It was his first day on the job as the newly appointed Sheriff, and Jim Valenti was sitting at his desk and admiring how this day was long and coming and he was going to relish it as Hanson had departed the day before to take a position in California after his wife had been offered a job at a university there... and therefore, Jim was offered his old job, and he took it and now it was official, and he couldn't wait to get going, but he didn't expect when the door open and saw Maria walk in. "Hey!"
"Congratulations on your first day,” Maria smiled as she saw Jim sitting proudly in the chair that was made for him, and the chair that was his destiny.
“Thank you. It’s weird but rewarding. Your mother has said you’ve been very busy yourself” Jim asked as he glanced at his girlfriend’s daughter. He and Amy were finally making a go of a relationship, and they have been very happy so far and he prayed it stuck this time because he did truly love Amy Deluca, and he knew he was privilege to have her, and Maria join his family with Kyle. Although he knew his return to the job could test things but also knew life was simpler and yet less fulfilling when he was Deputy, and this was his calling, but he didn’t want to lose Amy because of his job.
“It’s been one thing after another,” Maria smiled as she thought of how life had been since she moved in with Michael post-graduation. “Thankfully Michael is back to help me,” Maria sighed.
“How did Isabel’s move back go?” Jim asked.
“Smooth I am told. I haven’t seen her yet, but Michael indicates that she knows it’s the right move for her even though the memories of returning to Roswell have been overwhelming for her to deal with…” Maria admitted.
“For all of us,” Jim admitted. “We all miss him
. How is Liz doing?”
“Unfortunately, she’s the reason I am here…”
“What is it now?” Jim asked warily. “She hasn’t relapsed, right?” he sighed as he thought of how hard it had been to see Liz so destroyed, and the hopefulness of the last three months as she worked to clean her life up. He hoped it stuck.
“I am sorry about this Jim, as I know you would want to ease into the job again, and this is probably too simple anyways for you, but I need your help to run down someone and see who he is, and if he’s on the up and up.”
"Who?” Jim asked.
Maria sighed, and seethed inside at the fear that her friend had been taken advantage of when she was down and out and in the worst of all conditions, and unable to stop herself. “It’s someone who worked as a bartender at Cow Patties
about three months ago because I went by the bar and they said he stopped after only that one night.”
“Why do you need to find him?” Jim asked as she took out a pad of paper and started to take notes and jotted down the name of his old haunt.
“For Liz,” Maria said honestly.
“Why?” Jim asked, and he envision the drowning and troubled ex-girlfriend of his son. It truly hurt both Kyle and him to see how much Liz was impacted by losing Max as it was a love story for the ages, that while it had so much angst… it had tremendous love, and it was obvious Liz wasn’t to be able to move past it anytime soon even if she cleaned her life up. Max had been her true love, and everyone in town could see it. Which made it even more painful to witness to see the pain in the previously sunny girl.
“It’s a long story and it’s her story to tell when she feels up to it but in the meantime, we need to find him” Maria admitted. “I was hoping you could help out and I know it’s a meaningless job, so you can give it to a Deputy, but I need to know whether this guy can be found and is on the up and up, for Liz’s sake.”
"Give me a name and I check on it," Jim offered. “So far today it’s been on the slow side, so it will be something to deal with in the meantime.
"It might be an alias," Maria warned. "Liz lied about her name also... as it was one of those kind of nights"
"What is it?" Jim asked as he picked up his pad and wrote the information he would get from Maria.
"Rob Roy," Maria smiled and smirked when she got back the frown on Jim’s face. "Yes, I know, Liz gave 'Shirley Temple'!"
"You have got to be kidding. Weren't those the names you and your friends gave each other in Vegas?" Jim asked of the one-night trip the gang had gifted themselves. He had found out they had skipped school and the state and gone off to bring them home. "Kyle tells me you guys picked some crazy names."
"You can blame Michael on that one," Maria smiled as she flashed back to their eventful night in Vegas. “I don’t know what he was thinking either, but yeah, 'Rob Roy' was the one Max took on, and Shirley was Liz's."
"So, what does this ‘Rob Roy’ look like?" Jim asked.
"I haven't got a clue, and I am not sure Liz even knows." Maria said honestly. "He was seen only once, on the night of March 15."
"Wasn't that Max's birthday?" Jim asked suspiciously as he focused on Maria.
"It was a reason why Liz was so out of sorts that night," Maria admitted. "Like she really needed an excuse, but that night did seem be her rock bottom to be honest with you but yes it was Max's birthday and I didn't realize it until the next day."
"He only worked at Cow Patties
that one night?" Jim asked.
"So, they say," Maria snarled.
"I'll let you know," Jim smiled as he waved Maria off as she had to get to the Crashdown to start her shift.
With memories flooding her mind as she remembered back to the night in which Max died for real this time, and before her very eyes. All because he wanted to save her and atone for what he had done in the past, so he sacrificed his chance of a new beginning with Liz, and she had to watch him die, and she looked out the window of their apartment over the Crashdown as she turned and faced her parents after his admission, which had blown away the room."
"He's gone," Liz was saying as she wiped the tears away from her eyes. "So, Dad how I wished he were the father of my unborn baby, but he isn't because he's been dead a year. He died because he saved my life and sacrificed his life for mine."
"My god Liz, why didn't you tell us?" Nancy asked as she stared at her daughter, and then her husband who was speechless. "Why did you take this all on yourself."
"Because I have had to learn to live my life without him in it or that I should be dead, twice over but I am not because of him. I couldn't accept it, and I still can't... but I need to because Max wouldn't want me to fall apart any more than I have because of him and he would be disappointed in me."
"What are you talking about?"
"Mom and Dad, there is a lot you don't know about Max. About Max and me, and I am sorry about that..."
"Liz," Jeff asked.
"We both made mistakes when we were together. We were young and in love, and that was going to bring a lot of choices that would regret or would do differently together and I will always hate that Max never got a chance to have a do-over."
"I know this is hard for you sweetheart," Nancy asked.
"It is Mom, and I am sorry about all I have done to hurt you and Dad over the last year."
"We always want the best for you sweetheart," Nancy said. "We want you happy, and you have been so sad and upset and now we know why."
"Why honey did you make it seem that he ran off," Jeff asked.
"Because I almost wanted to believe he left," Liz admitted. "And that he could come back to me one day if I willed it hard enough or screwed up my life enough that he had to come back to me, but I knew it was all a pipe dream and a false narrative I was telling myself as I drank to cover the pain, and it was easy to use leaving as an excuse because there is something you both don't know Mom and Dad. You know he was with someone else..."
"Yes, and had a child?" Nancy asked.
"We were trying to move past it, and it was tricky and there was a lot of pain mixed in and then he died because of a set of circumstances that went down when I was in Vermont that is too complicated to explain to you today. I was in danger and he tried to save the day, and in the process, he lost his life."
"That makes no sense," Jeff asked.
"It does Dad," Liz sighed. "To me it does, but I need to get going to prepare for my appointment, and we can talk further about the past… later... but I will say that this all started over four years ago, downstairs when I was shot, and would have died. But Max saved my life that day and from then on, I was changed..."
"WHAT!" Nancy and Jeff's jaws dropped again but this time Liz knew she couldn’t continue because of the burden it would place on her parents, so she turned and walked off, leaving her parents to weigh the news and the impact of the information they had just been told about their daughter. "Liz..." but she was gone.
"What is going on with our daughter?" Nancy asked her husband once their daughter had vanished from their sight. "I never imagined any of this."
"What shooting?" Jeff asked as he remembered back nearly four years and an image sprung on him, as he remembered there had been shot fired downstairs as both his daughter and Maria worked their shift. But Liz was quick to assure that it was ketchup spilled on her and she was fine. While the Sheriff had some suspicions about it being something more, but it was quickly extinguished, or he was told it was extinguished. "Oh my god," he murmured as he remembered his daughter with blood on her uniform. "Is it true?"
"I don't know," Nancy asked. “I remember you telling me of some shots being fired downstairs, and Max was pinpointed as being in the vicinity but our daughter and Maria who also witnessed it, clamed up.
"Right, Maria was there that day... she would know" Jeff asked only himself as he hugged his wife, "I know it seems crazy, but we will be there for our daughter".
"I will go get ready," Nancy sighed as she thought of the appointment she would be attending with her daughter.
"I guess we're going to be grandparents?" Jeff asked as he sighed as he thought of his daughter. "She's only 19."
"We will help her, no matter what is decided" Nancy promised as she left to get ready, while Jeff looked at the now empty room and murmured to himself, what is going on with my daughter. She died, but didn't and Max saved her life and now she's going to be a mother at age 19?
"What is going on?" Jeff asked as he left the apartment and went downstairs with heavy worries on his mind. As much as he wanted to believe his daughter was going to be alright, and she had stopped drinking... he also knew from personal experience demons have a habit of taking you down and even though you try to keep afloat. Being a mother at nineteen will bring heavy responsibilities and as she is already emotionally burdened over Max's absence from her life, so he feared for his daughter.
"Jeff," Maria smiled as she saw him walk down the stairs from the apartment above the cafe, and then noticed the worry lines on her boss's face. "What's wrong?"
"Nancy and I just talked with our daughter, and she had some major bombshells to tell us."
"Oh," Maria frowned and then smiled because she knew it would be a weight off her friend’s shoulders and Liz might now truly be able to move on to whatever life was destined for her in the future. "I am glad she told you."
"What's going on with my daughter Maria," Jeff asked. "The last year has been one thing after another with Liz and now she tops it by telling us she’s pregnant."
"She's been trying Jeff," Maria sighed as she thought of her friend. "This latest development did knock her for a loop."
"She doesn't even know who the father is?" Jeff sighed.
"She remembers but there is some dispute over that fact, so in the meantime we need to support her."
"I will always support her," Jeff demanded.
There was a time when you didn't support her
Maria wanted to say but didn't because she knew that Jeff had been laid with a lot regarding his daughter and Liz hadn't been the dutiful daughter for much of the last year. "I know you do," she said instead.
"What's going on Maria!" Jeff asked.
"She's trying to lead her life," Maria said.
"I have to ask, is Max dead?" Jeff asked as they didn’t realize the back door open, and they had an audience.
"WHAT!" a scream sound, and they turned and saw Phillip Evans, but the scream had come from his wife Diane.
"I had legal papers to deliver to you," Phillip Evans said ten minutes later after they had gotten Diane calmed down as he looked at both Jeff Parker and Maria Deluca. "Diane wanted to come with me because we were going to go out town for dinner, and the evening as we haven't had much time of being alone since Isabel has been home and so we came in the backway."
"How is Isabel?" Maria asked trying to divert from the original topic. "I haven't seen her yet since she's been back."
"Adjusting to the end of her marriage," Phillip said as he looked at Jeff and Maria again as he tried to comprehend what he had just heard. "She just wants to be by herself for a little while, and we're giving her the time. She has a month before her place is ready."
"Tell her to call me some time," Maria smiled as Diane reentered the room from going to the bathroom to collect herself. "Mrs. Evans."
"I thought I said you could call me Diane."
"Sorry for what you interrupted earlier," Maria murmured. "We never wanted for you to hear like that..."
"Who is we?
" Phillip asked.
"Michael, Isabel, Liz and I" Maria admitted as she was forced to confront the fact that Max’s parents were so oblivious to the true events of the last year.
"Isabel knows?" Diane asked hurt that her own daughter would keep something so monumental from her, when it was about her son.
"Yes," Maria confirmed with a tremendous sigh. "We felt it was better for you guys to believe that Max left to go find his son, and that he couldn’t stay."
"His baby?" Phillip asked. "That is true then?"
"To the detriment of his relationship with Liz, yes it's true. But we don't know where the child is today because Tess vanished while she was pregnant," Maria citing the well-crafted lie which was part truth.
"How is Liz?" Phillip asked Jeff because it well known how badly Liz had spun in the past year, and how it was constantly testing her parents and now he could see why. "Is it true that she's getting better?"
"In a manner of speaking," Jeff allowed.
"Max's gone, he's dead?" Diane asked, breaking the silence of well-crafted talk as she tried to reconcile the new reality that her son might be truly gone for good. They always hope he would return, and now they were being shaken of that belief.
"Yes," Maria confirmed to tears coming down Diane's face. "I am sorry, we never wanted to hurt you. It was better for everyone if everyone believed he just went searching... But maybe it wasn't, because Liz hasn't been the same and it was delaying acceptance of the truth."
"Where is Liz?" Diane asked.
"Doctor's appointment," Jeff said and left it at that as he looked at Maria who also nodded. "She's trying to recover, and it's taking time."
What happened?" Phillip asked. "How did he die?"
"He was trying to save Liz's life. It's hard to explain, and its more Liz's avenue since she witnessed it with her own eyes to the detriment of her mental health over the last year. I only came in at the end and missed it all, but Liz was in danger on this occasion, and Max died trying save her life. He died a hero."
"When, where?" Diane asked.
"Last February, in Vermont."
"Wasn't Vermont where Liz went to boarding school for a brief time," Phillip asked. "I remember calling the school for you Jeff to see whether they would give your deposit back, and they refused, citing damages done to the property but they didn't want to give up too much about what happened."
"I remember," Jeff sighed.
"Liz had a stalker at the school," Maria lied. "And things went a little too far and Max who was visiting in trying to win her back, stepped in and it got bad" she continued, and was impressed by the quality of the lie and Jeff only glanced at her, and she stopped.
"He saved her?" Diane asked.
"Yes," Maria confirmed. "She would have been dead too if not for Max's sacrifice."
"Where is his body?" Phillip asked. "We would want to bury him here in Roswell."
"Um," Maria stalled. Damn it. Why didn't I think of that?
and she didn't know how to get out of this one except maybe to tell the truth in a manner of speaking. How was she going to get out of this one she wondered?
"Maria," Diane asked.
"There isn't a body," Maria confessed.
Liz sat on the exam table as Nancy sat next to her, as she waited while the doctor consulted with the technician, and some of the blood work was already in from the last appointment, and now Liz awaited word. Nerves raced through her. "Mom, thank you for coming with me. I know I gave a lot for you to take this morning. I couldn't come alone, so thank you."
"We want to help you, support you" Nancy smiled as she tried to process the stunning news she had been forced to deal with on this day. "All want is for you to come to us if you need our help."
"I am glad I did," Liz sighed.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Nancy asked again as she saw the confusion her daughter was under, and the pain underneath. "About Max?"
"I couldn't accept it and have only begun too, and I couldn't come to you guys about it because we were trying to keep the truth in the dark. But I couldn't do it anymore and it was taking me down dangerous roads, and I needed to stop and take ownership and live the way my life is today, and not what I had hoped it to be at sixteen."
“What does that mean?” Nancy asked.
“I have no idea. I had all my hopes pinned on going to Northwestern in the fall, and now that seems to be not in the cards at least for the fall semester, and I am not sure they will let me defer it another term or another year.”
“Do you want this baby? Nancy asked as she thought of her grandchild on the way. It was not ideal time to become a grandmother when her daughter was needing to find her way to starve off a complete breakdown.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Liz admitted. “The reality of it and I haven’t even gone down that road, but I do know what I have to come to terms with regarding the baby. I never imagined this would be my life. Even when I was with Max, and I let myself dream, I never imagined this.”
“You will get through this,” Nancy smiled with some encouragement for her daughter.
“I am having the baby as it’s too late to do anything about it,” Liz sighed as she thought of the dual conflicting information she had about this pregnancy, and how she had to instantly accept it whether she wanted to or not. “It’s just not what I thought my life would be like right now.”
“Your father and I will help you,” Nancy smiled. “If you come to us for that help, we will always help you, you know, right?”
“Dad can’t look at me,” Liz sighed as she flashed to the heartbreak and pain on her father’s face, and how much it hurt her to know she put it there with everything she had done over the past year.
“He’s just upset that you’re in so much pain and we weren’t able to help you. So much of it doesn’t make sense to us and still doesn’t” she thought of the incredible tale her daughter had told her. And to her, it still rang as a tale and she didn’t know if she could accept that even half of it could be true.
“I am sorry about that,” Liz said. “It’s why I wasn’t honest with you because so much of is so damn complicated, and that only covers a small portion of it. Max is gone, and I’ve got to deal with it… I didn’t want to mess your life.”
“We are your parents, we want to help you.” Nancy said quietly as the door opened and the doctor appeared. “And we’re this baby’s grandparents, and we will be there for you and for her, if you choose to keep the baby.
Liz nodded as she patted her stomach as it was becoming real to her for the first time that she was going be a mother. At nineteen, and she didn’t know if she could understand how this was the fate her life had set out to be on that September day back when she was fifteen and she was changed forever when she saw Max in a new way. When he saved her life.
“Ms. Parker,” the doctor smiled as she came into the room and settled her glaze on her patient a she looked at the chart in her hand. “How are we today?”
“Better,” Liz sighed. “Which is a mile from where I was last week.”
“Good, very good. I know you were shocked to hear the news,” Dr. Klinger smiled. “You’re young, and it must have been a shocker.”
“It was,” Liz admitted as she thought of the shock she had been when she heard the stunning news. “Dr. Klinger, this is my mother. Nancy Parker,” Liz acknowledged.
“I am glad Liz has family by her side,” Dr. Debra Klinger smiled. “Well, all tests so far have been encouraging Ms. Parker.”
“They have, how is the baby?” Liz asked as she patted her stomach and Nancy noticed it was for the second time in the last few minutes.
“How is my granddaughter?” Nancy asked as looked straight at her daughters’ doctor.
“Your daughter has told me of her troubles, and I just want to say that I do admire you Ms. Parker for realizing you needed help and getting it. Because the pregnancy is advanced when it was discovered, we ran some preliminary testing and all the tests came back normal. Or as normal as baby can be at this stage. So, we have all the confidence that the pregnancy can precede normally. We will continue to monitor it, but nothing has been odd at this time.”
“Really?” Liz asked if she didn’t want to believe it. “I was drinking heavily until three months ago and the baby is fine?”
“Sometimes babies don’t show the affects. Just like humans. We can surprise the experts. You stopped, and maybe it was in time. You said you have had a few slips, but you recognized it, and stopped yourself from slipping into any further relapses.”
“So, the baby is fine?” Liz asked.
“As far as we know today. Of course, some difficulties don’t show up until the baby is born and functioning on its own and so I can’t rule out that your daughter might not have some effects of that hard time in your life. But you recognized you had a problem and got help. Sounds like you have a strong daughter already.”
“She has a strong mother,” Nancy said. “You never can rule her out.”
“That’s the spirit. You’ve filled the prescription for the vitamins, right?” Dr. Klinger asked her patient as she made a notation in the chart.
“Yes,” Liz nodded.
“Good,” Dr. Klinger said. “See my receptionist and make an appointment for next month, and we’re do some more monitoring and if you experience any difficulties in the meantime, call me, or go to the Emergency room, okay?”
“Take care Liz and take care of that baby…” Dr. Klinger said as she left the room.
“I’ll let you change,” Nancy said as got up and turned to her daughter and for the first time really thought she might have her child back. That Liz was turning her life around, and maybe everything would be alright.
“Thank you again Mom for coming with me,” Liz said softly. “It’s becoming real to me, and I appreciate that you’re supporting me.”
“I’ll always be here for you,” Nancy assured her daughter and left the room and Liz looked around the room, and for the first time thought that it might work out. Patting her stomach, “I just wish I knew who your father was…” she whispered out loud.
Coming out of the building, Liz was talking to her mother about something restaurant related when out of the corner of her eye she saw something. “Oh,” Liz said a little too out loud as she saw a figure watching her with assessing eyes. She stopped her discussion and could only stare.
“What?” Nancy asked as she saw the ghost look that her daughter suddenly got and wondered what was wrong with Liz. “Is it the baby?” she murmured.
“It’s nothing,” Liz was quick to say but she was wrong. It was something. When in front of her stood a man leaning against a dark blue convertible, echoing a memory from the past Please no, I am trying to get over Max
she cried to her inner self. “No, I am fine Mom and the baby is fine” she murmured as she tried to make a quick decision on the spot on what she was going to do. She was seeing a ghost it felt like… now that she was sober and could see the truth…
“Hello Shirley,” said the man as Nancy looked startled as she saw her daughter stop where she stood frozen.
“Liz,” Nancy asked. “Do you know him, honey.”
Liz wanted to say no, but she also knew she couldn’t say no, because she knew this man and yet she didn’t know his name and didn’t want to admit that to her mother because she didn’t relish having to explain it, at least not yet as he watched as he leaned against the car, all sexy like, and imposing.
“Liz,” Nancy asked.
“Mom, I am okay” Liz said. “It’s someone I know,” she murmured barely being left out of the question. “I promise I will be fine. I can take the bus home, why don’t you go home and tell Dad that everything is okay, okay Mom?”
“If you’re sure,” Nancy said as she wasn’t sure whether she should be leaving her daughter alone with this strange man. “Are you sure you know this man Liz?”
“Of course, his name is Rob…” Liz smiled although she was amazed that she did remember even that after all this time. While she had her pregnancy as proof, she had begun to think that night was a mirage and a product of her descent into drinking because he was such a mystery man. “I promise Mom, I will be home shortly.”
While Nancy wanted to take it at face value, but she wondered if she would be seeing her daughter anytime soon… as she looked at the man who stared at her daughter with powerful and quickly assessing eyes like he knew exactly what he was doing and she sensed her daughter was going to be powerful to stop this force in her life. She just prayed it worked out as she saw her daughter walk towards the mystery man.
Liz feared her mother was right as she saw her mother leave the area, but she stood in front of ‘Rob’. “You…”
“Me…” the mystery man asked.
“Is your name really “Rob Roy” Liz said carefully as she did her own assessing of this man who could very well be her baby’s father.
“Yes, it is,” the mystery man said with a sexy smile. “Come with me as we have to talk…” he said softly and it felt like music to her ears, and she got into the car that echoed a scene right out of her life months before… when she had her life together, even if she was on the collision course with the end of what she always dreamt of for herself.
Having Max in her life.