In The Course Of A Lifetime (CC, AU, Adult) COMPLETE 3/10/13

Finished stories that feature the characters from the show, but there are no aliens. All fics completed on the main AU without Aliens board will eventually be moved here.

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 924
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 81

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:05 am

mary mary: We’ll see soon how the dance goes for the kids.

Earth2Mama: Your sixth sense could very well be right.

Philip and Diane are playing favorites and it’s nothing new. Max and Tess grew up knowing that Andrew was the favorite, followed closely by Max. Someone might go off on them.

Natalie36: You could be right about that.

begonia9508: No, Sam’s mom isn’t dead. When Sam was four days old her mom gave her to Alex and just took off.

You’re right, Diane shouldn’t be sticking her nose in Maria’s business like that.

keepsmiling7: That first car is obviously something of great importance and most men seem to share that sentiment.

Yeah, Diane’s about to stick her nose in where it doesn’t belong. And Liz, she just wants some time alone with her husband to share news she’s afraid he isn’t gonna take well.

Rodney: Lol, yep, we knew you’d comment on that one!

You’re probably gonna luck out and get to hold onto that paycheck. ;)

Somebody’s needin’ some K/T… comin’ right up. :)

sarammlover: Nope, definitely not easy.

Liz is kinda stuck in the middle. As if she doesn’t have enough going on right now, huh?

We’ll see what happens when Kendra shows up.

Eva: Oh, they’re definitely interfering in things that’re none of their business. Lol, we’re all glad to not be in Max or Liz’s shoes right now.

Kendra’s arrival is gonna shake things up.

Maiqu: Oh, she’s gonna stir things up in Roswell, that’s for sure.

Hmm, that’s definitely one possibility.



Part 81

Kyle pulled the tray of pot roast out of the microwave and cut it open, letting the steam escape and sniffing it cautiously. Huh, it smelled pretty good. He had offered to make dinner while she took a bath and relaxed. They had spent the afternoon working downstairs and he had run to the store while she was busy with a call with their equipment supplier. When he got back she had been going over a few last details before disconnecting and he had taken a few minutes to hop in the shower.

“Babe, you almost done in there?” he called.

“Be out in a few minutes,” Tess yelled back.

It felt good for them to be back on track. He knew eventually they would need to talk about them being unable to have children of their own. He didn’t even know why she couldn’t have children, if something happened or if it was just a genetic thing. That seemed unlikely considering both of her brothers had produced children, but he wasn’t an expert on biology either. He didn’t really care what the reason was, all that mattered was they were together and children would be a part of their future.

It was amazing how many things could be made in a microwave these days, Kyle thought as he dumped the pot roast into a serving dish and placed it in the oven to keep it warm. Just about the entire meal had been cooked in the microwave. He pulled a vase down from one of the cabinets and grabbed the flowers he had bought, pulling the wrapping off of them and shoving them into the wide opening. He added water and pushed them around a few times, trying to make them look like they had looked before he had unwrapped them. He finally gave up on that and just put the vase in the center of the table before going to grab a couple of wine glasses.

“Five minutes!”

Kyle grinned at her announcement and pulled the dishes out of the oven and sliding the pan with rolls inside and closing the door once more. He filled the plates with pot roast, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, and broccoli and carrots with a cheese sauce. He set them on the table next to the napkins and silverware and pulled the rolls out just as she walked into the kitchen. He placed the rolls on the plates and then grabbed the salads out of the refrigerator. They were premade in the deli at the supermarket but they looked homemade now that they were on their own plates. He put them on the table along with the salad dressing and then grabbed the wine to fill their glasses.

“Kyle… wow, you didn’t have to do all this.”

He smiled at her and shook his head. “I wanted to. You need a good meal, you busted your ass today.”

“I admit I am starving,” she smirked.

“That’s good... I went all out.”

“Uh-huh, bet ya cooked all this in the microwave,” she said knowingly.

He stuck his tongue out at her. “Hey, at least it’s a hot meal.” He held up the pot roast package. “Mrs. Shelton over at the store assured me it’s the best brand on the market for people who are challenged in the kitchen. And since we both have difficulty doing much beyond boiling water, I figured it was the safest direction to go.”

“Don’t worry, I have the microwave for a reason,” she winked at him and took a seat at the table, her stomach growling in anticipation when she smelled the food.

“Microwave and takeout menus for every place that delivers in town,” he said with a laugh. “Trust me, I know all about it.”

Tess smiled and lifted her glass to him. “Cheers to that.”

He tapped his glass against hers. “The supplier have any good news?” he asked, referring to her earlier call.

“They said the stuff will be here during the week, probably Wednesday or Thursday.”

“You think they’re gonna stay on schedule this time?” He took a bite of the pot roast, nodding to himself when it tasted pretty good.

“I told them if it wasn’t I’m cut the bill in half.”

He smirked. “Good. I know you’re ready to get that started. What about your stuff back in California? I know you’ve bought new furniture and stuff but there’s gotta be personal stuff you need to pack up and bring back here, right?”

“Yeah, I need to go back there this week anyway. My landlord called yesterday to let me know that he found a new tenant and I need to move the rest of my things.”

“So... road trip?”

“If you wanna come?”

“Of course I wanna go with you. Dad’ll probably let us borrow his truck so we’ll have plenty of room for your stuff.”

“It’s not really that much, but okay.”

“Would you rather take my car?”

“I’m good with either one.”

“Okay.” He took a bite of his mashed potatoes. “We could leave out early Monday mornin’, be back by Thursday or Friday.”

“You wanna stay that long?” she frowned.

He chuckled. “Babe, I’m FBI but I wasn’t plannin’ on burnin’ rubber there an’ back. The drive both ways will take a couple of days and then I figure a couple days to get your stuff together. Unless you’ve already got everything packed up?”

“Yeah, like I said, it’s not that much. It’ll probably only take about two or three hours to get it all together. The rest is already gone.”

He shrugged. “Okay, so we’ll be back by Wednesday night. Let’s spend Tuesday there, get a room down on the beach.”

She nodded. “Okay.”

“We could go out to dinner, go to a club and dance for a while.” He wiggled his eyebrows playfully.

“Getting all excited about the trip, huh?” she teased.

“Hey, I love goin’ out, but it’s all about the company.”

“I guess I can show you a few nice places there.”

He grinned. “Only if you want to. I’m good with indoor activities too.”

“Uh-huh, no doubt.”

He nodded, satisfied with her answer. “Wait, do you need to be here if that shipment of equipment comes in?”

“I’ll have to talk to Maria, but I guess she can do that... if it actually gets here anyway.”

“It’ll do her good to get out of the house.” He stared down at his plate for a minute, slowly chewing his food. “I was thinking maybe it’s time to have another talk with Andy. He’s lettin’ his temper get the best of him again and he went after Michael the other night.”

Tess stopped with her fork right in front of her mouth. “What’d he do?”

“He misunderstood when he saw Michael with Chrissie and he shoved him... Michael hit the side of his head, cut him up pretty good.” He rubbed one hand over his face. “He was doin’ so much better when he was talkin’ to Michael. I know he couldn’t stay on as his counselor with the situation, but damn, he was finally startin’ to open up.”

“Grief isn’t something you get over abruptly; you have good and bad days,” Tess said, speaking from experience. “I’m sure Andy will come around.”

“If it had been anyone else he had gone after he’d probably be facing charges right now.”

“I know, he seems to be so full of anger sometimes and I wonder why.”

“Just part of the grieving process.” He took a drink of his wine. “He wasn’t like this before Andrew’s accident.”

“You think you can help him?”

“He was listening to me before, but now that Michael’s in the picture, I don’t know. He’s got it in his head that Maria shouldn’t be interested in another guy and I don’t know how to make him understand that her interest in Michael’s a good thing.”

Tess reached across the table to cover his hand. “I doubt anyone other than him can make him believe that Michael’s good for his Mom.”

“I just hate that they’re all hurtin’ over this and there’s nothin’ I can do about it.”

“You do a lot more than you know.”

He smiled at her. “You think so?”

“Yeah,” she answered honestly.

He nodded and scratched his jaw. “I just hope that boy gets his head outta his ass before Maria lets Michael get away.”

“You think Michael will give up at some point?”

“Not right away, no. He’s at a place where he wants a family though so I don’t know how long he can sit on the sidelines.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s understandable.”

“Not that he’ll give up anytime soon. He’s never been the type to just give up when he wanted something.”

“I think he’s the right guy for Maria.”

“Yeah, I think she knows it too. She’s just gotta get past Andy’s behavior. I know she’s just doin’ what she thinks is best and tryin’ to keep him from fallin’ back into old behaviors, but...” he shook his head. “I just wish she’d see that she’s not helpin’ either of them by lettin’ him get away with it.”

“You’ve gotta see this from her side, Kyle. She’s already lost her husband even if they were having problems or whatever. She and Andy went through hell all alone in Florida and I can understand that she’s scared to take a step that could hurt Andy again.”

“I know, and I can understand that. I do,” he stressed. “I just worry that she’s gonna let a chance to be happy slip through her fingers because Andy doesn’t approve.”

“You think she’ really be happy if she was with Michael but Andy started to pull away more?”

He sighed and shook her head. “Well, no, but... I don’t know what the answer is and I’m not sayin’ she’s wrong in her decision to back off. I guess I just wish there was a way for all of them to be happy.”

“Maybe Andy will come around. You can talk to him; maybe it’ll help him just a bit.”

“Yeah, maybe I could go by and take him out for breakfast tomorrow mornin’.”

“Oh, yeah, about that... Liz called earlier. My parents are in town and they’ve invite everyone over tomorrow, so that includes Andy and Maria.”

“Your parents,” he mused slowly. Her parents who barely seemed to realized she existed. “We don’t have to go.”

“I know, but maybe you’ll get the chance to talk to Andy over there.”

“Tess, if you don’t wanna go over there, we don’t have to go. I know things with your parents have always been... difficult.”

“I know, but it’s not my fault and the others will be there. I’m not hiding because of them.”

His lips curved up in a grin. “That’s my girl.”

“Looks like we’ve got some plans, huh?”

“Yeah, looks like it.”

*****

Andy carried the last stack of dishes to the counter next to the sink and grabbed a dishtowel, leaning back against the refrigerator and waiting for Mom to start handing dishes to him to dry. He had watched her all evening, uncomfortably aware of just how lonely she seemed to be. He cast about for something neutral to talk about, something that wouldn’t end with them in an argument again.

“So, how’re things with Aunt Tess goin’? Are you guys gonna open the shop soon?”

Maria tried to hide her surprise when Andy started to talk of his own will. It was the first time since last Sunday. “We’re still waiting for a lot of deliveries. They’ve postponed them again.”

“Oh. Well, that sucks.”

“Thank God we’re in no hurry,” she said and placed the first clean plates on the counter next to the sink.

“You think it’ll be open by Christmas?” he asked. It would be the first Christmas without Dad. Well, he’d been in the hospital last year, but at least he’d still been alive.

“I don’t know yet, but I think so.”

He nodded and bit his lip as he dried the pan she handed him. “You wanna do the whole Christmas thing this year?” he asked. Last year she had tried and he had fought her on it until she had let it go and put the things away. Out of sight, but not out of mind.

“I think we should at least try. Last year we were alone in Florida, but this year there’ll be lots of family around, Andy.”

“Yeah, okay. I’ve been hearin’ that Christmas is a pretty big deal around here.” He motioned around them as if to indicate the whole town.

She chuckled. “Yeah, small town Christmas is a little different than what you know from Florida.”

“You’d think they invented Christmas or somethin’ the way some of these people tell it.”

“I know... but it’s not that bad in the end.”

“No, I guess not. Sam was sayin’ that right after Thanksgiving all the Christmas decorations would start goin’ up all over town. She said like all of the stores, everyone really, decorates for Christmas. Well,” he said with a shrug, “not that nosy old bag, Mrs. Miller. Apparently she doesn’t decorate at all.”

“You wanna put some crazy lights on the roof too?” Maria teased.

“Oh, I don’t know, Mom.” Christmas decorations looked cool and all, but jeez, that was a lotta work!

“You could invite some friends over and have a decorating party, that way the others do the work. It’s perfect.”

He snorted and shook his head. “An’ here I thought I was the one who came up with all the best ideas.”

“Hey, you are my son, don’t forget that, so you got that from me.”

“Uh-huh, think Dad would disagree with that,” he teased. After a moment his smile faded as he realized that he had spoken in the present tense. “Well, he would if he was here,” he corrected himself.

“Pretty sure he would, yeah,” she agreed.

“Yeah.” He shrugged. “Well, puttin’ the decorations an’ stuff up might be kinda cool this year.”

“I think your grandparents can’t wait to throw all their gifts at you,” Maria teased and placed the last fork at the counter before she let the water out of the sink again.

“Well... that’s okay. I mean, I like presents.” And his grandparents knew how to buy presents. “It’ll be kinda cool that everyone can be together this year.” Well, everyone but Uncle Max. Maybe he’d have to work or something.

“It’s gonna be pretty busy.” And that was good. That way they would both be distracted.

“Yeah, guess there’s gonna be all kinds of family things to do, huh?” He paused. “You think Grandma an’ Grandpa Evans will be here for Christmas?”

“Gosh, I don’t know if I want that.”

He laughed at the look on her face. “Oh, c’mon, Mom... Grandma Evans has got to be the nosiest woman on the face of the planet. How can you not wanna put up with that for the holidays? Or Grandpa Evans, tryin’ to fix everything?” He was trying to make a joke because as much as he loved them he knew they would want to talk about his dad constantly.

“We can test it tomorrow. They’re in town and Liz invited us over for a barbeque tomorrow.”

He made a face. “Can’t I just be sick or somethin?’”

“Andy,” she warned but laughed and wiped her hands on a towel. They were pretty much done in the kitchen, which would probably mean Andy would go into hiding in his room again soon.

“Just sayin’, Mom. I love ‘em an’ they’re great, but sometimes they’re just... hard to deal with, ya know?”

“I know what you mean,” she agreed. “But I’ll happily allow you to go out to your Aunt Liz’s tomorrow. Hey, you can consider yourself lucky you’re allowed to go out while you’re grounded.”

“Maybe you should rethink the rules of grounding,” he muttered.

“How mad are you that you can’t go to the dance tonight?”

He shrugged. “I didn’t think I really wanted to go until I found out Sam was goin’ with another guy.”

“Oh... she does huh?”

“Yeah, and it’s not like he’s all that great anyway. I don’t know why she went with him.”

“Maybe she was frustrated that you didn’t ask her?” Maria asked, walking over to the refrigerator to get a drink.

“So she just goes with the first di- dork that asks her to go? What kinda sense does that make?”

“Making you jealous maybe?” Maria asked with a smirk.

“Oh, yeah,” he said sarcastically, “like that was gonna work. I’m not jealous. I’m just surprised that she’d go out with that moron.”

He sooo was jealous, she thought amused. “My guess it she just wants to make you jealous. Did you two have a fight?”

He shrugged. “We said some things.”

“Some things?”

“Just... it was a fight,” he finally admitted.

“And then she agreed to go to the dance with someone else.”

“Yeah... and, really, Mom, Jared? Of all the guys she could’ve gone with, him?” He shook his head. “That was just stupid. He’s gonna try to kiss her, I know it,” he muttered under his breath.

“That doesn’t mean she would give in though.”

“Well, no, but,” he kicked the bottom of the cabinet in front of him, “he’s still gonna try.”

“Have you tried to talk to her?”

“What, about Jared?”

“Yeah, and about the way you obviously feel about her.”

“The way I feel? Mom,” he complained.

“What?” she asked, smiling. “You do like her. I didn’t say you loooove her.”

“Mom!” His ears turned bright read.

“Okay, okay, I’ll stop. Promise,” she told him, amused.

Andy tossed the towel on the counter after drying his hands and he glanced around. They were all finished with the kitchen, which meant he could make his escape. But he could see the sadness that seemed to be in her eyes so often here lately. “So, you wanna watch a movie or somethin’?”

She looked at him, surprised. “Um, yeah, why not?”

“Cool, I’ll go pick one out.”

“Okay,” she nodded.

He nodded and went to go pull something from his personal collection. He knew exactly what he wanted to watch.
Image


Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

User avatar
Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 924
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 82

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:55 am

Earth2Mama: Lol yeah, it’s save to say that Andy and Sam feel a lot of teenager hormones right now and it could develop to more if it lasts. But yep, maybe she is just the right girl to make him realize some things with his mother as well.

You feeling could be right!

keepsmiling7: We will be there soon! ;)

begonia9508: You just gotta love microwaves, lol.

Andy and Maria made some progress again. Let’s hope it lasts.

Maiqu: Lol, yay for microwaves!

The bbq won’t be easy for Tess, agreed.

mary mary: Lol, Diane will be gone soon. We just have to stick with her a few more parts.

Cardinal: Lol, think we drugged him?

Maestro huh? LOL. Thank god for microwaves!

Eva: We will see if he listens to you. ;)

sarammlover: Lol yeah. It was definitely a step in the right direction for him.

K&T are a very strong couple. We still have something in store for them as well.

Yep, Diane needs to leave, lol.

Alien_Friend: We will see what her story is. ;)

Diane and Philipp are definitely …. Better to bear with when they are far away, lol.

Andy made some progress, let’s just hope it continues, huh?

Have fun, girl!

Rodney: Lol, yeah definitely a lot of teenager hormones involved here!

Smac: It is not that long (just a few days) in fic time, lol. The talk won’t have to wait long anymore. Promised! ;)



Part 82

Jenny smiled when Justin moved around the car to open the door for her. He offered a hand to her, helping her out without ruining her dress. He had to admit that it fit her very well and it would be hard to pull his gaze away from her bare legs since it ended halfway up her thighs.

Nick mimicked his brother and opened the back door of the car. Thank God, Dad had been cool about this and other than greeting the girls he had left the conversation to them. “You look good,” he murmured into Sarah’s ear when she got out.

“Thanks,” the girl blushed slightly and moved so he could close the door.

“Hey, there’s Sam and Jared,” Justin pointed at a car in the parking lot.

“Jeez, did he really take her out with the jeep?”

Justin smirked. “Does he ever drive anything else? Like his dad was gonna hand over the keys for his car.” He rolled his eyes. “As many times as he’s been pulled over it’s a wonder he still has a license.”

“Hey, everyone,” Sam smiled when she saw the twins. The ride over here had been awkward and silent.

“Sam... wow, you look like such a...” the twins exchanged a look, “girl.”

“I am a girl, goofballs.”

“Yeah, but...” Justin’s mouth snapped shut when his date cleared her throat and looked at him. “Right, anyway, you look nice and we should probably head inside.”

“Yeah, let’s hope they’ve got some good music,” Jared said, stopping next to Sam and taking her hand. Compared to her, he looked like a slob. Though he was wearing a suit, it looked totally out of place.

“Jeez, Jared, next time you should consider an iron.” The guy looked like a bag of wrinkles. Nick made a face at him and made a mental note to kick Andy’s ass for being a dick and not taking Sam to the dance.

“At least I don’t look like a cowboy,” he shrugged with a nod at Justin.

Jenny took Justin’s hand when he stiffened up beside her. “I like the way you look,” she said with a sweet smile.

He wrapped his arm around her waist. “I LOVE the way you look, girl.”

She giggled and tugged on him. “C’mon, let’s go inside.” The last thing she wanted was for Jared to ruin the evening. She had finally gotten Justin to open his eyes so she wanted them focused on her.

Sam already knew this night would be a disaster. Jared just wasn’t what she was looking for.

Nick followed the other couple, his arm linked with Sarah’s. “He gets outta line, let us know, Sam,” he said while Jared was busy getting something out of the jeep.

“I think I can do that on my own, but thanks.”

He grinned. “Don’t hog all the fun.”

“Fun? I doubt tonight will be fun,” she sighed.

“Sorry, Sam. Catch up with us inside, okay?”

“Sure,” she glanced after her friends and forced a smiled when Jared got back to her. “Ready?”

“Sure, let’s get this thing started.” He held up a flask and shook it before sliding it into one of his jacket pockets.

Great, she thought, but bit back any comment about it.

“Oh, c’mon, don’t tell me you’re gonna be a stick in the mud about a little alcohol.” He sighed. “I thought we were gonna have some fun tonight.”

“I thought so too. Just don’t need alcohol for it but, whatever. Go ahead.”

He rolled his eyes. “You can’t have a school dance without spiking the punch.”

“Do what you need to do,” she nodded. Only a few hours. Maybe there would be some others inside to talk to.

God, she wasn’t gonna be any fun at all. He smirked softly. Get some alcohol into her and that might change though.

Sam smiled slightly when they entered the gym where everything was set for the dance. In a short moment she allowed herself to pretend she was there with Andy at her side. She could almost see the envious glances of other girls. Andy was looking pretty good and she had heard a few girls talking about him now and then.

Of course, reality was different, she realized when Jared wrapped his arm around her.

Jared smiled when he saw a couple of his friends hanging out by the tables where the refreshments were set up. He gave them a thumbs-up and saw them nod in response. Oh, yeah, they were gonna make sure everyone enjoyed the punch tonight. This could be better than the last dance. “So, you mind if I catch up with the guys and get back with you in just a few minutes?” he asked with a glance at Sam.

She inwardly rolled her eyes. “If you must.”

“Cool, I’ll catch up with you in a while.”

“Yeah, whatever,” she muttered when he was out of earshot.

Jared was looking around as he walked over to join his friends, making sure none of the lame-ass chaperones were around and he looked up when he bumped into someone. “Oh, hey, Mr. G.”

Michael nodded at him. “Looking for somethin’?” he asked. Isabel had told him to keep an eye out for any of the boys adding alcohol to the punch.

“Just for my date,” he lied

“Uh-huh, the one you took off on soon as you walked in the door? That’s just bad manners, boy.”

“I just wanted to get us drinks.”

Michael stepped aside and motioned to the table. “Go right ahead.”

Jared grumbled something under his breath and filled up to cups.

He watched the sullen teenager shoot a glance over at his friends and after a moment they disappeared and before long he took the two cups and went back to his date. This was not the way he had wanted to spend a Saturday night.

“Here, I got you a drink,” Jared said when he joined Sam again.

She took the cup that he held out to her, trying not to roll her eyes at his less than gracious offer. “Thanks.”

“Don’t worry, nothing’s in it,” he said when she sniffed it.

“Yeah, sure.” Hadn’t she heard there were certain kinds of alcohol that you couldn’t smell?

He rolled his eyes. “Seriously.”

She took an experimental sip, detecting nothing but the fruity taste of the punch. “Do you wanna dance?”

Jared made a face. “Hell no.”

“No? Like, no, not right now?”

“No, like at all.” As if he would make a fool of himself.

What the hell was the point of going to a dance if you weren’t going to dance at all? “Then why’d you ask me to the dance?”

He shrugged. “I needed a date. Everyone comes here with a date.”

This had been such a mistake, she thought. “So we’re just gonna... hang out?”

“Yeah.”

She nodded and took another sip of her drink. “Great.”

“I’ll be right back,” he said when he saw a new chance to spike the drinks.

Nick intercepted Jared before he could get to the table. “Shouldn’t you be with your date?” he asked.

“What are you? The dating police?”

“Just sayin’ you ask a girl to a dance and then ignore her, that’s bad manners.”

“Then you’d better get back to yours.”

Nick just grinned. Sarah was catching up with a couple other girls and they’d already been on the dance floor. She had asked him if he’d mind getting them something to drink and it had given him an excuse to say something to Jared. “My date doesn’t look like she wishes it was time to go home already.”

“Shut up Evans.”

“Do we have a problem over here, boys?” Michael asked.

“No problem, Mr. G.” Nick nodded at the other boy. “Just tellin’ Jared he oughta be payin’ attention to his date.”

“Good advice.”

Jared forced a smile and took a step back. “At least I got a date,” he said with a look at the guidance counselor.

Michael just snorted at the boys comment. “Not for long.”

“Good one, Mr. G,” Nick said with a laugh after Jared disappeared, skirting around the outside of the crowd.

*****

Alex and Isabel weren’t paying any attention to the movie droning on in the background, all of their senses focused on each other as they made out like a couple of teenagers. It was rare for them to have an evening alone and they were doing their best to take advantage of it. Even with Sam out for the evening their time was limited because she had a curfew. He was shrugging out of his shirt with Isabel’s help when the doorbell rang.

“Ignore it,” she whispered.

“No problem,” he growled.

At least it wasn’t until the doorbell rang for the third time. “Damn it,” he bit out as he pulled back. “Let me get rid of whoever that is and I’ll be right back.” He kissed her before getting up and hurriedly straightening his shirt. “Don’t go anywhere.”

Isabel smiled at him. “Hurry up.”

He was grumbling under his breath as he stomped to the front door and jerked it open, unprepared for the woman waiting on the other side.

Kendra swallowed hard when she saw the man in front of her. The boy she had left shortly after high school was now a grown man. “Hey, Alex.”

“Kendra.” He swallowed hard as a dozen feelings hit him all at once. Anger, fear, betrayal, and others all combined to immediately put him on edge. “What’re you doing here?”

“I… Um, I...” she sighed. “I can’t really explain it.”

“Not good enough,” he said, his hand wrapped tightly around the door.

“I need to talk to you...”

“About what?” What if she was here for Sam?

“Nothing I wanna discuss at your front door.”

“If you’re here for Sam you can just turn around and leave right now.”

“Alex, I’m not here to cause any trouble, okay? If that’s what you’re afraid of.”

“Yeah, that scares me, Kendra. She’s 15 years old and she doesn’t know you. I’ve got someone in my life now and it hasn’t been easy for her to accept that so you bein’ here’s only gonna cause more confusion for her.”

“I just want to talk, Alex.”

He glanced over his shoulder when he heard the familiar click-click of Oscar’s hooves as he came from the kitchen to check out the new arrival. Isabel wasn’t far behind, entering the hall from the living room and looking impeccable. He opened the door wider and motioned for his ex to come inside. He glanced at Isabel, seeing her giving Kendra the once-over. “Isabel, this’s Kendra, Sam’s mother.”

“Oh, hey, what a surprise.” She wasn’t sure how to react to the woman.

Kendra’s gaze took in the woman’s appearance. Somehow she wasn’t the type she had ever pictured Alex with.

Alex took Isabel’s hand and glanced at his ex. He didn’t want to put Isabel in the middle of this, but asking her to leave wasn’t right either. They were building a relationship and she had a right to be there for something like his ex dropping by. And God only knew how this was gonna affect Sam.

“Is Sam here?”

All of his protective instincts kicked into overdrive at the question. “What’re you doin’ here, Kendra?”

“I wanted to see my daughter,” she answered defensively.

“Your daughter?” he repeated incredulously. “You gave up your rights where she’s concerned when she was four days old. You do remember dropping her off and walkin’ out, don’t you?”

Kendra looked at him helplessly. She knew there was no way to excuse what she had done in the past.

“What the hell are you thinkin’? You can’t just show up after 15 years and expect to just walk back into her life.” His heart was pounding as he stood there, holding the door in a white-knuckled grip. “Do you have any idea what you’re doin’?”

“It’s not easy for me to be here either, Alex, and I wasn’t planning to mess your lives up.” She shot a glance at the blonde woman in the room, who looked a bit lost, but not self-conscious. Admittedly, she had never expected Alex to be seeing a woman like THIS...

“Why now? What reason could you possibly have for coming here now? She’s 15 years old, Kendra.” Damn it, could she have picked a more confusing time?

“There were a few things in my life that made me realize some things... I know I shouldn’t have walked away like that Alex, but I can’t change the past.”

He glanced at his watch, knowing the dance couldn’t last more than another hour. He didn’t want Sam to come home and find her mother there. Not like this, not without being prepared to see her. It was going to be difficult enough to bring up Kendra’s presence. “You’re not really giving me an answer about why you’re here. What do you expect from us?”

“I don’t expect anything, Alex. I don’t want anything from you, other than to see how you guys are doin’.”

He shrugged one shoulder and nodded curtly. “We’re fine.”

Kendra sighed. She expected that Alex wouldn’t make it easy for her. Hell, it was understandable. But she didn’t know what to say or how to explain her need to see her daughter.

He stared at her, wishing he could read minds because he had no idea what she wanted. He had trusted her before and that had ended badly. “You think a few cards over the years entitles you to suddenly drop into her life? Would it have killed you to keep in contact with her? To let her know you gave a damn that she was alive?”

“I told you I can’t change the past,” she said again, feeling lonely and helpless at the same time. She glanced at the other woman and sighed. “I should go now. You had plans for the night and I know my sudden appearance is making you angry. I’ll stay in town for a while and maybe we can meet up sometime in the next few days to talk.”

“No,” he snapped. “You know how small this town is. I don’t want her seein’ you unless it’s what she wants. I’ll talk to her, tell her that you’re here and you wanna see her, but unless I contact you and tell you it’s what she wants you don’t approach her.”

“I won’t,” Kendra promised. She could only hope that her daughter actually wanted to meet her.

He shook his head, hoping he could trust her to keep her word. “She doesn’t need you to drop in and out of her life. If you’re here to absolve yourself of guilt and then disappear again, do us all a favor and leave now. Don’t hurt her, Kendra.”

“I’m not here to hurt anyone.”

“I hope not.”

“You can trust me with this,” Kendra said firmly.

“I’ll find you if she wants to meet you.”

She nodded. “I’m staying at the hotel on Main Street.”

He bit his lip, trying to hold onto his temper. “How could you just walk out?” he bit out finally.

“I...” Kendra didn’t look at him. “I can’t explain. I just felt depressed and not ready for all of that and I didn’t think I could be a good mom.”

He nodded, knowing if he continued to push her for answers he was going to end up yelling at her. “Like I said, I’ll contact you.”

“Okay,” she glanced into the hallway. “I’ll let myself out.”

“What the hell is she doin’ here?!” he exploded after she was gone.

Isabel had never seen Alex as angry and confused and hurt as he was right now. “I don’t know,” she told him calmly. “I wouldn’t have expected to ever see her either.”

“How can she think she can just waltz in here after 15 years and expect to spend time with Sam?”

“I doubt she’s really expecting that, Alex. It seemed more like she was hoping she could.”

He shook his head stubbornly as he paced around the room. “Where the hell’s she been? What makes her think she can just come here now?” The questions weren’t really aimed at Isabel but they tumbled out, needing to be spoken.

Isabel stopped him after he had paced a few times back and forth along the kitchen. Her hands rested gently on his shoulders. “Take a few breaths, Alex, and look at me.”

He did as she requested, breathing deeply and meeting her gaze.

“You know what you have to do, Alex,” she started matter of factly. “Sam deserves the truth no matter if it’s gonna upset her.”

He sighed and shook his head. “I won’t hide it from her,” he said, running his hand through his hair. “Not even as much as I’d like to. I won’t risk Kendra just showin’ up somewhere and talkin’ to her. I’ve always been willing to talk to her about her mother, but it’s not somethin’ she’s wanted to talk about since she was little. The questions stopped when she was, I don’t know, six or so.”

Isabel nodded. “You know there’s a chance she’ll want to meet her though.”

“If that’s what she wants then I won’t stand in her way, but there’s also a chance she could take this news badly.” He looked at her. “But what if Kendra’s here thinkin’ she’s gonna challenge me for custody?”

“I don’t know, Alex. Right now I’d say that’s not what she wants, but you never know... Sam’s old enough to have a word in this though, and she loves you, Alex.”

“I need to know what she wants, what she expects from meeting Sam, before I can allow a meeting to take place.”

“You can go and talk to her again before you tell Sam,” Isabel suggested. “You don’t have to tell her tonight.”

“I can’t keep it from her. Sam’s a smart kid and she’ll know something’s up.” He started pacing again, kicking the leg of the couch as he passed it. “Why now?”

The ringing of the phone interrupted them. He looked at it with a frown for several seconds, fearing it could be Kendra again. “Hello?” he greeted when he finally picked it up.

“Dad, hey it’s me.”

“Sam.” He glanced at his watch. “How’s the dance, honey?”

“Boring,” she complained. “It’s not really any fun.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I can be there in a few minutes if you need a ride home.”

“Uh, I actually wanted to ask you if I can go and see Andy.”

He thumped his free hand against the back of the couch. “Is his mom home?”

“Yeah, I think she’s home, Dad.”

“If she’s home then, yes, you can go see him. Just don’t forget you have a curfew.”

“I’ll be home on time,” Sam assured him, knowing he would freak out if she was one second late.

“Do you have a ride over there?” It was well after dark and while Roswell was a safe little town he didn’t want her out alone at this time of night.

“I can get a ride with a classmate’s mom.”

“Alright, give me a call when you get there.” After hanging up with Sam he started to pace again. “That’s probably the first time I’ve ever been glad to let her spend time with Andy.”

“You can go and talk to Kendra tomorrow to get more insight before you tell Sam,” Isabel said softly. She didn’t like the jealous feeling inside of her when the other woman was mentioned, but she knew it was ridiculous since there was no way Alex would take her back. Right?

“Tomorrow’s Sunday,” he mused. “Do you have any plans?”

“I’ll need to run into school tomorrow morning to have a look at the cleanup of the gym from the dance but other than that I’m free.”

“You wanna come by for breakfast? Maybe we can talk Sam into going over to the school with you while I’m out.” He made a face. “Okay, that’s not exactly gonna get my daughter all excited.”

Isabel chuckled. “Yeah, I doubt she’ll be too excited about going to school on a Sunday morning. But who knows, maybe she’ll want to see a certain boy again?”

“Great choices there,” he muttered.

“We’ll find a way, Alex.”

“When Sam was little I lived in constant fear that Kendra would suddenly just show up outta nowhere and decide she wanted Sam.” He shrugged. “As the years passed I started to relax, thinking it’d been so long there was no reason for her to show up. Every time a card would show up so did that fear, but,” he shook his head, “I wasn’t prepared for this.”

“There’s no way you could be prepared for this.”

“No, I guess not. It’s been 15 years though, why now?” He just couldn’t let go of that. “Teenagers aren’t exactly known for their tact or their appreciation for change. It would make a lot more sense for her to have shown up years ago.”

“I can’t answer that.” Isabel smiled encouragingly. “But Sam has you... and apparently she and Andy are talking their fight out tonight, so she has him too. He could be good for her now. They can help each other.”

“Perfect,” he grumbled, “just what I wanted. Somethin’ for the two of them to bond over.”

“This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, Alex. I might not have any children of my own, but I know from my experiences as a teacher and principal that no matter how good relationships are between students and their parents, sometimes they’ll talk to a friend instead of to them.”

He rubbed his hands over his face. “You do remember what boys were like at 15, right?”

“Oh, yeah,” she snickered.

He tried to keep a straight face but ended up laughing instead. “God, you’d think after all these years I’d have accepted that I’m never ready for most things.”

“You have to trust her to do the right thing. Forbidding her to see him won’t help anyway.”

“No, and I know that. It does just the opposite.”

“Very well said,” Isabel grinned.
Image


Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Part 83

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:04 am

Earth2Mama: Alex is definitely worried about Kendra’s sudden appearance. Whether or not Kendra has some hidden agenda remains to be seen.

Jared... yep, that model’s still in production.

One thing’s for sure, Alex won’t let his daughter be blindsided by news of her mother’s arrival. Bio-Mom... nah, not too cruel.

keepsmiling7: You may not have to wait much longer.

begonia9508: Alex won’t keep Sam from getting to know Kendra if that’s what she wants. While he’s concerned about his little girl getting hurt he won’t keep this from her for long.

mary mary: No, definitely not in need of a kidney, lol, but good guess. Kendra seems sincere in wanting to get to know her daughter. As for a hidden agenda... we’ll just have to wait and see.

Cardinal: Good, lol, that’s what we were going for.

Andy might just surprise everyone by going for the record.

sarammlover: Alex and Sam are both better for having Isabel in their lives. Something Sam may have a new appreciation for soon. We’ll find out in this update if Andy will be a gentleman or not. Jared... well... he seems to be content to keep his head up his ass, so... probably won’t be seeing any changes there. The twins are Sam’s best friends, so they’re always gonna have her back.

Rodney: Well… we do have to have the angst. ;)

Well, Andy will be getting over himself soon. And Jared… well, there was a reason it came down to the last minute and he didn’t have a date, lol.



Part 83

Maria glanced at Andy where he was slouched down in the opposite corner of the couch, his eyes glued to the action on the screen. She should have known that his offer to watch a movie together after dinner should have been a warning. His taste in movies ran from bad to worse most days and tonight had not been an exception. He had run to is room to grab a movie and returned minutes later, offering to get it set up while she finished up in the kitchen.

Now she was in Starship Troopers hell and the movie didn’t seem to have an ending. It felt like they had been watching it for hours on end and she knew realistically that it couldn’t have been more than 45 minutes. She shuddered at the creatures crawling all over the screen, ripping the human soldiers apart and in turn being turned into some kind of slime or something when weapons fire tore them to shreds. This was what happened when you let your 16-year-old grounded son pick the movie out, she decided. It was a form of torture, plain and simple.

Andy reached blindly for his phone when it started to buzz and he flipped it open, trying to read the text message without taking his eyes off of the television.

Maria saw his expression change and she was certain it had to be Sam. “Everything okay?” she asked when he frowned.

“Yeah, she just told me the dance sucks.”

“Well, you should be relieved that you didn’t go then, huh?”

“Probably,” he mumbled.

“Is she still with her date?”

Andy snorted. “From what it sounds like he hasn’t been with her at all the whole night.”

“Is she planning to go home soon?”

“She just said she’s gonna go look for him and tell him she wants to go home, so I think so.”

Maria nodded and grimaced at the television screen. She wasn’t sure how much more of this she could take. “Maybe you’d like to invite her over for a little while? If her dad’s not expecting her home right away and he says it’s alright,” she clarified.

Andy looked up from his cell surprised. “Really? I mean... that’d be cool.”

“Well, why don’t you see if she wants to do that.” Maybe Sam would be interested in watching the rest of this horrible movie with him.

But that would mean she’d probably want him to talk about stuff, right? Ungh... Well he had to do it anyway at least doing it now would save him another sleepless night. “I’ll ask her.”

Maria tried to focus on the movie but her gaze kept straying back to her son and she smiled when he squirmed around before looking at her with an impatient expression on his face.

“What, Mom?” Why was she being so weird?

“Nothing.” She shook her head. “You’re just growing up so fast.”

“I doubt that,” he grumbled.

She smiled. He was so eager to grow up and get out on his own and God, she didn’t want to think what a wreck she was gonna be when that day came.

“Hey, Mom...” he said after a moment of hesitation.

Maria lifted her eyebrows in question. “Yes?”

“Um... you know... I didn’t mean to hurt Michael the other day. I...” he shrugged, “I was just so mad when I saw him with that blonde girl and...”

“Andy, I know you didn’t hurt him intentionally, but you did hurt him. You’ve got to get your temper under control. If he had been anyone else you could be facing charges, do you realize that? You don’t want something like that to mark your future.”

He nodded. “Has he been here to talk to you about it?”

She inhaled deeply, well aware that telling Andy that Michael had stopped by to talk to her could blow up in her face. “He did come by to talk to me the other day. He wanted to explain who that blonde girl was because like you, I also made the wrong assumption about her identity.”

“You did?” he asked, surprised.

“Um-hmm. I went over to talk to him on Monday, to explain that I...” she swallowed hard, “that I couldn’t see him right now and when I got there she answered the door.”

Andy could easily pinpoint her sad tone the moment she said out loud that she couldn’t see him. Damn, he didn’t want to see Mom like this, but on the other hand he didn’t want her to be with someone else either. “Sorry.”

“I hope you know that my interest in him doesn’t take anything away from what your dad and I had, Andy.”

Her interest in him, it was so weird to hear this.

“Have you thought much about the accusations you made against Michael the other night? About him using you to get to me?” She really didn’t want him to think that badly of Michael because she knew it wasn’t true.

He stood and paced around the room. “I mean, why isn’t he my counselor anymore? It’s because of you, isn’t it?”

Oh, this could get very ugly very quickly, she thought. “It’s part of the reason, yes. But he honestly did feel that you had made enough progress that you didn’t require counseling any longer. Honey, if he felt that you needed more counseling he wouldn’t have ended your sessions. Yes, you would’ve been assigned to another counselor because it would be a conflict of interest for him to work with you in a professional capacity when he was interested in me. But... Andy, he genuinely likes you and he wants to help you. He enjoys spending time with you and he’s not the kind of man who would do that just to make points with a mom.”

Andy bit his lip from snapping a comment in response to that. He knew Mom was hurting and he didn’t want to make it worse. She didn’t deserve this and she also seemed to be pretty cool with Sam and him... she had caught them in a clear scene... she knew they weren’t just friends. “How did it start?” he asked instead. “I mean, when were you two hanging out?”

She smiled slightly. “We met in the park a few times when I was taking Theo for a walk... that’s actually where I met him. Very few of our meetings have been planned, most of the time they’ve just happened randomly.”

“Did you meet him before he turned out to be my counselor?” He could easily see the glow in her eyes when she talked about Michael. Damn, she really had it bad, he realized.

“We did meet before either of us knew he was your counselor.”

Andy sighed in relief when his cell buzzed. Talking to her about Michael was weird. “She’s coming,” he said after reading Sam’s message.

Maria nodded. “That’s nice.” She paused, wondering if she should continue. “Andy, I know you’re having a hard time with this... with me wanting to see Michael...” She trailed off, unsure of what she was trying to say exactly.

“Yes, I am,” he admitted.

“Right.” She had known that. Had she really expected him to suddenly have a change of heart? “I hope one of these days you’ll understand that being interested in him doesn’t make him a threat. Not to you, not to your dad’s memory, or to our family.”

He knew she was waiting for him to tell her it was alright and she should follow her heart... but it was so hard. He couldn’t get the words out.

Maria waited, hoping that he would be able to take that step and sighing in resignation when he couldn’t. “I know this isn’t easy for you, Andy.” She chuckled quietly. “To be honest, it’s not easy for me either.”

“It’s not?” he asked, surprised.

“No, not at all. Your dad and I were together since high school. Getting back out there, dating someone new, believe it or not that’s a little bit scary.”

From what he could tell, dating someone new was pretty exciting, he thought.

“Your dad and I were together for a long time. When you’re together that long, when you’re married... you get used to that person, you know their habits, you know how they’ll react to things... you get comfortable with what you know so stepping out of that comfort zone after so long is... well, it’s exciting too, but it’s also scary to put yourself out there because ultimately you’re risking your heart.”

For a moment he wondered if this was just about her and Michael or if she was trying to give him some advice for Sam as well.

Maria smiled and shook her head. “Just know that I love you, okay? And I’m here if you wanna talk about anything or... ask anything about well... anything.”

Andy made a face. “Are we talking about sex now?”

“Well, that wasn’t exactly where I was going, but yes, if you have any questions about,” she forced herself to say it, “sex, then you can talk to me about it.”

“I think Dad already told me all the necessary stuff, Mom.”

Something that she was grateful for, she thought. “I’m sure he covered everything, but I’m here if you come up with any questions.”

He nodded dumbly, not knowing what to say.

Maria glanced over her shoulder when she heard something outside. “Do you think that’s Sam already?”

Andy glanced to the locked door. “Maybe...”

“Well, if it is you should probably go get the door.”

*****

Max backed out of Kara’s room and quietly pulled the door closed after him, leaving it open just a bit. They didn’t expect the boys to be home for a couple of hours and if they were extremely lucky their youngest would sleep straight through the night. His parents had gone over to pester… er, visit, Maria’s parents for the evening, giving him and Liz an opportunity to finally spend some time alone.

He leaned back against the wall for a minute, exhausted after a day of fielding questions about the business and dodging the subject of his brother. As soon as they had gotten home the boys had gone to get ready for the dance and then he’d played chauffer, getting the boys and their dates to the high school. Jenny’s dad was picking the kids up and dropping them at home, so he wouldn’t need to go out again. Liz had been exhausted after spending the day with his mother so he’d sent her upstairs to rest while he finished cleaning up and then he’d put Kara down.

This was not what he’d had in mind for their anniversary weekend and he vowed to make it up to her just as soon as his parents took off. On Monday he was planning to meet with Missy, talk to her about heading out to Oklahoma to set things in motion at Walter’s shop. He also needed to sit down with Alex and see how things with the business were looking since he’d been traveling and figure out how to put an end to the trips. There had to be a way, he just had to find it.

He had limited them, hoping it would help ease Kara’s nightmares, and it had to some extent, but she was still having them. Liz was also looking worn out a lot and he needed to be home more to help out with the kids and around the house. He’d start working on it Monday, he decided. It was time to get things back to normal, or at least as close as possible. He rubbed the back of his neck and pushed away from the wall before walking to his room and stepping inside.

“Hey,” he said with a smile as he closed the door and leaned back against it.

Liz glanced up from the magazine she was holding but just pretending to read. Her thoughts had been distracted with the decision about whether to tell Max about the pregnancy today or not. The opportunity was there... they were alone at least for a while. But what if he took the news badly and the rest of the weekend was even more complicated? “Hey,” she responded, still uncertain what to do.

“Whatcha readin’?” he asked, cocking his head to one side.

She quickly glanced over the page to check it. “Oh, just some new recipes I might wanna try.”

He made a face. “C’mon, what about those articles like ‘101 Things to Make Your Man Hot’?”

Liz snorted. “You know I don’t need an article for that.”

He chuckled. “Well, no… but you just never know when they might come up with somethin’ new.”

“Like?”

“Hell, I don’t know. I don’t write those columns.”

“Anyway,” she placed the magazine away, “there’s nothing like that in this one.”

“Stop readin’ grandma magazines then,” he said and pushed away from the door.

“Can’t help it after spending a day with your mother,” she teased.

“Ungh, Liz,” he complained and threw himself down on the bed beside her. “Really? You said the ‘M’ word in our bedroom?”

You’d be glad if you knew what I’m about to say, she thought.

“You seem kinda distracted tonight. What’s on your mind?”

She looked at him, locking her eyes with his. Yeah, she couldn’t hide her feelings from him, he would always know that something was wrong as long as she didn’t tell him what was going on. “I need to tell you something, Max.”

“Okay.” He shifted onto his side and propped himself up on his elbow, giving her his full attention.

Her heart was hammering like crazy in her chest. How would he take the news? Somehow she couldn’t really tell. He had always wanted a big family with lots of kids, but after the dangerous pregnancy with the boys they had agreed to go with adoption instead of putting her through the risk again.

“Liz?” He reached out to brush his fingertips against her cheek. “Hey, talk to me, darlin’.”

She nodded slightly and prepared herself for his reaction. “I’m pregnant, Max.”

*****

Sam wrapped her arms around herself after knocking on the door. Standing there in her dress for the dance... she felt kinda ridiculous.

Andy wiped his palms on his jeans, wondering why they were suddenly sweaty. He ran his hand through his hair and took a deep breath before pulling the door open, glancing down when Theo pushed past him to see who their visitor was.

“Hey,” she greeted and smiled at the dog. God, she wanted to be in some comfortable jeans right now. She would feel much better in them.

Andy’s mouth was hanging open as his gaze moved over the dress she was wearing. “Wow, you look really nice, Sam.”

Nice? Hmm, was nice a good or a bad word, she wondered.

He glanced back over his shoulder to see if Mom was gawking at them. How embarrassing would that be? “So, you um, you wanna come in?” Great opening, Evans!

“Sure,” she said, smirking. Wasn’t exactly the plan to stand outside in this dress.

“Cool.” He stepped back and snapped his fingers to get Theo out of her way.

“Hello, Mrs. Evans,” she greeted his mom when she saw her sitting on the couch. Were the two of them hanging out? Maybe she should’ve stayed away then? Andy and his mom had something going on and she didn’t want to make it worse.

“Hello, Sam.” Maria smiled at the girl and did her best to not notice how her son was staring at her. “You’re beautiful... that dress is lovely.”

“Thanks. It was pretty much a waste though.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.” She bit back the urge to laugh when Andy looked at her like he couldn’t believe she had dared to say those five words. She was pretty sure that he was pleased Sam’s date with the other boy hadn’t gone well.

“School dances,” Sam sighed.

“Yeah, well... they do get better.”

“I hope so,” the girl said and glanced at Andy. Maybe the next one they would finally go together.

“Don’t worry... I’m sure the next one will be better.”

Sam nodded. So what now? Would they stay with his mom? That would be kinda weird, but maybe that was her condition to allow her to come over?

Andy kicked himself into gear when he caught Sam’s expression. “So, Mom, we’re gonna go to my room, okay?”

“Um-hmm.” She reached for the remote and switched the movie off, calling him when they started to leave the room.

“Yeah?” he asked warily.

“That door stays open and you should remember that I have very good hearing.”

He rolled his eyes. Could she be any more embarrassing? “Okay.” He motioned for Sam to hurry up and follow him.

Sam could already feel her heart beating faster against her chest that was tightly wrapped in the dress. A little too tight right now.

Maria watched them as they walked up the stairs before turning her attention to the television remote. There was never anything worth watching on TV anyway. She tossed it on the couch and got up, sitting back down after a moment and smiling as she thought about how awkward she had been when she had first started dating.

Andy looked at Sam when she stepped into his room and he shrugged as he nodded at the door. “Sorry, she’s kinda gone all... weird,” he muttered.

“Uh-huh, Dad would never allow me to go upstairs after he caught us like she did, so I think she’s pretty cool.”

“Yeah, well... I guess.”

He hadn’t really unpacked anything in here since her last visit, she realized. The room looked the same way it had earlier in the week.

He glanced around, following her gaze. “Um, yeah, I haven’t really done much since...” he shrugged. “Ya know.”

“Yeah,” she said, using her hands to lift up the material of her dress to walk over to the window.

“So... things with Jared didn’t go so well?” Okay, inside he was jumping up and down and fisting the air because that moron had screwed up.

“No...” she said, looking at him. “Okay, you can stop pretending to be serious. I know you wanna scream at me I TOLD YOU SO, so just do it now.”

He sat down and leaned back, resting his weight on his palms. “Hey, I’m not gonna apologize for not wantin’ things to work out great with Jared. I am sorry you didn’t have any fun at the dance though.”

“That’s all your fault,” she said dryly.

“What?”

“It would’ve been fun with you.”

“Maybe next time we can go together.”

“Well, if ya ask me next time...”

He cleared his throat. “Yeah, well...” he scratched his neck. “I should’ve asked you, okay? Not that it would’ve mattered ‘cause I still would’ve gotten grounded and we wouldn’t have been able to go.”

She leaned against the wall next to the window and looked at him. “Why?”

“’Cause I got into trouble,” he answered, dropping his gaze to the floor.

“What kinda trouble?”

He bit his lip as he wondered if there was any way to get out of answering that question. “Just... kinda got in a fight.” Liar, his conscience yelled. “Kinda.”

She controlled the urge to roll her eyes since she knew it was hard for him to talk. She was just so impatient.

“Mom found out about it and... grounded me.”

“Who’d you have a fight with?”

“Um, well... kindahitMichael,” he said, mumbling the last part so fast it came out as one word.

Her eyes widened when she realized what he had said. “You hit him? Mr. G?”

“Well... he was out with some chick an’ if it wasn’t for him Mom wouldn’t be feelin’ bad anyway.” He shoved away Scrappy’s voice when it appeared once more, reminding him that he was the one making her miserable. “He’s not the right guy for her anyway. He was just usin’ me to get to her... It’s so obvious, Sam!”

“Wait wait wait,” she said, shaking her head. “How do you know your mom and him are involved or whatever?”

“She told me Sunday night that she kinda wanted to date him or whatever but,” he rolled his eyes, “at least she asked what I thought first... ‘cause it’d be a huge mistake.”

“At least she asked what you thought?” Sam repeated in disbelief. “You do realize, Andy, that she doesn’t have to ask you at all, right?”

“Well, of course she has to ask me! I mean, datin’ some guy who could potentially be my stepdad someday? I should have a say in that!”

“No, you shouldn’t. Well not like you seem to think. If he’s bad to you, then yes, if he treats you badly, yes, but not if you don’t have any reason to hold it against the guy.”

“You don’t understand,” he snapped.

“I do understand. Better than you think.”

He shook his head. “It’s different for you,” he insisted.

“But it’s still my dad dating the principal and I have to accept it.”

“Okay, well, yeah, but... and I’m not tryin’ to be insensitive here or anything, but I knew my dad and I know what he and my mom were like together so seein’ her with someone else is just...” he shook his head. “It’s just different, Sam.”

“You can’t hold her back from happiness just so you feel better, Andy.”

“I’m not,” he denied.

“Really? So she’s happy not dating Mr. G?”

“No, I didn’t say that. But, she’ll get over it eventually... she’ll realize that he’s not the right guy and just, ya know, move on.”

“IF he’s not the right guy, then I think she has to find that out on her own, Andy.”

“How can you take her side?” he muttered.

“I’m not taking her side. I’m just pointing out a fact. Look, let’s take it from a different angle. What would you say if your mom told you you’re not allowed to see me just because she thinks I’m not the right girl for you?”

“That’s ridiculous,” he snorted. “How would she know that?”

Sam lifted her eyebrows. “Uh-huh, exactly.”

“She doesn’t even really know you,” he pointed out logically.

“That’s true.”

He shrugged. He had proven his point as far as he was concerned.

“But how much do you know Michael? And why would you think he’s not right for her?”

“Hell, I’ve spent the last couple of months with him as my counselor. How well do I have to know him?” Okay, yeah, he’d thought Michael was pretty cool up until the night Mom had told him she was interested in the man. “He’s just... he’s not...” He’s not my dad, he thought and it hurt.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 84

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Jul 24, 2011 4:24 am

Eva: Sam’s a good kid, huh?

We think if anyone’s gonna get through to Andy, Sam has the best chance.

There are some definite similarities there.

How about we give you the answer to that major question in this part? 

Natalie36: Sam doesn’t pull any punches with him. Max… he’ll tell us in this part.

Earth2Mama: Sam’s a great kid!

Lol, that was a little bit mean of us, wasn’t it? Well, we’re gonna take a look in and see what Max’s reaction is in this update.

begonia9508: Lol, looks like we’ve got some work convincing you that Andy actually is a good kid… let’s see if we can get him to that point.

Sam’s likely to continue letting him have it.

Liz did have a difficult pregnancy and the twins were born premature. But you’re right, that may not be the case this time out.

Maiqu: Thanks!

Lol, just don’t like her, huh?

Andy’s doing better, he’s growing up and maturing a bit. Slowly, but it is happening, and Sam will play a big role in that.

Well, the bbq’s coming soon, so we’ll see how your theory plays out.

keepsmiling7: What now? Well, let’s find out…

Smac: Lol, that was kinda mean, huh? Well, we’re back with an update and yes, Max will have his reaction. Oh, violence… We’ll be sure to keep Andy out of your path. ;)

mary mary: Their situations are similar and different, but what they share in common is having a parent that they’re having to share with someone new. Andy just isn’t quite seeing it that way yet.

killjoy: Always a possibility.

We’re gonna pass on that read, but thanks!

Cardinal: Well… we suppose you could… but um… then you wouldn’t get any resolution for those cliffhangers, so, that’s totally up to you guys… :)

Yup, and we’ll see a little more of both of them in this update.

Alien_Friend: Alex is hoping the same thing!

She did tell him.

Baby steps, but he is taking them.

We’re so glad you’re loving this fic!



Part 84

Sam walked over to Andy, not sure if he would let her comfort him or not. “He’s not your dad,” she said gently, kneeling down in front of him where he was sitting on the bed. It really was a challenge with the dress. “Nobody will replace your dad.”

“I miss my dad, Sam,” he admitted as he raised his head to meet her gaze.

“I know,” she whispered, resting her hands on his thighs to steady herself.

His fingertips traced over the backs of her hands. “Do you think he used me to make her like him?”

“I doubt it, Andy,” she said honestly. Goosebumps ran over her arms from his touch. “I mean, did he ever mention your mom that way when you were with him? Or did they meet under false pretences?”

Had he ever mentioned Mom? “Just when he was talkin’ about stuff like how I was doin’ at home or how my relationship with Mom was.” He paused, thinking. “Mom said they had run into each other a few times, mostly when she was walkin’ Theo.”

“And you uncle’s friends with him, isn’t he?” she asked, turning one of her hands over under his. “I think it just happened, you know? You can’t choose who you’re attracted to.”

His heart started to beat rapidly when her palm slid against his. “Scrappy seriously unloaded on me when I told him what happened.”

She chuckled. “Yeah, I can imagine that.”

“I don’t know, Sam... I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, if you’re not comfortable with seeing them together, you could ask her to date him somewhere else first and that they should respect your wishes in not seeing them kiss and stuff, but Andy... don’t break her heart by being stubborn and refusing to give in.”

“It’s just weird. I mean, I know she’s been kinda sad... Did she look happy to you last Saturday? Ya know, when we were over at his house?”

“From what I saw she looked pretty happy, yep. Don’t you think?”

“Yeah,” he admitted grudgingly, “she did.” Especially when she was talking to Michael.

“You wanna deny her that?”

He swallowed hard. “I’m not tryin’ to be a dick.”

“I know.” She believed him.

“And I do want her to be happy.”

“She wants you to be happy as well.”

“What should I do?”

She smiled. “You know what you should do, Andy.”

He sighed and shrugged one shoulder.

“Let’s get back to the fact that you hit Mr. G,” she said. “How and why did you hit him?”

Andy made a face at her. He should’ve known that she would go back to that. “I don’t know. I saw him with that woman and I was already pissed off... I just ran at him and shoved him as hard as I could. I never meant for him to get hurt. I guess I just wasn’t really thinking.”

She sighed. “Ya gotta get that temper of yours under control, Andy.”

“I know. I just... my mom was tellin’ me that she likes the guy an’ then we got into a fight and we weren’t talkin’ so when I saw him with that woman I just lost it.”

“Who was the other woman?”

“Um, well... kinda turns out she’s his sister,” he said, looking at the floor again.

“Ouch,” she said. That had really backfired on him.

“Yeah, so...”

“Bet your mom wasn’t really happy about that.”

“She kinda made the same assumption.”

“About the woman?”

“Yeah, I guess she went over to tell him they couldn’t see each other but... his sister answered the door and she thought he had a date or whatever.”

“What a mess.” Sam had to chuckle at the absurdity and she lost her balance, grabbing onto him when she felt herself falling backwards.

Andy’s hands shot out to grab onto her but he leaned too far forward and the next thing he knew he was on top of her on the floor. He stared down at her for a moment and as the shock wore off his face flushed hotly and he scrambled to get off of her.

She was – almost – disappointed when he hurried to get away so quickly, but then she had to giggle at the scene. “Oops.”

“Sorry,” he mumbled as he shifted to hide his reaction to her. Could this get any more embarrassing?

“Damn dress. It’s sooo uncomfortable.”

He cleared his throat. “You look really good in it.”

“Thanks. I wish it was at least a bit handier.”

“So, you didn’t have any fun at all at the dance, huh?”

“Hmm, let me think.” She pretended to think. “Not at all. The music was nice, but yeah, well, no one danced with me, so...”

“Really?” His gaze moved over her and he wondered how guys could be so stupid. “Not even Nick or Justin?”

“They had their hands full with Jenny and Sarah.”

“Oh, right. I’ll dance with you,” he offered. God, what if she thought he was a total dork now?

“You will?”

“I know how to dance,” he muttered.

“That would be nice,” she admitted. “Maybe at the winter dance?”

“Yeah, I’d like that.” He bit his lip and got up and turned his stereo on before holding his hand out to her. “Wanna dance with me now?”

She smiled. “Are you serious?” She took his hand, struggling to get up with the long and tight dress.

“Yeah. I mean, if you wanna.” He caught her hands in his and pulled her to her feet.

“Sure.” She let him help her up, straightening her dress with her palms when she stood again.

“Is the music okay?” he asked as he waited for her to make herself presentable.

“Yeah, I think this’ll work.”

“Cool.”

*****

Maria frowned when the phone rang. Who was calling so late? She leaned forward to get the phone from the coffee table. “Hello?”

“Mrs. Evans?”

“That’s me, yes.”

“Hello, it’s Alex Whitman, you know...”

“Sam’s father,” she completed.

“Yeah that’s right. I wanted to make sure she got to your house safely? She told me she was gonna go see Andy since the dance didn’t go as well as expected.”

“She arrived a little while ago... I’ve got an eye on them and they’re just talking.”

He coughed slightly. “Um okay. That’s good, I guess.”

“What time’s her curfew?”

“I’d like to see her back home by 11pm.”

“I’ll make sure she’s home by curfew,” she assured him.

“Thanks, and oh, Mrs. Evans, I’d appreciate if you didn’t tell my daughter I called. I don’t wanna make her feel like I don’t trust her. Just wanted to make sure she got there safe, but you know how kids are.”

“No problem, I understand.”

“Thanks. Goodbye then.” Alex hung up again, feeling just a little bit better now that he knew Andy’s mom was around as well.

*****

Max stared at Liz in shock, certain he had heard wrong. He backed away from her, his head shaking negatively in an attempt to deny her words. “Pregnant... it’s not possible. You can’t be pregnant.”

“I am Max, there’s no doubt.”

“No. Damn it, we agreed it’s too dangerous and that was... No, you’re 16 years older now, Liz, that’s gonna make it even more dangerous!”

“I didn’t plan this, Max,” she said. “But it happened and now we have to deal with it.”

The part of him that had long ago accepted that they would never have more children shouted in elation at her news, but the part of him that knew the dangers, the part that knew how close he had come to losing her the last time was terrified. “We can’t...” God, it hurt to even think what he was thinking. “The risk is too great, Liz. You can’t go through...” he choked on the words, unable to say them.

Her hands went protectively to her stomach. “Are you suggesting an abortion?”

He swallowed hard, wishing he could just say yes. His gaze lowered to her belly and he couldn’t stop the panic that he felt as the memories of her last pregnancy assaulted him. Even with the fear clawing at him he could never suggest ending their baby’s life. “Liz, you nearly died the last time!”

“But it doesn’t have to be that way again,” she tried. “I know that it’s a risk, but last time we didn’t know what could happen and now we know and can be more careful.”

“Damn it, Liz, they couldn’t even tell us why you had such a difficult time with the twins!”

“The techniques are more developed now, Max. That was 15 years ago.”

He got up and started to pace restlessly. “How could this happen now?”

“I don’t know. Could be that with all the stress lately the pill didn’t work or something.”

He ran his hand through his hair. “You had a rough time with the last pregnancy, Liz.” He shook his head. “I can’t lose you,” he whispered raggedly.

“Max,” she stood up to stop him from pacing around. “You won’t lose me.”

He jerked away from her. “You can’t know that!”

“You can’t know anything, Max. We didn’t know your brother would die either. Things like that happen, with or without a pregnancy.”

He shook his head. He hadn’t needed that reminder. “Don’t bring him up, not now.”

“I’m just trying to tell you that bad things happen no matter what. But this baby doesn’t have to be a bad thing for us, Max.”

He caught her hands and held them against his chest. “Liz, I...” he sighed, “I can’t talk about this right now.”

She nodded. “Okay.” Pushing him wasn’t an option right now. She knew that and maybe he had to get used to the idea of being a daddy again before he could talk about it. She’d had a few days to get used to it now, while he had just heard it.

“You’ve been to see Linda already?”

“Yeah, she’s the one who told me.”

“What’d she say about the risks?”

“That I’ll have to come in more than normal for checkups and that I need to take it easy.”

“So you found out, what, yesterday? I wish you’d told me. I would’ve sent my parents to a hotel. You don’t need the stress.”

“I found out during the week, but I didn’t want to talk about it on the phone and then I wanted to tell you on Friday after the kids were settled down... but yeah your parents were here.”

“You’ve known for several days?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn it, Liz, this past week has been one stress-filled day after another! You should’ve just told me over the phone. I would’ve cut the trip short and come home.”

“But I didn’t want to tell you on the damn phone, Max.”

“So bein’ stressed out all week was better than just tellin’ me over the phone?” he snapped.

“Obviously not,” she snapped back.

“You’ve wanted me to open up and talk to you but you kept this from me. How long does it take to say ‘Max, I’m pregnant’?”

“I wasn’t trying to keep it from you,” she poked her finger into his chest. “I was just waiting to tell you face to face.”

“Well, my face has been here along with the rest of me for the past 24 hours or so.”

She snorted. “Yeah, right, as if we’ve had any time to talk alone the past 24 hours.”

“It’s three words,” he bit out. “I’m pretty sure you would’ve had my attention.”

“Alright, next time I’ll just tell you in front of the kids and your parents. Then we’ll have the perfect thing to keep them from talking about Andrew when they’re around, right?” Her anger reached a new level when he kept accusing her of not telling him. When the hell did he think she should’ve told him?

“I’m gonna go for a walk.”

She rubbed her face tiredly. “Do that.”

“I’ll lock up behind myself. You don’t need to come downstairs and lock up after me.”

“Wasn’t planning to,” she told him and walked over to the bed again to lie down.

“I’ll have my cell, so call me if you need me.”

She didn’t respond to that, resting her head back on the soft pillows. At least it was out now, she thought.

Max walked downstairs, taking the steps two at a time. When he reached the first floor he went into the kitchen and grabbed the leash off of the hook by the back door. He opened the door and stepped outside, whistling for Lucky. He patted the dog’s side when he ran out behind him and he leaned back inside and set the alarm before locking up behind himself. Maybe a walk in the cool night air would help him clear his head.

*****

“So, who taught you how to dance?” Andy asked when she moved into his arms.

“My dad.”

“Does he know where you’re at?” he wondered aloud.

“I told him, yes.”

“He was cool with it?”

“I doubt he’s really cool. But he tries.”

“Well, at least he’s tryin’, right?” He smiled slightly.

“Yeah, I have to give him that much. He probably won’t get one minute of peace until I get home though.”

“And when’s that?”

“11pm and I’d better not be one second late,” she chuckled.

He snorted. “Yeah, wouldn’t do any good for both of us to be grounded.”

“That’d suck,” she admitted.

“I’m sorry I fucked this up, Sam. I mean, it could’ve been our first dance as, ya know, boyfriend an’ girlfriend... whatever.”

She shrugged. There was no point in thinking about it since it was already too late to change things. “Do we make this official now?”

He cleared his throat. “Um... how do you make it official?”

“I just meant... do we still hide this?”

He bit his bottom lip. He didn’t really like hiding the fact that they were a couple. “You said Justin’s cool with us bein’ together, right?”

“Yeah, he wasn’t really surprised at all.”

“Then I’m good with it bein’ official.”

“Cool,” she smiled, excited about what the girls would look like when they found out about her and Andy.

He smiled in response to her expression of happiness. His eyes dropped to her mouth and he leaned in to brush his lips against hers.

Sam let go of his hand that had been holding hers during their dance and she slipped her other hand from his shoulder to bring both of her arms up and around his neck to stop him from backing away again.

Andy followed her lead, wrapping his arms around her waist and angling his head slightly. They were barely moving as they slowly explored each other’s mouths and he sighed contentedly.

This was what she had been waiting for all evening. She should’ve just dumped Jared from the start and come here to hang out with Andy.

“I don’t hear anything!” Maria called from the bottom of the staircase.

“Told you she’s embarrassing,” he grumbled against her lips.

“S’okay, my dad would’ve already been up here,” she whispered in between kisses.

“We’re gonna have to say something,” he told her quietly.

“She’s your mom... you say somethin’,” she insisted.

He grinned. “We still have our clothes on, Mom.”

Sam smacked his shoulder. “Are you crazy?” Jeez, her dad would’ve had a coronary over that comment!

“I appreciate that, thank you,” Maria rolled her eyes at his son’s answer, knowing he was just teasing.

“Guys have it so much easier,” she complained with a roll of her eyes.

He silenced her with another proper kiss, taking her face in both of his hands.

The complaints disappeared the moment his lips met hers again. His mom could’ve walked in on them in that moment and she wouldn’t have cared.

He wanted to bring her closer to his body, but wasn’t sure if she really wanted that, so he just stayed where he was and continued the kiss.

Sam felt his hesitation and when he didn’t take the step that would bring them closer she wondered if she should just do it. She wanted to but was it too soon? No, she decided. It wasn’t like they were going to do anything with his mom right downstairs and she really wanted to be in his arms like that. She took that small step, bringing their bodies together and she smiled when she could feel his surprise.

Andy swallowed hard, but smiled against her lips and let his arms drop to rest on her hips, pressing her against him.

She whimpered quietly at the new feelings rushing through her as he held her so close. She suddenly found herself wondering what it would feel like to touch him and she broke the kiss. “We should slow down,” she whispered.

“Andrew Jefferson Evans, if I don’t hear something from up there in the next few seconds I’m coming up.”

“Guess Mom thinks the same way,” he said breathlessly. “Mom,” he complained.

Maria smiled to herself as she went back to browsing through her magazine.

He leaned his forehead against Sam’s and looked at her, using his thumb to brush against her lips. “Sorry, didn’t mean to rush things.”

She shook her head. “S’okay as long as we know when to slow down,” she assured him as she played with his earlobe.

His mind was running over all the possibilities they would explore together and he couldn’t hide his shiver of anticipation. Yeah, it’d probably take a while, but for her he would be patient.

Sam smiled at him as her own thoughts followed a similar path. “Andy?”

“Yeah, I think we should do that,” he said a little louder to pretend they were talking. He winked at her. “What?” he asked quietly.

She giggled at him acting for his mom’s benefit. “Have you ever...” she raised her eyebrows meaningfully, “ya know, gone all the way?”

He looked at her intensely, trying to find out if she thought he had or not. Should he be honest or not, he wondered. But wouldn’t she notice he had lied at some point? Probably. “Um, no, not all of that...” he said.

She nodded and smiled. “Okay.”

“What about you?”

She shook her head. “You were the first guy I ever kissed.”

“Really?” he asked, surprised. Hadn’t felt like she was inexperienced.

Sam pulled back to look at him fully. “Is that a bad thing?” Maybe he wanted to be with someone who had more experience?

“No, just thought you gotta be a natural then, ‘cause you wouldn’t think someone would kiss like this their first time.”

She smiled as her thumb brushed over his bottom lip. “Guess that makes you a good teacher ‘cause I was just following your lead.”
Last edited by Double Trouble on Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 924
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 85

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:31 am

begonia9508: Thanks!

Max’s fears are valid with their history.

He should definitely go with her to talk to Linda.

Earth2Mama: Yep, it wouldn’t hurt for him to go to Linda and get more information. He’s just scared right now and hasn’t even realized that walking out the way he did will only make things worse.

You’re right, first love is so new and exciting.

Eva: Thanks!

You’re right on target. The thought of losing the love of his life is suffocating. Losing Andrew, something he still hasn’t dealt with, not long ago is making it more difficult to deal with this new development. He might take a step in the right direction in this part though.

Sam and Andy do need each other, they just don’t know how much yet. Andy does have a good heart and we think he’ll step up when Sam needs him to.

mary mary: Lol, well, she wasn’t really thinking that far ahead when she answered… with a little forethought she might’ve answered a bit differently.

Andy and Sam are adorable together.

Cardinal: We think you’re right. Liz knew he wasn’t likely to take the news well at first so she expected his reaction.

Sam has a good influence on Andy and she has a way of getting him to see things that he otherwise would ignore.

keepsmiling7: Liz knew and now she knows she has to wait for him to come to grips with the news.

We think his walk will help. Sitting down to talk to Linda one on one would help him.

Smac: True, Liz hasn’t known that long herself and telling him on the phone really wouldn’t have been better. It would help if he would go and talk to Linda, get some information to help him deal with the pregnancy. Worried and overprotective… yeah, that’s likely.

Lol, this would be the same Andy. Sam’s the one person who has the best chance of getting through to Andy… and he does tend to listen to what she has to say. We’ll see if his alter-ego shows back up again.

Alien_Friend: You just never know… it could happen.

Max just needs some time to get things straight in his head. Maybe his walk will help with that.

Maiqu: Ouch…

He just needs some time.

Lol, we’re glad to hear that.

sarammlover: It’s going slow, but Andy is listening to Sam. Yep, we agree about Michael. No, walking out isn’t the way to handle things, but Max needed to clear his head and try to calm down. He does need to deal with Andrew’s death… and it will happen.



Part 85

Max unhooked Lucky’s leash as the panic inside of him started to grow, patting the dog’s side and motioning for him to keep pace with him as he started to jog. He could feel the fear eating away at him and no matter how fast his feet pounded against the pavement he couldn’t outrun the memories. When Liz had told him she was pregnant all those years ago he had been beyond happy; he had seen a future that was so perfect it was ridiculous. He had never expected things to go so wrong with the pregnancy, never expected to come so close to losing Liz and the twins all in one night.

He had come home after a long day to find her on the floor, nearly unconscious and in a lot of pain. He had called an ambulance and gone to the hospital with her, pacing restlessly in the hall while the doctor had examined her. He had been relieved when Linda had shown up and taken over and before long he had been allowed to go inside and be with Liz.

“She’s stable for the moment,” Linda assured him, “but we’re getting ready to take her down to delivery.”

“Delivery? But, it’s too soon, Linda. They’re not due for several more months.” He looked down at Liz and he could see the fear in her eyes.

“I know, but their survival is possible even being born this early. We knew this was a possibility and we’re prepared for it.” She smiled reassuringly. “Let’s just get these little guys delivered and then get them stabilized, okay?”

Max looked down and squeezed his wife’s hand. “It’s gonna be okay. Won’t be long now and we’ll get to see our baby boys.”

Linda checked the readout on one of the machines and called for a nurse, issuing orders and sending the woman running. She patted her patient’s hand when Liz looked up at her fearfully. “We’re still okay, I’m just taking precautions.” She looked at Max. “We’ll get you prepped so you can be with Liz throughout the delivery.”

Even knowing the boys were going to be premature and that they had an uphill battle ahead of them they had gone into the delivery room feeling scared but optimistic. That had all gone to hell in just a matter of minutes though. One minute everything had been fine and the next the heart monitors had been going crazy, Liz had gone pale and her grasp on his hand had weakened so that she was barely holding onto him.

“Max… the babies…”

“Liz, I don’t… I don’t know.” He had looked to the doctor but Linda had been working on delivering the twins safely.

“Doctor, she’s crashing!”

His head had snapped to the side as he tried to focus on the person who had yelled but the sound of that beep screeching interminably had drawn his gaze and his heart had lodged in his throat at the flat green line moving across the screen. “Oh, God, Liz… Liz, darlin’… God, don’t do this, please,” he begged.

“Get him out of here now!”

He stared at Linda in disbelief. “No!”

She had pulled him aside while another doctor took her place and she had shoved him out the door, having no time to handle him with kid gloves. “Max, we have a very small window here… we could lose her or we could lose the twins. If we have to choose…”

In that moment he had hated her more than he had ever believed it possible to hate another human being. He and Liz had discussed this; they had fought about it on several occasions. She had made him promise that if it ever came to a choice between her life and the twins lives he would tell the doctors to make every effort to save the babies.

“Max, I’ve got to have an answer. We don’t have time!”

“The boys,” he finally croaked out.

She had paused at the door to the room where his wife lay, possibly dying, and she had called his name. “I’ll do everything possible.”


He dropped down on one of the park benches and held his head in his hands as he dragged in deep lungfuls of air. He felt like his entire world had just been upended and the news he had gotten was something that he wanted to be excited about. He wanted to feel that elation, that wonder at creating a new life, but all he could feel was fear. Fear for the woman he loved more than anything else in this world and fear for their unborn child.

His hands shook as he fumbled for his phone and punched in a number. “Hey,” he rasped, “I’m sorry to call so late. I need to talk…” He shook his head at the response. “No, I’m at the park,” he raised his head to look around. “At the uh, at the west end close to the duck pond.” He nodded again and then realized the other person couldn’t see that. “No, I’ll wait… Okay, thanks.”

*****

Alex pocketed his keys as he walked across the park to the dejected figure he could see slumped down on the bench by the duck pond. He had no idea what was going on but Max had sounded upset and he knew for him to call as late as it was it had to be important. As soon as Isabel had come by to stay with Sam he had left the house and headed for the park.

“Max, what’s goin’ on?” he asked as he sat down on the opposite end of the bench.

He raised his head and turned to look at Alex. “Thanks for comin’,” he said. “I feel like I’m losin’ my mind here, Alex.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

“It’s Liz, she’s pregnant.”

He reached over and rested his right hand on his friend’s shoulder. He knew what the couple had been through with their first pregnancy. “Max, man, things have changed a lot since the boys were born. The medical community’s made so many advancements since then and her doctor’s gonna be familiar with her history.”

“She’s known for several days and she didn’t tell me until tonight.”

“Hell, you’ve been outta town, Max. She’s had sick kids to deal with and earlier tonight Sam mentioned that your parents had dropped in unexpectedly. I can’t think of very many women who want to tell their husband they’re expecting over the phone or with a houseful of people underfoot. Don’t let your fear ruin this for you. What’s her doctor say?”

“Linda wants to keep a close eye on her, more appointments than normal, and she wants her stress managed better.”

Alex chuckled. “Well, in-laws, no matter how well-meaning, have a tendency of makin’ things incredibly stressful. And if she had this news under her hat then you know that’s only addin’ to her stress level. Add in the fact that she knows good an’ well just how badly you were likely to take the news and it’s no wonder she put off telling you until she could get you alone.”

“I know that, but I still think she should’ve told me right away considering our past.”

“What would you have done if she’d told you while you were in Oklahoma dealin’ with things?”

Max sighed. “I don’t know.”

“She’s here tryin’ to hold things together while you’re away on business. She wasn’t tryin’ to hide anything from you. Hell, it’s no secret she’s always wanted another baby. She’s probably scared out of her mind and excited and nervous. She wants you to be happy about this even though it’s scary.” He gave Max a friendly shove. “She needs your support.”

“I know that,” he ran his hands through his hair. “But what if havin another baby means losing her this time, Alex?” He shook his head. “Alone with all the kids... we can’t survive without her.”

“Okay, you’ve got a valid fear and I’m not denyin’ that, but what’re your options? You make the best of this, do everything you can to make this pregnancy easier than the first one, or...” he couldn’t even bring himself to say the word.

Or... could he tell his wife that an abortion was probably the more sane solution? Was it?

Alex shook his head. “I’m sure if Linda felt that Liz was in any danger she would’ve suggested ending the pregnancy.”

“It’s just all different now,” Max sighed. “We have the twins, we have Kara... if something happens to her...”

“Maybe you’re lookin’ at it from the wrong angle. Yes, her first pregnancy was difficult and you guys nearly paid the ultimate price, but they survived. Take into account the technological advances in medicine, the incredibly slim odds that she’s pregnant with twins again, and the fact that you guys have the advantage of experience here.”

“I really wanna believe it.”

Alex knew how difficult this was for Max and he could imagine that Liz was incredibly upset that Max wasn’t home right now. “Could you honestly go home, look into your wife’s eyes, and suggest terminating the pregnancy?”

He looked up at his friend and shook his head. “She’d hate me if I even suggested it.”

“Yeah, and you’d hate yourself too.”

“I really hope it’s right to keep the baby, Alex.” Just the thought of losing Liz was enough to bring him to his knees.

“Max, I can’t tell you what to do, and I don’t think that’s what you really want anyway. You know she’s at home right now, probably wondering where you are and tryin’ to figure out what to do now.”

“I should go home,” Max admitted.

“Yeah, you should.” He started to bring up his own situation but he didn’t want to delay Max if he was ready to go.

“Everything okay?” the other man asked. Somehow he had a feeling Alex had something on his mind.

He shrugged and shook his head. “Kendra showed up at the house earlier tonight.”

“Kendra?” Max asked, momentarily confused before suddenly it hit him. “THE Kendra?”

“Is there another?” Alex smiled faintly. “Just outta nowhere. I have no idea what I would’ve done if Sam had been home.”

“Oh, wow, what does she want?”

“Said she wants to see Sam.” He sighed and tipped his head back to stare up at the sky. “15 years, man. Other than the cards she’s sent she’s never shown any interest in my daughter, and now she just shows up like she has any rights where Sam’s concerned. I’m tempted to tell her to get the hell outta town and never come back.”

“That’s really weird.” Max frowned. He was glad to have a distraction from his own situation. “Why would she just show up like that now?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think she has a legal leg to stand on if she thinks she can get custody of Sam. She never officially terminated her parental rights, but she’s never been involved in Sam’s life. Hell, she hasn’t even seen her since she was four days old. When Sam was little she used to ask about her mom all the time, but as she’s gotten older she doesn’t bring it up very often. Most of the time she’s fine, ya know? But then a card shows up in the mail and it brings her questions to the surface again. Even without a mother figure in her life, Sam’s grown up knowin’ she’s loved and that I’ll always be there for her. But coming face-to-face with her mother... I don’t know how that’s gonna affect her.”

“It won’t be easy,” Max admitted. “Though it might help her to understand in the end... ya know?”

“Maybe.” He snorted softly. “Hell, I don’t even understand.”

“You gonna tell Sam soon?”

“Yeah. I’m gonna meet with Kendra first, find out what exactly she expects from meeting Sam. Why she’s here after all these years of bein’ absent.”

“Yeah, that’s probably the best way to handle it.”

“I hope so. Isabel said she had the feelin’ Kendra just wants to meet Sam, get to know her.”

“Maybe it’s the truth.”

“Maybe. I hope so.” He rubbed his hands over his face. “Kendra bein’ here could backfire and Sam could get hurt. God, that’s the last thing I want.”

“Seems like someone can’t leave us alone lately.”

“Someone?”

“Yeah someone up there,” Max gestured up to the sky, “won’t give us a break.”

“Oh,” Alex said with a quiet laugh. “Yeah. My mom says God never gives us more than we can handle, but some days... damn, some days it feels like he’s really piling it on.”

“I second that.”

“It’s like things start goin’ smoothly and BAM! Somethin’ happens to upset everything.”

“Yeah, why is that?”

“I wish I knew.” He laughed gruffly. “Ya know, Kendra never really sat down and talked to me about her decision to leave Sam with me, but I was relieved. When we found out she was pregnant it scared the hell outta me ‘cause I saw every dream I had just go up in flames. But as the pregnancy advanced I found myself getting more and more excited about bein’ a dad. But Kendra, it’s like she pulled away, put distance between us. She never wanted the baby. She never considered getting an abortion, but she wanted to put Sam up for adoption. We fought about that and I was scared to death I was gonna lose my little girl.” He rubbed his face again. “It’s amazing how fast they take hold of your heart, isn’t it? I held her in my arms and I knew there was nothin’ I wouldn’t do for her.”

“Yeah, I know that feeling,” Max agreed, wondering how it would feel to hold another small baby in his arms in a few months.

“You want this baby just as much as Liz does, Max. I know there’re risks, but things are different now. Go talk to Linda on Monday, just find out what the risks are and what you can do to minimize them. I’m sure she’s already talked to Liz about it, but she’ll probably be more than willin’ to talk to you about it too.”

“I will,” he nodded and felt a bit better.

“A few weeks ago I started wondering if I wanted more kids. I mean, Sam will be going off to college in just a few years. But I think if it happened, I’d enjoy havin’ another kid or two.”

Max smirked. “What does your current girlfriend say about that?”

“My current girlfriend,” he smirked. “Isabel wants kids. We haven’t really talked about it but we’re getting there.”

“That’s good.”

“It’s just a relief that Sam’s started to warm up to Isabel.”

“Think she’ll be okay with a little brother or sister?”

“I think if we keep going at a pace like we’ve been taking Sam will adjust to it.”

“I hope this turns out the way you want it to,” Max looked at his friend. “And this time you won’t have to do it all alone.”

“Me too.” He smiled. “Isabel wants a family though. I don’t see her runnin’.”

“We’re a lot older now and hopefully wiser and more responsible than we were in high school.”

Alex chuckled. “I like to think so.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“So... what’re you gonna do?”

Max shrugged. “Go home and do my best?”

He slapped his friend on the back. “That’s all we can do, buddy. It’s what we should do.”

*****

It was already 10pm when Michael finally made it out of the gym. The dance was practically over and he wasn’t needed anymore so it was time to go home. “Hey, slow down,” he warned a few students who crossed his path in the parking lot, driving with the windows down.

“Sorry,” he heard one boy yell. Wasn’t that Jared?

He walked to his own car and climbed in behind the wheel, ready to go home and go to bed. This weekend hadn’t been any fun and the sooner it was over the better. His eyes locked on the main street in front of him and he remembered the scene from earlier that day when his eyes focused on the little glowing neon sign that said ‘open’.

After thinking about it for a few moments he nodded to himself and climbed out of his car again to head down to the little bar Isabel, Kyle and him liked to hang out at. Maybe the mysterious woman from earlier would be there and could distract him from his own sucky life for a while.

Kendra was sitting at the bar, sketching out a landscape scene on the back of a cocktail napkin. She had known that this wasn’t gonna be easy, but she had irrationally hoped that Alex would be more open to listening. She sighed, hating the feeling of loneliness that had become her constant companion.

“You don’t look too happy,” Michael said when he approached her at the bar counter.

She looked up and forced a smile when she saw the man from the park earlier that day. “Michael, you made it.”

“Yeah, I’m done watching hormone-driven teenagers,” he winked at her.

Had her daughter been at the dance? It would make sense. She was the right age and she hadn’t seen any signs that the girl was home when she had stopped by the house. “I’m sure that was a lot of fun,” she said with a quiet laugh. Had Isabel helped Sam to get ready for the dance? Gone with her to shop for a dress?

“You couldn’t imagine the way they tried to get alcohol in the punch.” He lifted his hand up to greet the bartender and ordered a beer.

“Some things never change, do they?”

“Yeah, seems like.”

“Boys will be boys.” She chuckled and shook her head.

“So right.” He took a sip of the beer when he got it and looked at her. “How’d your visit go?”

“Not as well as I’d hoped, but better than I expected.”

“Well, I guess that’s good then.”

She smiled tightly. “We’ll see. What about you? No post-dance plans?”

“Other than going home?”

“You did say you were seeing someone.”

“Well, no, I just said there’s someone else.”

“Sounds like the same thing to me.” She took a sip of her drink and looked at him. “How is it different?”

“Well, seeing someone and there being someone I’m interested in doesn’t have to be the same, does it?”

She chuckled and pointed at him. “Now you wanna argue semantics? You said there’s someone in your life, to me that’s pretty much the same thing.”

He just shrugged, wishing it was.

“So... what’s the story?”

“Let’s just say I’m interested in someone, but we can’t be together right now.”

“Is it something you’re willing to work through to be together?” she asked.

“Problem is I don’t have much influence over the situation.”

“Sometimes you have to make things change.”

“That’s easier said than done.”

“It always is.” She sighed quietly. “Do you love her?”

Could he say that already? How could he really love her without being with her? “I’d say I could love her.”

“Then what’re you doin’ sitting in a bar with a complete stranger? You should be wherever she is, Michael.”

He smirked sadly. “Believe me, I would if I could.”

She watched him for a minute, noticing the sadness in his dark eyes. “Maybe you should just give it a shot.”

He ordered another beer when he emptied the first one. “You don’t know the whole story. Just going to her could cause a lot of trouble and more problems.”

“Does she feel the same way about you?”

“I think so.”

“Is whatever’s standing between you that big?” she asked sympathetically.

“It’s something important,” he nodded.

“Maybe you just need to talk to her.”

Michael pulled the label of his beer off before taking another long drink. “It’s not that easy. She knows all about my feelings towards her.”

“So maybe you need to remind her.”

“And do what exactly?”

She smiled. “I don’t know. I can’t even resolve my own situation, so maybe I shouldn’t be giving advice.”

“Well, maybe you should go and talk to them again,” he told her with a slight smirk.

She shook her head. “I think I’ve aggravated the situation enough for one night.”

“But you won’t give up, right?”

She sighed. “Not right away.”

“That doesn’t sound very convincing.”

“It’s not something I’m gonna be able to force. It has to be handled carefully or it’ll blow up in my face...” she swallowed hard, “and it’ll end up hurting other people.”

Michael looked at her for several long moments before tapping his beer against hers. “Welcome to my world.”

“It sucks here... I want out.” She took a drink of her beer and stared at the television screen above the bar.

“Yeah...”

“Sometimes you think things will be different after being gone so long... I don’t know, maybe they’re too different.”

Michael frowned. He had no clue what she was talking about, but he had a feeling she wasn’t willing to share the whole story with him.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
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Re: In The Course Of A Lifetime (CC, AU, Adult) Part 85 7/3

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:40 am

Earth2Mama: There’s a chance Max could listen to Alex

We’ll find out what happens where Michael and Kendra are concerned.

mary mary: Sam will do her best with Andy. As for Kendra, hopefully she won’t make things difficult for Sam. Max will be going home. He knows what he needs to do, he just has to get there. We’re sure he’s already got a list of things he needs to do.

Natalie36: Thanks for reading!

keepsmiling7: Max was smart to call his friend and to really listen to what he had to say.

Smac: Max had a very difficult time with that decision and knowing that he could potentially be looking at facing that again was a shock. Thankfully it worked out in the end last time.

It was good for Alex and Max to be able to talk about what was going on and for each of them to give the other encouragement.

We’re pretty sure Michael’s not going anywhere. For now, Kendra does appear to be sincere... we’ll see if that lasts.

Alien_Friend: Lol, well, we’ll see what Kendra’s up to and we’ll see how Isabel reacts to learning that Michael’s met the woman.

Max and Alex needed to have that conversation. They both really needed to be able to get those things out in the open. Pretty sure we all question that at some point. Max definitely has valid fears about the pregnancy. We’re pretty sure hoping for the best is probably the best thing they can do at this time.

Rodney: Lol... gives us a new mental image of Kendra.

Not being too quick to trust is probaby a good thing.

Kyle/Tess have not vanished or been abducted... and we’ve got a scene coming up with them soon... promise.

Eva: It’s so true, isn’t it?

Alex and Max both needed that conversation.

Knowing that you’re not alone can sometimes make all the difference when facing difficulties or challenges. These two guys are friends and they’re there for each other. That’s one of the greatest gifts anyone can have.

Lol, worrying about Kendra in regards to Michael seems to be a running theme after this last part. We’ll get a better look into where his thoughts are in this part. As for Alex and Sam, they’ll deal with Kendra’s arrival as well as they can.

sarammlover: Kara was adopted, so Max was spared the freakout for her arrival. Max has a lot on his plate and he still has to deal with it. We’re pretty fond of Isabel in that role as well. Sam may grow to have a better appreciation for her after this.

Cardinal: Yeah, she did. Liz and Max have been through rough times and that was a very tough time for them. She carried the twins through the pregnancy and putting her life above theirs wasn’t an option for her. No, Max didn’t like it, and when it came down to that moment in the hospital he could’ve gone against her wishes, but chances are good it would’ve destroyed their marriage.

It’s not that Liz has so little regard for what Max wants, but more that she’ll spend the next nine months carrying this little life inside of her. She has a physical bond with the baby and to put herself first in the event that things come to that, is unthinkable for her. Max knows her, he knows that she won’t be willing or able to put her life above that of their unborn child, and while he can’t understand it on that level, he does his best to support her. He does have issues that have been building and the pregnancy could be difficult, he doesn’t know. Things could turn out better then he expects too, he just has to get an understanding of what they’re looking at.

Michael and Kendra... we’ll see in this part.

That could be a concern of Alex‘s.

begonia9508: Thanks!

Max and Alex both needed to have that conversation.

Alex will support Sam no matter what her decision is about meeting her mother.



Part 86

Kendra’s gaze dropped back to the picture she had been sketching and she added a few more strokes with the pen in her hand. “You know, I grew up here and God, I couldn’t wait to get out. I hated this town my whole life and all I wanted was a bigger life.”

“Didn’t turn out so well, huh?”

“Not so much, no. It’s funny how you spend your whole life running from something before you realize you can’t get away from it.” She shrugged. “I don’t know, maybe it wasn’t the town so much as it was me.”

“You have to make mistakes in life,” he shrugged.

“Just wish there didn’t have to be so many of them.”

When he looked back at his life, he couldn't say there were a lot of things he had done that wrong. Sure, a lot of small things like drinking too almost alcohol or... jet skiing, but there weren’t major things he would’ve done differently now.

“You ever wished there was something you could change? Like maybe if you had done this one thing differently it would’ve changed the outcome of your life?”

Well, he wished he would’ve been able to stop his parents from getting in the car the day of the accident, but it wasn’t like he could’ve changed it. But he nodded anyway.

“Do you ever wish you could just see how your life could’ve turned out differently?” She sighed. “I do. Like, if I had stayed and tried to make things work, would I be where I am today? Or would things have turned out worse if I had stayed.” She shook her head when she realized how morbid she sounded. “Sorry, it’s just been a long day.”

“I can’t give you the answers to your questions, but we can’t change the past, so we just have to deal with the present and try to make things right.”

“I suppose so. It doesn’t really do any good to wallow in self pity because it doesn’t change anything, but it’s hard not to sometimes.”

“I know,” he sighed.

She stared down at the sketch before wadding the napkin up and shoving it in an empty glass and motioning for the bartended to order another beer.

“We’re hopeless,” Michael snorted, feeling the beer working its way into his head. He hadn’t had much for dinner, so the alcohol was affecting him.

“Amen to that.” She grabbed another napkin and started a new sketch. “The good thing is tomorrow’s another day so maybe things will seem better in the morning.”

“What’re you sketching?”

She turned the napkin to show him. “It’s a beach on the coast. Have you ever been to the east coast?”

“Yeah, but it was a long time ago.”

“The Carolina’s have some of the most beautiful beaches. I spent a couple of weeks there in college.” Her eyes misted over at the memory. “Probably the best time of my life.”

“Sounds nice,” he said gently.

She nodded. “It was.” Her fingertips brushed over the sketch. “Just a memory now though.”

“Memories are good and they’re necessary,” he said and made a face. “Sorry, the counselor’s speaking now.”

She chuckled. “You’re probably good at your job.”

“I love my job,” he admitted.

“Yeah, it makes a big difference if you enjoy what you do.”

“You have a job?”

“Yeah, I do illustrations for textbooks.”

He looked at her, surprised. “Cool.”

“Yeah, I enjoy it.”

“You should do something for our daily newspaper. It sucks.”

She chuckled and shook her head. “I’m sure they’d appreciate that glowing review.”

“Oh, I’m sure they know they suck.”

“You’re terrible,” she said with a laugh.

“I just call ‘em like I see ‘em,” he said with a wink.

“Okay, you’re terribly honest, how’s that?”

“I can live with that.”

She nodded and turned the napkin around to continue sketching. “The paper here probably has most of the same staff it had when I was a kid.”

“I seriously doubt they’ve changed the layout since 1800 or so.” He rolled his eyes.

She laughed. “Well, there are some things in a small town that never change.”

“Until someone changes them,” he added.

“True, but it has to be the right change or it ends up taking something away from that small town atmosphere.”

“We don’t want that.”

“Growing up that’s all I wanted, but now I understand what it is that makes small towns so great.”

“Yeah?”

“Um-hmm. Towns should progress to keep up with the times, but they shouldn’t lose what makes them so unique.”

He chuckled. “I think it’s way too late for a conversation like this.”

She smiled. “Time to call it a night?”

“Probably,” he nodded. Staying here and drinking more probably wasn’t a good idea.

“That’s probably a good idea.” She glanced at the clock on the wall. It was getting late.

He slipped from the bar stool, feeling the slight dizziness in his head from the beer. A walk home would make it better, he decided and placed some money on the counter – enough to pay for both of their drinks. “Good luck with whatever you’re here for.”

“Thanks. And good luck with your relationship that isn’t a relationship yet,” she said with a wink.

Laughing a bit, he nodded and lifted his hand to her in a small wave before leaving the bar.

*****

Michael walked along Main Street, taking his time and letting the cool night air brush against his skin. He intended to take a right at the next corner but at the last minute his feet took the opposite direction. He walked through the quiet neighborhood and paused at the front walk of the two-story house Maria had rented. It was dark with the exception of the den; light filtered out through the windows at the side and back of the house and he glanced around before opening the gate and entering the backyard. He winced at the creaking protest of the hinges and hoped if Theo was loose in the backyard he would remember he was a friend.

He didn’t want to knock on the front door because she’d probably turn the porch light on and draw the attention of any busybody living in her neighborhood. He didn’t see Theo so he assumed he was in the house and he vaguely wondered if the dog would bark when he realized someone was on his property.

He walked along the back porch and stopped at the window to the den, tapping his forefinger against the pane. The curtains were drawn so he couldn’t see inside and he suddenly realized that Andy might be up and no Maria. Crap! What if it was Andy?

Maria looked up from the book she had been reading and she dropped it on the couch beside her. “What’s up, Theo?” she asked when the dog kept pacing along the window on the other side of the room.

The dog made some inarticulate sounds, half barking, half growling.

“Alright, is there a rabbit out there again?” She got up and walked over to the kitchen, deciding that she would take a look out in the backyard and get a glass of milk

Michael winced when he heard the dog making noise on the other side of the door. He could hear his nails as he scratched against the door, impatient to get outside. He leaned on the support post at one side of the steps and wondered just what the hell he was thinking being here.

Maria opened the door slowly in case there was an animal outside that might run in. “Michael?” she asked, shocked when he came into view. “What’re you doing here?”

His heart thudded in his chest and he smiled stupidly at her. “I just needed to see you.”

“You can’t just come here,” she denied even through her heart went out to him when he smiled like a nervous teenager. Actually she felt a lot like a teenager as well right now.

“This’s killin’ me, Maria.” He pushed away from the post and started to pace. “It’s like you’re this close but it might as well be a million miles.”

She nodded. “I... I don’t expect you to wait for me, Michael.”

“No, no, no, that’s not what I’m sayin’ at all,” he rushed to assure her. “God, I don’t want anyone else.”

“Then why’re you here?”

He frowned. Hadn’t he just said that he needed to see her? He turned to face her and his eyes moved over her slowly. “Because I know it might be a while and as much as I want to tell you we should go for it and deal with Andy’s reaction I know you can’t do that.” He moved closer to her and reached out to touch her face. “Because I’m in over my head and every day without you seems like an eternity.” He shook his head and smiled at her. “You’ve got me soundin’ like a lovesick teenager.”

“More like a lovesick Shakespeare,” she tried to make a joke.

“If I start quoting sonnets you have my permission to have me committed.”

“Good to know.”

He sobered as he studied her. “I think I made a mistake, Maria...”

She frowned. “Why?”

“Remember that night I walked you home?”

“Sure.”

His eyes traced over her features as he took another step towards her, removing what little space had been between them. “I should’ve kissed you,” he whispered gruffly as he lowered his head and his lips pressed against hers gently.

Her whole body froze in place in reaction to his unexpected kiss. She wanted to protest, to tell him that this was wrong and they couldn’t do this, but the longing for him and his warmth was stronger than her sanity and she allowed him to continue.

He shifted his stance, bringing their bodies into alignment but he forced himself to stay in control, knowing that it was the wrong time to rush things. His hand slipped under her hair to cup the back of her neck, his thumb massaging the spot under her ear.

Her body jerked when she heard a sound in the house and she ended the kiss quickly, shoving him away slightly and then holding her breath to listen. She sighed when it was only Theo, who had slipped back into the kitchen. Her gaze turned back to Michael. He looked down at her, puzzled. “You need to go...”

His thumb traced over her bottom lip as he nodded. “I know.” He lifted his head to meet her gaze. He really hoped she wouldn’t regret the kiss. “Don’t give up on us, okay?”

“I won’t,” she promised and put more distance between them.

He nodded, hating the distance between them. “I’ll go.”

She bit her inner cheek to keep herself from begging him to stay. God, she was about to throw herself back into his arms and it took all her strength to not do it.

“We could just sit out here on the porch for a while...”

“We can’t, Michael,” she whispered with tears in her eyes.

He nodded. “I know. I’m sorry, Maria.” He looked away and took a deep breath. “I’m just makin’ this harder on you and that’s not what I wanted.”

She wiped her face and tried to breathe deeply, but it only seemed to make things worse. “You shouldn’t have come here,” she agreed, but threw herself back in his arms, hiding her face against his chest.

Relief washed over him and his arms came around her, holding her tightly. “I’m not goin’ anywhere,” he promised, his voice gruff with emotion.

For a few moments she allowed him to take care of her. It was only making things worse, she knew that. As soon as he was gone she would start to miss him even more than she had before.

“Maria, I know this’s hard and maybe I’m only makin’ it harder, I don’t know.” He sighed against her hair. “I just want you to know that I want us to have a chance and if that means waitin’, that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Her arms around him tightened to show him that she was feeling the same way since she couldn’t speak at the moment.

He chuckled. “We could turn Chrissie loose on Andy. She’s offered to have a few words with him.” He could feel how tense she was from trying to hold her emotions in check and he wanted her to be able to relax.

“I think Sam did that job already,” she mumbled quietly.

“Poor kid,” he murmured sympathetically. “She looked miserable at the dance.”

“Yeah, that’s why she showed up here.”

“I noticed he wasn’t at the dance. You got him under house arrest?” he asked with a teasing smile.

“Yeah.”

“Why do I have the feelin’ that you’re the one getting the worst of that punishment?”

She snorted. “He’s really not that easy after a week in the house.”

“I’m sure he’s not. You ever cut a grounding short just to get him outta your hair?”

“Uh-huh, but not this time.”

“Gonna suffer right on through it, huh?” He pressed a kiss to her head. “I’ll take you out for a victory dinner one of these days.”

She nodded and finally stepped out of his arms. “You need to go... for real this time.”

“Hang tough, Maria,” he whispered, catching her right hand and lifting it up to press a kiss to her knuckles. “We’re gonna get through this.” He backed away and slowly made his way around the side of the house before he could put it off again.

She stared after him, her heart beating a mile a minute at the realization of what had just happened. This was a dangerous game. They couldn’t just meet secretly and this had to be the only weak moment between them.

Michael was mentally kicking himself as he walked home. No, he didn’t regret going to see her and he sure didn’t regret that kiss, but he hated that she was hurting so badly over this.

*****

Max was staring at the contents of the refrigerator when he felt someone tug on the door and he looked down to see Kara squeezing in next to him to see what was so interesting. Liz had been asleep when he got back to the house and he had been up most of the night, unable to relax or be still for longer than a few minutes at a time because his mind refused to shut down and let him rest.

“What is it, Daddy?” she asked, turning her head and tipping it back to look up at him.

“Just thinkin’ about breakfast, baby girl.”

“Oooh, can I help?”

“Yeah, what sounds good this mornin’?”

“Scrambled eggs an’ sausage,” Nick answered as he came in, yawning.

“Soft eggs an’ bacon,” Justin countered, reaching over the door to grab the orange juice.

“Pancakes, Daddy.”

“Sounds like we’ve got our work cut out for us this mornin’.” He reached inside and grabbed the carton of eggs, sitting them on the counter before digging around for the bacon and sausage.

“Can we have the pancakes with the chocolate chips?” Kara asked as she climbed up on the barstool and reached for the bowl of pancake mix Daddy set on the counter in front of her.

“I s’pose you want them shaped like Mickey Mouse too?” Max asked with a smile.

“Goodness, it looks like you’re running a restaurant in here,” Diane said as she came in with Philip following behind her. “You shouldn’t have such a heavy breakfast since we’re having the barbeque this afternoon.”

“We’re not havin’ a barbeque.” Max shook his head and leaned over to add water to the mix that Kara was stirring.

“Well, of course we are,” his mom insisted. “Liz and I talked about it yesterday.”

“No, we’re not.”

Nick frowned. “Why not?”

Max cleared his throat. “Because I said so. We don’t need to have a big get together this afternoon.”

“We’ve already invited everyone. Maria’s making a salad and Tess and Kyle are bringing the meat,” Liz said when she entered the room after overhearing the conversation.

“Well, I’m sure it won’t kill them to stick that stuff back in the fridge.” He met her gaze and shook his head. She didn’t need the added stress of a houseful of people.

“Why can’t they come over, Daddy?” Kara asked sad.

“Wouldn’t you rather just spend an afternoon relaxin’, maybe watchin’ a movie?”

“I wanna see Auntie Tessie and Auntie Maria.”

Max looked up to meet his wife’s gaze. “Darlin’, why don’t you settle this,” he suggested, his tone telling her exactly what he wanted her to say.

“Daddy’s just a bit grouchy this morning, sweetie. I’m sure he doesn’t mean it. Of course we’ll have the barbeque,” she said and shot a glare at Max.

He gritted his teeth and growled under his breath when he realized he had just crushed the egg he had picked up to break for scrambled eggs.

“Don’t really care for the shell in my eggs, Dad,” Nick said, shooting a glance at Justin. What was going on?

Justin just shrugged, not having a clue either.

“So how was the dance, boys?” Diane asked to distract the kids from whatever was going on.

“It was pretty cool,” Justin said and then realized what he had just admitted when he saw the goofy smile on Mom’s face. “I mean, you know, for a dance an’ all.”

“Did you dance with Jenny?” Liz asked her son curiously.

Justin nodded. “Yup.” He leaned over Dad’s shoulder. “Are you gonna make hash browns too?” He glanced back at Mom as soon as he received an affirmative answer. “And Jenny liked the tux,” he said, shooting a smug look at his brother.

“She probably just wanted to be nice,” Nick teased.

“Nope, she liked it,” Justin insisted. “I didn’t look like every other guy there like you did.”

He shrugged. “Just your opinion.”

“Whatever. I’m not the one the chaperones kept having to check on.” He smirked when Nick blushed.

“What’re cha’pons, Daddy?” Kara asked, struggling to say the word right.

“Chaperones are the people who keep an eye on kids at a dance.” He looked at Nick and bit back a smile at the way the boy was trying to pretend that he wasn’t embarrassed by his brother’s comment.

“So why would you have the chaperones after you, Nicky?” Diana lifted one eyebrow when she took a seat at the table.

He tugged the collar of his tee shirt away from his throat when it suddenly felt too tight. “Um... no reason.” He passed his brother to get something to drink. “Thanks a lot, Justin,” he growled quietly.

“After breakfast you two will get the garden furniture set up in the backyard,” Liz told the twins to distract her mother-in-law from being too suspicious. She knew whatever Nick had done couldn’t be major.

“I wanna help too,” Kara shouted.

Max winced at her high pitched tone. “You can clean them up a bit, huh?” He didn’t want to have this stupid barbecue, but he knew he didn’t have much of a choice in the matter.

Not without blowing the news.

Kara nodded enthusiastically. “Otay.”

Liz watched them, painfully conscious of the fact that nothing had been settled between her and Max.

“So when’re you guys planning to leave?” Max asked his parents, hoping they would leave that evening and wouldn’t drag it out another night. He needed time alone with Liz and the kids to figure things out.

“We were discussing that this morning,” Philip said as he picked up the newspaper that was sitting on the table. “If we leave by early evening we can be in Albuquerque tonight.”

Liz nodded, trying to not show how relieved she was at that news. “We’ll make sure the steaks are ready in time so you guys can eat before you leave.”

Max was glad he wasn’t facing them because if he’d been looking at Liz he knew he would’ve busted out laughing. She hid it well, but he knew she was practically jumping for joy at the prospect of his parents leaving again. He understood though. They were hard to handle, they always had been, and it had only gotten worse after losing Andrew.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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In The Course Of A Lifetime (CC, AU, Adult) Part 87 8/14/11

Postby Double Trouble » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:07 pm

Earth2Mama: True... and here we have both of them.

Yup, they’ll be leaving soon. Maria or Tess taking the kids is one possibility for the evening.

Lol, Michael did well with his late-night visit.

begonia9508: Thanks!

Michael took a big risk with his visit, but it looks like it was a good decision.

Philip and Diane rove around the country in their RV because it’s what they want to do. We’ll get a better look at the dynamics of these relationships over the next few parts.

Natalie36: Things will get better for them. Lol, we’ll pass that along to Max and see if he listens.

mary mary: Yeah, more often than not that’s the way it goes, lol.

Smac: Michael may not have intended to go to Maria, but it was good for both of him that he did. They both needed that confirmation.

Lol, yeah, Philip and Diane will be going soon. Maybe not soon enough.

keepsmiling7: Yeah, they probably can’t leave soon enough.

Lol, Liz is really trying to make things easy to get the in-laws moving.

Alien_Friend: Liz is glad too. Actually, we think Max might be pretty relieved to see them go as well.

Kara is a sweetheart... but we might have some bias too.

Oh, we’re gonna see a lot more of this get-together. The others will be arriving soon.

Michael and Maria both needed that confirmation. If they can just hang on then things will start to look up for them. Maybe seeing his grandparents‘ lack of support for his mom will be a good thing.

As for Kendra, the reason will be coming out soon, and then we’ll be able to determine if it’s a good or bad one. Sam’s likely to react strongly to her mother suddenly entering the picture. Hopefully, Andy will be there for Sam when she needs him.

Eva: It’s there, it’s just hidden right now.

It was an important moment for Maria. And Michael too. It gave both of them a reason to believe that what they might have is worth hanging in there and fighting for.

sarammlover: Yep, they both needed that little conversation... and that kiss. Max and Liz could both use a break, but they’ve got to get through this family barbeque first. We’ll see how they handle things, but we’re sure they’re gonna find their way – together.

Rodney: Funny, but unnecessary because guess what? Yes, Kyle and Tess will be returning to a screen near you today. 

Yes, parents are funny that way... just not always ha ha funny, lol.

Maiqu: Welcome back! And good luck with your recovery!

Alex is a great guy and he had some really good advice for his friend.

Michael and Maria both needed that!



Author’s Note: We’ll be taking a vacation break for a couple of weeks, so we’ll be back on September 4th with a new update!

Part 87

“Mom,” Andy called from upstairs, loud enough to be heard across the neighborhood.

Maria rolled her eyes. “What? I’m not deaf, you know?” she called back.

“Where’re my blue jeans?”

She knew exactly which ones he was asking for. It was the pair he had gotten two years ago from his father. They hung low on his hips even though she was sure that weren’t made to sit THAT low. The blue was washed out at the knees and thighs badly, but he refused to just let her throw them away. “Downstairs. I just ironed them yesterday.”

“You washed them?” he asked, horrified, and came downstairs with pounding steps.

“Yeah, well, sometimes you need to wash clothes so they won’t smell,” she told him, amused.

“Did you have to iron them too?” he asked, exasperated. “You don’t do that to jeans.” Jeez, didn’t Mom understand how clothes were supposed to look?

She went to get the jeans and threw them at him. “Here. Do they look bad to you? I was just trying to prevent you from looking like you slept in them.”

Andy looked at them and made a face. Not a single wrinkle anywhere. Maybe if he wadded them up and stuffed them under his mattress for a little while they’d look normal when he put them on. “Hey, so, do you think it’d be cool if I invited Sam to the barbeque?”

She looked at him with a lifted eyebrow. “You know that you’re still grounded, right?”

“Well, it’s not like we’re gonna be goin’ anywhere. You’ll be able to see us the whole time. How much trouble can we really get up to with everyone there?”

“Oh, I think your grandparents will have a few words about your… girlfriend.”

He rolled his eyes. “What, you think they won’t like Sam?”

“No, I just think they’ll be nosy.”

“Well, that’s nothing new.” He shrugged. “And they probably already know Sam anyway. I mean, she’s best friends with the twins and her dad works with Uncle Max.”

“Go call your aunt,” Maria gave in. At least if Sam was around he wouldn’t be too hard to handle this afternoon. The girl had her ways with him. “If she agrees you can invite her.”

“Okay. Thanks, Mom.” He rolled his eyes at the pressed jeans as he walked out of the kitchen. What was she thinking ironing his jeans?

“And you’re not wearing those pants to the barbecue,” she called after him. “Your grandma would have a fit about the holes on your backside.”

“What?” He turned around and walked back into the kitchen. “Mom, these jeans are comfortable and broken in. I should at least be comfortable if I have to spend the day with the whole family.”

“Sam or the jeans, make your choice,” she told him coolly.

“Why do I have to choose one or the other?” He sighed in annoyance. “Mom,” he complained, “they’re my favorite jeans.”

“Don’t Mom me,” she said, amused. “They’re your favorite, but they’re staying here today, Andy. I can already hear your grandmother asking me how I can allow you to wear them.” She looked at him. “I think I’ve been a good sport even if you are grounded, so now go and find something else to wear.”

He grumbled under his breath. “Fine, but I’m not happy about it. It’s not like you beat me or starve me so I don’t know why she’s gotta be so nosy about what I wear.”

“She’s just a bit old fashioned,” Maria said. “Remember to ask your aunt first about inviting Sam.”

He rolled his eyes. “Alright, I’ll find somethin’ else to wear... but only because I don’t want you to spend the whole day with Grandma goin’ off on you about my clothes.”

“How generous of you,” she said and rolled her eyes when he left. He was annoying when he wanted to be, but she felt happy about being able to talk to him like this again. They had always discussed back and forth about things until one of them had given in and this felt pretty normal. A small flash of guilt went through her when she remembered last night and her unexpected visitor. She could only imagine what Andy would have to say about that and it was nothing nice.

Andy grabbed his phone and called his aunt’s house, hoping Uncle Max wouldn’t answer the phone. He threw the jeans on his bed and started digging through his closet while he listened to the phone ring.

“Hey, what’s up, Cuz?”

He rolled his eyes at Justin’s greeting. “Hey, man, you guys invited Sam over yet?”

“Huh-uh, hadn’t got that far yet... you want me to call her?”

Andy shook his head. “Hell no, I don’t want you to call her. Mom wants me to ask your mom if it’s okay before I call and invite her.”

“Oh, okay, that’s cool. Hang on...” Justin dropped the phone and hollered, “Mom!”

Andy shook his head and smirked when he heard Aunt Liz asking what he was yelling for.

“Hello?” she finally answered the phone after a few moments.

“Hey, Aunt Liz,” he greeted.

“Andy, hey,” she said, surprised. It was rare that her nephew called and wanted to talk to HER. “What’s the matter?”

“Nothin’. Um, well, I wanted to invite Sam to the barbeque but Mom said I had to call you an’ see if it was okay. So... is it?”

“Oh, sure, she’s around most of the time anyway.” Hell, the girl could distract the boys and keep them busy for hours and she also made them help with stuff.

“Cool.” He paused for a moment. “Are we s’posed to bring anything?”

Yeah, patience, she thought but didn’t say anything. “I already discussed this with your Mom earlier.”

“Well, she’s been kinda distracted lately, but okay. I’ll see ya later then.”

*****

Kyle parked in front of Max and Liz’s home and stared at the RV taking up a rather large stretch of the street in front of the house. “Nothin’ subtle about your parents is there?” he muttered, wishing that they had just decided to stay home in bed. This was just a disaster waiting to happen, he could feel it.

“It’s just a few hours at a family barbeque,” Tess said, reaching over to cover his hand.

“Uh-huh, and I can practically feel your enthusiasm. Look, when we were datin’ back in high school I bit my tongue on more occasions than I care to count because you begged me not to say anything to them. But if their tendency to dismiss you rears its ugly head today… I’m not 16 anymore, Tess.”

“Kyle, let’s not make more of this than we need to, okay? Look, Drew was their favorite, Max was second in line, and I was, well, overlooked a lot of the time because… I guess because they didn’t expect me to come along and they didn’t necessarily want any more kids. I’ve made peace with that.” She sighed and shook her head as she looked up at the house. “I don’t expect my parents to have suddenly changed.” She turned to face him. “I just want to get this over with. I’m here because Liz and Maria could use the support. My mom will drive them crazy if they aren’t there yet.”

He nodded but made no promises to keep quiet if her parents got out of line with her. He wouldn’t stand by and keep his mouth shut. No matter how much peace she had made with the past they were still her parents and they had the power to hurt her. He got out and walked around the front of the car to open her door for her, taking her hand and helping her out. “Any chance we’ll get outta here in time for the game?” he asked.

“I doubt it. What time’s kickoff?”

He grinned proudly. She was learning. “3pm.”

She snorted and shook her head. “Highly doubtful.”

“Well, damn.” He followed her around the side of the house and unlatched the gate, holding it open for her.

“Watch out, ball!” someone yelled as the football flew between Kyle and Tess, missing their heads by only inches.

Kyle glanced across the yard, nodding when he saw that Andy was the one who had thrown the ball. “Stick with basketball, kid,” he called before retrieving the ball and throwing it back.

“Everyone else uses the front door,” he teased back.

“I’m FBI. I bust down front doors.”

“Hey, Uncle Kyle, you wanna play with us?” Nick asked.

He glanced around, wondering what her parents were going to say about him dating their daughter again. He snorted. Hell, they might not even remember him.

Tess gave him a shove to get him moving. “Go play with the boys. You know you want to and I’ll be fine.”

“If you need me...”

“I know where you are, now go.”

He gave her a quick kiss and ran out into the yard.

Maria rolled her eyes when she walked out of the house carrying some plates. She was using it as excuse to escape the conversations in the kitchen, even if it was just for a minute. “Hey, Tess,” she smiled when she saw the other woman.

“Maria,” she smiled. “How’s it going in there?”

“Don’t ask.”

“That good, huh? Great. How about you? Surviving the in-laws and wishing you were anywhere but here?”

“So far so good, but we only got here about 20 minutes ago.”

Tess snorted. “How’s Liz holding up?”

“She’s brave considering that they’ve been here since Friday night,” Maria whispered.

“She’s probably ready to pull her hair out and run outta the house screaming.”

“Yeah, and I saw her evil grin when Diane focused on me for a second.”

Tess laughed. “I’d say that’s terrible, but I know what a relief it is for her to get out from under my mom’s scrutiny. She’s probably picking apart every single thing she does and criticizing things in that overly polite manner she has.”

“Watch out, ball!” Andy yelled again and sighed when it hit the ground next to his mother’s feet.

“He’s really not very good at throwing a football is he?” Tess asked quietly as she picked it up and threw it back, ignoring Kyle’s grimace when the pass was even worse than Andy’s.

“He’s definitely more into basketball.”

“Well, at least the ball’s supposed to make contact with the ground in that sport.”

Maria chuckled. “Ready to go inside?” She knew the weird relationship between Tess and her parents and could only imagine how the other woman had to feel right now.

“Not really. Am I too old to run away from home?”

“Probably, yes.”

“Well, then I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. Let the good times roll.”

“Alright.” They walked up the stairs to the back door. Maria shoved it open and stepped to the side to let Tess step in first.

“Thanks,” she hissed and stepped into the lion’s den.

“Welcome,” the other woman said in a sing-song voice.

Max was in the process of stepping in when his mom started telling Liz that she was making the marinade incorrectly and he looked up and noticed his sister with Maria. “Tess, you made it.” His relationship with her was solidifying the more time they spent together and he wouldn’t have been surprised if she hadn’t shown up today.

She forced a smile. “Yeah.”

Diane smiled absently at her only daughter. “How long will you be in town, Tess?” She leaned over Liz’s shoulder and started talking again before Tess had the chance to answer. “No, honey, I think you need less of the...”

“Mom, Tess has moved back home,” Max interrupted.

The older woman glanced up again. “You have?”

“Yeah, a few months ago.”

“Oh, well we didn’t know that.”

Max rolled his eyes. He had talked to their dad about it the day before and yet the man hadn’t retained the information. “Yeah, she’s back home and plannin’ to open her own business.” God, why couldn’t they show some interest in her?

“Think you’re able to run a business?” Philip asked, the doubt in his voice all too obvious.

“I do have a degree in business and I’ve been working in this field for the past couple of years... I’m pretty sure I’m capable of handling things.”

“Yeah, we’re gonna be partners,” Maria spoke up.

“Well, that’ll be good then,” Philip said with an approving nod. “Andrew would want you to find a little something to occupy your time.”

Of course he would bring him up again, Maria thought bitterly. Every other sentence was a reminder of Andrew.

He slapped his son on the back. “Your brother was a smart man. You’d do well to follow his example.”

“It’d be nice to talk about the people alive for once,” Liz muttered under her breath so no one could hear it. “Hey, girls, I think we can take the salads out, huh?”

“I think that’s a good idea,” Maria said, relieved to have something to do.

“Let’s all go outside,” Diana agreed. “The kids shouldn’t be out there all alone all the time.”

“They’re not alone,” Maria informed her. “Kyle’s with them.” Not to mention that the boys were old enough to keep an eye on Kara as well.

“Kyle?” She glanced at her husband. “Who’s Kyle?”

Tess rolled her eyes. “My boyfriend.”

“And my step-brother,” Maria added.

Philip frowned, trying to put a name and a face together. “Well, it’s about time you settled down.”

“Dad,” Max said warningly.

He shook his head and waved his son’s warning off. “Your sister’s always been a little too independent. It’ll do her good to have a man around.”

“C’mon, Ms. Independent,” Maria grabbed a salad bowl and dragged Tess back outside again. “Ungh.”

“Guess now that I’ve got a man I’ll be able to figure out how to tie my shoes,” Tess muttered.

“Don’t listen to them, you’re great as you are and you know that. And so does my brother,” she winked.

She nodded and turned her head to look at him, smiling when she saw him straighten up to see if she was alright. She shook her head, letting him know she was fine and seeing by his expression that he didn’t believe it but he was letting it slide for the moment. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“Poor Liz, she had to go through this all weekend.” And she’s pregnant, Maria added in her thoughts, wondering if Max already knew.

“I know. I’m sure she wishes she was anywhere but here right now. I mean, they’ve essentially invaded her home.”

“During our anniversary,” Liz added when she joined the girls with a sigh.

Tess’ eyes widened. “No! Why didn’t you throw them out and call me and Kyle to keep Kara for you, girl?”

She just waved her off. “In the past now. They’re leaving tonight… yay.”

Maria snorted. “Not soon enough, right?”

The other women nodded in agreement.

“That sucks that they just dropped in on your anniversary,” Maria said sympathetically.

“Can’t change it now anyway,” Liz shrugged it off.

“Yeah.” She smiled when Kara caught the ball that Andy tossed very lightly and Tess moved to the railing to watch them. “Have you had a chance to talk to Max?” she asked quietly.

“Yeah, I told him last night,” Liz made a face.

“How’d he take it?”

“Not so good. He was pretty shocked, but we haven’t had the chance to talk about it again.”

“Damn. I know this was difficult enough without the added headache of the in-laws.”

“Yeah, I can’t say I won’t be happy when this is all over and they go home.”

Maria nodded. “Yeah, the two of them can be a handful.”

*****

Sam walked up to the gate and smiled when she saw her boyfriend and the other boys in the backyard, sweating from a little football game. Her heart did a little flip-flop when Andy reached under his tee shirt to scratch his chest, revealing a lot of skin with his movement. Damn, he looked good.

“Hey, I’m gonna grab a...” Andy trailed off when he noticed Sam standing at the gate and he grinned widely. “Be right back.”

Nick rolled his eyes. “Now he’s turning into a goofy grinning puddle of mud again.”

Justin snorted. “Like you were last night?” A moment later the football hit him in his head.

“Shut up.”

“Whatever, man.” He leaned over to snatch up the football. “Hey, Uncle Kyle, ready to go again?”

Sam smiled when Andy moved towards her, his pace cool and slow… and so sexy. She shot a glance at the adults on the porch. Ungh, they were really all there today, huh?

“Ignore them,” Andy said with a grin as his hands came up to cover hers on the gate. “How’s it goin’?”

“Good. Sorry I’m late, but Dad insisted that I stay for lunch.”

He made a face. “Jeez, how much does he think you need to eat in a day?”

“Yeah, well he’s a bit weird when it comes to family lunch on Sundays, so… I’ll just not eat here again,” she said and looked at their joined hands.

He shrugged. “Parents live in their own world.” He leaned in closer and brushed his lips against hers when she raised her head again.

Sam giggled slightly and turned her head. “You think they’re okay with us kissing in front of them?”

“Do you care? ‘Cause I don’t.”

She checked on the others again. “Well, they are your relatives,” she said, grinning.

He shrugged. “Well, I’m not worried about them, but if you’re uncomfortable...”

Instead of letting him finish his sentence she grabbed his collar and pulled him down to her for another, more intense kiss.

Okay, that answered that question. He wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on around them so he never even noticed when his grandmother joined the others.

“Maria,” Diane said, her tone chastising, “honey, you can’t allow Andy to act this way!”

Philip stepped out on the porch behind his wife and patted her arm. “It’s alright, Diane, he’s a boy. I’m sure he’ll be just fine. Andrew raised him right.”

“He’s 16,” Maria said. “I’m still getting used to it as well, but I know I can’t forbid him to have a girlfriend.”

“Well, I’m not sure Alex would approve.” She glanced at the other women. “That is Alex Whitman’s little girl, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, her name’s Sam.”

“Sam, yes, that’s right.” She nodded to herself. “They’re dating?”

“Uh-huh, Andy likes her and they hang out quite often.”

“Well... I suppose it’s alright.” Diane went inside for something, leaving the other women to roll their eyes.

“Thank God she gave permission,” Maria hissed.

“Right?” Liz sighed. “I’ve spent the past 24 hours getting all sorts of parental advice.”

At least one good thing about not having a kid, Tess thought and wondered if her mother would pay more attention to her if she had given her some grandkids as well.

Kyle jogged up to the back deck and lifted Kara over the railing to hand her to Max. “Miss Kara here insists on washing up and changing clothes now that she’s been out rolling around in the yard.” He grinned and extended his right hand in Philip’s direction. “Mr. Evans, it’s been a long time.”

Philip looked the man up and down for several seconds before taking his hand. “You must be Kyle then. It’s been a long time.”

“That’d be me. Tess and I have been dating since she’s come home.”

“Didn’t you two date in high school?” Diane narrowed her eyes at him, just barely remembering him.

“We did date in high school, yes ma’am.”

Tess smiled at him. No matter what they said, she knew Kyle and her were meant to be together.

“Maybe if you folks have time we could take you out to dinner while you’re here. You’ve probably got about a million questions for me.” Doubtful, but it if they did he’d endure it for her.

“We’re leaving today,” Diane said shortly.

“Oh, well that’s a shame.” He smiled. “Maybe next time.”

Or not, Tess thought when she saw her parents’ faces. Whatever, she wasn’t planning to get their attention again anyway.

Kyle took Tess’ hand as he stepped up on the deck. “I’m gonna wash up and grab a beer.” He winked at her. “Wanna join me?” If her parents wanted to walk around with a stick up their asses, let them.

“Sure,” she smiled and went after him.

“I’m not sure how sincere that young man is,” Diane said with a frown at her husband.

Maria’s eyes widened. “Why would you think that? Kyle’s very sincere about her.”

Max sighed and shook his head. “Kyle’s serious about his relationship with Tess and she’s happy.” He turned to go inside, wishing his parents would just go already. “Maybe you could just pretend to be happy for her and care about what she wants for once.”

Diane made an annoyed face. “We just want the best for her as well.”

“Yeah, I’m sure she can tell.” He picked Kara up. “C’mon, baby girl, let’s go get you cleaned up and into somethin’ not covered with dirt and grass, huh?”

“Otay.” She looked around the yard and pointed at her cousin. “Why is Andy kissing Sam?”

“’Cause he’s a big dork,” Nick yelled.

“Nick,” Liz warned.

“C’mon, Mom, it’s true.” He snorted. “Look at him.”

“Andy and Sam like each other,” Max explained to Kara when they got inside.

Diane looked at the teenagers again. “I still think he’s too young for sex.”

Maria inhaled deeply and mentally counted to ten. Not that it helped much. “They’re just dating, Diane.” Good grief, she had her own concerns about her son becoming sexually active but she didn’t need her mother-in-law getting involved in that subject.

“Uh-huh, today it’s just kissing and tomorrow….”

Maria could feel the need to snap at Diane for sticking her nose in her business but she tried to rein it in. The last thing she wanted to do was to go off on the woman in the middle of a family barbeque. “I can handle my son, Diane, but thank you for your concern.”

“Speaking of concern… Liz told me you’re interested in another man?”
Last edited by Double Trouble on Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 924
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 am

Part 88

Postby Double Trouble » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:11 pm

Hey everyone! Yay RF is back!!!! :mrgreen: :D

So we won't wait any longer We are posting new parts for all three fics.



Earth2Mama: Lol, now there’s an image.

We’ll see how much longer it takes before they’re on their way out.

Let’s see how Maria reacts to that tactless question.

begonia9508: Some of them definitely aren’t so great.

Thanks!

Natalie36: Lol, that’s a possibility.

Eva: Um... yes, she really did. These two have gotten under everyone’s skin pretty much in the short time they’ve been there.

Getting a chance to see Andy like this shows that all isn’t lost there. He’s still got a lot of growing up to do, but he’s finally starting to show just a bit of maturity.

Vacation was great, thanks!

keepsmiling7: Oh, they’ve definitely worn out what little welcome they had in the first place.

Vacation was great, thanks!

Max and Liz are getting closer to that baby talk.

mary mary: Someone or something may just get them heading for the highway... we’ll see.

Smac: Running the in laws outta town on a rail seems to be the general concensus here, lol. No worries though, those steaks are on the grill already!

Liz didn’t mention it to shift the focus off of herself, she was just making conversation and kind of forgot herself for a minute there.

sarammlover: This is the treatment that Tess has known all of her life. Doesn’t make it right, but while it hurts, she’s moving past it. Andrew was the one with the head for business and Max was content to manage his shop right there at home and let Andrew handle everything else. As for Diane, you’re right! Maria might just have something to say... let’s go find out.

Alien_Friend: Yeah, they’re something else, aren’t they? Maria has a response ready. ;)

Sam has quite the influence over Andy, doesn’t she?

It is chaos, lol, and the most interesting things get revealed during these things.

The break was great, thanks!

Rodney: Yes. Yes, they are.

Lol, well, Maria will definitely have her say.

Tess agrees with you.

Maiqu: They could all use a hug right about now.

Maria is a good mother, you’re right.

She may just have something to say about Diane’s nosy question.




Part 88

Maria’s hand clenched tightly on the railing and she ran through her answers as she watched the kids. She didn’t care that Liz had mentioned it because it was bound to come out eventually. What bothered her was that Diane felt it was her business to bring it up and make it sound like she was somehow cheating on Andrew. “Yes, I am,” she said finally. What was the point in hiding the truth?

“Don’t you think it’s too early?” Diane asked, her tone doing nothing to hide her disapproval. “Andrew hasn’t even been dead for a year.”

“Thank you for the reminder but I can assure you I know exactly how long Andrew’s been gone. They didn’t bury me next to him though, Diane, and I’ve put my life on hold long enough.” She was not going to sit here and excuse herself for something that she had every right to pursue, nor was she going to explain that she wasn’t even pursuing Michael because right now her priority was making sure her son was in a stable place before she allowed herself to go after what she wanted. She pushed down the feeling of guilt that washed over her as she thought about the night before.

“Do you want her to be alone forever, Mom?” Tess snorted. “Seriously, Andy might be your grandson, but you have no right to tell Maria when it would be the right time to have feelings for someone else.”

“I’m not telling her how to feel,” Diane denied. “I’m simply saying that perhaps the timing isn’t the best. And Andy is a part of my concern. Such a thing would be confusing for him.”

“It’ll be weird for him whether it’s today or next year,” Liz said.

“There’s an appropriate time for these things,” Diane insisted in a hushed voice.

“And what time would be appropriate?” Tess asked.

“More than this. It’s too soon to move on. How would Andrew feel to know that less than a year after his death you’re already thinking of getting involved with someone else?” she asked, looking at Maria again.

Would he have cared at all? Maria wondered. They had been in a weird place before the accident. Aware of the fact that the love they had felt for each other was long gone to make room for friendship and respect for each other... but nothing romantic.

“It’s just too much to take in,” Diane sniffed and disappeared into the house.

Maria glanced at the other two women on the porch and made a face. “That went well.”

Liz sighed and rolled her eyes. “She’s been like that all weekend.”

“Bet you can’t wait for them to leave,” Tess rolled her eyes.

“Should I look after her?” Maria pointed at the door.

Liz shook her head. “No, let her cool off.” She rubbed her forehead and wished this day was over.

“Hey,” she wrapped her arm around the other woman. “How about we go sit down and relax?”

She nodded. “Yeah, maybe for a few minutes.”

“Come on,” Maria led the way. Liz looked like she had been on the edge for the whole weekend and that couldn’t be any good for her or the baby.

“Why is it that here lately nothing seems to be easy?” she grumbled as they sat down in a quiet corner of the deck.

“I don’t know.”

“Hey, what’s going on?” Tess asked. She had a feeling they were hiding something.

Liz sighed and rested her head against the back of her chair. “We haven’t told the kids yet, and God, please don’t tell your parents... I’m pregnant.” She bit her lip and looked around the yard. “It’s difficult enough right now with Max trying to wrap his head around it.”

Tess’ eyes widened and she sat down in a chair next to them. “Wow... I... don’t know what to say, sorry.”

She shook her head and smiled slightly. “I think if Max can just get a handle on this he’ll be okay with it. Right now he’s stuck on the past and what happened with the twins. Which I totally understand,” she stated emphatically, “it was a hard time and I know the day the boys were born was traumatic for him. I just hope he can see this as a good thing.”

Wow, another kid, Tess thought. “He’ll be okay.”

Maria nodded. “He will, Liz,” she insisted.

*****

Alex stared at the hotel on Main Street, feeling his sense of trepidation increase as he stood there. He knew he needed to get this over with as soon as possible. He didn’t like keeping this from Sam but he didn’t want to talk to her without having as much information as he could get first. The Kendra he had known 16 years ago hadn’t been vindictive or cruel, but people could change a lot in that amount of time. He jogged across the street and walked into the lobby, grateful to see that the kid behind the counter wasn’t someone he knew. The last thing he needed was someone who would recognize her and put two and two together.

He asked the kid to put a call in to her room and let her know he was there and after a few moments he was given a room number and he headed for the elevator. He got out on the third floor and walked down the hall to room 317, knocking on the door and waiting impatiently. He just wanted to get this over with.

The door opened and Kendra looked at him, smiling tentatively. “Alex, I didn’t think you’d come so soon.”

“Yeah, well… there’s no reason to put this off.” He shook his head. “I don’t like keeping Sam in the dark like this.”

She nodded and took a step aside. “Come in.”

He entered the room and looked around, shifting uncomfortably. “So...”

“So...” she repeated and gestured to a little couch near the large window. “Wanna have a seat?”

He sat down but doubted he would be there very long. His nerves were on edge and he knew he wouldn’t be able to sit still. “The ball’s pretty much in your court, Kendra. You’re the one holdin’ all the cards.”

She snorted lightly and walked over to lean against the wall next to the window, staring outside. “You couldn’t be more wrong, Alex,” she said finally and looked at him. “I don't have any cards to play. I don’t have anything at all...” Her hand came up when he was about to protest. “And I know that’s my own fault.”

“Putting fault aside... I need to know why you’re here. Why now after all these years?”

“It took that long for me to realize that leaving you and Sam when I did was the biggest mistake I made. I wasn’t ready to be a mom at the time, but people grow with their tasks, right?” She looked back outside. “I ran before that happened and I regret it.”

“God, Kendra, do you know what kinda doubts she’s had because of that?” He shook his head and sighed. “Look, I don’t wanna stand here and say things to hurt you. The past is in the past, but the fact is I don’t know how she’ll take you bein’ here, and to be honest, I’m worried that you want somethin’... whether it’s custody or bein’ a part of her life and then takin’ off again.”

Kendra smiled at his protectiveness over Sam. Yeah, he had been a good dad, no doubt. “I don’t want to take her away from you Alex... and I don’t want custody. She’s almost 16 and I’m sure you’ve raised her as an independent young woman so... I know she doesn’t really need me anymore and I don’t think I deserve custody... so... that’s not what I want.”

“Okay,” he said slowly. “Then what do you want?”

“I just wanna get to know her.”

“You do realize she may not want that.”

She nodded. “Yeah.”

“I won’t push her to meet with you if she doesn’t want to.”

“It’s okay. I don’t want her to be forced to do so.”

“So... where’ve you been? Are you married?”

“No... not married. For the last few years I’ve been in Chicago most of the time.”

“Chicago? What took you there?”

She sighed. “Hospitals mostly.”

“Hospitals? What, like that’s where you work?”

“No, that’s where I’ve been most of the time the last two years,” she admitted quietly.

“You’re... you’ve been sick?”

“Yeah.”

Damn it, as if this wasn’t already complicated enough. “And now?”

“Good for now.”

He gnawed on his bottom lip for a moment before looking at her. “What is it?”

“Breast cancer.”

He was silent a moment, processing that information. “That can be hereditary, right?” He shook his head. “I’m sorry, how’re you doin’?”

“It can be, yes.” She looked back at him. “I’m okay right now, but I’m waiting for new test results that’re due in tomorrow, so we’ll see.”

He ran his fingers through his hair and stared at the floor. Breast cancer... hereditary... the words repeated over and over in his head. “I don’t...”

“They detected it late so it was risky. If it’s caught earlier, maybe during a routine checkup it’s much better.”

He nodded and stared at her. “Do you have anyone? I mean, someone who’s been with you while you’ve been going through this?”

“No,” she said honestly.

“I’m sorry, Kendra. No one should have to go through something like that alone.” He cleared his throat. “You said you’re okay now so does that mean you’re in remission?”

“Guess I’ll know tomorrow,” she smiled weakly.

He swallowed hard. He didn’t want Sam to get hurt and learning that her mother was in town was going to be stressful enough, but if Kendra wasn’t in remission, she would be meeting her mother only to learn that she was also dying... he didn’t want to put her through that.

“The doc said chances are good that I’m finally rid of it,” she said hopefully and wiped her face with her hands. “And I really wanna believe him.”

“I hope you get good results,” he said and he meant it. “Will you be callin’ in for the results or is it somethin’ you need to be there in person for?”

“I was hoping a call would be enough, but they told me to come personally, so I’ll be gone a few days.” She sat down on an armchair. “You know maybe I deserved this. Maybe this was the punishment I got for leaving you and Sam.”

He shook his head. “Don’t say that, Kendra. No one deserves cancer no matter what they’ve done. And please don’t take this the wrong way, but I want to wait until you’ve got your results before I talk to Sam.”

Kendra hid her face in her hands, but nodded. “That’s only fair. If they have bad news I won’t make it back anyway I guess.”

“No, I’m... I’m not sayin’ that if the news is bad I won’t tell her. I just want to be able to tell her without makin’ her wait too. This’s gonna be stressful enough on her without havin’ to deal with that on top of everything else.”

“If you’ve got an email address I could email you as soon as I know more,” she told him. God, she was scared to go back tomorrow. If the cancer was back, she didn’t know if she was strong enough to fight it again.

Alex felt bad for her being all alone with this. He reached for a notepad lying on the coffee table and scribbled down his email address and then after a moment of thought he added his cell phone number. “We were friends before anything else... if you need a friend call me. If I don’t answer leave a number on my voicemail and I’ll call you right back.”

She glanced at the notepad and felt her eyes water. She knew he had every right to tell her to go to hell and never come back. “Thanks.”

“I’ll talk to Sam after I’ve heard from you and I’ll let you know what she wants to do.”

“Okay,” she wiped her cheeks. “That’s all I am asking for.”

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small folder that he laid on the table and opened up. “I brought you some pictures... taken over the years. Thought you might like to see her as she’s grown up.”

“You...” she said breathlessly and leaned forward to look at the pics of her daughter. It didn’t take long to see the similarities between her and Sam and it made her tears fall again. “She’s a beautiful girl.”

“She is.” He tapped the picture she had pulled from the stack. “She’s five in this one. It was her first day of kindergarten and I think I was more scared than she was.” He chuckled at the memory. “I had the hardest time letting go of her hand when we got to the school and she kept tellin’ me it was okay.”

It felt good and it hurt at the same time to hear those memories. Memories that should have been hers. If only she had been a mother to her daughter. “I bet she’s just as stubborn as you are.”

He smiled proudly. “She’s got my stubborn streak, alright.” He cupped his chin in his hand and leaned forward to see the next one she pulled out. “That’s her seventh birthday party. The boys with her, that’s Justin and Nick Evans, her two best friends. The three of them go everywhere and do everything together. They have since kindergarten.”

“I always got along much better with boys than girls as well,” Kendra said, amused.

He laughed. “She’s got a couple girlfriends, but she’s closer to these two than anyone else.” He pushed a couple of the photos aside to get to one of Sam with Oscar. “This’s Oscar, he became part of the family when she was seven. We went lookin’ for a dog but it was all over soon as she saw him.”

“You’ve got a pig as a pet?” She laughed.

“Yeah, he’s a teacup potbelly.” He shook his head. “Don’t ask me why they call his breed that because there’s not much small about him.”

“Well it’s definitely something original.”

“Yeah, she likes things that’re unusual. Every year at Christmastime she dresses him up and we take him to the pet store to have their picture taken with Santa.”

Kendra smiled when they got to the more current pictures. “Wow, she’s a very beautiful young lady.”

“Yeah, there’s no doubt about that.” He rolled his eyes. “The boys have started noticing it too.”

“Uh-oh. Any boyfriends yet?”

“Oh, yeah, and of course he’s the one boy I’d rather she not date.” He flopped back against the couch. “He’s a troublemaker but she’s convinced he’s just misunderstood.”

“I bet,” she agreed, remembering her own hormones when she was a teenager.

“Oh...” he pulled his phone out and ran through a couple of applications to pull up a picture. “She went to her first dance last night. I haven’t got any hard copy photos yet, but I took this one with my phone.”

Kendra took his cell in her hands and smiled sadly when she saw the picture. “She looks gorgeous,” she whispered. “Did she go with the troublemaker?”

“No, the troublemaker... Andy, didn’t ask so she ended up going with another boy. A date that was obviously a mistake because she didn’t have a good time. I’d like to smack that little snot... both of them really. Jared for not makin’ sure her first dance was a good experience and Andy for not askin’ her in the first place.”

“Teenage boys,” she said knowingly. “Is she okay?”

“Oh, in spite of the dance being a big disappointment the night apparently went very well. She went over to visit with Andy for a while afterwards and she was in a good mood when she came home.”

“So back to the bad boy, I see.”

“Right back to him. And as long as she’s with him she’s happy.” He shook his head. “He’s Nick and Justin’s cousin.”

“Well, maybe he’s not as bad as you think.”

“She’s skipped school with him... gone train hopping with him... that’s more than enough.”

“Ouch...”

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hold him completely responsible for her doing those things. She’s got a mind of her own and she does what she wants to do, just most of the time she exercises better judgment. But since he’s come into the picture this year she’s not thinkin’ as clearly.”

“I guess that’s only natural. You do stupid things when you’re a teenager... especially when you’re a teenager in love.”

He made a face. “Yeah, I guess. She’s a high achiever though, you know? She’s gonna have her pick of colleges and I don’t want to see her mess that up.”

“She’ll make her way,” Kendra said.

“Yeah, I’m sure she will. I try not to hold on too hard but sometimes it’s hard to let ‘er go.”

“Well, you have a great support system I’m sure.”

“My parents have been a big help over the years. I came back home and finished school at UNM and worked with my dad. I eventually took over his accounting business when he retired.”

“You made your way,” Kendra nodded.

“Yeah, it wasn’t what I expected to do but it worked and it allowed me to be with Sam.”

“I’m glad she had you, Alex.”

He smiled. “She changed my life.”

*****

Max was conscious of every step Liz took as she moved around the back deck. He had been watching her all day, unable to stop his thoughts from slipping back into the past. He still hadn’t come to terms with the pregnancy but he knew he was going to have to deal with it and soon. The talk with Alex the night before had helped him to calm down but now he had to accept the pregnancy and the risks that went with it.

Liz swallowed hard when she put a piece of steak in her mouth, feeling her stomach rebel in response. Don’t puke, she told herself and tried to stick with that plan. A few minutes ago she had felt hungry enough to eat a whole cow… but now she couldn’t even stomach the smell of the meat anymore. “Excuse me,” she said and got up.

Maria and Tess exchanged a quick look, before one of them got up. “Hey Liz, let me help you with the dessert,” Maria said and hurried after her.

“We’re not even through the main meal,” Justin frowned.

“Good dessert needs time,” Tess said to distract them. “And I know you guys will eat another steak or maybe even two, but some of us are almost ready for desert.”

Nick just shrugged. He was already eyeing another steak and he wasn’t even through his first one yet.

Max got up and picked up Liz’s plate, carrying it inside and setting it on the counter. He had no idea what to do. She didn’t want to tell everyone yet, and by everyone that pretty much meant his meddlesome parents. He could understand that and he didn’t want to put any extra pressure on her. She was already giving him the look every time he tried to get her to relax or told her he’d take care of things. Damn, he felt like he couldn’t do anything right.

“Next time we should just go to a restaurant,” Diane suggested. “That way everyone could eat what they want.” She didn’t hide the fact that she wasn’t a big fan of barbecues.

“You don’t like your food, Gramma?” Kara asked as she got up to sit on her knees so she could lean forward and get her drink.

“Oh, no, it’s fine, sweetie,” she assured her.

“Daddy made hot dogs too.” She motioned to her ketchup-drenched hot dog. “Untel Tyle likes his with lots of hot stuff on his,” she informed them.

Kyle made a face and bumped his shoulder against Tess’. “See what you did?”

“Hey, you started it,” she said without an ounce of sympathy. “Keep it quiet or she’ll offer to go find a jar of jalapenos for you.”

“And it’d be your fault,” he hissed.

She waved him off. “No, it wouldn’t.”

Andy looked at Sam next to him and leaned a bit closer. “Won’t ya just be glad when this’s over?”

She smiled and shook her head. “It’s not that bad. You’ve got a big family and it’s kinda nice. A little weird at times, but nice.”

He snorted slightly. “Yeah, nice.”

“C’mon,” she said and elbowed him, “maybe it’s not fun all the time, but how cool is it that you have all this family around?”

He smirked and leaned in a bit closer. “I’d prefer us alone someplace quiet right now,” he whispered, aware that he was playing with fire again.

She smacked his leg under the table and cursed under her breath when she glanced up and caught Nick and Justin both smirking at her in that annoyingly superior way they had when they knew something they shouldn’t.

Andy grabbed her hand and squeezed it while he looked at her with a cheeky smirk on his lips.

“You know you’re gonna pay for this later,” she warned him in a low voice, the threat completely at odds with the smile on her face.

“So Andy,” Diane interrupted the kids when she became aware of the obvious and none of the adults around the table wanted to say anything about it. “How do you like it here in Roswell?”

“It’s getting better. I didn’t really like it at all at first.”

“Well, it takes time to get used to new things,” she told him. “You’ll see this’s a much better place to grow up than Miami.”

He fought the urge to roll his eyes. “Yeah, that’s what Mom keeps sayin’.”

“You should always listen to your mom.”

He shrugged and went back to eating. He wasn’t interested in this conversation.

“I bet Sam’s a great help too,” Diane continued.

Okay, this was just great. He didn’t mind being the center of attention, but not like this.

“Sam’s always a great help,” Nick said and made a face at her when she kicked him under the table.

“I’m sure,” Diane said.

“Are you going out for football this year?” Philip asked with a glance at Andy.

“Um, no, not really.”

“You should. You’ve got the build for it. Your dad played and he always wanted you to play too.”

“Andy isn’t really interested in it though,” Maria said when she came back out carrying some desserts. She had a feeling she had gotten back in time. Thank God, Liz was feeling better.

“It meant a lot to Andrew,” Philip insisted. “The boy should at least consider it.”

“My son isn’t playing a game just because his father loved it,” she told him directly. “I’ve discussed this with Andy, so I think we’ll leave the decision to him.”

He huffed and leaned back, throwing his napkin on the table. He motioned to the twins. “You boys looked good out on the field Friday night. You’ll want to work on catching the ball though, Justin. You would’ve had that touchdown in the third quarter if you hadn’t fumbled the ball.”

Maria exchanged a look with Andy and shook her head slightly when the boy looked bothered by his grandfather’s words. Her ex-parents-in-law had a way of hurting other people with words.

Kara looked around the table, not understanding the sudden tension. She got up and ran over to Kyle, climbing up on the bench seat next to him and wiggling her way into his lap.

Justin just shrugged. “I already got chewed out by the coach over that.”

“We all fumble the ball once in a while, kid,” Kyle assured him as he wrapped his arms around Kara.

“A fault confessed is half redressed,” Philipp added

Nick rolled his eyes and stood up. “I’m gonna grab a drink. Anybody want anything?”

“Yeah, we do,” Andy said and got up, pulling Sam with him since she was finished with her plate.

“Hey, I’m comin’ with you guys,” Justin said, grabbing his glass that was nearly full.

Kara looked up at Kyle uncertainly when the kids practically flew from the table. “You wanna go too?” he asked knowingly and sat her back on the ground.

Tess looked around at the suddenly empty table and shook her head at her parents. “Maybe once in a while you guys could just find something positive to say... acknowledge the things that people do right,” she muttered.

“To tell people what they do right won’t get them anywhere in life,” Philip informed her.

“Maybe it’d balance it out if you took all the focus off of what people do wrong.”

Diane chuckled at that. “We don’t focus.”

“Maybe you don’t, but the people you’re constantly putting down do.”

Maria suddenly didn’t feel hungry anymore and all she hoped right now was that this awkward barbeque would be done soon.

“Do you even care that they won that game on Friday night? Or that Andy prefers basketball over football? Or that, I don’t know, that Maria and I are starting a business here in Roswell?” Tess asked.

“A business that’s not open yet, so we can’t make up our minds about it yet,” Diane said.

Kyle snorted and shook his head. “You two are a piece of work.”

Philip and Diana glanced at each other, surprised. “What?”

“I didn’t stutter.” He covered Tess’ hand when it landed on his arm. “Not this time, babe. I kept my mouth shut the whole time we dated in high school, but not anymore.”

“Excuse me?” Diane looked at Kyle.

“I didn’t trip over my words. I understand that you lost Andrew. Matter of fact, everyone here understands that. Maybe not the loss of a child, but we understand loss. You seem to have forgotten you have two other children. Max was never treated the way you treated Andrew, but at least you recognized his achievements. I can’t tell you how many times I watched Tess hurt over the way you practically ignored her. It didn’t matter how well she did at school or any other thing, you never treated her like she mattered. And even as an adult you give her the same treatment. She shouldn’t need any kind of achievement for you to acknowledge her existence and she sure as hell shouldn’t be put in a position to sit on the sidelines and wait for you to notice her. All she needs is to know is that you love her. Hell, she doesn’t even want more than that from you.” He sighed, feeling better for finally getting that out. “You wanna sit here and be blind to how great she is then you can sit here without us.”

He started to get up but sat down again and shook his head. “No, you know what, I’ve already started so I’m just gonna finish what I’ve got to say. You know Andy has no interest in football, so quit crammin’ it down his throat. Yeah, his dad played football, his dad loved football, so what? He’s his father’s son, but he’s his own person. Maria’s been dealin’ with enough crap without havin’ to take it from you too. She’s done an amazing job with Andy and God knows it hasn’t been easy. He’s been a little shit at times, but she’s doing her best. And you know what? The woman has the right to have a life and find love again, so get off her back about her possibly seein’ someone else. She can’t live the rest of her life in mourning. As for Max, he’s your son. He’s never gonna be Andrew, you can’t just expect him to step into his brother’s shoes and take his place. He’s a husband and a father and he’s a grown ass man, leave him be. And Liz? Quit criticizing the way she makes dinner, raises her kids, or cleans her house. There’s nothin’ wrong with the way she manages things. And your grandkids… for God’s sake, they’re kids. They’re gonna makes mistakes just like the rest of us and it serves no purpose to pound every little mistake they make into the ground.” He sighed and looked at Tess. “I think that was everything I had to say… did I leave anything out?”

Everyone was staring at Kyle in disbelief and shock from his sudden outburst. Tess didn’t know what to think right now. Of course he was right, but technically it was her business, not his. “Um...”

“Nice man you chose,” Diane said, looking at her daughter.

“Don’t start in on him, Mom. He’s just saying what no one else will say because the rest of us are used to doing whatever’s necessary to avoid upsetting things.”

“Maxwell,” Philip turned around to look at his son, who had gotten back just in time to overhear everything. “You feel the same way?”

Max cleared his throat. God, could this day get any worse? “Look, you guys always favored Drew, and fine, whatever. I accepted that a long time ago. What Kyle and Tess said, they’re both right. You’re our parents and we love you regardless, but you have your own way of lookin’ at things and you don’t generally care for anyone else’s opinions on things once you’ve made your mind up.”

“But we just want the best for you,” Diana defended them. “All of you.”

“But you could just treat us like we mattered instead of pounding every little shortcoming into the ground.”

“Of course you matter,” Philip said matter-of-factly.

“Maybe you could try tellin’ Tess that she matters.”

Tess looked at her parents. “Too late for that now.”

Kyle looked at her. “You wanna leave?”

“No,” Max shook his head. “Mom, Dad, I think you should leave. We all need to calm down.”

****


WE MISSED YOU! :mrgreen:
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Part 89

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:23 am

Alien_Friend: We agree, grandparents should be awesome! Philip and Diane leave quite a bit to be desired. Kyle had enough of their put-downs and comments and he finally had to say something. Well, lol, he warned Tess before they went in the house.

Jeff and Nancy... their grandparenting skills have yet to be seen.

Maria did a great job of dealing with Diane.

Kendra is in a tough situation and dealing with it alone has been... lonely. Alex has the ability to see past the old hurts and is giving her the benefit of the doubt. If Sam were to go through all of this and face such a loss it would be devastating. We’re not sure if Kendra would’ve taken that step or not if she hadn’t fallen ill.

We’re glad to be back in business too! See ya Sunday!!

Eva: We agree, it definitely didn’t come a minute too soon!

Philip and Diane have lost sight of their other children, holding on so tightly to Andrew through the rest of their family. Until they can learn to let go they aren’t going to be any good for their family or themselves.

Maria might have let it slide if they hadn’t said anything to Andy, but for her that was the last straw. And Kyle... well, he warned Tess before they went in that he wouldn’t stand by and just ignore the comments. Max did the right thing and it was a long time in coming. It was an important step for him.

We’re glad RF is back up and running too! We missed ‘seeing‘ you guys!

mary mary: Kyle really put it out there, didn’t he? Awesome job, Mr. Valenti!



Part 89

Liz had just overheard his words when she approached them and she leaned against his side when he finally spoke up to his parents. Better late than never, she thought.

“Well, I don’t see how us leaving will...” Diane looked up at her husband. “Philip?”

The man looked at his son’s stern face and nodded. “We’re leaving.”

Kyle took a long swallow of his beer and glanced around the silent faces after the older Evans’ couple had taken their leave. “I won’t apologize for what I said.”

Maria sat down again. “What a mess,” she mumbled.

“Look, it’s gonna be fine,” Kyle assured her. “They needed to hear that and you guys, maybe you’re all too close to put it out there.”

“He’s probably right,” Liz nodded.

Max stared across the yard where Lucky had taken cover in his doghouse. “Maybe they’ll think about it once they’ve had some time alone.”

“And maybe it’ll be 120 degrees tomorrow,” Tess grumbled.

He snorted. “Whatever happens, it was probably for the best that they hear it now.”

“What’s goin’ on?” Andy asked carefully as he neared the table.

Maria looked up at her son and she smiled. He was well past the age where she could get away with telling him they’d talk about it some other time. “Your grandparents had to leave a little earlier than expected.”

“Uh-huh.”

“We all needed a little time to cool off.”

“So what now? Are we leaving?”

“Are you ready to leave?”

He looked at Sam and shrugged. “Ready when you are, Mom.”

Maria looked around at the others for a moment before nodding decisively. “I think we’ll go home.” She glanced at Liz. “We can help clean up before we go,” she offered.

“No, it’s okay,” Max assured her. “I’ve got it, no worries.”

She nodded and stood, hugging him. “Congratulations, Max,” she whispered.

He coughed slightly. “Thanks.”

Andy looked at Sam. “You stayin’ here or you gonna come with us?”

“If it’s okay with your mom I’ll just go with you guys.”

Maria nodded. “You can take her home,” she agreed. “But just taking her to her house and then coming home.”

“She’s not lettin’ up on that bein’ grounded thing,” he muttered, rolling his eyes.

“Better not complain,” Sam hissed.

He snorted and lowered his voice. “Don’t worry, she won’t make it longer. Matter of fact, I think this’s the first time she’s ever actually kept me grounded for the full sentence.”

“And you deserve double.”

“What? No, I don’t,” he denied. “And don’t give her any ideas.”

Sam bumped his side. “Let’s go.”

Maria laughed as she watched them disappear back into the house after saying their goodbyes. “Doubling his grounding? Gosh, could you imagine?”

“Definitely no fun,” Liz agreed.

She rolled her eyes. “I think I’ve been punished enough already. Kids think they’re the ones suffering when all the time it’s the parents getting the worst of it.”

“Ya know you can send him over to us for a while. I can handle him,” Kyle said to Maria.

“Don’t tempt me, Kyle.” She shook her head with a smile. “He’s getting better. I’ve started seeing some changes in him the past couple of days.”

*****

Michael rolled his eyes when the front door of his house slammed shut. “Ya know why doors have a knob?” he yelled from the kitchen where he was staring into the refrigerator to decide what he was in the mood for since it was dinnertime.

“Sorry, it slipped out of my hand,” someone said and entered the room.

He glanced up in surprise when the owner of the voice was definitely not his younger sister as he had expected. “Sorry, I thought you were Chrissie. She tends to slam the doors all the time.”

Isabel smiled. “I ran into her outside. She said something about going over to your neighbor‘s.”

“Yeah, their son‘s here too and they‘ve kinda been goin‘ out or whatever.” Michael closed the refrigerator in frustration when there was nothing in it that he felt like eating.

“I brought Chinese food in case ya hadn’t dinner yet?” She held up a few bags of carry out food to him.

He groaned slightly. “Isabel, the White Knight.”

She snorted and placed the food on the counter. “So you got any plans tonight? I thought maybe we can hang out a bit.”

Michael smirked at her. “Alex busy?”

“Why? Can’t I just wanna hang out with a friend?” She chuckled when he looked at her doubtfully. “Okay, well. he is busy with some business stuff tonight, so I thought…”

“Wanna go in the backyard?” he offered. The weather‘s pretty nice this evening, too nice to sit inside.

“Sure, let’s go.” She grabbed the bags again. “Bring some forks. I hate eating with the sticks.”

He snorted. “That’s just because you have no coordination when it comes to chopsticks,” he said as he grabbed a couple of forks. He didn‘t have much luck with the damn things either.

“As if you have room to talk,” she said knowingly and took a seat on one of the comfortable chairs on his porch.

Mojo ambled over to her and pushed his muzzle into her hand, snuffling loudly.

“Hey, my friend,” Isabel greeted him with a smile.

Michael stepped out on the porch and handed her the forks. “You want a beer or somethin’?”

“No, I‘m good for now, thanks.”

“Suit yourself.” He ducked back inside and grabbed a beer before coming back out and dropping down in the chair next to her. “So, what’s up?”

“Oh, well, basically not much.”

He leaned back and quirked an eyebrow as he glanced at her. “Uh-huh.”

She looked up at him. “Really... I mean, there was something strange, but nothing to worry about... I guess.”

“Then why do you have that concerned tone in your voice?”

“I’m not concerned.” she denied.

“So what’s goin’ on that you’re NOT concerned about?”

She chewed on her food thoughtfully before swallowing it down. “Sam’s mom showed up the other day.”

“Sam’s mom... if memory serves she’s never really been in the picture before, right?”

“Yeah, she left right after Sam was born.”

“So she just shows up outta nowhere and you’re not concerned?” He reached for one of the cartons and dug in. “I mean, okay, you’re a strong, confident woman so I get that you might not be concerned about your relationship as far as the woman showin’ up... but if nothin’ else I’ll bet you’re concerned about Sam and how this’ll affect her.”

“Yeah, well, I am worried about that. This Kendra woman never even met her own daughter and now she’s back. How does she think Sam will react to that after so much time has passed?”

“How’s Alex doin’ with it?”

“Not so good.”

“What about Sam?” It would be tough on the girl to have her mother suddenly show up after a lifetime without any contact. “You said her mother...” he frowned. “Wait, her mother’s name is Kendra?” What were the chances of two women in Roswell having that name? It wasn’t that common and it was a small town.

“Yeah,” Isabel frowned. “Why?”

“I ran into a woman with that name yesterday... met her in the park. She seemed really down so I talked to her for a while. She never really went into why she was here other than to say she was visiting family.” He cleared his throat. “Met her at the bar after the dance last night.”

She lifted her eyesbrows at that. “Huh?”

“I thought she just needed a friendly face. Someone to listen to her.”

“So you met her in a bar? Alone?”

“I’m well past the age of needing a chaperone to go out, Iz.”

“That’s not what I mean, I just...” She shrugged. “Ya know Roswell’s a small town and if you meet a strange woman in a bar, it can start rumors. That’s all I am saying.”

“Everything you do around this town is open to interpretation by the gossips.” He shrugged. “It’s not like it was anything more than a conversation.”

“So... since you already know her... what’d you think about her?”

He chewed for a minute, thinking. “She’s lonely,” he said finally. “Carrying around a lot of regret. She seemed... I don't know, isolated is the word that comes to mind.”

“It’s weird that she’s showing up now. Any clue why?”

He shook his head. “She wasn’t specific but I got the feeling that she’s tryin’ to make things right.”

“Alex went to talk to her this afternoon, but I haven’t talked to him about it yet.”

“Has he told Sam that her mother’s here?”

“Not yet.”

He nodded and tossed Mojo a piece of pork. “She’s a well-adjusted kid, Iz, she’ll be okay.”

“Yeah,” she sighed, “I just hope her mom won’t show up and then disappear again.”

“Has she ever talked to you about her mother?”

“No, not really.”

“You two get along pretty well, right?”

“We’re just getting to know each other, but it seems like we can be friends.”

“Your situations are similar where your mothers are concerned. Not the same of course, but there are similarities. She might talk to you about it.”

“Alex has to tell her first.”

“Ya think?” He rolled his eyes. “I’m just sayin’ she might reach out to you over this.”

“I’ll be there for her if she wants that.” Isabel nodded. “I just don’t wanna be caught up in the middle of an ugly fight or something, ya know?”

“Yeah, I can understand that.” He shook his head and took a drink of his beer. “I didn’t get the feelin’ that she was here to start trouble.”

“Yeah, I had the same opinon when she showed up. You just never know.”

“True enough.” He scratched his chin with his thumb. “So other than that little surprise, things are goin’ okay for you and Alex?”

Isabel smiled a bit. “Couldn’t be better.”

“Cool.” He tossed another piece of pork to Mojo. “Talked to Kyle, things between him an’ Tess seem to be good again.”

“Yeah? That’s good. How’d they work it out?”

“He didn’t really say. He was sayin’ somethin’ about them goin’ to California to get her things or somethin’.”

“I hope they can figure this out. They fit together well.” She laughed. “Do you remember when we found a pic of Tess in his room, when we were in college?”

He smirked. “Yeah, and we gave him shit for havin’ a crush on a 15-year-old girl.”

“You could tell he was still in love with her even then.”

“Yeah, he had it bad.” He pushed his rice around with his fork. “Still does, doesn’t he?”

“No doubt,” she nodded and watched her friend.

“He’s had somethin’ in the works with his job since he decided to take a leave of absence to bring Maria and Andy back here. He tell you about that?”

“Hmm, no, not that I recall.”

“Um-hmm, he started checkin’ into it before comin’ back here; filed the transfer paperwork and everything.”

“So he’s planning to move here ... like permanently?”

“Yeah. So I’m glad him and Tess seem to be workin’ things out. That’d suck otherwise.”

“I’m sure they’ll be okay. You know they just can’t live without each other.”

He smiled. “True. I’ve never seen him happier than when he’s with her.” He stared down at his beer, thinking about the night before.

It was easy to read his hurt, Isabel thought while she looked at her friend. “Guess there’s nothing new between you and Maria?”

He sighed and stared up at the sky. “I don’t know. I might’ve made a major mistake last night.”

She looked at him, shocked. “I thought you said it was just a conversation?”

“What?” He turned his head to look at her and shook his head, making a face when he realized what she thought he meant. “No, no, no, not like that!”

“Whew.” She relaxed. “Okay.”

“I had a few drinks. Not drunk or anything, but it was enough to make me think goin’ over to see Maria was a good idea.”

“Oookaaaaayyyy.”

He nodded. “I’m lucky Andy didn’t answer the door. I wasn’t thinkin’ that far ahead.” He took a drink of his beer, emptying it. “I kissed her.”

She almost choked on the last bite she had taken. “Wow... uh...”

“She’s havin’ such a tough time with this and I know that... but I want her to let me in. I want her to be able to let me in.”

“I doubt that’s the problem, Michael.”

“It is the problem. Not that she doesn’t want to, but because she isn’t free to.”

“She just needs time...”

“Yeah. Sometimes it’s jsut hard to be patient, ya know?”

“Sure,” she nodded.

“I know it’s a delicate situation. I have no intention of walkin’ away or anything, it just sucks sometimes, that’s all.”

“How’d she react to that kiss?”

He sighed. “I think it just...” he got up and started to pace. “I think it just put more pressure on her.” He ran his hand through his hair. “She’s already got so much on her tryin’ to deal with Andy and tryin’ to move forward. I might’ve just made it worse.”

“We all have our weak moments, Michael.”

“I know. God, I just wish Andy could see that this isn’t a bad thing.”

“Unfortunately teenagers tend to think irrationally. You know that.”

He snorted. “I see so much of me in him. I remember the anger and the hurt, the confusion and the fear after my parents died.”

“I doubt you were that easy either.”

“No.”

“Maybe the kiss wasn’t a bad thing.”

“Think so?”

“Yeah. Could make her a bit braver.”

He smiled at that. “I could help her with Andy if she’d just let me. Maybe that’s inexperience talkin’. I don’t have kids, I’ve never been in her situation, but I just... I feel like if she’d just let me help her we could get through to him.”

*****

Nick and Justin nearly knocked each other to get to the phone when it started ringing and Liz rolled her eyes at them. Kara dragged one of the chairs over to the sink and climbed up on it, picking up the towel Nick had abandoned when the phone rang.

“How come they’re bein’ so funny, Mommy?” she asked as she rubbed the towel over a plate.

“Girls,” Liz answered, shaking her head.

“Why?”

She smiled and looked down at her daughter. “They just do. One day you’ll act like that over boys.”

Kara wrinkled her nose and shook her head. “Huh-uh, they’re silly.”

“That’s right,” Max said as he came inside and put some things in the refrigerator. “They are silly and you should always remember that.”

The little girl smiled. “I will, Daddy.”

He leaned over to kiss her forehead when she tipped her head back to look up at him. “Do that, baby girl.”

“Otay.” She put the plate on the counter and reached for a glass and turned her head to look at Mommy. “Is Daddy silly too?” she asked when he had gone back outside.

“Sometimes.” She chuckled at Kara’s confused look. “They get older but they don’t entirely grow out of that.”

“I don’t un’erstand, Mommy.”

“You will in time sweetie.”

Kara still didn’t understand but she shrugged and nodded. “Otay.”

Justin groaned when Nick stuck his tongue out at him, leting him know the call was from Sarah and not Jenny.

“If that call isn’t for you I think you can get back over here and help out,” Liz said when she saw the exchange between the boys.

“Tell him not to tie up the phone too long, Mom.”

“Expecting a call?” she teased lightly. She was tired and she just wanted to go and lay down but not until everything was finished.

“Maybe.”

She smiled at his answer. “Okay, Mr. Mysterious.” She rubbed her forehead with the back of her wrist. She probably should’ve taken it a little easier today, she thought.

“Everything okay?” Justin asked and frowned when Mom looked pale all of the sudden.

“Fine.” Liz tried to grab onto the sink when the dizzy feeling worsened, but her soapy hand slid on the edge. “Get your dad,” was all she was able to get out as she felt herself falling.

“Mom,” he called, leaning over the counter quickly but couldn’t reach her in time to keep her from falling. “Nick,” he called out to his brother.

“Mommy,” Kara cried out.

Nick turned to see what was going on and his eyes widened when he saw his brother and sister next to Mom where she was lying on the floor. “Gotta go, Sara,” he said and dropped the phone. “Dad!” he yelled as he ran over to check on Mom. “Dad, get in here now! Something’s wrong with Mom!”
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

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Double Trouble
Obsessed Roswellian
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Part 90

Postby Double Trouble » Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:23 am

Eva: Ah, you did have to wait a complete week... aren’t you glad RF crashed before this part was due to be posted? Now that would’ve been cruel! We’ll get to look in on Liz and the baby in this part though.

Alien_Friend: It is scary, but we’re back! A week is a long time... but, had RF crashed a little later it would’ve been almost a two-month wait, lol. This is a rough thing for the kids to have witnessed and Max... well, we’ll see how he handles things. We’ll check in on Liz and the baby today.

Isabel and Michael have a strong friendship and it shows in their support of each other. Sam has a strong support system and she’s settled, so even though this is likely to throw her off for a bit, she should be alright.

Philip and Diane really do need to spend some time thinking about what they did and said.

mary mary: Max and Liz have had a pretty rough time recently... we’ll see what happens.

Natalie36: That’s definitely a possibility.

Earth2Mama: You could be right. We’ll find out more in today’s part. Max... we’ll see.

Permanent bed rest? Let’s see what the doc says.

Ah, Michael won’t give up hope. He’s just having a moment. Andy’s slowly coming around. He’s eventually gonna see the light.

begonia9508: Thanks!

It was time for someone to tell Philip and Diane a few home truths, wasn’t it?

Maria was a lot more patient than anyone could rightfully expect in that situation.

keepsmiling7: It was a good thing Kyle did, standing up to the grandparents.

Well, yeah, we did leave you hanging... but, aren’t you glad RF crashed before we posted this part? That would’ve been a really long time to be left hanging, lol. We’ll look in on Liz and the baby in today’s part.

Thanks, we’re glad to be back! We missed you guys too!

angiebrenna: We second that!

kismet: We missed you too. :)

We will see how Liz is doing today…



Part 90

The moment Max heard his son’s panicked voice he knew something was majorly wrong. Without a second thought he dropped the grill he was just about to clean and ran into the house.

“You want me to call 9-1-1, Dad?” Justin asked when he came through the door.

“Do that”, Max said and rushed to his wife’s side. “Liz? Honey, can you hear me?”

“Daddy, what’s wrong with Mommy?” Kara asked, her voice trembling.

“She’s just very tired, Kara,” Justin said and dragged her away from them. He was scared as hell, but he knew he couldn’t show that to his sister.

“Dad, what’s goin’ on?” Nick asked, seeing the worried look on his face.

“Get me a glass of water,” he ordered instead of answering when Liz’ eyelids moved a bit.

He did as he was told, but he couldn’t stop the questions. “Is Mom sick or somethin’?” He swallowed the lump in his throat at that thought. There couldn’t be anything wrong with Mom. “She’s gonna be okay, right, Dad?”

“She’ll be okay,” Max said. It wasn’t the right time to tell the kids. First he had to make sure Liz was okay. What if she was losing the baby now?

Justin hung up, staying back because he was holding onto Kara. She was scared and crying and he knew they would just be in the way right now. “They’re sending an ambulance, said it should just be a few minutes.”

“Get a pillow from the couch.”

“I’ve got it.” Nick handed him the glass of water and then went to grab the pillow, needing something to do.

Max waited until his son handed him the pillow and he placed it under Liz’ head. She started to blink a few times before she looked at him. “Max...”

“You’re okay, darlin’,” he said, hoping he sounded reassuring because he was sure his voice was shaking. “Just a little too much excitement today.”

She tried to look around to figure out where she was. The ground below her was hard, so it sure as hell wasn’t the bed.

“You passed out,” he said as his fingertips brushed against her cheek.

“Mommy,” Kara cried when she hear Daddy talking to Mommy.

Max glanced over his shoulder at Kara before focusing on Liz once more. “Justin, you guys go wait in the other room. Mom’s gonna be okay, just... give us a little space, okay?”

He didn’t want to leave, but he knew it wasn’t open for discussion right now. “C’mon, Kara, let’s go keep an eye out for the ambulance to arrive, okay?”

Nick hesitated in the doorway. “You want me to do somethin’ else, Dad?”

“No, just watch your sister.”

“Okay.” He hung around in the doorway for another moment. “Mom’s okay though, right?”

“Everything’s okay, Nick,” Max repeated even though he wasn’t sure.

Liz reached up to rub her face and she moved her hand to cover his. “Max, you should be in there with the kids. They’re scared right now.”

“No, I’m stayin’ with you. The boys are old enough to handle this. I’ll explain it to them later.”

She didn’t bother arguing with him. She was too tired to make the effort and she could see the fear in his eyes as he watched her.

“The ambulance will be here soon. We’ll get you to the hospital and you you’ll be able to rest.”

“I don’t need to stay at the hospital,” she insisted. “It’s a good idea to make sure everything’s okay with the baby, but I don’t need to stay there.”

“Let’s just see what the docs say, okay?” He tried to calm her down.

“You should call Linda... she can meet us at the hospital. I don’t want another doctor, Max.”

“I’ll do that as soon as they get here, darlin’.”

“I’m sorry, Max,” she whispered.

He crouched down closer to caress her face. “No, no... don’t be. Everything will be okay.” It HAD to be okay.

“I just want this to be a good thing for us.” She could feel the tears burning her eyes as she looked up at him. “I want it so badly.”

“Don’t cry,” he begged, feeling his own eyes filling. “Please don’t cry.”

She lifted her hand to rest against his cheek, stroking her thumb over his goatee. “I know this scares you, Max. It scares me too,” she admitted quietly, swallowing her tears.

He wanted to hug her tightly against his body, but he was sacred that it could lead to further damage, so he just held her hands in his. Right at that moment he heard a vehicle pulling up outside.

“Dad, the ambulance is here,” Nick said as he came into the kitchen.

“Y should call Tess to come over and stay with them,” she suggested. “I know they’re old enough to stay on their own, but they’re scared right now.”

He nodded. “Okay.” He moved to make space for the EMTs coming into the kitchen. He made the call, answering questions for the EMTs and watching over every move they made. He held onto Liz’s hand, trying to reassure her through touch that everything would be fine.

“Alright, Mrs. Evans,” one of the EMTs, who almost looked young enough to be her son, said. “We’re gonna get you to the hospital now so the doc can make sure everything’s okay.”

“We’d like to have her obstetrician contacted so she can meet us at the hospital,” Max said.

“Sure, who is it?”

“Dr. Linda Martinez.”

“We’ll contact her,” the EMT agreed as they lifted Liz up.

“Liz, I’m gonna let the kids know Tess is on her way and then I’ll be with you, okay?”

She nodded. “Okay.”

Max walked into the living room and crouched down in front of the kids where they were sitting close together on the couch. It was a sign that they were upset. As the boys had gotten older they had embraced the concept of personal space and they usually sat across the room from each other. Kara was sitting on Justin’s lap and tears were running down over her cheeks. “Hey,” he said gently as he reached out to touch her arm. “Kara, Mommy’s gonna be okay. It was just a long day and she needs some rest. We’re gonna go to the hospital so the doctor can check her out, but that’s just to make Daddy feel better, okay?”

“I wanna tome wif you.”

“I know, baby girl, but not this time. Aunt Tess is gonna come over and stay with you guys.”

“We don’t need a babysitter,” Nick complained.

“She’s just comin’ over because Mom doesn’t want you guys to be upset and alone.”

Nick bit his lip before he could make another remark about that. He watched as Dad got up again and he followed him. “What’s wrong with Mom?”

“Nick,” Max said impatiently. He sighed, catching himself, and he rubbed his hands over his face. “Look, your mom just needs some rest. She’s been pushin’ herself lately and she really needs to take it easy.”

He doubted that was all of it, but he let Dad go. He knew he had to be there for Mom now. But he would ask again later.

“Alright, I’ve gotta go. You guys take care of each other and behave for your aunt.”

*****

“Stupid,” Maria complained and shook her head at the TV before she glanced back at the magazine she was holding.

Andy had gone upstairs as soon as he had come back home after walking Sam home and she was pretty sure he was either doing homework last minute before going to bed, or he was texting with his girlfriend. The phone started to ring and she jumped a bit in surprise before getting it from the table in front of her. “Sue,” she said happily when she answered the call.

“Hey, girl,” Sue greeted her with a smile. “I thought since I had a few minutes while everyone’s occupied I’d give you a call. How’re you doin’?”

Maria placed the magazine aside and stood up to walk to the kitchen to get herself a drink. “Well, nothing’s really changed on my end,” she told her friend from Florida.

“Really?” Sue frowned, disappointed. “What about Andy? He’s okay?”

“Yeah, he’s good.” She opened the refrigerator and ducked in to look for a bottle of water. “He has a girlfriend,” she said in a hushed voice.

“No! Really? What’s she like? Do you like her?”

“From what I can tell she’s a nice girl and she helps him deal with issues. Sometimes I really think she’s more able to talk to him than I am.”

“Well, when we were their age we were certain our parents couldn’t understand anything too, so I guess it’s payback.”

Maria sighed and leaned against the counter, water held in her hand. “Yeah.”

“So... you know I’m gonna ask. What about the sexy counselor? Anything goin’ on there?” She crossed her fingers as she leaned back against the counter, hoping that Maria had decided to go for it and was just holding out on her.

Maria swallowed hard at her friend’s question. “There’s nothing happening on that front.”

Sue sighed at the tone in her friend’s voice and she reached up to pinch the bridge of her nose. “Why not?”

“Things are complicated,” Maria said slowly, not wanting to get sucked into that deep dark hole of loneliness and sadness again.

“Maria... talk to me. What happened?” She was familiar with the battle that could be waged when your child didn’t want you dating someone other than their father.

“Andy... he’s just… he’s not okay with this...” Maria held the phone away to take some calming breaths, “... and I don’t wanna do this if it’s just gonna put more space between us again.”

“Oh, Maria,” Sue said quietly when she heard the pain in her voice. “You really like this guy, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” she croaked out, turning around to rest her forehead on the cooler cupboards hanging in front of her.

“You do know that Andy would eventually get a handle on the situation don’t you? I know how hard it is to see that, but it’s true.”

“I can’t do this as long he can’t handle this, Sue. I know I don’t have to do this, but Andy’s the one thing in my life that I’m afraid to lose and I can’t risk that.”

“Maria, I’m not gonna tell you how you should do things,” she said quietly. “You have your own mother for that. What I will tell you is I can understand letting Andy have his say, but don’t give him the right to decide your life for you. He’s a strong kid and I know how much he loved Andrew so accepting another man in your life’s not gonna be easy for him but you deserve to have someone in your life to fill that hole. I know I’m not tellin’ you anything you don’t already know. You know how much it means to have a man to share things with, to love, to watch movies with, to sit and listen to a thunderstorm with, and hell yeah, even to fight with sometimes. And damn, there’s nothin’ like cuddling up in his arms in bed after a long day... you know you deserve to have that again, girl.”

Maria found herself crying at the possibilities she could have with Michael, possibilities which Sue was listing up for her. She wanted all of those things. “I... I...” she stuttered.

“Oh, Maria,” Sue said quietly, easily hearing her friend’s pain. “Honey, I’m sure it’ll get better.”

“Yeah,” Maria sobbed and grabbed a paper towel to wipe her nose.

Andy had been on his way downstairs for a snack when the sound of his mom’s voice reached his ears and he sat down on one of the steps near the bottom, leaning against the railing to listen in on her conversation. He wasn’t sure who she was talking to, but since she was explaining the situation he assumed it had to be one of her friends from back home. Probably Brittany’s mom, he decided after a few minutes.

He winced when he heard her talking about Michael and how she couldn’t see the guy because of him. It was after a couple minutes of silence from her that he realized she was crying and he wondered what she was trying to say when she stuttered out an incoherent response to whatever the other woman had said. He had known that she was sad and hurt, but this... this was worse than what he had imagined.

Was Mom really that upset about not seeing Michael? Did the guy mean that much to her? If he did then why wasn’t she mad at him for telling her he didn’t want her to see Michael?

“Have you tried to talk to Andy about Michael again?” Sue asked after a few moments.

“We haven’t really been talking much until this weekend,” Maria said when she calmed down a little. She turned and threw the paper towel in the trash can.

“So he’s started to calm down a little bit?”

“I think so, but not in a way that means he’s thinking any differently now. We were able to talk about it a little more on Saturday before his girlfriend came by, but I don’t think his mind’s really changed about me an’ Michael.”

Andy gnawed on his thumbnail as he listened to her talk. Her voice was thick, like she was trying not to cry, and he felt like such a jerk because he knew he was the one who had made her feel like this.

“You can always send him to me for a few days. I’ll straighten him out for ya,” Sue said with a smile.

Maria had to chuckle a little. “I doubt my teenage boy is what you want around your girls, Sue. He’s got raging hormones lately, ya know?”

Andy rolled his eyes. Thanks, Mom! All he needed was for Brittany or Rose to get wind of that and he’d never hear the end of it. They’d be harassing him on a daily basis, flooding his email and messaging him constantly. Girls were so dumb! Well, he amended with a smile, not Sam.

“I know all about raging teenage hormones and let me tell you, I’m about ready to lock Rose up in her room. Thank God Brittney hasn’t really started to show any interest in boys.”

“She’s not far from changing her opinion I’d say,” Maria said and was glad that the subject had changed to something a little lighter. She wiped her tears away. “She’s what? Almost 15 now?”

“Yes, and with one boy-crazy teenager in the house I’m not in any rush for her to start showing an interest in the opposite sex.”

“For that reason I’m pretty happy I’ve got a boy. They’re so much easier to handle than girls at this age... well, at least when it comes to hormones.”

Sue snorted. “As the mother of two girls I have to say you’re one lucky woman.” She chuckled. “Not that I’d give my girls up for anything, but some days I think boys would’ve been a helluva lot easier.”

“No doubt,” Maria agreed. When she was younger she had always wanted a little girl, but the moment she had held Andy in her arms for the first time, she had fallen in love with him.

“Back on topic,” Sue said. “What’d Michael say when you told him you couldn’t see him?”

Andy wondered what they were talking about. Were they still talking about boys and girls? Moms changed topics so fast it was hard to keep up with them sometimes. He slid down to the next step as he strained to hear what she was saying.

“We didn’t get much of a chance to talk about it. We had a… misunderstanding. A woman was with him when I went to see him and I thought she was someone he was dating so I got mad at him. Turned out it was his younger sister, so not only did I have to tell him we can’t see each other, no, I also had to make a total fool of myself.” Maria sighed deeply at the memory.

Sue couldn’t help the laughter that escaped. “Maria, really? You just jumped to conclusions without giving the poor man a chance to explain himself?”

“We talked a few days later and he told me the truth then,” Maria said. “I know it was stupid to just assume he was dating someone else but I couldn't think straight the day I went to see him.”

“Well, you went there to break up with him before you’d even had a chance for anything to really develop between you. So... when the two of you talked later, how was he? Angry? Understanding?”

“No, he wasn’t angry. We didn’t talk for long. I can’t be around him for so long because it makes everything worse. But I think he’s just as hurt and sad as I am.” Maria started to sob again at the memory. Goddamn it, get it together, she told herself. “He said he’ll wait for me, but... I don’t know.”

Andy swallowed hard when he heard Mom start crying again. She sounded like she was in so much pain and he was the reason for it. He stood up and took a couple of steps towards the kitchen.

“Maria...” Sue said helplessly. She wished she was there so she could hold her friend and comfort her with more than just useless words.

Maria opened the refrigerator again to place the water back inside after pouring some of it in a glass. “Sorry, I don’t wanna sound like a complaining, whining pantywaist,” she told her friend. Sue couldn’t do anything from so far away and hearing her cry on the phone would only make her friend sad as well.

“You don’t sound anything like that, Maria,” Sue assured her.

“Thanks, I’m trying not to complain too much. Sometimes it’s not easy with all the happy couples around.”

Sue snorted, remembering that feeling all too well. “Maybe Andy will come around, Maria.”

Andy edged closer to the doorway, leaning against the wall just out of sight and letting his mind go over that Saturday at Michael’s when Mom had really looked so happy. That day at the festival when she and Michael had been talking and again... she had looked happy. And now, he glanced into the kitchen and took in the look of sadness on her face. Now that was all gone, replaced by a look similar to the one that had become so normal before Michael had come into their lives.

“To be honest, I can’t hear that anymore, Sue. And I don’t wanna think about it. I don’t wanna expect anything right now.”

Sue nodded even though Maria couldn’t see it. “I know, Maria. I know. I just don’t want you to give up hope. This guy sounds perfect for you and you deserve to be happy.”

He peered around the corner when he heard the resignation in her tone. Was she giving up on Michael being a part of their lives? If so then why didn’t he feel happy about it? He studied her face for a moment, knowing why he didn’t feel good. He thought about Sam’s words on Saturday night. You know what you should do. He swallowed hard and took the first step into the kitchen. “Mom?”

Maria glanced up, surprised when her son entered the kitchen, looking almost as miserable as she felt. How much had he heard? She quickly wiped her tears away. “What is it Andy?”

“Um... I need to talk to you.”

She nodded. “Sue, I’ve gotta have to hang up on you, girl.”

“Go ahead... but call me if you need me, okay?”

“Okay. Bye for now.” She hung up and placed the phone aside before she looked at Andy again, not sure what to expect.

“I’m sorry,” he said, figuring he had to start somewhere.

She frowned. “For what?”

“For bein’ a dick,” he blurted out and then almost tripped over himself when he realized what he had said. “I mean, for bein’ a jerk.”

“I know this isn’t easy for you either,” she told him calmly, even though her heart was beating like crazy in her throat. She didn’t want to cry in front of her son.

“I just... I miss Dad, Mom, and when you said you an’ Michael wanted to be together... I don’t know, it just felt wrong. It’s like when I first started to enjoy things again, ya know, after he um...” he swallowed hard, “anyway, I felt guilty and I know you said it was okay for me to have fun again and you even tried to push me to do things I like to do ‘cause you knew I needed it. You finally wanna do things again an’ you probably had to deal with the guilt thing too, but instead of me tryin’ to do whatever I could to help I just made it worse for you.”

“I miss your dad, too. And I know it won’t just go away. We’ll always miss him, but it’ll get easier with each day to accept that he’s not coming back.”

He nodded. “Yeah, an’ I know part of that means we’ve gotta keep livin’ our lives.” He stared at the floor as he remembered one of his conversations with Michael when he had still been his counselor. You honor your loved one’s memory by living your life to the best of your ability. Would your dad want to look down on you and see that you’re acting out, treating your mom badly, and getting into trouble? Make him proud, Andy. Move forward and live your life well. He lifted his head to look at his mom again. “You’ve gotta move forward, Mom... you’ve gotta keep livin’.”

Was he telling her what she thought, what she hoped he was telling her, she wondered. “We already do that. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not so good.”

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “I mean, yeah, we’re goin’ forward, but you’re stuck an’ that’s my fault. Michael makes you happy and it was selfish of me to say you couldn’t see him.” He shrugged and glanced away. “I know you didn’t have to do that... not see him just ‘cause I didn’t want you to.”

She took a step forward and placed a hand on his upper arm. God, he had grown so much lately, she realized. “My first priority was, is, and will always be for us to get along, Andy.”

He nodded and looked down at her. “He really makes you happy, doesn’t he?”

“He’s someone who makes me feel weird and good at the same time,” she admitted.

“Weird?”

“Yeah... nervous, you know... like when you like someone and don’t really know what to do.”

“Oh, right... yeah.” He shrugged. “I mean, ya know, girls feel like that sometimes, I guess.”

She smiled a little. “And boys don’t?”

“What? No!”

“Well, okay, if you say so,” she shrugged.

“So, anyway... I think you should see Michael, you know, date him or whatever.”

He had said it, she realized after a few seconds. “Are you sure?” she asked uncertainly.

Andy nodded. “Yeah, I just realized when I was listenin’ to you a while ago that... when he’s around it’s like you’re better, like you’re really YOU.” He made a face. “Does that even make sense?”

“Oh, believe me, it does,” she told him happily and hugged him. “Thanks, Andy.”

“I guess this means I’ve gotta talk to him, huh?” he asked as he wrapped his arms around her.

“You haven’t apologized to him yet, have you?”

“Well... no.”

“Then you should probably talk to him,” she agreed.

“Yeah, I know... and I will.”

“I’m really proud of you, Andy,” she said and released him from her hug. “Your dad would be too.”

“You think so? I’m not so sure after the past week or so.”

“The last few weeks haven’t been easy.”

He grimaced. “I’m sorry, Mom. I wish I could take it back... what I did to you and what I did to Michael too.”

“We can’t change the past, but we can try to make it better in the future.”

He nodded. “So... maybe tomorrow I can go talk to him.”

“Okay. Sounds good,” she agreed.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas


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