Differently (M/L, AU, Teen) Complete

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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thumper1942
Addicted Roswellian
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:37 pm

Differently (M/L, AU, Teen) Complete

Postby thumper1942 » Sat May 18, 2013 5:53 pm

AU. Of course. No aliens. Just Max and Liz a little differently. Jason Katims, take notes.



Max Evans sighed. Mrs Gibney was quitting to take care of her older sister. While not the best nanny he could have had, she got the job done and the kids minded her. Now he would have to find a replacement. And on short notice; she would be gone in a week. That left him with how to take care of 3 year old Sara, 5 year old Kevin and 7 year old Will. For the thousandth time he missed his wife. Tess had died of complications days after Sara’s birth. He had barely been able to cope; luckily his sister had come and had stayed for a month and that had been enough for him to recover sufficiently to function again. They had had two other nannies besides Mrs Gibney. Problem was that in this relatively small area, there were not that many possibilities. Time to talk to the employment agency again.



Liz Parker put her feet up in the break room. Waitressing was hard on the feet; and she was tired of it. She was blessed with a sunny disposition, but sometimes that was hard to maintain. Still working in her parents restaurant allowed her to steadily add to her college fund; and that was very important to her. Liz was going to be her High schools valedictorian; and she was going to go to state University and become a top Microbiologist. Once upon a time she had dreamed of Harvard; but the expense of that school even with a full scholarship was daunting; she would have had to have had a side job and going to a school as tough as Harvard and holding down a job would have been insane, even for her. State had a very respected Biology Department, and she had decided that it was the correct choice given all the factors involved. Fortunately as long as she was Valedictorian, a full ride to state was a sure thing. But she really wanted to do something else in the year before she went other then waitressing. Her best friend Maria was a co worker; and she really liked just about all the other employees, but enough was enough. She decided to put in an application with the local employment agency. Basically any job other then waitressing.



Joe Dugan sighed as he put the phone down. A nanny. That was not someone easy to find in this area. Especially one willing to put up with 3 young children. Not many wanted to deal with multiple children, especially young ones who were usually a lot more tiring then older ones. He went and looked at the file of applications. It did not take him long; the economy in this area was pretty good; and people who could do this job were not exactly plentiful. As a matter of fact he could not see any. Then his secretary came in with a few that had just been put into the system. Looking through them he thought he had a possibility. Looking at the contact number he picked up his phone.



“Liz! Phone call for you.”

She wondered who it could be; she was currently without a boyfriend, Kyle and she had mutually decided to split. They were better as friends anyway.

“This is Liz Parker.”

“Ms Parker, this is Joe Dugan from the Employment agency. We have a job opening; but it will certainly be tougher than being a waitress.”

“Tougher how?”

“It’s being a nanny for three children; ages 3, 5, 7. The current occupant is leaving to take care of family in one week.”

Liz took a deep breath; she was not unfamiliar with younger children despite being an only child. Several of her friends had younger brothers and sisters and she had over the years done a fair amount of baby sitting and the like. But this would be a lot more. She rubbed her sore foot and decided to at least find out.
“Well I guess the next step is to have an interview with the parent.”

Joe Dugan smiled. Maybe this would not be a tough one after all.
“That is fine. I will call Mr Evans up and advise him we have someone in mind. I will call you back once the interview is set up. Is there any time in the next few days that you cannot make it?” This was a Monday and while he knew she was out of school, being summertime, there might be other obligations.

Liz thought quickly. “No, any time will be fine.”



Max checked his calculations and nodded to himself. As the Quality Control specialist in charge of making sure the project stayed on the rails, it was vital that no mistakes be made now; they would have a huge impact if not found until later. Development and Testing of software that would one day be taught at major universities worldwide for Astronomy it was vital that no mistakes be made. He leaned back and sighed in satisfaction as he sipped his coffee. The project was doing well, ahead of schedule and below budget. Management would be happy and he would probably get another good sized bonus this year. Now if his home life was as settled. His phone rang and he picked it up.

“Mr Evans? This is Joe Dugan at the employment agency. We might have someone for your position. She is open to an interview anytime in the next few days.”

Max up straight. “This is unexpected; I really did not think you would find anyone this quickly.”

“She just applied and her application made it through just today. She is a little young, 17, but has been working at her parent’s restaurant as a waitress in order to build up her college fund. But since she has been doing it since she was 12 she was I guess getting rather tired of it.”

Max thought about it. That was young, but maybe that was a good thing; she would be more understanding and have more energy. If she had been working as a waitress since 12 then she was no stranger to hard work and putting up with people not at their best.
“I can get off of work early tomorrow; she might as well meet the kids and get a good idea of what is in store for her. So give her my address and tell her 2PM tomorrow afternoon.”

“Sounds good, Mr. Evans. If anything comes up to change these arrangements I will let you know.”

Max thought some more. She was obviously a junior in High school, which meant that she had a year to go before graduation. She planned to go to college; he wondered if she was going to State here in town. The position was not live in; and the kids did not get up till 7. He needed someone from 7-4 each day during the week. He did not have to travel for his job so that was all that was needed; and he liked spending his weekends with his children. Now once school started for her that would be different; but that was not until early September; and this was early June. That gave them more than two months to find someone else. So that would help things tremendously. And since this fall only Sara would be left at home, the other two would now be in school all day, day care would pretty much take care of it then. He might not really need to get another at all.



Liz was doing some figuring once Mr Dugan had called back; her musings were about the same as Max’s were. This job would probably only last until she went back to school; but that would be more than two months of not being a waitress and there was a real possibility that something else would come up. Just as long as the kids were not little brats.

Liz had not been able to figure out what to wear and had talked to Maria.

“Honey, just look approachable and business like without looking like a mean old biddy. Which considering you are 17 would be fairly easy. Wear a nice sundress. Not a skimpy one. But then you would not have anything like that anyway. HEY!” came after the pillow hit her in the face.

Liz looked at the address and checked the slip of paper just to make sure. This was it. A very nice home; not new but not old; two stories with a large yard. She walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell.



Max looked around; the kids were in the playroom, which would have been a dining room but he had arranged it that way. Sara was playing with her dolls and Kevin and Will were watching TV. Sesame Street still got it done. They had been told in no uncertain terms that they would stay there until he came and got them. He would take the young woman to his home office/den and they would talk there until he felt it was time to introduce the children. He went into the kitchen to make sure the coffee pot was off; then the doorbell rang and his plans went into the Calcutta Crapper.

Like sprinters off of the starting blocks the two boys motored to the front door; and Sara moved faster than he had ever seen her, not far behind. His shout of “Do not open that door” was totally ignored as Will unlocked it and yanked it open.

The door was flung open and Liz looked down to see three little faces. 2 boys and a girl; an adorable moppet with angelic curls and eyes. The two boys were carbon copies; one a couple of years older than the other with brown hair and eyes and typical gap tooth smiles. She could not do anything but smile at them and she crouched down.
“So I guess you are the kids I will be taking care of?”

Max made it to the door just in time to see a young woman hug his daughter as she jumped at her.
“You gonna take care of us?”

Liz smiled as she held the little girl.
“Well, your father and I have to talk some first.”

Will looked at her with big eyes.
“You are young and pretty. I like you.”

Kevin nodded. “Yeah.”
Meanwhile Sara had not let go. “See my dolls.” And she tugged Liz who obediently followed her.

Max took this all in. Liz was small and very pretty; petite with dark hair and eyes like that of a Doe he once saw up close. Her voice was very soft and sweet. He said nothing, closed the door and followed the small procession. Sara immediately introduced Liz to her dolls; then Kevin and Will started to pepper her with questions.

Liz smiled then raised her hand. The boys stopped and blinked at her.
“It’s not polite to try and drown each other out. You look like little boys; not old enough to talk to. One at a time and take turns; its common courtesy.”

Max blinked. The boys immediately behaved; a new first. Liz then smiled at Sara and pulled her onto her lap where she sat cross legged on the floor; revealing very nice legs indeed. Somewhat more orderly the boys began to ask questions about her and her life. He decided to stay quiet and listen.

Liz was very aware of Mr Evans; tall dark and handsome with blue eyes. Very much a hunk; sad that he was a good 15 years older than her. He seemed content to watch her interact with his children, so she just went along.

It took a good half hour before the boys ran down; Sara seemed quite content to just sit in Liz’s lap. Max could see that his kids had already pretty much decided that Liz was OK. And so had he.
“OK, now that my personal Mafia has finished the interrogation, it’s time for me and Liz to talk by ourselves.” This brought groans from all three. But Liz just smiled.
“Guys, I need to talk to your father without you rugrats around. So can you sit here and behave yourselves while we talk?”

They still grumbled but all three nodded. Liz sat Sara next to her dollhouse and kissed her head. Then stood up and followed Max to his office.

After they sat down, her in a chair in front of the desk and he behind it, he looked at her.
“This was not how I planned all this but with these kids I have learned that no plan survives them. But on the other hand it’s clear that not only do they like you, but they will listen to you and obey- at least as much as they do anyone. I really do not feel the need to prolong this; as far as I am concerned you have the job. So now we just have to get the details ironed out.” The smile this brought lit up the room like a floodlight.

They talked salary and hours and such and that only took 10 minutes. Then Max thought about something.
“When can you start?”

“Is tomorrow too soon?”

“Your parents won’t mind?”

“I already told them that I would leave as soon as a job came up; we have enough waitresses that it will not be problem.”

“Well then how about I see you at 7AM tomorrow morning.”

“Sounds good to me, Mr Evans.”

“That makes me sound old. Call me Max, Liz.”

As they walked down the hall they were ambushed by the posse.

“Is everything OK? You staying, Liz? Daddy, I want Liz to stay.”

Liz smiled at them. “Yes kids I have the job and everything is fine. I will see you all at 7AM tomorrow morning.”

Will sighed gustily. “Why can’t you stay now? And can you cook? Dad is not too bad but he ain’t great.”

Max growled. “Well that is gratitude for you? And that is not part of her job, cooking.”

Sara looked up at Liz with big, sad eyes. “Cook Liz?”

Liz smiled; she could do no other. “Well I have been a waitress for years; and have occasionally filled in cooking; so yes I can cook. Now how good a cook I do not know. I think I am decent at least.”

Kevin grinned. “Let’s find out!”

Max shook his head. “Kids, Liz was just supposed to be here to interview; her family is waiting for her at her home for dinner.”

Liz bit her lip; Sara was just so adorable. They all were.
“Actually my parents are out of town tonight; so I would be home by myself.”

Sara smiled brightly. “Liz cook!”

Liz looked at Max and smiled; it was at that moment that Max realized he would have a very hard time ever saying no to her.

As it turned out Liz was a very good cook; she made a casserole and ravioli and a few other things from scratch and they all stuffed themselves. To top it off she also baked some chocolate chip cookies that, by the groans that came from all concerned, were just as good.

It was almost 8 before she left; Sara insisted Liz tuck her in and read a story.

Max stood at the doorway of Sara’s room and watched Liz read to her; and Sara was soon fast asleep. Liz closed the book and bent over and adjusted the blankets and kissed Sara and then headed for the door; Max closed the door after her. For a moment they stood in the hall. Sam finally broke the silence.
“Those kids are fiendishly capable of winding everyone they meet that they like around their little fingers. I can see that they already have you.”

Liz smiled. “Yes they do; especially her. But that is OK. They are great kids.”

“If I had not already said it I will say it again; I am glad you will be helping us. And not just because of that very fine meal you cooked; not even for those great chocolate chip cookies.”

Liz blushed and ducked her head.

Max looked at her bent head and realized with stunning speed that he was falling for this young woman. And falling hard. Then when she looked up at him and shyly smiled he realized that she just might be falling for him as well.

Liz looked up at this handsome man and realized she was feeling things she had never felt before. Her mind was all muddled up.

They went down the stairs and he could not help but watch her swaying hips; he was just now aware of how hard he was. But then he had not been near a woman since Ellen; and here was this lovely young thing right there.




The next morning right at 7AM Liz was at the door. Max let her in then presented her with her own key; she then went up the stairs and rousted out the boys. Then she went to Sara’s room and opened the door to find her still fast asleep. Liz did not know how, but this little girl had already stolen her heart.

Max looked up from cooking breakfast to see both his sons come down the stairs, with Liz right behind them carrying Sara. For a moment he just stared; this for some reason seemed so natural. Then he shook his head. Liz sat Sara down at the kitchen table and moved towards him.

“Anything I can do to help?”

“If you could do the toast; I am doing the bacon and eggs.”

15 minutes later they were all sitting down at the table eating breakfast. Liz looked around and was stunned how natural this all felt. She did not know it, but Max was thinking the same thing.

Half an hour later Max was off to work and Liz proceeded with her first day as a nanny. It was almost unspoken but Liz started dinner and had it ready right at 430 when Max walked in the door.

Max stopped as soon as he closed the front door; what was that? Whatever it was it smelled really good. He followed his nose to the kitchen to find Liz just checking several pots on the stove and then the oven. She saw him out of the corner of her eye and turned and smiled. Suddenly the whole kitchen got very bright.

Once again it was just after 8 when Liz left, again after tucking in Sara.

Once the boys were in bed Max sat in the living room thinking. He was no teenager; he was an adult. Previously married and widowed; he had loved Tess very much. Yet what he was already feeling for Liz threatened to eclipse it. In just a little over one day. He was observant enough to realize she was attracted to him; but she was still very young so he needed to keep a clear head. And she was only 17, though she would be 18 in September. Very mature for her age but still very young.



Liz sat in her room that night thinking hard. Those children and Max had already taken her heart. Sara especially had with incredible swiftness become almost her own. The two boys had charmed her as well. And Max…

Maria had been impatient to talk to Liz about her new job; so far nothing and she had decided enough was enough. So she headed out and started for the restaurant and the living quarters above it; there was a balcony out front that was off of Liz’s room that she tended to sit out and look at the stars on nights when it was not too cold. Tonight it was but Maria was determined.

Liz was still trying to figure out what her feelings were towards Max when there was a tapping on the window. She got up and opened it and found a shivering Maria.

“Liz out of the way. It’s cold out there.”

“Maria what is it?”

“Honey you are going to talk and talk a lot about your new job.”

Liz had to laugh. Maria would never change.

They cuddled in the bed under the covers.

“OK. First things first. How are the kids?”

“Maria they are great. The little girl, Sara, is just an adorable Moppet. The two boys are straight out of Huckleberry Fin. Mischievous little varmints. “

Maria listened to the tone of Liz’s voice and she could tell Liz was already wrapped around their little fingers. But then Liz had always been a softy for children; Maria had no doubt Liz would make a great mother.

“And what about the Dad?”

Liz sighed. Maria perked up at that sound. She had known Liz all her life and quite often it was not the words that told the tale; but other sounds and gestures.

“OK I know that sound. A real hunk, huh?”

“He is a dream boat. Tall dark and handsome right out of the romance novels. And a really nice guy with a great sense of humor; I can see where the boys get it from.”

Maria had to think about this. Liz sounded like she was already falling. And this could be really bad; the guy was a lot older.

“Liz you got to control yourself here. Remember the age difference.”

Liz sighed again. “I know that Maria but…”

“But what?”

Liz thought hard but realized that she had to say it.
“It’s too late Maria. I am already a goner.”

Maria sighed. “I was afraid of that.”

“Maria what am I going to do?”

“The only thing you can Honey. Bag him.”

“Maria!”

“It’s either that or suffer. Remember Liz I have known you all your life. Those kids and that man have just flat stolen your heart. So you have to steal his.”

“Maria he has been married and widowed; this is no kid this is a real man. How in the world am I going to bag him?”

“Just be yourself. And find ways to let him know that you are very interested and available.”

Liz could feel her blush burn. “Available?” she squeaked.

“Well I am not saying get a scandalous nighty and sneak into his bed. Though that might be a thought further down the road.”

Liz could not believe that her face was not on fire.




The next evening Max noticed that Liz was a little shy around him; he wondered if she had picked up his interest and was worried. He decided that honesty was the best policy. So after Sara had been put to bed and the boys as well he indicated that he wanted to talk. She sat across from him and had her eyes down.

“Liz.”

Slowly the lovely woman raised her eyes to his. She did not realize it but her heart was right there. He sighed. Then decided that actions spoke louder than words and reached over and took her hands.

He stood up pulling her up and then pulled her close and kissed her. And then really kissed her.

Liz felt like she was drowning and being devoured at the same time; it was glorious and frightening and she never wanted it to stop. Finally she was released to be pulled over onto his lap. The sat there for a while her head under his chin snuggled together. Finally he stirred.
“I hope I just put any doubts about my interest to rest. Liz I want you terribly, but you are very young. You need time to figure your own heart out.”

Liz felt so very good. She smiled and pulled his head down and kissed him very strongly. When she came up for air she smiled again.
“I am already yours, Max. Completely and totally. And I know that for certain.”

Max smiled and cuddled his woman tighter. After a while he stood up and pulled her up with him and he kissed her softly again.
“You still need time to come to grips with it all. And you are still only 17. So from that point of view we need to take it slow. Though if it was up to me only I would do like Rhet Butler did and carry you up the stairs to my room where I would totally ravish you.”

Liz shivered at both his words and the feelings going through her. She knew she would welcome it if he did. But he was right that they needed to wait.
“I want that too, Max. This is so crazy; we have only known each other for a few days. But I have no doubts about my feelings.”

Max smiled. He could listen to Liz talk all night; her soft contralto was so lovely and so stirring. “Liz, I want to make my intentions clear then. I want you not only in my bed, but in my whole life. And the fact that the kids already love you and you just as clearly love them is only part of it. I have only been half alive since Ellen died; there has been no one in over three years. Come September and your 18th birthday I intend to put a ring on your finger. It will just be a matter if it’s a wedding ring or an engagement ring.“

Liz smiled softly and kissed him again. “Either one will be fine; but I rather think I will want a wedding ring. But that is then and this is now and I guess I better leave before I spend the night. Which my parents would definitely notice.”

Max sighed again. “Your parents. I think we will need to keep this kind of quiet for now.”

“Very definitely so. But that will make it fun; hiding it. Just as long as we do not have to sneak around.”

“We will not do that. Just not tell them.”




Liz drove home on a buzz such as she had never had before. Just before she opened the door to the rear entrance that led to the upstairs rooms she took a deep breath. She needed to get a grip; or her parents would figure it out real fast. She had to remember that until her 18th birthday she was going to have to be real careful.

She found out how careful quickly enough. Her parents wanted the low down on her new job and her employer. Taking a deep breath she schooled herself to hide what was necessary. She did not want to do it but knew she had to.

“The kids are great; William who is 7, Kevin who is 5, and the most adorable moppet you ever saw Sara is 3. Sam, Mr Walters, is a great guy. But you can tell his wife’s death hit hard and he has never gotten over it. It’s hard to believe that women can still die in childbirth, in this day and age and here in the US.”

Her mom, Nancy, immediately emphasized. “Honey, it was the complications I had when you were born that meant I could not have any more. Things like that can still happen.”

Jeff squeezed his wife’s hand. “It was not a good time right after you were born; they had to take your mom in for surgery right after. I was so scared I might have to bring you up alone. So I can kind of get him not being able to move on.”

The questions were general after that and Liz sighed in relief. So that was the first hurdle. The next one came that Saturday. Liz really wanted to be there but knew that she could not; not yet anyway. She made up for it by having a girls day with Maria. Who needless to say wanted more details on any smoochies that were happening.

“Come on, Liz. GIVE. I can tell by the moony eyes and dreamy looks that something happened.”

“God Maria you are relentless.”

“Damn right I am. So give.”

Liz started to smile and it grew until it took on a life of its own. Maria blinked then her eyes widened.
“You didn’t.”

“No, we haven’t. But it was close to happening there for a while. Thursday night he kissed me and I can safely say my toes did not uncurl for hours. He also made it clear that a ring would be forthcoming in September.” She smiled and waited. It did not take long.

“Liz!” Screeched Maria who then grabbed her best friend in a bearhug.

Liz had the same dopey smile on her face as the two friends laughed and giggled. Finally they settled down.

Maria shook her head; this was really big. Seeing the dreamy look in Liz’s eyes told the tale. Her best friend was getting married. Then she thought about that.

“Liz?”

“Hmm?”

“What are the school rules about being married?”

“There are none. I checked.”

“Should have known.”

“Now pregnant is another story. I would have to leave Roswell high and go to the vocational. So I have to make sure I am not; or at least no one finds out.”

“OK we can check that one off. Now comes the biggie: your parents.”

Liz sighed. “Yeah. I fed them a line about Max being still hung up on his dead wife; which was true until we got close.”

“So not really a lie.”

“Still bothers me though; that sounds like some trick a fancy lawyer would use to get some guilty guy off.”

“Still you have to do it. They would go truly ballistic if they found out now.”

“Tell me about it. And since I am only 17 that could mean legal problems for Sam.”

“How? Legal age of consent in this state is 17.”

“New law passed. If one of the two is more than 15 years older than the other charges can be made.”

“Ugh. And he is 15 years older.”

“Yeah. Could get real ugly. Until I am 18.”

Maria was thinking hard. “What if you eloped?”

Liz shook her head. “That would be the last resort. It would hurt Mom and Dad too much. Not that I would not do it if I had to.”

“So we just have to make sure you do not have to.”

“Right.”




The next few weeks flew by. Any small doubts that either Liz or Max had were gone. They were in love and they both knew it. But it was getting harder and harder for Liz to leave each night; and it was really hard for Max not to make her his. He was taking a very cold shower every day. Liz was not as bad; she did not know what she was missing though she had a pretty good idea. Her parents did notice that she was spending more time there then her job called for; she was able to push that off by explaining that she was teaching Max to cook better, but he was not catching on that fast. She still spent every weekend at home, despite her desire to remain with her new family. And family it was.



Liz realized that she had made the transition so quickly that it had not occurred to her when she took Sara to pick up some things and a couple of older women congratulated her on her lovely daughter. She knew they must have figured she was a teenage, underage mom but the closeness that she and Sara made so obvious seemed to make things OK. She realized that as far as she was concerned Sara was her child. Just as Kevin and Will were becoming hers. Even Will only had vague memories of his mother; Liz felt a little guilty as she knew that before too much longer they would consider her their mother. And that was exactly what she wanted. She decided to talk to Max about it.

When Liz told him about her guilt, he had just pulled her into his lap and held her.
“There is no reason for you to feel guilty, Liz. In every way that matters you will be their mother soon enough. I will make sure that they know about their mother when they are old enough to understand. I will not let Tess be forgotten. But that is my job not yours. Yours is just to love them as if they were your own.”

“I already do.”




The July 4th Holiday came up; Jeff and Nancy had an opportunity to go to a conference of small restaurant owners but it would take several days. Liz assured them that she would just spend a little more time with her charges and she would be fine. She was a little guilty as she knew she would be spending every minute there. The 4th was on a Friday and they would leave the Thursday and be back the Sunday afternoon. Liz intended to be at the house by the afternoon of Thursday and not get back until Sunday morning. She was a little scared but a lot more excited about spending almost three straight days with her new family. And with Max. She had quietly gotten an appointment with her doctor and was now on the Pill; she fully intended to become Max’s in every way possible that weekend.

Max did not become aware of Liz’s plan until late Thursday night; after the kids were in bed they talked some then Liz told him she would be right back. She went to the guest room and gathered her courage. She then got ready.

Max looked up then froze; Liz was wearing- if that could be said- the sexiest nightgown he had ever seen. Black and almost see through; she looked gorgeous and sweet and oh so sexy.

This was the hardest thing that she had ever done; but she was determined.
“Here I am Max. I am all yours. Please take me.”

Max did not recall all that much afterwards. He did remember basically grabbing and kissing then carrying her up the stairs. The rest was a blur.

Liz woke up the next morning very definitely sore but just as definitely satisfied. Max had been everything a young woman could ask for for her first (and Liz hoped Last) lover. Gentle yet passionate; caring yet demanding. She was very happy. Enfolded in his arms she smiled as she felt him kissing the back of her neck. That led to some more activities; topped off by a shared shower that was a lot of fun even after the hot water ran out.

Max felt happier than he had in years. Liz was a wonder; for someone so young and clearly inexperienced, she had been passionate and adventurous. Completely open about her wants and needs; just as open about her need to please him. They finally got dressed and proceeded to get the kids up. A family outing was going to happen that evening when they went to the city park to watch the fireworks.

Liz had never been happier then she was that evening sitting with Max and the children on a blanket in the park watching the fireworks. His arm around her, Sara in her lap and the boys cuddling next to her. She felt complete.

Max sighed as he went back to work on the Monday. The weekend had been wonderful; but as always great times had to end. Friday night and Saturday night had been if possible even better. He was beginning to wonder if he would be able to keep up with her.




Liz was basically glowing that Monday morning; even not being able to say that Sunday night she was very happy. Humming to herself as she pottered about while the kids played. All her doubts were gone; she totally and completely loved Max and was certain he felt the same. She just wondered how she would be able to stand it until September.




Jess Wiley, the manager of the R & D division in Roswell of Royce Technical, called Max in.
“Just got off the phone with corporate. They want to know if your #2 can finish off this job?”

Max blinked. Then thought about it. “I think so. Most of the hard work has been done; now it’s a case of fumigating it. Ted should be able to handle it.”

“Good. They want you to move to Boston late this year or early next year. They want you to take over the QA slot for the entire R & D component. Josh Simpson has decided to retire and he has flat out said that no one up there right now can be counted on to get it done. Which is not surprising since most of them are only a few years out of college.”

Max was startled; this came right out of the blue. No warning at all. He had been here in Roswell since he started with the corporation, right after he got his Masters at State. Just about 10 years. He would not have thought he would be considered for that position.
“I am really surprised they want me. I would have thought that they would want to go outside for someone with more experience.”

“They have been keeping an eye on you for a couple of years; Josh has been singing your praises. This project is ahead of schedule and under budget; and that is very rare indeed in our field. Not to mention it’s not exactly a simple program. The way you have organized your division and run it has really impressed corporate.”

Max sat in his office and thought about this. He liked Roswell; he liked the area and the climate. Boston was humid and cold. Not to mention he had never liked big cities. Luckily the HQ was outside of Boston proper. As a matter of fact a thought came to him and he went online to check the surrounding area. It was very near Cambridge. And that started him thinking about Liz. She had wanted to go to Harvard but could not afford it even with a full scholarship. He had a feeling that she had applied but had not gone any further. He picked up his phone.




Liz was sitting with Sara while she watched Sesame Street. She was such an adorable moppet. A sweeter child Liz could not imagine. Then the phone rang.

“Evans Residence.”

“Liz. Did you apply to Harvard?”

Liz blinked. “Yes I did but I have not done anything since; oh wait. I did respond back to some paperwork they sent as regards scholarships early this year; that was before the reality of it registered. Why?”

“I was just told that they want me to transfer to Boston to the corporate HQ and head the QA division for R & D. It’s a nice promotion in some respects; I just prefer the small town and climate out here. But get this, Liz. It’s right outside Cambridge; not more than a mile from Harvard.”

Liz’s mind was awhirl; moving to Boston. Harvard. She had determinedly stamped on her dream; knowing it was just not possible. Now suddenly it just might be. She took a deep breath.
“So Harvard might be possible after all. I can get an exemption from living on campus if I have a family.

“Exactly. You need to find out where you stand. With your GPA and grades, admittance is probably not going to be a problem.”

“Not sure about that, Max. Harvard attracts the best and brightest from all over the world. Just being valedictorian might not be enough.”

“You are a member of some of the science clubs right?”

“Actually I am incoming president of the Science Club of Roswell High. And I am a member of some others.”

“That counts as well. And Roswell High is not a small school. So being valedictorian of a large high school counts more. When will you be taking your SATs?”

“Already have. Took them at the end of May. Should get the results back soon.”

“With everything else if you do well there you have a real good shot. And even if not Harvard, there is Boston College, Boston U, Northeastern. A lot of great schools there. Apply to all of them. You will probably have your pick of them even if not Harvard. I know how much Harvard meant to you; but you were able to change to state; now you have a real opportunity to go further.”

Liz sat and thought after hanging up. Luckily Sara had fallen asleep. The boys were playing outside in the yard in the big sand box there. So she could really think. After putting Sara in her bed to nap, Liz went into the office/den to get on the computer. Meanwhile her mind was buzzing; the chance to live a dream that she had thought she had lost was very important to her.




Max had contacted Corporate and had asked them when they needed him there; he told them that he needed at least a few months to finalize here; then he had to consider his family. Luckily Josh was not retiring until the Spring; while there needed to be some overlap he was told that March or April would be acceptable. Though they would like him there sooner. So he contacted the corporate personnel division and started on things there; very specifically he wanted help in finding a home near Harvard. They told him they would get on it right away but it would probably take a few months to find something good. He told them that was fine. After hanging up that phone he opened the bottom drawer of his desk and pulled out a small box and opened it; the ring he had gotten just before the holiday shined out at him. Their plan had been to wait until September to start anything but he saw an opportunity to perhaps speed things up. He would have to think about it.



Liz spent several hours applying to several universities around Boston; she called Harvard Admissions and they told her that they would get back to her on her application. She did not know if she should be encouraged or discouraged about that. Another thing she was looking at- she could graduate in December if she wanted to; that would help things out. She could wait until Fall to start college, giving the whole family time to adjust to a new city and everything else. Kevin and Will would be changing schools but that was not a huge problem as they were not far enough along where that would matter all that much. Though it would be better to allow them to attend school through May. But they would have to think about it. There was a lot to do and decide on.



As usual when Max came through the door the smell of dinner hit him right away; Liz had really not given herself enough credit as regards being a cook. She was a lot better than decent. Liz then appeared and they proceeded to steam the place up some. This was certainly a great way to come home at the end of the day.
“I am dreaming of the day when you are here for good. When I can wake up in the morning with an armful of Liz.”

Liz blushed and smiled softly. “I want that too. I have applied to Boston U, and Northeastern; they have top Biology Departments. Called Harvard; they said they would call back. But I am betting I will not hear anything until after the SATs come back; which should be any day. I also started checking the school systems around Cambridge, but until we have a house I cannot get specific.”

“Corporate personnel said they would start looking. I told them as close to Harvard as possible. They thought they would be able to find something good but it would probably take a few months. There is no great hurry; I do not have to be there until March or April.”

“I can graduate in December if I want to. That would give me all spring and summer before starting college.”

“Would that affect getting into any of the colleges?”

“No.”

“Then that might be the best way to go.”

“Only thing would be explaining to my parents why I am doing it. They know I love school; and going to state I would not need any preparation or time. I do not need to make a lot of money either.”

“Do you have to tell them right away about graduating?”

“No, I guess not. I could wait until say October.”

“Well then it is probably best to wait. Actually there is very little to do when you think about it.”

“True. Just wait around for responses and the like.”

After dinner they were snuggling on the sofa. Sara was playing with her dolls and the boys were playing a video game. Liz decided that they needed to talk and since the kids were out of earshot that now was the time.
“I think that something we might talk about is just telling my parents that I am seeing you as soon as I hit 18. And that we will be married soon after. They will be angry about not being told but I do not see an alternative that would not cause trouble for all of us.”

“I agree. While I really want you here all the time, it’s better that we wait. I would love to grab you and find the nearest Justice of The Peace, but that might make things worse than waiting then telling them. Do you have any idea when Harvard might make up its mind?”

“From their website they claim they make all determinations prior to the September of the previous year for early entrants. I checked some blogs and if you were a shoo in for one reason or another you would find out about the middle of August. The rest find out by the middle of September.”

“So we can hope by August but will know by September.”

“Yep.”

“What about the other schools?”

“Sometime in the Spring. Because of the number of applicants and everything else Harvard does it before anyone else. One of the reasons, I would imagine, is so that those who get rejected have plenty of time to apply elsewhere.”

“Makes sense. How disappointed would you be if Harvard says no?”

“Very, but I can handle it. I had already given up on it anyway so it would not be as hard in one way; but the rejection would sting. But if I end up at Northeastern or Boston U that is a pretty good consolation prize.”





Three days later Liz got a letter from the SAT service. Sitting in her room that night she took a deep breath and opened it. She looked the totals over 5 times to be sure she was looking at it correctly.

Max looked up as Liz came into the kitchen; seeing her was always a joy but she seemed to be glowing. He noticed she had a piece of paper in her hand; she handed it to him. He looked at it.

SAT total: 2297 out of 2390.
He blinked. His score had been pretty high but this was stratospheric. He pulled her into a hug then a very scorching kiss. Then he let her go and cupped her face.
“If Harvard rejects you, they are nuts. For sure every other one will be all over themselves accepting you.”

The following Monday he got a call from Corporate Personnel that they had found a possibility in Arlington, only a few miles from Harvard. They emailed pictures and details. He looked at them; it was a little pricey but looked very nice; it would be an easy commute for Liz to Harvard. He had no doubt that she would be accepted. He forwarded it to his home email account. He then called Liz.
“Liz. Corporate has a possibility as regards a house; you know my email account so I forwarded it there. Take a look and see what you think.”

Liz looked at it and gasped; it was lovely. It looked like a nice neighborhood; she got online and started to search out everything she could find about that area; and it looked good. Schools were fine; area was relatively low crime; not far from a police station which was good. Then she looked at the price.
“Max, that is too much!”

“No its not. It is a little pricey but not out of range. And I have talked to Corporate and they are willing to kick in as well.”

“I really need to get a scholarship.”

“No you don’t.”

“Max, all costs for Harvard are close to $40,000 a year without room and board!”

“Honey stop it. I have been making a lot of money for a number of years; I have had an investment advisor and I have quite a lot of savings. Remember, Roswell is a fairly low cost place to live in and I have been making well over $200,000 for some years now. I will be making almost double that in Boston. I could write a check NOW for your full four years. And however long it takes you to get that doctorate that I know you want.” He did not mention the rather large sum he had gotten from Tess’s life insurance- he knew that would freak Liz out.

Liz sighed. “I am still going to apply for all available financial aid.”

“If that makes you happy go ahead. But it is not necessary.”

“It is for me.”

Left unspoken was that both of them now expected her to gain admittance.




One week later Max decided that they could not let that house go – he talked Liz into flying with him to Boston for a day. She concocted a story with Maria about going with her for a couple of days to Albuquerque; that let Maria slip off for a fun weekend with Mike. Liz smiled remembering the last girls night they had had a few weeks earlier.

“OK, Liz you have been going around glowing like you swallowed a light bulb. I can guess what it means but I know you will not give out details.”

Liz just smiled. And Smiled. AND SMILED.

“ENOUGH. I can’t stand it. Obviously he has a real gift for orgasms.”

“Maria!”




She got home that night and prepared her spiel for the trip. But what focused here was the envelope lying on her bed. It was from Harvard. Her parents were very busy at the moment and she hoped they had been too busy to see where it came from. She sat down and her hand trembled as she picked it up. She so badly wanted this; now she knew just how badly. She tore it open and pulled out the folded sheet. Closing her eyes she prayed for a moment, then looked at it.

‘Ms Baker, we are pleased to inform you…’

She closed her eyes and wept; how many more wonderful things could happen to her then she had already had? Finally she calmed down; she really wanted to tell her parents but they would feel guilty that she could not go. She was also determined to apply for all possible financial aid no matter what Max said. Then she thought of something else and got on her computer. She used the email address given for contact and asked that all further mail correspondence be sent to this address- putting down the Evans residence.

Then she called Maria.

“Hey girl whats new?”

“I just got my admittance letter from Harvard.” Then had to pull the phone away as Maria screamed. The next half hour flew by and then she went to bed. The next morning she got up extra early and let herself into the house at 6 AM and crept upstairs. She was happy to find Max asleep and she decided to make this a special morning and took off her clothes and crawled into bed next to him- then proceeded to go to work.

Max was having this wonderful dream; Liz was doing terrible and wonderful things to him. Then he woke up and realized it was no dream-Liz was giving him the BJ of his life. All other coherent thought fled as he groaned and came.

Recovering somewhat he pulled her up to him for a long hot kiss. Then cuddled her.
“Not that I am complaining but what is going on?” Then she handed him a piece of paper; there was just enough light leaking through the drapes for him to read it. Then he grabbed her for another hot kiss; and found that the circumstances had given him a much faster than normal reload and proceeded to screw her through the mattress. They lay together not speaking just cuddling until he tossed the sheets aside and carried her to the master bathroom where they spent the next 20 minutes enjoying themselves.




They flew out on Friday night. Max made sure they had separate rooms; just in case. Of course there was no need. The next morning she stayed in the motel while he went to Corporate HQ and found that they had already gotten the keys and that he could look the house over. After doing some paperwork he headed back to pick up Liz. They went all over the house and could not really find anything to complain about. He held her as they met in the main front room.
“Well?”

“It’s a beautiful home in a very good neighborhood. The schools are close by and very good. It’s almost in walking distance of Harvard. What is there not to like?”

“That settles it. I will make an offer right away. Now for Harvard?”

“For me. Remember we really cannot take any chances; so I have to go alone.”

He pouted but she promised to make it up to him that night. So he dropped her off at Harvard and he headed back to HQ to talk to the weekend staff there about making an offer on the house. He was also able to talk to Josh.




Liz could not believe how beautiful Harvard was in the summer. It was only a few weeks before fall term began but there were not many around. She went by Admissions and collected some paperwork. One of the clerks there pointed out what she needed to do. When she mentioned picking a house, Liz smiled.
“I will be getting married in September; so I will not be living on campus.”

The clerk blinked; then told her that she would need a copy of her Marriage License in order to be permitted to live off campus as a freshman. Liz just smiled.

Back that next day at home, Liz was careful that anything that could hint at where she had been and doing was left at Max’s. That Sunday evening she was sitting on the balcony thinking. IT was only a little more than a month before her birthday and she so wanted to tell her parents everything; but realized that there could be problems. Yet the more she thought about it the more she felt the need to be honest with them. The conflict bothered her. She felt the need to talk to Maria. So she picked up the cell phone that she had gotten earlier in the summer and called her best friend.

“Liz? Back?”

“I am. I need to talk to you.”

“Come on over; Mom is out on a date with Sheriff Valenti.”

“Again? Must mean its getting serious.”

“I know. I like the sheriff but that means getting Kyle as a step brother. That is not so good.”

“I like Kyle.”

“You have always been too nice for your own good.”

“Maybe. I will be over in a few.”


Curled up on the sofa in the living room of Maria’s home, Liz sighed.
“I feel so guilty at hiding all of this from my parents. Max, Harvard, everything.”

“Honey, You know the reason why. As long as you are 17, it’s a problem.”

“I know that but it still hurts. Yet you are right about the risks. If Daddy were to flip out and call the cops, technically by the law Sam would be in trouble. And bad trouble in this day and age.”

“Yeah those new laws are too extreme. I get why but as usual a good idea gets all messed up once the politicians get their grubby hands on it.”

“Yeah.”

“Honey, wait until your 18th birthday and then start it. Drop hints that you are falling for him. You will no longer be their nanny and working for him so there is nothing anyone can do. You have time; I would let them know you are going to graduate in December. And that you are looking at out of state possibilities. Then you can build on it gradually over the fall and winter.”

Liz thought on that and agreed with that strategy. She did not want to wait; she wanted to go out right after her 18th birthday and marry Max but that would cause problems. Slow and steady wins the race, so go with it.




The next morning she talked to Max. He agreed with the strategy. Pointing out that when word got out they were seeing each other, they needed to make it look like nothing started until after her 18th Birthday. Liz acknowledged the reality.



That evening Liz decided to start.
“Mom, dad, I decided to change some things.”

Theresa looked at her husband, then at Liz.
“What things, baby?”

“I have decided to graduate in December; and look at possibly other schools besides State. I know money is a factor, but I want to look harder at other possibilities. And there really would be no point to another semester at school with the SAT score and grades I have.”

Jeff hugged her. “I understand, Honey. I know how disappointed you were that Harvard was not possible, and thought that you settled too quickly for State. And if you want to graduate early that is up to you. In case I have not told you enough times already, we are so proud of you.”

Afterwards Liz still felt wrong but it was not as bad. Some of the truth was coming out.




The last day she was supposed to work as a Nanny, Max took off from work and they spent the day together. All of them. The kids were not happy that they would not see Liz every day as they had been; but were good about it, even Sara who had gotten very close to Liz. And Liz to her. They had kept their relationship from them, not wanting to cause any more problems. Going home that evening Liz decided to drop some hints to her parents.

“Honey you seem down, what is it?”

“I am going to miss those kids; especially Sara. She has a way of worming her way into your heart and I realize that it is almost as bad with the boys. I am coming to the realization that I love those kids.”

“Oh, Honey. I guess I never thought that that might happen but the signs were there.”

Jeff hugged her as well. “You have such a big heart and you care so much Liz that I guess it’s no surprise.”






Liz managed to somewhat keep that up; over the first week of school; she stopped by on the following weekend to spend some time with them. Then the next week came her 18th Birthday. Max had come up with a plan; her parents closed the Restaurant to customers and threw her an 18th birthday party. He showed up with the kids.




Sara came rushing in, dodging people and Liz saw her and caught her in a big hug; then the boys came in and they all puppy piled Liz. Max carefully stayed back and let her parents watch her with the children.

Her friends –except for Maria- were very surprised at how close the kids and Liz were. Her parents watched as she fed Sara and cuddled the boys. It was very clear how close they all were.

Jeff looked at his wife as they watched Liz with the children and they both knew what they were watching. Liz and those kids were very close. Then they looked at Max.
“The kids gave me no peace- they demanded to see Liz on her birthday. I should have seen this coming better than I did; how close those kids are to her and her to them. Liz is such a wonderful young woman.” He managed to tone down the heat he felt at gazing at his love, working to just show a little and more emotion.

Later that evening Nancy looked at her husband as they were getting ready for bed.
“I am wondering if this is why Liz wants to go out of town, maybe even the state, to college.”

Jeff thought about it and gave a somber nod.
“You might be right. Liz loves those kids and they love her. She might feel the need to get away.”

Nancy nodded sadly. Then went to her next thought.
“Was it my imagination or did I see something in Max’s eyes when he was watching Liz?”

“I think you are right about that as well. But I saw nothing from Liz towards him.”

“She never looked at him while I was watching; but then those kids were so totally all over her. He is a very handsome man; seems very nice. If she started to have feelings for him it would not be a shock. Liz is a wonderful young woman and very lovely; from what she said a while ago he has basically been a monk since his wife died. Liz might be the one that makes him take an interest again.”

“‘If he was to start seeing her, would it be just for her or to get a mother for his children?”

“That would be the question, wouldn’t it?”




That next weekend Liz told them that she would be spending some time with the children at Max’s. She did not miss the significant look her parents shared when they thought she was not watching. She hoped her plan was working.




That Sunday evening Liz made sure she was sitting in the living room looking like she was having heavy thoughts. Part of her hated this kind of manipulation but felt she had to do it this way.

Almost on cue her mother sat down beside her and put her arm around her.
“You seem to be having some heavy thoughts, Honey.”

Inside Liz prepared herself.
“Sam is a very handsome man. And really nice; he is a wonderful father.”

Nancy sighed. She knew what was coming.
“He seems that way. Has he indicated any interest, Liz?”

Despite herself Liz blushed. Nancy saw that and nodded to herself.
“‘I guess no words are needed. I thought I saw something during your birthday party. You are a lovely and loving young woman. And his kids clearly adore you. Liz, that is something…”

Liz stopped her. “You are thinking he is looking at getting a mother for his children?”

“Honey its possible.”

“No, if he is showing interest it’s for me.” Liz decided to play it that way.

“Of course Honey.”

That evening Nancy shared the conversation. Jeff sighed.
“Nothing we can do, Babe. She is a legal adult. I just hope she does not get hurt.”

“So do I.”




Liz and Maria were talking that night as well; Liz on her balcony and Maria at home.
“I think they realize something is happening and seem to be able to accept it at least somewhat.”

“Liz, I think you need to start letting out your feelings for Max. Not all the way but more. They need to see this building.”

“Yeah.”




The next weekend Liz once again spent most of it at Max’s. Sunday night she came in and decided to show more of her feelings.

Jeff and Nancy both notice the soft smile Liz was sporting as she came back home that evening; they knew where she had been. Liz was almost glowing. They said nothing until they were alone that evening.
Jeff looked at his wife. “I think it’s time we had a talk with Max.”

Theresa nodded. “I agree. Just the three of us.”




That next day, Jeff called Max. He agreed to meet them; told them to come to the house. Sara was at Daycare and the boys were in school.

Jeff and Nancy stopped outside the house, checking the address. It was in a nice section of town. It was a lovely home. Max answered the door and took them into the living room where he sat in a easy chair and they on the sofa. Sam had decided that as much honesty as he could use would be the best way to go.

“I think I can guess what this is about. Liz.”

Jeff nodded. Nancyspoke first.
“We already see that Liz is becoming involved. What we want to know is it for her or as a mother for your children.”

Max knew this was critical.
“Both. She is a lovely young woman. I found myself falling for her almost right away; despite the age difference. She is very mature for her age; and she is Liz. The children love her and she them. They got her right away; Sara especially. But then Sara has a special charm all her own. I imagine that she might have been a lot like Liz was as a child. I am betting she was very loving and happy?”

Jeff slowly nodded. “That she was. I could see the resemblance when they came for her birthday party.”

Max thought so far so good.
“Not the least of Liz’s charm is that she does not think she is beautiful. But she is; both inside and outside. For the first time since Tess’s death I found myself interested in another woman. IT was hard for me to not show my interest; but I knew she had to be away from her job here. She needed to step back and think about things. I want to be frank; I will court Liz and I intend to marry her. And I hope to have several children with her; she will be a wonderful mother; and really she has already become one.”

Nancy nodded then said “What about college?”

Here is where Max decided to take a chance.
“Corporate has been hinting they want me to move to Boston to head the QA part of the R & D division. I know Liz wanted to go to Harvard; she let that slip once. I intend to first marry her then make sure she goes to Harvard.”

Jeff and Nancy blinked and looked at each other. Liz having to give up her dream of Harvard had always pained them.

“She would have to get admittance to Harvard first.”

“I think she has but has been hiding it. She did not want to hurt you. With her grades and that incredible SAT score, admittance to Harvard would not surprise me at all.”

Jeff and Nancy sighed at the same time. Nancy nodded. “That is something she would do. We need to talk to her.”

They left soon after and Max immediately called Liz at school. Left a message on her phone to call.

Liz got to study hall and pulled out her phone. What was it?

“Liz. Your parents came to talk to me. I told them you might have gotten admittance to Harvard but was hiding it so as not to hurt them. I am going to tell them that I was the one doing the initial preparations for Harvard.”

Liz chewed her lip. She was a little ticked off that he had not warned her in advance. But on the other hand, this would move things along.
“OK. Check that stuff I got to make sure that there is no sign I got it. I guess I will head home and face the music. Love You.”

“Good luck and I love you, too.”




Liz walked into the apartment above the restaurant and found her parents waiting for her. She looked at them and cocked her head.

“Liz did you gain admittance to Harvard?”

She looked at them and blinked.

Her mother was firm. “Liz, did you get in?”

She kept her face blank and nodded.

“Why didn’t you tell us?”

Liz did not say a word just looked at them. Her father sighed.
“I know. Stupid question. Just to be plain we went and talked to Max today. He told us he thought you had gotten in but was not going to tell us in order to not make us feel bad about it.”

Liz still said not a word and just sat down between them and they hugged her. Finally she spoke.
“What good would it have done? And I guess I know why you wanted to speak to Max.”

“We wanted to make sure that he was courting you to be his wife not just a mother for his children.”

Liz did not have to fake an eye roll. Then set her face in a determined mein.
“I am falling in love with him no matter what. And I will marry him if he asks me no matter what his reasons.”

Nancy sighed. Liz could be very stubborn.
“Are you sure its love for him and not for the children.”

A very soft smile came to Liz’s face. IT was a look they had never seen before.
“I love him and them. I want them all. Even if he does not fully love me now I believe he will in time. He is attracted to me; and we are already good friends. I love the children and they love me. We are going to be a family.”

The two of them looked at their daughter and then each other. There was no way they would be able to shake her from her determined destination. Finally Jeff sighed and looked at Nancy and got her nod of agreement.
“He told us flat out that he was determined to see you in Harvard.”

A very different smile came to her face then.
“I will not go there if he is not there.”

“He mentioned that the corporation he works for wants him at their headquarters in Boston. So I guess that will not be a problem.”

An incredibly bright smile came over her face.
“Then I guess we better start planning a wedding.”

Nancy blinked. “Has he asked you?”

Liz smiled. “That will not be a problem. If necessary I will ask him.”




Max had decided that the children needed to be told about the move to Boston and the upcoming marriage. He gathered them on the sofa, Sara on his lap and the boys on either side.
“Kids, Daddy’s boss is moving daddy to Boston, Massachusetts. We will be moving sometime after Christmas.”

Sara blinked for a moment then said “Liz!” Followed by both boys “What about Liz.”

Max smiled. “Well I am going to ask her to marry me and become you guys Mother officially.”

Sara bounced and said “Yes!” The Boys also exclaimed their happiness with that idea.



Not twenty minutes Later Liz showed up. Sara beat her brothers to Liz and shouted “Liz mommy.” They followed with the same. Liz held them and smiled.
“Yes I will be. Though your father still has to officially ask me.”

Max smiled and motioned the boys and Sara away. Then went down on one knee and presented a ring. “Liz, will you marry me?”

Liz smiled and took the ring and said “Yes.” The children celebrated while Max took the opportunity to kiss her thoroughly. As it was a school night Liz had to leave, after Sara made it clear that Liz would read a story to her.

She got back home and her mother quickly saw the ring.

“So who asked who?”

Liz smiled that bright smile again. “He got down on one knee in front of the children and asked me to marry him.”

Both her parents were satisfied by that, though they felt that Liz was still going too fast. They knew very well that nothing would stop her.

Liz smiled at their look. Nothing would stop her.


And nothing did.

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