I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT)A/N: 12/2/18

Fics using the characters from Roswell, but where the plot does not have anything to do with aliens, nor are any of the characters "not of this Earth."

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Cocogurl
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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch. 14 5/20/18

Postby Cocogurl » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:32 pm

keepsmiling7 – Maria’s feelings are definitely going to complicate things for Liz and Max.

clueless – I’m glad you enjoyed and I hope you enjoy this next part.

L-J-L 76 – Things will be coming to head with Maria in the next few chapters.
-

* Song: Since You Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson *

Chapter Fifteen


After placing the closed sign on the Crashdown doors, Liz came over to the booth and set her bag down in the seat across from Max before offering some asteroid pie. He begrudgingly accepted as he pulled his notebook out of his backpack. Though he tried to keep himself focused on the table in front of him. His eyes had a mind of their own and kept wandering over to where Liz was behind the counter. Finally, he gave up and allowed himself to study Liz as she moved around putting slices of pie onto plates before grabbing two cups and filling them with soda. She was still wearing her uniform and her hair was a little messy with a few strands of brown hair escaping from her ponytail. She was beautiful and all he wanted to do in that moment was stride over to her and kiss her senseless. As she came back to the booth holding a tray of food, Max quickly averted his gaze, not wanting her to catch the desire in his eyes.

Liz set a glass of cherry cola and pie down beside Max before setting her food and drink on the table as well. She sat down across from Max and started rummaging through her back. “So, do you want to talk about why you couldn’t show up this afternoon like we planned?” She asked, avoiding his gaze as she pulled out her notebook and opened it up.

“Let’s just get this over with,” he muttered, pushing his plate to the side and opening his notebook.

“Fine.” Liz rolled her eyes and looked through the questions on her work sheet. “Question one: What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?”

“Pistachio. Yours?”

“Vanilla.” She finished writing his answer down when she looked up and caught the slight quirk in Max’s lips. She glared. “What? Is there something wrong with vanilla?”

Max shrugged and wrote her answer down. “Didn’t say anything. Next question. What’s your favorite television show?”

“I don’t know. I don’t really watch a lot of television. I mostly read. You?”

“Same,” he replied without looking at her.

“Then I guess we’ll skip down to question six. Who’s your favorite author?”

“Anything by Steinbeck.”

“He’s my favorite author too.”

They both looked up from their work sheets to look at each other and a moment passes between them, making them both uncomfortable. He looked away quickly and that’s when he noticed a blue flier sticking out between the pages of Liz’s notebook. When Liz saw where Max was looking, she tried to tuck the paper, but he was faster than her and snatched the flier from the notebook.

Max studied the paper. “Who are the Whits?”

“Just a band that Alex and Michael are in,” she answered. “They’re playing this Friday at the Quake
“Are you going to see them?”

Liz cringed in embarrassment just then. “Actually, I’m going to be singing for them.”

Max looked at her and for the first time that evening, a full smile spread on his lips as his eyes danced with amusement. “What?”
Liz’s cheeks reddened even more. “Alex and Michael asked me to sing with them.”

“Elizabeth Parker, you do surprise me,” he said with a chuckle. “I didn’t know you could sing.”

Liz laughed as well. “Shut up! Friday is going to be a disaster.”

“No, you’re going to be great,” he said.

The sincerity in Max’s voice touched her and another moment passed between them. With a smile, she leaned forward to grab the flier back when her hand knocked into his glass of cherry coke, making the ice and cold liquid spill onto his lap. Max jumped in surprise as the soda splashed onto his t-shirt and jeans, soaking through the clothes.

“Crap! Max, I’m sorry. Let me help you.” She quickly pulled napkins out of the holder and began helping Max clean his shirt. As he leaned down to grab more napkins, his shirt rose slightly, and Liz caught a flash of a strange, purplish mark on his stomach. “Max, what is that?”

Before he could stop her, Liz grabbed his shirt and lifted it, revealing a large bruise on his stomach. The horrified gasp that escaped her throat instantly made Max jerk away from her.

“Max, what happened to you?” She asked, feeling her heart clench with worry. All she wanted to do was sit him down and take care of him, but as he continued to clean soda off him, pointedly avoiding her gaze, she knew that the gesture wouldn’t be welcomed.

“It’s nothing,” he replied flatly, crumbling up the napkins in his hand tossing them on to the table as he sat back down. “Let’s just get back to work.”

Finally, it clicked for Liz and her expression suddenly went from horrified to angry. “Did your dad do this to you? Is that why you were so late?” Even as the words left her mouth, she already knew what the answer was. Max’s silence only further confirmed her suspicions. “Why do you let him do this to you, Max? You should go to the police.”

Seeing that Liz wasn’t going to let this go, Max got up and shoved his notebook roughly into his backpack. “Forget this, I’m out of here.” He slipped his backpack over his shoulder and started to leave when Liz quickly stepped in front of him.

“Max, I’m serious. What if one day he goes too far?” She said, desperately hoping he would listen. The rage boiling up inside of her was overwhelming. How could any parent do this to their child? She just didn’t understand. And she couldn’t understand how Max could be so calm about it.

Finally, Max looked at Liz, and the anger and bitterness in his eyes surprised her. “Do you really think people don’t know?” He snapped. “You think cops haven’t been called? That social workers haven’t come? They have. They don’t care.”

Liz could hear the hopelessness in his voice and it broke her heart, but she wasn’t about to give up. “You know, Michael’s dad is a lawyer,” she said. “And Michael told me once about how his dad helped this kid get permission to live on his own.”

“Fuck, why won’t you drop this?” Max bit out in frustration. “Why do you even care? Are you so bored with your perfect little life that you need to take on a charity case?”

The harsh tone in Max’s voice made something snap inside of Liz and her expression turned hard. “My life is NOT perfect.”

“Oh, yeah, I’m sure your life is full of all kinds of hardships,” he scoffed, his tone becoming more mocking. “What is it? Can’t find the perfect dress for prom? Stressing about which fancy college you’re going to get into? Did mommy and daddy get divorced? Well, don’t sweat it. At least now you’ll get two ponies for Christmas.”
“My mom killed herself,” she said evenly, trying not to let her emotions get the best of her, which was easier said than done. She could already feel the wetness beginning to build in her eyes, but she pushed through it. “That’s why we moved back here. Does my life still seem perfect to you?”

Max stood there, unsure of what to say. In all the time they spent together, she never talked that much about her parents. And now seeing Liz standing there, her eyes beginning to glisten, he felt like a jackass. With a defeated sigh, he slumped back down in his seat. “I’m sorry,” he muttered. “Look, let’s just get this over with.”

Biting back her tears, Liz returned to her and focused on her worksheet. They didn’t say much to each other the rest of the evening.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Friday was finally here, and Liz felt like her stomach was filled with lead as she sat in front of vanity in the band’s dressing room. Michael and Alex sat together on a bench in the corner of the room, chatting excitedly about something. Nicky was tightening the strings on his guitar while Marcos was sitting at the other vanity, fiddling with his drumsticks. Closing his eyes, Liz took deep breaths, trying to calm herself down.

“How’s everyone doing?” Maria asked as she came into the dressing room, plopping down next to Michael.

“Liz looks like she’s about to puke,” Michael said, looking at Liz worriedly. They last thing he wanted was her to blow chunks all over the stage.

“Shut up, Michael.” Maria slapped Michael on the shoulder in annoyance and got up to go sit by Liz. “She’s going to be great. Aren’t you, Liz?”

Liz nodded and gave them all a small smile, trying to ignore the urge to vomit. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little stage fright.”

“You’ll do great, Liz,” Alex said as he walked over her and placed a supportive hand on her shoulder. “If it helps, just picture the audience naked. It’s what I do.” Then he gave her an amused grin. “Particularly the hot girls.”

Just then Maria cleared her through and both Alex and Liz caught the look she was shooting in Alex’s way. “Do I need to have a word with Isabel?” She asked in warning.

“No, ma’am,” Alex replied, looking sheepish.

Michael chuckled at how wimpy his best friend was then smiled at Liz. “Seriously, though, Liz, we appreciate you doing this for us. And I promise that once you’re up there, you’re going to forget all about your stage fright.”

“I hope so,” she muttered as she stared at her reflection in the mirror. Just then a male voice played over the loud speakers.

“EVERYBODY GIVE IT UP FOR THE WHITS!”

“All right break a leg, guys,” Maria said, giving Michael a quick peck on the cheek and giving Liz’s shoulder a comforting pat before leaving. Liz and the guys left the dressing room and took their places on stage. Liz got up in front of the mic, looked out at the crowd of people on the dance floor, and felt like she was going to pass out. What the hell had she been thinking offering to help Alex and Michael? She could see Maria, Isabel, Tess and Kyle standing in the front row offering cheers of support, but it did nothing to quell the panic that was beginning to take her.

As the music started, the audience quieted down to listen. But as Liz’s part came up, her mouth refused to open. Her entire body was paralyzed as she stared at the expectant crowd. Her worst fear was happening. She was going to ruin this whole night for everyone. Taking a deep breath, she shut her eyes and tried to summon up some courage and that’s when a memory hit her. She couldn’t stop it even if she tried…

A ten-year old Liz Parker sat alone in her bedroom crying. Never in her life had she felt so embarrassed. Today was supposed to her big moment. Today was the day of the annual talent show. She’d been practicing all week to perform Wind Beneath My Wings and everything had been perfect. Then the moment came for her to get on stage and she froze. She looked out at the faces of the students, the teachers and the parents and she felt fear like she’d never felt before. It was terrible. She ran off the stage in tears, ignoring the snickers of her arch nemesis, Leanna Walsh and her friends as she escaped to the girls’ restroom. Eventually her mother found her and carried her to the car. Her parents tried to cheer her up on the drive home, but after a few unsuccessful attempts, they let the rest of the drive pass by in silence.

Now here she lay in her bed, staring at up at the ceiling and feeling like a total fool. She could never show her face in school after this. Everyone would make fun of her. Leanna would have a field day tormenting her. Liz-scaredy-cat-parker. That’s what she’d be called for the rest of her life. More tears slid down her cheeks as she heard a soft tapping on her bedroom door.

“Yeah,” she choked out between tears.

The door opened, and her mother poked her head in. “Hey, baby. Can I come in?”

Unable to speak through the tears, she gave a quick jerk of her head before rolling onto her side, turning her back to her mother. But she didn’t stay that way because before she knew, Nancy was scooping Liz up into her arms and holding the little girl against her chest. “I’m sorry, mom.”

“Why, baby? You did nothing wrong,” she said, softly stroking her daughter’s hair. “I’m so proud of you.”

Liz then pulled away and looked at her mom in confusion. “Why? I failed. I was too scared to sing in front of all of those people.”

With a warm smile, Nancy shook her head. “No, you were brave. You tried.”

“I don’t feel like I did anything,” Liz said, wiping a tear from her eye. “I just stood there.”

“I wouldn’t have even been able to do that,” Nancy replied with a chuckle. “Sweetie, there’s no shame in being scared. It’s good that you tried and were willing to put yourself out there. And the next time you’re up on stage, you’ll be amazing.”

“Nu-uh!” Liz cried out petulantly, folding her arms across her chest. “I’m never going to sing again.”

“Never say never.” She gave Liz a kiss on her head. “I know that one day you’ll be up on stage again and when that happens, you’ll blow everyone away. Just have more faith in yourself…


A hand on her shoulder brought Liz back to the present and she opened her eyes to see Alex staring at her in concern. It was then that she noticed that the music had stopped and everyone on stage and in the audience was watching her in confusion.

“Are you okay?” Alex asked sympathetically.

“Yeah, I’m okay.” She looked at her bandmates. “Start the music. I’m fine.”

With a nod, Alex went back to his spot and picked his guitar back up. When the band started playing again, Liz felt different. All her fears and insecurities melted away as she allowed the music to flow through her.

Here’s the thing
We started out friends
It was cool, but it was all pretend
Yeah, yeah, since you’ve been gone

You’re dedicated, you took the time
Wasn’t long till I called you mine
Yeah, yeah, since you’ve been gone

And all you’d ever hear me say
Is how I picture me with you
That’s all you’d ever hear me say

But since you been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get what I want
Since you been gone

How can I put it? You put me on
I even fell for that stupid love song
Yeah, yeah, since you’ve been gone

How come I never hear you say
I just want to be with you?
Guess you never felt that way

But since you’ve been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get, I get what I want
Since you’ve been gone

You had your chance, you blew it
Out of sight, out of mind
Shut your mouth, I just can’t take it
Again, and again, and again, and again

Since you been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I'm so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you)
Now I get, I get what I want

I can breathe for the first time
I'm so moving on
Yeah, yeah
Thanks to you (thanks to you), now I get (I get)
You should know (you should know)
That I get
I get what I want

Since you been gone

Since you been gone

Since you been gone


The audience let out a series of hoots and applause as the song came to end and Liz smiled at the crowd in amazement. She couldn’t believe the reaction she was getting or how much she loved it. And as much she didn’t want to admit it, she knew she had her mother to thank.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Despite it being midnight when they all finally left the club, Liz felt wide awake. The band had performed four more songs before joining Isabel, Maria, Kyle and Tess out the dance floor for the rest of the evening.

“Liz, you were amazing,” Isabel said happily as they all exited the club.

Marcos and Nicky’s cars were parked right next to the club, so they quickly said their goodnights before getting their vehicles and driving off. Meanwhile, Liz and her friends continued walking towards the parking lot across the street.

“She’s right,” Alex said as he walked alongside Isabel, his arm draped over her shoulder. “You have to sing with us permanently, Liz.”

Liz’s cheeks reddened. “I don’t know about that.”

“For real, Liz, your exactly what our band needs,” Michael chimed in. “I mean, did you guys see that crowd tonight? Vicky never got the crowd going like that. Please think about it.”

“Fine. I’ll think about it. Goodnight, guys.” She waved as she continued to walk past the full parking lot to where her car was parked around the corner.

“Wait, you’re leaving?” Maria pouted. “I thought we could celebrate you joining the band.”

Liz rolled her eyes and gave her friend an amused grin. “First, I said I’d THINK about it. Second, it’s late and I still have my history assignment to finish.”

Maria’s expression darkened a little bit as she looked at Liz. “With Max?”

Ignoring the mixed emotions that stirred inside of Liz at the mention of Max’s name, she quickly shook her head. “No, I have everything I need to finish the report myself. Night, guys.” Liz turned to walk away, but not before catching the relieved look on Maria’s face, bringing her mood down a little.

As she made it to the end of the sidewalk, she turned the corner to where her car was parked and froze. Leaning against the passenger side was Max with a smile on his lips, and Liz’s heart immediately started pounding in her chest as she took in his appearance. Standing there in faded black jeans and a black t-shirt that showed off his muscular arms quite well, Liz did her best not to let her see how much he affected her. Easier said than done when he looked at her like that. This was the second genuine smile he’d given her in weeks and it left her confused.

“You were great,” he said as she walked over to where he stood. His smile got even bigger when he caught the look the surprise on her face.

“You watched?”

Max shrugged, moving off her car. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Liz Parker in action,” he joked. “I hope you’ll still remember us little people when you’re famous.”

Liz rolled her eyes and laughed. “Very funny.” For a moment, it felt like everything was normal between them again. They were just Max and Liz. But then her mind went back to the last few weeks and she frowned. “Why are you being so nice to me now?”
Max’s smile faded a bit and he suddenly looked nervous and unsure—two things that she’d never expected to see from Max. Awkward silence hung in the air between them as Max’s mind struggled to form words. “I wanted to apologize,” he finally said. “I’ve been a jerk to you and you don’t deserve it. It’s just my home life…it’s personal and not something I feel comfortable sharing with people.”

“I get it,” she said, giving him a small nod. “It’s why I never told anyone about my mom.”

Max looked away in shame, remembering the way he talked to her the other night. “I’m sorry about your mom, Liz. And I’m sorry about the way I talked to you.” With a frustrated sigh, he ran his fingers through his hair. “Look, I’m not good at this, Liz. All this touchy-feely stuff. If you hadn’t noticed, the friends I have aren’t big on “Let’s express our feelings.” Most of the time, that’s why I like them, but with you…”

Finally, he looked at her and hoped she could see the sincerity in his eyes. “I don’t want it to be like that with you. I want us to be friends again, Liz.”

Every single part of Liz wanted to say yes. The past few weeks had been miserable without Max. It was like losing apart of herself. But then the look on Maria’s face earlier flashed in her mind and the guilt came crashing back. How could she put her happiness above her friend’s feelings? With an ache in her chest, she took a step back from him. “Max, I don’t this is going to work out.”

Max frowned. “What do you mean?”

“Maria,” she answered sadly. “She still has feelings for you.”

Max gave Liz a skeptical look and shook his head. “No, she doesn’t. Liz, she hates me.”

“Max, it’s not hard to tell when a girl has feelings for a guy. And Maria has been such a good friend to me. I can’t do anything that would hurt her.”

Inside, Max felt like he’d been punched in the gut, but he didn’t show it. Instead, he gave Liz a small smile and nodded in understanding. “I get it.”

Max and Liz stared at each other in silence, neither one of them ready to say goodbye to each other. More than anything, Liz wanted to run into his arms and tell him how she truly felt about him. She wanted to tell him that the only thing that mattered to her was them being together and that nothing would stand in the way of that. But she couldn’t do that, and Max couldn’t ask her to.

But just as she was about walk past him to get into the driver’s side of her car, Max did something completely unexpected. Summoning all the courage he had, Max strode over to Liz, cupped her face in his hands and pressed his lips down on hers. Without thinking, Liz immediately gave in to the kiss, moving her lips against his. The feel of his soft lips on made her entire body come alive in ways she’d never felt before and all she wanted was for it to go on forever. But almost as quickly as he started, Max stopped kissing her and slowly stepped away.

“Goodbye, Liz.”

And with that, he turned and walked away, leaving Liz breathless. As soon as he disappeared around the corner, Liz felt the sadness begin to engulf her as she realized how deeply she had fallen in love with him. “Goodbye, Max.
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keepsmiling7
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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch.15 6/19/18

Postby keepsmiling7 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:51 pm

We did find out lots of things in this part.
Liz discovered Max's secret.....
Life is not perfect for Liz either, so sad about her mother
While getting ready to perform, Liz's flash back was interesting.
Loved Max's response to hearing Maria still had feelings for him......
Carolyn

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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch.15 6/19/18

Postby clueless » Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:43 am

Great part!

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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch.15 6/19/18

Postby dreamon » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:26 am

I’m enjoying every word of this!
I have a few dreamer challenges in mind if you are looking for ideas so pm me!

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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch.15 6/19/18

Postby Cocogurl » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:30 pm

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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) A/N: 7/16/18

Postby Cocogurl » Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:26 pm

keepsmiling7 - Thanks for the feedback! Yep, a lot of stuff came out in the last chapter and it's going to have an effect on these characters going forward.

clueless - Thanks!

dreamon - That means so much to me. Thank you. :D I really hope you like this next part.

Chapter Sixteen


The universe was punishing Liz. She was sure of it. It had been over a month since she last spoke to Max and since they had the most amazing kiss of her life. But since they stopped seeing each other, she saw him more than she ever did before. At the mall, at the movies, and now sitting by himself at table in the back of the cafeteria. Sure, that last one didn’t seem like much of surprise considering that they went to the same school. But since she’d been going to Roswell High, she’d only ever seen him eat lunch outside at the quad. Now, on the day Maria forces her and Isabel to eat in the cafeteria to punish Michael over some ridiculous argument, Max decided to eat there as well. Yep, the universe most definitely hated her.

Seeming to sense her eyes on him, Max looked up from his food and locked eyes with her. It was only for a second, but it was enough to make those butterflies dance around wildly in her chest. Immediately, she looked away and tried to turn her attention back to Maria and Isabel as they carried their trays of food over to table in the middle of the room.

“Uh, so how long are you planning on avoiding Michael?” Liz asked, desperate to focus on anything other than the ache in her heart.

“Until he wakes up and realizes that a last second trip to the bowling alley doesn’t qualify as a romantic night out,” Maria answered in annoyance as she set her tray down and took a seat in between Isabel and Liz. “Seriously, Isabel, I don’t understand how you two are related to each other.”

“I’ve often wondered that myself.” Isabel smirked before taking a bite of her pizza. Then her eyes became curious as she spotted something ahead of her. “Well, well, well. Look whose back.”

Both Maria and Liz turned their heads to where Isabel was looking and spotted Sean entering the cafeteria with a couple of his cronies in tow. Liz’s heart suddenly dropped into her stomach and the thought of food made her want to vomit. “What is he doing here?” She asked, trying to keep her voice calm.

“He had to come back to school eventually,” Isabel replied absently. “I just wonder where he’s been all this time. Or more importantly, why he isn’t hanging out with Max.” She took her eyes off of Sean and his friends to where Max was sitting.

Liz’s queasiness grew as she remembered the exact reason why Sean and Max weren’t friends anymore. Unable to stop herself, she followed Isabel’s gaze to Max. “He’s been alone a lot lately,” Liz muttered sadly. In the weeks since they stopped talking, it was hard not to notice how closed off he had become, even more so than usual. He didn’t spend time with anybody. Not even Pam, though that didn’t stop her from throwing herself at him any chance she could. Speaking of the bitch, Liz thought to herself as she spotted Pam’s latest attempt to try and get Max. But as she sat down next to him, pressing her body as close to him as possible, Max brushed her off and stood from the table, taking his tray to garbage can. As petty as it was, Liz deeply enjoyed the frown that formed on Pam’s face as she watched Max. Just then, Maria’s scoff got Liz’s attention.

“That’s because Max is a waste of space. And Sean probably saw that.”

Something about the disgust in Maria’s voice set Liz off and her mouth was open before she could stop herself. “The only waste of space is Sean,” she snapped bitterly, glaring at Maria.

Both Maria and Isabel stare at Liz in stunned silence and for a moment, she regretted ever opening her mouth, but then her annoyance came flaring back to life. She knew she wasn’t being fair. They didn’t know what Sean almost did to her—what Max stopped him from doing to her—but she didn’t care. Sean was a dick and she was tired of Maria constantly putting down Max.

Soon, Maria shocked expression turned to anger. “Why do you even care, Liz?” She bit back, suspicion in her voice. “Why are you so damn worried about Max?”

“You guys brought Max up. Not me.”

The two girls silently glared at each other before Isabel spoke up. “Guys come on. Just chill.”

After a moment, Liz turned away from Maria and focused on the pizza sitting in front of her. Maria looked away as well while Isabel watched the two of them uncomfortably. Between the awkwardness that had settled over the table and Sean sitting only a few tables away from her, Liz felt like she was about to have meltdown. She had to get out of there.

“I’m not really hungry anymore. I’ll see you guys later,” she muttered as she shot up from her seat and walked away with her tray, leaving no room for Isabel or Maria to argue. She dumped her food in the trash and set the on the counter next to it. Her mood worsened when she turned to leave and found Sean standing in front of her, an arrogant smirk on his lips.

“Hey, Lizzie. It’s been a while.” He reached out to try and touch her arm, but she immediately flinched and took a step back.

Folding her arms across her chest defensively, Liz shot him meanest look she could muster, hoping he couldn’t sense the fear and disgust churning inside of her. Realistically, she knew he couldn’t do much to her in a room full of people, but the thought of even one of his fingers touching her made her want to crawl out of her own skin.

“Not for me,” she snapped back, her fear increasing when she noticed two of Sean’s friends get up from their table to stand on either side of him and make it harder for her to walk away.

“Come on, baby, don’t be like that,” he said, his smirk turning into a mocking pout. “I know we got off on the wrong foot, but I think if you gave me another chance, I could show you a good time.” Like a predator, he stalked towards Liz, forcing her to back away. When her back hit the counter, Sean quickly set his hands down on either of her, trapping her. “What do you say?”

Her jaw clenched, her hands, now at her sides, were clenched into fists, digging so hard into her palms that they almost drew blood. The mixture of terror and helplessness made her want to cry, but she refused to give that asshole the satisfaction. Instead, she kept her gaze steady on him and with all the strength she could muster, responded in the most threatening voice, “Get the fuck away from me.”

That seemed to set something off in Sean because his mocking smile faded, and his eyes suddenly darkened in anger. For a moment, she worried he might hit her regardless of the people in the cafeteria. Right as she started contemplating kneeing Sean in the groin, a familiar male voice spoke up behind her, filling her with both relief and heartache.

“Is there a problem here?” Max said as he stood behind Liz, not bothering to conceal the anger in his voice.

Max’s very intimidating presence behind Liz was enough to make Sean and his buddies back down. As Sean turned to leave, he gave Liz a little wink. “See you later, Lizzie.”

Liz suddenly felt like her legs were turning to jelly. The brave front she had put up in front of Sean was gone now and she knew she had to leave before she had breakdown in front of the whole school.

“Liz,” Max said gently, trying to get her attention. But she couldn’t even look at him. She didn’t want him to see her like this. Without saying a word, she rushed out of the cafeteria.

Max stood there watching her leaving, warring with himself about what to do. After their last conversation, he’d been respecting her decision and trying to stay away from her. Easier said than done since they always seem to wind up in the same places together, but he did his best to ignore her. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was killing him to be away from like this, but he knew couldn’t ask her to destroy her friendships just for him. Seeing how fast she ran out of the cafeteria concerned him, though, he ignored all of those arguments he was having with himself. How could he not be there for her when she needed someone? Without giving it anymore thought, Max followed Liz out of the cafeteria, not noticing the suspicious looks from Isabel and Maria, and furious glare from Pam.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Liz wasn’t focused on anything or anyone as she sped down the hallway. She didn’t care about the curious looks from some of the students she passed by. She just had to get away. As she rounded a corner, making her way to ladies’ room, the sound Max’s voice made her come to stop.

Liz!” He called out, picking up his speed to catch up to her. As soon as he stopped in front of her, Liz ducked her head down, trying to hide her face. But it was too late. He caught the tears beginning to form in her eyes and his heart clenched. “Liz, are you okay?”

No, I’m not! She wanted to cry out. She wanted to hold him and feel her holding him back. She wanted to take comfort in him, but she knew she couldn’t do that. Fighting back her tears, she looked up at Max and gave him a weak smile. “I’m fine, Max. You don’t have to worry about me.”

“Yes, I do,” he said, frustration clear in his voice. “You need to go to the police, Liz.”

Immediately Liz started shaking her head. “No, no, I don’t. Please just let this go.”

“Look, I know we’re not friends anymore and I’m okay with that.” It was a lie, but he wouldn’t tell her that. “But if Sean bothers you or anything, please let me know.”

“Max, I—” Before Liz could finish her sentence, Max’s hand was grasping hers, gently interlocking their fingers as he looked down at her with pleading eyes.

“Please, Liz. I just want to make sure that you’re okay.”

“What about you?” She asked, studying his face. “Are you okay?”

Max tried to give her a reassuring smile, but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. He looked down to where their hands were touching, taking a moment to savor the feel of her skin against his before reluctantly releasing her and stepping back.

“I’m fine,” he said. “Bye, Liz.”

Liz didn’t say anything as Max brushed passed her toward the exit at the end of the hallway. What could she say? She knew he was lying. She noticed the bags under his eyes and how his clothes hung on him a little more than they used to. It was like he was withering away, and Liz suspected it had to do with more than just the distance between them. The image of Max’s bruised stomach came to her mind and Liz worried that his father’s abuse was getting worse. Every bone in her body screamed at her to go after him, to comfort him somehow. But as he pushed through the double doors leading to the quarry, she knew it wouldn’t do any good. She knew any offer of help from her wouldn’t be welcomed and with their relationship what it was, going after him would just cause more problems.

So, there she stood, watching him push open the doors leading to the quad before turning left towards the ladies’ restroom.

Meanwhile, from the other end of the hallway, Maria stood there witnessing their entire interaction. She was too far away to hear what they were saying, but it was impossible to ignore the way Max had touched Liz’s hand before the parted ways. It looked very…intimate.

“Lover’s spat?” Came a female voice from behind her. And it was the last voice Maria wanted to hear.

She turned around to see Pam Troy sneering at her and it was hard to resist the urge to smack the look off her face. Crossing her arms, Maria glared at her. “What are you talking about?”

“Max and Liz,” she replied, internally reveling at the chance to screw with Maria. “Is the honeymoon period finally over?”

“Max and Liz aren’t a couple,” Maria told Pam, but the words didn’t come out as strong as she wanted it to.

Pam could hear it as well and her smirk transformed into a pitying look. “Are you sure about that? Liz is the reason Max dumped me.”

It was Maria’s turn to smirk as she realized why Pam was trying to start trouble. “Is someone feeling rejected?” She couldn’t help rolling her eyes at how pathetic Pam was. And she had no more patience for this discussion. “Look, I don’t care what’s going on between you and Max, but he and Liz aren’t together. Liz would never date that creep.”

Instead of getting angry like Maria had hoped, Pam continued to give her that annoyingly condescending look before patting Maria on the shoulder. “You keep telling yourself that, sweetie.”

Once she caught the look of uncertainty on Maria’s face, Pam sauntered away, feeling quite pleased with herself.

“Bitch,” Maria muttered under her breath as she turned back towards the cafeteria, her mood even fouler than before.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~


During her free period, Liz decided to go to the library to study. She was sitting at desk, reading her AP Lit book when Isabel walked over and loudly plopped her book bag down on the desk.

“Hey,” she said cheerily, earning herself several glares from the students around her and the librarian. “Sorry,” she whispered before taking a seat across from Liz.

With an amused smile, Liz turned her attention back to her studying. “Hey, what’s up?”

“Math quiz in a couple of days,” Isabel groaned as she opened her book bag and pulled out her math book, setting it down in front of her. “I haven’t gotten any studying done.”

Liz let out a little chuckle. “Procrastinator.”
“It’s my middle name.”

The two girls sat together in silence, both focused on their own work, when Isabel spoke again. “So, what was up with you and Maria earlier?”

“What do you mean?” Liz mumbled, staring at her book more intently than before. The last thing she wanted to do was have this conversation.

“Don’t give me that,” Isabel replied, the exasperation clear in her voice. “For a moment, I thought you two were going to tear each other’s eyes out. And Maria didn’t look any happier after talking to you.”

Liz finally looked up from her book and frowned at Isabel. “From talking to me?”

“Yeah, Maria followed you after your fight. She wanted to talk to you.”

“She did?” A knot started to form in Liz’s stomach as she wondered what Maria saw. Did she see me and Max together? “And Maria said we talked?”

Isabel shook her head. “No, she wouldn’t say anything when she got back, so I imagine it was pretty bad.” Isabel sighed and pushed her book away, staring at Liz with concern. “What’s going on with you two?”

“It’s nothing, Is. Really.” Hoping Isabel would accept that, Liz turned her attention back to Lit book only to have Isabel take the book away, forcing Liz to listen to her. This time when Liz looked at Isabel, she was surprised to see a glare on her friend’s face.

“Well, if this “nothing” is Max Evans, can I give you a piece of advice? Don’t do it.”

Liz immediately opened her mouth to protest, but Isabel cut her off.

“Don’t, Liz,” she said seriously. “It’s obvious you’re attracted to Max. But he’s not worth it.”

Liz’s fingers started digging into her palms as her frustration began to build. She was getting fed up with this. “Have you ever thought that maybe there were two sides to this story?”

With a sigh, Isabel gave Liz her book back, looking tired to this discussion. “It doesn’t matter. The only side that matters to me is the one that doesn’t hurt my best friend.”

Liz watched Isabel for a moment as she turned back to her math book. Her words cut like a knife, making Liz feel both annoyed and guilty. Her friendship with Maria was why she was staying away from Max—and why she was suffering like she was. But she knew it wouldn’t do any good to tell Isabel that. Instead, she chose to continue her studying in silence. The energy remained tense between the girls until a guy came to their table and sat down next to Isabel.

“Hey, Is,” the guy greeted quietly, giving Isabel a friendly smile.

“Hey, Doug,” Isabel greeted back then noticed that Liz was watching them with curiosity. “Liz, this is Doug Shellows. He’s helping me study. Doug, this is my friend Liz.”

For the first time since sitting down, Doug finally took in Isabel’s friend and his smile widened when he saw how beautiful she was. Doug blushed when he realized he’d been staring and shyly offered his hand to her. “Nice to meet you, Liz.”

Liz shook his hand and gave him a friendly smile. “Nice to meet you, too.”

The three of them spent the next hour studying and talking. Doug could feel his attraction to Liz growing the more he got to know her. He reminded himself to ask Isabel if she was single when he got a chance.
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keepsmiling7
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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch. 16 - 7/24/18

Postby keepsmiling7 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:37 pm

Sean is the real creep!
Glad Max steps in to help Liz when needed.
Sure wish Max would go to the police, but guess it's easier for me to say.
What is the deal with Isabel and Doug?
Looking for more,
Carolyn

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dreamon
Addicted Roswellian
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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch. 16 - 7/24/18

Postby dreamon » Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:57 am

Awesome part! And I agree that Liz should go tot he police about Sean. And why do I have a feeling there is going to be some major angst coming up-which I’m completely ok with. There’s just something about a wounded max
I have a few dreamer challenges in mind if you are looking for ideas so pm me!

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clueless
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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch. 16 - 7/24/18

Postby clueless » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:18 am

Thanks for the update! Can’t wait for more

L-J-L 76
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Re: I'll Look After You (AU,M/L,ADULT) Ch. 16 - 7/24/18

Postby L-J-L 76 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:46 pm

Another great chapter. I'm glad that Max and Liz are there for each other if they need help. I don't think Max and Liz will be able to stay away from each other for long. Pam needs to stop telling Maria things. Maria needs to just talk to Liz to find out what is going on between Max and Liz and not believe what Pam is saying. Oh boy Liz knows Maria saw them talking. Don't know if Doug. Why is Doug helping Isabel? What is going on between Doug and Isabel? Will Maria confront Liz? What will happen when Maria confronts Liz? Will Max and Liz keep helping each other? Will Max and Liz talk more? Will Max and Liz fall for each other? What does Doug want with Liz? Will Max and Liz kiss? Will Max and Liz get hurt? Will Max and Liz become a couple? Will Max and Liz Date? Will Max and Liz have a happy ending together?

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