FanFic - Other
Part 4
by Mslayer713
Disclaimer: I only own Tyler. All songs are credited as they come in the story.
Category: Other
Rating: PG-13
Maria started up the walk to Max's front door. She had just spent the last ten minutes giving herself a prep talk in the car.

Ok, here goes, Maria thought as she walked onto the porch. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She lifted up her hand just as she was about to knock on the door, it opened and Max loomed in front of her.

"I'm leaving..." Max called right before Maria's fist hit him in the chest.

Maria gasped and pulled her hand back. "I'm sorry," she said quickly.

"I hope so," Max said. "I hate to think that's how you get people's attention."

Maria forced a smile. "Nah, for that I just give 'em a big old kiss," she said quickly. "Um, so, what's up?"

"I was just...."

"Leaving?" Maria finished.

Max nodded. "Yeah. So I better...." he went to step around her, but Maria jumped back in front of him.

"This'll just take a second. I need to talk to you," she added. Maria desperately wanted to pull out her cypress oil and take a long sniff, but she resisted the urge. She decided to try a deep breath. This is gonna work, she reminded herself. Besides, Isabel gave you a back-up plan.

"Can it wait?" Max asked as he side-stepped her and headed down to the driveway. "I need to get to work."

Maria knew that was an excuse. Isabel had told her that Max didn't leave for work until a little before ten, and it was only a quarter after nine.

"But you don't need to be at work till ten," Maria said without thinking.

Maria noticed Max hesitated a little at that, but he covered it quickly. "Milton said to come a little early today," he stated.

Maria wondered when Max leaned to lie. Well, she was gonna do some in a minute too. "I understand. I'm on a break. So, I was wondering if you wanted to stop by the Crashdown at lunch? We could talk then," she added. Please say yes, she prayed. She really didn't want to have to do 'part two' of their plan. This was uncomfortable enough as it is; being in a car with him would do her in.

Max stopped and looked at her. "I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be busy."

Maria looked him right in the eye. God, his eyes are emotionless, she thought. Maria immediately thought back to when Liz would talk forever about how Max's eyes were so bright and caring.

Max looked down at the street and stopped. "Where's the jeep?" he asked out loud.

Maria took a deep breath. "Part two," she mumbled. When Max looked at her, Maria cleared her throat. "Um...I saw Isabel in it this morning," she said. "But, I'll be happy to give you a lift," she added.

Max started to back up. "No, I don't wanna make you late. I'll walk," he stated.

Maria wanted to run up to him and shake him, screaming "What is wrong with you?! Where's the real Max?!", but she bit her lip. God, she was just as uncomfortable as he was. She used to able to talk to Max, but now...Maria threw on a fake smile and shook her head.

"Nonsense. The center is right across the street from the cafe. So, it's perfect. I'm already going that way," she said as she lopped her arm around his and stared him toward her car.

Max started to protest, but Maria trudged along. "I'm not letting you walk," she said while opening the car door. "Plus you said you needed to get to work early, didn't you?" Maria asked. Which was weird. Isabel said Max hardly left the house, so where was he going?

Max just nodded and climbed into the car. "Good," Maria said, flashing Max a smile.

She started around the back of the car. "I probably would've had better luck with Michael," she mumbled before climbing in.

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