Discipline Malfunction (M/L Mature) [COMPLETE]

This is the gallery for the winners of the fanfic awards to show off their fics, and their banners!

Moderators: Itzstacie, Forum Moderators

Locked
User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Discipline Malfunction (M/L Mature) [COMPLETE]

Post by greywolf » Sun Dec 24, 2006 2:26 am

Winner Round 13


Image

Title: Discipline Malfunction

Author: Greywolf
Couple: All CC mainly M/L
Rating: Mature due to subject matter.
Disclaimer: I don't own Roswell or any of the characters. Please don't sue me, I'm just having a little fun here.

Summary: The morning after Sexual Healing and the folks get involved.....

Sheriff’s Office Small Conference Room, Roswell New Mexico.

The four parents were waiting anxiously for the weekly update briefing from Sheriff Valenti and his staff. All four were grim-faced, Jeff Parker shaking his head.

“Even today, ….four weeks later, …I just don’t understand what went wrong?”

“I don’t know what went wrong either, Jeff,” said Diane Evans. “But looking back, I know exactly when it started to go wrong.”

The other three looked at her, their expressions urging her to continue.

“The whole purpose….the whole plan that morning, was to separate them, because we all believed they were getting too close, too quickly, and that neither was really experienced enough socially to make a meaningful commitment to each other….”

“Yes, Diane….?” Said Nancy Parker.

“Well, when they came in the door after being out all night ...you remember we wanted to be there as a group to intimidate them…to make them understand we were united in our efforts to get them to break it off before they went too far….”

“That was the plan…and I still think it was a good plan, Diane,” said Jeff Parker.

“I thought so too until I saw….they came in the door together and started to separate…but when they saw us sitting there looking at them….they moved back together and their hands enfolded…..I think somehow WE drove them together.”

Four weeks previously:

BRINNGGG!!

BRINNGGG!!


You didn’t have to be a lawyer to realize that a telephone ringing at 5AM was not generally going to be good news.

“Hello?” said Philip Evans sleepily.

“Philip? Jeff Parker here. I was waiting up for Liz to get back in….she went for a drive with Max. I fell asleep around 1AM and just woke up. I checked her room…there’s no sign of her. Is Max home? If he is, can I talk to him?”

“Let me check, Jeff. It’ll just be a minute.”

“What is it, Philip?”

“It’s Jeff Parker, dear. Liz went out with Max and she hasn't come home…He wants to know if Max is here.”

Philip Evans checked Max’s room, hesitating at the door briefly, afraid of what he might find in the bedroom. But when he looked, the bedroom was empty. He wasn’t sure if he was relieved to find Liz not there with his son or not. That still left the issues of where they were, whether or not they were alright, and what they were doing out together at 5AM. He hurried back to the master bedroom.

“Max isn’t here either.”

“Where could the two of them be?”

“An excellent question, dear. What the hell they are doing out at 5AM would be another one..”

Philip picked up the phone.

“Jeff, Max isn’t here either. I’m going to check with the Sheriff’s office, make sure there hasn’t been an accident or something. But if there hasn’t been….well, Diane and I have been worried about how fast Max and Liz’s relationship seems to be progressing…I think maybe the four of us ought to meet to decide what we are going to do about it.”

“We'll treat you and Diane to breakfast at the Crashdown in 30 minutes, Philip. Let’s talk this over and come up with a plan….a common front, sort of. I like Max…think he’s a good kid, but he and Liz are getting entirely out of hand.”

“I agree completely, Jeff. Diane and I will be there in a half-hour.”
Last edited by greywolf on Thu Jun 14, 2007 2:48 pm, edited 79 times in total.

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:42 am

0530 The Crashdown

Jeff Parker saw the car pull up in front of the closed restaurant and recognized the couple that stepped out. He didn’t know the Evans’ well, but Roswell was a small town. He and Philip were both in Rotary, and of course they’d seen the two at school open houses and similar functions over the years. Maybe they should have gotten together when Liz and Max had started dating….gotten better acquainted, but somehow it just seemed like their relationship had snowballed so quickly, a first tentative date only two months ago and now…staying out all night? What got in to kids these days? Why on earth did they think their parents were going to put up with them doing such a thing? Raging hormones, I guess,’ he answered himself. He turned the key in the door and opened it, offering his hand to Diane Evans as she entered.

“Hello….Diane, isn’t it? I’m Jeff Parker,…Liz’s father. Nancy will be here in just a minute.”

“Good morning, Jeff. I’m…..sorry about the circumstances of this meeting. Philip and I want you to know that we are as concerned by this is you are.”

“Hello, Jeff. I called the Sheriff’s Office, they have no reports of accidents or trouble. Oh, and I checked with our daughter, Isabel. She was aware Max and Liz were going out…couldn’t really say where they were going or what they were planning on doing, but she doesn’t know where they are either.”

Nancy Parker came from the back, carrying a tray with four plates to the table that was already set for breakfast. She wiped her hands on her apron and then offered her hand to Philip Evans.

“Hi, I’m Nancy….Liz’s mom. It’s Philip, isn’t it?”

“Yes…..and this is my wife Diane. We are so sorry about this, Nancy.”

“Diane and I already met….when we got called in to the principal’s office when Max and Liz were given detention for making too much noise making out at school. Well Diane, we have to quit meeting like this.”

“The important thing is that we get this back under control,” said Jeff Parker. “It’s not that we have anything against Max, he seems like a real nice boy,….but he seems to have kind of swept Liz off her feet. Maybe he’s just too experienced for her, she really hasn’t dated much.”

As he finished the sentence it was obvious that Diane and Philip were looking at each other in disbelief.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” asked Jeff suddenly.

Philip Evans looked at Jeff and Nancy and said, “Well it’s just…well Max isn’t experienced…at all. Liz is the first girl he’s ever dated.”

The conversation continued over hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast.

“Even counting going to that Junior High School square dance with Alex, I don’t think Liz has dated more than four boys. Kyle Valenti was the first one she ever went out with more than once, and even then she complained that all he ever thought about was football and…well she said, trying to get to second base once.,” said Nancy. “She was never even remotely serious with any of them. Then comes Max and…well, it was like she was spending every minute she could with him. Even after we got called in to the principal’s office because they were making out in the eraser room, I caught her sneaking back in one night, up her fire escape after seeing him. We had my very best mother-daughter talk, and she was….well so evasive. And now this…”

“I just don’t understand it. Liz has always been the most reliable and honest kid you ever saw. It’s just not like her to sneak around…..to lie to us. Let alone, to get detention at school for making a public scene. This just is so unlike her,” said Jeff.

“Well it’s obviously not just her fault, Jeff,” said Diane. “It takes two to tango, as they say.”

“Yeah, but only one of the two gets pregnant.”

“Nancy, you can’t be serious. You really can’t believe ….they’ve only been going together about eight weeks,” said Jeff.

“Jeff, the last movie was over at 1AM…the bowling alley closed at 11:30. The only entertainment teenagers have at this hour is….well, each other. If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s going to…unless we do something.”

“It just seems so …bizarre. I mean…if neither Liz nor Max has ever been like this. If they’ve been….well, ….shy, well what made them change?” said Diane.

“Liz has just been…different…since September…I wonder if it’s some sort of post-traumatic stress reaction to what happened in September…to that shooting here?” asked Jeff.

Diane looked somewhat nervous. “Sheriff Valenti told me that Max was there too. I wonder if somehow, even though nobody got hurt, if maybe somehow both of them were kind of scared…kind of had their own mortality shown to them, maybe deciding to live for the day, rather than worry about the future. Max….well, …Max has changed since then too. He was really brooding after that….moreso than usual …at least until he and Liz started dating two months ago. Since then, he seems to live and breathe Liz Parker. I honestly couldn’t believe it when the principal called the other day. Honestly, Max has just never even dated. He’s gone from being too shy to ask a girl out to being totally obsessed in just eight weeks. I really can’t predict what he’ll do anymore.”

“Well that’s what we need to decide this morning, before they get here,” said Philip Evans with Jeff Parker nodding in agreement. “How we insure that we can control the situation. How we can keep them apart until they cool off….get some perspective.”

“I feel the same way, Philip” said Jeff Parker. “We all try to teach our kids values and, up until the last few weeks, I’d thought we’d done a pretty good job with Liz. But I’m realistic…you know, if the kids had been dating steady for a year or two…I could maybe understand them getting a little carried away. If they had been dating since Junior High and were doing this…well, Nancy and I would probably have a long heart to heart with Liz and if she was adamant…well, we’d put her on the pill, I guess. But to do this ….to stay out all night with a boy after only dating him a few weeks…to sneak out….lie to us…this isn’t normal....this isn't our Liz.
We need to protect our daughter, protect her from herself. If we can’t make her listen to reason, we may need to send her to a girl’s boarding school where she won’t have the opportunity to get in trouble.”

“Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, Jeff. But if it does…well Diane and I will pay half of the costs, like she says, it takes two to tango. But before we take that step, we need to decide on a strategy about what to do when they do show up. We need to lay down the law to them. And as long as we are here waiting, let’s decide what steps we think we ought to take, first if the kids listen to reason….then if they don’t. Is that agreeable to everyone?”

The heads around the table were all slowly nodding in agreement.

“So, OK…what is the minimum punishment and restriction we’ll give them, assuming they are contrite and totally agree with our actions?”

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:05 am

“Well,” said Nancy, “I think first of all we need to cool them off….to stop this from going any further in the near future. I mean…the sneaking out….the staying out all night…..even the making out….that’s got to stop. We need to separate them…at least for awhile.”

“And more than that,” said Philip, “..we can’t let them get away with tonight, especially after what happened at school, and the promises they made after that. They need to understand that there are real consequences for breaking the rules. It can’t be just talking to them this time. They need to be grounded…punished. They need to understand that if they can’t discipline themselves…well, their parents will do it for them.”

“And I don’t think either one….especially not Max, really has dated enough to know their own minds well enough to be making any kind of a lifetime decision…certainly not at their age. He may think that Liz is the one and only….simply because she has been the only one he’s ever even kissed,” said Diane. “It’s not fair to him or to her to let them feel that their first real puppy love is forever…that just doesn’t happen. I think that they both need to date other people for awhile….once they are no longer grounded. Maybe what they have really is special….maybe when they look around enough that they know their own minds…maybe in a year or so, it’ll turn out that they really are right for each other.

Liz is a lovely girl, …it’d be really nice if some day….but they are both way too young…..way too inexperienced to have a serious relationship right now. They both need to mature more.”

“So I guess what I’m hearing,” said Jeff, “Is that initially they are going to be punished for breaking the rules and for lying to us, but then they are still not going to be permitted to date….at least not each other, for some period of time. After that, if they still are interested in each other, …then we can let them get back together…more closely supervised, with a lot stricter rules. Basically, the two of then will have to start earning back our trust by doing the right thing once we’re done with the punishment phase. Does that sound right to everyone?”

“Even before that, Jeff,” said Philip. “It makes a big difference how they accept their punishment. I think if they are remorseful, acknowledge that they fouled up, accept our judgment and comply with it, well …they’ll be showing enough maturity that maybe we can hurry the process along a little bit….even back off from the punishment, once they’ve obviously learned their lesson.”

“I agree, Phil. I don’t want our daughter mad at us forever..or moping around the house all depressed. It might be easier to give them a substantial punishment, then back off some of that once we are sure they understand how badly they have screwed up. It’s really not about the punishment. It’s about correcting the behavior…..correcting the behavior and preventing something tragic from happening…something that will mean they both get hurt. Like I said, Nancy and I like Max. And it’s not his fault any more than it’s Lizzy’s fault. They’ve both just let this spiral out of control, and so unfortunately the adults are left with the messy job of reining it in, and dealing with all the teenage angst that’s going to cause.”

All the heads seemed to be nodding slowly in agreement. Diane looked at the other faces at the table. Nobody was looking forward to this, but there seemed to be unanimity that it had to be done. She had to admit to herself that she’d really liked seeing her son come out of his shell….that the young Parker girl had brought a spark of life to Max that he’d never had before. And in a way, Diane would always be grateful to her for doing that…even if Max wound up with someone else. Liz would always have a special place in Diane’s heart. But this was much too soon, and much too much, and they needed to put the brakes on now, and put them on hard.

“Well,” said Diane, “How long do they get grounded? A couple of months?”

“I think we need at least that to get Liz’s attention.” said Nancy. “I picked her up at school when the principal called, and she was basically in denial that she’d done anything wrong. I had ‘the talk’ with her about sex…she told me it embarrassed her and really wouldn’t even listen. Now after two warnings…it’s almost 6 AM and she isn’t home? Her curfew was at 1 AM….and we might have extended that, if she’d given us a call…but she didn’t even call. I’m thinking three months, here.”

“Well Max is every bit as responsible for this as Liz. If it’s three months for her, it needs to be three months for him. Or actually, six months at first….then if they show some remorse….handle it maturely, we can talk about backing that off to three months maybe. What does everyone think about that?” Philip asked.

“That sounds quite reasonable, actually. Maybe if they don’t make a fuss, just acknowledge that they’ve been screwing up right from the start, we wouldn’t even have to go quite that far…..but what if they don’t? What if they don’t accept that…try to fight us on it.”

“Well, Jeff, then I don’t think we have any choice but to go for the whole punishment…and if they cheat on that…..they’ve got to understand…if they cheat on that even once, it’ll get worse.”

“What would be worse?” asked Nancy.

“Well we certainly can’t let them scoff at their punishments…either refuse to accept them or, worse, to lie and go behind our backs about them. If that were to happen, maybe it would be necessary to physically separate them. I mean, we could send Max to a boarding school, it wouldn’t have to be Liz.”

”No Phil, if that becomes necessary, I already have an application package for a school in Vermont…it really is very good academically, it’s for girls with…troubles. Drugs, alcohol, …inappropriate relationships…..it’s very strict, but it may be just the thing. Maybe only for a semester or two, just enough to break this up.”

"And one other thing," said Nancy. "Everyone has an understandable reluctance to publicly criticize the other couples kid, but ....well, we are all in this together. Liz has heard from her father and me that what she has been doing is unacceptable. We ARE her parents but sometimes....well, it's the old 'familiarity brings contempt,' sort of thing. I think it's important for the two of you to also let her know that it's not just her parents who consider her actions unacceptable. Maybe it will get through to her better if it's someone more disinterested...not just her parents talking to her."

"That's an excellent idea, Nancy," said Philip. "And that goes the same for Max. If I were the two of you, I'd flat out tell Max that you want your daughter to have nothing to do with Max ever, unless he can show he has appropriate respect for Liz and for the values you have taught her. His mother and I have always taught him to be respectful of young ladies...not that he's ever gone with one before Liz. But it needs to be brought home to him that truly caring about someone entails a respect for them that does not include even putting their reputation at risk, let alone being....licentious."

"So then everybody agrees about that...?" asked Jeff. "When it comes to laying it on the line....it doesn't matter if it is your kid or the other couple's kid,....you don't hold back. Nobody will have their feelings hurt because someone is tough on their kid.....we're just trying to keep them out of trouble and we need to do whatever it takes to get their attention? Agreed?"

"Agreed.."

"Agreed.."

"Agreed.."
Last edited by greywolf on Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:39 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:51 am

“Is there anything else we haven’t thought of?” asked Philip.

“Yeah. Cellphones. I’d really like it a whole lot better if we didn’t have the two of them having the ability to make plans behind our backs,” said Jeff Parker. “I realize half the kids at school have them, and they can probably borrow from their friends, but it’s just a little too easy now for Liz to go up in her bedroom, call Max in his bedroom, and make plans together, without us even having a chance to intervene. I’d rather the calls had to come in over the regular phone, where caller ID records will tell us if they’ve been violating their restriction on contacting each other. I think…..at least for the first three or four weeks, we ought to just confiscate their phones.”

“That sounds fair, Jeff. And while we are at it, I’m pulling the Jeep keys from Max. He’s going to be restricted to school and home for awhile anyway, and he can ride to school and back with Isabel. He needs to learn that if you can’t be trusted to follow the rules, you aren’t going to be trusted to do any adult things…and that includes driving a vehicle on the public streets. If he behaves himself for three or four weeks, he can earn his driving privileges back, but he needs to know that they are just that….privileges, not a right, and those privileges are conditional on responsible behavior.”

“Well, maybe that’s what it will take,” said Diane. “Clearly, the talk we had with him after I got called to the principal’s office didn’t have any effect on him. In less than a week, he’s staying out all night with Liz.”

“Which brings up another topic, Jeff,” said Nancy Parker. “What EXACTLY did they do tonight. Do we maybe need to consider a medical visit for some morning-after protection? I hate to think about that…but I’d hate to not think about it and wind up having to make even more difficult decisions in eight or ten weeks.”

“I honestly don’t see any choice but to at least ask Liz, Nancy. Even if nothing like that happened…that certainly is the kind of thing that can and does happen when children act like this. It might cause her to think a little bit more before doing something like this…even if nothing happened this time.”

“I agree, Jeff.” said Philip. “I know it is seldom enforced unless one of the two parties is an adult, but the age of consent in New Mexico is seventeen. Technically, BOTH could be prosecuted under the law if they had sex. They need to know that. It’s not just the four parents that disapprove…it’s the law of the state.
But certainly if they DID do something…..well, the sooner we decide how to handle it, the more options we have. Clearly, this would primarily involve the two of you since Max certainly isn’t going to get pregnant, and I don’t know what your opinions are about the morning-after pill, abortion, or anything else. But with as little judgment as they’ve shown lately, it’s very possible they did have sex, and if they have shown that little judgment as well…….well it certainly shouldn’t surprise us if they’ve failed to use any sort of protection.”

“Oh God, Philip,” said Diane, “I hope you are wrong. I would hope that Max is more responsible…and I’d dread having Liz have to make those sorts of choices if she did get pregnant.”

“Well it wouldn’t be Liz making the choices,” said Jeff. “If she’s managed to foul up her life THAT bad, she really doesn’t get a vote. Her mother and I would have to decide if she takes the morning-after pill or what. The important thing is…she has to tell us one way or another…and if she won’t…well, then we probably do need to take her in to the clinic…have her talk to the doctor, maybe even be examined if necessary, and find out what’s really going on.”

“Let’s just hope it hasn’t gone that far.”

”Nancy, I have nothing against hope…but she’s are only child. We need to be sure. If there is any doubt….well I think we need to take her in.”

“Jeff….whatever the monetary costs of this….it’s also Max’s responsibility. Just let us know and we’ll cover it, then think of some way for Max to repay whatever it has cost. He needs to take responsibility if he has done something wrong….and we’ll see that he does.”

“That seems more than fair, Phil…”

At that point Diane saw the black jeep turn the corner and come toward the Crashdown. “Well thank God they are alive at least, and not dead in a ditch somewhere.”

“Amen to that, Diane,” said Jeff Parker. “But now comes the hard part.”

“Amen to that too,” said Nancy Parker.



O6:25, the street in front of the Crashdown

“Any flashes?”

“No. And you?”

“Don't think so.”

“Max...everything that we did, everything we felt...was it...was it all just about this...this thing? You know, we don't even know what it is.”

“Yet.”

“Max, was it ever just about us? You and me? Because a person could feel like they just served their purpose. You know, like being used.”

“Is that what you think? Because you're not the only one who could worry about being used. I mean, some girls would give a lot to see themselves fly through outer space. You know, I'm sure it doesn't compare to other things you could be doing, like watching Kyle barf after a beer blast.”

“I can't believe you just said that.”

“Why not?”

“Because it really happened. “

“You're kidding me. “

“No. I swear. Last summer. It was a really hot night... “

“You know what? No, no...don't tell me. “

“Ok, so what you're saying is that you saved me from a life of watching Kyle barf. “

“Liz Parker...I don't think that was ever going to be your destiny.”

“No?”

“No.”

“Ok. Fine. If you know so much, then tell me, Max...what's my destiny?”

“I only know the part I'm hoping for.”

“Well, you think we can sneak back in without getting caught?”

“I hope so. We’ve both been in enough trouble with our parents lately. We probably need to try to give them a little more time to adjust to the two of us being a couple.”

“So we are really going to be a couple…for real? Not just trying to mine information about your planet from our collective psyches?"

He smiled and looked down at her. “Well, that was the part I was hoping for.”

She was smiling up at him as they entered the door together, holding hands, before dropping his hand to move away from him….but then her eyes saw his eyes widen as he looked at the table in front of them. Her vision quickly followed his….to the four parents staring at them in disapproval.

Instinctively her hand found his. Both drew courage from the touch as they narrowed the distance between them until their shoulders touched.

Diane Evans was doing her best to look stern as the two teenagers entered. Max looked up first, and his eyes went wide with sudden concern. Liz did the same, perhaps a second later. She had seen them kiss goodbye out in the jeep, and they had obviously been parting. But as she saw them grasp each others hand and close back together, Diane was disconcerted. Somewhere deep in her brain, it seemed like an alarm was going off.

But she didn’t have time to pay attention, she decided. It would take her full attention….the full attention of all of the parents, to insure that these two misbehaving children were brought back under control…..

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:15 pm

“You might as well sit down. We are going to be talking awhile,” said Jeff Parker.

It had seemed like a good idea to seat them next to each other, so they would be surrounded by a semi-circle of parents, for added intimidation. But as she saw them seem to huddle a little closer together before the hostile stares, Diane was no longer sure that the seating arrangement was THAT good an idea. But what was done was done. It was time to talk to them.

“Well Max,” his mother asked. “Would you care to explain just exactly what the two of you were doing staying out all night?”

Isabel had wanted for years to tell their parents the truth about where they came from. Max had never thought that was a good idea. But even if he had…here…before parents that were hostile….not to mention Liz’s parents….well NOW certainly wasn’t the time to do that. And that left no real alternative but to lie….like he’d been doing for a decade now.

“Mom…Dad.., we just went out for a drive…stopped to look at the stars…kicked back to point out various constellations…and….well, we fell asleep. That’s all.”

“Max. It’s late February. It damn near froze last night. Just how did you two fall asleep in a cold jeep and not wake up until morning?” asked Philip Evans.

Max seemed to be struggling for the right words. Liz tried to take him off the hook. It was successful only in allowing her to share the grief.

“We had a blanket. We just spread it out on the desert floor and laid there, looking up at the stars. It really wasn’t all that cold. We just sort of fell asleep, ..that was all. We’re sorry if it worried you.”

“So you believe it’s OK to go spend the night on a blanket with your boyfriend….that’s what you believe is appropriate conduct, Liz? Less than a week after I have to come bail you out from the principal’s office…less than a week after I caught you sneaking in the window of your room? I asked you then, Liz…I asked you if you were having sex with Max…”

“Mother…I already told you no….” Liz said, blushing with embarassment and looking back and forth between Max and his parents.

“You told me that you wouldn’t sneak out…wouldn’t stay out past curfew,….You told me a lot of things, Liz. But what you haven’t told me is why I should trust you when you obviously don’t keep your word.”

“Liz is telling the truth. We didn’t do anything…we just fell asleep.”

“Well son, that’d be a whole lot easier to believe if you hadn’t gotten detention for inappropriate contact with this young lady yourself. We are supposed to believe that you were unable to control yourselves in school surrounded by dozens of teachers and hundreds of classmates, but you went and spread out a blanket, laid down on it next to each other and…what…got BORED and fell asleep when there was only the two of you there? What kind of fools do you think we are, Max.”

“Look Dad…nothing happened. I mean…sure, we kissed a little, but NOTHING happened.”

“Max, curling up on a blanket next to my daughter and spending the night with her may be nothing to you…but it’s PLENTY to me. I can almost understand you not having respect for Liz, since she has been behaving with a complete absence of standards, but I explained to you when the two of you started dating what the rules were…the curfew…the standards expected. I don’t recall once saying it was alright to share the sheets with my daughter.”

“But we didn’t..”

“Listen you two. It’s time you understood that you don’t make the rules around here. Max, it’s your parents and Nancy and myself that make the rules….and because you’ve broken them, there are going to be some big changes in what you and Liz are going to be doing in the future. And you need to understand, son,…it’s because of YOU. She never acted this way before…not once. I can’t help it if you’ve never dated…if you have no self-control. But you aren’t going to be learning those skills on my daughter….or anything else.”

Liz was starting to do a slow burn.
She really had been ‘the perfect Liz Parker’ for most of her life. She had done everything they’d asked of her…and more. She had worked hard at school and at the Crashdown, and excelled at both. She had the best GPA in her class in Junior High and had the best GPA in her High School class,.....was odds on favorite to be valedictorian.

And it wasn’t that she didn’t realize that trying to keep Max’s secret…and to help him learn about his home world had caused her to do things that upset them. But she sort of figured that all the years of doing everything right would give her enough credibility that they would talk to her….not dictate to her. But they were her parents, and she would have put up with it even still…if they’d just treated her like that.

But there was her father, standing in the same spot she’d been standing almost five months ago…the spot where the bullet had entered her abdomen, the force of that slug knocking her back another three or four feet. She looked at the ceiling above her father, remembering that day.

The bullet…the impact had hurt, but only for a second….then she was on her back….nauseated…weak….she knew what had happened, and as she looked up at the ceiling…she knew that she was going to die….even before the ambulance could ever get there. It was like the room had gotten darker…her vision contracting to just the narrow area of ceiling above her. She was going into shock so quickly…the blood loss was too much…Maria couldn’t stop it…not the internal bleeding. The perfect Miss Liz Parker, age sixteen years…was not going to see her next birthday.

She remembered…more than anything else….the regret. All the things she had never done, all the things she thought she’d have time to do…now all over. And she remembered thinking of Max. He’d been her lab partner for three years and though she had always hoped he might be interested…..why had she never taken the initiative herself? Why had she never told him that she liked him? Sure, maybe he was shy…but why had she been so damn shy…so reluctant to tell him how she really felt.
And then…all at once…Max was there. Even through her shock, that had made her regret even worse, somehow. When she’d seen the pain in his big brown eyes….he had cared…after all.

She had been so glad he was there…so she wouldn’t be alone in her last moments of life….so she would know, wherever she was going, that it wasn’t just her that had regrets about things that they should have done, the things they could have shared. And then the words….. ‘Liz, LIZ! You have to look at me. You have to look at me.’ And with those words….well, it wasn’t just that her life had been saved but more….she had really started to live.

And now…,’ Liz thought, the slow burn threatening to catch fire, ‘….NOW Dad is standing there…on the same spot where I almost died….and he is saying terrible things about the person who saved me……the person that I love.’

"Dad...Mom.., don't treat Max like that...."
Last edited by greywolf on Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:40 am

“And how else should we treat him, Liz? Since the two of you started to go together, there has been nothing but trouble. You lie…you sneak out…, neither one of you can be trusted. And so you know what, Liz? We are going to do just what you do with little kids who can’t cope with temptation….we are going to keep the temptation away from them.

You are not to see Max for the next three months, do you understand? You will not go out with him, you will not talk to him on the phone, you will not speak to him privately or in public, except if it comes up in one of your school classes. You are being grounded, for the next three months. Your life will be school, work, and home.

And even after that, I’m not sure you two will be allowed to go out together. For that to happen,…well…you’ll have to earn back our trust…and as for Max….he’ll have to earn it back as well,” said Jeff Parker.

“Right now, Max is not welcome in our house and he’s not welcome in the Crashdown. See the sign that says, ‘we reserve the right to refuse service to anybody’? Well Max…, you are that anybody.”

Nancy Parker nodded in agreement. “I’m sorry,dear, but until you…until the both of you, learn a little self control, well we can just no longer trust you together.”

Liz looked at all four parents with tears in her eyes. Then she looked at her mother. “We had this conversation just a couple of days ago, Mom. Over sixteen years I did things your way, never gave you any trouble at all. But what if this time, just this once in 6000 days, I think differently than you? And what if …I’m right, and you are wrong?

What if how I feel about Max is right, and how you feel about him is …simply incorrect? What if I understand the kind of person he is…the character he has,…and you are mistaken? Why should I give up Max….just because you and Dad are wrong about him?”

Max looked at Liz, feeling intensely guilty. He had gotten them in to this, he and Isabel and Michael with their damn obsession to find out about their home planet.

He had used Liz, and his actions had led to this situation. Did he love Liz? Sure, he’d loved her since the third grade. But last night…had that passion even been real? Or just some alien memory aid to find that stupid orb. What was really important to him? Finding his roots? Or Liz Parker?

As he saw two of the people he loved most in the world staring at her with disapproval and two of the people she loved most in the world staring at her with disapproval, the answer came to him. She’d asked him once why he had risked his life, risked exposure that day to save her. He had replied simply, that it was her. The answer today was still the same. Liz was more important to him than his life, more important than where he came from, certainly more important than that stupid orb out in the jeep.

“Liz, you’ll do it because we say you will. You’ve proven you can’t handle the freedom we’ve given you so until you demonstrate you can, we are taking that freedom away.”

Max opened his mouth but before he could speak, Philip Evans chimed in.

“That goes for you too, son. You are grounded for the next 3 months. No dating…no outside activities at all. And you are not to even contact Liz. I want your cell phone, and I want you to take the jeep home immediately. I’ll expect the keys on my desk when I get home, you won’t be driving it for three months. You two are just too much of a bad influence on each other to allow this to continue.”

“I am afraid it’s necessary, son,” said Diane Evans. “You really haven’t been normal since this all started…”

The thought hit her then….normal? Max had really never been…normal, not since the very first day they brought him home. Almost eleven years now, and he had never really felt like he belonged….until these last few weeks…until Liz. It was like….he hadn’t really been a human being…just some sort of ….imitation….like something else...just pretending to be a human being….until he started going with Liz. It sounded like both kids had done what was expected of them their entire lives never really having anything they felt passionate enough to confront their parents over until they had found each other.

She looked at the girl…not just her appearance, but the fire in her eyes…the passion when she spoke about Max. What hold did she have over Max? She looked at Max….looked at her son, looked at the intensity with which he looked at her, looked at the anger he saw in Max’s eyes, Max who was never angry, whenever someone criticized Liz.

‘He’s…let her in. Whatever has been the problem all these years…the secret he could never share…he’s shared that with her.’

In its own way, that scared Diane Evans even more than teenage hormones running amuck. The latter the parents could understand, they’d pretty well experienced some version of that their own teenage years. But this was more frightening, somehow. Max had shared part of his soul with this girl, a part he could never bring himself to share, even with his own parents.

Somehow Diane knew, knew that the stakes were infinitely higher than any of the parents had believed. The bond between them was already far stronger than they had thought ……dangerously strong.

Can we break that bond? Or …when we try to break it…will something else break first?

“Mr. Parker…Mrs. Parker…Mom and Dad…I’m asking you to reconsider. I’m begging you to reconsider.”

Max took Liz’s hand in his as he continued, “I know you are upset and you have every right to be upset. Liz and I are new to this…..we haven’t handled it all that well. But we do care about each other…care deeply. This isn’t going to go away…not in three months…not in three years…and..” as he turned to look at her, smile at her…, “not in three lifetimes. Your daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Parker isn’t some wild out-of-control child, she’s kind and loving and intelligent…and the finest person I’ve ever met. I don’t know if I can live without her for three months…”

“I can’t live without you either, Max,” said Liz, the tears coming down her cheeks as she buried her head in his chest.

Alarm bells were going off in the heads of all four parents, and they should have been. Unfortunately, the bells were being badly misinterpreted. Philip Evans looked at Jeff Parker and saw his own near-panic reflected back. ‘Were the kids actually threatening a suicide pact?’ That really upped the ante.’

As the four parents talked about them in hushed whispers, Max and Liz looked at each other. Surely with those words, their parents would understand how much they meant to each other…how much they cared. Sure, they’d fouled up, and they certainly deserved some punishment, but surely after those words they’d realize that this wasn’t about sex….it was about caring, trusting, loving. How could anyone be against those things? All they really needed was another chance. They’d been making their parents proud all their lives, they’d make them proud about this as well, proud about how their children handled coming of age. Lost in each other’s eyes, they were certain it would all work out somehow, And both started to smile when Jeff Parker said, “OK, we now have a change of plans..”

But the smiles quickly faded as he continued…”Lizzy, we are taking you out of school and your mother will be flying with you to a boarding school tomorrow morning. You are not to contact Max, not to tell him where you are, that means no writing, no phone calls, no e-mail…nothing.”

“And you son, are to get the jeep home right now. Your mother and I will be here another ten minutes or so, and then we’ll be home and discuss your restrictions in detail with you at that time.”

Liz clung to Max in disbelief, “No…..no…Daddy….you can’t. Mom…don’t tell me to do this..”

“Liz, let go of Max. Right now. We are going to do this for the rest of the year. If you behave….show yourself worthy of our trust….we’ll see what happens…maybe you can come back to West Roswell for the next academic year. But you two both need a cooling off period, and you are going to have it.”

In the end, her parents had to almost pry Liz away from Max. As she went upstairs in tears, four sets of eyes looked at him in disapproval. He glared back. Whatever mistakes Max Evans had made, he decided, …well they hadn’t been nearly as bad as the one the four parents had just made.

Five minutes later Liz was upstairs lying on her bed, the pillow already soaked with tears. She was hurt...angry...just waiting to hear one of her parents come to that door. She was going to unload on them....going to tell them that she wasn't going to stand for this...that it wasn't going to happen. But she didn't hear them come up the stairs...didn't hear them open the door. Instead she heard a tap on her window....

She looked up from the pillow....

"Max...?"

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:48 pm

In defense of Diane and Philip Evans, they really didn’t understand the look on their son’s face as they saw him watch her leave to go up to her room. They had never seen him angry before. But when he turned and talked to her parents, there wasn’t a doubt in the mind of anyone in the room that Max Evans was a very unhappy person.

“I can’t believe the two of you,” he said to the Parker’s. “You have a daughter that is kind and good and pure and….and giving. I can understand you being mad at me, but the way you just crushed Liz…..how could you do that?”

“Max!” Philip started, but that was as far as he got as Max next turned to his parents, the same fire in his eyes.

“I know that I owe both of you…for taking me in…for caring for me for ten years…but you barely know Liz. But you still were part of this. That’s….inexcusable.” He walked toward the door of the Crashdown, shaking his head.

“Max…son….come back here. This isn’t over.”

He stopped in midstride and turned his head, but hesitated only briefly. “Yes it is, Dad. Yes it is…”

As the door closed behind him, the four parents looked at one another.

“Well THAT did not go particularly well,” said Nancy Parker.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen Max angry before, is he always that intimidating when he’s upset?”

“I don’t know,” said Diane. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him mad before.”

“Not EVER?” asked Jeff incredulously.

“No….never,” said Philip Evans, looking at the door that Max had left through. “How about Liz….I mean..how often has she fought you like that?”

The Parker’s looked back and forth at each other… “Well, …that’s really the first time for her…..the first time she’s really ever fought us over anything,”

“They can’t really be that close….can they? I mean, it’s only been eight weeks,” said Nancy.

“I don’t know about Liz, I guess I really don’t know Liz that well, but…..I think Max…….I think she really does mean that much to him,” said Diane.

“Well we had to stop it…..at least slow it down for a few years, didn’t we?” asked Philip.

“I don’t know, dear. We justified what we did by saying they didn’t have the experience to really understand the significance of what they were doing….but we just did something to them…..well we’ve never done anything like this either. They’ve never given us cause…….doesn’t that frighten anyone besides me?”

“So you think we may have gone overboard….gone too far?” asked Nancy.

“I’m not sure what we’ve done. This is new territory for us, an angry son lecturing his parents. He loves us…he’ll get over it eventually I suppose…..but I just don’t know.”

“Maybe we ought to call Max back, bring Liz back down, explain to them exactly what our concerns are and ask them what they believe an appropriate punishment is and how they can provide us assurances that they are going to control their own actions enough that we’ll be able to trust them together. I mean, it sounds like they’ve been pretty good kids for all these years,….maybe we should give them one last chance to be reasonable.” said Jeff Parker.

Three sets of eyes looked at him in surprise.

“I know,’ he said. “I’m kind of the one who was pushing this, pushing the boarding school. This all just frightened me so much, but I haven’t been able to get out of my mind what Max said just before he left, …that he could understand me being mad at him but to… ‘crush Liz’…., I mean….after he said that…after I thought…well, that’s what I did, really. I realized that …. after he told me…..but he realized it….as it happened.

I was worried about Max….worried about him hurting her. But Max was right...he wasn’t the one who crushed her tonight…..I was.”

“We all were involved, Jeff.” Said Philip. “We all thought it was the right thing to do at the time, You shouldn’t blame yourself. But ..maybe you’re right, maybe another chance is in order. I’ve never seem Max so upset. As much as I am disappointed in his recent behavior…well, maybe he has a right to be disappointed in ours, too. They aren’t bad kids….either one of them. Let’s talk to them.”

“Let me go get Liz.” said Nancy. “Give Max a call and get him back here. Let’s try to start this over fresh.”

Philip took out his cell phone.

“I just hope that he’ll come back. It worried me how he said that as he left…..that this conversation was over.”

“I’m sure when he calms down, Dear…” Whatever else Diane had to say was interrupted by the ringing of the cellphone next to Max’s chair. She looked at her husband suddenly, the fright apparent on her face.

“It may be OK…remember, I told him we wanted his cell phone. I’ll just call the house.”

He dialed and the phone was answered on the third ring. “Izzy, is your brother there? Well he should be any minute. Please have him call me, call me immediately, OK? Thanks darling.”

The worry was apparent at the table, but Diane tried to be positive. “I’m sure that he’ll call any minute.” But even this attempt to be hopeful succeeded only in sounding uncertain. Still, the three were holding it together pretty well until Nancy came back and said, “Liz is gone….”
Last edited by greywolf on Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:22 am

“Max..?” She went to the window and opened it. “What are you doing, Max?”

“Liz,…we need to talk.”

He was obviously upset…sad….resigned. She’d seen him like this once before, and she feared what was coming. It had been after the Crash Festival…when he said that they couldn’t have any kind of a relationship because they were…different.

She was sure what he was going to say….that this was all his fault…that him being ‘different’ had provoked this problem, and maybe it had. But it was something that could have happened to any teenage couple, it wouldn’t have had to have been about finding that orb. But as she looked into his big amber eyes she was certain what he was really thinking. Her parents had pretty well made it clear that he wasn’t welcome, …and that was without even knowing he was…alien.

She knew for sure that he wanted to break it off….sink back into his shell, once again become only an observer in the real world, and go back to living only for the hope that some day he’d be able to return to his home world. She had feared this would happen, from the moment she had seen their disapproving looks, when they’d come through the door together.

Liz was certain of that as she climbed through the window, crossed the deck, and went down the fire escape to the jeep below. Of course, she couldn’t have been more wrong…..



“What do you mean, ‘Liz is gone’?”

“Liz is gone, Jeff. As in empty room, open window…gone.”

“Well she can’t have gone far. She doesn’t have the car keys,” Jeff said.

“Unless she’s in a black Jeep,” said Diane.

That quieted the room down noticeably….but only for a few seconds.



The Jeep was parked in the parking area of the South Park Cemetery, just off SE Main Street…the in town portion of 285 South.

“It’s not your fault, Max.”

“Of course it’s my fault, Liz.”

“Max, it’s only natural that you’d want to find out about your world. I volunteered to help, you didn’t force me. It just all got blown out of proportion. “

“No, Liz. I was stupid. I played the martyr, the poor little alien boy who would never fit in, for my whole life. Then you let me in….and I couldn’t give up that role…wouldn’t give it up. This orb…..my ‘home’ world…it all means nothing to me Liz. YOU are my world.”

“Max..?”

“I knew it when I heard them say that they were going to separate us, Liz. As quick as that, I knew I was losing the most important thing in the….in ANY world to me.

It wasn’t bad enough all the years I deprived myself of what we could have had, because I never trusted….never believed you could love me. You almost had to die before I could let you in, but finally I HAD let you in….finally everything I’d dreamed about was coming true…and I pissed it away for a lousy alien football.

And right then I decided, knowing they were taking me away from you, right then I decided….my home world wasn’t important….getting my parents over being mad at me wasn’t important, there was only one thing that was important…it was you.”

“Max,..What are we going to do? I really think I would die of loneliness if I couldn’t see you. How can we make them change their minds?”

“I don’t know, Liz. They seemed pretty…determined. Nor do I think that us slipping out your window and driving out here is going to do much to convince them to not separate us….but I had to do it. I couldn’t let you go…not without knowing. Whatever happens, however long we are apart….you are my world.”

Liz knew they should go back…but this…this was really her dream.
From the moment he’d connected to her there on the floor of the Crashdown she’d known…known that he loved her. And after she’d hoped and prayed…after he had finally gotten over his fear enough to have a relationship….the alien stuff had gotten in the way.

Liz was pretty sure that Isabel and Michael’s reluctant approval to their relationship was due to the flashes…the hope that they could all find a way home. And that had scared her, far more than she’d been scared by the Sheriff. She was afraid that like Moses, when she finally made it to the promised land…she’d never get to enter.

The ultimate irony would be that Liz Parker would be the instrument by which Max Evans and company could…. leave Liz Parker forever..

And even now, even when she knew they should go back…throw themselves on their parents mercy, plead for forgiveness and another chance….she couldn’t bring herself to do it. Because Max had finally opened up…opened ALL the way up to her...not because he was seeking a way home, but because he was seeking her love.

She couldn’t take the chance that after a lifetime of denial, when he had finally seen the light, their parents would take it all away again.

She leaned her head on his shoulder, the tears gently coming down her face…tears of sadness and tears of great joy intermingled.

Perhaps it was as simple as that. She couldn’t bear to be without him right now…and he couldn’t bear to be without her right now.

She had no idea whatsoever how the problem with their parents would ever be resolved, but that wasn’t the priority right now. Right now they just needed to be together for awhile, and that would certainly NOT happen if they went back to the Crashdown.

“Let’s drive, Max.” she said. “We’ll think of something…somehow. I don’t know what. But right now….let’s just drive.”

Max didn't have a clue how to patch things up with the parents either, but it really didn't matter. He was sitting next to the person he loved, and the lady wanted to drive...so he'd drive.

The Jeep pulled back onto SE Main and continued southbound on 285.
Last edited by greywolf on Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:16 am

“Well we’ve got an APB out, so everyone in the county will be looking for them," said Sheriff Valenti.

“Well can’t you put up roadblocks or something?” asked Nancy Parker. “Check each car?”

The Sheriff shook his head sadly. “I’m sorry folks, but you have no idea how often this happens. I’m really cheating on standard operating procedure even doing this much, before they’ve been gone for 24 hours.”

The Sheriff looked up at the four worried faces. ‘Hell, it isn’t easy raising teenagers. Kyle was a good kid, but I’ve caught him drinking with friends a few times. It happens and if it happened with Kyle…would I follow SOP? Probably not.’

“Look, I’ll see what I can do. They were last seen going south on SE Main. That would put them southbound on either highway 2 or highway 285. Both of those roads come together just north of Artesia. I have some friends in the Artesia PD. They can’t do a roadblock but they can certainly stake out the road….look for a black Jeep with two teenagers. I‘ll do what I can.”

“Thank you, Sheriff,” said Jeff Parker and Philip Evans simultaneously.

An hour later the four parents were in the kitchen of the Evans house, interrogating Isabel.

“Honest, Dad. I knew they were going out last night…but I didn’t have any idea they’d stay out all night. And I have no idea where they might be now.”

In fact, Isabel was feeling kind of guilty about last night. She and Michael had both encouraged that…using Liz to try to find out about their home world. But they’d never anticipated….this. And it certainly wasn’t the time to bring up to four parents that were already freaked that Max’s sister and friend had been…well, kind of egging him on.

“I still can’t believe,” said Philip Evans, “that Max could do something like this…..with a girl he’s only really known for the last eight weeks.”

Diane picked up the widening eyes and furtive look on Isabel’s face.

“Isabel…what aren’t you telling us?”

“Uh..nothing, Mom.”

“Isabel!”

“Well Mom…it’s just that….well, Max has been in love with Liz since third grade….his first day at school. And Liz…well Maria says she’s had a crush on Max since seventh grade….I mean, they’ve been lab partners in all their science classes for the last three years. It’s hardly like they are strangers…”

‘Oh shit!….’ Thought four parents simultaneously, ‘Where was THAT information this morning…’

User avatar
greywolf
Roswell Fanatic
Posts: 1999
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 12:08 am

Post by greywolf » Sun Dec 31, 2006 12:04 pm

After 20 minutes going south they were halfway to Artesia. Max pulled off 285 at the Sagebrush Valley road exit to get fuel. Liz went in for some snacks. Both of them seemed a little queasy. It was probably just nerves, but neither had eaten since dinner the night before. Maybe it would help.

Max saw the New Mexico State trooper come off the offramp and cross the road to park on the onramp. It was just a speed trap, designed to generate revenue for ‘the Land of Enchantment,’ as New Mexico called itself. The APB wouldn’t actually go out for another 10 minutes.

But it worried Max, knowing he’d have to go past the patrol car to re-enter 285. Then he simply shook his head.

‘When you don’t know where you are going to begin with, Max,’ he told himself, ‘it’s no big deal to change your plans…

When Liz got back in the Jeep he turned it around and went west on New Mexico 13. The sign said 94 miles to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

Twenty miles south on 285, just north of Artesia, the police car would watch all day for a black jeep with two teenagers in it. Let’s hope they have a lot of doughnuts…


It’s hard to talk with someone in an open top jeep doing 55 miles per hour. The engine noise is kind of loud, but the wind noise is even worse. And it’s cold in February in the high desert, down to freezing in the early morning, and only reaching to the low sixties in the early afternoon.

The two sat side by side, the bucket seats and heavy jackets keeping them from any semblance of closeness, as they each became lost in their own thoughts.

Well Liz,’ she said to herself, ‘it’s an easy choice to make. You can’t go back. It’s not that you wanted this…at least, not this soon…but the alternative is far worse. There really just isn’t any ‘normal’ to go back to now. You never planned on running off with Max.

Sure, you love him, but up until this morning it seemed pretty obvious that finding his home planet was certainly a higher priority to him than you were. And while it’s great that he suddenly committed to you…and commited to embracing the human side of himself…there were going to be dates and school dances and going to athletic games together, and months and even years before you were ever going to leave home.

But you’ve crossed the Rubicon now, girl. Because all of those things went away, as soon as Mom and Dad said boarding school
.”

Liz sighed. ‘It’s funny how important your parents are….even if they aren’t there. Because really, everything you are isn’t just you and your experiences…but it’s molded by what they taught you.'

She’d read a book on child development, and knew what that was called, ‘Internalizing parental values.’ And really, there wasn’t much she didn’t agree with them about…except Max.

And I think they’d even agree with me about him too, if they knew the truth……but I can’t tell them…not now….probably not ever. Even when Max told me….even after he saved my life…after we connected and I saw how he felt about me….even then I freaked for awhile. So right now they already hate him….fear him….if I told them about him now….they’d really freak… call the Sheriff….or the FBI. I don’t see how I ever can go back.

Liz looked out into the desert. Somehow an old song came to her, she had forgotten the name, but the refrain had always stuck in her mind….

‘But it's all right now
I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can't please everyone
So ya got to please yourself

Lot-dah-dah (lot-dah-dah-dah)
Lot-in-dah-dah-dah’


Except, of course, it wasn’t all right. It would never be all right again with her parents. She shouldn’t have had to choose between Max and her parents...Max and her whole life in Roswell with her friends and….everything she’d ever known. It wasn’t fair.

But then her eyes suddenly widened. ‘But that’s the choice that Max had. ... He had to choose between his life and me….back when I was laying on the foor of the Crash… bleeding to death. And he didn’t hesitate….he chose…me.’


She looked at the young man in the seat next to her and wondered, ‘Can I really do any less, now? It's pretty clear that I can't please them....maybe I should just please myself....myself and Max.’

Locked