Author's Note: In this fic nothing passed "Max In The City" has happened.
I'm dropping the location from this point on.
Classification: Love Triangle (Max/Tess/Other)
Disclaimer: I own nothing except the plot and original characters.
Chapter 4: Beginnings
The rest of the day went on perfectly. She and Jake hung out most of the day. They had made plans see a movie. It would be their first date. When Tess got home she couldn't stop smiling. She never felt this way before. She had only known Jake for barely over a day but she felt she had a connection with him. She loved being with him. Was she falling in love?
Suddenly there was a knock at her bedroom door.
"Hey smiley," Kyle said playfully. "How was your day?"
She thought for a minute.
"Hmm, what are we gonna do with you?" He was glad to see Tess so happy. They talked and she told him about Jake and their plans for tomorrow.
"You gotta see Dracula 2000. Blood, gore, and babes."
"No. I would like to see 'The Family Man'."
"Well I am a chick. And I throw like a girl."
* * *
Max frowned when he entered the living room. Somehow Isabel managed to get there before him. She was watching those nature shows he hated. Nonetheless he plopped down on the couch.
"Hmm, what's this?" Max said innocently.
"Max, I'm not changing the channel," Isabel told him knowingly. She didn't look away from the screen.
Max sat in silence for a few moments. He glanced over at her. She was glued to the screen.
"You know this is torture," he argued. A smile slowly spread across her face.
"You really need to out more. Go for a walk or something," she suggested playfully.
He was going to respond when the phone rang.
"I'll get it," he said. He went over to the phone. He wondered who was calling. He knew who he wanted to call. For some reason he really wanted Tess to be on the other end of that line.
"Hello?" he said into the receiver.
"Max?" Liz said. "Hi, it's me."
"Oh," he said disappointed. "I mean, hi," he tried to cover up.
"Are you busy?" she asked.
"No," he said and glanced over to the TV. "Not really."
"Maria and I are going to see a movie. I was wondering would you like to come?"
"Not really in the mood to see a movie," he said honestly.
"Oh c'mon. It will be fun."
"I don't think so."
"It'll be an escape from today's events. I won't take no for an answer."
Max sighed. Just then he heard some kind of elephant noise. 'It's only a movie,' he reasoned. And Maria's coming he thought.
"Okay," he said after a pause. "Which movie are you guys seeing?"
* * *
Jake checked his hair in the mirror for the hundredth time.
"It's fine," his dad said from the doorway. Jake didn't realize he was standing there.
"Thanks." There was a pause. For the past few months their relationship had been rocky. Talking to his dad wasn't easy.
"So first date?" Mr. Bridges said asking about his date.
Jake smiled. "Yeah."
"You really like her, huh?" He observed. "I didn't really expect you to go out here." Jake wondered where this topic was gonna go. "But have a good time," Mr. Bridges finished. With that he left the room. "What just happened here?" Jake said to himself. He shrugged shoulders went on his way out.
* * *
Kyle Valenti looked up from the book he was reading. He smiled.
"You look good," he observed.
"Thanks," Tess said. "I'm waiting for Jake to arrive."
"I kinda figured that," Kyle told her. 'Lucky him,' he thought.
"So, what are your plans for tonight?" she asked him.
"In about a half-hour I'm heading over to Maria's. We have to work on that project Chinelli gave us. Can you believe that guy gave us work over the vacation?" he complained.
"You guys got that project weeks before the vacation. Chinelli said it was due after the break," she reminded him.
"Uh-huh," she teased.
The doorbell rang. "I wonder who that could be..." Kyle said and followed Tess to the door.
* * *
Suddenly the door opened.
"Hey," Jake said. He had never met a girl who he was so at ease with and instantly connected to. Still he was nervous.
"Hey," Tess said with a smile. She knew tonight would be the night her life.
"You look amazing," he told her.
"I brought the Fisher CD we talked about earlier."
"I can't wait to hear it."
Kyle coughed loud and obnoxiously to get their attention.
"Jake, this is Kyle. Kyle, this is Jake," Tess introduced them.
"Hi," Jake said. Kyle nodded.
* * *
"They sell almost anything at the movie theaters these days. Popcorn, nachos, slurpies, hot dogs, pizza... Chinese food," Jake said.
"Not Chinese food," Tess laughed.
"I swear. One time my friend went to this multiplex and they were selling Chinese food!"
Tess and Jake were at the cinema. They got their tickets and decided to see 'Unbreakable'. Now they were waiting on line for munchies.
"Tess?" Liz said. Her and Max were on the other line.
"Hi." Tess and Jake greeted them. Tess wondered what they were doing here. Max was less than thrilled to see Tess with Jake but mumbled hi.
"So what movie are you seeing?" Liz asked curiously.
"Unbreakable," Tess responded.
"We're seeing that too," Liz said.
Jake tried not to laugh. It was obvious Tess didn't like Liz and Liz didn't like her. Jake and Tess ordered their food. When they entered the theater showing the movie, it was packed. Tess and Jake ended up sitting next to Liz and Max.
* * *
Max sat in his seat uneasily. He knew this evening would be awkward the moment he saw Tess. What possessed to Liz to go over to her and her date, he did not know. He hoped Tess knew he wasn't on a date with Liz. Maria was supposed to go with them but when he met Liz in front of the theater she informed him that Maria couldn't make it.
Max looked over at Tess. He couldn't help but noticed how beautiful she looked. She laughed at a joke made in the movie. He thought her smile was radiant.
Liz reached for some popcorn. Max looked away from Tess. Why was he noticing all this now when she was with another guy? Liz suddenly made a noise.
"One side is the Tabasco side," he reminded her. She drank her soda.
"I forgot," she said afterwards. "Note to self, buy a separate popcorn." She wondered why she insisted on getting just one popcorn. Then she remembered her plan was for her and Max to spend some quality time together. It wasn't working out well.
Tess took a sip of her drink. This movie had some lighter moments, but it was eerie for the most part. Much like the "Sixth Sense". Tess reached for some popcorn. Her hand brushed against Jake. He smiled at her shyly.
She went back to watching the movie. Not long afterwards, she could feel Max's eyes on her. She looked back him and he then looked away.
* * *
"Do you want to get something to eat?" Jake asked as he and Tess exited the theater.
"No." Jake's face fell.
"I want to show you this really cool place," Tess told him.
They drove to the rock formations right outside of Roswell. Actually it wasn't that far from the pod chamber. The sky was clear and the stars were shining bright. A couple of shooting stars shot across the evening sky.
"This place is beautiful," Jake commented. 'But not as beautiful as you,' he thought. He really wanted to kiss her.
"Yeah, it's lovely," she agreed. They fell into a thoughtful silence.
"I had a great time tonight," Jake confessed. "I know, there was tension with those people but..." He stopped suddenly. He stared into her eyes. He knew he could stare into them forever. "You look beautiful tonight," he told her.
She smiled. She looked into his eyes. She knew something was there. All of the sudden she noticed how close they were standing next to each other. She wanted to feel his lips on hers.
They slowly leaned in for a kiss. It was an incredible feeling. Jake leaned in to deepen the kiss. He wanted to be in this moment for all time. Then something he never expected happened.
He saw an image of himself through her eyes. It was more than an image. He felt how she felt when she first saw him. It was only for a brief second then it was over. He stopped kissing her for a second then dismissed what he saw. He let himself get lost in the moment again. He wanted to hold on to this moment. Being with her, it was like they were the only two people in the world.
Then he saw and felt another image. His eyes fluttered open. He pulled back and looked into her eyes trying to make sense of what had just happened.
* * *
"He saw a flash?" Isabel said surprised.
"Not so loud," Tess reminded her.
Tess and Isabel were at Isabel's house. Tess was telling her what happened with Jake the night before.
"We were kissing and then he described a flash. I saw one of him too."
"So what are you going to do?" Isabel asked concerned. There was a heavy silence. "You're not going to tell him are you?"
"I don't know," Tess answered honestly.
"Have you ever had a flash?" Tess asked cutting through the thick silence.
"No," Isabel admitted. Even with Alex she never let herself get close. She always had this wall that no one could get through.
Michael tapped on the door before he entered the room.
"Hey. Why the long faces?" he noticed.
"The topic is flashes," Isabel clued him in. He picked up on the situation.
"I had a flash with Maria once. It was strange but it's the most incredible thing. You get to see a part of someone no one else knows. It's amazing," he said thoughtfully.
"I didn't know you were so poetic," Tess commented.
He smiled. "Well, I don't know much about flashes. You'd have to ask Max, though I don't think he would be much help," Michael said. Max did not like Jake and Michael had a hunch on why.
* * *
Jake sat at the dinning room table and poked at his mash potatoes. Aunt Reba's recipe included asparagus and lots of peppers. He wasn't that interested in dinner. He kept on thinking about what happened last night. He was pretty sure of what he saw. He didn't know what to make of it yet. He had to see her again.
"Jake, you don't like the mash potatoes?" Aunt Reba asked, snapping out of his reverie.
"Oh, no. Of course I like them," he told her.
"Mom, all of the other kids saw 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.' Can we go?" Amanda asked.
"'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas' is for babies!" Jonathan argued.
"Takes one to know one," Jake chuckled.
"I'm not a baby!" Jonathan said.
"Okay, let's go after dinner. Amanda, you'll check the listings," Mrs. Bridges declared.
"The listings are in the newspaper," Aunt Reba said.
"I can't go. I have plans tonight," Jake declared.
"You always have plans. Even in Roswell. Jake, you're going," his dad told him.
* * *
Max heard noise from Isabel's room. He came to the doorway. Michael and Isabel were laughing about something.
"You guys are still here?" Max said surprised. "I thought you were going for pizza."
"We are," Isabel confirmed. "Y'know, the invitation is still open," she reminded him.
"No," Max said. He sat down next to Michael on Isabel's bed. "I had enough disaster with these type of things," he added dryly, thinking of last night's catastrophe.
"How was last night a disaster?" Isabel asked. Oh boy, she hadn't heard this story yet.
He looked at her and sighed. "Nevermind," he said avoiding the subject.
"The only disaster last night was the whole flashes thing," Michael said. Isabel jabbed in his side.
Max raised an eyebrow. "What flashes thing?"
"Um, you know, flashes. Last night," Michael said guardedly. Max looked at him. "In the movie," Michael lied.
"Oh," Max said. "When did you see Unbreakable?"
"I didn't," Michael said quickly. "A friend of mine saw it. He said it was a major theme in the movie." Isabel looked at him.
"Yeah, right," Max agreed. He didn't watch enough of the movie catch the inconsistency in Michael's story.
"Why don't we get that pizza now, Michael," Isabel said.
"Let's," Michael readily agreed. "See you later Max."
"Bye Max," Isabel said.
Max watched them leave. He felt something was a bit off about their behavior but he dismissed it.
To Be Continued...
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