|"Always and Forever"
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, just borrowing 'em. I'll return 'em the way I found 'em.
Summary: Lots of my faithful readers wanted to know what happens to the eight kids in the end. What do Liz and Max's parents say when they tell them they are pregnant? Do they tell any of the parents that Max, Michael and Isabel are Aliens? Does Liz safely deliver the babies? What about the other couples? And what about Nasedo? For he's still out there...somewhere...
Category: After Hours
Authors Note: If you haven't read my previous stories, "Us Six Against the World" or "Sense of Completion", it is recommended before reading this one. This is the last in the Trilogy. And, to make the time frame work in my story I have to make my characters start the timetable with Max saving Liz in their junior year, instead of their sophomore year of high school. Hey, what can I say? Author's license.. ;-)
|Maria looked around the auditorium at the rest of her graduating class. Her stomach was churning. She was terrified. Most of the class already knew what they wanted to do or become after they graduated. But she had no idea! She looked to her right, two seats down, and caught Isabel's eye, and they exchanged smiles.
Isabel knew what she wanted to be, Maria sighed. As amazing as it once might have seemed, Isabel wanted to teach. Maria had always thought Isabel would become a high-class model in New York or L.A, before she'd really gotten to know her. But now she knew that teaching was perfect for Isabel. She had a lot to give, and her poise and grace could help others feel more confident about themselves.
Maria looked next to Isabel and saw Max. He too grinned at her and winked. Liz's other half as she always thought of him. Even before he had saved her life and become part of it, they had always been like two peas in a pod. Max was smart and dedicated and knew what he wanted to be as well. He had ironically enough decided to become a doctor. But not just any doctor. Max was going to take his practice to Jordan's area and learn more about his own people and the ones of mixed races, and help out there.
Maria leaned down the row a little and saw Michael, who automatically felt her look and turned his head to catch her eyes. He grinned and then rolled his eyes to let her know he hated this pomp and ceremony stuff. Maria smiled wider and nodded, agreeing with him. Michael even knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to work with troubled kids, and like Max, he wanted to help his own race. He too wanted to work in Jordan's community and help the troubled teens there. He knew he'd be able to relate to them very well. And he also had his painting. She knew he would continue to paint as well, and knew that one day his painting would become very much in demand.
She looked back several rows and met Liz's eyes. Liz winked at her and they exchanged smiles. Her best friend. Her confidant and strength since kindergarten. Michael liked to tease them and call them Frick and Frack, but it was true. They complemented each other perfectly. They were opposites, and yet they balanced each other out. Liz of course always had known what she wanted to be. A scientist. And not just any scientist, but a molecular biologist. And of course she too was going to work at Jordan's ranch, in the lab after she graduated, and while she took courses in college.
Maria met Alex's eyes and saw him give her his famous thumbs up sign. Maria grinned. Alex was going into computers and was going to study everything he could about them in college. But Maria figured he could probably teach the college professors some stuff.
Maria's eyes continued around to Kyle Valenti. Kyle was going to play football for the UNM, but he also had higher goals. Ironically he wanted to go into law enforcement like his dad. Now that he knew how important his dad's job could be, and how he could really help people, Kyle wanted to be like his dad. And Kyle was also, technically going to become her stepbrother...
She met his eyes and he winked and tilted his head toward their parents who were holding hands and looking proud for them both. She glanced at her mom and Kyle's dad and was truly happy for them. She looked back at Kyle and saw he was too. Kyle the lawman. Maria smiled to herself. She knew Kyle also figured if he and Cassie were going to have a future together, they could all use another lawman on their side.
Which brought Maria's thoughts around to Cassie. The other scientist and brain of the group. She too was going to follow Liz in her career choice and also work out at Jordan's lab while going to college. She met Cassie's eye and Cassie smiled a warm and reassuring smile. As if she knew what Maria was feeling. Maria raised an eyebrow at Cassie who only shrugged, and then Maria smiled and shook her head.
Everyone had a career path to follow but her. Maria swallowed and tried to fight back the sudden burst of panic. What did she want to do? Liz had told her not to worry, that it would come to her. That it was somehow predestined and she would figure it out when the time was right.
Maria's eyes shone when they called Liz up to the podium to give her speech as Class Valedictorian. She had always known that one day she would be listening to her best friend give this speech. Maria knew the speech by heart since she had helped Liz with it over the years, and then just recently when she'd refined it. She was so proud of her best friend. And she could see the pride in Max's eyes as Liz made her way to the podium.
She glanced over at Liz's parents and saw them exchange smiles as Liz's mom wiped a tear away, and then reach for her husband's hand. The pride in them was there for all to be seen as well. Maria bit her lip hoping that they didn't loose that pride when their daughter talked to them tomorrow.
Maria sighed and let Liz's words drift back to her. Then she sat up and met Liz's eyes. Liz had added a part that Maria hadn't been aware of. Liz was saying how she knew that some of the class still didn't know what they wanted to do, but that there was something special out there waiting for them all, and that they just had to go with their hearts in finding what it was. And that it would come to them, not to panic. Maria smiled through tears and nodded to her friend as Liz smiled at her and then continued looking around as she spoke.
Maria would hold that hope inside her. There was something out there for her...And she would figure it out. All she had to do was follow her heart.
"Isabel you look stunning!" Cassie exclaimed as Isabel stepped into her dress and Maria zipped it from behind. Isabel was wearing Alex's favorite color. Red. It was a form fitting dress that clung to her every curve and ended a little above her knees. And it had spaghetti straps holding it up.
Isabel smiled and glanced at Cassie who looked equally stunning. Cassie had on a green dress that matched her eyes, and the sparkle in them and the high color in her cheeks made her radiant as well. "You do too Cassie." She told her admiringly.
Maria finished zipping Isabel and turned around for Isabel to zip her. Maria was wearing a classy black dress and matching heels that complemented her to perfection as well.
"Maria you look so much older and sophisticated!" Liz grinned from the doorway to the bathroom where she was getting ready.
"Well Chica, you look quite the stunner yourself in that dress." Maria raised an eyebrow at Liz's outfit. She too had on a form fitting dress, only in royal blue, that went to above her knees, and had spaghetti straps, but her dress dipped in the back and was backless. Maria knew Max would love it. "So ladies are we going to have fun partying tonight or what!" Maria exclaimed as she slipped on her black heels.
"The guys are going to look so dreamy in their tux's." Isabel sighed as she applied the last of her jewelry.
"Mmmmm...not just dreamy but sexy as hell!" Maria laughed imagining their guys in tuxes.
Liz pictured Max in his tux and swallowed. She hoped she could restrain herself tonight. She still had her cravings, and Max was still high on that list. She just knew that seeing him in his tux was going to do her in.
"I think I'm going to dance the whole night away!" Maria said and spun around.
"Poor Michael!" Isabel laughed, knowing how much he hated dancing.
"Well, I'll make it up to him later." Maria winked as she turned up a song on the CD player and started dancing to it.
Diane Evans stood in the doorway and smiled warmly. The girls had the house to themselves since Mr. Evans and Max had left to let the girls get ready.
Diane thought they all looked so beautiful. And she envied them this time in their lives. She knew it was a scary time, but it was also the most exciting...Oh to be young, vibrant and glowing with the future all ahead of her again. Diane thought as she watched the girls' giggle and laugh and get ready for this dance, their last one of high school.
Diane was so proud of Isabel. Isabel had really matured and become more open and confident since she had started hanging around with Liz Parker and Maria DeLuca. And she knew how Liz Parker had changed her son's life for the better as well. She was very proud of her children, and happy now that they were so obviously happy. Diana had been so worried about Max before he'd met Liz Parker. She had often times wondered what would happen to him. She had always felt that he was just buying time. She couldn't explain it, but he'd always seemed to be waiting for something. And Diana smiled realizing it must have been Liz. Whether he realized it or not.
Diana thanked the heavens that Max had found Liz. She couldn't have picked a more perfect girl for her son than Liz.
Then Diane looked at a picture on Isabel's night table of herself and Alex Whitman, and she her eyes warmed again. Another perfect match. She'd seen her daughter go through dates like nothing, but she had seen the change in Isabel when she'd met Alex and started to let him in. Diane adored Alex Whitman and couldn't have wished for a better man for her daughter.
And her own eyes misted over as she realized that her babies were now grown up and ready to leave the nest. She didn't feel like she'd had long enough with them. She thanked the stars every night for bringing the two to her that night so long ago, but she wasn't ready to give them up yet. Although, she didn't think any mother was ever ready for that.
Isabel saw her mother in the doorway with happy tears in her eyes and she walked over to her. "Mom." Isabel said and hugged her mother. No more words were needed.
Isabel hugged her mom tightly and knew in her heart that her mom would love them no matter what. She just had to convince Max of that.
The gym was already packed when the eight of them got there. They looked around and saw that most tables were already taken.
"Great, see Isabel, you had to take that extra time, now we don't have a place to sit," grumbled Michael.
"You won't need to sit. You promised you'd dance with me tonight. And I don't intend to leave the dance floor." Maria smiled and grabbing his arm she yanked him out onto the already crowded floor. They could hear him groan as she pulled him away.
"Poor Michael." Alex laughed. Then he turned to Isabel. She looked breathtaking tonight. She had worn a beautiful red form fitting dress that had straps and only went up to mid thigh. She knew how much he loved her in red, and she knew he loved her long legs as well. Her hair was curly and down, lose and free so he could run his hands through it. "You ready to dance gorgeous?" he asked and rose an eyebrow continuously as he gave her a leering look.
Isabel laughed and let him sweep her up into his arms and onto the dance floor as well.
Kyle and Max looked down at their girls and saw the way they were already dancing in place. Kyle rolled his eyes and sighed. "Guess we won't be sitting around any ways."
Max grinned at the tortured look on Kyle's face, which matched Michael's, as then he led Cassie out onto the dance floor as well.
Max grinned down at Liz. She looked radiant tonight. She was in a form fitting deep blue dress a lot like Isabel's only it was backless. Max knew he could hold her all night feeling her skin against him so he wasn't going to complain about dancing. "What about you beautiful? Care to dance with me?" he said with his eyes hooded with passion. Just looking at her could turn him on.
Liz laughed at his look and nodded. "It's either that or a trip to the eraser room from the way you look. And I really want to party our last night of high school." She answered.
Max nodded, knowing how much she wanted to dance and enjoy tonight, and taking her hand in his, he led her out to join the others.
Michael and Kyle looked pained as they danced to a fast song. Cassie and Maria were completely into the song, singing and dancing near each other so they could do a duet to the music. Max grinned at the guys as he passed and Michael rolled his eyes at him and groaned. Max knew that Michael hated dancing, but he loved Maria and would stand there shifting back and forth all night for her.
When the music slowed, Max sighed and took Liz into his arms. He could dance like this all night with her. He let one hand rest on her hip while the other gently caressed her bare back.
He felt Liz's heart rate increase, and she sighed and tucked her nose into his now open collar. He closed his eyes and just enjoyed these last hours of freedom from worry and responsibility. Although as he hugged Liz closer, he knew he didn't see her as a responsibility, but as his life. One he couldn't imagine without her.
And tomorrow, tomorrow was going to bring out the secret that he'd hated hiding. He wanted to world to know that Liz was his. And he wanted to start planning that life with her. If they could just get through the talk with their parents tomorrow. He thought and felt his gut tighten at the thought.
Then he took deep breaths and concentrated on the girl in his arms instead. He was going to relax tonight and enjoy just being with his girl and his friends.
Tomorrow would come soon enough.
|Part 2 | Index | Part 4
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