posted on 13-Jan-2003 4:43:55 PM
Just so everyone knows, this is NOT my story. It belongs to my best friend, April, but she has given me permission to post the first part on here sicne she's not a member of this forum and doesn't plan on joining anytime soon. So here it is!




Title: Crusaders’ Night

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me, but, if Brendan Fehr was offering himself to me for the night, I would gladly accept.

Summary: On a completely normal day in the quiet town of Roswell, New Mexico, one young girl is taken hostage. Little does she know that one man will change her world upside down and make her into someone she never thought she would become.

Category: Michael and Maria

Rating: PG-13-R

Author’s Note: Just to let you know, Max isn’t very nice in this at first, but he’ll get nicer. This is my first AU fic that I didn’t do in response to a challenge, so there are no rules. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When the sun goes down and the moon comes into view, I awake. I become me, the person I really am. I blend into the night until I am one with it, until you can no longer tell that I am a real, living, breathing person.

I look dark, because I am. I look dangerous, because I am. This may frighten you. I hope that it doesn’t. I want you to come with me. I want you to join me with the night. It’s exhilarating. It gives you a certain rush, a high, that you would never feel in the day. Come with me.

It’s dark. It’s dangerous. It’s criminal.

It’s everything you never thought your life would be.

Come with me . . .

This is our night.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Sleep was coming. He could feel it. It was still daytime, true, but daytime was, after all, when he usually slept. His eyelids were becoming heavy—almost too heavy to keep open—and his body was growing weak and limp. He knew he would succumb to the beauty of sleep’s peace soon. There was no denying it.

It was this way every day. A ritual, of some sorts. Michael Guerin would climb into the van with Max Evans and Kyle VaLenti, his two best friends, and they would take off down the road. Usually, Max was in the driver’s seat on deer alert. Michael had tried to tell him that deer didn’t usually come out during the day, but he didn’t listen to any of that. Kyle managed to climb into the backseat all of time where he could stretch out all he wanted and sleep peacefully, and Michael always got stuck in the passenger’s seat where Max could always keep and eye on him and scold him if he fell asleep while he was supposed to be watching for deer.

But, eventually, Max would give in and Michael would fall asleep. It always turned out this way, and Michael knew he was going to be asleep very quickly now.

He had almost escaped the daytime and fallen into dreams when Max suddenly reached over and switched the radio station to a hard rock channel. Some dude began to scream out right away, causing Michael to snap his eyes open. Kyle jolted awake from the backseat practically screaming himself.

“Guys, calm down,” Max said. “It’s just a little rock.”

“But I was asleep!” Kyle protested. “You don’t turn something like that on while a guy is asleep!”

“Well, that’s just too bad,” Max said, glancing out the window cautiously for any signs of deer.

Michael remained silent in his seat and closed his eyes again. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to fall asleep with rock on. Rock energized him and made him want to get up and move, so he just closed his eyes and sat there deep in thought while Max and Kyle continued to bicker about resting hours.

Kyle and Michael were night-owls, and Max wasn’t. It was as simple as that, and over the past year or so, Kyle and Michael had become almost nocturnal, staying up during the night and resting during the day, but Max was just the opposite. He was wide awake from morning until dusk, usually driving, but once the moon rose, a wave of exhaustion seemed to take him over, just when Kyle and Michael were getting up.

“This is going to have to change.” Max was saying, cutting into Michael’s thoughts. “You two can’t be staying up all night! Then there’s no one to help me watch for deer!” Suddenly, he was hitting Michael on the shoulder, urging him to stay awake.

“Trust me, I’m awake.” Michael told him, turning down the volume on the radio.

“Good,” Max commented. “Stay that way.”

“Max, why are you so terrified of deer?” Kyle asked. “I mean, sure, the can run fast and they have big antlers, but they’re not that bad.”

“Yes, they are.” Max protested.

They continued to argue, and Michael let out a big sigh. He busied himself with watching the outside world fly past him so fast that it was barely recognizable. They were going a little too fast, it seemed, so he spoke up, interrupting his friends’ argument.

“Um, Max, you might wanna let up on the gas a little.” he advised. “The last thing we need is a cop pulling us over.”

Max visibly slowed down—so much, in fact, that if someone had been right behind them, they wouldn’t have been able to slow down in time to prevent a crash. But lucky for them, they seemed to be the only ones on the deserted desert road.

They were on their way to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they planned to spend a few nights until they carried out another robbery.

Robbery.

The life they lived was dark and dangerous, and most people didn’t want to live such a life, but Max and Kyle did. They had chosen it by themselves, Max in an effort to scrape up some money, and Kyle in an effort to run away from home. But Michael hadn’t chosen it. He had been born into it. His father had been a master criminal, and his mother had been taken along for the ride. His father had handed him his first gun at the age of five. Michael had even helped take part in his first bank robbery at the age of seven, and, since then, he had been hooked. It was like a gang. Once you got in, you didn’t get out. The first moment you held a gun in your hands and pointed it at an innocent civilian, you were roped in for life.

And, now, to this very day, he was doing the same thing, only without his mother and father. They were gone now, both having died in a car accident somewhere around Nevada. But Michael was still doing it, though he did regret it at times, and he was now following in his father’s footsteps.

He often wondered if it was too late to get out, to break free and just live a normal, simple life like everyone else did, but he knew that he couldn’t. They had caused too much damage now. Even if he did try to break free, he would be caught and thrown in jail. Now, all he could do was run and keep on doing what he was doing. He had no choice.

“Michael, open your eyes!” Max shouted, taking him out of his thoughts. Michael realized that he had let his eyes drift closed again, and now Max was freaking out because no one was going to help him watch for deer.

“Sorry.” he apologized. He turned the volume on the radio back up so that the car was blaring. He knew Max didn’t want him to fall asleep, and sometimes the only thing that would keep him awake was noise.

“Like I was saying,” Max continued over the blaring music. “You two can’t keep living in the night. Live during the day like normal people.”

Michael didn’t like the thought. The day? Was Max being serious? After at least a year of crime, being crammed into the same bus as both Michael and Kyle for hours at a time, didn’t he know that they both hated the day, and that they would never willingly change?

“You can’t ask us to do something like that, Max.” Michael told him. “It’s our choice.”

Max grunted. “Michael, what do you guys do all night, anyway?”

“I look for strippers.” Kyle announced, suddenly awake again.

“You can still do that during the day.” Max pointed out.

Michael didn’t have an answer. He usually didn’t do anything during the night. He would sit in his hotel room and watch TV, sometimes casting a sidewards glance out at the moon, other times just thinking about what his life could have been like if he hadn’t been forced down this path at such an early age. His life wasn’t that exciting, except for an occasional robbery or two, but it had gotten to the point where even that was routine and boring.

He wanted something more. He just didn’t know where to find it, whatever it was.

Maybe Max was right. Though he did hate the daytime and everything about it—the sun, the heat, the light—there was no reason that he shouldn’t be able to change.

“You’re right, Max.” he agreed reluctantly. “We should be awake with you, just in case something goes wrong.”

“Exactly.” Max seemed pleased.

Kyle sighed, seeming a little less willing. “Oh, fine.” he finally agreed. “I’ll try it.”

“Good.” Max focused his attention back out on the road then, still looking for deer or anything else that might decide to pop out in front of him. “Now, don’t even think about falling asleep again. We’re almost to Santa Fe.”

Michael leaned his head against the window and forced his eyes to stay open. He was going to have a tough time adjusting to his new living situation—he knew that already—but he would do it for Max, because Max was his friend, and because, sometimes, his friends were all he had.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Okay, by orders of the author, I must ask you, do you want her to continue or not? Doesn't matter anyway cuz I'm gonna post the next part whether she wants me to or not!




[ edited 3 time(s), last at 14-Feb-2003 8:31:32 AM ]
posted on 13-Jan-2003 6:15:41 PM
BUMP!!
posted on 14-Jan-2003 8:33:45 AM
April's a seriously stubborn girl and she says that she will not join this forum because she belongs to too many others already. (Yeah, she's kinda a weirdo, but at least I'm her friend!! I keep her in line!! lol) I'll be back to post her next part soon.
posted on 14-Jan-2003 6:17:51 PM
The alarm clock set off a shrill ring as it always did in the morning and jolted Maria DeLuca awake. She rubbed her eyes sleepily as she tried to adjust to the morning light. The sun always seemed to be shining directly into her eyes, and she hated it.

Slowly, ever so slowly, she slid out of bed and down onto the floor. She wasn’t a morning person. She never had been. She had always looked forward to summers as a young girl, because she usually got to sleep in. But now, however, summers seemed to be just the same as any other day, because she did have to get up early and go work. Ever since her mother had lost her job, Maria had to help cover the bills by working two jobs. She worked as the cashier at the Lift-Off gas station during the day and as a waitress for the Crashdown Café during the evening. At night, she would come home and collapse on her bed and fall asleep almost immediately only to be rudely awakened the next morning to start the whole routine over again.

Maria ran her hands through her hair and yawned. She felt dirty, and she wanted to shower, but their hot water wasn’t working, and she didn’t feel like running all the way over to her best friend Liz Parker’s house early in the morning just to shower. Knowing she would only get dirtier and greasier at the gas station, she stood up and skipped the whole thing altogether and headed downstairs for breakfast.

Her mother wasn’t up yet. Now days, that wasn’t anything new. Her mother slept really late in the morning and never seemed to get up past nine o’ clock, so Maria had to make breakfast for herself. She sometimes envied those families that she saw on TV or on commercials where the children would get up and their mother would have a splendid breakfast of scrambled eggs and French toast sitting out ready for them, just waiting to be eaten.

Maria searched through the somewhat empty cupboards and found a box of Poptarts. She took one out and ate it cold without even sitting down. She didn’t pour herself a glass of milk or juice, either. She just took a tiny sip of water directly from the faucet, not even bothering to pour it into a glass.

And that was breakfast.

It didn’t take her long to get ready. It never did anymore. She had learned to move quickly when she was expected somewhere, and her boss, Randy Newman, always seemed to want her at the station before she was due.

The beautiful clothes in her closet never got worn anymore. Now she only wore her Lift-Off gas station uniform or her Crashdown uniform. Whatever was required.

The brilliant make-up that had once covered the sink in her bathroom never was worn anymore, either. Now, it was stashed away in the cupboards as well. She didn’t have time for any of it.

Her curling iron and blow-dryer were never used anymore. They probably didn’t even work now. Nowadays, she just let her hair be. She pulled it back in a shaggy pony-tail and let it stay the whole day.

It was hard to imagine that she had once been a normal teenage girl with normal hopes and dreams. Now she was just a poor girl with only two good friends whom she barely even saw anymore and one boyfriend who she wasn’t even that attracted to.

Billy. Billy Jarden was her boyfriend. He wasn’t appealing to the eye, or not to her eye, at least, and he wasn’t popular. He didn’t play sports. He played music. He got made fun of a lot, but he was kind, and he had always been kind to Maria, so she stayed with him. She didn’t see their relationship as moving beyond where they were, but Billy clearly did. Just a few days ago, he had told her he loved her.

She had run away then, leaving him all alone in his car after saying the three most important words of his life. He had most likely been expecting, or at least hoping, that she would return them back to him, but that was just something she couldn’t do, because she didn’t love him, and she couldn’t lie to him.

They hadn’t spoken since.

She often wondered if she would see him sitting in the Crashdown, and if he would motion towards her, wanting to talk to her. She had invented all sorts of scenarios of how it would happen. He would wave to her, and she would go sit down across from him. She would apologize, and he would smile and tell her that he didn’t mean to push things, and that he wasn’t expecting anything from her, that she could take her time falling in love.

But she had no way of knowing if it would really turn out that way. She hadn’t seen Billy, and she took that to mean that he was sad, perhaps even in sorrow. She pictured him crying on his bed, muffling the sounds in his pillow so that no one would hear him.

She didn’t want to hurt him, but she didn’t love him. Not in the way that he loved her, anyway. She loved him as a friend, and she would always love him as a friend, but anything more than that was almost inconceivable.

Maria, noticing that her thoughts were causing her to run “late”, almost ran out the door after stopping in her mother’s room to kiss her good-bye. Not that it mattered, anyway. Her mother didn’t feel it, and she only continued to sleep and dream.

Dreams were pleasant. Life was not. Life was like one big nightmare that never ended, that you could never get away from, no matter how hard you tried.

Maria hopped in her car and took off down the empty little roads of Roswell, New Mexico, making sure to hook her seatbelt first, although the possibility of an accident in her quiet, little town seemed almost impossible.

Nothing ever happened in Roswell. Nothing ever would.

She finally reached the Lift-Off at the edge of town. Randy gave her a big lecture on how important it was to be on time, and she pretended to listen, and then she went back behind the counter as the station opened. At first, no one came. Then, though, the door swung open and Alex Whitman walked inside.

Alex. Good old Alex. He was Maria’s best friend, not counting Liz. He was always there when she needed him, and he always put others’ needs before his own.

“Alex!” Maria chirped excitedly.

“Hey,” he greeted, holding onto his guitar precariously in one hand while waving hello to her with the other. Alex, like Billy, loved music, and it was how they had all gravitated towards each other. Liz . . . Liz was just so likable that they couldn’t help but include her.

“Oh, Alex, I’m so glad you’re here.” Maria told him. “I really needed to talk to you about something yesterday, but I didn’t get the chance, so I really need to talk to you now.”

“Talk on.” he told her, eyeing the candy under the counter. Alex had a weakness for candy of any kind.

“Okay, so, you see, Billy and I were outside the station during my break a few days ago just talking about all this random crap when he blurted out ‘I love you.’.”

Alex’s attention was no longer on the candy, then, but on her. “Billy, as in Billy Jarden, your boyfriend?” He seemed shocked. “Wow. I didn’t know the guy had it in him.”

“Had what in him?” Maria didn’t understand.

“The nerve.” he elaborated. “Maria, you’ve gotta give him some credit for just coming out and saying it.”

She knew he was right. “Yeah,” she agreed.

“But let me guess,” Alex continued. “You couldn’t tell him you loved him back, so you ran off.”

Maria was shocked. “How did you know?” she asked.

“I was in here at the time.” he explained. “I saw you.”

“Oh.” she felt embarrassed, knowing that she must have looked really stupid.

“I wasn’t spying or anything.” he told her. “Just watching intently.”

She laughed. “Why do you watch, Alex?” she inquired. “Billy and I have no chemistry.”

“He seems to think differently.”

She knew he was right again. Alex seemed to know everything about everyone and all of their feelings.

“You should just tell him.” Alex suggested. “Tell him you don’t feel the same way he does. Or else you’ll end up hurting him even more, Maria, by lying to him.”

She sighed. “Yeah,” she agreed. “I know. But I can’t, Alex. He’s so sweet and kind to me, and I wanna stay friends with him.”

“You can still be his friend.” he told her. “Just because you break up doesn’t mean that it’s all over.”

As always, he was right.

Alex moved aside as a mother and her young boy entered the establishment, and Maria let herself fall away into her normal routine. It was normal, and it was a routine, because it was repetitive. She did it everyday, nonstop. There was no end to it, and somewhere, she had forgotten that there had even been a beginning. She had forgotten everything that had been grand in her life, because now, all there was in her life was misery and painful, hard decisions.

She didn’t think about what she was doing. That wasn’t necessary, because nothing new or exciting or even semi-important happened in Roswell, New Mexico, and nothing ever would.





Ok, I know it may seem like it's starting a little slowly, but I just read some future parts April emailed to me and they're awesome, so keep reading!!
posted on 15-Jan-2003 8:25:58 AM
She hasn't posted this fic anywhere else yet because she's just busy trying to finish it still. I'll post the next part lata today and I have to tell you, the next part involves Max and Michael and Kyle in a strip-club . . . .
posted on 15-Jan-2003 9:03:37 PM
Over the parts I've read I haven't seen any Isabel or Jesse or anyone, but Liz and Alex are mentioned quite a bit and I think that Isabel might turn up along the road somewhere for awhile. April's talking about it anyway. I will be back to post the next part tomorrow!! Stay tuned . . .
posted on 16-Jan-2003 12:28:40 PM
told you I'd be back. For some odd reason, I just loved this part. I think it's cuz Max and Kyle and Michael are playing characters so unlike the ones they do in the TV show. Anyway, enough of my babble and onto part three!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Kyle looked entranced as he watched the woman dancing above him. His eyes had grown huge, and only continued to grow bigger as the woman removed her top, revealing a barely-there bra and huge breasts. Kyle was definitely a boob man, and he seemed to be losing control. His mouth was open to, and he was practically drooling.

Max had found a cute little red-head and had taken her into a dark corner for some “extra money”. His hands were all over her ass, and the expression on his face was priceless when the woman started to unzip his pants.

Michael sat alone. He didn’t want any of it. Kyle and Max always liked to stop at strip-clubs when they got the chance, and Michael was always dragged along inside, even though he thought that it was sick.

Well, sometimes it was nice. These girls were dangerous. They weren’t afraid to take a walk on the wild side.

A blonde-haired woman wearing only a black thong met his eyes and came down from the stage. She walked through the crowd, ignoring everyone else but Michael. He didn’t flinch, even as she brought her fingers up to run through his untamable hair.

“You look like you need some good lovin’, Sugar.” she commented in a real southern accent.

“No thanks.” he told her. She was definitely dangerous, yes, but not the type of dangerous he liked. She was only a slut, nothing more.

“Oh, come on.” she practically begged. “I’ll take you back in a corner and show you the real meaning of living for a few extra dollars.”

It was really sad that these women had to do this for money. It was clearly their last resort.

But he wasn’t much different from them, was he? Either was Max. Either was Kyle. Of course they didn’t work in bars and take their clothes off just to go back in the corner and have a quicky with some random person, but they robbed banks and gas stations and those kind of places for money. They stole cars and sold them a few days later for big bucks. Their life certainly wasn’t honorable.

“Sugar, c’mon.” The woman continued to try to persuade him, even being so daring to lean forward and try to rub her breasts in his face.

“Sorry,” he apologized, getting up from the chair. He moved away from her as fast as he could and out of her sight, only to be stopped by another girl, a brunette this time.

“What’s a sexy man like you doing all alone tonight?” she asked, playing with the buttons on his shirt. She was more attractive than the blonde. She was still clothed—well, she was still wearing a bra and underwear—and she wasn’t as headstrong. For a moment, he contemplated taking her back into a dark corner like Max had done with that red-head, just to see what it would feel like to be with someone for such a short period of time. It would be dangerous, that’s for sure.

“I can’t.” he said, though he was still wondering if he could.

She sighed. “Alright, if you’re sure.”

He wasn’t sure. His fingers were itching with the desire to yank her bra away and tear her underwear off. His lips were tingling with the need to run his lips across hers. And his . . . well, that was doing something, too.

But he didn’t. He bolted away from her as fast as he could and forced himself not to look back. He wasn’t Max. He wasn’t Kyle. He didn’t want to turn into them. He didn’t use girls for a few minutes like that. He would carry a gun. He would rob banks. He absolutely would not take on an offer like that, no matter how tempting it was.

He met up with Max and Kyle by the door, watching the women on stage and watching some of them as the pranced on by. Max looked tired from what he had just done. Kyle looked envious.

“Hey, guys.” Michael greeted.

“Hey,” Max returned, grabbing a bottle of beer from the bar counter. He didn’t pay. He didn’t even care that it had probably belonged to someone who had. He chugged it down, obviously eager to cool off.

“We should probably be going now.” Michael told them. He hated to always have to break the fun, but if Max and Kyle had their way, they would stay out all night with the strippers. But Michael was tired. He was used to staying awake during the night, but not during the day as well, and he needed sleep, no matter what time it was.

“But I haven’t even gotten any yet!” Kyle whined. “I’m not going until I get my hands on one of these ladies . . .” He trailed off and let his eyes linger on the same blonde that Michael had turned down.

“We’ve got a big day ahead of us tomorrow.” Michael reminded them. “If we wanna be able to pull off the robbery, we’ve gotta be in top shape.”

“No, we don’t.” Max shot back. “I could pull off a robbery in my sleep.”

“Sleep,” Michael echoed. “Sounds good, don’t you think?”

Max surveyed the bar and then turned back to Michael. “I guess.” he said. “I’ve already gotten my fair share for tonight. Kyle?”

Kyle, however, was less willing. “No!” he shouted. “I’m gonna break my pants if I don’t just . . .” He trailed off again and Michael noticed his eyes on the brunette he had been so tempted to take. He let his eyes drift to the ground as he watched Kyle walk over to her and run his hands up and down her bare arms.

“Are you with anyone tonight?” he asked.

She shook her head.

And then they were walking off together.

“Make it quick!” Michael called after him. “Meet us in the car!”

No answer.

So Michael walked out the door and waited for Max to follow. It took Max a little longer. He was clearly on the verge of getting drunk, and he still held two bottles in his hands. He tripped over something on the way to the car and fell down on the ground laughing. Michael had to help him up again and help him into the passenger side of the van.

“I never realized that there were so many girls on the planet that would just let you fuck them.” he muttered. “I mean, it’s just so easy. You say one word to them and they’re all over you. It’s
just . . . cool. It’s so cool!”

Michael didn’t know what to say to that. It was hard enough to carry on a conversation with Max when he was sober. It was almost impossibly when he was drunk.

About ten minutes later, Kyle tumbled out of the strip-club, clearly a little drunk as well. He, too, clutched a bottle of beer in his hands, and he barely made it to the car. But he made it in, and he practically collapsed in the back.

“That was great!” he announced. “God, if you haven’t had her, you’re missin’ out.”

Michael started the car up, knowing that he could have had her.

“She can hold out forever. Makes you really have to work at it.”

“So that’s why you were in there so long?” Max asked from the front. He threw an empty bottle out the window into the parking lot and opened up the next one and began to chug it right away.

“No,” Kyle replied with a laugh. “I just wanted a few more minutes.”

Both Max and Kyle began to laugh, sounding stupid and completely drunk. “That’s funny.” Max commented. “You’re funny, Kyle.”

“No, Max,” Kyle told him. “You funny!”

They began to laugh again.

“You funny!”

“You funny!”

Finally, they stopped repeating themselves enough for Max to notice that they were still sitting in the parking lot. “Well, let’s go, Michael.” he said, hitting him on the arm. “We’ve got places to go.”

“Right.” he agreed. He pulled out of the parking lot and drove a little ways to a local hotel He got only one room, trying to save as much money as possible and figuring that his friends might need him to keep a watch over them in their drunken state, and registered under fake names, just in case someone was looking for them.

It took forever for Kyle and Max to fall asleep. They stayed awake for at least an hour making stupid jokes and playing around like little kids. A man from the room next door even came to knock on their door in frustration.

“I’m trying to sleep.” he said. “It’s kind of hard, though, when you and your buddies are making all this racket.”

“Sorry.” Michael apologized, glaring at the man dead-on. He wasn’t the type of person to back down, and he didn’t like to apologize a lot. “They’ve had a lot to drink.”

“Yeah!” Kyle shouted from inside.

“Lots of beer!” Max added.

The man shook his head disapprovingly and then left.

It took awhile for his friends to fall asleep, so Michael stayed up with them. When they finally did fall asleep, they had taken both the beds. He made himself as comfortable as he could on the floor and closed his eyes, prepared for the slumber that he had been waiting for since the very early hours of that morning, only to find that it was time for them to start moving again.

posted on 16-Jan-2003 7:34:20 PM
Sleep did not come that night. It was impossible. He had fallen asleep too late and had to get up too early. Now, they were in the car again, all three of them, as they always seemed to be. Kyle and Max both had killer hangovers, and Michael was left driving again. He drove slow, even though he preferred going fast. If a cop stopped them, they would be toast, as in through. Done. They had guns in their hands loaded with bullets if they ever needed protection, and there were a two broken beer bottles scattered on the floor, too.

“We’re almost there.” Michael announced as they neared their destination. The streets were becoming more crowded as they neared the tiny but profitable town of Roswell, one of the few towns in New Mexico that was worth hitting in the first place. Roswell wasn’t big. It was tiny in fact, but it was a big tourist spot, and local gas stations were sure to have lots of money. They had even blown off Santa Fe just for this tiny little town.

Max groaned from the passenger seat. “I don’t think I can do this today.” he complained. “I feel like shit.”

“I wonder why.” Michael didn’t bother to hide his feelings. “You two screwed around with strippers the whole night and got drunk. You think you’d feel better.”

“You don’t know how it feels, Michael.” Kyle told him from the back. He was sprawled out on the backseat looking like he was going to throw up.

“Hey, I was up all last night with you two!” he shouted. “I wanted to make sure you guys would be okay! I didn’t get any rest, either, you know!”

Max let out a huge burp and then groaned again. “Let’s just postpone it for tomorrow.” he suggested.

“No.” Michael decided. He put on gas, even though he knew it was best not to. “You said you could pull off a robbery in your sleep, Max. Now we’ll get the chance to see if you really can.”

Max grunted. “I’m not asleep.”

“You might as well be.”

So they rode in silence for a few more minutes, the only sounds coming from Kyle. He was mumbling something that was barely audible, and that Michael did not want to take the time to understand.

“What’s that, Kyle?” Max finally asked.

“Oh, I was just thinking about last night.” Kyle answered. “That girl. That stripper. She was sure a firecracker.”

Michael pressed down the gas harder. Why did Kyle always have to mention that girl? It wasn’t like she was that special. It wasn’t like he wanted to see her again. It was just a longing feeling deep inside of him for someone that he could just spend a few minutes of pleasure with and then spit right back out again and never remember her.

He wanted someone like that. He wanted to be like his friends and just be able to discard a girl just like that, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

“I wanted to take her with us.” Kyle continued.

“That good, huh?” Max asked as his eyes began to close. It was obvious Max was feeling like shit. He was closing his eyes, and it was still daytime.

“Stay awake, Max!” Michael shouted slapping him on the shoulder in the same way that he had done to him the day before. “Live in the day like normal people!”

“Shut up, Michael!” Max shouted back.

“Hey, you guys have gotta stay awake and help me watch for deer!” Michael continued to mimic Max’s earlier words.

“I said shut up!” Max shouted again. “Keep your eyes on the road!”

So Michael gave in and continued the struggle to keep his own eyes open while Kyle and Max continued to talk about the stripper.

“I would do anything for a bitch like that, that I could just get my hands on during any time of the day.” Kyle continued.

“Yeah,” Max agreed. “I sure wanna mess around with that red-head again tonight.”

“Too bad we don’t have a girl around here.” Kyle complained.

“Yeah.”

Michael was becoming fed up. He couldn’t listen to it anymore. “If you guys really want a girl that bad, all you’ve gotta do is kidnap one.” he told them. “My dad did it a lot when he got tired of my mom.”

At first, his friends were silent, but then, Max spoke. “You know, Michael,” he said, “that’s not really a bad idea. There’s plenty of hot girls in New Mexico, right? I mean, all we’ve gotta do is pick one up while we’re doing the robbery and bring her along with us.”

“Yeah, that could work.” Kyle sounded excited again, and Michael knew that he was getting the same greedy expression on his face that he got whenever he was thinking or talking about a girl.
“Gee, Michael, I didn’t think you were into the whole kidnaping thing.”

Michael sighed and reminded his friends that he had been doing this years longer than they had.

They talked it over a little more and decided that they would go for a blonde if possible, even though Kyle wanted a girl resembling the brunette and Max wanted a girl resembling the red-head. They decided that it was only fair that they go with a blonde since they couldn’t agree. For the most part, Michael stayed out of it. He had already come up with the idea. He didn’t want to take part in anymore of it. Inside, a part of him felt terrible. He was going to be tearing this girl, whoever it turned out to be, apart from her family and friends and the only life she had ever known. But another part of him was anticipating it all. Maybe this would be the girl he had been waiting for, the one that could satisfy his hunger and clench his thirst, just for a little while.

He felt awful for thinking such thoughts. This wasn’t him. It never had been him.

But it was now.

What was he becoming?

“Hey, right here.” Kyle said, pointing to a gas station that was, as expected, alien-themed.

“The Lift-Off gas station,” Max read aloud. “Catchy.”

“Okay,” Michael said, pulling the ban to a stop just outside. “This is it. We’ve gotta move fast and carefully. Roswell isn’t big. They could have cops over here to bust our butts in no time.”

“Relax, this isn’t gonna be any different than every other robbery we’ve ever gone through with.” Max said, slipping on his ski-mask. “Except for the girl.”

“Yeah,” Kyle agreed. “Who’s gonna get her?”

They all were silent for awhile, wondering who would get the best girl, or who would be able to do it the fastest. Then, both Kyle and Max turned to Michael. Neither said a word, but he both knew what they were thinking.

“Me?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Kyle replied. “Like you said, you’ve been doing this longer than we have.”

That was true.

Michael slipped on his ski mask, knowing deep down inside that his life would never be the same again.







Getting interesting, now, huh?











posted on 17-Jan-2003 8:27:59 AM
I'm so glad everyone's liking this story. I know I have so far. I'll be back to post the next part this afternoon.
posted on 17-Jan-2003 7:48:51 PM
Everything was normal, as everything always was, until it happened. Alex had been sitting in one of the booths in the corner gently strumming his guitar, and Randy had been yelling another employee out for being late, or so it sounded, and a few customers had just come in to pay for their gas, while a few others came in just to get some snacks for the drives ahead that awaited them. Maria had just finished handing a woman back her change when she looked out the window.

She saw three men rushing inside dressed all in black. They held guns in their hands, and ski-masks covered their faces. Before she could do or say anything, they were inside.

“Everyone down!” one of them shouted, pointing his gun out at everyone. “On the floor now!”

Maria was almost too shocked to do anything. She felt frozen in place, but when she felt Randy tugging on her arm, she got down as quickly as she could and laid down on her stomach.

“Give us all you’ve got!” two of the men shouted. They ran around and began to collect what the people in the station had on them. Sometimes, it was only a few dollars. Other times, hundreds. Some were forced to hand over their credit cards and jewelry.

“You!”

Maria looked up and found the tallest man towering over her, pointing the gun directly down at her. “Give me all of the money out of the cash register, now!”

Maria struggled to stand. Her legs were shaky and wobbly, and she felt like she couldn’t do anything. She fumbled with the lock on the register, trying to insert the key and get it open.

“Come on! Hurry!” he pressed.

She finally pulled it open and let him reach in. He took almost every penny so quickly that she hardly even noticed it was gone. When he was done, he only stared at her. All she could see was his eyes, but they bore down into hers like daggers, and she felt her heart pounding rapidly inside her chest. Was he going to hurt her?

“Michael, we’ve gotta go!” one of the two other men urged after they had finished collecting from the customers.

The man, obviously Michael, suddenly jumped over the counter and grabbed her by the arm. “You’re coming with me.” he told her. With that, he jumped back over the counter, and she had no choice but to go with him. He pulled her out the door, and she only managed one last look at Alex before they pulled her away completely and stuffed her into the backseat of the car.

They zoomed down the streets fast, almost too fast for Maria. She felt herself spinning out of control. Her hands were shaking, and her arms was hurting. The man still held her tightly, not willing to let go in case she decided to try something fancy. The sound of police cars could be heard close by, so the man at the wheel sped up. Soon, they weren’t driving, but flying, and Maria began to feel like she was going to be sick.

The last thing she remembered was watching the police car disappear behind her before she blacked out.

posted on 18-Jan-2003 2:49:26 PM
Henna, I just thought I should clarify that this isn't my fic. (I'd never be able to write like April can.) My best friend wrote this and I'm putting this up on this board for her cuz she's too busy writing it to do anything with it.

April hasn't told me anything about how she's gonna have this end, xmag, so I'm wondering about it just as much as you are!!


~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When she came to again, Maria was surprised to find that it was nighttime. They were far away from Roswell now, she was sure. They appeared to be somewhere in the desert now. It was possible that they were even in Texas or Arizona by now. The moon was shining in the sky, illuminating the faces of the other people in the car now. She looked around at them for the first time.

The man who had been at the wheel when they had left the Lift-Off was still there. She could tell by his structure. He had dark hair cut in a clean fashion, and his ears were a little large. They stuck out from his head, and his eyes seemed to be a little too small for his face.

The man in the passenger’s seat looked like a cowboy. His hair had that kind of wave in it that made it look like he had just worn a cowboy hat. He was nice-looking. Very clean cut. He didn’t look very old, though. Not as old as the dark haired one did.

And then she looked beside her at the man who had grabbed her arm and pulled her away. He was staring out the window and his eyes were almost closed. He looked tired, like he hadn’t gotten a decent rest in days. His hair was just the opposite of the other two men’s. His hair was untamed and unruly. It shot up from his head almost to the ceiling of the van, but it worked for him. There was a hint of stubble on his chin, too, like he hadn’t gotten a chance to shave for awhile, or had chosen not to.

They all looked normal.

She debated whether to say anything, and decided against it. She was too terrified to say anything, let alone to these guys. She could still see a gun in the cowboy’s hand, and she shivered at the thought of the damage that it could cause.

The man in the seat beside her—Michael, or whatever—seemed to notice that she was awake, because he glanced in her direction and then clamped his hand down on her arm again. “Don’t you think about going anywhere.” he warned her.

“I wasn’t.” she reassured him.

“Good.” He made no effort to loosen his grip on her arm, and she made no effort to say anything more.

“Is she awake?” the cowboy asked from the passenger’s seat.

“Yeah,” Michael told them.

The cowboy turned around and smiled at her. “Well, hell-o.” he greeted, cutting the word up into two syllables. “I’m Kyle VaLenti.” He turned to Michael, then, and smiled. “You sure got a good one.” he said a little more quietly.

Michael remained silent and continued to stare out the window.

“I’m Max.” the dark-haired man told her. “The better looking of the three.”

“You are not.” Kyle protested.

“Well, you sure aren’t.” Max shot back.

“Maybe we should just let the little lady choose for herself.” Kyle suggested. “What do you think?” He asked the question directly to Maria, and she didn’t know how to respond.

“I . . . I don’t think I could choose.” she stuttered.

Both Max and Kyle began to laugh from the front. “You can’t choose, huh?” Max said. “Well, then, maybe you’d just like both of us.”

Maria didn’t understand. Like both of them for what?

“You guys don’t even know her name.” Michael suddenly piped up.

“Either do you.” Kyle told him.

“Yeah, I do.” he said. “It’s . . . it’s . . .” He looked down at Maria for help. “What is it?”

“Maria.” she choked out.

“Maria what?” Max asked.

“Maria DeLuca.” She didn’t like the idea of letting these people in on what her name was. She didn’t want to give out a lot of personal information, but she didn’t see that she really had that much of a choice.

“Maria DeLuca,” Kyle echoed. “Well, Maria, sorry if we scared you back there. We’re just kinda desperate for a woman.”

She didn’t like the sound of that.

“Not now, you guys.” Michael told them quietly.

Max pulled the van over to rest on the side of the road and got out, motioning for Kyle to step out as well. “Stay with her.” he told Michael.

Maria watched Max and Kyle for a few seconds, trying to figure out what was so important that they didn’t want to discuss it in front of her. When she decided it was impossible to tell what they were talking about, she gave up watching them and just sat there and thought. Michael had begun to loosen his grip on her arm now, and the pain was subsiding.

She let herself think. She asked herself questions that she was scared to get answers to. One question, in particular, floated around her head, threatening to break loose at any moment. She turned to Michael and wondered if she should dare ask him. What would he do to her if he found it offensive in some sort of way for her to be speaking without permission?

He was staring out the window, a lost, tired expression plastered on his face. He looked like he was in deep thought, as well, so she blurted it out, hoping for the best.

“Have you ever killed anyone?”

He brought his eyes away from the outside world and looked down at her. She let her own gaze travel down to the floor, afraid to look him in the eyes again. She had already done that back at the Lift-Off, and now look where she was.

He was silent for a long time, and she wondered what he was thinking, what he wanted to do to her at the moment, and then he replied, “I haven’t.”

She let out a deep sigh, feeling relieved. But then another thought occurred to her, and she risked it again by asking it aloud. “But Max and Kyle . . .” She trailed off, hoping he would understand what it was she was trying to get out.

And he did. “They have.” he replied, like it was nothing. The relief she had felt sweep over her just a few seconds over her was replaced by a dark cloud of fear. If they had killed before, what was to stop them from killing her?

“Was it an accident or did they just . . .”

He didn’t let her finish. “You better just shut up, now.” he advised her.

She nodded in agreement and ran her free hand through her hair. So much had happened so fast, and now she was riding in a car with three criminals, two of which had killed. She didn’t know what they wanted with her, or why they had taken her to begin with. All she knew was that she was scared, and that she wanted to go home. She wanted to be in her mother’s arms, crying on her shoulder. She wanted to be with Liz and Alex, just goofing around, and she wanted to tell Billy that she was sorry for how she had treated him, because she knew now that she might never get the chance.

She didn’t want to be here, out in the middle of the desert with these people with no clue where they were going or what was to become of her.

She felt Michael let go of her arm completely, and she began to cry. She tried to muffle the sounds she made, but she knew that he could hear her. He tried to pretend that he didn’t, but she could see by the expression on his face that he knew, and that he chose to do nothing about it.

posted on 19-Jan-2003 5:48:07 PM
WARNING!! This does get a little dark. If you have problems reading anything involving rape of any kind, you may not want to read this part. But it is kinda important, and it's not that bad, and I thought it was good, so just READ IT!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Michael almost fell asleep on the drive to the hotel. Almost. Not quite. Sleep was not possible with the girl in the backseat beside him—Maria, or whatever the hell her name was. She was crying. Really crying. She was trying to be quiet, and she was actually doing a pretty good job, until she let loose one huge sob that seemed to wrack the whole car. Max and Kyle didn’t notice. They had the music blaring up in front, but Michael could tell. He ignored it for a little while.

But, soon, as they neared the hotel right along the New Mexico border, he couldn’t handle it anymore, knowing that he was the reason why she was crying, because it had been his idea, after all, to take a girl hostage. And it hadn’t been necessarily for Max and Kyle alone. It had been for him, too. He had been selfish. He wanted someone like that cute brunette in the strip club. That girl who he could use and not feel bad about it.

“Would you shut up?” he spat, clamping his hands down hard on her arms again.

She looked up at him with watery, scared eyes, and Max turned down the volume of the radio. Both he and Kyle turned around to the back to see what was going on.

“Keep your eyes on the road, Max.” Michael instructed.

Max sighed and returned his gaze to the road.

“Michael, calm down.” Kyle told him.

Michael almost yelled at him, too. He wanted to tell him that he didn’t feel the guilt that he was feeling at the moment, the overwhelming guilt, but he soon thought better of it and kept his mouth shut. Kyle knew what guilt was. He had killed someone. They had been somewhere in Washington at the time, and he had accidently pressed the trigger on his gun, and he had hit a young girl in the chest, and he had killed her. He hadn’t been the same for weeks afterwards, but Max had helped him get through it. Max, too, had killed someone, only he had killed on purpose. It had been for his own safety, and he knew how Kyle had felt.

Michael let go of Maria’s arms again and continued to looking out the window. Her crying ceased to exist after that, and she was only silent. She made no move to try to get out of the car, so he made no move to hold onto her.

They reached the hotel a short while after. It was 10:45, and he was tired. He had gone days without sleep now, and it was catching up with him.

“Snazzy,” Kyle commented, getting out of the car and looking over the hotel. He was right. It was very big and very fancy, and probably very expensive, but they could afford it. After all, they had just pulled off another big robbery today. It was amazing how much money tourist carried around with them, especially to tiny towns like Roswell.

Michael stepped out of the car and motioned for Maria to follow him. He immediately latched onto her arm again once the door was closed, because they were outside now in the open with no car to keep her in. He surveyed the hotel himself, noticing how it was built in a Mexican style with all the rooms surrounding one enclosed fountain and garden area. He could faintly make out the sound of salsa music from inside, obviously from some kind of party. The aroma of spicy food drifted through the air, calling to him. He was so hungry. He decided that he would have to get something to eat before turning in for the night.

“Kyle, talk to Michael.” Max ordered, taking Maria from Michael’s grasp. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, and she stiffened visibly under his hold, but she walked into the hotel with him as calmly and collectively as she could.

“Okay, so, Max and I came up with a plan back there in the desert.” Kyle began when they were out of earshot. “We decided that since it was your idea to kidnap this girl in the first place that you should get to have her first.”

Michael sighed. He didn’t know if he really wanted her anymore. There was still a need, a want, a hunger lurking deep down inside him, but it had begun to fade now, replaced by that awful feeling of guilt. “I’m really tired. Maybe you should have her first.” he suggested.

“No, no, you deserve her.” Kyle protested. “Believe me, dude, I want her, but she’s yours first. Take her for tonight and screw her as long as you please, just so you get her ready for Max and I. Escort her over to our place whenever you’re done and we’ll take our turn.”

Michael stuffed his hands in his pockets, mentally searching for a way out.

“Just look at her, man.” Kyle said, pointing to the backside of the girl as she and Max entered the hotel. “You know you want her.”

Did he? His feelings were so mixed up and turbulent at the moment that he didn’t know what he wanted. He needed something to dull the pain inside of him, some sort of drug.

She was just what he needed. A few minutes of hot sex with her would surely numb him up so that he wouldn’t have to go through such turmoil again.

“Fine.” he agreed at last. “I’ll bring her over to your room when I’m done.”

Kyle nodded. “Great. Now, you gotta work her up real good for us, but not too much. We still gotta have a little bit of a challenge.”

He watched his friend walk at a brisk pace into the building to tell Max the news. Max would never believe that Michael had agreed to this. He had never done anything of the sort in his life.

He trailed behind. When he did get inside, two rooms were waiting for them.

“Here’s your key.” Max handed Michael a tiny little card to one of the rooms as they walked down the hallway. “Maria, you’ll be staying with Michael for awhile.” He winked at Michael and smiled at Kyle. Kyle smiled back. Michael did nothing. He didn’t know what to do. But he would. Soon, he would. Because, soon, he would be just like his friends. He wouldn’t worry about what was right or wrong. He would just live a life of darkness and not care about it.

At least Max and Kyle had fun and enjoyed living the way they did. With help, maybe Michael could be like that, too. Just one quick little tryst . . .

Michael stopped at the door that was pointed out by the card and watched as Max and Kyle headed one door down to their room. He fumbled with the key, wondering why the damn lock was made so complex in the first place, and noticed that Maria was standing beside him. She was there physically, but her mind seemed to be somewhere else entirely, and she was staring down the empty hallway with a thoughtful expression on her face.

“Don’t even think about trying to run off.” he warned her. “I’ve got a gun in my pocket and I’m not afraid to use it.”

“You said you’ve never killed anyone.” she reminded him, turning her head to look into his eyes.

“Not yet.”

She didn’t seem scared. “You wouldn’t shoot me in a hotel.” She said, sure of herself.

“Smart, smart girl.” He finally forced the door open and walked in, motioning for her to follow. She did, and left that silly hallway thought behind. She was right. He wouldn’t have shot her. Either would Kyle. But Max might have.

She tried the light-switch right away, only to find that it wasn’t working. “Great.” she mumbled.

“That’s alright.” he said. “We’re just gonna go to sleep, anyway, aren’t we?”

“Yeah,”

She sat down on the edge of one of the two beds, testing it for comfortableness. She bounced up and down a bit and then laid back on her back.

“You taking that one?” he asked.

She nodded. She looked so tired, like she was capable of falling asleep right then and there. He couldn’t let that happen.

After throwing his jacket down on the floor, Michael lifted his shirt over his head, hoping to catch her attention with his tan chest and rock hard muscles. She didn’t flinch. She didn’t even seem to realize that he was now standing with no shirt less than three feet away from her.

“You’ll learn to like it.” he told her, sitting down on the edge of the bed beside her. “Max loves it. Kyle does, too.”

“Do you?”

He was surprised by her question. She was outgoing for such a tiny little thing. She had a mind of her own, and she wasn’t afraid to voice her thoughts.

“Sometimes.” he replied.

She sat up beside him, then, running her fingers through her hair. “I could never like this.” she said. “It’s not who I am.”

He sighed. “It wasn’t who I wanted to be.”

She looked at him with a confused and puzzled expression. “What does that mean?” she asked.

“Nothing.” he replied quickly. He didn’t need to get all sappy with a girl that he barely knew.

She clearly knew that it had meant something, but she didn’t push the issue any farther. They sat on the edge of the bed in what was a very uncomfortable silence to Michael for a few more seconds until he felt the urge to speak again.

“It’s not all that bad.” he continued. “All those movies on TV that depict what this life is really like . . . they don’t depict it accurately. Max and Kyle and I, we have a lot of fun together. They’re like my family now. I don’t know what I’d do without them.” He reached up and placed his hand on her shoulder. “You’ll be fine with us.” he reassured her. “Trust me.”

She grunted. “How can I trust you?” she shrieked, rising to her feet. “I don’t even know you! I mean, you kidnaped me and took me away from my family and my friends and the only home I’ve ever known in one horrible moment, and now we’re God only knows how far away and I’m freakin’ terrified that I’m gonna get hurt or killed or worse!”

“What could be worse?” he asked, surprised that she was being this outspoken to him, the man who had, as she had established earlier, kidnaped her.

“That’s not the point!” she shot back.

“Well, what is the point?”

“I don’t know.” she seemed to be weakening in her argument. “I can hardly even think right now.” She ran her hand across her forehead and sighed.

“Sit down,” he said, reaching up and grabbing her hand. She let him, and willingly sat down beside him again.

“I just wanna go home.” she admitted.

He felt the guilt rising inside of him again, and he knew he had to do something about it fast. He turned her towards him and gazed down into her eyes. She avoided her gaze by looking at the carpet. He used his thumb to tilt her chin up so that he could meet her eyes. They were sparkling with tears again, threatening to spill over. He ran his fingers through her hair and leaned down slowly, preparing to touch his lips to hers.

“What are you doing?” she asked when they were only inches apart.

“I’m trying to kiss you.” he replied. He leaned in again, only to have her push him away with surprising strength.

“Don’t.” she told him sternly.

“Just come here.” he told her, grabbing her arm again, which he suspected was now very bruised by the way people had been grabbing her.

“Stop it!” she shouted, hitting him on his shoulder with her tiny fists.

“Come on.” He encircled his arms around her waist and brought her down on the bed, falling on top of her.

“Get off of me!” she shouted, hitting him some more.

He forced her arms above her head and held them together with one of his hands so that she couldn’t hit him anymore. He straddled her hips with his legs so that she could not resist. “I don’t think so.” he said, throwing her shoes to the floor and bringing his free hand up to the uniform she was still wearing from the gas station. He undid the buttons quickly and then tore it off of her, ripping it into shreds. She screamed out in horror as the air hit the exposed parts of her body.

“Please,” she whimpered. “Please, don’t!”

Something about her words caught his attention. He hadn’t known the girl very long, but it just didn’t sound like her. In fact, it sounded so unlike Maria that he forced himself to look at her face.

She didn’t look scared. She looked terrified, like she had said she was. She was crying, almost as much as she had been in the car. Her body shook with each sob beneath him, and he let go of her wrist bound above her head. She slowly brought them down her sides to rest over her naked stomach. “Please,” she whispered again.

He surveyed the scene. This innocent girl was laying underneath him with barely any clothes on at all. She would have looked fit to be one of the girls at the strip club had she not been crying and had she not looked so frightened.

What had he become?

Slowly, he got up off of her. He offered her his hand, willing to help her up, as well, but she refused. She stood up on her own and wrapped her arms around herself.

He had to get her out of there. She wasn’t safe there with him.

Remembering what he and Kyle had talked about, he grabbed her arm again, but not as forcefully this time. She gasped when he touched her and didn’t even bother to fight back. He pulled her with him out the door and into the brightly lit hallway. He opened the door to Max’s and Kyle’s room, which they had left unlocked just for certain purposed, and threw her inside.

“Stay in there.” he ordered. He reached in and pulled the door shut so that he was on one side of the door and she was on the other. It didn’t matter what happened to her now, because she wasn’t with him. He wasn’t a monster, and he wasn’t going to put her through that, but it wasn’t his fault if someone else did.

posted on 20-Jan-2003 12:01:56 PM
BUMP *bounce* BUMP *bounce* BUMP *bounce* BUMP
posted on 22-Jan-2003 8:28:21 AM
I'll be back to post the next part this afternoon. BUMP BUMP
posted on 22-Jan-2003 5:00:22 PM
BUMP!! *bounce* BE BACK SOON TO POST!! I PROMISE!!
posted on 23-Jan-2003 8:29:59 AM
I promise I'll post this afternoon!! BUMP!!
posted on 24-Jan-2003 8:23:15 AM
Oh, my, God!! I'm soooooo sorry!! I know I promised I'd update, but I got hooked into watching the reruns on sci fi, and I watched 285 South four times, so I didn't have time!! Here's the next part, though!! Sooo sorry, once again!!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

She wrapped her arms around herself, feeling more vulnerable and naked than she ever had before. Max and Kyle were laying in their beds talking and laughing, and they each held a glass of wine in their hands, a sign that they had spent some more of the money that they had taken from the innocent bystanders at the Lift-Off, and ordered room service to bring some up.

Maria felt wrong here in this place with these people. Here she was, standing in a tiny, dark hotel room with two men who she had just recently learned had killed, and she was hardly wearing anything. Because Michael had tried to rape her. He had sat down and talked to her, and, for only a minute, she thought that he might be trying to communicate with her. She had been wrong.

“Well, well, well, look what we have here.” Kyle was the first to notice Maria’s presence. “Did Michael throw you out.”

She didn’t feel like she could speak.

“Did you have a good time?” Max asked, taking another sip of his wine and then setting it down on the table beside his bed. “Michael’s kinda new at that kind of thing.”

She shuddered. They had been in on it. They had known. When Max and Kyle had stepped out of the car to talk in the desert, they had been devising a plan. It all made sense now. She should have known.

She wished, now, that she would have taken a chance and run down that hallway while Michael had been fiddling with the door. At least, that way, she might have had a chance at escape. But she had let him intimidate her with his fancy talk and piercing eyes.

She took a quick glance at the door to the room. She wondered if she could make it if she tried. Max and Kyle were in their beds. They wouldn’t have time to jump up and come after her if she did get away, right? She could try for it now. But what if something went wrong and she couldn’t get the door open or she tripped in the hall or some stupid thing like that?

“But Max and Kyle . . .”

“They have.”

They had killed, and she knew somewhere deep down that they wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. Or at least Max wouldn’t. She could see it in her eyes. He wouldn’t even stop to think about it. He would do anything if it was for his own good.

Kyle might not be so quick to act. He seemed different than Max, or at least a little different.

She resisted the urge to take the chance.

“You look like you’ve gone through something pretty rough in there.” Max said. He threw his covers aside and rose to his feet. Kyle did so, too, and they began to walk slowly towards her. “Maybe we can make you feel better.”

Maria wrapped her arms tighter around herself. “No,” she whimpered.

“Oh, come on. We’re real good at it.” Kyle tried to persuade her. He reached out and placed a rough and calloused hand on her shoulder, and shuddered. Max’s hand soon came up to touch her other shoulder, and she tried to back away.

“Please, don’t do this to me.” she begged, hoping it would work on them. It seemed to have worked on Michael. He had stopped.

“We can make you forget about all your troubles.” Kyle promised.

“No!” she shouted. She jerked away from them completely only to run into the wall behind her.

“Don’t think you’re leavin’ us.” Max hissed. His eyes seemed to glow with an eerie yellow, and he sounded like a snake when he spoke. He moved forward and gripped her arms with his hands, hurting her again, squeezing her close together. She cried out in pain, but he ignored her. “You’re ours tonight.”

Maria tried to collect herself as much as possible and took two deep breaths. Then, with all that she could master inside of her, she screamed as loud as she possibly could.

But Max only put an end to her screaming by bringing his lips down to cover hers so that she could make no sounds. She squirmed under his hold and tried to pull away, but his lips held onto hers like suction.

She felt Kyle’s hands tracing up and down her legs, eventually to her thighs. He let his fingers linger along the thin strap and then trailed them up her stomach and to the center in her chest where her breast were joined.

She tried to fight back as they hauled her to the bed and laid her down. She felt her head hit something soft and realized that it was Kyle’s lap. He placed his hands on both sides of her head to keep her from looking either direction. “Shh,” he whispered as Max got on the bed and straddled her hips in the same fashion Michael had done. “It’ll all be over soon.”

She saw Max lean down, and she soon felt his lips on her stomach, his tongue circling in and out of her bellybutton. She had always thought that a guy kissing her stomach would be romantic, and she had often fantasized about it. But not about this. This was not what she wanted. Not from him. Not like this.

She began to weaken and give up as they touched her and kissed her. She knew she didn’t stand a chance against two big, strong men who weighed twice as much as her and could do anything they wanted to her wherever they wanted. There was no point. She was only wasting her energy.

She let out one final cry for help until Kyle’s hand clamped down over her mouth, and she had no choice but to let them do what they chose.

posted on 24-Jan-2003 12:04:28 PM
hmm . . . the suspense builds*wink*
posted on 26-Jan-2003 1:34:15 PM
xmag, the story actually starts getting lighthearted a ways into it and kinda funny. That's about the only rape scene that you'll come across in here.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Michael leaned against the wall, listening to the sounds coming from the next room. Maria made occasional sounds, though none were of pleasure. All of them were of pain an agony, and she finally ceased altogether. Once in a while, Kyle or Max would say something, too, not as loud, of course, but there sounds were different. They were having a good time.

The guilt arose deep within him again. Not only had he kidnaped that girl, but he had tried to rape her, and, when he had failed, he had tossed her over to Max and Kyle so that they could have their ways with her, because she didn’t matter to him anymore. She never had. She was just a stupid girl that would have to deal with some pain in life like everyone else did. Nothing more. Nothing less.

That wasn’t like him at all.

He didn’t like what he was turning into.

He had to do something.

Michael quickly bolted away from the wall and over the bed. He tore through the door and came to Max’s and Kyle’s. It wasn’t locked, just the way he had left it. He swung it open and a horrendous scene was revealed on the other side.

Maria was trapped on the bed. Kyle was in the process of unzipping his pants from behind her, and Max was kissing his way down her thigh in the front. Kyle’s hand was placed over her mouth so that she couldn’t scream. But he wasn’t too late, because she was still wearing what he had left her with, and though she already looked worn out, she was still there.

He moved forward, and his friends stopped what they were doing at once. They looked up at him. Kyle smiled. “Wanna join the fun, Michael?” he asked.

Max only glared at him as if he sensed what was coming.

“Get away from her.” he ordered.

Kyle grunted. “Hell no.”

Michael took a quick glance at Maria. She was shaking as she sobbed, and the sobs shook her whole body. Her eyes were closed, as if she couldn’t bare to see anymore. “Just leave her alone.” he tried again. She opened her eyes when she heard his voice and stared at him with a questioning expression on her face. There was fear in her eyes, and something told him that she didn’t particularly trust him, either.

“You already got your turn.” Max said. “Now it’s ours.” He bent down again and placed a hard kiss on the inside of Maria’s thigh. She moaned, but not from ecstasy, from discomfort.

“I said get off of her!” Michael shouted. He grabbed Max by his bared neck, for his shirt had ended up on the floor by now, and lifted him up with superior strength to meet his eyes.

“Not a chance in hell.” Max bent down again to start torturing her some more, but Michael reached down, too, and stopped him again. He brought his face up to look at him and then swung his fist out in the air, slamming it onto his face with a loud thud. He flew to the ground.

“Whoa, dude!” Kyle exclaimed.

“You, too.” Michael ordered.

Kyle took one look down at Max, who now had a bloody lip and an already puffy eye, and saw him holding his jaw. He seemed to have no problem getting away from Maria, then. He re-zipped his pants and moved as far away from her as he could get. “She’s yours.” he said, throwing his hands up in the air offensively.

Michael returned his attention to Maria, then, who was still laying flat on her back on the bed. Her eyes were open now, though. “Come on.” he told her, extending his hand.

She remained motionless, and the only thing her eyes showed was fear. Complete and utter fear. Michael didn’t blame her. She was having to choose between two evils. Stay with the bad boys who were trying to have a threesome with her against her will, or go with the man who had tried to take advantage of her only minutes before?

Slowly and reluctantly, she reached up and took her hand. He pulled her up gently, noticing that her arms were bruised from all of the rough contact. He guided her out of the room and away from Max and Kyle as fast as he could.

He opened the door to their room again, then, and told her to step on inside. She seemed reluctant again, but she soon stepped in agreeably. The fire and passion that he had once seen was gone from her, only to be replaced with sorrow and quiet. She didn’t even fight back on anything anymore. She made no effort to look down the hall to contemplate running away. She walked in and sat down on the bed, but not the one that she had sat down on before. She looked so cold. He searched the floor for her uniform, but it was dark, and he could barely see. He felt around, though, and found it eventually, but it was torn to shreds. He had torn it to shreds.

He found his jacket on the floor in a big heap where he had left it, and brought it over to her. He laid it out in front of her, and she reached up and took it hesitantly. She put it on almost at once, covering her exposed body up and enjoying its warmth. She didn’t say a word, so he did.

“I’m not gonna hurt you.” he told her. “I promise.”

“How can you expect me to believe that?” she choked out. Her voice was scratchy, due to all of the crying.

“I can’t.” he said. “But I want you to.”

“Well, I don’t. So why don’t you just make it easy on me and undress me and get it over with already.” She opened the jacket up so that he would have had free access to her if he had wanted it. A lot of guys would have wanted it, too. Some men would kill just to have a girlfriend with such a gorgeous body.

“I’m not like Max and Kyle.” he tried to tell her.

The fire returned in her, then, blazing at full force. “Oh, you’re not, huh?” she shrieked, rising to her feet. “You tried to rape me, too, you know, and you were the one who threw me in with them in the first place!”

“But I was also the one who got you out.”

“That doesn’t matter!” She closed the jacket around herself again and grunted. The fear was edged out of her eyes, replaced by anger and rage. “You’re not a hero, so don’t try to be one.”

“I know I’m not a hero.” he acknowledged. “But I don’t wanna be like them! They’re my friends, practically my brothers, and I love them, but I don’t wanna be like them!”

Something softened in her eyes, but the rage was not completely wiped away.

“This wasn’t me!” he continued, trying desperately to get her to understand. “The person that you saw tonight isn’t the person that I am!”

“Then who was it?” she asked.

“I . . .” He didn’t have an answer. “I don’t know.”

She closed her eyes and turned around so that her back was to him. “I just don’t understand this.” she cried. “Why did you have to take me? Why me?”

He didn’t have an answer to that one, either. “I’m so sorry.” he apologized.

She choked back a sob and turned around to face him again. Her eyes were shimmering with tears. “I wanna believe that.” she said. “But I can’t.”

He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “What can I do,” he asked, “to show you that, that isn’t who I am, to show you that I’m not really like that.”

“You can let me go.” she said immediately, without hesitation.

He glanced at the door and then back at her. “I can’t.” he told her sadly. “I’m sorry, I just can’t.”

She raised her eyebrows in confusion.

“Max and Kyle would kill me.” he tried to explain before she could spew. “Or at least Max would. You don’t understand what he’s like sometimes.”

“Oh, I understand.” she said. “You couldn’t have possibly forgotten what was going on in there.”

He hadn’t. He had a feeling he never would.

“I know what he’s like sometimes.” she said. “I’ve experienced it.”

He sighed. “I want to.” he said. “I wanna let you go. I really do. But I can’t.”

“Then you’re selfish.” she concluded. “You put your own life ahead of others’.”

“Who wouldn’t?” he spat. “Everyone looks out for themselves, Maria. That’s just the way things are.”

She seemed surprised that he had actually said her name. To his recollection, he hadn’t said it once, and she was probably thinking the same thing.

“I guess you’re right.” she finally gave in. The fire diminished once again from her eyes and she sat down on the bed. “I guess I’m just stuck here forever with all of you, then.”

“Not forever.” he told her.

“Well, how long?” she asked, curious. “I’m just wondering, you know. I had a life back in Roswell. Not the best life, but better than this. I had a wonderful mother. Sure, she was young and a bit of a hippie, but she loved me, and I loved her, too. And I had friends. Liz and Alex. They’re practically like my brother and sister, kind of like Max and Kyle are to you. Family, you know? And then there was Billy. My boyfriend. I haven’t seen him for days, and you tore me away from Roswell before I even got a chance to tell him that I was sorry.”

He didn’t bother to ask what she had been sorry for. “You don’t need to talk about them in the past tense.” he told her. “You’ll see them again.”

“No I won’t.” She sounded sure. “I know I won’t. You don’t have to lie to me.”

“I’m not lying.” he told her.

She didn’t seem to believe him, yet, and why should she? He had given her no reason to after what he had tried to pull.

“I’m not going to sleep tonight.” she announced in an abrupt change of conversation. “I never know what you might try to do to me in my sleep.”

“Maria . . .” He said her name again.

“Michael . . .” she mimicked. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and sat up straight. “I guess I’ll just have to stay up all night to make sure that you don’t try anything.”

He sighed and crossed his own arms in front of his chest in the same way she had. “Fine.” he agreed. “Then I guess I’ll just have to stay up all night to make sure that you don’t try to sneak out. Can’t have that. I’d be dead.”

“Good.” she mumbled.

So they sat there like that until the early hours of dawn. They didn’t make eye-contact. That always seemed to end up with something bad happening. So they avoided each other’s eyes as they fought to stay awake, until they each fell asleep just before the sun began to rise.



posted on 26-Jan-2003 4:49:11 PM
I'll post by tomorrow.
posted on 27-Jan-2003 6:00:18 PM
The sun was bright, and it came in through the window, slanting in a certain direction that it hit her eyes exactly. That was how Maria woke up the next morning, and she really wished that she hadn’t. Her dreams had been beautiful, the only way she had been able to escape this living nightmare. She had dreamt of Roswell and her family and friends and the home that she thought she would never miss.

But when she woke up again, she wasn’t in Roswell. She found herself back in that hotel room again. Michael was asleep on the bed beside her, snoring lightly with his back to her.

The shabby little room didn’t seem so bad in the daylight. It was almost decent.

Decent was something that she was not, however. She still had Michael’s jacket wrapped around her, and she only had her undergarments on underneath. She pulled the jacket tighter around her body, enjoying the warmth and security that it provided, even if it was his jacket.

Maria rubbed her eyes and ran her fingers through her hair as sleep began to drift away from her and reality returned. She took the ponytail holder out of her hair. Somewhere along the trip, her ponytail had fallen out.

There was a knock on the door, a loud, heavy knock that could only belong to Max or Kyle. Most likely Max. Maria shuddered.

Slowly, Michael awoke. He rubbed his eyes sleepily, too, and took one look at her. He opened his mouth as if he were about to say something when the person on the other side of the door knocked again. He closed it abruptly and then stood up on unsteady legs and made his way towards the door.

Maria sat back and quietly listened to little bits of their conversation, trying to figure out what they were going to do to her now.

She hoped they wouldn’t kill her.







Short part, I know, but I have to keep you all waiting!!

posted on 28-Jan-2003 8:27:19 AM
I'll be back with more this afternoon!!
posted on 28-Jan-2003 6:47:54 PM
BUMP!!
posted on 29-Jan-2003 12:43:30 PM
I'm at school now. I'll post by this afternoon!!
posted on 29-Jan-2003 5:16:13 PM
Sorry, I can't post right now, but I'll be back by tomorrow with a new part, and I PROMISE you all that!!
posted on 30-Jan-2003 8:38:27 AM
After looking through the peephole first, just to make sure that the person on the other side of the door wasn’t a cop or something—you could never be too cautious in situations like they were
in—Michael unlocked the door and swung it open to reveal a tired-looking Kyle and an angry-looking Max on the other side. He had been dreading facing these two since the incident the night before, and he didn’t know what to say.

“We’re leaving in ten minutes.” Max said, breaking the silence. He had a black eye from Michael’s punch, and his bottom lip looked a little overly large. “You and your bitch better be out in the car soon, or we’re leaving without you.”

Michael sighed. “Her name’s Maria.” He hoped that she wasn’t listening to them from inside. The last thing she would want is to be called his bitch.

Yeah, I know.” Max said. “I heard you screamin’ it last night.

Michael felt like reaching out and hitting his best friend again, but he chose not to. The last thing they needed was to draw more attention to themselves. “We didn’t do anything like that.” he tried to explain.

“Whatever.” Max seemed to have lost interest, and in seconds, he and Kyle were both striding down the hall in silence. Michael shut the door once they had left and leaned up against it. His eyes finally settled on Maria. She was sitting on the second bed with the jacket wrapped so tightly around herself that it looked like she might cut off her circulation. Her hair was down, now, instead of in the shabby ponytail it had been in the night before.

“We’ve gotta get ready.” he told her. “Ten minutes.”

“Where are we going?” she dared to ask.

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Max is usually the one who decides where to go and why. I come up with the plans for the robberies.”

“And kidnapings.” she added quietly.

A pang of guilt hit him in the chest at her words, and he tried to ignore it. “Better hurry.” he advised, reaching down and finding his shirt on the floor after noticing that he was still shirtless from the night before. “They’ll leave without us.”

“Do you really think they would do that?” she asked. “I thought you said that they were like your family.”

“They are.” he said. “But after what happened last night, I wouldn’t doubt it.”

She visibly stiffened at his mention of the night before and what had happened, so he changed the subject quickly.

“Wanna shower?” he asked.

She looked at him with a mortified expression.

“No, no!” He realized that that had come out completely wrong. “Not with me, I mean. Alone. Just you.”

She grunted. “Not with you this close to me.”

He ran his hands through his hair and shook his head at her words. “You always have to see the dark side of things, don’t you.”

“Gee, I was just kidnaped. You think I’d be all spunky and happy right now.”

The girl was quick with the comebacks, that was for sure, and she kept him on his toes, waiting to see what it was that she would come up with to say next. “It’s just that you make me sound like a horrible person.”

“That’s ‘cause you are a horrible person.”

“I may not be a knight in shining armor, but I’m not completely bad, either!” he shouted. “Look at Max and Kyle.”

“Turning on your family?” she asked, curious.

“They’re not my family.”

“I thought you said they were like your brothers.”

He had said that. “I don’t know what they are to me.” he finally admitted. “Friends.”

“How can you have friends like that?” she wondered aloud.

“They’re all I have!” he shouted.

She seemed to back down, then, and she spoke softer and slower. “Your parents . . .”

“Dead.” he cut her off.

“Oh.” Something in her seemed to click into place, and she dropped back even more. “I’m sorry.” she apologized. It was the only time he could remember her being civil around him.

“It’s not like it really matters.” he continued. “My dad’s the reason why I’m here now, anyway.”

She was interested again. “What do you mean?” she asked.

“Never mind.” He didn’t want to get into that story with a girl he barely knew and had tried to rape the night before. “We’ve gotta get going. They’re waiting.”

“I don’t wanna go out there with them.” she said.

“So you’d rather stay in here with me?” he asked.

She seemed to think about it for a minute, and then replied, “I wanna go home.”

“I know you do.” he said. “So do I. I just don’t know where home is.” He sighed and stood up, continuing to get ready even more. It never took him long to get ready. Whatever he looked like in the morning was usually what he looked like when it came time for bed anyway.

“Why do you do that?” she suddenly asked.

“Do what?” he asked. He saw her coming up behind him in the mirror with his jacket still tightly wrapped around her as he was combing his hair.

“Talk like that.”

“Like what?” He hadn’t the slightest clue what she was talking about.

“Well, you say something that just leaves me hanging, and I keep wondering what it is that you mean. I can’t figure out what you’re trying to say because you use such fancy word-work and big words.”

He almost laughed, but didn’t. “Why do you care what I have to say?” he asked.

“Because you’re trying to get something across to me when you talk.” she continued. “There’s some kind of point. Some message. I just can’t decipher it.”

“Who’s using big words now?” he asked.

“Decipher is not a big word.” she said. “Now, palindrome, that’s a big word.”

“Do you have any clue what a palindrome is?” he asked.

“Not really.” she admitted.

He allowed himself to smile. He felt the muscles near his mouth stretching, for he hadn’t smiled in days, and he had begun to forget what it felt like.

“Better get ready.” he told her again.

“Well, I’m at a slight disadvantage.” she reminded him. “I don’t have anything to wear. Someone demolished my uniform last night.”

The memory of pinning Maria down underneath himself on the bed flashed through Michael’s mind. She was such a tiny little thing that it was hard for her to fight back. He could have gotten anything that he had wanted.

But now, he was beginning to realize that he didn’t want what he had wanted the night before anymore. Maria was a hard person to get to know. She didn’t let people in to discover who she was, and even now, he hadn’t discovered who she was, and he suspected that it would be a long time, if ever, before he really did get to know her. But she was so feisty and opinionated and head-strong that one couldn’t help but like that about her.

“Then we’ll have to go shopping today.” he told her. “Get you a new outfit, get me some new clothes.”

“Really?” she seemed interested again, like the idea of shopping appealed to her. “And do you use money to pay for the things you buy.”

“Of course not.” he replied. “We’re masters at the art of stealing.”

“So, if you guys get caught, then I’ll get caught with you.”

“Yep.” He knew where this was going. “But don’t think about trying to get caught on purpose. Max and Kyle can escape the cops better than anyone I know, and I’ll be outta there before you can count to two. And I’ll be taking you with me.”

“And why will you be taking me with you?” she asked.

He didn’t know why. There was something about her that he didn’t want to be without. “Because you know too much about us.” he lied. “I couldn’t risk letting that kind of information get out.”

“I wouldn’t say anything.” she promised.

“Yes, you would.” Michael reached out and opened the door to the room, allowing Maria to go out first. “You’ve got the biggest mouth ever, DeLuca.”

“Who said you could call me DeLuca?” she asked.

“Me.”

“But I didn’t.”

“Exactly.”

She sighed. “See, there you go again. What are you trying to say?”

“I don’t know. What is there to say anyway?”

“What?”

“Words only go so far to express what you really mean.” He spoke in riddles on purpose now, just so she could try to figure it out.

And even though he was walking behind her, Michael Guerin could see the trace of a small smile playing on Maria DeLuca’s lips.












I bolded my favorite line cuz I just love it!! lol

posted on 30-Jan-2003 12:39:25 PM
I just love that part!! It was funny because this one guy asked me what my name was as a joke and I was like, "Well, you should know. You were screamin' it last night!!"


posted on 31-Jan-2003 7:02:31 PM
BUMP!! Feedback, people, feedback!!
posted on 31-Jan-2003 10:04:55 PM
I tell her everyday to keep her writing!! I'll be back to post the next part tomorrow if possible.
posted on 1-Feb-2003 10:41:23 AM
BUMP!!
posted on 1-Feb-2003 6:19:46 PM
Her heart began to pound rapidly in her chest as she neared the car and saw Max and Kyle again. They looked mad, especially Max. Kyle seemed too tired to really be functioning properly. Max was glaring at both her and Michael, though, and soon he grinned a wicked grin that sent a chill through Maria’s bones.

“Well, well, well, look who it is.” Max greeted unpleasantly. “Aren’t you gonna hold onto her, Guerin? She might try to run off.”

“She won’t.” He sounded so sure, and even Maria knew that she wouldn’t. She felt safer with them than trying to run away. She knew they would chase her or shoot at her or something like that. It seemed, now, that her best option was just to stay put and see what happened.

Max circled around her, and she stood completely still. His hands ran up and down her arms, and she shuddered with a sharp intake of breath. He seemed to notice, because he began to snicker.

“It’s such a pleasure to look at her,” he commented, “but she can’t stay. If we’re not gonna use her for sex, then she’s not good for anything.”

“What do you mean? What are you gonna do?” Maria asked frantically.

“You’re no good to use anymore.” Max replied. “I’ve got a gun in my pocket and I’m not afraid to use it.”

They’re going to kill me! Maria realized. She felt herself losing control on the inside, and her feet were itching with the desire to run, but she stayed put.

“You don’t wanna do that.” Michael soon spoke up. “We don’t kill people. That’s not who we are.”

“Let’s review.” Max suggested. “I’ve killed people. Kyle’s killed people. It seems as if that’s not who you are.” He reached down into his pocket and began to feel his gun suggestively. Maria could see that outline of it through his pants, and she closed her eyes. Soon, she would be dead. Her mother would find out and come rushing to wherever it was that they were. Alex and Liz would find out and come to see her as well, crying hysterically all the while. Billy would find out and his heart would break.

“That’ll only cause more trouble.” Michael told him. “Someone will find out that we did it, and soon the cops will be tracking us down in no time. Do you really wanna take that risk?”

Max glared at him and avoided answering his question. “Defending her, huh? She musta really been good to you last night.”

Maria saw Michael’s fists clenching, and she silently prayed that he would help her. She couldn’t avoid it by herself. She wasn’t strong enough, big enough.

“She’s only more money to spend and another mouth to feed.” Max reminded him. “She’s only a liability.”

“Then what’s that make you?” Michael asked him.

They were silent for a long time. They each stared at each other, refusing to back down. Kyle seemed to finally be waking up, but he chose to stay out of the conversation. Maria wished he would jump in at her defense, but he had no reason to.

“You know, Michael,” Max said at last, breaking the silence. “I’ve got you all figured out. You like to pretend that you’re a good person, that you’re a hero, but you’re not. You like to think that just because you’ve never killed anyone, you’re a good guy. You like to believe that someday, you’ll get married and have kids and live in a cozy little house with a white-picket fence out front, but you won’t. You’re not a hero, Michael, and you’ll never live a hero’s life. In fact, you’re anything but a hero. It’s your fault that this girl’s gonna be dead in a few minutes. After all, it was your idea to kidnap her in the first place.”

Don’t back down, Michael, please! Maria begged silently. She found it odd that she was cheering for the man that had put the moves on her the night before, but he seemed to be her only hope now.

“That has nothing to do with this.” he said.

“Oh, but it does.” Max said. “In fact, everything somehow manages to come back to you. The reason we’ve got this girl now is you. The reason we’re gonna kill her is you.”

“Shut the hell up, Max!” Michael shouted.

“Why should I?”

Michael reached out and pushed him to the ground with strength that he had exhibited the night before in the hotel. Max hit the ground with a thud, and his gun went flying out of his pockets. Maria turned away from the gleaming, silver metal immediately, not being able to bring herself to look at it.

“Maybe something good could happen because of her.” Michael tried again.

“Well you won’t let us lay a hand on her, so what could she possibly do for us?” Kyle asked joining the conversation for the first time. “Maybe Max is right.”

Michael seemed in shock. He looked Kyle deep in the eyes and spoke to him in a calmer voice than he had used on Max. “How can you say that?” he asked. “Don’t you remember how torn up you were after you shot that girl?”

Kyle winced. “That was a long time ago.” he whispered.

Michael grunted in outrage. “How can you guys even think about this?” he asked as Max was standing up. “I know I’m not a hero, but I’m not a killer, either.”

“You will be,” Max said. “In a few minutes when I get done with her.”

“Please, don’t.” Maria begged. The words echoed in her head from when they had all tried to rape her. “I’ll do anything you want me to. Just don’t hurt me.”

“You hear that?” Michael tried again. “Maybe she could help us out with robberies and stealing and all that. She could come in real handy.”

Robberies? Stealing?

“She probably doesn’t even know how to hold a gun.” Kyle said.

“I’ll teach her.” Michael volunteered. “I’ll make her into someone like us.”

She didn’t want to be someone like them, but if it meant her life . . .

“I’ll do it.” she piped up. “I’ll hold a gun and I’ll steal whatever you want me to and I’ll take money from innocent people if you want me to. Just don’t hurt me, please.”

Slowly, Max picked his gun up from the ground and pointed it directly at her. This is the end, she thought wildly. This is where I die.

But then, he did something unexpected. He stuffed it back in his pocket and turned to Michael. “Fine.” he agreed. “You’ve got two days to turn her into a criminal. If she isn’t one by the time we reach Dallas, I’ll kill you both.”

Maria didn’t doubt that.

“Fine.” Michael agreed. “Let’s get going.”

Max climbed into the driver’s seat of the van and Kyle climbed into the passenger’s seat. Maria got in the back with Michael. She wanted to say thank you, but the part of her that was still Maria DeLuca from Roswell, New Mexico would not let her do that.

posted on 2-Feb-2003 10:44:41 AM
I completely agree with you about the bad Maria thing!! I was telling April about that and she was like, "Well, I don't know if people will want Maria to be bad, that's not how she is in the show," and I was like, "Well, it's an AU!! Alternate Universe!!" I'll be back with more as soon as I can!!
posted on 2-Feb-2003 2:24:45 PM
It was easy to tell that they were in Texas now. Not only were their signs everywhere declaring the Texan spirit, but the people were different. There were a lot more people wearing straight-leg jeans and cowboy hats, and there weren’t quite as many Hispanics. It was weird how the two places that were so close to each other were so different in so many ways.

She missed her home. She missed her family and friends. She missed everything that Roswell had to offer. Even the cheesy tourist signs and the stupid names of restaurants, like the Crashdown, and stupid names of gas stations like the Lift-Off. She missed it all, and she wanted nothing more than to get out of that smelly van and get away from Max, Kyle, and Michael for good.

But as they neared the Heather City mall, Maria became aware that it was too late to go back. Her life was being planned out for her. She was going to learn to be a criminal. A criminal? The word still sounded foreign to her ears. Criminal. That wasn’t who she was. But Michael was supposed to teach her to become that person within two days, or Max would kill her, and he would kill Michael, too.

What a brother, Maria thought bitterly, remembering that Michael had thought of Max and Kyle as brothers until the night before. Now, he didn’t know what to think of them, and that was quite understandable.

She wouldn’t shed a tear if Michael was killed. He deserved it. He wasn’t a good person. Sure, he had saved her once, okay, maybe twice, now, and he talked with a bit of a Canadian accent, not to mention in a very complex and deep way that she was still getting used to, but he still wasn’t a good person. He wasn’t a hero.

But if it wasn’t for him, she would have been dead. He was risking his own life now for her, and he didn’t even know her.

She refused to let herself think about it any more. Instead, she busied herself by looking out her window as Michael did a lot. Kyle was again sleeping in the front seat as Max drove. Once in awhile, Max’s eyes would drift back to meet hers, and he would smile in that wicked way that he did that sent a chill up and down her spine.

The mall was crowded. People could barely drive because the parking lot was littered with people. It was harder to back up and get out because of the worrisome thoughts that a person might be behind you. Max seemed used to it, though, as he practically flew to the closet empty space. He had obviously been in much bigger places than Heather City before.

Heather was a beautiful name, but the city was not. It was crowded and dirty and it smelled funny.

Max stopped the car, and Kyle slowly awakened. “Wow, this place is huge!” he exclaimed. “We’re baggin’ a lot of stuff today!”

“Take only what you need.” Max reminded him sternly.

“Oh, so, you’re a good civilian, now, are you, Max?”

“I just don’t want us to get caught.”

Michael sighed audibly. “Let’s just do this.” he said.

Max narrowed his eyes and glared at him. “If you’re so eager,” he said, opening his door and getting out of the van, “then go ahead and teach your whore the tricks of the trade. We’ll be inside.” He slammed the door shut and motioned for Kyle to follow him inside. Without asking questions, Kyle did, and Maria was left alone in the car with Michael once again.

When he only remained silent, she decided to start off for him. “So, are you gonna teach me or not?”

Michael swallowed hard. “I don’t want to lead you into a life like mine.”

He almost sounded sincere, but Maria knew that was impossible. “Well, we don’t really have a choice. Max sounded pretty serious about that whole killing thing, so I’d say we better get started.”

“You don’t understand.” he protested. “Everything will change for you after this.”

“Well, I don’t wanna die.” Her tone was impatient. “So teach me.”

He sighed. “It’s not that hard, really.” he began. “There’s lots of different ways of doing it, but lots of them involve debugging the security systems, and that takes time. So Kyle and Max and I came up with this way to get what we need and get outta there fast without paying a dime.” He paused, as if waiting for her to say something.

“Go on.” she finally urged.

“You get what you need,” he instructed, “and put it in one of these.” He reached down onto the floor and picked up a sack. “When you walk around the store, it looks like you’ve already paid for your stuff.”

“So, I put my stuff in there, and then what?” She was curious and intrigued, now. It wasn’t that she wanted to do this, but if it was going to keep her alive . . . she wanted to do it right.

“Then, when you’re all done, you start walking out of the store casually like you’ve already paid, but you’ve gotta be with someone else.”

She was lost, now. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, stick with me or Max or Kyle at all times. There has to be two people leaving at once for this to work.”

“Okay,” She understood. “Go on.”

“Say you and I go together.” he said for example. “I have to walk out of the doors first, and once I’m safely on the other side, you throw your bag to me from inside. Throw it fast, so that the alarms won’t be able to react. Then, walk on out like nothing’s happened.”

She was full of questions. “Well, what if someone sees me?”

“If anyone sees you, it won’t be anyone important, and they won’t suspect anything. Human beings only care about themselves, not about what’s going on around them.”

And there was that deep speaking thing again. “Well, what if I had something breakable in there?” she asked.

“Then you better hope that I catch it.”

She recited the entire plan to Michael again, just to make sure that she was seeing everything accurately, and, when she felt confident about it, she and Michael both got out of the car. IT felt weird walking around in only a jacket with only her undergarments underneath, but the jacket was big, so it looked like it was hiding some short shorts or something. She stuffed the bag in the pocket of the jacket so that no one would see it as she walked in, and took a deep breath as she opened the doors. This was it. It was now or never.

Inside, the mall was just as crowded, even more so, in fact. The lines at the check-outs were all a mile long, and every person inside looked impatient and wanting to get out of there as quick as possible. There were extra little displays set up for Christmas, too, as the holiday season neared.

Christmas. With all of the activity in her life with Billy and her mother losing her job, Maria had almost forgotten about Christmas. Christmas had always been her favorite holiday. She loved setting the tree up and baking cookies and just the whole spirit of the holiday.

Would she spend Christmas with her family this year? It was a question that, at the moment, was impossible to answer. It was still weeks away. There was still a chance . . .

“Get your head out of the clouds.” Michael ordered, breaking her thoughts. “You can never be too careful.”

She nodded quickly and came back to the real world. They made their way through huge throngs of people and tiny clusters, as well, down rows and rows of things Maria had never seen in her life—and some she never wished to see again. Michael picked up random items on the way. A new watch. A jacket. A Metallica CD. He did it so fast that it was barely noticeable, and he stuffed them in the bag so quickly that Maria hardly even noticed it. He had clearly been doing this for a long time.

Her heart was pounding the whole time. It vibrated in her ears and slammed against her chest so much that it was almost painful. Her mind was a whirl of thoughts, and she tried to push them away, but they always threatened to return.

“Concentrate.” Michael muttered.

She took a deep breath and entered a store entitled Sunny Days. It was full of clothes that looked like they could have been worn in the sixties. She liked the style, and she had always wanted to wear those kind of clothes, but they had always been so expensive. Now, though, it was all hers for the taking if she wanted it.

The store was crowded, so she had no problem sneaking a few jeans and belts and shirts into the bag. It was getting pretty fully now. She looked at Michael questionably.

“Let’s get out of here.” he suggested. He grabbed her wrist and pulled her away from one of the racks to the entrance to the store. He exited ahead of her, raising his eyebrows. What did he want? When he eyed the bag in her hands, she knew. It was the first test. She through it hard and fast at him, and he caught it. The alarm never went off, so she walked right through, unnoticed.

She had done it. It was the first actual store that they had been in, and she had done it.

“Never stay in a store too long,” he told her.

“Gee, I don’t even get a congratulations?” she shot back. “I did it, and all you can say is, ‘Never stay in there too long,’.” She imitated his voice as best she could.

He ignored her and slowed his pace as she struggled to keep up with him.

“There you go.” he said, pointing to a nearby store that was called Sexy Slut. In Roswell, Maria had never heard of such stores. She wasn’t used to that.

“That’s not funny.” she told him, eyeing the clothes—if they could be called clothes—inside.

“It wasn’t supposed to be.”

“Then what was it supposed to be?” She kept her voice calm and level. She didn’t want to cause a scene.

“It’s just, lots of girls like to go in there for stuff sometimes.”

“And why would I do that? It’s not like I have anyone to impress.”

He seemed to be at a loss for words, for once.

“How much do we have?” he finally asked.

“The sack’s full.” she replied.

“Tie it at the top so it doesn’t come undone.” he told her. “We’re outta here.”

So they pushed back through the crowds at certain displays and though the lines of people waiting at the front check-out stands. They went through doors with security alarms easily. Michael went through. Maria through the bag to him. It really wasn’t that hard, like he had said. In fact, it was incredibly easy. No one stopped them, and, in no time at all, they were back out in the car. Max and Kyle were waiting for them.

“How’d it go?” Max asked.

“It went just fine.” Michael told him. “No problems at all.”

Max raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Really? What a surprise. Didn’t think you’d be able to do it.” He said the statement to Maria and Maria only.

“I did.” she told him.

He chuckled. “Fantastic. Now, Guerin, you just gotta teach her how to hold a gun.”

They were silent as they drove. Max blared the radio on some hard rock station, forcing everyone to stay awake. Maria felt so tired. She wanted to go to sleep. She had only gotten a few hours the night before. It was obvious that Kyle and Michael wanted to go to sleep, too, but that was impossible with the music. Max kept mumbling something about deer up in the front, and Kyle sat there and rummaged through their bags, looking over all that they had stolen. Michael looked out the window, in deep thought, looking as if he wished it were a different time of day. Maria suspected he didn’t like the daytime. He always squinted when he looked at the sun, and sometimes he shook his head as he looked out the window. But, at night, he seemed different, like he was at peace. He was never at peace during the day. He was always on edge and nervous, anticipating his next move, but, during the night, he seemed almost happy.

Night.

Last night.

She forced the thoughts to remain. Though they were painful, they reminded her that Michael Guerin wasn’t worth wasting her time thinking about.
posted on 3-Feb-2003 10:55:42 AM
I've developed a really bad cold. Just thought I'd give this a bump and tell you all that I'll be back to post the next part by tomorrow at least. Sorry to keep you waiting!!
posted on 4-Feb-2003 12:06:52 PM
To Michael’s surprise, Max drove to the nearest strip-club. It wasn’t surprising that Max would want to go to a place like that. He was almost as bad as Kyle when it came to strippers, but Michael had thought that they were going to keep driving to get a little farther away from Roswell and from Heather City. But they didn’t.

“We’ll be in here.” Max announced, getting out of the car and shutting the door.

“Take your time.” Kyle added as he opened the door and got out as well.

“Where are they going?” Maria asked.

“They’re gonna go screw some strippers while I teach you how to use a gun.” he told her.

“Where are you gonna teach me?” she asked.

He shrugged. He didn’t know. How was he supposed to answer her when he didn’t know?

Michael got out of the backseat and went around to the front of the car and got into the driver’s seat. He adjusted the seat. It was too far forward, and he adjusted the seatbelt, too, so that it was looser. Maria made no effort to get up from the backseat.

They drove for a few minutes until Michael spotted what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse towards the edge of town. They were practically out in the middle of nowhere, so this would surely be a good place to teach Maria.

“You’re gonna teach me here?” Maria asked.

“Why not?”

She was silent, so he took advantage of her lack of words and got out of the car. Soon, she reluctantly got out as well.

Michael went around to the back of the van and took a key out of his pocket. He inserted it into the lock on the back of the van, and it soon clicked. He pulled it open to reveal the storage compartment.

Maria gasped. “I had no idea you guys had so much.” she said, looking over the items in the back. She ran her fingers over all of the jewelry that they had stolen, and tapped the lids of cases where their stolen money was. There were several duffle bags, too, full of personal items, like clothes and stuff. Michael rarely used his duffle bag. He carried whatever he needed in his pockets most of the time.

“It starts piling up after awhile.” he told her. “We have to trash some of it.”

“Have you stolen all of this?” she asked.

“Yep.” he replied. He doubted there was one item back there that wasn’t stolen from a store or forced from someone.

“You keep guns in here?” Maria seemed surprised. “I thought you’d be smarter than that.”

“Where are we supposed to keep ‘em?” Michael asked in return. “We drive slow and responsibly most of the time. Cops have never given us any trouble.”

“You have drugs in here.” Maria pointed out, eyeing a bag of marijuana curiously. “Are they yours?”

“No.” he told her honestly. “Sometimes Kyle uses ‘em. Not very often, though.”

Maria sighed. “I hope they kill him.”

Michael could have laughed if she hadn’t sounded so serious. The girl wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, not even in front of someone like him. Even matters like killing and drugs didn’t stop her.

“We should get started.” Michael suggested. He reached inside the van and found two guns. One was his, the other was a spare. He handed one to Maria. She flipped it around in her hands at first, and then let her hand play on the trigger, pointing it at him slightly.

“It’s not loaded.” he told her, rummaging through the van for some bullets. “Don’t bother trying to shoot me.”

“I wasn’t going to.” she said. “I was just thinking about it.”

He grunted. “You couldn’t kill me.”

“Oh, I could.”

“You could kill Max and Kyle. You couldn’t kill me.”

“What makes you think that?”

“I saved you. Twice, now, in fact. You couldn’t kill me, now, no matter how badly you want to.”

Reluctantly, she let her fingers fall away from the trigger to examine the rest of the gun. “That’s not fair.” she complained.

“What?” he asked, finding the bullets stored way in the back.

Her eyes drifted down to the ground. “Sometimes it seems like you know me better than I know myself.”

His mind spun with the possibilities of what she was trying to say. “Who’s talking in riddles, now?” he spat. “What’s that supposed to mean.”

“Never mind.” she snapped. “Let’s just get this over with.”

He slammed the trunk shut again and glared at her. “Using a gun isn’t as simple as stealing.” he informed her. “It’ll take more time. More practice.”

She sighed. “Great.”

“You should probably change into something else before we start.” he advised her, surveying her clothing, his jacket.

Maria looked herself over. “Where am I gonna change?” she inquired.

“In the car.”

“There’s no way I’m gonna change in there while you’re standing out here!” she shrieked.

“What? You want me to come in there with you?” Michael couldn’t help but mess with her mind.

“No! No!” she shouted. She threw her hands up in the air exasperatedly and then finally gave in. “Fine. I’ll change in there. Just . . . don’t look.”

Michael turned his back to the car as she got in. He could hear her rummaging around inside, cursing when she hit her head on one of the seats. He stifled a laugh.

At last, though, she had finished. She stepped out of the car in a new outfit, one that they had stolen at the mall. The jeans were new and tight, clinging to her body, held up around her hips by a shining silver belt. She had a white V-Neck on for a shirt that rose above her belly button.

She was cute. Much cuter than that blonde stripper Michael only vaguely remembered now.

Michael began to walk towards the warehouse. He could hear Maria trudging along behind him. She mumbled something under her breath that he didn’t catch, for memories had begun to invade all of his senses as, with each step, he became closer and closer to changing the girl’s life forever.

He remembered holding his first gun. The feel of it in his hands . . . the cool metal . . . running his hands over it . . . pressing the trigger . . .

“Here you go, Mikey,” his father had said. “I promised you a gun, didn’t I?”

Michael had been so excited. Most boys only dreamed of having a gun, and, here he was, barely even five, and he was holding a gun.

“Just hold it up. Point it at them. Threaten them. They’ll give you anything if they’re afraid.” His father had given him a big list of instructions that he already knew before they had entered the bank, but he had just wanted to make sure that Michael’s first robbery went as planned.

He remembered pointing the gun at the people inside. He remembered the look of terror on their faces. He remembered the guilt rising inside of him, but he also remembered looking at his dad, and trying so hard to make him proud.

“Michael?” Maria asked. She was standing in front of him, now, and he noticed that he had stopped walking. Her eyes were full of askance, but he pushed past her and kept going. After a bit of hesitance, she followed.

When he entered the warehouse, a foul odor filled Michael’s nose. The place was definitely abandoned. No one would inhabit such a place.

Maria groaned as the smell hit her, too.

“You’re fine.” he told her. “It’s not that bad.” But even he had to admit that it was bad. God, how many things had died in there? And what the hell were they to begin with?

They went up the stairs to find that it didn’t smell quite as bad up higher. Michael pushed open a tiny door, and it opened up into a tiny room that would be perfect for practice.

“In here.” he instructed, opening the door wider for her. He didn’t bother to hold it for her. He walked on inside and surveyed his surroundings.

It reminded him of where his father had taught him how to handle a gun.

It appeared that the room had once been lived in. There was a rickety old bed in one corner and a tiny table in the other. There were a few items strewn about. A lamp. A clock. A few books. A picture of a horse standing by the ocean, the waves curling at its feet, hung by a nail on the wall near the bed.

He tried the lamp, surprised to see that it did work, and told Maria to close the door and lock it, just in case someone did, by some chance, live there. There were no windows, so it was impossible for anyone to see in. Not that anyone would want to.

“Well, this is cozy.” Maria said, sitting down on the bed and bouncing on it a little, causing the springs to squeak. “The rats I see running around in the corner don’t bother me at all.” There was a definite hint of sarcasm in her voice that caused Michael to glance in the direction she was peering. She was right. There were at least five rats scampering about. Michael raised his gun and shot them down one at a time without hardly any effort.

When he was done, he turned to Maria to find that she was stiff and tense on the bed, now, at the sound of the gun. She was trying hard to hide the fear on her face, but she wasn’t succeeding.

“They’re just rats.” he reminded her. “They were bothering you.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t want you to kill them!” she shrieked, getting up from the bed. “Is that what you people do? You just point your little gun at anyone or anything that makes you upset and pull the trigger?”

“They’re rats!” he repeated.

“That doesn’t matter!” she shouted back. She got so close to him that he could feel her breathing mingling with his own. He could feel the heat radiating from her body traveling through him. “You just killed them and you don’t even feel bad about it!” Her eyes began to shimmer and sparkle, making their bright green color appear almost turquoise with tears.

“I’m sorry.” he apologized. It was the only time in his life he could ever remember apologizing to anyone. “I had no idea you felt that way.”

“I just don’t like guns,” she said before quietly adding, “and killing and everything that you guys do!” She choked back a tear and then turned so that her back was to him. “I’m not gonna cry in front of you.” she whimpered. “I won’t give you that satisfaction.”

“I don’t wanna see you cry.” he told her.

“Then why the hell did you kidnap me in the first place?” she screeched. She never turned to meet his eyes, and Michael suspected it was because she was crying now.

He didn’t have an answer to that question, though, so he remained silent.

“Why don’t you just kill me right now?” she continued, getting more and more choked up by the second. “Point your gun at me and kill me, too.”

“I can’t do that.” he told her. He couldn’t bring himself to kill someone. Some real, living person, just like he couldn’t bring himself to use that slut for a few minutes or to rape Maria. He couldn’t let himself be that hideous person.

“Anything’s better than living like this.”

“It’s not completely bad.” he reassured her. “You get used to it.”

“Well, I don’t wanna get used to it.” she shot back. Suddenly, she spun around to face him, tears streaming down her cheeks now. “If you won’t kill me,” she said, “then I will.” She reached out and snatched his gun from his hands before he could do anything about it.

Her hands shaking violently, Maria pointed the gun at her head and placed her finger over the trigger.

“No, no, no, don’t!” Michael reached out and grabbed her arms. “You don’t wanna do that.” he told her. Slowly, he lowered her arms, and removed the gun from her hand. Her tears began to fall more rapidly, and Michael didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t good at this, this sympathy, consoling thing. He had never had any experience with people like that.

So he reached out to her. He placed his hands on her arms, preparing to bring her to him to embrace her, holding her so close that she might know that he was there, and that she might learn to trust him somehow, but she backed away as soon as his skin made contact with hers.

“Don’t touch me.” she warned him.

So he didn’t. He left her alone and watched helplessly as she sat down on the bed and cried until her eyes were so dry that she could cry no more.

“We should probably get started.” he suggested for what seemed like the thousandth time.

She sniffed back some tears and wiped her eyes and cheeks. “Yeah,” she agreed in a tearful voice that didn’t sound like her at all. “After all, you don’t wanna die.”

“Either do you.” He surprised himself with the words. He had just seen her point a gun at her head. She had been ready to pull the trigger, and, now, he was doubting that. “You don’t really wanna die.” he continued. “You’ve got a life and a family and friends that you wanna see again someday. You don’t wanna die.”

She sighed. “See, there you go again. You start saying all these things about me that even I shouldn’t really know.”

“We’re on the road a lot.” he told her. “I get a lot of time to think.”

“Obviously.”

He twirled both of the guns around in his hand, waiting for her to get hers.

Finally, she got up off of the bed and strode over towards him. She seized the gun in her hands and stared at him, waiting for what to do next.

“You’ve gotta load it.” he told her.

She glanced down at the box of bullets on the ground and then back at her gun, and finally at Michael, a questioning look on her face.

So he told her how to load it, and then watched carefully as she tried it. She had no problem with it at all, and, at last, they were able to really get started.

He told her how to hold it, how to point it, and how to aim it. She took a little longer to get a hold of all of this.

“I can’t do this.” she told him. “I’ve never held a gun in my life.”

“But you don’t wanna die.” he reminded her.

She looked down at the floor. “I guess I don’t.” she gave in.

“Then you have to do this.” he told her. “You don’t have a choice.”

“I don’t seem to have a choice in anything anymore.” she snapped.

“Get used to it.” he told her. “That’s the kind of life you live now.”

The conversation quickly switched to the gun again before things became too deep. Michael shot at the picture on the wall and hit the horse directly in the eye. It was an easy shot for him at such a close range, but for Maria, it would be a real challenge.

“Now just try to hit that exact same spot.” he told her.

She raised her gun and pointed it at the picture, but her aim was all wrong.

“Wait a minute.” he said. “Aim a little below. Sometimes a person jerks their gun upwards when they shoot.”

She did as he instructed, and, when she shot, she did better. She got the horse’s neck instead, but it was an improvement.

So they spent forever on that eye, until, finally, Maria was fed up with it. She let out a huge, resounding scream and shot carelessly at the picture.

And she hit the horse in the eye.

“Did I do it?” she asked, more calmly now. She squinted at the picture, as if she couldn’t tell if she was seeing things straight.

“You did.” he told her. “Everyone has their own style of shooting, DeLuca. I guess you just like to go for it.”

“I guess.” she agreed. “Aiming and lining it up and stuff takes too long.”

So they practiced some more on different things, until Michael felt like his ears were going to explode with all of the shots. Maria got better at lining it up, but it was clear that she would do better just shooting at something, not one detail in particular.

Once they were out of bullets, they left. Michael hoped that no one actually stayed in that room, for their were holes covering the walls now, and the lamp and picture were shattered.

They walked down through the smelly part of the warehouse and outside, back into the van. After putting the guns in the trunk, Michael got into the driver’s seat. To his surprise, Maria climbed in beside him in the passenger’s seat.

“You’re not gonna sit in the back?” he asked her.

“Why? Do I have to?”

He shook his head. “No,” he replied. “No.”

He drove slowly and cautiously back to the strip club, turning the radio to a hard rock station as they drove.

“What’s that crap?” Maria shrieked, switching the station to some pop station before he could do anything about it.

“It’s called rock, the greatest music ever.” he told her, turning it back.

“It’s called screaming.” She switched it over again.

Michael sighed and gave in, only because he knew Maria wasn’t going to stop until she got her way. “I forfeit.” he said.

“Good.”

He held back a smile as they continued to drive, because he knew, even if she didn’t want to admit it, Maria DeLuca was already getting used to the kind of life that he lived.

posted on 4-Feb-2003 6:14:11 PM
BUMP!! I'l try to post more by tomorrow.
posted on 5-Feb-2003 8:33:43 AM
BUMP!! By this afternoon, I'll have more up here!!
posted on 5-Feb-2003 12:31:54 PM
BUMP!! I'm at school and can't post, but by tonight, they'll be a new part!!
posted on 6-Feb-2003 8:26:39 AM
Sorry for the delay . . .

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The bartender passed another beer to Max over the counter and then moved on down the line to serve another customer. Max seized the beer greedily. He chugged it like there was no tomorrow. He was so thirsty. He had just had a little fun with another red-head. This one had kept him going for almost an hour.

Kyle was somewhere around the place. Max looked around, and he spotted him on one of the couches with three girls—two brunettes and a blonde—hovering above him.

“What’s a good man like you doing here all alone?” a sweet voice asked. A woman with platinum blonde hair suddenly appeared in front of him. She sat down on the barstool beside him and smiled. Max smiled, too, for she was only wearing a teddy and high-heels, and that barely covered anything.
“What’s a pretty lady like you doing with extra time on her hands?” he asked in return, using the same line he used on every good-looking stripper.

“Maybe I’m just waiting for you.” she said, running her tongue across her bottom lip suggestively. “Ten dollars?”

“Ten dollars it is.” Max agreed. He downed the rest of his beer and then set the empty glass down back on the counter for the bartender to pick up. He and the girl made their way to one of the darkened corners and had a quick one. It wasn’t as good as Max had wished it would be. These girls down south didn’t know as many tricks of the trade as the girls up in New York City and all of those Atlantic Coast states did. Now, that was sex . . .

This . . . this was something else entirely. This was a tired girl getting it on with a half-drunk guy just to scrape up a few extra bucks.

Max ended it as quickly as he could and paid up like he had agreed, though he felt that she wasn’t worth but half that.

What a disappointment that had been.

Kyle was still on the couch with the girls, obviously having a better time than Max had had with the platinum blonde, so he decided to look around for some more girls. Maybe he could find a worthy screw this time.

He found exactly what he was looking for. He found a tiny little blonde with nice, long hands and full lips. He knew she would fit perfectly underneath him, and that he would fit perfectly inside of her, but there was only one problem.

That girl was his hostage, and she was standing right next to Michael, looking around the strip-club in horror.

Another disappointment.

Michael’s eyes traveled all over the room until he found Max. He moved forward with Maria trailing close behind, afraid to be lost in the crowd of half-naked and half-drunk people.

“We should probably go now.” Michael suggested. “We gotta get to a hotel tonight.”

“Right.” Max agreed. Normally, he wouldn’t have wanted to leave, but this was different. There were no spectacular girls here that he had seen, except for that red-head that had taken him away for an hour. She had been pretty good, but nothing compared to the red-head back in Santa Fe, or wherever it was that they had been a few nights ago when he and Kyle had gotten wasted.

“Go get Kyle.” Max told his friend. To his surprise, Michael listened to him and disappeared from Maria’s side and into the crowd, back into the dark corners where Kyle and the three girls were.

And that left Max alone with Maria for the first time in history. She seemed uneasy around him, and she avoided all contact with his eyes.

She was such a desirable creature, much more tempting than any of the other girls in the club. The lights flashed around her, making her eyes shimmer with fear.

He liked it when girls were afraid of him.

“No one would have to know if we did anything in here.” he told her, his speech slightly slurred. “Michael won’t have to know.”

“I don’t care about Michael!” she shouted, but something in her voice told him otherwise. He wasn’t sure what it was, exactly, but there was a tiny hint of something that made him suspect that she didn’t completely hate Michael the way she pretended she did.

“Good,” He disregarded the tiny trace in her voice and moved in front of her so that she was trapped between the counter and his body. “Then you’re all mine.”

She shifted uncomfortably. “Stop.” she told him.

“Why should I?” He let his fingers play around on the rim of her shirt, threatening to pull it over her head.

“Because I’m learning about all of that criminal stuff.” she replied, her voice quivering as his hands reached underneath the shirt to circle around her bellybutton. “You might need me.”

“Baby,” he whispered, “the only thing I need you for is some quick sex.” He let his hand travel into more dangerous territory, sliding upwards, pushing her shirt up with it.

“Help!” she shouted, but her voice was drowned out with the banging music. No one paid her any attention.

“This is what I’ve been waiting for.” he murmured against her neck before clamping his lips down on it hard to suck vigorously.

“Stop!” she shouted again, trying to push him away with one hand, hitting him on the back with the other. “Stop!”

Suddenly, Max felt himself being ripped away from her by his shirt. “Get off her!” a familiar voice commanded sternly.

Max spun around to see Michael. “Oh, sorry, dude.” he apologized sarcastically. “I thought you were done with her.” He could see Michael’s fists clenching at his sides, and wondered if it was because he was jealous or just trying to be the hero again.

“Let’s just go.” Michael suggested. He grabbed Maria by the wrist and hauled her out the door and back to the car. Kyle, after taking one last look at the three lovely ladies who had been pleasuring him for quite some time, followed after, and Max went out last, wondering why the man who he used to consider his best friend was all of a sudden turning on him.

Maybe his feelings for that bitch of his just went farther than either one of them knew.

posted on 6-Feb-2003 5:51:07 PM
BUMP!!

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 6-Feb-2003 5:53:50 PM ]
posted on 6-Feb-2003 5:52:41 PM
quote:
enya originally wrote: Btw, I hate Max


I hated him at first, too, but wait till you see how his character turns out!

By tomorrow, I'll have a new part up!
posted on 7-Feb-2003 12:24:45 PM
Yeah, Max and Kyle are going to have some love interests, too . . . *wink* BUMP!!

By tonight, a new part, I promise!! Sorry to keep everyone waiting. I'm at school again.
posted on 8-Feb-2003 1:50:49 PM
The hotel that they got that night was nice. Even nicer than the one the night before had been. Maria obediently followed the three criminals up the stairs to the third floor where their rooms were located. She was afraid to do otherwise. Running away was not an option anymore. In fact, it was a scary thought, but she felt safer with Michael than she did apart from him.

Michael. He was quite a complex individual, and she didn’t like him, but he had rescued her from Max and Kyle while they had tried to rape her, and now he had done the same again when Max was getting a little frisky. And she was only alive now because he had persuaded Max that, by tomorrow night, she would be a criminal, too.

He wasn’t a good man, that was for sure, but as long as he would protect her and not try to put his hands on her again, she would stay with him.

Once they reached the third floor, Kyle and Max kept going up, to Maria’s surprise. She didn’t follow them. She went along with Michael, hoping that they wouldn’t notice.

“Hey, Maria, I thought you’d wanna spend the night with us!” Kyle joked. Both he and Max laughed. They sounded drunk, and looked kinda out of it.

“In you dreams.” Maria shot back.

Kyle laughed, but Max didn’t. “Okay, in our dreams.” he agreed. “Michael can have the real thing.” He bursted out laughing, though his joke, if it could be called that, wasn’t funny at all. Kyle laughed along with him, and they stumbled up the stairs to the fourth floor.

“Maria?” Michael called. “You comin’?”

She turned in the direction in which the voice was coming from and met Michael’s eyes. She didn’t want to, but she couldn’t help thinking that he might not be completely awful like Max and Kyle. True, he was a bad person, but, maybe, just maybe . . . maybe there was some good in him, somewhere, hidden deep down inside.

“Yeah,” she replied. She made it inside the room as fast as she could, glad to be inside and away from Max and Kyle. Especially Max.

“Can you lock the door?” she asked Michael, once he shut it in place. He reached over and complied.

“Thanks.” It was the only time she could remember saying that word to him. She sat down on the bed.

He was silent. He flipped on the light and threw his things on the floor before collapsing on the bed beside her and letting out a long sigh. She didn’t move away.

“How good was I at using that gun?” she asked aloud. “Honestly.”

He shrugged. “You were alright.”

“Will Max go for it?”

“Probably. We can just get him drunk tomorrow again and he won’t even think about killing either of us.”

“What about Kyle?”

Michael shook his head. “He should be okay. Kyle’s a good guy.”

“I don’t think so.” Maria mumbled quietly.

“He’s a lot like me.” Michael continued, oblivious to her statement.

“That might be why I don’t like him.” Maria couldn’t resist saying it.

Michael turned his head to the side to face her, and, slowly, a small smile appeared on his face. “Where do you come up with all of these things to say, DeLuca?” he asked.

She shrugged. “When you grow up like boys with I have, you learn to defend yourself.”

“So, you’re a tomboy, huh?”

She shook her head. “No. Well, at least, I wasn’t at one time.” Memories of the beautiful time when she had actually been someone with a real future ahead of her began to invade all of her senses. She could still see her reflection in the mirror. It had, at one time, been pretty. Maybe even beautiful. She could still hear the people talking about her, not in bad ways, though. ‘There goes Maria DeLuca,’ they would say, ‘I wish I was her. She’s so pretty and popular. Every guy likes her.’ She could still smell the perfume that she used to put on in the morning to make herself smell perfect, too, and the shampoo she used to wash her hair with every night so that it smelled of flowers the next morning. She could still feel the fabric of her clothes, her beautiful clothes under her fingers.

“I used to be really popular.” she continued, realizing that she had been spacing a little. “Every guy wanted to date me, and every girl wanted to be me.” She blushed, knowing that she sounded a little conceited. “Recently, though, my mom lost her job, so I’ve had to work one job during the day and one at night. I haven’t had time to make myself up in the morning or care what people really think. That’s why I started hanging out with Liz and Alex and Billy again. I mean, they were my friends through middle school, but, then, when I was a Freshman, I totally ditched them. Now, though, they’re the only friends I have.”

“So, were you planning on going to college?” Michael asked, interested.

She shook her head. “Nope. Well, I mean, I was, before my mom lost her job. My grades started to slip during my senior year, and I lost my scholarship. But, that’s okay, I guess. Mom needs me.” She saw the look of pain and guilt mixed on Michael’s face and reflecting in his eyes, and she knew that she had brought up something inside of him.

“I’d bring you back to her if I could.” he admitted. “But I can’t. Max would kill me.”

“I’m not asking you to.” she said.

“You can’t possibly wanna stay here with us.”

“I don’t.” She didn’t know what she wanted. Looking back, Roswell wasn’t euphoria, but either was this. Here, with these people, she lived in fear. In Roswell, she lived in pain. “I just wanna start my life over.” she finally admitted. “Be a completely new person, do completely new things. Don’t you ever feel like that?”

He nodded mutely. “I’ve felt like that ever since my father placed that gun in my hand.”

Maria was surprised. Never had Michael actually revealed to her something so deep. He was a quiet individual, and he kept to himself. “Michael . . .” She paused, unaware of how to approach asking the question. “What was your father like?”

Michael sighed. “Kinda like a combination of Max and Kyle and I all combined, I guess.” he said. “He could be funny and nice sometimes, like Kyle, but then he could be dominating and unfeeling, too, like Max. Most of the time, he’d just lie low and not say or do much, kinda like me. I think that’s what made him such a great criminal.”

“What about you and your mother?” Maria asked.

Michael swallowed hard at the mention of his mother. “My mom, she kinda just got dragged along for the ride. I don’t think he ever really loved her or cared about her. She was just there to help out.”

“Kinda like me.”

Michael sat up slowly on the bed and faced her. “No, not like you.”

She didn’t want to ask what that meant. “What about you?” she asked instead. “Why did he drag you into it?”

Michael shrugged. “I don’t know. Wanted me to follow in his footsteps, I guess. Looks like I have.” He laughed, but it was fake and forced.

She couldn’t help feeling sorry for him. Without even thinking, she reached up and placed her hand on his shoulder. He seemed as surprised by the gesture as she felt.

“I don’t hate you, Michael.” she blurted out. “Not like I hate Max, anyway.”

He laughed again, a real laugh this time. She couldn’t suppress her own smile.

“You’re not like your dad.” she continued, getting serious again. “At least I don’t think you are.”

He dropped his head and looked down at the bed. “I am, though.” he protested. “I hurt people.”

She couldn’t deny that. He had hurt her. “You also help people.” she told him. “You helped me.”

“And look where we are now. Now I’m teaching you to be a criminal, and I’m ruining your life.”

“I’m still alive.” she reminded him.

He sighed. “I guess.”

“Come on.” Maria had to get him out of that depressing room. She needed to lift his spirits . . . and hers. She rose from the bed.

“What?” he asked.

“Let’s go have some fun for a change.” she said. “We both deserve that.”

He smiled. “What do you have in mind?”

“Well, by the sound of it, there’s this party going on downstairs.”

He grunted. “Why are you being nice to me all of a sudden?” he asked.

She really didn’t know. Maybe she just needed to reach out to someone and have someone to share things with, no matter who it was. Maybe she just needed to feel something again, for anyone, even if it might be sympathy. “Let’s just say,” she replied, “that I kinda feel sorry for you.”

His face softened in a way that she had never seen before. The rugged, tough look was gone, and she saw a completely different man. A wounded, hurt, pained man. “Come on.” she said. “Let’s go.”

Michael seemed reluctant. “I don’t know . . . Max always freaks out if we’re tired in the morning. He wants people to help him watch for deer.”

“Max is gonna have such an awful hangover that he won’t be able to even think about deer.”

Michael made no effort to move.

“You know I have a point.”

He sighed and nodded, and, finally, she got him to leave the room.

posted on 8-Feb-2003 5:51:11 PM
I'm bumping, too, but I'll be back with more tomorrow.
posted on 9-Feb-2003 3:33:52 PM
When you BUMP, you're not really posting a message, you're just "bumping", bringing the story back up to the top of the thread list so more people can read it. Hope that helps. It's kinda hard to expalin.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Michael could barely hold in his laughter when they reached the party. People were going completely crazy, acting insane, but no one cared. No one really knew each other, so acting stupid was fine.

“Woo!” Maria shouted. “Disco!” She sway her hips and arms a little bit in time with the music, and Michael found that he couldn’t take his eyes off of her.

“Let’s go dance.” she suggested excitedly. She grabbed onto his hand, sending brief bolts of electricity up his body, and pulled him out into the middle of the crazy dancers.

“I don’t dance.” he told her. He saw the disappointment on her face, and he felt bad. At the moment, there was nothing more he wanted to do than to please her.

“You don’t dance?” she shrieked over the loud music. “Michael . . .” She trailed off and looked down at the ground.

He sighed. “Fine.” he said, glancing around at the other dancers. He couldn’t be much worse than them, could he? Besides, the least he could do was dance with Maria. The girl deserved to have some fun and be happy for just a little while, didn’t she? “I’ll give it a try.”

She jumped up and down excitedly and began to squeal out of happiness, but then began to dance again, blending in with all of the other dancers. It took Michael awhile to get started. He couldn’t remember the last time he had danced, and he didn’t even know if he would still remember how to do it. He lost Maria in the crowd and went to find her, only to have her find him. She grabbed his hand, causing him to turn around.

“If you said you’re gonna dance, then you’ve actually gotta dance.” she reminded him. She kept moving along with the people around her, grabbing Michael’s hands at the same time and trying to get him into it. He found that he liked having her touch him, even if it was just his hands. So he started getting into it a little more, and he found that it was fun. He followed Maria around wherever she went. He didn’t want to be away from her, for some reason.

Everyone started to do the disco, then, in time with the music, and Michael found himself starting to do it, too. Maria laughed at him. It was the first time that he remembered her laughing since they had . . . abducted her.

Maria got into it, too, shaking her hips and everything while doing the hand movements. They weren’t as good as everyone else, there, though. Everyone else was older and had actually lived during the age of disco and knew what they were doing. Michael and Maria had to guess on what to do and follow what everyone else around them did.

“Twirl me, Michael!” she finally shouted, giving him her hand. He took a hold of it and began to twirl her around in circles, running her into people while he did so. She laughed again, and so did he. It was good to see her happy. She was so much more fun to be around when she was enjoying herself.

They just started acting stupid from there on out. They didn’t care what they looked like or what they were doing. All that mattered was that they were having fun, because, fun wasn’t something they had much anymore.

PS---Is it official that the board is moving?

posted on 10-Feb-2003 8:18:41 AM
First of all, I'm so happy that there are new people getting interested in this story. Second, I found out more about the board moving from the announcements board. March 1st, I guess, is the definite date. I think that fanatics will be moving to a cheaper board where it won't have so much downtime. It seems as if everything should remain okay. Threads are going to be frozen, though, meaning that no one will be able to post new parts on them or something. So we'll just have to make a new thread to pick up where we left off with the story.

Right now, I don't think it's anything to worry about, but when I first heard about it, I was worrying, too!



This afternoon, I'll be back with an update!
posted on 11-Feb-2003 8:16:14 AM
Ahh! This was on page three! MAJOR bump!

Be back with more tonight!
posted on 12-Feb-2003 8:33:08 AM
Here you guys were all saying how great I am with updates and then I slack off! *scolding myself* I decided to post two parts in one becuz they're both kinda short.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Max pushed his jealousy down deep inside of him as he watched Maria and Michael dance around like freaks together. He didn’t know what had happened between them, but Maria was actually laughing and smiling, and she wasn’t acting afraid of Michael. In fact, she voluntarily touched him a few times, and allowed him to touch her. It wasn’t sexy touching, or anything. Just friendly touching.

Max sighed. Maybe he had been wrong. Maybe the DeLuca girl wasn’t Michael’s bitch.

Max tore his eyes away from them and headed back up to his room where Kyle was waiting. He opened the door to find Kyle flipping channels on the TV. “You find ‘em?” he asked Max without taking his eyes off of the screen.

“Yeah, I found ‘em.” Max told him. “They’re downstairs at a party. Dancing.”

“Michael’s dancing?” Kyle chuckled. “Hard to picture.”

“Even harder to watch.” Max sat down on the edge of the bed and ran his hands through his hair.

“What’s wrong?” Kyle asked.

Max sighed. “I hate Michael’s guts right now, you know that, right?” he said.

Kyle nodded.

“But,” Max continued, “he’s like a brother to me. And that girl . . . Maria . . . she makes him happy. You can tell. I mean, he was laughing and smiling and . . .” He trailed off. “Maybe we should just keep her around.”

Kyle grinned. “I knew you’d cave, dude.”

“I didn’t cave!” Max shouted. “But, you’ve gotta admit, she’s not that bad to look at, and maybe she could lighten the mood around here a little. Besides, we need all the people we can to help us watch for deer.”

Kyle grunted. “Max . . .”

“I’m going to bed, Kyle.” he announced before the conversation could go any further. He got into the covers and took off his pants and his shirt, throwing them on the floor so that he was only in his boxers. He pulled the blankets up around him and closed his eyes. “Don’t tell Michael about this, okay?”

“What?” Kyle asked, shutting the TV off. “That Max Evans kinda has a bit of a soft spot deep down inside?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Maria awoke the next morning when she heard the water running. She sat up in her bed and stretched, forcing her eyes to open. She didn’t see Michael anywhere.

Michael. He was a criminal, true, and he had kidnaped her, but he was a good person at heart. She had enjoyed spending time with him. It was weird, but, in his own way, he was kinda . . . friendly.

Before she could even get out of the bed, the water stopped running and Michael came out of the bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist. His hair was wet and stuck out all over the place. “Oh, hey.” he said. He didn’t seem to be uncomfortable standing in front of a girl that he barely knew wearing only a towel.

“Hey.” she greeted.

“I got up a little early so I could get ready.” he explained. “Sorry if I woke you.”

“That’s fine. I could use a good shower, too.”

He froze in place. “You mean, you’re actually gonna take a shower while I’m this close to you.”

She was reminded of her earlier words. They sounded foreign to her now. “Michael, I’m not saying that I trust you or anything,” she said, “but I like hanging out with you, as long as you’re not trying to tear my clothes off.”

He cringed at the memory.

“But,” Maria warned him, standing up and walking past him towards the bathroom. “If you try to get in there while I’m in there, I’ll fuckin’ kill you.” She said the words with a smile, but she wasn’t joking. But she didn’t believe that Michael was going to try anything like that, either, so she felt comfortable.

He didn’t say anything as she walked into the bathroom and closed the door.
posted on 12-Feb-2003 6:16:13 PM
Okay, I'll post by tomorra and give some more people time to leave feedback.
posted on 13-Feb-2003 8:38:22 AM
Ahhhhh! Page 2! Bump*bounce*!

I've gotta head off to school now again, so I'll be back with more tonight! And that's a promise!
posted on 14-Feb-2003 8:27:56 AM
Okay, I lied, cuz I'm a day behind on the post. Sorry, once again, for the delay, but this is a nice long part to make up for it. Oh, and April just emailed me the next part and I read it and . . . Oh, my, God! You guys are gonna love it! But you won't get to it for awhile yet! LOL. Anyway, enough rambling and on with the next part!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

He could hear the water going again, now, as he got dressed outside the door. A large part of him wished that he was inside the door, with her. Her. Maria. Maria DeLuca. The most amazing girl he had ever met. She was only a few feet away behind that door, and she was in the shower, naked, with water dripping all over her body . . .

He couldn’t let this happen. He couldn’t develop feelings for her. Not intense feelings like these. It was okay to be her friend, but anything more than that wouldn’t be right. She was good, he was bad. She was light and he was dark. They were complete opposites. Nothing could ever be between them but friendship.

To his disappointment, she dressed in the bathroom. He wouldn’t have minded to see her walk out with a towel wrapped around her

But when she did walk out, she looked amazing. She had on a blue spaghetti strap that made her breasts look huge and rose high on her to expose a lot of her stomach.

“So, where are we going today?” she asked.

Michael shrugged. “I don’t know. Outta Texas, that’s for sure.”

“Are we gonna steal some more today?” she asked, and she even sounded a little excited. “I mean, I don’t like it, and all, but I could really use some make-up.”

“Do you even wear make-up?” he asked.

“I did,” she replied. “Once.”

He understood. “I get it.” he said. “You wanna start off with a clean slate.”

“Stealing from stores and learning how to shoot a gun is hardly a clean slate.”

“But, it’s a new one.”

She nodded in agreement.

“So, you wanna go back to the way things were before your mom lost her job or whatever?”

“Basically.”

He laughed. “You can’t go back now.” he informed her. He recalled the words his father had said to him during one of their heated conversations. It had been the last time Michael had spoken to him before he had died.

“Why do I have to do this, father?” Michael had asked. “Why can’t I be like normal kids?”

“Michael Guerin, you must follow in my footsteps!”

“Why?”

“Shut up and don’t ask so many questions!”

Michael had cowered in the backseat, then, making himself as tiny as possible. “I don’t wanna do this.” he had mumbled, hoping his father wouldn’t hear him.

But his father had heard him. “You can’t go back now.”

And, then, suddenly, there was no more father. There was no more mother. The car had skidded and Michael had blacked out. When he woke up, he had found out that he was alone. His mother and father were . . .

“Michael?” Maria asked, waving her hand in front of his face. He snapped back to reality. “Oh, sorry.”

“You went totally spacey.”

“Totally spacey, huh?” he echoed.

“Yeah.”

“Sorry.” he repeated. He shoved the memory out of his mind and continued to get ready, shaving the start of a beard off of his chin. Maria sat around and waited for him, talking most of the time. “That was sure fun last night, don’t you think?”

“Yeah.” he agreed. Fun was an understatement. That was the most fun he had had in years.

“I bet we looked like dorks.”

“We?” Michael ran a towel over his chin and the sides of his face to dry off. “I don’t know about both of us. You might have, but I looked awesome.”

She laughed. “Just keep tellin’ yourself that, Guerin.”

When he was done getting ready, Michael tossed his stuff and Maria’s few items in his bag. He opened the door and allowed Maria out. She brushed his arm on the way, and he felt his body ignite in fire.

“So, what are we doin’ today?” she asked as they made their way down the hall and out into the lobby.

“I don’t know.” Michael replied. “We can hit another store, for your sake.”

She turned back to him and smiled. “Oh, you’re so sweet.”

He smiled back. He couldn’t remember ever feeling this comfortable around a stranger, let alone a girl, a girl who just happened to be beautiful and smart and, in her own, unique way, funny.

“Then you’ll have to do some physical training.”

She stopped dead in her tracks. “What?”

He kept walking. “Physical training. It’s not that bad, really. If you ever trip the alarm in a store, you’re gonna be glad you went through it.”

She sighed. “Then what?”

He shrugged. “Why does everything have to be planned out? Be spontaneous, DeLuca.”

“I like to know what I’m doing before I actually do it.” she told him. “I like to have a plan in mind.”

“So, you like to walk a path that’s already planned for you, is that it? You don’t like to make your own decisions.”

“I do make my own decisions.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

He didn’t believe that. From what he had heard from her about her life, she did what people told her to do, not saying much about it, not complaining, but not jumping for joy, either. It seemed like she didn’t believe that her opinion counted for anything and didn’t voice it much, figuring that it would be forgotten in time, anyway. But, my, the girl did have an opinion, and she certainly knew how to voice it. She just had to be given the chance.

When they saw the van come into view, they also saw Kyle and Max. Something seemed different about Max. His features had softened quite a deal, and he appeared calmer than he had been for the past few days.

“Let’s get going.” Max suggested without any harsh remarks towards either Michael or Maria. He got into the driver’s seat and Kyle got into the passenger’s seat. Michael and Maria both stood there, wondering what was with him. It was obvious that he had changed over the night. Maybe he was just feeling the effects of the alcohol and wasn’t awake enough or feeling well enough to make any quick remarks. Max immediately blared the radio before they were all even in the car.

Maria got in the backseat with Michael, and he noticed that she got as close to him as she could. “What are you doing?” he asked her as she was pressing her body up against his.

“Staying as far away from Max as possible.” she replied. The music disguised the sound of her voice so that Max and Kyle weren’t able to hear her. Michael didn’t say anything more, because he didn’t really mind Maria being that close to him. It had been a long time since he and his friends had even associated with a girl for more than a few pleasurable moments at a strip-club.

Kyle sang along with Cold as their song No One played on the radio, and Michael had to hold in his laughter. Kyle’s singing was . . . well, in Michael’s opinion, he’d never be the next Barry Manilow.

“Shut the fuck up and help me watch for deer.” Max snapped.

Kyle obediently closed his mouth and looked out the passenger window for Max’s sake, but he kept bobbing his head in time with one of his favorite songs ever.

They were out of Heather City quickly and on their way to Dallas, Max’s choice for the next big rest-stop. “We could spend a few days in that city.” he spoke aloud while keeping his eyes glued on the road in front of him. “Strip-clubs everywhere, nice stores . . . sounds like my kind of place.”

Michael had to agree that it did sound like Max’s kind of place. In fact, it sounded like Kyle’s kind of place, too. Michael wasn’t too excited about the strip-clubs, himself, but the stores would sure be fun to hit.

They drove for about an hour along a busy high way, and then Max took an exit.

“Where you goin’, Max?” Michael asked, leaning forward to peer out the front window.

Max sighed and pulled the car to a halt. He unbuckled his seatbelt and got out, motioning for Michael to follow him. Michael looked to Maria to make sure that she was okay about staying in a car with Kyle alone, and she didn’t seem to think anything of it. He suspected she didn’t really hate him, she just didn’t trust him . . . yet.

Michael opened his door and climbed out and joined Max, who was standing a few feet ahead of the car with his hands in his pockets, his head tilted towards the ground as the wind messed up his hair.

“Michael,” he started. “I really didn’t wanna tell you all this shit, but I figured I better. Ya know, maybe it’ll help things between us.”

Michael didn’t understand. “What exactly are you trying to tell me?” he asked.

Max sighed again and brought his eyes up to meet Michael’s. “I’m . . . I’m sorry.” he stuttered.

Michael didn’t know what to say, because he wasn’t sure what Max was apologizing for. They had had so many disagreements and arguments lately that it was hard to tell.

“I’m sorry for fighting with you,” Max explained after Michael’s long silence. “I’m sorry for thinking Maria was your bitch, and I’m sorry for trying to hurt her.” He took a deep breath after he was finished and looked back down at the ground as if he were ashamed of what he had just said. It must have been hard, because Max wasn’t one to apologize to anyone when he didn’t think it was necessary.

“I’m sorry, too.” Michael told him. “I haven’t been a good friend.”

“Yeah,” Max replied, surprising Michael. “Guess you’ve just been spending too much time being a great brother.”

Whoa. That was something he hadn’t expected.

“Where’s all this coming from?” he had to ask.

Max shrugged. “Don’t know, really.” he answered. “I guess, when I saw you dancing with Maria last night . . .”

“Wait, you saw us dancing?” Michael asked, embarrassed. They had been acting like fools out there at that party the night before.

Max nodded. “Yep. You looked pretty funny, too.” he chuckled. “But, yeah, I saw you, and I just realized that I should back off of Maria, you know? If you want her, you should have her.”

Michael shook his head. “I don’t want her.” he lied.

Max smirked. “Just keep tellin’ yourself that, bro.”

Michael knew Max was right. He did want Maria, but what he didn’t know was, how, exactly, he wanted her. He didn’t know if he wanted her the way Max and Kyle wanted every girl that they saw in a strip-club, just for a quick fuck or something, or if he wanted her as something more.

Michael smiled, and Max smiled back. They gave each other a manly hug, and then headed back towards the car. Michael couldn’t wait to tell Maria that Max wasn’t such a bad guy after all.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 14-Feb-2003 8:30:49 AM ]
posted on 14-Feb-2003 6:18:02 PM
Consider this your Valentine's Day present . . .

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

At about lunch time, Max stopped at Minnie’s Café to eat. He got out of the car and Kyle followed immediately. Michael lagged behind a little, and Maria decided to stay with him, though she and Kyle actually had talked a little bit in the car while Max and Michael had been outside talking. Kyle had even apologized for his actions and said that he would really like to get to know Maria . . . as a friend, nothing more. Maria had thought that she would need time to think about it, about trusting Kyle, maybe even thinking of him as a friend, but she didn’t, and that was scary, because she was supposed to hate Kyle and Max. Hell, she was even supposed to hate Michael. He was the one who had kidnaped her, after all. Yet, she couldn’t let herself hate him. He had saved her life once and saved her from being raped twice. She couldn’t just ignore him. She owed him this much.

“Michael, what did you and Max talk about back there?” Maria couldn’t help but ask.

Michael shrugged. “Nothing much. He just wanted to apologize.”

Maria smiled. “Yes, he’s sort of lacking, though, in the apology apartment, don’t you think.”

Michael sighed. “Maria . . .”

“All I’m saying,” She tried to defend herself. “Is that I don’t exactly see the guy making hallmark cards any day soon.”

Michael smiled. “Hallmark cards?”

She nodded and laughed. “Seriously, what would he say. Sorry I tried to rape you. Will you let me put my hand down your shirt now?”

Michael laughed. “Nah, I don’t think so.”

Maria was surprised. “Michael, this is Max.”

“Well, he did apologize.” Michael reminded her, holding the door to Minnie’s open for her.

“What, for trying to rape me?” Maria found it hard to believe.

“Well, he just promised not to do it again.”

Maria couldn’t forgive Max that easily. Kyle was different than Max. Michael was different than Max. She could tell that much about those two, but Max . . . she wasn’t so sure about him.

“I don’t trust him, though, Michael.” she admitted, shaking her head. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust him.”

They stopped right behind an elderly couple and waited as they ordered. For a few seconds, they were both silent. Then, Maria notice Michael staring at her. She tried not to look at him back.

“Do you trust me?” he finally asked.

She was so surprised by the question that she didn’t respond right away. Did she trust him? It was a simple question, or at least it should have been, but this was different. Did she trust him, her kidnapper? The man who had taken her away from her life and her family and the few friends she did have? Did she trust him?

“That’s fine. You don’t have to answer.” Michael said, taking his eyes off of her and shifting them to look at the menu in front of him. “I know you trust me.”

“How would you know?” she shot back.

“Cuz you danced with me last night.”

“That doesn’t mean anything.”

“Well, you let me hold a gun while within ten feet of you. You have to trust me a little.”

“It’s not like I really had a choice, Michael.” she reminded him. “Let’s see, who’s a big strong burly man who could kill me with one tiny click?”

Michael grinned. “Yeah, I am big and strong, aren’t I?”

She slapped his shoulder. “You’re missing the point. I wasn’t gonna get in your way while you had a gun. You could have killed me if you wanted to.”

“I wouldn’t have killed you, Maria.” he told her. “I told you myself that I’ve never killed anyone. You had to trust me a little bit to be in that room with me while I was shooting rats.”

She gave him a confused look. “Okay, I’m losing track of this conversation.”

He laughed and stepped up to the counter as the elderly couple backed away and ordered.

After having a quick lunch, the group left Minnie’s and got back into the van. Kyle decided it was his turn to drive now and got into the driver’s seat while Max got into the passenger seat. Michael and Maria got into the back again.

They drove a little farther on a deserted highway on their way to Dallas and everything seemed to be going fine until they heard sirens.

Maria glanced back behind the van and saw a cop car. This should be interesting . . .

“Shit, Kyle!” Max shouted. “I told you not to fuckin’ speed!”

Maria could see Michael fidgeting nervously beside her as Kyle reluctantly pulled over. “What’s the big deal?” she asked. “If I don’t tell them you guys kidnaped me, you should be okay, right?”

Michael shook his head. “Not really, DeLuca.” he told her. “If they see we’ve got guns and drugs in this car . . .”

“Drugs?” Maria shrieked cutting him off.

“We sell ‘em if we ever need some extra money.” Kyle explained.

Maria didn’t like this one bit.

“If they find out what we’ve got in here, we’re goin’ to jail.” Michael told her. “And you’ll be goin’, too.”

Maria let it sink in for a few seconds. Jail? Her? She was a good girl, for the most part. Jail was a word she was never supposed to know. She couldn’t go to jail. She couldn’t. It’d be on her record forever. She’d never get a job. She and her mom would be exiled to the streets . . . if she ever even made it home again.

“Everyone just stay calm.” Max said as the cop got out and casually made his way to the car.

Maria knew that wasn’t going to work. She’d seen the show COPS. They always searched cars. They’d find those drugs and those guns. But, then again, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. She’d be sent home, even if she did have to stay in jail for awhile. She’d be free of kidnapers. She’d see her mom again, and Liz, and Alex, and even Billy.

She glanced at Michael quickly, who seemed to be preparing for the end. She thought of what he had done for her. Sure, he had kidnaped her, but he had saved her from being raped, and he had saved her life . . .

Acting quickly and irrationally, she told Michael to give her his T-Shirt.

“Why?” he asked, though he was slipping it over his head as he spoke.

“Just do it!” she barked. She threw the baggy T-Shirt on as soon as he threw it off and prayed to God that all of the junk that they had in the back of the van would conceal what she was doing.

She grabbed the pillow next to her and stuffed it underneath the baggy T-Shirt. She told Max to hand her his water bottle and he did. She wet the sides of her hair down a little bit so that it looked like she was sweating. She finished just before the cop reached the car and began to scream.

“What the fuck are you doing?” Michael asked.

“Having your baby.”







lol lol lol lol lol. I told April to pretend that Maria was having Michael's baby, just for a little comic relief. Besides, the guys gotta know that they can trust her, right? Michael helped her, and now she's gonna help them.

posted on 16-Feb-2003 12:39:45 PM
Oh, my, God! I'm so sorry for the delay! I was gone for a day! Ahhh! Okay, well, I'm back now. On to the next part. It's not too long, so I might be back with more today, I might not.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Michael understood what Maria was just about the moment the cop placed his hands on the hood of the car and peered inside. Michael followed Maria’s lead and slipped his arm around her as she screamed and sweat—er, water—ran down her head. He had to control the urge not to laugh, and he could see that Kyle and Max were doing the same.

Maria lets out another piercing scream and he brought his hand up to run over the pillow concealed by the big T-Shirt, pretending like it was their . . . baby. He forced himself to remain serious.

“Oh, I had no idea . . .” the cop trailed off as he looked at Maria.

“That’s right, you had no idea!” Michael shouted. He pulled Maria closer to him, noticing that she smelled like strawberries for a tiny instant, and whispered in her ear. “Everything’s gonna be okay, baby.” he said softly, his voice shaking as he said the words because he was so close to laughing out loud.

“We’ve gotta get moving!” Kyle shouted, playing into the lie as well.

“Right, right,” the cop agreed. “I’m sorry. Do you want me to lead you to the hospital?”

“No, we know the way.” Max lied smoothly.

The cop hurriedly nodded, wished them the best of luck and got back into his car.

Maria let out one more scream just for effect as the cop drove on past them, and Michael let out the laughter that he had been holding in. Max and Kyle laughed, too, and, soon, Maria’s scream turned into a laugh.

“Oh, my God, did you see his face?” she asked mainly to Michael and Kyle.

Michael felt so good. Laughing felt good. It was something that he had forgotten about a lot over the past couple of years. “What made you do that?” he asked. He meant is a joke, in a way, asking her why she would pretend that she was pregnant with his baby and on the way to the hospital when she could have told the cop everything, but he soon realized the depth of it all. She could have told the cop something. She could have told them that they had kidnaped her and tried to rape her and were now forcing her to become a criminal on the run like they were. She could have, but she didn’t.

“I . . .” She hesitated. “I don’t know.” Her eyes met Michael’s and he saw in them such confusion and emotional turmoil.

“We should get moving.” Max said. “I wanna get to Dallas by tonight. And drive slowly, Kyle. We can’t think that every cop’s dumb enough to be fooled by that pillow.”

Maria took the pillow out from under her shirt as Kyle started driving again and threw it to the floor. Michael watched as she slipped his T-shirt over her head, causing her spaghetti-strap underneath to rise up a little on her stomach revealing a patch of creamy white skin.

“Here’s your shirt.” she told him, tossing it to him. He caught it without a word and slipped it over his head. He didn’t know what to say to her. Thanks for saving my ass after I ruined your life?

What did he do to deserve this? He had kidnaped her and tried to rape her. He wasn’t a good guy, but she was a good girl. Why would she help him? It didn’t make any sense.

Kyle turned on the radio so that rock blasted throughout the van and so that there was no room for words to be spoken. Michael sat in silence and looked out the window at the world flying by him. He was so tired. Though his plan had been to get a good night’s sleep last night, he and Maria had stayed up late dancing at that crazy party to some disco shit, and a good night’s sleep turned into a few restless hours thinking about . . . her.

He glanced at Maria now and then just to see how she was doing. She was avoiding any sort of eye contact with any of them in the van and cringing as the rock group on the radio began to scream.

Michael smiled, but his smile faded when he noticed how confused she still looked.

Finally, a few hours later, Kyle announced that he was feeling tired and that someone else should take over.

“I will.” Max volunteered, jumping out of the car. Of course. Max always had to drive. He always had to watch for deer and make sure that they weren’t going too fast. Typical Max. Always worrying, always wanting to be in control.

But was there even such a thing as control in the life that they lived?

posted on 17-Feb-2003 11:00:34 AM
The moon was out again by the time they made it to Dallas. It had been a long and somewhat silent drive, and Maria was glad to get out and stretch her legs again. The last time she had gone to the bathroom or anything like that had been at that Minnie’s Café place.

She had spent a long time thinking about who she was, or rather who she had become. She wasn’t a bad person. Just because she had helped three criminals, all of which who had tried to rape her at one time, get away from the cops and continue on their journey with her in the backseat didn’t mean that she was a bad person.

She was a screwed up person, that’s what she was. Her mind worked in weird ways. She would revolve her entire life along one issue until she got it out of her system if she had to, and that was what was pathetic about her.

“Maria, you comin’?” Michael asked her as he held the door to the hotel building.

Maria gave him a confused look as she snapped out of her thoughts and was brought back to the real world. “What?” she asked. She wasn’t sure, exactly, what it was that he had said.

“You comin’ inside?” he asked again. “We’re getting some hotel rooms for the night.”

“Oh, yeah.” Maria walked inside as Michael held the door open for her and watched as Max booked two rooms and paid with a stolen credit card. There was something about him that still frightened her. How was she supposed to trust him? Michael had told her that Max apologized, but that wasn’t enough.

All at once, a horrible memory rocked Maria’s mind. She saw herself underneath Max. She saw him struggling to unclothe her . . .

Maria staggered backwards as the memory threatened to engulf her completely, and she thought she would hit the floor, but a pair of warm hands held her up. Michael.

“You okay?” he asked. He sounded genuinely concerned.

Maria closed her eyes and forced the memory away. “Yeah,” she whispered, struggling to stand up again. She wrapped her arms around herself and took a step closer to Michael. She didn’t know why, but she felt comfortable around him, maybe even safe. It was crazy to think like that. She was slowly going crazy. She was sure of it, because, the girl that she used to be never would have thought such thoughts.

She remembered the girl that she had been only days before clearly. She remembered her appearance. Shabby ponytail, sleepy eyes, Lift-Off gas station uniform of Crashdown uniform, whichever was called for. Now, she felt different. She felt pretty again. It was a weird thing to feel while you were out on the open, dusty road with three guys you barely knew having not taken a shower for days. Her hair was out of that ponytail and hung loose on her shoulders. Her eyes were still sleepy, but, whenever she caught sight of herself in the rearview mirror, she saw something else in her eyes, something that looked like strength. And her clothes . . . Stealing was wrong, and it wasn’t something she’d recommend to any kids trying to get their mom to buy them a candy bar at the grocery store, but she had gotten some awesome clothes at the Heather City mall.

She had to be pretty in some way, didn’t she? Max and Kyle seemed to think that she was pretty. Even Michael must have thought that she was pretty, because he had tried to . . .

She pushed the thought away. She didn’t want to think of him in that light. She was really starting to see him, the real him, and, the real him, she enjoyed being around.

Max got two rooms again and spoke directly to Maria as he said, “I guess since you helped us out today, you should get to choose who you wanna room with.”

It wasn’t an apology, but Maria had to admit that it was something Max had never said to her before, and said in a way that she never imagined he was capable of saying it.

“I’ll room with Michael.” she offered. If she was going to share with any of them, it was going to be the guy she had danced with and had a fun time with.

“Great.” Max handed her the room key and started to walk up the stairs. Michael followed, and Maria followed behind him with the key in her hand, completely ignoring the fact that there was a door only feet away behind her that she could have run out of any second she wanted to.

Max and Kyle’s room was on the first floor, but Michael and Maria had to walk upstairs to the second floor. On their way up, Max stopped Maria as Michael continued to walk forward. He grabbed her arm hard and she gasped, thinking that he was going to yank her into his room so that he and Kyle could have their way with her, thinking that the whole “apology” thing with Michael had just been an act, thinking that they would lock the door so that Michael wouldn’t be able to help her this time.

But he didn’t. When he heard her gasp, he loosened his grip and let his hand fall away completely. “I just wanted to tell you thanks.” he told her quietly as Kyle disappeared into the room.

“For what?” she asked.

“For helping us out back there on the highway. It was pretty funny, too.”

She forced a smile. “Yeah.”

“And, um . . .” He lowered his head to look at the ground as he spoke. “I just wanted for us to maybe start out on a clean slate, you know? Forget all that’s happened?”

Maria shook her head. “I don’t know if I can.”

He sighed. “Well, try.” With that, he disappeared into the room as well, leaving a very confused Maria to walk up the stairs to her room alone.

She hated Max Evans. It was impossible for her to forgive him. Wasn’t it?

She spotted Michael leaning up against one of the doors looking off into space, thinking. She stopped dead in her tracks and studied his profile for a minute. He sure looked like a criminal. That shaggy and spiky hair and that rough and tough exterior . . . She was surprised the cops hadn’t arrested him already just because of his appearance.

Michael was not the kind of guy Maria associated with. She had guy friends, of course, like Alex and Billy, but not like Michael. Her guy friends were interested in music and playing the guitar and all that stuff, not robbing banks stealing from malls and taking innocent girls hostage and trying to rape them.

Maria shook the thoughts from her head and joined Michael by the door. She fumbled with the lock and found her face turning red.

“Need some help?” he asked jokingly.

“I’ve got it.” she snapped back.

“I don’t think you do.” Michael said. “See, to get the door unlocked, you can’t put the key in upside down.”

She stopped trying with the door and glared at him. “If you’re so smart, then you try.” she said, backing away.

Michael raised his eyebrows at her, then turned his attention to the door. He took the key out, turned it around, stuck it in again, turned the knob, and opened the door almost effortlessly. He threw the key back to her and stepped inside, his pride practically gleaming on him.

“I just loosened it up for you.” Maria told herself more than him as she stepped inside. “You only got it open because of . . .” She stopped in mid-sentence when she noticed that the room only had one bed.





Yeah, it's short, but I gotta keep you guys guessing! Can't wait to see what you say about THIS!



[ edited 1 time(s), last at 17-Feb-2003 11:02:10 AM ]
posted on 18-Feb-2003 8:21:53 AM
Michael saw the look on Maria’s face when she entered the room. He couldn’t keep the guilt from rising up inside of him again, because he knew that he alone was the reason she was here. She didn’t trust him yet. Not completely anyway. She had no reason to. She sure as hell wasn’t going to want to sleep in the same bed as him.

He’d ruined her life.

There was a big part of him that wanted to restore her life to the way that it had been before, but he couldn’t do that, for several reasons. First of all, he could never set foot in Roswell, New Mexico again or he’d most likely be caught and jailed. Second of all, he didn’t know if she wanted that old life back.

“I guess I’ll be sleeping on the floor tonight.” he said, breaking the silences and ending his thoughts. She didn’t have to say it herself. He knew what she was thinking.

She nodded quickly. “Yeah. Yeah, you will.”

“Because, there wouldn’t be a chance in hell that I could share this bed with you if I promised not to lay a hand on you, right?” He didn’t speak it as a statement, but as a question, because he was still wondering, clinging to the thought that, maybe, just maybe, he might get a decent night’s sleep for the first time in a long time.

It still was weird sleeping during the night. Usually he awaked when the moon rose, but, now, because he was Max’s friend, because he would do a lot for his friends, he was sleeping just like any other normal person.

“Just give it up, Guerin.” she told him. “You’re on the floor tonight.”

He didn’t tell her how that statement could have been interpreted.

Maria closed the door and made herself comfortable on the bed, kicking off her shoes and socks and then falling backwards to lie on her back with her eyes closed and her arms sprawled above her head. “This is good.” she murmured.

He didn’t bother telling her how that one could be interpreted, either.

Michael sat down on the floor and took his shoes and socks off, too. He threw his jacket down beside him and asked Maria for a pillow, hoping that she could at least spare him that much.

Within seconds, she had thrown the pillow down right on top of his face.

“Hey!” he shouted jokingly. “What’re you tryin’ to do? Smother me?”

She laughed, a real laugh. “Oh, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”

“You never know with girls.”

She laughed again. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He sighed and positioned the pillow under his head. “It means that girls tend to say one thing and mean something completely different, or do one thing and start hinting at doing another.” He laid his head down and closed his eyes. Maria was silent for a minute, and Michael thought that he might be able to fall asleep on the spot, but then she spoke.

“So, you think you know how girls think?” she asked curiously.

“Yep.” A one word answer. Classic.

She grunted. “Okay, Dr. Guerin, if you’re such an expert, then why don’t you tell me what I’m thinking right now?”

He opened his eyes and propped himself up on his elbow to try to get a better look at her. She was still lying on the bed the way she had been before. Her body language gave no hints as to what she was thinking.

“I didn’t say I knew what girls were thinking, I said I knew how they think.” he tried to argue his way out of it, but she wouldn’t let him.

“You’re avoiding answering.” she said simply. “You don’t know, do you?”

He sighed reluctantly. “Nah, I guess I don’t.”

She shifted around a bit above him—ooh, that could have been interpreted in the wrong way, too!—and she, too, propped herself up on her elbow to look at him directly. “Fine.” she said. “I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking that you definitely need to shave tomorrow morning because you’ve got this funky mustache starting to form.”

He ran his finger above his top lip self-consciously and felt the tiny, rough hairs scratch at his hands. “Is it really that bad?” he asked her.

She giggled. “Well, it’s not hideous, but you don’t want it to get worse.”

He smiled. “Okay, thanks for telling me.”

She smiled down at him revealing a set of perfectly white, perfectly sparkling teeth. For someone who wasn’t a fairy princess at all, she sure had the Cinderella look down.

“Why are you staring at me?” she asked, suddenly causing him to realize that he had been gazing at her for a few seconds without saying anything. He tried to cover it up quickly. The last thing she needed to know was that her abductor thought she was hot.

“I’m just thinkin’.” he replied, letting his head fall back down on his pillow again.

“About what?” she asked.

He resisted the urge to look up at her again. He knew she would look radiant. The moonlight would be shining through the thin veil of curtains covering the window directly on her, making her appear almost luminescent, like she was shimmering, shining, glowing. Her eyes would sparkle like he had never seen them sparkle before.

“Just about how this is gonna be a very, very long night, you know?” he lied. “I mean, doubt I’ll get any sleep down here on this hard, wooden floor with one tiny pillow and not even a single blanket.”

Oh, yeah. Way to make her feel sorry for you, Guerin, he thought to himself.

She was silent for a long time again as if she were debating what to say or what to do, and Michael realized, in that single moment of silence, that he was not Dr. Guerin. He didn’t have a clue as to what Maria was thinking or what she was planning on doing. Whether she was going to offer him a half of the bed or reach down with that pillow and actually try smothering him this time, he did not know. Dr. Guerin. Not in this lifetime.

“Michael?” Maria finally said quietly, her voice echoing off of the room’s plain, white walls.

“Yeah?”

She hesitated, and he wondered if she would continue.

“I guess . . . I guess I could make room for you. Just promise me you won’t try anything.”

“I promise.” he told her honestly, grabbing his pillow and moving from the floor to the bed in one swift and quick movement. Maria moved over to the other side of the bed, but not as far away as he had expected her to. Maybe she really didn’t hate him that much.

Michael grabbed the blankets and pulled them up around his body, and Maria did the same. There was a bit of awkwardness as Maria tried to decide which way to lay. Every position they tried—God, that sounded wrong, too, didn’t it?—didn’t work out for some reason or another.

“I can’t lay like this.” Maria complained. “My arm’s all twisted.”

“Yeah,” Michael agreed. “They need to make these fucked up beds bigger.”

Maria laughed and agreed.

They must have spent at least five minutes trying to get situated. Sometimes they started laughing too at stupid things, like when Maria said. “Eww! I don’t like anyone else’s leg touching my leg when I’m sleeping.”

So DeLuca must still be a virgin. Imagine that. The girl sure had . . . hmm . . . what was the word Max liked to use? Potential?

Finally, Maria decided to lay on her side with her back to Michael, and he decided to do the same to her. Then there was this whole quarrel about the covers and who was taking more than their fair share, but, soon, the covers were forgotten, and they both fell asleep.






cute, huh?


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 18-Feb-2003 8:23:13 AM ]
posted on 18-Feb-2003 6:18:34 PM
I'll have a new part up by tomorrow!

BUMP!*bounce*
posted on 19-Feb-2003 8:24:43 AM
TOLD YOU I'D BE BACK!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The next morning was different than the previous ones had been. Maria awoke feeling more energized than she had in a long time. For a few seconds, she thought that she was back home in her bed, thinking that she would have to get around and get ready for work at the Lift-Off, but when she reached over and felt something . . . someone . . . beside her, she remembered that she wasn’t in her bed, that she wasn’t going to be heading to the Lift-Off any day soon, and that she was nowhere near Roswell, New Mexico.

When she first noticed that Michael Guerin was lying in the bed next to her, her first thought was to scream at the top of her lungs and flip out like a maniac. Maybe even run down the hall and tell someone that there was a man sleeping in her bed with her when he shouldn’t have been, but she didn’t, because she remembered something else, too.

She remembered that, over the past three days, she and Michael had formed a unique kind of relationship. Friends didn’t seem quite like the right word to describe it, because they were nothing alike. They had nothing in common, and he was a criminal. A freakin’ criminal! She wasn’t friends with people like that.

So, if they weren’t friends, then what were they? Not lovers, that was for sure. No way. Never. But, if they weren’t friends and they weren’t lovers, then what was there left to be. The only thing Maria could think of was enemies.

But Michael wasn’t her enemy, and she truly hoped that she wasn’t his.

He began to stir beside her, so she got up quickly and headed into the bathroom. Liz had told her this story awhile back about this time when she and Kyle had stayed a hotel room and she had woken up beside him. Everything had seemed great until she smelled his morning-breath. Maria had laughed out loud as Liz had told her about it, but Liz had thought it was serious.

Those were the good old days . . .

. . . or were they?

The thought shoved it’s way into Maria’s head uninvitedly, and she was so surprised by it that she scared herself. She really scared herself, because she didn’t want to think like that. She didn’t want to think that she was actually starting to like these guys. Even Max. And that she was starting to like the whole aspect of stealing from stores and pointing guns at people. She didn’t like to believe that maybe getting abducted from that gas station on that one fateful day had been a good thing.

Maria ran her fingers through her hair and walked into the bathroom as Michael began to wake up. Was she going crazy? Was this all some big play that she was being forced to play a dominate role in without wanting to?

Was she still the person she had been in Roswell?

Maria closed the door to the bathroom and took a deep breath as she studied her reflection in the mirror. She saw a sparkle in her eyes that she had never seen before. Something new was building inside of her, taking her over, changing her. Something cruel and sinister. Something that her mother would scold her about if she only knew.

She could still remember the feel of the gun in her hands as Michael had taught her to use it.

“ . . . just pull the trigger whenever you’re ready . . .”

True, it was a heavy thing in some ways, but it fit and felt right in ways that nothing had ever felt right in her life before. A gun. A very wrong weapon felt completely natural and right in her hands.

“ . . . just don’t aim it at me . . .”

She had the chance to kill him if she really had wanted to. Michael Guerin had been standing in front of her while she had been holding a loaded gun. If she had wanted to, she could have shot him in the name of self-defense. She could have gone home.

Maybe she just hadn’t wanted to.

“ . . . you’re a natural, DeLuca . . .”

A natural. She was a natural, or at least that’s what Michael said. She had never shot a gun before, and she had never really planned on it, but she had. She had practiced shooting a gun up in some abandoned piece of shit out in the middle of nowhere, and she had liked it.

She had liked it.

“What’s happening to me?” she asked herself quietly, touching her cheek.

“Maria!”

She jumped when she heard Michael shouting and pounding on the door.

“Um . . . yeah?”

“I gotta use the can. Get outta there.”

Maria opened the door to reveal a sleepy looking Michael on the other side. “The can?” she echoed. “God, no wonder you’re all bachelors.” She brushed past him on her way out and gave him his privacy.

While Michael used “the can” and took a shower, Maria got dressed in one of her new outfits. One of her stolen outfits.

She paraded herself around the room pretending to be a super model on the runway exhibiting herself and her body for everyone to see. The outfit did look good. The black skirt kept threatening to rise higher and higher on her legs, and the red V-neck sleeveless shirt threatened to fall lower and lower down her chest.

Michael opened the door as she was strutting around, and she jumped in surprise, holding one of her hands to her chest and pulling her skirt down with the other to conceal herself.

He smiled. “Just thought I’d tell you that you might wanna wear something you can work out in today.” he told her.

Maria sighed and fell down on the bed as Michael began to laugh.

“Why are you laughing?” she asked. “It’s not funny. I got all ready in this striking outfit and now I have to change.”

He turned on the water and ran it over his toothbrush. For a criminal, he was sure particular about hygiene. “That’s exactly why it’s funny.” he informed her smugly.

She shook her head and walked to the bathroom and closed the door for him so that she could change and he could brush his teeth. “So, why, exactly, do I have to wear work-out clothes today?” she asked him as she slipped her shirt over her head and let it fall to the floor. “Please tell me we’re not doing that physical training stuff you were talking about.”

“We are.” he replied simply. “Max and Kyle are probably gonna wanna hit another store today, so we can train while they do that.”

“No!” she whined, exchanging the V-neck sleeveless for a plain white T-shirt that read B.U.M. on it. “I wanna go to the store, too!’

“With Max?”

She sighed and slipped on a pair of sweat-pants in place of the oh-so-tiny skirt. He had her now. “Okay, not with Max, but I’ll go with Kyle.”

“Kyle might wanna hit a strip-club afterwards, though. Then what’re you gonna do?”

“Take my clothes off, get up on a table and dance for ten guys who’re drooling over me.” she joked, leaning up against the door for support. “Kidding.”

Suddenly, the door she was leaning against swung open and she almost fell backwards. She managed to keep her balance, though, and a freshly showered, sparkling teeth, newly shaven Michael Guerin shoved past her to put all of his stuff back in his pockets and located his jacket on the floor. He slipped it over his shoulders and sat down on the bed, staring at Maria as if expecting her to say something more. When she didn’t, he did.

“Why don’t you wanna train?”

“Okay, two reasons.” she answered. “First, that sounds like something someone would say on Buffy. Second, my athletic ability is extremely challenged.”

A hint of a smile began to form on his lips. “You dance, though, right?”

She was surprised that he knew her secret passion of dancing. She’d never told anyone except Liz how much she loved dancing, that that was what she would do with her life if they made more money. How did Michael know? She certainly didn’t tell him.

“I could kinda tell.” he answered immediately, as if reading her thoughts. “You were having so much fun when we were dancing back at that party.”

She blushed.

“Well, anyway,” he continued, “dancing’s physical activity, just like physical training.”

She sighed. “But why do I have the feeling that physical training involves something like running laps and lifting weights and sweating my ass off?”

He laughed. “You’ll be surprised, DeLuca.” He stood up and handed her her duffle bag, which Kyle had managed to steal for her at the mall in Heather City. She accepted it and walked out the door without another word, because she knew that she had no way out of this physical training, whatever it was.

posted on 20-Feb-2003 8:21:17 AM
Max Evans glanced back only enough to see how everything was going, and then returned his eyes to the road and his deer-watch. You could never be too careful. They were on there way to a big shopping complex not to far away, but they were taking a side-road as to avoid any unwanted attention by cops. They’d passed a couple of troopers on the main road to the mall and decided they better take a different route, just to be safe.

Yeah, you really never could be too careful.

Maria still seemed uncomfortable around him, and that thought was troublesome, because Max really did want her to trust him, to be comfortable around him, maybe even to be friends with him. She and Michael seemed to be hitting it off, and she and Kyle seemed to have a lot more in common than either of them really wanted to admit. Why couldn’t she have some kind of connection with him?

Max had lived a life of solitude, with only Michael and Kyle to confide in. He didn’t have friends. He didn’t have family. Now, though, there was someone new to confide in, someone new to grow close to, someone to befriend, and Max would be damned if he let that opportunity slip past him.

Suddenly, Kyle began to shout. “Deer! Deer!”

Max barely even heard him, but he put on the brakes fast enough so that they avoided hitting the deer. Luckily, no one was behind them.

The deer walked on across the road like nothing had happened.

“Dude!” Kyle shouted as he caught his breath. “Where’s your head! You were headin’ straight for that thing!”

Max shrugged and told Kyle that maybe he should drive, so they got out in the middle of the deserted road and traded places. Kyle started up again slowly and cautiously, and, finally, they were heading down the road at a normal pace.

“Better get your head outta the clouds.” Michael suggested from the backseat. Max nodded in agreement. That wasn’t like him to go off into his own little world like that, but, once in awhile, his thoughts would have a tendency to consume him entirely.

He had an uncontrollable feeling to turn around in the seat, then, and ask Maria a question. It was one he couldn’t ignore.

“Do you hate me?” he asked her.

She seemed so surprised by it that she didn’t even answer at first. She looked around at everyone in the car, meeting Michael’s eyes for a brief second before she returned her attention to Max.
“I . . .” She paused, and Max felt a little bad for putting her in the spotlight like that.

Finally, she shook her head slowly, and Max smiled. Thank God! (Well, not God. If there was a God, he wouldn’t have planned out such a horrible kind of life for him and his friends.) Thank those higher beings worth more than anything in the world! She didn’t hate him! Maybe he did have a chance to make a friend.

A friend. Someone who, besides Michael and Kyle, Max had never really had in his life.

He wasn’t going to ask how she got over the whole raping thing already. Instead, he just turned around in his seat and stared at the sun as it climbed higher and higher in the sky as each minute passed.

Little did Max know, while he was staring at the sunset and while Kyle was staring at the road and while Michael was trying not to stare at Maria, the girl in the backseat was wondering why the sinister urge inside of her just kept on growing larger and larger by every second.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Kyle didn’t seem to have any problems driving. No run-ins with deer, and no speeding and having to fake out a cop. That was definitely a good thing. He found another abandoned warehouse just outside the busy parts of Dallas and suggested that Michael and Maria train there. Maria cringed once again at the word as he said it, but she willingly got out and walked inside with Michael as Kyle drove off with Max to the mall to “stock up” on some goods and then head to the strip-club.

“We’ll be 2 hours tops!” Kyle yelled as he pulled away. Michael knew, though, that it was very possible that it would be 4 to 5 hours if his friends found a strip-club they were interested in.

“Why are there so many abandoned warehouses all over this state?” Maria wondered aloud as they walked inside. “There was that one in Heather City and now this one. And we passed about three of them on the road.”

Michael shrugged. “Dunno. Probably was someone’s crib at some point in time.”

“Like, a gang?” she asked.

He nodded. “Yeah, they probably abandoned it not too long ago.”

Maria opened the door and stepped inside, and Michael followed carrying a CD player Max had stolen from a guy in a parking lot once and a few CDs. He was relieved to find that this place didn’t smell as bad as the one in Heather City had.

“Actually,” Maria commented, “this place isn’t that bad.” She motioned towards a fairly nice couch in the corner sitting beside a lamp. “All it needs is a few homey-touches and it might be kinda nice.”

“You Martha Stewart now or something?”

She brushed a cobweb from the corner. “Maybe.”

Michael reached over and switched on the lamp, surprised to find that it still worked. “You think someone might still live here?” he asked her, noticing that the words NINTH STREET were spray-painted all over the walls. If this NINTH STREET did live here, he didn’t want to be here when they got back. Yeah, sure, he was a criminal, but he was no gangsta.

Maria shook her head. “No, I don’t. There’s not even a trash can. You gotta have a trash can if you’re gonna live somewhere.”

He smiled. “Why is that?”

“Because guys tend to bring home lots of trash.”

He chuckled. “Is that so?”

“Yep.”

Michael turned on the battery-operated CD player and opened up the lid, debating on which CD to put in first.

“Why do we need music?” Maria asked curiously, bending down to survey what he was doing.

“Because it helps you get into the training.” he answered.

Maria grunted. “Okay, who came up with this shit anyway?”

“Kyle. He’s Buddhist. He read this book and it talked about getting in touch with your soul and improving the conditions of your body all at the same time.”

Maria almost laughed. “What a load of crap!” she exclaimed.

Michael placed his Sneaker Pimps CD into the player, removed his jacket and through it on the couch. “If you’d shut up,” he told her, “this might work.” He took off his shoes and told her to do the same.

“What do I have to do?” she asked exasperatedly.

“Close your eyes.” he instructed.

After a moment of hesitance, she did so.

“Extend your arms to the sides.” he continued.

“Like this?” she asked, extending her left arm to the left and her right arm to the right.”

“Yeah.” He kept on telling her what to do after that, and he told her to take things slow and easy and calmly. He told her to breath deeply and stretch the muscles of her body. She listened carefully, and, when she had learned all of what he had taught her, she did the movements effortlessly, and she looked exquisite. Michael couldn’t take his eyes off of her as she moved so gracefully. If she had had her eyes open at the time, she would have wondered why he was staring at her so intently.

She repeated the movements over and over, and then finally asked, “Okay, what am I doing, exactly?”

“Some kind of cross between yoga and dancing.” he replied. “I really don’t know. Ask Kyle.”

She opened her eyes and stopped moving. “Well how is this physical training?” she asked.

Slowly, he walked up behind her. He wanted to touch her so badly. He couldn’t hold back, but he still didn’t know what her reaction would be when he did touch her . . . again. He had touched her once when she hadn’t wanted him to. That night . . .

He reached forward and grabbed her arms, expecting her to feel some kind of trepidation, but she didn’t seem to. He lifted them up and extended them to her sides again. Ever so slowly, he ran his hands down her arms to meet up with her hands. He entwined his fingers with hers and told her to keep moving.

She tried, but it was harder for her now, because he was behind her, moving with her, and she not only had to move one body, but two. “I see why you added the word physical to training, now.” she admitted. “This is hard work.”

“That’s ‘cause you’re not strong enough.”

“No, it’s ‘cause you weight too much.”

He smiled, bringing his head down close to her hair. “You’re funny.” he whispered with sarcasm.

“I know I am.”

“I didn’t mean that.”

“I know. But I still am.”

He smiled again, hoping that she could not detect how happy he was feeling at the moment just being close to her.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~




Once again, sorry for the delay. I've just been very busy, and they posted episode 11 of Roswell: The Final Chapter, so I had to read it! lol. And I posted two parts as one, cuz I knew you'd all give me heck if I only posted one short one! lol again.
posted on 20-Feb-2003 6:19:47 PM
New board member! Yea! I love to see new people on the board, and especially interested in the story! Yea again!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

After three hours, Maria finally got too tired to continue. Running her fingers through her sweaty, greasy hair, she sat down on the couch and sighed. “That can really wear you out.”

“That’s why we decided to call it training.”

She rolled her eyes at the word. It still reminded her of something she would hear on Buffy rather than in real life. “So, I’m still confused. Why did I have to learn this again?” She reached down and turned down the volume on the CD player so that she could hear his answer properly.

“‘Cause someday you might have to run on your feet to get away from a problem.”

For a second, she thought he was starting to talk in riddles again, but, once she thought about it, she understood exactly what he meant. “You mean, if something ever happens and the cops catch up to you guys and I can’t fake my way through it pretending I’m having your baby, then I might have to flee on foot?”

He smiled, remembering the dumb cop on the highway. “Yeah, somethin’ like that.”

Maria took a minute to think about it. It was dangerous. The thought of running from a cop
was . . . well, in it’s own way, it was exhilarating. It gave her a rush, a high just thinking about it. (Okay, no, she’d never been high before, but she imagined that if she ever had been, it would feel something like she was feeling now, thinking about running for her life.)

“Have you ever had to put your training to use?” she asked him.

He shook his head. “Nope. But Max has. You can ask him about it if you want.”

She didn’t know what she wanted to do. She was confused when it came to Max. She didn’t know what to think of him. Was he the guy who had tried to rape her, or was he the guy that was trying to apologize? Was she the guy she hated or the guy she was slowly starting to forgive?

She was confused when it came to Kyle, too. She hadn’t spent that much time with him, but he was funny as hell, and he had made her laugh when she didn’t think it would be possible. He reminded her a lot of Alex, and that always helped. But was he a religious Buddha boy or a stoned, drunken criminal?

She was confused when it came to Michael. She was confused because he was slowly turning her life upside down, and he didn’t even know it. She had never met anyone like him. He was so deep. He had this bad-boy exterior, but, inside, he was hurting more than anyone knew. And though she knew it was insane, she actually considered him a friend. Liz wouldn’t be able to believe it or accept it if she knew Maria was thinking that way. She was friends with a guy who robbed banks and stole from stores and shot guns and kidnaped innocent girls.

Most of all, though, she was confused about herself. She kept telling herself over and over again that this would only be a temporary thing, that she would start thinking straight and acting normal again within the next few days. She’d go back to normal. She’d be her boring self, only with twist. She’d just be on the run with three guys she barely even knew. But she, herself, would not change. She’d stay a good girl.

The question was, did she want to?

“You’re spacin’ off.” Michael informed her.

“Sorry.” she apologized. “Just thinkin’.”

He nodded in understanding. “I was thinkin’, too.”

“About what?”

“About what you said to Max.” he answered. “So, you don’t really hate him after all?”

How could she answer that question? She didn’t know the answers!

“Um . . .” she paused, and then told him. “I don’t think I do. I mean, I don’t hate you, and you tried to do . . . that to me, too.”

He winced, obviously not wanting to remember that, so he continued talking. “Maria,” His tongue darted out to wet his lips. “If you got the chance to go back to Roswell, would you?”

She was so surprised by the suddeness of the question and force put behind it that she didn’t know how to respond. It was something she had been thinking about a lot. “Why are you asking?” she inquired in return, trying to put off answering his question as long as possible. “Are you trying to tell me you’re taking me back?”

“No.” he said immediately. “I can’t ever do that. It was a hypothetical question.”

It was a hypothetical question she didn’t want to answer.

“I didn’t have a great life in Roswell,” she started out saying, “so it really wouldn’t matter.” She hoped that that would be the end of the subject, but it wasn’t.

“That doesn’t answer my hypothetical question, though. If you had the chance, would you go back?”

She fidgeted nervously on the couch, remembering what had once been her home. A crummy hippie-house where there was more stuff that didn’t work than did, where she ate cold poptarts for breakfast in the morning, where she practically fell out of bed after a couple of hours of sleep. She remembered her mom, sleeping in bed during the day instead of going out and looking for a job of her own. She remembered school, how she had basically become a nobody, how people frowned on her appearance and never listened to what she had to say. She remembered Billy, how he had told her he loved her and how she hadn’t felt the same way, how she hadn’t been able to respond in the same way.

She didn’t live a horrible life, but it wasn’t a great one, either.

“No,” she answered decidedly. “There’s nothing in that shitty town for me.”

She saw an expression flash across Michael’s face, one of regret. But as quickly as it had appeared, it was gone.

“Why are you asking?” she wanted to know.

He wiped a streak of sweat from his forehead. “I just wanted to know if it was too late.”

He really was doing that riddles thing again, wasn’t he?

“Give me a real answer.” she told him.

He sighed. “Maria, I didn’t want your life to turn out like mine. I didn’t have a choice. I had to do this.”

“I don’t think I really have a choice, either, now do I?” she shot back, remembering that Max had said he would kill her. She didn’t bother mentioning that Max probably wouldn’t kill her anymore.

“Look, I just didn’t wanna throw you into this without your consent, because then I’d be just
like . . .” He trailed off. “Never mind.”

“No, just like who?” she asked. She wasn’t going to let him off this easily. He never stopped questioning her until he got answers. Now it was her turn.

After a slight pause, he answered. “My dad.”

Maria’s mouth dropped open in surprise, though she hadn’t intended for it to. She understood now. “Your dad forced you into this.”

“Gotta follow in his footsteps.”

She felt sorry for him, but she understood at the same time. It wasn’t like her father had forced her into a life a crime. She had just never even known her father.

“Those kinda things can hurt.” she agreed.

He nodded. “Yep.”

“So, what happened to your father? And your mother?” Maria asked.

He reached over, shut off the music completely, and mumbled, “Dead.” He avoided her eyes as if trying to seem strong.

“Oh.” She immediately regretted having asked the question and bringing such memories into Michael’s head. “I’m . . . I’m sorry.” Even as she apologized, there was still one question that she had to ask. “How did they die?”

He didn’t seem to want to answer, but he did. “Robbed a bank in Nevada. When the police caught up to ‘em, they got goin’ a little too fast. They didn’t see the other car.”

So, Michael’s parents had died because of the life of crime that they lived. This really was dangerous.

“That’s why I asked you that hypothetical question.” Michael said, as if reading her thoughts. “This kind of life is dangerous. I don’t wanna put you in that kind of danger if you’re not ready for it.”

The thoughts of running from the cops and pointing a gun at a person and robbing banks and all of that stuff scared her, because, yes, they could end up costing her her life. But they also excited her, and that excitement overpowered her fears.

“I’ve made my choice, Michael.” she told him. “I’m gonna do this.”
posted on 20-Feb-2003 7:33:43 PM
They'll be some candy soon! Sort of.

DUN DUN DUN . . . the suspense builds. Okay, a little too dramatic.
posted on 21-Feb-2003 12:42:27 PM
I'm at school. I would definitely post another part now, but I have no way to access the story! Aaaah!

Well, yes, it's candy action, mixed with a little bit of something sinister and criminal . . . *wink*