Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 64 - 2/21/16

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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sarammlover
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by sarammlover » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:24 am

WELCOME BACK!!!!!! I am so happy for Max and Ava's reunion. It seemed to go exactly as I imagined....slow for a second but the rushing hug...perfect. I am glad Jenny has come to terms that her sperm donor is a total piece of trash. She is going to thrive with Alex and Isabel and I couldn't be happier. I am waiting for the new relationship between Max and Isabel to come forth now. I would love to see where that goes.

On a side note, when you created Shakes....does he have a face you think of?? Just wondering.

It was a good conversation between Jeff and Max. I like they really do have mutual respect and I think it will go far.

Such a great update!!!!!!!! Im already waiting for the next one.

Hugs, Sara

keepsmiling7
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by keepsmiling7 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:49 pm

Outstanding......worth the long wait.
Love that Max can finally settle down, new home and all.
So cute, him at meeting the new neighbors......with Diablo of course.
Free at last, and the long awaited meeting with Ava. All is well.
How wise of Kyle to suggest he and Liz give the two a few minutes together.
Jenny is in a good place, and I am happy with turn of events.
Thanks,
Carolyn

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dreamon
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by dreamon » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:03 pm

So happy to see a new part! Now don't be gone for long!!!
I have a few dreamer challenges in mind if you are looking for ideas so pm me!

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dreamon
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by dreamon » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:16 pm

Please post more soon!
I have a few dreamer challenges in mind if you are looking for ideas so pm me!

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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by Alien_Friend » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:18 am

Friendly bump!

I hope that the spring has been treating you well thus far and that RL will allow you sometime soon to get back to this. :D
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begonia9508
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by begonia9508 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:54 am

Alien_Friend wrote:Friendly bump!

I hope that the spring has been treating you well thus far and that RL will allow you sometime soon to get back to this. :D

Yeah... I would really like a new part too... eventually! EVE :wink: :mrgreen:
- Les jouissances de l'esprit sont faites pour calmer les orages du coeur!
- On reconnaît le bonheur au bruit qu'il fait quand il s'en va!
- L'amour vous rend aveugle et le mariage vous redonne la vue!

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ArchAngel1973
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Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 62 - 5/23/15

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Sat May 23, 2015 9:39 pm

Roswelllostcause: Lol, well, Liz will always be his baby girl and even though Max never intended to, he did put her in danger.

Alien_Friend: He is indeed. The good thing is that Jenny can move on now. She has some closure on that situation and she can fully embrace her new life with Alex and Isabel.

Max and Ava have an opportunity to have new lives free of Knight’s shadow and I think they’ll make the most of that.

He’s getting closer to connecting with Isabel… however, he had some other things he wanted to take care of first so he’s forced me to add an additional chapter that I wasn’t expecting, lol.

I think Jeff and Max are going to have a great relationship.

Eva: Lol, keep dancing because due to Max having his own mind about how things were going to go there are still three chapters, this one included!

Poor Jenny had to deal with a tough situation with her biological father, but having that finally behind her will allow her to move forward. It’s sad that sometimes children so young have been through so much that they’re so much older than they should be.

begonia9508: Thanks!

The two of them have been through the wringer, but they’re finally at a place where they can really begin to live.

It’s always possible that Donnie was so harsh on purpose, knowing he had nothing to offer Jenny. But being free of him she will have a chance to have a good life without those questions hanging over her head.

Yep, Max is smart about that. He knows having a routine will be helpful as he adjusts to his new life.

sarammlover: Thanks! Yep, that moment of shock, disbelief, hesitation, it passed briefly. Lol, Jenny’s on her way to having a great life with parents who will make sure she’s safe and loved. We will get to see Max and Isabel… but in the next part because he got a little pushy about an extra scene or two.

Y’know, I hadn’t put a face on Shakes when I created him, but a while back I caught part of an episode of Revenge… I know, I’m probably the only person in the country who hasn’t actually watched it, lol. Anyway, it was an early episode and when I saw the character Nolan I thought, ‘this guy could be Shakes’. I don’t know much about the character, just that he seemed to be behind the scenes and pulling a lot of strings and physically he sort of reminded me of Shakes.

Yep, I think Max and Jeff are gonna have a great relationship.

Thanks! Hopefully the next one will be faster. I’ve already got the first half of it done. ;)

keepsmiling7: Thanks!

Yep, and it would appear he’s going to settle in well.

Diablo’s enjoying his outings with Max.

Jenny’s finally free to pursue her life now that she has that meeting out of the way.

dreamon: Thanks! I try, lol, but RL sometimes has other ideas!


Part 62

As promised the weather in San Diego was perfect. It was a balmy sixty-five degrees and there was a light breeze playing through the trees. The guesthouse was visible from the back deck, a large airy structure that now housed four of his people. The main house was huge and after nearly a week he still hadn’t been in all of the rooms. There was a beautiful view of the ocean from more than half of the rooms in the house and even now he could hear Alejandra singing quietly while she worked inside.

Dimitri was camped out in his study, the glass doors that opened out onto the back deck open wide and if he turned his head just right he could hear the rapid-fire pecking as he pounded away on the keyboard. In all honesty he’d expected Dimitri to push him, even if only a little, but he’d been true to his word. He’d given him plenty of space and in many ways it was very similar to the arrangement they’d had in New York. In a reversal of roles Dimitri was the one who was busy most of the time and he was often left to his own devices.

He’d been surprised to learn that the man was an aspiring writer and holing himself up in his study for hours on end wasn’t uncommon. It had given him plenty of time to himself but without his mission to rid the planet of Knight and his minions he’d found himself with too much time on his hands and nothing to occupy his mind. He was glad Knight was dead and he was equally glad that he was the one who’d pulled the trigger. He had no regrets about it. But in spite of that something inside of him was struggling with that moment.

He did his best to shove those feelings down and hold them there but the more time he spent on his own the harder it was getting to ignore them. The last couple of nights he’d slept even less than normal, waking from nightmares and getting up to prowl around the house restlessly. He felt like a battle was being waged inside of him, like he was being pulled apart at the seams, and even though he continued to fight it, tried to control it, he could feel his grasp on it slipping.

He turned his head to the side when the door to the guesthouse opened and Martinez stepped outside with Bernard, the two of them warming up before setting out for a run on the beach. It was a good quarter mile trek to get to the beach but every day without fail they were out there. He moved back and watched as Liam left the guesthouse, his moves shadowed by Duncan. The two men were slowly healing and regaining their strength with each passing day and as usual, where one was the other was always close by.

He paused and turned his head when it suddenly went silent and after a few minutes of listening he turned and walked down to the study. He peered inside and found the room empty. It was unusual for Dimitri to disappear when he was so absorbed in his work and that alone had him slipping into the house to go in search of the other man.

The house was even larger than he had been led to believe and it took several minutes for him to find his way back to the foyer. He cocked his head to one side, listening and finally catching the muted sounds of hushed conversation. It took a few moments to determine the voices were coming from the second floor and he took the steps two at a time when his curiosity got the best of him.

He wandered along the wide corridor that bisected the rooms on the second level, his thoughts busy trying to sort out what he was going to do with himself. What was he going to do with the six people that had insisted on tagging along with them? He still didn’t have any kind of an answer for that one, wasn’t even sure where to start. Alejandra had made herself right at home in Dimitri’s kitchen and she was happy to cook and clean to her hearts’ content. Otto still served in the capacity of bodyguard and chauffer, and when he wasn’t engaging in either of those activities he was helping Alejandra.

He just didn’t know what to do with the others. They weren’t going to be happy remaining inactive for very long. He frowned when he realized he had lost track of the voices and he stood still for a moment, listening and finally locating them again. He rolled his eyes and headed back to the staircase when he realized they were downstairs. He hadn’t yet become accustomed to the acoustics in the house and it was throwing off his sense of direction.

It took him several more minutes to locate Dimitri and he hung back when he tracked them down in what he had discovered was a guestroom. He crossed his arms over his chest as he listened, out of boredom rather than because it mattered who Dimitri’s company was. Or so he told himself.

“The room’s perfect, Dimitri,” the woman gushed. “You shouldn’t change a thing.”

Shakes rolled his eyes.

“It’s perfect for a guestroom,” he agreed, “but as we discussed previously, I have another use intended for this room.”

“And you’re certain you want the windows covered? I mean, there’s so much natural light and the view of the ocean’s simply breathtaking. Granted, it’s not as beautifully situated as your bedroom, but it’s still a lovely location for a guestroom.”

How the hell did she know where D’s room was?

“Well, you would know.” He laughed and the sound was warm and infectious. “I’m not using it for guests and I’ve got plans to put the space to good use.” He shifted back to the doorway when he heard quiet footsteps and he caught a fleeting glance of David as he disappeared around the corner.

“You’re sure you want to cover all the windows?”

“All of ‘em,” he confirmed. “I’ve got the specs for what I want in the office. If you’ll hang here a minute I’ll get them and you can see what you think.” He hurried down the corridor, slowing when he saw David standing on the deck, his hands clenched on top of the stone wall that bordered it. “Hey, you get anything to eat yet?”

“Not hungry,” he muttered without turning his head.

Dimitri nodded. “I have a guest to tend to, but maybe you’ll be up to lunch later.”

“Whatever.”

Was there even the slightest chance that David was jealous? That thought made him smile even as he shook his head. It was unlikely. Not at this stage. David was still trying to make sense of the situation, trying to determine what he was ready for. They weren’t in an actual relationship and he knew the closest David had ever come to anything resembling one was when Jeremy had been in his life. Jealousy was a foreign concept to him at this point.

When Dimitri went back inside Shakes walked around the house, leaving the grounds through the gate next to the main entrance. For the next couple of hours he wandered around the area and eventually found himself down on the beach. He walked along the sand, moving closer to the surf with every step. He finally stopped when the waves rolled over his feet and he stood there, staring out at the water.

What was he doing here?

Dimitri had made a good argument for him to accompany him to San Diego, but he felt as out of place here as he had anywhere else. He knew what Dimitri wanted and he knew he wouldn’t be the one to give it to him. He could, and in time would, share the man’s bed, but anything more than that just wasn’t in him to give. He didn’t have a clue what it took to make a relationship work, but he knew it required more than mutual attraction.

He sighed loudly as he stepped back out of the surf and turned to make the trek back to the house. He wasn’t any closer to an answer and he doubted it existed anyway. He paused when he reached the gates that stood open to the property and the long driveway bordered by a manicured lawn seeming to extend a welcome. The gates closed behind him and he knew that meant he was being watched.

Probably by D, he thought as he took his time walking up to the house. The man had made it a habit of watching for him when he wandered off and somehow it was as comforting as it was unsettling. He went to his room and cleaned up before giving in to the insistent rumbling as his stomach reminded him that he hadn’t eaten since the night before.

“Hey, you gonna join us for lunch?” Dimitri asked when he glanced up and caught sight of David hanging back by the door.

“Maybe.” He shrugged and frowned a moment later. “Who’s us?” His appetite took a nosedive at the thought that Dimitri had invited the woman to stay. “Your lady friend?”

He chuckled and shook his head. “Your entourage. They’ve got something they wanna talk to us about.”

Had they decided to go back to New York? He was still certain they were wasting their time following him to California. “Fine.”

“I thought we’d eat out on the deck, take advantage of the nice weather. Go grab a seat and I’ll bring you a plate. They’ve already got theirs.”

“Nothing too – “

“David, I know,” he interrupted and waved him out of the room. He could eat hot and spicy food until the sun went down but he’d become familiar with his companion’s habits and he ate very little that fell in that category. He had a sensitive stomach, especially when he was agitated about something. He motioned to Alejandra when she stared after her employer. “C’mon, you’d better get a plate before it’s all gone.”

She chuckled and shook her head. “You would not do that.”

“No, but you forget – we’ve got five others giving us a hand and your cooking always disappears fast.”

She blushed lightly at the compliment and reached for a plate, pausing when she saw Shakes moving past the windows where the curtains danced on the light breeze. “He eats too little, Mr. Dimitri,” she said quietly, her tone filled with concern.

“Give it time.” He smiled reassuringly. “At least he is eating.”

“Si.” She filled her plate, casting a brief glance at the small portions on the second plate he was filling before she made her way outside.

Dimitri took a bite of the meat on his plate, seasoned with hot spices and smothered with roasted green chiles and sautéed onions. Damn, she could cook! The meat on David’s plate had been cooked separately, gently seasoned specifically for him. He set the plates on a tray and got a bottle of beer for him and a water for David before going out to join the others.

He took his seat and set everything in its place before leaning the tray against the wall. He didn’t call David, knowing he’d sit down when he was ready. Conversation around the table flowed easily and he was drawn into it without effort. Before long David joined them, probably due to hunger more than anything else and only after he had eaten about half of his food did Dimitri nod at the others.

“So, we been doin’ some thinking, Boss,” Martinez said, drawing his attention. “We’re all here and we work pretty well together and we thought maybe we’ve got something to contribute.” She picked up the newspaper clipping that was held in place by her glass and she held it out to him.

The others followed suit and Shakes accepted the clippings. He rested his fork against the edge of his plate and reached for his bottle of water as he looked at the people gathered around the table. After a moment he dropped his gaze to the clippings and he took the time to read each of them. Story after story of the injustices visited upon the innocent. “You want to do what, exactly?”

“We helped Evans, right? We took Knight down.” She shrugged. “None of the situations in those clippings are on that level, but these people need someone to stand up for them, give them a hand and help them get justice.”

He shook his head. “After all you went through,” his eyes locked on Liam and Duncan, “you can’t possibly want to pursue something like this. The two of you nearly died, and Duncan, you were so close people thought you were dead.” His gaze lowered to the clippings and he shuffled them around to find one that stood out. “How do you propose to find the driver in a hit and run?” He shuffled them again. “Or prove that these people are being evicted illegally?” He ran a hand through his hair and pulled another one out. “Dumping illegal toxins in local rivers? Do you have any idea what it would take to prove something like this? What kinda time would have to be invested? Or the danger involved?”

He sighed and picked the water bottle up again. “There would have to be computers and special programs, surveillance equipment, audio and visual…” He tapped the bottle against the table as he read through the articles again. “You’re adults, if you wanna do this,” he shrugged, “do it.”

“Boss, we’re the muscle,” Liam rasped. “You’re the brains behind the operation and it’s what works for us.”

“I’ve already had my contractor out here to go over what would be necessary to restructure the guestroom in the southeast corner.”

His eyes flicked to Dimitri and he scowled at the hint of humor in his eyes. “Your visitor earlier today,” he guessed.

“Um-hmm, and all it’ll take is one word from you and I’ll have her back out here to begin work on the room.”

“C’mon, Boss, we could do some good out here,” Bernard spoke up.

Shakes looked around the table at them before dropping his gaze back to the clippings. “Even if I agreed to this, we’re still a couple of months away from being ready to pursue cases like these. You’re still healing and even the simplest case would require you to be in top physical condition. Anything else would be dangerous.”

“All we need is to know you’re onboard,” Duncan said.

He contemplated their request for a while and they dropped the subject while they finished the meal, conversing about other things and giving him space. By the time they were stacking their dishes and getting up to carry them inside he pushed back and nodded. It would be good to have something to keep him busy and getting everything set up would keep his mind occupied. “I’ll agree to this as long as you all agree we do nothing to get involved until you’re all physically ready.” He shot a look at Dimitri when he smirked. “We’ll discuss that little scene with your contractor later.” He pushed back from the table and stood up, setting his plate on top of Dimitri’s and taking the clippings with him as he disappeared into the house.

*****

Jim Valenti entered the house behind his dad and he chuckled as the sounds of family welcomed him home. There wasn’t a better sound in the world and there wasn’t a better feeling than knowing they were all safe and happy. Well, maybe not everyone, he thought when Hunter screamed and then started crying. He could tell from the tone that he wasn’t hurt – the way his grandson sounded when he was angry was completely different than when he’d been hurt.

And the moment he stepped into the living room he knew exactly what was wrong with the boy. Maria was holding Cadence and talking to Ava and he obviously didn’t like it one bit. Michael walked through the door just as Hunter threw himself down on the floor, his rump in the air as he buried his face in his arms and cried.

“Alright, that’s about enough of that.” He gave his boy’s backside a gentle pat before scooping him up and cradling him against his chest. Hunter threw himself against Daddy’s shoulder, hanging there limply as he gnawed on a handful of his tee shirt.

“He’d better get used to it now,” James said with a gruff chuckle.

“What’s that?”

“Competition.”

Jim glanced at his dad and they shared a laugh at the baffled expression on Michael’s face. “Son, you see that look on her face?” He slapped him on the back. “That’s the look they get when they start getting the baby fever.”

“The what?”

James laughed and stepped around them to get to the coffee waiting in the kitchen. “It’s exactly what it sounds like, boy. It won’t be long before that’s the topic of conversation at your house.”

Michael rubbed his son’s back, feeling him calming down by degrees. He watched Maria as she handed Cadence back over to Ava and he could see the reluctance in her expression. He smirked when she caught him watching her and she gave him an unapologetic shrug. They wanted more kids but they’d always agreed to wait until they were a little more financially stable. Well, they didn’t have to wait any longer for that, did they? “Jim, you might wanna think about getting a bigger place or adding onto this one ‘cause I’ve got a feelin’ you’re gonna need more space before long.”

Kyle snorted as he joined them. “Maria’s not the only one who’s got that look in her eye.” He reached over and gave his dad a shove. “Mom’s got it too.”

Jim shook his head. “Keeping the grandkids once in a while’s one thing. I’m not ready to tackle that again full-time.”

“Oh, c’mon, Dad. It’s too early to put you out to pasture, you old bull.” His hands settled on the older man’s shoulders, squeezing them before giving him a nudge towards the kitchen. “Go get her.”

Michael snickered when Jim just shot a look at them. “Don’t even bother.” He shook his head. “As many times as we’ve caught the two of you makin’ out?” He shrugged. “Just sayin’, you must still have it.”

“I do,” he said with a grin. “And I don’t have to work around middle of the night feedings and diaper changes.”

“Do I want to know why they look like that?” Amy asked when she walked in and saw them gawking at her husband.

He shook his head and took her in his arms, dancing her into the kitchen.

“Your parents are so sweet,” Ava said.

“It was embarrassing when we were younger, but I can appreciate it so much more now.”

Kyle laughed as he sat down next to Ava and reached for Cadence. “Yeah, especially since we have our own kids to warp now.”

“If you think you two are warped by your parents’ behavior then Cadence and Hunter will be so lucky.” She rolled her eyes at him.

Maria nodded in agreement. “Of course, I’ll never get Michael do dance around the house with me. I’ll probably have to dance with Manny at my own wedding.” She stood up and took Hunter from him when he said nothing to negate her statement. “Go change your shirt. We need to be leaving pretty soon.”

“Go bye?” Hunter asked, forgetting that he was put out with Mama.

“Not you,” she said with a shake of her head. “You get to stay with Grandma and Grandpa.”

He turned his head to look at Cadence and after a moment he pointed at the baby. “Bye?”

“No, she’s staying here.”

He frowned. “No, Mama.”

“Yes.”

He stuck his bottom lip out and before long his eyes filled with tears. “Go bye?” he tried again, his voice wavering.

“Are you trying to get out of going to the zoo with Grandma and Grandpa?” Amy asked as she took her grandson and pressed a noisy kiss to his cheek.

His eyes widened and he stared at Grandma. “Zoo?” His ‘z’ sounded more like an ‘s’ but no one corrected him. He rested his right arm on her shoulder as he turned to point at Cadence again. “Go bye?”

“No, she’s going to the zoo with us and you can show her all the animals you know.” She just chuckled when he made a face. “You can take Grandpa on the train.” She dangled that carrot in front of him, knowing he couldn’t resist, and a few moments later his smile broke through.

“What train are they taking?” Ava asked.

Kyle shook his head. “There’s a small train for the kids at the zoo. An adult can squeeze into the seats if they’re real creative.”

“Are you sure it’s okay to leave her?”

He smiled reassuringly and watched her fuss over the outfit Cadence was wearing. “He’ll get used to not being the baby in the family. It’s an adjustment for him but he’ll be fine.” He tipped her chin up. “We don’t have to leave her if you’re not comfortable with it.” It would be the first time they’d left her with anyone when one of them wasn’t nearby.

She gnawed on her bottom lip while she played with Cadence. “It’s just for a few hours, right?”

“Yep, and Mom’ll send us a text every once in a while to let us know everything’s okay. And we can always cut out sooner if you want to.”

“Okay.” She nodded. “You’re right, she’ll be fine.”

Maria chuckled as she listened to their conversation. “The first time’s the hardest, Ava. And Mom and Dad won’t take it personally if you call every ten minutes or if you pick her up early. Trust me though, you’re gonna get to the point where leaving her with the grandparents, aunts and uncles, or even a friend will be something you look forward to once in a while.”

“She’s right,” Michael agreed as he took Hunter and lifted him up as high as he could. “Sometimes you gotta leave these little guys with someone else so you can kinda reconnect.”

Kyle snorted. “That what they call it now?”

“Uncle Kyle’s not as funny as he thinks he is.”

Hunter laughed and wrapped his arms around Daddy’s neck as he was settled against his side.

“You gonna be good for Grandma and Grandpa?”

The little boy gave him a mischievous grin and shook his head.

“No? Hmm…” He pretended to think about that. “Guess that means somebody’s not goin’ to the zoo.” He bit back a grin when Hunter made a sound of protest. “You gonna be good?”

He nodded vigorously.

“Yeah?” He kissed his head and put him down. “You’d better go find Grandpa then.” He kept an eye on his boy as he hurried out of the room but directed his next question at Kyle. “You guys wanna ride over with us?”

“Nah, I think we’ll take our car just in case we decide to cut out early.” He stretched and got to his feet, keeping an eye on things as Ava handed Cadence off to his mom and started rattling off instructions. He chuckled and went to find his keys and have a few words with Dad. It was shaping up to be a great day.

*****

The backyard was packed as everyone settled down around the tables that had been set up to allow easy conversation. Glasses and plates were filled as Emily and Lilah bustled around energetically to make sure no one needed anything. Once they were certain everyone’s needs had been sufficiently met they disappeared into the house to allow the young people to talk without interruption.

“Parker, you sure know how to put out a spread,” Kyle said as he dug into his plate of fried chicken. He was pretty sure all the important food groups were represented: beef, chicken, and pork.

“Yeah, well, I didn’t really do anything but organize it and put the menu together.”

“My idea of organizing is ordering a balanced meal from two takeout joints,” Mac said and shook her head.

“I’d say you’re better than that.” Kyle brushed his hands together, ridding them of the tiny crumbles left by the chicken he’d been devouring. “Hell, you had everything planned out in the event the safe house was compromised.”

She shook her head. “That’s just good planning.” And if she’d been better she would’ve seen the truth about Patrick a lot sooner.

“You didn’t have the resources you needed to check him out,” Sean spoke up from beside her.

“How’d the two of you end up workin’ together? Don’t feds and local law enforcement have jurisdictional disputes over cases?” Max asked with a glance between the FBI agent and the two cops.

Kyle snorted. “My placement was pure coincidence.” He nodded at Mac. “Of course, there was a pissing contest because I am a local cop and my presence was completely unwanted and unwelcome.”

“Hey, I didn’t know if you could be trusted. For all I knew you were a plant and you were working with Knight.” Mac bit into her barbecued ribs and hummed quietly. “These are good.”

“You’d be hard pressed to find cooks as good as Emily and Lilah in any restaurant,” DJ said with an agreeable nod.

“Captain Stone wanted me out of the city for a while so things could cool down after a bust and between her and FBI Director Channing that’s where I ended up.

“So you already knew who I was when we met?” Max asked.

Kyle shook his head. “Nope. I didn’t have a clue you were the guy Ava wanted to know about until I got back to the safe house and she mentioned your name.”

“And you’re a detective?” Michael muttered with a snort and ducked out of reach when his fiancé aimed for his arm. He caught her hand with ease and shot a superior smirk at her.

“Keep it up and you can camp out on the couch tonight.”

“Uh-huh.” He wasn’t the slightest bit worried about that. He rarely ended up on the couch. Not because he was so good at staying out of trouble, but because they worked hard to get arguments settled before bed. Disagreements were a part of life but they had agreed a long time ago to give it their best effort to work things out before they got blown out of proportion.

Max scratched his chin. “So how’d you get involved?” he asked Michael. “I mean, you’re not a cop.”

“Hell, I was involved the minute we met. But what sealed the deal was the leprechaun you were havin’ words with that night at the club.”

“Yeah, I had a feeling you didn’t buy that line I gave you.”

Manny snapped his fingers. “That’s where I recognized him from!” he exclaimed. “Miguel, I could kiss you!”

“You could,” he muttered around a mouthful of food, “but I bite.”

“And he probably hasn’t had his shots,” Liz said with a snort.

The words lacked any hint of hostility and Michael let it pass unchallenged.

Max chuckled at the verbal game being played between Michael and Manny. He still wasn’t comfortable with that type of banter being aimed at him, but it didn’t bother him so much watching it unfold with them. Manny would joke with him, he’d tease him, but he respected the boundaries and didn’t take things to that level with him. He would forever be grateful to the man and maybe one day he’d be able to joke around with him like that, but he wasn’t there yet. He had been glad to learn that Shakes hadn’t overlooked Manny when his lawyer had made the rounds. He smiled as he listened to them go back and forth as Michael dodged another flirtatious and blatant come-on and Manny continued to be undeterred in his pursuit.

“Okay, but I still don’t understand how you got involved,” Liz said with a look at DJ.

He grinned with a shrug. “Michael drafted me. Which was pretty cool until people started shooting at me.” He laughed and shook his head when she gaped at him. “Shut your trap, Parker.”

She groaned. “God, you’ve been hanging around with Michael.”

“Hey, I got shot at. I even got wounded on my mission.”

“Really?” Courtney rolled her eyes at him but they sparkled with humor.

“Well, I did,” he insisted.

“Splinters of wood from impact points? That’s your war story?”

“Some of those splinters were in pretty deep.” He looked around the table when they all started laughing. “Hey, that counts.”

“It counts,” Ava agreed after a minute, laughter underlining her words. “If you hadn’t gone out there and drawn their fire I don’t know what would’ve happened.”

He smiled and bowed his head slightly. “Thank you.”

“I’m not sure about your claim of bein’ wounded in the line of duty,” Michael said as he reached for his beer, “but you definitely get credit for putting yourself out there like that.”

DJ nodded at the other man’s acknowledgment. “I’ll be happy if no one else ever takes a shot at me though.” He glanced at the people involved in law enforcement. “I know you don’t get shot at every day, but just knowing that the threat is there every time you go to work…” he shuddered. “I’ve got a whole new level of respect for people who do that job.” He tipped his beer in Kyle’s direction. “And you…” he shook his head, “you sure as hell get the extra points. Not only did you go on the lam with a pregnant woman, you hid out in the mountains and delivered a baby.”

Kyle tipped his head in Ava’s direction. “She did all the work.”

Max shook his head. “I still can’t believe you’ve got a little girl.”

“I can’t believe my brother delivered a baby,” Maria added.

“At least she was born before Damon’s men came after us. I’m glad too because it would’ve been hard to run like that.”

“You did pretty damn good when we had to vacate the safe house.”

She smiled at the man that had become so important to her in such a short time. “I can just imagine what I looked like trying to run.” She shook her head and glanced at the woman responsible for making sure they had time to get away. “I wasn’t sure which side you were on.”

Mac nodded. “The right side but with the wrong attitude.” She shrugged and gave the younger woman an apologetic smile. “I’m working on that.”

“Looking at it from your side it’d have to be hard to be put in the position of protecting someone with connections to an organization like Knight’s. You believe strongly in right and wrong but they’re not absolutes; there’s just no way to keep the two completely black and white. It’d be so much easier if it was that simple but it’s just not.”

“Yeah, it sure would.”

“Easier but not necessarily more effective,” Michael said as he elbowed Sean when they both reached for the last hamburger at the same time. “You mind?”

“Not at all. Get your fork off my burger, Guerin.”

Maria sighed and rolled her eyes as she leaned over and cut the burger down the center between their forks. “I’m so glad you’re both adults.”

“Hey, Queen Solomon, mind your own business,” Sean muttered with a disgusted glare at his cousin.

Mac just chuckled and bumped her knee against his under the table.

Liz pushed her plate back and glanced around the table, her eyes settling on the woman sitting next to DJ. To most people she probably appeared relaxed but she knew from experience that appearances could be deceiving. She was wary and it was evident in the way she observed the people around her. It was more evident when someone brushed up against her and she’d noticed DJ running interference more than once. She didn’t know her story but she recognized some of the behaviors and she could make an educated guess. Whatever it was she had a feeling DJ could handle it and if Courtney could let him in she knew he’d make a difference in her life.

“So you went up there after the baby was born?”

Courtney nodded when the brunette spoke to her. “Sean needed someone up there to provide backup and I’m in a position to be off the radar without sending up any red flags. Plus I have medical training and with a newborn and Ava giving birth in a backwater cabin I had no idea what I was walking into.” She snorted and shook her head. “Didn’t need to worry on that front. Valenti had everything running like clockwork.”

“And that’s when you went up there?” Liz asked DJ.

“Yeah, after she’d been there for a while Michael approached me about getting up to their location and then back out.”

Max leaned back and rested his arm on the back of his girlfriend’s chair. “Shakes contacted you about that?” he asked.

“He was in contact with them,” Michael answered with a nod at Sean and Mac.

“Shakes made contact with me a couple years ago using a phony name,” Mac said. “He provided information for multiple busts but they weren’t on the level of that last takedown. I don’t know how he found me or why he chose me, but he continued filtering information to me.”

“But even he didn’t know about me going to the DA,” Ava mused aloud. “He probably thought I was dead.”

“No, but by the time he made contact with me after I broke out of the hospital I think he’d figured it out.”

Max nudged Ava with his foot when he saw the contemplative look on her face. “It worked out fine,” he said when she looked up and he met her gaze. “Matter of fact it probably worked out better this way.”

She nodded and turned her head to look at Kyle, smiling when she caught him checking his phone. She wasn’t sure which of them was worse. His poor parents had been bombarded by texts and calls for the past hour but they’d been patient about it. “Yeah,” she agreed with a glance at the woman leaning against him as she talked to DJ, “I can’t think of a better way for it to end.”

Max reached up when a pair of paws landed on his shoulders and he patted Diablo’s neck in greeting. He picked up a potato chip and held it out, tipping his head to the side to look at the dog when he growled playfully and shook his head, making the tags hanging from his choker jingle madly.

Michael rolled his eyes when half the girls at the table grabbed the closest cell phone, regardless of who it belonged to, so they could take a picture. “Babe, use your own phone,” he complained, making a grab for his phone before Maria could take the shot.

“Don’t you want a pic of Evans on your phone?” Kyle snickered.

“Not as much as you do,” he countered when he saw his brother-in-law’s phone in Ava’s hand.

He just shrugged. “She hasn’t got her phone yet.”

“Manny, do not add me to your fantasy material collection,” Michael growled when he noticed the phone in the man’s hand wasn’t pointed in Evans’ direction.

“Oh, Miguel, I don’t need a pic for that.” Manny tapped his temple and grinned rakishly.

“Way too much information, buddy. You wanna fantasize about me that’s fine, but don’t tell me about it.”

He laughed and shrugged. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”

“Behave, Manny.” Maria stuck her tongue out at him.

“What can I say?”

Max shook his head with a quiet smirk as he reached for the steak bone on his plate and offered it to Diablo. He chuckled when the dog sniffed it for a moment before pressing his cold nose to the back of his neck and snuffling loudly. He didn’t know if that was supposed to be an expression of gratitude or what but as soon as Diablo took off with his prize he reached up to grab the collar of his shirt so he could wipe his neck off.

Ava’s gaze bounced between Sean and Mac as she tried to put all the pieces together. She couldn’t help it. If there was a puzzle around she had to put it together. “So, how did the two of you team up? I mean, you were taking heavy fire the last time we saw you.”

“After Kyle called me I started digging around for information,” Sean answered. “Uncle Jim gave me a hand, which helped a lot because there was a lot to go through and we had to keep it under the radar. I approached Mac in the hospital, gave her the option of helping out with the investigation if she wanted to see her witness come outta this alive.” He snorted. “She didn’t make it easy though. She busted out of the hospital a couple days later and showed up at my apartment.”

“And he called me to put her back together,” Courtney added. “You people have got to get with the program. Busting out of hospitals after taking a bullet, giving birth in the middle of the mountains…” She shook her head and leveled a teasing look at DJ. “Splinters, let’s not forget the splinters.”

“Go ahead,” he muttered, the gleam of amusement in his eyes at odds with his tone, “make fun of me.”

She smiled and helped herself to the cole slaw. “I will. And probably often.”

He smirked and got up to get another beer. “I look forward to it. Beer?”

She nodded. “Yeah, thanks.”

Max slouched down comfortably in his chair, one hand wrapped around Liz’s as his gaze settled on Ava. “Where’d the money in the apartment come from?” That money in the wall had been bugging him since the day he’d found it.

“Seth gave it to me over a couple of months and I just kept adding to it, hiding it away in case I had to run before we were planning to. But when they came after us there was no time to get it.” Her eyes widened. “I hadn’t even thought about in months! Someone’s probably found it by now.”

He shook his head. “Shakes sent someone in to pull it. He checked it to make sure it was clean and then made an anonymous donation to a couple of the shelters around our old stomping grounds.”

“I still don’t understand why he just disappeared after everything he did,” Liz said. “I mean, he would’ve had people around who cared about him, who accepted him.”

Ava exchanged a look with Max. “That’s not something everybody can handle,” she offered after a few minutes. “Some people spend so much time in a cage that they don’t know what to do when they’re let out. I think the only one who really knows Shakes’ story is Shakes. He was an enigma and he didn’t let people get close. It’s why his attachment to Max always surprised me. It’s like there was this bond between them even though he was never really close to Max. I think it’d take a very strong person to break through his walls and that person would have to really have an intimate understanding of pain to even scratch the surface.”

Liz was quiet as she thought back to something Shakes had said to her. “I’ve been bought and sold, used and abused…” She shuddered as those words suddenly reared up before her and she realized he hadn’t used those words lightly and he hadn’t used them just to make a point. She hadn’t seen it at the time but he’d been speaking of his own experiences.

Max shot a concerned look at her. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she smiled reassuringly, “yeah, just thinking how much I have to be thankful for.”

*****

Max stood at the gate he’d walked through ten years before, his eyes moving over the house that had changed very little in that time. The cold front the weather forecasters had been warning about had finally moved in and he hunched his shoulders against the biting wind. The house was white with green trim, older but well cared for. Pictures of colorful turkeys, pilgrims and Indians were taped to the windows, replacing the holiday theme that had adorned them during his brief stay.

He could remember his first night under this roof. He’d been wary and suspicious of the couple and every move they’d made. He’d slouched down in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest, defiantly refusing to participate when they’d asked everyone to share something they were thankful for before Mr. Jackson said grace – something he’d quickly learned they did before every evening meal. They hadn’t pushed him, giving him time and space to settle in, but at the time he hadn’t appreciated it. He’d been so sure they were just waiting for him to drop his guard or turn his back that he’d never given them a chance.

“May I help you?”

He was brought out of his musings by the female voice and he stared at the woman who had spoken. She was older of course, lines creased into her skin revealing a history of joys and sorrows, successes and failures. She still dyed her hair although there were strands here and there that continued to defy her efforts to completely conceal the gray. Her green eyes were as sharp as ever as they moved over him, assessing.

“Mrs. Jackson, you probably don’t remember me but I stayed with your family about ten years ago and – “

“I knew you were familiar!” Cassandra Jackson snapped her fingers. “Max Evans.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She smiled and reached for the latch on the gate. “Come inside and get in out of the cold. It’s freezing out here,” she said as she rubbed her arms briskly.

“Are you sure it’s okay?” he asked uncertainly.

“I’m positive. Robert’s just putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls of one of the bedrooms and I know he’ll be happy to see you too.”

Max cleared his throat and nodded, stepping past the gate she was holding open and following her inside. The house smelled of warm cinnamon and freshly baked cookies. She hung his jacket up and ushered him into the living room before excusing herself to collect refreshments and let her husband know they had a visitor.

He wandered around the room, his eyes moving over the dozens of framed photographs that covered every available surface. He scanned the faces, recognizing two of them as other foster kids that had been in the house at the same time as him. He moved to the mantle above the fireplace and he froze for a moment before slowly reaching for a frame near the back.

“Max, it’s good to see you, son.”

He turned to look at the man who had spoken. Robert Jackson wasn’t a big man but he had the kind of presence that made him somehow seem larger than he was. His hair was thinner and almost completely gray, his glasses still slipped down his nose every couple of minutes so he was constantly adjusting them, and in spite of a pronounced limp that hadn’t been there ten years earlier his personality was still upbeat.

He transferred the photograph to his other hand so he could shake the older man’s hand. “Mr. Jackson.” He nodded at his leg. “You alright?”

“Oh, yeah. Took a fall on the job a while back. Doctors say in time I’ll be able to go back to work.” He took his wife’s hand and sat down beside her when she finished setting a tray of steaming coffee mugs and a plate of cookies on the coffee table. “I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse.” He stretched his leg out and gave the young man a curious look.

“I remember that. I wasn’t here long but I remember at the time it didn’t make any sense to me why you always asked us to tell you one thing we were thankful for when dinnertime came around.”

“Do you understand it now?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “Yeah, I think I do. It’s easy enough to get bogged down by all the bad stuff that happens and lose sight of the good things. That’s especially true of foster kids and after they’ve been bounced around from one home to the next over and over and they’ve learned that nothing good lasts it’s hard to change that mindset.”

“It’s not easy,” Cassandra agreed, “but when you can get through and make even the smallest difference it’s worth all the hard work.”

“I wish there had been more people like you when I was getting passed around. There were good homes along the way but it never worked out.” He shrugged. “I know a lot of that was on me. I sabotaged the good ones and usually landed in a bad situation. It was a vicious cycle and I didn’t know how to stop it.” He ran a hand through his hair and sighed heavily. “I’m one of the lucky ones.” He held the picture frame up. “Me and Ava, we survived the streets and we’re finally getting on our feet.”

“We’re very glad to hear that. When you ran away we had a feeling you’d gone looking for her.” Robert picked up one of the mugs and blew on it before taking a sip. “By the time we realized you were gone it was too late because she was gone too.”

Max nodded. “I tracked down my old case worker recently and she told me you guys tried to find me for a long time after I took off.” He drew in a deep breath, holding it for a moment before slowly releasing it. “It was better for you that you didn’t find me. I got into trouble and I got involved with some pretty bad people. It would’ve been dangerous for you and your family if you’d found me.”

“You’re out of that life now,” Robert said, watching the younger man’s body language. “You wouldn’t have come here if you weren’t.” He chuckled when Max stared at him, trying to read him. “There’s no question you were headed for trouble but even as young as you were there was an inner core of strength and a desire to make something of yourself.”

“I’m not sure how you could see that past the attitude I had back then.”

He laughed quietly. “You didn’t make it easy, but we had a little experience under our belts by the time you came along.”

“I’m sorry for the trouble I gave you.” He cleared his throat. “And I came here today to apologize for stealing from you and to make good on that IOU.”

“That’s not necessary, Max,” Cassie rushed to assure him after exchanging a look with her husband. He’d been a handful and he’d been rebellious and defiant, but after he’d run away they’d eventually discovered the note he’d left in place of the money he’d taken – a promise to return it one day.

“It is, Mrs. Jackson. You two, you do good work, and kids benefit from being under your roof.” He smiled slowly. “They probably don’t realize it until much later, but it’s true.” He carefully set the picture frame down on the couch beside him and leaned forward to pull his wallet out of his back pocket. He opened it to pull out the envelope that held the check he’d written before leaving the house and put his wallet away before reaching across the table to hold it out to them.

“It’s really more than enough that you came by to let us know you’re okay,” Robert insisted.

“It means a lot to me that you feel that way.” He laid the envelope on the table in front of them before easing back into his chair.

Cassandra didn’t miss the way he kept touching the photograph he’d picked up and she wondered if he even realized it. “We wanted to take both of you in,” she murmured quietly. “We just didn’t have the room.”

Max shook his head as he picked the picture up again. It wasn’t a matter of fault where they were concerned and he knew his case worker had tried hard to place them together. It might have made a difference but there was no way of knowing and it didn’t pay to live on the what-ifs in life. “When I talked to Mrs. Delano she said you’re still taking in foster kids.”

“We’re only able to handle two at a time right now,” Robert said. “We wanted to add onto the house, put in another bedroom and bath so we’d have more room but this injury tossed a monkey wrench in the plans.” He patted his leg. “It’ll be good as new by late spring, early summer, so that’ll work out just fine.”

“Has the injury put a limit on how many kids you can foster?” Somewhere in the back of his mind he seemed to recall that homes could house up to six kids, fosters included.

“Oh, no, not at all. We sort of limited that number ourselves. We’ve adopted three kids, two boys and a girl. Shannon will be going to college next year and Danny and Joey are still a few years away from graduating. They’re twins and right now they’re sure high school’s more than enough education.” He chuckled. “They have too much energy to contain in a classroom for another four years once they graduate high school.”

“And they’re both interested in going into the military after graduation,” Cassandra added. “Different branches, but they’re sure they want to go into the service.”

The pride was evident in their voices and in their expressions. “They’re lucky kids.” He shifted forward to the edge of his seat. “I should be going.”

They stood when he did and Cassandra nodded at the picture he was holding onto. She could see his reluctance to part with it. “Why don’t you take that with you,” she said as she reached out to cover his hand with hers.

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive. If you have a chance and wouldn’t mind sending us a copy we’d love to have one.”

He nodded and walked with them to the front door. “I’ll do that, thanks.” He accepted his jacket from her and slipped into it.

“Max, do you have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving?”

He grinned. “Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, if you’re out and about you should stop by for dessert.”

Feet pounded across the porch just seconds before the door was thrown open and his eyebrows shot up as he quickly backed up to avoid getting hit or run over.

“Oh.” The girl standing there grinned sheepishly as she closed the door. “Sorry.”

“Max, this’s our oldest, Shannon,” Robert introduced her.

She rolled her eyes. “Jeez, Dad, why don’t you just tell him I pick my teeth with my fork too?” she muttered as she shook the stranger’s hand. “You look familiar.”

Max smiled and held the photograph up as he nodded.

“Cool. Excuse me, gotta hit the books before the dorks get home. I’m sure you remember how it goes. They get done first they get the TV remote for the night. Nice to meet ya,” she called as she hurried down the hall.

He laughed and shook hands with the couple. “Mrs. Jackson, if my girlfriend doesn’t have our entire day booked for Thanksgiving and you wouldn’t mind a couple more mouths to feed we’ll stop by for dessert.”

She smiled widely. “We’d love that, Max.”

He nodded and rested a hand on the doorknob as he lifted the framed photograph. “Thanks again.”

Robert’s arm settled around his wife’s shoulders as they stood in the doorway and watched the young man walking out to the street. “He seems to be doing well,” he murmured quietly.

“Yes, he does.” She nudged him back out of the way and pushed the door closed when Max disappeared from sight. “Go put the money in the emergency jar,” she said as she collected the cups and put them back on the tray.

He nodded and slid the envelope off of the table, shaking his head with a chuckle as he slid his finger under one corner and tore the flap free. “I can’t believe he came back after all these years to pay back ninety-three dollars.” His fingers closed around the contents, tearing the envelope when he pulled, and he stumbled when he saw what was inside. “Cass…”

Cassandra nearly dropped the tray in her haste to get to her husband when he sank onto the couch, worried that he’d somehow hurt himself. “Robert, what is it?” He held the check out to her and she smiled when she saw the post-it note stuck to the front with a ‘Thanks for everything’ scrawled across the yellow paper. “That was nice of…” the words died away as her gaze briefly touched on the box containing the amount of the check and they quickly shifted to lock on it again. “Oh, my good Lord Almighty,” she whispered as the amount of money on the cashier’s check registered.

Roswelllostcause
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 62 - 5/23/15

Post by Roswelllostcause » Sun May 24, 2015 9:38 am

Nice part! I can't even think of how much money Max just gave them!
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begonia9508
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 62 - 5/23/15

Post by begonia9508 » Sun May 24, 2015 10:43 am

So happy to have your story back!

And I loved the new part, especially the part when Max go back to the people who wanted so much to help him - and he could only admit it now, because at that time, the only thing he wanted was to find Ava or his sister and at the end, he will be the one to help the couple with their adoptiv kids!

Thanks - hopefully waiting for more! EVE :mrgreen:
- Les jouissances de l'esprit sont faites pour calmer les orages du coeur!
- On reconnaît le bonheur au bruit qu'il fait quand il s'en va!
- L'amour vous rend aveugle et le mariage vous redonne la vue!

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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 62 - 5/23/15

Post by Natalie36 » Sun May 24, 2015 1:33 pm

I have missed this story but boy to I love every chapter that I get :D

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