A/N: I don't know if it matters (it probably really doesn't) but when I think of Maria in my fanfic, I picture her with the season 3 hair. I think all hairstyles from seasons 1-3 are amazing and fit her so well, and I especially liked how it changed with her character development. But Season 3 is really posh and stunning and I feel like it fits her best. So as you picture her in my fic, I may write about her hair covering her face, it's because I picture her hair like in season 3 with a side part, down and shiny. Ok enough about her amazing hair :)

Back to VAIL…...

CHAPTER 9

Maria was in awe of the white and lovely scenery. The snow everywhere on the land and still falling from the sky, created a calmness that resonated nothing but peace. She hoped that the atmosphere would influence Michael's mood as well, keeping him cool, calm and collected once she divulged all the Future Max information she had kept from him.

It was cold and still snowing hard, but they were under an outdoor cafe of sorts, guarded by the outdoor awning. There were heater lanterns hanging from above and multiple wool blankets scattered on the comfy outdoor sofas around the lounge area for guests to cuddle up with. Michael and Maria were one of five couples out there. Given the weather outside, The rest of the guests seemed to be enjoying the indoors of the resort more.

Michael who had Maria's hand in his pocket the whole time, only finally let go to get a blanket for them. He motioned for her to sit on one of the cushiony sofas that happened to be a near one of the outdoor fireplaces. (or as Maria liked to call them a "Chiminea").

As he sat down, she immediately sat next to him and turned to put her legs up on his lap. It was a sitting position they did often while hanging out, when it was just the two of them. He would be watching the tube, while she'd be watching as well, feet up in his lap. Sometimes he'd caress her feet without thinking. During these intimate moments she would sneak glances every now and then at her Spaceboy pondering about what he could be thinking about. He'd steal glances from Maria too every so often- when she wasn't looking.

"So, spill," he ordered as he lightly squeezed one of her calves.

Maria let out a long breath.

It was now or never.

Michael could sense the nervousness that Maria was feeling so he began to rub her legs back and forth to calm her with long soft brushes of his hand. He found himself doing it more and more unknowingly whether it was on the small of her back while they were walking or on her forearm while she chatted with him on the line window at the CrashDown when he took a pause from cooking and taking her orders. He even caught himself resting his hand on her ass at times, like when walking to and from the Jetta or between classes. The motion,which Maria at first flinched at, would make him quickly retract his hand. But since then he'd been sneaking it back on it again, and she didn't seem to care.

"You have to promise not to be mad at me."

"I promise."

"No no that's not enough. You have to absolutely promise." Maria said in a more serious tone sitting up straighter like she meant business.

Michael rolled his eyes. "Okay. I absolutely promise."

"Ok," Maria said, finally sounding satisfied. She pushed back on the couch a little to sit up straighter. She pulled the blanket up to her chest and crossed her arms, and dared to look directly at Michael.

"You know when Liz slept with Kyle. Like that rumor. Remember the rumor?"

Michael nodded his head. "Yeah. Max told me he found Kyle in Liz's bed and they were naked."

Maria shook her head. "No, no, they weren't naked Michael."

Michael looked at her puzzled.

Yes she was, at least that's what Max had told me.

It was that whole scene that made Michael do a backpedal in his brain of whether Max should've ever saved Liz in the first place. But he tossed the thought immediately from his mind. Liz had become a friend of the group, even him. And the best thing that came out of the whole event was that through it, he got Maria.

"So they weren't naked but they had sex? You can do that? Well I guess you could if you just took the-"

"No, no!" Maria exclaimed, interrupting him. "God this isn't making any sense is it?" Maria said showing she was profusely annoyed at herself. She couldn't get the words out because she was afraid of the inevitable disappointment Michael would give her at the end of the story.

Why was this so difficult? Get it together already DeLuca.

Michael was giving her some pretty confused faces. "You got any of that oil stuff you can sniff. Maybe it can calm you down or something?"

"Very funny," scoffed Maria as she let out a big breath. "Ok. Liz asked Kyle to pretend to sleep with her, because she had to get Max to fall out of love with her."

"Why? THat's a little drastic don't you think? I mean even for Parker."

"Max loves her; he couldn't keep himself away from her. I was with him all summer Michael. He was like a love sick puppy."

Michael gave her a look that almost mocked her considering she was with Max the whole time also upset that Michael avoided her. But then it quickly turned into one of envy as he realized she did indeed spend the entire summer close to Max, and not himself.

"Ok I get that, I mean I understand if Liz wanted to get away from Max and the whole like Tess and Destiny crap but why fake a sex scene. Why not just talk to him. I mean that pretty much wore him down Maria."

"Yeah I know where do you think she got the idea from pally?"

Michael gave her a perplexed look. He didn't have any inclination about what that was about.

"Michael. She got the idea from you, well me, when I saw how worn down I was when you kissed Courtney."

"What? Maria, I only kissed her to get information."

"Ok we'll save that argument for another day," Maria said holding up her hand.

Michael rolled his eyes in disbelief.

Weren't they already passing all the Courtney stuff by now?

"Seeing how devastated I was," Maria said as Michael gave a glare to her, "she tried it on Max and it worked." Michael's look softened. "Because Michael if her and Max didn't fall out of love the world would end."

Michael chuckled. He knew his friend and Liz were definitely immersed but it wasn't some relationship that rested on earth's survival.

"F.M told her. F.M as in Future Max."

"Future Max?" asked Michael as he sat straight. The text message. This was all kind of making sense. Sort of.

Maria nodded. "Max came to see Liz from the future. Apparently he had longer tresses of hair and he was able to go back in time by using the granolith. It's apparently a teleportation device in some ways. I'm not really sure how it fits with the whole 'time space continuum" thing," Maria explained as she used air quotes for the last part.

"How did Liz know it was Max and not some shapeshifter or one of Kivar's minions?" Michael counter argued exasperatedly interrupting Maria's tangent. He didn't mean to take out such a tone with Maria, but damn it! It angered that Liz could be so thoughtless! Why did Liz think it was ok to trust someone just because they looked like one of them. They had been duped before (no pun unintended!). In all seriousness, there were already people out there that looked like them and were willing to kill anyone that got in the way of their desires.

Not good Parker, not good at all!

Maria couldn't answer, because in all honesty, Michael had a good point.

"I went by the fact that she's my best friend Michael. And Future Max shared knowledge that only he and LIz would know about."

Michael looked on at Maria, remembering the things that he only knew about her. The red shoes, with the blue shoe laces, and her dalmatian dog by her side the day her father left.

Fair enough.

He motioned with his hand for her to continue. "Fine. Go on."

"He said that the four of you, Max Tess, Isabel and you form a unit. The four of you are unstoppable. But when Liz and Max got closer, that made Tess distance herself and eventually leave the group. She left Roswell. According to future Max, Liz and Max were supposed to marry in Vegas. That was the catalyst that drove Tess away. Then when Earth got invaded by Kivar and his enemies you all couldn't beat him without Tess. "

"Wait a minute. You knew about all of this?" Michael said. Maria was surprised his inquiry had come out so calmly. She expected that when Michael would be very upset and definitely louder.

"Yes," Maria replied softly.

He looked away starting to gaze out to the snow falling on the ground. It's like he was in a trance, silent but still just as intense. After a few minutes of silence, he abruptly got up, causing Maria's legs to immediately fall off from his lap on the couch. Her boots landed with a thud as her feet hit the floor and she would have almost completely sliden off if she hadn't held herself up on the cushion underneath her.

"Michael…" She reached out to touch his shoulder only to be jerked away when he turned to face her.

"How could you keep something like that from me?" he asked sternly, his face burning with a look of anger and disappointment.

"I had to. It was Liz's secret and she told me that Future Max told her not to tell anyone."

"So why did you tell me now?"

"Because she told Max, and...then they both told the group. While we were here. Yesterday to be exact."

"So everybody knows?" Michael asks as he takes a step closer to Maria.

Nodding, Maria replied "yes."

"Unbelievable!"

"But just like you Isabel and Tess were very upset at Liz for keeping it from them."

Michael scoffed. "Damn straight."

Taken aback by his reaction, she was beginning to wonder if she should've brought up the whole thing in the first place.

"I need to get out of here." he said low and sternly as his pointer finger pushed Maria's shoulder motioning her out the way so he strode by her into the resort.

"Wait, Michael, are you mad?" Maria called out.

He turned. "I'm disappointed. I'm confused. And Yes I am mad, but I damn well think I have the right to be."

THis caused a couple of people to turn their heads to Michael and Maria squabble. As Maria nervously took note of the unwanted attention, she tried to remain calm and lowered her voice.

"Michael you promised," Maria reminded him as she picked up her pace behind him. She abruptly came to halt when he suddenly turned around giving her the most piercing glare ever.

"What if I told you that I knew something about your father, and I never told you about it for a long time? THen one day I tell you all this stuff about him. Stuff I've known for years! How would you feel?"

Maria looked up with desperation in her face. "I would feel upset Michael, but this, this wasn't my story to tell."

"I am so sick of Max and Liz making choices together that affect me and my well being without my opinion! You know that it's been frustrating me!"

He had a point, and she could understand his frustration.

Maria shook her head, " I didn't mean for it to happen this way Michael. But then again you hearing this from anyone, at any time would've made you mad. Look at you! It's not that I've kept it from you this long, it's that Liz and Max chose to only now share it with the group."

Michael grunted.

"Without consulting you first," Maria added, hoping to rack up some points on his good side.

"No you're wrong! I'm mad at you and at them. But still you too! Because the minute you heard about Future Max from Liz, you should've tried to find me and tell me about it. But you chose to keep it to yourself. Real nice Maria."

That hurt Maria. He meant it too.

Michael opened the door that let him back into the resort. He wanted to go to his room, get his stuff and get out of dodge. With a fast pace he made a beeline for the elevators while Maria struggled to keep up with Michael only coming up to his heels. Michael furiously began pressing the "up" button multiple times on the elevator.

"Come on, come on…" he whispered frustratingly at the elevators ignoring Maria who was finally standing by him.

"Please Michael let's talk about this."

"I wouldn't follow me if I were you." Michael glared at Maria and as he heard the beep signaling that the doors of the elevator were about to open.

"Michael if it's worth anything, if my opinion matters at all to you, I want you to know that I agree and that Liz and Max should've never kept it to themselves either. From you, Isabel, or Tess."

The words came out quickly from an out of breath Maria since she was feeling so pressed for time, fearing that Michael would dis her as soon as the elevator doors opened. SHe wanted to try to make Michael see reason.

Briefly his eyes softened but it didn't halt him from getting on. Maria decided to do something just as daring. She got on right behind him, too quick for him to see or stop her.

Surprised as he turned to find her near the panel of buttons to the left of the elevator, he motioned to the panel on the right, and pressed the "doors open" button.

"Get off Maria," he said sternly.

Maria shook her head.

For the longest time Michael didn't respond. His silence was making the white noise in her head get louder and louder. Every fiber of her angst built up as he chose to just stand there.

"Wow you must be really mad" Maria said when he still hadn't let go of pressing the button that kept the elevator doors open.

"I'm not." Michael said a little more harshly than he intended. He promised her after all. He looked at her longing look.

"Michael please tell me what you are thinking," Maria pleaded.

"Right now, to get away and think for a minute."

"Can we talk about it? Maybe we can figure this all out together?" she pleaded.

"Figure what? How would you fit into this Maria. Your future is not hanging in the balance, it's mine. And what infuriates me the most is that you kept this from me."

"It wasn't my choice to make Michael. You have to understand that," Maria reiterated again softly as she attempted to once more reach out to touch Michael. Hoping that when he felt her touch it would calm him down.

"I'm trying to," Michael said this time with a softer tone "Look you should give me my space. Do you want me to blow up this elevator right now?" MIchael asked harshly.

"You won't."

"How would you know?" MIchael said, definitely almost testing Maria of her confidence.

Maria's arms were crossed resisting to falter under Michael's intimidation.

"Because, I know you spent the whole summer getting that under control. Your powers Michael. You're really good with them now," Maria said slowly as she stealthily came closer to Michael.

The elevator doors closed. Michael lost all feeling in his fingertips. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Someone for once actually had immense faith in him. It was a rare commodity. He had been nothing but a disappointment to Hank, which he never failed complaining to Michael about. He always seemed to be screwing things up according to Max and Isabel. Everyone around him seemed to always think he was a disappointment. It was a shock to hear the opposite from someone, and it bled more that that someone was Maria.

Not being used to it and touched by Maria's steadfastness he had to look away, fearing to lose all control. Being vulnerable wasn't a suit Michael liked to wear often. He felt a soft touch on his cheek. Maria held his face softly as she reached up, on the tips of her toes to extend a kiss on Michael's lips.

Maria was afraid that Michael might pull away, still mad at her for keeping such a secret from him for so long. BUt all fear vanished when his arms came surrounding her waist pulling her closer to him as he kissed her back air around them in the elevator was getting hotter and thicker. Instead of arguing, they were battling each other but now with their lips and tongues. He forced entry into her mouth, while she tried to counteract the same way, and finally gave in, leaving him victorious.

"I win," Michael whispered, pulling away, and then ventured kisses down Maria's neck. As he was about to reach one of the most sensitive spots on Maria, where the shoulder and neck met, Maria pushed away all of a sudden realizing how out of control they had become. It always got out of control when they made out. Always.

Her right hand was placed firmly on his chest, while her left hand's fingertips pressed on her own lips as if she was trying to calm down the tingling sensation. Michael didn't like the abrupt distance, and tried to reach for her waist to pull her in closer again, when the sound of the elevator doors opening made them both leap to opposite sides.

A group of college boys came into the elevator. Three of them to be exact all exchanging looks of salutation to Maria and Michael, while taking note of her swollen lips. Maria smiled back while Michael remained stoic (as he usually did).

"Damn. It's going up," complained one of them.

"So we'll just go up and come down, after they get off," . replied the one with the blond hair and blue eyes. He smiled at Maria. She nodded once with a smile, and looked up at Michael who she swore was glaring at the poor boy so hard she was afraid he might burn a hole in his head- literally.

Maria took Michael's hand in hers hoping the gesture would put him more at ease.

As the elevator beeped, Michael holding on to Maria's hand tighter pulled her towards the exit, not caring that he practically bumped into 2 of the college boys pushing them out of the way as he tried to get out

"This is us!" Maria said in her best chipper voice hoping it would excuse themselves of Michael's rude behavior.

Michael caught the attractive blond and blue-eyed one again smiling at Maria with a toothy grin as the elevator doors closed.

All of a sudden, Michael completely let go of Maria's hand letting it fall to her side as he walked his way to their suite.

"Michael?"

He didn't answer her. He merely got their door key card out of his pocket and opened the door. He didn't even care to hold the door for her, but luckily she was able to grab hold of it before it closed completely shut.

Closing the door behind her Maria turned to find Michael standing in front of the fireplace. It was completely dark, as she moved from the corridor into the open living room, and suddenly just like that it was lit. Michael ignited the fire with his powers without even pointing to the logs.

The motion made Maria's heart race. SHe swore she could feel immense warmth, but it didn't seem to be coming from the fire. It seemed to be coming from Michael straight towards her in an odd way that didn't make sense.

"Maria," he sighed as he turned to her. "Just give me some space."

Maria nodded. Tears were brimming over her eyes, but she didn't want him to see that she was sad. This wasn't really about her right now. It was about him. She knew she had done wrong by claiming that keeping the secret from him was justifiable. It wasn't. She was disappointed in herself more than he would ever know.

Maria retreated to the bedroom leaving Michael alone in the living room where he could collect his thoughts. She pulled over the bedsheets and climbed in the bed. As she rested curled up to the side, she released all her inhibitions, staining the pillow with her mascara filled tears. Ignoring the sickness she felt in her stomach, she lay there, slowly drifting herself to sleep.