In the previous episode, Max learned the truth about Tala, and he discovered she had run away. Also, Zane was uncertain how to fix his broken relationship with his son. While lying in bed the night he returned from the hospital, readers voted that he awoke to Tala knocking at his window.
Max was startled when his window flew open. Then, crawling in from the darkness, he watched her approach. She sat beside him on the bed, took his hand, and said:
“You are not to do that ever again, young man. Do you hear me?”
It reminded him of his mother. But it was Tala.
“Are you hurt?” she asked as she gently brushed his hair. He shook his head. Then, as his eyes welled with tears, “Why did you come back?”
Tala’s eyes also welled up.
“There’s something I need to do,” she said. After a moment’s silence, she leaned in slowly, closed her eyes, and kissed Max softly on his lips. It was Max’s first kiss… and it was perfect.
Tala composed herself, took his hands, looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Max Goodnight. You are a beautiful man. Your heart is mighty and dangerous, like a shock of lightning that cracks the black sky. I see all the goodness this mean old world has to offer rain down on you, and bless you the way you bless everyone who has the good fortune to cross your path. Take care of yourself, Max. But don’t be careful.”
Max hated crying, but that’s what he was doing. The sadness made him angry, and it was from anger he blurted out:
“Why’d you do it? Huh? Why didn’t you just steal something and leave us alone?!”
It was a fair question, and one Tala was tired of denying.
“I was lonely,” she whispered. “I haven’t belonged to a family in years. You, your daddy. I love you both, and I guess I just wanted to pretend that I belonged.” With that she stood and headed back to the open window.
“I’m a con. But I truly do care for you both. Please, at least believe that.”
“I’m never going to see you again.” Max said, flatly.
“Good bye, Max. Take care of you father.”
And with that, she slipped out, and into the darkness.
* * *
The next morning Max was surprised to find the Sheriff in the kitchen. Zane had called him when he realized someone had let one of the horses out. Max started figuring it out. Tala had borrowed a horse, ridden to the edge of the mesa where they’d listened to music. She let the horse free, knowing it would find its way back while, under cover of darkness, she climbed down the canyon, and made her escape.
She was gone.
The Sheriff noticed that the alleged escape vehicle, the minivan, was parked in the yard.
“Know anything about that, son?” the Sheriff asked. Max just shrugged and said, “I was in my room all night,” which is technically true, but didn’t answer the question.
As the Sheriff and Zane talked, Max kept thinking about Tala. In the end, she didn’t steal anything. The van was there, the horse returned. She never even got her paycheck for the nanny work. Max smirked at this; we owe her money.
In time, the Sheriff left. Then, with a heavy heart, Zane said, “Son. I think there’s something we need to do.” Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.