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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ArchAngel1973
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Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) A/N - 1/31/15

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:28 pm

Just a quick note to let you know I'll be updating tomorrow. :)

keepsmiling7
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) A/N - 1/31/15

Post by keepsmiling7 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:27 am

Can't wait!

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begonia9508
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) A/N - 1/31/15

Post by begonia9508 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:14 am

keepsmiling7 wrote:Can't wait!

ME TOO! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :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!

sarammlover
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) A/N - 1/31/15

Post by sarammlover » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:23 am

Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

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Natalie36
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) A/N - 1/31/15

Post by Natalie36 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:16 pm

awesome :D

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

Post by ArchAngel1973 » Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:37 pm

L-J-L 76: Thanks! They’re all getting together to just hang out and put all the pieces together.

begonia9508: Very nice surprise!

You’re right on both counts. I think he would’ve been happy to know the truth as far as knowing he had a brother, but Shakes is protecting him as he’s always done.

keepsmiling7: He really did.

They’re gonna be very happy living there, all of them.

We may get one more look at how things are going with Shakes.

Natalie36: Thanks! I tried to make it for a Christmas update but RL got in the way and I got Murphy’d big time. We’ll be catching up with all of them soon.

Roswelllostcause: Thanks! You too? Lol.

Eva: Details are his thing, lol.

None of them were expecting such a reward for their participation.

It is coming to an end, but there are two more parts after this one. ;)

Alien_Friend: Thanks! It really should be, that’d be nice.

That’s a lovely compliment, thank you!

They’ll all be getting together soon.

sarammlover: Wow! That’s a lot of reading and it means so much! There were quite a few of those moments throughout the story, lol.

Oh, no, Diablo couldn’t go out like that, noble as he would’ve been in that moment. Lol, I was not expecting Pascal’s ‘resurrection’ at all. That scene just hit me out of nowhere.

The last couple of updates have taken more time between than I ever expected so I’m glad you had so much to binge on, lol.

clueless: Slow in coming but it’s here!


Part 61

Max jogged through his new neighborhood, enjoying the cool air and the quiet morning. His gaze roved over the stately houses when he caught glimpses of them through the gated entries to the tree-lined driveways that seemed to dominate the street.

Diablo jogged beside him at an easy pace, his sharp gaze missing nothing as he scanned his new surroundings. His nose twitched occasionally as he inhaled new scents and mentally stored them. There would be time later to explore them but for now he was just enjoying time with his human. They were nearing the new place when he detected movement and he looked up when his companion’s gait slowed to a walk.

Max studied the couple that had stopped at the gated entrance to his new home. They were older, probably late fifties or early sixties, he decided after a moment. The man was barrel-chested with a ruddy complexion and a thick mustache that framed his heavy jowls. He had sharp eyes that probably missed very little and a direct unapologetic gaze that was locked on him.

The woman standing beside him had pleasant features and smiling eyes set in a lined face that held a quiet beauty. Her hand rested in the crook of the man’s arm and with a welcoming smile she extended her free hand in his direction.

“Ashley Gentry,” she introduced herself with a smile. Her voice was thickly accented and suggested a Southern background.

“Max Evans,” he said with a nod as he shook her hand. She had a surprisingly strong grip for a woman of her stature.

“My husband, Henry Gentry.”

He shook the man’s hand. “Mr. Gentry.”

“Your folks buy the place?” the man asked as he motioned to the gated entry.

“Uh, no sir, I’m the new owner.”

“You’re rather young.”

“Yes sir, that’s true.” He chuckled and ran his right hand through his hair.

Henry’s eyes narrowed slightly. “We have a nice quiet neighborhood here and we’d like to keep it that way.”

Max nodded. “I’m not much of a party animal, Mr. Gentry. My girlfriend and I will have friends over on occasion but we won’t give you any reason to file a complaint against us for disturbing the peace.”

“You make more noise than that on Saturday afternoons when your little club meets,” Ashley said with a fond roll of her eyes.

“It is not a little club, Ash,” her husband huffed, his tone riddled with insult.

She grinned at the young man they had interrupted. “He’s heavily involved in Civil War reenactments.”

Max’s eyebrows lifted in interest. “You actually act out the battles?”

Henry’s chest puffed up with pride when he caught the gleam of interest in the boy’s eyes. “We do indeed. It’s an expensive hobby, especially if you go all out with authentic clothing and arms, but it’s a very rewarding experience.” He ran his thumb and forefinger over his mustache as he studied the boy’s expression. “If you’re interested you should come out and observe. We have a reenactment just a few weeks from now, last one of the year. After that it’ll be meetings and drills until next year and then we start all over again with reenactments, parades, and there are balls to attend as well.”

“They’re a lot of fun,” Ashley spoke up with a nod. “Authentic period clothing, music, and food. It’s something you and your young lady might enjoy attending.”

He laughed and shrugged one shoulder. “It sounds like fun and I might be able to talk Liz into it.” He talked with the couple for a while longer, making plans to join Henry for one of his meetings to get more information about the group and what was involved and then they parted ways.

Liz was already up when he walked into the kitchen and he could smell the freshly brewed coffee before he saw it. Diablo ran over to his bowls and after drinking his fill he wandered off to find a spot to nap in.

“I told you it’d be worth the trip to the store last night,” she said with a teasing smile as she turned and held out one of the mugs they had purchased along with the coffeemaker before coming to the house the night before.

He leaned in for a kiss. “You were right,” he agreed and took a sip. “That’s good.”

“Meeting the neighbors?”

He shifted back and ducked down to get a view of the front gate through the window. “You’ve got damn good eyesight. Yeah, Ashley and Henry Gentry, they live three houses down.” He pointed to the right. “He’s a retired history teacher. He participates in Civil War reenactments.”

“Uh-oh,” she said with a laugh, “looks like he just found a new recruit.”

“I agreed to go to a meeting. What? It sounds interesting. Ashley even participates sometimes. Apparently there are a lot of roles for women in the reenactments.”

“Um-hmm, I can just imagine how much fun that is.”

“Okay, maybe that’s not your thing, but apparently they do have a couple of balls each year; authentic clothing, music, dancing, the whole nine yards. You might be interested in that, huh?”

Oh, he had the bug. She chuckled and shook her head. “I’ll tell you what. I won’t make any promises about reenactments, but if you get into this and your regiment or unit or whatever you call it, does attend a ball or whatever, I will do that with you.” She brushed her hand over his shirt. “And when Halloween comes around, which won’t be long now, and my mom has her annual charity costume party, you won’t complain about dressing up for the evening.”

He made a face. “Okay, but promise you won’t pick out somethin’ that’s gonna make me look stupid.”

“I have no intention of making you look stupid.” She tugged on the waistband of his shorts. “Let’s grab a shower and then go get something to eat because we’re supposed to be stopping in to visit Ava at nine.”

He set his mug down and led the way out of the room, enjoying the new freedom to do whatever they wanted to do. He glanced at the clock over the stove, noting the time and making a note of how long they had before they needed to leave. Ava had waited long enough; she’d been patient and he had no intention of standing her up.

*****

Sharon Coleman looked up from the forms she was busy reviewing when someone knocked on the door to her office that wasn’t shut all the way. She called out for her visitor to enter and she smiled when she saw Jenny standing there. “Well, how are you today, Jenny?”

“I’m good.” She grinned, showing off her missing front teeth.

“My goodness, will you look at that!” she exclaimed. “You’ve lost another one!”

Jenny nodded and stuck her tongue in the gap. “Yep, it came out last night.”

“And I’ll just bet that tooth fairy paid off nicely to get that little tooth.”

“Uh-huh,” she leaned her crutches against the desk and pulled a little coin purse out of her front pocket, bracing her forearms on the polished surface in front of her, “wanna see?” She emptied the contents out and used her arms to keep the coins from rolling off onto the floor. Her eyes widened as she picked up one of the shiny gold colored coins. “Just look at it. Just that one’s a whole dollar!”

“Oh, my, that was a powerful expensive little tooth, wasn’t it?”

“Did you know there’s some coins that’s worth lots and lots of money?” She nodded excitedly. “Isabel an’ her daddy, they made a collection of them. Last night we got to take it out an’ look at it.”

“That sounds like a lot of fun.”

“Ms. Sharon?” She looked up after pushing the coins around for a few minutes.

“What is it, sweetie?”

“Do you think it makes them sad that I wanna see my daddy?”

“Sad?” She considered the little girl’s question, giving it serious thought before answering. “I don’t think it makes them sad, Jenny. I think they’re worried that you might get hurt.”

“I used to not think my daddy was ever wrong ‘bout things, but I don’t think that no more.” She crossed her arms on the desk and rested her chin on them, her eyes locked on her fingernail as she picked at one edge of the calendar lying on the surface. “He told lies an’ you shouldn’t do that.”

“No, you shouldn’t,” Sharon agreed.

“Why’d he do that? He said things that was mean an’ I don’t understand.”

“Honey, I wish I had an answer for you. Sometimes people say and do bad things and we never know why.”

Jenny nodded. “Is it bad if I don’t want him to be my daddy no more?”

“What do you think?” the woman asked carefully.

“I think he didn’t want me first an’ now I have a real family.” She was quiet for a minute. “I don’t think it’s bad. Me an’ Preston talked about it and he said sometimes moms and dads don’t want their kids no more. We won’t never be like that, we promised each other.” She stacked her coins and restacked them several times. “I just gotta make sure he don’t want me anymore.”

*****

Kyle watched Ava as she tried hard not to be so obvious about watching the front door. She jumped at every sound, so eager to finally see her best friend that the slightest noise from the other side of the door immediately had her attention.

“Liz said they’d be here at nine.” He glanced at his watch. “Still got about ten minutes.”

Ava elbowed him. “I know. It’s stupid to be nervous. It’s just Max, but I can’t help it.”

“He probably feels the same way.”

She snorted at that and got up to refill his coffee cup. It was still half full but she needed something to do.

“He’ll understand why you disappeared like you did. He knows you could’ve compromised your safety if you’d told him what was going on.” He shook his head. “He’s not gonna blame you for anything that happened.”

“No, you’re right about that. Max has always been big on accountability and he doesn’t believe in blaming anyone else for your problems.”

“But…?” he prodded as he joined her in the kitchen and leaned back against the dishwasher.

“But,” she sighed, “he wouldn’t have been in that situation if he’d known what was going on.”

“Knight would’ve gone after him either way, Ava. It was about control with him. If it hadn’t been you it would’ve been something else.”

“And logically I know that, but then I think about how close he came to – “ A knock on the front door prevented her from completing that thought.

Kyle chuckled and gave her a nudge. “C’mon, there’s no reason to just leave them out there.”

*****

Max rolled his shoulders as he stared at the door. He wanted things to be the same with Ava. Their friendship had weathered everything they’d been through in the past and he hoped that hadn’t changed. He still didn’t know why she’d run without so much as a hint at her intentions but he was sure it had been the only acceptable course of action at the time.

He glanced at Liz when she rubbed his arm and he drew in a deep breath. “It’s stupid to be this nervous.”

She shook her head. “It’s been a long time since you’ve seen each other.”

“Yeah, but it’s just Ava. If there’s one person – “

The door opened, cutting him off and he found himself face to face with Maria’s brother. He frowned and glanced over the guy’s shoulder.

“She’s here,” Kyle assured him as he held his hand out. “She’ll be right out.”

Max shook his hand and they were ushered inside. “I appreciate everything you did to keep her safe.”

“Not even necessary, man. Have a seat,” he said and motioned to the living room. “You guys want something to drink?”

“Just water,” Liz answered when Max sat beside her and leaned forward to study the aquarium that served as a coffee table.

“So when’re we all getting together?” he asked when he joined them. He placed a couple bottles of water on the table and dropped down on the couch facing them.

“We thought we’d see how Saturday sounded to everyone. I don’t know if the weather’s gonna hold out, but my parents said we could use their house. If it’s nice out we’ll barbecue and if not Lilah and Emily said they’d be happy to prepare a meal.”

“Saturday sounds good.”

Max’s head snapped up and he got to his feet when a familiar voice answered. “Ava.” His gaze moved over her, searching for signs that might indicate anything was wrong. “You’re really okay.”

“Me? You’re the one Damon nearly killed.”

They stared at each other for several long seconds before Ava bolted across the room and threw herself into his arms. Max caught her easily and his arms came around her, holding her tightly. He could feel the tremors shaking her slight frame but he knew she wouldn’t let the tears fall.

“We’re free,” he mumbled against her shoulder. He’d been reassured she was safe but seeing her in person was what he had needed to believe it.

“It’s been a long time but we made it.” She cleared her throat and stepped back. “I wanted to tell you I was leaving but I couldn’t.”

“I know Damon was keepin’ tabs on you, Ava. Anything you might’ve told me could’ve put you in danger. It wasn’t worth the risk.”

“It wasn’t just me I was trying to protect when I ran.”

He nodded. “I heard you took off with Seth. Shakes said word on the street was Damon did Seth himself.”

She swallowed hard. “He did.” She squeezed her eyes shut to pull herself together and her fingers curled around Kyle’s when he leaned forward to take her hand.

Max controlled his surprise when she allowed the contact.

“Seth was just trying to get me out of the life and he paid for it.” He had died in so much pain after Damon had finished with him. “I was supposed to be next but there was a raid on the warehouse and in the confusion I managed to get away from them and I ran.”

He was trying to wrap his mind around her claim that Seth had tried to aid in her escape. He had known the man and he had been loyal to Damon. Helping someone get out of the life went against everything he had believed in. “Why?” He shook his head. “Why would he help you? I know you were with him, but his loyalty was always to Damon and the organization.”

She gnawed on her bottom lip for a second. “Wait here for a minute, okay?”

He nodded and stood rooted to the spot when she disappeared into another room. He had no way of knowing what she had been through and as much as he wanted to, he knew there were pieces of that story that she’d never share with him. Just as there were parts of his own story that he’d never share with her. Some things were just too close and sometimes a person had to do what was necessary to survive. It was something they understood and respected. He moved to stand at a window, barely aware of the conversation between Liz and Kyle as he stared down at the streets below.

“Max?”

He turned his head and his eyes widened when he saw the baby Ava held. And suddenly all of the pieces began to fall into place. He knew why she’d been so withdrawn that last few months she’d visited him in prison, why she’d made the choice to risk running, why Seth had agreed to help her escape, and why she had never said a word to warn him of her plans.

He reached out tentatively and traced a finger over the baby’s cheek and his eyebrows lifted when she smiled at him. He’d never really understood how people could look at babies and say they looked like one parent or the other, but he knew for sure she had her mother’s eyes.

“Max, I’d like you to meet Cadence Evangeline Valenti.” She smiled and nodded when his eyes shot to the man sitting in the living room. “He gave her his last name. Would you like to hold her?”

“You sure it’s okay?”

“Positive.” She transferred Cadence into his arms and watched them as they stared at each other, assessing the situation.

“Hey, Parker, there’s a bakery around the corner. Why don’t we run grab some donuts and give them a few minutes,” Kyle suggested.

“What is it with cops and donuts?” she muttered as she nodded in agreement.

“I guess we need something to do while we sit around on our big fat asses doing nothing all day.” He motioned to Ava to let her know what they were doing and she nodded with a smile.

“So, you and the cop?” Max asked after they had been left alone.

Ava snorted quietly and sat down in the spot Kyle had vacated. “So, you and the rich girl?” she mocked with a roll of her eyes. “Yes, me and the cop. I’ve never been in love before but I’m pretty sure this is what it is.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean.”

“I thought you might. I could see it in the pictures Kyle brought back with him.” Her eyes followed him as he moved around the room, his gaze taking everything in before he returned to his original position.

“She’s Seth’s isn’t she?” he asked finally.

“Biologically, yes, but in every way that matters she’s Kyle’s.”

He nodded. “Shakes told me you were there when Seth…?”

She swallowed with difficulty as the question sent her right back to that moment. “I was there. He didn’t want her and I knew that before I ever told him I was pregnant, but he was at least willing to help me get out. That was more than I expected from him. I wanted out but I didn’t want him to have to die for it.”

“His death’s not on you, Ava. He trusted the wrong person somewhere along the way and he knew better than to do that.” Seth had been far from being innocent and he’d known the stakes.

“I know he wasn’t a good guy but he wasn’t the worst one out there either. No one deserves to die the way he did, Max.”

He nodded in agreement. “So you went to the DA? With what?”

“Seth knew he’d been compromised so when he ran that day he took some information with him, he said it was insurance. I don’t know what was actually on it, he just said it’d protect us, and he mailed it to a post office box in Montreal. He said it’d be safe there for up to a year, giving us plenty of time to get to it. I think it was everything needed to take the organization down because Damon was pissed and it wasn’t just because he found out Seth was helping me get out.”

“You don’t know what it was?”

“I know it was on a flash drive and I know the password to access the information, but beyond that, no.”

He chuckled and sat down next to her. “You bluffed your way into protective custody.”

“No,” she denied and then shrugged when he just looked at her. “Well, not completely. I mean, the evidence did exist, I just didn’t know what it entailed and I didn’t want my daughter born in a prison.” She shook her head. “I had no expectation of walking away from that situation clean.”

“Yeah,” he laughed quietly, “that makes two of us.”

Ava leaned over to thump his leg with her fist. “I can’t believe you got back into the life.”

“Hey, you disappeared on me and you were in the life because of me.”

“When are you gonna get it through your thick skull that you’re not responsible for that? Me an’ you, we did what we had to do to survive, Max. We both did things we shouldn’t have done, but we’re on the right path now and we have a chance to make a clean start.” She shook her head as she looked at him. “How’d you manage to cut a deal like that?”

“I can’t take credit for it. The best I was hoping for was a lighter sentence when it was all said and done. The deals, that was all Shakes. Hell, so much of what went down was because of him. He was pullin’ strings I didn’t even know about. I found out about the deal the night it went down. Matter of fact that was the last time I saw him.” His eyes took on a faraway gleam as he thought back to that night. “I thought I was dead. Shakes had done everything he could to guarantee my safety, but when that dock lit up like the Fourth of July and I woke up tied to a chair in one of Damon’s warehouses I was sure my time was up.”

“He did a number on you,” she said as she reached out to run her fingertips over the still healing wound on his temple.

“I know you wanted to see me – “

“Don’t you dare apologize for asking me to wait, Max Evans. We’ve known each other way too long for that. I know how you are and your girlfriend was right to respect your wishes and keep people away. You needed time to heal, time to sort out what had happened, and you know I know how that goes.”

“Yeah. I know Shakes was the one who got me outta there, but I don’t know how he did it. I don’t even remember it. Everything after that flash until I woke up in the hospital’s just a big blank.”

“I hope you never remember it.” She thought about what Damon had done to Seth and she prayed Max never had any recall of that night.

They sat in companionable silence for a few minutes and he played with the baby, tugging his finger free and then teasing her until she grabbed it again. “Cadence Evangeline Valenti, huh?” He looked into the blue eyes that were identical to her mother’s. “Where in the world did you come up with that middle name?”

“Well, I didn’t want her middle name to be Maxine because I just don’t like it, and if I’d made it Evans she would’ve had two last names, so I found a name I liked that kinda has your last name in it and also has a nice ring to it.” She smiled and nodded when his gaze shot to her. “She’s your namesake, Uncle Max.”

“Uncle Max,” he mused with a smile when Cadence gave him a wide toothless grin. He sobered as he thought about his sister and he wondered if she’d still want to get to know him if she knew the truth about him. That day she and her fiancé had come to visit she’d seemed willing to wait and as she’d promised she hadn’t pushed for more, hadn’t contacted him again, leaving the decision up to him. “I have a sister, Ava.”

“What?”

He nodded. “I really do. She came to see me and I ran her off. Well, I gave it a shot, called her names then got into it with her fiancé.” He winced. “I called her a rich b…” He glanced at Cadence and then back at Ava.

“Wait, you called her that?” She couldn’t recall him ever calling any woman names and certainly not that one. He’d always kept it clean around any female he crossed paths with, good or bad.

“Yeah, I did, and felt like crap afterwards. Things had started heating up with Damon and I knew if he ever discovered who she was he’d target her too. He’d already insinuated he had you and he’d threatened Liz. He’d threatened to turn Nicholas loose on her and even though that was more a threat to control me, that asshole did go after her.” He ran a hand over his face as he recalled the fear that had shot through him when Nicholas had attacked her.

“Did he…?”

“No.” He shook his head. “Thank God, no. Someone was with her that day and he went after Nicholas. You’ll love Manny.”

“She was lucky.” There were others who hadn’t had anyone to help them. “Anyone who’s willing to go after that little creep deserves a reward. Word on the street is he’s gone.”

“Yeah, I went after him that day. Right into Damon’s house. I was ready to kill Nicholas but he had Pascal pull me off of him.” He shrugged. “He gave the order for them to take care of Nicholas and I was glad. Still am, too.”

Ava reached over to rub his arm. “Where’s Shakes now?” she asked, trying to get his mind to switch gears so he’d relax again.

“I wish I knew. I mean, he stuck his neck out, kept us out of jail, made all these arrangements, saved my life, and then took off. I never got the chance to thank him. His lawyer agreed to get a letter to him, but it’s not really the same thing.”

“Maybe it’s all he’s comfortable with. Shakes loved you, Max. It wasn’t romantic or anything like that, but from the very beginning there was something that drew him to you. He was always protective of you and he had this uncanny knack for knowing when you were in trouble. It was important to him to make sure you were okay, it always was. And because of that a lot of people are very well off today.”

“What’re you talking about?”

“We got a visit from a lawyer who was packing a couple of very hefty checks. I was thankful just being alive and I know Shakes was involved in that. Between that and the no jail time thing, I was already more than happy. And we’re not the only ones who received a visit from the lawyer. Kyle made some calls and it would seem that everyone involved received one of those checks or something that expressed his gratitude.”

“Yeah, somehow I’m not surprised. His lawyer dropped that shock on me along with a house you won’t believe.” He sighed after a moment. “Liz was right there with me through this whole thing but she didn’t get anything.”

“For a smart guy you’re pretty dumb sometimes,” Ava said and thumped his arm. “She got you, free and clear. And he put you on equal ground financially. Maybe that doesn’t matter to her, but you’re a guy, and it would’ve mattered to you.” She rested her arm along the back of the couch and looked at him. “What’re you gonna do now, Max?”

“Live.” He turned his head to look at her and he grinned. “I’m gonna live, Ava.”

*****

Saturday morning dawned crisp and cool, but the weather channel promised the temperatures would rise to the mid-seventies once again, and Max had no problem with that. Everyone was planning to converge on Liz’s parent’s backyard that afternoon and he was looking forward to the gathering. Liz had made the calls and handled all of the arrangements in between their forays to countless stores and shops as they set about furnishing the new house.

As long as it wasn’t gaudy or so fancy no one could sit on it or touch it, he really didn’t care much about the furnishings or décor that went into getting the house ready to live in. He and Liz were on the same page about the furniture being comfortable and other than a few minor skirmishes they hadn’t really had to deal with many disagreements over any of the choices that had been made.

Max rolled his shoulders and stretched his arms over his head after carrying yet another load of groceries around the house and dropping them off on the back deck. They were disappearing as fast as he unloaded them and he could hear Liz inside the house going over the menu with Emily and Lilah. He reached out to pat Diablo when the dog ran out and grabbed the handles on one of the cloth shopping bags Liz had insisted they use. The stubby tail wagged as the Doberman backed away and carried the bag inside.

“Hell of a job to put him on after saving her life,” Jeff remarked as he stepped out onto the deck.

“He likes to help, Dad,” Liz called when she overheard her dad’s comment.

“Of course he does. And it means you don’t have to come out here and get them yourself.” He nodded to himself with a smile when silence answered him. “She’s rolling her eyes and sticking her tongue out at me right now,” he said with a chuckle as he looked at Max. “Why don’t I give you a hand with the rest of those bags?”

He nodded and they walked around the side of the house together.

“I know you’ve been waiting for me to have the time to set aside so we could talk.”

“You’ve been busy.”

Jeff leaned against the side of his daughter’s car, arms crossed over his chest as he nodded. “I have been busy, that’s true. But I’ve also had some things to sort out in my own head before we talked. I know why you want to talk to me, Max, and I respect your decision to come to me.”

“I never meant to put her in danger. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for your daughter, nothing I wouldn’t do to keep her safe.”

“Except go to the police.”

He shook his head. “No, I didn’t go to the cops and if I had to do it all over again I still wouldn’t go to them. You watch the news, you read the paper. You know they’ve been taking down all kinds of cops and other law enforcement officers that were on Knight’s payroll. I had no idea who could be trusted and if I’d told the wrong person she would’ve been dead.”

“You could’ve told me.”

“Why? So you could’ve gone to the cops? Or maybe so you could’ve faced off with Damon? I may not know you all that well, Mr. Parker, but I know enough to know you never would’ve stayed out of it. If you’d known there was a threat – “

“I had a right to know my family was in danger, Max!”

“Yeah, and if I’d told you what would you have done? Damn it, you would’ve gone off and gotten yourself killed!”

“What I would or wouldn’t have done, that’s not on you. I’m fully responsible for my own actions.”

“And knowing your family was in danger would’ve compromised your ability to be rational.”

“Max, you’re gonna have to learn to trust people. I’ve been in your shoes so I know that’s a lot to ask.” He sighed as he looked at the house, his mind wandering back to his own past. “See, you and I aren’t all that different. You ever heard of Patrick O’Shaughnessy?” He nodded when Max shook his head. “Well, he was before your time. Before Knight’s time too. When I was a much younger man I got involved with the criminal organization O’Shaughnessy headed. His ventures were different from Knight’s in many respects, but there were also some commonalities between them. Suffice it to say I got in deep and way over my head. He owned the docks, his word was law, and he thought he was untouchable. He had cops he owned, he bought his way out of trouble time and time again, and witnesses had a way of disappearing if they had the guts to take a stand against him.”

“You helped bring him down?”

Jeff nodded. “Like you, I didn’t know who to trust. You spend long enough on that side of the law and eventually you realize no one can be trusted. Nancy’s father knew I was involved in some pretty shady things and he warned her to stay away from me. Luckily for me he never knew the true extent of my involvement or he would’ve taken her and left the country. What I was into put her in more danger than anyone will ever know.”

“Did she know?”

“Did my daughter know just how much danger she was in?” he countered.

He shook his head. “She thought she did.”

“But she didn’t. Unless you’ve been on that side you can’t truly know just how real that danger is, can you?”

“No, sir, you can’t.” He was silent for a minute. “Can I ask you a personal question?”

Jeff motioned for him to continue.

“Did her father ever forgive you?”

“We got along for her sake, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he ever forgave me, no. But I’ve been where you are and as much as I hate it, I understand why you made the choices you made. I also know my daughter and I know she has no intention of letting you get away so let’s get one thing clear between us. If anything – and I do mean anything, Max – ever puts her life in danger again and you don’t come to me, we’re gonna have a problem. You love her, that’s plain as day and I don’t have any doubt that you’d do whatever’s necessary to protect her, but what you have to understand is that I’ve already loved her for a lifetime. She may be a grown woman, but she’s my baby girl, always has been and always will be. You want a relationship between the two of you to work, to last, and I’d be ten kinds of fool if I didn’t realize just how good you’ve been for each other. I’d like it if we could start right here and now with this understanding between us,” he said as he held his hand out to the younger man.

Max studied his hand for a moment, going over everything Jeff had said. The man had earned his respect and he knew this conversation could’ve easily gone in a different direction. The man was giving him the opportunity for them to move forward with a clean slate. And he’d be a fool if he didn’t accept the offer. “I’d like that, sir,” he said as he shook Jeff’s hand.

“It’s just Jeff, Son.”

He nodded.

“Something else on your mind?” Jeff asked as he hooked his thumbs in his pockets.

“I was wondering… Can I keep my job at the restaurant?”

He wasn’t fast enough to hide his surprise. “You wanna keep working?” He was aware of the house and money that had been presented to the younger man and being asked if he could keep his job wasn’t something he’d been expecting.

“Well, I just started taking classes recently and I have an idea what I’d like to do with a degree, but it’s gonna take time to reach that goal. I enjoy the job and I like having the structure and discipline it gives me. You wouldn’t have to pay me.” He shrugged. “I really don’t need any more money.”

“Well,” Jeff chuckled, “while free labor is a wonderful and tempting offer for any business owner, I can’t have you working for me without paying you.”

“Oh. I guess that wouldn’t be legal, would it?”

“No. However, if you’re certain you’re not interested in receiving a paycheck for working at the restaurant there are other options. You can always set an account up, maybe one of the shelters or soup kitchens, maybe someone or something else, and have your paycheck deposited directly to be used for that purpose.”

“That’s not a bad idea.”

“If you wanna keep the job it’s all yours, Max. You’ve done a hell of a job and I’d be happy to keep you on the payroll.”

“Dad, we’re on a deadline,” Liz called from the open front door.

Jeff smiled and raised a hand to acknowledge his daughter’s words. “I’d better let you get back to hauling the groceries inside before she sends Diablo out here to carry everything in.” He pushed away from the car and reached out to rest his hand on Max’s shoulder. “You two have fun and enjoy your party. Just don’t overdo it because 4am Monday morning comes very quickly when you do.”

*****

Donnie Rush was a tall muscular man, heavily tattooed, with long hair pulled back in a ponytail, and cold green eyes. His features expressed nothing more than contempt when he saw his visitors and he made no effort to appear welcoming.

“Do you mind if we have a seat, Mr. Rush?”

His gaze moved over the statuesque blonde and his lips lifted in a filthy grin. “Yeah, I got just the seat for –”

“Watch your mouth, Mr. Rush.”

He turned his head, taking in the man’s appearance. “Look, I didn’t ask you to come here.”

“They came for me, Daddy.”

His eyes narrowed on the little girl. “I didn’t ask you to come here either.”

Jenny gave him a watery smile. “My legs are better now.” She made a face. “That police officer made us give him our crutches an’ he gave us these ones ‘till we leave. But it’s okay ‘cause I almost don’t need them no more.” She eased into the seat between her adoptive parents and folded her hands on the table in front of her.

“What do you want?” he asked impatiently. “I’ve got things I could be doin’ if you’re just here to talk about yourself.”

“Aren’t you happy I can walk better now?”

“Kid, I honestly couldn’t care less.”

She nodded, her little heart crushed as the last of her hope that her daddy loved her was shattered. “I didn’t grow wrong,” she said after a few moments. Alex and Isabel provided a solid support at her sides, protection against anything that might hurt her, and she could feel their hands warm on her back. “You’re not my daddy anymore,” she said as she scooted forward, her toes stretching down to find the floor beneath them.

Isabel swallowed convulsively at the man’s callous attitude. She wanted so badly to tell him off but causing a scene would end the visit and as much as it hurt to see her little girl in pain she knew what it meant to her to see it through. She glanced at Alex and nodded when he motioned to his watch. They had agreed to keep the visit short, hoping and praying that this would be the only time Jenny ever wanted to see the horrible man who had fathered her. Her fiancé was tense, having a difficult time not saying anything to the heartless man sitting across from them.

“Yeah? Does that mean we’re finished here?” Donnie slouched down further in his chair, his eyes cold as he stared at the child watching him so intently.

“I got a new mommy an’ daddy, an’ they love me just ‘cause I’m me. It don’t matter if my legs aren’t right or if I’m not all perfect.” She wiped a fisted hand across her eyes. She turned her head to look at her parents when they moved to help her onto her feet, steadying her when the chair slid back unexpectedly and she might have fallen. My parents, she thought and those two words brought comfort and took some of the sting out of the rejection she’d gotten from a man who should’ve loved her but didn’t want her.

“Can we go home now, Mommy?”

Isabel’s throat constricted for a moment as she nodded. She’d talked to Sharon before leaving MacArthur House earlier and she’d had a feeling that maybe Jenny wanted to face her father to determine for herself that it was alright to let him go and fully embrace her new life.

“Of course, sweetie, I think that sounds like a good idea.” She reached for the crutches and made sure Jenny was balanced on them before looking at Alex. When he nodded she turned to lead the way over to the guard waiting near the doors.

Alex shot a disapproving look at the man as he steadied himself on his crutches. “You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Rush. You’ve thrown away the most precious gift in the world like she was nothing.”

The man’s insolent gaze raked over him. “Lucky for you, huh?”

“Daddy?”

“I’m on my way, sweetheart,” he said with a nod at her. Once more he looked at the seated man. “It’s very lucky for me, Mr. Rush. I just hope and pray she can completely let you go because you don’t deserve another second of her time.” He turned and slowly made his way to his family, ready to get them away from the prison. “Let’s go, ladies.” He rubbed Jenny’s back when she turned to throw her arms around his waist, careful not to get their crutches tangled up. “I think maybe we should stop for ice cream on the way home. How’s that sound?”

She tipped her head back and looked up at him, her blue eyes shining through a sheen of tears. “I think it sounds good.” She shifted just enough to look back at the man at the table and she inhaled a shaky breath as she looked up at the man holding her. Nope, mean people didn’t deserve anymore of their time.

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

Post by Roswelllostcause » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:34 pm

Great part! Loved Jeff going over protective father on Max! Hurry back with more!
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by Alien_Friend » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:50 am

Oh my goodness. Donnie Rush is a cruel man. People like him don't deserve to procreate. I am glad Jenny can close this chapter in her life. That poor excuse for a sperm donor deserves nothing from her especially her time. It was so sad but it would have been more so if she didn't have real parents like Alex and Isabel.

I loved that reunion between Max and Ava. I feel like this commences a new chapter in their relationship. I don't think they ever spelled it out so clearly that they are siblings. I love how Max's family is growing. I know he will be a great uncle to Cadence.

It will be good for him to connect to Isabel now. I think he is in a better place now in his life to really foster a relationship with her. I hope that she can be encouraged to contact her soon.

I am glad Jeff is willing to start a new with Max and they can bond over their love for Liz.

Tremendous stuff.

Eagerly awaiting more. Looking forward to reading them being out together.
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by Eva » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:15 am

Joehoe, I still have 3 chapters to read, this one included! Let's do a little dance! 8)

Anyway, it was a great chapter. Everyone is trying to get their lives back on track: Max was very funny with his new neighbours and sweet with Ava. My heart got crushed when little Jenny ended the chapter with her father. She's very smart for such a small girl, she had to grow up way too soon. It's good that she has Isabel and Alex, together she will regain to trust and love people again.
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Re: Prisoners of the Past (CC, A/U, Adult) Part 61 - 2/1/15

Post by begonia9508 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:48 am

Nice to have your story back! Enjoy it really much! :D

Loved the talk between Max and Ava! I can't believe all the bad things that appened to them... :?

Poor little Jenny, having a father like him... I don't know but maybe Mr Rush did it on purpose... :roll: Just to help his daughter get free emotionally from him... What does he have to offer anyway...

And Max will continue to work? I understand him really well! At first, it will help him to get a rhythm in his life and then, later on, he can still do something he likes! :wink:

Looking for more and thanks! 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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