FanFic - Crashdown After Hours
"Growing Up, Growing Apart, and Falling in Love"
Part 14
by Dee
Disclaimer: Roswell, the characters, and situations are owned by the WB. No infringement intended.
Category: After Hours
Rating: NC-17
(2 months later)

"Whoa! That was a helluva kick!" Kyle exclaimed as he felt the baby jar inside Liz for what had to be the third time in the space of ten minutes. "I sense some football talent here."

Liz laughed at his amazed expression.

"Does she do that a lot? Or is she just excited to see me?" His joke was corny but Liz laughed anyway. She managed to nod and answer his question. "Sometimes I feel as if she's trying to kick her way out."

"Have you decided on a name yet? I mean, six more weeks. . . .just around the corner, Liz."

Her smile was excited and full of wonder when she said, "Yeah, I know. I want to her to hurry up and come and at the same time I'm scared to death! But to answer your first question, yes I have a name. Claudia Dyanne. I'm naming her for my grandmother and Max's mom." She and Max had finally come up with the name a little over three weeks ago. They had broken their silent war long enough to share in that profound moment and then promptly went back to not speaking.

Kyle frowned at the mention of Max. He just didn't understand what it was about Max Evans that made Liz so soft. It wasn't that she was friendly to him. She hardly spoke two words to him at all. In fact she was downright cold to him. And when she did speak what she said was usually sarcastic with a thinly veiled insult beneath. Liz certainly didn't seem to like Max very much. But it was obvious to everyone, including Kyle that Liz was still in love with Max. And that was what bothered Kyle the most. When they were together, in spite of the sarcasm, in spite of the hurt, Liz didn't have any true animosity for Max. Any other woman would have exuded pure hatred for the man who had left her alone and pregnant. Not Liz Parker. She allowed Max to be apart of her baby's life without a fight. Even though she was cool to Max, Kyle never missed how soft her eyes became when he was around.

Kyle had to admit that he had been looking forward to the time when Max Evans would return to California and be out of Liz's life. But Max never returned. He was now working as a legal clerk in his father' law firm. The position had both he and Kyle traveling in the same uncomfortable circles with one another. Kyle didn't like Max Evans anymore than he had in high school, especially because of how he'd treated Liz, and so seeing his face day in and day out was not a treat for Kyle.

Max frowned when he entered the Crashdown finding Liz and Kyle sitting close and comfortable at one of the tables. Liz was laughing at something Kyle said to her, her long cascade of hair falling forward to shield her face. His frown darkened when he noted the protective way Kyle's hand was splayed over Liz's belly. Max's first instinct was to punch him out. To see Kyle with his hands on his girlfriend sent murder screaming through Max's brain. And then Max checked himself at the last minute. Liz wasn't his girlfriend, Max forcibly reminded himself, he was with Tess. His jealousy didn't abate one iota. Ah, to hell with it! Max clenched his teeth and stomped over in their direction. Liz's smile faded instantly when a scowling Max approached their table. Kyle grinned up at him, slowly, deliberately removing his hand from Liz's stomach. Max glared at him, his fist balled at his sides. "How's it going, Evans?" Kyle smirked.

"Good. Shouldn't you be at the courthouse, Kyle?"

"I'm on my lunch break," Kyle replied lazily.

Max glanced down at his watch. "That's going to end in ten minutes, deputy."

"What? Are you keeping track of me now?"

Max's gaze slowly slid from Kyle to Liz then back to Kyle again. "Only when your whereabouts affect me." Liz watched the whole exchange, gaping. Max was jealous! He was jealous. Liz couldn't believe it! All that drivel about wanting to be friends and he was standing there, his jaw clenched, spoiling for a fight.

Beside her Kyle shrugged. "I guess I should be getting back, Liz," Kyle said easily, clearly enjoying Max's discomfiture, "Call me later."

"What the hell was that about," Max demanded after Kyle had left.

"What business is it of yours?"

"He was touching y. . ." Max trailed off, quickly rephrasing his words, "He was touching the baby."

"He was feeling her kick!" Liz snapped, "It wasn't like he was molesting me!"

The anger instantly drained from Max's face. "She's kicking? Is she doing it still?"

Liz beckoned him over beside her and took his hand, placing it on the underside of her belly. Claudia gave another thump a few seconds later.

"Oh my god," Max whispered, "That's so amazing."

"She's been moving all morning," Liz told him gently, "Dr. Bolivar said it's normal for them to be active in the eighth month."

"Clau-dee-ah!" Max said in a singsong voice. She kicked again. "Wow!" he said, a sappy grin on his face, "I'll never get tired of feeling that!" His enraptured gaze met Liz's. They shared a long, liquid stare that quickly became a heated one.

Liz swallowed and looked away. She brushed his hand aside. "You wouldn't think it was so amazing if she were inside you kicking field goals."

"Does she hurt you?" Max asked softly as he brushed her hair away from her shoulder. Liz was finding it difficult to breath. His proximity was doing something to her. She didn't like that he could still make her feel things that she didn't want to feel.

"No," Liz replied brusquely, shaking off his hand, "What are you doing here, Max?"

Max was a little stunned by Liz's sudden cold attitude, which wasn't out of the ordinary for her. But it still hurt. "I thought maybe you'd like to go to lunch."

"Why don't you ask Tess? She's your girlfriend, remember?"

"Ha, ha, Liz! I was just trying to be nice. When did you develop this acidic wit of yours?"

Liz bent her head, beckoning him forward with her index finger. Max inclined his head so that his ear was near her mouth. "It might have been when my boyfriend dumped me and left me alone and pregnant," she quipped sarcastically. She sat back in her seat again. "But that's just a thought." Liz glared at Max frostily. He glared right back.

"If I recall said boyfriend wasn't even sure if said baby was his!"

Liz rolled her eyes in response to his lame excuse. "Oh come on, Max! We were together for three years. You knew this baby had a better chance of being yours than Cam's."

It was true what she said. Max didn't bother to deny it. When he was gone for the summer he had already decided that must be the case. Even though he couldn't be sure, Max knew he would accept the baby as his no matter what. But before he could tell Liz she had told him that the baby was his. Either way, Max was happier than he'd been in months, even with Liz's frosty attitude.

Two months had passed since he and Liz had come to the agreement to be friends, at least for Claudia's sake. Well, sometimes friends, that is, when Liz wasn't snubbing him. Max sighed. He realized it would be a long time before Liz thawed, but he accepted that. Because, in spite of their hot and cold relationship, Max and Liz had reached a point where they could talk about the events that had demolished their relationship without assigning blame.

"Speaking of Cam," Max said slowly, "have you heard from him lately?"

"Not since I left California." Liz looked at Max, her expression open, honest. "There's nothing between us. There never was. Not really."

"Well, if that's true, Liz, why did you sleep with him?" It was a question Max had wanted to ask forever. Before he had never been prepared for her answer. Now he was.

"He was just there," Liz explained awkwardly, "When I saw you and Tess at the café, I turned around and he was there. I just didn't make my mind up to sleep with him, Max."

"Did you. . .uh. . .I mean. . .was it. . . .?" Liz knew what he was trying to ask and it broke her heart. Again she was presented with the reality of just how deeply she'd hurt him. Liz laid her hand on top of his. "He wasn't you, Max," she assured him softly, "He never could have been."

"When I came home and found him there, I wanted to kill you both. I just had to go, Liz, cause if I stayed I didn't know what I would do."

"I. . .hurt you a lot. . .didn't I?"

"And I hurt you," Max responded softly.

"I wish I could go back," Liz said with regret.

"Me too." Max's remorseful eyes met hers. They were full of longing. "Liz, if I had known that morning was going to be the last time we made love, nothing on earth could have removed me from that bed, especially not some stupid group project."

Liz felt her eyes tear, but she remained resolute to be indifferent. She pulled her hand away and came to her feet. "It's the past now, Max. We can't go back, even you said so."

Max watched her walk away, pondering her last words. He was beginning to wonder just why they couldn't go back.

TBC. . .

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