Deliver Me -[AU M/L] ~{COMPLETE}~

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Hopeless Romantic
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Deliver Me -[AU M/L] ~{COMPLETE}~

Postby Hopeless Romantic » Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:50 am

Deliver Me

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Thanks to DropChica for the Amazing Banner!!
*just a note: i LOVE banners. so there will be more than one for this fic that will be shown at appropriate times. Thanks to any one who makes them and if you want to just send them to me!*

Summary: The only thing you need to know is that this will be different, but also the same. Roswell is divided into two sides: East and West. Max is a West-Sider and Liz is an East-ie. He's been in love with her since third grade, and at a fight she becomes in danger and then EVERYTHING changes.
Dedication: To my super fantastic beta Rae!! And to the love of my life.
Disclaimer: I own the idea, but nothing to do with Roswell. I don't own the songs, especially my inspiration for this story: Deliver Me by Sarah Brightman
Author's Note: I'm going to try *TRY* to get parts up consecutively every week. I'm thinking I'll be posting every week on a certain day. I can be a slacker because RL gets in the way and Muses are hard to come by these days, but I'll try. I REALLY want to finish this story. It's going to be a long one! So, be prepared. This is a POV fic- it alternates between Liz and Max equally. EXCEPT for the prologue and epiloge which will be No POV. Anyway other than that just ENJOY!!

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Prologue- No POV

In the town of Roswell, New Mexico, hate was a word that was heard all too often. Hate was a word that drove people apart, that got people hurt, that killed. It’s hard to imagine why a small town would get so caught up in hate as it did, but when you’re in a small town, things that usually aren’t that big of a deal become the most important thing.

It was a cold September night, at a football game where everything begins. The West Roswell Meteors were playing the East Roswell Comets in the town’s first game of the season. This wasn’t just a simple game. The winner would have bragging rights over the other side of town for weeks until they played each other again. Each team was fighting for this win, because the competition between the two schools, and in fact the whole town, came down to this.

There were other sports that the schools delighted in winning at, but football was big. The whole town came to this game. As Liz Parker looked around, screaming fans of blue and gold matched the uniform she currently adorned, while the other side of the stands was filled with black and red. It seemed a little strange to her, that the entire town would support this ongoing fight between the two schools. Considering they were alumni and proud parents, they fought back just as hard, which is why this war between the two sides would probably never end, unless something drastic happened.

“This is crazy,” she breathed silently, scanning the stands for familiar faces. A girl with fiery red hair, who was standing next to her, nodded as she pulled her leg back to stretch it.

“I know,” she replied, “and to think we stand here and cheer for it is beyond me.” Serena Wilson had hated the cheerleading squad the second she and Liz had made it on the team. “Remind me again why we do this?” she asked.

Liz tried to remember their reasoning for joining this act of hypocrisy. Last year things like cheerleading had been important, because that meant making a name for yourself. Having a name for yourself gave you some protection. And as girlfriend of Sean Andrews, the captain of the football team, and her best friend, Liz and Serena were given that protection.

This might be in high school, but things still get out of hand. “It’s expected of us,” Liz finally replied to her friend. That was the answer whether they liked it or not. They had chosen to be cheerleaders during freshman year and now they had to live with it. The worst thing about this rivalry was the groups, because once you got in you never got out.

Liz finished her stretches without another word, and waited silently for the game to start. She straightened her blue and gold uniform and pulled her high ponytail just a little tighter.

Serena knelt down next to Liz, noticing the gaze of a certain football player directed at her best friend. Liz was oblivious and had no idea that the guy spent half his time staring at her. “By the way, Max Evans is staring at you again,” she whispered, cocking an eyebrow and turning her head in his direction.

Liz’s shocked face turned around and looked toward the field, she found Max’s number, 17, and caught his eye quickly before his head finished turning around as he scanned the crowd. She looked back at her friend, not noticing when his gaze returned to her. “No way, Serena,” Liz said quickly, shaking her head. “That’s so in your imagination.” She stood up and wiped off her skirt. “Max Evans?” she replied, gesturing her head in his direction. “This?” she said, pointing at her chin with a shake of her head. “I don’t think so.”

Serena couldn’t help but smile at her friend’s modesty. Liz wouldn’t notice a guy’s attention if it ran her over. She was only with Sean because he had practically forced her to go out with him. There really wasn’t denying the leader of their group. “And with those cute cheeks and that smile!” Serena gushed.

“Serena!” Liz exclaimed, pulling her face from her friend’s grasp. “Besides, even if he was, I’m with Sean, and Max is a west-sider, the LEADER of the west-side to be exact. He could have any girl he wanted on his side. You think he would come for me?” Liz asked incredulously. “I think your ponytail is pulled too tight.”

“Whatever you say, Liz.” Serena just turned away with a knowing smile, and watched as her best friend snuck a look at a certain football player.

Max Evans turned his head every few seconds to get another look at Liz on the sidelines. Sure, she was cheering for the opposite team, but it didn’t matter to him. He’d been in love with her since he was in third grade and had moved to this small town with his parents and younger sister, Isabel. They had lived on the east side then, but when his grandpa had died, Max’s dad inherited a small restaurant on the west side of town called the Crashdown and the Evans family had been forced to move.

Max wasn’t stupid; he had known then what moving was going to do for his chances with Liz. It was going to make them even more nonexistent than they already were. There was no way he’d ever be able to date an “east-ie” once he became a “west-sider” but there was nothing he could do. So, he moved, and things took a big change for him.

For Max Evans the hate of this town pulled him in the second he had crossed sides, the second his family had moved. Pulled in by the need for popularity his sister harbored, he was put on the football team, made captain in his sophomore year, and for some reason people started to acknowledge him as the boss.

Max Evans, who hated any attention of any kind, was now transformed into a person who had to show other people who was boss, lead fights for the preservation of the West side’s pride, and basically be alone, even though he was surrounded by people. As much as he hated it, he was the center of a world where there were no friendships; there were rules to live and die by, and the people who enforce them. Sadly, he was forced to be one of them.

Watching Liz from the field, Max couldn’t help but wonder how things would’ve turned out if he had stayed on the east side. He was so caught up in looking at her, his mind running wild as she stretched, that he didn’t notice someone standing right next to him.

“Stop staring,” the figure said. “You’re embarrassing yourself.” Max looked up to find probably the only person he could call a friend in this world.

“Hi, Michael,” he replied. “I wasn’t staring. I was glancing. There’s a difference.”

“Not when you’re glancing for ten minutes straight, then it’s staring buddy, sorry.”

Max shot his friend a glare. He was probably the only person who knew about his feelings for Liz, and he took every opportunity he could to tease him mercilessly about it. This was how he knew Michael was a true friend. If anyone else found out about his feelings for Liz he would probably be beaten up and outcast from their “society” which some days didn’t seem like such a bad idea, but it would ruin his sister, and as annoying as she was sometimes, he did love her and wouldn’t do that to her. She wasn’t the only one at risk; his parents were too, as well as the restaurant.

“Ready to play?” Michael asked, grabbing his helmet from near Max’s feet and turning towards the bench to where the coach was calling the players in.

Max knew what was at stake here. They had to win this game or the east side would rub it in their faces for months. If they didn’t win, there was a chance that something bad could happen to, in an attempt to restore the west-side’s pride people could get hurt. While Max acted like he supported the fighting and rivalry, the last thing he really wanted was for someone to get hurt, especially someone he cared about.

“You know it,” Max replied, grabbing his own helmet and running to the bench with his friend, but not until he shot one more look at Liz. He watched as her boyfriend Sean walked up to her and she awkwardly gave him a good luck kiss. Max cringed, wondering what she was doing with a jerk like Sean, and wishing for the millionth time that it were him.

~~~~~~~~
TBC... Feedback always helps get parts out!!
Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Sat Jul 10, 2004 10:24 am, edited 48 times in total.

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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:14 pm

AUTHOR'S Note: Ok I know I said I was going to update tomorrow but I couldn't help it! I'm updating Now! I'll probably update again in 3-4 days. I have to send the Chapter to my Beta and the next one is a BIG one! Hope you enjoy this Ch. Thanks for all the feedback!

What is "A West Side Story"? What's it about?

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Part One- Liz's POV

When the game ended, I shoved my sneakers into my duffel and pulled the zipper closed. Our team had been victorious with a 21-17 win, and now that the game was over, Serena and I were getting ready to leave. I just hoped that Sean wouldn’t be in the mood to celebrate or it would be a while until got home, which wasn’t good because I had a lot of homework for tomorrow.

“Ladies,” the team’s captain, Cameron said, getting our attention, “we have practice tomorrow after school. Don’t be late, and make sure you bring in your fund-raising money that you all should’ve collected. Each person is expected to bring $75, no matter what.”

My money was sitting at the bottom of my bag so I wasn’t worried. I had gotten most of my family to buy it at the last family gathering we had. We always got together at least once a month, whether it be for a birthday or a holiday or whatever. All my aunts, uncles, and cousins would meet up and spend time together. That was the one thing I loved about having a big family, especially because it was just my mom and I at home. I waited to see if Cameron was done, and then looked at Serena, who was currently looking at me with a worried look on her face.

“You forgot didn’t you?” I asked. I knew she had, so I don’t know why I bothered to ask, but when I did Serena nodded and shrugged it off. She stood and pulled her duffel onto her shoulder.

“It’s no biggie,” she replied. “My dad will give me the money.” I shook my head, knowing I was giving her a look. She always got out of everything. She was lucky her dad was the town mayor otherwise I don’t know how she would survive. I stood up, so ready to get out of here. With a look to Cameron, who nodded at me, Serena and I walked off the field.

“Let’s get out of here,” I said as we walked to my car. “I need to get home.” That was an understatement. I was so sick of these games and this damn charade that had become my life. We made our way to the parking lot, which was a short distance away from the actual field itself. We had to walk through this gravel lot that was filled with picnic tables and barbeque paraphernalia. It was actually a really cute area, and was supposed to be a huge park, but no one ever came unless it was for a game.

As we walked through the field, I could see a big group of people standing around the open lot. I couldn’t see what was happening from as far away as we were. I wanted to know, hoping it wasn’t a fight, but was distracted when two figures walked up beside us. “Official guards, reporting for duty,” they said.

I looked at my two other best friends and couldn’t help but smile. Kyle Valenti and Alex Whitman had been friends with me since before I could even remember. Serena and I had met Alex in fourth grade but didn’t become friends with him until fifth, and Kyle and Alex had always come in a pair. Both of them guaranteed a good time, which is why the four of us had stayed best friends throughout everything. We always had the best time together.

But at the words that came out of Kyle’s mouth, my mind was brought back to the group of people and I knew something was up, something that wasn’t going to be a good time. A fight was going to break out. I should’ve known that this would happen. The west side was probably really pissed that they had lost the game, and the side that lost always had to do something about it to get some of their “pride” back. It was completely stupid, but true.

The first thing that I thought of was Max, which actually surprised me. I knew that he was the leader of the west side, and that if there were a fight he would no doubt be in the center of it. For some reason, the fact that my boyfriend would be in the middle as well didn’t concern me as much. Then again, that wasn’t too surprising. I wasn’t really with Sean because I actually wanted to be.

“Not again, Kyle,” Serena said from beside her, obviously coming to the same conclusion that I had reached. I watched as Kyle put his arm around her and gave her a quick kiss. They had been dating since freshman year, and the two of them as a couple made me really happy for both of my friends. Kyle was probably the most genuine guy you would ever meet along with Alex and Serena was practically my sister. It was perfect that my two favorite people in the world would end up together.

“Alex and I aren’t even going to be in the fight,” he assured her, grabbing her hand. “We’ll be right here with you and Liz. We have orders to make sure you two don’t get hurt.” Kyle shot a look at me.

“And just who gave you that order?” I asked. I felt myself scowl. I hated when Sean did things like this.

“As if you didn’t know, your loyal boyfriend, leader of the east side, requests that we keep you safe. We just sorta threw you into the deal, Serena.” Alex told us, earning him a nice punch on the arm from her.

“As if I can’t take care of myself,” I remarked and rolled my eyes. Sean thought he was doing something noble by sending someone to baby sit. It made me really mad.

We reached the big group of people. I could see the east side people standing all around me, and across the lot, a big group of west siders were standing and watching them. I tried to look for Max but I couldn’t see him anywhere. He wasn’t where he should be at a fight, which was talking to Sean. Instead, the person at the head of the group was someone I didn’t really know. I knew his name was Todd Malamud or something like that but I wasn’t sure. I had seen him around once or twice with Max, but he didn’t really stick out. At the moment though, he and Sean were standing in between the two groups, arguing about something.

I watched the people who weren’t in the middle; each of them had a look of hatred on their faces. Each of them was waiting for the chance to kick the shit out of a west sider. As I scanned the group of people it was then that I noticed Max. He was running toward the center of the group. He had a look on his face that I had never seen before. When I heard him call out Todd’s name I knew that something was wrong.

Everything happened in slow motion as Todd turned to look at Max, and then turned back to Sean. With a menacing smile on his face, he pulled his arm back, taking the first swing and knocking Sean right in the eye.

What happened after that happened so fast it’s hard to remember what came first. People from both sides rushed at each other so quickly that I was pulled in with them. I couldn’t even see Serena, Kyle, or Alex anymore. We had been separated, and I was alone. To be completely honest, I was scared shitless. I knew about the things that happened in fights like these. I had seen the aftermath when kids walked into school the next day with neck braces on and we all cursed the west side. I had never been in the middle though, and I wanted to get out.

The people around me were finding the first enemies they could see and going after each other as if their lives depending on it. Girls were pulling at other girls’ hair; boys were sending punches flying at other boys’ faces. It was madness. I could hardly see in the darkness, and I couldn’t even distinguish between who was on my side and who wasn’t. I had no idea how any one else was doing it.

I did know one thing was for sure. I needed to get out of here.

I heard my name called. Hoping it was Serena I turned around but no one that I recognized was there. I was aware that it wasn’t Serena though, because it had been a guy’s voice. I had no idea who’s though, because it didn’t sound like Kyle or Alex. I shrugged it off and kept moving trying to figure out exactly where I was. I tried standing on my toes to look for the edge of the trees. I knew my car was parked just beyond them, and if I could make it there I would be all right.

I took my first step, moving quickly around two girls, one of which was in a headlock as the other girl hit her in the face. The girl was desperately trying to grab hold of her attacker’s hair or clothes to try to get her off but she couldn’t. I watched in horror, wishing that I could do something, but I knew I couldn’t.

I had to force myself to move away from them. I was getting closer to the edge of the forest, and thanked god as I saw the trees getting nearer to me. I didn’t expect it when a fist came out of nowhere, causing me to duck as it almost collided with the side of my head. My breath whooshed out of me and I fell to the ground trying to catch it.

“I’m going to get killed,” I said to myself, ignoring the pain I got as the gravel beneath me scraped into my knees.

My palms were spread on the floor and I had a feel that someone was going to come out of nowhere and crush them, but I couldn’t get myself to move again. The impact of what I was in the middle of dawned on me and stopped me in my tracks.

I just couldn’t understand how people could be this way. How could people feel this much hatred? The looks in their eyes as they deliberately beat another person were enough to make me doubt the goodness in all of them. I didn’t know if a truly good person could actually hit another without remorse.

I wanted to get out of here. I wanted to stand up and go home and never think about this again. Being in the middle of something like this was finally making me see it clearly. Someone was going to get seriously hurt one day if this wasn’t stopped. I just prayed that it wouldn’t take someone getting hurt to make people realize what they were doing.

One thing was for sure; I knew I couldn’t just sit there, no matter how much I wanted to. Lifting myself off my knees, I stood and started moving towards the trees again. They were my focus. I was pushing past people, dodging fists and legs, but I hardly noticed. The only things I could see were the trees.

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

It was the sound of that cold voice that assured me I was in bigger trouble than I could imagine.

~~~~~~~~~

TBC! Dun Dun Dun! Tune in SoOn to find out how far Todd will take things!
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:09 am

Important! Author's Note: Thanks for all the great feedback! Im really glad you guys like this! This was Originally after Liz's Second POV, but I moved it to before that part. To explain, it was Prologue, Liz POV, Liz POV, Max POV, Max POV. Now it's Pro, LP, MP, LP, MP. K? So if you read it before, just read it again or don't worry about it because it works both ways I just like it better this way. K... Enjoy!

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Part Two- Max POV

I knew something bad was going to happen even before it did. When I walked off that field, as the scoreboard mocked us with the numbers on it, I just knew. It wasn’t like it would be the first time that it would happen. It wasn’t like people weren’t expecting it. It just sucked to know, especially since I was going to be the one to start it.

That’s right, as the leader of the west side I’m in charge of making sure people get hurt. It isn’t a fun job. It isn’t even a job I wanted. I never asked to become a part of this madness that everybody seems to live through.

To start at the beginning, I used to be an east-ie. When I was eight years old we moved here from Florida, and we lived in a nice two-story house on the east side. I went to East Roswell Elementary school and fell in love on the first day. I know it seems kind of unbelievable that I would fall in love at such a young age, but it happened.

I’ve been in love with Liz Parker since third grade, and nothing has changed that.

I moved to the west side right before high school. My sister Isabel was obsessed with popularity and insisted that I try out for the school’s football team. I had been pretty good in middle school, but I knew what came along with high school football. I knew the reputation of those guys and I didn’t really want to be one of them.

Always manipulative, my sister got my parents to force me to do it. She told them it would be a good way for me to adjust. My parents always came up with a lot of ways to get me to adjust; they loved it. Isabel knew it, so she told them and the next thing I knew I was wearing a uniform and people were acknowledging me in the halls. Every time I threw a touch down pass I got more and more popular. It wasn’t until sophomore year when things got really far.

See, when you’re in high school things are different. A sophomore boy making captain of the Varsity football team was a big deal to these people. I had no idea why, but it was. The second our coach announced it I knew there was going to be trouble. The next thing I knew I was the new leader. People were following me around, asking me for advice, and skirting around me in the hallways in case I did something mean. I have no idea where they got that idea, though.

I hated it. The only part I liked was watching Todd Malamud, another senior, seethe with anger every time I got to make a decision and every time I got referred to as “the boss” or something stupid like that. He was supposed to be next in line for captain when Kevin Jones left. We played in the championship game together, and each of us played our best, but in the last five minutes of the game Todd fumbled and the other team intercepted it.

I was made the leader, but I’ve gotten the feeling that every time there’s a fight or a game, he’s always trying to mess me up. It’s getting to the point where it’s becoming obvious to other people, a fact that brings me back to my point.

Knowing what was going to happen made me wait a little longer to talk to my coach. It made me take off my uniform a little slower in the locker room even after most of the people had left.

Michael stayed with me. He always stayed with me. He became permanently attached to my hip in 9th grade and for the past years we’ve been best friends. Finally done undressing, the two of us were headed to a place I’ve named “the circle.” There’s no particular reason for it, I just thought it should have a name. It got annoying calling it the place with the trees and barbeques and tables and stuff. It is shaped in a circle so why not?

“So, what’s going to happen tonight, man?” Michael asked me. I wanted to tell him that I was going to go home and go to sleep, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen so I figured the truth would be okay.

“You know what’s going to happen. It happens every time.”

“Well, usually you’re the one starting it.” I didn’t know what that comment meant. Yeah, I was the one who always started it. Was something going on that I didn’t know?

“What do you mean, Michael?”

He shrugged, a typical Michael response. I shot him a look so he answered. “It’s nothing really. It’s just been starting to look like Todd’s ready to jump the gun and do it for you.” Of course it would be Todd. He’d try to make it seem like I wasn’t a good enough leader because I couldn’t start fights fast enough or something like that. The guy was a little twisted. Who knew what he could come up with to get what he wanted. “He made some weird comment today, too.”

I hate when Michael would say things like this as if they aren’t important. I feel like smacking him when it happens. He’s implying first that Todd wants to take my spot. Then, that Todd has said something weird, which I probably need to know, and he acts like it’s not important.

I watched Michael as he kept walking. He obviously had no intention of telling me what Todd said unless I asked. He knew I was going to ask too. Have I mentioned that I hate it when he does this?

I tried not to humor him by asking what the comment was. I pretended that I didn’t care, and I walked on without another word. I couldn’t keep my mind off it though. It bugged me in the back of my mind and I had to ask.

“What did he say?”

“What?”

“Todd. What did Todd say?”

“What are you talking about man?”

I was this close to punching him again. He knew exactly what I was talking about. He was just trying to see how badly I wanted to hear it. I grabbed his arm and stopped him, coming to stand right in front of him.

He smirked at me. “Wow, you almost held out about two minutes without asking what I was talking about,” he said. “I think that’s your all time record.”

“Just tell me, Michael.”

As much as I loved to joke around with him, I was tired. The game had been a tough one, and now the fact that I had to start a stupid fight weighed on me so heavily it practically dragged me down. I wasn’t in the mood for games.

Michael could obviously tell, because the smile on his face disappeared, and he got serious.

“You know the kid's all talk, Max. Why do you care?”

“I just want to know!” I said loudly. I don’t know why I made such a big deal about it. Maybe it was because I had this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Maybe it was because I had seen the way Todd had acted all night, the way he had looked at me, and the way he had looked at the other side.

I had a feeling he was being serious today, and it was my job to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid, or at least anything that would seriously hurt someone.

“He said something like, ‘I’m gonna hit the east side where it hurts. I’m going to make an example out of one of their defenseless and show that not to mess with us anymore’. That was all he said,” Michael told me.

I didn’t know what that would mean. Well, I knew what it meant, but I couldn’t figure out what he meant by it. I stared at Michael for a few more seconds, and then it came to me. He was going after a girl, and he was going to make an example. He was going after the leader’s girlfriend, which meant one thing.

Liz was in more danger than she could imagine.

Once I knew what was about to happen, my feet carried me so fast, I could hardly see where I was going. All I knew was that I had to get to Liz. I had to stop Todd.

I could see the group of people. They were a few yards away from me, so I picked up the speed. I was out of breath when I finally got there. I could see Todd, he stood in the middle of the circle; he was in my place. Normally, I would’ve been the one standing there with Sean, about to start things by taking the first punch.

I tried to find Liz first, but I couldn’t see her in the mass of people. I knew that if I couldn’t get to her first then he would, and I knew I could not let that happen.

“Todd!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. People all around me watched as I pushed through them as I tried to get to the middle of the circle. “Todd, stop!” I yelled again. I didn’t know if he could hear me at first, and was about to yell even louder when he looked at me.

His head turned slowly, and his eyes met mine. I almost breathed a sigh of relief, but when I saw his lips turn up in a smirk, I knew I was in trouble. He turned back to Sean, pulled his arm back and swung. I was pulled in with the rush of people as they came to meet each other in the middle.

I was almost knocked down, but my mind was on one thing and one thing only. I had to get to Liz before it was too late.


~~~~~~~~~
TBC... Look for an update on Wedsnesday (or Tuesday!) If ur lucky!!! Whatd you think? By the way I LOVE long feedback :wink:
Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:24 pm

Thanks for all the feedback! Ok, this is a big scene! It was originally posted before the first Max POV but now it's here. Enjoy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part Three - Liz POV

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

I didn’t realize it until it was too late. His hand gripped me right above my elbow and squeezed hard. I didn’t know who it was at first, but when I trailed my gaze up his arm and to his face, I was certain.

“If it isn’t Liz Parker,” he said with that familiar malicious grin. There was something in his eyes I had never seen before. I had seen a diminished version in the eyes of the other people that night, but there had been no one as bad as the person who had had me in his grasp. The pure venomous hatred in his eyes told me this was the last place I wanted to be.

"Todd, what are you doing?” I asked desperately, and tried to pull my arm from his grip. “Let me go.”

I'd known immediately what type of guy Todd was, even if I hadn't known him at all. He was the type that did whatever he had to in order to get what he wanted. I knew he would stop at nothing to insure that his side got their pride back. He would use any means necessary to show us that we couldn’t mess with them. That was why I needed to get away from him; I knew he would use me to do this.

“I’m going to show them, Liz. I'm going to show them that no one beats the west side. They haven’t been listening lately, but maybe we just haven’t been saying it in the right way.”

With his free hand, I watched fearfully as he reached into the pocket of his jeans. I knew what was wrapped in his fist the second he pulled it out. He brought it up to my face, the cold metal sent chills down my spine. Without warning, he pushed a button and a blade swung out; it missed my cheek by inches.

“What are you doing, Todd?” I desperately tried to pull my arm from his hand but his grip was too firm, curled so tightly I had begun to lose circulation. “Todd, stop!” I yelled, hopeful that someone would hear me. I knew I wasn’t going to get away without someone’s help, but no one had been paying attention. I had no idea how far he would go, and that was the thing that had scared me the most.

He trailed the blade up and down my arm. He moved it over my hip, tracing a swirl at the bone before he trailed further. With a dark look in his eyes, he traced it around my left thigh, paused and then pushed it flat between my legs. I grimaced, but didn’t give him any satisfaction with the knowledge of how he was affected me.

The blade reached my stomach; right below my bellybutton. I knew because I stared right at it. My eyes looked up at Todd, filled with pain and confusion. The thing running through my mind was how ironic this situation had been: Was I going to die simply because I was Sean’s girlfriend? I would have made a good example. Why don't they stab the leader’s girl and then maybe people will pay attention. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even like Sean. When he had asked me to go out with him the only reason I had agreed was because I had known I’d be protected from things like this!

“It’s time to prove a point, Liz.”

I waited for the pain to come. In a second I would actually feel my life drain from my body. Todd’s hateful eyes stayed connected with mine as he applied pressure to my stomach. He went slowly on purpose. He wanted me to feel every second of it.

I couldn’t believe I was going to die. There were so many things that I had wanted to do, so many people I wanted to talk to before I left. I had wanted to see my grandmother, because I knew she would help me in all of this. She would have say something really smart and I would wonder why I had never thought of it before.

And Kyle and Alex, what would I have done if I never saw them again? I needed them to make me smile. They would make me laugh until it hurt and I wouldn’t be able to think about what had been about to happen. I wouldn’t be able to think about dying. There was Serena too. My best friend since diapers and I was supposed to leave her alone. I could never leave her; she’d kill Alex and Kyle before the week was up if she was stuck with them by herself. We were supposed to be best friends forever. Sixteen years was not a long enough forever.

The last thing I could think of was Max. His small, half-smile that he would use sometimes, the one that made me go weak. Those eyes, the ones I could stare into for hours. The saddest part was that I had never had the chance to do that. Max and I had never gotten the chance to be together. I hadn’t known if he ever thought about me, but as a girl I was entitled to have different fantasies. Out of all of them, he was my favorite one. He was so quiet and nice, even in a role where he couldn’t be. I had never really given him much thought before that night, but now, as I stood there about to be stabbed, all the “what-ifs” ran rampant through my mind.

I had known my last thought would be of him. I closed my eyes, ready for it to come. I would be that sacrifice that hopefully would end all of this hatred. They would see what it could lead to and stop. My death would save someone else.

The next thing I knew, my eyes were open, as the pressure from my stomach disappeared. Todd clutched his head, and rolled on the ground in pain. I stared at him for about a half second before I felt myself flying. I no longer touched the ground, I knew that for sure, but I didn’t know how. I cried out in pain when I found the ground again, felt it scrape against my bare legs and arms. I had been pushed out of the way, saved by someone, and I didn’t know who.

My eyes had yet to open, but I was aware that when I opened them, I would find out who had been my savior. I don’t know why I had kept them shut. The shock of what could’ve happened, and the scare of practically sailing through the air made me feel sick and kept them shut. It wasn’t until I heard a soft voice that I forced myself to open them.

“Liz, Liz! You have to look at me. Liz, you have to look at me. Open your eyes.”

The voice had sounded so worried. I wanted to open my eyes just to let whoever it was know I was okay. It was hard though. The impact of my landing on the ground, mixed with the pressure of a hard body on top of me, kept me from doing much. My eyelids cracked slightly, and my vision, though blurry at first, came into view.

It was him! Max had been lying on top of me, his warm eyes searched my own, as he checked to make sure I was okay. I stared up at him, forgetful of where I had been for a second and enjoyed the feel of him with me. His hand was beneath my head, and I smiled, aware that he had put it there to stop my head from hitting the hard ground. His free hand had brushed my hair away from my face, and searched for anything that might be wrong with me.

I watched him, still weakened from the experience, when he realized I was okay. His face relaxed and he breathed a sigh of relief. “You’re all right now,” he whispered.

I didn’t want to break eye contact with him, but I looked around in curiosity. The leader of the west side lay on top of the leader of the east side’s girlfriend, and no one said anything. That was when I realized Max had somehow managed to push me behind a picnic table, out of sight from everyone. That was why I had felt myself flying, because of Max.

I met his gaze again, I wanted to say so much but not unaware of how too. Those moments between us passed as we stared at each other. I hadn't known what to do, because there had been so much I wanted. Since I was in such a compromising position, I wanted to do something about the fact that Max and I had never been more than acquaintances. He had been the last thing that had entered mind when I thought I was about to be stabbed. I knew that meant something. I hadn't known what it was at that time, but I knew I couldn't leave it alone, like we had done before.

A strange urge to reach up and kiss him overcame me. Then, at that moment, I thought of Sean. I had known what it was like to be cheated on; he had done it to me, and I remembered how much it hurt. I had made a promise to myself when that had happened that I would never do that to someone. I didn't know if anything would ever happen between Max and I. I didn’t know if he felt things for me, and while I knew I had feelings for him, they weren’t too clear. As much as I had wanted to seize the moment, I didn’t.

It passed us by, and as I continued to stare up at him, I hoped he had been thinking the same thing. As I watched his face, he looked like he wanted to say something. He licked his dry lips, he had opened his mouth, but then immediately snapped it shut. I didn't know why we stayed the way we did for so long, but minutes passed when suddenly I saw his face light up. Blue and red colors danced across his features, and alarm filled his eyes.

He looked at me fiercely, but his eyes shone with worry and care at the same time. “You pushed him away and fell; then hid here for safety,” he breathed out quickly, and then he stood up. His warm weight left me empty as he leaned on the table for support. I had hardly been able to make sense of what he had said to me. It had happened so fast compared to how the minutes had ticked by just seconds before.

As he stood above me, he looked like he was torn between the urge to stay with me and the need to leave. He looked behind him, noticed people that scattered and ran to their cars. The latter of his two options had won, and he took a step away from me. “Don’t say anything, please.”

He ran then, found one of his friends, and hopped into their car with one final look to me. I stumbled to my feet, desperate to keep my eyes on him. The engine roared to life beneath him and they drove off.

I stared after him, unable to really do anything else. I hardly noticed the painful sting on my scraped arms and legs, or the sirens that had filled my ears. I didn’t even realize when Serena ran up to me with the boys, or that she stared at me with worry in her eyes. I stared after a car, even after it had long before disappeared, with the boy who had saved my life and had stolen my heart at the same time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TBC!! Tell me what you think!
Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Sat Mar 20, 2004 11:06 am

A/N: I switched the two parts. Hope everyone enjoys this! Thanks for reading!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part Four - Max's POV

“What the hell just happened back there?”

I couldn’t even force myself to look at him. Michael was staring at me like I had grown another head and I refused to meet his eyes. I kept my gaze on the road as we flew down the deserted streets toward my house.

I remembered those streets. We had driven down them countless of times since Michael had gotten his jeep in sophomore year. I had walked them on nights I just wanted to be alone. I knew these streets like the back of my hand, but that night it was different. Maybe it wasn’t just the street - maybe it was me. I had changed everything by saving Liz’s life.

“Max, I saw you. I saw you with her. Tell me what happened.”

That time I looked at him, and his expression was different than I expected. I had thought he was going to be pissed at me. I had thought for a second that he might tell everyone what I had done.

I didn’t see any of that when I looked at him. I remembered, then, why Michael and I had become best friends. He was worried about me. He had known how torn I was about what I had done. I had saved the girl I loved, and had jeopardized the position I had a responsibility to uphold. The second my fist had connected with the back of Todd’s head, the moment I had pulled Liz behind that table, everything had changed.

I thought of Liz, tried to forget the consequences of what I had done for a second so I could focus on how right it had felt to be in her arms that like -to be holding her and keeping her safe.

It was right. Everything I had done; everything I had put at risk had been worth it. I knew that without a single shred of doubt. I just had no idea how I was going to explain it to Michael. I needed him to understand though.

“I can’t regret it, Michael,” I said finally. I looked at him quickly before looking back at my hands. They were torn up from the fall. The back of my hand had slammed into the gravel so I could protect Liz’s head. I ran my fingers over the marks, turned my hand over, and looking at my palm.

I remembered the feel of her hair as I laid on top of her. That had been the best part. I had wanted so much just to lean down and kiss her but I didn’t. She had a boyfriend, and even though I didn’t like him, I would never do that to anyone. What would I do if the girl I liked cheated on me and broke my heart? Not that Sean had a heart to begin with, but just hypothetically.

There was a deep gash on the side of my hand that I hadn’t noticed. It stung like crazy, but as I stared at it, I realized something. It didn’t matter. The stinging and the bleeding was nothing compared to the feeling I had in my heart because of Liz. “I won’t regret it, Michael,” I said again.

We pulled up to my house, and Michael parked in the alley so I wouldn’t have to walk through the restaurant. I didn’t want to face my parents. I knew they’d be sitting inside the restaurant, probably at a table or in the back doing inventory, and the second I stepped in they would immediately be all over me.

I loved my parents to death, and they were great, but sometimes they were just a little too much. They were very involved and didn’t understand that sometimes I just wanted to be left alone. Then, especially, would have been a bad time to see my mom, because the scratches on my hands would send her into a fit. She was just a little over protective.

I climbed out of the jeep and turned to look at my friend. He stared at me with a questioning look in his eyes. I wanted to tell him something, anything that would give him some answers but I had nothing. I didn’t know any more than he did right now. All I had known in those few seconds was that Liz was in danger, and that was all that had mattered.

“I’m here when you’re ready to tell me what’s going on, man. I don’t want to get all mushy on you but you know that, right?”

“Yeah, I do.”

I really did. I knew that Michael wouldn’t say anything. I knew he would let me figure out how to deal with this whole thing, and he wouldn’t rush me to talk to him. With a quick nod, I turned around and climbed the stairs to my house.

I took the stairs one step at a time, and made my way up the side entrance to my house. When I got to the door, I felt around in my pocket for my key before I slide it in the keyhole and pushed the door open. I heard Michael’s car drive away and waved behind me as I walked inside my house. Michael always waited for me to get inside before leaving. He did it for everyone, but it had started with me in sophomore year.

When I got into my house, I shut the door and locked it as quietly as I could. I didn’t want anyone to know I was home until I was upstairs and asleep. I especially didn’t want my little sister to find me, because then I would never get to bed. She had a tendency to talk incessantly about stupid things I didn’t care about.

As I snuck across the hallway to my bedroom, I figured I was home free. However, she had been waiting for me on my bed. She looked at me with a question in her eyes. I could tell she wanted to know about the fight, but what could I tell her?

“Well, Isabel you know our biggest enemy, Sean Andrews, yeah the one you hate for that reason that I’m not allowed to ever mention, again? Well, his girlfriend, Liz Parker, I saved her life today and, actually, I’m in love with her. What do you think?”

I knew I wasn’t going to get the answer I wanted, if I had said something like that, which is why I had to think of a lie. I just had no idea what to say. I walked into my room, shrugged out of my leather jacket, and placed it over my chair. She continued to stare even after I had been in there for a few minutes, but neither of us had said anything.

“So, Is, what’s up?” I was the one who broke the silence.

“What happened tonight, Max?” she asked me. I wondered for a second if she knew. Michael had seen us when I had been sure no one had. Maybe there were other people who knew about what had happened. I hated that thought. My sister couldn’t know. She wasn’t someone I trusted with a secret as big as this.

One thing about my sister was that she is a very manipulative person. In school her nickname is the “Ice Princess”, if that gives any indication as to what she’s like. She’s a bitch. She’ll use anything she can to get ahead. She’s the reason why I’m on the football team and the head of the stupid group. But, I’ve already gone into that though.

We usually get along, except when she’s not getting what she wants. I think that I’m the one person my sister actually opens up to, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t get pulled into her manipulative schemes and stuff.

“What are you talking about, Is?” I decided to play dumb. It had always been the best thing to do with her, because she always worded things in a way that you didn’t know exactly what she was talking about and if you assumed, then you could give away more than she already knew.

There was no way I was going to take that chance now. Liz’s life, my reputation, my family, it was all on the line. Things weren’t simple when you were on the top. You didn’t mess up and get a slap on the wrist. What I had done was something big, and I would have to pay for it if anyone found out.

“The fight, Max. What happened?”

“It was just a normal fight, Izzy. People got angry over the loss and they tried to get their pride back,” I had reminded her. She should know all this, though. She was a big part of this ridiculousness.

“What happened with Todd?” she asked, her eyes narrowed and refused to leave my own.

I thought for a second that she was talking about Liz; it was what my mind had immediately gone to. It usually did that, but this was in a different way.

“What do you mean?” I asked again.

She sighed and ran her hands through her blond hair. She always did that when she was annoyed. She did it a lot around me, especially. “He started the fight, Max. We all saw him punch Sean when it should’ve been you. So, what happened?” She stressed the last two words and stood up from my bed, and waited for an answer.

I breathed a sigh of relief inside. She didn’t know anything. “I don’t know, Is. I really don’t. One second I was walking there to start it myself, and the next, I saw him in the middle with Sean. I don’t know why he would do that.”

“Is he going to pay for it, Max?”

I looked at her then, for a really long time. That was exactly my point. When a person messed up, they had to pay. Todd had messed up. He had crossed a boundary that had not meant to be crossed and he had to pay for it. I had to be the one to do it, and normally while I hated things like that, I didn’t mind it so much then. Only because I hated Todd with a passion and beating the shit out of him would be my pleasure.

I nodded to my sister and she left my room with a satisfied look on her face. I stared after her, and wondered what the hell was wrong with the world. As I tried to forget about it, I pulled off my sneakers and fell on to my bed, my thoughts finally returning to where they belonged.

I fell asleep with a smile on my face, a picture of Liz in my mind.

~~~~~~~~~~~
TBC.... I'm a Lazy Bum and have written the next part on paper but I haven't typed it yet. It'll be out by Wednesday I think. Im pretty sure, so just leave feedback! lol It will help.
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:53 am

Thanks for all the feedback, and all the replies to my PMs, I'm glad you like the way I update you guys. I know what it's like to lose a story so I'm trying to make sure that doesn't happen to you guys. Two things: This is the last chapter that kinda "Sets Up" the story in the beginning.... More Max/Liz moments in the next parts--don't worry! And Secondly: No aliens in this fic. I wanted to clarify that b/c even my beta was confused. I'm trying to capture the Roswell seasons (or parts of them) as what it would be like without aliens.

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part Five-Liz POV

I stared out of the car as we drove down the streets of the town. We past the streets I had spent my life on. I grew up on these roads. There was the spot by old Mr. Hanson’s mailbox where I had fallen and scraped my knees in the fourth grade. There were the sidewalks we had all run down on the way home from school so my dad could make us cookies and milk.

Each blade of grass was a memory to me. Every rock, every tree, each one had been a part of my childhood. There were all the same now as they had been days ago, but now it was different. I was different.

Realizing the truth of what my world was capable of had a very sudden impact on me. I was not the naïve little girl skipping down the sidewalk, my pigtails swinging, and my hand wrapped tightly in my best friend’s hand. That little girl didn’t exist anymore and I wasn’t really sure who was left in her place. Nothing was ever going to be the same and I had a strange feeling that I would never be able to go back to how I was before.

“What happened back there, Liz?”

Serena had been staring at me since we have left the field. When the cops had come, and Max had left, I had stayed standing in the same spot. Serena had rushed up to me, looking at me as I watched Max leave.

It had been chaos around us as we stood there. Lights flashed; people ran across the field. They knocked into us, but I still didn’t move. How could I? What had happened had changed everything I had ever believed, ever thought. We finally had to move when we saw the cops getting out of their cars and one of them heading towards us.

Valenti, well Sheriff Valenti, Kyle’s dad, had told us to leave. We were instructed to meet him at his house. So, I had been dragged away, pulled into the back of Serena’s Cabrio while she climbed in the back with me so Kyle could drive. Alex didn’t even have to fight her for shotgun.

When she asked me what was wrong, it had been the first time any of us has spoken, and even Alex and Kyle turned to look at me. Well, Kyle looked at me through the rearview mirror because he was driving. The only problem was, I didn’t want to answer them. I was sure that I was different in that moment, because it was the first time I had ever wanted to keep something from my best friends.

We had grown up together; Serena and I have shared everything. I had no idea why that was so hard to tell her. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t just say it. Maybe I was scared that she would try to talk me out of it. She might’ve tried to tell me that Max wasn’t good enough, or that he was bad.

I didn’t want to hear that though. How could I honestly believe that Max was a bad guy after what he had done for me? He had put everything on the line to save my life, and the least I could do for him was to stop the bad-mouthing that I knew would happen the second I told Serena.

I always knew he wasn’t what everyone thought of him as. He wasn’t bad; Todd was bad. He had tried to kill me. I shuddered and wrapped my arms around myself at the thought. I could’ve died. It wasn’t a joke. I had seen the hatred in his eyes as he had held that knife to my stomach. He would’ve stabbed me without a second thought.

The only reason I was still around was because of Max. I knew I wanted to talk to him before I said anything, even to my best friends.

We were at Kyle’s house before I knew it. The second Kyle pulled up the emergency brake and got out, I was up from my seat. I didn’t want to answer Serena, and I knew that I had avoided the situation, but I didn’t know what else to do. She still looked at me, but I just walked toward the house and ignored her gaze.

“Liz?” She called. I stopped and turned back to face her. She climbed out of the car and hurt was etched all over her face.

I couldn’t take it, and turned back around. My voice was choked when I finally answered her. “I just hid behind the table for safety, Serena. That’s all. I was scared, ok?” She wouldn't believe that and I had known it. She wouldn’t be my best friend if she could just believe something like that. I just hoped she would respect the fact that I wasn’t ready to talk.

Kyle passed me so he could open the front door, but I felt him walk by me again to go to Serena. As I walked into the house I turned back to look at my friends. Kyle hugged Serena, and I heard her as she whispered, “something happened,” in his ear. Alex stared at me. I tried to smile and turned away. It was all too much to handle for one night.

Valenti finally came, and he looked tired. I knew how much he hated things like that. It just sucked for him that he had to tell us again. We wouldn’t stop until we knew everything, no matter how bad we felt.

“What happened?” He asked us. We all looked at each other. I hoped that none of them would say anything, but I knew I would have to wait and see. “We found something there tonight,” He told us. “It was a knife.”

Usually, the fights we had between the two sides always remained “fist-fights”, but the actual proof that people had taken it farther than that was in front of him. I looked down because I knew whom the knife belonged to. It was Todd’s knife, the one that had almost killed me. “What are you guys going to do?” I asked him; I tried to seem innocent.

“We’re checking it for prints, and there were footprints around where it was found. From what we gather it was two boys and a girl, a cheerleader.” He looked at Serena and I but I tried not to give anything away. “We want this to stop, guys. We’re going to take drastic measures this time."

“Drastic measures?” Serena asked.

“We’re going after the leader. We just need proof that he was there and we’re bringing him in.” Those words had shattered everything around me. They were going after Max. He had hardly been involved, and they were still going to throw him in jail. I knew had to do something to protect him.

“I don’t think Max started the fight. I didn’t see him, um, in the middle.” I said. Serena, Alex, and Kyle had seen Todd there, too, and I was relieved when they backed me up.

“She’s right, some other senior started it. I can’t think of his name though,” Kyle said. Serena and Alex nodded in agreement and I breathed a sigh of relief.

“He might not have started it, but he was probably there. That’s all we need.”

I was really worried for him at that point. I could tell them who it was, and maybe they would change their target, but I got the feeling that Todd would sell Max out in a heartbeat, especially since he had seen him there. I just needed to get out of that room.

I stood up. “Can I get some water?” I asked. Valenti nodded at me and I moved to the kitchen. I felt a little dizzy. A strong feeling ran though me that told me I needed to protect Max, but how could I? Hopefully there wasn’t anything that could give him away.

“Liz?” I heard from behind me. “What happened to your legs?” My hand dropped to feel the back of my thighs. I winced when they started to sting. My fall played out in my head and I could see Max as he pushed me out of Todd’s way and on to the gravel. “That’s from the gravel, isn’t it? By the picnic tables.” I nodded to him. “That’s where the knife was found, Liz. The only place with gravel in that area is by the picnic tables; where you guys were standing when I got there,” Valenti said to me.

I cursed in my head. He would to find out because he knew I had been by the knife. “What happened, Liz?” He asked, and got up from his chair to stand by me, but I never moved. I didn’t even lift my head to look at him. “Liz, you have to tell me.”

“He was going to stab me,” I said quietly after a minute or two. “I pushed him away and hid behind the tables.”

“Who, Liz?” His eyes were filled with worry when he looked at me. He always worried about me. Ever since last year, when the accident had happened, I think he’s felt a responsibility to be like a father to me. My dad and Sheriff Valenti had been best friends, until he had been killed. When it happened, I wasn’t the only one was affected by it, so he’s been looking out for me ever since.

“I don’t know,” I told him. I hated that I lied to him but I had to. I think I knew deep down that if Todd were caught, then Max would be too. The thought of him behind bars, after what he had done for me, had been too much. “I want to go home, Sheriff.”

He looked a little taken aback by how I had addressed him. I never called him Sheriff. He just nodded and I moved to walk out of the house. I couldn’t even meet Serena’s eyes as I left.

I heard them talking as I walked down the walkway to the sidewalk. I couldn’t believe all that had happened in those hours. As I walked along the sidewalk to my house, which was only four houses away from where Valenti lived, I tried to remember the last time I had been so confused. I was lying to the people I cared most about, but everything inside of me was screaming to protect Max and keep his secret.

I had felt like nothing else mattered except his safety. I knew that wasn’t true though, and hoped that once I talked to Max, everything would get figured out. I thought of my favorite song, and I sang it as I had made my way to my house.

“Deliver me, strength from in side me. Deliver me, courage to guide me. All of my life, I was in hiding, wishing there was someone just like you. Now that you’re here, now that I’ve found you, I know that you’re the one to pull me through. Deliver me…”

I walked into my house, waited for nothing else but the next time I would get to see Max, and with the hope that it would be soon, in my mind.
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Sat Mar 27, 2004 5:50 pm

A/N: I took my SATs today and wasn't going to post this til tomorrow morning, but seeing as how my mom ditched me and i'm stuck at home for a few hours I decided to get it out. I hope you enjoy it. I wrote it Friday for you because i REALLY didn't want to miss the posting day. I almost wasn't going to write it but I forced my ADD under control and did it! Wooo HOOO go me. Thanks to my muse...whoever it may be....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part Six- Max POV

I woke up the next day with the sense of worry, and I wondered if there would be consequences for my actions from the night before. I still had no idea who knew about what had happened, or if anyone knew at all. I wondered if Liz had any trouble the night before, also. I wanted to see her so badly. The feeling had started the second I woke up and I knew I just wanted to make sure she was ok.

It was impossible, and I knew it, but it hadn’t stopped me from wanting it. I was sure that if I stayed away from Liz, no matter how hard that might be, it would be the best thing. If anyone had seen what I had done that night, then being seen together again would just made things worse.

“Max, honey! Wake up!” My mom called and broke me out of my thoughts. My mom always called me in the mornings, and then she’d give me five minutes to answer back. If I didn’t then she'd come into my room, open my blinds, pull off my covers, and basically torture me until I was out of bed.

I really didn’t feel up for that so I yelled back, “I’m up!” and rolled over on to my back. I groaned. It was Sunday.

I’m probably the only person in the world that hates Sunday mornings, but if everyone had to do what I do on Sundays - on the day of rest - they would hate it to. The last thing I do is rest, and that Sunday was not any different. I knew there was a seven-hour shift that waited for me at the restaurant, and that definitely killed the relaxing, Sunday morning deal.

I have been working at my parents’ restaurant since I had turned sixteen, and was legally able to so. They had always made me help out when I was younger, but when I turned sixteen I got paid for it. I was the cook on Sunday mornings, Tuesday nights, and Wednesday afternoons. It was a pretty weird schedule, but with football and other sports it was the only one I could manage.

I rolled out of bed, and fell on to my arms to do push-ups. I had been doing that for as long as I can remember. I don’t even remember who I got the idea from. I did about ten and then got up so I could get ready for work. I threw on a pair of jeans, my gray “Crashdown” shirt, and walked into my bathroom.

By the time I was done getting ready, my shift was about to start. I hurried downstairs and pulled on my apron. The breakfast rush actually wasn’t that bad, compared to how it usually was. There didn’t seem to be a wait, and I had thought it would be a pretty easy day.

When a huge group of alien-themed tourists rushed in, I couldn’t help but groan. Just what I needed. They piled into the restaurant and waited in a big group by the front door, until they could be seated. I stared between them aimlessly and raised my eyebrows at a few of their outfits. They had obviously just come from the UFO center that was across the street.

Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t even realize I was staring at her until I had been doing it for a couple of minutes. When she stared back, I realized it, and I didn’t know what to think. I was excited to see her; relieved that she was okay, but on the other hand I was worried about who was in the restaurant and who wasn’t.

The Crashdown wasn’t really an “eastie” friendly restaurant, and if a west-sider even caught a glimpse of her there would be hell to pay. She wore a hooded sweatshirt, and her face was covered, but I knew I needed to get her out of the middle of the restaurant.

I had to do it in a way that would attract practically no attention to either of us. There hadn't been anyone I recognized in the restaurant, but Isabel was probably lurking in the back, and people could walk in at any minute. I could pull her through the back of the restaurant, or through the bathroom, because it connected to the back.

The only other choice besides that was the pull her out through the front of the restaurant and around to the alleyway. I didn’t think anyone would see us there, but I didn’t know how it would look if I grabbed her hand and left with her. I smiled at the thought of grabbing her hand. I had wondered so many times before what it would feel like to hold her hand in mine. I had dreamed about holding her, kissing her.

I had loved Liz Parker for so long that I could barely remember when it had started. I had felt it the first time I had seen her, when I had gotten off the bus on my first day of school in third grade. Being in love with her for that long was crazy, even I knew that. I just couldn’t help it. There was something about her that just felt…right.

We still stared at each other, and she had a smile on her face that was contagious to me. I couldn’t help but smile back, and I wonder if she smiled because she shared my thoughts.

I could’ve stared at her for hours, but the groups of tourists were being seated, and pretty soon Liz would be standing in the middle of the restaurant by herself, and I knew that would be too obvious. I mouthed “bathroom” to her, and nodded in the direction of the door. She looked over there only for a second before she brought her eyes back to mine.

I felt something in my stomach when she did that. The way she had wanted to keep her eyes on mine made me feel like there was some hope, that maybe she did like me too. I couldn’t expect her to love me, because she barely knew me, and she had a boyfriend. I could hope though. If I could’ve helped it Liz and I would’ve been together from the moment I was old enough to know I wanted to date her, instead of just love her from far away.

Being separated by this town that was torn by their hatred for each other made that impossible. I didn't spoken to my parents for a week after they had moved us to this side of town. I had been sure that my chances with Liz were over. I'm not so sure of that anymore. There was something about the way that she kept her eyes on me as she walked to the bathroom, something about the way she walked in backwards that made me think, just maybe it would happen.

Once she went into the bathroom, I left the kitchen after I told the other cook, Jose, that I needed a break. I walked to the door and waited until she opened it, and smiled when she as finally stood in front of me.

God, I wanted so much at that moment. I wanted to take her in my arms and just never let her go. I wanted to make her forget about that boyfriend of hers. I wanted her to be with me, I wanted her to love me.

“Hi,” She whispered.

She looked down, and her dark hair cascaded around her shoulders. I wanted to run my fingers through it, and surprisingly for the first time I did what I wanted. My left hand lifted and I ran my fingers through her hair and up to her cheek. I lifted her chin to meet my gaze, and smiled.

“Hi,” I said back.

Everything had stopped at that moment. Everything around us was just a dream, and the reality of it all was Liz and I as we stood together like we were meant to. I didn’t want to move, and I didn’t want the moment to end. I could’ve stared at her forever.

But footsteps in the background reminded me of where we were and how things looked. I took a quick step back, hating the look of confusion and hurt that passed through her eyes. I didn’t want her to think that something was wrong, especially when things had never been more perfect.

“We have to go somewhere else,” I assured her.

I took her hand and pulled her out of the backroom and into the alleyway on the side of the restaurant. Our eyes filled with the harsh bright light of day, and I shut the door quickly to the restaurant so no one would find us. Liz leaned against the wall, and I came to stand in front of her.

“Max, I’m sorry I came. I just - I had to see you,” She cleared her throat. “I had to talk to you.” She fidgeted and moved her hands to different spots on her body, but couldn’t seem to get comfortable. On impulse, the feeling in my stomach from before when I had touched her cheek, made me grab her hands. I held them in my own; they felt so small and perfect.

“Liz, it’s ok,” I told her. “Whatever it is, just tell me,” I wanted her to tell me, but I was not anywhere near prepared for what she was going to say.

“Sheriff Valenti is after you, Max,” She said quickly, like she had waited forever to say it and just hadn’t known how too.

“What?” I asked, not knowing exactly what she meant by that.

“He wants to make an example of you. Their desperate, they’ll do anything to get this fighting to stop,” I felt like my world around me was hanging on by a thread when she said that. If they found me they would throw me in jail and I knew that. She didn’t even have to tell me that part because I was sure of it. All the pieces of my world were stacked up, just waiting to come down. I didn’t know what to do.

“What are they waiting for then, Liz? Why haven’t they come to get me?”

“They don’t have proof that you were there yet. They have Todd’s knife, though. They found it by the picnic tables, where we were. If they find out Todd was there, all they need is for him to say he saw you there and you’re in jail,” She forced out. “Max, I don’t know what to do. Valenti knows I was there, by the gravel. I didn’t even know what to tell him, I just left.”

I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. As she told me that, all the pieces crashed down around me, and I had no idea what to do.

~~~~~~~~~~~~
TBC... DunDun Dun... Hopefully you guys understand a little bit more about why Liz didn't tell Valenti about Todd. Todd HATES Max and Todd would tell them that Max was at the fight in order to get rid of him. If the cops took in Todd, he would get to make that confession. Liz, our little brainiac, figured that out and decided not to say anything until she talked ot Max. Hope there wasn't too much confusion and hope you guys didn't think Liz was an idiot for staying quiet bc i think she was smart lol. K Hope you liked it!
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Wed Mar 31, 2004 4:09 pm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part Seven - Liz POV

I knew something was wrong the second I felt my hands slide from his own. His hands hung limply at his sides, and when I looked at his face, I didn’t know what to think. I had just told him that Sheriff Valenti was going to try to put him in jail; I don’t have any idea how I would’ve reacted to that.

I felt the loss of his hands quickly. I felt like a large amount of warmth had been drained from my body. Everything felt cold and I had to wrap my arms around my body to try to bring it back.

“I’m sorry, Max,” I said quietly. I didn’t know what else to do. He had sacrificed a lot to save my life. He had put so much on the line and now he was going to be thrown in jail for it. It wasn’t fair.

He looked up at me when I said that and shook his head. “It’s not your fault, Liz.”

I wanted to believe him but I didn’t know how too. Something bad would happen to him, and it was because of me. “I want to do something. I want to help, Max.”

I didn’t know what I was going to do, and I’m sure he had no idea either. We were stuck together, two people who didn’t have a clue as to what was going to happen to them, and we didn’t know what to do next.

“I could go talk to Valenti,” I suggested.

He looked up, shocked. “What? Why?”

I shrugged. “Maybe if I talk to him, I can find a way to convince him you weren’t there. I could figure something out.”

He shook his head, and I smiled inwardly at how cute he looked. “I can’t ask you to do that, Liz,” He said. “I already dragged you into the middle of this, and I don’t want you to be involved in it further.”

I bit my lip and nodded at the comment. I turned my head down, and refused to let tears fill my eyes. Max didn’t want me involved. Max really didn’t have feelings for me. I had spent the entire night before thinking that maybe there was something between us, and that something might come from what happened. He had saved me after all, but I had been wrong. He had only done what any nice guy would do.

The truth of it all, and the realization that I had been so wrong, hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to leave. I didn’t want to be around him anymore. If he didn’t want me involved then I wouldn’t be. After I got my tears under control, I looked up at him and tried my best to smile.

“Ok, well I’m going to just, um, go, then. I really should be getting home and I’ll just leave…” I trailed off. I slid away from him, my back still against the wall of the alley. I didn’t want to keep looking at him, but I couldn’t help it. Whether he felt anything for me or not, I owed him my life, and I had feelings for him that even I couldn’t explain.

He looked confused at the fact that I wanted to leave so quickly but I figured I was just seeing things. I turned around and headed down the alley. I had started out at a walk, but then my feet quickened into a run. I thought for a moment that I had heard him call my name, but I was probably hearing what I wanted to hear.

All I knew was that I had to get out of there. I didn’t even watch where I was going, I just ran as fast as my feet would carry me. I passed shocked people who yelled at me as I ran by them. I was at my car in no time. I had parked it away from the restaurant so that no one would see it. I knew that the last thing Max and I needed was to be seen together, and I now knew it was the last thing he wanted.

I climbed into my car, and put the key in the ignition. When it started, I wasted no time in leaving. I turned up the radio, as I tried to drown out the sound of my own thoughts. I felt so stupid, so wrong. I couldn’t believe that I had actually thought Max and I had had a chance when he didn’t even want me involved anymore.

The tears came, and they came quickly. I didn’t really understand it, because it wasn’t like Max and I had talked before, or that we had actually had something between us. But there had been something about him. I couldn’t even explain it, but it was there. I just wanted to get home, and that was a first in my life.

I pulled into my driveway, and made my way into the house. I hoped that my mom wasn’t home. The last thing I needed was to deal with her, especially if she was drunk. Ever since the accident, she had decided that a really good way to cope would be to drink away her problems. I don’t know if it worked for her, but it definitely didn’t work for me.

I shut the door to the house and headed up the spiral staircase that would lead to my bedroom, but when I heard something behind me I knew it wouldn’t be that easy. “Where the hell have you been?”

I turned around. My mom stood at the foot of the stairs. I could tell right away that she was either drunk or hung over. “I was out, Mom. Serena and I went to get something to eat.”

“I don’t believe you,” She said quickly. She started to move closer to the stairs and I moved back a step. “You were out with that boy again, weren’t you? What did you guys do?”

“Mom, what are you saying? I was out with Serena.”

“Don’t lie to me, you little slut. You were fucking that boyfriend of yours, weren’t you!” She yelled and kept moving closer. I tried to move back but I was running out of stairs. Pretty soon I’d be cornered in my room, and then I’d have nowhere to go.

“Mom, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I wasn’t even with Sean,” She stood right in front of me and I felt my back hit a wall. “Mom, I swear I wasn't with him.”

“Don’t lie to me!” She yelled. The feel of her palm as it slapped against my cheek made me cry out. I felt her ring hit above my eye and knew I’d have a bruise. Tears filled my eyes. “It’s all your fault. If you hadn’t needed to be picked up they’d still be alive. Your father and sister died because of you! They died so you could become the little tramp that you are!”

That was probably the one thing I hated most about when she was drunk like that. I didn’t care that she hit me, I didn’t care that she yelled. But when she brought up Anna, it hurt me more than anything could. My older sister had been in her senior year when they had been killed in the car accident. She and my Dad were on their way to pick me up from Serena’s house, so we could go get dinner, when a drunk driver collided with them when it swerved out of its lane and into their own.

I’ve blamed myself for what happened everyday since, but hearing my mom say it just brought all that guilt back. My mom had never been like this before; she had never been a drinker. She had never touched me in her life. I couldn’t help but feel that she turned into some kind of drunken monster was my punishment. I deserved every second of it because I killed them.

She left finally, and walked down the stairs. She stumbled the entire way down, and then disappeared into her room. I wiped the tears from my cheeks, and ran down the stairs and out the door. I had nothing anymore. I didn’t even have a home that I could go to. The only thing I could think of was Max and how even he didn’t want me around. I ran down the block, and stopped in front of Kyle’s house. I didn’t know if Valenti was even home, but it was better to go there than to stay at home.

I opened the door; close enough to the Valenti’s to just walk in, especially since Kyle’s car was sitting out front and I knew they were at home.

“Hello?” I called, and shut the door behind me.

“Shit!” I heard in reply. There was some rustling over by the couch and I saw a blanket being thrown around and noticed someone under it. More cursing and then I saw Kyle and Serena appear from beneath the covers.

“Well, this is awkward,” I mumbled. I turned around to give them some privacy. “Sorry, guys. I didn’t see your car, Rena so I figured it would be okay to come in.”

“You can turn around.” I heard, so I did. Kyle and Serena looked composed, though both of them were flushed. Serena’s red hair was a mess and Kyle’s shirt was half-tucked in. Both of them looked really funny actually.

“What’s up?” Serena asked casually.

“I just wanted to leave my house. I thought I’d just come hang out over here, but I’ll leave since you two were obviously busy…” I trailed off, and pushed my hair behind my ears.

“You can stay,” Kyle said, and Serena nodded at me in agreement. I moved to the couch, but then thought better of it and sat on Valenti’s chair. Serena laughed. “You can sit there, Liz,” Kyle told me.

“Better safe than sorry. Who knows with you two?” I joked with them. Serena blushed again and I groaned. “Oh God… So is anything else new?” I asked to change the subject. The last thing I wanted to know about was my best friends’ sex life.

Serena walked to the kitchen to bring us some cokes. “Did you hear about Valenti’s investigation?” She asked me. I shook my head and she continued. “They identified the prints on the knife. They’re a kid named Todd Malamud’s. Valenti said their bringing him in for questioning this afternoon…Liz, are you okay?”

I was definitely not okay. I could feel the color drain from my face at that comment, and as I realized that things had just gotten a lot worse.
Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:01 am

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part Eight - Max POV

I didn’t understand why Liz left so abruptly. All I knew was that her absence hit me hard. The second I felt her shrinking away from me, her eyes downcast, and her hands shoved into her pockets, I felt lost. I wanted her to stay close to me. I had dropped her hands when she had told me what she had because I had been so shocked. Now, I just had to hope that she didn’t think something was wrong.

If I could I would want to read minds. I would look inside her head, find out what was wrong, and maybe even find out if there was a chance for us. Seeing her again, being as close to her as I had been, was just amazing. I had never felt like this with anyone before. I had never really dated, but I know that was because I had never even come close to feeling the way I felt around her. If I did date, I would want it to be with someone I really cared for. I would want it to be with Liz.

I tried calling after her as she ran away from me - pretty sure that something wasn’t right - but she was gone. I leaned back against the brick wall of the alley, right where she had been moments before.

I don’t know how long I stood there, but the door swung open and suddenly I was glad that Liz had run off like she had. If she hadn’t, then we would’ve been seen.

“Max, what the hell are you doing out here?” The person said.

I knew immediately who it was, but really wasn’t in the mood to talk to her. I lazily turned my head and met her eyes. “What is it, Maria?” I asked.

“I’ve been looking all over for you. Ever since last night, with everything that happened with Todd, I have been trying to find you. But did I? No, because you hide out in alley ways. Honestly, Max as leader of our side you have certain responsibilities and even though you don’t care about them, some of us do. And I’ve been trying to find you to tell you-,” She went on.

Maria and I had been “friends” since sophomore year when I had become the leader. She started dating Michael around that time, so I’ve been forced to deal with her everyday since then. Sometimes, she can be cool. But most of the time she’s bitching at everyone and bossing people around, so it gets kind of annoying. Michael’s totally lost on her though, something I don’t really understand.

He says she reminds him of a pixie or something like that. She used to have really short hair when we met her, and her fiery personality is probably what attracted my confrontational best friend to her. The two of them fight like no one I’ve ever seen, but they do have their moments when I find myself wishing I had someone to be with.

Her green eyes flashed as she rambled on. She pointed out my responsibilities, and why I’m a slacker. She even said that a girl should be the leader of the side, but I ignored her every time she brings that up. I guess if you wanted to pick a boy and girl leader for each side, Maria would be ours. Usually it would be my girlfriend but for obvious reasons that is pretty much impossible, so it’s her.

She kept babbling, and I tried to block her out, but after a couple of minutes it wasn’t working, so I put my hands on her arms and stared at her. She got the message and stopped talking. “Maria, did you come out here just to lecture me?” I asked quizzically.

She shook her head, and pulled her arms from my grasp. “Of course I didn’t. I came to tell you that Todd’s here, and it’s time for you to deal with what happened last night.”

“He’s here?” I asked.

The Todd thing was something I had been looking forward to, especially after I spent those few minutes with Liz. Now that she had been so close to me, the thought of her being gone was something I couldn’t even begin to comprehend, or even forgive. Todd was going to pay for it, and I was going to enjoy doing it, even though I hated this part of my “responsibilities”, as Maria had called them.

“Yeah,” she replied. “Michael’s got him sitting inside,” She looked at me closely. “What are you going to do, Max?”

I looked at her. Obviously I wasn’t about to tell her my real reasons for kicking the shit out of him, but I had to tell her something. “I’m going to make him pay for what he did, Maria,” I said flatly.

She just nodded and opened the door to the restaurant. I held it open for her and she walked in ahead of me. When I followed her, all I wanted to do was get this over with. I wanted to go out there, bring Todd to the back, kick his ass, and then send him away. We walked towards the swinging door that connected the restaurant to the back, when I heard a voice behind me.

“Max, honey, is that you?” I turned around. My mom came down the stairs, a load of laundry in her hands.

“Yeah, Mom?” Maria waited behind me at the door while my mom came down the stairs to talk to me. I wanted her to go with the others, but I didn’t say anything so she stayed there.

“Oh, nothing. I just wanted to see if you were back or not. Jose said you went outside a while ago,” She said. She didn’t even look at me; she was sorting the laundry while she talked. I felt Maria’s eyes on me the whole time.

“Yeah, I’m back. Sorry I left,” I replied. I hoped that would be all she would say. Maria was listening and I didn’t want my mom to say anything that could get me in trouble. I turned to leave with Maria when my mom looked up at me.

“Everything work out with your friend?” She asked as she absentmindedly folded the clothes in her basket. I cursed inside my head.

“Yeah, Mom. Everything’s fine,” I replied. She seemed satisfied with that, so I turned to leave before she could say anything else. Maria followed behind me, eyes still attached to the back of my head.

We walked through the swinging door, into the restaurant to make our way to the table Michael was at. The restaurant wasn’t too busy and I was glad that Jose wasn’t the kind of person who would bitch about me being gone for so long. I wasn’t going to be back for a while either way, because of what I had to deal with.

“So, what friend was over?” Maria asked. I could tell that she tried to be nonchalant about it, but it was obvious what she was doing. She always had to be in every body else business, and could never mind her own.

“Lucas, from football. Is that okay with you, Maria?” I asked. She nodded and seemed satisfied with my answer, even though I could tell that she kind of doubted me. She wasn't going to ask again after I made a comment like that. That was one good thing about being the leader. I had some control over Maria. “Let’s go outside,” I said as we reached Michael’s table.

He stood up and Todd followed him outside, along with Maria and I. We went to the alleyway that I had been in moments before that. Todd leaned with his back against the wall, and he didn’t say anything. I stared at him, with hatred in my eyes. This was the guy who had tried to kill Liz. This is the guy who had basically tried to make me look like shit for the past two years, in front of the people who looked up to me. He had tried to take my position, and he had tried to take Liz away from me. I could’ve let the first one slide, but the latter was inexcusable, and I knew I had to take care of this.

There was no remorse in his eyes as I stood in front of him, and I hated him even more for it. “You do know why you’re here, don’t you?” I asked. He still refused to say anything. So I continued. “You challenged my authority as leader of the west side. You tried to take my place, and started a fight which I had not authorized. Is it clear to you, that as the leader, I decide when and where we fight?”

He didn’t say anything, and I found my fist slamming into his gut. “I asked you a question,” I said, as he hunched over and coughed.

“Yes,” He said slowly. I could tell he was grinding his teeth as he said it, and hated the words as they spilt from his mouth.

“Can you explain to me what led you to think that you had the right to try to take that responsibility from me? Did someone say that you could punch Sean in the face?”

“No,” He growled and my fist flew again, this time knocking him in the eye.

I didn’t like this. I didn’t like that I had to do this, but I hated even more that a part of me was enjoying it while I did it, because of what this guy had tried to do to Liz. I felt like a horrible person, which made me even madder at Todd. He was turning me into something I wasn’t.

“The next time you get the urge to step where you don’t belong I would think about it, because I won’t be so merciful next time,” I told him, and lifted his head up so I could look him in the eyes. I punched him in the stomach two more times as I waited for his reply. When he fell to the floor I stopped. “Do you understand me?” I asked.

“Yes,” He choked out.

“Good,” I replied. “I hope this doesn’t have to happen again. For your sake, at least.” I pulled back and kicked him. I wanted to get my point across that what he had done was wrong. My sense of protection for Liz overwhelmed me, and I felt like I had on the night of the fight. Hurting people wasn’t something I liked to do; in fact, I hated it. But I had realized, as she had stood in front of me, that I refused to let anything happen to her now that she was in my life. I didn’t care what it meant; she would always be okay as long as I could help it.

I stepped away from Todd, and turned my head towards the opening of the alleyway where I had just heard footsteps. I turned just in time to see a pair of horrified, brown eyes and long, brown hair run away from me. Watching Liz run away from me for the second time in one day had been tough, especially since she had seen the side of me I had never wanted her to see, and I had no idea how she would react. All I knew was that I needed to see her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TBC..
Last edited by Hopeless Romantic on Tue Jun 08, 2004 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hopeless Romantic » Wed Apr 07, 2004 3:42 pm

A/N: I'm really busy and SICK! So I'm sending your PMs out tomorrow. Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part Nine - LP

I definitely hadn’t expected Max to show up at my window like he had. He was the one that had not wanted me involved and I really didn’t want to see him again after what happened the last time. To be honest, I was scared of him. Maybe not scared, but I didn’t think he was the person I had always thought he was. When I saw him kicking the shit out of Todd, even though I had been somewhat satisfied after what he had done, a part of me hated it.

I had always pictured Max as this really great guy, caught in a place he really didn’t want to be in, but strong enough to keep it from changing who he was. I guess I had been wrong. The anger and hate that I had seen in his eyes had been way too much. I had been sitting in my room thinking that he didn’t like me, and that I didn’t really want to see him, so I was shocked when he showed up at my house. I had no idea what to think.

I walked over to the window, pushed it open and climbed out. I had to be quiet because if my mom woke up things could get really bad. When I pulled myself onto the ledge, Max offered his hand to try to help me, but I stopped him.

“No, I can do it,” I said quickly. My voice had sounded somewhat cold, and I regretted it for a second, but shook the feeling off.

I didn’t want to touch him because I had a feeling that if I did I would just melt, just like I had at the Crashdown when he had touched my cheek. I would become a huge, bubbling mass of something that used to be Liz Parker, but was now mush. I couldn’t let that happen. So, I climbed out and stood in front of him. I looked him straight in the eye and waited for him to explain to me what he was doing at my house.

“I’m sorry it’s so late, but I had to see you,” He said quietly.

“Me?” I asked incredulously. “Why?”

“I wanted to explain what you saw today.”

It was then I realized that he had seen me leaving the Crashdown. I had come to see him.I needed to tell him that the Sheriff had gotten Todd’s fingerprints from the knife so he would know. I wanted him to do something to stop Todd from ratting him out, but Max had been a little busy when I stopped by.

He shuffled his feet as he spoke and his hands were clasped behind his back He looked nervous, but I couldn’t think of any reason why he would be. “It doesn’t matter, Max. I was just there to tell you that they found Todd’s prints on the knife.”

I said it so casually that it even shocked me. I had been going crazy with worry the whole day since I had found out, and saying it the way I had was weird. He didn’t seem affected by it, though, which was even weirder. He seemed to have accepted it already, and I didn’t want that.

"I knew they would find out, Liz. I knew there was a chance that people would find out when I did what I did. They could’ve done to me what I was forced to do to Todd.”

That was news to me, because he had acted so shocked when I had told him at the restaurant. “So, when you saved me, you risked all those people finding out?” I asked, hardly able to believe it.

“Yeah. I did,” He said, almost like he hadn’t fully realized what he had done for me until that moment. I didn’t understand it. I had no idea why he would’ve done something like that for me. We hadn’t even been friends when he had lived on the east side. He had always been so quiet, and I had always stayed with Serena, Alex, and Kyle. We wouldn’t have seemed to have a connection to each other, but then he saved my life.

I had to know why. “Why?” I asked finally.

There was a pause, and his eyes, which had been on the floor, came up to meet mine. “It was you,” He said simply.

I smiled, not knowing what else to do. Maybe I had been wrong about Max, maybe there was something there between us. Maybe he could feel something for me. He could probably tell the change in my feelings when he said that, because he took a step forward. Up until that point he had been cautiously maintaining his distance and now the gap between seemed to be getting smaller, something I was grateful for.

“I brought you something,” He whispered.

His hands, which I had assumed were just clasped behind his back in nervousness, came forward. He had two composition notebooks, each with ages scrawled on the front. The handwriting on each was different, so I assumed there was a pretty big age gap between them. I had no idea what was inside them and that made me extremely interested. I looked at the books, and then at him in question and anticipation.

He cleared his throat, shuffled his feet again, and handed them to me. “My mom and dad forced me to start writing these things when we moved here from Florida,” he told me, sheepishly moving his hand to scratch behind his ear as he blushed at his family. “I don’t know why but I’ve written in them ever since.”


I had written in my journal ever since I was little too. It made me smile when I pictured Max writing in a journal, his face twisted in concentration. I could picture myself mirrored in that position. I wanted to tell him about my journals, so he could get the happiness from it that I received.

Then again, I was a girl. I liked him and wanted us to be meant for each other, something childish like that. I was grasping at anything I could use to connect us to each other. Inside my head I was saying, ‘see, he writes in a journal, too! We’re meant to be together, now.’ I could feel myself blushing at the way I was thinking.

“Why are you giving them to me?” I asked, not fully understanding.

Max had taken a small step forward, and he was closer to me than he had been all night, but it still felt like he wasn’t close enough. I wanted to be wrapped in his arms, surrounded by him, but both of us were forced to maintain our distance. Somehow we both knew there were lines that we couldn’t cross just yet.

“I wanted you to see,” he began, referring to the journals, “you know, that I’m still me.”

And then I understood. He didn’t want me to think he was bad for beating up Todd. He wanted me to understand what he was feeling. I nodded, hugged the books closer to my heart and smiled. Those books held something so precious and I knew what he was doing. He was letting me see into his soul.

All the years of writing in my own journals assured me that inside those notebooks were the feelings and thoughts of the boy in front of me. I wanted to run inside and tear them open. Well, maybe not tear, but I wanted to read them as fast as I could. I wondered if he would stay while I read them.

I was answered when he started to back away from me. He took small steps, to make the distance take longer to cross as he headed to the street. “I’ll see you around, Liz,” He whispered, his face lit up in a small grin that made me get butterflies inside my stomach. No one had ever made me feel like that before. I watched him as he walked away from me, and when he was gone, I climbed back into the house.

I had to lean against the window after I shut it to catch my breath. Having been that close to him had been amazing. The way he had made me feel was indescribable. I had never felt for Sean in our entire time together combined, what Max had made me feel in just one moment. The boyfriend that I had felt a small shred of loyalty to now meant nothing in my mind.

I still had my small doubts about his feelings, but now I had the journals. The possibilities in my head would become either fantasies or realities in a matter of moments. I wanted to read them. I had to see what he was thinking. I smiled at myself when I realized what a girl I was being, all giddy over a guy. It was funny. I had never imagined that I would get like this over a guy. I had been pretty convinced in the first few minutes with Sean that he wasn't going to be anything spectacular.

I got into my bed, pulled the covers around me, and opened the journals. I looked back and forth between them. There was one from when we were in third grade. I remembered it because it was the year that Max had come to Roswell. I didn’t really know why he had given me that one, so I flipped to the next journal, which was from the year we started high school. It was the year when he moved to the other side of town.

I began to read. I read his thoughts as he stepped off the bus in third grade, scared and alone, and how he had seen me. I read about the time I said hello to him in class, how he had thought I was pretty. He wrote that he would always remember me, because I was the only person who had actually made him feel welcomed. He had been so scared when he had come to this new town. He didn’t know who he would be friends with. He had just left all his old friends behind. A smile broke out on my face when I thought of myself making a difference in his life.

When I was done with that journal, I moved on to the high school one. I was most anxious to read that one because it would show what his feelings were like now. It was nothing like I had expected. Pages after pages lined with words about going to the different school, about different people. I knew how he felt when he became captain of the team, and leader of their side. I saw his strength as he finally stood up to the last people who challenged the authority his peers were giving him.

I didn’t know what to think. Everything about the books was so torn. His actions were completely different from his feelings, especially when it came to me. He had liked me since the minute he had stepped off that bus and had never been able to do anything about it.

I could feel everything he was thinking. I could feel his loneliness. For the first time I was really seeing Max Evans. I saw me as he saw me, and the amazing thing was in his eyes I was beautiful.

~~~~~~~
TBC...
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