|"Epiphanies 2: The Anasazi Road"|
Disclaimer: I would be the happiest woman on Earth if I owned any of these people, but sadly, only Josh, the Holbrooks, and Paul Hernandez are mine.|
Summary: This is the sequel to EPIPHANIES 1: The Ties That Bind. It picks up the evening of the Evans barbeque that ended the first story. Here, Max and Liz must come to terms with a shocking revelation about Liz and her Grandma Claudia. They search the past among Native American ruins and history to find the truth and each other.
Authors Note: I have done extensive research on the Anasazi for this fic. Most of what you will read is either factual or widely accepted speculation. I have, on occasion, filled in a gap or made an assumption that suits my purposes. The alien connection, of course, is my own Roswell-loving imagination.
|It was only 3:30 p.m. and the bank was open until 5:00. Jeff couldn't decide whether he wanted to find out what was in that box now, or put it off until tomorrow.|
"Can we go now, Dad?" Liz asked eagerly. Jeff looked at her. "Liz, can I talk to you--privately? I'm sorry, Max. Family business."
Max nodded as Liz climbed out of the car. "Dad, what is it?" Jeff led Liz a short distance from the car.
"Liz, I'm not sure Max should be coming along. This is a family matter, and although I don't know what's in the box, I have an uncomfortable feeling it might be something we want to keep in the family."
"Dad, what do you think is in there, anyway? You've looked nervous ever since you told me about this codicil. Something about this is upsetting you."
"Trust me, Liz. For just a while. This is family business."
"I don't want to get into this now, Dad, or shock you or anything, but you may as well know that I consider Max family. Don't give me that patronizing look, Dad! I mean it. He is not just a boyfriend. We have a bond that even I can't explain. Believe me, he's not going away. There won't be another boyfriend next year. He's the one."
"Liz, you're only 17. Besides, what if there is something in there that will make him change his mind about you?"
Liz softened. She knew it was unreasonable to think her dad could understand this relationship. She barely understood it. She gave him a hug.
"It's a chance I'm willing to take, Dad. I think that's my decision, don't you?"
Jeff shrugged. He'd seen them together enough to know that Liz believed what she said. He doubted it was true, but there would be no convincing her.
"Okay, honey. I just don't want you to get hurt."
"It'll be okay, Dad. Have some faith in me."
"It's not you I'm worried about."
They walked back toward the car. Liz could see Max searching her face for clues. She knew he already felt like a fifth wheel; this little scene didn't help. Liz flashed him a reassuring smile and saw him relax . . . a little.
"It's off to the bank," said Mr. Parker, false confidence undermining his attempt at casualness. He backed the car out and headed toward the bank.
When they arrived, the vault guard asked for identification. Jeff's name was also on the safe-deposit box with just these circumstances in mind. His mother had told him she didn't want the contents tied up in court if anything happened to her. He never asked her what was in it; he just didn't think it was any of his business. Since then, he'd even forgotten it existed.
He signed in and they entered the vault. When they approached the wall of boxes, the guard turned to Jeff with the bank's key in hand and waited expectantly. Jeff looked over at Max and stepped aside. Max was the one with the key, much as that confused him. Max understood how awkward this was for Liz's father, but they were obliged to fulfill the stipulations of the codicil, so he stepped forward and he and the guard unlocked the box from its slot. The guard then led them to a small room and set the box on the ledge. "Just come out whenever you're ready," he said, and closed the door as he left.
Jeff, Liz, and Max stared at the box, each lost in thought. Max was nervous and wary, finding it hard to imagine what it was that Claudia Parker had left for them. Liz was eager; there was a journey to begin--one that might bring her even closer to Max. She didn't dare contemplate any other outcome. Jeff was scared. He prayed this would not change what he had so jealously preserved all these years.
"The key is mine, but the contents are yours," Max told Liz, pushing the box toward her. Liz's eyes were wide and her breath was shallow. She could feel the butterflies in her stomach. She reached for the lid and opened the box. Three pairs of eyes stared down.
"Son of a BITCH," muttered Jeff under his breath. He grabbed the contents and fled the room.
|Part 6 | Index | Part 8|
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