Family Matters (CC, Mature) - Chapter 75 - 11/28/2023

This is the place to post all your General Roswell fanfiction. Any Canon fics, which pick up directly from any episode of the show and that focus on Max/Liz, Michael/Maria, Isabel/Alex or Isabel/Jesse, Kyle/Tess, or all the couples together! Rule of Thumb: If Max healed Liz in the Crashdown in September 1999, then your fic belongs here. If it picks up from the show in any way, it belongs here.

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Family Matters - Chapter 67 - 11/05/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

All the while Claudia was being shocked into a stupor with the last thing, she could have imagined her mother telling her. Sure, she might have read her mother’s journal. But there was so much left out of it. There were so many blank pages, and events that were skipped by, or forgotten altogether except for Liz, they could not be forgotten. Even if they were not down on the printed page.

You had to be careful she thought, after Michael swiped my journal, she thought. That taught me a lesson in keeping things to a minimum, and yet there was so much she had indeed put down in those pages she would think, and it has now given her daughter some eye-opening moments.

As if Max knew any of this, and if he did, he would also gotten unpleasant flashbacks just as his former wife was. But for him personally, his eyes had opened shortly after Liz had sneaked out of the motel room, trying to tip toe by me he thought, but I am always aware of where she is he knew, since she has been on my radar again.

Because he knew for so long, he did not know. Other people knew, but I did not. So, moments after Liz left the room and he heard the door shut quietly behind her, he was quick to pop up take a look and she saw that she went over to her son’s room, and soon they were on their way, somewhere.

He did not know. We did not talk about that he would think.

We had talked about so much more, and it was kind of nice and unbelievable at the same time he thought. It was an event that he had never seen coming. And therefore, he felt closer to his former wife, even though she had then proceeded to slip out of the room, secretly once more but he was not bothered by it as he checked the clock.

Plus, he figured she was off to see their daughter. Hopefully Claudia is feeling better this morning he thought. As he looked around the motel room, and it is a very different environment as he pulled on his shirt, and walked out of the room, and locked it with his ability’s moments later, and was driving home.

Home, yeah, that is where I am going, he thought, finally as he parked in the driveway. And because he was unaware of the change in the plans for his sister, he saw his father’s car in its place, but frowned because he would have assumed that he would have seen his niece, and sister arriving. Obviously, any thoughts of leaving this town behind me is not going to happen he knew now. I was talking foolishly he knew.

Because he could never leave a town that had his former wife, and daughter in it.

Even if Claudia can’t stand me, he muttered. Because one day maybe that would pass…


But that hope would be for a new time as he figured it would be a good move to give his daughter time to get over being drunk, and likely hungover, Liz is better off handling it he thought as he opened the door, and he called “Hello?”

But there was quietness in the house.

It was unnerving, because it was not the picture that he figured that he would be seeing. “Hello,” he called once more. “Anyone home?”

“Uncle Max?” Kyla asked as she came down the stairs. Greeting her uncle. “Just getting home?” she was asking, because it was obvious that her uncle had not been home the previous night, not my problem she murmured. Just funny she thought. When she had woken up and had breakfast with her grandfather. He mentioned that her uncle barely was home these days.

She was now seeing it for herself. “Where were you?”

“Out?” Max muttered, not wanting to get into his social life with his niece. Even as the sight of her was surprising, “When did you arrive?” she asked. “Did you just arrive,” he asked. “Your mother?” he wondered.

“Nope, she’s already left.” Kyla smiled. “You missed her. She brought me here last night. Figured she and Uncle Michael would get away way too early, and it would be better to move on over here last night.”

Oh, Max said as his brain rattled at the thought of how he had missed both his sister and best friend off. “So, your mother has already left?”

“Yup,” Kyla said with a smile. “But she left a note for you,” she sighed “Because it was obvious you were not here, when she left last night, and she was not going to wait all night, which would make it fruitless given you just came home,” she added for some amusement because as a teenager, she found this highly amusing.

Her uncle did not.

I don’t need my niece talking about my social life Max muttered to himself. But he stayed quiet, and he took the note from his niece, and opened, and only shook his head at the words.

“Grow up and be a man and make up with Dad” Isabel had written. “Or very least, don’t force my daughter to mediate between the two of you.”

Max could only sigh. “I would have liked to have seen her off?”

“I am sure, she will be checking in you know” Kyla muttered as she acknowledged that her mother had a very unique way of keeping in touch, and it does not always make for a restful night she knew, because even though her mother tended to respect her boundaries, I know she has been running through my dreams, to make sure my friends are on the up and up.

One more we, don’t talk about Mikyla muttered.

“Yes, I know” Max muttered. My sister’s ability can be intrusion at times, even when she is being good about it.

“Are you alone?” Max asked. Even though he knew the answer, because he had seen his father’s car. And if his niece was here at the house, he did not think it was likely that his father would have left her alone, assuming he left the house which was not that guaranteed to be honest with you he sighed, because he knew while his father did have the ability to leave the house, and has, still he tended to stay home more than he left.

It has been like that since Mom died, he sighed.

“Nope,” Kyla murmured. “Grandpa in his office.”

Where else Max sighed, and Kyla could see the tension in her uncle’s face. Mom’s not kidding she muttered. Life is full of it, here at the house she muttered. As Max did not say anything to his niece’s words, and just nodded and walked into the kitchen.

Because he was hungry. Way too hungry he thought, and not strictly for food.

I am hungry for my ex-wife he reflected, but that is the last thing I need to satisfy me he muttered as he could see his niece following him. “Are you getting used to the house?”

“It’s okay,” Kyla smiled. “I have been here before you know.”

“I know,” Max sighed.

“Need anything for breakfast?” Kyla asked. “I can cook?”

“Thanks for the offer, but I am quite able” Max said with as a smile. I might not do it much at the moment, but I do know how to cook he thought. “When your grandmother was sick, and I moved in. I found I was required to work on my cooking skills,” he sighed, because I never needed them earlier on because Mom knew how to cook, he sighed with despair at missing his mother.

Kyla nodded. “I miss Grandma.”

“So, do I,” Max murmured.

“Do you think Grandpa will ever get over losing Grandma?” Kyla asked.

Maybe Max muttered to himself, although he still had a numerous of issues with his father, and he had not even begun to come to terms with term with them. It would help if we actually spoke, I guess he would tell himself.

But then I would have to be home.

Now I am he knew and could only sigh as he looked at his niece. Growing up in the model of her mother, and even looking like Isabel a tad bit these days, but the brown hair is all Kyle he thought.

If you ignore my sister’s year as a brunette, he muttered as that was one of the memorable moments of his senior year.

“Uncle Max?” Kyla asked.

“I heard you,” Max sighed. “Hopefully one day he will. But your grandparents loved each other very much, and that love is hard to move on from,” he would mutter because I know, because that is the same love, I have for my former wife he thought. It is very difficult to move on from he sighed. “It’s unfair that she had to leave in the way she did,” he sighed, and the fact she would not let me heal her he thought. Totally unfair he thought, but he respected his parents, both of them he thought. Because he knew the same held for his father, if some disease was planning on taking him and Max could help with it, I am not to help he muttered. But without Mom, Dad probably won’t want to live if that time does come.

Kyla could see there was more in her uncle’s face than the tension between her grandfather and uncle. It is much more she thought.

But still, she nodded. As she tried to figure out what to say to her uncle. Because it was not like they were ever that close. We had moments, but still, so much of my uncle’s life was closed off she muttered to herself, as she looked around the kitchen. “Mom says that you are thinking of making changes around here?” she asked.

Am I? Max smirked to himself. Can I make changes he was thinking. “That was the idea,” he allowed because he did not know what he was going to do. On many fronts he would think. “Change sometimes has to come,” he sighed as if his life was not already going through some massive change.

“Yes, it does” Kyla muttered. “Are you going to ask Kyle?”

“Most likely,” Max murmured. He has the biggest company in town, and there is value in keeping it at Kyle’s level he muttered. As if he was already not already aware of the oddities of his sister’s personal life, or the fact that Kyle Valenti was his niece’s biological father, and now seeing the conflict in the girl’s face made him aware of what his own daughter was going through, what is with our issues transferring onto our kids he muttered. “Would you be alright with that?”

“Why would I not be?” Kyla asked. Because she knew what her uncle was getting around to.

“It’s just he would be around here more often,” Max asked.

“It’s a job,” Kyla muttered. “And it is your house?”

“Yes, it is” Max muttered, and it in my name too he thought of the fact he could not even claim it as his childhood home anymore, since I own it and have to pay the bills he was thinking as he was thinking of another one of those insane realities of his life. “Just asking if you would be okay with it?”

“Sure,” Mikyla murmured as she could only shrug. Because she did not know what they were actually saying, or not saying at the same time. “I cannot say my life is not a little bizarre or not a little bumpy given some of my realities, but I want my mother happy, and it’s not going to be like I am going to forget my father, you know, Neil.”

“So do I,” Max muttered. I will always want Isabel to be happy. And sometimes biology is not what matters. It is love. But if you can have both, you make for better experience he thought of the fact that Kyla would always think of her father as man who did not father her, but if she can have some contact with Kyle he thought, as he thought of his own situation given that he had not been able to raise his daughter.

“Families are insane sometimes,” Kyla muttered. “Given the realities of our life,” she sighed of the many unique parts of their family, “I can say my life is pretty normal,” she sighed. “So, if something were to happen you know with Mom and Kyle. I would not be that upset,” she sighed.

“Yes, it is” Max sighed. Thank god, and hopefully Claudia will be able to have that same normalcy eventually…

Max did not know what to think of the potential of his sister and Kyle. I am not blind. I have known Kyle has been partial about my sister since you know Jesse he muttered, and he had seen the signs on the road although Isabel was always faithful until her marriage ended, he murmured, so all I saw was friendship between the two. But it was clear that Kyle wanted more he allowed. I know about wanting something more he murmured as he looked around and wondered if he really wanted to make changes to this house. This house is about a forgotten era he thought. It’s hard to move on from it.

Maybe I should call Kyle he thought.

Families Mikyla thought. “Can I ask, do you think you will ever forgive Grandpa for what he did to you?” she asked without knowing everything that was building between father and son.

Will I? Max asked as he remained silent for a moment at the change in the direction of their conversation, families he thought children, and their parents he would mutter to himself.

I don’t know he was thinking but did not know what he could say that would give his niece hope because like her mother, Kyla had hope for the family, and compassion for others, even when they treat you badly.

“I get you,” Kyla said with a simple smile.

One that Max liked, as his niece knew that it was hard to forgive but there is always hope she was thinking, as she turned at the sound of footsteps, and saw a man standing in the kitchen. “Grandpa. Uncle Max came home.”

“That is something I can see,” Phillip murmured as he of course had heard the remnants of the conversation between his granddaughter and his son, and he knew that like Kyla knew the answer, and therefore it did not have to be stated. “Good morning, Max.”

“Morning Dad,” Max said simply and trying with all his might to turn down any animosity he still held towards the situation, for the sake of his niece, and to honor his sister’s last request that he was not to engage in any open warfare with their father while her daughter on the premises I am trying Isabel, I am trying.

“You have finally made it home?” Phillip asked as he accessed his son. And curious about the man, because it was not he could do the same thing when his son was a teenager, he had his own thing going on, and then he was living with Michael he muttered at the thought of that detour that took his son out of his home, and where it would lead us he sighed, of actions that should have made him be cautious about trying to deceive his son. If I could go back, he thought, I would change things…

But would he, Phillip did not know the answer. “Can I ask, where were you?”

“Out,” Max said simply.

Phillip could only sigh. But both of them were trying, but it was hard not to have the tone of their words develop frostier edges, but he did not give anything more. I see that he was thinking, and Max knew it.

Obviously knowing that he needed to elaborate a little. “It got late, and I ended up staying on a friend’s couch” was all Max could say, without indicating that it was his former wife’s couch he had been staying on, and he was not sure if his father could tell or not.

Phillip could not tell.

“As long as you were safe,” Phillip muttered. “You did miss your sister.”

“I gather,” Max sighed. “And I am sorry for it. Though, she did not tell me of the change in her schedule,” he sighed. “But I am glad she has left to go get the girls” he muttered because he was trying to be respectful of the situation, and he knew the one thing he and his father could agree on right now, was their love for his sister.

“Maybe one day, the whole family will be together?” Kyla asked without really knowing what she was saying. But like her mother, she hoped this impasse could be solved because while the words that her grandfather and uncle were saying were nice, and semi warm, still, there is a frosty underneath that was not pure ice she thought, at least not yet she muttered as she prayed for a softening.

“Yeah, that would be something” Max muttered. “If that were to happen,” he muttered but was not going to say anything more. “I have someone I have to go see, and therefore, I am going to go get changed,” was all he could say so that he did not rain on his niece parade and walked out of the kitchen.

“I tried,” Kyla murmured to her grandfather.

Phillip could only sigh. “I know you did honey, and I thank you” Phillip sighed at the unpleasantness of it all, “But your uncle and I have to handle this in our own way.”

Are you even trying The teenager murmured to herself but kept silent and simply nodded, as she accepted it, and walked out of the kitchen herself. Leaving Phillip all alone in the kitchen and hearing the sound of the front door slam, and knowing it was his granddaughter, and not his son.

For a change.

But what would come next?



It was anyone’s guess. Because Max did not know what he was going to do. After a quick shower, and an even quicker change of clothes. He felt like a different man, quite literally he thought, as he could not believe how much had changed in a span of days. Only a week ago. My life was sane he was thinking. But could he really have called it sane? But Max liked to think so because it was the only life, he had known these last eighteen years since he had come back home and realized her did not have what he had most wanted in his life. My wife and daughter he muttered. And yet, I thought I was living he thought because he had not closed himself off like he could have when he lost his wife and daughter.

I did not become a hermit he muttered. I lived.

Probably because he knew they were out there in the world, somewhere, but not here with me he thought. Still, I could have closed myself off, but he felt that it was almost a cop out to do such a thing. But he still knew that even though he did not slink out to the desert and hide behind the walls of the cave. His life these last years was not something he could say was much better. But I tried he was thinking as he looked around his bedroom.

So much was the same as that time. I am residing in the same house he thought of the beginnings of him and Liz. Just different legalities now he was thinking. I have more responsibilities he thought, except for I did not.

As he thought of his daughter trying to grasp around for some understanding in this complicated word. And as he yearned to be able to help her, but he did not want to push her out of his life. That was the risk he knew, and therefore he was going to have to wait to have her come to him, and maybe we can build something then he thought. Because it does not nothing to push, he muttered.

But other developments of the day before did bring about another one of his responsibilities that was not even his anymore. And it was a pressing place he had to go too, and deal with, so that he could gain some understanding, so that he could make some sense of this, and maybe help my daughter in the process if she ever comes to me for help.

But to accomplish that, it would mean revisiting his past, and he did not know if he could do that, but he knew he had to try. But he got diverted from that intention by the knock on the door. “Mikyla?” he asked, obviously unaware his niece had left the house.

“It’s your father,” Phillip muttered from the other side of the door. “Can we talk?”

Should I? Max sighed because he did not want to deal with his father, but it was one of those things he knew he had to deal with. I promised Isabel it would not be war while her daughter is here, he thought. We have to come some peace, sometimes, right?


“Fine, come in” Max muttered as he waited for the door to open, and it did. He felt himself entering a defensive tone. “What do you want to talk about?” he asked, “I have somewhere I have to be.”

“I won’t keep you, but I feel that we need to talk” Phillip murmured.

That is something we do have to doMax conceded, but it was not a conversation he particularly wanted to have right now, not now he thought, as he had too much on his mind. But he did not say what he wanted to say, and Philip was grateful for that.

“Max,” Phillip murmured as he was aware that his son was feeling on the defensive.

“What?” Max asked.

“I thought that while Kyla is here at the house, that we try to make a little peace?” Phillip asked. “You don’t have to forgive me what I did not tell you. And I am not asking you too. Although I wish you could see that even though I should have told you. And keeping details of Liz and Claudia’s whereabouts was unforgivable because I did not give you the opportunity to fight for your family...”

“No, you did not,” Max muttered. Fully aware that it would not have helped matters assuming he had gone after Liz. So, it was not all on his father he knew, I could have found out where she was, which meant I did not need my father to tell me.

He was also well aware even that Michael probably knew. It was a subject he declined to get angry at with his best friend. Because I know he probably was only doing what Maria wanted, and it was not like Maria and Liz were daily contact.

Because I am aware of ex-wife cut all ties he thought.

Not that it makes it any easier Max thought. To know they were out there.

But in some ways, it was better because at least they were real he thought. Unlike my son.

“You gave me grief for letting them go, and you knew where they were” Max muttered. “You knew the reasons why she left me, and you were getting updates on my daughter. Updates that were not coming to me, and you allowed that to continue,” he murmured and knew that was what was really getting to him, the fact my father knew why my wife blew up our marriage. And I did not.

“I am not happy with how I was, since your mother passed away” Phillip sighed. As he was too aware of the fact that he had been like that was until only days before. And he had to wince at the knowledge of some of those words he said. I was too sober for much of it he knew. Therefore, he knew what he had said most of the time he thought. “I took your mother’s passing personally, too personally, and I don’t like how I treated you or your sister. But yes, because you were here in the house, I did I treat you badly.”

“Yes, you did” Max muttered,

“I cannot excuse my behavior since your mother’s death, but on that other matter, I was protecting you son. I was doing what your wife wanted me to do,” he muttered obviously forgetting to put ex in front of it. “She asked me for a favor, and in this case, I thought I was protecting you because if you knew, you would have gone after them.”

“Yes, I would have” Max muttered. “But even if I did not have your information. I could have gone after them myself,” he thought. “Therefore, it is not all on you. I was feeling sorry for myself. I let them walk away. Taking her words at face value. Believing she did not want me anymore. Or for me to be a father to our child. That I was too dangerous. She told me and you two different stories. You could have given me a heads up and told me what she was doing than I might have been able to get to her and make her give me a chance.”

“If you had done that. You could have put your life in danger.”

“I would have walked into danger if I could have been with Liz and our daughter,” Max muttered. I will always love Liz. “But I would not have wanted to put them in danger. So, all I am asking for was the knowledge. Which is something you and my former wife took away from me. Because you both kept me in the dark. When it should have been my choice whether to go after them or not.”

Phillip nodded.

“I may have loved my wife and daughter. But I would never have willingly put them in danger. Or would I have with Isabel or Michael’s families.” Max sighed. “But still you could have told me,” he muttered. “You could have given me the chance to stay away. And to not think all these years that I was too dangerous to be a husband or a father. Or that she did not want me anymore.”

“I should have” Phillip sighed. I know that it is a hell of a situation.

“But, at the end of the day, I could have gone after them” Max muttered at the quandary he was. The paradox of the situation. Neither choice was easy nor was something he would have wanted. “But you were doing what Liz was asking you to do. When she knew she could have come to me when the danger became less, but she chose not too so it is not all on you for what you did.”

Hating this for his son. Because neither choice was something his son would have wanted to bin, and it was not one that he would have chosen for his son. “You might not be able to understand it, but you have to admire that she wanted to protect you and your sister. She thought this was the only choice she could. She should have come to you. But once you make up your mind, and you do something. It is very hard to go back and admit that you might have made a mistake. Your wife had to make the best she could of the situation. For the sake of herself, and for your daughter, and I think you know that at the end of the day, what is best for your daughter was important. As long as she was safe,” Phillip murmured. Because that is what I was doing at the same time. “I was trying to protect my son,” he murmured. “You.”

Max murmured something so softly that it could not be heard.

Phillip felt for his son. “But at this point. The past is over. It can not be revisited or done over. What matters is that your former wife and daughter are here, now.”

Now Max murmured.

What does that mean? He wondered to himself.

He did not know.

So, Max nodded.

“So, you might think what you want to think. And I am not asking you to think anything else. But while your niece is here in this house. While Mikyla is here, maybe we should be respectful. For your sister and for Kyla’s sake.”

Max nodded, and knew their talk was a first step. It might be going over old hurts, but still, it is important to talk.

Not talking got us to this point.

“Yes, I think both of agree that while Mikyla is here at the house. The house should not become tense. Because that is the last thing either she or my sister needs while Isabel is traveling to pick up her kids” Max muttered. “So, lets agree to disagree on our past disagreements. Because we both won’t see eye to eye on it. And we can keep our personal opinions to ourselves,” he would mutter because he did not want to deal with his anger for his father at the moment. I have other issues he would think. “I have other battles to deal with anyways.”

“That is all I am asking son,” Phillip murmured.

Max nodded.

“Where are you going?” Phillip asked.

“Out,” Max murmured. Because while it might be a slightly more settled peace time between them for the moment, does not mean he wanted so upfront with his father. “I have somewhere to be.”

“I won’t keep you,” Phillip murmured. “Does it have anything to do with something your sister happened to find out before she left?”

“What would she have found out?” Max asked. “Because I can’t know what you might know or not know.”

“Very true,” Phillip murmured.

“So?” Max asked.

Phillip knew he was opening up a hornet’s nest. A nest that his son did not want to have to address because he knew how much it took for his son to get over that time, but I have to know. “Is it true Tess’s son is back in town?” Phillip asked.

And from his son’s expression. Phillip could tell that it was true. And he was right, Max does not want to talk about it.

No, he did not.

And Max simply picked up his jacket and left his bedroom. And Phillip heard the slam of the door moments later.



Archie was coming back to his room. After having breakfast with his sister. Crystal was off with Tripp somewhere. It seemed strange to him that his sister would strike up a friendship with someone in this town. It is not like she is staying he muttered. She still has to return home, but it also made him wonder how long he was fated to stay in this town himself. After all, he had come to see Claudia.

Not to have my whole life upended he would mutter. But that was exactly what was happening. Against wishes. Because he had never wanted to know more about himself. I was fine being who I am without any answers to those questions I did have he muttered. Because that meant he could be whole he wanted to be, without any expectations that came with knowing his full story. My origin story he muttered.

Growing up, sure wondered a few times what it would like to know more. But once he discovered that his biological mother was dead. And his biological father was undefined after his original biological father being declared a mistake. It meant he did not have to know. I could be who I wanted to be.

And it is not like I did not have a dysfunctional family at home he muttered. Why would I want one in my birth family too…

And plus, I found out some stuff I did not want to know
even though his biological mother was in the record books as being kind of a mystery. He wanted to keep it that way, so he was not about to find out more about it.

He had only wanted to come to Roswell and see Claudia. To be honest with you, I had forgotten this town was listened on my birth records he muttered. It just seemed like unique town that his girlfriend had come back too. Even though Claudia would not have known it. But her mother did, and because he knew how difficult Claudia’s relationship could get with her mother. Well, I decided to come to visit.

And found out way more than I wanted he thought as he went and had a hot shower because he had did not like how he was feeling. He was giving Claudia time. He did not know how long he could stay in this town if Claudia refused to give him a second chance. It is not like I want to be here he muttered.

It was a fine town. Lively at times sure. But not my taste he thought. But Claudia is he sighed as he got changed. He was planning on giving Claudia time, but he needed to show her that he could be viewed differently that she currently thought he was…

He did not even know what he was being considered.

Just muttering to himself, and he almost did not hear the door. But the knock came once more. And he was wondering if it was Claudia.

Knowing the only other person he knew in this town was preoccupied. He knew it could not be his sister, so he walked to the door. And opened it.

And his mood turned into one of uncertainty.

“What are you doing here?” he asked of the man who was once considered his father. But fortunately for me today, he is in now he thought. Assuming that I want my girlfriend to like me again.

“We need to talk” Max sighed as he looked at the boy, who had been once been his.
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Family Matters - Chapter 68 - 11/08/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

Why am I dealing with this? Archie muttered to himself as he was staring at one more situation he had not been counting on. “I am not feeling a terrible need for a discussion with you” Archie muttered ten minutes later as the stood within the younger man’s motel room. He and Max had been in almost a stare down since Max and shown up on the doorstep of his motel room. And it was not like Max even knew why he had been here.

Why am here? Max asked. He’s not even my son he murmured. I have a paternity test to determine that he thought. Even though that had been a giant red flag that fortunately never had come to pass in his own genetic makeup. Thankfully DNA only care about whether the child matches or not, nothing more he would think. So, yeah, thank god for that he would murmur to himself as he looked at Tess’s child.

If he had not known the last time they had interacted. He knew now.


He does not look like her, but there is that essence in him that comes from Tess he would think as he looked at the boy that once was his.

Archie could fell the assessment, and the judgment. And he did not know how to deal with it either because this was not something he had been looking for. “I was never asking for answers you know. I never had a real need to know my origin story.”

I was different Max would think of his own youth. My need to know.

But knew everyone was different. So, he could believe that Archie would not want to know. “So, I am not looking for any heart wrenching talk between us.”

“Well, I had to talk to you,” Max muttered. “After all, you were dating my daughter.”

That is indeed a fucked-up situation, and no wonder Claudia won’t take my calls he would think. “I never wanted to hurt her,” Archie muttered. “I love her.”

“We never do,” Max sighed. We never want to hurt those we care about he thought. “But sometimes we do, without thinking we are…”

“If you are thinking I was wanting this to happen?” Archie asked as he was unable to read Claudia’s father. The man is a mystery he murmured. In so many ways he would think. It is hard to read him he sighed. Father like daughter I guess because sometimes his daughter is a master at hiding in plain sight. So, it was hard to know what Max was thinking of him. “You are wondering if I planned this?”

“It was a thought, yes” Max sighed, because yes, that was something that would have flashed through his brain.

“Then you can cross that thought out of your mind,” Archie muttered. “I love Claudia. I never would have wanted any of this,” he sighed. “I did not know this would have happened when I met your daughter. We were living in Boston and living our lives. Going to school. She captivated me for simply being who she is. She has her last name. Evans. But how did I know it might mean anything, because by then, what I did know of my origin story and that was something that never appealed to me, but still, I would never have made any connections. How could I? How would I know she had any connection to this town.”

“So, did you?" Max murmured.

“So, they say” Archie muttered. “And honestly, I had forgotten that this was the town I was born in. Sure, it was listed on my birth records, but it was not something I would have remembered in my daily life. And really, I never cared to know more. The adoption did not even happen, here, right?” he asked of what little he knew of his adoption. “Whoever arranged for the adoption, found a couple who did not live here,” he sighed. “So, I never had any reason to put two and two together.”

“Right,” Max muttered. “My father is the one who arranged for your adoption.”

“Convenient,” Archie muttered.

“It would have been, if not for…” Max muttered and stopped because it was not something he could speak of. Because it brought back memories. Not that he ever wanted to be Archie’s father, but when you believe you have a kid. It’s hard when that is taken away, he thought. I was already dealing with that, in the form of losing Claudia and then to find out about the son I believed I had…

“The fact we are not related?” Archie asked. Jerry Springer on line one.

“Which is something I think we are very glad for right now,” Max muttered. Then I would have a reason to say something, if the situation was different, he muttered.

“I agree,” Archie muttered. That would have taken things in a different direction he knew. “How could I know we had any connection to each other. Because your daughter was not exactly up on her own origin story.”

Thanks to her mother Max muttered to himself. Because I would have wanted her to know he would think. “Unfortunately, that was not my choice” he sighed, even though it was, and he knew it.

Archie did not say anything.

“So, I say we needed to talk” Max muttered.

“I don’t know what is going to happen” Archie murmured.

“I don’t think anyone really knows,” Max muttered. “But it was worth the attempt,” he muttered.

Archie nodded.

“So, you and my birth mother were a thing?” Archie asked.

Unfortunately, Max would mutter to himself, and Archie could see the conflict in the man as he waited for a response. And what he really wanted to say but was unable to say. “You can be honest with me. I never needed to know about the woman.”

“Why not?” Max asked.

“Obviously, I was given away for a reason” Archie sighed. “Despite all my hiccups with my family. I love them. And they were good to me, and therefore, I was never looking into what made me tick or did my heart wonder what might have been if only I had stayed. My parents wanted me, and I wanted them, and what I did learn of my birth mother made me wonder if I even wanted to know her.”

You probably would not Max would concede. It is not like I wanted to know her he sighed. But the fact I got mixed up with Tess is on me…

Archie could see the conflict once more. There is definitely a story there he thought. “I am not going to fall apart Mr. Evans,” Archie muttered. “I know she was dead. And she had skeletons in her closet…”

We all have skeletons in our closet Max knew. It is not as we are that different from Tess he thought. We just did not take an army base down with us he thought of the countless casualties, even though we got tarred by that incident.

And it is ultimately why I lost my wife and daughter he would think.

“So, you and I don’t need to make peace Mr. Evans,” Archie sighed. “I really don’t particularly need my life story…”

Which is refreshing Max conceded in many ways. After all, everyone is different. Not everyone is broken and looking for answers in the past.

“I only want your daughter to believe in me.” Archie muttered.

Don’t we all Max acknowledged.


Mom was me Claudia reflected. In a different way than I am dealing with now she sighed as she heard the doorbell ring, and her mother walked out of their conversation. That had been talking deaths, or near deaths right because Dad is not dead, she sighed. But their conversation had been short because Liz had remembered she had made the commitment to talk to Kyle about the pending renovations, not that I know what I want to do she conceded to herself because the last hours had taken her attention away from the situation at hand.

Naturally Liz would concede. “Hello Kyle. Thank you for coming.”

“No problem,” Kyle said as he walked into the apartment over the Crashdown. And so, the boxes all around. There had not been any effort to really move into this place. And I doubt Claudia would have done it on her own he thought. “Are you any closer to knowing what you want to do?”

“Honestly, no,” Liz sighed with a laugh as she took the same look around the apartment that Kyle had done. Our life is so bizarre, you have to laugh about it, right? “I thought I was going to be more focused for our meeting, and then you know…”

“Great intentions get waylay, right, with family craziness, huh?” Kyle asked as he walked into the apartment, and spotted Claudia looking at them. Immediately, he could see that Liz’s daughter had seen better days. I heard something had happened, but I don’t know everything he thought. “We can delay this once more,” he asked. “I don’t have another project at the moment.” And it is not like I can see Isabel with her out of town. “You can wait to get started.”

I cannot wait for long Liz knew. My livelihood depends on figuring out what we are going to do with this place she muttered. She was still existing on her savings. And with no rent coming in for at least a month, she needed to get started.

“No, we can talk” Liz sighed. “I want to get going. My long-term financial needs depend on it. But unfortunately, I was dealing with some stuff…”

Obviously, Kyle thought.

“Hello Claudia,” Kyle murmured as he glanced at Max and Liz’s only child. A young woman whose name meant a great deal to his former girlfriend. Because he remembered Liz’s grandmother, and knew how special the woman was, and it only made sense that Liz would have named her after Claudia Parker.

“Mr. Valenti,” Claudia murmured as she walked into the kitchen, and dumped the coffee into the coffee maker so it could be brewed because she needed more pickmeup than what her mother had brought to her. Before she headed back to her bedroom and waited for the coffee to brew. “I’ll leave you two to talk.”

“Take the time to relax honey,” Liz sighed.

“Relax, that is a notion I am not aware of” Claudia muttered as she walked back to her room.

Kyle did not know if that was meant to be a dig at her mother, but Liz was not taking offence, and so when hey were alone. “Problems?”

“Too many,” Liz sighed. “Claudia decided to get drunk last night,” she sighed. “So, she is a little hung over this morning.”

Whoa Kyle thought. Not that I don’t know the concept because I did some drinking myself when I was even younger than Claudia is now. “Where?”

“Cow Patties,” Liz sighed. “Max had to rescue her.”

That is something Kyle muttered. Max definitely knows how to rescue someone he thought because that is how he lost Liz in the first place, not that we probably were going to last, but at the time, it sucked he knew at how he had lost Liz to Max. Because Max saved her life.

And would save mine, eventually he acknowledged which told him he could not be down for it, and especially I could have been dead myself.

“What made her do that?” Kyle asked. “As if a teenager needs an excuse in a town like this.”

Like Liz, he had a great fondness for his hometown. But he was not going to ignore the fact it was definitely a small town, and it took time to adjust to that notion of living in such a small town. Thankfully it is not your average town he would think to himself. And he had reasons for liking this town, it has my family in it.

“She decided to get hammered because of state of things between herself and Archie, her boyfriend” Liz sighed.

“Relationship issues?” Kyle asked. That would make sense.

“Unfortunately,” Liz conceded as she sighed and looked down at her watch. Time is flying she would think. But it is not at the same time. Because she was unsure of what he should say about the Tess situation. But Kyle needs to know she could not help but think because Liz also knew that she knew more of the situation with Tess and Kyle than probably anyone else in this town I still don’t know how that could have happened she would mutter to herself, but that is not my problem she sighed but still, she did not know how to broach it with her former boyfriend. But given the fact that their group was so small. And the gossip vines were too tangled for it to be kept a secret much longer…

Kyle could see the frown on Liz’s face. “What is going on?” Kyle asked because he could see the conflict in his former girlfriend’s expression. “I am a parent. I know relationship issues,” he said with a laugh. “And mine before that,” he allowed. Because that is a story in itself, he sighed even though he had not had a lot of action before he left this town.

“It’s not that…” Liz murmured and wished it was as simple as that.

“Then what is?” Kyle asked.

“I don’t know how to tell you…” Liz murmured.

“Tell me what?” Kyle asked.

“I guess I have to be direct,” Liz muttered. “Kyle, Tess’s son is in town,” Liz murmured.

What Kyle sputtered in shock as the news hit him. That is impossible, right? he wanted to ask as the notion struck into a stupor, and into silence.

Not impossible Liz knew.

“Liz?” Kyle asked as he was clearly looking at his former girlfriend to tell him that she was joking, it cannot be true right even if at the same time, there was always a chance of it happening he knew. The kid was out there.

Liz could understand the feeling of befuddlement because she had felt it when she had been told this, but for Kyle there was a lot more to deal with because at the end of the day, Max is not Archie’s father he thought. If you ignore the fact that Archie and Claudia are dating, she muttered. And she knew she could not, but at the same time it did not have that much to do with her, but it could with Kyle. “Seriously Kyle, I am telling you the truth. Tess’s son is in town” Liz murmured. “But that is not the confusing part of it…”

“There is something more?” Kyle asked as he was trying to comprehend this. Are you kidding me?

“Unfortunately,” Liz sighed. “It’s why my daughter decided to get drunk last night. As much as I want to disapprove of it, because she is underage. But really, if it had happened to me, then maybe I might have done the same thing. Not that I did not have my own set of issues.”

Unfortunately, Kyle thought. You did fall in love with an alien he muttered. And she did have her life saved by one and has some secret powers or something he muttered. Definitely a tabloid should be calling us by now he muttered of their unreal story. “You did have your own set of issues that Claudia could not possibly complete with…

“She has her own set. Because it turns out her boyfriend, Archie Holmes is Tess’s son Kyle…”

Holy Shit.


Kyle wanted to faint. Are you kidding me? he was wondering to himself as he stared with his jaw dropped at his former girlfriend. As she was telling me that her life was one more episode in the can of Jerry Springer or some other tabloid-esque show. And normally it would not be something I can deny he muttered, but this was not I was bargaining for. “Are you sure?” he was asking moments later when he did not faint.

He stayed standing. Even though he felt faint. But he mustered the ability to keep standing. “Are you sure they are connected?” he was asking. “How is it possible?” he asked as he was trying to put the pieces together.

“It happens,” Liz muttered. Because I had to raise my daughter out of this town she sighed. But what are the odds that two kids that have a connection to our story here in this town would meet and fall in love. “We knew the boy was out there.”

“But it does not make them connected, or the same person” Kyle asked as he was trying to comprehend this development. Sure, I knew the possibly was that he could come back into the story he thought. He was out there.

And Max arranged for the adoption. And it was final by the time, the truth was revealed and there was no urgency to undo it all because they were wrong about Max being the father.

Tess was dead.

But the father was just undefined, and unknown. Kyle knew he could have raised questions about it. And tried to investigate. But he did not want to believe. Only time would make him think about whether he should have done more.

To know one way or another.

For all we know Tess got pregnant once she lost Max’s child. Assuming Tess was ever pregnant with Max’s child he thought. He did not know the whole situation, and knew Max had connected with the kid, but Tess was lying to us.

Still the boy was happy in his family. And especially once he was able to heal and recover from whatever he was battling he thought. Still, the idea that the boy was back in their lives but in the form of Claudia’s boyfriend. “Are you sure?” he asked again.

“I wish for my daughter’s sake it was not true,” Liz muttered. “It would be so much easier if it was some trick or something,” she sighed “Of course, we have seen no proof or some test but with Tess dead. It is not like we could know for sure, except to look at the adoption papers. And that is not something I am prone to do.”

“Of course not,” Kyle said why would you do that he mused as he was standing in a stupor. “We knew it was possible.”

“The funny thing he was not asking for clarity on his own story,” Liz muttered. “He was apart of Claudia’s story, but it got entangled.”

“Funny how life works sometimes,” Kyle muttered. “We all get entangled at times.”

Liz sighed.

“This is all unreal,” Kyle muttered.

It is all too weird and bizarre Liz knew. But it was a fact of life. “Tell me about it,” Liz sighed. “So, you can say thoughts on the renovation got a little muddled up,” she sighed. “With my reality.”

Kyle slowly nodded, as he was trying to comprehend that Tess’s son was in town. “So, you are telling me the kid is here in town?”

“Yes. Archie Holmes is. But he’s more than a kid Kyle,” Liz sighed. “If we are right and Archie Holmes is really Tess’s son than he’s nineteen…”

“Yeah,” Kyle muttered.

Unbelievable he would tell himself.

“I am sorry for having to rattle you with this Kyle,” Liz sighed. “I wish I did not have too.”

Kyle felt in a fog. As twenty years of past memories were floating to the top once more. “I asked, and you felt that I needed to know.”

“It was starting to come known, and even if Max is not Archie’s father. It is still relevant to what is going on in some completely bizarre ways."

Definitely Kyle thought. “Have you told Max about what you and I talked about?”

I have not had the time Liz muttered. I have had other issues on my mind she knew. “It did not seem appropriate. It is not even my conversation to have Kyle. Even if Archie is Tess’s son. He’s not Max’s….”

“No, but he might be mine.” Kyle muttered.

And before anything more could be said, a mug fell onto the ground, and Liz and Kyle realized they had been in a bubble of their making. Forgetting that they were not alone in the apartment. And that their conversation could have been overheard at any time. And in the case, they were overheard as they looked around and Claudia looking at this stunned.

With a broken coffee mug on the ground, in pieces.

Like this whole situation.
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Family Matters - Chapter 69 - 11/10/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

Are you serious because Holy Shit Claudia was thinking moments later as the mug, she had been holding crash burst the bubble that her mother and Kyle Valenti had been in. It did not even feel like they knew I was still here she thought to herself. As she been listening to the conversation. Keeping one ear to it as she was laying on her bed, and closing her eyes to relieve the headache that was forming. As much as she wanted to be thinking of her own life. Archie kept bombarding into her thoughts, and so she just laid there, and listened into as she figured her mother would be talking about whatever she was planning for the Crashdown, and up here…

We have to get that on the go she thought. She had winced at the thought of her mother’s financial status being depended on it. She had never really thought of that before because she knew her mother had a great job back in Boston. One that she had left, because of how bad this year has gone she sighed. She knew they had relied on savings before. But this was a pretty big diversion from their pattern that their life had been operating on. NO wonder she wants me to go to university she thought.

That was still not on my radar she thought. I still need time she thought because she did not know what her life would lead to if she went off to school now, I rather wait she thought. Although it might provide some diversions from thinking of part of my life, I don’t want to deal with now she thought. Archie, please leave me alone she muttered as she tried to will herself to forget her sexy boyfriend.

We might not be related. But it should be gross that he was practically my brother she thought. So, she was trying to listen to her mother and Kyle, but any thoughts of them talking about plans for the apartment and Crashdown was lost when they began talking about me, she muttered. So, she felt duty bound to continue listening, it is always good to eavesdrop she thought, and she needed coffee and the caffeine to wake her up. It might make me wierd, but it is something I need right now she was thinking.

So, she got up from the bed, and was going for the kitchen, and the coffee pot, and that is when she heard something truly shocking.

“But he might be mine,” Kyle was saying, and the coffee mug slipped out of Claudia’s hand and onto the floor.

That cannot be true, right? Claudia asked herself as she stood in shock as her mother and Kyle swung their attention at her.

“Claudia?” Liz said softly, aware of what her daughter had overheard. I did forget she was here she thought. And she did know her daughter had amazing skills to overhear the oddest of conversation, both of my children do but Claudia has always been special but in this case, it was clear her daughter did not have to be in her bedroom and overhearing. She was obviously going for the coffee. “We forgot you were still here.”

“Obviously,” Claudia muttered.

“Claudia?” Kyle muttered.

“Mr. Valenti,” Claudia muttered in disbelief over what she had just overheard. I must still be hung over, and not up on reality she muttered to herself. But she knew she too sober, and she was too awake.

She was too on the ball.

Shit, Claudia muttered.

“I think you can call me Kyle by now, don’t you” Kyle asked. “After all, we are one big family” he muttered. “You mother and I go way back…”

That we do Liz murmured way back to the beginning she muttered as she could see the shock on Claudia’s face. And she felt for her daughter because she felt something similar. It is not easy being hung over, and being dealt with a bombshell “Honey,” she murmured softly.

“You are seriously Archie’s father?” Claudia asked, as she looked at Kyle. How is that even possible.

Okay, I know how it happens she muttered. A boy and a girl get together, and presto a little baby is born she muttered. Birds and the bees. It’s pretty easy.

Hopefully, it happens when you are old enough to be able to handle it.

But she knew enough to know it could not be an easy situation and she knew it because Crap she would mutter to herself. Why should this happen to me?

“I don’t know,” Kyle muttered.

“How can you not know?” Claudia asked with increasing incredulity. What is this drama that I landed in? “If my father is not the father, and you indicate that it could be you. Should you know one way or not because obviously, it is not my father.”

Thankfully Liz would mutter to herself That is our savings grace she muttered even if she ignored her own personal feelings on that matter. “Honey, it’s Kyle’s business.”

“But I am in this now” Claudia muttered. “Dad believed he was the father. Obviously, he is not. Archie is my boyfriend. And Archie has always indicated his birth father was unknown,” she asked. “But hearing Kyle now speak. He seems awfully sure it could be him,” she asked. “So, how can you say that you don’t know?”

“Because I don’t know and that is the truth of it,” Kyle sighed as she looked at Liz for away out. But for Liz, she was even more unaware as her own daughter was. It is a hell of a situation she and Kyle both knew.

Claudia just wanted something, anything to make sense.

Too much was up in the air.

“That is crap,” Claudia muttered. Why is this happening to me she muttered. Even when it does not matter to me, it’s happening to me.

“Claudia, language” Liz muttered.

“Seriously,” Claudia asked. “What is with this town. I have had to deal with my boyfriend being my almost brother, and now this…”

“This does not matter to you” Liz muttered. “It might to Archie, but not to you” she sighed. “It just part of the story,” she would sigh as she looked with encouragement to Kyle. “Honey, the past is a very tricky thing.”

“I think I know that” Claudia muttered.

No, you don’t Kyle muttered in a snappish tone. “You don’t know. Unfortunately for you, but that is your savings grace at the same time. You were not here back then when everything changed for your mother and even me. When you father saved your mother’s life. And they brought me into a story I did not even want to be. And tried with all my mite to stay out of,” he would think of that first year when he was barely around, and did not know what was going on, or what the hell was going on he would think. “We are not kidding when we say that it is a very complicated tale. If Archie is Tess’s son. That would be the only thing we could know for certain. Because she made sure your father believed he was the father,” and he was coming to realize that Tess did have ways to be able to con people into believing what they wanted. She did it with me he would think as he turned back to the confused teenager. Welcome to the club, kid he muttered to himself. “Tess was known to put many numbers on us. She even used me in ways that go beyond whether or not Archie might be my son,” he muttered. “I was used in ways that I will never forget.”

Alex they would both think.

As they remembered just what Tess had done, and the number she had done, to fool them. I will never know what was what, and what was on the level he would muttered. I believed that girl he thought. We were friends he thought, or so I thought.

She did a number on me.

“Sorry,” Claudia sighed. Appearing contrite. I know I am a bit much she thought. I have always been like this, and I cannot stop now when my life is in turmoil. “I don’t know what I am thinking,” she would mutter. “This is not my day obviously,” she sighed. In fact, this has not been my month.

“Then you would be in a small select club,” Kyle muttered. “That includes your mother, and me.”

“If you believed you could have been Archie’s father back when my father found out that it was a lie. Then why did you never confirm it once and for all?” Claudia asked because it did not seem real to her. But at least I would try to figure out if my gut feeling is right, she muttered. But then I was not alive back then she thought. I came later. “Even if this Tess Harding is dead,” she sighed. That fact is something I know.

Yeah, why not Kyle thought to himself. Why did I not just find out?

He did not know.

I guess I wanted to sit in the dark, and not know Kyle thought. “I wish I could tell you. By the time your father was found out not to be the father,” he said softly, looking at Liz and then at Claudia. “The adoption was finalized. I know, I could have said something. Investigated it. But somehow, the boy was found to be getting better, so, it was not like they even needed my help. But I know, I could have looked into it. But he was happy. His parents loved him. And it would have caused too much of a disruption. By the time we knew. I was newly married to Tripp’s mother, and therefore, it would have cause more drama than I was ready for at the time. Which is something I did not need…”

“But you would have known?” Claudia asked.

“Yeah, I would have known” Kyle agreed. “But still it seemed simpler to move on without knowing one way or another” Kyle sighed. And probably why I ended up helping Isabel he muttered.

“So, what are you going to do now?” Claudia asked.

Hell, if I know Kyle muttered to himself.

“Adults, I don’t get any of you” Claudia muttered. As she went for the broom, and cleaned up the mess she had made, totally aware that there was more fallout that was more than a simple broom could pick up. “I am going back to my room.”

Liz could only sigh as they watched as Claudia went for the coffee, before heading back to the room. And suddenly they were alone again, with her daughter slamming her door behind her, to prove that they were definitely now alone.

“Sorry,” was all she could say.

“You don’t have to be. Claudia is right. She’s in the middle of this. And if Archie is here in town, and if we are right about his paternity. It is going to come out…”

Liz sighed. “How are you doing?” she asked. Because she knew bombshells, and this was a big one if you did not see it coming, and we definitely did not see this coming she muttered.

“I don’t know what I am thinking,” Kyle sighed. “Or what am I going to do.”

“I guess we can go back to talking business,” Liz said with a smile.

Kyle could not help but burst out laughing, because the pending renovations were even in more state of a disarray, and none of them knew where this would lead them. But it did provide both of them a diversion, so they decided to focus on something that was not a soap opera in the making.



Max was still dealing with Archie. None of them knew why they were still talking to each other. They should have both walked away. But they stayed. Of course, the older man knew that keeping things civil with the younger man would go a long with his daughter, assuming she still wants Archie in her life he would think but he knew too well that if you are getting drunk. And you are ranting and raving, and so upset. It means you still care he thought so it served him to be civil with Archie.

And to answer the younger man’s questions.

Because knew Archie was confused by the whole situation. Hell, I am confused because it was a situation none of them wanted.

I wish everything could make sense Archie would think to himself. “So, I was a mistake?” he asked after he and Max were talking more than a few minutes. He was curious. And he needed to ask.

A mistake Max asked. For me maybe he thought. Assuming I was his father he thought, and thank god, I am not he muttered to himself.

For my sanity, as well as my daughter.

Thank god.

The silence coming form Max told Archie it was true. “So, I was?”

“Technically maybe, but I don’t know” Max sighed as he was trying to keep things even keel, and really, he did know “Although for your birth mother, you were always the plan.” And a plan she was never upfront on until it was too late.

“She wanted me?” Archie asked.

I would not go that far Max thought. She wanted what you would have presented her he thought. To go back to Antar and serve me up on a platter he muttered. I doubt she really wanted to be a mother. “It a very complicated situation. I cannot say what your birth mother may have wanted at the time.”

Archie could see that Max was trying to soften things, and sugar coat the truth. “You can tell me the truth.”

“I know I can,” Max sighed. “Your birth mother. Tess Harding was a complicated woman. She was only eighteen when she died. So, her experiences were colored by what she had experienced, and what she was told,” he would think. If only she had seen what Nascedo was saying was faulty he wanted to think. But you are told to believe your elders and Nascedo was her foster parent, and only a year was not going to break through all she had learned on the way to Roswell he would think. “There is a lot I don’t know. But at end, she made me believe you were mine,” he sighed because he did not what was what with Tess in the end. She confused me greatly and fooled me all at the same time he thought. I don’t know how it all adds up he thought, of the assumptions he had to make because he did not know what was true.

We are all riding on assumptions of an unreal situation he muttered.

“But she wanted me?” Archie asked.

“She had a greater plan,” Max muttered. “She never really told me what it was,” he was thinking. “Until the end.”

Archie murmured. So, she was a plotter?

“You seem like a good kid,” Max asked. “We might not know each other. But if you care about my daughter than that is most important factor. I know it’s a crazy situation. But don’t let yourself dragged down by wanting to know more about your birth mother. Because she caused a lot of pain in the end. She used people. She caused a lot of damage. And it won’t do you any good to wonder what she would have wanted…”

Archie nodded. I want to know, but I also don’t want to know he sighed. “As I have said. I never wanted to know,” Archie sighed and knew he was seesawing. I am in this town. And these people knew my birth mother. “I am only in this because of my relationship with your daughter, and how it mixes up with you” he sighed. “I am not looking for some understanding on my birth mother. Sure, sometimes, I wonder what she would have been like. But I am not looking for any of missing pieces that I am missing,” he muttered. “I have a family. I am happy,” he sighed. I am happy. Crystal and others think I might have been longing for understanding, but I was not.

“I am glad.” Max murmured. “That is why I did not keep you. And given how it turned out, that was probably for the best for you. I would never have been equipped back then to provide you the life you would have needed. My life was too mixed up with what I knew, and what I did not know.”

“And you loved Claudia’s mother?” Archie asked.

“Yes,” Max murmured. “Unfortunately, as teenagers, we were going through a lot of angst…” to put it mildly.

“And yet you did not last?” Archie asked.

“Sometimes love is like that,” Max muttered. “We tried for about a minute, and we had a few moments of sunshine, but the darkness soon settled in, and unfortunately Claudia found herself stuck in the middle.”

Archie sighed. “Claudia is why I never wanted to know more about my own life,” he sighed. “She is so mixed up. And I don’t want to be like that. I don’t know what it means in the end, but I want to be supportive for her, and I don’t want to cause her anymore pain…”

“I hope so,” Max murmured. “She will come around.”

“Will she?” Archie asked, afraid to hope.

“You just need to give her time,” Max suggested even as he did not know whether he liked that he was giving romantic advice to his daughter’s boyfriend. I should be egging on the distance between them, and not looking to help it.

“I will do that,” Archie sighed.

“Good,” Max sighed.

And he then did choose to leave. Walking away while making peace with the past. I will never truly understand it. But at least he’s a good kid.

“Can I ask a question?” Archie asked as he walked Claudia’s father the short distance to the door. “If you are not my father. Then who is?” he asked. “Do you know?”

“No,” Max said automatically. “I have no idea who your birth mother used to try to get to me,” he muttered. “She made me believe that it was me. Therefore, as far as I know, there was no one else,” he muttered. “But your mother had this innate ability to hide a lot of her actions, and she used a lot of people to get where she wanted to go in the end,” he said softly, and saw the frown on Archie’s face. “Sorry, that just came out” he muttered. “But it’s the truth. Archie, she used a lot of people in the end, and she caused a lot of pain.”

Pain that we are still living with today…

Archie nodded.


Tess did a lot of damage. And Kyle was now reeling from it. And he and Liz were not in the mood to talk renovations, and plus Liz needed to check in on her son who was over at Maria’s place. Kyle took that opportunity to go on his way. And he was thinking of the potential of having another, sure, I knew there was a high likelihood that he was my son, and he was out there he thought. Because like Max, he also knew there were not that many candidates to be the father if it was not Max.

Given how Tess was trying with all her might. It would totally be up her ally to try to conceal any other relationships once it appeared that Max was going to succumb to her charms, of course now we know Liz was pushing him away he thought. And there was no way Max would not have wanted to go there with Tess if given the choice.

But he did and therefore, it was easy to pinpoint him as the father. And given he connected to the baby he muttered.

But then Tess was able to maneuver a lot.

And he was living with the results even though it is totally on me that I never did anything with the suspicion of the boy that was not Max’s.

That is on me he would mutter as he was walking through the park, and he was startled to see someone he did not expect. Maybe I should since it’s my son.

The son I know of he thought and have been raising he muttered.

But he with a strange girl, he did think he had seen before. She was exotic looking with her jet-black hair, and pale complexion. Different from this parts he would think given he was a lifelong resident of this town, minus a year he thought, and he knew everyone.

So, he thought.

Until now.

His son was coming closer. “Son,” he said as he welcomed Tripp and his companion to his space.

“Dad?” Tripp murmured as he had not expected that he and Crystal to bump into his father. “I thought you had a meeting?”

“It ended earlier than I expected it would,” Kyle murmured because of so many other reasons, and those reasons are ones I am not dealing with yet as he looked at the only child, he had that he had raised. And now his past was coming back to haunt him. In the end, it was not Liz’s love life that ended any talk of the Crashdown he sighed. It was mine.

For someone who did not get a lot of action in high school…

“Who do we have here?” Kyle asked as he spotted Crystal.

“A friend,” Tripp smiled. “Dad, this is Crystal,” he murmured, and turned to his companion and made the introductions. “Crystal, this is my father Kyle Valenti” he murmured as he introduced Crystal to his father.

“Crystal?” Kyle asked.

“Yes,” Crystal murmured. As she did not know what she was getting into because she and Tripp had been seeing the sights, and suddenly they were running into Tripp’s father, this is weird and awkward. “Crystal Holmes Mr. Valenti,” she murmured. “I am in town visiting…”

“Oh,” Kyle murmured. Holmes, he murmured. “I think I may have heard the name Holmes before.”

“Dad, Crystal is Claudia’s boyfriend’s sister,” Tripp murmured.

And suddenly Kyle was entering a unique situation. Damn he would mutter to himself as he accessed Crystal, and Crystal could feel the assessment, but she only thought it was because she was with her son, but not for what it was because of what both Crystal and his son Tripp could not possibly know.

And he was beginning to realize that this was a whole new ballgame.
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Family Matters - Chapter 70 - 11/12/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

Tripp did not know why his father was acting the way he did. All he was doing was being a friend. Crystal was growing restless in her motel room. And since Archie was not in the mood to entertain his younger sister for more than a simple breakfast. She and Tripp had met up, with plans for Tripp to show the newcomer the town, and maybe by the time they were done than Archie would be more up for company. Given Crystal had surprised her brother, she did not want to push him too much.

Pushing anyone never did any good for any of them. So, Tripp was up to the task of playing tour guide, and so they went around town. And even though his town was small. It had a tourist trade that was trying to get back on its feet after a very rough year, that had taken the spark the town once had. Dad says the town was this way once before, back in the early 2000s when the town was down and out and needed a spark.

Unfortunately, Graduate 2002 would create a spark that would revive the town’s fortunes and kept it going until real life got its way, with that damn pandemic he would think. Therefore, Tripp did not know a town that had been reeling until the last year, and he needed his town back. So, he was glad to see that it was trying to come back.

And he enjoyed showing Crystal the town he knew. That was more than alien myths, real or imagined he would think as he his new friend had enjoyed their trip, and they had taken a detour through the park.

It was a lovely day. And the park was well worth it, and they were just chatting and talking about nothing of importance when Tripp could see his father coming their way, but more aimlessly like he had something on his mind. But once Kyle had seen his son. Everything seemed normal until it did not, until he mentioned who Crystal’s brother was.

And he saw the frozen nature of his father face. Weird he would think. Because he had never seen his father like this. Even during countless bad marriages, and the resulting divorces, I have not seen him like this he thought.

The only closest example was whatever was going on with Kyla.

And my father and her mother Tripp muttered. And because he had gone through countless marriages with his father. He knew when to keep his mouth shut, and his opinions to his self. But he knew how much his father cared about Kyla’s mother.

It was a weird situation he thought. But I want him to be happy, but it did not mean what was happening now made any sense. “Dad?” Tripp asked of his father.

Kyle’s mind was reeling. Come on Kyle grow up he thought. It is not even Archie I am looking at he sighed. So, Archie has a younger sister he thought, as he looked at Crystal. He would not have known of any resemblance because he had yet to meet Archie, so he should not be reacting like this.

“Yeah, what?” he would think as he was called out of his fog by his son.

“All I was doing in introducing the two of you,” Tripp murmured. “Crystal came to visit her brother. You know Claudia’s boyfriend,” he repeated as he was clueless as to the paleness of his father, because Kyle had never admitted his suspicion early on that Tess’s son had been his, and therefore his son was clueless.

“You came all this way to visit your brother, who is only in town to visit his girlfriend” Kyle asked.

“I was not thinking properly, obviously” Crystal asked. Oblivious to the odd way Tripp’s father was looking. She would not know Kyle and therefore, she was not up on his moods. But Tripp knew something was seriously off. “I had a fight with my father and came to see my big brother.”

Kyle nodded at the mention of fathers and their children…


“Where do you and your brother live?” Kyle asked, as it suddenly occurred and really it was only dawning on him that he truly did not know anything about this Archie Holmes. He did not even remember what he knew back when, when Max originally arranged for the adoption, that Phillip Evans would finalize. It was never in my scene he thought, and according to Isabel. It was very quick because Max decided he could not raise him.

Knowing what was going back then, Kyle could relate. Even if he did spend a lot of senior year trying to find the baby. At the expense of his relationship with Liz, but still Kyle thought, if I had thought enough to question things, I don’t know what I would have done he thought because Dad was only beginning to get back on his feet at the station.

It would take a lot of time before he got his rightful position back Kyle reflected, by the time Sue Ann and I came back. Dad was back on the job he murmured to himself.

I would never been able to raise a kid on my salary at the garage Kyle muttered to himself. I barely could stand the job he thought, which is why I ran when I had the chance, he thought of the groups flight from this town. And there is no way I could have taken a child on he run.

“Boston, but Archie does not live there anymore” Crystal murmured. “He lives in Colorado now. But I live in Boston with my mother, and when I can stand him, my father.”

“Oh, your parents are divorced?” Kyle asked, as he glanced at Tripp who could related to having his parents not together.

“Since before I was born,” Crystal murmured. “My brother was sick when he was a baby, and it took a toll on my parents, I am told” she murmured even though she did not know why she was telling this to Tripp’s father, of all people, why I am spilling this she thought. But for some reason, it seemed right she murmured to herself.

“I think I remember that time,” Kyle muttered as he was existing in a fog. Tess’s son was sick, which is why they came looking for Max’s help, but testing would determine the truth, and miraculously he got better.

Isabel insisted Max did not have any role in it he would think.

It was true, Max had not.

The baby had just started to get better against all odds. And therefore, the Holmes had taken their son back home.

And Max was forced to deal with the fallout, alone.

And he had snuck away from any truth telling. I could have said something, but I did not want to deal with it.

“He’s fine, now, right?” Kyle asked.

“Definitely,” Crystal muttered. “Although he probably feels a little steamrolled because coming to this town has opened his past up, in ways, he did not think was possible.”

“How is that?” Kyle asked, even though he did know.

“It’s his business,” Crystal muttered, knowing that she probably should stop this confessing. “But it definitely was not the trip he was thinking he was getting,” she murmured. “It was a pleasure to meet you Mr. Valenti.”

Kyle still remained in a fog, but he was conscious enough to nod, “Nice to meet you too Crystal,” he murmured as he focused on his son. The son he had raised, he thought. What am I doing Kyle he muttered to himself. “I will see you at home later?” he asked of his son. Because after all, this was one of the nights on the schedule that Tripp would be staying at his place.

The custody agreement between Sue Ann and him was pretty loose, and it depended on the schedule of the week.

So, Tripp came and went…

“Yes, I will” Tripp nodded.

“Very well,” Kyle muttered as he wanted to get away from this situation. “See you at home, son. I believe your grandparents are coming for dinner. So, make sure you are home at a suitable time,” he said off handily, as he had forgotten that his father and Amy would be coming for dinner.

Until just now.

“I know,” Tripp murmured as he watched his father walk off, when there was a ring of his father’s cellphone. And Kyle picked it up, and his son could hear. “Oh, Isabel” he murmured softly into the phone. “Any closer to the first stop yet?” he was asking as he tried to get his mind out of this fog.


Twenty minutes later,
Amarillo, Texas

It was a stop to get gas. But Isabel and Michal were taking a lengthy lunch break before getting on the road to their first night stop in Oklahoma City. Figuring they would not be able to do only so much driving on this day. And already Isabel was finding Michael did not make for a pleasant driving companion. I should have picked Kyle she muttered because she knew there would no getting her brother away from Roswell.

But picking Kyle would have come with complications. But they are complications I would not mind that much if we were in the same car, she would think but still it would be better than being in a car with a grouch.

And of course, she was unaware obviously that her brother could have used the break or that Kyle was not wishing he was anywhere other than Roswell. Neither she nor Michael would know the latest developments, but Michael knew what his friend was facing back in their hometown. He figured that Isabel did not need to know because then she would have issues with leaving to pick up her kids Max. Max can handle his own drama. So, he was not thinking of anything in particular than needing to get back on the road. “Kyle was sounding off on the phone” she said as poured tabasco sauce over her fries. It was not the same as the Crashdown fries she would think.

It made her miss the restaurant all the more. It was so much a part of my life.

“It was a phone call, right” Michael muttered. “How off could it be?” he asked. You are always going to get a stilted version of reality over the phone as he sat annoyed by the situation. He did not want to be here and driving annoyed him. So, getting to their first motel would bring great comfort to him so he could call home, and check in. Because he was not used to being away from his family.

Even when Maria had been on the road with her music career. He at least could be with Lucy at home. Home was his domain. He did not like travelling. Because travelling brought people he did not want to know.

And people are not my fortehe would mutter.

Especially when you are living in plain sight, and with a wife who was a global superstar. And you have a secrets to hide he murmured; an escalating social media culture ready to gobble up any truths about celebrities.

Even if Maria was always on the lower scale of celebrities. Michael still waited for the bottom to fall out, thankfully it never did, and Maria was able to have the life she wanted, and only real life would get the way with a pandemic that was never ending.

Although life was starting to restart.

So, Michael did not particular relish being on the road. But he did to soothe his wife, and to help his best friend. Who had helped him numerous times in his youth. So, yeah, the only saving grace was that Isabel was here, but he could tell that she was missing her daughter, and even Kyle. Because she had immediately called the guy once they had stopped for lunch. “I am sure everything is alright,” he would think. Even though he did know, everything is not alright.

But he wanted to believe that it had to be. Otherwise, it would have been foolish to have left his wife and daughter, even if he was helping out a friend.

“I don’t know, something was up with him” Isabel muttered as she ate a fry. “I don’t know how to explain it.”

“The guy has a job, and multiple ex-wives to deal with” Michael muttered. So, it is not a shocker that be out of sorts.

“Only one,” Isabel bristled. The others have gone on their way out of Kyle’s life. “And Sue Ann and he have a remarkable civil co-parenting life going on,” she muttered. At the thought of two people could get along and think of their only child together. When it could have so easily have gotten heated over the years as their son grew, but they had stayed friendly, and therefore, their son was a stable young man, and very well adjusted.

Even if his father’s personal life had been anything by well adjusted or even keel, because Kyle was always calling out for someone she was thinking. While for her, once things had gone south with Jesse, she had found Neil.

Even if Kyle had helped me in a way that very few friends would have done, she thought. She still found it remarkable that they could remain friends despite the fact she had not let him be a part of their daughter’s life.

He never asked for more than I was willing to give him she remarked as she ate her fries, and milkshake, yeah, this pales in comparison to the Crashdown she remarked. “This makes the Crashdown look like first class dining.”

Yeah, I know Michael muttered. “It’s passable.”

Isabel nodded. “I wonder if Liz will still reopen The Crashdown?” she asked, and she saw the irritant on her friend’s face. “Oh, grow up. I don’t necessarily like the woman, but Max loves her, and we have to deal with it.”

“I don’t know how he can forgive her,” Michael muttered. Yeah, yeah, I know she did it for a good reason, but she still took so much from my friend.

“Sometimes, we love who we love. Which makes reason go out the door,” Isabel murmured as she thought of her brother, and the misery he had felt over these years. “I want my brother to be happy. And he has not been happy at all for these past years,” she sighed as she thought of the attempts that her brother would make over the years to be part of society, and not to close himself off. “We both know that he covered up a lot of the pain, but I know how much he missed Liz. Love does not have to be reasonable. At the same time, what matters most to him was that his daughter was safe. Even if she should have been with us, but we both know there is more to the story,” she sighed as she thought of her former sister-in-law. “I won’t ever really get Liz, or why she did what she did, but we would have worst off if she had not done what she had and let the bad guys at us.”

“So, she says” Michael muttered.

“You think she’s lying?” Isabel asked.

“Maybe, maybe not so, but I don’t like that she did not come to us. She knew she could have come to you or me. Even if she was protecting Max. She could have come to us,” he muttered. “Instead, she goes to your father?”

“And we would have wanted to go to Max” Isabel muttered, knowing full well that unlike my father, I would have found it hard not to go to my brother she muttered. “We got the benefits of the deal too, because just think of how it could have been?” she asked as she shuttered to think how life could have been. “I would never have had Kyla or met Neil and my girls. You and Maria would never been able to keep Lucy.”

“You don’t think I don’t know that?” Michael grunted.

“Then respect what she did in our name because we might not have to actually like it but at least it kept us happy these last eighteen years. When she took the brunt of it,” she muttered, “And Max took the brunt of it.”

I know I know Michael muttered. Which is why I am pissed, right?


And if he were to believe what Max had said that it had been hell to make Liz make that decision. Michael of course was sensitive to any reference to violence given his early years with his foster father, Hank.

I don’t miss him.

But the experience made him sensitive. And he had to know that something had to have gotten Liz to turn against the group. And hurt Max.

But it did not mean he had to like it.

“Michael?” Isabel murmured. As she looked at her friend, and could tell he was being quiet, and quiet was dangerous at times with her long-time friend.

“What?” Michael grumbled.

“I think Kyle was acting different on the phone” Isabel muttered, as she took their talk back to the original topic.

“That again?” Michael asked a little wearily.

“Yes,” Isabel murmured as she thought of her friend back at home. “I know Kyle, and I know when he’s acting odd,” she murmured, I know Kyle too well.

“Maybe he’s acting different because you are stringing him along?” Michael muttered as he went immediately to a sore spot for his friend, as if he was trying to provoke her.

“Michael” Isabel glared.

“What,” Michael said. Because most of the time he was quiet about it, but it was not like he was oblivious to it. “I don’t know why you keep saying the two of you are only friends when we both know you two don’t act like friends, and there is the whole Kyla issue,” he was thinking. “When are the two of you going to do something about whatever friendship you have together?” he muttered.

“That is not what I am talking about,” Isabel muttered.

“Well, it should be” Michael muttered. “Why aren’t you?”

Because I don’t want to deal with that she muttered. And said as much. “I don’t want to talk about that” Isabel muttered. “Because it is not what I am talking about you know, but Michael, I am concerned.”

“Fine,” Michael muttered, annoyed at the topic and that Isabel could successfully needle him. “I personally think if something seriously was wrong, we would have heard from our family,” he sighed. It is not like there is not a vine in the family for gossip he thought. And seriously, we have been only on the road a few hours, he would mutter. We are not even on the road, so we can be reached. “Finish up, and I will call Maria and check in.”

“Thank you, Michael,” Isabel sighed. Relieved that her feeling might get some answers.

But would it?

“You do know you have that insane ability to invade people privacy, so why not do it the old fashion way that you have created,” he sighed because he knew fully well that Isabel did not like to use her power. None of us do with our powers he knew. Of course, I don’t have a signature one he knew. I am your basic variety alien human hybrid he muttered. I am just me without anything to back it up.

But then he knew if he was prone to have one, then he might be prone to get into trouble with it.

“Michael,” Isabel glared.

“Fine, finish up, and I will call Maria. Because we have to get back on the road,” Michael said as he got up from the booth, and took his cellphone outside in the fresh air, and did what he promised and dialed a very familiar phone number.



All the while back in Roswell. The Deluca Guerin household was pretty busy. Maria had spent the day getting her music studio back up in running, in the basement of their new palatial house. She was saving most of the heavy lifting for Michael when he did come home. But she was able to get most of the easy stuff, and she was babysitting JJ Parker for her best friend. Liz had stuff to do she thought, but JJ was actually a big help. Even at ten years old, the boy was able to unpack a lot of boxes and get them in order. It kept him amused, and busy, and it did not have to do with the soap opera that was going on with his mother and big sister. I have to deal when I get home, I like a break from it he thought so he was happy when his mother dropped him off on the way to the apartment for some meeting about getting their home up and running.

But this place is a head of that one JJ thought. Because he had to wonder if he would ever have a home again. Motel living was getting old, and it had only been a few days, he thought, when he was more permanence that what he was getting, but he knew better to raise it with his mother, she has enough issues.

And Claudia was off limits, I have already vented to her, but she has her own issues now the boy thought. “This place is cool,” he said as he was looking at the buttons on the recording equipment. “You really want to deal with this, in your home.”

“Won’t have to go anywhere else” Maria said with a laugh. “I like to play with my music,” she sighed. “I am not looking to do anything big time at the moment, but when the mood strikes. I like to be able to record what I am writing.”

“And you know how to work it?” JJ asked he asked of the equipment.

“Some, but I will be getting help” Maria murmured. “Speaking of help, you have been a great help,” she said the boy. “I bet you wanted to be watching television or playing video games?”

“Nah, I have had too much of that lately” JJ muttered that has been my life this past year. “So, this has been a lot of fun” he said. “It has been a nice diversion.”

Diversion Maria laughed. The boy is only ten and he knows those kinds of things she thought. They grow up too fast these days she muttered of the younger generation as she did not like reminding that her own child was now seventeen, and close to being out of the house. I don’t know how my mother did it she thought of her mother, Amy. And I gave her much more to worry about than this boy could ever give his mother. “Glad to be of service.”

As they were getting down to the end of the unpacking of the sheet music and other particulars of her career, when they heard a Mom coming and a knock on the recording studio’s door that stood guard from the main house. She looked up at the breach. She spotted Lucy with a phone, but Kyla with her. “Kyla, what are you doing here?” she asked because she had not seen Kyla arrive.

“Visiting your daughter” Mikyla smiled. Better than being at Grandpa’s and dealing with him and Uncle Max “This place is cool.” she thought as she looked around.

“It’s getting there,” Maria agreed. “What is it, Lucy?” she asked of her daughter, as she spotted the phone.

“Dad is on the phone,” Lucy murmured.

“Trouble already?” Maria asked with is eyebrows raised. As she looked at the clock on the wall. They have only been gone a few hours she muttered to herself. “They cannot have had trouble, already, right?”

“It does not seem like that,” Lucy smiled. “He was not cursing. But he wants to talk to you,” she said as she handed the phone to her mother. “I brought it down from the main part of the house.”

“Thank you,” Maria sighed. “I have to get the phone lines connected down here,” she muttered. Which is why Michael called the main part of the house “I appreciate it,” she said as she took the phone from her daughter. “Can you girls keep an eye on JJ while I take the call?” she asked as she looked at the young boy. That boy can get up to no good at times she knew. She had already seen JJ in his industrial ways already that morning.

Once Lucy and Kyla nodded. She smiled and took the phone call. “Michael, what is it?” she asked as she answered the call, and she left the room.

While it was left to be Lucy, and Kyla with JJ.

“This place is cool,” Kyla smiled as she looked around. “Is your mother looking for help?” she asked, because she was supposed to be looking for a job while her mother was gone. Which is why she did not go with her after all.

“You will have to ask her,” Lucy sighed. I need to look for a job too she knew. I am older that Kyla and I have my future closer she thought If I don’t want university. “How it is going JJ?” she asked of her best friend’s little brother.

“Fine,” JJ acknowledged the older teenagers. “Your mother is cool.”

“Yes, she is, isn’t she?” Lucy murmured. Because despite some tension between mother and daughter, still, she loved both of her parents. And she would never want to trade them. While Kyla’s attention turned to the younger boy and Lucy saw it “You guys might not have been introduced. JJ, this is Kyla Anderson,” she murmured. “Kyla, this is Claudia’s little brother. Mom’s godson, JJ Parker.”

JJ Parker Kyla thought. Unique “You have a different name than your sister?”

“I was adopted,” JJ said. “Mom gave me my grandfather’s name, and I go by Parker. Claudia kept her father’s name.”

“Even though he did not get to raise her,” Kyla asked without really meaning too because it just spilled out.

Obviously, they all would think. Which are pretty weird dynamics they would all also think in different ways.

“Uncool situation,” the ten-year-old muttered. “So, how do you know my sister, Claudia?” JJ asked.

“I don’t,” Kyla murmured. I don’t really know her at all she muttered. “But I guess you can call her family because she is my cousin, because her father is my uncle Max” she sighed, and JJ jaw dropped.

Are you serious? JJ asked to himself. What is it with this town. “Why is everything related to my sister and mother something that deals with your uncle?” he asked.

Kyla could only laugh. “I wish I knew.”


While the younger generation was asking the big questions. Or seeking answers. Maria was taking the call with Michael. “I don’t know why Kyle is off,” she muttered into the phone. “I have not talked to him in while. “If Isabel senses something, why does she not go to him, herself?” she asked. “Why come to me?” she asked. Yeah, yeah, we are too small a fraternity she knew. And Isabel and Kyle are doing their thing.

And not talking she muttered.

Sounds about right. “I don’t have anything to say. But I’ll check on it,” she muttered. “Get back on the road, because you need to get to the girls and stop thinking about trivia matters,” she said with a smile. “I love you Space Boy,” she said. “We are fine. Lucy and I are perfect, so don’t worry about us. Go get Poppy and Katy.”

She was smiling to herself as she got off the phone and was about to head back downstairs to the studio when there was a knock on the front door. Sighing. That better be something else I cannot control she sighed, because she had no idea why her husband or Isabel were worried about Kyle.

As far as she knew her stepbrother was perfectly okay.

Anyways, she went to the door, and opened it…

“Liz?” Maria asked.

“Sorry, I didn’t call first. But the day has not been one that I thought I would be having,” Liz asked as she stood there, waiting to be let.

“Tell me about it,” Maria smiled. Even if my day is very light in comparison to how it could be she sighed as she wanted to knock on something to prevent the dark shadows from finding her. I am liking my life. “Come in and tell me all about it” she said with a smile as she welcomed in her best friend. I don’t think I have to worry because the dark shadows have found someone else. “Welcome to the new house,” she said, because they were both aware that this was the first time her friend had been to her new house. We have had other matters to deal with she thought and there were reasons why Liz would not have been invited to the house with her husband around.

“Yes, come in,” Maria murmured she said as she invited her friend in. “Michael is gone.”
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Family Matters - Chapter 71 - 11/15/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

Liz would have laughed if not for the fact that her life was not already so confusing. She genuinely had not even though of the possibly that Michael would be here at the house when she decided to come over. Earlier than what was thought possible. She also had known that Michael had not here when I dropped JJ off earlier, but I did not have to come into the house she knew because she had been running late, in having to get the Crashdown to meet up with Kyle, but also see her daughter. Claudia’s act of being a teenager got my morning going she knew. She knew how Michael felt for her. And so, for the sake of her friend’s marriage. She had not wanted it to press it too much, and I had way too much going on in only a few days.

So, it was easier when Maria could come to me, she thought. I would not have to deal with her husband.

Because she knew how Michael felt for her.

I don’t blame him she sighed. She knew he felt the way he did because of his friendship with her former husband. He does not have to like what I did.

None of them do, but I did it for Max’s sake.

She would go to her grave believing it.

So, she had not come here, knowing that Michael was around. But of course, she also knew of Michael adventure with Isabel, and therefore, she knew the house would be safer ground but still that was not one my mind. I had other things to deal with it. Like being a mother to my daughter. When she is crying out for help.

“I was not even thinking Michael might not want me here,” she said as she walked into her friend’s impressive new home. She has come far she knew. From the small house she shared with her mother because Amy Deluca had strived for years to put that roof over their heads, and she knew her friend had a dream.

A dream that did not seem possible for the longest of times, but suddenly it did, and this house was proof of what her friend was able to achieve while I was making sacrifices for the sake her husband and my husband she thought. I will never regret that she was able to have her dreams, and Michael too. “I assume he is off with Isabel?”

“Well, what he does not know won’t hurt him,” Maria smiled as she invited her friend into the house. “Yes, he’s off with Isabel,” she smiled. “I was just speaking with him. Things are going fine for the moment. We shall see when Isabel has to put up another thousand or miles with him and his moods,” she laughed because her husband’s feelings on travelling was notorious. For an alien from another planet, he is very prickly about travelling she smiled to her house. “Welcome to our new home.”

“You have done good Deluca,” Liz said with a laugh. “Beautiful house,” she said with envy. “And he I am trying to remodel a simple apartment over a restaurant for my children and I,” she said with a smile.

Maria could only sigh. “I am sure you will come up with something equally as impressive,” she said. “You are doing a good thing in trying to bring the old restaurant back to it’s old glory.”

“If only I could concentrate on the matter at hand,” Liz said with a smile as she and her friend walked into the living. “There has been one diversion after another. And my goal has not been met yet,” she sighed. “But thank you again for keeping JJ company this morning. How was he?” she asked as she looked around for her son, but she was not seeing him. “I hope he was not too much. Because there were only so many library events, I could send him off too, and I knew he would not want to be stuck at the apartment for the discussion I was supposed to be having with Kyle.”

“No trouble,” Maria smiled. “I love to help out, and because of our different locals. I have not been able to spend that much time with him, so it was a treat to see my godson,” she said of the boy. “He’s a great kid.”

“Yes, he is, isn’t he?” Liz asked.

“I was trying to put my recording studio downstairs together, and he was very helpful in that,” Maria smiled. “He’s a smart one, that kid.”

“You would not know it from his grades this past school year, but yes he is” Liz sighed. “JJ is very smart,” she said of her son. With full knowledge that the pandemic had taken a tole on her son. And his grades had plummeted as a result. “Some kid enjoyed on-line schooling. Claudia crushed right through it, but JJ has been different.”

“Some like the social activity of schooling,” Maria smiled. “And it helps calm the mind,” she sighed. “Lucy was a combination of both,” she sighed. “Her grades kept up, but still, she did not quite like it. Hopefully school will be somewhat back to normal in September, assuming I can get my daughter to realize her future is important, and to make senior year a memorable one,” she sighed. Senior year for us was too stressful for us she knew, even if it was a little memorable at the same time she thought as she stood amazed sometimes that they had even made it to graduation, but then maybe we did not.

Because we had to run, she thought. “JJ is downstairs,” she said as she went to the intercom and rang down to the studio. “You can bring JJ up, your mother is here JJ” Maria called in, and Liz could only shake her head. “Your life is very different from back then, isn’t it?”

“No question,” Maria smiled. “If you think this is routine for us,” she said. “As you know, our house in Nashville was a little more modest,” she said as she walked back to her friend. “I could not resist the idea of lording over our friends, about how successful I became,” she said of their graduating class. “And it was available for a steal,” she smiled, at the way the housing prices had yet to go on the upswing. Despite the ability to stay home, most of the time.

She could not help but look around her new surroundings. As she knew that most of her classmates probably would never have imagined that Maria Deluca was destined for anything special.

And she had been one of those people. And therefore, even she was a little amazed at how far she came. “You are early,” she asked as she looked at the clock on the wall. “Want a drink or something?” she asked of her friend.

“I know I am early, but the talk with Kyle did not go how I imagined it,” Liz sighed, to put it mildly she thought. “It did not help that I had to deal with Claudia before hand, and therefore, as much I wish for something stiff, no, I have to a better role model than after what my daughter pulled last night.”

“Oh no,” Maria asked with a sigh, and a smile. “What did that girl do now?”

“She got drunk,” Liz sighed.

Whoa Maria said. “How drunk?” she asked as she paused as she remembered seeing Claudia the night before, yeah, she was drunk she conceded.

“Plastered I am told,” Liz said with a sigh. “I did not see her until this morning, and Maria, she was clearly hung over. She was even worse than some of my drinking binges back in the day,” she muttered as she had known she had not personally gotten through these past eighteen years without the love of her life without a good drinking binge, and a hangover the next morning. “Claudia put me to shame.”

“Well, well, well” Maria sighed as she thought of what she had witnessed the night before. “I assume she managed through it.”

“She needed rescuing Maria,” Liz sighed. “Max rescued her.”


Of course, he had Maria could only sigh. Max was a great rescuer. He is one of the best in the business she thought. Because not everyone can bring someone back from certain death, she thought of how Max had saved her best friend’s life, and then later on, both her stepfather and stepbrother’s lives.

A bizarre life I have here she thought. So, she knew how Max was good at any type of rescue. “He did,” she asked as she and Liz settled down in the living room. Both deciding against any beverage. “I bet that was a role or moment that he never thought he would be having,” she thought of her old friend. Someone who she knew had suffered so much over the years. While Michael and I got our dreams she thought.

She knew the score.

And knew how lucky she had been, against the odds she thought. So, I am not going to regret anything about my life she thought.

“It shocked him, and it shocked me” Liz sighed. “I know my daughter was too independent at times back in Boston,” she sighed. “I had to work so much this past year,” she thought, as one of the chief reasons he was suffering from a massive case of burn out, because all I had to deal with, and see she thought of the past year.

The health field was a brutal one.

She had needed out.

Which is why she needed to leave Boston. And even though she could have gone anywhere. I should have picked anywhere else, but Roswell was calling her names, for reasons I am not even sure of today she thought, but it also had history that had to be better than what I have been dealing with she thought.

“I know that she liked to blur the lines,” Liz sighed, of what I do know of my daughter’s social life back in Boston she thought. “I guess, it was a wakeup call that she is not my little girl anymore.”

“Nope they aren’t.” Maria sighed, as she thought of her own daughter. Someone who was at least a little more control, but I know Lucy has a life and I don’t everything that goes on in it she thought as she thought of how her own teenage years could be kept in the dark from her mother, Mom knew so much in the end, but there was a lot of time that I got away with murder…

Not exactly murder, but it came close he thought, as that duty went to other, she sighed. And knew there was a lot of regret.

And not so much in some cases, but she hoped Lucy despite her pedigree would come out of her teenage years a lot saner, and without the danger that filled her courtship years with Michael, I want her to be normal.

So, getting drunk was pretty damn normal at the end of the day she would think. “It is not like you were not drunk a time or two,” she would say to her friend. “I remember that time during your stint at boarding school?”

That situation was different,” Liz sighed as she did remember that time. Amazing that we both came out of that situation she thought of both she and Max. Because she remembered some of how she had acted at that time. “I thought I lost Max.” And not in any way I had already lost him she thought. I lost him to death.

“You did,” Maria muttered. Max was literally not himself and there was that little thing about him being dead she muttered.

Liz nodded, because they both remembered what Max had done to Maria, while not being of his own mind.

They had moved on and tried to forget about it. But it hung out there.

But did not get in the way.

Which has allowed them to be friends to this day, with some breaks here and there. Mostly caused by distance.

Because of how their lives had gone. Max had stayed here, and I got my dream with Michael and Lucy she thought.

“I wish she was my baby still,” Liz sighed.

“If she was, then you might not have made the choices you did make, huh?” Maria asked,

“Something like that,” Liz sighed. “Although if I could keep her, and Max safe, then I would have made the same decisions all over again.”

“I know you would have,” Maria sighed. It is kind of pointless to get on our back about it she thought because who knows what I would have done if I was given the same choice if I had gone through even half of what she did.

Maria knew she had gotten off easy.

“So, what got her to act like a teenager that she is?” Maria asked with a laugh.

And it got Liz to laugh because Claudia was acting like a teenager, after all. And she should not be as disappointed or shocked, because I want her to be as normal as possible and getting drink of a passage of life.

“I do have to concede that it was quite a shock,” Liz murmured without saying anything more, and the sudden change in her friend’s mood, made Maria have to remember Shit she thought. “Oh, right, I forgot.”

“So, you know?” Liz asked.

“I know,” Maria conceded as she was forced to live through that disclosure, it is why we went to Cow Patties so that I could tell Max she sighed. Which I never did, she sighed, and thought of how her friend had found out. “You know about Tess…?”

“Being Archie’s birth mother,” Liz muttered. “Yes, I do”

This is all too much she muttered. “Assuming we believe it,” Maria asked. “Because it is not like we have seen the test results to indicate such a parentage, but it does sound like it’s in the realm of being a possibly,” she said, “Because there is not no other reason for it,” she sighed. “Or how it impacts us.”

“I know,” Liz sighed. How can it be true? she sighed, and how could it lead to more upheaval in my life and my family she sighed as she thought of her daughter, my precious daughter who is very sensitive underneath her hard core. “It was a shocker, and it’s sent my daughter for a loop.”

“I feel for her, and for him” Maria sighed as she felt for Claudia, and in a way Archie. “I would never want to know Tess Harding was my birth mother, and to know how it ties to both Max and Claudia, it’s a shocker all right,” she sighed as she wished for that stiff drink about now. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere right.


“How can it true?” Liz muttered.

“Only in our lives could it be true,” Maria commented.

“So true,” Liz sighed. Because she certainly knew that they had lived through some incredible times.

“We are dealing a very cracked up life, aren’t we?” Maria said softly, as they looked at where they stood. And look where I am now.

Liz could not help but smile. “And it’s only gotten worse…”

“It cannot get much worse,” Maria muttered. How much more can it be?

“You have not heard about Kyle yet,” Liz murmured without meaning too.

“Oh god,” Maria murmured. “What could it be now,” she muttered. “Please, don’t tell me it’s another wife,” she said with a laugh. Seriously she said with a smile. “I would have figured something would have happened with Isabel before he fell for another one of those disasters that he has called his last two wives,” she said smiled. I quite liked Sue Ann, she murmured, now the other two.

“Nope,” Liz said. “Although, I cannot speak of any of his wives, since I did not meet them.”

“They were an experience alright. Sue Ann was class, she and Kyle just did not work out because they were too young, and dealing with the fallout from you know our time here in town, and then our year away, or his year away since I settled elsewhere for the bulk of the last two decades” she sighed. “Unfortunately, they would have ties from their short-lived marriage in their son, but fortunately they have been doing a great job by him.”

“Right,” Liz sighed. We were all feeling the fallout she thought, in many ways.

But the other two as they were okay, as individuals, still they were mismatches from the start, and we could have told Kyle, and we might have told him that it was not going to last, and he would have to shell out more alimony, but I don’t think he was listening to any of us on the subject, and even not Isabel….” But then she found Neil. So, she was not single.

Liz sighed. We are no longer kids, unfortunately.

“Tell me about it,” Maria sighed. “So, about Kyle?” she asked. “Because it was almost like we are being clairvoyant because before you arrived, my Space boy called, and was asking about Kyle, and whether I was sensing that he was off or not, his words,” she muttered. “Or Isabel’s words I am told. Because they were talking, and she got the feeling that something was wrong, so Michael called and asked me.”

“What did you say?” Liz asked.

“What could I say?” Maria asked. “I didn’t know anything. Because I have not personally seen him for a few days, at least, and I don’t remember him being too off by his standards,” she sighed. “He’s dealing with the business, and the dry spell here in town,” she sighed. ‘Just like everyone is.”

Liz murmured.

“So, you know something?” Maria asked, because by the expression on her best friend’s face. She figured something was up, “Do you know something?”

I know too much Liz thought, so little at the same time she thought. “It’s probably not my story to tell,” she sighed. “It’s really Kyle’s.”

“Spill,” Maria quipped. “Everyone in this family knows each other’s secrets. If one of us don’t, then, it means you were living across the country and not talking to us,” she sighed, and her friend’s words had bite to them, and of course, rang too close to home for Liz.

“Maria?” Liz muttered.

“That was not a dig at you,” Maria smiled. Okay, maybe it was she thought. “We are way too close, and if Kyle told you, then he has to know that it eventually will be outed within our small fraternity.”

I guess Liz sighed.

“Liz, come on” Maria murmured.

Liz did not know what to say. Because secrets are secrets for a reason, and she did not feel right speaking of them. I kept too many of mine, for way too many years she thought, but knew Maria was right, the clan was way too close, and small… “Don’t tell anyone else. Not even Michael.”

“Can’t promise that” Maria smiled. “We tell each other everything,” she said with a quip. “Okay, almost everything” she sighed.

“I guess,” Liz sighed.

“Come on Petunia, tell me, okay” Maria asked. “I promise that I will keep it a secret. But if it’s as good as it could be than I cannot guarantee that I won’t eventually tell my Space boy,” she said with a smile. “You are lucky, because he’s out of town for the next little while” she sighed. “He won’t have to know.”

“It’s not like it matters if Michael knew or not,” Liz allowed. It does not even involve him she sighed. “Kyle is still processing it, I am sure.”

“What is he processing?” Maria asked. “You don’t have to worry about anyone knowing Liz,” she sighed. “I will pretend I don’t know…”

“I am sure you will,” Liz laughed.

“Tell me,” Maria asked. “You know how much I like gossip.”

“This is not really gossip, as it is life changing in so many ways” she sighed as she thought of it was bad for her daughter than she could not imagine what it would mean for Kyle to have to come to terms with it. I don’t how he will she thought to herself.

“Liz?” Maria asked.

Liz knew she was trying to talk herself out of spilling, but she also knew Maria could be trusted, and it’s not like the horse is already out of the barn, and who knows where it will be once Michael and Isabel come back to town she thought. Anything is possible.

“Kyle has some reason to believe that if Archie is Tess’s son than he might be the father” Liz said softly, and Maria looked at her best friend as if she was sprouting a third head, “I know, I know.”

“Excuse me?” Maria asked. “Tell me that again?” she wanted to know because the mere thought was beyond farfetched, and I have not even been in this town all these years she thought But Kyle is my family now, and I know if that was in the realm of possibilities. “That is ludicrous,” she sputtered. “No way is Kyle Archie’s father.”

“It’s possible,” Liz sighed.

“You weren’t here,” Maria sighed. “How can it be true?”

“I was here back then, but I get you, we both were here and on the surface it’s farfetched, and it makes absolutely no sense.”

“Then tell me again how Kyle could be Claudia’s boyfriend Archie’s biological father?” Maria asked.

What the hell came a screech, and they suddenly turned, aware that they had felt they were in their own bubble it has been happening way too often they both would think and this time no, they were not alone.

They turned, and spotted Maria’s daughter, Lucy along with Liz’s son JJ, and the most shocked of the three, Mikyla Anderson.


Shit Maria thought.

As she turned back towards her best friend. “There is no way Kyle is his father,” she stammered in wanting to believe this latest twist was ludicrous. “That is crazy.”

But was it?
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Family Matters - Chapter 72 - 11/20/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

Ten minutes later,

“I have to get out of here” were the only words that came from Kyla as she had rushed out almost immediately. “Sorry about that,” Lucy was saying to her mother as the mayhem had settled to more acceptable levels. If any of this could make sense she thought. As she looked down at her only companion, Liz’s son JJ. Because obviously Kyla had not wanted to stay to listen to something that made no sense to her, or anyone for that matter because she had rushed out, not wanting to hear it and it had served as a reminder to the adults that they were no longer the only people in this story. There is indeed a younger generation whose feelings we have to guard if we might only think of ourselves at times both Maria and Liz were reminded. While on the other hand of all this. Lucy was amused by this, but she did not take her friend’s need to run personally because she knew enough of the fellow teenager’s baggage. Because it was not like Lucy had the same baggage. Coming from the family she did.

A two-parent household, what a concept she would think. Even with her mother’s escalating career. She had always been sure of her footing within the family. And Kyla and Claudia’s lives were different even if Kyla had a stepfather who loved her, and raised her like she was his, and therefore Kyla had always been secure in her footing in this world, most of the time but she was getting older, and with the death of her stepfather. It meant things were changing.

Times definitely were changing they could all know. So, Lucy knew the instinct to run. She did not feel it because she did not need too, and she liked the drama of it most of the time. I would be the same I am sure she thought.

But she was not part of this. I am on the outside of this she thought. And I am happy to be she sighed. Who wants the drama she would ask herself. JJ was just standing and watching. And I wanted out of the drama, which is why I came here.

It’s following me he thought, even though this twist did not involve his family. Or maybe the side edges of it they all knew. “We figured you would want to talk to Aunt Liz,” she said of the woman she had barely seen more than a half a dozen times in her life, “And so we took our time, and stopped in the kitchen for a drink, and snack.”

“Right,” Maria muttered as if she was in a fog because she could not believe it. Nowhere did she think that there was plausible reason to believe any of it. “Are you sure?” she asked as she glanced at her friend.

“Believe me, I was even more amazed because I was part of the story back then. No where did I believe that Kyle could you know be the father. Given that Max was fingered, and there was every reason to believe he was the father,” she sighed. “And it’s not like Kyle spoke up at any time.”

“Then how is it true?” Maria wondered.

As she also had not personally taken the need for Kyla to run, given her situation she thought. The badly kept state secret in the family she knew. Everyone knows, but they cannot speak of it.

So, imagine being a teenager and especially overhearing such a statement. That her birth father might have yet another illegitimate child.

At least it was not Max Liz’s side would think, as she was still personally happy on that account even if she did not know how you could put one and one together, and get Kyle being the father of Tess’s kid, it does seem farfetched. “Kyle insists that he did not think of the possibility until the boy needed Max’s help,”

“And the blood tests came back as Max not being the father?” Maria muttered. “But still, how do you get from what we know went down in high school,” she sighed because it was not like she was a memory of it. It was bad for Liz, and it was bad for all of us she muttered. “It does not compute.”

“I know,” Liz sighed.

“If he had a feeling back when Max’s got the news,” Maria asked. “Why did he never speak up, and I assume he did not do his own testing to verify or not, because we all know Tess. She was playing games. Using Kyle and Jim” she thought of how her family was wounded personally because of it. She knew while Jim and Kyle had come through it, it still had taken her stepfather time to get over the betrayal.

Even though we should have been suspect from the start she muttered to herself. Some of us were, but still that woman got into our midst.

“Unreal,” Lucy was muttered.

“Lucy,” Maria muttered.

“Sorry,” she said. “I will let you speak,” she sighed because she figured as much as she liked the drama of all this. She was not needed. And definitely it was not a matter for a ten-year-old to be listening to as she turned to focus on the boy. “JJ want to come with me, and we will find the television. Big screen and everything?”

“Can I?” JJ asked as he glanced at his mother.

Sighing, Liz knew this was not what her son deserved but she needed to finish this, “Fine,” Liz murmured. “But we will have to leave soon. Because you have some reading to do for your lessons.”

“Boring,” JJ muttered.

“It might well be, but you need to continue at it” Liz sighed as she glanced at the older teenager, sighing. Our children are growing up so much she murmured softly to herself as she smiled at Lucy. “Thank you, Lucy.”

“No problem, Aunt Liz,” Lucy murmured. “Take your time.”

“We won’t take too much,” Liz said as Lucy guided her son away from the discussion. Both women would sigh. “That girl is growing up so much Maria,” she sighed. “Despite that pixie hair cut.”

“I don’t know why she did it,” Maria said with a laugh. “I guess we all go though those phases,” she said with a laugh. A laugh that was good to have because it was needed given the weight of their conversation. “Seriously, Petunia, are you serious?”

“I am serious,” Liz murmured. “Kyle might be the father of Tess’s son?”

“Look I know they were close for a time there junior year. Because Tess was living with him and Jim, but come on, I don’t think they really went to that point, or did they?”

“Let’s remember Tess’s great talent is to mindwarp,” she muttered. “To change our memories of events, and people” she sighed. “If it did not meet with plans, and Kyle was not exactly on the hit list of people she would have been told to associate with” she sighed, of the knowledge now that they had of Tess’ great plan. To get to Max, and to get pregnant.

It was their key off this planet. Or her key for departure.

“Don’t remind me,” Maria sighed. I had never had to deal with it, but I know how it hurt Alex in the end she sighed. And was a chief cause of his death…

The car crash was a cover up job.

Tess had been guided by Nascedo to use any trick imaginable to get to Max, and to get pregnant, and therefore go back to Antar with the next heir even if you had to wonder what that would have accomplished. But Tess was told this, and she was raised under this guiding principle. “I cannot tell you how it happened, or what it all means. Did Tess know that the baby was not Max’s when she went back.”

“Max believes she miscarried,” Maria muttered. “Back when you know everything hit the fan,” he sighed. “We know there was a baby. Max saw him, and dealt with him, connected with him when she was pregnant. But he assumes that she lost it in her travels.”

“It is probably easier to deal with being lied too, than knowing he was a fool” Liz sighed. “Of course, I was not here, so I don’t know how any of this connects. But Kyle believes that there was a chance there. That Tess played mind games to make him forget, when Max became possibility, and therefore, she might have already been pregnant from whatever time they spent together, when she slept with Max…”

“I knew that idea of a one-month pregnancy was hogwash” Maria muttered with groans all way. “Why did he not speak up?”

“Max had already authorized the adoption. And it was not Kyle was in a great place in his life, because he was dealing with his first marriage” she sighed. “He would have rather deal with the idea of it, than dealing with the possibility of it really being true, or I assume since of course I was not here,” she sighed. It would have been so much easier if I was here, she sighed. But of course, I was not she sighed.

“No, you weren’t” Maria agreed as she still found it stunning, and unbelievable, “Could it really be true that if Archie Holmes is Tess’s son, then he is Kyle’s son?”

“The chances are pretty high,” Liz murmured. “I know we were not up on her social calendar back then,” she said, and Maria smirked, I know she thought. “We would have not wanted to be if we could have been, but there was a time that she was not that big on Max, or Max for that matter. So, there is a chance, she and Kyle could have done more than we were aware at, at the time, and because of her talents, he would not have many of those memories.”

The mere thought of that was pretty hard to take both girls would think. Icky.

“No wonder Mikyla ran,” Maria whispered.

Liz nodded.

“You do know that Kyla is Kyle’s child, right?” Maria asked. Because she did not know if her friend knew that or not, it is such a bad secret she could not remember if it was actually a secret with Liz or not.

“I don’t know a lot of details because Isabel does not consider me her best friend, and the feeling is mutual, and so I am a little out of the loop. But yes, I have picked up on that,” she sighed. I don’t know how I know she thought. But somehow, I do know. “She knows, right?” she asked as she thought of her own daughter’s paternity issues, at least Claudia knows who her father is.

“Everyone knows,” Maria muttered. “It’s one of those little matters that everyone knows about, but you don’t talk about it. But it is growing up every single day,” she thought. “There was a possible there since Isabel’s husband’s death that she and Kyle were getting closer, and I cannot imagine this knowledge will do that pairing any good.”

“You never know,” Liz asked. “If Archie is Kyle’s, he is 19 years old,” she sighed. “It is not like he is looking for a father.”

“But it’s one more thing,” Maria sighed. One more matter in this family.

Can’t it ever be simple?


Mikyla Anderson was certainly asking that as she had raced out of the Guerin’s palatial home. And was trying to figure out where she wanted to go. She did not know why she was that pissed off about this discovery, assuming it was true, and how do I even know it’s true? she thought to herself. “This is all too much,” she muttered to herself. “Last thing I need to do is share,” she muttered to herself. “I have a biological father and half brother; I don’t need a new half brother to go along with everything else that was not being acted upon” she sighed.

The mere idea she had to share Kyle with anyone gave her shivers. This is so unfair.


Why indeed.

Sure, Mom is not exactly dating Kyle, but it is well known that he is my father. The last thing I need is for everything to get messed up and lose that place in his life she muttered. A place that she did not even know if it was open or not.

With her uncle’s place a possible war zone. After all, she did not know there was a peace treaty being attempted, but it made her not want to go back there, when she was a mess of uncertainty. How am I going to handle this.

Because it was not like she had to deal with it so far. Hide, and not talk had been the name of the game. So, it was easy to go on with life.

Without dealing with the fallout.

Now, that was all falling apart.

She did not know where to go.

With her mother on the road. Her grandfather doing whatever he was doing. She needed to talk to someone.

She found herself walking, hoping that she would know where to go.



Claudia was still feeling the downside of her night of acting like a teenager. While she had been drunk before, sure, she had been I am a teenager who had a lot of freedom when I did not have to look after my little brother she thought. So, she had used that freedom and had been known to have a good time.

She knew how to party. But for some reason the previous night’s celebration was different, because anytime before, she had been able to bounce back pretty quickly, certainly before Mom would catch on, she muttered, although there were those near misses she knew. But unlike the previous times. She was still dragging.

And in the wake of her mother breaking off the meeting with Kyle, not that he was in the mood to talk she thought, but at the conclusion, her mother had to go and pick up her little brother and she had stayed behind. And therefore, she did not know what to do with herself. She was still dragging, and she hated the feeling because she was so used to springing back from overindulgences, and today was different. But she also knew it fit in the larger scheme at play, so yeah, what else is new she muttered to herself. She might have drank too much and that was the reason for the way she was feeling, but it also fit in how she had been feeling since she came to this town. What is it with this place?

It makes you a friggin mess she thought. Although she was smart enough to know it was not strictly the town’s fault. It was the fact she did not know where she stood in the scheme of things. When what she wanted to do was crawl into bed and not come up for fresh air until she knew what she wanted. I am too needy and a walking disaster she thought. I am not used to feeling like this she muttered. She was also thinking of Archie. Even though she was not especially wanting to call Archie. And she had noticed that she was not receiving a call from him either and that told her everything, but it also told her nothing at the same time.

She hated feeling the way she was feeling.

I am not supposed to be like this she thought. She was not this type of person. Then whom am I?

Yeah, who am I? Claudia muttered because she did not know, and she wished she had some direction to go in. But right now, she was feeling hungry. Maybe that is progress she muttered. A tiny bit maybe, at least. So, instead of doing what she craved and crawling back into bed. She chose to prepare some greasy eggs and toast for a hungover special of a lunch. So, she walked to the stove and poured the eggs into the pan, and she was humming at the same time. I have a bizarre life. She also knew she would not be dealing with this if she had chosen to stay in Boston and gotten a job. She had known staying with her grandparents had been a piecemeal solution, nothing was going to come from that she thought, although the time was good to get away from Mom because the pandemic had stressed our relationship, and because I do not have any life goals, which I blame on how I was raised.

Now I am beginning to know there is more to the story. But she also knew she did not know so much more of her life story. I have a Dad, so why am I not jumping for joy at the idea of getting to know him she wondered. She knew she had given grief for not fighting for her, and she still felt that a tiny bit even as she knew there was more, if those bastards who got Mom to leave my Dad had gotten their way, I would have had my father.

But she would not have had her mother.

What kind of choice is that to give someone and force them to make she wondered. But as she walked to the fridge and got the tabasco sauce off the shelf. She was one more reminded that she was different. I am addicted to this stuff she thought as she knew her friends had always felt it was strange that she would pour it on her eggs when they would gather for post hangover breakfasts. Or any other time she hung out with her friends, and they would have eggs. She would rationalized to them, it is not any different than you guys putting ketchup on your eggs she would reason but even when she would defend it, she knew it was different that she would pour the sauce all over her eggs or any other food if given the chance. Because she learned early that she had a unique trait, or was it a quirk? While her mother did not do the same, or even bat an eye on the notion when she attempted it on foods, you would not think that would need to be spicy, or sweet.

The looks would come she thought.

Even if her mother did not question it. But my friends did and often JJ would think it was strange and would look at her as if she was crazy. But she needed the spice, or the extra taste. The buzz that would come from it. So, she would only shake her head at the quirks that made her be Claudia Evans.

Quirks she muttered.

Ones that Archie had never questioned her about. Why not she wondered now. As they questioned everything else, and he had done that too, he would question me about everything else but liking this stuff was not one of them she muttered. God I am a mess, she thought.

When as she thought before, she had loved that she had someone had supported her quirks and all. And did not question them even if he wanted to more than I was willing to give him about other parts of my life. Still, he had never questioned.

Everyone else did.

Even JJ did.

Therefore, she did not get it. Why is this my fate? She thought as she knew she was laying it on thick with herself. Why am I this melodramatic. But she was teetering on some ledge, and she did not know if she was going to fall off because everything was coming to a head. Why could I not have one relationship that did not make me question my place in the world?

She loved Archie.

She knew that was true.

And it was true.

But how can I overlook how he connects to my life she muttered. Even though I don’t blame him for it at the same time, she knew I did, she sighed. Maybe I overreacted a little, just a tad maybe she asked herself as she pushed the eggs around the pan, and then onto to the plate that was ready to go.

Once that was complete. She walked to the table and pushed over the books and other stuff she should have been cleaning up and dealing with that report she had to do for school. To able to get her credit for her class, so she could graduate.


I have been treating graduation as a formality but there is still a little more, I have to do to get my diploma, in the mail, so yeah, school, maybe I should be paying more attention to that she thought. I have my future ahead of me, if only I knew what I wanted to do she thought, as she muttered to herself, as she prayed that this was all coming to some kind of conclusion so she could know what she wanted to do.

Maybe I should be going out? she muttered to herself, because she felt the need for some fresh air. But leaving the apartment might only get her into trouble, and that is something she did not need, not after last night. “Okay, I will stay put,” she muttered to herself as she could only sigh.

Once she was finished with the plate. She was going to clean up and have a shower and maybe feel a little normal. Maybe I will know what I want to do about Archie. She was beginning to ache for him. And wondered if she should give him another chance, who cares who his father is? she asked herself. As long as we are not related.

And his birth mother is dead, so it is not like she would corrupt him, she thought. But what is there underneath, she muttered, as she could only shake her head. God Claudia, we are not our parents. But Archie is lovable, I love him, and trusted him before I knew any of this, and she was beginning to wonder if she was beginning to get some answers, maybe, just maybe.

Interrupting her debate with herself. She heard the doorbell ring, and a knock on the door that accompanied it. Who is it? she thought, the only thing I should be getting is some delivery or something that Mom told me to keep my eye out for.

Still, she did not think it was, because they would likely call, and come through the front way. Not sure of who it was, but thinking it could be Lucy, or maybe even her mother, because she knew her friend lived nearby, and her mother was supposed to be picking up her little brother up, from the Guerin household. A house she yet to see. SO much has happened in the matter of a few days, she muttered as she headed for the door, so she could see who was paying her a visit.

“You?” Claudia asked, as she saw the last person she was expecting.

Because it was Kyla Anderson. “Mikyla is it not?” Claudia asked.

“Yes, it is,” Mikyla sighed.

“Why are you here?” Claudia asked. Unreal, she muttered because seeing her so-called cousin was the last thing she had expected to be dealing with right now, but it was a diversion she had been looking for, right.



If Mikyla Anderson aka Kyla knew why she was here. She would not be able to tell you why that is. Because when she had run out of the Guerin house after hearing the latest bombshell to shake her life. She did not know where to go. She had not wanted to head back to her grandfather’s place, correction, Uncle Max’s place she would mutter to herself, but she would always think of that house at her grandparents. Somewhere that would be her center, even as her life had been a dream.

A dream that she could not complain about… And I am not, am I?

Because after all she had a mother who loved her, and a stepfather who raised her as if she was his own. And a biological father who was on the outskirts of it all, unofficially of course, but someone she had been able to see most of her life. And he had been good to her, and now she was shaking at the possibility that her biological father could have yet another kid, of the illegitimate kind. It is not like I have been raised with him as my mother, so why do I care about Archie’s blood ties or not?

She did not know why she was shaking. Or why she had started walking and ended up here at the Crashdown. And because she was from the clan she was, it is easy to go into places you are not expected to be she sighed. She largely stayed on the straight and narrow, and lived by the standards that were expected of her, because she did not want too many eyes on her, and I have too many people who while they won’t question, still, it was better to be seen how everyone sees everyone else she sighed. “Can I come in?” she asked simply. “You can say no, you know. Because I don’t know why I am here.”

“Then why did you come?” Claudia asked.

“I don’t know,” Kyla murmured. “Maybe I was wondering if Archie was here,” she asked because she could not be sure if she knew where this was where Archie could be found. After all, she had only seen him once, maybe twice she muttered, but everything was confusing right now, so she could not trust what she did know.

“Why are you asking to talk to my boyfriend?” Claudia asked, annoyed.

Although she did not know why she was annoyed. She was never jealous. Not before Roswell, when she would have had reason too with her boyfriend living alone in Colorado, and she in Boston, and then in Arizona.

She knew Archie was faithful, and that he loved her, and she never lost faith in that love, and the only hiccup now was coming via other issues.

“I know he is your boyfriend,” Kyla sighed. Because she knew that it was a risk in coming her, because she did not know Claudia all that well. In fact, we don’t know each other at all she muttered to herself. And our family link is tenuous because it is not like Claudia is accepting Uncle Max as her father so far… “I am not thinking of him like that, seriously Claudia, I really don’t know why I am here.”

“Then join the club, because I don’t know why you are here” Claudia muttered. As she stood annoyed because this was the last thing she wanted, I don’t know what I want, and that is the problem, but it is certainly not this, she thought of the family reunion she did not want at the moment.

“I thought I guess we could talk?” Kyla asked.

“About what?” Claudia asked. “If it is some soul-searching talk that you are asking for, then I am definitely not in the mood,” she muttered as she gave a deep sigh. “I guess, if you are not going to go anywhere than you might as well come in,” she sighed even when that was not what she wanted.

But she had to be welcoming, at least.

I am trying to get over a hangover headache she muttered. I do not need another one she sighed as it finally came to her that Kyla had to have come through the building to get up here. “Hey, how did you get in here anyways?”

“I have my ways,” Kyla murmured. “One of the few benefits of being in the family we are in, or I am in,” she corrected herself. “Because sorry, I know you are not ready to accept your heritage yet.”

“It is not that I am not,” Claudia murmured as she certainly knew what her so called cousin was getting at, I have long learned my special abilities come from my Dad’s side she muttered to herself. So, it was a blast literally to know that it is not only me, she thought, others did too she murmured. But it was not on her mind to comment on it. And she thought of the side of the family I do not know she thought. My father. “It is that I never have had too before now,” she sighed. “When my mother took me away, and so I did not grow up knowing my father,” she sighed. “Imagine finding out at age eighteen that you have a father who has been out here all alone, and you are forced to question everything in your life?” she asked, and Kyla could only laugh in response, and it caught the other teenager off guard. “What?” Claudia asked, as she had not expected the laughter.

Really you are not special in that regard Kyla murmured and said as much. “You are not the only one who has a messed-up family structure,” she laughed. Okay, maybe on the surface, I am not that messed with… “Look I know, I might be younger than you are, but I know that some families are not like me, and then even if you look at me, I am not someone you can easily define,” she sighed. “I was raised by my stepfather.”

“So,” Claudia asked. I did not ask who she was raised by, so why does any of this matter?

But Kyla was not finished. “But my biological father was around, but I could not acknowledge it, and he could not openly acknowledge me,” she murmured. “It was one badly kept family secret if you will. So, you are not the only family secret in this family,” she muttered. “You should not consider yourself special, even if we are special,” she muttered out loud. “So, you don’t have the corner all to yourself in our family. It is just some of us are not as messed up?”

“Whatever,” Claudia sighed. Why am I dealing with this at all she muttered to herself as it was not something she wanted to be dealing with. “I don’t need to know your life story.”

“I never say you needed to know it,” Kyla muttered as if they were in some duel. Neither knowing what the other was saying or getting at, or why they were dealing with this at all. We wish we knew she thought. “But we are family, and I guess I wanted to see you and know what my uncle’s missing kid was like.”

“I was never missing,” Claudia muttered. I was out there in this world. Dad just never came looking for me.

“To him, to us, you were” Kyla muttered as she looked at the girl who was always there looking down at them, but unable to join the family she thought as she remembered growing up with the knowledge that she had a cousin out there and her uncle who was clearly grieving, had someone out there. A piece of himself. “Imagine growing up with a living legend of a baby going missing at age three months, and having to measure up to someone I would never know,” she muttered. “To the whole family, you were always looking in but also there at the same time.”

“That is deep,” Claudia murmured with a little sarcasm mixed in. “But I was not a living legend you know. I was only a kid who did not ask to be taken away, and who wanted to know who her father was, and did not know why her mother was keeping us apart.”

“Do you know, why, now?” Kyla asked.

“Nope, but I am getting closer” Claudia sighed. But am I? she wondered, because she knew there is still so much that I don’t know. “There are always two stories to a life,” she sighed.

“Don’t I know it” Kyla muttered.

“Why are you here trying to get on my nerves,” Claudia muttered.

“I am not,” Kyla sighed. Even as she knew she was trying to get on her cousin’s nerves, poking at buttons that I don’t even know if they are going work, she sighed. “I guess I wanted to know more about you,” she sighed. “Seriously, I was kind of hoping that your boyfriend would be here.”

“Archie?” Claudia asked, surprised.

“I think we have established that’s his name.” Kyla muttered.

Claudia could only shake her head. “And now we are back to my original question, why do you want to know where Archie is?” Claudia asked. “He is my boyfriend.”

“I know that” Kyla sighed. “As I said, I am looking at him like that,” she muttered. If circumstances were different, and I did not know what I know and if I really wanted to get at my so-called cousin, I might she smiled, but no, I am not that kind of girl. “I was taking a chance because the last time we talked, he was near here, obviously coming from here, and I think I heard he was staying here.”

“Why?” Claudia asked. Suddenly Archie is very popular around here she sighed, for someone who came into this drama so suddenly, she muttered to herself. “He suddenly has become pretty damn popular,” she muttered with gritted teeth because she did not know what Kyla was getting at. “What are you after Mikyla?” she said using her cousin’s formal name, are we even cousins because it might be in our blood, but it is not like we are family.

“It’s Kyla,” she muttered. “I go by Kyla,” she sighed.

“I know,” Claudia muttered.

“So, you are trying to get on my nerves?” Kyla asked. “Push my buttons?”

“Aren’t you trying to do the same with me?” Claudia challenged as she looked at the other teenager. “You came here, forcing me to remember the father I don’t know and have never experienced, and you are now asking me about my boyfriend,” she sighed. “You are working an angle, aren’t you?” So, what are you after?” she muttered as she felt on the defence. “Why do you want to know where my boyfriend, and it would not as if it matters but he was here, but things broke down between the two of us, and we are taking a break, and so he is over at the motel,” she sighed. “But we are very together,” she sighed as it if she wanted to make sure the younger teenager did not try anything. Therefore, she was staking her claim.

“Oh,” Kyla muttered, as her demeanor changed, and her stomach fluttered. Nerves were coming through, and Claudia sensed the change, and wondered what was going on. “What are you up too?” she asked. “Why do you need to talk to Archie?” she asked once more, as she was on a loop.

“I guess I need to see him, to see if I can get some proof once and for all?” Kyla murmured.

Uh oh Claudia sighed as she stood confused. “What does that mean?”

“It means, I have to know if he is my half brother,” Kyla blurted out, and it shocked Claudia as she wondered why she was so shocked, what is it with this town and all these secrets she muttered. Come out of the woodwork.

“What on earth,” she asked softly. “What is that supposed to mean?” she wondered as she looked at the petrified look on the teenager and knew she knew that look, because it was exactly how I feel most of the time, since coming to this town and into a family that she did not know enough about. Especially when it dealt with her father.

“I need to know if he is Tess Harding’s kid?” Kyla said softly.

Tess Harding this, and Tess Harding that, Claudia muttered. What is up with my father former fling. “Why is it that important, and how does that connect with him being your half brother?” Claudia asked, don’t I have enough troubles with my own family mess than now having to deal with Archie’s she murmured at least we are not related.

Because if we were, this would have gone into a different realm very quickly as she looked at Kyla, and it did seem like she believed it. “How would Archie be your half brother?”

“Because instead of being your brother, well, he might be the son of my biological father, and therefore, he would be my half brother, because we would share the same father,” Kyla murmured. “Kyle Valenti.”

Uh oh.

Shit, was more like it Claudia murmured to herself.
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Family Matters - Chapter 73 - 11/23/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

It was as if something was in the water. Because family was intent on spilling out of everywhere, and almost everyone was still unaware, and some were unaware of it all together, because they were not seeing the secrets that were spilling out of the trees, or the leaves that were falling down onto the ground. Naturally, Max was one of these people. Completely unaware that they might be closer to identifying the father of Tess Harding child, the one that been his for far too long but on this day, was obvious to the new edges of the secrets.

All he wanted to do was get out of the house, and away from his father.

Even if things were still at peace between the two. But it was a tentative peace, even if they were both trying to be respectful of each other, and even if things were still a little awkward for them at the house and so they were being awkward with each other, and he had the need to get out of the house, but not in a need to run, and because he needed to do something productive. Errands that he had been delaying, so he found himself over on main street.

Doing meaningless chores.

Chores that kept his mind off two important people in his life.

And they were not far from his mind, as he was not far from the Crashdown, but he wanted to respect the boundaries set by his daughter and not push too much with her, I have already given her too much to think about and plus, he figured that she was still down from the night before, and would not want to see him, I don’t want to make things worse he was thinking as he thought of his little girl. Acting not like the child she had been, but an adult which she is, in the eyes of the world, and she was very lucky she had not been caught underage but at least she was safe, and that is all that matters he thought as he put the bag into his car, and was locking it up, to go get something to eat.

At somewhere other than the Crashdown, because obviously it wax closed, and he had gotten used to over the years having to go find food elsewhere, although everything pales in comparison to the Crashdown Café he murmured to himself in more ways than simply being about the food he thought, not that I ate there much in the years before Jeff closed the doors he thought, I could never get over the memories he muttered as he turned away from his car, and was prepared to head over to the hardware store to pick up some supplies for some fixtures that needed fixing.

And he figured it was time to get it done, even though he fully knew that he could have used his powers, but he had reasons for wanting a diversion, and so he decided to use his hands, and concentrate on something that would not cause pain but that before he heard his name being called, “Max?” he heard being called.

He knew the voice. I would know it anywhere.

Liz Max whispered and turned and spotted the love of his life with her young son. “Liz?” he asked a little surprised because it had only been hours since they had last seen each other, and he would never have imagined running into her, now. “What are you doing here?”

“Same could be said about you?” Liz asked as she glanced at her former husband. She had not been expecting this encounter with her ex, when she and her son had left Maria’s house, and was prepared to pick up some takeout and go back to the motel so that her son could finish up the reading he had to do because he had a test coming up and she was determined that the move would not totally wreck his final grades, even though they did pale in comparison to those he achieved before the past year.

But it seemed easy. Go pick up some food and go back and relax a little she thought. Plans always get waylaid here in Roswell she murmured. But still she had been prepared to go and be a mother, and make sure my son actually studied she thought, although at ten, there was not a lot of life altering in achieving one year of bad grades, but I don’t want him to be left back she thought. It is only onward and up, she sighed, that is why we moved.

But what she had not expected was that her past would be staring her in the fact, even if he has done this so many times in the past few days that it was scary, but she had not expected it now, especially after their encounter the night before. “What are you doing here?” she asked softly, as she focused on her former husband, even if she was to turn her glaze away because he was staring at her, and the heat of the stare did things to her blood, as it reacted as if she was a schoolgirl again.

But she was not a schoolgirl anymore. I am an adult, and I am a mother.

I have responsibilities, and I cannot stand here and have him looking at me like he wants to devour me, even if she loved that he would stare at her, like I was the only one for him she thought, I thought I was the one.

That I was special.

That was what he told me Liz murmured to herself. And for the longest time, I believed him, she thought, but life would get in the way.

But we tried to battle through it, but it eventually became too much.

Of course, it was primarily her that ended their marriage, it was always going to be me she sighed. If it was up to Max, they would be still together, even if we had to move to the North Pole.

But eighteen years, the heat of his stare still made her insides feel like jelly, as she thought one more time that she had not gotten over the addiction that was loving Max Evans. It truly is a life altering addiction.

And it was an addiction that I still crave she thought, to this day.

Which is why she had some relapses since coming back to town, but she had more to think of today. “Max?”

The sound of his name coming from her lips broke the trance. “Liz,” Max murmured. She is really here.

“I think we have established that,” Liz murmured softly at the unbelievable luck of seeing her former husband once more after their encounter the night before, even if nothing happened, she muttered, just talking which was refreshing at the time. “I asked, what are you doing here?”

“What, oh, errands” Max said simply as he struggled to come back to earth, because Liz will always take me away, he would think.

While the adults were struggling in different way. JJ stood and was slightly amused, I mean really the ten-year-old muttered to himself as he saw how the two reacted to each other, and it was not the first time I have seen this he muttered.

But it was still something new to the young boy. Because since he came into the family, with his mother and older sister. He had not seen his mother with any men, and there was never any attempt to introduce one of her suitors to him or his sister. He remembered asking his sister once, if she knew of anyone that interested their mother, Claudia said there was no one he muttered and he definitely had not seen anyone act like this around his mother.

Or have his mother act like this, like I am not even around.

He did not take it personally, because he kind of liked the idea of someone interesting his mother because she worked way too much he muttered. The only gear he had known his mother as he grew up was as a working woman, and especially in the past year, there was very much only home and work he thought, and even then, it was a distance he thought. So, it was only him and Claudia until she went to Arizona.

And then it was him and his mother, and babysitters who had been hired at exorbitant prices because had his schooling to do at home, and his mother had to be at work, because she worked in a hospital he muttered.

He had not been able to visit his mother at work and was something he had been able to do before, so there was a chance to spend time with his mother with the decision to move them away from Boston.

But that did not account for the weight of being back here…

As JJ was now seeing. “Mom?” he whispered.

And it broke the trance that both adults were in. As Liz turned and saw the amused look on her son’s face, “Right, JJ” she muttered. “You have met Max, before, have you not?”

“Briefly, I think?” JJ sighed. As several lifetimes seem to have gone down over the last few days, he muttered to himself.

“Max, my son JJ” Liz said softly as she made the introductions.

Yes, he would think. “Hello JJ” Max said. It only seems right that Liz would name her son after her father because Max knew how much Jeff had been loved by his daughter, even though there was a tinge of regret because we were talking of using the name if our daughter had been a boy he thought now, so it was signal that life went on and yet it did not because she still used the name, So much could have been different he sighed as he looked at the boy. “We have met before, but not for long.”

The boy nodded. “Are we going to get food?” he asked of his mother.

“That was the plan,” Liz sighed. “Do you know of any places to eat? She asked of her former husband as she turned her attention back to Max, as it ever left. “We have tried Chinese and the Pizza Pan since our return, but I wanted something different as we need takeout, before we go back to the motel.” She said as she found it insane that she could talk like this to her former husband. Someone she had tremendous amount of history with, god really, you have some kind of sense of humor.

“There are places,” Max said in some kind of stupor. As he was not sure why he was acting like this…

But it is Liz.

It has always been about Liz
he sighed.

“That is something I know,” Liz said with a smile.

A smile that Max absolutely loved. She has a great smile he murmured. “Yes, I know” he said softly. “But there is no Crashdown.”

Liz nodded.

“Mom wants to reopen the restaurant,” JJ said as he piped into the conversation. And it made both adult’s smile.

“I think I heard that…” Max said softly. “The Crashdown is missed,” he murmured. So were you he thought but wisely did not say it, but it was almost like Liz could tell what her former spouse wanted to say, I don’t need to know she kept insisting to herself.

And certainly, she had heard it since she had returned. “We were just at Maria’s.”

Max nodded. “I assume Michael got off with Isabel?”

“Yes,” Liz said with a frown. “If he was not, then I probably would not have been welcomed into the house.”

Max winced. Because he hated how both Michael and Isabel were reacting to the return of his former wife, I have a reason to be upset, but they don’t have a right he thought, when they were helped by the actions of my wife, while I was hurt. “I am sorry for how he has been treating you since you have back in town.”

“Are you?” Liz asked as her eyebrow rose because she certainly knew that her former husband had opinions on her actions.

“Of course,” Max murmured as he glanced at the only woman he loved, and who held his heart, and of course by doing that, she broke it into pieces, but that is my burden he murmured. It is not my sister or Michael to fight my battles. “They don’t have a right to be mad at you for something that did not hurt them.”

“Well, they believe the deal I made qualifies,” Liz sighed.

“We both know there was clear benefits to that deal,” Max sighed, even I wish there weren’t or that I knew.

Liz nodded.

“But that was in the past,” Max sighed. “We cannot litigate the past…”

Liz could only sigh and nod. We certainly have been trying “I guess JJ and I will go and find a restaurant ourselves,” she sighed. “We need to pick up some food,” she said once more.

“Wait,” Max murmured although he did not know what he was doing. Because he should be letting them go off, and he could go back to what he had planned for the day, and none of those plans involved his former wife nor her son.

“What is it Max?” Liz asked of her former husband.

“Would you mind if I join you and your son?” Max asked and could almost smile at the confusion on his former wife’s face I like that I surprised her he murmured to himself. “How about it?”

Yes, I would mind Liz wanted to say but she found that she was unable to say it. When in fact she did not know what to think, oh god she whispered. “Max, you don’t have too. Don’t you have things you want to do?”

“Nothing that would be more important,” Max asked. Anything I have to do pales in comparison to be able to spend time with Liz. “So, how about it?”

Huh how about it, Liz?

“I really don’t think it is necessary,” Liz sighed. “I know this town, and I am sure my son and I can find our own food,” she sighed. “You don’t need to accompany us,” she sighed as she wanted to downplay the temptation to spend time with her former husband. I need to live my own life she thought. A life that does not have Max as part of it.

“Mom,” JJ muttered, hey, don’t be so hasty he thought. Because he would take anything that would mean he did not have to go back to the motel and study, I cannot stand another session reading he muttered to himself because that the only thing he could in his motel room when had enough television, you can only deal with so much television he thought in a motel, not well suited for a ten-year-old boy for more than a few days.

Who knows how long we will be there he thought.

So, he was in no rush to go back.

But Liz was, because the idea of spending time with her former husband. We have a signed divorce decree she muttered, because it will be a recipe for disaster if she spent time and gave Max ideas.

Too much was on the line for things to go badly, now…

“I don’t think that is a wise idea,” Liz murmured.

“Why not?” Max asked.

“I did not come back tot his town to get involved with you once more,” she sighed even though she had knew that was a laugh Liz, you have done nothing but get involved with your former husband she sighed, including the just last night, which you spent with him.

Even though they only had talked, and nothing more…

Too much of my time has been with Max she thought, and it is only going to end in pain if we keep going.

“Then you should have picked a different town,” Max muttered. Slightly hurt that his former wife did not want to spend time with him. Sure, he should not be doing it either because he only stood to hurt himself by investing anymore of his heart with the woman who had married him, and made him believe he could everything he ever dreamt of, and then proceeded to break that heart into million pieces…

You can say I have a complicated set of feelings with the woman Max muttered to himself.

“Maybe, I should have” Liz said softly. I should have known what I was setting myself up for by coming back to this town.

“Mom, let Max come with us” JJ said as he blurted it out without really thinking or meaning too, and he liked the look of astonishment on both adults faces, that was fun he said with a smile to himself. “Let Max come…”

Never in a million days that it seemed like this return has been going on, did Max think he would pick up the support from his wife’s son, a child that he was not involved with creating, and who come into his wife’s life after they parted, and when their child was so tentative in her acceptance of him as her father.

Really Liz was thinking. You she was thinking to her son.

“You want Max to come with us?” Liz asked as she looked at her son a little suspiciously. “Somehow, I suspect that it is only about wanting us to stay and eat so that you don’t have to do your homework,” she muttered as she knew her son’s ways of diverting from his schoolwork. “You have end of school coming up shortly.”

Very shortly which is why I did the move now she thought. Thinking that it would not hurt matters, but she did not count on the complicated motions of getting used to a new town, even if the town was not new to her.

It has still be more than eighteen years she thought.

“That would be a bonus, sure” JJ said with a sense of honesty that amused the adults, kids will say the darndest things she sighed. “You said we need to get used to this town. Max is being friendly, and I say why not?”

Why not indeed Max murmured. “So, how about it, Liz?” he asked as he almost dared his former wife to say no to the request of her son.

But then Liz had a very hard time saying no when Max was involved.

In any matter.

So, she did not say no, and they walked off in the same direction.

Thanks JJ.


Come on now Claudia was thinking at the same time. “Are you seriously telling me that you might be related to my boyfriend,” she was asking with a level of astonishment that was making her dizzy, really, this is too much she was also thinking. She had allowed Kyla further into the apartment, and they were making their home in the living room, as small as it was, she sighed, because the apartment was only so big. Which is why Mom is supposed to be renovating it she thought, or that was the plan at the start of this drama as she tried to focus back on the younger teenager.

Kyla also could not believe it, because even though she was only fifteen, she had seen a lot in her life already. If you are in my family, then you do see a lot and experience a lot and it almost too much at the same time she sighed, but I mostly have gotten used to it, or I thought she did until this latest news rattled her. Even if she had no confirmation. But that was what she was after. Still, she had never expected to be adding anyone else to her family. Once her mother and stepfather had adopted her sisters, Poppy, and Katy Anderson. But now in quick succession, two newcomers were possibly coming into the family, in different ways.

From different directions.

Still, Kyla had always known that Claudia had been out there, and there was always a chance she would show up, although she suspected that her uncle had lost hope after so many years. Still, you would have expected eventually. But what she did not expect was another half sibling because she knew of Tripp of course. She and Tripp had grown up together and figured out their connection and the pieces of their family early on, which is why it is such a bad family secret because it is well know, yet it is not talked about.

Not even to this day.

Because her mother was with her stepfather. Neil. And Kyle had been with a selection of wives coming and going with frequency and there was that deal that her mother and Kyle had made. Which was something she had picked up on early on. Neither wanted to breach it. So, she knew of Tripp, and she expected that was all there was to her added family. Therefore, she was not expecting another secret child. One that she would have to contend with for attention.

Maybe I am presuming too much she thought. Archie has his family, and a name, so why would he want anything here in Roswell she asked, and all we would be is related because we would have the same biological father.

But I am this close to getting Mom and Kyle together, Kyla thought.

Therefore, I don’t need any more impediments she muttered.

Because she was coming to see that was the goal here, my mother’s happiness and maybe mine she thought. She did not see things working out with one more kid, it would not be more likely, right?

“Kyla, are you with me?” Claudia was asking because she was used to be the one spacing out not the one who was on the receiving end of one of those stares, except maybe if it was my mother, she sighed, mom has it down to a science…

So, it was not like she could put the girl down for doing the same thing she was known to do, because it is very easy to so…

“I am here,” Kyla murmured as she was coming back to reality, I was not that far gone she sighed. “Sometimes, I go off.”

“I know the feeling,” Claudia muttered. “It has happened to me on occasion,” she admitted and “And especially to my mother,” she sighed, “since she has come back to this town,” she murmured. “Is there is something in the water in this town?” she wondered. “Some special property that makes deep dark secrets spill out,” she asked, and Kyla smiled. “Or grown adults to act like teenagers?”

“Roswell is a unique town,” Kyla murmured. “It can be described yes, as special” she allowed. “Somehow, it has always been like this, even if it has been tame until recent days.”

“Has it?” Claudia asked.

“Yes,” Kyla murmured. “A lot has been hidden or under a mask until recent days.”

“Can I ask, what has changed things?” Claudia asked, as if she did not know, but it was worth asking.

“What do you think?” Kyla asked with a smile on her face.

“I was worried that was the case,” Claudia sighed. “So, it was my return, or especially my mother’s return?”

“Something like that,” Kyla agreed. “So, what do you think will happen now?”

“Hell, if I know,” Claudia murmured with a heavy sigh. Why cannot this be easy she sighed. “Because I wish I did, because so much could be so different if it were,” she muttered but she did not want to talk about that when they should be discussing why Kyla had come here, “So, can we get back to our original discussion?” she sighed, because she did not know whether she should be talking about how her return had upset the apple cart, um, not my return, she muttered to herself as she clarified it, it is my mother’s return she thought, because I never knew this town she thought, unlike my mother or even my grandparents. As she tried to come back to reality, and away from her inner debate with herself. “So, you have a biological father?” she asked. “You were raised by your mother I assume, and a stepfather?”

“Yes,” Kyla murmured. “Neil Anderson.”

“But you know your biological father?” Claudia asked, that is novel she thought of the idea. I wish I had known my father, maybe then I would be a different person today although at the same time she kind of knew she would be very different if she was raised by both of her parents, but sometimes I wonder who I would have been she sighed. And if I would have liked that Claudia more…

“I know him,” Kyla sighed. “But he does not have a role in my life except for maybe as a trusted family friend,” she admitted. “It was a deal that he made with my mother. She wanted to have a kid, and she had just gotten out of an early marriage that had ended weird for her, and she wanted to have a kid, me,” she sighed. “So, she asked Kyle Valenti, who was and is a friend to her, and they came up with a deal,” she sighed. “She would raise the baby, and he would not have a role in it,” she sighed. “It ended up creating me.”

Wow Claudia murmured. There are friendships, and there ARE friendships she thought. I don’t know if I had any friends who I would want to go to those lengths with, she thought, if I wanted to be a mother, she murmured. But I am not going to be one anytime soon she thought. Kids are way off, if ever she told herself.

After all, I don’t want my kid to repeat my life she thought.

“I know the feeling,” Kyla murmured. Because she was not sure what to feel about this confession session that she was having with a cousin she did not know. “God, I wish I was older, and I could drink…”

“I know that feeling too,” Claudia sighed as she thought of her debacle the night before. “But since I managed that feat only last night, I have got to say that it is not very advisable unless you can handle it, because otherwise you will be incredibly hungover the next morning, which is where I at and I am still coming down from it,” she groaned as she still had a aching headache as she thought that she should be the adult she was, but I don’t feel like an adult she muttered to herself but she was in the eyes of god, and therefore, she should not be encouraging the behavior she had exhibited the night before on any one else, and especially not someone who was younger, although Kyla does look older than her age.

“You did?” Kyla asked, a little shocked. “But you are…”

“Underage, you want to say?” Claudia asked, with a sly smile.

“Yes,” Kyla admitted. “Although I am not naïve to think it cannot happen, because I have seen friends do it, but it was never me who wanted to go down those pathways…” Although sometimes I want to cut loose, she sighed. Being overseas helped a tad…

“As you said earlier. You have a great skill in breaking into places you should not, which I agree is pretty easy,” she sighed of their mutual abilities. “But I find that I have a skill in creating unbeatable fake IDs,” she said with a smile. “I don’t fail when I do it right.”

“I believe you,” Kyla said with a smile. It was a meeting of minds that was developing between the two girls, over their abilities to use their powers to blue the lines, with both of them knowing that their parents would not be happy with this discussion, not at all they both thought. “Maybe one day you can create one for me,” she said to laughter coming from her cousin. “I am sure it has to be very handy unless of course you run into someone who happens to know you, huh?” she asked because as much as she wished she had the ability to have some fun, she knew it would be risky in their hometown. Roswell might be very risky to try it out in, because we are a small town, and eventually we always run into someone we know.

Because we know everyone.

Almost everyone.

“Certainly,” Claudia nodded. “I did get lucky,” she sighed, until she frowned. “Until I did not,” she groaned. Because I do have some memories of last night. And knew what she had done, and how she had unleashed…

“What does that mean?” Kyla asked as she did not know what to think of this conversation. Or the fact she was having it at all because she was having it with who she had looked on with suspicion not too long before, and yet here they were. It is nice. There are not many females close to my age in this town, she sighed, who have my life experiences she clarified herself. Maybe Lucy, but until recently, she had lived elsewhere.

Claudia felt the same. But it is bizarre she told herself but here we are. “I ran into my father, and of course he tried to act like a father, and you can say it did not go over well with me being in my inebriated state.”

Uh oh Kyla murmured. “I can only imagine.”

“No, you cannot” Claudia sighed. “I really let loose on him” she sighed, I do have memories of last night she muttered to herself of the night before, and she did distinctly remembered how she had not been such a pleasant drunk when she had crossed paths with her father, he was only trying to help me, and I made things worse she sighed, and he has not come around yet she muttered. “It did not go well, or from my side of it,” she muttered as she corrected herself, I do feel guilty about his I did treat him she told herself. He was not deserving or asked for the tongue lashing.

Kyla nodded. “That where he was last night. I moved into Grandpa’s place, excuse me Uncle Max’s place since he’s now the official owner,” she sighed, and “My mother had to go off and collect my younger sisters from our grandparents in Portland, Maine and therefore I am staying with them while she is gone, so when we got there, Uncle Max was nowhere to be seen until this morning, when I caught him coming into the house.”

Perfect Claudia murmured at the connection between her parents. I should be celebrating it, but it is a mystery to me she told herself because she could only assume that both of them had been together at some point. Of course, she would not know they had only been talking, and she had been the chief topic. “I guess, I should not be surprised because somehow my mother found out about my actions last night, which means that they had to meet up at some point,” she sighed. Of course, Dad was going to tell Mom she muttered. Of my youthful misadventure because it was unlikely going to stay a secret, she told herself. Especially not in this town.

What is going on with my life she wondered once again.

“No,” Kyla murmured. Sometimes I wish that my parents would feel the same way about each other she thought of what she did not know, okay, I know that Kyle feels something about my mother, but I don’t know if Mom feels the same.

“Sorry,” Claudia winced at the choice of her words. “It’s just that I am a little sensitive…”

What is it with both of us, missing out on something in different kinds of ways they both were thinking.

“I am sorry too,” Kyla murmured. “It not that we are the same,” she sighed. “I love my family. My stepfather was wonderful to me. He met my mother after I was born, and he raised me as if he was his, and I even eventually took his name even if he never officially adopted me,” she allowed. “We had a great life, but unfortunately, he passed away last year.”

“Oh sorry,” Claudia winced, feeling guilty about being so into her own mess, at least my father is alive she thought although if you believe my mother, that was not always the case she muttered of the unbelievable story from her mother, a telling that had gotten waylaid by events and they had not been able to get back to fantastical story about how her father died but obviously he did not die at the same time, because he is still with us, and I would not have been born. “I did not know” she thought as she came back to the sadness of Kyla’s news.

“How could you?” Kyla asked. “It was not you know…”

Claudia knew. “That is good,” of the acknowledgment of the primary source of illness over the past year.

“It was something sudden and unexplainable,” Kyla sighed. Or at least it was to me and my sisters she thought Mom might know more. “I miss him everyday. Because he was a wonderful dad, and he loved me as much as my sisters who my mother and he adopted after they got married because they were unable to have their own children. Poppy and Katy are out East visiting our grandparents, Dad’s parent’s which was their first trip since before our dad died, and I was supposed to go too, but I got into an exchange program overseas and it was one of the very few that was still going ahead in the wake of the world closing down. I did not want to miss out.”

“That is great,” Claudia sighed with a little envy. “I wish I could travel.”

“It has made me open up to the idea that there is more to this world than just this town,” she sighed because Roswell has been our only existence. “But I just came back, and the chaperone who accompanied my sisters has to stay back East for family reasons so there was no one to bring my sisters back to Roswell, even though they are thirteen, and quite capable to handling themselves, but it is a bizarre world these days and you don’t want to take too many chances,” and it is not like my sisters are like me she sighed of her special abilities. They don’t have any abilities except defence classes they had been taking.

We all took those classes she thought, even though I can defend myself.

“No, you don’t” Claudia agreed. “I think I heard of your mother taking some trip and you were going to be staying at my father’s place.”

Kyla nodded.

“At least you have a place to stay,” Claudia murmured.

“Yeah, but it is just a little odd” Kyla sighed. “Because things are tense at the house.”

“Why?” Claudia asked. I know I know; I should know she sighed, but I don’t, and I never said that some of it was not my own fault she thought, I have the ability to know about the man who is my father, but I am not choosing to take it.

“Granddad made some deal with your mother, not to tell Uncle Max something, and it hit the fan, and things have been tense at the house ever since, so the thinking is that I would be a good buffer to be there and to be an intermediary.”

Oh, right Claudia sighed, I know about that she thought. “No one is happy about what my mother did,” she sighed. Not even me she thought. “She claims that she was doing it for the greater cause…”

“If you believe some of the stories of our history,” Kyla murmured. Growing up I did hear some of the stories “It is not the first time she made such a sacrifice, that ended up having significant consequences to them,” she sighed. “I don’t know all of it. But back in the day before you were born, it would lead to your father and Tess Harding.”

“Which led me to almost having a brother,” Claudia muttered.

“A brother that ended up being mine assuming it is true that my biological father Kyle Valenti is Archie’s father,” Kyle sighed, as they came to why she had come here in the first place, to find out if she had a brother,

A half brother...

“I guess it is believable, because she did live with him and Kyle’s father for a time, and I know they did become close, but then everything went haywire and Tess turned out to be a traitor, who had ended up becoming pregnant.”

“By my father, or so it was believed?” Claudia asked.

“Until after the baby was born, and put up for adoption, and he came back to town because of some sickness and the truth came out, and I don’t know how it all adds up to Kyle being the father. And I don’t even know why it even matters to me, to be honest with you” she sighed. “It is not like he is my father or has been a father to me. We have our ties, genetically, but he has just been a family friend.”

“But you want it to be more,” Claudia asked. “And you don’t need anyone standing in and taking over your territory?” she asked, as she could read Kyla and felt that it was pretty easy to see where the younger teenager was coming from. “You were something special, undefined, and on the sidelines, and you don’t want the competition?”

“I don’t even know if it would be a competition because Archie was raised by another family.” Kyla thoughts. “Whose to say he would even want to be part of all this?”

Archie has never been about finding his roots Claudia conceded I was always different, but he never wanted to stray from his family she thought, the family who loved him enough to adopt him she also thought. I was always different she knew. But she could read the confusion on Kyla’s face, and she saw that it was more. She wants her biological parents to get together. “But you think you can have Kyle get with your mother, and this might ruin it?” Claudia asked. “You can call it my gift, but sometimes when I am not too stressed that I can sense what people really want, apparently one of my mother’s gifts was see premonitions,” she sighed it is not like she used it or maybe she did. “No wonder she got out of this town,” she muttered even as she had doubts her mother ever really tapped into the power. “It not that different.”

“Maybe not,” Kyla sighed. “I want my mother to be happy.”

“And you want it to with Tripp’s father, Kyle” Claudia asked, whoa she thought as it came to her of what it all meant, Archie would be Tripp’s brother, too.

“It is all a mess” Kyla murmured as she knew it would not only be me, she thought I also have not thought of Tripp she sighed. But he is the brother I knew I had; she knew. I do not need another. “I have had a pretty easy life until now, and I don’t want it to be messy.”

“Like my life?” Claudia murmured.

“I did not say that” Kyla sighed.

“You did not, I did” Claudia murmured. “My life has been the definition of messy,” she thought. “I don’t know what I want to happen,” she sighed. “I came to this town knowing there was a chance my father could be, and he is, and I should be jumping at the chance to know the man, but I am not doing anything to get to know the man,” she sighed, I am spiraling away instead of closer. “I don’t really what is going to happen.”

Kyla nodded.

“And now everything is happening with Archie,” Claudia sighed. “That was the last thing I was looking to happen.”

“No one was looking for it to happen,” Kyla sighed. “I better be going,” she sighed as she checked her watch. “Granddad is going to wonder where I am,” she muttered. “There is only so much you can do in this town,” she sighed. “The world is only starting to wake up again.”

“Being away from it must have been an eye opener,” Claudia asked as she was clinging to the idea of travelling, that is the best idea ever she thought better than dealing with more school she sighed. But Mom would not be too happy she sighed if I tried to spring that on her again.

“It was, even if it was a more closed society than I bargained for, because you know everything was going on, and they were trying to keep us safe,” she sighed. “But I loved it.”

“Do you want something drink?” Claudia offered. “I should have offered it to you before,” she sighed. “But…”

“You did not know how to take my arrival?” Kyla asked.

“Something like that,” Claudia smiled. “I do have stuff, completely appropriate,” she said with a smirk, and Kyla smiled. “I am not really into that kind of life, unless I am trying to look for trouble,” she sighed. “You look like you need something at least…”

“Thank you for the offer,” Kyla sighed as they walked to the fridge. “This really was your grandparent’s apartment, where your mother grew up?”

“Yup,” Claudia sighed. “I never knew it before it closed its doors. Mom kept me away.”

“We would come to the Crashdown Café all the time,” Kyla said. “The burgers were awesome, and the décor was…”

“Imaginative and on the nose,” Claudia asked with a smirk.

“Something like that,” Kyla said with a laugh as Claudia handed her cousin a drink from the fridge.

“If you want a tour,” Claudia asked. “The apartment is not all that,” she said. “Mom is attempting to renovate it, because it does not have all those modern conveniences that were only starting to burgering back when Mom was coming of age,” she sighed. “We are way past those days,” she sighed as she showed Kyla the apartment and she found it oddly nice to be able to let loose. “Mom wants to reopen the restaurant downstairs.”

“I hope she does,” Kyla said. “I miss it.”

“I never knew what it was like,” Claudia murmured.

“It was something special,” Kyla admitted. “A lot of fun.”

Claudia nodded.

It is a weird situation they both knew, “You actually have a balcony,” Kyla whispered as they crawled out through the window and landed in the large open space. “This is darn cool.,” she asked as she walked towards the edge of saw that they were facing over main street. “Wow, you have quite the view,” she murmured. “Yet you have so much privacy?”

Yes, I do “It used to my mother’s room when she was young. When we moved back in, well, she took over my grandparent’s old room,” she sighed. “I don’t think she wants the memories of her old bedroom.”

“Why not?” Kyla asked.

“Because of what else,” Claudia murmured. “She and my father.”

“It must be weird?” Kyla asked. “I have always known what my situation is, to such an extent it is a fact of my life, but it all brand new to you?”

“Yes, it is” Claudia sighed. “I was raised as if I was in the dark, and told the bare minimum,” she groaned. “SO, to come into the light, it is almost a little overwhelming,” she sighed. “And my equilibrium is off, and it is all coming on me as if it is a whirlwind. I only wish that it made sense.”

“When does life ever make sense?” Kyla asked. Seriously, she asked, when has it ever made sense if you belong to this clan of families?

“So says the veteran of this life, huh?” Claudia asked with a laugh.

“You get used to it,” Kyla murmured. You do get used to it she thought. But then it is the only life that I have known she muttered to herself. I might quibble with it, but I would not want any other kind of life.

Especially if I were like Claudia.

“I am not sure I ever will get used to it,” Claudia sighed.

“Give it a few days,” Kyla advised. “You have only been around this town for a few days.”

“It has felt like a year,” Claudia murmured.
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Family Matters - Chapter 74 - 11/25/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

Has it only been a few days Max thought because yes, it did feel whirlwind like, and he could not believe it. As he sat at a booth at a nearby restaurant. He along with Liz and JJ had settled on an all-day breakfast joint, because he knew everywhere he could have suggested would have paled in comparison to the fare that the Crashdown had once offered, and the memories that were attached. And because Liz and her son had already tried Chinese and Pizza, this would be something different. And now JJ was digging into a plate of pancakes, while he settled for spicy eggs, and Liz something similar. But without the tabasco sauce that he was pouring on his own plate. With JJ looking at him weirdly and the glances was something he did notice. “What is it?” he asked the boy as he continued to pour the sauce onto the eggs.

“You actually brought your own bottle? JJ asked as he looked at the fact Max was doing something so similar to his older sister, it is eerie he would think.

“Why would I not?” Max asked softly as he glanced over at Liz who only smiled. She has seen it so many times before. “You don’t know if a restaurant will have it, and one never can take a chance,” he asked as again looked at his former wife who smiled, and whose stomach was fluttering way. Because it had been an unbelievable time they had been having together, not so awkward as you would think it would be she told herself. Max was loving it. Because it was all so normal. Where there are no cares in the world he sighed. It feels nice he thought as he could see that JJ was just like any other little boy. Happy, and well adjusted. Again, a little bit of envy hit him of what could have been. Because JJ was able to enjoy everything, he had not been able to experience when he was his age, and having the get used to a new planet, and trying to come to terms with the realities that came with it.

He would have given everything to have a normal life.

But unfortunately, that had not been his path, but it was nice to see it in JJ. He only wished he had been able to see his own child grow up, and he had an incredible amount of wistfulness at what he had not been able to experience.

Liz sensed the uneasiness in her former husband as he glanced at her son. I am sorry Max she sighed because she knew it could not be easy. After all I cost him…

But the lunch had been nice. To have this time even when she knew it was unwise, and it is only going to cause us to be hurt in the end. I don’t want to hurt him anymore than I have already have she sighed. The more time we spend together she sighed.

Even if part of her wanted too, which is why I could not say No.

“Claudia likes tabasco sauce on everything too,” JJ murmured. “She pours it over her eggs too,” he sighed. “So, is it like a family trait?” he asked of his sister’s father. Someone he was only beginning to know. Because Max made him curious, and therefore, he was watching the man.

Max could feel the look of assessment. It is only natural he would think as he thought of the fact his daughter might be very much like him, in even less obvious ways he thought because he still had not come to terms that she might be just like him in obvious way. Because as he was admiring JJ for being a normal little boy. He very well knew how odd he was more days of the week, and to think his daughter was just like him.

So, was it a family trait? Max thought to himself as he could not help but stare at his former wife, and once more Liz was unable to handle the heat of the stare, because it was not desire this time, it was more. It was pain because he does not know his daughter she murmured, and that is on me. “I did not know that about your sister,” he said simply, as not to display too much tension at the table, but the stare was right at his former wife.

And she sensed it and felt it.

This is what I wanted to avoid she murmured to herself. I know I hurt you she sighed, but I know it for a good reason.

“She loves the stuff,” JJ murmured, unaware of the tension or the weight of it, and what it all meant thankfully.

“That is good,” Max said simply.

And Liz mouthed, thank you because she did not need for the encounter to get even more complicated or intense, it needs to be simple for JJ she thought. Time will bring it out for him, and he will figure it out.

But not now.

She hoped.

Max nodded, the last thing I want to do is make things worse he thought, I can think what I want to think but I am not going to take it out when it changes nothing, he told himself, we cannot go back and change things.

“I am going to go the bathroom,” JJ said standing up, and walked away.

“You don’t have to say it Liz,” Max said softly as they walked the boy walk off in the direction of the bathroom. “I don’t want to make anything more than it is,” he sighed. “Because we talk until our faces are blue, and nothing will change our positions,” he said softly. “We believe what we believe. We cannot go back and change things,” he murmured. “Last night told me as much as anything did,” he sighed. “Our daughter needs us thinking about today, and not when she was a baby, which is time we never will be able to go back too.”

Liz sighed; I know she thought. “But thank you, because I want JJ to be as protected as much as he can be, because I have never really been able to do that for his sister, no matter how much I tried. She is who she because of my choices. I don’t want my son to be the same way, because he will not have the baggage…”

Baggage Max thought, that is a good word for it. But it was not like he wanted to hear the word. “That I give our daughter by being her father, you mean?” Max asked. “Whether I helped raise her or not?”

“I did not say that’ Liz sighed. I hate this she murmured to me. Why should I like this?

Or want it to be my daily life because Max and I will never truly be able to move on.

“It is what you meant,” Max muttered, and both sighed because they were going in circles on this, and they both knew they would never really be able to move on, or past what their past was, and what they both had done.

As JJ walked back and now could feel the tension, man, he muttered.

Just as Liz’s cellphone rang, uh oh, she sighed as she recognized the phone number. “I have to get this. JJ can stay with you Max?”

“Sure,” both Max and JJ nodded. And it was not lost on him that his former wife was likely using the phone call as a diversion. She does not have to answer it he muttered himself, but it is not like either of us want to talk about it.

Anymore than the many arguments that we have been having he thought, that have been waylaid by our intense attraction to each other he thought. Although last night was not like that he thought, Last night was actually something nice.

Liz got up from the table, and walked away, which told Max that it was important call, even if he questioned her need to answer it, I wonder what it is about.

Meanwhile, the boy at the table did not know what was going on between his mother and the man who was a mystery to him. And yet he could see how he was looking at his mother, it is all so weird “Do you like my mother?” JJ announced as he looked Max square in the eye with his bombshell question.

What on earth Max asked as she stammered to think of a proper answer to the child’s question. Where did this come from? And said as much. “Where is this coming from?” he wondered as he looked at his former wife’s child. A child that came into her life, after their marriage broke up, and whose life was very different.

“I see how you look at my Mommy,” the ten-year-old muttered as he looked at Max and could see that the boy amused by all this, just as he was equally stunned by the notion of being asked what he felt for his former wife by his ex-wife’s ten-year-old son.

Are you sure you are ten Max muttered to himself. “Of course, I like your mother. She is someone special to me,” he thought, we might have our battles, but she will always be Liz to me.

A memory of a different time, but someone I will always love.

Whether that was good for me or not.

And he did not know if that was good or not.

“Yes, she is special, but do you like her?” JJ asked. “I mean, like her. Like boyfriend, girlfriend?”

Kids he muttered. What am I going to say? he wondered because he did not know what to say to the boy. Someone who meant so much to both his former wife, but their daughter. Max could not help but sigh because this should not be the situation he was in, but it was. I could walk away from it, but I always walking towards her… “Where is this coming from?” Max asked once more.

“I want her to be happy,” JJ sighed. I want my Mommy to be happy he thought. And I don’t know a lot about this new life of ours, but he saw the chaos, and he did not like it. And yet, he felt like his sister’s father might be the answer to the end of it. “And she been working too much, and she has not been happy,” he sighed. “I want to know if you are that person to make her happy.”

Damn Max muttered. “You are not ten, are you?”

“I am perceptive,” JJ said with a smile.

“That is what you are,” Max sighed. Perceptive all right.

“I don’t want Mommy to be hurt” JJ muttered.

“I don’t, either” Max said softly and meant it. As he saw the boy’s confusion. He wants his mother to be happy, but he also does not want her hurt. “Your mother is very special to me JJ; you don’t have to worry. I cannot say what the future will be, but I am not trying to hurt her,” he sighed as he saw Liz walking back to the table, but her face was anything than happy.

She was looking pale, like she had seen a ghost.

“Liz, what is it?” she asked of his former wife.


All the while,

As far as Liz was concerned. Storm clouds were now beginning to amass, and certainly they were because across town, on the edge of it. In a motel that was unrelated to where Liz, JJ, or even Archie and Crystal were staying in. Two men of different ages were talking. Or it was more like the old gentlemen was giving orders that the younger was being forced to adhere whether he wanted to or not.

But he was here, and trying to adhere to the orders,

Because it was not clear what the younger man wanted, but he was looking at the older gentlemen in an ominous way. “The Evans girl is alone at the apartment,” came the older man and neither of them could exactly be called gentlemen, but in this case, a mission was being undertaken. And questionable one as it was, but it was still one.

It was long in coming and long since it actually had begun. And no one knew where this was going, or how it was going to end. And those beginnings were very tough, and the consequences were still being felt across town “Do you know what you are to do?” came the ask.

“Are you sure this is wise?” came the reply from the younger man. But it was not because he was smitten by the target of the mission. She is hot he sighed. But in this case, it was simply wondering why this was needed at all. Why? was his question.

He was raised to believe this was needed. There are people out there who are too risky.

And it was not like the younger man knew the answer was going to come. “What you think does matter to me, or to the mission at hand” came the answer in a brusque tone and by now the younger version of the older in a black suit knew not to question the demands, but he also could not help it. “Make sure the girl remembers you from last night or better yet. Don’t ask the question at all, and do what you are told, do you hear me?” came the brusque tone. “Let’s finish this.”

“Yes, sir,” but still could not resist an additional question. “Why are we not dealing with the other one,” he asked, failing to identify the other one. Even the person was someone he knew off, if not familiar was because it was not like he was raised to know her…

“She is hopeless, too far gone” came the older gentlemen. “Your sister would never come with us or help us.”

No, she would not, but she has a stake in this the younger man thought. “Why do you think this one will be any better. Given what you did to her mother?”

Irritated at having his orders questioned. And just his attitude of this situation at all. If I had not been given orders to close it down in the first place, we would have a leash on this situation, but we allowed her freedom, and look what happened. “Given her mother’s failure to adhere to our orders, or deal. Don’t give the daughter the option to decline,” he muttered. “Do your job or you can be replaced.”

That is something I know “Yes, Dad” came the replay.

As he rushed out…


Back at the all-day breakfast joint. Lunch had quickly ended with Liz’s return. She was not willing to tell Max why she was looking like a ghost, and the paleness on her face was not improving, but she was more abrupt, and quiet with him, and obviously she wanted to leave. She wanted to grab her son and rush out, but she knew that was not going to happen. So, once the bill was paid, and they walked out onto the street. With JJ being stopped by a friend who he met at a library event, it gave Max time to talk to his former wife, but he felt the fear coming off his former wife, and he wanted to get her to talk to him and tell him what was going on.

“Tell me, what is going on Liz?” he asked.

Nothing you can help me with Liz was thinking as she was itching to walk away. Once more JJ was not letting us leave but she needed her son to feel like he was home although she was secretly thinking that maybe we should head back to the motel and pack up, and leave town, because the phone call she had received only scared her more.

I should have been thinking of the ramifications of coming back Liz was thinking, “Come on JJ,” she said as she called to her son. “We have to get back to the motel.”

“But…” JJ asked.

“But nothing,” Liz murmured. “Let us go.”

“Fine,” JJ sighed. “I got to go Jimmy.”

“See ya,” came the other boy as he turned to walk away. Leaving JJ to look at his mother and he could sense something was up, she is nervous he was thinking as he looked over at Max, and he was as mystified by the change in demeanor. “Are you okay Mom?”

“I am fine,” Liz sighed, even though she knew she was not okay. “What I am is tired. We need to head back to the motel.”

“I guess,” JJ sighed as he looked at Max.

Who only shrug because he did get why Liz was acting this way, like she is afraid of her shadow he murmured. “Can I at least drive you back to the motel?”

“We have my car,” Liz said all too briefly. “Thank you for lunch Max, but we will be fine” she sighed. “We can make our own way back.”

“How about I walk back with you to wherever your car is?” Max asked, given the state of the economy of the last year. Parking tickets were starting to climb in prices and therefore citizens were known to park ways off from main street.

“You don’t have too,” Max sighed.

“I don’t have too, but I want too” Max murmured. “Please let me, Liz.”

“No, you have already done more than enough” Liz sighed. “More than enough,” she repeated.

“What have I done? Max asked because he was taken back by the tone, and the look on her face. Because she was trying to mask it, but he was all too aware that his former wife was fearing something, I know that look he thought, because he had seen it before, on Liz’s face since her return to town. But also, from years earlier. When life was so much unpredictable, he would mutter. As if life is any more predictable, he was thinking.

This is Roswell Max was thinking.

“It does not matter Max,” Liz sighed. Because she needed to ger away from her. She needed to get back to the motel, where she could control her surroundings yeah, I know, I am a little delusional she thought as she turned and focused on something she could control, JJ she murmured. “Come on JJ, lets go back” she sighed while muttering, I made a terrible mistake under her breath. Why did I not know they would not like it she muttered, and Max was left mystified and, in a stupor, because he did not know why their encounter had ended like this, in such a jumble.

But chose to walk behind them, to make sure they got to their car. Liz could sense that he was following them, and it took all her might not to turn and talk to them, and JJ just stayed quiet because he did not know what was going on with his mother.

Something is going on he would think. Because he had been growing up in the house that had two formidable women, who had their moods. So, I know when they are in a mood he thought, but still the ten-year-old could not quite describe the mood that he was sensing that his mother was in, this is different the boy thought.


“Mom?” JJ asked.

“It’s okay,” Liz sighed, even though she knew it was not okay. All she knew was that she needed to go back to the motel and hide and not come out until she figured out what she was going to do because she could not keep this going. This was a mistake she muttered to herself as she and her son walked to the car, knowing they were being followed. I should not come back to this town she thought, but she was already too far down the rabbit hole to do a respectable walk back.

Actions have consequences she muttered. She certainly knew this when she was only a teenager, and she should have sense that her decision to come back to Roswell would lead to this day, but here I am.

Max was not going to walk away. I will never walk away if Liz needs me, he thought. He did not know what was going on, but he sensed that there was a disturbance in the making. So, wisely, he kept his distance. For fear that she would erupt at him.

Like his former wife’s son, Max knew his ex-wife knew, and knew when she was on guard. And she is on guard now.

So, he kept quiet and followed, and soon they were almost near the car, which just happened to be located by the Crashdown. There were no other spots she muttered. She knew Max was following her, his scent is unmistakeable she murmured to herself, but she was also buried in herself. She did thank her former husband for staying quiet, and not engaging her, it is bad enough I am in a battle with my thoughts she muttered to herself. I wish I could be better than this.

But she did not want to bring Max into it, because she knew what he would do. He would instantly want to try to protect her, and she did not want that, I have already taken too much from him she thought, I don’t need him to worry.

Meanwhile, JJ was walking by his mother, Does she know he’s back there he wondered. It seems like she does, but they won’t talk. “Mom?”

“Don’t JJ,” Liz said. “No more diversions,” she sighed. “We are going back to the motel,” she muttered. “You will do your schoolwork.”

“I know,” JJ sighed. And he knew full well that he had done most of the school work that his mother was clinging onto as a reason why they must leave this situation, I have like a chapter left, no big deal he muttered himself, but just as Max knew to stay quiet, and not to engage with Liz’s determination to end this encounter, JJ knew his mother well, and knew there were times not to engage. I am not suicidal he muttered.

“I know,” JJ sighed but he sensed there was something more. “But what’s wrong?” he asked. “Who called, was it about Claudia?” he asked of his older sister. As he knew the phone had changed everything for him mother, and the storm clouds were definitely beginning to open up and bring unnecessary drama.

He just did not know what was going on.

“No,” Liz said with confliction. Am certain that Claudia is fine she thought. This is about me, not her she sighed. This is all because of me. Because I started it. “Your sister is completely fine.”

JJ almost believed his mother.

Max did too.

And that was before they heard a scream, and mayhem coming from the outside of the Crashdown.

As the high pitch screams brought out Liz from her inner thoughts, and the feeling of horror came to both Liz and Max as they focused on their situation. Not on the car, instead of the brewing disharmony, coming from her one-time home, and my home now, if not for the motel Liz would think.

“God,” Liz whispered. As her stomach was making her nauseous even as she did not know what was going on.

“What is going on?” Max asked, as they both looked at the situation, of a car flying away, and they did not know what was this all about. No kidding but they did see someone familiar, Kyle they both thought.

As Kyle Valenti saw Max and Liz, along with JJ. And he came running.

“God, Kyle” Liz whispered. As she had the feeling that disaster had happened. “What happened?” she asked, as she could not imagine what might have happened. This is Roswell after all. It’s a small town. “What happened?” she asked of her one-time boyfriend.

Max’s heckles were up as well. The hairs on his arms were also up. Like his former wife. He knew something was happening. It was not like he did not know to expect it once upon a time. But that was two decades ago he thought. It has been calm since I had to worry about this, he thought. And knew too much was on his mind lately, and what was on his mind was not about mayhem breaking out. Still, he looked at his former nemesis. Someone who he had battled for Liz’s heart. Even though it had not been a battle at the end of the day, because Liz had known who she had wanted, and Kyle had not been competition.

Still, once a nemesis that was no longer. Instead, they were family. A confusing family. And one that has yet to be defined, but we are a family regardless. So, he looked at the man who meant so much to his sister. “Kyle, what is going on?” Max asked.

“The girls were taken,” was all Kyle said with paleness taking over his complexion. And saying the dreaded words that no parents want to hear, but they were being said today.

“What are you talking about?” Max asked. “Who was taken?”

But Liz knew. Oh god, she whispered. This is all my fault. “Claudia?” she asked, as she almost whispered the words.

“Yes, Claudia” Kyle said softly. “But not only her, but Kyla too…” he murmured, “Both were taken.”

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Re: Family Matters (CC, Mature) - Chapter 74 - 11/25/2023

Post by RoswellFan68 »

The timing is bad with Michael and Isabel on the road. I wonder if Archie has any abilities.
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Family Matters - Chapter 75 - 11/28/2023

Post by Parker1947 »

Twenty minutes earlier,

It was all so quick. And so illogical, but it certainly had happened. But Claudia would not have imagined it happening only minutes earlier when her cousin was looking to leave. And the older teenager was walking the younger downstairs, towards the back, when there was a phone. While the phone lines were barely hooked up, there was one downstairs, in case they were down here, and had to open up for someone. Claudia imagined that the plan was for the workers once this place actually started getting renovated.

No firm plans were set. Too much was happening, but that was for another day. “We never talked about you know who,” Claudia murmured. “We danced around the subject.”

“We had a lot to talk about I guess,” Kyla murmured. “Thanks for helping. I don’t know what any of it means,” she sighed. I wish I did.

“I don’t think any of us knows what any of it means,” Claudia murmured. “That goes for my so-called life,” she said with a laugh.

Kyle smiled, but frowned at the phone ringing, “Oh, yeah, I figured it would be him” she sighed when she saw that it was her grandfather who was calling him. “Since when does he care so much about where I was,” she muttered. “He did not care this much for the last six years since Grandma died,” she murmured ever so softly. “Sorry, I love Grandpa. And I love that he actually is behaving like a grandfather.”

“Instead of what?” Claudia asked. Obviously, I don’t know our mutual grandfather she sighed to herself.

“I’ll tell you once I take this call,” Kyla murmured as she picked it up. “Yeah, grandpa, I am fine,” she sighed. “I just decided to come and visit Claudia,” she sighed, as she looked at Claudia, my cousin she thought, that is a trip. “Yeah, that Claudia,” she said as she mouthed, sorry.

And Claudia only acknowledged it and walked away, not wanting to get into the side of the family she did not know. It is all too much she sighed. All too much she repeated to herself as if she was on loop, when there was a phone call on the line that was indeed connected, “Must be the delivery,” she sighed, and answered. “I’ll meet you out front,” she called Kyla who nodded as she tried to talk to their grandfather. Because Claudia was planning to get some fresh air, and walk her cousin the bus stop, and wait until the bus came. At least it will get me some fresh air.

She saw the swinging door of the back door, and Kyla went back to her phone call “Yeah, Grandpa, I am coming home. Yes, home, your place. Or shall I said, Uncle Max’s place, so, is he there with you?” she asked in a tentative moment. Because she did not know what she wanted the answer to be.

All she knew was that she wanted peace among her family. Because the last few days of being back, told her that war was not optimal. Not that she did not know there was always a level of tension among her family, since Grandma died, she muttered, but this was more she thought, uck she murmured, because she did not know how to describe it.

So, she was not really following where her cousin was going. Until she heard a scream, and she dropped her phone, and it dropped onto the floor of the back room of the old Crashdown Café, and she ran out, without any consideration of what she might be doing.

And she saw her cousin trying to fight of a hooded man, Shit, just as Claudia preceded to knock of the hood, and the mask, and unveiled his face.

Not that Kyla knew who it was, but Claudia remembered enough from the previous nights events to gasp. Because she knew who it was, not that they knew each other well.

Because he had been keeping his distance and only come to town.

But the man did not care for this, and he grabbed her, and threw her into the SUV he was driving, undeterred that they were out in the open, “Shit,” Kyla murmured. “Hey, what are you doing with my cousin?” she called.

The man looked stunned to be seen, and possibility to have some able to identity him, which Kyla could do if she had been there the night before, but she had not.

Only Max, and maybe Maria had seen the hooded man.

Not that they knew his name.

The man tried to get away, without having to resort to drastic methods, but Kyla was a child of a half alien/human pairing, and she was taught self defence from an early age. Something her younger sisters were only starting to get a handle before their trip, but it was something Kyla had long been able to master.

Because Isabel had instilled in her that she could trust her abilities for everything, not everyone knows who you are, and you have to be careful she remembered her mother telling her from an early age. And even though she was the special kid in the family, and quite able to handle herself with self defense. You do have to fit in, and not use all of your skills she sighed, but in this case, she knew she had to act. “Let her go,” she called as she ran after the man, but got in the car, and started to drive.

But Kyla was not deterred, and used her abilities, and spiked the tires with her heel of her boot, forcing the car to stop into its place, and a cursing young man got out, and came after her, and she tried to fight him off, by making a spectacular of the situation, as he knocked into someone on the street, who was trying to get into her car, and he swiped the keys, and forced Claudia out of the other car, with threats, “Don’t do anything, otherwise everyone you love will die,” he cursed at the girl, who was not that scared, but more like stunned, as he forced the girls including Kyla to get into the stolen car, with the stern message “Get in, otherwise everyone will know who you two are…”

“I don’t know who you think we are,” came a stunned Claudia as she was trying to resist with all her mite. As she was trying to fight this man, but he was gaining an upper hand by threatening her family.

“No, you don’t” came the man. “But your mother knows my father, and my sister” he muttered. “Not that my sister would matter in this,” he stunned. “If your mother had only stayed with her own kind…”


Claudia was trying to kick, and get away, “Don’t,” the man said. “Get in,” he demanded.

“Hell, I will” the older teenager was saying, but the man had an upper hand, and employed it, not caring that people were beginning to notice, and come running, which only made him finish things, as he slammed Claudia against the door of the other car, breaking the glass in the car, that was nearby “Get in,” he demanded.

Bruised, but not hurting, she did what she was told, only to be make this not worse, even though things were going from bad and worse,

“And don’t try anything,” came the man. “I know who you are…”

“Who am I?” Claudia asked, as that was the quandary of her identity crisis.

“Don’t even try it,” came the man. “Inside,” he said as he grabbed Claudia by the hand and threw her back inside, and Kyla followed.

“Good,” the man said, and shut up…

But Kyla could see with the corner of her eye Kyle walking towards the situation, albeit not knowing what he was going to be walking into…

Kyle,” she yelled, but by doing that, the grabbed her shoulder, and quieted by putting his hand over her mouth, and forced her into the car, as Kyle heard the shout, and recognized his daughter’s voice, and came running.

But it was too late, as the car forced itself down the street…

And Kyle was left to wonder what had happened…

“Kyla?” Kyle whispered.


Yes, Kyle was not thinking of what was going on. Because he had not expected it. With Isabel gone. He had seen Liz, and that had ended earlier than was probably wise since he was supposed to be wanting a job. Something to do because it was not like the jobs were coming his way. But he found himself restless. But that was often something he was feeling because he was solo now. Having gone through yet another divorce.

And for once, not having a girlfriend at home wanting his attention. And with his son now seventeen, Tripp was coming and going with alarming frequency that did not relate to his custody arrangement with his former wife, Tripp’s mother. Somehow, they have made it work, and he was proud of it. Because Sue Ann was a good woman. And he wished they had been able to make it work.

But unfortunately, they met at a time of crossroads, and he had not known what kind of person he was. Coming out of some life changing years in Roswell, and having to be on the road, for fear that he might turn into someone different than he believed himself to be, I did he would acknowledge now. I just did not come out of it with abilities, unlike Liz he would think to himself. Not that I wanted them because he was already dealing with a changing life. And then finding Sue Ann seemed to make him happy for a time. Especially when Isabel was not looking his way. She wanted Jesse, and even when that did not work out, she was not seeing me he sighed.

She was still not seeing him.

Except maybe she was, but it was all in upheaval, and he was finding himself at a crossroads once more. And he did not know what turn off he should make, and what was expected of him all because he was being forced to come to terms with a bombshell that he had been trying to ignore for nearly two decades. I should have known it would come back to haunt me he muttered. As he wanted to know why he had not just gotten the answer himself back then. I would have known he thought.

I would never have disrupted the adoption he knew. The boy was happy, and adjusted with his family, and adjusted was not what he was back here he thought. And plus, by the time Max found out the truth, I was married, and we were expecting Tripp, or he might have already been born he thought. The last thing I wanted was knowledge that I had another kid.

And one who used me as a pawn in her plans to get at Max, and to dispose of Alex he muttered. He did not know how he lived that one down. Or how Isabel looked at him. Or any of them to be honest he thought. It had taken a lot to deal with that he thought, to know it had happened on the eve of my eighteen birthday.

What a birthday present it was, Kyle muttered. Of the depression he had been in. I just did not know what I had done because she mind warped me, he muttered. So, the idea that we had been together, was not some farfetched idea with her ability to wipe that time out of my mind he thought.

He still did not know all she might have done, in those months she lived with Dad and me he thought. Even though Kyle wanted to believe that it was all on the up and up, until it wasn’t he thought. I have to believe there was some genuineness in there he thought, until Liz changed things, and Max became available.

Not that he blamed his former girlfriend.

He blamed the situation that changed everything for them on that September day back in 1999. Not that he was morning the loss of that relationship. It was everything else that got started that day, he muttered. The danger level that was escalating from that day on he sighed, even though I had not know it, at the time.

And even if his life had been life had been saved because of that situation and who they now knew.

Anyways, a lot was on his mind. And he was not seeing the situation that was escalating before his eyes, because his mind was on yet another situation, because he was coming to realize he might have another kid. When I already have a secret child, I don’t have custody of he thought of Kyla. For so long that was what I was concentrating on he thought and now he did not know how to feel about Tess’s son coming to town.

My kid he thought.

Who is nineteen, so who knows what he is expecting he thought.

He did not know how to explain it, to anyone for that matter he thought. How can Isabel give me the time of the day when I might be the father of Tess’s son. When she had to deal with so much back then in the wake of Alex’s death and he should be happy that they were able to be become friends, and close.

How can she accept this he thought as he was just muttering to himself and walking along. He had stopped by the office, and found nothing waiting, so he decided to head over to the main street to get a late snack, before he headed home because he supposed to be entertaining his father and stepmother. How am I going to tell Dad this he thought.

He did not know, so he was not that conscious of what was going on in main street, but a scream got his attention, and a lot of whirlwind mayhem, with glass slamming, and breaking, and he realized what was going on just as Kyla noticed him.

And he heard her yell his name, and then being forced into his car, and it did not take more than a minute to know that Claudia was also in the car, as it was not willingly that they were being forced into the car, and he had only barely started to run when the car drove off…

And he was not able to stop it, and before he knew what had happened, he saw Max and Liz also, and he had to explain. “The girls were taken,” he whispered, and Liz went pale, and almost fainted but Max kept her upright, but just barely.

“Claudia,” Liz murmured.

“Yes,” Kyle murmured.

Max eyes went lethal not a good look in the alien he thought, and something you barely did see he thought. Michael is worse, but Max is able to hold his own he thought. And especially when you mess with his family, and Liz and Claudia were his family.

A family Max had not been able to control, or love all these years, but now that he has a chance, he was finding that he was risking it all…

As his mind was back to this situation.

Shit he murmured.

“Kyle, what happened here?” Max was asking as he looked at the dazed looking individuals that were on the street, and they did not know what they had just seen in the brazen daylight kidnapping.

“I don’t know,” Kyle sighed. “I really don’t,” he sighed. “I feel like I missed a lot.”

“It’s my fault,” Liz said softly, as she looked all around her and saw the broken up second car, but she was not registering it all because her mind was not on it, but on something else entirely, that was leading to this day. I should have known this day would come she thought. “It is all my fault.”

“No, it’s not” Max said softly.

“I am going to call my father,” was all Kyle could think to do as they prayed this had a good ending.
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