|posted on 16-May-2002 9:16:22 PM by JO|
Catagory: Post-Graduation - I'm sure that will be the first of many graduation fics. I just felt the need and out this came.
Author's Note: I know, I shouldn't be starting another fic, but this one just came out of me and I can't seem to stop it. I will still continue feverishly working on my other 4 fics but I just have to see this through until the muse stops me. Please leave feedback if you like it.
Dedicated to my Ros Pals: Deidre, Angela, Kath, Tas, Micha, Abbi, Cookie, Nephele (!!) and Stacey, and my newest pals Mel, Bennie and Blanca. It's been a pleasure, ladies!
June 12, 2002
I’m Liz Parker Evans and this is the beginning of my new life. It feels so odd to write that...my new life...because on September 24, 1999, my life would have ended had Max Evans not patched a bullet hole 2 inches below my ribs. Now, 3 years later (although it feels like a lifetime), Max and I are husband and wife - only 1 year earlier than my Future Max and his Liz. So many things have changed since that moment in the Crashdown when Max healed me and we connected on a higher level, but I guess those things really aren’t important. What’s important are the people with me in this van: Michael, Maria, Kyle, Isabel and Max. They’re my family now; they’re my future. My past, along with my old journal, lies in Roswell, NM, and all we can do now - the six of us - is to carry on, endure, live.
It’s also odd to look at today’s date, especially when thinking about death. I can’t think about it without a shiver running down my spine. This is the day from my vision, the day we were supposed to die - June 12, 2002. We began running after graduation and have stopped only long enough for the essential items: food, pee break, wedding. I know I shouldn’t be writing
this, I shouldn’t be putting my feelings about these recent events into words in such a concrete way, but I can’t help it. Old habits die hard. I have to believe that we’ll be okay; that if we just keep running long enough, they’ll stop looking. At least that’s what I’m praying for.
Kyle is driving now with Isabel riding shotgun. They’re playing a game of ‘I Spy.’ Maria and Michael are snuggled together in the back seat, their arms wrapped tightly around each other. I think they had a quickie in the bathroom of the Jiffy Mart when we crossed into Nevada but I’m not sure. They’re both happy for the moment...but then again, their relationship has been
anything but conventional. I can’t help but glance over at Max, my husband, my soul mate, the love of my life. My eyes are instantly drawn to his wedding band, knowing that I put it there, that I marked his soul (and ring finger) as surely as he marked mine. We’ve had trying times. We’ve been to hell and back but here we are now together - carrying on, enduring, living.
As the slide show of the past three years plays like an old movie reel through my mind, I can’t help but feel saddened by all that we’ve had to leave behind, especially our parents. Max and Isabel had finally gotten the acceptance from their parents they so desperately wanted after telling them the truth and now, their family is torn in half. Isabel also lost Jesse in the process.
I didn’t know him that well but watching him beg to accompany us made me respect him a little more. This is not his battle, it’s not his war, and yet, because he loved Isabel, he wanted to brave it with her. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her to turn him away. I know how hard it was for me to push Max away and I know how completely grateful I am that he is in
After we married in Arizona, the six of us spent the night in Tempe. I know, it’s almost too coincidental with the future version of my life, except that Alex was not there. He wasn’t there in body, but I know for a fact he was there in spirit because I was thinking about him. I can’t help not thinking about him. He was my best friend and he’s gone, his life tragically taken by a traitor. Alex is probably the biggest regret of my entire involvement with Max. In the end, I gained a husband but I guess you could say I lost so much more: Alex, my innocence, my family. I shouldn’t feel sad; I don’t want to feel sad - I’m finally happy. Max and I are together for the rest of our lives. I’ve graduated from West Roswell High School with a decent grade point average (not Harvard quality, by any means) and my parents, Max’s parents, and Maria’s mom finally know the truth about what our lives have been like for the past 3 years. But there are just so many things to be considered in this new chapter of my life. I’ve never really admitted this before - at least not in print - but I’m scared. I’m scared because the plan I had for my life went drastically wrong 3 years ago. I’m scared because I don’t know who I’m running from or where I’m running to. I’m scared because my entire world just got bigger overnight. Maybe I shouldn’t feel this way. Maybe I shouldn’t be having these...feelings, but feelings drive us,
right? Feelings push us toward a goal. Feelings make us...human. So that’s who I am today, June 12, 2002. I’m Liz Parker Evans, happy and a little bit scared but I’m carrying on, enduring, living.
[ edited 28time(s), last at 16-Feb-2003 2:03:27 PM ]
|posted on 18-May-2002 5:32:33 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: I don't normally post parts this quickly; I just couldn't help posting this one. Tomorrow is writing day for me so hopefully, the muse stick with me for several hours (at least so I can work on all my fics)!|
Also mucho thanks to all that left feedback! Feedback is an awesome thing and it made me so happy to know that so many of you liked my story.
June 13, 2002
It’s almost 2:00 in the morning and I don’t know why I’m still awake. I should be nestled in the arms of my sleeping husband (one week officially today!!) We’re staying in Las Vegas for a couple of nights, each of us at our own little dive of a hotel. The day was exhausting but running for your life can tire a person.
Max and I were the first to be dropped off at our hotel, the Tropicana. It reminds me of the hotel where we found Michael and Maria on our way to Marathon. Porno version of Aladdin indeed!! I can’t help but wonder the condition of the hotels Michael, Maria, Isabel and Kyle are staying at if the Tropicana is any indication. We registered under the names ‘Jeff and Nancy Parker,’
our appearances altered slightly to protect us. Max told me I looked good as a redhead, courtesy of Isabel’s magic hands. I told him I thought he had a thing for brunettes which he said was true and that he’d show me once we were in the room. Luckily, I had one of my dad’s old credit cards in my purse and as fate would have it, it was approved. We each cut up our credit
cards and bank cards (after withdrawing all possible monies) in the Mojave Desert almost five days ago. I don’t know why we went to the desert - maybe we were homesick for the isolation that the desert used to offer. Maybe we needed the jagged rocks and clay-colored sand to help us with our thought process. I don’t know why we went there. I just know that in the Mojave
Desert of Southern California, six people died, their existence simply wiped clean and that at 2:10 in the morning, I’m mourning their deaths.
Liz closed the notebook and wrapped her arms around herself. She was clad only in Max’s white dress shirt, the one he’d worn when they got married one week earlier. She’d begun using it as pyjamas on their wedding night. She loved the smell of it, to feel like that he was wrapped all around her, totally enveloping her in every sense. It had given her comfort when she couldn’t
sleep as the six of them had spent several crowded nights in the van. This was no kind of honeymoon, Max had told her that first night, clutching her body tightly against his, maneuvering them so they could touch each other and try to ignore the other four people sleeping around them. They had succeed in removing Max’s jacket and dress shirt and Liz’s white peasant top before
Max covered her bare shoulders with his own shirt. Then, as quietly as possible, they had exited the van and made love underneath the star-filled sky. It had reminded Liz of the first night they spent together underneath the stars and she had bought the wire-bound notebook the following morning at a gas station, intent on writing down everything she felt. The morning after though, she had still been high on the surges of passion coursing through her body. She had had no way
of knowing that one week later she’d be awake in the middle of the night crying about their futures.
“Liz?” Liz jerked in the chair, turning from her seat at the rickety table toward the bed where Max was resting on his side. “Liz, come back to bed,” Max said, pushing himself up onto his elbow, sprigs of his hair sticking up at all different directions. “It’s late,” he groaned, slowly
peeling back the covers. “Or early.” Pushing his weary body to the edge of the bed, he reached for his wife, their hands meeting in the darkness. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Liz replied meekly, wildly avoiding Max’s eyes. The moonlight filtered in sparsely through the frayed curtains, slightly illuminating Max’s face, particularly his eyes. And Liz knew she was in no condition to look into Max’s eyes, knowing full well that he would know she was
lying. “I’m fine,” she replied again, smiling with her mouth only.
“Liz,” Max whispered, pulling her into his lap. “I know you better than that.” He threaded his hands through her long tresses as she wrapped her arms around his neck, sighing loudly. “Tell me what’s wrong, baby.”
“I don’t know,” she said, her eyes instantly filling with tears again. “I just...this is all so...hard, Max.”
“You don’t want to be here?”
“I want to be wherever you are. I meant what I said about doing anything to be with you. We’re in this together, Max, and I’m not living the rest of my life without you. This...it isn’t about that.”
“What then,” Max asked, lightly brushing his lips against her throat. “What’s keeping you up?”
“I...I’m scared,” she whispered faintly. “I...I’m not scared about us, Max. I love you and being with you is what I want to do. I’m just -”
“Scared about the future,” Max offered, wrapping his arms around her waist and resting his head against her chest. He raised his eyes to meet hers and Liz pulled her bottom lip into her mouth, tugging on it with her teeth as she nodded her head slowly. “It’s okay to be scared. I’m scared too.”
Max nodded as he collected her into his arms and slid into the center of the bed. “I’ve been scared my entire life. Scared that I’d be found out. Scared that my parents wouldn’t love me. Scared to confess what I felt for you because I thought you’d run.”
Liz wrapped her legs around Max’s waist, snuggling as close to him as possible. “But I didn’t,” she offered, brushing his bangs away from his forehead. Pursing her lips, she gently placed a kiss in the center of his forehead and felt his arms tighten around her.
“I know you, Liz. We’re connected now, you know,” he said tenderly, raising his head to look into her eyes. “Cemented, and I can feel every emotion that’s flowing through your body. I know you’re scared and anxious and worried but above all those other feelings, Liz, I feel love. I know that first and foremost, you love me,” he said, capturing the tears that fell down her cheeks.
“I do love you, Max. I do.”
“If you didn’t love me, you wouldn’t be here. Don’t you know we can do anything as long as we’re together?” He framed her face with his palms, his thumbs tracing tiny circles across her cheeks. “I haven’t always made the best choices in our relationship but I know I was right to love you, to want you as my wife, my wonderful wife.”
“Max,” Liz murmured as Max began to trail his lips down her neck. She felt the fire build within her stomach and warmth flood her extremities. She had always felt heat from Max’s body every time they were close, the intensity of the heat amplified by their proximity and what they happened to be doing at the moment. She could feel her own body temperature rising, almost as
if her body was calling to Max’s. She ran her hands down the length of his back, his flesh incinerating the palms of her hands and the thought that she had only felt Max’s skin this hot one previous time flashed through her brain. “You’re healing me,” she said, cupping his chin in her hands. Her eyes scanned his face for an answer to her statement, already knowing in her heart it
was true. That Max was healing her.
“You can feel that?”
She nodded against his cheek as they adjusted their position on the bed, with Max lying on top of her, their bodies bound tightly together as Max’s hand came to rest on her naked hip. “I feel everything about you, Max. I know you, your heart, your soul. And no matter what healing powers you have, nothing will ever heal me as much as simply being with you.”
“I love you, Liz Parker Evans,” Max whispered just before his lips crashed against hers. Liz felt his fingers expertly unbuttoning the shirt and her own desperate need to have her husband make love to her filled her mind. He slipped her out of the shirt with ease, letting it fall underneath her onto the bed. “Liz,” he whispered her name like a prayer as their bodies joined with ease. “My
strong, beautiful wife.” Liz smiled quickly, a faint blush settling on her cheeks as she kissed Max fully on the mouth, willing this moment into the journal of her mind.
|posted on 20-May-2002 6:58:05 PM by JO|
June 15, 2002
After giving ourselves a ‘day break’ from each other and the cramped living space of the van, we agreed to regroup at the Bali Hai casino. We all knew where it was, having been there last year, and it was Michael’s thought that because we were in Las Vegas, we could lose ourselves and remain anonymous - at least for one day. Max and I spent our free day from the group
celebrating our marriage and extending our honeymoon in ways I won’t put into print. I will reveal that married life is absolute bliss (despite running for our lives) and there is no other feeling greater than making love to my husband.
Max and I took the scenic route to the Bali Hai, walking down the main drag hand-in-hand. For the duration of that walk (and our previous free day), we simply acted the happily married couple we are, alien abyss notwithstanding. We laughed, we kissed, we had fun - our lives completely normal and I felt like we were the only 2 people in the entire world. It was magic and
nothing could have been more perfect than that. It was absolute heaven and I am so thankful that we were able to lose ourselves in each other, even for that short amount of time.
“So you had a good time yesterday,” Max asked, his arm slung loosely across Liz’s shoulders as they walked toward the Bali Hai Hotel and Casino. Liz’s arms were wrapped tightly around his waist and the newlyweds had spent the majority of the previous twenty-four hours in their bed at the Tropicana. The faint desert breeze wafted over then, sending Liz’s hair fluttering momentarily
into Max’s face and for a split second, Max envisioned them on Main Street of Roswell. He and Liz had discussed their joint fears at length after Liz’s emotional breakdown and he wished once again that Liz had not gotten mixed up in his life. She was the one spec of purity on his otherwise blemished existence and he unconsciously tightened his hold on her, unwilling to drag her down with him.
“Stop it, Max,” she chastised, stopping their forward progression with the Bali Hai less than half a block away. “I know what you’re doing and I want you to stop it.” She stepped against his chest and placed her hands lovingly on his cheeks. “We’ve talked about this, remember? This is the way it has to be for now, but I did have a wonderful day yesterday,” she replied softly, a dreamy look encompassing her face as she tenderly pulled his lips toward hers. “Did you enjoy it?”
“Oh,” he replied, nipping at her neck with his mouth, making her giggle and brush away from him. “I think you know I did,” he said once he had caught up with her, an honest smile spreading across his face. He had enjoyed being with Liz. Then again, he’d always enjoyed being with Liz or even just watching her from afar. Now that they were married, the gravitational pull she’d woven around him the moment he first saw her in the third grade was solidified, like a missing piece of the puzzle had magically appeared and he was finally whole. She didn’t know that he had woken up in the early morning and had spent almost an hour just watching her as she’d slept. He had memorized the way her dark hair had fanned out against the pillow and the soft murmurings she had whispered in her sleep. He knew her mind and heart was tormented by fears and doubts about the future in their waking hours but when she slept, her face bore none of that strain. When she slept, she looked like an angel. “I think you know I did,” he repeated, pulling her tightly against him.
“Max,” she sighed, cradling her head against his chest as they continued to walk toward the Bali Hai.
And, believe me, it was a short amount of time. As soon as the Bali Hai was in sight, the reality of our situation came crashing back to me. Our life together was not some fairy tale. I could close my eyes and wish away the problems chasing us but when I opened them again, all those problems would still be there.
“Max,” Liz whispered again and Max forcefully grabbed her hand. Already, their bodies were both tense and they had only seen the three police cars parked recklessly on the sidewalk in front of the Bali Hai. Max’s first impulse was to run and he made jerky motions toward the curb, his grip of Liz’s hand tightening the closer he got to the street. “Max,” Liz repeated, her voice now an excited whisper. “We haven’t done anything wrong.”
Max opened his mouth to respond when he saw several armed police officers escorting an older man toward their cars. He pulled Liz quickly toward the growing crowd gathered outside the main doors. “What’s going on,” Max asked an elderly woman straining for a better view.
“Oh, they caught him trying to rob the cashier. Stupid fella. Everyone knows you can’t rob a Las Vegas casino.” She smiled widely at Max, who responded in kind, keeping a fierce grip on Liz’s hand. He turned around to face Liz, the smile still plastered across his face. They were all still safe, he thought. Gingerly squeezing her hand, he pulled Liz close to him and they walked into the casino.
“Let’s find everyone else, okay.”
“Sounds great,” Liz replied, the corners of her mouth turning upward into a smile. “I think that scare warrants a bathroom break though.” She pressed herself comfortably against Max’s chest and kissed him fully on the lips. “I’ll be right back.”
“I’ll wait,” Max offered, his hands lingering on the crest of Liz’s hips. “I don’t mind.”
“Go find Michael, Max. I’ll be fine.”
“Okay,” Max replied dejectedly, his hands clamping on to Liz’s hips as he kissed her swiftly before walking further into the casino. He was only several steps away from her before he felt his stomach contract in semi-panic. Spinning toward her, relief flooded through him as he watched Liz skip to the ladies room. She pulled the door open with her right hand while turning to face Max. She smiled brightly at him, waving slightly with her left as she brushed past a woman exiting the bathroom.
That’s what running does to you. It makes you paranoid. It makes you untrusting and it ultimately makes you crazy. But as the woman in a dark pantsuit brushed past me in the restroom doorway, I realized just how close our problems were and I knew we were going to have to run again.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Jun-2002 2:01:42 PM ]
|posted on 21-May-2002 7:58:21 PM by JO|
|Again, thanks to all of you for leaving such awesome feedback. I'm not all that comfortable "stepping" into Liz Parker Evans' shoes, especially during the journal moments because they are what brought so many of us to the show in the first place, but I just wanted to thank you for hanging with me and for your wonderful and gracious feedback.|
I only wanted to respond to a couple of questions raised and to give a possible 'hint.'
Dark Pantsuit Lady will not prominantly figure into the story. There's nothing wrong with her, etc.; it's just that Liz touches her...
LixMix5: On Max calling Liz "baby" - I had several issues with this because Max does not use a 'term of endearment' for Liz. Maria calls her Lizzie and chica; Max and Michael call Isabel 'Iz.' I just thought that since Max and Liz were now husband and wife, Max would use some term when they were alone. Baby is what came out of Max's mouth. But can't you just envision JB holding SA in his lap and calling her 'baby?' [Wait - is that slander?? I won't be sued, will I? You all won't tell, will you??]
I'm really writing this story and posting it as I finish the parts, which is highly unlike me. I normally write a section and sit on it for about a week (or at least 2-3 days) before posting. It goes through several edits. This story, however, is just flowing and I want so badly to post it asap. I don't really know where the gang is going to take me next, although I do have several plans in mind. I'm also not sure about the Dupes or Nicholas or Kivar yet. Again, I'm writing by the seat of my pants here I just do what the characters (and my muse) tell me to do.
Hopefully a new part will be up on Friday night!
|posted on 24-May-2002 5:58:27 PM by JO|
Liz felt the tingling sensation shoot down her spine the moment she and the woman in the dark pantsuit brushed past each other. No flash needed to tell her she was in danger, that they were all in danger. She had felt that momentary panic drop to the core of her soul but a flash pressed its way into her mind nonetheless. The split second image of a white identification badge with the
letters ‘FBI’ printed on it and a small picture of the woman with shorter hair was all her brain needed to register before her world violently shifted on its axis. The woman continued toward the main casino floor, oblivious of the connection Liz had just formed with her.
Liz turned and unsteadily made her way into one of the bathroom stalls. Waiting several seconds as she willed her body to calm down, she slowly returned to the casino lobby, her sole purpose to find Max and the others so they could leave as quickly and as quietly as possible.
* * *
“We’re in Vegas, baby,” Michael said, throwing his arms upward in triumph as he celebrated his third hard 8. “I love Vegas.”
“You say that like we’ve never been here before, Michael,” Maria groaned, blowing absently on her fingernails while keeping watch on the new faces that appeared at their table. Since the moment they’d arrived at the casino, much too early in Maria’s opinion, Michael had been glued to the craps table. She did have to give him credit because he had almost doubled their hundred dollars but she was beginning to get bored watching Michael’s chip pile become larger. “Oh, that’s right,” she quipped. “I remember now. You can’t see much of Vegas from a jail cell, can you?”
“That’s true,” Max said, walking toward them with his hands shoved casually into his pants pockets. “Can’t enjoy Vegas while you’re doing time.”
“Can it, Maria. You’re making me lose my winning vibe,” Michael glared at her over his shoulder. “So you and Liz finally come up for air, eh?” He arched his eyebrows at Max before he blew on the dice and threw them across the table. When he rolled a 6, the small crowd around the table erupted in cheers. Michael looked quite pleased with himself, a goofy grin plastered across his face as he high-fived several Japanese tourists.
“Hey Max,” Maria said, ignoring Michael’s remark.
“She’s in the restroom,” Max replied, thumbing his hand across his shoulder toward the restrooms at the front of the casino. “Did you see the police arrest that guy?”
“Yep. That guy was an idiot, Maxwell,” Michael replied as he stacked his chips into piles based on denominations. “Who really tries to rob a casino?”
“George Clooney and Brad Pitt,” Maria said, her arms deliberately resting on her hips and her lower lip full in a semi-pout. “But they aren’t the only idiots I know.”
“Maria, I swear,” Michael began, slamming his fist onto the table, several piles of his chips scattering onto the floor. “Look what you made me do!”
“What I made you do,” Maria screamed, stooping to the ground to pick up the fallen chips. “You’re the one who’s yelling! I’m not yelling!”
“Both of you are yelling,” Max cautioned, bending over to help pick up Michael’s winnings. “Casinos have cameras, remember?” He stacked the chips into a row and handed them to Michael. Their eyes met and Michael and Maria quickly quieted their bickering.
“I think it’s time to chip out,” Michael said softly, offering the stick man a smile as he gathered his
chips into his pockets.
Michael, Max and Maria turned to go into the direction of the cashier’s office when Liz almost ran directly into them. Her eyes darted around awkwardly, agitation and fear resonating on her face. Maria stepped toward her, pulling her into her arms. “Lizzie? What’s wrong?”
“We have to get out of here,” Liz advised them, her eyes locking instantly with Max’s. Max gently pushed Maria out of his way, encompassing his wife in his arms.
“You had a flash, didn’t you,” Max asked after placing a gently kiss on her forehead. Liz nodded her head against his chest, warm tears gingerly trailing down her cheeks. “She had a flash,” Max relayed to Michael and Maria over his shoulder, still maintaining his tight grip on Liz.
“We’ll go cash out,” Maria said, grabbing Michael’s arm and pulling him toward to cashier’s window.
“Are you okay,” Max asked Liz as Maria pulled Michael in the opposite direction. “What is it?” Max glanced quickly around the casino, trying to catch someone looking at the two of them. He ran his hands lightly up and down her arms and he felt both of their heart rates increase.
“When I went to the bathroom,” Liz began but quickly stopped. She placed her hand on Max’s chest to steady herself and closed her eyes, willing her hormones to remain dormant for just a little while longer. She couldn’t explain her flash to Max when all she could think about was making love to him. “The woman...in the dark pantsuit. She’s FBI, Max.”
“You saw her badge?”
“She wasn’t wearing it but I know she was carrying it in her left pant pocket. I saw her picture, her name, everything.”
“You’re right. We have to get out of here. You go with Michael and Maria and I’ll go find Kyle and Iz.”
“I...I’ll go find them,” Liz argued. “I...I think I need to go to the bathroom again anyway.”
Against his gut instinct, Max agreed to let Liz try to find Kyle and Isabel in the casino. He glanced over his shoulder at Michael and Maria, already leaving the casino with Michael’s winnings to retrieve the van. “I’ll meet you out front, okay? Be careful.” He kissed her
passionately on the lips, snaking his arms around her waist and back, crushing her tiny body against his. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Liz sighed against his neck, sniffing loudly. “I’ll be careful.”
He released her slowly, turning and walking toward the lobby, following Michael and Maria’s earlier path out of the casino. Liz turned swiftly on her heels, her eyes keenly scanning the casino floor for any signs of Kyle and Isabel. Walking deeper into the casino, she saw Kyle sitting at the blackjack table, a substantial crowd gathering behind him. She crossed the floor swiftly, her eyes trained on the cameras overhead, praying they weren’t watching her.
“Kyle,” she called as she stepped through the crowd to his side. She was amazed at the winnings he had accumulated. “Kyle, we have to go.”
“Don’t stop me now, Liz. Lady Luck is finally on my side.”
“Now, Kyle,” she whispered into his ear. He turned his head toward her and Liz hoped her facial expression let him know the severity of their situation. “Where’s Isabel?”
“She’s in the bathroom,” Kyle responded, standing up from his stool at the table. He smiled widely at the shapely blonde dealer, tossing a chip at her. “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run. Excuse me, people. Rich man coming through.”
Liz rushed away from him toward the back of the casino and Isabel as Kyle walked toward the cashier’s window. She saw Isabel standing against in between the slot machines and the restrooms. Liz thought Isabel glanced in her direction and she waved her hand wildly to get
Isabel’s attention. Instead of acknowledging her, Isabel simply turned toward the wall and that was the exact moment Liz had her first unobstructed view of Isabel.
I don’t know how I knew it. Maybe I just felt it, like that there was something different in the air. Maybe I sensed it because of the smile on her face and the tears in her eyes. I knew she shouldn’t be doing it. She knew she shouldn’t be doing it but that didn’t matter. My heart jumped into my throat as my greatest fear played out in front of my very eyes. Isabel was talking on the phone. I knew she was talking to Jesse. And I knew that Isabel had led our problems straight to us.
|posted on 28-May-2002 7:30:10 PM by JO|
“Isabel. Let’s go,” Liz said, startling Isabel. Both of them were in shock but for completely different reasons. Isabel calmly returned the phone to its receiver and briskly walked past Liz, ignoring all together the fact that she had been on the phone in the middle of a conversation.
“Isabel,” Liz called, running after her sister-in-law catch up to her because of their stride difference. “Isabel, wait.” Isabel slowed slightly, allowing Liz to catch up to her before she continued walking toward the front doors. “Who were you talking to? Were you talking to
“You’ve got alien powers now,” Isabel snapped as she turned toward Liz slightly while they walked out the sliding glass doors into the covered pick-up area in front of the casino. “Figure it out.” Max slid the van door open and Isabel promptly stepped inside, claiming her usual seat beside Kyle. Liz hesitated before stepping into the van, the impact of Isabel’s harsh words hitting
her. Her mouth opened slightly and she stared at the ground, spurring Max to jump out of the van and grab her hand.
“Liz? Did you have another flash?”
“N...no, Max. No,” she stuttered, smiling slightly as she took his hand and stepped into the van in front of him. She glanced to her left and stared at Isabel sitting in the back seat with Kyle. Liz tried to maintain eye contact with Isabel as she moved across the middle seat toward the window but Isabel fiercely avoided her eyes.
There’s no excusing what happened. I thought we were in real danger, based a flash from an unknown woman. As it turns out, the FBI were stationed at the casino, but they weren’t looking for us; they were investigating a possible mob hit on the casino’s owner. Michael heard a news flash broadcast over the radio not more than an hour after we’d left Las Vegas. That had lead Max, Michael and Kyle into an almost 2 hour discussion and recreation of The Godfather movie trilogy, as well as any other film from the same genre. Maria groaned and complained herself into sleep and I picked up my journal to document yet another day in my life.
We’re heading into California again, Barstow I think. Looking at the road atlas Kyle bought somewhere in Las Vegas, I don’t think Barstow is such a good idea. Not only are we in a desert similar to Roswell, but there are at least 4 military bases in the neighboring counties. I am glad that we’ll be stopping again though. Maybe I can get Isabel to actually talk to me about what
happened in Las Vegas.
* * *
June 16, 2002
I must have fallen asleep sometime in the van last night because I woke up in Max’s white dress shirt and a pair of his boxers. We had moved to a hotel and when I woke, I was the only one in the room. Needless to say, I ran out of the hotel (still wearing Max’s shirt and boxers) in a panic. I can’t even begin to describe what I felt when I woke up by myself in an unfamiliar room, but as my eyes dilated in the bright sunlight, I saw Max, Michael, Maria, Isabel and Kyle lounging in and around the tiny pool area of the hotel I was sure Isabel had picked. We rarely stay in hotels or motels and we’ve certainly never stayed in a hotel or motel with a pool. It’s a rare luxury I guess I owe to Michael and Kyle and their lucky hands in the casino.
I can’t help but feel like there’s something happening with Isabel. Don’t ask me while I feel this way. I should be thankful that I slept (obviously soundly) in a bed for the second night in a row and that I’ll finally be able to enjoy myself in a pool again, an amenity I assumed I’d never have. I’ll think about Isabel after I swim for a bit.
Liz closed the notebook, tucking it into the leather bag she’d begun calling her purse. The bag was so much more than just a purse; it had become her lifeline to all that she’d left behind. She and Max had agreed, after the second of her visions, to pack a small bag or back pack with necessary items in case they had to leave Roswell with little notice. After their afternoon in the
desert, she’d packed the brown leather bag the moment she returned home, filling it with pictures, several items of clothes, other toiletry items and her leather-bound journal. She had returned her old journal to her father several days after their graduation, knowing he would honor request her to destroy it. Her parents, all of their parents, deserved to know what had happened to them
during the course of the past three years and Liz had felt a huge weight of relief spring from her shoulders as she’d dropped her journal into that FedEx parcel box. Her parents would finally know the truth and maybe, they’d come to understand her a little bit better.
Changing into her two-piece swim suit quickly, she wrapped one of the hotel’s towels around her waist and stepped out of the hotel room into the bright afternoon sunlight, her heart suddenly lighter as she watched Max, Michael and Kyle rough-house in the pool while Maria and Isabel laughed at them. She crossed the parking lot slowly, her eyes trained on Max and his beaming smile and surprised herself by thinking that, despite whatever problem was plaguing Isabel, she felt good about her life.
* * *
“I...I just can’t believe this,” Amy Deluca said, throwing her upper body back against the couch in the Valenti living room. She ran her hands through her newly-cropped hair and sighed loudly, glancing at each of the other adults in the room with her. Jeff and Nancy Parker, Philip and Diane Evans and Jim Valenti sat in the chairs sporadically placed in the living room, the six parents staring at the bound leather journal currently resting in the center of the coffee table. “I...Jim?
You believe this? All of you believe this?”
“I was shot, Amy,” Jim began slowly, taking her hands into his. “I was shot and Max healed me. He healed Kyle. He healed Liz.”
“So he’s a...an...alien,” Amy replied calmly.
“And...Isabel is an alien and...Michael is an alien. My daughter is in love with an...alien.”
“My daughter is married to an alien,” Nancy replied with a shrug.
“And my children are aliens,” Diane chimed in for good measure.
“And you’re okay with that,” Amy asked, turning toward the other two mothers in the room. “You’re okay with knowing your children are in danger and that you probably won’t ever seen them again? Because I’m not okay with this. I am not okay!” Amy stood up from the couch, knocking Jim away from her and almost to the floor.
“Amy,” Jeff began softly as Philip steadied Jim to keep him from falling. Philip’s cell phone rang and, after making sure Jim was back on his feet, he excused himself from the room to answer it. “I know it looks like we’re calm.” He motioned to the four other adults in the room with his index finger, his eyes never leaving Amy. “We’re not calm. The Evans have tons of questions for Max and Isabel but those questions just have to go unanswered right now. Nancy and I have
spent countless hours worrying this year about Liz and her involvement with Max. Jim has had to deal with so much more than any of us because both Tess and Kyle lived here. But what’s most important to Nancy and I, and I think I can speak for Jim, Diane and Phil on this, is that our children are in danger. It doesn’t matter who or what they are. They’re still our children.”
“Oh,” Amy gasp, pulling her hands to her mouth. Tears poured out of her eyes and she threw herself against Jim, unable to control her emotions any longer. “I’m never going to see my baby again, am I?”
“I don’t know about that,” Philip interjected as he stepped back into the living room, closing the case on his cell phone and depositing it back into his jacket pocket. He smiled slightly as his wife, her arms around Nancy’s shoulders while the two mothers tried to comfort each other.
“Philip? What’s going on? Who was that,” Diane asked, her natural curiosity causing her to step away from Nancy and toward the entrance of the room, past where Jeff, Amy and Jim stood.
“That was Jesse,” Philip replied, his smile widening as the seconds ticked by. “He talked to Isabel.”
|posted on 29-May-2002 7:24:02 PM by JO|
|Part 5 will be posted on Saturday (and I'm also giving myself a shamless bump). |
I know....I'm bad!
|posted on 29-May-2002 8:40:54 PM by JO|
|Anne - Since you offered, if you could shamelessly bump every um...two days...that would be great! I just can't believe I've got 6 pages here and I'm only up to Part 4 - Insanity, I tell ya!|
Kath - Alex is always missing, isn't he? Kyle makes up for the wise-cracks but no where near in the style and manner of Alex Charles Whitman. Maybe you should read "Trick of the Light" ( shamless plug ) - that's the one where Tess dies and Alex lives!
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-May-2002 8:42:18 PM ]
|posted on 29-May-2002 9:06:48 PM by JO|
|Anne!! I was really joking!!!|
Now I'm just so flabbergasted, I have no response other than to blush!
|posted on 1-Jun-2002 8:12:13 PM by JO|
|Hey all! I really thought I'd have a new part posted tonight but my muse and my common sense are at a crossroads. A new part should be posted on Monday evening.|
Sorry for the delay, but believe me, I'm just as frustrated as you!!
|posted on 5-Jun-2002 5:49:43 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Thanks for being so patient with this. I think now I'm past whatever mental block I had and it's flowing smoothly again. MorningDreamGirl - If you'd offer a shameless bump so I can find Kismet again, I promise to have it updated by the weekend.|
“Good God, it’s hot out here,” Maria groaned as she fanned herself with her hands. She, Isabel and Liz had been sunning themselves while the boys went across the street to Carl’s Jr. to pick up lunch for them. “I’ve got to have something to drink. Do you two want anything,” she asked, standing up from her lounge chair and wrapping her towel around her waist.
“No thanks, Maria. Let us know when the food’s here.”
“Will do, chica,” Maria responded, walking away from the pool area and toward their room across the parking lot. Liz raised the sunglasses slightly above her eyebrows, watching to make sure her best friend had in fact left she and Isabel alone.
“Isabel,” she began, slinging her legs to the left side of the lounge so she could face Isabel’s lounge.
“Don’t start, Liz,” Isabel interrupted as she raised her hand to silence Liz. She absently ran her hand through her hair, readjusting the wind-blown strands. “Please don’t.”
“Isabel, if you called Jesse,” Liz began, leaning closer to her sister-in-law but quickly paused when she realized she didn’t want to make any ultimatum toward Isabel. She simply wanted to get to the bottom of the situation. “Why did you call him,” she softly asked.
“You have to know that put us in danger. I thought you wanted him to be safe.”
“I need him, Liz. He’s my husband.”
“I know that and I understand but you agreed for him to get on with his life. You pushed him away and now you’re deciding you want him back. We can’t afford to have you change your mind.” Liz pushed her sunglasses upward past her hairline, pulling her dark tresses away from her face.
“How would you feel if you couldn’t be with Max,” Isabel asked, turning her head toward Liz for the first time in their conversation. Liz gasp and shrank back away from Isabel, her heart constricting at the thought of not being with Max. She felt a solitary tear stream down her cheek before she could control it and blindly wiped at it. “Then you know exactly how I feel,” Isabel quietly responded, turning her attention back toward the empty pool. “Thank you for not telling Max by the way,” she said several seconds later.
“I...this isn’t for Max to decide. The entire group needs to know. We’re all in danger here, Isabel. The six of us, our parents, Jesse. It’s critical that we be careful. By talking to Jesse or continuing to talk to him, you’re bringing him into a fight that isn’t his.”
“This isn’t your fight either.”
“Max brought me into this the day he healed me,” Liz said, again leaning toward Isabel’s lounge chair and propping her elbows on her knees. “We...you and I...haven’t always gotten along but you have to know that I am exactly where I want to be. I’m a marked person, Isabel, just like you, Max and Michael. Jesse isn’t. He can be safe.”
Isabel swung her legs to her right, her knees almost knocking against Liz’s as she settled herself so she and Liz were facing each other. “Max broke our only rule when he told you the truth about us, Liz. Michael and I were furious when Max told us what he’d done, but now that I know you, I see it was the right thing for him to do. You’ve never done anything to hurt us. You
accepted Michael, Max and I with open arms and you’ve always done what you could to help us, even when things were awkward between you and Max. I...I’ve never thanked you for that. I’ve never told you how special I think you are for accepting us so unconditionally." Isabel swallowed and Liz could see that she was visibly moved by sharing feelings she’d kept bottled up for almost three years. “And I’ve certainly never asked anything of you, until now.” Isabel placed her hand on Liz’s, her fingers lightly dancing around Liz’s small wrist. “What I’m asking for now, Liz, is
time, time to help me deal with this. It’s different for me and Jesse. You have Max and Michael has Maria. The man I love is in Boston, almost 3000 miles away. I don’t know when I’ll see him again, or even if I ever will. All I have is a voice over the phone.” Isabel sighed heavily, her shoulders shuddering slightly before she continued.
“I...I haven’t told Jesse anything. I...I’ve only called him twice and the first time, I was so upset I couldn’t speak. I just need to hear his voice, Liz. Please.”
Suddenly, I just felt the need to hug Isabel. We’d only hugged one previous time - my wedding day. I understood everything she was feeling because I had just been there myself. She was as scared and as in love as I was. The only difference between us was that I had my husband. I was able to see him every day. I was able to touch and to kiss him whenever I wanted. For Isabel to know that kind of peace, she had to dreamwalk hers and simply pray she was able to connect with him. Hearing his voice in real life, although he was on the other side of the country, was her only line to him. I felt sorry for her because she was alone and I knew exactly what that kind of loneliness felt like.
So I wrapped my arms around her neck, cradling her head against my shoulder as I’d done with Maria so many times. Isabel clung to me, desperately and tragically, and I felt an onrush of pure devastation hit me. I’d felt a similar feeling when Max returned from L. A., and I had
comforted him in much the same manner: my arms around his neck while he held me like his very life depended on me. Underneath that surge of devastation though, I felt a faint impression, like that something else was experiencing this emotion too. I glanced quickly around the parking lot and saw Max, Michael and Kyle almost to the door of the hotel with several bags of food but the feeling wasn’t coming from them. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the impressions that were rolling through the semi-connection Isabel and I now shared. Then the flashes pounded against my brain like a breaking wave and I immediately understood the impressions that were flowing between us - Isabel was pregnant.
|posted on 5-Jun-2002 6:57:13 PM by JO|
|Tara - It's "B" - Liz's journal. I really hate trying to write all these dates in, basically because things are happening at such a rapid pace - it's almost the same day in every post! So, Liz is writing in her journal, carried over from Part 4 (June 17th). Got it??|
|posted on 6-Jun-2002 8:11:14 PM by JO|
|Author's Note: Wow! Color me surprised by all this great feedback. There's no better cure for writer's block than feedback!! Thanks so much.|
Just wanted to address the questions raised about Isabel and to let you know that, if I told you, I'd have to kill you and I'd just hate to do that. Seriously though, some answers should be coming your way in Part 7. Part 6, however, takes us back to Roswell.
“What do you mean Jesse talked to Isabel? Philip, that’s impossible. If Isabel were going to call anyone, she’d call us. She knows we’re just as worried, if not more so, than Jesse. We’re her parents.”
“It’s not that simple, Diane. We don’t know what the FBI is using as surveillance. They could have our home phones tapped. They could be watching us...right now.
All at once, the six parents in the room became a little more cautious, a little more afraid and a little more secretive. Philip signaled Diane to continue talking about Isabel, which Diane was only more than happy to do, without giving out specific details that could be used against their children. Nancy and Amy chimed in with stories about Liz and Maria as Jim, Philip and Jeff scrawled notes back and forth to each other. Signaling Diane to wrap up the conversation, the parents agreed to meet later that evening to discuss their children.
* * *
“I didn’t know if this was a good place or not,” Philip said as the sun began setting behind him for the evening. He placed his shaky hands into the pockets of his dress slacks, adjusting his footing on the quarry floor. When Jim had suggested they meet away from their homes and businesses, the only place Philip could think of was the quarry. Jim and Jeff had agreed with the location and
the six parents reconvened to discuss the phone call from Jesse.
“It’s a good spot,” Jim replied, reassuring Philip with a smile. “It’s highly likely all our houses are being monitored.”
“You mean bugged,” Jeff stated, stepping firmly toward Jim, his hand clasping Nancy’s tightly. When Jim nodded, Nancy choked back a cry.
“We said the word ‘alien,’” Diane said, glancing quickly to Nancy. “We called our children aliens.” Both women shared the same look of horror at having possibly betrayed the confidence of their children with their mistake.
“What did Isabel say to Jesse,” Amy pleaded, stepping closer toward the circle, ignoring Diane’s remark. “Did she say anything about Maria or...or even Liz? Anything at all?”
“Jesse called me from a payphone while he was on a break from a client lunch meeting. He just said he’d talked to Isabel for maybe half a minute.”
“Where are they,” Nancy asked, snaking her arms around Jeff’s waist “What are they doing?” Jeff pulled Nancy against his chest as her voice cracked after she asked her second question.
“Isabel wouldn’t tell him anything.”
“Then that’s good,” Jim responded, pushing his deputy’s hat backwards toward the crown of his head and placing his hands gingerly on his hips. “It takes almost a minute to get a good trace and if Isabel didn’t tell him anything and if they weren’t on the phone very long maybe they’ll still be safe.”
“That’s something, I guess,” Diane softly replied with a shrug.
“Something,” Amy shouted. “How can you say that? Our children, our babies, are running for their lives from some government agency and we’re supposed to be thankful we’ve heard from Isabel so we think they’re safe? How can I take comfort in that? We need to find them so we can help them.”
“You’re right, Amy,” Jeff began, releasing Nancy and stepping closer toward Amy Deluca. “But our kids are smart. They’ve obviously been able to keep their lives a secret for three years. My daughter was shot and Nancy and I knew nothing about it. You don’t think I want Liz home? You don’t think Phil and Diane want Max and Isabel home and that Jim wants Kyle
home?” Jeff felt Nancy’s calm hand creep onto his shoulder and relaxed his stance a little. He quickly ran his hands across his haggard face and through his hair. “We’re all hurting here, just like you.”
“From here on out, we’re in this together,” Philip softly said, throwing his arm across Diane’s shoulders. “There are 5 people in the world that I trust, and they're all standing right here. We can't let anyone else in.”
“Right,” Jim responded. “We trust no one. We talk to no one. Agreed?” He glanced around the small circle they’d formed at the quarry’s edge as the night sky threatened to blanket them with darkness. One by one, each parent nodded their consent.
“I guess I’d better burn this,” Jeff responded, placing the Liz’s journal onto the ground. He fished a lighter from his pocket and quickly flicked it, the small flame reflecting in the water. He lowered his hand to the corner of the bound book and paused just before the flame lit the corners. His mouth contorted sharply, his lips thinning as he tried his best not to cry. Remembering Liz’s
request to burn the journal after each of the parents had read it, he quickly thrust the flame against the fragile journal and backed away, watching the last three years of his daughter’s life turn to ash, hoping that this was not the final thing he ever did for his one and only child but fearing it would be. He hadn’t realized he was crying until he turned away from the burning journal and
saw the five other parents huddled together, watching the last link to their children smoulder and disappear.
“What do we do now,” he asked, his eyes drawn back to the dying flames of Liz’s journal and for a moment, he could have sworn he felt her standing beside him, her head resting on his shoulder.
“We act normal,” Philip replied softly, taking Diane’s hand into his. “We just act normal.”
[ edited 2 time(s), last at 6-Jun-2002 8:34:59 PM ]
|posted on 8-Jun-2002 11:53:36 AM by JO|
|Author's Note: I said I wouldn't use the FBI agent Liz touched in Vegas....but, man, some things just can't be helped. Damn muse!|
Her legs hurt. In fact, her whole body ached. She could fell Max pulling her left arm, repeatedly urging her forward but she didn’t want to run anymore. She was tired of running. They were just running in circles anyway; it was only a matter of time before they were found. Yet, she continued to run.
The dust settled around her and she saw six shadows several yards ahead of them. She almost stopped, and would have had it not been for Max’s insistent tugging. Then her eyes misted with tears and she realized the six shadows were their parents. Her mom and dad. “Mom! Dad!” She jumped slightly in the air, a newfound endurance vibrating through her weary bones. “Mom! Dad! Mr. and Mrs. Evans! Wait!” She brushed past Max, jerking her arm violently as she tried to wrench away from his grip but she could not. Her parents turned toward her and she watched as her mother tripped on the desert floor and her father stopped to help her up.
Again, her parents turned toward her and Liz felt her curiosity peaked so she too turned to see exactly what they were running from. She looked over her shoulder and saw Michael, Kyle, Maria and Isabel trailing them, separating them from an entire army of pursuers. Liz pounded her feet against the ground, staring ahead to make sure her parents were still in front of her. She glanced over her shoulder again and stopped her forward progression, prepared for her arm to slingshot her back to Max’s side but it did not. She watched as Michael, Maria and Kyle rushed past her and their army of pursuers came into full view. Liz stumbled backwards as she recognized the face of every soldier chasing them. It was the woman in the dark pantsuit, her white FBI badge tagged to the lapel of her jacket. FBI Agent S. Zachery. Agent S. Zachery. S. Zachery. Liz’s eyes widened and the sun reflected off of the thousand white FBI badges running toward her, temporarily blinding her. Liz shielded her eyes and ran several paces away from her pursuers.
She began to run faster, fear rising in her throat like bile when a child’s cry echoed through her ears and she thought she would be deaf within a matter of minutes. She stopped running and plugged her ears with her index fingers, scanning the desert for any sign of a child. She turned back to look at the flock of Zacherys chasing her when she locked eyes with Isabel carrying a tiny bundle tightly against her chest.
“Take him, Liz,” Isabel screamed as the thundering herd of Zacherys vibrated the ground where she and Liz stood. Isabel thrust the tiny baby into Liz’s open arms and Liz stared down at the child. “ Take Alex and go.”
“No, Isabel. I won’t leave you behind.”
“You have to,” Isabel insisted, shoving Liz in the opposite direction from the bevy of armed Zacherys rushing toward them. “There’s no other way.”
“There has to be,” Liz pleaded, tears streaming down her dirty face, dribbling muddy tears onto the baby’s clean light blue blanket. “I...I can’t take your child.” Liz stretched her arms forward, insisting without words that Isabel take her child back.
“Please. You and Max will be good to him.” Isabel hugged Liz tightly, crushing her son to Liz’s chest. “Tell Alex I loved him very much,” she whispered and Liz watched through blurry vision as Isabel disappeared.
“No,” Liz screamed. “Isabel, no! No!” Liz pulled her hands to her face, dropping the baby onto the ground. Realizing what she had done, she fell to the ground in hopes of catching Isabel’s son before he hit the ground when the same shrill cry penetrated her ears. Liz squinted her eyes and jammed her fingers in her ears as Alex’s empty blue blanket floated to the ground in front of her. “No! Alex! Isabel! Jesse won’t understand! Jesse won’t understand! Isabel!”
“Liz,” Max said, rushing to his wife’s side as her screams reverberated through the empty hotel room. “Liz, wake up.” He took her shoulders gently in hands and shook her, desperately trying to wake her up. “Liz.” She inhaled sharply and Max stopped shaking her, thinking she would open her brown eyes at any moment. He was not prepared for the blood curdling scream that pierced the silence of the room, shattering or cracking every type of glass in the room. “Liz!”
“Jesse won’t understand,” she screamed again as her eyes popped open, instantly meeting Max’s golden ones. Her lower lip trembled slightly before she flung herself against Max’s chest, long horrible sobs causing her tiny body to quake as Max continued to hold her and stroke her hair.
June 17, 2002
That was the worst nightmare I’ve ever had and every time I close my eyes, I can feel the same fear pounding in my chest. I can feel that tiny baby named Alex in my arms and I can smell his sweet baby scent. But the thing that haunts me the most, even when I blink, is the woman in the dark pantsuit - FBI Agent S. Zachery - and I know I’m going to meet her again. I just pray it doesn’t end up like my nightmare but I’m so scared that it will.
* * *
“What exactly were you doing in Las Vegas two days ago, Agent Zachery?”
“I told you,” Agent Sarina Zachery responded, intently meeting the oldest-looking agent’s gaze in the seedy
motel room outside Reno. She had been asked to step into a black sedan by an Agent Marks shortly after completion of her assignment in Las Vegas. She had trusted Agent Marks, she knew now that had been her first mistake. Her second mistake had been the lack of fighting on her part. The men that had kept her in the Reno motel were FBI; she could spot a fake badge in the next county, and their credentials were authentic. What bothered her was their methodic line of questioning; no matter the answer she gave, it was not the answer they wanted to hear. “I was assigned to do DNA research in case the rumored mob hit of Mr. Dave Zarlan, the owner of the Bali Hai Hotel and Casino, took place. There are several unsolved murder cases that my superiors feel could be related to the Zarlan case, had it become a homicide. We wanted to see if the same persons who had killed Mr. Zarlan, had Mr. Zarlan actually been killed, had committed prior crimes with potential mob ties.”
“And you never saw this girl or any of these people,” the agent asked, pointing first to a picture of a dark-haired young girl then five other photographs of kids that looked the same age as the girl.
“No,” Sarina answered honestly. “I never saw any of them.”
“Then why were fibers on your jacket that didn’t match anything you were wearing? Why do we have a video of you making contact with this girl?” The first agent picked up the photograph of the dark-haired girl and shook it violently in Sarina’s face. “Would you like us to refresh your memory? Maybe you just forgot, what with all your DNA research.” He turned to the tv cart that housed a large tv and vcr sitting almost in the center of the room. The second agent, who had been hiding in the shadows of the room, wheeled it closer to Sarina and they turned it on.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. This has nothing to do with anything. I was in Las Vegas on an assignment regarding DNA research. I’ve told you this over and over and -” She slowly closed her mouth and watched as the image of the dark-haired girl came onto the monitor. She was kissing one of the boys the first agent had pointed out then Sarina watched in horror as she and the girl passed each other in the doorway of the restroom, their arms accidentally touching. “I...I never even turned around, never even saw her.”
“A good agent is aware of everything around them at all times.”
Sarina’s eyes widened and she gripped the arms of the uncomfortable chair tightly, her inner rage brimming to the surface. “I demand that you let me go, right now. I’m not part of this...investigation, if you can even call it that, and you have no reason to hold me here.” Both agents seemed unimpressed with her argument and the second agent, balding and middle-aged, wheeled the cart away from her. “If you...if you don’t let me go,” she continued. “I...I’m going to write a report about what you’ve done to me today and take it straight to Washington.”
The agents glanced at each other for several seconds and Sarina wondered if she had perhaps made her third mistake by crossing these agents. In her six years with the FBI, she had never heard of any branch called the Special Unit, which the agents claimed they had once worked for. They had instilled a type of fear in her she never knew she could feel from another person.
Whatever reason they had for chasing a group of teenagers, Sarina hoped the kids were smart enough not to get caught.
“Alright, Agent Zachery,” the first agent cooly replied, stepping toward her with a menacing look in his eyes.
“You’re free to go, but please make sure you report any kind of activity you may have with these individuals directly to us.”
“Yeah, well,” Sarina began as the second agent disappeared around the corner of the room, the first agent, the primary interrogator, quickly following suit, leaving Sarina alone with a table full of information. “Not a good idea to leave things just lying around,” she muttered as she picked through the stacks of photographs, written notes and medical records. She stuffed several items into her black satchel and looped it across her shoulder when a familiar name caught her eye. Looking over her shoulder, she quickly proceeded to scan the type-written report. A noise in the hallway startled her and she shoved the report into her satchel along with the other items and left the motel room as quietly as she had been trained to do, her mind buzzing with questions, particularly why her old friend, Jesse Ramirez, had been mentioned in an FBI investigation.
|posted on 8-Jun-2002 3:00:55 PM by JO|
|Sarina is Future Max's Serina - whom Liz is going to be friends with....|
Edited to say....well, maybe she's not....
I really don't know. It's just whichever direction my muse decides to take Sarina. She will NOT be an enemy though - that I'm pretty sure of....
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 8-Jun-2002 4:48:09 PM ]
|posted on 8-Jun-2002 4:49:15 PM by JO|
|Girlfriend for Kyle?? That's interesting.....|
|posted on 13-Jun-2002 7:07:36 PM by JO|
|Has it really only been five days since I updated? It feels like 2 weeks!!! Anyway, hope you all enjoy the new part!|
Watch out for Michael's rated R language!
Max brushed his bangs out of his face, running his hands down his tired face, and turned his attention from the clock to his semi-sleeping wife. Liz had drifted in and out of sleep but Max had been so worried following the shattered glass incident, that he had kept her body tucked tightly in his lap for the remainder of the night. He hadn’t told anyone about what Liz had done or said in the midst of her nightmares, and he certainly hadn’t cleaned up their room. He had simply watched her sleep, her back rising and falling slowly and evenly as she slept with her hands curled around her face. He had thought he would have to do something to make her sleep, particularly after her revelation about Isabel and Jesse.
“Jesse doesn’t know.”
“Know what, Liz? What is it?”
“He doesn’t know why Isabel called him.”
Knowing that Isabel had called Jesse had almost been enough to pull him from Liz’s side, and he had in fact moved away from Liz to go confront Isabel when Liz’s hands had crackled with green electricity and she had caught the bed on fire. That was the moment Max decided that Isabel would have to wait; Liz was the most important thing in his life, and he had to stay with her, no matter what stupid thing Isabel had done.
He had called Michael the moment Liz seemed to rest easier and asked everyone to join him for a meeting and breakfast in their room. He had wanted to call Isabel and reem her for her stupidity, but then he remembered he wasn’t the king anymore. He had given up that title the day they’d agreed to run after graduation. Now they were simply trying to endure, to live. He sighed loudly and watched the seconds tick down on the clock, knowing he would have to find a way to make Isabel reveal she had called Jesse without pulling what had been previously referred to as the ‘king card.’
Instead of hearing a knock at the door at 9:00 am, he heard Liz stir in the bed. He crossed the room quickly and rested his hand on her back, causing her to sigh his name. He smiled and brushed the hair off her face, kissing her bare shoulder as she turned onto her side.
“Hi,” she replied, rubbing her eyes with her hands.
“What time is it?”
“Don’t worry about that right now. How are you,” he asked, grasping her upper arms gently and pulling her into a hug. “You scared me last night.”
“Scared you? I scared me, Max.” She kissed him soundly on the cheek and wrapped her arms around his neck. For the first time, she stared at their room, or what was left of it. Shards of glass were lying on the ground around the sink and the table. The large mirror hanging above the sink had several jagged cracks, as did the mirror hanging over the dresser and the lone window
overlooking the alleyway. “What...did I do this,” Liz asked, pushing out of Max’s hug and crawling to the edge of the bed. “Did I...hurt you?” She planted her foot on the ground and tried to stand when her leg buckled, sending her crashing backwards into Max’s open arms. “I...what’s wrong with me? I thought this was over, that I’d transferred whatever...powers I had back to you.”
“Maybe it was the dreams. You...you were all over the place, Liz. If you weren’t screaming and breaking glass, you were catching the bed on fire.” Liz spun out of his arms to look at the bed. It looked exactly as it had the first night she’d slept in it. Her brows furrowed in confusion and she turned back to Max for an explanation. “I fixed it,” he replied with a shrug, placing his hands deep into the pockets of his cargo pants.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, resting her head against his neck. “I’m so sorry.” She looped her arms underneath his arms and clasp her hands together between his shoulder blades.
“Liz, it’s fine. All of this is easily fixed. I’m just worried about you, and now Isabel.”
“What? Why?” Liz blanched, glancing quickly at Max then looking at the floor. “I told you Isabel called Jesse, didn’t I? I promised her I wouldn’t tell.”
“Technically, you didn’t tell me, Liz,” Max replied just before kissing her forehead. “You told me Jesse wouldn’t know why Isabel called him. What I want to know is why Isabel called him, which is why we’re having a meeting.” He quickly captured Liz’s mouth with his, kissing her as passionately as he could. He wanted to let her know just how scared he had been and just how
scared he still was. He broke their kiss and rested his forehead against hers, watching her through his eyelashes. “I just want you to be safe. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I’m much better now, Max. See,” she said, offering her hands for his inspection. “No green electric current.”
“Okay, but I’ll be watching you,” Max cautioned, a playful grin emerging in one corner of his mouth.
The worse feeling in the world is to have the distinct premonition that something bad is going to happen. Even worse than that is to know key components of the puzzle and to not be able to figure out the entire picture. I feel like we’re on a never-ending game board and that no matter how far along in the game we are, we’re always going to get knocked backwards, off course or lose a turn. It’s like I’m slowly choking with each passing hour, that my air supply is running
dangerously low, and I know that when Max finally wrangles the truth out of Isabel, we’ll all lose our breaths.
* * *
“I need to talk to you, Isabel,” Max said quietly as everyone continued to finish off their breakfast. Max and Liz had cleaned up their room so that it didn’t look like a cyclone had touched down, and Max had persuaded Liz to eat something despite her upset stomach. “It’s about Jesse,” he said, glancing slightly in Liz’s direction.
“She told you,” Isabel said and Max was amazed at the speed at which she’d accused Liz. “You promised me, Liz. You agreed not to tell Max.”
“Don’t blame Liz because you called Jesse,” Max boomed, stepping between his sister and his wife.
“You called Jesse,” Maria squeaked, jumping up from her seat beside Liz on the bed.
“You called Jesse,” Michael chimed in, stepping away from the small table and almost at Maria’s side. “You know that’s fucked up, don’t you?”
“You carry on this secret affair with the guy for the entire summer and marry him before Alex’s body is barely cold.”
“Michael,” Maria said in response to the gasping noise she heard from coming from Liz’s mouth. She reached out for Michael’s arm to try and stop his forward progression toward Isabel, now standing a few feet away from the doorway.
“He finds out the truth about you,” Michael continued, completely ignoring Maria’s attempt to stop him and he advanced on Isabel in a way he’d never done before.
“Then he begs to come with you, hell, he even got us that piece of shit van out there, but you refuse and tell him he has a chance to live a normal life and then you call him?” He paused and spun away from
Isabel, facing the room’s other occupants. “Someone else has got to see how fucked up that is.”
“I need him, Michael,” Isabel pleaded, tears openly streaming down her face. “He’s my husband and I need him.”
“She’s pregnant,” Liz said meekly before she could stop the words from coming out of her mouth. She quickly covered her hand with her mouth when she realized what she’d done and met the curious eyes of Isabel, Max, and Michael. “Isabel’s pregnant.”
“Pregnant,” Max asked, turning from his wife to face his sister.
“You’re pregnant,” Maria said, spinning away from Liz and toward Isabel. “God, Isabel. How are we supposed to be on the run with a baby?”
“We can’t take you to a doctor, Isabel,” Michael said after running his hands through his long hair. “Marrying Jesse was stupid, especially after the three of us agreed not to bring anyone else into this, but having a baby?”
“Michael, please. I...I didn’t know -”
I watched as Isabel crumbled before my eyes for the second time in as many days. I stood slowly from the bed, my footing still a little shaky, to go comfort her but Kyle got to her first. Kyle was always good at comfort. During the time we’d dated, he had been very understanding and gentle with me, which completely went against everything I’d ever heard about Kyle Valenti. Even recently, with the emergence of my new abilities, Kyle had been there for me. I was glad Isabel
had Kyle’s support. I knew how much that had meant to me. But then he did something I never expected Kyle to do.
“Jesse isn’t the father of Isabel’s baby,” Kyle said firmly, stepping forward slightly so he was separating Isabel from Michael, Maria and Max. “I am.”
How do you respond to something like that, especially when you know with every fiber of your being that it’s a lie. We must have stood in stunned silence for several minutes because, when I blinked, I saw Michael storm out of the hotel, Maria hot on his trail. As Max and Kyle helped Isabel to the nearest chair, she met my eyes and I recognized the fear in them instantly. Now, we had more than one reason to be afraid and I felt like I was slowly losing air...and my life.
|posted on 15-Jun-2002 8:46:02 PM by JO|
Max stepped out of the hotel room and onto the parking lot, the swimming pool where they’d spent the previous afternoon in sight. Also in sight were Maria and Michael, clearly in the midst of a serious conversation judging by their body language. Max thrust his hands into his pockets and watched as Maria stood up from the chaise lounge and stalked toward him.
“Maybe you can do something with him,” Maria said as she brushed past Max and toward the room she and Michael shared. “He’s being a dick.”
Max turned and watched her walk away for several seconds before walking toward the pool and Michael. He and Kyle had settled Isabel into a chair after Michael had stormed out of the room. He had not wanted to leave Liz alone, especially with either Isabel or Kyle, but Liz had convinced him to go to Michael. He ran his hand shyly over his hair and opened the rusty pool gate. “Are
you and Maria always going to disagree?”
Michael mumbled something indiscernible, waving his hand flippantly in the air. “Maria’s got issues.”
“I’d say she has a right to have issues, especially with the way you stormed out of the room.”
“She’s having a baby, Maxwell,” Michael said, his fingers linked and resting on his stomach as his elbows were propped on the lounge arms. “Isabel is pregnant.”
“I know,” Max replied, sitting in the lounge chair Maria had previously vacated. “It’s hard to believe.”
“Stupid is what it is.”
“We can’t make Isabel’s choices for her, Michael. She’s an adult, and if she wants this baby -”
“It’s not even Jesse’s kid,” Michael said, turning to face Max as the morning sunlight reflected off the pool water. “Why would she want it? Why would she call him?” Max turned toward him, his lips thinning in thought. Max shrugged slightly and Michael turned his head away from Max, staring straight ahead. “How do we know she’s going to be okay?”
“We don’t,” Max replied, shaking his head and focusing his eyes on the sparkling water. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”
“What if something...bad happens, and we don’t know until it’s too late. If Iz didn’t even know she was pregnant....”
“What do you think we should do,” Max asked when it became clear to him Michael would not finish his thought.
“We could go to L. A.,” Michael offered. “Find Cal Langley.”
“He’s the only one that can help us, Maxwell. We can’t trust a damn thing Tess ever said about being pregnant, if she was even really pregnant in the first place.” He paused, exhaling loudly, blowing air through his nostrils.
“Langley’s the only one that can help us.”
“Can and will are two very different things,” Max said as he adjusted his position on the lounge chair. “He and I didn’t exactly part on good terms. It’s not likely that he’ll offer to help me.”
“This isn’t about you,” Michael said, his voice clipped with emotion. “It’s about Isabel having a baby and we don’t know what to do. We don’t know what’s going to happen to her or the kid. We need our questions answered.” Max reclined back against the chaise lounge, his mind wandering back to his last contact with Cal Langley. He had been a complete ass to the man,
their last link to their first life. “Maybe he can help with Liz too,” Michael said, interrupting Max’s train of thought.
“Liz’s powers, you know. Has she had any more outbursts of energy?”
“Funny you should mention that,” Max said, rubbing his forehead with his hands. “She screamed last night and broke all the glass in the room. Then she caught the bed on fire.”
“Man, I don’t need to hear about your sex life, okay? Married life agrees with you, got it.”
Max glanced at Michael out of the corner of his eyes, shooting glaring looks at his oldest friend. “I...I wasn’t talking about that.” He brushed his hair out of his eyes, suddenly embarrassed at having this conversation with Michael. “She wasn’t sleeping well, having a nightmare or
something. I went to wake her up and she screamed. When I moved away from her after I found out Isabel called Jesse -”
“Firestorm,” Michael interrupted. “I’m with you. So you’re worried about her too now, eh? Maybe it would be a good idea to go to L. A.”
“Michael, we’ll have to think about it, okay?” He turned his head toward Michael, allowing his gaze to linger for several seconds before joining Michael in watching the pool water ripple to and fro. “You’re going to have to talk to Maria. You two are sharing a room and the van isn’t that big.”
Michael made another garbled noise in the back of his throat, squirming roughly in the rickety lounge chair. He exhaled through his nose again and clasp his hands behind his head, interlocking his fingers in his long hair.
“She thinks I have feelings for...Isabel.”
“Well, do you?”
Michael glared at Max, contorting his face into a typical Michael grimace. “No. God, no. I could never care about Isabel that way. Not in this lifetime. I don’t know why Maria thinks that.”
“You did storm out of the room when you found out Isabel was pregnant. And I seem to recall hearing about you threatening Jesse by saying you had her first.”
“That wasn’t me,” Michael argued, removing his hands from behind his neck. He paused before he told Max it was the transferred seal that had made him act so out of character but he figured Max didn’t need to be reminded of that. “I just never thought this would happen, you know.”
“What if tomorrow,” Max began, swiveling his body to face Michael. “Liz finds out we’re going to have a baby. Are you going to storm out of the room or accuse her of being stupid? Are you blame it all on me?”
“That’s different,” Michael mumbled.
“The only difference is that I’m here with Liz, and we’re friends. It would still be unplanned, and it would still be a mistake. What would you do then?”
Michael turned slowly and carefully stood up, his eyes never leaving Max’s. Their relationship had never shifted so fast so quickly. It had always been Michael asking the questions, Michael searching for the answers. Now, it was Max who was searching, and although Michael had an idea Max would know instinctively what to do if Liz were pregnant, they weren’t talking about Liz. They were talking about Isabel. And Michael knew the advice he would give Max regarding Isabel would be the same he would give Max if they were talking about Liz. “I think we should go to L. A. and find Cal Langley,” he said quietly before turning and exiting the pool area, intent
on finding Maria.
|posted on 15-Jun-2002 9:05:22 PM by JO|
1. Does Michael have feelings for Iz? To quote Michael: "No. God, no." Michael was just being Michael and he over-reacted. Remember, Michael and Maria were questioning Iz about calling Jesse. Liz, I think, just felt like she had to say something so she let the baby news slip. Whoops!
2. Is the baby's Kyle's? Well, we'll have to see but Liz is pretty damn adament that Kyle is lying so...
Glad you like the story (I like it too )
|posted on 20-Jun-2002 6:21:21 PM by JO|
|Shameless bumpage people!|
Also, just a note to say I'll post the next part on Saturday. I'm sorry my posting schedule is all out of whack but my muse and I are having creative differences. We're working it out....
|posted on 22-Jun-2002 7:51:08 AM by JO|
|Fic Rating - I'd say 'R'|
Sorry for the delay, but my muse and I have worked things out (for right now anyway).
With Liz seemingly asleep on the bed, her small body curled into a embryonic position, Isabel gently patted Kyle’s outstretched hand, causing him to mumble something she didn’t understand. Kyle raised himself up from his face down position on the table, wiping his face and nose awkwardly with his hands. “Kyle,” Isabel quickly cautioned, glancing over her shoulder at Liz’s
slight frame. If there was any time Isabel did not want to wake Liz, it was now. What she needed to say to Kyle needed to be as private as the situation would allow. “Kyle, I need to talk to you.”
“Iz? What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she replied in a hushed voice, swatting away his concern with a flip of her hand. “I need to talk to you about...what you said.”
“Oh,” Kyle responded in kind, leaning toward her, his chest almost lying on top of the table. “What I said about the baby.”
Isabel nodded quickly, once again glancing over her shoulder toward Liz. She sighed when she saw Liz’s positioning had not changed since the first time she glanced at her several moments earlier. “Why did you say that? We both know it was a lie.”
Kyle leaned closer to her, placing one hand on top of hers and cupping her trembling face with his other. “No one else knows it’s a lie, Isabel. They don’t know what happened between us.”
“But why did you say that? Now they’ll hate you too.”
“Better they hate us both than just you,” Kyle replied with a shrug as he removed his hand from her face and took her hands into his. “I don’t want to see you unhappy, Iz. I know how unhappy you are. That’s the only reason you’d ever call Jesse. I just wanted to...help.” He pulled away from her and ran his hands through his hair. “It was stupid.”
“No, Kyle,” Isabel said louder than she’d intended and she looked over her shoulder at Liz. Her breath hung in her throat as Liz stirred slightly and Isabel feared Liz would wake up. She released her breath when Liz turned back on her side, unaware of the discussion taking place in her hotel room. “No, it wasn’t stupid. Thank you. You’ll never know how much that meant to me.”
“I care about you, Iz, and I’ll be here for you in any way that I can, including being a father to your child.”
“Oh Kyle,” Isabel cried as she stood from her chair and fell into his open arms. “What did I ever to deserve you?”
“You’re just being you,” Kyle whispered against her neck. “That’s all.” He released her, smiling widely at her as he wiped the tears from her cheeks. “So, what are you going to do?”
“I have to tell Jesse,” Isabel softly replied as she pulled away from him. “And I’m going to need your help to do that.”
* * *
The dark blue sedan parked on the opposite side of the street, its pace slow and methodical. The windows were heavily tinted and as Jeff wiped his hands on the apron, a frown appeared on his face while he stared out the front window toward the car. He smiled at Mr. and Mrs. Heatherly and wished them a great day as they exited the cafe, the front door bell tinkling on their way out.
He and Nancy had gotten very good at pretending over the course of the last few days. No one had asked about Liz, and those that did were told Liz was on an extended vacation with her friends. It wasn’t necessarily a lie, but telling it over and over made Jeff wish it was the truth. He wished that Liz would be coming back home to Roswell. He wished he knew where she was and if she were okay. Unfortunately, there was no way of knowing and no way for him to find out. He talked to the Evans as often as he could without drawing undo suspicion to himself and Jim
still came in for his morning coffee every day. To an outsider, his life seemed normal, and he reminded himself every morning when his feet hit the floor that he had to be as normal as possible. But the emergence of the unusually new car parked across the street from his home and business did nothing to reassure the many lies stored in the back of his mind. He wondered if Liz had
always felt like this, if she had always looked behind her and tried to stay one step ahead of those chasing her. While he thanked God Max Evans had been in the cafe the day of the shooting, he wondered if knowing Liz was alive would be ever make up for the fear he now felt knowing he couldn’t protect her.
“Who’s that,” Nancy asked, startling Jeff from his thoughts. She placed her hand in the middle of his back and joined her husband staring out the window at the dark blue sedan.
“Don’t know,” Jeff mumbled softly as he put his arms around Nancy’s shoulders, pressing a chaste kiss to her scalp. “Can’t be good though,” he said, shaking his head. Nancy raised her head from the front window to her husband, her eyes pooling with tears. She felt Jeff’s chest heave and returned her attention to the goings-on across the street. A loud crash in the kitchen startled both she and Jeff and Nancy felt him sigh against her again. “Let’s go see what Agnes has broken this time.” He dropped his arm from her shoulder, firmly grasping her hand as he pulled her away from the window and toward the kitchen where she heard a string of Spanish curse
words flying from Jose’s mouth.
|posted on 24-Jun-2002 6:14:22 PM by JO|
Sarina sat in the rented car outside the Crashdown Cafe in Roswell, New Mexico. It had been a complicated two days for her since she was picked up by rogue agents in Reno and questioned about a women she’d rubbed elbows with in Las Vegas. She had used what little information she had stolen from the agents to try and piece together the appearance of her old friend Jesse
Ramirez in their files. It had been years since she’d acted like a field agent. She sat behind a microscope in a lab day in and day out but somehow, she had remembered the basic premise of being an agent: cover your tracks.
After taking a cab into California, she had moved from truck stop to truck stop, spending no more than one hour in each place. She reviewed the materials and photographs she had in her possession, calling in favors to several old colleagues in hopes of tracking down Jesse Ramirez. Jesse had long since been removed from the FBI’s radar but someone she’d talked to had
remembered that Jesse had moved to Roswell and was practicing law. Knowing and fearing she would be followed, she had rented a series of cars as she had traveled through California and Arizona. She’d been fortunate enough to have several hundred dollars remaining from her trip to Las Vegas and had used it instead of her credit card. Now, as she sat in her fifth rental car of the day, she tried to gather enough courage to walk into the Crashdown Cafe and find out any information she could about Jesse Ramirez’s whereabouts.
Glancing in the rearview mirror one final time, Sarina slowly stepped from the car and strapped her purse across her shoulders. Her dark hair was tied at the crown of her head in a neat bun and her khaki linen pantsuit looked remarkably fresh despite her hours behind the wheel. Looking both ways, she exhaled loudly and stepped into the street, heading directly for the Crashdown Cafe.
She knew very little about Roswell, she realized as she opened the door of the cafe, the bell tinkling as she stepped into its quaint surroundings. She knew just what the media told her; Roswell was a hot-bed of alien talk, a tourist trap, with a yearly festival honoring the much-discussed crash of 1947. She stepped toward a booth in the center of the far wall and sat down quickly. Instead of hiding behind the novelty of alien invasion, this cafe pushed the alien theme to the limit. Alien decor hung from the ceiling and was plastered on its walls. She pulled a menu from behind the napkin dispenser and began to read her choices. Even the menu reflected a humorous attempt to make aliens the norm.
Sarina knew she didn’t want to stay in Roswell too long. The moment she had stepped into the cafe, she had secretly hoped Jesse would appear and her search would be over. An older woman who reeked of cigarette smoke came to take her order and Sarina admitted that she didn’t really know what she wanted. The woman rolled her eyes and suggested an omelette and a smoothie, to
which Sarina softly agreed. As quickly as she had appeared, the woman disappeared through the swinging back door where Sarina assumed she’d douse herself in more of the Eau du Cigarette perfume she seemed to favor so highly. Smiling to herself at her little joke, she pulled her tiny notepad from her purse to review her notes.
“Here you go,” a dark-haired man said, setting an omelette and smoothie in front of her after several minutes. Sarina raised her head and smiled at the man, suddenly feeling very hungry. “Is there anything else you need?”
“Um, I don’t think so,” Sarina replied, pulling several napkins from the dispenser and placing them across her lap.
“Well, my name’s Jeff Parker. I own the Crashdown and if you need anything, just let me know.”
Sarina nodded her head slightly as she watched him turn and walk behind the counter and begin talking to a blond, middle-aged deputy. As she ate her omelette, which was surprisingly good, she rolled the name Parker around in her mind. Where had she heard that name before, she wondered. None of her agent friends were named Parker. None of her non-agent friends were
named Parker, but she knew she’d seen that name recently. Shrugging it off to an overactive imagination, she returned to her omelette and her notes. There, in her own handwriting, underlined twice for easy reference, was the name Liz Parker. Raising her head to look in Jeff Parker’s direction, she was surprised to see both Mr. Parker and the deputy he was talking to
staring back at her. She gasp, almost choking on the bite of omelette she had been chewing, and quickly looked away. Could Jeff Parker know Liz Parker, she wondered. Roswell did not seem like a large town. Anything was possible, she decided, slowly sipping the smoothie, especially given what she knew about Roswell.
“When is Liz getting back,” Sarina heard the ruddy woman that had taken her order ask Mr. Parker.
“What,” Jeff asked, his voice cracking slightly as he wiped the counter where the deputy sat. Sarina kept her head low but tilted her eyes toward Jeff Parker.
“Liz,” the woman groaned again. “When is she coming back? I can’t keep pulling these double shifts, you know.”
“I...soon, Agnes,” Jeff barked. “Liz will be back soon.” Sarina raised her head and unintentionally met Jeff Parker’s eyes, as well as the eyes of the deputy. She resumed eating her omelette as her mind listed off a series of questions to ask Mr. Parker. If only she could convince herself she wouldn’t do more harm than good by asking them.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 24-Jun-2002 6:18:49 PM ]
|posted on 30-Jun-2002 8:34:45 PM by JO|
|posted on 30-Jun-2002 10:35:24 PM by JO|
“What do you think, Jim,” Jeff asked Jim quietly as the deputy calmly sipped his cup of coffee. Jeff didn’t know how he knew but he could tell the young woman with the dark hair was an FBI agent. He had caught her watching he and Jim on several occasions as she continued to eat her omelette, and he knew she had to know he and Jim were watching her just as closely. If there were FBI agents in and around Roswell, Jeff had never known about them before. To his knowledge, this was the closest an agent had ever come to his home since Liz had vanished.
“She’s FBI,” Valenti responded, the movement of his lips so masked by the coffee cup that Jeff almost had to ask him to repeat himself. “The only question now is why is she here.” Jim placed his cup back on the counter, and for the first time Jeff noticed his relaxed body language and demeanor. He wondered briefly if that was something one was taught in police training, to look so calm on the exterior not matter what emotions you were going through on the interior. He smiled to himself as he thought about asking Jim to give he and Nancy some pointers.
“We all know why she’s here,” Jeff said on his way underneath the counter top to retrieve a wet rag.
“That’s what I’m afraid of.” Standing upright again, he began to wipe the counter, but never strayed far from the range of Jim’s voice.
“Me too,” Jim mused, a slight grin appearing on his worn face. He twirled the cup absently on the counter, his mind focused on the agent sitting behind him. “I guess I’d better go see what speed traps Hanson wants me to sit at today.”
Jeff laughed as Jim stood up and threw two dollar bills onto the counter, stepping closer to the man that had become a true friend to him. “Not necessary,” Jeff said, sliding the bills back toward Jim while the deputy adjusted his hat. “Not after all you’ve done.” Jeff’s voice broke and he tightly gripped the rag in his hands.
“Thanks, Jeff,” Jim said with a nod and a slight wave as he exited the cafe. He stepped toward the door with his usual swagger, forgetting momentarily that an agent who was after his child and the children of his friends was sitting in the cafe. He spun around toward the booth where the agent was sitting and felt a lump form in his throat when he recognized she was gone.
* * *
Deputy Jim Valenti pulled his tan Ford Explorer into his reserved parking space outside the Roswell Police Department. His spot was several yards from the door, and ironically enough, it was almost underneath his old office window. He tilted his hat backwards on his head, lifting it just enough so he could scratch an itch on his high forehead. Slamming the car door behind him as he stepped onto the warm asphalt of the parking lot, he never even thought about locking the car doors as he walked toward the front door of the police station.
Sarina peeked out from around the dumpster, watching the blond deputy as he exited his vehicle and walked into the police station. She glanced nervously over her shoulder once he was inside the building, her inner terror sputtering to the surface. Stepping away from the dumpster, she smoothed her slightly windblown hair with her hands, trying to reclaim the aura of calm she had displayed in the cafe. Glancing timidly over her shoulder again, she began her brisk yet nonchalant walk toward the deputy’s tan Ford Explorer. She crossed the parking lot and reached the deputy’s vehicle with relative ease, her movements cool and calculated while she checked her surroundings for a final time. Sarina opened the latch at the back of the Explorer, and with cat-like movements foreign in the likes of Roswell, New Mexico, she climbed into the back of the Explorer, where she planned to wait for the deputy in hopes he could help her find Jesse Ramirez with little or no suspicions being raised.
|posted on 3-Jul-2002 4:48:48 PM by JO|
“How’s Isabel,” Maria questioned when Michael demurely entered their room. “Haven’t professed your undying love to her yet, have you?”
“No, Michael, don’t. I don’t want a repeat of what happened last time. Rath and Vilondra, the princess and her betrothed, destined to be together. Spare me,” Maria replied harshly as she stood up from the bed, glaring at him while she brushed past him on her way to the bathroom. “It’s not...your baby, is it, Michael?” She paused slightly in front of the television set, her fingers
dancing lightly across the screen.
“God, no,” Michael spat, his words laced with disgust.
“I...I don’t want Isabel. I don’t care about Isabel in that way and if you’re thinking about the time when we shared those dreams, well, that was a long time ago. Things are different now.”
“Doesn’t matter,” Maria quietly said with a shrug, sitting on the edge of the bed. “I remember what you said to Jesse. You said you’d had her first.”
“That wasn’t me, just like it wasn’t me that kicked you out of the car. It was that damn seal.”
“That’s nice,” Maria said, her voice dripping with sarcasm as she fell backwards onto the bed. “Blame the seal that’s currently imbedded on Max’s brain for your aggressive attitude. Real convenient, Space Boy.”
Michael crawled on top of her, pinning her arms over her head with his hands. “I don’t love Isabel, Maria. I love you. I’m here with you. I want to be with you.” Without thinking, Michael pressed his lips to Maria’s, their slight connection skittering to life. Maria wrapped her long limbs around Michael’s waist and pulled him toward her. Neither of them were surprised by what
followed as they tumbled off the bed and onto the floor.
* * *
Max opened the hotel room door, meeting Kyle and a shaky Isabel on the other side. He stepped backward slightly as he glanced at his sister and her baby’s father. Isabel’s hand firmly held onto Kyle’s; Kyle’s left arm wound tightly around Isabel’s waist, crushing her lithe frame against his stocky one. Never in his life had he imagined he would ever see his sister and his old enemy together. He opened his mouth to speak but only air would come out. Quickly clearing his throat to cover the awkward moment, he raised his eyes to meet Isabel’s. “Are you okay,” he asked, a tiny smile forming on his lips as he stepped into the room. His eyes immediately sought out Liz, and sighed in relief when he saw her sleeping form on the bed.
“I’m still a little shaky,” Isabel replied with a smile, her body still clinging to Kyle’s. “It’s not every day you find out you’re going to have a baby.”
“Right,” Max said with a quiet chuckle. He sat in one of the chairs surrounding the tiny table. He scratched absently at his forehead while Kyle and Isabel remained suspended in the doorway, not quite in the room and not quite into the parking lot. He cleared his throat again, his mind wondering when things had become so awkward between he and his sister. “You’re going to your room?”
“Iz needs to lie down,” Kyle responded, and Max’s eyes were drawn to Kyle’s arm as it tightened around his sister’s waist.
“That’s probably a good idea,” he agreed, standing up from the chair and walking toward the doorway. “Take a nap, Iz. We can talk later.”
“Okay, Max,” Isabel responded, smiling weakly, glancing over Max’s shoulders to Liz, still asleep on the bed. She hesitantly stepped toward him and wrapped her free arm around his neck in an clumsy hug. “I...I’ll just talk to you later then.” Isabel released him, her eyes seeking some sort of emotion in Max’s other than annoyance and agitation but she was met by a wall of blankness.
Smiling again, she turned toward Kyle, allowing him to support her and they exited Max’s room.
The moment the door was closed behind Isabel and Kyle’s retreating forms, Max sighed loudly and allowed his head to drop backwards. He threaded his hands through his shaggy hair as he stepped toward the bed, feeling his frustration level building. If only Liz were awake, he thought. Then again, his mind chided him, Liz needed sleep. Whatever nightmare she’d experienced the
previous night had been torturous enough to cost her precious rest, something they’d all taken for granted when they slept soundly in their own beds. Max felt his body sag onto the bed and against his better judgment, he carefully curled his body behind Liz’s, his left arm wrapping tightly around her waist. He inhaled, breathing in the clean smell of her hair. “Liz,” he sighed quietly,
almost like he was murmuring a prayer.
“Max,” Liz responded in kind, shimmying her back flush to Max’s chest, pulling his arm tighter around her body and Max felt his body quake as the huskiness of his wife’s voice reverberated through his ears. “Love you.”
“I love you too,” Max breathed against her neck, his legs winding through hers, semi-pinning her in some ancient wrestling move.
“Show me,” Liz whispered, opening her brown eyes slowly, allowing them to dilate and to focus only on Max. “Show me how much you love me.” And Max was all too happy to comply with his wife’s request.
|posted on 3-Jul-2002 5:01:56 PM by JO|
|This site is wonky so I'm bumping because I posted!|
|posted on 3-Jul-2002 5:11:16 PM by JO|
|AGain with the bumpage!|
|posted on 19-Jul-2002 8:40:42 PM by JO|
|posted on 21-Jul-2002 1:45:55 PM by JO|
June 18, 2002
Max began slowly, as he always does, that methodical control he hinges his life on is no different in the throws of passion. Being very new newlyweds says something about our tendency to turn to sex during the most heated of crises, but oh how I love the feel of Max’s love enveloping me. To share such a perfect union with someone who knows you to the core of your soul is
exhilarating (which is probably why we spend so many hours in bed) and I wouldn’t trade these solitary hours with my husband for anything in the world, even given the chance to go home in peace. Having said that, I can’t understand why I’m awake and not curled against his chest, our twin souls mating as we sleep. I remember now -- Isabel’s lie.
Two Hours Earlier
“You are...amazing,” Max panted in her ear as his hand swept slowly down her body. He smiled widely at Liz, the dimples in his cheeks proudly displayed. He placed a passionate kiss on her lips, capturing and tugging gently on her bottom lip. “Are you sure you’ve never done that before?” He laughed slightly, allowing his body to fall backwards onto the sheets.
Liz pursed her lips in response to Max’s jest, narrowing her eyes at him. She pressed her upper body against Max’s chest and sighed as he wrapped his arms tightly around her back. “Only in my dreams,” she whispered after placing a chaste kiss on his chest.
“Then your dreams must have been very good,” he said, snuggling them further underneath the sheets. “You’re very talented.” He smiled at her again as he adjusted their bodies so they were once again flush. He pressed his lips to the sensitive spot behind her ear, unable to suppress the growl that came from his throat when Liz squirmed against him in response. “You’re killing me
here, Mrs. Evans.”
“Ah...Max,” she sighed against his cheek as Max continued to assault her neck with his kisses. “We need...to talk.”
“No time for talking, Liz. I just want to make love to you again.”
“We have to talk about Isabel,” Liz argued, closing her eyes as Max’s mouth pressed against her skin. The moment Isabel’s name left her mouth, Max’s kisses stopped.
“I really don’t want to talk about Isabel, Liz,” he groaned, putting distance between their bodies. He exhaled loudly and blew a stream of air upward, causing his bangs to dance wildly for several seconds.
“Max,” Liz pleaded as she pushed herself into an upright position on the bed facing her husband. “I...Isabel’s lying.”
“What? Lying about what?”
“About the baby’s father,” Liz whispered, dropping her head to her lap. “I...I know it’s not Kyle.”
“How do you know that,” Max asked, leaning forward while he propped his arms on his knees. “Did you have a flash or something?”
Liz nodded hesitantly. “When I touched her, I got a flash that she was pregnant. Why else would she call Jesse, Max, if not because of the baby?”
“But Iz said she didn’t know she was pregnant. Why would Kyle say the baby was his when it really isn’t?”
“I don’t know,” Liz shrugged. “The only reason I could think of would be to protect Isabel.”
“Why would Kyle want to protect Isabel,” Max questioned, leaning closer to Liz, his mind now occupied with thoughts of Isabel and the confusion surrounding her unborn child instead of his wife’s partially exposed nude body. “D...does Kyle love...her?”
“He cares for her, Max, but if it’s love...I...I don’t know. All I know is that he’s lying about being the baby’s father because the baby is Jesse’s.”
“You’ve thought about this a lot, haven’t you,” Max asked, unable to resist the smirk that crossed his lips.
“I haven’t thought of much else since my nightmare,” Liz timidly admitted, brushing her hair behind her ears. “You don’t know how I felt when Isabel gave me Alex -”
“That’s the baby’s name,” Liz whispered, her eyes on the verge of tears as she raised her head to meet Max’s concerned face. “So I took him and Isabel disappeared. Then I...I dropped the baby.” Her lips began to tremble and Liz had never felt such relief as she did when Max placed the palm of his hand on her shoulder. Her mind instantly flashed back to the moment he had driven her home from the hospital the night her grandmother had died. There had been so much on her mind that night, so many things she had wanted to tell him, but he had silenced her with a finger to her lips. She had almost reached the cafe doors when her heart had stopped her forward progress and had told her to go to Max, just like it had told her to call him days earlier. She had quickly turned and without a word, had thrown herself into Max’s arms. And just as he was doing now, Max had comforted her with his touch.
“You don’t have to say any more, Liz,” Max softly replied, folding her into his arms. Liz buried her head in the crook of his neck, closing her eyes while the tears began to stream down her face. “You’re alright now. Everything’s going to be alright.”
In the moment that Max tucked my body compactly into his lap, he opened up his soul to me. I saw his fears and his hopes for our future. I felt the responsibility he shoulders for all of us and I knew the one thing that plagued him the most was that Cal Langley had the ability to answer almost every question we had about Isabel’s child and my new abilities. But I also knew how he felt when he returned from L. A., how broken and dejected he had been the moment he stepped into the cafe and how I had held him as he cried. I knew how heavily he had been weighing Michael’s suggestion to find Cal Langley and that I had more power over him than anyone. That was when I decided I should use my powers over my husband for what I thought best.
“We should go to L. A.,” Liz said, raising her tear-stained face up from Max’s neck and staring directly into his eyes.
“I know you and Cal parted on bad terms, Max, but I think L. A. would be good, for all of us. If Cal can answer our questions and help us,” Liz paused, pulling her bottom lip into her mouth and chewing on it delicately. “It’s the best idea for us right now.”
“So you think we should go to L. A. and find Langley,” Max asked, his forehead resting against Liz’s and his lips dangerously close to hers. Liz nodded and both of their heads bobbed up and down. “Then we’ll go to L. A.,” Max offered quietly just before he pressed his lips to Liz’s and they sunk onto the bed.
|posted on 26-Jul-2002 7:34:11 AM by JO|
“You know you’re going to be bored to death out there, Jim.”
“That may be true, Owen, but at least I’ll be bored with a regular paycheck.”
Sarina held her breath as the two men laughed. She felt the Ford Explorer shake in response to movement against it, and she assumed the Explorer’s owner would be driving off to his assignment within moments. Then, she hoped she could convince him to help her, without
alerting him to her true profession.
“Well, you be careful out there, Jim. It’s been real good having you back.”
“I’ll see you, Owen,” Jim replied, opening the driver’s door of the Explorer. Owen smiled and waved to his old friend. Jim smiled in return and slammed the door shut, turning the key in the ignition as he began to buckle his seat belt.
“Wait, Jim,” Owen called, his face suddenly worried as he stepped to the driver’s side window.
“What’s wrong,” Jim questioned, rolling down the window and turning down the volume on his radio. “Owen?”
A playful grin magically appeared on Owen’s face as he leaned against the door. “You want me to call and wake you up in a couple of hours?”
“God,” Jim muttered, rolling his eyes as he checked his mirrors and slowly backed out of the parking lot. He could still hear Owen’s deep laughter while he drove west out of town.
* * *
Jim lazily scratched his chin and sighed, raising his shirt cuff several inches so he could see his watch face. 3:00. Almost four more hours remained on his shift, and he had completed all of the tasks on his list within two hours of being stationed at his post off Murray Lane. He had called Amy to finalize plans for their date later that evening, written two new songs he planned to introduce to the rest of the band at their Saturday night rehearsal, and finished two weeks worth of TV Guide crossword puzzles. And now, just as Owen had predicted, he was bored.
He knew he could fall asleep; everyone in town knew about the speed trap. Jim tried to recall the last person who’d be arrested there, and had to chuckle to himself when he remembered it had been Kyle, almost three years ago, just after his sixteenth birthday. Smiling to himself, he closed his eyes against the bright New Mexico sunlight and allowed his mind to sift through all his
memories of Kyle. As the pleasant movie reel of his lifetime with his son played within his mind, the last thing Jim expected to feel was the cold barrel of a gun placing pressure on his temple.
“I...I don’t want to hurt you. I just need your help.”
“Okay,” Jim said calmly, his posture straightening slowly. “I...I’m just going to put my hands on the steering wheel, okay. Please don’t shoot.”
Swallowing hard, Jim raised his hands from his lap, his fingers open and palms flexed, and slowly placed them on the steering wheel of the Explorer. “Okay. Now, let’s talk about this. What’s your name?”
“I...I’m going to ask the questions here, okay,” the woman said, her voice trembling.
“That’s fine,” Jim responded, trying to will his voice to be calm and soothing. “We can play this out however you want it to go.”
“Okay,” Sarina breathed, and Jim felt her loosen her grip of the gun although she didn’t lower it from his head. He began to breathe easier when he heard her exhale slowly. She inhaled sharply, as if she were going to ask him another question, when Owen’s voice boomed across the radio. “Turn that down,” Sarina commanded, the gun promptly found its resting place against Jim’s
temple once again. “Turn down the radio.”
“Okay. I’ve got to lean forward, okay?”
Sarina lowered the gun completely from Jim’s head, allowing Jim to slowly lean toward the floorboard of the Explorer and turn off his police radio. On his way back against the seat, Jim turned his head slightly to get a good look at his captor. He was surprised to find an attractive dark-haired woman, eerily reminiscent of Liz Parker. Then he remembered where he had seen her. She was the woman from the cafe earlier that morning. She was the FBI agent.
“I saw you this morning,” Jim said, turning partially in his seat so he could face her. When the agent met his gaze, he recognized terror imbedded deep in her eyes. “At the Crashdown Cafe.”
“You were talking to Mr. Parker,” Sarina added, dropping her head to the gun in her lap.
“That’s right,” Jim said with a nod. “Jeff and I are friends.”
“Then you know his daughter Liz?” Sarina raised her head and caught Jim’s startled facial expression. “You do know her then, and her friends?”
“You’re an FBI agent,” Jim said sharply, turning his head away from her as a million thoughts rushed through his brain, all regarding the safety of Kyle, Liz and the others.
“I am,” Sarina confessed, leaning toward the front seat. “But I’m working on my own. I met up with Liz Parker in Las Vegas and -”
“How long ago?”
“What,” Sarina asked, the deputy suddenly invading her personal space. She backed away slowly, her eyes never leaving his. “I...this was a mistake. I’m sorry to have bothered you.” Sarina ducked toward the door,
her hand dangerously close to the handle.
“No,” Jim said, grabbing the arm closest to him. Sarina’s face bore the shock of such a violation, particularly when it was she who held the gun and had just held this deputy at gun point. “I...I’m sorry,” Jim said meekly, releasing Sarina’s arm. “I’m Jim Valenti, and my son is one of Liz’s friends.”
“Could I talk to him? Maybe he’d know where to find her.”
“Kyle is with Liz,” Jim answered, turning his head away from Sarina as his voice cracked a bit. He quickly recovered and cleared his throat for good measure, but he was unable to control his trembling hand.
“Your son is on the run with Liz Parker? Then you have to help me, Deputy Valenti,” Sarina pleaded. “My name is Agent Sarina Zachary. I accidentally touched Liz Parker in a Las Vegas casino and I was picked up by several rogue agents that questioned me about Liz and her friends. They let me go, but that’s when I learned my friend Jesse Ramirez was involved too.”
“You know him,” Sarina questioned, her hand accidentally brushing against Jim’s shoulder. “I...we were in the academy together. I’m trying to find him to warn him these agents are looking for him.”
“You won’t find Jesse here,” Jim replied, adjusting his hat so he could scratch his forehead. “He moved to Boston almost a month ago.”
“Oh God,” Sarina said, allowing her body to flop backwards against the backseat. “I’m too late.”
“They didn’t want Jesse,” Jim offered after a momentary pause. “They’re looking for aliens.”
“That’s crazy,” Sarina said, unable to suppress her laugh. “Aliens don’t exist.”
“I can assure you they do exist, Agent Zachary. One of them saved my life, and the life of my son.”
|posted on 4-Aug-2002 11:58:04 AM by JO|
“I...I’m sorry, Deputy Valenti,” Sarina responded quietly as she reclined against the back seat of the Explorer.
“I...I don’t believe in aliens. Whatever these kids did, the FBI isn’t after them because they’re aliens. The FBI has better things to do than scout out alien sightings.”
“Have you ever heard of a branch of the FBI called the Special Unit,” Jim questioned, leaning toward Sarina, his voice calm and low. Sarina’s eyes widened at the mention of the Special Unit but she tried to cover her surprise by avoiding Jim’s face. Jim, however, had seen the recognition flash momentarily in her eyes and leaned closer to the young woman. “Let me fill you in on some
things about the FBI. I...I never believed in aliens or spaceships. My dad used to be the sheriff in Roswell and he believed the government covered up the existence of aliens, especially after the ‘47 crash. He reported activities to the FBI so often, the agents called him Sergeant Martian.”
“I’m sorry the FBI ridiculed your father, Deputy, but I fail to see how his reports could have been taken seriously. The FBI has many, many things to worry about, and I can’t imagine the government wasting their time on what the Roswell sheriff had to say.”
“Well, you’ll have to forgive me, Agent Zachary, but you’re very naive if you believe the FBI doesn’t have their hands in several cookie jars.” Jim paused and ran his hands down the length of his face. “What about the explosion at Rodgers Air Force Base? Weren’t you placed on alert or called in to see your supervisor?” Jim stared pointedly at Sarina, her eyes again wildly avoiding
his. “I’m assuming from your silence that you were. Not everything that happens in FBI land is fully documented.” Jim turned forward in his seat, his fingers absently drumming on the steering wheel.
“You...you’re telling me that aliens really crashed here in 1947,” Sarina questioned in a low voice, leaning toward Jim. “And that these teenagers running around the West Coast are... aliens?” Jim glanced over his shoulder at Sarina but did not answer her question. “Do you have any idea how...crazy that is?”
“I didn’t believe it either, Agent Zachary,” Jim replied with a shrug, his hand unconsciously tightening around the steering wheel. “I can only tell you what I know -”
“Then tell me,” Sarina begged, grabbing Jim’s arm with both of her hands, causing Jim to jerk his head at her abrupt motions. “Tell me everything. I can help you.”
Jim opened his mouth to respond when blue lights and the squeal of a siren interrupted him. “Get down,” he cautioned and turned his attention to the front of his vehicle where Owen stood with an oversized grin on his face. “Owen,” Jim laughed, stepping from the car door. He left the door open and casually sauntered toward Owen’s tall frame, his mind awhirl with thoughts of how he could keep Owen from stepping toward the Explorer. “Man, I told you not to come wake me up.”
“I know, Jim,” Owen countered, slapping Jim playfully on the shoulder. “But Hanson wanted to talk to you and you turned off your radio. Don’t blame you though,” Owen continued, watching Jim’s features cloud and a strange expression materialize on his friend’s face. “I don’t like talking to Hanson either.”
“Right,” Jim replied half-heartedly, running his hand in between the buttons on his shirt to scratch the left side of his chest.
“Jim? You okay?”
“Oh, I’m fine,” Jim said, shrugging off Owen’s concern with a wave of his hand. “It’s just indigestion. Maybe I should stay away from the Crashdown’s specials and just stick to the food I know.” He chuckled slightly then winced. “On second thought -”
“Go back into town,” Owen suggested. “I’ll finish up out here. I could use the time away from the office. Besides,” Owen paused. “Hanson, you know.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Jim walked back to the Explorer and rested his left arm against the door. “Okay. Thanks, Owen. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye, Jim,” Owen called as Jim climbed into the Explorer and carefully drove away from his post and toward the police station.
Once Owen was out of sight, Jim reached behind him and poked Sarina, signaling her she could sit up. “Coast is clear,” Jim grunted and Sarina leaned forward, her eyes widening in concern for the man who had protected her from discovery. His skin was pale and sweaty, and he was favoring the left side of his body.
“You’re having a heart attack,” Sarina exclaimed. Jim turned toward her and nodded then returned his eyes to the road. “You...you need to let me drive,” Sarina argued and began climbing up into the front seat of the Explorer.
“No,” Jim interjected and Sarina watched as he struggled to turn the steering wheel left. She glanced ahead of her and sighed inwardly that he was driving himself to the hospital. Jim pulled the Explorer into the parking lot and shut off the engine, leaning back against the seat while he tried to catch his breath. He pulled a small notepad from his shirt pocket and scribbled furiously
on it before folding the paper and handing it to Sarina.
“Give that to Jeff Parker. Then stay out of sight. I’ll find you.”
“You can’t find me if you’re dead,” Sarina said as she exited the vehicle and opened Jim’s door. He all but fell out of the car onto her and Sarina wrapped his left arm over her shoulders, almost dragging him to the emergency room entrance. “Please don’t die,” Sarina pleaded as they stepped into the emergency room, the automatic doors opening with a swoosh. “I...I need your help.”
“Not as much as I need yours,” Jim whispered, resting his face against Sarina’s shoulder, his breath hitting her neck in unsteady streams.
She felt his body go limp and she steadied herself quickly to keep them both from falling to the ground. “Help me,” she cried as she stepped through the second sliding glass door. “Someone help me. This man’s having a heart attack.”
Several nurses ran to her, removing Jim’s limp body from her side and guiding her to the reception desk. Sarina watched as three nurses and a doctor ran away from the admit area, wheeling Jim through a set of gray double doors as the doctor shouted orders to his left and right. “Do you know him,” a red-haired nurse asked Sarina, gently shaking her arm. Sarina blinked rapidly and surveyed her surroundings. “Do you know him? What’s his name?”
“I...I don’t know him,” Sarina whispered, backing away from the nurse. “I...I’m sorry.” She turned on her heels and ran out of the emergency room, clutching in her hand the note she had to deliver to Jeff Parker at the Crashdown Cafe.
|posted on 18-Aug-2002 10:10:57 AM by JO|
June 19, 2002
We started the morning off unusually early, meeting in our room once again. Max had tossed and turned all night and his ragged face bore the typical signs of a sleepless night. As I watched my husband pace back and forth in front of our bed, I couldn’t help wonder if I’d added more stress to Max’s already fragile frame of mind.
“Are you sure you want to do this,” Liz asked, knowing she had precious seconds before the others would be in their bedroom. “We don’t have to find Langley. We can make it on our own. We’ve done fine so far.”
Max smiled gratefully at her, placing his palms on the curve of her shoulders. “It’s a good idea, Liz. Whatever problems Langley and I had are over. I’m not the same man now that I was when I found him.”
“But finding him changed both your lives. I know how much you were hurting when you came back to Roswell, Max, and I know how things ended in L. A. He may not help us.”
“You’re right,” Max offered, placing a chaste kiss on Liz’s forehead and pulling her body into an embrace. “But that’s something we’ll deal with when and if it happens.” He pushed Liz out of his arms and smiled at her, prompting Liz to smile back at him. “As long as we’re together, right?”
“Absolutely,” Liz replied softly, wrapping her arms around Max’s neck and tilting her lips upward to seek out his. They were locked in the passionate embrace when Michael, Maria, Isabel and Kyle stepped into their room, groaning to themselves their displeasure about the hour of the called meeting.
“What’s up, Maxwell,” Michael questioned as the room’s newest visitors settled themselves in the available seating. Max and Liz broke their embrace, but Max held firmly onto Liz’s hand as they turned their attention to their friends and traveling companions. “It’s the butt crack of dawn.”
Max glanced sheepishly at Liz, his grip on her hand tightening as he sought out her eyes. Liz smiled warmly, placing her free hand on Max’s arm, and nodded her consent to Max’s silent question. His jaw twitched and Max turned toward his four half-asleep companions, a new determination on his face. “We’re going to L. A.,” he announced, returning his gaze to Liz, who rested her head on Max’s shoulder and wrapped her free arm around him.
* * *
Max drove us into L. A. after he, Michael and Isabel made some color modifications to the van. We’d been driving it as is since we left Roswell and it was sad to watch the license plate change from New Mexico to California. Max removed the bumper sticker and gave it to me. It’s almost like that by changing the van and removing the bumper sticker it’s finally hitting me that Roswell isn’t safe for us anymore. Roswell will never be safe for us. We’ll never be able to raise our children in the neighborhoods of our youth. I’m glad I’m with Max, but I miss my parents. I miss my room. I miss the security and comfort the little things gave me, but mostly, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in this van, no matter how many times its color changes. I want to be able to settle down in one place, to not have to worry about looking over my shoulder. Maybe,
just maybe, L. A. will be a city where we can get lost and be normal, even for a little while.
* * *
We spent the night in the van, something we hadn’t done in a very long time thanks to our Vegas winnings. It reminded me of our first night together in the van and as the shallow snores of my companions echoed through its interior, I raised my head heavenward and stared at the stars for as long as I could. I’d give anything to be on my balcony right now, to have my telescope and
star maps accessible, but as the stars lit my final moments of consciousness, I couldn’t help but smile, despite the sadness growing in my heart. I’m different, alien mutations notwithstanding.
I’m not the same naive girl I was when I began this journey three years ago. Everything around me has changed, and, in the process, I’ve changed too. I’ve been forced to amend the life plan I’ve had for the better part of my existence. I’ve been forced to abandon my home and live the life of a vagabond. But as I look at Max, his hair in desperate need of a trim, soft curls at the nape of his neck, his lips parted in sleep, I know I don’t have any regrets. I know that my place is with him; that my world would feel completely empty if not for him and that my life would have ended three years ago if not for him. So I followed my heart (just like Max followed his that fateful September day), and it lead me on an incredible journey of heartbreak, loss, devastation and betrayal, but my journey’s not over. As a matter of fact, I guess I could say my
journey’s just about to begin. For the past three years, I’ve lived my life in a human world and while I’m still human, tomorrow I’ll begin a new chapter of my life when I finally get to meet Cal Langley. And I realize that it’s okay for me to be scared and nervous and anxious about the possibilities and implications of this meeting. I’m still human; somewhere inside I’m still Liz
Parker, just different.
|posted on 24-Aug-2002 9:56:11 AM by JO|
June 20, 2002
I’d received enough impressions from Max over the months since his return from L. A. to get the general idea of what happened between he and Cal but as the moment when I finally meet him nears, I just can’t squash this feeling of dread building in my heart. Maybe I just know that my life will never be the same after I meet him. Maybe I am just picking up on some of Max’s
buried fears. Whatever this feeling is, it’s unknown and I’m becoming very afraid of the unknown.
“This is the plan,” Kyle questioned as the six of them sat in the driveway in front of the mansion on Mulholland Drive. “To just walk right up there and knock on the door and invite ourselves in?” He glanced at the five other occupants of the newly camouflaged van. His lingering question was met by a wall of silence. “That’s not a very good plan.” He crossed his arms over his chest and threw himself backwards against the seat, his eyes immediately glued to the floor.
“It’s not the best plan, no,” Liz argued. “But right now, it’s all we that have. We don’t even know if Cal will see us but by presenting a united front, we stand a better chance.”
“I’m just suggesting an alternate plan of attack,” Kyle continued, leaning onto the neck rest of the seat in front of him. “If you’re not sure this plan will work, why not scout out the property for a day or two? This guy’s a big shot Hollywood producer. He’s bound to have a party sooner or later.”
Max glanced out of the corner of his eye at Liz and he knew her mind was feverishly working through a rebuttal to Kyle’s proposal. He knew Liz; he knew she wanted to defend him, his ideas, his beliefs, and he couldn’t help but smile at the thought of her warring heart and mind - one willing to go with Max’s plan simply because it was Max’s plan and she loved him, and the other trying to convince her that Kyle’s idea was just as valid, if not more so, than Max’s. “Kyle’s right,” he admitted quietly and he felt the weight of Liz’s stare on the side of his face, burning a hole into his flesh. “We don’t know if Cal will see us and I’d rather talk to him when I know he
can’t toss us out.” He reached toward Liz and comfortably captured her knee with his palm, squeezing slightly.
“So we wait for a party,” Liz asked, inching her hand slowly to where Max’s rested on her leg. “Can we really afford to wait, Max?”
“We’ll just have to wait it out,” Max replied softly with a shrug, his facial expression suddenly darkened.
“If we’re going to a party,” Maria began, resting her head on Michael’s shoulder. “We’re gonna need party clothes.”
* * *
We left our stake-out position in Cal’s driveway as easily as we had entered it and headed into West Hollywood for some party clothes. None of us had any idea when Cal’s next party would be or if he would have one any time soon. At this point, we were playing the waiting game in unfamiliar territory with a man whose spite for Max was well-known. But I had to have some answers. And if waiting helped me achieve the answers I so desperately needed, then I’d wait.
June 23, 2002
Michael noticed the catering vans before anyone. Kyle, Maria and Isabel had been dropped off at Rodeo Drive; Kyle with for the added protection of protecting Maria and Isabel from their shopping addiction. I was frankly glad to have a moment to myself. We’d been taking turns driving by Cal’s house, searching for signs that there might be a party. Other than that, we’ve just
been driving around L. A., taking in the sights. I’ve already used one disposable camera, simply by snapping pictures as we drove.
Michael stopped the van at the bottom of the driveway and approached the caterers, just like we’d all agreed. If they couldn’t be convince to give out information about the party, I was supposed to join Michael and charm them. If that didn’t work, Michael had said he’d just give them a nasty rash and we’d be on our way. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to either situation - Michael can be persuasive when he wants to be.
“8:00 tonight,” Michael replied, hopping into the van. His chest was heaving and he seemed out of breath as he started the van and drove toward Beverly Hills. “Seems like Langley’s company bought the rights to some book and he’s invited a hundred people or so over to celebrate.”
“That’s all they told you,” Max asked, leaning forward into the space provided by the bucket seats. He glanced sheepishly at Liz but quickly returned his gaze to Michael, who was staring straight ahead.
“The guy said that he thought they would be doing some kind of casting call tonight too. Said that if I was looking for a date, I should come to the party dressed in my finest.”
“They’re doing casting for a movie? At a party?”
“I don’t know,” Michael shrugged. “I’m just telling you what the guy told me.” He paused, brushing his hair out of his eyes. “You’re sure you want to do this, Liz? Going into Langley’s house, I mean.”
“It’ll be fine, Michael,” Liz replied, turning to her left to stare at both Max and Michael, who wore almost the same look of concern on their brow. She placed her hand onto Max’s fisted ones, patting them lovingly. “I’ll be fine.”
|posted on 27-Oct-2002 9:16:30 AM by JO|
|Color me Surprised!!! I really thought this fic had been lost in fic-land, never to be found again (especially by me).|
Thanks for all the bumps, and as soon as I'm finished with this nasty case of writer's block, I'll update with a new part!
“You ready for this,” Maria questioned as she made a final check of Liz’s appearance. “You don’t have to go through with it, you know.” They’d chosen a simple black p cocktail dress from a consignment store in Burbank. The sales woman had talked non-stop about the dress, particularly after Liz had tried it on. It was a straight black sheath with spaghetti straps and a length that fell just below the knee. The bodice was tight-fitting, and while the rest of the dress was a straight cut, it wasn’t clingy. She, Maria and Isabel all thought it looked like an Audrey Hepburn kind of dress, making Liz look like a definite movie star as she modeled it for them in the dressing room. When she’d turned away from her friends and looked at her own reflection in the mirror, Liz had known it was the dress for her. To complete the ensemble, Maria had bought a pair of black strappy heels for $10 from a vendor they’d passed on their way to meet Max, Michael and Kyle. Isabel had styled Liz’s hair in large curls, pulling pieces of hair toward the crown of Liz’s head, framing Liz’s face with slight tendrils of curls.
“I know, Maria,” Liz quietly responded as Maria stepped back away from her best friend. “Michael and Kyle will be there. I’m not worried.” She paused, running her hands down the front of her dress. “How do I look?” Liz turned slowly in a circle, a playful smile on her lips.
“Oh chica, you’re beautiful. If you don’t get offered a movie role, the Hollywood powers that be are blind. You are gorgeous!”
“Thanks,” Liz replied sheepishly, lowering her head to cover her embarrassment of Maria’s praise. Her cheeks burned and Liz knew her entire face was flushing. “You think I can blend in at the party?”
“No way,” Maria said, looping her arm through Liz’s as she lead her best friend out of the bathroom of the cheap motel they had checked into for solely this purpose. “You’re going to be the center of attention. Put on your best smile because you are going to be oogled by men all night long. Maybe some women too!”
* * *
Liz stood alone at the bar on the fringes of the mass of guests at Cal Langley’s party. She had received a flash from Max when he had kissed her goodbye and she had been scouting the crowd for Langley from the moment she was escorted through the mansion. Finding no success, she had deposited herself at the bar, nursing a water on the rocks. Most of the people at the event were the standard looking Hollywood types. Tall, leggy, buxom blondes; handsome and charming men; fast-talking agents and even faster talking screen writers - it was enough to make her dizzy, despite the fact that she hadn’t spoken to anyone since being served by the bartender.
“And now,” a dark-haired man wearing a dressing robe began on the north side of the pool, causing Liz to swivel on her barstool toward the sound of his voice.
“Here’s the man who made this all possible - Cal Langley.”
A round of applause echoed throughout the patio area accompanied by several loud whistles and hoots. Liz frantically searched the crowd for signs of Langley’s bald head but could see very little from her vantage point on the southeast side of the patio. That’s when she realized just how many people were at Langley’s party. There was standing room only; those trying to get close to Langley were packed together like sardines. Straining her neck, she still couldn’t get a clear look at the only man who could help them.
Dropping her purse onto the bar, Liz balanced her black strappy heels on the foot rung of the barstool and straightened her petite body. She craned her neck, keeping her hands on the stool for balance but all she could make out over the throngs of people was Langley’s bald head and part of his face. Her shoulders sagged forward and she carefully climbed down off the stool, turning her attention back to her water.
“Really want to see Langley, eh?” A balding man appeared at her side, leaning onto the bar. Liz glanced at the man, a soft smile on her face, but quickly turned back to her water, rotating the half-empty glass in between her fingertips. “Listen honey, he’s not the only game in town.” The man flashed a card at Liz and held it out to her between his fingertips. The move startled her but she reluctantly accepted the outstretched card.
“Julius Walters,” the man continued, extending his hand for Liz to shake. She read it briskly, placing the card on top of her beaded purse and hesitantly shook the man’s hand. “You’ve got potential.” He made Ls with his left and right hand, then, using the Ls, framed Liz’s face from several different angles. “You could be the new Audrey Hepburn.”
“Oh,” Liz replied, feeling the now familiar blush creep onto her cheeks. “I don’t think -”
“No, really. You’re stunning, and now that I see that you’re blushing, that makes you even more beautiful. Not many actors still have that down to earth quality. That’s what the studios want nowadays. They want someone who looks like they’ve been plucked off Main Street, U. S.A. And you, honey, you got the look.”
“Thank you, but,” Liz began but Julius Walters interrupted her once again.
“I see you in a ‘My Fair Lady’ update. I’ll bet you’re just a natural on screen. So youthful, so innocent looking, like you just stepped into the big city straight from the farm.”
“Mr. Walters -”
“Please, honey, call me Jules. Everyone does. Even Cal here, doncha Cal?” Liz froze as she felt an unnatural warmth - an alien warmth - penetrate her left side where Julius Walters had previously stood. Her posture straightened a little and she cautiously turned to her left side, Julius Walters still chatting away about Liz’s future career as the next Audrey Hepburn. Liz wondered if Mr. Walters knew what kind of a man Cal Langley really was. “She’s a real looker, Cal. She’s so green, she blushed when I told her she looked like Audrey Hepburn. She’ll be your next star, won’t she, Cal,” Julius asked, and Liz swallowed slowly as Cal’s deep set eyes looked her up and down.
“Of course she will,” Cal said, and Liz immediately recognized the hatred he couldn’t disguise embedded in his eyes. Cal offered his hand to Liz, his mouth contorting into a full blown sneer now that his back was to Julius. Liz shrank slightly, almost recoiling from the notion of his touch, but as Julius moved back into the conversation, Liz reluctantly placed her hand into Cal’s. The moment their palms fully touched, Liz felt a jolt of electricity surge through her body. Julius continued to chat away but Liz couldn’t concentrate on his words. She could only make out minimal syllables while the rest of the conversation was overshadowed by static. Blinking her eyes several times, she tried to focus on something stationary. She could feel her mind struggling
to stay conscious yet she was unable to break away from Cal’s handshake.
After what seemed like an eternity to Liz, Cal released her hand, and her breath sputtered out of her mouth, as if her lungs might burst at any second had she not exhaled. She coughed loudly and grabbed her glass of water with shaky hands. Julius patted her on the back several times as Cal sipped his iced tea. “Honey, you can’t hold your breath every time you meet a celebrity. You’ll pass out quicker than you can say ‘Mulholland Drive,’ won’t she, Cal?” Julius laughed loudly, continuing to pat Liz absently on her back. Liz raised her eyes from her water to Cal, the shapeshifter still standing directly in front of her at the bar. His deep-set eyes were watching her every move and Liz felt fear creep upwards from her stomach. She glanced toward the pool, knowing Michael and Kyle, posing as part of the wait staff, were nearby. For a split second, she thought she saw Michael, his long hair tied at the nape of his neck in a neat ponytail, but she lost him in the crowd. Turning her attention back to Langley, she noticed that he and Julius were deep in conversation about her. “I think she’s perfect,” Julius said, his hand resting on Liz’s bare shoulder.
“So you’re gonna represent her then, Jules,” Cal asked, leaning his elbows against the bar top. “You’re gonna get your cut from this green little thing?” Liz’s eyes widened as Cal leered at her while Julius laughed. Blushing slightly from the scrutiny of Cal’s glare, Liz wondered to herself if Cal knew exactly how true his statement about being green was.
“Only if you’re going to cast her in your movie, Cal. Then, once she’s a household name, I can take full credit for her success and sell the story to every entertainment show in the country. The public eats this stuff up, you know.” Julius laughed again. “What did you say your name was, honey?”
“Liz,” Liz softly replied, meeting Cal’s stare head-on. “Liz Evans.”
“Liz Evans. Liz Evans,” Julius repeated to himself, seemingly lost in thought about the prospect of his new moneymaker. “I like it. Innocent, homey, makes you think of Dale Evans and there’s no one more sweet than Dale Evans. What do you think, Cal? Think she needs a new name? Something common but flashy. Something that says star more than Liz Evans.” Liz inhaled sharply as Cal’s hand wrapped firmly around her wrist, almost making her drop the glass of water she held. Glancing from Julius to Cal, Liz noticed a hint of recognition in Cal’s eyes that hadn’t been there before and she noticeably winced as Cal squeezed her wrist again.
“I think Liz Evans and I need to get more acquainted,” Cal replied through gritted teeth, not taking his eyes off of Liz. Jerking her arm to his side, he pushed past Julius and pulled his captive from the patio into the mansion. Liz’s final impulse before being cut off from the party was to scan the crowd for any sign of Michael or Kyle and hope they were watching her as closely as they’d promised Max they would.
|posted on 27-Oct-2002 9:18:30 AM by JO|
Jeff stood outside Room 405, his arms crossed over his chest and his head lowered. To the average passer-by, he looked like a man in need of a doctor himself. His hair needed a trim, his face a shave and his tired eyes sleep. He straightened as Rhoda, the main nurse on the wing, exited Jim’s room, a small smile on her face. “He’s doing very well today, Mr. Parker. You can go in, but as long as you don’t get him too excited. We both remember what happened yesterday.” Jeff nodded and stepped into Jim’s sterile room before the door closed behind Rhoda.
Jeff had been at Roswell Memorial since the FBI agent had slipped a note to him with her tip. The note had been written in Jim’s scrawling handwriting, which Jeff would have recognized anywhere, but this particular note was hard to read. Combining the legibility and the shaken way the FBI agent had looked when she gave Jeff the note, he had barely waited until he was in the back room to open it.
Heart attack.. At Roswell Memorial. Trust her.
He had left the cafe only after telling Nancy what was going on and instructing her to call the Evans and Amy Deluca. For two days, Jim lingered in and out of consciousness. The doctors had been willing to speak to all of them, despite the fact none of them were blood related, and had told them Jim’s chances of survival was not good. Amy had been in near hysterics at the news and Diane had begged the doctor for a mild sedative. Jeff had been glad at the time for Diane’s suggestion, fearing that Amy could say anything in her hysterical state. Nancy had taken Amy home and for the remaining two days, Jeff had stood watch over his friend with Philip and Diane keeping sporadic vigil with him.
Jim had been released from ICU the day before and was moved to Room 405; the doctors amazed at his return from death’s door. Amy had been the first to see him, followed by the Evans and Nancy. Jeff had wanted to be the last one to visit him, especially in light of the cryptic note Jim had written telling Jeff to trust the FBI agent. They had spent several moments quietly talking when Jeff asked Jim about the agent and why they should trust her. Before Jim had any time to answer, his heart rate had accelerated past what his attending doctors felt normal for a man in his condition and had forbidden anyone, especially Jeff, from seeing Jim until his heart was more stable. So Jeff had waited, going so far as to spend the night in the fourth floor lobby, until he had approval to visit his friend.
“Hey, Jim,” Jeff said, raising his hand to Jim in a mock wave. “How are you today?” Jeff cautiously stepped further into the hospital room. He pulled the chair against the bed, careful not to disconnect any of the electrodes, wires or tubes connecting Jim to the machines. Jim smiled widely as Jeff adjusted himself into the uncomfortable chair. He nodded slowly and gave Jeff a thumbs up, followed by a silent laugh.
“Good,” Jeff replied, his own laugh filling the room.
“That’s good.” Jeff patted Jim’s arm and he quickly fell silent again. “I...I wanted to talk about your note,” Jeff began. He noticed Jim’s demeanor change instantly and unconsciously squeezed Jim’s arm. “But you can’t get upset, Jim. Okay? If you’re going to act like you did yesterday, then they won’t let me see you. Okay?” Jim slowly nodded, closing his eyes, and Jeff exhaled in relief.
“So, you trust her, and you think I should too,” Jeff asked, his voice low, leaning as close to Jim as possible given the proximity of the machines surrounding Jim’s bed. Jim nodded slowly and Jeff rubbed his hand against his forehead. “She’s okay? She...she’s not trying to...” Jeff broke off when he saw Jim indicate using hand signals that he wanted something to write with. Turning his back to Jim, Jeff grabbed the pad of paper and pen from beside the telephone and handed it to him. Then he leaned back and waited for Jim to finish what he was writing. Jim wrote very slowly, pulling the pad close to his face for inspection and handed it back to Jeff.
Trust her. She’ll help the kids.
“I...I don’t know where she is,” Jeff exclaimed, his mind a whirlwind of activity. From the moment he discovered the FBI agent was in town, he had been looking over his shoulder. He was worried about Liz, naturally, but he assumed that the agent was in town looking for Liz and the others, waiting for them to come back home. “I...I don’t even know where to start looking for her or...or her name.”
Jim motioned for the pad back and, after Jeff passed it to him, he scrawled another note.
Her name is Sarina Zachary. I’ll find her when I get out.
Jeff returned the pad to Jim again after he finished reading. “But you don’t know when they’ll let you out, Jim. I...we can’t wait that long. What are we supposed to do in the meantime?”
Work. Maybe she’ll come to you...
“Maybe,” Jeff agreed, shoving the pad into his back pocket as Amy burst through the door, her face shining with tears. “Go easy on him, Amy,” Jeff mused as he vacated the chair, allowing Amy to bombard Jim with love from afar. “He’s not completely well, according to Rhoda.”
“Oh, Jeff,” Amy said, dabbing at her face with a wrinkled tissue. “You don’t have to leave. Please, stay.”
“It’s fine,” Jeff continued while moving toward the door, adjusting the pad so he wouldn’t lose it on his way out of the hospital. “I’ve got to get back to work.” Jeff met Jim’s eyes and smiled slightly, causing Jim to nod in agreement. “See you later, Jim. Take care.” And Jeff Parker left Room 405 and Roswell Memorial, content to let the mysterious FBI agent Sarina Zachary come to him, especially if she could help Liz return to Roswell.
|posted on 27-Oct-2002 9:20:49 AM by JO|
Liz had no choice but to go with Cal as he dragged her through the first floor of his mansion and up the steps to the second floor. Once on the second floor landing, he stalked to his left, his grip on Liz’s wrist still just as fierce as when he had first grabbed her. Opening a random door, Liz was surprised when Cal dragged her inside the room and threw her toward the queen-sized bed against the wall. Two windows flanked the bed, and Liz could see the lights from the patio reflect in the dark room. She turned in time to see Cal lock the door with his powers, a red light glowing from underneath his palm, and she backed away slowly as he turned around to face her.
“So, Liz Evans,” Cal began, stepping toward Liz as she continued to back away from him, methodically rubbing the palm he had just used to melt the lock on the door. “I guess that means Max is back in town, even though I told him never to come back. I should have figured,” Cal laughed, startling Liz so badly she almost tripped on the landing where the bed sat. “Wanker.”
“It was my idea to come here,” Liz argued and she froze in her tracks as Cal advanced on her faster than she thought possible. His hot breath penetrated her face and Liz turned her face on an angle, closing her eyes, fearing she would faint from the electric charge sizzling in the air.
“Oh well,” Cal continued, his voice low and calm. “Then you must have Maxie boy by the balls. I never imagined he’d be so... selfless.” He paused, running his palm up the length of Liz’s arm, a trail of blue light following his path. “I’d be interested in seeing just how far this power of yours goes, Liz, especially if you’re good enough to keep Max’s balls where they belong.” Liz shuddered in response to his touch, not because she enjoyed it but because it frightened her and she’d only been this frightened in an alien’s presence one previous time. She swallowed slowly and defiantly raised her chin, meeting Cal’s hungry eyes. “So you met the other protector,” Cal continued as he stepped away from her but not before flicking his hand at her, knocking her onto
her back onto the bed. “Looks like he got pretty far with you, Liz. Much farther than I’d thought.”
“I thought he was Max,” she replied, straightening her posture though she remained sitting on the bed.
“So I’ve got to look like Max,” Cal said, facing the window and overlooking the ongoing party on his patio. “I see. Well,” he replied, turning back to Liz with a sadistic grin on his face. “That can be arranged.” And before Liz’s frightened eyes, Cal Langley became Max Evans.
* * *
Michael held the tray of champagne-filled flutes in front of his body, his palm turned upward, as he made his way through the crowd surrounding the pool. He had caught sight of Liz for a split second and had been violently trying to get to her for the past twenty minutes. Every time he got close to the bar, he was always distracted by the job of distributing drinks. There were throngs of Hollywood people everywhere, much too many for his comfort. The only person he’d enjoyed serving was a guy who continually talked about hockey. Michael had gathered from the snippets of conversation he heard, the guy was pretty much full of himself, proclaiming that he was the best hockey player in L. A. Michael wanted to ask the guy if he’d ever heard of Gretzy but figured this wasn’t the place and certainly not the time to defend his hockey opinions. He had more important things to do, like watching Liz.
He spun toward the bar, using his powers to maintain the flutes on the tray, and felt his stomach drop to his toes. In the space where Liz was, where Liz should be, there was nothing. The crowd parted in front of him and he stomped straight ahead, ignoring the pleas of the drunk for more champagne. He turned from side to side, feeling a fear he hadn’t felt in some time rise up within him, and he quickly scanned the fringes of the crowd for any signs of Liz. Finding nothing, he turned back toward the bar and slammed the tray of drinks onto the bar top. “Where’s the brunette?”
“What brunette,” the bartender asked, his eyes not leaving the blonde at the far end of the bar. Michael followed the guy’s eyes and waited for several seconds as he tried to get his emotions under control.
“The brunette,” Michael continued, leaning across the bar to grab the bartender’s lapel. “The brunette with the black dress. Brown eyes, petite, attractive. Where is she?”
“Hey man,” the bartender shouted, knocking Michael’s hands away from his jacket. “I just work here. I can’t keep track of all the hotties that park it at my bar.”
“Think,” Michael growled as he grabbed the guy again, with more power behind his words. “Her name is Liz.”
“Oh...oh, I...I remember her,” the bartender said, his voice shaky. Michael sighed in relief that he had finally gotten the severity of the situation across to this guy. “She...she went upstairs with one of the producers.”
“Which one,” Michael prompted, something on the periphery of his vision catching his eye. He turned to his right and felt his blood boil as he watched Kyle flirt with one of several blondes surrounding him. He wondered briefly how Kyle could be so nonchalant with the women while Isabel was pregnant with his child, when he remembered he could be mad at Kyle for more than just losing Liz.
“Man, I don’t know. They all look alike.” Michael glared at the bartender, crossing his arms across his chest when he felt a surge of power - alien power - cause the hairs on his arms to stand on end. “Wait,” the guy continued. “I...I think it was that Langley guy.”
“We never had this conversation,” Michael barked, spinning quickly on his heels and marching straight for Kyle and the women in his pseudo-harem.
|posted on 27-Oct-2002 9:23:50 AM by JO|
Michael reached Kyle with relative ease, his long legs spread wide in stride. His only job had been to watch Liz, to make sure Liz was okay, and he had failed. Both he and Kyle had failed. Michael smiled sternly at the bevy of blondes surrounding Kyle as he stepped between them, breaking the circle around Kyle.
“...185 pounds of pure Greco-Roman wrestler, and that’s not even including my -” Kyle froze as he felt an unnatural heat pulsating against his back. He turned slowly, mentally preparing himself for the alien blast that never came. “Guerin.”
“Seen Liz,” Michael asked, arching his eyebrows in a motion unlike anything Kyle had ever seen cross Michael’s face.
“Yeah,” Kyle said with a smile, releasing the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. “She’s right over -” Kyle pointed over Michael’s shoulder toward the bar and when Michael moved to allow Kyle a better view, Kyle discovered Liz was nowhere in sight. “I swear, she was right there,” Kyle continued.
“Well, she’s not there now,” Michael flippantly replied and he felt a surge of anger flash through him. “Want to know where she is?”
“Oh man,” Kyle said, slapping Michael on the shoulder.
“You had me going. I thought you didn’t know where Liz was, that maybe Langley took her. Whew.” Kyle looked over his shoulder at the blondes still standing on the fringes of his conversation with Michael and smiled, causing several of the blondes to giggle.
“Funny, Valenti, cause Langley does have her. The bartender said he saw Langley take Liz into his house.”
“Max is going to kill us,” Kyle replied, his tone suddenly solemn and serious. “We’ve got to get her back.”
“Now we’re on the same team,” Michael snarled and the two men hurried up the sidewalk to the back door of Langley’s home.
* * *
“Stop it,” Liz screamed, holding her hand out in front of her in a weak gesture to scare Langley. “Don’t come any closer.”
“You’re puny powers are no match for me,” Langley seethed at her in Max’s voice. Liz closed her eyes tightly. “I’ve never felt this good. No wonder the other protector enjoyed being Max Evans, but with you at his side, who could blame him.”
“Change back! Shapeshift!”
“I don’t take orders from you, dear Liz, although I suspect I’m much rather take orders from you than your wanker husband. Why did you marry him,” Langley purred in Liz’s ear, his fingertips lightly dusting the contours of her face. “You could do so much better.”
“I love him.”
“And your love sent him into the arms of your most-hated enemy,” Langley retorted, Max’s face bristling, at what Liz couldn’t begin to imagine. “He hasn’t changed at all in the last half century.”
“Stop it,” Liz screamed, her eyes filling with tears. She backed away from Langley, closing her eyes and covering her ears with the palms of her hands, desperately trying to ignore Langley’s harsh comments. No matter how hard she pressed against her ears, Langley’s words still floated through her brain like a broken record. He hasn’t changed at all in the last half century. “Just stop it!”
“You did this, Liz, as much as I hate to say it,” Langley said, his voice a near whisper. He jerked Liz’s hands away from her ears, holding her wrists tightly within his grasp. A small cry escaped from her throat and before Langley could control himself, Liz was in his arms, his mouth pressed firmly against hers. He had somehow managed to pin her arms between their bodies, feeling her fists beat against his chest, and he knew this was the first time Liz had ever struggled against Max. “I don’t want to hurt you, Liz,” he whispered against her cheek, surprising himself by actually being sincere in his admission. He didn’t want to hurt Liz; he wanted to hurt Max. Max had destroyed his life, not Liz. Max was the selfish one, not Liz. Max was worthy of his hate, not Liz.
Glancing sideways at Liz, her face streaked with mascara, her hair mussed and her skin flushed pink, he backed away from her slowly, his mind processing the realization that Liz had actually made him feel something for a human that he had never felt before. That was the moment Cal Langley realized he didn’t have to hurt Liz - he had to save her.
The momentary lull in Langley’s advance was all Liz needed to plan her escape. Kicking the pointed toe of her high-heeled shoe swiftly at Langley’s left knee, she landed the blow just underneath his knee cap. Langley growled in pain, instantly clutching his left knee as he collapsed to the ground. Liz ran past him toward the bedroom door and placed her hand on the knob, summoning her weak powers to unlock the door. Within seconds, the door was open and Liz ran into the hallway, her salvation visible at the end of the hall.
“Michael,” she shrieked, waving her arms wildly over her head. Michael turned toward her and Liz recognized the relief in his eyes. She saw Kyle appear beside Michael, both of them running down the long hallway toward her. Before she could run toward them, she felt someone grab her around the waist, scooping her up off the ground. Her eyes widened when she realized that she was once again in Langley’s clutches, and that she had lead him directly to Michael and Kyle.
|posted on 2-Jan-2003 8:29:32 PM by JO|
|Okay...so I thought this original thread had long since bit the dust and come to find out as I'm looking for my new thread - imagine my surprise as I discover 2 threads!|
Anyway, I'm going to ask a mod to take care of the 2nd one for me now that I've found the 1st one again. If you missed Parts 22-26, you can find them on my site:
I'll try to straighten all this mess out shortly.
Now, on with the show!
“What’s in Knoxville,” Isabel asked, her face dripping with sweat, an unusual ruddy sheen mixing with the perspiration. Sarina held her tightly around the waist despite their height difference. Both women struggled to walk and Sarina wished she had parked her rental car illegally on one of the side streets on the outskirts of the French Quarter instead of in the garage behind Harrah’s Casino.
“I helped in a drug raid there a couple of years ago. We went into probably the nastiest place imaginable. It used to be a great building in the 1950s but now it’s used by pimps and druggies. I don’t think anyone would notice anything unusual there and, if they did, it most certainly wouldn’t be reported to any of the local authorities.”
“Good,” Isabel replied with a weak smile. “There may be some fireworks.”
Sarina laughed slightly but deep down, she wasn’t certain if Isabel was kidding or not.
* * *
Mist surrounded her. She gritted her teeth and continued to run, pulling something heavy behind her with her left hand. The weight continued to slow her progress no matter how fast and hard she pumped her legs.
Her chest burned. Breathing felt like a thousand tiny knives stabbing her esophagus, small fires trailing up and down her wind pipe and through her nasal passage, but she continued through the mist, knowing it couldn’t last forever.
She stopped abruptly in her run and watched as her family ran past her, seemingly lost to the mist. Raising her hands over her head, she called after them, surprised to discover she had no voice. Green electricity flashed upward from her fingers. She screamed again. Had her voice had sound, the decibel level of terror that rippled from her throat would have been enough to propel her body to the ground.
She blinked and the scene shifted. A dimly-lit room, sparsely furnished except for a bed, a chair and a small table came into focus. On the bed lay Isabel, her hips and thighs covered in shimmering red blood. Liz gasp and stepped forward toward the bed, watching in awe as Isabel’s son entered the world, the dark-haired FBI Agent Sarina Zachary the first face to welcome him.
"No," Liz screamed, yellow light pulsating from the palm of her hand, knocking the agent off of the bed and onto the floor. “Stay away from them.”
“Liz,” Isabel meekly called and Liz forgot the fallen agent and the threat she posed at once, rushing to Isabel’s side.
“Isabel.” Isabel’s entire body quivered with red energy, electric current moving through her veins like blood. Small tremors rocked her frail body. Liz felt the blows as if they were circulating through her own body and she reached for Isabel’s hand.
“Take him,” Isabel whispered, wrenching her hand out of Liz’s grasp. “Take Alex and be his mother.”
“But you’re his mother.”
“Protect him, Liz. I can’t be there for him.”
“The agent can’t hurt you anymore, Isabel. I’ve taken care of her. She’s not a threat to you or to Alex.”
“She was never a threat, Liz. Sarina’s a friend.”
Liz’s shoulders shook as tears streamed down her face, Isabel’s newborn baby echoing her cries. “No, Isabel. Please don’t leave him. He needs you. You’re his mother. Please.”
“Come to Alex, Liz. Come and take him home.”
Liz awoke with a start, her entire body thrashing forward in the bed. Her hands trembled as she slowly inched them up her face and into her hairline.
“With all that screaming, Liz, you’ve got to be a powerhouse in the sack,” Langley mused, offering her a half filled glass of water. Liz flinched away from his reach, surprised to see that he was no longer in Max’s shape. He was Cal Langley again and his presence made her even more shaken than her dream.
“Stay away from me.”
“Just take the damn water,” Langley ordered as he thrust the glass into one of Liz’s partially clinched fists. “Water’s good for you. Helps restore the balance.”
“The what,” Liz questioned, wrapping both her hands around the glass, hoping to minimize the amount of water she spilled on herself and maximize the amount that went into her mouth.
“You know,” Langley continued, sitting at the small table in front of the window to Liz’s right. “Water is the common element that binds us, some horse shit like that. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Riverdog.”
“You knew Riverdog?”
“Don’t sound so amazed, Liz. I wasn’t always a Hollywood producer. You know about my humble beginnings as a clapper loader, and I did actually protect the un-royal brats for a time.”
“The dupes in New York, right, the duplicates of Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess? That’s why you called them ‘un-royal?’”
Langley laughed, dusting his pudgy fingers over his bald head as he propped his legs onto the table. “Yeah, they were doomed from the start, which is why I had to move on to bigger and better things.”
“How could you just abandon them,” Liz asked, lowering the now empty glass to her lap. “They were helpless and defenseless. You were supposed to protect them.”
“Which set, the Roswell pods or the New York ones? I couldn’t be in two places at once, but like I said, they were doomed from the start. One vital piece was missing.”
|posted on 8-Jan-2003 9:46:23 PM by JO|
“Me? No, no, I’m not any missing piece. You…you’re wrong.”
“No, Liz, you’re wrong,” Langley argued. “You are very important.”
“As a bargaining too, a pawn, maybe,” Liz replied with a roll of her eyes. “If Max hadn’t saved me -”
“If Max hadn’t saved you,” Langley interrupted, standing up from his chair and facing the small window overlooking the parking lot. “He wouldn’t be the man he was meant to be.”
“The world changed, Liz, all because a boy loved a girl.”
June 25, 2002
It was the first time I had ever called him by his first name or even acknowledged that he had one. It surprised me as much as I could sense it surprised him. I could tell he was visibly shaken and for some odd reason, I wanted to go to him and comfort him as I had comforted Maria, Isabel and Max. He looked peaceful and humbled, and humility was an emotion I did not know Cal Langley possessed.
“I thought I was saving you from Max,” Langley admitted. “Everything he has ever touched turns to shit and I just wanted to save you but over the last two days -”
“I realize now that I’m not who you need,” he continued, ignoring Liz’s shocked gasp at the amount of time they had spent together. “You need Max, as much as it pisses me off to admit that, and I…I’m…sorry for what I’ve done to you.”
“I’ve been here for two days,” Liz questioned, moving toward the edge of the bed, her eyes keenly trained on Langley. “Where are we?”
“Sedona, Arizona. Not the Ritz,” Langley added with a chuckle, fanning his hands across the room. “But we made do.”
“We were here alone together for two days and I was,” Liz broke off and glanced over her shoulder at the partially made bed.
“You were dreaming,” Langley said as if he sensed Liz’s inner turmoil. “And just before you woke up, you shot green sparks out of your fingertips and scorched that wall.”
I followed his extended finger and for the first time since I awoke, I surveyed the room. The damage was substantial. All the glass not visible to passers-by was shattered, scorch marks marred the walls opposite the bed and the comforter where I had slept. All this damage that I had created, this combustion chamber building within me was one of the two reasons we had went to L. A. Now, the only person we thought capable of helping me was telling me he couldn’t.
“You’re the only one that can help me,” Liz cried. “I can’t control what’s happening to me, and these dreams -”
“The dreams about Isabel.” Liz gasp but Langley only shook his head thoughtfully. “You have the ability to predict the future, for lack of a better explanation, and what you see can happen. You’re a conduit now, Liz. Accept it.”
“I can’t control these abilities,” Liz pleaded. “I don’t want to know the future. I don’t want to dream about Isabel’s death.”
“If you don’t want this power, don’t use it. Ignore it. Be human.” Langley turned toward the small closet and pulled a black suit jacket from within. Liz watched, stunned, as he put on the jacket and pocketed his wallet and keys, tucking his dark sunglasses into his jacket’s inner pocket. “Max will be here soon.”
“Max? How does he know where I am?”
“I called him. I’m leaving before he gets here because he threatened to kill me, among other things, and I don’t want to die today. “
“We came to you when we should have been running for our lives,” Liz continued, blocking Langley’s pathway to the door. “We came to you for help and now you say you won’t help me. That’s not fair.”
“Life ain’t fair, Liz. I didn’t ask you to come looking for me.”
“You will help me,” Liz commanded, her brown eyes trained directly on Langley’s small blue ones. “It’s your job to be a protector and you’ve reneged on your duties long enough.”
“I will, eh,” Langley questioned, his trademark smirk flashing across his face. He looked as smarmy as he had the first time they had met, only this time his eyes betrayed him, letting Liz know that she was now the one in control. “What am I going to help you do exactly?”
“You’ll have to use your abilities to find Isabel,” Langley coolly reminded Liz as he deposited himself into the chair he had vacated moments earlier. “You’re the one with the connection to her. You’re the one that can find her.”
Liz’s face paled, the thought of using her uncontrollable powers was too terrifying, too frightening. “Isabel is the one with the dreamwalking ability. I…I can’t do that.”
“Isabel is pregnant and a hybrid, right?” Liz nodded in response and Langley leaned backward into the chair. “She won’t be able to control her powers. Just another of the highpoints of alien hormones,” he added with a smirk. “If she’s alive, you’ll be able to find her.”
“What do I have to do?”
“Lay back, relax and let your mind blank out. I’ll be over there,” he said, pointing to the farthest corner of the hotel room away from Liz. “Just in case.”
“Thank you,” Liz replied, her voice cracking slightly as she settled herself onto the bed and closed her eyes.
Author's Note: I just wanted to let you all know that we are winding down this fic. I'm projecting less than 10 parts left but, honestly, I'll just have to see what my muse has in store for me.
I did want to comment on the reappearance of Liz's journal. Now, I think this is quite awkward because, in my mind, Liz has to have the journal to write in it. Because she's with Cal, she doesn't have it; it's with Max. The more I started thinking about it, the more I thought that Liz's journal could be thought of as a 'flash back' or voice over, telling the audience what happened, almost like Liz's beginning journal moments in Season 1. Either way, I hope you understand and possibly forgive if you find the journal's re-entry jarring.
|posted on 15-Jan-2003 9:30:47 PM by JO|
|Just a note, a new part should be updated tomorrow.|
MaxandLizBeliever (hope that's spelled correctly): Thanks for your kind words. I'm curious about what you mean by "all over" the nomination threads but it makes me happy that you were not disappointed with this story.
Hope you come back!
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 29-Jan-2003 9:41:42 PM ]
|posted on 17-Jan-2003 9:44:27 AM by JO|
Sarina watched Isabel waddle into the BP from the phone booth in the corner of the parking lot. She held the phone receiver with her left hand, the dial tone ringing incessantly in her ear, as Isabel struggled to get inside to the restroom. They had been in the car together almost six hours and thus far, Isabel had succeeded in changing the car’s interior color four times and the exterior color twice. Sarina had glanced in her rearview mirror somewhere in Mississippi to discover Isabel with pink hair, her own hair color quickly following suit. Wringing her hands as she dialed Jesse’s cell phone number, she now had a firm grasp of what Isabel had meant in New Orleans about fireworks. Luckily, their antics had not drawn more attention.
Before one entire ring was complete, Sarina hung up the phone and picked up the receiver again, dialing Jesse’s cell phone number once more. That was the signal they had agreed upon before she left Roswell, and Sarina had promised she would call Jesse when she found Isabel.
“Where’s Tus -” Jesse questioned without saying hello and Sarina could tell by the tone of his voice he had been waiting for this phone call on pins and needles.
“In Alabama,” Sarina replied, cutting him off. “I don’t have long. I’ve got her and she’s fine.”
“Where are you taking her? I can meet you. Can I talk to her?”
“Can’t tell you,” Sarina barked, looking over her shoulder to see Isabel slowly returning to the car. “Gotta go. She’s safe.” Sarina returned the phone to its rightful position and walked to the car, praying Isabel’s fireworks could wait until they reached Knoxville, almost six hours away.
* * *
A watery substance enveloped her, making the hairs on her arms and neck stand on end. Small electrical charges flickered down her spine and into her legs, sharp knife-like pains hit her squarely in the lower abdomen. She placed her hand low on her stomach and was rewarded with what could only be described as an unborn child’s kick. Before she could control it, liquid trailed down her legs, pooling between her feel. Startled, Liz jumped backwards when she noticed the liquid was red.
“Liz.” Isabel appeared beside her suddenly, her entire body bathed in the red liquid. “Liz, you have to help me.” A tremor flashed through both of them, and Liz watched in horror as red electricity shimmered through Isabel’s veins, a phosphorescent liquid running down her bare legs.
“Isabel,” Liz began, moving closer toward her sister-in-law.
“No,” Isabel cried as another tremor shot through their bodies. Liz grabbed her stomach and doubled over onto the ground while Isabel remained standing, her arms wrapped protectively underneath her protruding stomach. “Please, Liz, just…get here. There’s nothing you can do for me other than to help Alex.”
“There’s so much -”
“It’s blood,” Isabel said, carefully stepping toward Liz, her bare feet sloshing through the thin layer covering the ground. “Alien blood, my blood. I’m not going to live through this.”
“Yes, you will,” Liz corrected as she stood to her feet, her posture almost identical to Isabel’s.
“No, I won’t, and when I’m gone, you’ll have to take care of them. Alex and Max and your little girl. We both know I’m dying, Liz. I’ve seen your dreams.” Isabel smiled weakly at Liz before another gush of liquid pelted the ground, splashing onto Isabel’s legs and feet, narrowly missing Liz’s. “I’m in Knoxville, Tennessee. Please hurry.”
“She’s in Knoxville, Tennessee,” Liz replied solemnly as she sat up on the bed. Langley stepped out of this corner and walked toward her, reclaiming his chair at the table. “I have to go to her.”
“Where the hell is Knoxville, Tennessee,” Langley questioned when Liz walked past him toward the bathroom, her stocking feet padding loudly on the worn carpet. Liz turned the faucet on and ran cool water over her shaking hands, ignoring him for the moment. “And what’s in Knoxville?”
“I don’t know,” Liz said, her face damp with water as she pulled the hand towel from the rack and dried her face, neck and arms. “I just know that’s where she’s going and I have to get there.”
“She ain’t gonna make it.”
“Don’t you think I know that,” Liz screamed, throwing her hands toward the ceiling in frustration as the mirror over the sink shattered, raining shards of glass around her feet. “Isabel is dying,” Liz continued, oblivious to the destruction she had begun inflicting on the room. “And there’s nothing I can do to save her. I healed Max. I brought him back from another man’s body, and now, when there’s a child at stake, I can’t save his mother.” She wobbled but managed to catch herself before she fell onto the glass shards surrounding her. Green energy rippled off her fingertips as she braced herself against the sink base, the carpet underneath her feet changing from brown to green to yellow to blue in rapid succession. Unable to stop herself, she began to cry.
Langley watched in amazement as Liz’s powers affected everything around her. He had long suspected it during the two days Liz had lain unconscious on the bed, but now he realized it made perfect sense. Liz was pregnant. “Liz,” he began as he walked toward her crumpled form, waiving his hand over the area she had changed in her grief. “Liz, we’ve got to go. Come on, let’s go find Isabel.”
“But Max -”
“Do you really think I give a damn about Max? You’re what’s important now and if you want to find Isabel, then I’m going to be with you every step of the way. I have no freaking idea where Tennessee is, but we’ll figure it out. Let’s go,” he said again, this time offering his hand to her. “The room’s paid up until tomorrow. Leave Max a note. Trust me, he’ll follow.”
Liz rose slowly to her feet with Langley’s assistance and immediately went to the small desk, removing a piece of the hotel stationary to leave a note for Max. Langley gathered her shoes and purse as Liz finished the note and placed it on the edge of the desk for Max to see. Together, she and Langley exited the hotel room, bound for Knoxville, Tennessee.
* * *
Max burst into the room, he and Michael using their shoulders to break down the door instead of their alien powers. He growled when he saw the room was empty, even though everyone split up to search, just in case. He collapsed on the bed, throwing his arms over his head and sighed loudly in frustration. Langley had sworn to him Liz would be here and he would be gone. Max had all but threatened to damn Langley to his own private White Room when Langley had called him the day before. Langley had offered their location, with Max having ordered it, which caught Max completely off guard. Now, as he sat up and watched Maria, Michael and Kyle scour the room for clues to Liz’s whereabouts, Max tried to imagine the best way to rid the world of Cal Langley once he caught up with him.
“A note,” Maria squealed, excitedly rustling a piece of paper in front of Max’s face. “It’s a note from Liz.” She handed it to Max, she, Michael and Kyle crowding around him to read over his shoulders.
“Where the hell is Knoxville, Tennessee,” Michael questioned, stepping back from their tiny group and dropping onto the bed. “Why would Liz think Isabel was there?”
“I don’t know.”
“It could be a trap,” Kyle offered as he hopped onto the small dresser opposite the bed. “Langley said Liz would be here and obviously, she’s not, so he could have written the note himself.”
“Kyle,” Maria gasp, her voice thick with agitation. “Liz is not dead. Don’t even think that.”
“I didn’t. I’m not.”
“This is Liz’s writing,” Max said, moving from the bed to the small table. He read the note again. It was simple and to the point. I’m going to Knoxville, Tennessee to be with Isabel. Please follow. Liz. Max’s imagination began working overtime, his mind conjuring up all the ways Langley could have made Liz write this note under duress. In that moment, with his emotions heightened, he felt the familiar prickling sensation and realized he was picking up a flash. A flash that could lead to the truth about what had happened in this room.
He could feel fear, hatred, confusion and anguish. He was fairly certain all of those feelings were coming from Liz. Langley wasn’t human; he had no emotions, no need for emotions. Max’s mind was made up to follow Liz as her note dictated and based off of what he was feeling when a final thought burst into his brain.
Liz was pregnant.
“That bastard,” Max screamed and jumped up from the chair, sending it flying backwards onto the floor. Maria, Michael and Kyle also jumped to their feel, their faces showing their confusion at Max’s outburst. Max crumpled the note in his fist then opened it just as quickly, the ashy remains of Liz’s not fell to the floor around his feet. “We’re going to Knoxville, Tennessee, and when I find Langley, I’m going to kill the son of a bitch.”
|posted on 29-Jan-2003 7:46:11 AM by JO|
“I’m going to kill that son of a bitch,” Max seethed, choking the steering wheel of the van as he merged onto Interstate 40 outside of Flagstaff. He had almost left them in Sedona as his rage for Langley took precedence in his mind. None of them had spoken to him since chasing the van for two miles, Michael finally able to convince Max to pull over on Highway 89A. Kyle rode beside him in the passenger seat; Michael and Maria huddled together behind them, their faces visible in the rear view mirror. “Get the atlas! I’m going to kill that son of a bitch.”
Maria sprang into action, pulling the used Rand McNally road atlas from underneath Max’s seat. “Got it. What now?”
“Find Knoxville, Tennessee.” Maria hurriedly flipped through the atlas pages and with Michael’s help, they found Knoxville relatively quickly. “What’s it say,” Max barked when the back seat became quiet. “How do I get to Knoxville?”
“Looks like you can stay on 40 and just ride it into Tennessee,” Michael responded, surveying the interstate map in the front of the atlas. “No problem. It’s a straight shot.”
“Good,” Max replied and Maria, Michael and Kyle felt the van accelerate, slightly sputtering as Max pressed the gas pedal as far to the floor as possible.
* * *
“What are you thinking about,” Langley questioned when Liz’s shaky sigh echoed through the car. He glanced sideways at her, suburbia zipping past them as they drove east on I-40.
“Nothing,” she answered lamely, lowering her hands to her lap.
“You’re thinking about Isabel,” Langley corrected and after Liz’s shocked expression wore off , their silence once again filled the car.
“I’m trying to figure out how to save her. I have all this power and -” Liz broke off, turning in her seat as she stared out the passenger side window.
“Maybe Isabel’s ready to die. Maybe she’s accepted her fate.”
“How can anyone be ready to die? How can you just...give up your life? I...if I...if this were happening to me, I...I’d fight it with everything I had.”
“That’s you,” Langley countered. “Maybe Isabel’s resided herself to the fact that she’s going to die. Hybrid pregnancies are a thing of the unknown. There’s no way to predict what’s going to happen.” Langley stole another glance at Liz, watching her fists clinch and unclinch in her lap and he knew she would survive. She would fight. She wouldn’t let anything take her away from Max and their children. “Isn’t that why Isabel told you to come,” he continued, sensing that her emotions were getting the better of her. “So you would take her son?”
“I don’t know if I can do that. He’s Jesse’s son too and if Isabel dies, Jesse will want him.”
“Maybe,” Langley agreed with a shrug before he reached for the radio dial. He flipped between channels and after finding nothing but country stations, he turned the radio off with a load groan.
“What did you mean about hybrid pregnancies?”
Liz adjusted herself so she was facing Langley and pulled her left leg underneath her, wrapping the thin blanket they had taken from the hotel in Sedona around her lower body. “You said that hybrid pregnancies are a thing of the unknown. Surely someone has to know about them. They were written into the destiny book.”
“I didn’t mean anything,” Langley replied, stealing another glance at Lz.
“Yes, you did. You know something about hybrid pregnancies and I want to know what it is.”
Langley sighed and tightened his grip on the steering wheel. His lips pursed in thought and a stony grimace encompassed his entire face. “Hybrid pregnancies are unpredictable, Liz. That’s all. The original intent was for the protectors to study the hybrids when they became pregnant. Now, no one knows what can happen.”
“Too bad Tess is dead,” Liz said quietly, resting her head backwards on the seat. “She’s the only hybrid that’s survived a birth.”
“That’s not exactly true,” Langley replied, looking over his shoulder to check his blind spots. He pressed his foot to the accelerator as he navigated through traffic to find a suitable place to pull onto the shoulder of the interstate to discuss this newest bombshell. “The hybrids aren’t supposed to mate with each other.”
“What,” Liz asked, her voice rising an octave as Langley pulled the black Mercedes onto the shoulder of I-40, Oklahoma City almost fifty miles ahead of them. “Tess was pregnant. She and Max slept together.”
“Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess could have screwed each other 24/7. It would have never produced a child. The hybrids were supposed...designed to mate with humans. They were supposed to stay together as a Four Square for unification purposes only.”
“Tess was pregnant,” Liz repeated, “with Max’s son. I...I saw the baby. I watched Max connect with his child. I was there when Max gave him up for adoption. I stood by Max as he chased every lead in order to find his son. I...I went to jail for him.”
“Liz, I know you’re upset -”
“No, you have no idea,” Liz said as she thrashed at Langley’s outstretched hands. “You can’t possibly understand what it’s like to know that everything you’ve believed for two years has been a lie. She…she could have lied about everything.” Green energy crackled and shot from her fingertips just as Langley successfully grabbed her wrists, shooting ten small holes into the room of the Mercedes. “I...my life could have been so different. I...I kept Tess in Roswell. It’s my fault one of my best friends is dead. And Isabel,” she squeaked, tears streaming down her cheeks as she feebly struggled against Langley’s hold. “It’s all my fault.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Yes, it is. Whose baby was it? She brought an innocent child to Roswell, a child she said was Max’s. Who did he belong to?”
“I don’t know.”
“And the crash. There was a spaceship.” Liz jerked her right arm out of Langley’s grasp and ran it underneath her nose. “How did so many people believe there was a crash? Can her mindwarp really be that powerful? She killed all those people, those innocent people.” She cradled her face in her hands, her shoulders heaving forward while her cries reverberated through the car.
“I don’t know, Liz. I’m sorry,” Langley admitted, offering the small package of Kleenex he kept in his coat pocket to clean his glasses. “You can’t think about that. You have to think about you.” Her shoulders continued to heave as Langley merged the Mercedes back onto the interstate.
|posted on 7-Feb-2003 10:41:42 PM by JO|
|Just to let you all know that I haven't forgotten about this story. Things have just been hectic and I haven't had a proper moment to sit down and post the next part. I'm aiming for Monday or Tuesday. I'll ask for your patience.|
Thanks so much!!
|posted on 11-Feb-2003 6:29:20 PM by JO|
“I got you, Hope.”
“I got choo, Awex.”
“I wub Mommy!”
“Isabel,” Liz questioned, shielding her eyes with her hands as she stepped into the heavy fog, the sounds of children laughing imbedded so deeply into her mind, she couldn’t focus on anything else, particularly if Isabel was present. “Isabel, where are you?”
“I here, Mommy, but I Hope.” Liz felt a slight tug at her thigh and stared down to find a small girl smiling back at her. “Isabew Hope. Find Awex wif me?” Liz stooped to the girl’s level and the child immediately grabbed Liz’s hand, clutching it with her tiny hands as she tried to pull Liz forward. “Come on, Mommy. Find Awex.”
“I...I’m sorry,” Liz gasp, her confusion mounting as the little girl continued to tug on her hand. “I...I can’t help you.”
The little girl’s lips pursed tightly and she released Liz’s hand, slinging Liz’s arm toward the ground with all her might. Liz’s brow furrowed in confusion while she slowly stood and the little girl crossed her arms defiantly over her chest. Before anything further could happen in the mock stand-off, a small boy, about a head taller than the little girl, ran out of the fog. “Awex,” the little girl screamed, jumping up and down and clapping her hands together wildly, her displeasure with Liz instantly forgotten. “Got choo! Got choo!”
“Mommy! Mommy!” The little boy plowed into Liz’s side and threw his small arms around her thighs, squeezing her until his arms shook.
“Mommy! Mommy,” the little girl echoed, still jumping as she wrapped her arms around one of Liz’s legs and squeezed.
“Alex,” Liz asked, tears in her eyes as she ran her fingertips through the little boy’s fine dark hair. “Isabel’s Alex?” She loosened the children’s grip on her legs and dropped to her knees in front of them, her hands wrapped around their tiny arms.
“I your Alex,” the boy corrected as the little girl began to jump up and down again, throwing herself into Liz’s unsuspecting arms. “Come get me.”
“But I don’t know where you are,” Liz admitted while the little girl hummed to herself and ran her fingers through Liz’s hair. “I can’t find you.”
“Yes, you can,” Liz heard Isabel’s voice echo through the fog and she released the children and stoop up. “Fifth Av -”
“Help, Liz -”
Liz awoke with a start, the thin blanket from the Sedona motel covering her as she reclined in the back seat. The Mercedes was parked in a vacant parking lot and Langley was no where to be found as she surveyed her surroundings from inside the car. She slumped into the seat, pulling the blanket around her shaking body. She was not cold; she was frightened, and the closer she and Langley got to Knoxville, Tennessee, the more the inkling of fear plagued her mind. Her dreams or visions were becoming increasingly confusing, not only in their frequency but also in their content, and she was afraid of what she might actually find when she finally found Isabel.
She leaned forward, intent on climbing to the passenger seat to exit the car and stretch her legs for a minute when Langley appeared at the driver’s side door. He smiled at her and quickly entered the car while Liz settled back into the back seat. “You okay,” he questioned, balancing a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee as he put the keys into the ignition.
“Where are we?”
“Some mall,” Langley replied as the car engine roared to life. “Got you one too,” he said, pulling a small box from the front seat and handing it to Liz. “And some water.”
“Are we close to Knoxville?”
“We’re in Knoxville,” Langley admitted, his cinnamon roll almost gone. “It ain’t much of a town, but who knows. This is all I’ve seen.”
“How long have we been here?”
“Most of the night. I was hoping you wouldn’t be out for two days like you were last time so I parked here. We can afford to not be in a hurry. We should get a few things when the mall opens.”
“What kind of things,” Liz questioned as she nibbled at the cinnamon roll, her stomach suddenly queasy.
“You know, new clothes, baby things, shit like that.”
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Liz admitted, closing the cinnamon roll container as a grimace crossed her face. She opened the water and took a small sip. “I don’t know if I’m ready for this.”
“Did you have another vision?” Liz nodded mutely, her eyes welling with tears as she avoided Langley’s stare. “Was it about Isabel?”
“No, it was about Alex and a little girl. They kept calling me ‘Mommy.’ I...I don’t understand it.”
“I don’t know,” Langley mumbled, staring at his watch. “C’mon. Let’s go get you some comfortable clothes.”
* * *
Liz returned to the Mercedes with Langley, her black dress and strappy shoes carefully stored in one of the five shopping bags she carried. She bought two pairs of blue jeans and a pair of black knit pants at Old Navy, several casual button-up shirts at Lerner New York and a good pair of tennis shoes at Rack Room. Langley had offered to treat her to a shampoo and style at one of the beauty shops but she politely declined. Her mind was not on new clothes; it was on Isabel. “Any luck with finding the motel?”
“Yeah,” Langley said once Liz was settled into the passenger seat. “I talked to some people and they seem to think we should head downtown or down this street called Magnolia. Wherever she is, I’m betting Isabel is in the bad part of town.”
“You think there’s a bad part of this town?”
“Every town has a bad part,” Langley said, putting the car into gear and driving out of the mall parking lot.
|posted on 16-Feb-2003 2:06:48 PM by JO|
June 28, 2002
We found Isabel in the Fifth Avenue Motel just north of downtown in Knoxville, Tennessee. To say it was a five star establishment would be a severe embellishment, as Cal and I had to dodge several drug addicts and prostitutes in the hallway on our way to Isabel’s room. The man at the front desk had been less than helpful when I gave him Isabel’s picture, but Cal had managed to convince him it would be in his best interest to help us.
We knocked on the door of Room 305, Isabel’s supposed room, and Cal agreed to wait outside while I entered alone. I liked Cal, despite the problems he and Max have, and I know there would have been no way to convince the others to travel halfway across the country to find Isabel. Of course, now that I’m here, I’m not sure what’s going to be waiting for me on the other side of the door.
“Look Liz,” Langley said, grabbing Liz’s arm just before she pushed the door to Isabel’s room open. Liz glanced down at where their skin touched in surprise as she cautiously raised her head to meet his face. Never in the days that she had been with him had Langley touched her in that manner. Every time their skin had met, there was always malice behind Langley’s motivations. Langley noticed her confusion and released his grip on her forearm slightly. “You should know that anything could be on the other side of that door. Isabel may already be dead and her baby too. You just gotta be ready for that.”
“Okay,” Liz whispered faintly as she nodded her head up and down. She had replied so faintly that Langley hadn’t been sure she’d answered at all and squeezed her arm again. “Okay,” Liz replied, this time placing her right hand on top of Langley’s and removing his hand from her arm. Langley turned away from her and Liz placed her palms on the door, allowing her shaky breath to even out as much as possible before she stepped into the unknown.
While Cal’s warning had prepared me somewhat, there was no possible way for me to know the full extent of Isabel’s condition. Just like Cal said, there could be anything waiting for me on the other side of the door, and I had to force myself to step through it.
Liz closed her eyes as she carefully pushed the door open with her palms. Her first step into the darkened room was a shaky one and she clinched her fists by her side to control some of the trembling. The door shut behind her and Liz spun on her heels toward the doorway, her eyes now wide open, and she wondered if she were walking into some sort of trap. Slowly turning away from the door after convincing herself that Langley wouldn’t let anything happen to her, she stepped further into the darkened room, sparse sunlight filtering in from the solitary window, and Liz focused on the dust floating in the room.
“You’re here,” someone said, startling Liz so she reflexively held her palm away from her body in defense. A red light crackled on the fringes of Liz’s peripheral vision and Liz turned partially to her left. Lying on the bed, red energy pulsating through her body at a swift pace, was Isabel, who looked as near-death as the junkies Liz and Langley had passed in the hallway.
“God, Isabel,” Liz whispered, immediately stepping to her sister-in-law’s bedside. She knelt in the floor next to the bed, her fingers looming near Isabel’s energized skin. Isabel’s once-vibrant face showed signs of sickness, yellowish gray in color, and Liz was momentarily blinded by tears. She moved to hold Isabel’s hand when a woman’s voice stopped her.
“I wouldn’t touch her. It makes her worse.”
Liz rocked back onto her feet as the woman stepped from the shadows of the room. She glanced at Isabel momentarily, unable to control the tears that slipped down her face as she watched Isabel’s body shake with tremors, the red energy palpitating at a much faster pace than it had previously. She wiped at her face with the backs of her hands and watched as the woman’s face came into focus. “You,” Liz questioned, staring at the woman whose name and face had haunted so many of her dreams.
“Isabel said you’d come but I didn’t believe her.”
“You know the...truth...about her?”
“I didn’t at first,” Sarina admitted, “but I do now. I’m one of Jesse’s friends. Sarina Zachary.” Sarina extended her hand to Liz, stepping out of the shadows of the room.
Liz glanced toward Isabel momentarily, watching as red energy continued to trickle through Isabel’s body. Liz stepped toward Sarina, her own hand extended. “I’m Liz Evans. Isabel is my sister-in-law.” The two women shook hands quickly and Liz turned her attention back to Isabel, just as Langley burst into the room. “It’s okay,” Liz said as Langley spotted Sarina. “She’s a friend.” Langley nodded his agreement to Liz’s statement and stood in front of the door as Liz walked back to Isabel’s side. “How did you find her?”
“She called Jesse’s office and agreed to meet him in New Orleans. I went to New Orleans in his place and brought her here.”
“Thank you,” Liz replied softly, and she felt Langley’s hand grip her shoulder when a baby’s cries echoed through the room. “Alex,” Liz cried, unable to contain her tears any longer, and Langley released her as she stormed past Sarina into the bathroom.
I thought that when I gave my heart completely to a baby, it would be my own. But as I fell onto the bathroom floor over Alex’s tiny body, I knew that I’d already given my heart to him. His cries increased and I couldn’t stop the flood of emotion that overtook me, right there on the nastiest bathroom tile floor imaginable. His tiny legs and arms kicked furiously and his face contorted as his cries continued and I had no choice but to join him. I knew he was crying because he’d just lost his mother. He felt her body disintegrate to dust the moment it happened; he would never remember anything about his natural mother as he grew up and I knew in those first moments without her, he felt totally alone in the world. I, on the other hand, cried for all that I’d lost on this journey. Alex. My home. My parents. My innocence. And now, Isabel because, just like Alex had felt her die, I felt a part of my mind contort as her energy hit the air. My only hope is that her last moments were peaceful and that she knew I’d protect Alex with my life.
Liz fumbled blindly with the blue blanket surrounding Alex. His arms and legs still jerked but she could tell he was fighting sleep, having exhausted himself by crying. She swaddled him tightly and carefully picked the tiny boy up off the bathroom floor. Cradling him gingerly against her chest, she walked out of the bathroom and into the main room where Langley stood with the Sarina. “I’m sorry, Liz, but Isabel’s gone,” Langley whispered as she brushed past him and toward the only window in the room. Liz didn’t dare look at the bed because she knew whatever remained of Isabel would be on that bed and if she looked, that would be the last memory she’d ever have of her friend, Max’s sister and Alex’s mother. “Didja hear me,” Langley asked and Liz felt the heat radiating off his body as he stepped closer to her.
“I heard you,” Liz whispered, twisting her upper body from side to side. “Isabel’s gone.”
“Can you take her outside to my car,” Langley asked Sarina, who had remained in the corner of the room. “It’s the black Mercedes. I...need to clean this up.” Sarina nodded mutely and walked to Liz’s side, putting her arm around Liz as the two women walked silently out of the room.
|posted on 17-Feb-2003 9:54:33 PM by JO|
|Thanks to everyone that read. I honestly had Isabel's death plotted out since mid-October (around halfway through the fic). I tweaked it to enlarge Sarina's part (and to prevent Liz from almost killing her because she thought Sarina had hurt Isabel). I tried to foreshadow as much as possible so hopefully it didn't catch too many of you off guard. Anyway, please stick with it if you can. Lots of tears left to be shed I'm afraid. Someone still has to tell Max, Jesse and the Evans.|