posted on 30-Sep-2001 7:03:56 PM
Title- Awareness

Author- Dreamer at Heart

Rating- NC-17 at times.

Catagory- M/L and the rest of the gang too.


Disclaimer- I don't own anything, I would love to, but I don't. The characters and previous story lines of Roswell belong to the writers, producers, and directors of the show. This story line is just my imagination running wild.


Summary- Post Departure. Max and Liz and the rest of the group deal with the fall-out of having ever trusted Tess and the impact that will have on their lives. Beyond that, I don't know yet.


******

Awareness- part one





June 26, 2001

My name is Liz parker, and five days ago I died –again. I wasn’t physically hurt this time, but my soul died just the same. Where to start? So much has happened in the last year, I almost don’t even know where to begin. Wait a minute, yes I do, it all started with Destiny.

Just a little over a year ago, Destiny walked through the doors of Roswell High and my life will never be the same. Her name was Tess, and with her came the slow dismantling of my life, piece by piece. I tried to trust her, though my instincts told me not too. I gave up everything just so she would stick around, and how does my sacrifice get repaid? She took away my heart and the life of my best friend. Alex…. Oh god Alex I miss you so much. I need you here to talk to, to tell me that everything will be ok. It won’t be ok though, will it? Nothing will ever be ok again.



She let the journal fall back into her lap. Looking up at the sky, the familiar V constellation seemed to pulse, mocking her with it’s very existence. She pulled the blanket tighter around her and shivered, though not from the cold. She tried not to think of him, but it didn’t work. She had given him the wrong impression that day at the cliffs. It was her own fault really. She had clung to him, so grateful that she had found him in time and he was safe, but he had thought all was forgiven. How could it be? She knew in her mind that he had only done what he thought she wanted him to do, but she couldn’t help feeling betrayed in her heart. He had slept with her, with Tess. The only man she would ever love had loved another first.

It was her own fault, because if she hadn’t done what she did, he would never have turned to that back-stabbing bitch. But what else could she have done? He told her that they all would die. Future Max said it was because of his love for her that the entire world would perish. So now what? After everything, after all she did, she left anyway. Would they all still die? God, had it all been a lie? Had she torn out her own heart and caused the death of her best friend for a lie? She did everything he asked. She had stayed strong, not given into her own weakness, for what? It all turned out the same anyway. God, she was so confused. It made her head hurt just thinking about it.

She stood, letting the blanket fall onto the lounge chair behind her. Walking slowly to the edge of the balcony, she looked down at the street below. Images of him flashed through her mind. Him serenading her, throwing up a bouquet of white roses, future Max telling her she had to help him fall out of love with her, the broken expression on his face as he looked through her window and saw just what she had wanted him to see, the shimmer of tears in his eyes as he begged her to tell him the truth. Did she sleep with Kyle?

God, how she ever found the strength to look him in the eye and say yes, she will never know. She knew the pain he felt because she felt it too. Why did it have to be her? Why did he ask her to do the unthinkable? Why? Oh God, she would go crazy with all the why’s and what if’s. What if she had told him the truth, and why she had done what she did? Would it have changed anything? She would never know, and now it was too late.

Tess was gone, and had taken her heart with her. The tears coursed down her cheeks again for probably the hundredth time since that day. She was gone, and she took Max’s son with her. Tess was carrying Max’s baby. That murderer was pregnant with a child that by all rights should have been hers, and had placed a permanent wedge between her and the only man she could ever, would ever, love. How could they ever get past that? He was so determined to find his son, and save him. How? He couldn’t live here on Earth, that had been the whole reason for going back in the first place, or was it? Had she lied about that too? Was there even a baby? When dealing with Tess, one never knew what the truth was, and now it was too late to ever find out. She looked down at the empty street once more and shook her head, she would never know.

She bent to remove the loose stone that hid the spot where she kept her journal. Tucking the thin book safely away, she never saw the shadow that moved along the wall behind her, she didn’t see the pain reflected in the amber colored eyes that watched her from the shadows. She moved across the balcony to her window, glancing back only once before climbing in and closing it tight against the night. Still lost in her own thoughts, she readied herself for bed. Clicking off the light, she lay in her bed, the tears still coming even as she drifted off into a restless sleep. The shadow outside moved to stand before the window, and looked in.

He saw the moonlight reflecting off the wetness still on her cheeks and sighed. His heart broke all over again at the sight of her huddled in her bed, crying even in her sleep. God, he had to fix this. He had to find a way to make it right. Max stood there, totally unaware of the time that slowly slipped by, watching the girl he loved more than anything in this world, or any other for that matter. He stood staring, trying to figure out how his life had gone so wrong. Trying to come up with a way to make it all right again. He stood watching her for hours, not even aware of the light drumming of his fingers against the brick wall.



******



posted on 30-Sep-2001 7:22:42 PM

Part 2


Liz bent over to pick something up off the floor. She stuffed the piece of trash in her pocket and continued sweeping the floor of the now closed Crashdown. Letting out a sigh of relief that this long day was finally over, she swept up the last of the pile of debris from the huge dinner rush and moved over to the trash can. Looking around one final time to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything, she walked toward the door to the back of the cafe' and reached to switch out the lights. Just as her hand flipped the switch she heard a loud knock at the front door to the cafe'. She jumped and let out a little yelp. Flipping the switch back on she sighed again.

“Can’t they tell we’re closed?” She asked herself as she started back toward the front door, her head hanging while her hand tried to rub the stiffness out of her neck. She finally looked up just as her hand reached for the bolt lock on the door, and looked right into the very eyes she didn’t want to see. Her hand froze as she lost herself immediately in his soulful gaze. He didn’t move, he didn’t blink, he just stared at her. She shook herself slightly, and her hand continued it’s movement. Not again, she could not do this anymore. She opened the door.

“What do you want Max?” She asked resignedly. He hesitated at the reserved tone in her voice.

“Can I come in?” He asked timidly. She looked at him for a moment, then stepped back out of his way in silent invitation. He walked past her silently and stood behind her. Reaching out, she re-locked the door, then turned to face him.

He saw the look she gave him, and he almost lost his never. Not quite hostile, but not far from it. Taking a deep breath, he squared his shoulders. They had to talk about this. He had to talk about this.

“We need to talk.” He stated, looking at her for any sign of encouragement. Her deep brown eyes just looked at him. He couldn’t tell what she was thinking. God, how the drifted so far apart?

“About what Max?” She asked coolly, refusing to let him see what his presence was doing to her. His eyes widened,

“About what?” He nearly shouted, “How can you say that Liz? I thought we cared about each other? I thought what we had was important to you too. I know I made some major mistakes. I know I behaved like an ass, but I was running Liz. I thought I was doing what you wanted me too, I thought you didn’t love me anymore. How can you walk away so easily?”

“Easy? You think this was easy for me?” She shrieked, rounding on him. “Really Max? How easy is it to find the one person, the only person, you could ever love, then find out that he has a pre-ordained destiny that doesn’t include you? How easy is it to have that same person ask you to step aside and tear you own heart out for some two-faced, murderous bitch to trample on, to lie to the one person you care about the most in the world, to betray the trust of the man you want to spend the rest of you life with? How easy is it to know that the world may end, that everyone you love will die if you don’t do as he asked? So I did it Max, I did what you asked me to do. I gave up everything for you, and do you know what happened? My best friend died and you, well, you did just what you were supposed to do. You turned to Tess, you even got her pregnant, only it didn’t change anything did it Max?” She asked, as she advanced on him. He backed up slightly, only to have her step closer.


“She still left, the world will still end, only this time she killed Alex first. I gave up everything that was ever important to me and it didn’t change a thing! I betrayed my own principles, I lied to all my friends, I lost you.... and it didn’t change a thing! So tell me Max, how easy do you think that was? How easy was it for me to walk away?” She finished, her voice nearly hoarse from screaming, tears streaming down her face.

He stood there in shock, unable to say anything. He had never seen Liz so angry. He didn’t know she could get so angry. His heart was racing in his chest, as he processed all she had said. The only man she could ever love? The man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with? He almost smiled until the rest of what she said sunk in. What was she talking about? He asked her to walk away? He told her to lie?

“Liz, what are you talking about? I never asked you to step aside, I never asked you to lie to me or our friends. I told you that I loved you, that I wanted you, not some supposed destiny. How can you say these things to me? I would never ask you to walk away from me, it would be like tearing out my heart!” He said, his confusion turning to anger. Liz let out a small bark of laughter,

“Yeah, well you did. You told me I had to or the world would end. How’s that for a break up line? I gave up our wedding Max. You remember that flash you had in Vegas? Well it was real Max, it really happened, only I stopped it. I stopped it because you told me too.” She said, her thoughts going ninety miles an hour. She knew she was making no sense to him, but she couldn’t stop herself. She suddenly felt him behind her. She knew he was going to touch her, and she couldn’t let that happen. She moved away rapidly just as he raised his hand to her shoulder. He let his hand fall back to his side.

“Liz, what are you talking about?” He asked quietly. She turned to him again.

“What am I talking about? I’ll show you what I’m talking about!” She said, striding purposefully back to him. She raised her hands and placed them on each side of his head, and in her anger she didn’t even realize that this time it was she that forced the connection.


********

Part 3



Nothing prepared him for the onslaught of images he was about to experience, or the overwhelming pain he was about to feel. He had never felt anything so powerful before in his life.

~~FLASH~~

Liz standing in front of her mirror, a lacy veil over her head.... “I Liz Parker take Max Evans...


.
~~FLASH~~

An older, long haired Max looks in Liz’s window....”Liz?” She turns at the sound of his voice... “Max?”



He could hear her,


~~FLASH~~

Liz struggling not to believe....“No, you're not Max, ok? You...you're like a shapeshifter. You are like some other kind of alien, with, like, the ability to look like Max with that beard and those...and those grey hairs.”



he could feel her confusion,


~~FLASH~~


Liz... “Why are you here?”

Future Max.. “I can't tell you too much, Liz...only what you need to know...but 14 years from now, we are taken over by our enemies.”

Liz... “Uh, who's taken over?”

Future Max... “Everyone. Earth. I need you to help me keep that from happening. We need to change the future. What we do here has to be precise and surgical. No one can know I'm here, especially not me...that is, my younger self.”




and her pain,


~~FLASH~~

The future version of himself, looking deeply into Liz’s eyes,... “I need you to help me fall out of love with you.”



Her desperation,


~~FLASH~~

Liz, standing in his room, telling him the biggest lie of her life.... “Max, you can't stop what's happening to you. I mean, your life will always be dangerous, but my life, it doesn't have to be. My life is only in danger if I am with you. I...I want to be in love with boys...normal boys. I...I want to see my 21st birthday. I...I want to have a wedding day. I...I...I want to have children...and I want my children to be safe. You know, Max, if...if you truly love me, you'll let me go. I may love you, but I...I don't want to die for you.”



her fear,


~~FLASH~~


Future Max.... “Liz, I am telling you what happened, and we have to change that. We have to. And so far, we've failed. Liz, it's not just Max that's the problem here. You are. You are not letting yourself change. Now you have to do something...before it's too late.”


Liz talking to future Max, begging him not to make her do it... “Do you know how hard it was for me to tell him that I didn't want to die for him? He's the only reason that I'm alive right now. You...you've...you gotta come up with another plan. Please go to someone else. I...I just...I can't do this anymore.”

Future Max... “Just 25 minutes before I came here, I held Michael in my arms...dead. Isabel died 2 weeks before that. Now you have to do this. You have to find a way. All of our lives depend on it.”




and the betrayal of her own heart,


~~FLASH~~


Max shows up at her window, the tickets for Gomez in his hand. He looks through the window and sees... and she watches his heart break in two. Defeated, he drops the tickets and leaves.

Kyle... “Well, I guess it worked”



He feels her heart break at the pain she knows she caused him, her fear of living life without him,


~~FLASH~~


Future Max... “I saw you with Kyle. He's turning out to be a...a great guy. Maybe it would be better for you to be with a human.

Liz... “Don't you realize what you are to me...and you're always gonna be? You're the love of my life. Everyone else is gonna be second best. There'll never be another you.”



Now the images change and he feels her guilt,


~~FLASH~~


Future Max standing behind her as she peeks out from Whitaker’s office... “Oh, we had a great wedding. You called Maria, Michael, Isabel, and Alex, and had them meet us halfway. We spent the whole night singing and dancing in some dive outside Phoenix, and at the end of the night...”


rush forward to more recent images,


~~FLASH~~

Liz standing alone as she deals with the news of Alex’s death...

Liz standing beside his coffin as it is slowly lowered into the ground, tears of guilt and anger streaming down her face.

Liz sitting alone on her balcony, rocking back and forth, muttering to herself as the tears started anew... “It’s my fault! I changed it, I changed the future! He should have been here to dance at my wedding....”



She removed her hands from his head and he staggered under the weight of it all. He backed slowly away from her, shaking his head, tears in his eyes at the thought of all she has been through and he had had no idea. Future max, Alex, and then...

“Oh my God! What have I done?” He whispered, the images still swirling in his head. She stood there watching him trying to deal with all she had had to deal with over the last year. She knew she should still be angry, but the devastation on his face proved to be too much even for her intense rage. She hung her head, as the weight of the world slipped off her shoulders.

“Now you know.” She said quietly, then turned and walked through the back door and up the stairs to her apartment.



******



Part 4



She sat on her balcony, looking up at the stars. She could hear him climbing up the ladder, and knew it was not over yet. Easing himself over the wall he walked toward her slowly, sitting down on the lounge next to hers. She still had not looked at him.

“I locked up the cafe' before I came up.” He said quietly.

“Thanks.” She said, keeping her eyes fixed on the stars. He took a deep breath,

“Liz... I don’t know what to say except, I’m sorry and thank you. You took so much on yourself, accepted all the responsibility. You saved all of our lives and we gave nothing in return. I was hurt, I didn’t understand, but it’s no excuse for how I’ve treated you or the things I’ve done.” He said quietly. She turned to him, tears in her eyes, her anger gone.

“I failed. Don’t you see that? I failed. She’s gone and without her you will never be strong enough to beat you enemy. The world is still going to end...” She said, trying to keep the tears at bay. He sat forward and took her face in his hands.

“Liz, don’t you see? You were set up to fail. I can’t believe, knowing how I feel inside, that I ever thought this plan could work. Liz you never had a chance to succeed, because I could never stop loving you. Even thinking you slept with Kyle I couldn’t stop loving you.” He said, his eyes intense. Liz laughed wryly,

“But it doesn’t matter Max, you still went to Tess. Loving me or not, you still slept with her, made a baby with her. She still left, she betrayed you all. I lost you... Alex... everything, and she still left. I don’t know what to do now. Now she is going to have your baby and she is with Kivar. The danger to us all is even greater now.” At the mention of Tess, his eyes lost focus and a look of disgust replaced his intense gaze.

“I don’t understand it Liz. I never wanted her, I never loved her. I don’t know how what happened... happened. I don‘t remember even wanting to... then I woke up with her.” He said, his voice sounding lost. Liz watched him, his agitation apparent. Despite that fact that this was the last thing she wanted to hear, he was still her friend, and even after everything she still loved him.

“Tell me what happened Max.” She said.

“Liz...” He started, not wanting to go into his relationship with Tess, with Liz of all people. She had been through enough.

“Just tell me Max. I need to know what you were thinking, how you were feeling.” She told him harshly, feeling like she was tearing open a fresh wound that was just beginning to heal. She knew the wound would only infect if they didn’t clean it out.

He sighed in defeat. God, how could he tell her this?

“I don’t know what happened Liz. I was so hurt and so angry. About us, about Kyle, and then what you said about Alex’s death. I didn’t want it to be true, but I was afraid in my heart that you were right, I was responsible. She was always there, trying to be a friend, or so I thought. She was trying to help me, help me remember our home world. The farther I drifted from you, the less human I felt, so I thought it would be a good idea. I wanted to learn more about the side of myself I had been ignoring. And it worked, I did remember, bits and pieces. I remembered the feelings I thought I had for her before... I was so confused. How could I have loved her and not even remembered her? I felt so guilty at the way I had been treating her, blowing her off, refusing to recognize our past relationship. When you said...what you said at the prom, I knew it was over between us, that you didn’t love me anymore. I gave into what she wanted, I felt I owed it to her, but I still couldn’t love her. That made me feel even more guilty, so I forced myself to spend more time with her.” He looked over to where she sat, and saw the pain etched on her beautiful features. He stopped, unwilling to cause her more pain.

“Go on.” She said, gritting her teeth for the part she knew was coming. He opened his mouth to protest, but she shook her head.

“As much as it hurts, I need to hear this Max. Keep going.”


“When you told me about what you thought had happened to Alex, I lost it. I refused to believe that I could be responsible for causing you so much pain, for the death of my friend, my sisters boyfriend... I didn’t want to think that he could have died because of us. It was easier to let myself be angry at you then to believe that. That night I went to the observatory, I don’t even know how I got there... and suddenly she was there. I don’t remember wanting her, all I could think about was you and how much I had lost... then I woke up the next morning, and she was there with me and we were both naked. I have vague memories of what happened, but it all seems so unreal, almost like a dream.” He said, sitting next to her on the lounge. His mind was so lost in the confusion of that time he didn’t even realized he had moved, but Liz did. She watched him closely, and could sense his pain and confusion. She noticed his fingers drumming lightly on the seat of the chase lounge in agitation.

“Then she came over and told me she was pregnant. God, it was the last thing I wanted to hear. A baby? How were we going to deal with a baby? Then she started getting sick, and I tried to help. I used my powers to look inside her, to try to find out what was wrong. I connected with the baby, and I knew he was dying. My son. I was going to have a son and he was dying. God, it all happened so fast Liz. This woman, who I was supposed to love, who was supposed to be my destiny was now going to have my child and he was going to die. When Michael brought me the translation of the Destiny book, I could have cried. I could save my son, but it would mean saying goodbye to my family, my friends, to you....forever. Then you told me that you had saved yourself..... for me. I knew something was wrong with that, but it was too late. I wanted to see you, to say something to you that would make things better, but what could I say? There was no turning back from the decisions I had made, right or wrong I was stuck with them.” He said sadly. He looked so forlorn, so lost. It almost broke her heart, but not quite. There was something she needed to try first. She sat forward in her chair, looking him right in the eye.

“Max, I’m going to try something ok?” She asked. He just looked at her.

“What?” He asked. She stood up and moved closer to him, slowly easing herself into his lap. She felt his arms go instinctively around her, but he looked up at her, unsure of what she was doing.

“Liz? What are you doing? I don’t...” He started, but she cut him off, bringing her lips down on his. His eyes flew open in shock, but it only lasted a moment. Growling low in his throat, he pulled her closer and gave into to every secret longing he had had for the last year.

What she had started, he took over with a vengeance. His hands came up to the back of her head and he held her still for the onslaught of his mouth. He felt her open to him and he plundered her mouth, frantic for her taste. He felt her start to shake as she returned his heat with a passion that matched his own. Groaning he pulled her even closer, unwilling to give up again what his heart desired most. He felt their connection come roaring back, taking on a new vitality and strength. He could feel what she was feeling, tell what she was thinking, and it set him on fire. He saw again the images that she had shown him before, only stronger. He could suddenly sense a change in her and something in him recognized it for what it was. He broke away from her, his breath raging in and out of his chest.

“Liz... Oh God Liz..” He said, and she attacked his mouth again. It was almost primal, the ferocity with witch she claimed him. He actually thought he heard her growl. If it hadn’t been so very real, he would have laughed. He returned her kiss, his passion quickly rising to match hers again. He could feel the power surging right beneath the level of her consciousness. My God, what had he done to her? She finally broke off the kiss, her chest heaving as she sucked in huge amounts of air. They both looked into the other’s eyes, and stared.

“Oh my God!” The both said at the same time.


*****









posted on 30-Sep-2001 8:06:07 PM
The rest of part 4



“Oh my God....Liz did you feel it? Did you see it?” He set her aside and stood up, pacing the small balcony in his struggle to understand what he had just seen, what he had just felt. What had he done to her? His mind raced as he sorted through the flood of images, trying to find the meaning of what he had just been shown. Finally he stopped and looked at her. She was grinning at him, watching him pace back and forth like a sleek black panther. He moved with a fluid grace while his mind worked, his nervousness at being here after all this time, gone. Not understanding the suddenly ecstatic grin on her face, he knelt down in front of her.

“Liz, I want you to tell me word for word what I... or future me... said to you. I need to know everything that happened. I need all the details. We missed something. Something important, and we need to find out what it was.” He told her. She just looked at him, unable to swipe the dopey expression off her face. Oh, my God, he still doesn’t see...

“Max, about you and Tess...” She started, but he cut her off.

“Tess is not important right now Liz. We need to figure this out. Something major has been staring us right in the face this whole time. Something that answers all the questions, and we need those answers. Please, I know it’s hard for you, but think for a minute. When I, future me, told you about what was going to happen, what did I say? Exactly?” He said, his eyes imploring her to concentrate. She sighed, she would have to tell him later, he was too caught up in this right now.

“Ok Max, calm down. Alright, he told me that 14 years in the future we were going to be taken over by our enemies. I asked him, who?, and he said all of us, you, me, Earth.” She said, thinking hard.

“Ok, did he say why? I know you said it was because of Tess, but did he say anything else? Anything at all?” Max asked, looking intently into her deep brown eyes.

“Just that it was because of the was we treated her, the way you treated her, after we got closer. He said that once we cemented our relationship, that nothing could ever come between us again. She got angry and left Roswell, and just the three of you, Michael, Isabel and you, were not strong enough alone.” She said, forcing her self to remember the most painful night of her life.

“Is that all?” He asked doubtfully. He knew there was more somewhere in that beautiful brain of hers, something that was important. He had seen it, but he need her to explain it.

“Yes, I think so... no, wait! I asked him, no I begged him, not to make me do this, but he said it had to be me. He said it was more that just you, it was me too. I wasn’t allowing myself to change...so I had to fix it.” She said. Max looked at her excitedly.


“Change? What did he mean by change Liz?” He asked, unable to control his growing suspicions.

“Well... I don’t really know, he never explained that. At the time I thought he meant I wasn’t accepting what I had to do. I was fighting it, but now that you mention it, it doesn’t really make any sense.” She said, suddenly confused.

“Liz, do you remember the time I went to New York? When the dupes tried to kill me?” He asked her, pacing the floor once again.

“Of course I remember Max, it wasn’t that long ago!” She said, trying to follow his sudden shift in thought.

“We never really talked about what happened there. How did you do what you did? You know, make it so I could see you? You saved my life.” He asked, anxiously. She watched him pace, knowing he was trying to get to something, she could see the wheels turning in his head.

“Well, Isabel asked me to try to help you. She said that...well, she said that if there was any voice you would hear no matter where you were, it was mine.” She said, glancing down at the floor. She felt his hands on her face as he lifted her head to look at him.

“She was right.” He said softly. She only nodded.

“Well, I told her I didn’t know what I could do, it’s not like I have any alien powers or anything, but she asked me to try. Ava had said that since you had healed me, I was different. She wouldn’t say what she meant though, only that I was changed somehow.” She said, her eyes losing focus as she remembered that strange conversation with Tess’s duplicate.

“Ok, so what did you do? How did you reach me the way you did?” He asked softly, not wanting to interrupt her train of thought.

“Well, I don’t really know. Isabel took my hand and I focused on you. All my love for you, my memories of you. I figured Isabel was trying to dreamwalk you while you were awake and she wanted you to hear me.” She answered honestly.

“But Liz, I didn’t hear you, I saw you. Izzy doesn’t have that kind of power, Liz, she doesn’t know how to visually project her image.” He said quietly, his beautiful amber eyes staring into her own.

“What are you saying Max?” Liz asked suddenly scared.

“Think about it Liz! I healed you right? Ava said that changed you somehow. You saved my life Liz, by doing something spectacular. Isabel doesn’t have that kind of power, none of us do. There have been so many things Liz, so many things all pointing to the same thing. First the flashes, none of the others got flashes like we did, and what about the orbs? Do you remember what led us to finding them? Then there was New York and now the future version of myself.” He was rambling, thinking out loud as all the pieces fell together in his mind. She watched him pacing again, not really talking to her just thinking out loud.

“What are you talking about Max?” She asked worriedly. He was really getting worked up.


“Liz! Ava said that my healing you changed you, and future Max said you were not letting yourself change. What changes Liz? If we had cemented our relationship the night of the Gomez concert, I would never have gone to New York, because I would never have left you. If I hadn’t gone, you would never have had to save me, we would never have found out you even could. I could feel it Liz, when you kissed me. You have to open up to it, you have to let yourself become whatever it is your supposed to become. We stopped it before, that’s why we failed, but now we know about it and can help you with it.” He said excitedly.

“Max, your scaring me! What are you talking about? How am I supposed to change?”

“Liz I could feel it, flowing right under the surface of your consciousness like a river. I changed you somehow, I made you like me only better, stronger. I could feel what you will someday be capable of Liz and it’s more powerful than anything I have ever felt before. It’s stronger than me, Michael and Isabel put together. We don’t need Tess, we never did, but future Max didn‘t know that.” He said, sitting down beside her. He looked at her and realized she was shaking. She stared up at him her dark eyes fathomless. He took her hands gently in his, stroking the softness of her skin with his thumb.

“He thought that pushing me and Tess together would work, but he was wrong. It wasn‘t Tess we needed to be strong Liz, it was you.” He said, quietly, forcefully. She had to understand. He watched her as what he was saying finally sunk in. Her eye’s grew wide.

“Me? This was about me all along? Oh God Max, this is so not happening. It can’t be, because if that is true, it was all for nothing! Alex died for nothing! All this time we’ve spent apart, was for nothing. I broke my own heart, and yours, lied to my friends all for no reason.!” She said, unable to deal with this after everything else.

“Stop it Liz!” Max said, shaking her shoulders slightly. “Yes Alex died, and I can’t tell you how sorry about that I truly am, and I made some major mistakes with Tess, and ...and the baby...but this was not all for nothing. We need you Liz! I need you! With out you, it will all happen all over again, only this time it will not just be Alex, but everybody we care about.” He said desperately. She looked at him for a moment the nodded, her panic gone as quickly as it had come.

“Ok. Alright Max, but what am I supposed to be able to do? I don’t have powers like you do.” She said, sitting down again with a sigh.

“I think you do Liz, even more than I do. I just think your scared, like future Max said, your not letting yourself change. We have to figure out what those changes are supposed to be. “ He said quietly, cupping her face lightly with his hands. She nodded, her face somber.

“So what do you think we should do?” She asked, willing to let him make the decisions for once.

“First I think we need to talk to the others. They can help us to help you while I try to figure out how to get my son back from Tess.” He said, letting his hands fall from her face at the mention of Tess’s name. God, they still had so much to work through. He was surprised to suddenly see Liz smile.

“But Max, that’s what I was trying to tell you! You don’t have to find your son!” She said happily. He shook his head slowly. How was he going to tell her that what just happened here didn’t mean he didn’t still have a responsibility to his child?

“Liz, I can’t just forget about him. I have to try to find him, there is no telling what that bi...that woman would do to him.” He said, despair filling his voice again.

“No, no Max, that’s not what I meant. I meant that you don’t have to find him because he doesn’t exist.” She said, and he looked at her sharply.

“What do you mean he doesn’t exist? I felt him, I connected to him.” He said, knowing that this was going to be hard for her. She just looked at him and smiled softly.

“Max, you never slept with Tess.”


********






posted on 30-Sep-2001 8:08:31 PM
Part 5


The hard rapping on the door pulled Michael from his light doze. He should have been up hours ago, but it was his day off and he was taking complete advantage of the opportunity to sleep in.

“Who is it?” He yelled at the door. His lack of enthusiasm for his visitors presence readily apparent.

“Max.”

He sighed deeply, knowing he couldn’t intimidate Max into leaving him alone for a couple more hours of sleep. Grumbling, he crawled out of bed and walked over to the door.
.
“This better be good Maxwell! I was....” He started as he swung open the door. He patented glare was fixed firmly in place until he saw Liz move out from behind Max. His scowl turned into eyes wide with shock and his face turned crimson. He quickly slammed the door in their faces as he realized he had opened it only wearing his boxers.

Max and Liz could hear his swearing as he rushed back into his apartment to find his jeans. Liz giggled and her face turned pick at the thought of Michael answering the door only in his skivvies. Max looked at her, his eye twinkling in humor, but it was short lived to say the least. The door flew open suddenly and the glare Michael sported before was nothing compared to the one on his face now.

“You could have mentioned you had Liz with you Maxwell.” He ground out, his obvious initial embarrassment now having turned to pure anger. Max had the decency to blush slightly.

“I’m sorry Michael, really. I didn’t even think about you still being asleep, seeing as it’s almost noon.” He told him, truly apologetic. Michael looked startled at that revelation and glanced at his wrist, only to find a white line where he watch should have been. He hadn’t known how late it actually was.

“Well, you could have called first.” He grumbled as he turned away from the door and walked into his apartment. The Michael version of an invitation to come in.

“Umm, Michael?” Liz said hesitantly. He slid his none to happy but, slightly conciliatory, expression over in her direction, with out actually making eye contact. She could see the redness rising again, and almost laughed out loud. She would have never guessed Michael Guerin to be the modest type.

“What?” He asked shortly.

“Well, I just thought you should know that the others are on their way, just incase you wanted to... you know, finish getting dressed.” She told him, looking anywhere but at him. She knew a fit of girlish giggles would not have been appreciated right now. He finally looked right at her, but his eyes narrowed quickly.

“Who?” He asked suspiciously.

“Well, everyone. Maria, Kyle, Isabel...” Her breath caught in her throat at her sudden realization of just how short that list was now. Their sacred inner circle was getting smaller and smaller...

She felt Max suddenly squeeze her hand and she gave him a small, sad smile in return. The small gesture was not lost on Michael, but he focused his attention elsewhere for the moment.

“Maxwell, why are all these people on their way to my apartment at ...11:47 in the morning on a Saturday?” He asked, checking the clock quickly for the accurate time. Max sat down on the couch, pulling Liz down with him, unwilling to be separated from her for even a moment after what they had figured out last night.

“Because I had to call a meeting Michael, and this was he only time everyone could make it.” He answered calmly. He watched Michael stare at him, taking note of the byplay between him and Liz. Max stared back, and Michael finally looked away, aware that he had lost this silent battle of wills. Liz looked from one to the other and back again, not understanding exactly what it was that was passing between them. When Michael finally dropped his gaze, Max looked at her and smiled gently.

“Fine. I guess I will go finish getting my clothes on since I’m having company I knew nothing about.” He muttered as he stalked back towards his bedroom.

“Well, that went well.” Liz said lightly. She got up from the couch and felt Max reluctantly let go of her hand as she moved slowly around the room. She walked in circles, her eyes blank as she lost herself in thought.

“What’s wrong Liz?” Max asked, his golden eyes following her every move. She stopped and turned to look at him.

“I’m a little nervous. I mean, I know we have to tell them about future Max and about Tess and the whole baby thing, but what about the other stuff Max? What if your wrong? I would hate for everybody to think I have all these super powers, then not ever be able to do anything with them.” She said, folding her arms protectively across her chest. He stood up and walked over to her. He took her face in his hands, brushing his thumbs over her cheeks lights in an achingly familiar gesture.

“I’m not wrong Liz, and I can prove it.” He said, looking deep into her chocolate brown eyes.

“How?” She whispered, losing her self quickly in tender gaze. He gave her a little, slightly mischievous smile.

“Well see, that’s the fun part, because to show you I have to kiss you.”

“Oh really?” She said huskily.

“Yeah,” He said, but then his eyes turned serious, “Liz, I’m going to send you the sensation of what my power feels like when it’s not in use, then I want you to clear you mind and see if you can bring up a similar sensation of your own, OK?”

“You want me to clear my mind?” She asked hesitantly, and he nodded.

“While your kissing me?” He nodded again.

“Well, that should be easy, because I can never think when your kissing me anyway.” She said, and he grinned. He started to lower his lips to her when he felt a slight push against his chest. He lifted his head again and looked at her questioningly.

“What about the flashes?” She asked, her eyes focusing on his lips. He watched as her tongue peaked out for a moment to moisten them. Stifling a small groan at the sight, he focused on her question.

“I’ll try to block them.” He answered, and she nodded. He covered her lips gently with his own, groaning at the sensations he felt through out his entire body at the slight contact. He tried to focus on his intended mission, but it was so hard to forget the feel of her lips under his. Finally he grasped onto the feeling he wanted to send to her and projected it trough the connection he felt open immediately.

Liz lost herself in his kiss for a moment, then she forced all thoughts of what he was doing to her out of her mind. She felt the connection between them open wide, but she received no images. This time, she felt a warm tingling surge through her brain and she could feel her neurons and synapses suddenly charge with energy. It was like a bolt of electricity swirling around in her head. Then, as the sensations Max had sent her slowly faded away, she felt an answering charge well up from deep with in the recesses of her mind. It was like what Max had sent her, only stronger, deeper, even more electric than what she had felt before. Though only a momentary sensation, she could feel the force of the power that had only peeked through the trappings of her subconscious and it left her awed, frightened and jittery. She pulled away from him gasping.

“Oh my God Max! Is that what you feel like all the time? Is that bright hum of energy always there like that? How do you ever get anything done?” She said lightly, but her voice shook.

“You felt it didn’t you? You felt yourself respond to my energy, didn’t you?” He asked, his eyes focused intensely on her. She nodded her head slightly.

“Max, it was like what you sent only about ten times stronger. How do you live like that? If what I got just a glimpse of ever came fully forward, it would drive me insane! I would never even be able to think straight.” She said, her voice now quivering with fear. She felt so strange, she couldn’t even figure out why she was suddenly so frightened. max walked over to where she had stopped, and pulled her close, his arms wrapping tight around her.

“You’ll get used to it Liz. I’ve learned to push it to the back of my mind so that I don’t even notice it anymore. Kind of like what your doing now, only I know it’s there and how to access it if I need it. Don’t be scared of it, it can’t hurt you.” He said, and felt her shaking subside somewhat.


“Aahheem.” They heard loudly behind them and they both turned to see Michael standing there staring at them. Liz tried to pull away when she saw the scowl she was receiving from Michael, but Max refused to let her go.

“No” He whispered in her ear, and she relaxed against him.

“Ok, so do either one of you want to tell me what’s going on? Why you two are so lovey-dovey all of a sudden, and why we are having an emergency meeting on a Saturday morning?” He asked, still scowling at them, though it had softened a bit.

“We’ll explain everything when everybody gets here. I don’t want to have to do this more than once, and besides, we will need everyone’s help.” He said.

Michael opened his mouth to argue with him, but was interrupted by a loud knock on the door, followed by Maria breezing her way in without waiting for an answer. Kyle and Isabel follow a little more tentatively. Maria walks up to Michael and throws her arms around his neck, planting a big juicy kiss on his lips before he can say a word.

“Good morning Spaceboy.” She said, and for a moment Michael’s eyes were only for her. He pulled her close, his arms going around her waist as he bent forward and gave her a proper kiss good morning.

“Morning” He said simply. He pulled back and noticed suddenly that the rest of the gang was watching them, a various range of emotions displayed plainly on their faces. Liz stood silently, plainly pleased by the tenderness she was seeing between the normally caustic couple. He could tell she was genuinely happy for the both of them. Max held Liz closely still, but he offered Michael a slight, understanding smile. He knew what it was for one woman to be you whole world. Kyle look a bit uncomfortable, and Izzy looked sad. He knew she must be thinking of Alex.

“So, now that we’re all here, could someone tell me what’s going on?” He asked gruffly, looking at Max. Maria followed his gaze and finally noticed that Liz was snuggled up in Max’s arm’s.

“Oh thank God! Does this mean you finally told him, Chica?” She asked, with her classic combination of drama and sensitivity. Liz nodded slowly, but Max suddenly looked upset.

“You mean you knew this whole time and never told me?” He asked her in a strangled voice. Maria looked down at her feet.

“Max, I made her swear she wouldn’t tell you, please don’t be upset with her now.” Liz said softly. He looked down into her eyes and his expression softened. He didn’t like it, but he understood.

“I’m sorry Maria.” He offered, giving her a small smile. She looked up at him, remorse showing on her face.

“Me too. You don’t know how many times I begged her to tell you the truth.” She told him apologetically.

“The truth about what? Would someone please tell us what’s going on?” Isabel said, not bothering to hide her irritation. Kyle placed a hand on her shoulder.

“I think I know.” He said quietly. That statement brought Max’s head around to look at him. Kyle cringed, he should never have opened his mouth. Max released Liz and walked slowly toward him, never once taking his yes from Kyle’s. Kyle had dreaded this day from the time Max looked through the window. He watched Max warily as approached slowly and stopped in front of him. Max stared at him for a moment longer, then did something totally unexpected. He held out his hand.

“I wanted to thank you.” He said quietly, as Kyle hesitantly took his offered hand in a tight grip.

“For what?” Kyle asked, confused. Max lowered his voice even more as he spoke words intended for Kyle’s ears only.

“She was desperate, scared and venerable. A lot of guys would have taken advantage, especially with what it was she asked you to do. Your a good friend Kyle, to her and to us.” He said. Kyle actually blushed but smiled and for the first time in his life, he could finally see what it was that Liz saw in Max Evans.

“She’s worth it. I’m glad you realize I would never hurt her. Take really good care of her Evans, or I will have to kick your ass.” He said, only half joking. Max smiled. max backed off again, and addressed the whole group.

“Liz and I talked for a while last night, and we have a few things to tell you all. What we have to say involves all of us.” He said, and walked over to stand beside Liz again. He took her hand in his and gave it a reassuring squeeze. Liz took a deep breath and met Maria’s sympathetic gaze. Maria smiled at her and gave her an encouraging smile.

“Ok, well I guess I should start by telling you all what happened to me. You might want to sit sown because it’s kind of a long story.” She started and everybody grabbed a seat looking at her expectantly.

“Well, after I came back from Florida last year something unbelievable happened to me...”

She went on to tell everything that happened with future Max, everything he told her and everything she did because of it. It was hard and she was crying by the time she was through. Nobody said a word for a few minutes.

“Wow. Liz, I had no idea that was what you were doing, I thought you were just mad at Evans...” Kyle offered into the silence. Just then Isabel spoke.

“You did all that just for us?” She asked, hesitantly. She was staring at Liz, her expression unreadable.

“Iz, I’m sorry I lied to you all, but I just couldn’t have lived with myself if anything happened to you all because of me.” She said, trying to explain her drastic actions. She stood up and started pacing the room again. She felt a hand on her arm and turned to find Isabel standing beside her. Iz pulled her close and hugged her tight.

“I can’t believe you did that for me, for us, to save our lives. Everything you had to go through...” She said and pulled away to look into her eyes.

“I’m sorry, for everything, for the way I have treated you, and the things I said to you when I thought you had ...hurt my brother that way.” She said, tears now streaming down her beautiful face. Liz matched her tears with her own.

“I never wanted to hurt him Isabel.” She whispered, “I love him too much.” Isabel smiled at her and nodded.

She moved to sit down again and suddenly found her self trapped against the brick wall of Michael’s chest. Michael rarely, if ever touched her , so this sudden show of emotion was completely unexpected. He squeezed her so hard she couldn’t breath. She returned his hug gently. When he released her, she could see wetness in his eyes, but she knew hell would freeze over before he let her see him cry.

“Thanks.” He said gruffly, his eyes conveying everything he could not say aloud. She smiled at him.

“Maria would kill me if I ever let anything happen to you Guerin.” She said gently, her tone belying her playful words. He simply nodded and returned to his seat, pulling Maria safely back into his arms.

Liz walked over and sat down again next to Max, resting her head on his shoulder. She felt his arm come around her shoulders and give her a gentle squeeze, but he kept his eyes on the group.

Michael looked at him for a moment before he spoke.

“Max, what are we going to do now? Tess still left.” He said, as much as he hated to bring up the subject of Tess. Amazingly, Max smiled.

“It’s ok, Michael, the future me was wrong anyway.” He told him.

“What do you mean wrong?” Michael asked, his voice harsh.

“Tess didn’t need to be here for us to be strong. It’s Liz we need, but we are going to have to help her.” He said. Everybody was looking at him, confusion written all over their faces.

“Max, what are you talking about?” Isabel asked. He looked over at her sorrow in his eyes.

“I’m so sorry Iz. Alex died too soon because I, future me, didn’t know the truth in that time. It wasn’t Tess we needed but Liz. As much as I hate that that we lost Alex though, his coming here did, in a way allow me to find out what we really did need to know. Do you remember what Ava told Liz about what I had done to her when I healed her?” He asked her. Isabel nodded, tears again in her eyes at the thought of Alex’s needless death.

“Yes, she told us that you changed her somehow.” She said, trying to focus on the conversation. Max nodded.

“Well future me told Liz that part of the problem was that she was not allowing herself to change. At the time, Liz had no idea what he was talking about., but last night I found out what he meant.” He said.

“What do you mean ‘change’ Max?” Maria piped up, her concern for her friend finally pulling her into the conversation.

“When I healed Liz, I changed her somehow. I don’t understand it, but that’s what happened. Last night when Liz... performed an experiment, I felt the change in her mind.” He told them, his ears turning red at the thought of how exactly he found out. He saw Michael’s scowl, and knew what was coming before he even opened his mouth.

“Damn Maxwell, I told you it might be dangerous, but no... did you listen? I told you we have no idea what our interaction with humans could do to them, but did you listen? Now Liz may be in danger....” He said, starting on the familiar rampage. Max stopped him cold.

“Michael, this change in Liz is going to be the one thing that saves all of our lives.” He said loudly. Michael stopped his tirade mid-sentence.

“How?” He asked. unbelievingly.

“I want everybody to come here and sit in a circle.” He instructed.

“Why? What are you going to do Max?” Isabel asked, but moved to do as she was told.

“I need to show you , it’s the only way your ever going to understand what I’m talking about.” He told her and the rest of the group moved into place, all except Kyle. Max looked up at him.

“You too Kyle, we will all need to know what we are dealing with.” He told him, then looked at him specutively, “Besides, this may involve you as well. I healed you too remember?” That was enough to get Kyle moving.


When they were all sitting together in a circle on the floor, Max instructed them to hold hands.

“What are you going to do Max?” Maria asked, curious.

“I want us all to connect. Ok, when this happens I want you all to clear your minds. You shouldn’t see anything, only feel.” He told them then looked at Liz.

“Same thing as last time, ok?” He asked her and she nodded, then smiled.

“I like the other way better.” She whispered and a slow smile spread across his face.

“Me too, but I don’t think that would work here.” He whispered back.

“Are we going to do this or not?” Michael asked, his voice impatient. Max nodded at him.

“Ok, Michael you open a connection with Maria and Liz, I’ll do the same with Liz and Kyle, Isabel you finish with Kyle and Maria. That should connect us all, ok?”

When everyone nodded, he took Liz and Kyle’s hands and closed his eyes. They all took that as their cue, and followed suit. They sat in silence for a few moments, then Isabel let out a gasp. Everybody opened their eyes

“Max! What was that? I could tell that the first wave of energy was yours, but what was that second one? It was so strong, like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Even Tess wasn’t that powerful.” She said, breathless from the sensation that had just electrified her mind.

“That was Liz.” He said and watched all their eyes open in shock. He nodded his silent agreement at their disbelief.

“That’s why we are going to need your help. We need to help her learn how to access it, how to control it. If she let that kind of energy out accidentally, someone could get hurt.” He said and saw Michael’s slight nod of agreement.

“No kidding! That kind of power could be really dangerous. What do you want us to do?” He asked him, almost in awe of what he had felt running through Liz.

“We are going to need to train her. I have no idea what her special gifts might be, but she is going to be strong. We will all need to spend time working with her to figure out what she can and can’t do.” He said, then looked over at Maria. She caught his glance.

“You can help her right? You can help her learn to control it?” She asked, more than a little concerned for her life-long friend. She was still a little disoriented by what she had experienced a few minutes ago.

“I will try, I promise.” He told her, the turned to Kyle. The boy was down right pale.

“You felt something didn’t you Kyle?” Max asked gently. He knew this scared him. Kyle gulped and nodded, still not really trusting himself to speak.

“I felt something, but nothing compared to what I felt from you or Liz.” He finally croaked.

“Yes, that’s what I felt too. I think yours is less because I wasn’t connected to you when I healed you. You don’t have to do anything with it if you don’t want to. I don’t think it would hurt anything to let it go.” He told him, letting his friend know he wouldn’t push him with this.

“I think, maybe, I should learn how to use it however much I can. That way I can at least help you guys sometimes, instead of standing around with my thumb up my butt.” He said, trying to play off his fear of their difference.

“You have always helped us Kyle, even without ‘powers’, but if you want to learn how to access your new energy, we will try to help you too.” Max told him. Kyle nodded and Max let it go.

The all six sat discussing how to work on this around work schedules and parents. They came up with a certain time each week for both Liz and Kyle to work with each of the three others. By the time they were done working it all out, Maria was pouting.

“I feel so left out!” She wailed plaintively. The others laughed, all except for Michael.

“Don’t even think about it Maria!” He told her, his voice rough.

“What?” She asked, turning wide green eyes to him.

“I can just see you now,” He smirked “running out in front of some car like an idiot just so Max can heal you too!”

They all laughed and Maria’s eyes brightened.

“Hey! That’s not a bad idea Spaceboy! We could plan it, you know, it might be painful for a few minutes, but...” She felt her self grabbed roughly from behind and was whipped around sharply by her shoulders.

“Maria..” His voice warned.

“Well, I want powers too!” She whined, pouting prettily. She was only playing with him, but he couldn’t take it.

“Maria, please! Promise me you won’t do anything to put yourself in danger! I couldn’t take it if anything ever happened to you, even if Max was there to make it all better.” He pleaded, the devastation in his face at just the thought of her being hurt was enough to make Maria feel ashamed of herself. His very real fear for her safety brought tears to her eyes.

“Hey, Spaceboy, I was only kidding!” She said gently, and was promptly crushed by his huge frame as he pulled her into a hug. When the tender moment was over, he released her slightly embarrassed by his public display.

“Yeah Michael, she doesn’t have to get run over by a car or anything, she could just get shot, like me and Liz did.” He said, trying to lighten the mood. Everybody laughed and Michael glared at him. If he hadn’t known him a little better, Kyle would have been terrified.

“Ok, guys we have one more thing to discuss.” Max said. He hated to bring this up this way, but there was no other way. Everybody looked at him.

“What now Max?” Isabel asked.

“Tess.” He answered and saw her face instantly cloud with rage.

“I still can’t believe you let her go after what she did to Alex!” She shot at him, turning away to hide the tears that always came with the thought of what that woman did.

“I’m sorry Isabel, I thought she was carrying my child!” He said, feeling miserable. He had really screwed everything up, hadn’t he? Four heads turned to stare at him.

“What do you mean ‘thought’ ?” Kyle and Isabel asked at the same time. Michael just looked confused and Maria turned to Liz.

“Tess was never pregnant.” He said quietly. It was hard to admit to all of them how much of a fool he’d been taken for.

“What do you mean she was never pregnant? You said you felt it, that you connected with the baby! You said the baby was dying!” Isabel asked, her voice rising as she spoke.

“It was all one of her mind warps Isabel, Max never even slept with Tess.” Liz stated quietly, but firmly.

“How would you know?” Michael asked.

“Michael, when you connect with Max, do you get flashes, images?” Liz asked him suddenly. He started to open his mouth, then stopped thinking.

“I don’t know, I don’t think I have ever tried.” He said honestly, still not sure where she was going with this.

“Max, I want you to focus on your memories of that night for a minute and tell us exactly what you remember. Kyle, Maria I want you to watch carefully.” Liz said, looking at both of them.

Maria and Kyle looked at her for a moment, then it suddenly dawned on them why she was saying this. They both looked to Max. He was more that a little embarrassed, but did as Liz had asked. He went through and told them everything he remembered. He didn’t even notice his fingers start to drum lightly on the carpeted floor where he sat. Liz looked over to Maria and Kyle.

“Do you see it?” She whispered. They both nodded. Isabel looked at them, the question already in her
eyes. She pointed to Max’s hand.

“Look at his hand guys, see what he’s doing? It’s the same thing Kyle and Amy did when they started to break through their mindwarps. It’s how we figured out what was going on and how we found out what had happened to Alex. Isabel looked quickly back at her brother.

“You can stop Max.” Liz told him. Michael still looked doubtful.

“Ok, so she mind warped him, how do you know it was about the ...” He stated, then paused, “sex and the baby.” He said finishing quickly. It had suddenly dawned on him just who he was talking to and how much she had already been through. This had to be painful for her to discuss. Liz smiled at him, letting him know she was fine with it.

“That’s why I asked you about the images. I get flashes when I kiss Max. I see images of what he has done, what has happened to him, and how he felt about it. When I saw him showing the signs of a mind warp, I kissed him. That was the experiment he was talking about earlier, it was the only way to know for sure what had happened to him.” She explained.

“So, what did you see?” Maria asked. After her experience with Michael the night before he was supposed to leave, she now fully understood what Liz was talking about.

“I saw what really happened that night. They were both at the observatory, but where Max remembers them ....having sex, what really happened was that she knocked him out with some kind of power we didn’t even know she had. I saw her stand in front of him and close her eyes. Max asked her what she was doing, and she told him it was time to take matters into her own hands. Then everything went black. After that I got hazy images, where he must have come around slightly. She apparently stripped him, and she did try to get him to... but his body wouldn’t... cooperate.” She told them, her face bright red. She looked at max, and saw his face was just as red as hers.

Maria laughed out loud.

“Oh! I would love to have seen her face with that one! Sorry Max, but that had to be priceless. She finally gets a hold of her...umm, “Destiny” and even she can’t make it work.” She chortled. The rest of the group finally couldn’t not control themselves any longer.

Max had seen them all trying to hide their smiles, but that mental image was just too much. They all rolled on the floor laughing, Kyle had tears streaming down his face. Maria gasped for breath, but the color of Max’s face sent her off again. He had turned down right crimson, but he smiled too. When the laughter finally died down to the occasional giggle here and there, Max brought the meeting back to order.

“Ok, guys, as relieved as I am to find out I don’t have s child out there facing all kinds of unknown dangers, we still have a lot to talk about. Not knowing Tess wasn’t pregnant, I let her go. That means she’s out there somewhere, and she knows all of our secrets. She told me Nesado had made a deal with Kivar, she could easily go to him.” he told them. That brought them all around quickly.

“Oh, God! Max, she knows everything. She knows about the pod chamber, the book, the stones, and... the Granolith.” Isabel said, her eyes huge.

“Wait, wasn’t the Granolith destroyed when she took off?” Kyle asked, remembering the sight he had seen that day. The whole rock formation practically melted.


“How do we even know she left?” Liz asked quietly into the sudden silence. She looked up at the five stunned faces looking at her.

“Can we trust what we saw to be the truth? What if it was a another mind warp? How much of what we saw with her around was a mind warp, so she could get what she wanted? The book? The message from your mother? The destruction of the Granolith? What if it was all a warp? What if the granolith is fine, and she leads Kivar to it? She knows where it is, and she can get in. Has anybody been out to the pod chamber since this happened?” She asked. She saw the horrified looks on all their faces. It had never even occurred to them.

“Oh, my God! What if Liz is right? What are we going to do?” Isabel said, her voice hardly more that a whisper. All five of them turned to Max. He stood up suddenly, and held his hand out to Liz.

“Let’s go” He said, looking at all of them.

“We have to see if the Granolith is still there.”




posted on 30-Sep-2001 8:10:26 PM
Part 6



*******


They headed out to the chamber, driving in tense silence. They would have been surprised to know that almost exactly the same mantra was being repeated over and over again inside all six of their heads.

Please don’t let it be too late...Please don’t let it be too late...


When they pulled up beside the familiar rock formation, Max sent a tense look to Liz riding next to him in the front seat of his loaner car. He was still waiting on the insurance money from the accident with the jeep. Sheriff Valenti, when he found out everything that had happened, had had Max report it stolen. Then pretended to find it a few days later, totally destroyed and burned beyond recognition. Max did as instructed as turned it into the insurance company, and they in turn were covering the expense of the lost vehicle. He was expecting a check for the value of the jeep any day.

Liz looked back at him, a worried expression in her deep brown eyes. Looking back up to the rock formation towering high above where they now sat, there was absolutely no sign of the major melt down they had witnessed when Tess made her escape. They all climbed out of the two cars and slowly grouped together, all of them still staring up at the rocks. Max took Liz’s hand in his and they started the steep climb silently. The rest followed, with Michael bringing up the rear. When they reached the entrance to the pod chamber Max paused, looking back at the others.

“We need to be ready, just incase there is someone in there.” He said soberly. Michael and Isabel moved to the front of the group, ready to get Max’s back if there was trouble. They nodded at him, their hands raised in readiness and he waved his hand over the wall for the silver handprint to appear. It glowed brightly for a moment before he covered it with his hand and the entrance to the chamber slid back silently. Max took a cautious look inside and saw nothing. Stepping slowly inside, he stopped, listening for any noises. He hear nothing. He waved the others forward and they all filed in silently.

Their pods stood right where they had left them, the light from the open doorway falling right on them. He took a second to check the small room they were in before moving forward. Nothing looked any different. He held up a hand and everyone else stayed out while he crouched in front of the pod that allowed entrance into the Granolith chamber. He saw the familiar glow coming from behind the aged webbing of the birth pod. Trying to be as silent as he could he moved forward through the pod, stopping when he heard a loud hiss and a sharp electric crackle coming from the room in front of him. He peaked through the back barrier and what he saw made him gasp out loud. He scrambled the rest of the way into the room.

Liz heard his quick intake of breath and moved without even thinking. She got down on her hands and knees and crawled through only to find Max transfixed by the sight in front of him.

“Oh My God! Max?” Liz said at his side and he turned to look at her.

“What happened?” She asked. He shrugged, his eyes worried.

“I don’t know.” He said simply.

The Granolith was still there, but now it’s soft white glow was a rich, angry red. It sent out little bolts of electricity every few seconds , and the inside of the once white cone was now filled with a maelstrom of black, grey, and a deep bruising purple. If she had had to describe it, she would have said it looked extremely pissed. Around the base of it, laid four decomposing bodies. Skin’s, she would guess as she looked at the bodies that were now charred beyond recognition. She turned her eyes away from the sight and buried her face in Max’s shoulder. They heard the door to the camber open and Michael and Isabel rushed in, their hands raised to defend their brother. They both stopped dead at the sight of the Granolith. Maria and Kyle followed only a second or two later, both running right into the backs of Michael and Isabel. Maria glanced around and she was the first one of the four to notice the four dead bodies. He had flew to her mouth.

“Oh God!” She said through her fingers, her had automatically going to her stomach as she turned and ran out of the room. Kyle watched her and looked to Michael.

“I’ll go see if she’s ok.” He offered meekly, his eyes skirting the sight that had made Maria turn green. Michael nodded gravely.

“Thanks” He said, knowing his friend really didn’t want to witness this. Kyle gave him a weak smile and left the chamber quickly.

“What happened in here?” Isabel asked, looking more than a little green herself. She turned to her brother.
“Max? Did you...?”

He shook his head.

“They were here when I got here.” He said, never taking his eyes from the Granolith.

“Well then who killed them?” She asked softly. Max did turn his head at this.

“I would say the Granolith did. My guess is that their Kivar’s men and they tried to take it. Tess must have already told them where it was.” He answered.


Liz walked closer to the Granolith while the others were talking. Se had noticed that the deep red color had slowly started to fade once the other two had joined Max in the chamber. She could somehow sense the machine calming down. Was it just a machine? She didn’t really think it was. What ever else the translation of the Destiny book said, this thing was not just a one time shot home. If that was all it was, Kivar would not want it so badly. She could hear the machine humming , and her mind answered it with a little jolt of the power she had felt before. She slowly walked around the bottom of it, her eyes drawn up along it’s main cone shaped cavity. The deep dark colors were gone now, and all that remained was the soft darkness it had always carried.


The light from the bottom cone was almost completely white again now, and she could feel it calling to her. She focused her eyes on the now soft white light shining from it and she squatted down next to it. She gently placed a hand on it and felt the hum grow louder, almost inside her head. A little more of the thin fabric of her subconscious was torn away to reveal that flowing river power Max had felt. She closed her eyes, she could feel it trying to rip from it’s seems completely, but she controlled it. Just when she thought she had it under full rein, she felt her other hand move of it’s own accord. It moved to rest on the other side of the white cone.

A sudden flash of white light filled Liz’s mind as she felt the rest of her subconscious completely torn open to allow the power to flow freely. A harsh gasp was torn from her lips as her head flew back and her eyes rolled back into her head. She felt the power flood through not just her mind but her whole body. She could suddenly feel every cell in her body come alive, every nerve ending as it reacted to it’s current stimulus. The cool air of the cave, the rough texture of her jeans, the softness of her shirt. She dimly heard someone on call her name but it was like it was coming from a great distance. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t think as the power surged through her. Finally she felt her hands fall free and she heard herself sigh as everything faded to black.


*****


“Liz!” Max screamed when he turned to see what had caused her to gasp like that.

She was kneeling beside the Granolith her hands placed on each side of the cone. Her head was thrown back and her eyes closed as a bright white light pulsed around the room. He ran to her side, just as her hands released from the cone. He caught her as she fell, before she could strike the ground. He cradled her close, looking around for a place to lie her down. Michael followed his gaze as it fell on the dead bodies of the Skin’s laying around. He immediately raised his hand and waved it over the first body he came too, it dissolved instantly. Isabel saw what he was doing and moved to help him, in no time the floor of the Granolith chamber was spotless. Max eased her down, keeping his hand behind her head to keep it from striking the ground.

“Liz?” He called softly, his big hands cupping her face gently. he checked her for a pulse and found it strong and steady. What had happened to her?

“Liz, please wake up!” He pleaded, feeling the sting of tears in his eyes. He heard Maria and Kyle run into the chamber and looked up.

“Max what happened? I heard you scream...” Her eyes fell to Liz laying on the floor. She rushed to where Max was kneeling on the ground.

“What happened? Is she ok?” She asked. She was slightly panicked, but keeping to together. Like Max she felt for a pulse and breathed a sigh of relief when she found it. He shook his head in slight confusion.

“I don’t know, I was talking to Isabel and Michael when I heard her gasp. I turned around and she was touching the Granolith. It was weird, it no longer looked...well, evil. It had turned white again and it was pulsing. All of a sudden she dropped her hands and collapsed. I can’t find anything wrong with her, I already checked, but she won’t wake up.” He explained to Maria. Just then he looked down at her beautiful face and saw her lashes flutter gently for a moment, then her forehead creased and she called his name.

“Max?” She asked, her husky voice barely more that a whisper. Her eyes fluttered open and she saw his beautiful staring down at her, full of concern.

“Liz? I’m right here, are you ok?” He asked, ecstatic that she was finally waking, but still worried. He could see the confusion in her face as she tried to look around only to realize she was on the floor. She started to sit up, only to grab her head and moan loudly.

“Max! Max, make it stop! Make it go away!” She moaned, her hands on each side of her head. She could feel the power now. It swirled through her head like a thousand tiny lightning bolts, bouncing of the inside of her skull. The loud hum of the energy seemed to overpower everything and she couldn’t think.

“What Liz? What is it?” He asked, his concern growing. She couldn’t seem to vocalize an answer, instead she placed one hand against his temple and connected. His eyes grew huge.

“Oh God Liz! Ok, try to listen to me....Liz! I need you to look at me.” He said, and saw her struggle to focus her eyes on his face. “I want you to listen to my voice, only to my voice. Concentrate Liz, look into my eyes and focus on my voice. It will help I promise. Force it into the back of your mind. Don’t let come forward unless you want it too. Focus on me Liz, only on me for now, Ok?” He kept talking to her, trying to help her push it back.

The others watched in fascination. They wanted to know what was going on, but now was obviously not the time to ask questions. He was helping her, what ever he was doing was helping. They could see Liz calming down and her breathing returning to regular. Her color pinkened, and she finally removed her hands from the side of her head as her eyes slid shut. Max held her face in his hands, still talking to her in a soothing monotone, giving her something to focus on. He slowly slid his hands to the back of her head and sent a relaxing warmth into her, soothing her frayed nerves.

She felt the subtle warmth suffuse her body, starting at the back of her head and working it’s way down. She felt him working his magic while she listened to his calming voice. The constant drone in her head finally receded. It was still there, it was tolerable now, but it was still there. She knew if she focused on the distant sound it would come roaring back, so she ignored it. Instead, she focused on his wonderfully deep voice and his gentle, magic hands. She felt a small smile curl her lips as she felt his love slid into her along the line of their connection. It surrounded her, invaded her and completed her. Never had she felt anything so pure, so beautiful. She wanted to stay right here forever, wrapped up in his love like a blanket warming her soul. She sent him her love gently, afraid to pull the power forward again. Her eyes still closed, she heard him gasp aloud as he felt the depth of her love for him.

She finally opened her eyes and looked at him. He was so beautiful. She loved him so much, she just wanted to crawl inside his chest and live near his heart, so she would never be away from him again.

Never again....you are my heart..

She felt him whisper across her mind and closed her eyes once again in contentment, only to snap them open when she realized he had not spoken aloud. She looked up at him and realized he had heard her thoughts as she had heard his. His eyes widened as he looked at her, but a soft smile played on his lips.

“Better now?” He asked gently, still holding her stare. She felt his hands drop and realized she could think again. The agonizing buzzing in her head was gone, only a faint hint of it remained. She smiled a beautiful smile at him. This other new development would stay between them for now.

“Yes, much!” She said, and he helped her to stand.

“Thanks” She said softly, wrapping her arms lightly around his waist, while still looking him deep in the eye.

“Any time.” He said with a soft smile, then frowned slightly at the thought of what she had just been through.

“Listen, you may have to focus on keeping it down for a while. Eventually it will be like it is right now all the time, it will be second nature for you to keep it in the background. But for now, if it ever gets to much, let us know, we can help you ok? Any of us can do it, even Kyle or Maria, just call ok?” He told her. She nodded mutely. She felt a light hand on her arm, and turned to see Maria’s troubled green eyes. She hadn’t even realized she was standing there. Then she noticed the entire gang gathered around looking at her worriedly.

“Are you alright, Chica?” Her best friend asked worriedly. Liz wrapped her arms around her neck, letting her know she was fine.

“I’m fine really, I promise. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. It was all just a little overwhelming.” she said, in a rush to reassure her friend. Maria pulled away again too check her over with her eyes once more before releasing her. She was apparently satisfied with what she saw, because she dropped her arms back to her sides.

“Do you remember what happened?” Kyle asked her. He too, carried a worried expression, but it was fading quickly. She nodded at him.

“Yeah, it was really weird actually. I noticed that when Michael and Isabel entered the chamber, that the red color started to fade from the Granolith. Max was talking to Isabel so I stepped closer to watch it. The closer I got the more I sensed it. I know it sounds strange, but I could actually feel it calming down in the presence of Max, Michael and Isabel.” She said. Hearing it out loud, it sounded crazy, but she knew what she had felt.

“Liz, are you sure your alright?” Michael asked skeptically. All of this must have thrown her for a really big loop. She was talking crazy.

“I’m fine Michael, really. Look, I know I sound insane but it’s true. I could feel it, it was angry, When you showed up, it calmed down” She insisted. he still looked skeptical.

‘Liz, it’s just a elaborate rocket ship, how is it supposed to get mad?” Maria asked, her concern shooting right back up there when she heard what her friend was trying to say.

“No Maria,” She said, walking in a slow circle around the Granolith, eyeing it critically. “I know what the translation said and every thing, but this is not just a rocket ship. It is much more than that.” She said.

“How can you be so sure Liz?” Max asked her. He knew she was fine now, but he wanted to know what she was thinking.

“Think Max! Why would Kivar need a rocket ship? Why would he want it so badly if that’s all it is? Especially if it’s just a one time use thing, like the translation said? He’s on another planet. One that obviously already has the technology to get from there to here, so he can’t want it for that. Plus, I can’t believe your parents would leave something with this much power her with you just to get you home, when they could just as easily hidden a ship for you here. No, there is more to it, much more to it.” She said, thinking to herself again.

“But it was Alex that translated the book Liz, surely you trusted him?” Isabel said, looking at Liz. She watched Liz’s eyes sadden at the thought of Alex.

“Yes, of course I trusted him. I don’t know Iz, maybe he knew what Tess was really after and he substituted a fake translation for the real one. I really don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Alex was brilliant, it wouldn’t have taken him much to figure out a way to do just that.” Liz told her. Isabel sent a warm smile her way.

“Your right, he was brilliant, and so kind and gentle.” She said wistfully. Nobody said anything for a few minutes after that, but again Liz broke the silence.

“It called me.” She said looking at the Granolith again. Max looked at her strangely for a second.

“What do you mean it called you Liz?” He asked. She looked over at him.

“It called to me. The closer I got to it, the stronger it was. It called to me, or what ever that power is in my head. I couldn’t help myself, I had to touch it. It was like it wanted me to. It wanted to release the power I was hiding in my mind. The Granolith called to it and I could feel it respond. When I touched it with one hand, it got louder, but when my other hand touched it too, it was like ....it was like the Granolith ripped away what ever was holding it back in my mind and let it run free. It was scary, but incredible.” She told them, her voice held a slight tremor.

The others just stared at her, not sure what to say. Max walked up to her and wrapped her in his arms.

“Why don’t we get you home? The Granolith is still here and seems to be able to protect itself just fine. Besides after everything you‘ve been through, you have to be exhausted.” He said, rubbing his hand lightly up and down her back.

Until he said something, she hadn’t realized how tired she was. She relaxed into him and nodded sleepily. He chuckled, then swung her up into his arms. She squealed at first because she wasn’t expecting it, but she soon settled down comfortably against his chest. He turned to find four other pairs of eyes watching him with amusement.

“What?” He asked, somewhat defensively. She was tired, besides, it was a great excuse to hold her close to him. They all just laughed and followed him out of the cave.


********



posted on 30-Sep-2001 8:12:01 PM
Part 7


“Ok Liz, now concentrate. I want you to call the energy forward. Visualize yourself wrapping your mind around it. Bring it forward but don’t let go of it.” Isabel instructed soothingly. She watched Liz, her eyes closed in concentration, her brow furrowed with the effort.

“Do you have it? Are you in control of it?” She asked quietly, not wanting to break Liz’s hard won control. At Liz’s slight nod, she sighed. This was going much better than last time.

“Ok, keep your mind around it, you want to use it, guide it, don’t let it completely fill you. On, now I want you to picture that energy as a bright beam. A flexible beam of light. Can you do that?” Liz nodded slightly.

In her mind she saw the mental image change. She forced the frizzy, electric feeling in the center of her brain to take on a visual image. She suddenly saw it as a bright blue rope, floating unaided in the middle of her brain, extending as far back into the dark reaches of her mind as she could see. The beginning of it floated in the front of her mind waiting patiently for her to tell it where to go. She opened her eyes. The image stayed as it was, confined and in control, and she found that she could now focus on her surroundings and what was going on around her, while still keeping it that way. She smiled at Izzy, bouncing a little on the bed she was sitting on. Isabel smiled at her a little hesitantly,

“You ok?’ She asked, not sure if she had accomplished her goal. Liz smiled brightly again.

“Yes! I have it controlled for now. I can feel it waiting on me to tell it what I want it to do. It’s surprisingly easy Iz! As long as I picture it as a bright beam of light, I can keep it where I want it. I hardly have to even think about it this way. Thank you so much!” She said and Isabel breathed a sigh of relief. She had spent nearly an hour last time trying to help her push it back again once they had brought it forward. Needless to say, that experiment hadn’t gone so well. She had spent all this week trying to figure out a way to help Liz get a handle on it. She had come up with this idea just last night. She had felt really bad the last time, because she really had no idea what Liz was experiencing. Her power had always been there, and it seemed like she had always been able to control it. She had actually thought that Liz was being a little overly melodramatic about it all, at least she did until that last time and she had connected with her for a moment.

The instant the connection opened, she had felt her mind fill with an overwhelming buzz of energy. She could feel Liz struggling with it, somehow lost in the middle of the gigantic force. She could feel her panic, her inability to control it. She had ended the connection immediately and called to Liz, trying to give her voice for her to focus on like Max had done. Eventually, she had succeeded, but it had taken a while.


After Liz was in control again and seemed back to her normal self, Isabel had broken down in tears, apologizing to Liz over and over again. Liz was a little more that confused until Isabel had shamefacedly told her what she had been thinking.

“I’m so sorry, I just never realized what it was like for you.” She had told her. Liz had smiled at her gently and hugged her close.

“It’s ok Iz. I probably wouldn’t have believed it either if I hadn’t experienced it. Besides, you helped me get it under control again. Thank you.”

Isabel had just stared at her in disbelief. She could not believe how sweet this girl was. She knew she would have been mad as hell at someone that had just told her they had thought she had been hamming it up. All of a sudden the past two years came rushing back to her and she felt the tears well again. She looked up at Liz and the guilt Liz saw in her eyes really threw her.

“Isabel, what’s wrong?” She asked worriedly.

“I haven’t always been very nice to you. In the beginning, I wasn’t nice at all, and even recently, with that whole thing about Alex’s death.....” She said. Liz sighed.

“Isabel, that’s all in the past now. I wasn’t always so nice either, but look, were friends now. That’s all that counts, right? I would really like it if we could be close.” Liz offered gently. Isabel nodded. She looked around Liz’s room and saw a picture of Alex sitting on her desk.

“How did you know?” She asked.

“How did I know what?” Liz asked, back to being confused again.

“About Alex, how did you know it wasn’t an accident or a ... a suicide? I was his girlfriend, I loved him so much, but I didn’t know.” Isabel said, almost frantic now. Liz could see the tears in her eyes again. God, they had all shed so many tears recently. Hopefully the healing could begin now that all the lies and deception was out of the way. They all needed it.

“Iz, he was like my brother, I was as close to him as you are to Max and I still didn’t see what he had been going through. If it had been Max that died and someone told you he had killed himself, would you have believed them?” Liz asked gently. Isabel looked horrified at the mere idea of her brother’s death.

“No! I know Max would never do that.” She said instantly, but then a frown marred her beautiful features.

“But then, as his girlfriend, or even just his friend, you would never have believed it either. How could I have ever believed something so awful about Alex?” She said, and suddenly Liz understood.

“Isabel I want you to listen to me ok? It didn’t mean that you loved him less, but Tess did her job very well. We all had been drifting apart, me, Max, you, Alex, Maria, Kyle, and Michael, all of us. None of us were as close to each other as we used to be. She managed to get to us all from the inside, it was the only way she could succeed. Iz, we can never let anybody come between us all again, We need each other, both human and alien. All of us being together makes us stronger. We are family now, weather we’re related or not, and I will never let anyone take that away from me again.” She told her and Isabel smiled.

“You know, I’ve always wanted a sister. I’m so glad I found one in you. I want you to know, that even if things don’t work out between you and my brother, even if he is stupid enough to never make it official, you will always be a part of my family from now on.” Iz said, a shy smile on her normally confidant face. Liz smiled, happy tears in her eyes. She grabbed Isabel’s hand and squeezed it hard.

“You too. You know you can always come to me if you need anything, even if it’s just to talk.” She said. Isabel nodded.

“I’ve always known that. You have always been there for all of us, I just wish we had realized it earlier.” They hugged tightly and then decided to head home. Between the tear fest and the experimentation with her powers, Liz had been exhausted.




“Iz? Isabel Evans are you listening to me?” Liz said, noting the far off expression on her friends face. Isabel shook her head, and smiled at her.

“Sorry, I was off in la la land. What were you saying?” Liz rolled her eyes, a slight smile on her face.

“I was asking you what we do now? I have all this energy built up, I want to figure out how to use it.” She said, reminding Iz why they were there in the first place.

“Oh, well, what do you want to try?” She asked, now focused on the task at hand.

“Well what has Kyle been able to do so far?” She asked, wondering how his training was going. They had both spent the last two weeks trying to get a rein on their new abilities. Needless to say, Liz was having a bit of a harder time than he was.

“Well, he can do easy stuff, like change the color of things, heat up water, and once he to lock a door. Of course he couldn’t get it unlocked again, but he’s getting better. But Liz, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. What you have is so much stronger than his. It’s like comparing a little stream to, say, the Pacific Ocean. I’m hoping to be able to teach him to create a shield for himself at the most, at least he will have some kind of protection if he needs it, but I’m afraid that the most Kyle’s powers will amount too is not much more than a few parlor tricks. you on the other hand, have an unlimited source of energy. I think you should be able to do everything that we do, and then some. Your stronger than we are. However, I think we should start with little things. Lets see... “She said, then spied Liz’s closet. She got up and opened the door. Noticing a particular shirt she absolutely hated, she pulled it out.

“Can you change the color of this?” She asked holding out the shirt to Liz. Liz’s mouth dropped open when she saw what she was holding.

“But, that’s my favorite shirt!” She said, indignant. Isabel rolled her eyes.

“I know, but to tell you the truth, this color is really awful on you. Why don’t you try to change it to... let see, how about a deep blue, or even a light peach. You know, you really shouldn’t limit your self so much when it comes to clothes. You have beautiful coloring, you could wear just about anything,” Isabel told her.

“Limit myself? This from the girl that has an entire closet full of dead cows? Is there anything you don’t own in leather?” Liz asked incredulously, trying hard to be annoyed.

“What? Leather is fantastic for any occasion. It can be casual, dressy, or down right sexy, besides it’s very durable.” She said, somewhat defensively. Liz grabbed the shirt.

“Fine! But for the record I want it known that I like this color.” She huffed, taking the bright purple shirt from Isabel’s grasp. She sent the other girl a glare she couldn’t hold and broke down laughing

“Ok, how do I do this?” She asked when she could finally catch her breath. She laid the shirt out in front of her. Iz sat beside her on the bed

“Ok, now close your eyes and picture the beam of light again” She instructed. Liz did as she was told.

“Alright, now I want you to imagine the beam of light splitting in two. Now, I want you to let one of the beams slid down your neck and into your shoulder, you can feel it as it moves down your right arm and into your hand.” She told her, and Liz did.

She saw the bright blue beam split into two slightly thinner beams, both of them now waving gently in her mind. Then she took one of the beams and let it slide down her neck and into her right arm. She could feel it as it slid forward into her hand, making each finger tingle as it spread.

“Now take the other beam and do the same thing with your left arm.” She said. Liz repeated the process, and by the time she was done both hands felt like they were charged with electricity. She opened her eyes and looked at Iz.

“Ok, now what?” She asked. Iz just looked at her for a moment. then she spoke.

“Ok, close your eyes again. With the right hand, I want you to imagine the shirt what ever color you want it to be, then place your finger on the shirt. Feel your self pushing the power out of your fingers, forming it into to what you want it to be. See the shirt as the color you want it to be, make the energy that color. Imaging the color changing when you touch the shirt.” She said, and watched Liz as she slowly moved her hand toward the shirt. She watched the shirt change from the bright purple to a deep royal blue. She grinned. Liz opened her eyes and looked. She grinned a happy grin as Izzy.

“I did it!” She said excitedly. Iz nodded.

“Ok, close your eyes again and focus Liz.” She instructed. Liz did it.

“Ok, I want you to picture a shield. One like Max’s, a shield that nothing can penetrate. You can make it whatever color you want, but make it really strong. Now, I want you to let the power out of your fingers. Picture it leaving your hand and forming the shield. Picture it making the shield, stronger, thicker, nothing can get through it.” Is instructed. She watched Liz raise her hand.

“Wow!” She said in wonder. Liz opened her eyes, and gasp at what she saw. Shining between her and Isabel was a bright purple shield. She could see the energy that created it, roiling with in the bright color. She laughed happily. Isabel looked at her and smiled.

“I knew you could do it! Girl, what is it with you and purple?” She asked her. Liz laughed.

“You know, it it’s making you tired, you can drop it now.” Isabel told her after a few minutes of holding the shield steady. Liz just looked at her quizzically.

“Tired? Iz, this is barely using any energy at all.” She told her. Isabel raised an eyebrow at her and grinned.

“Really? Then why don’t we try something.” She asked her moving, to the other side of the room.

“What are you doing Isabel?” Liz asked her nervously. Iz smiled.

“I’m going to see how strong it is. Don’t worry, I’m just going to send a little burst of energy at your shield, nothing that would hurt you if it doesn’t work.” She said reassuringly when she saw Liz’s nervous expression.

Liz was more than a little nervous, but she trusted Isabel with her life. She saw Isabel raise her hand and braced herself for the impact of her power. She saw her send a little blue ball of light right at her. Liz felt nothing, not even a little twinge. It hit the shield and dissolved.

“Well, it looks like it works.” Isabel said, “Lets see how strong it is. I’m going to send something a little more powerful this time.” Liz nodded, and braced herself again. This time the energy Iz send was much brighter, but still Liz felt nothing. Her shield just absorbed it.

“Wow!” Iz said, “Want to try again?” Liz nodded.

They continued like this for the next half hour. Nothing Isabel sent at her had any affect, nor did the shield seem to be weakening at all.

“Are you sure your ok?” Isabel asked her. Liz had been holding the shield up for 45 minutes straight.

“I’m fine. I’m not tired at all.” Liz reassured her. Iz smiled, but she was gaining a whole new respect for Liz’s power. They kept going, Liz holding back anything Isabel sent at her. They were so involved in their practice, neither of them noticed Max approach Liz’s window from the balcony. He looked inside and his eyes opened wide at what he saw. He raised the window and crawled inside.

“Wow!” He said, looking at the bright purple shield Liz had up against Isabel. Isabel raised her brows at him.

“Yeah, that seems to be the general sentiment.” She said. Liz just smiled at him, beaming with pride. He smiled back at her, wanting nothing more than to kiss her senseless. She suddenly closed her eyes and focused on drawing the energy back up her arm and forcing it to the back of her mind again. When she opened them, the energy shield was gone. She walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck.

Well, then why don’t you?

She sent to him. His eyes opened wide, not realizing he had shared that thought with her. He grinned and lowered his lips to hers in a gentle kiss. Isabel watched for a moment, and when neither seemed willing to come up for air, she rolled her eyes.

“Umm.. hello? I am still in the room!” She said loudly. That seemed to get their attention. Max looked up at her and smiled, a little flushed.

“Sorry” He said, but it was perfectly clear he was nothing of the sort. He was grinning happily. Isabel rolled her eyes again, but she couldn’t help smiling at seeing her bother so happy for the first time in over a year.

“Yeah, whatever. Hey, where is Michael?” She asked, suddenly curious that he hadn’t shown up with Max like he was supposed to.

“He’s downstairs talking to Maria. He’ll be up in a little bit.” He told her, his eyes once again focused on Liz. Liz looked up at him and gave him a pained expression.

“Great! Maria gets about as much work done with Michael around as I do when you show up.” Liz complained.

“Hey! I heard that, Chica!” Maria said as she opened the door and walked in with Michael in tow. Liz smiled. She looked up at Max,

“See? I told you, he’s not here for five minutes and she’s already up here goofing off.” She said, sending Maria a teasing smile. “By the way, I thought I locked that door!” She added, sending them a mock glare.

“Yeah well, that’s one of the perks to having your own private alien.” Maria said, jerking a thumb behind her at Michael. He snorted at her and smirked at Liz. “AND, I am not goofing off! It’s just slow right now and Agnes said she would cover me for a few minutes” She gave Liz a patented Maria pout and Liz laughed.

“Do you have to close tonight?” Liz asked her. Maria shook her head,

“Nope, it’s not my turn, thank God! I get off as soon as the dinner rush is over. Why, what’s up?” She asked curiously.

“Nothing, I just wanted to show you what I learned how to do today. It’s so cool!” Liz told her excitedly.

“Why do I feel like I should be sewing you a nice little tight spandex outfit with a big fat L in the middle of the chest and a flying red cape?” Maria asked her. Liz sent her a haughty glare,

“Please! I am so much cooler than Superman! He could never change the color of his eyes to match his outfit!” She teases mockingly. Maria laughed, then sobered up quickly.

“Can you really do that? Because that would be so cool. I have this fabulous blue sweater...” She started, and Liz interrupted her laughing.

“I was only kidding Maria! But I did change the color of my favorite shirt today.” She said sending Isabel a playful frown. She picked up the now blue shirt and showed it to Maria. Maria looked at the shirt and grinned.

“Oh, thank you Isabel! I hated that shirt, the color was just all wrong for you Liz. It looks much better now.” She said fingering the deeply colored material. Liz’s jaw dropped open.

“What do you mean? Ok, is there anyone else who hated my shirt?” She asked, looking around the room. Neither Michael or Max would meet her eyes. Her eyes grew huge.

“You all hated my favorite shirt? Why then, did nobody ever tell me that I looked so awful in it? I wore it all the time! Max?” She sent a questioning look.

“Well that color did make you look a little pale, but the blue is nice.” He said, flushing slightly and looking away.

“Why didn’t you ever tell me I looked bad in it?” She asked him, her eyes wide and staring. he gave her a sheepish grin, before pulling her into his arms.

“Because I never really thought about it. Liz, you could wear a gunny sack and you would still look beautiful to me.” He told her looking at her slightly reddened face. She grinned at him with that one and gave him a sweet kiss. Maria let out a low whistle,

“Nice save Max.” She told him. Liz turned to her and stuck out her tongue. They all laughed.

“You know that color may not have looked all that great on the shirt, but it looks fantastic in your shield” Isabel said. Maria looked at her with her eyes wide.

“You can make a shield? Like the one Max can make? Oh, I wanna see!” She whined excitedly.

“Well, that’s what I was going to show you later. I got to pick the color and everything.” She said, forgetting she was supposed to be miffed at her best friend. Max looked at her.

“You got to pick the color? I never got to pick the color o my shield! It was just automatically green.” He said, pretending to be jealous. She looked at him, slightly startled.

“You didn’t?” She asked a little uncertainly. He shook his head slowly..

“Well, let’s see it girl!” Maria chirped. Liz moved away from Max and looked pointedly at Michael. He picked up her unspoken request and moved to re-lock the door.

Isabel moved the rest of them to the opposite side of the room and nodded at Liz to go ahead. Liz closed her eyes and raised her hand. She felt the power move down her arm and release from her fingers. When she opened her eyes, everyone was staring in wonder at the bright purple shield.

“That is so cool!” Maria said. Isabel nodded.

“Watch this!” She told them and raised her hand, sending a powerful blast right at Liz. The other three gasped and held their breath until they realized that the shield had not only stood up to the power but absorbed it.

“Isabel! That was a dangerous thing to do! You night have hurt her!” Max exclaimed. Isabel shook her head at her brother,

“No way, we were practicing earlier for about an hour, right before you came in Max. She absorbed my most powerful blasts with out even flinching. You know I would never put Liz in any danger! We worked up to it, until she was absorbing blasts that tore the Skins apart. I don’t have anything that would get through her shield. Why don’t you try Michael?” She asked.

Michael looked dubiously at Liz and then to Max. Max just shrugged his shoulders, but Liz grinned at him. It was a challenge that he just could not resist. He took Isabel’s place as she moved out of the way and raised his hand.

“Get ready Parker, my blasts are a little more powerful that Isabel’s. I won’t send anything too major at you, ok? Are you ready?” He asked, warming up to this test of his strength.

“Anytime Geurin.” She challenged, grinning at him. Maria chuckled.

“You better watch it Michael, for some reason, I don’t think your going to win this one.” She told him, keeping her eyes on Liz’s face. He just rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, right.” He said. He steadied himself, and concentrated.

Liz braced herself, expecting this to be stronger than what Isabel had done. Michael gathered his energy and sent a bright white light toward Liz’s shield. It hit the bright purple barrier and disappeared. Liz didn’t even blink.

“Not funny Geurin, come on, send me something with a little juice.” Liz said, thinking he was playing with her. He frowned slightly and raised his hand again. This time he let the energy build for a bit before sending it crashing into the shield. Liz watched the energy hit the shield, and disappear. Still there was no effect. Michael was squirming, Maria was laughing, and Max just watched in silence, his eyes narrowed slightly.

“I told you.” Isabel told him Michael was getting flustered, but he looked to Max.

Max gave him a slight nod, knowing instinctively what he was asking. Michael built up his power and sent her a blast that had made more than a few large boulders crumble into pieces. Nothing. Finally Michael gathered up all of his energy and blasted the shield. This time it darkened as it absorbed the blast, but that was it. Nobody said anything. They just stood there. With out a word, Max moved Michael out of the way and stood facing Liz, his eyes on the floor.. Liz’s eyes grew wide as she realized what he was doing.

Finally Max met Liz’s gaze. His eyes were steady, unyielding, his face showed nothing of what he was thinking. He raised his hand to her and she again braced herself against his assault . Letting his energy build, the sent a powerful blast her way. Her shield again darkened for a moment then nothing. He pooled his power again and sent an even stronger one. Liz just sat there. She was getting a little nervous. She knew what he was doing, surely she was not that much stronger than they were. He met her gaze again and gave her a little half smile, then raised his shield.

She looked at him for a moment , not really wanting to do what he was silently asking of her, but then she nodded. She let her shield drop. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on pooling a little of her power in her hand. What would a blast from her do to his shield? She didn’t even know if she could send out a blast at him. She pictured her energy in her hand and sent it rushing forward toward him. She opened her eyes just in time to see it hit his shield and cause it to flicker. Her eyes widened, she had really only drawn on a little of the power inside her mind. What would it do if she tried to focus all of it at him? She refused to even try it, this was the man she loved after all, she would not put his life at risk to find out.

Instead she pooled her power and closed her eyes again, picturing in her mind what she wanted. She released from her hand and watched to flow toward him in a powerful beam. Instead of hitting his shield, it flowed over it, surrounded it, and then started to almost squeeze it into a ball. She more she release, the more her beam of light constricted his and squeezed it tighter, until nothing was left except for a small green ball of his energy surrounded by her bright purple. She reeled the power back in and let her hand drop. She was shaking.

He stood across the room staring at her, then a slow smile spread across his face. He now knew exactly what she was capable of and it thrilled him. He knew he never had to worry again about her safety. He walked over to her and pulled her into his arms, the others in the room still speechless over the display she had given. He felt her body shake and thought maybe she was tired from the pull of the energy, but then he looked at her face. She was not tired, she was scared. She felt her start to shake harder, and then the sobs came. He motioned the rest of them out of the room and pulled her over to the bed. he held her and let her cry. When he sobs finally slackened, and the tears ended, he pulled away from her.

“What is it Liz? What’s wrong?” He asked gently. She shook her head.

“I don’t really know, but I’m scared. I don’t even know why. It just seems so... I don’t know, overwhelming. I could have killed you Max! With just a flick of my hand, if I had wanted to. At first it was fun, discovering that I was different, but now... It’s just too much power for one person to have. What on Earth would I ever need it for? I just feel so different, like I‘m not myself anymore.” She said forlornly, not even looking at his face. If she had she would have seen just how much she had devastated him.

“I’m so sorry Liz! I would not change a thing about that day that I brought you back to me after you had been shot, but I’m so sorry it had this effect. I never meant to make you have to question who you are.” He said sadly. She looked up at this and saw his eyes. He thought she regretted her life with him.

“Max! No, that’s not what I meant. I love you. I wouldn’t change a thing about that day either, even if I had known this would happen, because it brought me you. Knowing you, loving you, has been the best thing to ever happen to me. I don’t regret it, I never will. I just am scared. Having this kind of power is frightening. I guess the thing that scares me most is what I may someday have to use it for. I’m worried that one day, I will need it and then be too much of a coward to use it. What would I do if I lost you, or any of the others, because I was scared of what would happen if I used it full force?” She sighed, trying figure out how to put her feelings into words.

“Max do you know that I barely tapped into it to do what I did to your shield? Your most powerful blasts didn’t even faze me. What am I gonna need that much power for? I can’t believe that this happened to me just because you healed me, there is more too it than that. I can feel it. I don’t even know what all I can do with it. Can I do good things like you? Can I heal people? Save a life like you did for me, Kyle and those children? What is it for Max? I just have so many questions I can’t answer, and that scares me.” She said, pleading with him to understand. He nodded, the sadness replaced by understanding, but the concern for her was still there too.

“Don’t be scared of it Liz. We can still work with you to see what all you can do with it. It’s obvious that you can do everything that we can. What else, I don’t know. I will help you as much as I can, but like that other day, I think the Granolith might help you more than any of us can. You learned more about it in five minutes than we have been able to learn in a year. We still don’t know what it is, or why everyone wants it so much, but maybe it can help you. You said it seemed to call you. What would happen if you called on it?” He said and her eyes opened wide.

“I don’t know, I never even thought of it that way. I guess I could try and see what happened.” She said wonderingly. He smiled, glad to see she was ok now. She looked up at him, her cheeks slightly pink.

“I’m sorry Max, I didn’t mean to lose it like that, I just...” She said, not knowing how to finish. He pulled her to him and kissed her gently. Holding her face in his large hands he looked into her eyes.

“It’s ok Liz, if you can’t lose it with me, then who can you lose it with? You’ve been through a lot recently, it’s understandable. This is all new to you, and we don’t understand it much either. I’m sorry for that, I wish I could help you more.” He said to her. She smiled.

“Just as long s you promise me that when I get done venting all over you , that you will kiss me senseless and make me forget all about how awful I was just being.” She said teasingly. He grinned at her.

“You get to vent and I get to kiss you? Works for me.” He said and brought his mouth down on hers. The sweetness of the kiss was soon lost in their growing passion for each other, until it was interrupted by a loud growling sound. Max backed off laughing. He looked at Liz with his eyes shining.

“When was the last time you ate something?” He asked her. She blushed slightly.

“Well, I did kind of skip breakfast this morning.” She said shyly. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and led her to the door.

“I think we better get you something to eat. Being a Superhero takes up a lot of energy.” He said, laughing. She smacked his arm lightly and laughed as they headed down to the Crashdown to catch up with the others.





posted on 30-Sep-2001 8:13:22 PM
Part 8


Her ice blue eyes were narrowed in hatred as she watched the six of them from across the street. In the two months since she had made her escape she had kept an eye on them all. She watched them all gathered together in the Crashdown, laughing and playing like they had not a care in the world. She saw Max lean over and whisper into Liz’s ear and she laughed. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her. Tess’s eyes narrowed even more. It galled her to see how fast he had gone running back to her after he thought she had left with their son. Why was it always her? What was it about her that was so special? That little bitch had ruined everything. Years of planning had gone into every move she had made since she came and at every turn she was foiled by the perfect little Miss Liz Parker. She seethed with anger just thinking about her. She should have just killed her. The mousy Liz parker was no match for her. How had it all gone so wrong?

She had actually been excited about finding others like herself. For so many years it had just been her and Nesado. He had raise her with the idea that Max was her Destiny. From the time she had hatched, he had told her of the plan. She lived and breathed it for ten years. Find Max Evans and get pregnant with his child. He had told her the whole story, everything. About the war on their home planet, about how the Royal four had been killed and then saved. When he had found out about the Queen Mother’s plan to sent the Royal Four to Earth, he had put his own plan into action.. He had always been loyal to the King, but Kivar had convinced him to see what the others could not. How his Queen had made him weak, and had been the cause of his downfall.

He had asked for special assignment on the ship and had received it. He was assigned to be the warrior protector, he was not intended to teach them, they had sent another for that but she had died in the crash. It only proved to help with his plan. Unknowing to all of the others, he had brought with him another set of hybrid embryos. He would make sure that this time around, there would be no weakness. Kivar had convinced him that he was not a evil, power hungry man, that all he wanted was what was best for Antar. He had told him that Nesado was his chance to make sure that this time around, the rightful ruler of Antar would be strong, a true leader. That the King could be re-born, without the influence of the woman that caused his downfall and all would be right again. He told him that they could make sure he had a strong, powerful woman as his Queen this time, a Queen that would not be his downfall but his savior. He had convinced him that a child born of this union would be the most powerful King ever and would do great things for Antar. That once a child was conceived they could all return home and he could then turn the Royal Four over to him to complete their training. Nesado had been a fool.

He had done all that Kivar had told him to. When he had seen the damaged pod, he had taken it as a sign that his plan should be the true Destiny. He had taken both infant Queen’s and had replaced them with his hybrid embryos. Kivar’s direct orders had been to kill both baby’s immediately, and he did, but it had been hard. It was the only time he almost reconsidered his plan, but he was too far into it now to stop.

The damage to the Queen’s pod had been extensive and he needed to reprogram all of the original information back into it. He had just finished repairing it and was starting to reprogram it, when four of the crew from the ship emerged from the wreckage, hurt and disoriented. He moved quickly to help them, but then the humans arrived. He helped the two that were able to escape, but in doing so was captured by the humans himself. He had no time to finish re-programming he last pod, to tell it when to hatch along with the others. He had spent three years in the care of the FBI, before he had escaped, injured and with a passionate hatred towards humans.

He made his way back to the area of the crash but all evidence of the crash was long gone by then. Injured and weakened, he was discovered by a young man. After his first experience with the dominate species on this planet, to say he was mistrustful would have been putting it lightly. This man, however, was different from the ones that had held him prisoner for three long tortuous years, he helped him. He took him to a isolated location, somehow knowing he was different and gave him food, giving him time to heal. When he was better, the man took him to his family and he slowly but surely blended into the life on the reservation.

He spent years after that trying to find out what had happened to the pods after his capture. Back tracking to the institution that has held him, he finally he found a man that knew. He learned that the two that had escaped from the ship had come back for the pods, and that this man had given them to them willingly. For that he had allowed the man to live. He simply erased his memory of the encounter and let him go on his way.

It had taken him another year to find the last remaining member of the crew besides himself, and it was only by chance at that. He had hung around the small town that was not far from the crash site, hoping to run into someone, anyone, that might have seen something. Finally his diligence had paid off. He overheard some of the town’s tourists talking about a man. They had seen him walking around the Vasquez Rocks and then he had just disappeared into the rock itself. They had been out there sight seeing, and had noticed the man. They had thought he was lost and were only going to offer him help, but when they had called out to him, he looked at them and then just disappeared. Later he had politely inquired about the location of theses rocks from a local and had driven out there himself to see what they were. Hoping against all hope that the man they had seen was actually one of his people, he stayed out at the rock formation, day and night, for two weeks straight. He was about to give up when he saw him.

He saw a man walking around the bottom of the formation. From his vantage point he looked like any other human, but he was acting funny. Nesado had stayed behind some rocks and watched him. When he saw the man move slightly higher on the rock formation and then disappear, he raced up after him. When he came to a spot that allowed him to go no farther without actually scaling the rocks, he stopped. Looking around carefully, he found nothing. That was until he saw the wall in front of him open and the man step out of a cave. The man instantly rose his hand to strike him down, but Nesado addressed him in their native language before he could do it. He had found him.

After that, it had been easy to keep an eye on the pods. The other protector told him that he had stashed the duplicated of the Royal Four far away from the real ones, and that he had been traveling back and forth between them. They split up the job of caring for the pods, Nesado stayed in New Mexico, and the other one returned to New York. It stayed this way for years until the other protector finally showed back up in Roswell, frantic.

He told Nesado the was a problem with the Queen duplicate, she was not the Queen they had put into the pod. They had been genetically designed, he knew exactly what they were supposed to look like and the girl developing in the Queen’s pod looked nothing like the Queen was supposed to. He was terrified that the traitor that had switched the embryos, might have gotten to the real Queen too, and insisted that Nesado take him to the pod chamber so he could see if she was alright. Nesado had grudgingly agreed, knowing what the man was going to find.

When they had reached the chamber and he had seen that the true Queen was gone to he panicked. Nesado had really tried to spare his life. He explained to him what it was he was trying to do, but the man looked at him with such horror in his eyes, he knew he would never be swayed to help him with the plan. He had had no choice but to kill him. He had taken the information he needed from him first, stealing his memories about the duplicates and their location before he ended his life.

After that he had had to make the trips back and forth to New York to check on the progress of the duplicates. He did this for years, waiting patiently for the time he could put the rest of his plan into action. He stayed mostly in Roswell, but early in the year when the pods were supposed to hatch he went to the New York sewers to check on the dupes a final time. When he arrived it was to find the pods glowing brightly and the first signs of the birth already happening. They were early, but he had no choice but to stay with them for a while until a trip back to Roswell could be risked. By the time he had them firmly established in the sewers, and they knew not to leave their hide out, three months had passed.

He flew to Roswell and made I to the chamber as quickly as he could, but by he time he had gotten there, three of the pods were empty and all that remained was his version of the Queen. He had never programmed the pod to open with the others. He opened the pod and took the girl with him, but the others were gone. He took the Destiny book with him, knowing he could change the face of the Queen later to match the appearance this girl when she grew up. He never went to the pod chamber again, and no one ever thought to tell him the Granolith was there. He hadn’t even known it had been on the ship.

He had raised Tess with the full understanding of what her destiny was truly to be, but cautioned her that when the found the other members of the Royal Four, she could never mention the true Queen. She had gone along with his plan, it was the only thing she had ever known. He convinced her that the King would automatically love her and they could start to build their future together here. Only it hadn’t happened that way. It was another ten years before they found the three missing members of the Royal Four, and when they had it was too late. The King had already found his Queen.


Now as she sat watching them she thought of the reception she had received from Nicolas. He had been irate that she had not succeeded with her part of the plan. Kivar wanted the King’s child and he wanted the Granolith, no excuses. It didn’t matter that she had done everything she could to get Max to fall for her, to turn him away from that stupid human, to follow his destiny. It didn’t matter that she had saved the Skin’s asses more than once when Nicolas’s plan’s had failed, or that she knew the location of the prized possession he wanted so badly. She still had no idea what the Granolith really was. Nesado had never told her what the Destiny book said, only that it held key information about the Granolith that was meant only for the King. She had done what she had done to Alex on her own, trying to find out, only it hadn‘t worked. She had thought she had succeeded and that Nicolas would be pleased but he had only thrown it at her, laughing in her face.

“You stupid girl! The book can only be read by the King, and only with the help of the Granolith. It was designed specifically for that purpose. No mere human could decipher it, they made sure of that. It is not what is written on the pages that counts, but what is keyed into the metal pages. The written symbols are only a decoy. They explain something's, like the heritage of the Royal Four, but the important stuff can never be translated.” He told her derisively He looked at her for a minute and shook his head.

“Do you know what would have happened it f you had actually tried to use it to go home?” He asked.

“No, I...I..” She started and stopped at his withering glare.


“You would all be dead! Not that that would be a bad thing for the rest of them, but it would not have pleased Kivar if you had died without fulfilling your mission. Do you think that Kivar would want the damn thing if it were only a rocket home? Why? We have ships for that! No, the granolith is much more important than that, you stupid female. Kivar needs it and he needs a child of the King too. You had better get back out there and finish what you started. You don’t want to have to face Kivar if you fail again.” He told her smirking.

“But, I can’t! The only way I could get away was to mind warp them that I had taken of in the Granolith, and the only reason I got away with that was because Max thought I was pregnant with his child. They know I killed Alex! There is no way I can go back now!” She told him. Nicolas walked slowly over to her, and raised his hand to stroke her cheek. She felt the soft caress and closed her eyes, she felt his hand thread through her hair and suddenly he yanked her head backwards, his hand wrapped tightly in her golden curls. She screamed.

“You screwed this up, you had better find a way to fix it! Nobody told you to kill the boy, not that one less human will hurt anything, but you made them suspicious. You gave yourself away! Now you have to find a way to get them to take you back.” He whispered menacingly in her ear. She twisted, trying to get him to let her go, but he only pulled harder.

“I can’t! You don’t understand what they will do to me if I show my face there!” She said frantically.

“Well then, I suggest you figure out another way then, because Kivar wants that baby, an you WILL get it for him. It can’t be responsible for what he does to you if you fail him again.”

“But, I gave him the Granolith!” She cried.

“Not good enough! Only someone from the Royal line can access it’s power, with out the child, the Granolith is worthless.” He said, and pulled harder. She whimpered.

“Ok, Ok! I will find a way. I will find a way to get pregnant with Max’s baby!” She said, and he finally released her. He smiled at her.

“Good. Now don’t you think you should get going? You have a lot of work to do!” He said, already dismissing her. She left, seething with rage. How dare he? She would find a way to bring them Max’s baby, but then she would make that little twerp pay!


Suddenly she sat up. They were leaving the Crashdown now, splitting up into couples. Well, except for Kyle and Isabel. She watched Kyle with something like real regret. It was the only part of the plan that she wasn’t prepared for. The rest of them were such goodie-goodies, it had been easy not to get too close to them, but Kyle was a different story. She had never expected to come to care for him or his father, but they had become like family to her. Something so totally unique that she hadn’t known how to deal with it at first, but she had slowly learned to love them. Hurting them was her only regret, but she could not let it get in the way of her real purpose. She straightened her shoulders, and focused her eyes on Max and Liz. Instantly her eyes blazed hatred again.

They were walking to Max’s jeep arm in arm. It hurt her more than she would admit that he had only pretended to care about her the entire time. As soon as she was gone, he had gone right back to her. She studied her closely, still trying to see what it was about her that he could not resist. Nothing, she could see nothing. Just a human girl. Yeah she was smart, she would give her that, but not much else. It didn’t matter, before long Liz would be gone and she would take her rightful place as Queen, weather Max liked it or not. Once she was carrying his child for real, he wouldn’t have a choice. He could die, or he could marry her. She smiled evilly. It would not be long now, her plan would work this time, and no little mousy human girl would stand in her way.



She had no way of knowing that when Nesado killed the true Queen, he freed her spirit to find it’s destiny on it’s own. Through means much more mysterious that either of them could understand, the Queen had been reborn to be with her King. And she was close.


*******



posted on 30-Sep-2001 8:42:15 PM
Part 9



Liz walked across the street towards the Crashdown, a blissful smile playing on her face. She had just gotten done delivering Max’s lunch to him, and was deliriously happy. It had been two months since Tess had left, and suddenly her life couldn’t be better. She opened the door to the cafe and looked around at the packed restaurant. The smile lingered on her face as she focused on helping Maria with the hungry mob. An hour and a half later, both girls were leaning on the counter, exhausted.

“If I have to serve one more Trek Burger or even look at another piece of Men in Blackberry pie, I think I’m gonna puke.” Maria said dully. She took a drink of her soda to quench her parched throat and glanced at Liz.

“So Chica, what’s the dopey grin about?” She added when she saw the silly expression on Liz’s face. Liz just smiled at her,

“Nothing really, I was just thinking about the roller coaster that is my life. Six months ago, I wanted to die, now I’m the happiest girl on Earth.” She said.

“Awww, Max again?” Maria teased. Liz blushed but nodded. Maria rolled her eyes.

“Listen Chica, ever since the back-stabbing, gerbil-faced ho left I haven’t hardly seen you. Your always caught up with Max or practicing your powers. I miss my best friend.” She said, not altogether kidding. Liz felt a small flush of guilt rise.

“I know, I’m sorry. It’s just been so crazy. I keep finding new things I can do and most of the time I don’t even mean too. The other day I was thinking about how hot I was, and the next thing I knew there were ice cycles hanging from the ceiling in my bedroom. It’s really weird. Max wants to take another trip out to the Granolith chamber to see if I can learn any more about myself or about it. He seems to think that I’m connected to it some how.” She said, looking at Maria. She saw her friend’s face fall slightly.

“But I miss you too. I could really use some girl-only time.” At this Maria’s face brightened. She looped her arm threw Liz’s and led her to the back door of the restaurant.

“Well, why don’t we do this. You go upstairs and shower, while I call Isabel. We’ll get together at my house and have a regular giggle fest. We can rent chic-flicks and buy tons of food. Isabel can tell us how we need to improve our images and we can try to melt a little more of her Ice Princess routine.” She said as she was pushing Liz threw the door up to her apartment.

“Sounds great! Hey, and thank you for thinking of Isabel. She is not nearly as bad as she used to be, she just misses Alex so much...” Liz told her, a hint of sadness in her voice. Maria nodded, her face now somber as well.

“I know she does, we all do.” She said. Both of them stood there for a minute, thinking about the wonderful times they had shared with their other best ‘girlfriend’. A treasured part of their lives was now gone forever and he had left a tremendous void behind. Liz offered Maria a sad smile and the girls hugged tightly.

“Ok, I’m going to go clean up. Give Isabel a call, and for Gosh sakes don’t take NO for an answer.” She said, and Maria just looked at her.

“Liz, this is me we are talking about here. I have spent years perfecting how to get my way, even Isabel Evans is no match for me.” She said, pouting slightly that Liz had not acknowledged what she saw as one of her greatest gifts. Liz laughed.

“And you said you have no powers! Think again girl, your powers of persuasion are far greater than any aliens, and with Isabel, I think your going to need every last one!” She said laughing as she made her way up the stairs. Maria brightened at this and reached for her cell phone. She dialed quickly.

“Hello Isabel, this is Maria....”


*******



“OH, that is just so wrong!” Maria shrieked as the three of them sat in her room laughing hard enough to cry. They had been watching Mel Gibson read the minds of the women around them and using it to his distinct advantage.

“Yeah, like it’s really men that need the help!” Isabel said, derisively. “We’re the one’s that need help understanding them, I mean can you imagine being so out of it that you had no idea that all the people around you absolutely hated you? What is it that men in general keep in what they pass for a brain? Do they really think women appreciate the cave man approach to dating? Or how about the “I am a stud and you want me, you just don’t know it yet” style? Those are the one I really enjoy putting in their place. I’ve only met one man who didn’t try either of those tactics and that was Alex....” As she said his name a flash of pain crossed her beautiful features. Maria and Liz looked at each other, and quickly moved to steer her away from the path her thoughts were headed.


“Well, Max was never like that either. He was always so romantic, and so gentle with me...” Liz started, knowing exactly what kind of reaction it would get out of Isabel. Immediately Isabel wrinkled her nose and shook her head.

“Eeeww, Liz that is way to much information on my own brother. I really don’t want to know what kind of guy he is in the bedroom, ok?” She said, disgust plainly written all over her face. Maria smirked, a habit she was quickly picking up from Michael, and Liz’s jaw dropped.

“Who said anything about the bedroom? Max and I have never...well, we’ve never done that!” She told her, her face turning beet red. Not that she didn’t want to, she thought to herself. She felt a small tingle start low in her stomach at the thought of intimacy with Max. One day... soon. Isabel squealed, closing her eyes tightly as she shook her head.

“I told you, I don’t want that kind of information!”

“Please! Come on Isabel, I’m mean I know Max is your brother, but aren’t you the least bit curious about what it will be like when you finally find the right one? Max was always so worried about me and what kind of effect it will have on me, but now we know that we were married in the future, and obviously we... well you know, and I survived. So now I guess it’s time to just let nature take it’s course. “ Liz said, obviously a little disappointed that they still had not reached that turning point in their relationship.

“Well, if I really want to know what it’s like, I can always just ask Maria, after all her and Michael were the first to take the big plunge, so to speak.” Isabel said teasingly and Maria nearly choked on her popcorn.

“Hey! It’s not like we were just two teen hormones going at it, we thought he was taking off for another planet! There were extenuating circumstances. I mean you or Liz would have done the same with Max or Alex if you...” She stopped mid sentence at the look on Isabel’s face. How could she have been so stupid?

“Oh my God Isabel, I’m so sorry. Sometimes my mouth runs ahead of my brain. Who am I kidding? There is no sometimes, it’s a chronic problem. Please, just ignore me.” She said, desperate to fix the damage her unthinking words had done. Isabel had paled considerably and her eyes were starting to leak as she tried to hold back the tears. Liz was giving her a death glare. Maria flushed guiltily and finally shut up. Liz opened her mouth to speak, but Isabel beat her to it.


“No, it’s ok, Maria. Don’t be sorry, your right. If it hadn’t been for Tess, I probably would have ... I would have asked Alex... we would have taken our relationship to the next level.” She said, the tears coming now. She looked up at her friends. “Look, I’m not that fragile. I want you to be able to talk about him in my presence. I need to hear about all the fun times you all had. I still miss him, and I know you both do too. I was his girlfriend, but you were his best friends. He would want us to remember him this way. It’s the only way he can still be here with us, and besides, this way I know I will never forget him.”

Now both Maria and Liz were crying right along with her. They all collapsed together in three way hug and cried their eyes out for the friend they all missed so much. When the sobs became only hiccups and the last tear had fallen, they pulled apart. Looking at each other’s red, tear streaked faces, they let out little embarrassed giggles, but the tension from before was gone. Isabel gave them both a grateful smile.

“I just wanted to thank you guys, you know, for tonight. I know what you were doing and I really needed it.” She said sincerely. Maria grabbed a box of tissues and passed them out among the three so they could clean up the tear fest.

“Awww, what good is having best friends if you can’t slobber all over them when you need to?” Maria asked, then blew her nose loudly. Liz and Isabel laughed, but Iz looked at Maria seriously.

“Really Maria? I would really like it if we could be friends. I know I haven’t always treated you right, but I would really like it if we could start over.” Isabel said. Maria leveled a gaze at her.

“Isabel, we love all the same people, and we would die to protect each other. That makes us more than friends, it makes us family. Family’s tease, they love and they fight. We will not always get along or agree on everything, but you can always be sure that when it comes right down to it, we’ve got your back.” Maria said to her, all traces of laughter gone. Suddenly Isabel felt her heart lift. She had only ever been able to completely be herself with Max and Michael before. Now for the first time ever, she felt she could relax in the company of friends. She smiled.

“Yeah, me too. Always.” She said, and she realized she meant it. She would give her life to protect these two, just as she would for Max and Michael. Maria grabbed another handful of popcorn, tossing some in her mouth and chewed thoughtfully.

“Besides, who else could you get to put up you?” She asked seriously. Isabel reached over, casually grabbed a pillow off the bed and smacked Maria in the back of the head with it.

Unbeknownst to Isabel this simple act had started many a pillow fight before and now was no exception. Grabbing another pillow off the bed, Maria was now armed and on the war path, stalking Isabel. Isabel shrieked and scooted as far away from her as possible, holding her pillow up in defense.

“Now Maria, you said we were friends! Family even! You can’t possible be meaning to hurt the newest member of your family, could you?” She asked, eyeing her warily, a slight grin on her face.

“Oh, that is low! Playing the family card. Ok, fine! I promise not to hurt you.” She said, dropping the pillow to her side. Isabel sent her a triumphant smile and lowed her pillow. She did not know Maria as well as Liz did. Liz scooted back slowly, knowing what was coming.

In a flurry of motion, Maria was across the room and had Iz pinned to the floor tickling her mercilessly. Isabel laughed until tears came out of her eyes. She gasped, trying to breathe as Maria kept on with the maddening torture.

“Maria...Maria...ok, I give! Please....stop ...before I.... pee my pants.” She said, still laughing beneath Maria’s murderous fingers. Maria halted, giving Isabel a stern look.

“Who is the master?” She demanded.

“You are!” Isabel said, gasping. Maria grinned.


“And don’t you ever forget it!” She said, finally getting up. Isabel just lay on the floor, catching her breath. Liz looked at her and grinned. Isabel frowned at her.

“Why didn’t you warn me?” She asked sending her a mock glare. Liz laughed.

“It’s part of the initiation, but you got off easy, before it would have been both Maria and Alex.” she said, and Isabel laughed with her. She could just picture Alex holding her arms while Maria tickled her. It was nice to be able to think of him happy and carefree.


“Do you guys want to finish this movie or not?” Maria asked, pointing the remote at the TV. They gathered around the set and settled in to watch the movie.

Liz closed her eyes and rested her head against the bed, listening to the sound of girlish laughter. She let her thoughts drift to their earlier conversation and felt her body start to hum. When would she and Max be ready? She felt a smile at the thought of herself with Max that way.

Suddenly Max burst into Maria’s room. He walked over to a stunned Liz and lifted her bodily off the floor. He pulled her closer, holding her flush against him. Their connection opened wide at the contact and he sent his thoughts to her through it.

I’m ready right now!


The words blazed through her mind, and she felt her knees grow weak. He rapidly closed the distance between her lips and his, taking her mouth with a fierce growl. She moaned and felt his hands move up her back underneath the thin cotton of her tank top. Slowly he pushed her backwards toward the bed, and she felt the back of her legs hit the side. She knew there was a reason she should stop this, that it couldn’t happen right here, right now, but she couldn’t remember what it was. He slowly lowered her onto the bed and she lost herself in the passion that was searing her soul through the mental link they shared. She felt his hands come around to the front and slowly move up. Her breathing became ragged as he reached for her breast.

“Max!” Isabel yelled.

“Liz!” Maria screamed at the same time.


Liz’s eyes flew open, and she was staring at the two girls sitting next to her on the floor, her breath raging. She looked around confused. Maria and Isabel stared back at her, the looks on their horrified faces telling her they were just as confused as she was.

“What the hell was that?” Maria asked, indignantly. “I could have sworn you two were going to do it right here in front of us.” Isabel just stared at her for a minute, then she looked slowly around the room.

“What happened Liz?” She asked her. Liz flushed slightly.

“I don’t know.. I was just thinking of Max.. and then he was here... and.... and then you both screamed and... I don’t know!” She said, stumbling over the words in her confusion. Her body was still reeling from the emotions she had felt at Max’s touch. Isabel stared at her for a few more moments then started laughing. At first it was just a few giggles, but the more she thought about what just happened, the harder she laughed. Before long she was on the floor rolling. Maria and Liz watched her, staring at her like she had suddenly gone crazy. Finally Liz could take it no more.

“Isabel, just what do you think is so damn funny?” She yelled at her friend. She had to give her credit, she did try to stop laughing long enough to talk.

“You...you .. didn’t even know you were doing it!... You...... mindwarped.... us....with your fantasy of Max!” She said, and let off another peal of high pitched giggles. Liz’s jaw dropped to the floor. Maria just stared at her, a slow grin spreading on her face.

“Is that what that was? Wow girl! You have one hell of an imagination.” She quipped, before she too lost herself to laughter. Liz was mortified.

“This is not funny! What would have happened if I had done something like this in the middle of a lunch rush at work? Or, in front of my parents?” She said, nearly purple with embarrassment. This only made them laugh harder. Maria finally looked at Liz, her breath catching in her throat as she thought of another possibility.

“Or...in front of Max!” She added and they both started rolling again. Liz huffed, her embarrassment turning into anger.

“Will you two stop it! This is important! We didn’t even know I could do this, and I need to tell Max, but I can’t call him with you two howling in the background like a couple of loons!” She snapped. Maria and Isabel finally reduced their laughter to a few intermittent giggles. Liz glared at them, and they looked back without a bit of remorse.

“You know Liz, I’m ok, with you lusting after my brother and all, but the next time you decide to fantasize about your deflowerment, please make sure you are alone.” Isabel said, with small snorts of giggles still bubbling up occasionally. Liz sent her a withering glare.

“I’m sorry Liz, really, but who would have every guessed that sweet, innocent Lizzy Parker would ever have such a vivid imagination. Does Max know you think about this stuff?” Maria asked, in a somewhat normal tone.

Liz just sat on the bed, her arms crossed over her chest. She sat there for a few minutes before the humor of the situation finally sank in. Maria and Isabel knew they were home free when a tiny smile cracked her face.

“Ok, so how sure are you that it was a mindwarp?” Liz asked Isabel, still not quite able to look either of them in the eye. Realizing the importance of this possible discovery, Iz answered her seriously.

“Pretty sure Liz, I mean what else could it have been?” She told her.

“I know but...”Liz started, not finding an excuse to explain why she was so uncomfortable with this particular development of her powers.

“We could always see if you could do it again. Would you like to try it? Maybe with something a little less disturbing for your warpees?” She asked, a small smile back on her face. Liz grinned.

“Ok, I will try, but if you two ever tell Max what happened here tonight, I will cheerfully strangle you both.” She said, a warning note in her throaty voice. They both nodded solemnly.

“Pinky swear?” Liz asked. Isabel just looked at her but Maria immediately held up her pinky finger, entwining it with Liz’s.


“Pinky swear.” She said. Isabel looked at them confused.

“What is a pinky swear?” She asked them. Liz and Maria looked at her with wide, serious eyes.

“A pinky swear is a solemn oath between best friends, to never to tell a secret. Anyone that ever breaks a pact sealed with a pinky swear is immediately ostracized and never spoken to again..” Liz explained. Isabel’s eyes grew huge.

“Your kidding?” She said. Both girls shook their heads slowly. Finally Isabel raised her pinky finger in the air.

“Pinky swear it is then.” She said with a grin. The all swore the pinky swear never to tell what had happened tonight, then came up with an alternate story as to how they found out Liz could mindwarp.



*******



posted on 30-Sep-2001 8:48:33 PM
Part 10


“Hey Max.” Liz said softly. She switched the phone to the other shoulder so she could sit down.

“Hey” He said, a smile in his voice.

“What are you doing?” She asked as the other two girls looked at her. She turned away slightly, trying to give herself a feeling of privacy.

“Nothing much, just reading a book. Are you having fun at Maria’s?” He asked softly.

“Yeah, well that’s why I was calling. Do you think you could come over for a little bit? There’s something I need to show you.”

“Sure, is anything wrong?” He asked sounding worried.

“No, I just want you to see this. It could be really important.”

“Ok, I’ll be over in just a little bit.” He said, and she could hear him already moving.

“Thanks. I’ll see you in a few minutes then.” She said.

“Ok. Liz?”

“Yeah?”

“I love you.” He said quietly.

“I love you too Max.” She said smiling. Maria and Isabel rolled their eyes. Liz hung up the phone.

“What?” She asked, her smile still fixed firmly in place.

“You know, if you two weren’t so cute, you’d be sickening.” Maria said. Isabel grinned at her.

“Ok, let’s try this one more time before Max gets here.” Liz said, changing the subject quickly.


Liz closed her eyes, concentrating on the vision she wanted them to see.

Suddenly Isabel and Maria gasped, looking around them in wonder. They were sitting on a beach, it was night time and the reddish light from the three moons in the sky gave the sand a pinkish glow. The waves from the vast ocean before them washed gently up on the shore, leaving a lacy white trail of bubbles along the wet sand as far as the eye could see. They could hear the call of some nocturnal bird as it flew above the water, swooping down every now and again to pluck some delicate morsel from the waters of the sea. Isabel looked up to the stars and let out the breath she hadn’t known she had been holding. They were so beautiful. Huge silver points of light that seemed closed enough to reach out and grab. Maria followed her gaze and as they looked, they saw one shoot across the sky. A second later another followed and soon they were being treated to the beautiful display of an otherworldly meteor shower. The sight was breath taking. The light show faded as suddenly as it had come, and the two girls just sat in silence. Knowing it would have to end soon and that thought making them somehow sad.

“Liz?” Max said again, and she opened her eyes. Maria and Isabel looked at him as if they were both just waking up from a dream.

“Wow! Knowing it was a mindwarp didn’t make it feel any less real.” Isabel said with awe in her voice. Maria nodded, for once speechless. Max looked from Liz over to them and back again,

“Mindwarp?” He said confused. He had no idea what it was he had walked in on, but it had him slightly worried. He had knocked on the door three times, with out a response, before finally opening the door. What he had seen had startled him. There was Liz sitting on the bed her eyes tightly shut, with Maria and Isabel sitting next to her, their eyes glued to the ceiling. He looked up wondering what they could possibly be staring at, but could see nothing. He tried calling Liz’s name, but she didn’t move. She finally opened her eyes when he raised his voice with the third try.

“What was that?” Isabel asked , for some reason feeling strangely moved by the image Liz had provided for them.

“Well, whenever I think about what your home world must look like, that’s how I see it in my mind.” She said softly. Isabel was touched.

“It was beautiful.” She said gently. Liz smiled.

“I can’t imagine three such wonderful people coming from anyplace that was anything but beautiful.” She told her, and she meant it.

“Mindwarp?” Max asked again a little louder this time. He was still waiting for an explanation.
All three girls turned towards him, a little startled by his presence. Liz smiled at seeing him.

“Oh, hi Max.” She said.

“Hi Max? I’ve been standing here for like, five minutes now and I get ‘Hi Max’ ? Would someone like to tell me what in the hell is going on?” He said, really starting not to like what was happening here. Liz stood up and walked up to him, wrapping her arms around his neck. He rested his hands on her hips and looked down into her face.

“I’m sorry Max, I didn’t mean to ignore you. I was practicing my mindwarp on Isabel and Maria. I was showing them my version of what your world would look like.” She said, reaching up for a kiss. He pulled back before her lips could touch his and he lost all rational thought.

“Mindwarp?” He asked feeling like a broken record, “Since when have you been able to mindwarp?” He wasn’t sure he like this particular turn of events. It was just too reminiscent of Tess. Liz smiled,

“Oh, well since earlier tonight actually. We kind of had a weird experience that led us to discovering this new talent of mine.” She said innocently as the other two girls collapsed into a fit of giggles. Liz shot a glare over her shoulder at them and they shut up quickly.

“Just ignore them, they’ve been like that all night. Too much sugar.” She told Max with a smile.

“I see.” He said, with a slight frown, not sure what to make of his sister and Maria on the bed. He shrugged, must be a girl thing. He turned his attention back to Liz

“So what happened?” He asked, not quite sure he wanted to know.

“Well, we were watching a movie and I wasn’t paying any attention. I had my eyes closed thinking about my own... things, and suddenly I heard them both scream. When I opened my eyes, well, we kind of realized that I had been making my thoughts real, and they were experiencing them with me. It was kind of spooky, but Isabel figured out what was going on.” She said, sticking as much to the truth as possible, not really wanting to lie to Max. She only hoped he wouldn’t ask...

“What could you have been thinking about that would make them scream?” He asked, a frown on his face.

Damn.

“Nothing really, I think I just startled them.” She said hedging. They had come up with something to tell him, but she was not a good liar and she figured Max would know she was doing it anyway.

Their connection had grown stronger over the past two months and while they could still only feel it while in close proximity to each other, they could now feel each other’s emotions as if they were their own. He stood looking at Liz, reading the emotions that were washing over him in waves. Whatever had happened, he could tell she was extremely embarrassed about it, so being Max he didn’t push. She would tell him eventually, one way or another. She always did.

“Ok, so show me what you can do.” He said lightly, finally giving in to the urge to plant a quick kiss on her soft lips. Liz let out a breath, grateful that he had let the matter drop. For now. She could read him as well as he could her, and she knew he was only biding his time.


“Alright, have a seat.” She said, and he moved to sit beside a suddenly well behaved Isabel and Maria. She closed her eyes and concentrated. Showing the three of them the same image she had shown Isabel and Maria before, only this time giving a little more detail and holding it for a bit longer. She heard Max gasp and smiled. She heard him speaking.


“Red.” He said, “The ocean is red not green.” Instantly she changed her mental image to accommodate his memories.

Max watched as the ocean in front of him turned to a deep red instead of emerald green. What he was seeing was so beautiful, he couldn’t find words to describe it. It was almost exactly as his memories had shown him, well except for the color of the sea, but once she had changed it, it was perfect.
He walked to the waters edge and hunched down to run his fingers lightly through it. Instead of the cold waters of Earth’s oceans, he felt warmth. Closing his eyes, he reached back into his memories and realized that this was correct too. How could she possible have known? He stood and looked at Isabel and Maria.

“She’s right you know, this is exactly how our home planet looks. At least what I remember of it.” He said, his voice filled with the same awe he had heard in Isabel’s. His sister’s eyes opened wide, and she looked around again. What Liz was doing now became even more special. She had given her a taste of home.

When Liz opened her eyes and ended the warp, all three of her friends looked around, almost saddened by the loss. Maria was the first one to speak.

“Your going to have to show that to Michael. He really should see it too.” She said, and Liz nodded. Max walked over to her and took her in his arms. He was no longer uncomfortable with her ability to mindwarp. He knew she would never use he gift to hurt them the way Tess had.

“How could you have known what our planet looked like?” He asked her gently. He felt her confusion at his words.

“It looked almost exactly the way I remember it. How did you know?” He said. She shook her head.

“I don’t know, maybe I picked it up from you somehow.” She answered, her eyes distant as she tried to remember if she had ever seen it in a flash. She shook her head again. “I don’t know.” He just smiled and leaned in to kiss her again.

“Well as much as I hate to bust up this romantic interlude Max, I think you better go. My mom will be back from her date with Jim anytime now, and somehow I don’t think your what she had in mind when I said ‘slumber party’.” Maria said dryly. Max only nodded never taking his eyes from Liz.

“I’ll walk you out.” Liz offered, and he smiled. He followed her out the door without another word to anybody.


“Yeah, it was nice to see you too Max! We’ll have to do it again soon!” Maria yelled to his departing back. She looked over a Isabel and rolled her eyes. Isabel just laughed.

“He’s hopeless. Your brother is a lost cause, you know that don’t you ?” Maria asked, shaking her head at his retreating form.

“He’s been like that about Liz Parker since the first day he laid eyes on her.” Isabel said, by now used to his singular devotion to the girl she could now call her friend.


“Did you know she thought he could never be interested in someone like her? I used to tell her that he was watching her, like all the time, but she would never believe me.” Maria said, conversationally. Isabel’s jaw dropped in disbelief.


“How could she have missed all those longing looks he has been giving her for like, ten years now?” She asked, amazed. Maria just shook her head and laughed.

“I have no idea.”







Max held her close to him, not really wanting to let her go. He knew he needed to go before Amy and Jim got here, but he could not bring himself to leave just yet. She felt too good. He ran his hands lightly up her back to the back of her head. Letting his fingers sift through her silky hair, he cupped her head and pulled back lightly so he could see her face. He loved looking at her dark eyes.

I missed you today.


She heard his words whisper across her mind and smiled. She loved that they could be close like this. They still had not told anyone about it, it was just to intimate, too private to share with their friends.

I missed you too.

She could feel his loved for her slipping through their connection and into her heart, she could also feel his fear. He was so worried that he might do something that would hurt her once again. He held her face, stroking her cheeks with his thumbs. She really wanted him to just kiss her and he smiled.

ok

He dipped his head, tasting her lips lightly with his own. He let his tongue slip out and slide against her bottom lip, and she opened her mouth to him as willingly as she had opened her heart. Her tongue met his, eager for the taste that was only Max. He loved the wet warmth of her mouth and he groaned, pulling her closer to him. Silently as their tongues slid across each other, their passion rose. Suddenly he pulled away from her laughing.

“LIZ!”

It took her a moment to pull her brain out of it’s Max induced fog and then she looked at him.

“What?” She asked, slightly breathless.

“My sister saw your fantasy?” He asked, his voice filled with humor. Liz groaned, her face turning red.

“You weren’t supposed to ever know about that.” She said sullenly. He just laughed and she turned away from him her arms crossed over her chest. She couldn’t handle Max laughing at her and she felt tears sting her eyes. Max sucked in his breath at the hurt and insecurity that he felt coming off of Liz in waves. He stopped laughing.

“Liz” He said as she turned away from him.

“Just go home Max.” She was so embarrassed. She couldn’t face him right now. She felt him grab her arm and turn her around. She couldn’t look up at him, afraid what she might see. She could feel the remorse he felt. He hadn’t meant to hurt her.

“Liz, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have laughed at you, but the image of my sister seeing that was just to funny.”


She nodded, but she still couldn’t look at him, and suddenly he knew why. He tilted he head up until she was forced to look him in the eye.

“Liz, I like that you think that way about me.” He said gently, “I want the same things with you. I want them so badly... I wasn’t laughing at that, I would never laugh at that. I want you to want me, because I want you so badly, sometimes I can’t breath.”


She looked into his heart and saw that he truly meant every word. Her heart soared. She reached up and took his lips in a powerful kiss. Suddenly everything they had been feeling, everything they had been holding back came to the fore. He could feel her desire and it took his breath away. She could feel the ache for her he held in his heart and she melted. They came together in an explosion of passion, both looking for the solace they could only find in each other. He held her head, taking her mouth as he wanted her body, mimicking with his tongue what his heart ached to do to the rest of her. She returned his kiss with a passion as wild as his own and she lost herself in the unfolding heat. He backed her up against the car, his hands everywhere on her body. He want to feel her skin against his, he wanted to touch her in places no one else had. He wanted to taste her everywhere. Every fantasy he had ever had about her flashed into his mind, and he groaned, pushing his hardened body against her’s desperately. She arched her warmth into him and felt the ache in her core grow. God she wanted him. At the sound of a car, he tore away from her, his breath raging. His eyes glittered in the moon light and he could see her breast heaving against his chest.

“Max...” She whimpered, still lost in a sexual haze. The sound of his name on her lips almost did him in. He took a deep breath, struggling for control, and stepped away. Finally she opened her eyes. He eyed her swollen lips, wanting so badly to make them even redder, but he motioned over to where Amy was stepping out of Jim’s car.

“I need to go.” He said tightly. She could only nod. He could feel the disappointment well inside her. He took her face in his hands again.

“Soon” He whispered fiercely and kissed her once more before stepping away and climbing in his car.

Very soon


She heard the words in her head and felt the passion with which he meant them. She could only nod.

Yeah. I love you Max Evans.

I love you too Liz.


He stared into her dark eye’s through the window. He smiled and then started the car. She watched as he pulled away, then walked slowly back to the house.


******



Liz was not the only one who watched him pull away. She had watched them kissing passionately. She felt her anger flare, but then her brain went to work. She smiled as she pulled out behind him, it never reached her cold blue eyes.


*******


When Liz walked in, a sudden movement in the darkness stopped her short. She felt her heart thump hard in her chest, then the light blinked on. Jim and Amy stood there, looking slightly flushed and a little rumpled. Liz blushed, understanding what she had just interrupted.

“Oh! I’m sorry, I was just...I was.... I’ll go on back to Maria’s room now.” She stuttered, and walked hurriedly through the room toward the back of the house.


“It took you long enough.” Maria said lazily when Liz finally walked into he room. She was sprawled on the bed, looking through her extensive CD collection. She handed Isabel her current choice. Isabel put the CD into the player then turned to Liz. It was then that they both noticed her red face. Maria jumped up off the bed, knowing her friend well.

“You told him didn’t you?” Maria said, her eyes gentle despite her flippant tone. Liz sat on the bed,

“No, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t find out. I have to find a way to block these flashes!” She said dejectedly. Despite the fact that Max was apparently pleased by what he grasped of her feelings, she had not wanted to share that particular humiliation with him. Isabel and Maria crowded close.

“So, what did he say?” Isabel asked, knowing her brother well enough to think the idea of Liz wanting him had to have made him happy.

“Well, first he laughed,” She said, then her eyes started to shine. “but, then well... let’s just say he wasn’t upset about what it was I wanted.” Maria and Isabel both noticed the new sparkle in Liz’s eyes, and gave each other knowing looks.

“Spill Chica, what happened?” Maria demanded, a smile on her face. Liz grinned,

“Well, let’s just say that that turning point in our relationship may not be as far away as I might have earlier thought.” She said, giving them a supremely satisfied smile.


*********


Max pulled his shirt over his head, tossing into the hamper. He started to reach for the buttons on his jeans when he heard a soft tap on his window. He turned to see Liz as she raised it and climbed in quietly.

“Liz? What are you doing here?” He asked, a little shocked. She smiled a sultry smile at him.

“I just couldn’t wait anymore Max. I had to come, I need you. Now.” She said, her throaty voice filled with passion. She saw a slow smile spread across his face as he moved deliberately to the door and locked it.

When he turned away, Tess smiled. This was just to easy.



******



posted on 30-Sep-2001 9:09:03 PM
Part 11


Max turned to Liz. He couldn’t believe she had followed him home. He moved forward, wanting nothing more than to take her in his arms. Then the phone rang. Liz looked startled and slightly annoyed.

“Don’t answer that Max!” She said quickly. What? Why would she not want him to get the phone?

“Why not?” He asked, growing uneasy.

“I just don’t want this to be interrupted.” She said, pouting prettily. He smiled.

“It will only take a second.” He said and picked up the phone. “Hello?” What he heard on the other end made his heart stop in his chest.

“Hi Max. I know you just left, but I just wanted to tell you goodnight.” Liz’s soft voice came through the receiver. He froze. He suddenly knew the woman standing behind him was not Liz.

“Hi Michael. What’s up?” He asked, casually. Turning to smile at the Liz look alike standing behind him. Liz smiled back and he vaguely wondered if this woman was a skin, or if he was being mindwarped.

“Max? What’s going on?” Liz asked, suddenly alert. She waved Maria and Isabel over to the phone. Both girls frowned, and scooted over so they could hear the conversation.

“Nothing much, I was just getting ready for bed when Liz showed up.” He said into he phone. He saw this Liz frown. He gave her what he hoped was a shy smile and listened desperately for something on the other end of the phone.

“Max? Is someone there with you? Somebody who looks like me?” Liz asked, suddenly terrified.

“Yeah.” He said, cheerily. He heard Liz’s quick intake of breath.

“We’ll be there in a few minutes.” Liz said, already hanging up the phone.

“No!” He almost shouted, but all he heard was a dial tone. “Don’t worry about it. I was still up. Yeah I’ll see you tomorrow. Yeah, later Michael.” He said, continuing the conversation like someone was still there. He hung up the phone, and turned back to the imposter Liz.




“Come on! Iz grab your cell phone, we’ll call Michael on the way.” Liz said throwing a T shirt on over her tank top and grabbing a pair of shorts. Maria and Isabel were also dressing quickly, and Iz grabbed her phone.

“Ok, let’s go.” Maria said, and they headed out, only to be stopped by her mother in the living room.

“Where are you girls going this time of night?” Amy asked, getting up from the couch where she and Jim had been sitting.

“Oh, Mom...... we got this incredible craving for ice cream. We are going to go pick some up, well be back in a few minutes.” Maria said, thinking quickly. While she had been talking to Amy, Liz had signaled Jim. His eyes grew wide when he realized there was a problem.

“I don’t know girls, it’s awfully late...” Amy started, but Jim interrupted her, taking his cue from Liz.

“Awww, Amy, let them go. You know how teenage girls are. I’m sure they will be back soon, right girls?” He asked, his eyebrows raised.

“Yeah, sure... we will be back in just a little bit.” Maria said quickly. Amy folded.

“OK, but don’t stay out late.” She said, smiling at Jim.

“Thanks mom!” Maria called as she pushed the other two out the door. She heard Amy giggle behind her and rolled her eyes. Thank God for Sheriff Valenti!


They all climbed into the Jetta and Isabel grabbed her phone, dialing quickly.

“Michael, it’s Iz, get over to our house now! Max is in trouble. Yeah, we’re on our way there. Ok, bye.” She hung up.

“He’s on his way. I just hope Max can stall who ever it is until we get there.” She said as Maria pulled out of the drive and took off like a bat out of hell. Liz looked over at her, her face expressionless.

“I know exactly who it is.” She said, her voice clipped and angry. Both Maria and Isabel looked at her.

“It’s Tess.” She said, answering their unspoken question.


*****


Max faced Liz, unsure what to do to stall her until the others arrived. He could have handled it himself, but he had a feeling Liz wanted to be here for this. He noticed that the Liz imposter did not look happy.

“What did he want?” She asked a little too sharply. Max raised his eye brows.

“That was Michael.” He said, stalling. She roller her eyes, giving an exasperated sigh, and suddenly he knew who it was that was standing in front of him. Tess.

“I know who it was! What did he want?” She snapped. Was she getting worried? He moved around the side of the bed coming toward her.

“He was just bored, and wanted to see what I was doing.” He said, forcing himself nearer. He could swear he saw relief in her eyes. He put his arms around her waist.

“Why are you here Liz?” He said, trying hard not to let what he was feeling show on his face. The longer he stood here with her, the angrier he became. She was obviously still trying to get him to sleep with her. He felt a cold rage rise in his throat at the thought of what she had put them through. He swallowed it down.

“I needed you Max, I just can’t wait anymore.” She said seductively. He wanted to be sick.

“I thought we had agreed to wait.” He said, grasping any straw he could to put off where this was obviously heading. He saw doubt flicker in her eyes then it was gone.


Wait? They had agreed to wait? Probably Miss Lizzy Parker being a prude. Oh, well, so much better for her. Let Liz have her leftovers for a change.

“I changed my mind. After that kiss in front of Maria’s house, I just can’t wait anymore.” She said, pushing herself closer to him.


She had been watching them. That thought spurred his anger even more. He didn’t know how much longer he was going to be able to pretend, when all he wanted to do was kill her where she stood. Suddenly he saw movement outside the window and then Michaels face shown briefly. Thank God!

Tess noticed his eyes looking away from here and she started to follow his gaze, but that was when he chose to kiss her.

Max had seen her eyes start to turn toward the window to see what he was looking at. He kissed her hard, quickly, hoping she would be distracted enough not to notice Michael outside. It seemed to work, but he had to forcibly keep himself from vomiting. Finally the door to his room swung open.

Tess felt herself shoved roughly backwards. She opened her eyes to see Max staring gratefully at the door to his room. She was confused until she turned and saw the door was open with none other than Liz Parker standing in it. Liz looked at her coldly.

“Tess” She said, her voice frigid. Isabel and Maria stood behind her. She looked back to Max who was staring at her in disgust.

“She has been watching us. She was at Maria’s house and she saw us out front.” He said in a voice tinged with tightly controlled fury. Now he could see Tess for who she was. She had apparently dropped the mindwarp.

“How nice to see you again Liz, Max and I were just getting reacquainted.” Tess said silkily.

“What do you want Tess?” Liz asked her, her voice steady.

“Why, Liz, what have I always wanted? Max, of course. I figured since you were obviously holding out on him, I might help him with his...urges.” She said, moving slowly toward Max.

“Ha! Max couldn’t get it up for you before when he was NOT in control of his own body, you have an ice cubes chance in hell now.” Maria said, rubbing Tess’s little failure in in the worst possible way. Max flushed, but he had never been so grateful that Maria was right before in his life. Tess turned on her savagely.

“Shut up! Your nothing more than a trailer trash whore who’s own father wanted nothing to do with you.” She screeched viciously. Maria’s face turned crimson with rage, but it was nothing compared to Michael’s who had let himself in the window while Tess faced Liz. He slowly raised his hand at the unsuspecting woman. Liz shook her head at him, and he slowly lowered it.

“You can’t have him.” Liz said calmly, leaning casually against the wall by the door. She could see Tess shaking with fury.

“I can’t have him? Who in the hell are you to tell me what I can and can’t have? He’s mine! Weather he likes it or not, he’s mine!” Tess screamed at her. Liz just smiled .

“No Tess, he is not now, nor was he ever yours. Not to be treating him like a piece of furniture or anything, but when it comes right down to it, he’s mine, and you can’t have him.” She said, noticing the sudden smile on Max’s face at her words.

“That’s what you think. I will have what I want and no prissy little human like you is going to stop me.” She threatened. Liz stood up from against the wall, slowly advancing on Tess.

“And just what are you going to do about it?” Liz said, her rage at this murderous bitch finally starting to show. Tess’s eyes opened wide. This little slip of a girl should have been terrified of her, instead she was deliberately egging her one. At this, Tess smirked. What indeed.

“Well, I would show you, but as usual you have your protective entourage with you.” She said, acting bored. Liz’s eyes started to shine.

“Really? Is that the only problem? Well, why don’t we make this just between you and me? I am after all the one who took away your toy, right? I’m the reason you have been acting like a spoiled child who didn’t get her way this whole time, right? So, this time well just leave the rest of them out of it. It can be just you and me Tess, one on one.” Liz offered still taking slow steps toward her. Tess’s eyes grew huge. What was going on? Liz didn’t stand a chance against her. She smiled evilly.

“If you say so. I will try to make sure you suffer as much as possible. Only, I want a guarantee that there will be no interference from you little friends here. They were never as strong as I was, but there is more of them, you understand?” She said sweetly. She looked at Isabel. Isabel raised her hands in the air, backing herself out of the battle.

“I’ll keep my hands out of it.” Was all she said. Tess then looked at Michael, he nodded a slow yes, then finally Max. He just stepped back, allowing them plenty of room. Wait a minute.

“I don’t trust you.” She said warily. Liz looked at her for a moment, then,

“Why? None of us here have ever been anything but honest with you. If you’ll remember correctly, lying was your area of expertise, not ours.” Liz said. She watched Tess’s face turn bright red. She turned to Isabel,

“Cover Maria, just incase she tries something stupid.” Liz told her and Isabel nodded. She returned her attention to Tess.

“Ok, were doing it your way. You can show me just how insignificant I am, but let me warn you, if you go after anyone here but me, the deal is off and all three of them will have a go at you.” Liz said to her. Tess fumed. She wouldn’t need to go after them.

“Fine, but when I kill you, Max is mine.” She said, and raised her hand to Liz. She had been waiting over a year for this and she was going to enjoy watching her hurt. Liz just stood there waiting to see what she would do.


Suddenly a ball of energy came flying from Tess right at Liz. Liz raised her hand and instantly a bright purple shield was surrounding her. The ball of energy hit the shield, darkening it for a moment, then was gone. The shock on Tess’s face was priceless.

“What’s wrong Tess? It’s not any fun for you now that I’m not a defenseless human? We all know that is your favorite kind to torture. Poor Alex didn’t stand a chance with you did he? He was sweet and trusting, so what did you do? You killed him! Well, I won’t be so easy Tess! Your going to have to fight if you want me dead.” Liz taunted , her rage controlled for now. She wanted to draw her out. She wanted to know exactly what she could do.


Tess stood there contemplating. So Liz was like them now huh? How? Max! It had to have been when Max healed her. She obviously wasn’t a hybrid like them, so how strong could she be? She was still such a babe in the woods when it came to this and she has decided to take me on? Tess smiled. That was a big mistake. Tess raised her hand and collected her energy. One powerful blast and that shield would be history.

Max watched Liz circle Tess in the middle of his bedroom and was glad his parents had decided to leave for the weekend. Could Liz do this? Could she take on Tess and win? He knew she was strong, stronger than all of them, but still he worried. Tess was devious. She would do anything to hurt Liz.



Max, get the others behind your shield. I don’t want anyone hit by one of our blasts.


Liz sent the message across their connection, which even now vibrated the air around them. She could feel Max’s fear, but she was not worried about Tess. She saw him nod and wave Michael over. When Michael was with him he raised his shield and skirted the edges of the room until he reached Isabel and Maria, enveloping them in it as well.

Once she knew they were safe, Liz focused all her concentration on Tess. She knew what she was doing, and she was ready. When Tess finally fired her blast, Liz braced against it. She could feel Tess’s strength, she was right when she had said she was stronger than the rest. She was, but it was more than that. Hatred gave her a strength none of the rest of them had. Liz sensed the darkness inside the other girls soul, growing, spreading, pulsating like a malignant tumor. Where had it come from? She could tell it wasn’t just from being rejected by Max, it had been there long before that. She watched her as she gathered her strength for yet another blast, one that would do no good. She could feel her frustration.

“Is that all you’ve got Tess? I thought you were the strong one, I thought you were going to make me hurt?” She taunted. Tess flushed with rage.

What was happening here? Nothing she sent at her affected her. Her most powerful blasts had absolutely no effect. One of them would have taken out Max’s shield. She knew it. Why wasn’t it working? She stood in the center of the room watching Liz move cautiously around her. Where had she gotten that kind of strength? She could feel her own rage bubbling just under the surface. Is that all she had? No, I don’t hardly think so. She closed her eyes.

“It won’t work.” Liz stated, still watching her. Tess’s eyes snapped open again. What?

“Oh really? and why is that?” Tess said, humor at this girl’s presumption lacing her voice.

“Because I won’t let it. I can mindwarp too Tess, and mine is much stronger than yours. I can block you.” Liz said, and watched the disbelief cloud her eyes.

“It’s not true!” Tess said, irate. This girl could not use her own gift against her. Liz shrugged,

“Try it.” She told her. Tess did. She closed her eyes, and imagined a truly horrific scene for Liz to see. Max’s death at her own hands would surely weaken her. Nothing. Liz just stared at her, but her face showed her disgust.

“You are truly sick Tess. How could you use something as pure as love to hurt people? Oh yes, I could sense what you were trying to do. I saw the image you tried to project. How can one person be so cruel? Nobody here ever did anything but try to help you, accept you and you stabbed us all in the back. Why? Because you couldn’t have what you wanted?” Liz asked her, her confusion apparent.

“Why?” Tess screeched, “Why? I’ll tell you why Liz! Because of you! I was supposed to be his mate, his queen, but no! When I got here, he was already in love with you! I tried everything, but nothing would turn him away from you. He only turned to me after you betrayed him, something I would never have done, even then he could still only love you. A worthless human girl who had hurt him at every turn, and he still dreamed of you, wanted you. I was ready to forget all about the deal Nesado had made with Kivar, all he had to do was love me. Me! But he couldn’t, because of you. Why? You are nothing compared to me! A mousy, meek, scared little girl who was only a liability. You and all the rest of the humans that are so important to them. I could have healed Alex, even after he collapsed unconscious, but I didn’t. Why should I have saved him? He was only a liability, just like the rest of you pathetic humans!”


“Pathetic humans? Do you even know how many times we pathetic humans have saved your ass? Do you realized Alex risked jail time for Max and he didn’t even know him, let alone know what he was? Sheriff Valenti helped us all the time, he lost his job for you guys and he took you in a gave you a home when you didn’t have one. Kyle and Alex discovered how to kill the Gandarium, and Maria covers for them and does anything asked at the drop of a hat. We won’t even go into what I have done to help you. How can you honestly say that we are a liability when all we have ever done is cover your ass? You killed Alex, you lied to everyone that ever cared about you and you manipulated the man you supposedly love to get your own way. You put all of their lives in danger by going through with Kivar’s plan and then you went to Nicolas with information on where the Granolith is and put a whole planet at risk. Who here is the liability Tess?” Liz seethed with frustrated anger. Nothing she did here could change the damage Tess had already done and it infuriated her. She watched Tess as she digested her words.


“You had everything you ever needed here, Tess. You had a family, people who loved you just because you were a part of them. You had friends, friends that would have done anything to help you and protect you. Like Kyle Valenti, and his father, or even us. It would have been nice if we could have been friends Tess, but you always let your petty jealousy get in the way. So you couldn’t have Max. Big damn deal. Why would you want a man who loves someone else anyway? Why would you not look for someone who could care about you for who you were? What about Kyle? He could have loved you if you would have let him, but you were too fixated on Max. Now you’ll never know.” Liz said. That did it. The mention of Kyle’s name caused the tears to stream down Tess’s face. Liz never backed down.


“What was the point? Now you have nothing, You betrayed the trust of everyone who would ever care about you. Do you think Nicolas or Kivar care weather or not you live or die? As soon as you give them what they want, they will kill you anyway. Did you forget that you are one of the Royal Four he wants dead so badly? He will use you and then he will kill you just like he plans to do to the rest of them.” She pushed, still watching her warily.


“You have no idea what you are talking about!” Tess screamed and that was it, she snapped. She raised both hands in the air and closed her eyes. She would end this once and for all. She would take away everything that was important to this self righteous bitch, just as she had done to her. She pulled her energy together, letting it gather between her hands. She could feel it growing bigger, stronger, and she poured everything she had into the growing blackness between her hands. She turned toward Liz and looked at her smug face. Let her think she has won, she thought.

Liz looked at the growing void in horror. She wasn’t sure what it was but she knew it was pure evil. She could sense it seething with a life of it’s own in the pure black nothingness Tess was creating. She watched as Tess turned to her, wondering if she could stop whatever this was. Then Liz watched in terror as Tess turned again and launched the blackness right at Max. She didn’t even think about it, she just reacted. She closed her eyes and allowed the entire river of white inside her head come rushing forward. She reached out with her hands and caught the shapeless black in a bright beam of white light, right before it could strike Max’s shield.

Max knew it was over when he saw Tess launch whatever that was right at them. Somehow he knew his shield would be of no use to him now. Then everything seemed to happen in slow motion. He watched in amazement as Liz shot a beam of pure white light out of both hands and caught the formless void. The light was so bright he could barely look at it, but he could see the shapeless void struggling within it. Slowly he could see the whiteness overtaking the blackness within, squeezing the life out of it.

Liz kept her eyes closed, concentrating on forcing the blackness back where it came from. She heard Tess start to scream. She kept on until the screaming stopped and she felt the energy she was releasing rush back into her with a jolt. She opened her eyes. Tess was laying on the floor in a fetal position, her hands holding her head. Max had dropped his shield and was staring at her, along with everyone else. She walked over to Tess and put her hand on her head. Closing her eyes she focused again and this time a little bolt of electricity could be seen coming from her hand, traveling around Tess’s head, and disappearing inside at the base of her skull. Tess screamed again. Liz opened her eyes and stood up. Tess lay there whimpering.

“Liz?” She heard Max’s voice behind her. Before she could turn to him she saw Tess try to stand, still holding her head.

“What did you do to me?” She cried. Liz looked at her coldly.

“You killed Alex. For that I took your life, your alien life. You will never again use your powers to hurt another person.” She said, her voice empty of any emotion. Tess finally stood. She looked at Liz in horror.

“It’s gone! You stole it, my energy is gone!” She cried as she tried to call it forth. Liz only nodded.

“Everything. I left your regenerative properties, you will not get sick, but the rest of your powers are gone.” She said flatly. Tess just stared at her.

“Why didn’t you just kill me?” She whispered brokenly. Liz glared at her.

“Because I’m not like you! I can’t kill someone when there is another way. Now leave. Go back to Nicolas Tess, maybe he’ll take you in.” Tess looked at her in shock.

“But he’ll kill me! I can’t even defend myself!” She screamed in terror. Liz advanced on her.

“Neither could Alex! He was weak, scared and defenseless, just like you are now. He came to you begging you to stop what you were doing to him, but you killed him instead!” Liz said fiercely, the tears of rage finally coming.

“You made your own bed Tess, now go lie in it. Leave here and don’t ever come back. Next time I will kill you.” She said. Tess slowly moved toward the window. She looked back at Liz with pure hatred in her eyes.

“This is not over!” She said viciously. Liz just looked at her.

“Yes, it is.” She said firmly, shaking with effort. Tess hung her head in defeat, then climbed out the window.

When she was gone, Liz turned back to Max.

“Max?“ She pleaded, her voice barely above a whisper. She felt her legs go weak and she saw the floor rush up to meet her right before the blackness took over.





posted on 30-Sep-2001 9:14:29 PM
Part 12


She was floating in a wave of darkness. She could hear snatches of conversation but they sounded so far away. She could stay here forever drifting in the quiet black. There was no pain, no confusion. She felt free. There was something important here, something she was supposed to remember, but she could make her self care about it. She just drifted, enjoying the stillness.

Liz

She heard a soft feminine voice call out to her. Who was that?

Liz

She heard again, this time a little more insistently. She forced her eyes open and turned to look. There was nothing, just the deep darkness surrounding her. Who was that?

Liz, I’m here. I need you to remember me.

The soft voice said, and she could hear the urgency in it. It came from nowhere, everywhere. It surrounded her. She looked around again, but could see nothing.

“Who are you?” She asked tentatively. Her own voice sounding somehow wrong in this place. It was too loud, almost intrusive. She felt strange.

You know who I am.

Liz’s forehead creased in consternation.

“I do?” She asked, confused.

Yes. I have always been with you, in a way I am you.

This revelation inspired a little fear in Liz but it was tempered with awe. Part of herself? Did that even make sense? Was it even possible?

My name is Avaril. We are the same soul. Before I came here to this life, as you Liz Parker, I was Avaril, Queen of Antar, wife to King Zan. The people called me Queen Ava. I am a mere memory now, one you need to recall. It is in you to know me, you just have to let yourself remember.

She and the Queen of Antar were the same? Wife to King Zan? To Max? They were the same soul? How could that be? What about Tess? She shook her head, trying to clear the confusion that wanted to overcome her.

“No, it is not possible. I am human, not Antarian. It was in the book, Tess is the true Queen, and Max’s supposed destiny.” She said, rapidly, trying to explain to ... whoever this was, that the idea was impossible. She heard a gentle laugh.

Look inside yourself, the answers are there.

And she did.

Suddenly the darkness around her glowed with a gentle light and she saw before her the image of a woman take shape. When she became clear, Liz gasped. She was beautiful! The woman was not human, but beautiful none the less. There was not really much difference. The angles of her body were less sharp, more fluid and the features on her face were softened, more rounded. They almost flowed together in perfect symmetry. Liz could see the huge dark eyes, much the same shade as her own and the long dark hair, again close to her own in color. The woman carried herself with a regal air, dressed in clothes fit only for a Queen, and on her arm was a man. One that Liz recognized on sight though she had never seen him before. Zan. It was like looking backwards through a mirror and seeing your own image reflected, only slightly skewed.


She could see herself and Max in these two people. It was in everything they did, the way they moved, the way they would reach out unconsciously touch each other, they way they looked at each other. It was them, only not. She watched as the scene before her played out, as the man took the woman in his arms and pulled her close. They glided over some far distant dance floor, staring into each others souls as they moved to music Liz could not hear. They moved in perfect unison, as if made only for each other. It was breathtaking just to watch. She had been told that she and Max were like that, was this how other people saw them? Just as she opened her mouth to speak, the scene before her changed.

Both the man and woman looked up quickly, their eyes trained on something out of Liz’s field of vision. She could see the growing horror on their faces. Liz could feel her fear and as she watched, she saw Zan shove Avaril behind him, a look of fierce protectiveness on his face. Suddenly a man appeared, someone close to Zan. He tried to cover him as they moved quickly off the dance floor, but laser beam of red light to his chest felled him quickly. Zan opened his mouth to scream as a his friend fell only to be struck himself. Liz could see his look of pain, but his eyes turned to Avaril as she cried out his name. The anguish that struck Liz was unbelievable, but she continued to watch. The sudden fear in Zan’s eyes as he realized his precious wife was unprotected was apparent even with out the words Liz could not hear. She could see people running in the background as the King lay dying on the floor, with only his Queen by his side. Tear’s streamed down the alien Queens face as she realized her beloved was gone.

Another man approached the Queen, and she looked stoically into his eyes, refusing to move from the side of her husband. Liz could not see the mans face, but she could tell from the face of the Avaril that he was to be feared, but Avaril would not give him the satisfaction of seeing his affect on her. Liz watched as a look of determination replaced the sadness on the Queen’s face as she shook her head no. The man reached to grab her but Avaril pulled her arm away. He threw his head back and laughed, then aimed his weapon at her. Still she shook her head, holding onto the body of her dead husband. She closed her eyes right before the blast hit her. then they flew open on agony. Instantly she crumpled on top of her husband, her eyes slowly closing once again as the image faded to black once more.


Liz had tears streaming down her cheeks as she watched the senseless death of the King and his Queen, but the scene before her didn’t stay blank for long. Suddenly a light whizzed past her in the darkness, followed quickly by another, soon thousands of lights were flying past her at unbelievable speeds. Liz had seen an image almost like this once in a flash from Max and she knew what she was seeing were stars as they flew past them through space. The image of Earth appeared before her and then it was black again. Liz looked around her lost in the absolute silence. Then another picture began to form in front of her.

This one was so astounding, silent tears began to trickle down her cheeks. She saw the image of an infant being pulled from a pod chamber amongst the wreckage of a ship. The newly born baby girl opened her eyes slowly, blinking furiously at the sudden brightness of the light. Then the imaged switched and she was seeing what was happening from the baby’s point of view. Newborn eyes looked up in wonder as the cloudy image of a face came into view. The faces smiled at her for a moment and Liz could see the emotions flicker across the alien man’s face. First awe, then fear, doubt and resolve. She saw a tear slip from his eyes right before he covered the baby’s nose and mouth with his hand. She could feel the nameless fear the baby felt, as she slowly slipped into the blackness once again.

Liz stood in the darkness, shaking, as the images of her own deaths played over and over again in her mind. She had died, twice. The light again began to glow softly as she felt more than saw the passage of time. This time an image of her own mother appeared. She was young, younger than Liz had ever seen her except in pictures. She looked so happy it made Liz want to cry, then she saw why as her mother showed off her protruding stomach to whomever it was watching. She was pregnant. The images switched again and Liz saw and felt again the pain of her own birth. When the doctor handed the newborn girl to her proud but exhausted mother, Liz let out the breath she hadn’t known she was holding.

It was true, all of it. She and Avaril were the same soul. A soul that had traveled time and space to be with the one she loved. Her soul mate. Max. She was his true destiny, not Tess. In a past life, she had been his Queen. Now she was here again, not as a hybrid, but as the only option left to her tortured soul, she had taken human form. She cried in amazement, and happiness. It was all true. She closed her eyes and let the darkness overwhelm her again. It was so peaceful here, but she need o regain her strength, it was time to go. It was time to return to Max.

When she focused she could still here the voices at the edge of the blackness. She concentrated on them and slowly they grew louder, closer. Right before she rose from the blackness she heard the soft voice whisper once more.

The Granolith can help you






“Liz?” She heard Max’s pain filled plea. She moaned softly.

“Liz! Isabel, I think she waking, hurry get me a glass of water for her. Maria get me something for her to eat, she will need to regain her strength. Michael, grab another blanket, out of the hall closet, her hands are like ice.” Max ordered. When it came to Liz, he took full control. The others rush to do his bidding without question. Liz’s eyes blinked open. Max was immediately at her side once again.

“Liz? Liz can you hear me?” He asked softly. Slowly her eyes focused on his face.

“Max? What happened?” She asked, trying to sit up. She grabbed her head and lay back down quickly as a sharp pain shot through her temples.

“Owww” She moaned. Max’s forehead creased with worry. He raised his hand and laid it gently against her forehead. She felt a radiating warmth spread through her mind and the pain was gone.

“Is it better now?” He asked, and she smiled up at him.

“Yes, thank you. Max, what happened? Why am I lying on your bed?” She asked, as she took in her surroundings. For some reason the question made Max blush. He shook his head.

“You don’t remember? After the fight with Tess, you collapsed. I put you on the bed but I couldn’t get you to wake up.” He said, the worry not all together gone from his eyes. At the mention of Tess everything came rushing back. Tess, the fight, and suddenly the dream. Except it wasn’t a dream. Somehow she was having a conversation with her own soul. She couldn’t explain it any other way.


“.....and you were speaking in the strangest language.” Max said. She looked up at him realizing she hadn’t heard a word he had been saying.

“I’m sorry Max, what did you say?“ She asked. Just then Michael and Isabel returned to his bedroom.

Isabel knelt on the other side of her and offered her the glass of water. Liz took it with a smile of thanks and sipped at it. Michael covered her with the extra blanket, and she suddenly realized how cold she was. A hard shiver passed through her at the thought. Both of her friends held an identical look of concern on their faces. She looked from one to the other then up at Max.

“I’m fine, really. You can stop fussing over me. I think I was just tired after the fight with Tess, but I feel much better now.” She assured them. Maria walked in and handed Liz a sandwich.

“Here Chica, Max thought you might be hungry.” Maria said, stroking the wayward hairs off Liz’s face.

“Thanks, I am!” Liz smiled and grabbed the sandwich, taking a big bite. She hadn’t realized she was starving until now.

“Now Max, what were you saying about another language?” She asked, curious. Max looked at her for a moment, then spoke.

“It was just really weird Liz. I couldn’t get you to wake up, it’s like you were...well, then all of a sudden you started speaking this weird language. I have never heard anything like it before, but still...somehow it seemed so familiar. You kept saying Avaril, over and over.. then you said, Zan and you started crying. It was spooky. I kept trying to wake you but nothing worked. I thought maybe you picked up something from Tess while you were...fighting or whatever.” He finished lamely.

“It wasn’t Tess.” She said, the memory of what she had seen overwhelming her instantly. Max watched as her face became suddenly distant. What was going on?

“Liz? Are you ok?” He asked, and she felt this world snap back into focus.

“It wasn’t Tess.” She repeated, “It never was. That’s why you could never love her. Your Queen was taken from the pods and killed while she was still an infant. I saw him do it. I think it was Nesado, he looked different, still in alien form, but it felt like him. He killed the infant Queen and I can only guess that he put Tess in her place. I have no idea why he would do something like that. He acted like he didn’t really want to, but he did it anyway. It’s why she was reborn, this time as a human. I saw it all.” She was rambling, talking to quickly for them to follow everything. All three of them looked at her in confusion.

“Liz what are you talking about?” Isabel asked gently. Liz turned anxious eyes to her.

“I was in this place and I was speaking to a woman. She said her name was Avaril.” She heard Max’s quick intake of breath as she spoke her name. She looked up to him, but only nodded at his wide eyes.

“It felt kind of like a dream, but it wasn’t. She showed me things. She showed me how she and her King had died, and then she showed me the death of the hybrid infant Queen and then she showed me my own mother and my birth. She said the Granolith would help me.” She said quietly. Max stared at her, but the rest just looked confused still.

“So the Queen...” Max started, and Liz could see from his eyes that he was beginning to understand.

“...was reborn as a human. She was born again to finally reunite with her soul mate. Her soul was reborn into... into....” She couldn’t quite say it out loud, though she knew in her heart it was true.

“...into you.” Max whispered.

Liz met his eyes and nodded slowly.

“Yes, into me.”


********



posted on 30-Sep-2001 9:28:26 PM
Part 13



“So what you are telling us it that while you were out, you somehow managed to have a conversation with what....your own soul? Only the past life version? That somehow the soul of Max’s past life wife was born into a human girl and this girl is you? Is that about it?” Maria summarized quickly. Liz just stared at her. How had she done that?

“Well, yes. I don’t know how else to describe it, other than maybe my subconscious was manifesting itself into visual form to reveal suppressed memories that my inner-self thought I might need to be able to access, for future reference.” She said thoughtfully. Everyone just kind of looked at her funny.

“Maria’s way was easier to understand.” Michael said shortly. Everybody let out a large breath at Michael’s statement, silently agreeing with him. Sometimes Liz went way over their heads. Liz looked up at them and nodded, it was basically the same thing.

“So...your my wife?” Max asked softly. Liz smile at him gently.

“Well, not technically. Anymore at least, but I was I guess. It’s strange. I could feel how Avaril felt about Zan and it is the same feelings I have for you. Only stronger, more spiritual. They were connected in ways we have only begun to discover. Like how we can hear each other’s thoughts when were close to each other. They could do the same thing only much farther away.” Liz said, the others in the room forgotten as she looked deeply into Max’s eyes.

“Did she tell you that?” Max asked, awed. Suddenly Liz frowned slightly.

“No, she didn’t. I just kind of knew. How would I know something like that Max?” She asked.

“Maybe your starting to remember some of that life now that she made you aware of it.” He suggested. She nodded lost in thought again.

The others had remained quiet for a few minutes, giving the couple time to explore some of the new found information about their past relationship, but Maria could not stay quiet any longer.

“What did you mean that you two could hear each other's thoughts Liz? When did that start?” Maria demanded. Both Max and Liz flushed.

“Sometime after what happened with the Granolith. I don’t know, it just kind of happened gradually. We wanted to tell you, but....it was just...private.” Liz stammered. Maria’s eyes softened. Of course it would be private.

“I’m sorry Liz, of course it would be, but next time you both come up with a new discovery try to find a way to let us in, OK? We don’t want the intimate details, just the basics. That particular development could come in very handy if it develops to be as strong as you were saying Avaril and Zan’s was.” Maria chastised gently. Liz could only agree, she had known she should have told them.

“Ok, as much as I hate to break this up, we need to get going. We have already been gone much longer than we told my mother we would be. Let’s get back to my house and we can discuss it some more tomorrow.” Maria said.

Liz and Isabel both looked at each other. They had forgotten all about the sleep over at Maria’s. They all got ready to go, but Max pulled Liz away from the rest for a minute. He pulled her into his arms and held her close.

Are you alright now?

She snuggled closer to his chest and smiled.

I’m fine Max. Even better than before, because now I know we were meant to be.

I think I always knew what you were to me. From the first time I saw you I could tell you were special.

He felt her happiness at his words. He pulled her tighter against him and squeezed gently.

You better go. I don’t want to worry Maria’s mom.

Liz sighed and nodded. She tiled her head up and gave him a soft kiss.

I love you

I love you too

They pulled apart reluctantly, now more than ever not wanting to let the other go. She smiled at him one last time and slipped silently out the window.


The three girls drove silently back to Maria’s house and were grateful to find that Maria’s mom had turned in for the night. They weren’t so lucky with Sean. He flipped on the light just as they were tiptoeing through the living room. He grinned at them sardonically from the couch.

“So.. just where were you ladies this evening?” He questioned suspiciously.

“We went to get ice cream.” Maria answered casually. Her look more than showed her disdain for her less that proper cousin. He raised his eyebrows at her.

“Oh really? And it took you three hours to eat it? I went to the dairy Maria, and they hadn’t seen you all night. Where were you? So far I haven’t filled Aunt Amy in on my discovery, but I can always change that.” He said, somewhat threateningly.

“Sean, don’t be angry, it was my fault. I needed to get out of here. We just went for a walk, that’s all.” Liz said softly. His gaze softened when he looked at her.

“What’s wrong Liz?” He asked her. Liz turned to the other two girls, her eyes pleading. They both rolled their eyes and left the room silently.

“I need to talk to you for a minute about what happened before.” Liz said, evading his eyes. He sighed, he had know something was up. Liz had hardly spoken to him since that night two months ago when she had show up here and kissed him senseless. He could feel her desperation and knew what she had been doing.

“I owe you an apology for my behavior. I used you. I was hurting and desperate, and I....I...” She said, but she couldn’t finish. She still couldn’t figure out why she had come here exactly.

“Hey, it’s ok Liz. I knew what you were doing. So I guess what you telling me is that things are different now?” He asked. Liz slowly nodded her head.

“With Max, yes....well, things were not what they seemed at the time. Max and I ...we are...well, we...we’re back together now.” She finished quickly. Sean offered a hesitant smile.

“Do you love him?” He asked her gently. She smiled a huge smile at him and nodded her head.

“More than anything in this world.” She told him, and he could help but respond to her happiness. He grinned.

“Then that’s all that matters. I want to see you happy Liz, if it’s Max that does that for you, well then, that’s great.” He said, and he meant it. She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him.

“Thanks Sean.” She said, and walked quickly back to Maria’s room. She glanced back and smiled at him once more before she opened the door and disappeared inside. He watched her go, his heart pounding slightly.



When she was gone, his smile faded quickly. That was too close. He snuck out the front door and walked a ways from the house. Pulling a cell phone from his jacket, he dialed quickly.

“Hey, it’s me. They know about her now, and she said that she and the King are back together. I think everything will work out just fine now, as long as we keep an eye on the other one. We can’t allow her to cause any more problems with those two.” He said, and then listened for a moment.

“I was watching them...no they didn’t see me, anyway I was watching them. She has more power that we ever could have guessed.” He said, then was silent.

“No, no, it’s not a problem now, trust me, Ok? I will be keeping an eye on them, I will let you know if I find out anymore. Yeah, later.” He said and hung up. He walked slowly back to the house digesting what he had learned tonight. She was the one. A slow grin spread on his face, he had known it all along.



********



posted on 30-Sep-2001 10:43:21 PM
Part 14


So, what are we going to do today?” Maria asked casually as she laid on her bed looking at a magazine. Isabel had already left, having already promised her mother they would do the shopping thing today. Liz was dressing, her body still damp from her shower. She tugged her shorts over her hips and looked up.

“I thought we would go see Mr. Whitman.” She said and slipped on her top. That brought Maria’s head up quickly.

“Why do you want to go see Alex’s dad?” She asked, quizzically.

“I want to see if he will let us go through some of Alex’s things.” She said, sitting on the bed next to her friend.

“Why?” Maria asked, rolling over to look at her.

“Well, because, I was thinking about that translation of he Destiny book. What Alex gave Tess, can’t be right, or at least not all of it. It’s impossible. I want to check his lap top to see if maybe he hid something somewhere.” She explained. Maria’s eyes widened.

“Oh, I never thought of that.” She said

“Are you about ready?” Liz asked.

“Whenever you are. Do you want to get something to eat first?” Liz shook her head no.

“I’m not really hungry yet, how about you?” She asked. Maria made a face.

“No, actually my stomach is kind of upset right now.” Liz looked at her worriedly.

“No! It’s not what your thinking, we used protection.” She stated confidently. Liz frowned comically.

“Well, we might need to run some tests on that theory. I mean what if aliens have like super sperm or something. It could like, eat right through the walls of a condom.” She said and Maria looked at her in horror. Liz laughed.

“I was kidding!” She said quickly. Maria gave her a doubtful glance and got up.

“That is not something to joke about, Chica. You about gave me a heart attack! Besides if you want to run tests on alien sperm, your going to have to get it from Max. I know Michael would not be willing to donate to that particular cause.” She said lightly. Liz blushed, and Maria laughed.

“Lets go.” She said and guided Liz from the room.



*********

“Liz! Maria! It’s so nice to see you again. How have you been?” Mr. Whitman said when her answered the door. Liz stared for a moment. He had aged like twenty years since they last saw him and a cloud of despair seemed to hang all around him.

“We’re fine Mr. Whitman. It’s nice to see you too. I was wondering if we could talk to you for a moment.” She said finally.

“Sure girls, come on in.” He said ushering them inside the darkened house.

When he closed the door behind him they realized just how dark it was inside. All the shades had been pulled to block out the daylight and their were no lights on. It was depressing, but then they could understand why. The Whitman’s had lost both of their children. First Maggie, and now Alex. It seemed they had nothing left to be happy about. He offered them a seat in the living room, and reached to turn on a lamp.

“So, what can I do for you two?” He asked when he finally looked at them. Liz looked at Maria first, then back to Mr. Whitman.

“Well, we were kind of hoping you still had Alex’s things. We wanted....well, he was writing a new song, and it was about the three of us, our lives together and our friendship. I was wanting to see if he finished it before... before he died. It would really mean a lot to us both.” She said. Mr. Whitman instantly had tears in his eyes at the mention of his son’s death.

“That sound’s like something my son would do. Go ahead ladies. His room is still the same. I haven’t been able to go through his things just yet, it’s still just too painful.” He said, and got up to lead them upstairs.

He opened the door for them but refused to follow them in.

“Take what ever you want. I know he would want it that way.” He said and then left, closing the door after him.

Maria looked around her and could not stop the tears. It was like he should be walking in anytime.

“God Liz, I miss him so much.” She whispered. Liz nodded,

“Me too.” She walked over to the laptop that she had searched through before. She flipped it on and waited for the screen to come up.

“Well, where should we look?” She asked Maria.

“We looked through most of it last time, all except his school work and his music. Why don’t we start with those.” Maria suggested.

“Ok, sounds good to me.” She said and proceeded to bring up his homework files. Alex was always so organized, it made it easy to go through his folders.

When they had searched through every one of his school papers she closed the files.

“Nothing.” She said, and pulled up his music. She opened the first one and saw a half written song. What was there was beautiful, but disturbed. It saddened Liz to see what had really become of her friend in the last few months of his life. She closed the file. The next few she brought up held nothing, but then she found something she thought was interesting.

“Hey Maria, look at this.” She said calling her over. Maria had been slowly wandering around the room, looking with sad eyes at the collection of things that made up her lost friend's life. She came back over to where Liz sat.

“What? It looks like a list of the songs that he has written.” She said, looking at the screen. Liz nodded then pointed out one that was slightly different.

“Yeah, but look at this one. Have you ever heard him play it? He almost always played his new songs for us, and I have never heard of this one. Look at how the title is in italics and bolded. None of the other one’s are.” She said. Maria looked at it and then at Liz.

“I see what you mean and the name of it could actually mean something. Look at it Liz, it’s like he’s speaking directly to you.” She said, and Liz really looked at the words then.

Destiny awaits the hand of Fate

She just sat there for a moment digesting the words. It was beautiful and could mean so many different things, but she could tell he had meant it for her. She reached over and clicked on the title. The page took a second to load but what she saw when it was finished made her gasp. She and Maria looked at each other in shock. On the screen was a picture of Alex and he was talking to her.



*********




posted on 30-Sep-2001 10:51:18 PM
Part 15


“Hi Liz. I know it had to be you who found this, but just to be sure I have installed a question test with answers only you or Maria would know. You have to get them all right to hear the rest of this message, but I know if it’s you, then you will understand.” He said, and then proceeded to ask her ten questions that pertained to things the three of them had done together as children. Things only the three of them knew about.

She typed in the answers quickly, grinning at the subjects he had picked. She wasn’t even aware that he had remembered some of this stuff. Maria was grinning too. When she hit enter the page reloaded.

“Ok, now I’m sure it‘s you. I know if you have found this it’s because something has happened to me. I’m sorry about not telling you what was going on in my more lucid times, like now. I didn’t want her to hurt you guys. I don’t know what is going to happen to me, but if you are watching this apparently I’m dead or missing. I need you to understand what has been going on as best as I can remember it.”


“Ok, it all started back before I went to Sweden, or when you guys think I went to Sweden. I never went there Liz. Tess approached me and asked me if I could help her. I told her sure, and we went for a ride. What happened next is kind of sketchy. She has done something to my memories, and I have lots of missing time. Anyway, she locked me in some room somewhere and told me I was going to help her translate the Destiny book and that nobody else could know about it. I still don’t know why she did it this way instead of just asking, but of course I had to tell her no. Nobody tells me what I will and will not do, or so I thought anyway. She told me that was a mistake and then she did something to my mind. The next time I came around I was sitting at a computer in some dorm room. I had the symbols right before me and I was doing just what she asked, I was translating them. I don’t know what she did to me, but it did not fall into the category of a mindwarp. It was like mind control or something, like she had implanted instructions in my brain to do as she asked even when she was not there.” He took a deep breath. Liz and Maria just kept staring at the screen.

“I kept quiet about the fact that I was not under her power for a while. I went on translating the book, and what I found was amazing. She would come and check on me every couple of weeks or so, and I let her think I was her drone, like before. She had no idea that I had come out of whatever it was she had done to me. I worked like mad on the book, trying to get it done before she came back again. I hid my progress though, so she thought I had barely made any headway. It gave me time to complete the real translation, which I hid in this file and sent to my own computer. She has so idea it’s here, so don’t tell her. If you plug this computer into my printer, the real translation will print out as soon as this message ends.” Liz reached over and plugged in the printer, then connected it to the lap top.

“There is something you should know though. The picture of Tess in the book is altered. If you look closely at it you can tell it’s different from all the others. I don’t know who was pictured there before, but whoever it was, it was not Tess. Also, I think there is more that the written text there. None of what I translated was about the Granolith, except for the part about how to get home. I know it should do much more than that. I think that the pages themselves are like a key. If you look at the bottom of them you will see shapes cut out of the metal page, almost like a code or something for a computer to read. Try taking it to the Granolith and see if the pages will fit anywhere. Maybe that will work, it sure couldn’t hurt anything. I know what I’m saying sounds strange, but believe me, I had plenty of time to study the book.”

“Anyway, I finished her version of the translation and gave it to Leanna. I don’t know who this Leanna really is, only that she was not my girlfriend in Sweden. She showed up in my dorm room a couple of times, offering to help me, I remember her saying she was working for another group of aliens, ones that were trying to help. Anyway, I gave her the faked translation but not the real one, the only copy of it is here. I couldn’t be sure that I could trust her. We set it up in a warehouse with the translation and a crystal that she said was important. We were hoping to lure Tess there, but I don’t know if it will work. Leanna booby trapped it with a device that would destroy her if she found it. It was some kind of alien gadget, so I guess maybe she was for real. I told Tess that I had finished the translation, but that I had hidden it and she would never find it. I told her that it was with a friend that had been helping me. That really pissed her off, and hopefully she will spend lots of time looking for it. I hope it all works out according to plan, but I’m doubting I will be around to see it. I can only pray that you never have to see this message.” He said sadly.


“After that, she started her mindwarp to convince me I was in Sweden. It worked too, until for some reason I came out of it not long after I got back. I went to her and confronted her about everything, and I guess she mindwarped me again. But I kept coming out of it. I don’t know why. I’m not in real good shape right now, but I know enough to make this recording so hopefully you can figure out what’s going on. I think she will just keep going until she kills me.” He swallowed hard and then he started crying. Liz and Maria cried right along with him.

“I want you to know I loved you Liz. Tell Maria I loved her too. You were both the best friends a guy could ever have. Tell Isabel that I never stopped loving her. She has always been and forever will be my first and only true love. Hey, don’t cry. I know you well enough to know that you are crying right now, but stop. I had a great life with the best friends a guy could ever hope to have. I loved you all. Besides, I will see you again, I promise. Remember, don’t ever trust Tess, she is dangerous for you all. Tell Max what you have found here and give him the real translation, he will know what to do with it. I only hope you find this before she can do any more damage. Goodbye Liz, and don’t forget about me.” He said, and she could see him reach forward to turn off the video camera. He smiled once more into the camera and then his image clicked off the screen. Liz touched the computer screen softly,

“Bye Alex.” She whispered, “We could never forget you.”

“Oh, Liz, why did he never come to us? Max could have helped him, healed him even. He just let her do it! Now he’s dead. Why?” Maria cried. Liz just shook her head. She didn’t know.

“I think he was trying to protect us.” She answered softly. Just then, the printer kicked into gear. It was printing out the Destiny book. When it was done with the first page Liz took it and started reading.

*********

THREE HOURS LATER

“Max!” He turned around, and smiled. He had just gotten off work and Liz was headed straight for him from across the street. It wasn’t until she got closer that he started to worry. She was running. She reached him, completely out of breath


“What’s wrong Liz?” He asked, holding her shoulders so he could look into her eyes


“Call...the ...others!” She panted. She bent over and took in a few deep breaths.


“Tell them to meet us at Michael’s now! Maria is already on her way over there, we found something you will all want to see.” She said finally able to talk. Max’s eyes looked worried.


“We found it Max!” Liz said excitedly. She had lost him.


“Found what?” He asked , slightly confused. He seemed to spend a lot of time that way recently.


“The Destiny book Max! The real translation.” She said happily.


“The real translation? I thought we had the real translation. Where did you find it?” He asked.


“Alex had it, come on let’s go, I will tell you about it on the way. Is Isabel back from shopping with your mother yet?’ She asked, suddenly worried that she might not be able to make it. She had to be here for this.


“Yeah, they got back a little while ago. Isabel called me and said they nearly bought out the whole mall.” He said laughing. Liz smiled, yeah, that sounded about right.

“Ok, let’s go.” She said, getting into the car. He got in with her and pulled out of the parking lot. She sat silently while Max called Isabel. He spoke quickly and hung up.

“She’s on her way. Do you want me to call Kyle and the Sheriff?” He asked, and she told him to go ahead. They needed to updated about what had happened last night anyway. He called their house and got Jim. He told him what was going on and then listened intently for a moment.

“Your right Sheriff, bring her too. It’s time she knew the truth.” He said, and thanked him before hanging up. Liz looked at him knowing he was talking about Amy. He frowned slightly, then looked at her seriously.

“I think their might be a slight addition to our meeting. Jim said Amy’s is getting worse. She is really confused. It’s time to tell her everything.” He told her.


Liz nodded, they all knew it was coming. They had tried for the last two months to convince her it was all just a dream, but the memories had been surfacing in more and more detail. It was only a matter of time before she remembered it all anyway. They had decided on a preemptive strike. They would tell her first. It was the only way to keep her from completely freaking out. Maybe with Jim there to help calm her, it would help.

“I only hope Maria can handle it. I mean, what will her mom do when she realized her daughter is sleeping with an alien?” She said seriously.

“Well, what would you do if it were your daughter?’ Max asked. She laughed.

“Max, my daughter will probably be part alien.” She said. Max’s eyes immediately sought her face and she realized what it was she had just said. She blushed furiously. He gave her a gentle smile.

“I certainly hope so.” He said softly. She smiled back her face still red. He reached across the seat and took her hand.

I want you to have my children Liz

He sent softly across their connection. She gasped lightly and closed her eyes.

I want that too Max. I want to have your babies.

He felt tears burn in the backs of his eyes.

Someday, Liz. I will make you my wife again, and I will give you babies, I promise.


He felt a warmth spread through him and realized it was Liz. Images started to flicker through his mind, and he had to pull over. He saw them together, naked on her bed, their bodies covered in a faint sheen of sweat, their hands locked together, as he thrust himself into her over and over again. He saw both their bodies tense as she lay underneath him, and they both screamed the others name. He saw her months later as she cradled her rounded belly in her hands, heavy with his child. He saw her in the throe's of pain as her body labored to give birth and then finally he saw her lying in a hospital bed holding their child up for him to see. The images faded and he felt his breath heaving in his chest.

The sight of them making love was almost more that he could handle, and then the sight of her carrying and giving birth to his child had touched him more deeply that anything he had ever seen. He looked over at her and saw her chocolate brown eyes looking at him, glowing softly. He reached over and kissed her hard, all his dreams and desires pouring into her from their strengthening connection. She matched his passion with her own, and they pulled apart both gasping for breath.

Soon

He whispered again. It was becoming like a mantra for them both. She nodded and he pulled back onto the road. They pulled into Michaels apartments, and he looked at her. She was still slightly flushed from their previous encounter, but she remained calm under his gaze. He smiled, wanting nothing more than to ruffle her feathers all over again. She saw the gleam come into his eyes and laughed, knowing just what he was thinking.

“Max...” She started, grinning. He nodded, sighing.

“I know, I know, but...soon.” He stated and then let himself out of the car. He came around and opened her door for her, giving her his hand to ease her out of the car. She smiled.

“Always such a gentleman.” She teased lightly. He grinned at her

“Only for my lady.” He said and kissed the tip of her nose.

“Are you ready?” She asked, “This could get ugly with Amy.” He nodded.

“I think she’ll be fine.” I hope, he added to himself. They headed up the stairs to add one more member to the ever growing “I know an alien” club. They only hoped that this time, all of them would live through it.



*******