"The question is, why hadn't I left sooner." she mumbled. "My father left my mother for another woman. For a while after the divorce, we'd go from one house to another, but one day, we found that my mother wasn't there. Nothing was there, all of her belongings were gone, and there was nothing that could give us an idea of where she had gone, not a note. Nothing. She just left, without a good bye. After a couple of years, my father had gone through 4 marriages, each one of them ending in a brutal fight over the woman that his wife had found him with."

Max continued to listen to everything Liz was saying. He could still hear the hesitancy in her voice at saying all of this. Who knew how long it had been since she last talk to anyone about it.

"My father, became an alcoholic. He'd leave at night and wouldn't come home until the next day. As if that wasn't enough he had later started bringing home different woman each day. He wouldn't go to work, and they fired him on account of absence. That alone left us to support ourselves, and him." Liz kept talking as she stared at her hands. It felt so good to actually talk about this. She had tried to talk about it with her brother, but neither of them could bring themselves to finish the conversation, and it just made it harder. Liz felt tears start to fall down her cheeks at what she was going to say next. "At age 13, my sister was willing to sell her body just to have money." she sobbed as she hasitly wiped away the tears. "She was 13, she shouldn't have had that kind of pressure on her."

"Did she?" Max asked as he swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat. "I mean, did she sell her body?"

Liz shook her head. "No, we wouldn't let her. Jakob and I had everything under control for a while. My father kept getting in trouble with the law and all of our earnings would go to getting him out of jail. We had tried several times to find our mom, but we couldn't. It was like she didn't want to be found. After going through two more years of hell, I got tired of it. I called my aunt and uncle, and told them that I was coming down, that my school wasn't good enough and that I needed a change. They seemed to have excepted it, for they didn't ask any questions. I think they knew that family problems were the real reasons, they just didn't know that I ran away."

"What did you tell your father?" Max asked.

Liz stared down at her hands not looking him in the eyes. "Nothing." she whispered. "I didn't tell anyone anything, I just packed up and left. How they found out that I was here, I don't know. All, I know is that I am not going back."

"What's so significant about April 30th?" Max couldn't help but ask. He watched as Liz sighed and sat back into the booth again.

"I turn eighteen then, and nothing will force me to go back. I'll be able to make my own decisions, and I won't have to go back if I don't want to. I just hope Chasity doesn't slip and let them know that I did runaway." Liz said, finally lifting her gaze to look at him.

"I don't think she will." Max said. "Atleast not intentionally." He got up from the booth only to slide into the seat next to her and wrap a protective arm around her shoulder. "My father's a lawyer, so if by any chance that they find out, he can help you file a petition for emancipation. You know, if they try to send you back."

Liz turned her head to look at him. She coudl tell that he was very serious and was only trying to help. And she couldn't help but smile. "Thank you." she whispered.

Max pulled pulled her closer to him and smiled when he felt her drop her head to his shoulder. He couldn't help but feel an overwhelming feeling of protectivness over her, after all he had heard. Liz Parker didn't have a perfect life, he knew that from the beginning, but what she had hid, so carefully, turned out to be not a life at all. It was a nightmare..


"And...Why didn't you tell us this before?" Alex asked as Liz finally finished explaining everything. "I mean, we...Why didn't.."

Liz sat down on her bed and sighed. "Alex, Maria. I'm sorry, I know that if I were a true friend I would have told you from the beginning. But I was too ashamed. Yes, me, Liz Parker, was ashamed." she said as she bent her fingers back nervously. "I know I said you shouldn't care what people think, and most of the time I don't, but this was too much for me to...Express, I guess."

Maria looked at Alex who had perched himself on the corner of Liz's desk. Of all the years she had known Alex, she was sure he would have been shitting frisbys by now. But the look of understanding on his face totally took her off guard, and Maria knew that he wasn't upset..

Maria smiled at Alex before getting scooted closer to Liz, while wrapping an arm around her shoulder. "Liz, you are a true friend." when she said this, Liz looked over at her in disbelief. "You helped us in so many ways, and we are extremely grateful. You showed us that there was more to life than trying to fit in, and trying to be perfect in everyway. To try at get people to notice you. You befriended us, because you liked us the for who we were, and you showed us nothing but kindness and understanding from that day forward. Liz Parker, you are the best friend I, we, have ever had."

Alex got up from the corner of the desk and sat on the other side of Liz, wrapping his arm around her too. "Ditto." he said with a grin.

Liz smiled and realized that she too had the best friends any one could ever have. She wrapped her arms around their necks and brought them closer to her. Things were slowly looking up.

"That, was soo, sweet." a voice came from the doorway. They looked up to see a choked up Chasity standing there. "Liz," she said as she wiped away a tear. "I like these guys more than your other friends. That Rath guy was creepy, and don't get me started on Lonnie."

Liz laughed at her sister and watched as she entered the room. "You ready for school tomorrow?" she asked her.

"As ready as I'll ever be." Chasity replied.

Part 11

Chasity walked down the hall of West Roswell High. Despite having her sister by her side, she still felt a bit uncomfortable. This was her first time in a new school, and she didn't know how to act. How was she supposed to act like her sister? She couldn't bottle up her emotions like Liz, if anyone so much as called her freak, she'd probably go running towards the restroom.

"Hey, Princess." Tess said as she approached Liz, taking notice of the child beside her. She knelt down to eye level to the girl and gave her a sugary smile. "Hi there. What's your name?"

Chasity looked up at Liz and laughed. "You have got to be kidding me right?" she said.

Liz shrugged. "This is my sister, Chasity." she told her. "Chasity this is the Wicked Weasal of West Roswell High."

Tess stood up and faced Liz. "What was that?" she asked her.

Liz grinned down at her sister. "Nothing." she said as she put a hand on Chasity's shoulder and led her down to the office. "Okay, so we are going to get your schedule and find you a nice cute boy to show you around school."

"I am perfectly capable of finding my way around." Chasity said as she stared at her sister. "I don't need anyone to show me."

Liz smirked and nodded. "Alright. Well, I have got to get going, here is my schedule, so if you need me you 'll know where I am."

Chasity glanced down at her sisters schedule and waved her off. She then turned to face the office and too a deep breath.

"You can do it Parker." she told herself. "New school, new life." she took another deep breath and stepped into the office.


"How's my favorite Parker?" Alex asked as he stepped up to Liz and wrapped an arm around her shoulder.

Liz looked over at him giving him an odd look. "What?" he asked. "I've always wanted to say something like that, but there have only been the Evans. And if I said that Isabel was my favorite, then that would be just a little too straight forward, and if I did it to Max, well, a lot of people would think my gate swung the wrong way."

Liz shook her head and laughed. "So, the Baseball Tournament is tonight. You gonna come and cheer me on?" Alex asked as he continued to walk Liz to her locker.

"Wouldn't miss it for the world, Al." she told her as they approached her locker. "You gonna git a homer tonight?"

"Only if he trys to steal my butterfinger." Alex said, while earning another odd look from Liz. "What! You cannot tell me you haven't seen the commercial! Ya know, "Hit a Homer Bart!" and then he does....Ya know, Homer, as in his....Dad..." Alex shook his head and throw his hands into the air. "Why do I even try?"

Liz laughed and pulled out her books. "You watch too much tv, Man."

"And you don't watch enough of it." Alex shot back.

Liz stood on her tip-toes so that she was eye-level with him. "You want to make something of it?" she said with a serious look on her face.

Alex stared at her, the look she was giving him was scaring him. "Alex, I'm kidding."

"Right, I knew that." he said and started walking her to class.

"Hey guys!" Maria called as she skipped up to the group.

"What are you so giddy about?" Alex asked her.

Maria grinned and started to walk with them. "The Prom, guys. I mean, it's like the biggest night of our lives.." she said, looking particularly at Liz, who was twirling her finger in the air. "And I am waiting for Michael to ask me...."

"You going to ask Isabel?" Liz asked as he looked at Alex.

He shrugged and stared at his shoes. "I don't know yet, I mean, what if she says no? Or even worse, what if she laughs in my face? I'm not sure if I could take that.."

Liz linked her arm through his. "Alex, if she says no, then it's her loss. You can hang out with me and watch 'Whose Line is it Anyway'." she told him.

Maria looked at Liz. "Aren't you going?" she asked her. Surely she'd go, wouldn't she?

Liz shrugged. "I'm not into dances.." she commented.

"Well, you better get into it." Max said as he walked up to them. "Cause I'm taking you." he told her as he wrapped his arm around her waist.

Liz looked up at him and grinned. "Are you?" she asked. "I don't remember being asked."

"That's because I haven't asked yet." Max said with his own grin.

"Then how do you know that you're taking me?" Liz asked.

"Because when I ask, I know you'll say yes."

Liz raised her eyebrows. "Quite sure of yourself aren't you?"

Max just nodded and grinned wider.


Chasity walked out into the quad, carrying her lunch tray. She looked down at the runny glop and resisted the urge to dump it into the nearest trashcan she found. She looked around the quad until she found an empty table and made her way towards it. Chasity sat down and poked her fork into the hunk of fat that they dared call salsbury steak.

"Hi." Chasity jerked her head up to see a girl with raven black hair sitting across from her and she could see she had Korean in her. She recognized the girl from her English class, she just couldn't remember her name.

"Hi.." she said slowly.

"You must be Chasity, right?" she asked as she put out her hand for a shake. "I'm McKenzie Bryant, I'm in your English class."

Chasity shook her head and gave her a small smile. "Nice to meet you." she said softly as she continued to poke her food around with her fork.

"So you're from New York?" McKenzie asked as she stared at her.

Chasity nodded. "You don't say much.." she commented when Chasity still didn't say much. "You're Liz Parker's sister aren't you?' she immediatley asked.

"Yeah." Chasity said. "She has a big rep over her, doesn't she?"

"Oh yea!" McKenzie squealed. "Your sister really has Tess Harding, the most popular girl in the school, ticked off. And just knowing that Max Evans, the most popular guy in school, is the least bit interested in Liz, makes her even more pissed..."

"She the blonde Bimbo who stuffs her bra?" Chasity asked and grinned when McKenzie nodded.

"That's her. So you've met her?" she asked.

Chasity rolled her eyes and nodded. "I met her.."

McKenzie nodded and tapped her fingernails onto the table, trying to think of something else to say. She leaned on her forearms towards Chasity. "You wanna ditch the rest of the school day?" she whispred excitedly.

Chasity jerked her head up, shocked. "What? No!" she said harshly. "Why would I ditch school?"

McKenzie sat back and stared at the table. "Well, you're Liz's sister, and I thought.."

"Liz doesn't ditch school, and neither do I." she told her. "Just because we're from New York doesn't mean anything.."

McKenzie nodded and looked at her. "You're right, I'm sorry, it's just we don't get much excitement in my school, and I thought that you do wild stuff and I could do it too."

Chasity shook her head. "It's okay. But just realize, I'm not like that, and neither is Liz.." she said. "As far as I know.." she said the last part in a whisper.


Liz shut her locker and made her way down the hall, when she ran into her sister. "How was the first day of school?"

"You REALLY have yourself a rep here." Chasity commented, ignoring her question. "I had one girl ask me if I wanted to ditch school, a guy asked me if I had crack, and my Algebra teacher is scared of me. What have you done?"

Liz laughed and wrapped her arm around her sister's shoulder. "We're new blood to this small town, expect to be asked a bunch of odd questions for a good month or so.."

"You going to the game tonight?" Chasity asked her.

Liz nodded. "Yup, I promised Alex I'd go.." she said as they started to walk out into the parking lot.

Chasity nodded and then grinned. "I heard something interesting today." she told her as she looked up at Liz.

Liz glanced down at her with her eye brows raised. "Oh yeah?"

"Yeah, a guy named Max Evans is interested in you.." she said waiting for her reaction.

Liz scoffed. "All the guys are interested in me.." she said as she tried to let it pass.

Chasity crossed her arms. "I know you better than that Liz, he's the one who drove you to the air port huh? That was him, and I saw the way you were giving him those googly eyes, or whatever you want to call it. You're in looooove."

Liz shook her head her expression serious. "I'm no in love Chas, it's just a little crush, that's it."

Chasity walked to the other side of the small black car. "Liz, you shouldn't be afraid to let someone in. I mean if you allow it, you just might fall in love, and Max Evans just might be the one." she told her sincerely.

Liz looked over the top of the car to her sister. "There is no such thing as love.." she said before getting into the car.

Part 12

Liz sat back in bed flipping through a magazine with No Doubt playing loudly through her stero, as she glanced at the phone beside her nightstand every few minutes. She was impatiently waiting for Max to call, after all he had said that he'd ask her to the prom. The prom is two days away and he still hadn't asked. Liz groaned and tossed her magazine to the foot of the bed just as Maria came in.

"Hey." she said cheerfully as she plopped onto Liz's bed. "So, Michael asked me tonight to go to the dance. He was quite hesitant."

"Congrats." Liz said, not to enthuastic.

"He STILL hasn't asked?" Maria asked as she pulled her legs onto the bed. "The prom is April 22nd, two days away!"

Liz shrugged as if it were no big deal, when actually she was disappointed that Max hadn't asked her yet. She had grown quite close with Max, and was enjoying the time they spent together. She sighed and sat back into the mountain of pillows on her bed.

"So, when are you going to get your dress?" Liz asked Maria.

"I already got it!" she squealed as she pulled out a magazine clipping and handed it to her. "Mom and I ordered if a long time ago, to be sure we got it. Isn't it fantastic?!"

Liz stared down at the model in a spaghetti strap light blue gown, with multicolored floral embroidery, with a matching white shawl drapped over her shoulders. She looked up at Maria and smiled.

"Pretty." she told her, as she handed the magazine clipping back.

"And we got yesterday!" Maria squealed. "It fits me perfectly, and I look hot!"

Liz laughed and shook her head slighty. "I'm sure you do."

Maria looked at her friend sympathetically. Going to the prom was always a dream for her in highschool, where Liz's dream was just being able to get away, but surely she had a slight interest in the Prom. "He'll ask you, he said he would."

Liz again only shrugged. "No biggie, I'll hang here with Chas." she said.

"Uh, no ya won't." Chasity said from the doorway. She grinned sheepishly at her sister and entered the room completely. "You see, McKenzie and I are going to go see a movie that night, sorry about your luck."

Liz shook her head as her sister left. "Yeah, just my luck." she mumbled. "Oh well, I wasn't planning on going anyway.."

"Then I have no date.."

Liz and Maria turned towards Liz's open window to see Max climbing through. Maria grinned widely at Liz before getting up from her bed and leaving.

"I"ll see ya later Chic." she said and gave her a wink.

Liz stood up and looked at Max as he pulled a bouquet of flowers out from behind his back. "Go to the prom with me?" he asked with a lopsided grin.

Liz crossed her arms and just stared at him.

"Oh c'mon, you know you wanna." Max insisted as he waved the flowers infront of her. Liz reluctantly reached for them and gazed down at them, a small smile reaching her lips.

"Ya know, you're the first guy who has ever gotten me flowers.." she said gazing down at the white roses.

Max smiled and grasped her hands in his. "So, be my prom date?" he asked again and stared at her intently.

Liz stared at the ceiling as if she was in deep thought. "Hmm, I don't know.." she said. "I still have to get a dress, and shoes, there is so much to be done, and only two days to do them!"

Max shook his head and grinned. "I'm sure you can get everything done in time, c'mon, I don't have a date, everyone else has turned me down. You're my last resort." he said jokingly.

Liz raised an eyebrow. "Am I. So if I say now, you'd be dateless.."

"So won't you." he shot back and grabbed her hands agian. "C'mon, please say you'll go..."

Liz smiled again, before rolling her eyes. "Fine,
I supposed I could go.." she told him.

Max smiled widely before he grabbed the sides of her face and pulled her towards him, meshing his lips with hers. He quickly realized what he did and pulled back slowly, staring into her surprised face. He let his hands drop to his sides and stared at her.

Liz continued to stare at Max, shocked beyond belief at what he had just done. She cleared her throat before crossing her arms over herself protectively. "So um, I'll see you Friday night then.." she said after a moment.

Max nodded and started to back away and towards the window. "Friday night.." He gave her a selfconscience smile before climbing out her window.

Liz stared after him in disbelief. She brought her fingers up to her lips and touched them tentatively. She had been kissed many time before, but never had she felt that kind of....electricity...that corsed through her body.


Alex sat at the counter and continued to stare at Isabel Evans talking with Maria. The prom was two days away and he still hadn't brought himself to ask her to go with him. He watched as Maria stood up and left. Alex sighed as took another sip of his cherry pepsi and glanced around the cafe.

"Hey." Isabel said as she sat next to him. Alex quickly put down his glass and smiled.

"Uh, hey.." he said. "What's up?"

Isabel shrugged. "Nothing really." she said. "I can't wait for the prom!" she added, excitedly.

Alex stared down at the tabel, she couldn't wait until the prom, which meant she probably had a date already...

They continued to share small talk until Isabel gathered her stuff. "I really got to be going." she said as she stared at him.

Alex nodded and smiled at her. "Night Isabel."

"Night." she said as she stood up and started to walk towards the exit, she then turned around and walked back to him.

Alex looked up when she set her stuff back on the counter.

"Alex." she said with her hands on her hips. "Were you EVER planning on asking me to the prom?"

He stared at her, his mouth agape. So she didn't have a date. "Cause you know, I've been waiting all week for you to ask me, and there's only two days left. I need to know, are you going to ask me or no..."

"Will you go to the prom with me?" he asked before she could finish.

Isabel smiled and pretended to think about it for a moment. "Why of course." she said and leaned down to kiss his cheek. "Can you pick me up Friday night at 7?"

Alex nodded. "Great." she said, as she gathered her stuff once again and started to head out, but not before she waved at him.

Alex gave a little wave back long after she had disappeared.

"Good going Al." Chasity said as she grabbed a piece of Men in BlackBerry Pie. "Finally you got the balls to ask, but of course, she had to walk you to first base but.."

"Shut up kid." Alex said teasingly as he started to walk out of the Crashdown.

Part 13

*Prom Night*

Liz stared at herself in the mirror. The satiny red gown felt different against her skin and she rubbed her hands over her bare arms that the dress refused to cover. Her hands then drifted to gold and silver floral embroidery of her dress. This definitely wasn't her...

"I never expected to see my sister, Liz Parker, in a prom dress.." Chasity said in shock from Liz's doorway.

"Shush Chas, your sis looks hot." Maria said as she came through the bathroom zipping up her own dress. She stood proudly infront of the two girls and did a little twirl. "Did I not tell you I looked fine?" she said.

Liz laughed and nodded. "You look great Maria." she said before gazing back at her full length mirror. Her hair was pulled up with a few tendrils hanging down beside her face. She turned towards Maria. "I don't know.."

"Nuh uh.." Maria said as she raised her dress over her feet and walked towards Liz. "You are not backing out. You cannot! Liz, this is the Prom, what we have been waiting for since we were little girls..."

"What you've been waiting for since YOU were a little girl." Liz said before she turned to look at herself in the mirror again. "I stopped believe this.." she said as she held up her dress. "When I was eleven."

Chasity walked up to her older sister and wrapped the red shawl over Liz's shoulders. "Liz, you're going. This is a once in a life time opportunity, with a great guy, that I know you have feelings for. This is the night that you forget about the past, forget about what's waiting for us back in New York, no worries. This night, April 22nd, is the night you are going to have fun."

Liz couldn't help but smile at her little sister as she once again turned to see her changed appearance in the mirror. She sighed and then turned back to Maria. "Alright.." she said, just as Nancy walked in.

"You girls look wonderful!" she said staring that Maria and Liz as a smile played on her lips. "Max and Michael are here, do you need more time?"

"Tell them we'll be right down." Maria said as she looked at herself in the mirror. Nancy nodded before smiling again and turning to leave.

Chasity smiled at her sister before leaning up and hugged her. "Nothing will spoil this night." she told her sister. Liz smiled. "I hope you're right.."

Liz then turned the Maria. "Shall we?" she asked as she looped her arm through Maria's extended on.

"We shall." Maria said with a laugh.


Max stood up from the Parker's couch as he heard giggling coming from the stairway. He looked up to see Liz and Maria walk down the stairs arm in arm and giggling at something that had been said. Max's heart skipped a beat when Liz came into full view, revealing her beauty. Her gown was long and red, and she smiled at him when she came to the bottom of the steps. Liz and Maria looked at eachother before spinning around slowly to show off their dresses.

"Well, boys?" Maria said as she walked up to Michael. "How do we look?"

Max couldn't hear what Michael said in response, for he was still seeing Liz spinning around in his mind, showing him the v-cut on the back of her dress. He couldn't help but think how wonderful it was going to feel to have his fingers lingering on the soft skin of..

"Oomph." he said as he grabbed his gut where Maria not-so-discreetly elbowed him.

"Say something.." she whispered, tilting her head towards Liz, who was standing in front of the stair case, bending her fingers back the way she did when she was nervous.

Max swallowed before he slowly started to walk towards her, once he reached her, he once again grasped her hands in his. "You look beautiful." he reassured her.

Liz smiled shyly before looking back at her hands. She was mentally scolding herself for acting the way she was, this wasn't her. She took a deep breath before raising her eyes to look into Max's.

Get a grip Parker...

"You kids have fun now." Chasity said as she hopped down the stairs to greet her friend who was standing awkwardly in the doorway. "Remember, no sex, no drugs. I expect to have these girls back at 12 sharp. In once piece, if you don't mind."

Michael stared down at the little kid. "1:30." he said with a smirk.

Before she could reply, a voice came from the kitchen. "And what are you planning on doing with the girls for the extra hour and a half?" Jeff Parker asked as he stood at the counter cutting cucumbers.

Michael looked at Max and swallowed, he hadn't realized he was there. "Well,.."

Jeff jabbed the last 3 inches left of the cucumber with his knife and pointed it at him. "Treat them with respect.." he said, his face dead serious.

"Right." Michael said, before glaring at Chasity who was snickering behind him. "Treat them with respect." he repeated.

Liz stood there shaking her head at her uncle before her smiled at her. "Have a good time." he said with a smirk.

The group started to leave the apartment, and as Liz passed the still laughing Chasity she flicked her in the ear.

"Ow!" she yelped as she grabbed her ear. Liz turned around a grinned at her.


Max smiled when he realized he was right. The feeling of his fingers skimming over the skin of Liz's back was everything he had expected it to be. Her skin was soft, smooth, and warm. He could do this all night...

Liz stared over Max's shoulder, her smile getting wider each passing second. She noticed Alex and Isabel dancing, he grinned at her before giving her a thumbs up. She giggled and Max pulled back to look at her with raised eyebrows. "What so funny?"

Liz shook her head, a smile still on her face. "Nothing, just Alex." she said. Max nodded, just as a thought came to Liz. "So, Max." she said. "Why did you ask me to the prom TWO days, before it?"

Max grinned and shrugged his shoulders. "I wanted to see if you trusted me, to wait for me. And being that you turned down..What, 5 other guys who have asked you, and said yes to me. I suppose you do trust me, don't you?"

Liz grinned. "I'm getting there."


"Harrison Ford."

"No!" Liz cried as she stared at Alex. "F's are evil! Why did you have to do that?" she asked, already trying to think of a celebrity whose name starts with an F. "Um...Oh! Fred Durst!"

"How can you two be playing the Celebrity Game at the prom?" a tired Maria, with an equally tired Michael, asked as she plopped down on the chair at the table next to them.

"Dennis Quaid.." Alex said with a smirk, knowing good and well that it would be very difficult for Liz to think of a name with a Q. "Because, Max went to get Liz a drink, and Isabel went to powder her nose, or something."

Liz continued to glare at Alex as she racked her mind for Q. She smirked at Alex. "Queen Latifa.." she said in victory.

"Damnit!" He muttered as he searched his mind for L. "Um, Leelee Sobeski!" he called out pointing his finger at her.

"Shannon Dohrenty." Liz said a second later.

"Too fast! Um.."

"Danny de Vito." Max said as he approached them and handed Liz. She smiled up at him in thanks as he sat next to her.

Alex nodded vigorously. "Danny de Vito." he said with a grin. "Good luck with V!"

"Thanks." Liz said with a smile. "Vanessa L. Williams.."

Alex's grin dropped as he searched for W. "They are evil." he muttered.

Max grabbed Liz's hand and started to pull her out of the chair as another slow song came on. "C'mon, let's dance." he said as he started to lead her way.

"Wait!" Alex called. "Wayne Newton! Ha!"

Liz smiled as she started backing away with Max. "Natilie Portman.."



Liz inwardly sighed when she was back in Max's arms. On normal circumstances, she'd be appalled with herself for acting the way she was, but this just seemed to come naturally to her. It felt so right with his arms wrapped securely around her. Never in her wildest dreams did she picture herself being like this with a man...

Max's rested his cheek against the side of Liz's head, as her forehead rested against his chest. He loved the feeling of her in his arms. His fingers drew lazy circles on the soft skin of her back, he just loved the feeling of her, and he didn't want to let her go. Max breathed in the scent of her strawberry shampoo and closed his eyes, letting the lyrics of the next slow song, drift into his ears.

I never believed in dreaming,
it never got me very far.
I never believed that love could find me,
like an arrow through the heart.
I never believed in mircales, or building castles in the air.
Not until that day I found you,
turned around and you were there.
From the day you came,
you gae me a whole knew point of view.
I've been touched by an angel,
it's impossible but true.

Max listened intently to the words, they were expressing the what he was feeling. The way her felt when he was with her, the way he felt when he first met her...

I believe in you.
I swear that forever from today,
no one will ever take your place.
I believe in you.
And I believe our love will last always.

I never believed in fairy tales,
though sometimes I wish I could.
I never believed that golden slippers,
could ever find the perfect foot.
I never believed in magic,
or that wishes could come true,
but your very kiss changed all of this,
something only you could do.

Liz smiled to herself as she listened to the words as they drifted softly from the stero and into her ears. It was ironic that this was how she had felt, she never believed in any of those things. But once she met Max, she hadn't realized, but she starting to hope that such things did exist, like love.

You made me a believer,
you made me trust again.
You showed me there's a pot of gold,
at every rainbow's end.

He had...He had taught her to believe again, and to trust. He had been the first person she told her darkest secret too. Liz found herself hugging him closer to her, as more of the words continued to dance around her.

I believe in you.
I swear that forever from today,
no one will ever take your place.
I believe in you.
And I believe our love will last always.

Only love, sets you free,
and if it's up to fate, then you're my destiny.
Now I know, now I see.
Anything can happen, if you just believe...

Max smiled when he felt Liz tighten her grip around him, bringing him closer. He in turn, tightened his grip and buried his face in her hair. The moment was perfect.

"May I cut in?" a sugary voice asked, and the magically moment was shattered between Max and Liz.

They both looked up to see Tess standing infront of them in a slim golden dress, that was way too tight for her own good.

Liz looked up at Max to see the annoyance in his eyes as he stared at Tess, she then dropped her head back to his chest and brought him even closer to her.

"Get lost Weasel." she said and smiled when she felt Max's chest shake as he chuckled.

Tess had had it. She grabbed Liz by the arm and spun her around to face her. She brought her hand back and swung it around to slap her. But she wasn't quick enough, Liz had already had a hold of her wrist and she twisted her arm behind her back. "I said, get lost." Liz said into her ear.

Liz then pushed her away and watched as she scurried off, she then turned around to see Max with wide eyes. Then after a moment he started laughing and Liz let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. She had thought he'd be made at her or something.

Max grinned and took her back into his arms. "Remind me never to make you mad." he said with a chuckle.

"Never make me mad" Liz said as she buried her head back under his chin.

He let out another chuckle and couldn't help but tease her. "Getting a little possessive of me, are we?"

Liz poked his side. "Max?"


"You're making me mad.." she said with a grin.


He ran into the gymnasium and searched wildly for her. He couldn't see her amongst all the students, but he knew she was there, Chasity had told him. He looked behind him to see the grey car pull up and a man stagger out and fall to his knees. He looked back inside.

"C'mon Liz!" he said under his breath.


"So are you have a good time?" Max asked as he started leading her to the table.

Liz smiled and nodded. "Yes. Who knew?"

Max grinned as he squeezed her hand in his. He was having a great time too, of course, his fun time had everything to do with Liz, and as long as she was with him, he'd forever have a great time...Max looked behind him when he felt Liz being pulled away.

"Jakob!" Liz said excitedly and hugged her brother, not noticing the concerned and worried look on his face. "What are you doing here?"

Max walked up to Liz and stared at the man next to her. "I tried to stop him Liz!" Jakob declared as he looked at his sister before he looked over the shoulder to see the gym doors opening again. "I swear I did.."

"Who?" she asked as she stared at Jakob, she looked behind her when she felt Max put a hand on her shoulder.


Liz head whipped around to stare at her brother. "He's here!" she yelled as if on cue, her father staggered up to the group, the scent of whiskey on his breath.

"Eliz-abeth...Park-er." he stumbled over his words as he grasped tightly onto her wrist. "You..are, in deep trou-ble, you-ng..Lad-y. You're com-ing with me."

He roughly pulled her towards the exit, no matter how hard she tried to pull away her father was just too strong. She knew if he weren't drunk, he wouldn't be acting like this. She stared over her shoulder, helplessly at Max...

posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:36:44 PM
Part 14

Max stared at Liz as she stared back at him. For the first time since he's known her, this was the first time he's seen fear in her eyes. He looked beside him to see Jakob, her brother. He glanced at Max before jogging after Liz and his father.

"What happened?" Maria asked as she approached him. She had seen part of what had happened, and from the look of it, it wasn't good.

"I don't know.." Max answered with a shake of his head. "But I'm going to find out." then he was running after them as well.

Max ran out into the parking, he could see Liz struggling to get out of the grasp of her father.

"Dad!" Jakob yelled as he grabbed his father's arm. "Let her go."

Liz continued to struggle and watched in shock when her father let go of her and back handed Jakob across the face. She fell next to her brother and placed her hand against his where it laid against his cheek. Liz stared up at her father as tears clouded her vision.

Liz's father pushed his palms against the sides of his head. "I'm...sorry." he whispered as he stared down at his son and daughter. "I..don't.." Liz watched as her father started to back away and into the grey car her came in, and sped out of the parking lot.

Jakob sat up and pulled Liz into a hug as her body rocked with sobs. He looked over her shoulder to see Max running towards them, he knelt down and to Liz and placed his hands on her shoulders.

"Liz?" he asked as he stared at the back of her head. Jakob watched as Liz turned away from him and into Max's arms. He had never seen his sister act this way before, other than him of course.

Max pulled Liz to her feet, his arms still wrapped securely around her as she continued to sob into his chest. He vaguely heard the pounding of feet hitting the pavement as Alex, Maria, Isabel, and Michael ran out into the parking lot as well.

"Liz?" Maria asked as she stared at her crying best friend and the other man, who she could only guess as her brother. "What happened?"

Max looked over his shoulder at his friends, as Liz continued to just cry. She wouldn't answer and now, he knew that she needed his help. He swept his arms under her knees and cradled her against his chest, before making his way towards his jeep.

Jakob ran after him. "Where are you taking her?" he asked as he kept up his pace. He maybe only three years older than Max, but he knew what young men were like, and he didn't think Max was any different. It was a perfect moment, to go after young women when there at their most vulnerable.

Max glanced side-ways at Jakob. "I'm taking her home. My father is a lawyer and he can help her with this." he said as he continued to walk towards his jeep.

"I don't think so." Jakob said as he blocked Max from taking another step. He looked over his shouder to see the others walking behind them. "I'm perfectly capable of taking care of my sisters."

"I'm sure you are." Max said as he walked past him again. "I'm just making sure the job gets done."

"Who the hell do you think you are?" Jakob yelld and watched Max as he opened the door to his jeep and gently placed Liz on the passenger side.

Max shut the door and stared at Jakob. "Someone who cares for your sister dearly. And I'll do anything to help her." he told him, his voice dripping with seriousness. He then walked over to the other side and got in. He placed his key in the ignition and started the jeep. "You coming?" he asked as he looked at Jakob.

Jakob looked behind him to the others before hopping into the jeep and rode off with Max and Liz...


Chasity walked into her Aunt and Uncles bedroom, biting her lip and bending her fingers back the way Liz did when she was nervous. They looked up at her, to see her biting her lip.

"Chas?" Nancy asked as she placed bills on the bed. "Is something bothering you?"

Chasity folded her hands and stared at them. "I have something I need to tell you..."


Max quickly got out and ran to Liz's side, picking her back up and cradling her to his chest once again. He watched as Jakob ran ahead of him and to the door, holding it open to him.

"Mom, dad!" he called. His parents came from the kitchen to see their son holding a crying Liz Parker in his arms and a young man behind him.

"Max?" Phillp asked as he walked quickly into the living room. He watched as Max put Liz gently down on the couch and was about to pull away, but only to have her grip tightened around him. Max looked up to his father before picking LIz up again and placing her on his lap.

"She needs your help, dad." he said as he rocked Liz back and forth as she continued to cry.

Diane looked at her husband before walking quickly to the bathroom to retrieve tissues. "What's the problem?" Phillp asked when his wife returned. He placed himself in the chair across from them.

"This is Liz, and that's her brother, Jakob." he said tilting his head in the direction of the guy standing awkwardly beside the couch. "Liz is a runaway..."


"I just don't understand why you didn't tell us!" Nancy said for the 15th time as she looked at her neice in the back seat. "Why didn't you?"

Chasity stared at her hands and once again shrugged in reply to the question. She heard Nancy sigh and turn back into her seat.

You did the right thing, Parker. You did the right thing...

"Where could she be?" Nancy mumbled before turning to he husband. "Do you think he took her?"

"He'd probably be too drunk to get her out of town." Jeff answered as his hands clenched the wheel. He looked in the rearview mirror at Chasity who continued to stare at her hands. "Who was her date again?"

"Max Evans." Chasity said, finally raising her gaze to look at her aunt and uncle. "Do you think she'll be there?"

Jeff turned down the road towards the Evans'. "Only one way to find out.."


"Liz, I"ll be right back." Max said as he pried her arms away from his neck. He watched as Jakob took his position and Liz clung to him just as tightly.

Max met his father in the hallway where he was chewing on the end of his reading glasses. "Dad, is there anything you can do?"

Phillip stared at his son for a moment and was about to answer when the door swung open.

"Phillip." Jeff called as he and Nancy walked into the house and straight towards Phillip and Max.


Nancy stepped up to him. "We want to fight for custody for Liz and Chasity over their father.." she said before he could finish. "Is that possible?"

Phillip looked at his son before looking back at the Parkers. "Yes, it is very possible, and with the history of his alcoholism, the case should be a clean cut." he said. "C'mon, we'll discuss it in my den.."

Max watched as the Parkers and his parents walked into Phillip's den, he then turned and walked back to Liz. He knelt down infront of her and grasped her hands. "Are you okay?"

Liz lifted her head from Jakob's shoulder and stared at Max, before nodding. "Yeah I'm fine." she answered. "Thank you."

Max smiled and nodded.

"What are they going to do?" Chasity asked as she looked at Max.

Max looked between the three of them, before settling his gaze back to Chasity. "Your Aunt and Uncle are going to fight your father for custody of you."

Liz immediately straightened. "What?" she asked, before looking at Chasity with the same shocked eyes. Liz looked at her sister before looking back at Max.

"C'mon." he said as he grabbed her hand and pulled her from the couch. He smiled at her before kissing the top of her head, and then led her to his father's den.

"Dad?" he asked after knocking on the door and opening it a crack.

The door was immediatley opened wider revealing Nancy. She pulled Liz into a tight hug. "Are you okay? Did your father do anything to you?"

Liz shook her head and just stared at her aunt and uncle. Jeff sighed. "Why didn't you tell us you ran away."

Liz stared at the floor before raising her gaze to look at them again. "I didn't want you to send me back.."

Nancy shook her head and grabbed Liz's shoulders. "We wouldn't have! If you had just told us how he was, how he's gone every night, and still drunk the next morning, we would have done everything in our power to keep you here, to make sure you were safe." she told her truthfully. "We wouldn't have sent you back to that kind of lifestyle. Never."

Jeff walked up to his wife and neice and pulled them both into a hug. "We'll figure this all out, I promise."


Max stared up at the iron ladder to Liz's balcony. He had been standing there a good 10 minutes, debating whether he should go up or not. After the Parker's had left with their neices and nephew, Max had retired to his room, his mind wandering to how perfect the night had been, until Tess and then of course Liz's father. After another hour of thoughts, he finally dressed in his street close and climbed out his window, making his way to Liz's house. Being that he had walked, he had plenty of time to think of what he was going to say...

If only he had thought about it...

Max took a deep breath before starting his way up the ladder. Finally, after what seemed like eternity, he made it to the top and climbed over. He knelt down to her window to see her sitting indian style on the floor at the foot of her bed. A blue throw pillow clutched tightly to her chest as she stared at nothing in particular. She looked so lost...

Max brought his hand up and tapped lightly on the window, bringing her out of her back to reality. She jerked her head towards the window to see Max. Liz placed her pillow aside and slowly stood up before making her way to the window.

Max continued to stare at her. She was wearing a pair of draw-string pajama bottoms and a blue tank top, which neglected to cover her belly button, giving him a nice view of her stomach. He gave her a small smile as she opened the window. She looked at him as she bit her lip nervously.

"I came to make sure you were okay.." Max said after a moment.

Liz nodded, but remained silent. Max couldn't resist the urge to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear, his fingers then trailing down the side of her neck and rested on her shoulder. His eyes never left hers, and soon her eyes started to produce tears, as events of tonight, and past nights came crashing back to her. Max climbed through the window, once his feet hit the floor he pulled her into his embrace just as a sob escaped from her throat.

Max kept his arms tightly around her as he rubbed her back reassuringly. He didn't know just how deep the dark pain went for her, but he did know he'd be there until she reached the light..

Part 15

"Are you sure you don't want to come to the hearing?" Jeff asked his neices again, as he straightened his tie. "You can still come if you want."

Liz shook her head as she leaned against the door frame of her aunt and uncle's doorway. "I'd rather stay here." she said honestly. She didn't think she'd be able to face her father. She loved him, with all her heart, but he was a changed man. He wasn't the kind, gentle, loving father she remembered when he was with her mother. Now he was an alcoholic, wasting his life away, along with hers. "You can fill me in on how it goes when you get back, kay?"

Jeff smiled and ruffled his neices hair. "No problem." he said as he slipped on his jacket. "Nancy are you ready? We are supposed to meet Phillip down stairs."

The next moment Nancy came out of the bathroom, straightening her hair. "Yes, I'm ready." she said. "Alright, the hearing should last until five, so we'll bring home dinner, and if you need anything, you can call us on the cell."

Liz nodded as she followed her aunt and uncle to the living room. Just as they opened the door to leave, she called them. "Guys." they turned to look at her, her arms folded nervously over her chest as she stared at their shoes before meeting their gazes. "Thank you. For doing this, and for not sending me back."

Nancy and Jeff smiled at eachother before smiling at Liz. "You're welcome." Nancy said as she placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "We'll be back soon."


"Okay, I see you're 20, and I raise you 5." Chasity said as she looked at the cards in her hands. She knew she would finally put Liz in her place, after all of these years, losing game after game of poker to her sister, she finally thought she had right where she wanted her.

"I call." Liz said as she through in 5 dollars worth of chips. "Whatcha got?"

Chasity grinned widely before placing her cards down on the coffee table. "Four-of-a-Kind, in diamonds.."

"Ohhh." Liz said, and winced. Just as Chasity started to take her victory money, Liz interrupted her. "Sooo close. I have a Five-of-a-Kind. Sorry."

Chasity stared in disbelief at the cards on the table. She lost again. "How do you do it?" she asked, her eyes never leaving the cards. "It's not possible for someone to win all the time.."

Liz shrugged and gathered the poker chips before putting them away. "Because, you suck."

Chasity gaver her sister a sarcastic smile before standing up, stretching her sleeping legs from sitting indian-style for such a long time. She glanced over at the clock on the wall. "When do you think they are going to get back?" she couldn't help but ask.

Liz looked at the clock as she was putting the cards together, and shrugged. "I don't know, and quite frankly, I don't want to think about it right now. Brings back too many unwanted memories, you know?"

Chasity nodded in understanding. "Do you think Jakob will leave once the hearing is over, and you know, we find out where we go?" she couldn't help but ask. She had missed her brother in the time she was away, but she didn't want to go back, not until her father was better...If he ever got better.

Liz looked up at her sister before standing up. "Jakob is 21 and he's in college. Don't expect him to just, drop everything for us. He needs to get on with his life.." she told her. "There's no doubt in my mind that he'll be here when we need him, but that doesn't mean we just tear him away from his life."

Chasity nodded. "Yeah, I know. I just miss him, you know. I'm going to miss him even more when he leaves." Chasity said as she grabbed her back-pack. "I'm supposed to meet McKenzie down stairs for homework." she started to walk towards the door, but stopped short. "You're going to be okay, right?"

Liz stared at her in mock shock. "Of course!" she exclaimed, her thumbs dipped in the back pockets of her jean shorts. "Go do your homework."

Chasity stared at her sister a moment longer, uncertainty in her eyes, before she finally smiled and left the apartment..


Chasity pushed through the swinging doors and into the buzzing diner. She shook her head, wondeirng how she and McKenzie were going to get anything done. She was distracted by someone waving their hands wildly into the air, and she turned her head to see McKenzie in a booth, waving her over.

She smiled before she pushed herself through the crowded diner and towards her friend. She was stopped short when she felt a hand on her shoulder and she turned around to face Max Evans.

"Hey Chas." he said with a smile. "How are you doing?"

Chasity smiled back. "Great actually." she said truthfully. "I'm a little nervous about the hearing, though."

Max nodded in understanding before raising his head to look around the diner. "So, um, where's Liz? Is she upstairs?" he asked tentatively.

Chasity nodded and smiled knowingly. "Yeah." she said as she started to turn away. "Don't let me stop ya." she called over her shoulder.


Liz sat on the couch, her feet curled under her as she leaned against the arm of the couch. The remote control in her hand as her other propped up her chin. This was the first time in her life that she was bored. She had flipped through the channels a dozen time, but nothing seemed to catch her attention. She tossed the remote carelessly onto the other side of the couch, before getting up and making her way down the hall, and towards her room.

Liz was cut short when she heard a knocking on the door, and then heard the clicking of it opening.


Liz immediatley straightened as she recognized the voice. Max. She hurried down the hall to see him, his head poking through the crack of the door looking into the living room. He turned his too look at her, a smile forming on his lips.

"Hey." he said as he entered the apartment, his hands shoved deeply into his pockets. "I just wanted to come and check on you."

Liz smiled as she walked into the living room, her arms casually crossed. "Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks." she said a bit nervously. "Um, and I guess I should thank you...And your father. For helping us.."

Anything for you...He had to bit his tongue to keep from saying those words, instead he nodded. "No problem."

They stood there, in uncomfortable silence, neither knowing what say. Both of them were afraid to tell eachother what they were feeling. Max was afraid he'd scare her if he actually told her how deep his feelings for her really went while Liz was afraid for WHAT she was feeling for him. She had never felt anything like what she felt when she was with him, and it scared her. Her whole life she had told herself she wouldn't fall in love...But she had failed...


Nancy and Jeff exited the building, coming face to face with a person they hadn't seen nor heard from years.

"Cleo?" Jeff said as he stared at the woman in front of them.

She simply nodded as the tension in the air continued to increase, finally she asked the question she had been dieing to ask for years. "How are they?"

Part 16

Nancy sat in the passengers seat her arms crossed over her chest. She couldn't believe she had the nerve to show up, out of no where. What was she doing here? Did she want the girls? Even if she did, she wouldn't be able to deny the girls their mother, or vis versa. She turned her head to look at her husband.

"I can't believe her." she said suddenly, causing her Jeff to look at her strangely.

"Nancy, I agree with you. It's not right for a mother to just pack up and leave with out so much as a good bye, and then all of a sudden come back, wanting her children back in her life. But you're forgetting what kind of life style that she had to go through too. She shared the same kind of life with her children, and she just couldn't take it anymore." Jeff said, trying to look at things at everything angle. "She's not as strong as you may think...She's not Liz."

"I know she's not Liz." Nancy said. "But Liz isn't that strong either, she has her worries, and she has her limits. We saw it at the Evans', never in my life have I ever seen her cry, not even as a child. Jeff, all I'm saying is that Cleo has no right to come into their lives and demand them back..."

"First of all," Jeff said, trying to keep his voice calm. "She has every right, they are HER children. Second of all, she didn't demand, she pleaded for us to let her see them. Nancy, you two were the best of friends in highschool, you know her 'limits' alright? But I understand where you're coming from, just tell me what you want to do, and I'll support you, one-hundred percent." he said as he took his wife's hand

Nancy smiled at her husband before she starting to think about what she wanted to do. She and Cleo had been the best of friends in highschool, and she did know her very well to tell when she's being truthful. And Nancy could see that Cleo was being truthful when she had said how sorry she was for leaving her children, and how she would do anything to get them back. No matter how she looked at things, Nancy couldn't deny Cleo her children, but, her children could deny, HER.

...And she's going to give them that choice. If they want to return to their mother, they will have that choice, but if they didn't, she and Jeff will always be there for them.

Simple as that...


Jakob sat on the bench next to his mother, he had never forgotten her face, and when he had left the courthouse, she was the first face he had seen. The immediate that popped into his mind was, What was she doing here? He hadn't seen his mother in years, and all of a sudden she was there?

"So," Cleo said as she fiddled with her fingers. "You're in college now?"

Jakob nodded mutely. "And you're doing well? I mean, you have enough money, because I can help support you.."

"I don't need your support." Jakob said suddenly. "WE, needed your support years ago. Where were you then?"

Cleo stared at the ground infront of her, she knew this wasn't going to be easy. And she had expected Jakob to be the easiest to talk to, Liz, on the other hand, would be the real competition.

"Jakob, I'm not going to lie to you." she said, the ground in front of her still seeming fascinating. "When I left, I was thinking about myself, and it wasn't until I was long gone, that I started to regret my actions." she turned on the bench to look at her son. His almost black, medium length hair, covered his face from her view. She tentatively sweeped his hair across his forehead, half expecting him to recoil, but smiled when he didn't. "And there were some many times I had started to dial your number, that I started to write letters to you, but I had thought you'd never want to see me again, let alone talk with me."

"You could have tried." Jakob insisted as he stared at his mother. "Our life wasn't that easy either you know. You have know idea what we have been through, what those girls have been through! Mom, they needed you more than anything! Liz needed you! All of her dreams, went down the drain the day you left, she's not letting ANYONE in, Chas and I have to push ourselves just to get past the first walls of her defense! This didn't just happen to you...It happened to all of us."

Cleo nodded as she bit her lip. "I know." she said softly. "And that's why I want to start over, so we can all be together, start our lives together, as a family. Like we should have been years ago. I'm not going to force you, or the girls. I want you guys to think about it, and if you feel you are comfortable coming to California with me, we can start over then. But if you, or the girls, need more time, I'll wait for as long as I need to."

Jakob lifted his head to look at his mother once again. The look in her eyes, the same look Liz held when ever she was desperate, he could see that she was really telling the truth. She wasn't trying to hide anything, but let him see everything. He returned his gaze to his hands. "I'll have to talk with Chas and Liz about this, and then I'll let you know."

"That's all I ask." she said, not trying to hide the hope in her eyes. "I'm in that Motel 8 just out of town, if you need me." she said a she stood up.

Jakob stood up as well, before tentatively hugging his mother. "Bye mom."

Cleo shook her head. "No good-byes." she said. "Good night."

Jakob smiled softly. "Good night, mom."


"Do you wanna watch a movie, now?" Liz asked Max as they moved into the living room from the kitchen. After a while, they had decided to talk over a bowl of icecream. Liz found herself telling him more and more things about her past, that she had failed to mention to him before. But what surprised him the most was how caring he was after wards, he didn't criticize her, or anything she had thought people would do.

"Yeah." Max replied softly as he followed her into the living room. He turned his head towards the door when he heard it open and watched as Jakob and Chasity walked into the apartment.

"Liz." Jakob said as he looked past Max, eyeing him suspiciously, before looking at Liz.

"Jake, how'd the hearing go?" Liz asked, before she noticed the I-have-something-to-tell-you Look. "What?"

"I need to talk to you two." Jakob said, looking directly at Max as if telling him to leave.

Liz looked between Max and Jakob, before she noticed him starting to leave. She quickly placed a hand on Max's shoulder. "He doesn't have to go anywhere." she told her brother, daring him to argue with her.

Jakob rolled his eyes at his sister's stubbornness. "Fine." he said as he sat on the couch next to Chasity.

"Where's Nancy and Jeff?" Chasity asked. "I didn't see them come in."

"They went to pick up dinner for you two. Anyway, I need to talk to you..About mom." he said, staring at Liz, gauging her reaction.

Max felt Liz stiffen beside him before she reluctantly sat down. He shoved his hands deeper into his pockets, getting the feeling her really shouldn't be there..

"What, about mom?" Liz finally asked.

Jakob rested his forearms on his knees and stared at his hands. "I saw her, at the hearing." he said, he could feel his sisters' eyes boring holes into his forehead. "And, she wants you two, well, the three of us, to go to California with her. To start a new life."

He watched from the corner of his eye, as Chasity's face went from curiosity to hope. "Really?" she asked with excitement in her voice.

Jakob nodds. "Yeah. I told her, that I'd talk to you two about it. To see what you wanted to do. I still have to finish college, so I won't be around a whole lot, but I do want to start a new life with mom. She seems sincere, and, I believe in her." he said, finally raising his head to stare at Liz, who seemed to be in deep thought. "But it's up to you two..."

"I'm going." Chasity said. Her mind was made up.

Max looked at Liz, her eyes holding so much emotions. Fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and the slightest hint of hope. He didn't like the fact that their mother decided to come into their lives, after everything she left them with. And he knew, that he didn't want Liz to go...

Part 17

Liz stared down at her supper. Tonight Nancy had made pot roast with mashed potatoes and peas, a meal that Liz looked forward to every Friday night, but not to tonight. She had to much on her plate as it was. The hearing with her father vs. her aunt and uncle was finally over. The Parker's now had full custody of Chasity and Liz, but they had told them, if they wanted to, they could return to their mother. Chasity had already made up her mind. She was going...

Now, don't get her wrong. Liz loved her mother, dearly, even with everything she had done...Just leaving them there with her drunken father, but she was torn between starting over or completeing the life she had always wanted, minus her mother. Her mother was a wonderful woman, she finally had her life together and had followed a dream to become a lawyer after she left them. She was even willing to pay for the rehabilitation bill for Liz's father, that the judge had forced him to attend....

...Her father. She couldn't help but cringe at the phrase. Her father, another important person in her life, but she couldn't take care of him for the rest of her life. She had promised herself that she'd live her life, the way she wanted to. She had had a brief conversation with him after the hearing. He had told her how sorry he was for what he put them through, and how he hoped, that one day, she would forgive him. Liz knew she would, she would forgive her father, and eventually let him completely back into her life...But not now, not yet. Not until he was completely recovered, and he had a long way before that happened...

"Liz?" Nancy said again, finally getting her neice's attention. "Do you not like it?"

"What?" Liz asked as she looked down at her food before looking back up at Nancy. "Oh, no. Aunt Nancy, I love this food, but, I'm not very hungry right now...Do you mind if I saved it for later?"

Nancy nodded her head and got up while grabbing her plate. "I'll put it in the fridge for you. You can heat it up in the microwave when you're ready to eat."

Liz nodded in appreciation before turning her gaze to her sister who was alternating taking large bites of her food and drinking large gulps of her milk. Finally she finished her food and placed it into the sink. "Do you mind if I call my mother? To determine when we're leaving?" she asked as she faced her aunt and uncle.

Nancy looked at Jeff and then to Liz before the finally looked at Chasity. "Liz hasn't made up her mind on whether or not she should go or not. Don't you think you should wait until she has made her decision?" she asked.

Chasity nodded. "I know, but you know, just for...Reference?" she asked, as she stared at their faces. "I really want to talk to her.."

Nancy smiled softly at Chasity before nodding her head. "Go ahead."

Jeff watched as Chasity ran out of the kitchen before looking at Liz, who stared at the spot on the table where her food had been. "There is no pressure, Liz." he told her. "You take as long as you want on making your decision. If you chose to go, that's wonderful, if you chose to stay, great. You just take as long as you need to. If you go, and decide you don't like the way things are going, you are always welcomed back here, always. Don't hesitate to ask."

Nancy nodded and smiled in agreement.

"Thank you." Liz said softly as she stood up from the table. "I'm going to head to bed a little early."

They nodded and watched as she started to make her way down the hall. "Oh, uh, Liz." Nancy called from the sink. Liz turned to look at them.

"You're Uncle and I won't be here tomorrow, we have a meeting to go to." she told her. Liz just stared at them blankly. "So, Happy Birthday."

Liz smiled at them. She had forgotten that tomorrow would be her birthday. Her eighteenth birthday. So much was already on her mind that she hadn't had time to think of it. "Thank you." she said.


Alex, Maria, and Max continued to venture throughout the mall. "Why didn't you guys buy her a present, yesterday?" she asked. "I mean, it's soo typical of you guys."

Alex wrapped his arm around Max's shoulder. "We're guys.." he glanced at as he felt him shrugging off his arms. "Sorry, man. Anyway, we're guys, we do things at the last minute.."

"So I've noticed." Maria muttered. "So what do you guys have in mind?"

"What does she like?" Alex asked.

"She's into photography." Max answered. "I was think I could get her a camera."

"Sorry Man, I already got her one." Maria said. "Nice one too, but anyway, something from you should mean something. I mean, you want her to know that you care for her DEEPLY don't you? You don't buy the girl you love a camera."

"Yeah man, even I know that." Alex said. "How about a teddy bear?"

Maria stared at him and he shrugged. "What, I'm not in love with the girl."

She just shook her head. "Maybe I should buy her a puppy." Max suggested as they passed a small pet store.

"Yeah, she can name it Max!" Alex said, totally agreeing with it. "And I'll supply the chew toys."

Maria shook her head again. "What am I going to do with you two?"

"What?" Max asked. "Giving her a nice puppy means something."

"Unless you want to spend over a thousand dollars on a great dane, I suggest you pick something else." Maria said. "She's a big dane fan."

Max glanced to his left to see a small jewelry store. "C'mon." he said as he tugged Maria over to jewelry place.

"Liz, isn't a jewelry type of gal." Maria said. "Ohh! That is gorgeous!" she exclaimed as she stared at a pair of ruby earrings. "That's what you can get me for my birthday!"

"Yeah, I'll, uh, keep that in mind." Max said as he continued to roam around the store looking at the jewelry. Finally a gold ring with a purple stone, Amethyst, he believed, in the middle with two small diamonds on either side. "Maria." he called and waved her over. "Do you think she'll like it?"

"Damn!" Maria commented. "That thing is beautiful. I don't see Liz wearing alot of rings though.."

Max sighed and raked his hands through his hair.

"No, no." Alex said as he walked up to them. "Liz does wear a ring, except it's on a necklace, it's like a charm. She said that her brother got it for her on her 15th birthday. Maybe you could get her a necklace to hang it on."

Max shook his head. "If I get the ring, I'm already pushing my budget.." he said as he rested his elbows on the glass case. "What am I going to do?"

"You're going to buy her the ring, and I'm going buy you a necklace chain. In which you will pay me back." Maria said as she started to dig out her purse. "I think, a nice golden snake chain will go good with that."

Max stared at Maria in disbelief. "Really?" he said.

Maria nodded. "Yeah yeah. I guess I could help out the love interest in of my best frie..."

"She's interested in me?" Max asked before she could finish.

Maria looked at Alex before looking at Max. "Well, yeah. I guess so."

"Has she said she was?" Max asked hopefully.

"Well, not exactly. But you can tell by the look in her eyes. I haven't known that long, but I can already tell that you're the one that makes her eyes light up.."

Max smiled at the thought. He then pulled out his wallet and flagged over a woman.


Liz unwrapped the brightly colored wrapping paper, revealing a white box. She tentatively lifted it's lid and pulled out a glass figurine of a unicorn. She smiled brightly as tears formed around the rims of her eyes. "It's the unicorn I showed you when I was little girl..." she said softly.

Cleo nodded and smiled at her. Her gaze shifted to the trees blowing in the breeze. "I remembered when you had pointed it out to me, you were going through that fanasty phase, where every frog turned into a prince, and you were a princess..."

"And every girl had a unicorn." Liz added with a small laugh. "Or atleast me.."

Cleo laughed as well as memories of happier times flooded her mind. But then, the unwanted reality of things barged in. She turned to her daughter who was gazing down at the figurine. "I can't thank you enough for meeting me here. And giving me a chance go explain."

"Everyone deserves a second chance.." Liz said. "You taught me that."

Cleo smiled and tucked a strand of Liz's hair behind her ear. "I did, didn't I?" she said with a smile. "So.." she said hesitantly. "Does that mean I get another chance, to make things right?"

Liz looked at her mother before looking down at the figurine once again, her thumb sweeping over the flanks of it's hind legs. The creature was reared up into it's hind legs, declaring independence, or that's at least how Liz looked at it. Was she really ready to go back to her mother? To try again?

She looked up at Cleo and smiled...


Liz laughed out in shock as she gaped at the room full of people in the Crashdown. Jakob had brought her home from the interlude with her mother, she had no idea that this was waiting behind the doors. She stared in amusement at her Aunt and Uncle lingering among the crowd, their own amusement played on their face.

She looked up at the balloon covered ceiling, before she saw Maria and Alex approaching, a balloon in his hand.

"Happy Birthday Liz." Alex said. She couldn't help but laugh, his voice sounded like a munchkin's, it was obvious he had inhaled helium.

Maria rolled her eyes but failed to stifle her own laugh. "Happy Birthday." she said in excitment as she wrapped her arms around her friend. "How's it feel to be eighteen?"

Liz sighed and thought about it for a moment. "Great." she said with a smile. "Just great."

Alex sucked more helium into his mouth. "Well you ain't seen nothing left." he said in a squeaky voice. "It's time for presents."


Max watched as Liz opened up her next gift, this one from her sister. He had seen the look of pure happiness on her face when she had entered the Crashdown and he smiled at the thought that he had helped put it there. He once again checked the pocket of his jacket and sighed again when he realized it was there. Max didn't want Liz to have her present yet, he wanted to give it to her himself. Yet he didn't want to be there when she opened it. He was afraid that she'd think he had done to much...

"Awww!" Liz said said as she picked up the puppy from the box. "Chas! Where'd you get the money to buy her?" she asked as the excited puppy licked her nose.

"Nancy and Jeff pitched in." Chasity declared. "I knew how much you like danes, so.."

Max looked at Maria who merely shrugged with the How-was-I-supposed-to-know look on.

"Thank you guys." Liz said as she cradled the the coal black puppy with a small tint of pink on her nose, to her chest. "So much!"

Liz looked down at the table. "Well, that's all the gifts." she said with a sigh. "Thank you all, this was the best birthday I have ever had." she then laughed when she heard the dog's high bark.

Max watched as people started walking up to her, giving her hugs and wishing her a happy birthday. Finally after most of the people had cleared out, Max walked up to her and pulled out a present. "Happy Birthday Liz." he said with a wide smile.

"Oh, Max." she said a she stared down at the small box. "Really, you didn't have to.."

"I know." he said. "But I did." he leaned down and kissed her check, his lips lingering there a moment, before he whispered. "Don't open it until I leave.."

Max then back up, seeing the sparkle in her eyes that Maria had spoken about, and he couldn't help but smile.

Liz stared after him, long after he had left the Crashdown, until she was brought to reality with the wiggling and barking of her new puppy. She smiled and giggled, bringing the pup up to her face. "What am I going to call you? Hmm?"

"I dunno, you kinda look like a Malorey." she said to the dog as she started walk towards the break room. "Or how about Chloe? Or a Cole? You know..Coal black??"


Max stared through Liz's balcony window, she was pulling close from her dresser and placing them into a suitcase, yet it didn't register in his mind. All he seemed to notice was the gift he had gotten her. She had moved her brother's ring down to the index finger of her right hand, and replaced the necklace and ring around her neck...Close to her heart. Max took pride in the thought..

Max brought his hand up and tapped on the window. He smiled when he saw Liz turn her head towards him, before rushing towards the window.

"So." he said as he climbed through the window. "Do you like your gift?"

Liz smiled brightly and hugged him to her. "Yes!" she said excitedly. "Thank you so much, it's beautiful."

Max's hands rested comfortably on her waist as she pulled back to smile at him. He momentarily looked over her shoulder and saw the suitcase. It took him another moment to finally realize that she was packing..everything. He removed his hands from her waist and shoved them nervously into his pockets.

"So, you're going?" he asked, already knowing the answer.

Liz looked over her shoulder to her suitcase. "Oh, uh yea." she said with a smile. "I guess I kinda fell into my own trap you know? I had no intention of going, until I pulled out the 'everyone deserves a second chance card'." she rolled her eyes at herself. "My mother told me that...So, I decided I'd give her second chance."

Max just nodded as Liz continued to talk. He couldn't believe she was actually going to go...If she knew how he felt about her, would she still go?

"But in a way, it's a good thing. I mean, I'll finally have a mother, well I've always had one, but I'll actually be with her. When she left, I would pray everynight for God to bring her back to me. And now she's here." Liz continued as she stooped down and picked up her dog. "This is Colie G." she said a she waved the dogs paw at him. "Long for Cole."

Max smiled lightly as he reached out and scratched the dog behind the ear. "You're really going?" he asked.

Liz looked up at him a moment before nodding slightly. "Yeah. Why wouldn't I?" she couldn't help but ask.

Max shrugged. "Why don't you want to stay?"

It was Liz's turn to shrug as she let Cole crawl out of her lap. "Nothings keeping me here." she said, and immediately regretted it when she saw Max's face. "Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss you guys. You, Alex, and Maria, you're like my best friends, and I'm gonig to miss you! But I haven't seen my mom in years.."

Friend. He was just her friend. He could have sworn she felt that..Spark between them. How could she not? It was obvious they were made for eachother. Max shook his head. "I don't think you should go." he said before he could stop himself.

Liz had started to pack again, but once he had said that she stopped and turned to look at him. "Why not?" she asked, more than a little offended. She crossed her arms. "Why shouldn't I go, hmm? Tell me, Max? Why?"

Max cringed as her voice started to rise. "You don't have a reason, do you?" Liz asked, continuing to push his buttons. She shook her head and continued to pack.

"I do too!" he said. Liz turned to look at him, with her Oh-Yea? Enlighten-me, look on. "She doesn't even know you!"

He was right, her own mother didn't know her. But Liz wasn't going to let that stop her, she finally had her mother and she wasn't going to lose her. "She wants to get to know me, Max!" she said, her voice higher than before.

"What about me, Liz?" he asked, his arms flung out to the sides.

Liz sighed and sat down on her bed. "What about you Max?"

"I want to get to know you." he said, realizing how stupid that sounded when she raised her eyebrows at him. "Well, I mean, I know you...But.."

After another moment of Max stuttering over himself Liz sighed again. "What are you trying to say?"

Max looked her in the eyes. He had to tell her.

"I love you."

There. He said. Max inwardly sighed as if felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted from his shoulders. But they all came crashing down on him again when he saw the look on her face. Uh oh.

"Liz?" he said, getting worried now. "Say something?"

Liz continued to stare at the floor in front of her. He had said them, the three words she was afraid to hear, but yet was dieing to hear from him. Everything was going so perfect, they had the perfect friendship, and she didn't want to jeopardize that...Not even if she loved him back...

Liz raised her head to look at him. "I..Can't deal with this right now." she said before she ran from him.

Leaving a hurt Max standing in the middle of her room...

Part 18

"Liz!" Chasity yelled from downstairs. "Hurry up!"

Liz rolled her eyes as she tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear. She leaned over her bed to grab her back pack, before looking around her room once more. There were quite a few things she had decided to leave behind...Just in case.

"You're really going?" Liz jerked her head around to stare at four pairs of eyes. Alex and Maria stood in the doorway, not even trying hide how upset they were about her leaving.

You're really going? The words kept swirling around her mind. Those were the exact words Max had said to her a couple nights ago...She hadn't seen him since.

Liz nodded. "Yeah." she said softly. The saddened looks on both their faces made her frown. "Guys, we'll see eachother all the time."

Maria scoffed while Alex just shook his head. "We haven't grown up yet Liz." he said as he pulled her into a hug.

Liz kissed Alex's cheek before pulling Maria into a hug. "You guys will be fine." she told them. "I know you will."

"Liz!!" Chasity yelled again.

"Shut up!" Maria called before Liz could say anything. "This just so happens to be a very emotional moment!"

Liz giggled as she shook her head. "Why do you have to go?" Maria asked. "What about Max?"

Liz looked down at the ground when she said his name.

"He told me he told you he loved you." Maria said, staring at her friend. "What did you say?"

Liz looked up at her friends, before walking towards her bed and picking up Cole. "I couldn't deal with that then." she said as she brushed passed them and into the hall.

"But you love him!" Maria declared as they followed her. "I know you do."

Alex placed a hand on her shoulder to keep her calmed. Liz turned around to look at them. "Can we please not leave on bad terms like this?" she pleaded.

"What about Max?" Maria asked, her eyes blazing. "You're leaving on bad terms with him."

"He chose to avoid me!" Liz yelled, vaguely aware of the dog burying her head into her chest.

"And you chose to hide your feelings for him!" Maria yelled back.

Liz shook her head trying to keep the tears from falling and groaned. "You know what...?" Liz didn't finish she just shook her head again before walking out of the apartment.

Alex looked at Maria seeing tears pooling in the rims of her eyes and he pulled her into his embrace. "Forget her." she said harshly. "We don't need her."

Maria pulled back from Alex. "I don't regret what I said!" she yelled out into nothingness.

Alex just pulled her back into his arms as she started to cry. "Yeah, you do."


Chasity followed Liz with her gaze as she stormed down stairs, she could have sworn there were tears in her eyes. "Liz?" she asked as she started to walk after her. She looked over her shoulder to Jakob who just shrugged.

Liz continued to walk through the diner, until that all to familiar voice called to her. "Goodbye Lizzie!" Tess said cheerfully. "I am going to miss you.....Not."

Liz turned on her heel and stalked back up to Tess. "You know, Tess. I can honestly say I am going to miss you." she said.

Tess taking her seriously, placed her hand on her chest as if she were touched. "Oh darling, I know you will."

"Yeah," Liz said. "I'm going to miss not having someone to beat up." she said before pushed Tess backwards with one hand, sending her flying into a passing waitress. Liz laughed as she watched soda fly through the air and end up on Tess' head.

Liz turned around again and walked out of the diner...Not looking back.


Max watched from the corner of the diner as Liz left the Crashdown. When Tess had called her, he knew he saw tears in her eyes. His attention was then drawn to Maria and Alex who had slid into the seat in front of him. He watched as Maria harshly wiped away her tears.

"What happened?" Max asked looking between Alex and Maria.

"She's really gone." Maria said as she dropped her chin into her palms. "I can't believe it."

Max stared out the doors, as if hoping that she'd come back...

She never did.


Liz hugged her brother to him, only when her dog started whimpering did she finally pull away. "So you'll come visit?" she asked him.

"Of course!" Jakob said. "Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, and then on your birthdays. College can't keep my forever."

Liz smiled and watched as Jakob walked up and hugged her mom. He wasn't going to California with them, instead he was going back to New York to finish college. He just so happened to be on Spring break when he came to Roswell. Hence her father wondering where she and Chasity was, resulting in the whole prom fiasco.

Shut up Parker...

Liz lifted her head to the ceiling when the woman on the intercom came on announcing the last boarding call for Jakob's flight. She watched as her brother gave one last goodbye before walking down the terminal.

"Well." Cleo said as she looked at her watch. "Our flight isn't until another half an hour, so lets go ahead and head over.."

Liz followed her mother and sister, still clutching Cole tightly to her chest. She didn't feel...Alive.

Hell! She didn't feel at all! She glanced down at her mother and sister as they made theirselves comfortable on the leather chair, she obediently sat down as well and just stared off into space.

He had said them. Those three words she had been waiting to be said to her. Her own father hadn't said those words to her since she were a kid, and you'd think that she'd be happy when she finally got to hear them again...And she was, but more scared. Liz stared down into the eyes of her puppy and lovingly scratched behind it's ears. She knew she hurt Max, and she regretted it...But soon, very soon he'd realize that he didn't love her..And everything would be okay...

Liz's form slouched down in her chair at let her head drop back against it. Okay, so maybe it won't be okay. She wanted Max to love her..She looked over her shoulder half hoping to see Max standing behind her..

No Liz, that would be a miracle..Not to mention selfish.

Liz inwardly groaned.

You did it to yourself Parker. You led him on but you didn't expect to grow feelings for him as well.

That's just it, there feelings...Nothing more. Feelings can fade. She chided herself. They can fade.

Liz jerked her head up when the annoucment for their flight was bording. How long had they been sitting there? It didn't feel like an half an hour...

She didn't feel herself get up and start following her mother and Chasity. Yet she did feel the hesitancy that corsed through her body with every step.

What are you doing, Parker? Why are you going?

Liz stared off blankly into space, not realizing that she had stopped walking.

"Liz?" Cleo asked as she stared at her daughter. She watched as her daughter's eyes met hers and she could see the hesitancty and uncertainty in them. "Are you coming?"

Liz gave herself yet another mental shake, before approaching the lady. She slowly gave her her ticket, before walking down the terminal...

Part 19

I love you.

The words bounced off the corners of her mind...

"Mom." Liz said suddenly, stopping in her tracks. She was half way down the terminal, but she just couldn't bring herself to walk any farther.

Cleo turned around as well as Chasity. "Is there something wrong?" she asked, staring into the same eyes full of uncertainty. She then knew that Liz wasn't ready, not yet.

Liz looked up at her mother from where she was staring at the floor at her mother's feet. "I can't." she said as she slightly shook her head. "I'm sorry, I just can't."

Cleo nodded and walked up to her daughter, placing her hands on her shoulders. "What do you want to do?"

Liz shook her head and bit her lip as tears of frustration started to build in her eyes. "I don't know. I'm torn...I have so many reasons to stay here, I just wasn't willing to admit it, not even the most important one." Liz said. "But I want to go with you, I want to start a new life.."

"I don't know what to do.." Liz said, her voice filled with despair.

Chasity watched as her mother pulled Liz into a hug. She knew that Liz wouldn't be able to hold out much longer. She had denied her true feelings all of her life, teaching herself not get too attached, not to live on other peoples expectations, and not to love. Chasity smiled. But she failed. Her sister's walls were slowly crumbling down, and she knew in the end, Liz would be the one staying behind...

Cleo pushed her daughter to arms length. "I have an idea." she said softly while tucking a strand of her daughter's hair behind her ear. "You are going to stay here, and finish highschool. You can come up in the summer, if you want, and we can try to get you into UCLA. Sound good?"

Liz smiled and hugged her mother to her again. "Sounds great." she said.

"If you ever want to come to California, you just call me alright? Nancy and Jeff have my number and you can reach me any time of day. I'm always available." Cleo said. She then turned her head to Chasity.

"Nuh uh." she said already knowing what she was asking. "I'm going. Roswell is entirely too small."

Cleo smiled and put a hand on her other daugther's shoulder. "You sure?" she asked, only to get a nod from her.

Liz bit her lip again when she heard the last boarding call for their flight. She smiled down at her sister. "You be good for mom, alright?" she told her.

Chasity rolled her eyes. "Are you kidding? I finally have someone to argue with."

Liz stared at her as if she were crazy. "You argue with me all the time." she declared.

Chasity shrugged as she started to walk backwards into the terminal. "Yeah, but this time I won't win." she said with a wave.

"I'll mail you your belongings." Cleo promised before blowing her daughter a kiss.

Liz smiled at her mother and sister before she saw them disappear on the plane. She then glanced down at her watch, before starting to run out of the terminal, Cole still in her arms...

She had alot of mending to do.


"I shouldn't have said that to her." Maria said for the fifth time. She and Alex were lounging around the Parker's kitchen as Nancy made them club sandwiches.

"Liz needs to be with her mother." Nancy said, trying to convince herself as well as everyone else.

Maria turned in her seat to look at Nancy at the counter. "What if she really didn't want to go? What if the only reason she's going is because she doesn't want to hurt her mother's feelings?" Maria asked.

Nancy shook her head and handed Maria her plate. "Cleo would understand if Liz wasn't ready, and Liz would let her know if she wasn't ready..." she looked between the two friends, who looked as if they lost the most important thing in the world. "You'll see her again."

Maria started tearing off pieces of bread and stuffing them into her mouth. "I hope you're right." she said. "I miss her already."

Alex just nodded in agreement. He didn't know what to say. It just didn't feel the same without Liz around...

"Jeff." Nancy called when she heard the ringing of the phone. "Could you get the phone?"

Jeff walked into the living room and picked up the phone. "Hello?" he asked.

Maria watched as the look of shock pass over his face only to be replaced with excitement. "Yeah, yeah. No problem, you hold tight, I'll be right there." he said before hanging up his phone and turning towards everyone.

Nancy looked expectantly at her husband. "Jeff?" she asked. "Who was it?"

Jeff met eyes with everyone in the kitchen. "Liz."


Liz sat on the bench, Cole was curled up in her lap asleep. She had called her uncle a half an hour ago asking him to pick her up. It gave her enough time to think about what she was going to say to Maria...And Max.

Though, Maria was going to be the easiest one to deal with, she was still worried about Max. Would he give her another chance? Would he believe her when she said that she...loved him?

Liz mentally beat herself for taking so long to realize that she did love him, but then, on some degree, she already knew she did. She just wasn't willing to admit it. She never pictured herself falling in love..Hell, she never pictured herself doing half the stuff she'd done.

Liz stood up when she saw the automatic door open and Maria run inside. She watched as Maria ran up to her and pulled her into a hug.

"I'm sorry." they both said at the same time after Maria had pulled away.

Liz laughed and hugged Maria again. She continued to stare over her shoulder until she saw Alex jog in, followed by her uncle. When they saw her, Alex ran towards her and pulled both Maria and Liz into his arms.

"I'm so glad you decided to stay!" Alex said. "You are staying right?"

Liz nodded before smiling at her uncle. "Thanks for picking me up." she told him.

Jeff smiled back and gave her a hug as well. "Not a problem."


"And so she's just going to mail my belongings..." Liz said after she finished explaining everything. She, Maria, and Alex had moved to her room and she was now lieing on her bed, pulling the feathers from her pillows.

Maria smiled down at her friend, but she knew that there was still something bothering her. And she knew what. "So, what are you going to do about Max?" she asked.

Liz sat up and flicked the feather off of her thumb. "There's nothing I can do." she sighed.

"Yes there is." Alex said. "Tell him you love him...Duh."

Liz rolled her eyes at Alex, but couldn't help but smile. "That easy, huh?"

"It seemed pretty easy for Max to say.." Alex reminded.

Liz nodded. "Yeah, but I totally blew up him off, I broke his heat. What if he doesn't believe me?" she asked. "I don't think I'll be able to take that."

"There's only one way to find out." Maria said.


"Max?" Diane asked as she slipped on her coat. "Are you sure you don't want to Albuquerque with us?"

"Yeah, Max." Isabel added. "We go every weekend."

Max shoved his hands in his pockets as he shook his head. "No, I'll stay home this time." he said. "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."

"C'mon gang, let's go." Phillip called from the doorway. "We'll see you Sunday night, son."

Diane smiled at Max before kissing his cheek, and then heading towards the door. Max turned to Isabel who gave him a sympathetic look.

"I'm sorry, Max." she said as she placed her hand on his shoulder. "About Liz."

Max just shrugged, but Isabel still looked at him. She knew he was feeling terrible, especially when he didn't get to say good bye to Liz. He had wanted too, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. She gave her brother a quick hug before heading out the door.


Liz sat in her uncle's car, just staring at Max's house. She hadn't moved from the car for 10 minutes, still debating whether she should risk it and go talk to him. Liz sighed and forced herself out of the car and to walk up the steps to his door.

Okay, step two. Knock.

She lifted her fist to knock on the door, but stopped barely an ich away.

Okay, breathe...

Liz groaned and ran her hands through her hair. She had to do this. She had to let him know how she felt, right? What if he didn't believe her? Or what if she were too late?...

Liz took a deep breath before lifting her fist once more....


Max stared up at his ceiling. He was laying on his bed with his hands resting behind his head. So many thoughts running through his mind, mostly thoughts of Liz. Why had he been so stupid to think that she'd actually have feelings for him?

No worries Evans. There are alot of girls out here, girls who wouldn't think twice about being with you...

Max groaned. But there's only one Liz...

Max's head jerked towards the right when he heard someone knocking on the door. He lazily sat up before pulling himself to his feet. Did the asshole, who was knocking on his door, not know that he was going through a very difficult stage right now??

He forced himself out of his room and walked clumsily down the stairs, when he reached the bottom he was met with another knocking on the door.

"Yeah, yeah." he mumbled. He finally made it to the door and swung it open, meeting the retreating figure of a brunette.


Did the door just open?

Liz stopped in her tracks and slowly turned around, staring into the face of Max.

Yup, the door definitely opened...Now what?

"Liz?" he asked as if not believing she were really there. "I thought you were.."

"In California, yeah I know.." she finished for him. "Well, you see.."

Max just stared at her expectantly, waiting for her to continue. Liz stared down at her feet, before meeting his eyes. "Can we talk inside?" she asked.

He just nodded and held the door open for her as she stepped inside. Liz looked around his living room, she had never seen the inside of his house before. All in all it was pretty nice. Nice couch, nice curtains, nice carpet...

Stop stalling...

Liz watched as Max made his way towards the couch. He sat down, making himself comfortable before looking at her. "Well?" he asked, his arms drawn out to his sides. "What do you want to talk about?"

Is he tossing me attitude? I will not tolerate...

Shut up.

Liz starting bending her fingers back again. What an awful habit, we need to get over that...

"Liz?" Max asked, his voice a little irritable. Is she just going to stand there all day, bending her fingers back? Though he had to admit, he always thought she looked cute when she did that...

Shut up Evans...You're supposed to be mad at her.

"Are you planning on talking anytime soon?" he asked. "Or am I just wasting my time?"

Okay, so maybe he took it a little harder than she thought...

"Max, listen, I've come to realize alot of things while I was here.." she said as she paced his living room. "I've developed alot of feelings that I never thought I could feel...For anyone.."

"And when you said you loved me..It scared me, because..I've always been too afraid to get attached, so I kept myself locked up all the time. Not admitting my true feelings, not for anyone." Liz ran he fingers through her hair. This was not going the way she wanted it to, everything sounded so much better in her head than outloud.

Liz sighed. "Alright, before I go any farther. I need to know something. Did you mean it?" she asked him. "I mean did you mean it when you said you loved me? I need to know, because..I need to know if I'm just wasting my time on this...Or..if."

She groaned and dropped herself into the lazy boy behind her. She had an entire speech laid out, a few I'm Sorry's then a, I Really Do Love You, possibly a kiss here and there..But is that happening? Noo.

Liz stood up and smoothed back her hair. "Wait, you know what?" she said as she looked wildly around room, not meeting his gaze. "Just forget I was even here, forget what I said. And while you're at it, it might be a good idea to forget me all together. I think we both know it will be for the best..."

Max watched her as she got up and started to head towards the door. "Do you do this all the time?" he asked as he stood up, shoving his hands back into his pockets.

Liz turned around when she reached the door. "Do what?" she asked.

"Run when the moment gets to hot for you too handle.."

Liz stared at him. Too hot for her to handle? "Let me tell you something. I can handle this, I can handle anything, alright?" she told him, her anger rising. "I just doubt YOU can handle this."

Max smirked, he knew how this was getting to her. He pointed his finger in his chest. "Me?" he said in mock shock. "I wasn't the one to run as soon as the road gets bumpy."

"No, you just avoided me."

"You are to blame for that to." he said. He was not going to be put to blame here. "I tried to talk to but you say a few words then you just bolt. So don't try to pin this on me!"

Liz through her hands up in the air. "Alright! So it's my fault too..But.."

"You didn't even say good bye, Liz" he said before she could finish. "Do you realize how much that hurt?"

Liz sighed and walked back into the living room. "I thought you wouldn't want to talk to me." she said.

Max looked at her minute and shoved his hands deeper in his pockets. "Well, I didn't.." he said. "I mean, I was pissed, sure. And yeah, I was going through this childish stage, but you still could have said good bye....So are you here to say good bye now?"

Liz stared at him a moment, before she shook her head. "Actually, I'm not going." she said. "I decided to stay, I'm not really ready for another big change. Like moving in with my mother, yet."

"You're not just staying because you feel you have to..Are you?" he asked.

Liz slowly nodded and watched as his gaze fell to the floor. "I have to.." she said. "I have to listen my heart."

Max lifted his head to look at her, he felt like smiling, but he didn't want to get his hopes up. " your heart telling you?" he asked hesitantly.

It was Liz's turn to look at the floor. Was it this hard for him too? She bit her lip before looking back up at him. The look of hope in his eyes was undeniable, and she found it hard to believe how she was able to hurt him so easily before. "That I'm in love with you..."

Part 20

Max felt the warmth of his joy spread throughout his body. She had exactly said them, and from the look in her eyes, he knew she was telling the truth. She did love him...

"So, now.." Max was jerked from his moment of happiness when Liz started to talk again. "I need to know.."

Max at her before he started to slowly walk towards her. "I need to know, if you really meant it." she continued, trying desperately not look him in the eyes. Yet she couldn't resist, she looked up anyway, and almost gasped at the look of lust and...Love in his eyes.

"Do you.." she struggled to get the words out as she felt his hands glide up the sides of her neck to cup her face. She watched as his lips started to get closer and closer and she tried to remember what she was trying to say.

"Do you..Love me?" She finally got the words out, her lips brushing against his with every syllable. Then his mouth was completely clashed with hers. His thumbs stroking the sides of her face as his tongue lightly probed her mouth in search for hers.

She couldn't feel anything but the feeling of his tongue caressing hers. She didn't feel it when her arms wrapped around his neck or when she had jumped up, wrapping her legs around his waist. Only when she felt the hard surface of the door behind her did she realize she now had complete control over her body.

Liz sucked air into her lungs when Max's lips left hers only to make a trail down her neck. "Max?" she said breathlessly.

"Hmm?" he answered, as he continued to kiss her neck.

"You never answered my question." she said. Though she didn't want this moment to end, she had to know.

Max lifted his head and stared into her eyes. He could tell that she really need to assurance that he did love her, she needed to know that everything would be okay between them. He smiled softly at her as he tucked a strand of her silky hair behind her ear. He leaned down and placed a soft kiss on the tip of her nose and then one on her lips, where he lingered there a moment before pulling back.

"I love you." he told her.

Liz sighed with relief and hugged him to her. Knowing that he did love her was a huge relief, though it had taken her some time to realize that she loved him in return, she had feared that her reluctance ruined it all. She buried her head in the crook of his neck and held onto him tightly, not wanting to let go...Ever.

Max held her firmly around her waist, before moving her away from the door and towards the couch, where he laid down on top of her, bracing all of his weight on his elbows. When Liz's head hit the throw pillow of the couch, her hair fanning out across, Max couldn't help but lean down and get another taste of her soft lips. He loved kissing her. He had been addicted ever since he got his first taste, the night he asked her to the prom. Of course, it was completely unintentional. He didn't know what made him do it, or why? But he found himself kissing her, not that he was complaining, of course. No, this was definitely something he could get used to.

Liz tightened her grip around his neck, pulling him closer to her as she urged the kiss to deepen. She sighed with content when she felt his tongue caress hers. She loved his kisses, they enticed her to no end, and she was enjoying the thought of being able to have them whenever she wanted. Liz felt her stomach instinctively tighten when she felt Max's warm, gentle hands slide up her shirt, grazing her tummy. His large hands were splayed over her stomach, as his fingers drew lazy circles over her. Her kisses became more urgent as her need for him increased.

Max loved the feeling of his hands over her delicate stomach. Her stomach felt just as soft and smooth as the skin on her back. He remembered when he got to feel the skin of her back the night of the prom. He had been in awe at how something could feel so soft, and now, being able to touch another part of her, was just as inspiring. But he needed more...

Max let his hands glide higher up her body, until the met the underside of her soft breasts, where they stopped abruptly. He was met with the fact that she wasn't wearing a bra, just the idea of her wearing nothing under the short spaghetti strap tank was doing havoc on his mind. He stopped his kisses and lifted his head to look at her. Her eyes were dark with desire, her face flushed, and her lips puffy and pink from their kisses. He had never seen her so beautiful before, she was an absolute angel in his eyes. How had he not known such a creature existed?

Max forgot what he was going say, so instead he continued his exploration of her mouth, his hands not being idle either. They slid further up her stomach, rounding the mounds of her breasts. He heard Liz's moan of encouragement when he did this. Max ran the pads of his thumbs over her pouting nipples and was rewarded with another moan and a arch of her back. He trailed his kisses down to her chin and over her throat, flicking his tongue into the hollow of her throat as he continued to massage her breasts. Soon that wasn't enough. He had to see her, taste her.

Liz whimpered with disapproval when Max's hands left her breasts and slid completely out of her shirt. The loss of her touch was completely unexceptable to her and she was about to protest when she felt his hands pulling the straps of her tank down her arms. She looked down at him just as his hands moved to the top of her shirt and slowly started to pull it down. His eyes met hers, silently asking for permission to continue, in which she nodded. Max pulled her shirt down and over her breasts, getting his first look at her beauty. He stared appreciatively down at her perfect mounds. Perfect. Not too small or too big. He moved his hands again to cover them, and smiled as he saw how they fit his hands perfectly.

Max looked up at her again, to see her head back and her eyes closed. He couldn't take it anymore he had to have a taste of her. Max leaned down and kissed her throat again as his hands slid away from her breasts, where his thumbs could stroke the undersides of her breasts. He kissed his way, slowly down her neck, teasing them both, until his lips finally met the mound of her breasts. His eyes raised to look at her briefly before he experimentally touched the tip of his tongue to her pouting peak. He flicked his tongue over the rigid bud, listening with satisfaction when she moaned. Max then pulled her nipple completely into his mouth, his tongue swirling around it as he sucked on her breast. Something else he could get used to.

Liz felt Max move to her other breast as another moan escaped her lips. Her hands moved to the back of his head, pulling him closer to her. She knew that they shouldn't be doing this, not this soon, and not with the fact that her aunt and uncle were expecting her home for dinner. But she just couldn't stop, she didn't want it too, it felt so good. Liz arched her back again when she felt the suction of his mouth increase, her hands combing through his hair, trying desperately to bring him closer to her.

"Max." she moaned when his mouth left her breast, kissing his way to the valley between her breasts, and then up her neck again. "Max.."

Max's mouth crashed with hers, preventing her from finishing her sentence. His tongue once again probed her mouth, searching the darkest recesses of her mouth as his hands difted down to the snap of her jeans. His fingers unsnapping them and started to pull down the zipper.

When had he gotten so bold?

"Max, we to stop." she said in between kisses. "My Uncle..Could be here to check on me any minute..And I don't think he'd like what he'll see."

Max forced his hands to stop, and he dropped his head to her shoulder, suddenly wondering how he let things get out of control. They had just gotten together, and he was already trying to get in her pants? Max took deep breaths and closed his eyes at the feeling of Liz running her fingers through his hair. He was again brought to the attention of just how much restraint was in his jeans at that moment. Of course he was able to realize it when they were fooling around, but then he was sure he might actually get to relieve it. Yet now, knowing the fact that he won't be able to, was becoming more painful by the second. Soon, he'd have to take a nice, long, cold shower.

Liz lifted his head and kissed him softly on the lips, before she felt him rise to his knees. He grabbed her hands and pulled her to a sitting position. She watched as he grabbed the straps of her shirt and raised them to her shoulder.

"There." he said and grinned at her. "Now we are presentable for your Uncle."

Liz smiled at him before curling up against his side and resting her head across his chest as she closed her eyes. A sigh of content escaped her lips and she wondered how she could have lasted so long with out being with Max. Now the idea of going to California was ludicrous, she wanted him by her side at all times. But she didn't like the fact that she might turn into those girly girls who live for their boyfriends. She shook the thought off, she wouldn't turn into one of them, they were weak and had no will power. Liz definitely had will power, and she intended on keeping it.

"What time do they want you home?" Max asked as his fingers lightly drifted up her arm to her shoulder, and then back down to repeat the gesture again.

"Six. So I can be there for dinner." she answered.

Max looked at the clock on the vcr. "You're a half an hour late." he told her.

Liz opened her eyes and looked at the clock. "They are very understanding people, I'm sure they won't mind if I'm a little late."

"So.." Max said as he stared down at her. "If you don't return until..Tomorrow morning, they'll understand?"

Liz rolled her eyes at him before reaching up and planting a kiss on his lips. "Let's not push it." she told him before laying her head back down on his chest and closing her eyes again.

Just a few more minutes...

posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:41:48 PM
Part 21

Liz and Max walked into the Parker's apartment, hand in hand, at 7:30. Liz looked inside to see her aunt and uncle in the kitchen. Her aunt was hovering over the sink, washing dishes, while her uncle kept his nose buried in a magazine. Liz looked nervously up at Max, both of them wondering if her aunt and uncle would be upset with them.

"Nancy, Jeff?" Liz said after a moment.

She watched as her aunt turned from the sink and smiled at them just as her uncle put down his magazine.

"So everything is okay with you two now?" Nancy asked, smiling at their clasped hands.

Liz smiled up at Max before nodding at Nancy. "Um, I'm sorry I'm late..."

Nancy hushed her before she could continue. "Don't worry about it, I trust the both of you. Now, Liz, I put your meal in the fridge." she said rushing around the kitchen. "And Max, I can make you a plate if you want. Have you eaten?"

Max shook his head and smiled at Mrs. Parker. "That would be great."

Liz looked down the hall when she heard her door open and the pounding of feet. Maria and Alex raced out into the living room to see their two friends.

"Damnit." Alex mumbled when he saw the two.

Liz looked at Max before looking at Alex. "What?" she asked him.

"Couldn't you guys have come around, like, I don't know, nine thirty?" he asked, his arms crossed.

Maria swatted Alex's arm. "Shut up Alex and pay up. I win." she said as Alex shoved his hand into his pocket and pulled out twenty dollars. "Thank you guys for coming before nine."

Liz rolled her eyes at them before grabbing her's and Max's plate off of the counter. "Thanks Aunt Nancy." she said as she handed Max his plate.

"C'mon Liz, we want to show you something." Maria said as she and Alex headed back down the hall.

Liz looked at her aunt. "Do you mind if we take these to my room?"

Nancy just waved the kids off and returned to the sink.

Jeff watched as Liz took Max's hand and went down the hall. He put his magazine back down and turned to his wife. "Are you sure we should leave them alone in there?" he asked.

Nancy turned around, wiping the soap suds from her hands. "They aren't alone, Jeff. Maria and Alex are there. Besides, I trust they won't do anything." she said and turned back around.

Jeff just scoffed before returning to his magazine.


Liz walked into her room after Maria and Alex. She tugged Max into her room, before shutting the door and plopping onto her bed beside her sleeping dog.

"I hope you don't mind me using your laptop." Alex said as he shut it off. "I had to make fliers"

"For what?" Liz asked as she popped a baby carrot into her mouth. She looked over at Max who was standing awkwardly infront of her door holding his plate. "Max, you can sit down." she told him and patted the bed beside her.

Maria handed Liz a yellow paper as Max sat down beside her. Max looked over her shoulder and read the flier.

"The Whits." Liz read outloud. "Playing at the Old Soap Factory for the Celebration of the Seniors last year. Free Admission. Friday Night May 3rd."

Liz glanced at Max who shrugged at her. "Your band is called, the Whits?" she asked them with a smirk.

Alex shrugged. "Yeah, what's wrong with it?" he asked confused.

"Just an S away from what you really are.." Liz mumbled, earning a pillow to be thrown at her. She laughed and leaned back into Max's chest, smiling when his arms wrapped around her waist.

Maria smiled at her two friends and squealed. "Yae, I'm so glad things are better now." she said and plopped down on the corner of Liz's bed.

Liz nodded. "Me too." Liz jerked her head towards her nightstand when she heard her phone ringing. She reached over and brought it to her ear. "Hello?"

"Lizzie." Chasity called happily. "I'm here! You have got to see this place! It's huge!"

Liz laughed and sat up. "Yeah? Do you have a jacuzzi?" she asked.

Chasity continued to walk around the house on the cordless and she stopped and stared out the sliding glass door window. A grin playing on her lips. "As a matter of fact, we do." she smiled and continued to walk around the house. She meant it when she said it was huge.

"Gosh, Liz, you should see this place. It's great." Chasity told her sister as she plopped down onto a big white couch. She giggled and kicked her feet into the air. "I'm so going to love it here! Liz, you have no idea what you're missing!"

Liz sighed contently as she felt Max's arms wrap more snuggly around her small frame. "No, but I know what I would be missing if I left." she said and smiled when Max placed a kiss on her temple.

"So, you and Max...?" Chasity said suggestively.

Liz nodded thought Chas couldn't see her. "Yeah." she said happily. She mentally pictured Chasity smiling face, and already heard her words before they escaped her mouth. "Told ya so."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Liz said. "I know."

Chasity looked over the her shoulder, and over the arm of the couch, to see her mom dangling car keys in the air. "Aw, Liz. I gotta go, Mom's letting me drive the porsche. Love ya, bye." Chasity scrambled from the couch and ran towards her mom, grabbing the keys from her hand, and flew out the door.

Liz stared at the receiver of the phone before haning it up. She got to drive a porsche? Damn...

"Anyway, so are you guys coming?" Alex asked. "To see us play?"

"Why wasn't I told that you had a band?" Liz asked. "It would have been great with your training." she told them with a wink.

Maria grinned. "Please, we get only 15 seconds of fame after wards. Just, c'mon, you're going right?"

Liz nodded. "Wouldn't miss it."

"What about you Max?" Alex asked. Max had been quiet for quite some time, and from the look on his face, Alex could tell he was perfectly happy with having Liz in his arms, not saying a word.

Max moved his gaze to Alex's before he nodded. "Yeah, I'm there." he promised.

"Awesome." he said, glad that his best friends were going to be there to cheer them on. Things were really looking up.


She waited by his locker, a sly grin on her lips as she searched the grounded halls for him. Things were finally going to be the way she wanted them. With that Wench gone, she wouldn't have any competition. She smiled evilly when she saw the top of his head amongst the crowd. She straightened her shoulders and started to walk towards him. She stopped in her tracks when she saw who he had his arms wrapped around.

Her mouth stayed agape as her arms hung loosely to her sides. She then narrowed her eyes and made a beeline right towards them, her jaw set, and fire in her eyes.


"What the HELL are you doing here?" Tess yelled as she approached Max and Liz.

Liz glanced up at Max before looking at the Blonde Bitch in front of her. "Going to school."

"You're supposed to be in California!" she yelled as she threw her arms in the air.

Liz shrugged and started to walk around Tess, Max right behind her. "Things change." she said simply. Liz wasn't in the mood to get in a fight with Tess, it was too nice of a day. But if things led to that, she's drop her like a hot plate.

Tess fumed and reached out and grabbed Liz's arm, her nails digging painfully into her skin. She swung Liz around and back handed her across the face. Her eyes widened when she realized what she did...

Liz placed her hand over her cheek, feeling the sting of the slap. She removed her hand and stared at her palm, where a small amount of blood had pooled in the center. The rigid edge of Tess's diamond ring had sliced right through her skin. So much for not fighting.

Liz narrowed her eyes and watched as Tess's eyes widened even more when she realized what was coming. She grabbed hold of Tess's shoulder and thrusted her the heel of her hand into her face. She screamed in pain and grabbed a hold of Liz's hair and started to pull her to the floor, but she didn't get very far when she was pulled away from a teacher.

"Miss Harding, Miss Parker!" the principal yelled and stared at the both of them as the other teachers pushed the crowd away. "In my office. Now!"

Part 22

Max leaned against the locker beside the principal's office. He was banging his head lightly, trying desperately to spare some time. The mornings events continued to play throughout his mind. He cringed at the thought of how much trouble Liz is going to be in, who knows how deep she'll be in with the Parker's.

Max watched as Maria rushed towards him. He straightened and stuffed his hands in his pockets.

"So..What's happening?" she asked when she finally reached them. "They'd been in there all morning! What's going on?"

Max shrugged and looked through the the window of the office, to see Mrs. Parker standing inside, obviously upset.

"I just wish I knew what was being said." he mumbled.


"I do not give a damn!" Mrs. Parker yelled at Ed Harding. "Your daughter hit Liz first! Those kids have always been taught never to throw the first punch, unless they feel threatened."

Ed Harding stood up and towered over Nancy. "You're neice, broke my daughter's nose!" he yelled back. "Tess merely scratched Liz! What kind of reaction was that?"

"Self defense." Nancy said with a smirk as she crossed her arms.

"Self defense my ass!" he yelled.

Principal Myers stood up and pounded his hands on his desk. "Enough!" he yelled. "Miss Nelson, please escort Mr. Harding out side while I speak with Mrs. Parker."

Ed glared at Nancy once more before he followed the secretary out. Once the door was shut behind him, Myers sat down on his leather chair and sighed. He looked sympathetically at Nancy.

"Unfortunately, Mrs. Parker," he started. "I am going to have to suspend Liz.."

Nancy started to protest until Myers silenced her with a raise of his hand. "But, I will keep it off of her record. Miss Harding has been known to have quite a temper, and I know you, and Liz's parents. So I know what kind of environment the children have been raised in. Though I think they could have handled this in a different matter, especially in school, I understand that Liz...Can be a little irritable, with all that has happened." he told her, struggling to find the right words.

"Tess is going to be suspended as well." Nancy said.

Myers nodded. "She will be suspended as well, though hers will be on her record." He sat back on his chair and squeezed the bridge of his nose. "They both will be suspended for 5 days." he finally said.

Nancy nodded, though she wasn't pleased with her neice being suspended, it not being put on her record makes up for it.


Max stepped away from the door when he heard it open. He cringed when he saw Ed Harding and tess walk out. She glared at him before walking away. She stopped in the middle of the hall and turned around.

"Just so you know." she said to him. "We're through."

Maria rolled her eyes. "How long did it take you to figure that one out?" she mumbled and watched Tess walk away. She then looked towards the door to see Nancy walk out, followed by Liz.

Nancy smiled at them before looking towards Liz. "I'll meet you in the car." she said, and looked at Max, before walking towards the exit.

Max walked towards Liz and took her hand in his, and lifted his other towards her face. He caressed his thumb over the scratch on her cheek that was left from Tess's ring. "So, what's going to happen?" he asked softly.

Liz grinned before rolling her eyes at the outcome of the situation. "I'm suspended for five days."

"Damn." Maria said. "That oughta hurt your record."

Liz grinned again and shook her head. "Nope, it's not going on my record." she then brought her finger to her lips. "Shhh, it's a secret." she told them with a wink.

Maria laughed before faking a yawn and stretching. "Well, my day's complete. I got to see my best friend beat the shit out of the Wicked Weasel of West Roswell High, and I am completely content." she said. "I'll see ya guys later."

Max watched as Maria walked down the hall, he then grabbed Liz's hand and walked the opposite way. He glanced at Liz before stopping them and turned her to face him.

"I'm sorry." he told her.

Liz raised an eyebrow. "Okay." she said, with a confused look. "For what?"

"I feel responsible for what happened this morning." Max said, his fingers again skimming over the cut on her cheek.

Liz shrugged. "A girl's gotta protect her territory." She told him, before leaning up and placing a light kiss on his lips. "Maybe I should pee on your leg so everyone will know you're mine." she told him as they continued down the hall.

Max shook his head and laugh. "I thought the males were supposed to do that." he told her with a grin.

It was Liz's turn to shake her head. "I'm not letting you pee on my leg."

They stopped just outside and looked towards the car. Liz wrapped her arms around Max's neck, bringing him towards her. She pressed her lips to his and kissed him soundly. "So, I guess I'll see you later." she said softly as she pulled away.

Max mumbled before placing another kiss on her lips. "Yeah." he finally said, and watched as she walked towards her Aunt's car.


"Three days." Maria squealed excitedly as she looked through Liz's Cd collecion. "Three more days until the Concert. Oh man, I am so excited!"

Liz laid back on her bed, smiling as her dog chased her old sock around, before looking up at Maria. "Song Request." she said and watched as Maria turned her attention towards her. "Creed."

Maria nodded and put in the requested cd, before plopping down on the edge of the bed. "The scratch is clearing up." she said.

Liz looked in the mirror on the opposite wall and shrugged. She then continued to twirl her sock around on the bed, watching as Cole scurried about, trying to catch it. "Is Alex excited?"

Maria grinned. "He won't shut up about it.."

Liz raised her eye brow at Maria. "If I recall, you talk an awful lot about it as well." she told her.

Maria shrugged. "Not nearly as much as him." she said. "Do you think anyone will show up?" she asked after a moment.

"They damn well better. If they don't want to face the Almighty Wrath of Liz." she told her. "Don't worry about it, chic. People will come, it's gonna be packed! I guarantee."

Maria sighed. "You're right." Maria said. "We have nothing to worry about."

"Nothing." Liz assured.

Maria sighed again. "Right." she said. "But what if I forget the song?"

Liz rolled her eyes and threw the semi soaked sock at her. "Will you relax?" she said exasperated. "You're driving me nuts."

Maria smiled a little and threw the sock to the floor, watching as the pup jumped off the bed and grabbed the sock into it's mouth, shaking it around rapidly.

Liz looked towards the door when she heard Nancy knock before poking her head in. "Jakob's on the phone for you." she said.

"Thanks." Liz picked up the phone from her night stand and brought it to her ear. "Yo."

"So, how ya doing?" he asked and Liz could tell he was extremely relaxed. She hadn't heard her brother this relaxed in the a long time. Not since they were kids.

"Great." Liz said and smiled realizing just how great things were. "How's things for you?"

"Pretty good." he said and smiled at the phone. Liz was beginning to think he was relaxed for another reason.

"You got laid, didn't you?" Liz rolled her eyes as Maria gaped at her from across the room.

"God Liz, were you always this forward?" he asked, already knowing the answer.

"Damn skippy." she said as she sat up. Thoroughly interested in her brother's new girlfriend. "So who is she?"

"Her name is Ronica." he said. "And she's the kind who likes to take things slow."


"Shut up Liz. I really like her, and I think I want to take things slow this time too." Jakob told her sincerely.

Liz rolled her eyes. "Please, you are all alike." she said. "You play us, you put on this big show making us think you are this god, and we swoon over you for months. Then once you get us in the sack, it "Wham Bam, Thank You M'am". Then bye bye Baby."

"Are you always going to be just untrusting?"

Liz looked at the ceiling in thought. "Probably."

"For your information." Jakob started. "Not all guys are like that, I'm certainly not. C'mon, Liz, there has to be a couple guys you trust. Besides your dear sweet brother."

"Nope, no one."

"Not even Max?" he asked.

"Okay, exception. I trust Max, but I will always have my doubts." she said. Though she did trust Max, completely, there will always be that part of her that will be unsure.

"If you want my opinion, I don't think you have anything to worry about with Max." Jakob told her.

"Yeah." she said. "I don't think I do either."


Max knocked on the apartment door to the Parkers. Tonight was the Farewell Seniors Party at the Soap Factory, and even though he was excited to hear his new friends play, he was even more excited to spend time with Liz. Since her suspension, and he having to spend miserable hours at school with out her, they really didn't see much of eachother. And he really missed her.

"Bye guys." he heard Liz call as she opened the door. "Let's go." she said to Max and grabbed his hand, heading down the stairs.

She had her leather jacket flung over her arm. She had on a baby blue spaghetti strap shirt and khaki colored caprees. Her hair was pulled back into a pony tail, with a few of her silky tendril hanging down her face. Max had caught a glimpse of her shiney lips, glistening with her lip gloss, and he suddenly had a need to taste them.

"Wait a minute Liz." he said and tugged on her hand when they reached the bottom of the steps.

Liz turned around to face him. "What? C'mon Max, we gotta go, we're already late-" she was silenced when Max cupped her face in his hands and pulled her lips towards his. He swiftly ran his tongue over her bottom lip, tasting the strawberry flavor of her lip gloss, before he reached farther and into her sweet mouth. Their tongues dueled for a few brief, blissful moments, before her pulled back and stared at her.

"I just needed to do that." he said, letting the hanging strands of her hair slide through his fingers.

Liz nodded. That was all she was able to do. The kiss had taken her by surprise and she was speechless. Liz smiled before leaning up and kissing him lightly.

"Alright." she said and started to walk backwards towards the swinging door. All the while swinging their arms between them. "Let's go, I want to party." she said with a grin.

Part 23

Max and Liz walked into the Soap Factory to see the place swarming with seniors. Each of them dancing around listening to the music through the stereo, as they waited for the Whits to come on. Max was the only who was surprised to see so many people, while Liz just smiled, glad that everyone had showed up. She couldn't wait to hear Maria sing and Alex play, but mainly she couldn't wait to get out on the dance floor. Liz loved to dance.

Max felt Liz tug on his hand before she started to drag him towards the dance floor. The music had a fast pace and once they hit the floor, Liz immediately started swinging her hips to the music. Her arms stretched up into the air swaying lightly from side to side. Max smiled at the beauty infront of him before placing his hands on her waist, just feeling her move.

Liz arms fell around Max's neck and pulled flush against her as she continued to dance to the music. She felt Max's lips lightly skim over her chin before pressing against her lips. Liz tightened her grip around Max's neck, deepening the kiss as she continued to sway them to the music. She moaned lightly when she felt his tongue slip past her lips, and his hands trail down her back, and over her bottom.

They broke apart when the music stopped abruptly and new music started to descend into the air. Liz turned towards the stage to see the band up on stage, and Maria and Alex both standing infront of microphones. Alex then started to strum the strings of his bass guitar and Liz listened as the familiar sound drifted into the air.

After a moment Maria started to sing her favorite song.

"You and Me
We used to be together
Everyday together, always.
I really feel
I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe
This could be the end."

"She's good isn't she?" Liz said to Max as Maria continued to sing "Don't Speak"

Max just nodded and watched his friends.

"It looks as though, you're letting go
And if it's real
Well, I dont' want to know

Don't speak
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts
Don't speak
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts."

Max looked across the room to see Michael and Isabel a few feet away from the stage, watching Maria and Alex intently. He didn't know about Michael and Maria, but he knew that Isabel and Alex were now seeing eachother. Which amused him to no end, because his sister had always been into jocks.

"Our memories
The can be inviting
But some are altogether
Mighty frightening

As we die, both you and I
With my head in my hands
I sit and cry.

Don't speak
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts
Don't speak
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts.

It's all ending
Gotta stop pretending who we are...

You and me
I can see us dying...Are we?

Don't speak
I know just what you're saying
So please stop explaining
Don't tell me cause it hurts
Don't speak
I know what you're thinking
I don't need your reasons
Don't tell me cause it hurts."

Everyone applauded when they finished the song. Maria saw Liz amongst the crowd and smiled at her. Liz waved at them and started clapping again just as another song started.


Max sat at the table, his eyes glued to Liz as she continued to dance to the music. His feet retired a few minutes ago and had asked Liz if she'd join him at the table, but she had declined, saying she had a passion for dancing. He smiled as she danced by herself, her eyes closed, her hips swaying, and her hands gliding through the air.

Max looked at the sit across from him when his sister plopped down into it and heaved a contented sigh.

"This rocks!" she yelled over the music, and Max couldn't help but nodd. "How long as she been out there?"

Max looked towards Liz to see Paulie come up to her and start to dance. He swallowed hard and willed himself not to jump out of his seat and beat the shit out of Paulie. No, he'd stay right there. Just as long as there was no touching.

"Just since we got here." he finally answered, his eyes never leaving them.

"Man, she's wild!" Isabel said and watched as Paulie placed his hands on her hips, only to have them swatted away.

"Yeah," Max said as he started to stand. "She's a regular bowl of Party Mix."

He watched as Paulie again reached for her, but Liz moved his hands out of the way, while shaking her head. When he finally reached them he stepped infront of Liz, facing Paulie.

"Bye." he yelled to him over the music.

Paulie took the hint and left, and then Max turned to look at Liz. "Why were you dancing with Paulie?"

Liz raised her eye brows. "Because I can." she told him with her arms crossed.

"I don't want you dancing with him anymore." he told her.

Liz stared at him. "Woah. Stop. Rewind. Where do you get off thinking you can tell me what to do?" she asked him.

Max sighed and closed his eyes. "I'm just watching out for you, he's a jerk. And I saw how he was trying to grope you." Max said, knowing how Liz hated to be told what to do.

"I know how to say 'no', Max." she told him, crossing her arms again. "And I'm a big girl, I don't need you watching out for me, I especially don't need you bossing me around."

"I'm not bossing you around!" he declared. "I'm just trying to protect you."

"Oh right, from the big bad men. Okay. I don't need protection, not even from you." She inwardly cringed when she saw the hurt look that Max gave her. Liz was vaguely aware of the music fading away, and then the song they had danced to at the Prom start to play.

Max looked at the stage and then back to Liz. "I asked Maria to play our song." he said softly as Maria's voice drifted to their ears.

Liz stared at the floor and bite her lip, when she felt Max's arms wrap around her waist and pull her towards him. Her arms instinctively went around his neck and rested her forehead against his chest, as they swayed to the music.

Max rested the side of his head against hers and closed his eyes. Of course her knew Liz could take care of herself, but he can't help but be protective of her. He loved her.

"I'm sorry." he whispered in his ear. "I know you think I'm a obsessive, over protective, asshole right now. But I love you, and I'm just afraid that I could lose you at any moment."

Liz lifted her head and stared at Max. He was afraid of losing, her? Liz had never felt this way about anyone, and she was definitely not going to lose it to some, self-centered, jock. She lifted her hands to his face and made him look at her. She smiled softly at him before leaning up and kissing him tenderly on the lips.

"I'm not going anywhere." she told him after she pulled away. "You have nothing to worry about. You're not going to lose me, I promise."

Max grabbed her hands in his and brought them up to his lips in a gentle kiss, before bringing them down to his chest. "I expect you to keep that promise." he said to her, only half kidding.

Liz nodded and hugged him to her as the last few lyrics of their song continued to drift throughout the factory.


Everyone was gathered at the Evans house after the party, while Mr. and Mrs. Evans were in Clovis for a meeting. Alex and Maria couldn't stop talking about the party.

"What a rush that was!" Alex exclaimed as he threw himself against the couch. "The place was packed, I never thought so many people would be there just to see us!"

Alex leaned his elbows on his knees and stared at his friends. "Brian Wilson, commented me on my bass playing! He is like, the greatest bass player in West Roswell High, and he commented me!...I, I was honored." he said with a smile.

"What about me?" Maria asked as she waved at him. "Hello, the uh, vocals. Couldn't have done it with out me."

Alex leaned over and hugged Maria. "Why of course I couldn't have." he told her. Maria grinned and nodded with satisfaction. She then turned to Liz who was sitting on the floor between Max's legs.

"So what did you think of the party?" she asked her.

"Great dance music." she said. The music was still playing in her ears, and she resisted the urge to get up and dance. "And Maria, you have a wonderful voice."

"Yeah, I know."

Isabel looked at Max and Liz from her place on the couch on the other side of Alex. She had never seen him look so happy before. She had always thought that Max would be with this little girly girl, who always need an arm to cling to, who looked up to him for protection from all the monsters out there. Where Liz was the exact opposite. Atleast she made Max happy.

Isabel grinned and then leaned on her knees to look at Maria. They had bonded when she had helped her with basketball, and had become pretty good friends. "Hey Maria, do you think I can stay at your place tonight?" she asked her.

Maria looked at her quizzically, when Isabel tilted her head towards Max and Liz, she understood why. "Oh, sure." she said with a smile of her own. "Not a problem."

Alex looked between the two girls, wondering what they were planning on doing. He looked at Maria with a confused look on his face. She rolled her eyes and tilted her head towards Max and Liz. He looked over at them, who seemed to be oblivious to everyone else. He nodded in realization and gave them a thumbs up.

Maria got up and walked over to Michael who was in an arm chair on the other side of the room. She whispered to him their plan and he nodded in agreement.

Michael stood up and cleared his throat. "Hey man, we're gonna split." he said, pointing his thumb towards the door.

Isabel stood up next. "Yeah, and I am going to stay at Maria's tonight." she said as she grabbed her jacket from the arm of the couch. "I'll see ya tomorrow." she told him as she walked to the door. Isabel turned around and gave him a little wink before walking out, followed by Maria.

Alex stood awkwardly in the living room, staring at the two of them. "Yeah, and I am. I'm going to go home, and..Well, I'm just gonna go home." he said and headed towards the door. "Later."

Liz sat up a little and looked around the now vacant living room. She then turned to look at Max who had a little grin on his face. When Liz looked at him quizzically he just shrugged his shoulders.

Max continued to grin at her. He'd have to thank his sister for getting him and Liz alone, he really needed some one on one time with her. Their time apart had done a toll on him, causing him to be cranky and totally blow up at Isabel.

He scooted closer to Liz, placing his hands on her knees and rubbed them up and down her thighs where she was sitting indian style on the floor. He looked around the room, the grin still on his face, before he finally looked at her. "It's kinda quiet in here." he said as he leaned closer to her.

"Kinda." Liz replied as she watched his eyes drift downward to her lips. She licked her lips in anticipation of the kiss and she started to lean towards him herself.

"So what are we gonna do now?" he asked, his lips millimeters from hers. His lips brushed against hers with every word he spoke.

Liz just mumbled something incoherent before pressing her lips completely against his. Max grabbed her legs, pulling her onto his lap. His hands went up the back of her shirt as he felt her tongue slip into his mouth. His fingers trailed higher up her back until they reached the clasp of her bra and unclasped it. He broke away from her only t grab the hem of her shirt and start to pull it over her head and threw it to the floor. Max placed his hands on her shoulders where the straps of her bra were and started to slide them down her shoulders. Then he discarding the peice of clothing to the floor as well, and started to kiss his way down her neck. Max knew that he didn't slow down now, he'd end up taking her right there in the living room. And that was not how he wanted their first time together to be.

Liz felt Max stand up, with his bracing her underside her carried her down the hall and too his bedroom. By the time they reached it, his mouth had already sought out hers and was kissing it hungrily. She felt the cool sheets of his bed on her bare back as he laid her down, gently easing himself ontop of her, bracing his weight on his forearms. He tore his lips away from hers once more to look at her. He swept a few strands of her silk tresses behind her ear as he smiled at her lovingly. Max could feel her chest heaving beneath his, and he briefly wondered if she were nervous.

When Max was about to ask if she was okay with this, she felt her hands glide down his back to grasp the bottom of his shirt and start to pull it over his head as well. After Liz had pulled the shirt away from his body, she threw it carelessly to the floor and stared at his tanned chest. She let her hands glide down the front of him, feeling his muscles ripple under her movement. His skin was warm and smooth as she trailed her hands down to his wash-board abs, and back up again. Liz's arms finally wrapped around his neck, pulling him completely untop of her and again pressing her lips to his. She sighed into his mouth and opened wider for his probing tongue.

Max's hands glided up her sides and then curved to cup her breasts between them. He massaged them gently, just as his tongue did to hers. He felt Liz arch up deeper into his hands as his thumb slid across her pouting nipples. Just like the night on the couch, when she first told him she loved him, he had the undesirerable feeling to taste them again. He trailed his hot, open mouthed, kisses down her throat until he reached the peak of one pouting nipple and sucked it greedily into his mouth. Max smiled against her as he heard her delighted moans as he swirled his tongue around her nipple before sucking it farther into his mouth. His hand slid between the matress and her back, pushing her closer to him, before he trailed his kisses to her other breast, sucking it between his lips as well.

Liz tugged on his hair until he raised his head and she immediately took his mouth to hers. She moaned when he sucked her tongue into his mouth and caressed it with his. Liz looked between them when he suddenly pulled away and reached for the snap to her caprees. Max looked up at her, knowing that this was where they stopped the last time, and looked for any uncertainty. He slowly unsnapped and unzipped them, his eyes never leaving hers. Then he slipped his fingers into the the sides of her caprees and panties and slowly started to pull them down her legs. Liz continued to look Max in the eyes until he finally had the last of her garments on the floor. He glanced at Liz once more before looking down at the junction between her legs. His arms encircled around her waist and he leaned down to kiss her stomach, just above her navel. He kept pressing light kisses down her stomach until he met the glistening patch of silk curls at her junction, where he stopped and lifted his head to gaze up at her.

Liz gasped when she felt Max's strong finger run delicately down her inner lips. They definitely didn't get that far on the couch, but suddenly she wished they had. She lifted her hips and another gasp escaped her lips when his finger slowly entered into her slick heat. Her head was now completely thrown back against the pillow, her eyes were shut, her hands clutching tightly to the sheets at her sides, as the pleasure continued to corse through her body. She felt his finger slip in and out of her heat, slowly building up a rhythm that left her head spinning.

Max pulled himself farther up her body, his fingers never leaving the wet heat between her legs. He was now hovering over her, staring down into her flushed face as he continued to push his single finger in and out of her body. He saw her lips part when a gasp came as he slipped a second finger into her. Max's free hand was combing through her hair before running down her cheeks. He could tell from the way she was starting to rock her hips against his hand, that she was almost to her peak. He smiled before pressing a soft kiss about her lips before crawling back down her body to where his fingers continued to caress her moist heat. When Max heard her moan as the first charges of her orgasim came, he lowered his mouth to the pink bud the poked out teasingly between her lips and sucked between his own.

Liz lifted her hips completely off the bed as she came and grabbed onto Max's hair as he kept sucking on the bud, driving her insane. She felt his tongue run down her slit, gathering her juices into his mouth. Moans continued to escape from her mouth as he lapped her up, until he finally climbed back up her body to stare into her face. She was still in the same state she had been the last time he check, except she was breathing harder and her face was more flushed. Max trailed his fingers gently down her neck until they reached the chain and ring he had gotten her for her birthday. He looked into her now, half opened eyes and smiled. He leaned down and kissed her soft but passionately on her lips, his tongue teasing hers until he felt her fingers starting to unsnap his own jeans.

Max pulled back and looked between them to see her unzip his jeans, before he looked back up into her face to make sure she wasn't doing this because she felt she had to, but that thought was wiped from his mind when he felt her hand slip into his boxers and grasp him gently in her cool hand. He groaned as she lightly started to caress him, he groaned again when her small hands left his rigid hardness only to push down his jeans. Finally Liz had to use her feet to push them down the rest of the way before they landed on the floor with a soft thud. He nestled himself between her legs and just stared at her for a moment. Were they really going to go through with this? He wanted nothing more than to be with Liz in every way, but was she ready? And what if she were disappointed with him?

"Have you ever done this before?" he heard Liz ask him softly.

Max felt a small blush creep up his neck as he stared at her ring and chain, before he looked back into her eyes. "No." he answered truthfully.

He then stroked her cheek with the back of his hand, suddenly remembering the conversation he had with Michael.

She's from New York. She knows your kind. She probably dated someone like you, lost her virginity to them, they broke her heart, hence the reason she's a pain in the ass.

"Have you?" he finally asked. Max knew that even if she were experienced he still wanted to be with her not matter what, but it was important for him to know.

Liz stared into his eyes, before shaking her head slightly. She watched as a wide smile spread across his face and he leaned down and kissed her softly. "Good." he murmed against her lips.

Max pulled back and looked at her again. "Are you sure, that you want to do this?" he asked, making sure once again that this is what she wanted.

Liz smiled and nodded before she wrapped her arms around his neck. "More than anything."

Max smiled again and leaned up slightly. His eyes never left hers as he slowly started to guide himself into her moist center. He felt her inner walls grasping onto him as he continued to slowly push his way inside of her. Max placed his hands on her either side of her face and watched for any sign of pain or uncomfort, smiling when he saw none. Only when he reached her barrier did he think about not going any farther. He had forgotten the one, little detail, that her first time would be painful, and he couldn't behr the thought of him being the one to hurt her.

"Liz?" he asked as his thumbs stroked the corners of her eyes. "We don't have to do-"

Max was cut off when he felt Liz grab his hips and pull him down as she lifted her hips, breaking her barrier. He stared down at her, her eyes were closed and she was wincing slightly.

"Are you okay?" he asked worried. "You really shouldn't have-"

Max was again cut off when she placed her finger on his lips. "I'm fine." she reassured him as she opened her eyes. She leaned up and kissed his lips. "I promise."

He stayed still just a moment longer until he was sure she was okay, before he slowly started to move inside her. Max continued to watch for any sign of discomfort. Liz's hands were still on his hips and she started to lift her own hips to meet him for each of his thrusts. He was burying himself deep inside her with the same slow rhythm he had used with his hands, again leaving Liz's head spinning. She started to increase the thrust of her own hips, trying to pick up the speed. She closed her eyes again as her breath became ragged, when she felt Max's lips pressing against hers in a passionate kiss. Liz deeped the kiss and moved her arms to wrap around his neck, the intense pleasure continuing to build within her body, giving her that falling feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Liz tore her lips from his, breathing in a lung ful of air and stared into his face above her. "Max." she whispered, needing him faster and deeper.

Max leaned down and kissed her lips again as he started to rock his hips faster against her, his hardness going deeper into her heat. He moaned as he felt the first sparks of his own orgasim, causing him thrust even deeper. He burried his head in her shoulder as he continued his fast, deep thrusts, desperately needing the release. He felt himself getting closer and closer to the edge, but he refused to go before Liz, instinctively he rubbed the pink bud between their bodies, listening to the sounds of pleasure coming from Liz. She arched her back as she came, more forcefully than she had before, then letting her back drop to the bed.

Max was still thrusting deep into her, waiting for her release before he let himself go. He sucked on her shoulder as he came. His thrusts slowed to a stop and then rolled to his side, pulling Liz close to him. He kissed her forehead tenderly and stared down into her flushed face, she looked tired, but he could tell she was content. They both were.


Liz watched as Max slept. She was tired, but she was too afraid to sleep, she'd seen this too much to not know how it would end. She'd wake up in the morning to find Max gone, where he had abandoned her in the middle of the night. It happened all the time.

Liz cursed to herself for even thinking that Max would do that to her, he loved her...

She watched as Max stirred in his sleep and opened his eyes to stare down at her, a bright smile on his face. "Hey." he said sleepily.

Liz smiled despite her fear. "Hey."

Max raised an eyebrow at how tired she looked. "Haven't you slept at all?" he asked, glancing at the clock behind her. The blazing red lights 3:15 in the morning.

Liz shook her head. "I couldn't sleep." she told him.

Max's brows furrowed and he leaned up on his elbow. "Why not? Are you okay, is anything wrong?" he asked her, once again worried he may have hurt her.

Liz shook her head. "No, everything's fine." she lied. "I just like to watch you sleep." Though, that part was true...

Max smiled softly at her and tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear before laying back down. "You really should get some sleep, Liz." he told her. "Come here." he pulled her into his arms and kissed her forehead again.

Liz rested her head against his chest, feeling the rise and fall of it, and listening to the beating of his heart.

Everything's going to be okay. she told herself. It's going to be okay.


Liz stretched as the sun came through the window, shining right into her eyes. She was facing the clock which read 11:03 in the morning. She felt the warmth of a body stretched up against her and she slowly rolled over to see Max still sleeping beside her. She smiled, realizing her uncertainty was uncalled for, for surely, if he intened on leaving, he would have left by now. Liz grinned and cuddled up against him, and settled back down for sleep again.

Then she shot up like a rocket. "Oh shit!"

Part 24

"Oh shit!"

Max rubbed the sleep from his eyes and sat up to see Liz staring wide-eyed at the wall. "Liz?" he asked and placed his hands on her shoulders, turning her towards him. "What's wrong?"

Liz opened her mouth to speek when the ringing of her cell phone stopped her, she looked from Max to the phone on the floor by her pants. She glanced at Max again before clutching the sheet close to her body and leaning down to pick up the phone.

"Hello?" she asked weakly and cringed when she heard her aunt's voice on the other side.

"Good morning Liz." Nancy said. "Did you have fun last night?"

"You could say that."

"Well, even though you normally would be up by now, I assumed the girls are still asleep." Nancy said.

Liz grinned in realization. "Uh yeah, their still asleep." and smiled at Max when he raised his eye brow at her. "I would have called you myself but, you know."

"Yes, I know. Isabel told me you were pretty tired from the all the dancing you had done last night." she said. "Did you have fun with Max."

Liz smirked. "Oh yeah, Max and I had the time of our lives."

"Well, I just wanted to call and let you know that we are going to leave the house key the cash register. Jeff and I are going to be at a meeting until late tonight."

"Okay." Liz answered. "So I guess I'll see you later."

"Goodbye, Liz."

Liz hung up her cell phone after hearing the soft click on the other head. She then tossed it to the crowd and fell back onto the bed, a sigh of relief escaping her. Max leaned on his elbow and stared down at Liz.

"There's no problem is there?" Max asked.

Liz sighed. "Yeah there is." she told him as she sat up. "I have to say the three hardest words, in my life."

Max again arched his eyebrow.

"Thank you, Isabel."

Max shook his head and smiled, before he kissed her lightly on the lips. He wrapped his arms around her as she snuggled close to his side. "This changes everything, you know." he told her as he fingers skimmed down her back.

Liz raised her head to look at him. "Yeah, how?" she asked. Was it a change in a good way or a bad way?

Max grinned and pulled her closer to him. "Now that I know what it feels like to wake up next to you in the morning, I don't know how I'll ever be able to sleep with out you again."

Liz smiled as she rolled ontop of him, before resting her chin on his chest. Damn her insecurities. "When do your parents get home?" she asked.

Max thought about it a moment. "Tuesday." he answered.

"Well, I'm suspended until Monday, so maybe I can spend the night at Maria's again." Liz suggested as she wiggled her eye brows.

Max grinned again and kissed her. "But you'd really be staying here, right?"

"No, I mean it, I'm going to see if I can spend that night at Maria's." she answered and rolled her eyes.


Liz strolled into the Crashdown to see Maria already behind the counter. As she approached her, she could hear her humming a familar song, but she just couldn't place it. "What are you humming?"

"Liz!" Maria squealed and leaned over the counter to hug her friend. "So, how are ya?" she asked as she wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

Liz sighed, and for the first time, Maria could she a far away look in her eyes. "That good?" she asked. Liz sighed again and propped her chin up.

Maria laughed. "I'm happy for ya chic." she told her and pulled a CD from her apron. "Here we burned a CD for you. Number 2 is what I was humming. Lady Marmalade."

"It isn't the one sang by that Blonde Belly-Button Chic is it?" Liz asked as she looked through the songs.

"Christinia Alguilera, yeah." Maria watched as Liz started to shake her head. "No, c'mon, it's a really good song, Isabel and I sang it all night."

"Yeah okay." Liz said. "So um, I'm going to spend the night at your house tonight."

"No you're not." Maria retorted and started to wipe the counter. "You're spending the night at Max's."

"Yeah, but you'll tell Nancy that I'm at your house, right?" she asked hopefully.

Maria pretended to think about it a moment. "Well, I guess I could. I don't know why I would want to."

"Cause I'm your best friend and you love me." Liz answered with a sappy smile. Maria just looked at her as if that weren't going to cut it. "And I'll hook you up with Michael."


Part 25

Liz walked through the swinging doors and into the dinning area of the Crashdown. She craned her neck over the mob of customers eating today. Isabel had told her he'd be here today, so where was he? A grin spread across her face when she finally saw him. She casually walked towards his booth and slid into the other side.

He lifted his head and stared at her a moment before looking around the restaurant. "Max isn't here." Michael said before returning to the book he was reading.

"Yeah, I know." Liz said. "I came to see you. How yad doing man?"

Michael sighed and closed the book. "What do you want?"

Liz stared at him in mock shock. "I can't believe you'd think that I'm come over here, wasting my precious time just to get something out of you." she scoffed.

Michael didn't seem convinced because he kept staring at her. "Alright, here's the catch." Liz said getting herself situated. "You like my friend, my friend likes you, so what I propose, you two go out on a little date. Dinner and a movie, nothing formal. And see if you hit if off.'

Michael grinned and leaned forward on his forarms. "Uh, thanks Liz. But I'm not interested in Alex that way."

Liz wiped the pretend sweat from her brow. "That's good. I mean, my first impression of you was, 'Oh that boy lives on the other side of the rainbow.' But I'm glad I'm wrong." she told him and watched as he started to glare at her. "No, c'mon, with all seriousness, what do you think about Maria."

Michael sat back and sighed. "I don't know, I mean I don't really know her-"

"Hence the reason you go out on a date. To get to know her." Liz said. "C'mon, she's not the total air head she appears to be."

Michael shook his head and laughed. "Why are you doing this?" he asked after a moment.

Liz shrugged. "I owe her a favor." she said. "And, Maria's a great friend and I'd do anything for her."

Michael nodded and stood up. "Dinner and movie doesn't sound too bad." he said.

Liz smiled. "Oh, Michael, one warning." she said before he could turn away. "You hurt her, and there'll be hell to pay? Okay? Okay." she told him and patted him on the back.


"You said what?" Maria exclaimed.

Liz looked up at Maria and glanced around the room trying to see what the problem was. "What?" she asked after she swallowed her chip. "Geez, Maria it's no big deal."

Maria lifted her head from her arms where she had dramatically dropped them. "Please Liz, I'm sure if he didn't think I was an air-head then, he sure does now."

Liz shook her head. "Maria, he thinks your a babe, I'm sure he's willing to over look that factor."

Maria glared at her. "You're not helping."

Liz put her hands in the air and stood from the kitchen table, grabbing the empty chip bag and crumpling it in her hands. "Hey, I kept my end of the deal. I got you the date, now you keep your end." she told her and tossed the bag into the trash. "Don't worry about it. You'll be fine."

"I hope you're right." she muttered.


"That movie wasn't so bad." Michael said as he tossed the empty cups into the trash. "Did you enjoy it?"

Maria nodded. "Yeah." she said. "I've come to the conclusion that all Australian men are hot."

Michael grinned. "And how many Australian men do you know?"

"Heath Ledger, Mel Gibson, and the guy from Coyote Ugly." Maria answered counting each of them on her fingers.

"Three. Wow." he said. "They got nothing compared to me." He added teasingly.

They walked out of the mall and hoped into the jeep Max had loaned Michael. He thought, for some strangely odd reason, that his motorcycle just wouldn't cut it.

"Australian chics are hot too." Michael said after a moment. "Nicole Kidman, perfect example."

"She's Australian?" Maria asked.

"Hell yeah. Where do you think she got a body like that?"

Maria looked down at herself. "I could get a body like her's." she muttered.

Michael glanced at her as he pulled out onto the road. "Don't worry about it, you're fine the way you are." he told her and cleared his throat.

Maria looked over at him and watched as he shifted in his seat uncomfortable. She couldn't help the smile that spread over her face. She knew that Michael was never the one to compliment, so she was surprised that he had even commented.

"Thank you." Maria said and leaned over her seat to peck him on the cheek. Michael glanced at her again as she settled back in her seat, he smiled at her before returning his gaze toward the road.


"Hello?" Liz said as she answered her cell phone.

"Liz, I had the greatest night of my life." Maria said from the other end.

Liz sat up, leaving the warm embrace of Max's arms and grinned at the phone. "So things went okay?" she asked.

"Things went better than okay, I mean, I think we really hit it off. I may have something here, Liz!" she exclaimed. Liz could hear how giddy she was over the phone.

"Well, I'm happy for you Maria." she said. "So are you going out again?"

"Tomorrow night." Maria answered. "Since it's Monday, we won't be out as long, but, you know."

Liz smiled again. "See what did I tell ya, if only you had talked to him sooner instead of me having to do all the dirty work..-"

"I know, I know." Maria said to her. "Thanks Liz."

"You're welcome." Liz replied. "So I guess I'll talk to you later?"

"Later." Maria said back.

Liz clipped up the receiver and laid back down next to Max. Both of them fully clothed and laying atop his sheets.

"When's Isabel going to leave?" Liz asked again.

Max wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her towards him. "Whenever she gets off the phone with Alex." he answered and leaned down to kiss the tip of her nose. "It could be a while."

Liz groaned and leaned her forehead against his chest. Though she had to admit, just laying in his arms was just as good. She shifted herself until she was lieing on her back, using his arm as a pillow. She felt Max's free hand rest on a bare part of her stomach where her shirt had rised up, the pads of his fingers drawing slow, lazy circles on her abdomen. Liz turned her head to look at him, to see his eyes closed and a small smile on his lips. She couldn't help but feel that giddiness course through her body when ever she saw him smile. Normally she'd curse herself for being so weak, giving into the charms of men, but Max was different. It took her awhile to realize that, but now she could tell. Max would never hurt her.

"I love you." Liz said to him. Max opened his eyes and gazed at her.

He lifted his hand to cup her cheek. "Not that I'm complaining, but what was that sure?" he asked.

Liz shrugged and stared at her necklace she was twirling in her hands. "I don't know, I just don't think I've said it enough."

Max smiled and used his index finger to turn her head to look at him. "I love you too." he said before leaning down and brushing his lips against hers. "So much." he added.

Liz smiled and cuddled closer to him, feeling safe, and secure, and just plain happy with his arms wrapped around her.

No more insecurities. She vowed to herself.

Part 26

Max stretched as he felt the warm, first rays of the morning sun, shine into his room. He smiled when he felt the warmth of Liz's body, curled up against him. He opened his eyes to see them much in the same position they were in last night, except for the fact of missing clothes. Max couldn't help the grin the spread across his face as he remembered what had taken place the night before. As soon as they were sure Isabel had left the house, they immediately attacked eachother. Hastily disgarding clothes as lips meshed with lips. He could still feel her warm kisses crawling all over his body...

With a groan, Max propped himself up on his elbow and stared down at her. His fingers caressed her sleeping face as he leaned down and kissed her bare shoulder. "Liz," he whispered. "wake up."

Liz murmured in her sleep, but didn't awake from her peaceful slumber, instead she rolled onto her other side, facing Max, and throwing a leg over his hip.

Max moaned and kissed her other shoulder, still whispering his pleads. "Liz, baby." he said again. "Please wake up."

Max smiled when he saw her stir, but his smile faded when she snuggled closer to him instead. He groaned in frustration. "Lizzie." he groaned and lifted her chin, placing a delicate kiss on her lips. "Pllleaseee wake up."

"Max?" she asked against his lips. Max pulled back and watched as she slowly lifted her eyelids, another smile played across his lips and he leaned down placing feather-light kisses all over her face.

"Morning." he finally said.

Liz smiled. "Morning." she said back.

Max rolled ontop of her, supporting his weight on his forearms. "Did you sleep well?" he asked and watched as she nodded in response. He leaned down and kissed her upper lip. He really needed her right now, but he wasn't sure if she was completely awake yet. Max smiled when he felt her kiss him back, her arms reaching up to wrap around his neck and pull him closer to her. He slipped a hand to cup the back of her neck, deepening the kiss, while his free hand drifted down her body liftly caress her thigh.

Liz lifted her hips feeling his hardness rub against her heat. She moaned against his mouth and started to rub herself against him trying to ease the ache that has become so familiar to her when ever she was around him. She felt Max stop her movements by gripping her hips gently. He kissed her once more before lifting himself slightly above her, and started to guide himself into her warm, awaiting heat. He moaned with pleasure with every inch he pushed himself until he was fully sheathed inside of her. Max rested his weight back on his forearms, leaning down and kissing her passionately, enjoying the feeling of her warm walls wrapped around him.

Max started the slowly rhythm inside of her, that has become so familiar between the two of them. He continued his slow thrusts, going deeper within her each time, feeling her hands rubbing his back before resting on his hips, urging him to go faster. He answered both their needs and quickened his pace, moaning as he felt the first shocks of his release coming. Max brought his thumb down between their bodies and rubbed her bundle of nerves, wanting her to come with him. Liz moaned and brought his lips to hers as she felt her orgasim corse through her body. She continued to buck her hips against hers as he kept his thrusts, until he too met his release, and collasped against her.

Max rolled onto his back, letting Liz rest against his chest. He could hear her ragged breathing and the warm puffs of her breath against his chest. He lifted his head and kissed the top of her head, and listened as her breathing became more even, knowing she was drifting back into her slumber.

"I love you." he told her before she was too far in her sleep.

Liz kissed his chest. "I love you too." she mumbled, and then fell asleep.


Liz entered the apartment and through her overnight bag onto the couch, all the while, her smile never leaving her face.

"Did you have fun?" Nancy asked from the kitchen when she saw her neice enter the apartment.

Liz nodded and headed down the hall. She heard the scattering of dog paws hitting the wooden floor and saw her dog skid out of her room and run towards her. She knelt down and scooped the ever growing puppy into her arms, kissing it on it's nose.

"Hey, I missed ya this weekend." she said and scratched behind it's ears lovingly. Liz walked into the room she hadn't seen in days, and was overcome with a overwhelming sense of loneliness. She sat down on the bed still holding the pup. "I guess it's just you and me, Cole." she said as she leaned back into her mountain of pillows, a sigh escaping her lips.


Max climbed up her latter, vaguely aware of what time it was. He had successfully snuck out of his house with out awakening anyone and decided to forget driving the jeep and just walk. He hadn't been able to get to sleep, he felt so empty with out her near him. Max hopped over the ledge and walked to her open window. Inside he could see her lieing on her side, facing away from him, while her dog occupied the pillow beside her. He quietly climbed through the window and crept to her bedside. He jumped back when he saw her leap from her bed with a baseball bat in her hand.

"Liz! It's me!" he whispered before she could get a swing.

"Max?" she asked as she pushed her hair away from her face. Liz sighed with relief and put the baseball bat down. She crawled on her knees from atop her bed to where he was standing and wrapped her arms around his neck

"" she asked him between kisses.

Max happily returned each of her kisses while trying to recapture her lips whenever she pulled away. "I couldn't sleep." he said as his hands ran down her back. She was wearing a pair of plaid pajama bottoms and a matching baby blue colored tank top. "So I decided I'd come to see if you had room for one more?"

Liz looked over her shoulder and at her very small bed. She then returned her gaze to Max. "I think we can manage." she said as she crawled under her covers and lifted up a corner so he could crawl in after her.

Max slipped out of his shoes and jacket before pulling his t-shirt over his head. Then he joined Liz in bed, carefully lifting the sleeping puppy from the top of the bed and setting her at the bottom. Max laid down and pulled Liz into his arms as she laid her head upon his chest, with her arm draped over his stomach.

Max kissed the top of her bed. "Now I think I'll be able to sleep." he said, though he kept his eyes opened. He never was able to sleep unless he knew that Liz was asleep first. He'd spend hours of the night just watching her sleep before he would fall asleep.

Liz propped her head up on her elbow and stared at Max. He ran his fingers through her hair before grabbing her chin between his fingers and placing a light kiss on her lips. Liz smiled. "Where are you planning on going to college?" she asked him. The question had been bothering her for a while now and she really needed to know where he was going.

Max ran his hand up and down her arm. "That all depends on what college you're going to." he told her.

She looke down at his chest before meeting his gaze again. "I was planning on going to UCLA. You know, to be with-"

"Your mom." he finished for her. "I know. So that's where I am going to go."

Liz felt a little guiltly despite her glee of the fact that he would follow her to college. "You don't have to. I mean, I don't want you to feel like I'm holding you back or anything. You could, like, get into Harvard or something." she said in a rush.

Max sat up and stared at her. "You think that you're going to hold me back?" he asked. He shook his head before leaning down and kissing the corner of her mouth. "You could never hold me back. I don't care what college I go to, just as long as you're with me."

"You sure?" she asked.

Max nodded. "Positive."

Liz smiled and settled back onto his chest. "Goodnight." she said as she closed her eyes.


Part 27

Max climbed through his window later that morning and was startled to see his sister sitting on the edge of his bed, with a smile on her face.

"Hi, Max." she said and stood up from his bed.

Max swallowed and stood up straight. "Hey, Is..Um, what are you doing here?"

Isabel shrugged and looked around her room. "I was going to see if you wanted to head to the Crashdown for breakfast. But maybe you were already there...?"

He nodded. "Yeah that's where I was. I um-"

"Decided to go out the window instead?" Isabel asked with a grin. She saw the tense look on her brother's face and let a small laugh. "Relax Max. I'm not going to say anything to mom and dad. I just like to see ya squirm, that's all."

Max relaxed and shed off his jacket. "Thanks Is." he told her as she headed towards the door.

"Don't mention it." she said. "I'm serious. I don't want to start to think about what might have gone on during you little...." she shuddered. "Never mind."


Liz twirled around the stool of the Crashdown. Maria was working, Alex was with Isabel, and Max and to work at the UFO Center, so that left her alone...With the stool.

"Weeee." she muttered unenthusiastically as she spun around again.

"Grow up, Liz."

She spun around to see her brother standing behind her. "Jakob!" she said with excitement. "Yes, someone is finally here! What are you doing here anyway?"

"Schools out." he said and sat in the other stool beside her.

"So soon?"

He nodded. Liz continued to look at her brother and from the look on his face she could tell he had something to tell. "Jakob?" she asked. "What's up?"

"I got some news-"

"Good or bad?" she asked before he could finish.

"It's...Not great news." he told her.

Liz sighed and stared up at the ceiling. "Why is it you always come here with bad news? I mean what is with you?"

He shrugged. "Anyway, just tell me." Liz said as she prepared herself for the not-so-great news.

"Dad is settled in his rehabilitation center. He called me a couple days ago and said everything was going fine. The nurses are nice, and he..He likes it there."

"That's bad because....."

"He wants to see you." Jakob finished.

Liz immediately started to shake her head. "Nope, nuh uh. No way. I am not going up there." she said already denying to see her father.

"Liz," Jakob pressed. "He wants to talk to you, he said he needs to talk to you. Dad has had some problems in the past, yes, but he wants to make them right. What happened to second chances? You gave mom one?"

"Dad's second chance was me leaving, so that MAYBE he could pull himself together and be a real father once he realizes his daughter is gone." she told him. "That didn't turn out to well."

Jakob stared at her. "You're scared."

Liz gaped at him. "What? No..No, I am not." she said in shock. "He lost his second chance. I don't believe in third chances or whatever alright?"

"Third times a charm."

Liz rolled her eyes at him. Maybe she was, just a little scared. But just a little, not enough to amount to anything... "I don't wanna goooo." she whined.

Jakob put his hands in the air. "Okay. But he's going to be really disappointed."

"Fine." she muttered. She had to admit, she did want to see her father, and that was the scarey part. Shouldn't she hate his guts and never want to see him again? "Where's it at?"

Jakob wrote down the address on a napkin and handed it to her. "New York?" Liz asked. "I have to go to New York?"

Jakob shrugged. "He gave me money to be the tickets for the round trip flight."

"So he was sure I'd come was he?" she asked taking the tickets.

"Yup." he answered. "But only 'cause he knows you so well."

Liz rolled her eyes. "So, Friday, huh? You wouldn't happen-" he shook his head. "I didn't think so."

Jakob gave her a hug. "So, what's good to eat around here?"


"But you'll be coming back, right?" Max asked as he watched Liz walk from her dresser to the suitcase on her bed.

"Yes, Max." she told him as she zipped up her suitcase. She straightened before walking up to him, wrapping her arms around his waist. "I'm coming back, I promise."

Max kissed her forehead. "So, if I climb in here tonight, you won't be here, huh?" he said.

Liz shook her head. "No, but Cole will. I'm sure she won't sharing the bed with you." she said with a grin.

He shook his head. "Nah, she has bad morning breath."

Liz laughed a little before resting her forehead against his chest. "Man, my life is really screwed up." she muttered to herself. She closed her eyes at the soothing feeling of Max running his hands up and down her back and planting tiny kisses on the top of her head. "You're the only thing I don't regret." she told him as she lifted her head.

Max smiled and cupped her face in his hands and leaned down to kiss her. He slipped his tongue past her lips and gently touched hers as his hands glided through her hair. He didn't know what he'd do with her gone, and she wouldn't be back until Saturday night, probably not until Sunday morning. He pulled back and stroked the sides of her face with his thumbs.

"You call me if you need me." he told her. "If you need anything, you call me, okay."

Liz nodded and touched her forehead to his. "I should probably get going." she said as she reluctantly pulled away from him, suddenly feeling very cold. She felt Max slip his hand into hers. He gave her a small smile before grabbing her suitcase and walking her out of her bedroom, and down the stairs to where her brother will be waiting to drive her to the airport....To her father.


Liz leaned her forehead against the window of the plane as the runway came into view. She leaned back into her seat and took a deep breath. Glancing at her watch she saw that she had almost two and a half hours before she met her father at the center. She couldn't help but wonder what he'd say to her. What she'd say to him. Will she be able to forgive him as easily as she had forgiven her mother? Liz sighed and closed her eyes, wondering how her life had ever gotten so out of control. If only she could change everything. If she could have kept her father from becoming an alcoholic, if she had kept her mother from leaving, maybe she wouldn't have such a crumby life. Maybe she'd have the family she'd always wanted. She opened her eyes, realizing that if any of that should have happened, she would have never have met Max.

Liz smiled at the thought of Max. He had changed her, for the better. She was more trusting, towards him anyway. And of course towards Maria and Alex, but Max was someone she could picture seeing herself with for the rest of her life. Someone she could see lying by her side every night with out the worry of being caught. Someone she could love forever...

Liz was jerked from her thoughts when she felt the plane land. Another few mintues later she noticed everyone starting to unboard, she waited until there was only a few people on the plane before she got up herself, grabbed her carry-on and made her way off the plane.

Not too long now...


Max laid back in his bed with his fingers laced behind his head. It was one o'clock now, and Liz had left at 8:30, was she in New York now? She had to be, because she was going to vist her father at two. He sighed and closed her eyes, imagining her lying next to him. Feeling the warmth radiating from her body, the smell of her cherry almond shampoo...

He sat up and groaned realizing that that wasn't helping. It was just making him want her more. He hoped it wouldn't be too long until she got back, until he could hold her again and kiss her and...

Max was jerked from his thoughts from the sound of his phone ringing. He lazily reached over, grabbed the phone and brought it to his ear. "Hello?" he muttered. But he was met with only the sound of someone breathing. He new who it was. "Liz."

She closed her eyes, leaning the back of her head against the bed post. "So, I'm going to be going to see him soon." was all she said. She really need him right now, and she was trying not to let the tremor in her voice be heard.

Max sat up, gripping the phone tightly in his hand. "Are you alright?" he asked, her but he already knew she wasn't.

"Yeah." she lied. "I just needed to hear your voice." she told him. "I'm all better now."

Max knew she was lying but didn't question her. "I'm always going to be here. Just call."

Liz nodded though he couldn't see her. "I know. Thank you." she said. She then glanced at her watch. "I should be going. I'll see you tomorrow...Possibly."

"Okay. I love you, Liz."

Liz bit her lip to keep the sob from passing. She then regained her composure. "I love you too, Max.'

After she hung up the phone she bit her fist, now realizing how tough this was going to be with out Max.

Get a grip, Parker. She urged herself. You can do this.

"I can do this." she said outloud as she stood up and made her way towards the door...


Liz walked up to the desk to see the secretary typing away on the computer. She approached her and waited for her to take notice.

"I'm here to see Gary Parker." Liz said softly and watched as the secretary pointed behind her.

"Right behind those doors." she said.

Liz nodded and walked up to a glass door, peering inside she saw what looked like a huge living room. She pulled open the door and as she stepped inside she saw many other family members there, but alone on a couch in the far corner, sat her father. He was rubbing his hands together anxiously, and when he looked up to see her, Liz watched as he stood up, smiling lightly at her.

She walked towards him, finding that he was looking a little better from the last time she had seen him. He actually looked sober.

"Hi, Dad." she said softly once she approached him.

"Lizzie." he said with a huge smile. It was the smile that he had always used when she was younger. That's what she loved about her father, he had such a kind, loving smile. Very few times had see seen it after her mother left, and it was kind of comforting to see it again. "Please, sit down."

Liz sat down in a large chair across from him. She looked uncomfortably around, seeing all the other people thoroughly engulfed in their own conversations. But she couldn't help but wonder what the other families were going through...

"So, um. How have you been?" her father asked her, once again rubbing his hands together. She had seen him do that before too. He had done it alot when he had first said he was going to give up drinking..

"Good." Liz stated. "Real good."

"Good." he said. "I'm glad you came, Liz. I really need to talk to you. About alot of things."

Liz nodded in understanding. She needed to know a few things herself. Liz's father continued, realizing that she was going to give him the time to speak. "First, I want to apologize, for the life I have given you for the past..." he sighed. "How ever many years. I know it was hard for you, and that's why you left..." Liz nodded and stared down at her hands. "It was hard on Jakob and Chasity too, but I didn't realize you were the one who took it the hardest. You always were Daddy's little girl, that's why you took it so hard." he said with a proud smile.

Liz smiled too. She remembered bouncing on her father's knee. Grasping tightly to his leg having him carry her around the house. She was Daddy's little girl....Was, being the key word.

"Things change." she muttered.

He looked down at his hands, hearing what she had said. "They sure do." he said as well. "I'm not proud for what I have done, and I'm not proud that I let things get out of hand, especially in front of you kids. But you have to understand...Things were difficult. Your mother left us-"

"Did you ever think she left because she wasn't happy with her life either?" Liz asked. She couldn't believe he was trying to blame this on her mother. She had always thought of her mother as a strong person, even after she left, and she swore that she would never trust her mother again, she still believed she was that same, strong person. Because she came back...

"You're right." he said. "And that's why, once I found out you were gone, I spent every waking day trying to find out where you were. Because I had lost your mother and then I lose you too. You were the only one I had left that reminded me of her. You have some many of her features, that's why I loved looking at you every night as you slept. I'd peek my head into your room every night and watch you sleep." he said as he remembered those nights. "I loved your mother dearly." he stopped when he heard her scoff. "I did. I know I didn't show it much. Not as much as I should have, but I did. And I know I made alot of mistakes with our marriage, it's the thing I regret the most."

Liz stared at her father as he continued to pour out his heart to her. She had never known this much about him. She realized now that there were so many things she still didn't know...

"So I came to look for you." he continued. "I found out that Chasity went to your Uncle Jeff's and I know that's where you had to be. So I drove all the way down here, practically under the influence." he laughed at himself. "I don't know how I survived. But I did. All I could think about was bringing you home, I wanted to make things right, but I made the mistake of coming to you the way I did, trying to force you to come with. And I'm sorry."

Liz noticed tears were slowly streaming down his face, and just seeing them made her start to cry as well.

"I really need you to forgive me, Liz." he said, not raising his head to meet her gaze. "I don't care how long it will take for you to forgive me, I just need the reassurance that you will."

Liz wiped the tears from her eyes. "It will take some time." she told him honestly. "I don't know how long, but I know that if you truely want to change, and will give it your all, I will forgive you."

He nodded, wiping away his own tears before sitting back and smiling. For the first time in a long time, he felt relieved. "So.." he said, seeing that his daughter was more relaxed as well. "Let's talk about you."


Liz's hands were shaking as she left the building. She still hadn't over come her feelings of her meeting with her father. Though it had ended as nicely as expected, she still felt alone and scared. She fumbled with her cell phone to call a taxi, when she dropped it on the pavement. She cursed herself, gripping her hands, urging herself to calm down. She then bent down and picked up her cell phone, wiping the mud off.

Liz lifted her head trying to shake her bangs from her face when she saw him...

"Max." she whispered and started to run towards him. He was standing on the other side of the almost empty parking lot. Waiting. She leapt into his arms, burying her head in his neck. "What are you doing here?" she asked, though she was pleasantly surprised to see him here.

"When I got your phone call, I knew you weren't okay, so I got the first flight to New York, and I just got here." he told her. "How'd your meeting go?" he asked, smoothing the hair from her face.

"Okay." Liz said quickly. "But where'd you get the money to get here?"

Max grinned. "I had some saved for a rainy day." he told her. "And this is the rainiest as they come."

Liz smiled and grabbed his face, kissing him deeply. When she pulled away and smiled again at him. "What are your parents going to say?" she couldn't help but ask.

"I don't care. You needed me, and I'm here." he said.

Liz hugged him. "Thank you."


posted on 1-Sep-2001 5:47:15 PM
Part 28

Max glanced at Liz again for the fourth time in five minutes. She was still asleep, with her head resting on his shoulder, their fingers intwined resting on his leg. He had stayed with her until it was time for them to catch their flight back to Roswell, and within that time, Isabel had called. Just as he had suspected, his parents were pissed. He didn't tell anyone where he was going, he left immediately he hung up the phone with Liz. He knew she need him, whether she was willing to admit it or not.

Max leaned down and kissed her forehead when he felt her stir. She nestled her head in his shoulder trying to block out the rushing sound of the plane's engines. Finally she lifted her head and gazed at Max.

"How much longer?" she asked him.

"Thirty, fourty five minutes." he told her. "You can go back to sleep if you want."

Liz shook her head, though she kept it against his shoulder. "Thank you again for coming." she told him as she stared at their hands. She could feel him tracing little hearts on the back of her hand with his thumb. "I know your parents are going to be mad."

Max kissed her forehead. "I don't care." he said, wrapping his other arm around her shoulders. "I'll deal with them."

"We'll, deal with them." she correct and looked up at him. "I'm going to talk with them with you."

He nodded. He was happy that she was willing to help him with his parents, and it just made him want to help her even more. If only she'd tell him. "You know, Liz," he started. "You can be honest with me. If you need help with anything, you can tell me and I'll help you. No questions asked." he looked down at her, tucking a few strands of her hair behind her ear. "All you have to do is ask."

Liz nodded. "I'm working on it."


Max pulled up to his drive way. He looked over at Liz and grabbed her hand. "I can still drop you off at the Crashdown, if you want me too." he offered.

Liz shook her head. "I got you into this mess, so I'm going to get you out." she said softly.

He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the lips. He couldn't believe how much she had changed in a matter of no time. She was this spunky, sarcastic, beauty that he loved to this vulnerable, soft-spoken, young woman, that he loved even more. And all because of her past. Max felt this unbelievable sense of protectivness over her.

He lifted his head to kiss her forehead. "You ready?" he asked giving her hand a squeeze.

"Yup." Liz said trying to sound as optimistic as possible. "Things will go okay." she said for the both of them.

"I know." he said. "No matter what."

Liz nodded before getting out of the jeep and walking up to the Evans' front door with Max. Things will be okay...


Diane Evans walked out of the kitchen when she heard the front door open, and just as she expected, Max walked through the door. But the unexpected part was when Liz Parker walked in after him.

"Max." she said as she set down her cup of tea on the table. She looked beside her to see Philip step up next to her. "I think you owe us an explanation."

Max started to speak but Liz beat him to it. "It's my fault, Mrs. Evans. I called him and asked him to come up to New York because I needed a friend and-"

"I think I asked for my son, to explain, Miss Parker."

Liz stared at Diane. Was this the same woman who had helped her when her father came back?

"Mom!" Max said looking between his girlfriend and his mother. "She's right, she needed me so I went up to help her out. I'm sorry I didn't tell you guys but it was a spur of a moment thing."

Diane nodded. "A spur of the moment thing?" she asked. "So is that supposed to make it all better?" she shook her head with disappoint. "Go to your room, Max. I will be up to speak with you in a minute. Right now, I was to talk with, Liz."

Max looked at Liz, apology written all over his face. "It's okay." she told him, giving his hand a squeeze. She then watched as he walked past his parents and down the hall.

"Mrs. Evans, I am really sorry-"

Diane stopped her. "I want you to stay away from my children." she said stiffly.

Liz again stared at the older woman. "Excuse me?" she asked. What had she done?

"You heard me. I don't believe you are a good influence on my children, and I will not have them associate with you." she saw her husband lightly shake his head from the corner of her eye. She knew he thought she was being too harsh. But she wasn't. This girl had a background.

"But, I-"

Diane walked up to the door and held it open for her. Liz shook her head before walking out of the house.

"Why did you do that?" Diane turned to see her son walk into the living room.

"Max, I will talk to you about this later." she said grabbing her cup and walking into the kitchen.

"Liz didn't do anything! It was my choice to go to her!" he yelled, feeling his father put a hand on his shoulder.

"Max, I said go to your room." Diane said from the sink.

Max stared at the back of his mother's head, before looking at his father. He could tell that his father didn't approve of the situation, but he could also tell he didn't like the way Diane had handled it. "Dad-"

But his father just shook his head. "I don't believe this." Max scoffed before storming out of the living room and into his room.


Liz walked into the apartment, throwing her jacket onto the couch. "Diane," she heard Nancy say from the kitchen. "Liz is a perfectly good girl, whatever you think- Hello? Hello?" Nancy stared at the phone before hanigng it up. She turned to see Liz looking at her. "I tried to tell her, Liz. I'm sorry."

Liz just shook her head. "Don't worry about it." she said. "Thanks anyway." she told her before walking down the hall and into her room.

She fell onto her bed, staring at the ceiling, when she felt Cole jump on the bed and start pulling at her shoe strings. Liz sat up, sitting indian style, and pulled Cole into her arms. "Hey you." she said, scratching behind her ears. "You're starting to get bigger. I don't know how you think you'll be sleeping with me if you keep growing."

The pup just licked her face as she wagged her tail. Liz placed the puppy back on her bed and watched as it hopped off and made its way towards it's food dish on the other side of the room. She laid back on her bed, her fingers twirling around her necklace Max had given her. She refused to believe that she was a poor influence on Max. How could her love be bad for him? She'd just give Diane a few days to cool off, maybe then she'd think again. Yeah, just a few days..


"Bummer." Maria said as she sat next to her best friend on the edge of the bed. "She really said that?"

"Are you calling Liz a liar?" Alex asked from the window sill. He was dangling a pair of Liz's socks in the air and laughed as Cole jumped up trying to grab it. "Ha, ha, you missed."

"Alex." Liz said. "Stop teasing my dog. Because you know when she's an adult, she'll be bigger than you."

"So?" Alex asked, as he stared at the little thing, wondering how much bigger it will get.

"So..She'll remember you as the guy who would never give her the sock and she'll have it in for you." she threatened.

"Otherwise." Maria continued. "She'll eat you alive."

Alex laughed nervously. "Nuh uh."

"Uh huh." Liz and Maria said.

He again looked at the small dog, staring up at the sock hanging in the air. He dropped the sock and watched as she grabbed it in her jaws and swung it around rapidly. He leaned down and patted it's head. "Good, doggie." he said. Cole leaped up and tried to grab his hand, causing him to jump from the sill and yelp.

Liz shook her head at him as a smile spread across her face. "See, I got ya to smile." Alex said though his eyes never left the little ankle biter. He stomped his foot at the dog and growled himself. "Yeah, yeah." he said as she let out a high pitched bark. "You don't scare me."

"Alex, I'm warning ya." Liz said. "She is going to remember you pestering her."

"Yeah, well, let her. I'm not afraid of her." he said as he sat on the bed. He lifted his feet from the edge as discreetly as possible.

Liz again shook her head at her friend. She was glad that they decided they'd come over and keep her company, she really did feel alone right now.

"So, do you want to see a movie or something?" he offered. "Maria said A Knight's Tale is good, and she wouldn't mind seeing it again."

Liz shook her head. "I think I'll stay here for today, but thanks guys."

Maria looked at Alex. They both knew how hard it was for her to have someone say that she was a bad influence. Yes, she has had a bad past, but it wasn't her fault. "Liz, she's wrong." Maria said as she rubbed her friend's shoulder. "She doesn't know what she's talking about."

Liz sighed and leaned back on her bed. "Thanks guys."


Max once again started to climb up her latter, but this time, he had something totally different in mind. He crawled through her open window to see her sleeping on her side, this time, facing him. Cole was curled up against her stomach, her head resting in the crook of Liz's arm. He smiled lightly at Liz and for the briefest moment thought about leaving, that was until she opened her eyes.

Liz sat up and smiled at him. She hopped from her bed and hugged him tightly to her. "I knew you were coming." she said with a grin. "C'mon..." she said as she started to lead him towards the bed.

Max shook his head. "What's wrong?" she asked looking at him concerned.

"Let's leave." he said plainly.

Liz looked at him shocked. "What?" she asked.

"Let's run away.."

"Max.." Liz started as she shook her head.

"Not for ever. Just a couple of days, so we can be alone for a while." Max pleaded, as he ran his hands through her hair. "I heard my mother tell you she doesn't want you around, and I don't want that to happen.."

Liz stopped Max's hands as they placed over her face, and held them there. "Where are we going to go?" she asked.

Max shrugged. "I don't know, let's just go."

Liz grinned. "Max, trust me, if you're going to run away, you have to have a plan." she said as she walked towards her closet and pulled out a book bag. "Do you have clothes?"

"In the jeep." he said as he watched her stuff things in her bag. "So, we're going?"

"I'm game." she said as she started to pull her tank top over her head, revealing her bare chest. Max swallowed and watched as she started to pull a sweater over her head. He walked up to, cupped her face in his hands and brought her lips to his. Max ran his tongue across her bottom lip, wanting her to open up to him, in which she did. He lovingly caressed her tongue with his, his hands roaming up her shirt feeling the warmth of her skin.

Max finally pulled back and stared at her with her eyes clothes. He watched as she licked her lips before opening her eyes. "I better continue." she said, pointing to the bag on her bed. He nodded and let his hands leave her face.

Liz smiled at him before grabbing a pair of cut off jean shorts from her drawer and replaced them with her flannel night pants. She stuffed a clean pair of pajamas in her bag, and the rest of the things she'd need, before she zipped it up. She then grabbed her cell phone, placed it in the pocket of the bag. She knew Maria would try to reach her, and she wanted her to know she was okay. Finally she scooped up the sleeping dog from her bed and carried it outside and onto the balcony.

Max followed her down the latter, before grabbing her hand and sprinting towards the jeep. "So, any idea where we are going?" he asked as he started the jeep.

Liz looked down at her lap where Cole was curled up and asleep again. "I have a girlfriend down in Flordia who owes me a favor. She runs this little condo thing, I'm sure she can hook us up with something."

Max nodded and pulled out onto the road. He reached over and grabbed her hand, before bringing it up to his lips and placed a tender kiss on her palm. He wasn't going to let anyone tell him he couldn't be with Liz.

No one.

Part 29

Liz woke up at the feeling of the jeep hitting a bump. She grimaced as she tried to straighten herself in the seat. She looked beside her to see Max driving and still awake. Barely.

"Max, find a hotel." she said. He looked at her before looking back at the road.

"Why? Are you okay?" he asked her as he grabbed her hand again.

"I'm fine, but you're practically falling asleep at the wheel. So c'mon, either find a hotel or let me drive." she said as she stretched her hands above her head.

"I want to keep moving." he said, his eyes back on the road.

"Then pull over and I'll drive." she said. "Besides, I know where we're going, you don't."

Max glanced at the clock which read 4:30.

"Just a couple more hours." he said.

Liz sighed and unbuckled her seat back. She gently scooped up
Cole and placed her on the back seat, before leaning over and kissing the side of Max's neck. "Max, you're tired." she as she kissed his earlobe. "Let me drive."

Max groaned and started to pull the jeep off the highway. Liz sat back in her seat and smiled with satisfactory. "Thank ya baby." she said as he slowed to a stop. They switched seats and before she put her seat belt back on she leaned over and kissed him again. "Now it's your turn to go to sleep."

"I'm not tired." he said as he yawned.

Liz laughed and started the car. "Right." she said. She glanced in his direction to see him leaning his head against the seat, with his eyes closed. She smiled lightly and pulled out onto the highway.

Not too long now...


Max and Liz walked into the building. Liz knew that no matter how much she pushed her friend would never let her bring Cole inside, so she had put her sleeping down gently in her back pack and zipped it up, leaving a small opening for air. They walked up to the counter to see a woman with black hair and red highlights handing a key to someone.

"Thank you, and enjoy your stay." she said. "Hi, how may I- Liz?"

Liz smiled. "Hey Serena." she said as they hugged eachother over the counter.

"So you finally got away from New York, huh?" Serena asked.

Liz nodded. "Now I'm staying in Roswell." she said.

Serena couldn't help but roll her eyes at her new town. "Yeah, okay." she said with a laugh. "So what brings you here?"

"We need a room." she said tilting her head towards Max standing behind her.

Serena grinned. "I didn't know you made a reservation."

Liz leaned onto the counter. "Well, that's the thing-"

"You don't have a reservation." she finished for her. "Damn it Liz, I know I owe you one, but you pick one hell of a time to ask to be repaid." she complained as she flipped through her book. "I have one room, that isn't due to be used for another two weeks. But I need you to clean it up right before you leave, got it?"

Liz nodded and accepted the key. "Thank you Serena, I know I could trust you." she said with a smile.

"Yeah yeah." she said and waved them off. "Liz!" she called. "You, don't have any animals, do you?"

Liz stared at her in mock shock. "Please. Don't you trust me?"

"Not in the least, that's why I'm asking." she called back. But Liz just waved at her before boarding the elevator.



Liz opened the door to the bedroom, and watched as Max walked right in, stripped down to his boxers, and collasped onto the bed. She smiled at him and watched as Cole hoped up onto the bed with him, resting her head on his chest.

"I'm going and buy some food, I'll be back in a few minutes." she told him as she started to turn around.

Max immediately sat up. "Noo." he whined as he stood up, making his way towards her. "We can eat later, right now we sleep." he told her as he head her to the bed.

"Max, I really should-"

"Shhh.." he told her. He seemed to remind her of a little boy with the way he was asking. "Sleepy time." Max quickly stripped her down to her bra and panties before scooping her into his arms and crawling into bed.

He laid down next to her, his arms wrapped around her waist, with his head resting up against her shoulder, and a child-like smile on his face. Liz giggled. "You know, you're kinda cute when you're tired." she told him.

"Shhh!" he said more urgently. "Sleep."

Liz bit down on another laugh as she stared into his face. She felt him place a kiss on her shoulder before tightening his grip around her. Her arms were resting on his and her fingers played with the hairs on his arms. She listened as his breathing became more even and she was sure he was asleep. She rolled over onto her side and stared at his sleeping face.

"I'll try to be more open with you." she whispered. "I know it must hurt you when I can't ask you for help, and when I try to act like things are okay around you, when they aren't. And I'm sorry. Like I said before, I'm working on it." Liz kissed his chin before nestling her head underneath it, and went to sleep.

A few moments later Max opened his eyes and looked down at her. He smiled to himself before wrapping his arms tighter around her and went back to sleep himself.


Max woke up and glanced at his clock. It was ten o'clock at night, they had been asleep for five hours maybe. He looked down to see Liz still curled up in his arms. He loved waking up like this. Having her in his arms, gazing down at her while she slept, kissing her sweet lips. All of these were things he couldn't live with out, things he didn't want to live with out. Liz meant too much to him to let anyone tell him they can't be together. Especially when the truth was, he wanted to be with her forever...

He smiled at the thought and tucked strands of her hair away from her face. She stirred in his arms, before she opened her eyes and smiled up at him.

"Hi." she said as she cuddled closer to him. "So much for getting food, tonight huh?"

"We could go out, I'm sure there are a few restaurants still open." he offered.

Liz shook her head, and stretched. "I'm still kind of tired anyway." she said before propping her head on her elbow. "So we really did it? We really ran away?"

Max nodded. "You don't regret it do you?" he asked uncertainty.

"Nope." she said. "I didn't regret it the first time, and I sure as hell don't regret it now. The only thing I regret is getting you in trouble with your mom."

He shrugged and laced his hands behind his head. "It's not your fault." was all he said.

"But it is." Liz told him. "If I hadn't called you, you wouldn't have come-"

"And I would have been miserable for days." he said. Max rolled onto his side and rubbed her shoulder. "I'm glad you called."

Liz sighed and laid back on the bed. "I just screwed everything-"

Max rolled ontop of her and smothered her mouth with kisses. He pulled back and gazed at her. "You didn't screw anything up." he said to her and caressed the sides of her face. "You made everything perfect." He leaned down and kissed her lips again, lightly caressing them. He felt her tongue slip past his lips and into his mouth. Max let his hands drift down her body until they slipped inside of her panties. He continued to push his hands downward until her panties were around her knees, he then rolled off of her and took them off the rest of the way.

Max looked back at Liz to see her hold her arms out to him. He gathered her into his arms and kissed her again. She wrapped her arms around his neck, thrusting her tongue back into his mouth while wrapping her legs around his hips, feeling his hardness against her heat. Liz moaned against his mouth and moved her hands down to the band of his shorts and started to push them off. Finally having to use her feet to get the rest of the way off, she wrapped her legs back around him, slowly grinding herself against him.

Max groaned and broke the kiss. He unclasped the front of her bra and pushed it off her shoulders. Leaning down he took one rosey bud into his mouth and sucked on it until he heard Liz moan with pleasure. He continued to love the first nipple before moving to the next one, giving it the same treatment as the first. He felt Liz's fingers running through his hair as she grinded herself more urgently against him. Max removed his mouth from her breast and lifted himself lightly above her, before leading himself in to her wet heat.

They both moaned at the feeling of them being joined. Max started his slow rhythm inside of her, as she stared into her eyes. He saw her love for him reflecting from her dark pools and he smiled down at her before leaning down and placing a delicate kiss on her lips. All the while never breaking his rhythmic thrusts. Liz arched her hips to meet his every thrust until she feel the beginning of her orgasim. Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck, bringing his full body weight to press against her.

"Max." she moaned, urging him to go faster. He kissed the side of her neck as he quickened his pace, feeling the beginning of his own orgasim. He continued to thrust faster and deeper into her slick heat until he felt her shake as he orgasim shook through her. Moments later he joined her over the edge...


Liz rested her chin on her forearm where it lay on Max's chest. They were just staring into eachother's eyes, enjoying eachother's company. Max smiled at her as his fingers continued to skim up and down her back. Liz smiled back, before kissing his chest.

"I love you." she whispered to him.

Max reached up and kissed her forehead. "I love you too."

Liz laid her head down on her arm and listened to him breath. Even knowing that they wouldn't be gone for very long, she couldn't help but feel content, just being alone with Max. But her happy thoughts were always chased away with the thoughts of his parents. If they disliked her then, they are going to hate her now, but that didn't matter. She knew as long as both o them were strong, they could make it through anything.

Liz turned her head to the sound of her cell phone ringing. She glanced at Max before grabbing it from the nightstand. "It's Maria." she said as she stared at the caller id.

"Cell phones have caller id?" he asked.

But Liz didn't answer. "Hello?"

"Liz, babe! Where the hell-"

"We're fine." Liz said before she could finish. "Just tell everyone we're fine and we'll be home soon."

"But-" before Maria could say anything Liz hung up.

She cringed at the way she had just treated her best friend, but she couldn't give out too much. Liz looked at Max as he brought his hand up to cup her cheek. "Everything is going to be okay." he told her.

Liz nodded, and then grinned. "Your parents are going to be seriously pissed. Then they'll never let you see me again." she said. The grin suddenly left her face. "How are we going to deal?"

"Well," he said as he rolled onto his side. "We, um...We could always get married.....?"

Liz just stared at him, her expression unreadable. "Liz?" he asked. "Say something."

She sat up in bed, clutching the sheet tightly to her body. "I, um, I can't deal with this right now.." she said as she started to leave the bed.

"Liz, wait." he said grabbing her hand and pulling her back. "I know it's extreme, but-"

"No, Max, we can't." she said shaking her head. Her eyes were wide and Max could tell she was afraid..

"Liz.." he said trying to get her to look at him. "Do you not want to marry me?"

She shook her head quickly. "That's not it, Max. It's just.." she trailed off, before she started shaking her head again. "We just can't."

"Why not?"

"We just can't!" she insisted as she wrapped the sheet all around her. She tried to walk out but Max grabbed the other head and gave it a tug, causing her to sit back down on the end of the bed.

"Why not?" he asked again. "Give me one good reason, why not? Because the only reason I could see of you not wanting to get married is because you don't love me, and you don't want to be with me."

Liz grabbed his shoulders. "You don't understand, I do love you, and I do want to be with you. We just can't get married, Max." she pleaded with him to understand as her eyes gleamed with unshed tears.

Max stared at her for a moment and watched as she tried not to cry. He cupped her cheeks gently in his hands. "What are you so afraid of?" he asked her as he caught a single tear that trailed down her cheek.

"I don't want you to regret me." she told him.

Max just stared at her. "Regret you?" he asked. "Liz, don't be ridiculous."

Liz stood up again, her hands tightly grasping the sheets. "I'm not being ridiculous!" she declared as she started to pace the short distance the sheet would allow. "If we get married now, then you'll regret me, because your parents will give you such a hard time about it, and we'll have to move in together sooner than you probably would have liked, and- Oh my god.." she said.


"I'll have the same marriage that my parents had?" she said as realization dawned on her. "You'll get tired of me and sleep with different women each night. You'll become an alcoholic, and I'll leave, abandoning our kids and they'd hate me forever!"

"Liz." Max said as he stood up, wrapping the other end of the sheet around his waist.

"And I'll grow into this miserable old hag with nothing to hold on to except the few good memories that I had until I ruined the life of the one person I cared about the most." she went on.

"Liz." he said again. He noticed her eyes were wide as she focused on everything in the room except him.

"And I'll die alone. I'll die alone in this crumby old apartment with twenty cats. I'll die on the day I'm supposed to be evicted from the apartment because I can't pay the damn rent, and no one will find me until the next morning. And the obitchuari will say, 'Lived a Miserable Life alone with her twenty cat."

Max again cupped her cheeks in his hands, forcing her to look at him. "That's not going to happen." he told her.

"No, but-"

"Liz." he said again. "I promise you, that is not going to happen." he stepped closer to her, as she stepped back ever so slightly. "We'll die together. We'll live our lives watching our children grow up, our beautiful children. You'll be a wonderful mother." he stepped closer to her still, his thumbs stroking the sides of her face. "I'll be so hopelessly devoted to you that I won't have enough time to even glance at another woman. I won't become an alcoholic, and I won't care of what my parents think about the marriage. Because I love you, and that's all the matters."

More tears streamed down her face as his words sunk in. She reached up and wiped away her tears, before stomping her foot in frustration. "Damn my insecurities." she muttered to herself.

Max laughed before kissing her tear streaked cheeks. "We don't have to get married now, we can get married after highschool if you want. But just know this, Liz Parker, I am going to marry you. I've been thinking about it for a long time, and this is how I want to spend the rest of my life. With you." he told her.

Liz smiled and leaned her forehead against his chest. "After highschool, huh?" she asked after a moment.

"If you want." he informed.

She kissed the hollow at the base of his neck. "I think I might like that." she said.

Max tilted her chin up to meet his gaze. "You sure?" he asked her.

She nodded. "Yeah, why?" she asked. "Are you the one with the insecurities now?" she said teasingly.

Max smiled. "With you? Never."

Liz smiled at his words before wrapping her arms around his neck. Max lifted her into his arms, feeling the sheet fall from around his waist and laid her back down on the bed. "I think we should go to sleep now." he said as he smoothed the hair away from her face. She nodded in response, before cuddling close to him, and closing her eyes.

"Things are going to be okay." he said as he kissed the top of her head...


They pulled the jeep up to the street across from the Crashdown. They could see the Evans' car parked infront of it so they knew they were there. Max glanced at Liz who looked at him. "Here we go." she said as she reached for the door handle.

"Liz, wait." he said before she could get out. He dug into his pocket until he pulled out a ring with a simple diamond on it. "I found I nice jewelry store while you were sleeping, and I decided I get you one now." he told her as he slipped it onto her finger. "I want them to know that no matter what they say, I'm not giving you up. Not unless you give up on me..."

Liz smiled at him through her tears, before she hugged him tightly to her. "Thank you, Max." she said.

"Thank you." he said back as he pulled away from her. Max got out of the jeep and walked to the other side and helped her out. "Shall we?" he asked as he leant out his hand. Liz smiled again and took his hand.

Two teenagers walked hand in hand inside of the Crashdown. It would have been any ordinary sight for the parents, if it weren't for the sparkling of a diamond ring on the girls hand....

Part 30

Max saw the shocked looks on his parents faces when he and Liz walked into the diner. The looks on the Parkers weren't nearly as shocked but he could see them trying to comprehend what was going on.

"Max?" Philip said as he stood from the booth. "What are you thinking?" He knew he felt deep feelings for this girl, but did he really understand what he was commiting?

"He's obvious not, Philip." Diane said as she stood beside her husband. "C'mon now, Max. Stop this nonsense."

"Shut up, mom." Max said as he pulled Liz closer to his side.

Diane gasped and covered her mouth. "Maxwell!" she said sternly. "We are going home, right now!"

"No." he said, his voice even.

Nancy walked between the teenagers and Max's parents. "Maybe we should all discuss th-"

"There is nothing to discuss, Nancy." Diane said grabbing her purse from the booth. "I am taking my son and we are going home. And that's final."

Philip placed his hand on his wife's shoulder. "We should discuss this."

"No, Dad." Max said. "She's right, there's nothing to discuss. Liz and I are going to get married after graduation, and we are both going to attend UCLA."

Diane gaped at her son, dropping her purse to the floor. She turned to look at Philip. "He's going to UCLA." she turned back to Max. "You're going to UCLA? What happened to Harvard, huh?"

"Liz is what happened." he replied.

"That's right. She is what happened." Diane said staring at the young girl standing close to her son.

"She has a name, Mom. Liz." Max spat. He really hated the way his mother was acting. Why couldn't she just except it?

Diane sighed and picked up her purse again. "Don't you understand what you're doing? You're destroying your future with her!"

"Diane! Do not say that about my niece!" Nancy yelled now taking Liz's defense. "She is a perfectly-"

Liz tuned everybody out after that. Was she really destroying Max's future? He had so many things going for him, where she will always be trying to hide from her past. Was marrying Max really such a good idea? She didn't want to be the cause of this huge rift between mother and son...

As Liz drifted back to reality the sound of everyone yelling at once caused her to cover her ears. "Everyone, SHUT UP!" she yelled over their voices.

She uncovered her ears and noticed that all eyes were on her. She looked down at left hand, gazing at the sparkling diamond.

"Liz?" Max said, seeing the somber look on her face.

Gosh, Max, she thought. This is going to hurt me more than it will you...

Liz looked up as her eyes started to shine with unshed tears. She looked down at her hand again before pulling off the ring. "I'm sorry, Max." she said as she placed the ring in the palm of his hand. "I can't ruin your future."

Max stared down at the ring she had given back to to him, and his stomach tightened. He looked up to see the door to the back room swinging back and forth.

"Max." Diane said softly and touched his forearm, but he jerked away.

"No." he said before running through the doors and up the stairs to the Parkers' apartment. "Liz!" he yelled as he came to the door. He twisted the knob. Locked. "Liz!" he yelled again and started to pound on the door, vaguely aware of the tears starting to stream down his own cheeks. "Please, don't do this. Please, don't give up on me." Max sobbed as he started to slide down the door. He gave the door a few more good pounds. "I love you...And I know you love me too."

Liz pulled her knees up to her chest. "I do love you, Max." she whispered.


Diane watched as her son came walking back into the diner. "Max." she said again trying to approach him, but just as before he jerked away from her.

Max walked out of the Crashdown and crossed the street to his jeep. He jerked the door open and slid into the car. He turned his head at sound of his parents starting there car, before driing down the street. Max punched his fist into the steering wheel, cursing his mother doing this. He roughly wiped away his tears and was about to start the car when heard a whimper, and then it grew it a bark. He looked over in the passengers seat to see Cole staring up at him with her brown eyes.

Max laughed through his tears at the dog. She had somehow gotten herself tangled into the seat belt, when they had left her out here, until they were finished speaking with the parents. He reached over and untangled her before getting out of his jeep and walking back towards the diner. He reached the door and pulled it open, the sound of the bell alarming Nancy Parker.

She turned around quickly and stared into the sad face of Max Evans. He was gently holding Liz's dog as he slowly walked in.

"Here." he said, as he set the dog into her arms. "We decided to leave her in the jeep until we were done...Discussing things with you."

Nancy watched as he rubbed his eyes, trying to keep the tears from spilling. As he started to walk away she felt her heart constrict at his pain. "Max.." she called before he could leave. He turned around and waited for her to speak. What could she say to him? "I'm sorry.."

He just nodded before walking out of the diner...


Maria slowly entered Liz's room. As the door creaked open she watched as Liz sat up from bed, her eyes red and swollen from crying.

"Aww, babe." she said as she felt her own tears welling up. She sat down next to her and pulled Liz into her arms. "It's okay.." she said to her soothingly.

Liz sobbed into Maria's shoulder as she started to rock her back and forth. Her tears were soaking through Maria's shirt and wetting her shoulder. She pushed Liz to arms length and wiped away her friends tears. "Gosh, I am so sorry, Liz." she said. What could she say that could take away her pain? "Is there anything I can do?"

Liz shook her head and rubbed her eyes. "There's nothing anyone can do."


Isabel knocked on her brother's door before entering. He was lying on his bed, his hands tucked behind his head as he stared at the ceiling. His eyes were shining from his tears and yet he didn't seem to take notice of her.

"Hey, Max." Isabel said softly. His eyes darted towards her before looking away again. "I heard what happened, and I uh, just wanted to say that I'm sorry. I know how much you loved her.."

Max rolled onto his side, facing away from her, but she continued. "And I want you to know, that if you need someone to talk to, ya know I'll be here." she said. She looked around the room before her eyes settled on the sparkling from atop his nightstand. "Hey, is that the ring?" she asked as she started to reach for it.

"Don't touch it." Max said, though he didn't move from his spot.

She slowly withdrew her hand. "It's pretty." she said softly. Finally deciding that she wasn't going to get anything from him she started to walk away. "Remember, I'll be here if you need me."


Alex stared into her large brown eyes. His lips were in a firm line as he continued to stare at her.

"Alright, you mutt." he said and watched as the dogs ears perked up. "It's just me and you. No one else is here. Now, let's see what you got..." he told her rubbing his hands together.

"Hey, Alex." Liz said softly as she entered her room.

Liz startled Alex and he jumped. "Geez Liz," he said. "You scared the bejesus outta me."

Liz started at him with an eyebrow raised. "Well, I- um." Alex started.

"I'm going to pretend like I didn't hear that." she said as she set her glass of water on her nightstand and crawled back in bed.

Alex walked up to her and sat on the edge. It was his turn to attempt to cheer Liz up, while Maria worked. "So, schools tomorrow.." he said.

Liz groaned. "I'm not going." she muttered.

Alex nodded. "I didn't think you would.." he stared at the blanket before bringing up a new topic. "Graduation is the 31st..."

She groaned and covered her eyes in the crook of her elbow. "Don't remind me."

Alex could have smacked himself in the head. "Right, sorry...I- uh forgot..." he said, trying to think of a new approach. "I got this new joke that is really-"

Liz sat up in bed. "Alex, don't think that I don't enjoy your company, 'cause I do, and I know you're trying to make me feel better. But I just really need to be alone, right now." she told him, hoping he wouldn't take it the wrong way.

He nodded and gave his friend a hug. "It's okay, I understand." before he pulled away completely he kissed the top of her head. "I love ya kid."

"I love you too, Alex. Thanks." she said to him and watched as he made his way to the door.

"Things are going to be okay." Alex said to her, unknowingly bringing more pain.

Liz laid back down, covering her head with the blanket. "So I've been told..."


Liz jerked away at the shrilling sound of her phone ringing. Her hand snuck out from under her blankets and snatched the phone from it's base and brought it too her ear. "Hello?"

"Liz." the voice of Diane Evans replied.

Liz rolled her eyes and sat up, the blanket falling from her head. "No, Max is not here, and no I don't know where he is." she said and was about to hang up until Diane spoke again.

"No, Liz, Max is here, but that's not really what I wanted to speak with you about." she said. "But I do need to speak with you. Will you come over?"

Liz didn't answer for a moment. "I guess...." she replied. "I'll be right over."


Liz walked out of her bedroom and into the living as she adjusted her jacket on her shoulders. Nancy took notice of her from the kitchen.

"Is everything okay, Liz?" she asked, wondering what was going on.

Liz turned around and face her aunt. "Actually, I don't know." she said as she bit her lip. "Diane just called and said she wanted to discuss something with me..."

"You don't have to go." Nancy immediately replied. She didn't trust Diane to not hurt her neice's feelings again.

"I know, but I'm going to see what she wants." Liz said. She had thought it over again as she was getting ready, and she came to the conclusion that she was going to see what Diane had to say. "Bye, Nancy."

Nancy called after her once more before she left the apartment. "Liz, I just wanted you know, though I didn't approve of you and Max running off the way you did," she started. "I do approve of your judgement. I trust you two, and I know you wouldn't have...decided to get married, if you didn't really love eachother, and thought it was the right thing to do."

Liz smiled sadly at her aunt before walking up to her and hugging her. "Thank you Aunt Nancy. You have no idea how much that means to me." she told her sincerely. She then broke away from her aunt, giving her one last wave, and was out the door.


"What am I doing here?" Liz asked herself as she continued to stare at the door infront of her. She had been standing there for 5 minutes and still hadn't had the nerve to knock. "Just knock on the damn door." she muttered to herself. She finally brought her hand up, and was about to knock when the door opened. Diane Evans standing on the other side.

"Hello, Liz." she said as she wiped her hands on a dish towel. "I'm glad you stopped by."

Liz nodded, not knowing what to think of her. Diane stepped aside and Liz walked inside. "So you, wanted to talk with me?" she asked.

"Yes." she said and dropped the towel on the coffee table. "About what happened at the diner, the day before."

Liz sighed and sat down on the couch. She should have known this was coming.

"Max hasn't spoken to me, since then, because of it." she continued.

"So, I'll go up there, and tell him to cut the crap and get him to talk to you." Liz said as she started to stand up. "Is that what you want?"

Diane shook her head. "No, that's not what I'm saying." she said. "I know I said from hurtful words to you, on more than one occasion, and I'm sorry."

Liz sat back and crossed her arms. "Yeah, okay." she said. "Can I go now?"

Diane ignored her comment. "But you have to understand, you have a background." she continued, not noticing Liz starting to roll her eyes. "Your mother abandoned you and you're two siblings, your father is an alcoholic, and the way you got into a fight with that poor, Harding girl..."

Liz scoffed. "So this is about me getting in a fight with Tess?" she asked. "Let me tell you something, Mrs. Evans, that weasel got what she deserved. She's hated me since the first day I moved here-"

"You didn't move here, Liz." Diane corrected. "You ran away. You lied to your aunt and uncle.."

"I did what I had to."

Diane sighed and sat down in a chair across from her. "The point of me calling you here is, that my son cares for you deeply, and I know I've been judging you in the wrong way. I've been judging you because what I thought you were, not who you are." she said. "So I want to get to know you, to understand you."

"I thought you understood me." Liz said. "If I recall correctly, I was sitting right here, crying because my father was here..."

Diane nodded. "You were, but it was then that I became suspicious. It was then I found out you ran away instead of moving here. Though you did have my sympathy, I didn't know what other dark secrets you had."

Liz just crossed her legs, staring at the pictures on the mantle.

"Do you love him?" Diane asked her.

Liz looked up to meet the older woman's gaze. "Yes." she said with every amount of certainty.

"And I know he loves you." Diane commented. "So I'm willing to understand and get to know you, if you will me."

Liz bit her lip and thought about it a moment. "Yeah, okay.."


Liz approached his door, hearing the loud music of his stero, ricocheting from the walls. Diane had told her to come up here and talk with him, for both her sake, and Diane's. She sighed before lightly knocking on the door, and then opened it.

Max was sprawled out on his bed, staring up the ceiling. Diane had told Liz that he hadn't moved from that position for how ever many days. She walked completely into the room, yet going still unnoticed. Liz picked up the remote for his stero and pushed the off button. He jerked his head in her direction and shot up as soon as he saw her.

"Liz." he whispered, not sure if she were really there.

Liz nodded and smiled slightly. "Hey, Max." she said as she pulled the chair from his computer desk and sat down.

"What are you doing here?" Max asked as he threw his legs over the side of the bed.

She shrugged. "Your mother called me over for a little bonding." she said, watching the shocked look come over his face. "Yeah, you heard me. Her exact words were, to get to know me, to understand me."

"I can't believe she did that." Max said. He wasn't sure if he should be happy or angry. "Well, what did you do?"

"She asked questions, I answered." she replied. "I told her about my life, basically everything I told you. And then she apologized for judging me as what she thought I was, instead of who I was...."

"So, basically, she likes me more." she added with a grin.

Max shook his head and smiled. "I don't know what to say.."

"Some of her questions were kind of....weird." Liz said, remembering a specific question.

He grinned. "Like what?" he asked, enjoying just being around Liz, even though he could feel the tension.

Liz almost started laughing again as she tried to think of what her exact words were. She shifted in her seat until her arms were resting on her knees. "Okay, so your mother would ask me questions, and I would answer. You know, part of the whole bonding process." she said as she rolled her eyes. "Anyway, it was one of the last questions she asked me, and she goes. 'Now, Liz,'" she started, imitating his mother. "'This question, may be a little personal.'"

Max covered his face in his hands, already embarrassed. "Oh gosh."

Liz laughed. "No, wait, I'm not done. Okay, so you know, I'm like...'Okay...'" she continued, before she started laughing again. "So then she goes: 'Have you ever had sex?'"

Max groaned and threw himself onto his bed, the sound of Liz's laughter drifting to his ears. "Oh, my, god." he said, emphasizing each word.

She continued laughing, trying to regain her composure. "Okay, so, I was just as embarrassed as you are right now, but I didn't want to lie to her so I go: 'Um...Yeah.'" she said. "And your mom is like. 'Oh, you poor child, does Max know?'"

Max had just started to sit up when he heard his mother's reply. "What?" he asked, shocked as he stared into Liz's red face. She was laughing so hard that she was crying. "What did you say?"

Liz waved him off, trying to catch her breath. "Liz!" he whined. "Tell me!"

"Hold on." she gasped. "Shhh, this is the best part."

She takes a deep breath. "So I am totally embarrassed right now, but I can't turn back. So I tell the truth. I say: 'Well, he should. He was there.' And I swear Max! Your mom's jaw dropped to the floor!"

So did Max's. He gaped at her and watched as she held her stomach in a fit of laughter. He couldn't help that laugh that escaped his throat, and soon he was joining Liz in laughter.

Liz's laughs died down as she continued with the story, she wiped away her tears, another laugh escaping her lips. "So, after your mother regain her composure, she gave me a light nod, before saying: 'I guess I can cross off my son, not engaging in premartial sex, huh?' and I'm like. 'Uh...yeah.'"

Max again shook his head. "Seems that you two had an interesting conversation." he said after a moment.

"Yeah." Liz nodded. "She also told me that you haven't come out of your room since. Is that true?"

He shrugged. "Max, that's not healthy. Staying cooped up in here 24-7.."

"If I recall, Liz." Max interrupted. "I think that Alex to Isabel, who told me, that you were doing the exact same thing.."

"What's your point?"

Max half smiled before he stared at his hands. Would things ever be back to the way they were with he and Liz? Would she let them? "So, my mom accepts..Us?" he asked.

"I guess." she replied. "If there were an us." she muttered.

But Max still heard her. He stood up and knelt in front of her, his hands resting on hers. "Do you want there to be?" he asked her.

Liz looked at him. "Well, yeah but-" she was silenced when Max pressed his lips to hers, in a gentle kiss. His hands glided from her legs to around her back, going even farther still to cup the back of her head. He urged her to deepen the kiss, but she pulled away.

"Max." she said, resting her forehead against his, taking deep breaths. "We should talk-"

"I don't want to talk." he interrupted, again trying to recapture her lips.

She placed her hands on his shoulders, pushing him away slightly. "But I need to." she said.

Max nodded in understanding, and let her speak. Though he still kept his hands on her. "I need to tell you, how truely sorry I am...For everything and for-"

He again captured her lips. "Apology accepted." he said when he pulled away. He was about to kiss her again when she shot up from the chair.

"How can you do that?" she asked, staring down at him.

"Do what?" Max asked, more than a little confused.

Liz stared at him. "How, can you just forgive me so easily?" she asked him, as she, again, focused on anything in the room but him. "I mean, after everything I've done. After I gave up on, you! On us, how are you able to just forgive me, and want to pick up where we left off?"

Max had already stood up before she finished. He grabbed her hand in his, stroking the back of it with his hand. "Because I love you." he stated simply.


He placed a finger on her lips, taking a step closer to her. "No buts." he told her. "You didn't give up on me. Just coming here, to talk with my mother tells me that you still love me."

"I could never stop." she whispered, feeling his hand start to stroke her face.

Max was momentarily distracted by the sparkling on his nightstand. He looked over Liz's shoulder to see the ring winking at him. He gave Liz a smile before walking past her and to the nightstand. Grasping the ring delicately in his hand, he walked back to Liz, kneeling infront of her.

"I'm going to do this the right way, now." he said softly as he slipped the ring onto Liz's finger, before he stared up into her glistening eyes. "Elizabeth Parker, will you marry me?"

Liz smiled through her tears, wondering how she had been so lucky to find this wonderful man in front of her. She knelt down infront of him, cupping his face in her hands. "Yes." she answered, before pulling his face towards her in a tender kiss.


Max gave Liz's hand a squeeze. "I don't care what she has to say about us." he reminded her again as they stepped out of his room. Both of them still feared that Diane might not accept Liz, so that's why, they both agreed, that no matter what, they were to get married after graduation. A few weeks away...

Diane walked out of the kitchen, and glanced down the hall, almost missing the two teenagers walking hand in hand down the hall. She stopped and smiled lightly at the two, before she again noticed the sparkling of a diamond ring on Liz's finger. She took a deep breath, before giving Liz a smile when they finally approached her.

"Welcome to the family, Liz." Diane said as she extended her arms for a hug.

Liz glanced at Max before letting go of his hand to accept her hug. Once they broke apart she was back by Max's side, her hand in his.

Diane smiled at them both. "So, do you need any help preparing for the wedding?" she asked, getting a reward of a hug from her son.

"Thank you mom." he whispered to her.

Part 31

"So, what do you think?" Cleo Parker asked Max as he came down the hall. "Do we like?"

Max nodded, getting another glimpse at the apartment. It was great. Large living room, with a small kitchenette, large bathroom in the hall, two bedrooms, with a smaller bathroom in one. All-in-all, it was a great apartment. "Do you think, Liz will like it?" he asked.

"I think she will, but then again, I think you know her better than I. On some degree." she replied with a hint of sadness.

Max gave Liz's mother a small smile. It was true, Max did know her better, and he believed she'd love the apartment. "I can't thank you enough for helping with this." he said after a moment.

Cleo waved him off. "Don't worry about it." she said. "It's the only thing I can do to help you guys get on your feet. Oh, and by the way, I have some old furniture that still looks great, that you can have. You know, to give it a more lively look." she added as she looked around the completely empty apartment.

"I couldn't ask-"

"It's okay, Max." she said. "I want to help. I can have some movers bring them over from my place, they'll be here by tonight."

Max smiled at her. "Thank you." he said.

She smiled back. "Now, don't you think you should be heading back. The wedding is going to be soon." she told him.

Max grinned before rushing out of the open door.


"California is great." Maria declared as she stared out the open window of Liz's other's house.

Liz and Max had decided to get married in California, since they were planning on living there anyway, and now the whole gang was there, minus Liz's father. Though he couldn't be at the wedding, he gave both Max and Liz the best of wishes. Liz had to admit, she was a little disappointed that her father wouldn't be giving her away, but her uncle had been playing role of her father. So it wasn't like she wouldn't have a father figure giving her away.

"Okay, so let's get you ready." Maria said as she turned from the window. "Wedding isn't too far from now."

Liz smiled to herself. Soon she'd be married to the love of her life...

"Well, c'mon girl!" Maria yelled from the doorway. "Let's move!"


"I look okay, right?" Chasity asked as she twirled around in the ice blue bride maids dress.

Liz smiled at her Maid of Honor. "You look great Chasity." she told her.

Chasity groaned as she pulled the thin strap back onto her shoulder. "It keeps falling down!" she yelled in frustration.

Isabel was immediately at her side in her own ice blue dress, giving Chasity her advice on fashion.

Afterwards, there was a slight knock on the door, before Cleo and Nancy poked their heads in. "Are you girls about-" Nancy started but stopped when she gazed at the beautiful girls gathered in the room.

"Just about." Maria answered as she helped Liz step down from the foot stool she was standing on. "Woops." she said as she straightened a slight wrinkle in Liz's dress. "All better.

Nancy and Cleo both stared at Liz, as she slowly walked in a circle for them to see. The white wedding gown was beautiful. The thin straps rested ontop of her slender shoulders, the simple white gown continued down her body, leaving her back uncovered, until it reached the floor into a long train.

"Beautiful." the two women said at the same time. They smiled at eachother before Cleo picked up the veil, that was laying carefully on a chair, before she walked up to her daughter and placed it gently ontop of her head.

"It's just about time." she whispered.

Liz nodded and let out a nervous sigh. Her hands smoothed out her dress down as nervousness continued it's course throughout her body. Soon, she'd be Elizabeth Evans...

She smiled. "Can't wait." she whispered.


"Max, breathe." Alex said as he straightened his tie. He then spun around, flinging his hands in the air. "How do I look?"

"Great.." Michael muttered and cursed as he had trouble with his own tie.

"C'mere son." Philip said as he walked up to Michael, showing how to fix his tie. "You've been awful quiet, Max. You alright, Son?"

Max looked up at his father, a smile playing on his lips. "I'm getting married." he said, as if they didn't know.

Alex grinned, as he leaned his hands on his knees in front of Max. "Yes you are. Do you know who you're getting married too?" he asked excitedly as if he were talking to a child.

Max playfully glared at Alex before swatting him with a throw pillow from the chair. "Yes." he said.

Jeff Parker knocked on the door before walking in. "Nancy said the girls are ready." he told them. "You boys are going to have some beautiful escorts."

Alex scoffed. "As if I didn't know." he said. "Isabel is a mighty fine piece of..."

Philip looked at him expectantly. "...Lady." Alex finished.

Max shook his head before he stood up. He checked his tie once more before turning towards the group. "I'm ready." he said.


"So, how does it feel to be a married man?" Michael yelled over the music as he sipped his ginger ale. Being that they weren't aloud to drink all of the glasses had been filled with the bubbly soda instead.

Max removed his gaze from his wife, where she was dancing on the floor with one of her four year old cousins, and looked at his best man. "Great." he said with a grin. Once again he retired himself to the sidelines from hours of dancing. Watching Liz out there, having a good time was just as good.

Michael groaned as the next song came on. "What?" Max asked, not noticing Liz and Maria starting to dance to the fast paced song.

"It's 'Livin' La Vida Loca'." Michael answered. "They dance to that song everytime it comes on. It's getting kinda old, man."

Max looked back towards the floor to see them doing just that. He grinned and watched as they started to sing the words.

She's into superstitions
Black cats and voodoo dolls
I feel a premonition
That girl's gonna make me fall
She's into new sensation
New kicks in the candlelight
She's got a new addiction
For every day and night

She'll make you take your clothes off
and go dancing in the rain

Max and Michael promptly broke out laughing when they say Alex jump between the girls, stripping off his jacket and tie, as he danced with the girls. Liz clutched her stomach in laughter as he twirled his tie in the air before flinging it across the room.

She'll make you live her crazy life
But she'll take away your pain
Like a bullet to your brain.

Upside, inside out
She's livin' la vida loca
She'll push and pull you down
Livin' la vida loca
Her lips are devil red
And her skin's the color mocha
She'll wear you out
Livin' la vida loca
She's livin' la vida loca...

Michael knudged Max with his elbow. "What you're life is like huh?" he said with a grin. Max rolled his eyes before he continued to watch Liz on the dance floor.

Woke up in New York City
In a funky cheap hotel
She took my heart
and she took my money
She must've slipped me a sleepin' pill

She never drinks the water
Makes you order french champagne
Once you've had a taste of her
You'll never be the same
She'll make you go insane...


Liz sighed with content as Max's fingers skimmed up and down her back and swayed to the music. She was now, offically, Liz Evans, and the thought of spending the rest of her life with him...With that name...Made her giddy.

The slow song soon changed to a fast paced one. "Max." Liz said as she nestled her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. "It's a fast song."

Max tightened his grip around her, and continued their slow swaying. "I don't care." he mumbled. He loved the feel of her smooth skin, the smell of her hair, the feel of her against his body... "I love you." he whispered.

She smiled and opened her eyes. She lifted her head to gaze into her husbands face. "I love you too." she whispered back, before planting a tender kiss on his lips.

"I have a surprise for you.." he whispered before she could pull completely away.

Liz grinned. "Yeah?" she asked, as her fingers curled around the hair at the nape of his neck. "When do I get it?"

Max grinned. "Soon enough." he told her.


"Max, I can't see." Liz whined as she again tripped over his shoes. "Why can't I just take this damn thing off?"

"Shhh." Max insisted. "It's a surprise."

After another hour of two of dancing and chatting with friends, they changed into their street clothes, Liz thought they should store their wedding attire at her mother's house until they got a place of their own. Max had been quiet about it but agreed, before he told her it was time for the surprise and blind folded her.

"Almost there." he said as he opened up the door and ushered her inside. "Okay, now, stand here." he told her as he started walking backwards, his eyes still on her. "No, peeking."

"Yeah, yeah." she said as she stood as still as possible, until she heard his retreating feet. "Max?" she called, but with no answer. "Okay, Max, where'd ya go?"

"I'm here.." he called as she heard his footsteps coming closer. She vaguely heard a whimper, before Max's voice reappeared. "Okay...Let's get this off of you.." he said as he grabbed the blind fold and gently pulled it from her head.

Liz blinked a few times before her vision focused on the beautiful apartment in front of her. Sitting in the middle of the large living room was her dog cole, with a red ribbon tied around her neck, and Max was standing next to her.

"You like?" he asked and gauged her reaction.

Liz didn't respond but ran down the hall to look at the different rooms. She finally reached the bedroom, where she knew, she and Max would be sharing. It was complete with a bed and two dresses, nightstands on each side of the bed. She squealed with delight before she jumped up onto the bed, throwing the blanket aside and crawling under the satin sheets.

She didn't hear Max walk into the bedroom until he crawled into bed with her. Only to be rolled onto the floor from the impact of Liz jumping into his arms.

"I love it!" she said as she smothered his face with kisses. She sat up, straddling his hips. "But how did you afford all of this, I mean...I had to have cost a fortune."

He sat up, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissed her neck. "Actually, it was more of a donation from your mom." he told her.

"My mom?" she asked shocked and looked around the room. "She did this?"

"Oh, yeah, but it was my idea..ya know." he told her quickly, wanting to get some credit.

Liz grinned before she wrapped her arms around his neck, and planted a firm kiss on his lips. She felt his hands slid up her shirt before he pulled it completely over her head. Max smiled when he found she hadn't bothered to put on a bra. He glanced at her before taking a taunt nipple into his mouth. Her moans reached his ears as she arched her back, as he took more of her into his mouth. He thoroughly loved her first breast, his tongue circling her nipple, before he switched breasts, giving it the same attention.

Max stood to his feet, Liz's legs wrapping around his waist, and he walked the short distance to the bed, carefully setting her down. His mouth found hers again in a kiss full of passion and love, as his fingers fumbled with the buttons on her pants. At the same time Liz was unbuttoning his shirt and slipped it off his shoulders. She placed open-mouthed kisses across his shoulders and up his neck before she found his lips.

By now Max had successfully gotten her pants and panties off and was kissing his way down her body, until her reached the curls at the junction of her legs. He delicately opened her folds and licked the length of her. She moaned, lifting her hips from the bed, Max's head following her every moment. He continued to devour her moist flesh, until he could feel her hips bucking more frantically against his face, as her orgasm started to build. He found the pink nub peeking through her folds and sucked it between his lips, carrying her over the edge.

After she calmed back down from her heightened experience, Max crawled back up her body, softly kissing at the beads of sweat that had collected in the hollow of her neck. He smoothed her hair from her face and planted a kiss on her forehead.

"I love you." he whispered to her.

"I love you too." she replied, as her hands crept to the snap of his jeans. She pulled at his jeans and boxers down until he was lying onto of her completely naked. She reached up and kissed his chin before kissing him deeply on the mouth. She felt his tongue duel with hers. Liz moaned when she felt Max glide into her slick heat.

Max pulled out slightly, before slowly gliding back into Liz. Everything about this moment was special, even more special than the first time they had ever made love. This moment was their first time as a married couple, the whole reason why he wanted to take it slow, to make it last. He heard Liz moan as he entered her with another agonizingly slow stroke. Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck, as her hips did his waist, bringing him deeper inside of her. Liz met him thrust for thrust, until they couldn't bear it any longer, and Max quickened his pace. His thrusts went faster and deeper inside of her until they both were thrown over the edge in ecstasy.

Max rolled them over until Liz was resting comfortably against his chest. He grasped the sheet in his hand and covered their bodies. He felt Liz kiss his neck as she snuggled closer to him.

"I love you Max Evans." she said as she slowly started to drift off to sleep.

Max smiled and ran his fingers through her hair. "I love you too, Liz Evans."