Author's Note:This story takes place after BIY.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot.
"Max, your pancakes are on the table!" Diane Evans yelled from the kitchen.
"I'll go knock on his door and get him," Isabel offered.
"No, sit down and enjoy your meal," Diane told her daughter.
"It's okay. I'll just sit his plate out for him," she said.
"He won't come," Isabel said. Diane sighed.
It had been two weeks since the confrontation with the skins. Tess still hadn't woken up. With every passing day hopes of her recovery faded. Since then Max had become sort of an enigma. He spent most of his time at the Valentis, watching over Tess. The rare occasions he was home he spent most of his time alone in his room.
Diane knocked on Max's door.
"Max, your breakfast is on the table," she told him.
"I'm not hungry," he mumbled.
"Are you sure?" she asked him.
"Yeah," he answered.
Diane lingered for a moment before walking back to the kitchen defeated. She wondered if there was anything she could do to help her son.
Max didn't feel like eating. He didn't feel like much of anything. The night before he hadn't gotten much sleep. He woke up 3 o'clock in the morning from a terrible dream. In his dream Tess awoke from her coma. He was so happy and held her tightly in his arms. But she pulled away from him. She looked at him with cold eyes and asked him why didn't he protect them from Nicholas. He didn't know how to answer that.
Max ran his hands through his hair. In his head he could still hear her crying, "Why did you let Nicholas kill our son?" He could still remember how she looked at him. The pained look in her eyes haunted him.
Max got up and gathered his stuff to take a shower. He wanted to see Tess. He needed to know that she was okay.
Diane Evans washed the last of the dishes. She saw her son heading out the door. Although she already knew, she asked, "Max, where are you going? Your breakfast is still on the table."
He had a tired expression on his face. "Mom, I'm going to see Tess," he said and left.
Isabel looked at her mom sadly, "I told you he wouldn't come," she said quietly.
Diane didn't answer.
* * *
Max rang the doorbell.
"Morning Max," Valenti said and opened the door.
"Good morning Sheriff."
Max opened the door to Tess's room slowly. Kyle was sitting next to Tess reading her a magazine.
"Okay, on to number three. 'There's nothing more annoying than not having a hair scrunchie to tie up your tresses! Next time you're caught empty-handed, don't panic. Make- '"
Max cleared his throat. "Hey."
"Oh, hey. I was just reading her an article from Cosmopolitan. It just came in the mail this morning and you how she loves that-" Kyle caught himself rambling.
"You could go on if want to," Max said.
Kyle shook his head. "No, that's okay. I was just about to eat breakfast anyway." He looked at Tess one last time and left the room.
Max knelt down beside Tess. He brought a hand to her face and lightly caressed her cheek. She looked peaceful.
"Tess," he whispered quietly. He closed his eyes briefly. It took him awhile before he spoke again.
* * *
To be continued..